Dear Granddad, Thanks!

suitcase-on-a-globe-getting-ready-to-travelIn response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Never Too Late.”

I guess I need to Thank my Grandfather ultimately for where I am today. It’s funny in so many ways we never really saw eye to eye, and never really got along all that well, but I bet if he was still around now, we could have some great chats on photography, painting, drawing and travelling.

He was an amazing man, he was a painter, a photographer, an adventurer, and a story-teller.  We often forget that when we see a doddering old man, he was once a vibrant young man, strong, ambitious, with hopes & dreams, it’s sad.  Even at his memorial service, I was in awe of some of the amazing things he did, my children never even knew most of the stories about him, a lot I didn’t know either. Sure he was a typical kid from the early 1900’s; used to put penny on train tracks and chase frogs, tease his sisters….but as a young man he took on the Outback, in the early 1920’s with a very unreliable old junker of a car. He took photos and painted and gathered stories. Don’t get me wrong it did not skip a generation; he Married my Nan and turned her into a great adventurer…….they had my Mum and she was just as talented and an adventuress as her parents. Then she met my Dad, and wow they really took the world by storm, covered it from one end to the other; usually with me and my brother in tow. Still today they travel, not as far and not quite as often, but they still travel.

As a kid,  none of those stories ever really impressed me, but I find myself wanting some of these things. I now in my middle age I guess have again picked up a camera, a far cry from what Pa had I am sure, I don’t paint so much any more on canvas, it’s more in my photos. I still collect, write and try to tell stories, but now I want some adventures…….I’ve had a few small ones, I am building up to the big ones still to come!

Sure I can thank my parents, and I do. But I guess it’s from Pa that my Mum and I both get the artist, the travel bug. So Pa, thank you, and we miss you! Love J.

The Worlds Best Roast

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Shaken and Stirred.”

Roast Dinner

A Long Time Ago…………..In a Galaxy Far Far Away…………………

Moth and I had recently started Dating and things were getting fairly serious. I thought it about time he ‘Meet the Parents! ‘ Shock Horror, right? Well it was all fairly simply; I invited my parents over for Dinner, and of course we would spend a simple evening, just the four of us. My parents were pretty cool, no real issues with any of that.

Anyway so I went down to the local market, back in the day which had the Saturday morning sales as back then they didn’t open past 12noon on a Saturday and the closed for the whole weekend, which meant great specials (I didn’t have a lot of money back then). Anyway you know how markets get with everyone yelling out items and special prices and such; VERY noisy! I was attempting to talk to a butcher about what cut of meat I should get for our special dinner that night. He said he had just thing! and came back with some Beef all neatly wrapped up and a really good price. So very grateful, I did my remaining shopping and then dived back home to start getting everything ready.

Now I was not exactly an expert cook back then and had probably only ever cooked a few roasts in my life; sure I knew the basics and was not rattled, I knew this is one meal I could do! After an hour or so of cooking, the meat was still red, looked like it wasn’t cooking. By this stage I was getting a little concerned so I ended up ringing Mum. So over the phone, Mum check over everything  I did, how big it was, oven temp, what time I put it on, how I had prepared the meat etc She asked what cut it was and I confessed I wasn’t really sure, the butcher had picked it out. A Little perplexed herself, She said perhaps it just needed a little longer to cook. Anyway not too long after that Moth arrived, to find me frazzled in the kitchen, my parents arrived shortly after that. Moth came into the kitchen (Not that he could cook!) and offered little help and said he smelted great! My Mum came in the kitchen and went through the check list again, checked the roast and stabbed it several times and said it was not bleeding, but lest give it a little bit longer.

After another 30 minutes the edge of my amazing roast had started to burn, but it was still red? So I served it up anyway, the veggies by now were overcooked, and the whole meal was turning into a disaster. I was near tears, the whole night appeared set to be ruined. I took it out to the table were everyone was sitting, with tears in my eyes I announced dinner was served. My Dad and Moth attacked the plates of meat and veggies and taking a tentative bite, they both beamed at me and kept eating. Mum and ,I a little confused sample the fare before us…………..IT WAS SO SALTY!!!! “Oh My” exclaimed my Mum, and then burst out laughing. It turns out that the butcher had given me a cut of Corned Beef, not Roast. If you do not know what Corned Beef is it is very English dish and it is salted meat which is boiled, not roasted!!! I guess there had been a big miscommunication at the markets, or the butcher gave me the wrong parcel, but I had a large Corned Beef……….which I had Roasted not boiled!

