The Wife Of A Photographer

My husband takes photos. Loads of them! And they’re beautiful.

Harvey studied photography at university; he has a lot of knowledge and some pretty fancy kit!

His camera is one of the most expensive things we own. When we first started going out, on passing it to me he would say, “Careful, this costs more than my car” (a completely warranted concern, I’m pretty clumsy)

When on holiday and on long walks with friends, more often than not, Harvey gets left behind as he stops. Considering framing and perspective, he waits for the perfect light, for the wave to break, or for the sheep to turn and look his way.

People have become impatient with him in the past. Stopping and looking over their shoulder wondering why they’re waiting.

I’ve never felt like this; because it forces me to stop too.

When Harvey takes a photo and we are walking together side by side, I stop so he can get the shot of an uninterrupted landscape without a person in sight. When I stop I often look at what he is looking at, see the beauty he sees and can see the photo he’s about to create.

I’ve discovered podcasts recently and have been listening to the ‘Slow Home Podcast’. It’s all about minimalism and how we can live a slower, simpler and more intentional life. I’m absolutely loving it and whenever I listen to it I get a huge urge to throw all my stuff away, get a cow, become completely self sufficient and live off the grid in the woods! On the drive up to Scotland Harvey and I listened to it for 6 straight hours and discussed how we could make our lives simpler and more intentional.

Watching Harvey take photos epitomises this for me; why on a walk in some of the most beautiful places in the country am I looking at my shoes? Why am I rushing to get to the end, to the headland, to the pub, back to the car park? Harvey taking photos forces me to slow, to look, to be intentional… And often gives me an opportunity to catch my breath 🙂

I’m grateful for our family photo albums and the shots that sit in frames and remind us of our wonderful adventures but mostly I’m grateful that that Harvey taking photos offers us the opportunity to stop, to look, to appreciate, and often for me to thank God for Harvey, our time together, and the world we enjoy exploring together so much!

What do you do that forces you to stop, breathe and say thank you?

With love

– Charlotte XxX


Choosing to Trust

Hi! Gosh it’s been a while! How are you? I hope 2018 has treated you well so far!

January has been a tricky one for us; a big ol’ bombshell, a change, a bout of Aussie flu and a wisdom tooth removal plan has meant that we’re not wistfully waving January off as she drives into the distance with her hand out of the window. It’s been more of a ‘mmkay, bye Hun, see you later’ *shut door and sigh of relief* kind of situation!

Having said that, all those tricky things January brought with her have been absolutely okay. Absolutely not a problem and absolutely peaceful. Why? Because we’ve chosen to trust.

“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”

– Jeremiah 29:11

Trusting God can be a tricky business! Ironically I find it so much easier to trust in Him when things are bad. Does anyone else feel like this?

When everything is hunky dory (I wonder where that phrase comes from….!) I’ve thought in the past “don’t worry God. Take the day off – I got this!”

I’ve tried to do things in my own power and tried to sort things on my own. Although I might think that I’ve got this, of course I haven’t. Our hearts know that we can’t do it alone – but our heads – they like to think otherwise.

The crazy thing; the coolest situations arise when we go “you’ve got this God. Take the wheel”

My friend Fi, when I was away at university in the States called me and said, “get on the phone. I need to speak to you right now” she was going to Tunisia on the border with Syria to help out in a refugee camp. She’d been praying and asking God for something to ‘happen’ in her life. She gave it to God and God gave her an adventure.

My friend Lauren. She’s currently on the most incredible journey in South Africa, (you can read about her adventure here) she was terrified before she left. Her (completely understandable) fear of the unknown was huge. That didn’t stop her though – it made her trust God all the more. We sat and prayed together, talked through plans, cried together (a lot) and I couldn’t be prouder of her. She’s out there – absolutely smashing it for God and in return He’s doing incredible things in her life. It’s not an easy road but she’s handed him the steering wheel and as He drives, and she’s helping so many people; He’s helping her.

