Thursday, 30 December 2010

A Fairytale Bar Story

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, Tommy, Todd and I built a bar. It was only a few months ago but it's taken me an eternity to put it up on here...

So Tommy and Nicky bought a lovely new house in Finsbury Park and have an outdoor section which is relatively useless. No, not just because it's in England... They also have a backyard but this is a kind of small courtyard area. So while showing me around they suggested they didn't know what to do with that area as yet. I half jokingly, yet always up for a silly challenge, suggested it would be the perfect size for a bar. Their eyes lit up and wild, overindulgent planning began.

A few weeks later, Tommy and I took his mum's convertible Audi down to Wickes and bought some wood. In a convertible at a timber shop we must have looked like David and Elton buying material for a baby's cot.

Nevertheless we decided to draft in Todd, who designs furniture for a living. He should know what he's talking about. And building began.

Todd measuring twice, cutting... ahh, yeah.

There was no messing around here. Building toys for drunks requires drilling into walls.

Tommy ensuring the bar won't fall over when he's dancing on it.

Over the course of two weekends we finished off the structural part of the bar while Nicky set a date for the official opening and naming party.

Now as this party has come and gone I feel I should have some photos of the completed bar but I was simply in attendance as minder to my alter-ego during his guest bar stint.

Tommy managed to astro-turf the ground and walls of the bar and install a chiminea, and it looks sensational. I'll try to get some pics. Come both days of summer 2011 this bar will be well used. I guess we should find a name for it by then!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, 17 December 2010

My New Favourite Photo

Parko won the Triple Crown yesterday for the 3rd time in a row and is only the 2nd person to have ever done that. Unfortunately he had to wait for Ace Buchan to lose before he was crowned but this photo shows that it's not a bad spot to be if you have to wait around.

Aside from the finger in the shot, this is my new favourite photo.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

A Teaser

Despite my internet being "fixed" I am still unable to get onto it so here's a preview of the 4 blogs I want to put up:


Tommy's bar


And Indoor Surfing.

There might also be a bit of world domination:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, 3 December 2010


I promise I will have something for you soon! I have no Internet at home and work blocks Blogspot but I have a backlog of 5 posts to put up.

If I were English I'd just blame the 2mm of snow that just 'dumped' and you would have to deal with it.

...but if the Internet man uses that excuse again I'm going to break his legs.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, 6 November 2010


I didn't like Andy Irons much. I thought he was a sore loser, too highly strung and too full of himself. And I wasn't alone in holding that opinion. But nobody would dare deny that he was an incredibly driven athlete and a fantastic surfer. He continued to drive the change in competition surfing that was started by Kelly Slater years before.

I still think that the most intense comp I remember taking notice of was Pipe in 2005(?). The world title had come down to the last event of the season and A.I. beat Slater to win his 3rd world title in a row. I think he also won one of his 4 triple crowns that year too. But it wasn't 3 worlds in a row or 4 triple crowns where Andy inspired, it was in the way he never backed down and whenever he wanted something he did whatever was needed to get it.

Some of the steepest, heaviest waves in the world caused the greatest to sit back and evaluate the situation but it seemed as though Andy was always at the front of the line, hanging to drop into something big. I could count on one hand those talented and loco enough to do that day in- day out. So it's very grounding to see someone so in tune with big risks go down to something as simple as a mosquito borne virus. I looked at Andy as someone almost unbreakable so something like this makes you re-assess mortality. A sombre experience.

Andy Irons Tribute from Brian Bielmann from M. Scott Mortensen on Vimeo.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Representing Australia...

It was a long time coming (even longer than this blog entry) but I finally finished Ironman. And stoked to do it on my first attempt.

I've wanted to do this race since I was 16, so you can imagine how much I had played it out in my mind. I guess it's kind of how girls have an idea of their wedding day... As Ironman UK played out nothing like I had expected, it was bitter-sweet; until the finishing straight, where it was better than I could ever have imagined.

