Archive for January, 2008
Over the weekend Nicola had a work training exercise which meant that Evan and I had a day of father/son quality time. After Playball (a great motor skills activity class for kids) Evan and I went to the cinema to see ‘Charlotte’s Web’. Not being a big reader I hadn’t actually stumbled upon the specifics of the story. I knew it had 1) a pig, 2) a spider and 3) it was sad. But hey, I’m a grown man, I can take it.
Apart from the bitterly cold cinema the experience was a big thumbs up. £2.50 for Evan, £0.00 for me…sweet. This version of the movie had loads of big stars doing the voice overs. Robert Redford, Oprah Winfrey, Kathy Bates, John Cleese, Steve Buscemi and Julia Roberts. The CGI (at least I think it was CGI…unless rats can talk) was amazing! However, once over the awe of how it was all put together it was time to be taken in by the story. Suffice to say, it was sad. (SPOILIER ALERT…LOOK AWAY NOW) When Charlotte died I was…well….let’s just say I was wiping my eyes. I figured that with Evan being a few months shy of 3 that it would all wash over him. At first I thought I was right but when Wilbur makes it back to the barn and looks into the corner where Charlotte used to spin her amazing webs it became clear that I was wrong. Evan began to cry. He had realised that she wasn’t coming back. Of course this set me off again. I such a softie.
The rest of the day wasn’t nearly as bloggable. Lunch at a (family) pub and swimming rounded off a brilliant day, just the two of us. We stopped by Toys’R'Us to get a few puzzles. I figured a 60 piece Shrek giant floor puzzle would keep him at bay for a while. Once through the door (and a quick hug to mummy) he was off. I figured I would have to help him a few times before things started to get going. After a couple of minutes I went in to see how he was doing. It was half done. So I sat at the edge of the sofa and within 10 minutes it was complete. No help at all. Amazing. That’s my boy :)
Evan attempts to help me test a few new pieces of kit
This is what E believes is a good smile. Best left behind the lens if you ask me.
If one needed proof he was a ‘basket case’ (bad pun)
Spinning his web of puzzle madness
Apparently he has image rights to protect
Nic, Evan and I had a great Sunday. 3 hours of softplay, a long walk in the park and a home cooked roast dinner. We convinced Evan to eat two big bits of chicken, part of sugar snap pea and a bit of corn….of course he was lured by the reward of homemade apple crumble. You give, you get.
He’s coming out with some corkers at the moment. If you say to him “Evan, come here you little monkey” or “you’re a monster man”…you know, the stuff you say to little boys…he’ll stop you, say “I’m not a [little monkey, monster man et al].” “You’re not? What are you then?” “I’m Evan”. Gets me every time.
After we had our wonderful roast dinner (by candlelight with bottle of wine as well…only Nic and I had the wine in case you were wondering). We were summoned to the floor for the alphabet occupation puzzle. You could see it. Some guy or gal had a great idea. Let’s make a circular puzzle with every letter in the alphabet. We’ll support each letter with an occupation. Astronaut, builder, chef etc etc. However, after a while things start to get a bit tenuous. The letter ‘I’…hmmm…Ice cream man. Ok, fair enough. The letter ‘Q’….quiz master. Not sure (unless you’re Bruce Forsyth) that you want to be putting that on your mortgage application. But by far the best was ‘X’….X-Ray Man.
Anouska and Steve – Saturday 19 January 2008 – The Elvetham Hotel
You know its going to be a good day when the is shot count # 1 on your camera
Sadly…not available in my size
Yet another boy band turns up at one of my weddings
Anouska bathes in the wonderful winter light…
…the suddenly remembers she failed to hit series link for Dancing on Ice on the Sky box
She may not be dancing in the dark…but she sure is checking her look in the mirror (obscure…bonus points for the correct answer)
Wrong on so many levels…
Bridesmaids are always giddy when present time comes
With a minute to spare, Anouska goes all Cosmo on me
Daughters take over where a mums left off
Anouska’s mum is on the edge
And later, Steve and his mum aren’t far behind
I’m torn…but what the hey!
