Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Australian War Memorial

I had the day off from work and Trixie asked me what I would be doing, so naturally I said, "Sleep." But after much thought, I decided to take a trip to the Australian War Memorial which is around 10 minutes from our place. I knew that I would find something interesting there because Sabah and Australia have ties since WW2 because of the infamous Sandakan-Ranau Death March. As an ex-tour guide in Sabah, I have some knowledge of the march. What I found, apart from other historical exhibits, is a whole room and wall dedicated to Australian troops who died during the Death March. I had a short emotional moment thinking how they sacrificed their lives for the Sabahans.

View of the Australian Parliament House from the War Memorial

Entrance to the War Memorial

Inside the memorial - quite similar layout to the one in Kundasang

How Sabah is highlighted

Photos of those who died during the death march

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Adding to my vintage collection

Last Saturday, Kamal (fellow photographer, my wife's ANU schoolmate and Malaysian) and I went to the Canberra Camera Collectors sale at the Irish Club here in Canberra. I have never been to one so naturally I was excited to see what was on sale. I had no intention to buy anything (because I am so poor) but limited myself to $20 if I did so. There were many vintage stuff and also some earlier DSLRs.

Price was very reasonable and I was tempted, plus an auction at the end of the sale was really good.

The auction

At the back of my head, I was thinking, "Where in Sabah will I get these kinds of cameras?" So, with my 20 bucks, here is what I got.

Got this from the auction for 5 bucks

And what I thought was a good buy was this 1961 Yashica J series in working condition.

$10 for this

The remaining $5 was spent on a vintage leather strap for my Minolta Hi-Matic G, which I bought at the Salvation Army Thrift store or Salvo's.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A few hours at the Floriade, Canberra

Floriade is the biggest flower festival in Australia, a spectacular celebration of spring, set in Canberra's Commonwealth Park.

We planned to go to the one-month event earlier but it had been raining and cold, so finally the weather was better yesterday. As for me, I have never really seen so many tulips in my life. I wanted to see some 'black tulips' which I read about when I was a kid. Creating a black tulip was the holy grail for the flower enthusiasts back in the days in Holland. As much as I could see, however, were no black tulips at the Floriade, just really dark maroon ones.

Here are a mix of family and Floriade pictures I took.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Starting my vintage camera collection

I started fooling around with photography around 1992-93 and had real gung-ho aspirations to be a photographer since then. I inherited an old Yashica SLR from my father and went shooting with my buddies Romeo, Disney and Kelly.

*Not the exact Yashica but a photo from Wikipedia

I remember we all had old cameras and mine would always jam up, and finally on a climb to Mt. Kinabalu, it finally gave up on me and the mirror never came down..it was stuck for good.

So I requested, I think for my birthday, for a camera from my sister, who gave me a 2nd hand Canon SLR.

*again, not the exact Canon. Mine had an all black body.

I think I only managed to use it once for a body-building competition at Kiulu, then the same problem happened, the mirror got jammed. This time it was sent to a technician to be fixed but it really conked out.

I was without a SLR camera for a long long time, till I got my first DSLR in 2008, a Nikon D200.

Coming to Australia has it downs for me, not being able to work in my chosen field of Photojournalism. The pros is, however, endless. I can now shoot without pressure to deliver to my editor or client.

I was chatting online with fellow Sabahan, Flanegan Bainon, who is in Melbourne studying Photography and he told he had started collecting vintage cameras. I found that really interesting and kept an eye out for old cameras at thrift stores and garage sales.

This is my first vintage camera I bought at the Salvation Army store. It cost me AUS$15.00. The Minolta Hi-Matic G was made in 1974, the year I was born, and still works. There was still a roll of film inside when I got it. I changed the battery and the meters went 'alive'! I think I got a good buy.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Family picnic at Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra

Life here in Canberra is very different from the comfort zone we had in Sabah. It has changed dramatically from the weather to our lifestyle. Adjusting to a different climate, looking for jobs, re-tuning my ears from Malaysian English to Aussie English, re-tuning my accent so that locals can understand me and so forth.

The biggest challenge so far is looking for a job, whatever it is. Trixie and Kimo both go to school and I am doing my part by sending and picking them up. But still, I feel very weird not doing anything. I have applied, and still am applying, for all kinds of jobs here and there, but it seems it takes time to get reply, so now is just a waiting game.

Earlier today we had a brunch at Auntie Connie's house cos a Sabahan friend came by from Sydney so we Sabahans had a small get together. Enjoyed the curry and the roti canai.

Anyway, after last week's hospital stint, we felt we needed to chill out and go out for a picnic as a family. Trixie packed a small snack for us and off we went driving till we ended up seeing multitudes of people by Lake Burley Griffin (only found out the lake's name from the internet after we got home), so we also looked for a spot. The day was warm and we had time to take a family photo, something we always wanted to do since Kimo was born, actually these photos could be one of the best we had taken.

More picnic photos in my Facebook.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Kimo in hospital

After lunch last Saturday, Kimo suddenly started shivering uncontrollably. We rushed him to the emergency room at Calvary Hospital around 5 km away and he was diagnosed with pneumonia in his right lung. The doctor suggested to admit him into Canberra Hospital where they have a pediatric department for further treatment. Kimo was admitted there for 3 days and 2 nights and he was on an IV drip the whole time.

We, as parents and as international students in a new country and city, felt a kind of fear that we don't have any moral support from anyone in Canberra. But we were blessed with our Sabahan friend here, Auntie Connie Lupang, a Sabahan living here for the past 40 years, who came to the ER to give us support.

On the 2nd day there, the specialist said that the bacteria that caused Kimo's pneumonia had spread into his left lung, but he said that is normal and the antibiotics administered would take care of that. On the third day, Kimo was given the green light to go home as there was no more wheezing in either lungs.

We thank God, the doctors and nurses for helping Kimo get better in such a short time. Kimo is now at home, active as ever. However, we are still giving him his antibiotics and he has to use a puffer a few times a day.

Monday, August 24, 2009

From around Canberra

I took this photo on a road behind my area.

On my way out one day, spotted the nice clouds which was complimented by the winter branch.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Month in Canberra

Its been a month since we moved to Canberra, but it feels longer, I dunno why. Well, we have settled in nicely and already have a schedule. Kimo goes to childcare/playschool 4 times a week while Trixie goes to school. I basically send them, do household chores while applying for jobs and waiting for their replies...soooo long. I have not been able to get around taking photos lately, apart from the ones posted, but next week, a good Malaysian friend and I are going to do some bushwalking photography.

National Geographic POD