Posts Categorized: #blogjune

Jun 09 2011

#blogjune – Day 9 – Vintage photography with a difference

Yesterday, Bill sent me a link to an article in the Daily Mail that had amazing mugshots from the New South Wales police in the 1920s.

I cannot stop looking at them. Their clothes, poses, expressions, hair – it is fascinating!

I found another page with more photos (lots of links on the bottom of the page too)… and then I found that they were mentioned on NPR earlier this year. In the comments on that article someone mentioned daguerreotype post-mortem photography. I started googling and I had no idea what I would find although back in the 1800’s death portraiture photography was common. I came across the Thanatos Archive which has a sample gallery – it is creepy, eerie and fascinating how open and unafraid of death these people were. Also, it shows the importance that was placed on preserving the memory of loved ones at a time when photography was expensive and you can only imagine the emotions these people were going through at the time. If you do some googling you will find many blog posts dedicated to this Victorian photography – including one of a dead man standing for a portrait.

Anyway.. back to looking at more mugshots!

Jun 08 2011

#blogjune – Day 8 – Memorial Day

For some reason, I seemed to understand and appreciate more about Memorial Day this year than in previous years. I am not sure why, but there was a whole bevy of experiences that culminated in a further appreciation for what the day means. This is the US equivalent of Anzac Day – so it has been wonderful finding and creating new traditions here.

It was Fleet Week here in NYC leading up to Memorial Day weekend. From the windows at work, we were able to see the USS New York sail up the Hudson. To say it was an emotional experience would be an understatment. I had goosebumps and it was absolutely beautiful. All of the Marines were lined up around the whole deck of the boat and did not move. We also got to see historical planes and helicopters fly up and down the river at various times during the day and yes… we got to see lots of Marines in uniform in the city!

As we were in Lancaster for the weekend, we drove past so many cemetaries with American flags near so many headstones, you realize this goes way beyond Arlington. You could see them in even the smallest graveyards. To know that there are people who do this every year for those that fought is moving in itself. It is so comforting to know that these people are not forgotten.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

On Monday, we stopped by a cemetary in a small town and got to take part in their Memorial Day ceremony. It was extremely moving standing in this graveyard, on the top of a hill, the wind was blowing and with nothing but gunfire and military direction cutting the silence. Here are some photos from the ceremony –

Memorial Day Weekend

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

As we made the drive home, NPR had a broadcast where people were just calling up, talking about those they knew who fought in various wars over the years and hearing everyday, personal stories added to the day immensely.

On HBO, we watched the movie ‘Taking Chance’ – this has now become essential Memorial Day viewing. Such a moving and realistic portrayal and Kevin Bacon was fantastic in it. If you can watch it, I highly recommend it.

We alo set our Tivo to record the PBS Memorial Day concert that we watched this week. Again, it was so moving and so well done. We will make sure every year that we wil watch it. As well as the patriotic music they also have various actors reading pieces about soldiers or their families and it really puts a normal, human perspective on war.

Jun 07 2011

#blogjune – Day 7 – Hankering for a Hankie

I cannot believe I am doing a post on this, but I must be the only person left on earth who never goes anywhere without a hankie! It definitely seems that way because trying to buy just normal, everyday hankies over here is near impossible… even Wal-Mart doesn’t have them! We eventually found some at the store where you can find anything that you can’t find anywhere else – the Vermont Country Store. Phew! It was getting to the stage where I was thinking of asking mum to go to Myer and find some Seward ones and send them over.

It was mum who actually got me into the hankie habit – back when I was in prep and I always had a little hankie put into my uniform pocket. Ever since then – I never go anywhere without one. But it seems this is now a rarity… especially over here where people are especially ‘thingy’ about germs but hankies are just so… handy! Back in the day and when I would be sick, I would instantly get one of dad’s huge hankies for comfort. I actually still have one of his here and keep it just for when I have a cold. Every other day though – just usual girly ones. I doubt they will ever come back in fashion but I am happy to always have mine on me and don’t mind knowing it is something I may have to stock up on to ensure I always have a steady supply.

I cannot believe I have just done a post on this…! #bringbackhankies!

Jun 06 2011

#blogjune – Day 6 – Apple Love

I have had my gorgeous baby Macbook for nearly four years and four months – which is amazing in itself… but it has become way too old and slow for me. I remember buying this with my iPod and getting that great student discount. Ahhh life was good.

I even documented opening it. Who doesn’t like new Mac smell?

Mmmm smell the new appliance smell

My Macbook was never bought with the intention of it being my only computer. I always used my iMac for heavy duty use – the Macbook was just for uni.

Then I moved over here, left the iMac with mum and dad (it went to Apple Heaven last year – they quickly bought a replacement) and since then, I have used my Macbook for absolutely everything.

So, I held out until the WWDC Keynote today to make sure there wouldn’t be any surprises… and there wasn’t. So it is time to get a new Macbook Pro. I am so nervous at the thought of spending that much (how times have changed!) but I have to take the plunge. I cannot wait to set it up all fresh and pretty and finally be able to use iTunes and iPhoto without plugging in my Lacie external drive!

