Saturday, February 27, 2010

A break from photos....

Only for one post though

I was tagged by someone who's blog I read, Nikon Sniper, and the flow is to write 7 things about myself and ask 7 other creative bloggers to do the same about themselves.  Not sure i have 7 of you who blog, but it's a n interesting concept.

choosing 7 things to write seems easy, but....  Hmmm

1. I'll start with something that will shock you all.  I am addicted to snow, not just snow skiing, but watching it fall, walking in it, hearing it crunch (preferable to slop) under foot, searching for the perfect flake on my gloves or jacket.  To me it's magical, even more so that it snows here, in Australia and I'm only 5 hours away!  ok 6 is more realistic.

2. When I was 5 or so my Uncle Keith told me he did the voice over for Skippy, I believed him.  he made me promise I wouldn't tell anyone else.  At his funeral last year it came out that he had told all of my female cousins (2 plus my 2 sisters) the same story.  Unbeknown to be my oldest sister told the story at show and tell and obtained some notoriety for it. haha Ever the joker Uncle Keith!

3.  Despite loving my water frozen, I also need beach time, not just want it or like it, but I need it.  This stems from spending most summer school holidays (5-6 weeks) at a place called Pebbly Beach on the NSW south coast.  It has a very special place in my heart and always will. We stayed in cabins that were originally built in the 40's that for years were powered by a diesel generator, then solar power came about and the owners switched to that for lights.  Stove and fridge were and still are gas powered and water is Tank water, so off the roof.  There are no powerpoints for electronic gadgets to be charged, or hair dryers to be plugged in, no TV and Hot water only if you boiled it.  Well, there was the Shower Shed  where the hot water was powered by a Kerosene heater and still is.

Things have changed there, but the bones of the place are still the same and it's what keeps me wanting to go back, it is now my idea of the perfect holiday, holidays should be for relaxing, kids to run around coming home when hungry and all that good kid stuff.  I often feel like i need to spend a couple of weeks there to recharge, though don't get the luxury these days.  Perhaps for a few days after our wedding? :)  (hint hint Brendan xx)

4. When I was fairly young, not sure how old mum could clarify... I ensconced myself in the toilet, which was separate to the rest of the bathroom, pulled off sheets of toilet paper and lit them with matches I'd found, throwing the lit toilet paper out the window to float down onto the back pathway (no I wasn't that clued up).  I was entranced with the way it floated through the air while it was burning, drfiting on it's own current created by the heat and any breeze that was about.

Mum caught me and asked me if I'd done it, I said no so she sent me out to see dad who was chopping wood with his Axe in the back yard.  I don't remember exact words, but it went something along the lines of "what are you here for?" "Dunno" "did you do it?" "ummm "  "Don't do it again"


5. I have to have a cup of tea in the morning before I leave for work, and breakfast, but the tea is a must.  English or Irish breaky tea by twinings with a VERY small amount of milk.  As a friend jokes "She'll have 8 drops (of milk) I'll have 12".

6. I  laugh when Nutmeg (our cat) wakes up from her naps, stretches and falls off the lounge.  It's funny and the look on her face is priceless,  she does it repeatedly too.  I do give her a cuddle or tickle afterwards

7.  My all time favourite sandwich is Smoked salmon, (lite) cream cheese, capers and red onions on fresh thick white bread.  I know I know, white bread is so un pc these days, but the sandwich just doesn't taste the same with any other bread and it has to be thick and fluffy and most definitely no pea sprouts or avocado!

So there you are, 7 things about me.  Those of you who have a blog I tag you now :p

let me know when you're done, I'd love to read your 7 things

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 58


Standing in the kitchen staring absent mindedly at the lemon and limes in the fruit bowl jogged a long forgotten memory of Dad taking macro shots of orange skin.  There was a bellows involved, I vaguely recall it was attached either straight to the camera body or to a lens to extend the range, or magnify the object, in this case an orange.

I was amazed at how close he could get and subconsciously it has influenced how I take photos as far as trying to get in as close as possible.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 57

It's a hard life sometimes..........

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 56

I love fresh flowers though I don't usually buy them, so on impulse I purchased these from a florist near a store I was heading to as they were 2 bunches for half the price of 1.  So for $6 i got 2 bunches of tulips that had barely started to open, so still plenty of vase life left.

For fear of 'doing a dad' and filling albums and albums with flower photos, I'll try to restrain myself while they are alive ;)

Day 55

After yesterday's oppressive heat Nutmeg was full of energy playing madly with every toy she has and running after both of us when we walked out of the lounge room, skidding crazily around corners and running between our feet as we walked.  I can see one of us falling fairly soon! lol

She's a ball of energy though exhausted herself totally!

Brendan was reading and she snuggled up under his book on the lounge.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 54

It was very hot day today so I didn't venture too far from the house and coincidentally I was working from home which was a relief for Brendan and I as Nutmeg would have struggled inside without any way of cooling for her.  So it worked out well.

Anyway, there is a gate in our back fence which leads to the council reserve behind us and I was fascinated by the rusting latch in the heat, no idea why!

