Weekly Photo Challenge: My Neighbourhood

9 03 2013

We recently moved to Darwin, the capital city of the Northern Territory of Australia.  It’s pretty isolated and has as population of only about 120, 000.  Here are a few shots from my usual day.  A journey in to work is relatively easy as the traffic “jam” here is like a quiet Sunday drive in my former city.  The weather is overcast at present – it is the monsoon season so it is very humid with afternoon rain storms that dump rain and relieve the sticky heat.

Join in the Weekly Photo Challenge by WordPress and take part each week.





Darwin community markets

21 02 2013

Since moving to Darwin in the Northern Territory, we’ve enjoyed sampling the various wares at the local weekend markets.  The food stalls offer a fantastic variety of fresh specialty dishes from from Vietnam, Thailand, France, Japan, China, India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Malaysia and more.  We’re slowly working our way through the Laksa, curries, vege noodles, rice paper rolls, broth and soup combinations, tofu and dim sum.  It is quite a treat and as we’re in a new place it is even easier to try different and ‘new’ things that we would have usually passed by.

The markets also have a range of fresh vegetables and fruit with a particularly tropical and south-east asian influence.  Tropical fruits and iced tropical fruit smoothies are popular and prolific in the heat, as are the fresh greens for a quick home-made stir fry.

I love the laid back atmosphere at the markets.  It has a really friendly and vibrant feel with so many cultures represented.   People are out and about, starting their weekend with some homegrown music and a wander through the spicy stalls, all buzzing with patrons patiently waiting (sometimes in the rain).  Mindil Beach Markets (in the Dry) offer a fantastic spot to sit and watch the sunset.  The rain doesn’t keep anyone away though, with the Parap Markets on every weekend even during The Wet.  Saturday is not Saturday any more without a Laksa!!!





Share Your World – 32

17 07 2012

Click here to visit Share Your World – by Cee

Cee is a good friend of mine and she has set up this weekly challenge to “Share Your World” by asking us all to answer some questions about life, the universe and everything.

Here are this week’s questions and my answers! And don’t forget to visit Cee’s blog by clicking the icon on the right, if you’d like to find out how you can be involved.

1. Which would you prefer: a wild, turbulent life filled with joy, sorrow, passion and adventure – intoxicating successes and stunning setbacks; or a contented bordering on happy, secure, predictable life surrounded by friends and family without such swings of fortune and mood?

My life fluctuates between the two and when I hit the extreme of one, I find I long for the other  🙂

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
No, I would not like to be famous – I find the thirst for fame and the marketing of people and image quite obscene.  Having said that, I would like to have some impact in life that helped people on a large scale.  I’m more interested in finding and exploring what that is and how I can do it rather than being made ‘famous’ for it.

3. If you could cure one disease, what would that be?
Ooooh, that’s a REALLY tough one.  I’m tempted to pick something close to home, close to my heart that would cure me of my conditions or those that affect friends and family.  In my better moments though, if I really could cure one disease, I’d have to consider a cure for HIV/AIDS.  The toll in Africa is horrendous.  Unfathomable.  There are millions of children left orphaned.  I have to admit that I am fortunate to have access to treatment, specialist doctors and medication which help.  Millions of people across the world don’t have access to running water or electricity, let alone health care, so I’d have to think a bit wider than my own circle.  I must also admit that if my beloved was diagnosed with a deadly disease and was destined to suffer and die in my arms I would be utterly selfish and cure her immediately.   Hmmmm.

4. If you were invisible, where would you go?
I’m privileged to be able to access a lot of places in my world quite freely and safely as a woman but there are some places that are either dangerous for women to attend alone (or dangerous for anyone) or are restricted to men only.  On that note, I’d travel through the Middle East, especially the Persian Empire –  Turkey, Armenia, Iran and Iraq.  I’d also visit various religious festivals and segregated places of worship (of a variety of faiths) to see what they are like.

Thanks for that workout Cee!!





Share Your World – 31

9 07 2012

Here’s another week of Share Your World from Cee.  Here are her questions for this week.

1. Do you plan things out usually or do you do them more spontaneous (for example if you are visiting a big city you don’t know?)
A bit of both.  I like to make plans when travelling but also leave some room to get distracted or take more time with something.  I have a lot of things scheduled in my working week like meetings and deadlines so I like to block out some “open” time on the weekend when I can be spontaneous.

2. If you could live in any OTHER time, when would it be and why?
It would be interesting to hang around in Galilee in about 29AD to see if I could find out more about the one who is being called the Son of God. I bet he doesn’t have blonde hair and blue eyes.

3. Do you prefer reading short stories or novels?
I prefer a longer story or series so that I can get more involved with the subject or character or plot. Ideally, I prefer to listen to a story than read it, whatever length.

4. As a kid was there any kind of candy that you didn’t like to get?
White chocolate and I still don’t like it!





Share Your World – 30

3 07 2012

Click here to visit Share Your World – by Cee

Cee is a good friend of mine and she has set up this weekly challenge to “Share Your World” by asking us all to answer some questions about life, the universe and everything.

Here are this week’s questions and my answers! And don’t forget to visit Cee’s blog if you’d like to find out how you can be involved.

1. You are invited to a party that will be attended  by many fascinating people you never met.  Would you attend this party if you were to go by yourself?

Hmmm, that’s a tricky one.  I think I’d really intend to go and I’d make the effort to go but even right up to pushing the door open and walking in I’ve been known to change my mind and just go home.  It depends on the day.  I did run into a famous cricketer once in a bank and for those of you who already know I’m a cricket fanatic – you know that was a BIG deal for me.  I saw Kim Hughes – former Captain of the Australian Team and King of the sweep shot and had the opportunity to say hello and have a chat but I was frozen to the spot and literally couldn’t speak.  🙂  Seriously, I was.

