2015

Our great Christmas

I’ve managed to pry Rhiannon off my PC in order to write a post :) Just wanted to share my Christmas with you all. Hence this might be an incredibly tedious post. I’m just warning you. After all, I don’t want you sitting there reading (or in one case listening to Rupert) and getting all anticipatory (is that a real word?) and then suddenly… nothing. Like a big bad nothing.

The Wilten Basilica, Innsbruck, Austria and the Bon Alpina Hotel

Today’s post is brief and back to telling you all about my amazing holiday :) The coach sped us away from Lichtenstein and towards Innsbruck in Austria. My trusty Google map below shows where Innsbruck is. The countryside along the way was a spectacular panorama of mountains and trees. I must admit that I often found it difficult taking high quality photos while the coach was on the move. The

Future - a post where I discuss my way forward

Yep – another self-indulgent post! Anyway, sorry folks for not posting for a week. Since signing my redundancy I have had much to dwell upon. Also, my daughter has taken over my computer – installing SimCity and The Sims upon it. Hmmmmmmmm. Not happy. :( And I have seen the latest Star Wars film. Very happy. :) Don’t worry, this is all I am saying on that. Anyway, I’ve been

A proud father sings a duet with his daughter

Hi folks, Sunday was a proud day for me, albeit probably a sore-ear day for those around me. Rhiannon had her annual dance concert. As I have mentioned before, Rhiannon studies dance and theatre at the Miss Patricia Yvonne Academy, part of the EDTA school. Rhiannon often gets called upon to sing and this time, because she was struggling with the rhythm of her medley, I was asked a few

Lichtenstein is not what Frankenstein does with his tongue!

OK – stupid title for a travel post. But let’s face it, Lichtenstein is a tiny and boring place. At least it is on a Trafalgar Costsaver tour. Close your eyes so we can do a mental re-enactment with you as the protagonist. Hang on, can’t do that. You won’t be able to read my wonderfully evocative words with your eyes shut. So you are just going to have to

...what I might be.

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ― Lao Tzu Today I signed a voluntary redundancy. Given the workplace restructure I found underway when I returned from my holiday abroad, it really was my best option. But it scared me. On the train coming home I was reading the Pearseus series written by blogger Nicholas C Rossis. The very first thing I read as I fired up

Loving Lake Lucerne (plus a great little shop in Picton)

Hi all, Today’s post is two stories. The first is set today, during a little drive to a New South Wales’ town called Picton where I found a marvellous little “collectables” shop. Then back to Switzerland in September. Armour Collectables in Picton Obviously the name of this shop got my attention straight away. Two things that I love: armour and collectables. Alas I saw no armour in it. This said,

Colour splashed flower in Photoshop

Short post today as I have not really been home much. Here is a photo of a flower from my visit to Warwick Castle that I subsequently “colour splashed”. I only learnt that term today, though I have seen plenty of people do it. I just did not know that it had a name. All I did was randomly pick one of my flower pictures and then: In Photoshop duplicate it

Ascending Mount Stanserhorn

About two centuries before Christ was born people settled the Nidwalden valley. I’m guessing that they were Celts, the so-called Helvetians, based upon vague memories of some of my university studies done in the 1980s. One such place they settled became known as Stans, and I am guessing that from this settlement the mountain known as Stanserhorn got its name. Our tour guide got us out and into the coach

Our landmark in Lucerne

One of my big rules when travelling is to always identify landmarks that I can use for navigating around town. In Lucerne we picked a big double-steepled church just up the road from our tour’s squishy hotel. Up until writing this post I had no idea what the place was (other than a church). So here is a photo taken from a roadway below it. To get from our hotel to

Lucerne for a few nights

I first visited Lucerne in 2001 on a Globus Tour. Prior to this I had little interest in Switzerland. I just saw it as some mountainous backwater of Europe where people stashed money in inaccessible banks. Pretty dumb, eh? Me, that is. The Globus Tour showed me a magnificent side of the country, particularly Lucerne where we stayed in a fantastic hotel in the centre of town overlooking the lake. I

A quick photo opportunity at the Rhine Falls

Imagine a place where in winter, every 10 seconds, water the equivalent to an Olympic size swimming pool rushes down a waterfall. Well, that place is the Rhine Falls near the town of Schaffhausen in northern Switzerland. These are reputedly the largest plain falls in Europe. The coach for our tour (Trafalgar’s Costsaver ‘European Cavalcade”) dropped us off here. (OK – it may seem that I’m giving them lots of free advertising,

Playing with Photoshop and a Black Forest photo

For no apparent reason I found myself doodling with Lightroom and Photoshop while processing my Black Forest photos. I guess I’ve had a few things on my mind recently.  Anyway, I thought I would share. They are not good, but what the heck, it gives you an insight into me. :) Original photo: It felt like it could be something more. So I made it into a black and white image

Now for a walk in the Black Forest

Today I continue sharing with you my Trafalgar Costsaver Tour “European Cavalcade” as we sweep briefly into Germany’s Black Forest. But before I do so, I want to take this opportunity to encourage you to visit the blog site of Dani. She is a 35 year old science nerd and I feel that a lot of you regulars here may relate to her. The post I have pointed you towards is

Heidelberg in about one hour

The Trafalgar Costsaver Tour entitled “European Cavalcade” is, as I have insinuated before, a kind of taster experience for Europe. During 18 days you can expect to do a lot of miles (or kilometres) by coach with a number of short stops. The real value is in the two night stopovers. Everything else is kind of nice, but rushed. Leaving our Rhine cruise behind us, we were whisked off to nearby

The Rhine Cruise

A brief note from me Before I describe my Rhine Cruise to you all, I will just say something briefly about the appalling events of this weekend: Beirut then Paris. I am not some genius. The ebbs and flows of human misery and joy in their totality are beyond my meagre ability to comprehend let alone offer much insight upon. So I will keep it simple, and this is purely

European Cavalcade - Amsterdam

The trip up through Belgium and the Netherlands was uneventful. The Trafalgar Tour coach was comfortable and the driver was obviously experienced. My daughter relieved the tedium of the trip by teasing me from the seat in front. But eventually our destination appeared ahead. Amsterdam’s name is quite descriptive, meaning a dam on the river Amstel. However it has come a long way since it’s origin 800 years ago as a

Another attempt at novel structure

(Today’s post is just brief musing over my novel rewrite.) David Lee Summers wrote a cool post on his blog called Music Evoked Imagery. I won’t steal his thunder by explaining it – just pop over and have a read. Anyway, one thing that he mentioned is the fact that he likes to outline the novels that he writes. For me that is something mystical. I have written so many

Starting our European Cavalcade - leaving England

Today’s post is about how I planned the tour part of my family’s European trip and then the first half of the first day. Planning the tour In mid 2014 we (being my wife and I) agreed to the holiday half way around the planet (we live in Sydney, Australia). Thing was, we then had to turn a vague idea into something more solid, something more structured. So we had to establish our

The Tower of London - inside and experiments in post-processing

Today I share some of my photos from inside the Tower of London, and also my thoughts on how I post-processed them. Now one thing that you need to understand is that I am not a photographic expert. I’m also not a post-processing expert. Or even a particularly good hobbyist photographer. I’ve been using this European trip to try to teach myself something about DLSRs. So don’t get your hopes