Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lobster Beach

Although I was not looking forward to getting back to Perth's blue skies and and hot weather, it was a welcomed change to have some patches of blue sky starting to show through yesterday. As is often the case, this was just as our visit to the Central Coast area north of Sydney was coming to an end. Still there was the opportunity to go to a different beach before we returned to Sydney and headed for home. This time it was Lobster Beach. Tucked away behind a small headland this beautiful, secluded beach has views across the water to Pearl Beach. With time ticking away we would soon be on the Sydney bound train. If only our stay could have been a little longer.  

Monday, January 30, 2012

Walking Towards Middle Head

Sunday was not so much a day of rest as of walking, this time from Flathead Beach (south of Pearl Beach) across the rocky shore line towards Middle Head. Beautiful rock formations that would be the basis of an abstract painting made up this interesting coastline. On the way back we called into artist Marijke Greenway's gallery before our mandatory morning stop for coffee at the Pearl Beach Cafe. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pearl Beach - Patonga Fire Trail

Saturday morning and it was time to put on our walking shoes and take to the Pearl Beach Patonga Fire Trail. Fortunately we started from the Warrah Trig car park so it was a downward journey through the beautiful Central Coastal bushland to our morning coffee at the local Pearl Beach cafe. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Passing Through Ettalong

On the way to a weekend break with friends at Pearl Beach on the Central Coast north of Sydney. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I enjoyed meeting Tashi earlier this week, so even though I am now in Sydney decided to post this photo which was taken on Tuesday just before we left Melbourne. On most days you will find Tashi in Degraves Place where she designs and sells her beautiful hand made cards. Each card is designed individually and takes considerable time to make. A prolific artist, Tashi sells her cards by donation, an approach that she says works for her as well as her customers.

The alcove in which Tashi is sitting used to house a sculpture which unfortunately is now long gone. I always found it a rather interesting piece and have wondered where it disappeared to. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Taphophile Tragics: Mary MacKillop Place

I first visited Mary MacKillop Place while attending a conference in 2007. More than just a conference, accommodation and hospitality centre, Mary MacKillop Place also has the Memorial Chapel that holds the tomb of Saint Mary MacKillop. This is the heart of the spirituality of the centre. The chapel is beautiful and peaceful and is well worth a visit to take time out from the busyness of everyday living. My visit in 2010 coincided with the weekend of the canonisation of Saint Mary. What a wonderful time it was to be there! It was also when this photo was taken and whilst not shown here there was a stream of people coming to the tomb to pay homage to Saint Mary. The rose on the tomb had been placed by one of the worshippers. 

The museum at Mary MacKilllop Place gives an interesting insight into the life of Mary MacKillop and if you have time to stop, the small cafe always some something to delight. 

If you are interested in reading more about Taphophile Tragics, you can click here

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Yering Station, Yarra Valley

A break from the Australian Open today as we took time to visit wineries in the Yarra Valley starting at Yering Station with its beautiful gardens and vines from the oldest vineyard in Victoria. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Images from the Australian Open

Over the last few years I have made the annual trip to Melbourne to enjoy a few sessions at the Australian Open Tennis. We left for Melbourne yesterday but not before waiting for over two hours in the plane after Perth Airport was closed due to Perth's stormy weather. Still, despite the delay we made it to Melbourne in time for a long arranged dinner with friends.

This morning it was a delicious breakfast at a South Melbourne cafe where the coffee has to be one of the best I have tasted. Then we were off to the tennis. Good weather, happy crowds, great tennis, catching up with more friends and lots of entertainment! A fabulous sporting event.

Serena Willams (USA) in her warm up for tonight's match against Greta Arn (Hungry). 

Keen supporters for tonight's exciting match between Lleyton Hewitt and Milos Raonic. (Lleyton won). 

