Canberra Day Forty

[Thursday 20th October, 2016]

It is a wonderful thing to have friends. It’s been one of the most amazing things about being ill: finding out how many friends I have! I love you all!! Today’s plan was to have coffee with a friend, actually someone I knew before we moved up to Canberra. We caught up at a great cafe, coffee and cake for $10! At Canberra prices, this is a bargain. We have definitely found food prices are higher than Melbourne; maybe less competition? Or people on higher salaries? I don’t know. Anyway Cafe Injoy gets my recommendation. A brilliant catch up for a couple of hours; what better way to spend the day? Then I drove around the village of Hall checking out the Canberra tracks historical signs which was kind of fascinating; plus the scenery over there is gorgeous on a sunny spring day. Then I called by “home” to get yet another few things that we forgot when we moved! Then “home” for a nap, then out to a ‘create your own’ burger 2-for-1 deal and free sundae from Macca’s Monopoly, and home again, gig-a-de-gig!

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Canberra Day Thirty Eight

[Tuesday 18th October]

Beautiful day again, ah spring! Blue skies, warm temperatures (well, by the time I got up anyway!) but that jolly wind is still persisting. It’s what I remember most from spring when I was growing up, wind, but man it does get old blowing your hair into your eyes and drying your eyes out. Especially when I’m thinking of going for a ride; it really does make me rethink. Today I had planned to do something that hubby has been keen for me to do for a while: ride from home. I’m a big lover of the safe ride: fully prepared, drive to the start of the ride which is on a lovely paved/concrete trail, ride the trail, pack up and drive home. Riding from home on unknown roads or pedestrian pavements makes me a bit nervous. I’m sure I have the skills, but its the unknown and I was getting palpitations about heading out today. It’s not like I haven’t done it before, but I was always with my Wheel Women group and they had the way mapped out. Because it was a shortish ride, I had decided to wear regular clothes, skirt and top; I wasn’t sure how I would go with that as I’m used to riding in proper cycling clothes. My destination was Parliament House; wasn’t sure if full Lycra would go down!! Although after sitting in on Question Time in the House of Reps on the whole gun shenanigans, a monkey suit would have fitted in well, let alone Lycra! I sat in for an hour and heard the same question rephrased (or not!) asked by Bill Shorten of either Malcolm Turnbull or the Defense Minister at least 5 times! Apparently they continued in that vein for 5 hours!! It got a bit tedious, but it was fascinating to see the process live with the staff running around getting water and running messages, and lots of shouting and disrespect of each other. 5 Labor ministers got tossed out in that first hour after each one was warned once, and they’d started a long process of trying to forcibly prevent each other from speaking, ringing the bells, counting votes, seconding motions, wow, no wonder nothing ever gets done!

I would have liked to sit in on the committee about costing, but wasn’t there at the right time. So I checked out the view from the roof, the magna carta that’s currently on display, the new $5 note display, Queen Victoria’s desk which she gave as a momento to Australia, the impressive Great Hall with that gorgeous enormous tapestry and the entry hall; marble much? Quite an amazing visit really. I might go back and watch the Senate when its sitting, and check out the committee sittings, and I missed the free 45 minute tour by that much because I got distracted by all the Noisy Friarbirds outside! I’d seen one briefly in Victorian bush ever, one in the bush at Goorooyarroo reserve the other day that I got quite excited about, and now a conservative guess at 11 right outside Parliament house!! But if I never get back I’m happy with that visit. If only I could be as happy about the school yard that was the House of Reps!! “I said you did, so you did, no return”. “No, thats final, can’t hear you, lah lah lah lah!”. “I know you are, you said you are, so what am I?”.Argh! Glad to get back on my bike and head home even though it was blowing a gale; I’m really glad that I got that bracket for my phone, follow that GPS! Even so I took what I thought was an alternative way and ended up quite a way off! The roads just aren’t parallel like I expect; they are all at angles to each other!

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The enormous detailed tapestry in the Great Hall based on a painting by the famous artist Arthur Boyd, so thick and I have no idea how they made it!

So a day out, and 12 bonus kilometres in my legs. I’ve been caught a bit behind by taking such a break off my bike. Next week (yes next week!) we head to New Zealand for our bike tour. The stages are 20km (with a bonus 20km option), 35km and 50km! Gotta get some more kms in my legs before that!! It’s all flat but that’s even more reason that I don’t want to be flagging. And I want it to be fun for hubby, given that the low distances, trail style and wine and dine type of itinerary aren’t really up his ally. But it’s just going to be a fun time regardless we’ve agreed. And hey, its free! So what better to do after a day out and a bike ride? Nap. Then wake up to cooked dinner by hubby, absolutely delicious! A successful day.

