Photo-a-day STOP : )

Ok, i’ve been attempting to come up with a photo (at least one) every day for the past 2 months, only posting the images i’ve actually taken on that day. The first 61 days have gone really well but i’ve started to feel the whole process is becoming too pressured in a number of ways. I love taking photos and capturing unique moments in life but now is maybe not the right time for this project.

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We keep a private kids blog for all their home education activities and life adventures and this has been slightly overlooked recently!

My cousin is getting married early in August and my family are making the trip over there from England, including some very interesting destinations along the way (Chicago, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle) I haven’t been to the States for 20 years and this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip. There are just too many things to organise for that!

At the start, the process was useful and the pressure of needing that one shot each day did lead to some good results and some different perspectives, but there are just too many things being affected. I’m finding all the other creative parts of my life are suffering – painting, mixing records, energy for creative ideas for the kids. I’m also finding the time it takes to put the photo post on takes away from other posting ideas, such as sustainability, politics, football and architecture/design.

So, i’ve enjoyed the experience over the last 61 days and maybe there’ll be another series at some point. I’m hoping to blog while in the States for 3 weeks so there should be a few opportunities for some photography while over there (under statement of the century). I’m guessing that i’ll come back with more than a few photos so that should keep the blog happy for a while : )

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Day 061 – Evesham Park…

Another very hot heat-wave day, this time in Evesham, about 40-minutes drive from Gloucester. A great combination of formal gardens, historic buildings, large children’s play areas (including sand pits and water fountains) and ponds.

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Day 060 – Worcester’s Gheluvelt Park & The Hive…

Worcester is a town of roughly 100,000 people to the north of Gloucester. Much like Gloucester, it has a long history and a present which is seeing some significant changes.

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We went up there to check out two local features – Gheluvelt Park and The Hive.

Gheluvelt Park is a memorial park built in honour of those lost during the First World War and has recently won a £1.4 Million Lottery grant to improve the facilities, including a new war memorial, playground and water play feature.

The second part of the trip was a presentation and viewing of The Hive – a combined University of Worcester and City Library facility, designed by Stirling Prize winning architect Feilden Clegg Bradley Architects (FCBS).

The extremely vibrant and dazzling exterior is contrasted inside with a more subtle and plain design which I feel is appropriate for the library use. The shape of the building was the result of a pure approach to the building’s heating and cooling, with the turrets chimneys enabling an efficient passive cooling system to operate. Although there is a reference in the name ‘The Hive’ there apparently wasn’t a connection to a bee hive, which is a bit of a shame : )

This building is already on the 50-strong long-list for this years Stirling Prize and it’ll be interesting to see where it finishes, if it makes the short-list.

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Day 059 – nasturtium…

The strange but interesting nasturtium – apparently the name comes from the Latin nasus tortus, meaning ‘twisted nose’.

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Day 058 – water ride framework…

A colourful stack of metal supports ready to be unloaded and built.

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Day 057 – colours and a cat…

Walking around town there are always things changing. Colours stand out where before they merged with the background, new developments are always coming and going and people are moving around.

I like the way people on the canal boats by Gloucester Docks personalise their space – the guy with the cat and planter is a good example : )

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Day 056 – Gloucester to Ross-on-Wye bike ride…

After 46 Miles (76 KM) of hills and heat, i’m back home and not feeling too bad. One of the hottest days of the year and right in the middle of our UK heat wave, Mr MCK and I decided on a round trip into the Forest of Dean, to Ross-on-Wye. Glos - Ross bike ride 07.07.13 - 23 Some amazing scenery on-route, with our journey taking us via Newent. Some challenging hills and we even had to get off the bikes and push a couple of times!

We had a well-deserved stop in Ross by the river with a pint of cider. Maybe not the best idea in terms of energy levels but nice : ) Ross bike ride 07.07.13 At the same time as our journey back, Andy Murray was in the process of comprehensively beating Djokovic in the Wimbledon final – I was hoping Murray would drop a set so I could catch the end but he wrapped up his first Wimbledon title in straight sets. At one point I was checking the sat nav on my mobile phone while also checking the final game points in the tennis! Well done Andy!

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Day 055 – ‘pick your own’ @ Over Farm..

A classic part of a British summer – ‘pick your own’ strawberry picking. We went over to Over Farm just outside Gloucester. There are hundreds of rows of strawberries, each row raised on wooden frames, holding grow bags. Each grow bag is supplied with water from a series of pipes which snake around and under the field.

A giant strawberry balloon, which must measure 3 or 4 metres across, is sent up when the strawberries are ready for picking.

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Over Farm is also holding a folk music festival this weekend so there were lots of festival campers strolling around too, with melodies carrying over the fields.

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Day 054 – Wenchford…

We’re in the middle of a mini heat-wave which is meant to last for the next few days, meaning the weekend should be hot and sunny. Today was the same and we drove into the Forest of Dean, to a place called Wenchford, where a stream runs through the forest and creates lots of paddling areas.

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Day 053 – flight…

Soaring vertical lines of the Gloucester Quays shopping centre combined with one of Gloucester’s resident Sea Gulls.

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Day 052 – corten steel wall…

A building detail of one of the more interesting structures within Gloucester Docks – a corten steel, single-storey restaurant, with sharp lines and a strong presence amongst the much larger, brick-built warehouses.

The corten steel material rusts, erodes and changes during its lifetime, creating almost a living structure.

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Day 051 – plastic blue lines…

Insulation boards and building materials all wrapped up in blue plastic, within the building yard of Gloucestershire College.

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Day 050 – the fruits of our labour…

Finally, some small reward for the hours of work in the garden. C’s cherry tree is producing but as soon as they are ripening, the birds are taking advantage : )

The strawberries are doing well and we got back from camping to find a good selection ready to pick. I just need to go and see if the allotment is still there – I suspect it’s walked off or arranged to get new owners.

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Day 049 – Thistledown camping day 3…

We made stick and twine sculptures on the middle day but I only managed to fixed mine up on the final day. I looped the twine around the end of a large Beech tree next to our pitch and lashed it to the branches just below.

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The random picture of the trip was of the ‘occupied’ colour on the porta-loo in the Elderflower orchard camp area!

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Day 048 – Thistledown camping day 2…

A great walk through the pine woods in the valley below the camp site. There is a brilliant creeper which is by the main path down through the woods. Here is Mr Jo Smith doing a great job climbing up it. On the way back up, he managed to climb up maybe 6m.

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