Archive for December, 2007
So it is the last blog entry of 2007. After Christmas we’re off to Centre Parcs with the family. There is something quite unique about swimming outside in December. If you’ve never been its not what you think (Centre Parcs that is).
Leon gets the Christmas number 1. Bah Humbug! Fairytale of New York makes it to no.4. Not bad for a 20 year old record.
I must say a big Happy 60th Birthday to my Father-in-Law/Evan’s Grandad. Saturday night there was a party for all the friends and us kids…the little ones stayed with a babysitter. Karen couldn’t let the evening go by without bringing over her Karaoke machine. Lord help us!
Sing it Patsy!
His first musical idol…Michael Jackson
And his second…Mick Jagger…although I’m not sure Nicola is convinced
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Darren and Charlotte – Sunday December 23 2007 – Marriot Meon Valley Hotel
It was at this point when neither realised what the heck they were doing
I liked the reflection on the glass stair guard
“Right…who needs a drink!”
The Brides arrived…time to get down to business
No legal objections…was Charlotte expecting something?
I liked the late afternoon light…
…and Dad just liked the beer!
Another reflection by accident. I didn’t see it until I took the shot
Some say that when these two had their first kiss…sparks flew!
Dad (recovered from his fit of beer induced laughter) is a man a few words. He wasn’t kidding!
Darren keeps his mum sweet!
Someone’s suspicions gets outed…much to her embarresment
There’s little question what this table gave Charlotte on marks out of 10
Shrek and Fiona…thanks to Fiona for being a springboard in which to keep the formals smiling
A wee abstract…fake fire on the DJ stage
And in case you ever wondering what it looked like on the decks
Dance….the night away!
Anyone for Salsa!
Claire and Mike – Saturday DEC&MBER 22 – Seaford College
I’m asked to meet the boys at a pub in Graffham…3 miles north of Middle Earth
Picture 1…Mike with a beer
“Oh, the shark has pretty teeth dear…And he shows em, pearly white”
Picture 3 — Mike with a beer….noticing a trend?
The ushers do their usherly duty
The Bride arrives in style
Look close and you can see two of my favourite people! :)
I’ll always remember the first time we met Claire
Now…where’s that pound coin I dropped?
Seaford has a lovely chapel
I’ve never seen the registered signed right at the front…brilliant!
Off they go!
…and I simply stumbled upon a bridesmaid
Who then magically turned into the Bride
What a ham!
Mike cool under pressure
….and sexy in silhouette
Ah…the impromptu receiving line
A bit OOF…but worth a look!
First of all some good news. Clients from 2006 and most of 2007 remember receiving an email about 6 weeks ago asking them to vote for me in the WrapIt Awards. These awards recognise excellence in the wedding industry. Well all of your good wishes and support paid off as I have been shortlisted for the regional final next month. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to vote. I really appreciate it!
And now…a blast from past!
My first Shootinghip Christmas Card
Some of you old timers may recognise this as the cover of my first Shootinghip Christmas card. The older he got the less cooperative he became. So some of you might be wondering “hey, where’s my crafty Christmas card from Rob?” Well, this winter (or should I say fall as winter doesn’t actually start until the weekend…but don’t tell my heating bills…eh) has been very busy. Plus I’ve been having this real crisis of conscience regarding the whole impact of the Christmas card. Environmental, social etc etc. Whilst I’ll never say never again I will say that this year I simply couldn’t bring myself to do one. I figured it costs me around £150 so what could I do with £150 to be a better citizen. I thought about the things that I care about and those in need. Instantly I was drawn to the idea of ethical giving through someone like Oxfam. Africa has always held a special place since our visit in 2002. But then I read that giving someone a goat is now considered to be a bit of an insult. So I thought about the things that have impacted me most over the past few years. In October Nicola ran the Great South Run for Royal Marsden Hospital. We have a family connection with the brother-in-law being a survivor of Leukaemia treated at Royal Marsden. So the choice became clear. So, instead of wondering where your Christmas card is take warmth in the fact by not getting one you’ve helped contribute £150 to Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign. Happy Christmas!
Speaking of which the big day draws nearer and the excitement levels round our house continues to grow. Yesterday Evan had Tea with Father Christmas. AKA 30 crazy kids eat crap food and run around like lunatics whilst an unconvincing FC knockoff wows them with his woollen beard. Kids…their so gullible! For Father Christmas visits I believe thats it. We have some reindeer food (aka oats) to put on the front garden to attract Santa’s sleigh (which will more likely bring the field mice out). However, even with the season of good cheer it’s all work right up until Christmas eve. I’ve got a party on Friday, a wedding on Saturday and then the Father’s in Law’s 21st (plus 39) birthday party and then a wedding on Sunday. Monday morning I whisk Evan off to nursery, Nicola goes to work, I back everything up, do the fastest blog entry known to man, collect Evan from nursery and then we go to the crib service at 4:30 followed by tea at The Seven Stars (for Evan only). Now…draw breath!
