South London Photographer: Family Photoshoot in Kent

I was thrilled to be invited back to photograph a family I worked with a couple of years ago. We’d all had such a lovely time before and ended up with a great collection of images. It was no different this weekend, and I hope everyone loves these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them. And what an amazing bunch of stylists everyone in this family seems to be – I might need to borrow their terrific style for all my shoots.

Get in touch for information on family shoots and event photography at photo@sarahjanefield.co.uk or on 07581694934.

All images (c)SJField2019

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South London Photographer: Not quite singing in it, but certainly enjoying the rain!

Clients always tells me they hope for lovely weather when we have shoots, but don’t completely write off rainy days for photography. The light is generally much nicer and easier to manage than when it’s bright, and cloud cover is a brilliant diffuser. I’m not sure the kids are quite as enthusiastic as me, and perhaps if it had been a bit more stormy this morning they’d have had something to say about being dragged up to Wimbledon Common. Nevertheless, they were content enough to go for a walk in the drizzle, providing hot chocolate and marshmallows were on the agenda, and even let me grab a few snaps of them as I we did. Here are a handful. (That’s my woolly hat, he’s wearing, by the way…)

Despite the weather there are definite signs of spring in the air! And to celebrate I am currently offering a 5% discount off the cost of a family shoot (as specified on my site, valid until the end of April, T&Cs apply.) Get in touch for more information.

Have a great week. SJ x

Images (c)SJField 2017

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South London Photographer: Managing expectations

I like so many women I know, can do lots of different things. And often simultaneously. I can get dressed, hoover the carpet, eat toast and reply to an email on my phone, and all at the same time as yelling at a small child who can’t find his shoes because he’s hidden them in a basket for reasons only he understands. Sometimes I truly impress myself with that common mum-like ability to travel through the day successfully, surrounded by several virtual plates spinning maniacally all about my aura. And often they don’t even come crashing down before I make it to the end of the day. Instead I’m able to place them neatly in the corner ready for the next morning, when once again I’ll be getting dressed, eating toast, tidying up and yelling at a child about getting dressed before he ventures out into the street to hunt for ants to observe, because he’s decided that they are the greatest possible pet option on a growing list of exotic creatures, all of which I’ve rejected so far. Nevertheless, I’m sometimes saddened but also perfectly honest enough to admit, there are plenty of things I have yet to master, and many that I likely never will. I have not worked out how to grow an extra couple of arms, although, lord knows, I could really do with a spare set. I haven’t worked out how to be in two places at once, and I can’t even deduce that young boys in places quite far from me are disgruntled because I’m not where they think I ought to be, at exactly the time they think they need me to be.

“I exist in a reality outside your head too, young boy! I’m a person in my own right, really, I am. How can I possibly know you’ve not got your keys if you don’t call and let me know?” He replied, “I did!” I looked at my phone. And it’s true, he did, precisely three minutes earlier. But not at the very beginning of the 45 minute episode that he’d been sitting on the doorstep waiting impatiently. “Where are you????” he implores with utter indignation on my voice mail.

And no matter how hard I try I will never be able to morph into a dustbin, coat-rack, towel or snack, regardless of how much my children think I am surely any one of those objects at any given point. And I will never, ever, ever be able to control the weather. Nope, not ever. And nor do I wish to either. This comes as a shock and rather bad news to at least two of my children who make weather-dependent demands and then become infuriated when it just doesn’t work out the way they hoped.

All of which made me immensely grateful when I spoke to a client who has some weather specific aims for her photographs. We’ll need to play things by ear and see what the weather is doing for that, I said. Of course, she replied, I’m all over ‘flexible’. When you’re dealing with small people on a daily basis, flexible seems like a most precious and cherished trait to come across in someone. Mind you, my client is a yoga teacher, and not a somewhat willful and intractable 8-year-old boy, so it seems perfectly acceptable to expect that of her. And because she’s a mum, I bet she can do loads of stuff at the same time, and a sun salutation to boot too. But of course she wouldn’t even try, because we all know, that way sheer madness lies.

