Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Last day of winter

from w
Tomorrow is September 1st - spring at last. This morning Peceli and I went for a walk around the Geelong Botanical Gardens, a dull morning without sunshine but not too cold. I took a few photos of the dragon blood tree and then made variations.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Policing the salt

from w
With a new serious attitude about health I have joined the salt police and notice any programs about salt on the TV and this was one on Channel Nine. The information is staggering - too much salt is as bad as smoking for your health! This is from the Channel Nine website: http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=7952167
Salt - it's the deadly food addiction that's claiming the lives of 2000 Australians every year. According to nutritionists the amount of salt we’re eating, on average more than 10 times the recommended daily allowance, is killing more of us than smoking.

So which foods contain the most salt?

Sometimes the worst offenders aren't the most obvious. Breads, cereals, sauces and canned savoury goods, like soups, are surprisingly high in salt.

Some quick salt facts:

• Half a pizza contains four grams of salt - your total daily allowance.

• 100 grams of ham contains four to five grams of salt.

• A bowl of low fat cereal and a couple of slices of toast will add up to half of your recommended daily salt intake.

• A quarter of all the salt we consume is in our bread.

Top tips for cutting back on salt in your diet:

• Don't add any salt to food you're cooking or at the table.

• Choose reduced salt bread and breakfast cereals.

• Cut back on processed foods.

• Cut back on takeaway and fast foods.

• Buy fresh vegetables rather than canned. • Buy "low salt" (contains less than 120mg/100g) or "salt free" versions of commonly ready-made sauces.

• Use herbs and spices, instead of salt, to add flavour to meals.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Drive to Ocean Grove

from w
The weather is a tiny bit warmer and spring may be coming. Some of the blossoms are out, though there are still plenty of winter yellow wattles about. We went for a drive to Ocean Grove to see the countryside and the sea, and for some fresh air, and stopped by in a cafe for coffee and cake - very sinful on a Sunday, breaking our diets of course. But it was good! Ocean Grove and the neighbouring Barwon Heads are pleasant little seaside towns still keeping a lot of the natural environment of twisted ti-trees. A gorgeous dog was at the cafe - outside - Charlie - so I took his photo. His companion dog was a strange looking little maybe-foxie and I'm sorry I only took a photo of the pretty boy. Well, that's life.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bush recovery after fire

from w
Here's another painting on paper that was lost and found - about three months after the Ash Wednesday fires devastated the forests in the Geelong region, there was renewal with the grass trees, ferns and leafs emerging. This picture is mixed media - a bit of pencil, paint, pastel.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

When there's a hung parliament

from w
A couple of comments on the Sydney Morning Herald website highlight one way forward when there is a neck and neck result in an election. One of the Geelong seats, Corangamite, is still not finalised - about 1000 votes between the Labour and Liberal candidates.

Here are the comments that reflect the disillusion of many people, and perhaps the need for integrity.
Collectively Australians have made it clear we don't believe either the Labor Party or the Liberal Party is fit to govern. It's no surprise as we are only visited by these aliens from Planet Canberra when they want to sell us their latest product. They wrap everything in brightly coloured paper and arrogantly assume we are too shallow to know the product doesn't match the packaging. They ridicule each other and don't realize that only works on the groupies who don't have the brains to see the bigger picture. I'm a Labor supporter but this isn't the Labor Party and I'm sure there are many Liberal supporters who feel the same dismay and sense of disillusionment with their Party as well. What can we do? Smash the machines, both of them! Force them to return to the original purposes for their existence, that of representing their differing ideologies with integrity, ideas and passion.
rext - August 24, 2010, 8:38AM

As a retired middle-class liberal, I am utterly fed up with the adversarial system which seems to be an inescapable characteristic of so-called democracies. Like those in the US who voted for Obama, I want change.

I want someone to lead, to shine a light on the way ahead, to inspire me and the rest of my community, to offer ideas and imaginative thinking, to put national purpose before private or party interest. I want someone who will not kowtow to sectoral interests, someone with the guts to call things as they see them instead of being paralysed by fear of electoral retribution.

I reject negative wedge politics as the strategy of the mediocre. I resent The Age giving coverage to Clive Palmer and his ilk - why is his opinion accorded more weight than mine? I am fed up with the Murdoch press pursuing the agenda of an octogenarian whose family and personal business interests come before the community.

I want leaders, including in business, whose first instinct is to seek compromise not conflict, people who can make and respond to reasoned and intelligent arguments. I want honesty, not spin, and to be treated like a mature thinking adult, not just part of the great unwashed taxpaying mob.

