Weekly Photography Challenge: Cheeky

I don’t know what happened, but I’ve missed a couple of weeks…Cheeky is a word often used of toddlers generally, and for our grand daughter Matilda in particular. They are endlessly curious and keen to try things we’d rather they didn’t – like pushing the button on the side of a brick public barbecue…She was so delighted by the cloud of smelly smoke that resulted – us not so much! And those things, so easy to turn on that a toddler can do it, have no off switch…

We went to the coast – Port Fairy and Killarney Beach, then the park at Koroit for hot chips and potato cakes (no BBQ) – because a hot day was forecast, and generally, the coast is cooler…But not always, and we chose one of the Hot On The Coast days, alas.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Elemental


Nature photographers will be in their element this week, with the Elemental theme inviting images of Earth, Air, Fire and Water – maybe all at once!

Mine are mainly fire – my youngest son’s birthday is in late April, when fire restrictions are generally lifted. By then, we have a pile of fallen branches and other flammable rubbish piled up ready. No bonfire is complete without an effigy of some sort, and making a ghastly guy is now part of the ritual. There always seems to be an old, unwanted item of furniture for the pile, too – one less thing in landfill, and a sobering illustration of how quickly synthetic materials burn.

It’s also an incredible photo opportunity, yielding a series of dramatic images.


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