30 April 2012

Ireland: the flora

I took SO MANY pictures of leaves & flowers whilst I was in Ireland, I had a whole system going where I wrote the image number next to my field sketches so I've got them to refer back to. I'm so glad I did, because drawing isn't my forte and an awful lot of my sketches look pretty identical. Oops! I always find it amazing talking to lecturers and listening to their experiences of uni - its amazing how much technology has altered the way we learn about things and how the scientific process has changed as new technologies are developed.

I did get the chance to take a few 'creative' shots (of course!), not as many as I would have liked, but then I wasn't there for photography!

 I'm pretty confident that this is Pararge aegeria - the Speckled Wood, but I'm not 100% sure!

Orchis mascula -  The Early Purple orchid.
 One of the lecturers that took us is an expert on parasitic plants - so we heard an awful lot about orchids! They're pretty fascinating plants actually - they have a really unique life history.  

Some of the trees in the woodland we were in had the most amazing lichen colonies.

I really love the shallow depth of field here, it works so well.

Another Early Purple Orchid

I really do love daisies and I was really impressed with how sharp this is - I'm always amazed at the difference in picture quality that can be achevied by shooting in manual. Wildflowers are pretty much my favourite, give me daisies and dandelions over roses any day of the week.

27 April 2012

friday favourites #13

Is it a portrait if its not of someones face? I really like pictures of hands, in some ways they're more intimate than a standard portrait. This was taken on the ferry over to Ireland and was completely accidental. Funny how sometimes those accidental shots can turn out so well!

My weekend plans consist of reading, revision, hen night planning, knitting and wrapping up a few loose ends. Kicking it off tonight with some classic Disney movies and a cocktail (or two!) Have a fabulous weekend! (: xo

26 April 2012

Ireland: the landscapes

I took a ton of pictures whilst I was in Ireland, but a lot of them were taken for purely documentary purposes to supplement my field notes. I found it a really odd mental shift to make, to not worry about lighting, composition or what settings I needed - I basically left my camera in auto the whole time. So odd! I took my SLR out with me on a couple of the days, but if I had a lot of stuff to carry then I used my compact instead. I always find it really strange to go back to using a camera with no viewfinder that I can hold in one hand!

The landscape of the region we were based (Connemara) is shaped by some pretty unique geology, staring at rocks isn't usually top of my 'fun things to do' lists, but once you know what you're looking for its actually pretty cool to start looking at things in a little bit more detail, whether its individual rock outcrops or entire landscapes.

Lough Mask - This was the lake that was right next to the field centre, its absolutely huge! 

Another view out over Lough Mask

Some of the best examples of pitted limestone pavements in the world! This was such an odd landscape, it seemed almost pre-historic.
Climbing to the top of some of these hills in the freezing cold wasn't the highlight of the trip, but the view was definitely worth it!
The last couple of days of the trip were spent doing group research projects. We trekked through a wood looking for suitable transect sites and stumbled across this clearing. R was convinced that a dinosaur was going to appear at any moment. Instead it just rained. 
This type of lake is called a Tarn and forms in an overdeeping caused by glaciers. The lines you can see on the hillslope are boundaries for fields, its crazy to think that people used to farm up there!
The only downside to stopping to take pictures...the rest of the group ends up miles ahead of you!

24 April 2012

something to remember

I've been collecting a lot of quotes recently.  I like to have a little collection of motivational thoughts to refer back to when I'm feeling a bit un-inspired. I love Pinterest because it gives me these little quotes as beatiful typography or with amazing images. For some reasone this has been stuck in my brain for the last couple of days (not literally, obviously).  I could have searched for it on Pinterest but to be honest, I really couldn't bear the thought of sifting through 4 million pages of results just to find something I liked. So I made my own, and I like it. So thats that.

Sometimes I feel a bit like I'm just going with the flow, letting my life decide my actions rather than the other way around. It takes effort to live with intention, but its undoubtably worth it. I was going to prin this out as a little reminder of that and add it to my collection of  random cheesy/movitational/happy pieces of paper that are on my pinboard... but then my red ink ran out so half of it came out in crazy colours. Boo. Here's hoping I can find a super-good deal on colour ink cartridges!

22 April 2012

Ireland: the journeys

Ireland was an absolute blast. It was exhausting and hard work, but I learnt SO much - it was 100% worth it. Sometimes its easy to get caught up in the academia of this degree and lose sight of the fact that everything I'm learning is happening all around me. That may sound a bit daft but its true. Getting out in the field and learning from my own experiences rather than from words on a page is just a million times better. I'm not going to go all heavy on the science here because I kept field notebooks for all of that, but I do want to write about everything else while its still fresh in my head. So be prepared for talk of the Emerald Isle for the next couple of posts!

My favourite part of going anywhere is the journey. I really like travelling. I love that feeling that you're on your way to something new, or on the way back from something special. We went by coach/ferry so I got to stare out the window the whole way at places that I've never seen before. I kept my camera handy, but taking photo's out of dirty windows isn't the easiest thing in the world! By the time we got out of Dublin it was starting to get dark, so all the pictures of Irish travel are from the way back.