(c)SJField 2016

If I could control the weather, as I’m sure my children believe I can, I’d make sure it was foggy a lot more often. I love the mysterious atmosphere it brings and the diffused light is just beautiful. I’d also have been able to order a bit of lovely dappled sunlight in the woods this evening. (c)SJField 2015

South London Photographer:A brand new year

Yes, that’s right. I’ve decided to make September the start of my new year. Bollocks to January! It’s grey and cold. No-one has any money and nearly everyone I know gives up drinking too, which always makes me feel vaguely guilty for not doing so. But come on, didn’t you hear me? It’s grey and cold, and surely everyone can see that’s the worse time to give up – unless you’re really dependent, then anytime is obviously good. But in September, it’s still sunny and mildly warm, even baking hot on some days, and while no one has any money after all those summer days out and camping trips and pizzas which still cost a fortune even with the 30% off voucher, having no money anytime at all is the new reality for most of us, regardless of the month. So, far better to mark time passing, to celebrate the communal endings and societal beginnings, when the brats return to school and we all get to go back to what ever it is we spend our lives doing when they’re not around. Even if that something is simply sitting and enjoying a moment of peace for five minutes without someone yelling, “Mum, wipe my bum!” Or else banging on and on and on about a new game that the whole world is playing on their phones which seems, frankly really boring, except for the fact that since everyone is wandering around holding their phones up to their faces, anyone taking surreptitious street photographs with one can kind of get away with looking like they too are simply playing a game and not being a weird creepy pest, as my eldest son likes to call me.

Hang on, is that peace and quiet I hear?  It’s been such a long time since I last experienced anything along those lines, I’m not sure if I should trust my ears along with the slow sense of returning to something approximating a relative type of equilibrium. Oh, yes… I think it is. Allowing it to creep in and take hold of me feels …’oozy’, a bit like the sensation of cool mud squelching between my toes. I like it! And it gives me a chance to come up with a new year’s list of things to consider going forward. Because they do say writing things down is good for something or other, not sure what, but here it is

  1. Create something brilliant and award winning
  2. Have realistic and achievable goals
  3. With reference to point 2 adjust point 1 and internalise point 2
  4. Keep telling youngest son he mustn’t randomly grab a women’s boobs
  5. Or anyone else’s for that matter
  6. Nor lift my skirt up in the high street to show everyone passing my knickers
  7. Or even my T-shirt in the supermarket to show everyone my post-3-children stomach
  8. Nor should said small child carry on thinking its acceptable to swear really loudly in public
  9. Or quietly
  10. Or at all
  11. Sit and do homework with middle child even though he’s a whiny pain in the arse about it
  12.  Try to remember point 11 for the whole of the academic year not just week 1 of term 1
  13. Force oldest child tidy to his room occasionally even though he’s going to be taller than me very soon and already has much bigger feet than me – especially so perhaps since I won’t be able to for much longer
  14. Be nice to kids generally
  15. Be stricter with kids generally
  16. Try hard to reconcile points 12 and 13
  17. Make some money
  18. See point 2

And with that I must get on and order things and answer emails and work. Oh yes, now I remember. That’s what I do when those small people are at school. I work!

Have a great week!

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Street photography taken on my phone. Did they they wonder what on earth I was doing photographing them, or did they assume I was playing a game featuring these crazy little virtual reality critters?  I have a friend who has given up his smart phone altogether. I said I would like to do the same thing but for the camera and he said, heh, here’s a crazy idea, why don’t you use one of those actual non-phone cameras with the really excellent image quality you’ve got there? Good point!

