Photography gig

On the weekend I went to a three year old’s birthday party to be the photographer for it. It was an unpaid gig as it was a favour for a friend. It was also at MacDonald’s so it’s lucky she’s a friend because it’s not a place I go to willingly.

I was a bit nervous, even though I wasn’t being paid, because I’ve never been asked to do anything like that before and it was very flattering to be asked.

I ended up having quite a good time once I got into it and developed quite a rapport with the birthday boy.

How could you not. He was very cute.

He has twin sisters who are about to turn one. This is one of them.

He has a very cute friend too. I took rather a lot of photos of her.

The birthday boy must have liked me because he ended up letting me hold his dinosaur and two other toys he got for his birthday.

His parents haven’t seen the photos yet so I haven’t received any feedback but I did say to my friend I did the favour for (birthday boy’s aunt) that I wouldn’t be making a habit of doing unpaid photography gigs.

With the two or so hours I spent at the party, then at least two hours going through all the photos and doing some post processing it’s a bit time consuming to be doing it as favours for anyone who asks.

Below you can see my son sitting as close as possible to the cake so he doesn’t miss out.

Parents staying in hospital with children

Moments after
Creative Commons License photo credit: Markus Bollingmo

If you’ve ever had a sick child and stayed in hospital with them then you’ll know it’s no fun. But imagine if you had nowhere to sleep. I know I wouldn’t be able to function without much sleep and function you need to do when you’ve got a sick kid.

Unfortunately Tiff from Three Ring Circus knows all too well what it’s like to be in hospital a lot with a sick child and she’s trying to do something about the lack of beds for parents. Please help her if you can.

Update: When I published this post at 2pm today about $300 had been raised. Eight hours later it’s nearly up to $2000. That’s SO amazing. Go directly to the donation site.

Transport

Caught an old tram to the city

This time a year ago we caught the tram into the city to go to the Adelaide Fringe.

This area doesn’t look like this any more. There is now an overpass going over the road to supposedly make the traffic on South Road flow better. Don’t know that it’s happening yet but it’s apparently part of a long term plan.

The new overpass officially opened the other day and we thought we’d go and check it out. We had extra incentive because they had a sausage sizzle happening and we were pushed for time to get dinner as I had a zumba class to go to at 7pm.

Tram overpass opening

We also had a look around and I negotiated with JJ that we’d catch the lift up to the platform and take the stairs back down.

Stop 6

I really like the photo below. It shows my boy in a very happy mood, or a silly one. Sometimes it’s hard to tell by looking at photos like this.

Jules at stop 6

The tram line has also been extended west from the city and now goes to the Entertainment Centre and The Governor Hindmarsh Hotel. This makes me happy because it means that it will be easier to get to the Gov from now on when I don’t feel like driving there.

Off your trolley

Recently I bought myself a cheap little Canon Powershot camera so I could have something that was permanently in my handbag. Quite often I see things I would like to take photos of but because I don’t carry my DSLR around everywhere with me I miss a lot of opportunities and the mobile phone camera just doesn’t cut it.

This is what I saw the other day while going to work.

Shopping trolleys are in all sorts of weird places

It was in a bus depot where the public is not supposed to go and one would presume that bus drivers couldn’t be bothered to hang a trolley. I presume that someone sort of flung it over the top of the fence. One wonders.

Stormy

Storm coming in

Last week was a great week with going to see musicians who’ve been around for a long time. Firstly it was AC/DC on Tuesday evening. I had trouble remembering the last stadium type concert I went to, not including things like The Big Day Out and Womadelaide. Maybe it was Madonna in 1993?

Anyway, AC/DC it was. I was extremely lucky to be taken along by a gorgeous man and I enjoyed it thoroughly. My son was worried about the beating my ear drums might take but it wasn’t too loud. Probably something to do with the nearby North Adelaide residents complaining? I don’t know. A colleague who lives in North Adelaide said she could hear a bit of bass and the crowd singing along more than anything.

We had trouble finding what gate to go in as the one that was on our tickets wasn’t signposted at all. Just about everyone else seemed to be lining up for the main gate and that would have taken quite some time to get through. When we did eventually find our entrance we spent the next 15 minutes waiting to buy merchandise because the woman in front of us couldn’t decide what type of tank top to get in what size.

Then we went to go onto oval and found out that you needed a wristband for that but we hadn’t had the option of getting one at the gate we entered by so had to trot over to the main gate to get it.

We were pretty much in the middle of Adelaide oval so I couldn’t see that much on stage and there’s always someone at least a head taller standing in front of me at these things. Thank goodness for the big screens. Angus was just superb. I’ve never seen such guitar playing. Considering their ages they all do a really good job. My only beef was that they didn’t sing Long Way to the Top.

Despite 42,000 people plus leaving the venue afterwards it wasn’t too hard to get home. We’d caught the tram in and after helping a bloke off the side of the road who’d crashed out with half his body on the road, we caught a tram that was full of other concert goers. It was a really good vibe and I’m so glad I went.

A few days after that Tom Jones was on the menu. A friend who was working at the gig organised a bunch of free tickets which I happened to hear about. Another friend organised the bus so about 30 of us hopped on the Tom Jones express for a two hour drive to the Barossa Valley to see Tom Jones.

It poured with rain on the drive down and kudos to our bus driver for getting us there and back on the creaky bus in one piece. Fortunately the rain didn’t persist and it only rained for a short while after we arrived.

