everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

StockPhoto Man – Another Sighting

You may recall my recent post whereby I exposed the fraud that is StockPhoto Man – the guy promoting everything from superannuation to corporate reports to THE CAMINO. Well, my eagle-eyed friend Steph (aka ‘Color Run Steph’ or ‘Camino Steph’ as she’s known in my family) has discovered our old mate StockPhoto Man promoting diversity & inclusion on a corporate training site. The image was attached to an email from Steph with the intriguing subject: Stock photo man speaks up about unlawful behaviour… I have edited the image to protect the organisation and to highlight StockPhoto Man, just in case you couldn’t identify him amongst all of the other diversity-friendly work colleagues…

I am inspired – the hunt is on and I’m asking for your help. Please keep your eyes wide open and email me any pics you find of StockPhoto Man doing his thing. I would like to put together a CV of sorts for him – a tribute to his many guises. So far, we have Camino Trekker and Corporate Colleague (endorsing lawful behaviour)…but I think the sky is the limit for our StockPhoto Man…who knows where will he turn up next?

We see you, StockPhoto Man.

We see you, StockPhoto Man.

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Foggy Sydney

Today is a super foggy day in Sydney. As in a crazy pea-soup, cancel-the-ferries, can’t-see-more-than-100m, where-has-the-city-gone kinda foggy day. Normally, the fog rolls away pretty early on (where to? I don’t know), but it’s only just starting to lighten up now and it’s after 10am as I write this. I went for a walk around to Mosman Bay this morning and it was actually a bit spooky, a little bit Jane Austen-ish with all the mist swirling around. Sharing photos of fog is kind of like talking about last night’s amazing dreams – it means a lot less to you if you weren’t actually there. So, I’ve limited my snaps from this morning…

Normally a great spot to sit and admire the city. Not today though.

Normally a great spot to sit and admire the city. Not today though.

Woooooooo (that's a scary ghost noise)...

Woooooooo (that’s a scary ghost noise)…

Ghostly boats in Mosman Bay...

Ghostly (and sometimes ghastly) boats in Mosman Bay…

A foggy bay on a foggy day.

A foggy bay on a foggy day.

Starting to clear as I walked home - can just see the Manly Ferry, back in action.

Starting to clear – can just see the Manly Ferry, back in action.

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Sydney Saturday: Art and the Garden

On Saturday, my friend Jane and I hopped on the Art Gallery’s Art Bus with some other cool kids (not really) and went on a tour of some galleries around Sydney. Not the ooh la la, please buy an expensive catalogue, don’t touch the white walls kinda galleries, but spaces for emerging artists. The focus for this Art Bus trip was photography and, although not all of it was my cup of tea, it was interesting to visit some different places and see some (very) different art. A great way to spend an afternoon – you can check out more about the Art Bus (and our amazing Gallery) here.

It was a beautiful autumn day on Saturday and before our bus trip we wandered around the Botanic Gardens. Another amazing Sydney place (that is completely free to enjoy!) that I love, but don’t visit often enough. Jane was keen to show me some of the work of the Gardens’ 2012 Artist in Residence, Phillippa Carnemolla. There are some fantastic pieces of Phillippa’s jewellery for sale in the Gardens’ shop, inspired by plants and bugs and other stuff that Phillippa encountered during her year in the Gardens (not literally, am fairly sure she didn’t have to live up in a treehouse or anything).

The Breathing Conifer

The Breathing Conifer

The highlight was the centrepiece of Phillippa’s work – the Breathing Conifer. It was designed by Phillippa and made with the help of a lot of kids who would otherwise not have been involved in art – kids from respite centres, youth groups & disability programs. They helped by colouring in all of those beautiful panels and the Conifer now hangs in the Fernery of the Gardens. They say that it ‘pulses with a gentle heartbeat’ and it’s kinda true – there is a mechanism inside it that inflates and deflates the Conifer and it is very calming as you relax your breathing to match it. Just the thing for those stressed out office workers in the ‘hood.

If you’re in or around the Gardens, I highly recommend checking it out – especially if you could do with some de-stressing. You can read more about it on the Gardens’ website here.

