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Coast and Countryside

My wife recently spent some time with her parents north of London so my friend and I saw it as a perfect time to hop in Suzie Smart Car and have a gentle wander in the countryside. We ended up somewhere between Woodingdean and Rottingdean in the Brighton suburbs, a place called Happy Valley that holds the mystery of an unsolved murder from decades ago. Not so happy it seems. It was a mixture of bleak countryside, coastline and microclimates, a very eclectic place indeed.

We saw numerous butterflies I am yet to identify, heard the chirping of birds that I certainly didn’t recognise from my Midlands birdwatching days, got trapped in what felt like a field of thistles and discovered a narrow fallen woodland. All in all a good Sunday afternoon with great company

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The gate that takes you from the chaos of Brighton into freedom.

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Barbed wire surrounded us everywhere we went.

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Perhaps the tiniest poppy in Sussex.

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The only butterfly that kept still long enough to photograph it.

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Roots clinging to the ground.

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Upturned trees pulling the chalk out the ground with them.

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This doesn’t do the sea view justice.
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Beautiful Birmingham

Every June around my birthday I go back to Birmingham to spend a few days with my parents, see friends and to relax. This year I was extra lucky as not only as it warm and sunny, but I managed to spend some of my birthday (which was also father’s day) with my parents. We enjoyed tea in the sunshine while laughing at old memories before I left, first class train tickets in hand (and a bag of lovely pressies from my parents and friend)

I was definitely in need of a break when the visit home came around. Although my fatigue and pain tend to be less intense in the hot weather, I have a more general ongoing feeling of exhaustion. A couple of the afternoons we all read until we fell asleep and I had glorious two hour naps. My parent’s have a beautiful garden that blooms all year round and I couldn’t resist but take lots of snaps, especially around dusk with the gorgeous sunsets. We also visited a local park to feed the ducks bird seed and meal worms where a goose stuck it’s head up my dress and pecked my camera. Luckily I escaped unharmed!

Here are some of my favourite photos of the garden and park. I know in years to come I will look back at these photos with a smile and remember all the great moments of this long, lazy weekend.

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Urban Nature

I recently spent a couple of nights at my parent’s house in Birmingham. Their garden has always been a hub for city wildlife, I’ve spent many a summer sitting in the garden with the vast array of birds that visit the garden, from starlings and herons on the rooftops, and hedgehogs and baby robins hiding in the grass.

On this particular Saturday I was supposed to be having a study day, but ended up at the window watching the endless wildlife that visited the garden over the space of a couple of hours. Mr and Mrs Fox stopped by, the collared dove sadly without it’s mate, a single robin, starlings, sparrows, coal tits and wood pigeons fighting over the bird food and Mr Blackbird made a few appearances too. There were also a couple of gorgeous feline friends but that’s for another (mad cat lady) post.

Here’s just a few of the best photos I managed to get.

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The Best Of 2016

2016 has been a year of ups and downs. Although it’s been the toughest year so far health-wise it’s been a pretty wonderful year in so many ways. I started studying again, got myself a great new job with some good friends and my wife finally let me buy a sideboard!! I could post hundreds of photos and list even more great things that have happened this year. Here’s just a few of them, in no particular order whatsoever.

Getting to spend time with my wonderful parents, including trips to Birmingham and them staying with me in Brighton just before Christmas.

Spending quality time with good friends. From a drive through the Sussex countryside with my friend and her husband (and getting to meet her many fluffy kitties) to my bestie taking me on a trip through the Ashdown Forest to a Llama Park. Definitely the best birthday ever! Then there’s lunch with a really special friend just before Christmas.

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I felt so lucky getting to stay with our friends in their flat overlooking the sea on the Isle Of Wight in July. Quality time with my wife, two bloody great mates, and getting to see endless wildlife (and donkeys) made this one of the best trips I’ve ever had.

Of course, no review of 2016 would be complete without mentioning my trusty sidekick, Trinny the kitty. She’s the best companion and nurse a woman could wish for, even if she does spend a couple of hours every evening shouting at us. We also took on Bear the hamster this summer too. He appeared to be the hammy no-one wanted so needless to say, he soon came home with us.

My wife and I have also shared some fun times on Brighton beach and pier this year as well as other trips out including the stunning Arundel Castle, and one heck of a splurge of a shopping trip at Gunwharf Keys in Portsmouth. I’ve also spent some quality time on trains, of course, and even been on a few Route Master buses with dad in London.

And of course, there was also Autumn, my favourite time of year in all it’s colourful beauty.

I could go on, the list really does feel endless.

Happy New Year! Here’s to a fabulous 2017!

(A big thanks to my wife for buying me a pretty awesome camera for my 30th that inspired me to take so many photos. I’m a lucky lady!)

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A Floral Fancy

Hello everyone

Those of you who know me will know I adore all things flowers, garden and wildlife. Although I am qualified in floristry, due to my illnesses I can no longer garden or get out very often into the sticks, so I’m always overjoyed when I can find little spots of nature in the city.

Yesterday I had a very, very rare day out with my dad. We met up in London and had a completely wonderful day. I could write forever about the excitement we had but this post is just a quick snapshot of the beautiful flowers I managed to snap after the rain in St James’ Park. Enjoy.

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I hope you love these beautiful flowers as much as I do. I’d love to see any photos you have of your favourite flowers, gardens or plants so please send them my way!

Karen xx