Thursday, December 30, 2010

Water water everywhere................

Got back from our Queensland holiday last night.  Rained every day.  Floods.  Glad my family got through so we could spend Christmas together.  However a few days later one was flooded in and couldn't come for a final visit before we flew home.  However I am very relaxed and happy at seeing my family and don't care that we couldn't get out much.
Now - to unpack and wash..............................

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Holidays

Christmas Eve.  Tomorrow we head up to Queensland to see my family.
If I don't get a chance to come in before I go,

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Countdown to Christmas - must check my checklist!

Well last day at work yesterday so I'm officially on holidays.

Finished Christmas shopping last night - check!
Tree and decorations up - check! (well they've actually been up since Dec 1)
Wrap presents - half check!

So today I need to:
Tidy house for dinner guests tonight
Wash clothes we need to take on holidays
Get hair done
Take my blouse to dry cleaners
Finish wrapping presents
Shop for tonight's dinner
Put champagne on ice

I guess I need to fortify myself with extra strong coffee today.
(Photos above taken by my beautiful sister-in-law who lives in Zurich and is having a white christmas - I'm a tad envious)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Musings. A shutterbug's dilemma.

There are certain advantages to having only my phone as a camera.  It's small enough to fit in my pocket for instance, and therefore can be grabbed at a second's notice to take a photo when the whim takes me - like the photo taken at Circular Quay above.  However there are certain disadvantages too.  For example, I feel this photo would look much more effective if I was able to blur the background, and hence making the detail on the wonderful railing stand out.  The camera on my phone does have many settings and I'm sure if I played with it long enough (or found the instructions) I may be able to do it.  But when the photo taking whim posseses me I don't really want to stand around fiddling with my settings.  Maybe I should just invest in a proper -but easy to use - camera and some photography lessons......

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Oprah mania sweeps nation!

Seems every time I pick up a paper or switch on the telly lately I see Oprah Winfrey and her tour Down Under.  And I love it.  I've read and heard lots of different opinions, good and bad,  on the topic and here's mine.
The woman is one of the weathiest in the world and she could have picked anywhere on this planet to take her audience on holiday.  Yet she picked Australia.  Doesn't that make the complainers out there feel the teensiest bit proud?  Apparently not.  I've heard whingers saying that tax payers are footing the bill.  Maybe we are - but didn't we shell out a hell of a lot more money recently on the failed World Cup bid?  And think of what she's doing for our tourism!  Not one negative word about this country has come out of her mouth.  All her audience she brought out are ecstatic at being here.  This would be the first trip for many of them.  I hope we continue to make them feel welcome and at home here.
Personally, if I'm lucky enough to come across one of the travellers on my way about during the day, I will say "Welcome to my country, I hope you really enjoy your stay here".

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday Musing - All I want for Christmas.

More wardrobe space
A live in maid
An iPad for hubby so he will leave my iPod alone
A day to myself
Better time management skills
The complete series of Nigella books and dvd's
A small corner to set up my art stuff - just a small one please I'm sure you can find room amongst all your music stuff, gym equipment, pool table that you never use..........
A shopping trip to Paris
A shopping trip to Rome

Friday, November 19, 2010

A change of plans and a happy find.

It's amazing what you find when you least expect it.  Recently we all caught the ferry to the city for a free family open day at the Opera House.  Well the queue went back past Circular Quay so we had a quick change of plans.  Wanderng around we discovered a museum we didn't know about.  Silly really as it was rather large and well placed.  The Museum of Sydney is on the site of the first Government House.  How could we not know it was there?   Not too expensive to get in and incredibly fascinating.  It certainly occupied us for a couple of hours (and kept us out of the rain)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

All organised for Christmas?

Ink and coloured pencil.  Original at Note Couture, Carrie Collection.
I'm trying to get organised for Christmas.  And get the airconditioning fixed.  And solve for once and for all our intermittant internet problems.  And get the light downstairs replaced.  And - well you get the picture.  And I haven't even made my Christmas shopping list. Funny.  The only thing I really want to do is sleep.
Strange how the time of joy is really a time of stress for a lot of people.  However, I have the answer.  Everybody just buy Christmas presents for themselves.  That way nobody is missed and everyone gets what they want. 
Well it was good in theory.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday musing - a whiff of change

Anyone who has droped by the last couple of weeks may have noticed a change in title and in the 'about me' section.  No huge reason for the change, I just felt I wasn't getting enough out of my blog.  I wanted it to be about all of me, not just my place of residence (as much as I love this place).  I wanted to post about my thoughts, feelings and observations, post the odd picture I drew, and record the places I visit.  I thought long about a new title and description and came up with Through My Window, because I felt that I would be recording my view of the world.  This may change because I'm not 100% happy with it.  But it will do for now.......................

