Photographic memory

Photographic memory

Back in the days when I still used a camera that took film, the first thing I did after going on a holiday or to a party was race out to a chemist or photo lab to get the film processed.

Remember when one-hour photo services popped up? Remember the delight at poring over the photos with friends, and the annoyance at getting finger prints all over prints accidentally ordered as glossy instead of matte finish?

These days we have instant gratification on our iPhones and smart devices. Photos can be instantly viewed and instantly shared on social media. The days of printing photos and painstakingly putting them into albums, for most of us, is a distant memory.

But what happens to all the dozens, hundreds, even thousands of digital images that weren’t able to be shared or worthy of sharing at the time? Or ones taken before we started to really embracing social media? Or had the data and ability to easily upload images?

I’ve recently started trying to locate all my holiday photos to unite them on one portable hard drive. Most of them are backed up on my PC. Some are backed up to our NAS. Others are on DVD-ROMS. Anything taken pre-2007, or on an old phone, who knows.

Having had a digital camera of some sort of other since the late 1990s, there are probably thousands of photos unaccounted for on old hard disks…and very few have been printed due to the cost of printing/ink back then (my poor children also have incomplete baby books thanks to digital cameras!)

Over the next few weeks I hope to upload assorted travel photos, partly to keep my family holiday memories alive, and partly to inspire anyone else planning a holiday to somewhere distant and exciting.

The photo below is a street somewhere in Amsterdam. I’ve been to Amsterdam three times, in 1989, 1998 and 2007 but hadn’t really thought much about the city again until last year after the characters in the teen weepie The Fault in Our Stars went there.

Somewhere in Amsterdam, 2007

Somewhere in Amsterdam, 2007

Then it crossed my mind after the shooting last month on an Amsterdam to Paris train (we’ve done the reverse trip from Paris to Amsterdam).

We were in Amsterdam for a friend’s wedding and a group of us stayed in a bed and breakfast called Mae’s B & B. We had the top floor attic, accessed up a very steep and narrow staircase. We had great breakfasts every morning and a couple of nights, had delicious Indonesian take away from a restaurant down the road.

The city was easy to get around by foot or by bike, although that was not a mode of transport open to us with a pram.  One of the things I remember about Amsterdam and Oldenzaal, which we visited in 1998, was that people often left their curtains wide open, giving passers a glimpse at how they live.

Certainly a place I’d like to get back to one day…

Houses, Amsterdam

Houses, Amsterdam

Amsterdam canal by night

Amsterdam canal by night


Newsflash! It’s a New Post… about a #dirtystreetpie

Clearly the “back in business” post in April was premature because here we are in September (what!? September!? It’s almost Christmas) with not a sign of a post in between.

So I’m cutting myself some slack. I have a life. I have a family. I have a full-time job where I use up my best words every day and then some. Maintaining a blog as well as a social media presence – I haven’t gone dark on Twitter or Instagram – takes time.

So rather than long, ambitious posts like the ones that have been stuck in my drafts for weeks and months, I think I’ll try to keep them short and sweet. Or savoury if the mood suits. A picture says a thousand words, so I’ll try to post more photos.

In the meantime, here’s a link to a feature from The West’s Travel pages that ran last month about my culinary adventures through Sydney’s Surry Hills in June when I was a guest of Destination NSW and Vivid Sydney.

A selection of images ran in the print version including IMG_1912 this one, or a variation of this one, that I took outside the ever-popular Bourke Street Bakery.

I sat on a park bench on the other side of the road eating a chicken, sweet potato, pea and lime pickle pie out of a paper bag.

And just as I typed this, I realised, I ate a #dirtystreetpie before that hashtag was coined this month on reality series #thebachelorau after Laurina had tears and a tanty for being taken to the legendary Harry’s Cafe de Wheels!

Which is also a neat segue into partially explaining my blog absence, because I have been addicted to watching The Bachelor Australia every Wednesday and Thursday and tweeting, possibly a little over-enthusiastically.

Even though I am tweeting in Perth real-time, ie two hours behind the east coast, a selection of my tweets have ended up on much to my colleagues’ amusement.

Anyway, must go, have some ACTUAL pies to make before the footy finishes!

Back in business

Pasadena at Dusk

Pasadena at Dusk


In the year, gulp, year that has passed since I last posted, a lot has changed.

But you won’t find any selfies posted here.

Nor will you see photos of my kids.

Instead, here are a couple of my favourite things about Los Angeles.

The wonky palms.

The crazy freeways – so big, so many lanes, so fast – but somehow safer that Perth where no one can merge to save themselves!

And Starbucks. Yeah Starbucks! Frozen soy frappes/frapuccinos rock!


Starbucks frozen soy frappe

Starbucks frozen soy frappe

Hollywood or bust

Hollywood or bust


California sun sets

Sun set over sea lions

San Francisco’s famous sea lions at Pier 39

Sunset over Manhattan Beach, California

Sunset over Manhattan Beach, California

One of life’s simplest pleasures, watching the sun set. Beautiful anywhere in the world. The first photo was taken on our first day in San Francisco at the famous Pier 39.


The second  was taken while racing the clock at Manhattan Beach south of Los Angeles.

I had visited in January and spent a day on a sound stage nowhere near the beach so getting to see the sun set in April was a bonus.

The holiday is over, now the hard work begins

On Friday I developed a bad case of Friday-itis. Post holiday blues. A reality check.

We had been home for a week after a month on vacation in the US. The bags were unpacked. The washing was done. The credit card bills had arrived. I was back at work.

So where was I going to find time to download and organise my photos? Print the photos? Scrap book all the receipts, menus and flyers? Post reviews on Trip Advisor? All the things I still haven’t done from our 2009 trip (or any small trip since!?!?)


Life guard station, Venice Beach, California

Life’s a beach

So here is my first step, which, embarrassingly, is also my first post for the year. Lucky I didn’t make a public new year’s resolution to post more often!

I’m going to post a couple of photos a week (that’s the aim) and a few snippets. And I am going to make a conscious effort to post reviews of all the hotels we stayed at on TripAdvisor – a site to whose members I shall forever be indebted, having used their reviews to choose pretty all the hotels we have stayed in since 2007.Pastry counter, Jean-Philippe at the Bellagio

Of course it wouldn’t be a post without the obligatory food photo. This one is of some of the delectable sweets at the pastry shop of Jean-Philippe Maury at the Bellagio in Las Vegas – home to the world’s biggest chocolate fountain. Somehow, if I can work out what I ate over 28 days (by looking at my iPhone) and document it all, a sort of travel diary may write itself!? I take my hat off to all the food and lifestyle bloggers who hold down day jobs and manage to post regularly. Most nights I slip into the familiar family dinner and TV groove and time disappears. However I am determined not to let all my photos, observations and notes go to waste. I also owe some reviews to Urban Spoon, Yelp! and OpenTable – all sites (and apps as the case may be).So between, here, there and everywhere (let’s not forget Instagram and Pinterest) – I look like being quite busy…hope I have enough words to go around!

Views from hotel windows

Sometimes when travelling for work this is close as I get to the city I’m in;

the view from the hotel window…

Harbour life

Spent the last week of January in Sydney.

Some colleagues couldn’t figure out why I’d go on holidays to Sydney when I spent a fair amount of time there for work in December and January.

Easy – when you’re working there’s no time for markets, the beach, exploring Chinatown.

A Qantas fly by on Australia Day

A Qantas fly by on Australia Day, as seen from Circular Quay

Here’s a couple of quick snaps unil I get time to do a proper post.

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach on a Sunny Sunday