A scooting surprise – Cuckoo Trail, East Sussex

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As James sorts the sat-nav to reach this surprise scooting location, there I am, Hogwarts top and fidget spinner. Plus the scooters in the boot, of course. Yep, that’s adulthood.

Cuckoo Trail. I had never heard of it either. It’s a disused rail line, disbanded in the 1800s James said – but Google says 1968. You choose who to believe: someone who probably didn’t really Google it, and Google itself. Tough one.

We have only scooted for two months and it generally has been our choice of transport coming home from drinking, not much more. Recently we did go on a mission to find somewhere pretty to scoot, went to Shoreham, couldn’t find anywhere safe or legal and instead tried to find the chalk horse on the hill. Couldn’t find that either. So instead went to the lavender fields in Eynsford. We never did scoot, I just got carried away and ended up telling you about our day.

But Cuckoo Trail, my friends, is a 14 mile cement path! Safe and pretty! Seriously what we have been searching for but clearly not actually trying. Other than my stand breaking 100 metres in – these scooters are seriously just falling apart, nothing to do with the path – it’s perfect.

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As often with any adventure, I said to James ‘Oh, I want to take my little brother here!’ and yes I still do, it’ll be great fun for him on his bike – just like lots of other little kids were doing. BUT, I must say, as the trail went on you do have to cross roads at some places and after Horam, in the woodland areas, there are sheer drops on either side of the path. It’s completely safe, don’t get me wrong (please never change) but you have to make sure your kid knows how to use his breaks, and preferably not think he’s a stunt man/wolverine.

Side note: my little brother is 4, I’m not talking about my 28 year old brother. Though both love bikes. But only one of them thinks they’re wolverine. I think.

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I learnt how to scoot one handed. Also tried a few tricks (e.g. sticking my leg out. Yes that’s a trick.) and got told off a lot by James whenever I’d stick my arse out while scooting as my leggings would go see through. What can I say? I’m a butt dancer.

Warning to the ignorant like us – one way is down hill. So, great fun on a scooter. Also means the way back is up hill. Hence the walking the scooters photos.

Oh, I just remembered, I did have one foot on each scooter while James pushed. That is a true trick.

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Due to dooming rain (started the second we got in the car) we turned back after about 4.5 miles. Might be 5. Which means we scooted/walked 10 miles though. That’s if you can count scooting downhill for 5 miles as exercise. We will go back and do it completely.

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Warning if you are interested in doing the Cuckoo Trail. Unfortunately there is a lot of poo. Dog and horse.

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Reflective Photos

Once upon a time I lived in Malta. It seems like such a long time ago, many memories are long faded or at least starting to curl at the corners. I was having a look at my old flickr account and all these photos are on there, but I’ve never shared them on my blog. Here are a few of my favourite photos I took in 2012, along with the descriptions I gave them at the time. It’s a nice scrapbook of thoughts I had at the time.

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A self portrait, with my current notebook which is always by my side. I’m starting to like the blank walls in my flat.

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A very worn out book. It’s dying for a rest. As you can tell, it’s one of my favourites and so it came to Malta with me last year. Of course it has a return ticket.

The pages are falling out and some parts are unreadable, and I am aware that this book is still on sale, I haven’t got the only copy in the world, and I actually bought it at a boot sale for 20p. But this is the copy of when I first ever read this story, that’s unchangeable and not replaceable, and there’s something special about that.

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Too cold for a dip, too pretty to walk away.

I’m worried that I’ll miss this place too much and that I haven’t embraced it enough. Easy answer, start to embrace it more. This in mind, I’ve began to walk a little slower, take longer glances and just simply sit down and be a part of the scene in front of me. You can’t look at everything through a camera for it to remain a memory, you have you place yourself where you are, and realise that you too are a drop of water in a big ocean

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Jellies.

Fish.

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Imperfect.

My bedroom ceiling isn’t flat.

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I’ve had a few letters, cards and packages since I’ve been here, this isn’t all of them. It’s amazing how happy they make me when they come through my letter box:)

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Like mother, like daughter.

I now know where I get it from. Not the tash, the humour.

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Fly with me.

look up, look down, look all around.

up in the air and on the ground.

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A fraction of the whole.

These ants kept walking back and fourth in a straight line. I am unaware of what they were doing, and I will never know, but it seemed very important to them.

I have many incomplete projects. They are very important, to me. Some are almost down on paper, one or two are fully explained in a notebook in such detail that it doesn’t make sense, and sadly most of them are only in my head. But they are so real and important, it seems impossible for them to mean nothing to anyone else, for it to be only an uninteresting line I’m walking along.

It made me realise I’ve got to get a move on, and create what I want to create. Otherwise these feelings and thoughts will just be more fading dreams.

My new canvas 

Keyrings are easily collected knick knacks that take up room if you’re not using them for their original purpose. I could keep the 25 years worth in storage. Or I could throw them out, they’re Keyrings after all. But they’re from ALL OVER THE WORLD, my brain shouts. Okay brain. You win. On canvases you will go. Huzzah! 

Film Soaking With Vinegar

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Better late than never? How often is that saying true? Well my summer project does still exist, just because I’ve waited so long to share the photos doesn’t mean my summer didn’t happen. I’m just always late to the party, you know. But that usually means I turn up drunk.. Or I’m the last one standing.. Where am I going with this?

So I tried film soaking and that was fun. I love an experiment, but an experiment with photography and my knees are knocking and my hands are shaking. Maybe I should get that looked at. This 35mm film was soaked in vinegar for 2 days, then soaked in water for 3 days and dried out in rice. These photos were taken on my trusted pal Olympus Trip 35.

Other than looking like we all have been infected with a deadly virus (but still having time to drink gin and tonic out of ‘shake it up’ glasses) I’m loving a bit of soak-a-film-to-make-it-look-all-weird-and-cool. That’s the technical term.

Tune in next time for some more film soaking with diseases such as gangrene, scurvy and the black death.

My First Experiment With Film For July

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I started my July and August film project with my Diana camera. I had mentioned in that post that I completely forgot how to use the camera so I was positively sure nothing had come out, but thankfully something came out. Not great stuff, but there sure is stuff.

Things I’ve learnt for next time; it is a 70mm lens which means selfies will be a lot like the below photo (though I’m sure my Mum and I would have ruined that photo anyway) (I knew this, but I still had a go) (because why not). Check all buttons and switches before taking the photo, the realisation that it was on pinhole or bulb after I had taken the photo was painful. Also, the main thing to remember is that the viewfinder is square (because Diana’s take square photos) but, Emilyannlou, you are using 35mm so the photos won’t be square! Use your brain, it has to be cropped in some way.

Enough ranting on myself, here are a few photos from my first week of July.

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Regardless, these first few days were great and I’m feeling good for doing this project. For the last few days I’ve been using my Olympus trip MD3, and once that’s finished I’ll share the photos. There was a film already in there so I had that processed first, and oh wow it’s about 17 years old. I’ll share a few of those photos another time.

Have a great day!