Wednesday, March 26, 2014

2014: Week 12

Thing 2 completes his first 5K race at the Sport Relief Games at the Olympic Park. It certainly was an inspiring place to do it.

Monday, March 17, 2014

2014: Week 11

My favourite cherry blossom tree, which reminds me every year that spring is on its way.

Monday, March 10, 2014

2014: Week 10

2014: Week 10 by MAStapleton
2014: Week 10, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
Balloon Boys in an alley in London.

Monday, March 03, 2014

2014: Week 9

2014: Week 9 by MAStapleton
2014: Week 9, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
Birthday cake* for the birthday boy**.

*Four layers of chocolate-caramel goodness.
** TC, though at 46, not sure we can call him a boy anymore.

Monday, February 24, 2014

2014: Week 8

2014: Week 8 by MAStapleton
2014: Week 8, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
On our last morning of our half-term break, I got the teenager out of bed at stupid o'clock so we could have one final 18-mile cycle ride through the fields of Norfolk. We stopped at about 8:18 a.m. so I could take this picture.

Some questions that have arisen since the picture was published:
Q: "How did you get the teenager out of bed at the crack of dawn?"
A: I told him he could sleep in the car. He did. Quite happily.

Q: "Was the teenager grumpy?"
A: Amazingly enough, no. It must have been the promise of a nap later that did it.

Q: "What do you mean exactly by 'stupid o'clock'?
A: It was 7 a.m., so technically probably not stupid o'clock, but it felt like it because we were on holiday.

Q: "What was the highlight of the ride?"
A: The best part of the ride was doing it together. Now that he's 14, it's nice that we can do things together. The first highlight was I was in front of him on a particularly long hill and I keep thinking that I was too slow for him. When we reached the top and both of us stopped to get some water, he turned to me and said, "Wow. That was hard. I feel like I'm going to throw up." While I expressed some maternal concern, I thought to myself, "Yes! Not too slow!!" The second highlight was seeing what I think was a starling murmuration-- breathtakingly beautiful. I was enjoying the moment so much that I didn't even take a picture, but I will never forget it.

Monday, February 17, 2014

2014: Week 7

2014: Week 7 by MAStapleton
2014: Week 7, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
Happy Valentine's Day!

These are the cards I got for my sons. I told them not to look at each other's card, but they didn't listen.

When the younger son opened his card and then looked over at his brother's card, he said, "I sense shenanigans!" Indeed.

Monday, February 10, 2014

2014: Week 6

2014: Week 6 by MAStapleton
2014: Week 6, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
This winter's weather has been absolutely mad-- rain, winds, sunshine, sometimes all at once-- but it has created optimal rainbow spotting opportunities.

We spotted this hide and seek rainbow behind the trees while travelling on the DLR, while my son and I both furiously took loads of snaps trying to capture it. He even managed to capture the double rainbow.

Monday, February 03, 2014

2014: Week 5

2014: Week 5 by MAStapleton
2014: Week 5, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.

The moon in the morning sky, taken at 7:41 a.m.
Every weekday morning at about 7:35 a.m., I collect my coffee cup, put on my coat and walk across the street to wait with my teenage son for the bus that will take him to school. I do this because every day it gives us a chance to talk about plans for the day, plans for the future, make each other laugh or admire the sky. He definitely does not need me to do this, given that he's 14 and taller than me to boot. But he hasn't asked me stop yet, so I'm not going to until that sad day arrives.
In recent weeks, he's been happy because after two months of darkness, it's getting light here again in London at the time of morning when he leaves for school. On this particular morning, we both admired the moon in the morning sky. So after his bus arrived, I went back inside and got my camera so I could preserve the memory.

Monday, January 27, 2014

2014: Week 4

2014: Week 4 by MAStapleton
2014: Week 4, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
St. Paul's Cathedral in the Monday morning sunshine.


Monday, January 20, 2014

2014: Week 3

2014: Week 3 by MAStapleton
2014: Week 3, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
Greenwich in the grey during a Saturday afternoon river walk.