Thursday, November 11, 2010

An angel's birthday

Yesterday was the birthday of someone very close to my heart.  She is so special her mere presence has made my life richer.  This picture best reflects how I think of her.  I saw it on my way home from work a few weeks ago and was looking for an appropriate time to post it.  Today is perfect.  I'm not sure who the artist was but these beautifully decorated thongs remind me of a post on Eric's blog (wonderful blog - please visit his site).  Of course Manly being what it is, it was only a few days before drunken idiots started ripping the thongs down.  At least I got a photo in before they did.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Musings - Facebook, A study in Philanthropy

Pen and soft pastel.  Original illustration at Note Couture, Carrie Collection.

I recently joined facebook.  Not because I have an affinity with technology or even wanted to be on it.  In fact, I've always been an avid anti-facebooker.  It was just that, with my family all (well mostly) living up north, and my best friend overseas, it was just an easier way to keep in touch with all the people that I love. Once I joined I noticed something interesting.  Facebook is a perfect place to study human behaviour.  Immediately upon sending a "friend" request to my 3 nieces I was accepted onto their pages.  And I am talking seconds here - literally within less than a minute of me sending the request I was a friend.  Heck - I thought - they must live on the computer.  I realised later that they were probably accessing Facebook from their phones.  Not being a savvy facebooker I didn't realise that any messages they were posting to anyone, not just me, would be automatically posted onto my page as recent news.  And along with those messages, the replys of their friends were suddenly also there for me to see.  I was hit with a machine gun barrage of teenage gobbledegook.  I think one was talking about her driving test, one was fighting with a friend and the third was just - well, I'm not sure really. 
The older generations took longer.  Those of my generation took a day or two to accept me as a friend, after finding a minute between work and children to check their facebook page.  My parent's generation took between a few days and a week  during their weekly check-in of their friends, children and grandchildren.
After about a week of viewing and posting the odd comment, I noticed some interesting patterns in dialogue.  The teenagers were happy, then sad, then happy again, then confused, then bored, then angry, then hated, then liked again, etc.  They talked about their social life and what (and who) was (or wasn't) important and why.  Life was confusing and emotional and they were the centre of the universe.  I didn't know how completely out of touch with adolescence I was until I was trying to decipher some comments from my nieces and was venting my frustration by growling "What on earth is that girl talking about", and Miss Too-Young-To-Be-On-Facebook who was (unknowing to me) standing behind me, started to translate.  Occasionally I saw someone posting about how boring the class they were in at that second was.  I supressed the urge to suggest that the classroom was possibly not the best place to text a comment to your facebook page, but then I didn't want to be blocked from my niece's page.
The 20ers talked mainly about their social life.  They were either on their way up or down the coast, on their way out somewhere special, coming home from somewhere special, or commenting the morning after something special.  Sometimes they were looking forward to something special.  Work was never mentioned which led me to wonder how they could afford to go to all these special places.  They were finished with study (I don't seem to have any uni students as friends yet), earning money, had no commitments, were 10 feet tall and bullet proof, and were still the centre of the universe.
30's and 40ers still talked about what they were doing but included family and children in the conversation.    They were definitely no longer the centre of the universe - their children were.  Mothers of babies talked mainly about whether or not they got any sleep.
50ers and above hardly comment at all.  Maybe they're out having a life.........

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday Musings - A girl can dream can't she?

The book I'm in love with at the moment.  Dreaming Of Chanel by Charlotte Smith.  The followup to her wonderful book Dreaming Of Dior.  Unless you are completely fashion unconscious you can guess it's a book about - fashion.  But not just of fashion - also about the women who wore the dresses (and hats, bags, shoes - you get the picture) in her collection. Wonderful stories and stunning illustrations.  It's a girly girls dream come true in paper form.  Of course this means I've been inspired to search for vintage clothes again, like the dress I posted about earlier.  And it's given me the drawing bug - again.  Now if I could just write inspiring, alluring prose (or even just amusing posts) life would be perfect................

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Floriade Florals.

Ok so it's not Sydney.  These beautiful shots were taken by my
daughter at Floriade.  I think she became their official phtotographer.

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's the long weekend!

Yes yes yes it's the bridge again.  But only because I simply haven't had the time to take a photo today so had to look in my Sept 2010 archive for a nice shot.  And it is such a great shot!  I'm going away for the long weekend so won't be in for a few days.  So here is a photo of some lovely flowers to keep you until I return.  I'm off to Canberra to check out Floriade.  Must remember to pack the Claratine.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Marvelous market find.

A fabulous find from Manly markets.  This beautiful 1960's dress made from satin poylester with stunning floral embroidery.  It just needs a professional clean and a couple of small repairs and I'll have a stunning vintage dress.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A walk along Dee Why

The other day I took a long leisurely walk along the nature path at Dee Why Head.  For an hour and a half I lost myself among the beautiful native (and some not so native) flora and fauna.  No captions necessary - just come along and walk with me.........

Monday, September 20, 2010

A cottage by the sea.

