Weekly Photography Challenge: Joy

This weeks photo challenge topic is “Joy”, which just happens to have been the theme of my Christmas card this year, starring my grand daughter, Juniper, in a heavily edited and embellished image.juni edit 5

Bees in a poppy


For some reason, I have been unable to upload any new photos, which is enormously frustrating and not joyful at all. I wanted to show you the original of the Christmas card picture, at the very least! If it all works later in the week, I’ll post some more…Happy New Year!

Friday Poem: Song For The Broken

Goddess 7It’s almost the end of another year, or at any rate, time to put up new calendars. Traditionally, it’s a time to take stock, and make plans – resolutions! – for the new calendar year. I’ve never gone in for New Years resolutions or celebrations – what’s a new calendar to me? Taking stock and starting over can take place any time at all, fortunately. Even when it seems beyond impossible…

Split off
Over feminised
Words words
Describe you
Circumscribe you
Cannot fill you in
Time to run away
Burnt out
Nothing defines you
Hours of madness
And joy
And despair
Joy & Woe
In the end
Quicksand to the neck
Dead sea

In the end
Something else begins
Begin again.

Daily Prompt: Indulgent

Beautiful roseI liked the idea of ‘the best day ever’ as a prompt, and immediately started thinking about what personal indulgences I could find photos of. I like to have fresh flowers around the house, preferably picked in my garden, tasty, beany food, and a long hot soak in the bath, with musical accompaniment.  However, “worst day ever”, it has taken half a day for my internet to work properly and upload the photos…Bean tortilla stackUnfortunately I don’t have a tortilla stack handy to console myself with today, but a candle-lit, incense-scented bath might restore the balance! After I’ve watched Dr Who.bath night


Weekly Photography Challenge: One

For this weeks “One’ theme, here’s the one-of-a-kind Nativity created by my adult children one Christmas, with a fine disregard for history and tradition.  I’m sorry it’s not technically a ‘good’ photo, and lacking the single focus suggested for the challenge. I was inspired to seek it out and share it by Lisa’s post of her son’s unique Christmas tree. I’ll do another later in the week…
pop nativity

An Evening With The Melvins

Melvins“Why can’t you do whatever you want? It’s not so much ‘can’t’ as ‘won’t’ that does everybody in. I’ve done an extremely huge amount of work, it’s uncommon for that to happen – music doesn’t usually work that way – so I’m a freak. An actual freak, I’m way out there at the end, way out in the tall weeds. There’s no doubt about that.” Buzz Osborne, interview in “The Music”

The place is packed, a community of fans. There is a youngling excited to find the tiny side bar near the stage. But I don’t care for beer, I’m here for the music.

King Buzzo brushed past me on his way into the venue – Gasp. The fab rock gown he wore on stage looked like something produced by Givonni’s in about 1972. Maybe it was. A house-coat, or dressing gown, burgundy in colour, with a contrasting floral yoke -possibly embroidered – hard to say in the dark and from metres away. Apart from a fetching turban, also circa 1972, I couldn’t see enough of Jared Warren on bass, to know what he was wearing. Last time I saw them, he wore a kilt. Brad Pitt turned 50 last week, and Buzzo must be close to that. At least mine wasn’t the only head of grey hair in the place, ha ha.

As the Melvins took the stage, I slid across behind the bar – why am I so short? Look, there’s a shelf in there, and an extra 10-12 cm if I use it as a step – both feet in there, lean on the wall, stretch up – I can see Buzz, sometimes I can see Dale. Some of the time I see nothing. My eyes are closed, I am blissfully immersed in sound. The walls, the floor, everything is vibrating, like an illustration of physics. Pulsing with a vital energy from two drummers and the bass. Buzzo’s guitar lacing and looping through. Voices that chant, croon, shout. Ahhhh. Like a warm bath, a spa, a massage for my very soul.

At some point, when the music is LOUD and the walls are quaking in a venue that is old and venerable, and built long before Marshall amps were dreamed of, I look around me, and up at the ceiling, and wonder a little about the structural integrity of the building. Then I go back to enjoying the music…
Melvins 2If Buzz is a freak, so are J Mascis, Neil Young, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Curt Kirkwood, Kristin Hirsch, PJ Harvey – all productively doing what they want for years on end, and what they want is to keep on making music. Weeds are plants that grow by themselves, “volunteers”. They don’t need to be chosen, voted for, nurtured, auto-tuned. They just keep growing, spreading, and, when the wind is right, they drop ripe seeds into the carefully tended, neat, controlled garden of The Industry, and the mainstream gets interesting , for a while…meanwhile, out there at ‘the end’, they flourish, unnoticed and magnificent.American weeds

Friday Poem: Christmas Eve, 1981

Clearly, this in an oldy, but I vividly remember the shopping trip that inspired it! For just one day (most) shops will be closed, but …Tiny sweater

On Christmas Eve
The grimfaced shoppers pile their trolleys high,
Getting and spending,
Preparing for the siege
The season lays;
Peace on Earth,
Goodwill to men,
Can wait until tomorrow.A cup of Christmas cheer.

Only 4 more sleeps, and it will be Christmas Eve once again. We’ll have to go shopping, because we’re having a picnic lunch the next day, in The Gardens if it’s not too hot. No roast dinner and pudding for us! Everyone who has to go to the supermarket  for last minute necessities, thinks they’ll pop in and out in a few minutes. But, unlike back in Watsonia in 1981, so many people are about, and up for a  bit of Christmassy  conversation, it always takes far longer.

Once I get back home, I’ll be brewing a nice cup of chai, to, as Wodehouse put it “restore the juices”. Christmas always gets like that. Thankfully, I no longer wake up every hour or so on Christmas Eve, anticipating the unnaturally early rising of over-excited and hopeful children!

Daily Prompt: Beloved

Todays prompt is for “Holidays past”, but for photographers, poets and artists, “Beloved”. So I’m sharing this picture of our beloved little Juniper – punnily “Adored”. She hasn’t reached her first Christmas yet (8 sleeps!), and when she does, she won’t care, so long as she gets her next feed and is comfortable. We look forward to the fun we can have with her in future holidays – paper chains, paper lanterns, dragging home the tree, mysterious packages, baking special cookies – all the things we liked best in our own “Holidays Past”.adored

Weekly Photography Challenge: Community


This weeks challenge topic is “community”. I decided to share some photos I took recently at our community Hall. There had been a show on the night before – the last of a run of five performances around the district of Ararat Theatre Company’s End of Year show. The next morning, ATC crew came back to dismantle their set, while the ever faithful Hall Committee members set to work putting away chairs and tables and cleaning up. Fortunately for the workers, there were leftovers from the Country Supper for our morning tea! The Hall, built by the community, for the community, has been a centre piece of the social life of our tiny “rural village” for almost one hundred years, and in February we will be celebrating our  Hall’s Centenary  ( more cream cakes!).