Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

As you can see from the date on my last post my blogging has dwindled somewhat this year. I do try but face book and it's voyeurism seems to take up my spare time.
I will get back to my blog periodically.
I had a lovely Christmas this year. My Hubby Pete had holidays that ran across the silly season this year. It is the first year after many others that we have both been off work over christmas together. One or the other of us (though usually Peter) has had to work for many of them. He returns to work on the 1st of January, I on the 10th. I can't remember having a break that long for a looooooong time.
I was vacillating on how to spend the day but had a few welcome invites that we all were able to follow up on. I got to see all of my children and spend precious time with them, as well as see all my Hearn cousins and some of their grown children and grand children. Magic.
For the evening meal we went to my husband's niece's house. Then after that we went to my daughter's boyfriend's house and spent time there with her much loved adopted Nan , her partner's Nan. Most entertaining.
Peter and I stayed in a motel for 2 nights and came home to the boxing day sales for a few bargains. I bought underwear and sleep ware. It was pretty good price wise, even though all the clothing I buy is always on sale, hehehe.
On Christmas morning the streets of my old home town seemed so strangely deserted. You could have shot a cannon along the main street and not hit a soul. Boxing day was the same. Hardly any traffic at all, in the morning when I saw it anyway. The photo above is of an ancient tree that is on the bank of the Murrumbidgee river at Wiradjiri reserve in Wagga. I have had pics and stories of this spot in my blog quite a few times. I think last time the pictures I posted were during the drought and the old river was very narrow and shallow. It was lovely to see one of my favourite places green and full of life giving water again. I have always loved those majestic big old river red gums that grow down there. If you look closely at that photo, I am standing at the bottom of the tree to show just how big it is. I am a bit over 5ft & 3 inches tall.
Now THAT is a tree!
I was also interested to see that the local council has at last started to develop the reserve and have tarred part of the road into there, and are in the process of building a boat ramp. It is about time.
I guess if I was to say that some of the things I prayed for during the year; for my kids to be happy and have love, for water and rain, for my marriage to survive another year, have been answered. There were some rough patches.
So......Here is to another year. Another year with it's ups and downs , twists and turns to go through, with lots of love and laughter, work to keep our hands busy, um what else?
A year of enough.
Publish Post

That's all Folks!
Love Linda.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Sunday Scribblings "Life is Good"

This weeks Sunday Scribblings prompt this weeks asks us to write on the subject"Life is Good"
I am sitting at the traffic lights at the intersection of Yamba drive and Hindmarsh drive. It has taken me three light changes to get to here and I am enjoying spending my waiting time doing some people watching in the traffic on my way to work.
The people in the car beside me are enjoying their wait too. Their car is on my left and half a car length in front of me. The neck of the lady driver is all I can see of her, and her hands. She is nicely proportioned and her soft brown hair is drawn up tightly into a pony tail as she bops her head talking animatedly to her pasenger. They are laughing. She is driving a green Holden commodore, about ten years old, a strong sensible, reliable car. I guess they are in their late twenties. She is telling him a story and using her hands to accentuate the tale, holding them to show the size and shape of something, and waving her hands about in her description, they are happy and their life is good.
On the right hand side of me is a man in his early forties. His hair is cut short and he is thin and pale. I think he has that office worker look about him, but he is not dressed for the office today. His car, a white Mitsubishi magna, needs a wash. He is intent on the lights changing and he is sitting with his hands tightly clenched on the steering wheel. I can see the cords in his hands and knuckles as he grips the wheel. He is impassive in his facial expression but I imagine as he clenches his fists that he is going through his "to do" list and wondering how he can get it all done this afternoon so his day off work is productive, as his time is so precious.
The car behind me is an aging brown Mazda two seater. The lady inside it is probably in her 60's. She has dark brown hair which is perfectly groomed, never a hair out of place and if I touched it it would crackle from all the hair product it contains. Her make up is the same as her hair, perfect and she is wearing red lipstick. I imagine her working in a fashion boutique, she is probably the owner. This is a very attractive woman, one which is confident in her looks and ability. Her face is 1/4 covered by her large sunnies and she looks content to wait and enjoy her music as she sings along happily, she has noticed me watching her in my mirror and smiles back at me. Yes her life is good.
In the far left lane is a man in a Volvo. I watched behind me as he swapped lanes forcing his way across from the right hand side of the road, weaving through traffic until finding himself poll position to turn left towards the hospital. He is stressed, in a hurry. Tapping his fingers impatiently as he waits for the next change of the lights so he can be off and away around the corner.
Then there is the girl waiting behind him in that lane. She is driving a shiny red baby car, a Toyota I think. I bet she is on her way to work too and she turns the corner and then left again into the hospital car park. Then jumps out with her tea packed neatly into a plastic lunch box and runs across Yamba drive for the shift change and nursing handover. She likes her job, and her life is good.
My life is good. Like anyone's. Weathering the storms, riding the crests and troughs of the waves and keeping my head above water.
Love Linda.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Sunday Scribblings" Omen and Operation".

