Italian Honeymoon Part 1

August 23, 2018

The attic room in our villa in Limone, Lake Garda.

I had a wonderful honeymoon travelling Italy with Becky. We flew into Milan, and travelled north-to-south throughout June. Our wedding was at the end of January but we wanted to wait for better weather.

I think it’s best to skip the places I didn’t take pictures, like Gardaland and Rimini and so on, to keep this as a visual diary. I wanted freedom from a bulky camera sometimes so had to balance taking pictures and just focussing on the present (although I took lots of iPhone pictures too).

I like to take photos over the mountain ranges when crossing France and Switzerland into Italy. I think this is when we were above the Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso.

I’ve been to Limone, Lake Garda for many years now and love taking pictures of the view. Good memories from here.

Limone and Lake Garda was our first stop, as we know it well and couldn’t resist.

The waterfall behind the villas we stay at.

The waterfall is a great way to wake up: a cold and powerful shower to remind you that you’re alive.

Some snaps from Mogliano Veneto

After a short stay in the wilderness near Bassano del Grappa (we were staying in a cabin in the woods, but cut our stay short to one night because of the stormy weather), we had an impromptu stay at the charming town of Mogliano Veneto. We stayed at Hotel Villa Stucky, in a gorgeous room and had a relaxing time eating and drinking – and experiencing the Irish Festival which was taking place in the town’s main square beside where we were staying.

I’d love to hear about your experiences in the North of Italy. These were all taken on my (dad’s old) trusty Canon T70.

Did you travel anywhere nice this summer?

More soon!


Sunday August 5th 2018

August 5, 2018

The end of a picnic day, Clissold Park. Canon T70 / Portra 400.

Hello pals, I thought I’d post a summary update today and focus on certain things in the coming week.

  • The picture above was from the start of May; it just goes to show how long and hot this summer has been in London! The blue marks and scratches on the image are from the rough treatment which the film received after processing. I thought I’d try out a local ‘lab’ for processing, a shop where you can also get portraits taken and buy tacky photo frames, as it was a quick, personal roll. I didn’t expect them to cut the film properly but it turned out they didn’t cut it at all, they just rolled it up and stuffed it into a 35mm film canister. I’m glad I didn’t give them anything important – and i actually don’t mind the mistakes on this one.
  • We’re having a relaxed Sunday today, it’s the start of the Scottish football season and Becky and I are planning on getting the rooftop BBQ going this afternoon for a trial run.
  • For some time, I’ve wanted to do my own film processing and printing. Last year I did a fantastic darkroom course at Stills in Edinburgh, tutored by Caroline Douglas, where I got some hands-on experience in developing my film, printing contact sheets and making final prints. I’ve been eager to do more, but have unfortunately just been dropping all my film rolls off for processing and getting others to make prints for time-saving and ease. Tomorrow, I’ve booked a rental car to drive a couple of hours north of London to buy a collection of darkroom equipment and I’m exited. I’ll write about what I get and what I’m doing as I go along.
  • Yesterday, photographer Lachlan Bailey posted an instagram story about how he got started in the industry and the mental health issues he faced. I really appreciated it and you might too – he has it saved as a ‘highlight’ on his profile.
  • For the next couple of weeks I will also be babysitting mother and will update on that too.
  • Finally for today, I started running again yesterday – a nice, leisurely 7k – which felt good and I’m looking forward to carrying it on and trying to get back to run fitness so I can enter races again in the future.

I hope you’re having a nice weekend!


Wednesday August 1st 2018

August 1, 2018

Canon T70 / Portra 400.

Hello Friends.

Recently, I’ve been keen on venturing to the fruit and veg shop on Stoke Newington’s Church Street instead of being disappointed buying underwhelming supermarket produce. One hurdle that I’ve been running into is knowing what’s in season and what to buy, especially as the shop is always busy and I don’t want to hassle the staff when the queue goes through the whole shop. I discovered this Seasonal Calendar (thanks to a tip by Alexis of Wander) which has been helpful – this week we’ve been enjoying some fantastic cherries, peaches, yellow courgettes, radishes, and heritage tomatoes. This website looks like quite a good resource for a quick glance too.

The picture above is from our honeymoon in Italy – this one from our last stop, the island of Ischia. We loved Ischia and it was the perfect end to the trip. The food and produce is incredible if you avoid the tourist-trap restaurants around the swanky harbours and instead go to the small, local restaurants. I know this is a tip you hear all the time but it always pays off.

We also hired a well-battered convertible Fiat Punto for a day of driving around the island and found a pastry shop in Sant’Angelo that had some incredible choices like pistachio cannoli and strawberry ricotta cheesecake. You can eat on a balcony over the sea and they hardly cost anything. Perfect!

I’m going to post lots more Italy honeymoon photos over the next week.

One more thing – I finally got to ride Ofo bikes over the past couple of days. They can be collected and left anywhere in central London, there’s an app to unlock them and they cost 70p for half an hour. So much fun riding about again. I wish there were more Ofo available bikes near me, I’d definitely use them.


Saturday July 28th 2018

July 28, 2018

My dad fishing for mackerel off the Burntisland pier a few weeks ago, with Inchkeith in the background. Canon T70 (which was his) and Portra 400 film.

I’ve been doing a lot of film scanning and retouching inside over the past couple of days and was delighted when the storm in London finally broke the thick, humid, stinking heat yesterday afternoon. I love the sun but could do with a night off.

The cheese and chive drop scone from Gail’s, with Strawberry and Wild Strawberry conserve and the best butter I could get.

I thought this would be a good place for a couple of recommendations, so here you are:

  • It’s Alive With Brad is a youtube cooking show from the American magazine bon appétite, mainly about fermented foods. It’s scientific, wholesome and just feels like hanging out with friends.
  • In The Dark is a crime podcast, along the same lines as another favourite of mine, Serial. I just finished the second season and it got better as it went along. I really enjoy listening to long-form non-fiction audio while I am working. I get a bit lost when it’s something longer – like a full audiobook – as I mentally tune out after a certain amount of time. I wish there were more podcasts like this and would love recommendations.
  • Books – Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, contemporary fiction that I finished recently and would highly recommend (but don’t think I should give anything away). Now I’m reading the latest David Sedaris book of essays, Calypso, and finding each one powerful and fascinating. I didn’t know anything about these books before I started them, but both come under the theme of family.

There are a few things I aim to do now that the weather is tolerable and I’m looking forward to Autumn:

  • More cooking – and cooking for the weather/season. More visits to local produce suppliers instead of the more convenient supermarkets. BBQ on the roof terrace.
  • Speaking of which, I want to get back into some food and lifestyle photography – especially with film cameras. I think I’ve grown and developed aesthetically since I last did any.
  • Try my hand at watercolour painting using the set my mum gave me for Christmas.
  • Get back to running. Start slow.
  • More gardening, especially on the roof terrace. Swap out all the remaining plastic pots for real ceramics.

Do you have any plans for the rest of the year?