Photo Project Complete… & … Happy New Year!

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On New Year’s Eve 2009 I decided I would do a photo project;  a photo a day for 365 days.  I would start on  January 1st and finish 365 days later on December 31st 2010.    How simple – I wouldn’t have to do any mathematical calculations to figure out where I was.    Except ….   I forgot to take my very first photo!  LOL.

So … my project started on January 2nd and now, in the interests of full disclosure,  I will explain how it still came to be finished today.   A trip to Australia and that funky little thing called the International Dateline is the reason.

When I flew to Australia I knew I would be losing a day on the way so I took a photo of the horizon as we hurtled over the Pacific Ocean.    On my last day in Australia I took a photo and on my first day back in America I took a photo  –  they just happened to have the same date!     As I had experienced  both days I considered them to be separate shots in my project.

So without further ado –  the final set!

Photo  358  –  this was Christmas Eve in DC; but Christmas morning in Australia so I opened a couple of presents.    These are books 8, 9, 10 & 11 in the Robicheaux series.

359   Christmas Day  –  our tree is so small that I can stand over the top of it.  Most of the year it lives in darkness under our spare bed.

360   –  this is our Hawaiian Santa on Boxing Day.  The weather outside was frightful but he played on as if he were on the islands of Aloha: 

361:  –  Off to work I went the day after the forecasted “big storm” non-event.   These are roads fully treated with salt and chemicals, waiting for snow that did not arrive:   Obviously I’m the only person who went to work on Monday!

362 –   A baked Acorn Squash for dinner  – actually it lasted a couple of dinners and a lunch:   The filling is onion, mushroom, cilantro and chives.  

363:  How do you stop people coming in the door?    You leave off the steps!     There is a front porch on the left with steps  –  hopefully there is a door there……      

364:  A young man knocked on the door and said that he was selling items to raise money to go to a workshop on how to stay away from drugs!    I bought a couple of candles for $4 though I couldn’t help being a little skeptical…  

365:   New Year’s Eve morning walk …  I wanted to find a bottle shop with champagne in the window  –  it was not to be but I will leave you with the two windows I found. 

A New Year can be rung in with whatever you fancy.   So ring it in with gusto!    Happy New Year everyone  – I hope 2011 is a good year for you.

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Photo-a-day-for-365-days Project: Shots 350-357

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On Saturday we spoke to the manservant’s parents as it was not only Christmas Day but also his mother’s birthday.  During my turn talking his mother asked what I’d bought the manservant for Christmas and I said “Alcohol” ….      There was a moment’s silence before she said  “Oh,  did he get any clothes?”                Me:   “No”                                                                                                                                 Her:    “Well,  I really would’ve rather you’d bought clothes for him than alcohol!”      LOL .     Why would I buy him clothes when I could get him a        gift I can share!   

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I’m very close to the end of this photo project now  – and my posting has nearly caught up with my shooting.

Shot  350:     The little church between the metro station and my office.  The sun was shining that early morning light on the block of apartments behind it.   If I had any software talent I’d photo-shop that out as it looks like a weird lookout.   

351  – Another of my sans-Manservant dinners.  These were simply called Vegetable rolls  – they were cold and served with a spicy dipping sauce.  They were divine!      

352   Getting close to Christmas.  Spied on one of my walks,  I love the simplicity and the colours and the little dollops of snow just to remind me that we were about to have a Northern Hemisphere Christmas.   

353  Yummy things come out of here…. 

354  Walking around the Columbia Heights neighborhood I came across this street of colourful row-houses.     

355  Icy footpath!   I know it’s blurry  but this is what happens when my neighbours don’t shovel their snow and it turns to ice.

356  –  A metro station billboard  –  I love this one.  It is currently showing in multiple metro stations.  

357  –  This was taken on the evening of December 23rd.   We visited some friends for dinner and when we came out to go home the moon was peeking through branches and everything looked really sinister.  My perception may have been affected by the wonderfully lethal champagne cocktails they served.    

Spousal Concern & photo a day photos 333 – 341

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Last week we had a little snow event – 2″ – which after a few cycles of thawing and freezing led to some nasty black ice in my neighbourhood of slack shovellers.   I’d complained to the manservant, sojourning in Hawaii,  and he sent the following email after I’d advised him that I was  safely at home:

I am glad you avoided the ice hazards.  Be careful.  You are
not good at falling, and I don’t think practice will help.