I didn't manage a post last Sunday but today I would like to combine that last prompt word with this weeks prompt.
I have been thinking about a friend of mine, an old work mate. I will share her with you.
For the purposes of my blog post we will call her Elaine.
Elaine has been on my mind because ...well, she is a long time friend of mine. I have known her for probably 15 years or more. Our children went to school together, and we worked together for many years as well. We still see eachother sometimes for coffee or lunch, though not as often as we would like, and I keep in touch with her on face book, so the miles between us are shortened that way.
She is a pretty lady and is only about 5 ft tall , but her size belies her strength.
I have seen her go through many trials. She lost her first husband to cancer. During those terrible end days of his illness she went beyond me, to a place inside herself that only someone who had gone through such trauma has had to go. Out of my reach she was switched off to many of us in her outside of the moment world. Yet in the following months I saw her not understand the people who judged her and her actions in that grief. Which was not a help to someone who was supposed to have been their friends. They didn't have the flexibility to see that each of us may react differently to that situation.
Several years later I had the privilege of seeing her rediscover love, a new husband who absolutely adores her and had a new child. Yeaaaay all cheer for Elaine!
This was all happening to her with the time of life stresses that bringing up teenagers can bring as well as several nasty other health scares with her daughter, youngest son, and a very recent one of her own to deal with. Is this a strong little lady or not?
Elaine is an inspiration to me.
A few years after her new marriage she became a small business owner and is now doing well for herself. She is sometimes challenged by the pressures of making a business work but keeps progressing through it with fresh new ideas. I am so proud of her.
Some of my favorite memories with Elaine are when we spent time together in my pottery shed and she wanted to make something out of clay.
Another memory with her was when her new husband had bought a little canary yellow corvette to renovate and play with. The day they picked it up she came around to my house and took me lapping the main street in the little car, so funny, especially so as the main street in the town where I was living consisted of probably a dozen shops or less and a couple of pubs, hahaha. very favorite memory of Elaine and one which always makes me laugh is....
In that small town where we lived you meet many people who have different personalities.
One woman in particular had a not so good marriage.(I wonder why?) Her favorite thing to do was try to flirt with other people's husbands, hopefully, in front of their wives. Well! This woman decided she liked the look of Elaine's first husband at a function one night and decided to try her games out on him, in front of Elaine. Oh I do love this story LOL. Which resulted in Elaine going over to the woman in question and smacking her fair in the face. Hahaha. My little tiny 5 ft tall Elaine sat her on her backside in front of everyone for her trouble. Needless to say the shocked look on her face and resultant sympathy from her friends was most amusing too. The same vixen lady, who shall remain nameless has some sort of weird need to try to upset other women with her games, is that a power game on her part, I don't know. She did the same to me.
But herein lies the two prompt words I am writing about.
Omen; don't mess with Elaine or you may find out you need an operation. Lol.
Love You Elaine.
Love Linda May.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Sunday Scribblings, "My Back Yard".

Sunday Scribblings prompt asks us to write about our Back yard. I often do, as you know.

The earth made up of particles,
broken down
from it's own plants and animals
over millenia,
there for eternity.
A true wonder.
Nourishing all before
and after itself.
My whole world
My Backyard.

Short and sweet.
I hope so anyway.
Love Linda.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Sunday Scribblings "The Call".

Sunday Scribblings prompt asks us to write about "The Call".
The call we all have to accept sooner or later.
I got the call late at night. It was after I had gone to bed and I was awoken by my husband who called me to the phone where I accepted "The Call" and was passed on to my Mum who gave me the news. Mary the lady at the hostel was sitting up with her and giving her support.
I made the appropriate phone calls, some then that night and a few more the next day. My sister was hard to track down because she was away from her home. She went to Sydney the next day to carry out arrangements etc.
I wasn't there.
I was stunned, though I knew that it was inevitable. I didn't go back to bed that night I sat up in the lounge room. Inevitable for us all sooner or later.
He had been receiving treatment in Sydney, radiation therapy, on a nasty lesion that had kept reoccurring on his poor chin. Good old Aussie sunshine had left it's mark on another victim.
I had seen him just a few weeks earlier and sat with him in the hospital. Spent a week there at the hostel nearby the hospital.
He couldn't shave his chin and it was really bothering him that he was untidy. I tried to very carefully trim some of the whiskers away from the lesion but it was too painful and he didn't trust me not to bump him there. He had become attached to a young nurse there and he wanted her to trim around there instead and I thought" oh well that's OK", she has his trust and she has more experience too. The heart attack came a few days later due to the effects of morphine used for pain relief.
We spent time together in the common room there, after noon tea and sessions with the other patients designed to share laughter and therefore relief from their respective situations. I told a joke and he watched the other patients faces as I spoke then grinned with pride when they all laughed at the punch line. Hahaha. Well I guess the other jokes were a bit tame compared to the one I told.
He said to me there, "How am I ever going to get your mother to stop talking?" and I said to him "If she hasn't stopped now she never will, that is just her". And he liked that too. He never said so, he wasn't very verbal, but the acknowledgement showed in his face.
On the last day I went to say goodbye. I was sorry to go but I was eager to get on the road and back to my children waiting for me at home 5 hours away from the city.
The doors were security doors and they closed and locked and you had to ring a buzzer to get back in. I said my goodbyes and he hugged me and went to kiss me but I drew away because the lesion on his poor chin smelt terrible and was weepy and I didn't want to get it on my face. I felt so bad about that. You can't imagine the guilt I felt afterwards. I went out the door and I knew right there and then that it was the last time I would see him. I turned around and started to go back for another hug and to kiss him, but the door had shut. He had turned away and headed back inside.
And I knew.
Mum looked at me and said "What is wrong?"
I couldn't tell her.
I put my head down and we went to the car.
I just wanted to get home to my children.
But I knew.
It is funny but, I knew when I saw his brothers and his sister, my dear Aunty Marion, in the same way, that it would be the last time I saw them.
My Dad has been gone for eleven years now. He didn't quite see the new millennium in. He died just short of a week after my birthday on 26th November 1999.

