365 DAYS OF PORTRAITS: WEEK 29…

Some weeks are a bloody struggle.

I’m counting every day, conscious of my tally and missed opportunity, and how long I have left to go until I have my weekly set…

Then some weeks are a breeze. I accumulate photos one, two, three, four until I almost have too many. Everywhere you go people look ripe for approaching.

These weeks give confidence and growth – by the end of these weeks, I’m rocking up to anyone, smooth talking the reluctant, nabbing twenty second windows of opportunity, flicking out business cards, promoting my work, riding high on spontaneity and zero anxiety. “I AM A PHOTO NINJA WARRIOR!” I think to myself (I actually do, cos I’m that cool).

And when this happens, the world is a bloody lovely place. And you just have to enjoy it, because you know that the next week could be a hard one full of empty streets, assholes and your own anti social, reclusive tendencies.

And you know what else? I reached and surpassed photo number 200 this week! Eeee!

365 DAYS OF PORTRAITS: WEEK 29….

You can review and track my entire 365 Day project, to date, over here at Flickr. You lucky buggers.

Now let’s kick back and celebrate this silken wave of a week. It’s Friday night. You don’t wanna go out, do you? No. You wanna put on your cardigan, slip off your shoes, pour yourself a couple of glasses of something a little too strong, then dance like a maniac in your lounge to some classic Pulp until you fall over (or until the neighbours bang on the wall).

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PRO TIP: It’s 200% better if you turn the lights off and pretend that Jarvis is dancing with you. 

xo

365 DAYS: WEEK 27 & 28…

So have you ever listened to Marc Bolan from T-Rex talk. He’s like Bowie on some cosmic sex drug. It’s well dreamy.

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Yeah, so that’s pretty much all that’s going on in my life.

*stares off into distance*

Anyway – here’s another two weeks of photos for your to wrap your peepers round:

  • I went to Queenstown last week (kinda feel like I’m stating the obvious here, but y’know…)
  • There’s nothing like time trapped in airports to really get your photo quota in check
  • Sometimes I look over these photos and feel it should really be called “365 Days of Louise Eating and Drinking”

365 DAYS OF PORTRAITS: WEEKS 27 & 28…

Now – let’s get back to some Marc-lovin’ – that hair! those clothes! the mad mad swoons!

xo

365 DAYS: WEEK 26…

Well…week 26 is done, dusted, dead.

Which means one thing… WE’VE REACHED THE HALF WAY MARK!

Yeah, I’m half way through this thing. I’ve been waiting to get here for the past month and then it just snuck up on me. In some ways the thought of another 6 months seems like forever…but then I look back on the first few weeks of pictures and they feel like I took them two weeks ago.

Those photos were taken on hot, long and bright summer nights…and now I sit here in a cardigan, scarf and beanie, drinking rum to keep warm, eagerly anticipating a late enough hour where I can retreat to my bed and electric blanket and watch documentaries on The Smiths. Yep, when I put it like that, those first photos were an age ago.

AND…well, the only way is forward. We’ve reached the shortest day, the bleakest of weather, I turned 30, and what lies ahead in the rest of the year is already pretty exciting.

When I take my photo each day I always TRY to give my subject one of my Queen Stitch cards, which has my email and site address. I mainly do it to make myself look and feel kinda professional, somewhat less creepy in my picture stalking ways. Like, because if someone has a card, then they are 100% legit and not gonna be a bad person at all. Hmm. Yeah, I’m naive. But anyway, I hand over my card and then expect the person to do what I do most of the time – throw the card in their bag or pocket, go “huh, that was a weird thing to have happen”, then lose the card and forget about it forever.

But occasionally I get a nice surprise in one of my photo subjects commenting on my post, or liking my page on Facebook – some little nod to them looking themselves up. Which is such a nice feeling. It’s validating.

Then the other day at work, a lady in my office came up to me and said “It’s you that does the photo thing, huh? Because I was on Facebook this morning and a friend of mine shared a link of her friends on her page. It was your blog, and it was the friend’s photo that you took.”

The friend of the friend turned out to be Ashleigh from 30 May. Ashleigh, the gorgeous pink haired girl at the airport who I learnt was flying up north because her brother had very sadly and suddenly died. Out of all of my photos, and subjects that could have come back to me via word of mouth, I would have wanted it to be Ashleigh. I’d been thinking about her, hoping she was getting on okay, and I felt a little bad for taking her photo on such a sad day for her. But her comments on Facebook were positive and apparently it was a welcome distraction, and it just made me feel a little bit ‘aww’. Y’know?

So that, my dear, is as welcome, and fitting close to my first half of the project as any. Because, not always, but some days, the project is a chore and a struggle. Occasionally I let the voice of Morrissey invade my head. He says in his dry, cutting drawl, “Noone is noticing it. What you’re doing is pointless and isn’t doing anything worthwhile or benefitting the world. All you’re doing is creating extra work and stress for yourself. You idiot.”

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I don’t always feel like this. Not at all. But sometimes I do.

