Night Waking
January 1, 2010

Last New Year, we were awake until 4am with a screaming week-old baby.  Last night, we were woken up by a teething, grumpy one-year-old.  Some things never change…

Friends of Joe’s have a little week-old baby girl, who shares David’s birthday.  We’re thinking of them tonight.

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New Shower
December 30, 2009

One of David’s favourite presents this Christmas was from Joe’s cousin Jenny, who bought him his own shower!  It attaches to the side of the bath and sucks up the water, and he can press the button to fire water at himself, or his poor cousin who was sharing the bath with him.

Sparkling Eyes
December 26, 2009

David LOVES Christmas.

I don’t usually shoot with a flash: I’d never been taught how and I hated the way the on-camera flash made the pictures look.  Today, my brother-in-law lent me a flashgun, and I realised what I’d been missing!  I’ve ordered one and I can’t WAIT for it to arrive!  (Canon Speedlite 430EX, if you’re interested.)

I’ve written more about today over at Barefoot in the Kitchen.

Birthday Boy
December 24, 2009

David turned one yesterday.  While I’ve been wrestling with the decision to only have one child, he’s been eating cake, opening presents, and generally having a wonderful time being spoiled.  (Yes, his birthday present is wrapped in Christmas paper.  No, he doesn’t care.  It RIPS!)

On The Phone
December 20, 2009

David’s current favourite game is to pretend to talk on the phone.  When he can’t get access to the real one, which he does with surprising ease, things like Duplo bricks have to suffice.

Snow
December 18, 2009

Eric, being only ten months old, has never seen snow before.  It drove him crazy.  The flat looks like a bomb has hit it, but we’re all still in once piece!

Not A Crime
December 9, 2009

A self-portrait, and my contribution to this Flickr Group.

After writing about photographers’ rights a few days ago, I was stopped twice yesterday with my camera and tripod: once by a police officer, and once by a security man in the Bullring shopping centre, Birmingham.

I always said I’d stand up for my rights if I was stopped from taking photos.  When the police officer stopped me, and threatened me with arrest if I didn’t delete the photos I’d taken (of a canal), I complied.  If I hadn’t had David with me, I like to think I’d have argued more, but I couldn’t afford to be taken into police custody with nobody to look after him.  I know that I was doing nothing wrong, and that the policeman had no right to enforce the deletion of the photos, but I wanted a quiet life, so I didn’t say anything: is this how we ended up in this situation in the first place?  Because those who objected stayed silent?  I will always regret saying nothing and not standing up for our collective rights.

Just forty-five minutes later, I was asked to stop taking photos by a security guard in the Bullring.  (All due credit to the guy, he was nice enough and just following his employers’ instructions.)  I was a little more argumentative this time: did he ever stop people from using cameraphones?  What about compact cameras?  Why had I managed to take pictures in the Bullring before, with my “serious bit of kit”, without being stopped?  He explained that the Bullring was “likely to be a target for a major terrorist attack” and that if I wanted to take photos, I’d have to seek permission from the Bullring management.  He (very helpfully) duly showed me where to go, so that I could ask for a photographers’ pass.  Problem solved, I thought.  Great.  Except that no photographers’ passes are to be granted until after Christmas because they are “too busy” to deal with it, by which time it’ll be too late to take photos of the Christmas lights.

And now, the worst aspect of being stopped at the Bullring shopping centre: the fact that, after I left the managers’ office, nearly every time I looked up there was a security guard watching me.  I had dutifully packed the camera away, although I was still carrying the folded tripod on the pushchair, but I was still being watched.  I saw many people taking pictures on cameraphones, but I saw none stopped.  I saw a young woman, about my age, with a compact camera, taking almost exactly the same shot that I was going to.  Again, was she stopped?  No.  Of course not.  Because you can only blow up shopping centres with tripods and telephoto lenses.

I have made copious notes.  There is nothing I can do about the police officer: I have no paperwork, no witnesses.  I will go back to that same spot, with my camera and my tripod, at the same time of day, and hope that I can replace the pictures that should not have been taken from me.  When my head has cleared sufficiently, I plan to write to the Bullring, to request a photographers’ pass and to suggest that the security guards who follow young women with cameras would be better off spending their time, I don’t know, issuing photographers’ passes?  I am going to campaign and to lobby, to change people’s attitudes, to try to banish this fear.

Wish me luck.  I’m going to need it.

My Boys
December 8, 2009

Taken at our favourite soft play centre in Banbury.  I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve two such photogenic boys, but aren’t they wonderful?

Monochrome Baubles
December 6, 2009

I love Christmas.  More specifically, I love Advent.  I love the anticipation, the build-up to Christmas.  This isn’t our tree, because we haven’t kitten-proofed sufficiently to buy it yet, but I can’t wait to get it and decorate it and then take hundreds upon hundreds of photos of it.  That’s the best part.

Wasn’t me!
December 4, 2009

Here is my gorgeous, walking, talking baby boy.  He enjoys destroying bathrooms with the help of his ginger sidekick, Eric.