Weekly Photo Challenge: From every angle

Each side of the wide main street of Coolgardie is lined with historic masterpieces that were built in more prosperous times during the early years of the gold rush. It is more of a ghost town today. We stopped briefly on our way to Kalgoorlie earlier this year.

For more information about Coolgardie’s history click HERE.

New CD with a difference

Mining Tax

A few months ago I received an email requesting my permission to use a photo from my blog. I was surprised and pleased that I was asked and happily gave my permission.

The link for Mining Tax will display the photo  and how it is being used. It was taken in 1988 when I went to the Pilbara with my three sons and had a tour of Mt Newman Mining.

The link also provides an opportunity to listen to the music and buy it if you like it. It is a new CD called Degenerational Report by Perth band, Mining Tax. 

Bloggers, writers and journalists

Writing QuoteThere are so many different forms of writing! How can one learn to be a great writer? When I think about it, these examples come to mind:

  • news reporting
  • feature writing
  • creative writing
  • novel writing – different genres
  • short stories – different genres
  • writer of children’s stories
  • blogging – different themes and purposes
  • technical, business and scientific writing
  • personal journal writing
  • copy-writing for websites or advertising/public relations
  • advertorials
  • policy writing for governments and other organisations

No doubt I have missed some types and styles of writing. I wonder how transferable the skills are between them. And what about the status or culture around the careers of such writers? Bloggers vs journalists for example? Are the boundaries shifting?

I have experimented with creative writing and loved it but find it really  hard to access the creative part of my imagination/inner self.

I can write business reports and tenders and the like –  I get some satisfaction out of doing a good job but they don’t excite me very much.

This week I enrolled in a five-week course to learn about feature writing for magazines and newspapers. I am enjoying it so far. The massive changes in writing practices will continue to evolve. Where will we be in ten years from now? Will we still have hard copy newspapers, I wonder?

I will do it later …

I am experiencing procrastination! A severe case of it. However, it has spurred me to action. I decided to put my ideas for overcoming procrastination into a post. It took some time and several diversions before I got to this page. I found a useful quote as well.

procrastination

I also put together a worksheet I have used in the past.

CATEGORIES OF IMPORTANCE

So, my next task is to work out what to do first. Obviously the best starting point is a task that is IMPORTANT AND URGENT. The funny thing is that the things I am putting off are things I want to do – just  not right this minute!

Staring at the blank screen …

I don’t seem to write much these days. Not only that, but I don’t get ideas like I used to. I want to hang in and write some more. I fear if I leave it too long, writing could become one of the things I used to do.

I’ve become a little shy in publishing so I am making the effort today. My tagline used to say, “If you want to write, just write!”.

OK – here are three good reasons to write regularly:

  1. It keeps the words flowing and once you get started the ideas will come.
  2. We need to build the habit of writing into our daily lives – some days it won’t be very productive but then there are days when it all comes together.
  3. It must be good for our brains to think and be creative or remember and relate stories etc.

I managed to write 150 words today :-)

introverts

Weekly Photo Challenge: Half and half

I love this week’s topic :-). Once again I am mostly including some pics from different locations in Australia.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol

To me, these buildings symbolize late 19th and early 20th Century architecture in Australia. I put in a couple of locals as well.

Original music and lyrics by Don Wright

Good friends of ours and talented musicians, Don and Deirdre, have established a website to promote their new CD.

There is also a blog section with some interesting and entertaining reading about their travels.

Click on the link below for samples and lyrics of all songs

New CD released by Sounds Just Wright

In Don’s own words, “There is mid-tempo soft rock, a touch of reggae, country, a few ballads and two instrumentals. You can listen to samples of every song on the site – they may just briefly transport you back to the 60s …”

1960s

Image from http://www.dreamstime.com

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Vivid

I am a little late for this week’s photo challenge. My focus is on the vivid blue skies shown in the photos below – taken in various locations throughout Australia.

To Sleep – Perchance to Dream

sleep

We DO spend a lot of our time either sleeping or trying to get to sleep. It can be so variable.

  • There is that lovely feeling of slipping into another zone while relaxed and reading a book.
  • Then there are nights that sleep won’t come not matter what I do. I get up and have a snack and rest on the lounge until I feel sleepy and then slip back to bed again.
  • Sometimes I experience lucid dreaming. I realise in my dream that I am dreaming and that I can choose what I want to happen. It is great fun but doesn’t occur very often.
  • Sometimes I have nightmares. My most recent series involves being in a head-on collision. I am very pleased when I wake and realise I am only dreaming.
  • I sometimes have really mystical type dreams and wake up feeling inspired and happy.
  • Most of the time my sleep is fairly ordinary – which is a great thing – that is what I want it to be :-)

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Forces of Nature

When I hear the expression, forces of nature, I am reminded how powerful tropical storms are and the damage they cause to the landscape – especially man-made infrastructure.

