I never gave much thought to buying property – until I scored this book deal, that is. I’ve gone from being a reasonably penniless photographer to a social media success story, to having a fairly sizable bank balance that lets me begin to conceive of having a mortgage. Anyway, now that the thought has occurred to me, I can’t seem to shake it. After years of globetrotting, I’m keen to invest in a stable home base and a studio to work from (one that’s not a garage in an industrial zone). A house with a dedicated dark room is the dream, and it’s starting to appear to be within reach. I feel like I need some professional advice, though. What[…]

I’m not big on sci-fi, and you might’ve guessed. I’ve always found it rather silly, how they try their best to research distant planets, how space travel works, the exact working of gravity, and sometimes the results of falling into a black hole. I can’t actually refute or critique that last one, because it never happened to me. Not personally. Though I’ve seen what they THINK will happen, and I don’t care for it myself. Too much crying and time travel. The worst thing is when people just think you can have glass windows, like that of a car, in space vehicles. Uh…why do you think they built the rest of the ship out of incredibly expensive and specialised materials,[…]

I was looking at some trees today. Not how I usually spend my day, but I went to the park to see if I could find a shady spot in the hot weather. That of course got me thinking about trees, and how many there are, and just how much oxygen we have here on Earth. Seriously, that stuff is everywhere. We have so much oxygen in supply that we actually have places that offer oxygen therapy in Melbourne. That is, you can go along and receive various medical benefits from being in a hyperbaric chamber. I have quite a bit of experience in dealing with that sort of thing, of course, given that oxygen was of great importance on[…]

Just watched a movie about space bugs. Didn’t enjoy it very much. I suppose I can’t help myself from noticing the inconsistencies in the space travel on- screen, like how there are so many explosions in space and NO ONE Has a problem with it. Actually, if there was an explosion in space, not only would there be no sound, but… I don’t even want to bother. There are just far too many, and I’m not talking about the giant space bugs that can’t talk but also apparently have spaceships. Always hated the word ‘spaceships’…it’s far too general. And why does nobody fly around in shuttles? I should just stop. I have a friend in Dandenong who does pest control,[…]

Often, I still dream I’m in zero-gravity. It’s a cruel dream, as with all good dreams, because I then have to wake up and go back to perfectly normal Earth gravity. During my time in space, I came to the conclusion that zero-gravity is the natural state of being, and Earth is simply a prison for the potential of mankind to bounce around with impunity. There’s such a psychological release that comes with zero-G; everyone should experience it for themselves, just once, and then they’d all know. We’d all know. I keep trying to replicate the feeling, but nothing is quite the same. My first job upon getting back to Earth was with a building company. You might describe it[…]

In many ways, the ocean is a lot like space. Once you find yourself in the middle of it, it’s a vast, empty void with no life in sight. Man simply cannot traverse it without a vessel, and there’s still so much of it shrouded in darkness, still to be explored by the daring. Still too terrestrial for my liking, but I find during times when I’m missing the space station, it provides just about enough of a substitute. I’m now the semi-proud owner of a small motorboat, which I now use when I want some solitude. The fact that the winter months are now rolling in has done little to deter me, since space is a cold, empty void[…]

This morning I am on my way to visit a long lost friend. When I was younger I used to attend summer camps out on the cape. We would spend the days playing various sports, out on the river rowing, cooking and singing by the fire. It was all very picturesque and twee. Every summer I would team up with a boy called Eddie Herder to cause mischief and play pranks on our camp leaders. We’d put mattresses on beds and replace the milk with orange juice. We wouldn’t really speak during the year but every summer we would get back to our old ways as if our lives were built for that purpose. We lost touch as we grew[…]

Unlike most people, I’m not fond of weekends. I like to be kept busy, and for many people the weekend is suddenly this time when you’re free to do whatever you please. I haven’t really found many hobbies thus far, and I don’t really get into traditional television entertainment, so I spend most of them wandering aimlessly in an attempt to occupy my mind. I’ve been conditioned to be busy. There was ALWAYS something to do on the space station, at every hour of the day. Even when you took a break, they were short and the back of your mind was thinking about the next thing to do. That’s just how my mind works now, forever. This last Saturday[…]

You know what kind of glass they use in space shuttles? I know, everybody is probably wondering, since spaceships have to go into space (funnily enough) and you can’t have a stray rock or bird flying into the windscreen and sucking everyone into the vacuum. I’ll tell you: it’s three separate layers of different types of glass specially designed to withstand heat, and placed at the back of shuttle to avoid the hypersonic speed of reentry burning them to a crisp. I remember learning this way back in the academy, back when my life had purpose and drive. Now I sometimes look out of my windows at home and imagine I’m back there, thinking back to the inky blackness of[…]

You get used to the quiet, being in space. Perhaps that’s the first thing you notice once you’re up there: the world’s chatter, just…fading away. Like it never existed in the first place. It went from peaceful to strange, and later went back to peaceful as the hum of the engine and equipment faded into the background and you begin to become used to the overwhelming quiet. It’s really quite nice, in fact. Then I got back to Earth, and it’s just noise all the time. I couldn’t even sleep for the first night because of the possums in the trees, and the birds all chirping at some awful time. In my first week in this house I had to[…]