Snaps from the city

When you give a guy 15 mins to bum around after just missing a train, this is what you get.  Yours truly filling in the time taking photos of our wonderful city & its landmarks.. in and around Flinders St Station.

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And, funnily enough, most of this post was compiled on my tablet while I was coming home on the train. So thanks Samsung for creating a device that made a typical ride on Melbourne’s public transport system just that bit more bareable.

Plankin’ in Lakes

Yeah yeah… i’m about nine months late on the whole planking craze.  But that’s exactly what a mate and I got up to during a bored/random moment on our Men’s Weekend in Lakes Entrance on Saturday.

Fresh from turning the phonebox into “Out Of Order” mode, Adam decided to perch himself across the two poles lying at the entrance of the Lakes Plaza – as we waited for Chris to finish up in the toilet.

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He successfully posed, and I then had the urge to do the same and bring out my inner superman.  Mind you, it was just a tad uncomfortable – I felt like I had a pole pumping right into my stomach!  But when you’re putting most of your weight on it, I guess that is to be expected.

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Oh, and for those of you still playing along at home – we then proceeded to go and buy some stuff from  Safeway.  The rest of the trip was filled with beach, eating at the pub, drinking, mini golf and watching movies.  Good times had by all.

Doing an ‘Andy’

Yesterday, I had a bit of a Toy Story moment.

You know, the bit right at the end of the third movie when Andy’s about to move off to college?

*Spoiler alert for those who haven’t seen it*  Andy drops by to a family friend’s house and gives his toys to their young daughter. He does this because he’s all grown up now and figures the toys would be better off with a new owner who will play with them – instead of gathering dust in his toy box.

This was the motive for me donating a few of my smallest soft toys to my friend Dave, who leaves for a three-year overseas adventure today. His first stop is Cambodia, where he and some touring buddies are going to visit a Cambodian orphanage and give the kids some toys and sporting equipment to brighten their lives.

Those of you who know me and have visited my home in Melbourne would know I still have a pretty massive soft toy collection which I collected during my youth (I was an only child, what could you expect?). I still pick up a toy occasionally if I see something unique on my travels too – last year I picked up a Cookie Muncher at a cookie shop in Queenstown, a kiwi on a spring after bungee jumping of Kawarau Bridge, and another panda at Adelaide Zoo.

However, by my own admission, the majority of the toys just sit in massive piles in my bedroom and my study – and I pay them hardly any attention these days.  And although I made a pledge when I was younger to never give away any of my toys and put them in some giant exhibition or museum one day, the thought of following in Andy’s footsteps and giving some of them a new loving home in another country seemed like a mature one and a decent opportunity to start the inevitable ‘cull’.

So, I went into my study, found a collection of small animals in a basket (a few of which came from Happy Meals at Maccas), gave them one last hug, whacked them in a bag and gave them to Dave when we caught up for lunch yesterday.  He’s promising to send me a few pics of the Cambodian kids with the toys, so I’ll share those on here once I get them.

In a way I felt bad, because I pretty much singled these toys out as ‘the ones I can live without’.  Even though they’re just made of fluff and have no trace of human life in them whatsoever, after seeing the Toy Story trilogy and having such a connection with the movies, I sometimes imagine that they (the toys) have their own feelings and thoughts too.

But you’ve gotta move on one day, and I still have plenty of my favourite toys hanging around in my room. So I’m glad to have farewelled some of them and have Dave pass them onto the Cambodian kids, because I know they will brighten their lives when they have so little to their name.  It’s also cleaned up a bit of floor space in my study, which is great because it needs a gigantic cleanout!

Heck, I can live without all of my soft toys – and I have plenty of typical 24-year-old activities and interests (work, partying, girls, travel etc.) that occupy my time these days.

But they represent my childhood, which was such a fun and memorable time in my life – and contribute to my personality as well. And for that, I’m proud to still have them hanging around and occupying floor space in my room.

The Beginning

It’s a new year, so I figure it’s the perfect time to launch my newest writing outlet.  My own blog.

As some of you may know, I am a former journalist with the Shepparton News and occassionaly do reviews and bits and pieces for Inpress.  I’m also about to start writing for a new website – musicfeeds.com.au – but more on that later.

The main purpose of me establishing this is to keep up my writing skills and keep on sharing my thoughts with the world while I continue my hunt for a full-time job.  But even when I do get something, this will remain another outlet for me to publish and share stuff that might not normally make it into the publications I work for.  So, naturally, to quote that typical Twitter phrase – “All thoughts and opinions expressed on here are my own.”

And on that note, opinion pieces are what you’re going to see a lot of from me on here.  It’s something I really want to work on as a writer.  Blogs and social media publishing platforms have opened up so many new outlets and avenues for people to express their thoughts on what’s going on in the world – and that’s exactly what I’m going to do here.  I haven’t recieved many chances to do this in my past writing endevours – the closest I’ve come is numerous editorials for the Shepp News summarising the contents of the WOW magazine for that week.  So I’m looking forward to sharing with you my thoughts about what’s happening around me and the places I live in (I’m currently diving my time between Shepparton and Melbourne).

But it’s not going to be all news though – I’ll be doing several posts about my life and the people in it – ones that deserve more than 140 characters in a Twitter update or sentance or two in a Facebook status.  You’ll also see plenty of repostings of stories I’ve done or stuff which I’ve found on the web that catches my eye.

So, get following, get commenting, and come join me on the ride.  It’s going to be fun – I promise 🙂