Item off the bucket list

So in March of this year I finally built up the courage to do a sky dive!

I had been thinking about it for some time but not really found the perfect place which would eventually persuade me. Well when living in Dubai I heard about Skydive Dubai, which most expats do at some point as either a colleague, friend or family member is going along for a jump and posting it on social media. But thats the great thing about Sky Dive Dubai they not only take a bunch and I mean a bunch of pictures of you while your screaming your head off up there, they also shoot some video and put it all together into a mini film along with interviews with yourself pre and post jump.

It is by far one the best things I have done and I am so glad I did it in Dubai as the views are immense! I would recommend it to anyone! So I only ever posted a couple of images online at the time but thought as I am starting to write more on my blog and wanting myself to come across more I wanted to let whoever reads these posts in on a little bit more about myself. Here it is in full my Sky dive experience – prepare to have your mind blow 😀

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Vinyl memories

So I know its become quite cool to appreciate and buy Vinyl records again in recent years. I myself have purchased a player and bought a number of records over the last year. It has become really enjoyable as I rarely buy them new but instead I much prefer to explore the numerous charity and second hand stores that are in the area where I live or close to whichever office I am working in that day. I have come across and bought some absolute gems which I would have never thought to buy online or in store as It was more about exciting to search for them myself and discovering new musical tastes which had once been someone else’s treasured item.

Vinyl records take me back to my childhood and hold special memories for me. My Mum and Dad had a big collection like most parents who grew up before the Compact disc. I have very vivid memories of my Mum getting on with the house work and putting her records on at full blast, sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor to the soundtrack of everything from Matt Monroe to The Four Tops, Mario Lanza to Sandie Shaw. I began to see how happy it made my Mum to have these artists within her home and hear them as loud as she wanted with no one to tell her otherwise. I myself took to these songs and would often prompt my Mum to play one when I knew it was the right time which could be either of the following:

  • My Dad and brother were out of the house so no need for the football to be on.
  • We were busy in other areas of the house so background music was a good idea (I still can’t stand silence when I am in my flat now, I have to have music playing)
  • We had people over and were sat in the kitchen or chatting in the living room (time for more background music)

Christmas was always a time for records to be played, It’s a running joke between my younger Sister and I that as soon as Halloween is over my Mum will be playing Christmas records! To our amusement she would delve into her archives of classics from artists such as Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Andy Williams and Elvis Presley. These moments did definitely enhance my Christmas as a child as I am sure you will agree the old Christmas songs are definitely the best ones! They just have that magical being about them that makes you think of snow, old movies, hot chocolate and let me say it a traditional Christmas or shall I call it a classic Christmas from a Hollywood movie.

So all this being said I now see the same similarities in myself that I once saw in my Mum. I have purchased a record player and a number of records and now I have quite a collection! Some of my own taste but some are just cause they have that soft spot in my heart from way back when and others were bought from the musical influence of my Husband. Here is a list of the ones I have accumulated so far and where I sourced them from:

  • Electric Warrior by T-Rex
  • Rumours by Fleetwood Mac
  • Thriller by Michael Jackson

All kindly loaned from my Father-in-laws extensive collection (one that I must be exploring again soon).

  • Tango In The Night by Fleetwood Mac
  • Parallel Lines by Blondie

Both second-hand surprise purchases from my husband via amazon (doesn’t he have great taste) The Fleetwood Mac one has become a favourite of mine.

  • David Live by David Bowie

Salvaged from a dusty cardboard box at a stall in Spitalfields market, London.

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  • Let’s Dance by David Bowie
  • Love Songs by Elvis Presley

Found in my local British heart foundation charity shop and another Oxfam in South Woodford.

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  • Greatest Hits by Rod Stewart
  • Greatest Hits by Elton John
  • Motown Dance Party – Various Artists
  • Greatest Hits by Bob Dylan
  • Don Mclean album
  • Roxy Music album
  • The Man Who Sold The World by David Bowie

Purchased at my local Oxfam charity shop – some were collected at a Vinyl night they hosted because of the abundance of Vinyl records they are accumulated over the years, I hope they have another event soon!

