Developing Your Eye II – Moment

When we visited the Peel Zoo in Pinjarra recently I enjoyed taking photos of the birds and animals. They didn’t all behave and stand still for the photos though. This wombat was on the move but I clicked away anyway and captured this moment as he rushed past.

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Developing Your Eye II – Natural World

It is a continuing battle between the natural world and our built environment. The photo below shows the result of being tucked up inside, nice and warm, while the garden is getting lots of rain and the natural world takes over. I really must get out and pull some weeds!

Natural Environment (Copy)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Cherry on Top

We enjoyed a couple of days in Mandurah last week. While there we visited the Peel Zoo in  Pinjarra and it really was the Cherry on Top of a lovely few days away.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Look up

This photo is taken at Melbourne Central Shopping Centre where the historic shot tower is preserved in its original location.

Melbourne shopping mall

Shot tower in Melbourne

For more information about the Weekly Photo Challenge click HERE

Federal Election and Online Shopping

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Three wise koalas

I finally tired of listening to the Federal Election results on Saturday night. I DID put in several hours in front of the TV.

Instead I went on my computer and did some online shopping for new sheets and towels (end of financial year sales). Being satisfied that I got a good bargain I went off to bed still not knowing the election outcome.

Here we are a few days later and my new sheets and towels arrived this morning!

No election outcome yet though😦. We may end up with a minority government which is a bit of a surprise to most people. It was thought the incumbent government would have a comfortable win. Time will tell …

PS I bought the Three Wise Koalas from Parliament House in Canberra:)

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Opposites

When in Melbourne recently I visited some old haunts from when I lived there in the early 1970’s. I stayed at a Private Hotel called The Great Southern. The picture below is taken from across the street. It is the building with the dark tan and cream frontage. It is a more  upmarket hotel today and has been refurbished inside. Many of the old features were retained thankfully.

I thought the image of the modern tram was a great contrast for this week’s Photo Challenge on Opposites.

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For more information about this week’s Photo Challenge click HERE

Real Estate Tales

one (3)As part of my job I visit a different three homes each week and do a write up for the local paper. Sometimes the agency provides me with the keys to a house, especially if it is vacant. Well today I was given a set of about eight to ten keys for a house I was to visit.

The luxury home was fairly isolated in a rural setting and the house numbering was a bit confusing. I eventually found the beautiful ($1m plus) house, parked in the driveway and attempted to open the front door. I tried every key several times but none fitted. I located another external door and still had no luck.

It was in an elevated position and I couldn’t resist taking some photos with my mobile phone in between trying to open the doors. In the end I rang the sales rep and after some clarification I discovered I was a the wrong house! Oops!

Sometimes these homes have security cameras and I wonder what they made of me trying to get into the house and taking photos as well.

I found the house I was meant to visit but actually I preferred the first one. Shame it wasn’t for sale!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Partners

When in Melbourne recently I walked through Block Arcade just as the clock struck 10am. All of a suddent there was music from above – you will notice the ‘musicians’  – one on the right and the other to the left. It was delightful to listen to this partnership and it made my day!

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For more information about this week’s Photo Challenge click HERE

On Writing

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I came across this passage recently while researching about writing memoirs. It really struck a chord with me.

According to Elizabeth Sullivan, a licensed marriage and family therapist in San Francisco:

Writing creates a mind-body-spirit connection. She also said that when you use your hands to pen or type something directly from your brain, you are creating a powerful connection between your inner experience and your body’s movement out in the world.

Source and for more information about Elizabeth Sullivan CLICK HERE

 

A Little Bit of Love

Sometimes it is hard to come to terms with the increasing rhetoric of hate and fear that is found in society. Has the world always been like this? When has it become OK to vilify people because of their religion, race, gender …

The challenge, as I see it, is to remain hopeful that there is more good than bad in people and not to respond to hateful attitudes in a way that fuels them to grow but to remain optimistic that love will overcome.

You really should write a book …

creativity ideas

When I tell people about some of the places I have lived and things I have done and seen, many suggest that I should write a book. But would it really be of interest to anyone?

I have made a start and written around 10,000 words – a very brief summary of my life up until now. I am unsure where to go from here. I decided to do some brain-storming to flesh it out a bit. It raised more questions than answers, such as:

  • who is included and who is excluded?
  • should I use real names and my real name?
  • what are the ‘touchstone’ events that really must be included?
  • do I bare all about my struggles and challenges or are some things too private?
  • should I seek  professional guidance at this stage eg a literary agent or wait and see how it goes?
  • what is the secret of keeping it interesting?

