Sunday, August 30, 2009

A very dull week

Boy, this past week has been a snoozer.  Mostly we've been working at the dive shop and things are quiet so there's not much going on to keep the ol' brain active.  On the upside, we have been able to get a lot of those little tasks done that get neglected when we are busier, but that's not very exciting news really.

I did start another of my Big Changes this week finally. Kylie, a friend of mine, is an awesome yoga instructor and asked me earlier this month to take shots of her doing the various poses for her instructor renewal. As we were shooting, we arranged to start doing some private yoga sessions one-on-one but every day she would have off work, I'd be at the shop.
Kylie going through some yoga poses

Finally Friday morning we were able to hook up for our first session. We spent about 1.5 hours in the park slowly going through poses and making sure my form was good before moving on - it was hard work! I still have no upper body strength but that was no surprise. For as long as I've been away from doing yoga, I remembered a lot of it and was able to really relax into most poses. I wasn't even sore on Saturday. I could feel some "new" muscles, but I wasn't hurting at all so I count myself thankful. We are hoping to be able to squeeze in two sessions a week now, so cross your fingers for me.

In other news, Tilly and Lobo have decided that the bed is really theirs

and get a little disgruntled when disturbed from their cuddling

I'm not sure what Til was trying to convey with this strange face

ManCamp '09 started yesterday so six of the Perth guys are up for a week of fishing, drinking, crabbing, drinking, boating, drinking, fishing, drinking...Dave and went around to their unit for a quick chat last night and today they are all out hunting mud crabs and fishing off the shore as it was pretty blowy earlier. I don't expect to see much of Dave this week.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Retropost - The Proposal 22nd August, 2005

I meant to post this a week ago, but to be honest, I'm not sure where the last week went LOL I had the bright idea to post this momentous day after looking for a totally unrelated photo for a friend. And, as often happens, I thought what perfect timing, I should post how Dave proposed WAY BACK in 2005 (I've added the year in here after my friend Luke said that this post was too confusing re the timeline)...and then the week got away from me.

Dave and I have a lovely life seasoned with random little romantic gestures like him making a fabulous dinner of fresh fish on a day we both though take-out seemed the way to go or bringing me a toasty towel, straight from the drier, as I get out of the shower. But he's more than capable of knocking my socks off with a big sweeping, grand plan...and here's the story as I hurriedly shared it with the world way back in 'aught five :)

"Pack a bag, I'm taking you away tomorrow" he said
"Where are we going" I ask "what do I need to pack?"
"Just snorkelling gear and normal clothes.  We're going to check out a possible liveaboard area, but we won't dive this time"

Monday morning...whisked off to the airstrip.  I expect the float plane and some other people as he's been out earlier this month checking some things out.  No float plane, just a little Cessna.  OK.  In we hop.  Glorious day - you can see for miles, the ocean is blue, we watch some whales.

Land in Onslow - a town a zillion miles from anything.  On to a hire boat.  I'm thinking - this crossing is gonna suck, I sure hope Dave knows where he's going!  But no, we get a skipper, too.  Off we go - nice crossing.  Nothing for miles.  An house.

We land on the beach - I'm glad we didn't bring scuba...there's a good sized dune to climb up to the beach shack.  Nothing else on the island but a rain water tank.  Our skipper helps us unload, shows us the pump and gas then heads off.  We are now officially deserted.  It's wonderful.  We wander around the shack poking in cupboards, stowing the food and drinks & change into beach wear. 

We head up onto the balcony to check out the scenery - pretty durned nice.  From there we can see our nearest neighbours...also deserted islands!

A big flock of pelicans is lazily circling about 100 meters from the balcony so we grab a couple of chairs and watch them for a while.  Neither of us can remember the last time we simply did nothing...

Dave says let's go for a walk.  Sounds good.

Now, we are pretty spoiled when it comes to beaches already.  We rarely see anyone else on "our" beach when we take the dogs down.  But there's nothing like knowing you are really the only people around and that no one will unexpectedly show up!  Bliss.

The island is home to a tremendous amount of bird life - wishing I had my new toy!!  Also very pretty shells that we don't see and other neat flotsam.

This was one of the more disgusting things we found (sorry, Leslie!) was all creepy crawly and I wasn't game to get too close!

Dave found this great crab shell a bit farther down... I'm taking a photo he calls out "Look what else I've found!"

I hurry over...

...he's kneeling down in the sand, gently moving some shells and then lifts up a big empty clam shell...

Will you marry me?

 :) :D ;D

So we are official!!  We spent the rest of the day just hanging out, drinking champagne on the balcony

and generally enjoying the heck out of ourselves.  It was excellent - the perfect setting, the perfect company, the perfect day...he done good!

We crossed back to reality the next morning & our pilot got the nod from Dave...Yes, she said "yes!"  The owners of the plane service had thoughtfully provided more champagne for us to enjoy on the flight back home! 

And were there to greet us and congratulate us when we landed.

