A family man and his camera

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More 365 goodness: days 275 – 284

Another week and a half has flown by, and much has happened. October is whizzing past, and we have half term fast approaching. Then we have Halloween and Bonfire Night to look forward to! I was a little anxious about this term at work with some of the kids I knew we’d have to deal with, but so far it has gone fairly smoothly, and the first half term is almost over. We’ve seen a noticeable change in daylight hours as it gets dark earlier and earlier every day, and I know that riding home in the dark isn’t far away!

So what has been happening then?

275: The day before I take my CBT, or Compulsory Basic Training to ride a motorbike. The training centre privide you with enough kit for the day, but as I was hoping to pick up my new bike the day after, I had ensured I’d got all the kit I needed to ride it home, including the most important part, a new helmet. All motorbike riders I know say the same thing, always buy it new, try it to make sure it fits, and buy the best one you can afford. Wish me luck!

Day 275 - Oct 7th

Day 275 – Oct 7th

276: The day of the CBT, a full days theory and practical training, where we go over road safety and then get to go out on the bikes to practise our skills and be assessed. Thankfully the weather was kind, it was dry and sunny, but not too warm as all that protective gear can really keep you toasty! It was very different to cycling, and it took some getting used to, the bike is a lot heavier, but I managed to get to grips with it and managed to leave with my CBT certificate. I had passed it, and was now entitled to ride a motorbike! So I treated myself to a few drinks in the evening to celebrate!

Day 276 - Oct 8th

Day 276 – Oct 8th

277: The day had come where I get to pick up my shiny new bike. I was nervous and excited. The fact was, I had no other way to get it home than to ride it, and I was 20 miles from home, not knowing where I was going. Thankfully once my satnav was fitted I was able to make it home alive without too much drama, trying to remember every single detail I’d been told the previous day, and trying not to panic if I did something wrong. It was another dry and sunny day, which made the journey a lot easier to contend with.

Day 277 - Oct 9th

Day 277 – Oct 9th

278: The first day commuting to work on the new wheels. It was strange having an engine underneath me, and yet still being able to dodge through some of the traffic, although still making sure I don’t get too cocky about it, as I still have a long way to go with learning how to ride! It felt good though, I was beginning to get a little bit of confidence, and tomorrow was going to be slightly easier.

Day 278 - Oct 10th

Day 278 – Oct 10th

279: “Can we play outside now Daddy?” are frequently the first words I usually hear when I get home. I always try to say yes where I can, as any good father would, as I hate turning down an opportunity to play outside with the girls, even after a long day at work. The usual scenario is that I’d finish my day at work, cycle home, which is mostly uphill, and arrive home hot, sweaty and feeling exhausted before being asked the question I nearly always answer with “Yes darling!”, but at least this week I have been able to jump off the motorbike as fresh as when I got on! I was glad to be saving my energy today as we had got the in-laws baby sitting so that we could go out to see Jimmy Carr live at Dudley Town Hall.

Day 279 - Oct 11th

Day 279 – Oct 11th

280: My attempts at getting to bed early are starting to falter again. On Wednesday evening I went out to see a couple of friends on my motorbike as they have owned bikes for years, and now maybe I can look at heading out for rides with them. I wasn’t home particularly late, but it clearly didn’t help.

Day 280 - Oct 12th

Day 280 – Oct 12th

281: Thursday, a nursery day, and this little madam is still battling with the lost afternoon naps. No-one has made her stop, and we have even encouraged her to go for a nap when she looks like she needs it, but often she refuses. Sometimes she’ll push through until bedtime, other times she’ll just crash like a stolen car hitting a tree! What was extra funny here, was how she fell asleep almost upside down!

