Well then! What a whirlwind it’s been since my last update!
My apartment purchase fell through, so instead I’ve decided to move into property development with the deposit I’d saved and in the meantime I’ve rented a new house by the Thames near where I am now with a huge garage that’ll also do me proud as a photographic studio, with loads of space, white walls and a high ceiling that’s perfect for a colorama set up.
Work-wise, I was in London, Glasgow, Manchester and Paris.
And on the photography front, there were two shoots with Ali Brooks, as I mention here and here, that were intertwined with work(!) and there was the Vodafone London Fashion Weekend.
So how were they intertwined and what’s that about a ring?
Well, right at the start of February, Ali Brooks came to do a photoshoot. I’d wanted to shoot her for ages, ever since I came across her portfolio on Purpleport. We finally got around to organising a shoot at the Gloucester Christmas Social that I touched on here where I even mention her. So we messaged each other on Facebook to set something up and finalise arrangements; I sorted out dinner reservations at Le Pont de la Tour and afternoon tea at Harrods if she didn’t manage to arrange any other London shoots for while she was staying the weekend at my apartment. There was a lot of messaging – quite flirty at times, but then she’s a very happy, “up” person so I didn’t read too much into them, despite her apparent excitement at coming up to London to see me…
On the day, I collected her from the station and she was keen to get the shoot started, rather than doing some sightseeing. So we got back, she got made up and undressed – photography is different to real life in that you take a beautiful woman, get her to undress and then slowly dress her as the shoot goes on! – I poured the Bollinger and we started shooting in the bedroom using some natural light, which was quite challenging. I was pleased with some of the resulting shots, though.
Red Devil – Ali Brooks
One set involved chaining her up for some shots with her hands chained behind her back. She got a bit thirsty during these shots, so I put the champagne flute up to her lips whilst she drank. At this point, we were very close and she looked up at me into my eyes … and we kissed, passionately. Things progressed from there and it quickly became apparent that we were very much attracted to each other mentally and physically, to the extent that when she had to go back on the Sunday, it was quite emotional for us both. I was reluctantly preparing to make do with seeing her whenever we could as an affair, much as I’d been with the psycho ex-girlfriend up in Humberston a few years ago with her then partner (that deception lasted for many months, as did her deception of me for nearly all of 2010). But as was pointed out to me by a good friend from Cleethorpes, unlike the psycho, Ali isn’t into cheating behind a partner’s back and lying to him, denying the affair (or many affairs in the psycho’s case). No, Ali confessed all to her partner when she got back and said she was leaving him for me. Wow!
So when I went up to Manchester for a seminar, Ali came up with me, dressing to kill as usual and getting to know me better. She had also come up and spent Valentine’s Weekend with me, during which time she met some of my good friends and we kitted her out with bike gear for this summer’s Eurothrash to Austria.
And so into March and a day’s training for a Client in Paris. Ali was up with me that weekend, so instead of me going off late on the Sunday evening, we flew off early on Sunday morning, the morning after a fabulous latex, lingerie and nude shoot (apart from her new Manolo Blahnik stilettos!) at the wonderful Factory studio and dinner at Le Pont again.
Upon arrival in Paris, we went to our luxury hotel to drop off our suitcases and to change her new Jimmy Choo Anouks for boots and headed out to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower:
It’s Behind You!
Don’t Look Down!
The next day I spent on my feet delivering some training and we then had a lovely dinner together. After breakfast and some work we headed off to the airport to fly back to London.
On Tuesday evening, we headed to Bluewater to look at furniture for the new house – Ali is moving in with me this summer – and I suddenly thought that we are so right for each other; Ali genuinely loves and is ‘into’ me in such a lovely way, that it just seems so right. Neither of us wants to get married again, but I wanted to show our love and commitment to each other for a monogamous relationship so the perfect way to do this was to buy her a Promise Ring. It just so happened that there was a solitaire diamond ring in her size in one of the jewellers, so it looked like it was fate…
Funny how with no pressure, I feel so much more like making a commitment like this; again I’m reminded how the psycho was desperate for a ring from me (or anyone else regardless of whom, it now seems) and how much of a lucky escape I had back then as I wasn’t divorced at that time and didn’t make what would have been an even more costly mistake.
So like I said: a whirlwind. And I can’t stop smiling! We FaceTime each other when we’re not together – which isn’t that often – and Ali is coming away with me to Fuerteventura soon as well.