Category Archives: Quotes

Who Was the Diggingest Dog?

This is what we woke up to this morning… a monumental crater in our backyard. A crater so big, you could almost park a Mini inside it, and we weren’t happy!

Well, you might think we’d been struck by a meteorite. Indeed, given the smattering of holes around the backyard, a meteorite shower.  However, this particular hole is much larger and deeper than the rest and might even be considered impressive. Meanwhile, thanks to all these holes and the grey, sandy soil, our backyard resembles a moonscape and there’s barely a blade of grass in sight.  It looks pretty desolate to be honest and I don’t really go out there unless I have to.

As soon as you step foot in our backyard, the cause of these holes is obvious. It’s our three dogs… Lady and the “pups” Rosie and Zac. However, this hole was most likely the work of one dog, and the other two are innocent. However, how do we find out who done it when we don’t have the forensic resources of the FBI, Scotland Yard or NSW Police at our disposal? We obviously won’t get far by interrogating the dogs. Moreover, each dog is very good at feigning innocence. So, I guess this all means the guilty dog has got away with it. Committed the perfect crime.

Above: Lady is adamant it wasn’t her…”I’m an absolute angel.”

Pity that, because I really would like to have a backyard, which hasn’t literally gone to the dogs. Last night, this question raised it’s ugly head again when I had the chance to nip over to London via the blog and was able to check out  Geoff Le Pard’s backyard. His garden not only has flowers. It also has that lush green expanse otherwise known as “a lawn”. A lawn is a luxury. Yet, Geoff also has has a dog.

“Get close to grass and you’ll see a star.”

― Dejan Stojanovic, The Sun Watches the Sun

How does this man manage to have a perfect backyard and an incredible almost glowing green lawn when he also has a dog? How is it so? Does Geoff have direct access to Flora, the Roman goddess associated with flowers and Spring? Or, is it just a case that God has blessed the gardens of England and cursed the gardens of Australia, or even the backyard of this Australian in particular? It’s not that I feel like I have a target painted on my back. However, sometimes I do feel the man upstairs has made my journey that bit more difficult than most, and I could well throw “gratitude” to the wind. Indeed,  I could walk straight up to God and ask him straight out: “Please explain”.

Many of you won’t understand what I mean by “please explain”. It’s a phrase made famous here in Australia by our controversial Federal politician Pauline Hanson. While I might not like Pauline Hanson or her politics, the phrase has stuck moving into common usage, often with comic effect.

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Our Family

Mind you, I can’t really blame God for the state of our backyard and in many ways, the dogs aren’t to blame either. Having the perfect backyard, the perfect house aren’t achievable at the moment with two kids, three dogs, sailing and dance activities, work and chronic health. It’s relationships which matter, although I will confess that’s not as easy as it sounds and fueling relationships over the longer term isn’t easy. There’s a big difference I guess between where we aspire to be and where we’re at. That’s what it means to be human.

How is your garden going? Do you manage to have dogs and a decent garden? What’s your magic secret?

Best wishes,

Rowena

PS I found this beautiful quotes which related so well to our battles to grow grass in our backyard of beach sand:

“The children had had an argument once about whether there was more grass in the world or more sand, and Roger said that of course there must be more sand because of under the sea; in every ocean all over the world there would be sand, if you looked deep down. But there could be grass too, argued Deborah, a waving grass, a grass that nobody had ever seen, and the colour of that ocean grass would be darker than any grass on the surface of the world, in fields or prairies or people’s gardens in America. It would be taller than tress and it would move like corn in the wind. (“The Pool”
― Daphne du Maurier, Echoes from the Macabre: Selected Stories

Making Up Friends…Charles Dickens Quote.

“It is the fate of most men who mingle with the

world, and attain even the prime of life, to

make many real friends, and lose them in the

course of nature. It is the fate of all authors or

chroniclers to create imaginary friends, and

lose them in the course of art. Nor is this the

full extent of their misfortunes; for they are

required to furnish an account of them

besides.”

― Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers

For those of you who have written novels, how have you felt when you’ve reached the end and your relationship with your characters is over? Or, worse still, when you’ve killed off one of your favourites?

I’d love to hear from you.

Best wishes,

Rowena

A Festival of Red Doors…Thursday Doors.

Welcome to Another Thursday Doors

This week I’ve decided to keep it simple. It’s absolutely bucketing down outside, and although I took a few photos of doors while we were out shopping last night, they were a bit too ordinary. So, this week I’ve taken the easy way out. Dredging through the archives, I’ve brought you a delectable palette of red doors. Indeed, seeing all these red doors amalgamated together has seriously raised my heart rate and the excitement is almost too much.

