Archive for April, 2008
Don’t let the rude title fool you. All will be revealed.
Evan came out with 2 corkers (OK, by the time I tell you it won’t have quite the same impact) this weekend.
1. Evan demonstrates his knowledge of how things are by explaining that when he was a baby he was in mummy’s tummy. We both look at each other (bemused), smile and Nicola says “yes, buddy, you were. Mummy had a great big old tummy and you were in it.” To which Evan replies, “but not anymore mummy, you have a very little tummy”. Needless to say hugs and cuddles for Evan. Chalk up the brownie points!
2. Lose the brownie points. My wife has…well…grey hair. She has done since the age of 23. I always said she should embrace it but we’ve agreed to disagree on it. So last night was hair colour night and naturally Evan gets curious. “Mummy, what’s that in you hair?” “Its hair colour.” “But why?” “To make mummy look pretty” (cue 5 seconds of silence) “Mummy….not pretty yet!” I assume this is because she had gobs of gook in her hair and if you squint hard she looked like Amy Winehouse (off the crack of course).
This past weekend’s wedding was a no blog zone. I told them to simply pay their taxes and then they come out of hiding…some people never listen. However I do have a few things for you. First a couple of engagement sessions.
George (ina) and Howard – Some football stadium which I’m not allowed to mention
Each player hand drawn, pixel by pixel
It later emerged that Howard was a Spurs fan…check out the home side heckler in the background
However, as Paula says “Opposites Attract”
Clearly it was Match of the Day
George reveals the secret to Beckham’s swirling free kicks…open toed shoes!
Attendance has gone down…let’s hope the team don’t follow
Neither look much like football hooligans
You’ll never walk alone (man, I’m running out of football knowledge)
Perhaps my favourite shot of the session
Shame he wasn’t a Man U, Liverpool or Arsenal supporter…then the red would have had more impact
K&A (names abbreviated to protect the innocent) — Most certainly NOT in Swindon
First, a few for Leela’s dad…yes, you can use a car park
Kissing by the pale garage light
Couldn’t decide which way I liked most…so both go in
OK…that’s enough of the car park
The Groom-to-be used to be in the choir..I bet he never thought….
A rare moment with no one around…it didn’t last long
The problem with old buildings…nothing is straight!
They really go well together
A natural moment
Basking in the warm California (like) sun
Hitting the streets…guess who’s carrying her handbag!
I originally said I was going to post the US photos today. They are ready, but I’ll wait until Wednesday so that I get another post in this week.
‘But why’ has now moved on to ‘watch this’. Everything has to be observed. Jumping off the stairs, giving Daddy a bear hug, riding his scooter. This is element two of all things which drive parents crazy.
Lately its the little things that you catch yourself observing that you might otherwise miss. Exhibit one: whilst sitting on the quad at Winchester Cathedral yesterday there was another little boy (slightly older) who was running around growling like kids do. Evan shot off to join in. In the end we were encouraging him to put his lunch to one side and go play. Sounds strange but you’ve never seen how long it takes Evan to eat a cheese ciabatta. So in essense we were asking him to go play with strangers. Then later, at the park, he marched straight over to the big boy swings. It took a few minutes for me to notice what he was riding. Its then you realise how he’s still a little boy but very much an independent little boy and not a toddler anymore.
Joanna and Darren — Saturday April 19, 2008 — Windsor Guildhall and Royal Holloway College (Egham)
G4 minus the chubby bloke
Within an instant I began to question my own ability — was this a message?
Talk to the hand
Rmember, shake more than twice and ….
Still talking to the hand…however this time its busy ironing
Joanna debates which pashmina…no, seriously
Taxi! A sensible form of transport for a sensible bride
However, just because its your wedding day doesn’t mean you can bend the rules about kebabs etc
Darren fails to heed my advice about watching Charlotte’s Web just before the ceremony
…and with Joanna watching Bambi I stood little chance
Lean forward and think of the England
Spying a few well wishers at the back
Darrens takes her in the Mayor’s Parlour … er…um…uh.
