8th Feb – A neighbour working on an old Jag removed the muffler and took it for a test drive. He roared it round a corner where a woman was pushing a pram. She jumped back a few feet.
9th Feb – I drove in a storm today for the first time in years. Doesn’t rain much here.
10th Feb – A friend who does no gardening, not even pot plants, showed me four full buckets of peaches from trees in her back yard.
11th Feb – Driving from Queanbeyan to the coast, there’s a strip of several kilometres where people nail teddy bears and other stuffed toys to trees. It’s hard to stop for photos because it’s a highway, but I did capture one crucified teddy:
12th Feb – My son who has no cameras who is engaged to a photographer with many cameras gave me for my birthday a disposable camera.
So many of the photos we took on the weekend are studies in blue. This one shows that blue does not always mean down. When you’re beside blue water, under a blue sky, in front of a blue lamp post, and it’s your birthday, blue means up.
Today’s theme is a curious one for me. We don’t use the word closet in Australia except to speak of someone with secret habits. We store our clothes in a wardrobe. Since I’m at the beach for the weekend and I have no access to mine, I thought of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and that magical piece of furniture that one can step through to find a land of dreams and terrors. If I could step through my clothes and the back of my wardrobe, I would come out into this land:
I was walking here this afternoon. It was about 5 pm and the sun had finally shone for the first time today. The water clarity and temperature, the warmth of the sun after yet another cool summer day (global cooling), the absence of people, the eternal rolling of the waves; all of it is perfect. These beaches on the south coast of New South Wales make me VERY happy.
This week’s theme has me questioning what are appropriate photos for a blog. My submissions for this weekly photo challenge are all coming from my father’s war album, and this morning I had to choose between a number of photos that tell a story of regret. In the end, I couldn’t put them on my blog. It’s enough to say that my father regretted volunteering to defend Australia in the Middle East. It’s also true, though, that those who were defended didn’t regret his contribution and were very thankful for the servicemen and women of the AIF (Australian Imperial Forces).
This photo, however, makes me wonder what the driver was thinking.
3rd Feb: My son and his fiancée just ordered their wedding rings from a country in the other hemisphere. The new way of shopping. I’m still getting my head around this.
4th Feb: When leaving to walk the dog, the couple in the Housing flats called out: ‘How are ya?’ This is the first time any of the tenants have voluntarily spoken to me.
5th Feb: Bought an antique chair for my son’s fiancée. I saw swirls etched into the seat, but she showed me they were hearts.
6th Feb: I just bought fabric from a country in the other hemisphere. Never say never.
7th Feb: Translating a passage about a dying abbot, I paused for a moment to search for a song online for background music, and found several covers done by Amy Winehouse. I wouldn’t have let her into my personal space, but when I played her version of Billie Holiday’s ‘There is no greater love’ all the grimness of the abbot’s death was forgotten. I never learn to never say never.
There’s no real sun in my city today. Just clouds. So I searched through my father’s poetry book; here’s the beginning of a poem about the merciless sun that Australians often live under. The poem is attributed to M.A.N., 1941; the illustration is by Ron Bruce.
This is my mother, drawn by my father. Years ago, I took it out of his sketch book and had it framed, and now it sits beside my desk. I often focus on the round buttons and the round brooch on her dress.
The sketchbook dates from about 1942/43. This portrait is a very close likeness, as once observed by a visitor who saw the drawing and then a photo of Mum at about the same age.
It was a toss-up tonight between two photos that suited the theme of ‘ready’. One was of my father and his mates in the training camp, ready and waiting to be sent to the Middle East. And there was this one of an Egyptian kitchen hand bearing about 50 plates with more behind him, ready to serve all the extra patrons. His hands have a firm grip on his load…