Tag Archives: Digital Photography

Transatlantic Sunset Tour: Day 14 ~ Såo Miguel

Såo Miguel logo

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 After more wild blood sugar readings, lack of sleep and nasty coughs, i was really looking forward to our excursion today. If you remember on Day 7 Antigua we had 1 horse power each, but now i was hoping for lots more horse power in our 4×4! 🙂  

4×4 Tour of the Western Edge, Azores(Excursion details)

If you want to get up close to São Miguel’s dramatic landscapes, a 4×4 is the way to go. Once we’re all strapped in, we’ll head off to the west side of the island. Our first stop is Vista do Rei. Translated, it means ‘King’s View’ – it was named after King D Carlos, who visited back in 1901 – and the vista from here is definitely fit for a monarch. It pans across Sete Cidades, a massive volcanic crater that’s glazed in greenery and, at the right time of year, baby-blue hydrangeas. Covering its base is a huge lake, split in two by the small bridge that crosses it, plus a picturesque waterside village. We’ll drive along the Pequena ridge to Sete Cidades village, stopping at Lomba do Vasco viewpoint along the way for a few snaps. We’ll have some free time to explore the village, before continuing our drive past Blue and Empadadas lakes. We’ll have one last photo op – at Pico do Ferro viewpoint – before making our way back to the ship.

With the excursion details in mind(see above), we navigated down the gangway and onto the dock. We quickly realised that the day wasn’t going to be as hot as every other day on the cruise…as we were getting wet, and colder by the second! lol 🙂   

Our 4×4 driver and tour guide met us off the boat(which was fantastic) and helped us into our Land Rover. Back when i was a panel beater my friend used to race custom Land Rovers with monster V8’s, and as usual i was letting my imagination get ahead of me, especially when the driver cranked up the engine and it was the disappointing sound of a diesel tractor! 😦 Since i’ve been blind and i use my ears to see cars, the engine noises are all i focus on! Sarah is quick to remind me as we walk into town back in Epsom that she really doesn’t want me to comment on every engine that drives by! lol, but she did acknowledge my disappointment with a gentle stroke on my arm. 🙂  

Sarah leaning and the 4x4

⇧ Sarah and the 4×4 ⇧

Our first stop was King’s View which was really high upon the island, as we stopped and the driver asked us to wait in the car as it was chucking it down with rain, and the fog/mist was like a blankett covering all of the beautiful landscapes he had brought us to see, he left to talk the the other driver in the Toyota Land cruiser behind. He came back, apologised and said “We will try and head as low as we can to see if we can go under the fog/mist and see if it’s any clearer down there. But we have a few minutes here so if you want to get out in the rain, you can”. 

A landscape covered in rain, fog and mist

⇧ King’s View ⇧

 On a clear day there is a stunning volcanic crater with 2 lakes, 1 is blue and 1 is green! There were alot of disappointed sighs etc and some people were complaining…i just thought welcome to my world, and you can still see more than me even with the fog. lol 🙂 I almost felt equal for the first time on an excursion. 🙂 

We then headed off on a drive to the lowest point of the island which was beautiful and when we got to walk around by the river and volcanic hills it was like stepping onto the film set of Jurassic park.

The fog did lift a little and the rain slowed down enough for us to enjoy 15 minutes in this fantastic place. 

A black and white photo of a lake in Sao Miguel

A path running from right to left through grass fields alined with trees

Me looking Terrified in front of the river with volcanic rocks behind

When i found this photo which Sarah had taken, we both started laughing and thought this was probably the best photo of me ever! 🙂  Don’t ask me what i was up to, i can only imagine that i heard a T-Rex or a volcano erupt!! 🙂 

Please let me know in the comments below if you have any great captions to add to this photo??!! I look forward to hearing what you come up with! 🙂 

A 4x4 parked in front of a huge volcano and river

⇧ This place really does remind me of Jurassic Park ⇧   

View of Sao Miguel river from a grass bank with volcanic rocks behind

Looking through the trees atSao Miguel

We all climbed aboard our 4×4 and headed of to a small village to stop and have another rest and look around. On the way Sarah saw a huge black Bull chasing a local who was running for his life right close to the Land Rover…Crazy! Lol. We stopped at a small cafe where the driver(to Sarah’s delight) started talking about the locally made Portuguese custard tarts. I said “No way, they’re Sarah’s favourites, and we have never had a locally made one before! It will be like when i had a slice of Pizza in Pisa!” 🙂 As usual… no body laughed so i asked “Do they sell them in this Cafe?”If they do could you get 3 and have one yourself!” He said “yeah sure” and we sat and enjoyed this special food moment! 🙂

Most of the people stayed in the cafe as it was raining outside, but Sarah & i were already soaked so didn’t mind a little more rain to try and see as many things as possible in this tiny village.

Sarah in Sao Miguel

Sao Miguel Village

Sao Miguel church through the trees

We were now coming to the end of our fantastic 4×4 drive, but not before he drove us off road and up some really steep rocky terrain, Yay!! 🙂 We were rocking side to side and bouncing up and down, i said “Yeah this is more like it!”. We then stopped and the driver who had his window down as all the windows were steaming up from our drenched clothes…picked up  a small piece of  Sphagnum moss from the towering hillside. As usual i was the only one who didn’t know what it is(i blame going to the worst school in Derbyshire) He then squose it and we were all amazed by how much water was running out of something so small, fantastic! 🙂  

Just one more stop and it was to see a tunnel drilled through the mountain that goes out to the sea so that the rain water does not flood the volcanic crater when there is, from time to time heavy rainfall on the island.

The tunnel is around 80 years old and almost 2 kilometers long and it´s actually large enough to walk through and that is also safe enough as long as you don´t go during heavy rainfall. As you know it was raining but that’s not enough to stop Super Sarah having a look! 🙂  

Sarah and the tunnel

Back on the ship…

Having got changed out of our wet clothes, we decided to try and get a bite to eat at the buffet restaurant on deck 9. We sat down with an assortment of food and enjoyed talking about what we’d just experienced. We were about half way through when Alan Davidson(the piano entertainer) came and sat down with us. He had seen us the day before in Horta taking photos and had admired my big Nikon DSLR. Sarah said “Yeah it’s a nice camera and Steve gets some lovely photos even though he’s blind”. “Wow” said Alan “I didn’t realise”. I never know if that’s a compliment or not? 🙂 He continued “Back home in Scotland i visit a blind friend and help him with life skills etc, and telling him(using a clock face) where his food is on his plate”. I said “Fantastic, Sarah has just done that with me which is why i’m eating more confidently(and a lot less messy) as normal”. 

Sarah mentioned that she hadn’t got chance to see much of the town nearest to the dock and we still have a couple of hours left before we sail away. Alan kindly replied “I’ll take you guys, there is a bus on the dock that goes into town, and i can guide you and make sure you get back safely too”. “Fantastic, let’s go” Sarah and i replied. 🙂 

Sao Miguel Church

We found the market place overlooked by this Cathedral where Me, Sarah & Alan stopped to find a table out of the rain to have coffee’s and a chat. Alan was also a keen photographer and he found a local who took a few photos of the 3 of us, but sadly i havn’t managed to get the photos of Alan yet, maybe one day i’ll get to see them and share them with you. 🙂 

Back on board again Thomson Dream sailed away as Sarah and i listened to Alan with our favourite cocktails. Sarahs is a Mojito and mine is a Bailey’s Banana Colada! 🙂

Alan Pianoman

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Transatlantic Sunset Tour: Day 10,11 & 12 ~ Relaxin, Reflectin & Coffin!!

