A summer walk in the bluebell woods, even though the bluebells have long since faded.



I decided to take my camera out with me whilst walking yesterday, for no reason other than that it makes me happy. Fiddling around with depth of field, exposure, continuous shooting- all the things that only a year ago I didn’t reeeaaallly know how to use to my advantage- it’s the best! Sometimes the happy accidents are what make the best photos- like the blades of grass blurring out the bottom right hand of the above photo. I’m grateful to those blades of grass, because they create the kind of snazzy effect I would otherwise have had to get Jason to create for me in Photoshop ;)

But hey! This isn’t a post about photography, it’s really just a post about the lovely walk Teddy and I took yesterday morning. These little woods that we walk in are probably my favourite place around here to walk. They seem to change constantly. There’s not a day I visit them where I don’t notice some new carpet of ferns or flowers or moss on the forest floor, or find that a path that only a week ago was an easy one to walk along has become completely overgrown and impassable. That’s kind of what I love about them though, even though some days walking through cobweb after cobweb is pretty stressful. The bluebell carpet right in the middle of the woods died back weeks ago and was taken over by huge, shoulder-high ferns, which then were in turn beaten out by even taller foxgloves. Now the forest feels hot, and verdant, and like it’s right at its peak before it begins its slow fall back into the beautiful richness of autumn.

Foxgloves Ferns Teddy-in-the-forest

^^ That little butt. It melts my heart. I think these woods are Teddy’s favourite place to walk, too. He gets more excited when we arrive here than any other place we walk in, and always seems to be on the scent of something when we’re there. Usually pigeon or squirrels, but I guess maybe deer too. We do see lots of deer there. ^^

We did our usual route yesterday morning (minus the little loop I’ve had to cut out from our walk recently, because the path had become SO cobwebby it was giving me nightmares), and walked for about an hour or so. I try really hard not to look at my phone when I’m out walking, or else Teddy winds up running around my legs like a loon whilst I stand still, distracted, trying to download emails on patchy 3G signal. It’s all part of this ‘switching off’ thing I’ve been trying recently, where I spend a little less time each day plugged into a screen, and try not to allow myself to be distracted by my phone quite so much!

Tall-grass Shadows-on-trees Stacked-logs

Recently I’ve found that there’s been a slight imbalance in the way I spend my time, and I’ve been feeling a little wrung out. Usually I quite like being tired, in a funny sort of way. Back when I was younger and was dancing, I used to relish the way my body felt after a particularly exhausting dance class, where everything would ache and groan and I used to stagger back home with this weird John Wayne-style gait. I quite like the feeling of being exhausted come bedtime each evening, even when there’s a pile of washing up to do and another half hour of work to get finished before I can hit the hay. Weirdly those moments make me feel sort of…alive. I don’t know how else to put it other than like that! I guess it’s a hard feeling to describe, but it’s one I kind of like.

But lately it’s been a different kind of tiredness, the type where your head feels foggy and you drop things all the time because your coordination’s off, and you feel drained, as opposed to just plain old tired. I think it’s partly down to last year having been my first year of full-time work after years of academic timetables (god bless those endless school holidays, hey?), to me running my own little business and finding it so hard to switch off from it all at the end of the day, and to also being really really crappy at knowing when to say ‘enough is enough’ and take some actual holiday!

I’d love to know- did you find this during your first year at work after university/college/school? That it was kind of a shock to the system? I’d love to hear too from those of you who run your own businesses- do you have a technique for switching off your mind at the end of the day and at the weekends?

Rosie-summer-walk Pine-trees

So, the resolution that I came to during this happy walk, was that it’s probably time to take a few days off in the new couple of weeks! And I mean proper time off, too. Not the kind of faux time off I usually take, where I still check emails and faff about endlessly on Pinterest and wind up blogging anyway because I really do love it so much! I think it’s a good resolution to have made :)

Aside from all this detailed introspection, Teddy and I spent the rest of the walk soaking in the early morning sunshine, climbing up piles of stacked logs, and jumping right back off again. It was a good one! Then we headed home, I exchanged wellies for flip flops, and Ted flaked out on the living room floor for several hours.

