Sunday, 26 July 2009

Sunday Scribblings, "Where in the World?"

The Sunday Scribblings prompt this weekend is" Where in the world."

Where in the world are you,
I've looked for you for ever,
If I find you,
I'll never let you out of my sight again,
Out of my reach,
Out of touch or hearing,
Are you hiding or undiscovered,
Are you searching for me or for someone else,
Elusive to me in understanding,
Where I live,
Southern hemisphere,
Land, Australia,
State Australian Capital Territory,
South Canberra, Tuggeranong,
Not sharing the address, that is close enough.
Where I want to live.
Here is o.k. for now, for lots of reasons.
But searching for a permanent home base with a bit of dirt I can call my own.
A place to stay. Enough space.
Whether it has 4 distinct seasons or just two.
Within reach of but not on the coast.
A place with people I know well and have links with, be that present or past or future.
A Place to practice my beliefs in peace.
I read a book called" the shady tree", I think.
The shady tree was described by the author as being like,
A place to settle, rest your bones and live out the rest of your life relaxing in peace, when you are finished working.
I liked that idea.
I am looking for my shady tree.
But I am not ready for it yet.
Some days I look forwards to it more than others.
I am guessing it will be in the lower half of this country,
along the eastern side somewhere.
My country is strong and peaceful, a great place to be.
I feel safe here, well as safe as I could be anywhere in the world and better than many other places I suspect in that regard.
Sure we have our faults, everything everywhere does, doesn't it.
But I am in a good place.
Good luck finding your own shady tree if you haven't found it already.
Love Linda.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Sunday Scribblings "The Plan"

The pictures. Sunday Scribblings "The Plan".
First picture minus 3 degrees Celcius.
Rufus. Warm Puppy.
Tutors teapot body before spout and handle added.
My practice pots, galleries and lids. Made off the hump.
Tutor Kaye Pemberton throwing a teapot lid, upside down.
Pulled handles left to set before attaching to pot.

Tutor pulling handle.
G'day ,
The Sunday scribblings team has set the prompt this week as "The Plan".
Well... to tie my weekend activities in with this writing prompt is easy this week.
Sorry about the pictures before the story, I hope you don't mind and read on, to find out about why they are there.
I have just spent the weekend at a 2 day pottery workshop at the Canberra potter's society. My tutor was well known Canberra potter Kaye Pemberton and we studied Teapots.
Teapots are an everyday item which we take for granted. I have quite a few of them along my windowsill in the family room, none of them either hand made or made by me. I have made teapots before but have never been happy with the finished result. Some of the commercially made teapots I have and have owned in the past do not behave as they are meant to either. They have not been right in balance or design or glaze or function . You see teapots are quite a complicated form to make and get right. So when this workshop came up I thought Oh Yes, I want to do that one.
You most definitely need a plan for making a tea pot.
Take a look at your favourite teapot. It is made up of different parts that need to be carefully joined together to make it work correctly. Symbiosis in clay. There is the body, the strainer, the lid, the gallery ( which is the bit the lid sits on), the spout, the handle, the base and they all have to be carefully planned to fit together just so. Quite complicated.
