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

Matt Asks Me Weird Things

You know what’s a really incredible thing? Loving and living with your absolute best friend in the world.

After 5 and a half years – or, almost 2000 days (I don’t know why I Googled that) – being asked weird questions by my better half, Matthew, has become the norm. We have the strangest conversations, like everyone else, but Matt in particular comes up with the most ridiculous things. Tonight, I was thinking about this one particular memory, and I suddenly remembered that I noted down a few of the weird questions he asked me, just for, I don’t know, future notice, I guess.  We went on a summer hike in the middle of nowhere, and periodically throughout the walk, he’d turn to me and ask a question. As if the beautiful walk, rolling hills, and blazing sunshine wasn’t enough, this made for a super special memory.

For all you lucky people that do live with your best friend, especially if that best friend of yours is a massive, random weirdo, you’re probably gonna relate with me a little here! If not, admire a few of the weird and wonderful things that Matthew thought to ask me throughout the duration of one hour.

Green Landscape Trees

If you had a horse, what would you name him?

Frasier, Dougie, Ezekiel, Felix. I think I love Ezekiel the most, but I can imagine my fictional, beautiful, shiny stallion with all of the above names.

What mythical animal would you most love to find in the wild?

To clarify, he also meant “to find and have as a per”. This was easy for me. I’d want to find a domesticated unicorn or Pegasus or Rapidash (do Pokémon count?). As you probably already guessed, I’m pretty obsessed with horses – but, alas, I do not own a horse. I did also consider a Phoenix because 1) it’s beautiful, 2) you won’t be sad when it dies, because it will come back to life 3) they have the ability to heal with their tears.

Would you chop off your own arm if you could replace it with a mechanical one?

Basically, no. We debated this one for a while because, yes, the mechanical arm has countless advantages but I can’t imagine any of those advantages outweighing the unimaginable pain of having to cut your own arm off. I also like the idea of, at least for now, being completely human. If you were offering a deal more like “would you chop of your pinkie to become a bionic human, or human 2.0, with massively improved cognitive functions?” then I might say yes.

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What do you think?

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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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20160907_165854img_20160716_150917img_20160716_17293120160416_141758robinimg_916620160814_214304314163908_10208985609249982_1958375167_o20160902_170348img_9006img_229520160214_155257img_2419img_2441Sewerby Bridlington Cliffs Photographyimg_092520160830_15024920160830_15023420160928_20083120161021_11422920160730_13461220160912_18474120160619_12110620160619_12115620160718_14313220160611_095157Hull Fair 2016 PhotographyHull Fair 2016 Photographyimg_20160124_210619

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

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Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Getting Festive in the Studio

Can you believe that it’s the first of December? I still don’t have my Christmas decorations up and I don’t actually see it happening any time soon. For someone who normally has their Christmas decorations up in the first week of November, this is a bit of a big deal!

Despite the lack of festivities in my personal life, my photography studio been been regularly bringing a snippet of Christmas Day into my home.

Recently, I had the sweetest little elf visit for a Christmas photo-shoot, and once you see his little smile, you won’t blame me for wanting to share these with you. With his little pointy ears, his festive cheer and his childish wonder, he brightened up my home. I admit, I did feel a festive twinkle whilst photographing this beautiful baby in his little elf outfit. I’m only human!

The Rose Quartz Photography Christmas PhotoshootThe Rose Quartz Photography Christmas Photoshoot

Once he left and the Christmas props had been packed away, however, all signs of Christmas cheer vanished into thin air and the reminder that Christmas is almost upon us made me cringe. I promise, I’m not always this much of a Grinch. This year has been tough – really, unforgettably tough – so mustering up a bit of happiness for something that 2016 has to offer me is proving a lot harder than I thought it would!

The solution: lots of Christmas photo-shoots!

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If you’d like to have a look at my photography page on Facebook, you have find me here.

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You can read my previous post here.

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Taking On Too Much

Well… howdy. I’ve missed you, the community and my writing an awful lot. I never thought I’d take a break from blogging but, here we are, almost 20 days later saying hello all over again.

Taking On Too Much

The transition between September and October (and the weeks that followed) was a bit manic, to be honest. After finishing my work placement, a.k.a Hell on Earth, I was quickly reintroduced to the life of a not-so-typical university student. A lot of people seem to think I took a year out of university to get a job, but that’s not the case. Instead of sticking with three years, my degree is made up of four with a year of industrial experience plonked right in the middle – that’s what I was up to last year and, frankly, it was crap. It was obvious I’d never be able to smoothly transition back into my final year of university but, as a whole, it hasn’t been so terrible. It’s nice to be back on my own schedule and it’s really nice to not be surrounded by bullies day in, day out.

Despite that, it wasn’t university that led me to take a break. I just took on way too much, way too quickly.

Being all over-excited that I’d finished my work placement, I instantly began building up my photography portfolio. If you know me at all, you sure know how deep rooted my love for photography is, so I jumped at the opportunity to monetise my passion. I began photographing practically all of the children in my family and, without me realising, I didn’t have weekends to myself anymore. After finding myself completely chuffed with the results, I recently moved on to photographing friends of friends’ children and people I’ve never met before. I’m finding this more of a challenge as I have to maintain an air of professionalism whilst entertaining the children, reassuring the parents and working behind the camera. It’s tough, but I love it. The whole journey has been incredible in lots of different ways – incredibly enjoyable, because I am in love with being behind the camera, and incredibly insightful, because who knew it could be this hard?

