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...
Love and Let Live

Love and Let Live

My very recent trip to the UK, albeit fleeting, was a bit of an awakener for me. Quite quickly into the trip I realized who my real friends are, who is genuine & who I should probably leave quite happily to their own life whilst I walk forward into mine. Traveling back on the plane, a nine hour trip, I started to reflect.  We all felt as a family that we had made the right move coming to the USA.  We miss people for sure, that’ll never change but we love our life here. It seems though that our life here is resented by a few. I paint a rosy picture, I am sure, but hey, its real.  No smoke and mirrors for us.  We do have sunshine, great friends, a good life and we worked hard to get it. This post however isn’t about that.  It’s about people and caring what they think of you. I care, far too much and as a result I often get hurt by things people say and do and just how they behave around me.  Women are particularly great in sending out the ‘dislike’ vibe. I just love the ‘look up and down’ when you walk in a room. With all this on my mind and being the caring type I of course start to analyze myself and what’s a day without beating yourself up a few times hey? With my thoughts on the subject of peoples opinions it was interesting to be watching the HBO TV Drama ‘Big Little Lies’ on the plane..I binge watched the entire series.  Loved it. Do make the time to see it. Without...
This new life in the USA

This new life in the USA

I never wanted to be a photographer   It wasn’t a life ambition, not the career I dreamed of at school.  Back in those days I dreamed of being happy, not getting such a hard time, perhaps living a life which had smiles in it.  In fact the only career aspiration I had was to be the next ‘Kate Adie,‘ if you are too young to know who she is feel free to log off now!  Or perhaps a Hollywood actress, there’s still time I might give it a try. Spin back the clock for almost a decade & I started on this path to be a photographer.  I’d already been in Sales & Marketing, having left school and home by 16 I needed a job not a career but had been pretty good at it.  Trained as a florist, started an events company and produced three children..plus a few other sidelines in between..a true ‘female’ Del Boy.  A ‘Jack of All Trades’, & Master of none?  But actually, maybe, I disagree, I mastered the art of moving in the direction that life took me, seeing an opportunity, recognising the skills needed and putting myself out there. Taking pictures came from nowhere..I love advertising and the imagery, posed myself on the odd occasion but held photographers in high regard and didn’t believe that I could be one..with three young children I needed to sell my demanding events & floristry business and found myself needing something more to do. I took myself off to college to study photography, I was 33 years old. A decade ago. Did I become a Master of this one thing?  My photography...