The Flight to Singapore was boringly unremarkable. I’ve been psyching myself out for 3 weeks. But I surprised the hell out of myself at how calm I was the whole flight. Considering I am usually a basket case, and need to be drugged to the eye balls to even get on the plane, this was a highly unusual turn of events for me.Pretty sure Al thinks we have all been having a lend of him at how much I freak out, and truth be told, I reckon he was little disappointed and my lack of needing a change of underwear, but was quite relieved he retained the circulation in his fingers.
We just left Singapore for Kathmandu. I must say, not so calm this time. The aircraft is half the size and Al tells me that the creaking and groaning of the plane is normal. 😳
Is this a prelude the the wings falling off??
Think positive thoughts And tell myself. What will be, will be.
Ding ding, announcement over the PA, return to your seats we are expecting some turbulence. Ok. I can do this. Breathe deeply. Pretend you are calm. Everyone tells me you have more chance dying crossing the road than in a plane. Like that f#%@ing helps!! Fidiots!!!
The plane suddenly lurches, drops 1000 feet, ok, 100 feet, alright, alright it was about a foot. Couple more big bumps and at this point, I think, this isn’t that bad, I got this shit!!!!
I hear the woman in me roar and feel positively all powerful. Piece of cake. Nothing to worry about….
Next minute the flight attendant hits the deck.
WTF!? He is actually squatting on the floor!!!!!
All those pelvic floor exercises have suddenly “almost” paid off. With quivering bowels and a slightly less than watertight bladder, I look over at Al and he has that smirk on his face that only he can do. At this point I am unsure of what reaction I am going to have first.
Scream? Wet my pants? Diarrhoea? Slap him? All of the above?!
But the look on his face was priceless and I just laughed. Again, thinking what will be, will be. Newspaper headline “Manic old lady losing her shit on flight from Singapore to Kathmandu” averted.
All is calm again.
The dinner cart arrives, food was delicious, ice cream even better. Do I brave undoing the seatbelt and head out the loo? And let’s just get a little bit real here. The seatbelt isn’t really going to do jack if you fall out of the sky is it? 😳
But I put on my big girl panties and headed for the loo.
I’m definitely going to die this time, in a dunny, with my pants around my feet, bare butt to the world and this time and all I could think was…
I knew I should have shaved my bloody legs! ✈️🚽😟
Three friends catching up for coffee and a little shooting, what could possibly go wrong? Little did we know that the afternoon would play out like a comedy of errors. Some too shocking to comprehend the gravity of at the time, but in hindsight, became more hilarious as the afternoon faded into evening.
Our chauffeur, none other than the lovely Nicole, drove us around in her less than 24 hours old, shiny new car. Uncharacteristically following more road rules and speed limits in fear of dirt and scratches, I was feeling a little less apprehensive about our afternoon drive in comparison to previous outings.
We get to our first destination, cruise straight through the carpark, past a sign that says “No Parking” and down a one lane road. Ordinarily, this isn’t too bad in the misdemeanor department, but when Nicole starts making little squeaking sounds like a shopping trolley wheel that needs oiling, we realise there is an enormous 4WD trying to squeeze past us on a one lane road. In her mind’s eye I am sure she was picturing large scrapes down the side of shiny new car that she would have to explain to her husband.
Shopping trolley stops squeaking and the crisis is averted as the 4WD makes it through and shiny new car is still a shiny new car. So, instead of reversing back to carpark, we continue on to the “No Parking” zone to save ourselves walking 50 metres to our shooting destination.
This time it is I making sounds akin to a demented seal. I see two other illegally parked cars on a collision course as a ute reverses at great speed and slams into a small sedan. I hear Nicole gasp, and honestly, everything else is a blur after that. I recall hearing the words “That’s it, I’m outta here!” as the accident site fades into the blur of warp speed and clouds of burnt rubber.
Incident One, Averted!!
By the time I blinked and regained a proper breathing pattern, we were on an unfamiliar road. This in itself, was quite a concern as I had driven the roads in this area repeatedly looking for things to shoot.
Then, interesting structures appeared that I hadn’t seen before and I was quite excited at the prospect of shooting this industrial landscape. But, in a nanosecond, excitement once again gave way to prickles of concern.
I realise we are in a restricted area and had driven past, not one, not two, but three signs and through two massive gates warning us not to enter.
Let’s just say the site may or may not rhyme with P and B, and may or may not be a refinery.