Good Night .
Love Linda.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Sunday Scribblings "Present"

The sunday scribblings prompt site has presented us with the word present.
So the biggest present of all.

For my present
I present to you
The biggest present of all.
She will feed you,
and care for you,
and you must feed her,
and love her,
and care for her in return.
I present to you
Earth, our mother.

That's all.
The ultimate present we all have.
Bye for this week.
Love Linda.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Sunday scribblings "Plan B"

Here is my meager contribution to the weekly prompt site Sunday Scribblings.
This weeks prompt is;
"Plan B"
Who has the ooooopmh to be living plan A.
The finance or luck to have their dream.
Just a small percentage of us may?
Those who influence us all,
though we don't see their all
The bad bits and sacrifice to get where they are
In a dog eat Dog world.
I am living plan B.

Yeah I know it does not rhyme. Why should I follow the rules? I have to be different.
Or am I just drifting along and letting it all happen to me, not taking the tiller?

Love Linda.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Peter Beard Workshop. 19th to 23rd September 2011

This post is to record the week long workshop I attended last week at the Australian National University ceramics department.
The first picture above here is part of the results from the workshop.
We were given leather hard clay tiles to experiment with textures pressed into, and scratched into the clay. These ones were mine. The whiter ones have been bisque fired, the middle one is still wet and not fired. They are made out of pb103 white stoneware clay.
The pic above is of our tutor for the week. He is a potter visiting from England. Peter Beard. In this picture he is demonstrating a form he makes from clay slabs, joined, scraped and shaped to make a nautilus shell shaped pot.
Here is my number 7 tile. I liked this one best of the glazed tiles I made. It is first poured with a glossy white stoneware glaze, then brushed lightly with a light manganese wash, see the curved brownish layered brushstroke underneath. Next layer is of 3 different colored earthenware glazes, brushed on. Next layer is black under glaze decoration. Firing temperature was 1280 degrees Celsius.
The pic above is of a tile I was playing with, developing textures. Unfired. The patterns were carved in with a turning tool, pressed in with the sharp end of different paintbrushes and tools, coil added, pressed, or stamped with a plaster cube that we carved into, poked from the other side with the end of a paintbrush and pierced with a needle around it. Fun to do.
It was really lovely to have that time especially allotted to the practice of playing with clay. I haven't really had that since I left Junee and had my own pottery shed, before I moved to Canberra.
By Thursday I was exhausted because I still had to go to my cleaning job when the workshop was finished. It would have been so much easier if the workshop was held next week when the Queanbeyan schools I clean had started their 3rd term school holidays, But... there you go. I wasn't going to miss out on this workshop so I went anyway. It was great fun.
I thought I might be out of my league doing the workshop at the uni, but I didn't feel that when I was there. I got to do a bit of hobnobbing too, because one of Australia's and possibly even the world's top potters was there and I got to spend time around him. Cool. Greg Daley runs the ceramics department at the uni and he also added a few things to our workshop, showing us all what he is doing with glazes at present. He is such a cool guy, and very personable. As was our tutor Peter. A couple of the other participants are ceramic teachers as well. I knew a few of the the other people there, now I know them a bit better.
The next 2 pics are of my slumped shapes before being joined. We cut out shapes, traced them on to strong fruit boxes, cut them out with a Stanley knife, then slumped soft clay over the hole we cut out. Gently pressing the clay downwards into the hole. Then we let them firm up (half dry, called leather hard) and joined the 2 sides together and finished refining them with a surform and scrapers, knives and sponging. I made 2 of the same shape. One decorated by impressing the clay the other form was kept plain and burnished. Burnishing is polishing the clay surface with a metal spoon or smooth rock. I used a stone for mine.
Below are my 2 gourd ladies, joined and front one burnished. Not dried properly yet, and as yet unfired.
Below is one of the tutor, Peter Beard's finished pots. Cool eh. Reminds me of a sea urchin.
Peter giving the demo of slumping clay onto a fruit box.

