365 project, Personal, Photography

Day 243/365

“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so!”


Okay, so I wasn’t going to do one of the funky shots again, but I liked today’s so much that I just couldn’t resist! This was the watch I bought just over a year ago for my wedding day, and I try to save it for best, so it doesn’t always see a lot of use, although it is by far my favourite!

I started this morning by getting up early to meet my friend Rob at the reservoir for a run, my first since my tendon injury, so I haven’t run at all in a few weeks! I had a little warm up and a stretch and took it slowly, and although I could feel that my tendon wasn’t completely comfortable, we made our usual 6 mile run without any complaints. I have the Birmingham Half Marathon coming up in just over a month and need to get my fitness back up fast, but not by pushing my tendon too hard by suddenly running a lot when I haven’t done much in the last few weeks. If I injure it again, I can pretty much write off being able to train sufficiently before it, or even complete the half marathon at all!

After the run we visited the in-laws as it was the mother in laws birthday and then headed out to pick up a new bookshelf/cupboard unit for the living room which took a bit longer to put together than I thought it would as we had visitors half way through and ate dinner after they’d gone! Still its all done now, and I can head out to meet friends (finally) for an hour to celebrate a friends birthday. I can treat myself to one beer at least, but with this baby still waiting to pop out at any time, I can’t be gone too long!

365 project, Personal, Photography

Day 242/365

“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.”


Decided to have a bit of fun today rather than waiting around for another day while bump decides to not move anywhere yet again. Finally managed to create the effect I was after with this shot, although it has taken some effort and commitment!

I had to put the idea on hold during the afternoon when the in-laws came round, as I had to help get our new curtains up. Finally, now we have curtains in the living room, its such a relief to be able to have a bit of privacy! The kitchen floor is now 90% tiled and looks amazing, we are so grateful to the father in law for all his hard work, so we got him a present today, a collectors edition scalextric car which he was over the moon about. For display, not for racing, of course! I don’t think i’ve ever seen him so happy, but it was such a small gesture for all he has done for us!

And so the final Friday of the summer holidays has rolled around again, and its back to work next week! Think we might treat ourselves to a chip shop dinner!

365 project, Babies, Personal, Photography

Day 241/365

“I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.”


Today I had to attend a hospital appointment with the wife, for what is politely known as “the sweep”, intended to try and give nature, quite literally, a helping hand and encourage junior to get a wriggle on… 12 hours later and we’re still waiting for something to happen as a result. Oh well, lets see what tomorrow brings! The hospital was pretty chaotic as they were so short staffed, and although there was a little confusion with out appointment, we eventually got to see a midwife. On the way out we bumped into some friends who had just been for their first scan, and were waiting to post the photo on facebook to break the news to the world. We did mention to them how it only seemed like five minutes ago that we were doing the very same thing!

By the time we left the hospital it was lunchtime, and as a) we were both quite hungry and b) the kitchen wasn’t really accessible as the father in law was still laying floor tiles, we decided to go to merry hill for a wander round the baby shops to keep the wife on her feet a bit and see if gravity would do its thing, and a spot of lunch in the food area.

I finished the day off by heading back down to the flat for an hour to finish some painting that I had promised the in-laws I would do, although I have been trying to balance my time between getting this painting done, editing wedding photos and looking after the wife, including taking her out to take our mind off the lack of appearance of baby! Fully expecting another quiet night of absolutely nothing, where the closest we get to any activity in the night is me getting up to use the toilet! Oh how I’d love my next post to be welcoming Vokes Jr into the world!

365 project, Journal, Personal, Photography

Day 240/365

“Winners never quit and quitters never win. But those who never win and never quit are idiots!”


I’m kinda getting used to this waiting game now, accepting that junior does not have a calendar and is in no hurry to come out. The only real problem it presents is that its really hard to plan anything, we can’t have any big days out and can’t go too far from the hospital. Thankfully we have many friends close by and visited our good friend Tracy and her son today. It was lovely to catch up and spend a couple of hours there, babies don’t stay babies for long, as we are regularly reminded.

