5 Things (part the third)

I turned 31 a couple of weeks ago. I had meant to post something at the time but I didn’t want to mark it that much. I’ve never really liked birthdays. I know a lot of people say that but it genuinely just feels like another day to me and I don’t like making too much out of it.

In any case I had a nice, relatively quiet day. My Facebook went into overdrive and my mother and my partner and her son spoilt me after they came up from Sydney for the weekend.

One thing birthdays always do is make me a bit reflective, so I’ve spent the last week or so thinking about the last year as well. It’s been pretty full really, with the trip to New Zealand earlier this year definitely the highlight.

It also made me think about how much has changed in the last few years, not least of which leaving Sydney and starting a new life here in Newcastle. It also reminded me that it’s been a few years since my last 5 Things About Me post and I thought now might be a good time to do another one.

If you haven’t read the original posts, this is the first post and this is the second. Originally it was just a fun meme where you had to answer five questions about yourself to help people get to know you better. I really enjoyed it though and thought I’d start doing it every now and then as a way to keep track of how things change over time, a bit like a time capsule. So I did a second post about two years later, adding a few more questions while still trying to keep to the spirit of the original meme by keeping each answer to just 5 things.

Looking back now, a lot has changed. Looking at my answers I think I was concerned with much smaller things then and I didn’t have any idea how much life was going to change in just a few years. I’ve moved from Sydney, both my grandmothers have passed away, I’m in a happy relationship, I have my own home… life is different and I guess I’ve matured. The world has changed a lot too, from our revolving door of Prime Ministers, to Syria and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, to the Diamond Jubilee and Royal Wedding, to the death of Nelson Mandela… five years doesn’t feel that long but it shows how much can happen when you stop and think about it.

I’ve included a few photos below to show what my home and bedroom are like now as well. Obviously a lot has changed with moving but it’s interesting how the style doesn’t look that different on the whole to the photos in the previous posts… I guess my tastes are still much the same five years on.

I hope you enjoy the meme. What’s changed for you over the last five years?

5 things found in your bag

I’ll use my backpack. This is one thing that has definitely changed as I used to carry a messenger bag and small camera quite regularly. I rarely do anymore though as my phone has more or less replaced my point and shoot these days. The backpack I use fairly regularly though for serious photography or if I’m going to be out all day.

• Camera (usually my Olympus E-M1 with a lens attached)
• iPad Air
• Headphones
• Tissues
• Sunglasses

5 things in your home you love
5 favourite things

Cricket cufflinks
My partner Gen bought these for me while we were in New Zealand. They’re of two sets of cricket stumps with a ball breaking the stumps. They’re lovely and will always remind me of our wonderful trip there.

• The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
I loved CS Lewis’s Narnia series as a child. My parents gave me this hardcover of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for my eighth birthday. I adored it and still flick through it every now and then.

Marble chess set
I found this in a charity store a couple of years ago. The pieces are made of solid marble and are beautiful. The whole set was only $20!

• Star Trek pocket watch
My grandmother gave me this watch almost twenty years ago. She knew how much I loved Star Trek and saw it in a Franklin Mint catalogue. It means a lot to me, particularly since she passed away last year.

• Word blocks
I’ve had these for a couple of years now. Some word blocks can seem a bit trite but I really like these and I got them at a time in my life when the messages really meant a lot to me too.

5 things that have changed about you in the last 5 years

• My location
I left Sydney in early 2013 and I live about two hours north of Sydney in Newcastle now. It’s been a transition and I miss Sydney quite a bit at times, particularly as it can feel quite isolated here sometimes, but I’m also enjoying the change of pace and relative quiet that comes with being out of a big city. It’s nice being able to see the stars at night too.

• My family
Both my grandmothers passed away during the last three years, which was a terrible shock both times. My grandfather is also in a nursing home now with dementia. I’ve lost contact with some of my family over the last couple of years as well but I also met my partner Gen who I adore and her son, mother and cats. I’ve lost family but I’ve gained family as well so it’s evened out for the most part.

• My writing
My writing has changed a lot over the last few years. I’m unable to write as much as I used to and have been struggling with a novel for several years now; unfortunately my migraines make it difficult to concentrate, so I’ve mostly shelved that side of writing for now. I mostly write poetry, particularly haiku, these days and I’m also starting to write some short stories again. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back in to longer works again over the next year or so.

• My priorities
Maybe it’s all just part of getting older and growing up but I feel like my priorities have changed over the last five years. I don’t think things bother me as much as they used to, particularly when I don’t reach a goal I’ve set for myself or feel like I’ve been wronged. These days my priorities are trying to be a good partner, a good son and a good friend. What else really matters in the end?

• My hair
My hair’s started to recede a bit more these days and there’s a nice splattering of grey starting to come through now. I don’t mind it actually; makes me feel distinguished. ;)

5 things you want to do in the next year

• Move
I’m settling into Newcastle well on the whole but I do feel like I’m going to need to move soon. I didn’t know the area very well at the time and this part of Newcastle isn’t where I want to be longterm. Hopefully will be able to move sometime in the next six months or so.

