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September 30, 2010

Quote of the Week

So technically this post is late... But where I am it's still Wednesday so I'm not late at all. I just can't be bothered to change the time on my computer - so we'll just have to make do.

I'm a big fan of reading so this one comes from one of the greatest writers (in my opinion) J. R. R. Tolkin:

“Remember what Bilbo used to say: It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”


You've got to like an author who quotes his own book I say. But here I am - I've stepped out of my front door and who knows where I'll be swept off to.

September 27, 2010

Fave Photo of the Week!

The last post from Australia for a while... Not long until I go to the airport to start the adventure.

I am in total and utter love with this photo. It comes to you from TheOnlySolution.


Ahh Stockholm deep in fog... It is so beautiful, so simple. I love the absence of color - almost sepia but not quite. This image is obviously been heavily edited and while it is very well done I think I would have pulled back on the editing just a little giving it a slightly more 'real feeling'. But still a lovely image. Hopefully I'll be able to capture some of the beauty of my adventure. Wish me luck!!

~ As I said I'm going to be heading off to the airport in a few hours. This trip starts with a tinge of sadness however. My Grandma died this past Friday. I didn't really know her that well. But she was my grandma and I loved her. So we set off with some sadness - but we will still have a good holiday enjoying the sights and sounds all the while remembering...

Until the next time we meet... when I will be posting from England or maybe Scotland. I'm not sure how when I will next have access to the Internet but I will post as soon and as often as possible.

September 24, 2010

Music That Moves Me - Playlist Edition

A.K.A BIGGEST post ever.

In honor of my soon-to-be-undertaken adventure I have decided that this week will be a copy of my traveling playlist instead of focusing on one artist:

Here is the playlist I've put together for the plane ride called Europe Bound (very unoriginal) :