Sadly having time off work and little on the agenda doesn’t always guarantee finding the time, opportunity or inspiration for a photo, although I did have an idea when I got up this morning to try something in the garden when it got dark. Its not the best photo i’ve ever taken, it was more of an experiment to see if I could get a reasonable result, although it didn’t turn out too bad. I couldn’t find what I was looking for to carry it out, but I did have a bike light to hand, which did the job along with a piece of string and my camera on a mini tripod.

Time for bed I guess, no lie in tomorrow as we have a hospital appointment at 10am, I might even have to set an alarm!

365 project, Personal, Photography

Day 239/365

“You usually have to wait for that which is worth waiting for.”


Junior is now approaching a week overdue and absolutely no signs of moving and I’m starting to put my money on the wife being induced at two weeks overdue. We’ve tried various things to get things moving and yesterdays long walk did nothing. We went to Argos today to pick up a gym ball, which we should have got weeks ago really, but never got around to buying. I’m not totally convinced its going to help, but we have to try all the things that are likely to help. Of course there are a hundred different old wives tales as to what might work, and there is no point in trying all of them as a) we’d spend a fortune b) they’re not all practical c) if you try too many, how do you know which one worked?! Even staying up late and trying to see if “sod’s law” might actually move things along hasn’t helped. So for now, we are trying to do our very best to forget about it and carry on as normal as possible.

We got some work done in the garden today, as it has been a bit neglected since we moved in, and I found todays photograph, a lovely little flower which was quite small, but had a beautiful colour. It has been nice to have the time to focus on the plants in the greenhouse as well, the chillies are growing fast, the peppers are catching up and the tomatoes are finally starting to flower! As the father in law had been laying more kitchen tiles for us (and consequently not left much room for cooking as we couldn’t walk on them for several hours) and the mother in law had helped us in the garden, we decided to head out for dinner and take the in laws with us. The Black Horse in Halesowen has been a favourite of ours for a while, and with two meals for £10 on most of the menu, its often hard to say no!

365 project, Personal, Photography

Day 238/365

“As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.”


I decided to get up today and get involved in a Body Combat session as I haven’t been running for a few weeks as my tendon is still sore and I have been trying to rest it. My Jujitsu sensei also runs various fitness classes throughout the week and had free passes for todays class, so I figured it would be a good chance to get the heart pumping again! I want to sign up for the Birmingham Half Marathon at some point, having pulled out of the Great North Run, so I need to pick up my training again! We did our weekly food shop as soon as I got back, as we wanted to stock up as soon as we could, just in case the wife’s waters decided to break and we had to dash to the hospital and came home with a new baby to empty kitchen cupboards! After a spot of lunch, we decided to go for a long walk to see if we could encourage junior to make an appearance, and headed out to a local country park, and with the father in law starting to lay the kitchen floor tiles, we needed to stay out of the way for a bit anyway. The wife seemed a lot less uncomfortable walking today than she has done in the last few weeks, which I found quite encouraging, meaning we could walk much further than I’d expected. The weather was beautiful today, warm, sunshine, blue skies and a little bit of cloud. It really had an ‘end of summer’ feel about it, not quite autumn, but clear signs that we’re almost there. Acorns ready to drop on the oak trees, and berries everywhere. It was very tempting to pick some black berries to take home and bake with, but we had nothing to put them in. It was a lovely afternoon. The summer holiday is also almost over for me, i’ll be back to work in a week, but days like today, spending some quality time with the wife have been lovely!

365 project, Personal, Photography, Weddings

Day 237/365

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”


Due date + 4 and still waiting, nuthin’ happ’nin!

Dinner with the in laws today and got to watch the Belgian Grand Prix without junior making their appearance! Result! So with the wedding and Spa F1 out of the way this weekend, there are few distractions to keep us occupied in the wait for the baby to arrive. I did get to meet up with an old friend that I grew up with today, who is getting married in two weeks and has asked me to photograph the big day, always a real privilege when a friend asks. It was so lovely to catch up with her, as its been quite a few years since we used to play together as kids. I’m really looking forward to the wedding!