I now dread the unveiling of the coveted Christmas Number 1. Please, let all the controversy surrounding The Pogues ‘Fairytale of New York’ censored version mean that everyone has downloaded it with the outside chance of it preventing yet another X-Factor Christmas No 1. In case you hadn’t heard, or live on the other side of a very large pond, the 80′s quasi Christmas hit by the Pogues called ‘Fairytale of New York’ contains the line ‘you scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot’. Some bright spark at Radio 1 decided that, 20 years on, its offensive and dubbed faggot out. I suspect if the song was released today it would be deemed offensive. But somehow nostalgia dampens offence and apparently even those who might be offended by being called one today were like ‘dude…get over it’. So after saying never, they backtracked 2 days later and the original version was restored. Right…or wrong…its a bit of a storm in a teacup…but if that storm caused it to reach Number 1 I’ll be dancing in the street. So, go download it off of iTunes NOW!
Holiday photos of Evan to keep my sister going as she and the family head to Myrtle Beach for Christmas…ho, ho, hang 10! In case anyone cares, these were taken with a Canon 1DMarkIII with only the firmware upgrade…I’m still awaiting my hardware fix.
Liss Village Christmas Shopping Evening
Admiring the brass band
Like all kids, he loves the rides
..and always seems to turn the wheel the proper direction
Studying the road ahead
His favourite ride is the teacups
I like it…I don’t like it…I like it…etc etc
Stay tuned for Claire and Graham…right after some musing from the weekend.
We took Evan to see Bee Movie on Saturday. He was brilliant. Sat there in amazement. How much of it actually went in I have no idea…but then how much of Noddy goes in. As for the film..well, I’m biased. Jerry Seinfeld is the worlds best comedian. You have to be thinking to get most of his stuff and that’s what I like best. So if you dig this kind of humour you’ll love it. I suspect Americans might get a bit of the in-jokes that the Brits. But there’s plenty for everyone.
OK..last week Nicola let Evan loose on the kitchen table painting some Christmas decorations. Water based paints which she thought would come off the table protector. Sadly…she was wrong. We tried kitchen cleaner, bleach and more bleach. Nothing. Then Sunday morning after breakfast Nic grabs a baby wipe…yes, those things you use to clean the face of your innocent cherub. She wipes up a bit of Weetabix mess Evan made and noticed that the wipe was blue. She scrubbed some more and voila! It was gone. So, could someone tell me how bleach can’t shift it but the gentleness of baby wipe can? If Evan never grows facial hair I’ll know why!
And to support my title. Rhydian was robbed. Leon can’t sing. Face it folks…the Scottish went bonkers for the local boy. Also…there is a conspiracy (and I have to say I figured this out before I heard them talking about it on Radio 1 this morning). Last year Leona, this year Leon. If a bloke named Leo enters next year I’m lodging a formal protest!
I’ve got a few images of Evan..but they will have to wait until the middle of this week. I’m just going to post from Friday’s wedding and then I’m off to have lunch with a mate. So…here you go.
Claire and Graham — Friday December 14th — Clandon Park
A wonderful winter dress
“Hiya…are you getting married today too?”
Claire practices walking in her dress…don’t laugh…it might be you doing this soon!
You know me and silhouettes
I’ve never seen anything so beautiful! (the car…I’m talking about the car!)
Graham is seconds away from getting his cheeks pinched
Dad and three of the women in his life
Nervous laughter…you can’t fool me
No flash allowed in the Taptesty Room…cool beans!
Yummy light…dodgy colour….let’s go black and white
A swift kick in the baubles
For the untrained…this is NOT a moody shot. Just want to be clear :)
Nor is this…your eyes are playing tricks on you
Look for the self portrait
Umm…Graham…its too late now mate!
OK…would someone please tell me why this guy keeps turning up at my weddings lately!
OK…a moment of honesty. When it was announced that a guest from Sweden was going to serenade
the Bride and Groom I cringed. I’ve seen some interesting things in my time doing weddings. Can I now
say, again in a moment of honesty. He was bloody good and wow’d the crowd. Good on him!
The DJ was a little underprepared! Cassettes went out with the 20th century.
For those of you tuning in to see the weddings at the weekend I promise not to disappoint. But first I do have to update everyone else on the potty training situation. We’ve been going (pun NOT intended) for a month now and its been really easy. I think sometimes he’s a bit over cautious but whilst with us there have been few accidents. However, the whole hooey (number 2, poo etc, etc, etc) has been eluding us. Mostly because they seem to happen overnight whilst he’s asleep. Well, this morning Nic was in the shower at 6:15 and the door opens. Evan announces, “I go hooey on the toilet”. And so he did. Marched straight over and made his deposit at the bank of stink. Go figure. Where we go from here goodness only knows.