This (below) is an example of the some of the great effects resulting from layering different glazes and oxides on a tile, this one is not mine. It shows very well, the difference of a dry and glossy glaze. That white dry glaze on this tile contains barium carbonate which is very poisonous and it is a substance that I wouldn't use in my own shed when I lived in Junee. So it was interesting to have a play with it.

To give an idea of some effects that were on the tiles, which may be used on a larger pot, we placed these paper sheets with cut out pot shapes over sections of the tile.
The pic above is of the colored glazes we were given to play with on the tiles.
There were 3 colors,each of an alkaline and a non alkaline earthenware glaze.
The small blue cups contained cold wax solution. Glaze will not stick to a pot where the wax solution has been put so it leaves gap .this is called wax resist.
The cups with the black liquids contained thin solutions of manganese dioxide and copper oxide. Three base glazes of stoneware white glaze,(one dry alkaline, one non alkaline glossy, one dry) were also given to go under and over the glazes mentioned earlier here.
The piece above is another of Peter's. We saw a demonstration of how he made these forms then had a try to make similar for ourselves.
I made two, decided to trash one and the one that I kept is yet to be finished. We ran out of time, which is understandable with such a big group of people, there were 20,of us.
They are made by cutting a solid block of clay with wire to shape it, then cut in half. Left to harden up until leather hard and then carved out from the centre, rejoined and finished off by refining the shape with a surform tool and a knife or scraper. The piece in this pic is quite small, the clay part is probably only about 8 inches high without the stone base.
Above and below...more examples of tiles with the paper frames on them. The one below was on one of my tiles.
I want to make some pots this shape to decorate, and try out some of this stuff on them.
The pics below and above here are both example tiles, mine again. The one above is from the beachy tile.
Pic below is our tiles spread across the table being discussed and inspected.
Below, my beachy tile before the glaze firing.

My tile number three. Above, after firing, below, before firing.
The next tile is the one that is partially framed in the paper frame a few pics back. After the glaze firing. I do have trouble with getting the photos in the proper order. Sorry.

Above and below. Tile number 4 after and before firing. Firing melts the glaze coating which is chalky looking before it is fired. The black tree was painted in underglaze, the brown tree was painted in red iron oxide and wax resisted, before the green glaze was poured on top. Glazes are basically a mixture of crushed and ground rocks and earth minerals, put together in such a way to give desired effects and melt at set temperatures. Firing makes the glaze coat permanent as well as sealing and protecting the clay underneath and giving a smooth clean surface to serve and cook food on.

When the glaze kiln (gas) was opened. An after (above)and before (below) firing picture again.
Below is a pic of my tile number 1 before firing. The after firing pic is a few before this. I couldn't work out how to get them together.
Today the Watson Arts Centre where the Canberra potter's society is situated had it's annual open day. The new studios and artist's residence are now finished and was officially opened by the current minister for the arts, Joy Burch. On open day they have the member's exhibition, I didn't exhibit, but enjoyed having a look at all the other exhibits. We also have a soup lunch going where you buy a bowl and get it filed with soup and a bit of bread then take your bowl home with you. There are also demonstrations where you can participate. I did a demonstration of painting with slip and under-glazes. I have not done a demonstration there before so was a bit nervous, but I think I did ok. A couple of little girls stopped and had a try of my painting and quite a few of the other members filed past and stopped to talk and see what I was doing and were interested, it wasn't too threatening. But..... then when everything was finished I took all my stuff out to the car to take it home again and broke the platter I had been painting for the demnstration. Bugger! I was enjoying that and was looking forward to working on it tonight at home to finish it off. Oh well, it is only clay and can go back into the recycling bucket to be wet down and reused over again. I will have to do another one to paint won't I.
That is all this post.
Good Night.
Love Linda.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Sunday scribblings "Easy"

