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December 31, 2008. Earlier tonight, I scored a big fat zero in the night photography stakes, but I learned a thing or two. I could have done it the easy way by reading the camera manual but no... not me... I prefer to learn the hard way. I was hoping to get at least one story for December but it didn't work out that way. Other reasons include a bit of unfavorable weather during the month, minor car probs, and a lack of outdoor events around the area.

Quite a large crowd (for a town like Taree) turned out for the 9pm fireworks tonight - maybe a couple of thousand, some of whom I recognized (or recognized me). One old bloke, a total stranger, sat beside me on the boat ramp wall and proceeded to tell me all about satellites and skinning rabbits. Hehe. The absence of drunks and hooligans was pleasant... the entire area was an alcohol exclusion zone. The people selling glow sticks did a roaring trade, and there was a band there playing loud music that failed to connect with me... I must be "past it". I can't help getting the impression from young bands I see performing around the place that they're pissed off with the world, and that all they wanna do is bitch about life.

BRING BACK DORIS DAY! Hehe... nah... just kidding.

Speaking of bands, an Aussie band called "Rudely Interrupted", composed of a group of people with quite severe mental and physical disabilities (Blindness, Deafness, Aspergers, Autism and Down Syndrome), has just returned from a world tour where they performed to packed houses and received the genuine star treatment. If you wanna check out a feel-good story, go for it. Gary

December 24, 2008. What? No Odyssey update for December? Well, the weather was crook for a while and then, even when it improved, there was nothing much happening around here. Since I started this thing a little over a year ago, I've pretty much exhausted the photo potential of the Manning Valley and adjacent areas, so AO updates will probably be less regular until late 2009 when I hit the road for the "real" Odyssey.

Another reason it's not such a great idea being on the road at this particular time of year is the holiday traffic, not to mention the roads crawling with cops. It's chaotic, and I'd rather skip the madness.

Meanwhile, I'm shopping around for an old van that I can recondition over the next 8 months or so... a cheapie. It doesn't need to be a camper, just a regular van that I can fit out as a camper bit by bit. In fact, a van already fitted out as a camper costs a lot more than an empty one, and I'd rather design my own - I know exactly what I want. Gary


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