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28 December 2010

Come back Glenn, we need you!

I haven't ever photographed the cricket, or our cricket team, apart from when they make appearances at the racetrack.  And I admit that it's a while since I followed the cricket religiously.  We used to take it very seriously, because my dad was very into the cricket, and I grew up thinking of course that Dennis Lillee, Rodney Marsh, Greg Chappell and Alan Border were the coolest things around.  Apart from Kingston Town of course!  So while I don't follow it with nearly the same enthusiasm, and have to admit that I asked 'who's that' when FoxSports mentioned a current Australian test cricketer that I'd never heard of, the cricket today is indeed depressing.  Normally we are accusing the Poms of having no ticker.  What's going wrong!  I don't understand!!!! 

Glenn McGrath at Rosehill Gardens.

23 December 2010

Doing too many things at once

Right.  I can do Baking Queen.  That much is established.  What I cannot do is Domestic Goddess.  I think I eluded to this in an earlier post.  The morale of this particular story is when this particular fabulously talented photographer is reduced to having to vacuum, I should NOT attempt to do this at the same time as cooking dinner.  I hate sausages, and cook them reluctantly for my children who do actually like them.  Now, in addition to making the house smell like the press room did in Cup Week (WHY did the VRC say it was a good idea for all of the security staff to house their revolting smelling lunch, consisting of greasy sausages and rissoles, in the Media Centre????), I have burnt the sausages.  Bugger it!  I should really only stick to one Domestic Goddess task at a time.  Especially at Christmas time! I am preparing for the inevitable 'my sausages are burnt, they taste awful, I can't eat them' complaints.  At which I will calmly say 'Santa doesn't come to children who don't eat their dinner!'  You have to milk it at this time of year!

Alas this Baking Queen cannot cook and vacuum at the same time.
I should stick to photographing horses!

Remembering Debbie

As 2010 draws to its inevitable close, I wanted to take a moment to remember Debbie.  She was a friend, albeit not one I knew really really well.  But a friend nonetheless, whom I knew from my past life at CSIRO.   She's pictured here at my daughter's 5th birthday party.  Shortly after this, she came over again in June, bringing her little daughter over, and we sat in my lounge room chatting and making plans to catch up again, as the girls wanted to spend time together.  I didn't ever hear from her again.

This is why.  In early July, she was murdered by her then estranged husband, evidently an abusive pig of a man, who she'd finally managed to leave.  He then committed suicide by shooting himself.  It was all very planned and she would have been terrified.  It was no heat of the moment thing, it was cold blooded, and deliberate, and the terror she must have gone through is awful to think about.  I know what happened, and it affected me for a long time. 

Apart from the very violent nature of her death, and the personal connection, it was the shock of having someone you knew being murdered.  One of the funny things of living in a city like Canberra is that while it's getting larger and is the capital, it's still essentially a big country town.  It's not enormous.  You tend to be a bit more lax over security (no Dan, I wasn't trying to get someone to steal you when I left the keys IN your door ALL day AND night, I do love you!!!), and in particular it's not terribly common for people to be killed here.  And so when it happens it is a shock, and when it is someone you actually knew, it is a double shock.  In a strange irony, it turned out that she was the third former female CSIRO employee to be murdered after leaving CSIRO.   I also knew one of the other women quite well too and they have never found her murderer, after she was found strangled in the bath.

In the months following her death, the hardest thing was to continue to see her now orphaned daughter, who remained Jessie's friend at daycare, and the harrowing talks with the child's grandmother.  Goodness me, what a woman she is.  So strong.  And so determined.  I have never had the heart to tell Jessica what happened to the little girl's mother and so far I don't think she actually knows.  Some things are best left unsaid.  The murder got very little publicity, apart from the original reporting of the discovery of two deceased people and then the subsequent releasing of names.  This was a blessing for the family, but did little for the issue of protecting people who seek to remove themselves from harm. 

I have no idea whether the two kids will ever see each other again, now that the daycare part of their lives is over and they move on to school.  But again, I just wanted to remember a friend, who's not here for Christmas.

