Being a parent can be a bit of drag somedays, the busted knees from too many legs rides, the crook neck from piggy backs that have gone wrong, the cramps from being squeezed out of bed in the middle of the night – just to digress for a moment.. seriously that bloody song about 10 in the bed and the little one said roll over… thats me, I move an inch and there are two little bodies there immediately to fill that gap and thunk, i end up plastered against the bedside table or on the floor…anyway, thats a few of the negatives…

There are however, moments that will remain with me forever – one of which is when we walk to school, the feeling of that little hand sliding into my mine without either of us barely noticing, a automatic action as we dodge the trees and poles on the walk, that little hand just returns and slips into mine. As cliche as it might sound, that action speaks thousand words,all of which would not even come close to expressing the feeling…

…. then we get to school and its yep.. barely a 'see ya dad' as she disappears off with friends to plot the level of chaos. Thats alright tho :)

hey onto lighter notes, heres how to ruin your knees in 2 easy steps, the first weighs in at about 15 kilos and the other over 20….


Our place feels like a chicken coop some days :) :)

I gotta say Chaos has a rather uncanny knack of being able to catch animals and chickens are no exception, she can pretty well pick up every chicken and give it a cuddle in the space of 5 minutes, most importantly as well, without traumatising them :) Tickles even gets in and has a go, she caught her first one the other day and I think she was more surprised than the chicken :)

The girls even got to have the eggs for breakfast the next morning, they got a much higher rating than the ones from the shop :)

The garden plot is going well too, you can see Chaos posing nicely in front of it with the selection of corn, capsicum, beans, sunflower and a whole bunch of other unknowns which they threw :)

In Album 16/03/2017


Seven going on Seventeen

To all those punks who said said it gets easier, what a crock of horsepoo! we are fending off marriage proposals and family planning, although I am hoping that the wiping the snot on the sleeves (and everywhere else) might keep them at bay for a bit longer :)

This was a really nice walk along the beach with a storm threatening overhead, nice temperature and really soft light, perfect for photography. For the record, there was no instruction on posing or anything, actually its very rare I get anything but a scowl or funny face when taking a picture :) in this case Chaos said, 'wait a sec' and bent over, flicked her hair over and struck a pose… i blame school ;)

Exif / shot love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 85mm f1.4 @ 85mm
Shutter speed: 1/400s
Aperture: f/2.0
Exp Comp: -0.3EV
ISO 100
out front – chaos



So apparently this rock is pretty famous and a favorite for photographers, however they neglected to mention that to get the cool cliche shot you really need to be there at sunrise to capture it with nice light, which in summer, is kinda not realistic with small children :) However, what is amazing is the level of detail that cameras can bring out nowadays, you can pretty well underexpose the shot to capture all the bright bits then draw out the shadows, even in this scene, which is the worst for it, shooting right into the sun i was amazed that you can bring out so much detail and make it a bit edgey to boot :)

So here we have Chaos with her tourist pose on doing a great job of showing off the scale of this rock, which by the way is a lot smaller than it looks in pictures.

Apparently it has formed over thousands of years by loose rock washing up against it in the tides hence 'necking it'


3rd Tickle

I'll let ya'all into a parenting secret (besides the 'dont have kids one' ;) )

When it comes to their birthday party get them to make the party food, it has several distinct advantages, like – keeps them occupied, they are gonna eat the food anyways, irrespective of what it looks like :) they can't blame you for the food and also you have someone to blame if everyone gets crook ;) (which did not happen btw:) ). Now we will brush over all the disadvantages, like, increased cleaning etc and finding child #2 licking chocolate icing off the door frame ;) (I do have a photo but am not allowed to show it :( )

So, happy birthday Tickles and thanks to big sis aka Chaos for all the help particularly the excellent direction in blowing out candles, snaffling extra lollies from the party cups and generally, lovingly living up to your nickname :)

I suppose Sarah Joy did pretty well too, helped the kids make the food :)


Weeping Falls

chaos vs falls

Well done Chaos, it was a great walk and excellent effort to make it all the way to the bottom (and back up).

This is the second time I have been to these falls, the other was back in 2014,
its such a great spot and I would love to go back again, needs a bit more water than what was there on this particular day with the girls.

