Category Archives: Canada

Thank you Canada

I arrived in Canada on 27th July 2009 and as I prepare to leave on 27th May 2010, here are some thoughts on my time here.

I was disappointed.  I arrived full of hope and optimism.  I desperately wanted snow and lots of it.  Like most Aussies I’m obsessed by the stuff.  To say I was disappointed by the lack of snow during winter would be an understatement of epic proportions.  My expectations were high, and the results were low.  I did love the freezing cold -18C days and still wrapped up and went out walking.  But I feel cheated by the lack of snow.  My colleagues thank me for being a snow jinx and keeping it away this winter.

I got healthier.  Spending the first half of 2009 either on a plane or in a hotel was not good for me.  That’s one of the reasons why I agreed to relocate – it gave me the chance for a little stability.  I couldn’t have the kind of involvement I wanted in the project if I was based in the UK.  So I’m leaving Canada much fitter and healthier than I arrived.

I discovered iPhoneography. I’d been taking endless photo’s using the iPhone 3GS before I arrived in Canada, but I only discovered how fantastic the iPhone photography apps were when I spent dark, cold winter evenings searching through Flickr.  During my time in Canada I have taken very few regular iPhone pictures. Most have been taken using many of the amazing iPhone photography apps.

I got jealous.  I’m an ocean closer to the US than I was in the UK but my jealousy over the iPad availability seemed much worse here in Canada.  I suspect it’s because the US is just across the border, so tantalisingly close.  After devising Plans A, B, C and D, I eventually reverted to Plan A: purchase iPad in US on a work visit. Even that wasn’t easy as stocks were low and iPads hard to come by.  But I got one, and love it.

I discovered silk long johns.  (and other winter essentials)  Long-Johns: so light you don’t even know you have them on, but oh so necessary in the depths of winter.  I also fell in love with Columbia winter jackets. So light, fluffy, warm and practical.  I bought a white Columbia coat and a black Columbia coat, and a black coat from another brand, and a grey coat.  I guess I fell in love with winter coats.   I don’t recall using an umbrella during winter either.  Bonus points for that.

I saw Niagara Falls – twice.  I went once in spring and once in winter and both times it was just awesome.  I could sit and watch the water flowing over the falls all day.  I thought winter was phenomenal with the frozen vegetation on the waters edge making the falls even more spectacular.

I figured out the Canadian accent.  It’s all in the way “out” is pronounced, eh!  I can now tell a Canadian accent from a US one and I think I learnt how to pronounce Mississauga and Etobicoke.  I think!

I worked hard.  The reason I came to Canada was work, and I worked hard.  My Canadian colleagues were amazing and gave it everything they had and more.  The project was a brilliant success and I’m glad I could help.

Now I’m looking forward to getting back to my apartment and spending the summer sipping Pimms on the patio.

Thank you Canada, it’s been great.


Hip Purple Spring

All these spring flowers will be dead soon and then I’ll have to find something else to take photo’s of 🙂

All pictures taken with iPhone 3GS using Hipstamatic

Colours of Spring

Never!  I can’t get enough of the daffodils, tulips and blossoms.  Sure, I sneeze a bit more than usual but it’s a small price to pay.  Here are a few more pictures I took on my walk today.

L-R: Sunshine – taken with iPhone 3GS using Hipstamatic

Original Red – taken with iPhone 3GS.  No processing

Blossom taken with iPhone 3GS, processed with TiltShiftGen and Live FX.

A bright end to a busy week

I’ve clocked up roughly 71 hours at work this week – it’s been manic but nothing less than I expected.  This is one reason why I was awake at around 6.45am on a Sunday morning to see this lovely sunrise.  Taken with iPhone 3GS and Hipstamatic.

Hip(stamatic) Sunrise

Hip(stamatic) Sunrise

Kodot Verichrome/Lucifer VI

Mandatory spring picture of daffodil

Here is the mandatory spring photo of a daffodil 🙂   I love spring, where all the goodness is still ahead of us. We have it all to look forward to and live in hope of a lovely summer.  By the time we get to autumn it’s all about the impending doom and gloom of winter and the crappy summer that we’ve just had.  I actually think the detail on this picture is stunning, particularly from a phone camera.  It’s very clear and crisp, and the daffodil was moving around in the breeze.

Pictures taken using iPhone 3GS and Hipstamatic.  One on the right was then processed using SwankoLab

Hipstamatic settings: John S, Pistil

SwankoLab combo: Noir Fixer, Flamoz Fixer

More of my iPhone pics can be seen over on flickr


SwankoLab is a cool new photographic app from the same people who made Hipstamatic.  I’ve only recently got into Hipstamatic – took me a while to leave the standard iPhone camera alone and get into the habit of using something else.  SwankoLab is a lot of fun to use and it’s great to see what you can do with existing photos.  Below are 3 pictures: an original Hipstamatic picture (left) and two SwankoLab versions of it.  Pretty impressive.

My collection if iPhone pictures can be seen here on Flickr

Dear Gods of Weather

Dear Gods of Weather,

You disappointed me greatly with the lowest snowfalls in a gazillion years.  But you know what?  I’m over it.  Check out the forecast for the next 4 days:

Not only are these temperatures almost perfect, it’s a holiday weekend too.

Time to unpack my summer skirts and flip flops and find a new picture for my blog header.  The snow has to go.