B365 – I CANT BELIEVE I MADE IT!

Well, its finally here, blog post 365 and it feels a bit weird. For the 90% of my facebook friends that have had to put up with these posts each day and who are just not interested, don’t worry its over. But for those that have read these and showed a small amount of interest, this is for you.

Its over, Ive managed to post 3 photos a day for 365 days and now Im thinking back at the days all those times where I’d given up precious sleep or I’ve been rushing around writing from my phone and its all built up to this moment trying to get these post done. Now, 150,000 words later, 2TB’s of photos and countless hours walking around trying to make each day interesting and worthy are over.

It all started from a conversation with Amy on a weekend away, that turned into me basically going full steam ahead everyday for the past year and in turn has been one of the craziest years or my life, I’ve worked all around the world, including two months in America and China, completely ruined my leg and had to basically learn to walk again, now living with Amy (my girlfriend), completely done up our flat and now working on some really cool projects and productions that I’m pretty proud of.

For todays post I was trying to think of a cool way to end it, like set off loads of fireworks or fly to some amazing beach and finish with a cocktail and some sun burn, but to be honest looking back at the year, the only way to end is to really show 25 of my favourite photos from the 1200 that I’ve posted. Photos that might over wise be forgotten about and disappear into the depths of my hard drive. I’m now sat on my Lunch break at work scrolling through photos and laughing at all the stuff that’s gone on, from coming home after 18 hours a work with nothing to photograph so running down stairs and buying some fruit to cut open and photograph to seeing someone sunbath on Shoreditch high-street drinking beer in just a pair of hot pants or even that time I flew back from Victoria, Canada on a dodgy plane that had no in flight entertainment so for 15 hours I taped my iPhone to the seat in front of me and watched weird low budget films the whole way, just after I had been in the path of Hurrican Irma and witnessed what state of emergency meant in North Carolina.

This blog has been one of the best things I’ve ever done and if it wasn’t for Amy saying “you should start a photo blog” then we wouldn’t be here today and I probably wouldn’t have the confidence or even writing ability and photography skills I have today. Im by no means an expert but I like to think from where I was last year, I’m much better. So thank you Amy for putting up with the words “I gotta do my photos” to helping me figure out tough posts and just generally putting up with the daily stress of being with me.  Your alright you are and I owe you big time.

Looking back at my writing a year ago I have no idea how I even managed to send an email let alone put together an interesting paragraph, but this past year I’ve written around 150,000 words with a minimum daily count of 300 words, its not just given me confidence in my writing ability, its also helped me talk to people and just going with my gut instinct, then having the confidence to see a task through till the end. That’s something I didn’t realise I didn’t have till I’ve started thinking about my next steps and how confident I am about what I want todo next. In the words of my good friend Anders “I’m no Neurosurgeon, but Ill give it ago”.

This photo challenge might be over and the stress of posting everyday is now in the past but I promise this wont be my last post, I’ve sat down this past month and thought of ways to carry on and what direction I should move in and to be honest what I have in the pipe line is something that I’m even more excited about and can’t wait to share with you all. But right now, its time to get some sleep and just enjoy the fact that I’ve managed to see this all the way through to the end. Not even the Chinese government or countless timezones and flight delays were able to stop me.

So one last time.

Here’s my photos from today. Enjoy.

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– this is how i plan on spending the next 2 weeks, before I start putting work in on the next project. I will still blog but just not daily – 

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– doing my final walk around bethnal green taking photos for the blog this evening, it kind of felt a bit like a victory lap –

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– I will always take street photos and try to capture cool moments where ever I am –
Before you see my favourite 25, I just want to say thank you too the 13,500 readers from 119 countries that have read my daily blog, not all hero’s wear capes.

On to the next challenge and a new direction for joshfspear.com

Peace out and thank you for sticking with me through the terrible grammar and countless spelling mistakes!

