Saturday, November 29, 2008

I really liked these shoes! aren't they cute? And unusual...

It's gone really cold and foggy here. Perversly I like it; I like cold winter days. I hate mild, damp winters - give me some frost to get the blood circulating a bit!

It also makes me appreciate a cosy sitting room with candles lit and a fat cat purring on my knee more than ever :)

Hope everyone is warm and safe this weekend!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Luck x 3?

Well, today we heard more news on the library closures - the latest thing is that those of us in libraries which are not likely to close will also "lose" our jobs - all staff remaining who do not take either voluntary redundancy or early retirement will have to apply for the posts at the libraries which are staying open.

I can clearly see how this is the fairest way to deal with the situation. On a personal level i'm finding it very hard to think of my team at West Kirby being broken up and scattered and the very real possibility that I'll have to leave the library I've worked so hard in for 16 years. At least we no longer have to feel "survivor guilt" as we're in a similar boat to our colleagues whose libraries are closing altogether!

The hardest thing today has been members of the public coming in and saying "well, you lot here are all ok then!" and then having to explain that no, we probably AREN'T ok!

I'm trying to keep it in mind that our situation could be a lot worse; we have at least a fighting chance of emerging with some job, albeit at a lower grade, with different hours and in a different place . But I was happy the way things were!

What a difference a year makes! Last Christmas thoughts of the financial crisis, recession, house repossession and redundancy were far away. We didn't know how lucky we were - isn't that often the way??

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sparkle heels...

Some things, like chocolate and shoes, always make me feel better.

Well, today there is good news and bad news. The good news is the computer is ok. Apparently I must have kicked it (not intentionally!!) and knocked the fan off its mounting; so it overheated and shut itself off. Phil has restored it and the edits are ok.

The bad news came from our urgent library meeting this morning. I'm a pessimist who always expects the worst but this was worse than I had expected. Twelve libraries are to be shut. That's half. I'm in shock.

West Kirby (my branch) is one of five "key libraries" set to stay open and possibly get done up a bit. Seven other libraries will remain as part of multi-function buildings. But 12 are to go - 12 libraries which are the pride and joy of their staff and cherished by their communities. Our own satellite library at Hoylake is to go.

Today at the meeting i saw people I'd worked with for years break down and cry. Not so much for the loss of their own jobs but for the loss of a place they'd devoted (in many cases) years to.

There is the hope that as we are carrying many vacancies and have many staff who may be willing to consider early retirement or voluntary redundancy actual job losses will be minimal. I know that across the world many people are losing their jobs and often in more brutal and shocking ways. But when you see the reality of it in the faces of your colleagues it all becomes very personal and very real.

Thanks to everyone for their kind comments. They are so much appreciated!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm not feeling very cheerful or positive lately and haven't felt much like posting. I seem to have problems in several areas of my life and I have so many worries rushing round in my head right now that I don't seem able to sleep or think coherantly. I'm sure things will improve with time.

Tomorrow i have to attend an urgent meeting re. the libraries. It's not looking good.

UPDATE: after doing over two hours of editing this afternoon on the wedding photos the computer died. I was very close to having the wedding pictures done. The pics are safe; backed up on the laptop and memory cards not deleted yet but. But all the work we've done on them over the past week could be lost...well, they say troubles never come singly, don't they?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My lovely blog friend Dianne gave me this award! Thank you so much :)

I like shoes a lot. I also like to take photos of shoes! With this pair, I liked the contrast of the shoes against the white paving and the chair legs and how their outline is softened by the black chiffon.

It's gone a bit chilly here. I have been trying to edit photos but my mouse hand is freezing off so I'm going down stairs to thaw out a bit!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thank you Susan for this kind award! Much appreciated!

I took the photo below during our week in the lakes. I seem to be be battling the clock these days as i never have enough time to do all the things i need to do!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A while back I entered a competition on Marianne's blog.

She showed us a picture of something and asked us to guess what it was. I'm a low, coarse type of person so my guess was navel fluff!! Needless to say I was incorrect but the lovely and talented M was kind enough to give me a prize for making her laugh!!

We were away for the weekend at a wedding shoot in Lincoln but when I arrived home I found a parcel. Inside, beautifully wrapped, was a card and these glorious SOCKS, made by Marianne plus some delicious chocolate and all so beautifully presented. I was chuffed to bits and THANK YOU SO MUCH, Marianne, I've lusted after a pair of your fab socks for ages and now i have some :)

The weekend was fun but tiring! We drove over to Lincoln on the Friday. I really enjoyed the new scenery and we chatted the entire time. we parked near the wonderful cathedral and bought sandwiches for lunch before heading out to Branston Hall (wedding venue). The light was perfect for taking photos of the grounds and the hall and we saw one of the most spectacular sunsets EVER. That evening after checking in to our B&B we walked into Lincoln and had a delicious Thai meal. It was lovely; just like a date!

