Wednesday, 31 December 2014


So 2014 is drawing to a close.

I can't quite believe that this year has already been and gone. It's just flown by and has been really quite an incredible year.

A fair few ups and also a few downs. Not that I'm complaining at all!

I achieved some things this year that I never thought I would. I've been places that I never thought I'd go to and I've met people who have truly changed my life.

So here's to next year and the surprises it may bring.

I've got a few resolutions but there's no point writing them down...I'll just let you know if I keep them!

First on that list is to graduate and then get a job...nothing too major really...oh and not over spending my student loan on clothes...and shoes.

I hope you all have a very happy New Year wherever in the world you may be.

Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back: a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country
Anais Nin

Pic me, couldn't leave you on anything other than a Sri Lankan sunset, Mount Lavinia beach

Monday, 29 December 2014


Getting ready to head north tomorrow on an epic road trip to celebrate New Year in style with some of my closest friends.

I realise that many people see New Year as a massive anticlimax and nothing particularly special.

I for one just use it as an excuse to get together with amazing people, do a bit of dancing, and bit of partying, oh and maybe rebel a little...

A little rebellion now and then is a good thing.

Pic unknown via Tumblr

Saturday, 27 December 2014


Happy happy (belated) christmas to you all!

I know that for many it isn't the best time of year and for some it is.

But I hope that wherever you are and whoever you were with, you had a very happy day.

Oh and Christmas wouldn't be complete without an old shoot courtesy of the wonder that is Tim Walker.

The absolute dream.

Pics Wildfox

Tuesday, 23 December 2014


So here it is. As promised the first view of the book I spent three months working on. 

Around the Galle Fort in 80 Lives.

Writing a book in three months is nothing like you’d think it would be. There’s no time for relaxing, no time to compare notes and deliberate over whether you may or may not have made the right decision. Every second, every hour is precious and must be used wisely. Conversations are had on the go, yelled above the noise of a tuk tuk weaving around huge buses and old men on spindly bikes or hurriedly discussed over a sandwich as you fuel up ready for the next task. And because the people you are writing about have their own lives to live, they are not always as accommodating as you might wish. Children have to be picked up from school, the vegetable man pushing his cart of rainbow goodies has to be caught before he rounds the corner or a sudden impromptu trip to Colombo occurs, pushing your interview back by several days.

Around the Galle Fort in 80 Lives is a book that was written on the back of unpredictability. We never really knew, even up until printing, whether we had everything we needed or who was to go where or even if we had the right photos. But over the three months, there became a level of organisation that hovered above all this chaos. Somehow, although no day ever stuck to plan and no interview actually happened when we wanted it to, we remained calm and, to a certain extent anyway, under control, though it certainly didn’t look that way at the time. People have the capacity to both amaze and irritate you in the same moment. When one interviewee was not answering their phone for the tenth time in a row, another would appear round a corner, a friendly smile inviting you in for a cup of tea and a chat. In fact some of the most special moments I experienced over the course of the time I spent in Sri Lanka were totally unscripted. They just happened.

When I first held the book in my hands, when I flicked through the pages seeing stories that we’d worked on for months and photos that we’d captured in a second laid up on shiny, thick paper, it didn’t really feel real. Even now it still doesn’t. But knowing that our work and our stories are going to reach people around the world is the most incredible feeling. Around the Galle Fort in 80 Lives is not a guide on how to live life to the full, a self-help tome that ultimately spouts out every cliché imaginable. It is a book of stories, a compilation of a variety of lives, which have come together to form a community stronger than most you will find across the world.

It is important to remember that you have a choice. No one can tell you what to do with your life, most definitely not me, most definitely not any book. But I think that the world today offers so many opportunities that need to be seized upon. Sri Lanka is only just realising its full potential and I think it is vital that the generations who are helping to rebuild this magical country, first address their own lives before tackling the future of their country. Maybe that means stepping outside of a comfort zone, away from all that is familiar and reassuring and into the terrifying unknown. Maybe it doesn’t. But I know that is what I did and I’d have to say it turned out to be a pretty incredible decision in the end.

Thanks for listening to my ramble.

I hope it may inspire you to take a gamble in 2015.

Go on, I dare you.

Pics c/o Juliet Coombe

Saturday, 20 December 2014


So the two weeks are up.

I'm back at home, a little bit jet lagged and currently trying to get my head around the fact that there is now a book with my name in it for sale around the world.

Unbelievable really.

I'll say no more for now but stay tuned over the next few days to see the front cover of the book and hear my thoughts on the whole experience.
Although it is next to impossible to actually put it into words.

The above shot was captured by my boss at about 5:30am as the sun was rising.

Me, in action, capturing a little moment in time.

Pic JulietCoombe

Tuesday, 16 December 2014


So the day is almost here.

The launch of Around the Galle Fort in 80 Lives, the book I spent the three months in the summer working on is being launched at an extra special event in Galle Fort this Thursday.

It truly feels surreal to be telling people about an event when the book in question has been in part written by yours truly. And my name is on the contents page! With a photo and everything. 

I can't quite believe it to be honest. And I don't think it's really going to hit me until I'm on the plane on the way home.

For now I'm just enjoying the ride...and busily hand delivering five hundred invitations, all of which have this gorgeous painting you can see above on them.

It has been hand painted onto wood by one of the Fort's most incredible artists.

A one of a kind painting for a one of a kind evening.

Come on down to the Dutch Hospital, Galle Fort on Thursday 18th December at 5:30pm for an unmissable evening of celebration, tea, a giant cake and even a spot of devil dancing.

Painting by Janaka De Silva @ Sithuvili Gallery, Dutch Hospital, Galle Fort

Monday, 15 December 2014


Sri Lanka, Galle Fort. 5:30am Sunrise over the glittering Indian Ocean.

This place never gets boring. Every day is different.

Having spent three months here in the summer, coming back with fresh eyes now for two weeks, everything feels the same but totally new.

Catching up with the friends I made, playing with the Fort's crazy children and organising a huge launch party for the book I spent the months working on, no day is the same.

Come Thursday 18th December I will officially be an author which is both an incredible and slightly terrifying thought. (stay tuned for more snaps of this!)

Sri Lanka never ceases to amaze me and all I hope is that it maintains its unique nature and doesn't let itself be changed by the tourist industry that is threatening to take over the most beautiful areas of the country.

All I know is I've never been anywhere like it.

Sri Lanka, Serendib, Ceylon.

Pics me

Friday, 5 December 2014


So it's the end of term.

Can't quite believe it's Christmas already! The term has gone so fast it's crazy.

But my essay is in, my bag is not (yet) packed but I'm so excited because on Sunday I'm heading back to Sri Lanka for two weeks!

Heading back to sun, sea, friends, palm trees and lots of rice and curry.

Safe to say two weeks in the sun are exactly what I'm ready for right now.

I'm sorry in advance for the photos of beaches and sunsets that are about to clog up this blog...especially for those who are hiding under layers of wool and blankets in the Northern Hemisphere. I'll be back before you know it doing exactly the same thing.

Pics Pinterest, Tumblr, OurReligionIsYou

Monday, 1 December 2014


Happy happy December to you all!

Feeling a little worse for wear this Monday morning and I have so much to do...not excited.

On the plus side though, the 1st of December means that it's so nearly Christmas!

And I for one can't wait.

Group hug anyone?!

What this world needs is a group hug.

Pic unknown via Tumblr