Song Name - Artist

Radiance And Reason - Josh Johnson

See America Right - The Mountain Goats

January Wedding - The Avett Brothers

One Of Those Days - Joshua Radin

Hush Hush - Natalie Portman's Shaved Head

Magic Hours - Explosions In The Sky

Ghosts - Laura Marling

Where Love Went Wrong - Augustana

Blood Bank - Bon Iver

Time Lapse Lifeline - Maria Taylor

Little Bit - Lykke Li

To Be Loved - Joan As Police Woman

Long Time Nothing New - Pete Yorn

Hospital Bed - Seabear

In Love With A View - Mojave 3

The Middle - Jimmy Eat World

The Canals Of Our City - Beirut

Heartbeats - Jose Gonzalez

Know Your Velocity - Monzano

Ain't Gonna Lose You - Brett Dennen

Tightrope - Yeasayer

Life On Earth - Band of Horses

Be Gentle With Me - The Boy Least Likely To

Let's Get Lost - Bat for Lashes & Beck

Farewell - Greg Laswell

A Good Start - Maria Taylor

Star Mile - Joshua Radin

Walk Away - Ben Harper

Gray Or Blue - Jaymay

How Lucky We Are - Meiko

Don't Let Me Fall - Lenka

Just Another Old Love Song - Joe Purdy

Broken Horse - Freelance Whales

Messages - Xavier Rudd

I Don't Think So - Priscilla Ahn

And Asleep I Am Your Everything - Luke Pickett

Dirt On Your New Shoes - Bishop Allen

Desire - Ryan Adams

Swingset Chain - Loquat

Your Ex-Lover Is Dead - Stars

My Love (Soundtrack Version) - Sia

Fake Palindromes - Andrew Bird

Sort Of - Ingrid Michaelson

Blood - The Middle East

How it comes is how it goes - Jay Malinowski

Holdin' On - Rooney

Empty Corridors - Luke Pickett

October Leaves - The Good Life

Parade - Pretty Girls Make Graves

How Will He Find Me - Deb Talan

Marry Me - St. Vincent

The Walls Are Coming Down - Fanfarlo

Find Home - The Honey Trees

Sudstitution - Silversun Pickups

Songs That Say Goodbye - Schuyler Fisk

Smith Hill - Deer Tick

We Can Try - Between The Trees

Hold You In My Arms - Ray LaMontagne

Donny and Johnny - Pearl and the Beard

Nothing Left To Lose - Mat Kearney

Shut Me Out - Aidan Hawken

I'd Be Lying - Greg Laswell

Your Sweet Voice - The Reindeer Section

Closer to You - Brett Dennen

After Afterall - William Fitzsimmons

Nicest Thing - Kate Nash

The Park - Feist

This Is the Last Time I'll Say Goodbye - I Hear Sirens

A Smile That Explodes - Joseph Arthur

Insomnia - Electric President

Maps (Alt Version) - The Snake The Cross The Crown

Airplanes - Local Natives

Crutch & Cane - Peter Wolf Crier

Bruises Chairlift - Does You Inspire You

Swim - Jack's Mannequin

Down in the Valley - The Head and the Heart

Heavy Water; I'd Rather Be Sleeping - Grouper

The Cold, The Dark & The Silence - Sea Wolf

My Girl The Horse - Fences

Tokyo Nightmare - Octoberman

Home - Great Northern

Clementine - Sarah Jaffe

The Crane Wife 3 - The Decemberists

Naked As We Came - Iron And Wine

Heavens To Purgatory - The Most Serene Republic

There For The Taking - Lou Rhodes

Best Not To Think About It - Athlete

Airport Song - Guster

The Seething Rain Weeps For You - Mew

Alone - Adam Hurst

Running Up That Hill - Placebo

Andvari - Sigur Rós

Will You Please Be There For Me - Gary Lightbody

Down - Jason Walker

Hide & Seek 2 - Imogen Heap

Hard Believer - First Aid Kit

Undeniable - Mat Kearney

White Lines & Red Lights - Between the Trees

Better Than Love - Griffin House

The Ballad of Love and Hate - The Avett Brothers

The Friscalating Dusklight - If These Trees Could Talk

Oxford Comma - Vampire Weekend

Lisztomania - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Sleepyhead - Passion Pit

Skinny Love - Bon Iver

River Flows In You - Yiruma

Colorblind - Counting Crows

Forever - Ben Harper

The Girl - City and Colour

What Sarah Said - Death Cab For Cutie

We Won’t Run - Sarah Blasko


So there it is... The music that will be keeping me company on my long flight. I love all these artist and I think they are the perfect way to start a holiday! If there are any you haven't heard of go ahead and Google them. Who knows you may find a new favorite!

Image found here.

Sometimes...

- I lose perspective

- I lose sanity

- Sometimes I run smack bang into a solid wall of horrific awfulness:

Where I feel my
seven years of chronic pain: where I am reminded of the daily struggle of life with a disability: where I am reminded of past trials that have left their mark: where I feel all alone feeling as if the whole world is in a couple and having cute little babies: where is feels like life is so very off-course and other people are living the life I want.

It is in this place that I complain that other people are having an easy ride without knowing a single thing about their lives. I yell and scream that I have had enough trials and that it's time to go pick on someone else. I crumble and fall under the imagined weight. It is there that I yell that it is just
too much for one person. I cry that I am done.

- Sanity returns after my temper tantrum. That's what it is - me throwing a fit because I feel like everything is unfair. It is simply me feeling like I have been left out and forgotten. It's just me with my idiotic insecurities feeling like I'm not
good enough.

Instead I choose to claim what is mine:
- yes I have a disability
- yes I am in constant sever chronic pain
- yes I have a history (who doesn't)
- yes I am currently single
- yes I want the whole package
- yes I am hurt that things aren't going according to plan

-
BUT I refuse to let it steal my joy. I refuse to let it color my European adventure in hues of sadness and bitterness.

Instead I choose to acknowledge my dreams, hopes, and desires. I choose to acknowledge my past hurts and pain. I choose to acknowledge my ongoing struggles.

