Bicentenial Post!

Somehow, despite not posting very much recently, I have managed to ramp up another 100 posts in the past eight to nine months ... and it took me eighteen months to do the first hundred.

Either I'm bored with too much time on my hands or there is a lot more to talk about ... or I'm just talking more crap than ever before.

PLEASE don't comment on that!

Anyhoo, it seems that Time is once again hurling itself past me like a million lemmings off a cliff as this is now my fifth attempt at writing this post since last Thursday, all previous attempts ditched due to lack of ... well, time ... and at the rate I'm going now, it won't be complete by the end of today, either.

So, on with it...

Thursday

Thursday night had me visiting my friend TrickyFaerie and her hubby for another amazing dinner, topped off with an excellent chocolate birthday cake complete with cream, strawberries and chocolate fudge layers ... excuse me while I just go clean up the dribble!

I really do need to sort my place out so that I feel comfortable having people round for an evening meal and drinks. Though I guess it would also help if I actually got my hob unit fixed.

Friday

I managed to get the afternoon off so that I could meet up with a few guys from the drama group to go and see the rather excellent Spam-a-lot.

Okay, ignoring the fact that Alan Dale proved that there is more life in a coffin, it was a bloody good production and had me creased up with laughter for most of the time. Well, I say laughter. As I had had a few drinks prior to the show, people were subjected more to my drunken girly giggles than my more sober, hearty, manly laughs.

The times not spent sounding like a blonde on helium, I was one of the many guys sitting forward in his seat, gob agape, ogling the rather sexy ladies on the stage ... very much a man's show. Go see it!!

Saturday

Without a doubt, this was the worst day of the weekend. I'm sure a lot of people enjoyed the Red Bull Flugtag immensely, but I have to confess that I really didn't. Don't get me wrong, the event itself was great to watch, it was the crowds that made it unpleasant for me.

I wouldn't say I suffer from claustrophobia or demophobia, but I do get agitated at being boxed into a space and not having the freedom to move ... one of the reasons I refuse to work in London, as I wouldn't be able to deal with the crush of the commute.

So, between the late arrivals pushing to the front of the crowd to squeeze into the tiniest of spaces and the guys behind me getting rapidly drunk before dousing my arse in beer, I succeeded in getting myself a tad wound up and decided to leave.

Unfortunately, I hadn't eaten or drunk anything since around 9am and it was now well past 2pm. Cue the jitters and lack of balance ... not good when you're trying to navigate a path through thousands of people that won't even consider leaning slightly to one side to let you through.

I was doing reasonably well at escaping but eventually did lose my balance, kicked a guys foot and stumbled, just catching his girl's shoulder for support. Of course, I immediately apologised, but it was obviously not taken with the sincerity it was given ... from the look the guy gave me, you'd think I was the scum of the earth.

Cheers, mate.

Eventually, I managed to disentangle myself from the masses and downed a few drinks with a decent meal to get me back on track, before heading home again and preparing for the next day's photoshoot down in the West Country.

Despite nearly colliding with an Audi TT in Sainsbury's petrol station - which decided to pull out in front of me at high speed - it was a painless journey.

Sunday

In case you haven't worked it out yet, I'm a bit of a contradiction; I hate all eyes being on me, yet put myself on stage; I am scared of the sea and deep water, yet go diving; and I hate being crammed into large crowds, yet go to free events just to get a day out.

The same is true for photography. I thoroughly enjoy taking photos but feel really self-conscious, so I knew I was going to be on edge for what can be considered my first photo job. Okay, maybe that's talking it up a little, but its the first time I have had to take photos for someone else.

Through the connections my Dad has, three of us were able to gain behind-the-scenes entry to the Avon and Somerset Constabulary Mounted and Dog Section Open Day*: my Dad, my brother-in-law and myself.

My brother-in-law has already had some experience of photographing events having worked on two weddings in the past couple of years, so there was already some familiarity there with at least the portrait shots for the day.

My Dad is more of a landscape and building photographer, with some sports photography at the Wales WRC last year, so has more experience of photographing the bigger picture.

Me? Jack of all trades!

I guess I have the most experience with sports having been able to practice at Castle Combe Race Circuit, but generally haven't really found my passion yet - though I'm hoping that will come as I become more experienced with the diving :-)

So, between the three of us, we had quite a wide range of skills to be employed in getting as wide a selection of shots as possible.

I have to confess that it was all very strange. Being let into the staff room for a cuppa was very much like being allowed into the teacher's staff room at school: you step in all nervous, knowing that you're not really supposed to be there, very aware of all the eyes turned in your direction. I felt like a kid again.

After my Dad had made his introductions, we wandered out to the arenas where the displays were going to be performed, took in the general layout and thus the day started.

Not being comfortable with taking crowd shots - once bitten, twice shy, as they say - I focussed mainly on the horse and hound displays which were quite entertaining. Fingers crossed, I might have one or two decent ones that I can use to start a portfolio. If I'm lucky!

The next time I do something like this, though, I think I will go better prepared and keep a cap and suncream in my bag. Why spend hundreds going abroad for some colour when you can go to Somerset for the day?!


* Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, does it?

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