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1 Jan 2022

Happy New Year

 Happy New Year to all Rolling Road followers. It's a beautiful day here -not too hot albeit rather humid.

Braving the humidity I did a walk this morning on the Wyrrabalong Coastal Walk from Bateau Beack to beyond Crackeneck Lookout. It was glorious and not too crowded-4.8kms 2.4 of which were uphill.






26 Dec 2021

Glorious Xmas

 
 

From Terrigal looking towards Wamberal Beach Dec 24th

After an abysmal start-cool and wet-sunmer has really lifted its game the last 6 days. Hot-well into the 30s -and beautiful clear days albeit very humid. Xmas day was almost perfect apart from the humidity.

Over in Western Australia it really has been a little too hot with a record 43ºC on Xmas Day in Perth and the same forecast for today.

 Below a friendly local spotted on my early morning walk Dec 24th


19 Dec 2021

Stormy weather

 

 

A very hot and humid day here- Sunday -34.6ºC-not comfortable for people or cats. Big storms in the area this evening and this rainbow.

17 Dec 2021

Now a big girl


 It's only 5 months since I adopted, from the local RSPCA animal shelter, a little ginger female domestic short hair cat already named Marvel. And what a little marvel she has turned to be-affectionate, playful and often just silly.When she was found as a stray she was described in the shelter notes as skinny. She has certainly filled out and is far from skinny today.

Her latest toy is an egg bed given to her by lovely friend Laura whose cats did not want to know about it. At the moment Marvel loves it although being a cat that could change any minute.

Photo taken this morning. Marvel has a new bestie, my housemate Cheryl, and Marvel can hear Cheryl's car coming up the driveway when Cheryl returns home from work in the evening . The problem for Marvel is that she hears delivery vans and cars turning at the bottom of the driveway and thinks that they are Cheryl-any time of the day.When I took this photo a van was turning this morning when Marvel's ears pricked up and she was ready to jump up to take a look.

Photo taken with my Leica X Vario -now an almost vintage camera- I purchased it in 2014-and which I have not used for ages. It is a lovely piece of gear and the files are beautiful including the straight from the camera jpegs.

5 Dec 2021

Good riddance 2021

The year 2020 was terrible but 2021 was much worse.  This year I lost my lovely wife, Phoebe, my beautiful old cat and suffered 4 months of appalling lockdown over the winter months. Even now -early December-the year is fighting on. The weather here is almost wintry-wet and cool-the new Omnicron covid variant is looming as another threat and the federal government ends the year in total disarray. 

Against this background it would not have been surprising if 2021 was a photographic dud for me but in fact the year has surprisingly produced a few 'keepers' most coming from my three week road trip in late April/early May and my really cute new cat, Marvel. Perhaps my eye is improving.






 






















21 Nov 2021

Rainy day


 It's Sunday. So far-it's only 8.30am- a very wet Sunday. No bracing early morning coastal walk for me today. We need the rain and this is ideal soft rain.The garden was ready for it but inland they've had more than enough rain. Areas which last year were ever so dry and ready to burst into flames are now subject to flooding. Farmers have gone from crippling drought to record crops lost due to storms ad flooded paddocks. Australia-drought and fires and flooding rains.

9 Nov 2021

Doing a Marie Kondo

 

Over the last three weeks I have systematically clearing out the house. Not I because I am planning to move but to clean out years of accumulated "stuff" and to give the house a fresh look. I have been doing a 'Marie Kondo'-moving out things which are no longer important to my life and which no longer bring me joy. See MARIE KONDO

It has gone well. I had an antique dealer in and they paid cash for things many of which I could have spent months selling on Ebay-or more likely not selling on Ebay. 

I donated my extensive library of motor sport and Porsche books to two (younger) enthusiast friends. Our very large library of novels, art books and travel and reference books has gone to the Lifeline book sale. 

The large library of cookery books remains intact as I am still cooking. My extensive and still growing collection of photo books has been retained-they still bring me joy.

Val's collection of buddahs purchased on our many travels in South East Asia is being given to a good friend who, by chance, has an interest in buddism.

My large accumulation of miscellaneous photographic equipment has been sorted into three piles. Firstly a small pile of current equipment. Secondly a pile of unwanted but usable gear which friend Wayne is trying to sell or donate for me and finally the third pile has gone into the garbage. 

In the garage were crates of "life memories" such as children's book and toys.They had been in storage for many years and despite being sealed in crates they smelt of mould so they have all gone.

One crate which was in good condition contained 1960's and 1970's clothing from Mary Quant and other trendy at the time labels-see photo above of MQ blouse being modelled by granddaughter Ellie.

I still have a little way to go but the whole exercise has been very cathartic. Marie Kondo is right.

