Saturday, 20 February 2010

Zen Rock

The instant that I saw this rock it sent me into a kind of zen trance.

The first thing that it made me think of was impermanance... After all, the rock has the look of something ancient. It has clearly been in existance for millions of years. And long after I am gone and forgotten (barring human intervention, or barring sudden breakthroughs in longevity treatments in my lifetime) it will still be sat there, in the sea, being battered by the waves in much the same way...

On the other hand... the rock is clearly being battered by the sea. It isn't hard to imagine it being broken down into sand in just a few millenium. It just made me very aware of the impermanence of all things, and especially myself...

The second thought that came to me was how everything changes, but everything stays the same. For maybe hundreds of years the water had been splashing over this rock in much the same way, filling the pool at the top, and then running out of the pool back into the sea below. Unchanging for hundreds of years...

The flip-side of this is that no two waves, washing over this rock, will have ever been exactly the same... Hundreds and tousands of waves, all breaking over this rock, and each one slightly different from all of the others... Possibly due to the different timing, size or direction of the wave, or down to slight changes in the shape of the rock, or maybe even due to the presence of sea life on the rock, altering the wave slightly, making each one unique...

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Melbourne to Sydney and the Sydney week! (Including my birthday!!!)

The last I wrote was to tell you about my day in Melbourne... Well, we left Melbourne shortly after that, but not before performing the obligatory pilgrimage to the place that every British ex-student in Australia has to visit... We went to …. the Neighbours Street!
It was exactly as awesome as you would imagine. The outside shots of Neighbours are actually filmed on Pin Oak Court. I made the pilgrimage early in the morning, and was rewarded by managing to catch the end of a tour that some people had paid to go on! The tour also brought a “Ramsay Street” sign with them! I of course took full advantage of this!
After that we headed north and east, towards Canberra. It took two days, of pretty uneventful driving, to get there. Freeway all the way! We made one stop-off at Glenrowan, which is apparently the birthplace of Ned Kelly.
Canberra was nice. Quiet... but nice. We arrived the day before Australia day, which seemed pretty fitting! We visited the War Memorial, which was very interesting, and then headed over to Parliament House for the free Australia Day concert that was being held there... The concert was fun. Lots of Australian bands that we had never heard of... but we chilled out for a while, and then headed to the front, near the stage to do some bouncing....
The next day we made the long trip to Sydney. Actually... it wasn't that long. We arrived there around 11am and as it was Australia Day we proceeded to do the most Australian thing we could think of... We had a picnic in the park! After this we headed to North Sydney to Josephine's house, which would be our residence for the next five days.
The next day we pretty much chilled out in preparation for the next day.... My Birthday!!! For my birthday we did touristy things! We visited Paddys Market, and Darling Harbour and then we went to the Sydney Aquarium... This was amazing and we saw... duck billed platypuses, turtles, sea-horses, octopusses, jelly fish, eels, penguins, sharks, rays, crocodiles, dugongs, many many fishes and corals and other small sea dwelling animals!
After this I had my birthday meal! Which was a lasagne which I prepared personally... and it was excellent... if I do say so myself!
On the 29th of January we did more tourist things. We walked across Sydney Harbour Bridge, and took a stroll around the city. It was at around this point that I started experimenting with more artistic modes on my camera!

That evening we went out into Sydney with Jo and some of er friends. We went to a few bars (including a very expensive one on a 47th floor that rotated!!) and ended up in a bar playing pool. Nam and Jo proceeded to wipe the floor with a couple of guys that challenged them to a game!

On Saturday we went into the city to meet some of Nams Thai friends for lunch, and then Jo came and met us and we went for a little walk from Bondi Beach to... Tamara Beach, a few kilometres up the coast. This was a very nice little walk. After this we had to rush back to Josephines to prepare for the Sydney salsa congress that we were going to that night.
We arrived at the congress just in time to get a seat near the front and to the right of the stage. The shows were amazing as expected, though it seemed like there wasn't going to be any salsa for a while! The videos are all on my youtube channel here...
After the shows was the salsa party. This was lots of fun, as I don't get to salsa too often any more. I met up with some old friends, and danced the night away. We didn't end up getting home until about 4am, and didn't get to sleep until even later!
Sunday was a restful day. We mainly did some shopping and prepared for leaving Sydney. We got an early night and said our goodbyes to Josephine.
The next morning we got our stuff together and finally left at around 11am. We headed West, towards Mildura...
That pretty much brings us up to date for now. We reached Mildura... stopping off along the way to put our names in to various job offices. We now have a job to start tomorrow. I am going to be lifting buckets, and Nam will be picking grapes. This will occupy us for most of the next month, so don't expect too many updates in that time.
Hopefully I'll see you in a month, a bit more tanned, slightly healthier, and a lot richer!