Heart eyes

One of my dearest friends lives in LA. We've been friends for over 20 years and she's the most generous, loving and fun friend you could wish for. It breaks my heart that we live so far apart, but at the same time when we do see each other it's so special, that in a way I wouldn't have it any other way. Anyway, my sister, who now also lives in LA, was expecting her second child back in April, and was having a baby shower, and my BBF thought that I should come out for it - as a surprise. So I went out there for a whole week on my own, without my boys. That meant that I could go and do all those things that they wouldn't be as into, like going to exhibitions, check out stores and have a karaoke session for old times sakes. It was an amazing seven days where I got to reconnect with aspects of myself that I somehow had buried and neglected since motherhood. It was like I got my old self back. 

These pics are from MOCA and the Broad where we got to see lots of great art. Sadly I can't tell you who made any of them apart from the last pic (Catherine Opie), because I'm shallow like that ;)


The lady in red

In April this lady told me to get on a plane to LA. So I did. Lucky me!


Windows from the past

One of the very few times I actually brought my camera with me this year, was on an Easter Egg hunt that I took Oomoo on a while back. I fancied going a bit further afield, so we ended up at Osterley Park. The sun was out, and so were the crowds, and after answering questions along the egg trail in the gardens, we ended up inside the house. In there was a bunny hunt; nothing as sinister as it sounds, just crocheted white bunnies dotted around the stately home that we had to count. As we did we got an insight to how a very wealthy family lived in the late 1700's. And what do you know, I only took pictures of the windows! I didn't even realise that I had until I put this post together. I guess taking pictures becomes habitual, and that you are subconsciously always drawn to the same thing, over and over again. So if you see more windows in the future on this blog - don't be surprised :)


A little big guy called Buddy

You know how they say stroking a pet alleviates stress and can help during depression? Well, they're not wrong. Around the time I took a funny turn, my husband finally came round to us getting another cat. Perfect timing if you ask me. We decided that we didn't want to replace Little Mo, and so went with an as opposite a cat as you can get. He may look petite, but in fact, as these pictures are already a couple of months old, it's funny now to see him looking so "small". So first of all he is a he, long haired and a Main Coon, the largest domestic cat breed there is. They are the closest you can get to having a dog without having an actual dog. He plays fetch, follows you around the house all the time and is super social. He simply just wants to be with you, as much as he can. Little Mo was often hiding somewhere, and wouldn't dream of playing with a room full of kids like it was nothing. I still well up sometimes thinking about her, and at one point I did think why on earth are we getting another cat that we will love and lose - again. But I'm hoping that we will have many years of fun with this furry dude, and I'd rather have known him than not at all.


Still here

Oh hey there. That was quite a break... I didn't mean to disappear like that, but I didn't have a great start to the year. I put it down to a mid-life crisis of sorts (I did turn 40 last year after all), and felt that I had to more or less stop everything and start building myself up from scratch again. I ended up putting my camera down, but kept going on Instagram, as it for me is just the light, fluffy, nonsense type of picture taking that I can carry on with, regardless of what else is going on. I'm still not fully connected to my camera yet, but I'm getting there. I still have to get to the point where I carry it with me everywhere again. I'm feeling better now, and I'm actually grateful that I went through what I did as it shook up things up. I was coasting along not realising that I was getting too set in my ways (some of them bad), and that at this point in my life (hopefully half-way through!), it was time for a change. I'll be back with more soon, but I'm not putting any pressure on myself to do so. It's gotta feel right at the end of the day. Life's too short innit.


LAst ones

Et voila - the last of the LA pics. I'm annoyed with myself that I didn't take that many pictures; for years I'd imagined going back there and not giving my camera a rest, but once we arrived I kind of switched off. Which I guess is what makes a trip like this a holiday, haha! Never mind. There's always a next time. Have a great weekend!


LA blues

I might be a bit hormonal today, but looking at these pictures I feel really grateful that we got to go on this trip. And that we got to hang out with friends and family, enjoy beautiful weather and views, whether they were of national parks, the sea, the valley or the moon. It's both a blessing and a curse to have my dearest so spread across the globe... My husband has been away on the other side of the world for a week, and I plan on giving him the biggest bear hug I can muster when he gets back tonight. And I think I have a few phone calls to make to friends and family, and let them know that I miss them too.


Night riders

Did I already say we spent a lot of time in cars on our holiday? I know. I did. We spent a LOT of time in cars. So to entertain myself I messed about with the slow shutter one evening (and no, I wasn't driving when I took these). This is how they came out. I think I'll call this series ' On the road again'...



A little break from our holiday pics: the youngest member of our household turned six last weekend. Uhm, whaaaat?! How does time go so fast? Although I must say it feels like a very long time ago that he was a baby. And if you're wondering why this cake had so many candles in it; it's his cousin's birthday the day before, and they always get a shared birthday cake at his nana's. And for the only time ever he's exactly half the age of his cousin. Like a one-off eclipse or something :)


The Observers

LA is a bit of a funny city in the sense that there aren't many obvious "must go to" places. As a tourist you're kind of grabbing at straws; you can go to Hollywood Boulevard where all the stars are inset in the pavement, or go down to Venice Beach, or take one of those stalkerish bus tours that drive you round the neighbourhoods of where the film stars live. And as LA is so spread out and the public transport system so poor, you can't really just go for a walk and get a feel for the city. But there is one place that is both touristy and great, and that's the Griffith Observatory. Not only can you find out about the planets and the stars, but you also get an unbeatable view of LA, in an extremely photogenic setting. I actually took my best photos from there on my phone (they're all on my Instagram). And if you're a James Dean fan, you get to walk in his footsteps. While we were there I seriously considered studying astronomy (I mean how could you not - it's all so fascinating!), but once I got home and started looking into courses I found out that you have to be very good at maths. Oh well, never mind.


Taking a hike

Because it was still quite hot, we went for an hour long hike pretty much first thing in the morning. Joshua Tree National Park is huge, with lots of different kinds of hikes, so you can pick and choose what you fancy and feel up to. I can't remember what this one was called, but it was really beautiful, and so quiet. The rocks in Joshua Tree are really easy to climb, it's almost as if they were covered in Velcro, so we could get off the paths and easily climb higher up and get more of a view. And what a view! It made us think of what we imagine Mars to be bit like... The last picture is from a view point that you can drive to above Coachella Valley - we didn't climb that high!