It feels like I formally need to let you know know that I’m back. Or at least trying to get back into the swing of things so that I can write and share a bit more with you.
A lot has happened since my last post. It’s little over a year since I last published anything and that makes me sad, because I had the best intentions to keep this going. Anyway, I started working again and that’s kind of where the blogging stopped.
We’re still in Dubai, we’ve travelled to Cape Town, celebrated a wedding anniversary had family over for a visit earlier this year, had short little getaways, survived a desert summer, and fell pregnant.
Yeah that last one is a kicker! I’m due in July and am in no way prepared for how much our lives will change and never be the same again. But that’s the nature of life I guess and we roll with it. I have a certain amount of peace that Craig and I will be going through this together. It makes it seem more doable and slightly less scary. He is such an amazing support for me, I really struck gold with this guy.
We’re Team Green, which means we don’t know the gender of the baby and will be surprised on the day. Exciting! My mom and dad will also be coming over for the birth and I’m really happy for that because it’s tough with no family around. This feels like an occasion where there should be family and friends and celebrating. But we’ll have none of that and that’s the downside of living anywhere away from your people. This is a whole other story though and one day I’ll sit and write about it. Also, my dad gets his first passport for his first grandchild! How awesome is that? I never thought I’d see the day where my dad will actually travel to anywhere, let alone Dubai in the heart of summer!
So that’s a quick summary of where we are now. I’m not sure what I’ll be writing about next or what the plan is going forward but I’ll try for one post a week. I may delve back into some experiences from the past year or just do short updates but I won’t be doing any photo challenges or blogging challenges anymore.
Day four of the Photo 101 Course is ‘Bliss’. Here we go…
Day Four: bliss & captions
Reading a great book, enjoying a glass (or two) of wine with friends, spending time with my husband, good food and enjoying that good food outdoors with friends and family – this is bliss to me.
I found these photos of my dad cooking crayfish curry in the garden at home in Cape Town. It was a random Saturday afternoon and we gathered on the front patio while the curry cooked with some drinks and just relaxed and enjoyed the day.
The theme for day three is/was (we’re currently on day five!) – water. I’m still catching up, so here goes…
Day Three: water & orientation
Dubai always amazes me. Everything is bigger and more astounding than anywhere else I have been so far. For example, as we were walking around Dubai Mall (the biggest mall in the world I think), we came across this waterfall inside. It is 24 meters tall and traverses all four levels of the shopping centre!
You don’t however see the true size and majesty of the waterfall from my images, even though I did a vertical and horizontal shot. Unfortunately when I saw the waterfall, we were right at the bottom and I was too close to get a good view point of the entire scene. These photos were taken a while ago as well, and looking back now, I should have changed my viewpoint as well as my camera settings. I’m thinking that if I had used TV mode (shutter speed), I would have gotten a better effect with the water.
Here are both options – I personally prefer the vertical option just because it gives a better sense of the height than the horizontal version does.
Here we go with day two of the Photo 101 course! I’m catching up slowly but surely, just one more day before I am caught up with everyone else.
Day Two: street & establishing shots
I took a walk yesterday and took quite a few photos – so many that I could have posted them all – but I decided on these two; because I love the composition. It’s balanced and symmetrical, and I was lucky enough to get these shots without any people or vehicles on the road which is a very rare occurrence over here.
Okay I’ve signed up for yet another photo-a-day challenge. I have been signing up to these for years now in an effort to get better at photography, but life keeps getting in the way and I’m lucky if I get to day three most of the time.
This time however, I really want to follow through and succeed, and so I have started the WordPress Blogging University course – Photo 101. I’m already three days behind (!) and so I need to get cracking to catch up – expect a few posts from me today and tomorrow!
The point of the course is to go out and take more photos, otherwise what’s the point right? But since I’m a bit behind and we’ve been rained in today, these photos are from ‘the archives’.
Day One: home & getting orientated
I’ve been in Dubai for almost two months now but I already miss home so much. More than anything else, to me, ‘home’ means family and friends. But I also think of the little weekend road trips we took over the last few years, the places we visited and the diverse locations that makes our city so amazing. Cape Town is a beautiful city and I miss it.
