At last a moment to....

...a moment to sit still and write a few thoughts down on our trip so far. Here's what we have done so far in a nut shell
  • Flown from Melbourne to Frankfurt
  • Trained it to and from the following cities Frankfurt, Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice
  • Walked around looking at Art in ALL Cities
  • Walked around looking at Shops in ALL cities
  • Walked around a lot in ALL cities, *this close* to being lost OFTEN
  • Braved 3 underground public transport systems, successfully
  • Argued with officials on Trains and buses in at least 2 countries
The weather has been fabulous, the prices reasonable and tourists everywhere, now I know what it feels like to be stuck in a crowd at a Grand Final - without the atmosphere- meandering pushing shoving queuing. It has all been worth it though, I will do it again at the drop of a hat, especially Florence, or should that be, Firenze?

Day 1, Melbourne to Paris

The flight on Singapore Airlines went quickly, they had awesome inflight entertainment, I didn't even turn on my iPod, the inflight entertainment on the Lufthansa leg (Singapore to Frankfurt) was not as entertaining, but it had, I felt, better service. We landed in Frankfurt tired but glad to be there. With lots of time to kill we caught the train into the station from the airport, after a kindly chap helped us with the ticket system. Once on the station we stowed our gear, and hit the streets, Frankfurt seems a nice city, on the surface, we were only there for a couple of hours after all, clean and comfortable. We boarded our train to Paris with no worries and off we trundled. So far so good. Our first 'encounter' occurred when we crossed over the border between Germany and France. A ticket inspector comes into the carriage asking for our tickets, (we had purchased a 3 country Eurail pass)no worries so far. However, he 1 misread our tickets, and 2 we had not marked them appropriately. He then proceeded to tell us in broken English that this ticket was expired and he was going to have to 'void' it and charge us a fare from Frankfurt to Paris, €150.00 each! He left with our tickets, despite Nik's protestations and returned with a portable card machine. Charged us the appropriate amount and despite Nik's questions left with our ticket. ( All this was being discussed in poor English through his side kick, a Bridget Bardot lookalike with a train conductors hat). Several minutes later she returns with the ticket and her side kick who was apologizing profusely, He had read the ticket incorrectly, however we had failed to fill in our travel details, so he wrote us a note about the mix up and left us to our devices. We than arrived in Paris in one piece, with the station coming to life as these places do at this time of night!!


Now boarding.....

This will be my last entry from my trusty laptop for 6 weeks. In 10 hours we will be boarding a flight to Singapore, from where will continue on to Paris, via Frankfurt. It still feels a little surreal all round, but as I was packing my bag yesterday it all started to sink in. If it wasn't for all the "extra" house work this weekend I don't know how I would have coped at all. Let's not forget the iPod, it is still only 1/2 full and if I had time I would put our entire Cd collection onto it, I reckon I have about 85% of it on so far, which is 2495 songs, 9.36 GB. Getting them organised in a way that will make for quick easy listening pleasure is the next step, "smart playlists" seems to be the way to go. My entire library is listed on my website, but it's an XML file and I'm not sure how to tie it all in with html etc, next research project I guess. And of course this morning I am up early "again" partly because I am excited, partly because I am, a little *seedy*, and partly because I think I might just catch a glimpse of the actual aircraft that is whisking us off in 10 hours time! Hopefully I'll be able to get to an internet cafe every two or three days and keep up the writing at least, and maybe some folks will get personal e-mails from us too, stay tuned. Meanwhile, for your viewing pleasure, I have uploaded my last Melbourne shoot for some time, as I said in an earlier post, it's funny how you look at the places you are familiar with, with different eyes when you are leaving. On a low-brow note the fifth evictee from BB made a surprising political statement upon exiting the house which I'm sure put the whole production team in a spin, they certainly were at a loose end as to what to do, and kept cutting to the house and to ad breaks, poor old Gretski had real trouble maintaining any order in the crowd, there was shitloads of booing, great television, that control room must have gone off last night, woohoo you go pal stick it right up 'em!


Two Sleeps to go

To quote one of my favorite bands, TISM, "...what a week I've had". Marked all my VU students work and there was one HUGE surprise, and several outstanding pieces. Looking forward to next term when we tackle something a little closer to my heart. Several of the students at PIC are really shining at the moment as well. I am really pissed off that I'll miss the midyear folio presentations coming up in 2 weeks though. "Good luck guys!" This week also saw an old teacher of mine, who is now a CEO of his own small company, come to the school to talk about his product and it's relationship to Photoshop. He is an inspirational teacher and the lecture itself gave me food for thought on my own teaching practice. Thank you Ian we will organise to purchase a copy, or two, of your neat little idea real soon. There is nothing like the prospect of leaving your home town to "see it" through new eyes, to make an effort to visit places you've been meaning to see for years. These last few days this is how I've felt about my home town Melbourne. I've been living here since I was born, with a short stint overseas in my early high school years and I made an effort one day this week to head into town and wander around an "look" at the place I call home. Of course a camera accompanied me and I have added a few of the images to my site. The one thing that struck me most, after the beautiful light, was the amount of tourists around given that it is mid winter almost. The irony of me noticing "tourists" was not wasted either.


Not long now

Every time I hear an aircraft fly overhead I get excited and I start to think about leaving. Which leads to thoughts about where I will be this time next week. So yes I am now starting to get a bit excited. Before we go though I need to fill my new present with lots of music. I've also been busy with my little digital camera, and have updated the gallery over on my site.



Back on PT as part of the final assault on the cashflow, before we jet off. Despite the fucking cold Melbourne weather I don't mind the journey in and out of town on the train. It gives you time, time to think, and time to look. Occasionally I pull out my little digital camera and try an make some images. Some of which work out OK. A couple things have happened over the last few months, one my wife bought a very small 4 maga-pixel camera, with pretty good image quality for a snap camera, two, my work purchased a 6 mega-pixel Canon 300d. Combined with the 50mm f1.8 lens makes an awesome camera for 35mm style shooting. So what this means is my old 2 mega-pixel camera, or is it a 4 mega-pixel I can not remember anymore, is now relegated to the job of web photos only. It's file size is more than adequate for this even on a medium level of compression. Now my 128mg flashcard holds 1499 images, this in turn means I can blast away from train windows and snap at anything that catches my eye. so hopefully today I'll upload these best of these for your viewing pleasure.