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Eurovision, part deux

I know that Eurovision isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so I will try to make this my last post on the topic. For 2013, at least. (Unless we can arrange a world tour for the fabulous Cezar from Romania – see yesterday’s post if you missed his performance – in which case, I will be posting daily to keep the dream alive.) Anyways, there really were so many astonishing acts this year that I can’t do them justice without boring you to tears.

So, I’ll stick with my top three – Cezar from Romania (the star of yesterday’s post), Farid Mammadov from Azerbaijan (and his mirror box-dancing friend, the unsung hero of the piece) and Krista Siegfrids from Finland with ‘Marry Me’ (which sounds more like the declaration of a crazy stalker than a woman in love).

I haven’t even included the 95 year old guy from Greece, or the voluptuous yet bookish-looking lady from Israel, or the whispering hipster from Hungary, but you can check them out at eurovision.tv if you’re curious (and you really should be).

Without further ado, here are the clips for Azerbaijan and Finland – and if you can’t bring yourself to watch the videos, at least check out the lyrics to ‘Marry Me’, below. They say the song is for marriage equality (the end of the performance was a bit of a hint, I guess), but I say these lyrics are about so much more.


Marry Me

Spying on you undercover, drinking coffee with your mother
Am I getting closer?

Baby, I feel like a sinner, skipping dinner to get thinner
Where is my proposal?

I’m your slave and you’re my master
Oh baby, come on, take your shot

So marry me, I’ll be your queen bee
I’ll love you endlessly
I do it for you, for you, for you
Yeah, I do it for you, marry me, baby

I’ll play your game, I’ll change my last name
I’ll walk the walk of shame
I do it for you, for you, for you
Yeah, I do it for you, marry me baby

Oh oh, oh oh oh, ding dong
Oh oh, oh oh oh, ding dong

I know where the future’s heading, I can see my perfect wedding
Isn’t that just bracing?
I don’t think there are no ladies who will give you cuter babies
Isn’t that amazing?

I’m your slave and you’re my master
Oh baby, come on, take your shot

So marry me, I’ll be your queen bee
I’ll love you endlessly
I do it for you, for you, for you
Yeah, I do it for you, marry me, baby

I’ll play your game, I’ll change my last name
I’ll walk the walk of shame
I do it for you, for you, for you
Yeah, I do it for you, marry me baby

Oh oh, oh oh oh, ding dong
Oh oh, oh oh oh, ding dong
Oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh, ding dong
Oh oh, oh oh oh, ding dong

This is the day, I don’t wanna wait much longer now
If you run away, I’m gonna find you anyhow
Oh, yeah, yeah, oh yeah
Whatchu waiting, whatchu waiting
Whatchu waiting, whatchu waiting for?

So marry me, I’ll be your queen bee
I’ll love you endlessly
I do it for you, for you, for you
Yeah, I do it for you, marry me, baby

I’ll play your game, I’ll change my last name
I’ll walk the walk of shame
I do it for you, for you, for you
Yeah, I do it for you, marry me baby

Oh oh, oh oh oh, ding dong
Oh oh, oh oh oh, ding dong
Oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh, ding dong
Oh oh, oh oh oh, ding dong

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Eurovision-ary, Romania

Another year, another Eurovision. I remember sharing my excitement about this spectacle last year – it really is an amazing event. Somehow, just when you think it’s not possible to beat the previous year’s highlights/lowlights, our European pals rise to the challenge.

Literally, in the case of the breathtaking performance from Romania this year. Here is the clip – you really have to see it to believe it. And then you’ll appreciate why I have no more words to add here…Take it away, Cezar.

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Friday rant – Stock Photo Man

As I type this, it’s 5.21am in Perth and I can’t sleep. Cross-country jet lag after my arrival from Sydney, where we are two hours (and a few decades, so the joke goes) ahead. Anyways, as I scrolled through Facebook, best pal of the sleepless, I came across this post.

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Now, this Camino forum always posts interesting and helpful threads, so I have no complaints about that. But I have a strong objection to the image – that guy is not walking the Camino with his family, that guy is THE MOST OVER-USED STOCK PHOTO MAN IN THE WORLD.

Seriously, keep an eye out and you’ll see him everywhere – advertising things from pension funds to corporate promos to Father’s Day. I think he looks a wee bit like an Australian politician (Malcolm Turnbull), which is how he first caught my eye some years ago.