#nofilter #Greenwich #Thames #Riverwalk

Monday, January 13, 2014

2014: Week 2

2014: Week 2 by MAStapleton
2014: Week 2, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
Bye, bye Christmas monkey! Have a good rest during your hibernation. See you in November.

(The last of the Christmas decorations were put away this week. Sad face.)

Monday, January 06, 2014

2014: Week 1

2014: Week 1 by MAStapleton
2014: Week 1, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
The now traditional picture of poppers and streamers used to ring in the New Year.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: Week 53

2013: Week 53 by MAStapleton
2013: Week 53, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
Looking ahead to 2014.

Taken after our New Year's Eve dinner at Hawksmoor, continuing a fine family tradition of having a steak dinner on the last day of the year. Happy new year.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

2013: Week 52

2013: Week 52 by MAStapleton
2013: Week 52, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
Christmas morning in the Christmas onesies. Perfect.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

2013: Week 51

2013: Week 51 by MAStapleton
2013: Week 51, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
Christmastime is BUSY -- to say the least. This fact is best represented by this picture, showing our son topping out the Christmas tree a full week after we first put it up and decorated it. At least we remembered to do it.

This picture also marks the occasion that this is the first year he was too big to go on his dad's shoulders to put on the star. He used a small stool instead. Time marches on, indeed.

Monday, December 16, 2013

2013: Week 50

2013: Week 50 by MAStapleton
2013: Week 50, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
The fog rolled into London this Wednesday. During my morning run through Greenwich Park, it was unbelievable. I couldn't see anything. Even though I couldn't see anything, that didn't mean that I didn't stop to take pictures-- again and again and again.

I captured this group of runners on the field between the Queen's House and the Royal Observatory (where the stadium was for the equestrian events during the 2012 Summer Olympics). Amazing, you can't see the Queen's House, even though it is just to the right of the runners.

No filter was harmed in the creation of this photo.

Monday, December 09, 2013

2013: Week 49

2013: Week 49 by MAStapleton
2013: Week 49, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
Here in Greenwich, we have an annual Advent Window tradition whereby different houses decorate a window-- or in this case, windows-- on each day of December leading up to Christmas. The theme this year is "Heaven & Earth" and this window is called "Heaven & Earth on the Greenwich Meridian."

2013: Week 48

2013: Week 48 by MAStapleton
2013: Week 48, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.

In a week full of photo opportunities--- Thanksgiving celebrations, seeing old friends, admiring the London Christmas decorations, I went with the most simple one: a single candle I held during Advent Services on the first day of Advent.

Monday, November 25, 2013

2013: Week 47

2013: Week 47 by MAStapleton
2013: Week 47, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.

Happy Holidays!

With one month until Christmas Eve, let the hoopla begin. Spotted on a very posh store in South Kensington, London.

#ilovelondon #ilovechristmas

Monday, November 18, 2013

2013: Week 46

2013: Week 46 by MAStapleton
2013: Week 46, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.

On a very grey and rainy day in London, I spotted this: a lonely chicken taking a call next to the Thames. No, I have no idea why he's there. No, I don't know who he's talking to. (His agent? He might be saying something like, "You need to get me a better gig than this.") But whatever his reason for being there, his presence cheered me up immensely.

#ilovelondon #nofilter

Monday, November 11, 2013

2013: Week 45

2013: Week 45 by MAStapleton
2013: Week 45, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.

I captured this photo near the end of an epic walk on my birthday eve.

We had a most excellent dim sum brunch at Royal China at Westferry in Canary Wharf and decided to walk back home because it was a beautiful sunny day. We tried our best to stay on the Thames Path on the way back. But several times we found that some money grubbing, heartless developers closed off their sections of the Thames Path and we had to do some zig zagging back and forth from the Thames to Westferry Road. This was one of the zig zags.

But it was a fantastic day just the same-- tasty brunch, sunshine, fun walk and (most importantly for this picture) great light.

Monday, November 04, 2013

2013: Week 44

2013: Week 44 by MAStapleton
2013: Week 44, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.

