Random Act Of Kindness Award

A big thank you to Michelle from Mws R Writngs for nominating me for this award. I’m grateful for your support and the friendship that we have developed.

Choosing who to nominate is quite a challenge to be honest, because I feel that I have been shown so much kindness on WordPress and in life in general. I am also aware that many people who I could nominate do not have the time to accept the award by creating their own response. This is especially true of my peers from OCA, but their kindness, support and critique is valued immensely. So many other bloggers have also supported me with my photography and in relation to my eating disorder.

Em from From Famine To Feast has become a valuable source of support. having an eating disorder is challenging to say the least, and having support from somebody who is in eating disorder recovery is invaluable. Thank you for your kindness Em, I nominate you.

Kindness has been shown to me by so many people in a whole variety of ways over the years, and in writing this post it is nice to remember some of those people. The example that I am going to give is of a very simple and straightforward act of kindness. Kindness doesn’t need to be extravagant. A former work colleague (he didn’t know that I knew it was him) would leave a packet of sweets or fruit on a colleagues work station. He would do so when nobody could see him do it and he would leave a typed “Youve been RAK’ed” with the gift. As for me… I used to buy a pastry on a Friday morning on my way to a meeting. I would leave the change with the staff member in the bakers and ask them to use it to pay for the next person in the queue.

The guidelines for accepting the award are.

1- Tell who you nominate and why.

2= Copy and share the picture that shows the award, posted above.

3- Share  a paragraph of something that impacted your own life in the way of receiving kindness or how you extended kindness to someone else.

For instance, ” I once was waiting in a drive thru line for 20 minutes. I was in a hurry but the line did not move much, it felt like. My day was getting worse by the moment. When I got up to the drive thru window, the cashier said someone had paid for my meal already. That really made my day a lot better.”

4- Nominate anyone or share to your own page. If you so choose to Participate. Tag or pingback to the original person who nominated you, or the original post. https://mwsrwritings.com/2018/07/30/random-acts-of-kindness-award-ka/

Copy the guidelines into your post.

Going Home Early

Sadly I am feeling unwell and have decided to go home early. Just at Kings Cross waiting for the train.

Action man has been a fun way to write a travel blog and he will return.

 

Deferring University – Preperation For Part Four, Still Life – Prep For London

Having been unable to find appropriate accommodation in the locale of Farnham I have deferred university until next year. A lot can happen in a year, so I am open-minded. I’m going to keep looking for a home swap, but I’m also happy to finish Foundations in Photography and then make a decision as to whether to take the photography degree with the Open College of the Arts, which is distant learning, or go to the University for the Creative Arts. There are advantages to both, but with my mental health as it is, then taking the degree with OCA has become my preferred option. Distant learning suits me, I can study part-time, have less pressure with deadlines, and not have the stress of moving. These are all protective factors for my mental health.

cofIs this still life?

I am shortly going to begin part four of Foundations in Photography, which is a section based upon still life. With the new medication that I am on and how it is affecting my energy, I decided not to begin part four until I return from London. However, I have been exploring thoughts, and making photos for my digital sketch book, which I hope to upload before I travel. We’ll wait and see. My aim is to read part four in the FiP manual, so that I can make the most of being in a new, dynamic environment, and begin to make photos, or at least test photos for the coursework whilst I am away.

IMG_20180805_101352.jpgIs this still life?

London, here I come. I am very excited about visiting London. My initial plan was for it to be for a few days. But I haven’t been too London as an adult. Yeah I have passed through it, and been to two football matches there, but I have never explored. I have activities planned, a few people to meet and an OCA study visit/field trip.

cofIs this still life?

Lots of wonderful opportunities for photography in different environments and with several genres, as well as museum and gallery visits, West End shows, football match, and nature. Lots and lots of nature, animals, birds, flowers, macro. I have Lightroom on my laptop now, so I may upload some photos as I go along, although my lap top is incredibly slow compared to my PC with its huge RAM.

cofIs this still life?

Consequently I am not going to be able to keep up with everyone’s blogs anywhere near as much as I would like to, but normal service will be resumed upon my return.

Sunshine Blogger Award

This is a photo of the logo for the Sunshine blogger award

 This is a photo of the logo for the Sunshine blogger award

I am really grateful to have been nominated for this award, although I don’t feel that I have been sunny on my blog recently. I was nominated by Mws R Writings. She has become an important person in my personal community, and I enjoy her poetry, which comes from the heart.

