Archive for the ‘Catherine’ Category

well I know this post is well overdue, however its better late than never, I suppose! 🙂

Our honeymoon began on June 1st, with an early morning, rain-filled journey to Melbourne International Airport, bags in tow, and spirits undampened, regardless of the standard Melbourne wet season.

Once at the airport, tickets in hand, bags checked and dried off, we cleared customs and made our way onto our plane.
20 hours later, we landed flew in through the clouds at Los Angeles, seeing the far side of the Pacific Ocean for the first time, and coming in for a textbook landing at LAX.

Unfortunately there was not enough time to leave the terminal before our next flight, so it was a few hours of Starbucks drinking and people-watching before boarding our next flight direct to NYC.

After a very scenic flight through an almost clear sky, we came over New York, with amazing views of Manhattan and Brooklyn, before landing at JFK.

After check-in at the hotel, we headed around the corner to Times Square for dinner, and to take in some of the sights of Midtown Manhattan.

New York City is a place that is constantly changing, yet strangely familiar. Although it has been more than 3 years since we were last there, we were able to navigate the streets and subway system with ease, and rarely needed to consult with a map.

With a total of 2 weeks in NYC, we had plans of things to do, yet plenty of time to simply relax and enjoy the city, and all it has to offer.

During our time in New York, we did a mixture of typical tourist things, as well as some not-so touristy things… cycling around Manhattan, riding a train in torrential rain to see a movie at a downtown cinema, having lunch on a floating restaurant in the Manhattan River…

Amongst the many things we did in New York, (of which there are too many to mention!) We did some new things that have definitely made it to our highlights list.

Firstly, we headed to the 9/11 Memorial, which I must say, is rather eerie in that it is probably the quietest place in Manhattan. Nothing above a whisper could be heard beyond the tranquil sound of the flowing water into the footprints of the twin towers. The entire area seemed smaller than it did on television all those years ago, but with so many names and so much sadness attached to it. Security here is greater than we experienced at any airport. 2 metal detectors, an air particle scanner, police and security everywhere, sniffer dogs and long, daunting walks through narrow corridors, being watched on CCTV by what I would assume to be behavioural specialists.

We headed to the Court district to view some cases. I never really thought that this would be as entertaining as it turned out to be! We first went to the Surrogates Court and heard small matters like petty theft and minor assaults etc. Then we went to the Arraignment Court to hear people being granted or denied bail. Then, over to the Supreme Court, where the lawyers were having a rather large party in the foyer area for National Lawyer Day, which meant free food for all (how could I refuse?).

We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, which was a rewarding experience, if only to say we had done it. Such a wonderful, old bridge, and still going strong! Once on the other side in Brooklyn, we wandered about a bit, checked out a gorgeous Ferris Wheel in Dumbo, got a bite to eat at a very small local deli, and then discovered one of the Pianos in Public Places on the waterfront. As we got there, a classical dup were performing for a photographer, so we had a free concert just for two. Once we walked back over the bridge we parted ways. I was eager to walk the 60 blocks to the hotel, and take in the city, but Catherine decided to ride the subway and get back to relax a bit. So, 45 minutes later, I caught up with her at the hotel and we headed out for Lunch and a Museum.

We hired bicycles and rode the length and width of Central Park. The park is full of bike trails, and during the day on weekdays, most roads are closed to traffic, meaning pedestrians and bikes have the reign. The park is simply huge on a massive scale! Even with minimal stops, and no traffic, it took us about 90 minutes to return to the starting point. We saw 4 lakes, 3 cliff faces, a reservoir, a castle (Smurfs Movie), a boathouse, fountains, bridges (Home Alone 2), and so much green! This park is indeed the heartbeat of the city, sustaining the sanity of so many residents who spend their lunches with their shoes off, sunning on any available surface.