Day 281 - Oct 13th

Day 281 – Oct 13th

282: Friday is upon us again, the superhero of the work week that arrives just in time to save me from brutally beating to death one of my co-workers! Its extra nice to finish an hour earlier than the rest of the week and see the girls for an hour longer before they go to bed… except not this Friday, as we get caught up at worj and a particularly challenging pupil at the end of the day means we can’t get into our classroom to collect our belongings. Finally, when the fuss blows over, I get home and get greeted by this gorgeous face. Its nice to see at least one person happy to see me get home as the other little one doesn’t seem quite so bothered as she used to be!

Day 282 - Oct 14th

Day 282 – Oct 14th

283: Saturday night, and its fight night! Like a few of my work colleagues had previously, a friend of mine had signed up for the charity white collar boxing matches. I’d never been to anything like this before, and so was not sure quite what to expect. I managed to bag a lift off a friend so that I could at least grab a couple of beers while I was there, and a good night was had. It was an odd looking crowd, but then I guess a night like this can attract allsorts. Our friend was one of the last to fight, and even though we didn’t get the result we’d hoped for, it was still worth waiting for!

Day 283 - Oct 15th

Day 283 – Oct 15th

284: Friday seems to take so long to get here, but Sunday arrives in a flash, and is gone in a heartbeat! After a bit of a lazy morning, I took my friends boy out for a walk on the afternoon, as I sometimes do a couple of times a month, and by the time I was home the day was mostly gone. How does that happen on a sunday? Is there some kind of space/time vortex where hours and minutes disappear? I always try to make the most of the weekend, and sometimes that can be a good thing in that you seem to get the most out of it, but on the flip side, because you’re so busy, you don’t notice the time going by! Either way, that Sunday night feeling isn’t a pleasant one! While I was out walking along the canal this afternoon, I managed to capture this shot on my iphone and was really pleased with it, as to me it didn’t look much like an iphone shot, which is a good thing!

Day 284 - Oct 16th

Day 284 – Oct 16th

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That 365 project keeps comin’: days 264 – 274

264: Monday again and its back to work, the weeks go whooshing by, and its a fairly uneventful day to be honest. One thing that makes me chuckle is the in-laws bringing us some beers, the Vokes or volks beer, and the lazy cow beer. I’ll enjoy downing these two at some point!

265: Who doesn’t love a good sunset?! Now and again you see one that looks pretty, then once in a while one comes along that kinda blows you away. Today, the latter happened!

Day 265 - Sep 27th

Day 265 – Sep 27th

266: So with the CBT drawing closer and a deposit put down on my motorbike, its time to start making sure I have all the right clothing for riding it home when I can finally pick it up. Tonight I headed over to see a friend who was selling on some second hand jackets and gloves, still with plenty of life in them. I picked up quite a bargain and feel ready to hit the road now!

Day 266 - Sep 28th

Day 266 – Sep 28th

267: Pah! I missed out on todays photo, and so, a day late, I am showing off my new Red Hot Chili Peppers t-shirt all ready for the concert in December. Having been a fan for over 20 years and never seen them live, I feel like its now or never! What if they were to split up next year or something?! Then I’d never see them! No, got to do it now, and with the appropriate attire too!

Day 267 - Sep 29th

Day 267 – Sep 29th

268: Sometimes photos present themselves for the 365 many times a day, sometimes the day passes and you get tired of looking, especially when you’re ready for bed. Today was one of those days!

Day 268 - Sep 30th

Day 268 – Sep 30th

269: Saturday morning, the alarm clock doesn’t go off, and the agenda for the morning is blank. Its a fairly good start to the day… at least until the wife offers to cook me a proper breakfast. Could my weekend get any better?

Day 269 - Oct 1st

Day 269 – Oct 1st

270: Another lazy start to the day before we head out to a birthday party, Olivias best friend is celebrating at a local swimming pool, a private heated pool, followed by party food and games. When we head home I see a tree near the house turning red, and decide to go for a walk after we get home and get out of the car. Olivia comes with me, poses for a split second and just makes the photo.