He is so funny!  and he doesn’t get to shovel snow very often!

Photo # 333   My sons sent me Christmas presents from Amazon and they arrived on the same day.  We are an office without string or twine apparently so necessity had to be the mother of invention.  I  disconnected my printer & phone so I could get my boxes home the easiest way. 

334 The word “literature”  always makes me think of classic works so this made me laugh…. though I know they really meant “junk”   

335  My train station’s latest billboard.  I really hope there is something more exciting under the Christmas tree for me than duct tape!  

336 Church in downtown DC   – I love the decorative work and the door and the fact that there are still roses blooming!     

337 A huge gingerbread house in the window of a chocolate shop!   I resisted the urge to go in and buy something.

338  Emjay!!   You are standing way too close to the edge of the platform!  

339  There’ s that bloody tunnel again!    I think we must’ve hit a bump in the road here.  

340a A friend gave me some paper white bulbs in a lovely jar  – he told me that he adds a touch of whiskey to the water when he first starts them off; 

340b – they started blooming within a couple of days – they are very strongly perfumed. 

341 – walking home from the metro the  moon was perfectly positioned above these row houses.  I’m surprised the moon turned out so well given I was hand holding the camera.   

319 is not missing anymore

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The missing photo!    This is 319 in my photo-a-day-for-365-days project.  It was hiding in one of the many folders on my desktop.   I have a zillion icons on my desktop and it’s not always obvious how I find anything!

My local fish and chips shop called Fish in the ‘Hood.  The first time I asked for “chips”  they had no idea what I was talking about!   They do sell great crab cakes though.

Photo-of-the-day-for-365 days Project: 312 – 322

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312 – Seafood Paella!   Oh this was so good.  Recently I posted a photo of the new Spanish Restaurant in my neighbourhood (called Top Spanish Cafe).   The manservant got  take away dinner from there one night and this was my choice though it would’ve been enough for both of us.

313 –  My back alley all lit up.  The fact that there is nearly half our table in this shot suggests I did  not venture far outside the door!

314 –  autumn in my street.  It amused me to see later that there is a person up the street in a red shirt taking photos of the trees!  

315 –   In June a lady who’d retired from work sent me a photo of chairs she was going to sell in a garage sale as she was going to downsize houses.  She thought I’d like them because of the purple.  Absolutely!  I said.   I did not actually get the 4 chairs until November –  then one day I was in the “Wellness Room”  at work and noticed that the chair in there has exactly the same fabric

316  –    Another shot of dinner without the Manservant!   This probably means I got to the end of this day and realised that I had not taken my photo of the day!   Steamed veggies – I’m sure I grated parmesan cheese over this before I ate it.

317 –   the busy road I have to cross every evening.  It can be scary because, even when there is a  “Walk”   sign,  turning drivers whizz around hapless pedestrians sometimes even beeping us!  I try to walk with other people but sometimes no-one else is around.

318 – As I turned into our street I noticed beautiful things in the sky and I loved the spot- lighting on our Japanese Maple

319 – Ooops!   I seem to be missing a shot of the day – I’m sure it’s around somewhere so when I find it I’ll post it.   Edited to add here it is!

320 – the back pathway from metro station to my office:

321-  A nativity scene up before Thanksgiving!   I actually took the photo because I liked the row of houses and was probably going to write something mean about those bright red ones!

322:   Now,  this is taking the Barber Stripes thing to a new high…..  

Photo-of-the-day for 365 days: 302-311

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302 – another example of the type of thing I eat when the manservant is not home.  It’s been awhile since I ate this but I think that is fetta cheese, some chives and chillies from the garden – and a bit of grated red onion. 

303 –   This is an Aboriginal painting called Bush Plums.   The artist is listed simply as Irene and there is a photo of her on the back.  The little authenticity note says that  Irene and her sisters used to pick bush plums in Nyirripi area – 450 km from Alice Springs. I bought this painting from a gallery in Sydney 7 or 8 years ago and until we bought this house it hung on the white wall of our rented apartment.   I was thrilled to find a house that had a purple dinning room wall on which to hang it  –  I tell people that we only bought the house so we had somewhere colour co-ordinated to hang the painting!   