I was spoiled for choice to pick just one picture to capture Week 44 of 2013. We went to the Shard at sunset (Ooh!). It was Halloween (Boo!). We kicked the autumnal leaves in the park (Ouch!).

In the end, I went for a snap of the Blackheath Fireworks. It's a huge part of our autumnal calendar, and we go every year (except for last year, when I mistakenly booked tickets for us to see the opera that night instead. I won't be making that mistake again.) They estimate that more than 100,000 people gather on the heath to watch them. It is insane, but one of the many reasons why I love living in London.

Monday, October 28, 2013

2013: Week 43

2013: Week 43 by MAStapleton
2013: Week 43, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
On our way back from ComicCon, which probably deserves a picture itself, we passed this amazing sculpture in Canning Town. It was completely unexpected and lovely. From this angle, it looks to me like the Iron Giant is picking a leaf off the tree.

This beautiful surprise is one of the many reasons why I Love London.

Monday, October 21, 2013

2013: Week 42

2013: Week 42 by MAStapleton
2013: Week 42, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
Autumn is rolling in, and with it, the autumn colours.

When I saw this shadow in the back garden, it looked to me like the Bat Sign-- calling Batman to Gotham CIty to restore law and order and do other Batman-like things.

Monday, October 14, 2013

2013: Week 41

2013: Week 41 by MAStapleton
2013: Week 41, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.

Falling Rain + Falling Leaves = Our Sunday Morning.

I took this picture for Instragram's weekend hashtag project, "Signs of the Season." I took it in the pouring rain, which wasn't at all pleasant, but I thought it was perfect for the project, as the directional sign seems to be pointing at the fallen leaves saying, "Look! Autumn is right here!"

Monday, October 07, 2013

2013: Week 40

2013: Week 40 by MAStapleton
2013: Week 40, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
This year, we had a bumper crop of apples. It was the most we've ever had off of our small tree-- about 30. The conditions must have been very favourable this year, with our wet spring and very hot summer. Last year, we didn't get any apples off our tree, so it was quite a result.

In Week 40, we had our apple harvest. In the midst of harvesting, we found this little friend on one of the apples.

Monday, September 30, 2013

2013: Week 39

2013: Week 39 by MAStapleton
2013: Week 39, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
Week 39 of 2013 was a monumental week in our family. Actually, the week wasn't so monumental, but the Sunday of Week 39 was. It marked the day that our son turned 14 AND the day that our beloved Pittsburgh Steelers played at Wembley Stadium.

It was a fantastic day. We had cake for breakfast, as is the tradition. The sun shone. The tailgating at Wembley was epic. The pre-game show featured Tinie Tempah. We enjoyed some American fireworks to go with the American over-the-top festivities.

The funniest moment of the day was when the lovely gentleman from Devon seated next to me turned to me and asked, "So, is this your first American football game?" To be fair, he hadn't heard me talk yet, so maybe my American accent would have negated the need to ask that question. I only laughed and said, "Well, I've seen A LOT of American football games. I have no idea how many." (This is just a ballpark figure, but maybe 11,631?)

We also learned the answer to the question that had always troubled us: Could Gene Simmons, he of outrageous makeup of "Kiss" sing the national anthem without his usual getup? Alas, he can. Who knew?

Alas, the Steelers did not win. But it was an amazing day just the same.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

2013: Week 38

2013: Week 38 by MAStapleton
2013: Week 38, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
The party is over, but what a brilliant party.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

2013: Week 37

2013: Week 37 by MAStapleton
2013: Week 37, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.

This is the only picture I took all week. The reason for the paucity of output is simple: I thought I would be spending Sunday at the Goodwood Revival, where they would be photo ops aplenty.

Alas, I spent Sunday at home with my sick teenager. Motherhood is so glamourous sometimes.

On the plus side, I finally installed the new version of the vsco app for my iPhone. This is the first picture I took with it, and I know I'm in love already. So at least something good happened to redeem my day.

Monday, September 09, 2013

2013: Week 36

2013: Week 36 by MAStapleton
2013: Week 36, a photo by MAStapleton on Flickr.
Sunset as the Summer Party.

The party was as amazing as this sunset.