Friday, March 30, 2012

Back from the (almost) dead...

What happened to my hair you may ask. Well, I will tell you: I thought perhaps I had been thrown under a Mac truck in the early hours of Sunday morning. It was my 41st birthday and I woke up all ready for a lovely day with family and gluten free cake, only to discover that I could barely lift my head from the pillow. Too much wine from the night before was my initial reaction, but then my body spiraled into deep aches in every joint and these knives descended into my upper chest with such force, I knew this was no hangover, especially since I don't really drink enough (anymore) to get hangovers. And then my lungs started to rattle and rumble and send me into such hideous coughing fits that my back went into spasm and I'd cry out in pain. Next, the raging fever set in and I shivered and sweat my way through my birthday. Occasionally, this charming little ice pick would leap out of nowhere and drive itself deep into my left hip socket and then magically turn itself into a giant rusty screw and start twisting like a plumber's snake into the bones. That was fun. Oh, and did I mention lava started spilled from my tear ducts across my eyes and my lips started to peel chunks of flesh off for no apparent reason? I could hear my family and friends outside having my birthday celebration lunch in the grotto below and they even sweetly sang me happy birthday to me from the table below when they brought out the cake. All the while, I effectively had locked in syndrome, for I couldn't move or speak or sleep and could barely even breathe - all I could do was wallow in my suffering and long for it to all be over. 

I even succumbed, against all I believe in, and allowed Ben to dose me up with aspirin or ibuprofen in an effort to end all the agony, but all that did was burn a hole in my stomach, despite force feeding myself some repulsive just-for-sick-folk onion, garlic and chicken soup. Whatever this little germ started as, it rapidly turned to pneumonia and all I could do was turn myself painfully slowly like a turkey basting, in an effort to find the least painful position - there were none. Even the effort of whimpering was too much, though I longed for those around to know my true distress. I realised that no matter how much empathy you have for someone, you can never imagine what it is they are going through. I can't even imagine it now as it was, and it was only yesterday for me.

Finally, on day three, Ben was trying to force feed me more hardcore evil pharmaceuticals, so I secretly mustered up all the strength I had to text my homeopath. I told her I was dying. I think I probably was close. I am not telling stories. She recommended which remedy might be my salvation and I started on the course that afternoon. A few hours later, as Ben was insisting he take me to Emergency if I didn't want to die, I turned a corner. I suddenly felt like I was of this earth once more. I was no longer suspended in this weirdly haunted hallucinogenic hell I had been banished to for three days - I was back to some semblance of a reality I recognised. Yes, I felt lousy and yes, my nose was exploding and so was my head and then my lungs started to as well, but it was all good exploding - geting it out exploding which I really really needed.

I kept taking my remedy and every day I have been getting a little bit better. Today is the first day that I have been able to get out of bed. If I am ignoring your emails, you now know why. I am very dizzy and feeling weird and still my head and lungs are too full of goo, but oh, it so good to be healing so rapidly thanks to those trusty little sugar pills. Much love and gratitude goes out to my beloved homeopath, Alison, for the hours she spent getting me through this. Honestly, if anyone doesn't believe in the strange but undeniable power of remedies, I have too many stories to share to leave any doubt. I was at death's door and Bryonia pulled me back from the brink - a poisonous flower watered down to a tasty little sugar pill under the tongue which packs a mean punch. 

So I am inexplicably thankful to be returning (slowly and gently) to a place of health, and am so very close now. What I am not thankful for, is my hair. This gives you an idea of how unbelievably ill I was that I couldn't even lift a finger to look after myself or even let anyone come near me I was in so much pain. I do not even know where to begin. It is in one piece and feels like a brillo pad. Do I start with scissors, a vat of coconut oil, or do you think my talented homeopath will have a remedy for detangling a rat's nest too? xxxx

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lila in the Freesias

You may not recognise this delicious little red head from her first photo shoot last year - I could not have dreamed those sweet wisps of hair would grow into such stunning copper hues - I was just smitten the entire shoot. We planned the second mini session at my home, but at the last minute, since I knew the freesias didn't have much longer before they disappeared, we chose a field of flowers for the session. Lila was as much an angel for this session as she was for the first one when she was only eight weeks old.

