• The Beauty of Snow

DSC_0378Do you like snow or loathe it? Is it an inconvenience or a joy? Yesterday I heard someone say that snow is the weather equivalent of Marmite, either everyone loves it or hates it! I can assure those crazy few who were wondering, snow DOES NOT taste like Marmite…trust me, I ate A LOT of it yesterday. (I strangely did.) If you didn’t know, or if you’ve had your head stuck down a rabbit’s hole for the past week, the UK has had lots and lots of lovely snow! Every Facebook status has been about snow; ‘#snow’ was trending on Twitter and 20 minutes of a half an hour BBC News programme was focused on how the snow has affected our very silly British lives.

I always find it amusing how News programmes seem to focus on all of the negatives that the snow brings to the country when opening the show, rather than all of the positives about snow! This purely enhances the stereotypical British thing to do; to MOAN ABOUT THE WEATHER! Whether it’s to moan about travel delays, ice or school closures, you can rely on the British to grumble about it.

SO, I feel that it is my role as a young Hampshire girl to bring a little bit of joy to the world by focusing on the positives of things that life chucks our way! So, here we go, and enjoy!

WHY I LOVE SNOW

1. It brings a community together – whilst in the snow yesterday, me and my brother were making Imagean 8ft tall snowman in the front garden! Everyone was LOVING IT! (see photograph) He was so high up, he even had a crown on with holly leaves sticking out! Children were smiling and laughing, people pointed as they slowly drove along and several people stopped to talk to both myself and my brother! An old man and my brother talked for about 10 minutes as my brother struggled with a huge ball of snow! An elderly lady started telling me about her skiing holiday! A random dog ran into my house at one point, (which made myself and the owner laugh a lot!) and one guy on a bike laughed with me as he saw me struggling with the wide body of our soon-to-be snowman! I also saw my best friend from Infant School of whom I hadn’t spoken to in many years! It was so lovely to see him and see how much we’ve both grown up! To add another to the list, we even popped over to my neighbour’s house who we haven’t spoken to in months! People ACTUALLY start to talk to one another and the snow genuinely brought the community together!

2. It’s beautiful! Opening my curtains at 6.45am yesterday and seeing a beautiful white landscape ahead of me with an orange tint in the sky was VERY special. It’s a sight that we rarely see and it’s just stunning! Snow highlights and enhances the beauty of architecture, plants and people!

3. Everyone gets creative! People who don’t think they are creative suddenly become amateur sculptors! From snowmen to thrones made of snow, everyone’s imagination goes wild! Most whack out their cameras and take photographs of how beautiful our landscape becomes and take stunning and creative photographs. People’s hidden talents are revealed through snow!

4. It’s great exercise! I’m very aware this sounds ridiculous, but it’s so true! From running around like a freak chucking snowballs at one another, you will find that you have aches in muscles you didn’t even know existed! My arm is killing me as I threw SO many snowballs yesterday!snowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

5. Snow makes people smile — yes, snow may inconvenience your day one way or another, but IT WILL make you smile. Guaranteed. If it’s through seeing a funny snowman, or seeing the beauty of it fills you with joy! Or if those don’t make you smile, the snow related jokes on Facebook and Twitter must make you smile a teeeeeensy little bit!!

snowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

6. It brings out your inner child! Everyone gets a little bit sillier and crazier! Who would have thought that throwing very cold, frozen rain at each other would be so much fun?! 🙂

What I’m saying is, embrace the snow! I could have gotten really upset about it snowing so heavily as it meant I couldn’t see my uni friends, BUT, I decided that I wouldn’t let it upset me and I had the BEST day with my family being the big kid that I am! 🙂

So Great Britain, stop moaning and start smiling!

• The Importance of Photographs


My Dad and Grandad
“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”
― Marc Ribound

When I was 15, I was given my first ever digital camera for my birthday. It went everywhere with me! I’d take it when on walks in the New Forest, at the beach, at home, at parties or even at school. My camera never left my side!

Sometimes people would say, “Why do you take so many photos?” in a criticising tone. I don’t know if they didn’t particularly like having their photograph taken, or if they just enjoyed picking up on this aspect of me that they didn’t like. But, I didn’t listen to them, and continued taking photographs. A standard amount of photographs I would take on a day/night out would be about 150. I got criticism for this too! It really used to bother me as I hated people negatively picking up on things that enjoy.

I used to put up a ‘front’ when I was a teenager – everyone thought I was really confident – but I really wasn’t. When invited to parties that I was worried about going to, I’d just whack out my camera and use it as a safety net so I’d be ‘the girl with the camera’ and people would want to interact with me. And it made me feel great! It’s sad, but true!

One weekend, my family and I went to visit my Grandad who lived in Chester. We drove to the beach and chilled on the pier for a while. I was playing around with my camera – taking shots of windsurfers and boats.

I then turned around and noticed my Dad and Grandad were laughing and joking on a bench. I quickly got out my camera and took a candid shot of them (pictured on the top right). As soon as I took it, I knew it would be an important photograph. I knew that my Dad would cherish it for a very long time and it suddenly hit me how important photographs are. Yes, they are there to capture  parties or nights out, but the most important thing is that they capture a single moment of beauty.

When my Grandad passed away in 2010, this photograph was so important to my Dad and our family. Every time I look at this photograph, I remember his brilliant smile and how cheeky he was.The way he is making my Dad laugh in the shot is just so true to their great father and son relationship. I am so proud of myself for taking that photograph. It sits proudly on our mantelpiece and makes me smile every time I see it.

My brilliant dog, Flinty, also passed away that year. I was so grateful for all of the photographs I took of him; it really comforted me at the time and I found that I had over 1000 of him on my computer hard-drive. It highlighted to me how much of an influence he’d been in my life and how much I really loved him. After this, I decided to invest in a DSLR so that I could take even more photographs with great quality. I’ve had the honour of photographing the Queen and Prince Philip and was also commissioned to take shots of Prince Edward and his wife for my local newspaper. I just love photography! The fact that you could capture a single moment in time, at such an incredible speed, has fascinated me since being 15 with my first camera.

I love going through my old photographs and seeing all of the fun I had at school and with my friends. But what I enjoy the most is REMEMBERING. Memories are precious things and I have an awful memory! Yet, these photographs jog my memory and help me to remember all of the crazy and hilarious things that have happened in my life! THIS is why I take so many photographs and why I love doing it! Photography is part of me and I love that!

Recently at a party, my camera wasn’t in my hand and my friend said, “QUICK GUYS! Sarah hasn’t got her camera…who is going to update our Facebooks now?!” I loved that. I was still known as ‘the girl with the camera’ but was genuinely loved for it.

I urge you, take more photographs! It doesn’t matter what camera you have, just try to capture as many moments as you can. To make you smile, laugh or cry, photographs are just so important. Try and take natural, non-staged photographs too!

Keep the memory alive, you never know how important one single captured moment in time may be to you…