We are having a final break at Yass. I went to order a coffee, but then realised it would be my third for the day, and all of a sudden I couldn't face it, and what I really wanted was a cup of tea. And to be able to sit quietly.
A couple of my friends have spent a bit of time with me on the phone on the drive back which helps me on the long drive home. I never enjoy the drive back. I'm tired. And it seems such a long way. Dan is traveling well, but I grow more conscious of his rattles the further I push him. And find myself wondering how nice it would be to drive a slightly newer car. I don't mean that to be mean Dan. Honestly I don't. You are a good boy. But at 354,336km, I realise that he's getting tired.
I made the big decision last night that I would fly instead of driving for Melbourne Cup week. It saves me 2 days in the car. Seeing as I've been home for only 2 days since 18 September, those 2 days suddenly seem worth a lot to me. And given we have driven close to 4,000km in that same period, it seemed like a pretty sound decision.
I should be at Caulfield tomorrow but have had to return to Canberra instead. I have no one to cover the races for me either. And that makes me feel a little down. We have about 55kms to go. The last stretch on the Barton Highway is always the toughest.
As a side issue, Media Watch did a great piece on the growing tendency of society and news agencies wanting to engage photographers without any payment. Thinking that exposure is a worthwhile compensation. What a stupid argument that is. In the piece they interviewed a couple of prominent photographers who are now trying to survive freelance. One of whom has won a Walkley. Yet he says he struggles to pick up paid work.
I've always been freelance, and touch wood I am still traveling ok, with plenty of work on. However I am always conscious that I am only ever as good as my last shoot, and that I need to push myself, and continue to demand from myself the very best quality images that I can produce. And remind myself that I can never be complacent, or assume others will repay my loyalty and trust.
My head aches a little as I prepare to round us up to return to the car and the road. I miss many things. Maxie is definitely one of them.
We arrived safely home just after 6.30pm. Dog tired, I staggered up the steps. I haven't fully unpacked Dan. The bulbs Jessica and I planted so excitedly last year are continuing to flower. They are pretty. Maxie looks fabulous, and is pleased to see us.
|Dan, at Yass... Yes, he is creaking and rattling and getting old. But he's still going (touch wood). You're right, I should wipe him down occasionally....|
Below - some of my results from the week gone, and the early starts.
|Atlantic Jewel, or "AJ" at dawn. Flemington Racecourse. She snuck up behind me, but even in the backlit glow, I knew it was her in a heartbeat.|
|Sunrise at Flemington.|
|"AJ" at her stables.|
|Royal Descent swimming at Flemington|
|My 'new boy', It's a Dundeel. His foot was finally beginning to come good. Poor boy had been as lame as a duck..|
|Balnarring Beach. This is where we are going to live.|