Exclusively Weddings did wicked job with the Library Room @ The Elvetham
Its the cutting of the cake shot Jim…but not as we know it
Later I found the four of them at the bar
Dad delivers some good gas during the speeches
The best way to enjoy a speech…all snuggly and warm
The Best Man laughs uncontrollably at the cheese cake joke
My buddy Terrance…the worlds first Linebacker turned Temporary Toastmaster
Shake your money maker
Strutting some funky stuff
I’m a grown man…so why am I having such trouble deciding on a new toy. You see, last weekend Nicola, Evan and I stayed a friends house. He’s a big games console buff and treated us to a wicked game, Scene It, on XBox 360. This was brilliant. Talk about a great dinner party favourite. So instantly I’m hooked. I’m on Ebay checking out prices etc. I even bought a second hand Tiger Woods 07 for Xbox. So today I’m in town and stop into GAME (a video game specialist). Low and behold they have Scene It! at a knock down price. Its lighting up the XBox for a different category of user…namely me. I even decide, screw it…I’ll get it and worry about the console next month (my birthday). Then I ask the chappie about games for younger kids. You know, the old chestnut about educational games…the great parental lie. Despite being 2 zits older than a spotty teenager this kid knew his games and his consoles. He laughs at me saying “XBox is an adult platform…for kids you want a Wii”. Then I start to examine the practicalities. Would I like to play tennis in my front room…Yes. How about golf?…yes! Bowling…wow, another great dinner party favourite. Damn…what to do?
It’s only 15 days since the New Year but the whole Christmas season seems a lifetime ago. Is it just me who gets a bit down after Christmas. No so much because Christmas is over is but rather how quickly that Christmas spirit is lost. Ignore me….I’m rambling.
Last night was Monday night date night. Evan stays with his grandparents so I met Nicola after work in Guildford for a night on the town. City centre pubs (or at least Guildford) on a Monday at 6:15 are full of either slackers, older folks enjoying a £3.99 beer and burger or students. What exactly I was doing in Wetherspoons and, more importantly, which group I belong to, is another matter. Since we didn’t have a car between us we were free to enjoy a frosty beverege. The post Christmas dry out was over but we kept cool heads.
After ‘Spoons we went to Joe Schmos, a gourmet burger joint. The whole idea was to go to Giraffe but with a 2 for 1 voucher in the paper it was hard to resist. I faithfully ordered a Tiger Prawn (read Jumbo Shrimp for you American viewers) and Sweet Chilli burger only to discover that Tiger Prawn really mean 3 thumbnail (pinky at that) sized prawns and a bit of chilli chutney. With the voucher it was acceptable…otherwise I’ll be giving it a pass.
Next we had a whole train dilemma. Leave Guildford at 10:04 and arrive in Liss at 11:02. Leave Guildford at 10:25 and arrive at 11:10 or leave at 10:34 and arrive at 11:10. Surely the last train involved either time travel or teleporting. It was only 9:55 so I convinced Nicola to dive into Flares. Once in (and thankfully just beating the whopping £1 cover charge at 10:00pm — and whilst I may write that with sarcasm we did actually see a group 5 girls NOT pay and move on — no doubt they all texted 10 of their mates to tell them the bad news) we quickly realised we were a few years older than the average Flares punter. Anyone who knows me is probably a bit surprised that it was me who dragged Nicola in and not the other way around. Somehow its just so much easier to enjoy a place like that now then 10 years ago when I supposed to. Sadly Nicola never got into the groove (pardon the pun). All she kept saying was “I’m old enough to be her mother”. Sadly calling her a Yummy Mummy and a MILF did little to change her mind. So the 10:25 train it was. I was totally bummed to miss my Star Trek experience.
Change of direction alert! Can anyone offer any decent advice on how to convince a nearly 3 year old that its far nicer to poop on the toilet (with a reward of chocolate buttons) than to go back to your room and poop in your nappy. Prizes for a) the best idea and b) the most successful idea. We despair! Why does his ‘movement’ always come around 6:15am!
Speaking of Mr E…the puzzles continue to get a little harder. We’re up to 48 pieces now. If we find a piece and put it together he says “well done, Daddy”. If he gets confused and you show him the answer he says “oh…I see”. The things he learns. Let’s just hope that he doesn’t learn the appropriate reaction to having hot tea (Evan induced) spilled on your crotch. I believe my words were *&%$@!£%^&*^%@# etc, etc, etc.
I’ve got some Christmas pics…a lot of black and white (its the season after all).
Evan, Noddy, Christmas morning 6:25am
Finally downstairs and studying the memory puppy game
Each present meant we had to take time to play with it. 4 hours it took to unwrap pressies
Where the whole puzzle thing began
But then…the drums were unveiled
Ladies and Gentlemen….Alex Van Halen
Cymbals of Success
His first digital camera…but don’t believe the commercial…the image quality sucks!
