Jacaranda Trees line the streets of Grafton, NSW


Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Something new. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Something new. Sort by date Show all posts

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

SOMETHING NEW

After our reunion lunch, Bill and I tried something new.....
We caught the bus home from the city (trying to save on parking fees)

Our first time on a city bus.


It was raining but we were on the bus way at the side of the freeway, no cars.


A bus station


A plugged in teen


Another bus station


All the cars jammed up going slower than us, he he


The last station is ours we find our car for a short drive home. That was fun and cheap on pensioner off peak ticket. yea!

Monday, January 19, 2015

LETS GO ON A PHOTO SAFARI !!!

When we were in New Orleans with friends, Kathy and Rob, we booked up with American Photo Safari for some photography lessons on location. We had to meet out side the cathedral at the gate of Jackson Square. Bill and I caught a taxi there as a three hour safari and the walk from the B&B was a bit daunting for Bill. Jackson Square is a historic park in the French Quarter. It was designed after "Place des Vosges" in Paris. In 1815 it was named after the victorious General Andrew Jackson. In the centre of the park stands an equestrian statue of Jackson by Clark Mills. It was erected in 1856.
We met our tutor, Natasha, there. We were pleased to hear that the four of us were her only students that morning. She gave us a great introductory talk about photography in general and established at what level we were. She also gave us a good little info card on photography.

I had just bought a new little compact Sony Cyber Shot DSC HX60V before I left Brisbane because I didn't want to carry my big DSLR overseas when light luggage is easier to manage. However, I didn't know much about this camera when I arrived for this lesson. Natasha was great at helping us all learn about settings on our cameras. Then she took us on a tour of the French Quarter and pointed out historic subjects, good angles and compositions as well as reminding us that a good photograph tells a story.

1.First up she showed us how to use the morning sun to create a silhouette with a halo.
2.Then she explained metering and how to use it to show the detail of the sculpture when the sun is behind it.
3. We walked around the statue to shoot with the sun behind us, much easier but we had to move around to escape distracting background. Even though she suggested getting some tree tops into the shot to give context to it, I preferred none.

 Just outside the park gates is the Cathedral-Basilica of St Louis King of France founded in 1718.
The tutor suggested finding different angles and including foreground or tree framing to give context and depth to the photo. Then we went inside where we learnt about ISO settings for inside shots. I was getting frustrated by now with my little camera wishing that I had my DSLR but I'm glad I persevered to try and get the foreground and background all in focus without camera shake.

 When I emerged from the Cathedral I found Bill jamming it up with a busking group of jazz musicians. He was in his element but wished he had his trumpet with him. (He played trumpet in younger days)

1. Natasha said lane ways  are common in New Orleans and are good subjects for photos. She suggested getting down low rather than shooting from chest level all the time. That is not so easy at 72 when the old knees are creaky.
2. Natasha pointed out that lines and shapes of the lamp post and arch make good shots. I took one and thought it looked a bit bland. A bit later I saw Rob leaning on the lamp post waiting for us and I snapped. I liked it better with a person in it.Then I turned it in B&W and maybe it looks even better.

1.Natasha explained how this lamp light took on the colour of the shutters of the adjacent building. The glass was plain but here it looks green, Natasha suggested this angle but there is something that I don't like about it.
2. I took the second shot just as a couple walked by. The light is still green but the shot has more action and a story to it. I like it better. What about you?

1.In The French Quarter you find these horses on the edge of the sidewalk. They were originally to tie your horse to, there is usually a ring in the nose for this purpose but not on this one. Besides the horse the intricate air vent is also peculiar to the French Quarter so our tutor thought it would make a good shot to have both in the one frame with the vent blurred. I couldn't find her enthusiasm and I was finding it hard to make my little camera blur the background even with a big aperture.
2. I changed my position and found Rob waiting for us again. I like the shot as the horse and Rob are forming the same shape and they are both waiting. Rob isn't a photographer but his wife, Kathy, is. He came along on the safari  because he is interested in learning the history.

