Happy Birthday Kathryn

Kathryn Showing off her Assets

Young at heart and full of vigour, Kathryn Potempski celebrates her birthday today.

I met Kathryn a few years back at a gallery exhibition opening I attended with my friend Sue. Kathryn was the crazy lady asking strangers if she could take their photos. She has an enigmatic way about her, able to blend with people from all walks of life. I remember seeing Kathryn’s photos on display that night and thinking how amazing they were. Only to find out a short time later that she had only picked up a camera and discovered her passion for photography in recent years.

When I mention that Kathryn was asking strangers to take their photo she really does it with ease. I remember having coffee with her after the opening and we were talking about the bone structure of a girl sitting at another table. When the young lady notices our glances Kathryn promptly calls out “Don’t worry, we’re not weird, we just think you have an amazing face for photography.” And that’s how she is.

Everything is approached at light speed and with gusto. Kathryn is a self-starter and in the short time I have known her we have become fast friends and I’m glad to say a little bit of her nature has rubbed off on me.

While I’m still not quite up to asking complete strangers to take their photos I am more confident in directing a shoot. I’ve always been pretty clued up on the technical aspects but actually talking to a model, or a subject of a photo, not so much. I treated everything like a snap shot. I was, and still am at times, the type of photographer who captures a moment. While Kathryn also does this she also knows that a good picture isn’t just taken, it’s made. She’ll get up early to get the perfect sunrise and wait patiently for the moment she’s chasing to come her way.

This post is to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Kathryn. She’s leaving me un-returnable messages about me missing her birthday. But it’s today and I’ve tried to call. Left messages on facebook. She’s tough to track down at times.

I’m thankful that Kathryn is in my life. There are times it seems like she always has been, that’s how comfortable our friendship is. So Kathryn, if you read this, thanks for being a great friend. Happy birthday and here’s to the many, many, many, many more years that are ahead of you.

Below are some photos of Kathryn on set with a model we shot last year. The model is Kabel and coincedently he shares his birthday with Ms Kathryn. They clicked like a hen and chick.

Kabel and Kathryn
Kathryn Provides Feedback
Kathryn advising Kable of the next pose

Easter Lunch

This year our friends’ Easter just happened to fall the same time as the gazetted Christian Easter and they were having an Easter Sunday lunch and we luckily got an invite.

Easter Lunch (yesterday)

We made the trip to Craigieburn and had a thoroughly good time. We took the doggins along to meet Lana and Sue’s mum. I think their mum would like a puppy. She was quite taken with the dogs.

Before we lunch we did a traditional egg fight. Each person selects and egg from the basket and when they have the egg they think is a winner they whack it, point to point, against someone else’s egg. If your egg breaks you have to hand your egg over to the victor who gets to eat them both. I’ve never done this before. For us Easter eggs had always been of the chocolate variety so it was great fun to do.

The eggs were coloured and decorated with elaborate patterns. They looked great.

Easter Eggs

Lunch was amazing. First course was a chicken noodle soup, followed by lasagne and salad, which I forgot to photograph. And as if I weren’t full enough along came a roast pork with baked apples, roast potatoes, roast pumpkin, bread and the smoothest apple sauce for a third course. These ladies can cook up a storm I tell you. I always feel quite privileged to indulge in their culinary endeavours.

Easter Lunch - Roast Pork and Apples
Easter Lunch - Pumpkin and Potatoes
Easter Lunch - Bread and Apple Sauce

After a short break to go outside with the doggins and let the massive amounts of food shift a little, we adjourned to the lounge where we all felt like unbuttoning our pants and letting our food-full bellies out.

We followed this short break up with Trifle, Custard and Apple Pie. A divine ending to an amazing meal. Not sure how I fit desert in, but you know how it is, there is another stomach in there somewhere for sweets, that’s what my nan always said.

Easter Lunch - Trifle
Easter Lunch - Custard
Easter Lunch - Apple Pie

The rest of the afternoon was spent in a kind of stupor, almost a food coma. There was much patting of the puppies and much joyous chatter. I love my friends and am grateful to have them in my life.