Signs of hyperventilation are starting to appear, and visions of puddles on Nicole’s shiny new seats were floating around my brain. All the while, I can here Shirl in the backseat making cooing sounds, and clicking away on her phone. (Yes, she came on a shoot armed with a phone and no camera.)
I see a turnaround spot and quickly suggest to Nicole it might be a good idea to use it. She stares at me for a second and sails right past it, and then grins at me. All the while, camera phone is going crazy in the backseat.
At this point Shirl pipes in and suggests that the next road we had just cruised by, might have been a good place to turn around. I think she is starting to feel my concerns. That, or she can smell the fear on my sweat drenched body. But NO, we keep on trucking to the end of the road and come to a halt.
Nicole just says “Oh!”
We look up into the golden light of the afternoon and see the silhouette of a car wash, with shining streams of water glowing in the backlight of imminent sunset. Shirl leans forward and says “Just breathe Tina, just breathe!”
I look at Nicole. She is bathed in the glow of the afternoon sun, and I can see the thoughts of less than 24 hours of dust, and burnt rubber being washed away in aforementioned car wash written all over her face.
Shirl just quietly says, “Don’t do it Nicole!” and just like that, Nicole snaps out of her daydreams and I am relieved to see we are on the move, and I once again regain control of my bladder.
Bladder control only lasted maybe a heartbeat, when someone pipes up and says, “crap, there’s two cars following us!”
I can smell freedom as the gates are only 50 metres in front of us. Sweat starts to dry up, breathing becomes easier and the fear of puddles is almost a distant memory. Phew!
BLADDER IN FULL LOCKDOWN!!!!
Nicole pulls over inside, yes, INSIDE the gates to let the cars pass!! WTF!
At this point you probably realise I am not a rule breaker, taker of chances, or have full control of bodily functions.
The edges of my world are going black, but thankfully, it was only two workers leaving the refin… umm workplace. Once again we are on the road to the next destination and I regain my vision.
Incident Two, Averted!
Now, most people would assume that this would be enough action for the afternoon correct?
Incorrect! Incident Three is probably the most shocking of all…
Thinking we should take the afternoon to safer places, I suggest we head to a local shipping container yard to get some shots. For the record, I do regret suggesting this, and Nicole, I apologise profusely for my actions, and those of our dear friend Shirl.
Due to complete laziness and unwillingness to carry gear, I only had my 24-70 lens, which didn’t quite have the reach I needed. At this point I will admit to having some serious lens envy when Nicole whipped out her 70-200 and was wishing I had brought mine along too.
This soon turned to relief and a prayer of thanks that I am so lazy!
I headed off, probably 100m from Nicole, while Shirl sat in the car playing on her Phone. Shooting through the gates, I vaguely heard a loud sound, but involved in my shot, I ignored it.
This was followed by sounds of raucous laughter and moaning! Thinking the girls were being their usual silly selves, I carried on ignoring them. Taking a step to my left, I came face to face with an exceptionally large (remember how large this is later) sign. I took a step back and read the sign, and all of a sudden the loud sound I heard earlier, registered in my brain. It sounded like a bug zapper, only 500 times louder!
I glance back to the car and see Shirl in what can only be described as delirium of laughter. Her face bright red from trying to breathe, mouth agape, but no sound coming out! I look over to Nicole and see her laying on the ground.
I would like to add the disclaimer here that I thought she was taking the piss. I thought she was sitting down (albeit horizontally) and playing a practical joke. I am seriously ashamed to say that instead of running to her assistance, I raised my camera and took a shot!! Okay, a few shots. I know!! Horrible friend and delusions of grandeur at becoming a world class photo journalist.
I could already see the headlines. Photographer fails to render assistance to electrocuted friend in order to get The Shot!
Coming to my senses, I started to run (walk fast) toward her and then stop dead in my tracks. I yell at Shirl “Is she serious, or is she taking the piss?” Now I would also like to point out, that there was another person in this scenario that could have aided the still smoking Nicole.
Shirl was holding her stomach, weaving back and forth gasping for air and shaking her head. I still couldn’t work out if she was serious or not, but finally Shirl regained the ability to speak and assured me it was serious.
In hindsight, I am thankful I did not bring my 70-200 metal barreled lens and poke it through an electric fence. It’s like the game of Operation, don’t touch the sides and you won’t get buzzed. I guess Nicole never played that game as a child because she touched the sides and got fried.