Image (c)SJField 2016

South London Photographer : By the seaside

I remember much of what I have written about in this post because of the photo albums which I avidly used to keep up to date, meticulously recording and documenting our lives. Two children and one early pregnancy later, everything got far too busy and crazy. My photo albums stop at that point and it’s harder to piece things together without the visual reminders. I’m pretty sure the last time I went to Brighton I was heavily pregnant with No 3. Hang on a minute, I can’t have been heavily pregnant because he was born in March and we went in the summer. Oh yes, I remember, I looked heavily pregnant from about day 2 of that pregnancy, so that by the time I was just 3 months gone, I looked like I was about to pop. I do know for sure I ate a family pack of Wotsits and felt sick in the car going down – aaah, you might think, therein lies a possible reason for having been so incredibly big. In fact, it’s impossible to forget just how very sick I felt for most of those 9 months, and I suspect the salt in the Wotsits probably helped keep the nausea at bay. I also recall flooding my bag with a broken bottle of water and destroying my phone on the way home. But I wouldn’t have taken any photographs during that visit because just holding my phone, or a camera, significantly and palpably added to the feeling of nausea. Most people reminisce about how they couldn’t drink tea, alcohol or orange juice when pregnant. I remember I simply couldn’t take a photograph. It just made me want to hurl. Which, as you might image, is a truly depressing way to spend your time when you once loved taking pictures of your kids.

It was a weird aversion and I never experienced it during my other pregnancies. But thanks to the albums, I know for certain that we had a lovely day out in Brighton during my pregnancy with No 2 too. I like looking at those pictures. No 1 is still very young. I have a short gamine hair style, which suits me and my large belly well, and we all look really happy sitting in a fish restaurant, and then later on the beach, throwing stones into the sea. (Here’s an image from that visit.  I photographed a picture from the album, using my phone, and uploaded it to Instagram a while ago – so a great combination of old and new technology.)

Thankfully, the pregnancy hormones have long gone, No 3 is running around outside my belly causing chaos, and the aversion to technology has dissipated. I started thinking about lenses again when No 3 was roughly 4 months old, so I knew then that me and my photography would be OK. When we recently visited Brighton again (sans any pregnancy) during half term to see old friends whom we’d not seen in years and years, I was able to really enjoy my love of photography and record our day out with my usual enthusiasm.  No 1 was very keen to recreate the image I’d posted to Instagram, which I’d taken when he was 3 years old. We had a play and eventually he told me he’d rather wait until he was 18 to do that but he did very patiently let me continue trying out new scenarios.

Here’s a selection from our day. I used my Fuji X100s which is the camera I tend to carry around because it’s light and easy. I really must get back to albums of one sort or another because they’re great for holding and looking through when you have a spare moment, and terrific for future generations to have.

Get in touch for family photography sessions, mentioning this post and I’ll include 5 A4 prints to your booking for free*.  That way you can also think about creating old fashioned albums for you and your children to look at in years to come.

Incidentally, I was recently introduced to Light, a camera company that is aiming to change the way photographs are taken with a new compact camera that has DSLR quality in a lighter and more convenient form! One of my photos will be submitted as part of their Vantage Point project.

Back to school tomorrow.  And onwards with work in a slightly less disruptive manner (and breath….)! SJ x

Images (c)SJField 2016, *T&C apply – see website for details

 

South London Photographer: Chatting with 12 year olds about photography

Last night I met up with a group of 10-12 year olds to share some fun tips about using their phones or tablets to take and edit photographs.  It was a bit of a windy, grey evening weather-wise, but even though we all had horribly cold hands by the end of it, I definitely enjoyed myself and hope the others did too. I’ve alway liked that age group. Years ago when I used to teach drama to children and young people (adults too, in fact) I remember acknowledging that I really enjoyed spending time with preteens. They’re not quite grown up yet, so mostly are still imbued with a happy childishness, however, they are without any doubt fully fledged human-beings by then. Because in actual fact, the very young ones just aren’t. Nope, not at all. I realised this fact about some four and five year olds when I offered to do an after school drama club with my oldest son’s class when he was in reception. It was then that my respect and admiration for anyone working with that particular age group soared. I tried desperately to keep those rowdy miniature hooligans in control, failed utterly, and eventually gave up, blaming my son’s obvious jealousy and discomfort over sharing his mum with 18 other children. (I’ll always be grateful to the mums who stayed behind and helped with toilet breaks and upsets). But I realised too that the uncontrollable chimp-like lunacy of those small people was not for me. Teachers who can manage it, for there are those that are brilliant at it, deserve our utmost admiration and thanks.

