Sunday, November 27, 2011

Blurb Photo Album

I have been working on my photo album for a few months. In October I finally took a week off to try and get this to print.  Unfortunately, being the perfectionist that I am, it took almost another month to be finally satisfied that I had done the best I could with this my first attempt to make an on-line photo album.

logoI tried a few different websites and settle for publishing Journey of a Travelbug on Blurb.  I like their layouts and the flexibility if the templates in allowing me to insert text and photos.  The Photo Album has been uploaded to the main blog (see above).  Feel free to email me with any questions on this book making software.  I should get my printed book in the mail in about a week!  I can’t wait!

Photography Club: Print of the Year Competition

It is the final competition night at our photography club.  I rush here from the screening of the movie Thirst as I am keen to see what the judge will say about the “best of the best”, from 2011.  I have only just joined this club, hence I can only submit photos from the one occasion when I previously submitted some entries.  There are four categories in the completion and this includes, colour prints, monochrome, mini prints and black and white.

I arrive late to find most categories have been judged but my gorilla has made third place in the colour prints category.  The judge on the night was Michael Smyth from the Lane Cove Club and we briefly chat at the end as I pick up my third place winner.  I am excited and pleased.  It is good to keep getting positive feedback about my photographs.


"I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint - and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you." –Oprah Winfrey

Thirst – CrowdTV Documentary

I originally did a blog post about CrowdTV and my idea about Water & Culture:The Lifeblood of Our Planet that was voted to be the one made into a movie in the process of making the world’s first on-line documentary about Water in Western Sydney.  I am excited to be at the Bankstown Arts Centre with Steven for the red carpet premiere for the screening of Thirst

invitation crowd TV 

It is a collaboration between Kylee Ingram Australian Documentaries, and researches from the Institute of Sustainable Futures (UTS) and funded by WSROC.

It isn’t often that individuals get the chance to be part of making a documentary and it is a wonderful example of community collaboration where the visions of many have come together to produce a beautiful documentary about something that we all value and need – water. 

I am interviewed by UTS for their magazine and article titled Lifeblood, makes the front page!

Click on this link for the article:

It feels exciting to be part of this creative process and I learn I have been given an Assistant Producer credit for the movie.  Check out a few photos and watch the video!




"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." –George Bernard Shaw

Authors: Old and New


Susan Duncan – Author Talk @ Hornsby Library

When I heard that Susan Duncan would be the guest at our author talk in Hornsby I was excited.  I first read Susan Duncan while overlanding through South Africa in 2007 on my first big solo adventure.  I had picked up her book Salvation Creek by chance salvation creekat my local Borders Book store, which sadly is no more.  The book was about a woman who had a ‘sea change’ and moved to Pittwater to start a new life in a part of the world only accessible by boat! 

I find the life story of Susan incredibly inspiring.  From the words on her website she was a woman who at 44 seemed to have it all …

  “Editor of two of Australia's top selling women's magazines, a happy marriage, a jet-setting lifestyle covering stories from New York to Greenland, rubbing shoulders with Hollywood royalty, the world was her oyster.

But when her beloved husband and brother die within three days of each other, her glittering life shatters. In shock, she zips on her work face and soldiers on - until one morning eighteen months later when she simply can't get out of bed.”

I find it inspiring to read about successful women who have the courage to chuck it all in the quest to search for a different life.  She came to Hornsby to promote her latest book, Briny Cafe.  I look around the room and find it is mostly filled with Anglo women in their sixties.  I smile to myself, used to being in audiences where I am the minority and sneak a glance at Steve.  He seems unfazed to be one of only a handful of men there.  Perhaps, Susan herself is curious because as I approach her to get my  book signed, she takes the time to chat to me, asking about the meaning of my name as she autographs my book.  I tell her a little about my own ambitions to be a writer and photographer as I carefully pack away my copy of The Briny Cafe.  It is her first fiction book and she talks about how hard it was to make a start on this one.  She had first researched writing a thriller and even as she starting reading the gruesome, gory, graphic details of scary scenes described in the many books flooding the market in this genre, she realised it was a dark place she didn’t really want to enter. 

A chance encounter with a fan in a bookstore confirmed what she knew inside.. the stories she really wanted to tell were really all about the small close knit Pittwater community she now calls family.  Steve is intrigued by her description of the sense of community she describes as he is in the midst of  writing how we can transform the way we build our cities.

I listen intently as she describes the colourful, quirky characters that make up life in Briny cafe and I can’t wait to get stuck into this book.  She explains there are bits and pieces of people she has known from around the world, interwoven into the story and talks about how important it is to encourage people to be individuals and not judge them for being slightly ‘odder’ than the norm :)

I feel thrilled that I met a writer I have admired and enjoyed reading these past few years and I file away another inspirational encounter.


William Shakespeare – Movie “Anonymous”

There have been a few interesting movies showing at the moment and I thought I should post a blog about Anonymous, a political thriller that poses the theory that it was in fact Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford who penned Shakespeare's plays; The movie is set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I, and the Essex Rebellion against her, during turbulent times of deceit and deception in England.  The movie is a fictionalised version of the life of De Vere who uses the plays to start a rebellion led by his son who he fathered with the Queen. 

The movie questions whether an impoverished man such as Shakespeare who could barely write and didn’t have a very good command of the language could have had the ability to write these plays.  In those days, it was only the nobility who would have had access to the education needed to extend the English Language in the manner in which Shakespeare did.  It was an interesting story of intrigue that certainly left us wondering who wrote those now famous plays. I would recommend you watch this movie!


Anonymous poster

“ To be or not to be, that is the questions.” William Shakespeare

Pete Murray in Hornsby

I always loved Pete Murray’s music ever since I was first heard it over the airwaves of Triple M on my long drives to work.  Pete is a man who wanted to create something different - music that would last a lifetime!  Without a doubt his music could be picked up many decades in the future and still be enjoyed because it hasn’t been stamped by the fashion of the day.  I am always drawn to  music and people who have the courage to be different and in an age where much of the music seems to be about noise (that duff duff stuff) I find it refreshing to listen to the plaintive sounds of a man singing to the strains from his guitar.  If you have never heard his music listen to the video I have embedded. 

Pete’s concert was held at the Hornsby RSL.  It was not the most atmospheric venue but very convenient for us.  He started the concert by introducing songs from his new album  Sky Blue Sky. The  tour was titled the The Free Tour named after one of the songs on this album which talks about breaking loose.   While it is a ‘break-up’ album, written after splitting with his wife, it is an album of hope and new beginnings.  While I am still not familiar with the new songs and can’t say I really enjoy the new approach that minimises the use of acoustic instruments and seems to have a different rhythm time may prove different.  Fortunately, he very quickly moved on to sing the old familiar favourites and we had a truly enjoyable evening.

It is amazing to think that Pete while being so gifted in music started out on a completely different career path.   He was a gifted sportsman with great ability in rugby, athletics and swimming but it was a sporting injury that led him to step off the rugby field and take up playing the guitar while recuperating.  While he thought he would take up a career in sport medicine he eventually discovered his talents in music and has obviously found his destiny!  His success both in Australia and overseas is an inspiration to me and I hope he continues to provide us music with meaning!  Good luck Pete…

A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.  ~Jean de La Fontaine