Sweet Potato

I found a sweet potato (yam) going to seed and decided to put it in water to grow. These are the results after about 4-5 days. Fascinating to watch it grow!

Kahuna or Cohuna – my home town?

Today I went to Bunnings to get a few garden things and at the entrance there was a colourful display of plants called The Big Kahuna. Now, you may have heard of the movie:

The Big Kahuna is a 1999 American business comedy-drama film directed by John Swanbeck, and produced by Kevin Spacey, who also starred in the lead role. The film is adapted from the play Hospitality Suite, written by Roger Rueff, who also wrote the screenplay. John Swanbeck makes few attempts to lessen this film’s resemblance to a stage performance: the majority of the film takes place in a single hotel room, and nearly every single line of dialogue is spoken by one of the three actors.

Wikipedia

I grew up in a small country town in Northern Victoria called Cohuna – about 3,500km away from where I currently live.

Surrounded by dairy farms, and situated on the banks of Gunbower Creek, (an anabranch of the Murray River), the town is a popular holiday spot as well as a regional sports centre with a wide range of facilities. Cohuna is the main access point to the attractions of the vast red gum and box forest covered Gunbower Island, which lies between Gunbower Creek and the Murray, and is home to diverse native birdlife, kangaroos and emus.

Wikipedia
Cohuna from above (Murray River)

So, the reason I am telling you all is this is because I just had to buy the flowers with that name! And here they are …

We have given the garden a bit of a makeover this week so it was good to add a splash of colour with the Big Kahuna name tag!

Many Happy Returns

Well I have heard of people who have ‘near-death’ experiences where their life flashes before their eyes. I didn’t know that having a 65th birthday could also bring on this phenomenon!

A little bit of background – nearly ten years ago we moved from Perth to the South West of Australia. I didn’t have much prior knowledge of the region so there are not a lot of cues for past memories. It is a bit like living in a bubble where much of the past fades almost to non-existence.

For my 65th we decided on a family catch-up in Perth with an overnight stay at Joondalup Resort. As it happens I used to be a regular guest there every Monday evening in my role as President of the Joondalup Rotary Club. I used to work in Joondalup too. The next morning we had breakfast in the street where my old office was. It was across the road from the Chinese Restaurant where I often went for a $5 lunch special (in the 1990’s). Also in the same street is where my original office was and I met a lady who came to see me looking for work. She had only been in Australia for three months. I was able to assist with some contract work and she stayed on for over 20 years. She is still a good friend today and actually outstayed my time at the Department.

We traveled to Kalbarri after breakfast – approximately 600kms north. We passed through Yanchep where I often took my three sons when they were little. Lots of happy memories there. Further along we passed through Geraldton where I lived for a short time in 1993-1994 until my marriage broke up and I moved to Perth.

Our destination of Kalbarri held some memories too. While working in the region I visited there to assist a community group who had funds from the Department to set up a local bottled Spring Water enterprise using unemployed youth. Then there was the Greenough Village where we investigated an employment project.

I won’t go on as it is probably boring to anyone except me! I felt the need for the trip to come to terms with reaching 65 years old. I am grateful that I have reached it and hope to have a few more decades yet.

The photos are from our stay in Kalbarri.

On Creativity

I am currently doing a course from University of the Third Age Online. It is called Unleashing Your Creative Spirit. I am keen to run this Course in 2020 through our local U3A.

I have met a lot of people in early retirement who find themselves wondering what has happened to them with all the changes of no longer being in the workforce. I have noticed that lots of people, me included, have a list of project we have always wanted to do when we got the time.

Well, we have the TIME now but struggle to make these projects happen. I have been wondering why that is. Some of my projects include learning calligraphy, making personalised greeting cards, sewing (I bought a nice new but basic sewing machine) photography (I purchased a digital camera) and writing. I also like doing WordPress websites for friends.

This course is great in that it looks at what motivates us to be creative and at what situations create blockages. It emphasises that a part of creativity is actually ‘work’ and organisation. That surprised me, silly as it may sound. I had thought that being creative was purely stuff you did for fun and quite different to what we do for work.

