Thursday, 27 December 2012

Christmas and after

Cherries, Barbie, strawberry pavlova

Vegetarian baked ricotta with anti pasto, ravioli stuffed with mushroom and goat's cheese, potato salad. Up at the meat eaters' end, a baked ham.

After Christmas, Bundeena... Bonnievale Beach

More beach - very hot!

Post beach lunch - delicious!

Hopeful Basil but no handouts...

Another hopeful - Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, always living in hope to the point of sneaking into the house!

Christmas, Boxing Day, were wonderful. Now a few days at the beach and some good weather to go with it. Happy New Year, everyone!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Bundeena NSW

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christmas Greetings

I finally managed to put up my Christmas tree! Whew! I thought I'd never make it. The angel looks a bit tipsy! I hope she lasts the distance.

The tree, now very fragile and tatty, is very precious to me. When my mother and Grandparents left Vienna, Austria, in 1931 to make Australia their home, they brought their little folding tree and glass ornaments to remind them of wintry Christmases past. I'm not sure if it was the tree they used in Vienna or if they bought it new. If it was new then last Christmas it was 80 years old! As are some of the ornaments. Each year Nana and then Mum bought one or two new ornaments, as I have done since inheriting the tree. There are about 10 original ones left and the majority are over 50 years old.

Over the years there have been minor catastrophes such as a sudden gust of wind blowing over the tree, cats being determined to play with the ornaments and once, my fault entirely, I put chocolates on the tree and of course my dog Bindi thought they were for her, just an accident waiting to happen.

This morning the little children came to examine the tree, admired it then settled down to make Christmas cards. I THINK they understood that the tree is just for show not exploration, but this tree has had a long and good innings and survived much. It really is time I stopped being precious about it. I wonder if one of these children will carry on the tradition of the Viennese tree...

I wish you a very merry Christmas or festive season, and I trust that 2013 will bring good health, peace, happiness, love and much creativity to us one and all.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Wamberal NSW

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Summer time bits and bobs

December is summer time but around this small continent (or very large island, take your pick), the weather is weird. Heatwaves, bushfires, mini tornadoes, torrential rain, and ... snow!  The evening news shows fire fighters desperately trying to save homes, and the next item shows children making snow angels. I only have sand angels to show you, and not the lying on their backs kind.

Summer time is perfect for eating outside and these kids have a savoury tooth. Give them a tray of cornichons, cottage cheese and Jatz and they're very content. This was Cilla's choice for afternoon tea.
Summer time is Jacaranda season and everywhere the hazy blue of this fantastic tree stands out in gardens and as street trees. This row is in Oxford Street, Paddington, in the middle of Sydney. Just heart lifting.
Summer time in our garden is time for Agapanthus, towering heads of blue and white, nearly as tall as me. But even more gorgeous are Kaz's Gardenias, big, creamy blooms nestled into the most vivid and shiny green leaves.And the luminescence of those buds...
Summer time is Christmas shopping time and I spent a day in Hornsby, a place I haven't been to for nearly 40 years. I went to school there, and shopped there when my children were babies but it always seemed like a cultural desert and there wasn't much to take me back. Probably completely unfair of me but, I was stuck there for a day last week, and to my amazement I found an enormous shopping mall with shops that I found quite interesting. Perhaps this is a sign that I've been in the back blocks too long when I find a shopping mall interesting.

The two most interesting features were outside the mall. One was an art gallery and workshop for disabled people which had a stunning exhibition of weaving by a woman without sight, speech or hearing. I need to go back there to learn more about what they do and, I don't know, somehow offer some assistance.

The other great thing was an automated water sculpture. Dinahmow sent me photos of one she'd seen, I think in NY, so I was surprised to see this one here. Water flows, things move, water splashes and falls and gurgles, and the sculpture itself is quite charming. Australian birds, reptiles and mammals are featured, along with a clock and much more. Here is a glimpse from one angle - each time you move you see a different scene, and a detail of some shags, a lizard on a Monstera leaf (not Australian) and some nymphs.
Summer time means quality time with my grandpup Basil Beagle. I'm always up for more of that.
Summer time, winter time, any time is time for new books. I found this couple in Berkelouw's Oxford Street book store and I have a feeling I need to read them. They are, I think for young adults, and just from glancing through they reminded me of The Various. Now if that means nothing to you then you possible don't read slightly off beat young adult fiction, but if you know what I mean then just have a look for them and see what you think. Maybe the next time someone asks what I'd like for Christmas I shouldn't go all vague - I should say Wildwood please. And if anyone thinks I have strange taste in books, please remember that I seriously collect children's books AND I keep reading my favourites over and over. And over.
I think that's all the photos. I have so many subjects I want to post about but the world keeps interfering in my life and when I sit at the computer once in a blue moon my mind goes blank and I end up just dithering on. Hmm, probably safer to keep dithering. Ranting is my other mode.
Don't forget I love to hear from you, by comment or email.