Colour brightens up a dull day

3 03 2012

It’s the first weekend in March and cold, wet & dreary. A very stark contracts to last weekend’s hot (high thirties) and dry weather. Not to worry though, I’m inside, rugged up and enjoying coffee & donuts. I’m also trying to write up (and finish) a research report that’s been due for a few months. With the summer break and the transition to a new job this project has been on hold and I really need to get it done and out of the way.

So, what am I doing writing this short post? Task avoidance I reckon – but really trying out the Wrodpress for iPad app for the first time. We’ll see how it goes as I try to add a photo.

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We’ve been surprised by the appearance of the flowers on the Haemanthus Red that’s been lying dormant in a pot in the old wheelbarrow. Over the last 10 days it’s bloomed and is adding some nice colour to the front verandah to brighten up the grey weekend. We think the warm weather last week may have encouraged it to get going, and I continue to marvel at how nature works.



it starts again…

27 04 2008

Sunday evening and the work cycle starts again tomorrow. Nothing wrong with that, it just means the weekend is over and whatever I didn’t get round to doing will need to wait till the next one. It was a hectic week at work last week and I’m looking forward to catching up on a few things this week.

We headed down to Cape Otway on Friday and cruised though Apollo Bay with stopping for the Music Festival, well we did grab a coffee and muffin and shopped for some vitals. Caught up with some friends for lunch and then did the walk down to the Parker and round Point Franklin. I’ve never seen the sea so calm but it was very high so the rock scramble was tricky in between the waves.

On Saturday it was into Apollo Bay but straight through and up to Marriner’s Falls. There were some signs up at the car park to say the track was closed due to storm damage but that didn’t stop us (and a whole lot of other people). It wasn’t that bad, but there were a few trees across the track and you could see that it had been up a meter or two when it rained heavily a couple of months ago. Anyway, it’s a beautiful walk and lots of nice things to look at if you take the time. The falls are part of the Barham River which flows past the caravan park at Apollo bay and out to the ocean.

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We stopped for a picnic in Paradise on the way out and enjoyed the company of three Kookaburras who (unfortunately they probably thought – but for their own benefit) missed out on some lunch. It was drizzling a bit (probably meant that we had it on our own people-wise), but not enough to stop us enjoying a very beautiful place.

Nothing like some fresh air and the sound of running water to refresh the spirit.



art on the road

22 04 2008

Last weekend we did something a little different. Well, on Saturday paid a visit to the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen. Strolled around the site that “comprises 16 acres of buildings, gardens and sculpture park presenting a dramatic combination of indoor and outdoor spaces” and we had a picnic in the gardens. Didn’t get to see the Rick Amor exhibition but would like to see his stuff. Saw a segment that features a conversation with him (Episode 10 that you can download) on Sunday Arts (it’s worth subscribing to the podcast…).

The big day was Sunday when we checked out The Golden Plains Arts Trail – 45 artists in 20 locations. The Golden Plains Shire is a sort of rough triangular wedge between Geelong, Ballarat and Lismore. We did about a 350kms round trip from 9:30-5:30 and saw some new (and different) parts of the countryside like Steiglitz, Meredith, Garibaldi, Dereel, Napoleons, Haddon, Smythsdale, Linton, and Werneth. We ran out of time and missed out on Inverleigh, Teesdale and Bannockburn but can get back to these people another time.

We saw the wares of over 20 artists: painters (of all types), sculptures, crafts, paper, printers (lino), furniture etc. I never realised that there were so many people living in the bush around little settlements. They seem to be out in the sticks which is very dry and dusty, and up lonely dirt roads but still close enough to have electricity but need tank water. I suppose many are weekenders but most of the artists seem to be permanent residents. It was amazing to be driving along a lonely flat, desolate even, country road and then suddenly have to turn off into a farm and then walk into a shed that had some wonderful artwork hung around the wall and then have some lovely conversations with these people.

A fair bit to get around to in the one day, but a great concept. Watch out for it next year…



foreigners

9 04 2008

Phew, it’s the end of a huge day. Glad I didn’t have to scratch myself…

I met some folk from South Africa earlier this week and got talking to them about cultures, customs and difference. Reminded me of the times (yes they has been more than one) when I’ve experienced culture shock. Can you be ‘shocked’ by as many cultures as there are, or does it depend on how different they are compared with your own, or something else? From my experience there are always be some sort of adjustments to make when you experience something foreign and different in a another place. The models that you’ve built your own existence on, can be dismantled very quickly. I suppose we’ll all deal with these ‘shocks’ in different ways and with different intensities.

