Friday, 25 July 2014

Photography Workshop in Glasgow.

Glasgow Commonwealth Sculpture in George Square.
Buchanan Street Glasgow, busy with people.
Duke of Wellington statue in Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow.
Duke of Wellington reflection at Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow.
"Some Edinburgh people think they'll be stabbed in Glasgow." And everyone laughed. That was me. I'm one of those Edinburgh folk that thinks they'll be stabbed in Glasgow. I don't even know why I think that - I've spent plenty time there over the years, working & occasionally shopping, but I still have this irrational fear that Glasgow is a scary place! That being said, when I received an email from Joe Blogs Network asking if I'd like to attend a Photography Workshop with Millennium Hotel a few weeks ago, right on Glasgow's George Square, I left my Weegie-land fear at home in Edinburgh.

At the beginning of 2014, I vowed to improve my photography and as part of that, I became obsessed with learning how to use my DSLR. I can proudly say since then, I've not reverted back to the Auto Settings. Do I know what I'm actually doing? Not even slightly! I treat my camera a lot like I did Tekken - press various buttons, in various sequences & hope for the best! Sometimes it works, often it doesn't... So a day with the knowledgeable Stuart Dreghorn (& his lovely assistant, Hamish) couldn't have come at a better time.

So on the Saturday morning, once we finally convinced John to put trousers on(...), Iain dropped me at Waverley Station & I headed west to Glasgow Queen Street. After a Grande Strawberries & Cream Frappucino (that I didn't need to share!) and a quick pumping session in the train station loos (#mumlife), I went in search of the Millennium Hotel, only to find it was right on the Queen Street Station door step; so for the first time in two years I was not only on time, but early!

The workshop itself was fantastic. We went spent the morning going over the basics of moving away from using Auto and I actually surprised myself with how much I already knew - great reassurance that my self-teaching ways aren't heading in the completely wrong direction, even if it does involve a lot of button pressing. The entire workshop was really hands on, taking time to explore the Millennium Hotel & practise some portraiture photography on other bloggers, as well as seeing the affects of different shutter speeds thanks to a remote controlled helicopter. At lunchtime we had a break in the Millennium Hotel brassiere with a lovely Scottish inspired lunch and I got to talk about blogging with real human people! (Y'know, because I've actually wondered if other bloggers are real people or something else...). Then in the afternoon we headed out, cameras in hand.

We started in George Square, where the Commonwealth Games sculpture is currently stood, then headed around to Royal Exchange Square to get some photos of The Duke of Wellington statue, complete with his cone on-head. Finally we wandered around to jam-packed shopping central that is Buchanan Street. And thankfully, despite taking umbrellas as a precaution, the rain held off. I'm really quite pleased with the photos I got and I now realise Glasgow is actually quite a nice city, filled with great people - although I do still think I'm going to be stabbed...
Pedestrians at Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow.Royal Exchange House, Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow.Pigeons at George Square, Glasgow.

And of course, the obligatory group bloggers photo. Courtesy of Joe Blogs Network.
Scottish Bloggers at George Square, Glasgow. Courtesy of Joe Blogs.


Happy snapping,

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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Hello Summer.

Yellow daisies, wild flowers & blue skies at Figgate Park, Portobello.
Red poppy at Figgate Park, Portobello.
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John discovering poppies.
David picking yellow daisies.
Things have been a little bit quiet here on Diddle Diddle Dumpling. Life has gotten a bit mad recently and at the end of the day, I've been too exhausted to entertain the idea of sitting in front of a computer screen and instead have been trying to catch up on house work & spending some time in front of the TV with Iain. But despite not having much to say, life has been by no means quiet. In fact, lots has been going on...

John exploring the flowers at Figgate Park, Portobello.
John feeding the ducks & swans at Figgate Park, Portobello.
Lets start with John. The all singing, all dancing, refusing to nap at all, toddler. He can now count to 10 although he's still a little young to really understand what a number is. He often disappears to play in his room where you'll then hear a chorus of, "ba-ba back sheep, shedder wool." (I know, I know - but he's only 2...) Other songs include Twinkle Twinkle, Incy Wincy Spider & the Fireman Sam theme tune.
He's also completely potty trained now, only wearing nappies at night time and he's even dry for naps. However, his naps have become non-existent of late, much to my dismay...
In typical toddler fashion, he's also starting to push boundaries - majorly! After a bit of consideration we've decided to implement "Time Out" à la Supernanny Naughty Step (we're in a flat & don't have steps). At the moment it's being used in situations such as biting, hitting, upsetting David (he's developed this high pitched screech which he uses to make David cry when he doesn't want him to do something...) & refusing to help tidy up. And so far it's been pretty positive! He has grasped the concept and even remembers certain things will lead to Time Out; like picking the neighbours flowers. (NB. These aren't our neighbours flowers - this was the park!).