The wedding was in some ways a real challenge but the people were great and we coped; we're working better as a team all the time I think. I am just praying the bride likes her photos. We had more groups to do this time which left less time for reportage and there were lighting issues in the hall itself but fingers crossed the pictures will be ok. It's my biggest fear - letting down the couple on their big day.

Now we have 1000 images to edit in the next two weeks!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wheely, wheely old...

I'm feeling a bit old and rusty like this wheel after a really busy few days at work! Tomorrow Phil and I are driving over to Lincoln. On Saturday we are photographing a wedding there and I'm in my usual state of pre-wedding-shoot terror!

Last night A and I drove to Leeds to see some potential clients. They have booked which is great. I have two bookings now with A next year, one booking as a a second photographer with A and one booking from my own website. I hope to get some more if the recession doesn't put p
people off getting married!!

Work has been incredibly busy too and I'm exhausted. I hope to perk up before Saturday; it's an eleven hour day on my feet!

Wish me luck - I'll need it!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

We are very excited because last weekend we had an enquiry via our website from a couple interested in meeting us to discuss photographing their wedding next September. We met with them this morning, showed them some of our work and had a long chat. While we were out this afternoon they phoned and left a message saying they would like to book us :) We are both so thrilled. The wedding is in a beautiful location and it's close to home!

The above photo was taken at a wedding I photographed with A on the Friday before our holiday. I love the graceful line of her bouquet and arm.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


"That dress" by Brian Patten

That dress won’t stop you growing older, no matter how you wear it –
Nor will this baggy shirt I wear disguise any more
A stomach growing fatter by the hour.
Now that we no longer have Time’s currency to squander,
Let’s get used to the raw material we are,
Let’s celebrate this far harder adventure
And stop carrying about the dead weight of Ago.
That dress, this shirt; we place them over chairs in rooms
Beside beds that set sail each night without expectation,
With us the crew, held together by love and by the faith
That we are buoyant enough to see any darkness through.

Had a wonderful time today in the company of the amazing poets, Brian Patten and Roger McGough, both giving readings as part of a Liverpool literary festival. I dedicate both these poems to Phil - the first he has never heard, the second is one of his favourites!

PAY-BACK TIME by Roger McGough

O Lord, let me be a burden on my children
For long they've been a burden upon me.
May they fetch and carry, clean and scrub
And do so cheerfully.

Let them take it in turns at putting me up
Nice sunny rooms at the top of the stairs
With a walk-in bath and lift installed
At great expense.....Theirs.

Insurance against the body-blows of time
Isn't that what having children's all about?
To bring them up knowing that they owe you
And can't contract out?

What is money for but to spend on their schooling?
Designer clothes, mindless hobbies, usual stuff.
Then as soon as they're earning, off they go
Well, enough's enough.

It's been a blessing watching them develop
The parental pride we felt as each one grew.
But Lord, let me be a burden on my children
And on my children's children too.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Keswick launch..

Many of the roads in the Lake District are extremely narrow and you frequently have to reverse into "passing places" to enable other vehicles to pass you - or vice versa. I was struck this week by the different way people behave at these times. Some pass by stony faced, eyes straight ahead, not acknowledging your existance. Others look stern but raise a courteous hand. Some look positively annoyed and angry as they squeeze past, glaring or frowning. And some people give you a smile, a wave, a mouthed "thank you!"

One car had to reverse quite some distance down a narrow twisty lane in order for us to pass; we felt really sorry for him. As we drew level we looked towards him to be met with big beaming smiles and friendly waves from both him and his lady companion. We all smiled and waved back and drove on, feeling cheered by the exchange.

These passing places are like life; some of the folk you meet in a tight spot leave you feeling upset, somehow guilty, awkward and uncomfortable. Some evoke a flare of anger in response to their aggresive and unhelpful attitude. And some, like that last driver, brighten your day and make you feel warmth and affection for your fellow man. How sweet it is to exchange smiles and waves with a total stranger!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Photographer at work...Phil & sheep in Buttermere

We had a wonderful holiday in the Lake District. The weather was appalling on the Saturday we travelled up with high winds and torrential rain. But the rest of the week was pretty good, with a mixture of sunshine and the occasional shower. We even saw some snow on the hilltops. It went quite chilly and we were grateful for our warm apartment.
Mad photographer at work - Phil in a high gale by Wastwater!
On our last full day, I suggested we drive to Wasdale to take a look at Wastwater which is England's deepest lake. With its steep scree slopes sloping down to icy blue water it's one of the most beautiful lakes, yet also the most forbidding. It was a day of dramatic light and very high winds and clouds chasing themselves across the sky. I took this photo of Phil with his tripod, barely able to stay upright against the gale.

The view through the valley.

We had such a great time it was hard to come home although we'd missed the cats and it was good to be reunited with them. I have missed reading all your blogs but think I've got caught up on what everyone has been up to while I've been away!