Giants of Rock | Minehead

Giants of Rock – sounds great already, right? – is an annual adults-only rock festival hosted by the one and only Butlins. I promise, this is not a joke post. Butlins really does host a rock weekend.

You think of Butlins and, like me, you probably think of the seaside, family holidays, cheesy music and a place as far away as humanly possible from several thousand rockers. You’d be right, because Butlins is an awesome place for a family holiday, but did you know they also regularly hold live music weekends just for us grown-ups? And they’re incredible.

At the end of January, Matthew and I, alongside Mark and Kat – also known as Matt’s brother & brother’s girlfriend, good friends, best man & maid of honour, which ever tickles your fancy – jumped into the car for a 5 hour car-ride down to Minehead. We booked this weekend away so long ago, on a bit of a whim really, after visiting Matt’s mum and her foster children during on of their family holidays at Butlins. All four of us are child-free and loving it, so whilst Butlins (and the prospects of music, drinks and swimming) is forever enticing, the idea of spending a long weekend around many, many children is not. All they had to do was throw in “adults-only” and “rock music” and we were sold.

The music was, obviously, the highlight of the entire weekend. Surprisingly, though, the surrounding area came a very, very close second and that’s what I want to share with you today.

Minehead Butlins Beach Sunset

The Butlins resort we stayed in was in Minehead – almost 300 miles from our home city. It’s down in Somerset (which is also kind of near Wales), so even the car ride was a thing of beauty. I’m a bit dramatic when it comes to nature, I guess you’d say. I can’t quite control my excitement with how overwhelmingly and sincerely beautiful I find everything. It still baffles me how people can pass rolling hills and not look at them in awe, but that’s a story for another day. So, when we rocked up at the resort and head down to the nearby beach, I was blown away.

The beach seemed to start right at the base of a huge cliff, before winding all the way over mounds of huge rocks, around the bright green fields of a nearby golf course and into rolling hills in the distance. It went on forever.

Minehead Butlins Beach SunsetMinehead Butlins Beach Sunset

We went for two walks on the beach. One walk was full of fog and an orange sun that made the whole place look warm (even though it wasn’t). Even in the fog, it was incredible. During the second walk, we caught the sunset before almost being caught in the high tide. You bet we practically ran back to safety.  I could have walked up and down that beach for days… but only minutes away was the Butlins resort calling us back with an itinerary full of rock music and how could we turn that down?

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Have you ever been to Minehead or Somerset? I wish we could have explored a little more but, this time, we paid for the music and not for the nature!

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Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

My Year in Review #3/3 | Photographs

They say a picture speaks a thousand words… Throughout 2016, I took over 5,000 of them.

Despite how overwhelmingly rubbish this year was, when I look back on all of these beautiful photographs, I can’t help but feel thankful that some good came out of it. I saw some wonderful things, I made a lot of life-long memories and I grew hugely as a person. Yes, a lot of these memories were made as a way to distract myself from the big black dog but that doesn’t make those memories any less important!

So, to recognise all of the good that came from this year, I’m going to focus on those best bits in my final instalment of ‘my year in review’.

Here’s my best bits of 2016, summarised in photographs!

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Happy new year to all of my lovely followers, friends and family. 

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You can read my previous post here.

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Crazy Squirrel Lady

No, really, I love them. In England, you don’t see red squirrels often – honestly, I’ve never seen one in real life – so you have to settle with the common grey squirrel. I’m not complaining because how damn cute are they? Those fluffy tails, tiny little front paws, the way they bound across the grass, how they hold food and nibble on it… Ah, it’s too much.

Crazy Squirrel Lady Nature PhotographyCrazy Squirrel Lady Nature Photography

I’m not quite sure where my obsession with squirrels came from. One of my earliest memories of cooing over squirrels was when I was very, very young. I was playing in the park with my giant brick of a mobile phone, probably thinking I was really grown up. The only ‘music’ it had on it was a beepy tune of the Mission Impossible theme. Every time I played the song, a squirrel would appear. I don’t know why and I’m sure it was some sort of massive coincidence, but I thought it was absolutely hilarious. I kept on repeating the tune, pausing and stopping to see what the squirrels would do. They were darting across the path and in between trees, doing dramatic head movements and wobbling their tails to the beat. Luckily, I was with a friend – if I was alone, I’m sure I’d be then forever known as the creepy, hysterical, loner squirrel girl. I’d make a pretty sweet superhero though.

Since then, I kinda stuck with the whole love for squirrels. In Disney’s ‘Up’, I would madly giggle when Dug shouts “SQUIRREL”, I own lots of squirrel jewellery and if I see something pretty in the shop that’s squirrel themed, I’ll probably buy it. I just can’t help it.

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Cute, right!? Some people consider squirrels as vermin. I’ll never ever understand those people! Don’t even get me started on my absolute love for pigeons either…

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

My Day in Photos | Keswick

On Sunday, me and Matthew spent the day in the beautiful Keswick and the Lake District with his family. The first anniversary of Matt’s dad’s death happened to fall on Father’s Day (which was quite sweet actually) and it was time to spread his ashes with his dad’s wife and the rest of his family. Although we both expected it to be a completely miserable and emotional day, it was lovely.

