Fun and Games

IMG_8028v2.jpgAndrea and I were very fortunate to get Olympic tickets for the women’s gymnastics all round final, at the North Greenwich Arena (AKA The O2/The Millennium Dome).  Gymnastics has been a long term passion for Andrea, and I’ve been learning a lot about it over the last couple of years!

We were very impressed with the organisation as we neared the Dome, the volunteers have done an amazing job of making everyone feel welcome.  A tangible sense of excitement filled the air as we entered the venue – in fact most of London feels pretty electric at the moment as people travel around to the many Olympic sites.

We were treated to some spectacular performances by the gymnasts, and the relative newcomer Gabby Douglas really deserved her gold medal.

On the way back we stopped off at the bank of the Thames, opposite the Houses of Parliament, to watch a spectacular slideshow using the parliament buildings as their canvas.  It’s well worth a visit; the show is on every evening of the Olympics and Paralympics if you can get there.

Here are a few shots from the day.  Definitely one we won’t forget in a hurry.

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Please note the license on all content in this blog.

The Shard

IMG_7971.jpgBy chance I stumbled across news that the Shard opening ceremony was happening on Thursday night this week.  Pictures captured in the Evening Standard of the practice for the main event convinced me that it would be a good time to plan some shots of London’s newest iconic building.

I wasn’t disappointed.  As Andrea and I headed across London Bridge through the excited crowds, we knew that everyone was expecting a good show.

Camera set up, we watched a fantastic display of lights and lasers (illuminating other buildings in the city) running for about an hour.  Some were disappointed it wasn’t more spectacular, but personally I thoroughly enjoyed our time on the north bank of the Thames watching the display.

I was pleased with the photographic results too – particularly when I saw that my shots were better than the ones I saw on the front of the Times newspaper the next morning.  I hope you enjoy the ones I’ve included below.

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The final picture is one of the lasers illuminating the monument to the great fire of London.

Please note the license on all content in this blog.

The Lakes!

IMG_6177.JPGThe wonderful Rev Tom Jamieson and I had the chance to go adventuring in the Lake District on Monday this week.  Having had a couple of days speaking at the Lancashire Methodists ‘Inspire’ event on prayer, and hanging out with the 24-7 Prayer community in Preston, I was ready to climb a few hills.

The forecast wasn’t great, but God provided a cloud base that was just high enough for us to get some great views from High Spy and Castle Crag.

I love the Lakes!

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Christmas Card 2011

This year marks the 6th or 7th year in succession that I’ve made my own Christmas cards, featuring shots I’ve taken myself.

There was no need for any significant ponderment over the picture for this year’s card.  Andrea and I spent our anniversary in the Lake District in a cottage with fantastic views over Ullswater, and one morning we awoke to a stunning mist filled vista.

So here it is!  Have a wonderful Christmas and very blessed New Year.

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Crikey!

One of the many fun parts of moving into the vicarage in Bexley, has been setting myself up with an office/study. Part of this has been realisng a long term dream – painting a mural of Bridget Riley’s work ‘Late Morning’.

As you can see I have a bright wall facing me now whilst I work!

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Wedding Photos

panda.jpgOK, here’s the first batch for all those who’ve been asking.

In around a months time I’ll post all of my and Andrea’s favorites on a website somewhere (there were plenty of photographers there on the day), but for now, enjoy the top skills of Robert Hooper, our professional photographer…

        www.roberthooper.co.uk/proofs

        The password to enter the personal gallery is: 0111 Ward

We hope you enjoy them, we’re certainly pleased with the results!

[The picture you see here was taken by the wonderful Gemma Horsell – more from her in a month’s time…]

Brighton Rock

andrea_and_pier_blog.jpgOK, so its been a long blogging break for me, but I couldn’t remain away from the bloggosphere after the weekend Andrea and I have just had.

On Friday we went rock shopping!  We’ve been engaged about a month, but we only managed to get enough time together to get the ring this week.  Having been recommended that we look in Brighton, we trekked down on a lovely warm day to the south coast.

The experience couldn’t have been better.  We headed straight for Exclusive Jewellery, owned and run by Sam New, brother of Charlotte, who until recently was working for me.  Sam took us through all the things we could have wished to know about, right from all the different metal options for the mount, to stone settings, and all of the factors going into the grading of diamonds.  I’ll never look at a diamond again in the same light!

After a couple of hours (literally!) we stumbled upon a ring that looked really good on Andrea’s finger, and were excited about the ‘peach’ of a diamond as Sam called it that he’d just brought up from the shop store; a very bright white 50 point 1/2 carat round diamond.

engagement_ring_blog.jpgUsually time would have been required for a deliberation on whether or not this was the right purchase, but we were both so happy with the experience and the look of the diamond ring now sparling on Andrea’s finger that we made the decision there and then.  15 minutes later the ring had been resized and the diamond set, and we were cracking a bottle of bubbly in celebration with Sam.  We left the shop with big grins on our faces, very happy with the new sparkler on Andrea’s hand.