04 May 2015

The seduction of labyrinths

In one of those coincidences that often seem to happen in life, I chanced upon a television program about labyrinths on the same day I found out that it was due to be World Labyrinth Day a few days later. My curiosity was piqued, so I made some enquiries.

First, let's understand what a labyrinth is (and isn't). It is not a maze. A maze is a puzzle that has multiple branching paths and directions - not all lead to the centre. It is possible to get lost in a maze.

In a labyrinth, a single path leads to the centre. It is not possible to come to a dead end in a labyrinth. In modern times, a labyrinth is a pathway used for contemplation and walking meditation.



This photo is of the new labyrinth in Sydney's Centennial Park. You can read more about it here. It was this labyrinth that was the subject of a recent Compass program on television; a fascinating story. You can catch up with this episode here.


I imagine it would be a brilliant place for quiet reflection, so a simple walk here is now on my must-visit list.

01 May 2015

Hello May


The nights are cooler and it's lovely to snuggle under the doona at night - welcome to May! My violas are in bloom and I love looking at their sweet little 'faces' as they greet me each day.

This month, I'm looking forward to: some exciting games by the Sydney Swans Football Club, playing in my garden, two weeks away from my day job, writing, sewing, and catching up with friends, some of whom I haven't seen for months. Hello May! 

28 April 2015

After the storms

A couple of weeks ago, I planted a row of snow pea seeds in my garden. As always, the advice is to water the seeds and then do not add any more water until the shoots come up.

The day after I planted, we were hit with torrential rain and wild winds for the next three days. Trees fell over and places flooded. In my suburb, more than 300 mm of rain fell in those three days. I mentally said goodbye to the chances of my snow peas emerging.

As I cautiously stepped into the garden a few days after the onslaught had eased, I was astonished to see this beautiful scene.


I snapped this photo last Saturday morning. Later that day, we endured another massive storm - this time, with large hailstones that smashed down from the clouds and covered huge areas of Sydney. The hail was piled up across my ground.

Again, I inspected the damage in my garden. The leaves of my sweet potato plants were shredded, as were the leaves of other smaller plants. I cautiously turned to check the snow pea seedlings. They were still there, looking quite healthy. I smiled, and marvelled at the resilience of these seedlings - they really wanted to thrive! 


26 April 2015

Storytelling

I love hearing stories from people I meet. Every time I hear another story, I think how it adds another layer of complexity to my perception of the storyteller. 



Last week, I was talking to a 90 year old woman who was keen to share her story of a nocturnal malfunction of her fire alarm the previous day. It is a hard-wired one, so not easy for her to access or control. The fire brigade came along in the wee hours of the morning to assist. She admired the firemen who responded to her call ("very handsome").

This woman uses a walker to get around; she does her own shopping and cleaning; and she has a most wonderful attitude of positivity. I see her around a couple of times a week; sometimes she stops for a chat, while other times she simply waves and continues on. I have had to rescue her from the disabled toilet several times, when the locking system has failed. She thought that was an adventure.

These are the stories that enrich our interactions with others. They have been shared in every culture throughout the world to entertain, inform or preserve unique memories. If you ever see me wandering around, be sure to stop me so we can have a yarn and, in the process, get to know each other a little more.

 

25 April 2015

Anzac Day 2015

 
This day, I am remembering how many people have been killed and damaged by wars. We may not forget but neither do we seem to learn from what has gone before us.

21 April 2015

Playing with words

I have rarely played Scrabble during my life. I knew about it and played the board game occasionally at the homes of friends but I never became an aficionado until I discovered I could play with letters and words on my tablet.


Classic Words is my app of choice for three reasons: it's free, I can play it offline so there aren't any annoying advertisements, and I don't have to wait for an online opponent to be available. Playing against the droid is fun (I have won 59.1% of the 1209 games I have played) and I can change the level of difficulty if I choose. Happy, happy!

Do you have a favourite word game? Let us know!

18 April 2015

Citrus in autumn

We're having comfortable, cool nights now that autumn has arrived. That's telling my citrus trees that it's time to start ripening the fruit. As I prowl around my garden each day, I can see the colour changing, ever so subtly.


First the blood oranges lose their greenness and become tinged with yellow.


Not to be left out, the mandarin also changes. Soon the juicy citrus fruit of winter will be ready to be savoured.