365 project

Day 063 – Lets wait for the sun, it can’t rain forever

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Day 63 – May 19th

Ah yes, the sweet taste of the weekend. Friday means getting home nice and early, and it wasn’t long before the girls wanted to go out in the garden, no great surprise there, except for the fact that Chloe now seems to be as keen as Olivia. The lawn was still wet from a week of showers, so it was time for the girls to put more waterproof footwear on before we headed outside. Although we’d never actually got around to buying any boots for Chloe, thankfully Clare had kept Olivia’s old ones which now fitted Chloe. It was a bit of a battle keeping them on, she probably needs to grow into them a little bit more, but they did the trick and kept her feet dry.

We had a whole lot more rain to come that evening, including a hail shower, but we were safely indoors by that point. The home owner in me can’t help but think how good it will be for the lawn and the garden plants.

365 project, Photography

Day 060 – I don’t want it to always be like this

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Day 60 – May 16th

Another year has rolled around again, and with my birthday almost here, I sit here and wonder where a whole 12 months has gone, and wonder what I did with my time… and how the hell it made 12 months vanish in a flash!

This time last year I was about to turn forty, it was the last couple of days of my thirties, and I guess I was feeling a little reflective. My thirties had been far better to me that I had ever imagined, especially when I consider where I was, and what was happening when I actually turned thirty. It wasn’t a great place, I jumped into a job that I hated and was dating a girl who was totally not suited to me. She was a party girl who gave no thought to the future, and was all about pleasing herself, I didn’t even get a present for my thirtieth birthday. Forget surprise trips to Vegas or New York like some of my friends seemed to be enjoying, I just had to be grateful she’d bothered to get me a card, seriously!

Anyway, without going into too much detail about that, roughly about 18 months later I met my wonderful wife, who has changed my life in so many wonderful ways, and given me two beautiful girls. So as I sit here looking back on what has been, I can’t be too regretful for the choices I’ve made, as they’ve brought me here to where I am today.

My only real regret is that we don’t make enough time for each other at the moment. Its all part and parcel of being parents, the girls are young, and they come before everything else. They are our world and we both put them above ourselves and each other. We had no idea what being a parent would actually be like beforehand, regardless of what people told us, so this overwhelming love for our children that has made absolutely everything else less of a priority has kind of created an unwritten understanding between me and the wife, in that I am no longer her number one any more, and vice versa… the girls come first. We happily accept this, and know that one day they will become independent young ladies, and we will be left with little option but to turn the focus back to ourselves again.

It would be nice, however, to make sure that me and the wife still have a bit of time together, as a couple, to enjoy each others company. To remember what makes the other one smile, and enjoy all the reasons we got together in the first place. We just need to show a little more patience first, our time will come!

Moving onto todays photo, this particular evening I had invited over an old school friend, back from when I was at infant and junior school, so it has been a good few years since we not only knew each other, but actually last saw each other, up until we’d started meeting just before Christmas. She had enquired about photography training courses on facebook, and I replied that I had been thinking of putting some together. If she was willing to be my guinea pig, then I’d happily share my knowledge for free. We both got something out of it, and it was great to catch up too, especially as she wasn’t living far away. She may well be reading this, and I hope she doesn’t mind me using this photo for the day, it was only taken to demonstrate a lighting technique, but I think it turned out well!

Canon 50D – Canon 24-70mm @ 31mm – F/3.5 – ISO400 – 1/160s – Canon 430EX speedlite off-camera w/radio trigger

365 project

Day 054 – I love you to the moon and back

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I remember almost a year ago, as I was approaching my birthday, with just days to go, feeling a slight sense of reflection on the fact I was about to hit 40 years old. In reality turning 40 is just another day, I was just one day older than the day before, and some people don’t seem the slightest bit bothered by this landmark, but there are others that get quite hung up about it.

Today it was the turn of one of my friends to turn 40, and one of the last in our group, which hits the message home even harder that we really aren’t 21 any more. Our nights out have seriously fizzled away in the last couple of years, especially since so many of us now have at least one, if not two children, a wife, more responsibility at work, and possibly a little less energy to name but a few excuses! Still, as ever, with a good reason to party we’ll be shining up our best shoes, and hitting the city centre bars to mark this occasion in a couple of weeks time. For tonight though, to mark the actual day, a few of us were heading out to Nando’s to feast on some delicious spicy chicken. A very pleasant midweek treat. 

As I arrived home, the moon was shining brightly in the clear night sky, and by the time I’d pulled up outside the house, it was flickering through the branches of a large tree opposite. It took a little effort to get the camera steady and in a good spot without the image being ruined by the orange glow of the street light straight across the road from our house, but I like to think I did a half decent job of capturing the scene.

