It’s been a busy year and I’ve had lots of super successful moments. My work has been chosen and published in more places than ever before. I was offered a bursary to complete the part-time art degree which I’ve been doing with The Open College of Arts, and I received a 90% grade for the last module I completed. (I hope to complete the degree this year if I can.) I also took part in several exhibitions and met lots of new people. And I finally got around to publishing a new website.
Here are a handful of images that will sum-up 2019 for me. I can’t wait to see what 2020 brings. To celebrate the New Year, I’m currently offering 5% off all shoots completed by the end of January 2020 (T&Cs apply). Get in touch on 07581 694934 or drop me a line at email@example.com to find out more.
This Summer I ran away. I spent as long as was feasibly possible in Europe. Huge thanks to my mother for going to the trouble of breaking her ankle and giving us the excuse to escape the UK, and for facilitating it all too. I can’t begin to say how much I appreciated the time and the rest. Even so, I didn’t sit around doing bugger all. (Mostly…) I took my work with me and did my best to keep up with it. I wrote essays and I read a great deal. I caught up with books I’d been meaning to read and found new ones. And now back to reality.
But before that, here is a visual poem expressing something about my time in Umbria this summer.
Do get in touch for event or portrait photography on 07581694934 – 5% off the advertised price on my website for family shoots and events if booked before 30th September 2019. (Term & Conditions, as ever, apply.)
Paradise Co-Op held another amazing and fantastically organised fete on Saturday. You may recall I photographed the previous one two years ago. In between doing plenty of other things during a super-busy weekend, I popped by to record some moments for them. I was so glad I did and also pleased to see the rain didn’t stop anyone from enjoying themselves. By the time I left the sun was shining and people were still having a brilliant time. Here are a few shots from my time there. All images (c)SJField 2017
This will be just a short post. I am currently surrounded by three little boys who really need to go back to school. It’s quite loud!
We have just got back from our annual camping holiday. Camping isn’t my favourite way of going about things to be honest, but it’s cheap and the children absolutely love it – their enjoyment definitely makes it worth the effort. I’m OK with a couple of days, but after a week I’m always very glad to get back to having a roof and windows. And my own shower is always extremely welcome when I return home.
However, I do thoroughly enjoy my coffee outside in the morning and a glass of wine as the sun sets in the evening. But really, I find it hard work and the whole camping experience takes up so much time you don’t get to do all the other things you’d like to do. We had a great week nevertheless.
I really, really loved Normandy. The beaches are absolutely stunning; the tide goes out so far which means they are huge and expansive for much of the time. It never felt crowded even on the hot sunny days when there were plenty of people about.
There are also lots of beautiful forests about and I would have liked to have spent some more time exploring those, but it’s not far so we’ll certainly return. Plus all the fascinating war memorials – I am really disappointed we never made it to any of those. Maybe next time and in a proper building too.
Here are a just handful of images from my time there. Shame about the endless rain back in Blighty – apparently it’s here for much of the week. I do hope we have more sun before the end of the school holidays as I’m looking forward to a last little visit to the seaside.
I must go – I’ve just heard Son No 2 listening to something on YouTube which is utterly inappropriate … geez! Come on school, we need you back!
Here are a few of my favourites from the beautiful Normandy…
I am filled with joyful excitement and nervous horror all at once about the impending summer hols. The smallest one finished nursery two weeks ago and asks me daily when he can start big boys’ nursery school. In six weeks, I say. Who knows if that means anything to him whatsoever? If it did it would seem like an age, I’m sure. I know it will fly by but even to me it’s a little daunting. Six weeks of waking every morning and wondering what I can do that day to get them away from screens for a few hours.
But before it begins Son No. I will come to the end of his time at primary school. How did that happen? When did it happen? It has just sped by so fast.
I remember him starting nursery at the same big boys’ school No 3 can’t wait to get into when he was 4. They are very different boys. No 1 was born pretty much attached to my breasts. “That will hurt if you let him keep doing it,” I was told by the midwife in hospital. I didn’t care. He seemed to need it. And when he started nursery he was attached to my legs. Tearing us apart in nursery seemed like the cruelest thing in the world and he would wail and flail about as the very patient teacher prised him off me. As I walked away there would be tears streaming down my face. Apparently on his second day there, he just stood at the gate the whole time waiting for me. First children are so different to third, that’s for sure. Son No 3 adjusted straight away when he started at the little kindergarden round the corner in preparation for big boys’ nursery and is more than ready to get on with it.
No 1 though took forever to adjust. But of course, he did and although he remembers very clearly standing at that gate all day he now barely says goodbye when we part at the gate. And heaven forbid I should try to hug or kiss him. I wasn’t even allowed to greet him properly when he came back from the week long school trip he recently went on. Par for the course, I guess.
I think I need to really appreciate this summer with Son No 1 though because once he starts secondary school, I am told it will race by even more quickly. I’m glad I ignored that midwife – it did hurt but he’s Mister Independent now and it was such a short time, in the grand scheme of things, when he really needed that connection.