Exhibit A: The short bus ride from Windsor to Royal Holloway seemed to bring out the contemplative side of folks
See Exhibit A
Look up in the sky, its a bird, its a plane……
Uncle Mick gave the Bride away…Nice chap but don’t cross him on a roundabout (he knows what I mean)
Wow, wow, wow, wow — sing it Kylie
Darren learns there’s an open bar next door
Gosh…I’m so arty…I’m so smart…this is my greatest composition ever.
OK, I lied. The groom made me do it. I’m glad he did. Nice one Darren
Shortly before the Bing Crosby performance
In a stairwell…well, it beats the Mayor’s Parlour
Do you want a straw with that smoothie?
As some of you know I’ve had an assistant with me at the last few weddings. Darren (not to be confused with the groom) is shaping up to be quite the photographer. Last week I included one of this shots in the blog. This week here is a few more. I tasked him with tailing ‘Da Boys’ whilst I went to see Joanna and the girls. He got lots a great stuff…but here are 3 I really liked.
The boys return from a coffee run
Finding a quiet pub in Windsor
A final toast to Bachelor’dom
Yes…we had thought we had dodged that fabled 3 year old question. The one which seems to haunt parents across the world. Sadly…we were mistaken. At the beginning of the week the question “but why?” started to come out of Evan’s mouth. So, like all of the rest of the parents in world, we have joined you.
This week I darted off to Manchester on Monday night…well, Knutsford M6 services. It wasn’t just so I could test another Travelodge but in fact to shoot the wedding of Caroline and Mike. These bright sparks decided to book their wedding on a Tuesday. But we’re not complaining here I can assure you.
After a long day, and a short kip on the bed of yet another Travelodge (Didsbury this time) I was up at 5:30 to race back to Heathrow to collect the in laws who have now returned from their west coast (USA) holiday. Happy to say everyone is home safe (including me).
Special thanks to C and M for selecting me as they clearly had the choice of just about every wedding photographer in the country for a Tuesday. I’d also like to thank my great videographer friends Sylvia and Niels of Ever After Video Productions. A lot has been said about photographers and videographers working together…and you might think that with two cameras it would be impossible to work with them. But…you would be wrong. They do this wicked On the Day Edit. Similar to when I do an on the day presentation but folks…I’ve got to be honest…its a whole lot harder to do video on the day. So I stood in amazement watching it…as did everyone else. To see what they did (and ironically I’ve just popped over to their blog and saw they said nice things about me too) click here.
I’ll shut up now….
Caroline and Mike — Tuesday, 15 April 2008 — Adlington Hall (Cheshire)
Yes Brides…this is just a normal beige (formerly) Rainbow wedding shoe. Thing is Caroline is perhaps the craftiest person on the planet
and transformed them into this work of art. I’m a guy…I don’t get amazed at things like this…but on this occasion I made an exception
What did I say?
The aforementioned Sylvia attempts to primp the dress…guess who’s holding the hanger
Living in a mirror that small must really get on your nerves
As Evan would say…huggles!
Read the card…its quite funny
Caroline’s Dad to Ursula — “You’re Fired”!
Marking the most important of days…of course I refer to April 22 when Dad has Shrigley Hall at home (golfers, eh)
Nice eggs…I don’t know if Caroline’s Dad ever did get her to eat them
Mike marvels at my magnificent Etch-a-Sketch drawing I did earlier
A guest (Drew or Brett or Ed) studies the ceremony intently…luckily there was no quiz afterwards
That Clinton joke sure gets around
This is Alex…the video man observing from sunny California. He video’d the wedding of Gary Fong (which means nothing to anyone who’s not a photographer)
Now…was that Hillary or Bill?
Adlington Hall..honestly, I can’t see what’s so great about it :)
A quick dash to Shrigley Hall (I’ve seen a lot of halls in Cheshire for a Hampshire guy)
They tried to be anonymous but they didn’t fool me
The stairs seemed an unlikely spot to do a bit of Tango
Sylvia works on her On The Day Edit
It wasn’t me. I didn’t do it. The devil is at work here. If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.
