12 of the Best Scenery Photographs Taken On My Lumia 1020 Phone in 2014

Anyone who knows me well will be aware that walking anywhere with me will often mean pausing as something catches my eye and I feel compelled to take a photograph of it. As my Instagram account can attest to this happens on a fairly regular basis.

I love finding beauty in the world around me not just in iconic scenery, although I am a landmark fiend, but also in the everyday world that some people take for granted.

The invention of camera phones has come on leaps and bounds in recent years and with my click happy habit in mind I chose carefully in April 2014 when it was time to renew my phone contract.

The Lumia 1020 phone could easily be best described as a camera with a smart phone attached. And for me that is absolutely perfect. It also contains my entire music collection which no other phone has been able to handle so I’m more than happy with it.

I’ve taken many photos on phones over the years but the ones from this phone, edited with a mix of the in-built Creative Studio and Instagram filters are of a far superior quality to anything iPhones or Androids can offer.

I don’t profess to be a professional photographer but I do have a keen appreciation for framing a shot and enhancing its best features.

Below are what I feel are the 12 best photographs I have taken on my Lumia this year.

View across the River Thames from the Tate Modern Art Gallery, London, UK

London is the city I live in but it is so much more than that. The city is a living, breathing entity which has a skyline filled with classic and modern architecture that changes every year. This photograph was taken from the sixth floor of the Tate Modern art gallery which is located south of the river. For me the view of the city is better than any work of art that the gallery holds. The Millennium pedestrian bridge leads across the river Thames to the north of the city where St Paul’s Cathedral keeps a watchful eye over the inhabitants and workers who occupy the more modern buildings like the curvy Walkie Talkie tower that can be on the far right of the picture.


Umbrella Art in Bodrum Town, Bodrum, Mugla, Turkey

Bodrum is a Turkish town that I have come to know quite well since my parents retired to live out in a village close to it. Located on the Aegean coast Bodrum is a tourist haven but it has a sleepy charm and is peppered by stone streets such as this framed by arches and colourful Bougainvillea vines. The best parts of it for me are the hidden side streets like this one which someone had taken the time to make into a piece of public art.


Chain Link Bridge over the Danube River, Budapest, Hungary

I was lucky enough to visit the city of Budapest as a part of a long weekend to watch the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix. The city charmed me so much that I would love to spend more time there. It is full of a rich mixture of architecture thanks to historical influences from Russia, Turkey, France, Italy and Austria and its people are friendly and helpful and the food is a culinary delight. It deserves far more tourism than it currently receives but lets just keep that our little secret.

Grand Anse Beach, St Georges, Grenada

The little Caribbean island of Grenada really is a slice of true paradise. Whenever I visit I struggle to imagine why anyone would ever leave. However leave many did in the 1950’s when work on the island was scarce. This included my in-laws. My mother-in-law still faithfully visits the island every year to spend time with the family that remained and this year was the second time we have joined her on that journey. If you want to spend time somewhere warm, beautiful and slow-paced than Grenada is a place I would strongly recommend.

Uxbridge Lock, Grand Union Canal, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK 

For the last two years I have worked in an office that backs onto a stretch of the Grand Union Canal. This is a blessing in the summer as it means I can escape the office for a walk beside the water. The quiet tow path is often shared with a plethora of water birds, including the area’s resident swans and even a couple of friendly canal boat cats who enjoy a fuss. When the lock is in action it can be quiet fascinating to watch from the bridge where I took this photo.


Eiffel Tower, Paris, France during the 2014 French Open 

The Eiffel Tower has to be one of the most instantly recognisable landmarks in the world. For two weeks every year a giant tennis ball is suspended from its centre whilst the city welcomes the world’s top tennis players to compete for the French Open title on the clay courts at Roland Garros. This year a giant screen was erected in the park so that people could watch the action in the centre of the city for free. Maria Sharapova and Raphael Nadal were the victors who had their photographs taken in front of the tower with their trophies this year.

Autumn in Northolt, London, UK

This is a very personal photograph to me for two reasons. Firstly it was taken five minutes walk from where I live and secondly it evokes exactly why I love Autumn so much. The last gasp of colour before the season changes has fascinated me since I was a child and this year this tree inspired the following description:
“The flames of autumn consume the bows of a tree in winter’s firm embrace.”

