The Friday Edit

A place for those little things, and thoughts in between.

Pakistan! Did you catch my trip on Instagram and Snapchat? It was intense. I was only there from Sunday to Thursday, sleeping less than five hours a night and working constantly - but it was amazing. Can't wait to share some photos in a post!

The highlight of the week was definitely shooting down in a coal mine. One of my most challenging travel experiences so far! And definitely the most challenging place I have ever photographed.

Catching some amazing sunrises and sunsets.

Such kind comments from friends, family and internet friends about my work. I often bypass pride in myself and my work, and pride in myself for putting myself in the situations that I do to get the photos that I get. I just don't really stop to think about it. It's such a great feeling to get a reminder once in a while that it's good to be proud of yourself sometimes.

Road-side cups of chai and paratha for breakfast. So delicious, probably because of all the butter and sugar.

Meeting some amazing people - from vets to coal miners. Getting to talk to people who live a life that is so very different from my own is an experience I will never get tired of.

Asking my friend Ashleigh for advice on what to wear in the more rural parts of Pakistan, and hearing the words "frumpy tunic" said in a Glaswegian accent. Also wearing said frumpy tunic and a headscarf for three days straight - not fun. I have a new found respect for women who have to cover up at all times, even in 45 degree heat and swampy humidity.

Having a lunch time Byron burger date with Adam today. He doesn't often come to my neck of the woods during the day and we never get to each lunch together, so it felt like such a special treat.

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Tiosk

As much as I love coffee, tea is my real love. A good cup of tea can bring back so many memories of family breakfasts, far away travels, or iced tea on hot summer days. That's why I was so excited when Tiosk popped up amongst the coffee shops and bakeries of Broadway Market.  

It took me a while to get around to paying them a visit, but one hot summer day a few week ago we popped in to get some iced tea. 

It was so peaceful inside, compared to the chaos of a Saturday morning market. And the tea was everything you would hope a good iced tea would be. Not too sweet, full of flavour but not too bitter. And no artificial anything in sight.  

If you're ever in East London and in need of some refreshment - take a look at what Tiosk has to offer. You won't regret it.  

*photos by Tania.  

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Just a Moment :: Thirty

Just a few moments I managed to record lately that make me smile.

1. This dog. Isn't she just a little bit silly? She is such a cuddle monster I sometimes can't believe how much she just wants to be in your lap at all times. She must think she's a lit smaller than she is beause when she sits on you she takes up an awful lot of space.

2. Grabbing lunch at Healthy Stuff, our favour Dalston cafe. We don't come here much anymore because there are other places a lot closer to our house, but it will always remind me of when we fist moved to Hackney. We didn't have loads of money, so going out for a coffee once a week felt like a real treat.

3. Walking around the streets of London with Adam can sometimes be a real hazard. He's obsessed with buildings, history and how neighbourhoods come together. You can't walk ten steps without him directing your gaze in every which direction, sometimes several at once, telling you to look at how amazing that building is or wondering what it was originally bilt for. We usually end up getting confused, walking into each other and tripping over Molly's lead.

4. We found poutine in Brick Lane! If you don't know what poutine is, book yourself a ticket to Canada, pronto!

5. I've probably done a just a moment photo for this one in the past, but E5 Bakehouse in the London Fields railway arches makes the best eclairs.

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The Friday Edit

A place for those little things, and thoughts in between.

It's been such a great week around here! From Friday to Friday we've had a wedding, some amazing sunny weather, some pizza - basically everything that makes life great.

I just wanted to start off by saying a big thank you for your kind words on my last post. It's so great to have so many wonderful people to relate to, and to know that we're not alone in our funny personality traits and odd habits.

Also, did you catch our takeover of Rosie's instagram on her wedding day? Tania and I had so much fun - though having said that, instagramming from someone else's account is a very weird feeling!

We had a lot of Taylor Swift dance parties in the car this week. It was kind of awesome. 

I need to get packing tonight because I've got a long haul flight on Sunday to get ready for! Are you following me on Snapchat? I've been a bit quiet on there since India but I'm hoping to show you some more adventures next week - if I have wifi that is! Search Nishaantishu if you want to add me.

Also, an impromptu pizza and prosecco night last night was the perfect way to spend a Thursday evening. 

See what I mean about it being a good week? Hope you have a wonderful weekend. 

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Have I ever told you.

As much as I spend all this time working on Nishaantishu, and you are wonderful enough to spend some time reading it, I wonder if I really give an accurate depiction of who I am. Me. Freya Dowson. As in, what it's like to really know me. So in the spirit of getting to know each other, I’ve put together a few things that you may not know about me. And since we're sharing, why don't you tell me a fun fact about yourself in the comment section below.

Here we go. Have I ever told you...


