Temporarily ignoring the future…

Today has been a crazy day for the UK. Rather than think about the uncertainty of the future, I’m currently looking at the happy past – at some of my photos of last weekend. We had a long weekend with family in a beautiful part of the UK: Devon.

I’m sitting watching Glasto on TV: it’s currently Foals, playing Spanish Sahara. (LOVE Foals. Wish I was at Glasto now, although I think I’ve had enough of the disappointing UK weather recently!)

Spanish Sahara kinda feels appropriate now – it’s such a moody, evocative song.

Anyway, some photos for you to enjoy….I enjoyed taking them 🙂

H x

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Hartland, Devon

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Clovelly, Devon

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Why I used to hate Instagram…

Bit late with my post this week – I’ve been trying to post every Sunday, but last weekend I was away with family for a mini break in Devon. As you would expect from such a rural setting, there was a serious lack of phone signal and  a little more unexpectedly, WiFi too – several of us struggled with the lack of connectivity! You never realise quite how much you check your social media feeds until you can’t.. which got me thinking..

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Why I used to hate Instagram….and why I’ve re-embraced social media!

I used to have a love/hate relationship with social media. I’ve been using various sites (starting with Myspace and Bebo, old-school!) for 10 years now, but I’ve never been one to post much myself – I never wanted to be one to ‘overshare’.  I always looked down on people who were constantly posting on Facebook – I thought they were just needy, or trying to make out that their lives were more interesting than they actually were.

I became increasingly annoyed by trivial and mundane updates from people I barely knew, clogging up my feed and preventing me from seeing what my actual friends were up to. Some dull but necessary time spent honing my privacy settings has since (mostly) sorted this issue. Still, I’m uncomfortably aware of the effect it has on our relationships –  how many times have you dropped an ‘Oh yeah, I saw that on Facebook!’ into conversation? Sometimes I feel like I spend less time discussing a friend’s weekend because I already knew what they got up to.

Meeting one person, the sibling of a friend, sticks in my mind. They were very prolific on social media. They had added me on Facebook (through which I could also see their Instagram) despite the fact I had never directly met them. When I actually talked to them for the first time, I felt quite awkward and inhibited in some parts of our conversation – I already ‘knew’ so much. I’d seen intimate pictures of their holiday. I didn’t need to hear about their house renovations, because (without even trying) I’d already been exposed to it all.

My misgivings around social media extended to Instagram when I first joined a few years ago. Influenced by my experiences on Facebook, I saw Instagram as a place for attention-seeking selfies and heavily filtered images depicting seemingly perfect lives. I associated it with people who spent all their time on their phone rather than living in the moment. Judging by the internet, I think this is still a commonly held opinion by non-Instagram/Snapchat/etc users!

Then, just recently, I went back on Instagram and saw it differently. It’s not all grainy selfies and contrived shots of food. There are some absolutely beautiful photos on there. One of my favourite feeds is IGers Bristol, which often celebrates very talented photographers, however amateur they may be.

Mainly, I think I just grew up. I can appreciate Instagram for what it is, and I don’t care if people think I’m being materialistic or narcissistic. If I take a selfie (at the time of writing I am yet to post one) I want to look as flippin’ good as possible. Even if it takes an hour plus of hair styling and make-up to achieve that beforehand…

For me, it’s not just about sharing.Yes, I really enjoy looking at other people’s images, but it’s also the process that’s enjoyable. I’ve seen complaints that Instagram ‘isn’t art’ and ‘doesn’t make you a photographer’ – but there’s still a bit of skill involved in taking a good shot. It’s fun to ‘create’ something that is aesthetically pleasing, or just create a record (hopefully both!).

So I’m very late to the game…but Instagram is currently my favourite social media platform!  I’d be really interested to hear if anyone else has changed their views in a similar way 🙂

H x

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Summer Style Wishlist/ New Look visit

I love clothes.

I used to be a bit of a shopping addict – these days I’m much more ‘well-behaved’. For the majority of my wardrobe, I’m trying to stick to a ‘less is more’ mentality and buy higher quality pieces that are more classic and will last longer. I’ve been gravitating towards a simpler, pared down look and colour pallete over the last couple of months – monochrome, navy and denim. A quick browse in a New Look store yesterday tested my pursuit of this re-freshed mentality to the limit…

In my uni years, New Look was a staple shop – cheap and fashion forward with new stock in the larger stores every couple of days (or so it seemed –  due to it’s dangerous position opposite a main bus stop, I could be found in the Bath store at least once a week). I still pop in there every now and again  – particularly for holiday or night out wear, which tends to be a bit more seasonal and trend-led. Now the warmer weather is here to stay, I’ve been re-evaluating my summer wardrobe..

What I loved, but ultimately didn’t buy because of fit/quality:

Navy Pinafore Culotte Jumpsuit – I love this look, probably just with some tan sandals and minimal accessories. I’m a size 8 with a boyish frame so (I think) I can usually pull off more androgynous looks. It just didn’t fit as well as I’d hoped – the material at the top and waist hung a bit oddly, but maybe just because I’m quite flat-chested 😦

I still love this, and it’s only ~£17….got to admit that I’m re-considering this!

White Stripe Pinafore Playsuit – yes, I love playsuits/jumpsuits! I imagined this one with a dark t-shirt underneath. I love the subtle stripes, but when on it seemed a bit underwhelming (against the minimalist mentality!). Again, the fit wasn’t quite right.

Floral Print Maxi Dress – I love floral prints, particularly smaller patterns. At odds with my usual style, I also have a penchant for long flowy dresses. The cross straps and wrap front of the dress were pretty, but again, not best suited for a small chest – it hung open on one side in an odd way! The straps didn’t seem to be evenly sized either – it would have needed a lot of adjusting and was actually quite difficult to get in and out of.

White crochet bikini…similar to this, but the one I tried on had more material that cascaded down over the bust. I’ve wanted a bikini like this for ages after identifying that they are flattering for my flat chest and wide shoulders. I felt that cream washed me out a bit – I think I’d prefer black.  Again, the fit wasn’t brilliant so I had second thoughts and opted to hold out for something a bit more durable.

What I did buy:

White Crochet-trim Kimono – a great cover-up, would work equally well at the beach or a more formal event like a wedding…

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I’m still on a the look-out for a few more summer buys!

H x

Sunday Shelf Styling

This weekend was a pretty quiet one – managed to get a couple of items ticked off the DIY to-do list (wild, I know).

This little shelving unit is yet another steal from my parents’ garage. It’s seen a lot of different paint colours over the years – latterly, shocking pink from it’s days above my uni room desk. Not surprisingly, my taste has changed over the years! It’s a little battered and bruised but hey, that’s rustic right?! Took quite a few coats of paint to cover that pink up…

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H x