Might I suggest if you are on twitter, you follow the Londonist feed, if you have an interest in all things London of course.
This morning they linked to an article looking at events that happened this week in London's history. Two of the events happened before I was born, the other three were times I remember so well.
1993. A bomb in Bishopsgate.
Actually it is not this one I remember this one in particular, sadly there were enough bombs that they faded in to one. One of the bombs I do remember, the Baltic Exchange one. I was sitting in my room talking to my sister after Guides on a Friday night and we heard a roll of thunder, but when I looked out of the window there were no clouds.We heard the bomb 3 and a half miles away.
As I went to school in central London, I got caught up in lots of terrorist alerts. To cause a terroist alert, all that has to happen is that someone forgets their bag on the train - it will cause lots of nervous looks as people wonder 'is this something I should worry about'. It will strike fear in to the hearts of those that see it. The station will be shut as a precautionary measure and the bomb disposal will find a bag that some hapless tourist is looking for several stops away. Unaware of the consequences of his actions. This was long before Al Qaeda ever came along and continued the trend. Even now, you will find no bins in the stations - although some do use plastic bags now, the vending machines designed so nothing can be left on top.
The two other historical events look at the aquittal of Damilola Taylor's killers and the death of Jill Dando. Both events are the kind that make you realise life is not really like a Hercule Poirot novel where the right person gets caught and jailed swiftly.
Despite what Harvey Fierstein may think, we definitely prefer them alive in London. This link remembers sad events, but in the lives of the average Londoner, how many good things happened in this week in previous years? I think the good things definitely outweigh the bad things.
The best thing about rain is that it makes the sun so much more exciting. I always enjoy the sun much more after a time of bad weather. When you have had weeks of a dull white blanket over your days, the day the sun comes out is so special - you can crank up Mr Blue Sky on the ipod and feel the words.
The rain has so many uses, but here in England, I don't think it is appreciated enough, we complain so much about 'all our rain'. However it is in times like these, during a drought that we learn to appreciate it, what it does for us.
My favourite moments are when you see the sun first peep out from the clouds.
And when I look at these photos I think of this great quote by Sam in my beloved Lord of the Rings.
"I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come.
And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something."
I wish I could write as easily as I take photos. There are so many fantastic blogs where they have beautiful photos *and* beautifully crafted sentances to accompany these photos. Although lots of these blogs are American and I just couldn't imagine writing the same kind of things, it wouldn't really work for us unsentimental Brits. Besides I often don't really read the writing, I just skip to the photos.
When I previously photographed Ann she was expecting her first baby, on the local estate. Despite it being a rainy day, the textures and the colours really helped me create some photos which I love.
Ann went on to have a beautiful little son - Samuel, and is now expecting baby no.2. This time however we decided to stay indoors. As you may know, maternity photos are not my favourites to take. I find the whole posing thing quite hard, and being indoors brings a whole set of new challenges.
Thankfully Ann is also a photographer, which allowed her and her husband to be wonderfully patient at being moved for each photo, sometimes by just a few millimeters. Her husband even took some of the photos.
So thanks guys for being such sports, I had a faboulous time and hope to get at least 1 more photoshoot in before the little baby arrives!
Do check out Ann's blog, to see more about her life as a mother, great receipes and beautiful photos.
One year in this world, she changed the life of her parents. What joy she brings to all who know her! Esme's parents are good friends, the kind of people that live close by, let me use their washing machine when mine is broken, give me rides back from the supermarket when I have too much shopping and share many cups of tea.
And it is that kind of shared experience that makes it a pleasure to do a photoshoot with them. It becomes more a time to hang out, with them and the camera - all at the same time. Thanks for being such lovely friends, as always!
So here is Esme a year ago and here she is today.
The holidays (my busy times) are over and I've lots of photos to blog, and I am going to start with the most recent. On friday afternoon I went to visit Karen and little Sarah. It has been a while since I last saw her but she has lost her newborn looks and is growing fast. It is so great to see her settling down in to life and to see her bond with her Mummy.