 

 

 

Canberra Day Thirty Six

[Sunday 16th October, 2016]

Since we’ve moved closer to the city we have a shorter drive to our morning fellowship but the drive is just as beautiful! And today is a beautiful day. Finally, people are saying, finally its spring! Lovely blue skies, warm sun, breezes; aahhh! And for more than one day at a time. A lovely group of people on a lovely day; life is pretty good.

And then lunch. Well we aren’t organised for it so eating out it is, such a shame. I mentioned Piallago to hubby a while back and he brought it up for today. Perfect. It consists of one short little road that goes off the highway into a little country nook and to my count has 7 plant nurseries, 1 moonlight limo bus, Piallago Estate and ballooning. I’d only been there during the week when it was dead quiet on the road and only a couple of cars in each nursery car park. The weekend was something else! Cars parked in every possible place that a car would park and then some! Far out! I guess that’s what you get when you combine nurseries, the weekend and a beautiful day! Anyway despite the majority of people having booked in advance, obviously knowing more than we did, we got a perfect little table mostly in the shade, out of the wind and with a great view. Luck of the walk-in customer! A great little lunch, enjoying time in the weather, chatting; spot on! Nip home for an hour’s nap, off to the mission meeting, then back to one of our new friend’s places for dinner. A lovely couple and their Miss 4 and Mister Nearly 3. We had such a fun time with the kids and with their parents. A great dinner and a lovely night. A nice lovely little day.

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A little less

[Started 10th September, 2015]

Okay, time to be a bit less serious.

Sun, glorious sun!!

Sun, glorious sun!!

There has been too much D&M lately. Meaning deep and meaningful, of course!

My bad. As well as causes, I love issues!!

But it’s spring, and there’s something in the air. I walked home in broad daylight tonight! That’s exciting! I’ve only been working 8 weeks and already my walk home has gone from almost pitch dark to sunlight. Yay!

Walking out into the sunshine! Perfection!

Walking out into the sunshine! Perfection!

So let’s have some fun and enjoy the light, little, fun things in life.

[Continuing 12th September]

A cheeky lorikeetHere’s a cheeky Rainbow Lorikeet playing peek-a-boo and considering acrobatics to get you into a playful mood!

Today the air was warm. I put a foot outside, and it was warm; not cool, not chilly. So unexpected. And how exciting! My pilates teacher back in Warragul said once that she loved hot days because it felt like the air was giving you a cuddle. That’s a beautiful way to think about those hot, cloistering days. Wrapping themselves around you and keeping you cosy and warm.

There is no magic cure

There is no magic cure

Isn’t this just the way to think about life??

I’m not there yet, but I really love this meme, and this saying.

When life is overwhelming and having to go forward feels impossible, wouldn’t this saying just help to bring you back from snowballing thoughts, and overthinking, and digging yourself into a giant sinkhole? Or at least it might send you in that direction.

I do so relate to the aims of this theory!

So many shades of yellow in the wattle bursting out all over the place

So many shades of yellow in the wattle bursting out all over the place

  1. An easier day. I have loved the feeling of bliss and achievement that is an easier day than yesterday since I’ve started back at work. Since I started bike riding. And less noticeably over the course of my getting better, but I notice that in hindsight over months not days.

Getting fitter and stronger, having more stamina and energy, and coping better feel like great victories compared to recent life that has been lived on the couch! I’ve only been back at work for 8 weeks, but I can feel my progress every time I go back. Which is so delightful. I wish I could share this feeling with every person every where, because it is so powerful and so good for you, and gives you a feeling that you are good for something after all.

Cygnets hiding in the grass

Cygnets hiding in the grass

2. An unexpected laugh. Nothing is so wonderful as an unexpected laugh when you didn’t think you could possibly!

I called one of the help telephone lines once, can’t remember which one now. My husband was away for the night at a work thing, staying away til the next day and I was braving it at home. This has always been something that’s difficult for me: the night, monsters, shooting people, muggers, rapers, people breaking in and stealing stuff etc. Yes my mind works in drastic ways! I had not long been diagnosed with depression, and my anxiety had really flared up again. I’d had a panic attack the month before, and I knew I was fragile. So I tried to look after myself, made a nice tea, had some good snacks, watched a movie to distract myself.

