June 29, 2010

Momentary madness!

It has been a month since my last blog. Not that I haven't had anything to say, I just didn't say it.

But what a month it has been! Spending my time with the most fabulous person in the world, and the best kids in the world!

On top of that, I got into uni. I am now a student (again) studying the Bachelor of Teaching (Primary). The best part of this is the credits I get for previous studies - 120 points worth, which means I only complete 8 subjects (there is a 9th subject but it has something to do with meeting NSW teaching standards). By this time next year, all going well, I should have a teaching degree!

I haven't been doing much photography though, and I do miss it a little bit. But I have a huge week coming up where I will most likely not put the camera down.
My family and I are off on a trip to Lightning Ridge to fossick for opals and visit old friends (we lived there for two and a half years). It is very exiciting, as it is the first real holiday I have been on since taking my daughters to Melbourne a few years ago. We've had weekend trips since then, but nowhere so far away. It is approximately 11 hours drive so there will be an overnight stay somewhere along the way.

I will have the most wonderful photo opportunities while I am there. Glorious sunsets, beautiful gemstones and the delightful old miners' shacks dotted throughout the town. I will see my old houses, the bore baths, the new additions to the local pool, Amigo's Castle, the bottle houses (houses made out of cement and glass bottles!) and all the open mines and other tourist-y things.

It'll be wonderful! But for now, here are some of my recent shots on a visit with family in Shepparton!

May 31, 2010


I am trying to keep my mind off a few things at the moment. Writing about them isn't really going to help but I will pretend for now...
For starters, I have an annoying ache in my back, legs and ankles. It isn't something I want to go to bed with, so I am staying up late to see if it goes away. Not much sense in tossing and turning and making the pain worse.

I am also trying to keep my mind off my future. There seems to be a lot of work involved at the moment and if I didn't know it was worth it, then I would give up. I am mentally exhausted but must push on for the sake of my sanity and my children!

I thought I had found the light at the end of the tunnel...or rather, the end of the rainbow, when I found the end of the rainbow on the weekend. Mistakenly, I thought it must be a sign that things were looking up but nothing has changed. There are some glorious people in my life and I thank the Gods of love and friendship that I have them, but there are somethings one must do for oneself, and I hate that I lack motivation to force things forward.

Today was a sad day, in some ways. I was invited to take the group photo of the 4th year uni students, the ones I should have been graduating with had I stuck it out in the teaching degree. Seeing them celebrating their last class (for the majority) before they embark on their final placement was both a happy, exciting time, but also a gut-wrenching, time-to-question-my-own-choices kind of moment. Here I am, standing in front of them, looking at them through the camera's eye and I see the future for my kids, the future for many kids, and I could have been a part of that.
Of course, I should mention that I will be getting my teaching degree after all the rigamarole I have been through NOT getting it. It is the only viable option now. But it won't be with the people I studied with for three years. It won't be with a group of the most wonderful people I could have met. It'll be alone, via distance study.

They are wonderful people. Even the lecturers told them so. So many cheeky, bubbly personalities, caring and friendly...and bringing a baby helps too (even the male lecturers were spotted going ga-ga for the babies that came through!). Luckily none of them will end up Collingwood fans though!

The end of the rainbow. No pot of gold, no little man in green handing out potatoes. Not even a magical unicorn offering to whisk me away to Neverland or Hogwarts. Just a pretty picture, where the happy ending is still to come.

May 17, 2010

Winter walks

Walking is good for your health, or so they say. So far, walking has been good for disturbing my sleep!

In truth, I am really enjoying my walks. My alarm is set for 5:56am, I listen to the news on the radio, and leave the house at 6:15am. It is dark and cold when I leave but when I get home at 6:45am, I am well and truly warmed up and enjoying the morning sun. I haven't been walking every single day. Weekends are off limits...but other than that I haven't missed more than 2 mornings. It has only been 12 walks to date but that is compared to nothing before...

I have noticed some things about the environment I live in on these walks. It is fascinating to see what goes on before the majority of people are awake. The sounds are different, the smells are different and everything looks different.

With every breath forms a cloud of fog and the cold air almost hurts to breath in again. The sound of my footsteps on the footpath are the loudest sounds until I reach the main road where there is rarely a car to disrupt my progress. There is one sound I hear that worries me every day...It is the buzzing of electricity as I pass by one particularly loud electricity pole. It is probably something I should tell someone about...It cannot be heard over the noise the day makes.
One morning I smelled raisin bread toasting as I passed one house, and another smelled of freshly burning wood. It was the first wood fire I have smelled and the only one so far. Then there is the smell of exhaust fumes as I walk past the service station. There is always cars parked there, engines running, as their owners slip in to buy coffee or cigarettes or whatever their need is. I imagine they leave their heaters running.

I find it oddly amusing that at such an early hour, so many people seem to be in a hurry. There isn't enough time in the day for anything, apparently.

I have contemplated taking my camera with me on these walks, but the weight of it would be cumbersome, and having to stop to take a photo every five steps would defeat the purpose of the walk. Sunrise is beautiful, each and every morning. The streets glow pink and orange and I feel as though I am walking towards the new day, fresh, awake - alive.

But every day that I walk, I am fighting off aches and pains. The impact on my knees and my body isn't pleasant but I ignore it because I need to stay active.
I need to teach my body and my mind that it needs to cope with at least that amount of activity every day. When I start working, I want to get through the day without feeling as though I have run a marathon!!