Between the half Ironman in late May and the full IM on 1st August, I had done such little training that the swim and ride were actually further than I had trained collectively in the previous 8 weeks! Luckily I had run more than the race distance as I expected that to be the tough part.

Despite the fiddly aspects of UK IM (2 transitions areas 20kms apart, setting up on Saturday which takes a whole afternoon, and having to drive to a bus which takes you to the race on the Sunday morning) I felt incredibly calm. I knew I just had to go through the motions, eat consistently, not push too hard on the bike and then hope my ITB stayed together on the run and then I'd be at the finish line 12 hours later.

Jumping into the lake before the start proved even more calming. Here I was in a line, 1600 people long, surrounded by pansies squealing as they dipped a toe into the cold water. I'm no waterman, but at least I'm not 100% British. Instant confidence boost. At the end of the first lap of the swim I finally got some clear water and a nice rhythm and was surprised to exit the water in 1 hour 8 minutes.

Ironman is so much calmer than short course racing. Transitions are an absolute dogfight in faster races but everything was fairly relaxed in my transition but I still came out on the faster side. The bike was all academic for me. I have never planned anything more meticulously. Drink this at this time, eat that and that time, stretch here, blah, blah. My plan hit a minor hurdle when the drink bottle cage behind my seat fell off, losing one of my precious custom made calorie drinks (thanks You rock!). I had no choice but to push on and did fine. Only once in the whole race did I feel hungry, but never felt weak.

Coming off the bike I was well and truly ready for a run. The 3 x 60km laps of the bike were incredibly boring! I knew now that I was beginning the toughest part of the race. The part where I would be breaking down- mentally and physically. I lasted 6kms before my ITB blew up. But this time was different. My left ITB (which has been a problem since I was 16) was perfectly fine. My right ITB had been a problem for a few weeks and was killing. I managed to get about 14kms before having to walk because I knew if I kept going it would lock my knee up. I decided to run for 5 mins then walk for 1 min. This worked ok because my ITB (strangely) went down fairly quickly but this method did give me a disgraceful 4:47 marathon time.

But none of this mattered when I turned the last corner and saw a huge red carpet, 5,000 people screaming and hearing the MC announce "representing Australia, Nathan Fenton". He even gave an 'Aussie, Aussie, Aussie- oi, oi, oi" which I haven't appreciated since the first time I heard it at the Sydney Olympics 10 years ago! So despite a terrible time, my parents and Deneil not being there, losing to Angus and the race being nothing like I had imagined, I was over the moon when I crossed the finish line. This was one of the few things left on my list of things to do before I die, and I think I might do another one. I won't be happy til I get under 12 hours. I kind of knew I'd find another reason to race again...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, 1 August 2010

I Think I'm Back.

Things are a little different to when I last put a blog up. I'm a lot lighter; lighter in posessions, companions, attachments and money. Also lighter in friends, direction and raison d'être. But I have made up for that with a pot belly and a lot of issues... Ha, that would be the easier path, but if I were one to make things easier for myself I probably wouldn't be here right now. So I have made up for my lost weight with the most determination and biggest list of strange goals I have ever had.

Tomorrow I aim to be able to tick off one I've wanted since I was 16. We'll see...

Friday, 26 March 2010

Do It Anyway...

Happy Birthday Flip.

Happy Birthday Clare.

Épernay... Look at moi...

Tomorrow I head back to the greatest country outside Australia. For Clare's birthday we are heading to Epernay in France.

According to Wikipedia:
Épernay (Sparnacum) belonged to the archbishops of Reims from the 5th until the 10th century, when it came into the possession of the counts of Champagne. It was badly damaged during the Hundred Years' War, and was burned by Francis I in 1544. It resisted Henry of Navarre in 1592, and Marshal Biron fell in the attack which preceded its eventual capture. In 1642 it was, along with Château-Thierry, named as a duchy and assigned to the duc de Bouillon.

More accurately, however, it's within the region that Champagne comes from.

