Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Sunday Scribblings "Nearly There"

Sunday Scribblings prompt site asks us to write about nearly enough.
It is Wednesday night here in the land of Oz, hump day, on the downward slide towards the weekend and next week's Sunday Scribblings prompt again.
Ah well, here I am.
I have been thinking about this little idea for a while and I think I can fit it into this weeks prompt.

Nearly..... but not quite there.
Not pretty enough
ugly enough
smart enough
dumb enough
talkative enough
quiet enough
funny enough
serious enough
rich enough
thin enough
early enough
late enough
big enough
little enough
kind enough
quick enough
patient enough
sexy enough
never enough
nearly but
not enough.

Love Linda

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Monday Memories

The Monday Memories prompt that I have been enjoying suggests we write a memory of past spring times. We are in early Autumn here in the southern hemisphere so I will turn the prompt around and write about Autumn instead.
Autumn is such a pretty time of year. It is the time when you are not quite sure if you ought to wear a jumper out, so you wear one anyway just in case it is cool. Then you take it off then put it back on a few hours later.
Autumn is the time of year when you watch the trees eagerly for the beauty of their leaves changing through green to yellow, orange and russet hues of brown. I watch them each day driving to work, luverlee.
Well we remember the leaves dropping and covering the ground. When I was younger I enjoyed raking them up into piles and collecting them. In those days we were allowed to burn them. In the gutters of suburbia you could see heaps of dwindling, smoldering leaves, smoking happily. I loved that job, in fact I loved any job that involved burning something, ha ha. I am still a fire bug but now my urge to burn things is largely sated by firing pottery.
Now the burning of Autumn leaves is forbidden, we are supposed to use them as mulch now days. Yeah I guess as a gardener I can see the great value of that, but those smoldering, smoking piles of leaves were such a nice thing when I was young. The smell a sign of cooler things to come. The promise of cool nights snuggled up under the blankets in front of the heater with television blaring ,or snuggling into a cold bed with feet and legs curled high until warmed by the trapped heat from your body and sleep.
When we were kids and raked up the leaves in autumn we would collapse into the heap and roll in the leaves, and throw them at each other. Then have to rake them up all over again. We would run through the park under the big deciduous trees and crunch them under our feet, kicking them high into the air. Great games. I taught my own kids to do the same they loved it too. The park in Wagga , my home town, has heaps of big deciduous trees planted just for that purpose, I am sure that is why they are there. Aren't you?
Just last year my neighbor, a lady in her 70's was walking down the street early in the morning and thinking that nobody was watching, walked along in the gutter beside the road and kicked the leaves up happily with the biggest smile on her face until she saw my son watching her. So cute, hahaha. She turned and when she saw him watching, waved to him and giggled. We had huge oak trees beside the house where we were renting then.
So if you would like to join in the prompt or read what others have written please have a look on my side bar and find the link listed as 'Memories On Monday" .
Enjoy! Enjoy what the lovely earth and her ever cycling seasons bring to you what ever season you are in, in your part of the world.
The pic above was taken last year in one of the many parks here in Canberra which fringe the lake in the center of town. This particular park I don't know by name but it runs along the nth eastern side of the lake near Duntroon, which is the royal army, navy, air force type academy .
Bye Love Linda.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Just a post

