What are you doing?

Well, the simple answer is I’m doing a Masters Degree! So there’s your answer if you don’t feel like reading any further.

This is a question I find I ask myself an awful lot. This is usually closely followed by ‘Why am I doing this?’

On this occasion, I have actually been asked to think about what I am doing and make a few notes for class this week. Being the Queen of over-thinking that I am, not only am I asking myself what am I actually doing, I’m also going to throw the ‘Why?’ and the ‘How?’ in there too. I could just write a few notes, but I’m kind of feeling inspired enough to write today, so we’ll go with this instead.

There is no simple, clear cut answer for as to what I am actually hoping to achieve by doing this, so I shall bullet point my answers for ease of reading.

  • Firstly, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you will know that I am riddled with self-doubt and suffer with an inferiority complex the size of a small country. I regularly write about how I want to improve as a Photographer and contemplate ways of doing this, so for me, applying to return to study was one way of getting out of that rut and actually doing something about it. This is going to be hard. I’m not naive and I am fully aware that I am probably going to feel a whole lot worse before I start to feel better, but here I am. There’s no going back now.
  • I want to be able to produce work, that I’m proud of, and if I can’t manage that, I at least want to be able to produce work that I don’t hate. I want to learn as much about lighting and creating beautiful, glossy images as I can. I don’t want to constantly compare myself to other artists and tell myself I’ll never be able to do that, I want to at least give it a bloody good try.
  • In addition to this, I don’t want to spend my entire life being a one trick pony. It’s hard enough to stand out in the ocean of Photographers that exist in the world today, and while Photography is my first love, I want to be able to do more with post processing, moving image and even create art without the use of a camera.
  • By the end of the first semester, I want to feel as though I am moving forwards. i want to be able to post blogs showing you that I have moved forward, and that my work is developing the way I want it to. I don’t want to hide things from the world any more, I don’t want to feel uncomfortable wearing the label of ‘Photographer’ forever. I don’t want to hide from the world anymore, and while I know I will never have the confidence to put myself out there as much as a lot of artists do, I would at least like to get to the point where I can maybe post an image or two and say ‘Hey, I’m Laura. I’m not the best Photographer in the world, but I made this and I’m pretty pleased with it.’
  • I want to be able to walk away from this course in a years time being able to say that I gave it my all and it paid off.

So, there is a very brief overview of what I want to achieve, now for the ‘Why?’

  • I’ve always toyed with the idea of taking a Masters program, but for whatever reason, life would never quite allow it for one reason or another. The main one of course being work. Making a living has to come first, so returning to study never felt like a viable option.
  • Having spent the best part of this year out of work, I decided that it was now or never. If I wasn’t back in work by September, I knew I wanted to be doing something constructive with my time, so I finally applied. Got accepted, then got offered a job. Sod’s law.
  • University wasn’t a great experience for me first time around. I really struggled on my Bachelors program for a number of reasons. The main one being my health being in a terrible place at the time, causing me to find things a lot harder than everybody else. Despite the fact I somehow managed to make it through, I know that under more positive circumstances I could have done so much better. Now I want to prove that.
  • I now have an incredible support network around me. While I am largely keeping this a secret, the people who do know have said they are all behind me 100% and this is really spurring me on.
  • When I look back at my time at University the first time around, it brings back a lot of bad memories. I want to be able to attach a much better experience to study this time, and when I look back in another 8 years time (yup, it’s really been that long since graduation!) I want there to be fond memories to reflect upon, such as ‘Yes! I remember the day I finally mastered that.’

Finally, How am I going to do this while holding down a job? Well, lets keep this one really simple. If I could complete a Bachelors while losing my eye sight, I’m pretty sure completing a Masters while holding down a job will be pretty easy! Well, perhaps not easy, but I’ll make it work somehow.

If I can finish this having spent most of my time on campus and not in a hospital, that’s good enough for me. If I can finish this and be able to wear the label ‘Photographer’ without feeling inadequate or ashamed, then I’ll know I can do anything.


Where have you been?

I’ve been absent again. This time, it’s been deliberate though.

It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say, it’s just that I wanted to wait until I had some firm and proper news in place to tell you.

As you well know, I’ve been struggling for work and not really been doing very much for the last few months. Well, as these things usually happen, after months of nothing, everything began happening all at once and with all my balls floating high above me in the air, I decided to wait for them to land before updating.

So, what’s been happening? Well, firstly, I know have a job. I am now Photographer at allbeauty.com. I first applied for this job back in March but didn’t get it. Then back in August, the ad reappeared and I was offered the position without even having to interview for it again. They also offered a little more money than the rate advertised which was a bonus!