I know dealing with the public is not easy - resolving conflicting ideas and objectives means there are always going to be winners and losers, but not everyone is a winner or a loser every time. We understand the social contract and the need to get along with each other, that we all require some space and being heard. We understand issues are not always black and white. If we didn't our society would break down. Turnbull and Rudd were ahead of their time - I want people like them.
Doug | Here and there - August 24, 2010, 8:49AM


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lost and found - number three

from w,
Here is another of the paintings that I have't seen for several years, that turned up on top of a cupboard. There was a huge fig tree in the Geelong Botanical Gardens with twists and turns in the trunk and roots that resembled a figure. Over the years I have looked again for this 'figure in a tree' but cannot find it. It must have been chopped or else grew differently. I took a photo of the original picture which is large, and then made some variations which were not possible in the earlier days where I mainly worked with scissors and a photocopier.Click on any image to see enlarged.

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Election results inconclusive

from w
from w,
What an interesting outcome (though not yet determined) in Australia. A democratic election means the people have spoken, but with what strange results. No clear winner, except that Labour got a buffering, and the Independents and the Green winners have power to move in with whoever they please. The independents are rural seats - hoorah - and a little to the right leaning, so it could be a Liberal leadership. The Greens winner for Melbourne is to be congratulated. There also may be a good win for a former CIA (I think) gentleman, Wilkie, which is interesting. I wasn't impressed with the personality spin on just two people and the emphasis on promises and money, money, money, as it's really seat by seat, and local, that really counts.
By about 2 a.m. this is how it sits with some seats still to be finalised with postal and early voting.

Seats won:
Labor: 70
Coalition: 72
Greens: 1
Other parties: 4
Total seats: 150, target to win: 76

2:55am: With 77.7% of the vote counted and neither party able to claim a majority, Australia is left in political limbo. It now seems certain Australia will have its first hung parliament since World War II. Caretaker conventions will be in play until the final results are known, which could take a number of days.

The two locals seats are Corio - a safe Labour seat, and Corangamite, which moved to Labour last election, but so far it's not yet over as more votes are to be counted which is typical of this whole election which has no clear winner so far.


First Preferences
Polling Places Returned: 69 of 72 Enrolment: 101,569 Turnout: 79.10%
Candidate Party Votes % Swing (%)
LAWRENCE, Mike Australian Greens 8,542 10.97 +3.00
HENDERSON, Sarah Liberal 34,926 44.84 +0.14
Australian Labor Party 31,372 40.28 -1.63
BROWN, Sally-Anne Independent 1,131 1.45 +1.45
WOJCZUK, Ann Family First 1,549 1.99 -1.57
TIMMINS, Nathan Liberal Democrats (LDP) 362 0.46 +0.27
...... Australian Democrats 0 0.00 -1.67
FORMAL 77,882 96.94 -0.53
INFORMAL 2,462 3.06 +0.53
TOTAL 80,344 79.10 -17.37

Two Candidate Preferred
Polling Places Returned: 68 of 72 Turnout: 79.10%
Candidate Party Votes This Election (%) Last Election (%) Swing (%)
HENDERSON, Sarah Liberal 38,297 49.17 49.15 +0.02
Australian Labor Party 39,585 50.83 50.85 -0.02


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lost and Found - Two

from w
A second painting I found in the clean-up, on top of a cupboard, is this one based on a postage stamp of the banksia plant. The original picture is at the top.

We had an interesting experience today, voting early at an office in Geelong instead of waiting until Saturday. I didn't want Peceli waiting in a long queue on Saturday as he is supposed to be very quiet and rest this week but they have a system to avoid the busy queue up at the local primary school with only about eight people waiting. Won't say who I voted for - and actually I'm not happy with the election campaign - no inspiration, lots of promises of billions of dollars to spend, but where does it come from! Too much emphasis on 'me' as leader or 'potential leader'. In fact the local Liberal candidate was told not to talk at all - but leave it to the top people!

I cut out a cartoon from today's Age. It's about the Senate voting paper, and rather true as there are zillions of candidates in the lower section which you can number one by one if you don't use section one where you only have to put a (1) somewhere.Actually we shouldn't be flippant about an election in our democracy, making much of cartoons every day, because it is a privilege that is not given to many countries of the world, and certainly Fiji has been waiting for an election for a while!