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– it was at this post that the idea for the blog was created, Bleinheim Palace –

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– playing with the gopro after amy picked me up from the pub, thanks mush –

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– walking through hyde park early morning is something I wish I could do more often – 

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– london has been the perfect city for this photo challenge, thank you to all the grumpy people that dressed up as storm troopers or sun bath on highstreets, you have made this blog a million times better –

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– the day I found out my leg was ruined and I wouldnt be able to run the ultra marathon or walk for that matter –

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– moving in with this one, so happy we have done the most of our ikea shopping tick list, please no more –

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– explore italy, she has some how managed to put up with my constant photo taking –

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– its always good to see stuff like this on your way home –

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– this dog still is one of my favourite dogs ive come across –

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– in four years of living in Bethnal Green, this year I saw the most snow ive ever seen in london –

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– Norfolk sea side is one of my favourite places to photograph, the colours always come out perfect –

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– this image was the first one I had taken shooting in RAW, and my god it was worth the switch from JPEG even is the files are bigger

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– I am looking forward to the summer again and getting more colour in my photos

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– this is one of my favourite photos from the past year, right time, right place i suppose –

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-again, right place right time, the sea gull literally dived down and stole her fish and chips –

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– seeing people jamming on the guitars in St.Louis was pretty cool, hopefully Ill get to go back there soon –

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– seeing a deer walk down the street in Victoria, Canada. Luckily I had a 70-200mm lens on my camera at the time –

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– water planes on the river in Victoria, a place that I would love to explore when im not working –

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– 15 hour flight, using my phone at a TV. that was an experiance I wouldn’t do again in a hurry –

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– walking round New York, this photo was taken somewhere near the brooklyn bridge –

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– flying out of New York –

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– the view from my room in Shang hai, that place is like no where else ive been –

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– christmas on Bond street, these two were well into the christmas sprite –

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– flo doing what flo does best, cause havoc –

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– our drive to the flat in Italy, the Amalfi coast is somewhere I would love to go again –
Peace out everyone, its been fun.

Much love,

Joshfspear

 

 

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B364 – THREE STONE HEAVIER

ahh Tuesday morning and the end of the four day weekend, its kind of weird because I kind of feel like the four day weekend is kind of like the End and beginning of a new year, I’m not sure if its because of the end of the tax year or if its because the blog ends tomorrow. but for some reason its starting to feel like a new chapter. but before a “new chapter” starts I think its probably best if I just drag out some more easter photos just one last time.

After waking up slowly yesterday and chilling out in the morning, it was time to jump on a train back to London and sort ourselves out for work. I think its fair to say that we all left yesterday weighing at least 2 stone more. Ive had an easter egg for breakfast two days in a row and now I’m not really sure what todo with myself, I kind of feel like its acceptable to have a chocolate bar before 9am today but then again that might not be the best idea. I think I can speak for both Amy and me when I say thank you Auntie Michelle for a really really good easter break and an even better spread of food. We didn’t have the best weather but in a way thats kind of better because then everyone just goes into sleepy mode and we all just sit around chilling out, instead of trying to think of a way to make the most of the weather. kind of what easters all about, even though I wouldn’t of minded some sun and maybe just maybe temperatures above 20. today is a short and sweet post as I really need to get dressed for work, so hope thats ok with you guys.

Anyway, heres some photos from the weekend. I hope everyone had a good Easter and did exactly what they wanted too with the four day weekend.

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– Heading back to london –
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– I wish this was desert every day –
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– weather wasnt on ourside but sometime that makes weekends like this every better –
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– My dad wanted me to post this photo the other day but I forgot, Release the Chimps Beer it made him chuckle –

B363 – THE SERIOUS BUSINESS OF EASTER EGG HUNTING

So as Easter is now kind of officially over and this is kind of the last day where eating chocolate for breakfast is acceptable, I think its now also acceptable that this post is a few hours late. The normal plan is to get this posted for 10am every morning apart from the odd Sunday where they go up at 2pm, I know this isn’t exactly a Sunday but it is a bank holiday Monday so in my eyes its fine.

