One thing that is immediately obvious when you hit any form of tourist trail is that the cameras come out. Picture of Tower Bridge, tick; picture of Sydney Opera House, tick. Where it really struck me how much people were linked permanently to cameras/phones was at the Aquarium in Melbourne.
I didn’t take a single photograph at the Aquarium. Not because it wasn’t beautiful, but because a tiny little square of a bit of a shark or a few seahorses would not begine to capture the magic of actually seeing them. Of experiencing the moment.
Of course, I have taken photographs whilst we have been in Oz. But not as many as I might have done in years past. I am reminded of going to concerts. We went to see Bruce Springsteen twice last year. It was magical. Both concerts were completely different. I do not have a single photograph nor did I record any of the songs. At times it was a miracle that I could see the stage at all through the forest of iphones that were being held up above people’s heads.
How many times will the filmer watch that iphone video? How much of the actual moment did they lose trying to get out their phone, turn it on, turn on the video etc. etc. ?
In the digital age, the one that is supposed to have released us from the tyranny of paper, we seem to be as much a victim as we were before. To cap it all, I notice that Facebook is now offering you the chance to turn your timeline into a book.
So here are a few photographs of stuff. Not of anything special, but of things that will remind me of moments now in years to come. It doesn’t matter what they are of, just enjoy the view.
We are one week into our trip and the capsule wardrobe is holding up well. We did have to make one purchase, a windcheater each, which we really ought to have thought to bring with us. We went to see the penguins on Phillip Island and whilst the wind was not that cold, I think we might have struggled a bit without them, and bearing in mind the inclement weather in Melbourne I am sure we will get plenty of use for them. As you can see – we could have done with them on day one!
The first challenge the wardrobe got was when the Boss announced that the dress code for the conference cocktail party yesterday and dinner tonight was “A Touch of Bond”. This is in honour of the the Designing 007 – 50 Years of Bond exhibition at The Melbourne Museum where the dinner is being held tonight. It is a little ironic as my father was the lawyer for Eon Productions for the first 14 Bond films and I grew up with Bond so to speak. However, memories of Pinewood Studios were not on my mind as I worked out how I was going to get around this little hiccough.
However, I am nothing if not inventive. White trousers, white jacket, bronze satin top, heels and my essential Butler and Wilson Union Jack brooch and earrings and I thought I might just pass for a mature Bond Girl. So you can imagine that I was marginally put out when the Boss called out “Come on Miss Moneypenny”.
Tonight I swap the trousers and top for a silk spotty dress and flash the Butler and Wilson 🙂
I don’t blog about politics and my personal politics are not up for airing in public, at least not here. But UK readers cannot fail to have been aware of the terrible flooding that has devastated vast swathes of the country. Having been flooded, indeed that was the reason I started this blog in the first place, I know how distressing and devastating it is to watch filthy water pour into your home. Fortunately our flood was transient and quite tiny compared to the horrors that thousands of people are suffering as I type. The long term effects will be with us for years. Farmland that will be unusable, family farms that will go out of business, homes ruined, a massive increase in the benefits bill, homes that will never be insurable again….. and that is just the practical effect it doesn’t even begin to touch on the emotional one.
Facebook followers will have seen me rant about the way the Government has handled, or rather mishandled, the situation. However I think that Jane Young summarises it far better than I can. Please do read her blog.
There are hundreds of comments, and they are worth reading too. Please do not fall into the trap that many commentators have of believing that she thinks that all of the Home Counties are full of middle class Tory voters. . Her point is not that there are not people suffering, of whatever financial situation. BUT that it is when flooding is affecting an area that is PREDOMINANTLY (not entirely) Tory and RELATIVELY (not 100%) wealthy that David Cameron is able to find funds to support them in their need. Meanwhile people who have also been in great need have been told that there is no money available to them. Yes, there is a difference between a natural disaster and ongoing need, But even if you take that out of the equation and look only at the flood victims the levels of support available in the Home Counties overnight compared to Cumbria and the West Country since Christmas is pitiful.
The minimalism is being put to the test. At the end of the week the Boss and I are going to Australia for a month. He is working, I am going along for the ride. And if you are planning on popping over to relieve us of the few things I haven’t already got rid of you might like to know that all three dogs and all three daughters are remaining at home. I am not sure which are more frightening.
I digress, back to the travel planning. There are some things that I have to take:
- Paperwork (passports, visas etc.)
- Guidebooks (can’t be doing with them on kindle, I need an actual book)
- Camera, pocket lumix and DSLR
- Hearing aids
After that I have to move on to clothes, and clothes for a climate that is quite different to the one I am experiencing right now and to last me a month. Silly though it sounds it really is quite hard to select thick jumpers when the temperature is in the thirties and jolly difficult to select light tops when it is minus two (as it was this morning).
But all this wardrobe weeding and recording of what I wear has paid off. I have a capsule wardrobe that incorporates several evening receptions, casual day time and beach! Colours are white, cream and navy and comprise:
- White linen trousers
- Navy linen trousers
- Pink capri pants
- Short navy shirt
- Maxi grey jersey skirt
- Blue & navy dress
- Cream and navy dress
- White long sleeved t shirt
- White short sleeved t shirt
- Navy & white spotty t shirt
- Navy strapless t shirt
- White strapless t shirt
- Navy cotton shirt
- Navy & white chiffon top
- Bronze metallic evening top
- White jersey jacket
- Navy cotton cardigan
- Red smart shoes
- Navy wedges
- Black fitflops
- Orange scarf
I know that for a true minimalist this is far from ideal, it isn’t carry on luggage. But for me this is a huge step and I am dead chuffed 🙂