Black and White Sunday: Portrait

Paula hopes not to give us a headache with this weeks black and white challenge. I did briefly think ‘oh no’, I can’t do portraits, and most people don’t want their photograph taken -me included! But then I remembered these,taken a few years ago, of my niece at fourteen, a lovely young girl on the cusp of womanhood.

She’s all grown up now and will be heading to uni soon, the begining of a very bright future.
If you’d like to join the challenge pop over to Paula’s place, you’ll get a warm welcome.

Black and White Sunday, Favourite

Paula at Lost in Translation says, ‘This week I want you to post a photo of your “favourite”. Be it a place, a thing, a person, a pastime or your holiday. Your favourite anything. Maybe the favourite shot you have taken and still haven’t published. The only requirement for this “favourite” is to make it black and white.’

uncle

This is Michael, my favourite uncle and I saw him recently for the first time in ages.

Raising Daughters

My daughter’s partner Steve, who calls me his Monster-in-law, wrote this on FB last night and it really touched my heart. It’s so very special, that I thought I’d share it with you my friends. Perhaps you know someone who could do with reading it too. Scarlett will be three in July, Layla is seventeen months.

IMG_3436 (2)So this evening I had a wedding meeting in Gosport, which means that I had to leave the house before putting Scarlet to bed.
I got home at 8pm and Scarlett was still awake (her normal bedtime is 6.30-7pm), So after a brief cuddle I took her to bed.

In the forefront of my mind was how much I needed to do tonight; I shot a wedding on the weekend so I had to download the cards, social media advertising, admin, printing… Nina and I hadn’t eaten so dinner needed cooking and Nina also had a lot of work to do and some business bits she wanted me to help her with.

Due to this, Scarlett only got one story rather than the usual two or three, and the bedtime routine which is one of our special times together, was cut very short. Scarlett got up twice, and I put her back to bed without the usual fun and games.

Then I heard her sobbing.

I went into her room and attempted to quickly settle her, but she opened her arms and pulled me in for a cuddle and whispered ‘Don’t leave me Daddy, I love you’.

Somehow I had allowed myself to put all those other things ahead of the most important people in my life. Yes we all let the world get on top of us, work is demanding, we wish for more hours in the day, we try to save time where we can to try and complete those oh so important tasks and little jobs. But Scarlett and Layla just want to be loved, not rushed.

For those few seconds, I was the most important person in Scarlett’s world, and all she wanted was a cuddle.

Right now I’m holding my Daughter, everything else can wait.

Community Payback and no Goldilocks

My weekend has been busy as always. Yesterday I was hoovering, I should say vacuuming the living room, when I became aware of a persistent sound of metallic scraping noises somewhere out in the road. I pootled on, hanging washing on the line in the sun, a great treat now that spring is here, and generally tidying. It wasn’t until I realised that the dogs were roasting in their living room window seat, and I let some fresh air in that I found out where the noise was coming from. A woman emerged from a large white van parked opposite, wearing a hoodie saying that her name was ‘Supervisor’.

I noticed the first of three young men because he was shovelling the gutter right beside the wheels of my car. A bit panic stricken, I threw the window wide for a closer look, and two more appeared. All three were wearing bright orange tabards with ‘Community Payback’ printed on them. The Devon and Cornwall police website has this to say

Community Payback can be part of a ‘community sentence’. A ‘community sentence’ means that the offender is supervised in the community and in the case of Community Payback has to carry out between 40 and 300 hours of unpaid work. This work benefits the community – and means the offenders pay back the community for their crimes by doing tough demanding work. For this reason members of public are encouraged to nominate Community Payback work projects for offenders which will benefit the community. 

I would have liked to go and talk to them but I was in housework clothes and had wet hair, so I made a point of catching the supervisor’s eye and each of the guys to say thank you. The road is now weed free, and has saved residents the task of clearing up, as the council no longer has the resources to do it, despite the outrageously high council tax.

This morning I was visiting my family, for two of my grandchildren’s birthdays. Louisa is seven and William is three, I have no idea where that time went. Today at 11am was Williams’s party but Louisa was over excited by 9.30 so I decided to take her for a calming down stroll. We set off around the block, ‘Getting out with nature’ as she puts it, picking tiny wild flowers and stroking catkins. There were a couple of flowers that mummy apparently says are weeds, to which I replied that weeds are just flowers in the wrong place.

After not very long Louisa wanted to go home, she didn’t want to miss a moment of the party. We had about fifteen minutes to walk and she had lost interest in wild flowers. More distraction needed! I challenged her to tell me a story about nature. She started by picking a forget-me-not and saying that a girl found lots of them on path. The girl picked and picked them, but she became very hungry and didn’t have any food. She passed the story on to me, so I sent the girl deep into the woods until she found a cottage.

You know the story, Goldilocks meets the three bears, sits on their chairs, eats their porridge and falls asleep in baby bears bed. Except that her name wasn’t Goldilocks it was Meg. The bears were pandas and the porridge was chocolate cake. We had a great time embellishing the story, making it ours. I hope that one day she will be walking with her granddaughter, telling stories about walking in nature with her crazy story telling mma.

So that was a little of my weekend, how was yours?

 

Reluctant William

New Years Day at Blackbury Camp and dens need building, according to Louisa anyway.

William thinks otherwise
William thinks otherwise
Can't you see I'm wearing my crocodile gloves and that's far more important!
Can’t you see I’m wearing my crocodile gloves and that’s far more important!
Okay, I'll just bring you  one stick
Okay, I’ll just bring you one stick
No I'm not going to be in your den photo.
No I’m not going to be in your den photo.
Brothers, honestly!
Brothers, honestly!