Not that I have a job yet.....

Here is a little something I took recently with my iPhone. I thank then inventors of camera phones every day, because if I don't have my real camera with me, I always have my phone!

April 25, 2010

Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

Sweet whisper of the autumn breeze
Soft hushing of the autumn leaves
Marching west towards the setting autumn sun
Hope unspoken, creeps away
Veiled in the shadows of the ending day
Cast by the setting autumn sun

Keeping time, sticking together,
Marching on, into the nether
To spend eternity with the setting autumn sun
Sweet whisper over empty grave
Soft hushing over ground unpaved
Lest we forget the setting autumn sun

Kelly Davis (2008)

April 18, 2010

Take a moment!

I haven't written a blog for almost a month! Not that I haven't thought about it, and I have been reading other blogs. I just haven't taken the time to get anything down. I've had a busy couple of weeks - a fantastic Easter weekend camping with good friends and family.

There haven't been many opportunities for shoots, I've kept pretty quiet in that regard, but I have done a little writing.
However, I took five of my favourite children to the park recently and figured there wouldn't be a better time to bring the camera along. Spontaneous shoots do seem to work much better than sittings, I guess because there is less pressure on getting the perfect shot.
Here are a few of my favourites, from Easter and our trip to the park.

March 31, 2010

The Spirit in Us All

I think somewhere, deep inside everyone, is a little spark. It is a little spark that lights up all on its own. The spark is inconsistent. It is unpredictable. But what it brings to life is wonderful, amazing and beautiful.

That little spark lit up in my daughter Ashlie today at the school athletics carnival. She's no runner, but she went in every race. She had also tried out for the other events at school and made it into the high jump finals for junior girls. I recalled the swimming miracle, where she turned from non-swimmer to squad training in less than 6 months. But I never expected something like that to happen again!

High jump is such an obscure event, for school athletics. I remember my school carnivals - one jump, I'm out, oh well, sit down. Today, Ashlie kept clearing the bar. The height was put up, she cleared it. Other girls had their three attempts, Ashlie cleared it. She had to repeat two heights but made them on each 2nd attempt. I remember one of the mums saying it didn't matter, as Ashlie would do no worse than fourth - they started with nine or ten girls.

Then suddenly it was down to Ashlie and April. I was stunned! The height was around the 90 or so centimetre mark I think, and Ashlie used her three attempts but it was too much. April added another height change but finished at that.

Oh how we marvel over our surprise little champion. She gets so much enjoyment from just participating, and that's all I ask of her, but her delighted little face, such pure joy in her eyes, it is moments like that that I live to see!

Georgia on the other hand doesn't have the same simplistic joy with competing. She's hard to define. Bad loser (very sensitive) yet she often behaves as though she is competitive.
Watching her today in her races just made me smile. Rather than racing to win, she spent the whole race looking over at her friend, who looked back at her, and they giggled, tying for last. If you ask them, they would tell you they ran their hardest but smile guiltily if you mention the talking along the way. Georgia only cried twice today. Once when someone was mean to her. And once because she didn't think she should talk to a girl who was in a different house team.
Most importantly though is that Georgia did have fun and she doesn't mention either of those emotional outbursts when talking about her day. I can't wait to see what she does next year when competition becomes a little more serious for her age group!

March 22, 2010

the absence of old lines

Today is my birthday. I haven't thought much about it, not directly, because my friend got married on Saturday and I was her bridesmaid. While we discussed my birthday (as she and her now-husband met on my birthday weekend three years ago) we were so busy with wedding plans it didn't really occur to me that it had arrived.

I don't feel any older. Sometimes I do feel old though.

My six year old says 'You're not old mummy, you have no old lines' and I love her for that!

The perfect birthday present was hugs from my girls. Even if I had to tell them what day it was today.

I got a camping chair. My very own! It's not really a big deal, but when there is a barbecue, or a trip to my uncle's block, I can take my own chair instead of asking around. It's a very comfortable chair!

My girls also bought me a picture frame, though Ashlie was with me when it was bought by my mother on behalf of the girls (Georgia chose it)...and the cake! Oh the cake! I love sponge cake, jam and cream, and I love peanut m&ms. And the colour pink.

Yep, you've probably already guessed! Georgia picked the topping...

I picked the photo for the frame. I was 23 years old then, I think.

March 19, 2010

Answers you absolutely need to know

I stole this from Carly!

One more sleep until Katrina gets married, by the way!

1. What time did you get up this morning? 7:00 am, when mum woke me up - that's not what I wanted her to do!

2. How do you like your steak? Almost well done

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Avatar - but that's another rant when I have a spare hour

4. What is your favorite TV show? Anything Stargate, and I can add Sanctuary & Warehouse 13 to the list

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? I haven't been to enough places to really say, but I love Geelong

6. What did you have for breakfast? Mango yogurt

7. What is your favorite cuisine? Indian or Italian

8. What foods do you dislike? rockmelon, like Carly, and mint (though I like eclipse breath mints?)

9. Favorite Place to eat? At home with my girls!

10. Favorite dressing? I make my own seafood sauce (mayo, worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce)

11.What kind of vehicle do you drive? '99 Falcon (or Futura, not sure!)

