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Creating the perfect family photograph - Margot tries the good life

PUBLISHED: 15:58 25 November 2014 | UPDATED: 15:58 25 November 2014

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This month, Margot gathers up the troops in the effort to create the perfect family photograph

A whiff of nostalgia hit me this month, dear Reader. Up in the cottage’s loft, Jerry and I were digging out suitcases for a visit to New York for a family wedding and whilst dusting off a suit carrier, I came across some of Poppy and Primrose’s old toys and clothes. Packed away for safekeeping, I uncovered baby blankets, teeny tiny little dresses and favourite cloth books; each a precious reminder of little hands and feet, waddling steps and first words. A lifetime away from the boisterous little pocket rocket and shy but sophisticated book worm I spend my time running around after every day. Time has simply been ticking away too swiftly for my liking.

With that in mind, I decided it was high time we had a family photograph taken. You know the ones, dear Reader. The arranged, hopefully not looking at all awkward and no one blinking at the crucial moment, sort. Dragging my mind back to the last time Jerry and I posed for a photo, I struggled to remember anything past our wedding day. The photo shoot from hell, when our wedding photographer told me to make sure that I was wearing plenty of foundation as otherwise my rosy cheeks might ruin her photos! Scarred by the experience, I’ve been ‘photophobic’ ever since and almost every birthday, christening and Christmas has seen our little camera sat on the shelf in the study looking forlorn and wondering if it will ever be used. Jerry and I are terrible at recording family events – usually to be found enjoying a gossip, making sure people are eating through the food mountain or refereeing small children as they open all the layers of pass the parcel at once when the music stops.

Worrying that perhaps I would never have any pictures to sit and reminisce over when I reach the ‘blue rinse years’, I decided it was time to bite the bullet. I dropped into our village post office. Strange place to look for a photographer you might think, dear Reader, and normally, you’d be right. However on this occasion, our village postmistress is also a fantastic photographer, swapping shutters for shutter speeds once the counter is closed. Opting for an outdoorsy photo, Jerry, Poppy, Primrose and I donned our wellies and ventured up the bridleway with Monty followed by said photographer and lovely assistant. It was a minor miracle that we’d got to that moment! I’d thrown most of my wardrobe on the floor in an attempt to find something to wear that didn’t make me look like a grungy teenager (thanks for that comment, Jerry) and Primrose had rowed with me to the point of tears over the fact that she really had to wear her best dress with her muddy boots. Still, once the fixed grins and uptight bodies had relaxed, being ‘papped’ by a large lens didn’t seem so bad after all. Villagers even turned out to see what all the fuss was about. The results? Poppy completely stole the show with her propensity for high jinks, Primrose looked like a Victorian child model and Monty, well…as the photographer said “Every family photo needs a mad spaniel”. Perhaps I’ve just found the perfect Christmas card photo, dear Reader?

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