Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blogtoberfest #30 Friendship

On the Blogtoberfest blog post for the day Kat who is the host for this "fest" had a guest blogger and her entry went this way....
Like most of us, I am always juggling a million competing priorities and I want to be able to do it all. I never want to let anyone down and I find it so hard to withdraw from any commitment I make. In truth I have ridiculously high expectations of myself and I see any lapse in keeping all my balls in the air as a complete failure. It’s exhausting and this year, after five pretty full on years, the signs of burn-out have been ever present.

I hit September this year feeling absolutely exhausted and uninspired. Blogtoberfest was just around the corner. I kept trying to rally my passion. I knew that lots of people were looking forward to it and that I’d disappoint them if I didn’t make it happen. And so I kept trying to talk myself into it.

But in the end I couldn’t.

I sent Kat an email wondering if she might like to host it this year. She’d already offered to help out and I thought perhaps she might be willing to actually take the reigns completely. And luckily for all of us she said a great big YES.

It’s been an absolute gift to have Kat host Blogtoberfest this year. Not only has she done an absolutely amazing job, she’s given me the gift of knowing that I don’t have to do it all on my own.

This made me think not necessarily of what I may assume about myself but about friendship, who one calls on to help out with things, and what opportunities are given to us to act as friends and provide support for each other.

Given the disaster that has occurred in NYC on this day it feels appropriate to ponder on the ways in which one can provide friendship and support to others. Not being able to give the support of actually being there - lucky for me I missed out on having to cope with the situation- it seems that as a friend one can let others know that you are thinking of them and worried about them and then listen to all they can tell you and need to say. Not easy sometimes but it is really the best that can be done from this great distance.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Blogtoger #29 Arrival

It's tempting to post the photo of my visa page which arrived in my passport however I am not going to only because the photo is so severe and I'd like to think that that is not what I am like!

 However that being said the day finally arrived when I could walk to the post office and pick up my parcel containing my new visa from the US consulate. A bit of a false start to the collection...I walked over the the post office and as I was getting my delivery notification card out I went to get my driver's licence out and realized it is in my other purse back at the house.

So a brisk walk home and a brisk walk back and I was able to hold my passport and visa again. All very comforting.
It is the perfect time to be in Melbourne... today that is given the weather and the gardens are just lovely.

Have had windows open and balmy breezes blowing and the scent of the mock orange floats in on the breeze.

The roses are loving the sunlight and the warmth.

All the foliage and the flowers make the entrance to the house look so different from the times when I have been home in the winter.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Blogtober# 28 Family

 Driving to visit family can involve going along the freeway and circling the city a little.

Taking photos out the passenger window can involve capturing the corner of the window hence the little black triangles... however the number of apartment blocks in the city have really changes the skyline. 

Like mother, like daughter. Kate got new glasses and is even more like her mum.

And the ever photo evasive Nick is never safe from the camera... he thinks he got away with not getting a decent photo taken but this one is a nice one I think.

It was lovely to catch up with them and to have a lovely spa too.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Blogtoberfest #27 A celebration

November is going to be a big month for celebrations and they have started already. The party was for Fran's 60th. How lucky was I to be home here and be able to join in the celebration. About one hundred people gathered at the Malmsbury Hotel where we had a great dinner and then music of Fran's era- my era- with dancing and chatting and celebrating the wonderful person that Fran is.
I am so lucky to be able to say that she is one of my best friends and has been for such a long time.

She used the lyrics of Carole King's Tapestry to talk about her life and her friendships.

My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue
An everlasting vision of the everchanging view
A wondrous woven magic in bits of blue and gold
A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold

Such a wonderful attitude to have in a person who has had really tough times. The gathering was a tribute to her friendship and parenting. Four of the five kids were there- Annemarie made a lovely and loving speech, a friend Jenny made another speech and Fran acknowledged her friends that were there and absent. Her mum was not able to be there. The friends ranged from "kids" she went to school with, teachers' college and early teaching career friends, friends from pony club, from work, and from life changes. It was a lovely way to celebrate her.
I'm so glad I was able to be there given that I would have more likely have been in USVI but visa issues have meant I was able to celebrate with her now and then I can also celebrate with her at Christmas when she comes over to stay.

