Stuff I see, which you might not.

Some New York Snaps

Here are some pics from my night and day in New York so far. Lots of walking today on a beautiful sunny day. Including around the 18 miles of books that the amazing Strand bookstore claims to have.


I discovered Flying Tiger today. if Ikea, Daiso, Smiggle and Kikki k opened a store together, i think this would be it. Crazy times!


Making amazing tunes with buckets, pots and pans.


Shortly after I took this snap, a mouse chased this squirrel away in Central Park. Bullies are everywhere.


Not even physically present? Wow, this psychic near Central Park must be very very good.


Hello Kitty store in Times Square.

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All business

I have found my new tribe. Well, they were my people for about 24 hours, at least. You can recognise us by our uniform, a pair of grey pyjamas with a black kangaroo emblazoned on the front of the shirt. (One of life’s great equalisers – truly, everyone looks terrible when they return from the bathroom with these pjs on.)

imageYou may also spot our HQ, we call it a lounge, far from the busy airport food courts, where it is perfectly acceptable to pop the champagne – even though it’s not quite 8am. That’s just how we roll. When in transit, this pyjama’d tribe resides in the upstairs cabin, while the normal folk cram in downstairs. And it was a big bus this time – an A380 from Sydney to LA.

I was fortunate to be able to use frequent flyer points to upgrade to the dizzy heights of business class, where the beds are flat, the cutlery is metal, and the menu is totes fancy. Except vegetarians don’t get to choose from the menu, so lunch was an entree of felafel bathed in hommus and surrounded by baby spinach, followed by tandoori tofu (yep), Dahl and cauliflower and other assorted veges. An interesting choice of strong flavours and daring ingredients for people cooped up in this plane for the next 12 hours… Oh, and dessert was a chocolate mousse sort of thing with churros. Well played, Qantas.

[Image from the amazing Dallas Clayton]

[Image from the amazing Dallas Clayton]

Then they switch the lights out in an elaborate trick to get you to sleep, even though your brain is screaming, IT’S ONLY MIDDAY, MAN! Yet most of the tribe seem to sleep, with only one snorer and a little baby to break the silence. And even they seemed to do so in a dignified, restrained sort of manner. There’s an interesting mix of humanity here, as there was in the lounge. Young children who are clearly seasoned travellers don’t bat an eye as they settle back and enjoy travelling in style. If you kids only knew how the rest of us normally travel…

This is the life, I tell you – hopefully I get upgraded on the way home too, or I might have to wear these pjs in Economy and reminisce.

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A little packing tip

I don’t really like packing. It might have something to do with the mean discrimination required – that’s in, that’s out – or the forward thinking about the possible clothing options required for activities that might occur on the trip. However, when packing my backpack for the Camino, the key focus is pretty simple: keep the weight down to around 6kg (uh huh) and as for the activities that might occur – well, that’s pretty much just A LOT OF WALKING.

That’s a part of the journey that I’m looking forward to, actually – no more standing in front of the wardrobe deciding what to wear, instead it will be a case of which of the two options in my pack is cleanest and away we go. As I packed some things in my bag this morning, I thought I’d share a tip that I read somewhere a while ago – in case you didn’t read it too. It’s a trick with the humble hotel shower cap – fits perfectly around shoes to keep the soles from dirtying everything else in your bag. A ShoeCap, if you like. You’re welcome!

The ShoeCap for my gorgeous granny-style trekking sandals.

The ShoeCap for my gorgeous granny-style trekking sandals.

Speaking of shoes, I am on to my fourth pair of Camino shoes – it has been quite the experience, I tell you. Luckily the good folk at The Athlete’s Foot give you 30 days to trial your new shoes in the outside world (as opposed to the outdoors stores that give you 48 hours to trial your shoes in your own lounge room, which isn’t exactly a trial). So technically, the last two pairs are the same purchase – I really wanted the third pair to work as they looked quite cool, but they did not like my ankles. Let’s hope this trekking version of the pinkies is up to the challenge!

Fingers crossed these will do the trick...

Fingers crossed these will do the trick…


Friday Fotos – Newcastle

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



Beach crop circles

Beach crop circles

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Something to think about…

I’m aware that today’s post will definitely not be everyone’s cup of tea, but that might kinda even be the point. Most of us are so busy, busy, busy that we don’t really stop and think about things. I mean big picture things, not what type of lettuce to buy or what time bus to catch or what colour top to wear. Stumble Upon recently steered me towards an amazing site called Thought Questions. It’s based on a very cool idea (or, at least, an idea that really appeals to me): “A question that makes you think is worth asking…So we ask one new thought-provoking question every day”. I like it a lot. And if you feel like sharing, you can enter your answer to the daily question or tell your story.

But back to the actual questions – the creators of the site suggest that “the questions posted here should be reviewed regularly when you have some quiet time to think. After all, reflection is the key to progression.” Amen to that. They remind visitors that there are no right or wrong answers to the questions asked. Anyways, enough jibber jabbering, here are some examples for you…


They use cool images with their thought-provoking questions. Looking through the archives was an interesting experience – I rolled my eyes at some, wanted to wallpaper my apartment with others, and considered sending a few on to different people I know. If you’re interested, you can like Thought Questions on Facebook or sign up for the daily question to be emailed to you. The website is here if you’d like to check it out.


