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Elma Family Living Arrows Photography

Living Arrows 2015: 35/52


Living Arrows: a little moment of the week to pause, savour and treasure

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

We signed up to Jennie Maizels’ wonderful Sketchbook Club as soon as it opened and set to drawing our houses, but we never quite found the time to do more than sketching while we were away.  Since we’ve got back we’ve been making up for lost time with early morning drawing sessions.  Kitty is about half way through hers, H has finished inking in his houses and it just waiting to do the background, and thanks to an early morning with Miss Elma, mine is finished.

Elma at two and a half isn’t really up to drawing houses, so she’s been colouring in our inspiration sheets, and then painted them, and herself, wonderfully blue with my leftover paint, before helping me out with some French clouds and some very excited scissoring.

Elma Family Kitty Me and Mine Photography Pip

Me and Mine 2015: August


When we left home in early August I was absolutely certain that I was going to have no trouble getting this month’s Me and Mine photos.  In fact, so thought the naive, new to camping with children me, I’d probably have pictures of the five of us everywhere we went, I’d have too many to choose from.  Oh optimism you are my dear friend aren’t you.

It turns out that when the tripod is at home, as is the back up tripod (the buggy), and there are an awful lot of people about in all the lovely beautiful ever so slightly touristy places that you’re visiting you might not actually get a whole heap of photos.  I could see places to balance the camera, but then I could also see the next hoard of coach trippers bearing down on us just ready to turn around and whallop my camera into Honfleur harbour, and after I suffered a serious case of camnesia in Paris brought on by it being far too hot to even contemplate trying to get the camera out of the backpack, we reached Annecy, a whole week into our trip, without a single group shot.

So I did what anyone else would do.  I rounded up the family on the one and only sunny afternoon we had, stood them next to the shower block, attached my phone to the shrubbery via GorillaPod and set the timer app ticking.

Space for the Butterflies - Me and Mine

We are looking directly into the sunlight, which might just account for the littlest two determinedly facing away, or it could just be that that was the first time we’d seen those mountains without at least the top third being shrouded in mist.

The next set come from Switzerland.  We’d taken the train to Zermatt, and then then little train to Gornergrat, all in the hope of seeing some seriously impressive mountains, and as we slithered and climbed up from the station, a very kind man asked whether I’d like him to take our photo.  Yes, very much yes please I would.

Space for the Butterflies - Me and Mine

And yes, Kitty is holding a snowball.

Space for the Butterflies - Me and Mine

Now this picture you need to look at carefully.  Possibly blow it up at bit sort of carefully, because this is us with the Matterhorn. I know it looks like it’s us in falling snow but if you look very closely just above H’s head and just above the wall by his right hand, faintly visible through the cloud, is a mountain!

Space for the Butterflies - Me and Mine

My last picture from Zermatt is another family selfie; towards the end of the day the girls were getting tired so H and I were carrying them.  Pip is the small blue triangle in the left hand corner, snoozing in the Ergo on my front, I’ve got Elma on my shoulders and Kitty is on H’s shoulders.  And as we walked along the road we could both feel that something wasn’t quite right with the balance.  And as we turned to look up we realised that the girls were holding hands as we walked along, and giggling ten to the dozen at the same time.

But before you worry that you’ve slept a bit longer than you intended to last night and it’s December, or that Europe is being plunged into another ice age, my last picture for August comes from our last afternoon, sat on the beach waiting for a ferry, and enjoying every last drop of sunshine.  I’d been for a little wander and found an ice cream stand to relieve me of a few Euros and everyone had tucked in, even Pip, who has this holiday perfected the art of looking woeful if anyone has an ice cream and doesn’t offer him a bite.  It’s another iPhone tripod timer app photo and I love it.  It’s sandy and ice creamy and ever so slightly silly, and it’s the smiles on all our faces as we reach the end of our three weeks that says that this trip was really something very special.

My little family, in August:

Space for the Butterflies - Me and Mine

dear beautiful