Monday, 17 September 2007

OK, here's one...

Flying Ruff
Flying Ruff
(Ruff is the dog's name, but I'm not sure if that is how I should spell it)

I can't believe I caught this - the boys were throwing the dog in the air and telling me to take a photo of it. I laughed out loud when I saw this image on my preview screen, so of course, all the kids wanted to see it too. I have heaps of great shots of the kids from yesterday (all of whom I have known since they were born, the eldest now 10!, and 2 of whom were part of our wedding party) but I'm not sure how their parents feel about me plastering them on the internet, so I better check that first...

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Live from Sydney for 2 weeks only

We're here. In Sydney! I had kind of hesitated about giving too much info about what we were doing and when, mainly because I had this paranoia about some random person finding this and stalking me to work out where I live, knowing that our place in London is now empty, but then I realised that we brought all the important stuff with us anyway, we have insurance if they flog our tv and it would hardly go unnoticed anyway if someone did try to break in because we have plenty of neighbours around at all times of the day - yeah, ok, I'm weird.

Anyway, we flew out of Heathrow on Thursday night and after 23 LOOOOOONG hours, we were in Sydney airport. We'll be here for 2 more weeks and have a couple of weddings to attend and a heap of people to catch up with. We've already been to a 40th birthday party, even :) Our calendar is quickly filling up, so if there's anyone reading this who is around Sydney and wants to catch up, let me know asap. Expect lots of photos - I took about 170 at the party yesterday... (but I haven't done anything with them yet, so this post is photo free)

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Tuesday, 11 September 2007


I am going through my many thousands of digital photos, deleting the bad and embarrassing ones so that I can burn a back-up that can be left with my parents in Australia and which I will be happy for people to look at.

Inspired by the photos I am looking through, which date back to July 2004, here is a random list of things I miss about home:

Teaching kids who are a joy to teach, even when they're being a pain in the butt, alongside other teachers that love their students and their jobs. Getting the chance to celebrate with them when they reach milestones, like finishing year 10.

Hanging out with a group of awesome girls and women once a week.

Panthers home games - hey, we haven't even been to the new ground yet...

Going to loud concerts, both as a member of the audience and working front of house.

Camps (not the tent kind).

Being around for the big (and little) events in the lives of friends and family.

Sooty and Misty (they're mine and Graeme's family dogs, respectively)

Other things I'm noticing:

The camera upgrade in 2005 greatly increased the number of photos I was taking.

My photography skills have definitely improved - good in that every new folder has more and more good photos in it; bad in that I am struggling to decide where to draw the line in terms of what to keep.

I have to keep telling myself not to be such a perfectionist, I don't have time to edit these photos (colour balance, cropping, etc) and I really don't want to, because I want a back-up of the originals.

I do actually trust other people with my camera more than I thought I did. And sometimes they take great photos. But its funny how Josh gets the camera and suddenly there's a bunch of photos of Jac, or Elizabeth takes photos of herself... Speaking of Josh, he likes to take photos of people stuffing their faces, apparently.

I love taking portraits - don't think I've taken many recently though, since there aren't as many people around whose faces I want to capture.

This picture of Chris is awesome - look at all that hair :)

chris, december 2005

(I'm too lazy to upload a bunch more just now)

Anyway, I've just about hit the point where we came here (I'm doing it chronologically). Maybe I'll make a separate post as I go through the rest about the good things about being in London, since I often need a reminder myself...

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Monday, 10 September 2007

Uh, yeah

Is it really sad that I think this looks awesome? I can totally see me and Elizabeth playing that for hours on end...

To answer some of the questions I've been getting, such as in the comments to my last post, the place we are moving to is about 2km further west of the centre of London than we currently live. We will still be in the borough of Ealing and easily accessible to Heathrow (hint, hint, anyone wanna visit?). It will actually be faster to get into the city because we won't have to use the crappy District Line on the tube anymore, but it's a zone further out, which adds about 50p to the single fare. It has 2 bedrooms, one of which will be Elizabeth's when she moves here in about 6 months. It will be squishy but do-able if we have guests once she's here, as long as you don't mind sleeping in the living room, or sharing a room with my sister.

OK, gonna challenge Graeme to some brain training on the ds now...

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Saturday, 8 September 2007

dreaming of our new home

So we've found a place and agreed to rent it and all that. We'll be signing an 18 month lease, so through to April 2009, meaning our stay in London will be at least 3 years and 2 months. Haven't actually signed a lease yet, but we're renting directly from the owners and things are a bit slower to sort out than when an estate agent is doing all the paperwork - not that it matters, since we're not moving for another month anyway, and we've got enough documentation to constitute a contract in emails and stuff. In the meantime, I've been daydreaming about how much nicer it will be to live in the new place. It has a dishwasher and a combo washer/dryer and a decent sized fridge/freezer and a functional kitchen sink. The living space is set up so much better than what we have now. The bathroom is smaller and yet more spacious because it uses the space better. There's a separate toilet. We will have proper wardrobes again. It has two levels, meaning that even though the square footage is probably not a whole lot bigger than our current place, it feels much more like a home. We have access to the loft to store things like luggage and the giant tv box that Graeme refuses to throw away, as well as any stuff the owners leave behind that we don't want to have to live with. We even still have a little private patio area, which is cool because having realised that outside space is not as necessary here as it is back home (being that it's unusable for over half the year) we weren't actively seeking a garden of any sort. Aaaaahhhhh. Reading back over that it kinda makes it sound like the place we're currently in is totally dodgy, which it isn't - it's in a great location, it's a much sought after style of home for the area, etc - it's just that we've been here 18 months now and some of the things that seemed fine or even great when we moved in have proved less liveable/homely than we'd like. Plus, I think that living anywhere too long exposes flaws and as renters you don't even really have the power to change them - we are so ready to own our own place, I hope my parents are happy for us to live with them until we buy one when we get back :D

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Friday, 7 September 2007

a random thought...