And then, y’know, the universe throws you a fucking big sign by means of telling you to shut the fuck up, to quit the moaning, that you are wrong and to just get the hell on with it.

Which is exactly what I do. And then I enjoy myself.

 

365 DAYS OF PORTRAITS: WEEK 26

You can view my entire project over on Flickr.

Right, six more months, bitches.

xo

365 DAYS OF PORTRAITS: WEEK 23, 24 & 25 (ish)…

Evening guv’nor.

BLEEEERGH, okay, OKAY.  YES. Three weeks of photos for you today. Don’t nag me, man.

Well…*technically* it’s ONLY two weeks and six days because “scheduling”  means that if I don’t get these up tonight, it won’t be until the weekend. And I just can’t be done with that guilt. (NB: by “schedule” I mean “social activity”, by which I mean “pub”)

See, you *might* think all I do is go to the pub, especially by these photos, but I do it for you. I mean, if I don’t leave the house, I don’t get my photo. And the pub makes it VERY easy to find interesting people.

You should, in fact, be sending me beer money. This project is costing me a bloody fortune (yeah, but seriously, you lot).

  • Big, amazing, mega fun few weeks due to Birthday week celebrations and Come Dine With Me Week.
  • A lot of cute boys
  • A lot of cute beards (*sigh*)
  • A lot of cute, uh, beers
  • A lot of cute nicknames
  • I’m in love with so many of these pics, I guess maybe they just represent a really fucking great few weeks full of activities and people I adore…

Hmm, yeah yeah, that’s all I got. Anyway, there’s twenty bloody photos of all kinds of interesting people to look at, so quit yer whining.

365 DAYS OF PORTRAITS: WEEK 23, 24 & 25:

I gotta go now as I’ve just stumbled across Kate Tempest and I’m swooning real bad – here let me share the joy.

Laters

xo

COME DINE WITH ME: DAY 3, 4 & RESULTS…

Good morning love bugs,

I sort of feel like I’m cheating you by condensing night 3, 4 and then the results into a single post – like some kind of sudden climax…but it just kinda worked out that way what with being host on night 3. So uh…you wanna hear about it?

NIGHT THREE:

Night three was my night to host. I decided to have a theme for my night, mainly to give myself some parameters to work in and stop the endless possibilities from becoming overwhelming and stopping me from making clear decisions. I chose a theme close to my own heart (and experience) – a Mexican tinged night dubbed “Frida’s Frisky Fiesta”. I love mexican food, I had some experience cooking it, and my house decor and wardrobe meant that it would be pretty straight forward to theme and dress for.

Once the day came I had a HUGE amount of fun prepping and playing host. I love cooking for friends and family, organising many tasks at once, and playing dress up – it was crazy busy and a challenge, but there was no time for anxiety or nerves. My life dream is basically to become the lovechild of Nigella Lawson and Morrissey, so any chance to play Nigella is just fine by me.

I kept the sangria flowing freely, and my entertainment was tarot readings. My beautiful guests got into the spirit of the night by dressing up for me, and tolerating my godawful “pulled pork” puns etc.

And, well, I just hope everyone had a great time, I certainly did!

COME DINE WITH ME: NIGHT THREE (Me)

NIGHT FOUR: 

I was most excited about the final night because, well, the pressure was gone, it was Friday night – which meant that we could all relax, stay up late and get a bit pissed. It really wasn’t about the competition, who was gonna win or the prize – it was a real feeling of achievement as a group, a”holy fuck, we actually did this thing!”. As I said in the first post, so often you make these plans as friends and they never come to fruition, and it’s really bloody nice when it happens. And it’s fun! It makes you go a bit mushy and sigh “Aw man, I have AMAZING friends. I’m so lucccccckkkkkkkkkyyyyy. *welp*.” (this may be after a few drinks)

Jenna was night four’s host, with a fucking delicious cheese themed menu; fondue, apple want and gorgonzola risotto (AMAZING) and a raspberry white chocolate cheesecake. Jenna is a delight, hilarious and the night was relaxed and fun. I think we were all feeling the same amount of relief and exhaustion, so spirit were pretty bloody good.

COME DINE WITH ME : NIGHT FOUR (Jenna)

But then at the end of the night, we remembered that this was a competition, and we had to score then tally up the weeks reults…end the winner was…

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ME!!!! EEEEK!

*GASP*

Aw shucks you guys…okay, not gonna lie, it was fucking lovely to win, and everyone else was as deserving and put in SO much effort – we really didn’t have a bad or even average meal all week… but as I said, it was such a fun week and it really wasn’t about, and didn’t feel, like a competition.

And most importantly, after four nights in each others company – we were still friends at the end of the week. Actually, we even still liked each other enough to get drunk, cackle (sorry Andrew) and dance until the wee hours to celebrate (sorry Andrew).

SO much fun! Urgh. Kills me.

So there you go…THAT is what I’ve been up to for the past two weeks. You can stop judging me now, OKAY?