Day 270 - Oct 2nd

Day 270 – Oct 2nd

271: I decide to do something a little different with this Monday night and meet up with an old school friend I probably havent seen in 30 years. I am offering some basic photography training, and need someone to practise on. She wants to learn and is willing to be a guinea pig. It was a lovely night, and this simple shot was the inside of the pub we met in while I was demonstrating features on the camera.

Day 271 - Oct 3rd

Day 271 – Oct 3rd

272: I have tattoos, yes its true. This particular one was for my 40th birthday, the girls names. I originally wanted Olivia’s name shortly after she was born, and I am glad I waited until Chloe was born before having this done. I thought I would throw this in there as it was a day for not finding many photos.

Day 272 - Oct 4th

Day 272 – Oct 4th

273: I’d started to get into a bit of a better habit with getting to bed at a sensible time, but I do find things to do in the evening that constantly seem to challenge this. The will is there, but I just don’t seem to have enough hours in the day sometimes, just like tonight and typing up this 365 blog, knowing I have to plan next weeks photography training for Monday night, on top of the wedding photos I have to edit!

Day 273 - Oct 5th

Day 273 – Oct 5th

274: I’d taken some lovely photos of Chloe with her new haircut, as her hair was finally out of her eyes, but then we see this face again! I can’t lie, we’ll remember Chloe’s baby days as being a bit of a whinger. To be fair, it was bed time and someone was getting tired. There were more smiles before and after this shot, by the way, I didn’t just leave her moaning and take photos!

Day 274 - Oct 6th

Day 274 – Oct 6th

So that’s it for this week, now to finish off a few more chores before I can hit the hay! Only one more day before the weekend!

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365 project comin’ at ya: days 256 – 263

Feel like I am finally getting into a little bit of a routine with the 365 now, although it does still feel like a bit of an effort to keep getting these posts up! We’re flying through September, and it has been a busy month along the way, its good to take some slower days sometimes, just to relax, spend time with the family and appreciate what you have around you.

The last couple of weeks have also been quite exhausting as we have a little one who is waking up every night at the moment, maybe teething related again, who knows?! We can’t seem to find a reason for it, and the first night we tried using some teething gel that had been recommended by a number of people, Chloe was back off to sleep in 10 minutes!

256: The growing adventure continues, and the little landmark achievements still continue to amaze us, even though we’ve already been through this all once before with Olivia. On top of happily sitting up by herself now, Chloe has also taken to drinking from a beaker as well, and clearly loves to guzzle some water back in between bottles. Olivia has always been a good drinker, and I’m hoping Chloe is too!

Day 256 - Sep 18th

Day 256 – Sep 18th

257: Ah y’know, some days you just don’t have much going on and you forget all about the photos, today was one of those days. Suddenly its late, you’re tired, and you know that even though you’re fresh out of inspiration, ya gotta take that photo!

Day 257 - Sep 19th

Day 257 – Sep 19th

258: So in keeping with the recent post about achievements, our little lady has a new favourite past time… standing up! She loves it! Its very early days, she is very wobbly on her feet, even with support, but she just loves being on her feet and seeing the world from a different angle. Some days its the only way we can get her to stop being grumpy!

Day 258 - Sep 20th

Day 258 – Sep 20th

259: Some days your only photo is unintentional. This pen was something we brought home from a hotel that we stayed in whilst out in California on our honeymoon four years ago. It has been a pleasant reminder of our wonderful stay in the golden state, but sadly this pen has reached the end of its life. I took a photo to stick on the hotels facebook page, to thank them, and the following morning I realised its the only photo I’d taken all day! Thank goodness for Hipstamatic on the iPhone!

Day 259 - Sep 21st

Day 259 – Sep 21st

260: Not learning my lesson of making the effort to take a photo, this was another last-minute-just-before-I-went-to-bed type shot. I was feeling very tired due to the afore mentioned disrupted sleep due to the little one waking up crying and not wanting to go back to sleep. It feels like these two things, the dummy and the bottle are the only things stopping her from being grumpy sometimes. She’s a lovely baby really, full of smiles, but when she’s grumpy, you know about it, and the bottle and the dummy can be your best friends!

