Monday, March 30, 2009

Day 90 - Beautiful day

My day off. It's been one of those days when you feel invigorated by the sunshine and happy to be alive. After my haircut, which always takes a ridiculous amount of time, considering my scant amount of hair, I decided to buy flowers. These remind me of my primary school years, walking home from school and looking into front yard gardens in the northern suburbs of Melbourne.

Day 89 - Boot camp

My younger son has joined Cadets this year, and he's just returned from his first camp. His boots are in the laundry waiting to be cleaned. If you knew my family, and if you knew my son, you'd be very surprised that he has joined. Somehow, amidst all the ridiculous yelling and attention to marching detail, he managed to enjoy the overall experience. I think he enjoyed the social outdoor part of it. I had to laugh when he said that, when marching, he 'made mistakes' and was promptly put into the special squad, then made more mistakes, and was put into the special special squad, then again, the special special special squad. Something funny about that.

Day 88 - Mirror

The reflection of the Queen Victoria Building in the mirror-like building across the road is very clear. On our last day in Sydney we stood here waiting for the bus.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day 87 - Concert at the Opera House

I know this photo is blurry but it's the only one I have, and I wanted to give a sense of the size of this concert hall at the Sydney Opera House. I heard Beethoven, Haydn and Bartok - all good, but the Bartok was brilliant. We passed Earth Hour here.

Day 86 - City views

Our first weekend away since before the boys were born (so 19 years), and we got a city view motel room in Sydney. The first morning we were rudely awoken by massive jackhammering...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Day 85 - Pick me up, Moby Dick

Sometimes I swear the books get together to make ridiculous titles.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day 84 - Misshapen cake

I made a cake for my good friend Dawn's birthday (Dawn, I hope you're not reading this). It's a almond meal cake base with raspberries. We were laughing today at work about the fact that it's not the traditional round birthday cake, and hence misshapen. Isn't 'misshapen' a weird word? The more you look at it, the more it looks incorrect.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Day 83 - PLP face2face

We had a wonderful day connecting with our PLP buddies in the flesh. We also listened to Will clarify and inspire us, lead us further in our mission, we skyped Dean Shareski, we connected with Sheryl, and we did some C20 group activities

Monday, March 23, 2009

Day 82 - Jenny Luca's talk at the SLAV Conference

Today's SLAV Conference: Perspectives on learning V2 was extremely enjoyable - intense and inspiring at once, confronting to all educators. I was thinking that it was a pity there were not more teachers, since SLAV is obviously attended mainly by teacher librarians and librarians. Will Richardson's talk about network literacy was compelling and challenging, and his subsequent presentations, 'Podcast, Vodcast, Screencast, LiveStream Nation', and 'Web 2.0 tools and resources' gave a wealth of information, and hopefully made a shift in the thinking of educators present. Jenny Luca's talk was a passionate account about how Web 2.0 is not about technology itself, but the networks of people you can connect to. She spoke compellingly about the authentic learning she has instigated in her school using global networks.

There were two other speakers, Adrian Camm and John Pearce, whose presentations I didn't attend.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Day 80 - Design for archway

Today my husband and I were able to see the drawing on what will eventually be a carved archway in the Russian style. Not sure which period, but I suppose it's a folk design. I can't wait for this; it was supposed to be my birthday present a year ago.

Day 79 - Back to the mundane

After my big day yesterday, it was kind of a relief to go back to everyday life without the emotional intensity. I'm never good with big days which centre on me. Even on my wedding day I was looking at people going about their normal business and wishing it was me. Here's a shot of my mundane life in passing.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Day 78 - Birthday

Missing - a significant portion of a cake celebrating a significant milestone. The missing fraction is the clue. Enough said.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day 77 - Statues

I'm cheating today because this photo was actually taken yesterday. It was too good to miss so I snuck it in here. These guys guard the archway to a carpark at Melbourne University; I gave my son a lift there yesterday. Don't you think this guy would be good for a headache advertisement?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Day 76 - Cooking borscht

Today is my one day off in the week. I decided to make borscht which is a traditional Russian soup. Many people make it with meat but I make it without - the way my mother makes it which, according to her, is the Ukrainian way.
You chop up and fry up an onion, 2 beetroots, a carrot, 2 sticks celery, a parsnip (yuk), a green pepper (or red) and garlic. Don't overfry. Then you add a tin of chopped tomatoes, some tomato sauce, bayleaves, parsley and dill, season. I add soup cubes. Slow boil about 30-45 minutes or until the beetroot starts to face. Add half or quarter of a cabbage (finely cut up) and cook about 15 minutes more. We also add a tin of baked beans. That's instead of the potato that most people add.
You could easily improvise. I also like it without cabbage and double the beetroot. It's great with fresh dill and sour cream to serve.

