Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Best Shot Monday: On The Rocks Sydney Style

Sunset on the Bradfield Highway: these incongruously modern apartments rear up from the depths of The Rocks, nestled away beneath The Bridge in a tumble of Victorian Terraces, rockfaces and stairs. For all their stark, concrete, geometric design they reflect a certain beauty as they catch the last light of the setting sun behind me.
This is one of my favorite shots from my trip to Sydney last week. To see what else is on offer, click over to Tracy's for Best Shot Monday.

I wish I had thought to have my camera ready however, as I emerged from the aero tunnel in Sydney airport last Wednesday; my Baby Angel's face was a picture.

She had been lured to the airport to pick up a 'friend of Dad's' who was coming to stay from Canberra and was 'bringing her an early birthday present'. Because of this elaborate fiction she had absolutely no idea that I was coming although; after she had picked up her jaw and hugged me, she was still looking over my shoulder to see where dad's friend was with her birthday present!

We had a wonderful time together and were given space by her sensitive dad and stepmum to do some sight seeing together. First stop was 'The Rocks' one of the oldest and most atmospheric areas of Sydney, right under the south pylon of the Harbour Bridge. I wonder whose feet wore down these steps over the last two centuries?

This is a mural depicting a street which was truncated in the 1930s by the construction of the highway approaching the Bridge. I thought it was wonderful for trying to imagine what the place would have looked like at the turn of the century. That's the BA peeking over the wall there.

We headed down to the waterfront and enjoyed the Autumn sunshine in front of the Bridge and the Opera House. The BA shot this one looking straight into the sun. It's had minimal processing!

Here's my effort on her. I think she did better :-)
The ubiquitous Opera House shot.

And so we kept on snapping. These are the concrete apartments viewed from the base.This was Himself's choice as Best Shot Monday. It's a wild sculpture depicting a row of terraced houses, torn down in the early 1900s. This part is at street level.This is the same thing viewed from below street level. These would have been two story terraces and the part where the BA is sitting was the lower floor. The sculptor has placed large steel household objects throughout the ruins of the houses.

I loved the setting here at the top of a winding staircase. Checkout the toe/fingernails. The BA and her step mum had been for a mani/pedi thing earlier in the week :-)

Peering down from Bunker's Hill over the rocks which give the area its name. I love the many levels in the area.

Being near the waterfront and the docks, The Rocks had a pretty seedy reputation in the early days of Sydney Town. This narrow lane is called Suez Canal and was a place to be avoided for fear of the notorious 'Rocks Push'.

I often wonder what the inhabitants of that early version of Sydney would think if they could see the place now. I had a mild taste of it on Friday when I took the BA back to King Street Newtown to see my old Teacher's College. Basically, it was gone! Disturbing.
Still, if I was feeling bad, I could always sit on Bondi Beach admiring the surfers and the power of nature :-)

SOOC Sunday: Bondi Beach

Melody does this little thing called Straight Out Of Camera Saturday (or Sunday) and as I'm about to load up a plethora of shots from my Sydney trip, I thought I'd start with this one and send you over to look at other people's unprocessed photography at Slurping Life.

I have no idea who this is but he walked across my shot of the wind blowing the spray off the wave and turns out it is good that he did! I have any number of other shots of waves and they somehow never look as impressive as they do in real life. A bit of human interest helps :-)

I had a great time in Sydney, (thanks to the BA's Dad and Stepmum Extraordinaire) and we finished off with an ANZAC Day Saturday afternoon trip down to Bondi for coffee and cake. It really is a beautiful beach. The Baby Angel had never been there before and so we walked on the sand and sat and watched the multitude of surfers hovering like sharks around the left hand break.

It's Monday here now and I am putting off the hideous but inevitable return to work. I don't even know what I'm supposed to be teaching them today *sigh*. I have a free to work it out when I get there :-(

Hope you're all doing OK wherever you are.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Up Up And Away........

I'm off to Sydney for a few days and don't know if I'll have too much internet access (or time to browse more's the point) so ADIOS!!! See yuz all on Saturday.

Don't have too much fun while I'm away...........

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Crafty Tuesday

I am so excited because I actually have craft (done by me) to post today. A plethora of craft in fact! Firstly, I made it to 'scrapbooking' on Friday night where they introduced us to this puzzle piece cutter thingy. We were challenged to do a spread using the puzzle piece as a theme. There were a variety of demo layouts to try and copy or, like me, you could do your own thing. Each of the puzzle pieces has a name on it, which I have cloned out (roughly) in 'Paint'. I do not know how Himself and his ilk do this kind of thing for a living. I have about zero patience for it. As evidenced here.