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Sarah & i were feeling really run down, tired and a little concerned about what the rest of our dream holiday had in store for us. But now we had a few days at sea, so we decided to get out there and enjoy the time we had left. 🙂 

Sarah looking out to sea

⇧ Sarah relaxing and reflecting ⇧

During our time at sea, Sarah & i loved standing and looking out over the vast ocean. It seemed to put perspective on how majestic and awesome our God is. Also how small we were in comparison and yet he loves each one of us…amazing! 🙂 

Shopping… 

Handbags on ship

There’s nothing like being surrounded by handbags to put a smile on Sarah’s face! 🙂 

Of all the places…i never thought i’d be in a handbag store, on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. But Sarah seems to find these shops wherever we go… and if it helps her relax, i’ll be right there with her! 🙂 

Another fave spot…

Sarah on deck

Each day we’d find our way up to this spot and just look out over the pool deck and take in the full panoramic view of blue. There was always a live band playing, giving a great atmosphere and a hot-plate thingy where i could get a fresh burger! Mmmm 🙂 

Hair salon…

Hair salon

After Sarahs last trip to the hair salon she was really pleased with the way the stylist had cut and styled her hair around her eye…. but the hospital adventure had kind of ruined it. So i thought she might like to relax and get it done again. Whilst waiting in the waiting room i took this shot through the window ….That’s the best view i’ve ever seen from a hair salon! 🙂 

The evening restaurants…

So far i havn’t said much about our evening meals. For the first few days we really struggled with the buffet restaurants, as the food was placed in big trays under a glass cover with really long fork/tongs to pick up the food. Sarah had no idea what she was picking up as it was just too far away for her to focus and the waiters didn’t understand we couldn’t see properly, which caused a few problems!

At home we try to stay away from self service/buffet style places …not because we are too snooty, lol …but because we simply can’t find anything e.g plates, food, cutlery, where to pay, which causes too much stress and makes us wish we hadn’t gone out at all! 

After a few days we decided to try the “Orion Restaurant” which was waiter service. On entrance the waiter asked if we’d like to share a table or sit by yourselves. Sarah said “Sharing is fine with us” (I thought is it really… 😦 The waiter then escorted us to an empty 8 seater table. After he passed us our menus (which we had no chance of reading) our table soon filled up with people. After friendly hello’s Sarah said to the lady next to her “I don’t want to be a nuisance…but we are both registered blind and so can’t read the menus. Would you be able to read it to us?” After the confused look on all of their faces (my imagination from the body language) the lady said “Of course, but i’d never have guessed that either of you had sight problems”. (My thought was “You need to be on this side of my eyes to understand the problem :(“) After we’d heard the menu, Sarah whispered “This works perfectly for us…we get the menu read out, and we get to meet lots of different lovely people” 🙂 

Shortly after…we heard the people sitting opposite us say “Did you hear the “Code Alpha” last night?” The others replied “Yes we did, it woke us up…it was after 1am!!” “Yeah i know and there was no need to call it around the whole ship”.

I said “Sorry…that was us.”   “It was you two! what happened?” Sarah showed her bruised and bandaged wrists (from where the drips had been attached) and explained everything that happened. We heard this same complaint for the next few evenings…. and even some different, elaborate explanations of what had happened (even one story where Sarah was said to have died and been taken off the boat by helicopter in a silver bullet coffin????.)  

We also heard that quite a few people had complained to reception about the 1am code alpha (because they thought it was a call to abandon ship) and how they felt they shouldn’t have been disturbed in the middle of the night!!

The Cough…

If you can remember…on Day 8 there were a couple of people in the hospital waiting room with deep growly coughs. Well today…Sarah’s got it too !! 😦 This deep booming growly cough (reminds me of the Rockford Fosgate subs in the boot of my old custom Nova) is giving Sarah lots of  chest pain, a sore throat and a pounding head. We’ve noticed the unique sound of this cough around the ship as we’ve been exploring! ….As if Sarah didn’t have enough on her plate with no sleep, uncontrollable blood sugar, one eye closed and exhaustion…she now has this nasty cough 😦

Keep smiling… 🙂 

I have no idea how she does it. But no matter what’s going on…Sarah has  a lovely beaming/contagious smile on her face that blesses all who see her 🙂  

Sarah reflection

 The Azores…

After about 4 (or is it 5?) sleepless nights (i’ve lost count) we were looking forwards to arriving at the Azores. Sarah was especially looking forwards to getting off the ship and onto solid ground and having the freedom to explore another fantastic island! 🙂  

Yippee land ahoy!!!

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Tuscany Tour: Day 8

Up bright and early, packed and ready to go (well we’d like to stay another week) we found the right bus to Pisa (phew) and got our favourite seats right at the front, Yes! 🙂

Bus ride to Pisa

Arriving at Pisa airport, Francesca (our assistance person) was great. She sorted everything out, then kindly took this photo of Sarah & i in front of the plane as we were first on-board again! 🙂

Sarah and i at Pisa airport

The takeoff was stupendous! I love the acceleration, and i was just as excited throughout the whole journey! The Captain said “We are at 28,000ft, doing 480mph and its -52degrees outside” Fantastic! 🙂

Sun from the airplane

I think God just smiled at me! 🙂

Begin Tour

Tuscany Tour: Day 7

Sarah & i started our final full day with the legendary amazing breakfast, then headed out to make the most of our last full day in this beautiful city.

Our plan today was to head East, then travel anti-clockwise until we reach our favourite place (South, by the river Arno) to try and take photos of things we may have missed so far, or from angles different from the norm. Right let’s Go!

East…

Church Tower

Wow, another bell tower, how did i miss this! 

a black and white photo of a church

Building wit hroof statues

Pinocchio Workshop

Santa Croce black

North…

Heading North of our hotel, we stopped once again to gaze upon the stunning architecture of the Florence Cathedral and the Palazzo Medici Ricardi…

Christmas Cathedral

Florence Cathedral Bell Tower

Palazzo Medici Riccardi 1

Palazzo Medici Riccardi arches

West…

As we were heading west, i found another statue, but thought i’d take it from a random angle! 🙂

Statue in North Florence

Florence side street building

Sarah found a shop with sunflowers (her favourite flowers)…

Sunflower shop

Firenze archway

South…

Gold anyone!! 🙂

Florentine Gold

Corridor Windows

Sarah by the river
 
After spending a while around the river, we headed to probably the most famous and popular square (Piazza della Signoria) to capture some more statues! 🙂
 
Me taking photo with iPhone
 
I wasn’t one of the statues, lol. But i was being very still! 
 
Sarah  the Medici Lion
 

Sarah  the Medici Lion 2

 

Firenze Statue 1

 
Firenze Statue 2
 
Jesus
 
Now for probably the most famous statue of all…Michelangelo’s David. Everyone was crowding round and getting the obvious and boring shot of David. So i decided to get a different angle! 🙂
  
Davidov
 
Both Sarah and i had our own favourite statues. I’ll start with Sarah’s.
 
Sarah’s favourite is “Perseus with the Head of Medusa”.
 
Medusa s Head
 
My favourite is of Cosimo Medici on his horse…
 
Medici horse rider  Sky fx
 
Do you have a favourite statue??
 
For the final evening we had booked one of only 7 tables at the amazing “Santa Elisabetta” restaurant in the old 6th century tower at our hotel.
 

Sarah at Santa Elisabetta

 
I didn’t take anymore photos as i was too excited, and i forgot! 🙂
The experience was sublime. Everything was fantastic and it’ll be a meal we’ll never forget!  
 
We then had a final walk out to see the Florence Cathedral at night, it really stood out against the dark night.
 

Florence Cathedral at night

 
Florence Cathedral by night 2
 
Hope you’ve enjoyed being on our little tour today around Florence?!
 
We have been so blessed this week, not only to be here in this stunning city that’s so rich in history. But being part of an exhibition in the Medici palace still leaves me speechless. 
 
Who’d of thought that after being registered blind 14 years ago, i’d be here in a photography exhibition?!! Thank you Lord for always surprising me, and giving me a gift i just can’t explain! 

Tuscany Tour: Day 4

During another sublime breakfast, Sarah & i wondered if there was a walking tour around Firenze?! We now have a love of walking tours after our hugely successful one yesterday (see Day 3). It’s much easier for us to just follow a group instead of getting lost and wondering around aimlessly, and it’s a great way to learn the history and culture of the area.

