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Archive for December, 2012

Most of my life I have loved writing.

In earlier years it was a pen to paper.  I’m sure that the people who read the local Primary School newsletter back in the ’90’s got sick of me. In my high school years I entered competition after competition.. but alas.. I was not successful.

All throughout that time I kept a diary.. The Secret Diary of me.  A diary that I even drilled a hole in, just so I could loop a padlock through.. just incase my brothers found it. I out wrote that diary, and then the next came.. and the one after.. and the one after.  Somewhere in the flat behind Mum’s, and packed away in a box is the complete set of my diaries.

Over the years they have changed.. but there is the usual teenage crush wallows, teenage girls stuff.. school stuff… and then came the real life writings.  Stepping out and moving out of home, new jobs, problems at jobs, weekends away, breaking hearts, buying a house.  Intermittently I’d stop writing for a few days, weeks, months, but there was always something that led me back.

In 2006 when I travelled to Ireland, I started with the usual travel diary.. it too grew to a second, and a third, and a fourth… and I belive too that there is a fifth.  They became my 12 months in Ireland..

When I moved to Canada.. I started with great intentions.  Each night in the hostel I would write what had happened during the day.. as time went along.. I would write occasionally.. but not all the time.  Just when I got the urge..  Then finally I decided to give blogging a go.  Why not?  What did I have to lose?  and so it began.

My intention was to blog about everything and anything. To be honest and to open myself up to the world.  Honestly.. it’s a little bit harder than I anticipated.

But it was a step and a step that I hope to build on in 2013.  2012 has been great for many reasons… some you have read about on here and some that I am still to blog about.. but the biggest surprise of all has been the number of people who have visited my blog and the number of countries they have come from… THANK YOU TO EVERYBODY who has taken the time to sit back and have a read, a laugh, or even a cry.. I could never imagine that people from all over the world would be dropping by…and I hope to see you all, and many more in 2013.. xx N

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Ever since I got my new camera I’ve wondered if I could manage to pull off one of those spectacular startrail photographs that grace the web.

Surely with the camera I’ve got (Nikon D5100) I should have at least half a chance, but alas my first attempt in the Canadian Rockies at the remote location of Beaverfoot Lodge left ALOT to be desired and me wondering if I could ever really pull this photography trick off.  Needless to say my spirits that night were down and out…

Fast forward a couple of months and I am now back home in Australia and in our little corner of Victoria.

The best part of growing up on a farm is that there is no light pollution from the big city lights (we live about 3km out of town and the town would be lucky to have 5/6 street lights!).. the other part about being back home in Oz is that it is Summer and even at 10:30 / 11:00 at night, the temperature is still hovering around a mild 25 degrees celsius, so standing outside is actually quite pleasant.

But back to tonight.

I was just returning from a walk when I noticed the moon rising. A full moon and it was BIG.  It was just peaking over the hill to the left of Mum’s house and I got the idea that I would try and photograph it.  Again, not a well thought out plan.

For christmas I had received a remote shutter release (very happy I might add) and I thought that this might give me a good chance to try it out.  Unfortunately my attempt to photograph the spectacular moon was a bit like trying to photograph stars for the first time  –  under prepared and a total failure.

That’s when I decided to turn my attention to startrails again.

I sat on the front veranda and googled on my iPhone until I found some instructions and then decided to give it another crack.  I fiddled with my settings for a while.. took a photo, reviewed it and did this basically until I captured the first photograph that gave me a good image of the stars that I was trying to photograph.  Then I clicked away for the next half an hour or so to gain a collection of photos.

This is one of the first images:

It wasn’t until I had taken the 6th or 7th photo that I realised that I was photographing the Southern Cross
Southern cross
Note the southern Cross in the top left hand corner (points of the red cross)
In all I took approx. 16 photos, after all I was just experimenting. With the use of some software called startrails, layering each of the pictures on top of each other was so simple, the program does it for you (highly recommended for any other novices out there).  And this is my result….
Startrails over the Mallee
Now I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not the best.
There is too long of a gap between my shutter releases (this is what is causing the dotted effect), but for a second attempt I’m pretty damn happy.  My next attempt will include a much more interesting foreground scene and fingers crossed some smooth startrails.  Now.. about that moon…

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Reminders of homeThe original family farm truck

It’s hard to believe that is a month ago at this exact moment that I was saying ‘see-ya later’ to some of my amazing friends that I had made whilst I was living in Calgary.

It was an emotional time, but I have to admit I suprised myself and contained the majority of my tears.  I’m not sure if this was because I was tired and lacked the energy; because I was coming home and would see family and loved ones that I had not seen for the last year and a half; or simply because I knew that this was the beginning of the next chapter of my life.  Secretly, I think it was a combination of EVERYTHING.

Getting home was not a quick trip.

Calgary to L.A.  A 12 hour layover in LA.  LA to Melbourne. 5 hour layover in Melbourne. Melbourne to Mildura.

In total I think it was around 30+ hours, but walking across the tarmac in Mildura and spotting my niece Tamsin pressed up as close as she could get to the entrance turnstile with one of the biggest smiles on her face, made the entire journey so much more worth while.  Of course there was the rest of the homecoming crowd including my Mum, complete with a ‘Welcome Home’ balloon.

It was good to be home!

Golden Fields of Wheat

Golden Paddocks of Wheat

The last four weeks have passed by almost in a blur (thank goodness I have photo’s).  I have witnessed 2 amazing friends get married. Enjoyed a day in the beautiful Grampians. Celebrated a hen’s day floating down the mighty Murray river. Played, painted and laughed with my neices and nephews. Met the newest addition to the beautiful McLean family – Jorge. Become a ‘cricket Mum’ for our four farm kids and simply enjoyed the peace and quite, warmth and beautiful sunsets and simplicity of life that exists in this untouched place that I love and that I call home.

 There truly isn’t no place like home!

Beautiful day in the Grampian's

A beautiful day in The Grampians

Watching the kids at cricket
An evening on the pitch
Oops.. was I in charge!!
Oops… was I in charge??
Sunset at the Farm
A picture perfect sunset on the farm

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