Weekly Photography Challenge: Jubilant


The latest challenge is to show “Jubilant”, which looks like a good excuse to share more photos of my grand daughters…

Juniper, as I may have mentioned before, is extremely fond of Thomas the Tank Engine and his many friends. since Christmas, she has amassed quite a collection, but there is always room for more…

A new engine is always an occasion for jubilation (here she is after I bought Edward for her), as are the endless reviews of her collection.

Matilda, however, at around 5 months of age, has no particular interests (apart from warm milk and a dry bottom), but is hugely amused by odd noises made by her grown-ups, and for some reason no one can fathom, the blank white rectangle that is the camera side of my Tablet. I picked it up to take a photo of her, a little concerned that she’d be upset by me shoving this thing in front of her face, but she giggled, laughed and cackled so hard I thought she’d burst…

Babies are very mysterious creatures, but they do know how to be jubilant about not much at all!

Friday Poem: Afrayed

IMG_7439 (Large)Sixty is a daunting number for a birthday – I’m officially a senior now. I’m sure it’s worse for my mother , having a child so old. I remember her telling me, maybe twenty years ago (she was nineteen when I was born), that the older she got, the older her idea of old was. To me it just seems to be nonsensical that I am this old – I think most older people feel that at least some of the time. It’s when I see a recent photo of, say, Henry Rollins, who is a few years younger than me, and he looks so darned old …or my own kids grey hairs…well, that’s when I feel ancient…Sorry, Hank!IMG_7478 (Large)


I see my grand daughters
Vibrating with life.
I see the grey
In my children’s hair.

I think maybe I have
Another thirty years.
Thirty years of mitochondria
Powering down,
And fraying telomeres…

So much to do
And that’s a long time,
But maybe not.

Will I ever get to live
In Olympia,
A year, a week, a month?
Am I too old for dreams?

You can see from the size of Juniper that the photo of my mum,me, Zoe and Juni was taken a while ago. She’s not wearing lipstick in the recent photo – she’d just finished a raspberry sorbet in Halls Gap. My specs and ring are evidence that I haven’t given up just yet, and Dad’s old Commer – well, we are around the same age, and I think I’m generally holding up better than the truck!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Vibrant

Bloggers in the depths of the northern hemisphere winter are looking for something Vibrant as a promise of spring. Way down under, it’s summer still but some of us are looking forward to autumn and cooler, crisper days and nights. We’ve had some good rain at last (after months of almost none), so the garden has perked up and is looking much more vibrant. The frogs that have been hiding somewhere have also perked up and are calling loudly, vibrantly, non-stop. Too bad I can’t take a photo of noise!

Here we have my eldest son Simon with his niece, Matilda, Morgen the cat asleep as usual, and contrasting nicely with the vivid colours of a vintage comforter. A book of vibrant poetry arrived in the mail this week, to be enjoyed with freshly made Welsh cakes and a big mug of coffee. Today I had toasted Turkish bread with hummus and home-grown tomatoes. The amaryllis belladonna have opened their petals, their perfume is as vibrant as the colour. Also in the mail – three new card designs for Sukie’s Original, and finally, the little camp chairs that I re-covered with brilliant orange and green canvas. I’m waiting for the day when Juniper and Matilda are both big enough to sit on them!

Christmas Day in Ballarat

We’ve had Christmas picnics before, but we usually decide based on the weather forecast. This year, it was all about baby Matilda, born on Christmas Eve. What else could we do  but pack up our lunch and some presents, and drive to Ballarat to meet her?

We arrived an hour or so before Lucie’s train was due. Apart from the busy to and fro around the station, the place was almost deserted as we went for a little walk to fill in time. Few shops were open, of course, and little traffic, a really novel way to see the place in broad daylight. Luckily, I took the camera (baby Matilda!), so I enjoyed taking some photos of the interesting old buildings.

After we’d collected Lucie, and the new Dad, we went to the gardens at Lake Wendouree, where it was too windy for picnics, but not too hot in the shade of big old trees. In a nod to tradition, I’d brought my sad little Peanuts fake Christmas tree. Here it is packed up in a box after lunch, along with the tablecloth, which had to pinned down with anything weighty to keep it on the table. It was a memorable day!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Careful!

