Saturday, May 28, 2011

Trash the Dress

This week has flown by thankfully as we only had the 4 days to contend with thanks to the Bank Holiday.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was out with the some of the camera club on the Monday for the 'Trash the Dress shoot" I took along Rebecca as my model and several photographers and models turned up for the occasion. We all split into smaller groups and headed off to photograph our models in various locations around the city.

We were all supposed to start at the same time and end up at a beach location at 1pm, I have to say that our group failed that challenge as we were having way too much fun with our models and props! We actually finished at around 6 pm.

Having never shot people before I was definitely out of my comfort zone, but loved it. Rebecca and Happy (our other model, and yes that is her name) were fantastic and were willing to dress up and slap on the war paint in Tim's on route to the next location. You can see some of my results below here, to see more take a look at my flickr stream.

All that crouching and squatting for the shoot, left me in agony on Tuesday and Wednesday, I think I pretty much tore my thigh muscles to shreds. That said, the pain was so bad that every other pain I had faded away. Now my legs have healed, by back has starting playing me up again, so I headed to the doctors today and have been told that I have so much stress in my back that I need to go for massage therapy and have a referral note to get that done. After the therapy I will have to try and improve my slouchy posture!

Next week we have Lisa and Eunice visiting from Toronto, they will be on a whistle stop trip see Blake (Lisa's Son, Eunice's Grandson) graduate from Dalhousie University. We hope to catch up with them on Tuesday at some point and are really looking forward to seeing them.

Happy on the Rail Tracks, we all ran when the train came!

Alice in Hubcap Land

Happy Jump

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Landmark Date and a Publication

After a frantic week we finally reached the weekend...hooray! Work has been picking up pace over the last few weeks as the architects and tenders get into full swing after the winter weather and the new annual government budgets have been put in place.

Saturday sadly was a no sun day, but we have been promised some sun for Sunday and Monday as it is a bank holiday weekend.

Rob had some good news this week. Through a friend of ours, he was introduced to a chap called Eric who has several businesses in the heating and plumbing trade. He is going to take Rob on with a view to getting him through the exam process so that he can become fully qualified. The starting wage is already $5.50 and hour better than he is currently on and there is the potential to up those earnings the more qualified he gets. Initially we are not sure if the hours will extend to a full time week, so he may well keep some hours at UHaul as well. Hopefully he will be starting in a couple of weeks time.

The down side of this is that we really need to get another car. Not really sure what we are going to do about that just yet, but Rob is looking into perhaps getting finance, although this may not be possible as we haven't been here that long.

In 3 days time we will have been here exactly one year! I am guessing the time has flown by for you reading this, for me it has been quite a long year, I cannot honestly say it has all been plain sailing, because it hasn't, we have had some ups and downs and no doubt we will continue to struggle financially for some time to come, I get homesick and miss my friends and family of course, but we have met some great people here and have experienced so much of what Nova Scotia has to offer. No one said it was going to be easy, but when I think back to some of the challenges we have overcome, who would have thought I would have been taking a new driving test and driving on the wrong side of the road! (Which incidentally you no longer have to do as you can just swap your license over now...typical!)

Tomorrow I am out and about with the camera club for an annual event called 'Trash the Dress' We have models dressing in old wedding dresses and unusual clothing and photograph them in various locations. I am bringing my own model Rebecca, who you may remember I photographed before. I have encouraged her to be edgy, so I am looking forward to seeing what she wears and what props she brings. Hopefully I will get some half decent shots.

In other photographic news this week, one of my images has been featured in a very posh designer book. Someone contacted me (when I was still in the UK) about using a photo in a book, they said they would send me a copy when it was completed. I thought it was a scam and never thought I would see the book so gave them my brothers PO Box address to send the book to. Well it arrived, Clive kindly posted it on to me.

The book is actually a catalogue, if you can call it that! It must have cost a fortune to produce the book and features the furniture designs (kitchens, bathrooms offices) of Mark Wilkinson. He is designer to the likes of Anthony Worrall Thompson, Gary Rhodes and various high profile music industry people and celebrities. You have to have some serious cash to afford this stuff. So I am really chuffed! Who knows maybe some famous will look me up now!

My Gothic Cottage image from Stourhead, now featured in the 'Unmistakably Mark Wilkinson' White Book.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Wet Wet Wet!

Not really too much to report this week. The biggest news is the start of The Apprentice for me! So good to see Sir Al back on the TV. A great start to the series with the usual bunch of hopefuls and ego's all in the same room. I already desperately want Edna out!!

The other major TV event this week was Eurovision. As you all know I am a big nut for Eurovsion and the madness that goes with it. some pretty decent songs all in all this time round with just a sprinkling of crazy from Moldova! My personal faves were Iceland, Romania and Spain who didn't really do very well at all. I actually thought Jedward (the ADHD twins) did a surprisingly good job and Blue put in an okay performance for the UK, but it was obvious it wouldn't win. As for the winner, Azerbaijan...instantly forgettable!

So enough of that, what can I tell you from this end...Well the weather is the big topic of conversation over here, it has literally done nothing but rain for nearly 4 weeks now, I think in total we have seen the sun twice in all that time and it is really getting everyone down. Of course the UK has been having lovely weather and boy do I envy you that. We just hope that the crappy Spring will bring a decent Summer.