12. What are your favorite clothes? Denim jeans/shorts & comfy shirt

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Ireland or Egypt

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? I can't ever decide. Every situation differs

15. Where would you want to retire? I'd be happy to reach retirement, haven't thought past that yet

16. Favorite time of day? Those waking moments, when I realise both of my girls are in bed with me

17. Where were you born? Lismore, NSW

18. What is your favorite sport to watch? I don't have a favourite as such, but I don't mind the AFL grandfinal

19. Bird watcher? mmmm...not since we had birds when I was little

20. Are you a morning person or a night person? I guess I am a night person, when I get my second wind, as they say

21. Do you have any pets?  We have Maximo, the rescue dog!

22. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? I had a manicure this morning, and this afternoon I broke a nail?

23. What did you want to be when you were little? A writer, and still do

24. Are you a cat or dog person? Dog

25. What was your last drink? Coffee

26. Always wear your seat belt? Yes!!

27. Been in a car accident? I've been in five accidents, one as a pedestrian

28. Any pet peeves? Yup, Twilight fans & people telling me that Avatar was a great movie

29. Favorite Pizza Toppings? It changes, but my all-time favourite pizza is the Eagle Boys Satay Chicken with Apricot swirl

30. Favorite Flower? Pink ones

31. Favorite ice cream? cookies & cream is good

32. Favorite fast food restaurant? no idea!

33. How many times did you fail your driver's test? Learners once, P's once

34. From whom did you get your last email? some silly facebook one

35. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? There is no way I could pick just one, because I love buying for my kids but I want lots of camera gear too!

36. Do anything spontaneous lately? Cleaned the kids rooms when I had planned to make them do it

37. Like your job? I don't have a job, unless we count being a mum, and yes, i love that

38. Broccoli? That's not a question but yes, broccoli is yum

39. What was your favorite vacation? All of them

40. Last person you went out to dinner with? I don't remember the last time I went out to dinner

41. What are you listening to right now? Mumford and Sons

42. What is your favorite color? pink!

43. How many tattoos do you have? None, not that I haven't thought about getting one!

44. How many are you tagging for this quiz? Nobody, lol!

45. What time is it? It is 3.38pm, I am waiting for my girls to come home

46. Coffee ?? Yes, at least once a day. But again, that isn't really a question...

Okay, so you've learnt some pointless things about me now!

March 16, 2010

Live happily....

ever after? Maybe.

Live happily in the moment? Definitely.

"There are no language barriers when you are smiling." ~ Allen Klein Read

No language barriers, whether that be foreign languages or language between family members. We all know that at some point in our lives we feel as though our family are from another planet!!

I loved taking photos of K and her family. I loved that D was shy, that the kids were fine with me having the camera in their faces and that I could ask just about anything of them.

My favourite part was possibly getting the kids to smile...by suggesting they think about grannies on scooters...something that amuses them endlessly apparently! I may possibly have suggested imagining their dad in a granny dress on a scooter but those memories are vague...

Thank you again to K for volunteering her time and her family!

And happy birthday for Wednesday!!


March 15, 2010

Book review

I mentioned in a previous blog that I had almost overwhelmed myself with books. It turns out that I needn't be so concerned.

'The Children's Book' by A.S. Byatt...I am 46 pages in and have given up. I can see a story in there somewhere, but it is lost amongst a whole lot of seemingly pointless flashbacks. I chose it because it was mentioned somewhere (forgive me for forgetting where) as a great fantasy novel. So far all I see is political nonsense from the 1800s...and a candlestick.

I have tried to keep reading, but if books don't grab me within a chapter or two, I find it very hard to keep reading. I was especially thrown - remember, I have read 46 pages - to find with no apparent reason, no lead up or suggestions, that the 15 year old character decides to masturbate in a strangers house into the hankey he was given.
I'll accept that it is the practice of 15 year old boys, sure, but completely out of place unless I missed something.

Disappointing really. The first thing to throw me off though was the mere size of the book. It is rather thick, 615 pages, and the type is SO SMALL!

I've got an awful feeling it is the junior fiction section too but I doubt there are many young readers who would get any further than I did unless they were looking for more *giggle* sex scenes.

So I picked up another of the books I had chosen. 'Blaze of Glory' by Michael Pryor. I've read 8 pages of this one and it too has me raising my eyebrows in disbelief.
I remember for my practice HSC English exam writing a story about a girl who had fears of crossing the road because she had been hit by a car earlier in her life. The story focused on her current situation, and her memories of the event. She only alluded to the cause of her fear. Of course, it was all clear in my head because the story was mine...indeed, the experience was mine also. But the reader/marker had no idea of what I was thinking when I wrote it so missed what I was trying to convey.
This is how I feel about Pryor's story. He's opened with the current experiences of his character who alludes to his past which is confusing for me as the reader. Perhaps as I read further it will be explained, but unfortunately I don't foresee me gaining enjoyment from the story. What I have deduced so far sounds silly because of the way it is presented.

Actually, it reminds me of the Septimus Heap saga. I am currently listening to 'Queste' which is book 4 I think...It is one of the dumbest (for want of a better word) series I have ever 'read'. The stories are a mess, the characters all over the place and underdeveloped and the whole lot of them seem so blase about the events occurring around them. Two children disappear into the past and only the siblings of one of them care to try and rescue them. The adults - who have the power - completely ignore the fact that the two have mysteriously disappeared.
The Princess in the story is overlooked as being in a position of power despite being the only living royal so it seems that no one is actually ruling their land - which in turn seems only to consist of the castle, the wizards tower and the slum-like building arrangements that surround the castle. Oh yes, and Aunt Zelda's place which can be reached by sailing down the river for a while and through some marshland. Or by going through the magic cupboard in the Queen's room. Who is dead. So it belongs to the princess. Who didn't know it was there. Until she found it.