I was thinking, why do I have to have a reason to put something in here. I have got off the track lately. Lost the original idea and have been only writing to prompt sites.That isn't what it is all about. It is about writing what I bloody well want to write.
So today I am writing just because I want. Not to mention the fact that there is rubbish on television, as always , very little to interest me. Would you believe that the best thing on is a children's movie? Just about all the other stations are showing election results because in my neighboring state of New South Wales there was a state election held today. I couldn't be bothered with speculating the result before all of the votes are counted. Bad Australian maybe? Politics = BLAH to me.
Today I took Mum to the mall in Tuggeranong to get some warm clothes as it is beginning to cool down here and I wanted some thicker things for her to layer on during the day. She sits on the lounge and gets cold and I don't want to start switching on the heater so early in the season, so ....more clothes are in order. ' Ahhh here we get back to politics, a subject abhorrent to me. A few years back the govt privatized our power companies and we will now be heading into territory where we can't afford the exorbitantly rising costs of electricity that we silly modern humans rely on so dearly to run our houses and lives. Before we moved to this house our winter electricity and gas bill for the season came to $1700 OUCH. The prices have risen since then and we have not spent a winter in this house yet so....scary. I know there are a lot of people in this city, and indeed others in the other areas of Australia who have a lower income that us and are struggling financially. Bloody Politicians. Do ya job for these suckers you mongrels. Did I say I hate politics. Hmmm. Then there is the cost of housing, another item that is getting to be beyond working and middle class grasp. I was wondering where this post would lead me, were you?
Let me change the subject. I don't like the previous one.
My garden is winding down as we move into Autumn. Yesterday I pulled out the cucumbers which are well and truly finished for the season. There was just one last cucumber on the vine which now resides in my fridge. They did so well in this good soil here, we gave away and threw away more than we ate of them. I made a batch of spiced bread and butter cucmbers and bottled them that turned out nice. The fig tree still has ripening fruit on it. They have been wasting too because there has been heaps if fruit and we are a bit sick of them. I did make up a big pot of jam from them that will last quite a while. I even ran out of bottles to put it in and started filling up all the plastic containers to keep it. Mum loves my jam and we are now on the second container. I gave some away. Took it to my Thursday pottery group with a batch of scones and one of the ladies (Margaret) emptied it into her container and took it home.
The tomatoes still have quite a few fruits left on them which I don't think are going to ripen this late in the season, plus the fruit fly have discovered them and stung them. Nasty little critters taking my tomatoes. The tiny tomatoes have been especially sweet and prolific, we have cooked and frozen several lots as well as used them to make sauces to accompany our evening meals.
The big grape arbour at the back of the house is covered in small black grapes, the man who planted them made his own wine so they are not really the type that are great for table eating. They are all ripe and although I have offered them to people nobody seems to want them . The big fruit bats have discovered them and they can have them, the bats have also been in the fig tree. That's OK, they have got to feed some where don't they. What is left is surplus to us.
Years ago I went to a fair/ market in Tumut and bought some beautiful butter nut pumpkins from an old man there. I was admiring them and he gave me some seeds to plant. I did plant them in the Junee garden and they never came up. I planted them here and they went mad. I have the best big pumpkins ever. Amazing that the seed was still viable after so long. I have used one of them already. Just last week the vines were still setting new fruits, but I am not sure if they will ripen enough before the cold weather sets in and anyway I already have heaps. Pumpkin soup coming up for winter. I make mine with onion and bacon in it then put a blob of sour cream on the top to serve it.
We planted two types of beans. The climbing ones and the dwarf bush one. The climbing ones I was not impressed with they were nice flavored but not as many beans and stringy. The dwarf beans were great. Very prolific and we even planted a second crop. I am just about finished with those now. It seemed that each time it rained and I fertilized them they flowered again and we got another lot of beans off them. Also planted silver beet which was good because I can leave it in the ground and over winter. The capsicums were a success too. The little yellow pointy ones were the best croppers out of the mixed punnet that was planted. The beetroot I wasn't impressed with. There was a great crop of basil and I have kept some of the seed to replant next year when it warms up again.
I have recently planted a few things that like the cooler weather. Some leeks, spring onions, dwarf peas, broccoli and coriander are in and look good for the near future. Must get some curly parsley going next.
The beautiful pears espaliered along the back fence were very nice, but the insects have damaged them now. The only ones that are left are the brown pears and when you cut them they have larvae in them, note to me, get out there and destroy them tomorrow. I do like this yard.
I went to a farmers market just down the road from here at the CIT college on Sunday mornings. They have great produce and I have decided I will get most of my vegetables from there from now on rather than the supermarkets. Lots of yummy stuff and my money goes straight to the producer instead of a multi-national company. Much better. I bought some nice purple organic garlic from there too and have planted a row of garlic cloves at the back of the garden beds.
There are some of my wafflings. Probably won't be of interest to any one but me and I can look back on them in a years time and compare next seasons efforts in the garden. And..... my electricity bills.

Monday, 21 March 2011

"Sunday Scribblings" Free.