I guess the easy road to take would be to keep writing the truth as I see it and perhaps make amendments down the track. 

It has been useful to put my thoughts down here to share with you as it now seems a bit clearer. I think I will start on the ‘touchstone’ events and see where that leads me.

THANKS FOR LISTENING:)

Mentioned in passing …

I was reading some old letters (snail mail) my mother wrote me in the early 1980’s. I was struck by one line where she mentions my brother, Peter:

“Peter has gone off parachute jumping today, he wishes to be remembered to you all.”

Parachute

Photo source: Wikipedia

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pure

For this week’s (tough) Photo Challenge I have chosen a photo I took of one of a series of sculptures by artist Antony Gormley, in place at Lake Ballard, north of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.

I feel these sculptures in this location add up to pure genious!

Lake Ballard (2)

To learn more about the artist click HERE

For more information about the Photo Challenge click HERE

Ocean liners and polished boars!

Well, what do ocean liners and boars have in common? And what is a polished boar anyway?

Each Thursday I do some real estate writing and editing for our local paper. I edit short descriptions of various properties for sale. Because we are near the beach it is quite common for agents to state that there is room to park a boat or caravan. However, today an enterprising sales representative expected me to believe that there was room to park an ocean liner!

That got my attention! I then read on only to to find something even more interesting. The home comes with polished boars! I don’t know if they are naturally shiny or if someone regularly polishes them.

In case you didn’t work it out, I am pretty sure they meant polished boards:-)

I found a picture of a not very shiny boar on en.wikipedia.org

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Spare

Have you ever loved a book so much you bought a SPARE copy, just in case you lost the original? That’s what I did when I was at the Melbourne Airport on our way back to Perth a few weeks ago:-).

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For more information about the Weekly Photo Challenge press HERE

Getting Started on my Memoir

Wisteria PS

I asked for ideas on memoir writing a little while ago and received some excellent tips.

Even so, getting started was still a  problem. I decided to do a mind map/brain storm and see where that took me. I looked at it from the following angles:

  • why do I want to do it?
  • how am I going to do it?
  • what do I need to do it?
  • when is this going to happen?

I then put a table together with those headings and answered the questions honestly. Once I had the first three thoroughly considered I set a time-frame.

At the conclusion I committed myself to write just two pages for each different period in my life:

  • 60+ (where I am at right now)
  • 50-60 years
  • 40-50 years
  • 30-40 years
  • life in remote communities in my 20s and 30s
  • 20-30 years (when my children were born)
  • teenage years
  • primary school years

My commitment is to do two pages for each of the above before the 30th June 2016. I have a whiteboard where I tick off the days that I write so it is quite visual.

I am really enjoying the process. I don’t have a goal beyond 30 June but I will consider that when the time comes. Whether it ever comes to print doesn’t seem important. I am enjoying reflecting on the BIG PICTURE of my life – the good and not so good!

I am also collecting (in one place) other bits and pieces that I may merge at a later date.

Just thought I would share the process I developed as it may be useful to someone else:-)

 

 

Puffing Billy Steam Train

Here is a (very) short video I put together of our ride on Puffing Billy while on holidays recently. Around 1979 my husband at that time, was employed by Puffing Billy to maintain the track and supervise volunteers. It is mainly run and operated by volunteers today. I enjoyed the ride but I mostly wanted to experience some of the lovely rain forests in the hills that I remember so well. That is why I took the video:-)

This is only my second attempt at making videos and I acknowledge there is a lot for me to learn,

Revisiting Melbourne

I first lived in Melbourne in 1972 after I left school. I found work and at different times rented in the City, East Melbourne, West Melbourne and Brunswick. We left Melbourne first in 1980 to go and work in the Northern Territory and then finally said our goodbyes in 1982 when we moved to Western Australia.

I travelled from Western Australia to Victoria dozens of time over the years but didn’t ever stay in Melbourne as my folks lived in the country north of the Melbourne. For a while now I have been hankering for a walk down memory lane. We finally booked a holiday staying in the centre of Melbourne with five days to explore old haunts and recent additions such as Federation Square, Docklands and new shopping malls.

