While on the flight to London last week, I made a decision that I was going to blog daily through November. Uhm, oops! It is November 3rd, and this is my first post. Off to a great start, I must say. However, I have been making plans for lots of posts, creating lists, making notes. Since I’ve been offline a lot, gathering up the links I need hasn’t been so easy. Time to revise that plan – I’ll blog as close to daily as I can in November. I think that is a bit more realistic.
We’re in London for the wedding of Ann and Karl this weekend in Bristol, England. Ann & I met years ago (2000? 2001?) thanks to the blogosphere and the fact that we were both photographers. I discovered her incredible work online, and over time we talked via email and instant messaging. We shared a love of photography and all good things geek. Eventually, she started to tell me how I really must meet this Mike guy that she had met at a London blogger meetup. He was from Houston, but working in London. He returned to Houston frequently though. She told him that he should meet me. Then Mike moved back to Houston, and organized a coffee hour at (the now defunct) Kaveh Kane’s in downtown Houston. I went because Ann had insisted I really, really needed to meet him. Within weeks we were dating, and we’ve been married now for over 6 years. I might have met him anyways as our paths would have crossed thanks to H-Town blogs, but I made a point to meet him and talk to him – all because of Ann’s recommendation. To say I owe her a lot would be an understatement.
I finally got to meet Ann in person when we were on our honeymoon in London in 2004. We walked from Trafalgar Square to Parliament, passing Big Ben, across the Westminster Bridge, and eventually took a ride on the London Eye. Ann & I were like two kids in a candy shop, taking hundreds of photos of the skyline at sunset and dusk. It was WONDERFUL. Then we walked across Hungerford Bridge, and eventually picked a spot for dinner. Even though Mike knows a lot of people in London, we agreed beforehand that Ann was the only person that we would meet up with while we were on our honeymoon. It was a fabulous, fun filled night.
In 2006 I returned with Mike to London. He had a business trip for work, and since we had some airline miles available for a flight for me, and a “free” hotel room, I tagged along. The last 3-4 days, he had to go over to The Hague for meetings, so I stayed with Ann in her flat. It was my first taste of what “real” London is like for people that live here, and I was even more in love. It was nice having a few days alone with her, visiting yarn shops, going to her knitting group at the pub and meeting her friends (that is Nikki below on the right), and of course taking photos.
Ann & Karl met on the 4th of November, 2006 and started dating on the 5th of November. This Friday will be their 4 year anniversary of that first date, and the perfect date for a wedding! Remember, remember the fifth of November… (Yes, there will be sparklers and other fireworks for Guy Fawkes Night!)
Ann made her first trip to the USA for SXSWi in 2007, and it was so much fun getting a chance to show her my side of the pond while she was there. She is still wondering why they don’t have Chicken Fried Steak in England, because it is the best food ever. She would also love it if a Target was to open nearby in London.
Mike to London returned for another business trip in 2007 and Ann spent a Sunday afternoon teaching him how to knit too. I could have taught him, but realized I might try to stab him with my knitting needles in the process if I got frustrated, so it was better having a neutral party involved. On another business trips to London he had the chance to meet Karl as he went to their flat for dinner a few different times. I had heard so much about him over the past 4 years I felt like I knew him, but didn’t actually get to meet him until we arrived on Saturday. He is absolutely delightful, and I could not have picked a better man for Ann. They are so wonderful together, and I’m so happy for them!
Ann told me when I started photographing weddings that someday if she & Karl got married, she wanted me to come and photograph it. When he proposed, I was in Belize for Melissa & Brandon’s wedding – and I was SO excited when I got the text from Ann that Karl had popped the question and she said yes! I was beyond thrilled when she asked me if I would share in their joy by photographing the big day. I’m sure I’ll be crying tears of joy more than once on Friday!
Today is our production day here at their house in East Dulwich. (Part of London, southeast of the river.) After I finish this post and set up the holiday boudoir collection options, I’ll be helping with menus, placecards, “Yay!” flags for the guests to wave at the end of the ceremony (my personal contribution), and whatever else is needed. Most importantly, Mike & I will be keeping Ann company. I can’t think of a better place to be. Tomorrow it is off to Bristol. I can’t believe the big day is almost here!