Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A New Print Shop and A Mother's Day Discount


(A quick link to the new shop is on the right hand sidebar on the blog. Or here.) 

When I came across those little boxes of prints that I hadn't sold and put them on etsy I was reminded of how nice it is to send my photographs out into the world, to see my pictures as physical objects, to hear that people like them enough to exchange them for money and to know that they will be enjoyed for more than the 15 seconds it takes to skim a blog post. I was also reminded however of what a total pain in the tits wrapping, packaging, labeling and posting things is, and that was with ordering them from the printers taken out of the equation. The logistics of doing that for a mere 12 sets of prints had me quivering on the edge of boredom and frustration induced tears more than once. I'm not big on repetitive tasks, feats of organisation or going to the post office. 


So when I heard about Society6 (thanks to my friend Laura, check out her shop, she's awesome) and that I could upload my images and they'd do the rest and maybe I'd make some money out of it, I was really pleased. Sure, it's a little sad not to actually see my photos as prints and not to feel them in my hands before sending them off, sure it's a little less personal than etsy or suchlike, but it is also just that much easier, especuially now that I live on a mountainside, on the edge of a village where the mail comes occasionally and the post office is open for three hours a day. 

Scottish Landscape, I

My shop is here, and everything is for sale in a number of sizes. For now the images are mainly from the last few years and are divided into loose categories of France, Scotland, New York, Gardens (you can see the various 'collections' here.) I'm hoping to add more of France over the next few months, or maybe even to start a separate shop with only French images. 


I would love your feedback. If there are any of my images that you would particularly like to see listed please let me know. 

Just for today Society6 is offering a $5 discount and free shipping (maybe just to the US? I'm not sure) on everything as Mother's Day is coming up (again. We already did it in the UK back in March but who am I to argue with American timekeeping) but it is just for today, Tuesday April 28th, so hop to it. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Four weeks ago.

We are all in France, together. I don't quite believe it.

It is the Spring Holiday so W&P have been off school for two weeks. 

I'm sick, I have a vile virus that has left me completely useless. 

I have done nothing for weeks. It has stopped being relaxing and started being stressful and depressing.

It's asparagus season. I think asparagus is alright but I don't entirely understand it.

All of France smells of wisteria and lilacs.

This is our local place to walk and play and go to the organic market on a Tuesday night. I've never seen anywhere more French. Four weeks ago it was really cold, we wore hats. Yesterday I wore a dress and bare legs and made daisy chains in the grass. I was too ill to take a camera with me. I want to take photos before the wisteria falls though. I've already missed the blossom trees. Even when time has stopped it just keeps going. 

* I don't have a proper computer here, just a tiny little laptop that doesn't edit photos. I can resize them and stick pairs together, it takes forever but  I can do it, but I can not colour balance and adjust brightness and contrast and that stuff. Posting pictures without editing them is kind of killing me. Just so you know. 

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Free Range in France.

It always surprises me how quickly I can settle into a routine, even in the most unfamiliar circumstances. I'm someone who likes to know what's coming next, and when I don't know on an existential level it helps to know on a day to day scale.

I had half hoped that as soon as I got to France I would have an epiphany, that the clouds would clear and I would start to have a feeling for what the next steps would be. HA! If anything the clouds have thickened and I've spent the last eleven days in a complete fog of cotton-wool brain and treacle limbs. Despite the epic and inexplicable hangover I seem to be suffering from (I drank too much London last year and now I'm suffering. Or something like that) we have eked out a small and gentle routine from the confusion. 

We wake up after a night more or less asleep, more or less kept awake by frogs and wind and nightmares and unsettled children. The girls and I have horrible sugary museli together (the French suck at breakfast cereals) and then we spend an hour getting dressed, rolling around on the floor, attempting to shower, preparing snacks for nursery and arguing over who gets to give me my 17 different vitamins. Then we go upstairs to harangue grandpa into giving us a lift to nursery on time. 

The girls have been going to nursery in the mornings for just over a week and while they don't love it, yet they don't hate it every day, which is as much as I'm willing to ask for at the moment. While they're there I finish the shower I didn't manage in the morning; stare into space; tidy up; fill in the forms that get sent home from nursery with the help of google translate; stare into space; attempt and fail to answer emails, struggling as I do with putting words together in either English or French; walk the dog in the howling mountainside wind and then stare into space some more. 

We pick the girls up, we have lunch (pain, fromage, jambon, pomme, repeat), the girls have a quiet play time in their room and I stare into space some more and then when they're up we go and play in the woods, which is my favourite part of the day. The house is the last one on the edge of a national park and ancient oak forest is literally (literally literally) on our doorstep. We've been to visit this house several times but it's only in the last week that we've stepped off the fire path that winds up the hillside and into the trees. They're low and scrubby and the branches are at head-height. . . for four year olds. Walking through the trees involves a lot of me getting stuck in bushes, having to backtrack, losing sight of the children, swearing quietly as the dog looks on confused but happy. His five year routine of 7am and 4pm walks with my father in law has suddenly exploded into anarchy, people walking all over the shop at any hour of the day, total madness. My irritation at getting scratched, prickled, trapped, backached and lost is tempered by my delight at seeing my children explore and climb and fall, to see their disregard for the path, their glee at getting dirty, their willingness to get hurt and to get up and try again; that is what I wanted for them, for their childhood, not the paved paths and predictable climbing frames and rubber flooring of city playgrounds. 

All of the difficulty, the unfamiliarity, the revolting breakfasts melt away and become completely worth it when I see my kids wild, unplugged, free range in France.