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March 2015 – John McRae Photography & Studio




Well, last weekend saw the annual table tennis competition (as above) take place in the studios here in downtown Lilyfield.

You may well ask what is this all about?  Well, I’ll tell you….it’s the continuation of a 9 or may be 10 year tradition of staging a friendly, amicable and totally absurd afternoon of table tennis.  It started at the home of a good friend of mine, Ann Maree (aka Pat McGroyn) however, due to extenuating circumstances (nothing to do with any illegal practises) the event had to be moved to a new location.  I put my hand up for an alternative venue and at the same time, managed to score a 2nd hand table from the antique dealer next door (who closed down shortly after the sale of the table).  God was on our side.  The event was not in danger of folding in fact it was about to take on even greater momentum and notoriety.

For example here’s the poster we formulated to promote this years competition.  It features Pat (the Hostesse with the Mostesse and official adjudicator – her word is final) in her competition outfit as the face of TTTT (Table Tennis Today Tonight Tomorrow).  It is customary that a general theme is devised for each year.  This years theme was “Stuff Peace – Give War a Chance”.  The theme is accompanied by a dress code which was…..”Dress for Conflict”!



Basically the afternoon is designed as “friends coming together for a bit of fun and a chance to be silly together”.  The table tennis competition acts as an engaging focal point for this main activity.  Some even have a serious competitive approach to their game (can you believe it?), others are happy just to be part of the fun and don’t mind at all if they are knocked out in the early rounds.


Once the games have been won or lost, the winners emerge.  A medal ceremony takes place, including awards for “the worst dressed”, “The most disliked”, “the most incorrect” and so on……..  My friend Jonathan Turner (Rome based art curator), each year at the end of the proceedings, formulates an hysterical “Court Report”.  The Court Report is an paradocial, inside view of what happened during the afternoon with some deep insights into the motivations of some of the players.  A must read!


Here are a few further shots from the day…..all in all, a lot of fun!


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The Week in Review

In an attempt to keep this blog posting going on a regular basis, I am writing a week in review entry (with pics).

This week saw Benefit at it again with a huge launch of a new charity concept that the company is implementing for the month of May.  Benefit are donating a sizeable portion of the profit from each customer at their “Brow Bars” across the country.  This money is going to a selected group of charities involved with women’s affairs namely, “Look Good Feel Better”, “Sister2Sister” and “Fitted for Work”.  Benefit is hoping to raise at least $200,000.

Benefit is, as you may know, is an exciting cosmetic company started in San Francisco by 2 ex-model twins, Jean and Jane Ford.  They both continue in the business which has now become part of the LVMH group of companies.  What is particular about Benefit, apart from the fact that they are one of the leading cosmetic companies in this country, is that they rely solely on social media for all their promotion and advertising, choosing not to enlist the more traditional promotional approaches in the cosmetic industry such as print media.


I covered the event and here are a couple of images.  I particularly enjoyed snapping the reactions of the girls at the “Kissing Booth”.  You can rely on Benefit to inject a bit of fun into every activity and the 2 boys dishing out “pecs on the cheek” to anyone who was willing to donate a small amount into the jar beforehand, was no exception.


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(I assume the boys got paid for doing that….not a bad job really, hey?)



It was great to see Bob (aka Mark Trevorrow) out and about again this week.  He dropped in for a quick photoshoot for his next appearance which will be in Melbourne in a couple of weeks at the famous “Spiegeltent”.  Bob will be “taking charge” as Master of Ceremonies with an obvious “Big Top” approach.  Bob is a consummate professional and has no trouble in adopting the “most natural” of poses our “candid” portraits, as you can see from some of the examples below…………always a hoot!


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Jonathan Turner’s – Mardi Gras!

My dear friend Jonathan Turner dropped me an e-mail following the recent Mardi Gras event in Sydney.

I just had to publish his synopsis of events, as follows:


10 Mardi Gras Highlights from Jonathan Turner

Sadly, the 37th Mardi Gras is over, and all the recovery parties have now been mopped-up and vacuumed. Each year, there are numerous festive signifiers, demonstrating how all of Sydney really does become Mardi Gras in early March. Here are some events we witnessed in 2015.

1. Bunnings warehouse in Alexandria jam-packed with power-tool poofs and handyman dykes buying hardware for expert float construction.

2. Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” played at high-volume over the loudspeakers of Woolworth’s in Double Bay on Friday afternoon.

3. Mimi the “mermaid” having an aquatic-themed birthday party at Sea Breeze fish’n’chip shop in Darling Street, Rozelle, complete with bubble machines, deejay Garry Tee playing deep oceanic music, and various guests dressed as lobsters, pirates, flotsam, “jelly-fish bitches” (the obligatory Maltese Joseph, Nigel, Ivan plus Paolo), Bondi life-savers, Helen as the Bermuda Triangle, Cameron as the Muff Diver, and some idiot as a blue-ringed octopus.

4.  Policemen in couples cruising/patrolling the dance-floor at the Harbour Party, then a huge police RBT line-up breath-testing outbound motorists on post-Mardi Gras Monday morning at 10 o’clock on Victoria Road just after the Anzac Bridge (10 a.m. on Monday! – who says the police aren’t targeting the “gays”?).

5. The Olympic trampolinist Ji Wallace “surfing” his chauffeur-driven convertible up Oxford Street ahead of all the out-and-proud sports royalty, footballers, Australian star athletes and their allies, who participated in the Parade.

6. The hedonistic parade-goers including futuristic gladiators, the legendary Ron Muncaster, a Kim Jong-Un impersonator on a jizzing golden tank battling against an army of zombies, a lone, perfect  hibiscus flower, plus the hilarious and mega-munted group of equestrian girls on their hobbie-horses, frequently galloping in the totally wrong direction.

7. Kylie standing on her tip-toes at the side of the dance-floor, taking snaps of her little sister Dannii performing on stage at the RHI.

8. Mardi Gras saving the best for last: the closing sets at the Mardi Gras Party by deejay Mike Kelly from Cologne at the Hordern Pavilion, the impeccably pink-haired Kate Monroe playing at the outdoor arena at dawn and the slick, tight and fluoro-glow finale performance at the RHI by Betty Who.

9. All the bears at North Bondi, cordoning off a special nursery-rhyme area on the sand with white picket fences and pink flamingos, then kissing like Goldilocks much to the amazement of the families from Lakemba and Linfield.

10. Overheard at Woof Recovery at Arq: “Those guys are so old that they dance the YMCA in lower-case.”


How to turn adorable David’s fish and chip shop in Rozelle into an instant Mardi Gras venue.

1. Install bubble machines, Mimi the mermaid, lifesavers and a blue-ringed octopus as catch of the day.

2. Dueling Mardi Gras deejays Garry Tee (Kuala Lumpur) and Mike Kelly (Cologne) on the decks.

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Mimi celebrating her 40th at David’s Fish & Chip Shop (SeaBreeze, Darling St, Rozelle) with Life Savers and Jonathan Turner as “The Octopussy”

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Gary T (Malaysia) and Mike Kelly (Cologne, Germany) on the tables at Mimi’s 40th