I have just had a nice weekend at the Canberra potter's society at a demonstration workshop with master potter Geoff Crispin.
He is a potter of 40 years practice from the Clarence valley in northern N.S.W. Geoff predominantly works with a porcelain body made from local materials to his own recipe.
First pic above is of a birdie scribble I did while sitting listening and watching him work.
Now I am absolutely itching to get my hands in the mud.
Geoff Crispin has worked extensively in his career with developing artists in Jamaica, Oman and Australia,'s northern indigenous communities.
While at the workshop I was informed of some resident artists at the Australian National University ceramics department. So I went to have a look at them this morning.
I can't tell you these ladies names or where they come from. They are very shy people and reticent to talk, I am not sure if they had much English, but here are some pics I took of them at work. These pots are fantastic, I really love this style of art.
This lady was working on a thrown cylinder in terracotta clay which had been burnished and painted. She is now using a tool to scratch decoration back through the layer of paint (either slip or terra sigilata) to expose the color of the clay underneath. The brush in her hand is to sweep away the dry clay scraps so she can see what she is doing. The technique of scratching into a pot like this is called sgraffito.
The third of the artists working graffito onto her pot.
The following pots are made by Geoff Crispin and are part of the exhibition at the Potters society at the moment.The picture above is a close up of the fish that Geoff carves into his pots.
Part of the workshop detailed how he carves and chooses designs for individual styles or forms that he makes.
The pot above is made by an aboriginal artist from the Northern Territory and is part of a private collection. This one is my favorite of all the ones in exhibit.
Of these pots the first one, the taller of the two is one made by Geoff. It is made from his porcelain clay, carved and wood fired and shows the influence of his work with the developing artists he has encountered. The second, shorter one is another from his collection made by the indigenous artists of the Northern Territory. You can probably see the card with her name if you enlarge this. She is from Ernabella.
This shows the decoration on the other side of the pot above. I love this.
A wider view of the exhibition.
And again, aren't they beautiful.
This is a couple of pots glazed with a copper red glaze, made by Geoff. Copper red is my favorite glaze.
This is a wider view of the earlier pot that has the fish carved into the side of it. It is porcelain and glazed with a pale green celadon glaze. I love the way that the celadon glaze runs into the carved decoration and pools there, accentuating it.
Beautiful large porcelain platter, wood fired and sprinkled with ash from a poplar tree that has melted in the firing to form a glaze.

Porcelain vessel. Slip cast, faceted, carved and wood fired with sprinkled ash again.

So? How does this fit in with the Sunday Scribblings prompt this week.

I am privileged.
I have the freedom to choose
that which I like
The freedom to practice my craft
And interpret it and other arts
as I choose.

Some do not!
Love Linda.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Sunday scribblings "Big"

Sunday scribblings asks us to respond to the prompt word "Big".
Here is what came to my mind.

Lou Lou was tiny, everyone said how she was tiny. She hated that, she wanted to be big like her sister Krissy. Everyone noticed her sister but not Lou Lou.
Lou Lou in her 4 years experience had come to believe that she was tiny and insignificant, nobody noticed her because she wasn't big. Size had proven her sister the top dog. Lou Lou wanted to be a big girl too.
She was sick a lot when she was little, they called her poor little Lou Lou. Mummy would try to make her eat but she couldn't fit any more in, so she sat at the table and wasn't allowed to leave until she ate some more. The fat around the cut up sausage congealed and set hard on the plate before her and she started to cry. She couldn't tell them, didn't know the words to describe how the metal spoon they gave her to eat off would bite her on the tongue and make her food taste bad, she liked the plastic spoon, but they said the table must be set with the metal one's so she couldn't eat. Mummy got mad and grabbed her by the arm pulling her off her chair and took her to the bathroom where her face was scrubbed and teeth cleaned then she had to go to bed early.
When she got a bit older Lou Lou started to eat and each time she did, Mummy would say "Oh look Lou Lou is eating, Quick! shove something else in her mouth". So they did. Still nobody noticed her.
She stayed quietly in the back ground. Everybody said how lovely her sister was. She waited for somebody to think she was good, and big , and clever, and pretty like Krissy, but nobody ever did. If they did say something nice she didn't believe them because she thought they were just being kind, not real to her.
And nobody noticed. So she learned to smile and stay quiet. She learned to pretend that everything they said was right because it was easier that way, and she could hide behind her smile, so no one knew how it hurt.
Nobody could see her on the inside.
Lou Lou did get big. Too big later. She wasn't happy with how that looked either, she still wasn't right.
When she gave her smile, her empty smile they called her names and laughed about it.
She stayed hidden from them. Much easier to have no personality than show them what was inside her. Bland from inside and out. The hurt and disappointment in herself.
She learned other things though. She learned to look around her and watch faces for every nuance of approval...or disapproval. She watched the bugs and insects and the way they behaved and walked and sounded and grouped together. She watched the plants and flowers and their progression to fruit and seed to renewal. She gave all her love to pets and toys instead of people whom she could not trust to be true. She watched the seasons and knew from the plants and animals what would come next. She watched the world go by.

