OK, so I admit, I got a bit stressed last week. Those of you who have been following my blog will know that my PC has not been playing ball of late, and that the time had come..... for a photographer, there is never a good time to be without a PC. Smart phones are effectively useless when you need to upload and edit 500 raw files. But my hand was effectively forced by my computer's blatant refusal to even open the smallest JPEG. So I endured the best part of two weeks in a kind of limbo, unable to upload, and too scared to format recent memory cards, just in case....
Lucky, then, that Shoreham provided a great distraction last weekend in the form of its annual Beach Dreams Festival. After all, whilst I couldn't blog, I did still have a camera, and the weather was stonking!
The festival kicked off at 11.00 am on the Saturday, with the Hawaiian Beach Party parade. Happily my daughter (posing above!) had had an Hawaiian-themed party for her 7th birthday in Miami, and I surprised myself by remembering the whereabouts of the grass skirt and accessories we'd hung on to for the past two years "just in case". Flower clip for your hair, anyone?
The last time we were at Beach Dreams, pre-Florida, evidently, said daughter was no more than a few weeks old, and I have pictures of my husband walking around the beach carrying her in a Baby Bjorn, plastic pint glass in hand! It was sunny then too. But this was an altogether different experience. The kids instantly disappeared off with their friends (one enterprising mum had brought walkie talkies!), leaving me to browse the community stalls and share a jug of Pimms with friends. This was more like it. Whilst I'm not sure what I'd actually do with them, I loved photographing Sanya Budna's colourful Meditation Stones, and, of course, my blog wouldn't be complete without some close-ups of scrummy cupcakes! Thanks Vicki at Seashell Bakery!
First up after the schools' parade was local band Demelzas Tea Party. Wow, what a great start to the weekend! I felt my PC worries disappear as the combination of great music, Pimms and warm sunshine put me into a fantastic and relaxed mood. And using a skateboard as a beer table - genuis!
Please note, dear Florida friends, the strappy dresses and shorts - oh, yeah, while you're in the too-hot-and-humid rainy season, with the kids already out of school, bored and under your feet, we're embarking on a long, pleasantly hot summer and another 6 wonderful weeks of government-funded childcare....
OK, so maybe not, as it's rained virtually ever since, but let me have my one day of gloating one upmanship!
Beach Dreams is a family affair, with lots for the kids to do, a good playground on site, and a few fairground-style rides and stalls. Clive had spent the week in Mexico, conveniently missing my "I hate computers" angst, but managing to get back home in time to enjoy the evening celebrations and prove to doting daughter that it is indeed possible to shoot items off the shelves (well, the low ticket ones, anyway). Loving your bow action too, Pete!
Meanwhile, I was relaxing at the skateboard table, enjoying a lager when the boy (hiding at the back) made a rare appearance with his mates. OK, so he was on the scrounge, of course, but this great pic was a worthy exchange methinks!
In fact, bribery and corruption was the order of the day as the kids started to flag a bit at eight o'clock. But there was no way I was leaving just as Toploader came on stage. Oh, yes, loyal readers, Shoreham is not the sleepy backwater I had hitherto thought it was! In fact, I had no idea all these people lived here! Where on earth did they all come from?! By this time, there was a lot of sunburnt flesh in evidence and some very merry people. Being a bit on the short side, I did attempt to get on hubby's shoulders during their classic "Dancing in the moonlight", but failed (there was a lot of laughter nearby, but luckily no photos have appeared on facebook...) So I preset my camera and used my son instead - wow, what a great shot! Definitely takes after his mother!
As long lenses and festivals don't mix, I then left the family behind (photographer's pejorative) to squeeze my way to the front for some close-ups with my 24-70 mm, managing about 10 seconds before the only vaguely free spot - right in front of the speaker - reminded me I was no longer in my twenties. Retreating to the periphery was a good move: despite having had a few beers at this point, this silhouette of the singer as the sun went down over Beach Dreams is one of my favourites.
We loved it so much we came back the following afternoon for Beach Dreams' ultra-chilled Folk, Blues & Rock N Roll Day. And yours truly spent a very enjoyable hour-and-a-half learning about and capturing images of rare beach flora on Shoreham's annual Beach Flower Walk, legging it back just in time to hear world renowned guitarist, Richard Durrant. So please do come back in a day or two for the next installment of Beach Dreams. I've got a bit of catching up to do, blog-wise, so you lucky, lucky people are getting two in one week!
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