From time to time we are reminded to make the most of NOW, to enjoy every day, to ‘live in the moment’… sayings that have become so cliché they lose their emphasis. Read More


The Camera or The Creativity: Which Came First?

It has occurred to me over recent months, as it may have you, that social media ok Instagram, has opened up a whole world of creativity to people who didn’t even know they wanted to take photos.  In none of my school years or further education did I know I wanted to take pictures of pretty things, and ultimately it be a way of making a living.

Whilst upside down the other night in downward dog (err Yoga?!) the two questions below came to me:
How am I creative?   If you want to get a little bit further behind this thinking you can watch a video that inspired the above (here) it’s by Sir Ken Robinson, great thinker and totally my take on things too.
In Harrogate last week with my cousin and our kids, I was aware that, on a regular (albeit lovely) day I was walking along taking photos of most things; the children, the flowers, the townhouses.  I have not always been this way inclined.
Lavender and BlackBeautiful DoorsTwisted Trees Hide and Seek
It wasn’t that I was trying to capture every moment to brag about on Instagram (hello!) nor that I was so busy trying to capture the ‘perfect shot’ that I couldn’t be in the moment, but to me it is enjoyable to walk along snapping away!
Town Houses in HarrogatePink and Black, stunning contrast Black DoorLavender and RailingsFine Door at 108Huge HydrangeasWhat a PorchWellington Street
The Royal Baths
This is a new thing.  Taking pictures of beautiful things followed by the process of creating a feed or stream with them… I LOVE it!  Confession: I’m a little picky and if, after posting, I check my feed and I don’t like how the latest pics sits with the others, it comes down!
The purchase of a new camera a few months ago (Panasonic Lumix GF6) and discovering Instagram have definitely been instrumental in the desire to create something beautiful.  Yet to think that ten years ago this was not available?  Amazing!  We have Apps and editing tools at our fingertips, once only afforded to ‘designers’, now we can all experiment.  This is not idling away the time, it is being CREATIVE.
Creativity is ideas, it is new territory and is definitely the discovery of OUR STYLE OF LOVE.  I’m discovering my STYLE OF LOVE all the time.  Maybe you’re more creative than you realise….?  Can I encourage you to see the time spent doing things you love not as wasted time, but as time exploring your creativity which is vital to your STYLE OF LOVE.  The world needs it!

Too Busy to be Inspirational?

Inspired People

This quote is one I have recollection of seeing in the not too distant past Read More

“Honey, this is what it is to age”


Meet Frances. Frances is 54 and like many of us, has hangups about exposing her body now the days are getting warmer. Read More

The Silent Spring

Ribblehead Viaduct

We live in a countryside town called Ilkley.  Ilkley is very beautiful.  Right now, nature is going crazy with the arrival of spring and it is very colourful.

Spring is also taking place not too many miles away but this time the remote kind of countryside.  This spring landscape isn’t so obvious.  Apart from very small lambs and the trees becoming that fresh limey green again, there is little differentiating colour.

Spring here has a colour palette of a different kind.  It is browns, creams, greys and greens.  On a dull day like the one I took these pictures, you may even say it was drab.  Yet seen through different eyes it is very beautiful; it just as magical as the spring of brighter colours.  It is quiet, not ‘showy’, doesn’t demand attention and is extremely relaxing to be around, it is soul food.  For the duration of my time there, it was mine and I its.


Time for School!


I Love Stone Walls


Green Gate


National Trust, Lambing Time

You can't sit with us!

Sheep in the fog

Trees for Teachers

Do you ever have a plan then along comes something else that just seems to fit better?   Read More

Top 5 Tips for buying Christmas presents well!

“I just don’t know where to start”… A lady said this to me recently and I became aware that for some people, the task of getting presents under the tree for 24th December is as scary as bungee jumping is for others!
Wherever you are on the Christmas present journey, here’s a few tips that might come in handy. As an advocate for shopping locally, this post is naturally in favour of putting money back into our communities as we spend!
The Olive Branch, Addingham

Beautiful Christmas window at The Olive Branch, Addingham

Dare to try something new!
Your dare should you choose to accept, is to go in shops you never normally do; return to ones you’ve not darkened the doors of for a while.  I recently bought a handbag in a local shop I had no intention what-so-ever in purchasing, but window shopping turned into walking inside and discovering that in fact, the shop had changed a lot since I last went in (years ago) and actually most of it would make fantastic Christmas presents!  My point is, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Fit the person to the present! (Not the present to the person.)
Yes, I really did just say that.  Wherever you have a lot of presents to buy, make a start by finding presents first then asking ‘who will that fit?’  Yes, once you are down to the last few you need to be more selective and find presents to fit people, but starting this way should help you get a few under your belt and that feeling of ‘have made a start’ is only a good thing!
Use your Social Media
Most shops these days advertise their offers and promotional days on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  So, be aware of your local shops activity by following them on social media then go shopping on ‘said’ day or get them to put whatever you want aside!
Your Country needs you!
You live in the city and your local shops are the high-street brands… What then?  I say shop in favour of your country. Get to know great brands/suppliers who are producing their goods in your county.  A great example in the UK is Boden who are full of fun and quirkiness and the quality is second to none… When you buy Boden, you know it’s going to last!
Second, adopt a local smaller community if you can… I used to shop, eat and workout in Ilkley long before I ever lived here; invest somewhere and it will return the favour in more ways than one.
Make your spend count for others
Buy from places that are doing something for the greater good!  I have bought gifts for family from TOMS this year because I love their brand values and ethos.  Every pair of shoes bought buys a pair for someone in need of a pair in a deprived country-amazing!
One last thing…. If you are one of those people who can somehow wait till 2 weeks before then just go out and manage to nail all your presents on one day, I salute you… Seriously! Respect!
Love to hear your tips and suggestions bloggers – how do you buy?
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