I live in one of the most beautiful places in Australia – according to ME. I have a job I love (most of the time), 3 beautiful girls, who are old enough now to be independent…but still need their Mummy. #1 is nearly 21, lives with BF, #2 is nearly 18, saving hard for a gap year in the UK and # 3 is 14, loves One Direction and the Hunger Games. Hubby and I have been married 21 years and I don’t know what I would do with out him.

I spend far too much time on the computer – often pretending to work, so when all my words with friend’s games are played and the gossip and news of the world read, I will BLOG.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The big adventure

I am sure every mother feels lost when a child moves out of home before you are ready for them to go...even worse if they move overseas. Daughter #2 has started her overseas adventure, she has not moved per say but there is no return ticket. 
After a week staying with wonderful friends in England, she has started a 9 stop bus tour around Europe...on her own. Did I mention she is only just 18. Day 1 she arrived in Paris after an overnight train trip with little or no sleep. The first message I got was one of frustration that the locker wouldn't except her coins...how did she expect me to help from over 16000 kms away (or 21 hours) I don't know. All I could do was tell her to get a staff member and some sleep. 

Day 2 in France, I get the message that starts with a sentence every parent of a traveler dreads - 'Don't freak out!' My heart started pounding and my head went all cloudy as I tried to read the rest of the message....Phew it is only her phone that has been stolen. This I can cope with, apparently a girl asked her for the time, when #2 check on her phone it was snatched from her hand and the girl ran off. 2 nice guys asked #2 to come with them and they would help her get her phone back ***yeah right*** Lucky #2 was smart enough to be suspicious and went back to her Hostel then reported it to the police. She is now without a phone and about to board a bus to go to Switzerland. I have checked with her insurance and she is able to buy a new phone and will get reimbursed once the claim is approved.

I was so proud of the way she handled the phone debacle, I thought she has grown up in the past few weeks - then she asked for me to post her favorite stuffed toy over to England for her.....seriously. I am the good mother so I will send it with a care package of tim tams and her favorite Aussie treats.

The planned photo a day she was told to send me has been put on hold until the phone is sorted. She is still taking pics with a camera, it is hard to upload and email on the laptop everyday, the Wi Fi is not always the best.

A few of her photos so far,
Buckingham Palace with her host sister (HS stayed with us for 6 weeks in 2011 - she is the reason for this adventure)

The gates of Buckingham Palace - #2 knew HWMBO would like the detail

A church in Arundal - I think she didn't say anything about this photo. 

She loves the streets and houses in England

Some of the notes I hid in her bag the day she left -she has found 15, I hid 24. I hope she finds one in a few months. 

I am finding it a bit hard not to worry while she is on this tour. I wish her safe travels. 

Friday, 10 May 2013

Books and Photography two of my favorite things

I mentioned in my last post that I got my first paying gig as a photographer, (still doing a happy dance inside). Every 2nd year UQ Alumni holds a Book Fair to raise money for scholarships and other Alumni funded events.
This is one of my favorite events I work, it is well known how I love to read. 

I was in my element, books, books and more books. I looked for photography books for me and cook books for #1 Daughter, I was successful with the cook books, not so lucky on the photography. The most current Photoshop book/magazine was for PS4 - I am currently using PS6 and have a load of video tutorials. There where some interesting books pre DSLR, I flipped and read a bit, I didn't buy them due to a lack of storage. I did buy a few novels - and by a few I mean 3 boxes. I pay it forward, when I finish a book I pass it on to a friend, who does the same.

Boxes and boxes of books ready to be unpacked

Popular and new release books - sadly these didn't sell as well as they have in previous years, I believe this is due to the Ereader/iPad

Art books, magazines and posters

Records, CDs are always popular

Panorama of the books waiting for the public to arrive - this is 3 photos stitched together - a wide angle lens is on my wish list  

The buyers

Birds eye view 

I love children reading

The English Housekeeper 1805 - this book not only provided recipe ideas, it also gave instructions on how to kill and prepare the meat.

Unfortunately there is a lot of books thrown out at the end, there is plenty of people prepared to sift through the skip for free books, I guess this is another form of recycling.

I don't often bring my camera to work - I would never get any work done.... As I walked to my car camera in hand I liked the reflections of one of the newest building on the lake. 

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Family visits

I had 2 days full of family this week and surprisingly I enjoyed all of it.
My niece turned 16 and celebrated with a high tea at home, I doubt I would have gone if she had wanted to have it a fancy restaurant or cafe. I am not a fan of stuffing myself on cake and tiny sandwiches and calling it afternoon tea and I certainly can't justify spent $50.00 to do so (this is an average price at the better quality restaurants) .
My sister spent days baking and making...she loves to cook so this was not a chore, little cakes, sausage rolls, mini quiche, scones (these were awesome), finger sandwiches and of course the birthday cake.
After cake and tea, we headed to the beach for fish and chips with surrogate family so they could say goodbye to #2 daughter before her overseas adventure.

Canberra Cousin and her family are holidaying on the Gold Coast for a week, with not a lot of time and a busy schedule full of theme parks and beach days. It was decided the best time for me to visit was the day they arrived, it is a 2 hour each way drive for me so I went early to spend some time taking photos. I lived on the Gold Coast for 5 years before marriage (I usually describe my time on the coast as my misspent youth...I did meet HWMBO then so it wasn't all bad). Obviously it has changed so much since I lived there, I have visited a few times but rarely to I have wander time. I had never been to the very end of the spit, this is where I headed with my camera. I want to go back...I didn't have enough time. I walked out on a rock pier and looked back towards surfers paradise. I think the photo show how beautiful it was. I would like to go back and walk all the pier (although I am not sure I can, as it is used for sand dredging).

it was a lovely afternoon with CC and her family, the boys are both delightful but very strong will and mischievous. I was keen to get photos of them on the beach in the afternoon light, they wanted to go the to pool. As it is often very cold in Canberra there is not much pool weather. We worked a bit of a compromise, pool  - beach - pool - dinner. I got photos I wanted and the boys got what they wanted.

After a dinner of pizza and pasta, Master 4 year old announced that he was tired and going to bed and so was his Brother 8 year old. Mum and Dad looked at each other with surprise and said 'goodnight'. Apparently bed time is known as struggle time. The boys went to bed and were asleep within 1/2 hour. I hope they make this a habit. CC is 5 months pregnant and could do with less stress (baby is due on my birthday and her fathers, my beloved Uncle - I was born on his 21st birthday so we have a special bond)

Website is coming along nicely, I hope to be finished in a few weeks. Isn't it funny how things start to flow once you start....one day I will master the art of starting. 

I have a paying photography gig this weekend and the good thing about it is I am working at the same time - I think this is called double jobbing. UQ Book Fair have hired me to do professional photos for marketing. YEAH ME, I am planning my website while I am doing the business one. It is hard for me not to do mine first because it is more fun for me. Photos of Book Fair next week.