Dido and I met on New years Day 1989, and two years later, considering my appaling memory for cellebratory dates, we decided to get married on New Year’s Eve, to ensure I would never forget our anniversary. So far, thank goodness, it’s worked, and so today, I remember fondly, that at about noon Gibraltar time we will have been wed for 32 years (our lapis lazuli wedding no less – who knew?).

This post is really by way of a Happy New Year greetings card to all our family and friends, and any other readers of these pages.

Let’s all hope that 2023 passes and ends better than 2022 and provides us all with joyous memories to rival those displayed here!

We had a small, civil wedding at Marylebone Town Hall (in the West End of London – famous for celebrity weddings) with just my mum (in turquoise), Dido’s parents (her father taking this photo) and our dog Aura in attendance. Given our two years of being together, Dido opted for a dark blue wedding!
Following a light pub lunch with the parents, Dido and I watched a video of Cassablanca (our favourite film) over a bottle of fine champaigne before heading to a half-decent nearby french restaurant for our celebratory supper with a small group of friends and family. Being New Year’s Eve, things got pretty rioutous, and this is where we learned that Beaumes de Venise is not suitable for quenching table fires…
The gorgeous bride…
Still just about compos mentis. Little if any sleep was had that night, as we had an early morning ferry to catch from Dover to drive to our two-night honneymoon at a romantic chateau hotel in northern France. A week later, and fully recovered, we gave a reception to all our friends and family at our home in London. Golden, if slightly hazy memories…

Hamilton – the Nudical…

A real-life “Carry on Camping

Regular and long-term readers of this blog might remember a post I did a few years ago about my wife Dido’s part-time career as a model, and in particular, her role as the National Savings girl. Her modeling work coincided with her then-main career as a classical ballerina – a subject I have also covered at some length on these pages.

However, there are a couple of interesting and amusing facts and anecdotes related to Dido’s modeling which I omitted to mention previously.

This shot was used for the National Savings calander

Firstly; the fact that she fell into modeling accidently, when spotted and then approached on a street in Barons Court (in west London – near the Royal ballet School) by an advertising agency scout. And secondly; the resulting story behind perhaps Dido’s most high-profile photographic shoots, also for National Savings, in the naturist colony of Cap D’Adge in the South of France.

In truth, the story of Dido’s time in the colony is as much farcical as amusing , stemming from the fact that her employers at Dorland (the agency then working for UK National Savings) were unaware of the fact that they had sent her to a nudist village for the shoot.

We believe this was the picture used for the “People Like Me” series of National Savings posters and ads…

Dido’s blissful ignorance of her impending sartorial dilemma was soon disabused when she entered the establishment by several welcoming scenes, none more surprising than being greeted by the photographer himself “déshabillé”.

One might have thought that the fact the photographer was none other than David Hamilton*, famous then for his soft-focus depictions of young, often naked girls, and for directing and photographing the hit film, Bilitis (erotic or softly-pornographic, depending upon one’s sensibilities) just a year or two earlier, might have raised some alarm bells, but apparently not.

As a confirmed non-naturist, Dido got around the compulsory nudity policy of the colony by convincing both Hamilton and the management that it was imperative for her to remain fully clothed at all times to avert the risk of tan lines on her skin.  

When the Dorland team turned up for the main shoot the next day, they were similarly discomforted as their model (an angry Dido having decided not to warn them), a circumstance that led to a whole load of hilarious situations during the course of their stay – tan lines not being an available excuse for the director and his crew!

This was not from the official shoot, and just a bit of fun, and interesting, among other things for it being a very rare – if not unique – example of Hamilton not using soft focus.

Sadly, I’m not at liberty to divulge more than these barest details (pun intended), but one can imagine the sort of crazy scenarios that arose. Fortunately, despite everything, the shoot was a sucess as the very pretty photos presented here confirm.

*Hamilton’s now infamous reputation was unknown to everyone at Dorland at the time of the shoot, and he behaved with total decorum and professionalism toward Dido, both when dressed and disrobed.