Laugh Lines or Frown Lines

I laugh a lot. I find the weirdest things to be absolutely hilarious, and am often that person who laughs when no one else does. I find humour everywhere and I have this really annoying habit (I'm sure it must be annoying sometimes) of pointing it out. All the time. I can't help myself! Sometimes I feel a bit like Chandler Bing, from Friends. Joke joke joke! 


Shy or Outgoing

I feel like I’m one of those people who talks non-stop, but I have lost count of the amount of times I have been called shy. I also think that I wear my heart of my sleeve, but I have been called a closed book on more than one occasion. I’ve always been at a loss as to how to interpret this contradiction and when I was younger it used to make me feel a bit invisible - I was speaking my mind and no one seemed to hear it, and when they did hear it they just didn’t get it. I’m pretty sure that just comes with the territory of being a bit creative and seeing the world in your own way.

I sometimes find it easier to have a genuine conversation with strangers than with people I already know. The pressure to be interesting with people I know can sometimes have a soporific effect on me - it quite literally puts me to sleep! But with strangers there is so little expectation and I find that quite exciting. 

I've been told my whole life that I'm too sensitive. I used to hate it, now I take pride in the fact that I can really feel every moment and every experience. It's not easy, but it makes me feel like I am really living. And as a result, my empathy game is strong. 


Tough or Weak

I'm really strong for my size. I think it comes from years of riding horses that were way too big and strong for me, I was so little growing up that I was determined to seem really tough by going for the biggest and flightiest horses. And strangely enough I've never had a broken bone. I had three horses when I was younger, not at the same time, and spent most of my life before London in a field trying to catch a wayward pony.

Life with a dog

Passionate About

I never feel so free as I do when I'm working overseas with my camera, telling people’s stories through my pictures and helping to give a voice to issues that sometimes go unheard. Whenever I catch 11:11 on my watch (which is surprisingly often) and I go to make a wish, I always wish to be happy in life. One time recently, when I was traveling and photographing for work, I went to make that wish and just... didn’t. In that moment, I was the happiest. I also feel happiest when I'm on a horse, but sadly that doesn't happen so often these days. 

I used to love the thought of journaling. I would buy so many blank books and get so excited about the idea of filling them with amazing thoughts and stories. But I would always write a few lines and just... abandon them. It drove my parents crazy, and I just couldn’t explain it! But the minute I would start writing, the whole process made me cringe and felt so wrong to me. I stopped buying journals and started Nishaantishu, and writing to you all never makes me cringe. I always felt like I had a need to create something, but it just took me a while to find the right outlet.


Switched Off

I love watching documentaries! I rarely go the the cinema and I find it really difficult to watch shows like Game of Thrones or Orange is the New Black - they make me so anxious, Adam says it’s because I’m too sensitive. Like the ending of the last season of Game of Thrones? Just reading about it disturbed me. I physically couldn't watch that. But I love the plot and intrigue so if I can't find a spoiler online I make Adam explain the story to me in detail – just not the upsetting bits. I guess I just think life is disturbing enough without having to watch that stuff for entertainment. And shows like oitnb, I just want to yell "sort your life out!!" at the screen non stop. Why can't they just stop being jerks? It's so frustrating. 

Don’t get me wrong, I do binge watch TV like everyone else! I usually go for adventure documentaries and recently we have watched Departures and 180 Degrees South which were really good. Even more than adventure, I love photography documentaries! I’m really looking forward to watching Salt of the Earth, when I can find it online. But I definitely zone out in front of trashy shows too, and my guilty pleasure is the Big Bang Theory – I could watch it for hours along with anything David Attenborough and any cheerful Studio Ghibli film. My great trashy TV love is The Goldbergs though - have you seen it? Oh I love it so much.

Life with a dog

I Believe

I truly believe that the best things that have happened to me in life have come from putting myself in situations where I pretended to know what I was doing, but really I had no idea. I'm an expert at free-falling and making things up on the way down. I hated school growing up and I really didn’t like university all that much, I just wanted to get out into the world and start doing things. I believe in taking opportunities and taking chances – I get scared and I don’t want to do it, but I always make myself because all of the best things in life live on the other side of fear.


Extras

Some of my strengths (according to me): I’m fiercely loyal, I’m handy with a camera, I always show up, I’ll try anything once, I always try to put myself in others’ shoes, I keep my word, I'm a good listener.

Some of my weaknesses (according to me): I have a failure to commit when it comes to exercise and healthy eating, often my anxiety levels are off the charts, I can be pedantic, I have trouble letting go of a grudge, I project bad opinions of me onto other people, I doubt myself constantly.


Thanks everyone who asked me some questions for this post, on the blog and on Instagram – it was a lot harder to write than I thought it would be so having questions was super helpful. If I haven’t answered your question here, it's because there's a post dedicated to it coming up. Keep an eye out!

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