Please don't strangle him......

It's that time of year again. I need to start writing Christmas cards so I don't end up hyperventilating in early December at my 8ft long to do list. And for cards I need a photo of the Cameron smalls, preferably smiling, preferably with clean faces and preferably with no older sibling doing actual bodily harm to Baxter. It's a lofty aspiration I know.

So today was the day. It was sunny - too sunny. What happened to nice bright, cloud diffused light Scotland? Either dull and grey or eye wateringly bright. I know, I'm never happy.

We went in hunt of a nature filled beauty spot and ended up a mile from home sitting on an old towel. All the glamour.

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I'll keep trying :)

On this day

I recently acted as photographer at this lovely wedding.

Being asked to take photographs at a wedding is probably not all that uncommon for amateur photographers. I'm acutely aware that being snap happy and being a professional are not the same thing. The bride is my Step Mum's sister, a lady I've referred to as 'Auntie' since I was Grier's age. I really wanted to do it, I was really flattered to be asked and I emphasised many times my worries that I wasn't up to the standard she might be hoping for. And truly when I was editing these I can not see past all the missed focus points and off colours and lighting mistakes. I shot with my camera on auto focus because I was worried I would have too much to think about without adding toggling focus points on top. I was right, I had way too much to think about. 

Beyond the technical aspects of getting the camera to do what I want it to do, the other aspect of taking good photos - perhaps particularly at weddings is getting people to pose well. Absolutely not what I'm good at. Luckily the bride and groom beamed the whole day. I went with the shoot as many frames as you can and fingers crossed one might be ok. Or maybe 2. Cath agreed to let me share a couple with you, so here you go, my first foray into wedding photography! It was exciting and lovely to be part of such a lovely day. And has prompted me to read and think about so many things. I'm not sure I'll ever be finished mastering photography.

 

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Cath asked me to make her bouquet, from feathers! It suited her and their wedding so well.

Ghost and Ghouls

Our Halloween celebrations appear to be growing each year as the kids do. They are avid costume wearers and party goers so you know, we costumed and this year we partied with cousins. We served all sorts of disgusting food - severed fingers and bloodied eyeballs. We played games and enjoyed the excuse to get together, big and little and spend time chatting over a tasty poo. Yes really, Auntie Kerry excelled herself by rustling up some edible, chewy poo. Her talents and enthusiasm for all things spooky, gooey and ghastly know no bounds. 

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This game quickly descended into children eating pink icing buns from the kitchen floor. Immune system boost right there.

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Standard werewolf dooking pose

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This is Greig literally diving headfirst into the festivities. No really, he hates any sort of dressing up so this is a big deal. Nice work catboy.

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Everyone needs some ketchup with their severed finger. And Grier takes party food very seriously.

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No pictures said the Fox

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The Oak

I love October holidays. It feels like a massive treat to head away somewhere, an 'extra' holiday. We headed to the Lakes with the best of friends. An air b n b booking which turned out to be way better than the photos hinted at and mild weather added to our break. Coupled with lots and lots of cake.....

The kids had an hours climbing with a very patient instructor in Keswick. Brodie has tried it before and loved the challenge. Always better when an enthusiastic auntie can provide a well earned high five when you reach the balcony.

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Hitting that buzzer was immensely satisfying if his face was anything to go by!

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And this girl. She will not be beaten. She made it to the top on her third attempt and held my hand. When I asked her how she felt she simply said 'good' and flashed me her missing tooth grin. As if it were no big deal. But I know better, and I admire her greatly for it.

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The house we stayed in was converted from a village pub. It still has a bar so mocktails were a must. And Auntie Kerry and Grier's hostelry was well stocked. Lots of fun.

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Crunchy leaves, autumn light, endless play. And cake yeah?

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Baxter doesn't love swings. But he was silly levels of delighted to discover this toddler flying fox. I think he felt like a big kid. Look at his face, pure unadulterated toddler glee right there.

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The cozy log fire we had, toasted marshmallows, snuggly blankets it's all pointing towards the most wonderful time of the year yes?

Stick man, o stick man

We found out about a Stick Man trail locally over the September weekend and it seemed like a lovely way to spend an hour or two. Brodie was unimpressed with our attempts to follow the trail in reverse - to avoid the crowds. So we had to double back and start again. Baxter had some zoo confusion and thought the information boards confirmed the presence of the real Stick Man and actual Gruffalo. I can totally see how that makes sense when you are 2. We didn't find any Gruffalos but we'll keep trying.

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If you are local you should look it up and take a trip over. We really enjoyed it and I think the kids would love to go again. Deal!