Tag Archives: life

A snapshot in time

What's in your bag

I’m not quite sure how it happened, but somewhere along the way there is a backlog of blogging. What’s worse is that somehow I ended up feeling guilty about not updating this blog for my legions of fans (yes all three of you and I know who you are). Life had been incredibly hectic lately, and although I have been busier than I have ever been, I am missing the luxury of a good hour for myself  without having to schedule it beforehand.

For better or for worse, my iPhone is currently the most important gadget in my life, whether it be for checking the newest rented property on domain.com.au, checking out the local food choices , updating facebook or checking work emails… No, it’s not an addiction if it’s this much fun!

It occurred to me while peering  into my bag during the usual public transport madness,  how much of what was in my bag was a snapshot in time of my life.

Right now I am:

  • Addicted to caffeine
  • Stuck to my iPhone
  • Forever planning my next hour, day, week, months
  • Cautiously optimistic

All packed up and nowhere to go

Moving DayThe longest day of the year is today and I can believe it. I’m typing at half past ten at night and even now, the sky is still a dusky purple. It’s hard to believe that a week ago I was still recovering from jet lag and a week before, I was back in Australia. Even more difficult to believe that 12 months ago I first moved into this apartment with a group of strangers, armed with nothing more than two bags and wide-eyed optimism.

Credit crunch snackPerhaps it’s true that luck is a frame of mind. I felt lucky when I landed in London a year ago, hopeful in finding new experiences, faces and adventures. Since then, Recession 2.0 smashed the economy and I somehow managed to exile myself in Sydney for no good reason. I don’t know what the second year in London will bring, it’s still undecided whether I can spend the year in the country past August, so many things are beyond my control at the moment.

So today felt a little surreal…packing up all my belongings into 7 boxes, a far cry from the backpack I had in the beginning. Even more disturbing was the nagging thought that I will be homeless for the next few weeks, while waiting to see whether I will be going back home to Australia or stay in the UK. Regardless of the outcome, it is uncomfortable to be reminded that my time here is finite. To that end I should just make the most of this short, but significant part in my life and experience as many different things as I can.

Small pleasures such as sitting in Regent’s Park after finding the most decent cheap coffee I had at Markus Coffee for £1.50 and a plate of the most buttery baklavas from Ranoush Juice for £1.00. An absolute bargain during these oh so lean times and the sun was complimentary too…

Day in the life

Cupcake half baked

I should really be packing for Paris, but chilling with the housemates after a long week is too big of a temptation to miss. The above photo was meant to be posted as part of a step by step series on the cupcake Restaurant Girl and I made for a dear friend’s wedding. The end result could be seen in an earlier post. It took us a good two days to make all two hundred cupcakes, and Restaurant Girl was pretty bloody precise on what proportion of nutella was to be spread on the first layer. My memory was something along the line of 30g per cup cake, spread with the sharp preciseness of Olympic flag raisers at the Olympic.

I am just so relieved that this week is over and a public holiday is on the other side of the week. This technically should give me enough time to prep for the upcoming Manchester Zine Fair, but we shall see how organised I can be.

In a rather random act of charity by the gods of chance I won two tickets to a random gig via Time Out. On the flip side everyone I know seem to be out, not available or missing in action next Thursday leaving one perfectly good free ticket available. Such is life, unless someone randomly pops up to say they would love to keep me company for an equally random event.

Won!

European Weekender Part 1

Brussels 2008

Twenty four hours ago I was walking down the streets of Brussels with the London Flickr Meetup Group for a nocturnal shoot lasting from dusk to dawn. The weather was thankfully much warmer than the London shoot and I was able to keep my delirium until just before dawn.

It still amazes me how easy it is to hop on a Euro train and wander across the channel to a completely different country within a couple of hours.

So what can you see if you go to Brussels around this time? Well, you get to see annual Brussel flower carpet for one. Spread across the market place, it’s almost impossible to understand what the pattern looks like unless you are viewing it from a very high vantage point.

Brussels 2008

According to Wikipedia the other tourist attraction in Belgium is the Atomium (giant atom looking thing) and Manneken Pis (small bronze statue of a peeing boy). Crazily we managed to cover all three within the space of a few hours while fitting in the much needed food stops.

Brussels 2008 Brussels 2008

Brussels seemed rather aback being invaded with twenty people heavily armed with cameras, but we weren’t approached by a single policeman unlike London. I wasn’t all that thrilled with a lot of the photos I ended taking and ended experimenting on textures, on the other hand I did have a grand old time and loved every bits of it.

Brussels 2008

Brussels 2008

European weekender – Brussels Flower Carpet

Brussels 2008

Twenty four hours ago I was walking down the streets of Brussels with the London Flickr Meetup Group for a nocturnal shoot lasting from dusk to dawn. The weather was thankfully much warmer than the London shoot and I was able to keep my delirium until just before dawn.

It still amazes me how easy it is to hop on a Euro train and wander across the channel to a completely different country within a couple of hours.

So what can you see if you go to Brussels around this time? Well, you get to see annual Brussel flower carpet for one. Spread across the market place, it’s almost impossible to understand what the pattern looks like unless you are viewing it from a very high vantage point.