It seems that I am just searching for SOMETHING fantasy to sink my teeth into and will try anything. Next it is The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan.

By the way...Septimus Heap is SO bad, I can't stop listening to it because I want to know how it all ends.

I make a terrible critic. The best example I have of how terrible I am...I see anything Twilight and want to burn it. I say this because if anyone thought of recommending Twilight, it's best you know how I feel first.

March 08, 2010

As a business....

I have just started a facebook fanpage to promote myself as a photographer. It is probably a little presumptuous, thinking I will get many fans, but with it I am hoping to attract local clients.
My price is reasonable, at least for now! I have realised that what I thought would be pricey is actually dirt cheap...My photos however are not the $2 shop variety, I put effort and care into what I do, to give my clients the best I can.

Feel free to become a fan of my facebook page here!

March 07, 2010

Do you believe in fairies?

I do, and I know that Olivia does! I am not sure about her little brother Jon, I think he was just there for the fun!
The photo shoot with these two gorgeous kids was the most challenging yet. They weren't naughty, far from it! Just naturally inquisitive and constantly moving. They had much better things to do than sit still for some strange woman with a camera!

Olivia was on the hunt for fairies in the forest, and Jon tagged along. We stopped occasionally when Olivia's ears almost visibly pricked and she whispered 'Shhh I heard a noise!'. She tried so hard to find fairies, in the end she got very sad.

Mum is gorgeous too though, and if the kids take after her, I hope she has a good plan to chase of suitors! Olivia's friends will giggle themselves silly over her gorgeous brother, and Jon's friends...boys will be boys...I reckon Olivia will have slapped a few before she's finished school!

I'll photograph these three anytime!!







March 06, 2010

Ding dong!

Nobody home!

I feel like writing tonight, so I am warming up with a blog post.
So many ideas running around in my head, I have no idea what will spew forth when I pick up the pen. I'm hoping I might be inspired to work towards finishing an old project rather than starting a new one.

Today wasn't the best day. I felt awful, blocked nose and a bit congested. Headache too of course, and muscle and bone aches. Partly a cold, partly the FM. A couple of panadol knocked the edges off but not enough for me to find energy to do anything today.
I watched Couples Retreat with my mum, wandered outside a couple of times to feign helping my brother with his car, and played a lot of freecell on my phone. I did read some of my book though.

The book is called The Belgariad, Pawn of Prophecy, by David Eddings. It is the first I have read by Eddings, but won't be the last. However before I find more of his, I have to get through the other four books I borrowed...Book of Dreams by Traci Harding, Blaze of Glory by Michael Pryor, The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan and The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt. If you happen to look these up you'll notice they are all fantasy fiction. I struggle to read any other genre, and prefer the Young Adult section...although this selection is a little YA, a little A.
I did recently read Odalisque, by Fiona McIntosh which was brilliant. It is not young adult fiction, therefore I was faced with some very adult themes that shocked me. I am not used to explicit violence in novels, nor sexual themes...not of that nature! But really, a book called 'Odalisque', what was I expecting?!

Odalisque is the first novel of the Percheron Saga, and Emissary is the second. However I have encountered a slight problem in obtaining a copy of Emissary from the local library. It is out on loan...the due date....December 2009. There isn't much chance of me getting it!

All this reading is only possible because I am now officially unemployed. I have been turned down for the first job I applied for (which I will investigate on Monday, but I suspect I just have the wrong qualification) and I have sent out enquiries about TAFE courses that I could undertake in order to enhance my chances of employment. I would have liked to have been able to get a job purely based on my degree and charm, but unfortunately the degree isn't really recognised yet and I haven't had the chance to charm anyone...

I've never had to do this before. My first job was working as a kitchen hand, and I got it because mum asked the boss how I would apply, and called me into the store...I was wearing a tracksuit, possibly after netball or purely a daggy day, filled in a form and got a job. I worked there for just over 2 years. I then worked briefly at another pizza shop until I found out I was pregnant (and developed an aversion to 'real' pizza and could no longer work around ham). Since then, I've not worked at all!! I've never had to write a resume, or cover letter, or address criteria. I have no idea what I am doing!!!

Well that's it from me for now. Tomorrow I hand over a disc of photos from my last shoot which I will hopefully be able to post and blog about afterwards! *Must remember to get permission*

March 03, 2010

Custom photography

What I do, has a name.

Thanks to this site http://www.professionalchildphotographer.com I have learnt a little more about what I do as a photographer. I like taking all kinds of photos, but find the natural, less posed and unsual shots more appealing than the sit still and smile kind. Unless the sit still and smile kind has something extra thrown in. Or at least not taken in a studio because I look back now at the portaits of my girls and think how horrible I was to dress them up as an eggplant...When will they ever look back and think that that was who they were as a child?

What I want from my photography is to help people share memories of themselves and their family, as they were at that time. As themselves. To capture their personality, their emotions, and the environment that forms a part of the place they call home.

I imagine one day looking back at studio portraits and not knowing which shopping centre or studio the photo was taken in, then looking at some of my own photos and know for certain - that one was at Grandma's house, that one was at the weir (you were grumpy that day!) and that one was at the Botanic Gardens.

