Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I stand by the river where both of us stood,
And there is but one shadow to darken the flood:
And the path leading to it, where both used to pass,
Has the step but of one, to take dew from the grass, -
One forlorn since that day.

The flowers of the margin are many to see,
For none stoops at my bidding to pluck them for me;
The bird in the alder sings loudly and long,
For my low sound of weeping disturbs not his song,
As thy vow did that day!

I stand by the river - I think of the vow -
Oh, calm as the place is, vow-breaker, be thou!
I leave the flower growing - the bird, unreproved, -
Would I trouble thee rather than them, my beloved,
And my loving that day?

Go! be sure of my love - by that treason forgiven, -
Of my prayers - by the blessings they win thee from Heaven, -
Of my grief (guess the length of the sword by the sheath's) -
By the silence of life, more pathetic that death's, -
Go, - be clear of that day!

Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806 - 1861

I love sad poetry and sad, soulful music; it's just the essence of my being, who I am; another 'Romantic'. This was taken from my copy of Lady Geraldine's Courtship and Other Poems, published by Ward, Lock & Bowden Ltd, London, New York, Melbourne and Sydney and the handwritten note reads, To my friend with much love from Maggie, January 6th 1894.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Last year we spent a wonderful three weeks in Italy; four days in Rome to begin with, then up to the Arezzo province where we stayed at Sansepolcro, visiting many of the attractions about us. I fell in love with the fortressed town of Anghiari, with its narrow laneways, dark history and exquisite views of the Tiber and Sovara valleys.

We travelled on to Florence but unfortunately only had two days there. This small statue of Venus I bought at a little market outside the Colosseum in Rome and she's in our ensuite with Chloe. The painting, The Birth of Venus, by Sandro Boticelli can be seen in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. We didn't have a ticket to enter but at least we passed by - maybe next time.

We're hoping to travel back to Italy in 2010 and perhaps linger a little longer, living the italian life in either Anghiari or San Gimignano. Ahh, my heart aches!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


A young Parisian artist's model named Marie was immortalised by Jules Joseph Lefebvre (leferb) as Chloe. Little is known of her, except she was approximately 19 years of age at the time of painting. Roughly two years later, Marie, after throwing a party for friends, boiled a soup of poisonous matches - drank the concoction and died. The reason for her suicide is thought to be unrequited love.

In her time at Young and Jackson Hotel (Melbourne Australia), Chloe has witnessed much history including World Wars and Depressions. She has become known as the "Queen of the Bar Room Wall", the mistress of the Soldiers and the Naked Nymphe. For many young men Chloe became the only naked woman they ever witnessed on route to the War. She has captured the hearts of many men - even resulting in damaging relationships due to the jealous nature of some women. Chloe still evokes passionate feelings from people of all walks of life. Such innocence, tragedy and beauty. She remains aloof, waiting, with a twist of her head, for the call of her lover from afar. Today she is well loved by both women and men.


Saturday, December 27, 2008


Stray birds of summer come to my window to sing and fly away.
And yellow leaves of autumn, which have no songs,
flutter and fall there with a sigh.

Rabindranath Tagore 1861-1941

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I would dearly love, for once in my life, to experience a Christmas in the snow! Here in my State in Australia the temperature predicted for tomorrow is 30 celsius. Another hot Christmas Day!! Whatever the weather, we will all have a wonderful time with family and I wish all Bloggers compliments of the Season, be safe and much love, happiness and good health in 2009.

Monday, December 22, 2008


About three months ago we had a new visitor to the back door. She must have heard that ours was the house where you could get wild bird seed and the best grain bread morsels every day, all day! We called her BB (Broken Beak) as we were shocked to see that she only had half a beak! She is a Magpie and they need their long, sharp beak to dig for worms on a daily basis. Well, BB couldn't because she'd get a beak clogged with dirt.

When she came to us she was bedraggled, her feathers were dull and her left foot was also missing a claw. Her foot was so swollen that she'd tuck it up and stand on one leg - it must have been agony to stand on it. The shape of her head is square, not round, so we think that perhaps she narrowly missed getting run over by a car.

After weeks of a little ball of minced steak daily and bread, she has put on weight, her feathers are nice and smooth and shiny and she now hops around on two feet! Now she's found the bird bath and had her first bath, that we know of, yesterday. She sits on a windowsill all day, singing her beautiful song and gives us so much pleasure. She has a mate, whom we call 'Youngun', as the feathers are still grey on his chest.

We also enjoy our Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Galahs, Crested Pigeons, Rosellas, Blue Wrens and Sparrows. They all come in for a feed and get on famously together.

Sunday, December 21, 2008



Chopin has always been my favourite composer. I began piano lessons at the age of seven, through to sixteen. My first teacher was excellent, though a long way from home for a seven year old to travel to by train. The second teacher was awful but what would a seven year old know? Three years were wasted until I began with a wonderful teacher, Mr. Blake LCM, and the three years were caught up within one!

Wikipedia and are wonderful resources to read about Chopin and, one of my favourite YouTube videos is of Lang Lang playing the Nocturne, Op.27 #2. Here it is - hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


So many of our photos get into the system on the net and are available to all and sundry. But I can lay claim to this photo of Kangaroos; it was taken by my husband on 26th January 2004 (Australia Day!) at Jindabyne in the Snowy Mountains and we have the original on file.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Cooee!! - "I'm over here!" A long, loud call used to attract attention when at a distance, mainly done in the Australian bush (Wikipedia).

Also the name of my Grandparents' house in Doncaster Victoria Australia.

The photo was captured at Khancoban on the Swampy Plains at the edge of the Murray River looking back towards the mountains. I gave it an 'art deco' finish in Photoshop.