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lost and found paintings

from w
Because we had to tidy up one room and move out many pandanus mats from the top of a cupboard, we found a large folder full of my old paintings on paper and cardboard. I had thought they were lost in a small fire in the garden shed several years ago. Eureka! Some were actually of the aftermath of the Ash Wednesday fires in the Anglesea area the time Peceli was chaplain to the scouts and we had to drive down to their campsite at Eumerella to see the damage. Then three months later we went back to places like Angahook Forest and saw the renewal. I took a photo of a large picture I made of the new leaves on a tree then made some variations using technology which certainly wasn't around in the 80s. It's been a good day, Peceli looking so much better, driving the car cautiously around the local suburb to do minimal shopping and visitors coming with gifts of fish, cassava, heart-diet cake, and kindness of course.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Geelong East

from w
It's a busy life at present, focussed on healing and being a kind of nurse, so there's little time for making pictures. We have made one room look prettier with Fijian mats and barkcloth and it's quite an art gallery on the wall as Peceli has a couple of weeks rest before the next step. Friends are so kind, bringing casseroles, helping with shopping, fixing up a TV and so on. Here is a picture of the view from a hospital window of the helicopter pad and the Swanston Centre for people with mental illness - it once was a primary school, and pictures of plants near the East Geelong church.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Dreamers and big talkers

from w
Here's one item from today's Addie and it just shows what 'experts' say about Geelong. They want more and more retail? More city buildings? NO. Geelong's attraction is its location beside Corio Bay, with access to world-class beaches not far away, and not far from magnificent forests. Excellent facilities of course such as good hospitals, libraries, art galleies. Forget shopping till you drop! One thing they do get right in the article is that Geelong is an education hub because that is what Geelong does well with Deakin University, Gordon TAFE and good schools.

City vision applauded

Danny Lannen | August 14th, 2010

PLANS for revitalising central Geelong need to focus on connections before iconic structures, according to the man overseeing development of Sydney's waterfront.

Mr Tabart was chief executive of VicUrban and responsible for development of Melbourne's Docklands.

He is now chief executive of Sydney's Barangaroo Delivery Authority, overseeing the $6 billion development of 1.5km of waterfront between Darling Harbour and Walsh Bay.

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"To me Geelong is a great regional city of Australia and has all the characteristics which allow it to become much greater," Mr Tabart said.

"It's got all the right reasons, and this can only be successful if pursued by intelligent, motivated people and Geelong has never had a shortage of motivated people."

He believes one of the city's biggest assets is its place as an education hub.

"Education is one of the best activators of space, students moving to and from education create a lot of street activity," Mr Tabart said. "The next step in the process of building a great place is to connect the spaces and places.

"Connecting the railways station and the bus interchange with retail, connecting with the waterfront, connecting with education areas, by streets and lanes and arcades."

Mr Tabart said once the groundwork was right, leaders could work with the people of the city and key drivers on the wow factor architecture and iconic structures.

Committee for Geelong and Deakin University have pledged to mobilise Vision II for Geelong, hoping to excite people's imaginations.

Geelong Professional Alliance Network hopes to be part of the process after having nurtured plans to build an icon for Geelong.

"We've been working on an icon for Geelong for some time now," chairman Andrew Senia said. "This was started off by us thinking let's look at Geelong, let's look at its history from colony to wool centre to manufacturing base to industry. What it's lacking at the moment is a spirit, a soul, something to identify the town from the sea, air and road, something iconic."

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Stones and shells

from w,
Today I scanned two lots of stones and shells and then used the images in various ways. It's been an unartistic week for sure, as main concerns have been health issues, tests, drips, ultrasounds, monitors, and a learning curve about what happens in the cardiac ward of the Geelong Hospital - from an emergency Monday afternoon until at last my husband looks fine again and will come home tomorrow. He hadn't been a patient in a hospital for 39 years so now we all know how different it is to be a patient than to be a visitor to friends and church people. It indeed was a blessing from God to find an excellent doctor who diagnosed the problem immediately. Thank you to that doctor, to the ambulance officers, to Emergency Department workers and the Coronary Care staff, nurses and doctors.When we visited this evening we took some home-made soup, some dalo and cassava to Peceli,and we all shared in this and the hospital tray of food, Peceli said that Lai, and his two little girls Mela and Amaleini has visited and given him the flowers and balloon so that was nice.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A thousand paper cranes

from w,
Today I was talking with a young man at the Geelong Hospital, ready to go home after about five months in hospital. I noticed coloured papers hanging on the wall near his bed, thinking they were salusalu (garlands), but no, on a closer look they were paper cranes. He said his Japanese cousin made them for him over a period of three months. What a lovely gift. Then I looked up the story of the paper cranes and here it is and it started with two terrible atomic bombs dropped in Japan in August 1945.

