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.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Feeling BLAH

I am really not in the mood to write anything this week; I have finally succumbed to the dreaded cold/flu/virus that has been going around. I am not able to take time of work to rest and recover for 2 reasons.

  1. I am going away this weekend, whale watching. If I even look like being sick HWMBO would tell me not too. (Especially as I start work at 6am then drive for 4 hours for a BBQ the night before the whales
  2. The Boss has family commitments for the next 10 days and he can’t work mornings or nights or weekends…I would be ok with this if it didn’t happen all the bloody time. His wife is away and it is not convenient for me to have 2 days off…(I won this argument).

I did get my news lens…on Sunday a Sigma 150 – 500mm, Fuck it is heavy…I got a monopod and will have to get a lot of practise to get as good as some of the members in our group – I also think because I don’t like to heavily crop my photos I am trashing a lot more than I should…all in good time.

I went to one of Kitfox’s favourite locations Monday morning before work, I was hoping for a kingfisher and I was in luck, I also got a few little red brow finches. I was ready to pack up and call it a day when Kitfox arrived and took me to a secret (on private property) location to watch the kites and hawks in the cane fields – the cane has just been burnt so the vermin are easy prey. I didn’t get a clear shot of any of the raptors and being my biggest critic I don’t want to show pictures that I think are crap.

Tuesday was a day spent at Caloundra with another Jpeg – a Nikon user. We had a nice lunch and spent most of the afternoon sitting on the rocks taking photos of some cormorants while waiting for the nesting Osprey to fly. The best photo I got that day was of a fisherman… and I haven't even processed it yet. Plenty of practise is needed. I may not even use the big lens for the whales. 

The eyes aren't clear and this is a heavy crop...I am thinking maybe I will do a triptych with the comings and goings of these cormorats

I was a bit of a show off at work last Saturday, I asked if I could take a photo for my photo of a day challenge, then spent the best part of the day taking photos of the kids and the robots. I sent a contact sheet of the photos to the organisers to see if they wanted one or two….NO they wanted the whole lot and permission to use on the website. YEAH I will keep and eye on their website for my glory.



For some one who didn’t have anything to say I have managed to say quite a bit. Looking forward to seeing the mighty mammals of the sea on Sunday, while I would like a good photo, I will be happy to see a whale or two apparently they are awesome.

First time I picked up the new lens I took a photo of Compost (our cat) on the other side of the yard, I have also tried a new processing technique on him.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Sexy Shoes

Yahoo…finally I have reached my goal weight, 16 weeks, 13kgs. I am one happy camper. Ideally I would like to lose 4kg more, although I don’t think I will. I was pleasantly surprised at how good I felt when I was weighed, I thought it would be a so so feeling, but I did the internal happy dance and felt very proud when everyone at weight watchers cheered for me. I got a gold star. I promised myself a new pair of shoes when I reached goal weight; the plan was a comfortable pair to wear everyday. This is what I bought…I feel sexy I am going to look sexy now.

I was told everyone needs one pair of red shoes in their cupboard. I love impulse buying. HWMBO does too!

I had another wonderful weekend, full of photography and friends. Saturday afternoon RA RA from Toowoomba came down and we went to the new Botanic Garden in Maleny, I got my best bee shot ever and the views were to die for, it costs $11.00 to get in, but it is private property. We spoke to the owner for a few minutes, he is from South Africa after moving to Australia he was disappointed in the lack of gardens, so he created his own, after opening a few times for the garden tour he was convinced he could open to the public. By charging an entry fee he can continue the good work.

One of the many flower photos I took on Saturday

The view of the Glasshouse Mountains well worth the $11.00

This is the best photo I have of a bee, the small size doesn't do it justice. I am gong to print this one for myself.

Sunday saw us out of bed early for a cooked breakfast by HWMBO then on the road for a photo shoot with the Free Spirit Dance & Music School, they invited us to photograph their rehearsal as a two way help, we get to practise on real live dancers and they get photos for their website and promotional material. It was a fun day for all of us. There was 6 photographers and mirrors everywhere so it was a challenge to keep out of everyone’s way and not get yourself or anyone else in the mirror.

