Leaf & Frond Studios

Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

One of my favourite Boxing Day traditions is to watch the Doctor Who Christmas special. I usually spend Christmas with my extended family, and it was my uncle and cousin who originally inspired this tradition.

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True to its name, the Christmas special is shown on Christmas Day in the UK (where it is made), but for Australia that equates to the wee hours of the morning on Boxing Day. The ABC shows it at that time, but I’m not that keen. I like to watch it in the evening, often during dinner while shushing all the other relatives in the room who aren’t interested.

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You’d think I’d be eagerly anticipating it, but no. Almost very year I forget it’s on and then I see it in the TV guide or my family mentions it and then I really look forward to it.

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It’s time again to finish the year in photos. Here’s a snapshot of my favourite photos and the ones that sum up what my year’s been about. This is a long post, but lots of photos and nothing too onerous to get bogged down in.

The photos I have used are wonderful in my eyes, but there are a lot of other photos with friends and family that should have made it into this post to really sum up my year. But as I don’t use people’s photos on the blog, unless they give their permission, they haven’t been included here. But there are a few of me sprinkled in there so it doesn’t look like my year is all about plants and food!

This first group of shots is from a week in January when I visited Taronga Zoo, the NSW Art Gallery and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. I really loved being a tourist in my own city.

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A huge part of my year was being a full-time student again for my Masters course. I did a great variety of coursework and spent a lot of time on campus.

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My schedule was really unpredictable and I was often working late at the library. I ate out a lot, and as I love my food I definitely needed to include some food shots in this post. Looking over the final collection of photos, I was really surprised that there weren’t more food photos.

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Throughout the year I took short breaks from working, studying and caring for my plants to do some macro nature photography. First this was just with my iPhone, but later in the year I acquired an OlloClip, so that became my new favourite photography tool (used with my iPhone). I just love it so much, so convenient and such a cheap set of lenses.

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In October I spent 6 nights in Hawaii on the way to Las Vegas for my brother’s wedding. Even though I completed three assignments while in America it was still relaxing and I had a blast at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and shopping at the outlet malls in Vegas and at my brother’s wedding.

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One of the iPhone photography features I use a lot when I travel is the panorama setting. It really lets me capture the feeling of a place and lets me remember there was more than just one viewfinder’s worth of stuff to see. These are my favourite panoramas from my America trip (from top to bottom: the view of the Vegas lights from the wedding venue; the shopping and restaurant area in the Hilton Hawaiian Village; the palm trees along the Waikiki beachfront; and the lobby of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas).

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The second half of the year was when I really narrowed down what the focus of my Masters project is going to be. I’m looking at the extrafloral nectar (nectar outside the flowers) of Australian native wild cotton plants. I’ve been growing the plants in the campus greenhouses for about 6 months and these are some of the photos I’ve captured over that time. I still find it fascinating that there is so much nectar just dripping out of the leaves that ants can drink it and I can collect it to analyse.

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And to wrap up the year, Christmas photos from my time visiting friends in the Blue Mountains. Lots of laughs and so many beautiful Christmas decorations over our time together on Christmas and Boxing Day.

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Happy new year! Wishing you lots of love and laughter in 2015.

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The journalling reads:

As a teenager I wanted to maximize my sleeping time, but also not be late for work and school so this ‘alarm clock’ was devised.

Each night before I went to bed I’d set the clock to the time I needed to be up, and then I’d sleep like a baby (or more accurately a teenager) knowing that if I overslept Mum would wake me at the necessary time.

This arrangement worked extremely well – apart from making sure I was up when I needed to be, this system allayed Mum’s worries about me not being up when I should be.

And on a weekend it kind of acted like a peace-keeper: I could stay in bed as long as I wanted, but [there was tacit agreement that] normal house noises could commence after the time on my clock.

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This year I’m doing Stacey Julian’s Inspired Scrapbooking class at Big Picture Classes and the theme for January is seasons.

My favourite season is Winter, lots of cosy moments without a lot of being hot and sweaty.

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The journalling reads:

I grew up in a household that didn’t use electric blankets, so I’ve never thought about getting one for my own place.

I love climbing into bed in winter, all warm and the sheets are cool and crisp. I tend to run hot, so the bed warms up quickly, no electricity required. Such a cosy feeling.

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All through my childhood my parents shared a lot of English comedy with my brother and me. I have very fond memories of us all laughing ourselves silly at Fawlty Towers (Mum’s favourite anagram was Farty Towels!).

When my brother was old enough he became a devoted fan of Monty Python and the Life of Brian video (yes video) was well used.

So as a tribute to our family favourite, here’s another installment from my childhood memories SMASH book.

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The journalling reads:

‘The Ministry of Silly Walks’ is a comedy sketch performed by John Cleese (as part of Monty Python).

My Dad was a huge fan of Monty Python and Mum appreciated John Cleese’s humour so somehow The Ministry of Funny Walks (as [we] call it) became one of our family jokes. Whenever someone would say ‘walk this way’, meaning ‘follow me’, we deliberately misinterpret it and take it as ‘walk in this manner’ and do our version of a silly walk.

It’s funny when I accidentally forget myself and do it with people outside my family: most people just look at me as if I’m weird, but occasionally there’s someone who appreciates what I’m doing and we have a little giggle about it.

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The image above is a screenshot of the Monty Python sketch (thanks to Wikipedia) – search ‘Ministry of Silly Walks’ to see a YouTube clip.


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Location: Sydney, Australia

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