23 Oct 2021

Drive to Survive


 I was a Formula One enthusiast from the late 1950's-until the early 2000's. I followed the sport in magazines particularly Motor Sport magazine from the UK which I have subscribed to since the 1960s. I went to many grand prix in the UK, Germany, Italy, Belgium and of course Australia. I went to the first modern era Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide in 1984 and my last Australian GP was 2004.

That last race was the break point for me. I had become increasingly bored with the processional races and the Bernie Ecclestone show that F1 had become. The races in faraway places on new boring circuits where there was no public interest in F1 seemed to be on the calendar just to make El Supremo, Bernie, even richer. F1 had lost me and not just me - the worldwide TV audience was shrinking fast.

I went to the 2004 Grand Prix in Melbourne and that same year I flew to France for the weekend with my son  to the Le Mans 24 hour sports car race. Amazingly the weekend at Le Mans including accomodation, car hire, circuit admission and airfares to and from Paris from Sydney cost me less than the rip off weekend in Melbourne and the race was much more interesting. The F1 race weekend was supposed to be a 4 day event but really very little happened on the first two days but the hotels insisted you took a 4 night package regardless of the fact that the majority of interstate spectators flew home on the Sunday evening. 

Bernie had no interest in providing an entertaining package for the paying public at the races or on TV. Bernie's entertainment came only from one source- counting the shekels. His shekels.

The game changed in 2017 when the US entertainment company, Liberty Media, purchased the rights to F1 from Ecclestone. Wisely they immdiately took the geriatric Bernie out of the frame and started on the difficult task or reinventing F1. It took a little longer than they anticipated I suspect but one masterstoke changed the game for them-Drive to Survive- a documentary series on Netflix which follows F1 race by race starting with the 2018 season. The series really goes behind the scenes with very high production values. At the same time Liberty completely lifted the quality of the live TV coverage of the races with expert commentators who are also entertaining.

Drive to Survive pulled me and many others back into F1 but more importantly it also attracted millions of new fans to the sport. I am hooked again.The races this year have been superb-really edge of seat exciting. I am no longer nostalgically looking back at races such as the 1980 GP at Monza-photo above. The old F1 is gone but the new F1 is even more exciting. Yes, old dogs can learn new tricks.


 


19 Oct 2021

On the road again

 


 

Lockdown was over on 11th October. Life is not totally back to normal but it is much improved. I still can't drive into regional NSW but this did not prevent me from joining up with Colin at Jerry's Cafe in Kulnura on last Monday morning for breakfast. Sadly Craig , the owner of the third silver Porsche of our trio, lives in Newcastle regional NSW, so he could not drive down to join us.

We have been promised that we will be able to visit regional NSW from 1st December so we will all be able to head north from Kulnura and up into the Hunter Valley on the glorious backroad on our next drive.

Colin and I arrived at the meeting point within 60 seconds of each other and considering that he had driven all the way from Mosman and I had come 40 mins across from Terrigal and the roads were really busy we did well.

We had a great drive up the Yarramalong Valley and up Bumble Hill. During the lockdown I only took my 911 out for two short local drives as we were only permitted essential travel. On those two drives I did not enjoy the car. It felt very agricultural compared with my Mini and I started to seriously consider selling it as I thought that I was perhaps over classic Porsche ownership.

The drive convinced me to keep the Porsche. The new 15"wheels and tyres I had fitted weeks before the lockdown felt really good and the engine was in fine form. Definitely a keeper-at least for a few more years.

12 Oct 2021

Five faces from a road trip

 I was so fortunate to do my road trip in late April because within eight weeks New South Wales went into the lockdown which only ended yesterday, Monday 11th October, after 106 days.

The lockdown seemed interminable.The damage to the economy has been immense.The damage to the mental health of the community is incalculable. All down to the incompetence of our Federal Government see HERMIT KINGDOM  

During the lockdown I have had ample opportunity to look at my photo archive and in particular I looked at the photos I took on the April road trip and decided to see how some of the portraits would look reworked in monochrome - as black and white is now called in trendy circles.

Below are five faces from that trip. Firstly two kindly Coptic priests from Sydney who were visiting Dubbo in Western NSW and whom I met at the Western Plains  Zoo. Arabic speaking Coptic Priests found in the Western Plains Zoo sounds implausible but it's true. 

The other three faces are miners encountered in and around the opal mining centre of Lightning Ridge in Western New South Wales. Opal miners are a special breed. It's a very strange and usually hard way of life and that is reflected in the miner's faces.

The photos were taken with my Leica Q2 and the DNG (RAW) files were processed in Lightroom Classic and converted into monochrome using Silver Efex Pro2