So, that's how I spent my Monday :)

I had absolutely no idea that this was in the works.  Turns out even my Dad was involved in the lengthy (and very secretive) planning. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Beach, boat, bubs

In addition to rummaging through the scary closet, I've been out on the boat a few times this past week.  I ended up having to stay on the boat most of the time since my ear infection was still causing me grief, but I finally managed to do the second dive of the day (after a 17 minute foray to 7.5m and back on dive one) Monday.  I had an Underwater Photography student and the conditions were pretty tough, so I didn't shoot many frames myself, but it was still nice to be underwater again for the first time in weeks.

There was a very large white tip reef shark having a snooze under a ledge on our dive. I've got lots of shots of these guys and was far more interested in the remora near its tail...unfortunately, the shark was having none of it and kept kicking up sand and swimming out in a circle before cruising back under the ledge. I did grab one as the shark swam through me :)

The humpback whales were everywhere while we were out. Mostly they were simply swimming along but a few of them were really showing off and playing with big fin and tail slaps. We had some breaching and spy-hopping, too. I was too lazy to grab my camera most of the time but did get some snappies

I hope to get out a lot more for the humpbacks this season as I don't think I got out at all last season! It's pathetic how much I don't take advantage of the amazing marine life here, something always seems to come up and then poof, the season is over.

Speaking of seasons, it's baby emu time! I saw the first dad with teensy bubs on our drive out to Tantabiddi on Monday. Unfortunately, we were towing a trailer and had a whole line of traffic behind us so I was only able to grab a couple of frames of their baby bootys as they spastically ran away. I am going to try to get out one day and get their little faces coz they are simply too adorable at this age. There are five of them with this one far.

Dave and I took Dora & MatildaLily down to the beach the other night to just chill for awhile. They had a great time running around like maniacs, sniffing every bit of flotsam on the beach, digging holes (ok, that's a bit grand as Tilly loses interest after about two inches, but still, it's kind of doggie-like behaviour) and trouncing through the water.

Dave found a shell in the car that he'd been meaning to show me

And Til had to jump in and out to see just how much sand and salt water she could dump into the back of the car

On the way back home there were tons of kangaroos and a few bustards - big birds, also called bush turkeys here - along the edge of the road. I hopped out and walked along, trying to get close enough but it was pretty dark already & none of them were hanging around. I do like this shot of a kanga in the bush, though

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My whirlwind life

Phew, what a lot going on so far this August!  Most of it has been great and that's such a nice change, really.  I'm a little tired but it's a good tired.  A Job Well Done tired. I don't have everything I've been doing done or posted yet, but here's a few things from the photo side of my life

I won! Yes, I actually won a web contest from a very cool site that I visit most days, just to check it out. I have an idea for my prize, but haven't gotten around to collecting it yet. What a shocker, eh?

I got Baby Jacob's photos blogged and he's got quite the fan club for such a youngun'! I'm doing a whole family session with him in the near future and can't wait - they are a gorgeous family.

Rhianna & Aaron's wedding album is done and in their gallery. I've put a few teaser pages up for your viewing pleasure. I love timeless layouts that their grand-children will be able to look back on without laughing too hard!

The Novotel Ningaloo has just launched a new tv ad campaign to promote weddings there and my photos are featured! Yay, me! The 15 second ad is here and I'll add the 30 second ad once I have it.

I still have a bunch of photography stuff to post and more sessions coming up, so I'm excited to be so busy on that front. I also taught an Underwater Photography course this past week, but surprisingly don't actually have a lot of photos to share as I was concentrating on helping my student in the tough conditions rather than spending time shooting. Hopefully there will be more diving in my near-ish future!

I'm doing well on my de-clutter-a-thon this week. Sunday was closet day. It's a pretty scary place, my clothes closet. It's tiny and overflowing so you'd think it would be easy to select ten items to be donated. But I kept having conversations with myself like "oh, this shirt can go" [fold, fold, stack in pile]

"umm, well, actually, it's the only Hawaiian shirt I own, and yes, I haven't worn it in over 5 years, but what if we get invited to a Hawaiian shirt themed party? I'll have nothing to wear and have to buy a NEW one and that's just a silly waste of money" [unfold, find hanger, hang it back up]

I seem to have a lot of things that still have tags on them. Most of them are still in my closet. Coz, you know, one day I might suddenly decide that this item is the perfect choice for, well, I dunno, but some future event. And, boy, aren't I a smartie for having the forethought to buy that perfect thing YEARS in advance in anticipation of, well, said future event. And you just know that I bought it on sale, so not only am I predictor of future fashion needs, but I'm also tres savvy with a dollar.

Some decisions were pretty easy, though. Say this shirt. I have no idea what I was thinking when I bought it. I mean, it's a fine shirt, very pretty embroidery, but it is SO very NOT me. Ever. I must have been in a shopping frenzy. Or blind. (Oh, and if you were with me when I did this I think we need to re-evaluate our give and take with "do you think this is cute?" & "do I look ok")

And these. Yes, they are black velour short shorts. Hot pants. I remember buying them at the Fremantle Markets when I was still a teenager. I wore them with thigh high, 4" stiletto heel black suede boots. I was very kick-ass. 20 years ago. Now, at 39 there is no way - even it was physically still possible - that I will be wearing them.

