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Showing posts from June, 2019

A milestone - and slowing down to write

Today I have been retired for one year.  I have had no time to miss work being busy setting up our new home and downsizing stuff from the old one.   I have also had no time for writing but all excuses are over, the conversion of the old chook pen (chicken coop) to my writing studio has recently been completed and is now known as The Pen.

Given that I want to spend more time with my pen I will be reducing my blogging so expect to hear from me more sporadically in future.  I will probably be back with a few shots from our Sweet Wayfaring travels as our van is fixed and we have managed to find a short slot between medical appointments.

A few more "after" photos below ... some "before" photos here and here.  I missed photographing its original state.




Reflection:
Psalm 45:1 New International Version (NIV)
"My heart is stirred by a noble theme
 as I recite my verses for the king;
 my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.

Road kill

OK is it not the most pleasant of subject matter but I was thrilled to see this awesome huge bird  feeding on the dead kangaroo.  I usually only see them high in the sky.

You've gotta be quick

You've gotta be quick to get a seat at the library at the moment.  It's end of semester and the seats are all full.  I notice a spare spot down there, better get down before it's gone.

Library Windows

While I was wandering around the library looking for the World Press Photo Gallery I spotted these windows titled "A cheery and positive place" by artist in residence Wendy Sharpe 2018.  She has captured the spirit of the library well.


World Press Photo 2019

The State Library was hosting the World Press Photo of the Year exhibition on one of their side galleries. All sorts of photos -- powerful, evocative, beautiful, confronting.   A window on the world.

This was the window on Sydney from the gallery. Today's book (below) is a word window on Australia's indigenous world.


A book I have read recently
The Tall Man by Chloe Hooper documents the story of Cameron Doomagee's death in police custody on Palm Island in 2004, the subsequent riots, the police sergeant's trial for manslaughter and his acquittal.  I found it compelling investigative journalism explaining the culture, history and difficulties of the Palm Island indigenous community and appreciated Hooper's efforts to provide a balanced view of both sides of the story. 

I note that in May 2018 the Queensland government issued an apology to the people of Palm Island for the racist response by the police in the 2004 riots.

Apple Tree

As regular readers will know, on Tuesday I like to show what's happening in my gardens.  At Rose Orchard Haus the apple tree is the last of the trees kissing Autumn goodbye.  I moved the begonias that usually sit near this seat under cover but were bitten by the frost anyway.  Despite the heavy frost each day I am lucky enough to still be able to collect enough rose buds to fill a vase - not for long though.

Vale Les Murray

I was hanging out at the State Library waiting for my husband to finish at the doctors and discovered the Mitchell Reading Room was set up for the state memorial service of Australia's great poet Les Murray.  He will be missed.

A poem for today
So many wonderful poems, here is just one that I remember well Rainwater Tank

Still home - Building in the city

I had expected to be off Sweet Wayfaring on our annual winter escape but it isn't to be yet. Our caravan was damaged and is still in the workshop for repair and my husband's eye is playing up again requiring doctor's visits in the city.

So it was one day recently I found myself resting on a bench outside the Law Courts and noticed this mural.



Reflection:
Genesis 11:4-9 New International Version (NIV)
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and the…

Welome to Winter - At the block

I failed to get a bird shot again this week but I did capture an animal at our bush block - perhaps the increasing dry is bringing the kangaroos back in.

Despite the dry the winter flowering styphelia was there to greet me, our native plants are very hardy.

That's the end of the Welcome to Winter series, I will go off the air again for a while until I collect some more photos.



Welcome to Winter - It's Dry

On Fridays when we are at Kandos we often drive over to Mudgee to do some shopping.  One of the delights of this trip is passing by Windemere Dam which I have shown you on several occasions.  Lately the water has been getting low though still 32% full. We haven't had much rain lately and water is let out of this dam to feed into Burrendong Dam further west near Wellington.  Burrendong Dam is at a rather desperate 5%.

Welcome to Winter - Flu Time

Fortunately I don't have the flu but I did pop over to Rylstone Hospital to get my annual flu jab. Despite it being a grey day my eye was taken by the light and the mountains - such a lovely part of the world.

Welcome to Winter - Mist

We are now getting lots of misty mornings at Kandos.  Many times the mountains are shrouded.  As they day moves on they peep through.


A book I have read recently
The next one on the Australian list, The Year of Living Dangerously by Christopher J Koch.  Despite its interesting title I struggled with this book.  It's the story of a journalist in Indonesia in 1965.  The viewpoint is masculine, expatriate and newsman and I guess that is what didn't appeal to me even with a bit of romance thrown in.  There is some lovely description of Indonesia (albiet through western eyes).

Welcome to Winter - Frost

Back at Rose Orchard Haus things are not so colourful.  We are getting regular frosty mornings and all of the fallen leaves are now brown.  My husband won't let me pull out the dead sunflowers yet ... he say's they are sculptural and he likes looking at them.


Welcome to Winter - Leaf Carpet

When we arrived back at Burnbrae on Tuesday I was pleased to find the cold wind had not yet stripped all the trees and was leaving a pretty carpet below.



A poem for today
This week I read The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy.  The first stanza is so typical of a winter's evening in the mountains.

"I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires."


Welcome to Winter - Snow

Since my last post the calendar has flipped over to June so I am going to run a Welcome to Winter series for a little while. I don't particularly love Winter but let's see what delightful things I can find.

Snow happens at most a few times a year in the Blue Mountains, so a novelty. On Tuesday, the day we were to travel from Kandos to Lawson, I woke to news of overnight snowfall in the mountains.  We delayed departing to avoid road closures.  When we went through there was still a sprinkling left at Lithgow and Blackheath.

Brrrr ... chilly ...but nice.

Reflection:
It is Whitsunday today.
Acts 2:1-4 New International Version (NIV)
"When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak …