I was nervous as I stepped off the train at Victoria. My planned train had been cancelled and the next was delayed. There goes my plan of arriving early. Weaving through the crowded station, I take the occasional shoulder hit, probably giving a few unintentionally myself. Being pushed out of my comfort zone is always a scary prospect, especially when it comes to my appearance. The theme was colour. My close friends will tell you I don’t often wear much colour. If you peer into my wardrobe you will find a treasure trove of grey-scale, heavily keeping to the darker shades. Bright blue skirt on and rainbow umbrella in hand I felt uncomfortable to start with, but I must admit the cloudy sky couldn’t dim my excitement for the day’s activities. A quick tube hop to Notting Hill Gate and there was the group, waiting patiently, colourfully, at our meet up point. Apparently I missed the memo about wearing bright yellow…I don’t think I own anything yellow.
I was attending the Blogtacular Photowalk West which was being guided by Kristabel and Natasha. Our theme was pastels, a theme which showed itself quickly as we walked away from the main street to colourful houses all in a row. Pinks, greens, yellows, blues…a muted rainbow as vast as the very umbrella I held. The sky was full of clouds, a mix of the soft white fluffy kind and the more dangerous looking gloomy grey. Peaking out between both of these was a bright blue sky, signalling that it really was almost summer, even here in London. The rain was holding off and the sun was shining brightly down on us.
Those around me were focused on the pretty buildings of pastel, the cute and quaint, the elegant and well-kept. Although I too enjoyed these, I couldn't help but take my own photographs of the things that excited me. I've always been attracted to green. The chaos of an overgrown ivy plant, making a row of garages look like mother nature was claiming the space that once was hers back, fascinated me. Perhaps I am simply a romantic who enjoyed reading The Secret Garden too much as a child, but as I've got older these things make me smile. You can see the sky was another big focus in my photographs. When it was so blue, so cheerful I couldn't help myself. The night before the sky had been lit up by lightning and loud with thunder, so perhaps I was just shocked to see such a sight!
Portabello Road was the next place on our list to explore. I couldn't help but hum the Mary Poppin's tune as we took in the beautiful sights. If you haven't been before I highly recommend it! It's one of those streets that you get lost in with antique stores filled to the brim with treasures. Although I venture to London most weekends I really need to be more disciplined and take my camera with me. London is always an exciting hive of colour and it was great to dedicate the time to stop and really look at my surroundings. All too often we're in a rush these days, heads down (usually on our phones) and eyes unseeing. So here's my challenge to you reader. Charge up that camera, pick a location you've always wanted to visit and go 'see'. I mean really see, slow down, stop, take a deep breath and just take in everything around you. That was my favourite part of the whole walk, just enjoying the stillness and capturing the things that interested me, even if what I was photographing was in the opposite direction to everyone else.
I say the photography was the best part of the experience, but it was the individuals who walked those streets with me that kept it exciting and fun. It was a real honour to spend time with these strong women. Some are professional bloggers, others are artists, illustrators and crafters and some are stay at home mum's who enjoy blogging to keep an online scrapbook for the future. Each has their own story to tell and I wish I had more time to sit with each of them, but that's what their blogs are for after all!
After the walk was officially over we headed to a local pub in the area and relaxed for a while. The weather had held out and we were all in need for a drink and a chat before we headed to West Elm for the evening party. More networking and some crafting were on the cards and even after such a long day we were all excited to get our party on!