Please be on the lookout and report any sightings – be alert, not alarmed. I think he’s harmless, if a little over-exposed and deceitful about his activities…

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A Skateboarding Dog in Central Park

Because, why not? My cousin in New York sent me this video, recorded by a friend of hers in Central Park a few evenings ago. Look at how many people are happy and excited about this spectacle – there just aren’t enough skateboarding dogs in this world, I tell you.

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The best chocolate product in the whole wide world

According to the good people at Haigh’s Chocolates here in Australia, it’s ‘Marshmallow & Coconut Season‘ from April to October. And that is indeed great news. I know they’re telling the truth about the limited season as I once went into their shop in Sydney looking for their rocky road (the subject of this blog & my vote for the best chocolate product in the whole wide world) and the young lady behind the counter looked at me as if I was a poor simple visiting from another planet. Very slowly, she explained: “Ummm…we don’t actually sell rocky road now, it’s just too hot for marshmallow’.

Compliments of the season. [image from haighschocolates.com.au]

Compliments of the season.
[image from haighschocolates.com.au]

I can’t believe I had lived ’til that point without knowing about marshmallow season. But now I do and, from April to October, I do like to celebrate the season from time to time with Haigh’s milk chocolate rocky road (they also have dark chocolate, if you’re so inclined). I bought some yesterday – my first for the season, I swear – and was reminded again of just how awesome it is.

Haigh’s is a bit of an Australian institution for chocolate. According to their website, they are ‘the oldest family-owned chocolate manufacturing retailer in Australia’. Sure, that’s a pretty narrow niche, but I love that there are still Haighs running the show and churning out their amazing chocolate. They only came to Sydney relatively recently – when I was a wee graduate working at a major bank, it was a treat when one of the big wigs in our area went to Adelaide or Melbourne as he’d bring back Haigh’s chocolate frogs. Good times.

'Tis the REAL season to be jolly, I tell you. [image from haighschocolates.com.au]

‘Tis the REAL season to be jolly, I tell you.
[image from haighschocolates.com.au]

Anyways, if you are in Australia during Coconut & Marshmallow Season and you haven’t tried Haigh’s rocky road, I reckon you definitely should. You have until the end of October, peeps. Enjoy! (You can also have a calorie-free look at their website here if you’re from another land…or if you’re in Australia, but you don’t like delicious chocolate.)

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Friday Fotos – Newcastle

I’m heading home from my week in Newcastle today, but got in one last long walk this morning. Happy Friday!

NewWalk1

NewWalk3

Beach crop circles

Beach crop circles

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Newcastle, you beauty

This week, I am up in beautiful Newcastle (on the coast, about two hours north of Sydney) doing some work. And although my focus is on work, I wasn’t going to miss the chance to go for a walk this morning – and I happened to catch an amazing sunrise on my way out, then a kinda creepy thick fog rolled in and shrouded my walk back to the hotel. Throw in a gorgeous beach, break wall, busy shipping port, fisherman and lots of hungry pelicans and it was a pretty awesome walk all round. Here are some pics…

Oh, I almost forgot. My day really started at 3.30am, with a crazy loud alarm, followed by two bright fire trucks and evacuated people in their PJs (from the apartment block across the street from the hotel - all ended up ok.)

Oh, I almost forgot. My day really started at 3.30am, with a crazy loud alarm, followed by two bright fire trucks and evacuated people in their PJs (from the apartment block across the street from the hotel – all ended up ok.)

Nice start to the day for walkers and runners.

Nice start to the day for walkers and runners.

So pretty.

Nice view, seagull.

Nice view, fisherman.

Nice view, fisherman.

Nice view, giant ship.

Nice view, giant ship.

Awwwww.

Awwwww.

And the fog starts rolling in...

And the fog starts rolling in…

Hello? Anyone out there?

Creepy…

The break wall near Nobby's Beach.

The break wall near Nobby’s Beach.

Road to nowhere. (Not really, it leads back to the carpark, but felt very spooky this morning.)

Road to nowhere. (Not really, it leads back to the carpark, but felt very spooky this morning.)

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