Day 260 - Sep 22nd

Day 260 – Sep 22nd

261: I love Fridays for so many reasons, but one of them being that I get to finish work an hour earlier and spend longer at home with my girls before they go to bed. This Friday was a little different as they wife was going straight out to meet friends in town, and so the survival of the children depended entirely on me! Pressure!! Its times like this that you really respect the single parents and all that goes into bringing up little ones with no-one else to rely on, just doing it for a few hours is enough! My wife does so much, and goes through this every day when I am at work, but I am less used to it, as she is always around. I managed to get them fed and in bed without breaking them, but captured this quick shot of Olivia as she watched tv and just thought how old she was starting to look. You have to enjoy it while they are little, as it doesn’t seem to last five minutes!

Day 261 - Sep 23rd

Day 261 – Sep 23rd

262: After a 1st birthday party for a friends little girl, we headed home to relax for a bit, but I had other things on my mind. Me and Olivia headed out in the car to StreetBike, as I wanted to look at helmets. Yes, I have put in for my CBT and will be buying a motorbike in the next few weeks. No, not a midlife crisis, just something I have wanted to do for a long time that I never thought I would get the chance to do. Going from having a car each to becoming a one car family has not presented too many difficulties, especially as I have been commuting to work by bicycle for four and a half years, but there are times when I am feeling tired or run down and just dont want to cycle, but then don’t want to deprive the wife of a car, while I leave it sat in the car park at work. Plus I have a number of friends with motorbikes and would love to go on a few rides out with them!

Day 262 - Sep 24th

Day 262 – Sep 24th

263: Looking after my friends boy again for the morning, and another walk over Lickey Hills. Its easy to get nice wide angle landscape shots, but I had my camera with its 50mm lens on today, which is not a wide angle lens, and it often best suited for portraits and head shots, so it forced me to think a little differently. I took this shot as I like it all the lines of the trees and as soon as I saw it on the back of the camera, I knew it was going to be black and white!

Day 263 - Sep 25th

Day 263 – Sep 15th

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The 365 moves towards Autumn: days 243 – 255

Back to the blog, and back to the 365 project, it has been a couple of weeks and I wanted to make Sunday night my regular blog night, but so far it hasn’t worked out that way, although there is still time to work on that for remainder of the 365 project. Its never too late to give up! We’re back into regular routines now that I’m back to work from the summer break. Accepting that it was time to go back was a little hard, I’ve had such a lovely time off with the wife and my two daughters. It has been fun, relaxing and a bit of a lazy summer break in some aspects, we didn’t go very far, or do very much, and my to-do list isn’t much smaller than it was when I started the summer break back in July! One thing I was keen to get back on top of was the running, and I’d even thought hard about hitting the training a bit harder and signing up for the Birmingham Half Marathon again this year, that was until an injury forced me to abandon the idea completely. A blister halfway round because of my worn out trainers should have been no big issue, but it meant I had to run the last 2.5 miles awkwardly to compensate for the painful blister instead of running with a more natural stride, doing unnoticed damage to my knee until I’d finished running. Harumph, that was my one chance to run the Birmingham Half Marathon gone!

So the summer break is over now, regular service is resumed, and its pretty much a countdown to autumn when the weather begins to change and the evenings get dark much earlier. Those evening runs with my friend are going to have to be done in the dark until closer to easter next year. We have half term to look forward to, plus bonfire night which is one of my favourite nights of the year, and then christmas which is now less than 100 days away.

243: Catching up from where we left off last time, and we’re up to September 5th now, which is Olivia’s birthday. After a weekend of celebrating, her actual birthday happened to be a Monday, the first day back to work for me sadly. We still had a lovely evening, which happened to be bath night for this cheeky lady.

Day 243 - Sep 5th

Day 243 – Sep 5th

244: A second day of intensive training at work, and so was looking forward to a drink at home that evening, which was made easy as one of my sisters was coming round for dinner with her other half to drop off Olivias card and present.