I was relatively happy with the finished effect as, I explained to Himself, it was a bit of a 'Ready Steady Cook' affair. You know the show where they present the chefs with random ingredients and they have to come up with something? Well, that's how this went. I had a folder of random photos, a selection of pages and coloured paper and the theme to work with. At least I finished it for a change!

I was so inspired that when I got home I finished a few more pages.

Himself doesn't like this one. I think I should have back mounted the photos but I was wearing out at that point. I might go back and do it if I'm feeling keen.

These ones were pretty simple but they had been sitting in the album, not stuck down for from 1 to 3 years depending on the photo! :-) At least they are in now.

And finally, the piece de resistance, at least it will be when it's finished; knitting!

I am making a cardigan for Oustiti's new baby Rosalie!! I am determined to finish it before the holidays are over otherwise it will sit around being unfinished until Rosalie is 25 and having her own babies!! :-)

Do you have any craft to share? There is usually a bit to go around over at Carrie's.

You Have Reached "At The End Of Our Tether" High School

This came to me via email and despite protestations that it is a REAL message on the REAL answering machine at Maroochydore High School, I do not think for one moment that our professional Sunshine State cousins would actually implement such a thing. I do think however, that they would LIKE to.

Outgoing Message on a High School Answering Machine:

Hello! You have reached the automated answering service of your school. In order to assist you in connecting to the right staff member, please listen to all the options before making a selection:

To lie about why your child is absent - Press 1

To make excuses for why your child did not do his work - Press 2

To complain about what we do - Press 3

To swear at staff members - Press 4

To ask why you didn't get information that was already enclosed in your newsletter and several flyers mailed to you - Press 5

If you want us to raise your child - Press 6

If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone - Press 7

To request another teacher, for the third time this year - Press 8

To complain about bus transportation - Press 9

To complain about school lunches - Press 0

If you realize this is the real world and your child must be Accountable and Responsible for his/her own behaviour, class work, homework and that it's not the teachers' fault for your child's lack of effort: Hang up and have a nice day!

If you want this in another language, move to a country that speaks it. (OUCH! not sure about this one...)

Monday, 20 April 2009

Best Shot Monday: Nurturing Independence

Here is my favourite shot from the last few weeks.

People have asked me why I am such an 'independent woman'? I have changed tyres, shock absorbers, tappit cover gaskets, hefted furniture, put up guttering, removed plaster, raked out cavity walls, dug sump drains.....

I could not quite remember where this had come from until recently; until Grandma and Grandad bought the Baby Angel some new drawers from Ikea.

The whole buying thing happened whilst I was at work so I was delighted to hear that Grandad and the BA were going to put the drawers up together on the weekend.

I particularly like the picture of the little man in the left hand corner above; the one with the question mark over his head. The caption should read....'remind me again why I didn't avail myself of their 'erecto' services??'

I hung around for the first set of drawers and helped sort screws and bolts and the like.

But the two of them pretty much had it wrapped up. There was discussion about the different types of screwdrivers available, about ratchet screwdrivers and how to use them, about nudging dowels in with a mallet and other useful bits of DIY advice! And I think suddenly I remembered why I had become such an independent handy-woman. Our dad has always encouraged it in us.

May it stand you in good stead Baby Angel.

For more wonderful photography, check out Best Shot Monday.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Gender Differences: Lesson 4: Showers


Put the bucket under the faucet to collect the runoff as you warm up the hot water.

Set the shower timer for 2 mins (straight wash) or 4 mins (hairwash). Once a week allow an extra minute for shaving legs.

Turn on the extractor fan.

Enter the shower and allow approx 15 secs for luxuriating under the red hot needles of cleanliness.

Choose the appropriate product from the range of shampoos/conditioners/colourlock/facial scrub and bodywash available.

Deftly and expertly apply and remove products. Step out of shower just after the timer goes off but not before wiping off excess moisture so as not to drip too much.

Dry off, hang up towel and turn off extractor fan.

Check butt in mirror.


Blunder into bathroom. Ensure faithful cat has followed you.

Turn on shower. Fiddle excessively with taps until temp is correct. Realise you have forgotten to use the bucket and swear to remember next time.

Get into shower and wonder what that annoying digital thing on the wall is and why you feel vaguely guilty when you look at it.

Allow approximately 15 minutes for luxuriating under the red hot needles of cleanliness.

