Still a life in words and pictures…

The end of 2009…

2010 is almost upon us. So it’s time to look back at the year that was and reflect. Or so I’m told.

I like that life is gently guided through cycles and stages by seasons, lunar cycles, calendar months, changing years….. I’ve always loved December in Australia. Didn’t mind it in Japan either, but it was never the same being COLD! December in Australia is full of that vibe – the shimmering potential of the summer holiday season and the coming new year. Heat, watermelon, mango’s, school summer holidays, parties, BBQ’s, going down the creek, secret santa gifts, surfing santa….. it’s a lot of fun.

Anyways, it’s been 10 months since my return to the Lucky Country, and yes, it’s been quite a trip (in every possible sense of the word). I am currently the healthiest and resultingly the happiest I’ve been in years, and (in an interesting juxtaposition), also the heaviest I have ever been. Ha.

So what’s been going on since my last editorial visit to Frangipani 2.0?

Well, Sigsy & Keisuke came for a visit from Tokyo and we got all arty in the park under a full moon….

and we visited a croc farm… AMAZING place.

We wandered around the lovely gorge on a DREAMTIME tour with a member of the KukuYalanji as he explained the rainforest to us.

We ground up ochre and painted ourselves…..

We visited beaches in other places and dined at great restaurants and soaked up the full moon some more.

When they left, I got back to work. I love being a photographer, so many unexpected experiences present themselves. One day I found out at 9 am that I would be going up in a microlight at 11 am to photograph another microlight. It was really quite special – once the initial fear wore off, and here I show you some of the unadjusted out-takes.

Interesting challenge, trying to photograph from one of these hang-gliding motorbikes… I couldn’t wear a helmet because the space was so constrictive I wouldn’t have been able to get to my viewfinder.

I have been getting some great photo work. Various magazines and whatnot. Below is a shot I took for a green mag in Sydney. There are some incredible properties around this region that specialise in rare and endangered tropical edible plants. This was a selection that a property owner gathered from around his rainforest that morning. Permaculture and plant/animal biodiversity-themed farming are in widespread practice here.

Been meeting some great people. I don’t get out much so it’s been slow-going in the meeting people stakes. This lovely fella is a multi-talented artist who recently opened his own cafe-gallery in the main street. I took this picture for the newspaper and he liked it so much that he is making me of of his funky signature bangles. Yay. I visit the cafe most days for some coffee and company. Tres chic, tres cool, tres oasis of inspiration and counter-pubculture-redneckism. Much needed in this part of the world.

Oh. And I turned 42. Loved the return to a SUMMERTIME birthday. We kept it simple. A late afternoon picnic in the park with family and a few friends, a dusk BBQ, barefoot cricket, kids, cake & candles and beer. Check out the view. Spesh. Truly.

Here are some of the new peeps in my life. The lovely Upasana and Kimmy. Me in the middle looking excited that anyone showed up at all.

Night fell. Candles were lit.

Kids were excited.

It was a lovely, lovely day.

I plan to spend Christmas with my bro’s family, then get up at 6 am the next morning for a big roadtrip south to attend the Woodford Folk Festival. After that I’ll float around Brisbane a bit, the fly to Adelaide for Tracey and Ash’s wedding (I’ll be photographing), then FINALLY visit the Melbourne crew for a few days before flying back to Brisbane, jumping back in the car and driving north again. Hopefully when I return I will have formulated an exit strategy.

Folks, I hope that all is well with you and yours, and I wish you an awesome Christmas and a fantastic New Year. 2010, bring it on.

Oh, and go and see AVATAR 3D. Tomorrow. Seriously.


11 Responses to “The end of 2009…”

  1. MissSin says:

    Martine! Only just discovered that you’re blogging again – but better late than never.
    Am really glad to hear that 2009 is ending on a positive note for you. Has been a really eventful year for you, but you made the right choices, it seems…

    And i guess the same applies to me too. Am really happy i made the move here; still in shock though methinks!

    Looking forward to 2010 with glee & am looking forward to following you from afar.


  2. Martine says:

    I think you were lounging around in Lombok or somewhere at the time I got back into it…. Loved reading about your trip. We must have a chat soon – can we skype?

  3. Sigsy says:

    yay – great post – I may even do one of my own at some point after 26th! I am really looking forward to 2010, with trepidation, a lot of fear and a great big pair of balls!

  4. Jackie says:

    Yay – In a nutshell.
    Can’t wait to catch up with you and Dwaynee at Woodford – the old crew back together again.
    Have a happy Christmas and love to Alissa, Dave, Darcy, Fraser and Evie from all of us.
    love you darling, safe traveling

  5. MissSin says:

    Sadly, we still don’t have internet at home (everything’s in German, so am reliant on K getting his finger out to do something…) Am sporadically at the internet cafe, but as so as we’re on-line at home, i’ll get myself all skyped up & get in touch…
    Hope you’re doing good, hon & that 2010 is treating you nicely.

  6. Love the blog and pictures. I especially like the croc farm and Dreamtime Tour.

  7. Sirkka says:

    I like the chocolate cake, it looks very yummie :o)

  8. Masaya Rider says:

    You have a beautiful blog with wonderful pictures. Found my way here looking for photo-blogs from others who are in japan like me.

  9. Martine says:

    Wow, had quite a few recent comments – nice to know people are still reading even though I’ve been distracted by facebook and busy-ness. Thanks for dropping by!

  10. ranggaw0636 says:

    The fruit from the rainforest look delicious. I come to this blog when i’m looking around how foreigner live in japan

  11. VpN says:

    I like the chocolate cake. Thanks for dropping by!

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