30 March 2014

Random Five

who pays $35.75 for a chocolate fish?  Seen at the Haigh's chocolate store, Sydney.

  A meal shared with friends at a lovely nursery last week.  My Potato Salad with Avocado and Smoked Trout was delicious.

Easter decorator items inside

...and Cows Udder outside

Later addition, because Jan wondered if it was "really a plant"? 
 The sign reads: A unique plant who's fruit resemble the udder of a cow, producing a brilliant display for months right into winter.  White flowers appear before the fruit each year.  Fruit are not edible and ornamental only.

27 March 2014

Inland scenes

Bringing out some of my archive country photos, and modest dwellings. Not everything country, looks lush and green, or with rolling hills.

a little country church, complete with old washing machine tub for the gate-side planting

is the white door 'half' an extension maybe, on this renovators delight?

...and the rose bush at the verandah was beautiful, possibly thriving on neglect?

Many may lay claim to being 'The Smallest Library' - the width

and the depth.  It was a functional library too; shame it was closed on the day.  I'm just imagining being the librarian in a 40 degree celcius + heatwave.  Might be cooler sitting out under the tree.

22 March 2014

Five random thoughts ...

  • This photo in, or near Bright, Victoria....it came up on my desktop a while ago, and I thought a sweet intro' to my very first, 5-random-thoughts post.  Archival photos such as this take me back to stop-overs in special places.. this one in, 2007.  I can picture myself being right there, about 780 kms. away, in an instant, collecting fallen Liquidamber leaves nearby.

  • I've come to realize that having eyes pressed hard  to the viewfinder in our camera, really does wonders for the soul.  I'm sure it takes us places, in our head-space, ironing out any complexities there; rather akin to de-fragging a computer I'm thinking!!  

  • My friends will vouch for the fact that I make few phone-calls!  I really can't explain, but I've never been one to pick up the phone as first choice.  Writing letters yes, writing emails yes, meeting for coffee, yes again...........but the phone-call will always come last in the queue.  

  • Catching up/coffee, chat..sometimes that means a two-hour trip by train to Sydney, and same again back.  It's not a chore; meeting with friends is a special event.  Very recently this journey had me meeting up with Laura and Don (Illinois, U.S.A.),  for the first time ever. Laura and I had started writing online some years ago, through our interaction then with Michael Strong's stamping/card-making group.  Laura's hubby had planned a busy tour about Australia, and while in Sydney, finally we could meet up.  We chatted over coffee, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, right by Sydney Harbour, at Circular Quay. That was only a couple weeks back now.  

  • This morning I commented on a blog post, about calligraphy, and zentangles. A few years back I was sent some wonderful books on Zentangles.  They came after a stressful period when losing my husband Des, from melanoma, after 43 years marriage; he was 65 then.  I tried my hand at penning fine lines, often into the early hours of the morning.  The thought process involved gave me a wonderful 'out' and I'm sure was somewhat meditative.  It is interesting to see how Zentangle-Inspired-Art (Z.I.A.) evolves in your own hand.  Something I had never expected I would do --- now that's another random thought really, and I've already done five now.

Sharing with Random Five Friday

21 March 2014

memories ... of Clover Arboretum ...

 It was back in 2007, when I stood here

 ...when I sat in that wonderfully crafted rustic chair.  It was around 4.30 p.m. in April, 2007 and the air was C R I S P.    We'd been touring Victoria for the Autumn leaves, and a taste of winter.  

in part this sign reads: A workers camp became an Alpine Village, home to men from all over the world, and their families...

The workers built the steps and stone walls by hand, converting the workers camp into an Alpine Village over a six year period. (these were workers for the power station, and dam)

Located under one of the houses within the village was an unofficial Post Office.  The children who lived here went to school at Bogong Village, a short distance away.  During winter, on days of heavy snow, the boys would take turns sitting on the bonnet of the bus, clearing snow off the windscreen so that the driver could see the road.

It was here I saw a Ginkgo tree for the first time, not only that, but it was home to a birds nest too, that was a bonus!  I wonder what bird had owned it?  The scars may be testimony of a fire about four years previous.

A few leaves/treasures, were gathered and placed between something or other at the time, to keep them flat and dry, to remain intact for the 750 km. journey home.

 Some time later, no longer did the leaves look so lush and green.  They became my Ginkgo Girls instead; I don't know what made me do it :).  With nigella seeds for eyes, the lips and hairdo are still ginkgo leaves, cut to shape.  

Sharing with Our World Tuesday

18 March 2014

March 29th: it's lights out, for the reef

 Currently on exhibition at Customs House, Circular Quay, Sydney

Drawing attention to the demise of our Great Barrier Reef in just sixteen years time, from the effects of climate change.  

 Crocheted coral art-forms created by 350 people around Australia

Earth Hour can be acknowledged/celebrated/supported, by turning lights off, at 8.30 p.m. on Saturday March 29th

16 March 2014


...and it was a good flat-white too, shared with friends in Sydney, when we met at the Museum of Contemporary Art restaurant.

This was on another day visit to the city of Sydney, and my friend on that day wanted to buy 'pods' for her coffee-machine at this Nespresso outlet.  It amazed me, this decadent exposure, totally for coffee sales. 