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  • U218 Singles by U2
  • Nothing Has Changed by David Bowie

The only two records I have bought brand new. Since our visit to NYC this past summer or more accurately Madison Square Gardens to see U2 perform we have been playing their music constantly, so I wanted a record to remember this by. As for the Bowie one well I kinda needed to have his back catalogue in my collection didn’t I? I will probably continue to snag the odd iconic album as and when I come across it though.

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  • The Very Best of the Bee Gees
  • Every Breath You Take – The Singles by The Police
  • Tina Turner album

Purchased again at an Oxfam charity shop this time in Victoria, London

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  • You are Beautiful by The Stylistics
  • The Drifters
  • The Best of The Four Tops
  • The Fortunes
  • The Velvet Underground

The above three were very sweet 30th Birthday gifts from my Mum and Sister 🙂

I am always searching to grow my collection and I am sure it will double in the next year. I hope someday when I have children of my own that they will experience the same sweet memories I now reflect on every time I place that needle on the Vinyl.

My space

So I have finally started to create my own small corner to work from in our flat. It’s not much right now but I have the desk I wanted and its next to the window so plenty of light. I have dreams of decorating the wall with my inspirations and hopefully one off creations (I sadly rarely get out my sketch pad but its something I aim to do now). Photo 16-03-2015 15 44 18

Here are a couple of spaces and creative places that inspired me so far:

You can see more on my Pinterest board here:

So I would love to spend weeks at this desk thinking and creating. but right now I am supposed to be packing as we are going to Dubai tomorrow to celebrate our first wedding anniversary 🙂 This year has flown past!

My road to fitness and back to football

I have recently joined a ladies football team. Well we don’t actually compete in a league we just get together on Saturdays mornings for training sessions. These training sessions involve fitness sections, football drills and end with an 11-a-side game against each other. It’s really good fun, everyone gets on and it’s not competitive just a good way to work out whilst having fun and get to know a few people. Most Saturdays we head to the local pub afterwards to have a drink and get to know each other a little more. I have only been to two sessions so far and I have really enjoyed it, more so the second time as I knew what to expect and got more involved I feel. I have still a long tway to go should I want to compete in a proper game (which they do occasionally) but for now I happy with just doing it for fun and to help my fitness.

Since returning from Dubai I have struggled to maintain a fitness routine apart from last year somewhat as I was part of a gym with my husband and we had the motivation of our upcoming wedding. This year or since March 2014 has been a little harder. We joined another gym which was great, so close to our home and cheap enough that it wasn’t such a drag every month on the bank account. But problem was as soon as the colder months hit and the dark nights it was a struggle to get to. You see it sits behind a dark road and lots of trees and when you don’t have access to a car the walk or run to get there can be a bit off-putting. So we decided to cancel our membership in January this year. I have always enjoyed long runs around our area of Wanstead and South Woodford (outskirts of London) but it can get a bit tedious and repetitive after a while not to mention if you work late its the last thing you want to be doing at 8-9 pm on a cold night!

My husband has always been into football ever since we met 13 years ago it has been the other part of our relationship and to be honest deep down I wouldn’t have it any other way. I see how much enjoyment he gets out of it, from playing every weekend, to watching it on TV, to talking with his friends/me/his family about it – It is and will always be a part of our lives and that’s okay because even before we met my Dad had cemented it into my life also. He used to coach our local boys team, Sprotbrough Crusaders. My brother also played for them and I met some of my close friends by being dragged down on a cold sunday morning to games whilst my mother had to work shifts at our local hospital. I used to hate having to stand there on the side lines next to the first aid box and that “magic” sponge and bucket! But yes there were other daughters like me who were in the same position and had to come down and watch their brother/cousin, and this softened the blow and I guess I can say this is where it started for me.

