Wednesday, 21 June 2017

where the sun shines

Three days driving, camper trailer in tow and we have arrived - in the place where the sun shines, even in winter. We have a few days here in Caloundra and then a couple of weeks in Byron Bay, the usual mid winter gig. We are both feeling the need for a break, so unless I feel inspired to post a photo or two that's it for a while...

from Colin's iPhone

Monday, 12 June 2017

flying and shooting

This week has been dominated by two things, organising flights to Italy in November and an end of semester photography assignment.

A family discussion, the creation of a fb group, an on-line travel dates spreadsheet, a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and finally ten tickets to Italy organised. We are committed now! Our family pilgrimage to Abruzzo on the anniversary of my father's death will include our children, partners, my sister and my nephew. There will be some coming and going but we will all overlap for a time and there is great anticipation and excitement at the prospect of traveling and experiencing something of our father's/grandfather's birthplace together. We feel so fortunate to have this opportunity.

In between all the organising was the realisation that our up coming trip to Byron Bay meant that instead of four weeks to complete my assignment I only had two, and I couldn't start until we had completed some basic instruction and practice with studio lighting. Having never stepped inside a studio before it was a steep learning curve. I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the tight time frame (and my complete inexperience) but Colin and Johanna came to the rescue, kindly and patiently sitting for a couple of hours each, following my instructions while I attempted to complete my allocated task. Studio photography could be a lot of fun if you knew what you were actually doing! Tomorrow's job is to choose from the following possibilities, complete lighting plans and write a brief description for each :(

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

great ocean road

Johanna decided she wanted to visit Johanna Beach on her birthday, so we took a couple of days and visited the Twelve Apostles and drove the Great Ocean Road in the process. The B and B was memorable, that is the most positive thing I can say about it, the Twelve Apostles viewing platform was rows deep in tourists and it was cloudy. So not a great start.

ordinary light

too many people

how do you feel about all the people? 

Loch Ard Gorge was less crowded and quite beautiful and the sun peeped out for a short while making for more interesting photos.

The following morning we stopped by the Twelve Apostles again while Colin made some work phone calls (phone reception - just). Johanna and I had the viewing platform to ourselves for a while and discovered a whole other path and view that we hadn't realised existed due to the amount of people the day before. And the sun came out. And it was spectacular. So if you want to see the Twelve Apostles without hundreds of other people go before 10am, the tourist buses are still on their way.

As we drove back along the coast the sunny breaks gave way to clouds which gave way to misty rain by the time we reached Johanna Beach. Green rolling hills, cows and a wild beach, three of Johanna's favourite things. We will definitely return to this place in warmer weather.

wild, windy and deserted

here comes the rain

Sunday, 21 May 2017

the big five O

I'm not sure how I feel about turning fifty, there's been so much other stuff going on that it has kind of snuck up on me. It does feel decidedly older than turning forty, forty is getting toward middle age where as fifty feels like I'm mighty close to 'old person' territory! The celebrations were purposefully low key. The girls organised morning tea and a trip to Heide Museum of Modern Art. We perused paintings by Sidney Nolan and John Blackman and learnt something of the history of the place. The gardens and sculptures were beautiful and the autumn trees magnificent - wherever my three girls are there is bound to be a bit of mischief...

of course they all climbed the massive tree

of course one got stuck

of course big sister came to the rescue

waiting for some leaves to fall, first person to catch one is the winner



We had a family birthday dinner at a local place in Barwon Heads last night and floated an idea, a no regrets kind of idea, a why not? kind of idea; a family pilgrimage to Italy in November.

I have never been to Italy, despite the fact that my father is Italian. He did not want to return to his homeland for a complicated set of reasons, I offered to take him a number of years ago. Although Colin and I have travelled overseas a number of times going to Italy just didn't feel right, I was waiting. November will be the anniversary of my father's death and visiting the place of his birth and childhood, meeting some of my relatives, getting a glimpse of the region and culture that helped shape the person he was feels right, a closure of some sorts (or perhaps it will be an opening). There is a whole side of myself, the Italian side, that is unexplored. Turning fifty feels like a good time for some exploration and doing this as a family, priceless. We are imagining a villa in Abruzzo, day tripping in a minivan, the coast and Adriatic Sea, the mountains and national parks, visiting relatives and small local villages and of course eating wonderful food. Now we have to figure out how to turn our fantasy into reality...

Monday, 15 May 2017

deferred gratification

Colin has had to wait thirty odd years for a garage. Finally, he has one. Our new place has a two car garage and no cars in it, that's because its full of other 'stuff'. To be fair the camper trailer does take up a bit of space, in fact the whole garage has been set up around it. And then there's the surf boards and all the paraphernalia that goes with them, the bikes, the tools... and on the list goes. Before you know it the whole thing is chokkas. In keeping with his penchant for organisation though every thing has a place of its own. He seems to spend quite a bit of time doing 'stuff' out there; the roller door up and the sun streaming in. The other day he came in with a happy, satisfied grin, "I love my shed". That says it all really...

Monday, 8 May 2017

back to centre

There are some things that you do that centre you, that bring you back to yourself somehow, that ground you in the here and now. This last week has had lots of those kind of things. Finally some quieter days and a weekend memorable for its very ordinariness. We have cooked large pots of dhal, minestrone, pumpkin and chicken soup - all stacked in neat rows in our chest freezer (newly purchased). We have sowed peas into our new garden beds here at home and in our plot at the community garden. I have picked olives from my trees and researched preserving methods. The process is underway. Colin purchased a whole heap of spice jars similar to the ones Rachel gifted him with as a house warming present. He spent a rainy afternoon labelling, organising and filling them all, which was no mean feat considering there were thirty odd! And then; a rainy Saturday night, an open fire, a big pot of chicken soup and friends to share it with, a lazy Sunday afternoon and a leisurely cuppa with another friend. And the cherry on the top, as far as Colin was concerned - a win for the Blues...

on the tree

in a jar

a multitude of jars

a splash of colour

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

the first time

We have replaced the caravan we sold a couple of years ago, not with another caravan but a camper trailer instead. Our intention is to do a lot more weekend wanderings, shorter stints of walking and cycling. The camper trailer is simple and easy - for storage and access, for towing and set up. We took it to Lorne on the weekend to get some things figured out. It wasn't until after we set it up that we realised there was a video on YouTube (of course) that would have been more helpful than the simple instruction page we received. Fortunately the caravan park was mostly deserted so our trial and error approach went mostly un-noticed. We also took the time to set up part of the annexe, something we are unlikely to use very often.

the 'Skamper'

Colin christening 'the kitchen'
There is a lot less space than we are used to, a minimalist approach will be required (along with a bit of creative packing and organising). The main challenge we are yet to overcome is a comfortable bed. We opted for the innerspring mattress, an upgrade on the standard gym style mat that passed for bedding, but alas it is not what we were hoping it would be. We need a plan B.

We think the 'Skamper" will work well for us. The main thing missing, other than the bits and pieces that have been added to a 'to purchase list' was some warm weather. We will be waiting a while for that....

The Erskine River, a stones throw from the caravan park

access to part of the Lorne foreshore

Sunday morning

Erskine River meets Lorne Foreshore

Erskine Falls

Tuesday, 25 April 2017


Shopping with kids can be a challenge, even when they are 'adults'...