No bad for handheld either :)


Little Trekker

So, mum wanted to go for a bush walk for mothers day, after presenting the idea to Chaos she promptly choose a the Blue Mountains and more specifically a spot near Blackheath called Mermaid's Glen which we had been to previously. I did say to her, 'thats a long way (in kid terms anyway) to got' to which she responded (quote) ' yeah, but it's worth it'. On that note the trek was decided, with one minor variation, Leura Cascades might be a easier option with Tickles in tow.

Everything did conspire against us, rain, hazard reduction burning and lots of smoke, but we made it and not to be deterred by alittle rain we donned the raincoats and barrelled on down the steps along side the Leura Cascades, its a great spot and such a nice walk even with the kids, both kids made it all the way to the bottom of Bridal Veil falls and even to Weeping falls, where we stopped or some lunch before making the trek back out. Its a fair walk with quite a bit of elevation to be covered, there was some whinging.. 'pick me up' …'pick me up' but all in all, they did very well. Tickles walked about 75% of the way and Chaos about 95%.

Here's a shot from the stairs near the cascades of our little trekker (tickles)


Crazy Chops Saturday

how much fun can two kids have on a hill?

This reminds me so much of my childhood, we did not have bundles of toys or the latest game console (think original.. yes the original and first nintendo console :) ) but we made our fun on our pushbikes in the parks, bush, local creek or anywhere else where we were probably not allowed to be :)

Its great that in Sydney we do have alot of open spaces and parks where we (and the kids) can go and ride pushbikes and get outside. Sydney park is one of the great spots I reckon, only slightly ruined by the large number of free roaming dogs (and the resulting dog shit from inconsiderate owners…). This hill is a particular favorite of mine, we can watch the NYE fireworks from here, have a BBQ (on the new electric BBQ's), roll down the hill, run up the hill, run around the hill, walk around the hill, sit on the hill, watch planes from the hill, watch other people from the hill, ride bikes up the hill and yep you guessed it.. ride them down :)

on this day, we chose to run up and down the hill, in a exercise that ding-dong daddy (thats me apparently) calls energy extraction No 5. It involves them (chaos and tickles) running up the hill then down to be caught by me and thrown up into the air (that part is called damaging ding-dong daddys back, but as you know we do anything for our kids :) ). and for some multitasking talent I even took a few photos during the process :)

Toothless Nipper

Nipper Chaos - (C) Gerard Blacklock


Well done Chaos, thats a season of Nippers done, whilst I have enjoyed the routine egg and bacon roll and coffee as you tear up and down the beach and in and out of the water, I think only one of has gotten fit ;)

A big hat tip to the great crew of instructors (Bluefit), dealing with these little nippers is a bit like herding cats on speed ;)


The Walk

Never to be put off by a bit of rain, a nice bushwalk in the local reserve with Chaos, Tickles and the boss was a great way to spend Good Friday.

Happy Easter ya'all :) and be a responsible easter egg giver (and eater ;) )

Energy to Burn

Energy to Burn - (c) Gerard Blacklock

Energy to Burn – (c) Gerard Blacklock

So, its the end of the weekend, well it is for the folk in this timezone :) and I gotta say, its probably lucky the weekend is only 2 days long, I don’t think I could physically take much more than that ;)
Amongst the plethora of activities this weekend was a visit to the Sydney Botanic Gardens where they are celebrating the centenary of a whole bunch of trees, I always enjoy the gardens, there is always something new to see and its a great place for a picnic, i think I can even get over the cost of parking nearby, but I guess there is always a premium price for convenience.

So, wandering on through the gardens Chaos had a whole bunch of questions (per usual and at the usual rapid fire rate), one of which was, ‘how do you know how old the trees are’ sounds sensible, i dunno really know, thankfully the good folk at the gardens had made this answer somewhat easier with little special signs on trees which had clocked over 100 years. Some highlights were the big Hoop Pines and the weird looking cedar tree, i think we came up with a pretty good gauge for a old tree, if you can’t reach around it, its probably pretty old ;)

Now the next question which had a fair amount of currency was, ‘can i climb this one?’ to which the response was, ‘if it ‘aint in a garden then yes’

So in typical Chaos style, no shoes and no fear she was into them :) This tree was a South American variety, the name which slips my mind atm. But it had these awesome roots which were just perfect for climbing up into the tree.

If you do check them out, be sure to have a look at the native Australian bees (non stinging too) they have a great hive there where you can get up close and personal to them.