The sunday Scribblings prompt this week is "Easy".
As always with my posts I write about something that has happened to me and made me think. Well anyway.
Last night I went to a theater production , a play named after and about a man called Albert Namatjira.
So who was this man, have you ever heard of him , google him in images and have a look at his paintings.
This man was not one who had it easy.
Albert Namatjira was an Arrente tribal man, also known as Aranda from the central desert area.
Albert Namatjira was the first famous aboriginal artist. He was the first aboriginal person in the days when australian native people were considered mere flora and fauna and not human, to be made a citizen of Australia.
When I was a child I lived in Darwin and remember seeing his paintings and trying to copy them in my drawings. I was 8 and 9 years old then. We often drove out into the bush around Darwin in the old Holden my Mum owned in those days, a tough old sedan that was capable of tackling almost any terrain, today's new cars can not do that unless they have 4 wheel drive transmissions.
On those drives I fell in love with the bush and the flora and fauna around me. I marveled in the lush tall grasses on the plains and the beautiful ghost gums standing sentinel over the land, the red, red rock formations and the red soil and big ant hills derived from those rocks. Color, color and more color, set below a bright blue sky. We chased wild buffaloes in that old car and paddled in creeks that held hiding crocodiles. Of course there were not as many crocodiles up there as there are nowadays because in those days they were not protected and their numbers had decreased due to hunting. We saw birds and fish and brolgas and magpie geese. I particularly remember the big goannas, all sorts of animals that the Northern Territory is famous for. Wonderful stuff.
Albert Saw those colors and painted them. He put them down on paper to show the world the beauty of his world.
Albert was born in harsh times. Times of drought, and famine , due to the farming of his traditional lands in part, and his parents found their way to the Lutheran mission at Hermansberg where he was given an anglicized name and received food and education, and survived....... where many indigenous children in those harsh times did not. In this survival he also lost some of his rich aboriginal culture. He married and had 10 children two of whom did not survive.
His eldest was a daughter named Maisie, she married a man called Benjamin Landara, I have one of his paintings, along the same style as Albert's work.
After the 1st world war a man called Rex Battersby made his way north on a painting expedition and they built a special friend ship. It was Rex who taught Albert to paint the western way. Rex took some of Albert's paintings with him back south, with his own work, and they sold. Albert did more, became famous, prices went up and he became a rich man. So... the government decided that as Albert was not a citizen of his own country and they therefore could not tax him on his earnings, that they would make him a citizen.
So Albert became a citizen of Australia. He traveled south to Sydney and Melbourne to exhibit his work and meet his fans. There he was treated like a stone age exhibit to oggle over by the hoi paloi of society at the time. He even met and shook the hand of a very young Queen Elizabeth who was a fan of his work. He became very disillusioned by the world down south and succumbed to depression.
In his world in Northern Australia things were very different for him. He was a good stockman, a camelier and a husband, father, uncle, christian, tribesman. Down south he was a rare exhibit himself, in his own country.
Aboriginal culture is quite different in terms of ownership of money, goods etc to what our western culture is. They share everything, and family demands upon Albert's skills and money did not help his depression at all. When asked for money he gave it freely to friends and family and was eventually left with nothing. He taught his painting skills to his family and friends.
In those days it was illegal for aboriginal people to have alcohol so when Albert gave anyone money and they spent it to get drink, as he was a citizen and they were not he was held responsible. One night a fight broke out between a man and woman who had been given money by him which they used to buy alcohol and the woman was killed. Albert was sent to prison for 6 months as a result.
Albert in his later years fell victim to the white mans diet available at the time and died as a result of diabetes and heart problems in 1959. The year I was born.
The play I saw last night was funny, sad, thought provoking. Along the back of the stage were an older woman and man, working on a large painting of the desert area in the style of Albert's work. The work was in white chalk on a black back ground. Great stuff.
They were 2 of Albert's grand children and they assisted with the information presented during this autobiographical play. Pretty special. The two main actors were very good, talented actors, singers and dancers.
Made me think about , the similarities of today, and when Albert was here.
Made me think of the similarities of Albert being treated as a live stone age exhibit. How different were we watching them last night?
So easy, not easy.
That's all. Goodnight.
Love Linda.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Sunday Scribblings "Sensation"

The Sunday Scribblings prompt site has given us the word "Sensation" to write about this week.
Here goes.
Seeing sensation, visually and feeling it emotionally, smelling cool clean air, soaking up nature and it's spring beauty.
On Saturday this week I went for a drive and, a couple of short bush walks into the hills above Canberra. We are surrounded by the beautiful Brindabella mountains which surround us and run southwards into Namadgi national park then the Kosciusko national park.
Nature's garden indeed.
The pic above is wild hardenbergia. It is in flower everywhere up in the hills at the moment, in a wild glorious tangle scrambling over rocks and up trees.
This is a pic of Gibraltar falls, about the middle third of it. Near Tidbinbilla nature reserve. We climbed around and down to near the bottom of the falls. But as gravity decrees, had to climb back up again. It was quite a steep climb for an old duck like me, and I am still feeling the results on my legs muscles. Good to put the heart rate up for a little while. But it is beautiful place and not to be missed to avoid a few sore spots. I lost my balance at one stage trying to climb up and landed bum first in a little prickly bush, most uncomfortable, Didn't do much for the little bush either. Ha ha ha.
The forest was full of beautiful wattle trees all in glorious bloom. I think this one is known as black wattle, not for the flowers but for the color of the bark as the tree ages.


High in the Brindabellas
where the wattle is in bloom.
Great granite boulders punctuate the landscape
A tangle of deep purple wild hardenbergia
clings to trees and rocks
We walked up hills, climbed down cliffs,
and amongst waterfalls,
And we marveled at the sensation of spring
Nature's imperfect perfection,
that no human landscaper could,
ever duplicate no matter how hard they tried.

Photographs do this beauty no favors, you have to see, smell and feel to experience it.
I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. Thank you for sharing a little bit of mine.
Love Linda.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Sunday scribblings "Muse & Tomorrow".

G'day, How are we all?
I am back at the Sunday scribblings site again this week. The last two prompts have been good ones. Last weeks was Muse, and this week's is Tomorrow.
I had such good intentions last week and after looking up the link provided found myself in Wikipedia. I found this excerpt there and really liked it, so I want to share it here.