Day 53

Ta da.....

The latest addition to our household after a visit to the RSPCA is this gorgeous 2 year old (they think) ginger female cat.  

No name yet, we're not sure what to call her.  Suggestions so far are: Asuka (after a japanese anime character), Meeku, Lulu, Nutmeg,  Camille Claudel (Rodin's mistress), snap (as in Ginger Snap biscuits), Moy, Mei and Belle.

At the moment we alternate between the name the RSPCA gave her, Princess, and puss lol  One of those will probably stick!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 52

Multiple things happened today, but my photo of the day is Swans related, that's the Sydney Swans AFL team for those of you not in australia.

AFL isn't native to sydney, or NSW the state we're in, but it is a brilliant game and doesn't require the players to inflict injury on one another .

The season hasn't started just yet, it's  a winter sport which sprawls into autumn and early spring, the game I went to was part of a preliminary season match played at the cricket ground next to the Olympic venue for Baseball, Soccer and Softball in 2000.

The Swans were playing Carlton a Melbourne team who can be quite tough competition.

Great game and the Swans won :)

Love this shot as the young boy down the front in the red vest was so passionate about the game.  He is poitning to a carlton player who should have received a penalty but none of the 5 referees saw the dodgy play. haha  If you have not attended an AFL match, there's always a lot of yelling at the ref for dodgy calls, not always warranted, mostly just to heckle, it's a lot of fun.

Not a bad shot considering it's handheld on 10x zoom under flood lights and as I've stated previously I'm not using a DSLR, just my Panasonic TZ1.  There's a fair bit of noise if I blow the image up, but for what the shot is I like it.

Young boy keeping an eagle eye on the game, and the referees.  Adam Goodes was pushed from behind and is on his knees.  Apparently as he was going for the ball this should have been a penalty but the ref didn't see it..................... ;)

Day 51

What to do when you're a little bored, or doing tasks that require very little of your capacity?  get out some merchandise and have pretend fights :)

So disappointed marketing have decided to not continue with this item, they are great fun for all ages ;)

Day 50

I really looked forward to coming home, as much as I absolutely love Japan, as I just wanted to settle into the house and get into a routine instead of being here there and everywhere, moving etc.  I know Brendan felt the same so it was so nice to be home I thought I'd cook a special meal.

I whipped out my cooking magazines and found a recipe for a butterflied de boned leg of lamb with a "horte" salad.

It was a little complex process wise and timing wise, but it tasted delicious!  Excuse the lumps in the dressing, the feta was supposed to be whisked into smooth oblivion but it just wouldn't break down with a hand whisk and we don't have an electric mixer.

Day 49

It's amazing how quickly you adjust to no or very limited electronic communications while on holidays..... Then it's back to work!

First day back today and the phone ruled the day!

Day 48

We were on a plane for the first half of the day and then traveling home so no pic for today, though in my album I'll add an extra pic from Japan or from around the house.

Day 47

Breakfast at Alupu

This is one version of the western breaky served every morning at our lodge/Pensione, bread of some sort accompanied the meal and everyone got the same. Interestingly the broccoli was steamed but cold, the peas corn and carrot were warm and had salt and pepper on them, the meat was cold this morning, though the type of meat varied from short round bacon to the devon style sausage in this pic.  There was always potato on the plate, mostly a stir fry type or mix, hash browns were a surprise. 

Some mornings we were treated to "salad" instead of the corn, peas and carrot mix.  Salad is a loose term as it was mostly iceberg lettuce and a salad dressing. 

I  love Japan!

Day 46

Having a nap after dinner on our last night in Hakuba.  We missed out 8pm booking elsewhere as we got on the wrong bus, so by the time the bus finished it's loop it was 8.45 and the kitchen at this place was closing at 9pm.

We were all very tired after a big day and then the bus ride or tour of the resort and a late dinner.

Day 45

Brendan and me at Iwatake ski resort, Hakuba.  

Weather was quite warm, but we had a very fun day with great friends and was our last day skiing for the trip

Day 44

Meeku, one of the cats at the Pensione we stayed at.  Funny thing, stumpy legs and stumpy tail and full of beans!

Day 43

Hoto Chocco  the most decadent hot chocolate to be found, more like liquid chocolate really and found at the Virgin Blue cafe at the top of the Happo One ski resort chairlift


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 42

Foggy day after Freezing rain fell the night before, quite a strange phenomenon.

This tree was on the side of one of the runs we were coming down and I liked the silhouette.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 41

Matsumoto Castle

A bridge over the moat caught my eye as it was so bright amongst the grey and neutral tones of the castle and it was bright red saying here I am look at me.

Day 40

Snow Monkeys

What an experience.  there were people everywhere and only 1 monkey in the onsen when we arrived, the rest were scattered around eating what looked like wheat someone had spread out fairly sparingly so the monkeys had to forage for it.

After a while this fellow/lady climbed into the onsen and moved as far away from the crowds as he/she could.  I didn't notice the permed look until I downloaded my photos once I was home.

