Well, it’s been a truly crazy weekend! It’s always a bit crazy this time of year as we celebrate, first, my sister’s and then both my parent’s birthdays. This year my sister has reached the big four-zero and it’s an even more impressive seventy for my dad! Naturally, we organised a BIG party with family and friends coming, not just from all over the UK but also, from France and Australia. It was a great gathering with possibly the best buffet ever, definitely the best cakes ever (made by Sarah Jane from Flossy Cockles), a number of the very best musicians (from the Famous Five Band) you could hope to gather in one room, and a fantastic group of people to enjoy it all. One important thing was missing though. Dad. Yes, the birthday boy missed his own party! He was greatly missed by all of us there too. A nasty bug and adverse reaction to antibiotics forced our amazing dad to remain at home. It was really hard for us to celebrate without him! He’s the life, soul and comic relief of most gatherings, so we really owed it to him to celebrate in style. Not only that, we still had my sister and lovely mum to toast to! It was great to catch up with so many family members and friends that I hadn’t seen for ages. A few of my cousins brought their kids along and I loved watching them all play together! As always, the best toys to be found were balloons. Such a simple thing, but a child’s delight at knocking a balloon around is a timeless joy that always sucks in a few adults too! My Fotospeed challenge entry is this photo of my cousin’s little girl, Eva, having a wonderful time with one of the large, pink balloons. I think she hugged a few of them too tight and we had a several go bang, it’s all part of the fun though! Eva is the middle of three gorgeous girls and she’s a real pickle. Reminds me so much of my sister at that age! I just love the glint in her eyes and her cheeky smile. I think my dad will enjoy seeing my photos of all the kids playing! Thankfully he seems to be past the worst of it now. Rest, recovery and eventually we’ll be able to have a celebratory toast to his renewed health! Get well soon dad and Birthday Wishes to you and mum xxx
Alison Moyet headlined the main stage at Weyfest Music Festival on Saturday night and she was brilliant, beautiful and mesmerising. I was photographing the festival on behalf of the organisers this year. Weyfest is a fantastic, family friendly festival, with something for everyone on all the stages and around the grounds of the Rural Life Centre in Tilford, where it is held each year. I wanted to capture the dreamy, soft quality of Alison’s music in my photographs of her. The lighting crew must have read my mind during the second song! The quality of the light through the smoke created the perfect ambient backdrop. It made me think of the title to her latest album, Other. Otherworldly and ethereal!
“Some of us have always felt ‘Other’.
I no longer wish it were otherwise.”
Alison Moyet, March 2017
I’m also posting this image as part of the weekly Fotospeed challenge. Good luck everyone!
The rain didn’t dampen our spirits at Phoenix Rising, our free community music festival, in Woking Park yesterday! Young Jessica’s face has such a sunny disposition that says everything about the spirit of the Phoenix Cultural Centre and all the brilliant people involved in organising, performing, volunteering and promoting the project. Jessica was at the side of the bandstand watching her mum, the talented Anna Neale, perform to everyone sheltering under trees and brollies in the park. I love her expression of happiness here and felt that this would make a good image to share for Fotospeed’s weekly photo challenge! I hope she makes everyone smile 🙂
I have produced this portrait of a vixen for this week’s Wex Mondays challenge. I had the most wonderful encounter with her at Winkworth Arboretum during the week. I’d seen her wandering near the lake on a previous visit but that was fleeting. This week she approached close enough that I could have reached out to stroke her! Somehow I felt that actually would have been a violation of the trust she had given me. She is wild even if she is more used to the sight of people than many other countryside foxes! The most precious part of the encounter was when we made eye contact. She stood right in front of me for several minutes as I, naturally, chatted to her. I think she was mostly intrigued by the odd human in the motorised, moving chair! She stayed put even when I moved the camera to take her portrait. I wasn’t expecting her to lick her face, that was an added bonus! I then carried on photographing the busy blue tit parents, feeding their hungry brood, hidden in the boathouse walls. More on those blue tits soon! The vixen carried on exploring near me, stopping to sit and scratch, then circling all around me again. We chatted some more (you know what I mean!), I took a few more photos of her and then she resumed her patrol of the lakeside. I hope I will see her again on other visits but I will always treasure this particular encounter.
Easter Holidays mean I get to spend more time with my grandsons! Matthew is three and does cute professionally 😉 We were at a local park enjoying the warm Spring weather and I asked him if he’d grown too big to fit through the log holes. Almost! They really do grow so quickly. Callum, who’s six, tried to fit in one too, but I didn’t get a photo of him for two reasons; one, I couldn’t see his face; two, I was laughing too much! Had such a lovely time with them I decided that this would be my entry for Wex Mondays this week. It just expresses all the joy I feel getting to spend time with the kids, watching them play and laugh. And no, you can’t have Matthew! He’s ours 😀
Jonas and Jane performed on Saturday night at The Wilfrid Noyce Centre in Godalming alongside Backwoods Creek and The Nefarious Picaroons. A night of Americana, Country and Stomped-up Pop in aid of Skillway, the charity chosen by the Mayor of Godalming.
Jonas and Jane are an Americana Duo from the UK who consist of harmony driven and bluegrass influenced folk. They have toured Texas, Colorado and Arizona and have played many UK festivals including two stages at Maverick Americana Festival in 2015 and the main stage at Carfest South 2015 to over 35,000 people, following a live performance of their song ‘Whispered’ on the Chris Evans BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show in August 2015.
On Saturday night we went to a charity concert in Godalming. With such rubbish weather I knew it was probably my only opportunity to get an image to put into today’s Fotospeed weekend-photography challenge! I am working on a complete set of the three bands that were playing for my Facebook page but, until then, I decided to process a couple of my photos of Ashley Paddon, from The Nefarious Picaroons. It was hard deciding which to go for as the entry but I think my lead image would make a great, colourful print! What do you all think?
The apple of my eye is my goddaughter Rosie! Today is her eleventh birthday but she won’t get to see my Happy Birthday post for a week as she’s spread her wings, like the birds and butterflies, and flown (well ferried, but that doesn’t fit my photos!) over the English Chanel to France on a school trip. The girls weren’t allowed to take anything with a WiFi or Network Data connection, probably so they actually focus on getting to know France rather than their phones. I can see a certain amount of sense to this but the internet can also be such a useful tool when traveling! So I can’t send her a Birthday email but we did all gather together yesterday for a lovely birthday lunch! These photos were all taken at a visit to RHS Wisley Gardens during the February half-term holiday.
Today marks the thirtieth anniversary of Sam’s birth. She continues to brighten the world and the lives of her family and friends with her beauty, both inside and out; her strength of will; consideration and empathy; love and understanding. Thank you for being a part of our lives! Much love from your Wicked Step Step Mother 😉