Natasha took us to the Cornstalk Fence Hotel where there was a fountain. It is named this from the iron fence just seen in the third photo. The fence is actually a row of steal cornstalks.
1. Natasha then explained how to freeze the water drops
2. Then how to make the water look like it is moving
3. Then how to move and use the sun to make the splashes sparkle.
Now I was really missing my DSLR. I couldn't blur the distracting background  and capture the drops properly.

1. New Orleans has many colourful courtyards tucked away behind buildings. Most are kept private with an iron gate, which can be used as a frame and foreground to give depth to the shot.
2. Some courtyards are accessible to the public like this one belonging to an Art Gallery.

Then Natasha took us to Boubon Street which was famous for its bars, jazz music and night life. It still has these attractions but now Frenchmans Street has taken over being the place to be at night and Royal St has taken over being the place to be for shopping and street entertainment. We were at the end of the street where there are more apartments and houses. 
1.Natasha suggested this shot where there is the contrast of the old town in the foreground with the new towers in the distance.
2. But I liked this angle too showing off the coloured houses, shutters and lamppost. The midday sun wasn't helpful. After many shots of this famous street Kathy and I found ourselves alone with the tutor. Where were the boys? We looked around and found them............

...sitting outside the Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar, the oldest bar in New Orleans. It  could be the oldest, still operating bar, in US. It was built before 1772. According to legend it was once owned by the pirate Jean Lafitte and a place where he plotted his illegal operations and sold contraband. It is also purported to be one of the most haunted bars in NO.

After, Natasha found a coffee shop for you know who, we continued on with our photography lesson.
1. Use reflections to get a different view of buildings.
2. get interesting angles of the cathedral and include the Mardi Gras beads hanging from the tree.
During Mardi Gras brightly coloured beads are worn and strewn throughout the city. Many trees and lampposts are adorned with strings of beads. (more in next post)

After 3 hours the lesson was over, we had all been happy with it. Kathy, Rob and I wanted to see more of the French Quarter but Bill was tired of walking so we bundled him into a bike taxi and sent him back to the B&B.

Monday, November 3, 2014

A LOVE STORY

Continuing the story from last post where my boyfriend of three years dumped me and a new friend smashed up my car:

My girlfriend, Kerrie, who I had been friends with since we were seven, had come to PNG to work. She was still trying to find me a new boyfriend. She didn't like to see me staying home on the weekends just reading or playing sport. She was more outgoing than I was and met boys at the local RSL Club (Returned Servicemen's Club).

One day she said, "I have met three nice boys at the club, you must come and meet them, I'm sure you would like one of them. They are from Switzerland and they are gentlemen. Now she had me interested even though I wasn't that keen on going to the club as I didn't drink. So the next Saturday night I went to the club with Kerrie and was to meet the three boys, Willy, Werner and Willy (called Bill to distinguish between the two boys with the same name). However, Bill didn't turn up because his company had sent him to the other side of New Guinea to do a job for a few weeks. Kerry fancied Willy, so I was left with Werner. He was a good looking young man and enjoyed dancing which I liked too. But there was something about him I wasn't sure about. He was a bit over confident and self assured. After my recent hurtful experiences with men, I was very unsure of this guy. However, in a group he was okay. 

We got talking and one thing led to another and I found myself telling them the story of my car being smashed up by a (married) soldier I had trusted. He promised to have the car fixed by the army mechanics but it had been in their workshop for months and nothing done. The two Swiss boys were shocked to hear the story and said they would sort it out. The next day they went to the barracks, found the guy and I don't know how they did it, but there may have been some threatening going on, and the next thing I know they had my car towed out of the barracks and given to a local car repair garage to be fixed. I started to like these guys very much.
I went to a few parties and beach picnics with them but I still couldn't relax with Werner so I stopped going out with them and back to my books and sport. 

Willy, Werner and Bill were all electricians from Switzerland working for Carrier Air Conditioning. They were sent all over Papua/New Guinea to install industrial air-conditioning. When Bill returned from his job, Kerrie once again insisted that I would "really" like this guy. At the same time Willy was telling Bill, that Kerrie had a girlfriend that he would "really" like. Employees of Carrier Air were having a party and Bill and I were invited both knowing we were "really" going to like each other even though we had never met.