But I refuse to let them define me. Instead I choose to get on with life as it is right now.

Most of all I choose to enjoy my holiday and not let myself be dragged down by the darker parts of life.

Sometimes I lose sanity and perspective for a while. But I usually make it back...

Does this ever happen to you? Are you ever overwhelmed by your own insecurities and hurts? Don't let them define you, dear one, instead use them as a launch pad to your next big adventure.

September 23, 2010

Quote of the Week

Okay so it's a little late - blame it on tiredness. But anyway, in honor of my forthcoming trip I have decided that this week's quote of the week will be about travel. This one comes via my old friend Mark Twain,

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

And because I'm feeling understandably passionate about travel here is a second quote:

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard

That's what my travel adventure to be - a chance to explore, discover, and to instill a deep and permanent change.

Any quotes that sum up your feelings about travel?

September 21, 2010

My Poetry - The Beat of My Heart

Doubt
~ by Tafline

It creeps slowly in
The doubt
With uncertainty building
The doubt starts winning
Finding my dreams questioned
The doubt grows ever stronger
Feeling the sting of unfair review
The doubt is all I see
Starting to think that I am left here
The doubt almost overcomes me

Learning to subdue it
The doubt
Holding fast to my beliefs
The doubt kicks and screams
Building some resilience
The doubt begins to ebb
Reveling in the mistakes made
The doubt slowly loses its sting
Resting in the knowledge
The doubt will never win

Poetry That Speaks to Me

I sometimes find poetry that speaks to me for whatever reason. This poem is by Shel Silverstein. I don't know what I like about it but for some reason it speaks to me. I suppose it is the promise of infinite possibilities that is expressed in the poem:
Where the Sidewalk Ends
~ by Shel Silverstein
There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

It kind of speaks about imagination - of letting your mind wander to a happier place where life is simpler. It is beautiful and simple and sweet. There is an amazing sense of freedom just beyond the bounds. Do you ever venture beyond the sidewalk?

Image found here

What do you think of the poem?

September 20, 2010

Fave Photo of the Week!

It's that time for the 'Fave Photo of the Week'. This one comes direct from my camera. Unfortunately I can't claim credit for this one - my super talented brother took it but it was taken with my camera so I count it as mine by proxy. Plus I held the jar so it is half mine. I hope he is able to get a DSLR of his own soon because he's super talented.

Here is the photo of the week:


This photo was taken at my cousins wedding this past Saturday using candle light and the glass bonbonnieres that were given to each of the guests. The things I would do differently given the chance again is I would set it up with a super clean jar - this one had had my hands all over it for half the night and you can see the grease smudges. I also would have lined up the jar more towards the center. But apart from that I love this image. It is something a little different and I think it really proves that you can take pictures of the most mundane objects and provided you have a good eye you can make them look spectacular.

This also says thank you for reading my blog!!! I hope your week is starting off well. 7 days left until I leave - the excitement grows with every passing minute!!

What is your image of the week?

This photo is mine. Please give credit where credit is due if you use it.

September 17, 2010

Music That Moves Me

It's Music The Moves Me Friday (I do so wish I could have that as a nice little alliteration but it makes no never mind now).

So this post is a bit of a special one. It's my birthday!! And it's time for my regular music post. What more could a girl ask for right? Since it's my birthday I thought I'd tell you about another thing that moves me. When people know you, love you just the way you are and simply want to celebrate that you were brought into the world - that is sweet, sweet music to my ears and the melody to my soul.

I want to say a giant thank you to my magnificent mum!! She brought me into this world and she had loved me and cared for me every day since - even when I was the worst teen in the world (seriously I was awful). So my lovely mum thank you so much for everything you have done for me. I appreciate every bit (even if I forget to say so sometimes!). You amaze and inspire me.

But back to the reason we are here: Music!

This week's music of the week is the fantastical Freelance Whales.

This group is amazing drifting between sugar-sweet up-beat and beautiful, soulful melody.

