Category Archives: maychallenge

Photography: Mermaid Cove

Day 31, Friday: A Vivid Memory

It was was the last Saturday in March of 2010 on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.  I had just driven up from my home in Mililani where I had gotten model, Alysha ready in hair and make up.   With glittery eyes and long red hair in waves she was now ready in wardrobe as my mermaid for the evening conceptual photo shoot.  I had obtained the costume at a vintage store in Tucson, Arizona on a visit at my mum’s house and had only used it once for Halloween in 2008.  Coincidentally Halloween that year had fallen on the night of my first photo exhibition in Honolulu and now it was being used again before my departure back to the mainland. I had a whole list of concepts I wanted to complete in the final months of my island life.  While many male photographers were content with shooting just bikini clad models on the sandy beaches, I had my heart set on photographing a mermaid.  Of course in my mind what mermaid photo shoot would be complete without a Prince Eric? So as we got out of the car we met Samart, our leading man to complete the vision.

On to the beach we went in one of my most favourite areas of North Shore for being secluded and devoid of tourists.  I have almost always had this area to myself on my many drives to the area.  With my camera and equipment and a bagful of props we started up the rocky cliffs for the first half of the shoot.  It soon became the golden hour and the soft warm Hawaiian sunlight lit up Alysha and Samart as they portrayed my versions of Ariel and Eric.  Which was good because the trade winds were having a field day with my light reflectors.  While on many shoots I had the luxury of a photography assistant, today it was just the three of us.  I remember before the shoot I had run down to the touristy section of walmart to pick up a collection of shells.  These I had then hot glued onto fishing wire. This made it quite easy to display the smaller shells, with easy clean up since they were all attached to the same line.  I had a few bigger shells and a nice starfish that I moved around the scene.
For the second part of the shoot I wanted to draw on the idea of Eric  being shipwrecked and either saved or discovered by Ariel.  I even had Eric catch Ariel in his net. We had a vintage table, originally from Russia, as our token piece of washed up wood.  All in all it was a really fun shoot and I despite having a very small team for the day I got the images I was hoping to come away with from concept.  All though my secret desire as a girl to become a mermaid was never realised, it was fun to orchestrate story I loved as a child.  Thank you to Alysha and Samart for making my vision possible. 
Here were my top favourite photographs from my concept shoot from ‘Mermaid Cove’. 

Like that we are complete with the Blog Every Day in May challenge.  If you would like to see my other posts for the month click the label/tag ‘maychallenge’ below.  Thank you for joining me on this month long journey and I look forward to seeing you in June with my regularly scheduled posts about photography  travel, third culture kids, and expats.

*photographs belong to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

The Strength in Letting Go

Day 30, Thursday: React to this term, ‘Letting Go’

