Thursday, September 24, 2015

home for hogmanay #2

La Nageuse by Sabrina Arnault

 Lengths swum this week: 64
Target total this week: 170
Total lengths swum: 174 (4 ahead of target)

Squeezed in the only swim of the week at the eleventh hour.  So pleased to have managed to stay on track.  Phew!  Going to aim for two swims next week.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

home for hogmanay #1

(I can't find the source for this image, sorry.)

Lengths swum this week: 110
Target total this week: 85
Total lengths swum: 110 (25 ahead of target)

I was pleased to discover my fitness levels hadn't dropped too much.  Still got it! :)

Monday, September 14, 2015

dipping my toe in the water

Selected cover illustrations for Book Travelers, a monthly litereture magazine. Client: Kadokawa 文芸雑誌『本の旅人』表紙/角川書店:  
Image by Tatsuro Kiuchi

I'm going to the pool tonight, for the first time in ages, to begin my next swimming challenge.  I'm aiming to swim the equivalent of the Channel (again) by the end of the year, i.e. in a little over three months, which works out at 85 lengths a week.  That seems about right, I think, though I hope I haven't lost too much of my swimming mojo during my two months on dry land...

My weeks are running Friday - Thursday (that way I have right up until the 31st of December, should I need it) and I'll post weekly updates on a Thursday, so the results will be hot off the press!  Failing to come up with an alliterative title involving the word Thursday, I think I'm going to call this challenge Home For Hogmanay, but do let me know if you have any better ideas :)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

inside the mind of an evil creative genius

 I thought I'd share some of Dulcie's best and brightest creations of late.  This first image is her drawing of a lady with a baby in her tummy.

 This is a scene from The Wizard Of Oz - Dorothy and the cyclone.  (My mum added Toto!)

It's funny because a lot of the time (most of the time) her drawings are still just scribbles then once in a while, for no apparent reason, she produces a picture that actually looks like something.  I think these are really good.

 This is the card she made recently for her cousin Kim's 10th birthday.  I cut the face out of a magazine and then let her go wild with Pritt Stick and various sparkles and doo-dahs.  I love the result, though I'll admit it is kind of scary.  Dulcie was very proud to hand it over :)
And here's the girl herself in the outfit she chose to wear this weekend.  She was adamant she wanted to wear the hat and mittens but did surrender them eventually, once she had almost been baked alive as everyone else wandered around in shorts and vests.

Not too shabby for a three-year-old, huh?  Creative genius in the making, I'm telling you!

Monday, September 7, 2015

best day of our lives :)

 Another long absence from the blog, but during that time I became a married lady.  Yes, we totally did it!  And yes, it was totally awesome!

Graham's friend Daryl volunteered himself as wedding photographer and did an amazing job, as you can see.  Here are a few photos from the ceremony, which we held in Jaconelli's cafe. 
 Look at our beautiful flower girl :)  Dulcie did such a good job and had great fun at the party afterwards.
 The registrar who carried out the ceremony was lovely and really delighted by our choice of venue.  We even have photos of him enjoying an ice cream cone before we arrived!
 You can see the cafe staff watching proceedings from the kitchen here.
 Two of our friends did a really wonderful job with the readings we asked them to do.  This was the moment we realised Daniel was delivering his John Cooper Clark poem in a Mancunian accent, dark glasses and crazy black wig.  He was a tough act for my dear friend Katharine to follow, but she handled it perfectly.
 I don't know what prompted this facial expression from me, but I like it.  I think it might have been an attempt at reassurance?  See, I'm a total natural at this wife business!
 Exchanging of the rings...
 ...and kissing with permission.  We actually kissed without permission earlier in the ceremony.  Total rebels!  Ha!
 Here we are with James, the owner of the cafe and everyone's new favourite person.  When we first asked James, rather nervously, if we could use his cafe as a wedding venue, he said yes without any hesitation and ended up probably just as excited as us about the whole thing.  He's one of life's positive and generous types, happy to welcome anyone who loves his cafe half as much as he does.  Honestly, our day wouldn't have been half so special if he hadn't played the part he did.
 After the ceremony, we joined our guests for prosecco and hot rolls (tattie scone for me, sausage for Graham, bacon for Dulcie, should you wish to know) followed by Jaconelli's famous and delicious ice cream.  The two waitresses were fantastic, really entered into the spirit of the day and looked after all our guests so well.
 James gave us free rein with the window displays.  We made these giant, glittery hearts with our faces in them (there was a wee one of Dulcie on the door too) and surrounded them with tissue paper pom poms - completely daft and over-the-top but they went down well.
 I think this is the only ceremony picture where Dulcie managed a smile.  Thank you to whichever genius blew bubbles at that precise moment!
And here are the ice cream cone bouquets that Dulcie and I carried.  The florist actually forgot to make them, as I discovered 90 minutes before the start of the ceremony, standing in the florist's still in my pyjamas and with unwashed hair!  Slightly stressful, but they cobbled these beauties together in 10 minutes and gave us them free of charge, so it all turned out OK in the end.  Honestly, the last-minute jobs in the morning (and we were wed at 11.30 so the morning was rushed enough as it was) all went so awry that I felt as though I was in a wedding episode of Neighbours from the early '90s.  Remember Dr Clive, the broken arm and the gorilla suit?  But it made for good chat later and from the moment we set foot in Jaconelli's, everything was perfect, better than we'd even imagined it could be.

I'll probably share some more photos soon.  The post-ceremony party we hosted in our flat was pretty eventful too (not sure we got any photos of the late-night singalong, mind you...) and all my handmade decorations turned out really well and made me very happy.  I'm still surrounded by them now, in fact.  I might just leave them up for Christmas :)  And then there were a few days of relaxation on honeymoon followed by a few days of fun family time (and eating of leftovers!) with Dulcie.  I'm only 10 days in, but so far, married life is awesome!  Yay!