Weekly Photography Challenge: Heritage

My Dad was an inveterate collector, obsessed with the rich heritage of Regency England’s gunmakers. He was famous amongst the arcane circle of gun collectors for his encyclopedic knowledge of the guns, their makers and their wealthy, titled owners. As a boy he loved pirate stories, and tales of derring-do, which morphed and grew as the years went by. He always excused his expensive habit as “investment”, which has proved true. Most have them have been sold now, which is rather sad, but inevitable.

I didn’t inherit Dad’s  passion for “Old Guns”, but I definitely have the collector gene, if there is one…None of my collections are going to realise much fiscal value in years to come, but that’s not the point. I like tracking down and looking at this stuff!

Some things I collect become parts of mixed media art – such as the wind-chime I made from a bit of  a broken coffee plunger and a lot of detritus. Then there’s vintage orange plastic (sometimes I buy green, too, but mainly orange), coloured glass (seen alongside a Russian samovar, which was Dad’s, not sure why he bought it!), vintage textiles, which I actually use, eventually, and a shelf of books about Kurt Cobain/Nirvana. Oh, and fake plastic (and ceramic) cacti, because…why not?


Weekly Photography Challenge: Unexpected

This weeks photography challenge is “Unexpected”. Today we went along to a West Australian Handmade and Designer Market (Christmas is coming!), and I took the camera along, in hopes of spotting “the unexpected”.  We saw lots of fabulous work, and collected a few business cards for future reference, but I didn’t take photos of stalls. I did however, snap a few shots of the Christmassy entertainment – very tall angels, a clown wearing tiny Converse shoes on her stilts, and Santa himself, dressed for Perth’s weather. Unexpectedly, he was in a hurry to be somewhere else, and nearly dived out of the shot…

If you are in Perth on Sunday 8th December, there’s another one…I’ll be back in Victoria, at the Ararat Farmer’s Market.



Agave blooms


Last Thursday was forecast to be very hot : 40 C (104 F). I wondered if I should skip my walk to the post office to collect our mail, but it wasn’t too windy, so I went anyway. I wore thongs/flip-flops, a loose shirt, and a pith helmet to keep the sun off (hey, pith helmets are cool ). I filled a bottle with water, and set off a little after 10, with the temperature already at 32 C. When I came home, 45 minutes later, it was 36 C (96.8 F). HOT. Going wasn’t too bad, but the home stretch proved a bit of a struggle.

And as I gasped my way along under the burning sun, carrying a newspaper, three letters and a depleted water bottle, it occurred to me that even little kids in Africa have to walk much further than this, no matter what the weather is like, just to collect water for their families. They carry heavy containers, and they don’t spill any. Maybe they leave home at a more sensible early hour, but the fact remains, for the thousands (if not millions) of people who don’t have ready access to clean water, a long walk in heat, wind, whatever, is a daily necessity, and the water they carry is a far heavier load than I could manage for any distance. Often the wells and waterholes they collect from are a hazard in themselves.Beaded goddess (love)

Yesterday’s walk to the post office yielded a letter from UNHCR, ( The UN Refugee Agency),  asking for donations. $432 can install a community tap stand with six taps, providing safe, clean water to hundreds of families living in Dollo Ado, Ethiopia, the second biggest refugee camp in the world.

Oxfam sink wells  , providing safe, clean water for villages in many different countries, wherever they can. Easy clean water means not only health, but the opportunity for education for children living in poverty. If you are reading this, you may well be planning your Christmas shopping list. Consider adding a few of the world’s poorest to your list, with a donation to UNHCR (unrefugees.org.au),  Oxfam(oxfam.org.au), or one of the other NGOs that desperately need donations from people like us in order to carry on their work.Joy

You may not have a spare $432 ( I don’t!), but every little bit helps. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a few more billionaires decided to share some of their vast wealth with the poorest members of the human family? Now that would be a Christmas present!Gift box