I took these photos in the mid-1980’s in Fitzroy Crossing, during the wet season, after floods had isolated the town from surrounding communities.

If you had three wishes, what would they be?

wishesI chose this question out of 48 Questions to Ask Your Kids by Erin Waters & Momastery (Momastery). It is a resource to “Unlock the hearts of your little ones using these keys to great family conversation”.

I thought the questions could also double as interesting prompts for blog topics.

Now, let me think about this important question for a minute or two …

1. My first wish is to ask for peace of mind. A mind that is calm and confident yet humble, grateful and open.

2. My second wish is for health, happiness and peace of mind for my family, friends and neighbours.

3. My third wish is for the rise of a new way of doing and seeing life where we can live in harmony with each other regardless of our race, wealth or poverty, religion or cultural differences. Our current system of capitalism and democracy does not make the greatest outcome for ALL. It may serve us well in many ways but perhaps there are other paths not yet traveled.

If we were all able to experience good health, happiness and peace of mind then perhaps a new perspective may be possible where we can all live together in peace and mutual support.

So, what would your three wishes be?

The importance of friendship

Friendship

I once thought that the philosophy of Epicurus was all about the good things in life – fine dining, good wine and of course, good friends to share it with. I learnt that is not whole the picture. He teaches that we reach a certain level of happiness and satisfaction and then it levels out. For example, if I was to win $1m it would bring me a degree of happiness, however if I was to win $100m, it doesn’t equate that I would be 100 times happier.

The above quote emphasizes the importance of friendship. We can have all the material possessions in the world but without a friend (or many) to share it with, it could be a lonely experience. I know many people will say they would like to try that out but I think we already experience this on an everyday basis. Having a friend adds much more to our lives than money ever can.

So, I have been thinking about friendship and wondering if I am nurturing the relationships I have or if I take them for granted. Friendship doesn’t have to mean day-to-day contact, even though that is much easier today with social media. I would hope we all have friends that we can pick up the friendship where we left off after months or years of not seeing each other and it is just like we were never apart.

Even so, I will try to be little more aware of the people I call friends and hope they stay in my life long enough to be called old friends.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Motion

motion noun (MOVEMENT) Cambridge dictionary states (in part) that motion means the act or process of moving, or a particular action or movement.
Below are some diverse examples of vehicles built for moving people or things (iron ore, wood, domestic supplies) over several decades and vastly different locations and speeds.

Writing Styles

I recently re-read Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H.Lawrence. I was surprised that I still found it to be a bit raunchy even in the 21st Century. I moved on to another of Lawrence’s books – this time it was Women In Love.

For your information, David Herbert Richards Lawrence was born on 11 September 1885 in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, England.

D.H. Lawrence

I was fascinated with the beauty of his writing as it is so different to most of the novels I read.

Here is a sample:

She was a strange figure in the class-room, wearing a large old cloak of greenish cloth, on which was a raised pattern of dull gold. The high collar, and the inside of the cloak, was lined with dark fur. Beneath she had a dress of fine lavender-coloured cloth, trimmed with fur, and her hat was close fitting, made of fur and of the dull, green-and-gold figured stuff. She was tall and strange, she looked as if she had come out of some new, bizarre picture.
(Women In Love by D.H. Lawrence, pp.40-41 Penguin Books)

Alas, I confess I didn’t last the distance. I love the language and the style but it was too intense for me. Maybe I will have another go on another day :-).

Honesty

Some wise words … it says the #400 rule of a lady but I think it applies equally to all :-)

honesty

Overseas travel

My first trip overseas was to Ubud in Bali in 2004. Prior to that I hadn’t stepped off Australian soil. I was pretty excited about it. We stayed at a lovely resort called Waka di Ume.

We left home at 5.15am and arrived at Denpasar Airport at 11.50am. We met ‘Jan’s Tours’ who transported us to Ubud. The trip was fascinating for me – I was amazed at the number of motor bikes, the different architecture and vast expanses of industry.

The accommodation included a big four-poster bed with mosquito netting all around it. We relaxed and had a lovely meal at their restaurant that evening with a tropical storm brewing outside. It was in their wet season (February 2004).

The next day we experienced the hustle and bustle of the shops/markets but I found the currency very confusing and a bit overwhelming.

