Saturday, February 26, 2011

More from Pako Festa

from w
Here are some pictures I took at Pako in the afternoon when the Fiji dance group from Melbourne performed from 3.30 p.m. It was a lovely afternoon and then we adjourned back home for kava and a barbecue. Though some people in Australia are saying that 'multicultural' is finished because it can cause ghettos and isolation and division, here in Geelong we are proud of the diversity of cultures, the celebration of different migrant dance, music, food, languages. Recent arrival groups such as from Sudan and Burma now join in with their dances and songs. I've only really taken photos of our Fiji group but there were over sixty different groups performing and participating in the festival and probably 200,000 people. Pakington Street is in Geelong West, hence the name 'Pako Festa'.

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Pako Festa is on today in Geelong

from w
Every year towards the end of February Geelong puts on a splendid ethnic festival that attracts over 200,000 people. We've been involved for about 30 years as a Fiji migrant community. The march started at 11 a.m. and our Fiji group will dance after 3.30 p.m. (Peceli and I are having two hours rest in between!) Here are some pics from earlier on at the beginning of our march. Will post more later and also go to the Babasiga blog for more info and pictures.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Messing around with recent photos

from w
Yesterday I had some free time (by overlooking washing and untidy rooms) to look at the photos I took earlier this week and alter them a bit mainly using 'thick edge' with Photo-edit and overlapping. Most of my photos were taken on my brother John's property at beautiful Greenvale near Ballan (where they made the movie 'Charlotte's Web') or nearby. I like the untidy, random nature of eucalypts with peeling bark, and also the repetition of shapes and patterns in a wood heap after my brother cut a tree down for protection of the house from a possible bush-fire.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

A breath of fresh air in the country

from w
Yesterday we left the guys to fend for themselves for a day and a half as Peceli and I took off for the fresh air and green fields of the countryside, first going to the gorgeous historical town of Clunes, via Ballarat, to attend the funeral of Bill Wallis, a friend, at Wesley on Clunes - the renovated chapel of Wesley College's rural campus. Then we drove to Greendale to enjoy the hospitality of my brother John and his wife Margaret and there we talked until midnight. Early this morning Peceli and I explored their bushland garden and up the Lacote Road before breakfast. Then we drove via the freeway to Bacchus Marsh to visit Aunt Mary, a 97 year old who is still managing in her own unit and there we shared many stories over a cuppa. Her memory is amazing and she told us family anecdotes that I didn't even know about. It was an auspicious time too because it's 100 years almost to the day when my mother, Lin was born - 1911 Feb 20th so Mum was on my mind. Then I noticed an old framed photograph of Mum and Aunt Mary's mother, May, so I took a photo of that. We arrived back in Geelong by 12.30 and the place was quite tidy after all. By 4 p.m. the house was filled with the singing by the school boys as they made themselves fried eggs - only one landing on the floor. It had been very good for Peceli and I to see the familiar Australian landscapes of rounded hills and eucalypt forests as well as catch with friends and family.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

While the date scones are cooking (or cricket balls)

from w
This afternoon I wandered around the garden looking for various shapes to make images and mainly used photos of very ordinary succulants, then by cropping and overlapping made something new. The results when I do this are always unexpected and chancy, sometimes silly, sometimes magical. Then I thought I could use an earlier photo taken at Altona Meadows/Laverton church of a cross and cloth in front of a window and make some images looking towards Easter. Here are the results.
AND the scones are now out of the oven and some muffins in. That that is the miracle of the day as I'm not really a good cook at all!

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Friday, February 18, 2011

I can hear the sighing of the casuarina

from w
Have you ever heard the sighing of casuarina trees that almost sound like a human voice and people speak of ghosts when they hear this.

The boys chopped down part of a casuarina tree near the back fence which was overlapping a neighbour's shed so I gathered the flowers and examined the branches because this is the tree that creates a sighing sound in a breeze. Not that there's only a zephyr breeze today, it's more like a gale with the vegetable garden suddenly growing pants, shirts, and skirts! Outdoor furniture is down, a beach umbrella lodged behind a building, etc. Anyway the casuarina, sometimes called she-oaks, figures in plenty Australian poems e.g. by Henry Lawson. I guess that the silence of a beach or bush means that you can hear soft sounds.

(from the net)
The family Casuarinaceae occurs naturally in Australia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific and comprises four genera and 90 species. Australia has 66 species in three genera: six in Casuarina, 59 in Allocasuarina and one in Gymnostoma. Commonly called she-oaks (and sometimes oaks) because of the similarity of their timber to that of European oaks, casuarinas are a distinctive part of many Australian coastal and riverine landscapes.

The word ‘casuarina’ is derived from the Malay word for cassowary, kasuari, and is a reference to the similarity of the tree’s drooping branches to the feathers of the bird. Casuarinas also bear a resemblance to pine trees, with needle-like foliage and woody fruits. The foliage, however, is not composed of true leaves but rather of green, jointed branchlets that function like leaves. The true leaves are tiny, tooth-like structures protruding from around the top of each joint.