As their site states, 'The kids in Freelance Whales are really just collectors, at heart. They don’t really fancy buffalo nickels or Victorian furniture, but over the past two years, they’ve been collecting instruments, ghost stories, and dream-logs. Somehow, from this strange compost heap of little sounds and quiet thoughts, songs started to rise up like steam from the ground.'

And you can hear that history and that spirit in the music.

I'm going to share 3 music clips with you because I am just in love with their sound.

Here is a fan made clip for the song 'Starring'

video


This is another fan made music clip for the Freelance Whales song 'Hannah'. It is such a simple clip yet so very effective. As a side note: I've been super impressed by the amount of high quality videos being created my armatures - there is some phenominal talent out there!

video

Now here's a slightly more moody song. It's called 'Broken Horses' and I adore it!

video

So what do you think of Freelance Whales? I'd love to hear your thought. What music are you listening to at the moment? I need some suggestions!

Have a fantastic weekend!!!

September 16, 2010

The Count Down Well and Turly Begins

As you may have heard me mention in past postings I am going on a BIG adventure soon. Very soon in fact. Really soon: 12 days soon.

12 days!!!

That's right in 12 short days I will start an adventure I have been dreaming about for 18 or so years. It's a big tick on the 'Life: To Do List'.

I have been trying not to think about it too much (a failing quite frankly) in a desperate attempt to keep my mind on my studies. I've almost done it too - a few more hundred words and I will have completed all the essays for this semester.

But I am now face-to-face with the unavoidable truth - in less than a fortnight I will be heading overseas. Wherever is am I gallivanting to I hear you wonder. Well, here it is. The outline of the BIG adventure.

- Land in Newcastle via Dubai
- Where we pick up the hire car
- Do a self directed driving tour of Scotland and Britain (more on that in a later post)
- To London to meet up with the tour

Tour takes us to:
- Amsterdam
- Rhineland
- Lucerne
- Innsbruck
- Verona
- Venice
- Rome
- Sorrento
- Florence
- Pisa
- Nice
- Cannes
- Lyon
- Paris
- Back to London

- Spend a few more days in London exploring then off to Heathrow to start the long journey home

I am starting to get really excited!!! I can't wait to take photos of...well...everything!! I have a feeling I'm going to love every second of it.

But before I go I have got to:
- finish two assignments (!!)
- celebrate my birthday (Yippee)
- attend a going away party for my best friend (seriously the saddest thing. I am so so happy for her and proud of her for landing such a great job. But I am going to miss her like crazy. The selfish part of me is devastated she's leaving - the person I can talk to honestly about anything - but I know that she is going to do amazing things. Besides that's what Skype, email and Facebook is for.)
- go to a wedding (Woohoo!!)
- finish all the last minute things I've forgotten
- PACK!!!

I am nervous, excited, slightly stressed, sad and a whole bunch of other emotions. I'm slowly becoming a ball of mixed emotions. This will be the fruition of much planning, dreaming and saving that has been in the works for 2 years.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is one of WARNING! In 12 days this blog will become a travel blog of sorts with pictures, funny or not so funny experiences, thoughts and feelings on any given place or situation. I will endeavor to keep up with my regular posts but the time change will probably confuse me no end.

I do so hope you join me on my journey and offer comments along the way. Please stick with me through this slight aberration. I just think this experience will be too wonderful not to share. Be brave - try something out of the ordinary.

May the rest of your week be amazing!!


Image found here... Yahoo!!! I'm going to be there soon.

September 15, 2010

Quote of the Week

I do so love it when there is some concept, thought or idea that I wish to relay to find someone before me has said it better. This week's quote of the week is by the fantastic C.S. Lewis

"Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become."

Now you may not be the biggest fan of his ideas or beliefs but you have to respect the quality of a fantastic quote. It perfectly sums up the way I feel about literature in an extremely eloquent way. That's what I look for in a quote - something that challenges or inspire me, something that reminds me of the things I hold true, something that warms my heart and lifts my spirit.

