Thursday, 8 January 2015

The New Baby's First Holiday In The Countryside

I have a new baby and it's taking up a lot of my time.

My new Canon EOS 100D (EOS Rebel SL1 in North America and EOS Kiss X7 in Japan) is tagged as the smallest and lightest DSLR in the world (perhaps not in Mr Tittle-Tattles's pocket). 
I've been following photography and travel bloggers and thinking about improving the quality of my photos as I am now posting a hefty number of travel shots. But I don't know anything about photography. I only know that I have an eye for a good photo, so I wanted to learn more about the craft and decided that I needed and wanted a camera that has the capability of a DSLR, but the size and feel of a compact system.

Barely a day old, little Canon took off to Bournemouth and Cornwall for the holidays to be the shutterbug that it's meant to be.

I've always been interested in photography since my days as an editorial assistant for a magazine, but being surrounded by photography snobs -- who refused to go digital until the very last minute when we stopped supplying them with film rolls -- didn't help in nurturing the hidden talent that I thought I had. You know, kinda like those X Factor contestants who think they can sing.

These are my first shots using my new Canon EOS 100D that Mr Tittle-Tattles gave me for my birthday slash Christmas. I think I asked my mother once why she had to give birth to me in the beginning of January when people haven't recovered yet from the indiscriminate holiday spending. I end up with combined presents. But hey, this isn't a cheap treat, so I don't mind if this includes Valentine's Day.

Bournemouth and Cornwall are divine during the winter months when it gets too cold for tourists. It's heaving in the summer when I'd rather be in Italy or the Philippines. It was refreshing to see empty shores and country roads.

I didn't know yet which setting to use, so I just fired away and hit and missed. Most of these shots were taken while inside a moving car. I haven't come to the editing software part of the manual and tutorial yet, so all of these photos are untouched. I love that I caught these birds on camera in the above photo. I guess that's one beauty of photography: the captured shot has a different perspective from your live view.

Has anyone of you heard of or read Daphne du Murier's novel 'Jamaica Inn'? It was published in 1936 and the setting was in this former public house, now inn, near the middle of Bodmin Moor. Jamaica Inn was built as a coaching house in 1750 and became infamous for being the base of smugglers and apparently one of the most haunted places in Britain.

Daphne du Murier got lost in thick fog while horseriding in the moors and sought refuge in the inn. Ghost and smuggling tales inspired her to write the book. 

It was turned into a film in 1939 by the legendary Alfred Hitchcock, a 1983 TV series starring Jane Seymour, and inspired the song 'Jamaica Inn' in Tori Amos's album 'The Beekeeper'.

Have you experienced hearing a ringing of unseen bells in the dead of the night, as if signalling the arrival of the headless horseman? They had one somewhere outside the inn (the bell, not the headless horseman) and it kept chiming while I was out in the cold. Then all the lights went out. I couldn't see inside. 

We were told that the lights go out at the inn and in the cottage across the road at exactly the same time most nights.

We slept with the lights on.

Immediately next to the inn's signage is the Smugglers Museum which exhibits the most extensive collection of smuggling artefacts. The Daphne du Murier room is inside the museum where her Sheraton writing desk and packet of du Murier cigarettes are on display.

Breakfast was spent looking out into the moors. It was chilly yet blissfully sunny.

Tell you what, the moors don't appeal to me when it's bathed in sunshine. I prefer it cold, wintry, rainy, intimidating, and frightening. How I see beauty in that is beyond me, but then again, I'm a fan of horror films.

Have a look around the inn's pub.

The above radiator is sort of art deco. Not the kind you'll find in Argos catalogues.

Above is my favourite room in the pub: beamed ceilings, log fire, antique seats and tables. Very traditional, which I find exceptionally charming.

Along the hallway that takes us to our room are these chains permanently on display. The same hallway used to be the generator room where Sky TV's Most Haunted team filmed one of their series exactly 10 years ago today. It was said that these chains were involved in an unscrupulous death. 

Guests were dared to touch the chains. Being Southeast Asian, I'm quite superstitious and thought that the negative energy might come home with us, so I left the touching to the other guests.

This table console.

Where to?

Find out via the next post !


  1. You've got the same camera as me! I've chose it because it was (still is?) the lightest DSLR as you mention. I'm very happy with it and I hope that it will be with you to capture the highlights in your life. It takes a while to master the functions (still learning after 8 years with Canon SLRs) but that's part of the fun!

    1. Aha! Is it your white one? It still is the lightest and smallest :) Anything smaller probably won't be a DSLR anymore. Will take a while for me to get the hang of it, but I'm loving it :)

  2. Aaaah yes - when you work out how to use all the fancy settings do let me know. I have the same camera and tend to only use two settings. I love how light it is but I need a bag to fit it in because I hate wearing it round my neck. Anyway I always thought your photos were very good quality actually but it's nice to have one that you can do a bit more with.

    What a lovely trip. It's been a while since I've been that far south - those landscapes are stunning, but that inn certainly sounds a bit scary, albeit very traditionally beautiful (i need that radiator though) - i'd have probably slept with the lights on too and probably would have got in my car home if the lights then went out.

    Oooh where next Ms Madge? xx

    1. Oh thank you for saying that about my photo quality. That's right, I wanna be able to do more. You, me and Anouk have the same camera! Great minds think choose alike. Hahaha. Definitely will teach you a thing or two. You'll see where I'm off to next time xxx

  3. Looks like a really brilliant camera :)) Love taking pictures!! Though, haven't been out in a while as the weather is terrible at the moment here. I hope you continue to enjoy it doll :) Have a wonderful weekend xx

    1. I'm loving it! I so love taking photos. I find that I tend to see more what's interesting in so many things that I normally wouldn't notice. Have a wonderful weekend, too xxx

  4. Great photos! and great Christmas Present! I am also thinking of starting a photography course in the near future! keep on shooting!!!

    1. Thank you Georgia! Appreciate that. That's a good idea. Let's all post better looking photos. See you in your side of the blog :)

  5. Happy New Year! A little belated but I've just returned from our festive break. In fact I've just been preparing a new post, sorting through the photos. I'm so impressed with your new camera and those incredible photos are absolutely fine untouched! Amazing shots of the beautiful landscpes. That's certainly what you call a traditional pub (fabulous radiator!) with a story to tell. I think I would have slept with the light on too. Great post!

    1. Happy New Year miss b! Thanks for complimenting my photos :) Maybe we should all get the same camera. Love traditional pubs even though I still go there to eat rather than drink. Look forward to your new post!


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