Gone Surfin'

"Most things in life are moments of pleasure and a lifetime of embarrassment; photography is a moment of embarrassment and a lifetime of pleasure"

This quote on photography, by writer Tony Benn, is a quote that I can FULLY relate to, after returning from my annual surf holiday in Newquay, Cornwall. Newquay is such a sleepy little town, but with much mysterious hidden vibrance and magic, and its own quaint little character. A far cry from your average nostalgic seaside holiday spot, the majority of people who eat, play, rest and surf there, are locals. And the locals are always extremely welcoming and friendly to tourists and travellers. Probably because, they are sitting smugly and quite content at the fact that they are locals. And that this beautiful little gem on the coast is the place they call home.

Every year that I visit Cornwall, one thing I can't leave home without is my camera. And every year, once I arrive back home, huffing and puffing unpacking my bags and oogling in the mirror at my new found freckles, I remember "Oh, the photographs!" The digital pictures on my laptop screen bring back the memories from my spring time trip, and they are enough to infuse my heart and my head, and keep my brain (and my secret hippy at heart) ticking over until its a year later, and time to visit that beautiful little place again!

This year however, there was a new twist to the photographs I viewed on my computer screen with my family and my boyfriend. Every visit to Cornwall contained at least a couple of days of surfing. Days where I would spend the first few hours fighting against the waves, cringing in my wetsuit (which is really just a second layer of skin and does not do my lumps and bumps much justice) and realising that my upper body strength would give not even Mr Bean a run for his money. But after I get over the overwhelming "KILL ME NOW" state of mind... I generally begin to realise I'm maybe not as unfit as I thought I was (But still, not the fittest, being honest here people!) And when I actually get the hang of surfing again, after a year on the bench, standing up off that bench and standing up on my surf board, is the most rewarding and magical feeling you can ever imagine.

And then there is the huge anti climax.

Where is the evidence to prove this truly awesome moment? Fair enough I can live with the self satisfaction, but its a bit rubbish returning home with not even a photograph with me, in all my lumps and bumps and embarassing glory :) This year, however, the surf school that my friend Dominique and I went with, happened to have their own in house professional surf photographer. You know the old saying, a photograph speaks a thousand words? Well, no more words from me. I'll let these long awaited and anticipated photographs do all the talking.

7 months ♥

"A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life"

Love him more than he'll ever know :)

Zip lines and hide the banana

Easter holidays are upon us! Well, not everybody yet... I just get really early holidays from uni :) David and I took Tyler, my lovely little sister, to Barshaw park to feed the ducks (turned out to be swans) and have a good old run around and gulp down some fresh air!

The park was pretty awesome, they had a zipline which was such a good laugh, and loads of swings and twirly about things that we chased tyler around.

We went to see all the wee animals at the animal corner, guinea pigs and birds and even ostriches and a big bad ass pig! In paisley eh, who would have thought ;) I remember going to that park when I was younger and they had a little train that you could go on with your mum and dad and it kinda circled round the centre of the park. The track is still there, but the train is gone :( Maybe they bring it out again in the good weather. Summer is almost here, im totally loving the blue skies and that dry smell in the air! Of cut grass and pollen :) ha, thank goodness I dont have hayfever.

Had a lovely day with my two favourite people. We then went back to Jean and Alberts for some lunch and a cuppa, and played a game called hide the banana. Its pretty simple, all you do is hide a banana within view, not under anything or concealed away, and the first person to see it gets ten seconds to hide it. Tyler... didnt really get the point. Smiles all round none the less :)


The past 4 weeks of my elective study within the digital film and televsion course, led to our biggest art department challenge - Recreating scenes from the tv series DEADWOOD. Set in 1870 America, the whole theme and look of the show somes down to dirty whores and prospectors, saloon bars, guns, and mud! So not your average squeaky clean cowboy scenario. We had less than a week to turn a room in the academy into a double set, one for the Deadwood saloon bar, and one for the whore house. Elected as Art Director (cheese) it was my responsibility to make sure everything came together on time, and within budget. Time was really of the essence, so my first stop along with designer Kelli, was the BBC props store (above) which is full of the most random stuff available on this earth. We spent £200 on props to hire for our sets, all which were very fitting of the time period. We found, bought or sourced all the other props from in and around glasgow, and built and painted and wallpapered the whole thing in a matter of days. This is only 6 of us mind! Myself as art director, kelli as designer, ash as wardrobe mistress, rachel as set dresser and iain and scott as construction and scenic artists.

The run up to the shoot, there was so much stuff to do, but we tried to stay within our hierarchy and job titles as much as possible. But sometimes it was hard not to end up doing other wee odds and ends jobs and dabble your hand in someone elses work to give them some help. We are so used to working like this in theatre, so it was interesting to see the crossover in skills and job titles when it comes to film and tv, and the different sort of ettiquete you have to conform to. I did get to do a props make which didn't take long but was good fun :) a ye olde style letter and envelope and reporters notepad.

The ladies in the first area of the whore house. My camera doesnt really do the set much justice, but the atmospheric lighting set by the director of photography really added to the eerie and almost illegal setting of this charming brothel!

We were still setting up the saloon bar as the crew were filming the whorehouse. Halfway through filming week it was a quick turnover at night to strike the whore house set and fully erect and complete our saloon bar. We had wallpapered flats to cover three walls, a fully constructed bar and behind bar ensemble, and treads leading up to a banistered platform which later in the week one of the saloon ladies did a lovely singing and dancing routine on. We also had a door at the top of the platform, with the same red drape that hung in the door to the whorehouse. This is quite an ovbious fakery technique, to link one room to the next and make it look like that door led straight into the whorehouse. When the footage is cut together in the edit suite, you would never suspect the saloon and whorehouse were actually at opposite sides of a room from one another ;) you totally cant cheat it like that in theatre! With jamie at the foot of the stairs playing away on the piano, and everyone drinking fake whisky shots and cheering and hooting western american slur and cusses, it really did feel like the fictional town of Deadwood in the 1870's.

We had a guy in to mentor us called Stephen Mason. He' been assistant art director on taggart and some other scottish shows and films. He really pushed us out of our comfort zone, and sometimes enforced too much of the fear factor into us, rather than constructive and motivational chat! People got really upset and pissed off by him, and that made me worried and upset too because I didn't want our teams morale to dip :( It was really horrible at times, but I had a good few chats with him and he told me I took criticism well, and that I will go far! But basically, we pulled off something pretty bloody awesome considering the time and money and resources we had. And he really gave us loads of praise at the end of the week. But also said that the film industry is tough, and sometimes you need to leave your emotions at the door because its easy to get hurt and offended and its quite a selfish and greedy fucking industry! Ha, and why the hell do we want to work in it? Who knows. The past 4 weeks did make me miss my usual territory in theatre, but it was good to get my tools dirty in foreign lands :) And it was an almighty buzz to see the finished thing. We filled in feedback sheets with Steven, and apart from what angry/emotional/honest words were said by folk in the debrief session, the sheets were a good chance to just get how we felt onto paper. Hopefully that helps the set up of the elective for next year. More time, people, space, and money... would be lovely. And will definately benefit future filmys that do what we did. But at the end of the day, and after all our teams moans and tantrums and tears, and all the wee things that fell apart and got glued back together (oh, and that wall that fell ontop of me) we still managed to pull it off. Ooooh arrr :)

Photoshop Virgin

Ashamed that I am so bad at photoshop. Maybe I would be better if I actually had a copy I could practise on! In the mean time, here are some lovely fruit I prepared earlier.