I have learnt...

photo by Alison 3:27am, 15 September 2006
In my thirties, I have learnt the ancient art of making the perfect pot of tea. When I was younger I threw the teabag disrespectfully at the mug of hot water. Now I keep an eye out for interesting tea pots.... and my 2 favourite tea flavours at the moment are 'banana split' and 'chai' (the real deal with tea leaves, cinnamon sticks, cardamon pods etc floating around!!!!).

What have you learnt lately?
Bill Smith1 PRO 12 years ago
I learned to process black and white film this year and that gives me more control from start to end. Next destination a darkroom.

I am partial to loose leaf earl grey. There is a store here in Toronto called the House of Tea that brings the stuff in bulk. Alison, you would fall in love with this store that has 8 green tea varients.

I learned in my twenties to appreciate a real cup of coffee, not a high end concoction from Starbucks, real craft brewed beer (not Molson/Coors or Labatts which is Canada's answer to Coors and Bud).

I learned in my thirties to be more patient.

Michael Costolo 12 years ago
I too started developing my own b/w film this year. And while I was down at the lab picking up some film, the owner of lab offered to sell me their darkroom for a price I couldn't refuse. Two 4x5 enlargers with Ilford MG500 heads, lenses, easels, paper, safelight, etc. It is currently all in a spare bedroom until I get what will be the darkroom together.

New toys...

As with Bill, patience has been my lesson in the last few years. I have two children, ages 2 and 4. But patience is a virtue, as they say, and it definitely pays dividends when dealing with children.

And I learned that Starbucks overroasts their coffee to the point that it just tastes burned.
Riccardo Mori PRO 12 years ago
As a freelance professional, I have finally learnt that it's better to treat all clients equally, no matter any possible existing degree of acquaintance/friendship. I have foolishly trusted someone, I've been too kind, and this person has only taken advantage of that. So far, I haven't seen any money for the work I finished more than 2 months ago.

Sorry for the little rant. Have a fine day you all!
picsbymac Posted 12 years ago. Edited by picsbymac (member) 12 years ago
The commonalities of our thirties is interesting. Patience has come to me too. I still do it, but I'm more judicious in who I give to.

I've learned to listen more carefully to my gut and to trust its wisdom. From doing that I was able to learn to run, buy my own place and then go back to school. I started a new career. This fall I'm learning to develop film -something I always wanted to learn how to do.

There's a lovely litte tea/coffee shop that I visit every day. It's refreshing not to be in the Starbucks queue.

Oh yes, and in these years I've worked on my fear of heights. Going up a mountain was one of the best things I've ever done.

My thirties have been about being true to myself and I try and bring that to my pictures.
Bill Smith1 PRO 12 years ago
Developing film is easy, you just have to get over the hurdle of mastering the steps.

I am still working on my fear of heights however the glass floor at the CN tower does not bother me.

picsbymac 12 years ago
That glass floor is where I developed my fear of heights. It was the mid-70's and my father put me out on the glass floor. It was terrifying - I was certain I would drop through the glass. Still haven't gone back ; )

Re film, I'll keep that in mind - thanks!
photo by Alison 12 years ago
mmm... Earl Grey.... have you tried Lady Grey too? I think I would love that shop... I order my tea leaves online so I don't get too carried away!

I am fascinated by how similar we are too! What a cool group to be part of!

patience... yes. I'm also learning who I am...
i m losing my hair
Riccardo Mori PRO 12 years ago
Twinings Lady Grey Tea is a mixture I discovered only recently, and I like it very much. It has a subtle flavour, yet has personality and strength. Come to think of it, it's how the thirties should be, isn't it? :)
The Sage of Shadowdale 12 years ago
Lady Grey is nice (been drinking that for some years), but I think Orange Pekoe is my favourite. Two tastes I was never able to acquire: beer & coffee. (I'll have to think a bit before I come up with something I've learnt in the last few years (I'm currently 33).)
Michael Costolo 12 years ago
@this_is_not_a_name: Considering the amount of hair my father had at my age, I'm glad to have this much left to lose!

I learned of the joys of single malt scotch in my 20s. But I enjoy it so much more in my 30s. (The moments I get to enjoy it are now fewer.) Never could get into tea...
Bill Smith1 PRO 12 years ago
I am partial to Craggamore 12 year old from the Speyside region. My ancesters came from there.

carnun Posted 12 years ago. Edited by carnun (member) 12 years ago
I've learned the wonders of taking photographs without using the viewfinder. Just recently acquired an LC-A and took the "philosophical aspect" of lomography as a license to experiment and be silly with my camera. It's great to have the random composition feedback and then apply what works to my "more serious" photography that I generally do with my F100 or FE2 (yet to acquire a serious camera, aka medium format).

Lady Grey et al, in SA we produce a caffiene free herbal infusion called Rooibos (translation - red bush) Tea, a few of the local stores now supply an Earl Grey Rooibos which has become my breakfast standard. However in the evenings I'm with Mike on the single malts - Ardbeg is my current favourite.

