Counting down the days


I have an awful lot in my life to be grateful for, and most of it comes down to a chance meeting on a drunken night out when I met a beautiful girl who ended up being my wife. The rather flat and pale start I’d had to my 30s suddenly changed direction when I met Clare, we soon moved in together, I changed jobs, started a photography business, we got married, went on an amazing honeymoon and eventually bought a house together, and then the best bit…we became parents and welcomed our beautiful daughter into the world. 

In looking back, I’ve come an awful long way in the last six years, and I couldn’t have done it on my own. Some days I feel like I can take on the world, but then there are still days when I just want to sit at home and shut the world out.

Today is definitely one of those days.

I’m feeling tired and grumpy, the weekend was quite busy, and although it was generally a good weekend, it still came with its problems. In reality these were small compared to how good the rest of the weekend was, but being in the mood I’m in today I find myself dwelling on these little things.

It’s at times like these when you need to stop and put things into perspective, measure up your woes against someone else’s bad day, and see how bad things really are. As much as this is a great place for letting off a little steam, I don’t want to stop and dwell on things too much, so I’ll move on with the rest of the weekend.

We started our weekend with a trip to see the mortgage advisor first thing on Saturday morning, to get our mortgage deal renewed after the initial two year deal was up, and as we knew what we wanted it was a fairly quick and efficient process. It left me enough time to get home and get myself ready to photograph a very low key wedding of one of the wife’s work colleagues. My first wedding of the year, and thankfully a very small affair with a very friendly couple, it allowed me to ease myself back into the wedding season again without too much pressure. Photographing a wedding, from the outside, probably looks like quite an easy job. Turn up for a couple of hours, take a few snaps and head home with a pocketful of cash! The reality is far from that, and while there are many,many articles on exactly this kind of debate online, I won’t go into it now. Needless to say, I’ve totally lost count of the amount of weddings I’ve done over the last seven years, but I still get nervous even now! There is so much pressure, and so much to remember, there are so many things that can go wrong, and people that have paid you hundreds of pounds do not want excuses if you let them down… they’ve paid you, they want results! I have already made the decision to steer my business in the direction of newborn photography, as weddings are hugely time intensive. I can often meet a couple twice before the big day to discuss the details and probably visit the venue, then I can be with them for easily a 12 hour day, and then after that I have to spend many evenings (don’t forget I already have a full time job!) sifting through and editing the photos, oh and if they want and album that’ll need designing and ordering too! If only wedding photography was just a days work! The fact that this weekends wedding was a low key affair was an absolute blessing! I was still glad to head home and relax after it though.

Once I was home, that allowed the wife to take the car and get the food shopping. We’re still trying to make the switch over to Aldi as we know we can save money, but we just can’t quite seem to get everything we need from there. This week we managed it, and our weekly shop was significantly less than we were used to from Asda, result! My sister and her boyfriend popped in briefly on their way to a meal, and although they didn’t stay too long and we still had plenty of time to start cooking dinner, frankly neither of us were in a cooking mood… and so Indian takeaway it was!

I was quite surprised and pleased to see that I had got a “pub call” text from my friend Dave after we’d finished our takeaway. After him and his wife split up, he needed somewhere to stay and so he obviously had little other option than his parents for a few weeks, which is the other side of town, and so it seemed our walks to the pub had apparently come to an end at that point. He is, however, looking into renting somewhere close by, so he can still be near his son and close to work. He was made a special journey over to see me and so we were able to catch up for a few hours. It was good to see him, especially as I am not getting out as much these days, so the odd trip to the local once or twice a month was very appreciated and often as far as I’d go, unless of course there was a significant birthday or something to celebrate.

The funny thing is that as Clare’s parents had taken the flat off us when we bought a house and moved out so they could let it out, and it seems almost like fate that the current tenants are in the process of buying a house and the consequently the flat will now be available at a perfect time for when Dave needs somewhere in the area to rent! He thinks it a great idea that he will end up living in our flat! Its perfect for him as its a good size and still cheap, and in a perfect location too! Probably about the best result from his unfortunate situation. Living so close to one of my oldest friends was a real bonus, and it will be nice that we’ll still end up living within a short distance of each other!