The sun graced us for a wee bit later that evening
“Sporran, you have a call on line 1″
Mike describes the hooligans who forced him to carry a handbag to the local police
This kind of sums them up…happy as Larry
Enjoying the on the day video
“You got to move it, move it, move it”
Its funny how fast things shift in the land of E. 4 weeks ago all he could think about was Shrek. Endless requests to watch Shrek…or Shrek 2…or Shrek 3. Although we limit TV (a principle nearly forgotten with over 23 hours of plane rides in the two weeks we were on holiday), it doesn’t stop him from anticipating what he gets to watch before bed time. However, Shrek is just another toyland castaway. Tarzan is flavour of the month (fortnight). Fortunately we are referring to the Disney version and not the Johnny Weismuller one.
Yesterday we ventured to Milestones in Basingstoke. If you’ve never been (and to be honest I wasn’t particularly keen to go) I suggest you do. Its a brilliant indoor living museum of life from the late 1800s to the 1970s. They have some great street scenes (like a movie set) with different eras. In fact, if you are looking for a quick and easy “I’m the greatest grandkid in the land” move, take the grandparents to the museum. They will certainly get a kick out of it.
I’m kind of saving the photos from America until the end of the month. I have a couple who don’t want a blog entry. Something about witness protection, Shergar and Lord Lucan…heck, I don’t know. But to fill the hole I’ll do a slideshow for then. However last week a friend said send me a photo of Evan in Vegas. Well…saying here’s a photo of Evan in Vegas is a bit difficult given the style of imagery I take. I think of it as ‘Photography in the First Person’. But I did cobble together some images that I really liked…the fact that they were set in Vegas is neither here nor there.
“Boats, Grandad, Boats” — Gondolas actually…at the Venetian.
Starkers! 2 double beds…kid heaven!
Some quiet time whilst we get ready — No doubt its Tarzan on the media player
Evan left, his cousin Josh, right — at Silverton Hotel
Leaving Las Vegas
My first trip back to Bury Court in about 16 months. It was great to return and to see more of the grounds (I was last there in November 2006).
Kirsty and Carl — Friday 11 April, 2008 — The Barn at Bury Court
And darnit…she has every right to be in awe!
That’s what I like to see…sensible shoes!
The famed neckline shot
I don’t know what it was…but dear God, don’t come anywhere near me with those things!
“Mirror, Mirror on the…raditator….” — just doesn’t have the same ring to it
These are the moments I like
Some sort of weird Bridesmaid hair sobriety test…thankfully she was below the legal limit
Mum, after fighting off 3 other attempts to cry, can now smile
Through the gap
It would seem the fighting off the tears was a lesson well learnt
But not everyone passed the test…OOF and backlit…but who cares, its worth a million to me
Heads I wash, tails you dry
Carl’s brother…aka the best man.
Like Wembley on a Saturday in May, the signing of the register table was mobbed by well wishing supporters
Recipe: 2 bridesmaids, a camera and champagne
Carl kept saying how lucky he was…
…but then Kirsty didn’t do so bad either
Don’t let the bright sunshine fool you…it was blinkin’ cold!
Something about what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…a mantra I too live by
Carl is reminded of all that married life leaves behind
A strange cyclops eyes up the bride
You know you’re safe when you hire your brother as your best man…why?…because he ain’t gonna say
anything too dodgy with his mum sitting there. Or would he?
And speaking of his (and Carl’s) mum…she didn’t seem to protest too much
This one is from my trusty sidekick Darren. Each weeks he’s delivering better and better stuff…time for a blog shot D!
A Priest, a Rabbi and Bill Clinton are on a plane…
How he heard the Bill Clinton joke over the drums I’ll never know
Seonaid and Lex follows this verbage about holiday….so if you’re not interested scroll down…understand though, that I will be emotionally scarred for life if you feel you have to scroll. I have cookies…I know who you are :)
The following Public Service Announcement is brought to you by Log — from Blammo. (“What rolls down stairs alone or in pairs and rolls over your neighbour’s dog” — c’mon…didn’t you people watch Ren and Stimpy?)
Yes…my sister felt Evan had to deliver a message to the masses :)
This concludes our Public Service Announcement. Normal programming will now resume.
