Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Wrap-Up and 2008 Plans

It's been a full-on year. Lots of travel. Lots going on. Lots of changes. All in all, a good year.

Some highlights:

  • Queensland trip in Jan and learning to SCUBA dive with Alec.
  • USA trip in March and seeing the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley with Alec.
  • Moving in with Alec in April.
  • Best birthday ever thanks to Alec.
  • More work published again on the Google Australia blog.
  • Getting into netball again - running a team, holding an eBay challenge event and raising over $2k for the RSPCA.
  • Getting fit! I started running into work, dancing more, climbing more.
  • Europe trip in Sept with Alec. Seeing Rome and Venice.
  • Starting a blog and photo blog.
  • Improving my photography - the macro lens certainly helped!
  • Turning vegetarian. I've wanted to do this for a long time.

What I would like to achieve next year:

  • Job satisfaction - making sure I'm doing what I want to be doing.
  • Getting fit and well. I've lost a lot of fitness while I've been sick. I want to shake off the sickness and get back into my exercise routine.
  • Further improving my photography, particularly learning to use my camera better and indoor lighting.
  • Take at least one photo every day.
  • Travel! I want to see Japan.
  • Personally, I would like to be more relaxed and a lot less stressed. I need to have more confidence in myself and my abilities. I think that's the way to less stress for me. I also need to speak up more about things that I'm not happy about. I tend to let things slide for the sake of keeping the peace, in all situations, and get angry about it on the inside. I think it would be not only healthier for me, but helpful for other people if I was braver and spoke up more. Again, it comes down to confidence in myself.
  • I also need to shop less, and save and budget better. Surely I don't need MORE clothes?!
  • I want to learn more. Even if it's just reading more books, I want to finish up 2008 with as much knowledge as I can cram into my head, particularly in areas like history and environment.
  • Get my puppies back living with me. I miss them daily.

My Secret Indulgence

I've been sick for the entire of December. I've had sinus, throat and chest infections and three lots of antibiotics, and I am still sick. To make myself feel better, I had a pedicure today. I get it done every month or so, and even though I know it is such an indulgence, it makes me feel so good that I can't stop going!

I usually get my nails done in a deep red, but I chose pink today. It looked a lot darker in the bottle, but came out really candy - which is perfect for a cheery start to what I hope to be an amazing 2008.

Atonement - The Movie

I recently read the novel so was keen to see the movie version of Atonement with Rosalie.

The early reviews were not overly flattering, so I wasn't hoping for an amazing movie. I was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful it was. Very much like the book, it was delicate, understated and old world in style.

Atonement was also very faithful to the book, with only one major deviation from the novel - the ending of all things! I would have much preferred if the movie had remained completely faithful to the book, but I think the change was made to enable Briony to voice her thoughts and hopes for atonement. In the book she internalises her thoughts on this, and without a narrator in the movie, it would have been much harder to get the character development and message across.

What I enjoyed most about the film was the cinematography and small details like musical themes and whimsical moments of filming, capturing tiny moments that summed up the characters so perfectly and spoke louder than dialogue. I also thought the editing was fabulous, as well as storytelling methods like showing the same moment through different characters points of view. it could have been disjointed, but it as seamless.

Since I read the book first, I don't know how much people who haven't read it would enjoy the movie, but I loved it.

Team Thai and Arvo in Crows Nest

After a few days of being sick and doing nothing, I went to join Lisa in Crows Nest for an excellent afternoon and evening of chatting and food.

We got takeaway Thai from Team Thai on the main strip in Crows Nest.

Fresh veges just waiting for me.

My food being cooked.

Mmmmm veges and fried rice. My fave Thai food.

Cute cute kitty watching trains.

Meow!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Puppies On Holiday

The girls came to stay with us in Chatswood. We took them to a park for an afternoon snuffle.

Kahlua on the look out.


Buffy is having a lip-smacking good time.

Alec chills out.

Beautiful Kahlua relaxes.

Me and the Buff.

Me with Kahlua.

Where's The Bee?

I'm learning how to make my own videos. This is my first attempt. Kahlua and Buffy playing with their bee toys on Xmas day.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Port Stephens Holiday - More!

A mini vid I took at Fingal Bay, Port Stephens.



And a panorama pic I took from the tea rooms.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

I love Christmas. I love having family together, spending time with my puppies and presents :)

Christmas this year was at my parents' house. Alec, Jan and his Uncle Alec came over for lunch, so we had a large family get together for the day.

The tree with bountiful presents.


Getting stuck into present-opening.

Kahlua observes from her perch.

Mum having a great time.

Kahlua is exhausted by it all.


Kahlua examining the Christmas carnage.

Alec looking for an escape route to play with his new toy

Alec and Unc get the dragonfly in the air.


Mmmm Christmas feast.

Self-portrait with mini-Buff wedged in the middle.

Dessert number one - mum's awesome pavlova.

Dessert number two - my frozen berry cake.

Amy goes bananas.

Dessert number three - gingerbread house - yuuuummmm.


Taking the house apart.

The girls spend time with their pop.

Me and my babies.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Port Stephens Holiday - Day 3

After a leisurely breakfast, Alec and I checked out of the hotel. We went to lunch at the Inner Light Tea Rooms with Lisa and Alan before heading back to Sydney.

The tea house is on the site of the old light house and has amazing views of the bays.


Lisa and Alan and their root beer spiders.
Magpie on the lookout.
Mmmm quiche.

Tasty scones.


This little fellow caught a worm right at my feet. Having people around didn't bother him in the slightest.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Port Stephens Holiday - Day 2

We both slept badly, so had a big sleep in, then drove down to Fingal Bay to spend a cruisy day lying on the beach.






By a total co-incidence, Alec's dad and his wife were staying at the same hotel as us, so we met up with them for dinner that night. After dinner we went down to the marina at Solder's Point to watch the sun set.