304 –  I love my metro station billboards –  I’ve got quite a record of them now.  The one thing that does surprise me is how often they are changed.   

305 –  there was an after-hours function in my office and the Reception desk was the sign-in point.  This huge arrangement adorned my desk but the next morning I had to move it as I got a big attack of the sneezes!   

306 – When I first saw this billboard on my metro station I thought those were  colourful iPods!    

307 – This is a bookstore in my neighbourhood.  As well as selling books they have yoga, zumba and belly dancing classes; cooking classes and a book club.     I think I will have to investigate –  they never seem to be open when I’m coming home though.  

308  – Posters papering the windows of an empty store front:

309 –  I pulled all the skinny red chillies off the bush and dried them.  I put them out in the sun on a rack  – it took about 2 weeks to get to this stage: 

310 – the path home.   I’m always half expecting to trip on something along this section …….. 

311  –  Spider Kelly is a nightclub in Clarendon (VA) – obviously I was there way before opening time.  I loved all the reflections on this bright sunny morning:

Photos of the day – Days 281 – 290

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When the weather is nice (that means not too hot or not too cold)  I get off the metro at a stop further away from the one closest to the office.   It’s really nice to have a break between the crowd on the metro and the office.

281 – This is a Diner at Clarendon.  It’s crowded in the early morning and I can hear their music from across the street:

282   A Psychic and a Palm-reader in the same building  – I wonder if they knew demolition was on the cards:    

283 –  I liked the neon lights against the lightening sky this morning –  though the photo did not turn out like my eye was seeing it.    The name Hurt Cleaners makes me smile:   

284:   Yeah,  the  British are so well known for great pizzas!

285  I didn’t get to prune my roses at the same time as everyone else this year due to the difficulty of doing it with my broken, and then rehabing, shoulder.    I did it in October though and was rewarded with some extra blooms.   

286 –   We had a Chilean student visit who was a whiz at making really good Pisco Sours!   I’ve just noticed that she is using the astronomy glass from the last set of photos!

287 –  a coffee shop during the day; a club at night.    When I walk past early in the morning the brewing coffee smells wonderful.    

288 –  Billboard on my metro station –  coming up to Halloween:   

289a:   These notices make me laugh.   I like that the body does not have any hands…..   

Oh,  here’s a lone hand:

289b   

290 –  With two friends we tried a new restaurant in our neighbourhood  and we were the only people in there the entire evening!   The food was great and the owner was really nice  –  hopefully they attract more diners and survive.    

Photo of the Day – Days 270-280

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Holy Molly  – it’s the  327th day of the year.  (No I didn’t count my way through the calendar – I cheated on Google).     That means I am “only”  47 days behind in my posting of the photo a day shots ……

270 – when I was in Australia we had a birthday bash for my father’s 79th birthday – when they get older every birthday is worth celebrating.   We stayed in this place across the road from the Myall River.  My sister Jane (aka Cat) and her family also stayed here  – this is when I discovered that she came for the weekend with the same size suitcase that I took to Australia for a month!!    There was a very nice view from our balcony:-

271  –  I had lunch with a friend in Glebe (Sydney).  The houses are similar to some in DC but where we call them Row Houses they call them Terrace Houses in Sydney: –  

272 –   this made me laugh out loud – a postcard vending machine.  I’d never seen one before.  This was at Darling Harbour – someone was slacking in their job of keeping it full.

273  –  My last day out shopping in Sydney I went to the Queen Victoria Building  – I loved all the reflections in the mirrored escalators.  

274 –   I arrived back in DC late at night.   It was the next morning before I saw my garden – this is the first pot that greeted me.  Poor Abelia!   I was very fond of her.   (My Bay Laurel tree to the right obviously enjoyed the lack of attention though!)

275  –  My first morning heading back to the office – my feet were dragging and just didn’t want to get on that path! 

276 –  On my way to the metro – 6.30am in the morning – this was before Daylight Savings had finished.

277  – Getting a ride home from work – the zoo tunnel along Rock Creek Parkway.  I know I have taken a few of this same tunnel over the year  – I’m glad the project is a photo a day,  not a different subject every day!    I like this tunnel.

278 –   This guy was really enjoying his job.  Just like a little boy with a big, noisy, destructive toy.  

279 – A really fun female astronomer came for dinner and brought a little astronomy motif jar of bright flowers.

