James’ 18th Birthday Party

It is very rare indeed that I allow pictures of myself to go out on my blog – or indeed on my facebook page.  However, a few days ago we were invited to James’ 18th birthday party at Fylde Rugby Club.  And I really wanted to have my picture taken with two important people.

James is a very special person to the Pearson Family.  As are his mum and dad, Liz and Kim.  And his brother Harry.  Harry is giving James a hand cutting into his birthday cake here.

When we first moved to Lytham St. Annes 15 years ago we did some fundraising for The Arthrogryposis Group – the support group for people with the same condition as our son.  Liz and Kim turned up with James, and they were the very first people that we got to know here.  Liz has been an inspirational person, doing lots of work with PIP (Preschool Integration Project) and Scope.  And Kim?  Well, Kim has been hugely instructive in blues music and martial arts and obscure and lethal alcoholic tasting sessions when we’ve been round for dinner. 

Don’t be confused – this is Jill with Kim.  Liz will have been busy socialising and looking after everyone.  Which is what she does all the time because she is just the most lovely woman. 

Jill, and her husband, Pete are also special friends.  Jill always looks so elegant and groomed.  Its really depressing being stood next to her sometimes as she makes it all look so effortless!

James has cerebral palsy.   He knows everything that is going on – he just has a few communication difficulties.  However, he really appreciates a dirty joke (and obviously I can be relied upon to supply a few) – so I’m pretty certain that he liked his birthday present from us.  (He is 18 after all!)  So, although its quite rare for me to put a picture of myself out there – I love this little sequence of pictures that were taken of me with James.  Because I know what we were talking about!

 They are lovely people.  Like us, Liz and Kim went on to have another child, Harry.  We were honoured when they asked us to be his godparents.  I’m not brilliant with tiny babies (although I love photographing them because they are just so cuddly and fragile-looking) but I really have enjoyed the process of seeing Harry grow up.  He’s grown up into a good bloke.

So I’m going to make a little party book of pictures from the night.  I haven’t tweaked anything here because I wanted to get the pictures online.  I might revisit later on if I have the time.

I think this is a great picture of Rachel too.  She’s the lady that tweaks your wedding photos.

And Marianne and her husband Simon (who hates having his picture taken apparently) and son Oliver.  Marianne came out on a wedding with me a while ago and occasionally we have coffee.  She’s just had some work in a really prestigious competition – I told her the ‘goalposts’ shot would be a winner!

So happy 18th birthday to you James!  We were proud to be there with you.



The Mylesinator

We travelled down to Wrexham recently to watch Myles play in a wheelchair rugby match against North Wales Dragons.  Myles plays for the team West Coast Crash, and they are based at Southport’s Spinal Injury Unit and meet weekly to practice under the guidance of Paul Shaw. 

Since the team was formed over 18 months ago they have improved dramatically and in Wrexham … well, they finally won a match!  

I’m deeply proud of Myles.  Physically he is quite slight and is dwarfed by some of the older more muscled-up players.  I’d be scared stiff to be playing against some of them – all tattoos and mohicans and shaved heads – they’re frightening!   But on court Myles is as determined as he is in the rest of his life, and increasingly, an aggressive player.  Sadly, his aggression cost one of the opposition three broken fingers (sorry Tony!) and another to  be thrown out of his chair (sorry Roy!) –  I didn’t manage to capture that! 

So here are some pictures so you know what I’m talking about when I witter on about wheelchair rugby and Myles.

Happy Wednesday to you.



If you had a daughter, wouldn’t you want them to have eyelashes like these?

Calder Vale Church and Bluebells

Yesterday saw me zipping through the glorious countryside of the Trough of Bowland to Calder Vale church and the home of Anne-Marie, mum(and in-law-to-be)  of Sally and Alistair who are getting married in a couple of weeks.   

After tea and a look round their fabulous home Anne-Marie took me down to the church and I had a wander around some of the highways and byways there too.

I wanted to recce the church and see where we would be able to stand – this is a two photographer wedding with a gospel choir so competition for space in the church will be fierce and I just wanted to check it out.

 The light in the church was beautiful and I’m hoping that Sally and Alistair have a wonderful June day for their wedding.  Shafts of sunlight  were bursting through the leaded windows and illuminating the pots of bluebells which someone had thoughtfully left for everyone to enjoy.

 I love the beginning and end of the seasons so spring and autumn are my favourite times of the year.  Now the blossom is out, voluptuous and heavy on the branches, and the bluebells were just about to burst forth – in another week it will be just fabulous down there. 

