15 March 2007


I’m in Adelaide for a few days to attend a conference and, having flown between state capitals quite a lot in recent years, I have to say that the flight to Adelaide was not what I expected. Of course I knew that flying from a small country airport on a regional airline would be a bit different to what I was used to, but I wasn’t expecting to have to crawl down the aisle on my hands and knees to avoid head-butting the ceiling. When I read my booking confirmation sheet I made the mistaken assumption that a Saab 340 was an airplane. I knew that Saab make cars but I didn’t know that they took their poorest performers, stuck wings on them and sold them to budget airlines. It took almost an hour and a half to cover the 500km to Adelaide and they gave me some Barbecue Shapes for breakfast. By comparison, it takes just over an hour to fly the 850km from Adelaide to Melbourne with a major airline, in a proper airplane, it’s cheaper and they feed you a real breakfast. On the positive side, the regional airline staff were very friendly and efficient, which is also not what I have come to expect from the major airlines.

My experience with the hire car company was much more satisfying because I got exactly what I was expecting – the smallest, cheapest car in their fleet which I drive by putting my left leg over the centre console into the passenger’s leg room area and my right knee against my right ear. The hire car lady was also friendly and efficient and she laughed appropriately when I offered to exchange a big smile for a free upgrade. She also seemed sincerely disappointed to have to turn me down due to having no other cars available. It’s natural to wonder whether that’s just her standard response or whether she genuinely had no other cars available, but when I went to collect my miniature car I noticed that almost all of the surrounding hire car spaces were empty, so I choose to believe that she would have upgraded me if she could. She was so nice about it that I ended up giving her a big smile anyway. What can I say? I’m a giver.

06 March 2007

I'm no photographer, but...

My sister-in-law lives in a flat across the street from the beach. It faces West so she can look out her front window and see a beautiful sunset over the ocean every evening. I was there recently and saw a woman setting up a camera and tripod across the street. It was early evening and she was obviously getting ready to take a picture of the sunset. I couldn't help but think that this woman's picture would be lacking something. It would look very nice with the beautiful sky over the dark ocean, but that's all. I thought she needed something else in the picture, a silhouette against the sky, to make it interesting. But there was only sand and sea between her camera and the horizon.

It just so happened that the woman had set up her tripod next to a public bench. It's like a park bench but there is no park. It's just a bench beside the footpath, facing the ocean, where people can sit and enjoy the view. While waiting for the sky to turn the optimum shade of sunset, the woman and her husband sat down on the bench. I could see immediately what her photo would be lacking so I grabbed my camera and took a shot.
What do you think?