2. If you were the original designer of one existing corporate logo, which one would you select?

If it was a case of reaping the royalties from its use, I’d have to say Coca Cola.  The whole world knows Coke.

3. If you could be a student of any university in the world right now, where would you enroll?  Irregardless of which university assume they teach what you want to study.

I’d study at Oxford University in England as part of Magdalen college.  I would study a combination of Philosophy, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, Anthropology and Comparative Mythology and graduate as a Museum Curator specialising in ancient coins, medallions and personal ornaments.  You can look for me there – I’ll be the one in the hat hanging out in the library or kicking my way through piles of golden leaves in the quad on the way to choir practice.

4. If you had to spend one weekend alone in a single public building or institution, which building would you choose?

Definitely the Louvre in Paris.  I’d love to have time to check out all the wonderful art – Venus de Milo, the Egyptian Antiquities, the sculptures, paintings, glass and pottery!  The Greek and Roman pieces, Persian treasures.  Fantastic!!  And secretly, when no one was around, I’d probably touch them too. Shhhh!!!

Okay, that’s all from me for this week – thanks Cee!!





A new name – A new identity

27 06 2012

I’ve changed my name.  After nearly twelve years together, I decided to adopt my partner’s family name and it feels really, really good.  In Western Australia, we are not able to marry or celebrate a ‘civil partnership’ or ‘registered relationship’ so changing my name is a visible sign of our commitment as well as the love and rings we share.

I’m quite surprised actually because I’ve never had any inclination to change my name but I’ve never really liked it either.  I have always been called “Louise” even though it is my middle name.  It has been awkward and annoying to continually explain that it’s not that I don’t like my first name, I’ve just never been called by it.  People insist I tell them what my “real” name is.  So, my “real” first name is now Louise and I’ve taken my partner’s family name.

Despite not really liking my original full name, I have been quite possessive and fought to protect it.   Some time ago I worked for a company which changed its corporate logo and lettering format so everything appeared in lower case.  everything.   It became the standard format for all stationery including business cards and name badges.  Apart from the fact that I think proper nouns should have a capital letter, it irritated me to think that they could ‘brand’ my name to match theirs.  (I now work at a company that uses all capitals – hahaha!!)

2012 has been a tumultuous year.  We’ve muddled through a year of grief with the family after the sudden loss of Beth last year.  It affects all we do.  Six months later, we still have ‘crying’ days which is only natural as we miss her presence every day and it is only really starting to sink in.  During the time we’ve spent with the family, they have drawn me in and brought me close which has been beautiful.  Beth was always the one to ease me into the circle, to create opportunities for me to be included.  When she died, I wondered where I’d be without her and where I’d stand when the very close family drew in even closer.  As it turns out, I was right in the middle there with them.

A name for the rest of the journey

So it seemed only fitting that I change my name to reflect who I am and how I feel.  Names really do hold so much of our identity.   I feel like I can let go of a lot of things now, a lot of stuff from the past that belongs with that me.  I won’t forget or banish them, but they’re just not me anymore.  This is a new threshold, a new name for the rest of my journey, and I like it.

Even in Beth’s passing she has helped me to feel included in the family and proud to stand with them so I’m glad to make that official.  I know Beth would be proud that another has joined her clan and I’m glad I’ve finally taken the plunge (even though the paperwork is a nightmare!!).  We saw Dad on the weekend and he’d prepared a sign for ‘The Newest Member’ which was stuck on a six pack of beer.  I was so glad to see him although he did say:   “Now you’re one of us, you’ll have to drink beer you know“.

Oh dear, if only I’d known…  🙂

 





Share Your World – 29

25 06 2012

I’ve missed a few weeks of Cee’s Challenge to “Share your world“.  Follow the link to join in.  Here are my answers for this week:

1. What sound or sounds do you love?

I love the sounds of nature.  I really enjoy birdsong and like to hear them call and respond or mimic sounds they hear.   The magpie call is a glorious warble and the Kookaburra’s laugh is raucous.

2. If you could be a tree or a plant, what would you be?

Hmmm.  I would like to be a large tree on the edge of a sports playing field, providing shade and a spot to sit and watch the game.   A ‘picnic tree’ would be ideal!!

3.  What is your favourite recipe that was passed down from your mother or grandmother?  Have you mastered it as well as the original?

I have collected quite a few personal recipes and prefer to have them hand written from the person.  I put them in a booklet and when I make something the recipe is then forever known as “Margaret’s Tea Cake” or “Merveen’s Banana Cake” or “Janine’s Peach Slice”.  I am yet to tackle Bethie’s Moccasin (now there’s a story) or her “Green Dip”  but I will get to that one day.

4.  What is your favourite genre for novels and why?

I rarely read fiction because I struggle with reading so it is not very enjoyable.  I do listen to a lot of ‘talking’ books though and find them great for trips in the car.  I prefer biographies and accounts of people’s lives – they’re just so interesting and inspiring!!  I also like a good mystery with suspense but without the graphic details.  I find the level of detail in crime and violence (on TV or in novels) unnecessary and disturbing and I don’t find it ‘entertaining’.  I prefer a novel that features the intrigue of various characters and the mystery of a good ‘whodunnit’ without all the forensic maggot counting.  My favourite is Harry Kemelman’s  “Rabbi Small” series or a good PD James.

 








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