Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pioneer Woman Photography Assignment

Do you read The Pioneer Woman? If you're into photography then her photography section is an absolute must. She also occasionally has photography assignments which showcase some amazing photos submitted by her readers from all over the world. Today I submitted one of my own photos! She only picks her favourites to feature on her blog, but you can see all the submissions on Flickr.

The current assignment is flowers, and I had taken quite a few photos a few months ago in my parents garden. I chose a few and played around in photoshop, and uploaded them to Flickr. You can only upload one photo per day to the Pioneer Woman photography assignment group, so I chose this one:

I'll keep submitting my other photos as long as the assignment is open, but go on over to my Flickr stream and have a look.

In house related news, my mom and I spent the whole weekend painting, and I did some more today, which means the list looks like this (changes in red):


  • ceiling
  • walls - 2 coats
  • skirtings, window frames, door frames (needs a few more coats), sliding door (needs a few more coats) - painting from the dark wood means a coat of primer plus three - five coats of semi-gloss on top of that. With a brush. Being very careful to not paint the walls with semi-gloss = many many hours!
  • pine-panelled wall

  • ceiling - kitchen ceiling painted; laundry ceiling is not painted as the existing paint started peeling off when we tried to paint it! Not sure what do do about it yet.
  • walls
  • cupboards - they need one more coat but I just can't face the enamel paint right now!
  • skirtings
  • door frames
  • window frames
  • doors
  • laundry - as above except I need to get 2 layers of wallpaper of the walls before starting anything!
  • back of laundry door

  • ceiling
  • walls
  • cupboards doors (need one more coat of semi-gloss) and frames
  • skirtings
  • door frames
  • window frames
  • doors (need one more coat of semi-gloss) 

  • ceiling
  • walls
  • cupboards doors and frames - frames primed
  • skirtings - primed and one coat of semi-gloss, need at least one more coat
  • door frames - primed and one coat of semi-gloss, need at least one more coat
  • window frames - primed and one coat of semi-gloss, need at least one more coat
  • doors 

  • walls 
  • ceiling
  • door (needs one more coat of semi-gloss)
  • door frame (needs one more coat of semi-gloss)
  • window frame 
  • shelves 

  • walls 
  • ceiling
  • skirtings (needs one more coat of semi-gloss)
  • door frame (needs one more coat of semi-gloss)
  • window frame
  • door (needs one more coat of semi-gloss)

  • skirtings
  • ceilings
  • walls (after removing wallpaper)
  • back of front door (primed)

I also bought a vacuum cleaner on Friday from Godfreys - now I have no excuses not to have a clean house!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My first Owners Corporation meeting

Last week I attended my first Owners Corporation meeting. I live in a property consisting of 10 units, and we have a self-managed Owners Corporation.

So I've been doing some reading up on Owners Corporations, because much to my surprise, I was elected to be the Chair of the Owners Corporation for the next year! I'm still trying to decide whether or not it's a case of 'let's get the new girl to do it before she knows what she's gotten herself into'!

Whatever the reason for me being elected, I have certain legal obligations and responsibilities so I'd better do my homework!

I found this website, Living in Strata which looks to be very useful. Here is what I've learned so far:

  • If an owners corporation has a committee, it must elect a chairperson and a secretary. Failure to fill either of these positions may mean the committee is not lawful. The committee’s chairperson and secretary also then become the chairperson and the secretary of the owners corporation. (from the Living in Strata website)
In the past, the Chairperson has also taken on the Secretary role in our Owners Corporation, so I followed tradition and am also the Secretary (this could also have been because I was the only person that turned up at the meeting with the agenda and relevant documentation, a pen and a notepad).

And from another website, Strataman, a self-managed owners corporation will need to:

  • know what existing rules and regulations to follow
  • learn all about insurances, fire safety and OH&S requirements
  • learn what other legal and legislative obligations you have
  • interpret and apply all new legislative and compliance requirements
  • set up and maintain the Records and Accounts required by legislation
  • know how to convene and run the mandatory meetings
  • produce and process financial statements and budgets
  • produce, issue and collect quarterly levies
  • know how to deal with tradespeople from a legislative as well as operational standpoint
  • put an appropriate preventative maintenance program in place for the scheme
  • keep the scheme's insurances current and correct
  • ensure all the scheme's bills are paid and on time
  • manage the scheme's RISK environments for OH&S and Fire Safety
  • handle all owner disputes no matter what the problem

So it looks like I have my work cut out for me!

Image from here.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pier to Pub 2011

A few months ago a friend asked if I wanted to do the Pier to Pub swim with her - without really knowing anything about it, I said "YES!". I'm not sure why I was so enthusiastic - needless to say my attitude towards the event yo-yo'd dramatically right up until we crossed the finish line!

For the uninitiated, the Pier to Pub is held in Lorne on the Great Ocean Road. It is the largest open water swim in the world, with thousands of competitors swimming the 1.2km course throughout the day.

Due to poor planning on my part, I didn't bring my camera, and spent the rest of the day wishing I had. We spent the night in Anglesea and arrived in Lorne at 7am to make sure we got parking. The plan worked and we got a great spot right on the foreshore, which meant we could go back and forth to the car throughout the day without having to carry all our gear with us all day.

My friend and I stuck together throughout the race, giving each other moral support. We crossed the finish line holding hands and finished with a respectable time of 30 mins 45 seconds. The race itself was an interesting experience - the water was cold (we were swimming in wetsuits), and swimming in the ocean is not nearly the same as swimming in a pool. I also didn't count on getting a cramp in my toes about halfway, which then travelled up my right leg. It wasn't that bad a cramp though, so I kept going and it dissipated. In the last 100 metres I got another cramp in my left leg which was quite bad, but I was so close to the end that I didn't want to give up - I'm glad I didn't!

To be honest I didn't train very much for this, and I would say my current fitness level is fairly poor. I think that this type of event is as much about mental strength as fitness. I am a confident swimmer and I knew I could do it, even if it meant taking a long time (for the record, the race organisers will remove you from the water if you haven't completed the race in 45 minutes). If I do it again I would aim to be fitter, and perhaps try to do some open water training in a wetsuit just to get more used to the swimming conditions.

I did get a few iPhone pictures, which didn't turn out too badly. These were taken before the crowds arrived:

Below: view from the pier to the finish line - can you see it in the distance?

Right now I'm nursing some interesting sunburn on my back - although I applied sunscreen all day, there were some patches I missed once we changed into our bathers and wetsuits. Someone needs to invent sunscreen that is coloured, and then goes clear as it's absorbed - like the pink ceiling paint!

Well, I'm off to apply some more after sun lotion. I'm sure I will start peeling just in time for the wedding I am attending next weekend - I suppose on the bright side, it's only on my back, and I can wear my hair down to disguise it all!