Kids can be funny…Evan included. Saturday he was playing with his remote controlled car. He was doing a countdown (or countup I suppose). 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 GO! We both looked at each other. “Where did that come from?” So he’s got the brains. But then Saturday night I was out shooting a wedding, Nic and Evan were out at a children’s pantomime so I left a message for him on the answerphone telling him goodnight and that I hoped he enjoyed the show. Apparently he played it 5 times and by time 3 he had brought the present they gave him to the answerphone was say “Look Daddy, look what I got”. Well, Evan doesn’t say ‘look’ he actually says ‘yook’.
Time to put some of you out of your misery! BTW…winter is upon us. Black and White is a firm favourite for dull colour days.
Wedding 1 of 2
Melanie and Andrew – Saturday December 8 – Great Bookham and Woodlands Park Hotel
At first I thought, “What a brother…helping out with the dress”. Then I learned it was her sister’s boyfriend.
Schedule of the Day. Sadly there was no time to slot in the X-Factor Results show
The Father of Bride takes a moment to contemplate whilst the chaos continues arounds him
I actually got to make an executive decision on which hat Melanie’s mum wore. My wife would be mortified
Andrew…a mother’s son
It did rain…just a wee bit (understatement of the century)
I only really got a good view of the B&G when they were sat down
The Choir were amazing. The last verse of ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ gave me goosebumps
This shot won’t win a prize…but how was I supposed to know that Father Christmas was going to be there?
If nothing else…a great lesson in colour temperature
Few were more excited than Andrew’s mum when the new Mr and Mrs were formally announced into dinner
Caption Competition! My entry is “Later Andrew, later!”
Melanie was very proud of her placecard…or was that her new name?
A bird’s eye view
I just liked the lines
Melanie’s Dad gave an amazing speech. Funny and heartfelt.
And I think Melanie liked it a wee bit too
As Mr Bowie would say….”Let’s Dance!”
Wedding 2 of 2
Kate and Martin – Friday 7 December – Tithe Barn near Petersfield
Kate goes over her speech for 423 time today
There’s no point in hiding….Eye can see you
I loved the roof lights…
…as you don’t often get shots like this
Kate sees Olivia dressed and ready to go
Folks are often confused when I say “your face isn’t important” :)
From someone who is folically challenged all I can say is…HILARIOUS!
An unexpected reading from a very important person
Josh checks the rings
The Bride kissed…its a done deal
I’d never shot a wedding at Tithe when the lights were turned down for the ceremony. Brilliant!
And here is an excellent example of why its so brilliant
You don’t often see formals in the blog…but this takes exception (all their idea I hasten to add)
A little flare never hurt anyone
Martin woos Kate with his suave speech
And Kate (after 452 practice runs) delivers her speech with flare
I might crop this shot…but parts of me like the empty light at the bottom
I couldn’t decide between the 2…so I include both
Sorry to say folks…but there is no more denying it. Christmas is here. Yesterday I involuntarily said to someone “if I don’t speak to you before, have a great Christmas”. And there is was…the words escaped from my mouth without thought. There is no going back.
Speaking of Christmas I heard yesterday on Radio5 that due to a change in the way the Top 40 charts are calculated its quite possible that 20 of the top 40 will be old Christmas songs. Perry Como, Slade, Wizard and The Pogues. I’m pretty sure Top of The Pops is glad to be no more. Apparently it all comes down to the fact that in January this year, downloads were added to the pile. The sad part is that it would only take 5000 downloads to get you into the Top 40. Who says the music business is awash with cash?
We (Nic and I) got back from a weekend break to Brugges on Monday. It was the longest time we spent away from Evan. We left Thursday night. As predicted day 1 would all be about the wonders of Bruges, day 2 would be about the great feeling relaxation and sleep and day 3 would be all about missing Evan. Boy was I right.
Bruges is a wicked place. Small and compact. Not tonnes to do, but if you like beer, chocolate and coffee its great. Fortunately we like all three with one of the highlights being a place called Cambrinus. They have over 400 different beers to buy and amazingly not a Foster’s in sight. From Abbey beer, to honey beer, fruit beer to trappist beer. I ordered a Christmas beer called Bush Noel. When it arrived the bottle said 12%. I took easy from there on in. Cap it all off with a Flemish Stew (aka Beef Stew with a red wine gravy) and you’ve been “Belgium’d”.
A few photos from our trip…all taken with my trusty 400D — the pocket camera for professionals :)
Just some guy at Brussells station
Chucky’s cousin…once removed
I got really bored in all the Christmas shops…by the end I was shooting clothes hangers
The stunning Church of Our Lady
A bit closer of a look
A temple of a different sort
I’m not very good at self portraits
Just off the main shopping street
No trip to Bruges is complete without a horse and carriage ride
One side of the beautiful square
Before you say it…I know I cut off his head…but I didn’t actually bother to look through the viewfinder (not that I normally do anyway)
Oh the challenge…which beer to buy today?
In my best Lou and Andy sketch voice “I want that one”
Same square as above…different time of day
Trying my best to get something in near darkness…it says something…not sure what.