Last night’s workshop made me aware of some important facts as far as sharing information and knowledge goes. Perhaps a really important point was made when a lovely girl I’ve known since she was born told me she couldn’t work out whether she wanted to make her photographs look very  natural and realistic, or ‘weird’. Heh, I said, join the club! I still can’t work that one out myself and keep playing with a variety choices, and maybe will forever.  Just play, I advised, and maybe you’ll reach a decision or maybe you won’t. Don’t worry about it for now, though. One day, if you’re photographing for a specific reason then you can make choices based on what is required, for instance it might not be appropriate to have a ‘weird’ image illustrating something in a text book. Saying that, I recently read that if you want to make lots of money then settle on a style but if you want to explore and discover, don’t limit yourself.  I think it was a great photographer called Alec Soth who said that. Do look him up if you don’t know him and are interested in photography – he’s terrific.

I’m sharing a picture here which I’ve already shared on Instagram, one which has had lots of positive feedback, although I’m torn about it. I love the mood but in the same vein as my friend’s daughter who questioned her aesthetic choices last night, I never know whether I’m entirely happy using affects and apps, or if I’ve gone too far, or if I should simply accept that those choices faithfully express something I’m playing with right now. I think I should take my own advice and stop worrying about it – although I think I am probably expected to have more than an inkling about why I make certain decisions, especially in my studies. Whatever else is true, and perhaps down to being little bit ‘naughty’, for now I think I’ll continue to approach my own work by just playing and discovering for as long as I can, and trying not to worry too much.

As we had so much fun last night, I am going to offer an ongoing phone photography club aimed at kids aged 10-13 years old.  We’ll meet once a month and just hang out taking pictures and sharing them like we did last night, and generally talk about how we think we can improve our skills. Please get in touch at photo@sarahjanefield.co.uk or message me via social media with your email address and I’ll keep you informed with updates. I may well offer a different club to a slightly younger group, 8-9 years olds, because in the end a few little monkeys can be fun and they’re certainly very close to being human beings by then, but that group will be limited to a relatively small number. Again, let me know if this interests you. Keep a look out on Twitter and FB for dates regarding both. And I’ve got a couple of places left on the adult workshop/photo walk in the 17th, so get in touch about that if you fancy it.

Enjoy the rest of half term for those of you still on it. My font room seems to have been turned permanently into a den made out of blankets and duvets.  And I’m fine with that, really. Honest. No,no, no… I am!

SJ x

Image (c)SJField 2016

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Captured on my phone, edited in apps – Snapseed, Hipstagram and Instagram (c)SJField 2016

South London Photographer: A very local wedding

A couple of weeks ago I dropped the kids off at school and sauntered down the road to Wandsworth Registry Office to photograph one of the loveliest weddings. Maybe most weddings are lovely but I particularly liked being witness to the genuine and extremely evident feelings of joy I hope I was able to capture in this one.  And what a cute baby to make my day too.  I’m so pleased Hannah & Andy got in touch with me so I could photograph their day. All in all, everything about my morning at work that day made me think, this job’s pretty good indeed. As always in blog posts about weddings, I think I’ll let the photographs do the talking.  Have a great week, SJ

All images (c)SJField 2016

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South London Photographer: Good surprises and other nice things

Don’t you hate it when people refer to unexpected babies as mistakes?  “Was he a mistake?” they say with pity in their eyes.  “No!! He most certainly was not. He was a wonderful surprise that took me a while to get my head around.”  I suppose the word ‘mistake’ might be better than a comment I had from a women working at a playgroup I visited.  “I had three.  All grown now, ” she said sadly, “Wish I hadn’t bothered with the last one.  He’s nothing but trouble!” Not an overly sensitive thing to say to a women heavily pregnant with her own third child. And actually, by the time No 3 arrived I was immensely grateful for the opportunity to experience those early precious days with an infant again.   I’m not saying it was easy.  A friend who also had a 3rd baby at the same time and I still talk about the enormous shock to our systems.  Goodness, imagine all those poor women who had 8, 10, or more children in years gone by.  I have no idea how they coped.