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 85mm f1.4 @ 85mm Aperture: f2.8 and Shutter Speed: 1/250s
ISO 640
Out front: chaos and the tree


Got Wheels

and can use them

Way to go chaos! thats the 6th time on the new bike and the 6th time without training wheels, next it will be out riding with me – watch out world ;)

thankfully it did not take long – i don't think my poor back could handle holding the handle bars while running along much longer :)

All taken with a dinky little great little camera when your poor body is wrecked from carrying kids, pushing bikes and doing all da domestic duties..


1…2….3.. go

These dried dandelions are a great find at the park, especially the ones which are fully intact and just waiting for a 6 year old to launch them into the air:)

Chaos is pretty good with theses, tickles on the other hand (and i will post a image of her effort) still has not quite grasped the concept of exhaling onto the item, rather eating them seems to be more fun ;)

I have processed this one different to what I normally do, just to try and mix it up, I guess it has taken on a bit of a sepia style, but i am liking it at the moment, the desaturated warm colours seem to really work with her dress (thanks Gran) and the park trees…

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 85mm f1.4 @ 85mm Aperture: f2.2 and Shutter Speed: 1/320s
ISO 125
chaos and the dandelion!


Chaos vs the dome

I know what I am getting for christmas…. a smoke machine! The artwork of the dome is very cool, however this sculpture attracted kids like cake at a birthday party, they just could not get enough of it! from peering into the dome thru the smoke to running around like crazy chooks in the wafting smoke as it dissipated into the night.

I had promised Chaos I would take her to see some vivid lights this year, but there was no way I was repeating the experience from a few years back taking her into the city, that was mildly epic (and that was just getting in there). Sydney uni however was the perfect venue for little kids, plenty of space, lots of other kids and most importantly, manageable crowds, plenty of accessible food and drink too (albeit at inflated prices ).

Anyway, chaos loved the Mirador dome and made plenty of friends whilst there, tickles on the other had was much more reserved and found running off into the dark much more fun :-/

a rare moment with no one else in the view :)

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 @ 42mm Aperture: f/3.2 and Shutter Speed: 1/500s
ISO 1000 (methinks I could have dialed this down a bit lol )
out front – chaos vs the dome!


Chaos Lizard Whisperer

So, its last week of the holidays and we are traveling through the Blue Mountains, yep, that world heritage area which is quite frankly just awesome – and I thought we should check out that little glen called, "Mermaids Cave", well you did not have to ask Chaos twice, its a tough challenge between mermaids and fairies but any combination is a winner with her :) .

Mermaid Cave is a small alcove / waterfall located only 15 minutes from Blackheath as you enter into the Megalong valley.. and yep… its called the Megalong Valley.. cause.. its mega -long right ;) anyway this little 20 minute bushwalk will lead you into the glen where there is a small waterfall and pond, I am not sure how the name came about but given its serenity and protected nature of the landscape I can see how it could be a haunt for the Mermaids (which i now get asked daily whether they exist.)

So.. Chaos and I had a little packed snack box with the plan to walk in and have lunch with a bit of an explore, its really not that far of a walk, but I am sure to a 5 year old it feels like a half day trek, hence the need for food supplies… and.. 'dad, we need to make sure we have enough water' man.. she is more safety conscious than me :) We walk in and setup our little picnic at the base of the falls near the pond and I am tryign to get a nice shot of her with the falls when she says 'dad… dont move..its a lizard!!' so i don't move :) but the next thing surprised me, this lizard, just a skink of some kind wandered around alittle then made a straight line for Chaos, who was sitting up on the rocks, it then proceeded to scoot past her foot and with only a fraction of a second hesitation climbed up onto her leg. It sat there as if expecting a free feed of biscuit or dried apricot (note the woolies brand, which are not Australian sourced btw :( shame on you +Woolworths ). All the while Chaos is frozen solid, this is the girl, like most 5 year olds, could not sit still for 2 seconds :) , after a minute or so and after what seemed a disappointed turn of the skinks head, it turned around and disappeared off – well as one would expect, this was the talking point all the way back to the car!

Hence, Chaos, you are the official Lizard whisperer :)

D750 coupled with 24-70mm f4 @ 24mm Aperture: f/2.8 and Shutter Speed: 1/125s
ISO 640
out front – Hoya CPL, the Lizard Whisperer and a lizard.