We had the bikes for 6 hours, so instead of returning them and losing our money, I suggested we ride down and around the financial district. There are bike tracks everywhere, so we only needed about 5 minutes of road cycling in the entire journey. We headed through Hells Kitchen and down along the banks of the Manhattan River, passing a retired aircraft carrier that is moored as a museum ship, before reaching the financial district, where we lost the bike trail. After a little confusion we found the track again, and with a few more corners, we arrived at Clinton Park, looking across to the Statue of Liberty (Closed, due to damage sustained from Hurricane Sandy). After a small break and an ice-cream, we headed along the trail and up along the East River, heading back to the hotel area on 49th Street. Once we got to around 38th-40th Street, the bike trail ended and became a bike lane on the busy Manhattan roads in afternoon peak hour. Onwards we went, passing the UN Building and turning left along 50th Street (Most streets are one way, so each opposing street goes in the opposite direction). Crossing Lexington Ave and 5th Ave, we eventually got to Broadway. We turned left, then back onto 49th Street, returning the bikes with 20 minutes to spare. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but Catherine seemed a bit shaken from the craziness of the traffic.

We dressed to the nines, suit and tie for myself, gorgeous dress for Catherine, and headed through Times Square to a small, underground Jazz Club to see Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks perform. Vince and the Nighthawks are responsible for the music heard in Boardwalk Empire, as well as a few other productions whose names escape me. After a lovely meal and a few drinks, we were up and dancing to Glenn Miller’s Moonlight Serenade; a slow song, but an amazing experience to dance to this in New York, with a live band playing right beside you. Vince was lovely, we had a bit of a chat with him, and as soon as he realised we were on our Honeymoon, he gifted us two of his albums, which have been getting plenty of play back here in Australia.

We saw Paul McCartney perform at Barclay’s Stadium in Brooklyn!
What can be said? The man is 72 years old, and still pitch perfect. He puts live performance at a whole new level, and its a level that I don’t think anyone could match. Seeing an ex-Beatle perform has long been a dream of mine, so having seats in the nosebleed section didn’t faze me in the slightest. Neither did singing along like a music geek to around 3 hours of hit after hit after hit. With such a huge catalog of music to draw from, there was not a single song that left the crowd in their seats.

SET LIST

    1. Eight Days a Week
    2. Junior’s Farm
    3. All My Loving
    4. Listen to What the Man Said
    5. Let Me Roll It (“Foxy Lady” snippet)
    6. Paperback Writer
    7. My Valentine
    8. Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
    9. The Long and Winding Road
    10. Maybe I’m Amazed
    11. I’ve Just Seen a Face
    12. We Can Work It Out
    13. Another Day
    14. And I Love Her
    15. Blackbird
    16. Here Today
    17. Your Mother Should Know
    18. Lady Madonna
    19. All Together Now
    20. Lovely Rita
    21. Mrs. Vandebilt
    22. Eleanor Rigby
    23. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
    24. Something
    25. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
    26. Band on the Run
    27. Back in the U.S.S.R.
    28. Let It Be
    29. Live and Let Die
    30. Hey Jude

      Encore:

    31. Day Tripper
    32. Hi, Hi, Hi
    33. Get Back

      Encore 2:

    34. Yesterday
      Helter Skelter
    35. Golden Slumbers
    36. Carry That Weight
    37. The End

The next morning, we headed up into Harlem to experience one of their church services. After a bit of shuffling between churches, we found a service that had some room for visitors, and we headed in. Everyone was simply lovely, saying hello, shaking our hand and making us feel welcome. Some of the parish children performed a few songs which blew us away. Amazing talent! Vocals and violins were all sounding simply spectacular.

We decided one evening to go and watch The Great Gatsby in New York City, as it was based here, so would be fun to see it here! Well, after much confusion on the location of the Cinema (most are independent, and hard to really work out what is playing where), and of course the downpour of more NYC Rain (Seriously, the raindrops here don’t fall, they punch you in the head, repeatedly!) we found the Cinema near Union Square. we were saturated and cold, but after buying a not-so-small inventory at the candy bar, we headed into the film. Seats as big as a couch (American sized!) we watched the film… Not as “Great” as people were saying, but I have seen worse… Afterwards, another rain-punched dash for the subway and back to the hotel to change.