My friend Sarah. She’s going back to work after having the most beautiful baby boy (biased – he’s our godson) and as of yet has nothing concretely lined up to go back to. Is that scary? Of course! Is she anxious. Yes! But she has been so inspiring in telling me that she knows God has a plan and she knows he’s got a path all ready for her. She just can’t see it yet.

In my own experience? Africa, on a world challenge expedition as a staff leader. I had no control over what happened on that trip. So I gave it to God and prayed almost continually over that 3 and a bit weeks. I’ve never felt more close to God or more peaceful about a situation out of my control. My biggest fear on that trip – getting sick and not being able to do my job. Did I get sick? Nope!

In all those situations, the path is unclear. Walking blindfolded isn’t comfortable but “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Just like in any of our relationships, trusting is a choice we have to make every day. It’s a mindful intentional thing. Speaking from personal experience. Trusting is so worth it. It always wins the day, and it’s something I’m learning to do more!

With Love from

– Charlotte


P.s here are some more plan related verses to check out

– proverbs 16:3

– psalm 25:4

– proverbs 3 5-6

– psalm 103: 2

P.p.s Hunky Dory – the origin is unknown, I checked!

Plant Killers Anonymous

“My name’s Charlotte and I’m a plant killer”

“Hi Charlotte”

If there was a ‘Plant Killers Anonymous’ I would be a fully fledged member. I have killed succulents (a desert dwelling plant that requires little to no attention), basil pots wilt on my windowsill and the planter that I was given full of my wedding flowers has certainly seen better days.

Seeking advice from my green fingered mother-in-law Amanda, I asked where I could be possibly going wrong….

“Well”, she asked me through suppressed giggles, “how often do you water it?!”

The guilt that wracked my face nearly had her spitting out her mouth full of tea. (note to self: waiting for the rain to look after your plants is apparently not enough)

Bolstered by this new found knowledge (watering is important…who knew!), and determined to leave the infamous PKA (Plant Killers Anonymous) I called upon one of the other gardenerning experts in my life.

My grandma is a marvel in the garden. No matter what she has been given and in no matter what state, she’ll produce a little oasis. She can tell you the Latin name for everything too. As well as giving you advice on how much it likes the sun and how deep to bury it!

So arm in arm we marched into the garden center and after a lot of advice and a bit of chopping and changing I had everything I needed to set up my very own balcony garden.

And I only bloody well did it! 

Believe it or not dear reader but I have (successfully!!) kept alive a herb pot containing mint, lemon thyme and sage, a bay tree/bush….who knows, salva and lavender and I’ve even tried my hand at some veg.

I have ACTUALLY NOT KILLED 2 courgette plants and a tomato plant.

The courgette plant has even grown little EDIBLE courgettes. It’s a flipping marvel! 

We’re even considering taking on an allotment….. Move over Monty Don!

That reminds me – I must get to watering!

– C XxX 


I’ve just left the cinema feeling like I can do anything. Feeling optimistic, buoyed and honestly… pretty damn sassy. I’ve just seen ‘Wonder Woman’. 

I’ll level with you, I didn’t want to go see it really. The trailers didn’t excite me and I thought it would be another Hollywood demonstration of a beautiful woman kicking ass while showing hers. 

I was wrong. 

Well. I wasn’t wrong about a beautiful woman – Gal Gadot has to be one of the most sensational looking people I have ever seen – and she filmed a lot of it while she was 5 months pregnant, stunts and all. What I really love about ‘Wonder Woman’ though is how it is about so much more than how she looks. 

She’s fierce, passionate, kicks some serious ass, and doesn’t need a man to hold her hand while she does it. In fact most of the men around her marvel at her beauty but then are floored by her bravery. 

The film opens with a Diana (Wonder Woman) as a little girl running like mad smiling with a air of fierce determination about her. The phrase “run like a girl” comes to mind here. A little girl who isn’t delicate and waifish but a powerhouse, beautiful and strong. 
Hollywood are portraying women much more like this now and it gives me heart for the little girls I get the privilege to teach and to see grown up in this crazy world. 

Ray in Star Wars, “Stop Taking My HAND” and Moana with, “I won’t take no for an answer” are two examples that immediately spring to mind! 

