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Sunny evening walk in Folkestone

By 12 April 2015 Life, Lifestyle, Photography
Folkestone harbour pano

On Friday evening I could have walked out of work, turned left and walked home. Instead, I turned right and headed up to the Leas. It seemed a shame to waste such a lovely evening.

It upsets me when people complain about Folkestone. It might not be the best town in the world but it’s where I live and it definitely has a lot of positive points.

Centenary arch

To mark the centenary of first world war, this arch was erected. It stand at the top of the Road of Remembrance, named to commemorate the thousands of men who marched down this hill towards the waiting ships in the harbour and the trenches across the channel. Opened by Prince Harry in August 2014, the arch stands proud on the Leas where it’s much admired. Of course, there are plenty of naysayers but I think it’s very elegant and a fitting tribute.

The crochet poppies are a year round feature along the railings from the arch down the hill towards the harbour. Anyone can make one and attach it. I think it’s pretty beautiful. The the Leas I walked through to the parish church.

St Mary and St Eanswythe Church B&W

Faceless angel

St Mary and St Eanswythe Church

The church of St Mary and St Eanswythe is where I got married. There’s been a church on or near this site since the 7th century. The oldest part of the current church dates back to the 12th century with the majority of it built in Victorian times.

It was a very special place to get hitched.

Graffiti Skull Old High Street Folkestone

People graffiti Folkestone Old High Street

The Old High Street is at the heart of Folkestone’s Creative Quarter. It welcomes artists and independent boutiques to create a eclectic space that keeps changing. There’s some really cool graffiti at the moment. I think they’re commissioned to cover up wooden boarding. I love it!

All this is just minutes from my house. I took this walk, stopping to take photos along the way, and was still home before half past six. If I’m going to shift some pounds before the summer I think I’ll go for a walk every dry evening.

What does you walk home from work look like?

Rachel x

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Instagrammers I’m Loving Right Now

By 1 February 2015 General, Life, Lifestyle, Photography
Taking photos with an iPhone. Instagrammers I'm loving right now - RachelBirchley.com

I’m quite a visual person, so naturally I do like Instagram. I’m always trying to find new people to follow so keep reading those ‘who to follow’ articles in the hope to stumbling across an Instagrammer I adore.

So to give a little back, and hopefully help you to find new Instagrammers to follow too, here’s whose photos I’m loving in my feed right now.

The Everygirl

For inspirational life photos follow The Everygirl

A photo posted by The Everygirl (@theeverygirl_) on


The Everygirl is an awesome website. My favourite is the home tour section, mostly because I’m nosy! This site is for young women and it’s full of inspiring career profiles, finance advice and the aforementioned home tours. If only my house looked anything like any of the featured women’s fabulous pads.

Milkbubbletea

For the prettiest Instagram you’ve ever seen, have a gander at Becky’s. Her milkbubbletea blog is her life in white.

A photo posted by Becky ♡ (@milkbubbleteablog) on

I’m too messy to even consider taking photos around my house but her pictures are just so lovely. And her little sausage dog Oscar is adorable.

Michelleoutsidelondon

For Devonshire life and cute doggies, Michelleoutsidelondon doesn’t disappoint.


Expect country walks, cakes, cups of tea and plenty of cute spaniels!

Furdeforce

For all the puppies it has to be furdeforce.


This is the dedicated Instagram account for Fleur and Mike de Force’s gorgeous pets; Piglet, Treacle, Squidge, Beaver and Growler. I personally could never see too many pictures of Piglet. I’d love a little sausage dog, I think they’re so cute!

A Beautiful Mess

For brightly coloured, home and food inspiration it has to be A Beautiful Mess.


Their website inspires me to want to make loads of cool shit for my house. Why have a house that looks the same as everyone else’s when you can make it your own?

Do you have any recommendations for awesome Instagrammers to follow? Please leave me links in the comments!

Rachel x

p.s. Follow me on Instagram too if you like!

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Autumn in the Scottish Highlands

By 4 October 2014 Outdoors, Photography, Scotland, Travel, United Kingdom
Autumn in the Scottish Highlands

This time last week I was driving home from South Yorkshire where we spent an overnight to break up the long journey from Scotland. That’s one of the downsides of living right in the south east corner of the UK; everywhere else in the country is a long way away!

We spent an awesome week in the Highlands, that followed a fantastic 6 nights camping in Cumbria. This holiday felt like it had taken an age to come around. Aside from a few days away here and there, we’ve not been on holiday since our honeymoon in May 2013. Having two weeks off work has been bliss and it meant returning feeling refreshed and raring to go.

Neither of us had been to Cumbria or the Highlands before and I think we chose the right time of year. Scotland was stunning and we were in awe of the view at every turn.

Woods at Blair Castle estate
When we left Kent, it was still late summer. Autumn seemed to happen in front of our eyes during our holiday. Now the fall is well and truly here. These woods at Blair Castle are home to red squirrels. We were lucky enough to just about spot one as it scrambled up a tree.

Ferns  at Rothiemurchus
Our rented cottage was about half an hour or so from Aviemore. Just down the road is the Rothiemurchus estate. We parked for FREE (a shock to system after forking out a fortune in parking charges everywhere in the Lake District) in the woodland car park and took a delightful stroll through this Highland estate. The dying ferns were turning brown, the purple heather was full of glistening spiders’ webs and the leaves were literally falling around us.

Woods on Rothiemurchus estate near Aviemore
Rothiemurchus is obviously a popular place on a Sunday and we were by no means the only people out enjoying the unseasonable warm weather. I managed to avoid getting anyone else in my photos though, so we can always pretend we were the only ones there!