I have a few issues with the Wikipedia explanation:
a) The Hundred Years War actually went for 116 years and was a series of different wars;
b) The French Royal Anthem is mostly about Henry of Navarre, yet Épernay resisted him- does that mean they should have their own renegade Royal Anthem? 'God Save the Queen' perhaps?
c) Francis I was born in Cognac. I see jealousy...

So despite what I see on Wikipedia and Google maps, I'm not sure what to expect. There are only about 25,000 people in Épernay, so maybe it'll be a quaint little town ruined by tourists looking for another glass of champagne (ie. us).

What I do know, however, is that it's no surprise they resisted Henry:

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Post Script in a Happy Tone

After I wrote yesterday's post I got an email from WE, a Swedish clothing label, which went as follows:

What do you want to do today?
If you could choose to do anything, no limits, what would it be?

Whatever it is (unless it's illegal), try to do it. Sometimes the need to break the norm and the daily habits get a bit overwhelming and the only way to cure that is to actually do something that you wouldn't normally do. The reason we're saying this is simple - we want you to be inspired, active and more than anything, happy.

I thought that was well said. A more upbeat version of what I said!

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the new Gyroscope album. I think this is the first single.

Gyroscope - Some Of The Places I Know album COHESION out APRIL 9 !!! | MySpace Music Videos

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

What Would you Say or Do?

On Friday it will be a year since Shane McConkey died while skiing/ BASE jumping in Italy. I just watched an interview with him that was filmed on 13th March 2009 and I wondered what he would have said or done if you told him he had 13 days left to live. I don't think he would have done much differently and that's a good way to be.

The thought of only having a limited time here is a morbid thought but it shouldn't be. I think we should all live like we have 13 days left- nobody could accuse McConkey of not doing that. We may have more; we may have less but we shouldn't go through a day without making ourselves feel alive.

Yesterday the 2008 24 Hour Solo Mountain Bike World Champion, James Williamson, died in his sleep at a race in South Africa. That's far from expected from an incredibly fit 26 year old, but it does happen and at the moment there's nothing we can do about it.

So get out and enjoy yourself and the time with your family and friends. Work out what makes you tick and do it. Work out what makes others tick and help them with that, too. Just make the most of it.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Preparation Is Key

I managed to get out for a good ride on Sunday- one of the first days of the year above 10 degrees and, pleasantly, the sun was also out. What was especially good about the ride was that it involved hills (which, on a good day, I love) and I rode with 3 other guys who are better than me.

I quite like riding with people who are better than me because it keeps the pressure on. It's all too easy to think you're tired and lay off the pace but when there's pride on the line you will tend to find out exactly how tired you can get without dropping the pace. I found out on Sunday that it's not just distance, pace, conditions or food intake that can determine how quickly you get tired, but also whether or not you spent 5 hours shopping down Oxford Street the day before...

On the upside, I got to know 3 other guys from the triathlon club I'm training with, found some more hills south west of London, and made a pact with myself never to go shopping the day before a ride.

If you want to see the route we took, you'll have to check this link because I can't work out how to embed a map with Garmin Connect (yet another corporation that has bought out and ruined a perfectly good, functional website because they couldn't make a good one on their own). Garmin Connect

While not big hills by any standard, it's the best I can get in the south of England, and I can tell you that on Sunday these hills were enough! Below is an elevation map that suggests I should have eaten more for breakfast...

Looking forward to doing it again.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Scratching The Surface

I'm looking forward to this...

STS Trailer 2 from John De Temple on Vimeo.

Julian Wilson is one of the best freesurfers I've seen so it's nice to see another vid giving him more exposure. I can't imagine a better vid coming out this year...

Sunday, 7 March 2010

The BMX craze is sending prices over the moon

From The Age Newspaper

AS MEN get older, the toys just get more expensive, but few would have thought the contents of a Pascoe Vale garage would spark a global frenzy.

Last year, Raf Merhi, 29, an Australian soldier on active duty, proposed to his girlfriend, Kafa, and decided to sell his collection of classic BMX bicycles to help raise the deposit for a house. Then the couple discovered Raf's collection is worth more than $300,000.

