Sunday, May 31, 2009

On 5th Avenue
There is always the fear when I go back to NYC that I won't like it any more. On our first trip I was really nervous, as Phil doesn't like cities much and it was MY life-long dream to visit New York. The drive from the airport was NOT inspiring and even when we reached Manhattan, it seemed hot, dirty and over-crowded. I had this awful feeling is disillusionment. Suddenly Phil nudged me and pointed. I craned my neck and saw the Chrysler Building gleaming silver against a blue sky and that was it - I was in love.

Subsequent visits to the city have only deepened my love and affection for the place. Yes, it is dirty and hot (or at least it always has been on our visits) and hugely crowded; it is always in a state of flux with construction going on constantly; parts of it are tacky while others classically beautiful - I don't know why, I just love it all and I feel so at home there.

One of my favourite things in the city is the subway. I will miss the subway. It's clean, safe and efficient and the best place for people watching..... and so cheap, too! I love the blasts of hot air that swirl around the underground caverns, the battered wooden seating, the mosaics in the tiled walls.

Today's photo was taken on 5th Avenue on our first day (last Saturday). We'd taken the subway to Greenwich Village and then walked back up 5th Avenue to Central Park.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy Birthday to Kate!

Kate is 16 today. Here is a photo of her in Grand Central Station, New York. One of my favourite places and it was such a joy to share it with Kate and Sian.

Thank you, Kate, for being such a wonderful blessing in my life for 16 years! I love you very much.

Friday, May 22, 2009

This was forwarded to me today and I really liked it. Tomorrow we are off to NYC and I'm really hoping to meet a very special blog friend while I'm there!

Philosophy of Relationships

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Top of the class!

I am very pleased to report that Sian got top marks in her French exam! She's very chuffed with herself and I am very proud of her! This photo was taken at the U-Boat Exhibit at Woodside and the strange background is a plan of the u-boat. I'm kicking myself for not using a bit of fill in flash on this pic..

What a day! Work was pretty busy and since I got home I made a cake and cut the lawn and did some other gardening as well as ironing, dish washing and general tidying. I have so much to do before New York and am not at all sure how I'm going to get through it all. My bloody arm is aching like crazy (don't think it liked me using the lawnmower or the strimmer!) and stupidly I forgot to get my new prescription filled. At least the doctor did not fob me off with "it's probably a virus" or "are you depressed?" He has suggested I try new anti-inflammatories for a month and see how things go! Hurray! About twelve years since I first went to a doctor with joint pains and this is the very first time I've been offered any actual treatment.

I am so excited to see my veggies are growing! Tonight I planted a few spring onions. The first crop of salad leaves are almost ready to cut :) I can't wait to see the runner beans climb up my carefully constructed bamboo teepee!

I am going to meet the couple whose wedding I'm photographing on June 6th tomorrow night. I hope they like me.

I am quite looking forward to the plane journey to NYC as I get to sit and relax for seven hours which will be quite a treat. We have made an Excel spreadsheet (geeky, hey?) of places to go/things to do/times and days to do them on. It will be weird flying into Newark as we've always come via JFK before. I am so excited to be returning to New York. Right from my very first visit, it's felt like home, maybe because it reminds me a lot of Liverpool. It's the first time I'll be looking at it through my camera lens, however.

One of my favourite memories of New York is from my last visit. We were staying in an apartment on MAdison Avenue. On our last morning we emerged to find a seven-foot tall blue inflatable gorrilla tethered just outside the entrance. There was nothing to indicate why it was there. The street was crowded with people heading off to work. What made me laugh was that non of the commuters even glanced at the gorilla as they hurried past. It was as if seven foot plastic gorrillas on the sidewalk were nothing unusual for them, or they were just too cool to acknowledge it!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bluebell woods

The weather we've had this spring has produced a really great display of bluebells and the other day Phil and I went to a renowned bluebell wood for a walk. There is an art to great bluebell photography which i don't really understand but I did take a couple of snaps to remind me of the lovely time we had.

I have been through a real low spell but am emerging again, thank God. I have to keep telling myself that when things are bad, those awful feelings will pass eventually.

I know Phil finds my negativity hard to live with! I always think the worst and I expect it's a protective measure so I don't get disappointed!

Hopefully, this time next week we'll be in a plane heading for NYC. I'm really looking forward to seeing my favourite city again and showing it to the girls. We are staying in a new location, at the Hotel Beacon in the Upper West Side. This will be our longest stay ever in the Big Apple. I can't wait!

So much to do this week, both at home and at work before we go.

We tried a new print lab this week, we are pleased with the results. Phil got one of my fave pics from the last wedding done, it looked lovely. I am so lucky to be able to do wedding photography. It's an incredible experience.

