June 11, 2017 at 6:10 pm | Posted in Australia, games, Order, Photography, wordpress photo challenge | 12 Comments
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This is the first time I have entered the wordpress photo challenge. I see it as a simple way to get back to my blog, whilst at the same time bringing a little order to it. So this week’s challenge is rather apt.

I have mentioned before that I love a game called Bananagrams. In it, one creates a crossword that brings order out of the chaos of jumbled letter tiles. I usually play on our outside verandah but, occasionally, when it is much too cold to go out, I clear a section of the dining room table and play on the tablecloth.

Here are a couple of completed Bananagrams, one I did outside and one inside. Because of the design on the tablecloth, I think that one brings more a sense of order than the other, but I love the grain on the wooden table.

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On the dining room tablecloth

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On the verandah table

 

Bananagrams allow me to bring some order into my life when it feels like things are out of control. They make a great way to relax.

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A to Z Challenge – M is for Mowing the Lawn

April 15, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Posted in A-Z Blogging Challenge 2015, Australia, Birds, Gardens | 7 Comments
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A2Z-BADGE [2015] - Life is Good

I love mowing the lawns – do you?

…..

M is for Mowing the Lawn

Back and forth, I tramp across the yard,

pushing before me this raucous machine

that devours grass and sticks and weeds,

masticates them in whirling blades,

spitting out their shredded remains

in long uneven parallels of green.

So often a tedious task, but not today:

A warm afternoon sun draws yesterday’s rain

From moist earth into clear blue autumn skies,

And a light breeze cools the well-earned sweat

That, in humid air, gathers upon my brow.

…..

Around me, in red-flowering bottlebrush trees,

Gaudy Rainbow Lorikeets quarrel vociferously,

Chasing their differences from tree to tree,

Their screeches almost overwhelming the mower’s roar.

Up the back slope, where I have not yet been,

Sedate Eastern Rosellas pluck plentiful grass seeds.

I do not mow all their granary, but leave uncut

The yard’s far reaches, amid tall Spotted Gums.

There, skinks and blue-tongue lizards hide

Among tall grass, bracken fern and fallen branches,

And, at night, brush-tailed possums play.

…..

As I work my way across the lawning grass,

Two lapwings follow in my wake.

Immaculately dressed in light tan and white,

Black collars and caps, and masks of bright yellow,

They show no fear as I turn the mower towards them.

Our lawns and the neighbours’ provide

A constant, well-stocked larder for this faithful pair.

Today, they enjoy a veritable feast,

Darting in and dashing out on red-brown stick legs,

Snatching and devouring their spoils – the unlucky insects

So rudely disturbed by my slashing monster.

…..

As I close the throttle at last, blessed silence returns –

Except for those still-argumentative lorikeets.

The lapwings continue to forage over the sun-dappled lawn;

They should sleep, well-fed, tonight.

The mower garaged, I survey, from the verandah,

A neat, evenly cut lawn beneath tall, sheltering trees,

Enjoying the glow of a job well done, and a feeling of

Intimacy with our local community of feathered friends.

…..

(c)  Linda Visman

Share Your World – Week 39

September 30, 2014 at 9:14 pm | Posted in Australia, Nature, Reading | 4 Comments
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Share Your World blog badge

These are the latest questions from Cee Neuner – getting to know each other on Share Your World.

Did you ever get lost?

Nope, never been lost – not that I remember, anyway.

Who was your best friend in elementary school?

I don’t remember even having a particular friend in primary (elementary) school. I guess I was rather a loner when I was young.

Since the new television season has started in the US, list three favorite TV shows.

I rarely watch TV, though there are a few programmes I will watch when they come on. Most of them relate to historical aspects. I love the British Time Team with Tony Robinson, though we are several years behind on getting them here in Australia. I also love the Australian and British Who Do You Think You Are? which trace back the antecedents of well known people. That’s pretty well all I watch on a regular basis – when they are on free to air TV. We don’t have pay TV.

If you were a mouse in your house in the evening, what would you see your family doing?