Well…we survived. 23 hours on a planes over a 2 week period. From the Capital of the Free World (at least that’s what the radio jingle said) to America’s Adult Playground (Hey, its just Vegas…not Hedonism) we are now back and firmly entrenched in British life again. We were so delighted with our 4 inches of snow on Sunday. From shorts to snow in 3 days. Nice.
DC (or should I say Lake Ridge) was the usual scary experience. Too many red lights…too many monster trucks and too many Wal-Marts. Although I have to admit to shopping in all of them so tick one in the hypocrite box for me. At nearly 2 dollars to the pound it was all too tempting. Steaks for 3, beers and a pudding — £25. However, in amongst all that scariness was family and friends and that’s the main reason we go. We got to meet Baby Will…the newest addition to the family. More on that later in the week or even next week. I’m currently looking at over 1000 images that I need to ‘process’ from holiday and from Saturday’s wedding.
Evan was a dream on the planes. Giving him a library of over 20 movies to watch helped. Virgin Atlantic’s i-Kid channels with on demand viewing was also a big help. Yeah for Bee Movie. So when we sat Evan, Me, Aisle, Nicola we felt that we each had the chance to get some peace and quiet. In the end I never moved as Evan only surfaced to use the loo…and as magic would have it a hooey was desperately needed as the seatbelt signs were turned on for our arrival into Dulles. Kids and their movements!
This trip was very different to years past. It was less about what we wanted to do and more about what we had to do to keep Evan from going nuts. My sister was a dream and had an array of toys, puzzles and a ride on Thomas the Tank Engine. But kids need to see the light of day as well and we can now brief you on play parks in and around the Lake Ridge area.
We saw some old friends which was great. Had dinner out too many times (especially as the last 4 days was Vegas buffets with Nic’s family). We even had a family Easter which, if memory serves was our first holiday gathering as a family since both of our parents passed. Why the hell I didn’t ask Nicola to take a picture of Barry, Sandy and myself I’ll never know.
Well…I need to get on and do about a million things. So I’ll be doing a slideshow of images from America in the next few weeks. I’ll let you know when its done. For now…here’s what some of you have been waiting for.
Seonaid and Lex – Saturday 5 April 2008 – Clandon Park
When the bride ends up facing away from the light its time to go silho
Shooting against the light ain’t always a bad thing…
…as proven by this
I wish I had a funny comment…but I don’t. It is what it is and I like it.
Seonaid contemplates the biggest decision of her life — Beef or Salmon?
Its a touching moment…a picture is worth a thousand words. Here a brides maid holds Seonaid hands, keeping
her calm and reassuring she doing the right thing (white wine goes better with fish anyway). Actually I’m lying,
you can’t trust anything you see folks. She was actually holding her in place as her mum and another bridesmaid
pulled like Romans to get that dress tight.
No caption could ever top that
Ace venue, lovely setting…then Gene Hunt parks the Quattro right out front. Bahh!
Anyone who knows Lex, know that this is Lex….
and thankfully so is this.
Seeing her Salmon for the first time
A moment of suspense whilst the best man fiddles around for the rings
Seonaid’s mum remembers the little girl
Ladies…the Woking Men’s Club (WMC) and their pipes. Dedicated bloggers may recognise Dan of Helen and Dan fame to the right from November 2006
Like a scene out of Enchanted (the things you watch on air planes)
Who’d a thought they would later be found playing Twister in the dark
Off to the reception
In a moment of Friday the 13th suspense…just who’s feet can we see on the right of this frame. Spooky!
Jason’s (Friday the 13th) hockey mask has changed a bit…for the better some say
Balloons as table favours led to some interesting competition
And some folks took it all a little too seriously
Waiting with each twist for the balloon to bust
Its no Humber Bridge but it was a work of balloon engineering
Later, during the WMCs Texas Hold’em tournament someone was found to playing with what can only be described as Monopoly money
A best man…on a chair…asking all the guys to do a Vic Reeves for the bridesmaids. For once, I’m not joking
The panel gives the BM straight 10s for his speech
Later, in the cantina, some aliens from Star Wars turned up