Friday, February 25, 2011

Having a break...

Did you know that when you see snails climbing up a wall it's a sign of rain?
It works for us!

I'm going to be busy outside for a while;
M has left for England, Norway and Sweden
for three weeks
but I decided to have a little longer
break from running at airports and train stations.

There's a lot of work to be done
so I'll be outside with the snails
and other creepy crawlies.

I'll have to work on that week in Paris too!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Under One Small Star

Under One Small Star

My apologies to chance for calling it necessity.
My apologies to necessity if I'm mistaken, after all.
Please, don't be angry, happiness, that I take you as my due.
May my dead be patient with the way my memories fade.
My apologies to time for all the world I overlook each second.
My apologies to past loves for thinking that the latest is the first.
Forgive me, open wounds, for pricking my finger.
I apologize for my record of minutes to those who cry from the depths.
I apologize to those who wait in railway stations for being asleep today at five a.m.
Pardon me, hounded hope, for laughing from time to time.
Pardon me, deserts, that I don't rush to you bearing a spoonful of water.
And you, falcon, unchanging year after year, always in the same cage,
your gaze always fixed on the same point in space,
forgive me, even if it turns out you were stuffed.
My apologies to the felled tree for the table's four legs.
My apologies to great questions for small answers.
Truth, please don't pay me much attention.
Dignity, please be magnanimous.
Bear with me, O mystery of existence, as I pluck the occasional thread from your train.
Soul, don't take offense that I've only got you now and then.
My apologies to everything that I can't be everywhere at once.
My apologies to everyone that I can't be each woman and each man.
I know I won't be justified as long as I live,
since I myself stand in my own way.
Don't bear me ill will, speech, that I borrow weighty words,
then labour heavily so that they may seem light.

Nobel Prize in Literature 1996

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hewish Family - Who are you?

The Wedding Day of
John Henry Hewish and May Crouch
14th October 1908
My Paternal Grandparents

I'd really love to make contact with the person who downloaded photos (on 19th February) from my post, 'A Visit from Brother', June 24th 2009.  You have an Optus ISP, Win XP and a location of Box Hill, a stone's throw from the Australian family origins in Doncaster, Victoria.  Perhaps you're a distant cousin?  I may cheekily ask, "Who do you think you are?"  Please contact me via my profile page; I'm very willing to fill in any gaps in your family tree. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Lake, Smoked Trout and Yabbies...

View to the town of Eildon and Pondages
from Mt. Pininger
We live another 2km down the valley
to the left of the picture 

We were on our way to dinner, just 2km away,
when we decided to take a detour
to show you our lake

Another glimpse of the town

Lake Eildon
the fullest it's been since 1996
Now at 80% capacity;
one year taken down as low as 8%

Power lines rocketed to the other side
There are 800 houseboats on the lake

It has a 515km shoreline
and is seven times bigger than Sydney Harbour

We back-tracked to our destination
- here's the 21st C wheelbarrow
with its 19th C wheel
- our friend can turn his hand to anything!

And to a delectable dinner
of salads, smoked trout
and yabbies

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Summer Garden...just add water!

you might just see
Cocky sitting atop
the weeping cherry

the 'Grappa Grotto'
magnificent this year
there is a table and chairs under there

large pics are over the top, I know
but you won't have to click to enlarge

little Galahs in the grass
we're mowing today

Robinia mop tops

the 'listening tree'
we sit under here
and listen to the breezes whisper

a storm was brewing
three days ago

it was a hot, thundery day

taking off
and that's where I'll leave you for awhile
there's a lot to do around here

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Unrequited Love...

'Clytie' by Lord Frederic Leighton

Ovid's Metamorphoses - Clytie and Apollo
Put simply, Clytie loved Apollo but was rejected by him.  Apollo loved Daphne but she didn't love him and prayed to the river god, Peneus or Gaia and was transformed into a laurel, which greatly pleased Clytie but Apollo had lost the love of his life.

Apollo abandoned Clytie and she sat, naked on rocks for nine days without food or water, staring at the sun (Apollo), after which the Gods transformed her into a beautiful 'turnsole', which is Old English for a rock plant that turns its head to the sun (heliotrope).  

'So-called' bust of Clytie, created in 40 or 50AD

So-called because the provenance of the bust has an ambiguous history, some referring to her as Agrippina and it has been contended that it is an 18th Century work.  But a later conclusion is that it is an ancient Antonia Minor, or a Roman Ariadne.  Towneley himself named her 'Isis in a lotus flower' but the common belief is that she is in fact, Clytie.  During his grand tour of Italy in 1771-74, Towneley acquired the bust from the Neapolitan Laurenzano family, who insisted that it had been found locally.  The bust was widely preproduced; it is said that Goethe, alone, had two casts of it.

Towneley in his Park Street house with three fellow connoisseurs
An imaginery painting by Johann Zoffany, 1733-1810
The Clytie bust is sitting on a small writing table

Towneley (he changed the spelling to Townley) 
had a purpose-built house constructed for
his marble collection at Park Street in London's West End,
where he died in 1805.

Left:  Clytie bust by George Frederick Watts showing her metamorphosing into a flower.

Right:  Clytie bust by Hiram Powers

Clytie grieving
Peter Paul Rubens, 1636

Footnote: I've never been a scholar of Greek mythology, nor pretended to understand it; I went looking for the story of Clytie after seeing a reproduction of Towneley's bust on 'Antiques Roadshow'.  I'm happy to be corrected by anyone with higher knowledge....Alaine.  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wood Ducks...quite at home

Australian Wood Duck 
Left: Female    Right: Male

The Australian Wood Duck, Maned Duck or Maned Goose, Chenonetta jubata, is a dabbling duck found throughout much of Australia.  It is the only living species in the genus, Chenonetta. Traditionally placed in the Anatinae (dabbling duck) subfamily, it might actually belong to the Tadominae (shellduck) subfamily and possibly the Ringed Teal is its closest living relative.        Source: Wikipedia 

they're always here at 'Sedgemere'
we call them 'our chooks'

they love the freshly mown grass

two days ago I was running
from room to room
trying not to spook them

taking shots through dusty windows

they always look happy...
after their walk, they'll sit quietly in the shade
and luxuriate!