Lana, David, Mum and Sue
Easter Lunch - Jo and Bill asleep

Oh yeah, we also had a little fun at Lana’s expense. She doesn’t love the word delicious. And when you respond that way to her food she gives you a look you don’t want to see. This stems from someone she no longer likes favouring the word as the only description he had for food. So as a way of desensitizing Lana we made a little postcard for her for when had finished our meals and to show our gratitude for a wonderful meal.

As you can probably guess, the postcard has “delicious” from a whole bunch of languages.

We got a new baby: Meet Jo

I always said I didn’t want more pets after Adam and Eve passed. Saying goodbye to Eve was more gut wrenching that any other pet before her. Maybe cause I was quite young when I had lost other pets, or they were pets that weren’t as ingrained in our lives as pet dogs are. Like I bawled my eyes out like a baby when I had to bury Bungee after the crazy heatwave a couple of years back. And I do miss her, but I think about Adam and Eve pretty much every day. David and I have been together for 14 years as of next Monday and for 12 of those we had our Eve and then 11 with Adam. They were very much a part of us as a unit.

Then we got Bill. David wanted him as a birthday present last year. I would be insane to say Bill hasn’t made me laugh so hard and feel happy during this past year. Getting him, even after saying we never would again, isn’t something I could ever regret.

And in having one dog, you know you gotta have two. Dogs are pack animals. While we are part of his ‘pack’ there’s a huge chunk of time when we’re not home and I think it’s unfair to leave poor Bill on his own. He needed a playmate and another member of the pack.

Meet Jo, she’s the latest addition to our family. She’s a 12 week old pure black cocker spaniel and she’s gorgeous.

New Addition: Meet Jo

We knew we wanted another puppy, I was hanging for Bill to get a little bit older and wise before we brought another doggin into the house. Hoping he could learn to be a good boy and would help us teach the new puppy the house rules. This is what happened with Adam who we brought in just over a year after getting Eve. She would teach him, he would follow her and when he did something wrong she would give him a nudge in the right direction.

But I’ve figured out something, male dogs are kind of dumb. I’m not calling Bill stupid, he’s just not as clued in as Eve always was. But then nether was Adam.

So we decided now was the right time. Bill is still a little young and not too set in his ways and really that’s where we want a puppy to be when someone new is coming in to share their space. They haven’t really had time to decide that everything they see is their own. They are still learning and still being bossed around by us and therefore more open to an addition to the pack.

David tried to contact Gillian, the breeder who had groomed Bill about a week ago but we hadn’t heard back from her and David found that another breeder we knew about from the Cocker Spaniel Dog Show from a couple of weeks back had a couple of pups available. David rang Sheryl, the breeder, and she told him someone had already called about the puppy and that they were calling back that night to confirm they wanted to buy her.

We wanted a girl and that’s what she had. So on Monday David rang Sheryl again on to see if the other person hadn’t called back so the puppy was available. David organised for us to go see her that afternoon.

I think David really wanted another roan like Bill, but when I heard the new puppy might be pure black I got a little excited.

By the time we had left work, stopped in and picked up Bill (so he could meet the puppy) and drove the hour and a bit to Portarlington past Geelong I was a little more than excited.

When we saw the little black jumping bean in the dog run I was in love. She was in there with three other pups from an older litter and was clearly used to be tossed around by them in play.

She came out and met Bill who didn’t respond badly. Sniffer her a bit and licked her head. He has a thing about sniffing and licking, must be cause he’s a dog.

We then met the parents of the pup. Both the mother and the father were extremely placid and beautiful.

When asked if we want her, we said yes and David went off with Sheryl to do all the paper work and pay for her.

So now we have a little girl puppy named Jo. David named her and Bill after the lead characters in the movie Twister. Just as Adam and Eve were named after lead characters. But not from the Bible, from another fictional piece called “Blast from the Past”.

She’s booked in to get her shots at the end of the month and has a new pink collar. And she’s awesome. She goes to bed and for the first couple of nights has slept quite well. Last night she slept right through without waking, well not that we noticed.

Jo follows Bill around and they play together well. They are going to be great friends.

Below are some more images of Jo from her first couple of days with us and one of Bill, just for good measure.

Baby Jo
Baby Jo
Baby Jo
Jo having her first dinner at home.
Little @joTheDoggin got her new collar and tag today. #fb
Bill and his ball.