Can I hear the soft sounds and sighs of the casuarinas. Yes I can. I can really say that my hearing is fine for the lowest tuba tune to the highest note on a piano or the soprano of a Hildergarde Bingen song. What brought this comment on was that yesterday I did a 15 minute audio test in response to a 'cold call' and three times they kept persisting that we do this free test, though not by a doctor but I guess an audiologist. I was put in a booth with a buzzer to press and headphones. The only test was for high pitches, not voice, not music, not timbre. Very limited. The results were shocking to say the least. The tester decided that I have a major hearing problem. Come on, come on, just because I don't hear the high sounds that a dog notices! Her spiel than was for me to urgently give a letter to a doctor for a referral, etc. etc. and then 'the government' will pay for everything that I will need! It is not quite a scam, but it is not necessary at all to go further. Isn't there too much noise going on in the world anyway! I can still hear the casuarinas sighing!

There's more on the casuarinas are on the babasiga blog today.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

When push comes to shove

from w
Yesterday I lost my spectacles - somewhere I'd put them down to read (without them) and they just disappeared! That's a real problem as I have to play music at a funeral tomorrow. I found an old pair, badly scratched, and the landscape looks foggy a bit from one glass.

So when push comes to shove - I had to see an eye clinic - go back to one I'd been to about fifteen years ago. Okay, okay, I am tardy about teeth and eyes, but this year I'm doing something about them both! Luckily I got an appointment this morning and went through the processes, but will have to see a specialist follow-up next month with maybe a problem that my Dad and sisters had in their senior years. And, I'll have to wait maybe two weeks for new specs. Not Palin style though. I'll have to lean into the music on the organ stand tomorrow and get the notes correct for the four hymns. Fortunately I don't use glasses for reading and the computer but mainly for crossing the road!

Anyway while I was waiting for the bus in Moorabool Street I took some photos mainly of the fan palms near the bus stand, then at home played around with them. I am very grateful for my eyes and very good vision facilitated by the help of those who work in the medical professions.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Walk like an Egyptian

from w
Many of us have been watching the news the past two weeks about the protest movement in Egypt, a country that wasn't in the major world news until now. I did not know that they have had Emergency Laws for the past thirty years! Well, the tide has turned and let's hope the 'military coup that is not a military coup' will soon establish moves to set up elections. This lovely photo was in today's Sunday Age. Walk like an Egyptian now has a new meaning.


A lounge room

from w
A lounge room, I suppose, is for lounging not for immaculate neatness which seems to be the emphasis of most of my friends. What with eight people coming and going at our place, lounging about watching TV, doing homework, on Facebook or sending emails on two computers, eating meals, drinking kava, playing the guitars, and praying, the lounge room just aint what it used to be. Here's a sample from a sketch I made while the guys were out at athletics or something. The photo shows another view of the room.

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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Good old Collingwood for ever

from w
When friends send on emails with jokes, cartoons, and so on, I usually delete them quickly, sometimes read them, but I'm a bit anxious about viruses. Anyway a Bulldogs football fan, now living in Queensland, sent on this one. It's absolutely politically incorrect, making a joke out of flood victims, flood relief and a socio-economic group of people in Melbourne. You may not realize how Collingwood Football Club is disliked intensely by most football fans of Aussie rules football. (And, there was no flood in Collingwood though that suburb isn't far from the Yarra River!)

Collingwood flood victims need assistance - Please Give Generously

Torrential rain hit Collingwood in the early hours of last Friday night.

Victims were seen wandering around aimlessly, flannies soaked, woollen trackies sagging, muttering 'Faaackinell'.

Flood waters devastated the area causing approximately $30 worth of damage.

Three areas of historic burnt out cars were disturbed. Many locals were woken well before their Centrelink cheques arrived.

One resident - Maree Sharon Britney Madonna Smith, a 15-year-old mother of 5 said 'It was such a shock, my little daughter Chardonnay-Mercedes came running in to my bedroom crying. My youngest two, Joachim and River slept through it all.'

Apparently, looting, muggings and car crime were unaffected and carried on as normal.

The Australian Red Cross has so far managed to ship 4,000 crates of Woodstock cans to the area to help the stricken locals. Rescue workers are still searching through the rubble and have found large quantities of personal belongings, including Health Care Cards, Magpie Scarfs, Jewellery from Kmart and Bone China from Big W.


This appeal is to raise money for food and clothing parcels for those unfortunate enough to be caught up in this disaster. Clothing is most sought after - items most needed include: flannelette Shirts, tight blue jeans or spandex, singlets (blue & white) white sport socks, Ugg boots, any form of Collingwood football merchandise and any other items usually sold in Priceline or The Reject Shop.

Food parcels may be harder to come by, but are needed all the same.
Required foodstuffs urgently needed include: Microwave meals, Baked Beans, Ice cream, Chips, Fizzy drinks.


Saturday, February 05, 2011

Children on a Sunday

from w
It's good to see children warmly welcomed and included in the liturgy of worship on a Sunday. We had a good day today - some of us attending East Geelong where there was a baptism and communion and an interesting children's time thinking about light and salt, (the preacher-man had a popcorn maker noisily doing its job) and then at Altona Meadows where Peceli preached, the children again were included in presenting their drawings of light and salt, then sang a song 'This litte light of mine'. I think our Fiji family (our household is now eight) ought to form an acapella choir as the boys are good at singing.

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