My bloody elbow is still crippling me so i'd better get off the computer...

Monday, May 11, 2009

"I'm lovin' it"

We went to Liverpool on 2nd May to celebrate Phil's birthday; walking along a street near Exchange flags Phil and I suddenly noticed this very determined seagull with his MacDonald's bag. He kept pausing to try to get inside it and shortly after this photo was taken he managed to get the fries to spill out and he started tucking in! Maybe he could replace that awful clown Ronald as the face of MacDonald's, I think he has much more charisma.

I'm a very fed up person today as I've just been screamed at by one of my (not immediate) neighbours. My crime was to have the huge hawethorn hedge in my back garden trimmed. Apparently I have cut down all the little birds' nests! This was screamed at me out of a bedroom window, along with "I'm ringing the RSPB". In my defence I'd like to say that only around 3 feet of long straggling growth was removed from the top of my VERY TALL hedge and one end has been allowed to grow to tree height, I can see clearly into the top of my hedge from my bedroom window and the birds never nest at the top but somewhat lower down in the really thick growth that is STILL THERE! The man who trims my hedge told me if he saw a nest he would stop cutting at once.

I feel like I can't win. I have been told by other neighbours that I should get rid of the hedge and replace it with a neat fence. Last time I had it trimmed some other people got angry because a few clippings had fallen into their garden unbeknownst to me and instead of letting me know in a reasonable way I was shrieked at and the clippings hurled over into my garden! One of the reasons I keep my hedge is I know it's important for the local bird life.

Why do people behave like this? In our road we have dogs barking first thing in the morning and last thing at night, security lights that flood our bedrooms with light bright enough to read by whenever a prowling cat or fox sets them off, car parking that is inconvenient to say the least - but I don't go round screaming at people because I believe that minor inconveniences are not worth falling out with people about. If something does really annoy me I'll go and have a quiet word.

We do our best to be considerate and tolerant people. I'm starting to think we are in the minority. Lately it seems that so many people are always on the brink of anger. Their first impulse is to go for the (metaphorical) jugular! i see this a lot at work and I work in a library, for heaven's sake - what must it be like to be a social worker, ER nurse etc?

So this beautiful, sunny morning has been wrecked for me; I've had horrible, sick, churning feelings in my stomach because I hate confrontations and I'll admit it, I HATE being yelled at. I don't want to see this person again but it's a neighbour; unless I stop going out I'm bound to bump into them.

I found this link on a friend's blog and it went a long way towards rescuing me from conflict-induced gloom! It's a beautiful song/video, I urge anyone who reads this to take a look.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

We have been working really hard on the new website for Julie Mann Photography,
adding more images and creating slideshows in the individual galleries - Phil has been such a star over this. Please have a look if you get the chance as I'd welcome any feedback.

Now that I know A & V liked their photos I can enjoy editing them at my leisure. I've just had a quick look throughsome now and saw this candid shot which I grabbed as V was about to go downstairs. I love veils; they seem to be coming back into vogue for brides again and I'm all in favour as they make for such romantic images.

I am so obsessed with wedding photography; it dominates everything! I just hope potential clients are attracted by the new website. Apparently Cheshire and London are the two areas in the UK with the highest number of wedding photographers - worst luck! So much competition...

i'm out tonight with an old friend and I'm really looking forward to seeing her. It's been too long..

I now have TWO sore fingers; I was out in the garden on Monday afternoon, in the rain, trying to construct a teepee out of bamboo canes for my runner beans and I got a huge splinter in my left index finger - how clumsy am I??? It was such a pointless exercise as my beans are at least three weeks away from braving the great outdoors and I only had five canes when I need six..just one of my stupid impulses!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

I'm in severe pain, from...a broken fingernail! Yes, it's true. Today while trying to undo a stiff bridle, I ripped off over half of my right index finger nail. It poured with blood and made me feel sick! Even now, covered with two plasters, it's throbbing like crazy. i never realised how important this digit was in every day life until now!

Apart from that we've had a nice weekend. Phil's mum is out of hospital and recovering well at home. Phil enjoyed his birthday on Saturday, I think, we went to the U-Boat exhibit at Woodside and then for a trip on the Mersey Ferries. A brief stop in Liverpool at Pret a Manger was enlivened by a fire alarm which necessitated an evacuation of the building and the arrival of some nice firemen! Why DO I like firemen so much? i think it's the whole idea of being rescued that does it!

It seems as if the swine flu crisis has peaked in Mexico. I'm still concerned. Apparently the 1918 flu pandemic also started with a mild outbreak in the spring, only to return with devestating effect in the autumn. I want this not to happen again!