Catherine wine two tickets in the ballot system to see “The Book of Mormon”,  which was written by Matt & Trey: creators of South Park. Imagine a 2 hour episode of South Park, focussed on delivering the smack down to the Mormons, add in many songs that do the same, and you can get an idea of this show. It was rather funny, and from our position (Front row, dead centre!) we definitely saw the show! This show has been booked out for up to a year in advance, so getting tickets was simply unbelievable! The fact it was playing next door to our hotel was also rather handy. 😉

After our two weeks in New York City (My self-proclaimed home away from home – I simply love it there!) we headed to Hawaii for 5 days. Not even close to long enough!

We had hired a car, so once we had that in our possession, we braved the highways (and the “Interstate” – think about that for a moment!!) and headed up the coast for some sightseeing. We visited one mountainside that has been in about 15 movies, ranging from Godzilla and Jurassic Park, to Pearl Harbor and episodes of Lost. It is simply amazing that these places still exist, looking almost untouched by humans, yet surrounded by farms and houses!

Snorkelling was on the list of things we must do, so we headed to a tourist snorkelling beach (Pay $1 and access all day). We had our own gear with us, so didn’t get stung by the hire costs. I have NEVER seen so many brightly coloured fish outside of a tropical fish store! All were rather tame, some even coming right up to investigate my camera! of course there was also a wide variety of corals and seaweeds, brightening up the ocean floor, and becoming the perfect backdrop for the occasion. The highlight of course was when we came across a Green Sea Turtle! He decided to swim next to us for a while, then slowly moved along and out to Sea. I later saw him diving for his lunch, getting many photos as I swam alongside him. Such amazing creatures!

Of course, we had to attend a Luau, and arranged a pickup from the hotel (which was free and gave us free drink cards!) we headed out to the site. It was rather touristy (as expected) but was an amazing experience. The staff at Germaine’s Luau were lovely, and the food put out was simply perfect! The meat was so tender, you could almost drink it, and all were encouraged to “Eat until it hurts!” The show itself was rather interesting, as they did a dance from each Polynesian island, from New Zealand and Fiji, to of course Hawaii. We met some friendly Texans on our table who were asking us a million questions about Australia, which was fun, and we ended up getting rather tipsy on the cocktails as we chatted with them.

Another bus ride, and off to Pearl Harbor. As this is an active Military base, the whole procedure was rather complicated. Stand here, No bags allowed, No Camera Bags allowed, No photography in this area, etc. We headed to the memorial, which involved a boat ride, escorted by Marines, and no more than 10 minutes at the memorial before returning to land. The memorial is positioned directly over the USS Arizona, with sections of the ship still visible. The ship, although sunk in 1941, is still leaking oil into the water, with small slicks still visible.
As part of the tour, we were also escorted across the base to the USS Missouri, which is the ship that the World War 2 Cease Fire was signed upon. This ship served in WW2, Korean, Vietnam and even Gulf War 1 before being decommissioned in the mid 1990s. We were allowed to explore many areas of the ship unescorted, but other areas were obviously off-limits.

Our last night in Hawaii was spent on the beach in Honolulu, near the hotel. We had dinner and watched the sunset across from the Volcanic Crater, lighting up the Pacific Ocean.

Hawaii is such a lovely place, but needs more time to fully experience it. I hope we can return to both locations some day soon.

 

Advertisements

A little over a week ago now, my gorgeous Fiancé and I finally got married.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It has been almost 12 years in the making, and many sleepless nights over the past 9 months spent organising, planning and constructing the various parts of the ceremony and reception.

But now, it is all over! Of course in this context, over is a good thing. We are finally married, and beginning our lives together.

And what a day!

For myself and my best man Nathan, the day began with a nice relaxing swim at the local beach in Williamstown. This was on my insistence, as swimming at the beach always relaxes me, and this was one day that we both needed to relax and enjoy the day.
From the beach, it was home again for a mud-mask (yes, working at Garnier has changed me!). We both applied a mask, turned up the tunes and poured a Bourbon. Before we knew it, the cars had arrived! I was still walking around in little more than a towel, so it was clearly time to get dressed!

We had two of the best GT Falcons I have seen in a long time, courtesy of my old design buddy Lee and his Brother Ricky. We took a cruise via the beach for some fresh air, before arriving at the church about 30 minutes early.

After greeting some friends and family, it was time for everything to begin.

