Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about my Primary School days:

1. I went to a one-teacher, one-roomed school in the country.

2. There were about 24 children in the school, aged 5 -14 and covering 9 grades.

3. I started school when I was 5, and after 6 weeks the teacher put me up into the next grade.

4. We travelled to school on the back of the truck that came to collect the cans of milk from the dairy farms, and we walked 2 miles home each night.

5. We had no electricity in the school, and heating in the winter was from an open wood fire.

6. We had pan-toilets; no sewerage or septic tanks.

7. We played games like Poison Ball, Cops and Robbers, Hide & Seek, and Hopscotch.

8. We brought lunch to school and swapped our sandwiches with other children.

9. We studied Arithmetic, Spelling, Grammar, Nature Study, Health, Singing, Geography, History and Art.

10. We had no television but we did have a battery-powered radio.

11. At the end of the year we always had a concert and Christmas Tree (school year here runs from February to December).

12. There were only four children in my class for most of my six years at Primary School.

13. I loved school and never looked forward to the holidays.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Oh, how it's changed!

In the midst of continuing drought, I hate to think how barren Canberra would look without Lake Burley Griffin, which is a dammed up section of the Molonglo River. The brown hills in the foreground of these photos were covered in tall pine plantations until the 2003 bushfires. There are many thousands of small pines trees covering some areas (I'm not sure whether they have been planted or self-sown) but it's a far cry from the picturesque scenes of just a few years ago. The blue hills in the background are the Brindabella Ranges, on which we can see snow occasionally during the winter. The Snowy Mountains, including the main ski resorts of Perisher, Blue Cow and Thredbo, are further to the south.

The large white house at the end of the lake is Yarralumla, the home of the Governor General of Australia.Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Autumn Indulgence

Here are a few more of the photos we took on our stroll during the week. We've now had four frosts this week so the autumn colour will be even more enhanced in the coming weeks.

Claret Ashes

Agapanthus under the Manchurian Pears

Towering Poplars

Golden Ashes

Scarlet Oaks

Less advanced than those above but stunning in its contrasts.


... and again.

Nyssa sylvatica

Maple (?)

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Silver Birches

Friday, April 21, 2006

Stronger Every Day

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Yes, I had a long talk on the phone today to my sister-in-law who underwent open-heart surgery on 4 March. Edna has had a few setbacks since the operation and, although she came home for a few days, she has been back in hospital on 3 occasions, the last time for nearly 3 weeks. During that time she also had a heart pacemaker implanted.

It was wonderful to hear her speaking so clearly and strongly today, something she has not been able to do for at least a year. She says that although she is still taking things slowly, she feels better and stronger than she has for several years. Edna and Geoffrey, and all the family, are delighted with her progress now and look forward to her being able to spend more time doing all the things she used to enjoy doing before her illness.

Once again, I thank you all most sincerely for your prayers and good wishes. We all truly appreciated them.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Fur and Feathers

It wasn't all pretty leaves and Black Mountain Tower yesterday. The water, land and sky held other interests.

A Black Swan family out for a morning swim.

Kangaroos resting in the shade.

Sulphur- crested Cockatoos in flight.

A congenial mix of birdlife. Posted by Picasa

Thursday Thirteen

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Since this week marks the 80th birthday of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth 11, I thought of 13 things I remember through the years about the Queen.

1. She was a pretty girl who grew up to be a beautiful young woman.

2. Her wedding to Prince Philip in 1947.

3. The death of her father, King George VI, and her return to England from South Africa to become Queen at the age of 26.

4. The excitement of collecting pictures of the Queen and her family leading up to the Coronation.

5. The thrill of participating in the parade in our local town in celebration of the Coronation on 2 June 1953.

6. Listening to the broadcast of the Coronation that same night on shortwave radio. There was no TV in Australia then.

7. Seeing the film of the Coronation a few months later.

8. The anticipation and thrill of seeing the Queen and Prince Philip on their first visit to Australia in 1954.

9. Admiring her portrait in most public buildings, including our school.

10. Seeing the Queen's portrait on our postage stamps back when it cost 3 pence to send a letter.

11. Keeping scrapbooks of photos of the Queen and her family, especially the children.

12. Watching the celebrations for the 40th Anniversary of the Coronation when we were in England 1993, and realising just how young she was when she ascended the throne.