The guidelines for the Sunshine Blogger Award are:-

Thank your nominator.
Link or ping the post back to them.
Display the picture on your post.
Answer their questions.
Provide questions for the nominated people you choose.

The questions that Mws R has set for me are:-

1. What makes you cry?

This may sound bizarre but I cry when contestants do well on Strictly Come Dancing and the X Factor. More so on Strictly, because dance makes me very emotional. I also cry when people win on game shows.

2. What gives you joy?

Photography. It has become such an intense passion for me. Whether I am making conceptual photography, photographing people, events or birds I go into a zone, the moment, and connect with something greater than myself. Macro photography does this even more so.

3. What is your favorite book and why?

Tolkien’s The Lord pf the Rings Trilogy. I have read these so many times over the years. They were an escape for me during my childhood, at a time when I needed to escape reality. I’ve just ordered a new copy whilst writing this post. I havent read it for 4 years now.

4. Who is your hero and why?

It may be awful to say but I don’t have one. There are many people who I admire, and if I could sit down with a few of them it would include Rupert Spira, Mooji, The Dalai Lame, Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, Rosa Parks, Harvey Bernard Milk, Maya Angelou and some of my peers who are studying with the Open College of the Arts.

5. Favorite food?

You are all probably aware that I have an eating disorder and that I restrict my calories (slowly going up). However, I eat either a ciabatta with peanut butter or a crusty roll with marmite every night, and have done so for months now.

6. Your reason for blogging?

The Open College of the Arts asks all students to keep a blog to record our studies and submit our assignments. This was my initial reason, but it has grown so much broader than this. I learn a lot from my peers and other creative people. Following peoples blogs helps strengthen and enhance my own creativity. Mostly though, as someone who does not like being around people, WordPress has helped me to develop a personal community in which I feel that I belong and have some value. This is priceless to me.

7.Your favorite movie and why?

This changes. Milk, Rosa Parks Ride to Freedom, The Die Hard series, Transformers, and I am really enjoying Tom Cruise movies. I went off of him for years, but I can’t help but admire his talent and the diversity of his acting.

8. What is your favorite number?

Odd Numbers. I feel safe with odd numbers and double numbers such as 22 or 33. My TV volume is set to 22, and if I open the window I put it up to 33.

9. One thing you have learned about life?

That death would be far preferable. Don’t get me wrong though, I am enjoying life at the moment, and have no intent on ending my life, but I think decades of struggling to live and trying to end my life has an indelible mark on the psyche.

10. What would you say to your younger self?

Life is incredibly hard so get therapy and make the most of it now. It appears to be easier to harm yourself but I promise you that it isn’t.  Do whatever you can to be kind to yourself as often as you can.

11. One thing you’d change about the world and why?

Hmmm, this is difficult. The human race is so messed up. all of our problems are self-created and so entrenched that changing one thing would not make a difference. That leaves me with two options; get rid of people completely or get rid of myself.

 

The People who I am nominating are:-

Ali from The Mindful Gardener

Andi from Andi Andreas Photography

Potatoes and the Promise of More Potatoes

Stuart from Something to Stu Over

Stormsie from Life after Divorce

Jennifer from Tar Heel Reader

Anna Maria from Cosas de Una Escritorta

Niki from Under 1000 Skies

DM from Pointless Overthinking

Ravi from Ravi Singh

Your Questions

Due to constraints upon my time I am setting you the same questions that I have been sey.

1. What makes you cry?
2. What gives you joy?
3. What is your favorite book and why?
4. Who is your hero and why?
5. Favorite food?
6. Your reason for blogging?
7.Your favorite movie and why?
8. What is your favorite number?
9. One thing you have learned about life?
10. What would you say to your younger self?
11. One thing you’d change about the world and why?

 

Exploring WordPress Theme’s

I am going to update my site to premium (at some point in the future), and my initial exploration is to explore different theme’s. The intention was to preview several theme’s by using them live on my site, so that I could get used to them and discover which I prefered. However, many of the themes that I like are premium, so I can’t trial them live without paying for them. I’m happy to pay for a theme, when I upgrade.