It must be so nice to just sit in the hot water with the snow around and warm yourself up anytime you want or need to.

and a pic of everyone clamouring to take a pic of the one monkey, a fairly young one too.

Day 39

Our lodge - Alupu in Hakuba

Day 38

Today involved heading to Hakuba on the Shinkasen or Bullet train which goes via Nagano.  Brendan and I had sent our main luggage and skis forward with ABC Takkyubin  service. I think this service is unique to Japan, though haven't been to Europe yet so might not be. Basically you dro your luggage off with them, provide the address (preferably in Kanji script) of your destination and they courier it there for you.  For 2 bags and 2 ski bags it cost around 8000yen (roughly $90AUD)  not cheap, however it meant we didn't have to deal with it and could now wander around Nagano once we got there without the hassle of luggage storage.

More importantly it meant we were free to sit in a tiny Ramen bar to devour the best Miso ramen on the planet!  I was holding my chopsticks for anyone out there not familiar with chopstick ettiquette, to leave them in your bowl as in the photo means death in some Asian cultures.

Seriously excellent ramen!!!

The other reason we stopped in Nagano was to visit Zenko-ji temple, which is a Shinto temple and quite stunning.  This guy interested me more though and I took a series of 3 shots with different framing and zoom and I can't decide which is my favourite, but have chosen the mid distance shot for now.

Below is the Soba noodle man, he was ensconced  in a preparation area that was glass on 3 sides making Soba noodles for consumption in the next door cafe/restaurant.  Fascinating process and takes years to master apparently.

Day 37

Day tripping around Asakusa

Lady at Senjo-si buddhist temple in Asakusa in traditional dress

Karen's friend yuko was our guide for the night and provided many funny moments :)

Our first night in tokyo resulted in some Karaoke after a delicious meal at a nearby restaurant.

Day 36

Day 1 of our trip - on our way to Tokyo via Cairns courtesy of Jetstar.

Day 35

Part of my organisation blitz for 2010 is this folder I was given for christmas.  I've started to collate recipes and put them into the folder as well as go through my cook books and pick out favourite recipes to reference.

Day 34

A visitor on our mail box soaking up some rain

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Delayed posting

Hi everyone,

sorry for the delayed posting, I'm on holidays overseas and will return home Tuesday (Australian time) and will resume sometime in the days after that.  LOTS of shots to share with you and it will be hard to pick which one to post.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 33

I was inspired to do this 365 project by a colleague who is into her 2nd year, she is an amazing organiser and a mad keen scrap booker, so I think our reasons for doing the project while similar are quite different.  I ordered the Project Life kit that Becky Higgins put together as an easy and simple way of scrap booking without scrap booking.

It's a preformed kit of journal cards (the idea scares me!) header cards, month seperaters etc and plastic sleeves into which you put your photo's for each day as well as the journal card that matches the photo.

It arrived today and I was so excited to get the Aus post card in the mail box letting me know I had a parcel that I rang the post office to see if the courier had dropped it off yet.  Alas no, so I had to wait until nearly closing time to go and pick it up.

I had no expectation of the colour of the folder other than it would be 12 inches x 12 inches and the components that would go into it.  I was so thrilled when I opened the box and caught a glimpse of red, it's one of my favourite colours.

For any of you who know me very well you'll be reading all of this and thinking to yourselves what has gotten into her.  I know, it's fairly left field for me to be into this, and it must come as a bit of a shock to some of my girlfriends, maybe only a little shock.  I've always admired the dedication of 'scrappers' but don't necessarily like the 'art'/craft side of it, the time it consumes and I'm not a crafty person so I've never considered it was something I'd ever do.  I'm creative with photography and I love all types of art, so I think that's what drew me to the PL kit, it allows me to create an attractive album and focus on my photography skills every day.

The album above ^

And the bits and pieces below \/

Day 32

Where has the year gone?  It's February already, every year seems to go faster and faster, which is prompting me to try to slow down more and more so I don't miss life as it steams on ahead!

It's sometimes the small things that catch my eye, these are some round paper clips I bought at Kikk-K a while ago and sometimes fiddle with when I'm thinking.

Day 31

If I follow the idea of the 365 days project I'm supposed to take at least 1 photo of myself every month, this one will do for now ;)

It's a caricature drawn at a work function by an artist we had doing this for our guests.  Love that Kumar put a champagne glass in my hand even though I didn't have a drink at the time.

Day 30

Very cruisy Saturday and we capped it off by cooking steak on the BBQ

Day 29

It's Friday, the end of the week and we're preparing for a weekend of not a whole lot, which Brendan and I are pretty excited about as with all house moves it's been constantly busy since we put the offer in on the house.  Now we can relax and enjoy our house.

It was a big week at work for me, lots going on some change is in the air I hear, though exactly what I'm not sure.  There were some beers in the fridge left over from our Aus day BBQ (thanks phil) and it's been hot so I decided to enjoy one while cooking dinner and waiting for Brendan to come home, and popped my iPod on the dock I got for chrissy.