Love Linda.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Monday Memories

I thought of something I would like to share for the Monday Memories prompt. This is a fairly new prompt and although I have not participated every week since its beginning I do enjoy sifting through my memories and choosing to share or more rightly to record some of them. If you would like to join in the fun please go to my side bar under the heading" favorite reads" and the link will take you there.
I was watching children the other day and thinking that they are such hard work but wonderful and that I wouldn't want to miss any part of their growing and learning.
Which led me to thinking and reminiscing on when my children were toddlers and the wonderfully funny things they did as part of their learning progress.
My eldest son Michael when he was a toddler was a treasure to me and I was sure no parent could ever adore their child more, and of course that he was the smartest little boy ever.
We had been preparing him for the birth of my second child for quite a while and telling him he would soon have a little brother or a sister to play with and he would have to share his toys with them. Well the message got through to his 21 month old mind and as soon as we bought his new brother home from hospital he was eagerly awaiting him in the lounge room of our home. A bassinet was set up in the lounge room near the front window. All prettied up and fresh, and neighbors and relatives came to see the new arrival. Michael was enthralled and ran straight down to his bedroom and came running back down the hall with an armful of his favorite toys and threw them into the bassinet on top his new brother, much to the shock of the visitors and myself who then had to explain that David was too little to share them yet with him. Oh dear, poor little bloke, he did so want someone top play with. I should have gone just one step further and explained that to him before the event. Hahahaha.
Also while living in that house we had a neighbor who was very good to me and often came in to have a cuppa and check if everything was OK with the babies. She was a very large woman and would puff and pant when ever she moved. Michael for some reason took a dislike to her and I couldn't work it out until one day she was standing near the front door and Michael snuck around behind her and was trying to look under her dress with a very puzzled look on his face. I was watching him and thinking "Oh No! Please, please don't turn around and see what he is doing," and trying to draw his attention away from her in as discreet a manner as was possible in the circumstances. Luckily she didn't see him as she would have been most hurt, because she loved him. He was trying to see why her body was in such a strange shape and couldn't work it out so had decided to have a look. Lol.
Also on the subject of my baby boys. I would always take them with me to the supermarket on Fridays when I did my weekly shop. It was such hard work and very frustrating to do so but I thought, well it is an outing for them and seeing other people around was a good thing.
Michael was the sort of little boy that would not be held back from anything he decided he wanted to do and trying to keep him quietly at my side in the shops and juggle his baby brother was a nightmare. Hahaha. As soon as he got to the supermarket he would look down those aisles and think" Hmmmm racetrack" and want to run at full speed along them. I used to think he was trying to knock over as many old ladies as he could in the process, hahaha, well, that is what he looked like he was trying to do.
And the little old ladies? Well they all thought he was just beautiful and took great delight in smiling and trying to talk to him.
And....unfortunately to his little brother as well, who was just starting to talk and learned that he could say, Bugger! and that it always got a reaction. Hahah.
The little old ladies would stop me and say "Oh what beautiful little boys" and addressing them say," Hello what is your name?" David would look them straight in the face with a cheeky grin and say "Bugger!"
They would look surprised and say to me "What did he say?" and I would have to answer back "Bubba, he calls himself Bubba" and try to escape, with a red face.
David was such a smart little bloke. He could work things out so quickly when he was a toddler,
And he had to have his routine, everything done just right or he wasn't happy with it at all. I used to read to the boys each night before bed time, Mike was 3 and a half and Dave probably two and we would sit on Dave's bed and go through their books, probably 4 or 5 each night. David knew every word by heart in each of the favorite books before he could read them. If I changed a word and read it wrong he would say "No that's not what it says Mum!" and correct me, telling me word perfect what it did say. Hahaha. Then at the end of the reading session he would need to have his little routine done just the way it always was or he wouldn't settle down to sleep. I remember once when he wasn't even 2 years old the next door neighbor came in to tell me "Have you heard what David is doing out there?" he was absolutely amazed to hear him sing the alphabet out loud without a mistake, over and over again while sitting in the yard playing with the white pebbles in the garden. Sesame street rocks. Hahaha.
When his older brother Michael was to start pre-school at the age of 3 I took the boys up to the baby health clinic in town to have some tests done on Mike and of course took David along too. The nurse was showing cards and asking questions of Michael and David was answering them all, yelling out all the correct answers over the top of his quieter brother, and the nurse had to ask me to take him out of the room. He is still a little wise guy, hahaha.
When Pre-school started we lived just a few door away in the same street and when I took Michael up there on Pre-school mornings, David would cry and throw a tantrum when we had to leave him there. He wanted to stay and play with all the good stuff and the other kids too. When he saw that I was moving to leave he would run over to the corner and hide in the bean bags and cover his eyes with his hands so I couldn't see him and might leave him behind. If I left him alone for one minute he would run out the gate at home and go straight to the pre-school building, I always knew where to find him. Funny little kid.
Just a year later when it was time for him to start Pre-school he was very very eager to get up there and join in. There was an assistant there by the name of Heather. David couldn't quite get her name out right, he used to call her Heaven, and she loved it.
Goodness I am sure I could write a book on my kids when they were little folks. I better stop or I might bore you all and write more in another post later.
Love Linda.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Sunday Scribblings "Raw"