What's your quote of the week?

September 14, 2010

Fave Photo of the Week!

Okay so I'm a few hours late on this post. But since I haven't been to sleep yet I'm still calling this Monday.

I just found today's photo and I am absolutely in love!

Image found here.

Isn't it simply fantastic??!!?? I think that the eye make-up really enhances this photo with the complementary colors. It's always fascinating to see what an eye actually looks like (or at least that's what I think). We spend an amazing amount of our lives looking people in the eye without actually seeing the detail of the eyes. And that color!! I would love to have eyes that color instead of my slightly muddy brown eyes. Most macro shots of eyes have heaps of reflection so that the viewer sees the reflection instead of the eye but this photographer somehow managed to minimize this effect.

I can't wait to get myself a macro lens and try to get the obligatory self-eye (?) shot.

So that's my photo of the week. It makes me weak in the knees.

Oh well best get back to my studies. But before I go - is there a picture you're in love with this week? I'd love to see it!

September 11, 2010

Music That Moves Me

The music of this week is melody that lets me drift and tend to lull me to sleep. It has the ability to put me completely at ease and lets me get away from the busyness and stress of the day.

There is something beautiful, wonderful and poetic about the sound of William Fitzsimmons.

Here are three songs for you to get to know his awesome brilliance:

This one's called 'It's Not True':

video

Here's one called 'Everything Has Changed'

video

This one he wrote about his brother entitled 'When You Were Young':

video

Sometimes his lyrics are sad, sweet or tinged with anger or regret but they are always moving. William's voice is soft and lovely and melodic. Now if I would just get William and Dallas Green to collaborate I would happily listen to that album til the day I die.

Are there any collaborations you long to hear?

Quote of the Week

I know, I know! I'm completely behind on my regular posts. My only excuse is having a mountain of university work that has to be done by next week! (Not so smart trying to fit a whole semester into 6 short weeks). Anyway my quote of the week comes from one of the all time favorite movies Stay.

'There's too much beauty to quit.'

In the movie this quote is speaking about life - that there is simply too much beauty in life to give up. The reason I like this quote is that it is simple and to the point. It reminds me that no matter how bad might be at any given moment there is always beauty. You just have to be willing to look for it. To take a step back from your circumstances and realize that there is life and beauty all around.

You may be in the most painful part of life. It may feel like there is no possible point in continuing but there is simply too much beauty in life to give up. Hold strong, hold fast and realize that there is hope and beauty for tomorrow.

In fact I like this quote so much that I eventually want to get it as a tattoo. It means that much to me. I think it is something that I will constantly need to be reminded of. That no matter what there is too much beauty to quit.

September 7, 2010

Lustful Lens

There is yet another lens that I have fallen in love with and consequently must have... Now worry not dear readers (especially if mother is reading this!) I am not about to rush out and purchase this lens this instant... I'm talking a medium term goal. Maybe to purchase mid way through next year - especially if I get some monetary gifts come Christmas (please note: that wasn't me asking for a hand out... Just laying out the plan.)

Anyhow this lens will complete my kit. I now own a prime lens, a short zoom, a medium range zoom (henceforth to be called 'TRAVEL LENS'), and a long range zoom. So in order to round out my set up nicely my next logical step it is buy a macro lens. Because I love taking close up pictures of insects and bugs and such.

Introducing my latest lens love -- the stunningly beautiful, super sharp Sigma 150mm HSM!
This is the first lens that I'm considering buying this isn't Nikkor. Scary stuff! But all the reviews I'm reading is saying this lens is better than the closest Nikkor lens (the 105mm VR-- 45mm less).

Plus it has one of the lowest 'f' numbers around. I am learning, through my intensive research on the net, that fast glass is better. And f2.8 is pretty darn fast. Meaning in low light conditions this lens will be able to still have a pretty fast shutter speed. The 150mm will also come in handy because it lets you get close (1:1 ratio) while not scaring your subject away.

