A marriage made in……a Supermarket ? !

wedding (5 of 8)

There was nothing half-price about Rebecca; she looked a million dollars ;)

Saturday 1323 –  28.03.2015

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I went to the supermarket today and to a wedding. 

Both at the same time.

I didn’t know the Bride or the Groom: at all. They were strangers to me and I only decided to go an hour beforehand ! 

You think I’m talking nonsense don’t you; that I’ve finally lost my reason but I can assure you I haven’t.

I guess I had better explain. At lunchtime today I saw on the local news, online, that a couple were getting married in a supermarket today, not far from where I live. As I started 1500 Saturdays to encourage me to do things that I wouldn’t normally do on a Saturday,  I couldn’t resist taking myself off to the wedding.   Don’t worry I wasn’t exactly gate-crashing because Rebecca and Blake, the bride and groom, said everyone was welcome.

wedding (8 of 8)

The supermarket stayed open to customers and it was surreal to watch the bride walking through the fresh veg section , food aisles and passing shoppers, on her way to the supermarket cafe where her bridegroom was waiting. 

wedding (7 of 8) wedding (4 of 8)

Was that 2 bridesmaids for £4 !  The bridesmaids were Rebecca’s 2 daughters Naomi and Rosie. Her grandson Charlie carried the rings.

It was, of course, a press free for all, with lots of TV cameras and press photographers.. I needed my elbows sharpened and had to use my wide-angle lens otherwise you’d see nothing but photographers! !  I didn’t stay for the actual ceremony just long enough to take a few photos.

The back story  – Their landlady introduced them in September 2014 and on their first date they had curry and chips in Morrison Supermarket’s cafe and that’s what they ,and their small number of “proper” guests, ate for the “wedding breakfast”. 

wedding (3 of 8) wedding (2 of 8)

The couple were actually officially married at a registry office before a Humanist celebrant presided over their supermarket wedding.

wedding (1 of 8) wedding (1 of 1)

Hats off to Morrison’s for helping to arrange all this!  It was FABUUUUUULOUS !!  and very, very memorable. I love a bit of eccentricity don’t you ?

One of the nice things was that the wedding party also had buckets with them to collect money instead of wedding presents and the money collected was for the Alzheimer’s Society. You can find out why https://www.justgiving.com/beccawooller   ( you will have to copy and paste the link because it’s not working for some reason!) 

wedding (6 of 8)

Well done Rebecca and Blake that was a very nice touch.

Wishing you both a long and happy life together, filled with love and laughter.

As ever I welcome your thoughts.

Saturday girl signing off til whenever :)


You can find my photography blog Photomania here 


Je Suis Charlie

who has damageed Mohammed more

Saturday 1334  –  10.01.15

If you are new to my blog take a look at my About page here

Like many other people around the world I have been thinking a lot about the shocking murders, in Paris, of the cartoonists and others who worked for Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper with a circulation of around 60,000.

I have been moved by the tremendous outpouring of support from around the world, facilitated by social media. The hashtag #JeSuisCharlie is estimated to have been shared on twitter nearly 4 million times in 5 days which is extraordinary.  I shared it myself.

more sacred than religion

Throughout this piece I will also share some of the responses  to the killings, from other cartoonists.

I have read a great deal of cynical comment, in papers, and on Facebook, about “the independentmasses” being used for political gain and the whole response to the killings being orchestrated but I do not believe that; certainly not in the first few days. That opinion belittles the individuals, such as myself , who spontaneously felt this killing was an assault on our own freedom of expression and wanted to show that.

Pen is mighttierFrom what I know of Charlie Hebdo, which was nothing before the attacks on Weds, it is a satirical magazine that is very irreverent, bordering on cruel, in its degree of biting mockery of a wide range of establishment, religious and others figures and organisations; almost certainly not the kind of publication I would buy ( even if I could read French ! ) . Of course I am free to choose whether I read it or not and that’s the crux of the matter isn’t it?  No-one HAS to buy it or read it and that includes those extremists who carried out this terrible act. 

I am very much in favour of a degree of free expression which is surely one of the cornerstones of a civilised world, ( I know that whether ANY of the world is very civilised is open to debate but let’s not be too pedantic ).  The place of satire in the world has been established for centuries and if we look at the definition of it we will see how it can have a very useful purpose.

“Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government or society itself, into improvement.”

So bearing that definition in mind we can see that inevitably someone is going to be offended by whatever a satirist writes or in this case draws. Charlie Hebdo was well-known for offending many religions not just Islam; indeed I believe the Catholic Church sued Hebdo several times. more

Whilst an individual has the inalienable right to be offended by what a satirist produces what they do NOT have is the right to insist that the satirist, or any one else for that matter, stops producing material that might offend that particular individual. 

drawing heartOf course with freedom of expression comes responsibility and I would certainly not see hate speech or speech which incites violence as being acceptable.  In this country, and I’m sure in France too,  there are laws which publishers have to follow to protect against those worst excesses and that is as it should be because it certainly would not be safe for everyone to say just exactly what they wanted.  

So it is right that there should be limitations but publishers should not be put in a position where they feel unable to publish something because of fear that they or their staff will be killed if they do.

 To me the outpouring of support was about just this point, showing that people are not afraid and will stand against censorship by extremists.

Not afraid

Satire must survive these killings because it is a powerful tool for scrutinizing organizations, countries and religions , and this is essential to shine a light into the darkest recesses and show injustices that still prevail.  

Islam  is not and should not be above this scrutiny because of political correctness or fear, if for no other reason than there are still injustices carried out in many Islamic countries, for example against homosexuals, which make these countries worthy of scrutiny. Did you know, for example, that apostasy ( declaring self non-muslim in this case)  is a crime in 23 out of 49 Muslim majority countries?  with varied punishments, from child-custody loss, annulment of marriage or fines, through imprisonment or flogging , to the death penalty. 

Issues surely worthy of scrutiny?

He drew first.

Having said that what I definitely do NOT want to see is a backlash against Muslims because of the actions of those murderous extremists. This tweet I saw a few days ago about sums up the injustice in that :-  

Muslim shooter = entire religion guilty

Black shooter = entire race guilty

White shooter = mentally troubled lone wolf

please One final thought which I know seems to go against everything I have said above but which is personally very important to me is about kindness.

Many of you who have been following this blog for some time will know that I think this world needs more kindness not less.

So I have to question how useful unkindness, in the form of vicious mocking of others, really is, in moving humanity forward?  Can you have kind satire?  Probably not and it seems the unkind variety has been shown to produce societal change throughout the centuries so I will just have to live with it and not read it !   

As ever I welcome your thoughts.

Saturday girl signing off ’til whenever.


You can find my photography blog Photomania here 


Here is an invitation to join me on Kiva http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/hellenjc

and you can read more about Kiva here https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/a-hand-up-not-a-hand-out/

rubbing out