Holiday Photos

OK, 7 weeks after getting back from Europe, I’ve finally managed to upload all my photos!

Head over to the photos section to check them out.

Stu & Helen's Wedding

Last Saturday saw us dressed in our finery to witness the marriage of our friends, Stu & Helen. After a week of crappy weather, there was some concern that we’d have to move indoors, but Saturday morning dawned, the rain was absent and clear, blue skies remained. Everything went ahead as planned and a great day was had by all.

Photos are here.

Sydney By Night

As part of Vivid Sydney the Opera House, Museum of Contemporary Art and other structures were being lit up at night. I’d been at the movies with Neil and Claudia on Tuesday at Circular Quay, and had seen the images being projected on to the Opera House, so I resolved to come back in to the city another night and take some photos.

I’d received a tripod as a present a few years ago and had never got around to using it, so this was the ideal time. On Thursday night, I packed it up, along with my camera and remote shutter release and caught the train to Milsons Point just as it got dark. Not having shot time-lapse photos before I just played around with various settings, experimenting as I went along.

Starting from Milsons Point, I then headed to Kirribilii, then walked over the Harbour Bridge to The Rocks, then Circular Quay and finally to the Opera House itself.

Here are the photos.

Lennox Head

Jacqui’s grandmother passed away a couple of weeks ago. She was 94, and her passing was both peaceful and expected. Jacqui had enough warning to be able to fly up to Ballina, where her grandmother was in a nursing home, and say her goodbyes

The following week the family flew up for the funeral service, and we decided that after the funeral we would all rent an apartment and stay in Lennox Head for the weekend together. It was the perfect antidote to the sorrow of the preceding week.

Here are the photos.

Centennial Park

On Saturday, after relaxing on the couch for the day, by 4pm I was starting to get a bit bored and looking for something to do. I remember that, while running in Centennial Park at dawn or dusk, I’d often thought to myself that I should show up with a camera some time, so I figured I’d head down and take some shots.

Bloody traffic was terrible, so I got down there a bit later than I would have liked and was a bit rushed trying to get around to a few different places before the sun went down, but I still got a couple of nice shots.

Photo Update

Yesterday, I finally got around to sorting through photos I’d taken over the last few months, condensing them down to a few albums and uploading them to the site.

We visited the Blue Mountains (photos) back in early August for a wintery weekend away which certainly lived up to its name, with a howling gale knocking out the electricity on Friday night and playing havoc with our attempts to keep warm.

My trip to Malaysia resulted in lots of photos, from walking around Georgetown and Batu Feringgi, to visiting temples and seeing Orang Utans, although I still have to go through the ones from the wedding, which was one of the main reasons for going to Malaysia in the first place. Maybe next week.

Perfect Morning

Had a perfect start to the day today: up early, down to the beach for a run, then a swim in perfect azure water, then coffee and toasted banana bread for breakfast, before heading home to start work. Can’t get much better than that!

Also, yesterday I finally got around to uploading my photos from “Tiff & Nick’s Wedding”:/albums/35.

Season Over

That’s it, my season is over. I’m in Banff now with a couple of days to kill before flying out of Calgary, ending a 14-month sojourn in Canada. After leaving Fernie, I went up to “Kicking Horse”: to meet up with Tom, Dave, Rob and Paul for a few days riding there.

Unfortunately, the resort has gone down in my estimation since last year. It’s still got awesome terrain, and great steeps off the ridges, but their lift system is useless and they still can’t get a decent internet connection set up on the hill. For some unknown reason they don’t run the one chair which lets you access the good terrain on the front of the hill, forcing everyone to use the gondola, so on days when there’s a bit of new snow, you may have to queue for 45mins to get up the hill. They also like stopping the gondola during the day so that they can do avalanche control, stranding everyone down at the bottom of the hill. Why they can’t either do it in the morning before the resort opens, or just prevent access to the bowl which they’re currently bombing, leaving the others open, is beyond me.

Despite all that, we still got some good riding in over the four days, so it was a decent end to the season. Right now I’m sitting in Banff and it’s -34C outside incl. wind chill, so Canada seems determined to give me a proper winter send-off!

I’ve uploaded new photos as well: “Australia Day”:/albums/33 - “Fernie”:/albums/32 - “Kicking Horse”:/albums/34


I’ve just uploaded a couple of albums taken over the last month. First up is the World Cup Downhill Skiing from Lake Louise a few weeks ago. It was -20C outside, and these women were hurtling down the hill at 120km/h. We were freezing our asses off just watching them, so I hope they have heated race suits or something!

When myself and Jacqui got to Ireland, Dad took us to visit Newgrange, Ireland’s most important prehistoric site. It’s a burial mound, built over 5000 years ago and oriented to sunrise on the winter solstice.

Jacqui’s brother, Mark, arrived for his first visit to Dublin, so I took himself and Jacqui on a walking tour of Dublin, featuring such highlights as Temple Bar, O’Connell St., the LUAS and Dublin’s oldest pub, the Brazen Head.

Finally, I had Christmas with my parents, so there’s photos of the day’s festivities.

Impressions of Montréal

I was surprised just how French Montreal actually is. Sure, I knew everyone speaks French, and are proud of their French heritage, but I still wasn’t prepared to feel as though I had landed in France itself. In comparison to Vancouver, it’s a much older city (about 300 years older), so it has a lot of classical European architecture which is completely missing in Vancouver, and almost all other North American cities. The ethnic mix is completely different too, as there are a lot more North Africans and Muslims than in Vancouver, which I suppose makes sense when you consider the location of France’s ex-colonies. I’d imagine that anyone arriving to start a new life in Canada from the stretch of coastline between Lebanon and Cote d’Ivoire would naturally gravitate towards Québec from a language perspective at least. Add French street names such as Rue Saint-Denis, and suburbs like Verdun… though there are some concessions to Canada’s bi-lingual nature, like Rue University instead of Rue Université

Despite my schoolboy French laying dormant for years, I was able to make myself understood enough to order food and metro tickets without encountering any blank looks! We’d been told that people wouldn’t speak English to us, either because of inability, or a simple refusal, but of course it never happened. Everyone we met was friendly and helpful, and quite happy to talk English, though I still made the effort to start conversations in French. I might even sign up with the Alliance Francaise once I get back to Sydney.

Another thing which stood out is how many churches there were. There seemed to be one every few blocks; the Cathédral Marie-Reine-du-Monde is on one side of Place Canada, with St. George’s Anglican on the other, with construction of both starting in 1870. I also went to Notre Dame Cathedral and took a few photos. An usher had to come over and tell me to take my hat off. I’d completely forgotten, so the years of indoctrination as a kid are clearly wearing off. Mum won’t be too happy though ;-)

Photos: [on foot] – [by bike]