I’ve been longing to see the Kelpies, two enormous horse sculptures that live in Falkirk, Scotland. This had been on my bucket list of things to do whilst up in Edinburgh. Not only did I come face to face with the Kelpies I also met two entertaining taxi drivers and came across a bright pink bus shelter with no buses. Such is Scotland, it has a charm you can’t hope to find anywhere else in the world and that is why I love it so.
Mum and I set off the day after I arrived in Edinburgh. The weather seemed fair, so I wasn’t about to take any chances. In Scotland when it’s dry you go out, you don’t wait for the next day!
We travelled by train and arrived at Falkirk High hoping to take the bus to the Kelpies. As we went off in search of a bus we walked past three taxi drivers having a chat. I sensed that these three were not your ordinary run of the mill taxi drivers. The nearby bus stop had a timetable that stated a half an hour wait so mum and I decided to opt for a taxi.
This is when the fun began!
We asked the three taxi drivers if one of them could take us to see the Kelpies. They greeted us with enthusiasm, told us the price and suggested that we take the taxi at the front. It turned out that our driver had a dual career. He’d grown tired of plumbing and now worked as a taxi driver/plumber. He had a fine line of chat that could win him a job as a chat show host or a comedian at the Edinburgh Fringe. I’m not joking! His banter started as soon as we asked him the price to take us to the Kelpies. He said Scottish folk get a special rate of six or seven pounds but the English have to pay ten. Obviously, he had heard I live in Cambridge!
Wishing you all a very Happy Easter.
I’m still on a bit of a blogging break until my eldest daughter returns to University so will be somewhat scarce in blogging land.
I had a wonderful holiday up in Edinburgh but it was all too short…
Here are some of my photos:
That’s one of me and my daughter Georgina before I had my lunch…. I tend to shrink when I’m hungry! We were at a very nice restaurant called The Railbridge Bistro in South Queensferry which overlooks the bridges and has haggis on the menu!
And here’s my lovely mum and dad… Missing them…
My dad hates the cold, and though the view at South Queensferry is amazing it was bitterly chilly… My mum looks okay, in fact she dares to look a bit amused but poor dad…
Since I’ve been back in Cambridge, I’ve had a lovely time with my eldest daughter who is visiting from University.
Recently we went out to a cafe in Cambridge…
And she approved of my photo… The drink looks like some sort of Dr Who concoction but I believe it is a green tea matcha. Oh, by the way did you see the Dr Who episode last night? If you did I bet you didn’t dare have a shower or bath before bedtime. I love it when Dr Who gets all scary!
Then, there’s me all dressed up as I had work afterwards. Recently, I started working part-time at Ann Summers – which is a strangest job I have ever had! It’s a bit like marmite some days I love it, some days I hate it! Ha ha…. It’s a tricky one for an introvert with extrovert tendencies. Anyway, that plate in front of me is the remains of a very tasty Orange and Polenta cake that we shared at Espresso Library cafe in Cambridge.
Before I go let me say a big thank you to all the contributors to my Facebook Rainbow Support Club in my absence.
Here are just some of the wonderful links that have appeared:
All the contributors have done a fabulous job of making the page a fantastic resource of information, help, and collaboration for fellow writers/bloggers.
Do pop over to the club page and take a look, and come give the club some love: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club.
If you’d like to join the club please do message myself either in the comment below or contact me on my email firstname.lastname@example.org, or chat about it with Colleen Chesebro or Debby Gies, my two fabulous blogging buddies who administer the running of the club with me.
All the best for a lovely Easter.
Do pop over to my Instagram page to see the rest of my photos: My Instagram
I found this graphic on Canva for Mother’s day and it really spoke to me… what would we do without our mothers? Well, we wouldn’t even exist without mum, and of course dad!
Here’s an old photo of my mum and dad, but it is one of my favourites….. I love photos that make you wonder what had just been said and this one definitely does that!
Without mothers, we wouldn’t have that special someone to turn to for a hug and a laugh, who listens and is always there for us. Mum is our confidante, (when we get a little older!) a best friend, a rock through times of crisis, and of course a very handy taxi service, cook, laundry lady and homework help! Mum is the supreme multi-tasker, extraordinaire!
Basically, mums are just so lovable. Mums rock! Hope you have a very enjoyable and relaxing mother’s day.
