Photo Friday #18

Climbing out of the car, I headed towards the footpath and away from the main road. Less than a minute of walking brought me away from civilisation, and into a colourful meadow, buzzing with life. Bright flowers could be seen in every direction; bees steadily making their way around, dipping into the sweet nectar on offer. Butterflies flitted around the meadow and, upon closer inspection, lots of little insects darted between the grasses.

Making my way through the tall vegetation, spiders scuttled away from my feet as I headed towards the river. Once out of the meadow, I was surrounded by trees. Bird calls were louder and more frequent here, the high pitched warning of an intruder ringing in my ears. I walked quietly and slowly, looking into the trees along the riverbank, hoping that the birds would get used to my presence. My goal? To find a kingfisher. I had seen the striking, blue bird twice before – both times, the bird simply being a flash of blue as it flew past me and down a river. I had heard that there was a resident kingfisher here, and had seen many photographs from other people. Having had no luck on my first visit, I was hoping this would be the special one.

As I neared ‘Kingfisher Gate’, something caught my eye. Sitting on a small branch, hanging over the river, was a very plump looking object. I snapped a quick photo, realising that yes, it was a kingfisher!

Slowing down, I kept my eye on the bird as I made my way around a huge bush, hoping that I would get a better view from the other side. I was not disappointed! This bird was eyeing me, though not showing any signs of distress, as I made my way forwards getting as close the the river’s edge as possible. I sat down, pushing vegetation out of my way so I could get a clear view. Sitting still, I watched and happily snapped away, not believing my luck. I believe it was a juvenile, though possibly on the older end of the scale! Whilst it’s coat was a lovely, bright blue, it’s feet were very dull and you could just see a little white on the end of it’s beak – both signs of a young kingfisher.

The sound of small feet padding along the floor disrupted the silence, and the kingfisher flew high up into the trees. Once the dog had passed, I spotted the kingfisher again, this time nearer and easier to photograph. I managed to watch for a little longer, before it decided to move on and settle somewhere else.

Wandering back down the river, and towards the meadow again, I reflected on just how lucky I had been. I did not expect it to be so easy. Coming home from university for the summer, and hearing about this place, I had set myself a goal to photograph a kingfisher. It is June, and that goal is complete! Now I will just have to go back, again and again, in the hopes of getting to watch more behaviours and capturing them. Until next time…

Uniball pens – review #1

So you may remember this post where I bought a bunch of uniball pens and said I would review them – though it was a while ago!

Anyway, here’s the first set of pens!

Now I have to say, I was a little disappointed in these! Four out of the five just didn’t seem to write very well, and looked really light. I did love the Jetstream one though! Now that is the kind of pen I like to use. It was dark, and felt smooth to write with.

You can see here that the ink is really light, and I hate black inks that aren’t actually a proper black! The second blue pen was light, and I would have liked it if it didn’t feel ‘dry’ to write with. The colour was a little temperamental, as you can see with the different tones throughout writing the word. I could not find the black pen with just a plain blue outer layer anywhere. I have no idea which pen that is – it had no writing on it!

No bleed through on the thin Filofax paper though… always a plus!

So yeah, not overly impressed with this set! Though I can see myself using the Jetstream often!

Flight of fancy.

Ever seen a really pretty box and just had to get it? I definitely have… Along with pretty notebooks, I just can’t resist a pretty box!

I found this in TK Maxx and it was only £3.99! I love the design, there’s so much to it. It has the small patterned details and then there’s the writing and old style photos with keys, clocks, butterflies… And whatever else! The lid has a glass like panel, with the hot air balloon a different material underneath it. There’s got to be at least three different layers underneath the see through panel!

So yes, I have a new box… at the moment it is holding my nail polish, lipstick and other random stuff like that. My drawers look very neat now that I have this box to store them in!

Lots of pens!

Well I spotted these in B&M and couldn’t resist… Now a few of these pens are repeated like three times, so there aren’t actually as many different pens as it looks. Nevertheless, it looked cool and I can’t wait to have a proper look at them and review some of the ones I really like/dislike!

There seems to be quite a few ballpoint pens so I’m glad about that – I’ve never been a huge fan of rollerball/inky pens. So yes, be on the lookout for those! I’ll do them in a few posts over the next couple of months.

My Week #47

Well, this week has been kind of boring! I’m still not sure on this diary layout – I didn’t really have enough to ‘plan’ to really test it out… I’m going to use it next week to see how it goes on!

This week seems a little boring! And it was… I didn’t do much besides work and go to university! My mum is up tonight though, so going out for a meal very soon!

(And nope, I still haven’t seen Catching Fire! Monday hopefully…)

Book Review: Long Time Coming – Edie Claire

image Sometimes I will read a book, and I’m only half way through it when I think that I need to review it on my blog.