Below is a selection of photos that hold  memories for me.  There are the beautiful arcades, the place where I worked, and the Puffing Billy Steam train in the Dandenong Ranges.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Future

The past, present and the future are all interlinked but going forward as these family photos of four generations show:-).

 

 

What do you collect?

This post is inspired by Ruth’s blog and her collection of bunnies.

Some friends and family have given me teddy bears over the years, knowing my fondness for them. After seeing Ruth’s bunnies I thought it was time for a photo shoot wtih my bears:). What is it about these bears that pulls at our heart strings?

What do love and economics have in common?

Just recently while looking through some old documents I found my high school reports. I was surprised to see that I got top of my class in economics. I did enjoy the subject but didn’t pursue it any further beyond school.

Then today I was thinking about my Mum who passed away ten years ago. Over the years I tried to demonstrate my love and appreciation of her. Did I succeed in showing my love for her? I will never really know.

Then I got to thinking that love (as well as economics) responds to supply and demand to some degree. I tried to show my love through my words, gifts and time spent with her. That is what makes me feel loved.

Have you ever come across a book called “The Five Love Languages” by Dr Gary Chapman? The five languages are very briefly described as follows:

  • Words of affirmation
  • Quality time
  • Receiving gifts
  • Acts of service
  • Physical touch.

The book suggests that if we know the other’s love language we can learn to say and do the right things to make the special someone feel loved.

When we randomly respond to people by doing and saying what we ourselves want to hear and receive we may just miss the point.

Just with supply and demand in the economy we can be more successful if we are in tune with what our loved ones desire. Now I don’t claim to have a handle on this but thinking about it helped me see where relationships break down and misunderstandings can occur.

We mean well and love as best as we can and hopefully our good intentions are recognised.

flowers from Tom 008 (Copy)

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Landscape

Here is my selection for this week’s challenge. I was surprised to see that for every landscape photo I have about twenty seascape ones! Living close to the beach today I don’t pay  as much attention to the landscape around me.

 

How much time is there?

There are 168 hours in one week. Do you know what you do with them all? Does it match what you would like to be doing? Even when we can see a mismatch it is hard to change our habits.

On another level, how much time do we have (in total)? Unless we have an appointment for voluntary euthanasia we would have to admit that we don’t know. We also don’t know how much time we have with our families, friends and acquaintances.

I started thinking about this after someone I know passed away last week. It is sad, but we were not close – however it made me consider whether I give enough thought and care to those I am close to.

It is so easy to put off telling people how much I care or asking questions about how others are really dealing with life. There is a sense that we have all the time in the world to do that. We don’t! At least I don’t.

Once again I am reminded to be awake to the  present moment and not to get caught up in thoughts about the past or fears about the future.

The present moment needs my full attention.

present moment

 

First attempt at a video

One of my goals for 2016 was to learn how to edit videos. Today I sat down and had a go at it with some short videos I took in February 2016 when we did the circuit from home to Perth, Kalgoorlie, Esperance and home again. It starts off with the Super Pit at Kalgoorlie Gold MIne.

I know I have a long way to go but it felt good to learn the basics :). It is only a very short video and you may notice the salmon coloured gum trees – one of my favourite species of gum tree.

Something to think about …

consciousness

I was taken by a reading in my online philosophy class. It is as follows:

I have now reigned about fifty years in victory or peace, beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honours, power and pleasure, have waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to have been wanting for my felicity. In this situation, I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have befallen to my lot. They amount to fourteen: O man! Place not thy confidence in this present world.

Abd Er-Rahman III, who ruled Cordoba in Spain in the 10th Century

Now what do you make of that?

Weekly Photo Challenge: One Love

One of my loves is miniature china tea sets. It was interesting to discover how many things I loved in my archives – it was a difficult task in choosing ONE love. It is one love among many:).

For more information about the weekly photo challenge click HERE

 

Anyone for tea Unique

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Old Country Roses

Looking for creative ideas …

I am working with a small group of recently retired people to help them (and me) explore the transition to retirement in a positive and affirming way.

I want to explore creativity in an upcoming session and I want to present it in a creative way. I want people to be able to see that creativity does not just belong to talented people who are artistic or gifted in such ways – that it is open to all of us.

I thought “Why not ask other creative bloggers for ideas?” And so I am doing just that!

All ideas are welcome including good websites or actual suggestions for the two hour session. Thanks in advance:-). I will keep exploring ideas as well.

creativity ideas