My little Macbook does have XP installed on it – so I am keeping it for that alone as I use MYOB to do mum and dad’s BAS reports for the ATO. It will also be the perfect travelling laptop.

As an original and now MobileMe member, one thing I am definitely not very happy about has been the way Apple have treated existing members with the introduction of iCloud. It looks like it is sorting itself out and we will get refunds after all but I cannot believe they thought we would be fine with them charging our renewals and then deciding to end the service and make the replacement free without considering a pro-rated refund process. A group of us all sent in complaints through Apple feedback and/or online help and it looks like we are getting a resolution. Maybe it was the guy that mentioned the words ‘class action’.
Bring on Lion and iOS5!!!!

Jun 05 2011

#blogjune – Day 5 – Books & Stuff

I love my Kindle.

I realized over the weekend that I had never written about it at the time, but part of my Christmas present from Bill (and it seems half of America got the same gift!) was a gorgeous black Amazon Kindle.

I love it – I haven’t been reading as much as usual, but over summer I am sure that will change.

Of course, accessories are so important. The best thing I have bought is the basic Amazon black leather cover… with the inbuilt light. For the extra cost it has been worth it! I love how the kindle just sits on my bedside table – without books toppling over, gathering dust or anything like that. I love that I can have a collection of books without them taking over our little home. I love that when I travel, I have so many books to choose from. It just is really really nice. When you live in tiny apartments like we do here – the Kindle is a blessing.

For me it hasn’t resulted in spending a huge amount on books – I am lucky as a lot of the free ones they offer are ones I like and when I do want one it is just a few clicks. The big bonus is, unlike when I visit a bookstore, I don’t get tempted by everything in sight! The latest pick for book club has been ‘The Help’ and I am really enjoying it and enjoying reading it as an eBook.

Funnily enough, a major part of my Digital Publishing subject (or something like that!) as part of my Masters was reviewing eBook readers and talking about the future of them. It is nice using something that I thought I would never really buy when I first heard of them!

In other book news, on I picked up two books that I have been meaning to read for ages. Monkey Grip and Cloudstreet. Two Australian classics that will be great summer reading… I hope! When I heard that Cloudstreet had been developed into a TV series I just knew I had to read the book before I saw it on iTunes.

One thing that the Kindle doesn’t do is offer the surprise element that buying second hand books does. I opened Cloudstreet and in it was this inscription –

Jonty Darling Love,
Please read this with your thongs on. Perth memories. Love always, Perette xx Perth 2000 (eek!)

Happy 30th Perette,
All my love and best wishes
Dennis x

And there was also this card –

So this dear book was given to Perette from Dennis, who presumably lived in Perth. Then Perette met Jonty in Perth who I assume is from America. She decided to cross out the Dennis inscription and send it to Jonty as it is set in Perth. Jonty then gave it to a secondhand bookstore. I perused the web, bought it from what I thought was a place in Connecticut. It arrived on my desk in the Financial District.

It has been everywhere and now, Cloudstreet is in New York.

Jun 04 2011

#blogjune – Day 4 – Stitching Away

Picking back up my Cross Stitch again has been absolutely fantastic. I feel so calm and content when I stitch – maybe it is the whole online life overload where it is emails/news alerts/twitter feeds/facebook updates – I have been feeling more and more like I have had enough of the whole thing!

Cross Stitch is definitely a stress reliever. Stitching at lunch time means that I am getting real downtime away from a computer and even though my commute is short, stitching on the subway makes it even shorter.

I recently finished another bookmark and a small wall hanger –

I have been limiting myself to small projects just because they fit in my handbag easily. But that has changed. I now have two larger projects on the go. Including one that mum and dad bought for me from their recent trip to Tasmania, which is a gorgeous stitching of one of the historic cottages at Arthur’s Circus in Battery Point, Hobart. Especially perfect as we drove around there the night we all went to dinner at D’Angelo’s which is just up the road. The one challenge with this is the pattern is pretty hard to read from as it is hand drawn… some of the symbols are squiggly lines. Eeek!

It is so addictive and with these two large projects on the go, it makes me so excited to see the finished project! It is sad though as it seems with everyone picking up scrapbooking/cardmaking and crocheting, craft stores stocking cross-stiching supplies are dwindling or they are only selling really cheap kits with nasty thread that knots and twists all the time. I now have a selection of good online stores bookmarked and depend on them to buy kits and needles.

If you haven’t tried cross stitching, it is well worth it and again, sooooo relaxing!!

Jun 03 2011

#blogjune – Day 3 – Nigh Nigh Uncle Wal

We were at Ascension Day Mass last night and my phone started vibrating. At the end of Mass I checked and could see mum had rang. We raced home and we both knew what it was.

Uncle Wal, who wasn’t my Uncle at all, had passed away.

Both of my grandfathers died when I was very young, so in the end Uncle Wal has been the closest thing to a grandfather that I have had. He and Aunty Shirl lived across the road from us – they were neighbours that became family.

I had my first day at school photos taken in front of their beautiful hibiscus plant. He put together my first tricycle, painted blue and white with a shiny bell, streamers flying off the handlebars and a little seat for Matthew to sit in at the back. It was an awesome bike.