My hubby will be watching TV –either war histories or aeroplane crash investigations usually. I will be either working at my writing on my computer, doing some scrapbooking, or reading.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

We have had the last few days away, camping at a place where there was no mobile (cell) phone reception or internet reception. It has been a time of relaxation and enjoying the country and wildlife.

In the next week, I will be getting into my writing group activities again.

(c) Linda Visman

Waterside Cafe

March 23, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Posted in Australia, Experiences, Mental Health, Society, Tourism, Ways of Living | 4 Comments
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Jetty cafe Toronto

Beside the boardwalk

tables & bright red chairs.

Clatter of crockery at the kiosk.

Aromas float on a light

salt-seasoned breeze –

coffee, fish and chips, hamburger.

 

Families chatter.Kids jump from jetty

Older folk natter.

Children jump from the jetty

splashing and squealing.

 

White sails glide against

green hills and blue sky.

 

Nearby, small bright-coloured sailsSailability Toronto 01

as small, special boats bob by –

the disabled get their chance

to enjoy what others take for granted.

 

Wavelets carry sun-sparkles landward

where they sssh against the shore.

 

An old man plays old tunesSailability Toronto 02

on a keyboard organ –

soothing background tones,

a grey felt hat at his feet

upturned to receive our thanks.

 

Sunday mornings don’t get

much better than this.

 

 

© Linda Visman

At Jetty Café, Toronto, NSW, Australia 23rd March 2014.

My Mind’s Like Vegetable Soup!

March 20, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Posted in Health, Mental Health, Psychology | 2 Comments
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Insomnia sheep swat team

Last night, although I was tired and wanted to sleep, I was awake until after 2.30am.

I tried to relax and clear my mind – impossible. Then I tried to ‘watch’ the thoughts as they cropped up and passed by – impossible; they were too quick for me.

Then I tried to focus on one thing, grasp and examine it until I was bored. Maybe then I could go to sleep – but again, impossible.

That’s when I started composing a blog post about my lack of mind discipline.

I am envious of those who can meditate; those who can calm their minds, eliminate extraneous distractions, focus on the inner being & find their centre.

  meditation-buddha

What happens when I try to do the same? Chaos.

My brain seems to be very much like a meat and vegetable soup bubbling in a pot on the stove. All the pieces swirl around, vanish and re-appear randomly, then disappear again before I have a chance to grab one.

vegetable-soup-cooking

My thoughts are like those pieces of onion, carrot and potato, celery, turnip and chicken. Feelings, insights, memories, glimmers of incidents and people and places, books I’ve read, things I have or haven’t done, questions and answers – they all swirl and bob up, then vanish just as quickly.

How do I obtain some sort of control over the maelstrom? What do I do, short of becoming a yogi or fakir or hermit?

meditation -yogi

All I want to do is quiet my mind so I can relax enough to sleep when I need to, or focus my mind without being distracted.

Awake-sleep brain

Is that too difficult? It has been for me thus far.

Do you meditate? How did you start? Does it help you?

 

Linda Visman

Rathmines – the Park at F-Jetty

August 12, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Posted in Australia, Mental Health, Nature, Tourism, Ways of Living | 4 Comments
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The park, with F-Jetty through the trees.

The park, with F-Jetty through the trees.

This is the second of two posts about the morning we spent at Rathmines. The first post is here.
I sat at a picnic table in the park next to F-Jetty so I could do some writing. But the winter day was so lovely – blue sky, warm sun, gentle breeze – and the sights and sounds so engrossing, that I stopped to watch, listen and take it all in.

The Birds:
Galahs scratch in the grass under a shady eucalypt, searching for tender shoots.

Several kookaburras cackle loudly from nearby trees.

Butcherbirds delineate their territory with their musical calls, and one pays a visit to my table to see what I have to offer.

Brightly coloured Rosella parrots search for seeds in the longer grass and, later, race by with their distinctive bouncing flight.

A wild duck moves off the path to make way for a human pedestrian, then pretends he was just searching for bugs.

