It has been a long time coming but I’ve finally, FINALLY set up a photo account where I can share my images.
I’ve made them all Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).
When I wrote this post on Finding the perfect image for the RED Alert blog, I was itching to get my own images online and spread the love.
My friend Jonathan O’Donnell had encouraged me to take my own photos to use for my blogging, and I have been doing precisely that for around 5 years now.
In that RED Alert post, I said:
I take more photos than I did before, and I get to exercise my artistic eye. I don’t necessarily know if they’ll be used on a blogpost but I have my own archive to choose from now. I’ll be putting them up somewhere so other people can use them, too, when I get some time (!). It’s my form of giving back to the online community that has given me so many excellent, free things to use.
So, on annual leave, I have made the time to start building the collection I’ve been wanting to share.
I hope that you’ll make use of them, play with them, use them on events and invitations and other projects. I know they’re not the best images in the entire world, but I’ve had a lot of fun and it has given me another way to take in what’s around me.
As kids, our family loved the Big Pineapple. We loved going there ourselves, and we took just about every single visitor there as well. Our photo albums are peppered with now-faded shots of various clan members. Complete with big sunglasses and perms. Everything about our trips there signalled excitement, visitors, and happy tension. Childhood’s salad days before we could see past the fibreglass and merchandising.
When I try to think about what it was exactly that we were drawn to, I’m left somewhat empty-handed. I remember the old advertisements on TV that featured ridiculously tall parfaits (that I never had) and the Macadamia Nut Train.
On a recent trip to Queensland, we stopped by the Big Pineapple for old times’ sake. To see it as it is today, and scotch the rumours that we’d all heard that it had been taken away.
It was there. The photo for this post was taken there in September 2014. Surrounding it were grassy, cracked car-parks, rundown novelty stalls, and overgrown pineapple patches. There was an odd little zoo further down the block. Everything felt a little defeated and sad.
We left thinking we didn’t need to go back to the Big Pineapple any more.
In a September post, Needle and thread, I talked about our household tendency to dabble in hobbies. I mentioned the instance of “PJ Birdy”, a stuffed bird we made that rolls into a ball. From the name, you can probably guess what the ostensible use of the bird is: to store a kid’s (small) pyjamas.
In lieu of a full text post, this week I’m offering a pictorial record of PJ Birdy, to assist Oanh with her visualisation (so important) and to remember a time when we made toys for fun.
As mentioned previously, it was the first time we’d made this particular pattern, so we bought really cheap and somewhat ugly material.
Our reasoning was that if it turned out badly, at least we didn’t spend too much money on it. Because it turned out relatively well, though, we thought we wouldn’t tempt fate and try to make it again…
The other day, I was reading this post about fool-proof parenting and, though I didn’t always agree with it, the final item has stayed with me and encapsulates how parenting is reliably made easier for me: “Revere play.”
It’s an exhortation that is hard for me to follow most of the time, feeling as I do that there’s never enough time to get my own things done, or craving down-time as I always do.
The kids’ exhortations to come and play often catch me when I’m just home from work, or I’ve just settled down to read something (possibly browsing junk-mail – I’m not that ambitious). My immediate response, which I often tamp down, is ‘No’. I’m slowly training myself to be better at embracing the moment because, when I do ‘revere play’, it can be (and usually is) grand and energising. And the kids’ pure delight at having me join in their games is precious.
Since having my first child at the end of 2006, one of things people keep saying to me about our family outings is that they are chances to “relive our childhoods”. It’s the kind of small talk that people indulge in when they see me with the kids, or hear about one of our child-friendly jaunts. I never say it, but I often think to myself, “It’s not really reliving my childhood; I never did those things” (e.g. went camping or had expectations of Santa [cf. this post]).