The following morning we enjoyed breakfast on our veranda overlooking the rice fields. A stray cat came and spent some time with us.

After breakfast we walked through the village, away from the shops. We found a mixture of temples, rooms to let, people’s homes and small enterprises. The narrow road was moderately busy and yet some women were spreading their grains out on the road and traffic had to go around them. Some people were doing their washing in the drains (after the good rains the previous day) and the clothes were then laid out on the grass to dry.

I had heard a lot about massages in Bali and decided to have one at a place close to where we were staying. It was not what I expected and there was a communication problem. No real harm was done but I was really pleased to get out of there.

Our time was mostly spent reading, relaxing, eating and enjoying the swimming pool. Bali was very quiet when we were there. It was not long after the Bali bombings when several Australians were killed. People had stopped coming but not for long – I believe it is back to being a very popular holiday spot for Australians. It is only about five hours flight time from Perth to Denpasar.

My next trip was to Singapore and that was a very different experience, including some karaoke!

Life

I like to find image quotes online that capture how I am feeling. I came across this one this evening. I often feel like this – some days more than others!

I have this vague feeling that I missed out on getting the rule book handed out at birth :-). At least today I can accept that is just how I am and not fret about it too much.

life

One of those days

embroidery

Have you experienced a time where you wondered if the world has vanished and you are the only one left? Or could it be that I am the only one who is not overwhelmed with Easter guests and activities. I have sent copious emails, left messages on Facebook, finished reading my current books, caught up with all the items on my ‘to do’ list – in other words, I have been very productive. There is a limit to how productive one can be on their own though!

I guess I will have to start on that embroidery project I bought for such occasions :-)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Blur

I have lived in many different houses over the decades – some much nicer than others, but what I really remember most is the time with family and friends. It was interesting to find these photos in my archives and look at them individually. When I reflect on the past I just see snatches of memories, the blur, rather than the detail.

Creating characters – just for fun :-)

I go to a creative writing group every other Monday afternoon. We were to develop two characters and then arrange for them to meet. I was given a door-to-door sales rep and a story-teller and they were to meet at the races. I really enjoyed developing the characters while considering the following:

  • sex, detailed appearance and age
  • ancestry
  • likes and dislikes
  • interests
  • strengths and weaknesses
  • desires, secrets and fears
  • where they were born, had lived and so on

Just to be different I decided to present my story in a poem and here it is:

WILLIAM AND THEA

A lad is born and they call him William
His family think he is quite odd
But all agree he is one in a million
They celebrate his birth with smoked cod.

**

A girl is born far, far away yet very, very near
She is a real cutie
They proclaim her name will be Thea
All agree she is a beauty.

**

William grows to be six foot tall
His eyes are bright blue and clear
He settles in a little town called Stawell
And sells from door to door with no fear.

**

Thea, fully grown, is only five foot four
Her eyes are a deep dark brown
When it comes to money, she wants more and more
She spends all her savings and ends up quite poor.

**

William loves to frequent the races
Thea is there to write a story
They meet when Thea trips on her shoe laces
In actual fact, it really is her moment of glory.

**

They landed on top of each other
Both were too shocked to speak
Who knew they were bound to be lovers
When they were both born to be so meek!

****

Weekly Photo Challenge: Emphemeral

EPHEMERAL – “fashions are ephemeral”

lasting for a very short time

transitory

transient

fleeting

passing

short-lived

momentary

brief

short

cursory

temporary

impermanent

short-term

Life wasn’t meant to be easy – who said that?

Rainee:

In light of former Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser’s death this week after a short illness, I am re-posting an earlier piece I wrote about the Constitutional Crisis in Australia in the 1970’s. Rest in Peace Malcolm. Give our warm regards to Gough Whitlam when you get to the Pearly Gates.

Originally posted on Welcome to allaboutwordswa!:

“The 1975 Australian constitutional crisis (sometimes called “the Dismissal“) has been described as the greatest political crisis and constitutional crisis in Australia’s history. It culminated on 11 November 1975 with the removal of the Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam  (elected in 1972) of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), by Governor-General Sir John Kerr. Kerr then appointed the Leader of the Opposition, Malcolm Fraser, as caretakerPrime Minister. When the Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, went to seek the Governor General’s approval for an election, the Governor General instead dismissed him as Prime Minister, and shortly thereafter installed Malcolm Fraser in his place. Though Kerr, who died in 1991, continues to be reviled in some quarters, Whitlam and Fraser later reconciled.”