D e e p a k   C h o p r a 

In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, 
but you will find yourself.
Self Portrait by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved
My fifteen year old self watched on the big screen as Rose let go of Jack’s hand.  I was unable to fathom why she did not find a way to share the piece of wreckage that looked big enough for him to rest beside her.  ‘Never let go‘ he told her.  His last words were more of a metaphor then telling her to cling on to a now dead Jack from the frigid ocean water.  I walked out of the cinema in Germany with my friend talking about how we would have never let Leonardo DiCaprio go. We would have found a way.  I was taught to hold on frequently through life.  As a little girl holding my parents’ hand, in the absence of my father during the war, and through moves to new countries and cities.  You hold on.  
Especially as a Third Culture Kid, a girl who spent a significant part of her childhood living in and out of different countries, I was holding on to all of my past.  To all my past ‘homes’, all my friends, and all my memories.  This ingrained in me the type of friend I would become as an adult, fighting for friendships that others would easily walk away from.  I was forced to say goodbye to friends because of moving and so I would hold on quicker and tighter to friendships knowing what it meant to have that them at all. There was one friend who was kinda rough around the edges but I always stood by his side.      I like to think that everyone has the best intentions and there is a heart attached to every soul.  I would always seek him out and bring him back to our group of friends when he had not been seen from in a while.  He was the closest I have come to having a brother and I honestly cared about him as much as I enjoyed his company.  The last time I sought him out he revealed to me that in his mind I was the cause of his failed relationship with a mutual friend.  To me it came way out of left field though it explained much in hindsight.  It was at that moment after seven years of an off and on friendship, that I found the clarity to let go.    
When my husband and I were going through rough times I was counselled to get out for a while.  Not to leave forever, but to get away before things between us got worse.  That leaving for a awhile would help shock things back on the path towards recovery for our marriage and our future together.  So when I saw an opportunity arise for a trial separation we took it.  I had been hanging on through the loss of my dad and realised that it was not making me stronger.  It took more strength and courage to let go than try to survive. Letting go restored my soul as I allowed others to be responsible for themselves. Through that freedom of stress I found myself. I would not have thought there was strength in letting go.  Not when people around me were telling me I was in the wrong for leaving. In the end my husband and I found our way back to each other and put our family back together.  I find truth in the counsel I was given for it fixed what was broken in the first place.  
As children we relearn simple lessons over and over until we finally comprehend the wisdom behind it to implement the right action into our life.  As adults I believe it is no different.  Though the hardships and stresses may differ, in retrospect I see the lesson in the end to be similar.  I have had to let go in many facets of my life as a child and now as an adult.  Even when we lose things or people in life we still have to let go of the lingering pain.  
After fighting for a decade with my in laws and hoping that they would eventually ‘see me for me’ and love me unconditionally I was pushed to the breaking point of the relationship.  Despite my own dislike for confrontations I brought out the problems in conversation, called it out and laid it on the table.    I wanted to get it out, get over it and move on from the same fights that would arise.  Growing up in Italy I saw how a family would have an loud boisterous fight at the table, get it all out, and then move on. Yet some people can never let go because they keep so much emotional baggage locked up, with fear of ever talking about it.  Their thoughts, words, actions, and judgements I cannot control.  I finally realised last Autumn I could not force anyone to like me and time nor distance would not necessarily make any difference.  I found the strength through the storm to let go.  In the end I found indifference. Which if I cannot have love, is better than harbouring the opposite.  
The simple truth is if we had control over something we would not let it hurt us or strain our life.  So by letting go of things and people of which we do not have control, we are essentially letting go of the toxic and negative aspects in our life.  That is what we have control over.  It is where we find our inner strength and through it our true selves.  
“Some of us think holding on makes us strong,
 but sometimes it is letting go.” – Herman Hesse


*Self Portrait by Bonnie Rose of Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

Music that Speaks to Me

Day 29, Wednesday: Five songs or pieces of music that speak to you.
I decided to look for the songs that have really impacted my life in one way or another  and these are the five that have spoke to me for this prompt. I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I do.
I love music. I love the way it can alter and change your mood if you are feeling down.
I love the way a song can cement itself to a memory or a person.
A world without music would be a sad one indeed.
My eldest son always has a song on his lips.
Whether he is humming or singing.
Music is the heart of the world.
Y o u ‘ r e   M y   S t a r 
I put this song on my sons’ iPod before my husband and I moved to England.  We did not take our boys with us initially so that we could get settled with a place to live, jobs, and a schools.  I do not lot like being a part from my sons one bit but I did what I could to help the transition.  I told my sons that every time they were sad because they missed us they could listen to this song and that I would be doing the same thing too.  It still makes me think of my sons when I listen to it and Stereophonics are one of my favourite bands.

Gavin Rossdale
F o r e v e r   M a y   Y o u   R u n 
I fell in love with Gavin’s voice in Bush when I was in seventh grade with ‘Swallowed’.  When his solo album was released in June of 2008 I listened to it frequently.  In August my father was killed.  When we got to my parents house I went for a lot of walks on my own to get out of the house and this song started playing on repeat from my iPod.  I ended up modifying the title to ‘Forever May You Fly’ for a title to put on the Ghost Bike memoria for my father who flew in the USAF.
A s   t h e   W o r l d   F a l l s   D o w n 
When I was five years old I had two loves aside from my daddy.  One was Prince William, whose photo with his mum Diana sat on my vanity, and the other was Jareth, the Goblin King from Labyrinth. I loved this film and enjoy watching it now with my own kids.  While I equally adore the song Within You followed by David’s last scene in the film this song is quite iconic.  I really enjoyed the dream-esque world of being a princess in a world that is just too strange and foreign to be comfortable within.
D a n c e   M e   t o   t h e   E n d  o f   L o v e
I had to include both the original from Cohen with the amazing violin and then one of my favourite covers of the song by The Civil Wars.  It is one of my favourite songs to dance to with my husband.  I wanted to include the meaning behind the song however and will let Cohen’s words do that for me:

“…it’s curious how songs begin because the origin of the song, every song, has a kind of grain or seed that somebody hands you or the world hands you and that’s why the process is so mysterious about writing a song. But that came from just hearing or reading or knowing that in the death camps, beside the crematoria, in certain of the death camps, a string quartet was pressed into performance while this horror was going on, those were the people whose fate was this horror also. And they would be playing classical music while their fellow prisoners were being killed and burnt. So, that music, “Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin,” meaning the beauty there of being the consummation of life, the end of this existence and of the passionate element in that consummation. But, it is the same language that we use for surrender to the beloved, so that the song — it’s not important that anybody knows the genesis of it, because if the language comes from that passionate resource, it will be able to embrace all passionate activity.”