PS: The only digital camera I own is on my mobile phone;-)
dglennon Posted 12 years ago. Edited by dglennon (member) 12 years ago
I've learned that I'll still pretend to be 20's again, but enjoy the wisdom I've learned over the last 10 years to not be "stupid" and enjoy whatever "it" is more than I ever could have as a 20's.

Furthermore, I've learned that my best hangover remedy is to take one multi-vitamin, two advil and a glass of water before bed.

The common theme here, that I am in the same boat on, is patience. I think that the 20's your just a little crazy with "now, now, now". At 30's you seem to take a step back.

When you do take a step back you realize that no matter what it is you're doing — profession, family, etc. — that it's ultimately what you put into "it" that matters the most for what you're going to get out of "it".

I am still a bit of an impatient driver, but I've made great strides... Really!
The Sage of Shadowdale 12 years ago
Well I definitely haven't learnt patience in my 30s. If anything I'm becoming less and less tolerant of oxygen thieves. I think I was in my patience prime in my early 20s (although perhaps it's just a phase I'm currently going through and I'll mellow as I get older, or perhaps my kids demand 100% of my patience reserves and as such I have no patience left for anyone else, or perhaps I just need a holiday).

Hmmm...I guess I've started learning about photographic composition in my 30s (never really cared before I went digital about a year ago). Also, I've come to appreciate good port - I'm not a big drinker (didn't drink at all between 18-30ish) but a small glass every couple weeks goes down nicely; my current favourite is Seppelt DP90 Rare Tawny...mmmm, very nice (but you pay for the privilege).
Scott L. 12 years ago
i've learned to slow down just a little. this works with a lots of parts of life, including photography. i've learned that no one really cares what CDs you have on your rack, that it's much, much better to keep things as simple as possible, and there are few better ways to spend a weekend evening than with a my wife, a couple of friends, and a long, slow trip to the bottom of a bottle of wine or two.

great group icon by the way. my atari's still hooked up and ready to go.
David de Groot PRO 12 years ago
I have learnt to make Turkish Coffee, not that bought powder, but made from beans I grind myself, infused with cinnamon or cardamon depending on my mood. I can and sometimes do drink tea, but it doesn't do a lot for me.

The other main thing I guess that I've learnt in the last two years (although I might have suspected earlier) is a job is just that, it's not the be all of ones existence, in fact it's a means to a better existence, a way of affording to do more interesting things.
photo by Alison 12 years ago
A few Summers ago I learnt that I really enjoy a gin and tonic in the evening.... or perhaps earlier! And this year I have learnt to enjoy a good red wine. :)
Bill Smith1 PRO 12 years ago
I learned to appreciate the friends I have and I am making much more.


PS the right gin for a G&T is Bombay Sapphire IMHO.
Michael Costolo 12 years ago
Bombay Sapphire is the right gin period. A glass of that with a couple of ice cubes, a few olives, and a drop of dry vermouth is almost as good as the scotch we talked about earlier. I got an enormous bottle of Sapphire from a friend when I finished graduate school. I still have quite a bit of it left.

I've learned that we as a group have good taste in alcohol.
David de Groot PRO 12 years ago
Have to agree on the Bombay Sapphire - although I tend to use it in a concoction I made several years ago for a friend called the "Cyclone Mel"

In a tall glass filled with ice cubes add:

40 ml of gin (Bombay Sapphire of course)
20 ml of Benedictine
10 ml of Blue Curacao

Top with Lemonade (that'd be the Australian version - I believe Sprite is as close as you get in the US) than drizzle in 5 ml of Cherry Brandy.

Don't stir, just sit back on the verandah and drink. Lovely in the summer.
LornaLou Posted 12 years ago. Edited by LornaLou (member) 12 years ago
I've learned this year that what you know to be Dear can be taken away within minutes or days.
I've learned that I know very little, and that there is so much more to understand.
I've learned that people who love you for who you truly are -are the ones that you must invest your heart in.
I've learned that I should cut back on coffee on the morning, (altho I don't), and that time gets to everyone - one way or another, eventually.

The Sage of Shadowdale 12 years ago
Thanks for reminding me Lauren...

I've learned how precious and fragile life is (two of my friends were killed earlier this year, in separate incidents, one leaving behind a wife and the other leaving behind a wife & two teenage children; I was more affected by my friends' deaths this year than my grandmother's last year).

I've learned that you shouldn't waste a second but rather you should tell those you love that you love them (don't assume they know).

I've learned that you shouldn't take your wife for granted.

I've learned that it's better to shoot at sunrise than at sunset (IMHO).

Hmmm...this is all sounding rather soppie...must be the S.N.A.G. coming out in me (and I thought I killed him years ago).
Bill Smith1 PRO 12 years ago
Well said Lauren,

I had that lesson re-enforced last year after my dad passed on from cancer.