For example did you know that the spout will not pour the tea in a nice stream if the top of the spout is not level or above and in line with where the liquid inside the body of the pot comes up to and the holes in the strainer are not larger in area that the end of the teapot's spout. The liquid will dribble out and not flow properly if they are not right and make a mess on your table or tea cloth. Also if the end of the spout is too smooth and not sharp on the inside surface the tea will dribble down the front of the pot when you sit it back into the upright position.
Also to be considered is the easy removal of used tea leaves and the edges can not be too thin or sharp and therefore chip easily during use and washing.
If the lid falls off during pouring, it will smash, rendering the teapot useless or fall into the cup and smash it. So lids have to be made and fitted correctly too. I have broken quite a few teapot lids in this way when they did not fit well or were designed badly and fell off and were broken. Lids also aid in pouring. If you put a hole in them they do not create a vacuum during pouring and slow down the flow of liquid.
Then the handle. The handle has to be big enough to fit your hand inside, or at least 3 fingers, depending on the size and weight of the pot, strong enough to hold the pot securely while pouring, have balance for use both aesthetically and mechanically. Your handle must be designed so that it is large enough for your hand not to rest against the body of the pot to prevent you being burned. It needs to line up properly with the spout.
We started the lesson by watching and listening to demonstrations of the teapot gallery. Then we moved onto the wheel and practiced the gallery techniques ourselves until we were happy and more confident of what should be done during that process. Then it was on to making spouts then the body then how to pull handles. That sounds and looks a bit lewd but it is the best way to make clay handles and is quite a feat to master. I actually did o.k. at it this time round. I had not had much success at it before so I was quite pleased with myself.
Another thing I have tried before but not succeeded in is a technique called throwing off the hump. You get a large piece of clay secured on the wheel and centre the top then make a small pot, then cut it off the hump and make the next pot etc without having to attach a new piece of clay each time, it allows you to keep making small pots and saves you a lot of time. This weekend I worked it out successfully with our tutors help and suggestions.
Our tutor had lots of little tricks and ideas that I had not done before and I had lots of fun. She said we were her quietest class yet as we were all absorbed in our work and not chattering and getting off track with what we were supposed to be doing. Good fun, if somewhat tiring. I can't remember ever sitting at the wheel for such a long time without a break before.
At the end of the workshop I had one very nice medium sized teapot to show off, and I bought one of our tutors beautiful little bowls she had for sale. It is a small, fine, pure white, porcelain bowl with a cobalt blue brush decoration and a clear glaze over it. I bought it home tonight and tested it out with some olive oil, some turkish bread dipped into the oil, then dipped into some dukkah. Yum! What use is having pretty things if you don't use them.
Making a functional teapot takes a fair deal of planning and technical ability. I can't wait to complete my teapot and see how it works. It looks o.k but the final proof is in the end product.
Pictures to follow later when I bring home the pot.