The birthday cake a friend made

Friday, October 26, 2012

Blogtoberfest #26 Getting organized

I like to be organized and to a certain extent I pride myself on my ability to be organized. However this blog has shown how disorganized i can be and how inconsistent I can be. I've got to get this thing organized. And thanks to Anthea on the blogtoberfest blog I have a better insight into what I can do.
She said ....
When I visit a blog it's frustrating to get there and find nothing has changed... again. I love for it to be consistent whether it's always updated on a Tuesday, a Friday, every two days or every day. It's a good practice to get into for a blogger, to have a structure to adhere to. Plus it's a pleasure reading a blogger who's always there when they say they're going to be.

So what I need to do is to plan out when I'm going to blog and do it and then perhaps i won't have this "backblog" of catching up.

I find all manner of excuses... time being one of them. But at Michele suggested perhaps to draft the pages when i have time and post them when I don't so they are in place an ready to roll. And then Paula on the blogtoberfest earlier in the month said...
On my blog map, each month has a card with the main blogging project for the month (29 Faces for September, Blogtoberfest for October and Art Every Day Month for November). Once the goals are in place I can schedule the tasks for each project and the posting times into my daily planner. 

I even put a weekly card with the "ONE thing to do this week" for each project so as not to overdo things!

That's even way more organized than I could ever be but the theme for the month or even the week may help me overcome the issue of not getting anything there.

I really want people to read my blog but if I have nothing to say that's worth hearing/reading then why should they bother. The ridiculous thing at the moment and one excuse I have been giving myself is that I don't want people to read about things before this coming weekend so I have been keeping off the airwaves- pathetic...I'm sure the people concerned don't read this pithy little missive anyway but I don't want things to get out into the stratosphere.

The photos are a continuation of "on this day in ..." series as i haven't taken any photos of late but that is going to change today! These ones were taken on this day in 2010.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blogtoberfest #25- How can I?

It seems impossible to catch up! I had been doing really well and then life has gotten in the way... how am I going to catch up on what has been happening without giving away other things?

I guess it is farily presumptuous of me to think that people read this or even care what i have to say and think.

My solution for today is to put a picture up of where I was and what I was doing 12 months ago today...
I was staying at Secret Harbour in St Thomas USVI and it was the evening that Tara and Grant visited. a tad spooky because it is where I should have been today.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Blogtoberfest #24 As days go by...

 Reflections on what life may be like... these are photos from two years ago on this day.
Interesting from perspective to see how things similarly appear to be the subjects for my photographs.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Blogtober # 23 Out of sync

 These photos are totally out of sync but i wanted to post them and catch up on my blog a seemingly impossible task at the moment.

Lunch during a walk with Michele and Spencer means one needs a place one can sit outside. We had to move to a warmer, in the sun table so that we weren't freezing but it was worth it.

People kept stopping to pat Spencer and chat about their day. Very pleasant.

Walked back home and there was the very sad remnants of the poster for Jill Meagher.  Such a ghastly outcome to the whole thing.

This has to be a boarding house with all the post boxes for each room.

The cat is a tag for someone seen in many spots around Footscray- i should look out for it elsewhere.

 On another wall further up the road.

  And then again a little further along


Another series of graffiti, one of those things you see and think I thought i saw that somewhere else or is this where I saw it. Turns out there's more than one.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Blogtoberfest #22 Empowered

How appropriate is this? When I head back into my blog to try to catch up and I looked back at the prompts from the Blogtoberfest blog and happened upon this one

One of Maddy's little birds
Did you choose a word for 2012? By that I mean, at the end of last year, did you alight on a word that would guide you through the new year? Perhaps the word would be something that you wanted to achieve, explore or invite more of into your life. Or perhaps it would be something to guide, inspire or fortify you. Or maybe it would just be a pleasant travelling companion, benign and reassuring that you're generally on the right track.

