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.

January 25, 2010

Finding Nemo...oops, I mean me!

Although I am not unlike Nemo. A little fish, lost in the expanse of the ocean, and when thrown into a difficult situation he makes the best of it!

So in this big, wide world of photography, where do I fit in?


Right there. No, left a bit...a little further...back it up slightly...Ah yes, right there!!

I'm giving everything a try. I've shot landscape and portrait, by-the-book and forget-the-rules.

I have even  tried 'arty'. I think that is appropriate. Or creative? Creative photography? That's not a tautology, I am sure, because photography isn't always creative is it? Of course, I mean that I have taken regular photos from various shoots, and applied a range of different effects to them. Obvious in previous posts, I am sure, but this blog is dedicated to that fact.

Meh, what-ev, as someone says these days (in my day, we would say 'no worries!).

Creative arty-farty off-the-cuff photos by Me.


January 24, 2010


Open your eyes
Your ears
Your mind,
Open your thoughts
Your door
Your purse,
Open your faith
Open your heart

January 22, 2010

WhatEVER shall I do with myself?

I have one more month of being a non-student, since accepting the offer I received for the Masters degree.

Yesterday I took over 400 photos, almost like I am subconsciously compensating for the photos I won't be taking once I start studying again.
The outing wasn't entirely planned, but I am glad we went out yesterday instead of today - it is far too hot to be caught outside. Just hanging out the washing has been taxing enough.

My friend Katrina and I took my girls out and showed them where Katrina will be getting married in a little under 9 weeks time. We then realised it was a good opportunity to have a look at where she would like her photos taken!
Thankfully she has a professional photographer to iron out the wrinkles of our planning...as I am to be bridesmaid, I would find it difficult to do the photography!

So out on location in the heat yesterday and today hiding away in the cool house trying to get some part of the housework done. Do you know what I have realised? These slight stresses are NOTHING compared to what is to come!!

What have I done?!?!?!

January 20, 2010


I have discovered that I simply LOVE colour.

Bright colours, pastel colours, moody broody colours!

I find that whenever I edit a photo, I end up enhancing it to the best use of colour I can...I rarely keep them like that, but it is always worth a try.

Here are a few that have made the grade in my eyes!

January 18, 2010

A Farewell

On Sunday night, my girls and I headed off to the Jindera pool to say goodbye to one of the girls in Georgia's class.
We've known little A for two years, through preschool and kindergarten, and I recently began to get to know the whole family, and to call them friends.
I haven't got permission to post their photos, because I didn't ask, but I want to talk about them anyway.

When we arrived at the pool it was to find at least 50 people, of all ages, who were there to say their goodbyes.
This family had touched the hearts of many in the community through their constant volunteering and involvement in the school.

Talking to other parents, I heard my friend described as the 'Earth Mother' as well as a 'hippy woman' with so much affection and adoration I almost cried.

She is sweet and friendly, and will always greet people with a smile and kind words. I believe she always saw the inner beauty in people and in her way, helped them to see it too.

Her husband spoke a little about their past during his speech.They discovered, after dating for a short time, that both of their families were from Jindera. It was only natural for them to return and raise there three children here too. Many people at the farewell had known them through all the pregnancies, the home renovations and now their big move.

I watched and listened with a kind of detachment that only comes when you are witnessing something special.
The husband, a quiet and friendly man who would do anything for anyone, spoke about being welcomed into the community when they moved back. He said there was a wonderful spirit amongst the Jindera people that he had missed whilst living in the city. However many at the farewell believed that it was this family who brought the spirit with them, showed the community what it was like to be a family and brought everyone together. 
One can only hope to have such genuine people cross our paths. They are a family who will be truly missed.

January 16, 2010

Which way is up?

There are many different directions available to us in life.
Some people are lucky and know exactly what they want to do, and how they will achieve it, often at a very young age.
Others have a plan, yet constantly find themselves confronted with challenges and obstacles in achieving their goals.
There are also people like me, for I know I am not alone, who have no idea which direction is the right one. Not because the choice may be the wrong one, but because the options are vast and all offer many good things.