These visitors from another place were quite taken with Australian society. Basic things we take for granted like being able to travel on public transport were a little foreign to them. I’m also sure that it will still be a while before their culture/s become integrated like ours. The mixing and overlap when cultures collide and/or intersect can mean significant adjustments for those involved. I reckon I’ve been fortunate to have grown up in a multi-cutural society and also to have travelled a little. I continue to be amazed at the different ways of doing things (eating, working, worshiping, creating etc.) that we can see on this planet.

So, I’d suggest you enjoy the space where you live and appreciate it’s idiosyncrasies, and when visiting other people and places be prepared for the/an other way of life/living and even if it takes you a moment try and come to see it as just another way… Being outside your comfort zone is when you are open to learning.



close up

6 04 2008

While a way overseas recently I lashed out on a new lens for my big camera. One of the people I was traveling with had a local contact and this person was able talk the lingo and managed to drive a hard bargain for me which saved me a few dollars. This lens (100mm f/2.8) takes both portrait and macro photos and I’ve had a bit of a play around and thought I’d post a couple of shots of some shells on the blog.

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I suppose the idea is to capture an essence of the subject while framing it in a nice composition using light/shade and colour. It’s fun, and I’m learning a little more about photography. Now keeping a lookout for interesting subject matter.



life is for living

29 03 2008

Something this week made me think of something that happened a couple of weeks and when we got early to go for a walk and enjoy the company of friends on a cool, crisp morning. Amazed to see quite a few people out getting their exercise and many of those under the direction of a personal trainer. After 50 minutes of catching up with what’s been happening to each other and a coffee and eggs for breakfast (watch out for the Bikini Buster!). Just lovely to swap stories and enjoy the adventures we’ve all been having, lots of laughing and a serious moment when some sad news is heard. There’s a certain energy to be had from this sharing and it felt good to be alive.

Life’s about the people around us – interacting with them and sharing the journey, but it’s not all plain sailing. On our trip into town (and on the way back home), we noticed a young man who was obviously disturbed, shouting out loud and looking fairly agitated. Fighting some inner demons it seemed. Walking with an urgent stride and bursting out screaming and waving his hands about. The second time we saw him (he’d covered a bit of ground) he threw a nearly full bottle of soft drink on the ground and kept going. It seemed so sad, and also that he was alone. Probably not in any state to be consoled either… Then we saw a young mother with a little toddler bounding along without a care in the world, totally absorbed in the moment, all senses capturing the world around him – young life is so beautiful… And then 15 seconds later a man we knew, who had deteriorated physically (and probably mentally) using a wheely frame to cross the road. He was an older man facing the later stages of his life with diminished capacity.

So in a very brief space of time we had witnessed the whole gamut – people can be happy, sad, disturbed and melancholic. It reminded me of just what type of lives there can be and how they might be lived. We are (if possible, and with all our power) to make the most of ours.



weeds

19 12 2007

So, what is it with weeds? You know, those evil, noxious, pesky plants that grow even though you don’t want them too. The stuff just seems to continually flourish, particularly when you’re not looking (which is most of the time for me). I mean, like, I could set up a commercial operation just on the strength of what we’ve got growing in the front yard! Seeds galore – even if it hasn’t rained for 9 years.

Just what drives these pests of the garden? Or am I taking the wrong tack here? Is it all just natur/e/al and really my responsibility to reign over and subdue this infested plot? Like, I’m asking for a refund from the pesticide manufacturer – the old Roundup is only good for 6 months and then it’s back! Growing as fast and as luscious as before… The only thing it’s good for, is filling up the green re-cycle bin.

I mean, I’m not impressing the neighborhood with my green thumbs am I? Yes, embarrassed I am, but that’s life. I’ve actually convinced myself that this experience is character building and good for me, it will make me a better person. Being able to cope with, and deal with my failures can only be a good thing.

What interests me though it the apparent ability of weeds to refute the second law of thermodynamics: ‘any system set in motion and left to it’s own devices will eventually deteriorate’ (my interpretation). Not sure if it applies to weeds, to a nice garden with some lawn and flowers yes/maybe, but a patch of weeds, no! How do they do it? What power drives them on relentlessly?

So, till I get motivated enough to get serious about ‘finishing’ the front yard, I’ll keep pulling a few weeds now and then (because I find my individual struggle against the ‘force’ therapeutic) and maybe get out the spray once a year as a token show of superior force. Oh yes, they really know I’m the boss – but they just keep blowing that raspberry at me to make sure I’m kept humble, and I’m OK with that.