Brussels 2008

According to Wikipedia the other tourist attraction in Belgium is the Atomium (giant atom looking thing) and Manneken Pis (small bronze statue of a peeing boy). Crazily we managed to cover all three within the space of a few hours while fitting in the much needed food stops.

Brussels 2008 Brussels 2008

Brussels seemed rather aback being invaded with twenty people heavily armed with cameras, but we weren’t approached by a single policeman unlike London. I wasn’t all that thrilled with a lot of the photos I ended taking and ended experimenting on textures, on the other hand I did have a grand old time and loved every bits of it.

Brussels 2008

Brussels 2008

Fill my little world

Roast dinner

I can’t believe this is my first post in August, the entire month have just disappeared without me noticing. Nothing much to say other than I am still happier than I have been in a while. There’s a sense of freedom in giving up control and worry about what will happen next and enjoying the moment. It feels like I am a little more settled, with work, finding new friends and having some girlfriends over for dinner over the weekend made me think that life is going back to normal.

Pictured above is my attempt at stuffed pork loin, made with fresh breadcrumbs mind you!

Life is good, strangely so.

Life so far

Roast dinner

Life is oddly getting back to normal. Often times it feels like I live in an odd pararell universe for working in the same company. Having friends over for a roast dinner helped to make life feel ordinary again. Things I’ve done lately in no particular order:
– Wander around the streets of London for a midnight to dawn photo shoot (cold, dark, very cold)
– Spent more time on trains going for work to and from Northampton than I expected (out of pocket before my first pay check)
– Smile more often than I have in the past 3 years
– Met more new people in the past two months than I have in the past 3 years

I guess everything balances out in the great scheme of thing…

London Night Shoot

Living in London (at last!)

Day in London

I finally have a permanent address in London and I’m incredibly relieved not to have to move my backpack every week or so. Very thrilled to live in Swiss Cottage, with a cinema next door, plenty of Japanese residents and a grocery store a few minutes away, it felt as if I am living in a bigger version of Cremorne.

A few things I do love about it are:

  • There’s a large library closeby
  • Said library is connected to a great gym
  • A huge Sainsbury is 6 minutes away (similar to Coles/Woolworths)
  • I’m on the Jubilee line
  • The kitchen has lots of storage space
  • There are windows everywhere
  • My housemates are sane

Hooray!

So many to see, so little to shoot

Morris Dancer in front of Westminster Abbey

“The circle line will not be in service on account of a person under a train at Monument”

I couldn’t quite believe my ears, but judging from everyone else’s reaction this happens often enough for it to be a non-event.

I can’t quite shake the feeling that London reminds me a lot of Sydney, I know it’s meant to be the other way around, but there are enough similarities between the two to make a Sydney sider feel almost at home.

1. Australian soapies – check
2. Australian accents – check
3. The same three chain of McDonald, Starbuck and Burger King on every corner? check, check, check
4. Similar chains of stores e.g. Monsoon, Borders, heck Muji and Uniqlo are also around, making it feel as if a part of Japan ended up travelling with me to London.

After a while, it’s becoming increasingly easy to accept that I’m walking on a street which is hundreds of years old, with a half dozen famous dead people who used to work/live in the area. I’m finding it difficult to want to take photos and every shot ended up being a tourist snap shot of “I’m in London now”. Perhaps I’m spoiled by bein used to the harsh Australian light, that makes shots like this almost an everyday thing.

Sydney Sky

Everything here is much softer, almost muted compared to the sky and light back home, maybe it’ll just take time.

Shakespeareland

Limbo is an interesting place to be, particularly when it comes to waiting for:

1. job news
2. moving in news

No news on both front I’m afraid and it’s not one of those times when no news is good news either. I’m sitting in my room at the Falcon Hotel in Stratford-Upon-Avon, overlooking Nash’s Place and the empty garden where Shakespeare owned his last house.
Shakespeare's Birth Place

I’m enjoying the solitude of not having to share a room with 5 other souls and the bathroom with a dozen other people, but finding the novelty of being in front of a tourist attraction rather amusing. Take the room I’m in for example, the hotel has just been upgraded but retained its timbered ceiling and wall, moreover everything is in a rather odd slant. The floor curves towards the door and it looks like my wardrobe is held by anti-gravity matter as it leans in a rather awkward way towards the bed. Throughout the night I can hear what sounds like someone sighing in their sleep in the next room, though this might be an over active imagination fed by reading Practchett and not being accustomed to be alone for long stretches of time.

Falcon Hotel

As for Stratford itself, it’s a pretty little town and compared to three years ago when I first visited, they have upgraded a lot of the local attractions. Shakespeare’s Birth Place three years ago for example was half finished, with the second floor being bare of furniture. I wasn’t sure if the tour bus was even in operation three years ago, or maybe I was not as inspired to see as many things on account of the crap winter weather.

Nash Place New Place

What is assuming is the air of Shakespeareland that surrounded the entire town. The locals would be horrified if I call it that, but it definitely felt like being in a genteel theme park, with locals dressed as characters and an ice cream man in the middle of the town square.

Tiles against a blue sky