Remembering Debbie (long hair)

21 December 2010

2010 - The Year That Was

So just what did 2010 bring? I thought I wouldn't write too many words, only through the captions to the images, which really, on a blog like this, should do all the talking.  After initially being surprised by the actions of some, I decided 2010 would be a year of laying some new foundations,  following the separation of ways of some established relationships, and going back to basics this year, and back to doing what I do best, and that is concentrating on the sort of images I do best.   There have been some valued clients that have stuck firm, and others whom I hope are on the way back.  And to concentrate on the horses, and on capturing them in ways I think that I do best of all, and when doing people, to capturing spontaneous emotion. 

Most exciting this year was the selection and subsequent publication of two images I took of Saintly winning the 1996 Melbourne Cup by Australia Post in the Commemorative 150th Melbourne Cup Stamp issue set.  They can be seen here: 150th Melbourne Cup Stamp Issue on the Australia Post Shop's Website.

Gai Waterhouse also released a book, full of extracts from her daily Blog, and an image I took of her at Royal Randwick was selected for the cover.  Again, the image was a result of standing back, using a long lens, and just hoping for the best.  When it's Gai you're talking about, sometimes this is a risky strategy, because a big win from her tends to cause a media scrum, but sometimes you have to ride for luck, and trust that the gamble comes off.  This is the link to the book.

Stamp Set

Stamp Booklet

First Day Cover
Prestige Booklet

Crystal Lily in the Golden Slipper

Hot Danish finally got her Group 1

Nash Rawiller proved the court battle was worth the fight, scoring a narrow win on Rangirangdoo in the Doncaster Handicap.

Flemington has decided that 2010 should be marked by rain!  Lots of it! The abandonment of the Australian Meeting is seen here in progress!  Damn it!  The hire car had hail damage, and just as well I'd paid the extra $14 to have the excess reduced and so was only hit with an additional $110 charge instead over thousands..  While I cursed the $110 and the lost Group 1s I watched from home the next week (that's the problem with having to fly to attend meetings), I was thankful that it wasn't the financial disaster it could have been.  The moral of the story when hiring the car is to ALWAYS pay that little bit extra to reduce the excess!!!!

Tracy won the CF Orr

And the Queen of the Turf

Wanted wins the Newmarket just as the storm was about to break.
My trusty and fabulous assistant, not to mention also a good friend, Angela with Occy.  Thanx for another great year and more great images.  What a team!
Occy and I (did I say that one right mum?  going back to the number of times I got ticked off for saying 'me and nancy' and you'd say 'nancy and i') at Kelvinside.  Seeing Occy was big highlight of our trip, and naturally he was the one we wanted to stand beside.  Angela is definitely the assistant and I am definitely the photographer, as all of the images of her with the great horse were in focus, and out of the 20 odd images she took of me, this was the only sharp one of us!
Denman (front), Lonhro (centre) and Octagonal (rear) at Darley Kelvinside.  Little bit famous this image.

Tuesday Joy with her first baby, a colt by More Than Ready

Samantha Miss' first foal, a filly by More Than Ready

More Joyous' full sister - 4 days old

The black horse, More Than Ready, in all his glory

An USA legend arrives on our shore, and no, I don't mean Oprah!  Big Brown at Vinery

Big Brown

Medaglia d'Oro - Rachel's daddy

Street Cry - Zenyatta's daddy

Berni - I'm in love

Street Cry - I don't want my rug on!!!!!!

Lonny - the champion Lonhro has lost none of his looks

Occy - I love you still!

So You Think
More Joyous

Gai won the Caulfield Cup

So You Think leads around the home turn in the Cox Plate
So You Think won his second Cox Plate

Black Caviar - world's best sprinter.

Yep, we got a soaking on Derby Day.  So You Think wins the MacKinnon

Derby Day - Singing in the Rain

Catching up with some Legends - Apache Cat

Black Caviar supreme

Goodbye So You Think.  A special horse to me.

So You Think's trademark.  THAT forelock
The Sheikh
Zipping made history

Macedon Lodge

Mr Cummings won another Cox Plate. 

Goodbye Stathi
In Canberra, it has rained and rained in 2010.  Dams are 100% full.  Poor Dan kept getting soaked.  Freelance's waterproof rugs have had a real workout, and largely stood up to the challenge.  See, I really did need to spend all that money on them!
Queanbeyan flooded

Merry Christmas from Yours Truly!  Thanx for stopping by to look at pictures, I will see you next year!