Cider-with-Rosie-Stacked-logs Cider-with-Rosie-summer-walk   Cider-with-Rosie-summer-walk-2

Previous visits to these beautiful woods documented here (in frost), here (in early spring), and here (just one lone photo of this year’s incredible bluebell carpet).

** Chambray shirt is a new favourite from GAP, navy blue shorts are old ones from Hollister, & Hunters are Hunters!

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  • http://www.jemmainwords.co.uk/ Jemma

    I’ve recently moved from the country to a bigger city; I really miss all of the little things that the forest can offer and the sheer freedom it brings. I think I’ll be making a trip home soon for no other reason that to enjoy the things I once took for granted.

    Jemma @ Jemma In Words

  • http://www.thisparticular.blogspot.com Ala Skrakowski

    First off, what fab photos! Secondly, I dived straight in from uni to work, I didn’t give myself a break and had to take time off for my graduation day. I wanted to get a head start on other people, which helped, and I definitely don’t regret. I’m now in my second job and loving it but my first year was a complete mix of emotions. The stress of the job, the commute from Reading to London, giving me basically no life during the week and constantly feeling tired and then moving to London and scraping by on my measly salary. Quite different to your situation BUT I still think it’s natural to feel it’s all a bit odd as all we’ve known up until this point has been education! There’s no magic remedy – or at least I haven’t found one but I think a lot of people on here will tell you, you’re doing just fine girl! x

  • http://arowantree.blogspot.com Polly

    I know exactly what you mean. I graduated last year from university, and even though my degree was a very time consuming and demanding one, I miss the flexibility of uni. Getting up everyday at 7am and returning home at 7pm with 3 weeks off in the entire year is utterly exhausting and repetitive! I’m hoping one day I’ll get used to it ha!

    it sounds like you deserve a little break for sure :)

  • http://www.chambrayandcurls.blogspot.com laura

    Oh I understand the tiredness thing. Feeling physically tired from doing something that makes my body work feels amazing. But being mentally exhausted from thousands of things I’m trying to keep track of? It just makes me feel dreadful, so lethargic. It can make me feel very anxious too. To help, I do a few things – at my switchoff point, I write a list of what I need to do. That way I can let it go from my mind without fretting I’ll forget. I try to do something physical to tire my body a little and release some endorphins, and yes I stay away from useless internet browsing. I try to make something, or read something or listen to something instead. It all helps me feel productive and much less bogged down in it all. I hope you find some downtime over these sunny days Rosie

  • http://flotteliselotte.de Lisa

    I’ve been working for nearly two years now since I finished my undergraduate studies because I wanted to acutally do real work instead of learning all the time. At first the good parts about working like money, a regular daily routine and the acknowledgement were more present than the far side but somehow with working the time seems to fly by and it is so hard to press the hold button to just breathe, stop for one minute, relax and be joyful about the things I achived. As far as I can tell it is totally normal to feel this other exhaustion but there has to be a balance like walking in the woods, time without a phone, a weekend without looking at your watch and real vacation – time to slow things down.
    Love, Lisa

  • http://brunchataudreys.tumblr.com Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    My friends and I often enjoy walking out to an abandoned field to do some photography, but the grass is all scratchy, nowhere near as lush as the one you go to! I also get what you mean when you say you like feeling tired. Similarly, after an intense training session in the pool, I love the feeling of my muscles burning. (And then taking a nice cold shower and perhaps indulging in some ice cream). My mind has been a bit frazzled lately, and I think it’s because I don’t exercise as much as I used to. I need to get those endorphins pumping! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  • http://www.blondeofcarbs.com Jessica Edmunds

    WOW you took some beautiful shots, I wish we had the woods here as I love walking through especially with the dogs. We go to the beach instead so I guess I can’t complain xxx

  • http://fizzylemonlife.wordpress.com Hannah

    Your photo’s really are beautiful. Lately I’ve been going on walks too to clear my head, without my phone and sometimes without my iPod too! As for the tiredness, I can definitely relate. Part of me thinks I feel weird when I’m not tired simply because I’m so used to it!