There is nothing wrong with studio portraits if you're after a nice photo of the children or whole family together. They remind us of how we looked and show us how we've changed, but I agree with the sentiment expressed on the aforementioned website that "Custom photography is based on being unique to you".

I can offer my 'clients' a choice of locations to suit them, time of day, time of year. I ask them if there is anything in particular they want from their shoot, and if so, I get those shots amongst the first so they aren't bored or tired of having photos taken. After that, especially with the children, it is easiest to observe and shoot as I see fit, capturing moments of play in between poses. With adults we can muck around and try all kinds of poses and simply have fun. All of this results in hundreds of photos...

It isn't everyone's cup of tea, and I do worry when I show clients the more artistic shots that I love that they may hate them...not that anyone has said anything so far!!




March 02, 2010


You never really know someone unless you spend a lot of time with them.
You can't begin to know someone without taking that first step and talking to them.

I know K better now than I did two weeks ago, yet our children went to preschool together and are in the same class at school!
I've always liked her (and not just because she'll probably read this blog!) and I've always thought her son is adorable and glad my daughter likes him too.

It was therefore a wonderful opportunity to get to know her better by taking photos of her to celebrate her upcoming birthday. I'll tell you that she is turning 21. It's always nicer to say 21...my dad has been 21 for about 21 years.

I guess I would say that K has her comfort zone, like anyone else, and she was pulled out of that for our shoot. Not that I wasn't, because I feel mighty self conscious lugging around all my camera gear, hoping not to be told off for being somewhere I shouldn't be!
But despite her insecurities (being spotted in the main street of a small town having her photo taken), she really shone, and I got some great shots. It was my first time taking official photos of an adult. I keep joking that she would at least do as she was told...unfortunately I didn't really know what to tell her, so we improvised. I think the one thing I said the most was 'Yep, like that!'

K was amazed out how many photos we took. There was over 500 in total. We knew we had at least 2 or 3 good ones, so it came as a great surprise to find many more shots that I could use.

In a simple 2 hours, and 500 photos, I learned more about K and her family than I had learnt over the past two years. This tells me that I do not pay attention nearly as much as I should.

So I thank my photography for this realisation, I thank K for making the shoot so casual, feeling equally as awkward as I did and taking the time to chat throughout.

The best part is that K liked her pics which means I can post a couple today!


February 22, 2010

The boys!

Mum has watched her babies grow, like any other mother. Her blonde-haired baby who almost overnight turned into a brown-haired little man, and her big boy, bringing his girlfriend over for a play. They do have puppies though. I wanted to stay if only to play with the puppies!

This is another photo shoot that I really enjoyed! Watching their moments together, their interactions as a family, brought joy to my heart, and I thought of my girls and the fighting and giggling and of course, the pushing.

I didn't get the typical sit-pose-smile-shoot photos that I imagined I would, but what I captured was the essence of brotherhood. Closeness, distance, curiosity.

Mum is in there too, but I'll keep those between her and I...just in case she doesn't want photos of herself posted ;)




Life is what you make it!

Or is it?

*cue dramatic music*

Whoever said 'Life is what you make it' (before Miley Cyrus, that is) must have had a boring life.

'Mum, I'm so bored!'

'So go do something!'

How can we make life if we are constantly thrown curve balls? Ah, a baseball term. Unfortunately I can't think of the Aussie equivalent without mentioning sauce bottles.
Yeah, we can make the most of what we have, but we can't be held wholely responsible for the way our lives turn out!

For a start...we are raised by someone (or not) who essentially control the first few years of our lives (or not). Our personalities develop, yes, but they are shaped by those around us. Of course, if we consider that not everyone is born the same, some people with disabilities, some into families with stereotypes attached....then we all start off on unequal footing.

Then there is the word 'no'. Don't you just hate that word? But hating it doesn't stop anyone using it!

How can life be what we make it when others tell us 'no'?

No, you cannot study the Masters full time. I'm afraid you'll have to study it part time over 3 years like everyone else.

Um, I don't have another 3 years. I need to become qualified as soon as possible. My kids need a home, they need space, I need space!!! For that, I need money, and to get money I need a job. Alas, I don't feel like...and there is no other word I want to use right now...'fart-arsing' around for another 3 years trying to concentrate on TWO subjects per semester. It may seem strange, but that is not enough pressure for me. I work better with deadlines, when I KNOW that something has to be done by a certain time. This means that I have withdrawn from the Masters degree and I am now hitting the job seek websites and applying for whatever I think I could do with my Educational Studies degree. Not to mention furthering my qualifications through on-the-job training and also photography positions that are close by.

I do not believe for one minute that Life Is What We Make It.
Life is what society makes it. What our parents/carers make it. Our governments. Our peers. Our children. Then we do the best we can with what they have made it because it is all we can do.

Of course, that doesn't mean we can't still make it rock!!!

On a positive note...it is another decision that I made on my own. Something I am learning to do at last.

February 19, 2010


I haven't been blogging, I haven't been taking photos. Actually...I have been taking photos, just not many, and the ones I have taken I won't be blogging about until the subject has seen them & gives permission.

Sooooo I am just going to blah blah blah blog for now.

I don't have much on my mind. But at the same time, I can't think straight. I am upset because I just had to borrow over $1600 from my mum to get my car fixed. My only other option was to risk more damage by driving it for another 2 months while I saved up.
The only problem with having a 'good' engine is replacing the 'good' parts. Damn you Tickford!! (Just imagine me shaking my fist in the air...I remind myself of Dr Claw...except I hope there is no next time for Gadgets!)