Day 244 - Sep 6th

Day 244 – Sep 6th

245: A hot day, of which there have been many lately, and along with the joys of the summer sunshine and rare warmth that allows us to leave the doors and windows open, one problem we seem to have is flies in the house, doing laps of the ceiling lights for some unknown reason. Fly spray isn’t very nice for everyone around, especially children, on top of the fact that it can be tricky to catch them all unless you treat the entire room and leave the house for at least an hour, so we went for a more old school method and hung up some fly paper, and it worked a treat. That’ll teach the little buggers!

Day 245 - Sep 7th

Day 245 – Sep 7th

246: The first day of the kids being back in school didn’t go so badly, but it soon became obvious that we were starting to lose the daylight a lot sooner than we we’ve been recently used to. I love the light evenings and mornings in the Summer, but we have to face that Autumn is knocking on the door, and temperatures are going to be dropping soon. Its a disappointing time of year for someone who cycles to work, as you begin to spend longer on the road in the dark. I have spent a some good money on bike lights and over winter they get used heavily!

Day 246 - Sep 8th

Day 246 – Sep 8th

247: Thankfully the end of the week, and as I was home early from work it gave us some options for what to do with our evening. After talking a lot lately about how to best deal with her redundancy payout, we’d agreed that it was about time for clare to upgrade her phone any buy a new handeset… the flashy iPhone 6 plus, and so after deciding not to wait in for delivery, it was into the car and off to the Apple Store for a family trip out! We even stopped off at the Build-A-Bear shop to treat the girls.

Day 247 - Sep 9th

Day 247 – Sep 9th

248: Saturday and Clare is out for lunch with friends, and I can’t pretend I don’t feel a little bit more under pressure. I am used to the support of having the wife around to make sure I don’t break one of children or something stupid. I know she’s perfectly used to having them on her own by now, she’s a pro at it having been off work for so long with each of them, but its unfamiliar territory for me. She knows all their routines, where their spare clothes are, all the little details I miss out on when I am at work, and consequently I am not used to this level of responsibility very often! I soon get over it and decide to distract myself by setting up a flash and get some nice portraits taken of the girls while I have the chancel

Day 248 - Day 10th

Day 248 – Day 10th

249: Sunday and a visit to the mothers house, where I find an opportunity to capture a still life. I like getting over to see my mom with the girls when I get chance, as they no longer have a car anymore, and public transport to ours is limited. There are always fresh flowers there, but it takes a bit of effort to try and find a different way to shoot them.

Day 249 - Sep 11th

Day 249 – Sep 11th

250:The weaning process is in full swing and going very well with Chloe now, we seem to have the feeding routine fairly well established. She’s still has her off days when she just doesn’t seem hungry, and there is no getting any food past those pursed lips! It was even worth trying to fool her by giving her a spoon of her own, and trying to get the food in while her mouth was open. This had limited success. Sometimes they’re just not hungry and there’s nothing you can do about it!

Day 250 - Sep 12th

Day 250 – Sep 12th

251: One of those days where the camera is a bit of an after thought, and doesn’t get brought out until I am off to bed and realise that I had totally forgot. This shot at least reminded me that it is time to swap the tinted lens on my cycling glasses, which are a very useful addition to the commuting cyclist. Far from being just a fashion accessory and nothing else, they keep wind, rain, bugs and flying stones out of my eyes while I am moving at speed.

Day 251 - Sep 13th

Day 251 – Sep 13th

252: After recently purchasing my ticket to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers in December, which I am very excited about as its my first time seeing them in over 20 years of being a fan, I have been annoying the wife by playing this album on repeat, which is one of my favourite albums. I caught up with my friend at the pub on Saturday, who is also a big fan, and to my horror doesn’t have this album, and so through the magic of the mobile phone and amazon, sat in the pub with my beer I ordered him a copy which arrived today!

