Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Hunter Valley

A two day road trip with my family to Hunter Valley to end the s#!ttest (synonym: poopiest) year of my life by far, 2013. Even though there's not much to do there because the area mostly attracts avid wine drinkers with its extensive vineyards and wineries, we all had heaps of fun just knowing that we were 3 hours away from Sydney, and a change in scenery is always exciting.

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We didn't do any wine tasting, but did a whole lot of fast food eating. Actually, we kind of spent our time there doing elderly things like strolling through gardens and playing putt putt by the lake. I made dad stop driving every few metres because the view here is so picturesque. The good thing is that there are hardly any cars around so we could stop in the middle of the road and I'd stick my head out the window like a dog then take photos.

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An attraction there are the Hunter Valley Gardens during Christmas. Each garden had a theme and at night, there would be Christmas lights and a whole lot of festive music. The whole area felt like there were singing gnomes hidden in the hedges. (Also got told off because there was this blocked off entrance to one of the gardens and there were elephant lights basically greeting me at the gates and I really wanted to see what was in there and a worker caught me after taking two steps. At least we know somebody's not sleeping on the job.)

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Stayed at a motel for the night and watched weird things on TV (like how this guy was addicted to eating glass...), had instant noodles and fought for the single beds - The typical stuff. On our second day, we did a bit of chocolate and confectionary browsing at a few stores that looked like little barns and cottages.

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We stopped by The Entrance on our way home and went to the beach. The water is really shallow so it looks like there are small islands where people can also go fishing. There is also a fair nearby where I painted a ceramic dragon and ate a lot of cinnamon doughnuts.

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Look at the amount of power that lady has. Look at how hypnotised the pelicans are. If you have one fish in your hand, you can control an entire population of pelicans. It's almost abnormal to see how behaved they look, until the fish is thrown into the air and they all become chaotic animals again.

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In summary, a successful road trip because no one got sunburnt in 30°C+ weather! *raises glass full of sunscreen*

Monday, 9 December 2013


For someone who claims to despise the beach, WHY HAS MY FOOT MADE CONTACT WITH SAND THREE TIMES THIS YEAR? THIS IS NOT OKAY. I was on the verge of threatening to shave all my hair off because I was eating my own hair due to the wind whipping it into my mouth. My temper level is at an all time high when I'm at the beach.

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I busied myself taking photos, which I ran out of things to photograph. I busied myself penny boarding, which I gave up on because of the brick-like cracks everywhere. I busied myself reading, which I also gave up on because of the goddamned wind in my face and book. Then came the flecks of rain and I just gave up on everything and wrapped myself in a towel, counting down the minutes till our Korean BBQ buffet.

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Highlight at the Korean BBQ buffet would be Vivienne's odd creations - Grilling watermelon and mixing ice cream and yoghurt together. It was strangely... nice. Then we drove around looking at houses covered in Christmas lights. There were these two particular houses that were insane. Their lights and decorations were flashing in sync to songs played on a radio station. All nine of us sat in a row, on the curb, watching for a long time with sleep washing over my eyes. It was a nice moment, minus the mosquitoes.

While driving to all these places, I got to be pick the car music. I realised that my friends haven't heard of the kind of music I usually listen to, which made me think, Australian indie pop/rock and alternative bands don't get enough recognition, both in and out of the country. So here is a playlist of my favourites. There will be bias involved because I saw The Jungle Giants a couple of months ago.

▶ It's Nice To Be Alive by Ball Park Music
▶ Plans by Birds Of Tokyo
▶ This Fire by Birds Of Tokyo
▶ When The Night Falls Quiet by Birds Of Tokyo
▶ Time And Place by Last Dinosaurs
▶ Weekend by Last Dinosaurs
▶ Rocket Ship by San Cisco
▶ Fred Astaire by San Cisco
▶ Wild Things by San Cisco
▶ Mr Polite by The Jungle Giants
▶ She's A Riot by The Jungle Giants
▶ I Am What You Want Me To Be by The Jungle Giants
▶ Come And Be Alone With Me by The Jungle Giants
▶ Young by The Paper Kites

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Sunday, 1 December 2013

Humans Of New York

I am usually the type to stand in front of my chosen scene then wait for everyone to walk out of the range of my shot no matter how long it takes to get the "perfect" photo with minimal people in it. Or sometimes I would go to the extent of editing stray people out of my photos because I think they "ruin" my shots.

Brandon Stanton is my favourite people photographer because he makes me want to take photos of complete strangers, ask about their life stories and hang onto every word they say.

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Humans of New York is a compilation of Brandon Stanton's photos made into a book. He basically goes around taking photos of people on the streets of New York then asks them a simple question or strikes up a casual conversation then captions his photos with quotes from these ordinary people. He then posts his pictures daily on his Tumblr and Facebook that I read everyday like a morning paper (except I don't read morning papers). We get a little window into these strangers' lives and I really like how real it feels.

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I think my favourite thing about Humans of New York is that it shows everyone has a story and they're not just another mundane person living their mundane life doing mundane things. (My overuse of the word 'mundane' made that sentence sound mundane towards the end. But you get my point?)