With all theme’s you can see a non-live preview to see how your site adapts to them, so I have taken screen shots of my favourites, which I can look through at my leisure, and then make a decision. With the premium WordPress upgrade you can alter CSS (a code which sits on top of HTML), so I will be able to alter text colour, nudge the layout a little so that it suits my taste (such as reducing the width of the side bar), and other little tweaks here and there.

Here are a few of the screen shots (I haven’t made any alterations, so the backgrounds and header photos are not included in some of the previews.

Trying New Themes – Aircraft From The Weekend

Over the next week I intend to be trying new themes to see if I can improve the appearance of Photo Sociology. In fact what I’m thinking of doing is upgrading to the premium site and using CSS to develop the theme myself, just so that I can get a site looking exactly how I want it to.

It’s going to take me a while to get the theme that’s of the style and manner that I think is pleasing and stylish, and to decide upon  a new font and text colour. My blog will still be active, but don’t be surprised to find a new layout and colour scheme when you visit. I would really value your feedback. Please feel free to leave a comment below.

Over the next few weeks I am also going to turn my other website into a portfolio site as well. I have developed so much over the past 18 months that I want to present my photography in a manner which I believe that it deserves. I still make lots of very poor photo’s, which I’m ok with, it’s all part of my development. I also produce photography that I am proud of. It’s nice to have a positive inner voice some of the time, a welcome break from the rubbish that is usually insulting and trying to control me, lol.

 

Armed Forces Day – Aircraft

Saturday, 30th June was National Armed Forces Day and I went to Scarborough so that I could photograph the three different air displays. Those of you that know me you know how much I love aircraft, and I had the added bonus of trying new lens. The displays were short, only 15 minutes for each set, but they were wonderful to watch and photograph. Here are a few of my memories from the day.

I just can’t sign off without leaving you with a couple of macro

 

 

Featured On Happiness Between Tails By da-Al

Good morning.

da-Al asked if I would submit a guest blog, which she has just published this morning. It can be seen here. In the post I discuss how I use photography to help/improve my mental health, especially when it comes to macro and bird photography. da-Al writes her own posts, but most of her site is populated by guest posts. Thank you for the opportunity da-Al.

Liebster Award

liebster1

Feeling a touch embarrassed because I have just been nominated for a Liebster Award by She from This Door Is Alarmed. She, writes poetry, prose and fiction, in such a manner that there are times that I think I’m reading a short story and it turns out to be a memoire, and other times She combines fiction and prose in the same blog. One of the most enjoyable and fascinating posts by She is called The Shorthand anomaly, is it a memoire? Is it a short story? Either way it’s incredibly well written, and to go a way from a blog, and still be thinking about it, ensures that I will keep returning.

The GUIDELINES for the 2018 award are as follows:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
    • Display the award on your post
    • Write a small post about what makes you passionate about blogging
    • Provide 10 random facts about yourself
    • Answer the questions given to you
    • Nominate 5-11 other blogs for this award
    • Ask them creative and unique questions of your own
    • List the rules and inform your nominees of the award

 

What makes me passionate about blogging?

This is where my embarrassment comes in for being nominated for awards. I study photography because it has changed my life. It’s given me an ability to have some management of my mental health by igniting a fire within me, a spark of creativity and the joy that has come from that. Life through a lens is a way that I can live in a world that I find frightening, and my blog, which is essentially a requirement for my studies with the Open College of the Arts, has given me a community. I am happy to not spend time with others, and enjoy being with myself, but I still have a need to feel valued and have the opportunity to give back, and that’s what my blog, and my WordPress community has given me. That’s why I feel embarrassed. Yes my blog has developed beyond being a student blog (which it still is), but I’m nothing special, I’m a student, I like this form of connection with my fellow students, and the other blogs that I follow and who follow me. That’s it, nothing special. Just a human with a camera, learning how to live.

10 Random Facts

I do not live alone, I live with myself.

Spirituality is about three relationships, my relationship with the universe, my relationship with you, my relationship with me.

I am not my circumstances, I AM.

I had no odea that I was creative, and now I am so grateful to have discovered an aspect of me that was hidden.

Meditation is vital for me to cope with life.

I have an eating disorder, men get eating disorders too, and help is available for anyone with an eating disorder (see below).

I worship the sun, not a get down on my hands and knees and prostrate myself kind of way, but I will sit in it until I burn and then stay in it for as long as I can.