Day 252 - Sep 14th

Day 252 – Sep 14th

253: Today I woke up to a rather foggy start to the day, very beautiful but the kind of scene that makes a commuting cyclist a bit nervous. Thankfully I was fairly confident that my lights would be up for the job of keeping me visible. They are one area that I didn’t want to skimp on, as they are one of the most important parts of my bike. I’d sooner have good lights than any hi-viz clothing or even a helmet!

Day 253 - Sep 15th

Day 253 – Sep 15th

254: Home alone with my girls again as the wife heads out with friends to see the new Bridget Jones film at the cinema with her friends. I treated myself to a pizza and a few beers in front of a more manly film, and then remembered the home made wine kit in the garage that should be ready by now… although sadly it wasn’t quite, but I did get to taste some and it tasted good. I just need to leave it another week or so to settle before I bottle it.

Day 254 - Sep 16th

Day 254 – Sep 16th

255: Saturday is finally here and I’m off to shoot another wedding today. The couple are two lovely people who are both widowed and remarrying, but still wanted a classic wedding day. The weather was on our side, an overcast but not cold day, making some great light for photos. Even though I was driving all the way from Birmingham to Coventry I realised that the reception venue was a hotel I’d already been to twice before! It was a very relaxed and easy day, but I was still glad to be home at the end of it.

Day 255 - Sep 17th

Day 255 – Sep 17th

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the project continues: days 230 – 242

Well this post is going to be the last one of the summer holidays, September is now here, I’m going back to work after six fabulous weeks off with the family, and I am very grateful for the time I have had with them. We’ve done some lovely things, seen family and friends, had plenty of BBQs and enjoyed some lovely weather on days out, in the park, or even just in the garden.

230: This was the day that the wife was out for lunch with work friends, and I was left to watch the girls. Even as a dad of three years, I still feel the pressure of parenting alone when the wife isn’t around! Its like I have never done it before, and one of them might explode or something. Thankfully the big one was in nursery and the little one still isn’t moving very far when you put her down. One thing she is doing is showing us that its almost time to give up the baby bouncer, for as much as she loves it, its getting hard to keep her safe in there!

Day 230 - Aug 23rd

Day 230 – Aug 23rd

231: Today was a hot one, a strong reminder that summer wasn’t done just yet. It was my turn to head out for a couple of hours. I’d arranged to meet up with some of the other dads from our antenatal group, and we found some of the new and quirky bars in Birmingham to head to. Not the kind where the kids were all hanging out, doing shots and fighting, this was a little more refined, but still had a “we’re off the beaten track and cool” feel about it. Even the doors had some funky artwork on!

Day 231 - Aug 24th

Day 231 – Aug 24th

232: Not all selfie’s are polished works of art. There is a growing culture of particularly young ladies who seem to have the selfie down to a fine art and will be prepared to take 500 of the same shot until they’re happy. I gave this idea two fingers and thought I’d grab a shot during my 5 mile run from dropping the car off for its service. Thankfully the father in law was around to take me back to pick it up later that day!

Day 232 - Aug 25th

Day 232 – Aug 25th

233: Road trip was on! After a painful drive down the M5 we made it down to Devon to stay with friends for the weekend, and that night thought we’d all head out to Lyme Regis beach for a walk and to grab some ice cream. I took other shots, but particularly enjoyed the serene feel of this shot. Canvas material? Something to hang on the wall as a work of art? Maybe so… until the wife shot me down in flames and exclaimed “Its rubbish… theres nothing in it!!”. **shakes head**

Day 233 - Aug 26th

Day 233 – Aug 26th

234: We headed out today to see a number of places including some fun catching crabs and eating fish and chips by the sea. It is lovely to just relax and spend time with friends sometimes, life can be so hectic at times.

Day 234 - Aug 27th

Day 234 – Aug 27th

235: These girls love playing together, and now there is a new one to add to the group. I only wish we could see them more often. Today we had some lunch before jumping on the motorway and headed home. Thankfully as it was a bank holiday weekend the motorway was still quiet on Sunday.