Trudi and Saimon got married

Wedding Photo

Trudi and Saimon's Wedding

Yesterday we attended the wedding of our friends Trudi and Saimon. It was a wonderful ceremony at the Fairfield Park Amphitheatre. A lot of guests were in attendance and I took photos.

The wedding was at 3:30 and by the time the ceremony was over and the guests had said their well wishes light was running out on us for shots. So I have a bit of work to do to pick up some of the images I took on the day.

Having said that I quite like the one above. I’ll probably dodge Saimon in a little more in photoshop. But on the whole I like it.

The reception was held at the XBX Lawn Bowls Club. The decorations look awesome and a fun night was had by all. I’ll have more photos as I get through them, but for now share these few with you.

Wedding Photo

Wedding Photo

Wedding Photo

And I love this series of the kids as a whole. I don’t think any of them are perfect on their own but as a group I love them.





A couple of my favourite little people

Got to spend some time with Am and Ell on Saturday. They are great little people. It has been wonderful having them as part of our lives since before they were born. Their folks are just amazing and these two will grow to be incredible humans. It was great to take photos of the kids. Something I don’t get to do often enough. And these two are growing so quickly.

I’m doing this thing at the moment where I try and do all the focus in my camera manually so it was hard to grab the real action shots, but I think I got some good ones.

If you’re a friend or family on Flickr you can see more than are presented here.

The Fairy Door
The fairy door.

Little fairy checks the fairy door
Am checks to see if Tink is home.

Checking the fairy door
Ell comes over to see if he can see any fairies.

Elliot and Amelie
Brother and Sister Twins

Little Fairy
A portrait of Amelie

Brooding Elliot
A portrait of Elliot

High-Flying Elliot

High-Flying Amelie

Father and son
Father and Son

Lunch Time for Elliot

Lunch time for Amelie

Amelie Playing with a digger and Muck
The digger fills up Muck

Digger in the “dirt.”

Australia Day 2011

We don’t usually do anything for Australia Day. It’s a national holiday here in Australia, as it rightly should be, but usually we use it for day of doing nothing at home.

This year we decided to head out with our friend Kathryn to Geelong. The original intention being to finally take some photos of fireworks, which strangely is something I have only ever done once and not very well. So I was kind of excited when plans were first made a couple of weeks back.

Then looking into it the day before heading down, Geelong doesn’t have fireworks on Australia day, they instead have them a few days earlier for Geelong Day, the celebration of the settlement of Geelong. So there was going to be no fireworks and this was a little disappointing but we were still going to go for the day anyway, our plans didn’t change.

View Larger Map

We had a fun day of it, took Bill along for the day. Ended up spending 5 hours walking around in the overcast day which became increasingly sunny. And we got burnt to a crisp which we didn’t kind of notice until way later in the afternoon. Turns out the UV Index for the day was right at the tip-top of the range and even with the overcast day we were guaranteed to get “sun” damage. Stupid part of it was we had sunscreen in the car. It was silly.

But as we wandered we got some good photos of the day’s activities.

  • The swearing in of the new Australians by the Lord Mayor of Geelong. He welcomed 30+ new citizens in the day’s public ceremony.
  • The sea plane and helicopter
  • Some of the art of Geelong
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Camel rides
  • The markets
  • Diving and other crazy activities at the Beach House and the diving areas
  • The punk pop band “Prefect Fit” playing at the skate park
  • The Roulette’s aerial display, which we almost missed as we were leaving

We ended our Geelong adventure with a crape and lots of liquid before the drive back to home.

Completely buggered by the end of the day and with our sunburn quickly on the rise and becoming more evident and more painful by the second we had an early night to bed.

It was a great day out. We got a bunch of great photos and had a fun Australia Day with our fellow Australians.

Below is only a few of the photos taken, for a view of all the photos I uploaded the Flickr, visit my Flickr gallery Australia Day 2011. All the photos were taken using just manual focus. I’ve come to not trust the auto focus on my camera and think it needs a service, which I will have to organise soon.