My mind is in constant conflict with itself. I know that I am not stupid nor unintelligent, and I could do pretty much anything I set my mind to, the problem is, my mind won't set to anything for long.

I won't go into my history of indecision. That's boring and tedious work, and for me to try and concentrate on telling it right would take far too long.
Instead, I'll focus on what lies ahead of me now.
The undeniable is that I am a mother. My children have always come first.
Second...I now have a degree in Educational Studies (and how I got that is a part of the boring history of Kelly).
Two of my options for the future were taken out of my hands. I was not accepted into a Bachelor of Teaching, nor have I heard anything about the Masters degree I applied for. Which is lucky, because I have already changed my mind about doing it.

So where does that leave me?

Obviously, I am 'into' photography. I have the option of pursuing it as a career, getting paid to take photos and becoming a Photographer. However I am afraid of it becoming work, and I hate work. I want to enjoy my photography so am reluctant to make it less about who am I and more about what I do for a living. I think of photography as an extension of myself, alongside writing. They are my art, for I cannot paint nor draw, except in a way that has been described as 'naive'. I cannot risk losing the passion I have for photography by making it my work.

I also consider myself a writer, and when the feeling takes me, I let it take me. I write when I feel like writing and this is a freedom I have not had for many months. I set this part of me aside while I concentrated on my uni assignments, leaving projects half finished. They're waiting for me now. I can hear them all calling, adding to the voices in my head. No...there aren't really voices in my head. Just me.

(This blogging thing is really just a way for me to combine writing and photography, so I don't lose either of them in the mundane day to day life thing I've got going)

In reality, I am a job seeker. I have a file and job seeker number and everything. My degree sits like a title under the Education details in my resume, yet no one knows what it means. It's great having a degree, sure, but my degree is new and as yet unrecognised in the work force. I have to rely on employers examining my transcript to see what experience I have.

So when my case worker person asks what it is I want to do, what jobs I want to look for, I can't say 'I don't know'. Right now, I want to work with the Department of Community Services. I have put my name down as an expression of interest for mid-year intake into a Community Welfare course at Tafe to increase my qualifications and therefore my chances of gaining employment with DoCS. It's cliche, but I really do want to help children and their families. I want to be able to give advice to parents specifically, as I found a lot of the things I learnt at uni would have been great to know when my children were babies.

I put my name down for work at the supermarket as well. I'm not above that, I know the importance of teaching my children that working for a living is preferrable to a lifetime on welfare. I'd consider it settling, and just a job, but also somewhere that I will gain experience in dealing with people, working with & through people, and learning hands-on some of the management & supervision stuff I covered at uni.

I still don't know which way is up, not yet. I am at least realising that I can't expect opportunities to just fall in my lap. I'll leave that to dripping ice cream and jumping children.

January 14, 2010

Back in style

Like, oh my god, that is soooo retro!

Way back when fashion wasn't a dirty word, I was glad the '80s were over. Not that I remember much of my 8 years living in the decade, but I've seen the photos - atrocious!

As a teenager, I saw fashion revivals of the 1950s, '60s and 70s and thanked Hollywood that no one was silly enough to think the 1980s were worth reviving.

I was wrong.

As a mother, I am conscious of what I dress my girls in, and what I let them dress themselves in. No skulls, preferrably pretty colours, mini skirts MUST have tights underneath and if possible, always sunsafe. I hoped they never had to be subjected to the style that I was as a child. Ha.

If anyone has been shopping in the last few months, they'd have noticed a lot of fluro colours. Uh oh.

Leg warmers. Ew.

High-top sneakers. In fluro colours (though I must admit I did buy a pair for my youngest, in pastel pink!)

And my favourite, good old Dunlops.

Yes, it seems the '80s are back.

Today, for me, was proof.

My 6 year old asked me to crimp her hair because...the bumps in her hair suit her, she said.