Nice chat and lunch at the Palmwoods hotel ruined by the fact Ra Ra tripped on some uneven concrete and hurt both her knees and hands. She will contact the pub because her shoes were ruined in the fall.

She tripped on the corner - I hope they come good, it was a nice pub. The food was good and the service was excelent. It was hard to watch them not want to admit there was something wrong when she fell

After a bit of first aid at home Rachel was preparing to go when our Mentor rang to see if we were keen for a sunset shoot at Point Cartwright, hell yes if he is driving from Monteville everything must be right for a good photo….you would think. There were wispy clouds, the tide was out, there were rock pools to reflect the sky….but nothing there was no colour, no magic bust of sunrays NADA.

This was the best I got…pretty happy anyway

I had another random person contact me to buy one of my photos…Full Moon at Point Cartwright. Woohoo. 

AND I have a date set to do the photos for my colleagues wedding in February 2013.

Life is good.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Brisbane Ekka

What a good night at the EKKA, the first thing I noticed was how quiet it was. I expected to be bumping in to people all night with my tripod and camera bag. Don’t get me wrong there was still a lot of people, just not as many as I though there would be. It was also a lot smaller than I remember.
Is that because I am older, because I was without children to worry about? Or is it the GFC….
There were only 2 things I wanted to, go on the Ferris wheel and get a photo from the top. (This was a great idea in theory, I didn’t account for the swaying or the other people in or gondolier) I got one OK photo from about halfway up when we stoped for a pick up.
I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of rotations we had, probably because it was so quiet.
The wheel - turns out the one from the wheel was not as good as I remembered

I also wanted to get my first ever fireworks photos… I am very impressed with my results. Have I mentioned recently how much I love my camera? I have not processed all of them yet (I took 50ish with more than half being OK)

Sister wanted to look at the arts and crafts and the police display. (there was no police display...well it was closed) The arts and crafts were good; the cakes were amazing as was some of the felting and scrapbooking. I spent a bit of time looking at the photography entries, there were some that made me go WOW, some that were indifferent and some that were crap. (In my humble option). We also both wanted to look at the baby animals - I think every child at the show was there at the time so we looked from a distance

Dinner was in the Woolworths pavilion (a new building, which I will recommend to people looking for a venue to hire) lots of food sampling and being pushed to buy…just like the markets. Some of the food displayed made me drool. Sister had the most delicious snickers gelato, I had just a taste as I knew I could eat a whole one, I was give a taste of passionfruit and raspberry gelato (two separate samples) YUMMMO, lucky they were large samples or I would have caved and bought a whole one.

I am glad I went and maybe I will go again next year, perhaps on my own so there is no pressure to move on when taking photos.
 A few of my favorites

Lack of crowds was a good thing for me and listening to the radio today the reports are positive. 70,000 people went through the gates on people’s day, so I guess we were lucky to have a quiet day.

It has been perfect weather, I hope the weekend is a good.


Monday, 13 August 2012

Short but busy weekend

Ok so it is Tuesday and another weekend has passed in a blink of an eye, probably because I worked all day Saturday. A 6 day working week with only one day off does not make for a happy Roz….

What did make me happy?

The event on Saturday, one of my favourite annual events.The event staff are great, the UQ staff are among my favourite people to work with and the delegates were so focused on their projects they were the best behaved youth I have ever seen. I am sure I am ok with saying the name of this event as I only have positive things to say. It was the Young ICTE Explorers, an ITC competition open to grades 4 – 12 students. It is all about creating a program/app/game… The kids love what they do and get very passionate about it, the highlight of the day for me was when this beautiful little girl so small her tees shirt came to her knees, put her head on my shoulder and asked me about all the buttons on the AV desk, she was 8 years old in grade 3, her group had created a game about the 3 little pigs. They were 8….and not eligible to enter the competition, that didn’t stop them. (Her group was given an encouragement award and invited to come back next year to compete)
#1 daughter was working – doing the catering for YICTE, it made a good day better to spend some time with her.