Day 75 - This is not a cat

The representational use of objects as other than what they seem is typified in Magritte's painting, The Treachery of Images (La trahison des images), which shows a pipe that looks as though it is a model for a tobacco store advertisement. Magritte painted below the pipe ;This is not a pipe; (Ceci n'est pas une pipe), which seems a contradiction, but is actually true: the painting is not a pipe, it is an image of a pipe. It does not satisfy emotionally – when Magritte once was asked about this image, he replied that of course it was not a pipe, just try to fill it with tobacco.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Day 74 - Signs of autumn

The vine is beginning to change colour; signs of early Autumn. Soon it will turn a rich red before covering our back decking. With our dog coming in and going out, we also have signs of Autumn inside.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Day 73 - Rain

I thought these were interesting lines of cloud. This morning dark skies promised much needed rain, but so far it's been disappointing. This was more of a performance than effective outcome. But wait, I can hear a deafening sound, the comforting sound of a downpour, refreshing leaves and grass, and soaking the ground.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day 72 - Reluctant pooch

My dog is camera-shy. I think she's been traumatised by the flash on one occasion, and now, delicate creature that she is, she turns away, but not only that, she slinks down low, and refuses to look my way when I want to photograph her. This shot was the best of a series of blurred black and white rejects. I had to threaten her in order to take this shot. She's a MalteseXShihtsu.

Day 71 - Doing the laundry

My laundry window faces west and enjoys a sunny aspect. Until recently, when our neighbours built a disproportionately high roof, we had a great view of the night sky, the stars and planets. If you're wondering about the tap handles, they were on special.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Day 70 - Presanctified liturgy

It's the second week of Great Lent, and tonight I went to a presanctified liturgy. The evening presanctifieds are peaceful, and have a particular stillness about them. It's a service that internalises, and so it takes a while to step out of the everyday world into this different space, ie to focus inside oneself.

Great Lent is a journey. It's many things, but amongst others, it's a time you try and see all the crap inside yourself. Sometimes, at the end of the journey, you've cleaned some of it out, or at least you have glimpses of who you really are.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Day 69 - Our daily bread

Today was my day off, and after my dentist appointment, I decided to go to Victoria Market. I bought lots of bread and froze most of it. There's something satisfying about a large, fat loaf of bread, especially when you can see textured traces of the baker's touch.
I'm fascinated by what bread represents, and how it's such a simple staple, as well as being a versatile favourite. Bread is one of the oldest prepared foods, and is made in different ways by different nationalities. It's a euphemism, eg. in the Lord's prayer, and some people treat it as almost sacred. My mother always said it was a sin to throw away bread. Meanwhile, she buys more than she can eat, and throws it out, but on the grass for the birds. Linguistically, it's been used to denote money, eg. 'breadwinner'. Russians used to greet guests with bread and salt. We didn't do that, but my in-laws greeted my husband and me to the wedding reception with bread and salt (and vodka!)Wikipedia has an interesting write-up for bread

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Day 68 - Heralding autumn

This bush always starts flowering at the beginning of autumn. Although it looks blue in the photo, the flowers are purple.

Day 67 - Clutching at straws

Suddenly realised I hadn't taken my photo for the day. As you can see I'm clutching at straws.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Day 66 - Rose pink

Just when I'm ready to pull these tired old rose bushes out, the roses appear and interrupt the cull. Well, I can't pull them out just now, can I?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Day 65 - Magpie waiting

I watched this magpie standing in my driveway apparently waiting for some(bird). He stood there looking this way and that way, and was soon joined by another magpie. Off they both went.
You can see the effects of the drought in this photo - our grass (Kikuya) is normally green without water but now is dry as straw. First time I've seen it this bad.

Day 64 - Paper cranes

I love paper cranes. These ones came from a shop in Brunswick St called Kami (Japanese word for paper). Many years ago I was teaching English to students of different nationalities, including Japanese. The Japanese girls were lovely, and gave gifts, such as hand-written and drawn stories of exquisite detail. One student made hundreds of paper cranes, but tinier than these, and threaded them. They were made from plain coloured paper and looked like rainbows on a string. Fond memories.
Where's the green in this picture and what is the item?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Day 63 - Goodbye sweets

Ever reached into the depths of your pantry and pulled out a treasure trove of glistening goodies. Only you're not sure which decade these goodies originated from. And so, without further ado, I give you... the bin.
Sorry about the blurry picture.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 62 - Fruit and vegetable shopping!

Just another dynamic day! Going out to purchase fruit and vegetables! Don't laugh (or yawn), this was not just any old fruit and vegie shop, it was a quest for THE best, the freshest, the reddest, the GREENEST produce!
I like to make my own entertainment....

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Day 61 - Green month

Only just realised the 'green' theme for March (thanks Rhonda), and took a picture of a Moroccan tassel hanging on one of our doors. I had trouble avoiding the flash in the door handle. Green is going to be a challenge creatively, since I don't want to take a whole month of trees and bushes. I was feeling ill earlier today, but I wasn't able to capture my own shade of green.

Day 60 - Forgiveness Sunday

Taken at the evening service on Forgiveness Sunday, one side of the altar table depicting Christ being laid in the tomb, with the Mother of God, St John the Theologian and Joseph of Arimathea. The person who carved this is the one who will eventually carve my archway. This evening service marks the start of Great Lent. The sermon today reminded us that Lent is not just a diet, not just a tradition or token gesture, but a time for self-discipline and self-limitation, taking away from our habitual focus on and feeding of ourselves. Along with forgiveness of others, we arm ourselves and begin the journey, the inner process that will enable us, God willing, to meet the Bright Resurrection of Christ.
I wish my pictures wouldn't keep getting cut on the right side.