So, anyway my blogs might be a little haphazard and irregular over the next six weeks is what I think I’m saying. You never know, there may be another tomorrow… who knows how it will all pan out. I’ve got some exciting work things coming up and there will be plenty of kiddie photographing opportunities. I might even manage a joint selfie with Son No 1 hugging me at some point. Overly hopeful? You just never know…
Let’s hope the sun does it’s thing as often as possible – by that I mean shines through because this grey week has been most disappointing!
Something very strange indeed is happening in my world. It’s most perplexing and disorientating, I can tell you. Try as I might I can’t quite get to the bottom of it, although in one real and certain sense ‘to the bottom of it’ I have without any doubt arrived.
You see, I have washed everything in my laundry basket. Yes, everything! And now, for the first time in I do not know how long, it stands empty in my bedroom waiting (neither patiently nor impatiently for it is just a basket) to be overflowing again. I do not recall when last that was the case!
How did this happen? I have absolutely no idea, other than I know I must surely have washed everything in it. Not only have I washed it all, I have put most of the clean laundry away too. Which is even stranger. No more scrabbling through piles of clothes to find a pair of matching socks in the morning – well, for a day or two at least.
I can only think it must have something to do with the very tangible state of transition we are in the middle of. My friend swears its something to do with Jupiter being in conjunction with Venus. I think that’s a load of twoddle myself, but certainly – so, so much is changing at the moment, or about to change, and what that seems to mean for me, other than lots of clean laundry, is a great deal of emotional weeping on my part…
Son No 1 is about to finish primary school. I went to his Yr. 6 final production the other night. I did, I’m pleased to say, manage to stop myself from just lying down on the floor in front of the stage and howling extremely loudly. I could not quite believe that all those little people, most of whom I taught drama to for a few weeks when they were in reception, were all so terribly grown-up already, not quite the maniacal mini apes they once seemed. I must add that that experience 7 years ago elicited in me an overwhelming and immense respect for the real teachers of those little, terribly cute but barely human, and somewhat maniacal, hairless chimps. The other night though, I felt so proud of them all. And of course, proud most of all of my own crazy, beautiful, intelligent and belligerent Son No 1. Even as I type my eyes well up. He’s about to embark on a whole new chapter in his life and despite the fact he drives me truly, absolutely spare I am so proud of how he seems to be navigating this huge transition in his life.
Then there was Son No 2’s end of term assembly. Son No 2, whom I think has always been a little overwhelmed by his older brother, hiding in or rather hidden by his shadow, gives me the impression he feels able to venture out of it, perhaps because said older brother is heading off and leaving some space for No 2 to find his light. For the first time he had several lines in the play, which he was very chuffed with. I loved that he looked at me every time he spoke, proudly showing off his newfound and growing confidence. There I was sitting on a plastic school chair in the upstairs hall, in maternal tears again, and the wonderful Mrs.B, who had been at the Yr.6 play as well smiled sympathetically at me – honestly, Mrs. B, I never used to be this emotional. I don’t know what’s come over me!
I don’t actually have time to get teary over Son No 3. I’m too busy trying to keep up with him. He too is heading for a major change having just finished at his nursery school. “I’m on my summer holidays now” he routinely boasts to his brothers, who aren’t yet. But in September he will go to big boys school and jolly excited about it he is too, although I’m not sure he will be quite so enamoured by the full days once he realises what that actually entails. I’m also hoping that his obsessive Spiderman-costume-wearing phase will be over by then because it’s going to be quite trying tearing it off him every morning to get him in a school uniform if not. Not that there will be anything left of it by then. He currently wears nothing else so it’s very quickly disintegrating, made as it is of cheap nylon.
I guess that might be one reason I have managed to get through all the washing. His refusal to wear anything else certainly means there is less laundry being generated.
Summer must have something to do with it as well. We all wear less and I’m loving the weather we’re having. It makes me ride my bike more and even though my mother told me I look weird with my pre-Raphaelite curls and a safety helmet that looks like something from Star Wars (I did have it on backwards at the time and I’m sure it did look weird and so probably did all the people who smiled at me that morning) I don’t really care about how I look on it. Goodness, Spiderman sits behind me in his bike chair pulling up my shirt, showing off my greying underwear to the world and I tend to have my skirt hoiked in my knickers. What difference does a weird headdress make? The photo at the top of the page was taken one of my lovely evening bike rides last week (thanks mother for making that possible) where I think I managed to get the helmet on the right way round.
Is my laundry boon simply down to summer or is there something else going on here, I wonder? You see, I too am on the brink of a new stage and feel I have a little more space for now (in my head at least) but maybe that also means a little more time. Son No 3 is now most definitely no longer a baby and I’ve never got to this point with a small person and not had another on the way. I have also come to the end of the module I was studying, well, apart from some reading I need to get sorted before embarking on the next. All of which is a good thing because more work is coming in and by September I hope to have signed up for another module which is, I think, going to be quite hard – I nearly changed my mind about it when I looked properly at the course work because I’m really setting myself quite a challenge if I go that route. Yikes!
Whatever the cause for my sudden, unexpected, and terribly weird laundry miracle, which I don’t for a minute pretend to understand, as we stand on the threshold of the new, getting ready for the next era we’re all about to embark on, at least I know we all smell good and clean and fresh* as we go!
*Any South Africans my age – do please feel free to add the “♪tra ♪la ♪la” you won’t be able to stop yourself from hearing at the end of that phrase!