If you thought it was hard finding time to pee after having your first child, just wait until you try to manage three.  Also remembering to feed everyone, walk the dog, pay the bills, and talk to grown-ups too. Prior to having children I had a verdant collection of house plants, a super-organised filing system and regularly hosted dinner parties where I impressed my friends with culinary delights. “Wow, Sarah-Jane! It’s like eating in a posh restaurant!” By the time Son No 3 arrived I had lost the ability to keep even a cactus alive, managed to misplace important court documents and am currently the less-than-proud owner of a cardboard box full of bank statements, randomly chucked in, in no particular order.  My cooking skills have been reduced to the level of burnt baked beans and undercooked frozen pies.  And I’m not pointing fingers or name shaming or anything, but I’m not sure being dumped by the now ex-husband before baby No. 3 reached his first birthday helped any… that aside, having three kids has proved challenging to say the least, and it was only when I started packing up my flat to move a couple of months ago that I started to appreciate just how immensely chaotic the last few years had been.

As I sorted through our belongings I realised that I must have barely unpacked when we’d moved in there two and half years previously.  I seemingly just chucked overflowing boxes and bags in corners and cupboards, only took out what we couldn’t do without, and then did the best I could under the circumstances.  Which is I think all any of us can hope for.  As I packed up this time round, I began finding things that I had forgotten about, thought I’d lost, or never even realised I’d had.  I came across all sorts of objects and items, but mostly what I discovered were shattered and disparate parts of me that had long ago been put aside, shoved away, hidden and misplaced, perhaps because being a mum and a wife made me think there was no room for them.  I don’t think I’m unusual in this – it seems to be part of the process, and there are undoubtedly several groups of anthropologists dotted about the place looking at changing roles for modern Western women and how they cope with children, marriage, and work. (Especially interesting when you consider that nowadays so many have never even held a baby by the time their first one arrives.)  As I packed up my home, I seemed to be unpacking myself.  And guess what? I was pretty pleased to see all those parts of me resurface.

The last few weeks have been a bit strange though, as all the separate parts I recognised try find their way back into my existence.  Will I ever have an organised filing system again?  I’m not sure; I have been slowly trying to sort out the mess that several years of un-filing amount to, but there is always a floor to mop, a bottom to wipe, or a meal to cook that everyone will grumble about for some reason or other. I’ve been bought a beautiful plant as a moving-in present, and I’m very much hoping to keep it alive for longer than a few weeks.  And I’ve invited some friends for dinner soon, who I know will be hoping for a little more than burnt baked beans and a pie that’s still frozen in the middle.

I guess the point is that having a family, navigating life, and just getting from one moment to another isn’t always straightforward.  Perhaps it’s not easy to accept that in a world where the general consensus seems to be that we should be aiming to have it all NOW!! And be damn good at every aspect.  Perfect parents who never shout, with successful happy children and blossoming careers too.  I’m pretty sure that’s not how life works all the time though, despite the plethora of articles in women’s magazine telling us otherwise. So let’s recognise the good stuff, work through the difficult and just be a bit more realistic with ourselves. I’ve had some other really good surprises recently; like when I lost my phone and found it still lying in the gutter half an hour later, where it had presumably fallen out of my pocket as I yanked a sullen, sulky child out of the car so we wouldn’t be late.  Or the beautiful foggy morning we had yesterday so that I was able to take photographs in some of my favourite weather conditions.  Neither of those of course even come close to the best surprise of recent years, my amazingly cute and funny Son No 3 who celebrated his 4th birthday last week.  He’s an absolute pain in the arse sometimes but I am so very glad I bothered.  And if anyone refers to him as a mistake again I might be compelled to slap them.  Hard!