Luckily we were going to the pool. Ooops, the crimps are gone :(

January 11, 2010

Peter Pan

I am sitting in my room, listening to Physik by Angie Sage, my fan on full.
Miss Georgia and Miss Ashlie have just finished watching Hook under the air conditioning in the loungeroom.

It didn't surprise me when Georgia came racing into my room to tell me that she jumped off the couch and flew around the room.

"For real, mum!!! FOR REAL!"

She didn't use fairy dust, just happy thoughts.

"That I love you mum!"

If one thing can be said for Peter Pan stories, it is that they remind children and grown ups alike the power of positive thinking.
Just last night, Georgia came into my room, sobbing and saying that she should be killed for all the naughty things she has done.

Not staying in bed.
Yelling at mummy.
Drawing on herself after being told not to.

I still find her thoughts disturbing, as many  people might understand. I've been told several times that she is an old soul, and old souls feel and think on much deeper levels than most people. But she has been like this all her life, and the counsellor I spoke to reassured me that this is her way of dealing with the world, and it is my job as her mother to explain the realities to her.

In this situation, apart from the fact that she shouldn't be killed at all, explaining that her misbehaviour isn't all that bad...and the difference between not staying in her bed and breaking into a shop and stealing things.... Everyone does something naughty every now and then.

But I digress.

Peter Pan, the symbol of an everlasting childhood. The pirates - grown ups can be bad too!

After telling Georgia I love her and her imagination (and being told once more that she was NOT imaginationing it), she ran off to play. Ashlie came in soon after and, trying not to wear the face of 'I'm not telling you the truth', assured me that Georgia really did fly around the room.

There aren't any broken bones or furniture, so for now I will let it go and remember this moment and how it made me smile.

January 06, 2010

Once upon a time...

We went on a holiday.
Few and far between, they are.

It was a nightmare! Okay, not all of it. Just the trip down on the train was. But you know how the mind works...sometimes you feel like nothing will go right.

What could I expect, really? I went by train, with an almost 5 year old and an almost 2 year old, to Melbourne...my first time on my own, the children's first time in the city. My 2 year old's first time on a train.

If I remember correctly, it started out okay. We were near the wheel chair access, with a nice long window, and the two girls were content to play there for a little while, looking out the window as the scenery sped by. But it is a four hour trip, with irregular stops along the way, and they soon grew bored.

By the end of the four hours, I was almost in tears along with Georgia, my 2 year old, who had been forced to sit in her stroller so I could get her to sleep. She needed to sleep. I needed her to sleep!! After growing bored with the window, she had started to want to run up and down the aisle, go through the doors, play with the toilet door...I'd had enough.
Therefore I was relieved when we reached the destination station and knew exactly what I had to do. With Georgia in the stroller, Ashlie hanging on, I carried our on board luggage over the handles and Ashlie pulled her suitcase along. We then collected our big suitcase and headed for the city loop train we needed in order to get to the City Limits Hotel at the other side of the city.

Alas...What I had failed to discover was that the train I needed only ran at certain times of the day...The next one was due in a couple of hours. Um. Right. No thank you. I couldn't hang around the station, nor shop, with two irritable children and all our luggage. So I decided to walk to the hotel. It's only along the one street, then to the left...

And up and down several hills.

But we walked. And walked. Across busy streets, up the hill, Ashlie struggling with her suitcase, me with the stroller and the large suitcase, constantly flipping off its wheels if we hit a bump or turned too quickly and having to stop often to rearrange the load at the same time as preventing the stroller from tipping backwards. Nobody offered to help. All in their suits, rushing around as if they had lives to lead.

Eventually, I'd had enough of that too. We crossed the road to a waiting taxi and I asked 'Please take us to the City Limits Hotel' to which the driver replied 'Where is that?'

(It's in Little Collins Street, if I remember correctly, but shouldn't the city cab driver know the major hotels in the area?)