Obviously as the weather has been so rubbish we haven't really been anywhere or done anything. However we did venture out last night with Melissa for fish and chips at Wharf Wraps, it been a while since we have been down there and it didn't disappoint.

Next weekend is a a bank holiday weekend, so fingers crossed we get some good weather and hopefully I will have more to report.

One odd thing I have noticed since the wet weather started is the amount of worms everywhere, they all look pretty pale and skinny and are literally all over the car park here and on the pavements. Not really sure why that is unless the ground is still so hard underneath and the rain has just washed them out?

Halifax Skyline taken under a murky sky last night.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Election and Other Stuff

A big news week this week all round! So I was up late as usual last Sunday night watching Celebrity Apprentice, only to have it interrupted by the breaking news of Osama Bin Laden's death. I stayed up even later watching the president's announcement and all the news surrounding it, It's strange, I found the news interesting, yet at the same time an anti-climax. My personal opinion is that it really won't make a jot of difference in the scheme of things.

So after that late night excitement, it was off to work with bleary eyes in the morning and Election Day in Canada. For the last couple of years they have had a minority Conservative Government, and my colleagues have been speculating as to how this election would turn out, with some healthy debates in the office at some points as many of them have mixed views on who should govern. Unlike the UK the polls close much earlier, so you don't have to stay up all night and wait until the next day to find out the outcome. As it turned out the Conservatives romped to victory and now have a majority government. The most interesting part of the election for me was the fact that the Jack Layton and NDP party (most like the Labour Party), grew their number of seats massively and became, for the first time the opposition party. It reminded me of when Neil Kinnock, very nearly made it, back in the day and paved the way for Tony Blair. So I actually think the election to watch will be the next one, depending on what the Tories do in the next four years.

Of course Rob and I don't get to vote yet. We would have to apply for citizenship before that would happen, But as I do like politics, I have been taking a healthy interest in all the goings on.

In TV news this week, we have a new talent show called "The Voice". I am loving it. And what I love best about it is the fact that it is like the X Factor, but without all the crap and Simon Cowell...Best of all though is the fact that they aired it before Simon got his on the TV. The Voice doesn't have loads of pre-amble auditions, it's gets straight down to business, with 4 judges and a blind audition, the judges sit in big red chairs with their backs to the singers, and they hit a button to spin the chair round when they really want an artist on their team to mentor. If more than one judge wants them the artist gets to choose who they go with. At the moment they have 8 acts each, but next week they pair up their acts and put them two by two in the ring singing the same song together and then have to send on of the two home. leaving them with 4 acts each for the live rounds.

I am also excited to see the return of Sir Al on the UK Apprentice this week...Can't wait!

As for us this week, we attended camera club on Wednesday where they were holding their own elcetions for committee. I have a small role as part of the iner-club exchange programme now, which suits me just fine.

Robert had Saturday and Sunday off, which is rare, so we headed out for a spin yesterday to Sambro Head, (thanks to my new travel co-ordinator in the UK Robert, who knows more about Nova Scotia than we do!). It was a nice drive and an area we had not been to before, plenty to see, lots of fishing boats of course and I think I have found a new favourite place to live in Ketch Harbour. (I just keep adding places to my never ending list). That said, I thought I would highlight Dartmouth a little more in this weeks images, so that you can see more of where we live.

Sambro Harbour Reflections (click to view larger)

Dowtown Dartmouth

Part of the Shubie Canal, Dartmouth

There is also a new campaign online to vote for the new 7 Natural Wonders of the World, our very own Bay of Fundy is included in the selection, so why not check it out and vote! (Thanks again to Robert for finding this).

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Right Royal Week

So I am guessing that most of you tuned, at least in part to the Royal nuptials on Friday. I am not really a Royalist but I have to say I thought it looked amazing and can only help the UK's battered image right now. The TV coverage over here was excellent, so much of it and so well done. I thought that the Abbey looked spectacular and the different camera views of it were incredible. I just hope the press don't try and turn her into a Diana now. Sister Pippa for me, stole the show in her elegant, classic dress. As a mark of me being a Brit I wore my Union Jack socks to work on Friday much to everyone's amusement. I actually got to see the wedding before heading to work because of the time difference.

I don't really have much news this week, as the weather has pretty much stopped play all week. Mostly rain until yesterday. Last night Rob and I went over to Melissa's for a few beers and a pit fire. We did intend to go out today but it is rather gray and looks likely to rain.

I do have a couple of observations though. If you remember back along I was giving off sparks with the amount of static coming off me. I have shocked almost everyone in the last few months, from customers and colleagues to the cat. Well finally it seems to stopped. I believe the whole shocking experience was due entirely to the weather and the lack of humidity in the air. Now Spring is here and the humidity is back on the climb I am no longer affectionately known as the "Human Capacitor".

Rob and I have also been suffering with itchy skin, again die to the dryness of winter, we now have some really good medicated body moisturizer, which is helping no end. It's funny when you think about moving overseas probably the last thing that crosses your mind is itchy skin and static in the winter months!

The Mackay Bridge which I cross every morning on my way to work

Stonehurst Cove...Red white and Blue!

Shingles of all shades taken at Annapolis Royal

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