I collect crystal and gemstones.

Clothes have to have the right texture for me to be happy with them. Fashion isn’t important but how clothes feel against my skin is. I get quite agitated with the wrong texture.

Sleep doesn’t matter to me. I can, and do, function quite happily with between 0 and 5 hours sleep.

oh and one more thing… I still have not worked out how to get rid of this damned double spacing, however, WordPress for Dummies arrived yesterday.

 

She’s questions for me

How straight is straight?

Who cares? How true to yourself are you?

What would you think I was referring to if I told you to ‘put it down’?

My paranoid think or over analysing, I can be like a dog with a bone.

Why are swans graceful?

They are beautiful, protective, loyal, nurturing, fierce and aggressive. Their beauty is what I most connect with rather than grace. The purity of their white feathers, and the subtle definition, the shape of those feathers and the contours when they have their wings arched behind their backs. Those thin fine lines upon their necks where their have much smaller feathers. They are stunning, who cares if they are graceful, there is so much more to a swan than its cliched grace.

Would you be a superhero or a sidekick, and what would your name be?

I’d be called Leigh Me’Alone, and would be running and hiding to get the hell away from people – neither superhero, anti-hero or sidekick. Preferably I wouldn’t even be thought of to be included in the story or film.

If you could remove one letter from the English alphabet, what would it be, and what consequences do you see coming from it?

My gosh – what a question. I shall cheat and remove two (I just can’t conform can I). I will remove ME. The consequences – I would no longer exist, I would cease to exist – I can live with that (ironic), lol.

What was the last thing you lost and never found? What do you imagine has happened to it?

My Sanity – Not sure if I lost it, it was taken from me or never had it to begin with. It’s been hidden behind a wall so deep and so strong, but it is starting to get cracks now. Little bits of sanity are beginning to seep through as the wall ages. I think photography is a little chisel that’s slowly scraping away the cement between the bricks.

What significance does the number seven have to you? What memories do you associate with it?

A threat that my birthday would be cancelled and the fear of that, the joy of receiving a football and remote control bike, deciding there is no point trying because I would be in trouble no matter what I did, the mental decision to give up on life.

Young and completely broke or old and disgustingly rich?

If richness equates with diversity, passion, inclusion, justice, friendship, a sense of belonging, being able to give back, with equality, with living an authentic life, then I’ll go for old and disgustingly rich.

If a giant squirrel had commandeered your mode of transportation, whether car, moped, bike etc., and seemed to know how to make it work, what would you do to stop him?

Well that could be quite tricky. My mode of transport is legs and feet. If a squirrel commandeered those then I imaging it could be almost impossible to do anything. Maybe I should start to carry peanuts and a long club around with me?

If you had your own coat of arms, what would I expect to find on them to describe you/ your family?

A coffin, a camera, birds and flowers on one side, a lightening strike down the middle, and nothing on the other side.

(I am aware that at times I may come across as over serious or too honest – kinda can’t help it, sorry)

 

My Questions for my nominees

(My time is limited so I’m gonna cheat and re-feed you She’s questions)

  1. How straight is straight?
  2. What would you think I was referring to if I told you to ‘put it down’?
  3. Why are swans graceful?
  4. Would you be a superhero or a sidekick, and what would your name be?
  5. If you could remove one letter from the English alphabet, what would it be, and what consequences do you see coming from it?
  6. What was the last thing you lost and never found? What do you imagine has happened to it?
  7. What significance does the number seven have to you? What memories do you associate with it?
  8. Young and completely broke or old and disgustingly rich?
  9. If a giant squirrel had commandeered your mode of transportation, whether car, moped, bike etc., and seemed to know how to make it work, what would you do to stop him?
  10. If you had your own coat of arms, what would I expect to find on them to describe you/ your family?