I thought yesterdays wedding favours, as pictured above, were a lovely gift, although the wife has been harassing me for some of mine now she’s finished hers! I’m sorry, but “baby wants some” doesn’t quite cut it!

365 project, Personal, Photography, Weddings

Day 236/365

“Love isn’t something you find. Love is something that finds you.”


What a wonderful day, so much happiness and such lovely people. Perfect ingredients for a fantastic wedding day. Four and a half years ago, when I met the wife on a night out up town with friends, one of her friends took an instant dislike to me. As time went on, and it became clear that me and the wife were becoming serious this friend started to warm to me thankfully. Four years on and I am photographing her wedding, and what a day it was, and I can’t deny, yet another wedding where I had to wipe a tear from my eye at some point! In case I couldn’t make the wedding or the wife went into labour while we were there, I had my good friend Phil along for the ride to support me today. The whole day went without a hitch, and the weather was just perfect. The vicar was quite relaxed and didn’t seem to mind us taking photos during the service. The reception venue was just a few miles away, and definitely worth the drive! A beautiful hotel with very friendly and helpful staff in the sleepy little village of Meriden.

Todays photo was taken in the church and totally unprompted, with only a minute to go before the bride came in, the groom and best man both checked their watches at the same time. Priceless!

365 project, Personal, Photography, Weddings

Day 235/365

“I chose my wife, as she did her wedding gown, for qualities that would wear well.”


Due date is now well past us, and still no sign! Yesterdays midwife appointment ended with us having to book a hospital appointment for today to get a scan to check the baby’s size, but there was nothing to worry about and all is fine. Baby is now fully cooked, head down and ready for lift off! I managed to get the new downstairs doors varnished this morning and the father in law has worked had preparing the kitchen floor so it is ready for tiling. After the hospital, we popped into our second home, B&Q, to pick up some new lights for the living room. Hopefully we’re almost done with spending on the house now, but its looking a million miles from where it was when we first picked up the keys!

So tomorrow is a second milestone for us, its the wedding of my wife’s friend. I was asked to photograph the wedding some months before we found out we were having a baby, and when we did the maths we always knew it was going to be a close call, which is why I have a back up in place. My good friend Phil will be there on the day in case a) I have to leave early or b) I can’t make it at all. I can totally trust him to look after the entire day if I have to, as he was the guy who photographed our wedding. As the wife will be there too, I have to be ready to leave quickly if the need arises, but at least I can be confident in not letting the couple down if that was to happen! One of the important thing about being a wedding photographer is guaranteeing that the couple will get great photos no matter what! At least now my kit is ready, cards are formatted and batteries are on charge. All I have to do is find something suitable to wear, and grab a shave before bed so that I don’t have to rush in the morning!

365 project, Personal, Photography

Day 234/365

“Family over friends, because real friends are family.”


Due date + 1 and still no movement!

We took a trip to visit the midwife for a quick check up today and they’ve told us to go to the hospital tomorrow for a check on the baby’s weight, although its not a huge cause for concern. I’ve been having a nightmare with calls failing lately and failed to get to the Apple store to get my phone swapped as you have to make an appointment and they’re booked up until Tuesday, which isn’t a great deal of help for me! Thankfully my network operator is swapping it for a new one tomorrow, hopefully I won’t have to wait in too long for it to arrive! We wanted to stay out of the house today as the father in law was supposed to be putting the kitchen floor tiles down and we didn’t want to be sat around just waiting for this baby to arrive. I could cope with the waiting, if I just knew how long we were going to be waiting for! So we headed out to visit my mom first of all, then we headed out to see my friend and my little godson who is growing up so, so fast. His laughs and smiles were so adorable! It was lovely to see him and grab a couple of photos before I blink and he’s 18 years old!!