Day 235 - Aug 28th

Day 235 – Aug 28th

236: We were supposed to head out to Stratford-Upon-Avon to meet up with some other friends, which sadly ended up being cancelled at the last minute, and so we headed out for a walk around the local park instead, as it seemed a shame to waste the sunshine, and with the summer holidays drawing to a close and my return to work imminent, I wanted to spend some more time doing nice things with the family. Todays photo was yet another portrait, as I love looking back on them all and seeing the changes.

Day 236 - Aug 29th

Day 236 – Aug 29th

237: I was out this morning taking care of my friends son for a few hours again after I’d dropped Olivia at nursery, and there was a window of a few hours before the wife headed out for food with a friend. I decided to capture this shot of Chloe now she is sitting up so much, as most of the previous shots were of her lying down. She seems to be changing at an astronomical rate at the moment, and doubling in size! The is becoming a real character, always full of smiles and loving the interaction with adults, very much like her big sister, but very different at the same time.

Day 237 - Aug 30th

Day 237 – Aug 30th

238: Yeah yeah, another portrait, I need to get the camera out and try some different shots, I know, but today Chloe was all dressed up for her grandmothers birthday and looked gorgeous. We all headed out for a family carvery, which was amazing, even if I did over do things a little.

Day 238 - Aug 31st

Day 238 – Aug 31st

239: Back out looking after my friends son for a few more hours again, and a nice walk in the Lickey Hills to blow a few cobwebs out as I haven’t done a great deal of exercise since I have been off work. September is now here, and summer is starting to disappear. The days are still warm, but the sun is setting much earlier, and the nights are feeling a little cooler. I think we still have a couple of BBQs left, but autumn is definitely not far away. The green in this picture will soon be replaced by reds and oranges.

Day 239 - Sep 1st

Day 239 – Sep 1st

240: I’m not going to lie, this was a day I didn’t take many photos at all, and had very little to choose from, but Chloe’s smile just melts my heart sometimes, and she looked so cute just lying back on the cushions after sitting up for a while and then just giving up!

Day 240 - Sep 2nd

Day 240 – Sep 2nd

241: Our little baby is no longer our little baby, and we struggle to call her our little girl, she seems so much older than her years sometimes. Her 3rd birthday is just around the corner and today we had a soft play party for her and some of her friends, she is so confident and took it all in her stride, but almost looked a little overwhelmed at the attention was very much focused on her as the cake came out. A rather stunning peppa pig handmade by the wife I might add!

Day 241 - Sep 3rd

Day 241 – Sep 3rd

242: The second part of the celebrations was on the Sunday as the parents and one of my sisters came over for a BBQ. We decided to open the bulk of the presents while everyone was around, and Olivia had a fantastic day to finish off a fantastic weekend. Plus we had a little visit from a friend and our second surprise pregnancy announcement of the weekend. Two separate friends are both due with their second babies and both expecting in March. How exciting!

Day 242 - Sep 4th

Day 242 – Sep 4th

So That’s it, summer holidays are over, our girl is almost 3, and the little one has already turned 7 months old. Time is flying past and the new school year is upon us again as Sunday night lands with a disappointing thud. So much I wanted to do, and so many things still on my to-do list! I am just grateful for the time I have had at home with the family, it has been invaluable and I have been very lucky to have six weeks off, not just with the girls, but with the wife as well. Will we be able to do it again next year? Well, if we can work the finances, then possibly. Fingers crossed!

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More of the 365 project: days 221 – 229

I started this post ages ago, and never quite got around to adding the text and being able to upload it. Time demands have made my days, and in particular the evenings (where I usually find time to write on here) very limited, largely due to the recent weddings I have photographed leaving me with many photos to edit, and also the rare chance at a number of nights out catching up with some friends.