Needless to say our friends were right and we did "really" like each other. But was it going to end in heartbreak again? 
 Kerrie and Willy introduce me to Bill. We spent Saturday mornings in the beer garden of the RSL Club overlooking Ela Beach.

 We "really" liked each other.

 Bill had a Ford Falcon and we used to go on picnics with other couples from Carrier Air.

 We went swimming in Sirinumu Dam.

 We went to Guire Beach where the sand was volcanic black.

 We would share our barbequed sausages with the local children.

 We went to Lalokie River for a swim and picnic. Bill has his steak sandwich and stubby beer.

 Local natives in their dug out lacatoi canoe.

 Bill was keen on photography especially movies. He had a Bolex professional 16 mm camera. I was impressed.

 Bill paddling what they called the "Carrier Queen". I thought he was cute. He thought I was cute.
(Oh boy to have a figure like that today, I wish).

At last my car was fixed after seven months without it. Bill liked it too.

We drove to Ela Beach to watch the locals have model lacatoi canoe races.

At the end of the year (1968) I proudly took my new boyfriend to the Korobosea School Staff Christmas Party. (One got a good sun tan in the tropics.)
I was happy but would it last??

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

AM I REALLY AT WORK?

In January 1964 I had been in the Territory of Papua New Guinea for a few months working at the District Education Office in Pt Moresby, while I was waiting for the schools to reopen after the summer holidays. It was very easy work shuffling papers and trying to look busy as well as watching the tropical fish swim below the office which was built over the water on stilts.

On the weekends I was taken on trips to places around Pt Moresby. I didn't have any transport of my own and I can't remember who I went with. I didn't know anyone other than those I had met in the office, so it must have been someone from the office.


Looking back down the road from Rouna towards Pt Moresby.
Rouna Falls
 There weren't many sealed roads but the road up the ranges north of Pt Moresby was fairly well graded. This was because it led to the Rouna Falls Power Station and Sirinumu Dam.


 There was always plenty of water flowing over the falls coming from the rainforest clad Owen Stanley Mountains.  Power was generated here to supply Pt Moresby.

After stopping to view the falls and listen to the thundering water we drove further up the mountain to the native village of Sogeri, where there was a market selling fresh fruit and vegetables.




Rubber plantation near Sogeri
 Then I was taken to see a rubber plantation. Something I had only read about in school text books. I could see how the white, milky sap was being collected in a little metal cup from a 'v' shaped gash in the trees.


There was a worker cutting new strips of bark off to release more sap. Just like I had seen on the pages of my Geography book at school.

I was really here in the tropical jungles of TPNG. It felt like I was on a tourist vacation but no, I was really here to work.





Latex sheets ready to be fired.



I saw how the sap was turned into latex sheets and then fired or smoked and turned into rubber sheets ready to be exported.

It was all very interesting but the day was getting late so we headed back to Pt Moresby. We stopped on the way down the mountain at Rouna Hotel for a cool drink in the gardens.

We had to keep a watch on the sky and leave at the first sign of the afternoon storm clouds arriving. The road turned into a muddy slippery slide when it rained.
Roana Hotel garden

Every week that I worked in the office, I would ask," Which school will I be at and who will be the head teacher?" Finally a week before school was to start, I got an answer. I was told that I had a position at a brand new "A" school at Korobosea. "A" stood for Australian Curriculum School to differ from a "T" school which stood for Territory Curriculum School. In general "A" schools were for European children which was a term used for Australians and any other expat people from all different countries. "T" schools were for native children but it wasn't apartheid it was more beneficial to teach native children together because they had to learn English and a curriculum more suited to their culture where as the expat children followed the Australian NSW curriculum. However, if native parents wanted their child to go to an "A" school they could and in some smaller villages expat kids went to the 'T" school because it was the only school there.

