Jacaranda time again

jacaranda lr-3_2033x1525The glorious purple haze of the Jacaranda are once more bursting out with exuberance. Reminding me that it is just a year since I achieved a long-held dream to visit Grafton at Jacaranda festival time.

I did mention the visit just as I shut off for a year. I did say I would post about the experience soon!!!

(See that promise here …. )

The world-renowned Jacaranda Festival is held annually in Grafton, Northern Rivers New South Wales, from the last weekend in October to the first weekend in November.

Inaugurated in 1934, this was the first of Australia’s folk festivals and celebrates the magnificent spectacle of the hundreds of lilac-blossomed trees that grow in Grafton’s broad tree lined avenues. Henry Volkers introduced the first Jacaranda trees to Grafton and each year the trees are celebrated, although it has changed over the years to adapt to today’s society, this traditional event is still widely celebrated within the town.

The oldest floral festival still celebrated in Australia, was first appreciated in a much different way. It was one of the few means of entertainment to look forward to. So when Jacaranda time rolled around, the town was in high spirits. Even during the difficult times of WWII, this festival had a way of uplifting the community and giving them something wonderful to celebrate.

Grafton jacarandas 083_4000x3000Finally I was to see this wonderful display. A dream come true. We stayed in a delightful Airbnb farm cottage just on the outskirts of town and for 3 days I was able to immerse myself in the sight of these majestic trees.

Grafton jacarandas 048_4000x3000Of course we took LOTS of photos…

We came across a vintage car display. I liked how the splashes of red/orange stood out under the purple canopy. A good combo colour idea for art I thought…

Grafton jacarandas 065_4000x3000 I took this photo as I really liked the lovely old Queenslander with the picket fence framed by the purple Jacaranda. The falling blossoms make a beautiful carpet. I must draw or paint that I thought. But of course I haven’t, yet…

Grafton jacarandas 059_3000x4000Another great colour combination.

Grafton jacarandas 054_4000x3000Did you know there are white Jacarandas? I didn’t till I saw these. I looked them up and discovered they are quite rare, the Jacaranda is indigenous to South America.

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I took so many photos but I think this was my favourite.

Grafton jacarandas 106_4000x3000After a satisfying day it was a pleasure to sit on the veranda of the farm cottage and watch the sun set over the  Clarence River.

Grafton jacarandas 116_4000x3000Golden hour. (This has not been photo shopped…)

Grafton jacarandas 124_4000x3000Grafton jacarandas 126_4000x3000The sunset reflects the colours I have been seeing all day.

Categories: Grafton, jacaranda, memories | 40 Comments


Breaking and falling news.

It is pouring with rain and it is forecast to last till Tuesday.

After almost 3 months I’m ecstatic, the garden is loving it.

Now I can really get into redesigning my garden…

watch this space

Categories: memories | 15 Comments

G’day, from a very hot springtime in Australia

garden experimental 004_3888x5184The year has flown by and past experiences are falling into the shadowy recesses of my mind. As I grow older the ability to remember the details of what happened and when grows dim.

We are encouraged to live in the now, savour the moment, and I do. Life is so busy and full of activity, but my aging brain struggles to recall the details of past happenings, and there has been quite a few (I think!!!)

Now what where they…

In my quest to try different artistic activities, with varying degrees of success, I have even stopped taking many photos. That reliable record of dates and things done.

Here are just a few of the sketches and paintings I have done during the past year…

So what about the “year of the artistic endeavour”? Oh my, that sounds rather pretentious. Well I’ve discovered I am definitely no Renoir or Turner or even a Pollock. Not even a Grandma Moses, but maybe I still have time to aspire to that as I have another 5 years to go till I reach 80. I really enjoy dabbling and being absorbed in my right brain activities. But I lack the determination to put in hours of  practice, I flit from this to that, easily giving up if it doesn’t work out the first time (and it seldom does). Too many distractions, and I’m easily distracted…

I live in the present and plan for the future and the next adventure. Now I suddenly realise my life is rushing by unrecorded….

Anyway do I really want to spend what’s left of life concentrating on one endeavour, trying to reach perfection…

So I’ve decided to embrace everything that comes along and just dabble and play at life. Don’t feel guilty if I don’t put in the hours of practice trying to achieve perfection.

Just enjoy life and be thankful I am healthy.

Time to return, periodically, to Blogland to try and capture and record some of the past years experiences and relive some of the magic moments before they disappear for ever in the relentless march of time and the ever accumulating new activities and outings…

One constant joy has been watching the garden through the seasons and now spring has arrived, though it is so hot, reaching and breaking all previous temperature records, it feels more like summer. The garden is in glorious bloom. So I will end with a few photos I took this morning…

So here I am back again. It has been a long time since I posted in WordPress and I quite surprised myself that I could remember how to do it.

So G’day to my friends out there, I’ll look forward to chatting with you again.


Categories: memories | 62 Comments

Curvaceous Icon : Weekly Photo Challenge

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I’m sure this building needs no introduction. From every viewpoint its contours swoop and flow like waves on the ocean.

