Confetti Moment

Most vicars or church wardens that I have come across are happy for guests to throw natural rose petals as confetti at Bride and Grooms when they leave the Church.

But when the bride and groom comes out of the Church they are the first people to leave so no one has had a chance to line up yet.

I use moment this moment as a great opportunity to take some just married portraits in a couple of pre-arranged spots in the Chuchyard before heading back into the Church via a side door. It is such a lovely moment to be with the bride and groom who have literally just become man and wife and are so happy!

Meanwhile the ushers are organising the whole congregation into a line and handing out baskets of colourful confetti so that when the bride and groom re-emerge through the main exit for the 2nd time they are liberally sprinkled with sweet smelling petals.

This tradition started in Italy where flowers or rice grain were thrown on the happy couple to signify prosperity and fertility.

In the images below, Hermione and Benjie come out of the Church ahead of their friends and family and we walk around the church for some informal portraits while the confetti line is organised by their ushes and bridesmaids. They then they re-emerge and walk down their avenue of friends and family who shower them in petals.

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Cool Columbia

It’s taken me 17 years to get to Colombia. And that’s because, like most British people, I used to associate it with drugs and violence. So when, 17 years ago, my then boyfriend & 1 spent a year travelling in South America, the only country I wouldn’t go to was Colombia.

For all this time my now husband has wanted to go to Colombia. With a significant birthday looming (plus the fact so many friends have now safely been) I finally said yes.

We just spent two weeks travelling around Colombia with its large ethnic mix and psychedelic colours. We arrived in the city of Medellin, (formerly home to infamous drug Baron Pablo Escobar and now one of the funkiest cities in the country) through the coffee region further south, (Solento, Filandia) full of cowboys and hikers; on to Cartagena, a pretty heritage site on the coast with fabulous salsa bars; Finishing in a tiny Carbibean-flavoured island called Providencia in the north.

We flew everywhere in planes varying in size – the smallest being an 18-seater. Most flights cost about £50 and saved taking rather hairy bus rides.

We had a little bit of everything In Medillin : from recent history & culture from our guide Vicente taking us through Barrio (neighbourhood) Moravia, explaining how it’s evolved from the shadows of the ‘mountain of rubbish’ slums, where thousands of country folk fled during the troubles, into a thriving neighbourhood with its own football club. Or taking the cable car up to Santo Domingo for a birds eye view of the patchwork roofs below; Climbing the elevator to Commune 13 to see the remarkable transformation of this former no-go zone where teenagers now perform street dance at the top of the stairs while graffiti artists display their talents on any available surface; We moved around easily on The Metro, which is, our guide points out, immaculate. No one litters these air-conditioned over-ground trains because of what they represent : hope and optimism.

Then onto Solento in the coffee region where we took a muddy 5 hour hike up to a house filled with humming birds and played pool in a hall that has stayed the same for fifty years. Then a bit of r and r in Caragena where we ate incredible ceviche, drank rooftop cocktails and tried to pick up a bit of salsa (the government lays on free salsa lessons like aerobics in public spaces which anyone can attend!)

And finally onto a bit of beach and snorkelling in Providencia, a tiny unspoilt island off the North Coast. (NB Fly, don’t take the catamaran from San Andres unless you like throwing up) We swam with turtles and worked on our tans whilst chatting to locals in creole – this used to be a British colony. Our taxi driver was one of 34 children. Many of the islanders are Rastafarians and the pace is relaxed.

Colombia still has issues. Just the day we got home three bombs exploded at police stations in the north including the city of Barrangquilla. Several police officers were killed. According to the Foreign office advice on Colombia, ‘a temporary ceasefire between the Colombia government and the national liberation army (ELN) ended on 9th January 2018. The ELN has since renewed its attacks …and further attacks could take place.’

They have an expression in Colombia, not to ‘dando papaya’ which which in slang means don’t give a thief the chance to steal. So we wore backpacks zipped up or on our fronts and we didn’t have any issues. The foreign office agrees : ‘Despite the high levels of crime, most visits to Colombia are trouble-free.’ 30th January 2018

In fact, in my experience, For all it’s tough rap, you are more likely to get a cuddle with a chihuahua than experience a real life episode of Narcos in current day Colombia. I didn’t see any drugs (though there was a big cocaine haul uncovered while we were there) but I saw hundreds of pampered pooches. Poodles with ribbons in their hair; French bulldogs in exotic coats and English bulldogs strutting their stuff. Furthermore, furry pets have access to all areas including on planes, on motorbikes, and in handbags.

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The Most Fun Photo-Shoot Ever!!

The Most Fun Photo-Shoot Ever!!

Recently I did a photo-shoot for landscape and garden design company, Alasdair Cameron Design. Alasdair’s designs are all about ensuring your garden comes alive by establishing beautiful spaces that you will want to spend time in, interact with and enjoy.

With this in mind Alasdair, his wife Tor and their three children set about showing me how they enjoy their own stunning garden near Uffculme in Devon. Tor jumped her horse through a border while their boys led their pristine ducks in an orderly formation across the lawn; Kit then dribbled his football in and out of the pumpkins from the immaculate veg patch; Jemima, their daughter showed me how to hula hoop and their youngest child, Occa, played hide & seek in the cosmos leaf!

For more information about Alasdair Cameron’s inspired designs of beautiful gardens to be played in please go to www.alasdaircamerondesign.com

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