The last few weeks have been mental.
We have been blessed with visits from my parents, our good friends Jen and Tom, and Sian’s mum Sue over this festive period, and it has been amazing. The bad news is that things at work are very slow right now, so we are crossing everything that it will pick up soon.
So this week, in an unusual twist of events, I am not going to share our recent shenanigans, explorations and adventures; I am going to do something far more boring…I am going to show you the lovely present Sian bought me for my birthday this year.
I am going to show you my spangly new watch…
As well as having an encylcopaedic knowledge of pretty much every lens Nikon has ever made; I am even more boring in the fact that I like to read about watches. I love watches. I remember driving my parents to the brink of insanity in the lead up to my 13th birthday, flicking through the Argos Catalogue dropping very obvious, very loud hints about which watches I liked in particular – and how each different model I picked out had various benefits with regard to size, accuracy and all that nonsense. It is actually one of the only times my dad properly lost his temper with me. During one of my hint dropping sprees, and having pointed out at least 50 watches that would be an ideal gift, my tired and worn down father screamed, “We’ve already got you a watch -you’re getting a watch, can you please now shut up about these bloody watches?!”
It was a Timex Indiglo and I absolutely loved it.
And as I have grown up, I am afraid to say I have not grown out of the catalogue flicking. I am sure that one day, I will own an incredibly expensive watch, but right now it is not a priority. Sian was wonderful and bought me this Ingersoll – it is a beautiful watch, and the reason it is particularly special is down to its movement. Unlike my other watches, this one does not run on a battery with a quartz heart; this is an automatic watch. It is entirely mechanical. So, as I walk around and flick my wrist, it winds itself and keeps time through a million springs and cogs and cleverness…it really is quite amazing and an art, I am happy to say, that is slowly being revived.
I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas, and promise that I will be back on form with less boring subjects and adventures next week.
Thanks for reading guys 🙂
As you all now know, Sian and I have been busy getting everything ready to leave Barbados and come back to freezing cold Blighty for some well needed holiday time. We can’t wait.
So when we woke up last Thursday morning, a little groggy from our anniversary drinks the night before, I was finishing up all the boring chores I had to do before we left; one of which was taking the bottles back that we had accumulated over the last few weeks.
I am not a patient man at the best of times, but rest assured, after waiting forty minute for the &$*#(@ bellend to turn up to the place, (which I was assured would be open at 9am) I was then told by said delinquent that they were not taking the 84 Banks beer bottles I had bought as they did not have any trays.
After threatening to leave the bottles where the sun doesn’t shine, the guy quickly recognised my ‘Bajan Rage’ and realised this was a battle he wouldn’t win.
I got back to the house at half eleven in a particularly bad mood, and tried to help Sian with the packing. Me trying to help Sian with the packing is like asking an excitable dog to help with the washing up. I make a lot of mess, get easily distracted, and nine times out of ten I end up carrying something in my mouth.
So, imagine Sian’s relief when this guy wandered into our kitchen.
I spotted him walking up the wall, and I asked (an incredibly relieved) Sian if she would mind if I took photos of the cricket rather than pack up. She nodded enthusiastically, and as I popped my macro lens on and primed my flash, I am sure I heard a sigh of relief as the pair of socks I had been carrying around in my gob fell to the floor with a soggy flop.
As I got closer, I was amazed at just how leaf like the crickets look; every vein, every (scale?) screams chlorophyl full, photosynthesis fuelled plant rather than insect murdering, noise making insect. He was awesome.
And also, as all these critters seem to be, a fantastic model.
Thanks for reading guys, lots of tales from Blighty to follow!
Have you ever had one of those weeks, where everything is going swimmingly – the emails are responded to, the team are all bumbling along, the phone is ringing an acceptable twice an hour…and then the Good Lord just takes an almighty work turd right on your face, and before you know it you feel like Arnold Shwarzenegger in End of Days. Your phone rings constantly – your wife’s phone rings itself to death, you meet client after client, take booking after booking, and before you know it your wonderfully planned and masterfully crafted week is dumped with 10 weddings in three days.