The music began with “Kate Miller-Heidke – Starlings” which had people take their seats, in waiting for the arrival of the Bride. As planned, “Starlings” led into “George Harrison – Something”; The perfect love song, and such a fitting song for my gorgeous bride to walk down the aisle.

 

 

About half-way into the song, I turned to witness the most beautiful bride I have ever seen in my life; and she was walking toward me!

Catherine looked stunning! her dress was simply gorgeous, I couldn’t take my eyes off my bride-to-be. She was more beautiful at that moment than I have ever seen her before, in all of our years together.

The ceremony went as planned, no one passed out, tripped, caused embarrassment or any other horror stories that usually make their way to YouTube.

We left the church to “Squirrel Nut Zippers – The Suits Are Picking Up The Bill”; a great dixieland-esque track that we thought fitting for a celebration.

From the church, it was off for 3 hours of photography.
Photos started at the Williamstown Gardens, with some amazing locations within the grounds, including the main wrought-iron gate, which makes such an amazing backdrop for photography! From the Gardens, it was off to the spot where I proposed to Catherine, way back on May 22nd, 2012. It was a little strange being so dressed-up at hte local beach on a day as warm as it was.

Swimsuits and board-shorts were all around us, yet we were dressed to the nines in our finest outfits.

We had some more shots along the waterfront in Williamstown, overlooking the city, as well as at the Timeball Tower.
Before we knew it, it was time to head to the reception.

Seeing so many of our friends and family, some who had travelled from interstate simply to attend our special day was such a surreal moment, but knowing that tonight, we were the guests of honour; that was a true mind-bender! I for one am not used to being the centre of attention, much less applauded for entering a venue with my stunning bride.

There was much laughing, conversation and festivity. The music was well-received, with some interesting dancing on the dance floor.

The room looked amazing! Our wonderful Florist did an amazing job with the flowers for the tables, setting everything up and making the room look simply amazing. All of this, on top of the Bridal Bouquet, Buttonholes for the guys, and a corsage for each of the Mothers… simply an amazing Woman! Thank you Sue-Ellen!

Everyone had a great evening of delicious food, copious drinking, laughter, dancing, wonderful views across the bay to the city skyline, a perfect sunset and some excellent music from our resident DJ, Owen Mitchell.

All too soon, however, the evening was winding up to a close!
We managed to squeeze in the required speeches, including the Father of The Bride, Matron of Honour, Best Man (Including a musical number – video to follow!), as well as our speeches to thank everyone for all of their work, efforts and friendship over the years.

The bouquet and garter throws were next, with our friends Nicole and Shaun catching them. Their wedding will be in 5 weeks, so they didn’t waste any time! 😉

The car arrived to sweep us away, with the Theme from Love Boat played to see us off. We said our final farewells and jumped into the car, before taking the scenic route along the waterfront, en route to the honeymoon suite at “The Captain’s Retreat” in Williamstown.

What an amazing day! in some parts, it seemed like it flew by, but in others, it was such an emotional, fun-filled, action-packed day; and one that neither of us will forget any time soon.
Married!

 

Wedding Progress…

Posted: December 1, 2012 in Catherine, Family, Memories, Personal, Rant

There has been a lot going on in the past few months.

From Wedding planning, Work, Freelancing, Music and other activities, there has barely been enough time to sit down and relax, let alone write a blog post.

Firstly, the wedding plans.
Everything seems to be well on track. Church, Reception and the Wedding Cars have been booked. The cake, photography and flowers have been organised to a certain degree, the invitations have been designed (by myself, naturally!), printed and delivered, and the RSVPs have started making their way back to us. We have chosen the music for the main moments in the ceremony and reception, and I have even mixed some it to make things even more perfect on the day.

We have even made huge progress in making the Bonboniere.

Did someone say I may be an organisational psycho?

Catherine has chosen her dress, ordered it and has even picked it up. I have not ordered a suit yet, as I am planning to lose quite a bit of weight in the next few weeks (yes, I know… I shouldn’t lose it so quickly… but I plan on keeping it off!) I know the suit I want, and of course I am having it designed exactly how I want it, in the colours and cut that I want.