I would have posted this photo sooner but I had others I wanted to share so I'm posting this rather late.  However better late than never?  A few weeks ago I went with my daughters class on a school excursion to The Rocks.  This is Cadman's Cottage.  The cottage of a convict who made good.  If you think the doorway is a little low it's because it's actually set behind a little retaining wall (click on the photo for a better view).  This retaining wall used to actually be the sea wall.  So the harbour came right up to his front door!  Would hate to be there during a storm.  (btw I can't take credit for this photo.  My daughter borrowed my phone for the excursion)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Time to get the hands dirty.

I just love the blissfully warm weather we are having at the moment.  Lately I've developed a real passion for gardening.  I've always loved pottering around the pots and plants, but since the warm weather hit (and thanks to a wonderful program about the National Trust gardens in the UK on Foxtel) I've had all sorts of ideas about redesigning my garden flying around my head.  Since my knowledge is quite limited I have quite a job ahead of me.  First up (after the post Winter clear up) is learning how to properly care for my fruit trees planted long before we ever bought the place.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A cosy read by the fire.

A beautiful old fireplace in an upstairs room of a great magazine shop in Newtown - the name of which escapes me at the moment.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

10th Anniversay of Sydney Olympics

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Sydney Olympic Games.  I wanted to post something to celebrate but couldn't find a photo to suit.  Then whilst filling up the car with petrol this morning I spied this beauty.  It reminded me of what I liked best about the olympics.  I remember the place being filled with excitement and colour.  I met so many happy people from all over the world and felt proud that they were enjoying my city.  I especially loved being chatted up by some very nice Brazilian men.  But what I liked most about having the 2000 Olympics here was that, for the first - and only - time in my memory, Sydney public transport ran with Swiss-like precision.  During those 2 weeks getting around Sydney by public transport was a breeze.  Oh how I miss those days........

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Early morning photo

Manly Corso yesterday morning.  No reason for this photo.  Just liked the feeling of perspective.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Revelation murals revealed.

A view of part of the Revelation Ceiling at the Newtown Mission.  The ceiling of this beautiful old church is covered in murals from the book of Revelation.  This panel is of The New Heaven And The New Earth.  If you're ever passing through Newtown I advise you to drop in for a look.  It's quite peaceful.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Spring and food - two great loves

It's Spring!  The days are warming, the flowers are opening, Spring fashion is here, and the air is filled with fine scents.  I love Spring like I love Autumn and the other seasons.  All for different reasons.  One of the reasons I love Spring is trying out new tastes.  Hot meals are being replaced by saucy salads.  A great place to eat (any time of the year) is Fratelli Fresh.  Walk through the wonderful farmers market, up the stairs, through a fantastic store of sauces, oils and hidden delights; into a wonderful Italian restaurant.  What can I say - squisito.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

All things buttons.

A wonderful button shop in King St, Newtown.

Even the door handle is a huge button.
(Whose reflection is that ;) )

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Musings - A-musing results.

Did I say close?  It looks like we've got the first hung parliment since 1940.  And since I don't have a photo to go with this weeks big news, I will instead post a photo I took last week of another first.  Our garden path after the first hailstorm we've had for many years.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Election Day

It's election day.  And while I was tempted to show you the photo I took of the long long long line I waited in at the polling booths this morning, I found this magazine cover very funny and decided to take a photo of it.  The polling booths will close in about 40 minutes.  It will be a very close election this time I think.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Musings. Where has Manly gone?

Thanks to the continual 'development' in the Northern Beaches a lot of our lovely old buildings have disappeared.  This wonderful old garage looks it's going to be the next victim.  I remember the Manly of my youth having a great village by the sea feel.  Beautiful hotels built in the 1920's, cottages and small blocks of flats on the beach front.  There were still many places to stay and cafes and restaurants, but the place still held it's character.  Now all but one of the cottages are gone (that one left has been redevoloped and now has a great whopping apartment block in its back yard - oh but the developers 'still kept the heritage of the house alive' - what rubbish) and the beach front now resembles the Gold Coast.  I envy the beautiful cities of Europe I've visited (Paris, Zurich, etc) whose city authorities respect their heritage.  We clearly don't.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Flash mob at Circular Quay

No picture today.  Instead a link to a video.  Last Monday (2 August) a group of Sydney public schools performed a surprise flash mob dance at Circular Quay to start Education Week.  I wasn't there to catch the action but heard about it because my daughter's school participated in it (no she wasn't in it).  Apparently there were simultaneous performances in Orange and Miranda.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Weapons of mass de-rust-ion?

One of three mysterious cannon that was unearthed during the rebuilding of part of Taronga Zoo in recent years.  Unfortunately I don't remember the details about how old they are and why they were there although I did read the plaques.  I will have to do some research - but for now bed beckons me.  If anyone knows more details please do tell..........

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A tad unfortunate.

I saw this in Manly today and just had to take a photo.  Public toilets are not in the best of condition in this area and it's a little alarming to find the good ones are out of order.