They did do a tour and it started just after lunch. We booked on it and then decided to go for a walk to see if we could find the starting point by ourselves. It was in an area we hadn’t covered yet so we knew it was going to be a challenge…..We failed, but we found a lovely cafe! We sat outside with the sun blazing down, it was fantastic! 🙂

The image below shows me staring at the sun. Since being registered blind and having no central vision at all, i can now stare at the sun without squinting or blinking. Didn’t know it made me look this weird though, lol. 🙂

Me sat drinking coffee outside staring at the sun

We then spent a couple of hours enjoying finding new and wonderful shops, before heading back to the hotel. The reception had arranged for someone to walk us to the walking tour meeting point, fantastic! 🙂

Firenze Walking Tour…

The group met up in a different square than the one we found earlier, and gave us another one of those radio thingy’s, Yay! As the guide was talking about the square, i captured some shots!

Beautiful blue sky behind an impressive church wide impressive building with staues across the roof

One of the roof statues

Moving from the square and through some little side streets, we stopped at the “Basilica of Santa Croce” founded by Saint Francis. Sarah said “Wow, it looks like someone has iced it like a cake! It doesn’t look real”. 

Dark skies hover over the amazing Santa Croce black

Walking through the streets we were told of a local artist who’s adding figures to road signs. 

A figure looking like he's carrying the horizontal block of a no entry sign

 Continuing with more fantastic Medici family history we found ourselves in a familiar square (Piazza della Signoria).

Palazzo Vecchio

Bronze statue of Cosimo Medici

As we didn’t have lots of time to walk around and take photos, Sarah & i revisited on Day 7 to get some more interesting shots. Now it’s onwards to the river. 🙂

The River arches

When we accidentally found the river Arno during the Firenze marathon, Sarah had said that the river looks dirty, like brown sludge. But today with the sun shining bright, it glowed gold like nothing i’d seen before! 🙂

The River Arno Me  Sarah at the river Arno

Me  Sarah at Firenze river Bridge over river Arno

We continued our tour by walking through the “Piazza della Repubblica” ahh, the place with the sparkling building (see Day 1).

Firenze archway

Then finishing our tour at the Florence Cathedral (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore). Yay another amazing bell tower! 🙂

Florence Cathedral Bell Twoer

 I’ve heard of “Knocking’ on Heaven’s door” but now i was stood at “The Gates of Paradise”.

Me stood in front of the gates of Paradise

 Sarah then said “Go and stand in front of the doors of the Cathedral, we need more photos with you in them so people will know you were here”. I really don’t like this side of the lens, but this is for you guys! 🙂

Wow! Were these doors made for the Nephilim?!! 🙂

Me in front of the Florence Cathedral

Florence Cathedral 1

After this amazing tour, we felt that we could now spend a few days exploring with a little more confidence, starting with a trip to our fave coffee (and cake) place which is right next to our hotel. The cherry on top of the cake below really sums up our day. It’s been another unbelievable day that always leaves me saying “How am i here? This is like a dream! I still can’t believe i’m here?!” 

Cake

 You’ll be very pleased to know that my next post (Day 5) is the opening day of the exhibition!

I’m so blessed that you’ve stuck with me on this incredible journey. God bless you. 🙂

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Tuscany Tour: Day 3 – San Gimignano

The dark cloak of night consumed us, light had escaped the dungeon of darkness but had vanished..…Sorry, just trying to set the mood for the final destination on our amazing Tuscany in a day tour.

Chiara had been telling us of the year 1348 when the black death had wiped out over ⅔ of the walled medieval town of San Gimignano, the majority of the people who survived the terror had left. Continuing on this theme, and the fact that it was totally dark outside (due to this time of year) set the scene for what we were about to experience!

Welcome to San Gimignano…

San Gimignano

After a short walk uphill, the group arrived at the main entrance of the walled town. We then had about 45 minutes free time to explore, then meet back here. Afterr the group dispersed, Sarah & i entered… 

No amount of photos could ever get across the feeling of this place! The black windows towering over you from each side, the silence and the shadows following you everywhere, generated a smothering atmosphere that had flavours of Fear, Death, Sorrow for the people of old, Awe and a weird taste of Joy and amazement. You really can only experience San Gimignano by physically being here! 

San Gimignano 4

San Gimignano 1

San Gimignano 5

San Gimignano 2

As Sarah was checking out the few little shops on the main walkway, i’d stay outside and just stand, soaking up the atmosphere that my words can’t describe. Sarah says “They only sell pottery or Knives”.

San Gimignano Shop

San Gimignano 3

As i was stood (see above) it was completely silent. Then all of a sudden i heard heavy footsteps from behind sounding like they were headed straight for me. I expected to see a blade sticking out of the front of my chest as an assassin wearing a monks tunic (from the video game (assassins creed) shot out of the shadows sending me to paradise.

As i turned though it was just a person leaving the church behind me, although i’m still not sure how they managed the booming footstep thing. My imagination really doesn’t help my heart at times like these! 🙂

San Gimignano 7

As we met back up with the group having felt we’d been to probably the most special place of the trip. We were so grateful we hadn’t decided to stay in the coach as it was just too dark to risk having accidents. 

I really hope you’ve enjoyed joining us on the “Tuscany in a day” tour?!

Which city was your favourite?

The Siena Cathedral with its humbug bell tower, is my favourite church building of all time (so far).

What is your favourite church building? And why?

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Tuscany Tour: Day 3 – Siena

Photo while sat on the coach taken looking through the windscreen overlooking the mountains with Siena written on the road

While approaching Sienna, we were given a fantastic little radio thingy that you put around your neck. It has a single earphone so you can still hear the tour guide within a large radius,or if it gets noisy. We then met the new Siena tour guide who would guide the group and share interesting stories and history of this stunning place.

Welcome to Siena…

Me stood in front of the Siena Christmas Tree

We were very happy to meet in a little square around a huge Christmas tree (see above). I am now only wearing a thin shirt as it is like a summers day and it’s December!!  🙂

Siena Building

close up of windows on a Siena Building 2

Siena Arches

Walking through the narrow streets and hearing more about how the Medici family slaughtered and captured Siena, we arrived at the famous medieval square (Piazza del Campo). Yay another tower! 🙂 

Siena Campo

Campo Tower 

Siena campo windows

After a walk around the banked curves of the square (feeling like an Indy 500 car), the group then left the square and headed towards (what has now become my favourite bell tower of all time) Siena Cathedral!

Siena Cathedral…

Walking under a narrow archway, the group made a collective sound, it went something like (wooaaahhhhooww), Sarah said “Wow! A humbug tower!” I said understatedly “Oh right” as i could only look at the ground to try and navigate, and i can’t see the tower or any of it’s detail anyway. But when i got back, and was able to zoom into my photos to see what i was pointing my camera at…..”Wow, Wow Wow”. 

Siena Cathedrals humbug tower

Siena Cathedral Bell Tower

Siena Cathedral

a view of the stunning Siena Cathedral 3

 Sarah was very happy when we went inside and found more humbugs! 🙂

Inside Siena Cathedral 2

Inside Siena Cathedral

 The group then sat down to hear the final part of the tour guides history. Just after i said to Sarah “Wow, isn’t it amazing to think that all of this unbelievable place was done for Jesus?! It all points to Him!”. The tour guide said “And this was all done for Mary!”. I was not amused at all! 

We then had some free time and was told to meet back at the medieval square, now which way was that?? 

Siena Campo 5

We did eventually find it, and we met back up with the group. to then return back to the coach, but on the way we passed the Christmas tree where we had first started and it looked beautiful! It finished Siena off nicely! 🙂

Siena Christmas Tree at night

After quite a scare of nearly getting lost and left behind as the group disappeared into the darkness, Sarah and i boarded what we hoped was our coach (it was).  Now it’s off towards our final destination. 🙂

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Tuscany Tour: Day 3 – Vinci & Chianti

 As we left the amazing Pisa, Chiara (our tour guide) gave us some more interesting yet gruesome Tuscany history about the Medici family killing everyone again and taking over more villages and cities. She also mentioned a man called Leonardo Da Vinci, “no way” i said to Sarah “I thought he was a ninja turtle, not a real man!” She gave me a swift elbow in the ribs, and Chiara continued.

