Well as far as birthdays go, this year’s was a week long celebration and probably the most epic to date. Not since my mum bought me Daws Moranna (my hugely successful show horse) for my 18th birthday have I had so much excitement to mark the anniversary of my birth.
It all started last September when a dear friend of mine, James Wheeler, contacted me to say he had recommended me to model for a photography day in Duxford for Darren Harbar. The style would be vintage and he thought it would be right up my street. I’m going to blog separately about this experience as I feel some of you reading this may be interested in the course as it covered a wide variety of skills and techniques that budding and experienced photographers alike could benefit from. Anyway, why I mention this here is because the photography day would put me in Duxford for my birthday, which leads nicely on to the next thing to happen in February 2018….
It was the middle of the night and I wasn’t sleeping well. The sleep demons were starving me of any rest and I had a million plans and thoughts whizzing through my brain. I had just started raising money for my half marathon and wing walk adventure when my phone pinged. The person messaging wasn’t being anti-social by messaging in the night for they were in a different time zone across the Atlantic in America. It was my friend, Mark Streit. He had seen my post on Instagram about my charity page and as he also had personal experience with a loved one has had Lymphoma, he was messaging to say he had made a lovely donation to the account.
With my insomnia at its peak, I took the opportunity to chat with Mark for some time: about life, about illness, about aircraft. Mark happened to mentioned he had visited the UK and had been to Duxford where he had photographed a “Texan” called the Wacky Wabbit… yes we did the potato/potato joke when I reminded Mark we call it the Harvard over here. Mark shared his picture from his visit to Duxford onto my Facebook wall where I tagged in Andrew Goodall, the pilot of the Wacky Wabbit. Conversations continued resulting in Andrew offering me a flight the same weekend as the modelling gig and of course, my birthday!