To Friendship…

 

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Odd to think I met Danielle over a decade ago, even more, odd to think of how much we’ve both grown, about how opposite we are, yet it’s never an obstacle. On our first catch up after I got back from New Zealand she asked me to be her bridesmaid. Now, we’ve been chatting about her wedding for years, it’s always been a cemented event that we’d go through together in the future but to have an actual date and to officially be involved made me all kinds of emotional.

Danielle is the kind of woman who was meant to get married to a man who adores her, who has always naturally been maternal and nurturing, she’s always making the most of life in a way I could only wish to do. She’s always striving to make herself happy whilst also being the most selfless woman I know. No matter how many times I runaway and come back, she’s always there to welcome me home, always willing to meet me for coffee and always being supportive of my fleeting ambitions.

I recently dragged her around town on a drizzly day, whilst she was full of cold, to practice my photography skills. Did she complain? Not once. Not when I dragged her all of the way down the hill to the Quayside (and then back up), not when I made her jump onto and off of things, not when I placed her against a random wall of foliage in a car park or stuttered directions toward some wacky vision. And, not even when I referenced a portrait of young Mick Jagger that I idolised for her to replicate. So, Danielle, if you’re reading this, I think you’re a top banana and I’m ever so grateful to have you in my life.

 

Click here for Danielle’s blog

Love and Light. N x

Manchester on Film…

 

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Funny how a city can host a personality before you’ve even visited. Alive in a picture of people who’ve existed there, bands rooted there, a history learnt though documentaries on times long passed.

Manchester begins in dribs and drabs of estate housing and graffiti-ed red brick, a lineage of its industrial past. But there’s a certain warmth in the grottiness, maybe it’s the familiarity to me, that I can relate it to the streets I grew up in back in Newcastle.

I meet Amy and we play a game of musical chairs: alternative bars and cafe eats, vegan diners and dive bars, catching up on the year that’s passed like no time passed at all. A friend like a sister, a soul piece, a revelation. We’re well and tipsy and happy to be in the city discussing the deepest things in life: love, ambition, purpose and growing up. It’s been six years since we were let loose on the world, finding a grounding companionship on that first night of university. We haven’t changed much but then we’re completely different people, it’s a weird place your twenties.

Film camera tour stops, another cheeky brew at Jimmy’s, spontaneous tattoo’s and canal side goodbyes. It’s short and sweet and nothing spectacular at all yet I leave a piece of me there in the heart of Manchester and watch as those same red brick factories and terrace houses pass me by.

There’s something very humble about being back in England. An appreciation I failed to have before but I’m proud of where I’m from, not for the politics, for the societal decay but for the people up in these Northern towns, of the grafters, the artists, the people who paint the streets with their wild. We’ve got a riotous little core and theirs pride to be had in that.

Love & Light, N x

Mount Moments 09…

 

 

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12.06.18

Meditation. Focus on breath and body, those two components as a unity. A gentle practice but with unruly, forced intentions. I urge it to fix me. When it gets to the moment when my guide suggests I allow my mind to wander where it likes, I’m taken to a green meadow scattered with blossoms, an array of colours against a healthy green. It isn’t a tame lawn but a wild garden. I’m younger here, sprawled on my back in the midst of it all, all alone but content in the solitude, bathed in the warmth of the setting sun.

So this is where my mind wishes to reside? A reprieve from the hurricane thoughts I subject it to, soaking up the serenity I deprive it of. It doesn’t matter how much I push for that control I just cannot attain it, and the realisation of that swells in my chest, my careful breathing falls erratic and tears emerge from some shuttered space inside. It hurts me some, that I’m the one damaging myself whilst being the only one who can save myself.

15.06.18

Another adventure with El. A bundle of laughs but a lot of heart opening too. I need to get a handle on that, I’m anxious I’m becoming a bit of a burden to be around. But these people, just strangers three months ago, can’t even begin to understand the security I feel, admitting my darkness and catching a sweet glimpse of release. People hold so much power, even when they don’t realise it.