Welcome to Vinci…

The image below is of the landscape that greeted us from the coach.  

Sarah looking over the Vinci Hills

After taking in the amazing scenery, we headed off on foot to the Museum of Leonardo Da Vinci.

A view overlooking the town of Vinci with a bell tower on the left

A beautiful bell tower with purple blue sunrise over vince

A close up black and white of the Vinci Bell Tower

I really like bell towers!! 🙂

Sarah & i found inside the museum much too dark, so we struggled to see any of the fantastic creations on display. Sarah was using her iPhone 6 Plus with it’s wide aperture of f2.2 to view each design as it showed much brighter on her screen, rather than the dark blob in front of her (she’s a genius).

We did find a cool bike though!!

Vinci Bike

Now it was back outside to have a wonder around and see what we can find. It wasn’t long before we found a familiar object! 

Vitruvian Man

Sarah wasn’t happy with the “Vitruvian Man” and thought Leonardo had missed something out. So we added something extra……The Vitruvian Man & Woman! 🙂

Sarah stood in front of the Vitruvian Man  doing the same pose

Now for Chianti…

After another trip on the coach through amazing rolling hills, olive grows and vinyards, the coach parked right up at the top in Chianti where we were to do a little wine & local Tuscan food tasting.

I didn’t have time to take any photos as we were guided straight to our table and greeted with a lovely plate of local baked bread, olive oil, cheese and spicy meat.

The lady first pour a little Chianti Simple (table wine) into the huge glass and as she was going into great detail of how to hold the glass etc, i continued on the food (i couldn’t see anything she was doing, so her over complicated directions were wasted on me, lol). As i don’t really drink alcohol except a very full bodied glass of red wine on special occasions (normally 1 bottle a year and that’s usually Châteauneuf-du-Pape i receive as a Christmas gift). My thought is that if i’m only going to have one glass on rare occasions, then i would like one that i enjoy! 🙂

I really know nothing about wines, only that some are red and some are white, and some are watery and some are thick (like coffee, lol) and i only like the thick ones, which now i know are called full bodied! 🙂

Then she poured a little of the Chianti Classico (full bodied..Yay!) and that was much better! 

But probably my favourite taste of the day was the 30 year old Balsamic Vinegar we got to taste! Wow, now that’s amazing, but expensive so didn’t get any to bring home! 😦

As we finished there was a mad rush to the little shop area. I stayed at the table as Sarah went to have a look and take a few photos for us!

Chianti Bottles on a shelf

Chianti barrells

look inside the Chianti shop

I hope you’ve enjoyed the trip so far?! Next stop Siena!! 🙂

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Tuscany Tour: Day 1

Wow, wow, wow!! What a fantastic and surreal experience!! 

Apologies for anyone who has already read this post on Rebus Photography, my plan was to Reblog it from there but the reblog button has disappeared, so until i can get it sorted i’ll have to post it on here too. 

After spending 1 week in Italy pretending to be a photographer, and being blown away by the beauty and simply magnificent sculptures, architecture & History of this amazing part of the world. I’ll try and bore you to death with my day to day experiences. 🙂

I’m trying to create a post for each day we were there (maybe extra ones too!) as we did a few tours which included Pisa, Vinci, Chianti, Siena, San Gimignano & of course Firenze. 

First i’d like to give a big thanks to our brother Ben who kindly managed to wake up at 4:15am and drive us to the airport, guide us into the airport, check in our case and take us to the assistance desk, thanks Ben, we’d still be wondering round the airport now! if it wasn’t for you! 🙂

A screenshot of my iphone showing the Voiceover cursor surrounding the enabled airplane mode button on the control centre.

⇧ Airplane Mode ⇧
 
The airport assistance was fantastic and couldn’t of made it any easier for us. We even got to ride on the buggy that takes us all the way to the gate! I was the first to board the plane, and i couldn’t wait to finally enable “Airplane Mode” on my iPhone whilst sat on the plane! This may seem like a small thing, but remember this is my first time out of the country! 🙂
 
A photo looking out of the window onf the plane overlooking the wing and engine, with a beautiful coloured sunrise panarama!
 
I think my wide eyes and silly grin throughout the whole plane journey was getting tiresome for Sarah (she has been on planes lots of times). But it was fantastic! The best part is when the pilot “Gives it the beans” and accelerates down the runway when taking off, i’ve felt acceleration simular to this in different cars, but when you think just how big and heavy this plane is, it’s just amazing! 🙂
 
Once we landed at Pisa airport, the assistance were already there and waiting to escort us from the plane. They also sorted out our passports and picked up our suitcase. Now it was time to get our first Italian coffee while we wait for the bus to Florence. 
 
A photo of the beautiful hills taken from our seat on the bus from pisa to florence. Also Siena is written on the road.
 
Sarah described the beautiful panoramic landscapes from the bus (i couldn’t see them until i got back home to zoom in on my large screen) as it took about an hour to get to Firenze. We then got a taxi to our hotel, as i read on trip advisor that although it’s only about half a mile, it’s tucked away in a small courtyard.
 
A sepia effect of hotel Brunelleschi at night with the old tower glowing out in the dark
 
Wow, the hotel was fantastic, and the staff were unbelievably helpful.  Once we were settled in to our amazing room, and logged onto their WiFi. We decided to venture out a little and try and figure out where we were in relation to the duomo and the palace where my photos were being exhibited. We knew we were close but as Sarah & i can’t see enough to read a map, we could easily get lost and never find anything! 🙂
 
A black and white photo of the top of cathedral of Florence
 
Shortly after leaving the hotel and finding the main street, we heard the thunderous sound of the bells from the north (i think) coming from the Cathedral of Florence (Il Duomo di Firenze), The bells would make our navigation much easier for the rest of our holiday as the Cathedral was only about 300 yards away from our hotel, thank you bells! 🙂 We then headed back to our starting point and headed west, where we found an ever better point of reference!! (see below)
 
A whole building completley covered in sparkling blue lights
 
The twinkling lights on this department store were simply amazing to just stand and look at, but it was dark now and we didn’t want to get lost on our first day! All of the streets were decorated beautifully with illuminated stars, borbals & bells so after one more photo (see below), we headed back to the hotel. What an amazing, exciting and tiring first day. 🙂
 
A twinckling star street decoration in Florence
 
I hope you’ve enjoyed being with Sarah & i on my first trip abroad? Hope to see you on Day 2 as we explore a little more…!!!

Happy 5 Years To Our Friends At Sicily Restaurant!

Last night Sarah & i had a lovely evening at our favourite restaurant celebrating 5 years since Sicily Restaurant opened it’s doors. We had no idea how this was going to bless us, and how we would make some loving and wonderful friends, amazing food, and the best coffee, it’s just a beautiful and peaceful place to be! Grace, Francesco, Dora and family work tirelessly everyday, and it was an honour to celebrate this milestone with them. 🙂 

The meatloaf, potatoes and leaves presented like a flower!

