Sunday, 21 September 2014

Dear Scotland

If it's any consolation I'm so happy you stayed. I'm an eighth Scot. Married to a Scot. Have fond memories of visiting my Great Grandma in Scotland. More good times were had shopping in Edinburgh. And just in general when I say "I'm British" a whole part of me is referring to you. I'm not thinking economically. I'm not thinking politically. I'm not thinking historically past my own timeline. 

I'm just thinking about me. I am British. You are Britain. Therefore I am a bit of you. So thanks for staying. 

Partially, though not insignificantly, yours

Charlie :)

Rather topically, here are a few of my snaps from Loch Lomond last week... Beautiful BEAUTIFUL Scotland...





























Friday, 19 September 2014

I'M ALIVE!

I think that was my biggest blogging gap ever! HELLO! HOW ARE YOU?!

Apologies for the absence, we escaped up to a Scottish Loch for a wee break and were entirely logged off for the entire time on account of it being soooo remote we didn't even have a phone signal! But I'm BACK! About 2 stone heavier from too much good eating and drinking, totally pumped about to restart work on my new photography website, inspired after reading Caitlin Moran's "How to be a Woman" and totally buzzing to blog... Maybe even thinking some bigger blog changing ideas to tie in with my new website... Thinking about a Wordpress move... Experiences? Good links with tips? Throw them at me please! :D

Be back in a day or two with a MILLION pictures of moody Lochs under cloudy skies... :) 


Saturday, 6 September 2014

Butterflies...

Happy back to school everyone! Did you survive? Celebrate? Weep?

On my first trip back to preschool with Euna I passed the school and all the parents coming out from drop off. Storming out ahead were a few suited up parents, marching, smart phones in hand, checking emails, on a mission to get to work because they'd already pushed their luck to see theirs off on the first day back. Then there were the groups of work-from-home and stay-at-home and part time worker mums who had a little more time to kill at that time of the morning. Huddled in groups. Somedays they scare me, because I have a few friends who struggle with the school-mum politics and I think how much I'm not looking forward to that drama. This week though they amused me... Walking past a spectrum of conversations...

"...and he just screamed 'YOU'RE NOT CUTTING MY HAIR!!! IT'S MIIIINE!!' and I just wanted to die. He's two? Since when does he care..."

"I told him it was a waste of money. I told him even if we could fit it in, we wouldn't use it. I told him  all this and..."

"...I for one am so worried about her."

"The things that man can do with a person sat on a chair!!"


Hilarious. Happy new year pupils and educators! Enjoy some butterflies a la Jimmy's Farm on me...  
















Sunday, 31 August 2014

Sunday Strolling...

These are from last Sunday... Our local church allowed access to their tower. For a suggested donation of £2 you could grab a cup of tea, peruse some hand knits and climb a fairly hairy series of ladders up past the bells and on to the tower! You could see from Clacton to Mersea Island to Bradwell power station!

Funny the little gems that sit on your doorstep...












Thursday, 28 August 2014

Love, Enjoyment & Appreciation

Do you know what's really hard about parenting (for me)? Specifically the part of parenting that relates to the fact that there are no part time parenting roles... What's really hard is getting love, enjoyment and appreciated jumbled up in your head. When they wee all over your new top and now you have to change yourself and them, sponge the carpet, anti-bac the changing mat and keep your s&*$ at that crucial moment when you've got all three hands full and your toddler is about to pick up their own poo out of the potty to show you they're a BIG GIRL NOW... When those things happen and it feels like the planets are aligning to destroy your plans to get to the supermarket (which you didn't even want to go to ANYWAY!) and you think "right now... I bloody hate this..." 

That is you not enjoying parenting. You're not enjoying it because it's hard and it got on top of you and maybe you wanted to be better than overwhelmed in that scenario... Because ya know... So many of us are unhealthily unrealistic in our expectations of our parenting.

What it is not? It is not you not loving your baby. And it is not you being unappreciative of the miracle that is your child. 

