A weekend in Edam: Some Holiday Snaps

After a mere 5 days in Amsterdam, we headed off on a local bus to Edam. Not to put too fine a point on it, the hotels in Amsterdam for Easter weekend were too expensive. We decided on a whim, booked a hotel that looked a bit like a ginger bread house and hoped for the best. It turned out to be a highlight of the holiday.

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The best travel cameras, in my humble opinion

After a mere two and a half years of research, I finally bought a new camera last August. I wanted one with excellent image quality, but wouldn’t kill me when I also carry my film SLR (which weights approximately half a ton). I wanted one that wasn’t too expensive, but wouldn’t be a waste of money for photos worse than my phone takes.

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Holiday snaps: Den Bosch, Holland

It’s been a mere 5 days since I got off the train at Kings Cross, arriving from Holland via Brussels (the changeover was interesting). I thought I would have made time (I only have myself and a VERY busy week to blame) to write a thoughtful post on how wonderful our holiday was, how much I love Holland and perhaps a thoughtful and intelligent review of the exhibition, Jheronimus Bosch – Visions of genius. In reality, I have just edited my photos from the first few days and now spring cleaning is under way with a vengeance. So here are some of my favourite photos and a big high five to myself for remaining committed to my new year’s goals!

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Have I photographed? Last month’s goals.

So to recap, I bought a new camera and then ignored it for the better part of 4 months. In order to remedy this sorry state of affairs (and to prevent myself from going into winter hibernation), I set myself some goals.

1. Take the camera out of the house
2. Take photos along the river near my flat.
3. Go for a stroll along the South Bank
4. Go somewhere new and take photos.

It took a bit more than a month to achieve all four, but I did, finally.

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Notre Dame Paris

5 days in Paris, my highlights

After 2 failed attempts to go to Paris, I finally got to see Notre Dame, The Seine, Hausmann’s urban design, the Louvre. We ate amazing food and I squealed like a toddler when I saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time. (Travel note: don’t try to take the Eurostar in December, it will snow and apparently no one can cope with it.)

I spent 5 glorious sunny days in one of the places that inspired me to travel when I was a kid and all I wanted to do was to see the big sights and walk along the river.

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Let’s Photograph… something…. anything….

When I posted about learning to use my new camera, it was with the intention of actually using it. I am sorry to say that since coming back from Edinburgh, with the exception of one 10 minute excursion, my amazing, new camera has sat in it’s case, in the house.


I’m still reading about the menus and settings and ISO and shutter speed. This is the only photo (the book cover for my as-yet-unwritten novel). Silly me.

In the next month (in addition to Nanowrimo) I will:

1. Take the camera out of the house
2. Take photos along the river near my flat.
3. Go for a stroll along the South Bank (cheesy, but one of my favourite places)
3. Go somewhere new and take photos.

I’ll report back next month. Over and out.

Taj Mahal

10 Days in India – an ambitious itinerary

This time last year, I was in India AKA the coolest thing I have ever done (and I was in a movie once!). We knew the places we wanted to see as a priority, just in case we never get to go back or, as I thought at the time, in case I couldn’t cope and and didn’t want to leave my house ever again to go on an adventure. We pared our list down as much as we could, but our plan was still hugely ambitious (and I wouldn’t have done it any other way).

We also depended almost entirely on Indian trains, with the notable exceptions of the flights there and back, New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling (where the narrow gauge train track had been washed out by a landslide some years prior) and some rather ill-advised cab rides to stations (all the rules of the road but liberal use of the horn are optional, including headlights at night).

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Edinburgh Castle

So I bought a new camera, let’s photograph!

After researching cameras for a mere 2 and a half years and after months where I delved into far too much detail on sensor sizes and agonised over memory cards (Who knew there were so many?), I finally chose a new camera. I wanted one I could carry around all day without killing me or my back or my shoulder or my neck. I wanted the image quality to be as good as possible and I wanted the option to grow into more advanced settings.

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Why I take my big, heavy film SLR with me on holiday

Part of me still can’t justify taking my big, heavy film SLR camera that I inherited from my mom on holiday. I can’t quite believe I would give up the precious space in my bag, carry all the extra stuff or that I would pause in my adventurous excitement long enough to fuss with dials, change the film. Part of my back still feels damaged from walking up and down the hills of Montmartre with what came to feel like 100 pounds swinging into my hip at every step.

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