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Today is my birthday. I’m of an age though that I’d rather not think about that too much. The day started off with a very early drive down to Geelong to drive my Dad into a hospital visit for some surgery. Not the best way to start your birthday I guess, but he seems okay, the surgery seems to have gone well – now we just wait for some test results.
Then to mark the approaching end of the birthday, the powers-that-be organised a 5.2 richter scale earthquake for Melbourne. Certainly the longest and strongest I’ve ever felt, but no apparent damage.
I did take a few photos today, some that I think will be really good, but yet to download/process/upload them, so here are a couple more from recent days.
Wow, another weekend has flown past, but it has been a nice one.
Friday night we went into the city to go shopping for my birthday and Kate’s birthday, both of which are next week. Both of us were lucky enough to get a nice photography-related present, in Kate’s case a new tripod, and in my case a new lens (a wide-angle Sigma 10-20mm). We had dinner at the RACV Club and later Kate and I headed into Docklands to try out our new toys.
On Saturday morning I had a “Flickr meet”, meeting another local photographer, Nino, for a few hours walking around showing each other some of our favourite places to shoot. Saturday evening we were out to dinner again with friends Kerry and Herb, enjoying a nice meal at one of the little outdoor restaurants in Degraves St in the city.
Today we celebrated our birthdays with family, having lunch at the Sherwood Hunt Club which is very close to our place. Then this evening Kate and I headed out again for some photography to Port Melbourne and St Kilda.
I have to say it has been wonderful to have been out three times on the weekend, enjoying my new hobby, but doing it with others, rather than on my own.
Weight is still under the 75kg target, but only just at 74.8kg – creeping closer.
Here are some photos from this weekends outings, again showcasing what a beautiful city we are fortunate to live in.
It is a long weekend in Melbourne this weekend with a public holiday on Monday to celebrate the Queen’s Birthday. Being English I am a supporter of the monarchy, but not a fanatical one, happy to take a day off work to celebrate her birthday, that’s for sure.
Adrienne and I travelled down to Geelong yesterday to visit our parent’s. My dad is unwell again, and facing some surgery soon we think, and it wasn’t good to see him in pain and not looking too good. It makes you feel so helpless, really nothing you can do except be there and offer help and support. I really don’t want to grow old. Speaking of which, out in the car today I was listening to Pink Floyd (as I often do) and the following line of lyrics was heard, “Work like fuck until you’re sixty-five, then your time’s your own until you die”, depressing words, but quite honestly that’s what it is starting to feel like.
I have risen early both days so far his weekend and ventured out with my camera. Yesterday the weather was not good so I headed into Melbourne University to shoot an area I’ve had on my list for a while which is basically under cover, so protected from the weather. Melbourne University has some beautiful old buildings, and the walkways around the quadrangle of the Old Arts Building are amongst the best of them. I knew I wanted to be there early, to avoid human traffic, and also to ensure the lighting was still on, as I knew that would add to the photograph hugely. Here’s one of the shots I took, there are more on Flickr including a couple of panorama’s I’m pleased with.
This morning I was up early again and headed into the city. Despite the forecast showers, and somewhat threatening skies, the rain held off long enough for me to enjoy a couple of hours walking around the city, and breakfast (and a wonderful coffee) at Brunetti’s.
Adrienne and I went out for lunch and did a little shopping, and later in the day Kate and I headed out with our camera’s to The Nook in Sunbury. Obviously, one of the perils of going out with another photographer is that you will inevitably end up on the other side of the camera. Here’s me, in a pretty typical pose these days, captured by my beautiful daughter. I think I need to Photoshop out all that grey hair though!
I mentioned a couple of weekends ago that I had purchased a copy of Topaz Suite at the Digital Show. It is a set of Photoshop filters and I am enjoying playing with them.
The most impressive one so far is DeNoise, which removes digital noise from photographs. I have used it to improve the photographs I took in Chicago and Thailand recently with the little compact point-and-shoot camera. A marked improvement in them, particularly those taken in low-light such as the night shots from Willis Tower. I’m very impressed with DeNoise.
Tonight I had a little bit of a play with some of the “artistic” filters, namely Adjust and BW Effect. Tell me if you like the results.
A busy weekend has quickly disappeared again, the highlight for us was the return of Chris from his USA holiday.
I had a couple of photo opportunities. I got up early on Saturday morning and drove into Docklands for sunrise, then called in at Royal Park Wetlands on the way home. It was very, very cold hanging out at Docklands pre-sunrise, so cold I had some trouble with frozen fingers operating the camera. I was happy with some of the shots I got though, so all worthwhile.
Sunday afternoon, I had a short walk around Woodlands. The light was not terribly good, and there was a cross-country run happening around the park which scared the birds a bit I think. I did manage to find a few robins though, but only one good photograph.
No photo opportunities today, absolutely terrible weather! Here’s hoping it fines up before next weeks long weekend!
Suvarnabhumi is Bangkok’s international airport, and I know it well having spent about nine hours there in the last day. I had my driver drive me the two hours to the airport when I finished work in the office yesterday, so I arrived there around five hours early for my midnight flight. We boarded the plane on time, but then sat on the tarmac due to “technical difficulties”. After a little over an hour we were asked to leave the plane and sit in the gate lounge (where we were at least served refreshments). Turns out they had a major failure of the main onboard navigational computer and were having trouble fixing it. Just over three hours in the gate lounge, had us running a little over four hours late. Still, it’s better than having the computer fail mid-flight, I guess.
Anyway, home safe and sound, looking forward to the weekend.
Well, I’m safely in Rayong, Thailand. The flight was uneventful, and I think I even slept a bit, which is very unusual for me. However, I was feeling distinctly seedy in the stomach yesterday, so I think something I ate on the plane disagreed with me. The hotel I’m staying in is okay, but it definitely looked better in the pictures on the internet (don’t they always). The hotel is right on the beach, but it isn’t a beach I’d swim in (well, nobody else was) and it was quite dirty.
There were lots of street vendors setting up stalls all day along the beach front, and I was a little puzzled as to who their customers were supposed to be. As evening came around though it became obvious that a common local pastime is to gather on the beach, play loud music and generally party until midnight. Given my room fronts the beach, I was glad I’d bought some headphones to help block out the noise.
Due to feeling seedy, I skipped dinner last night and went to bed about 7:30pm.
The first day in the office today went pretty well, my company is setting up two new large manufacturing facilities here. Now, I think I might have another early night because tomorrow night I am out to dinner with the team from the office here.
I have only taken the small compact camera again on this trip, so photos are not of the best quality, but here are a few anyway just to prove that I am actually here.
The overriding thought going through my head as I look around me, is how lucky we are to live where we do, with the lifestyle we have.