Let me know in the comments what you are up to…
Bye for now,
Terri inspires the reader with this wonderful quote right at the beginning setting the tone for her clear, concise and friendly little book:
‘Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world.’ Bruno Barley.
Isn’t that the absolute truth? It’s remarkable how the medium of photography can draw people together from different cultural backgrounds in a common moment of wonder. Curious, I googled Bruno Barley and found these stunning examples of his work: Pinterest examples of Bruno Barley’s photography. Wow, I just love photography!
Terri kicks off her book with a simple premise – Why? Why use photography on your blog? The answer, is of course, simple – images draw attention, interest, break up text, make your blog post more interesting and memorable.
She adds tips on how to –
- Create an engaging profile.
- Ways to make your sidebar design attractive.
- How to design a defining header.
- Adding widgets and not overloading your posts with too many images.
Terri warns about the dangers of using images without consent on your blog even if the images happen to be from friends, and particularly if the photos are randomly found on google. The Rule is: Always get written consent – though an email will do.
There’s an interesting section on how to use old images and give them a new lease of life. I read this part with great interest. Recently, I created a scrapbook of images for my dad for his birthday, (the first few photos you can see here,): My Instagram page Kyrosmagica
There are chapters on how to:
- Crop your photos, edit, add captions, size and add watermarks. Again, I was particularly interested in the section on watermarks as this is something I still have to try… Terri suggests using tutorials on Pinterest and picmonkey.
- Organising images, in storage solutions such as Dropbox, which I still have to investigate.
- Participating in or holding photography link parties and joining in photo challenges, such as Norm’s Thursday Doors. I enjoy taking part time permitting…
- Using quotes to inspire, creating blog banners or blog badges. Here’s the link to the tutorial and other excellent blogging suggestions via Diana’s Adventures: Dianas Adventures – Tips for new bloggers
- A section on photo-friendly social networking sites such as Instagram and Pinterest, plus a fantastic resources page.
Would I recommend it? Are you kidding? Most definitely. I just wished I’d read this book years ago when I started blogging – it would have helped me so much. I found out the hard way how to do much of what Terri mentions, but I still have a lot to learn.
Don’t forget to follow Terri on Instagram: Terri Webster Schrandt – Instagram
If you’d like to follow me on Instagram too, LOL… (cheeky personal plug,) – find me here: My Instagram Page: Kyrosmagica
A richly deserved 5 stars.. 🙂
Before I fly off to take some photos to add to my Instagram feed let me point you in the direction of this wonderful free resource from Terri: Second Wind Leisure – How To Get Hundreds of Free Photos for Your Blog
Bye for now, photo enthusiasts!
Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Terri Webster Schrandt, author, blogger, leisure expert. This lady knows all there is to know about spending our precious leisure time wisely, and to add to her accomplishments she has recently released an e-book entitled – Better Blogging With Photography.
Being a huge fan of photography I couldn’t agree more, there’s nothing quite like an appealing photograph to catch the readers eye. Without it a blog post can be easily overlooked.
Why oh why didn’t I think of writing a book on this subject? Ah, I really need to get a grip….Terri you stole this possibility from my grasp, how could you? LOL !!! It must be all that time you spend pursuing a diverse range of leisure activities – ‘windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), camping, reading, writing, teaching, walking the dogs, traveling,’ that’s quite a list Terri. Means you must be super fit, and mentally agile. Perhaps I need to take up a few more exercise/sporting activities other than just tai chi….
Never mind, I must focus, or I’ll get distracted. Marje aka Kyrosmagica does tend to get a bit flighty at times….
So, who is our blogging friend Terri?
Terri’s Bio, Author Central
Terri is a non-fiction writer and retired recreation and parks practitioner living in Northern California. As a university lecturer teaching leisure education in the recreation and parks major, Terri takes leisure very seriously because it involves one-third of our lives…really!
Obtaining a Master’s Degree at age 50, Terri wrote her thesis on the Four Generations in the Workplace, sparking her love of writing at midlife. In addition to writing and blogging, she offers consultation services and conducts and presents workshops for a variety of organizations.
Second Wind Leisure Perspectives is her blog about living a leisure lifestyle.
Her active lifestyle involves windsurfing, stand-up paddling, camping, reading, writing, walking the dogs, traveling, and…
Short Book description:
Better Blogging with Photography: Maximize Your Blog Using Your Own Images
There is truth to the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. As a blogger, are you weary of constantly hunting for images to illustrate the subject of your blog posts?
