Weekly Photography Challenge: Wanderlust

If someone would hurry up and invent a reliable, working Tardis, I would feel much more inclined to travel, because there would be no packing, or tickets and hotels to book, just the fun parts…so long as there were no Daleks, Cybermen et al, of course. Meantime, my wanderlust is largely about family excursions, and trips to visit family. It’s now 5 1/2 years since we took off to the Pacific North West for a whole month of packing, tickets and hotels, ticking a few things off a list that keeps growing.

Our internet at home was off for a month or more before the trip, which made research difficult or impossible, so we missed out on some things and didn’t get quite enough of others – which is why we “need” to wander back across the Pacific and have another go. The weirdest thing for me was that the midday sun was on the wrong side. I didn’t see the northern stars at all, so that’s another thing that wants fixing….

We missed going to SAM ( the only day we had free it was closed), didn’t get to walk in the Hoh Rainforest, or see sea stacks, left Aberdeen one day before the B52’s were to play at the D&R Theatre (too late for that one…), our visit to Mt St Helens was way too brief, but awesome anyway. There are wildlife places we could have visited, if only we’d known, so clearly we do “need” to go back and have another (better informed) wander in Washington State

Weekly Photography Challenge: The Road Taken

Every day, we take one road or another, and where we end up depends on the road taken. Most days it’s the same old road, and sometimes it’s an adventure. This adventure began last September, when I booked tickets to see Pixies play in Melbourne. The concert was the day before my birthday, which made it “meant to be”!

We live in country Victoria, so it was a longish trip by coach and train to the city, before a leisurely stroll along Southbank (via the food court for a burrito), then along the banks of the Yarra, and across a bridge to find the Margaret Court Arena among all the other sports venues. We sat outside for a while, watching other patrons arriving, because people-watching is half the fun.

Once inside, local band the Merlocs got things started, and I couldn’t resist the image of red light and moving shadows. If the floor had been full, as it was an hour later, it wouldn’t have looked like that! The Pixies were, of course, awesome, and ended the night with Into the White in a cloud of white smoke. After that, it was a brisk walk back to the city alongside dozens of other people, under the light of the moon.

Vale

a-pencil-portraitHey Kurt,
today was your birthday.
You would have, should have, been 50 today. But you are forever 27, a magic age, neither boy nor man, suspended there forever.
No grey hairs or paunch for you: the girls will always think you’re cute – girls who weren’t born when you died declare their undying love for you. If only you could have known, would you have felt validated by that?
I kind of doubt it. I remember seeing a video of Courtney telling you she thought you were “really cute”, and the doubt in your face. You really believed you were ugly, didn’t you?
People believe strange things, like the conspiracy theorists who insist you were murdered. It might be comforting, I suppose, to think that a clever criminal did it, and not you, despite your reckless drug use and suicidal ideation that pointed to a deep and corrosive despair at your core.
Lets not dwell on the bitter end, not today. Let’s remember you as caring, generous and sweet, a bright and beautiful young man loved by your friends, and by the punk rock community that took you in and released you into the unsuspecting world, adored now by fans the whole world over; a world the breadth of which that boy from Aberdeen Wa could not imagine…
Peace Love Empathy
lets remember and cling to them.
The world needs them more now than ever.
Rest easy, sweet Kurt,
wherever you are.you-could-do-anything

Weekly Photography Challenge: Anticipation

Our younger Grand-daughter, Matilda, is one year old on Christmas Eve. In anticipation of the day, we had an early party for her in the park. Nothing could have prepared her for the experience of eating fistfuls of frosting, but she quickly came to grips with it…

She’d been walking with adult help for several weeks, and we’d been looking forward to the day she would take off and walk independently – and of course, it was the playground nearby that gave her the incentive to just go under her own steam, an adult in her wake to make sure she didn’t get into any trouble. It’s the grown-ups job to anticipate what can happen next, and make sure it doesn’t. We can anticipate fun things, too, like a baby meeting frosting for the first time, but no one anticipated her pleasure in squishing whipped cream with her toes!