O Muses, O high genius, aid me now!
O memory that engraved the things I saw,
Here shall your work be manifest to all!

Dante Alighieri, in canto2 of the inferno, Translation by Anthony Esolen.

How many times have we thought that eh?
Sitting at our desks staring at the screen,
Or with brush in hand,
or to solve a problem with another person?
How is it sometimes we find a few appropriate words that describe for us the words or feelings we can not find by ourselves?
Is that "The Muse?"
My Muse? Dunno, nature maybe.
I draw strength and peace from nature and it's beauty.
It's seemingly random perfection and imperfection.
It's everlasting cycles through the seasons that continue to amaze.
No matter how we try to change it nature always wins....eventually.

So Tomorrow.
What am I doing tomorrow, the next day, week, year. Where am I headed.
Tomorrow I clean M's house, then do another five hours cleaning the schools daily, my regular work. Then the next day, W's house. Then Pottery, then shop, clean, work, eat, do it all over again. Trying to expand the parts I enjoy, trudge through the rest. Put money away for short term and longer term plans.
I put a kayak on layby last weekend. I can't wait to get that paid off so I can play with it. Just in time for the warmer months of the year, and enjoy the man made lake that runs through and dominates this beautiful city.

On the television tonight there was a show discussing the question "Is it O.K. to smack your children?"
Today at one of the schools I witnessed something unpleasant. A mother spun around on her child and in a very very nasty voice spoke to the girl, about 9 or 10 years old, saying "If you push me like that again I will ***** smash you in the face!" Another time my son witnessed the same woman, (I think) berating her child because the child had failed to win every race she had been entered into at the sports carnival. This really gets to me because I often see this woman big noting and socializing with the other Mums as if she is the best person around and she obviously has a very different face to show than that which she displays to them.
I may not have been the perfect parent but geez, I never treated any of my children like that.
There are worst things than giving your child a smack. There are longer lasting scars inside that nobody else sees, more damaging than a swift smack. There are occasions when we hear of abuse that goes way past the smacking stage. I am not talking about that because, of course, everyone would agree that is definitely off limits, but a smack or 2, isn't as bad as some things that happen.
Anyway thats my thoughts for today.
Love Linda.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Sunday scribblings "Shipwreck"

I Hope my post finds anyone who reads it, well.

Quite the ship wreck.
A world lived on the back of a tsunami.
Riding a merry go round.
A roller coaster.
Likely to slide off the wooden horse at speed.
Happy then sad then frustrated then angry.
Back and forth from one to the other.
And each in between.
Can't hurt anyone else, so hurt myself.
Quiet the shipwreck.

My old camera died or otherwise I could share the awakening world moving ever so slowly towards spring and it's new life.There are discoveries daily in my garden. A garden not planted by me, but encouraged with food I have given the earth since living here. Today I cut back the lemon tree at my kitchen window, it leaves were yellowed and dropping. From cold and lack of the right nutrients. I fed it a mixture of trace elements, seaweed extract and iron chelates. I hope it works. It bore lots of lovely fruit to share, but was looking very ill.
How analogous is that.
Popping up through the still cold soil in the front yard are bulbs. Tiny Tete-a Tete daffodils. fresh, golden and perfect in their display and some lovely hellebores, white, pink and dark, dark, purple. There are also tulips coming up around the place, not flowering as yet, grape hyacinth, daffodils and jonquils which are yet to burst into bloom. Bring on the warm sun.....please. I have planted poppies, yarrow, stocks, onions, veges, herbs and bits and bods around the yard too.
The roses have been pruned and their buds are forming up nicely. I have sprayed them for black spot along with the peach, nectarine and plum trees in the back yard which suffered from brown rot and leaf curl so cruelly last summer. You are supposed to spray the fruit trees at bud swell, their flowers are ready to pop open at any day so I hope they are better this season. At least I know that the yard and it's plants in this rented house are being cared for better now than when we first moved here.
The cherry trees and pears which are espaliered against the back fence are yet to be sprayed because the development of their buds is not at bud swell stage as yet. It might be a few more weeks before they begin to fatten and want to bloom.
I spent last night browsing through the gardening Australia web site, being inspired and learning how to do things with the plants I have, appropriate to this time of year. It is such a good place to spend some time and always gives me a smile. I take comfort in a way, that I do actually know some things and enjoy a refreshing of old knowledge in a subject that I love as well as learning more.
Yesterday, Sunday, Pete and I went for a drive to Goulburn to try to find his father's and grand parent's graves. We walked around and up and down the isles of head stones before asking a couple of other people there where that catholic sections were, to be told we were at the wrong cemetery all together. After a short drive we did find Nanna Lander and Pete's dad's graves. We spent some time scrubbing off old dirt and mold from their marble head stones with water stolen from rain filled vases on nearby graves. Then we left some of the little daffodils from the front garden and came back home. Something different to do on a cold afternoon I guess.
I was feeling that they deserved much more than a bare looking cement slab top with a moldy white marble headstone and we were planning to go back there with some some hand made ceramic tiles to decorate them with. I lay awake last night planning designs and glaze colors. But then we found that there are rules and regulations set in place by the local council that say we can not do anything to their graves without special permission and approval from them. So....even in death we are owned by rules. Hmmmm.
I have bought myself a new camera but have not learned to use it yet. When I work it out, with my dear son's help, I will be able to share in here again. The new camera is supposed to be faster, hold more, be good in low light, even be easy to use, has better zoom and more pixels etc etc etc, or so the sales person said. Which is.... as yet, to be proven to me with my limited technological abilities.
That's all for now.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Sting - RUSSIANS (Live in Moscow)

