Mediterranean laziness, part two: Gibraltar

•October 6, 2015 • Leave a Comment


I didn’t really know much about Gibraltar before we went there, except that it is on the southern coast of Spain but is a British territory, is famous for a big rock, has a short runway that end in ocean if the plane doesn’t take off in time, and has little monkeys called Macaques.

“Gibraltar” comes from the Arabic language and means “Mountain of Tariq”, which is  reference to the Rock of Gibraltar.  Oh and the Macaques are the only wild monkeys in Europe!


After two days of sailing from Southampton we arrived in Gibraltar.  I loved the architecture of old town nestled at the base and partway up the hills (The Rock).  It’s pretty steep if you want to walk up to the top of the rock.  Kate, Gavin and I walked about halfway up, but time constraints meant we couldn’t go right to the top; also it was steaming hot and was involving a lot of physical exertion… which is fine.. just not in the blaring Mediterranean summer sun.  You can take the cable car up… if you can stand waiting in that blaring Mediterranean sun in a line of tourists for probably over an hour.  We went for the walk instead.


There is a nature park but we didn’t go in.  I’m kind of regretting not seeing any Macaques. I really wanted to see the Macaques in Gibraltar.  Oh well, next time.  I’m sure I will go back (maybe when the weather’s slightly cooler though).  There was lots of flora including sunflowers.


I love ports so going for a sail and stopping at lots of port cities was a really good idea!  Gibraltar’s main port was bright and colourful with all the machinery and shipping containers, set against the brilliant blue water.

I love cemeteries also and Gibraltar’s cemetery near the port was a highlight.


I could almost fit the airport runway and the rock into one photo.  Almost.  Not with a 50mm lens though (the 28mm lens for my Pentax is out of service).  You get the idea though.  The runway ends just out of frame on the left – it’s not very long at all!  Check out this wikipedia photo.

The Gibraltar port is a truly beautiful view.


I bought Richard Yate’s Eleven Kinds of Loneliness from a bookshop to read on the boat, and we had fish and chips for lunch.

I highly recommend stopping by Gibraltar if you are in the south of Spain.

Next instalment: Cartagena and Rome.

x Kitten of Doom.

Mediterranean laziness, part one: London

•September 22, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Yes, the title is slightly misleading: London is not in the Mediterranean.  But London was both the start and end point of the trip.  Before we embarked on a difficult time of lazing around various mediterranean ports and boats in the sun, Kate, our mother, Gavin and I spent a few June days in the capital of the mighty United Kingdom.


Tower Bridge.

Due to not having a DSLR of some type, I took all photos with my Pentax ME and rolls of Portra 160 film.  Due to a problem with the shutter jamming open every now and then, some of the images have light leaks over them.



The hardest part was actually getting through immigration at Heathrow.  The guy I presented my immigration slip to on the way out was not convinced that I was there with innocent intentions.  He questioned why I only had 130 pounds on me for two weeks (I have more in the bank but I’m going to be on a ship most of that time anyway), what the name of the ship is (I have no idea), copies of my hotel reservations (nope, just a text from my mother with the name of the hotel), and whether I had been to the UK before (yes), and commented that there was no record of me having been to the UK before as every page in my passport was blank (it was two days old).  When he rang the hotel to confirm my reservation (which had been made by my mother) none of my other family members had even turned up yet.  He said he needed confirmation from them, and when I said I can’t make calls on my phone due to no international roaming, he merely replied that they had no phones available there to use.  The dude was staunch.  He really didn’t want to let me in.  All I could do was use their wi-fi to message my mother and sister on facebook – knowing they wouldn’t have been online yet if they hadn’t checked into the hotel, and they both barely use facebook anyway – and wait for one of them to reply, which could take all night.  I then sat there for about half an hour until the dude, evidently bored of waiting and realising nothing was going to happen, let me through with an air of disdain and stamp that said no re-entry for six months from departure.  And a warning that I am not to work whilst there.  Damn.  Not allowed to work.  That’s upsetting.


The Shard.

We stayed in Aldgate and did a few of the typical touristy sight-seeing things, mainly for our mother’s benefit – walked over Tower Bridge, stood out the front of Buckingham Palace, walked past Big Ben and the London Eye, stopped at Piccadilly Circus.  Had some good fish and chips at The Dickens Inn (for my benefit).  We rode through the underground a fair bit, which is always fun.  We mainly hung out and took it easy.  We didn’t try to cram too many things into one day, or see too many tourist attractions.


Kate snapping Big Ben.

The weather was perfect, although the British consider 26 degrees a heatwave.  There were places I wanted to revisit that I didn’t get time to revisit, but that’s how it goes.


London Eye.

On our last morning, before catching the bus from Waterloo station to Southampton, where our boat was to depart from, we walked to Shoreditch to do our laundry.  Shoreditch is the suburb I stayed in last time I was in London, back in 2012.  It was good to be back in Shoreditch, and it’s probably where I would like to stay again next time I am in London.