Kos Town, Island of Kos, Greece

Kos is a Greek Island that I have visited twice in my lifetime. The first time I was in my late teens and with a group of friends who partied all night and spent all day in the pool. In more recent times I was better able to take the time to appreciate the traditional Greek architecture rather than the allure of the aniseed flavoured liquor Ouzo.

Henley Business School, Greenlands Campus, Henley, UK

Henley Business School is situated on the same part of the river Thames near where the famous Henley Regatta takes place. I was there as a part of a team building exercise with work. However if I’m honest I think I got more from the beautiful quintessentially British countryside scenery than I did from the course we were on. Britain on a sunny day really can take the breath away. All that green almost, almost, makes you grateful for all the rain we endure at other times of the year.

Torquay Beach, Torbay, Devon

The UK can surprise you on a long hot summers day which inevitably sends city dwellers to the coast to soak up some sun. Torquay, on the south-west coast, is a brilliant place to be on that sort of day as it can rival any Mediterranean resort with its beaches, bars and restaurants. It’s just a shame it dies such a death every winter. I know this is true because I lived there for two years. I still enjoy a visit but I try to keep those visits to the summertime to see it at its best.

Tower of London taken from the river Thames, London, UK

London has a lot of landmarks but one that has taken a lot of publicity this year is The Tower of London. It played host to the frankly awe-inspiring installation of ceramic poppies to commemorate those members of the armed forces who died during world war I and drew unexpectedly huge international  crowds to it. The day I took this picture I was on a tourist boat with my husband and you could see the crowds surrounding the tower. I have never seen so many people there. Aside from the poppies it has always been one of my favourite London landmarks anyway because of all the history tied to it and the fact that it houses the Crown Jewels. If you visit London I thoroughly recommend putting it on the itinerary. Although I suggest ignoring your partner if they suggest, like my husband did, that you be dragged through the Traitors Gate that can be seen here.


Bodrum Town Harbour, Bodrum, Mugla, Turkey

The final picture of my 2014 collection is a study of bright colour from the patriotic Harbour of Bodrum town near the beautiful Bodrum Castle. Turkey flies its national flag with real pride and it is seen everywhere you go. I think the British could learn from that. Also if you ever do visit Turkey be sure to take a trip out onto the ocean on a Gulet. It is a wonderful way to explore the waters of the area and enjoy a tasty lunch whilst you’re at it.

So there you have it. The 12 scenic pictures that sum up my year and make me incredibly glad I bought my new camera phone. Let me know which one is your favourite and why.

~Kat

Our Wedding: Planning, Details and Vendors

One thing no one ever tells the blissfully unaware newly engaged couple is that they are about to take on a herculean task when they finally begin to plan their wedding.

At first it seems simple, venues are amazing, details are pretty and shiny and you think that once you’ve chosen your theme that you are good to go.

Truthfully planning is mostly fun and it is an opportunity to unleash your creativity on all of your friends and family but it can also become overwhelming as there are lots of details to think about and so many vendors to choose from. Despite it being very much worth all the work on the day you will need help to stay sane in the run up to it.

Because of this my best bits of advice to anyone planning their wedding are as follows:
1.) Enjoy it. This is a rare moment in life where you can do anything you want your way.
2.) If it stops being fun take a break and come back to it later or it will drive you crazy.
3.) Try not to get carried away buying pretty shiny things that you don’t really need.
4.) Go to local wedding fairs with your bridesmaids or groom to find vendors.
5.) The internet is your friend for bargains, especially for decorations.
6.) If you’re good at crafts (I’m not) go for it but ensure you have time to do it.
7.) Buy realistic wedding magazines like Wedding Ideas for great tips and timelines.
8.) Choose and secure your venue as early as possible.
9.) Ensure that you finalize any necessary legal paperwork well within time.
10.) Keep a schedule of payments made and to make in order to keep on top of budget.

The first two things that we did when planning our wedding were booking our venue and registering our intention to marry with our local council.

Our venue was The Cavendish Country House in Eastcote, Middlesex. We chose it because we loved the Tudor style architecture, its proximity to public transport near to where we live, the fact that whole house is privately yours for the day, the friendliness of the family and staff that run it and the amazing selection of food on their catering menu.