Phil (Matt’s dad) and his wife Claire regularly visited the Lake District – it was their absolute favourite – so it was only fitting to have Phil’s ashes spread around one of the Lakes. To do this, we hiked for 9 miles to find the perfect spot (which we found!). All of his sons, his wife and his close friends scattered his ashes into the roots of the woodland trees and along the rocky lakeside coast. We all then continued our trek around the lake, before settling down for a drink at the end of the trail in a nice hotel.

Keswick The Lake District Photography

Because I was snapping away (oh, what a surprise!), me and Matt got pretty lost at one point! We had no signal and when we did nobody was picking up the phone… Honestly, I was worrying a little for a while there but we just decided to continue in that one direction. We eventually found everyone else at the hotel, thankfully. Apparently they could see us all along and me and Matt had only thought we were lost because of our completely awful eyesight, oops!

I don’t think I’ve ever ached this much before. The majority of the walk was up hill so my legs are pretty much dead, and because I had a heavy backpack on I’m still walking like the Hunchback of Notre-Dame. The pain was worth it though. The views in the Lake District are incredible. Really, they’re completely breath-taking… (even though it was a pretty dull day and the skies were a boring white sheet).

It was nice spending some time with Matt’s family too. Him and his brothers (and all the brother’s girlfriends/wives) are pretty similar ages, so we get along well as a group. The entire day was a really great combination of nature, photography, fun and purpose.

Related: My Day in Photos | Windermere

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Here are some photographs that I took throughout the day!

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It was a bloody long day but it was completely worth it to be completely immersed in nature. I absolutely love the Lake District!

Keswick The Lake District Photography

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Have you ever been to Keswick?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills.

50 Random Facts About Me

I’ve got something a bit light-hearted for you today! Personally, I love reading facts about other people – I’m so nosey. I like thinking to myself “me, too” whenever I read something we have in common. I also thought it would be a great opportunity for you to get to know the face behind the blog a little bit more! More importantly, I love lists. You probably know that… I think I mention it in every single post.

Family Photographs Facts About Me

Surprisingly, it wasn’t actually too difficult to come up with 50 random facts about myself.

Go ahead, have a nosey. I hope you find them interesting!

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1. My middle name is Rose.

2. I get lots of freckles in the summer.

3. My favourite colour is green – like the colour of my logo!

4. I’ve been with my fiancé, Matt, for almost 5 years now.

Lake District Windermere

5. ‘Adopting’ our first cat, Ivy, was a complete accident. She was a tiny, lost stray kitten and we saved her. We didn’t plan to have cats.

6. I’m studying computer science at university.

7. But, I’m currently on my industrial year in placement as a software engineer. It’s my third year out of four.

8. My sentimentality is one of my biggest weaknesses.

9. I love all types of dance, but I’m a bit rubbish at anything other than Lindy Hop.

10. I’m a huge bookworm.

11. I’m also such a film fanatic.

12. I rate/review every single movie I watch on IMDB.

13. My greatest passion is photography. If I could make a living out of being a photographer, I’d drop everything else in a heartbeat!

Beverley Minster Photography

14. A teacup pig would be my favourite addition to our family.

15. I have one younger brother, called Jared.

16. Me and my brother both have pretty obscure names, because my mum chose names that wouldn’t be typically shortened.

17. I absolutely love classic rock and roll, 80’s power ballads and 80’s rock music.

18. I drink my fizzy drinks through a straw.

19. I love 1940’s and 1950’s fashion, hair, make-up and music. Lots and lots.

20. After starting a TV show, I can’t stop. Even it it’s absolutely terrible. I have to watch all the episodes before I can moan about it.

21. I’m a cat person, not a dog person.

22. I love doodling.

Using DIY Backdrops in Blog Photography

23. My two cats are named after comic book villains: Ivy (Poison Ivy) and Harley (Harley Quinn).

24. I love writing lists. My entire life is practically one big list.

25. I watched Game of Thrones before reading the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ books.

26. I’d rather live in the country than in the city. I love nature!

27. I used to have 4 pet chickens: Georgia, Billina (from Wizard of Oz), Fiddy (short for 50 Cent) and Chicken (that’s my dad’s sense of humour for you!)

