Posted in Life sparks, Sparks at work

Hello again

So, it’s been a while. I just checked and the last post that I made was on 3 September last year, when I was in Washington DC. I really hope no one was waiting on this blog to give travel tips for an imminent US holiday, or as proof of life, or as inspiration for being. Although if you were, then I’m sorry, and I do hope that you found other sources of support.

Hope you’ve been well. I’m all good, thanks. I am a bit (ok, a lot) of a fair weather friend to this blog, only really making the time to write when I feel like I have a lot of spare time. Which, when you’re in the thick of work and family and life, with all of the things that take up time on evenings and weekends, doesn’t happen that often. Usually when I’m on holidays (see 3 September post from Washington DC here). Or when I’m not working as much, as is the case now.

I’ve just finished up in the rollercoaster-ride of a job that I’d been in for the past couple of years. NB, I wasn’t actually working on a roller coaster, although I do note that the ride at Luna Park in Melbourne does have an attendant standing or sitting in the middle of the carts on each ride, so don’t rule that out as a potential career option.

Image from
FYI, the person in the middle of this gaggle is the Attendant standing up on The Great Scenic Railway ride at Luna Park in St Kilda. I don’t know what they ever get called on to do during the ride, but it’s a real job. [image from]
I’m also moved and am now technically living between two cities (Sydney and Melbourne), which has been lots of fun. I have been very lucky to have finally moved to Melbourne – a city that I have loved for a very long time, even looking for graduate roles down here back in the 90’s. I’ve spent a bit of time down here with a number of jobs, but when the opportunity came up to move earlier this year, I took it. And then a month or so later, I resigned. That sounds bad, but please don’t think that I tricked my employer into paying for my relocation (they didn’t), or that I found another gig shortly after moving (I didn’t).

It was just a case of bad timing – the work rollercoaster had been on the up and up for what felt like such a long time, and I was in the front cart waving and laughing and screaming and enjoying the whole amazing experience. Best ride EVER. Then the rapid and steep descent started around January and that left me grimacing and holding onto the bars too tight and the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach wouldn’t go away, and so I decided to get off the ride before it put me off amusement parks for life.

Not such a silly idea. [image from]
Sure, I guess most sensible people wouldn’t get off the rollercoaster until they’d found their next ride – the Silly Serpent (see above) maybe, or the exotic sounding Arabian Merry. Instead, I am going to hang out for a while and see what ride to go on next. I feel as though I’ll know the right one when I see it, and hope that I’m tall enough to get on. In the meantime, I’ll read some books and walk around and do some people-watching while I wait. And hopefully get back to this blog, sharing my particular brand of nonsense with you. Maybe while snacking on the carnival foods that the Luna Park website offers (“Fairy-floss, pop-corn, snow-cones and hot-dogs”). All of the hyphenated goodness.

Posted in Life sparks

Hello again (with chimps)

Hi there. It’s been a while since I last posted. I’m not really sure why that is – time has been filled with stuff and things and to be honest, I haven’t really felt like writing. In the face of happenings in the real world, the silliness of finding and sharing everyday sparks sometimes seems so ridiculous. I mean, people are suffering and getting sick and breaking up and shutting down and doing mean things. Then again, people are also being born, getting healthy, having fun, making things, doing good, starting again, having adventures and laughing. Right?

I also know that whatever is going on, I am still noticing those everyday sparks – whether they’re funny, silly, weird, nice, scary or quirky. And now I feel like getting back into sharing them here. In case we like some of the same sorts of things and I’ve seen stuff that you haven’t. Because we could all use some sparks to make us smile or grimace or snort or make that tsk tsk sound from time to time, I reckon. While we’re dealing with all of those happenings in the real world.

To get back into the swing of things, here are some pics of the baby chimp born at our Taronga Zoo here in Sydney over the weekend. Some classic shots for the family album.

Shiba and her baby boy. [photo by Lisa Ridley]
Shiba and her baby boy.
[photo by Lisa Ridley]
The Fam.  [photo by Lisa Ridley, from the Taronga Zoo Facebook page]
The Fam.
[photo by Lisa Ridley, from the Taronga Zoo Facebook page]
And my favourite.  [image by Lisa Ridley, from the Taronga Zoo Facebook page]
And my favourite.
[image by Lisa Ridley, from the Taronga Zoo Facebook page]
You’re welcome!