It was a bit of a light-bulb moment when I realised the ‘work’ aspect of creativity is the main cause of my not completing my projects. A small project I am working on involves using some photos of wildflowers to create greeting cards. My first big hurdle was I didn’t know how to print the photos even though I have a modern printer. I did persevere and had success!

I feel I have learnt a lot already and I can see lots of opportunities for exploring new skills and enjoyment along the way.

South West Australian Wildflowers

I did a blog recently about the Busselton Wildflower Exhibition and my involvement in promoting the event that was held last Thursday and Friday.

Below is a gallery of most of the flowers on show at the Exhibition. There are strict rules about what flowers can be picked in the wild and the quantities allowed so as not to impact on their sustainability for future years.

I found it impossible to choose just a few! Our local Geographe Community Landcare Nursery had some native plants on sale – the bottom few photos.

Wildflower Exhibition in South Western Australia -Feature article

South West Exhibition includes hundreds of rare and exquisite wildflowers

Now its 94th year, Busselton Wildflower Exhibition is gearing up to welcome local enthusiasts as well as visitors from further afield this September. The South West corner of Western Australia is renowned for having one of the richest and most diverse flora in the world and attracts visitors from around the State, Australia and overseas.

Kangaroo Paw

Exhibition chairman Barry Oates said it was an opportunity to see spectacular wildflowers you couldn’t see anywhere else in the world. “It is a truly unique experience and a great way for people to connect with part of Busselton’s community and history,” he said. In addition, Geographe Community Landcare Nursery’s Coordinator, Rod Cary will be onsite to assist wildflower enthusiasts to learn more about the local varieties. Mr Oates stated that the relationship with Rod and the Nursery is highly valued for advice on Exhibition day plus assistance with accurate naming of the diverse range of wildflowers.

The City of Busselton has been a long-time supporter of the exhibition. Mayor Grant Henley said the exhibition highlights a wonderful array of native flora, rich and diverse in the South West.  “Much of the flora on display would not be experienced by any one person at any one site, so it’s a rare and fantastic opportunity to do so,” he said.

Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association’s Joint CEO/GM Marketing, Sharna Kearney said, “The South West region provides a rare opportunity to experience exceptional concentrations of endemic wildflower species. You can get a close look at a wide range of these wildflowers at the Busselton Wildflower Exhibition as well as by getting out and about in the region.”

The exhibition is loved by locals as well as visitors “One doesn’t have to be a gardening or wildflower expert to be amazed at the beauty and variety of specimens on display” says Busselton resident, Deirdre Chell. “I come back year after year and always find something new to view or photograph” she said.

Wildflowers on display are chosen by people who have obtained licences from the Dept of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (Dept BCA) to pick wildflowers in the week of the Wildflower Exhibition.

All pickers are conscious of the need to preserve native flora and pick responsibly. Rare and endangered species are not picked. The Busselton Wildflower Exhibition gives those unable to ‘go bush’ an opportunity to see a great variety of specimens.

Assorted Wildflowers

Australia’s South West, Chief Executive Officer Catrin Allsop said that “Almost 80% of Australia’s South West’s plant species cannot be found anywhere else in the world. In August through to November, more than 8000 species of wildflowers and 300 species of delicate orchids are in bloom, making it a popular and beautiful time to visit the region.”

Organised by the Uniting Church of Busselton, the Wildflower Exhibition also includes the following:

  • Photography display (Busselton Camera Club)
  • Geographe Community Landcare Nursery sales and advice
  • Waterwise garden display (Geocatch)
  • Light refreshments will be available throughout the day
  • Variety of stalls displaying local produce and crafts for purchase

Bring your camera along to test your skill at capturing the rare beauty of the flowers on show.

Exhibition Details:

Place:    Uniting Church Hall and Grounds, 47 Kent Street, Busselton

Date:    Thursday, 26 September and Friday, 27 September 2019, 9am- 4pm

Feature: Geographe Community Landcare Nursery Inc.

OPEN DAY – MAY 11

I am assisting in the promotion of the 94th Annual Busselton Wildflower Exhibition to be held on 26 &27 September 2019.