Have you ever wondered what inspires someone to paint their front door red when all the doors around them might be painted more conservative shades of grey, heritage green or even beige? I haven’t really give it much thought before. However, seeing all these red doors bunched together made me wonder about the people living on the other side of these doors who call these places home. What makes a red door person?

“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”

― Maya Angelou, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes

Red is my favourite colour. I’m an extrovert, passionate person. Moreover, I not only drive a red Alfa Romeo 159, I view this car as an outward manifestation of my self. It is me. Well, to be honest, it’s more of an idealized version of myself these days as I spend too much more time in the slow lane.

A red rose is not selfish because it wants to be a red rose. It would be horribly selfish if it wanted all the other flowers in the garden to be both red and roses.”

Oscar Wilde

However, despite my passion for all things red, our front door is heritage green and really much more of a conservative, blending in colour. However, you could say that’s quite in keeping with my husband’s personality. He’s quieter, more conservative and tends to blend in. However, that’s not why we have a green front door either. It’s simply what was here when we bought the house almost 20 years ago. The door also has a stained glass window which suits heritage green. We have given some thought to painting the house and we’re thinking of replacing the door and painting is something of a blue slate. We live right near the beach so I thought a more beachy look would suit.

“The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before
It always leads me here
Lead me to you door…”

The Beatles – The Long & Winding Road

However, while I don’t have a red door now, I did have a red door growing up. Our house had this little outdoor structure, which was very much like a grannie flat except it is very basic and didn’t have bathroom or kitchen facilities. Indeed, it’s probably more like an artist’s studio. It was a great place growing up, and I turned it into my bedroom for a few years as a teenager. It was fantastic, and I must admit it enabled me to sneak out a bit too. Not usually to get up to too much mischief, but I had a friend who used to roam around during the night and she would tap away on my window.

Oh dear! This was supposed to be a quick post and now I’m turning it into a confessional. Just forget what you’ve read. Strike it from the record. I’ve never done anything wrong. Made stupid decisions. Taken unnecessary risks EVER!!!

Anyway, before I make any further confessions and do myself further in, I’m heading off. Indeed, you could even say I’m closing the door.

This has been another contribution to Thursday Doors hosted by Norm 2.0 Please pop over and join us.

Best wishes,

Rowena

Dud Photos – Thursday Doors.

Welcome to Another Thursday Doors

Today, I’ve decided to turn posting conventions on their head. Instead of posting my best door photo this week, I’ve posted the dud I took last Sunday while our daughter was wrapping up her weekly dance rehearsal for Swan Lake. These rehearsals are about a 20 minutes drive away and the studio backs onto the Mt Penang Parklands, which aren’t spectacular, but are worth a stroll and the odd photo, especially around sunset which the sky comes to life in all its golden glory.

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The Shape of this tree reminded me of a deciduous leaf where only its network of veins remains. 

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.”
― William Blake

I absolutely love photographing trees…finding an angle and pointing my camera up through the branches and capturing whatever that something might be which has captured my eye.

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Autumn Leaves

“Listen to the trees talking in their sleep,’ she whispered, as he lifted her to the ground. ‘What nice dreams they must have!”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

In the months our daughter has been rehearsing for Swan Lake, the trees have been busy as well. Their leaves developed a orange crimson blush, dried up, detached themselves from the branches and floated down to earth leaving a row of naked tree skeletons behind. As much as I love their bright green foliage, especially at the very outset of Spring, there’s an almost mystical beauty in these stark, barren twigs especially when they’re back-dropped by a bright blue sky, as they were last Sunday.

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However, just before I picked up our daughter, the sky turned gold and the brilliant golden tones of sunset flooded the stark branches with an inexplicable majesty. I was in awe. Hastily, I kept snapping away as I headed back to pick her up and captured the reflection of the tree in the backdoor of the studio. I didn’t expect it to be spectacular or even average shot. Indeed, I only took it to show my daughter what was going on outside while she was rehearsing, a variation of the concept of “while you were sleeping” which was graphically brought to life in  the Hollywood film. While she’s been rehearsing over the last few months, the trees outside have changed colour, lost their leaves and no doubt will have new leaves by the time they perform next month. Give it a few months, and we’ll even forget the tree was anything but green.

sunset twigs wide

This photo also annoyed me. Looks magnificent from a distance and yet the sun wipes out the line of the twig. Grr!

“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”
― Khalil Gibran, Sand and Foam

Aren’t trees amazing?!!

I am absolutely in awe of trees and can’t understand why anyone could ever think you’re weird for hugging a tree. Why not?

Her eye fell everywhere on lawns and plantations of the freshest green; and the trees, though not fully clothed, were in that delightful state when farther beauty is known to be at hand, and when, while much is actually given to the sight, more yet remains for the imagination.”
― Jane Austen

This has been another contribution to Thursday Doors hosted by Norm 2.0 Please pop over and join us.