On a positive note, I had my hair cut and coloured on Wednesday. I now have 'normal' hair. Nice milk chocolate brown with honeycomb highlights. I told the hairdresser that it is surprisingly nice, in a boring kind of way. Usually when I get my hair done, I go almost black, with bright highlights or blonde so I can put a pink temp in. However I promised my bride-to-be friend that I would be a regular person until after the wedding! Besides, fluro pink hair would have clashed terribly with the bridesmaid dress!!

Another positive thing...I found out that I only have to wait until November the 1st for the next installment of The Ranger's Apprentice which is terribly exciting for me! Because I have such an interesting life.....

Oh yes, I must update you all on the swimming! Ashlie is now a confident swimmer and attends squad training twice a week. Today at school, they did swimming for sport, and Ashlie swam 50 metres - Butterfly. A stroke she only learnt on Thursday. We're going to keep it up all season, and through Winter if we can, because she wants to win a race at the next swimming carnival. She came equal 4th or 5th at the carnival on Tuesday, in her heat, which I thought was pretty fabulous, as she was up against the two who beat her at school, plus the other school's fastest as well.

As for my Georgia, she did her homework today with little help from me, and when asked to finish the sentence 'When I get home from school I like to...' she wrote 'woch a moovie' with no help at all. She sounded it all out, and used visual recollection. Anyone in the education field will know that this attempt is one of the steps towards learning to spell. I'll leave it up to her teacher (who happens to be her grandmother) to point her in the right direction from here!

But that is all the blah blah blah blogging I can do for now. It's almost midnight, and I've got a pool party to go to tomorrow morning!


February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

Here is me, here is the bandwagon.

My family have never really set much store in V Day. Mum and Dad are content with buying gifts on birthdays and Christmas, and love each other all year round.

It makes sense not to celebrate Valentine's Day. At least it makes sense to me. I've posted this elsewhere, but I'll post it here too.

If you love someone, show them everyday!

Love doesn't have to be store bought gifts, whether cheap or expensive.
It may be a touch, a kiss, a look, a gesture.

My V Day was spent outside, taking photos of two adorable boys and their mother (single, like me). If anything, V Day should be about showing love to everyone, not just one special person.
Maybe I am a little bitter. I don't have any memorable Valentine's Days. I hate being single when all of the lovey-dovey pink and red hearts are being thrown in my face.

I did get one happy Valentine's Day message though, from a fellow singleton. That is, we wished each other Happy V Day after both complaining about our handfuls of nothing...

Love is a feeling, an emotion and a way of life. It is not a commercial product that should be bought or sold at any price.

Happy Valentine's Day, my precious hearts!

February 11, 2010


Fibromyalgia, from the Greek 'ow' and the Pig-latin 'oh geez'.
Actually, it's closer to fibro - fibrous tissue, my - muscle, and algia - pain. Or so wikipedia says (but who really trusts that?)

It is a word I am getting used to, and a condition that has been suggested as the cause of my pain. I'm still not entirely sure because my doctor seems reluctant to give me a name or a reason why I hurt the way I do.
Getting to this point has been long and relatively expensive, and I am only here now because one particular pain became unbearable for more than one reason.

This particular pain occurred in my knees, but rarely in both knees at the same time. Worse in my right knee, I would wake up at night, unable to move my leg, with an excruciating radiating pain starting somewhere in my knee. To ease the pain I had to physically pick up my leg and roll over, or grip the edge of the bed and force my hips to turn. Somehow, this worked, and I would go back to sleep. The pain is not predictable, and it is irregular. Never the same time of night, sometimes a few days in a row, sometimes once every few weeks.

For this pain, I saw my GP - he sent me for an MRI of my back, to check for pinched nerves, and in the end he said to lose weight then come back and see him.

Dissatisfied, I saw another GP, who called in a colleague to consult with, then sent me to see an Orthopaedic surgeon. He in turn sent me for x-rays and back to the GP. I spent a total of 10 minutes with him. Well worth the $180 visits. Not.

One thing both GPs agreed on was my lack of muscle strength in my legs, my right worse than the left. I ended up being referred to a physio, who was and still is, fantastic. She spent a long time testing my strength, and a whole lot of other things. Prodding and poking, it was her who began to suspect Fibro.
Headaches, dizzy spells, tiredness, occasional memory problems...then tender spots across my legs and back....at one appointment she went off and came back with a body-diagram with dots all over it and began pressing me in the corresponding places. This is when she explained to me about Fibromyalgia and sent me back to my GP as well as enrolling me in hydrotherapy classes.She also said massage could be helpful, so thank you Megan!

I went back to my original GP, who still does not know why my knees do what they do, and only half heartedly suggested that Fibro may possibly be the cause of my pain.

I guess I am still in limbo. My knee x-rays show some minor cartilidge damage in my right knee, which was most likely a result of being hit by a car when I was 12. Yet nothing the physio did to that knee was painful even though she said it should hurt!
The MRI was clear and all the blood tests I had were negative for Rheumatoid Arthritis and whatever else I was tested for.

I don't believe it is normal to be in some kind of pain every single day without reason,  but I can't help but wonder is Fibromyalgia real? Ask any diagnosed sufferer that question and you're likely to get your head bitten off. Yes, the pain is real, but is it a name given to the 'too hard' basket? Or a name for people who have imagined their pain? Is it like ADHD, with the stereotype, label the kid because that's all we can do? The treatment for this condition makes me feel this way moreso, because any person should live by the treatment! Take pain killers for the pain, exercise regularly, rest and sleep regularly and eat a healthy, balanced diet for energy.