13. Above all else, admiring her for her dignity, grace and strength throughout more than 50 years in this most public of roles. She has maintained these qualities at all times, at least publicly, despite many very difficult and traumatic events, particularly within her family.

From one subject in a far-flung corner of the Commonwealth, may I wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I am using auto-link to link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted! Most especially comments. I LOVE comments.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Autumn along Lake Burley Griffin

A stroll in the early sunshine today along a small section of Lake Burley Griffin brought the occasional photo opportunity ... lol.

Manchurian Pears with Black Mountain Tower in the distance.

The Australian National Library and the avenue of flags of all countries.

The back of the High Court of Australia.

Kings Avenue Bridge.

Black Mountain and Tower.

The High Court of Australia.

Claret Ashes (Fraxinus 'Raywood')

Across the lake to the city.

Scarlet Oaks just beginning to change colour.

Commonwealth Avenue Bridge.

The National Museum of Australia below Black Mountain Tower. Posted by Picasa


The National Library.

"Just look at the time. When will she stop taking photos?"

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The American Eagle Memorial and The Carillion (bell tower).

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Erica has tagged me for this 4 Meme. Although I've done one very similar, it was some months ago so I thought it wouldn't hurt to see if I've actually done, read, seen or heard anything memorable in my life. So, here goes:

4 Jobs I've had in my life:

1. Milking cows - twice a day for about 14 years.

2. Shop assistant on the jewellery counter in G.J.Coles (now David Jones) in Bourke St. Melbourne

3. Part-time schoolteacher - I thought that would be the last thing I would ever do but I loved it.

4. University examination invigilator - one of the most mind-numbingly boring jobs in creation, probably second only to operating the stop/slow signs on the roadworks sites.

4 Movies I could watch over and over - there are very few movies that I can watch over and over, no matter how much I enjoyed them. At the moment, I'm hard pressed to stay awake long enough to see any movie once. But some that I have watched more than once in the past are:

1. Witness.

2. No Way Out.

3. Goodbye Mr Chips.

4. Shawshank Redemption.

4 Websites I visit regularly. I'm not sure if this means websites or blogs, so ...

1. Classic FM - 24 hour a day classical music from London.

2. Thomas and Friends - (Thomas the Tank Engine and I 'visit' it many times a day when my grandson is staying here for the day.)

3. The Purple Giraffe and Shells and Beans - my daughters' blogs.

4. Colors of the Garden -
Kerri's site.

4 Favourite Foods.

1. Peach and Mango Frozen Yoghurt.

2. Good Thai food.

3. Eggs and bacon.

4. Stewed apples and cream.

4 Places I'd rather be right now. I'm quite happy where I am right now, but these are all places I've been or things I've done which I enjoyed.

1. Roaming the Cotswolds (or nearly anywhere) in England.

2. Riding on the River Cat on the Brisbane River.

3. Gazing in wonder at the Grand Canyon.

4. Lying in a warm, cosy bed listening to the wind and the rain.

4 Books I read over and over. I never read books over again but I should because I forget most of the story as soon as I've finished it, though not enough to make me read it again.

4 Songs I could (and do) listen to over and over - no problem here about listening to music over and over. In fact, I repeat them so often that I no longer hear them.

1. 'Love Changes Everything' - Michael Ball.

2. 'You Raise Me Up' - Aled Jones.

3. 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring' - Josh Groban.

4. 'Calon Ian' - Katherine Jenkins.

4 Reasons Why I Blog

1. Because Michelle told me to.

2. I'm an incurable 'sticky beak' and I like to know what's happening in other peoples' lives.

3. I now have many international friends and I'm planning to visit them all.

4. It saves me from doing housework.

4 People to invite to lay bare their soul and tell us your innermost thoughts -

1. Marion
2. Roybe
3. ncmg
4. Diana

Monday, April 17, 2006

A Sad End

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I was cutting back the lavender in the front garden this afternoon when I heard what sounded like someone blowing loud ‘raspberries’ nearby. I looked around as 5 white cockatoos flew overhead, shrieking. I could hear the sound of sparks and looked up at the power pole across the road. A cockatoo had somehow landed on the wrong part of the power lines and had just been electrocuted. The five birds that had flown away landed in a nearby dead tree and continued shrieking while one solitary bird sat silently on the wires directly above the dead bird. No doubt, its lifelong mate. After about 20 minutes the 5 cockatoos flew back and collected their grieving mate and flew away. I think it’s the only time I’ve ever felt sorry for a white cockatoo.

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