Sunday, 22 June 2014

Seize the Day

I was browsing on facebook the other week and Woman and Home were advertising a competition called 'Seize the Day'. The flyer was asking what your 'Carpe diem' moment was and had your life changed recently? It just caught my eye and I stopped and read it, purely because I think I've had a few 'carpe diem' moments and wake up calls in this last few years. It is always profoundly in my mind how different my life is now compared to just over four years ago. 

I am always looking for opportunities to raise awareness about Pulmonary Hypertension and Organ Donation so I decided to enter the competition and send in my story. The competition was run by Womand and Home and Tena Lady and the prize was £1000, a hair, style and makeover and photoshoot, plus an interview to be published in the September issue of the magazine. I just thought to get an interview about my story published in the magazine would just be wonderful, as it would reach so many readers and hopefully get them thinking of the importance of organ donation and raise some awareness about Pulmonary Hypertension. The prizes would be an added bonus into the bargain! 

I can't remember having ever entered a competition before, except for an odd lottery ticket or raffle, so I didn't really expect anything to come of it, but I'd already decided it was well worth a try. I do know I've had all the luck in the world already and have won the lottery more than a million times over in getting my new heart and lungs. I'd also thought that there was nothing to lose though and at the end of the day, it would be good practise for my writing course, where some of my assignments are on magazine articles and letters. 

I only came across the competition the day before it closed, so speedily sent off my entry so it got there in time and I didn't even mention it to Rob or the girls. On Friday we were busy out and about and in the evening Rob was out, as his new play was opening and both the girls had gone to see him. I just happened to check my emails and I was absolutely shocked to see an email from Woman and Home magazine saying I'd won the competition. There I was in on my own and absolutely bursting to tell someone! I wanted to tell Rob and the girls first though, so I carried on bursting at the seams for a few hours until they got in. 

I did my interview for the magazine on Thursday and we went for the photoshoot on Friday. I had the time of my life - makeup, clothes, jewellery, shoes - what more could a girl want. I thought I was in heaven! Such a huge contrast from earlier in the week with hospital, poking and prodding and tubes. I was thoroughly spoiled for the day and had such a fabulous time. It just goes to show: if you don't give it a go, you don't get and if you give things a try, then who knows... 

What can I say? Seize the day! 

There were lots of beautiful clothes to choose from. The theme was blue and white and I had to have one look that was casual and one that was more formal.

Ready to go - hair, makeup, nails.

Some of the shoes.

Finishing touches - the clothes had to be pressed first and then once dressed I couldn't sit down or crease them. Everything had to be perfect for the pictures.

Lights, camera...

Lots of adjusting and readjusting between shoots! 

Learning the ropes! 

The team - they were fantastic, so relaxed and friendly.

Makeup time - feeling a bit nervous

The studio was in a converted warehouse.

I'm not so good in high heels with my post transplant shakes, so I did the close up shots in bare feet! 

Posing for my 'casual' look! 

Getting some 'posing' tips.

More adjustments! 

The 'formal' look! 

 View to the city of London from the studio. 

I just want to thank the team, Woman and Home and Tena Lady for such a wonderful day and for making me feel so at home, relaxed and giving me this opportunity for such a fantastic time and to promote awareness of Organ Donation and Pulmonary Hypertension. 

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