Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day 120 - Freezing temperatures

This morning I had to scrape ice from my windscreen. The temperature had slid down close to zero overnight - unusual for Autumn. By the time I was sitting in the car, I began to wish I had taken gloves; my hands were as cold as ice. Perhaps it's time to pack up the table tennis table in the garage and invest in a new door - preferably one which doesn't have to be screwed in at both ends.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day 119 - Dreaming of Hawaii

I can't believe how cold it's been lately! Still more than a month of autumn to go, and we've been experiencing top temperatures of 14 degrees, and tomorrow's minimum is 1 degree Celcius. What happened to autumn! I'm already dreaming of tropical islands now; what is it going to be like when Winter starts?
Meanwhile, as you can see, my house is not without its absurd paraphernalia, including this strange little plastic dancer. You can move her arms and head if you're bored. I'm sure I'll be sharing more of the strange stuff with you throughout the year, especially when it gets too cold and dark to take my daily photo once I get home from work at 5pm.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Day 118 - What's on your fridge?

I know this is a terribly dark photo, but it's evening, and if I use a flash it is reflected in the fridge door. As usual, banality prevails when my life continues in its mundane unremarkability. Being the kind of person who can make something out of nothing (mountain out of a molehill...), I have decided to astound you with a bad picture of my fridge. A little cluttered, isn't it? There is an astounding array of magnetic bits and pieces, including a 3D card my sister made for somebody a long time ago, probably my husband or son. Oh, and the flat card is her creation too.

What do you have on your fridge?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Day 117 - Have I lost my marbles?

Well, not completely, but I couldn't think of another title. Now I'm sitting here and staring at this photo, not sure what to say about it. You see, there are days (many days) when I have no ideas what to photograph. Or days when I have a picture but nothing to say about it. I could reminisce about playing marbles as a child. But I didn't do much of that. I did, however, play knuckles. With real bones, probably from a chicken. Boy, did they hurt when they landed on the knuckles. Do you remember lots of playground games in your primary school years. I remember the whole yard teeming with kids playing with skipping ropes, elastics or hoola hoops. Not to mention the songs that were accompanied by intricate hand clapping. We were always moving. Speaking of moving, horror of horrors, I got my third speeding ticket in just over a week. I think it's some kind of plot.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Day 116 - Sunday lunch

Lunch today with extended family was enjoyable, staying inside on a cold, windy and miserable day. I hadn't seen my cousin and his wife for a couple of years (except in passing), so it was good to catch up. Can you believe I made another pavlova, which makes 4 in less than 2 weeks because when I make one it turns out as two (the amount of frozen egg whites in the container). Meanwhile, I'd like to whinge about getting 2 speeding tickets in a week. I always get caught in the 50 zones! Meanwhile cars are hooning up and down our street, leaving skid marks and probably going scot free!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Day 115 - Chicken soup for the soul

A perfect day to make chicken soup. Darkening skies, rising wind, the last of the autumn colours blown off and around the place. One of my family members has a cold, and I thought some home-made chicken soup would be nourishing.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 114 - Clear skies

A clearer view of the sky with most of the leaves gone from this tree. Today was at times sunny and blue sky, at times dark grey with rain. I'm not sure how I feel about the move towards Winter. Darkness descends earlier and I don't feel like going out in the evening. It's a time to be reclusive.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day 113 - Pavlova or Bizet?

We have leftover pavlova - what a shame! I had to make two because the container of frozen eggwhites was very full. I'm going to take half of it to school tomorrow to share, otherwise we'll eat all of it. It's as big as a large pizza! By the way, the way to pronounce the name 'Pavlova', ie the name of the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, is to stress the first 'a' and pronounce it as you would 'love'. The Russians call meringue and pavlova 'bizet' after the French composer Georges Bizet.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day 112 - Back to school

My Easter holidays were extended by two days, and I finally decided to return to school today. Back in the library, I took a photo of a couple of students using our new catalogues (OPACs). After an absurdly long wait for these to be installed after our minor refurbishment (red shelf ends and catalogue stations), we watched in horror as our maintenance men drilled holes in the most illogical places and fed wires where they should never have been. Stranger things have happened, I suppose.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Day 111 - Decorated Easter eggs

Over the years I've collected decorative eggs which I display for Easter. Most of them are wooden, but some are real eggs, and others are beaded, cloisonnee and even marble. Usually the memory of where the egg was purchased, or who gave it to me as a present, remains with the egg. It's amazing how many memories are in this bowl.

Day 110 - Second day of Easter

Ok, this is the last church photo for a while, I promise. Second day of Easter (Pascha), and I went to a morning liturgy which is very joyous in mood. Just as the period preceding Easter, Great Lent, is 40 days, not including Holy Week, the week before Easter, so is the Paschal period 40 days. Going to the services prolongs the joyous mood of the feast before one lapses back into the mundane, not to mention overeating. Must say, it's great to cook with meat again. The house is full of delicious aromas!

