November Photo-a-Day challenge

I took part in another daily photo challenge this November. I figured that November isn’t generally all that photogenic, so the daily prompts would inspire me to get snapping! Here were the November prompts for the #fmsphotoaday challenge.


1. Something blue

Tempting though it was to go for another gratuitous shot of my beautiful sapphire and diamond engagement ring, I opted for this shot of Wilhelm with the Malvern Hills in the background. This was back when we first brought him back from Germany, before he had his paint job – he looks a lot smarter now!

2. I saw this!

An original Saturn V rocket from our trip to the Kennedy Space Center provided a good subject for the boast-inducing prompt “I saw this”!

3. Weather


The weather prompt fell on a beautiful blue sky day, so I went for an autumnal scene of a photogenic tree in our neighbourhood. This tree now has no leaves!

4. Can’t live without


I didn’t want to be too soppy and do a photo of Lee for the “can’t live without”, so I went for the next most obvious choice: my Apple devices. I’m a massive Apple fan and so is Lee, so our house is absolutely full of Apple stuff. Together, they run my entire personal and business life… #sad

5. 8 o’clock


I’m usually still in bed at 8am (I love the self-employed life – I used to have to get up at 6.30am!), so here’s a photo of our country cottage duvet cover.

6. Made me smile today


Guide Dog puppy Ike made me smile on day 6 of the challenge. He’s so chilled out that he usually can’t even be bothered to get out of his bed, as on this day!

7. On the floor


It was a cold, cold day on day 7 of the challenge, so I did my work on the floor, huddled by the fire.

8. A place

“A place” provided me with another excuse to post this picture I took from the top of Broadway Tower. It’s up there with my favourite photos that I’ve ever taken!

9. Heck yes!


I thought this was a bit of a lame prompt, but nevermind. I happened to be flying on day 9, and I got to fly solo for the first time since July (work had got in the way, and then Wilhelm was at the aeroplane hospital). I had a bit of a wait at the hold as it was a busy day, but I had a fantastic view while I was waiting – this is one of the few surviving Cold War Vulcan bombers. And to top it off, my solo went really well and I did one of my best solo landings to date!

10. I do this every day


Apologies for a couple of crap photos now, the first being this. I start each and every day with a cappuccino prepared in my bargain coffee machine (seriously, £30, reduced from £119 via The Times!). Not a very good image unfortunately!

11. A set


Another poor image to illustrate “a set” – my latest book acquisitions, a set of Hilary Mantel novels for a tenner. Haven’t got round to starting them yet though.

12. Normal


I had no idea what photo to do for this one, but we’d been to Ikea the previous day and all the Christmas decorations were up already. So my slant on “normal” was that it’s apparently now normal for Christmas to start in early November!

13. Letters

“Letters” was just the excuse I needed for another trip down memory lane to our holiday in Florida. At the Daytona Beach Wings and Waves airshow, we witnessed the most amazing sky-writing we’d ever seen. Five planes in a row were flying around at a high altitude forming these perfect letters in the sky with little puffs of smoke. We’d never seen anything like it!

14. For me


Wedding cake samples for breakfast. Enough said!

15. Hot + cold


Again, I couldn’t think what to do for this, but we’d had a free meal at ASK Italian that evening with our Tesco Clubcard vouchers, so I did hot pizzas and cold beer as the day’s challenge.

16. After

This is a photo of me on the phone to my mum after Lee and I got engaged. The “after” prompt was a good excuse to remind myself of such a happy occasion, and I think you can see how chuffed I am from the pic!

17. Cooking

I cooked chicken stew the day before, so this was a good photo for day 17.

18. I love this

Flying again, so “I love this” came on the right day! I love flying… in case you hadn’t noticed!

19. Whole


I was completely stumped for ideas for this one, so in the end I settled for an apple from the fruit bowl. It came out ok I think!

20. Bright


The morning started off bright at least, so here’s a nice silhouette of a pine tree at Guide Dogs.

21. Shoes


The shoes prompt was the ideal excuse to post my favourite picture taken of me – sitting on a Second World War motorbike at a 1940s hangar dance at my old gliding club, wearing a favourite pair of red heels. Taken by my sister Nel!

22. A favourite thing


I don’t really have a favourite plane, but I’ll always have a soft spot for Cessna 172s thanks to Lee’s old work plane, pictured here on a trip we did last year.

23. I made this!


This is another fairly old photo, but it was one of the best I have of the frequent baking I do. This is banana bread, which I make often.

24. I need to do this!

I was flying again on this day, and there was mist on the horizon. The thing I need to do, as per the prompt, is finish my PPL. I have to finish it this winter or the exams I’ve already done will expire. I’ve been so busy with work and should have finished it ages ago! Just three exams, a navigation test, a solo 100km flight landing at two other airfields, and a flying skills test now stand between me and my licence!

25. Time

I went for “the most wonderful time of the year” as my response to this prompt. This is a photo from our Christmas visit to Coughton Court.

26. Wall

This was a good opportunity to post a wall photo I’m particularly proud of. This was taken at Baddesley Clinton earlier this year.

27. I’m thankful for this…

There are a great many things I’m thankful for, but being self-employed is among the top things. While everyone else is still at work, I get to laze by the pool at the gym, hiding away from the gloomy weather!

28. Black

For “black” I did this Westland Lysander from the Shuttleworth Collection – in black and white, for good measure. It’s a very menacing-looking aircraft…

29. So, this happened

Couldn’t resist… this is by far and away the best thing that’s happened this year!

30. I bought this!

For the final day of the challenge, I told the story of my flamingo. I bought this in a small lakeside town called Mount Dora in Florida. I spotted them in the window of a little shop and immediately knew that I had to have one (I already had one flamingo in our garden). When I went to buy it, the ladies at the till told me that they were being sold in aid of a cancer charity, and for each flamingo bought, another one would be added to a ‘flock’ of them in Mount Dora. You could dedicate your flamingo to someone, and though I hadn’t known this, as it happened I already had in mind the person who I would dedicate mine to. My godmother, Carole, sadly died of cancer a few years ago, and my resounding memory of her when I was growing up was of the two model flamingos she had in her back garden. This is why I already had a flamingo, you see. So I wrote her name on the label tied round the neck of the flamingo to be added to the Florida flock, which seemed a fitting way of remembering her. And I got one to take home too. I’m pretty sure that Carole would have loved this story… :)

I’ll be taking a break from the photo challenge for December (there are plenty of things to photograph without needing a prompt!), but I’ll be doing more photo challenges in the New Year. If you’re on Instagram, follow me @rachelswritings for plenty more photos of my day to day life.

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