The Exhibition Committee and volunteers work in partnership with the Geographe Community Land-care Nursery Inc. and Coordinator, Rod Cary, a former TAFE lecturer in Margaret River. Rod’s scientific knowledge of native plant species is invaluable. He assists Exhibition volunteers with the accurate identification of wildflowers for display at the Exhibition. Rod is also available for the two days of the Exhibition to answer questions about the native plants and their requirements. Barry Oates, Chair of the Exhibition Committee, said the relationship with Rod is highly valued.

This amazing nursery is a not-for-profit community organisation, located at the Queen Elizabeth Avenue site in Busselton for the past 16 years. They look like being there for many years to come.

They are self-sufficient through plant sales for their daily requirements and they sometimes receive Government funds for special projects (a recent building was funded by the Royalties for Regions funding).

Some numbers to impress

  • The Nursery grows up to 90,000 plants each year.
  • They have around 80 volunteers with up to 60 assisting each week.
  • Volunteers may be retirees, people with disabilities (some with carers) and work-for-dole participants. Volunteers help each other with the tasks to be undertaken.
  • They have about 250 Australian native plant species available for wholesale customers plus there are around 300 species of cultivars (cultivated varieties) of native origin.
  • About 10% of sales are retail with the remainder of the plants sold wholesale to mining companies, local government, developers and small property owners.
  • Growing native plants from locally collected seeds produces much better results due to their genetic diversity – better chance of some of them surviving because of this diversity. They have had breakthroughs with a range of species.

***** I just love the wildflowers and really enjoy finding images to share!

An interview with Lyn Murfitt, Colour Consultant (on retirement)

I recently posted this interview on my Transitioning to Retirement blog and decided to share it here as well :).

Lyn Interview

Lyn, what does the word retirement mean to you?

BOREDOM! I love working, simply because it is so stimulating for my brain, and it certainly gets my creative juices going!  There is always an amazing experience or lesson to be learned each and every day!

What strategies have you used in transitioning from one phase of your life to the next?

Certainly staying in the workforce and working less hours. However, the remaining free days have allowed me to follow my passion in Body & Style Consulting. Assisting many women to feel more confident in themselves, and to feel less stressed about their appearance and body shape.  This gives me a sense of achievement and happiness in being able to help other women to realize their full potential, to work around the shape they are and to spend less time in agonizing about their appearance.

Exercise is very important to me also. It refreshes me daily to walk in the fresh air, thank the Universe for everything I have, keeps me positive and grateful for the life I have been blessed with!

Tell me about your Image Consultancy business?

This passion of mine came about 35 years ago, when I was employed as a Fashion Consultant with Liz Davenport.

Colour Analysis was an important factor when women were shopping with me. I saw so many mistakes being made with their choices; wrong necklines, lengths and styles that were not suitable for their body shapes. So I studied these factors and did many courses, especially the colour aspect, as that really ‘sets the stage’. Now I consult in Busselton and enjoy every moment of it!  Sharing my  knowledge is a large part of the process.

What drives you to want to help women be the best they can be?

I think the look on their faces when they have done a Colour Consult, or Body & Style, or even had a Closet Audit in their own home.  It really is an ‘ooh aah’ experience, and their pleasure and excitement certainly fulfills me.

Usually I make special friends out of my consultations, as it is a ‘personal journey’ into exploring working around the shape they are and not trying to CHANGE them.

What wisdom would you pass on to other women as they reach retirement age and beyond?

To attract positive people into your life, to make things happen, to join different clubs and organizations. This opens up a whole new world of experiences for you.  Don’t sit back and wait for it to HAPPEN!  Whatever your taste is …BOOK CLUB, SPORTING ACTIVITIES, CHARITY WORK, TRAVEL…….there is so much on offer out there! Read the LOCAL PAPER, that’s how I got started!

Now is the time for YOU!!

Anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?

CURRENTLY, I am ‘decluttering’ my life, and it is so UPLIFTING.  Also, it helps me to remember so many AMAZING POSITIVE things I have done and experienced.  Dare I say, it is tempting me to WRITE about my life, as many people do in later years when they have the time.

It is so enriching, even the sad and silly times.  It is always about GROWTH, and we NEVER STOP developing. There is always a SURPRISE around every corner!  Sometimes a CHALLENGE …..ONWARD INTO FOREVER!!

Thanks so much Lyn. We look forward to reading your book down the track!

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!