• Watch The Godfather Trilogy
I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen any of The Godfather films, just bits and pieces over the years. As a movie buff I feel a bit weird about not having seen them. Will have to get around to watching them soon.

• Start writing regularly again
As I mentioned earlier, I haven’t written as much as I’d have liked to during the last couple of years. Most of that is health-related but I also think with moving and life in general, I needed a bit of a break too. I’ve still done bits and pieces but I’d like to get back to writing regularly soon.

• Learn to drive
This might come as a bit of a surprise but I don’t drive. I’ve always wanted to but getting regular migraines, it didn’t seem like the best idea. These days though I feel like I’m managing the pain better and I might be able to now, even if it’s with some restrictions.

• See the 2016 Australian Open
I love tennis and I’ve wanted to go to the Australian Open for years. I’ve come close to going a couple of times (it was even on my last 5 Things list) but things kept falling through unfortunately. This next year though I definitely plan on going, particularly as it may be Federer’s last Aussie Open and I’d love to see him before he retires.

5 things you have always wanted to do

• Fly
When I was younger I used to have dreams where I was flying like a bird. It’s something that’s stuck with me and I often wonder what it would feel like to fly. Probably the closest I could get is to go paragliding one day.

• Write a Star Trek episode
I grew up loving the original Star Trek before getting into the spinoffs and I’ve always wanted to write an episode for one of the shows. I know what I’d want to write too if/when Star Trek comes back to tv. I know it’ll probably never happen but still, it’s nice to dream.

• Publish a photo in a magazine
I’d love for one of my photos to appear in a magazine like National Geographic one day. I have sold a few photos now so who knows, if I’m lucky it might happen one day.

• Retrace Isaac’s journey
I’ve written before about my great great grandfather Isaac Levinsohn and his journey to England. I’d love to retrace his journey one day. It would be an interesting way of seeing Europe and might give me a better understanding of what he went through.

• Visit Antarctica
I’ve been fascinated by Antarctica since I was in primary school and did a project about it; I wrote to one of the science stations and they sent me some flyers which I was thrilled with. I’d love to spend some time there one day. The photography alone would be amazing.

5 things you are currently into

• Bob Dylan
I love Dylan and go back through his albums every now and then. I’m listening to The Essential Bob Dylan at the moment; it has most of what you’d expect and is a good quick fix.

• Netflix
Netflix launched in Australia a few months ago (finally!) and I’ve been really enjoying it so far, particularly the original Netflix series. I wish the catalogue would update a little more frequently but there’s a good selection of content seeing as it hasn’t been that long since it launched. Can’t wait for Jessica Jones next month.

• Doctor Who
I just finished going back through the last two seasons of Doctor Who on Netflix before diving into the new season on ABC. I’m still not sure how I feel about Peter Capaldi’s Doctor… I like him but at the same time he hasn’t really grabbed me yet. Maybe this season will do it.

• Monopoly
Mum gave me Game of Thrones Monopoly for my birthday. Game of Thrones + Monopoly + my love of board games… don’t really need to say more, do I?

• Natalie Portman
Because she’s Natalie Portman. And she still rocks. ;)

5 people you want to tag

I won’t tag anyone again but please take the meme if you’d like to use it on your blog or Facebook. I’d love to see your answers.

Seagulls by the Lake

Belmont Seagulls

I wish I could fly
Like a bird over water
And leave life behind

This was taken in Belmont the other week, at the same time as the other two photos I posted a little while ago. The seagulls are always very friendly there and make for some good subjects.

I was mostly just experimenting and was not looking for anything particularly exciting. I wanted to see if I could create a look close to some of the film cameras I loved when I was first learning photography and I like how it came out.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2015

Looking Towards Bag End

Looking Towards Bag End

The sound of birds chirping
Children laughing
And the wind in the trees

I spent some time today going back through some of the photos I took in New Zealand earlier this year. I’ve been meaning to for a while as I took a lot of photos over there but the thought of going through a couple of thousand photos has just been a bit too daunting.

It’s been a slow day today though and so I thought I’d get started. I found this one which I really like and did a quick edit. It’s from inside Hobbiton, looking towards Bag End, Bilbo and Frodo’s home in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

I really like the scale of the photo; it gives you a sense of just how big Hobbiton actually is and the light is lovely too. It was a beautiful day and I’m glad it captured it well.

I’ll post some more photos as I go through them. Hopefully there should be some good ones.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2015

Along Belmont Wharf

On the Lake

Walking by the water
My mind drifts back
To past joys
And simpler times

Along Belmont Wharf (b&w)

I was in Belmont for the day recently and took a couple of photos near the wharf, looking across the lake. It’s a beautiful spot for photography and I’m happy with how they came out.

I particularly like the black and white one; I wanted something minimalist and a little old fashioned and I really like it.

Photos and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2015