Lyon.

Back in November, which feels like a lifetime ago now, me and my baby sister/best friend went on our first trip together to Lyon in France. Neither me nor Tiegan had been anywhere by ourselves before, all holidays and trips we went on were with our family. You can imagine that this was pretty exciting for the both of us.

We chose Lyon for no other reason than I had heard it somewhere and asked her if she’d like to go there. Both of us are pretty spontaneous and pretty rubbish at planning so when she said she’d like to go, I booked it the next day. Thinking about this now, I sound reckless to even myself considering neither of us had done anything like this before. I should add that we gave ourselves a bit of time to plan and we did think about everything we needed to such as transport, money, insurance and all that very important boring stuff.

I won’t give you a play by play of the whole trip but it was 4 days of lots of giggles, interesting museums and one very salty anchovy and caper pizza. Never again. I wanted to share some of the photographs of the weekend, France has the most beautiful cities and Lyon is no exception, its easy to get around and full of life and colour, if you like wandering around finding little library cafes and walking along beautiful rivers then add Lyon to your list of Places to Visit!

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The Creative Blogger Award.

This was the first award I’ve been nominated for and I thought it would make a good light read. Thank you to fightalone for nominating me! I was also nominated by justsahee.blogspot.co.uk so thank you also for thinking of me! It’s still weird to me that other people are reading my blog. I’m also sorry that it has taken me around a month to get this out and posted! I’m still trying to figure out my blog posts and schedules and I think I’m finally getting something done about them!

Here are the rules for this award:

1. Nominate 15-20 blogs and notify the nominees.

2. Post the link of the blog that nominated you.

3. Share five random facts about yourself.

I nominate the following:

lilrant

Alice’s Wonderland

missamrunaway

organicbynerve

pinkgirlgreyworld

desire4beauty

mrsdimplesbeauty

thislittlediary

delveintodem

cremesheen

thepinkimpact

rachel ellis fashion and beauty

somedaysunny

When I was choosing bloggers I tried to choose those who hadn’t done it before, but if you have and I’ve nominated you then I am sorry! I love all of these bloggers, they’ve all got amazing blogs, it’s awesome to be part of a community of people who are all doing their own thing but are also supportive of everyone else.

Here are 5 random facts about me –

 1) My last name is Gentleman, it’s pretty unique. When I tell people they tend to ask me if I’m telling the truth or not, but yes! It really is my last name.

2) I practise meditation every day, my dad introduced me to meditation and Buddhism and I’ve been practising for almost a year now.

3) I am one of 6 children, I have two brothers and 3 sisters.

4) I’ve been and Auntie since I was five years old, my oldest niece is almost 13!

5) I love Art, I’m pretty creative and I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember but I haven’t done so much since leaving school.

I hope those were some interesting facts. I haven’t done many personal posts yet here on my blog so I thought a short personal post would be nice, for you all to get to know me a bit better.

creativeblogger

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Having A Bad Week.

Last week was bloody awful. Definitely not one of my favourites. I have no reason for having a bad week though. It started off as just feeling super tired and wanting to sleep in, but by the end of the week I didn’t want to get out of bed or talk to anyone. I wasn’t inspired by anything, which you may have read about or noticed in my Photographers Gallery  post and I just felt like nothing was going the way I wanted it to. Of course I did get up and dressed because I knew I’d only feel worse if I stayed in bed all day. I tried talking myself out of it and even talking to someone else about it. But nothing was working and by the end of the week I had had enough. It was time to pull myself out of my weird little funk.

So, I spent an entire day doing nothing. Well, not exactly doing nothing, just taking the time to rejuvenate. Pull myself together. Let myself feel crappy for one last day and get it out of my system. So if you’re in a weird funk and everything seems to be getting you down, I’m going to share with you my favourite things to do which help me feel better and I hope that it gives you some ideas for when you’re having a bad day/week.

