Sunset from Clearwater Pier

Awkward Family Photos: Florida Edition

Yes, folks, it’s true! The least popular section of my blog ever is back by… well. I was going to say “by popular demand”, but that would be an exaggeration too far, even for me. But! It is true to say that some a few two of you requested to see some more of my holiday photos, so the Friday Photo limps from the ashes! (“GOOD GRIEF, don’t encourage her!” I hear the rest of you cry. “Or she’ll still be talking about this freaking holiday at Christmas.” And you know what? I probably will.)

Sunset from Clearwater PierThis is probably my favourite photo of the whole trip. It’s Clearwater beach at sunset, photographed by Terry, using our swish new camera, which was purchased shortly before we left. Did I mention we purchased a swish new camera shortly before we left? Well, we did. It is technically “my” camera, and was really bought for “me” to take blog photos with (not for this blog! Don’t worry!), but I think I took maybe five shots with it in three weeks, because Terry guarded it like a jealous lover, carrying it with him at all times, and barking instructions at the rest of us, like a Nikon-wielding Sergeant Major. In most of the photos that resulted from the holiday, we may look like we’re smiling, but our faces are actually just frozen in fear as we stand there with Terry shouting, “AMBER! Take that look off your face! NORMA! Hold your leg at a 32 degree angle to your body! NO! That’s thirty ONE degrees! That’s spoiled it completely, we’ll have to start again: PLACES, EVERYONE!”

I swear I’m not exaggerating about this. On one particularly memorable occasion, we were having dinner when Terry, attempting to take a photo of all four of us, turned to me and barked, “AMBER! Put your head in the middle of the table!” And he couldn’t understand why my parents and I thought that was funny. I mean, I know it might seem like my head screws right off, but it obviously doesn’t. Because if it did, I’d probably have left it at Sanford airport by now, or on top of the car roof, or some such place.

You know what? I’ve come this far, so I may as well just show you the photo of my head in the middle of the table, no? Here it is:

my head in the middle of the tableTerry was NOT happy with this, let me tell you. For, in attempting to follow his instructions and place my head in the middle of the table, I succeeded only in making myself look like a giant growth sprouting out of the side of his head. Athena and Zeus, or just Terry and his Terrible Twin? You decide.

I can’t even BEGIN to tell you the grief my dad got over this attempt at a self-timed shot, which he failed to take his designated place for at the allotted time:

The most 'dad' photo everYou can tell by my mum’s face and Terry’s fixed grin that we all knew what was going to happen here, can’t you? As punishment, Terry made my dad stand a little away from the rest of us for the remainder of the night:

dad in disgraceHe had to sit on the Naughty Step when he got home, too. He won’t be making that mistake again in a hurry.

But I digress. I was going to talk about Clearwater and its beautiful sunset, which is the subject of the first photo (and also my desktop wallpaper, replacing Microsoft’s seminal ‘Gigantic Green Leaf’). It was gorgeous. The light had this amazing quality to it, which made everything look so soft and dreamlike. The huge pink building you can see is the hotel we had dinner in that night, and the photo was taken from the pier, which we walked to the end of to watch the sun sink into the sea. Not long after this had happened (and mighty fine it was, too), I was watching the man next to me fishing from the end of the pier, when he reeled in his line, and do you know what was on the end of it?


Yes, I came face to face with my old nemesis on Clearwater Pier. Or at least, I would have come face to face with my old nemesis if it wasn’t for the fact that as soon as I saw its evil and grotesque form break the surface of the water and come swinging towards land, I got the hell outta dodge, as fast as my little legs could carry me.

It didn’t spoil the sunset. But I was glad I’d seen it after I’d been in the water rather than before…

P.S. I write a weekly diary which goes out every Friday to my subscribers. Sign up below to get on the list...

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  • Oh man, this got me laughing ^^ Thank you for the chuckle! And that third photo is PRICELESS!!!

    June 25, 2010
  • Your poor Dad, that photo of him nimbly, but belatedly, trotting into place is one of the funniest things I have seen for a long time! This post has made me laugh as much as your "odd boot" post 😀

    Thank you for cheering up my day Amber, as always!

    June 25, 2010
  • Holy crap I just about died. Thank you. That picture of your dad just gets me. The enthusiasm! The posture! The inescapable DAD-NESS of it! I love it all.

    June 25, 2010
  • Your dad looks like he is doing some kind of crazy dance in that photo. I have laughed and laughed at that!

    June 26, 2010
  • Yay! Well, I for one really enjoy the Friday photo. And to echo the comments above – the dadness of the photos make them priceless. My daddy is a cute smiley wee man but in every photo of him EVER (including his wedding photos) he looks like Mr Stern, it's adorable! x

    June 27, 2010
  • That was brilliant. Made me chuckle. And gorgeous photo of the sunset.

    July 2, 2010
  • I understand your fear – we were once walking along a local lake-front when a guy fishing not too far from us pulled a huge eel out of the water and flopped it down onto the path, where it wriggled in a menacing, eel-y kind of way. I burst into tears and refused to continue down the path until the man and his eel were gone. *shudder*

    August 17, 2010
  • Oh how funny!! Gawd, I'm missing Clearwater something fierce. Hubby is a native so we spend half of the year there and it's TOO gorgeous xx

    August 30, 2010
  • Emerald


    That one with your dad is hilarious! You must’ve laughed for hours.

    May 20, 2021