buh buh 3-0

While I was 30 I:

– played 4 games of roller derby
– was in a play
– started a small business
– travelled with my partner and our son
– travelled to Asia with the little one
– fell in love with a pair of chickens and a jerk of a lizard
– successfully aged another year.

There’s a wide variety of loosely formed goals that I have floating in my mind… things that I am actively chasing and things that I am less attached to. I sometimes lose sight of the big things and the little. I don’t care that my birthday is in the morning, either, because every day feels like my birthday. I am treated well by those who love me, loved by those that I care about, am healthy and have love to share with those around me. I may not be the richest (oh heavens, no!) or the tallest or the prettiest or the whateverist, but I am here and happy.
That’s worth a million.

Good bye 30, hello 31, let’s continue the adventure!

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Taking a break from holiday photos to go back in time

Remember how aaaaaages ago I bought a film camera?

I’ve been hoarding my film to be able to get 5+ processing discounts. Well, it happened! The other day I had 6 films processed! It would appear that digital and I may have had a falling out.

 

These were taken with a Nikon F5, on Fuji Portra 400H. 

They were colour, some I preferred in b+w, though. 

 

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These are all off one film… I’m going to keep sharing the ones I loved from other films, including one shot only a week ago – woot! 

Koh Rong

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Koh Rong is currently one of THE hotspots of South East Asia.

It’s a little island off the Coast of Sihanoukville in Cambodia and is developing quickly… so quickly in fact that in the time since I’d booked accommodation and arrived (less than 3 months), there were already two new accommodation spots on the island, with another one being built.

The thing that is drawing people there in droves is that it is being touted as what Thailand’s Southern beaches were like 30 years ago, before the touts, the resorts, the rampant sex industry. I know that’s what got me there along with the fact that I could stay in a treehouse, lounge in a hammock and do little else for the duration of our trip.

The Island has been sold to a developer who is going to turn it into an eco resort… before I went I had strong feelings that this simply shouldn’t be allowed to happen, but after our visit, well, things have changed.

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The island has beautiful resources – pure white sandy beaches that are 28 degrees celcius warm during the day, undisturbed jungles in the middle of the island and dive sites in the warm waters. It is a haven from this mad and busy world.

With the level of building currently going on, though, how can this be preserved? The island is growing in popularity and the number of guests growing… as is the amount of sewage, food required, number of boats… on and on. This is not being managed to preserve the natural beauty of the island at the moment, or so it would seem, so having a managed plan might actually be the best way of preserving the unique elements of the island… but then, apparently there is a golf course planned, so perhaps not.

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We stayed for two nights in a treehouse bungalow (US$30 a night), which was magical, even if our bathroom made us squeamish. It’s not the Ritz, for sure!

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On our full day, I paid $75 for two refresher dives from a boat (group of 3 with one dive master and a DM in training) and for the boy to snorkel. The boy didn’t enjoy the snorkelling so much, so I skipped my second dive to hang out with him and do flips off the back of the boat… still major fun and super inclusive. We were stung by jellyfish spores, which sounds a bigger deal than it was, but stayed in the water anyway. I have a video of the boy jumping in and rising to the surface in a pile of bubbles, but no need to bore anyone!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn our second full day we lounged in the water, hammocks, beachside cafes and more. We swam so much in that turquoise water and caught up with people we’d met on the boat. There is a smug kind of smile that every guest shares on the island, like we’re the ones that have discovered a secret paradise and know how lucky we really are.

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It was also the only place on our trip that I really felt comfortable enough releasing the boy off his big Western leash. The man assisting me with our booking gently chided me for babying him too much, a sweet reminder that I’m attempting to grow a person, not a child.

Ohhh, a few more things about the island:

There are dogs everywhere.

There are two Khmer island communities… These are townships made up with corrugated tin homes, boilers, single room houses and the trappings of poverty. This is a community that is currently reaping the benefits of cashed up tourists who are too lazy to do their own laundry (like me. I paid US$1.75 for all of the boy and I’s clothes to be washed by someone else). It’s not for the faint hearted, though, as the smell is intense. It offers bonuses, though, like the wedding we got to witness!

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I guess the big thing is, ultimately, whether we enjoyed it or not. That is an absolute no-brainer. We loved it and cannot wait to return with my beloved spouse as soon as possible. I don’t know if we’ll stay on Koh Rong on the busy side, again… I think we’d either stay on the other side of the island or on Koh Rong Samloen. For this trip, though, being close to people was important as it was just the boy and I.

