Friday, May 29

My Baby Boy...

Awwww, my baby boy is 19 years old today. Happy birthday son!!

Wow, where did the years go? He has grown from a very, how can I put this? erm... demanding, vociferous and dare I say.. naughty.. child into a very conscienscious, caring, hard working man.

I'm sure if when he was a toddler I had taken further action, he would have been labled as ADHD. He was a bundle of fury and threw the biggest temper tantrums in the world ever over the smallest incident. Now I have had 3 kids and have worked with many many kids over the years in my childcare working days, and I have never seen a kid like him. My mum used to call him Satan. He wasn't naughty for the sake of being naughty, he struggled to control his temper and would flare up with frustration at the slightest thing. My mum always said, it's a good job that I am such a patient person, as she doesn't know how else he would have survived.

That is all behind us now, and thankfully only a memory. He is a tall, handsome (of course I'm going to say that) lad, who since the age of about 9 hasn't given me any bother whatsoever. I don't think there are many parents that can say that of a 19 year old. He has been with his girlfriend almost 3 years and they are happy. There are no baby Russ's anywhere (well not that we know of), he's never been in trouble with the police, has never done drugs (he has asthma and just won't try them), he does drink sometimes, but I've only had to mop up after him once. He pays his rent on time, he has a full time job and is in the third year of his apprenticeship to become an Engineer, and only has 1 year left before he finishes his HNC in Engineering.

He is a lazy bugger when it comes to doing anything in the house, his bedroom is a pigsty crossed with a warzone full of pizza boxes, empty cans, dirty washing etc etc, I just don't go in there. I don't want anything to jump out and bite me. But if that is the only downside to my lad, I can cope with that.

And then there's his band... lead guitarist in a band that has gone through to the finals of Battle of the Bands locally. To actually see this once so shy, never draw attention to himself kid stood up there on stage rocking out and strutting his stuff was a very proud moment for me.

I love ya Russ.. and happy birthday xxx

Wednesday, May 20

Bit of a downer

Hmmm. (that was a thoughfull hmmm).

I seem to be on a bit of a downer. No external reason, it's all within me. The diet is going absolutely pants at the moment. I've been trying so hard and the weight just hasn't been shifting. I'll make a post on my slimming blog about it rather than waffle on here.

As I've mentioned before, I have really really got into motorsport photography. I absolutely love it! I've been posting my motorsport photographs on a forum (shh, not The Corner, but don't tell everyone) and they've been getting some good feedback. One of the problems with posting them on The Corner is that they're not very well received sadly. There are some stunning photographers on The Corner, but motorsport photographs are difficult to comment on I suppose, unless you're into it yourself. Technically it's very challenging, especially with sports like the superbikes where they are travelling at speeds of up to 200 mph. Motorsport shots aren't really aesthetically pleasing and one pretty much looks like another. I understand that, and that's why I found a motorsport forum. Why do I feel so guilty about posting to it? I haven't pledged my soul to The Corner and made a vow stating that I will never post to another forum, but geeze guilt is a strange thing.

Now I feel guilty at home too. I mentioned to Mark that the British Touring Cars are at Oulton Park the weekend after next and I'd like to go. His reply was... "I used to like watching motorsport racing until you became obsessed with it! I'm sick of seeing Oulton Park, we live there at the moment!" My reply was... "you don't HAVE to come". He said that he didn't like the alternative.. of watching Isabelle all day on his own. Oh gee, thanks very much! He's always been on about me finding something that interests me, to take my mind away from the hum-drum life and daily chores of being a housewife and mother, then when I do, it doesn't suit him. The thing with motorsport photography is that it doesn't even cost much. I have found a hobby that I LOVE and it costs very little... but because it means he either comes with me or has Isabelle at home while I go, it's not to his liking. Grrrrr! I can't win.

Anyway.... on a lighter note... At long last I have spotted 'Norman' our pond frog. I've not seen him for ages and ages, but yesterday, there he was, sitting on a little platform in the middle of our pond.

But better than that, Mrs frog was also there and a baby frog. yay!!

Baby frog however, wasn't too happy at being photographed and got himself into the most awkward (for me) position in the pond ever! I did manage to get a couple of shots of him in the end, one better than the other. But they are cute frogs (if you can call frogs cute).

Monday, May 18

Too busy to post

OK, so who stole time?

I have had so very little spare time this past three weeks that it's driving me insane. I seem to have a list as long as my arm of jobs to do. I have a list of things that I personally want to do, but never get around to them. My mum is constantly on my case about going to visit. It's a 3 hour drive each way and therefore has to be done over a full weekend. We haven't had a weekend free for the past month, and although next weekend is free (I'm certainly not tying that one up with visiting my mum) the following three weekends are all busy too.

