Monday, December 31, 2007

Geelong Eastern Beach

from w
We went to a New Year's Eve party at a beautiful home above Eastern Beach. It was a fundraising party for assisting the building of a Methodist church somewhere between Lautoka and Nadi so I expect they raised $500 so far. It was about 42 degrees so went out on the balcony for a couple of hours.

This morning we went for a swim at Eastern Beach about 10a.m. It was still over 30 degrees but heading for a change, thank goodness. As we drove through Eastern Gardens the sea had peculiar stripes on it. Not green as I depicted it but dark blue and light blue. Not kelp, not sandbars, just strange stripes.

Four bus-loads of Cook Islanders arrived and set up camp next to us with tents, eskies of food, large mats. Each bus had a trailer for the food! They had come from Melbourne from their Chadstone Community church. A group os Samoans were singing behind us. It really felt like it was a Pacific New Year party!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, December 30, 2007

It's so hot in Geelong!

from w
We only have an upright fan in the lounge room and it's not doing anything today. It's at least 43 degrees Centigrade in the shade here. One commentator on our blog took photos of a thermometer showing about 47 in the shade and about 54 in the sun! It's a real stinker. We are going out tonight to a small fundraising party in aid of a school in Lautoka - people we don't know - so I hope they have air-conditioning. It's out wedding anniversary and I don't care where we go as long as it is cooler than this! We were married at Wesley Church, Lautoka many many years ago!

The commentator wrote It hit 46 in Corio, check out the pics lol in the shade in the sun


Making apricot jam

from w and p
This afternoon we made jam! The tree which didn't look promising eventually came good and produced lovely fruit. The birds got some so we had to hurry. Sold some at the front gate. Stewed some and put in the freezer. Today we decided to make jam.

Recipe: well, something like this -
1 kilo of sugar
two large plastic bowls of apricots cut into quarters after discarding stones - maybe 1 kilo
1 lemon - juiced
teaspoon, more or less - of grated fresh ginger.
No water - apart from the fruit being washed.
In a large pot cook steadily until it darkens and softens. Test that it sets.
Fill jars when a bit cooler.

Then make pancakes, whip up cream (which didn't whip up - they must do something to cream in the process) and have pancakes, jam and cream at 6 p.m. Very nice jam, says the five-year-old grand-daughter. A diplomat in the making. Yes, it turned out well and we can taste the ginger too.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas trip to Sorrento

from w
The ferry ride to Sorrento from Queenscliff takes about 40 minutes and we decided a picnic would be a good way to spend the afternoon instead of just lazing about after too much food. Actually we had a healthy, delicious lunch of prawns, kododa (raw fish in coconut crea) a Japanese style of salmon, etc. All prepared by my daughter-in-law visiting from Fiji. Anyway I did some sketches - very hurried and scribbly - as we neared Portsea and Sorrento. Other pictures are on the babasiga blog. After our picnic we walked uphill to stroll through the near-empty main street of Sorrento which is just so neat with wide verandahs on the shops, and mainly places to dine, real estate and shoe shops. A bathing box might sell for $120,000 and a house for half a million. It is a tourist town, or place for retirement or holiday houses for Melbourne's tired city workers I think.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

105 year old

A story caught my attention in the Geelong Advertiser about an elderly man who is 105 and has been a mentor to students with his carpentry skills. He migrated to Australia from Syria many years ago. What a beautiful skin he has for his age! Click on the picture to be able to read the story.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

at the front door

from w


Monday, December 17, 2007

at the garden gate

from w
An awful racket out the front drew out attention to a strange sight. Beyond the garden gate in a cloud of dust was a huge digger wrecking the lawn Peceli had mowed a few days ago. What were they doing? There were four trucks lined up in the street. This morning the power went out on the computer/washing machine/electric kettle so Peceli went to the hardware store and purchased a $2 wire to fix the fuse and then it worked.