Today we went down to the local jeweller and chose our wedding bands. It was a rather simple choice; keeping it classic to avoid any of the trends. Naturally, we are having them made for us, though. The jeweller that we have gone with is the same jeweller that my Nan would’ve purchased her wedding band from, way back in 1944.

Where ever possible, we are trying to keep everything local. We have arranged for the local church, where my Nan played the organ for 75 years, to be the venue to make it all official. The reception is a 20 minute walk from the church (we will be driven there, of course), at a lovely venue sitting on the waterfront, overlooking the bay and the city, with the cooling breeze coming off the water. Photography will be all in Williamstown, with plenty of lovely old buildings and scenery to keep the photographer busy for a few hours.

So in the past week or two, I have subtly began a diet, in the hopes of losing excess weight before the big day in February.

I have so far lost 6kg, but I have many more to go. I have taken to jogging and cycling too, as well as my usual walk of about 4km each night after work to the station (skipping the tram). I have my target, I have my timeframe, and I intend to stick to it and succeed. I have also placed an embargo on self-pics on social media for this time, as I would like to unveil the ‘new me’ earlier next year.

Wish me luck, and I will keep you posted on further outcomes! I may even post a few pics of the invitations and other handmade parts…

 

Well, where to start?

It has definitely been a busy few months since I have updated on here…

Firstly, I have a full-time job, which could be a major contributor to the semi-recent lack of posts. I am now one of five Graphic Designers working for L’Oreal Australia. This involves many things from the advertisements, in-store signage and even the packaging. It has been a very steep learning curve for me; coming from a recent bout of drill-bits, power-tools and automotive industry work, learning the specifics of the largest cosmetics manufacturer in the industry has indeed been an eye-opening experience. I now know far too much about hair colouring and foundation shades to be deemed healthy for a heterosexual male.

That said, I am enjoying it, I am surrounded by an awesome design team that seems to click with each other (a very good thing!) and can have a joke with each other. I am learning a lot of invaluable skills and knowledge that I will take with me where ever events and life take me.

I have been spending a lot of time trying to re home my Grandmother. Nan’s nursing home has ‘changed directions’ and will no longer look after long-term patients from July 1st. I have been searching for a new place, inspecting a few of them, and chasing the inevitable paperwork that this sort of activity entails. It is not a pleasant thing to have to do, however it needs to be done.

I guess one thing to be thankful for, is that Nan’s dementia is so afflicting now, that she will not know what is going on behind the scenes, and therefore wont be stressing about the move, as she has done in the past. It is a small comfort to me, knowing that she will eventually end up in the place I have her on the list for, and potentially be able to attend an occasional Sunday church service.

I am engaged!

Last Tuesday I finally took the plunge and proposed to my gorgeous, wonderful girl.

I’ll tell you how it all went down.

I wanted to propose on our anniversary (the 16th), but when I got home from work, Cath was in bed and feeling ill. So no dinner, no proposal.
Then i was hoping to get her involved in an art project for her nephew, and slide the question in somehow… however, she chose to watch Twilight…
Sunday night I asked if she wanted to go out for dinner, to make up for the 16th… however Downtown Abbey was on, so no go!

Tuesday I texted her at work, asked “Would you like to go for a beach walk after work?” which is not an uncommon thing, considering that we are about 600 metres from the beach.
She replied with “if it’s not too cold or raining, then maybe”.
Got home, she started complaining about it being cold… I said ‘put on a bloody coat, let’s go for a walk!’
Once we got to the beach, we sat there on the wall for a bit, talking crap etc…

I then asked her “can i ask you something honestly?”
she said “ummm… ok?”
so i dropped to one knee and asked her if she would marry me.
she lost it, crying, emotions etc… after 5 minutes, i asked if i could either get an answer or get up, cos my knees are arthritic, and not good on cold concrete.
she said yes, and i asked “Well, did you want the ring i am holding?!”
she hadn’t even seen it, so lost it again, and finally said yes, and i put it on her finger…

Then began the crazy phone-calls and SMS’s to everyone close to us, followed by mutual Facebook status messages (so are the times we live in, folks!)

Although it has been slightly less than a week, we have already started with the planning; calling and visiting places for prices etc.
Be confident that there will be many more updates as details are finalised!

