Fan-friggin-tabulous.

Do all of you know the wonderful Sahm King? His last name is appropriate because this guy is the King of the blogosphere. His blogs are incredible, you can find him here at The Arkside of Thought and here at We Drink Because We’re Poets.

Why am I raving on about this guy? Because he created his own award, and then blessed me with it! It is quite an impressive award, I must say.

He asks us to boast about ourselves, because we’re friggin awesome. This is a really hard task for me, as I live in fear of mockery about my work, both my photography and my writing. I wake up each day thinking that someone is going to jump on here and say ‘What were you thinking? You can’t write! Your photography’s crap! Get back behind the coffee machine where you belong!’

But I digress. I think the fact that I am finally on here, sharing both my writing and my photography with the world, shows that my confidence is getting better and I am starting to believe that while I may not yet be ‘friggin awesome’, I am at the very least ‘frig-awe’. The ‘gin-some’ will come one day.

So, who out there in the blogosphere do I think is pretty friggin awesome? Well, everyone that I follow, for a start. But I’m going to throw this out to a few of my faves, and I’m sure it will make it’s way around to the rest of you soon.

  1. One Starving Activist
  2. Colin Butterworth
  3. erickeys
  4. Cindy Knoke
  5. All Downhill From Here
  6. This Blog Intentionally Blank

Again, I would nominate hundreds more of you if time and patience allowed, but unfortunately those two things are sorely lacking in my life at the moment. There is another reason that I chose these six, and that is because they have all been incredibly supportive of my blogs, both this one and The Paperbook Blog. That’s not to say that there aren’t many more of you that have been equally as supportive, and believe me when I say I appreciate every single person who reads, likes or comments on anything I post.

After witnessing a particularly harsh and unnecessary attack on someone’s blog today, I just want to put some positivity and encouragement out into the WordPress atmosphere. What I love most about this place is just how supportive everyone is of each other, re-blogging, sharing and promoting blog’s we love. It is one of the most encouraging things that can be done for anyone who is trying to achieve anything with their blog, be it forging a new career or simply having a place to vent.

Sahm asked us as part of this award to state one thing that makes us happy, and for me today it’s you, my fellow bloggers. So at the risk of sounding overly sentimental: keep encouraging one another, keep reading other’s work, share and promote what you love and if you see something you don’t like, just scroll past it. It’s not hard to do.

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Daily Prompt: Nourishment

I thought this was a really interesting prompt from The Daily Post: If you could get all the nutrition you needed in a day with a pill — no worrying about what to eat, no food preparation — would you do it?

I’m sure in this age of dieting, food fads, weight loss pills and supplements many people would be putting their hands up to say ‘hell yes!’ But I myself am completely and utterly, unashamedly in love with food.

I love everything about it: growing it, preparing it, cooking it, buying it, paying for it, but mainly, eating it. Going out for dinner is one of my favourite things to do in the world. I adore trying new things that I have never tried before, particularly if it is from another country. There is something so satisfying in preparing, cooking and sharing a meal with people you love. There is something so indulgent in having food prepared and cooked for you.

_MG_5181Scallops with parsnip puree, balsamic reduction, parsley jubes and toasted pinenuts – Hayman Island._MG_5206Oak smoked salmon presented and served tableside by the chef – Hayman Island._MG_5174Let’s not forget the drinks that nourish us: for me, a crisp gin and tonic with lime or cucumber is the most nourishing, refreshing drink of all._MG_5244Half of the pleasure of food comes from its presentation – ‘We eat first with our eyes…’
French martini sorbet served in an ice igloo – Hayman Island.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABaskets of fruit sold on the beach in Koh Samet, Thailand. The most delicious, cheap fruit that money can buy.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASeafood extravaganza served at the beach front restaurants in Koh Samet – eaten while sitting on a cushion in the sand. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFruit stalls on the road between Thailand and Cambodia. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMeat markets in Siem Riep, Cambodia.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m still not sure exactly what this meat was, I will be the first to admit I was too scared to try it. Has anyone been to Siem Riep, Cambodia and knows what this is?  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFish drying road side in Kampot, Cambodia. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe most delicious and spicy meals that I had in Asia came from this stall in Hua Hin, Thailand. I could buy a bag of rice, a selection of vegetables and a bag of mince for around 30 baht, or around $1 AUD.  IMG_2319I can’t leave coffee out either, it nourishes and sustains me every day. I absolutely love it, and I am utterly addicted to it. We had coffee and schnapps at the Bavarian Bier Café, Manly.

And now my mouth is watering.

Shades of Angkor

Inspired by a fellow blogger over at retireediary I decided to dig up some of my old photos of Cambodia. Despite having not been there in five years, Cambodia is still one of my favourite countries in the world. I loved everything about it, the scenery, the food, the simplicity, and especially the people. They were warm, welcoming and very accommodating. These photos were taken on my basic point-and-shoot that I had at the time, I have tried to enhance them where I could.

I am currently sponsoring a child over in Phnom Penh, and I can’t wait for the day when I have enough time and money to travel over there and meet her.

The above photograph is of sunrise at Angkor Wat. You can see the scaffolding where they were working on repairs to the temple.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Sunset at Phnom Bakheng

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASunrise at Angkor Wat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFriendly monkey at Angkor Wat 

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Wat Ta Phrom of Tomb Raider fame.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy favourite temple – Wat Bayon. This is the only temple of Angkor that was built as a Mahayana Buddhist shrine. It is suggested that the faces are representative of both Buddha and the king at the time, Jayavarman VII.

Daily Prompt: Unconventional Love

Well. Today’s prompt over at The Daily Post is certainly a challenging one. I have been flicking through photo’s all morning, despairing of ever finding anything that even remotely suggests unconventional love. My interpretation may be tenuous but the story is true.

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These photographs are of our old shearer’s quarters, which have been empty, neglected and slowly disintegrating ever since I can remember. The house is in its final stages of decay, having long given up hope. I always find it sad to see old buildings fall apart, slowly losing their memory of the people who once lived and loved in them.

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A few years ago we noticed an unfamiliar car turn in to our paddock and drive down to the shearer’s quarters. Naturally, dad went over to investigate. He found two women, mother and daughter, aged 76 and 24 respectively. The elder woman explained that she had bought her daughter to see the place where her mother and father had once lived, when they were no older than her daughter was now. They had met whilst both working for the same shearing team, him as a shearer, her as a roustabout.

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She also pointed to the two weeping willow’s that stand in our paddock, ancient and regal, like stately old woman. ‘I planted those tree’s from seedlings, when we lived here.’ she explained. ‘I’m so happy to see them still alive.’

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This is a true story, romantic in its simplicity. In this lovely old house had lived this lovely young couple, itinerant workers who had lived and worked here when our farm was part of a much larger one. Unconventional love? Perhaps not. But love in an unconventional place? Absolutely.     IMG_1920