Soon I was getting involved in the newly established Richmond hill school girls team! It was quite a thing. There was about 8-10 of us in the beginning and we had caught on to a bit of a trend. We all followed football and tried to get involved in the boys games on the field at play time. I don’t know how it started maybe it was that era in the late 90’s of Manchester united, David Beckham and the other superstars coming into the lime light or just the fact we felt we could be as good as the boys, our brothers etc. I mean don’t get me wrong I was a very girly girl in the midst of all this I was still going to ballet and dance classes every Thursday and Saturday. It wasn’t about being “one of the boys” it was about getting involved in something and being part of a team and ultimately having fun with it. So our small girls team grew and other girls in our year started to hear about it and wanted to be involved and before you know it we were going over to another school in the area to play a friendly game, the team or school was ELLERS!  I remember showing up there, my Dad had driven me and a couple of my close friends to the school. He was so proud and I was so proud because he was a manager of the Crusaders! I mean people knew my Dad in our village because of this. He probably should have been our manager but we were lumped with our school teacher Mr Arthur for whatever reason. I can’t actually remember him talking to us as a team, giving us a team talk or any inspiring words to be honest but hey he was our manager figure and quite frankly we all knew what we had to do on that field. As soon as we got out of the car at the ground my Dad got straight to it and got us all in a circle to do a warm up game of head catch. This got us all going and ready to face our first proper game! We got battered by Ellers to be fair. I remember one opportunity for myself. I was clear, running towards the goal, shot in sight, a defender was on me but too far to bother me. I could hear their team cheering for their goalie as I set my sight on the net. I shot on target but she made the save. I was slightly disappointed but I had a taste and It was a thrill for a moment. We went away from that game tired but we all enjoyed it. We played a couple more games, tournaments and matches. Ellers were always our rivals and I can quite distinctly remember them being probably a foot taller than us at the time. (They probably weren’t but things seem so much more exaggerated as a kid)

Doncaster Football

I went to a few “football days” over the coming years cause my Dad knew people at our local club Doncaster Rovers and got involved in most things my brother did with football. This kept us occupied most summers and I was even in the local paper for it! But as high school years approached I and my friends lost interest in playing the game and other things took over appearance, fashion, boys. I got involved in Netball in my later years of school and really enjoyed the team element of this and thought about carrying it on for a while but my eventual career and social life took over again.

For the years through college sport and exercise were not a part of my life which is probably something I regret but if I went back now I probably wouldn’t be able to convince my 17-21 year old self this. I am now an established Digital Art Director working in London for the past 8 years as well as a break year in Dubai with my then boyfriend and now Husband, Dave. I began a heavy (for me) fitness regime whilst in Dubai as It seemed like the perfect time to transform myself. Lucky for me Dave was a qualified personal trainer! I think he was quite shocked but happy and excited when I turned to him in our first few weeks and said, “I want to change my body, please help me”. He loves a challenge and Is very passionate about fitness and wellbeing. He is so knowledgable and driven at his job (health club manager) and I know he is guiding me in the best way possible. In little over 4 weeks I could see the change in myself and body. I felt alive and healthy it was quite a feeling and something I hadn’t experienced for some time if ever. I mean I have never been a gym person in the past but the feeling it gives you is unreal – it’s totally worth it! The best thing about doing all of this is that I could do it with Dave. It became our weekly activity together, we really looked forward to those Friday morning gym sessions then going to a nice restaurant in a beach bar area after knowing we had really worked so we could treat ourselves once in a while. This continued whilst we were in Dubai for a year and I am so glad I woke up from being lazy and just thinking I could go through life and my body would take care of itself. All those times I used to think well I am a slim person surely that’s enough and I can eat whatever I want. Well it isn’t the truth. Listen early 20 year olds – It’s gonna get harder for you to stay in shape, do yourself a favor and start now 🙂 you will feel a whole load better for it, look after your body. In June 2013 we returned to the UK for a number of reasons but one of the main at the time was we were getting married and wanted to be closer to family so that they could enjoy the day with us. As I mentioned previous myself and Dave tried hard to maintain our fitness lifestyle and did as well as we could in the run up to the wedding.

It seemed that I had reached a point as I did when we moved to Dubai that I wanted to change things up a little. Yes I still loved going to the gym but it was often on my days off in the week I could only make it or on a saturday whilst Dave was playing football. I craved some sort of group activity and something more fun and energising than the same routine in the gym. I think Dave first suggested why don’t you look into ladies Football teams whilst we were in the local one Saturday evening. I googled a few times, “ladies football”, “ladies non competitive football” but often I was finding mixed teams and teams at the other side of London. After more searching we came across the Ladies East end academy. This is a group set up by a guy called Naz Ahmed he is joined by another also FA qualified coach Addison. It is the only ladies social football club in east London. It’s for all Ladies from age 16 up from various backgrounds and abilities. The aim for anyone joining is to socialise, learn and keep fit. There is no commitment required and they even try to get us involved in friendly games should we wish.