I played restaurants at their house all the time – I’d use one of Aunty Shirl’s writing pads to run into Uncle Wal in the lounge room and ask what he would like for dinner. I’d scribble it down and then run back to Aunty Shirl. One steak with lots of fried onions. Always.

I would also play hairdressers where I would pretend to cut Uncle Wal’s hair – he used something like Brylcreem in his hair and I think that fascinated me!

Uncle Wal had the best vegetable garden ever. It is because of him that I have an undying love for baby tomatoes. In summer all of our salad bowls would be over flowing with tomatoes. I would eat them until I had a tummy ache. The same would happen with passion fruit.

Uncle Wal also made the BEST beetroot ever. I spent so many Sunday afternoons eating my favourite thing on earth – cheese, beetroot and vegemite on Sao biscuits at their kitchen bench and subsequently spilling beetroot all over my top and Aunty Shirl having to use Sard wonder soap and lots of cold water to get it all out.

I learnt how to make scones by watching Aunty Shirl make his scones every Sunday.

He was one of the few people who knew where Amarillo, Texas was (and was very excited by it) when I was living there, through his years and years of reading western fiction novels that Aunty Shirl would pick up for him from the book exchange.

When I had my first car accident, it was he and dad who went back to the house and rebuilt the fence that I ran through.. he also was the one that chased up a replacement Gemini bumper bar and parts to get the car fixed.

Uncle Wal was also one of the few remaining 50+ year Collingwood members. He was member 1037 – as in yes, the 1,037th member of our great club. When I was working at the newsagency on Saturday mornings, he and I would meet up at Thornbury station for the 1.10 football train and we would meet mum, dad and Matthew who were already in ‘our carriage’ and all go to Victoria Park together. He would always stand in the Social Club and take dad in as a guest after the game. He was friends with many of the 1958 Premiership team… when football was very different to what it was today.

The last few years have been extremely difficult and mum has been an angel on earth looking after him and Aunty Shirl. I was lucky to have been able to spend some time with him when I was back in September and how great it was that he got to see one last Pies Premiership.

Here is Uncle Wal and I dancing very late at night at my Debutante Ball –

My Debutante ball

We spent so many Father’s Day meals eating peking duck… or garlic prawns… or cantonese steak and talking about Collingwood and reminiscing about all of your adventures when you were younger… nigh nigh Uncle Wal *blows a big kiss* and thank you for always making us always feel so special and loved.

Jun 02 2011

#blogjune – Day 2 – Going Dutch

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

The past weekend was the Memorial Day long weekend here so we decided to venture to Pennsylvania to spend some time in Lancaster County. I spent three days simply sighing at the beauty of the countryside. It was magnificent and so pristine. The farms looked like scenes from a historical postcard. It was just perfect.

Obviously, I also got to see first hand how the Amish and Mennonites live and it was fascinating. We drove and drove and drove – the only way to real appreciate the beauty of the area is to get on the back roads and just… discover.

We chose our driving tours based on information Bill got from the tourist bureau. These provided great directions and we discovered places we would not have found otherwise. Here are some photos from our drive discovering covered bridges… with many flashbacks to Bridges of Madison County!

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

We also did another suggested tour that gets off the main roads and goes through the back roads to discover some of the Amish farms. Here are some scenes from around Lancaster County –

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

After a while we were able to determine the difference between Amish and Mennonite properties.

On the Amish farms, their equipment looked like this –

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Horses working in the fields –

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

One thing that they both have in common is how they hang their washing out to dry –

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

We stopped by two Mennonite homes to buy strawberries and tomatoes.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

To get the tomatoes, this family had a little stall set up with a bucket that we had to put our money in and take the tomatoes that we wanted. I love buying by an honesty system!

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

A big novelty is sharing the road with horse and buggys… I actually felt guilty as we drove around in 95F weather with the air-conditioning on while they were sweating it out in those little boxes. For much of the time they stick to their own ‘buggy lane’ on the main roads…. on the side roads however we got to travel behind one –

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Then we had to wait for this one to cross the bridge –

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

This reminded me of a scene out of Little House on the Prairie –

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

And looky here… I have even made a video so you could experience what it looked like away from still shots! You will see some buggy action and lots of pretty scenery!

In all my travels around America this was one of my favourites… we did so much more that I’ll be saving for another post – I just wanted to share these photos ASAP! It was the perfect time to visit and the perfect weekend getaway. I cannot wait to get back there!

Jun 01 2011

#blogjune – Day 1

I cannot believe it has been a year since we all did #blogeverydayofjune !

Since then there has been the 12 days of Christmas blogging challenge and more recently, the Lent 2011 blogging challenge and as a regular blogger this should be a piece of cake… hopefully!

If you are wanting to find a concise collection of all of us taking part in #blogjune you can head over to Kate’s Netvibes page.

I hope to have a good mix of posts to share with you – from daily happenings here in New York, to reflection pieces, to just plain ramblings.

If you are new to reading my blog, welcome! I have had a home on the web since 1996 and have lots of bloggy content for you to find out more about me, so read on.

Let the challenge begin!