Gough Whitlam Gough Whitlam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was 18 in 1972 and voted for the first time.  It was an exciting time in politics…

View original 433 more words

Philosophy

ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER

When I first read philosophy over ten years ago I felt reassured that many of the thoughts, hopes and fears I had were common to many. I think Arthur Schopenhauer captures some of the deepest and bleakest aspects of the human experience. I was going through a tough time around then and found some comfort in his words. If you are interested in reading philosophy, I highly recommend a book by Alain de Botton called The Consolations of Philosophy published by Penguin Books. Schopenhauer features in a chapter called Consolation for a Broken Heart.

I have included some quotes of his below.

*****

“It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find it anywhere else.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer

“… that when you’re buying books, you’re optimistically thinking you’re buying the time to read them.
(Paraphrase of Schopenhauer)”
― Arthur Schopenhauer

“Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, Studies in Pessimism: The Essays

“Thus, the task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen, but to think what nobody yet has thought about that which everybody sees.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer

“A sense of humour is the only divine quality of man”
― Arthur Schopenhauer

“Treat a work of art like a prince: let it speak to you first.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer

“What disturbs and depresses young people is the hunt for happiness on the firm assumption that it must be met with in life. From this arises constantly deluded hope and so also dissatisfaction. Deceptive images of a vague happiness hover before us in our dreams, and we search in vain for their original. Much would have been gained if, through timely advice and instruction, young people could have had eradicated from their minds the erroneous notion that the world has a great deal to offer them.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer

A clumsy jump into retirement

My old workplace

My old workplace

The post below was written for an exercise in my creative writing class.

I can’t do it any longer. It will kill me if I keep going. After all, it is only a job and there must be more to life than going through the motions and playing the games. The pay and conditions are good but they don’t make up for the emptiness of the soul in doing something that no-one cares about.

The games – well they aren’t much fun. They are word games mostly. The government agrees to being a party to a strategy or initiative. Each year some lonely public servant checks what promises were made and provides some affirmative words to demonstrate that, yes, we, the government have really done something about it. It is written down in black and white weasel words, so it must be accountable. If it is not written down, there may be hell to pay.

I worked for the Office for Women’s Policy – in fact I was the last of the team to resign – I don’t think it is called that anymore. The issues considered were important but they got lost in the midst of political battles and point scoring. Either that or they got stuck in the mud of bureaucracy. For six months I worked on a cabinet submission to encourage greater participation of women on government boards. There was no appetite for this. The public cry was that women shouldn’t be supported to get on boards. After all, men don’t get support – they get appointed on merit. What – are you suggesting that every man on a board has more skills, knowledge and experience than the average female applicant? No, that doesn’t hold water.

Working full-time meant I left home at 7.30am each morning and got home at around 5.30pm each evening. I had little energy to enjoy my leisure time. Work consumed me. Some people can switch off after a day at the office but to me it was personal. The quality of my life was questionable.

We got away for weekends down south as often as we could. I couldn’t wait to get hold of the local papers and check out the real estate pages. We looked at houses and drove down the streets of Busselton and wondered what it would be like to live there. We dined out and pretended we were locals – could we make it a reality?

Unbeknown to me, Tom had done some research online about Busselton. I found a brochure in the mail one day about a Lifestyle Village in Broadwater, close to the beach. I didn’t pay much attention to it but suggested that we could have a look at it next time we were in Busselton. On our next visit we met with the sales rep and looked at a few houses on the Saturday. We decided to have a second look on the Sunday and took away a package of information to consider.

In no time at all, we signed the contract for our new home. We had three months to sell our Perth property. We put it on the market and it sold after thirteen days. Crunch time came at work – it wasn’t difficult to leave as I mentioned earlier, I was the last of the team to abandon ship. I was lucky to be able to keep a tenuous link to my job in case the experiment didn’t work out – this was six months leave without pay.

I haven’t looked back. I didn’t decide to retire – I just jumped out of the workforce when the opportunity presented itself. Now, five years later, I am still considering what my next act will be.

What do you do when you are bored?

boredomSo, boredom – what is it? I rarely say that I am bored as there are so many options of what to do. But there are some days that I don’t feel inclined towards any of my options.

Recently I have brought together a small group of people around my age who are no longer working full-time. Last week we talked about what we hoped to do in retirement or semi-retirement and then reflected on what it is REALLY like. Most people expressed at least some of the following concerns:

  • Fear of not keeping up with what is happening in the workplace eg technology
  • Running out of ideas on how to fill the day (after doing the house and garden until it is perfect)
  • Loss of interaction with other people
  • Loss of identity now that we cannot be defined by our jobs
  • Feeling guilty that we should be happier not working
  • How long does the money have to last?
  • Too much time for contemplation
  • Lack of boundaries that we forced on us when we were working

I am aware that there seems to be little support or training to prepare people for retirement. There is always a big emphasis about the financial side but not as much about the social aspects.