Outside the Clachaig Inn Glencoe
Glencoe was simply awe inspiring. Having arrived to the area late, we didn’t really get to explore but we stopped for a beer in the Clachaig Inn, which is right in the heart of the glen with insane views from the car park!

Streetlight on bridge at Boat of Garten, Speyside
On our last day, we went for a drive around Speyside. Having driven through Boat of Garten, we continued over a bridge over the river Spey. Hubby had to pull over on the side of the road so I could get out and take some pictures!

River Spey Boat of Garten
The river was shimmering in the early evening sunshine. This area of Scotland is the home of whiskey production. There are a huge number of distilleries in the area, with some famous names including Glenfiddich, Aberlour and Glenlivet. Since neither of us particularly like the spirit we didn’t stop for a wee dram.

Padlock on gate at the Highland Wildlife Park
Sister to Edinburgh Zoo, the Highland Wildlife Park has to be in one of the most picturesque settings for a zoo. Hubby thought I’d gone mad taking a photo of this locked gate but I knew the colours would match that of the landscape!

Sun through the clouds out car window
I took far too many photos out of the car windows this holiday. Don’t get me wrong, Kent is a beautiful part of the world but it’s mostly rolling hills, flat marsh and farmland. Both the Lake District and Scotland had us driving around open-mouthed for the majority of the time. The most uttered words in the car were ‘wow, look at that view’!

We fell in love with the Scottish Highlands. So much so that we might live there one day! Have you ever been to the Highlands? What did you think?

Rachel x

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Day Out in Brighton – Lomography Style

By 6 September 2014 General, Life, Lifestyle, Photography
Brighton beach from the pier

In the spring, I was lucky enough to be invited to Brighton by Pinterest. They’d arranged a workshop with Lomography UK. As hubby will attest, I love taking photographs. I get that from my Dad. I grew up in front of the camera, loving the attention until I was about fourteen.

Pinterest Pin

So I got the 6am train to get to Brighton on time. I only just made it! We were introduced to our cameras for the morning. The lovely La Sardina lomography camera. It’s a simple film camera based on a sardine can, hence the name. They come in a variety of designs, this was my loan camera:

La Sardina lomography camera

Two lovely ladies from Lomography UK explained how to use the cameras and helped us to load the film correctly. It had been a while! We were then sent on our way to capture Brighton in all its glory.

I attended the workshop alone as hubby was working. Luckily, I was adopted by a group of friends who invited me to tag alone. We spent our time along the beach and promenade, enjoying the sunny weather.

Carousel at Brighton beach

Smoke House Brighton beach

Brighton Rock

The pinnacle of the day was lunch at the Palm Court fish and chip restaurant on the Pier. The meal was on Pinterest (thanks guys!) and it was delicious! I had battered cod and chips with mushy peas.

Fish and chips

I’d never used a lomography camera, and to be honest I had to Google what lomography was. It’s basically a really simple point and shoot, manual camera with a fixed lens. I really had no idea how my pictures were turning out, which is something you get so used to with a digital camera. Only having 36 shots is a bit restricting but it makes you think about the composition more.  I only liked a few of the photographs taken with the lomography camera but I think it’s probably a case of practice makes perfect. Not sure I’ll get a lomo camera though as the La Sardina is one of the cheaper ones, and it costs £50!

Growing up, I would take two 24 exposure films with me on holiday. For two weeks! Nowadays, I can take over 100 shots a day. Its pretty crazy really. Perhaps during our holiday this month (yay!) I’ll try and think more about what pictures I’m taking and then perhaps they’ll be less editing to do once we get home.

The day was really enjoyable, of course I spent the afternoon shopping before taking the nearly three hour trip back home. There’s also a write up on the Pinterest blog. You might spot me in a couple of the pictures! I can only apologise that it’s taken me so long to write about this experience.

Have you tried lomography? What did you think?

Rachel x

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Stage 2 of #Blog4Trek Competition

By 25 March 2014 Life, Lifestyle, Photography
Monument Valley blog4trek post

Last week I announced the exciting news that I have made stage 2 of the #Blog4Trek competition, being organised by Trek America.

The first stage was to write a blog post on packing for a weekend away, and the second stage was to send in a photograph that represents red, white and blue.

It was really tough to decide which photograph to send.  I dithered for ages, scouring through endless photos on my computer.  On Wednesday, I spent 6 hours on a mission trying to find the perfect shot to fulfil the brief.  But in the end, I kept coming back to this one photo, which I took in Monument Valley, Arizona.

Each photograph submitted by the 10 shortlisted bloggers has today been posted onto the Trek America Facebook page.  There will be 5 bloggers going through to the next round, 4 will be chosen by the judges but the 5th will be the photo with the most likes.

So this is where I get down on my hands and knees, practice my puppy dog eyes and smile very sweetly…

 

 

Please can you be an angel and like this photo?  I promise to love you forever and ever <3 <3

I case you need any more encouragement, the lovely people at Trek America will be giving away a goody bag to one of the likers!

I don’t know how long the voting is open for so please don’t delay and vote today!

For more information on the competition check out the stage 2 post on Trek America’s blog

I’ve no idea what the next stage is, so should I be lucky enough to get through it’s going to be a surprise! I’m really hoping it’s not going to be making a video as I hate seeing myself on camera 🙁 But I’m not counting my chickens, I’ve got to get through first!

Thanks for reading, and please do like my photo if you can 🙂

Rachel x

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