Weekly Photography Challenge: Sunset

Sun up, or sun down, that is the challenge…I’m not a morning person, I prefer to avoid dawn, except in winter when the sun also gets up later…

So here are some late-in-the-day spectacular skies. The street scene is in Horsham – not a colourful event, but I liked the quality of the light. The three on the right are all of the same evening, an apocalyptic looking cloud-scape over Ararat. We came out from a movie at the Astor Cinema, to find the light weirdly yellow, as it sometimes is with a storm brewing .The last is taken from the car on the way home – sunset over the Grampians, not that you can tell! It reminds me of a Tim Storrier painting, though.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Ambience

This week has whizzed past so fast, it’s already Friday, and almost time for the next photography challenge. But for now, the challenge is still to portray Ambience, an environment that encourages a particular mood or feeling – almost invariably it means a good feeling.

Ararat’s Alexandra Gardens have a long history in the town. The green lawns, European shade trees and small lake have made it a popular spot for picnics for generations, and the public pool at the Western end was a magnet in summer. In recent years the community fought to keep and upgrade the aging pool. As part of the renewal, there is now a cafe attached to the pool complex, with tables and chairs spilling out across the grass in the shade of the big old oak trees. The ambience is perfect for a leisurely cup of coffee on a sunny afternoon. Or morning. Or evening –  it’s open early until late!

For some extra ambience…I love this song – enjoy.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Quest

Every week, the Photography Challenge sends me on a quest to find images that fit in with the week’s challenge – this week, that challenge is – Quest!. I’m staying at my daughter’s place in Canberra, cat and dog minding while they visit family back in Perth. If grand daughter Juniper was here, I’m sure I’d get some brand new pics of a quest to a playground, (with which Canberra is well supplied) but instead I’m sharing these from a few weeks ago. Juniper adores trains, she has a growing collection of engines from the Thomas stories, and she’s had rides on several miniature railways.

But this was her first real V-Line train ride, and it was exciting! I took this set of photos before we’d even left Ararat station on out quest to Melbourne. We had a ride on a suburban train later, but by then, the novelty had worn off, and she was much less impressed…img_8263edit

This photo is from April – she has even more trains now, and she knows and loves every one of them, but she’s always happy to go on an engine quest to a toy shop for more!

Friday Poem: Morning

fog edit

Personally, I think that winter mornings are best spent in a warm bed, with tea and toast to hand.Most days I have to get up and get on with life, though. I wrote this piece early one morning when I didn’t have to get up for a while.

fog edit 2

No sun yet,
but enough light
that the sky shows
blue,
and clouds
reveal and conceal
the rind of moon
gleaming
in the northern sky.

In the eastern window
clouds sail past
as stately as galleons
and the light grows,
staining the clouds
with pink.

Still no sun,
but
it’s coming,
it’s coming.fog edit 3

I took these photos on the way in to work this morning (I was the passenger – it’s okay!). It was foggy when we left Moyston, cleared after Carol’s Cutting, and was foggy again when we reached Ararat. Ah, winter…fog edit 4

 

 

 

Weekly Photography Challenge: Spare

My first thought from the prompt “Spare” was sparseness, but I couldn’t think of any subject that would convey that and be interesting. I don’t have a desert nearby…so I’m going with spare in the sense of extra, additional, excess even. A few years ago, a determined gang of needle-crafters yarn-bombed trees and railings outside the Ararat Regional Art Gallery,in time for the 45th anniversary of the institution.

Anyone who knits and/or crochets (and even people who just think about doing it!) end up with a stash of spare yarn. Some of it is leftover from finished projects and some is odd balls that we buy because…well, there’s bound to be some reason. A yarn-bombing project, fortunately for our cupboards, requires lots of yarn in no particular colour, ply or texture. Nor does it matter if it’s wool, nylon, cotton or whatever else. It just has to be yarn….

Here are six pics of the lead-up and yarnbombing at the Ararat Regional Art Gallery, plus two spare ones of a yarnbombing at King’s park in Perth, September 2013, ( I think.)

Weekly Photography Challenge: Dance

I’m baaack – this weeks challenge topic is Dance – however we want to interpret it. I have been distracted for the past couple of weeks with the lead-up and aftermath of my 60th birthday party – which had a punk rock dress-up theme, and featured  Ararat’s 90’s punk and alternative cover band, Kerplunk. They were awesome, and although many adults were too shy/overawed to get up and dance, the kids were right into it.

My grand daughter Juniper makes a very good punk grrrl – all toddlers a little bit punk rock from time to time! Madeline wore a fairy dress, but we converted her by the end of the night. The cake is one of the two Zoe baked for the occasion – this one was rose flavoured, and she had the idea for the frosting at the last minute. It worked spectacularly well, my two favourite colours dancing together, and forming roses all over the top of the cake. Matt and Zoe did a brilliant job of vegan catering for the night.

Meanwhile, in the garden, we were blessed with some actual rain last week, which has woken up autumn flowering plants, and set them dancing! And for the record, here’s a pic of me and others) on the big night, in front of the photo background I painted for the party. It was well used on the night, and definitely added to the atmosphere. Matt Harris, Juniper’s dad took all these photos, as I was a bit busy…IMG_7674 (Large)

Friday Poem: Cake Man

I know nothing about this man, apart from what is in this poem. I wish I did – I’d like to know his story. Is he recently widowed, with no one to cook for him anymore – and did his late wife never let him have cake? Maybe he knows his days are numbered, and he’s eating cake while he can. If I ever find out, I’ll be sure and let you know…tea tray

An old guy
with a beard
somewhere between  hipster
and Santa
A peaked cap
on his old white head
In his 70’s
maybe 80’s
Hard to say
Looks pretty skinny
under his khaki jacket.

It’s the third time I’ve seen him
in here
In the bakery cafe.

His order each time –
An assortment of cakes and slices
This time I count seven
There might be eight
Hard to tell
with them all piled up on a plate
like that.

He has a mug of tea
not too hot
Today he has a meat pie
with sauce
which he eats slowly
methodically
with a knife and fork.

It’s not all about dessert.

I have to leave
before he gets to the cakes.oct2010 015 (Large)

This isn’t one of his cakes – it’s a dessert taco we invented a few years ago – but you get the idea!DSCF7091 (Large)

I’m an introvert – well over to that side of the scale. I guess that’s why I like the internet, and it’s also a reason for liking sitting on my own in cafes, with a coffee and a notebook (and maybe something sweet) close to hand. Sometimes all I write is lists of things I need to do, but if I’m lucky, and paying attention, I get to glimpse someone else’s life, and take notes.