Last night saw the first official gig for the FlashBangPhotoBooth- aka Maz and Bridg! (available now to add a bit of FlashBang to your party-website to follow!) A portable studio, a couple of lights, a backdrop or two, a village hall, loud music and forty feral teenagers. We had the best fun! And I believe the teens enjoyed it a little too...
You might, from what follows, detect the theme for Sophie's party. From toes to tongues, the colour of the moment was every shade of blue... (we made blue slushies out of food colouring and lemonade!).
Bridg and I have been planning this new venture for some months. It was great to finally get the show on the road and we're desperate for the next big event. Someone hire us, please!!
Sophie was 14 yesterday. She declared it the best birthday ever. Which is sweetness to the ears, indeed. What made it so special was the reaction and excitement and love of her friends, who treated her like a queen for the day. And the cake. She has a passion for a simple, strawberry jam layered good old fashioned Victoria sponge, which I managed to bake quite satisfactorily...and happily; the sweet eggy, sugary batter sending me straight back in time to my Gran's kitchen...
There is something special about 14. Quite grown up, but clinging to the apron strings of childhood, not quite wanting to let go. I celebrated in my own quiet way with a little book made out of a 'reclaimed' book and a Fat Face catalogue.
Here's the next installment of my September journal, Learn Something Every Day. The great thing about this is it takes about 10 minutes per page, once I'd made the actual journal. Great fun too.
Sept. 9. Giving up the TV has got to be the right thing to do. It's true! I hardly watch any now and don't miss it a bit. But don't ask me to give up House MD or The X Factor or Grey's, when it returns to our screens...
Sept 10. I can't write an autobiography. My memory is shot to pieces, the unwanted by product of 2 very much wanted but traumatic pregnancies. I have big, black, gaping holes where memories should be. But it doesn't matter, because I'm busy making new ones.
Sept 11. Sometimes I forget he isn't mine. (The picture is of my best friends little boy Thomas.) But I love him almost as if he were...
Sept 12. When I remember not to take it all for granted I begin to worry instead. Surely there must be a middle way?
Sept 13. Procrastination is my nemesis. My biggest pile of papers is the 'maybe if I leave it long enough it will go away' pile. Very often this is indeed what happens, which of course leads to self reinforcing behaviour. But as often, it gets me into real trouble.
Sept 14. Living in a computer literate age is a mixed blessing. Just think what I can achieve with my computer. But then, just think what I could achieve if I didn't have one. A continuation of the can't live with it, can't live without it conundrum.
Abandoned but not forgotten, Deserted but not delinquent, Ruined but not relinquished, Broken but not seedy.
congregation of walkers and nature lovers come to pay homage to this
ancient church of St James at Lancaut, in the Wye Valley.
The church, parts of which date back to the early 13th Century, was abandoned in 1865.
I first posted this at a great new blog called lens.us.together. Char, Dani and Beth have organised around 40 of us to respond creatively to a word or a phrase, with words and pictures. The first to challenges have been really interesting- go see!
While I was pratting around with my camera and lying in the long wet grass in the name of art, Mum was practising the art of dog wrestling;
(PS my dog is the perfectly behaved one on the left.)
This gorgeous girl was really up for this shoot- even though I pulled her through nettles, sat her on the top of walls and jumps and empty oil barrels, and route marched her around the racecourse chasing the golden light...
September is typically a time for a new term, new shoes, new pens and pencils, new starts and opportunities. Given my newfound freedom from various responsibilities my immediate reaction was to jump headlong into a new commitment and a couple of weeks ago I even filled in the enrolment form and discussed interview dates for a 3 year photography degree! But something in me held me back, the voice of reason, my essential voice, told me I didn't have to do that. I don't have to tie myself down because I worry that I might feel guilty or worthless because I'm not working or at least committing myself to a serious bout of academic obligation. I have nothing to prove. Repeat three times daily.
I can't do nothing. I love learning. I accept and embrace the fact that life presents opportunities every day to learn something new, and even more, the opportunity to pass that learning on. To anyone who'll listen. So for the month of September I have, with a little nudge from Shimelle, Elise and Michelle, made myself a little journal in which I will record these daily epiphanies.
Sept 1. I have learnt to value the importance of being able to say 'Remember When?' and celebrate the joy of history between friends.
Sept 2. Regret is pointless. (I won't bore you with the story behind this. What I mean is, I won't humiliate myself by explaining the story behind this.)
Sept 3. It doesn't matter that I can't sing. I'm going to sing anyway.
Sept 4. A human lifespan is under a thousand months long. It makes sense to take some time to think how to use it.
Sept 5. Unfortunately, I am not sweet enough already. (After eating half a dozen homemade cookies, 3 of them before they were even cooked.)
Sept 6. I can live with the fact that I live with untidy people. Really.
Sept 7. It's pointless worrying about something before it even happens. (See below.)
Sept 8. You can't change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction. (See below.)
Moreover. I have booked myself on a few days training with the amazing photographer Nichole V at the end of September, and, even more astonishingly (as I have never, ever, got on a plane on my own before...) a trip to Inspired in North Carolina in May.... I am considering trying to do more teaching myself, online or in person (anyone want a workshop?!) as well as coming to terms with the possibility of taking photographs in exchange for money- that's a hard one for me! I want to do more, much more, with paint and photos and fabric, and I may even open an Etsy store. So I am pushing my boundaries, which is a slightly scary but exhilarating lesson in itself.
Today I met a new arrival to this wonderful world; Callum, my Mother's half sister's daughter's son's fiancee's new baby. If you can work out that relationship to me on the family tree, please let me know! There will be pictures tomorrow, of downy hair and wrinkly toes, of slender infant fingers and peachy cheeks, but in the meantime I thought I'd share a little wall hanging that I made for him;
We stretched our hamstrings, our map reading ability, our sense of humour and our grip on reality with this walk. Ollie was there on false pretences- a 'quick couple of miles' I said....three hours later...
Low point- having to lift 4 stone of dog over a stile and knocking canine and human heads together, which ended up with me on the grass watching the stars spin for a minute or two...
High point- I've got to be honest, getting to the end. And a huge cream bun when we got home.