March 17, 2011

The Countdown Begins

Nicole - the little old house in which your grandfather was born.
You won't believe how small it is and you will wonder how on
earth did seven children and two adults live in there.

Whilst cleaning up my photo files, I stumbled across the photos I took two years ago on my trip overseas.  I enjoyed going through each and every one.  So many memories came flooding back.  It also drew my thoughts to my youngest chick who is due to leave the nest in a couple of months.  She's booked in late May and her dream of going to England is finally going to happen.  She's worked hard, saved hard and she deserves it.  There are still a lot of questions that I don't feel she has satisfactorily addressed.  I guess I want her to be prepared for the uncertain scenarios ahead.  She however, wants to spread her wings and fly.  Impulsively. Without planning.  And see where she lands.  Oh dear.

Nicole is an aspiring photographer.  In many ways she already is.  She works in the field, but I guess it's the dream of running her own business and being creative and able to sell her own artistry that is the desired goal.  I know she'll get there one day.  She's too good not to.  I thought of her on many an occasion when I went this last time to Europe.  Nicole adores old and ancient.  Rocky, woody, muddy.  Ruins.  Ricketey fences.  Cracked and broken walls, tiles, bricks, stone.  But mostly clouds.  The sky.  Trees.

When I took Mitch to see his late grandfather's homeland in Montenegro, there were so many times we said, "if only Nicole were here".  All the subjects she adores were around us.  Everywhere.  I recall my cousin getting so frustrated with my clicking at all the ruins and old houses.  He simply couldn't understand the fascination.  He made me laugh one day when he exclaimed, " everyone in Australia will think we are hit with an earthquake every day after they see your photos".  He only wanted me to take photos of the "good bits".  You know. The bits that are touristy and flashy.  I didn't want to know. 

Montenegro is a photographer's dreamland.  I took loads of shots, but I have an ordinary camera and I am certainly no photographer.  I figured if I have enough pics, then surely something will turn out.  I'm excited for Nicole.  Montenegro has huge mountains, rocky terrain, the cleanest water in Europe on Durmitor mountain.  Goat tracks for roads, people still riding horses or donkeys to the markets.  Poor cars.  Heaps of empty houses in the hills and mountains.  Many of which are falling down.  Old handmade tools that farmer's still use.

Nicole won't be able to keep up with the subjects.  The place is loaded with textures.  The place is real. It's backward.  She will go to places that the normal tourist will not go to or see.  This I know because I will be taking her. With my relatives that live there of course. Yep.  Looks like I'm going again.  I haven't booked yet.  But it seems I've been 'ordered' to go.  I guess one must listen to orders.

So I have decided here at Through My Kitchen Window to post a picture from my previous trip every day leading up to Nicole's departure and perhaps even after.  It's a way of building up the excitement I suppose.  For her and for me too.  The usual recipes and stories will continue.  The photos are an added extra.  Hope you don't mind.

Photos may also include places visited in Germany, Serbia and Croatia.


  1. Awww, mama.
    This made me all teary and such. Thankyou for doing this, I'm so excited for the part of my journey with you in Montenegro. I'm sure it will be one to remember, and I'll definitely be keeping posted for this photo-a-day rule.

  2. Exciting. You two are going to build some beautiful memories.

  3. How exciting for you daughter Mariana! A photographer! There couldnt be a more exciting profession. I love old and rickety and rustic and broken down too. Anytime.

    ps. Im sure your daughter will be well no matter where she is. Because she's knows she will always have you.

  4. So happy to see you here Nic. So happy you're on board. Looking forward to hearing your comments and your reactions. I better stick to the photo a day rule then. Love Ma

    I recall your interesting comments when I came back from my last trip Denise. I sense you also enjoy adventure and not planning too much. And staying away from tourists as much as possible. It's hard to get the "real feel" of a place with hoards of tourists all around. Thanks Denise.

    Oh your enthusiasm is always welcome Zurin. Yes, she is, she is. She will have some wonderful opportunities to finally use her fancy camera gear! I do worry about her possessions getting stolen. I'm such a worry wart. Actually no I won't be with her the whole time. She's off to England on her own for two months and then we shall meet up. That's the sketchy plan at this stage. Mariana xxx

  5. Thank you so much for inviting us along on this exciting journey - and we wish the best to your daughter as she begins this most exciting phase of her own life journey. I believe deeply in the power of fate in one's life, and that it functions best when one is willing to courageously move forward ready to meet whatever challenges and opportunities may lie ahead - sounds to me as if she's well prepared for the experience.

  6. I think that would be a wonderful trip to do together. Beautiful photo opportunities for you both too.

  7. Thanks drfugawe for your touching comment. I felt a bit "funny" about posting a photo a day, but then I thought "why not". Yes it is a courageous step. She did say after her flight was booked that she felt 'frightened' for a few days. A bit like 'oh my god what have I done'! Thats now subsided and her excitement is kicking in. My little girl out in the big wide world. My anxiety is still there; but I have to have faith.
    PS: I just added your blog to my follow list.

    She has some very sophisticated camera gear, so I hope she gets some amazing shots cityhippyfarmgirl. It's not like she won't have interesting subjects.

  8. We call it travel fever in my family! And no matter how many times you prepare there is always a surge of adrenalin and a desire to hide under the sheets instead. And then once you are 'there' well, you're there aren't you and so busy engaging in what's going on all around you. I just wish you could be 'there' without the build-up.

    Wishing your daughter all the best on her travels. I've loved the two picture posts so far, looking forward to more!

  9. Your too kind. Thanks Joanna. You made me laugh with the "hide under the sheets" bit. So, so true. And yes, it is a big build up. Still two months to go, and the drama is just beginning.

  10. Hi Nicole - good luck! And the light in the Northern's so soft, and gentle and, well, so vastly different to our harsh light - photographer's dream stuff indeed!!

    (And Mariana, I'm loving your photo-a-day pics thus far, too!!)

  11. I passed on your comment to Nicole, Lucy. She was very excited to hear you say this. Especially coming from an accomplished photographer such as yourself.

    Thanks, but I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew now that I said I would do this. Two months of photos every day equals a lot of photos! Shall do my best. Mariana xx