I’d rather be a comma than a full stop.

I’m not above stealing cool lyrics from bands like Coldplay to create a sense of profundity. But then again one person’s profound is another person’s LAME. Irrespective the above is true for my life’s intentions. I never want to stop learning, stop travelling or aspiring to travel, never want to stop keeping an open mind, never want to stop seeing the world around me for how amazing it is, I never want to stop desiring to be better, to have better, I never want to stop feeling incredibly blessed and grateful, I never want to stop meeting new and fascinating people and I never want to stop having those around me that I love and cherish.  I wanna be a comma all my life. 🙂

With that in mind I bring you a jumpy post of images and thoughts.

Yours truly in a metal space cab like module, one of many, attached to the gigantic Eye of London. That is Big Ben behind me and the houses of Parliament. Thanks to my Aunt Sandy who didn’t take a half bad shot afterall! The Eye is definitely worth a visit – especially the five minute 4D experience you get before the Eye. Once on it takes you around in about 30 minutes. Plenty of time to see the sights, take photos, decided if you suffer from vertigo or a fear of heights. Twas a good day in London with my Aunt, We even had tea and scones in Harrods.

The amazing Mr Magners – the little 400 Border Terrier that Jules Pearson is running for Australia. He’s a cheeky little dude who Jules is very impressed with.

I always wanted to take one of those photos that completely encapsulates the phrase;
LIVE LIKE YOU LEFT THE GATE OPEN

This little tacker was so tiny I had to have a picture…seriously cute face I must say.


Three Aussie teammates and our splendid English host dog owners! Gary and Linda Cummings who own George and Lara Robbins who owns Magners. It was a good weekend at Beacon trial which ended up with Pip and I competing and winning the ring!

That was great fun…and more details on that coming soon!

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This very special game.

Taken with my HTC Sensation – Miss Pipistrelle in the backyard in Derby.

In bed on a Thursday morning contemplating about this very special game we get to play with our dogs and what amazing opportunities it has brought me. Here I am halfway around the world from home, having made some new friends, new connections who share my passion for this game, who share my unconditional love for the dogs in our lives.

The World Agility Open Championships are just over a week away and are no doubt the biggest event I will ever be competing in when it comes to my sport. I’m feeling fitter and faster than I was last year and yet I still ask of myself – will I be fast enough? Pip is three and a half years old and very, VERY quick. And I just LOVE that about her, her athleticism, her litheness and her powerful strength in a surprisingly slight package makes me very excited to compete with her. It is clear to see Sandra has put in a lot of fun training this girl and she is beautifully responsive. So then I think – don’t be thinking about yourself here, whether you’ll be quick enough, just think about us as a team. Pip and I working together on a course and having a blast. I’m not naive enough to think that I can form  partnership the likes of which equates to three years of relationship forming with her like Sandra has. But I do think that Pip and I can form a bond through our mutual love for this game that will let us see the best of each other. I imagine some people in this sport must be wondering – where’s the sense of satisfaction in running someone else’s dog in such an event? – surely it’s the whole experience of owning, training, playing and working with your own dog to be able to compete together that’s what we do this for. I agree that this is a special moment to have with your own dog, but I disagree with anyone who thinks it can’t be a satisfying, rewarding experience. In many ways what the Australian team is doing is harder and more challenging and for me that would make success just as sweet but in a totally different way from success with your own dog.

I’ve gotta run now, get ready to go and play some more and meet some new friends and old friends. Today is going to be a great day.

 

 

Florence…not the one with the Machine.

Although I’d love to do that. See Florence and the Machine in Florence. That would have been poetic. But Florence the city is really quite impressive by itself. I went because enough friends and more importantly enough Italian friends or friends with Italian connections (no not THOSE kinds of connections – it’s not The Sopranos 24/7 in Italy despite what television might have you believe) told me with such unequivocal expression that Florence is the prettiest city in Italy. I can’t say because I haven’t been to every city in Italy (yet) but I can say it is as pretty as Venice and in places even prettier.