These few are a mixture of North Wales, Ireland and the Irish Sea. I don't even mind the reflections of the coach in some of them, they remind me of double exposures, which I kinda love.

On a completely random and unrelated note, I cleaned our kitchen today because it was gross. I turned my back for literally 2 minutes, and R had managed to get actual reindeer crap all over the worktop because he was planting a christmas tree. I don't even know. You just can't make this stuff up.

20 April 2012

my environment: Abigail

Hey Guys! Hopefully I'm still alive by now and I haven't fallen off a cliff/down a mountain or drowned in the enormous amount of rain that we'll inevitably recieve. Todays wonderful guest poster is Abigail, her blog is a seriously hilarious account of student life. Seriously. Hilarious. Go visit! 

Hey everyone! My name is Abigail and you can usually find me hanging over at AbiGail Force writing about whatever takes my fancy in my humble little life. But as you can see today I'm incredibly happy to be over here entertaining you all in Frankly Vic-land while she's off checking out different rocks. ( It's cool Vic, I took a course in Geology last year so I totally get it ;) ) 

Anyway... I've decided to tell you all about my favourite 'environment' in which I love to express myself - my bedroom! Or bedrooms in this case...  

I always like to think you can learn a lot about me from my boudoir, so for the sake of this post I've compiled you a list of 'Facts About Me (you could learn from snooping in my room!)'

1. Big love for the friends and family.


I have the greatest group of friends a gal can have. We've been a close knit group since high school, and even 3 years on they still mean the world to me :) And of course big love for the family is implied. Although I've only just matured into putting photos into frames as you can see...
2. I am a little photo obsessed. 

The ORIGINAL Photo wall. 
I spent years building this guy up and it was my masterpiece. Everytime people came into my room they'd spend ages just looking at it, and you always found a photo you'd missed the first glance round. Unfortunately when I left home to go to uni they all started to fall off ( obviously upset there was no longer anyone there to admire it) so it all got taken down and packed away into a little box :( Boo. That was until I moved into a nice big flat and the wall was reborn!

Not quite the same, but it was always lovely to have all those memories permanently on display. I reminisce faaaaar too often; God help me when I'm old. These also kind of give you the hint that...

3. I HATE having a bare wall. 

Originally I just started out with a big busy pin board, which again was built up over many years. Once I left home though I just felt the need to spread everything and anything over the bare ugly rented walls... 

Current Junk wall.

Another wall of the past

What does this tell you about me? I'm not 100% sure about this one. My more artistic side coming out? My constant need not to seem plain and dull? I think I'll let you decide that one.

This is another wall that took me FOREVER to build up, and cost me a lot in magazines... It was obviously supposed to be some form of shoe shrine, but it ended up getting the nickname 'The Lesbian Wall' by a couple of my useless friends. It does give you the idea though that I may think that...

4. Shoes are a big deal. 

I've always adored shoes, but for some reason when I started uni they took a back seat in my life. So far back in fact that I think I pretty much pushed them straight off the bus. I wore boring flats all the time. Eww. But 2012 has been the year to bring them back in. More shoes forever please.

These ones are my Pride and Joy. I even bought them with my very first pay cheque. Although that tells you that I've had them for donkeys now and it's really starting to show :( Still hoping one day I'll find their matching red partners on ebay and all will be well in the world.

Other random bits you may have noticed from the photos... did you spot them all? Yes, I just made this post into a game of hide and seek

I have hideous wallpaper in my current flat / I love Sawyer / Used to be big into my vinyls. Before they were cool ;) / Garbage are one my favourite bands of all time / Slightly Moomin obsessed / I'm currently collecting Air Mail stickers / Big love for Irregular Choice shoes.

And there we have it guys, you now know everything worth knowing about me, and I always love having a nosey in other peoples bedrooms!
Hope you've enjoyed my little photo tour,
Abigail  :)

Uni has more or less forced me to go cold turkey on my shoe habit, its sad but to be fair I probably have enough pairs now...almost. Sort of. I absolutely love the fact that bare walls are not tolerated - I think its great! I've tried the photo-wall thing in my room at Uni but for some reason the blu-tack never holds and they float down in the middle of the night!

19 April 2012

my environment: Rachel

Hey guys! Please say a massive hello to Rachel, she's a super-talented creative lady! She's currently running an Art Journal challenge - if you're interested in that kind of thing you should run on over and get involved! Enjoy! xo

Hello Frankly Vic readers! I'm Rachel from Pointless Pretty Things, and I'm so happy to be guest posting over here for Vic while she is away. She asked me to share my favourite things about my environment and it took me quite a while to decide what to choose. Before I moved to London four years ago, I had always lived in the country side and had only ever lived in one house. It took moving to such a big city for me to realise that I am really a country bumpkin at heart and I often can't wait to run away from London! 

// a train ticket from Eastleigh (my home town) to Derby (Jake's home town) that we have stuck up on our wall// 

So when asked about my "environment" at first I thought about the area I'm living in... It's not exactly the prettiest or the most interesting, even though I am quite happy here because it's all very convenient. But the trouble is that since I have been in London I have moved house every year, making it very difficult to settle into my environment and call it home. 

