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February 2017

Me & Mine – February

by Clare Mansell

One of the things I enjoyed about looking back on Lucy’s family portraits for the Me & Mine Project was not just seeing her family grow, but also seeing the seasons change around them throughout the year. I remember when I was younger being told that we were so lucky to live in a country that had proper seasons and it’s taken a long time to learn to appreciate that. Famously Alberta in Canada which was our home for two years has two seasons “Winter and July” where as when we lived in Cyprus, harvest was in the spring and we all looked forward to the rain returning in autumn!


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Lagom is the new Hygge – A year of simplicity

A month ago I shared with you my ambitions to use this year to reduce our household waste, live more frugally and declutter. It turns out I wasn’t the only one thinking along these lines and since I wrote that first post I have been introduced to the Danish concept of “Lagom” which means “just the right amount” and is about being frugal and fair, creating balance in your life and living sustainably. Yup, it turns out I could have called this my year of “lagom” – except for the fact that no one would know what I was talking about!

So how are we getting on? Well six weeks into 2017 the small changes we are starting to make are already having an impact. Our household waste wheelie bin is now barely half-full and I no longer panic about missing a collection, thanks largely to the introduction of waste food composting. After resisting buying a special bin for the kitchen, I finally gave in and you can see that and the composting bin bags in the video.


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The Siblings Project – February

The Siblings Project – February

by Clare Mansell

Yesterday I finally resurfaced after six days of unexpected and total computer blackout. One moment I was doing a routine upgrade of my software on my mac and the next it was dead. To cut a very long story short, my saga ended with my computer being totally wiped and the operating system being reinstalled, all my files were mercifully rescued first, but as you can imagine it gave me a lot of time to think about the processes I have in place to protect my family photos, not just from computer failure, but also from the scary prospect of ransom ware.

I already keep copies of my photos on Flickr, dropbox and an external hard drive, but as time had moved on, the drive had become too small to accommodate Time Machine backups so I switched the automatic process off. Needless to say, after the week I’ve had, I now have a brand new 3 TB hard-drive solely for that purpose and I’m also giving thought to using BackBlaze as an additional cloud backup.

All this computer talk probably seems a bit off track in my monthly Siblings Project post, but I think its part and parcel of the same thing. We share these images every month because they are precious to us and its easy to be blasé about our digital archive when we are so used to being able to access it on multiple devices almost instantly.


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Home Life Project – February

Home Life Project – February

by Clare Mansell

This month we found ourselves spending our Home Life Project Sunday doing very similar things to last month. Once again we headed for a favourite spot for a winter walk, West Wittering beach, which means that yes, the first photo this month looks a whole lot like a photo from last month… BUT in the few weeks that have passed since I took the photos in January, there has been a change, this time Alice was exploring the beach on her own two feet and only retreated to the backpack when the wind and cold started to get to her.

At the beach I tried looking for reflections in the puddles on the sand, but ended up finding better ones later and I got the elusive double exposure look I was hoping for too. In fact once I trained my eye, I couldn’t stop seeing reflections, everywhere. Sadly sunshine was a little more elusive, but you can’t have everything.

While we are at the beach, we took part in the #Take3ForTheSea initiative,  collecting three pieces of rubbish from the beach to take home, which is why Theo’s clasping that broken spade in one of the photos. Rubbish is also sadly one of those things you can’t stop seeing once you start looking…


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Home Life Project – February Creative Challenge

You may be glad to know that this month’s creative challenge can be done almost anywhere inside or outside your house and certainly won’t result in the neighbours giving you strange looks! As we’ve got quite a bit of rain forecast over the next few days I thought it might be a good time to explore reflections. Reflections in puddles, on windows and virtually any mirrored surface.


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