...that I wrote in my notebook today:

Sometimes I wish I could blog from the bus - it seems to be where I do some of my best thinking. That's assuming you actually get a seat and are not crammed on like a sardine. Maybe I need a Blackberry or something.

note to Graeme: that's not a hint. No, we don't actually need anything like a blackberry. We have plenty of electronic gadgets as it is, ok?

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Elephants in Hyde Park

The best thing about my google homepage, other than being able to read all your blogs from it, is that it shows me news headlines from the BBC. I think I've mentioned before that I don't watch or read much news these days, but the occasional headline is good, especially the ones that tell me about things that are happening in and around London. Like the one I saw yesterday about the elephants in Hyde Park that have been made from willow and set up in the park to raise awareness of the plight of the asian elephants. I don't need to explain the whole thing, I just wanna show you the photos, but you can read more info about the project here.

From what I can tell, they get moved around the park, meaning I didn't know exactly where to find them, other than 'Hyde Park', which isn't very helpful. I caught the bus, well actually a couple of buses, towards the park, but decided to get off at Kensington Gardens instead. Not too big a deal as the two are separated by nothing more than a road. As I walked in, I realised the palace looked different. Wondering what was going on, I headed towards it, my brain working overtime to try and figure out what was going on. And then it clicked - Princess Diana. Sure enough, there were flowers and posters all over the fence and front gate of the palace. There were plenty of people looking at them and even more kids sitting on the ground having what looked like an art lesson.

kids doing art

Princess Diana tributes outside Kensington Palace

I then headed towards Hyde Park. Along the way I saw a shoe in a tree.

shoe in a tree

And then I saw the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, something I instantly remembered reading about and thinking it would be cool to visit, but which I had not had in mind when I set out for the day.

So of course I had to go and check it out. Every year, they commission someone to design a summer pavilion to be constructed next to the gallery. This one has a spiral walkway around the outside and inside is a mini arena area where they do talks and things some evenings.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2007

As I walked past the Diana Memorial Fountain thing, I was quite disappointed to see this tree, with it's leaves already turning colour and starting to fall. It can't possibly be autumn when we never had summer - how depressing.

autumn colours already?

I finally found the elephants grazing near the end of the Serpentine. I've already showed you their photos. Then I went and found myself a place in the shade, where I had a snack and finished composing a blog post about renting (that I think belongs on our website, not here).

more photos on flickr, of course...

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Thursday, 6 September 2007

nothing else to report

Realised the post I made earlier today will probably go over the head of some of my readers and be of very little interest to others. But I have been promising various people that I will post more often and try to give you more of an insight into my life, so I'm not going to put off posting anymore when I think of something I want to say. Really though, there's not much TO say. School has gone back, but being a supply teacher it could be awhile before I start working again, especially since we are headed home (as in, Sydney) next week for a couple of weeks and 2 family weddings. Once I get back I will be looking to get something more temporary than casual if possible. We've been trying to find somewhere to live for the next 18 months, meaning a move just after we get back from Oz. Other than that, I've been trying to finish up a few projects I want done before the trip (you know, like the wedding presents) but there's nothing worth showing off yet. Maybe I SHOULD be making myself take pictures every day - at least I'd have something to post. Although, having written that title before I started writing, I've probably proven myself wrong. Oh well, it's staying.

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Wednesday, 5 September 2007


You'd think, if you were going to be on facebook, you'd do something to make sure that people could find you - like, I dunno, putting a picture on your profile. Graeme and I were talking about primary school for some reason and I decided to search for people I knew when I was 12. But so many people have nothing, no picture, no networks to give you a hint...
Maybe I'm a hypocrite though, because if those same people I knew when I was 12 searched for me, they wouldn't find me, you know, having changed my name and all.

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Tuesday, 4 September 2007

101 things updated

OK, I think I'm caught up on my 101 things blog. Do people want to know what things are on my 'in progress' list too? Most of them are pretty obvious, I think, and if I haven't mentioned them, they're probably not happening... Uh yeah, that's all for now. I ordered some moo minicards today - they are going to have our website address on them and at the moment our website is pretty, well, not pretty, so I need to get working on that.

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Saturday, 1 September 2007

August 31

Today is the last day of my task to take a photo every day for a month. One more thing to cross off my 101 things list (I really should update that, shouldn't I? Someone remind me if it gets to Monday and I haven't, OK?)

august 31
My current work in progress
you'll see what it is when I finish (which was supposed to be today, but that's clearly not the case)

A reminder of all my previous photos, just because I can...
August 2007

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