Good to see you here

Well, changing the subject lighter and buzz inducing, favourite wine?
Michael Costolo 12 years ago
Something dry, either in white or red. I like Merlots, Pinot Grigio, Chiantis, etc. I have no real favorite. But when I lived in Santa Barbara we'd go tour the wineries on the weekends. Fess Parker's (he was Davy Crockett on TV in the old days) was a lot of fun, but I think Sunstone had some of the best wines.
Scott L. 12 years ago
if you're looking for a good drinking, inexpensive, friendly, but still interesting red wine that you'll really love, check out Torres's Sangre de Toro, a Spanish one I've loved for years. It's about $10 US a bottle, and you can't go wrong.
photo by Alison 12 years ago
Thanks Lauren and Sage for keeping things real.... time with people is what its all about ...and sometimes a little wine is good to enhance these times with our precious family and friends! All in moderation of course...

Here's the site for my fav wine.... The chambourcin is awesome with Italian food. And the Sweet Chardonnay is great with Thai food... yum!

The winery is ~3 hours south of my home, so I pop down there every few months to stock up.... they also have an amazing white port!!!
David de Groot PRO 12 years ago
Favourite wine...? Hmmm, that'd have to be Jenke Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 or 2001 vintage.

Jenke is a tiny little winery in the Barossa not far from Orlando. The do an excellent Shiraz but the Cab Sav is to die for. However, to really appreciate it, it should be served with a thick, medium rare steak, drizzled with a touch of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with some fine salt flakes.

Hmmmm, damn, I've made myself drool...
peylex 12 years ago
Bill - I lost my father to cancer too. Humbling to see what cancer did to the strongest man I've ever known. Nothing like a lesson in examining your own life and living it to the fullest though.

My favorite wine? Any kind NOT comming from my kids (whine) :-)
My grandfather drank gin & tonic every day of his life. You never knew what you were in for when he made you a drink. All gin or all tonic - he was losing it toward the end...

In my thirties I have learned to slow down. I fell like my twenties were spent always moving upward and forward. I'm in a place where I am content and I've finally learned how to put my feet up and enjoy it.
photo by Alison 12 years ago
Nothing quite like stopping.... and being content where you are. I'm learning that too... nice thing to focus on learning.
Bill Smith1 PRO 12 years ago
I have a weak spot for WolfBass (cue WAltzing Matilda) Shiarz, NZ's Cooper Creek Pinot Noir, a local vinter here where I live called Henry of Pelham and they make a really nice Baco noir.

I have pretty good liquor store system in Ontario but the selection could always be better. I miss Firestone Winery's 2003 Merlot from California.

Beer is another story, I have one rule of thumb, support your local craft brewer. While Canada has a reputation for decent beer (especially here in Ontario), I have tasted some amazing American micro brews on my travels in the US of A. I tend to prefer dark malty ales, darker lagers and there is a really cool local brand here called Steamwhistle Pilsner, the brewery is located in an old Canadian Pacific Railway roundhouse. . I know Lorna Lou will dig the retro packaging.
The Sage of Shadowdale 12 years ago
Stephanie, I've yet to learn contentment, which sucks because it's something I've been really striving for.

This group sounds like it should be called Alcholics Anonymous rather than Thirtysomething.
photo by Alison 12 years ago
hehehehe... mmmmm, yeh!
David de Groot PRO 12 years ago
Mike, No I don't think anyone here has a problem with drinking, anyone? Nope I don't have a problem drinking (unless you give me VB, that I'd have a problem drinking ;)
Michael Costolo 12 years ago
Bill, I've been to the Firestone winery many times. It's a neat place. They actually started a brewery as well that put out some very fine beers. They were only available in the greater Santa Barbara county area though. At least, half a decade ago when I lived there.

That sounds like so long ago but seems like just yesterday...

I don't think it's a problem to enjoy the finer things in life. In moderation of course.
peylex 12 years ago
No problem drinking at all. It's quite easy actually....
robotwolf PRO 12 years ago
favourite wine?

White wine for me. Probably the best ones I had were during my holidays in Greece (Crete & Corfu). However the Greek wines they import here in Finland are pitiful.
From the shelves of Alko (the only company allowed to sell wines in Finland) I like some Italian and German wines.
photo by Alison 12 years ago
Oh that is sad... only one company allowed to sell wine... are you allowed to import it? Get your fav winery to ship you a case every now and then?
carnun Posted 12 years ago. Edited by carnun (member) 12 years ago
There's a Fin working on the SALT... now I understand why he likes South Africa so much - hundreds of wine farms and many excellent quality white and red wines for between $3 and $8, as well as very little snow or icy cold weather.
Michael Costolo 12 years ago
I have also learned that the smile from an infant can brighten the dreariest day.

And that the reasons that I get up for work each day are the three people I call my family.
The Sage of Shadowdale 12 years ago
Anyone learn anything else recently (that doesn't involve alcohol)?
photo by Alison 12 years ago

Oh, yes... I am learning that listening and asking questions is much more effective than just offering answers to a child or adult who is grieving.
Michael Costolo 12 years ago
Yes, I've learned that naps can do wonders for the behavior of 4 year olds.
The Sage of Shadowdale 12 years ago
Yeah, listening, really listening, is a difficult skill to master and I definitely agree that sleeps are a small boy's best friend (or at least their parent's).

I've come to realise that I say 'no' far too often and I should take more risks and live life like the adventure it was supposed to be rather than always be in risk control mode.
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