Realise you have run out of time and are meant to be leaving for work soon. Fumble through selection of containers in shower recess and choose one that may or may not be bodywash.

Consider shampooing hair but remember that you have to leave the shampoo on for 3 minutes and then there's conditioner and after all, this shower is a waste of valuable water resources.

Decide not to bother with the shampoo.


Drift off again and allow another 5 minutes for luxuriating under the red hot needles of cleanliness.

Finally turn off taps and step immediately out into the bathroom dripping as much water as possible.

Glance in mirror but realise it is completely steamed up through failure to engage extractor fan. Engage extractor fan. Start to dry off whilst waiting for mirror to clear. Give up on the wait, after all who needs to see to comb your hair?

Leave the room ensuring that the extractor fan is still running.

Throw wet towel on the bed.

Why This Time?

She flies off to see her Dad every holiday. We have been to the airport and been through this routine about 30+ times. The first time we did it was Easter 2003. She was flying as an unaccompanied minor for the first time and was understandably anxious. I held it together as I hugged and kissed her goodbye, then collapsed into the Bestie's arms, a heaving, sobbing mess.

The next time she was eager and didn't even look back. That made me cry too.

After about the third trip I began to enjoy the freedom of my week without parental responsibility.

After about the 6th trip, it was me who didn't look back!

So why, after all this time, did I suddenly get weepy as I watched her walk off down the ramp this morning? Especially since (sssshhhhhhh: she doesn't know yet) I am going to see her again on Wednesday! Her Dad and Stepmum Extraordinaire have invited me to spend a few days with them to surprise her so I fly out on Weds. So why was I so weepy?

I have absolutely no idea. 2003


Dec 2004

2005 2007 2008

Friday, 17 April 2009

"As Our Trekcart Goes Rolling Along"*

One of the chief blessings of the holidays is the opportunity to catch up with my Mum and Dad more often. Given the glorious autumn weather, we have managed quite a few 'outings' this last week. Here are some of them.Firstly, Good Friday walking on Noarlunga Beach. That's Mum powering on ahead in her little hat. Having been off school with nasty cold/flu things the week before, we were both having our first venture out into the world of physical activity. Typically, she threw herself into it and was laid low again the following day! As you can tell, I was following behind at a much more measured pace :-)This one is at Belair National Park. It is the infamous Easter Picnic with A Free Man and family. Take note of the delightful location Himself selected for us and then abandoned us to enjoy!!! I think you can just see Boy Z disappearing off into the wide blue yonder after yet another ball (that child is obsessed). Do note complete lack of CARS in the background chizz chizz chizz. Still, we were able to have a good old chat and share some of the Baby Angel's apple tarte tatins with cream and crumbled easter egg on top. :-)The next outing was to Reedy Creek, somewhere between Murray Bridge and Mannum in the South Australian Riverland....hem hem. Here are Mum and the BA at the top of the hill carrying the esky down the trail. I do not think they had seen the path which they must tread, at this point.Here is my father explaining to my mother (just out of frame) that we are about to descend into that valley below. I had to leave her out of frame because her reaction was not pretty.

"But," he protests,"Look at the wonderful rocks you will see at the bottom...."Seriously though, my Mum is a good sport and once I had taken charge of the esky and she could concentrate on her descent she was fine.

"My, my,"she enthused,"look at these beautiful rocks......they're so........BIG!"

Well done Mum. Fifty years as the wife of a geologist and all you can come up with is 'they're so big'? To be fair, as she explained, in the years when she was doing a lot of following my dad around on field trips, her prime concern was two small, adventurous, athletic girls. Who had time to take in information about the rocks?This is the 'path we must tread'. We followed a trail down to the trees on the right and after that it was clamber time. We were headed up this valley to the source of the creek.

Reedy Creek is of geological importance due to the 100% outcrop exposure. These massive granites were formed under the pressure of two plates colliding; sedimentary rocks melted, flowed and reformed creating the material you see here. In less arid times, water flowed rapidly down this creek carving out the valley and creating amazing potholes as smaller boulders ground against larger ones.The floor of the creek bed was carved out of the massive outcrop and was quite hard going for some of us. Dad was on a mission to re-shoot pictures for a field guide which needed bringing up to date so he ploughed on ahead. Apparently when the creek is flowing there is a waterfall at the head and this was his goal. The rest of us just had a bit of fun on the way.I'm scrunching my face up here because there was a particularly persistent fly which was determined to sit on my nose just as the shot was taken. A scrunched face is so much better than a fly on the nose, don't you think? Yup, they were some BIG rocks alright Mum.Finally, here's the dried up waterfall. There was still (pretty disgusting looking) water in the pool at the foot of the fall but other than that the smooth rocks and telltale tide marks were the only signs of the torrent that flows here from time to time.