Here’s what I did:

The first thing I did was get changed. Out of my pyjamas and into some jogging bottoms and a clean t-shirt. You can stay in your pyjamas if you like. it doesn’t matter, you’re probably not going anywhere. I cleansed my face and brushed my teeth to make myself feel some-what presentable and to feel a little fresher. Then I made my bed and tidied up a little bit. It always helps to have a tidy space to relax in because mess can be frustrating. If your space is tidy then your thoughts will be too.

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It was a rainy day so I lit a candle (Grapefruit by Yankee Candle) and made myself a cup of tea. I pulled out my Darling magazines and grabbed my favourite throw and made my bed comfortable. I like to be cosy. Darling is my favourite thing to read when I’m feeling fed up. It’s full of encouragement and inspiration for all areas of your life. It’s all positive too which makes it perfect for those not-so-great days.DSC_0086a

I’m pretty creative and I can get annoyed with myself when I’m lacking inspiration and interest in the normal things I love to do. I have a few creative books that I’ve collected over the years and they’re always my favourite things to go back to. The don’t require much thinking and just help to get the creative juices flowing.

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The Big Colour by numbers book is my favourite one to pull out. All the designs are right there for you and all you have to do is grab your pens and get started. There are a tonne of books like this going around now and they’re not expensive here are a few that I’d love to add to my collection.

The Art Therapy Colouring Book

Animal Kingdom

Mindfulness Colouring Book

You can find all of these and loads more like it here.

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Two more of my favourite creative books are these 642 Things To Draw and 712 More Things To Draw. These are great for doodling. You don’t have to be an amazing artist to have and complete these books, they’re just great if you love to draw but need a little inspiration to get started.

These kinds of books are great for unwinding. They don’t require much thinking and are great for de-stressing.

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Another thing I love to do is give myself some retail therapy. Online shopping is my favourite since it’s so quick and easy to do. I know a lot of people prefer actually going out to shop but it gives me anxiety and makes me feel rushed and under pressure to find things I like. Most of the time I am filling up my basket and not actually buying anything but since I was feeling so down I did really buy some stuff so you can expect a mini haul at some point.

At the end of the day I ran myself a bath and used my favourite products. Anything that makes you feel calm and relaxed is perfect. Aromatherapy products are awesome. If like me you have trouble sleeping then stay away from tea! Stick to decaf as an alternative or try something new like chamomile or even cherry juice.

Other things you can do which can help to make you feel better are taking walks, listening to upbeat playlists, being with friends etc. Whatever makes you feel good. It’s also important to take time away from technology, turn off your phone and your laptop. They can both be distractions from what is really important to you, once you take them away you can begin to clear your head a little better.

Often advice I see is that when you’re feeling low you should make yourself get up and out no matter how you’re feeling. In my experience though it’s not always easy and you should never force yourself to do something you don’t want to. If you need to, it’s important to take time for yourself. Don’t have a pity party but make sure you let yourself feel the things you need to feel. If you keep putting them to the side or ignoring them, they’re not going to go away. It’s OK not to be OK.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this post and have liked my advice and little tips that help with making me feel better. It took me a while to get to writing this because it seemed quite personal but I thought it was important and something that I wanted to share. If it helps me then it could help someone else.

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The Photographers Gallery

Last Thursday was one of those awful rainy days that we have here in the UK. The ones where its beautiful. sunny and warm the day before and then the next the heavens open and you remember what it’s like to be British again. Me and my Dad took our monthly trip to The Photographers Gallery to visit the new exhibition for the month. We’ll usually visit the gallery first, have some lunch, visit the bookstore and then wonder around Soho and take some street photographs.

The current exhibitions are The Chinese Photobook and DEUTSCHE BÖRSE. The Gallery is made up of Five floors, you start on the first floor and make your way up. By accident on our second visit we started at the top and worked our way down, since then this is what we’ve been doing. We love to be different. The exhibitions are separate, the third floor dedicated to the Chinese Photobook, the fourth and fifth floors dedicated to the DEUTSCHE BÖRSE photography prize. The first floor was holding a private exhibition or some sort of class, I can’t remember.

The photography prize was compiled of several runner ups and the winner will be announced on the 28th of May with a book signing on the 29th. The Photographers Gallery always pulls off the most incredible exhibitions, holding some really wonderful art. Please click here  if you’d like to read more about the artists and their displays. I won’t go into too much detail on my thoughts on each one, since there are 4 different sections to talk about.