Saturday night, the girls were away at Night Hawk, a 15 km night hike in the Darling Downs Region for Scouts. (A much loved activity even if it is freezing cold). HWMBO planned a nice romantic night for us; he had wine chilling, music playing, oysters in the fridge and chocolate for desert.  We have been married for 21 years and I love that he still wants to do the special nights at home. He goes to a lot of  effort for these romantic adventures , I enjoy the participation.  I was very pleased to fit back in to my favourite (and sexiest) corset.  A fun night full of food, wine, music and grown up games ;).

Sunday was a lazy wake up day, waking up to more games :0, then a breakfast of bacon and mushrooms…with the girls due home around 1, there was no time to go anywhere so I walked around the house and yard with my camera, looking to cross of items on my photo a day challenge.
Day 10 Ring - this is one of the branches of the gum tree cut down by energex this week

Day 11 Purple - 'Weeds' in the garden

Day 12 Spoon - Grandma's dinner set, spoon from Cousin in Canberra's wedding, tea set a job for HWMBO. (I have reminded him that as a silversmith I should have things like a tea set or candlesticks)

Two very tired girls were home by 2pm, #2 was a bit sad that it was her last Night Hawk, (made worse coz her best Venturer friend was sick and didn’t go) her patrol came 47th out of about 60. # 3 was very excited her patrol came 11th; (out of 86) it was her first time as a patrol leader with a few first timers. They missed out on top 10 by .5 of a point. Being good sports they were just pleased to be better that the Snapper (scout leader) asked them to be (he was happy with in the to 24)

HWMBO and I spent another nice night alone as the girls where fast asleep by 5pm. Early night for both of us, even with only one day off, I had a good and fulfilling weekend.

Tomorrow is a public holiday so I am off the Ekka tonight with Sister hoping for fireworks photos.

I had my first attempt a a dandelion blowing away photo. I got two that I am happy with, I like the firstone, my family like the second.

 Wish me luck with the fireworks

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Starting to feel pressured…

 I am surrounded by sick people and if those close to me are not sick, there is someone at home/their work/school/on the bus that is sick. My girls have been sick on and off for months, my boss and my colleague, two people I had meeting s with this week have let me know they now have the flu!

Why do I feel pressured? I have a slight (very slight) sore throat, not quite swallowing razor blades but getting close. HWMBO keeps telling me not to get sick, because he has a nice weekend planned for us. (The girls are away camping). 3 times today he has told me I better not be sick for the weekend,  The boss has also told me I am not allowed to be sick - reminding me I have to work on Saturday and colleague has a week off! So how do I stay well?

1.     Rest – hard when I have to start at 7:30, leaving home at 6am, 6 days this week!
2.     Stay warm – hard when the building is so cold I have gloves on at 1:30pm {note – it is 20c outside }
3.     Stay away from sick people – bloody hard

I am having a pity party today…I actually took my lunch break, I sat in the sun watching a family of ducks scavenge in the freshly cut grass. Why am I made to feel guilty?

I have requested a Monday off, I am going whale watching on the Sunday – working on Saturday, apparently by me having Monday off it makes it hard for Boss to sort out his family. FFS I am entitled to 2 RDO a week, if I work Saturday is it not unreasonable to have Monday off. When was the last time he worked a Saturday? I will stick by my guns on this and he can work around it, if he wants to sulk to fricken bad!

Today’s photo was taken on the iPad.  8 o’clock

This is wht I was doing at 8 o'clock - have have found this new on line photo editing program Fotoflexer - it is free and has some good features. Not as good as Photoshop of course. I wish I could come up with a good reason to have PS installed on my work computer...