Yesterday was Easter egg hunt day and even though the weather was pretty much terrible I would have to say that overall it was a success, I didn’t find any eggs but Flo and Phoebe managed to track down every egg and then they hide a few more for their selves to find again, so I think they enjoyed it.  Apart for the Easter egg hunt, it was pretty much just a normal family Sunday, with loads of food, beer and watching some children’s movie that no one wanted to watch apart from Phoebe, but I suppose that’s what this day is all about. I did manage to get some pay back for making us watch Fireman Sam the movie, when we went on the dog walk by letting her ride though a big puddle and getting her feet wet. So I suppose it was a win win for everyone.

Right now we are about to head back to London and get ready for work tomorrow, and after four days off, Im kind of looking forward to getting back to filming again and seeing out the rest of this series. Don’t get me wrong I like having four days off, it gives me time to spend with the family and then start thinking about ideas I have and want to start, this weekend has helped to put like a mini restart on my brain and help me kick it back into gear.

Heres some photos from yesterday, hope everyone had a good Easter and enjoyed the long weekend!

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– dog walk yesterday, as you can tell Mooney was really up for having her photo taken –
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– Easter egg hat making yesterday, Flo and me make a great team –
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– counting out easter eggs post hunt, not sure who the winner was but I definitely know it wasn’t me –

 

B362 – THE ANNUAL SPEAR FAMILY TRADITION

First off let me start by saying Happy Easter I hope everyone is doing exactly what they want this weekend, I plan on catching up with the family and eating chocolate, lots of chocolate. Right now though I have ended up waking up at like 5am and decided that this is probably the best time to sit down and write a half decent post, in about 30 minutes I’m expecting the kids to wake up and a massive game of hide and seek or tag to kick off and I want to be in the best possible position for what ever game we end up playing and not have worry about getting this post done.

Today is the day of the Spear family Easter egg hunt and for those of you that have been reading this post of the past year will know from last year’s egg hunt, its not something that can be done lightly. It’s a full blown Egg hunt by which everyone (the kids) has their own bag and run around the garden collecting eggs, there aren’t any winners or losers just the person with the most eggs is what the adults tell the young ones Flo (age 4) and Phoebe (age 10) but that’s not the way I see it, right now its war and when chocolates on the line it’s every man or toddler for themselves. Watch this space people.

One thing that does feel weird when I think about it, is the fact that I was doing this blogging malarkey and this is now my second Easter post, its crazy to think how much my writing and photography skills have improved. I’ve gone from being that drop out dyslexic kid who struggles with all things grammar and can’t really write, to someone who’s now confident in the content I put out there and actually enjoying the process of writing and getting my ideas from my head. Don’t get me wrong there are still many mistake that make it through but when you think about the first posts I wrote, they were literally 2 sentences long and full of mistakes, to now writing mini essays about topics that I find genuinely interesting. It’s a massive change. I’ve gone from having a writing age of about 7 years old to now probably a solid 16/17 years old and that’s something I’m pretty proud of and I have a whole website where I can show the improvement. I just know that its something I need to keep up and try to push to new levels and see just how far I can take this whole blog thing, I’ve got some really interesting plans / ideas for when this 3 a day is over and I hope that I can continue to interest you guys into reading my posts.

I was going to leave those “cringy” reflection posts for the last day but to be honest I couldn’t think of anything else to write so I just thought I would give you guys an insight into what I think of my writing. Moving on from that, its time for my second cup of coffee and to get prepped for the Easter Egg hunt, they maybe family but its time to get my head in the game and find those eggs, may the best person win, good luck Flo and Phoebe, you’re going to need it.

