So the last time I remember doing a photoshoot of animals, it was a of a hyperactive jack russell terrier that wouldn’t sit still. This job was rather easier, a yorkshire terrier puppy that got very tired after about ten minutes of having her picture taken. Even since this little shoot last week, I’ve done a short session with one of my cats. So here are a few of my favourites, with a few recent edits.

Meet Betsie:

Do you want some photos of your pets? Let me know!

Two designated drivers
Two designated drivers

So we went to Cornbury Festival, and what a weekend it was. We were absolutely spoilt with the weather, not really used to having a summer in England any more, and two weeks later we’re still bathed in a heatwave. It started with a trip to the supermarket with all five of us, to buy food for the weekend. We wandered aimlessly round a huge supermarket for an hour with an empty trolley until we got to the booze aisle, then filled it. It was a two hour drive in two cars to the Great Tew Estate, where the festival was held.

The party tent
The party tent

We set up camp on a dedicated ground for our staff and set to work partying. Each person working had two shifts to work, and I think we got the best ones over the whole weekend. All three from our shop were on shift together…12-6pm next to the main stage on Friday, and 9am-3pm in the VIP tent on Sunday. No work saturday. There were no late nights, no insanely early mornings, and both shifts were relatively quiet. We had plenty of time to play all day Saturday, during which I got to watch a great standup show by Alan Davies.

Discreet BBQ
Discreet BBQ
Some of the crew
Some of the crew

By the end of Saturday morning, we had drunk 2 cases of beers, finished 3 litres of vodka, and finished the Jaeger. The rest of the weekend was relatively free from alcohol…relatively.

Surprisingly, we didn’t see as many of the live performances as I thought we might, but I don’t regret that. Lucy Spraggan and James Arthur were definitely the highlights for me.

I still haven’t had proper chance to recover yet, tomorrow is my first real day off since being back on 7th July. Maybe the hangover will hit me in the morning?

The photos aren’t some of my best, I’m afraid. I was too nervous of taking my proper camera, I wished I had now, it would have been safe. The backdrop was amazing, and iPhone snaps can’t really do it justice!

Valley in the background
Valley in the background

Did you go to Cornbury? Did you see us?

20130630-115650.jpgI haven’t been to a music festival before apart from Glastonbury when I was way too young to remember, so I jumped at the opportunity to go to Cornbury Festival when my employer advertised for people to work two shifts there in return for two full weekend tickets including accommodation. Now the weekend is approaching, and we don’t know quite what to expect.

Primarily, we’re unsure how we’re going to run a high street coffee shop in a tent in a field, and we’re unsure just how busy it’s going to be, but I’m guessing it’s going to be pretty busy.

Our tickets and staff passes have now come through, and the Cornbury Festival website now has a map of the site, and it’s all getting pretty exciting…

Finally got what?! Well it arrived today. I find it quite exciting, but that’s probably the geeky side of me. I should probably have done it a long time ago. I got myself an external USB hard drive and configured Time Machine on my Mac. I can now sleep at night knowing that I have an automated backup system in place.

For anyone that has any kind of computer or amount of digital files, get yourself a backup. An external hard drive is under £50. You can even get several gigabytes of free online ‘cloud’ storage from sites like or, the latter giving you 15GB free, or 20GB if you use my referrer link, and you get an extra 5GB for each person you refer. With cloud storage, you can either configure a backup application to backup to the designated sync folder, or simply copy and paste files into the folder. Those files are accessible by your account wherever you sign in. If you haven’t got a lot to back up, then backing up doesn’t need to cost you a penny.

With cloud storage providers, the only thing to worry about is making sure your password is safe, and if the company goes down the pan, your backup can be lost, so make sure you keep an eye on what the provider is up to as well.

So here’s my latest ‘word a week photo challenge’ submission. I lived 12 years in Lyme Regis, a lovely town at the heart of the World Heritage Jurassic Coastline in Dorset. Walking to work in the mornings down the street, this was the view. In the summer the bunting was up to make the tourists happy.

Broad Street, Lyme Regis

Here is the Word A Week Photo. Challenge original post. Why not take part yourself?

Well I’ve just decided to take part in a photo challenge on WordPress for the first time, so here goes. The post setting the challenge is here: A Word in Your Ear blog.

Here in the UK we experience some quite varied weather. As some of you may know, we are in the midst of utter chaos caused by 3-4 inches of quite widespread snow, and a few areas with 12 inches or more. Not really a lot by many standards, but the country just does not have the facilities and equipment to cope with it.

Lightning is something I haven’t seen for quite some time. Last time I saw it though, here is what I got:

Lightning fork near Lyme Regis
Lightning fork near Lyme Regis

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Ever since school, and as long as I can remember, I never read books. I used to like factual books, picture books and encyclopaedias, but I never read stories.

In the last year though, I’ve started to get into reading proper novels. I’ve taken advantage of offers in shops like The Works, three selected books for £5, not really knowing what to expect. Admittedly, there are several I haven’t read, but I have read a few, an they’ve been enjoyable. I seem to be drawn to crime novels, and have been unable to put them down.

More recently, I’ve discovered the free iBooks app available on the iPhone and quite a large number of free books available. I’ve already read a couple that have made good reading, and I’m in the middle of a third one.

I’ve also discovered Goodreads, where I can rate books that I’ve read and discover new ones. I haven’t yet rated enough to get recommendations, but they have a great app where you can scan barcodes of your books to add them to your goodreads library. You can then say whether you’ve read them, what rating you give them, and once you’ve read and rated 20 books, you will start getting the recommendations.

If you have an iPhone, download iBooks, and browse through the bookstore for free books. You’ll be surprised what books you can get that you don’t have to pay for. Many of the classics whose copyright has expired are available for free, along with a surprising number of modern books in all genres.

I used to really want the Amazon Kindle, but now I just don’t think there’s any need. On an iPhone you can also download the Kindle app so you can use the Kindle bookstore.

Apple’s iBooks app

I’ve read a number of posts about peoples’ opinions on liking posts, or following blogs, and bloggers being disgruntled that someone has ‘liked’ the post without adding visitor numbers to their stats.

It suggests that people are using the Reader; you can use it to read a post, often without having to visit the site. Isn’t that the point? A quick way to read the posts about topics you’re interested in, or to read updates from blogs you follw. The Reader is great, but I wonder if it does make people click ‘Like’ without having actually read the post.

What I’m really doing here is just clarifying my point of view. I use the ‘Like’ button more as a bookmark to come back to later. If I see a post that looks interesting, I will Like it if I don’t have time to read it. If I haven’t read the post yet, I will read it in the near future. I will also make a point of looking through the rest of the blog to see if I should follow that blog too.

Similarly, if someone Likes one of my posts, I will make a point of visiting their blog and looking for anything I can Like or follow.

However: I don’t do this to try and gain likes or follows. If I like what I see, I’ll follow you, I won’t expect it to be reciprocal in any way.