Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year

from Wendy and the household in Geelong,
Happy New Year with a drawing designed by our grandson Jordan with a little bit of help from Grandma.
New life, new adventures ahead.. Mali and her Mum at the Melbourne Zoo.


Friday, December 24, 2010

O Happy Day

from w
It's a lovely Christmas day here - not hot, not cold, and the men and boys in the family made a lovo - an underground oven for the dalo and pork and Bale and I added cooking from the kitchen - prawns, mussels in coconut cream, baked chicken etc. We headed off to the local church where young Andrew played a mean drumbeat to the hymns. One of the lads stayed home to look after the lovo. This afternoon only one is asleep, Grandpa, the rest are on computers or watching a DVD. Life is different each generation for Christmas. We don't have Santa Claus here and the family gifts are mainly frugal and useful! We were too busy to open the gifts until about 11 a.m. and there weren't too many surprises as sticky fingers had guessed when was inside the colour wrapping papers!


Monday, December 20, 2010

All I want for Christmas is...

from w
The only thing I really want/need is an art program for my photos and drawings, etc. that can do interesting things. Well I accidentally found one - already installed on one of the household computers. My very clever son fixed up three computers here on-line so three generations can make good use of them - I don't mean the grandparents have old Mac Classics - which I still have one on top of a cupboard and I loved that little Mac. Peceli and I share one, the next generation another, and the three grandchildren another. Of course we interchange a bit and when I used Computer No 2 I discovered this program. It's called ArcSoftPhotoStudio 5.5 and I haven't a clue where it came from. I tried out a few 'tricks' and they are rather bizarre but I'll get the hang of it soon I hope. The original image I used here started off as a sketch of gum-leaves!

So that's my Christmas present - discovered and free!


No room at the inn

from w
Two stories/photos in today's Geelong Advertiser caught my attention. When placed together they reveal what a strange world we live in and what difference and indifference there is. A timely reminder of the story of 'No room at the inn'.
Here ends the sermon for the week!

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Unwrapped presents

from w
Instead of surprises and a Christmas tree we just pick up 'treasures' at Op shops or Garage sales, and if friends give us gifts we put them on a table. Somehow it sorts out as something for everyone. I found three pots (for myself) for $10 at a garage sale we wandered into after our messages at the Garden Street shops today. That's all I want. Then of course I took photographs and wanted to see what happened if I used overlapping, repetition, line, and so on.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

The journey of Abraham

from w
Not the old patriach from Ur, the pillar of salt, the stars in the sky story, but a Year 12 student on his first plane journey from Fiji to Australia. And alone. Welcome to Geelong to another of the family tribe. Abraham left Suva by van at 7 a.m. yesterday, got a message that his Pacific Blue evening plane was cancelled and to hurry up and get on another plane that goes via Brisbane. Okay. In Brisbane the Customs officer sniffed and tasted the kava he carried, then Abraham was told to catch another plane to Melbourne - and get to the domestic terminal by train. Well, he did that. No officials guided the travellers. Another delay. Meanwhile our gang frm Geelong waited it out at Tullamarine. In Melbourne Abraham's plane terminated at the Domestic, not the International, so there was some searching until Abraham found Peceli. The kids had got tired and gone to the car! So dinner was at 1 a.m.
Today is another day of course and the basketball half-court in our backyard is being well-used. Several years ago when we were looking for a house to buy (all five of us made the decision then) the basketball area was the deciding factor, not the need to restump a few problem areas. So now the next generation still like to play basketball.
And the boys wanted the basketball backboard painted so Jordan and his uncle did this a few minutes ago, Jordan deciding on a good name.

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A day up in Melbourne

from w
Yesterday I went with some of the family up to Melbourne by a very slow train, then we caught two trams, and got to an appointment just in time, then Hungry Jacks for lunch, walked past the Myer windows in 30 seconds, saw a white stone man, then a homeless man selling magazines, then took another tram where I fell into someone's lap when the tram sped off, then at the Southern Cross Railway Station three of us dashed to the toilets in a hurry. Something was wrong with the hamburgers perhaps! However it was a good day and the boys now know that Melbourne city is quite a strange place.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Geelong is a city of migrant stories

from w
Geelong is a city of many migration stories and here are some stats. from a City of Greater Geelong initiative re being multicultural - not that it has been a deliberate policy of the Council as much of the groundwork has been done by the Geelong Ethnic Council (Geelong Migrant Resource Centre) and now called Diversitat. Fortunately we live in a city that has a good record of welcoming new settlers and being friendly. Our local newspaper guys even shout hoorah to people like Oprah Winfrey though she didn't pass by here!

