It was very cold this morning! minus 2 degrees C - which for us here in the UK is pretty frosty! The leaves looked lovely though, all iced in crystals! :)
My hubby and I went to see the awesome Greg Davies at the Hammersmith Apollo a couple of days ago. I haven't laughed as hard as that for years! Great location and venue and just a hilarious evening of a huge crowd of people laughing, very good for the soul... :)
We went out for a date night on Tuesday and found an awesome Polish restaurant in Hammersmith. It was wonderful food and ambience, called Malina which is Polish for Raspberry (hence the raspberry murals on the wall) As you may remember our honeymoon was in Poland, so 6 weeks later it was lovely to have a romantic Polish dinner again and remember it all :)
Today I would like to publicise a wonderful creative effort by my best buddy TJ. In April 2012 the dreaded cancer word came into his family. One minute he was sitting with his mother expecting a normal discharge from hospital, and then in the blink of an eye their world was turned upside down when they were told that his mum had bowel cancer. She has battled strongly through various treatments and is making a fantastic and full recovery, her whole family are so very proud of her. TJ decided to write a book and contribute the proceeds to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. The book features a diverse collection of TJ's fantastic photographs, including the stories, ideas and technical approaches behind each one. The e book version on Amazon is only £1.65 of which the £0.97 he earns will be donated to the charity. It is for the Kindle, but there are freely available Kindle reader apps for Ipads, Iphones and computers! The physical book version can be now be bought from Create Space and is now available for £7.21 on Amazon. All physical copies will raise £1.00 for the charity.
His plan is to try and sell 1000 copies! Absolutely every penny earned is going to be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. To have any chance of doing this he is asking people to buy a copy, and help spread the word to as many people as possible through as many channels possible.
I of course bought my copy 2 seconds after release and I highly recommend it - its full of photographic inspiration and techniques as well as some touching and amusing stories of the photographer and his family. Buy it! you will love it and you will also be making a contribution to a wonderful and worthwhile charity!! :)
Most run ups to Christmas I find I am either really in to it, or a bit "bah humbug!" This year I am feeling it!!! So I bought myself some little festive embroidery projects to make and hoop frames to display them in. My first one is above... erm.... it's not exactly perfect but it was FUN and hopefully I will have learned through my mistakes for the next one... I did buy four more, so I had better start improving!!
I had a horrendous journey over to see my Mum and Dad the other day! What should have taken 35 min, took an hour and a quarter, so I spent alot of time staring at this dashboard and it struck me how pretty the neon lights were. God bless this camera phone, its so versatile in even the trickiest lighting conditions!
The thing with a 365 project is sometimes you just don't seem to have TIME to craft well thought out, composed, artistic photographs. Sometimes it's a "oh Lord I need to do another post!" type scenario, and you cast frantically around you to see what you can possibly shoot! The sky was beautiful on my way to work today and so I took the opportunity in some slow traffic to take a couple of quick shots on my camera phone, of which one was quite interesting. Early mornings in winter are often very dramatic looking and the sky here looks both ominous but with some rays of sunshine trying hard to break through. The wiggly lines you can see in the close up are from my heated windscreen, I quite like the effect they have of leading the eye in a line from the top of the shot downwards.
We have all been given a number on a sticker at work, which must be worn At All Times for a few days... allegedly it's to monitor how much the workforce uses different areas of the building at different times of the day.... but IS it..... Big Brother anyone!?!?!
And a fitting post to end the Wedding Memories series, I received all the prints I have ordered for multiple family albums and frames today, so this was me for about 3 hours last night sorting and planning layouts! I was so in the zone I was totally stiff by the time I got up from the carpet! I do love anything to do with photography and photos!!
After lunch we sent the guests on an outside tour of the vineyard by train in the autumn sunshine (very cold at the elevated part of the estate I heard - sorry guests!!!) While they were doing this we went to check into the adorable onsite Farmhouse B&B, and to have an hour of chill time before the evening kicked off!! We met everyone after their tour back in the Garden Room (where we had had the ceremony earlier) for hot tea, coffee and wedding cake! We sat around and chatted while the room was transformed ready for the evening reception. We had about another 70 guests for the evening, and we danced the night away to a live band, stopping for a drink or two and some delicious food of course! I was worried about the first dance! Being the centre of attention is so not me, but actually it was wonderful! We danced to Etta James' "At Last" and then finished with my husband dancing with his Grandma, and me with my Dad... awwww! The last photo is of me and my best friend TJ, this was about midnight, and I think we are both looking pretty fresh after what was a long and emotional day! He was staying in the B&B along with my new in laws - so we all met up the next morning in the conservatory for a full English Breakfast while watching the sun streak the vineyards in gold and a wood pecker hunted for food in the lawn. It was a perfect day, so much more perfect than I could ever have imagined! Hubby and I spent weeks afterwards remembering little things that had happened or people had said, and each set of photos we got back from people gave a different set of reminders of the day, and we are STILL loving calling each other "My Husband" and "My Wife" :) But I guess it has only been a month so we are allowed !? :)
I was always puzzled by the fact the meal after the Wedding was called a breakfast, when it SO isn't a breakfast, clearly! Then I finally realised it's because it's the first meal for the bride and groom as man and wife, their first married meal..... awwww! We had a fabulous three course lunch overlooking the winery, full of more laughter, some amazing speeches which were both hilarious AND touching lots of wine and a little bit of cake cutting! I LOVE the photo of me about to pick up the knife to cut the cake with just my wrist and tattoo showing (which as you know if you read the blog is an "R&J" I designed in a heart shape to celebrate our relationship and love!) xxx
I must admit I drew a huge sigh of relief once the ceremony was complete, I was so very scared of forgetting words / falling over etc! I was so nervous, and then so emotional! As soon as we were pronounced man and wife, I was SO happy and excited, every photo of me is with this HUGE wide grin, it was the best moment of my life!!! We then went outside into the courtyard to take some photos, we had a little rain shower while the ceremony happened (which I believe is supposed to be very good luck!) but as soon as we were ready to go outside the sun burst out and it was a beautiful sunny autumn day! We took all the traditional family line up shots, and then came back inside for some more informal ones. I love the love and laughter in every shot, and that everyone seems to be as happy as we are :)
Our Ceremony was held in the beautiful Garden Room of the vineyard, with huge windows overlooking a courtyard at one end. I was SO incredibly nervous beforehand I cannot tell you! My Dad and I had to wait for a few minutes for everyone to be seated and in place before we walked in and it felt like hours! Luckily my Dad kept me calm and talked to me of everyday things to distract my mind from "what if I fall over? forget my own name?" and suchlike! It was the most amazing part of the day, with such a small group of people, you could tangibly feel the swell of good wishes, love and blessings coming from everyone as we said our vows and exchanged our rings, it was so much more emotional / amazing and wonderful than I could ever have imagined, and I think you can see that by our beaming faces! So pleased we had a couple of amazing photographers and a videographer (Thank you Tim, Tom. Shilpi and Neil!) on hand to capture these moments for ever for us :)