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day 109 - Orthodox Easter

Our 'midnight' Easter service starts at 11 pm and finishes at around 3 am. Many people come to this service, even people who come at no other time. There's a joke about this: a man says, 'How come every time I come to church they're singing 'Christ is risen'? I think it loses in translation.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Day 108 - Easter Saturday

Easter Saturday is always a long day but a good one. There is a long morning church service (maybe 4 hours - I usually come in for the last 2) culminating in a general 'breakfast' of wine and bread. Then the home preparation - cooking, cleaning and decorating the house, colouring eggs, etc. The night service begins at 11pm. Many people come for the midnight greeting of Christ's resurrection. We have a procession around the church, holding candles and singing, then back into the church for the rest of the service. We got back at 3.30 am and broke the fast by eating blessed egg, kulich and cheese pascha. This year my husband was sent to serve in Tasmania, and was supposed to come back for the family lunch but his plane has been cancelled so we won't see him until this evening. Easter (or Pascha) is the most joyous of feasts, and Russians greet each other with 'Christos Voskresye' - Christ is risen. Christos Anesti in Greek, and Al Masim Qam (in Arabic; not sure of the spelling). The response is 'Voyistinu Voskresye' (Truly He is risen).

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Day 107 - Good Friday

Kulich is a traditional Russian Easter bread or cake, made with lots of eggs and yeast. It's decorated with icing sugar. People often use silver or coloured cachous. This year we decided to try a little glitter, but it was difficult to control, and too much came out. XB stands for Christ is risen.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day 106 - Reflection

Interesting reflection from the Moroccan ceiling light.

Day 105 - Early signs of winter

There's little left of the red vine leaves; it's early for the bareness that's spreading through the garden.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day 104 - Friends for lunch

Well, obviously, this is not a photo of my friends. Would you believe, I had the camera ready to capture lunch with my dear friends, but they came and went, and the camera was left untouched. Put it down to engaging conversation with not a moment to think about anything else. After I had cleared the table, this was all that was left. Not to mention the memory of a lovely day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Day 103 - My, how they've grown

My little under $2 succulents (which you may remember from a little while ago) have really grown. Actually, the little while ago was Day 26! Time goes by quickly.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Day 102 - Palm Sunday

One week behind the rest of the world, we celebrated Palm Sunday today. It was a glorious, sunny day with just the right amount of gentle breeze. On the way home, my son and I were dreaming of eating meat again - only a week to go.

Day 101 - enamelled memory

After the eve of Palm Sunday church service, I realised I hadn't taken a photo. It was an almost full moon so I went outside to take a picture but it was unsuccessful. That meant I had to find a random object to photograph, and here it is. Let's see if I can find enough to say about it. Well, it was given to me by a good friend and it came from Germany. It's enamel, I think, and there's something whimsical about it. My friend and I studied German together at Melbourne University a long time ago. Although my mother is half-German, we never spoke German at home, instead we spoke Russian, at least until I was about 15 or 16 and then my parents got sick of making me speak Russian when English was much easier for me. I studied French and German at uni, and enjoyed a smattering of Summer school Italian, Greek, Spanish, Dutch and one year of Arabic at uni. I used to teach languages before I decided to switch my role to that of teacher librarian.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Day 100 - Clean-up day before Palm Sunday

Cleaning the candle stands involves hot water to dissolve the wax, and then Brasso and lots of elbow grease. We haven't moved into the 21st century here, but I have to admit that the candles add to the atmosphere. This is the Russian Orthodox Church in East Brunswick, Victoria, Australia. We celebrate Easter (Pascha) a week later than the rest of the world this year.

Day 99 - Last minute photo

Just as I pulled up in our driveway this evening, I realised I hadn't taken a photo. So here it is. For me, it's impossible to take a night photo without it being blurry.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day 98 - Brunetti's at night

After having a vegetarian burger at Grill in Carlton tonight, I took a photo of Brunettis across the road. It was a mild night considering the cold days we've had recently. I recommend the vego burger and chips at Grill; you should try it if you're in the vicinity.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Day 97 - Music camp

Just back from music camp, and 15 year old got straight onto the piano for a little improvisation. I do love to hear music in the house. Not to mention variety - one son likes classical music and the other one likes jazz and contemporary music. Luckily nobody likes country and western.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Day 96 - Stephen Downes

Today I attended a talk by Stephen Downes. He's a very interesting man, and as Jo McLeay said, you know there is a whole level of layers beneath the surface of what he says. Someone else at the conference told me that his discipline is philosophy. He's quietly self-assured, not in a showy way, but when asked a hairy question, he's comfortable in answering it.
I was happy to see people like Jo McLeay, Suz Arnott, Colin Warren, John and Vicky Pearce, Paul Stewart, and others (sorry if I've missed you or misspelled your names.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Day 95 - Lazy Sunday

A cloudy, chilly Sunday afternoon, and my men resorted to playing Trivial Pursuit. It was a day to stay in and play hermit.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Day 94 - Beetroot accident

Looks like paint, doesn't it? In fact, 18 yo son had a beetroot dip accident. He claims he was attacked by flying beetroot dip when he opened the fridge today.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Day 93 - Rain (downpour)

What a downpour we had today. Thunder, lightning; trouble on the roads; cancelled trains and broken boom gates. When I came home the rain had almost stopped, and I let in a very wet dog. My dog, in case you're wondering. Then I took a photo of my backyard which was still smelling like rain and looking uncharacteristically green.

Day 92 - Love of music

My 15 year old son loves nothing better than immersing himself in music composition. He says that time flies when he's engaged in this. According to Ken Robinson in his book 'The element', he is in his element, immersed in something he's passionate about. He says that time moves differently when he's composing, flying past unnoticed. When the Christmas holidays started, he composed non-stop for a few weeks before coming up for air.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Day 91 - Japanese wind flowers

I love Japanese wind flowers (Anemones).They wave about in the autumn breeze.