Noisy miners chase each other from tree to tree, or make assaults on other passing birds.

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Swallows perform their aerial ballet, while picking off insects on the wing.

A magpie digs in the dirt next to me and finds a tasty grub; another sings a melody in the distance.

Rainbow lorikeets chatter and squawk in the treetops.

A shag (cormorant) perches on a buoy just off-shore and spreads its wings to the sun.

A corella announces its appearance with a shrill screech.

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A masked lapwing (plover) scuttles across the lawn on stick legs, searching for its lunch.

Seagulls settle for a rest in a placid alcove, while others bob about out on the breeze-blown lake.

Pelicans paddle smoothly by in stately succession.

A peewee seems to say hello to a big black dog that sleeps on a cushion outside a van by the lake shore.

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The people:
Pedestrians pass by on the walking path. Some walk dogs, others amble by, while several stride out to get their daily exercise.

Hopeful anglers cast their lines from the end of the jetty and wait for an elusive bite.

Two men walk down from their car to the public gas barbecue, and an enticing aroma soon drifts across on the breeze.

A white-haired man sits on a bench reading a magazine.

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Two young girls roll by on skateboards; the second takes a photo of the first with her mobile phone.

All that activity in about 30 minutes – and people say that it is boring just sitting on a park bench!

Do you just sometimes take time out to watch, listen and take in what is around you?
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© Linda Visman

Walking in Parramatta Park

October 17, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Posted in Australia, Experiences, Gardens, Nature, Tourism, Writing | 8 Comments
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One Thursday recently, I drove my husband to work in western Sydney. I then had the day to myself until I had to pick him up. I decided to go to Parramatta Park, through which runs the Parramatta River.

The park is an historic place, part of it being the site of the first Government House building constructed after Australia was colonised by Britain. It also had the first real farm and the first successful dairy. Before that, it had been a significant place for the Aborigines, who had become displaced by the newcomers. 

The name Parramatta is based on the local indigenous word that means ‘place of many eels’ and the river was an important source of food. No doubt, the origin of the name is why the local rugby league team is known as the Eels.

Going to this large, beautiful park has inspired me before: to write, or to just enjoy the peace and the significance of the place for both indigenous and European inhabitants. There are the riverbanks, pathways and many open spaces in which to walk. There is also the old King’s Park cricket ground, and the Eel’s home football ground and Leagues Club.

On this day, it had been raining, and the clouds looked as if they held more rain to come. But, after parking the car, I set out for a good walk. In the end, I spent about enjoyable six hours in the park, and I came away with some images that I would like to share with you.

At the weir, river water washes through the overflow vents, swirls and churns into fluffy mounds, like suds on over-soaped dishwater. These float downstream, bright white islands on green, tree-reflected water.

Multitudes of flying foxes hang upside-down in the branches of riverside trees, like an abundant crop of plump black fruit.

I watch 767 passenger jets take off from the airport twenty miles away. They slowly climb into the air, and I marvel at the laws of physics that allow Man to conquer the skies. My ancestors, only a few generations back, would marvel even more.

The counter and shelves in the café display cakes and biscuits – creamed, chocolated or brightly icing-sugared. A gastronome’s sweet delight of highly processed sugar and carbs that draw in the unwary, and add yet more inches to already expanded waistlines.

Swallows swoop and dart for insects just above the lawn, zipping closely past each other but never touching; a perfectly choreographed aerial ballet.

A pair of batting gloves rests on the ground next to the cricket oval gate. Were they lost after a weekend match? Will the owner return to claim them, or will they continue to lie abandoned in the rain?

A man strides briskly past me, umbrella open and raised overhead against the rain. So intent on his thoughts, he does not realise that the shower has passed and the sun is breaking through the clouds.

An old peppercorn tree stands in the park, its thick trunk gnarled into rough lumps upon fissured bumps. A hole, deep and shadowed, could easily be the small entry to a fantasy world of trolls and goblins.

My walk in the park turned up wonderful images everywhere. As always, I had my notebook and pen with me to capture them.

 

© Linda Visman

 

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