Christmas Day treasure (aka sticks and junk) hunt
Too lazy to play with Josh’s 3 yr old scooter
Chef Karen (hat optional) is available for Christmas dinner parties
2 kids…unmonitored….the internet. A rather scary formula
The 21st century kiddie milk moustache
Studying for the pop Noddy quiz
Just like in Knight Rider, if you look close you can see the hands proping him up
What is your name? What is your quest? What is you favourite colour?
Honestly…we can still see you behind there!
A brisk walk in Centre Parcs
Uncle Roche showing his mean bowling skills
Evan toasts in the New Year with a steaming hot cup of Joe (also known as warm milk with froth)
I was reading a blog of a photographer friend of mine last week. It was a summary of all the interesting things which took place at his weddings. I thought it was an interesting idea but I thought it might work better with all things Evan. So here goes:
Things we learned
- He’s most likely a leftie..throws with his left hand, kicks with his left foot, eats with his left hand.
- He’s puzzle mad…and quite advanced to. He’s also drum mad as well…but it doesn’t sound that advanced
- Whilst last in his NCT group to potty train it only took 1.5 days to master wee-wees…sadly hooey’s aren’t so good
- He’s not the best air traveller. Fidgets way too much and hates having to wear a seat belt during take off and landing
- He’s a master swimmer…which is good considering he didn’t do those baby drowning courses.
- Looks up to older kids…currently a follower rather than a leader
- He can count to 10…although we have no idea where he learned that…we assume nursery…however if you put 2 things in front of him and ask him how many he says 4
- Likes to read books to us…well, read is a stretch…he recites from memory his potty book…but its dead cute
- He’s got a keen sense of direction. He can navigate home from nursery
- Loves fireworks…albeit you have to hold on to him real tight
Things we lost
- Anu…also known as Thomas
- Daytime naps. Not our choice and possibly not his body’s choice either…but Mr Stubborn is too afraid of missing something
- The pinnacle of sweetness and light. We sweeped right by the terrible twos to the terrible 2.75s
- Pretties…aka (Christmas) lights
- Fimbles, Tweenies, Thomas…all replaced by Noddy and Shrek
I’m hoping to have lots of Christmas photos soon. But I’m quite back up with weddings. Its great being busy in December.
First up is Katheryn and David. Based in Australia they had to dubious task of planning a wedding from half a world away. Luckily they had the help of Katheryn’s mum and aunts who did a great job of scoping venues and organising all key parts of the day. Nice job!
Katheryn and David – Saturday January 5 2008 – Aldershot and The Four Seasons Hotel, Hampshire
Right back at ya
The fabulous Juliet Cunnington at work
This is why I love bridal prep…you can’t get this anywhere else
The dress is almost finished
Sometimes shooting into the light ain’t a bad thing
David gets a few comments from the gallery
The time is nigh
Dad watches his little girl
A nice vicar who realised you can’t read the page from floor level…thank goodness
Arriving at the Four Seasons, Hampshire – AWESOME Venue
The killer covered walkways
And the killer stairway
and the killer entry way…noticing a theme here?
Cake, cake…I LOVE the cake
Receiving lines (in the right light) are fabutastic for getting shots of guests
David’s mum welcomes Katheryn to the family
A quick pause for laughter gave me the chance to get this shot
Did I mention I love cake?
I like this…spots and all!
Back in 2005 I shot the wedding Gene (pronounced Genie as in ‘I Dream Of’) and Stu. Gene’s daughter was a bridesmaid and a gorgeous one at that. I said a few prayers and a few years later I was luckily enough to be asked to shoot her wedding as well.
Lisa and Ian – Saturday December 29 2007 – Chewton Glen
Dresses are meant to be worn
Gene sees the roles reversed
Pondering what to do for New Year (not)
Eye of the Tigress
Gene and Lisa enjoy a quick gander in the mirror…I didn’t really want to rush past this to be honest.
Nearly ready…the veil goes on
A quick check in Chewton Glen’s monstrous loo (TV included)
Dad gets a bit emotional…but who can blame him?
Ian chats about the busy Christmas Premiership schedule…perhaps I’m making that up?
Julie (another bride of mine coming this August) keeps it together whilst Gene recites an emotional reading
Talk was that Lisa wanted Ian to wear his Army uniform…but I’m guessing she wasn’t too disappointed
Chewton Glen’s great stairway
And the bar ain’t bad either
A slow burn!
FOUND! The man from C&A (only kidding…after all, he knows how to use a gun)
No caption required
Grandad gives Ian a piece of advice…something about Guido and a few broken legs
Luckily Ian obliges and says some bloody nice things
I love it when the venue makes a cozy home for the cake
Dancing to The All Stars Band – awesome mix