Enjoy the pictures and let me know what you think in the comments below.
On Friday afternoon, we spent the day stuffing our faces at an outdoor food festival called Eat The World – DXB – a gathering of food trucks in the UK and local traders serving some of the best street food you can get.
We were both looking forward to it for a few weeks now and were not disappointed, even though the weather wasn’t as great as it could have been, considering we’re in the desert – you’ll see from my photos that it was a bit of a gloomy day. Nonetheless, as long as there is food, we will not complain. And there was so much food, I wish we could have tried it all.
There was live music, a play area for kids, a chef stage, picnic areas to chill for the day with the family and food. Lots of food.
Did I mention the food?
Yes, I love food, can you tell?
Oh and I spent the day snapping away with my camera – here are the pics…
I literally have thousands of photos filed away which were taken either with my camera (Canon 600D) or my mobile phone. Slowly but surely I am working through all of them to sort and edit and I’ll be sharing bits of those that I really love here.
I am by no means a professional (or even good) at this stage, but practice makes you better (not perfect). I’m still learning the basics of shooting in semi-manual mode on my camera and how post-processing works. I’m trying to figure out how it all works together and what works for me.
For my first photography post, these yellow daisies caught my eye. I really miss our garden in Cape Town, which is where these photos were taken. It was a large and colourful space to practice my aperture, macro and focus skills and it’s a great way to relax too.
I still need to find a place like that in Dubai – the environment here is totally different to that of Cape Town (obviously) but the there are great opportunities to do something different.
Expect more photos of flowers at some stage, but enjoy these for now.
It’s always nice to be spoiled by your loved one. Whether its on Valentine’s Day or any other day. Perhaps its the expectation of being spoiled with super sweet chocolates and expensive roses that makes this one day so popular. For me though, the thought behind doing something special for your partner, or any of your loved ones, somehow means more and is more appreciated when its least expected – i.e. any other day, except Valentine’s Day.
For the last three years, Craig and I have not been in the same country to celebrate V-Day – even if we wanted to. So the tradition has always been to send me flowers on the 13th or 15th of February. Because the flowers are cheaper and just to rebel against society a bit (I feel like I need to insert a ‘lol’ here).
It’s our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple, in the same country and we’re not spending it together. My hubby is a chef and he is spending the better part of this day making sure that 30-odd couples have a memorable dinner to celebrate their love for each other.
And that’s fine with me, because in keeping with our tradition, we’ll be doing something special tomorrow!
Tomorrow marks the one month anniversary of my arrival in Dubai (I’ve been here one whole month!) and six months since we said ‘I do’ – and in my book, those are much more important to celebrate than just one day of love.
So.. to end off; make every day a day of love. Say I love you more, hug someone who needs it; or someone who doesn’t, a good morning kiss can be the perfect start to the day, or just set aside some time to spend with anyone you care for. Don’t wait for the one day of the year to spend an exorbitant amount of money to show your love, when there are so many more meaningful ways to do it, every day.
They say that January is the test month for all your resolutions and goals for the year. It basically gives you 31 days of leeway to get yourself together, so that you don’t feel despondent by not totally succeeding with all of your goals; and thereby just quitting on them all together. Because lets face it – January is totally a write off anyway, what with school holidays, summer and recovering from festive season indulgence – nobody expects to stick to their resolutions right? But come February 1st, you better be ready because that’s when shit gets real. And since that’s today, I better get this ball rolling. That means finally starting this blog (as well as many other things, which we’ll get to later)!
Writing a blog has been something that I’ve wanted to do for a few years, and over the last few months I’ve had some massive life changes and I’m in this happy space. So now seems as good a time as any to get started.
When I was in my teens, my dad used the term ‘lovely stuff’ as an exclamation of approval and/or happiness. Kind of like shouting ‘yes!’ when your team scores a goal. I don’t know where the phrase came from, but it stuck for all these years and in my mind, it perfectly sums up everything that is good in the world. So that’s where the inspiration and the name of this blog comes from.
I’ll be writing about being married to a chef, learning to cook, and sharing recipes that I love, living in Dubai, my progress on mastering my (very basic) photographic skills, and everything else in between. So stay tuned, keep reading and drop me a line in the comments section.