We were 'welcomed' and invited to the coffee-bar where a number of their coffee-machines were lined up, waiting for the female barista to take orders from the many customers now also arriving.  Petite white crockery cups set in deeply-recessed saucers were offered to taste-test free of charge the pod flavour you might wish to purchase.  Move over, wine-bars! 

I had high hopes of getting a photo of the bar set-up too, but since there were always customers standing there, I decided it a no-go-zone.  The staff didn't mind me taking photos, but I'm sure maybe some customers might object if they thought they were being snapped at, so I resisted.  

Various glasses/tumblers and these anodised cups? - no doubt there's a word for these, are also available for purchase - differing containers for differing coffees.

Pod display

... and, packets of Pods

The men at the counter where you made purchases were dressed smartly too.  The whole experience was kind of 'corporate' and really bowled me over.  I imagined the high rental within the city, the huge outlays for staffing and displays, all for coffee sales.  How much coffee is going out their doors to balance the scales?  Is it really that big?

I love my coffee/caffeine, but had no idea that it has commanded such a high presence as to support such an up-market sales approach as this.

Are you hooked on caffeine?  Coffee .. tea, or both I wonder? Personally I enjoy both, but coffee is my first preference.

15 March 2014

what caught my eye in the big city; two things for now....

Well lots of things catch my eye when I take a 2-hour trip down the coast, to the city of Sydney. I'll share some in differing posts over time.

At first it was the colour I guess that made me walk to the window, but I marvelled then at the original price-tag. Way beyond my mindfully conservative spending habits, but still interesting to see up close.  I was somewhat hesitant about even lining up my camera, with a stylishly-dressed male staff member keeping a vigilent watch from inside the store.  Guess that's the part of me that's not good at stepping out into street-photography!

Being discounted didn't change anything either :).  I still liked the bag, a lot, but could a bird-lover really feel good about toting her goodies inside a precious package of Ostrich leather?

well done Darren, I'll have to Google you now!

13 March 2014

pretty clever eh?

When looking down over the rail-station railing for the Celebrity Solstice ship berthed at Circular Quay this week, something else caught my eye.

 I thought, spectacular!  

11 March 2014

a Celebrity comes to town

Sunday morning, and while listening to local ABC radio the announcer was talking harbourside, about the exciting vibes as the Celebrity Solstice was being berthed in Newcastle. It's where I'd been the week before, depicted in previous blog posts.

  • It was mentioned that the Solstice stands 54 metres above water, and with an 8 metre draft below water level.
  • There is an estimated daily spending in any city when the Solstice is in town, of half-a-million dollars.

Then they mentioned that it would be leaving Newcastle at night, and heading on down to Sydney. That sent me looking online for an E.T.A., since I was meeting with friends at a location right near the International Terminus next morning (yesterday now).

Stepping out of the train at Circular Quay station, near to 10.30 a.m. and looking down over one of the ferry terminus', there is, standing in all its glory, The Celebrity Solstice, with a tug alongside.

There is a clearance under the Sydney Harbour Bridge of 49 metres only, so this lady of the sea certainly isn't going that way when it sails out at night.

  • Top deck includes 5,000 square metres of grass (almost 1.25 acres) where passengers can picnic; maintained by two full-time lawn carers.
  • Penthouses equiv. to 394 square metres, equal space in a 3-4 bedroom home.

With a passenger/staffing occupancy of 2,850, this ship is next heading for New Zealand/Asia.  A glimpse of the iconic Sydney Opera House included in this shot.

Walking beyond the International Terminal towards Dawes Point for a differing view.

Sharing with Our World Tuesday

09 March 2014

no, it's not mine .....

Seen tethered in the streets of Newcastle.  I would've loved to have seen who owned it too.  Lots of questions came to mind when I saw this quirky 'cycle, and  you too, I wonder?

06 March 2014

it's a long way to the top ....

Unaware on the day, that this stone stairway wasn't going to make for easy access to the grand Cathedral set so high, overlooking the city of Newcastle.  The walk just to get to this point, at the foot of the steps, was in itself arduous, up a very steep hill.

Though it was obvious of course, when reaching the top of these steps, where the ground was broken up still, and leading then onto large expanses of roughly mown grass slopes.  I couldn't see the Sunday congregation taking this path that I trod....

Still, the Cathedral was 'just up there' and little point of heading back down, and around the large city block to any other entrance.  Which way would I go anyway, left ... or right?  Time was of the essence.  Go see this monumental structure before heading home, or give it a miss.

So, with a bit of tricky footwork, I got photos to share!

The Anglican, Christ Church Cathedral has quite an elaborate history that I couldn't do justice by interpreting here (so I won't).    Instead, I link to the cathedral's site where relevant details are well documented.

In 1989 a 5.6 earthquake shook the city of Newcastle, claiming 13 lives, and bringing about a damage bill $AUD4 billion.  The Re-Hallowing of the Cathedral took place not until January, 1997.

it was after rounding the corner of the Cathedral at this point, there was to be seen open doors, to the front of the Cathedral!  True, I hadn't done any geo-research obviously.

and it was special to not only be able to enter, but also to be granted permission to take photos.

a later notation added here: Looking over the Cathedral's site here I find that this is The Lecturn, taking the form of an eagle with spread wings, made of brass.  It had been gifted in 1902 by Miss Emma Kemp.

leaving, the way I should have entered.