Friday, January 20, 2012


Taken in the serene and beautiful setting of Hue's Thien Mu Pagoda, I came across this image whilst looking for the photos for last Tuesday's Taphophile Tragic post about Thich Quang Duc and am sharing it here as my contribution to Floral Friday Fotos.  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Port Beach Sheds

I would like to be able to say that along our Perth beaches we have some of those fantastic bathing sheds like the colourful ones at Brighton Beach, Victoria . Afraid not. Nevertheless driving along the coast to Fremantle during the last couple of weeks the early morning light on these sheds near the North Fremantle petroleum tanks caught my attention. The sheds are an interesting contrast to new luxury apartments that have been built on the other side of the busy beachside road. Today I managed to leave early enough to get these pics and get to my Pilates session on time - yes I am delighted to say that three weeks on, I am still following through on that New Year's resolution! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Wonderful End to the Day

Over the last few days the sunsets over the ocean have been spectacular. This pic was taken yesterday at Leighton Beach as I was on my way for a little drawing practice with fellow artists in Fremantle. Leighton Beach is near Fremantle Port so ships are always anchored offshore in Gage Roads waiting to dock in the harbour. There seems to be more ships anchored offshore these days and a quick look at the Fremantle Ports 2011 Annual Report showed that container trade was at a record for the year. While this part of the beach looks quiet, not far away wind surfers were skimming over the water and people swimming in the warm weather conditions. A beautiful evening and one beautiful sunset. A wonderful way to end the day, welcome in the evening and set the scene for a little creativity! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Taphophile Tragics: Vietnam

On 11 June 1963, Buddist monk Thich Quang Duc burned himself to death in protest at the persecution of Buddist monks by the South Vietnamese government. Duc's remains which included his intact heart were later re-cremated at a cemetery 16 kms south of the city. According to Wikipedia, Duc's heart remained intact and did not burn leading to the intact heart relic being regarded as a symbol of compassion.

These photos were taken in 2009 when I was visiting Hue's Thien Mu Pagoda where the car in which Thich Quang Duc travelled to his self-immolation is housed. The photo above is from the small photo shown on the rear wall below. Especially the top image when viewed through the camera was a haunting one that stayed vividly with me for days.

For other Taphophile Tragic posts, you might like to visit here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Oxford Street Buzz

Oxford Street Leederville was all a buzz last night as people enjoyed relaxing in the evening cool. We dropped into a cafe offering Mongolian cuisine (thank goodness for the delicious vegetarian option) before taking a stroll past Oxford Street's cafes and stores. A most welcomed reprieve from the yesterday's uncomfortable heat.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ferrari Style

Spotted in Trinity Arcade - The Red Head and Leggenda E Passione. What fabulous names for these cars. Bet that true to Ferrari reputation and style these 1:18 scale model cars have everything that opens and shuts.    

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Bard in the Park

With our picnic basket jam packed full of goodies we were off to an entertaining evening of Shakespeare in the Park. King's Park that is, to enjoy our delicious dinner and the performance of Comedy of Errors. The theatre is in a sheltered spot near the Pioneer Women's' Memorial with views to the Swan River through the trees (photo below). As the night progressed there were glimpses of the rising moon through the trees. Breathtaking! With the theatre performance in full swing, what a shot that would have been. But  no photos during the performance was the order of the day. Pity also that I had my camera in the bag when a kookaburra swooped to take a chicken leg out of the hand of the person sitting next to us. That must be one well feed bird as it was not the only time a patron had their dinner snatched literally from under their nose!

As we were leaving I couldn't resist stopping for the top shot taken from a carpark that overlooks the Swan River towards the Canning Bridge. The row of lights along the river's edge is from the Kwinana Freeway.  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Get Your Kicks...

Billy Connolly's book of his Route 66 journey across America from Chicago to Los Angeles is my current bedside table reading. Riding a trike 2248 miles - now what an adventure that would be! How would I go? A 4 wheel drive? Saloon  car (red of course)? Trike? Who knows but perhaps I can continue to dream and plan for a trip maybe in 2013. In the meantime I'll have to get my kicks from this favourite Shaun Gladwell image in Approach to Mundi Mundi which was projected onto walls of the Art Gallery of New South Wales last year as part of the opening celebrations of the John Kaldor Family Collection.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Evening Light

Mid 30s here today. Time for a relaxing evening stroll at City Beach to end the day. Wonderful! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Taphophile Tragics: Kokoda

With a group of 17 people mainly form Perth, I trekked the Kokoda Track in 2007. The track links the Northern and Southern coast of Papua New Guinea and covers some 96 kilometres of amazing terrain - jungle, mountain streams, traditional villages and the opportunity to see many natural wonders. Many Australians walk the track in memory of loved family members ones who died defending Port Moresby and Australia from and the advancing Japanese armies.  Even though I do not have family who fought in New Guinea, this journey was an emotional one for me. In preparation for the trip I had read books such as A Bastard of a Place by Peter Brune, Kokoda by Paul Ham and Kokoda by Peter Fitzsimons. And to get me through the trek, there was lots of training. Jacobs Ladder and the Kokoda Track in King's Park became well worn pathways for me. 

Our trek started at Port Moresby - many start at the reverse end, that is from Kokoda. The first day of our  trek started out with a visit to the Australian War Cemetery at Port Moresby which is shown here. 

While in another blog post, I will further share some of my experiences the following is a short excerpt from a few words written for a Perth magazine. 

We had chosen to walk the track over ten days, staying each evening in a tent or in the village guest house. Clothes were washed at the end of each day. Nothing dried completely but with such high humidity, it was not long before I was saturated after starting out each morning. Wisely, I had decided to have a porter who would carry my main pack, leaving me to walk with a day pack. The climbing is relentless and knee bandages helped stop the steep descents making my knees feel like jelly. In contrast our porters were able to move nimbly over the track sometimes with bare feet while we moved slowly with the protection of our expensive trekking boots.

The views in the highlands are amazingly beautiful and I was grateful that inaccessibility had kept development at bay. While there were still many relics of the war along the track it was easy to miss these if I was only focusing on where I would take my next step. 

For me walking the Kokoda Track had a sense of pilgrimage as I followed in the footsteps of the Australian soldiers who fought in the difficult terrain. From July 1942 to January 1943 over 2,000 Australians were killed in action and thousands more were either wounded to racked with disease or illness. The memorial at Isurava with four marble pillars inscribed with words dedicated to the Australian soldiers - sacrifice, endurance, courage, mateship - pays homage to these brave young men and gave me the opportunity for reflection and remembrance as I struggled to come to terms with a war fought under such difficult conditions. 

Lest we forget. 

To view other Taphophile Tragics, visit here

Monday, January 9, 2012

Workers and Barrabup Pools, Nannup

It's been a while since I have been to Workers and Barrabup Pools about 10kms out of Nannup. According to signage at Workers Pool it was on the banks of St John Brook near this pool that the first timber mill - Barrabup Mill - was set up in 1908. Steam driven trains hauled Jarrah logs from the forest to the mill and at its peak, 150 men were employed producing 30,000 super feet of timber a day. 

In an article by Neville Tanner in the January 2012 edition of the Nannup Telegraph the Barrabup townsite is described as having a post office, school, hospital, nursing home, butchers shop, bakery, store, houses, boarding house and billiard saloon. In 1925 when the mill was closed and relocated to Nannup no doubt the town moved as well. Amazing when you think of all the work needed to shift and relocate services as well as the mill. 

Workers Pool pictured above was the pool used by the workers and you guessed it, Barrabup Pool (below) which was further away from the mill was for the exclusive use of mill managers and their families. Today the area is a popular camping spot and the pools are great swimming places especially when it gets really hot and cooling off in water is just what is needed. The old knotted rope swing which used to hang from a tree at Barrabup Poll has been removed. Pity. It used to be great fun to swing out into the water. Still there was plenty of fun to be had yesterday from the jetty.  

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Afternoon Break

Away from our Nannup vineyard for a break and visiting friends staying in bushland just out of the coastal town of Dunsborough, I was surprised to be able to get so close to this doe and her joey taking an break after feeding. The doe seemed used to having people around her although I decided not to tempt fate too much as she started getting restless with me being there. Those sharp and large claws on each front leg are enough to do a lot of damage to any foe and were certainly enough to move me on quickly.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pot of Gold

Somewhere over the rainbow.........