G'Day again,
I posted this second song to go along with the previous song I put in here by Billy Joel.
It says more along the same vein as the other. Maybe we could direct the sentiments towards the war against terrorism and the way some interpret their religion, namely some branches of the extremists Muslim religion.
We have been through the same scenario many many times throughout history.
Will we never learn?

Billy Joel - Leningrad

G'Day, G'Day, G'Day,
Someone I know in blogland said something about Billy Joel the other day.
Anyway, this is a favorite song of mine by him. If you have a listen to the words you will see why it stirs deep feelings within me. It never fails to bring a tear to my eye.
I don't like politics much and this song is a lot about that. However the underlying feeling that I get from it is .....
We are all human.
We all are the same.
We have the same set of needs where ever we live.
We love our kids, we want to get along with others...

maybe that is a big sweeping statement on my part.
Anyway I do.
I want to get along with the Russians, the Jews, the japs, the other peoples that we have fought with over our recent history.
Political or religious differences placed aside.
That's what the song is about.

Nowadays there are so many hurts between the Muslims and the other religions of the world.
Lashing out and kicking at people who are different to ourselves is causing much pain. And that takes a long long time to forgive.
The song is about making peace with enemies.
Or am I just another dreamer. A female's perspective to the worlds problems. Can they be solved by love. Can we forgive. We must.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Just back.

Yep we have been to the south coast again. These next few pictures were all taken this morning of Foxglove Spires garden at Tilba Tilba, south of Bateman's bay. I have been here before, years ago when the kids were small, but as is commonplace at that life stage, we didn't have the spare pennies to pay the entry price to go into the gardens to look around. Today we did. Oh they are so beautiful. Even in winter time. The owners sure have pulled off a coup showing their beauty and potential at this time of year. I must try to go back in a few months when everything is in bloom for spring. They would be wonderful then. I couldn't take many photos today because I think the memory card in my camera is going to die soon because it kept saying that the memory was full and even when I deleted some of the pics it wouldn't change and let me take more so...I really will have to go back, won't I.
Ok pic above is of Arum lilies at the gardens.
This is an iris. I have the same plant again at home in a large pot. My beautiful potting friend Kath Breed gave me a piece of it years ago. Here in Canberra it is colder, so mine is no where near flowering yet.
The gardens there are so lovely, down each pathway and around every corner are secret places to discover, to sit and soak up the view and contemplate. There was a for sale sign out the front, so If you have the money I am sure you could buy it for me,,, nah on second thoughts the present owners work would be too hard to live up to. I do so want a garden of my own again but not 3.2 hectares of it to look after. Hehehe.
Meadows of bulbs, scented with daphne and violets. Flower buds just beginning to swell with their promise of perfect spring colors to come.

Pathways that draw you down and around the next corner to discover a new vista.

And many woven archways and corridors , now bare branches but soon to be covered in flower, then cool green swathed tunnels in summer.
One of the things so nice about living here in Canberra is the access we have to wonderful places to see. We are close to the beaches, close to the bush, close to the snow and also close to the big smoke, Sydney. All within a few short hours drive. We drove down the King's highway, east to the coast at Bateman's bay, then turned south along the coast. We usually turn north from there, but this time we had a change. I have over the years been along all these roads before, but it is nice to recount old places and we have not been that way for years.
I may be biased but I still think that north of Bateman's bay is my favorite. But south of there is nice too, just rockier and smaller beaches mostly.
Anyway we visited some of the little towns in the area. Tuross Heads district; beautiful lakes there. Mirror surfaced and filled with tiny fishes seen from the boathouse wharf where we lunched on fish and chips, of course, what else would you eat in such a place.
Stayed overnight in a small motel at Narooma. We parked my little car right at the door of the suite and Rufus (our Jack Russell doggie) slept in the car. Had dinner at O'Brien's pub just down the road. Rufus enjoyed his doggie bag, lamb shank bones. Was funny though the bones were gone this morning, I guess a wandering doggie or a crow or some such, found them and cleaned them away for us. Sunday morning dawned damp but the rain soon disappeared.
This pic above is of a tangle of bushes at the bottom of the cliff face at Narooma. They looked like a great hiding place for kids to hide and play, they are most likely hollowed out underneath, as a pathway for animals to make their way down onto the beach below.
These two pictures are of a weathered rock formation on the beach at Narooma. It is called Australia rock, the reason for this, on viewing is obvious.
As my camera wasn't doing what it should so that is all of the pics I was able to share.
We also had a dawdle around Tilba village and visited the cheese factory and lolly shop there and of course, who could resist those, We didn't. The village is heritage listed and full of little craft and gift shops. We drove down further through Cobargo, and Bega down to Tathra where we stopped in a park beside the beach and cooked a BBQ lunch. Then had a bit of walk along the beach and a coffee on the footpath at the local bakery. We have been very naughty all weekend with our eating habits. Lollies, fried foods etc.
I will be good again tomorrow. ....I will!
Traveled home via Cooma. The traffic was substantial, with strings of cars heading home wards from the snow. Oh My God what do some of them think they are doing driving that way they do. I know they want to get home quickly but it would be nice if they got home in one piece, which was doubtful considering the risks some of them were taking. Bloody idiots. I saw some overtaking in very dangerous places with other cars coming towards them, tailgaters, even a semi tailgating a learner rider on a small motorbike, who nervously kept looking behind him but wouldn't pull over and let the truck pass. Temporary Australians, shame they might take someone else with them though.
Anyway. Must get myself a new memory card for my camera.
Love Linda.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Change of direction.