28. I’m a vegetarian.

29. I used to ride horses with my mum, and it’s something I’d absolutely love to take up again.

30. I’m a bit of a (okay, a huge) craft supply hoarder.

31. I’m good at cooking and baking.

32. I’d love to completely explore the UK’s countryside. Every single nook and cranny!

Hornsea Honeysuckle Farm

33. I don’t wear skin make-up like foundation. It makes me feel a bit silly, because I didn’t grow up wearing it.

34. I don’t speak any other languages other than English. Boring!

35. I’m a tea addict. I can’t function without my morning cup of tea.

36. I hate cheese! With such a passion that even the smell makes me feel really sick.

37. But, despite that, my favourite crisps are Quavers.

38. Mornings and me don’t get on.

39. I don’t smoke.

40. My heart melts when I see cat paws or hear my cats do that little sleepy sigh.

Cat Paws

41. I’m a natural mousey blonde.

42. My true laugh is really loud.

43. If you didn’t already guess from the amount of reviews I post, I’m in love with Lush Cosmetics products.

44. A few nights away camping sounds like the perfect little getaway to me.

45. I love organising my photographs into dated folders.

46. Dim lamps, candles and fairy lights make me feel so cosy.

Candle Light Photography

47. I’m very easily frightened, like a horse or a cat on bonfire night.

48. I’d choose an atmospheric pub over a sweaty, loud and noisy nightclub any day!

49. I can’t swim and I’m too shy to take classes.

50. I started my blog back in August 2015 to secretly document my life. It didn’t stay secret for long at all!

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Have you got any random facts you’d like to share?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills.

My Day in Photos | East Park

I grew up right next to a park. How lucky is that? I always had somewhere to play and hide. I always had somewhere to escape to. Growing up next to a park practically shaped my entire personality.

When I moved away from home, I didn’t actually move too far. I’m around 30 minutes down the road from my parent’s house and the park, so it’s pretty nice and easy to get there. East Park is just the best park. It’s not too busy to be crowded but not too empty to make me anxious. It’s clean and well looked after. It’s full of wildlife. Most importantly, it was my back garden growing up. It’s still the perfect place to escape to.

When I don’t have the time or the funds to go further afield (train prices are insane!), I’ll head there to walk among the trees, feed the ducks and probably stare enviously at the swings because damn… taking up a swing when you’re 21 isn’t socially acceptable.

For someone with such a deep-rooted passion for nature and the outdoors, living in the city is a bit like living in a bird cage. You can’t stretch your wings. That’s why the park is so great – it’s like a middle ground between the city and the countryside.

A couple of weeks ago, me and Matt went on a little adventure to see the animals in the park. Turns out, they closed pretty early that day… bummer. Instead, we went for a walk around the lake and I whacked my camera out, as usual, to capture the day.

Enjoy!

East Park Hull PhotographyEast Park Hull Photography
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Related: My Day in Photos | Beverley Minster

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I think East Park is one of the loveliest places in Hull!

🙂

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills.

My Day in Photos | Windermere

Over the weekend, me and Matt decided to go on a last minute coach trip that would take us up to both Skipton and to Windermere. Because we don’t drive, coach trips are just perfect for us. The price is inclusive of travel, accommodation, food and, in cases when you’re heading somewhere with an entry fee such as the Harry Potter Studios, ticket prices!

Neither of us had ever been to Skipton before and we’d never visited the Lake District as a couple so this trip seemed ideal. We both absolutely love the outdoors. I can’t deal with the beauty of it all, and get way too over excited. It baffles me how many people don’t feel the same way about nature! On the coach down to Windermere, the views were insane. Mountains and snowy peaks were just there, yet the majority of the coach weren’t even phased. Unbelievable. I guess that’s an issue for another day though!

Anyway, in preparation, we went big. We wanted to make the most of this trip, and we weren’t going to let the cold or the weight of our hand luggage get in our way so we stocked up on warm jumpers and a backpack to hold all of my camera gear. Luckily, the weather was beautiful so the jumpers weren’t completely necessary but the backpack was a life saver. You’d be surprised how heavy cameras and lenses are!

When we arrived in Windermere, we pulled up by the lake (the largest in England) and were met with mountain views, the giant lake full of boats, endless trees and a bright blue sky filled with cartoon-style fluffy, white clouds. We were so lucky to have visited on such a nice day.

Lake District WindermereLake District Windermere

With only 4 hours to make the most of our time there, we forfeited a trip on the lake for a walk in the lakeside woods instead. It gave us more privacy and the time to capture some photographs and explore nature properly. We couldn’t believe our eyes to be honest, and we both felt certain that this is the place we need to end up. It felt like home. My heart was just aching with a need to live there. One day for sure.

Lake District WindermereLake District WindermereLake District Windermere

Considering we had such a short amount of time in this beautiful part of England, we definitely made the most of it. After our walk along the lake, we had a walk in the bustling town of Bowness, ate our lunch in a lakeside restaurant and had an ice-cream with the swans. It was really, really great.

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I was even lucky enough to find a very busy bird feeder filled with lots of tiny woodland birds! I think (because I’m certainly not a bird expert, but I did a bit of research on them) I saw a nuthatch,  a great tit, a blue tit, a robin and a wren which was a bit speedy to get a good photograph of.

I think I have a new hobby though…

Lake District Windermere Bird WatchingLake District Windermere Bird WatchingLake District Windermere Bird WatchingLake District Windermere Bird WatchingLake District Windermere Bird WatchingLake District Windermere Bird Watching

So, yeah, it was amazing.

Lake District Windermere

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Have you ever been to the Lake District?

I hope you like my photos! I do.

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills.

(The image size has been decreased, a lot, on each photograph to speed up loading times when you open up the post.)