Korobosea 'A' School Jan 1964
 A few days before school started I met the principal, a very young fellow, who said, "Let's go to see our new school and start preparing our classrooms."Off we went and what a surprise we found. Workmen were still building. There were no steps up to any of the buildings and there was a bulldozer bogged in the mud which was supposed to be the playground/school yard. There was no way children could move in here in four days time.

We headed down the new muddy road and back into town to the office to tell them the situation.
When school started for the year the children had to return to their old overcrowded schools in Boroko and Ela Beach. I was told to report to Boroko East School.  Although disappointed that I wouldn't have my own class and room yet for a few weeks, it was good to help out in a classroom with an experienced teacher to see how things were done in an "A" school.

Monday, February 16, 2015

HAPPY DAYS

 At last I have a little time to continue with "My Story" posts. Any new readers who are not familiar with this series of posts they are on my sidebar under "My Story" or you can click on the label "My Story". I self published a book of the first posts about my family making a new life in Australia. I hope to publish a sequel about my life after that. The books are mainly for my children and grandchildren but are available to anyone from blurb.

Anyway on with the story:
Last time you may remember, that in Dec 1968, I had just gone on leave to Australia from Papua/New Guinea after falling in love again after a few disastrous affairs. This time I was cautious but hopeful things would turn out well. I was worried that when I returned to P/NG, the charming Swiss boy would have found someone else. However, there were hopeful signs as he had written to me every week that I was away.

Bill had kept himself busy with his hobby of making 16mm movies. Here he was filming a 'sing sing' a traditional celebration of dancing and singing by the natives nationals


Bill also went crocodile pig shooting while I was away.

When I arrived back in PT Moresby, there was a very happy Swiss boy waiting for me at the airport. He drove me home and we chattered non stop. However, it was back to preparing the next term's school work for me, before we could play. 

Soon we were having fun on weekends, going on picnics and drives to a river, the dam or a beach. One day we joined in a gumi race (rubber raft race), where participants used their blow up lilos to negotiate the rapids. Actually, I only watched and took photos. It looked a bit dangerous to me. We often went out to dinner, although, I asked him home for dinner one night and burned the chips. He said, "Its okay, I like them that way best." (Yeah, yeah. He was just being nice.)

One balmy, tropical evening we went to dinner at the Mandarin Restaurant for dinner. After a delicious Chinese meal Bill asked, ''How do you feel about marrying a Wog?"  (an Anglo/Australian slang term referring to ethnic European immigrants. It is a derogatory term in England but in Australia it has become a jocular nickname like Pom, Yank and Kiwi). My heart skipped a beat. Was this a proposal or a question about what I thought about it?  I guessed it was a proposal. I was surprised because we had only known each other for four months and two of those I had been on leave in Australia. I answered, "I'll think about it." (How dumb was that answer?) But after seeing the look of disappointment on his boyish face and thinking we could be a good team despite our different backgrounds. I said, "Yes, I could marry a Wog." I was very happy.

One day we went to the Post Office, which was near the wharf and we saw a ship unloading cars. We went to take a closer look just for something to do. The cars were brand new MGB's sparkling in the sun as they dangled from the cranes. Bill said, " I would love one of those!" 'Me too."I agreed. We both had a car, which was not in good shape. Mine had been in a smash and Bill's had been in a flood so we decided to trade them in on one of these beauties. We raced off to the dealer and asked to buy one of the MG's that we saw being unloaded. He sadly explained that all of them were already sold but he would order us another one. So we had to wait and wait for the next shipment.

 The day finally arrived. Wow! How happy we were. It was a beautiful car an MGBGT. Bill dropped me off at school and then drove it to work. ('Nogat wok' is pidgin English for 'No Vacancies' or 'no got work')

We drove to the beach and the drive in movies. We had loads of fun in that car.

 Relaxing in the shade at Ela Beach.

 We went to the end of term, Korobosea School Staff Dinner. Not long now before the big day. We had decided get married in May1969, just six months after we met. Our friends said we were mad and that it would never last. The question was where should we get married? In Switzerland with Bill's parents, in Sydney Australia with my parents or in Papua/New Guinea with no parents?

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