 

My Nominees

Dd AL from happiness between tails

MwsR from MwsR writings

Rising Strong

Robert from Robert Loves Pi

Songa from Songa Stories

Ulrika from instaology

Fred from Fred Gardner Blog

Indigo Turtle’s Musings

The Vaping Life

Mua from As Told By Mua

Eating Disorder Support

BEAT

Men Get Eating Disorders Too

United States

NEDA

Canada

NEDIC

India

The Minds Foundation

Australia

NEDC

 

Sunshine Blogger Award

The logo of the Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine blogger

The Sunshine Blogger Award is awarded by bloggers to other bloggers who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.
Once nominated (and if you accept the award), a blogger is required to 1) write a post in which they thank the blogger for nominating them and link back to their blog, 2) answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you, 3) nominate eleven other blogs and 4) give them eleven questions to answer, 5) notify your nominees and display the rules and The Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

I have been nominated by Chloe from PearshapedLondon – one of my new followers and also a new blogger. I think its good to follow and support new bloggers, help them to grow their followers and motivate them to continue blogging. Chloe weaves her experience of living with a disability through her blog, and has an amazing story about a drunken night that led to employment in Sri Lanka. I clearly need to start drinking. Thanks for nominating me Chloe.

Chloe’s questions and my responses

what is your most embarrassing moment?

I am in my mid forties now so I have had way to many embarrassing moments. The one that always brings a smile to my face though is falling out of a tree as a teenager, whilst my cousin and I were playing. I landed upside down on a barbed wire fence and my trousers were snagged so I couldn’t move. My cousin was in hysterics. She was my closest friend, and we could honestly read each others minds. It used to scare our families.

how long did it take you to set up your blog?

Half an hour, but to be fair it’s because I began to study with the Open College of the Arts, and they have a blog theme that you can paste into WordPress. Although I have added menus of my own. The Open College of the Arts offers foundation level and under-graduate degrees across a range of creative fields. They welcome UK and international students, and as their courses are online/distant learning, which means that you can begin a course any time of the year that suits you. You don’t need to wait until a traditional term begins. If you think you cannot afford the fees, then be aware that you can apply for a bursary to cover part of the cost. Check out OCA here.

how long have you been blogging for?

Just over a year now. I can’t believe that it has gone so quickly. Through my studies I have developed creatively with photography, and also in other areas. I have developed an online community where I feel that I belong. But more than all of this, studying with the Open College of the Arts has improved my confidence no end. i have been able to ask people if I can make their portrait, go to events and photograph, and this has helped my mental health.

a sentence that describes you?

I do not live alone, I live with myself.

three words to sum up your blog?

Photography, Mental Health, Creativity through shared experience (eek – more than three words).

your favourite place in the world?

Redcar, Cleveland. More specifically the beach at Redcar looking at the wind farm. I love wind farms.

why is it your favourite place?

My mental health has been bad for a number of years and I found life incredibly challenging and frightening. I went to Redcar, maybe a year to 18 months ago, and I felt safe. That’s priceless. I couldn’t remember when I had last felt safe.

what did you want to be when you were a kid?

Somewhere and someone else. I have found life hard from an early age. I never felt that I belonged and I inwardly gave up on life early on. I self harmed and developed an eating disorder as a teenager. I didn’t have hopes/dreams or aspirations. To have found a passion in photography is such a blessing and it brings me so much pleasure. Its incredible.

do you still have a cuddly toy in your bed (I still have my blanky)?

No, but I do have four in the corner of my bedroom.

dogs or cats?

I don’t have either but I love both. However, I am allergic to cats, which makes them hard to be around cos how can you resist stroking a cat? (and then sneezing repeatedly for hours).

if you had to move country where would you go?

India, maybe Sri Lanka if you can get me a place to stay there Chloe.

My Nominees

I have had the pleasure of being featured on discover.wordpress.com recently and this has brought several hundred new followers to my site, of which I find humbling and awesome. So I have decided that I am going to nominate a few of them.

My questions to you are going to be the same as Chloe’s questions to me.

  1. what is your most embarrassing moment?
  2. how long did it take you to set up your blog?
  3. how long have you been blogging for?
  4. a sentence that describes you?
  5. three words to sum up your blog?
  6. your favourite place in the world?
  7. why is it your favourite place?
  8. what did you want to be when you were a kid?
  9. do you still have a cuddly toy in your bed (I still have my blanky)?
  10. dogs or cats?
  11. if you had to move country where would you go?

A R Jung from arjungwriter.com

Arts love of anything and everything

Marcus Antoninus from Sunshine upon my garden

Ali from the mindful gardener

Brian from Brian’s blog

No Filters Pics

The soulful empathiser from Multitude of my thoughts

Cosmic Purpose

Flores Photographic

Cathy from Wander Essence

Open Discussion