L  a   V i e   E n   R o s e 
I love Edith Piaf and when I was last in Paris my husband took me to see her final resting place in Cimetière du Père-Lachaise. I could listen to her voice for a long time and though I have many favourite songs La Vie en Rose is my most favourite song.  I think I hummed it a frequently aloud and in my head when were were in Paris.  I found a little music box song of it when in Sorrento and I love to play it.  She is just so iconic and I do not think I will get tired of this song. 

*photographs found here belong to Bonnie Rose of Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

Freshford by Photographs

Day 28, Tuesday: Only Pictures
For today’s post I share with you just a few…because my family knows I took so many…photographs from our Saturday which was spent in the town of Freshford.  We went on a country walk throughout the town and countryside with dinner at the pub in town.  Six hours later it was time to go home but we had a fifty minute wait until the next train home.  We decided to not wait and take a two and half hour walk back home along the Avon Canal to Bath.  It was a beautiful day and we spent most of it walking and enjoying the sunshine. Without further adieu here is my post in only photos.



*photographs found here belong to Bonnie Rose of Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

Dear Readers

Day 27, Monday: A Letter to Your Readers

I still havent gotten bored of the view from my backgarden.  Hopefully you are not bored of seeing it yet either. 😉 

Dear Readers,

Our month of blogging every day is coming to a close with just four more prompts left to go.  I have met a lot of new friends during the last few weeks and I have enjoyed the little vacation from my regularly scheduled posts on A Compass Rose. When June arrives I will be going back to my normal schedule.  While blogging everyday can seem like a lot of work, the structure has helped me keep my blog active.  I realize not everyone has the time to read blogs daily, and so I aim to set up the same genre of posts on certain days.  If you really enjoy reading about ‘My Ex-pat Life’ in England then you will know when those posts are scheduled.  If you are a daily reader you will know what to look forward to when you come to A Compass Rose.  

We are all pretty much new friends at this point. Whether you have just found my blog today or have been following since February. I went from having only my mum read my blog in January to four months later and I have over 200 readers now through Bloglovin. I only realised this morning I had reached that blogger milestone and I am very thankful and blessed.  

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I wanted to say thank you to you all because you have made blogging, with the intent to share with other people, a very enjoyable experience. I cherish every single comment that appears on A Compass Rose.  I enjoy being able to correspond back and forth through email from comments both on my blog and on the blogs I read.  It has really turned my one sided conversation of a post into a open conversation between blogger friends.  Thank you for taking the time to respond to the posts, they become the chocolate chips in my cookie of a life. 😉 

*If you do not get an email reply to your comment I am not ignoring you.   Message me and I can help diagnose the problem.

This blog started in 2005 under the name ‘Mummy Paparazi’ and has evolved since then to what you see today.  I have put it aside during the harder times in life, and picked it back up during the better.  Authenticity is one of my favourite words and being authentic to you, my readers, is my goal in each post.  They say ‘a picture is worth thousand words’.  I know sometimes photographs can be misleading by not telling the whole story.  I want you to know that in this space of mine I want to be open with you.  Feel free to ask questions and talk with me on twitter @the_bonnierose  When you live in one place long enough you start taking the smaller things for granted.  If there is something you would love to see me blog about from my expat life in England send me a message. If you just want someone to talk to then I am here for you too. 

Whever in the world you may live, and whatever timezone, thank you for being a part of this blogger journey with me.  I look forward to seeing where we go from here. 

I leave you with a few photos from my Instagram yesterday as we enjoyed the warm sunshine in merrily ol’ England and got a bit of colour from being outside most of the day.  