Sunday morning was my usual time for running, but my running partner text me to call in sick, and as much as I was actually looking forward to a run, I didn’t have the motivation to drag myself out on my own, knowing I had plenty of other things to do today. It was the one day of the year I could have a total geek out… The Photography Show at the NEC! This was not a place for wives and children, not unless you want them constantly checking their watches and tutting and mumbling about all the other things they could be doing and how nice the weather was outside and how I couldn’t afford anything there anyway etc… so I went alone, and I was happy to do so! With my plans for moving away from weddings and into newborn photography, I needed a bit of kit, and found a few bargains there to get me started. As I already have my first paying customer planned, I can start to recover some of the costs already! Once the kit has paid for itself, I can fully justify the purchase and then its all profit! With the both of us wondering how we are going to afford baby no.2 whenever that happens, this could be a way to really help that problem! The only downside is that unlike a wedding, this requires a few props and such to make it work, and so requires an initial outlay. The plus side, is that props is actually all I will need as I already have all the cameras, lenses and kit that I’ll need from the weddings. However, this doesn’t stop me wandering around the NEC drooling at a few expensive items along the way. Eventually things will need upgrading, and until then a bit of window shopping never hurt anyone. Plus its a useful way to find out what the labs are bringing out, in terms of albums, and mounted prints and various other things that I can use to sell to try and make a bit more money along the way.

I knew when it was time to call it a day though, and so I headed home around lunchtime and the weather had actually turned really nice. It was sunny, and one could almost call it warm! So I decided that even though the wife had plans for lunch, as long as she hadn’t actually started cooking, I was going to suggest we abandon the idea and head out for something to eat. Like a pro poker player, she saw my idea and raised it… we were heading to cannon hill park where we could a) be outdoors and b) grab a sandwich and a cup of tea at the same time! Winner!

It was a lovely afternoon, and although the parking was nothing short of a nightmare, the park didn’t actually feel that busy. We stopped off at the Garden Tea Room and enjoyed a toasted cheese sandwich and a cup of tea while little madam attempted to demolish a Choc Dip.
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We finished the afternoon off by visiting my mom and her other half, which I like to do every couple of weeks as they can’t get over to us very easily any more. I’d like to go more often, but its not always possible sadly, so I always try and make the effort when I can.

So the weekend draws to a close yet again, it has been a busy one, but we have got lots done. The only problem with being busy is that you don’t notice how fast the weekend is actually going! So we decided to slow Sunday evening a bit with a few glasses of wine (for her) and a few beers (for me) while we put our feet up and watch a film, instead of the usual rubbish thats on tv! I have recently taken out a months free trial of NOW TV which is only slightly more expensive than Netflix, but has a far superior selection of films, and is making me seriously reconsider whether I want or need to keep my Netflix account! I’d already dropped LOVEfilm in favour of Netflix previously, but I am becoming seriously frustrated with the lack of decent films to watch on it! We opted for the Hangover 3 as neither of us were sure whether we’d actually seen it, and even when we started watching it and realised that we had, neither of us could remember what actually happened in it anyway, so we left it on and kept watching! A good chuckle and they’ve totally left the door open for a 4th film!

 

 

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About andrewvokes

Husband to my beautiful wife Clare, and father to two gorgeous girls. Cyclist, runner and photographer, living in Birmingham, UK.

Posted on March 23, 2015, in Personal, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. As noted, you achieve in a weekend,a weeks worth of to dos. The cancelled run that became a vist to the Photography exhibit. A visit from your sis. A visit to your mom. Everything else in between. Then grilled cheese and tea and Choc Dip for the princess. You seem great at making every moment count.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I do believe that its the moments that matter, make them count and you’ll have plenty to look back on! It doesn’t always work out of course, sometimes you can try to do too much, and I am just as guilty of that, the wife often tells me she’d like a quiet weekend where we don’t have to race around all the time!

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