Okay so Wonder Woman has flaws, (the film not the woman…and that’s the problem) she manages to cross no-mans-land on the front line in WW1 without smudging her eyeliner, her outfit of choice for her badassery is a corset and knee high leather heels, and after saving the world the hair is still smooth and the lip gloss is perfection. So it’s not perfect. But it’s a start and a huge step in the right direction. 
Go see it, let me know what you think! It certainly had me feeling inspired! 


– C XxX 

The lost art of letter writing 

This week two lovely things flopped through our letter box and onto the doormat. This week I received two hand written letters from two lovely friends. One was a surprise, the other planned & I can’t tell you the joy that those pieces of paper gave to me! 

As you know I am a hopeless romamtic, traditionalist, anti-kindle, pro-Royal Family kind of girl (in fact I actually had a dream last night that Princess Kate was my friend – and that’s not the first time). I love all things old and beautiful. I’m as sentimental as they come, and so document everything squirreling away photos, receipts, theatre tickets, order of services from friends weddings and yes…I do in fact still scrapbook our holiday adventures! 
A couple of weeks ago a dear friend text me and suggested we write letters to each other. I was so excited and immediately planned my next paperchase visit to buy some pretty new writing paper. My lovely friend Molly lives in Hastings and so sadly we don’t see each other as much as we might like, writing letters seemed the perfect antidote to that. My other letter sender was my lovely friend Heather who has moved to Vancouver for a bit – an envelope with a Canadian stamp threw me there for a moment! 
Writing a letter is so wonderful, I sat curled up in an armchair with a cup of tea at my elbow and really slowed down. Most of us can type pretty quickly and so the time it takes for us to get thought to paper is much speedier than writing it down. I felt like I’d hit a pause button as I sat there and wrote. Talking about my day, asking questions, enquiring after them. 

I got hand cramp as I wrote though. How bad is that?! I just don’t write for any length of time any more. That’s going to change – anyone else fancy being my pen-pall? I’ve got lovely writing paper now! 
Why dont you drop a letter to a friend as a surprise. I guarantee it’ll make their day. 

Happy writing 

– C XxX 

April Adventures

April has always been a really exciting month in this house. Our very first holiday as a couple was in April, and on the 4th of April 2015 Harvey and I became Mr and Mrs Wood. 

April means adventure! The clocks have changed and the evenings are lighter, spring is definitely here and with it a sense of hope. Easter is just around the corner and with it the biggest message of hope there is. 

We’ll be heading to Wales this weekend (but not before stopping in on Swindon and Bristol on the way – we’ve got some very important friends to visit) and we’re planning on being outside by the sea (or on it) for nearly 100% of our time there. 
This month can be about adventures, no matter if you’re staying at home or going a little further afield. Harvey and I have embraced the lighter evenings and have been trying to get outside more. One night last week we went to our local park for a walk, boots on, hip flask filled and adventured until the sun started to sink beneath the clouds. 

We’re also huge fans of the self titled ‘Adventure Breakfast’. Stuffing a backpack full of camping stove, frying pan, bacon (essential) beans and coffee we walk straight out of our front door and to a secluded spot for breakfast al-fresco! 

This month see if you can get outside more, turn your phone off; take a long walk on your lunch break, spend an evening reading in the park, or go to the beach on your day off. No matter where you live the great outdoors is begging to be adventured in. 

– C XxX 

Simplicity In Isolation

In our busy, hectic lives, so many of us strive for simplicity. Simplicity in our homes, meals, and schedules; but it’s often so challenging to find. No matter how hard we try to simplify our lives, somehow the unwelcome business manages to barge in again.

Striving for simplicity and adventure a few summers ago, we left our complicated and demanding lives behind and ventured north, very far north, to the Isle of Raasay. Raasay is a small Scottish island (only 14 miles long) and is part of the Inner Hebrides. It’s nestled between the Isle of Skye and the Scottish mainland, home to 170 people, is breath-taking in beauty…and is not at all easy to get to.