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It dwarfs the people gazing at its grandeur.

But it is not the only curvaceous icon on Sydney’s waterfront.

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The old “Coat hanger” is peering over her shoulder.

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If you look very closely you will see tiny ant-like dots, brave souls, nearly at the top as they climb this Sydney monument.


I wonder how many other Australian bloggers have chosen to showcase our well known buildings in this weeks photo challenge as Cheri asks us to “find inspiration in the curves around you.”

Categories: Australia, curves, memories, photography, Sydney, weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Garden Photography Challenge : The Essence of Summer…

This weekend winter arrived in Queensland, Australia.

Torrential rain, 90km/hr winds and the temperature plummeted to 19c degrees. Now that may be balmy in the Northern hemisphere but down under, after an endless summer of 25-30 degrees, it meant dragging out the winter woollies.

This month the theme Jude (Earth laughs in flowers) has chosen is “the essence of summer

“This month I want to see what summer means to you. Still focussing on the garden or parkland let your photographs tell me your story of summer-time wherever in the world you live. “

So I have travelled back in my memory to a perfect summer I spent in Adelaide and visited the Adelaide International Rose Garden.

The Adelaide International Rose Garden takes visitors on a heady journey that’s a delight to the senses. As you wander the garden you’re drawn through a series of colourful spaces, each cleverly revealing a rose collection from a different style of garden.

The garden displays over 2,500 roses, including areas devoted to Australian bred roses, single roses, heritage roses and pillar roses. A walkway in the garden highlights roses selected for specific Australian causes (Olympic Gold, The Children’s Rose). Mixed companion plantings add lots of seasonal colour.

Together with the National Rose Trial Garden – which began in 1996 to help the rose industry establish which roses not yet for sale in Australia are best suited to our climate – the International Rose Garden is a great favourite with national and international rose lovers alike.



Roses are one of my favourite flowers and, unfortunately, I cannot grow them in this sub-tropical climate. There are species bred for this climate, but they are hard work. The humidity attracts all kinds of bugs and viruses meaning constant spraying and pampering to survive and thrive. So I love visiting rose gardens when I am travelling.


It is 10 years since I visited these gardens so this is a 10 year younger me…

Thank you Jude, it has been an enjoyable browse back through my archives. I can almost smell the roses.

Jude has also chosen rose for her post this week. Pop over to see more summer scenes. 

Categories: Australia, essence of summer, garden photography challenge, memories, photography | Tags: , , , , | 13 Comments

Thursday Doors : Broome…

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broome pc 001_3264x2448 enhanced

Broome is the tourist mecca town 2000 kilometers north of Perth in Western Australia. A magical place embraced by the azure blue of the Indian Ocean and surrounded with the deep red, pindan dirt. It is renowned for the pearling industry which brought many Chinese to these shores to dive for the elusive oysters that held the pearl in the heart of their shells.

These photos are the corrugated shops that form China Town today.

To see more photos of when I stayed in Broome go here.


Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time

Categories: Broome, memories, Thursday doors | Tags: , , , , | 15 Comments

Travel Theme : Poetry…


What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

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No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

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No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

Would you like this dance?

Would you like this dance?


No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

083 happy man

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

William Henry Davies


What a change of challenge Ailsa has given us this week, “interpret poetry”. I am not a poetry reader but I do have a few that linger in my mind from times way past. Here is a previous post I did of my all time favourite “horses of the Camargue” . A stirring tribute to the horse. But today I have chosen another favourite. I hope you enjoy my interpretation of it.

Categories: memories, photography, poetry, travel theme | Tags: , , | 18 Comments

Wordless Wednesday : Tea for Two…

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Categories: memories, photography, tea for two, Wordless Wednesday | Tags: , | 18 Comments

Wordless Wednesday : “Come right in darling”…

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Categories: memories, photography, Wordless Wednesday | Tags: , , | 10 Comments

Our Magpie Family : Garden Photography Challenge

This is a reblog from 2 years ago about a delightful magpie family that adopted us as part of their family. Please click on the “view original post” link at the bottom of the story (make sure you have your hankie ready) to read about the sad ending. I thought it would be appropriate for including in Jude’s “Garden Photography Challenge”

Memories are made of this

Breakfast with the family Breakfast with the family

Making sure they all get a feed Making sure they all get a feed. You can see all the babies are squawking, “My turn, my turn”

They all love Jack They all love Jack

This is a story that goes back to 1998 when we moved to Australia and bought a house in Queensland. A magpie would visit each morning and we called him Andy. After a while he brought along his partner and we called her Ladybird. Andy was a very gentle bird he would wait till Ladybird had her feed from Jack’s hand then carefully take what Jack offered him.

On rainy days they would shelter on the deck and serenade us with the most beautiful, vibrant song and then make soft warbling sounds in the back of their throat. It is the sound of the Aussie bush, we loved it.

As time went by they had babies and would bring them along to introduce them…

View original post 147 more words

Categories: memories | 18 Comments

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