Secondly, I am now officially a student. Yes, you did read that correctly. I have returned to University after being accepted onto a Masters degree, so hopefully in one years time, I shall be a graduate once again.

Now, all of a sudden I have gone from having little to do, to having to juggle work, a course and all my other commitments, though in all honesty, it’s really not a bad problem to have.

I don’t have any shoots lined up or any kitty related stories for you today. I literally just wanted to post a quick update to show I am still here, and will hopefully have a lot more to share with you all very soon.

Have a wonderful weekend everybody!

Three years of Neko!

Today, Facebook kindly reminded me that is has been exactly three years since my favourite bundle of fur came into our lives.

Baby Noo

Here he is in one of the very first pictures we have of him. It took a while to get him to stay still enough to get a photo which wasn’t just a little white blur!


We don’t really have that problem anymore luckily!

My beautiful boy. He brings me so much joy.

The Inferiority Complex

Today’s blog is brought to you by Laura’s nagging inferiority complex. As such, no joyous things such as beautiful kitties and questionable photography will be shared with you today. Instead, you get this.

I’ve been struggling a lot with my moods lately. I’m not sure if this has something to do with circumstances or whether it could be chemical. Either way, I’ve hit a huge motivational brick wall. I know things need to be done, but I can only manage a little at a time, and even that is taking up immense amounts of energy to accomplish.

Things haven’t been too rosy lately. I took a gamble when I left Sainsbury’s and unfortunately, it just hasn’t paid off the way that I’d hoped this time. As such, I have found myself back on the job hunt. Job hunting tends to do one of two things to me. Excites me, or depresses the crap out of me. I love reading the descriptions and mentally ticking off all the things I can do, but when it comes to the crunch, I rarely make it. Clearly, I am much better on paper than in person.I’m pretty sure this is in part, to do with my inferiority complex.

My inferiority complex. It is so familiar to me, it’s almost soothing in a weird mind-fucking sort of way. I can’t pin-point exactly where it began, but it began at some point in my teenage years as these things often do.

I hated school. I still to this day find the concept of school strange. It’s an establishment where you’re constantly judged by your teachers and your peers until the age of 16 for various different things, only to leave with some sheets of paper which kind of pat you on the back and say ‘Well done kid, you survived, now get the fuck outta here.’ That’s if you’re lucky, and of course, only the right sheets of paper will do.

Maths was my downfall. I really sucked at it, and it wasn’t for the lack of trying. I had extra lessons and my parents were even kind enough to pay for a tutor. Ultimately, this had no bearing on my mathematically illiterate little brain. I scraped a D grade. A pass apparently, but not one good enough to escape the pressure to retake or make you employable according to some. The weird thing is I can deal with numbers on their own. It’s when you start throwing letters in there too which frazzles me. It just makes no sense, I can’t take the information in or store it long enough to do anything with it. Years later when I was working as an exams invigilator, sneaking a peek a maths paper still struck fear in me.

Why am I rambling on about all this? Well, I guess it’s to make a point. Had I passed that exam with a C Grade, would my life have turned out differently? The answer to that question is almost certainly a resounding No. I still would have pursued creative subjects and careers, I still would have become what I am now, I literally would have done nothing differently.

So why does this matter? Well, recently, I’ve been filling out job applications which have asked for qualifications and grades. It’s been a while since I’ve contended with this as my previous few jobs have only really been concerned with my abilities to to the job, so it feels strange to have to rake up things which have long not mattered.

It’s weird how you can do whatever you want with your life, become as successful as you like (in your eyes or anyone else’s) yet you still cling to that one failure. The fact I suck so hard at this one thing makes me feel like such a failure, and there’s really no reason to feel that way. I still went on to college, I still went on to University, and I still went on to find meaningful employment. I even ran into my old Maths teacher about a year after finishing school. It was an awkward encounter, however rather than berate me for not getting that magic ‘C’ all he said was that 47% of people from my year didn’t get it either so did that make them all ‘thick’ as I had described myself? Of course it didn’t. I’d never even thought of it like that before, there were some really clever and talented people in my year group and I’d never class any of them as ‘thick’ because they may or may not have gotten the right grades.

I thought that as I got older, the inferiority complex would leave me, or at least become smaller. Small enough to ignore and try to push forward, but actually it has only continued to grow.

This year I turned 31. The world would have you believe that you’re meant to have your life together by this age, and I am far, far from it. That whole life plan checklist has well and truly fallen by the wayside.