Pancakes and Pims for brunch followed by family reading time outside.  
I finally finished Game of Thrones. 
When the sun comes out everyone in England acts like it is a miracle.  I could see and hear this football match from our house. 
I watched for a few minutes up closer when running to the shop for an ice cream treat to surprise my family. 
Between reading and the hot sun (wait how was it only 59F, it seriously felt like it was  90F) 
we got quite tired and ended up taking the sleeping bag outside to get in an afternoon family nap.  

It was a lovely weekend and I will be sharing what we did on Saturday soon.  One more note on the weather: I know I have officially assimilated to life in England when 59F/15C feels like summer.  At one point my boys went inside because they said it was ‘too hot’.  It was definitely a rare sunny day in England where there were hardly no clouds in the sky and the just a slight breeze.  Had there been wind, or enough clouds to cover the sun the temperature drops dramatically. In Hawaii I would not want to go to the beach if it was below the 80’s because it was ‘too cold’.  I would wear a sweatshirt and have my arms crossed my chest in Hawaii where in England at the same temperature I am breaking out my bikini and tank tops. Weather really is relative to what you are used to and I think I am getting used to weather in England.  However I have yet to learn how to dress for the weather here.  I am usually wearing way too many layers because I do not like to be out and about and being too cold. What better point can I make about adjusting to life in England then writing a whole paragraph about the weather. 😉

Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Bonnie Rose aka B. 
Author of A Compass Rose


*photographs found here belong to Bonnie Rose of Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

Tigerlilly Quinn & Bath Fashion Museum ‘Blate’

Day 26, Sunday: Something you read online. Leave and link and discuss, if you’d like. 

Last week I had the pleasure of going to the Bath Fashion Museum with bloggers Fritha and Lia.  The ‘Blate’ (Blogger + Date) is featured today on Tigerlilly Quinn filled with amazing photography by Fritha.  Please check it out to read more about the blate and leave a comment to say hi! 
I have included a few of Fritha‘s photographs for the post today:
Photograph belongs to Fritha of Tigerlilly Quinn
Photograph belongs to Fritha of Tigerlilly Quinn 
Photograph belongs to Fritha of Tigerlilly Quinn 

Q: Have you been on a ‘Blate’ before?  Which bloggers did you meet up with and what did you guys do?


*photographs found here belong to Fritha of Tigerlilly Quinn  © 2013 All Rights Reserved |

Wise Words from my Friend

Day 25, Saturday: Something someone told you about yourself that you’ll never forget (good or bad)

This is a candid of myself in front of the same Union Jack flag back when we were stationed in Monterey, California in 2005.  At this time my husband and I had been married for only two years and had one son under a year old. Still a young married woman and a new mum.  My husband had just joined the military and was in his technical training stage.  Basically back when this photo was taken we were both so young and in new stages of our lives. Things that would make me sad, get me anxious, or stress me out back then all seem so trivial now.  My biggest gripe back then was figuring out to schedule family time with my husbands crazy school and study schedule with the military and dealing with what to do with all things my MIL sent me that I did not need. It was a different time in my life and I’m not sure what I would tell myself if I could go back in time. 

Two years later we were stationed in Hawaii and welcoming our second son.  Then all the hard times would hit us like an unexplained storm ready to leave us in the wreckage.  Being so far away from any ‘home’ and people for support I owe my darkest hours to a friend many miles away.  She was my mentor and role model growing up and had always been so strong in my eyes.  Now seeing what she has had to go through I really feel blessed to have had her wise words through email during my hardest times.  While I keep those words and emails private, she has said something to me during the time frame of this portrait below that I have kept written out to remind me when I am having a bad day.  I think especially as mothers we can feel that we are expected to be superwomen.  To be perfect in every way, to let no one down, and make no mistakes.  However she has constantly reminded me how much we can do for our families and for our children by just loving them with all our hearts.  It does not matter what the rest of the world says or does, if you have love, share love and give love you become the glue to hold it all together. 

 “I am so proud of you Bonnie. I know life is difficult and there are severe problems at times, but you are so courageous and strong to hold it all together and hold everyone together. I am learning from my own kids around me, that it doesn’t matter how much we mess up or how bad, just that we love them, love those around us. We are the glue that holds it all together and God gives us that blessing.”
 – my friend

Thank you to my beautiful, sweet, and loving friend.  You are so strong and you have been the strength for me when I thought I had nothing left.  You helped with words of wisdom and scripture to help guide me through the darkest times. In all honesty I would not be here today with my family if I did not have you in my life. Thank you for caring so much about me, especially when it seemed no one else did. I love you!


*photographs found here belong to Bonnie Rose of Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |