21 July, 2012
Most of the luxuries, and many of the so called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind. With respect to luxuries and comforts, the wisest have ever lived a more simple and meagre life than the poor.
~Henry David Thoreau, Walden
One of the many pearls of wisdom (and I note the inherent contradiction with the subject of many of my posts) from my favourite semi curmudgeon / hermit who also celebrated a birthday recently.
21 July, 2012
Perhaps I would have been more likely to eat my veggies if they looked like this when I was young.
If the vegetables had looked this beautiful, they would probably have ended up undigested and hanging on my wall.
(images from Taschen’s new release Album Vilmorin. The Vegetable Garden)
22 April, 2012
I am an indifferent gardener at best – due to lack of time, I like to claim. But, having inherited a number of plants (potted, on a balcony) from my landlord, I have been dutifully watering these every few days. A couple I have saved from the brink – especially after holidays such as Christmas and Easter when I was away. A couple of others have not been so lucky.
One plant in particular – green felt like leaves, spindly stalks; really nothing to look at – was close to expiring until I began watering it religiously, determined not to have another living thing die on me.
I went to water it yesterday morning and imagine my surprise when I found this unlovely thing had spawned a strawberry! Two actually (one was hiding in a shelf nook).
26 January, 2012
For happiness, how little suffices for happiness!… the least thing precisely, the gentlest thing, the lightest thing, a lizard’s rustling, a breath, a wisk, an eye glance-little maketh up the best happiness. Be still.
~Friedriche Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None
Things haven’t slowed down for me yet but here are a few shots from my summer break.
9 January, 2011
Back in Canberra after almost two blissful, relaxing weeks in Melbourne staying with family, getting to know my little nieces better and catching up with close friends and their families.
It’s unexpectedly lovely to be back in one’s own space, sufficiently refreshed and invigorated and ready to take on 2011.
Just as unexpectedly, the tree in our backyard which provided such gorgeous spring blossoms, has yielded a veritable bounty. Not a sakura tree, as I initially expected, but an apricot tree. Its branches are heaving with the fruit which, I suspect, are just a few days away from perfect ripeness. The birds have, surprisingly, left the apricots intact. Given the wet, wild yet sunny weather over the last few months, I suspect our apricot tree is not the only one bearing beautiful fruit this season and the birds are having an absolute field day with what is on offer.
I’m looking forward to fresh apricots with my muesli in the next week!
21 June, 2010
Real needfire – from which Midsmmer fires should be lit – can only be made by rubbing two pices of wood together… We were always fascinated that such a tiny flame could make the twilight seem deeper and so much more blue – we thought of that as the beginning of the magic; and it was tremendously important that the taper shouldn’t blow out as we came down the tower steps and crossed the mound… Once the fire is blazing the countryside fades into the dusk, so I took one last look round the quiet fields, sorry to let them go. Then I lit the twigs. They caught quickly – I love those early minutes of a fire, the crackles and snappings, the delicate flickers, the first sharp whiff of smoke. The logs were slow to catch so I lay with my head near the ground and blew. Suddenly the flames raced up the wigwam of branches and I saw the snowy moon trapped in a fiery cage. Then smoke swept over her as the logs caught at last. I scrambled up, and sat back watching them blaze high. All my thoughts seemed drawn into the fire – to be burning with it in the brightly lit circle of stones. The whole world seemed filled with hissing and crackling and roaring.
And then, far off in the forgotten dusk, someone called my name.
~Dodie Smith, I Capture The Castle (1949)
° ° °
The solstice doesn’t have quite the same history or importance in this part of the world (Lat 37°47’S Long 144°58’E). Here, the length of days do not noticeably wax or wane with the seasons and we’re more worried about a drought, rather than a harsh, interminable winter. Still, it’s nice to pause and mark the Winter Solstice and realise that the warmer weather will soon be here.
High Summer, 2003
16 April, 2010
For the long Easter weekend, a long-lost branch of my family made their way to Melbourne to enjoy an Australian autumn, eat lots of food and rekindle familial ties. On the bright, warm Sunday, we headed out to the Yarra Valley, one of Melbourne’s closest and most scenic wine districts, and stopped in here and here (amongst other places). We ate, we drank, we revelled in the autumnal sunshine. And enjoyed the golden leaves of the maple and the shade of the stout oak tree, a glorious contrast to the green-brown lacey intertwinings of the omnipresent eucalypt.
I also found some acorns.
More photos to come later.
Have a great weekend.