Friday, February 28, 2014

The Three Sisters And The Blue Mountains

The fact that I had never traveled to the Blue Mountains was repaired just after New Year's this year, after the end of the cricket gave us a few spare days before I was due to head home. A roadtrip day trip was a perfect Day 4!

On a perfect sunny Summers day, and after just over an hours drive, we were treated to the views across the extensive mountain ranges. We wound through little towns and found lookouts to get some incredible views.

It was pretty clear where Megalong Valley gets it's name from - it goes on forever! Deep, green and rugged, scattered with Aussie trees for as far as the eye can see.

This was one of our first stops, and gave us a great perspective of how vast these ranges really are.

We stopped for a typical pub lunch in Blackheath, before continuing on our way down to Katoomba.

There were a few places where the October 2013 bushfires were evident, with regrowth slowly returning the green to the land. But much of the landscape was Australian bushland, and spectacular views across the mountains.

Getting into the area where the Three Sisters are was actually the most touristy area within our whole roadtrip, with shops and cafes set up from the troves of buses that trek up from the city each day. Amazingly, we seemed to have timed our trip perfectly to miss all of these hoards, and had a chance to have a relatively quiet and crowdfree look at the three pinnacles they call Sisters.

The Three Sisters are so named after an Indigenous Dreamtime story, about a three women falling in love with three brothers from a forbidden, rival tribe. As a battle began over these matches, a witchdoctor turned the sisters to stone, here, to protect them. And here they stand.

On the walk from the carpark to the viewing platforms, there were pillars of stone with quotes from people long ago, who had come across these Three Sisters. The one that caught my eye was: romantically beautiful as can be imagined...

Indeed! A stunning piece of Australia.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Thrashers Completed At The Pink Test

If someone had told me that the Aussies would win all 5 matches in this Summer's Ashes series at home, after India last year and the average performances in England during our Winter, I would have laughed and laughed. Whilst we can all dream, never had I imagined the team turnaround that happened across the Australian Summer. Cricket is such a funny game - you just never know!

After missing the Boxing Day Test for the first time in years and years, for work, and having great seats, B managed to organise tickets for me for the final Sydney Test, and I got up there in time to celebrate her birthday and her 100th Test Match, on the night of Day 1.

The Aussies were poised to win the series 5-0 with this final test, after a seriously amazing performance in Brisbane and Adelaide, and also in Perth and Melbourne. We had dubbed the whitewash Ashes series in Australia in 2006 The Smashes, so this one, so very one sided, has to be The Thrashers!

Day 2 commenced for me with meeting up with Spreads, Graham and Tom The Pom in the stand, and watching 5 English wickets fall by Lunch! Needless to say, the English lads were not having as much fun as we were!

England was all out by Tea, for 155, against the Aussie first innings total of 326 the day before. Australia returned for another batting innings for the final session, losing 4 wickets, and adding 140 to the run total.

The sea of pink on almost every person walking in the gates, and all across the ground was so impressive and inspiring on Day 3. For Jane McGrath Day, and to raise awareness and funds for Breast Cancer and the McGrath Foundation's Breast Care Nurses across Australia, people wear pink, the stumps are pink, and every sign possible across the SCG is pink too. Amazing!

The Aussies kept in, until the middle of the middle session, being all out for 276, setting an impossible target. Incredibly, as this series went, Harris collected 5 wickets to assist a quick end to England's innings, match, and series.

Australian cricket was on a massive high, with unbelievable performances by our bowlers. The Ashes is such a massive sporting win, and one requiring much celebrating!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Project 52: Tuesday Lunchtime

In the final days before departure for my job in Nauru, I managed to catch up with a few people, including having lunch with Dad to tell him about my next crazy adventure. We met up at Racers along Lake Wendouree.

This post is part of Project 52 with Jess from FuShMuSh.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Project 52: Tuesday Morning

Preparing for my new job, and finishing off my short term contract with my old one, I returned back to Ballarat and the old office to complete my final work days - plus I needed to stay at Mum's due to my homelessness! On my way into the office, I spotted the massive cluster of Christmas baubles in front of the Town Hall - pretty impressive!

This post is part of Project 52 with Jess from FuShMuSh.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Project 52: Monday Evening

(I am awaiting the collage for this one)

Monday nights in Melbourne, for some select months, have offered Scarf Dinners, and this was one of those nights. This time it was at Markov in Carlton, with the menu designed by Kerala Foods. So good! Carly and I enjoyed the two courses, plus dessert, and wine, served by the waitstaff from disadvantaged backgrounds who were undergoing their intensive hospitality training. Love this new dining for good movement!

This post is part of Project 52 with Jess from FuShMuSh.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Farewell To Nauru, For Now

Yeah, so I have been a bit offline of late, with dodgy internet access for the last rotation in Nauru for the last 2.5 weeks. I returned home on Friday with a day of travel, but not before my much desired photo on the runway. Where else could you get to wander onto an International runway like this!?!

My 2.5 weeks went fast, and then not fast at all with the 12 hours a day and tough work. Some amazing times with my incredible colleagues, and some seriously precious and rewarding working moments with my clients. Such an unforgettable experience.

I don't really feel like I am finished with this Nauru chapter, and my work with this special client population, and so now I am looking into options to get back there for work, with my contract now finished. We will see what happens - which was so my words of advice to so many within my work!

I have a few posts to share about Nauru, all in good time, but in the meantime you can check out some of my photos from the island here.

Meanwhile, I am off for some travel to rest and restore my post-Nauru blues and heavy heart...

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Project 52: Monday Afternoon

Attending a session as part of Melbourne Music Week, Nicole, Mary and I listened as Gotye discussed the creative process behind making his music videos. We heard about how the idea for the stop motion animation concept for Somebody That I Used To Know come together, from the director and producer herself, in conversation with Wally. Then I was amazed to hear about the work put in over a pretty short space of time to create the Easy Way Out clip, again from the creators and Wally, who spoke of the brief he put to them - so impressive! The animators who are responsive for a couple of others clips, including State Of The Art also spoke about their processes, and how they worked on making those clips match the music. They also redefined Seven Hours With A Backseat Driver for Wally, with their visual concept.

A great panel discussion, and a unique insight, the session was also part of the Spectacle Music Video Exhibition on at ACMI until the 23rd of this month.

This post is part of Project 52 with Jess from FuShMuSh.
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