UNTITLED (Holiday)This is the time of year when we all think about a holiday. It’s almost Christmas and if you live in the southern hemisphere it’s almost summer. I am now on holidays hooray! I have left behind the winter months of My Greek Island Home and all my furry friends to enjoy my other life, my Australian life. This is the time of year I spend with family, and friends in the summer sunshine. The sun is not shining at the moment but it is still a beautiful place to be. I am writing this with my computer perched on my lap looking out across Sydney harbour and through the heads. Although it’s grey there is still activity on the water, sailing boats, ferries and ocean liners float across the horizon in front of me. I have chosen this painting by Matthew Usmar Lauder to accompany this post. It’s a beautiful painting small like a gem and touches me. I love it because it reminds me of holidays, it reminds me of the past and it intrigues me. I hope you love it too.

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There are always surprises behind the closed village doors. My daily dog walking takes me past many uninhabited and also crumbling houses, they are thought provoking. Past lives stir my imagination and my curiosity pushes me towards any small opening for a peek. Just a glimpse is enough, but the opportunity to step over the threshold is never turned down. This particular house was a gem it had been left almost untouched. It was a friends mothers house and we were invited to tread the grapes from their annual harvest. They said it was important that we came as they wanted the grapes to be trodden by couples who loved each other. This would add to the quality of the wine. Mmmm……… hope we didn’t let the side down. The grapes were in plastic baby baths in the garden and Matthew and I took off our shoes, washed our feet and started treading. I was taking photos at the same time so relied on Matthew to hold me upright. The sensation of treading grapes is a rather wonderful one. I loved the feeling of the soft skins between my toes and the feeling of determination I took on to squish every single grape to liquid. I took my camera around the house and loved the way it had remained after the death of my friends mother. The only real difference were the bottles of wine being stored from previous years. The house was now a cellar.

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Patterns of lace panels hang in front of windows and old tin trays sit on top of fabric runners. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD

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Tin trays rest against the wall, it seems they have not been moved for years and years. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD

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The old newspaper gives us a sense of time. I love the two patterns chosen to sit side by side each other on this wall. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD

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A fabulous wooden panelled ceiling and a random piece of lace hang from a nail. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD

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This is my kind of lighting, I love the single clear bulb hanging from the twisted cord. I particularly love the connection between the cord and the bulb and the cord and the ceiling fitting. Grapes trodden by previous lovers lay waiting to be drunk. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD

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Chairs stacked up until next time. An embroidered hand made purse hangs open, when it was last used. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD

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Rotting shutters let in diffused afternoon light. I covert a curtain hook which is attached to the wooden window surrounds. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD

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A sad, single fallen curtain and some newer hats on the hat rack, reminding us that people still pass by. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD

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Patterns of slowly disintegrating fabric and paper. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD

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Electricity was not essential in this household. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD

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You can feel the bannister in your hand and the photos give you faces to the story you have built up in your mind. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD

 

Recently my goddaughter asked me if I found it easy to ask strangers if I could take their photographs. I had to admit I am still really self conscious when it comes to photographing people. I actually find the initial approach scary. I feel sensitive towards my chosen subject and also feel responsible for capturing the essence of them in my shots. When I approach people who I don’t know I am always amazed at how open they are to having their photo taken. I can honestly say that it’s rare that someone says no to me. No is fine and to be respected. When yes is the response I love  the fleeting relationship between me and my new friend. I always feel elated after having taken the snap and sharing a few words with the person or people in front of me. Language is never a barrier if you are warm and relaxed, and that’s also when you get the best result. I shared this with Grace and then suggested we sit down and watch the Bill Cunningham documentary, very inspirational. Thank you everyone who has said yes to me and given me your time whether it be 30 seconds or 2 hours. Below are a few faces who happily said yes.

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This man was not phased at all by my lens copyright Claire Lloyd

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These two were definitely on for a photo copyright Claire Lloyd

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A little self-conscious but obliging never the less copyright Claire Lloyd

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 This gentleman was my favourite. He was so excited I had asked him that he beamed, it was worth it just to see the pleasure in his eyes copyright Claire Lloyd

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I snuck in from the side on this one. This lovely couple had asked someone to take their photo with their camera. I thought she was particularly beautiful and there was lots of love there copyright Claire Lloyd

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He looks exhausted by life but became quite animated when we talked about Australia copyright Claire Lloyd

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This guy was very keen to be photographed he actually asked me and then proudly placed himself in the doorway of his shop copyright Claire Lloyd

 

The Stanley Supply Store
The Stanley Supply Store

I am absolutely LOVING this sexy chair by The Stanley Supply Store. If your in London you must visit the fab new shop Celestine Eleven at 4 Holywell Lane, Shoreditch. You will find The Stanley Supply pop-up in the lower ground floor. Not to be missed.

 

I have just arrived back from a sailing holiday in Turkey. It was bliss! The weather was perfect, deep blue skies to match the deep blue sea. I travelled with two of my Greek girlfriends by car to Marina Marti. We took a boat from Mytilene to Ayvalik and then drove down past Marmaris to meet an old mate, the captain. The captain was the first photographer I worked with when I arrived in London. We were joined by another friend on day 3 which let us off the hook from our boating responsibilities. This allowed us time for more serious things such as sunbathing. What I loved about this trip was the light heartedness of everyone. It was fantastic to laugh. A whole week of laughing is the best therapy in the world. It made me think of how many times we forget our humor, we leave it some where else. We take our lives so seriously. Sometimes it’s great just to forget all the stuff that makes us feel heavy and find time for fun and frivolity. Thank you Captain John for sharing your boat and your humor and thank you Mel, Elpida and Maria for the dancing, the laughing, and for a fabulous week.

IMG_1271Wild donkeys grazing on the shore.

IMG_1280The Aegean meets the Mediterranean, perfect clouds.

IMG_1291The crystal deep blue sea.

 

IMG_1237The ropes of the Heller West.

IMG_1264Shadow of Red Ensign.

IMG_1267Loving the light on the rocks.

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IMG_3270In the middle of the sea I jumped into this deep blue water. The rope was thrown in, just in case.

IMG_3272A Red Ensign sunset.

IMG_3295Sail against the sky shot from sun bathing position.

IMG_3296The mast agaist the sky still from sunbathing position.

IMG_3299Sunset in Marina Marti.

IMG_3301Morning light in Marina Marti.

IMG_1269Gentle splash.