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Uh, now watch this.

xo

COME DINE WITH ME: DAY TWO…

 

 

 

 

Hola! We made it through night two of our Come Dine With Me week!

10361338_10152173732467291_1359581939190423340_nLast night we had another super spectacular night hosted by my darling girl, Briar (or Briar from New York, as she likes to be referred to on my blog).

The food was super tasty and SO well presented. The entertainment was top notch, with each of us having to incorporating a particular, secret, challenge into our nights. .

Argh, the pressure is mounting with just two nights to go.

Tonight (Weds) is a rest day which give some time to shop and prep for my night, which is next (tomorrow). Eeek. I’m starting to get a bit anxious…I am very aware that I am a competitive person, and when you combine that with a streak of OCD…I think I may be up quite late tonight getting what I can ready.

Add to that the fact that I had builders show up yesterday to rip cupboards off kitchen my wall…hmm, that has to add to the fun, right?

COME DINE WITH ME: NIGHT TWO (Briar)…

Next post will be after my own night…so uh, wish me luck!
xo

COME DINE WITH ME: DAY ONE…

Oh geez,

I feel like I’ve been a bad blogger of late – there’s just been a LOT going on and not enough time…what with Birthday week (yes, I get a week), a market last weekend and a rather large distraction and commitment in the form of this – A Come Dine With Me competition between my friends and I.

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If you’re not familiar with the show (though if you’re not, I dunno what rock you’ve been living under for the past 5 years) Come Dine With Me is a reality TV show, started in the UK. Five strangers, over the course of a week, cook each other a three course meal at their own houses, which is scored by the fellow contestants. The winner gets a cash prize. It’s fluffy, can be funny, and very good viewing when you’re feeling seedy on a Saturday morning and just want to spend three hours mindlessly lying on the couch under a blanket, whilst they play the omnibus.

So several months ago – whilst on a weekend away with my friends Andrew, Briar and Jenna – we were having a few wines on a sunny deck, and somehow, as you do on these kinds of weekends, came up with the idea to have our own mid-winter Come Dine With Me competition. Actually, I think that THIS photo  was about the exact moment that the idea was born:

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Oh wow, look how warm and summery is was there. We don’t have shoes or coats on or anything.

Anyway – so a few months later and by SOME miracle, this thing is actually happening. Usually these half pissed schemes never come to fruition – you know – the kind that are all enthusiastically, like, “HEY HEY, SHHH, HEY YOU GUYS. So we totally have to go shares on a boat and sail to Sydney AND form a band and we can record an album whilst we’re sailing and, fuck you guys, it’s gonna be groundbreaking stuff. No no no, I mean it, you guys, we DEFINITELY have to do it. THIS IS HAPPENING!!!”….uh, then it never does.

Well this time the plan actually happened.

However as a result i’s been quite a stressful week, for as usual, we all left things to the very last minute which meant that at the same time as prepping for a big market, I was also meant to be planing my menu, a rad night and generally trying to get my shit together.

Then, boo….my guilt kicks in, and then I feel bad that I’m dropping balls elsewhere. Which for me, means other pursuits and projects, such as writing and blog upkeep.

SO! What I thought I would do is just make the competition part of the blog. I’ll tell you what I’m up to, then each day give you a brief update on how each night went.

Yeah? (okay, I have a slight sinking feeling that I am now creating more work for myself on this already tight, anxiety ridden week, that will probably result in some kind of emotional breakdown come Friday, but what the heck, if I’m gonna crash and burn I might as well do it so that the internet can see, right?).

We met a couple of weeks ago to draw our nights. You know, so we can be nice and organised (haha ha):

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The draw came out like this:

Andrew – Monday

Briar – Tuesday

BREAK ON WEDNESDAY

Me – Thursday

Jenna – Friday

We thought we’d take Weds off as we’re all working full time and needed a break day to recover, detox, and give Thurs & Fri competitors a day to buy fresh produce and prep for their nights.

We’d decided to play it like the TV show, and lock in our menus the weekend prior to the competition so that no-one can change their menu mid week, be influenced by others and everyone is on a nice level playing field.

Also – we were all putting in $25 each, to make a cash prize of $100 for the winner. At the end of each night, the three guests will photograph a mark out of ten, which will be kept a secret, and the results will be revealed at the end of Friday night.

Here we are at the pub on Sunday with our sealed menu’s and cash…

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Which brought us to yesterday, Monday, Andrew’s night.

The rule is that we can’t open that day’s menu until that morning. Which is proving to be a great motivator to get out of bed.

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Andrew made a restaurant called Fire and Ice and, urgh, look at how good his menu was. The competition is gonna be brutal.

It was a big night, and it was a big task for whoever went first and Andrew set the bar impossibly high…especially as he called in his very talented brother to play us the Marimba as entertainment. Sheesh. And my GOD, the ice creams that he made…they won my heart (dessert tends to have that effect on me).

Anyway – here’s some photos from last night for you to perv over…I gotta say, it was just bloody lovely having someone cook for me.

Stay tuned for more updates as the week progresses!

xo