I ended up giving the rest of the meat to Mum, who then boiled it – apparently made great Corned Beef! To this day it is still a running joke in my family, Moth and Dad still claim it is the greatest Roast I have ever cooked, and their hearts are still OK, so I couldn’t have overdosed them too much with salt. Moth and Dad have been great mates since then, and my cooking has improved dramatically!

– Julz

Standing on my own two feet

Calling Uncle Bob? Have you ever faced a difficult situation when you had to choose between sorting it out yourself, or asking someone else for an easy fix? What did you choose — and would you make the same choice today? Usually I don’t call on anyone, unless I have to. I find that if it’s…

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Pushing My Own Boundaries

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Envelope Pushers.”

When was the last time you took a risk (big or small), and pushed your own boundaries — socially, professionally, or otherwise? Were you satisfied with the outcome?

To push new boustopndaries huh? Well I guess this Blog is really pushing new boundaries. I little while back I was sick, like really sick, I guess it makes you re evaluate your life, and what is important. I discovered myself, I have always had my family and friends, my work; but over the years I guess I have lost a little of myself (But enough of that).

Anyway so I have spent the last few months, re inventing myself, my dreams – so far things have been good. I started to write this blog, mainly for myself. I didn’t want a pity party from family and friends, so none of them really know what I write, to my knowledge none of them have seen it, quite frankly I don’t care, this is purely about me. This WordPress Community is great, the encouragement I have received, the amazing stories and images which have inspired me, I have decided I want to get back into photography, but not just average photography, I want to take some truly inspiring photos…….it’s a big dream but hey why not? Don’t get me wrong I don’t particularly want a career in it, there are already so many amazing photographers out there, I just want to be able to look at some photos and go “Hey I took that shot!”.  Maybe it will help advance my career, but I’m not banking on it.

They other guilty pleasure is writing, just blogging about what ever has been quite a learning curve, I can say what ever I like, my readers either agree or not, but I don’t mind. I also like to read other peoples thoughts and stories. Some people have great, funny adventures, some people have overwhelming courage and conviction. I just have simple thoughts.

But it has pushed me to start writing a novel which has been brewing away in me for years, I have the basic story line and characters mapped out, just have to put it all together with some details. So far I have written 5 chapters; maybe one day I’ll take that particular blog off private. If anyone is interested in reading the first chapter for some instructive criticism, let me know………..maybe if there is enough interest? I do not expect to be the next JK Rowling either, in fact I think maybe I only have ideas for 1- 2 books and maybe a few short stories, but this is also for me, If 100 people read it and like it I would consider my self a success.

– Julz

Spinning Yarns or Telling Stories?

What makes a good storyteller, in your opinion? Are your favorite storytellers people you know or writers you admire? I think there are different types of story tellers, there is Uncle Brian (RIP), Pa and even my Dad who always had a yarn to tell, advice to give and a wicked joke (well not my…

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One Four Challenge – Week 4

Week 4, One Four Challenge, this week I have let my Elephant evolve back into a real photo.Using my newly acquired Lightroom I have softened him a little. but added more contrast, lightened around his eye and increased the shadows in his creases. Added some texture and possibly aged him a little (sorry). Week 3…

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Here’s a little story about a Fat Cat

So here’s a little story about Fat Cat, aka Zorro (So named for he looks like he’s wearing a mask). He started as such a cute kitten Then as he got a little older, he discovered his new best friend……….FOOD. A little too much food (Not really the wine, that just showed how lazy he…

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The Perfect Day

Sparkling or Still What’s your idea of a perfect day off: one during which you can quietly relax, doing nothing, or one with one fun activity lined up after the other? Tell us how you’d spend your time. The Perfect day starts with a coffee in bed, not necessarily a sleep in, but definitely the…

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Photography 101 : Swarm Can you be swarmed under by work, peak hour traffic? Can you be swarmed under by rain? Not much else will come out in this weather

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My Cousin – A Poem

We all have that one eccentric relative who always says and does the strangest things. In your family, who’s that person, and what is it that earned him/her that reputation? I once had a cousin named Jacqui, Who most thought a little bit wacky. She had a love of snakes and legless lizards Who sadly…

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