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This brief delve into my past and journey to now is not to say everybody needs to work out and exercise or me trying to push fitness or being healthy down your throat it is more for me to outline my full circle and to say, whatever you choose to do, to look after yourself and make your mind and soul happy make it something that’s fun and not a chore, after all you only live once and you only have one body to live it in, look after it! (quote stolen from my husband and motivator Dave Taylor).

Tasker Taylor Designer Spy..

So in the past year things have been pretty hectic – Me and Dave got married! So I am now officially Lisa Taylor – no longer a Tasker…

The wedding was as they say the best day of our lives. We had some of our friends come over from the states to help celebrate! They came over a week before so we could hang out in London and show them some cool stuff seen as they made the long journey. The day itself was beautiful sunny/stormy Yorkshire day 🙂 all our family and friends there and a simple, yet personal ceremony and reception.

We have gone over over and back on forth about where we want to settle in the UK we even nearly made the move to back to Yorkshire but right at the last min it just didn’t feel right and so we have decided to remain here in London. We are lucky enough to have stumbled on a great area and found a wonderful apartment. Not many people have heard of it and those that have believe it is so far out of London but for us 40 mins on a tube to Oxford St really isn’t that bad! So hopefully this will be the start to our married life and for once and for all becoming southerners! haha

I have also decided to go it alone in the freelance world and set up my own company. So far so good I have been getting in steady work for some great clients and really enjoying the choices I can make in terms of who I work with and projects that I get involved in.

Here are a few visual memories from the last few months wedding, London, friends and all!

I got the chance to travel to Barcelona with Samsung to launch the S5 at #unpacked 2014 Here is the team in the "war room"
I got the chance to travel to Barcelona with Samsung to launch the S5 at #unpacked 2014 Here is the team in the “war room”[/caption]

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Got to try some amazing food!

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This was the view from the apartment we stayed in.

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So March came and it was already time for my hen do! My girls put together a lovely weekend for us all in London!

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So March came and it was already time for my hen do! My girls put together a lovely weekend for us all in London!

Some of our friends came over from the States for our wedding. They stayed with us in London for a week, so we could hang out for a bit before the wedding.

Me and my dear friend Angela got to go to our first gig together CHVRCHES at the Forum in Kentish town!

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Here she is on the tube with her sweet Boyfriend Michael or Z as we call him who was also Dave’s best man.

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Some shots of the Boys!

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Many a tube journey was taken!

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A lot of Vintage shopping/browsing!

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In Doncaster we took them for a game of bowling before a night on the town! DTC!

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They got to meet my lovely maid of honour/sister before the wedding and some of our friends.

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The day finally came and these two were on hand to help me with my dress!

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We got some really odd weather of thunder storms hail and bright sunshine! But the sun was out for the pictures thank god!

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The boys trying to not look too nervous before their speeches 🙂

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Everyone enjoyed a dance! Including my normally shy little brother Jamie 🙂

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The photobooth went down a treat!

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My friend Claire actually moved to Leeds so we went to sample the cocktail bars of course!

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Me and the Husband finally got to see AWOLNATION!

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Got very cheap tickets to a festival which included Arcade fire in the lineup!

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Started a photography project on our local area – Wanstead

More to come soon!

Charlotte Tasker Final show

So I made it back home to see my sisters final year Fine Art Show. She is going on to study Fashion photography at Leeds Art College and I couldn’t be more proud of her.

Her project was based around creating material and promoting her fictional band “Love The Accent”. She has been inspired by vintage photography from the 1960’s and 70’s. She has manipulated her photography to give it a contemporary feel such as 3D.

Here are a couple of pictures from her stand.

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Dubai

So another chapter has ended for now I guess. Me and my now Fianceé have decided to leave Dubai and return to London. We have been there for over a year now and experienced some pretty amazing things! I will always appreciate what it did for us as individuals, professionals and of course a couple.

I am very excited to begin our life together (again) in London. I have worked with some pretty amazing people over in Middle East and met lots of different types of people, been introduced to different customs and ways of life also. I can’t explain in words how much it can fulfil you to experience something like this as a person I feel so much more mature and appreciative of things that never really mattered to me too much before. So okay without sounding all emotional and sentimental I shall share with you some visual memories that I have gathered over my time in Dubai. DSC_0404

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