Potential buyers are descending on Melbourne this week after the first 50 bikes appeared for sale on eBay. One man has already boarded a plane in London, prepared to offer more than $6000 to secure a rare Kuwahara, the two-wheel star of the film E.T., while others are driving from interstate.

Indeed, an act of brotherly love turned into a week-long nightmare for Ralph Merhi, 28, who thought he was doing the right thing by putting Raf's collection of more than 150 BMX classics up for auction. He has barely slept for five days, after being inundated with calls from around the world after the first lot of 50 bikes went online.

''Dubai, London, New York, Japan, all over the US, Canada, you name it, I've had more than 3000 phone calls on my mobile this week,'' Mr Merhi said. ''The phone's been going off at 2am, 4am … I never knew there was this much interest in these bikes.''

As Raf is posted overseas, he asked his brother, who runs a hardware store called Renovators Delight Bargain Warehouse and sells a few excess items on eBay, to sell the bikes.

''Raf has basically been a BMX kid from the day he was born. He's been collecting them and fixing them since he was a little boy,'' Ralph says. ''Some of these bikes have 340, 350 people around the world watching the auctions. I haven't had a proper night's sleep since we put the first 50 online. The biggest mistake of my life was putting my mobile phone number in the eBay listings. Once someone has made a bid, you can't take it off. It's affecting my business. The phone just goes all day.''

BMX - Bicycle Motocross - dates from California in the early 1970s, when teenagers, inspired by Bruce Brown's documentary On Any Sunday, began modifying Schwinn Sting-Ray bicycles to look like motorbikes. By 1977 there were official BMX races in California and limited numbers of specialised bikes from manufacturers such as SE Racing, Mongoose and Redline.

By the 1980s the sport was a global phenomenon and BMX bikes with links to films and popular culture of the era command the highest prices.

Prices of these early bikes are being driven up by collectors, now in their 30s with disposable income, and chasing the dream bike of their childhood.

The 1982 Steven Spielberg film E.T. made Japanese-built Kuwahara bikes a cult classic, thanks to its famous scene of the young boy Elliott flying past the moon on a Kuwahara. An original E.T. model Kuwahara in mint condition can fetch thousands of US dollars. Raf owns five Kuwahara BMX bikes, including two mint E.T. models. Ralph has received offers of $6000 for each of those bikes already.

The 1983 film BMX Bandits and 1984's The Karate Kid popularised Mongoose bikes. Early 1980s Team Mongoose and Supergoose models, made in California before manufacturing transferred to Taiwan, are in high demand.

The auctions can be viewed at the eBay user name rwrightway2009.

Mark Hawthorne is a business columnist for The Age, and proud owner of a 1980 Team Mongoose.

Whoa, crazy week.

That was intensive... It's been a long time since I lived for one thing and one thing only. This past week has been just like that. Wake up early, study, go to school, come home, study, sleep. Just quietly, I've loved it but I couldn't do it for long. Anyway, all done now. Foundation exam passed and Practitioner exam awaiting results. Now I know how to dot the 'i's and cross the 't's when it comes to project work.

In other news, our cupboard needs a clean out, I think the spinach in our fridge is off, and UK TV really bores me.

The surfing world tour has started for the year and round 1 in Gold Coast has just finished. Taj managed to win- his 3rd in a row after winning the last round of last year and a warm up event leading up to Gold Coast. I would like to say that he can keep this up but I can't see him staying this focused. He certainly deserves it but I don't think he will. He hired a full time trainer last year (apparently only starting to train at all in 2008!) but I don't know if he has the hunger to need a win.

So for my annual "pick-the-tour-winner-after-round-one" selection, I'm going out on a limb and suggesting that Jordy Smith will take it if he can stay hungry. If he does it he'll be the first Saffa to win it since Shaun Thomson in 1977. My early pick last year was Parko (ended up 2nd) and the year before was Bede Durbidge (ended up 2nd) so maybe I should rename this my "pick-the-tour-runner-up-after-round-one" selection. Sorry Jord!