Image (c)SJField 2016

 

(c)SJField 2016

South London Photographer: a move coming up

I’m sitting here staring at my books and the kid’s toys willing them to pack themselves. I should be concerned by this peculiar delusional conviction of mine; that if I stare hard enough it will eventually and spontaneously happen. I’m clearly not wholly aware of the total disconnect with reality my delusion must surely represent otherwise I’d have started doing something physical by now like actually getting on with the business of putting things inside boxes. Of course, if you know you’re mad you aren’t actually all that mad, so the theory goes, which is good to remember while I ponder my reluctance, ok let’s be honest – hopeful sloth …

I do hope the truth hits me before the movers actually turn up on their appointed morning and ask where all the packed and ready to go items are.

The previous movers I’d hired when we moved in here a couple of years ago were very sweet indeed, offering boxes which they never charged me for and helping to sweep up the last of the Lego bits, broken action figures, random books and other detritus just moments before shutting the door on that place for the last time. What are the odds of the next lot being equally as understanding? Well, I do find that the vast majority of people I come across in life are helpful and kind, but even so, it will probably be best to snap out of this limbo, or do I really mean denial, and dig those folded cardboard packages out and start the tedious process of sorting what I need and want to take forward, and discarding all the junk I no longer have room for in my life?

“Are we taking Grandad?” asks Son No 1.

“Where’s Grandad?” asks the littlest one.

“In that box,” No 1 replies pointing to a plain brown cardboard package on the very top of our bookshelf.

Son No 3 looks very confused. Son No 1 helpfully explains that granddad lives in an urn inside that box until we figure out where his final resting place should be. Obviously the top of my bookshelf is not ideal.

Once son No 3 has listened to his older brother explain some of the facts of life, or rather death, my delightful small person helpfully suggests that we take Grandad to Italy next time we go since there is a cemetery at the beginning of the dirt track that leads to my mother’s house. He refers to the cemetery as ‘that place with the flowers’.  I don’t tell them that my mother rejected ‘that place with the flowers’ as a final resting place for her second husband because it was filled with dead people.

“Yes, for now we’re taking Grandad,” I reassure everyone, as I silently thank providence that we are no longer still the guardians of someone else’s parent’s ashes too. That particular lady was quite well to do in life, apparently dressed always in Chanel twin sets, and so she might have been more than a little disappointed, perhaps even disgruntled, to find herself living out eternity on top of my bookshelf, alongside the ashes of my late father, looking down at the scattered broken toys and chaos that exists in my living room.  Well, not eternity, obviously – clearly, I will be arranging a more dignified last resting place for Dad. (Although how I achieve that when his final wishes were to be scattered on a race course so that his beloved horses can pound what’s left of him into obliteration along the grassy furlong – in a weird way mirroring what his gambling habits did metaphorically in life – I’m not sure!)

So now you know why my blog has been quieter than usual of late. Not because I’m busy doing things (but yes, that is true too), rather because I’m in a state of utter paralysed shock at the thought of how very much I’ve got to do.

Presumably after I’ve moved normal business will resume. And hopefully not before too long.

Lastly, before I go – do remember I am doing a special offer right now of 5 free A4 prints included in all family shoots until the 28th February 2016. (Conditions apply – please see the prices page of my website for details).

Image (c)SJField 2015

 

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Chaotic, natural and somewhat wild growth – maybe a little like me! Taken on my iPhone6 and edited in Snapseed and Stackables

 

South London Photographer: Staying in control of the list. Or with a list. Or something like that. I think.

It’s only just gone 11am and I’ve completed a ridiculous number of tasks already. From putting away 3 week’s worth of washing (“3 weeks!” you may well say), to cleaning the whole flat, writing some ad copy and providing images to the advertiser, as well as a bit of filing and some invoicing; and I’ve even confirmed a selection of images I’ll be displaying in the new year, which incidentally will be for sale, of course (more info soon). And now here I am again, jabbering away about life with three kids, a job and whole load of studying to get through too.

Maybe someone put some rocket fuel somewhere unmentionable because I can tell you, I’m not normally this focused and capable of achieving quite so much in so short a time. Of course, with three kids, the youngest of which is 3, you can understand why life often feels a little like I’m wading through syrup. Although I don’t think it’s the number that does it. I suspect it’s like that for anyone with small children – they’re just so demanding sometimes.