I like to play around with different processing since the shoots would otherwise seem a little samey, albeit each image in those blossoms so lovely!

Thank you Lila for being such a little love and so tolerant with all the patches of flowers we plopped you in - you were bemused but patient and very good natured about it all - lucky Mummy and Daddy having such a sweet soul in their lives xxx

Monday, March 19, 2012

Little Red Riding Hood

As many of you know, I am trying to do more concept shoots with my Sacha Surprise packages. They make me happy to style and they feed my creative appetite, not to mention the results are always so fun and original. I have been longing to do a little Red Riding Hood shoot since Indigo has this adorable red coat. It was a hand me down from my Godson, Gabrielle, to Oslo, and then to Indigo. I have been planning for years to do a shoot but just never seem to find the time. So finally made the time and booked an afternoon in my diary. But the night before the shoot, when we tried on the complete outfit I had been dreaming of for so long, the coat's hood just seemed too small when up. I finally looked at the label on the coat and it was for a 24 month old!! Indigo will be six this summer! I have a tendency to keep dresses that then morph into shirts etc, but this was definitely taking long wearing to a new level!! It looks totally fine if the hood it not up, but for this shoot, the hood really is the key feature. Luckily, our beloved nanny, Tin Tin, came to the rescue as she had a friend's red riding hood costume and it was perfect - just a little pinning and it fit Indigo like a dream and was so much more dramatic than the wee coat I had planned for and much more like in the story book too. I have said this before, but it never cesases to amaze me what one can find around the house for dress up and they always actually looks so much more genuine than the shop bought costumes. 

I was hoping to do the shoot in a forest but of course the day arrived before I'd had time to properly scout so next thing I knew, we just decided to do it in my back garden - it is amazing how it looks foresty though all the same - and amazing what a little garden neglect will do for creating the perfect setting for a photo shoot. All those manicured gardens are actually hopeless for shoots as they make the background too angular and not organic enough - but somewhere wilde and over grown (like my garden!!!) is the dream location. And I can even mask these weeds for proper flowers!

So after the inspiration came from the existing red coat, I knew I needed a wolf. I posted a request on facebook and had quite a few people email pics of their delicious dogs. But this pup, Savvy, could not have been better cast. Apparently, these dogs are bred to look like wolves. She is part German Shepard, part Husky, and part Malamute. Amazing result and her temperament was just dreamy. I was a little worried at first at the idea that perhaps I was putting Indigo in danger. And Savy was even a little skittish at first with the vibrant red of the cape. But then she grew accustomed to it and the garden and was very relaxed. It was actually quite funny as it was a bit of an effort to make her look sinister and wolfy as most of the time, she was bouncy and happy and panty - definitely not at all scary looking. But with the temptation of treats, her mummy managed to get her into the positions and looks we wanted

After the garden, we decided the story would not be complete unless we had Savvy in bed dressed up as Grandma. She was incredibly tolerant as we put her in a nighty and bonnet, though it was not staying on those pointy ears!

"My Grandma - what big teeth you have!" Indigo was actually saying these lines the whole time and it was extremely funny.

"And what big eyes you have!" The wolf instantly squeezed them as small and tight as she could, insisting they were not big at all, but all the better to see her with just the same!

"Grandma - you are sort of scaring me - you look a lot like that wolf I just met in the woods..."

"Grandma - why won't you look at me???"

Thank you Indigo for being such an amazing model - I am never as professional with you as I am with official clients and I don't seem to remember to do for you what I do for other kids to help them relax and have fun so you are such a trooper for putting up with all my crazy ideas! And thank you Michelle for bringing over Savvy and helping her to be such a star performer - I am utterly thrilled with the results! xxxxxx