Hope all are well out there. I am.


A slash, a cut
another open wound
to the heart
opening up,
suppurating into the memory
of past raw wounds
and down into the abyss we fall.
For a while.

Oooh tha's a bit scary isn't it?
We all have been down there at some time or other haven't we. What matters is that we pick ourselves up and get on with it again. That dark abyss is a terrible place to stay.We do what we have to. How do you go about picking yourself up again. Please share.
Short entry this week.

Love Linda.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Sunday Scribblings "Fire".

Fire! one of the essential elements of nature. As humans we've learned to conquer her eons ago. Though....have we. Fire burns us back and shows her power in return.
I have been through a few bush fires, from a distance. Not putting myself out there amongst her but keeping a safe distance even though threatened.
An old workmate of mine from Junee lost her home 2 weeks ago. She and her husband are understandably devastated. She is now in her 60's, always lived there. My heart goes out to you Helen. The building lost was more than a home it was a store place of her life. Gone. As heart break goes, there is more to this sad story. A close family member with mental illness lit the fire.
Which leads me to the other part of what I was wanting to talk about.
Fire bugs.
What twists their minds to make them want to cause such destruction? I have a fascination with fire myself but not to the extent that I could ever do something like that. I don't know...I don't know.
I have done a bit of reading on the subject. About the excitement of the flame, the response of the emergency services, the feeling of control and payback. It is all too sad.
There are people today in our jail system who have been failed miserably by a health system who can not cater to mental illness the way they deserve to be. There is no where for these people to go , so they are put in jail, often after a lifetime of pain and fear (at the hands of others?) has sent them to the brink of their own, and others, destruction.
Fire is a beautiful element. Beautiful and destructive.
As a hobby potter it is one of the essential elements of my craft. No fire means no permanence to my clay. The fuel for my little kiln is supplied via gas bottle. The touch of the flame and the heat that causes such beauty and enjoyment for me is safely encased inside my kiln. It's residual heat spreading warmth throughout the studio. But within that warmth there are poisonous gasses that must also be dissipated and controlled. Out of control = failure and danger. I have often burned my fingers.
Where would man be without fire, cold winters, cooking, industry, entertainment even depending on it.

I stand beside the kiln and watch the colour of the flame change as the temperature on the thermocouple gauge rises, rises causing the view through the spyhole to color up slowly from a slight orange glow, brightening to orange up through gradual changes, until it reaches a bright cherry red at it's zenith.
I can feel the heat increase as the gasses rise out of the vent in the top and travel up the chimney, outside and away. I can't resist the invisibility, the magic of the gasses as they rise up and away into the atmosphere so I roll up a sheet of newspaper tightly into a tube and wave it the space between the vent and the chimney and it starts to smoke. The gasses are bursting from the vent with force now and the flame does not appear on the newspaper tube until it is a short distance from the vent , the gasses are blowing the flame out until then and I watch as a stream of smoke comes out the other end of my newspaper tube and the flame begins to travel slowly downwards along the length of the paper. Loving the look of it all, the process of building and eventual destruction it is causing. I play in the flame for a while then throw it onto the cement floor and stomp it with my feet. Still the smoke comes and then the crumbled ash. Ash that itself can be used as a decorating agent as it run my finger in it across the floor and think of the impermanence of us. The fire and ourselves.
Who hasn't watched an open fire burn in its beauty and destruction of the fuel it provides. A peacefulness, a calmness envelopes you as you watch the flames dance through.
Bye for now.
Love Linda.