Social media may or may not paint a very accurate picture of how the world really is, but it certainly doesn’t help when it’s so easy to edit your life. I’ve always been a big internet user, even before it was a ‘thing’. I’d spend hours online escaping from the people of the real world, but now all of those people are online too and adding to the inferiority complex. Mostly with their carefully taken selfies, images of a good clean eating diet, flawless make-up and of course those awful ‘inspo’ quotes. I really hate those things. It just makes things feel even more skewed than they did before. Let’s just all inspire to be everything!

This essay has gone way further than I expected it to. It’s weird that reading back over my own words, I am beginning to rationalise the things I’ve written a whole lot better. Maybe it really does help spilling some words onto a page. It can be a really hard being honest with yourself sometimes, I often feel like a failure, or that I’m not good enough, but in dragging up memories that stir  up an uncomfortable feeling, I’m also able to see that actually, it hasn’t all been bad. I’ve still accomplished a lot more than I ever imagined I would, even with the set backs that life has thrown at me and the miniscule amount of self-belief I’ve carried.

Deep down though, I will always just be the girl who couldn’t pass her Maths GCSE.


Floof Overload

Today is the two month anniversary of Leica’s early passing. When I woke up this morning, I instantly filled with sadness. Sadness, not just for Leica, but also for The Floofs that we lost. I think about Leica every day, sometimes it fills my eyes with tears and sometimes it brings a smile to my face. I love remembering all her little quirks, like how she could never meow properly so she’d just squeak instead. How excited she’d get at watching me spray deodorant on because she thought it was a can of squirty cream. The time she dive bombed Joe’s plate and ended up up to her ears in spaghetti. The adorable way in which she would follow Neko absolutely everywhere he went and how sad she looked when he went outside.

I’m glad I have happy memories of Leica. I just wish I’d managed to get a few more of the beautiful Floofs. The three remaining baby Floofs are doing really well now, they are growing and getting stronger, thanks to the amazing Lisa from Fur and Feathers. So, in that spirit, I decided that I didn’t want my last post about The Floofs to be a sad one. During the time they were were, they too put a smile on my face, and while I don’t want anyone to think that I don’t regret what happened to Sakura and Finn, I also want to remember them for the beautiful souls that they were.

Being a Mad Cat Lady with a camera always meant that they would be captured in pixels while they were here, so now, please allow me to share some pictures of these beautiful babies with you all.























If you have your own fur baby, please give them a big hug today and remind them how special they are.




Not so Happy News

Trigger Warning. Upsetting content ahead.

My journey as a Foster Cat Mummy has ended. I am devastated.

It all began last Wednesday when I noticed that Sakura, Mummy Floof, hadn’t touched very much of her food. I tried not to worry too much, and just tried to change her food. That didn’t seem to help things though. I decided to try her on some dreamies, Neko almost takes my hand off when he hears the bag rustling, but it did little to pique Sakura’s appetite, she took two then turned her nose up.

Gradually, over the course of the day, she seemed to become very insular which is when I became worried. She seemed to be spending most of her time sitting alone in a corner and only returning to their bed to feed the kittens. I was surprised to say the least, she was a very loving, sociable girl until that point. She was always pleased to see you and would come and greet you with a friendly meow and a leg rub when you went to check on them. I became very worried, so I called the lovely Lisa from the sanctuary who came bearing gifts of many different foods to try.

She checked over Sakura and realised she had become very dehydrated, so began syringe feeding her enough water to get her gums pinked up again. It had been very hot that day, and we had left the heating on but we turned it off immediately and kept the windows open as soon as we realised just how hot the room had gotten and how it had affected Sakura. It always felt quite cold in that room, so I didn’t know just how warm it would get at the first glimpse of Summer. Anyway, lesson learned and now to try her with the new foods.

We left several different varieties out for her to try hoping it would encourage her to eat something.

However, when I went in on Thursday morning, none of it had been touched and Sakura, was again sitting alone in the corner looking sad. tried to encourage her to drink something, but she wouldn’t. I managed to get her to take a few sips from the syringe but that was it.

She began being sick, by now, I am beyond worried and into panic mode. Lisa advised to try her on some chicken as the smell usually encourages them to eat when they’re feeling a bit down, and this had worked for another Foster Mummy in a similar situation. I went to the shop to buy a pack of chicken, but they only had spicy. I knew I couldn’t give her that so instead, decided to try our local butchers. I asked if they had any chicken scraps I could have for cheap. They gave me half a chicken which still had just enough meat on it to feed her, free of charge. I went home, cooked it up, but still nothing.