Perhaps you are a new blogger struggling to get more readers. Or a seasoned blogger continually seeking inspiration for quality blog posts.
This guidebook is designed to help you utilize your own images on your blog or website.
While free image sites abound, there are limitations to using so-called “free” images. Gone are the days when bloggers can innocently copy and paste an image from the web and paste it into their blog post. After reading this short guidebook, you will want to grab your smart phone or inexpensive digital camera and start taking photos!
Her early years…
I’m told that at age 4, I began reading. Somewhere there is an old, grainy polaroid of me laying on the floor holding an oversized book upside down in my two-year old hands. Books meant something to me even then.In my 50s, I found my second act, which consists of living my life around leisure, instead of the other way around. At age 49 I discovered the new love of my life who introduced me to windsurfing and stand-up paddling. At age 50 I obtained my master’s degree. At age 51, I became an adjunct university lecturer. At age 55, I retired from 30+ years as a recreation and leisure practitioner. At age 56 I self-published my first eBook.As a leisure educator, I blog about my experiences. It is my passion to educate people about leisure… one blog at a time. I love photography and recently bought a “real” camera. Beautiful images are worth a thousand words, or maybe no words at all if the image is powerful enough.
Terri just posted a wonderful article about the hazards of uploading photos that might appear to be free but aren’t. With this in mind she is offering free images to her followers.
Do follow this link to find out more:
Welcome to Kyrosmagica,
Pull up a cosy chair and get comfortable – I have so much to tell you. It has been quite a week of colourful excitement, fun and frolics. It’s been my birthday week so let me suggest a mug of hot chocolate topped with chocolate drizzled marshmallows…. Why not? Or if you fancy a Martini Espresso do join me in a moment…
In the meantime what about a journey back in time in my special phone booth… I am getting older by the minute… on the bright side I’m not as ancient as these dinosaurs
We have a tradition in my family – my mum and dad decided that birthdays should last longer than a day. So when it’s anyone’s birthday we celebrate for a whole darn week! Not just a single day, we like to make it last, and last and last, …. ad infinitum.
So my fun week started off last Sunday with a trip to London with my two daughters. We made quite a day of it visiting Camden food market, (eating yummy Beef Rendang – which is a spicy Malaysian dish,) walking along the river from Camden food market, and then taking a bus to Covent garden, as the tube station was shut. My poor wee legs.
Here’s some photos that I’d like to share with you.
My keen photographer daughter Georgina is on the right clutching her camera, Natasha is to the left of her, our model for the day!
What about a little oriental charm along the way? A beautiful Chinese restaurant that we discovered floating on the water! http://www.fengshang.co.uk/
We were in search of graffiti to photograph and we found plenty.
Sometimes you need someone special in the foreground to make it especially interesting….
What else did I do this week?
- I went to a make up evening with my youngest daughter – the launch party for the new John Lewis beauty hall which was great fun. I nearly won the raffle prize but unfortunately I lost it by one number. My raffle ticket was something like 365, and the winning number was 364. A bit of a disappointment – but life isn’t all about winning, is it? It’s about experiences. Doing the things you love with the family and friends you love. That’s what truly counts.
- I bought a couple of new books at Ruth Hatfield’s book launch. I’ve got a bit of catching up to do, I read the first in this series a while ago:
- I went out for a lovely birthday lunch with my hubby, and youngest daughter.
So before this week ends I’d just like to raise a glass to you, my followers, to thank you for your continued support in this here blog. It means the world to me. In fact I’d love to raise a glass of Espresso Martini to you.
Cheers. Love ya..from the real me, no cartoon this time!
Just a quick blog post to share this photo of the Fireworks on Midsummer Common in Cambridge. We had it all planned, a quick meal, and then straight to the fireworks. What could possibly go wrong? Everything! We had a long wait to be seated at our chosen restaurant, as it was ridiculously busy. Then when we finally managed to get our table, they lost our food order. Luckily they gave us 25% off the bill plus two free drinks. After all that I was getting quite tipsy, and needed to eat something. Luckily the food did come, and was very tasty. But, time was running out. I had to pop to the toilet and by the time I’d taken two phone calls, (whilst in there,) we nearly missed it all!!!
All was not lost I just managed to capture this beauty lighting up the skies between the houses.