Best wishes,

Rowena

 

 

Moonlight in the Clouds…

“No more words. In the name of this place we drink in with

our breathing, stay quiet like a flower. So the nightbirds will start singing.”

― Rumi, Night and Sleep

Last night, the most magnificent moon stood almost suspended among the clouds at the end of the street, an exquisite jewel of creation. Our street is rather ordinary and nothing like watching the moon rise only metres away over the beach. That said, I can’t remember the last time we actually paused the frenetic pace of life to stand beside the water’s edge transfixed by the rising moon. That should be a point of shame really.

“If you want the moon, do not hide from the night.

If you want a rose do not run away from the thorns.

If you want to love do not hide from yourself.”
~ Rumi

Cloudy moon

Indeed, even last night, it’s glamorous appearance merely signaled a dash to fetch the camera and carpe seize the moment, rather than truly soaking it in and enjoying it for what it was an expression of nature, and perhaps even of God.

Somehow, we need to make more time to press the pause button and get outside to enjoy the world right at our feet. We don’t even need to travel to experience the world through fresh eyes. That is a point for me atm as a number of close friends are traveling through Europe and I would love to be there but can’t on so many levels. However, it helps that my Australian  backyard is overseas for most of you and somewhere exotic. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Best wishes,

Rowena

PS Just had to include this moon quote about human nature:

“Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never

shows to anybody.”

― Mark Twain

Red Door, Patonga…Thursday Doors.

Welcome to Thursday Doors.

You know you’re sadly door-obsessed when you go to a place of stunning natural beauty, and your heart skips a beat when you come across a red door. I’m sure many of you relate to my experience and perhaps Thursday Doors has become the equivalent of AA  for the door-obsessed. A safe place for us to share our passion for doors and all the stories they tell. Moreover, doors also have a metaphorical appeal…an open door, closed door and what these mean to the journey.

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”     

Alexander Graham Bell

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Patonga

This week our love of doors takes us to Patonga, on the NSW Central Coast 91 kilometres North of Sydney and a short drive from our port of call last week,  Pearl Beach. By the way, Patonga is Aboriginal for “oyster”.

Patonga has a delightful sleepy feel to it. As you drive down the hill into the village, the beach is on your left and a jetty heads out into the bay. You’ll spot a few fishing boats and there was a father and son fishing from the end of the wharf without catching anything. You see scenes like this around the world, and only the backdrop changes.

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This red flower, which I took to be an Australian native, turned out to be a weed hailing from Madagascar…Mother of Millions. I wonder if it’s seen the movie. 

“Red is uplifting.”- Jerry Lewis

After going for a bit of a walk along the waterfront, we drove around town and that’s how I came across this red door in a side street just back from the Hawkesbury River. I have to admit that there was an instant tick inside my head…”That’s Thursday Doors done and dusted.”

Before I head off, I’ll leave you with this quote from Oscar Wilde. Although it pertains to red roses,I’m sure the sentiments could be extended to red doors.

“A red rose is not selfish because it wants to be a red rose. It would be horribly selfish if it wanted all the other flowers in the garden to be both red and roses.”

Oscar Wilde

This has been another contribution to Thursday Doors hosted by Norm 2.0 Please pop over and join us.

Best wishes,

Rowena

Weekend Coffee Share…29th April, 2019.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share.

Sorry I’ve been away for awhile. I’m not sure whether you’ve missed me, although I do tend to notice when the people I usually catch up with go off the grid and eventually wander over to touch base. I’m actually trying to catch up with a friend who has gone off the grid. It’s hard to know quite what to do, because you can overlook it for awhile or just believe they’re busy, but then there comes a time where you just want to hear their voice. What are you supposed to do?  I always think there’s something you can do. However, when someone doesn’t want to come out, sometimes you have no choice but to leave them in their shell.

The reason I’ve gone off the grid lately, is a little different. Since I was about 11, I’ve known that I wanted to be a writer and it hasn’t just been a pipe dream. I have written. Indeed, my mother acknowledged the aspirations of that young girl by giving me a thesaurus that year and when I turned 13, my mother gave me The Diary of Anne Frank along with an empty notebook which was to be my diary. I thought I was very original at the time, but like thousands even millions of young girls around the world, I wrote to “Dear Anne” and shared my secrets with her well into my teens. I still keep a journal, but I’ve been me talking to myself for awhile now.