I guess now would be a good time to unveil my first BBQ Crew for the year. For those who wish to play along at home, the BBQ Crew is simply a list of surfers (past or present, male or female) who you would invite to your BBQ/ Braii/ Tea Party. Mine will always include Occy, Hoyo and Louie. That's a given. The greatest. End of story. My revolving BBQ Crew is as follows:
-Jordy Smith (for a stellar effort in round 1)
-Keg Bacalso (providing he can hold his drink)
-Freddy P (always good value but thinks he can out skoll me)
-Malia Jones (wouldn't you?)

-Dayne Reynolds (for that rocking those crazy boards recently)
-Owen Wright (he's the monster slayer!)

I'll leave you with the best bit of surfing footage I've seen for a long time. Cool soundtrack too...

Friday, 5 March 2010

I Am The Convenience Generation

Here you go Mum and Dad, an iPhone app to let me update my blog from my phone. Finally! It took too long to think of something worthy enough to justify turning the computer on, logging into my blog, typing the words, and adding pictures. ...and then there's the spell check...

I promise there will be more blog action now. Well, once I pass this exam.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, 27 February 2010

It's March on Monday?

I can't believe it's the end of February. I could never have filled 28 days worth of photos of myself and you could not have handled viewing 28 photos of me. That was a dumb idea. More importantly, where did February go? If time keeps going that fast it'll be summer soon. (Forever the optimist...)

In order to make myself busy I have taken drastic steps and have forked out a stack of cash to do a project management course for the whole of next week. I hear it's pretty intense which, I hope, will get my brain moving again. If I do happen to dust off the cerebral cobwebs then I'll probably achieve much more than that. After the last 6 weeks I'm a big believer in the saying "if you want something done, give it to a busy person". So I might have a lot to say next week...

In the meantime, to celebrate the end of February, I'll leave you with my final self portrait. Enjoy.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Sport is the Winner on the Day...

The first ever Twitter Time Trial has been completed and somehow the conclusion did not excite me the same way the lead-up did. Maybe I like the medium used to lay the bet down (it's different to the usual pub argument, and in this case 2 million people knew about it before Lieto got a chance to say no). Maybe the simple fact that Armstrong was always gonna win made this a no contest. What I did like, however, was the fact that Lieto skipped his morning swim to stay fresh and Armstrong wore a complete time trial suit, bar helmet, so neither player was going to let up.

Armstrong finished the 14 miles in 18 mins 35 seconds, Lieto in 18 mins 44 seconds. I like the way Armstrong took a pic of his time but covered the power output... It was probably around 500 watts- very powerful.

This will not be settled until there's a 3.8km swim before it, a longer (180km) ride, and a marathon after it. Then, I feel, the result will be different.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Showdown on the Queen K

Playing mind games in sport is an age old practise, which has now gone digital. Possibly the greatest use of social media to date occurred this morning when Lance Armstrong challenged Chris Lieto to a time trial showdown on Twitter.

To give you the background, Chris Lieto finished 2nd in the Hawaiian Ironman in 2009 after leading for the majority of the race, and set a new record for the bike leg. Lance Armstrong is planning to race the Hawaiian Ironman in 2011 and is, quite possibly, the greatest bike rider of all time. The two trained together for a week last year and I wonder if Lieto learned more about the bike than Armstrong learned about the Ironman... They are both training in Hawaii at the moment, although separately.

So here's how the tweet-off unfolded:
Lance Armstrong: Just passed @chrislieto going the other way. He was hammerin. Hey Chris, a little TT showdown on the Queen K tomorrow? You, me, and whoever.
Chris Lieto: @lancearmstrong see u on the Queen-K! Will have to be after 8am cause I have to swim first. Flying out mid day. Give me a call.
Just to ensure that 10,000 Astana/ Livestrong jersey wearing goons don't rock up to ride with the two, Armstrong has reaffirmed: This won't be a twitter ride. First ever "twitter time trial". Love it.
But what everyone really wants to see was put succinctly by @keeldragger: @lancearmstrong Why don't you make it interesting and challenge @chrislieto to a run after the TT?

