A celebration, some wedding princessing and some Lions (and a monkey)

Hello!

Thank you all so much (those of you who have commented on my facebook wall and sent me messages; you know who you are!) for my birthday wishes for yesterday! I had such a nice day and it very surreal racking up so many good wishes on my facebook notifications – I felt very popular, haha! Seriously though, it’s so appreciated and really reminds me how nice it is to hear a ‘happy birthday’ from people even when you haven’t heard from them in a while and that I must always remember people’s birthdays myself!

Today’s post is going to involve a series of tenuous links.

First, I will tell you about what I did yesterday… I went to visit the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Science Museum in Oxford in the morning. Some really impressive shots and the staff member on the desk was so chatty, telling us all about the various controversies, and the artists who’d visited and what they’d said about other photographers’ work… I really loved one shot of a white bird lifting out of the water, with it’s emerging wings spread in blurry motion. It looked so ethereal and beautiful! LOVED the polar bear too, plus lots more. Had a delicious light lunch at a lebanese restaurant afterwards avec some borrowed (must order it myself next time..) sugary mint tea.

After that I had my traditional family tea and cake ceremony in the afternoon – fodant fancies featured heavily, as always.

Then at 4pm I was taken to London and got there for an early dinner (really tasty veggie burger of portobello mushroom, baby spinach and goat’s cheese) and courgette fries at Byron Burgers in Covent Garden, before (feeling we might explode) going to watch THE LION KING at the Lyceum Theatre!!!! I had been wanting to go and see this for years and years, and occasionally, when I remembered the lack of it in my life, had a little moan… so it was a masssive treat and something I’d really really built up in my mind, so much so that afterwards I announced ‘It’s amazing that it didn’t disappoint me at all’, which my friend said was hilarious and should probably go on their poster… Haha (oops). Seriously though, the moment I left the theatre I wanted to just go back and watch it all again!! From the first second of the show, with the characters hurtling down the aisles to the stage while the most incredible powerful music seared into my ears, I was spellbound and genuinely a little bit teary. And then the creativity and ingenuity of the set designs, the use of space and the way they showed the passage of time, the sunsets and silhouettes, balletic gazelles, giraffe men on stilts, the elephant, costumes and colour, were all so utterly jaw-droppingly mesmerising. My favourite aspect of it by far, though, was definitely the call and response singing. After I come back in my next life as a Lebanese/bellydancer/Columbian/Shakira hybrid, I think I’ll come back as a big African mama, singing magical heart-stopping soulful Savannah tunes*. Ha. Rafiki, basically; the crazy wise lady with the staff, who tells Simba to ‘look into himself’ to find his father, and teases him into going back to reclaim his Lion-y throne and sorting out the hyenas and marching slinkily and powerfully back up Pride Rock. Aaaaah. 🙂

* Joke. Pretty sure we only get one chance at things, and sadly, I’m lily white. I did once get cast as a lion though (for hair reasons) in a school performance of Pyramus and Thisbe. My friend played the wall.

Anyway, I will be adding to my ‘White’ website gallery soon with some gorgeous new wedding images. There is a bit of a medley below!

Shot by Mike Croshaw at the brand new Cheltenham Film Studio. We did so many different styles in two hours (including pin up!) which I will hopefully show soon:

These were taken by Sabel Gonazalez recently around the centre of Oxford. The male model is the lovely and handsome James Pike, hair stylist Nikki Wright and make up artist Laura Pusey.

Finally, to complete the wedding theme bonanza for now, here are some outdoor shots by David Ballard., taken last week:

I’m going this afternoon to my local animal sanctuary in hope of finding a buddy for my little Chi! Can’t wait to meet the current members of the centre. I have a feeling I’m going to want to take quite a few home though… In related news, here is a photo of me holding a howler monkey called ‘Chiquito’, a temporary resident at an animal rescue centre I visited in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, in December. The centre was founded by a couple of european vets who met and fell in love during a work placement in Costa Rica. They set up house together and when the locals knew there were animal doctors in the area, any stray/hurt/lost animals were scooped up and delivered to their doorstep until it became necessary to expand and put up purpose-built enclosures for various lost and found animals to recuperate (The place is emphatically not a zoo!) until they are ready to be released back into the wild. I hope I can go back there soon! Chiquito was soooo sweet. We had to hold his tail strongly in case he jumped away (but he didn’t; he just wanted to snuggle!).
OK, here’s a little hand-licking deer I met there too (a little too tame to be released now, apparently):
Bye for now!
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