It's you being a human being in a rubbish situation and thinking "this is rubbish". So often I don't allow myself that logic. So often I think how I'm a terrible mother because I don't like parenting right now and maybe that's the same as me not loving them right or maybe it's the same as me not getting that I am so divinely lucky to be so blessed with two beautiful children. 

And "terrible mother"! What's the overuse of that phrase all about? I'd like a pound for every time I hear at a coffee morning. "You're going to think I'm a terrible mother when you see what snack he's got..." "I was a terrible mother the other day..." "... so I just wiped the poo with my sleeve and carried on eating, I'm such a terrible mother!" etc. Have we got so desensitised to the concept of being a "terrible mother" with all our self-preservation speak that we really are so ready to think we can be terrible mothers?

Maybe it's more second time mum confidence speaking? But I'm doing one reflecting on Bow's babyhood at the moment and I realise he's had some hard phases. Most notably the 6 week period when he was 5-6 months old where he wouldn't be put down. At all. And that was hard. It was not an enjoyable time in my parenting "career". Did I love him less? No. Not for a second. Did I appreciate my son any less? No. Not for a second.

So keep them separate. My lesson this week. Which I'll have to learn again next week... 
















Monday, 25 August 2014

Beach Maternity Shoot Part 2

So I post a couple of my beach maternity shoot pics in my last post... And I'm so chuffed with them I thought I'd post a few more! 

I must admit I think about being pregnant at least once a day and it's only a happy thought because I know we will try again at least one more (all being well)... But I'm not quite sure how I'll feel when I know I won't be doing it again! I really really hope that this feeling of being "done" comes to me, I can't imagine it as I am now.

For now, here's one lovely lady who doesn't have to think about that...



















Saturday, 23 August 2014

Feeling Some Work Confidence...

Happy bank holiday everyone! How are you spending it?

Summer is past the half way point and I'm hearing the odd murmur from people who are ready for Autumn. I'm not there yet... Pimms hasn't lost it's novelty yet and I feel like we should have at least one more paddling pool day and a beach trip left before I can sign off on summer. 

Work is busy and I think I'm coming out of that really vulnerable phase you have whenever you start something new. I can feel myself much more comfortable in my skin on shoots. I've slowed down, I stop, assess what I'm doing and actually say if something's not working. Most surprisingly I don't feel like a complete farce when I turn up to a shoot and tell someone "I'm the photographer". Still not calling myself "a photographer" which feels different and still rather ludicrous but this time next year maybe...

Speaking of work... Some maternity snaps on Frinton sea front I am totally adoring...





Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Nature. But I'll Book a Swim Class Just in Case...

I've been thinking about milestones recently. And I'm going to admit... It really messes with your head when they're not ahead on them! For 99% of the time you have a logical head on. It's fine. All children are different. You're (almost) certain it means nothing. But just every so often a thought or two pops in to your head. Someone else was already doing this by now. Is there something else I should be doing? 

Ah! Mummy-guilt! We meet again! It's been a while because I'm a laid back second timer... (ahem) 

 And I have to say this time it really got me. Mummy-guilt of the omg-I-haven't-done-nearly-as-many -things-with-my-second-born variety. Because I haven't. Because some days I feel like I could literally just do all the essential childcare-y tasks, you know the stuff that keeps them alive like feeding, watering and clothing, and have almost ZERO time left over. I have to make time all the time. Time never just happens. If I allowed it I would never come to a point in my day where I thought "hey, now I've got some time". If I ever get close to that point there's always a dishwasher to unload or a wash load to hang up. 

Not that I think there's a baby group on earth that would have my boy crawling by now. But it would be nice to know I had done my bit. Nice to know we're putting in some Bow time. So we've booked Sunday swimming lessons and making plans for Euna's preschool mornings come September. 

Also the health visitor popped by of this 9-12 month check and reassured my quivering bottom lip that was out in full force whilst I asked her if he was "too late" in a few things... Grip = got. This week I'm taking some pressure off myself and siding with nature over nurture on the great child development debate. 

Some MORE Mersea snaps... We are practically LIVING here this summer! 







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