2

As we walk in fields of purple

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This week I visited Mayfield Lavender Farm which is open a few months a year when lavender is in bloom. It’s basically a place to snap photos surrounded by lavender, breathing in the lovely fragrance and trying to avoid the bees and wasps crowded in the flowers. It was a cloudier day than had bene forecasted so the purple doesn’t look as vivvd in the photographs as it did in real life.

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Victoria

xoxo

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4

If only there was an Instagram filter for life

I avoided Instagram for a long time expecting it to just be a copy of Facebook and wondering if I could really handle yet another social media account but I must admit I’m loving being on there at the moment. I love seeing pictures from all round the world, and there is an endless supply of cute cat pictures to dive into!

I am also contributing to them myself:

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Harry as the latest must-have accessory: cat-in-a-bag!

I also love the filters you can use on there, and how much better they can make your photos look. There’s an automatic zoom when you upload a photo on Instagram and a vast array of options to tweak them so they can look the best they possibly can.

Harry and I filtered to look our best

Harry and I filtered to look our best

Harry likes me to use it to share his many pearls of wisdom such as this one:

AIM HIGH

AIM HIGH

I am currently experimenting with which filters on there work the best, and I’m loving the tilt shift function so you can focus on one part of a picture leaving the rest of it in soft focus like these:

Focusing on the ducks in the foreground

Focusing on the ducks in the foreground

Harry stopping to smell the roses

Harry stopping to smell the roses

It’s also the perfect place to share my sunset capturing obsession. The sunset hashtag is very popular on there! I have found my people at last 🙂

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It’s also a great place for book lovers too with lots of bloggers and authors on there and a lot of people sharing photos of books. A perfect opportunity to share this:

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The best tote bag in the world ever

It’s proving to be a place where you can spend a lot of time being lost amongst pretty pictures so you have fair warning if you join up too.

And if you’re on there already, wave hi to me please! My username is: vickyjwalters.

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Fairylights sparkling in my garden

Are you an Instagram fan?

Victoria

xoxo

37

A Parisian Affair

Paris is a beautiful city full of historic cream stone buildings, ornate bridges and wide pavements built for strolling past the river on. Like any city, there are contradictions, beauty paired with busy roads where drivers seem to take their lives in their hands, chic women in designer clothes walking past the homeless and delicious croissants being sold next to MacDonalds.

 A weekend break in Paris is a tiring one filled with sightseeing and endless walking but there are plenty of rewards for your efforts as hopefully the photos in this post will show you.

The Champs-Elysees is one such contradiction. I was expecting a beautiful wide road filled with gems of Parisian stores, matching Oxford Street or Fifth Avenue but I was disappointed. The street is without charm, seemingly geared to tourists only and the shops a poor range unequal to the other shopping cities. The Arc de Triomphe at the end is the saving grace and made the walk worth it.

You are unable to stop yourself from breaking into a smile when you catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, so symbolic of Paris and like an old friend from countless films. It doesn’t dominate the skyline as I imagined but often appears suddenly around the corner when you are least expecting it.

The first and second days in the city were grey and cold and rainy so it was hard to appreciate the full beauty of the city but the second two days were brighter and warmer and the city seemed to come to life, with crowds of people enjoying the sunshine and sights. My birthday on Sunday luckily brought a chnage in the weather making it finally nice enough to take a boat trip along the Seine, a must-do if you are ever in Paris.

The Louvre is so famous we had to take a look around but to be honest the paintings weren’t my taste, mostly focused on religious classics from centuries past.Inevitably, there was a crowd around the Mona Lisa, a small painting beneath glass that failed to allow you to see why its such a masterpiece. The outside of the museum is beautiful, the glass pyramids offering a contrast to the grand building behind them.

We ate delicious croissants from a stand by the Louvre on the last day, feeling very Parisian as we sat and people watched. The food overall was good throughout my trip but it was very expensive, even topping London prices. I sampled two crepes and they are yummy, reasonable snacks to pass the void until dinner.

The village of Montmarte parked high on a hill above Paris offered vast views of the city below and was awash with artists and cobbled streets. The Sacre Coeur was an impressive sight and watched over the city, attracting people to its stone steps to sit, talk and watch – there was even a sing-a-long.

The last day of the weekend was spent strolling to Notre Dame and enjoying the pleasant day. The river and the surrounding buildings are what you imagine when you picture the city and the outside of the church is wonderfully unique. Alongside the river are green stalls where prints, postcards and used books are sold from countless vendors. I picked up a Van Gogh Sunflowers print and some black and write Paris postcards.

Overall, I was disappointed with the shopping experience in Paris. Aside from the stalls and touristy souvenir shops that sell numerous I Heart Paris items, there were few shops. Unless you wanted to browse in Chanel or Louis Vuitton or pop into Gap, I couldn’t find any decent clothes shops. I would have liked to find a unique Paris item or some chic French clothes you can’t get here but it was no use, I couldn’t find any. Sigh. Sorry Paris but London and New York def overtake you on the shopping front!

So my four day weekend trip has come to an end. Au Revoir Paris, it was brief but beautiful while it lasted.

Vix

xx

3

This week … Inspiration

This week I’ve been thinking about inspiration.

It’s important to have things you love and things that inspire, often they are not mutually exclusive. It depends. Sometimes you can admire someone’s work or life without actually loving what they do. But regardless, if something speaks to you in some way it will inspire you, even if you don’t realise it.

Books and writers are an obvious choice for me in terms of inspiration. Their subject or style of writing, just the fact that they write regardless of their background or struggles, or just their success – if they can do it maybe I can, I may think. But sometimes inspiration strikes from unusual sources – a song or TV show or someone at work or a news story.

Whatever makes you think is good because if somthing strikes you enough to spark an internal debate, you may use it someday – either in your own writing or just in how you approach your life in general.

Starry Night Over The Rhone – Van Gogh.

I am not an art expert, I don’t check out art galleries or think about art much but this painting got stuck in my mind today and I had to search for a photo online. I used to have a poster of it on my wall at uni. I think the reason I like it is that inspires me somehow. Like I said, I don’t know the details of the painting, what it’s supposed it represent or what Van Gogh was trying to say exactly but it makes me think of dreaming. The stars speak to me somehow like they’re waiting for wishes, it’s beautiful and peaceful. I feel like I could stare at it for ages and not get bored. It speaks to me. It makes me want to dream.

And I love those moments. When inspiration comes from something or someone and you’re not exactly sure why or how but it lodges into your mind and heart and you want to do something with it.

I want to do something with this painting. I’m not sure what it is but I think it’s about fulfilling dreams. The inky blue night mingled with shinning stars means dreams to me. And I want those dreams to come true one day.

So my advice is to fill your world with inspiring things. Don’t think or worry about where it comes from but when you feel it, grasp it and hold on to it so that it changes you and propells you to do something great with it.

Let me know what inspires you and keep dreaming! 🙂