Well, someone suggested that Peceli's home handyman fixing had caused chaos with the electricity in the street! I don't think so. They were just upgrading and digging huge holes to put in new pipes etc. Anyway I drew the digger and our untidy front fence. As they had blocked in our car when we want to go out and buy a Christmas tree and coconut cream to go with the fine fish we bought today, we will just have to wait a bit longer. Lucky though this is Geelong and not Suva where such a situation would mean disruption for weeks!

Labels: ,

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Geelong Writers' Book Launch

from w
Another book launch, this time our Geelong Writers anthology for 2007, called Tributaries. Over recent years I have helped with editing, layout etc. of several Geelong Writers' books but not this time, and hey, this looks like an excellent read. I sketched some of the serious faces in the audience as they listened intently to readings from the new book.
(later: I've read about a third of the book and there are some strong stories and poems and the collection includes some well-known, experienced writers which is good.)

Labels: ,

Can't get that song out of my head!

from w
Last week I was watching Songs of Praise on TV and a singer caught my attention with a song 'Mary did you know' which I hadn't heard before though it's apparently been around for nearly 17 years. It was on the radio this morning as I watched my little granddaughter painting a picture in Peceli's office. So I did a google search and came up with the sound and all on a Youtube site and others, but couldn't print more than page one and even then it was only the intro. Anyway I can't get that song outta my head so I just wrote by ear the music and can play it on the piano now. I play it in C minor and I think that first page is actually wrong with the first line. Should be C D Eb F etc.
It's a lovely gentle Christmas song. The words are:
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy
Would someday walk on water?
Mary did you know
That your baby boy
Will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
That your baby boy
Has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered
Will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know
That your baby boy
Will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know
That your baby boy
Will calm the storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby
You've kissed the face of God.
The blind will see
The deaf will hear
The dead will live again
The lame will leap
The dumb will speak
The praises of the Lamb

Mary did you know
That your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know
That your baby boy
Will one day rule the nations?
Did you know
That your baby boy
Is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding
Is the Great I Am

Labels: ,

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A local history book

from w
One of the TAFE writing students had a proposal to write a local history book for children, had gathered a pile of material and asked me to rewrite/edit etc. but there were no funds so the project lapsed. Anyway, someone else now has beaten us to the task - a history teacher at Kardinia International School who realized there were barely any local history books. Info about this newly launched book is on their website.

)from their website) Tom Spurling and Geoff Peel have commissioned and collected a unique range of historical and contemporary pieces of Geelong writing. Contributors include well-known writers, poets and historians - from Matthew Flinders title piece of 1802 to several works written especially for this publication. The table of contents shows the breadth of the writing:
Introduction - Tom Spurling
The View from Station Peak -Matthew Flinders 11
Swan Bay Road & Curves - Brendan Ryan 14
Helen Garner - Paul Mitchell 17
The Fortunes of Richard Mahony - Henry Handel Richardson 23
The Red Hots - Robert Williams 33
Geelong v Norwood - John Harms 51
The Irish In Geelong - James Francis Hogan 57
The Flowers - Rudyard Kipling 64
Fyansford - Ruth Fluhr 68
Curiosity - David Astle 79
The Estuary Bed - Peter Davis 83
Huntin’, Shootin’ & Fishin’ - Roy Hay and Marnie Haig-Muir 85
Amusing and Stimulating Small Minds - Gideon Haigh 101
Immigration waves - Geoff Peel 107
The Ghost of Fairy Dell - Dulcie Stone 115
The Wild White Man - Marcus Clarke 121
The Way - Etchings by Joel Wolter 135
Eastern Beach - Peter Gebhardt 145
The Belmont Worm - Joshua Wright 146
Frontier Feuds & Fakes: Why Not Geelong - Nathan Lambert 153
Lara - Ania Walwicz 166
Family & Memories - Sebastian Clark 169

