More nephew photos (spoiler: he's my fave)

My nephew is growing guys! He can walk, he can talk, he can feed the birds and most importantly, he can send me kisses on the phone - which I tell you, melts my heart right to the core!

Luckily for me, we are seeing him again very soon - so I’ll get another chance to take photos and share his sweet face some more. Being an auntie is the best!

Camera: Fujifilm Zoom Date 1000
Film: Lomography CN 400
Location: Roundhay Park, Leeds

An unexpected gift...

For a year where I picked the word 'happy' - I've been so very sad. My Grandad died last month. I'm heartbroken. I'm broken. Yet I feel more me than I've ever felt. Isn't that odd. It wasn't a surprise as such, he's been so sick for a while, his heart was failing him. It was very quick though, when it happened, and I guess I'm most upset because I wanted more time, more of him,  I definitely wanted to get to see him again, yet... here we are. 

He's gone. I'm broken. I'm going to have to rebuild myself... again. I'm really not ok, but I'm probably the most ok I've been for a while. 

I've been thinking about grief - like you do when one - you're a highly sensitive person - and two, you're an over thinker. And the truth is that, its real. Now I understand that is a bit silly of a statement 'of course its real Rhianne - duh' but hear me out.  By real I mean its coming from a very real part of me - a part thats born of love, a part thats true and raw, thats unaffected by the materials of the world - a part of me I'd forgotten existed in the last few years.

In feeling real sadness and heartache, I'm starting to feel more and more real emotions and I'm starting to see my depression for what it is - unreal. Nothing about my depression comes from me. None of it is born in love. None of it is from 'me'.

Grief flows freely from me.

Depression sucks me in and away.

Grief is sadness, unexpected laughter, heartache, devastation, sorrow, forgotten memories, leaking eyes.

Depression is despair, hopelessness, worthlessness, apathy, numbness, ruined nails, a sickness to the stomach.

Grief is carrying me through the days, the time has passed by me faster than I imagined - yet I seem to float through it, somehow getting by, my body reminding me to eat and my mind protecting itself from the usual stresses of the day in order to cope with what it needs to do.

Depression weighs me down, taunts me, provokes me, grinds at me, insults me, lies to me, drags me under, pulls me deeper.

Depression disconnected me, yet somehow, the love for my Grandad, expressed through grief, is reconnecting me - reminding my brain that it knows what to do in these situations (honestly, I'm so blown away with myself its a bit bizarre to witness), reminding my cells that they feel, they love and they can thrive in awful situations.

Now I'm definitely not saying this is easy, or that I'm floating through the days in a good way and I'm definitely not thriving (even if my cells are ok) - I'm not ok. I'm so incredibly sad, I'm at a complete loss of what to do with myself, I forget to eat, then I only eat biscuits and chocolate, I find myself with tears leaking from my eyes (yet I'm not crying?), my thoughts are all over the place, I nearly forgot to get off the train today, tiny things set me off - today it was a bag of potatoes on the floor, one of the potatoes was smashed.

Yet riding this rollercoaster of real... I'm somehow finding the strength to give my depression the finger - to hold my sorrow above my head and shout 'this is real, this is true... you have nothing on this pain, this pain is born of love, this pain is an expression a depth of feeling you couldn't even comprehend - yet alone try and pile on me.'

Depression is cold and heartless, yet today my grief is warm and full of heart - a broken heart yes, but a full one, of love as true and heavy as my sorrow.

And the unexpected gift is that in remembering that I can truly feel sadness how it should be felt - in a real way - I have hope that I can really remember how to feel truly happy too - to remember what happy means and not what it 'should be'. So maybe 'happy' isn't a completely ridiculous word, if in being so sad, I find a way to reconnect to my happy.

Black and White film love

I totally understand why people who scan their own negatives end up favouring black and white photos - the process of scanning colour photos is challenging to say the least and a lot of the photos I scanned from the second half of last year, I'm still not 100% happy with. So, I'm going to swat up soon on colour scanning (anyone know any good places to learn about it?), set up the scanner so I can use it more regularly and rescan all the colour films I've done so far. Which luckily isn't more than 15 I reckon, but still frustrating to have to start over. 

The worst part is looking at the images and knowing, feeling, that they're not quite right - but not knowing how to fix it. But I'm going to learn - I'm earnest and I'm going to show up and get it done. 

Luckily I still have some black and white photos from our mini moon that I'm very taken with and happy to be finally sharing.

I usually try and put together photos from a similar place/time and these were taken on the same day/roll but a bit spread apart. Today however, I decided to just pick my favourites from the batch I still have to share, because why not? 

Camera: Canon EOS 750
Film: Kodak BW400CN (I love it!)
Location: Hardcastle Craggs/ Hebden Bridge