⇧ Green & red pepper meatloaf with tomato and pepper sauce, served with fried potato cubes ⇧ 

After tasting the best meatloaf ever (see image above), and if that wasn’t enough…Dora created one of her amazing cakes for the occasion! 🙂  we decided to challenge ourselves and walk home in the dark, not knowing how cold and foggy it was. I attempted to capture just how foggy and spooky the walk home felt. 🙂

The Fog looking spooky as it creeps across a road with a tree on the righthand side

⇧ One of the foggy roads home ⇧ 

An old school building covered in fog illuminated in the darkness

⇧ The school on top of the hill ⇧ 

My New Rebus Photography Blog

Weekly photo challenge logo

Hi all!! I just wanted to remind or notify all of my friends here on iChristian that all of my Photo Challenge contributions, my Photographic Exhibition updates & anything else involving my Photography, is now being published to my new “Rebus Photography” Blog,

I’m trying to create a stand alone place where i can direct anyone who is interested in my photos, as iChristian is starting to get bloated and slow, and it’s not as easy to find photos etc…So please, if you have not checked it out yet, head on over by clicking the image below and let me know what you think! 🙂

Click image of Rebus photography blog to view site

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dialogue

Sarah Tells Bruce a Joke

After receiving “Dialogue” as this week’s photo challenge, i immediately thought of this photo (even before reading the challenge). I also said dialogue to Sarah, and she instantly described this photo too! I know it’s not acurate , but thought i’d post something fun!   

So as a fun post, i’d love if you could comment below with a dialogue between Sarah & Bruce!! 😀

More of my Weekly Photo Challenges

i C Photo Challenge: Food

 i C Food

It’s been 14 years since i’ve been able to see what i’m eating!! Sarah will often tell me where things are on my plate when eating out, or at other peoples houses. There are also some foods that i stay away from if i’m with a group of people, sat facing a crowded restaurant as they are just too messy, e.g Spaghetti, Full english breakfast (the eggs are just invisible on a white plate!) & salads can be hard to chase around too. So i often order things i can pick up like Pizza, burgers etc.

i chose ‘Food” for the theme this week, and i’d love to sit at your digital table and see a glimpse of your favourite food, favourite places, food that’s really hard to eat or has amazing detail, and of course the messy stuff! 😀

Remember to link back here so i can see what you serve up!

Love heart biscuits

⇧ Sarahs love heart biscuits! ⇧ 

Fillet steak with love heart potatoes

Fave Place: Fillet steak with love heart potatoes at Sicily Restaurant ⇧ 

More i C Photo Challenges:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fray

The Daily Posts WPC: “Don’t stand on the sidelines: join in and show us a photo that says “fray” to you.” 

Animal Slippers

I just had to post a photo of my favourite slippers! As you can see the underneath is “Fraying“, and they’re almost getting unwearable.

Also i love how Animals expression shows the “Frayed ends of sanity” 

Help me see…. through your eyes, and take part in myi C Photo Challenge

i C Photo Challenge: Cars & Trucks (my Brother in law Ben’s cars)

A huge thanks to my Brother In Law Ben for contributing in my i C Photo Challenge this week. He isn’t part of WordPress so i’m posting his images for him. He loves cars, so he sent me lots of photos of some of the cars he’s owned in the past.

 These are fantastic for me as i don’t get to see cars in the real world, only when i’m zoomed in on my 27” iMac. I still love cars and miss seeing them, even all of the geeky bits too!! 🙂

Fire Up The Quattro!! 

Audi A6 1 9TDi  265bhp

⇧ Ben racing his Audi A6 1.9TDi – 265bhp!⇧ 

Audi 90 quattro sport 20v

⇧ 
Audi 90 quattro sport 20v  ⇧ 

Audi 90 quattro sport 20v

⇧ Ben racing his Audi 90 quattro sport 20v ⇧ 

Rev Counter

⇧ Through the red line! ⇧ 

Audi A6 2 8 quattro

⇧ Audi A6 2 8 quattro ⇧ 

SEAT Ibiza 1 4TSi twin charged 275bhp

⇧ SEAT Ibiza 1 4TSi twin charged 275bhp ⇧ 

Golf V6 4motion

⇧ Golf V6 4motion ⇧ 

MG ZR 1 8 160

⇧ MG ZR 1 8 160 ⇧ 

 Do you have old (or current) images of the cars you’ve owned or currently drive, i’d love to see them!! Just link your post to i C Photo Challenge: Cars & Trucks Thanks! 😀

i C Photo Challenge: Cars & Trucks

I C Photo Challenge Logo“You don’t need sight to see, you need vision”

As a “Blind Photographer” I love taking part in photo challenges and seeing how creative other bloggers can be with their images. This has fired my imagination and prompted me to host a photo challenge of my own!!!

The “i C Photo Challenge” will have a theme each week – To get you thinking about the things you’d miss if you lost your sight and provide a chance for you to be as creative as possible – Taking photos you may never have considered taking before, of things you would usually overlook. I’d like you to show me things you think I’d love to see…. things I’ve missed since loosing most of my sight.

Use any camera you have available … it’s about the thought going into the image not the image quality… although high quality will make it easier for me to zoom in and see. 

And above all ENJOY 😀 taken from my “i C Photo Challenge” page.

Week 1

i C Photo Challenge: Cars & Trucks

Pickup Truck

 ⇧ Looks like Mater ~ Photo taken using iPhone 4s ⇧ 

I chose ‘Cars & Trucks’ as my first challenge, as when i was fully sighted i used to be a panel beater in a body shop, where i repaired, restored and customised cars. I’ve driven many cars ranging from Citroen 2CV’s unto Rolls Royce’s and a lot in-between.  I love american cars and love the sound of a V8! It’s just not the same listening to cars but not seeing them! 

For this weeks challenge, create a new post with a photo/photos of any car or truck you think is interesting or i might not of seen before. This can include close up shots of engines, badges, lights…… anything relating to the theme, be creative!! 🙂

 Please remember to include a link back here so i can see (and not miss) your creations. New challenges every Friday!

A Few Birds & Sea Creatures

Genesis 1:21-22 The Voice 

God: 20 Waters, swarm with fish and sea creatures. Let birds soar high above the earth in the broad expanse of sky.

21 So God created huge sea creatures, all the swarm of life in the waters, and every kind and species of flying birds—each able to reproduce its own kind. And God saw that His new creation was beautiful and good. 22 And God spoke this blessing over them:

God: Be fruitful and multiply. Let creatures fill the seas. Let birds reproduce and cover the earth.

In Flight

DSC01055

DSC00320

D2X 6738

D2X 6744

D2X 6745

A black and white close up photo of a ducks head

Seal

Turtle

See also Blind Photographer

Planting Seeds

Growing Strong B W

 ⇧ Photo taken with iPhone 5s ⇧ 

The image above is a photo i’ve just taken of a mystery plant (i’m not sure what it is?) that was grown from a random seed that was given to each of us who attended our evening service about 2 months ago. Richard (one of our Ministers) was preaching about the sower and during the talk gave us a seed to hold and think about what beauty could lie within even though it seems like a dead seed at the moment. He then asked us to plant it when we got home and just see what happens. As i was playing guitar during the service, i just put the seed into one of my many pockets in my cargo shorts. By the time i got home i totally forgot it was there. It wasn’t until about a week later when i remembered and hoped it was still there, it was and Sarah & i quickly planted it into it’s own little pot.

After 4 weeks there was still no sign of life and just a pot filled with soil……..then overnight (to our amazement) it seemed to just shoot up and this is how it’s getting on now after about 5 weeks! 🙂

 Parable Of The Sower

Matthew 13:3-23 The Voice 

3 And so Jesus began to teach. On this day, He spoke in parables. Here is His first parable:

Jesus: Once there was a sower who scattered seeds. 4 One day he walked in a field scattering seeds as he went. Some seeds fell beside a road, and a flock of birds came and ate all those seeds. 5 So the sower scattered seeds in a field, one with shallow soil and strewn with rocks. But the seeds grew quickly amid all the rocks, 6 without rooting themselves in the shallow soil. Their roots got tangled up in all the stones. The sun scorched these seeds, and they died. 7 And so the sower scattered seeds near a path, this one covered with thorny vines. The seeds fared no better there—the thorns choked them, and they died. 8 And so finally the sower scattered his seeds in a patch of good earth. At home in the good earth, the seeds grew and grew. Eventually the seeds bore fruit, and the fruit grew ripe and was harvested. The harvest was immense—30, 60, 100 times what was sown.