February 10, 2010

You make your Mumma proud

In the lead up to the school swimming carnival, my daughter Ashlie (who turned 9 in December) told me that she had signed up for the backstroke.
I try not to discourage my girls from trying...especially when it comes to sport and academia, but I couldn't help feel a little apprehensive when it came to this particular desire.
You see, my daughter has only had one round of swimming lessons, when she was 8. She has taken part in the intensive swimming program for school, but never really seemed to go anywhere. At the school break-up party last year, she squeezed out a 25 metre lap (the pool is half-size) so that she could pass to play in the deep end with most of her friends.

As far as we knew, she was confident enough to play and splash around, but did not have the swimming skills to do a 25m backstroke in a competition.

I was more discouraged when the time came around and I found out it was actually a 50m race. She had been practicing all week, but never more than 25m at a time. In the end, I told her just to do her best and try not to stop for a rest during the race.

Then an announcement came over the loud speaker that anyone wanting to do the 50m freestyle was quite welcome to go and sign up...so Ashlie did. Remember, this child had to squeeze out 25m only a few months ago, and has never raced before. I wasn't surprised that she came in last and had the help of a kick board thrown in to her. It didn't bode well for the afternoon backstroke.

But whatever - my girl gave it her best, and finished the race, which is all I ever tell them to aim for. I am proud of them no matter what.

The backstroke came around quickly...There were to be two heats, and the three fastest times from the two heats would go through to the next carnival. I watched Ashlie, grinning like a halloween pumpkin, drop into the water and take up her position. First heat, 4 girls. At least one of them had squad training.

You know that feeling you get when something unexpected unfolds before your eyes? Well, that's the feeling I got as I watched Ashlie power through her strokes the first 25m, and turn to keep going. No rest! Then I watched with awe and excitement as I realised she wasn't coming last. By this time I had made my way to the blocks where she would finish and watched with some kind of emotion that both choked me and made me laugh as she pulled further ahead of the fourth girl, and passed the girl coming second...Ashlie touched the wall a few seconds behind a squad-trained swimmer to come 2nd in her heat.

Utter amazement. I was proud enough that she'd entered the race, proud enough that she knew her swimming wasn't as good as some of the other girls. But now I felt her happiness as she was told she had come second. All we had to do was wait for the 2nd heat. If Ashlie's time was faster than the first one or two in that race, she would have a place at the next carnival.

Alas, we had to wait a whole agonising day for the results. I knew that in the second heat there was another strong swimmer, a girl from Ashlie's class, but I knew nothing about the other girls. The chances were not good for Ashlie.

But Mumma (as she calls me when overcome by nerves) was still proud, no matter what.

That afternoon, I took the girls back to the pool for swimming lessons. Ashlie was determined to go, so I reluctantly queried about squad training. The coach had Ashlie swim a lap before deciding that yes, she was good enough to join the group. Afterwards, I asked how she went. He said she was good, albeit a little tired. Then he asked if she'd ever been coached before. When I said no, he seemed genuinely surprised and suggested that she must just be a natural swimmer. This clinched the deal for me, swimming is our sport!

Everyone was so proud of her when she told them (and the messages I received on Facebook were wonderful, as I had updated my status throughout the day to reflect her progress). I've never seen her face so alight with self-confidence!

When I arrived at school to pick the girls up today, Ashlie handed me a note and said simply 'I got in'.
I almost cried, after the initial flash of disbelief. I turned to the page with the names on it and see the two girls who are squad trained, and underneath, my daughter's name, in the column for 50m backstroke.

My darling Ashlie, who has had sporadic swimming lessons and learnt a basic freestyle stroke from her grandmother, is now representing her school.

Go Ashlie!!


I had to throw this picture in. Two of Ashlie's friends picked up their champ and carried her around. They were all proud of her too.

February 07, 2010


I am getting a little excited and nervous now, because in just a few weeks my good friend Katrina is getting married! It doesn't help my nerves any that I am her bridesmaid...

As far as I know, everything is under control. Up to now, Katrina has remained cool, calm and collected, though it was a close call trying to fit my dress...The very talented Mother of the Bride made the bridesmaid dresses and I have an odd shape.

We're now down to nitty-gritty details such as the colour of the make-up and whether to all wear the same or wear similar colours that suit us best. My recent task was to try out the eye shadow we bought.

I don't really like photos of myself, and I go through a lot of pics trying to make a decent one for my face book profile! This pic is of me adorned in the make-up I will most likely be wearing on the day.

No idea why I am blogging about it. I think I just wanted another excuse to examine the picture and decide if the colours are okay!

The details:
Light eye shadow over entire eye. Darker brown over ball. Wet brush, paint on line of sage-green above eyelashes like eyeliner, same with under the eye.

The blush is just a light pink-brown (my skin tone dictates this colour, whereas Katrina will wear a pinker blush to suit her tones).

The lipstick again is a browner shade of pink. Whatever.

Our hair will be worn out, and straightened (properly, not as shown!) and pulled back on one side with a fancy clip. But that's all the details you're getting. You'll have to wait for the wedding photos to come back for the rest!

p.s. I haven't forgotten the groom! Joel is great, and I am sure just as nervous and excited as the rest of us!