There is the good side as well – I haven’t focused on that in this post. I think we would all agree that not having to set the alarm to get up early for work is the number ONE bonus of not working full-time :-)

Self worth or Ego?

I was at a meeting the other day and I went along with the attitude of wanting to get involved. I was taken aback by the chair of the meeting – he couldn’t seem to notice I was there. I have grappled with this and wondered whether I was having an issue with my ego (wanting to be noticed etc) and I felt quite annoyed.

I offered to take on a significant and time-consuming role for the group (setting up and administering a new Facebook Group) but I still felt invisible to our group leader. I found the image below and it was a good reminder to me that my ability doesn’t depend on someone else being able to see it.

Self Worth

A week away from home

Some holiday snaps. We traveled 2,030 kilometres over six days by car to Perth, Kalgoorlie, Esperance and home again :-).

Check out the wiki link about Coolgardie.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Rule of Thirds

I took these images with my microscope, Supereyes, and I was trying to make the Rule of Thirds effect (I didn’t know it at the time). I tried with my point and shoot camera and found it to be quite difficult.

What does fear mean for you?

I used to be frightened of lions and elephants when I was a child. That may have been reasonable if I lived somewhere near the jungle or even a zoo – I didn’t. Some of the children’s stories I grew up with were very scary – Hansel and Gretal, Red Riding Hood – even Cinderella with those ugly step-sisters.

My two brothers really enjoyed scaring the daylights out of me. They would pretend to be prowlers outside my bedroom window – that’s the joy of being the youngest of five children – a real sucker for some fun and teasing.

I needed to overcome fear lots of times throughout my life. If you do it often enough you end up being quite courageous. There is a lot of wisdom in the popular book “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”. Over time those courage muscles get to grow if you use them often enough.

What sorts of things are you afraid of?

FEAR

Introvert or Extrovert?

I believe I am an introvert.

As time goes by, I realise that being introverted affects many areas of my life. I am not much into group activities and feel much more comfortable in a one on one situation.

Last year I did a writing course online and I really got into it (I had to as there were assignments to do). In doing the course I found a way to tell my stories from the privacy of my own home.

Once I completed the study I went cold on writing – you see I can’t just write a funny story or science fiction or fantasy – for me it has to be real, and in being real, it is often deep and sometimes painful.

But now I realise that I am a bit afraid of telling these stories but I can choose to overcome the fear if I really want to. Do I want to? Not sure … Perhaps I can invent a pen name -) and remain anonymous!

introverts

Old photos and an old song …

I must be feeling nostalgic. I was looking for an old photo today – one of me on my brother’s shoulders – I was terrified at the time. I couldn’t find it but, as happens with photos, I got caught up in looking at photos at my parents’ home when my children were little. It was always such a busy place with people coming and going – the kettle was always on!

My parents had fifteen grandchildren and most of them lived close by. I left home when I was seventeen and wasn’t able to visit as often as I would have liked. My Mum was an amazing grandma (considering she worked full time as a nurse as well) and really loved each and every one of her grandchildren and later, great grandchildren. Here are a few photos that give a bit of a feel to what it was like at “Nan and Pops” place …

Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale

For this week’s Photo Challenge I have two different photos of my garden variety mint plant. One is microscopic (x250) and the other is full size.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Depth

* Abandoned open-cut gold mine at Gwalia in Western Australia

* Painting by John Longstaff – the young mother learns of her husband’s death

* The weir in my home town, Cohuna, where I grew up – I was afraid to swim in the deep water

* Depth of love for my new grandson, Isaac, born in 2008

Weekly Photo Challenge: Express yourself

It is Australia Day (some say Straya) on 26 January so I am expressing aspects of being Australian, including my love of Outback Australia and some of our native species. Sorry I didn’t have any kangaroos handy.

I have also included photos depicting my Irish and Scottish ancestry.

 

What was the last photo you took?

WordPress Daily Post: What was the last picture you took? Tell us the story behind it. (No story behind the photo? Make one up, or choose the last picture you took that had one.)

Well I must say I am really intrigued by this photo. I took it with my Supereyes microscope. It is a magnified image of a tiny flower from a chilli plant. I have never seen anything quite like it before. I had just watered the plant before I picked the flower and you can see the moisture captured in the centre of the flower.

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