By the time we made the waterfall, the sun was high and our overcast windy autumn day had transformed into a corker. Photo shoot completed we headed back to where we'd stashed the esky and back up the hill for the drive home. We had to drive through Woodside however because there is another item of interest to Dad there.

It was a lovely day all round and as we kept reminding Mum, it was the first time we'd seen any of it 'from that side'. Family joke. You had to be there.


* Mum was regaling us with Girl Guide walking songs, except they were Scout ones because in those days you had to borrow everything from the blokes....

"In and Out
Hear them shout
Gee I'm glad that I'm a Scout
As our trekcart keeps rolling along."

What were they on about?

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Theme Thurday: New Beginnings

Yes, inside each of these perfectly formed little tripods is a new spiky, scratchy, horrible weed, waiting to sprout. And they are now in my garden. Thanks for that, picnic blanket.

Theme Thursday has moved to Amy Jo's place: Cheese Party. Click over and see what other New Beginnings are on offer.

Gender Differences: Lesson 3: Easter Picnics


Pore over cookbooks the day before and select delicious recipes for potato salad and meatloaf. Pack the car with blankets, chairs, hampers and chilled wine. Make arrangements to meet wonderful friends and bring beloved parents.

Notice a grassy spot overhung with willows and surrounded by other groups of happy picnickers with the additional bonus of available car parks. Grit your teeth as you are driven past this spot.

Set up blankets and chairs in a secluded location and proceed to lay out the delightful and varied efforts of your culinary labour. Serve your beloved family and share with wonderful friends. Sit back and enjoy a glass of wine on a perfect day (not too hot, not too cold) with delightful company and conversation, cute kids and a walk in the bush. Joyfully spot the occasional emu/rabbit/kangaroo/freight train or squirrel depending on your interest and level of delusion.


Reluctantly agree to attend. Hide confusion and disappointment when you realise that Girls want to have a 'Tailgate Picnic Feast' (TM) rather than a barbie. Reluctantly place all items, determined by Girls to be essential, into the car. Pack all items you deem essential into the car.
Complain about the amount of stuff being transported.

Arrive at park. Drive past a grassy spot overhung with willows and surrounded by other groups of happy picnickers with the additional bonus of available car parks. Too many people. Fail to notice Girls' disappointment.

Locate a quiet, out of the way place with no other people around (in order that you can commune with nature) and ensure it has more prickles and high weeds than any other similar location. Unload essential items.Gratefully accept some namby pamby food from wife, wonder why there is v little meat in the meatloaf and commence bluetooth connection for next phase of the Great Ocean Challenge Thingy >:-(

Realise you cannot get an internet connection in this secluded, natural location.

Make hurried apologies and drive off in a cloud of dust 'looking for a high spot'; search fruitlessly for an hour; decide to go home and make the connection leaving family stranded in the National Park and carrying numbers of essential items in the car with you (eg tissues/handbags). Return an hour and a half later and wonder why the car is packed and everyone ready to leave within 10 minutes of your arrival.

Make sheepish apologies to Girls for three days afterwards.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Crafty Tuesday: Generation Y Does Easter Eggs

I know, I know, I am a day late. Are you surprised? Well, as they say, I am sure it is Tuesday somewhere in the world.

So here we are last Thursday in my Care Group doing Easter eggs. The gang (there were only about 12 of them present) were most bemused when they came in to find desks in the centre of the room and an array of paints, glue, sequins, glitter, crepe paper, rice and lentils gathered for their amusement. Many did not know what was going on. Even the dozen and a half hard boiled eggs in a carton did not give sufficient hint!

"What's this Mrs A?"
"Eggs, we're going to decorate easter eggs....(observes blank face)....have you never decorated
eggs before?"

I was blown away. Maybe this is a fundamental Christian thing? Us Anglicans sure decorated eggs when I was growing up; maybe Pentecostals don't go in for pagan tradition?

Nevertheless, once they had got over their timidity and the boys had got over the 'cool' factor which certainly did NOT include painting eggs....I couldn't stop them. I just wish we had had longer.

For more wonderful easter craftiness, head on over to Carrie's for Crafty Tuesday. Perhaps you've got something to share too?