221: Sunday afternoon and a chance to duplicate a photo taken a couple of years ago when this girls big sister was much smaller and wearing the same cap. The evening was a chance to catch up with a couple to discuss their wedding plans.

Day 221 - Aug 14th

Day 221 – Aug 14th

222: The day before another wedding and time to prepare batteries and memory cards. One thing we have started getting into today is the whole weaning process with Chloe. The fruit purees haven’t got much of a response, but the little lady shows a certain fondness for the age old favourite of rusks! They get a bit messy, but thats half the fun!

Day 222 - Aug 15th

Day 222 – Aug 15th

223: The wedding of a friend, and what a beautiful day for it! I love being involved in the entire day, from hair and make up with the bride, through to the first dance. The photos then begin to unfold like a story book. I can’t wait to get these photos edited and ready for them to view! This was the beautiful house of the reception lit up as the sun started to set.

Day 223 - Aug 16th

Day 223 – Aug 16th

224: Another beautiful day, this summer has been blessed with some sunshine and warm weather, and sometimes this is no better way than to enjoy this by relaxing at home with the family in the garden. One thing I have tried to do in the garden is encourage the bees with some of the flowers I have grown, and the Hollyhocks seem quite popular!

Day 224 - Aug 17th

Day 224 – Aug 17th

225: Dressing up day at nursery, and the theme is “what I’d like to be when I grow up”. Its a bit of a tricky one for someone to comprehend who isn’t even three yet, but the girl does love to show off her ballet dancing!

Day 225 - Aug 18th

Day 225 – Aug 18th

226: Back to the childrens hospital for Chloe’s check up on her hips since the harness came off 8 weeks ago. Thankfully all is good and it certainly doesn’t seem to have slowed down her desire to get about!

Day 226 - Aug 19th

Day 226 – Aug 19th

227: Okay, so I can’t lie, its quite obvious by the fact I am in this photo that I didn’t take it. It was a school reunion where yet again most of those invited had a reason for not being able to be make it. Its disappointing and frustrating, so many times I have tried to arrange nights like this, but its always the same people who turn up. It was still a great night, with three friends I have known for almost 30 years. A friendly member of bar staff offered to take our photo, which was at least, for the sake of this project, taken on my phone and edited by me afterwards.

Day 227 - Aug 20th

Day 227 – Aug 20th

228: Sunday again, and visiting the grandparents, where Chloe gets to show off her new skills, sitting up for long periods with no support and just a couple of cushions around her.

Day 228 - Aug 21st

Day 228 – Aug 21st

229: What to do to entertain a child… I hate relying on the tv, and we’ve done painting and play-doh, so lets head out to the shops and get some cornflakes and chocolate and make some chocolate cornflake cakes. That is until Olivia starts to eat the mix instead of mixing it and putting it into cake trays.

Day 229 - Aug 22nd

Day 229 – Aug 22nd

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World Photography Day

There are so many World This Day’s and World That Day’s that I tend to ignore mostly as everyone and his dog have put some cause forward for a “world day” of some kind, but I couldn’t let World Photography Day without jumping on board. Considering how many photos I must have taken in the last 8 years alone since I brought my first DSLR camera, it is so hard to pin it down to just one favourite photo. Two of my absolute photos are of my wife in hospital holding each of our daughters just after they were born, but as beautiful and significant to me as these images are, they are not something that would jump out at most people, to the passer by they’re “just another baby photo”.

So I decided to throw this image up for today…


This one I took a couple of years back for my first 365 project, and as I left for work as the sun was coming up, I noticed that the sky had gone a crazy colour, reds, oranges and yellows… it literally looked like the sky was on fire, and to add some perspective to the shot, a bird fly into scene just as I was about to shoot. I won’t pretend I didn’t edit this photo, as I edit ALL my photos, but this was a bit of minor tweaking of contrast and saturation as the camera sensor doesn’t always capture the colours very well. What you see here is pretty much what I saw when I looked up that morning.

What about you? Have you got one image that you’re especially proud of?