9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Disciples: 10 Why do You speak to the people in parables?

Jesus: 11 The knowledge of the secrets of heaven has been given to you, but it has not been given to them. 12 Those who have something will be given more—and they will have abundance. Those who have nothing will lose what they have—they will be destitute. 13 I teach in parables so the people may look but not see, listen but not hear or understand. 14 They are fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy:

You will listen, but you will not understand;
you will look, but you will not see.
15 The people’s hearts have turned to flab;
their ears are clogged;
their eyes are shut.
They will try to see, but they will not see;
they will try to hear, but they will not hear;
they will try to understand, but they will not comprehend.
If they, with their blindness and deafness, so choose, then I will heal them.

16-17 Many holy prophets and righteous men and women and people of prayer and doers of good have wanted to see but did not see, and have wanted to hear but did not hear. Your eyes and ears are blessed.

18 This is what the parable of the sower means. 19 It is about the kingdom of heaven. When someone hears the story of the Kingdom and cannot understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away whatever goodness and holiness had been sown in the heart. This is like the seeds sown beside the road. 20-21 You know people who hear the word of God and receive it joyfully—but then, somehow, the word fails to take root in their hearts. It is temporary. As soon as there is trouble for those people, they trip: those people are the seeds strewn on the rocky soil. 22 And you know people who hear the word, but it is choked inside them because they constantly worry and prefer the wealth and pleasures of the world: they prefer drunken dinner parties to prayer, power to piety, and riches to righteousness. Those people are like the seeds sown among thorns. 23 The people who hear the word and receive it and grow in it—those are like the seeds sown on good soil. They produce a bumper crop, 30 or 60 or 100 times what was sown.

Our Father in heaven plants many seeds in order to ensure that some seeds bear fruit. The final harvest, however, is worth any amount of hard work.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

 This weeks challengeSilhouette

This week, experiment with light and capture a silhouette.

The Sun on the Cross  PNG

⇧ Taken on cliff top between Hunstanton & Old Hunstanton, Norfolk ⇧  

Sarah Star Silouette

⇧ Sarah jumping on Exmouth beach, Devon ⇧ 

Sarah Doughnut Silouette

⇧ Sarah holding her fave doughnut at Hunstanton, Norfolk sea front ⇧ 

042 PNG

⇧ Taken at Ewell Court Park Lake, Surrey ⇧

View more of my Weekly Photo Challenges 

Moon Shadow

After yesterdays post “Giving Light Upon The Earth”, i thought i’d have one more go at taking shots of the moon. I wasn’t getting any different shots from yesterday, until shortly after midnight. The moon was slowly disappearing behind the clouds, and with my last shot i managed to get this one! 🙂

I really like the feel of this image, as to me, it expresses quite a spooky feeling, simular to how i felt sat in front of my window in the pitch dark! 🙂

A centred photo of the moon slowly being covered with dark clouds

Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture

This week, share a texture found in an unexpected place. It could be made of natural materials, as in these images, or with man-made objects.

A black and white photo of my Taylor Koa K22 with lots of textured shadows

I thought this weeks theme was an ideal opportunity to post a photo of my Taylor K22ce acoustic guitar, which is made from the exotic tropical wood Hawaiian Koa. I just love the textures of this beautiful wood. 

Photo taken today using my iPhone 5s and edited with FX Photo Studio Pro on my mac.

Description from the Taylor Guitars website:

Hawaiian Koa

Origin: The Big Island of Hawaii

As a tropical hardwood, a koa top will initially project a bright and focused tone, especially together with koa back and sides, but as it’s played, it matures into an increasingly warm, rich, sweet sound with healthy overtone “bloom,” especially in the midrange.  resonant tone.

More of my Weekly Photo Challenges

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

 This weeks challenge reminds me of the 6 years (starting with our honeymoon) that we stayed in the lovely Old Hunstanton Lighthouse. It was a fantastic chapter in our sumer holidays that we’ll never forget! 🙂 

If you’d like to join the challenge, click here.

Sarah Sunflower

 ⇧ My Sunflower Sarah ⇧ 

Sarah eating a sugar doughnut

⇧ Sarah enjoying her yearly doughnut! ⇧  

The old lighthouse2

⇧ The Old Hunstanton Lighthouse ⇧  

The Sun on the Cross  PNG

 ⇧ Sunset taken 100m away from the lighthouse, on top of the cliffs ⇧

Love At First Sight Village! (10 Years On!!!)

 Today i’m celebrating 10 years since i met my lovely wife Sarah at “Sight Village, Birmingham” 

This is a major Sight Village show in Birmingham which is held in July each year. Exhibitors from throughout the world take part and they welcome many thousands of visitors, including people who are blind or partially sighted, professionals, business people and family members.

I was there (from Derby) working for a charity called LOOK and Sarah was there (from Surrey) working for RNIB. She came to my table as she had a magazine which she had just published an article about LOOK and wanted to show me. Sarah opened the magazine and said here are the pictures and the article, i said “Wow, fantastic, it all looks great” which made Sarah quite proud of her work. I then said while laughing “you know i didn’t see any of what you’ve just shown me, as i’m blind!”. Then as always, a brief pause as Sarah checks out my eyes to see if i’m joking, then Sarah laughed and said “No way, me too!”. We both approach blindness in a similar way and love blossomed from that point. 🙂

Sarah  i 2005

 ⇧ 2005 ⇧ 

Sarah  i 2006

Me Sarah  Bruce 2006

 ⇧ 2006 ⇧ 

Sarah  I Wedding photo

 ⇧ 2007 ⇧ 

Me Sarah  Bruce 2009

⇧ 2008 ⇧ 

Sarah  i 2009

⇧ 2009 ⇧   

Valentines heart

 ⇧ 2010 ⇧ 

Steve sarah at friday street1

⇧ 2011 ⇧  

Sarah  i 2012

Me  Sarah in Church

 ⇧ 2012 ⇧  

Sarah  i holding hands 2014

 ⇧ 2013 ⇧ 

Sarah  i

 ⇧ Last Week ⇧

Ephesians 5:25 Easy-to-Read Version

Husbands, love your wives the same as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.

My Thoughts 💭

This is one of my favourite Bible verses that i try desperately  each day to live up to. As soon as i first read this verse it convicted me straight away and i knew i wanted to be a husband like that!

🙏 Prayer

Spirit, thanks for being a constant guiding presence in my life. Give me the faith to take practical and radical action to keep in step with You, so that You can love my spouse through me in a way that will sustain a fun, loving & trusting relationship. Amen.

The Pitstop (Yorkshire – Spain Road Trip)

Sarah & i were blessed last night as Sarah’s Dad & brothers came down to stay for the night on their way to Spain on holiday. Sarah’s Dad & Brother Alfie enjoyed played my old Gibson guitars for us which was lovely. Marshall also showed us how to build biscuit buildings with swiss roll towers and become a gingerbread man with a zombie head on Minecraft! It was great to see them again and i hope they all have a fantastic holiday! 

Alfie playing 1960 Gibson J45

 ⇧ My Brother in law Alfie playing the 1960 Gibson J45 ⇧ 

Father in law playing 1960 Gibson J45

⇧ My Father in law Steve playing the 1960 Gibson J45 ⇧  

Alfie playing Gibson SJ200

 ⇧ Alfie playing the Gibson SJ200 ⇧

Marshall  Alfie

⇧ My Brother in laws Marshall & Alfie ⇧

The Heights Of Abraham

After travelling up to Derby and spending the day with “Our Friends The Wigley Family”  Sunday came and we woke up to a lovely view over Derby.

Hotel Room View overlooking a road and a landscape

⇧ View from our hotel room ⇧

We then headed to the train station to travel to Doncaster to see Sarah’s family.

