Weekly Photography Challenge: Earth

Our Earth is a water planet, luckily for us, because that means we have beaches and rolling surf, all around the surface of the earth.

We had a day out this week with little Matilda, her mum and dad and uncle Alex. These pics all taken on Griffith Island, Port Fairy. The island is a reserve for the Mutton birds that breed there. You can possibly guess from the common name what happened to these birds when colonists “discovered” them. Luckily they didn’t go the way of the Passenger Pigeon, but they still need protection – mainly from foxes and cats these days.

Matilda loved the feeling of sand under her toes, but she wasn’t nearly as keen on the water that kept running after her. I spotted the little cairn that someone had built on a rock near the lighthouse. I’ve no idea how long it has been there, but loved the little human touch on the wild and wet coast.

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:It’s Not That Time Of Year Without…

Yay! Christmas is coming! Soon it will be gone again…(also yay). Rising to this occasion, the Photography Challenge this week is to show something that it’s not this time of year without. Christmas is all about family, but our family are scattered across the continent and holiday travel is expensive, so our family celebration is whenever we can all get together. Last Christmas was one out of the box though – our little grand daughter Matilda decided to arrive a bit early, on Christmas Eve, so our Christmas day was a hot, windy picnic, and a couple of hours of passing the baby around the room at the hospital in Ballarat.

She slept through everything. 11 months later, sleep is not her favourite thing anymore…

Juniper is 3 now, and her favourite thing is her engines . Whenever our family celebration ends up, there will be trains involved. The other thing I especially like at the holiday feast, whenever it is, is something homegrown, even if it’s only a handful of beans, or some parsley. Too bad I’ve already eaten these broad beans…img_0535-large

Weekly Photography Challenge: Fun!

Fun! Isn’t that the favourite photography subject of nearly everyone with a camera?! This week’s challenge theme is both very broad, and very personal, because one person’s idea of fun can be another’s idea of hell-on-earth…

We had a family day out in the Grampians on the weekend, which was extra fun because we had Matilda with us – and at nearly-eight months, she finds everything fascinating and strange, from the water rushing over the rocks, to Grandpa’s ginger ice cream.

The walk to Venus Baths, near Halls Gap, is pretty easy, even with a pram (apart from steps nearer the Baths). It’s popular in summer, a big rocky water slide for the young and adventurous. On a nippy winter afternoon, the water is only for looking at and listening to. Alex really wanted to let Tilly touch the water, but couldn’t find a safe enough spot, so she’ll have to wait until she’s much bigger. The same goes for ginger ice cream – vanilla might have been more fun for her!

Friday Poem: How To Foster Egolessness

My youngest son and I are spending a week with his closest (in  age) sibling Zoe, toddler Juniper and her dad, Matt. Like most toddlers, Juni is more interested in process than product, which Uncle Alex is finding challenging. It’s  such fun to make models from the Lego bricks he bought her, but, as the Buddha taught, nothing lasts!

Playing blocks with a toddler
A lesson in non-attachment
The whole world undone.

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Weekly Photography Challenge: Enveloped

Photography Challenge of the week – to portray “Enveloped”. It is, as ever open to interpretation, and that is where the fun lies – coming up with something oneself, and also seeing what others have done with the idea!

Here we have my vintage overcoat, fresh from the cleaners and ready to envelop me against the cold, one of my darling old embroidered pillowcases (which envelopes my pillow), and some ripe red tomatoes, enveloped in a plastic box, a superfluous piece of modern excess packaging. IMG_4630 (Large)

Finally, my five kids, all adults now (how did that happen?), together for a few hours after their Grandpa’s funeral service yesterday, and enveloped in family love.

Friday Poem: For Elma

My mother-in-law died quietly yesterday morning, after a long and happy life. She was still playing golf a few months ago – she planned to retire from the game at the end of the year, after fifty years – but illness intervened, and she suddenly had only weeks left to wind up her affairs, say her farewells and drift away from us into that inevitable unknown.

This poem was written for another old lady – Bryan’s mum’s name is Marj – but it seems appropriate. It is heavily influenced by Walt Whitman, in content if not in style.

4 generations

Soft tender death
Whose breath of sweet release
Will free us from this prison of our flesh
And free from bruises, aches and grief, all pain,
Gentle in her embrace
Upheld by love at last
We look on God again.

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Nana was thrilled to meet Juniper , only two weeks ago. It amazes me how much Bryan now looks like his mother, especially in that photo of the four generations. Zoe’s partner, Matt, took the photo.