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– Stopping off on the way to Michelles for a quick beer –
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– And relax –
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– I cant believe ive been doing these post of a whole year and havent taken a picture of Kings Cross or maybe I have and just forgotten –

 

B361 – THIS IS GIVING ME A MINI HEADACHE

you know how I said yesterday that I had a pretty cool place to go and check out, well, heres a kind of mini story the day. At the start Amy and me headed out for breakfast in Covent Garden, it had just started raining that really heavy and wet rain that gets through even the best gortex jacket. We had just finished our starter at brunch in this really cool little greek restaurant and the conversation came up about how we were going to get to the location and then we realised that trains weren’t stopping near by and the bus was just not really an option. I know what you are thinking, uber? but to be honest, it would just have been a pain getting one there and then getting one back would have been a nightmare. things really wern’t looking up for us and this plan, it was time to make an extreme decision, so…

After our meal we headed across the road to a coffee shop to think of a new game plan, we were both pretty clear that we didn’t want to head back to the flat and spend the rainy day inside watching movies and eating food, we wanted a mini adventure and to see something new. it has been the first time in like 6 weeks, where we literally have the whole day to spend together, one of us didn’t have to work in the morning or disappear in the evening, so we wanted to do something fun and make the most of it, but every idea we had didn’t work out, see a last minute west end musical? not one on at the right time. London Dungeness? Nope, just nope. Then, just as we were about to finish our coffee’s, Amy had the idea about going to the design museum in Kensington and boom we had a plan and somewhere to go!

For yesterdays mini adventure I decided to take the 28mm lens, its something that I think has real potential and one that I want to get to know better. I like to think that I know how to get a lens to focus and can take an OK picture with basically any lens you put on my camera. After all, I have been doing it literally every day for the past 361 days. but for some reason I just cant get the focal length right for really any picture, its so annoying. I cant seem to get it perfect, its giving me a headache. But Im not just going to put this lens on the side and not use it again. it must have been made for a reason, and I’m sure its portraits and street photography, maybe I just need to spend some more time with it and get to the bottom of what it can be used for.

Heres some of my shots from yesterday, I hope you like them and just so you know, I will be using this lens again today and will do my best to figure it out!

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– us sitting across the road trying to make this day work out –
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– we found a big puddle with some water fountains so I decided to jump in it –
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– see I just cant work out the focal length of this length, maybe I need to use the aperture to make these photos sharper, but this is a stair case inside the design museum –

B360 – AND SO IT BEGINS

Thursday and the start of a four day weekend, what more could you want? Yesterday was a filming day so I didn’t get any chance to run off on my lunch break and take some cool photos, it was more about chasing Amy around Tesco’s trying to get some cool photos with a 28mm lens I’ve got this weekend.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the 28mm, it’s basically a wide lens that is really good to street photography and I would say nights out, it’s a f1.8 so that basically means it’s really good in low light.

But less about the lens I will probably dedicate a whole post too over the next few days. Yesterday I met Amy in Tesco’s for fish Tacos night, which was an experiment and something that definitely needs an improvement, not sure what happened but both of us weren’t happy with the result, luckily we had a big bag of Doritos and some cheese to make cheesy nachos while we watch a movie, only 10 minutes in and Amy’s fast sleep and that meant that was the end of movie night, time to hit the pillow. You know someone’s working hard when they fall asleep at 9:45 on the first night of a bank holiday weekend.

Today though we are up early before heading to a really really really cool place this afternoon, I’ve got all my camera batteries in charge so I can take some sick photos. I would say more but I quite like leaving it a surprise and trying my best to take some cool photos. but first I need a coffee and some breakfast. I’ve also just realised that this is my last weekend before I’ve finished this 3 a day blog challenge, so I really need to start thinking some of cool way of finishing! but dont worry, Ill have a little brainstorm and come up with something.

Here’s my photos from yesterday, enjoy.

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– sometime shop fronts give you really cool lighting, but shooting with red lights is never easy –
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– taking the lift down to meet amy for movie night food –
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– after this photograph the security guard came and told me off –

B359 – THE CANON MACRO LENS, WORTH IT?