Posted in Travel sparks, WWWhat?

Virtual friends, I need your help!

Greetings and Merry Christmas Eve to you and yours, virtual friends. Apologies that Everyday Sparks has become more like OnceAWeek Sparks in recent weeks – I’ve been without an internet connection and it’s the festive season and, like my running program, my regular blogging has fallen by the wayside. But I’m back now and, like a pesky old uncle at a Christmas lunch, I plan on hanging around. (And maybe stealing some of your turkey, drinking some sherry and regaling you with stories about the good old days.)

But in the meantime, I need your help. Not in the Ugandan-prince-send-money kinda way, or even the Sponsor-me-to-jump-on-a-pogo-stick-around-Australia kinda way, but in the easy Help-a-virtual-mate-via-Facebook kinda way. You see, Expedia (the travel website folk) are running a comp to find new bloggers from Australia and New Zealand to write for their site. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I love to travel and write about the people, places and things that I discover along the way. So, a gig writing for Expedia Australia would be pretty much an ideal job for me!

My photo application
My photo application

To be in the running, I need to collect as many votes as I can by 31 December – which is where you and your Facebook friends come into the picture, I hope. It only takes a minute to vote for me via Facebook – the link is here (or search ‘Expedia Blogger Search’ on Facebook) and I’m in the ‘Lifestyle’ blog category: you can’t miss my bright green EverydaySparks avatar on the second row. And every vote counts, so please spread the word to your Facebook friends too!

Hope you don’t mind this cry for help on Christmas Eve – I’d really appreciate your support!

Posted in Sydney sparks

Inspiring stuff, Sydney

Hello. I’m back. Nice to be with you again. Thanks to those of you who asked OI, WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOUR BLOG? I appreciated the nudge and it’s really lovely to know that you noticed my absence. In truth, I’ve been home from my travels for a week and a half now, but I hadn’t really been inspired to get back to blogging. Maybe it was the cold that I picked up during my last days in NYC; maybe it was running around catching up with family, friends and work stuff; maybe it was getting through the shows that TiVo had thoughtfully recorded while I was away; maybe it was just a bit of a slump because the holiday is over & December is bearing down with all its festive fury (don’t get me wrong – I love love love the festive season, but there’s always so much going on).

Whatevs, I’m back now. And I owe the inspiration to Sydney. Yesterday was such a perfectly sunny summer’s day and as I wandered around the harbour, I was struck as I sometimes am by this pretty city, so thought I’d take some snaps and share the sunshine with you here.

No, I really do not miss catching a bus to work.
No, I really do not miss catching a bus to work.
Just for the calcium, I swear.
Just for the calcium, I swear.
As far as a view from public transport goes, it's not too bad.
As far as a view from public transport goes, it’s not too bad.
The bus stop. So to speak.
The bus stop. So to speak.
It is a pretty city.
It is a pretty city.
Best seat in town.
Best seat in town.


And sometimes you even catch Cinderella just hangin' out, eating an apple.
And sometimes you even catch Cinderella just hangin’ out, eating an apple.
Posted in WWWhat?

Shakespearean spammer

Like most blogs, EverydaySparks attracts quite a bit of spam. The garbled messages are generally caught by the very clever spam filter and put aside for me to check. And yes, I realise that I just made it sound as though I think there’s a person who acts as the filter, looking through the incoming messages to check what’s good and what’s not. (And I appreciate it, SpamMan, I really do.) Anyways, mostly the messages are just weird, complimenting me on my posts (yes, that’s the first spam tip off!) and recommending a link to a strange product or website. Or computer virus.

But today, there was a message that sounded way too poetic to trash straight away, so I thought I’d share it with you here (minus the virus spreading link). Brought a tear to my eye, it did…


Unquestionably consider that which you stated.

Your favorite reason appeared to be at the net the simplest factor to remember of.
I say to you, I certainly get irked while other folks think about issues that they just do not understand about. 

You managed to hit the nail upon the top and outlined out the entire thing without having side effect , other folks could take a signal.

Will likely be back to get more.

Thank you