Anyway, despite having quite a lot of writing which is almost ready for publication, I’m actually going gangbusters writing something new, which I think will be a good first book to launch the rest. This book will be a collection of biographical short story ranging from non-fiction to what is known as biographical fiction. These stories are coming from our family but are historical. I am absolutely consumed by family history, but not in terms of names and dates, but rather the people and their stories which I keep stumbling  across via the historic newspapers, which have gone online. This is interesting as a writer because far from being like writing a novel where the author is setting the pace, I’m responding to my characters and anything can and has happened. While I know quite a lot about my own family, my husband grew up in Tasmania with a branch of the family in Sydney, which we knew very little about. They are absolutely fascinating and we’ve come across a world champion cyclist, a Silver Medalist from the 1938 Empire (Commonwealth) Games and a missionary with the Salvation Army in China who was interred by the Japanese. So, they are keeping me busy and have reignited this hope that I have finally found my way and can finally get to the end and into print. To be really honest, getting this book published is the yearning of my soul, but I also have to get it right. I don’t just want to put anything out there.

Meanwhile, I’ve been doing the Blogging A-Z April Challenge, which I’ve done for the last four years. What with the book project, I came very close to not participating this year. I didn’t want to divide my attention and more to the point, wasn’t able to. However, I came up with the idea of writing motivational quotes for writers working on a book. In other words, people in the same boat. I’d intended to simply include a quote and a photo for each letter and keep it quick and simple. However, in my usual way, I made a project out of it and added my two bobs’ worth. I also ended up getting seriously behind, which is something which hasn’t happened in past years. Indeed, as it turned out, I needed the motivational encouragement to get through the challenge while the book writing is going full speed ahead.

Here’s a few links to posts I’ve done in the last week:

T – Time Management

U – Understood

V – Victory

W – Words

X – X-Ray

Y – You

Meanwhile, things at the home front have been busy. It’s Autumn here and the sailing season has just drawn to a close. Two weeks ago, our son and his crew member competed in the Combined High Schools Competition which ran for four days in Newcastle, just North of Sydney. I’ve been trying to work out whether the competition was State-based or National and apparently, there’s no simple answer. However, they were sailing in a Flying 11, which is a small, moderately paced boat, and a step up from a bathtub. While it would have been fabulous if they’d won, it was their first regatta and more of a learning experience. Where these guys triumphed, was maintaining a positive determined attitude while they were battling it out at the other end of the field for last place. Being last, also meant they caught the eye of the judges who coached them throughout the four days and they were better for it. Our son loves sailing and had his Go Pro attached to his helmet. He had a really great time and we’re incredibly proud of the him and his mate.

Jonathon at Dragon Skin

Our son has also been promoted up the Scout ranks and is now a Venturer. Venturers are aged 15-18 and have the anticipated independence which comes with this older age group. During the holidays, they went away on a camp called Dragon Skin and a group of them caught the train down to Goulburn without an adult and also made it home. I’m not really sure what Dragon Skin entails or how it got its name. I just know that he came home happy, tired, smelly and wanting to repeat the whole experience next year.

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Meanwhile, the school holidays have also been Dance Eisteddfod time for our daughter. This is where I say that if your kid is going to take up something in a big way, you need to love it yourself or somehow find a way to even if that goes against the grain. Rewind twenty years, and I would’ve been most surprised that a daughter of mine could be any good at dance or that I would be doing adult classes now and then, as well as really enjoying watching hours and hours of dance. However, there I was spending all of Saturday afternoon and into the night watching the Eisteddfod. Our daughter was only in two events, but she’s part of dance team with her dance school. They’re a great encouraging group of friends and so we also stayed and watched and encouraged the rest. Besides, this was the best entertainment I’d had in a long time and it was only $8.00.

Our daughter came second in her ballet solo with a score of 87.5 and received the same mark for her Contemporary Impromptu which didn’t rate a mention. The field in that category was incredibly strong. She also came third in her Modern Solo which was held before Easter. It’s been a busy time and being a dancer is like the proverbial iceberg. The dancing is the tip of the iceberg you see sticking its head out above the water. All the organization and details and hours of training are the bulk of it. Well, that’s how it seems at the moment because there’s always something required at the last minute and organizing all the times requires a personal assistant. Although my husband helps out, he’s mainly involved with the sailing so I’m usually all she’s got and I have a few short circuits. However, I hopefully make up for these with encouragement.

Well, school goes back tomorrow and the activities start back tonight. I have tried to clean up a bit and am working towards another huge drop off at the op shop. I can’t seem to move through all the books and clothes and we’re getting close to needing the Winter woolens out. I put my clothes up in the roof along with the blankets so it’s almost like a ritual change of seasons here with stuff going up, stuff coming down and a good opportunity to cull. Or, as is often the case, put it away until next season. I’d much rather be writing.

Well, I hope you’ve had a great week and I hope to catch u with more of your posts this week.

Best wishes,

Rowena