365 project, Photography

Day 050 – You’re not my number one any more

Day 50 – May 6th
Saturday was a day of ‘firsts’ which started with a visit to the dentists. It was Olivia’s first time visiting the dentist and having her teeth looked at, and the first time I’d gone to the dentist in years, and actually had to pay for it. Yes, it has been that long since I last saw a dentist that the last time I went it was free as I was still in full time education. I’ve been lucky, I know that, I’ve always had good teeth and so have never been worried too much about whats going on in there. It was all over quite quickly, without much drama, although Olivia was a little intimidated by the big dentist chair, and ends up sitting on my lap while I was in the chair, even though we’d tried to prepare her for it, for a couple of days, but at least she didn’t run out screaming.

After a quiet afternoon, we decided that we were going to treat ourselves for tea, and all head out to the chip shop. The girls eat well during the week, and always get a fair.y balanced mix of fruit, vegetables and dairy, so we  don’t mind the occasional treat once in a while. 

That night was a chance to catch up with one of my oldest friends at the local pub, as Clare is often early to bed anyway, even at the weekend, so she doesn’t mind too much. We don’t see each other that often considering how close we live to each other, but at least we both have somewhere we can walk to when we do get the opportunity. Whilst I was out having a beer, my phone pinged with a photo message, a little baby! One of my close friends and his fiancĂ©, had just had their first baby, a beautiful little girl, and a relatively text book delivery too. What wonderful news, it fills my little heart with happiness! We can’t wait to meet her, and watch Olivia and Chloe play with her as they grow up. 
So today I raise a drink and congratulate my friends on their new arrival, baby Isla born today! 

365 project, Photography

Day 025 – If flowers on a sunny day don’t make you smile, check your pulse

Day 25 – Apr 11th
Tuesday, Olivia is in nursery and its time to get productive around the house. Well, I say house, but todays big focus is the garage. Its gone from storage area, to dumping ground, to very crowded dumping ground, to very crowded dumping ground with a motorbike in it. I was going to leave this until the summer holidays, but it needs some attention, and without any other plans for the day, may as well start it now.

There is still a bit of sunshine around, even though the temperature is going down, so I managed to grab a photo of the blossom tree outside the house as it basked in the afternoon sun. The blossoms are out now, and make the road look beautiful, its just a shame they only last for a couple of weeks. By the time May is here the trees will be empty again and there will be a blanket of pink on the ground. So lets just enjoy it while we can.

365 project, Photography

Day 024 – A little effort can go a long way

Day 24 – Apr 10th

T’was the first day of the holidays, and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a… oh wait, we have children, we were up at the crack of dawn as usual!

With two weeks to spend together as a family, we made a few plans, mostly around who we were going to see on the days that Olivia wasn’t at nursery, as we don’t like to leave her out where we can avoid it. Today was one of the days where we had no plans, so I decided to text a friend and see if she was free. With her newborn baby, she was also off work, and it was a nice chance to catch up, plus her older son and Olivia always play well together.

A few hours always seem to flash by in the blink of an eye when you are in the company of good friends, and today was no exception, but I at least managed to grab a few photos while they were here. This one for todays shot was set up in less than five minutes, and the result of only a dozen shots. After briefly touching up a few aspects in photoshop a pretty standard procedure for all photos, I was happy that this was the sort of shot that would probably end up displayed on a wall. Its nice to be able to do this for friends.

365 project, Photography

015 – Life is beautiful, stop and smell the flowers

Day 15 – Apr 1st
A morning rain shower led the way for a beautiful Saturday and the sun soon appeared after the rain had stopped. It was off to nursery first thing, without Olivia, for the parents morning to speak to the staff about how she is getting on. It came as no surprise that they all thought she was doing really well, and were very happy with her progress. A nice start to the weekend, its fair to say!

After spending the afternoon at my mothers so she could see the girls for a few hours, it was time to get ready for another night out, drinks with some old school friends in the city centre. Always a good evening catching up with these guys, a bite to eat, a few beers and never enough time. Rather than an expensive taxi fair home, they get the last train, which means the evening comes to an end at a sensible time, especially after my embarrassing moment falling asleep in the pub the night before! In my defence, it was a late night on Friday and thanks to the joys of parenting my body doesn’t seem to want to function after 12:30am these days! I was always a night owl, and old habits die hard, yet pouring a drink and putting a film on often results in my nodding off and pouring the drink over myself lately!