The Plan part 2.
The plan I have for my future.
I want to have a base of operations as a home in my retirement, and a caravan to run away from the winter to warmer climes, north, and explore my beautiful country and all it has to offer, for a few months at a time.
I want my children to be happy with themselves and have a life that provides for them financially, and for them to love and be loved in return.
I would like to see that my teachings to them and the upbringing I have given them shows me that I must have done something right sometimes along the way. Well..... I guess I already know that but it is nice to keep seeing it.
I want enough money to do stuff when I am retired and not have to skimp to get by.
I want to keep learning for the rest of my life. My pottery gives me that. When I retire it would be nice to have more time to devote to it.
I want to grow old with my husband. To love and be loved in return.
I want my hands in the earth to nourish it and enrich it with growing things.
I want to think, to feel, to experience, to grow, to be reasonably healthy.
Um! I want to get planning for that ASAP.
Don't I?

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Sunday Scribblings "Indulgence"

I just got back from a weekend away in Sydney, indulging in the markets and big city offerings. Food, shopping, people watching etc. Then there is the money, you pay for absolutely everything in Sydney, everything. Especially everything to do with transport, from parking to using your own car and using public transport, is a bit of a shocker down there.
The Sunday Scribblings prompt for this week is "Indulgence".
Oh how we all indulge ourselves, don't we? I know I do, a dozen or more little ways each and every day. I choose to indulge others around me too.
No I am not going to talk about chocolate... He he.
My biggest and best loved indulgence is water. I love it, I love being in it, watching it, consuming it. And... all this on the driest continent on earth. I know you are thinking, oh we go on another soap box lecture on water, saving and conservation....again, right?.
No , really, I am very naughty when it comes to water. I do lots of the wrong things and I know I should not be so extravagant and indulgent with water, but I am. I take longer showers than I should. I stand or sometimes even sit under the warm flowing water, wasting it just because I am so indulgent , long after I need to be there because it gives me such sensual pleasure. Water satisfies all my senses. Albeit somewhat guiltily.
I do consider myself a bit of a greenie when it comes to the environment and water is such a big important factor in that, especially in our country. But water.... my weakness and I can't get past that indulgence.
There are however things I do that are protective of our scant water source. I use less and less chemicals in my home to help protect our water from being so polluted. I try not to use so much water around the yard, which actually helps the plants that are there to toughen up, and if they don't, well they were probably not meant to be in that environment anyway and something else would have served their purpose better. When I was living in Junee I was very good at water harvesting for reuse in my yard. I even had a fish pond that operated within it's own little balanced ecosystem. Fishies, plants, bugs and all. I never needed to feed the fish in there because they didn't need it and they were healthy and doing well. I just had to change the water a couple of times a year. I had two 5000 gallon water tanks that I filled with water that was coming off my roof area and so I saved that from flowing down the drain for use in my garden. I also had collection containers in other places around the yard. One of the containers was a big plastic garbage bin that had manure in it, filled by drips off the roof of the chook yard when it rained, so I had my own ready made organic fertilizer.
I have recently bought myself an enviro ball. It is supposed to last for 3 years and you put it in your washing machine instead of using detergents that go into our waste water. I don't really know how it works but it has something to do with ionizing the water which makes the dirt come out. I have been using it for a month or so now and my clothes are coming out fine. Since it is supposed to last for 3 years I guess the initial cost will be well and truly offset by my not purchasing detergents.
Water though.
Can you imagine me, indulgently laying back in a warm bubble filled bathtub with perfumed candles burning, my little fan heater keeping me warm, a cup of tea and a good book or magazine in front of me. I do that. Oh yes.... beautiful.
Or sitting beside my dear old Murrumbidgee river, with all my senses tuned into the environment, collecting myself.
Or driving alongside a beautiful watercourse or the lakes on a winding mountain road, up in the snowys, (snowy mountains).
Or by the sea where I can keep one eye on the road and the other on the beautiful sights, sounds, colours and smells of the ocean.
Water my indulgence, Scorpio my star sign and a water sign.
BTW, on the weekend I went into the Sydney aquarium, another watery place. I totally encourage anyone who goes to Sydney to spend some of their money on an entry ticket and go in there and have a look. It is far and away the best aquarium I have ever seen. No I didn't have my camera. I had always wanted to have a look in there but never did before as the entry price made it too expensive to take the whole family to on our income when the kids were smaller. But it is really great. I could have spent much more time there enjoying the underwater tunnels with fish and sharks swimming all around me. Mesmerizing. The fish of all sorts, tropical coloured ones, sharks, rays, there were even two Dugongs in one of the displays, you could never see them up so close any other way than in one of those tunnels with them swimming over and around you. Beautiful transparent and translucent jelly fish and cuttlefish, moray eels, snakes, penguins, sea horses, rays, an octopus, even a few crocodiles, who were definitely outdone by the beauty of the other underwater inhabitants. I love the way they fly gracefully through the water like the underwater world's answer to birds, while we silly inadequate humans can only survive on the land.
We also had a ride on the big ferris wheel in Darling harbour at night, went to Bondi beach, ate out all meals, stayed in a motel. Saw a trannie in Oxford street, dressed in a pink leotard, high heels with a pink feather head dress. Oxford street is famous and a great place to people watch, he he. And I was reminded why it can be so bloody annoying trying to please all of my family at once and keep them happy, but that is another story. It was all good though.
Anyway... back to my indulgence.
The human body is made up mostly of water.
Life on earth could not survive without water.
A very tiny proportion of the earth's surface water is potable.
A tiny number of what lives beneath earth's waters is cataloged compared to what lives above the water.
You never miss what you have until it is gone.

Goodnight, I hope you all had a pleasant weekend.
Love Linda.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Sunday Scribblings time again. I love it. Look forwards to it each weekend.
Anyhow...the prompt for this week is "Human". I thought about it over night and decided to try doing this.