Although she got a serious buzz, lost her vision, hearing and her legs would no longer hold her up, by the time I got to her, she was laughing hysterically. I later realise, this was shock setting in (no pun intended). So, being the supportive friends we are, we laughed along with her for the next 15 minutes. Needless to say, I think she realises we can’t be trusted in a crisis and that metal is a great conductor.
Sorry Nicole, but that is the most laughs I have had in a very long time.
Can we do it again next weekend?
Incident Three, NOT averted!
Moral to the story, don’t waste your money on putting signs everywhere, because no body reads them!
PS, No photos accompanying this post due to fear of retaliation 🙂
While having intermittent internet service, I decided to share some of the hundreds and hundreds of images I have taken while on a photographic with Nick Rains and Christian Fletcher and a bunch of lovely talented photographers.
Well it’s been a long time since I posted. No excuses, I’ve just been slack.
Recently a group of photographers who met online got together for a weekend of shooting and sharing in Dunsborough, WA. Thanks guys for a great weekend. So I thought I would share some images from our trip.
A little video I made about my images and how changes, big or small, can make a vast difference to RAW files.
When people ask how many children I have, I tell them only one. I lie! I have three children, I just don’t have the privilege of two of my daughters. You see, Sarah was stillborn in 1990, and we had Brianna for only 3 blessed hours in 1991 before she left us.
But people never want to hear that, or even know how to deal with what that all entails as a friend. So, many of my friends don’t know about ‘all’ of my girls, and I often grieve in private with my daughter and husband. I remember one “friend” yelling at me when an overwhelming, suffocating moment of grief overtook me at the most inopportune time (as it does). This was 15 years after I lost both of them and she told me I was being stupid, and I just needed to get the hell over it!! Needless to say, she is no longer a friend.
For those of you that have lost children, you know, there is no getting “over” it! There is only getting through it. We learn to cope with the pain and deal with others uncomfortable moments the best way we know how. Often at our own expense. There is no time limit to grief, and no measure on how much love we have for our kids even if we don’t have them any more. And many like me, have a love hate relationship with Mothers Day!
Mothers Day is often the hardest day of the year for me. This day is never a good one in our house. My daughter is amazing and has never tried to make it something that I was not comfortable with. Only last year she told me that it is only one day of the year. That she should cherish me like everyday was Mothers Day and not put so much emphasis on one date on the calender!
Would I change things if I could? in a perfect world, yes I would and I would love to have them back. But the reality is, if I did have them, I wouldn’t have Liana!! I am thankful every day (good and bad parenting days) that I have her.
I believe that everything happens for a reason, good or bad, and it’s how we choose to deal with the good and the bad is the most important thing of all. For those of you that know me personally may not agree, but I try to be positive, kind and loving. I love to laugh and have fun, and I cherish those who are most important to me. After all, life is about living and having fun. And for the most part I succeed. I have a wonderful life, and have amazing friends, new and old, and each one of you has given me something amazing to cherish and learn from. I only hope I give in return.
So, what was the point of this post? Purely selfish!
This is the first Mothers Day of mine, that I am completely alone. Hubby is away working and out of phone contact, and my daughter is on holidays with her partner and I am in a wallowing/grateful frame of mind.
If you have taken the time to read this far, I thank you and I only ask one thing of anyone reading this. Grab your partner, children, friends and loved ones and hug them, tell them you love them. Never let it be left unsaid, because fate can, and often does take that opportunity away from us. After all, who doesn’t love to be hugged?
Electronic hugs are gratefully accepted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or SMS a big hug to 043 9943 066 😀
Have a great Day tomorrow and to all my friends……I love you 🙂
I was excited to attend a workshop with Neal Pritchard at Greens Pool just outside of Denmark. Not so excited about the 4am start though!
The morning was off to a great start and the weather seemed to be playing the game. Unfortunately for Neal, that is where the fun ended when he broke his leg about the same time this shot was taken. I have attempted to edit this shot they way we discussed before the accident, not sure I pulled it off, but I am pretty happy with the result.
I am looking forward to the redoing the workshop when Neal is back on his feet again.
These metal sculptures are illuminated at night along the side of the freeway.
December has been crazy with work and I haven’t been out for weeks with my camera! So this is what you get today! Nothing special, but I just love all the textures so thought I would share.
Also added my new logo, some dude wanted to charge me $1300 to design a logo for me, I politely declined and made one myself. Figured I could put that $1300 I just earned toward a new lens 😉
I hope you all have a wonderful Xmas and a very safe Happy New Year. 🙂