So today I had more of a play with the Canon 100mm f/2.8 L series Macro Lens, its basically a lens that can magnify objects close up and give you a view of something that the human eye might not necessarily be able to see. Now the lens RRP is around £900 which for a Canon L series Lens isn’t really too bad, its like of a mid price lens and something that I think every photographer should at least have access too, its a great lens to have a play with and is the perfect lens to just pull out the camera bag one day and mix your photography game up abit

For this review I decided to do it as fair as possible, so I set up some lights and created a kind of mini studio, with a black bounce board and a magic arm to hold up the object. My plan was then to tether my laptop to the camera and after each shot go through the image and work out if I was happy with the point of focus. I wanted an object that had different textures and something that no matter how close you could get you would always discover more and more detail, my object of choice was trimmings off the plants out the front of the office.

My idea was to shoot with both a high ISO and also bring the ISO right down and use the shutter speed to control the light, and because I was using a Tripod I could now minimise camera shake. for those that don’t know the ISO is basically something that you make higher for low light conditions and decrease for well lite shots, my idea was to use a high ISO and a fast shutter speed to see how that effected the shot, and I definitely lost detail when close up and in full Macro mode, it made the shots a lot more “grainy” but once I lowered both the ISO and shutter speed, I noticed that my photos were a lot smoother and the level of detail had gone up ten fold. I was now capturing light in even the darkest areas of each photo but because I was shooting with an amazing lens, I could pull focus on the areas I wanted too and blur completely out areas I didn’t think added anything to the photo.

I also have to agree with canon that an aperture of 2.8 is probably right and thing lower and the depth of field would become way to shallow. At the same time I wouldn’t mind seeing what a 100mm macro would look like with an aperture of f1.8, I know that would be very shallow but that mixed with something like a medium format camera would mean you could see even more than the human eye. Anyone out there heard of a f1.8 100mm macro?

All in all this is a great and lens and something that really mixes up not just my photography game but photography in general. Its a lens that I would love to add permanently to my lens collection and something that I think will help me to improve the overall look of my future photos.

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– this is a photo I wanted to take and show the whole head of the leaf and show how the focal length handles a wider shot –
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– close up, Im pretty happy with this but if I had a higher megapixel camera I would definitely would have cropped in further –
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– shooting something thats been out in the rain means I get to see how the macro lens handles reflections and contrast, I really think this lens is worth £900! –
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– This was my set up for this shot, probably the most effort Ive ever put into shooting a leaf –

B356 – SUCH A GOOD SUNDAY

After a night out that didn’t really finish till 5am, today was all about two things, food and Sunday vibes. once we had managed to get up and get dressed we decided to head to a proper greasy spoon and eat like we haven’t eaten before. After that the plan was to do something we havent done for ages and just walk around a cool part of town and explore, the destination was Notting Hill and mainly the Portobello road market. what I think both Amy and me like about this area is the colourful houses and cool shops, its a really cool area and somewhere I wouldn’t mind living.

To be honest if you forget about the area, it was just good chilling with Amy and taking photos of the day. We both have been non stop for ages and spending the day together was nice, even though I had to leave in the afternoon and travel to a hotel in kent and now im sleeping in a single bed. but hey, least we got to spent 24 hours together not talking about work and just having fun. So amy if your reading this with your morning cuppa tea, thanks for today and I just want you to know that I am now sleeping in a bed that my legs hang out of the end.

I took quite a few photos of today but I want to show you more tomorrow, I will probably write something more informative about Notting Hill but for now I just want to get a bit of an early night. One thing I did want to mention though is my camera settings at the moment, Im shooting with a lower aperture so my photos are on the boarder of being over exposed, but I quite like the look of photos that have information missing and thats kind of the style that im liking, over exposed and faded.

Heres my photos, enjoy.

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– Notting hill, this photo kind of sums it up –
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– the typical notting hill photo –
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– I do love notting hill but I also love a greasy spoon in bethnal green –

 

B354 – SODO PIZZA, UP THERE WITH THE BEST.

So yesterday evening Amy and me were sitting in a pub in Bethnal Green thinking of something to get for dinner, the idea was simple, writing in google “pizza near me” and see what pops up, thats when we saw it. Sodo Pizza, its location was down a back street off of Cambridge Heath road, the location was set and we finished our drinks and headed over, to our surprise this was a new pizza place right near our flat that we had only just heard of, this evening just got interesting.