Demographic Profile of Geelong Today
The population of the municipality is 217,935 with more than two thirds of the populationresiding in urban areas

People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds make up 18.2% of residents. Those born overseas make up 15.8%. Languages other than English are spoken in 8% of homes, mostly commonly Italian, German, Dutch, Greek and Serbian.
The 2006 Census enumerated the following CALD population in the municipality. Out of a total population of 197,475:
· 31,200 (15.8%) were born overseas
o 13,209 (6.7%) were from English speaking countries
o 17,991 (9.1) were from non-English speaking countries
· 3,343 (1.7%) have arrived since 2001
o 2,160 (1.1% ) from non-English speaking countries
· 18,127 (9.2) speak languages other than English at home
o Main languages are Italian, Greek, German, Dutch, German and Serbian
· 134,554 (68.1%) profess some religious affiliation
While not reflected in the 2006 census data, in recent years there has been an increase ofarrivals from the Africa, Liberia, Middle East, and Burma. These communities include
refugees and humanitarian entrants. Among them are approximately 30 unaccompanied
refugee minors. Estimated arrivals since 2004 are:
· 1,200 skilled migrants and the families
o The largest group are from countries including Ireland, UK and Scotland
· 868 refugee or humanitarian entrants including
o 400 Karen or Kareni from Burma
o 300 Sudanese
o 81 Liberians
o 51 Congolese
o 41 Afghani
o 5 Iraqui
· (annually) 2000 international students
o mostly from India, China, Malaysia, Pakistan


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sketches while waiting

from w
I can't sit in a medical waiting area twiddling my thumbs or even browsing through old glossy Shiny Home kind of magazines. Today it was ultrasound business and behind the modern hospital was a recycled old mansion with a twisty staircase and quaint entrance, so I did some sketches on paper I found in my dog's breakfast handbag. Good that they didn't expect cardiology patients to climb up that staircase though I do wonder what is up there!

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Friday, December 10, 2010

It ain't modern art but

from w
These sketches just aren't modern art but seem to be in the popular category of 'pictureque' landscapes - one of boats at Queenscliff where the ferry leaves for Sorrento and the other Barwon Heads, the cafe near the two bridges. I like to do sketches like this occasionally on site, but I wouldn't hang them on my wall. The enjoyment is in the process, not the result.

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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Promoting Geelong

from w
What were the graphic designers or City Hall really thinking when they designed the 2011 calendar with old photographs of days gone by and the promotion poster of Eastern Beach in the 1920s? Okay history is interesting but not very pictureque - okay it is to commemorate the 100th anniverary of the proclamation of Geelong as a city, but the photos are dull. Maybe used as cameos with colourful present-day photos of the same sites might be better. Actually the vibrancy of the city as opposed to 'history' or 'streets and buildings' is in the people - the children playing sports, a grandfather watching a grandchild at ease with a computer, the Deakin and Gordon students in their super new libraries, the men and women doing volunteer work such as Rotary DIK, lovers barely tasting the food in a restaurant as they look at one another, families strolling in the Botanical Gardens, children at one of the splendid swimming pools or a seniors group water-exercising, tourists touching a bollard or two, the kindness to the elderly in some nursing homes, the interaction between nurse and patient. Pictures of people going about their work or recreation. These are aspects of the good life in Geelong, not cement, not buildings, not shops.

And then again, the picture being used to promote Geelong is one of those old railway posters of the 1920s - Eastern Beach without the current swimming pools. Why? It's a pretty picture but I don't think this does justice to what our city is about. Of course focussing on the centre of Geelong is only part of our story - what about the Bellarine Peninsular people and their lives, not just pretty beaches but people doing things! Okay?

There's a Geelong website - and we are invited to share a story of a favourite place - well I think there are scores of beaut places, one is of course sitting on the grass near the ginkgo tree in the Botanical Gardens and remembering that the Dalai Llama was once there.

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Friday, December 03, 2010

Stormy weather

from w
It's beautiful and sunny this morning - good for our planned barbecue near the Barwon River for our Fiji Friendship Club group - but yesterday afternoon was really wild. This unseasonal heavy rain and storms has done enormous damage in the rural areas apparently destroying much of the wheat crop and flooding other areas. Here it was like a Fiji hurricane about 5 p.m. Peceli and our grandson had hired a trimmer of some kind to clean up the back yard where the vegetables had gone to seed, and then suddenly the rain started. They hid in the garden shed during the deluge and as pots and water containers flew about the back yard, the ti-tree in the front yard gave up and toppled over, thankfully without touching power-lines or the verandah. Then after twenty minutes the storm was over. By 7 p.m. the State Emergency Services guys had come and cleaned up half the mess and a tree grubber will take the rest out later. Thank you very much to three guys from Corio SES. Geelong, especially the Eastern Suburbs, apparently were the worst hit yesterday. Normally this time in the year we have clear bright sunny days about 30 degrees. Strange weather indeed.


Thursday, December 02, 2010

Sketches of a river and beach

from w
Life here is very busy, not with getting ready for Christmas, just living in a large household, so there's very little opportunity to make pictures apart from Christmas kind of painting with the two boys to make a gallery from the front verandah. Here are some quick sketches when we were at the Barwon River estuary (where I gathered some seaweed) and another time at Anglesea.

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