Now I’ve never read any of Edie Claire’s books, though I have seen her name before! I have to say, I honestly didn’t expect much of this book, I thought it would just be your average romance. However, it is so much more than that! I was completely hooked, and it did keep me guessing throughout. Some things were easy to figure out, and you know, you figure it out before the character does, but it doesn’t take away from the story. The main ‘mystery’ was a little surprise. I was getting close to guessing, but I didn’t get it completely.

Synopsis:

Though veterinarian Joy Hudson is now an accomplished and well-established professional, all the trauma of her senior year in high school comes rushing back when she returns to her hometown to help care for her aging father. The memories she tried to erase about her best friend’s tragic death, and the boy she blamed for the accident, suddenly seem very fresh — especially because that boy is now the handsome town doctor who makes his interest in Joy abundantly clear. Even more troubling is Joy’s mounting suspicion that someone is either trying to spook her or kill her. It will take all Joy’s courage to attend to past and present dangers.

The main characters were really likeable in my opinion. I mean, Joy does get a little annoying and you do want to tell her to get a hold of herself, but it works. Everyone had a back-story, so they had something interesting behind them. I also really liked how it was about Joy going back to her home town and seeing high school friends again. It’s great to see how people can grow up and change. You get both a little of the high school days as well as the present.

There’s a little paranormal activity in this story, but don’t let that put you off! I think it’s really quite subtle for the most part, and fits well with the storyline. I didn’t actually realise it would have the paranormal in it (I didn’t read the description/page properly before reading!) so was surprised, but not turned off with it.

Anyway, I was completely hooked on this story and I will definitely be reading some more of Edie Claire’s writing!

All Stars Guest Post: The Contemplative Belle


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Hello! Today I have a post brought to you by Cissy from The Contemplative Belle about fountain pens… So let’s get to it.

Fountain Pen Writing Joy

Fountain pens were once a common sight. I write with one on a regular basis and am often questioned about them. The curiosity fountain pens arouse in people surprised me at one point but I have come to expect the questions and enjoy sharing the joys of writing with one. I hope in the process I have drawn a few people into the world of fountain pen enthusiasts. There are several reasons I enjoy writing with a fountain pen including the way they glide effortlessly across the paper, the ability to change ink colors so readily, and the beautiful shading and shadowing the inks display on paper.

Fountain pens come in many sizes, shapes, lengths, nib sizes, and fill mechanisms. There is a fountain pen for everyone and at every price point you can imagine. The most important thing for a beginner to think about is what size nib (the metal point you write with) you want and what type mechanism you want. There are extra fine (EF), fine (F), medium (M), broad (B), and several other sized and types of nibs, but those are the basic ones a beginner needs to know about. After choosing the nib size a beginner should choose how the pen will hold ink. There are several different options, the most common for a beginner being a cartridge or converter. A cartridge is the easiest method as it would involve simply replacing a cartridge when the ink is empty. A converter is my choice. It provides the ability to change ink colors at any time.

However, it does require you buy bottled fountain pen ink and refill the pen on a regular basis. How often depends on how much you use the pen. It is as simple as placing the nib into the liquid ink and twisting the tip of the converter and having it draw the ink up into the barrel. It can be a messy process and I typically have a drop or two of ink on my fingers, I wear it like a badge of honor. I own more ink than I would want to admit and belong to Ink Drop, a program where Goulet Pens sends 5 ink samples each month. I love getting my Ink Drop in the mail to be surprised by fun colors that are themed and always a pleasant surprise.

Writing with a fountain pen is a pleasure as the ink just glides onto the paper. Holding the pen at a 45 degree angle and moving your arm, instead of just your wrist, writing becomes effortless and I find my handwriting to be better and almost musical. The pressure callous I once had on my finger is now a distant memory as writing is once again a joy instead of a chore. There is nothing quite like a personally written letter and one written with a fountain pen whose letters are shaded is a piece of art.

If you have never written with a fountain pen it is something I would recommend you try. There are many wonderful pens and inks available. My favorite is the LAMY Safari fountain pen. It is a great choice for a beginner. I would recommend Ink Nouveau blog for more information on fountain pens and to answer further questions. I hope you join us in the world of fountain pen enthusiasts and rediscover the joys of handwriting letters, journals, and anything else you can think of.

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I love the look of fountain pens, but have never tried one… Some really good information here if you’re looking to try it out! Is anyone here a regular user of fountain pens?

And the filofax is started…

I ordered the Personal Songbird as I found it on Viking at a very low price. This is just a start, as I want to make sure that I do use it and that it would be worth the money. I would eventually like to buy a nice leather one, but those are too expensive right now, for a first Filofax.

Anyway, I am very happy with it so far! It’s pretty, and I think Personal is the perfect size. I would maybe get an A5, but I don’t think I could go smaller.

(more…)


  • I am 21 years old, currently studying Wildlife and Media at University and blogging about life, stationery, Filofax, fitness and more.

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