    Hannah xo

  • http://www.andyetsofar.com Nicola

    I totally found that I was more tired when I started full time work rather than education. Especially when it got to August, because nobody had ever made me do anything in August before! It’s probably more difficult being self-employed, too. When you work for a company they require you to take a certain amount of time off, but there’s nobody to make self-employed people do that…

  • http://www.intoruth.com/ Ruth

    These photographs are wonderful, nature really is the best subject.

    I’m still getting over post-Uni/fulltime work life, so envious of my sister getting to spend her summer lounging while I sit in my office.

    I guess breaks are key and really switching off, I’m finding I have much more energy in the evenings even if I’m out doing a bit of gardening than slumped in front of my computer blogging.

    Don’t get me wrong, blogging is one of my favourites but recently getting out and DOING the things to blog about rather than the actual blogging is what’s keeping my motor running, bring on the backlog but I’d still rather enjoy the sun.

  • http://asimpleelegance.com arielle

    rosie, these photos are gorgeous! they look quintessentially summer-y. and that first year after university…yeah, I felt it, too. not in the own-my-own-business/work-from-home kind of way, but in a this-is-the-real-world/who-do-I-ask-for-instruction? kind of way. I combatted this with lots of little weekend trips to stay sane and to still feel like I could do fun things even though I was a grown up ( sort of ). and shutting off devices definitely helps :) thanks for sharing!

    love, arielle
    a simple elegance

  • http://www.bluebellandbumpkin.blogspot.com Beccy

    Lovely post and beautiful pictures! My first year out of University was an odd one. I was in a job that I didn’t particularly enjoy, and so being bored, didn’t have any trouble in switching off! My current job however (a few years later!) is very intense, and for a good year, I would be checking my blackberry throughout the weekends, evenings, and holidays, and never switching off. It reached boiling point where I had to say enough was enough, and had to be very strict with myself to have a cut off point and ignore the blackberry. Easier said than done, but I do feel a lot better now. I am about to change jobs though to something less stressful, which I hope will really help!

  • http://www.littlepaperswans.com/ Cathryn

    Lovely photos as always!

  • http://northernambitions.com Ursula

    Beautiful pictures! I am such an overcommitter and I find I love being busy but every once in a while I start to feel drained. Time off is the perfect remedy! I took a week off a while ago and it was so rejuvenating

  • http://ancaslifestyle.co.uk/ Anca

    Lovely photos, it looks like a relaxing place to walk the little one.

    As for switching off… I can’t do it. I work from home at my own company and even when we are going in holidays, day trips or walking the dog, I’m always ON. As my husband is my business partner as well, where are talking very often about things that we can improve or new designs. Making handmade jewellery inspired by nature, a walk with the dog can result in a long chat about a new idea. I love what I’m doing and I wouldn’t change a thing.

    Anca @ ancaslifestyle

  • http://blueskiesarehereagain.blogspot.com Juliet

    I totally agree about the tiredness – this is my second year out of uni but the first year where I’ve been working full time the whole way through (it’s been just over 10 months since I started my current job) and the first year where I haven’t had a summer holiday. :( I am certainly finding myself a bit drained right now, and the heat isn’t helping!

  • http://bluehairinbelgium.blogspot.be Kerri H

    I know the feeling. It’s always a big changed from uni to full time work and I was tired constantly for the first 6 months. Also moving country didn’t help and I was constantly tired from trying to understand all the foreign language around me. Even now, with my job, it’s also one of those that you can work extra hours on at work, bring home with you on the evenings and also on the weekends and even go into work on the weekends too. It’s a flexible job but normally at my expense of over working. It took me about one year to realise that most of the reasons I was unhappy was because of my job and because it was constantly invading my life outside of work. OK, I guess you don’t hate your job, but I think the idea is the same. I just starting saying no. I found other things to distract my time with, like starting a blog and taking up a new hobby, blogging and taking photos. That helped me and my happiness a huge amount.

    I hope you can find a balance that you enjoy!