One Thousand Paper Cranes for Peace: The Story of Sadako Sasaki

Thanks to one young Japanese girl, Sadako Sasaki and one thousand paper cranes, millions of people around the world are coming together in peace. Here is her story.

On August 6th, 1945, World War II’s Allied forces dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. In an instant, the city was obliterated. When the dust had cleared, people’s shadows remained frozen in place on sidewalks and the sides of buildings. The people themselves simply vanished. On that tragic day, 140,000 civilians were killed.

The Sasaki family lived one mile from the spot where the bomb went off. The couple and their two-year-old daughter, Sadako, managed to survive the nuclear attack. Though the family tried to protect themselves, they could not avoid breathing the contaminated air. But when Sadako was twelve years old, she noticed that her lymph nodes were becoming swollen. A doctor’s visit confirmed her parents’ greatest fears: Sadako had been contaminated with radiation poisoning. In August 1955, residents of Nagoya sent a gift of colored origami paper cranes to Sadako and the other hospital residents as a get-well present. The gift brightened the sick child’s day – and it gave her an idea.

“She believed in a saying that if you fold a thousand cranes, you’d get over your sickness,” her mother wrote. “She folded paper cranes carefully, one by one using a piece of paper of advertisement, medicine and wrapping. When she got to one thousand, she kept on going, hopeful that the paper birds might magically cure her illness. But it was not to be: Sadako died on the morning of October 25, 1955.

Although Sadako’s thousand paper cranes could not save her life, they would take flight in another way, serving as a symbol of the growing movement for peace on Earth. Each year, children and adults from all over the world travel to the Children’s Peace Monument, bringing their own folded paper cranes as a gift to Sadako’s memory, and as a symbol of their desire for peace and for the abolition of nuclear weapons.


An interfaith space

from w
Two years ago the Spirituality Centre at the Geelong Hospital was opened but I didn't attend as I had flu or something at the time. Yesterday I visited this interesting space and took a few photos e.g. the glasswork by the local Wathaurong Aboriginal artists. For a couple of years I was part of an Interfaith group - until it went into recess - so this kind of place seems to me to be welcoming and inclusive. There are alcoves for the sacred texts of various religions including Bahai, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu and for the Christian representation there is 'The Message' which is a very readable paraphrase of the Bible. When I was there, a patient in a wheelchair was writing and another woman was praying. It's a very calm kind of space when compared with the technology and busy-ness of the rest of the hospital.


Sunday, August 08, 2010

From a battered wooden cross

from w
(image by Matthew Foutch)Though the original symbol was an ugly wooden cross, over two thousand years that symbol has been recreated in silver and gold and transformed so much that the horror of that day is almost forgotten. However... I do like symmetry (sometimes) when creating images and the Celtic cross with its possibility for complexity is particularly interesting. When I saw a book cover advertised on one blogsite I downloaded it, found a few other pics and made some more sumptuous images of that symbol. Our church spaces (particularly Protestant) are often rather bare of colour, complex imagery, but there are many possibilities for interesting windows, banners, paintings that could be used. The picture here shows a variety of images thrown together. (Picasa just grabs parts of each image.) Each one could become an 'icon' for meditation.

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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Meeting Jill, an artist

from w
Yesterday I went to a 'Life Conversations' program at Wesley Church in Geelong where a local artist, Jill Shalless, told us her story of many years of painting portraits and landscapes. Her style is realist and she mainly uses oil paints and pastel, her studio upstairs at the Wintergarden Cafe. Some of her work yesterday was on dsplay, mainly borrowed from the owners. She gave a captivating informal talk to a small group of people, and related how special moments of grace or serendipity occured - though she didn't use those words - particularly in relationships with people whose portraits she made. One powerful series of paintings related to Marysville, the beautiful small town that was almost completely burnt out during the terrible bush-fires over a year ago. Jill's plein-air group (painting on the spot, easels and all) had gone to Marysville nearly two years ago, and when the exhibition was opened at the Wintergarten, a day later the fires came. Later this Geelong painting group went back to Marysville, talked with the people, made more paintings, and gave one was given to a cafe owner there. I took a few photos yesterday and here are the results.

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