Beach House Living

“A beach house isn’t just real estate. It’s a state of mind.”

Douglas Adams

I have spent the last three weekends in three different beach houses. In fact, in the last 16 days I’ve only spent two days away from the seaside. It has been glorious. From exuberant weddings to much-needed solo time to hanging out with family, it’s been a restful and restorative series of June weekends. I left London dog tired; I return energised for a huge new work project and excited about a summer of socialising. Yes, I definitely  recommend the calm peace of the beach house state of mind.

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Sinful Sunday

Bathroom Break

On Wednesday @19syllables and I enjoyed a glorious and indulgent lunch with the very lovely @bibulousone. As coffee arrived I nipped to the bathroom. “Oh my God, we’ve got to do a photo in there,” I said as I sat back down. And would Haiku and I *ever* miss an opportunity to get our kit off and be cheeky, even if we are in a very smart Mayfair restaurant…

PS. You may have noticed I’m absent from Twitter at the moment. There’s nothing at all to worry about, all’s well with me and nothing’s changed. But my business needs a bit of TLC, as do some of my interests outside of E40. I’m not very good at staying away from idle distraction so while I focus in on the professional and the political for a couple of weeks I’ve disabled my account. Once the deadlines have been met and I’ve stuffed as many leaflets as possible through letterboxes, I’ll be back. I’m off on holiday in three weeks and there’s a beach 15 minutes from my cottage that’s favoured by naturists so I’ll be back with camera in hand and some new photos before you know it! Until then I’ll keep up with Sinful Sunday using photos I have in the bank. 

Sinful Sunday

Frame, Reframe, Celebrate

“Thank you for this! I love it. And you, and this community, have made that love possible. Five years ago, a photo that showed my rolls and folds would have made me cry. But now, I see how sensual and celebratory a photo like this can be.” Maria Merian

This was Maria’s comment on her portrait yesterday. And it rings true. I know that if anyone had told me a couple of years ago that I would be excited about posting this photo with my big belly on full glorious display I would have laughed out loud. Many of us frequently make reference to how much this community has done to increase our self-confidence and sense of our own beauty but I think it’s worth saying again and again. Molly does many brilliant things (and I’m pretty sure there’ll be more evidence of that in a few days!) but I think Sinful Sunday and February Photofest are the ones where the ripple effect makes such a profound difference to people’s lives. So, again, THANK YOU!

I have loved participating in February Photofest and you can see all my photos here. Aside from giving this month a black and white theme, I wanted it to embody the spirit of Exposing 40, which is an exuberant celebratory collaboration. Sometimes we’re silly, sometimes we’re thoughtful, sometimes we’re intimate, but we’re always having fun!

This month I’ve posted 11 portraits I’ve taken of others, 10 that have been taken of me by others and 7 self portraits. And how much fun it has been! There’s been new photo adventures with friends, I’ve used photos that had previously only been in my personal library and have delved into the archives for Throwback Thursday and smiled at the memories. I’ve photographed and been photographed by a valued partner of many years and a new lover who I only started chatting to on the 1st of the month! Of course, that one’s at the exciting who-knows-where-this-will-go-but-it’s-fun stage, but I love that he’s found his way onto February Photofest. I wonder if my secret dating superpower is being able to find people who want to be photographed naked?!

In total, 15 people have participated in my February Photofest either in front of or behind the camera. Framing, reframing and celebrating. Thank you! Same time same place next year?

Self Portrait with Exhibit A

Febraury Photofest

Self Portrait

“Sensitive people faced with the prospect of a camera portrait put on a face they think is the one they would like to show to the world. Every so often what lies behind the facade is rare and more wonderful than the subject knows or dares to believe.” Irving Penn

I commented yesterday that I hadn’t yet used a self portrait during February Photofest…

Me by me 

Febraury Photofest

Sweet Like Honey

I am slightly conscious that we’re now more than a third of the way through February and I haven’t yet posted a self-portrait. But I have so many gorgeous photos of other people and lots of myself shot by others that I haven’t yet felt inspired by my self portraits. I said on day one I would try for a roughly equal split of other sitters, me sitting and self portraits, so at this rate there’ll be a flurry of self portraits at the end!

Today, I’m delighted to share the first of two shots there will be of Honey this month. Apart from Exhibit A (who doesn’t really count as he got me into all this!), Honey was the first person I photographed after joining the community. I still remember feeling so honoured and excited when she asked me to photograph her. I’ve photographed many more bloggers since and there’s more to come over the following weeks and it NEVER gets boring. If you ever fancy a daft giggly adventure with me and my camera do ask!

Back to Honey and her gorgeous breasts. Underneath their huge awesomeness is an even bigger heart that holds an endless amount of love and goodwill for so many. Stay brilliant lovely friend – for others and you! Xx

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Febraury Photofest