  • http://accooohtrements.wordpress.com becky | accooohtrements blog

    ooh i love photography so much too! wandering around with my camera is my favourite thing <3



  • http://mutedmornings.blogspot.se Mimmi

    Your photos are stunning! I wish I could take photos like you do. I guess what I need is a lot of practice!

    And I know what you mean about that good kind of tired. I enjoy it too, when it happens!

    xx Mimmi, Muted Mornings

  • http://www.owl-girl.com Candy

    I must say, right now in sticky and humid London, I am ever so jealous of your rural setting! And I wonder if I will ever get to the stage where I am planning a couple of days break from blogging because it is my full time job. I sure hope so!

    By the way, your dog-and-log frolics look epic.

    Owl Girl | A London lifestyle blog

  • http://thatgirlintheattic.blogspot.co.uk/ Jess

    This is so reassuring to read! Ive been feeling that same kind of tired lately, and I just couldn’t understand it. But I guess like you I’m just not used to getting that summer break. Balancing blogging, and full time working is a challenge!! Definitely need to make more of an effort to take some time J X

  • http://www.melissalovesthis.co.uk Melissa

    This looks like such a beautiful woods. We have some where we walk our dog near our house but they are nowhere near as pretty as these. So many photo ops!

  • http://thatgirlintheattic.blogspot.co.uk Jess

    This was so reassuring to read! I’ve been feeling that same kind of tiredness, and I just couldn’t work it out! But I guess I was wasn’t used to not getting that summer break (I graduated last summer too). I definitely need to work on taking time out to rest! Thank you for this Rosie. :) J x
    Oh, and beautiful photography as ever!

  • http://joy-and-laughter.blogspot.com Johanna

    Oh Rosie! I feel like I could write a whole blogpost in response to this (and in fact I might). I completely get that kind of tiredness, and it’s not necessarily pleasant. Leaving uni and beginning to work full time has been challenging in completely different ways to how I thought it would be. I miss the flexibility the most I think, but at the same time I’m trying to embrace having a routine more, and making proper time off happen! I hope you feel ‘better’ soon :)

  • http://www.sallytangle.blogspot.com Sallytangle

    Oh Rosie these photos are beyond beautiful!!!! I could just look at them over and over!!! As for your thoughts on switching off, i am sure i’ll never know how to do that. I have completely lost the art of sitting still and always have a little twinge that i could be making better use of my time than sitting doing completely nothing! My Mr is self employed and makes basses for a living and man alive you can not get him to take time off if your life depends on it. We have to actually book something and have it down in writing/email for him to not ‘just pop into work for a couple of hours’ (read:: seven or eight…so yep a normal day!).

    He was recently so tired in fact that he emailed a photo of his tea the night before (where he had made the most DELICIOUS unseasonal meal of celeriac mash and sausages) to a new customer enquiring about his new build! No word of a lie! It made me giggle for so long. So yep we need a little holibob some time soon too. We are thinking possibly of just a few long days up by the coast in Scotland but we’ll see (as per;)

    Why do my comments turn into such a big old and random collection of useless info?! LOVED this darling girl.

    Sal xxxx

  • http://www.iejessie.com Jessie

    love these photos, especially the first one. and I’m still in school at the moment, but even I’ve begun to realize the importance of ‘unplugging’ — something good to keep in mind for the future. :) good luck on your resolution!


  • https://swanlake1701.wordpress.com/ Ngoc Lan

    Wow!!! You look so amazing in the bluebell woods. I hope that I will have the chance to see the bluebell wood in my city.

  • http://www.chasingmyextraordinary.com/ Kenzie Smith

    Your photos are absolutely gorgeous! We go hiking pretty often and I am always amazed by how beautiful the woods can be. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else because I love being surrounded by the trees and all of the green.

  • http://acertainadventure.blogspot.co.uk/ Tamsin | A Certain Adventure

    I love your chambray shirt, lady! You’re so lucky to have local woods to go and explore. That moss-carpeted clearing complete with gorgeous little dog is like something out of a Disney movie. x

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