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18 Aug 2017

Welcome back!

As I stepped in the front door after the 2 hour drive back from the hospital on Tuesday there waiting at the top of the stairs for me was my beautiful Phoebe. She was so excited to see me after 6 weeks and there has been a lot of purring and petting since.
Phoebe is 18 which is a very good age for a pure bred cat.I realise that she will not be with us for too much longer although she is currently in very good shape.The day we lose Phoebe will be a very sad day.She is an integral part of the family and she loves me-unconditionally. I missed you too Phoebe.
Photo Leica Q F1.7

17 Aug 2017

Rolling again!

Well not exactly firing on all 6 cylinders but spluttering into life on at least 4.
After over 5 weeks in hospital I was discharged on Tuesday - just 8 days after open heart surgery to replace a damaged heart valve. I should add that the valve was damaged by a very nasty and malevolent bacteria so this whole saga was sheer bad luck.
 Royal North Shore Hospital,Sydney, is a fine hospital but 5 weeks is an endurance feat which I never want to exposed to again. Boredom takes on a new dimension.
I'd like to thanks the many well wishers-many of them complete strangers-who sent messages of support.I did not appreciate how many people follow the blog.

It's a beautiful day here in Terrigal so I took the opportunity to take a gentle walk along the esplanade this morning. Sadly I did not take a camera -and in any case the sea is flat and the light is wrong so I have had to dig into the recent library for this shot.
If all goes to plan the photostream should get upto speed again in the next few weeks.

30 Jul 2017

From the cardiac ward


It's very difficult to find an appropriate photo to post from a hospital cardiac ward but this one probably fits the bill. I photographed this jolly chef cooking lunch in a beautiful canal side restaurant beside the Canal Du Midi in France a couple of years ago.
He seemed very happy in his work and his sausages were delicious but I cannot help thinking that if he spent some time in the cardiac ward of a hospital surrounded by overweight men waiting for triple and quadruple bypass operations he would consider losing some weight.
This horrible bacterial infection I picked up six weeks ago has resulted in my losing 8 kg- a not insignificant amount. Whilst I am keen to put some weight back on I am going to try really hard to stay lean and to banish my belly flab once and for all . I have seen quite a few very serious beer bellies in the last few weeks and they are not pretty or healthy.
This experience has really bought home to me the importance of being able to access first class medical facilities something you don't think about when you are fit and healthy.
Leica X1 photo.

21 Jul 2017

Rolling Road not rolling.

Sadly I am in Sydney's excellent Royal North Shore Hospital seriously unwell. The blog will have to go on the backburner until I am recovered.

12 Jul 2017

Away from it all

More reflecting on warmer days to come.Shot from the air over Cable Beach about 10kms north of Broome WA two years ago. A quiet fishing spot. It would be hot down there but probably good fishing. 

7 Jul 2017

American Beer- a good news story


I had some great beer on my recent US roadtrip. Beer in the US used to be a disaster story. Every bit as bad as beer in Australia. Everywhere you went it was the same big brewery product offer. And underpinning it all was the "king of beers" Budweiser-the original beer with no flavour. There is only one beer worse than Budweiser and that is Budweiser Light.You might as well drink mineral water.
I used to visit Milwaukee frequently and this was once the biggest brewing city in the US-famous for beer and Harley-Davidson and once home to Pabst,Schlitz,Miller and Blatz breweries.
By the time I was visiting Milwaukee its glory days as a brew city were well behind it.  Old breweries stood vacant and Miller -soon to be owned by South African Brewing-was dominant. Their signature beer-Miller Draught-is an insipid brown liquid almost devoid of taste. How it came to be revered I will never understand. A victory for marketing if there was ever one.
Over the past 20 years craft breweries have exploded in the US. It seems as if every small town has its own craft brewery or two. Even Milwaukee now has literally dozens of craft breweries.
The beers being produced by these craft breweries are excellent-full of flavour. Wonderful pale ales and Indian pale ales dominate but there is plenty of choice of styles and the US is no longer a beer desert. Fortunately Australia is following the same route although we have some considerable way to go before craft beer achieves the market penetration it has in the US. There are still plenty of Australians drinking the mass produced tasteless brews and the big brewers are using all the tools available to them to slow down the penetration of craft beer into pubs.
There are now 290 craft breweries in Australia and there are two within 20 minutes driving distance of my home on the Central Coast. Sydney and Melbourne are thick with them. Long may it continue.

4 Jul 2017

Fourth of July

As it is the fourth of July I thought that I should post an American photo and I have chosen this shot of the Grand Canyon taken by me from a helicopter last year.
Considering it was shot through perspex it is surprisingly sharp and distortion free although a white "shadow" is visible on the rh side. With work I could remove that.

To all my American readers enjoy the fourth.

Leica X Vario photo.

2 Jul 2017

Kimberley sunset



Another shot from the Kimberleys trip two years ago. Sunset from high ground looking down to the Chamberlain River. Spectacular country and spectacular colours. Leica X Vario photo.

1 Jul 2017

Sailing


I am feeling somewhat better and the beautiful crystal clear day and the massive sea enticed me to pick up a camera and take some photos at N Avoca this morning. Despite  the very heavy swell this small sailing boat was apparently intent on heading north and taking full advantage of the southerly wind whilst it could.Not for me.
Leica XV photo.

29 Jun 2017

Reflections

It's deepest winter here in Terrigal.The mercury is just scraping into lower double figures (ºC). That's a cold snap by our local standards. To compound the wintery feeling I have not been feeling at all well for sometime. I certainly have not felt motivated to pick up a camera. So my thoughts are inevitably turning to warmer days and warmer places to come.
For starters in mid August we are heading into remotest region of the Kimberley in Western Australia (WA)-the Top End. To a location which is only accessible by air. It certainly will be warmer and I am sure there will be plenty of photo ops.
My last trip into WA two years ago was wonderful. I just found this unusual shot  of reflections in the Chamberlain River taken on that trip.
It was taken with the Leica X Vario. The colours look oversaturated but that is how they are in the top end. Amazing colour. Even the sky is a shade of blue you almost cannot believe.

25 Jun 2017

A Proposal in Paris

I don't hear from my friend European friend Patrick as often as I used to. He is way too busy in IT security for the finance industry nowadays and we have not gone to Le Mans together since 2014.
So it was great to receive this wonderful little photostory--shot on his Sony RX100-outside St Sulpice in Paris a couple of weeks ago whilst he was on a business trip to that still beautiful city
The sequence of photos is self explanatory. Black limo deposits presumably unsuspecting girl kerbside.She follows the trail of rose petals to boyfriend waiting with a bottle of champagne. A few curious onlookers watch expectantly. The question is popped-we have to assume that the answer is yes.Smiles and kisses all round.Only in Paris.
Well spotted Patrick,well shot and thanks for sharing.
Footnote-Patrick thought that Leonard Cohen's Anthem is great postscript to this story.You can see it here ANTHEM