I do miss the boots though. I wonder where they are...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Great changes & some kitties

Firstly, I want to thank all of my friends and well-wishers who have inundated me with notes asking about & offering support for the big changes I announced the other day. The response to my admittedly but not deliberately kinda cryptic remark was...well...remarkable!

So, what are these big changes, you ask? Lots of things in my life, really, and I'll share them with you as I travel this new path. Be warned, some of them, heck, maybe even most of them, won't be that earth-shattering or probably interesting to anyone but me!

My first big change is about the clutter in my life: tangible, intangible, external and internal. I've started by deciding to declutter my physical space a little bit. I don't mean to be a pack rat, but there's something about a pristine box that begs me to store it coz I just know I'll need to pack something in it one day. Or that perfectly good sheet of bubble wrap, if I push & scrunch hard enough I know I can ram it into the closet along with the other ten million miles of the stuff I already have. And papers, shoes, clothes, magazines (I haven't even bought a magazine in like two years, but for some reason I still have a pile of ones I haven't read!) know, all that usual day to day stuff that just somehow accumulates.

So it's going. This week my goal is ten tangible items each day. I've done one day and already my office feels more spacious, stuff that used to live on the couch has a new home and it's just plain satisfying. Today I'm about halfway to my goal of ten things and it's already starting to get hard - I mean, I really, seriously might NEED an extra neck strap for my compact camera even though I a) have five others that I know of and b) have never ever taken any of them out of the plastic baggies they come in.

I'm also going to try to return to shooting more for fun. I have been neglecting just taking the camera out for no apparent reason, only grabbing it when Dave and I go do something or for work. I started today by heading out to capture some kitty-cat action. Harry, always such a willing model, tried feigning death, stuck his tongue out at me (he's SOOO mature sometimes!) and finally settled into the evil eye - with a little fang showing so I wouldn't miss his point.

Boof was far more mellow. He seemed very startled to see his own foot when he finally did open his eyes, though.

So, that's me for today. Stay tuned for more existential blathering, random thoughts about the changes I'm making and other things that I know just have you on the edge of your chair as you wait with bated breath...I'll stop now :) No, really, I'll be posting lots of photos, announcing some big news and having fun so you don't want to miss it!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Paradise perhaps

Late yesterday afternoon Dave and I loaded the Girls up and headed out to the beach for some fishing, hiking, photographing, relaxing, romping and eating. I was excited because I finally got to take my new boots out for a spin. Don't laugh, it's not *that* sad!

Dora and MatildaLily were excited because, well, pretty much just because they're dogs

How spoiled are we? When we drove up there was - GASP - another car close by! We looked around but couldn't see the people who belonged to the car so decided to stay anyway. Yes, we truly considered going somewhere else. Tilly was worried that she wasn't getting out of the car RIGHT THIS SECOND, I mean, c'mon, we'd slowed down, we must be there!

I know, it's a luxury to have a beach to yourself - except here it feels more like a right :) At least if you're a local! Anyway, turns out that it was one of our friends out for a spear and he left very soon after we arrived. Happiness is having a beach to yourself as far as you can see.

While Dave got all his gear organized for fishing, the Girls and I headed off down the creekbed for the first time. Never could explore up beyond before as there are all sorts of pricklies, sharp rocks and other rough terrain that I didn't want to subject my bare feet to. Those days are gone, Baby! Now I have boots I can go anywhere. The dogs loved snuffling around in the new area, but Til's attention span is still pretty short so she turned around and trotted back to her dad after about 20 minutes. The sun was very bright and pretty hot once we got out of the breeze, so Dora and I took some time to smell the flowers before heading back to the beach

Back at the car I found Tilly in the back on their mat. She does this for no apparent reason every time we go somewhere. Just jumps in and hangs out for a few minutes before bolting out like the nutter she really is again

Dave tried to take the opportunity to have some quiet fishing time, but the dogs had to make sure he was OK out there

I really must remember to switch my camera to video mode next time as his gesticulations to try to shoo them away are pretty flippin' hilarious. I still don't understand why he doesn't want them helping, they're so quiet and calm

Eventually he gave up and walked his line back to shore. The fishing stuff was still out there, I guess, coz he went back out later to wind it back in. I don't really get the whole fishing thing so apologies if you have no idea what I'm talking about here

We came prepared to have dinner on the beach

and enjoyed sitting around, watching the Gulf

A beautiful hawk type bird landed just out in front of us for a few moments before winging away down the coast

Both Dora and MatildaLily become very well behaved around the bbq

Always so optimistically living in hope

Til thought she might have a better chance if she backed away a little bit

While Dora went with the Oh Look How Pitiful I Am approach

Neither gambit worked too well, so they resumed the ol' How Close Can We Get and How Hard Can We Stare Before We Get Told Off For Begging tactic

Tilly kept double checking to make sure she wasn't missing anything from Human 2

They both stayed vigilant, even during clean up - yes, those dark patches on my knees are from doggie slobber. A big reason why I don't wear good clothes when we go out with them...

Such a great way to end a busy day...