From London, we flew to Inverness, picking up a car and driving for a further 4 hours through breath-taking scenery; stopping briefly for a ginger beer, a packet of crisps and some stone skimming in a loch on mainland Scotland. Then over the Skye bridge, to the edge of Skye, and onto the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry to Raasay.
Fans of the timeless “are we there yet” will be pleased to hear that this journey offers many opportunities of an encore. No, we were not there yet. Not quite.

Once on the Ferry, we caught our first glimpses of the island. Crossing on a perfectly still day, the sun sparkled off the surface of the water, the wind whipped past us, as we gasped in awe at the beautiful island seemingly floating on the water. Disembarking, we began our journey up the island. Raasay has lots of roads near the ferry port, but as you keep driving, the island the roads fall away and you are left with just one. Callum’s Road. So called because it was built by Raasay resident, Callum MacLeod who was so disgruntled by the lack of decent road on the island he set to building one. So, he did, single handed, every day for ten years, with only a shovel, pick and wheelbarrow. His efforts are commemorated with a signpost and beneath it an element battered, rusty wheelbarrow.

As Callum’s road twists and turns further north up the island, it offers everyone but the driver spectacular views. The drive is not for the feint hearted or the easily distracted, as passengers gasp and point in awe at the diverse beauty of the Island.

Finally, our cars could go no further and we parked up, (no house in sight! You guessed it, we still weren’t there yet!) and loaded our luggage into a quad bike trailer and walked a further 500 meters to our cottage.


No, Raasay isn’t easy to get to, it’s a real ‘trains, planes and automobiles’ trip but my word is it worth it! Our house for the week – which used to be the school house – was perched in the most beautiful location. Nothing in sight in front of us but Loch Arnish, nothing behind but steep hills and mossy woodland. Arriving we ran from room to room marvelling at the views each boasted. The original school room is the main living space and has a fire at each end. Even though we visited in August those were kept blazing the entire week we were there, and would prove perfect for steaming socks after a day’s adventuring!

Dumping our stuff we ran down to the water’s edge, the fractured black rock rising up out of the water to meet us, as we picked our way over the slippy seaweed, and dipped our toes in the cold water. From there all we could see was the Isle of Skye across the water and enormous sky above us. After making a pact that we would swim in that water before we left we headed back up to the house passing a well-placed hammock with the best view around.


So, to the business of island living; although the cottage was on the grid, water that came out of the tap was stained orange by draining through the peat before reaching the house. Drinking water had to come from a nearby spring. Donning our walking boots and picking up the bucket, we squelched through mossy woodland to find the spring. Covered by tarpaulin and stones, we revealed our water source and brushing off floating insects and leaves we lowered our bucket into the spring and filled it full, staggering back to the house with a fresh supply. Filling the bucket became such a favourite job that soon stealth trips were taken and playfights ensued to ensure that the winner got another chance to fill the bucket.

Simplicity is easy to find here. Without mobile reception, we were uncontactable (hurrah!) and spent our days in happy isolation – making bread from scratch on the old worn butchers block, chopping wood to feed those two hungry fires, reading about local history and wildlife and watching the stars.

So clear is the sky on Raasay that the milky way is clearly visible and shooting stars are a common occurrence. We often took to the outdoors after sundown, wrapping ourselves in scratchy tartan blankets and lying on the garden table staring heavenward. With only the sound of the sea, our breathing, the occasional owl and gasps of “I saw a shooting star”, punctuating the silence.

When we weren’t huddled up in our school house we were exploring. Walking boots essential, we packed supplies and set out for a day’s adventure. We found abandoned shepherd’s huts, seals bobbing in the water, and watched in awe as bright white gannets folded their wings and dove down into the water without a splash, only to bob above the surface proudly with a fish in their beak.

Leaving the island at the end of the week with a heavy heart I reflected on our journey; Raasay is a very special island, with its forests, beaches, a single shop, open fires, shooting stars and a week of wonderful memories; simplicity in isolation. Some people will always have Paris. We’ll always have Raasay.

– C XxX