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Weekly Photography Challenge: Nostalgia – In The Pines

negs-set-2csAs I was walking my daughter’s dog last week, I wandered over to a stand of pines, picked a sprig and sniffed it _”Ah, Pine tree!”, and, to my surprise, immediately burst into tears. When I was little, my Dad spent his days slicing pine logs into boards, and that smell both brought him to life and reminded me that he died recently. So, the weekly photography challenge theme is “Nostalgia”, and my answer is “In the pines”.

Monterey pines were widely planted (in plantations) in Victoria in the fifties, and there was a plantation near home – The Piney, or “Plan pinetation”, as my little brother called it. The trees were cut down (harvested) by the Forest Commission , and then Dad would go out and collect his logs, using the old Blitz crane.s

I didn’t take this photo – it’s about as old as I am. Mum gave me some old negatives, because I was looking for old photos of Dad’s Commer truck. I didn’t have a proper film scanner, but thought it was worth trying the ordinary flatbed scanner and found it worked fairly well, so long as the images weren’t too light (meaning the negs are dark). I recently did some editing of the image, as I’d decided to have it printed on canvas, as a memento of Dad.

Canberra is blessed with many walking tracks, and the one near my daughter’s home passes through a ‘tunnel’ of pine trees. I took the camera for a walk to them, for these nostalgic pine tree images. They bring back memories of a day when Dad took several kids, including two boys who were vising my aunt, and we all spent the day out in the pines playing while Dad collected his logs. I remember beating out primitive rhythms on a granite tor with thick pine sticks, and flattening one of the visiting boys with a rugby tackle. I guess I was about 11. In retrospect, it wasn’t an ideal childcare arrangement, but we all survived, even that unfortunate boy…

And here’s a little more nostalgia…aka In The Pines.

Weekly photography Challenge: Edge

This week, an image from the edge is the Photography Challenge. Last week I was in Brunswick for a few days (Brunswick is edgy, ask anyone!), where I took this photo of Ironbark trees growing in the middle of the narrow street. Both edges were lined with cars at the time.edge-5

On Monday, we had to make a trip to Ballarat, about one hours drive from home. There’s been plenty of rain this winter, and the countryside is very damp and green. There are plenty of edges in these photos, taken from the passenger seat as we drove. The edge of the road, of the paddocks, of the railway line in the distance and the brimming farm dam…

Since then we’ve had continual rain, a phenomenon we haven’t experienced in this part of the world for many years. Everything is very soggy underfoot, dams that were almost empty are now overflowing. And the bottom edge of our property is under water!img_9800edit

Weekly Photography Challenge: Rare

If something is Rare – it follows that it will be a challenge to get a photo of it…What is not so rare is for me to dither for several days, trying to come up with images for the Weekly Photography Challenge.IMG_9547 (Large)

To capture this particular image, the sun had to be in just the right spot, glowing through my 70’s orange glassware, and I had to notice, and pick up the camera. Quite rare…

I’ve been crocheting Soft Vessels for a while now, choosing interesting thrifted yarns to work together to create unique little bowls or baskets. The one being modeled by Olympia is made from a linen yarn alongside  fine crochet cotton and white baby wool (3 ply, I think). Spotted Owls are rare, their habitat threatened by forest clearing, and I’d really like to see one! Olympia is spotty, and named after the capital of Washington State,but she’s not a Spotted Owl…They are brown and look more like our Boobook Owl.

There was baby wool and crochet cotton left over from the Vessel which the owl is wearing for a hat, so I made a quite tiny one with those two yarns. It is the only one of it’s kind, and will remain so, because I’ve run out of the baby wool. I really like the effect of the two yarns together, though,so I think I’ll be doing some similar pieces in future.

Olympia is also wearing a very old woolen baby singlet/vest, which is seriously out of shape for baby wear, but just right for her.