I did indeed choose a word for this year and it was/is "empowered" although I didn't really act on thinking it through as much as i did with my word in 2010 (which was "Spirit"). However even though I didn't review and think it out i have been living and feeling it. And have done some really empowering things during the year and have taken steps myself to become the new and ever evolving me in the year that I turn 60.

How appropriate is it to being blogging on 22nd of the month about my empowerment and things achieved thus far given that 22/11 is not that far away!

The main feeling of empowerment i have had during the year is that I can and have made decisions for myself and my life that I feel truly content with and others that I feel I have made the decision and taken action.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blogtoberfest #16 Look down, look out

 The light caught my attention and the length of the shadows.
I began thinking about Manhattanhenge reported in different places and at another time of year.

For Manhattan, a place where evening matters more than morning, that special day comes twice a year. For 2012 they fall on May 29th, and July 12th, when the setting Sun aligns precisely with the Manhattan street grid, creating a radiant glow of light across Manhattan's brick and steel canyons, simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough's grid. A rare and beautiful sight.  
More information about this is available at http://www.haydenplanetarium.org/resources/starstruck/manhattanhenge
Perhaps in the coming year I'll get myself organized and get to actually see it happen.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Blgotoberfest #15 Autumnal resolve

What do you want more or less of in your life, so that you can love the life you're leading? It could be as simple as seeing friends more often, setting aside time to have adventures with your children while they still want your companionship, calling a solitary hour a day your own, or just taking more walks in the dazzling sunshine.
The beauty of autumnal resolutions is that no one else knows we're making them. Autumnal resolutions don't require horns, confetti, and champagne. September resolutions ask only that we be open to positive change.

Well that is indeed a challenge! In making up for my lack of blogging and getting to my goal this truly is timely for me or at least relevant given that I am doing it way after it was suggested :)

I have so many resolutions for the year which Michele and I drew up together and in some cases I am doing relatively well. But now gives me a few months to pull some of them out of the scrap list, put a little surge in and get them done. Or perhaps blow on them a little to get that spark burning a bit more brightly.  Hmmm and surprise surprise I know which resolutions have actually gone up in smoke! Time now to find a way to get them sorted.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Blogtoberfest #13 A well savoured Saturday

The stress of it all! After a morning of trying to get some things sorted I headed off to my art journal class (102) at Little Bird Creations. This involved a train trip to 86th Street and a short walk to 89th and West End Avenue, along the way was this little window box. I liked the trailing ivy against the brick work and the little splash of colour.

I love the view down long avenues that give the whole canyons look and have me singing in my head the Mamas and Papas song TwelveThirty

"I used to live in New York City
Everything there was dark and dirty
Outside my window was a steeple
With a clock that always said twelve-thirty

Young girls are coming to the canyon
And in the mornings I can see them walkin'
I can no longer keep my blinds drawn
And I can't keep myself from talkin'

At first so strange to feel so friendly
To say "Good mornin'" and really mean it
To feel these changes happenin' in me
But not to notice till I feel it"

Having sung my way the rest of the distance (like about 50 steps) I was at Michele L's craft apartment on the third floor. All those stairs at schools is getting me fitter- I managed this walk up quite easily I think. Back there again tomorrow so will check that out.

 Our chance to get inky and messy creating a lovely page. Michele is so generous with her time and her things letting us use her  stamps and paints and all manner of things.

Michele at work in her craft space

After three hours it was time to head home so to get in my exercise for the day I walked from 89th to 48th- it's about two and a half miles so a good walk. 

This walk took me back past the statues I walked up to along Broadway last week. 

Christelle enjoying the sun on her back
My final piece
I tried to finish off some of the work when I got home and then Mary, Margie and I went to see The Heiress. It's on at the Walter Kerr Theatre so an easy grab the ticket and the keys and walk next door trip. 