Careful is the theme of the week for the Weekly Photography Challenge, and a word often on the lips of anyone who spends time with toddlers. Mostly it’s the child’s health and safety we worry about (or the cat’s…), but when my two year old grand daughter got her hands (at last!) on Granny’s glasses, it was my favourite specs I wanted her to be “Careful!!!” with.

So long as I am wearing them,she won’t touch them (except to push them back up my nose where they ‘should’ be – ouch), but one evening after her bath, she found them lying all alone on the dining table…of course, she had to put them on, and of course, she looked delightful…

BUT, being a two year old, she also took them off, folded and unfolded -Careful!! – the arms, until Granny could stand it no longer, and persuaded her to hand them over. I made sure I didn’t put them down again,but also bought her a packet of clear, coloured play glasses, which were even better than mine. The arms kept coming off, but I just kept putting them back on. Carefully.


Weekly Photography Challenge: Boundaries

The past few days (seems longer than that!) has been spent packing and unpacking boxes, and minding my grand daughter while her parents get on with packing, unpacking and organising the many aspects of moving house. The photography challenge theme for the week is “boundaries”, and I guess you could say that the boundaries have changed for Juniper and her parents, and the three cats.

The old”backyard” was a generous balcony, bounded by brick walls, with the only greenery supplied by pot plants.IMG_1326 (Large)

As of Monday, the new backyard has much bigger boundaries, and plenty of grass and shrubs and trees to explore.

Her Mum and Dad will have their work cut out keeping the periwinkle and ivy within bounds,but there’s scope for veggies and herbs and flowers, and plenty of room for both Juni and the garden to grow and run (a little) wild.

Friday Poem: Walking To The Shops

I have just a few more days left in Canberra before I have to go home to Victoria – a few more days to enjoy hanging out with Juniper, now aged 21 months. “The shops” are just 10 minutes walk away from her house, via one of Canberra’s excellent walking tracks…well, it’s 10 minutes without a toddler enjoying the adventure…IMG_5103 (Large)

Along a walking track
a toddler can run free,
away from any passing
In the blue sky
a lunar sliver –
Behind a fence, a dog is barking –
Along the way
a playground –
After some playtime,
persuade her to move on.

This is by far the slowest
I have ever been on this walk.

I’ll buy you a cuppa –
(immoderate laughing – bikes are hilarious).

Beside the grassy path
a tall metal pole with lights.
She circles the base,
Hugs the cold column –
There are more
around the playing fields –
The world is an amazing place.

Almost every morning has been frosty, followed by glorious sunshine and blue skies, perfect for a walk through parkland dotted with trees and playgrounds and populated by birds of several species. And at the end of the walk, a choice of cafes for a nice warm soy babychino.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Adventure


My grand daughter Juniper is one year old today, and for her, every day is another adventure. For father’s Day on Sunday we all went to a park for a picnic lunch, where Juniper had the chance to explore an adventure playground. It was built for much bigger children, but she liked it anyway.

There was another section much more suitable for such a small person, but Juniper is much too adventurous to be interested in that…

Friday Poem: In Praise of Autumn Mornings

Not only is it Friday again already, but it’s already May again as well, with autumn well under way here in Victoria. There was a bit of a frost yesterday morning, and the old glory vine was glowing in shades of crimson in the afternoon sunlight. This is a poem I wrote some time ago – 33 years, in fact. Time flies – hard to imagine now, but Simon was not yet six, and Tristan was not yet born…Glory vine

The light is clear and shadowless, but dim;
The sun a silver honesty pod behind the fog;
The air is cold and sharp, the earth damp;
My breath plumes behind me as I walk:
Mornings such as this I was born for.

April 30 1981frosty (Small)

P.S. Tristan was born 20 days later. I am a little less keen on foggy mornings – they seem colder and damper somehow…

I still like to go out and get pictures of frost, though! So pretty!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Perspective II

I wanted to get a different perspective on my grand daughter, Juniper, so I got down on the floor to take some photos of her playing from her own eye-level. Of course, she immediately forgot what she was doing, and crawled straight over to me and that tempting camera strap…

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