Do you enjoy fireworks? I love them. They always make me feel positive, as if they light up the sky with their little rays of hope. The only problem with fireworks and bonfire night is the wretched temperature. I can’t cope with being cold… I have to wrap up!
I have lots of plans for November, it’s my birthday later this month! So more about that nearer the time. I will be having a little birthday reveal on my Instagram – my little treat to myself! We all need to have something special to look forward to…
Before I go perhaps I should leave you with my Instagram link: https://www.instagram.com/kyrosmagica/
Hope Monday is treating you well and not squashing the life out of you! Very amused to see that a bodybuilder/personal trainer is following me on twitter. Is he trying to tell me something? I know I need to get fit but… knowing me I’d get crushed by the weights or drop them on my foot or something.
I am so thrilled to be part of the team of lingerie stylists at Rigby and Peller, Cambridge. This is a totally new venture for me. I’ve never worked in lingerie before, in fact in my previous retail job in John Lewis I was ensconced in the menswear department, amongst woolly jumpers, socks, underwear, and other male paraphernalia.
Since joining the company I’ve been impressed by Rigby and Peller’s training programme and their positive attitude and intention to make women feel good about themselves.
So with that in mind I put together the above slide show and this little blog post to tell you all about a very extraordinarily inspiring evening.
The Addenbrooke’s Breast Cancer Appeal Fashion Show was held in the Grand Arcade in Cambridge on the 4th of October. Several retail companies joined in the event including Rigby and Peller. Today I heard the wonderful news that the goal to raise £10,000 for the Addenbrooke’s appeal towards the cost of biopsy equipment for the breast cancer unit has now been met, and is being surpassed!
My manager at Rigby and Peller, Jenny Mason – one of the organisers of the event – has had first hand experience of the devastating effect of cancer, having lost her father to this dreadful disease. Jenny and Natalie Emuss (one of the models,) have worked tirelessly to make the fashion show such an enormous, and memorable success. Much respect to them both.
Here’s my daughter Georgina at the fashion show with her camera at the ready. A big thank you to Jenny Mason for allowing Georgina to take photographs of the event. Georgina is currently studying for three diplomas in Photography, Media Studies and Business Studies.
This was Georgina’s first opportunity to take part in a photographic shoot and what better event to begin with than one that was so charged with emotion. The awesome women modelling lingerie and fashion had us spellbound, as did their husbands and partners. I so admire their bravery and positivity.
Georgina chose four of her favourite images to share with you here: one black and white and three in colour.
What a great start to her photographic studies.
I will leave you with one of our shop windows at Rigby and Peller advocating :
Strength, Courage, Love.
I couldn’t agree more!
Don’t forget to pop into Rigby and Peller to donate your unwanted bras in store this October. Or do what you can to raise money and awareness for breast cancer sufferers.
Bye for now,
For this week’s Thursday doors I’m focusing on my recent day trip to Edinburgh. I’ve been in Glasgow for a few days with my hubby and some friends so I popped over to Edinburgh to see my mum and dad. We went for a Chinese dim sum lunch and then mum and I took the bus to Hollyrood Palace. Here’s a photo of the crags of Arthur’s Seat.
Now for the doors. The Queen’s Gallery – an art gallery at Holyrood Palace complex.
And here it is with a bit of a magic wand makeover… From Prisma.. Using the Gothic touch.
This gateway… leads to the tea room where we had a very royal Cappucino.
Hope you liked my Thursday doors post. If you share your posts on Twitter and Instagram remember to use the #ThursdayDoors hastag. If you’d like to join in Norm’s Thursday doors here’s the link to his blog to do so: Norm’s Thursday Doors
Bye for now,
Here’s the info on Thursday Doors via Norm:
Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time), by using the blue link-up button below.
Do pop over to Norm’s blog to join in the fun: Thursday Doors – Norm Frampton
If you share your post on Twitter and Instagram don’t forget to use the #ThursdayDoors.
I’ve been saving a few photos of doors because they’re real special. I discovered them on my recent trip to Glasgow. I went adventuring for the day on my own (my hubby was at The Golf Open with his pal.) I didn’t mind that one bit. It gave me a chance to do exactly what I wanted for a day! Sounds a bit selfish but sometimes a bit of Me Time is just what we need. I had a lovely old time treating myself to ice cream in Kelvingrove Park, watching the skate boarders, and lunching in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. I had lots of opportunity to go…. wait for it…. door searching! There’s no chance I could have done all this with hubby in tow. He would have been tugging me away, or walking so fast (he has long legs,) that I’d miss out on all these wonderful opportunities.