The church is typically English – simple and a bit austere inside and set, as it is, next to a little primary school.  When we arrived the teacher and her students were sat in the school yard on the ground doing their work in the sunshine – what a wonderful way to experience your education.  Someone had scrawled some obscure message on the tarmac – it obviously meant something to them.  A secret code or an in-joke?

I’m so looking forward to this wedding – its great to be shooting for a full day and in such a typically English setting.  I love country weddings.  There is something so very special about them.  Good luck to Sally and Alastair for a wonderful day.

Do you like my new haircut?

Debbie at No 4 The Salon cuts my hair for me.  She has done for quite a few years now and I’m always really happy with the result.

She does wedding hair too.  Give her a call on 01253 737171 or pop into the salon at 4, Pleasant Street, Lytham, Lancashire.  Or you could email too – number4thesalon@live.co.uk.

Clothes Addict

I love clothes.  But I’m really fussy about them.  So I tend to buy something I like and then wear it a million times until its falling to pieces.  

I’ve just bought a(nother) grey jumper which I love from White Stuff.  I know, I know – another grey cardi – I’m just a big fan of the John Major look.  But its so soft and cosy!  And I just know that very shortly it will be thin at the elbows and looking a bit the worse for wear because I have already worn it to the point of being threadbare.  Hey ho.

Anyone who knows me well will also know that Jigsaw is my favourite shop of all time – in the main.  But it is quite expensive so not for everyone.  And I make very infrequent purchases it has to be said.  When I am shooting winter weddings I generally wear a Jigsaw suit and sometimes, if its very cold, I wear a winter coat, also by Jigsaw.   The suit, considering that it gets a lot of hammering by normal standards, has worn very well.  The coat? Well, not quite so well but it wasn’t, by winter coat standards, very expensive so I expect its just a case of you get what you pay for. 

Kew is the cheaper version of Jigsaw (well, I think they’d like to imagine that, but it isn’t really!).  The pink linen jacket with the scrunchy satin skirt that I wear to summer weddings are both by Kew.  They have served me well and are really easy to work in. 

Kew is not very well known, especially not any further north than the Watford Gap,  but they do a catalogue and I love the photography in it too!  Their website is www.kew-online.com.  Be warned though, the photography on the website just doesn’t do the clothes justice – they are much better quality in real-life than they look on-screen.  

You can also buy items from Jigsaw online these days – a new devel0pment.  Do a google – I’m sure you’ll find it there.

There is a pair of high sling-back patent shoes in LK Bennett that I covet.  But oh, so expensive!  Eye-wateringly so.  And have to say that I did vow never to darken the doors of their shop again after an altercation about a pair of shoes I had from there a while ago.  And the staff were so rude and unhelpful.  But……..oh, I really love those shoes!  I lust after them!  And what I like about them is that they are really elegant, sluttishly high and not over-designed.  But even if I were to stretch to them – should I buy black or nude? (the popular term for beige at the moment – ‘beige’ having connotations of elderly people!)

When, oh when, will shoe designers understand the Less Is More mantra that informs all good design?  There is so much about at the moment that makes women’s legs look sturdy and heavy when surely its all about a lovely long shapely pin?  You can only get away with gladiator sandals if you are about 16, naturally brown and with legs up to your armpits.  Anyone who cannot match those credentials should, frankly, just give them a wide berth. 

Ah well, rant over.  Happy shopping girls – and if anyone has any advice about nude versus black – please let me know!

Ska Cubano at The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal

A couple of weeks ago I took Myles and Barnaby and a friend of their’s up to The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal (what a brilliant place it is – and not so far away either!).  We went to see the band, Ska Cubano.  This is all part of my resolution to hear more live music in 2010. 

Ska Cubano won’t appeal to everyone.  But I was a student in the 80s and I was listening to stuff like The Specials and Madness (bit lightweight!) and it was very popular back then.  And its really happy, happy music.  You just want to dance.  I didn’t realise what a good reputation they have either – they just got a brilliant review in the Times on Saturday for their third album which has just been released.

S0 check out Ska Cubano on YouTube and check out The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal too – fabulous.  www.breweryarts.co.uk    There is a great bar with plenty of atmosphere, selling good food t0o, so you can have something before a performance. 

We also went to see Django Bates in April – jazz.  Loved it.  Even if you don’t like jazz, you’d have to admit that they are brilliant musicians.  Personally, jazz is like balm to my soul – I love it.  Again this was reviewed in The Times.

Happy Tuesday, guys.

Jo x