The last couple of weeks have been all about the kids getting used to that September feeling, and for Anton that has meant the first time in kindergarten. He is already singing songs in Turkish, and I am coming to terms with our lost freedom. It is not easy to feel the tension in your 'baby' as they learn to tackle new challenges, but we both enjoy his giddy happiness when he has done his hours (currently two) and regains his liberty. On the plus side I am waiting for Anton to do his time by drinking tea at Malta Köşkü in Yıldız Park with Neve. So you will find us sitting in a palace amidst statues and fountains, with a stunning view of the mouth of the Bosphorus. It's not expensive and there are three playgrounds within five minutes. Happily there are also trees and conkers and dirt to sit in. Matti finishes early on Fridays now so the weekend starts earlier than ever before. I sort of love that we get to ride the metro home and count five escalators up to Istiklal Street, from where we can run through some wonderful streets to our door.

When I started this blog, two months after Neve was born, I didn't really read any. I just had an idea that it could be a way of keeping myself writing and taking pictures through the tired fog of a new baby. 16 months on it has given me a far wider community than I had before, and some great cheerleaders and friends. Deciding to 'Document Delight' with a group of photographers from all over the world has been one of the best things I have ever done. They have become a group of friends whose talent and generosity means so much. This week, Vanessa Cook, whose work Ville and I have been admiring together over the past year, agreed to come from Australia to photograph our wedding in Finland in July 2015. I am over the moon, both because I trust this woman's eye completely, and because I will be delighted to meet her face to face. I will put my camera down for a whole day! Now I just need to work out how I can meet the rest of the awesome Documenting Delight crew.

I have also been feeling so touched by some of the bloggers that keep popping in to say hello, and have had a bigger impact on me than they would guess. I found Suzie over facebook and realised she had a blog which contained some of the most beautiful words I have ever read about being a mother. Since then she has written many more, and become a great friend that I wish I could speak to as much as I read! I 'met' Rach when I read her blog and took an instant liking to her. We have been waving at each other (with most of Europe in-between!) ever since. Joy and Özlem, seasoned bloggers, with two of the most mouth-watering, beautiful and up-lifting blogs you are ever likely to read, have been a real inspiration, and incredibly generous in sending people to look at my somewhat more modest offering.

I am so thankful that it would take a very long time to write about all the people that have made the past year great. But thank you! I hope you all know who you are!! Especially you Ville, you legend!

A thoughtful moment on the way home.




From the stump.

Orange blur.



Malta Köşkü

Another lame, camera in front of my face, self-portrait!.

Malta Köşkü

Dolphin Phones.

Toilet ceiling!

Waiting for the tram.

Looking good!

Always the last out of school.

Waiting for Matti.

On the metro home.

Matti and Anton.


Interactive screen in the Korean Cultural Pavilion.

Korean Cultural Pavilion and Yeni Camii.

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7 thoughts on “Conkers.

  1. Julia what a gorgeous set of photographs again. My favourites are definitely of the boys holding hands and of Matti on the steps. Very cool!

    I know exactly what you mean about the lost freedom. My big two have now started reception and so go in at 8.45 and don't finish until 15.05 and as much as they have, at times, driven me completely bonkers over the summer I now feel utterly lost without them and I hate them being there. I thought that when they started school I would be able to do so many things and I could, but instead Eden and I just pine for them all day!

    Finally thank you for the lovely mention. I have often thought about writing a similar post, but I didn't know if it was odd of me to be so appreciative of the comments of somebody I have never met, but feel like I know so well.

    Ok so maybe that wasn't finally as I also have to say how exciting to have a wedding date, woo hoo!! I didn't realised that you had set dates and were good to go. I am so looking forward to reading and seeing the build up to that (and to hopefully getting to have tea and cake with you before then!)


  2. Julia! Wow, Vanessa will be your wedding photographer - that is just so damn cool! I have NO IDEA how you managed to make this happen. But whatever you did and whoever made this happen, well, well done! I really can't wait to see what she does with your wedding day. No doubt it will be something special :)

    I totally understand what you are saying about Anton starting school. It's a bumpy adjustment for everyone to make. I hope that with time you find this "new normal" ok for both of you.

    Wow, still so surprised by your fabulous news! xxx

  3. ...and I forgot to mention your beautiful images this week! beautiful. Love the tree ones and Neve's spikey hair shots :)

  4. Amber, I was so jealous when you were Kate's birth photographer because it's an extraordinary thing having such trust for the person who will document such a special moment. When I saw where we were getting married and the forest around it Vanessa sprang to mind immediately but I never thought for a moment that she would suggest actually doing such a long journey. Our wedding is going to be fairly small and low key but every person who will be there is so precious to me and the Finnish countryside is really beautiful. I know that everyone will love Vanessa and that her pictures will make us happy. It is really special to me that Ville likes Vanessa's pictures as much as I do. We are both forty and I am not interested in being made to look glossy and grinning (if you know what I mean) and I think Vanessa's photography is somehow both down-to-earth and magical. As you can probably tell I am quite excited! I hope she doesn't change her mind now that I have failed to keep the news to myself!

  5. Your photos are always so magical! Love the one of Anton in the tree and Matti on the elevator. My favorites this week are of the boys on the metro, holding hands, the one with Anton pointing (love the perspective and use of negative space of that one), and the one with Neve sitting at the table alone (the light is amazing in that one).

    And of course I have to mention your wedding photographer...Vanessa?!??!!!!! That is fabulous!! I am SO excited for you! She is brilliant. You picked well. Wow, this is such great news! I can't get over it :-)

  6. oh julia! firstly, every image in this collection is striking and stunning!!! i had my mouth agape!!! those black and whites.... the huge stair case one - the restaurant one! the compositions are soooooooo creative and now i am inspired to attempt to get more creative myself. you are SO TALENTED! neve is always looking so wise and precious :) and anton - yes the structure is so different huh! and such a big step - and i get extra emotional bc its just another step away into the world and we do miss our babies!!! the words about doc delight and other bloggers were so lovely and i am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo amazed and in awe tat you have vanessa coming for your wedding! that is so exciting and special!! what a wonderful thing, i know the shots will be magical. I HAVE A GREAT IDEA! you should honeymoon in australia!! ;) you could come check her proofs then and of course meet all of us!?!??!! ;) just a thought heehee! xx

  7. What a good idea Kate!!!! Though we might have to wait a couple years after the wedding for that! But I will make it to a DD meet up one day. Thanks so much for your lovely words. xxxxxxxxxx

    Faith, thank you, as ever. I love that you liked the picture of Anton pointing. I was stood framing it up just hoping he would point at the right angle!! What have I become :-)

    Rach, I do hope tea and cake is long before then! Though it will probably arrive quicker than I think. xxx


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