Apart from all of that, nothing else is really new.
My artworks are slowing down due to work, my writing has all but stopped (but I am still planning it all in my head, writing and rewriting plots for upcoming stories, songs, novels, children’s books etc)

I am hoping to write in here more often, now that I am becoming acclimatised to working life, and all of the other extra things that seem to come in my direction.
Please, if anyone wants to hear about something specific, or wants me to just do a general update, please leave a comment on here! 🙂

Feb Photo 27 – Something I Ate

For our last night in Hiroshima, and also Japan, we decided to go out for a banquet meal at a small local restaurant. Finding the restaurant was not an easy task, as all of the signage is in Japanese (funny about that, huh?) but after about 15 minutes of walking around the back streets, we found this lovely place that partly resembled a house, but luckily was a restaurant. We found a waitress who was able to work out through the language barrier that we wanted a meal for two, and took us to a quaint little table for two.

We were shown a menu, all in Japanese, and she proceeded to describe each dish in a mixture of English, Japanese, charades and even a drawing or two. There were 5 courses, plus dessert and drinks.

The courses were as follows (using my photographs of the evening as a guide).
Course #1: A small salad with raw beef (sashimi) that was simply delicious; almost melting on my tongue.
Course #2: A green salad / omelette, cooked at our table on a small stone-based flame.
Course #3: As shown above, a raw fish (sashimi) served whole on a bec of green salad. The middle of the fish is cut, prepared and served on the plate with the fish remains, showing how fresh it all is.
Course #4: Stuffed eggplant with tofu.
Course #5: Deep-fried eel, served whole, head included, with middle section sliced and prepared for eating.
Course #6: A vegetable soup, possibly Miso, veeery hot!
Course #7: Kiwifruit and Mango served fresh
And of course, a whole bottle of Sake to wash it all down with…

We both crossed many culinary limits that we had currently had, including eating raw beef, eel in any form, and this was my first experience with drinking Sake. I am glad that we did try these foods though, as they were simply amazing, and definitely not what I had expected them to be.

Our waitress was one of the nicest, loveliest and most polite waitresses I have ever come across, taking the time to explain what each dish was when I asked (by pointing to the menu) and again when each dish was brought to the table. I can assure you, the charades of “omelette” is not an easy task to undertake, especially when describing it to someone who has little/no clue of the language being spoken. Always serving with a big smile on her face, often laughing politely at times, like when we first saw the eel staring at us from the plate… but never laughing in a rude manner.

The best part, the 7-courses and bottle of Sake came to a grand total of $3,000Y, which translated at the time, to around $38AU. I challenge you to find a better deal in any restaurant here in Australia.

This level of politeness was almost the norm when we were travelling throughout Japan, striking up conversations with various people on trains, streetcars or simply at landmarks. Most were fascinated by Australians, almost as much as we were fascinated with just being in Japan. We had a group of people who had overheard us talking to each other on a ferry to Miyajima, and, although barely able to speak any English, managed to ask “Australia? You Australia?” I replied “Yes, we are from Australia”. They spoke excitedly amongst themselves for a while, then they caught my attention again, saying “Sid-en-ey? You Sid-en-ey?” I replied with “No, we are from Melbourne”, but they already had their camera and phone out, showing us photos of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. I think I had one photo of Melbourne on my camera, so showed them that, and they were amazed at that too… then they asked “Honeymoon? You on Honeymoon?” We laughed, and said no, simply enjoying a holiday to Japan. They giggled, but seemed content with the response.

There were many instances of people simply talking to us on transport or in the streets, which is a rarity in Melbourne, and unheard of the week before in New York City. Everyone we encountered in Japan was always so eager to please, always completely professional and courteous, and always gave 100% of their skill set to us, as if we were the only customers that they had all week, even when in a crowded store.

The banquet we had on our last night in Hiroshima will be remembered as one of our last in Japan, and also for being such a wonderful meal for so many different reasons. We have tried to match the meal at various Japanese restaurants here in Melbourne, but nothing comes close to the original.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Oh, and if any of you are thinking of dropping past Hiroshima and want a good feed, here is the google map info for this lovely Restaurant!