As we sat down in the corner of the restaurant, you cant help but acknowledge the amount of green plants they have dotted around and to be honest I had never really thought about plants in a restaurant before but it really works, they had used some big “green leaf” plants in a line to help break up the space and has worked perfectly. a solid 8/10 for vibes.

As with any time eating out, first you order your drinks, Amy went for a house white wine and said  it was pretty good. We arent too clued up on our wines but its always a good start when the house wine is good. My drink of choice was a Shoreditch Blonde, which is actually only brewed about 400 meters from where we are sitting, at the Redchurch Brewery up the road.

Once the drinks had arrived it was time to order some food, we decided to go half and half on the pizzas, Amy ordered the Feta and Butternut Squash Pizza, I went for the Meat Cured pizzas with pepperoni and Ham, which don’t get me wrong was amazing and had the perfect tomato puree to toppings ratio but the clear winner for us was the Feta and Butternut Squash. That pizza was perfect, not too greasy but at the same time not so dry that you need a litre of water with each mouth full. then you get these little spontaneous  hints of Rosemary, which have completely changed the game of pizza, I know its probably been done before but this is the first time Ive noticed it and now I think I want it on every pizza I have. The other thing that shocked us, was for the fact that after eating this pizza and then demolishing a Tiramisu, we didn’t feel like we need to either roll home or get an uber, we were like the perfect amount of full.

I would also say that it doesn’t fall into that hipster category for new pizza shops in London, you know the ones where they have naked pizza where its basically just a pizza but without tomato sauce, now that should be illegal. I cant recommend Sodo Pizza enough, they are the new kids on the block around Bethnal Green and fit in perfectly.

heres a link to their website: https://www.sodopizza.co.uk/

Oh and sorry for the first time in 354 days I went out without a memory card in my camera so had to use a mixture of Amy’s iphone and my iphone cameras.

Sodo pizza a solid 8.5/10!

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– hats off to this chef, he knew what he was doing –
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– me and both my Shoreditch blondes –
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– sourdough pizzas are possibly the way forward –
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– see! no memory card, I feel like an idiot –

 

 

 

B353 – A NEW VERSION OF FAST FOOD?

So yesterday night I decided that it could be a pretty fun thing if I just came home with a bunch of random vegetables and some chicken, then just see what Amy and I can come up with. The kind of veg that I had was like spring onion, leaks, ginger, aubergine, fennel, onion, Sweet potato. I did have other stuff but I cant really remember, i did have a few beers before so everything was a bit hazy. we ended up making something that was actually pretty good, we added some jerk chicken sauce, chucked everything in a pain and just gave it a good stir. We then decided to make some sweet potato fries and boom dinner is complete. Ive found that the trick with sweat potato fries is to add a little paprika to the mix and just give it that extra something, trust me it makes them so much better than if they are just plain. Give it a go. its like a new way version of fast food, I genuinely don’t think Deliveroo could of got the food to me quicker or made / found a healthier choice.

After all that I decided that instead of sitting on the sofa and writing this post, I would take the evening off and just chill out on the sofa instead, watch some tv and just not think about anything other than what to watch next. Some times its good to spend an evening off not taking photos, writing posts or going out and not getting home till like 10-11ish. so yesterday was the the perfect opportunity to get some good old sofa session time.

It then became an idea to wake up early today and head to the gym for an early morning work out, I know that a lot of people think that sounds crazy but I swear if you work out in the morning, then your instantly in a better mood for the day and as it is Friday, why wouldn’t you want to be in the best possible mood? So thats why my photos don’t really follow each other today, Ive got two photos from dinner last night and the other photo is of Amy hopping to the gym this morning.

Hope everyone has a good Friday and some good plans for the weekend!

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– Amy loves an early start and especially when its time for the gym… –
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– my choice of vegetables –
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– it was actually surprisingly good, maybe its good way to eat dinner from now on, it might not look amazing, but trust me we were both pleasantly surprised –