Labels: ,

Makin, an Australian landscape artist

'Cradle Mountain, Tasmania' 2004
Multi Plate Etching
Edition: 8/60
323 x 665 mm
$2020 (unframed $1800)

from w
In Geelong there's a lovely exhibition of Jeffrey Makin's landscapes. Here is a sample and information about it. I like the way he simplifies shapes and makes it all work just by using marks on the paper. Unfortunately it closes tomorrow!
Landscape Sublime: Works by Jeffrey Makin
Jeffrey Makin is recognized as one of Australia's leading landscape painters. His paintings are usually associated with the massive, the sublime and the heroic, reflecting a love of drawing and the expression of a direct response to landscape. Makin continues the plein air painting tradition established by Melbourne's Heidelberg School, and his work carries the influence of mentors like John Passmore, Godfrey Miller and later Fred Williams, with whom he often painted in the 70's. Makin is represented in the Australian National Gallery Canberra, National Gallery of Victoria, state galleries and most regional and corporate collections in Australia. Signed copies of the hard cover book, Australia Felix: Landscapes by Jeffrey Makin will also be available at the gallery.

Dates: To 14 December 2007
10.30am to 4pm Saturday
Venue: Little Malop Gallery, 101 Little Malop Street, Geelong


Monday, December 10, 2007

starting to decorate for Christmas

from w
While waiting for two of Peceli's friends to arrive with a new lounge suite - yes, a lovely gift - I drew a small bit of the lounge room decorations - a vase with bouganvillea and lavender and so on. I rescued the lavender and put three lots throughout the house after Peceli had trimmed the bushes very enthusiastically!

(later) I coloured the pic to place here - just before we went out to visit a friend who has a little kava party every Tuesday night after 5 p.m. I don't drink it much, so I just yarned with Joe's wife Nineta. Then we stayed on for dinner as our friend Joe Peppino Cordone was 75 today. Nineta made a delicious pasta dinner with ricotto cheese, spinach, eggs, and a tomato based sauce, then chicken and baked vegetables, then Italian cake and coffee or camomile tea. There were lots of stories as their daughter and son in law and two little boys were there, and the kids later decorated a splendid Christmas tree.

It was really a lovely day - after the anxiety about family waiting at Nadi for a day and a half for their flight to Australia which has at last arrived this evening at Brisbane.

(later) I looked up Cannelloni and only seemed to find recipes that included frozen foods and supermarket stuff. Nineta made her own pasta and everything was real and fresh. This is what cannelloni looks like though.


Friday, December 07, 2007

Christmas tree - real or fake?

from w
Recent years I haven't bothered to fill the house with the fragrance and droppings of a real fir tree, or even a fake plastic one, but this year, with a five-year-old coming to stay, I will decorate a bit - I suppose. Buy a real tree or a fake plastic tree? I saw a pic in today's Age of a pine tree plantation and they sell a million trees! Okay, I am a tree hugger and I am passionate about all kinds of trees, except for these conical ones - though walking through a pine forest may be lovely. We decorated a branch of a gum tree one year but it did look a bit odd and scraggly.

Our youngest son planted about 4000 Caribbean pines on the hill slopes at Nukutatava but so far they are about 2 foot tall - and - I hope not damaged by yesterday's wild wind of the edge of a hurricane. His tree plantation isn't intended for Christmas trees but in ten years he may have some pocket-money.


A golf course to dream for

from w
When I saw this photo I thought it was some kind of abstraction then I realized it is a kind of freaky golf course design near Napier New Zealand. (Photo in travel story in today's Age newspaper). Well, I could play a game of golf on that one, stop at every tee-off, do a quick painting then have a bash at the ball. But apparently there are cliff-tops also so if you hit the ball over them, you don't say to your pet dog, 'Spot, go fetch!'

I was intrigued by the design and googled Cape Kidnappers golf course and found this info and more photos.

