Hello and welcome to my blog. It’s been a while since I wrote last – August 2020. And so much has happened in that time – mostly good but some not so good. I realised that I have been a terrible blogger and not provided regular updates on my life, work and travel plans. So let’s take a little look at each of those and how they are playing out in the new world that we all find ourselves in.

Life has been mostly good. My health has continued to improve -despite a nasty case of shingles. If you’ve never had shingles, you’re lucky as they is nasty! Lots of pain and discomfort but some truly wonderful pain killers. Aside from that, I have held true to my conviction to not drink alcohol. It’s hard to believe that it was in April 2020 that I gave up due to failing health directly related to my drinking. Since I last wrote, we have had Christmas – a wonderful day spent with my family here at home.

I have recently ended my relationship that began in August 2020 – rather not go into detail. But, it was a fulfilling time and experience for me and I regret none of it. So now I am back to being on my own and adjusting to single life again.

The children are all well and safe and continue to thrive and blossom into the fine humans they will no doubt be. I feel so incredibly proud of my children and their resilience. They have travelled such a hard road to get here and they know who they are. My youngest finally hit the double digits as he turned 10 in February of this year. As for the animals, well our little furry clan has continued to grow. Yuki our Labradoodle and three cats – we recently adopted a stray kitten that was only a week or so old. We named her Biscuit and all chipped in to raise this little joy as she needed three hour bottle feeds day and night. Now, she is terror with hints of being a joy – she often sleeps on my bed and wakes me in the middle of the night to chew on my nose. She has thrived and is best friends with Yuki – they even have their own Instagram account (Yuki and the Biscuit).

Work has been pretty intense especially in the first two months of the year. My friend Leigh and I have made some changes to the structure of our business so we can both focus on areas that we are strong in. I am primarily focused on developing blog content for our clients. Speaking of which, our client base has grown and we now have some international clients requiring photography-related content. So I continue to do what I love – writing photography gear reviews, product launch articles and education pieces. All is good there.

And of course I write consistently for Shotkit.com and love the work I do for them. I have been mostly writing guides on how to photograph different genres, how to use gear and product reviews. There’s such a nice diverse range of topics and styles that I never grow tired of it.

I have been doing a lot more photography recently. Trying to get out a couple of times a week with my camera. This morning I got up super early and made my way to the Yarra River to take photos of the sunrise. It was super rewarding and I love flexing my creative side once again.

I am planning a trip up to Sydney in the coming weeks as I intend to catch up with my business partner Leigh who has just had a baby – well Leigh’s wife did most of the hard work. I will also be paying a visit to one of my spiritual places – the Fujifilm Australia head office. Leigh and I will be catching up with some clients who are in Sydney. And then the rest of the time is for me to explore Sydney and also take part in a street walk with the Sydney Fuji X Aus crew. I am really looking forward to it as both a work trip and a means to take a break and experience new settings.

As is the case with everyone in the world, travel has been severely restricted and this will be my first break in well over a year. Not complaining as there have been bigger things going on in the world – but it will be nice to travel.

And that leads me to a point of pain for me. Having booked flights, accomodation and a rough itinerary of events for my Sydney trip has only strengthened my desire for Japan travels. The urge to return to Japan is always there – but booking this trip has awoken it like a hungry demon. The pain comes form the knowledge that I cannot simply book a trip and look forward to a future point in time. I can guess when it will be, but let’s face, nobody knows when international travel will be allowed. Aside from countries like Japan not currently accepting international travellers, we don’t even know when it will be safe or easy.

The rollout of the Covid vaccines it now in full swing but will obviously take some time. And then we don’t know how each country will re-open or what rules they will have in place. While we know how our own countries handle international travellers, that doesn’t mean that other countries will follow. A trip overseas may involved hotel quarantine, vaccination passports or any other number of rules. And that’s as it should be. Australia is doing exceptional well with regards to containing Covid. We did the hard lockdowns in 2020 and as a result we have minimal cases in the community. Outbreaks at any scale are handled quickly and without compromise to prevent the ruin of 2020 occurring again.

I cannot see easy international travel taking place in 2021 – not without risk of hotel quarantine. So I hang my hopes on 2022 which sounds like it’s years away. However, it is already April and the first three months of the year have flown by. I still have my sites set on a return to Osaka with the aim to spend more time exploring the city and surrounds. Plus with a couple of day trips perhaps to Kyoto and Kobe – gotta try some Kobe beef! Until then, I continue to enjoy the Japanese things that influence my life and experiences.

I hope that wherever you may be in the world, that you and your loved ones are safe and well. The pandemic has disrupted so much of our world, economies and lifestyles already. I hope that they contain it soon and the world can move on with a fresh perspective of what’s important. Until then, take care and happy shooting. G