Geelong Australia Day 2011
Aussie Pride
Geelong Art
Geelong Art
Geelong Art
New Australian Citizens
Ferris Wheel
Ferris Wheel
Beach Volleyball
Beach Volleyball
Beach Volleyball
Beach Volleyball
Beach Volleyball
Diving Kids
Geelong Diving
Geelong Diving
Diving Kids
Diving Kids
Diving Kids
Prefect Fit Drummer: Chris Kelly
Perfect Fit Bass Player: Matt Dietrich
Perfect Fit Lead: Brandon Poulter
Prefect Fit Guitarist: Lincoln Stolz
Lunch in Geelong
Geelong Australia Day 2011

36 and still kicking

Today is my 36th birthday, crap! I’ve been on the earth in this form for 36 years, what have I done with it?

Well if I’m honest not as much as I had hoped. If I’m even more honest, while at times I cringe when I think of all the things I wanted but haven’t done, mostly I’m thankful for how my life has played out to-date.

I have a loving partner with whom I’ve spent almost 13 years with, the best family I could ask for and awesome friends who really are more like extended family.

I don’t often celebrate my birthday, it is after all just another day. But (and thankfully) my friends remind me that it’s a great day to be thankful for everything I have.

Last night David cooked an amazing dinner, well when I say last night I actually mean he spent the entire day Saturday preparing and cooking dinner for seven. I’m aghast that I didn’t take any photos of the food. I was too busy enjoying eating it. He made three pasta dishes, including the pasta, and followed it up with home made banana ice cream and home made chocolate sauce.

My friend Andrew hopped a flight from Sydney and spent yesterday and today with us. It was great to finally introduce my Sydney friend to sone of my Melbourne friends.

This year I was treated with some lovely, thoughtful gifts. I never expect gifts, believing I’m lucky to have all the great people in my life, who needs to add to that with gifts. Having said that I’m always chuffed when a present comes my way. ;)

From Kathryn and John I got some flowers, boomerang magnets (she loves her crazy gifts) and some beautiful Burberry Brit spray.

Presents from Kathryn

Nikki and Trudi also had me gobsmacked with their thoughtfall gifts. As a recent vegetarian they’ve given me some of their favourite vegetarian recipes in a folder, all broken out into the sections for easy reference.

My recipe folder
My recipe folder

I also now have a great memory card game. As we get older it’s important to keep our minds active, Nikki clearly knows the importance of this and has recruited my family to help.

Memory Game

You can see from the photo above the effort Nikki has put into this gift, and I’m not lying to say even typing this I have a little flutter in my chest, wait is that a heart attack at 36?, no, it’s the realisation that I’m loved by my friends. The amount of time Nikki puts into these gifts is amazing, just look at it.

Not only has she sourced every member of my family (including pets), Nikki has also photoshoped them all so just the heads are in there. She’s also made sure the corners are rounded so they aren’t pointy and won’t hurt my ageing fingers.

But if you thought the cards were impressive, check out the container they live it. A piece of handmade art! I love the look of this game wallet, and love that so much time and effort was put into it by a very special person.

Memory Game

Memory Game

Today we went for breakfast and followed it up with a great lunch at the Bridge Hotel in Werribee.

So as I start this next year of my life, I’m joyous and grateful for everything I have and everything I’ve experienced in my life, so far. I know I have a long time ahead and can’t wait to see what’s to come.

Thanks to everyone who contacted me and sent messages today, it’s much appreciated and makes me feel special.

Second Child Syndrome

Learn to swim 1979

I wonder if it’s real? I don’t really think I suffer from it. But I do feel that my older brother was afforded more choices than the rest of us when we were kids.

Not to say I ever felt left out. Our parent supported us in what ever we wanted to do, where we could afford it. And more importantly I always felt loved as a child.

The image attached is from our local newspaper way back in 1979. You can click on the image to see the full-size version of it. You will note that a face is circled in the picture, that of my older brother Brian (who was 7 at the time). And given that this image has been kept in a family photo album since 1979 with the one face circled, you’ll be forgiven for thinking that Brian is the only member of our family in the photo.

Yep there I am, first row, second from the right, proud as punch to have my intermediate learn to swim certificate at the tender age of 5.

Learn to swim 1979

Of course I jest. While I am in the photo, this clipping was in a photo album dedicated to Brian so it makes sense for him to be circled. But then my photo album doesn’t have the same paper clipping in it with me circled. :P