17.06.18

Paula retells her engagement with the sweetest of indulgence. There’s something timid about it, like it takes a lot for her to share this precious moment and I hang on every word she says. She’s sun kissed from her time on the island sure, but the blissful expression is something else entirely. A fraction more warmth, a little bit subdued. Paula is a romantic. gentle and kind and someone maybe a little too good for most people in this world. But it’s that tenderness that makes you triumphant that good things are happening for her, she deserves all of the pleasures in life.

18.06.18

We discuss energy and presence and manifesting your dreams like it’s small talk. I’ve known Paige for barely anytime at all, yet we discuss elements of life I barely even touch upon with life long friends. It’s odd to me that Paige doesn’t see the world as a ruthless place arranged by obstacles but instead a challenge of a platform from which we can communicate strength to mend each other in unity and conjure some kind of equilibrium. She’s a careful and grounded structure to my restless flighty one, a beacon of wisdom in this riot of obscurity.

Light & Love, N x

Glasgow on Film…

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The nostalgia of the train journey from Newcastle to Edinburgh. Memories planted with the wildflowers in the country. The incomparable sweetness of reuniting with a friend who beams, always, like sunshine. The magic of childish giddiness that keeps you from sleep.

The calm of belonging walking through Glasgow, that liveliness that exalted you on your last trip four years ago. The music: buskers around every corner, vinyl stores, advertisements for bands big and small, venues aplenty. From the uniform Britishness of the city center, to dilapidated store fronts, businesses too poor to prosper, to quaint hipster cafe’s and picturesque town houses. The levels of a city baring the trail of time.

Drunk in the sunshine. A parade of decorated bodies, slurred lyrics and mosh pits. The unity of strangers in the sunset light screaming lyrics to a song you know so well, but which takes on whole new meaning in the moment. The heart surge when the intro to your favourite song starts.  Jumping and losing your mind like you’re fourteen again at your first ever concert, of your most favourite band. That naive certainty that your whole world exists in this songs course. The frantic debrief afterward. Weary and strolling through the city streets, your mate squatting for a piss on the side of the road, chip shop chips, zonking out as soon as your fuzzy head hits the pillow.

More reunions with friends who seem fictional now, existing somewhere that isn’t the world you created together on the other side of the world. The simple contentment of eating good food and chatting good chats. The gratitude that consumes you, being surrounded by inspirational humans that make you believe the world might just be wonderful.

The rarity of a full heart rather than a heavy one as you say “See you later”, because you don’t really believe in the definiteness of goodbye anymore, and hop on the train home, excited to be back in a city that filled you with nothing but dread for so many years.

These shots were taken on a disposable with Ilford black and white film, and whilst the disposable was fun I’d prefer the freedom and the skill involved in an actual film camera, so if you have any advice for beginners I am so very super keen to hear it!  Annnnnd on another note if you ever get the chance to see Catfish and the Bottlemen live, run with it, even if you have to sneak into the venue. One of the best live bands I think I’ve ever seen.

Love and Light. N x

Friends with faces…

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Feast your eyes on this babe!

Friends have faces and that’s all well and good but I want to be good enough to capture something a little bit ethereal, a strand of their aura, a visual vibration of their energy. These shots of my lovely mate Eloise are beautiful because she’s beautiful but they sort of just fall flat. I don’t know if it’s working with my kit lens that I find limitating or if it’s just lack of skill. Give me a couple months, I’m determined to ace my quest for the impossible.

Light and Love, N x

15/08/2018…

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My blog these past few weeks has been a little quiet. There have been shifts in my life, both place and state of mind, that have dominated my time. But I’m back at it and feeling a little reflective. My favourite posts have been the Mount Moments series for a while now, a very raw and honest look at life and travel. Now I’m back “Home” in Newcastle, England, and I want to keep that same uncut, artistic, feel to this space. Of course there will be more journeys and certainly more coffee’s but I want to embrace every element as a means to create.

In saying that, here are some very standard, amateur, shots of some pretty wildflowers found on a hike in the Cumbrian countryside.

Light and Love. N x