Swamphen chick last spring at the Botanic Gardens - check out those huge feet!

Swamphen chick last spring at the Botanic Gardens – check out those huge feet!

I chose Sunshine Cleaning or whatever its called with Amy thingamybob, bad idea! It’s most sub-textual but in the past the mother had committed suicide in the bath by bleeding to death, and one daughter has learned to cope and the other sits under the railway line having her ears blasted to death while she cries about it. Obviously by the end of that movie my thought processes weren’t in a good place or heading in a good direction, and it wasn’t too long until I couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t call hubby tonight, extra panic. And so on until I was in a pretty nice state!! I had these numbers from different depression websites, so I called.

And the lady was brilliant. I wish I remembered the details to give her feedback because she was truly awesome! I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t breathe, I was so distressed and she calmly spoke down the phone to me for a good 10 minutes before I could really participate back. And when I could talk but started to flare up again she kept on talking. And then she made me laugh! I don’t even remember how, but she had found out a few things about me and knew enough to get on my wavelength and then she made me laugh! It may have been a wet, sobbing/gasping laugh but I felt that laugh and nothing could be more powerful to giving you the idea that you are going to be okay.

Masked Lapwing, or Spur-Winged Plover baby being all kinds of cute last spring

Masked Lapwing, or Spur-Winged Plover baby being all kinds of cute last spring

You just laughed. How amazing it that! You’ve been so distraught but you laughed! People don’t laugh when things are really bad. Therefore things must be getting better, all because you laughed. It is a true gift to give to anyone at anytime; give them a laugh.

Not a condescending laugh; oh look at you, silly billy, making a big deal out of nothing.

Not a laughing-at-you laugh; look at how seriously you’ve taken all of this, just admit that you got carried away and acted crazy.

A genuine, I’m-with-you-in-this, here’s some common ground that will make us both feel better and that will lead us to better things.

A little trickling waterfall is always music to my ears

A little trickling waterfall is always music to my ears

I sincerely, genuinely, honestly recommend help telephone lines for anyone and everyone. Nothing is too small, not serious enough, not a big deal. Why wait til it gets bigger, more serious, a really HUGE deal? Just call. There’s no reason not to. Just call. If you just need someone to talk an issue through with, to commiserate with and to understand just how you feel, call.

Obviously don’t abuse their volunteer service, but if you have a shadow of a doubt that maybe you should, just call!

Being on top of the world!

Being on top of the world!

3. A mirror that doesn’t matter anymore. The mirror thing is an ambition of mine,  and maybe one day it won’t matter anymore, or at least not so much as it has.

I’m not going to go down the mirror path in this most uplifting (I hope!) post…but seriously, mirrors are conspiring against me! I just get an outfit sorted that I think sort of flatters me, then I walk past some window and got a shock! a fright! a surprise to find that the once thinner me actually has a big butt and bigger belly! Where’d that come from?! How’d that get there?! When did that appear? That’s not what I look like in my mind! I thought I’d gotten rid of that. Well, yes, you did get rid of it, in your mind. But then you woke up today and because you haven’t done anything actually about it, it’s still there. Huh!

Golden afternoon light on my subject; best way to end the day!

Golden afternoon light on my subject; best way to end the day!

I hope you have enjoyed some photos of some of my favourite spring things! And hopefully you’ve found something here to feel good about, or at least to get you going in a goodish direction. Till next time! D x

Wild flower

[Edit, 14th August 2015: in order to keep this blog going and to keep showing you my photos, I’ve had to make room otherwise I’ll be all full up and writing you essays every time! Thanks for your understanding, as I delete all of these flower photos!]

Okay so you know how I’m just like a teensy tiny eeny weeny little bit obsessed with birds? With hearing them, finding them, seeing them, photographing etc?

Well nothing about that has changed but I’m adding a bit of variety into the mix.

For nearly four years, since hubby and I took a trip to Perth and southern Western Australia over the New Year break in 2010/1, I have wanted to go back there during the wild flower season which is famous world wide. I even booked it into my hard copy calendar on the wall for the following year, but before the dates came around we moved house and the calendar was abandoned to a box in the shed and the idea was forgotten.

Until this year. We received a Save The Date card in August for a family wedding just outside of Perth in Swan Valley for the end of October! Eeek! Right at the tail end of the wildflower season!! YAY!!!