280 – Coincidentally,  the next day on one of our walks we came across an astronomy theme again –  on the window of a trash & treasure store:

Photo-of-the-day shots: Days 264 – 269

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I drove a lot of miles in these 6 days!!     These were taken in September when I was home in Australia.

264a  – When I go home one of the things on my must-have list is fish and chips – and I must have it near water.    This is across the road from the Myall River – the cafe had the cute name;  Hook & Cook …..

264b   And you can’t have fish and  chips near the water without seagulls: ( I guess seagulls look the same all over the world). 

265a  & 265b…   I had a day out in Sydney with my friend Alan and we parked in the ridiculously expensive carpark of Sydney Hospital.    I don’t think I’ve ever been on the grounds before – they have historical tours of the site but we ran out of time that day –  I’m going to put that on my list of things to do on a future trip.   Sydney Hospital & Sydney Eye Hospital is Australia’s oldest hospital.  Three gorgeous sandstone buildings and two gate houses were built on Macquarie Street after an architectural competition held in 1880 – though Sydney Hospital has been on this site since 1811 when it was called Sydney Infirmary.  The Eye Hospital joined the site in 1996.

265b

266a  The Zig Zag Railway is a heritage railway at Lithgow in New South Wales – it was known as the Lithgow Zig Zag and operated between 1896 and 1910.   It was part of the Main West line from Sydney across the Blue Mountain.  Now the Zig Zag railway carries steam and diesel hauled trains for tourists.   It was not running the day I stopped there but that didn’t stop me wandering around a bit.  In 2003 the railway was used in the Hollywood film Stealth.   I bet they used a better train than this:

266b  This is the  Zig Zag Clarence Station.   During World War II, the Clarence, and Zig Zag tunnels were used to store chemical weapons such as mustard gas and phosgene  for the Royal Australian Air Force.  They were disposed of after the war.

267:   A small country town between Coonabarabran (where the telescope is) and the Hunter Valley.  In 2006 it had a massive population of  495 people!  Binnaway is an Aboriginal name meaning Peppermint Tree.   The White Rose Orchestra was  formed in 1936 and the town is still very proud of it.

268  Somewhere in the Hunter Valley where I’d stopped to take some photos of the open cut mines…. 

269a  We stayed overnight in a Hunter Valley town.  We had really good coffee at this place which had a nice courtyard – and fresh scones with jam & cream!

269b  Pub in the same town.

Photo a day shots 257-263

And so the posting continues …..

257a – dinner one night at a Korean restaurant in Sydney – this was so good!

257b – Same day as the Korean dinner –  the nesting plovers on Macquarie University grounds.  For more than a week we monitored this couple as they waited for their brood to hatch.  We never saw how many eggs were in the nest and we left before they hatched. 

 

258a – Some of Sydney’s central business district (CBD) behind King Street wharf.  Taken while standing on the Pyrmont Bridge  at Darling Harbour.

258b –  looking back from Sydney CBD  to Pyrmont  across  Darling Harbour  – after walking across the old Pyrmont Bridge which used to carry cars but now only carries feet.

259a –  Some of Cudgegong Waters (Windamere Lake) – between Rylstone and Mudgee.

259b    this is coming down out of the Blue Mountains into Lithgow.  There used to be a sign here saying “No Standing”..   That used to make me laugh as I could not imagine anyone silly enough to park on the rough track aka a safety ramp –   I’m glad I never had to use it because my brakes failed!  (for safety’s sake, the manservant actually took this photo as I was driving).

260  The Anglo-Australian Telescope stretching up into the clouds – you can barely make out the white dome against the white clouds.

261  I spent a very pleasant sleepover at a friend’s place in one of these terrace houses which are what we call row houses here in DC.  Her house is very deep and has a really long but narrow backyard.  The bedrooms are upstairs and the bathroom is downstairs and the stair case is one of those itsy spiral things!   We drank heaps and into the wee hours so I’d be so dehydrated I didn’t need to get up and risk injuring myself during the night.

262   My daughter-in-law cooked me a baked dinner when I stayed with them.  I think that means she likes me as that is my favourite meal!

263     Across the street from my son’s – this made me laugh every time I looked at it.   I want better than standard food and I never decided if the hardware place next door meant to have “taps”  or “tubs” on their sign.