I seriously miss this Island way of life so much and the idea of it being years before we return makes me immeasurably sad. Sooner, rather than later is the order of the day for Koh Rong.

How to get to Koh Rong:

Catch a 2.5 hour ferry from Sihanoukville. You can liase directly with Koh Rong Dive (who operate Treehouse Bungalows and Coco’s) or book through one of the Sihanoukville travel agents. 

Easter 2012

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The boy made this for us before we got out of bed on Sunday morning! Super happy and proud of the munchkin (not so much of my housekeeping… so much flotsam and jetsam on that blasted rug!)!

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One of my fave parts of the Easter tradition…

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter!

We woke up at home, went to lunch at the spouse’s Aunt + Uncle’s home, then popped in to say hello to an unwell derby spouse, went to visit the new home of a friend and then went to Kangaroo Point Cliffs to watch the sun go down whilst doing an off-skates workout with a few other skaters. The boy especially enjoyed running around like a crazy fellow and laughing at everyone doing their exercises….

A busy day, but easily one of my favourite Easter Sundays in a really, really long time.

Family, friends, sunshine and chocolate… how could it not be?

Flown the coop

Big Bird has been growing his beak at an extraordinary rate.

He went to the vet last month to have the end trimmed…

This morning I took him back as I was still worried about his beak development. The vet agreed and I held him in my hands as she looked at him. He was uncomfortable, so I stretched my hand out and he moved towards perching on my fingers and the vet said “back to mum you go” and started telling me about his diagnosis. She told me that he was at the point in his life where I needed to make him as happy and comfortable as possible as it would come to that point where I would need to euthanase him.

I teared up.

She went on to say that until he got to that point, we would be able to manage his condition for years, likely.

So she went to get the tools.

I looked him in his eye and told him that he’d just received news of his impending death, but it was ok, ’cause I would spoil him rotten. He chirped at me, the special chirp that he only did for me – matching my tone and inflection.

The vet asked if I wanted a nurse to hold him, I refused as I thought he’d be more comfortable with me.

She trimmed his beak, carefully, oh so carefully. And then I felt it. He went limp in my hands.

I looked at her and asked what I’d done.

She started massaging his heart. I told him to come back.

I looked away.

I knew, already.

She picked him up and took him into the other room to intubate him.

The minutes ticked by in the small blue room. Strangely, it was the room where I’d had to put my 13 year old dog to sleep 9 and a half years before. I willed her spirit to keep him company and be with him.

Another minute.

I dried my tears and smiled. He’s strong.

Another minute.

I knew he was gone. I felt selfish for wanting him to stay. I wanted to stick my head into the other room and just tell them to stop and let him go. I gave him permission to leave, told him that I would be ok.

Another minute. And another.

The vet came in. He was limp in her hand. A small, broken, dead bird. She said sorry, it was obvious how bonded we were.

She’d intubated, he’d had his shot of adrenaline, she had done all she could.

He was gone.

He is gone.

 

 

Cherry Picking, Red Hill

This is the boy with his great grandmother (one of three great-grandmothers – a benefit of having children young!), she is 88 and lives alone in Rosebud. I find her stories remarkable, she has overcome so much in her 88 years and is in near constant pain from a variety of injuries and ailments. Living in sunny (ha) QLD and having her so far away has never been a problem before this year, but we are getting to the point where the realisation has hit that we may not have this woman in our lives for too much longer… she’s not as strong as she has been.

On this particular day when we were visiting we wanted to show the spouse some of the gorgeous places around the Mornington Peninsula – Cherry Picking at Red Hill, a meander around Flinders and evening bathing at the Peninsula Hot Springs.

It was rainy and we couldn’t show him the aquamarine tones of the ocean on a clear day. We still had fun, though!

I couldn’t take photos in the springs, but it was an absolute highlight. At night everything is lit up and you travel amongst all the different temperature pools. Lovely. We were here for about 2.5 hours, the boy was comfortable, we made sure he had breaks from the heat and lots and lots and lots of fresh water. He thinks going back in the day time would be awesome, too. Next year, maybe.

All in all, it was a fun, busy, crazy day, just the way we like them 😉