The highlight of my day, the baby ducks. I love that dad duck (not in the photo) gets so cranky. He was strutting around squawking at the other birds and people to keep away, he ran at me when I got too close.
One of the babies wanted to rest, sitting under mum when ever she stopped, getting frustrated when she moved on. In the end ‘he’ sat and waited for Mum to come back to him. I wish I had my camera, I took a few snaps on the Ipad, but they were crap.

Going to see my mum after work, she wants a nice photo of herself. (I will ignore the fact she wants to give it to the junkie) I have my camera and I will make her pose and play nice until I am happy with the result.  Sister and BiL will be there also, sister wants to borrow my fondue kit.

Monday, 6 August 2012

To sleep or to help a friend

Our house is very quiet now the girls have gone.

My plan for Saturday was blown out of the water when my phone went off at 7:30 (why didn’t I take it out of the pocket of my jeans?) It was the guru Andrew Goodall my photography teacher, I have helped out at a few of his workshops this year when his assistant was unavailable. His assistant had called in sick for today…’could I help’ first thought NOOOOO I want to sleep!  However once I am awake I find it hard to go back to sleep. So to Maleny I went…(lucky he wants me there at 10:40am so I had a good chance to wake up)

I was really nervous the first time I had to help people put their camera in manual mode and find all the correct dials.  I am now able to work out the settings on most Canon and Nikon camera, I understand that each brand of camera are going to be a little different, but every bloody model.  I am still leaving the non DSLR cameras for Andrew; I find these a bit tricky. This takes about an hour then I am on my own for a few hours

It was a perfect day so after a bit of shopping in Montville for a gift to send to Pommy Chicks mother. (Pommy chick stayed with us for 6 weeks last year, although I have never met her Mum, I have gotten to know her through email and Skype)
I had my lunch to Gardiners Falls, a very pretty spot that is easy walking. I set up a shot for my photo a day challenge for August.  Day 4- somewhere I sat.
When a bus group of old ladies arrived it was a good time for me to leave. With 35mins until the afternoon session, I went to one of my favourite lookouts – on the road to Reeseville. I had a productive time taking photos of barbed wire (one of our Flickr group posted an awesome shot of barbed wire, I couldn’t wait to try myself)

Some where I sat,  had my lunch on this rock litening to the water and the birds the kept out of the way of my camera

The afternoon sessions are always fun, we go to the Maleney Show grounds, one of the ugliest places on the range.  This is deliberate; it is all about the learning not about getting a good picture.  Teaching your fingers to move the right way on the right buttons.  At the  last workshop one of the men pinched his hand on his tripod - twice ….I made the mistake of laughing at him – ‘once is an accident, twice is just silly’. Anyway karma is a bitch and I got a nasty pinch on the heel of my hand when helping a lady adjust the height, there was blood.  (but I got a lot of sympathy)

I love the moment when someone ‘gets it’. There was a guy who was pretty quiet, not asking questions, not asking for help, I saw the moment he ‘got it’, the exercise was slowing movement with aperture. When he saw the results on the camera he got very excited and became more involved in the activities.  

I wanted to go and play with the group the next day when they went to the Baron Pocket Dam for ‘real’ photography. Unfortunately house work and the families need for roast pork had to come first.
 Daughter #3 is not very well at the moment and she would have wanted to come with me, so we all stayed home.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Goodbye my beautiful girls

I planned to keep a running blog while the Chilean girls were here, unfortunately work and a busy schedule got in the way. Now they have safely arrived back in Chile, I can stop worrying and motivate to write about the experience.

15 girls and 1 boy from Liceo Lenko Franulik School in Santiago attended Beerwah High School for 4 weeks, this hopefully is the start of a reciprocal exchange program that will see out kids (and ME) going to Chile in 2013.

Our 2 billeting students were the most delightful, well mannered and fun girls. They embraced every thing about Australia (except Vegemite). 

There was planned activities most weekends. Shopping in Brisbane, surfing lessons,  horse riding, mountain climbing and a trip to Australia Zoo. So we had to fit some fun stuff in between.