Sarah Portrait

⇧ Sarah sat in the train station café ⇧ 

Little did we know that the Tour de France was in Yorkshire on this day, but to our surprise the reservations were overloaded and the train was full so we got upgraded to first class (for free) which was empty! 🙂

Sarah s First Class

⇧ SARAH’S FIRST CLASS!! ⇧ 

We arrived in Doncaster for Marshall’s birthday dinner at Cosmo’s where we met all of the family. We had a lovely meal and it was great to catch up with them all! 🙂

Marshall on left, Sarah in the middle and Alfie on the right

⇧ Marshall (left), Sarah & Alfie ⇧ 

After arriving back in Derby that evening, Sarah & i went to our fave italian Zizzi’s for a lovely meal. I also got to have the lovely chocolate, banana & ice cream calzone, which Sarah stole most of! 🙂 

Sarah  the calzone

Then it was Monday 7th July our 7th wedding anniversary where we would enjoy “The Heights Of Abraham” at Matlock Bath.

Cable Cars  Sarah 2

Cable Car View 2

We we arrived at the top we found a tower (which was too dark for us to climb) but it looked nice! 🙂

Tower  Cable Cars

And i met a new friend…….

Me and Donkey

⇧ My new friend (i love donkeys in case you didn’t know!) 😀 ⇧ 

And after my amazing driving in the bumper cars (see here) i found another vehicle i had to drive……..

Me driving school bus

⇧ Getting the chance to drive yet again! ⇧ 

Cable Cars  Sarah

⇧ Descending back down to ground level ⇧ 

Cable Car View 3

Cable Car View 4

Cable Car View

⇧ Views overlooking the villages from the cable cars ⇧ 

After a fantastic (and exhausting) weekend we finally checked out and headed home!

The Hotel

⇧ Sarah outside Jury’s Inn, Derby ⇧ 

All photos taken using my iPhone (i left my heavy DSLR’s in the hotel)

Our Friends “The Wigley Family”

On Saturday (day #1 on our 3 day trip) Sarah & i met up with our friends Rob, Shelley, Abbie, Ella & Georgia, and we went to Darley Park in Derby to take some photos! It was a lovely sunny day and we all had lots of fun!! 🙂

Ella sat in a tree

⇧ Ella playing in a tree ⇧

Georgia  the stick

⇧ Georgia fascinated with a stick ⇧ 

Ella stood with a flower in front of a huge bush of flowers!

⇧ Ella found the flowers! ⇧

Georgia Flwers

⇧ I love Georgia’s hair! ⇧ 

Ella  Georgia picking flowers

Ella & Georgia picking flowers and making chains ⇧ 

Rob  Georgia

⇧ Georgia with Rob ⇧

Shelley sat on the bench

⇧ Shelley ⇧

Shelley  Abbie

⇧ Shelley & Abbie ⇧

Work, Rest & Play! :)

Chessington World Of Adventures

This week i finally got to drive again after 14 years!! (see image of the custom car below)

Me driving a custom hotrod

Ben & i took Vini and 5 of his friends to Chessington world of adventures for his early birthday present. We all had a fantastic time going on rides, eating doughnuts and meeting the animals at the zoo.

picture of me & Vini chatting and laughing!

⇧ Me & Vini ⇧ 

Me kneeling down next to a little goat

⇧ Me with a new friend ⇧

Me at the top of the log flume

⇧ Me at the top of the log flume ready for the big drop! ⇧ 

Vini  Bruno on the log flume

⇧ Vini & Bruno on the log flume ⇧

Baby Gorilla

⇧ A baby Gorilla ⇧

Tiger

⇧ Tiger ⇧ 

Sea Lion

⇧ Sea Lion ⇧ 

Goat

⇧ Goat ⇧

Cisswood House, Horsham RNIB Supporter Reception 

RNIB Horsham Reception

⇧ Cisswood House ⇧ 

I once again pretended to be a photographer and went with Sarah to Cisswood House in Horsham to a supporter reception to interview some inspiring people. The day was fantastic and we met some truly amazing people who are simply inspiring, and also heard about some of the great services provided by RNIB

Relaxing At Sicily Restaurant 

Me relaxing with a refreshing drink in Sicily restaurant garden

⇧ Me relaxing with a summertime special drink ⇧ 

Sarah relaxing in the garden of Sicily restaurant

⇧ Sarah also relaxing with my drink! lol. Only noticed it was my drink after zooming in on this photo! 🙂 ⇧

You’ll Never Believe This…. (Part 2)

Me taking a photo with sony

After all of your lovely comments and encouragements (more than i could reply too) i thought i would keep you up to date with a second post. 

My photography received a warm response and they have asked if i would like to be apart of another exhibition in Estonia 2015 (Yay!!) Also they would like me to do a video interview (maybe next month) trying to explain how i go about taking my photos etc.. This will be really interesting for me too as i really don’t speak much, i much prefer to listen, and i also don’t really know how i manage to get most of my shots! Lol! 🙂

More Exhibition Dates:

The exhibition ART SENSES 2013, dedicated to blind and visually impaired people, starts in Ancona 4th April 2014, and then Tuscany, region in Italy, on October 26th in Massa Marittima, and it ended in Grosseto on December 3rd, with a conference on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

For the final exhibition in Florence, Italy in December, i’ll be sending them 6 mounted & framed images and we’ll be actually going to visit the exhibition and meet the people etc at the museum. As you can imagine i’m really excited! 🙂

Anyway i’ll keep you up to date with anything else that may be of interest to you regarding my photography. Thanks again for all of your encouragements. I’m so blessed to have such fantastic group of friends on here! 🙂

See also: You’ll Never Believe This…..

My Sisters Wedding

Sarah & i travelled back up to Derby over the weekend for my Sisters (Charlotte) wedding. It was a blessing to be there for her & Marcellus and share their special day. We loved being around family and also got to catch up with others i’ve not seen in years! 🙂 All photos were taken using my iPhone.

C  M Wedding 10  Charlotte  Marc

⇧ Marcellus & Charlotte ⇧

Marcellus  Charlotte 2

⇧ Marcellus & Charlotte 2 ⇧

Marcellus  Charlotte Kiss

⇧ The Kiss ⇧

Me Marc Charlotte  Ambber

⇧ Me, Marcellus, Charlotte & Ambber (my other Sister) ⇧

C  M Wedding 3

⇧ Family & Friends ⇧

Friends

⇧ Marcellus & Tony ⇧

C  M Wedding 17

⇧ 🙂 ⇧

C  M Wedding 7  Taylor

⇧ My Niece Taylor (right) & friend ⇧ 

C  M Wedding 4  Saff

 ⇧ My Niece Saffy ⇧ 

C  M Wedding 12  Saira

⇧ My Niece Saira ⇧ 

See also: Weddings Page

Weekly Photo Challenge: On The Move

 This weeks photo challenge: “On The Move

Hedhog on the move

⇧ This lovely tiny hedgehog really was moving!! 🙂 ⇧ 

Sarah  Bruce on the move

 ⇧ My lovely wife Sarah & Bruce ⇧ 

Bruce on the move 1

 ⇧ Bruce moving really fast right towards me!! ⇧ 

Tori on the move

⇧ Tori playing rounders on the beach ⇧ 

Happy Birthday Sarah! ~ A Suite For My Sweet

For Sarah’s birthday (Friday 11th) i booked a surprise Spa Suite at Thistle hotel in Brighton that had views overlooking the pier. We had a lovely few days.

Thistle Brighton

Brighton Spa Suite

Sarah relaxing in her Suite 1.jpg

Sarah relaxing looking over brighton pier from her suite window seat 2.jpg

Sarah on the beac

⇧ Sarah enjoying the beach ⇧ 

Brighton Pier

 ⇧ Brighton Pier ⇧  

Brighton Beach  Pier

Brighton Beach and sea front

⇧ View of Brighton while standing on the pier ⇧ 

Visiting Family In Doncaster

 I was blessed again last weekend to visit Sarah’s family up in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, UK, and be there to celebrate Maddie’s (my sister in law)18th birthday and also get to meet everyone again. We had a lovely few days spending time and catching up with family. 