Without a doubt, I really felt very sorry for Son No 3 who kept me awake for 2 nights in a row with his truly dreadful cold and cough. Especially when I clambered out of bed at 3 in the morning to find the Calpol and he looked at me with wide open eyes and said apologetically, “I don’t know why I feel like this, Mum.” Oh, my poor little boy! “It’s not your fault, silly.  You’ve got a cold!”, I assured him as I scooped him up. But the person I felt most sorry for the next day as he watched Spiderman happily while I tried to concentrate on work was me. Yes, everything feels like such hard work when you’ve not had any sleep and you have a list as long as your arm to get through looming in your mind’s eye, threatening to bash you over your tired and sleepy head at any moment. And it never ends, so just as you think you’re on top of everything you check your list and it seems to have grown even longer – not shrunk at all.

I keep my real list, as opposed to the imaginary head-bashing personified one, in the Notes section of my phone. There I scribble down what I need to do, jot down articles I might use for college work and sometimes I record stuff the kids have said which has made me laugh, and which I might include here. Such, as the other day when the sickly small person told me I didn’t look like me after I’d clipped my hair up. “Oh, and who do I look like?” I replied. “A man,” he told me! A man!? How’s that for a thank you after I’d stayed awake most of the night while he climbed all over me with his germs and snot, foot in my mouth at one moment, and then when he finally did fall asleep, his small body managed to take up the whole bed, so I clung to the edge too afraid to move in case he woke again. A man!?!

What was much cuter and seemingly less offensive was when shortly after saying I looked like a man, he kept repeating, “The greatest weapon of all is imagination”. It was really very sweet indeed, so absolutely, I wrote that one down. However, when I realised he’d heard it on YouTube in a truly irritating ten-minute advert for junk, it kind of lost its appeal. And then when he kept saying it over and over again for about half an hour I think it really died a death in the cuteness stakes. Especially as by then I’d given up trying to work and was no longer fighting my body’s desire to catch up on some of the sleep I’d lost out on the night before.

Lists are just so important. Without them I’ve forget everything I need to do and instead of starting this blog as I did, I’d have had to say, I haven’t done much today, but I’m sure there was something…. But sometimes I find things on my list I don’t understand at all and that really confuses me – such as when I found the following statement at the end of my most up to date list page: “You eat shit!”

“Kids!!!” I yelled. “Who’s been writing inappropriate things on my phone and why?” As I studied the possible culprits’ faces for signs of abject lying, I couldn’t fail to believe them when they both categorically denied it, and showed no hints of dishonesty whatsoever. And then from somewhere deep in the back storerooms of my hormone battered brain I recalled having written it down myself. But I have absolutely no idea why. Did someone say it? Did I say it? Did I think it? And if so why did I write it down? Was it a message to myself from myself, although why I would choose to be so horrible to little ol’ me, I have no idea?  Or was it the imaginary personalised list that threatens to bash me over the head actually getting in on the action by beginning to write stuff down itself?  “MY list!  Do you hear that head-bashing list-thingymajiggy!!! MINE!”

So even though I keep a list, various lists actually – it’s far from failsafe (especially if it starts adding things itself). Having had plenty of chats with mums in similar situations I am well aware that this is what is to be a mother of small children whilst also trying to do a million other things too. You know, as well as feed, clothe, clean and house the little buggers. We are never on top of things, we are always catching up, constantly forgetting, cocking up and finding ways to make amends to children, family and friends; always running, always in a hurry. And sometimes it really does takes 3 weeks to put away the clean laundry.

So even though the beginning of the week was frustrating because I couldn’t get on with my chores and work, having had so little sleep, I really ought to thank my son for forcing me to have a break because obviously I must have needed it. Considering how much I’ve got through today before lunch, the relatively restful two days I’ve just had seems to have done me the world of good.

And who on earth knows why I wrote, “You eat shit”? But I can safely say from the self who read it to the self that jotted it down, “No, I bloody well don’t!”

Have fun! SJ x

PS.  If you’re after a shoot for  Christmas presents, do get it booked sooner rather than later.  Time’s a marching on!

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