February: An Overdue Update!

I honestly cannot believe that my website has been up and running for a whole month!! Thank you all of you SO much who have taken the time to explore my website, my galleries and especially those of you who have gone out of your way to give me such lovely feedback! My little 'launch' couldn't have gone any better, and I am really surprised by the amount of support I've had! So again, a massive thank you and I hope you stick along for the ride! I feel a sense of achievement from just creating this site alone as it's crazy to think that just a few months ago this was an idea slowly emerging from the back of my mind! If I can keep this up and running for even just 6 months I will be happy!

I was intending to update this website a little more regularly, but already it's just over a month into the new term at university, and I am swamped with essays and all the rest that I just know it is unlikely I will have the time to write lots on here too! (Although... it may be a great procrastination tool!) So I think I will focus on doing a monthly round-up of the places I've been to, any website tweaks I've made and any plans I have for the following months mentioned! It will be nice to have a written transcript of places I've been and things I have seen which may not have been caught on camera! There is often so much that I see on these walks that a camera simply couldn't capture their magic. Hopefully these posts will also allow for a little extra information or background to be given on the photographs I've taken and displayed on this website so that you guys can also feel the magic!

Unfortunately, it's not just updating the blog aspect of this website I haven't been able to do over the last month, as I've also not been taking as many photographs as I should have been! This is partly due to the poor weather and my heavy workload at university which has to be (unfortunately) prioritized before my photography. However, it is also partly to do me not always taking my camera with me - foolish I know! When I have ventured away from the textbooks and assignments, it's usually been with the intentions of just going to the shop which then turns into a long walk, so I usually don't have my camera on me... and instead lug heavy bottles of milk around with me instead!

At the end of last month however, Myself, my friend from my course and her housemate wandered to Barry Sidings in Trehafod, a small park area close to Pontypridd where there is woodland, a little pond and plenty of room for both children and dogs to run around in! We wandered through the quiet streets of Pontypridd along part of the 'Taff Trail' which follows the River Taff. Usually I try to take the most scenic and least urban routes to areas I am visiting, but it was lovely to see some more of the place I will be calling home for the next 6 months, especially as there is a warm sense of community felt throughout some of the picturesque streets of the Pontypridd area. Barry Sidings was really peaceful, and it was lovely to see so many people taking advantage of the fleeting winter sun venturing out for walks on the many paths that take you through woodland, around the little duck pond or down to the river. We slowly wandered along the river path, and found ourselves at the Rhondda Heritage Park, although we did not visit the site itself, we did have a pitstop in the little cafe for coffees, hot chocolates and a little of cake before wandering back the way we came, heading instead through the centre of Pontypridd which was very quiet on a dusky Sunday evening!

I also visited Cardiff Castle this month, something which I have been eager to do since arriving in Wales! I love that the castle is the prominent feature of the city, and already over the few months I've been here I've seen immense community spirit oozing from the castle. The only time I have been inside the castle before this month was for an evening showing of a horror movie in the dungeons of the castle - so my attention wasn't on photography that evening! It was a cloudy day when I visited Cardiff Castle, but the views from along the castle wall of the city were still enjoyable, and when it got too cold there were plenty of walkways and displays of the history of the castle inside. My favourite part was the keep, which is still of medieval build but has been carefully preserved so that you are able to access the top which allows for a 360 degree view of Cardiff! From the top you can also see Castell Coch, otherwise known as the 'Red Castle' or 'Fairy Castle' which rests on the hills towards the Brecon Beacons and was built as the hunting lodge for Cardiff Castle Part of Cardiff Castle is a elegant house which was primarily decorated by the Lord of Bute, and is full of rich artwork from floor to ceiling. Although houses such as this one is not my ideal experience of history, it was still fascinating to learn about the rich history of the Welsh capital none of the less, and lovely to see old and new unified together!

The next month or so I should be able to get out lots to make up for the lack of new projects in the beginning of 2017, weather dependent of course! I need to get into a routine of balancing photography and my university work, so whilst the workload is light I'm going to take advantage of some down time! It's also perfect timing for the start of spring, already I've seen nature start to bloom, the sky start to shine in different colours and heard the birds start to sing! Over the last month I have been looking up interesting places in the Pontypridd area to visit, as well as noting any interesting hills/forests/footpaths I have seen whilst wandering around for future visits so I am sure I will have much more to talk about in future posts!

So I promise that I will be updating both the photography and the blog side of this website more regularly! Keep popping by to see any new photos, and if you're interested in my pointless ramblings where I try to feel smart, there's a subscribe link at the top of this page! Just pop your email in and it should work! Let me know if there's any problems!

Hope 2017 is treating you all well so far!