Maddies 18 cake

 ⇧ Maddie’s 18th birthday cake ⇧ 

Sarah  Maddie

 ⇧ Beautiful sisters Sarah & Maddie ⇧ 

Me  Maddie

 ⇧ Me & Maddie ⇧ 

Me Sarah  Maddie

 ⇧ Me, Sarah & Maddie ⇧ 

Brothers  Sisters

 ⇧ Brothers & Sisters Sarah, Maddie, Simon, Marshall & Alfie ⇧ 

Sarah  Marshall

⇧ Sarah with her brother Marshall “” 

Marshall

 ⇧ My brother in law Marshall ⇧ 

Me  Sarah

 ⇧ Me & my lovely wife Sarah ⇧

Sarah  Gran

⇧ Sarah & her lovel Gran ⇧

See also

People 

You’ll Never Believe This…….

You’ll never believe this……Some of my photos have been chosen for Several exhibitions around Italy, starting 4th April in Ancona.

Info taken from website:

5 – 27 April 2014
Openig 5th April 5.30 pm
Museo Tattile Statale Omero, Ancona

The exhibition presents sculptures, paintings in various techniques, bas-reliefs, pictures, installations and video clips realized by 30 blind artists from 6 different countries, as well as full-sensorial fruition works crafted by sighted artists.

I’m so honoured to be chosen and i still can’t believe it! This first Ancona exhibition, my photos are presented on a forex panel with 3 photos they chose from the iChristian ‘Blind Photographer” page….see image below.

Photos on forex panel for Ancona Exhibition

Photos on forex panel for Ancona Exhibition  

 For the final exhibition in Florence, Italy in December, i’ll be sending them 6 mounted & framed images and we’ll be actually going to visit the exhibition and meet the people etc at the museum. As you can imagine i’m really excited! 🙂 

More Info…

I SENSI DELL’ARTE| ART SENSES 2014

AN INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO CANNOT SEE

 

The exhibition ART SENSES 2013, dedicated to blind and visually impaired people, starts in Ancona 4th April 2014, and then Tuscany, region in Italy, on October 26th in Massa Marittima, and it ended in Grosseto on December 3rd, with a conference on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

More than sixty works by 28 blind or visually impaired artists – out of them 15 are from other countries – became part of the art exhibition reserved to them, that includes a wide variety of languages and media.

The thirteen Italian artists mixed with the fifteen from England, Estonia, Finland, Israel, Slovenija, thereby showing a community geographically distant, yet close due to the desire to participate and get involved. 

Among all the works selected for the exhibition, six artists was chosen by a technical jury, as

Award winners

The aim of this artistic path falls within the overall significance of the event, that of appreciating, producing, living art with our other senses, participating together and closely to the experience of those who just cannot see, especially now that the world is increasingly dominated by visual messages. 

ArtSenses starts just from there, and invites everyone to explore “other” ways to experience the creative reality.

 

THE TRAVELING EXHIBIT in 2014

The exhibition will then travel to other exhibition halls, as the OMERO Tactile State Museum in Ancona, Italy, from the 4th until the 27th of April 2014 placed into the important Mole Vanvitelliana; in December 2014 the prestigious PALAZZO MEDICI RICCARDI in Florence. 

This event thus creates the chance to take the concept also beyond national boundaries and it becomes a source of cultural growth and of social and ethical participation, demonstrating the interest in a project that can be regarded beyond the standard canons of art.

 

INVITATION

The UK blind or partially sighted artists are invited to participate to the exhibition from the 3nd until the 15th of December,in FLORENCE, Italy, within the Galleria delle Carrozze of the PALAZZO MEDICI RICCARDI, one of the most famous historical buildings of the city. 

The works selected will be exhibited from 3th to 15th December 2014 in the historical centre of Florence, Italy, within the Galleria delle Carrozze of the Palazzo Medici Riccardi.

 

Concept and organization

Associazione culturale Art@ltro

in collaboration with

UIC- Italian Blind Union

 

Info:  

www.artaltro.it  – facebook: Artaltro Associazione culturale

info@artaltro.it  – artaltro@gmail.com 

Visiting Family In Derby

If you’re wondering why i’ve been so quiet for the last few days…..…Sarah & i have been visiting family & friends in my hometown of Derby, Derbyshire,

It was amazing to catch up with as many as i could as i don’t get to see them very often, and it was sad not too catch up with my brother Paul. Below are some great memories of my trip. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

Me stood in our hotel window

⇧ Surprised to find this great window in our hotel room! 🙂 ⇧ 

Sarah next to the river with the Cathedral in the background.jpg

 ⇧ Sarah & i had a lovely riverside walk ⇧ 

Derby Cathedral

  ⇧ Derby Cathedral (i proposed to Sarah inside, 9 years ago ⇧ 

Me  my 2 sisters Ambber  left  Charlotte

 ⇧ Me and my 2 sisters, Ambber (left) & Charlotte ⇧ 

Ambber Sarah Me Charlotte  Marc

 ⇧ From left: Ambber, Sarah, Me, Charlotte & Marc ⇧ 

A photo of me with my beautiful niece Saira

 ⇧ Me with Saira (one of my beautiful nieces) ⇧ 

Saira (one of my beautiful nieces).jpg

 ⇧ Saira ⇧ 

Saffy (one of my beautful nieces) .jpg

 ⇧ Saffy (one of my beautiful nieces) ⇧  

Taylor (one of my beautiful nieces).jpg

 ⇧ Taylor (one of my beautiful nieces) ⇧ 

Me, Eileen (step mum), my Dad, Sarah, Saira, Saffy & Taylor 1.jpg

 ⇧ From back left: My Dad, Eileen (my step mum), Me, Sarah, Saira, Saffy & Taylor “”

Ben  brother in law my Dad Eileen  my step mum Me Saira Saffy  Taylor

 ⇧ From back left: Ben (my brother in law), Dad, Eileen, Me, Saira, Saffy & Taylor ⇧ 

All photos taken with my iPhone 5s

Related Posts: Families

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

Castle Rising Castle

Castle Rising main stairs

Castle Rising 2

Castle Rising 4

Castle Rising 6

Castle Rising 7

Castle Rising 9

My Thoughts 💭 

I thought i would use “Castle Rising Castle” for this weeks Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned.

Description

While on holiday at the lighthouse Me, Sarah & Brother Ben took a day trip to Castle Rising castle. I gave Ben my big Nikon as Sarah & I were doing an audio described tour provided by the ticket office for £1. It was a fun tour as the audio description was dramatised! I still got to get my compact camera out and shoot the shots above! 😀


See more of my Weekly Photo Challenges

Daily Prompt: The Outsiders

Abbies Photo

Today’s daily prompt “Tel us about the experience of being outside, looking in — however you’d like to interpret that. Photographers, artists, poets: show us OUTSIDE

 Thought i’d use my photo of Abbie taking a photo of big Ben. I’m on the outside looking in, and we’re both outside too! 🙂

 See more of my Daily Prompts

Daily Prompt: Simply Irresistible

The Daily Post Logo DP

“Tell us about the favorite dish or food that you simply cannot turn down.”

My Thoughts 💭

My number one “simply can’t turn down” is a Lamb Doner Kebab on a naan bread. I don’t have a photo of one so i posted my 2nd fave, Chips!!! 

Chips

Daily Prompt: Eat, Drink, and Be Merry…

The Daily Post Logo DP

Photographers, artists, poets: show us DINNER! 

…for tomorrow we die. The world is ending tomorrow! Tell us about your last dinner!

Sicily 3

 ⇧ Fillet Steaks ⇧ 

Sicily 4

⇧ Love heart potatoes ⇧  

IMG 0098

⇧ Doughnuts ⇧ 

Elephant s Foot

⇧ Elephant’s Foot ⇧  

Hot Chocolate

 ⇧ Hot Chocolate ⇧

My Thoughts 💭 

Lucky i’d be dead tomorrow, as i think i’d die anyway after eating all of this! 😀

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