Food was always going to be high on our agenda because my husband’s parents are originally from the Caribbean island of Grenada and have very particular tastes. Not many venues in our local area carry any Caribbean food on their menus so, once we saw jerk chicken with rice and peas as an option in the catering brochure, the deal was sealed.

We signed up for one of their wedding packages which included drinks for arrival and for the wedding breakfast, canapés for after the ceremony, main meals of jerk chicken and lamb cacciatore and mini puddings. Also included in the package were the services of their in-house DJ John Bell from G.P. Discotheques who catered excellently to the extremely varied tastes of our family and guests (Soca, 90’s New Jack Swing, R&B and Cheesy Pop Music) and some lovely chair covers and bows for the ceremony and reception from Julie at Cupid Chair Covers.

We also attended a couple of the venue’s hosted wedding fairs where we also found our wonderful photographer Louie Donovan, Classic Wedding Cars who provided of the beautiful 1956 Siddley Limousine that brought us to our wedding and brilliant cake makers Heriot Catering.

As for a theme, this didn’t really fall into place for us until we ordered our wedding stationery. We knew that we wanted something a bit 1950’s retro with blue in it somewhere but that was as defined as we got until we discovered the butterfly themed stationery by the ever helpful and patient Jen at The Pattern Boutique. It was perfect for us as not only because it fit the colour scheme and butterflies are beautiful but the butterfly is also a symbol for those of us, like myself, who fight daily against from Thyroid disease. So despite my head bridesmaid having a fear of the real thing, butterflies it was for the theme. I stopped short of releasing real ones at the wedding as I did not want my lovely friend to have a heart attack.

To match the now defined theme I commissioned a handmade wedding post box from Lisa Bowerbank at BeSparkled and we really loved the outcome. So much so that we are using it for our keepsakes from the wedding now. We also ordered a butterfly covered guest book and shaped trivia cards from Confetti as well as the wooden blocks with our name painted on them and some 3D butterfly table confetti from Not on The Highstreet.

To add to the fun at the wedding breakfast and reception I also bought some vintage styled camera’s from Party Packs. However most of our guests forgot to use the flash so the quality of the photos from them was not that great sadly.

For favours, after searching wedding magazines for unique ideas, we finally settled upon some personalised jars of retro sweets tied with a blue ribbon from The Sweetie Jar. These were a storming success and probably one of the most photographed bits of decor on the day.

Our tables were planned around world landmarks that we have visited during our time together. Because of this I used photographs that we took of each landmark as the table numbers and put them in some silver photo frames from Wilkinson’s.

Two of the landmarks also had meaning for the guests that were seated at those tables. We deliberately placed my husband’s Grenadian family on the Fort Frederick table and we placed our friends from Sweden on the Drottningholm Palace table. This brought a few smiles from them all.

One of the last big purchases that we made was the flowers. Despite the fact that I come from a family with quite green fingers, I do not seem to have inherited that gene and my husband doesn’t have an interest in it either. Because of this we were both a bit clueless. I assembled a few magazine cuttings of flowers I liked the look of and took them to local florist Susan at Floral Art in South Harrow, who had been recommended to us by a friend.

She talked us through our needs and eventually guided us to choose our bouquets and table flowers. I absolutely loved my bouquet which had some picture charms, from Charm Supplies, of my late grandparents tied to it and I also appreciated the little touches Susan applied to the centerpieces which we kept simple with cut flowers in a jar. She tied blue ribbons around the jars and finished them off with some coloured water which worked really well.

As you can see it takes a lot of people and a lot of time to make a great wedding. Ours truly was fantastic but it would not have been so without the care and attention given to us by our vendors.

I feel I have to make a special second mention of The Cavendish’s management team and staff including both Richard Arens, senior and junior, and Gina Ford. Without their care, attention and professionalism we would not have enjoyed it half as much. Both ourselves and our guests were well looked after and nothing was too much trouble. I very much appreciated the fact that they always made sure that my aunt, who has trouble walking, always had somewhere to sit and that the DJ, John Bell, gave us such a fantastic reception where the dancing continued to the very end.

Weddings are a lot of work, make no mistake. But if you pick your vendors carefully they can be a very magical experience. Ours was and I plan to proudly keep reliving it for a while yet.

~Kat

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