So here have some Florence pictures as I was fortunate enough to be able to spend several hours in this beautiful place.

For Tim’s benefit. I believe we should have these much more stylish street lights in our street Tim!

This was a pretty special looking church facade I must say. But apparently we hadn’t seen anything yet.

Neptune was a bit of a grumpy bastard apparently.

Horses are cool – even in stone.

Proof – Simone was here.

This wild pig statue is supposed to bring you good fortune if you rubbed his snout. Seeing all the fingers all over that snout I gave it a miss, my fortune is good enough I reckon.

I have  thing for ornate archways apparently.

That church face I thought was cool before?…well…

This was bigger and better and just WOW. But the broke the budget on the front because trust me the inside? Well let’s just say the contrast is really very vivid.

The sun was very obliging this day. Made me feel right like some artsy photographer it did. I couldn’t help myself really and I loved this architecture.

The ceiling in the dome thing was pretty spectacular as well. I’m thinking this is when chiropractic first started though. The back and neck pain for the artists would have been horrendous.

The door was amazing, the panels all wrought in gold and tells some story – something to do with Jesus I think and a few other notables from that era.

The view from the auspiciously named Viewing Point at the end of the tour was pretty damn special I must say.

Even the graffiti has class and beauty.

And to finish here is fake David at the Viewing Point.

But here is real David taken in the Florence Museum of Art taken super Ninja style by my phone since there was no photos allowed. I’m such a rebel.

Probably responsible for unrealistic expectations of women everywhere.

And here endeth the post on Florence. She’s a beautiful place you all have got to visit some day. Make it happen people!

 

Pompei…my way.

I have a thing for simple rhyme. So things like the title of this post are going to be par for the course of this blog. I am somewhat late in posting here. But to be honest I have literally not had like four hours in one spot in order to sit down and catch up here. This will lead to some disjointedness in my posting which I hope those reading can bare with me on. It’s a pretty accurate reflection of my mindset really so if you were hoping to avoid learning the way my mind thinks, well I hope the disappointment doesn’t offend. 😉

Anyway onto Pompei. We visited Pompei after a very nice lunch on a hillside restaurant in Naples. We all were given the opportunity to try the true authentic Pizza (Naples is the only place in the world where the capital P is actually the grammatically correct spelling of Pizza as this is the birthplace of this wonderful invention) and our choices were the highly lauded Margherita (named after some famous Catherine chick whose last name was Margaret who was I believe a Queen of some country in Europe – came to Naples tried the Pizza invented in her honour and never went back home apparently) which is your mozarella, tomato and basil (white, red and green you see much like some famous flag) or if you were an uncouth Western tourist with no taste you could have the plain white Pizza consisting of Mozarella and Ham. Needless to say the majority went with the Margherita. I was impressed that such a simple food had such an impression on my taste buds. There is a definite art to decent Pizza making and this was the place to experience it.

But as usual with food, I digress. Pompei. Just AMAZING. Certainly something everyone should try and get to at some point because the history and the ruins and the detail that is still so visible is just mind boggling. But let my pictures tell the story a little…

This here? This was how you knew this shop was actually a brothel.
Along with the picture menu so no one got a wrong order even if they didn’t speak the language. Sailors you see, they loved Pompei.

Did I mention I love my Nikon? Because I do. Very VERY happy with how these photos came out.

These are, as you can imagine, only a small selection of the hundreds I took. But they are for me some of the prettiest shots that illustrate the place best. I would go back in a heartbeat, as you could spend days there not just hours and with weather like this it would be hard to resist the allure of such an appealing coastal environment. I do hope that when Vesuvius wakes up again, which to be blunt is only a matter of time, that Pompei escapes her wrath this time. She’s done her penance for whatever imagined slight upon the Gods, Pompei deserves her peace and tranquility now.