Just thought I would pop in here and add a post to record what I have been doing this week. I have had a bit of a change in direction during the week. A compulsion to pick up a paint brush and take my scribblings one step further than bits and scraps of paper scribbled on.
So...what led me here?
On Thursday afternoon I went with a group of Potter's society members to the National Gallery here in Canberra for a guided tour of the indigenous art galleries and a talk and display in their study room of some ceramics held by the gallery of work by indigenous artists.
The first few pics added here are of a large ball placed near the entrance of the gallery done by an artist I have long loved and whom has inspired me with her works. In the study room we were given a talk which was mostly centered on her. We got to see and discuss about 5 of her pots not on display at the moment plus some other works.
She died earlier this year and as is custom after an aboriginal person's death, we should not say her tribal name. I don't know is that applies to writing it, as I do here. The plaque actually says she is called Thapich, which translated in her language is "that person". I always knew her by her other name, Thancoupie, which I have also seen spelt as Thanakupi. Her Mission name is Gloria Fletcher. The tour guide at the gallery gave 2 explanations of the reason for this. First one was that it would disturb her soul from concentrating on it's rest and the second possible reason was given as, If we don't say that person's name, we have to concentrate on not doing that, so we are thinking of them.
She began her study at east Sydney tech in the very early 70"s, so she was in Sydney the same time as me. She came to Sydney from the far north of Australia to study arts and came to love clay work, though that was not her original intention in studying arts. The custom of her people was that women did not work with clay, it was only men who were meant to do that, it was something done by men in their ceremonial practices and therefore sacred. So she had to go home to Weipa and talk to the elders and get their permission to work in clay, which, as reported, was quite a feat for a woman to achieve. It must have taken a lot of persuasion on her part to get them to bypass their traditional taboo and allow her to do that. Anyway she got her permission, and went back to study in Sydney with no other than Peter Rushforth (also recently deceased) and Shiga Shigeo, two people at the pinnacle of pottery here in this country. Wow, I wish I could have done that.
Gloria used her pottery pieces to tell her traditional stories, using the animals and symbols of her area. As aboriginal art does, of course, but Gloria did it in 3d, something that was pioneering work in indigenous art circles.
I walked around the sphere at the front of the gallery to show the different sides of the huge work. The ball is made from aluminium, a material she also chose to work with because, she said that where she comes from, Weipa is a bauxite mining area so she felt that working in aluminium made her closer to the country she came from.

Below is the plaque for the large sphere sculpture. I was not allowed to photograph the works inside the study room to share.
So on Saturday morning I went back to the gallery to purchase a book she had written and had another look at the indigenous galleries. Fantastic. Love that style of art. I was looking at some lino prints there and was thinking that the style of those was akin to some of my paper scribblings. Which, I think have been developing more lately and I have been spending more time playing with pens, textas and paper so I thought I would give it a try. Not to copy them, but to develop my stuff along that style. I have been playing a lot with sgraffito on my pots and the patterns I have done on some of them have been transferred from my scribblings, so I tried it with brushes in 3d. The next 3 photos are what has come from this over the last 3 days.
This one is called "Jump, Fly" It is sort of about getting out of a situation by flying over it. See the figure's feet are being hurt, so it grew wings to go above that. I did this today, it took me about 4 hours.
The scribble above is sort of about tree growing in rocky ground but surviving and what lies below that.
And... this one is called Pods. I find kurrajong seed pods keep popping up in my scribblings a lot. I did this one yesterday and last night.
I bought an a4 size pad of nice paper and some acrylic inks and acrylic paints to play with. Maybe they would look nice mounted between sheets of clear perspex? I dunno. I like them though. They are a bit weird, like me. Double click on the pics to enlarge.
Other than that....
I am still here, under difficulty but hoping for better. Idiot that I am.
Love Linda.