Perfect contrast of stunning colours and stormy grey skies. Who needs the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when you are lucky enough to see nature's beauty on display.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Endeavour Bound for Albany

Australian maritime history was on display today at Fremantle Harbour as the Endeavour set sail for Albany - another step in its circumnavigation of Australia. Although not under full sail as it made its way past the North Mole the replica of James Cook's ship of discovery was a sight to behold. Safe sailing to all on board. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Northbridge This Evening

Northbridge is adjacent to Perth City and is undergoing a face lift. An interesting sculpture at the intersection of James and Lake Streets rises from the centre of what was once a very ordinary roundabout. A big screen has been erected in the small park area to the right and just out of view of this shot. Northbridge has had lots of ups and downs as a place to go but with many cafes well patronised tonight it's beginning to be a nice place to linger. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Taphophile Tragics

Last week saw the springing to life of a new meme from Julie at Sydney Eye - Taphophile Tragics. New to me, the word taphophile refers to someone who is attracted to cemeteries and has an interest in musing on the history of those who have passed. A bit morbid for me I thought although I seemed to have enough of a passing interest to flick through fellow bloggers who had added their stories to the theme. 

However, this week starting to edit photos from my travel to Antarctica this year I came across images from Deception Island. Formed from a collapsed volcanic cone, Deception Island is one of the South Shetland Islands.  To enter the island's harbour, our ship had to navigate through Neptunes Bellows - a 230 metre wide break in the volcanic wall that channels strong winds through the strait. The striking rock formations at the entrance belie the dangerous rocks that lay just beneath the surface and on either side of the channel.

It's remote here and the environment is harsh. From 1906 to 1931 whaling was carried out at Deception Island. In 1908, Britain which had formally claimed the island as part of the Falkland Island Dependencies gave a lease to a Norwegian whaling company. One of the reasons for this was to ensure better processing of whales. Until then only the blubber had been used to collect whale oil leaving the carcasses which contained much of the whale oil to rot. Under the new regime the meat and bones were boiled down by the onshore station. About 5000 whales could be processed this way annually. 

I enjoy travelling to out of the way places, seeing human endeavour and how people living in remote regions go about their daily lives. On Deception Island however it was hard to comprehend what would drive people to live in such an inhospitable place away from families and civilisation for years on end. Due to illness or misfortune some would never return to their homelands. No doubt some (maybe many) would have opted to escape to these remote parts to avoid a fate probably worse than the living conditions at Deception Island.

The Whalers Bay cemetery was once a graveyard for some 45 men. In such a remote environment death seems harsh and with homelands on the other side of the world, lonely and alone.  In 1969 a volcanic eruption melted the glacier above the shores of Whalers Bay and the ensuing mudslide buried the cemetery under several metres of sand. Some of the cemetery's simple wooden coffins were tossed about by the mud and water and now lie open and empty on the black volcanic earth. 

I can only wonder what the working and living conditions would have been like. According to Lonely Planet's Antarctica, Charcot a visitor to the island in 1908 wrote:

We find two three-masters and two steam vessels, surrounded by several little steam-whalers, this fleet belonging to three different companies. Pieces of whale float about on all sides, and bodies in the process of being cut up or waiting their turn lie alongside the various boats. The smell is unbearable.

Stories of the challenges of whaling life and the dreadful stench were also repeated in the wonderful and informative museum on South Georgia. 

The bay where we landed was a huge desolate graveyard - whale bones (there are two huge whale skeletons in the above image), boats and buildings slowly disintegrating. Huge boilers and tanks from the whaling station operations lay heaped together in a junk pile by the shore. 

The volcanic rim of Deception Island is considered by volcanologists to be a 'restless caldera with a significant volcanic risk'. Nor is there much comfort in getting away from the island if there was an eruption without warning. It would seem to be almost impossible to get out of the bay through the 230 metres gap in such an emergency and when we were there the winds were enough to make the entry and exit extremely difficult and that was on a clear day! 

You can click here to see other contributions to Taphophile Tragics. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Roll on Those Lazy Summer Days

After Pilates in East Fremantle this morning (yes a New Year's resolution) I stopped by Port Beach. Wow! Beautiful beach weather. It reminded me of the Nat King Cole song Roll on Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer. Well maybe it's not so crazy nor as hazy as it used to be but I am certainly enjoying a lazy summer's day!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

City Daily Photo Theme Day

On the first day of the month, City Daily Photo has a Theme Day. The Theme Day for the first day of the New Year is Photo of the Year 2011. So here's mine. The original title for the post was "Mirror, mirror..."

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Happy Birthday Ruth & Edith

New Years partying continued today down by the river foreshore in Nedlands. Although the day here was overcast, we had a wonderful time with friends enjoying yet more sumptuous food, reflecting on our New Year's resolutions and most importantly celebrating Ruth's and Edith's birthdays.