David discovering flowers at Figgate Park, Portobello.
David trying to eat flowers at Figgate Park, Portobello.
Then there's David - the biggest thing in David's life right now is starting nursery! He's still doing his settling in days but so far he seems to be enjoying it. I was a little worried as despite him being the happiest, most laid back baby in existence, he's never really spent any time away from me but thankfully he's taken it in his stride.
He's now mastered the sniper crawl and gets around our house with ease but hopefully seeing the other babies at nursery crawling will be enough to be him up onto his knees. He's also loving solid food - particular favourites being nectarines, sausages, pizza & ice cream (thanks, Granny...). And he has two teeth now to help him discover even more foodie delights. David's also taken to babbling away to himself, telling some great wee stories - he particularly loves when John repeats them back to him.
Sleep however? What is 'sleep'? Naps are great for David - he has at least 3 decent ones a day but he's still up at least 3 times a night. Thankfully he settles right after a quick breastfeed but it doesn't make it any less exhausting. He have taken the plunge and pop him right into his cot & ended full-time co-sleeping. But he won't be joining John in the other room until he starts sleeping a little better.

John, David & I with out Phil & Teds Sport Tandem at Figgate Park, Portobello.
As for me? Well, I've been feeling a little lost lately; not sure who I am, other than "Mummy". It has come at a practical time however, as I'll be heading back to the world of work in a few weeks time, meaning I can have my 'days off' from being Mum and spend some time being Amy; talking to actual adults, who don't bite & who talk about things other than Fireman Sam (because no matter how great Sam is, sometimes I've just got to talk about something else...).
To try & help with my rut I've decided to start buying myself some new pieces of clothing and I've also been trying to give my straighteners a rest & embrace my natural hair. I've discovered the Curly Girl Method and I'm slowly having some success with it, although it's still very much trial & error. My skin on the other hand is absolutely atrocious. I have horrendous cystic acne that is not only affecting my confidence in my appearance but is agony too. It's getting me so down that I've made an appointment with the doctor later this week in hopes that they'll be able to help somehow, although I'm not holding my breath as I don't think there's much hope as long as I'm breastfeeding. 
And I finally finished the Couch to 5K a couple of weeks ago! (Whoop!) I'm now aiming to run at least 5k, a minimum of least twice a week, with hopefully upping the ante once this heat wave passes. Oh and it was my birthday on Tuesday! We celebrated with a trip to the park for a picnic & to feed the ducks, camera in hand to practice some new skills I've recently learnt (more on that later...). So here we are & Hello to 24.

John feeding the ducks & swans at Figgate Park, Portobello.
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Swans & ducks at Figgate Park, Portobello.

So now you know what's been going on with us... How're you?


Happy summertime,

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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Living Arrows 29/52.

John enjoying a ice cream sundae at Favours Candy Emporium, Portobello.
As you probably know, we live by the seaside. And living by the seaside means we probably eat more ice cream than one family really should. But ice cream has been a long time favourite of mine & John has recently started to embrace the fact we have around 10 or so various places to buy ice cream within a mile radius of our front door. Then there's David who has also developed a love of the delicious dessert, one that could rival his Mummy's; thanks to Granny introducing him to it!

But sometimes a simple 99 cone just isn't enough. Sometimes you need to head to the local Sweetie Shop come Ice Cream Parlour & indulge in a Ice Cream Sundae with all the trimmings. Even if a certain toddler then decides it's "too cold" and would rather eat the ice cream soup at the bottom of the bowl.
living arrows
Happy ice cream eating,

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Monday, 14 July 2014

Living Arrows 28/52.

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I am one of 3 sisters. No brothers. Even the dog was female in our house. So having two boys brings a whole shed-load of new experiences for me. This week John has been learning to pee standing up (the mess - oh, the mess!). He's also taken to running up to me, pulling his trousers down to expose his bum, blowing raspberries & running away shouting, "John pumped!". And David? Well, he's has discovered he has a willy of his very own. And obviously, this requires great investigation...
living arrows
Until next week,

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Sunday, 13 July 2014

Siblings #7.


Toddlers & baby brothers.
They're becoming like Ying & Yang. John is a whirlwind, always on the go, barely stopping to breathe. David is happy to sit & watch the world, taking it all in with ease. John has a temperament like fire, easily angered & tough to calm down. David is always smiling, never phased, even when toys & food are snatched right from his grasp by his tantruming brother. John is always craving attention. David is always happy to give him it. The ying to the others yang.
dear beautiful
See our Siblings in...
January. // February. // March. // April. // May. // June.

Until next month,
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