Stay tuned for the next instalment: Gibraltar.

x Kitten of Doom

Yorkshire Brewery development progress

•September 16, 2015 • 1 Comment

The exteriors of the residential and commercial development on the site of the former Yorkshire Brewery are almost done.  The development is the work of developer SMA projects, with design by Hayball.

Walking around Collingwood, I can see the 17-storey building from pretty much anywhere.  The brick tower isn’t as visible anymore (and it used to be the tallest building in Australia at one point!).

There will be six apartments within the former brew tower itself, each taking up a whole floor.

Sorry for the poor quality photos by iPhone 4 is all I had.

The near future. Image: SMA Projects.

The near future. Image: SMA Projects.

There are also plans to demolish the silos at the historic Nylex site.  Property developer Caydon bought the site in December last year, and plans to replace the silos with a 20-plus-storey residential tower, in a redevelopment project worth about $600 million.  The historic clock will be retained and replaced on top of the new building.



x Kitten of Doom

Trains in motion

•September 8, 2015 • 11 Comments

I had a few shots left on a roll of Tri-X 400 that I wanted to get developed, and I was in the city, so I decided to try to shoot some fast-moving trains… handheld… in low-light.






I have a feeling I may have been shooting at ISO 100 though… oops… And my Pentax ME could really do with a service (I may have said this before).  It is pretty much the only camera I have left (the Holga doesn’t count).  I’m currently slaving away and saving for a new DSLR.

x Kitten of Doom

The pink lake of Westgate Park

•July 9, 2015 • 4 Comments

We finally went to the pink lake of Westgate Park just before I headed off to Europe.  It was Anita’s birthday and why not spend your birthday having a picnic at the pink lake?  Sagan was the only one brave enough to step into the water.

In case you’re wondering, the pink colour is caused by algae in the water.








Photos were taken on Pentax ME with Portra 160 film.

x Kitten of Doom

Busy bee

•July 8, 2015 • 1 Comment

Sorry I have been awol again.  I’ve had a very busy time lately, moving out of my old place, couchsurfing whilst looking for a new place, working fulltime, studying postgrad part-time, moving into a  new place, travelling to Europe again, some other little things in between… And I’m still busy.  No time for relaxing.

I managed to pass the first semester of my postgrad course at least, whilst sleeping on my friends couch and pretty much living at the State Library whenever I wasn’t working.  Go me!  Semester two starts next week, time to get into critical thinking mode again.

Due to not having a digital camera anymore, I took all photos in Europe on my Pentax ME, and once I get them developed I will post some.

It’s kind of depressing being back in Melbourne.

Ciao for now.

x Kitten of Doom

I have a theory about spiders…

•April 17, 2015 • 1 Comment

So I moved all of my furniture out of my flat today in preparation for Moving Out tomorrow.

I’d had this suitcase sitting on the floor between the couch and the wall ever since the day I moved in approximately one year, eight months and four days ago.  When I picked up the suitcase, a small-to-medium-sized black spider scurried up it’s disintegrating web onto the skirting board.

I looked closer.  It was a fucking Black Widow.  How long had it been there?  That was irrelevent though, all that mattered was it needed to not be there anymore.  As in, dead.

So I slammed a four-pack of playdohs which Leon gave me for Kris Kringle at our Christmas party and I have not yet opened (sorry Leon, just haven’t had time) down on it and it curled up in a little ball in the corner of the carpet and skirting board.  I peered at it.  It did not move.  It looked dead.  Unfortunately for spidee, as someone who comes from Darwin and has come into contact with enough Black Widows as well as their equally nasty cousins the Redbacks to last a lifetime, I know they play dead when disturbed.  So I poked it with a thing that had a pointy corner, and lo-and-behold it unfurled it’s creepy black body and started to scurry across the carpet.  I brought the playdoh four-pack down on it again, hard.

Now this is where it gets weird.

I lifted the playdohs up to inspect the damage, and the fucking thing was gone.  Not squished on the carpet.  Not squished on the bottom of the Playdoh plastic wrapping.  My aim was spot-on; I would have seen it continue to scurry off stage left if it wasn’t.  No sign of it anywhere, and believe me when I say I checked the carpet really well.

There are only two ways it could have escaped:

  1. It teleported somewhere else (one of my shoes, my bed) before the playdohs could make impact.
  2. It travelled to another dimension before the playdohs could make impact.

Now, we all know that teleportation isn’t real.  So I’m leaning towards the second theory and, in fact, am becoming more and more convinced that all spiders are from another dimension.

All spiders come from a Spider Dimension and visit our dimension just to scare the crap out of us because it’s so easy to do and they think it’s hilarious then they go back home again.

What a bunch of jerks.

x Kitten of Doom


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