I showed him the map I had and pointed it out. We got underway....and then stopped. The whole city stopped. Wondering what on Earth was going on, I was getting cranky, all I wanted was to get to the hotel and RELAX...then I remembered...It was November 11th...and 11am...Remembrance Day. Inwardly embarrassed, I lowered my head for the one minute silence...only to have to shoosh the children who didn't know what was happening.

Eventually, we got to the end of Collins Street, and I got the cab driver to let us out just before the corner. Or did he ask to do that as it was easier for him to go right than left?

As we pulled up, the doorman of the very expensive hotel hurried over and opened the door for me...then he helped the driver take our luggage out. I said politely that we weren't guests there, that we were staying around the corner, and he smiled and replied, that's okay. It was genuine. Or he gets paid a lot.

I saddled up the pack horse that was the stroller and we began to walk again, when a lady rushed over and said here, let me help, and she took the large suitcase without waiting for a reply. I did protest, saying we only had to go around the corner, but she shook her head and she too said it was okay, as she worked in the restaurant across the road. She walked with us to the door, I couldn't thank her enough. It had taken us an hour to get from the train station to the hotel.

Now..this hotel was 4 star. I was thrilled to be staying in something as fancy as a 4 star hotel! We were only staying three nights so I was happy to pay a little extra. My heart sank as we walked into the room. Which is all it was. 4 stars? I'd stayed in 2 and 3 star motels that were nicer. The kitchenette was tiny, the bathroom the same size, and there was barely room to move between the three single beds.

I remember sighing, defeated, thinking it was going to be a long three days.

It was. But they were lovely. We went to the zoo, museum and the aquarium. We caught trams everywhere, wandered the streets, window shopping, a little real shopping. We visited a park with magical water fountains that appeared innocent enough...but when the girls approached the empty square, water would suddenly spurt down at them and they would run off, squealing with delight.

Despite the effort it took to get to Melbourne, we had a wonderful time. After our three days in the city, my aunt drove up from Geelong and we went to stay with them for another few days (Aunt, Uncle, Grandma and my three cousins). Beaches, Fairy Park, nasty seagulls that terrified my grandmother...These are precious memories for me, that I share with my girls as they have grown and forgotten our first holiday together.

I don't even want to think about the trip home...In fact, the memory of it seems to be lost...suppressed, perhaps? Surely it can't have been THAT bad?



January 04, 2010

Flight or fright


Nasty, vindictive and evil with their black and orange stripes and giant stingers. They don't fool me with their innocent pollen-collecting ways!

Ooo yes, they are so small! How could anyone think they are horrible?

I do. I am scared of them. I avoid them. I hate their sound, their fuzzy little legs, and the trap of honey being oh-so-delicious and I eat it knowing where it comes from.

I couldn't watch Bee Movie. Yuck.

Here I am though, in the garden, camera out, taking photos of these strange little creatures, wishing they weren't such a fascinating subject to capture!

As long as I don't get stung...


I don't know about Summer.

It is hot.

There are far too many flies.

And there is this expectation that I should take my kids to the pool. I don't like the pool. I don't like swimming. But apparently we as Australians have a culture of swimming, in rivers, beaches and at pools. Therefore it is important my two learn to swim.

Summer means everything burns too. Our skin...ouch.

The flowers. The leaves. The entire backyard looks as though the moisture has been sucked out of the greenery like a Wraith sucks the life out of humans.

Summer is supposed to make people happy. When the Spring babies have grown, and new life is in full swing.

But it is just hot, humid and stinky. Or hot, dry and stinky, depending on which area you live in. I've experienced both...don't like either of them, because no matter what, there is always sweat and flies.

There is one thing I do love about Summer though. The rain. The storms. The smell of Summer rain says Christmas is coming...although now it says another Christmas has been and gone.

I much prefer the Winter months. I enjoy walking when it is cold, or curling up under a blanket to watch a movie or read a book. And having my daughters climb into bed with me in the middle of the night is much nicer in Winter than in Summer!

So when my birthday rolls around this year, hear me sing! My birthday means Winter is not far away, the cool weather will soon be upon us!