Adventures so far – a catch up blog

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What with a house move, new car tinkering and heaps of Morris Minor adventures (three countries, in three different cars!), I’ve barely had time to write a blog lately. However, I realised we’re half way through the year and until … Continue reading

Bee – an unexpected addition to the family

My new car...Bee!

So as many of you will know, I’ve been saying for months I was going to buy a sensible 4 door ‘everyday runaround’ to free Nancy up for restoration. In my head it was either a Maxi or a Metro…something … Continue reading

The tale of the Austin Metro

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Just like you should never work with kids or animals, you should never let nostalgia rule your head on anything important. Especially if that ‘something important’ is buying a daily runner car (sorry Nancy, sorry Martha) to keep your cars … Continue reading

Instax…the future of instant photography?

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Shot taken in natural light with Polaroid 600 using Impossible Project film

There was a whole lot of analogue when I was growing up; from cassette tapes to videos and right through to the 90s classic that everyone had: the Polaroid camera.

At the time when I was young, I didn’t fully appreciate the fun of the Polaroid, but hung to the camera regardless as it was a really lovely ‘thing’ to have. Over 7 house moves later and I’ve still got it; purely because I’m still in love with the idea of instant photography.

We live in a world now where it’s all pixels and screens and nothing seems to be physical; something you can keep and treasure and look after. One click and your whole photography back catalogue from 2009 (or whenever we all swapped from Myspace to Facebook) is lost in an instant. And it scares me.

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Shot taken in natural light with Polaroid 600 using Impossible Project film

In 2009/2010, Polaroid discontinued the 600 film, the very film that we all recognise as the ‘square photo with white border’. To keep the film going and to keep us all ‘shaking like a Polaroid picture’ (which by the way doesn’t speed up the development time), the company The Impossible Project bought the rights to the photography. But here’s the crux: it just isn’t the same.

After nearly 5 years, the photos are still well below the quality Polaroid produced. Colours aren’t vivid and the results are sketchy and there is no science or experimentation that will lead to a fail safe formula; or even anything close. Plus, the film has shot up in price to over £1 per photo and with such wildly varying results, I can’t really afford to keep it up.

And with that, I started searching for an alternative!

Shot taken using Instax Mini 8 w/artificial indoor light

Shot taken using Instax Mini 8 w/artificial indoor light

This summer I saw quite a few bloggers had been gifted/sponsored to take the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 to concerts, festivals and on their summer holidays. The photos seemed brighter, clearer and the film seemed a lot easier to obtain. After a few months chewing it over, I decided to invest in a pretty yellow Instax Mini 8 of my very own!

To cut straight to the point, these are the positives:

  • Film is easy to load – easy as popping batteries into a remote control
  • Film is cheaper than Polaroid and easier to obtain
  • Shots have the aesthetic appeal; the white border lives on!
  • Glossy, high quality little prints
  • There is a flash! With adjustable light settings!
  • The detail is a lot more refined that the 90’s Polaroid
  • There is no bleeding on the borderline
  • Lighter and smaller than the old Polaroids

However, there are a few negatives:

Shot taken using Instax Mini 8 w/artificial indoor light

Shot taken using Instax Mini 8 w/artificial indoor light

  • Film is still pricier than it’s 35mm cousin
  • Focus is sketchy and needs a bit of learning/experimentation
  • It takes 2 AA batteries
  • Night photos are terrible – the flash gives short range on getting your subject ‘papped’

Overview

In short, I would recommend you steer clear of nostalgia for your old Polaroid and hop on the Instax bandwagon! It’s fun, lighter than the old Polaroids and the film seems a lot more reliable. Obviously as with all instant photography, these shots can be a little pricey, but it’s a good buy for good times.

You can post 50 photos on Facebook, but the one you’ll keep and treasure is definitely going to be the one you take with your new Instax.

I bought mine here > CLICK LINK TO BUY

A return to blogging

Hello everyone!

It has been nearly a year since I wrote a blog post and so much has happened. I’ve been to France with my Morris Minor friends, I’ve moved to the West Yorkshire semi-countryside and I’ve been on too many car related and foodie adventures to count. I also have a new job as the Local PR and Marketing Coordinator at Bonmarche. So all in all, an exciting 12 months.

This year I’m determined to be more ‘full on’ with my blogging, learn French, go to the gym more than once a week and actually finally get around to properly doing something with all my ideas for stories and vaguely interesting novels. With the power of my exciting new laptop (vaguely admitting and joining the technological rat race) I may go someway to achieving everything I’ve set out to do.