Look at some of the lovely shots captured with this lens (links below pictures):

Image found here.

Image found here.

Image found here.

Look at that detail!! I would love to try and capture some images like these to add to my portfolio.

Super sharp, excellent performance, beautiful bokeh and awesome depth of field = everything you could possibly want in a macro lens. It has an internal motor so it will work with my precious Nikon d5000. And as an added bonus it cost half as much as the Nikkor 105mm.

Best start saving... After my holiday to Europe and after a quick trip to Melbourne... And after... And after... Maybe it's best to push back the buy date til the end of next year! Oh well, the goal is to get my hands on it as soon as possible.

- Wow! I'm quite proud of the above post. It almost sounded like I knew a few things about photography. Who would have thought!

So does anyone out there on the big World Wide Web own this lens? If so what do you think of it? Love it, hate it, can't bare to be separated from it? Do you own a different macro lens? If so what brand (specifics included) is it and what do you think of it?

I hope wherever this post finds you, whatever you may be doing, that you are having a wonderful day!

September 6, 2010

Fave Photo of the Week!

It's photo of the week time!!! Yahoo...

I think it's a real beauty this week:

Photo found here.

The thing I like most about this photo is it's complete simplicity and absence of colour. This image proves you can get stunning images in the simplest of places. Something about this image is really striking that really appeals to the eye (or at least to my eye). It is innocent and sweet and playful. Very Alice in Wonderland - y!! This really reminds me that sometimes it is best to strip and image back to the bare minimum.

What do you think of this image? Are you a fan? What photo are you loving this week?

September 5, 2010

Music That Moves Me

So I missed my weekly music post -- by two days -- eekkk!! But it was with good reason.
- Friday was taken by medical issues (mine and 0ther peoples) finishing in the emergency room waiting (and waiting and waiting and waiting) for someone I know to be admitted in to hospital with me not getting home til 11 and not in bed til 12.

- Saturday was an early rise to do a pre-arranged photoshoot with one of my best friends. Had the best time and I actually managed to take some good shots (with my pretty new lens). Quick stop at home to get changed. Then off to a family birthday party on the opposite side of town to the photoshoot. To cut a long story story again not in bed til after midnight...

I might go more into detail of a few things in a later post but right at the moment it is on to the music of the week.

Well actually my music of the week is silence. Sometimes I just need complete quiet with no words, no music, no beat. In the silence I can sort out whatever is swirling around in my brain and come to terms with whatever is happening around me. There are times when I find music too distracting. Like when I'm trying to do something that requires my complete concentration but instead I find myself singing along with the lyrics forgetting my original task.

So this week it is silence - the silence that resorts my soul and allows me to clear my mind.

Do you ever just need beautiful silence?

September 1, 2010

Quote of the Week

So this week's quote of the week comes from one of my all-time favorite authors. Seriously I'm completely obsessed with him. Unfortunately the majority of his quotes bordered on the depressing side of life and I try to not be about that. Having said that this isn't exactly the happiest of quotes but it's a fascinating look at his approach to writing.

Without further ado I give you Chuck Palahniuk's search for the story:

'I wanted to write about the moment when your addictions no longer hide the truth from you. When your whole life breaks down. That's the moment when you have to somehow choose what your life is going to be about.' ~ Chuck Palahniuk

Isn't that quote just fantastic? I simply adore Chuck. He is raw and true and writes interesting, largely unique and fascinating stories. If I manage to be a quarter as good a writer as he is (without the gratuitous sex and gratuitous violence) I would be a very happy lady. I'd love to interview him or even just meet him sometime. I wounder if he'd be as fascinating in real life.

There is beautiful truth in this quote? I like the idea of stripping yourself down to who you really are. Subtracting all the stuff, all the expectations all the things that distract you from what's really important. I think that that is when you choose what your life is really going to be about and what you're going to do with it from there.

Are you a Palahniuk fan? Is there are particular quote rolling around in your head this week? I'd love to hear it.