As most weekends were busy with planned activities, we took time off during the week. No trip to Australia should be complete with put seeing a platypus, I only know of 2 places where you are guaranteed to see a platypus, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane or Fleays on the Gold Coast. I have not been to Lone Pine since I was a kid so this was our choice. We were greeted by a cockatoo dancing and talking, the girls were amazed and delighted, they got to pat a dingo, feed the kangaroos and wallabies. One of the highlights was when a joey popped his head out of a pouch and ate food from V's hand when she was feeding mum. Ari loved the kangaroos so much she was almost kissing them, we got up close a personal with an emu....I didn't tell them how mean emus could be as this one was very tame. The platypus house was a big hit, I love watching people see a platypus for the first time...I mean how weird are they?

About 100 photos and only 3 keepers very hard to get a photo of a moving  object in low light

Beerwah High planned for the Chilean Students and host families to climb Nugungun (one of the Glasshouse Mountains), the idea was to have everyone on the top for a group photo, I took my time climbing the mountain and was given everyone's cameras to take the group photo, this was the first time the whole group saw my camera, I spent a long time on the top of the mountain taking photos, the Chilean girls loved having their photos taken and would have kept going if I had not run out of room on my CF card. (My photo was used as the official photo of the tour, the school logo was photoshopped on and everyone got a copy....the IT dude got creative with it adding frames around faces. I will see if I can get a copy. 

We took the girls for a BBQ breakfast at Mary Caincross Park, where they got to see small wallabies in the wild and enjoy the early morning rain-forest sounds, we then walked to the base of Kondilla Falls for a beautiful waterfall, this was on the same day we walked up Nugungun....we all had very tired legs the next day. 

Horse riding was an activity planned only for the Chilean Students....so they thought, there was an extra spot for daughter #3, the only adult along for the ride was the Chilean teacher...so I offered to go for the ride, I haven't riden in over 29 years so I was given a beautiful Clydesdale named Queenie. Queenie had 2 speeds, stop and slow so she was perfect for me. I was lucky to be allowed to take my camera on the ride, nothing is allowed as the horses spook. Queenie was so calm I was allowed (I think because my camera makes me look like a professional helped too). The next day I had a very sore bum and some great photos. 

We asked the girls to cook us a traditional Chilean dish one night, empanadas (a Chilean pastie) this was a fun night, the girls took over the kitchen with daughter#3 helping. There was lots of laughing, singing and loud music, they were taking it in turns to chose music on youtube. The empanadas were very nice and I made sure to get a recipe. For a return treat I asked a friend for Melbourne who is Chilean what would be a good dish to cook for the girls. I made pastel de cholo, a layered corn pie. A&V were not only happy I did this for them, V cried. Her mother makes it for special occasions and it is a family favorite. This made me feel very very good.
pastel de cholo

As we were getting to the end of the stay the girls wanted to have some friends for a sleep over, they had both gone to friends places during the stay so I thought it was only fair, I was happy for them to invite as many as the wanted (sleepovers are not big deal for us) Only 3 extras. I was appalled to find out that one of the Chilean girls was staying with a family that denied her access to the internet and left her in charge of 2 very naughty boys who were always fighting. Her stay was not a very happy and she felt she couldn't complain as it was bad manners! I did a fair bit of complaining on her behalf, I am mad at myself for not asking our girls if all their friends were happy! We could have taken a third or another family could have been found. S had a great time at our place and refused to stay the last few days with us, she said it was best if she stuck it out. What a good girl. 

There were lots of tears on the last day. Ari refused to pack...if she packed it made it real and she would have to go home. We gave them a necklace with a platypus charm that HWMBO made, this made them cry even more. A few hours sleep and we were up at ridiculous (2:30am) o'clock to get the girls to the school for the bus to the airport. More tears and hugs that went forever. Most of the girls hugged me and made me promise I would be coming to Chile next year. Getting them all on the bus was like herding cats...almost impossible. Sad as they where to leave, they will  be glad to see their families and sleep in their own beds. 

I am know I will see them next year, I hope we see them back in Australia.