Until I next write, here is a photo from my ‘birthday weekend’ car run to Haworth. In case you’ve not already seen it 1000 times; my car is the blue one with the boot rack.

PS. If you’ve stumbled upon this by accident, you can find my usual self on Instagram.

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The first car show of the season

Spring is good for many reasons, two of them being the excuse to treat yourself to new clothes under the guise of ‘the weather is changing’ and the other being the start of the car show season!

Now I won’t pretend that I’m enthralled with every single Morris Minor in the world, far from it at times. Once you’ve seen one, you can pretty much guess what the rest will look like (give or take some dodgy modifications, rust patches and blobs of filler).

Despite this, I’m very much involved with the young members register (MMOCYM) which is a section of the main Morris Minor Owners Club. We have over 300 members and we’ve been operating since late 2009 after some of those under 30 realised there was a gap in the club for something a little bit more lively.

This year after 4 years hard slog, we hosted our first MMOCYM rally! The event was held at the Coventry Transport Museum and was attended by over 20 young members and their friends and family from around the UK. We took part in a documentary and we had many, many local and countrywide visitors. In short, the event was an absolute success!

Let me know your thoughts below. Are you a classic car fanatic or would you rather see them tidied up and displayed in a museum? I’d love to know what you think.  

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Goodbye for now

It’s with a heavy heart that I write our beloved pet dog and family member Skip, has passed away.

Amazingly compassionate with a wisdom most humans would crave, Skip was a dog like no other. Born in a Welsh farmhouse 13 years ago, none of us predicted how much he would change our lives and now as I sit here, I can barely believe he’s gone.

The loss of a pet is nothing you can prepare for, even though I’ve not lived at home for a long time, Skip was always so important to me.

At the moment, the loss is brutal and raw. I can’t accept the fact we’ll never get another moment together where I give him a hug, play a biting game (a pretend game that involves a lot of tooth flashing and teasing) or slipping him a bit of something under the table.

The only condolence is that he went out on a high. He had a lovely day with mum, dad and my brothers and then he laid down and went to sleep. I wouldn’t have wanted him to suffer and he wouldn’t have wanted it either.

Perfect and loving, everyone deserves to meet a dog like Skip just once in their lives. I think if everyone got the privilege of meeting an animal as loving and genuine, cruelty towards animals would be a thing of the past.

It hurts so much and makes me feel indescribably sad to think we’ll never share another memory, but I’m lucky, I got to grow up with this flawless example of a dog and make enough memories to last a lifetime.

From watching him herd sheep, to chatting up the female dogs down Kirkstall Abbey (they would’ve been fools to have turned him down); I have some amazing moments I can treasure forever.

It might also be the key time to mention to mum that it wasn’t just Ruby that ripped out the massive bush in the garden when you went on holiday and left me in the house on my own…

Skip has left behind a family including our other dog Ruby, but it’ll never feel like he’s truly left us. Everytime I see a border collie, I’ll think of him, every dog I’ll meet I’ll know they would never meet his high standards. I’ll probably never stop thinking of him if I’m honest – he was ‘the one in a million’.

My only comfort is knowing that in heaven, he’ll be his youthful self. Energetically herding sheep and leaping over Dads wooden fencing with his glossy black coat and chocolate brown eyes. It’ll be a fair few years before I’m in heaven myself (unless I don’t sort my brakes out soon) but it comforts me knowing he’ll be patiently waiting.

In short, loss and grief are two of the worst emotions I wouldn’t wish on anyone. The only positive I can draw is that I have realised the true value of here and now. I’m going to work harder to make the most of what’s happening in the present rather than wishing for the next big thing.

Thank you Skip for everything, I’ll love you forever.

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Snow day at Kirkstall Abbey

One of the best (and worst) things about winter is snow. Unfortunately, we’ve had terrible weather this year and it looks set to continue into spring. Chris and I set out early on Saturday morning to enjoy the snow before the dreaded dog walkers ruined it all and we set off for Kirkstall Abbey.

Kirkstall Abbey is only a five minute walk from our house, so we decided to investigate and take some photos before it got busy. Here are some of our nice moments, including an obligatory car shot…because I realised that despite my blog namesake, there is nothing of my two lovely cars on here.

Please link me to your snow blog/weather photos. Especially if you’re somewhere sunny! 

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