Tom Doak
Course length: 18-hole, Par 72 6,520 metres / 7,137 yards
The American designer of Cape Kidnappers, Tom Doak, who is also well known for his prize-winning courses in the US, has said that, 'If Cape Kidnappers were a book it would be an epic. Enjoy your game and enjoy the setting (because) you may never play golf somewhere like this again' Like Kauri Cliffs, Cape Kidnappers plays above the ocean, atop dramatic cliffs. But unlike Kauri Cliffs, where the shape of the land dictates play along the shoreline, this course runs to and from the edge. Cape Kidnappers is built on a ridge-and-valley landscape with spectacular sea views.

Peceli plays golf in Geelong - maybe Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays some weeks, mainly at Barwon Valley Club.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Bit of bling, running around, a Christmas party

from w
Yesterday was just too much for an old girl. Photocopying pages for a book at 9 a.m. and the machine wouldn't do back to back pages correctly, two trips to the Flight Centre to book for 3 family members and getting in a queue behind two scruffy old people making a $22,000 round the world trip, an early lunch with two lovely Pacific people - from Vanuatu and Fiji and a meal to dream for as their daughter wss home - she is doing a Hospitality course in Melbourne, yarning about Fijian missionaries in Arnhem land during World War 2, then a novel writing group in another Geelong suburb where we mainly were insensitive and critical of each others' words as we ate Christmas treats, two bus trips for me to get home, answer two urgent emails, a lie down - to be interrupted by two good friends for a yarn and tea/coffee, then we went to a Christmas dinner for Peceli's Rotary gang and a delicious beautifully presented meal was prepared by the caterers at St Joeys Football Club. Only time for a quick drawing of adults wearing silly paper hats etc.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Jane Eyre, the full Bronte

from w
Despite Peceli's sighs that it was really slow and boring, I persisted and watched the TV series Jane Eyre, my kind of TV watching. Over two Sunday nights. It was excellent. I have never read most of those old English novels - I jumped from Enid Blyton straight into John Steinbeck kind of books. But maybe I should have another look at them.

One reviewer Dennis Moore, in USA TODAY writes:
Her employer suspects there's a bit of the witch about Jane Eyre. There's no doubt that Masterpiece Theatre's production of Jane Eyre is bewitching as well. Love, betrayal, despair, redemption, reconciliation. All of the elements expected of any epic love story are included. The distinction here: The story is splendidly retold.
In Charlotte Brontë's early-Victorian saga, the abused orphan Jane is banished by a jealous aunt to a severe girls school, and through her own pluck, she eventually secures a job as governess at the formidable Thornfield Hall. Shy yet remarkably straightforward for someone of her station, Jane intrigues then charms the master of the estate, the cryptic and brooding Edward Rochester.

"That look," he says of her, "could pry secrets from the blackest souls." And, she discovers, his secret is indeed black.

From sweeping shots of the English countryside through all seasons to intimate scenes in the recesses of the manor house, this adaptation of Jane Eyre shows off a richness American TV projects rarely attempt.

The appeal stretches beyond style. The lean scripting (even at four hours the program can't cover every one of Brontë's plot details), the expeditious pacing and the interaction among the actors are first-class, if not as brilliant as the more ambitious and magnificent Bleak House from last season. Not surprisingly, both BBC productions were directed by Susanna White....

In an earlier time, Jane Eyre might have been called a "woman's picture." But all who wish to immerse themselves in grand storytelling.

Perhaps, according to Peceli, it is still a 'woman's picture'!


Sunday, December 02, 2007

The bare essentials

from w
I made a drawing this morning for a project about Fiji missionaries and what they need to take with them. Once upon a time it was a case with clean clothes, etc. Nowadays I guess all a person needs is just two items.


Saturday, December 01, 2007

another blooming flower

from w
Another flower opened out from the awkward looking cactus type plants so I drew it before it said goodbye like the other one after two days. It's a brilliant pink but I just used a pencil then pen.


Women at the Poker machines

from w
I added coloured pencils to the drawing I did on Wednesday because I really want to show how the machines are lit up so brightly and the rest of the room is in darkness. It's a bit too purple now!

Labels: ,