So I jumped right into research mode: what species of flowers would be flowering, in what areas, at what time in the season, where would be best to see them, who operated tours in the right areas. Typical over-organisation, but it’s fun so where’s the harm, right?

As well as my own research, I took the topic to my last photography class and quizzed my teacher (Wendy Clark – Empathy Photographics, Master Your Camera) on photographing miniature flowers, seeing as she is an expert in photographing wild native orchids: lighting, sun and shade, getting up close, use of zoom, getting the colour right, time of day etc.

So excitingly, the right place for sighting and photographing wildflowers at the end of October is right in Perth and southern Western Australia, exactly where we’ll be! As well as hanging out with my husband’s family in Perth I have a lot of family to visit down south as far as Bunbury so I feel like the stars have aligned for wildflower hunting and photography! Awesome!

I’ve looked up all the tours, but Kings Park in the centre of Perth has an amazing display of wildflowers apparently, and some of my family have paddocks of wildflowers next to their properties so I’m going to get my fill there and if I still need some more flowers then I’ll book once I’m there.

So why am I writing all this blah blah? Because I’m about to throw a bazillion practice photos at you *evil smile* I’ve been practicing in the gardens of my neighbours, in the park, at the awesome holiday house my mum and dad (and me and hubby some of the time) just stayed in for a week courtesy of the Otis Foundation at Wattle Point, on Raymond Island, in the Blond Bay game reserve, on the silt jetties outside of Paynesville, Bluff lookout…essentially anytime I find a flower that might be native, or any flower really, and have my camera nearby.

I’m trying to focus on native flowers, but as it happens, I don’t really know which flowers are native and which have been imported. I mean some are obvious, like I know gum flowers and heath and wild orchids are Australian, and willow trees and camelias and holly are from England, but that’s about the whole of my knowledge! So I’m in the market for a field guide, some more experience and maybe a tiny version of a tripod for getting those awkward shots.

In the meantime, here are the flowers from my holiday out East to tantalise us for the West!

Apparently this beautiful flower is called

Apparently this beautiful flower is called “Pig Face”! It’s also pink not magenta, but I couldn’t make my camera agree!

Beautiful purple flowering vine on the lemon version of

Beautiful purple flowering vine on the lemon version of “Pig Face”

Pink flowering gum blossoming out of gumnuts

Pink flowering gum blossoming out of gumnuts

We all fell in LOVE with these gorgeous blue flowers that creep as a vine into other bushes and trees

We all fell in LOVE with these gorgeous blue flowers that creep as a vine into other bushes and trees

Our pretty state emblem, the Heath bell flowers

Our pretty state emblem, the Heath bell flowers

Lovely small little yellow flowers

Lovely small little yellow flowers

Another in the trillions of white star flowers - its amazing how different each one is!

Another in the trillions of white star flowers – its amazing how different each one is!

I love how these white star flowers have little divets cut in between

I love how these white star flowers have little divets cut in between

Very Christmasy native with all the delicate scrolls and bobbles

Very Christmasy native with all the delicate scrolls and bobbles

A fabulous Christmas coloured Kangaroo Paw, definitely Australian!

A fabulous Christmas coloured Kangaroo Paw, definitely Australian!

A weird knobbly kind of flower on a green bush

A weird knobbly kind of flower on a green bush

A fascinating kind of Grevillea flower, all spikes and yellow nobbles

A fascinating kind of Grevillea flower, all spikes and yellow nobbles

A pink variation on the cotton candy bush where the flower bursts out of the nut

A pink variation on the cotton candy bush where the flower bursts out of the nut

Lovely pink Melaleuca flowers, a childhood favourite of mine - love how they cover the whole bush

Lovely pink Melaleuca flowers, a childhood favourite of mine – love how they cover the whole bush

Delightful masses of tiny pink flowers growing off spikes

Delightful masses of tiny pink flowers growing off spikes

Gorgeous pea flower growing prolifically! Fabulous colour!

Gorgeous pea flower growing prolifically! Fabulous colour!

This pretty pea flower is apparently called the egg and bacon bush! What?!

This pretty pea flower is apparently called the egg and bacon bush! What?!