The one that stood out most was the work of Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse.  “Their collaborative publication presents a, ‘photo/graphic’ album of images and text which uncover the history of a once elite, now abandoned high-rise apartment block in Johannesburg”. The images were heartbreaking with a contrast between the apartments before they were abandoned and after. There were also photographs of the doors, the windows and the televisons of each apartment, presented in light boxes  .

 17728005982_27065b5c6a_nDSC_0012AViviane Sassen’s display was also really interesting. I particularly like this landscape photograph with the red filter. Each individual display was interesting but the photographer’s gallery is something which is probably easier to absorb in two trips since there is often two separate exhibitions to view.DSC_0011A

After we were done in the gallery we decided to take some street photography. I really like this little shop, we didn’t buy anything in there though but they had some pretty cool stuff. Here are some of the photos I took. I took more but I wasn’t that pleased with them and I’m still feeling uninspired when it comes to photography.
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Thank you for reading!

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Bucket List.

It’s that time of year, the sun is starting to shine and I’m reminded of all the things I want to do in life. It’s also the start of festival season with festivals starting all over the world, so I thought I’d share some of the festivals at the top of my Bucket List.

Coachella

It’s that time of year, the festival that everyone wants to be at. In the California sunshine, with art and music to be adored by the masses. It’s definitely up there on my Bucket List to do eventually.

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Glastonbury

Probably one of the best music festivals we have in the UK, one I have wanted to attend since watching Mumford & Sons play a couple of years ago on the TV.

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Holi

A celebration of love and colours. You can celebrate this in London and it looks like so much fun!

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Dia de los muertos (Day of the Dead)

This festival is so intriguing to me, it teaches to accept death rather than fear it.

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The Rio de Janeiro Carnival

The biggest carnival in the world with 2 million people who participate. Brazil is at the top of the places I want to go to and if I ever do, then this will be one of the things I see there.

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Feeling Uninspired.

For a week or so I have lacked inspiration with Photography. Looking around, nothing jumps out to me. Nothing. It’s pretty much the same as writers block.

I recently read a book called the War Of Art by Steven Pressfield

Which basically states that all forms of creative block are down to our own resistance; fear, self doubt, procrastination, self-dramatization etc. All forms of resistance but ultimately it all comes down to whether we do it or we don’t.

So bearing all of that in mind, I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and go out and do it.

In part of the book, Steven explains that to overcome his own resistance he would sit down and write, regardless of how good or bad his writing would be. He would simply write, to get it out of his system and to be satisfied with himself for overcoming resistance.

So, taking this advice and applying it to myself, I went out with no expectations to take good photographs. Instead, just to go out and take photographs because I love it and because I’d be unhappy if I didn’t.

Part 2 of overcoming my resistance is to post the few that I took that were semi-decent. The following photographs are from over the weekend, about a 20 minute walk from where I live.

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“What finally convinced me to go ahead was simply that I was so unhappy not going ahead. I was developing symptoms. As soon as I began, I was okay.”

More photos on my Flickr – here.

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Rome.

Around this time last year me, my parents and my little sister took a trip to Rome for a long weekend.

I was already in love with Italy but the country’s capital is so magical that you can’t help but fall in love a little more. There is something about the way Rome’s architecture takes you through time all the while the city goes on with modern life.

One of my favourite parts of the trip was visiting the Colosseum. Looking into the Colosseum is fascinating, you find yourself imagining what it would have been like to be viewing the gladiatorial contests in such a huge space, it’s incredible to just think about; to actually be inside is something else. Not only is it great to look inside of, but its also amazing to look out of. To be taken back into history and then to look out and see modern city life, with Rome’s residents going on with their normal day to day business, is a serious incredible experience. A piece of history, slap bang in the middle of Rome. There honestly is nothing like it.

Here are photos from the trip.

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I have finally uploaded some of my photographs to Flickr!

If you would like to see photos I have taken on different trips then click here!

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