Jumped- up
X nah!

Well, that wasn't easy. I reckon some of the words could be used in either a positive or negative connotation, depending on personal belief and cultural upbringing. I couldn't think of one for the positive X. I did look in the thesaurus I have here but tried not to cheat too much. Any suggestions for the X?


This weekend I am laying low. I have been trying to not spend any money because we are all going on a trip to Sydney next weekend and visiting Paddy's markets. It is something I promised to do with my daughter for the last 2 school holidays. This will be the first time the whole family, Dad, Mum and all the kids have gone anywhere together for quite a long time, so it should be good. Albeit expensive with accommodation, food, transport and shopping in the centre of the city. The kids all have their own income now, not big, but an income just the same so that should ease it a bit.
But...I might just go over to the Kingston bus depot markets this afternoon and get some of the delicious crusty wood fired Italian bread, it is so delicious. Then I might drop into the fresh food markets at Fyshwick later in the afternoon and try to get there when they drop the prices at the fish market, because they don't open again until Thursday each week. Last time I managed to get 5 beautiful blue swimmer crabs at 1/2 price. That place and the Kingston markets are foodie heaven. Especially the Kingston markets because you get to taste everything before you buy it.
:) :) :) :) :0 :) :) :) :) :0 :) guessed it...too much time on my hands. :) :) :) :)
Staying home by myself sucks! (Pete's working)
Love Linda.

P.S. Why is that bit showing up in big text when it isn't on here. Too bad, not bothering to fix it, even if I understood how.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Just thought I would come in here and tell about something that is bothering me at the moment. Last Wednesday night I was harassed by a couple of teenagers at one of the schools where I clean. I was cleaning the loos at the back of one of the schools and I heard someone yelling out and when I turned around 2 boys probably about 14 years old, I couldn't see real well as it was getting dark, were hiding behind a wall and jumping out yelling out things to me. I tried to ignore them but when I turned around to look again they were mooning me and saying foul things. I finished what I was doing and thought I should go inside the building and lock the other door as they might be trying to create a diversion for someone else who was up to no good. When I went inside one of them ran up to the back door and threw a cracker inside the door. It filled the room up with smoke and burned a mark into the new vinyl floor that had just been laid and burned the carpet. Then I got mad. I went over, wrung out the mop I had been using and chased them with it, yelling out at them etc and told them if they came back I would call the police. I was so angry and lost it a bit. Then I wrote a report in the communication book and went to the next job where I reported it to the school principle. My son, Michael, who I work with, was in a different part of the school and didn't know anything had been going on. They also removed all the grills from the drains around the school, hoping people could fall down them in the dark I guess.
Anyway, last night I was harassed again at the other school, which is part of the same campus just a few blocks away. This time it was by a couple of boys in a white Ute who were yelling things at me and drove past three times yelling out. I couldn't really hear what they were saying, just the tone was nasty. I thought oh well, bloody idiots and went inside. When I was finished they were parked out the front of the school and when they saw me they started to get out of the car but my son came into view and they jumped back in the car and drove away. I was a bit spooked and told the deputy principle when I saw him today about it. He said he was going to the police station on his way home to tell them about it.
He told me that the school had had a break in last Sunday night but one of the teachers was on site and caught 2 boys in the act.They had got in through the roof into the canteen and were back outside the building when Ben (the teacher) saw them and questioned them. They said they were ex students.
It got me thinking that the two incidents were related and probably done by the same group of kids who were sharing info and telling each other about the silly old duck that they thought was working as a cleaner by herself at night, and that it was fun to tease her. Maybe the next step would be a bashing. I am not normally a chicken and not scared to work at night at my job but now I am thinking.....hmmm. Do I look like a victim for idiots like that and an easy target for some little crim in training's warped sense of humor. The town is just over the border in N.S.W and is known for being a bit rough, or more correctly as having some rough people living there.
I don't want to be looking over my shoulder all the time and listening to every noise while doing my work at night and becoming paranoid about it.