Some of the things we're doing at the weekends are for our personal pleasure, but aren't we entitled to that?


The last three weekends have been quite pleasureable for me.. in fact, very pleasureable. We've been to watch motor-racing of some kind each weekend. First the British Superbikes (I LOVED this), last weekend was Northwich Thundersprint (more bikes) and then Saturday just gone, we went to Oulton Park to see the Vintage Sports Car racing. Of course, my camera came along to all three events. I loved photographing the Vintage Sports Cars. The youngest car there was from 1955!

Then yesterday, Mark ran the Chester Half Marathon. Rather than Isabelle and I hang around Chester Race Course for 2 hours or so, we decided to get there for about 11.00. Mark was hoping to run the half marathon in under 2 hours, so I thought if we got there for about 11.00 we'd be there in plenty of time as the race started at 9.30. It was absolutely belting it down with rain, I mean ... it was sideways and lashing down. We were soaked to the skin, despite coats and umberella's. Isabelle was so good though, she didn't complain (not like her). Mark came over the finish line with a time of 1 hour 56 minutes and 9 seconds! Well done Mark.. I'm so proud of you. All the runners were dripping wet, but smiling. The atmosphere was great. Mark was really pleased with himself as he didn't stop once, he ran the whole way. No walking, no stopping for breath.. he ran the entire 13 miles non stop. By mid afternoon the poor bugger could hardly walk LOL, but he did it.

He managed to raise £115 for The Batten's Disease Charity, but fingers crossed, he might get a few extra pounds now that he's completed it. Task 1 today is to email Georgie at The Batten's Disease Foundation and let her know the good news. She wants a photo and small write up for their news letter. Then I've got to email everyone that sponsored Mark to let them know he did it. That will probably take me up until it's time to go get Isabelle from Nursery, and then I have to go shopping, hoover and tidy up (yes it's THAT bad, it always is after the weekend!) The ironing pile is creeping up the wall, so that needs doing, then dinner, wash up, tidy up again, shower Isabelle and get her to bed.. etc etc.. oh, I've a couple of phone calls that have to be made, not personal ones even... Can someone lend me a few hours today please?

Wednesday, May 6


My new Clematis has burst into bloom in the garden. It's absolutely gorgeous and has such huge flowers on it. I couldn't help but go and photograph it. One minute I'm photographing fast bikes and the next, it's pretty flowers LOL.

Monday, May 4

Oh.. bike heaven!

I have been in heaven this weekend. On Saturday we went to the British Superbikes at Oulton Park. A combination of very fast motorbikes and photography! wayhey! What more could I ask for?

We decided to go to Oulton for the practice day rather than race day for two reasons. a) it was cheaper, and b) less people.

As we arrived at 10am we could hear the superbikes roaring around the track on the first of their practices. Isabelle was almost bouncing out of her skin with excitement in the back of the car. We've decided that she is a little petrol head, biker, rock chick. She loves rock music, Guns n' Roses being one of her favourites, she loves bikes, can name most parts of a bike, and helps Mark in the garage. If he asks for a 12 mil spanner, off she trots to the toolbox and finds the one with a number 12 on it. Same for a 10 mil spanner etc. oh, and the same with sockets. She knows her stuff. She loves to jump on the bike when Mark is driving it into the garage. So, at Oulton Park, she was sooo excited. She prefers bikes to cars. She looked a little devil in her bandana and ear 'dependers' as she calls them.... and as you can see from this photograph, she is very much a daddy's girl.

It was a day of wall to wall bikes, with the 125cc's, supersport 600's and the British Superbikes.. the big guns! I couldn't get over how busy the paddock and pits were. I've not been to a 'big' motorsport event before and was shocked at how big the hospitality suites were, and all the mechanics and re-tyre companies who were so busy they could barely keep up. I LOVED it and I want to do more and more motorsport photography. We're planning to go to the British Touring Cars at Oulton Park at the end of May. This isn't going to please my Mum, because she keeps nagging me about going over for a visit again and she wants us to go to her place the same weekend.

Then in July.. we are going to see the MotoGP at Donington. I think we're going on practice day because it's £18 entry, but race day it's £48. The advantage of going to a practice day is that you can actually get trackside without too many people vying for space. MotoGP is THE motorbike race .. it's the Formula 1 of bikes.

I'm hooked!! Here are a few shots from the day.