Choose life. Life is wonderful.

Monday, 30 January 2017

ONE OF THE GREATEST GIFTS (Jan 2017)



It is always easy to say nothing. Just to let time pass. For we lucky ones there are so many people we could thank for being part of our lives - so many people who make a difference. 

As a teacher it was wonderful to hear from an ex-student I had not seen for 30 years. I was surprised he even remembered me, but then to have him say that I had made a difference to his life when he was 15 because I convinced others not to give up on him, was lovely. I was even more surprised to find that he was a deputy headmaster of a high school! He hated school when he was 15. But no doubt he will understand students who have difficulty with school and I am certain he will make a difference for being in the lives of his students.

It really encourages others to let them know that you appreciate having them in your life or having been in your life.






Decorating

Below is a picture of my table in January 2016. My daughter Rhiannon did the painting about 20 years ago when she was in her teens. There are various other frogs on the table.







Here is my table today in my Scandi-Christmas theme. 









The picture was $6 at the Salvos. (It is actually straight. I have to work on my photography.)The bowl with the balls in it is one Mum bought at a garage sale. The candle sticks are from Vinnies and sprayed silver (as you can see here.)
The table cloths are from Vinnies as well. The little oblong basket, also an op-shop buy, contains a pair of Peter's glasses. The dried flowers are from flowers Peter has bought me over the years. For some reason I always start my decorating with my table. Peter's back is a lot better on a straight chair so we spend most of our time sitting, at the table.


This cricket in my kitchen had been annoying me for days, being very noisy chirping.




He was finally found hiding in a dusty recess in the kitchen. I gently delivered him outside for which I am sure he was most grateful.

(Years ago we had a pet baby water dragon living in a large glass terrarium, and we fed him on crickets bought from the pet shop. The first time I bought the crickets I was unaware that as soon as I took the lid off the box holding them, tiny crickets would leap out like an explosion. I spent days picking up tiny crickets from all over the house. I certainly knew better next time!)



Speaking of my kitchen, it has seen better days. The veneer was painted 13 years ago as a temporary measure, as it was going to be remodelled. But life circumstances meant it is still the same. It looks worse because a utensils rod has fallen down.





One day it will be redone, but meanwhile a coat of flat black, and some white tile paint, like the one below may be a good idea...as well as a new utensils rod.


Photo source


One of my favourite birds is the Superb Fairy wren.
Last week Mum bought me this life size one, which I love.







Craft

Fairy villages in cups are quite popular at the moment. This was my first attempt and needs some refining. (And no...it is not in a cup.)









In the Garden

There is some great fungus growing on some wood on my back deck.


I am a 'fungusphile'. Fungus is beautiful. (Although I am not keen on mould in the fridge or general household mildew.) But the forest and garden have beautiful fungi.



The problem is that the wood is rotting and disintegrating, so it is going to need protection to keep it intact.




Meanwhile, this vine was winding its way up a poor neglected dracaena .




The vine was removed to give the dracaena a fighting chance. 

In October a tree was removed from the front yard and this is how it looked.




This morning I took a photo and this was my garden after Peter has helped me move a lot of mulch.


I have a vision for it now and plan to put some paths in there.

Reading

Today, in my reading travels, I came upon this poem, For Once, Then, Something by Robert Frost. He is an American poet who is one of my favourites. He uses aspects of his surroundings in rural New England as subjects for metaphors on life. In this poem he uses the idea of kneeling over the edge of a well as a metaphor for seeing his real self. I love his imagery.

For Once, Then, Something
Photo source

  
By Robert Frost          

Others taunt me with having knelt at well-curbs
Always wrong to the light, so never seeing
Deeper down in the well than where the water
Gives me back in a shining surface picture
Me myself in the summer heaven godlike
Looking out of a wreath of fern and cloud puffs.
Once, when trying with chin against a well-curb,
I discerned, as I thought, beyond the picture,
Through the picture, a something white, uncertain,
Something more of the depths—and then I lost it.
Water came to rebuke the too clear water.
One drop fell from a fern, and lo, a ripple
Shook whatever it was lay there at bottom,
Blurred it, blotted it out. What was that whiteness?
Truth? A pebble of quartz? For once, then, something

Frost uses the metaphor of looking into the well to explore the idea of looking into ourselves and seeing ourselves as other see us. I love his use of imagery. I don't think the photo I found quite does it justice.


This rural theme and closeness to nature links with the book I am currently reading - Walden, by Thoreau.




I am enjoying this book but finding it slow going. To put it simply, it is about a man who gives up 'civilised' life for 2 years and builds himself a log cabin by Walden Pond. He lives a very simple life, relying on his own devices to feed and clothe himself. 

The core of his introduction deals with the idea that owning a lot of things such as a big house or farm becomes a millstone around one's neck, and that the idea of abundant living comes through owning less.

I am always interested in these 'sea-change' stories, especially when they are linked to self-sufficiency and making things such as furniture from found objects.

This is one of the reasons I love the film Ring Of Bright Water, made in the 1960's  where the main character goes to a small town on the coast of Scotland to take his otter to live and to become a writer. He relies on what he can find and ingenuity to furnish his house and provide his food. 


Interesting sites


1.
Ballroom at Flinders St Station
Photo source
Flinders Street Station, the busiest railway hub in all of Australia, is home to a decaying beauty of a ballroom, an abandoned leftover from the bygone era of railroad romance. It id about to be refurbished. Click here to read about it.


 2.
Greatest science books of 2016
Photo source


Click here to discover the greatest science books of 2016.



3.   
 Self-driving cars are better
Photo source
Self-driving cars don't have to be perfect - just better than human driven cars. Click here to read more.

4 comments:

  1. What a lovely compliment you received from your ex student. Your garden is coming along wonderfully!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Michelle. I am pleased with the way the garden is going but it is taking a long time.

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  2. The cricket is beautiful as is the fungus! <3

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