Summer Solstice at Stonehenge

I started this week by making my way to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice celebrations. This is one of the only time it is free access to the site and to the stones themselves. I’m lucky that with my job I get to take part in volunteering activities like this as in all honesty I do not get the point of sitting in a field all night. However I am grateful for being also to experience it in a golunteering way instead.

It was a beautiful evening and I took my camera and borrowed a friend tripod to try and get some lovely photos. I’ll share those in another  post  though as they need editing slightly and I would like some help from my teacher to do that.

It was an amazing sky with bright sunshine, but lots if scattered clouds to heal things up and add colour.

It was also a full moon or strawberry moon, which only happens a couple of times a century on the solstice. It was all beautiful to watch.


When my shit finished my friend and headed down to the stones themselves to experience threat thing. This year was quiet I’m told as they introduced a parking fee and banned alcohol from the site. When we went in there were only around 6000 people, compared to closer to 20,000 normally. It was really calm and chilled. The atmosphere was friendly and welcoming really. 

It is odd at the same though as they light up the site with huge flood lights that give off this fake moon like glow. For safety and ease of walking around to was great, but compared to last year at Aberbury where they don’t provide any lighting, it is a completely different experience. 

We even g pretty much in to the centre of the stones which was a first for me. I got to touch a few of the stones, which was important to me. It felt like touching and being a part of the history of the place. The stones are so old I feel as though they hold so many stories and memories of the world. My fantasy geek ended coming out there!

I wish it was the moon in theses photos, buts it’s not it’s just the floodlights!

In a week that has ended on such a down note for me and many others, the start of the week feels so long ago. The connection I felt to our past had slipped away in the last few hours. It’s odd to sit here now and think we are going backwards. I refuse to dwell and I’m glad I voted for what I believe in and will continue to do that. Now on to a happier weekend catching up with Ingrid and going to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! 

Photography Fun!

I’ve been learning how to take better photographs and this last weekend had my first chance to take event photos for my local running club.  It was fun, now I just need to get quicker at changing setting in between. Also I would like to get better at getting closer up to people rather than have lots of background, but it’s all part of the learning process.

Here are my favourites from the day:

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Recent Reads… 2016 part 2

So it looks like I have been extremely rubbish with my book reviews this year, all the while I’ve been reading more than I did last year. I’m currently thinking of different ways I can review the books I read to make it easier on myself to review them and be able to look back and see what I enjoyed or did not enjoy. That is the main reason I like reviewing as it is a journal for me so that I can look back on things.

So catching up on things since January here is everything I’ve been reading:
strange weather in tokyo

Strange Weather in Tokyo – This was a wild card for me and I enjoyed it in a weird way. It was an intriguing story and not one I would normally chose, but I liked the idea of reading something set in Japan when I’m going there later this year.

Dead Beat

Dead Beat: The Dresden Files, Book Seven (The Dresden Files series 7) –  This was another audiobook for me that moved the story along in the series with this time battling necromancers.

Proven Guilty

Proven Guilty: The Dresden Files, Book Eight (The Dresden Files series 8) – This was another audiobook in the series and I enjoyed it as it bought back in the White Council. Harry is assigned to investigate black magic and this gives some insight into his past.

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Coffee Nerd: How to Have Your Coffee and Drink It Too – I’ve been reading up on making better coffee as this is a skill I want to improve upon. This gave me lots of information about the amount of water versus beans and brew time. I’m still experimenting but I like having this as reference.

the lie tree

The Lie Tree – This was a gift from my friend and I read it in one day. It was a good read; quick and easy, while engaging and entertaining.

White night

White Night: The Dresden Files, Book Nine (The Dresden Files series 9) – Another one in the series and another engaging story.

moranifesto

Moranifesto – Loved this book. It was a great listen and one I want to get in paperback now so I can scribble in it and underline sentences to commit them to memory.

the invisble library

The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library series Book 1) – I decided to get this on the recommendation of my friend and really enjoyed it. I wish this was what it was really like to work in a library with multiple realities each with slightly different books and stories, but similar at the same time. I’m looking forward to reading the next one.

a court of mist and fury

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses) – I really enjoyed the first one in the series and as expected I enjoyed this one as well. It’s a simple read, but engaging and intriguing all the way through. I liked the characters and the their development through the book. I love straight forward fantasy with fae and high lords and magic as it’s not reality at all. Plus you can look at all the fandoms and really get to understand the characters through different perspectives.

Please note this post contain affiliate links.

 

Keep on Swimming

I think I’m finding my love of swimming again after a bit of a turbulent year of not really feeling it. It’s funny how something that you love can become a chore so easily and then the love disappears and you wonder why you ever liked it at all. It was a horrible time as I do love swimming and being in the water is one of my major childhood memories. What I realised is that it was no longer fun. I was no longer the kid just jumping in to swim around and enjoy the feel of the water. I had a time to swim or a distance to get to. It was all about the goals and not about the enjoyment. So no wonder I didn’t want to go every single time!

I took the pressure off myself and stopped swimming in the pool with my swimming club and began to focus on only lake swimming and that has made such a difference. I reconnected with lake friends from last year and have been having fun building up to longer swims, while having a good time doing it. I still have a goal, but it is one goal, rather than 10!

I like to have something to train for as it gives me focus, but I don’t like events really. So this year I am not using other events as training sessions. I’m still planning on swimming the Bridge to Bridge Thames Marathon in August, but have changed my wave to the middle one, rather than the faster one so I can swim with my friends and take the speed pressure off.

I’m making the most of my membership to one of my local lakes and going as often as I like. There are also three other local lakes that I can use if there is an event on at my lake on the day I want to go. I usually go twice a week with one session being a long swim building up to 10km and one being a coached session working on skills. I would like to get in another session to have some fun and swim too, but timing is harder with that one. I’ve also started back at the gym and doing a couple of classes with my friend Helly and we are having great fun and it doesn’t feel like working out at all. We have a gossip and catch up while moving around and laughing. This means I am working out 4/5 times a week without trying too hard, which is nice and it feels good mentally and physically.

Come rain or sunshine I’ll be at the lake this summer!

Weekend Fun in London

I seem to be going quite a lot lately and I am quite enjoying it. I’ve been able to explore new parts I haven’t been to before. This last weekend I was there for a friend’s hen do and we had great fun. The weekend started with a treasure hunt that had us walking around London for a a few hours. I got to see Kensington Palace, which I don’t think I’ve been to before.

We then headed to have afternoon tea at a beautiful hotel new St James Park. The scones and cakes were absolutely amazing!

We then headed to the River Thames for a night cruise. This was amazing as I got to see the city late at night all lit up and it was beautiful.

Tower Bridge

The Greenwich Meridian laser

The Shard, Tower Bridge, and the walky talky

Closer up

Underneath

The Tower of London

The London Eye

It was a lovely nice that stayed warm into the early morning. The light reflecting on the river were  gave the water a glow that is does not have during the day.

The next day we headed towards Portobello Road and I found this tree that was growing and taking the wall with it. It made me smile and appreciate that nature in the city still thrives.

We went to an amazing place – The Electric Diner – for breakfast and I enjoyed a fantastic flat white and a Full English tat hit the spot nicely. I intend to go back here when I can.

When we had finished it was still waking up and the vintage market was set up as we wandered back up the road. I would very much like to come back for the food market during the week. It was beautiful and sunny and it would have been nice to stay a while longer, but I will plan that in for next time.

Overall a lovely day exploring and visiting some new places that I will be making the effort to go back to. The sun made it an extra special weekend.

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