More star flowers than I can count! This time they are mauve

More star flowers than I can count! This time they are mauve

Another pretty purple hibiscus flower

Another pretty purple hibiscus flower

Lovely spike of tiny pink flowers

Lovely spike of tiny pink flowers

Christmas bells! Hope they last til the festive season

Christmas bells! Hope they last til the festive season

Yellow button flowers clustering together

Yellow button flowers clustering together

Pretty pretty white star flowers with cute baubles

Pretty pretty white star flowers with cute baubles

How much do these gorgeous flowers look like butterflies?

How much do these gorgeous flowers look like butterflies?

A cute littlepurple paper mache type pom pom flower

A cute little purple paper mache type pom pom flower

fabulously intricate white flower with yellow stamens

fabulously intricate white flower with yellow stamens

If you look closely you see that there is a long thin red and yellow stem coming out of the centre of this tiny star flower

If you look closely you see that there is a long thin red and yellow stem coming out of the centre of this tiny star flower

White ringed yellow centred pink daisy - so pretty!

White ringed yellow centred pink daisy – so pretty!

A cotton wool type flowering popping out of a nut

A cotton wool type flowering popping out of a nut

Another Christmas like delight unfurling from a tight little bud

Another Christmas like delight unfurling from a tight little bud

Another spiky bobbly Christmassy flower

Another spiky bobbly Christmassy flower

All I can think of looking at these flowers is false eyelashes

All I can think of when looking at these flowers is false eyelashes

A funny bobbly seed pod: not sure if it was a flower or always a pod

A funny bobbly seed pod: not sure if it was a flower or always a pod

Chewed on yellow centred yellow daisy with creepy crawlies

Chewed on yellow centred yellow daisy with creepy crawlies

Don't know what these yellow centred star fllowers are but they're cute

Don’t know what these yellow centred star fllowers are but they’re cute

Orange dotted purple centred washed out orange daisy

Orange dotted purple centred washed out orange daisy

White sprigs of blossom, perfect for a vase

White sprigs of blossom, perfect for a vase

A gorgeous yellow sprig of star flowers on a ridiculously long and fragile stem - hard to capture blowing in the wind!

A gorgeous yellow sprig of star flowers on a ridiculously long and fragile stem – hard to capture blowing in the wind!

I call these cotton ball flowers - no idea what they actually are

I call these cotton ball flowers – no idea what they actually are

Cutesy little rose like flower bursting out of little nuts

Cutesy little rose like flower bursting out of little nuts

Yellow centred purple daisy standing out by itself, bank, green plant

Yellow centred purple daisy standing out by itself

Purple centred peachy coloured daisy

Purple centred peachy coloured daisy

Delightful little purple flowers giving colour to a grey bush

Delightful little purple flowers giving colour to a grey bush

fabulously tiny and petite purple flowers growing on a bush

Fabulously tiny and petite purple flowers growing on a bush

Cape weed - an introduced pest but it does look spectacular in the springtime

Cape weed – an introduced pest but it does look spectacular in the springtime

Lovely yellow centred white ringed pink daisy...just a tad chomped on by rogue bunny rabbits

Lovely yellow centred white ringed pink daisy…just a tad chomped on by rogue bunny rabbits

Lovely trumpet type flower, pale pink on the outside, maroon on the inside

Lovely trumpet type flower, pale pink on the outside, maroon on the inside

Pretty white 4 sided star flower in a bunch

Pretty white 4 sided star flower in a bunch

Delightful white daisy with pink dots - the bush is amazing!

Delightful white daisy with pink dots – the bush is amazing!

Lovely double sided crinkle edged yellow flower

Lovely double sided crinkle edged yellow flower

Teensy tiny itty bitty purple flowers on a grass bush

Teensy tiny itty bitty purple flowers on a grass bush

Fabulous yellow centred yellow daisies - such a prolific flowering plant

Fabulous yellow centred yellow daisies – such a prolific flowering plant

Pretty pretty pretty - a lovely yellow centred white daisy

Pretty pretty pretty – a lovely yellow centred white daisy

Not sure what it is but love the green-red contrast and delicate flower

Not sure what it is but love the green-red contrast and delicate flower

Blue and yellow centred white daisy

Blue and yellow centred white daisy

Looks like the other pink pea flower but this is a bush, not a tree

Looks like the other pink pea flower but this is a bush, not a tree

Beautiful bunch of white star flowers

Beautiful bunch of white star flowers

Lovely purple hibiscus flower, paper thin but surprisingly lasting

Lovely purple hibiscus flower, paper thin but surprisingly lasting

Pretty little blue star growing out of a grass bush

Pretty little blue star growing out of a grass bush