This weekend I thought I’d try something different with my Hasselblad 500cm. It’s hardly a point and shoot type of Camera, but I wanted to give street photography a go. We headed to Bury Market, where neither of us had been before but we knew there’d be some interesting shots to take. Didn’t go massively well, quite a few of my images came out blurry where I’d tried to move too fast. Great fun giving a new style a go, though….
Last weekend, I repotted my succulents. This wouldn’t be so unusual, except for the fact that I am renowned for being the least green-fingered person. And I don’t own a garden. Despite coming from a family of passionate gardeners, I’ve never even managed to keep a basil plant alive for longer than it takes to make the bowl of pasta it’s garnishing. To make matters worse, our flat is south facing with many large windows lining the front. This means that anything placed in the living room is instantly fried, whilst anything placed in the kitchen at the back is tortured with a critical lack of sunlight. But, after being handed a money plant to look after last year, I’ve discovered that succulents are unkillable. And it’s not just me who loves them, they line the shelves and desks of my friends and work mates, too. It would seem that millenials bloody love succulents…. But why?!
Millennials are battered with rejection for most of their lives. Whether it’s a mortgage application or a job interview, we’re exposed to it, a lot. I’m sure we’ve all been there, arriving home from another unsuccessful interview, car has a flat battery, fridge is empty… “and now my plant has diiiieeedd”, we’ve wailed. Not with succulents. No death, no rejection.
They love neglect
The best thing about succulents is we can be proud of our ability to keep them alive, whilst knowing that all we do is leave them be. Gone away for the weekend and forgotten to water them? They love it! Succulents thrive on neglect, so we can get on with that 50 hour working week without guilt…
They don’t need a garden
Simple. Succulents thrive whether placed outdoors or indoors. So line your window sills, your bookshelves and fireplaces with succulents, and rejoice in overpriced urban living!
So many millennial couples are becoming proud plant parents. “Look, another baby!” I exclaimed to my other half last week. “I’m so proud of you”, he said, watching me carefully transfer tiny aloe vera sprouts to new pots. My aloe vera was gifted to me by a friend at work whose plant propagated. And when my babies are big enough to fly the nest, I will be regifting to family and friends, whether they want plants or not. Christmas presents sorted.
They look great
Succulents come in so many different shapes, sizes and colours. Some of them flower, some of them bloom. Some are miniature and some will take over your flat in a matter of days. They’re simple, they match any decor, and they look even better planted in mismatch pots and bowls and mugs picked up in charity shops. And millennials love charity shops.
Top succulent tips!
1. Don’t overwater. Let your soil get super dry before giving them a good soaking
2. Porous rocks placed in the bottom of your pots will help keep them hydrated for longer
3. Stick them in the sunniest spot in your house and let them fry
4. Repot your babies and look like a pro. Just break them off, and pop them in fresh soil
This weekend we took a little drive out of Manchester to discover the Manjushri Buddhist Temple in Ulverston, Cumbria. We’re so lucky that within an hour of leaving the city, we can be driving along the beautiful A590 surrounded by greenery and the peninsulas of the Western Lake District. Nestled on the flat coast just through the tiny village of Bardsea is this beautiful spot. Just driving into the car park you’re hit with a real sense of peace and quiet.
The temple itself is built in the grounds of the old Conishead Priory, which built for Christian monks hundreds of years ago before falling into disrepair in the late twentieth century. Now, though, the grounds bustle with Buddhist monks and dog walkers, taking a stroll through the woodlands and down to the beach, or sipping freshly brewed coffee in the cafe. After picking up a book in the bookshop, we visited the temple. Once inside you have to slip off your shoes, which just adds to the slow, peaceful atmosphere of the place. It was empty when we went in, so we took a pew and enjoyed a couple of quiet moments. We spent a couple of hours here but time really slowed down, it felt like we’d been there all day. And with it being such a short drive from our home in Manchester, I think we’ve found our new sanctuary.
I visited the Victoria Baths a good few years ago whilst I was at university, back when it had just won a little bit of funding but was still unable to open to the public. Armed with my camera and a cheeky donation I was allowed in on my own, and managed to take some photographs for a documentary I was working on. Unfortunately the laptop I worked on back then died and I have no images of the baths left – just a bunch of negatives that I’ll probably never get round to scanning again. This weekend we found out there was a vintage home fair at the baths, with just a £3 entry fee… we didn’t buy any vintage furniture, but were more than happy to pay £6 to have a nosey around the building. The whole place was open for wandering, including the caretaker’s flat upstairs, and the both of the empty pools. My partner was visiting for the first time, and was blown away by its beauty. Such a stunning hidden gem in our city, and well worth a look if you get the chance. I only had my iPhone to take pictures this time, but managed to recreate some of the shots I took first time round.