A puggle named Beau

In exciting news for people who love animals, people who love Australia, or people who just love strange looking creatures with funny names, Sydney’s Taronga Zoo have announced that they’re now looking after a 40 day old puggle (that’s zootalk for ‘baby Echidna’ to you and me). Its name is Beau and it was found in a caravan park on the central coast. Presumably not on a surfing holiday, given Beau’s tender age.

Beau the Puggle

Although, Beau might have been relishing an early taste of freedom – in what seems to me like a pretty severe form of grounding, adult female Echidnas generally “stash their young in a burrow from about 50 days old”, according to experts from the Zoo. And they don’t let them out for months. Although, they do home deliver food to their puggles, so that’s a plus.

Feeding time at the zoo.

And while we won’t know whether it’s Mr Beau or Miss Beau for some months yet, we do know that young Beau has a healthy appetite – according to the Zoo, “Beau resembles a mini vacuum cleaner, going back and forth making sure every drop of milk is sucked up – contributing to its ever growing belly”. You go, Beau.

Oh, Beau

So, there you go. A little story about Beau – from a trailer park on the central coast to a prime harbourside pad in Sydney, without the constraints of gender or hair. Good luck to you, pretty puggle.

You can check out more photos and videos of Beau on the Taronga Zoo website here.


Hilarious Fingerprint Portraits by Artist Dito Von Tease

Here at EverydaySparks, we love finger puppets. And these Italian designed finger folk take it to the next level – just incredible! Especially love the Dalai Lama and Ronald McDonald. Who’s your fave?


Recognize any of these fingerprints? Well you should thanks to the elusive Italian artist known only as Dito Von Tease.

Dito has embarked on a project called Ditology that features eerily familiar portraits of celebrities on the ordinary human finger. The faces produced on each solo finger range from the well-known public personality (Steve Jobs) and political figure (Che Guevara) to the fictional icon (Mr. T) and religious guru (Dalai Lama). There is no person that is off limits in this lighthearted, comical series. Every “person” in the presented portraits is intricately adorned, costumed, and given an appropriate backdrop.

In addition to the ongoing project’s humorous nature, the artist behind the work adds another level of playfulness through his entirely appropriate chosen name “Dito” that translates as “finger” in Italian, which would also mean that Ditology translates as Fingerology. What’s perhaps most ironic in all of this is…

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Faking It at The Met

Love this post on a new exhibition at The Met – as always, What We Like NYC gives a great glimpse into New York life. This collection looks amazing!

what we LIKE NYC

19._Dream_No._1_Grete_SternA new photographic exhibit opened at The Met this week with extraordinary examples of manipulated photographs made well before the age of digital technology. We thought changing photographs of models and actors in magazines to look thinner and younger was a relatively new trend, but this exhibition shows that altering photographs has been around as long as the medium itself.

Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before The Age Of Photoshop includes around 200 images taken between the 1840s and 199os.  Subjects include art, politics and entertainment with the exhibition divided by section. “Politics and Persuasion” shows photographs manipulated for political gain, “Novelties and Amusements” brings together professional and amateur photographs taken intended to astonish and our favorite,”Pictures and Print” displays images in newspapers, magazines and advertising where the subjects were altered to portray a certain image.

The final section presents photographs by Yves Klein, John Baldessari, Duane Michals, Jerry Uelsmann, and…

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For the Traveller

I’m getting excited about my holiday, counting down to departure day this week. And since I know I’m not the only one travelling, I thought you might like this John O’Donohue poem too – I think it works wherever you’re travelling, near or far. I first came across this particular poem on the fabulous blog of one of my heroes, Sarah Wilson (you can check out Sarah’s blog here) and since this trip of mine is to Ireland, the connection to John O’Donohue fits perfectly. I love it. You can check out more of the late John O’Donohue’s amazing work here. Bon voyage, travellers!

For The Traveller by John O’Donohue

Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in,

New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.

When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:

How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening a conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight.

You could not have known
You needed
To illuminate
Your way.

When you travel,
A new silence goes with you,
And if you listen
You will hear
What your heart
Would love to say.

A journey can become a sacred thing.

Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you towards
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life;
And the urgencies
That deserve to clam you.

May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.

May you travel safely, arrive refreshed
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home, more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.


Oh deer

I’m not sure where you stand on hunting. I don’t mean hunting for bargains at your favourite shop, I mean chk chk boom – there goes a defenceless deer / duck / clay pigeon. Hunting in the British Royal Family or Sarah Palin style. Hunting that sometimes leads to someone stuffing the head of the dead thing and sticking it on an otherwise perfectly nice piece of wood so that you can put it on display in your lounge room or men’s lodge or wherever. I don’t really get it, I must say, and have never understood the appeal. (NB, hunting for goodies at the post-Christmas sales, however, I understand completely.)

So I’m not sure if I should like this collection on etsy as much as I do. Bree in Los Angeles makes plush faux taxidermy figures and mounts them on wood, ready for displaying as a “creature trophy” in your home or office. Or kid’s bedroom, as long as it wouldn’t freak them out. These hand-stitched felt animals look nice and friendly – clearly they did not meet a horrible end like those other poor taxidermied critters. Bree has given her animals names and they seem to have a real personality. Well, as much as a felt head can.

I especially like her “backwards faux taxidermy” pieces. Whether you see it as a funny little bear trying to get back through the wall, or a stinging attack on hunters everywhere, there is a lot to like about this collection. If you have some space on your wall that could do with an animal friend (well, part of an animal friend), you can check out Bree’s etsy shop here.