February 04, 2010


What inspires you?

For me, inspiration comes in many forms.
For instance, reading my friend Carly's blog often gets me thinking about different things. She's one of those people who does things with her life...even if to her they seem completely mundane, they are so different to my life I can find myself wondering what I would be like in her place...like me dancing...? Hmm...
Tonight I started writing a poem/lyrics because I liked the flow and the sound of something she had written - and it was only two words!

I have also been inspired to write recently by an event that has taken place in the personal life of a friend. Darkness, despair...all that happy stuff.

Other times, I am inspired to take photos. There are two people who really inspire me to keep going with my photography. There is Peter Charlesworth, whose photos reignited my desire to pick up the camera when I first came across him on myspace many moons ago, and Vanessa, who continues to post her own & others beautiful photography that makes me never want to miss a moment!

I have never thought of one particular person or object as being a muse though. Yet I've always found the idea of a muse really romantic. When it comes down to it, I have decided that the world is my muse. Everyday something beautiful or sad or depressing or exciting happens, and  the emotions that it stirs want to burst from me through my camera or my words.

I remember in highschool I began to write a novel that was inspired by a song I loved, called Jimi Thing by the Dave Mathews Band. Unfortunately when my life changed dramatically, I felt it should be out with the old, so the new had room. This meant my novel of 131 pages ended up being thrown away. THAT my friends, is my greatest regret.

Credit must go to Carly for teaching me how to link to other places too...if you hadn't noticed, I've done that a little in this blog...

In the mail...

A package was delivered to my house this morning.
It was a small, thin box.
Ashlie and Georgia began a discussion as to what it might be - Georgia (with exasperation evident in her tone) suggested it was 'another Harry Potter thing'.

She thought so because for 2 years, every month, I took receipt of pieces for the Harry Potter Chess Set subscription.

As I pulled the contents from the box, Ashlie watched with eager eyes.
She decided it wouldn't be part of the Harry Potter set (wrong shape) but instead thought it was a special edition of one of the movies, as it looked like another I already have...she was close...


In just over a week, I will be partaking in a Stargate Universe half-season marathon (10 episodes) and this new DVD will be opened on the night. 
I'm happy!

January 29, 2010

It was my pleasure!

On Wednesday, I had the absolute pleasure of photographing my friend's children.
Yes, the boys are twins and yes, the girls are triplets - and if your first thought is 'that mum deserves a medal!' I can tell you, she's still waiting for all these medals people tell her she deserves!

From taking these photos, some of the stuff I learnt at uni was confirmed - all children are different. Despite having the same parents & the same upbringing, these five beautiful children have different personalities. Bright and bubbly, shy and reserved, independent, caring and cheeky.

Mum and Dad have a tough job, not just with five kids but also dealing with the comments and stares of strangers, and when they're older, the children will have to deal with it too. But they'll have been taught well, and I credit Mum & Dad for doing a great job so far of raising them!

I do have to wonder though...if children are grandparents' revenge...Mum & Dad must have been shockers when they were little!! (But they've probably heard that before too!)

The shoot...has done nothing to ease my pangs of cluckiness. I remember shopping for little tiny dresses, tiny little shoes, the smell of (clean) nappies and the need for a bag filled with supplies to keep little ones occupied.

The children were delighted when this little duck came wandering over. They watched him as he waddled past, and there was only one brief moment of uncertainty from one of the girls. Soon however they couldn't restrain themselves and they were up chasing the duck, and each other, around in circles!

I wanted to get individual shots of each of the kids, which was difficult - more for the ones waiting. When Mum started playing peek-a-boo...well, you can see what happened!

I couldn't think of a better way to capture moments in their lives than naturally. We tried not to pose them too much, because they are too young to fully comprehend the instructions and would have become frustrated. However, I did get them to stand together, and this was perfect! 

The boys were too easy! 'Hey boys, come stand here! Excellent, now give us a smile!' They are starting school on Monday, so I received them with fresh haircuts and an air of anticipation. Big school boys now! 

This last photo, after much deliberation, I think (and still only think!!) is my favourite.

January 26, 2010


I don't cope with change very well. I accept it, because change is inevitable. But I don't have to like it.

Friends come and go. Sure, there is a saying that true friends are the ones who never leave, but what kind of testament is that to friendship? Just because someone has gradually disappeared from your life does not negate the friendship you had at the time. It doesn't mean they don't care any less, nor that you don't have a place in their heart...It just means that things have changed and perhaps it is time to pass on the kindness to someone else in need.

I heard a saying the other day that you can judge a good man by counting the friends he has. The more friends, the more people touched in a positive way I suppose. I don't know why people want to limit themselves to having a 'bestie' or 'BFF'.

I think about my friends all the time. I know that it isn't the same as calling them, but sometimes calling them is hard. Sometimes I just don't know what to say.

'Hey, heard you're having a rough time, well...I'm thinking of you!'

How can I do that when I may not have called the person when times were good?

This is where I think social networking sites have made it too easy. I can let people know I am thinking of them without having to think of the right words to say. A simple 'hug' or 'poke' or even a status update that only the person it is aimed at will understand.

Still, I don't cope well when friends fall away. I wonder what I did, what I said - what I didn't say. I wasn't there for them, too busy with my own mundane existence to let them know that my silence was not uncaring...

Everything changes. People change. The times have changed. They always will. I guess we ought to make the most of what and who we have in each moment.