//a few of my collected teacups live inside this pretty birdcage// 

Consistently renting is an issue for me, I hate magnolia walls and generic pine furniture and having no opportunity to properly "nest" in my temporary homes. Having said that, I do have my little ways of bringing a bit of personality and a bit of home into my rooms... So then I realised that is probably my favourite part of my temporary environment, the little details that make it feel a bit more homey. 

//my wardrobe is always choc-a-bloc because I can't bear to leave anything at home//

In the spirit of this, I thought I'd take you all on a mini room tour to show some of these little details... I've learnt a few little tricks on how to dress up the dreaded magnolia and make things seems a little warmer. Every surface is full of little ornaments and teacups (pointless and pretty - if you will) and help to bring a bit of colour to the space. 

//I use my favourite teacup as a ring holder on my dresser// 

//I picked up this little russian doll at a charity shop years ago//

Probably the most important thing to both Jake and I in terms of settling into a place is pets! If we could, we would have as many pets as we could fit into our room! At the moment we have Keith the hamster, 5 fish and Isaac the Newt. They are our little friends and we love giving them the best environment possible!  

//Isaac dangling his little feet in the trickling water stream//

That's it from me! Thanks for having a little peek into my environment, and thanks for having me Vic! 

x Rachel 

I totally understand where Rachel's coming from about rented accomodation! Its hard to make a place feel your own when there's so many restrictions - but her place looks amazing!

17 April 2012

my environment: Jasmine

Hey guys! I'm a bit reluctant to introduce you to Jasmine because she's awesome and I kinda want to keep her to myself...Haha! I'm kidding, she's great and you should definitely go and check out her blog! Enjoy! xo

Hello lovely readers! *vigorous wave*
My name is Jasmine and I blog over at For My Grandfather. When Vic told me about the topic for this post I pooped my pants. Not literally - cool your jets. There was some serious stressing though! Vic is crazy into her degree and I didn't want to feel like I was letting her down. But alas, of course I was going to. Why?

Because I know shit about the environment.

Bit awkward. In all honesty though, I'm not very clue-y about a lot of things and the environment is one of them. So I started thinking, okay the natural environment is not my area of expertise. So, what floats my boat? Man-made structures. I really enjoy architecture and what the unnaturally constructed environment tells us about human kind.

In terms of the actual logistics of architecture and engineering, I got nothing. I'd like to be able to understand it  but I don't think I have it in me. What interests me the most is what it tells us about us. I recently went away for the weekend  (there'll be a post about this coming up on my blog shortly!) and was blown away by the view from the place we stayed. In all honesty, the picture you see below is NOT the one I originally intended for this post. But it struck me as being so beautiful and perfect for what I love about the environment. This jetty was a neighbouring jetty at the back of the property we stayed at...

It's stunning. This picture is unedited too! It was so calming and picturesque. Sitting on my little jetty and looking at this guy I realised that at some point in time, people realised they wanted to access more. They needed to extend their reach and place themselves where normally, humans clearly just can't stand. The jetty invades this body of water and it remains there, unwavering and as an indicator of the unquenchable desire to expand our horizons. On a slightly different note, a place I find exquisitely beautiful is the local cemetery. An area has been designated to hold the remains of those who have gone before us. A huge expanse of land has been cleared, it gets dug up and then a headstone is placed on the plot of ground to signify that someone lies here. I am unnaturally interested in cemeteries and the stories they tell. I am fascinated with the lives of people who have gone before us.

So what is my favourite part of the environment? The parts of the environment that we have changed, for whatever reason. The parts that reflect the human nature. The parts that we sometimes take for granted and overlook. But mostly the parts that tell a story.
Happy environmenting!
Jas xx

Sometimes its nice to have a reminder that we are just as much a part of the environment as anything else. I love getting out and away from all traces of civilisation but I also love great architecture - there's a place for both! 

16 April 2012

my environment: Brianna

Hey guys! I'm super excited to introduce you Bri from Pocket Full of Pollies. Basically you should all just go read her blog right now. Back? Awesome. Q: How much do I want to go to Fort Bragg? A: Tons! Haha! Enjoy! xo 

I'd have to say that my favorite part of my environment is anywhere surrounded by trees or the ocean. Fort Bragg (good ole' Northern California) in particular is a favorite of mine because it shares the best of both worlds: forest and ocean...yes please!


I love the feeling of being nestled among majestic redwood trees, with the sounds of crashing waves a short walk away. There is nothing like standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking the vast beauty of the ocean. The smell of pine trees combined with a salty breeze freshens and clears my mind. Natural beauty revives the soul, deepens clarity. This is when I feel the most at peace and alive.

See that cozy little cabin in the first photo? I really wish I could live there, or even just stay there for a summer. Sometime in the near future I'll have to go back to Fort Bragg with my husband and soon-to-be baby (due in june!) and rent a cabin as a little family getaway.

Can we all say congratulations to Bri and her husband?! Not long till they meet their precious little one! 

Thanks for having me Vic! Can't wait to hear all about your trip to Ireland! (another place on my trip list.)

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