I'd also like to see a swim before that.

The hammer has been laid down, and it's on. Armstrong takes the upper hand and announces it to his 2,439,394 followers:
Queen K Hwy TT Challenge. Tomorrow 9:30am. Start - Waikeloa Beach Dr to Kukio Nui Dr. 14 miles. Full gas. Take it easy on me @chrislieto.

Sensing that the 14 miles is short enough to have his ass handed to him on a plate, Lieto harks up with:
Swim at A Bay at 7am. See u there @lancearmstrong.
This short sharp jab seems to have hit the target, with a rather weak reply from Armstrong:
@chrislieto now that would require clearance from @johanbruyneel which I know we won't get!

Lance Armstrong isn't stupid. He isn't Keiren Perkins, either... And as a result, Chris Lieto accepts the inevitable and takes it like a man with this bold, yet uneffective dying tweet:
What am I supposed 2do when Lance announces to 2mil ppl we got a race w/o asking me first? We gotta race!

Stay tuned to see how it goes down:

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Don't Dream it's Over

Surprise, surprise, my photos were crap! I don't have the activity level, nor the knowledge to take a good pic every day of the month. So instead of forcing "art", I'll just let it come. If a good pic comes up I'll post it, rather than boring you with rubbish photos every day.

I'll keep working on some light painting pics, cos that's fun to do and Ash has sent me a copy of one of my favourite photos- which I will blatantly plagiarise. I'll post it here when I perfect it. It's not worthy otherwise.

In the meantime I'll leave you with a photo on the bus after Simon and Hannah's wedding. I think there is a new career for me yet...

Sunday, 7 February 2010

...That Perfect Shot

You know when everything lines up? When the setting is perfect? When the light is perfect? When that great shot is about to be taken?

...and then the camera battery dies?

I left the camera connected to the computer and it drained the battery. So with the technology of iPhone, here is your photo of the day:

Quite artistic really. I'll try again later.

One of these 28 shots of the month might even be good!

Friday, 5 February 2010

Tired Of Doing Nothing

Yet another day wasted dealing with recruiters, researching roles that will never exist and Hedge Funds that will never let me in... So tomorrow I will take photos. If I get nothing else done it will not matter, as long as there is a fresh cheesy photo of me on this blog.

For today, however, it's another photo from the vault.

This is possibly me at my happiest. In melbourne, with a slurpee. Done.

I aim for this to be one of very few photos from the vault. Hopefully I'll put more emphasis on actually doing stuff worth taking a photo of. I have tomorrow's pic already planned out. Might make use of my bazillion spare hours each day and plan some more photos... We'll see.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Day 3. From The Vaults

Today I managed to accomplish... nothing. Not a thing. Not for lack of trying though. I went to the pool: closed. Ran along the river: flooded. (Still ran but not well.) Looked for jobs: recruiters. They always get in the way.

So as a result of my day being taken up with a whole lot of nothing, I will be posting a photo from the vault today.

This was taken on Rottnest Island in WA, after a day of riding, swimming, and marvelling at the colour of the water. It's just me being a wine tosser... Ignore that and look at the colours!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

I Told You I Could Do It, Dad!

Fresh from watching "The Boy Who Could Fly" in 1986, I asked Dad why I couldn't fly from the roof of our house, like that autistic kid in the movie. Not to bother a 5 year old with details about mental illness, Dad told me that I can do anything if I work hard at it. I decided I needed to fly without wings at some stage before I died. And 24 years on, this is the best I could offer:

It also happens to be photo 2 of my 'photo-a-day-for-February'.

Angus and I utilised our weekdays without crowds and spent the day in Milton Keynes, about 80kms north of London, to go indoor skydiving at Airkix. I've been meaning to check this place out for a while and can't wait to go back. If you're in England you must have a fly. Well worth it and anyone with any bodily control can do it. I just need to work hard enough to get a job so I can afford another few rounds at Airkix...