There was seating out in a fan shape in front of the stage which meant us general admission people had a small space at the side to view Tom but it wasn’t too crowded and we still got a good view and we were able to boogie, unlike the seated people who were told off by security if they stood up. Why pay extra for a seat I wonder?

All too soon it was over and we had a two hour bus trip going home. After drinking beers on the way there and red wine at the concert, I had a bit of a headache so closed my eyes and rested most of the way home. I wasn’t alone there.

So early the next afternoon we went to pick up my son from his friend’s house. He’d been absolutely wonderful there which is great for me when I want to ask them again to have him. But on the way to the beach to walk us and the dog he was mister grumpy pants and continued to sulk for the whole walk on the beach. I guess coming home to mum after having a fabulous time at his friends was an anti-climax, but still it brought me down off my Tom Jones high that’s for sure.

The photo above is of him walking ahead of us on the beach and you can see the storm clouds in the distance. Those clouds kind of suited his mood.

Tonight he has another sleepover booked – March is a busy time for socialising here – and he was the best behaved JJ I’ve ever seen. He was helpful, thoughtful and just plain lovely. I told him that I much prefer that JJ to the grumpy one I witnessed on Sunday. Not sure that he’ll remember that – I’m sure I’m in for more grumpiness but a girl can live in hope.

Damn mosquitos

Momentos antes de morir aplastado
Creative Commons License photo credit: Gustavo (lu7frb)

I hung out my washing this evening at dusk. I would have hung it out earlier but my son was in the shower as the washing machine was filling up with water and of course that affects the shower temperature. So I turned the washing machine off.

While hanging out the washing I could feel myself being bitten my mosquitos but I needed to hang it out so I had to put up with it. I tried keeping moving and brushing my legs against each other to hopefully brush any blood sucking bugs off but they still bit my ankles.

I hung out as much washing as I could handle and ran inside and hung the last little bit on the clothes horse.

The bites were itching lots so I rubbed some Stingose onto them. When Stingose dries it has a consistency of a home made mosquito bite recipe using a cupboard ingredient most people have. My Nana told me about this at least 20 years ago as that’s how long since she’s been gone. That is bi-carbonate of soda, or bicarb soda, mixed with a bit of water to make a paste – about the consistency of cake icing if you’ve ever made that.

Once you’ve made the paste you dob it onto the bites and it really helps take the sting away.

The other thing I’ve used which helps, but I don’t have any at the moment, is a little dab of pure lavender oil essence. Not only does it smell great, it helps take the sting away also.

I don’t know that the Stingose is working. I’m going to dig out the bicarb soda and see how it goes.

What natural remedy or remedies do you use?

Digital television

Last year after I’d done a fair amount of hourly paid work on top of my everyday job I decided to go out and spend the extra money I’d earned on a new tv. I ended up getting a 40″ Samsung LCD telly and I love it. The picture is so much crisper than our old analogue television and the screen is so big too. I at first thought it was a bit too big for the space it’s in but it’s amazing how quickly you get used to it.

Now the world of digital television stations was opened up to us and GO, channel 99 is just fabulous – probably more so for JJ than me. He’s now an expert on all the shows that were around when I was a kid – Get Smart, Bewitched, The Flintstones, The Jetsons (or his combination the Jetstones). There’s other kids shows on like Pinky and the Brain that Steven Spielberg produces that he just loves and he made me sit down and watch an episode of it with him one day.

I’m getting into watching Frasier. I never saw it when it was on tv ten or so years ago and I eagerly watch it now. I’ve even watched a few episodes of Seinfeld which I did watch when it was on but a repeat every now and then I don’t mind.

Not being used to how digital and analogue work, however, I hadn’t realised that my old video recorder would only record the analogue tv stations and not the digital ones. I set it up to record what I could though but the recordings weren’t very good. They were a bit jumpy and of course there was no widescreen. Because I couldn’t record anything on the digital stations this left out a lot of programs from GO, ABC2 etc which was getting annoying.

So, as a Christmas present I decided to buy a digital video recording device. I did a bit of research and ended up buying a TiVo. Of course I’d heard of TiVo by watching Sex and the City but it’s relatively new here. What initially turned me off buying it was the relatively small 160Gb recording amount and being tied to buying a proprietary external hard disk if I wanted more space. But in December last year a 320Gb TiVo was released and that’s what I ended up getting.

It was pretty easy to setup and now we love it. I think JJ TiVo’s a lot more than me as it’s so easy to record programs. I love how it records automatically too when you give things the thumbs up, although it doesn’t record everything I’ve given the thumbs up. I need to do some more research into how the smarts work.

My favourite thing, however, is being able to pause television. A couple of weeks ago I began to watch The Seven Ages of Rock on the ABC and someone rang just after it began. Normally I would have let the answering machine take the message but sometimes it’s good not to have to remember to call people back and this was one of those times as it was a call to do with JJ’s cricket. When the phone started ringing I paused the TiVo, spoke to the caller for five minutes and resumed the TiVo after the call ended.

With our purchase we got the Home Networking Package as well but I haven’t set that up yet and don’t know if I’ll bother. I haven’t read that much that’s great about it and all I would want to do is put stuff on DVD.

Now the only problem with our foray into the digital world is that the stereo is in the same room as the new telly so if I want to listen to music and the lad wants to watch tv, there’s a clash. I could buy a set top box for the old tv but don’t know that I’ll bother just yet or at all until the analogue signal is turned off. He can still watch some tv on it and use it for Playstation.