A northerner with a love of solo travel, a blue sky, capturing life through a camera, flowers and coffee.
You’ll find me: wandering with a podcast on (top three – Elis & John, Table Manners & The Daily) with my Go Pro in hand; taking photos (more often than not of flowers, food & landscapes); cycling through a field or enjoying a walk plus some stretching via a bit of yoga; cooking, cooking and cooking; or checking the United score whilst also scrolling the Guardian News app, possibly followed by a descent into a Wikipedia vortex.
A bit of this and that
Places That Have Been Home
The wonderful United Kingdom (Manchester, Liverpool & Lincoln), Taiwan (Tainan), Vietnam (Ho Chi Min City) and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).
Places Where My Backpack Was Home
The classic backpacking route of South-East Asia for four months after university.
South America, well it was a year which began in South-East Asia and ended in South America – from top to bottom (all by land & before smart phone life and with a very small budget too, so I’d like to think of it as my own personalised Race Across The World without the TV cameras, competition and prize money of course).
Following the death of my dad in mid 2019, I took a bit of a breather during six months exploring a little bit of Vietnam, a larger part of Indonesia, some of Singapore and a good amount of Australia (although not enough, I will return, the pandemic has currently put a halt on extending this trip further).
Celebrating reaching Annapurna Base Camp in The Himalayas (Mind Blown by the ABC Trek).
Freedom, fresh air and a picnic.
This love came from my hiking mad dad although during those slightly painful teenage years my bed might have been where i’d rather be!
Life wandering the countryside with or without a map is absolutely freeing and often simply medicine.
Always snapping! This initially came from living a good chunk of the last ten years in Asia, having numerous new and interesting places to capture and also making friends with (and being influenced by) some lovely Taiwanese and Malaysian people who seemed to thrive on capturing as much of life as possible (in Taiwan this included lots of jumping photos and in Malaysia many selfies).
Following many years of reading, listening and observing the skills of others I’ve gained an understanding of what leads an eye into the frame, how to position subjects to create intrigue and also to capture the details that really tell a story… well I try! Now, my attention is often found on flowers and green landscapes, not forgetting coffee cups and meals (I didn’t live in Asia for nothing).
My shutter is mainly snapping life through a Go Pro Hero 5, an old Sony HX60 and always on my Pixel. A new manual camera is on the horizon and I’d really like to return to capturing on lomography cameras, an old fish eye created the most fantastic shots.
Qualified in the semi-distant past of 2008, however I only ever went diving sporadically, it brought joy but not unconditional love (I feel like i’m writing a poem ha).
It wasn’t until the death of my dad that I really developed an enormous enjoyment and real love for the sport because of how much it kept my mind healthy.
Over a couple of months in Indonesia and Malaysia (after forcing myself to do a refresher course) I completed about thirty dives and also the PADI Advanced course.
The focus and concentration needed to dive plus the meditative feel of floating calming through the ocean definitely helped me deal with the confusing and challenging experience of grief.
Yes, yes I am now desperate to get back under the sea and also researching UK based dive companies and hoping for some hot weather!
A joyful hobby born from watching the elaborate meal creations of my mother’s home kitchen, she trained as a chef so it was always, always good stuff.
Get in from work (or wandering), podcast/Spotify on, let’s get cooking!
Cookbooks often found sprawled open on my work surface will be anything written by Mr Dependable Jamie Oliver and also Georgina Hayden’s delightful and different Greek Cypriot creations. Failing those it’s BBC Food, maybe the Guardian Food (often Nigel Slater) or more often than not a random imagination creation.
Wander With Coffee