Playbill provided the following...
The new Broadway production of Ruth and Augustus Goetz's period drama The Heiress begins previews at the Walter Kerr Theatre Oct. 6. Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain ("The Help") plays the awkward Catherine Sloper, with "Downton Abbey" star Dan Stevens as a handsome suitor who arrives on her doorstep. Windows and doors figure prominently in the drama.
In the 1850-set play, inspired by the 1880 Henry James novel "Washington Square," Oscar nominee and Emmy Award winner David Strathairn ("Good Night and Good Luck," "Temple Grandin") plays Catherine's widower father, Dr. Sloper, with two-time Tony Award winner Judith Ivey (Steaming, Hurlyburly) as romantic-at-the-core Aunt Lavinia Penniman.
The socially stunted, shy-around-men Catherine — billed by her own father as not "clever" — learns the rules of the world as she is caught between newcomer Morris Townsend (whose motives are murky) and her cold father.
Opening night is Nov. 1. The 1947 American classic is directed by Tony Award-nominated playwright and director Mois├ęs Kaufman (I Am My Own Wife, 33 Variations, The Laramie Project). His cast also includes Molly Camp as Marian Almond, Kieran Campion as Arthur Townsend, Virginia Kull as Maria, Dee Nelson as Mrs. Montgomery and Caitlin O'Connell as Aunt Elizabeth Almond.
Here she is without the plastic
We had front row seats (cos they're cheaper cos you get a crick in your neck) and they were not too bad actually. The set is great with a very steep staircase because the stage is not very deep. I dislike the way US audiences applaud a well known actor when they come onto the stage. They ain't done anything yet! I dislike even more the fact that they give a standing ovation to everything. In the front row we could delay standing up. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Jessica Chastain was fabulous and changed in her role so beautifully. What was even more impressive was her crying- how can she do that every performance. Dan Stevens was lovely and appropriately appealing and a scoundrel.  I loved Judith Ivey's portrayal of a gushing enthusiastic woman she had a way of not finishing words but you still knew what she was saying. Not sure that that was the way the script was written and it worked so well.

Friday, October 12, 2012

BLogtoberfest #12 Five Fings on Friday

 A bit stuck what to write for today so came up with my own little list idea (someone esle in the blog world has probably done this already). I thought I could make a list of Five Fings on Friday.

But I couldn't go without putting photos so the first fing first.... These pages are from  October 12 2010

The second Friday Fing. It really was so cold this morning I was so pleased that I chose to get some extra layers on. It seems that it suddenly gets cold and I guess will remain so until spring. It reminds me of the part in the book "Goodnight Mr Tom" when the mother said she had "sewn him into his underwear for the winter". I'm beginning to feel that way already and it's really only day two of cold weather.
  The third thing for this Friday fing- I don't know what it is about my sense of direction but it is totally hopeless. I know now that when I come up out of the subway and want to head in what I believe to be the right direction I need to stop and turn and go the other way as it is sure to be the right way.
This morning going to the school I went the wrong way out of the subway and then coming home I went the wrong way from the school to the subway. Thank goodness for maps on phones even if they are not the best!

The fourth fing is why has it taken me so long to work out a system that means I know what I'll be doing the next time I go back to a place I have worked in. Too difficult to expand on in this space but gosh I think i have got something that is going to work!

The fifth and final fing is thank goodness for Fridays! And so much to look forward to over the weekend and I'm not traveling out of the city :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blogtoberfest # 11 Ten-Eleven-Twelve

Here in the US where the months are put in the wrong order in the date, I noticed as i signed in with the security person at the school that the date was 10/11/12. Cool.

What made the day even cooler (other than the weather- we have begun to have to wear socks and real shoes and jackets- suddenly- it seems to happen overnight) well what made it truly cool was it was our second Kitchen Table meeting.

The crew pulled up a seat at our kitchen table to provide support for each other in our work and thinking.

The Kitchen Table idea was born at the last professional development day we had in June. The group of random consultants seated at the table group i was in were sharing ideas and issues about their work from during the year but hankered after an ongoing relaxed conversation about the work they were doing and the sharing of resources.

I gathered everyone's email addresses and we set a date for our first meeting in the new school year and gathered around the Kitchen Table to talk about our work. The Inaugural Table was two weeks ago and the tradition of wine and snacks helped the conversation rock along.

It is a truly splendid and precious group that I for one am really enjoying and value.