With my degree, my photography and all attempts at maintaining this standard of mental health, my much loved blog just fell behind. A day hasn’t gone by without me feeling guilty but taking a break was definitely the right decision.

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Anyway, enough of the excuses. It’s good to be back.

What do you think of the new look? Check out my blog’s home page to have a peek at my new design!

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You can read my previous post here.

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Treat Yo’ Self Sundays

If you’re now completely in the mood to watch Parks and Recreation, my job here is done. Be my friend. If not, you should really watch that show. It’s the best combination of comedy, life lessons and a giant dose of realism.

Anyway, I’m sure you’ll agree that Sundays are really wonderful. They’re either full of absolutely nothing or absolutely everything but, either way, they’re enjoyable. Yes, you’re a tiny step closer back to work on Monday but at least you spent it doing something you wanted, right?

Treat yo' Self

Sunday evenings are the perfect excuse to treat yourself.

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Eat lots of chocolate:

I don’t know about you but there’s a giant bar of Dairy Milk and a full box of Cadbury’s Heroes in my fridge, waiting for me. I don’t often eat chocolate but when I do get that sweet tooth… God help us all.

Take a bubble bath:

Melt your worries away. Don’t give me that “men don’t take bubble baths” malarkey, either. Everyone can enjoy a good soak. Whether you do that in a bright pink bath tub full of glitter, well, that’s your choice.

Read a book:

Immerse yourself in one of your favourite fictional worlds. Personally, getting tucked up in bed with a good book is practically unbeatable on the scale of relaxation.

Try to stop worrying:

Now, I say try because, understandably, we all have our own shit going on. But, if there’s any chance of you treating yourself (mentally or materialistically) then you should probably just breath and let it go – even if that’s only for the evening.

Get yourself some fresh air:

As tempting as it is to stay indoors all day, with the curtains closed as if the outside world doesn’t exist (or is that just me?), it’s well worth taking a stroll outdoors on a Sunday. This is even more of a cause in the autumn, when those Sunday afternoons are just perfectly crisp.

 

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Treat yo’ self, everyone.

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-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Why I Love Blogging

It’s definitely starting to feel a lot like autumn. I think, for me, that’s because I spent the day in my pyjamas, I painted my nails a deep red colour, I have scented candles burning and I’ve had countless cups of tea. Because of that, I’ve spent the day thinking a lot about my blog.

I began blogging just over a year ago. Autumn came around a lot sooner last year than it has this time and blogging was the perfect hobby for me to take on as the nights became colder, darker and cosier. I guess that’s why an autumnal feel in the air made me reminisce about my early blogging days. Since then, I’ve definitely changed but my love for it has only grown. It’s now just a part of who I am.

Why I Love Blogging

Lots of people blog for lots of different reasons. Here are mine:

I use my blog to channel my creativity

If you’ve stopped by before, I’m sure you’ve picked up on my love for arts, crafts and anything else considered creative. I love it all. I’ve dipped my toe into every possible nook in the world of creativity (or at least all the ones I can think of, anyway). Some stick, such as drawing and photography, and some don’t – but that’s fine.

My blog is a place where I can share all of this. It gives me a bit of a purpose. “Oh, if I finish this drawing soon I can share it on my blog” or “I mentioned that I’d like to make a skirt. I’ll get started” are fantastic blogging prompts for me.

I use my blog to meet new people

My blog has allowed me to meet people all over the world. I’ve had to chance to talk to people from Ukraine, India, Canada, Austria and, in one way or another, we’re similar. Meeting in the blogosphere means that readers generally share common interests, whether that’s reading, writing, photography, film… It doesn’t matter because there’s always something to talk about.

I use my blog to share my photography

Photography, for me, is one of those things in life that makes everything feel okay. I feel happy when I’m taking photographs. I concentrate so intensely on what I’m doing that any negativity in my life, however big or small, fades away into nothingness. I don’t have anywhere to properly share my photography work, so my blog helped me fill a hole. I’m thinking about creating a Facebook page simply for my photography – what do you think?

I use my blog to document my life

Having somewhere to write about my life is what catapulted this little piece of the internet into creation. It’s something I’ve always done. I’ve had countless diaries for me to write about what I’ve been up to and how I’m feeling. When I was younger, I did share snippets of my life on the internet, in novel ways like MySpace questionnaires, but never to this extent. I love it – the internet was made for sharing.

I use my blog to write

Most importantly and most obviously, my blog gives me somewhere to write. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved writing. As a kid, I wrote stories about growing old with my childhood crushes. In school, I wrote about war and mental health and, even now, when I next find the time I already know where my writing is going to take me (but shh, it’s too early to talk about it).

Writing calms me down, makes me smile, keeps my fingers busy and it can still produce something special at the end of it!

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What’s your favourite thing about blogging?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan