Top of the list, I've been spending a ton of cash ... again. I can't really afford it, but the retail therapy has been giving me a bit of a lift. Okay, it hasn't all been retail therapy (more on that later), but every now and then a little cash for fashion goes down very nicely.
I came to realise recently that I don't have any cool, low profile, fashion trainers, which are useful in good weather for wearing with shorts: the only option open to me before now was either a sturdy pair of running shoes or some cheap suede slip-on things, both of which made my feet look like they were in concrete blocks and ready to be chucked in the local river.
So, feeling the need to spend*, I popped onto the JD Sports website and selected a few pair that I liked the look of. This was whittled down to two pair: a pair of Lacoste and a pair of Nike. But which to buy???
Well, that was an easy one to solve ... I bought them both!
Its totally unusual for me to spend more than £30 - £40 on a pair of shoes, but this time I couldn't resist :$
So far, I have only worn the Lacoste Strobe pair and I have to say they are well worth the money I paid for them as they are sooooooooo comfortable.
The only downside is keeping them clean...
* * * * *A couple of weeks ago, my cousin pointed me to the World Series by Renault website and asked if I was interested in paying a visit to Donington Park to get some photo experience, so I leapt at the chance.
By the time Sunday came, I must admit that I was in a pretty bad mood and very nearly backed out, so when I got up there and had to sit in traffic for well over an hour, I was pretty crabby and ready to head home as soon as the M1 came into sight. However, I persevered and eventually met up with my cousin who had the ticket.
This was my first visit to a race track so I wasn't sure what to expect, though I wasn't surprised at all the dirt - glad I didn't wear the new shoes!
Probably the weirdest part was the feeling of deja vu. I normally feel uncomfortable in places I have never visited before, but it felt like I had been there several times.
Anyway, I'd brought along the lens I bought way back in June so that my cousin could have a play, so I handed it to him for the first hour or so. Looking at his Flickr page, he got on pretty good with it and he got a few more decent pics than I did, which you can see posted on my Flickr page.
Although not the sharpest pic in the pack, this is my favourite, though it has more to do with the car markings than anything!
As it turned out, I didn't stay for very long, but it was long enough to get me even more interested in going to other track days to get some more experience, though its probably best to avoid the freebie ones as they just get totally swamped.
* * * * *I'm excited.
"So what?!" you say. Which is fair enough. However, I don't really get excited about anything any more.
Not even Christmas? Nope.
Birthdays? Definitely not!
Holidays? Nope ... at least, not until now.
Okay, I looked forward to the Sri Lanka trip, but in the run up to it, any excitement there might have been was smothered by the stress and panic of going somewhere totally alien to me**. However, I think that trip has done something to my head, as I am heading of to Ambleside at the end of the month on a photography trip with Foshie ... and I'm really looking forward to it!
We've already talked about hiring bikes and picking out suitable spots for early morning and evening shoots, and everyone we have spoken to has said that this is the ideal time of year to visit the Lakes...
... and this is the other reason I have been spending so much money lately!
Whenever I go on holiday or go somewhere for a specific purpose, I like to make sure that I am well prepared, so I've been buying new camera bags, tripod bags, Craghoppers, and various bits of survival kit, including first aid and whistles!
I know, you don't have to say it! It's not like we're going off into the Amazonian jungles where we need to fend for ourselves like Ray Mears wannabes, but in my mind its better to be safe than sorry.
Now I just need to justify buying the Garmin eTrex Vista HCx...
* I had just 'donated' a dozen pair of shoes to the charity bank, so I felt justified :-)
** Yes, I'm a wuss. Move on.