Nick Monteleone

Nick Monteleone

Dear Nick It’s been a year since the day we met. I will never forget that day.  I felt like I had known you my whole life and that day you gave me your whole life, your words, your story and your legacy.  You trusted me, I know I was just a vessel and I had no doubt of where I needed to be. That day, our time, will be with me forever.  Your life impacted so many and I am thankful that for just a moment, I got to see why you were so special, why they all love you so much. I hugged your wife tonight.  Pam looked so pretty, forever a little sad now, we share this much.  I recognize her pain and that of your children & their children.   I want to hold her face and say, ‘I know, but I can’t because I don’t know, how could I.  Looking at her and seeing your family about the place, I feel you, I feel your presence.  The glue, the reason, even without your living body, they are together, for you and because of you. When I look at your family I feel so thankful, privileged that I get to know them, experience their crazy!  Let’s be honest, they are all a little crazy! You have to love their noise, their frantic togetherness.  They are family, unapologetic but as an army they stand.  It’s a beautiful thing. All of your children are a little bit special to me. I see you in all they do.  It seems a silly thing to say, even a little...
J’taime Paris!

J’taime Paris!

It must seem that sitting aboard a plane, sipping a G&T and being 30,000* feet up in the air creates a great recipe for me to begin musing. I’m reflecting on the trip to Europe I have just departed and feeling joyous at the return to my family.  Their absence in my life for the past 29 days has been nothing short of painful and I cannot wait to return back to Florida,  so I can resume my duties of making breakfast pancakes, being their personal Uber and generally embarrassing them at every opportunity, Mum dabbing is the worst apparently. This particular cacophony of words for once isn’t about my general adoration for my offspring, I hope you hung in there, this, is to introduce you to something altogether a little more illicit, a torrid secret I would like you to keep from my husband, although I am more than happy and joyfully hoping for him to join me anytime and make it a delightful three way. This post is all about my love affair with, Paris.  I am sure you may reflect on my grammar here & I admit it is appalling but Paris quite frankly deserves the pause. I cannot quite remember the moment I feel in love with this city, perhaps it’s the not so distant French blood that exists in my veins but somehow it has my heart and every time I return it is like greeting an old lover, the familiarity and memories return and I am left in a haze, a warmth and a welcome home.  Whilst, in the pit of my stomach...
Love letters

Love letters

Just before I travel, especially when alone, I get a bit anxious. Scratch that, very anxious, I curl up like a little ball inside myself and I worry like crazy. People are always surprised to hear that from me, I give off this air of confidence whilst inside I’m churning away, painfully! This trip is a long one.  Probably the longest I have ever left my youngest two kids.  My oldest and I now being accustomed to separation, he lives and works the other side of the world to me.  I say accustomed, but I will never be used to his being so far away and I still get that gut punch feeling every time I think about the distance or how much I miss him. So, why am I rambling this time? Nerves are one thing, we all hate leaving our children.  Flying makes me a little uncomfortable.  I shove the fear far down and try to pretend I am cool with it. My fears are bigger now, the world is a scarier place.  Walking the streets in major cities, going to a concert and just doing ordinary, everyday things can mean real danger.  We can’t protect ourselves from it, we can’t see it coming and its right on most of our doorsteps. I want to leave some words for my children. Y’know in case I don’t get to say it in person.  I constantly tell them I love them, am proud of them but if they ever needed to just read those words, however old they are in years to come, here they are. This isn’t supposed...
Will I ever love myself?

Will I ever love myself?

I’m talking about weight, body shape the dreaded fat! I don’t want to, I know its dull, but the conversation always ends up there, will we ever learn to just let it go and love ourselves as we are?Two good friends came over for lunch today and inevitably we talk about body shape.  Not in a ‘shaming’ way, we are not malicious types just in a ‘she is this’ and ‘she is that’ and wondering why, how, what is best? We talk about it because we are looking for the secret, how’d she got there, would that work for me.  We all know the answer, it’s what you eat and how much you move and a big dollop of the genes you were born with. You notice it is all ‘She’ and not he, men care, they really do, but not nearly as much as we care, I’m sure your man walks around the bedroom naked and doesn’t give a hoot what you are thinking about his arse! I’m not overweight on paper, I have a healthy and good BMI.  In fact, I am very healthy, something I’m so thankful for and I mentally slap myself in the face every time I look in the mirror or step on the scales and just see imperfection.  I’m not looking to just drop a few pounds I wanna see Heidi Klum’s butt in the mirror reflecting back when I look at mine. You see? It’s insane isn’t it?  We have ourselves set up against these stunning ideals of how we should be. I don’t blame the magazines, I work in the beauty industry.  In...

Day Eleven: 50 Portraits 50 Days 50mm lens No pre planning, no fixed poses, just people doing their thing..so on the most part they will be strangers, so courage required too! Well I got in early today! Found me a lovely young lady (cough)!Lisa, a friend of mine, (not any more after this probably), when I sprung upon her the idea that she would be my portrait of the day..because today is her birthday! It is a tradition amongst us that we meet up for coffee and breakfast at our local haunt, I won’t give them any free advertising cause I spend too much money in there already.Lisa actually is no stranger to the camera and featured in a campaign of mine a few years ago when I first started out, the campaign appeared at The Brick Lane Gallery for two weeks with Lisa’s lovely derriere being a fabulous feature wink emoticon Peachy.Lisa is Mum to Luke & Toby and wife to Matt. She is training in Fitness and will be kicking peoples butt into touch soon when she qualifies as as a personal training instructor. Lisa walks everywhere, spends her life in the gym and eats loads of cake and there isn’t an ounce of fat on her…yes I know you are all wondering why I’m friends with her?Lisa may put all the rest of us to shame but she is a funny, lovely lady who can knock back a JagerBomb or two and I’m very happy to call her my friend. Oh and Lisa….Roll On Vegas Baby!...
Day 10 50/50/50 UK 2011 Nick

Day 10 50/50/50 UK 2011 Nick

Day Ten: 50 Portraits 50 Days 50mm lens No pre planning, no fixed poses, just people doing their thing..so on the most part they will be strangers, so courage required too! Today I wanted to get a lady…..easy tiger! I mean try and find a female subject. I drove to a couple of salons all busy and because it keeps raining I didn’t want someone to stop for me and get wet..So I went to the pub…no not for a drink but to photograph a nice lady bar person, no lady but I got Nick the owner, I will try to get a lady tomorrow! Nick has owned The Surrey Cricketers for seven years a nice village pub in Windlesham. He has a wife, Meral and a daughter Zara, and very soon baby number two, who’s dues in November.Nick has served a few famous faces whilst at The Cricks, notoriously Russell Crowe whilst he lived in the village as he was filming Robin Hood, the big hair duo Brian May and his Wife Anita Dobson who live nearby and recently Alex Reid…although don’t tell anyone that, he doesn’t want to put people off the place.Nick also manages his own property portfolio and fancies himself a bit of a farmer with his 8 Chickens, 5 Ducks, 3 dogs and 3 fish!Born in Hampshire, Whitchurch he says he has never done anything major or adventurous but I’m sure thats not true, I’ll go back and find out from his regulars one Friday night what he really gets up to!If you ever visit buy him a drink..a large Pinot Grigio...