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There just aren’t enough hours in the day at the moment! How on earth did I used to hold down a fulltime job and run a family?! The truth is that I didn’t really – I stumbled from one day into the next, prioritising whoever shouted loudest, at home and at work. I used to dream of having the sort of freedom and pressure-free existence that I supposedly now lead. Surely running your own business from home should give a better quality of life and ease the juggling of home and work demands? In many ways it has – writing presentations to pointless deadlines, attending endless meetings and commuting (read “crawling”) along the network of Manchester motorways is a thing of the past – thank goodness. I now spend my “workdays” either at the computer editing photographs, printing out jobs, updating the website, emailing (presumably a valid verb these days although it’s arguable whether it’s a valid use of time…), or nipping to see customers, running errands and fitting in walking the dog somewhere in between. This should all be squeezed in to the school hours between 9.15 and 3.00 but somehow time always runs away from me. Lunchtime seems to sneak up on me when I’m convinced it’s still only about 11.00, and then it’s a mere blink of an eye until 3.00 is here and I rush out of the door to collect the little peeps. Then the other part of my day starts, with after-school activities, tea and homework filling the slot from 3.30-7.00 every day. If I’m not falling asleep by 9pm then I’ll do a bit of work or blogging in front of the TV before collapsing into bed. Somewhere between 9.00 & 11.00pm Nic & I are supposed to find some quality “us-time”.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not bemoaning this new way of life – I just need to get a better handle of it. I’ve been used to a very structured working week for more than twenty years and I need to be a better mistress of this still relatively new freedom. (Here I am now in Costa at 11.15 writing my blog off-line as I can’t get a signal on my supposedly mobile broadband to go online and write some emails!)

As a change of subject, I’ve added to my collection of lenses this week. I’ve read lots of write-ups on the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens, all of which conclude that it’s a must-have in any portrait / wedding photographer’s kit bag. And at around £90 RSP it’s without doubt my cheapest lens – and I got it for £75 on ebay including p&p. I’ve not had much time to play with it yet – just a few shots of the dog and the kids, but I’m already excited about the difference it’s going to make to my portrait shots, especially in low light / indoors. I’ve also fallen back in love with my telephoto lens, although I’m looking forward to the day when I can upgrade it to a lens with a lower f-stop and better quality all round, especially now that I’ve seen the potential of my recent purchase. But I still got some lovely shots of Sam, who was at his absolute posing best on Mother’s Day, when we visited Dunge Valley Hidden Gardens nr Macclesfield. Despite the fierce arctic winds he explored the gardens with me, claiming he didn’t want me to have to do it on my own on Mother’s Day and that he would be my model. So, whilst Nic and Abby huddled in the campervan, cooking chilli and rice for lunch (the tea room was closed due to flooding), Sam and I had a blast of fresh air and a blast in general, with me laughing at him for most of the walk as he tried to hold his trousers up to prevent me taking shots of his builder’s bum (Sam suffers from this no matter what he wears, having no waist and a tiny behind!). Dunge Valley will be well worth a visit after Easter, when the Bluebell walk and the Rhododendron Trail will both hopefully be in flower (and the tea room open and flood-free). The hellibores were magnificent, by the way, hence the opening shot (another great use for my telephoto lens).

By Jane Burkinshaw. Share this post by clicking on one of the Share buttons on the right hand side. I’d love to hear your comments too!

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