Doors bring me back to my childhood, and my love for The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis. This alternative land of Narnia, reached via a wardrobe really did enthrall my young self, and developed my love of fantasy.
I’m sharing the emotion behind these doors for Claudette’s Emotography link up. Her blog can be reached via this link: https://ceeisme.com
The principal idea behind Claudette’s Emotography project is to share an emotion that your photographs evokes. For me, photos of doors in general, and these in particular make me feel free. They celebrate my freedom to do what I want!! To walk through such amazing entrances to explore, to discover new wonderful experiences, perhaps to lead me to places which I’d never have imagined, and to share my deep love of learning. Doors have such potential, they can lead you to so many amazing possibilities. Yes, I just love doors. I’m an addict! There’s no cure.
Without anymore rambling chit chat it’s time for the big reveal…… and these are big doors!
With dark mysterious attitude…
Pretty stunning, that’s some door. Wouldn’t you love to walk through and explore?
I love photography, whether it’s doors, trees, people, sunsets, or places. It’s always nice to try out new things, and create new images. You may be interested to know that I’ve discovered this app called Prisma. A tool to jazz up your photography….and share on Instagram etc…. oops another thing to get addicted too! Quick, look away!
In their words: Be an artist! Turn your photos into awesome artworks:
– Modern art filters!
– Stunning photo effects.
The app is available on i-tunes, and google play.
I used the Transverse line filter to get this look below…
Here’s another view of a door in the same magnificent building.. taken without any filters. I like the suggestion of light on the right side of the photo, contrasting with the dark. Yes, I have a thing about darkness/light.
Here’s how it turned out with Prisma…. see how addictive this can be!! I went a bit crazy and used the candy filter to get this colourful effect … What fun! A door with a sweet touch.
See what I mean – these doors are so incredible aren’t they? Imagine stepping through these magnificent entrances into a world of learning. I really envy students at Glasgow University! Oh, if only I had a time machine with a cracking door to travel back to my student years….
Still never say never, maybe one day I’ll have enough cash to do an M.A in Creative Writing. Now, that would be something!
Next time I will be sharing some Edinburgh doors…. Being an Edinburgh girl, (I spent my teenage years in Edinburgh,) It’d be remiss of me not to! Edinburgh tends to be a bit posh so expect something pretty classy.
Hope you enjoyed my post for Norm’s Thursday Doors, and Claudette’s Emotography project.
Bye for now. Oh, before I go perhaps you’d like to check out my previous Glasgow photography posts.
Here’s the links in case you’re interested:
Here’s me and my imaginary cat signing off for a bit of Me Time.. imaginary cat you say, why? My husband and youngest daughter are allergic – so no real cats for me.. sigh..
My fun (totally not serious but nevertheless 90% true,) author bio on Wattpad – Link below.
Marjorie Mallon was born in Lion City: Singapore. She grew up in a mountainous court in Hong Kong. Her crazy parents dragged her spotty soul away from her exotic childhood and her much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. There she mastered Scottish country dancing, haggis bashing, bagpipe playing and a whole new Och Aye lingo. As a teenager she travelled to many far flung destinations to visit her abacus wielding wayfarer dad. On one such occasion a barracuda swam by. It stopped to view her bikini clad body, longing to take a big bite. With dogs' fangs replacing barracudas' teeth, she returned to her mother's birthplace: Kuching, Cat City. There, Blackie, a black-hearted dog sniffed her frightened butt, whimpered and ran away! Shortly after this extraordinary event an angry female Orang-Utan chased her unfit ass out of the Malaysian jungle believing that she was a threat to her babies! She still monkeys about, would love to own a cat, or a replacement Topsy but refuses to entertain murderous dogs, or over-protective monkeys. It's rumoured that she lives in the Venice of Cambridge, with her six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and her two enchanted daughters. After such an upbringing her author's mind has taken total leave of its senses. When she's not writing, she eats exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surfs to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out she practises Tai Chi and Yoga on the crest of a wave. If the mood takes her she goes snorkelling with mermaids, or signs up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes. She is a child of the light and the dark. Her motto is simply this: Do what you love, stay true to your heart's desires, remain young at heart, and inspire others to do so, even if it appears that the odds are stacked like black hearted shadows against you...