{ Click here to load map in a new window }

Feb Photo 23 – My Shoes

As a typical male (specifically of the heterosexual variety), I have a minimal array of shoes. Six pairs to be more precise. Two of which are of the thong / flip-flop variety.

Guys don’t tend to have the insane infatuation with shoes that quite a few women have. We are creatures of necessity. I need a pair of runners, boots, thongs and casuals. that’s it. Women on the other hand seem to need a variety of styles, each style in about 7 different colours and heights, and most are never worn regularly, if at all.

When I was arranging these shoes for this photo, I noticed that two pairs of them actually had spider webs inside them. One shoe had the culprit. I have not worn them for a while, it seems. The brown leather sneakers, pictured in the left of this shot were purchased about 8 years ago. The sole is still showing minimal wear. They are almost Vintage! This would be unheard of, fo a woman.

I have met women who can name the place that each of their pairs of shoes (all 300 pairs, in some cases!) were bought, why they were bought, what outfits they go with, what events they have been worn to, and when they last wore them out, or plan to wear them in the next month.

A guy could perhaps answer where half of their shoes were bought (if any), a rough idea of when they last wore them (within a 2 month window) and wouldn’t know what they ‘went with’, as guys rarely know, or care what ‘outfits’ are in their closet.

A womans fascination with shoes, to a guy, is simply alien. The male species simply does not have an equivalent in terms of knowledge of them, collection of them, or internal catalogue of them. This is clearly a woman’s domain.

I cannot even think of what to fill an entire blog post with, relating to shoes! This is officially my shortest Feb Photo post so far… no surprises there.

Feb Photo 21 – A Favourite Photo Of You

On the outskirts of Central Park, NYC, there is a sculpture. This sculpture was donated by a local Gentleman whose wife had died. His wife had adored watching the children play in Central Park, so he decided to continue bringing joy to the children, in the form of this lovely sculpture of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland”. This sculpture is larger than life, as you can see in the photo, and it is constructed of solid brass.

The reasons that I have fo calling this a favourite photo of myself are many.

Firstly, The idea of this sculpture being created simply so that the happiness that the Man’s wife had witnessed in this spot would never fade. A simple gesture, albeit an expensive one, in a city full of stereotypical New Yorkers.

Secondly, (and this was my main reason for coming to see this sculpture!) This sculpture was used in a photo shoot of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, photographed by Linda McCartney (Yes, Paul’s first wife!) as the group sat and lounged on the toad stools, with local children climbing and playing around them.

Where I am sitting is where Jimi Hendrix sat for this photograph!

Thirdly, (and these are in no particular order!) The reason I am even sitting on this sculpture, in the middle of Central Park, in New York City… is thanks to my sporadic luck, and the fact that I won a holiday to anywhere I wanted to go in the entire world. (Did I mention that before? perhaps here?)

The look on my face is no exhaustion, and neither is it my ‘hung over’ face. It is the face of someone who is relaxed.

For the first time in my life, I was so far away from everyone who usually causes me stress and anguish (family, friends, work etc) that even if they DID call me, there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t get in a car or a bus and drive back to sort things out, I couldn’t book a flight (flights were booked, I had 2 weeks at this point to be home again, no exceptions). No, I was completely removed from every day stresses, and I was simply enjoying myself, and doing what ever I felt like doing.

Being on holidays is strange, in that even when you are camping, there is usually a connection with the outside world. A phone, a laptop. Something that allows you to connect, and potentially work from the tent, or talk with family etc. Somehow we think that if we drive for 4 hours, pitch a tent and sleep on the ground, we will be more relaxed, yet we insist on updating our Facebook status 7 times a day, call friends, SMS family and even answer work emails. Upon our return, we wonder why we are not relaxed, as the brochure promised a relaxing journey and experience.

Although New York was amazingly busy, and it made Melbourne look like a small country hick-town, I found it relaxing. New York was going at the same pace as my thoughts. I had found somewhere that an insomniac like myself can operate and function without anyone judging me. Remember, New York is “The City That Never Sleeps”. That is the place for me!!

So, in short, I like this photo of me, not only for its location, but also because it is one of the rare times I have been truly relaxed and with the ones I love.