After calling Lisa from Fur and Feathers, we decided it might be best for her to go back for a few days to get her checked over and to see if she improved. I was heading to Devon for a few days for my Dad’s 60th birthday so Joe would have been caring for them while I was away, I decided to let them go back, that way, we could get them sorted and hopefully, we could continue.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. Sakura and the babies were taken to the vets on Friday morning. She had a temperature of over 40C. I knew this was bad, Leica had had a temperature before too so I knew it was serious.

Questions kept flying around my head. Was it something I did? Was it something I didn’t do? Was there something I missed? Could she have fallen ill from being in my care? After losing Leica, the paranoia took hold and I haven’t stopped questioning myself since. I just can’t help but feel I could have prevented this. She was a beautiful, happy, friendly girl when she arrived and now she was sick. How could this happen?

I have nothing but complete trust for the ladies at Fur and Feathers, so I knew she would be taken care of.

When I woke up on Saturday morning, the heartbreak began.

Baby Finn had passed away.


The biggest and liveliest of the kittens. I was in complete shock and totally heartbroken. He had become cold and limp during the night, when he was due his 4am feed, he was found and passed away in Lisa’s hands.

Sakura was also in a touch and go situation. She had improved in some ways, her temperature was down, but she still wasn’t quite right.

Later that day, she deteriorated. the decision was made to let her cross the Rainbow Bridge.


So now, I am sitting here devastated once more. I’m currently receiving daily updates about the remaining three babies. All I can do is hope, pray and send them all the love they need to make it. They seemed pretty good with this morning’s update, so this is encouraging.

What on Earth happened? I just wanted to do something good in Leica’s memory, but it all went horribly wrong and I can’t help but feel like it’s my fault some how. I loved my little family so very much, and sitting with them and talking to them while they were here brought me so much joy. Joy I hadn’t felt in so long, but once again death reared it’s ugly head and snatched it all away. I just hope it doesn’t snatch the remaining babies too.

I will miss them very, very much. I’m so sorry that this happened little ones. All I wanted was to look after you. I’m sorry I failed you. But please know, that you are loved.



Meet the Floofs

It’s an exciting day for those of you who follow this blog. I hope you are ready for all kinds of cuteness!

Yesterday, we received our first ever Foster Family, from the wonderful Fur and Feathers sanctuary. For those of you in the know about all things feline, we are now well into Kitten Season and the local sanctuaries are becoming inundated with pregnant females and their babies.

After losing Leica, I didn’t feel ready to adopt again just yet, but there was a part of me which felt I needed to do something to help other cats. There are so many in need and we have the most fundamental thing you can give them, a loving home. Therefore, we decided now would be a good time to begin fostering. Now here we are.

Introducing our new brood:

Firstly. we have our lovely Mummy kitty, Sakura.


She is such a sweet girl and a brilliant Mummy. We named her Sakura as all the Cherry Blossom trees on our street are in bloom at the moment, so it seemed to fit. She’s quite young herself, thought to be between 12-18 months old. She gave birth to her babies in a garden shed. Thankfully, they were all found and are now nice and safe.



Akemi is one of two little black kittens. She is a very cute little girl, she seems a little more shy than some of her siblings, but has a particularly strong bond with her sister. Akemi is Japanese name, meaning ‘bright and beautiful’.



This is Yuki, the other little girl in the litter. She’s a little bit mischievous and has already tried escaping from the bed a couple of times. She doesn’t get very far though! Yuki is another Japanese name, meaning ‘Happiness’.



This little chap is Finn. My husband got to name the boys and I got to name the girls, you’ll find out why he chose this name when you meet his brother.



Finn and Jake. These two little brothers love venturing outside of their bed and will try to escape at any opportunity – unfortunately, they’re not so good at getting back in! They are named after the characters from Adventure Time as they are super curious little guys who love adventure and will probably cause all sorts trouble when they get bigger!

So this is our little family for the next couple of months. I will be keeping you updated on all their adventures so please keep checking back for this, and more adorable photos.

I am so thankful to the ladies at Fur and Feathers for giving us the opportunity to foster. It already feels like a very rewarding thing to do, as they have all settled in so well. Please check out their website, and if you’re feeling generous, why not make a small donation or treat them to something from their wishlist? You can find the details here: http://furandfeatherswythall.weebly.com/fur-and-feathers-wish-list.html

Looking forward to sharing more of these beauties with you all.


Take the love you have for me and spread it around.’


Never forgotten Baby Girl.