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Day 1 of 28...

Sorry, I'm starting the month with a pretty average picture but I can assure you tomorrow's pic will be much better. I already have it planned. Today's pic involves some half-assed light painting and a creepy face. I hope to do more light painting this month, and I promise to put more effort in next time...

Got good photo ideas and want to see how I can butcher them? Send them through...

Friday, 29 January 2010

It's Evolution, Baby

Trigger Happy

For years I've wanted a remote for my camera. For some reason it just seems fun to take photos without being anywhere near the camera. Unfortunately my glaring lack of photog talent has limited the amount of fun I could ever have with a remote. But I bought one anyway. £5 from eBay, can't go wrong.

So yet again I'm excited to learn the theory of taking good pictures, I only hope I remember it this time...

A lot of people are taking 'a photo a day for a year' but I don't have the commitment, nor the know-how to do that so what I'll do instead is commit myself to a photo everyday throughout February. (I haven't really thought this idea through yet so bare with me...) Should set some rules:
-The photos will be self-portraits
-They will show me doing whatever I will be doing that day.
-They will be varied (I'm getting in way over my head now...)

I apologise in advance of the pics of me taking a pic! The hope is that as the month progresses we will see how my creativity and ability has improved. Or, worst case scenario, I'll document the most boring month of my life. Either way, this will force me to get out and take pics, learn more about photography, and post a blog every day. ...oh, a perfect world...

To do this, however, I need your help. You are ALL better photogs than I, so send me your tips. If you want to see a photo taken in a particular way or me doing something interesting (a photo of me getting a job is on the cards) then let me know.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Happy Australia Day!

I'm back. ...and I'm not sure what happened to the last 2 and a half months either. Someone said that when you have something good enough to blog about, you're usually too busy doing it to write about it. That's my excuse too. Nevertheless, I'm here now and it has been a good holiday. If I can find the photos and stories to prove it, I will.

So today is my first post for a while; and it's going to be plagiarised. I love the way Andrew G puts thoughts into words so I'm stealing his Australia Day rant from his 365 photos in 365 days (a brilliant set of self-portraits, one taken every day for a year. Worth checking out).

"26th of January 1788 was the day that the British claimed Australia "By power of flag" (Thanks Eddie Izzard).
They also conveniently claimed the land was "Terra Nullis", meaning that as far as they were concerned, no-one lived there.

This was certainly news to the Aboriginal people, the oldest continuous culture on Earth, who at the time numbered nearly a million in population, with almost a thousand different dialects of spoken language and a rich and incredible spiritual connection with the land.

They never had a chance.
Still to this day, it's somewhat the case sadly.

I am an Australian, though I was not born there. I indeed am an immigrant - which unless you have any Aboriginal ancestry, you are too - and I'm equally proud of my country and ashamed of what happened and is still happening to this incredible culture of people.

Australia is a nation of immigrants, and that's about it.
Any kind of anger towards immigrants in Australia is nothing short of hypocritical.

Unfortunately in recent years the line between patriotism and jingoism has been blurred, with people expecting society to excuse anti-immigrant, anti-white, racist and anti-social acts under the guise of "It's Un-Australian" to speak up or deride their actions.

Fuck that, and fuck those small minded yobbos.
Read a book, learn some history, show some compassion.

We share a country that has succeeded over adversity, and was built by people from all over the world, and are ultimately visitors ourselves on land that was stolen from another society. All of these things built Australia as it is today, and should be remembered on this day.

So enjoy your day, have fun..
Share it with friends, and all of your fellow Australians..

I am rather homesick today, can you tell?

So here's a photo of a proud Australian immigrant in a pair of Chinese Jeans, enjoying a Dutch beer in an American Sunset snapped by a Japanese Camera, lit by Swedish flashes.

Happy Australia day."

I wish I could have said it that well...