Well, if you haven’t already guessed, that’s exactly what happened to us this last week.
And I am ecstatic to say that the team, although tired, dealt with the stress exceptionally well. As always.
But we felt very bad,because, as you all know, our good friends Josh and Lydia have been out here in Barbados with us, and we were hoping to spend a bit of quality time with them. But clearly that plan was scuppered.
We got everything we possibly could done Saturday night, so that we could all enjoy Sunday together, but then the heavens opened and we were stormed in. So instead of swimming on the beaches and watching the sunset and drinking beers in the warm, we were stranded in our flooding-fast house playing computer games and cursing the deck of cards we had left back at the hotel.
By all accounts it was a lovely day 🙂
And the day was made even more lovely by the arrival of another guest in our home. We have had swarms of bees, enormous spiders, bats getting stuck in the roof and a billion millepedes, but this is the first leaf frog I think we have had to date.
I spotted him on the way to the kitchen, and without hesitation dear old Josh grabbed the flash and mounted it on a pocket wizard whilst I bayonetted my macro lens.
And he was ever so good as these two giants surrounded and strobed him like there was no tomorrow.
Because he really was tiny. In this (wonderful) portrait of Josh, you can see how small the wee guy was – he is the little green spec on the left, being bathed in the scrummy bolt-blue f20 from my SB800:
But he just sat there, happily modelling for us, and, upon agreeing we had all got the shots we were after, he wandered off up the wall to enjoy whatever it is leaf frogs do in the ceilings of homes in Barbados.
I do love having an open house.
Thanks for reading guys – more regular posts to come from now on. Promise.
First of all, please accept my apologies for complete lack of posts in the last ten days…Sian and I have been very busy bees. We were out in Miami last week for some meetings with suppliers and partners etc. and we have not stopped since we got back I will do a proper post about that soon.
We flew back home on Sunday after nearly missing our flight, crashed for a few hours, and got straight back to work on Monday. A day in the office after being away for 5 days is never fun, and it was made all the worse by the knowledge that our awesome friends Josh and Lyds were coming out to visit us. They are now here and it is awesome.
But Monday night wasn’t.
We got back to the house at about 7pm, only to find a massive warning sign on our door. “Fergus and Sian – DO NOT ENTER – BEES SWARMING”
You know when you just want to go to bed, in your own bed, after staying in hotels and running around like madmen (women) for days? So we wandered down to the apartment below to ask Anne – our landlady – what was going on. She said she had seen a few hundred bees swarming around our front door, and they would no doubt wake up again first thing in the morning. The bee man couldn’t come until tomorrow (of course) and that if we didn’t want to be stung to death in our slumber, we had better sort out other accommodation.
So off we popped back to the hotel, who were wonderfully accommodating and let Lyd and Josh stay with us for the night. We returned the next evening to utter bee-carnage. We were quite sad – Sian and I love bees, but the guy had found two nests under our house, and he needed to fumigate the place to get rid of them all.
I whipped out the macro lens and asked Josh to help me with Flash. These pictures are a homage to our late friends of the bee kingdom.
They’re not as pretty as my usual stuff – but I felt we needed to do something productive with something so very sad 🙁
So after we swept up the death and cleared off the leaves, chased out the spiders and the millipedes and all the other wildlife that had moved into our house whilst we were away, we settled down for a quick beer. And as we sat and supped, our peace was quickly interrupted by an eerie scratching and rustling from the roof. A few tell tale whimpers and we concluded that we now had a bat stuck in the extraordinarily thin cavity between our ceiling and the aluminium flashing above.
It’s like bloody London Zoo here at times…
But as I write this, we are now (I hope) Bee and Bat free…and hopefully Lyd and Josh can start getting on with their holiday without Mother Nature’s annoying interruptions. And if you’re reading, Mother Nature, take heed; we don’t want to have any more scenes like this in our lovely new home:
It’s far too depressing 😉
Thanks for reading guys -keep on snapping