Gaining Perspective

9 09 2012

I’ve been feeling fragmented lately.  Things just don’t seem to fit together well anymore.  2012 has been a year of change and reassessment of priorities and relationships.  Grief does that.  It brings a new perspective on life.  It also makes time pass slowly – days seem like weeks, hours seem like days, and minutes seem like hours.  Grief forces you to live in the ‘now’ because the past is painful and doesn’t exist anymore, and it is all too apparent that the future may never come.  I’ve been reflecting on my life. Less than a year ago, Beth died suddenly, aged 64.  I’m faithfully putting money into my superannuation scheme so that when I finally retire at 65, I’ll have enough money to eke out a living and do some things that I’d LIKE to do instead of what I HAVE to do.

I’ve got twenty years of my working life ahead of me.  I started to think…  Do I want to be spending  my life this way?  Is this really what I want to do?  Could I really do this kind of work for another twenty years?  Can I really tolerate ‘cublicle land’ for that long?  Do I want to spend two hours a day commuting through traffic?  Could I be doing something else?  What do I want to do?  What if I don’t make it to 65 either?  Would I be content that I’d spent all this time doing something I don’t really care about?  

Sure, I’ll be able to take a trip when I retire but why am I working so hard now for something that might never happen?   Urgghhh.

When those BIG questions in life start rolling around inside, they gather momentum and before you know it, everything is being questioned.  Nothing remains safe – every rock will be looked under, every cobweb blown out in the quest to rearrange, restructure, revitalise.

I needed a new perspective.  I felt like I was looking too closely at things and needed a bigger picture.  About a month ago, just before midday on a Friday I heard a helicopter zoom over my city office and knew instantly that a flight in a chopper was something I needed to do.  I don’t like flying and have been trying to work through the reasons why, so that I can take trips without being totally anxious.  I decided a helicopter flight would help me gain some perspective on life, conquer my fears or just scare some sense into me!!!  I booked for us to go for a Saturday morning flight over the city to the coast and back.  

It was fantastic.  I’ve lived in this city for over 30 years and could pick out roads, parks, sporting fields, buildings.  It was all so familiar but looked so different. It was just what I needed.  Sweeping views of the Swan River, the city foreshore, the port and coastline.  I loved being high above it all looking down and caught in a perspex bubble.  It was a perfect day and I didn’t know it then, but it started the ball rolling.  I flew without issue and realised I needed to make some big changes.  Life would be different from now on.  Life would be for living, for enjoying.  Now and in the future.

Perth city | Langley Park Foreshore | heading east


Weekly Photo Challenge: Friendship

9 06 2012

Our gang on a spring scooter ride. Taken overlooking Perth city, Western Australia.

The Weekly Photo Challenge is Friendship and it got me thinking about my closest friends – “The 2am crew”.  They’re the people you know you can ring at 2am and they’d be right there for you if you needed them.

It’s hard sometimes to tell your friends just what they mean to you. It’s often just difficult to articulate it or express it in a way that doesn’t sound or feel uncomfortable.

A couple of years ago I started to tell my closest friends that I would be their 2am Crew and they could ring me at any time, get me out of bed and I’d be there for them without question. It was a great way to affirm my friendship and let them know how much they meant to me in a practical way.

They’re precious and my life would be so much poorer without them.  x x

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

26 05 2012

I always look forward to summer in Australia not for the sunshine, the weekend barbecues or trips to the beach.  Summer to me means the arrival of Cricket Season and I enjoy nothing more than a relaxing day out watching a leisurely game.  I love it.

A day/night game at the WACA Ground: Western Australian Cricket Association

The picture above was taken during a one day game at the WACA which is the International Cricket venue in Perth, Western Australia.  I’ve walked on the hallowed turf in bare feet.  It is softer and more luxurious than the finest carpet.  It was a balmy summer evening and we had good company, a great view and cold drinks.  The one below is a suburban game of cricket by a country team visiting Perth for their annual Country Week Tournament.  Deep shade, a comfy chair, good company and a good book.  The perfect way to spend a day off.

Senior Country Week Cricket: January 2012

I think that’s one of the main attractions for me – the pace of the game is slow and can verge on boring.  Some people  liken it to watching paint dry.  I don’t mind that at all.  Watching cricket lets me give myself permission to sit in a chair for a few hours in the sun and fresh air and not think.  After a busy year summer comes in December and cricket slows me down so I relax, take a drink, enjoy the sunshine, wait for play, watch a bit of the game, read the paper, have a walk around the boundary, take another drink, watch a bit of the game, lay on a blanket for a while, cheer for a wicket, read the paper some more, have a doze, watch the seagulls, eat a snack and relax.  Ahhhhhh.

You can join in the Weekly Photo Challenge too – visit the Daily Post for more details.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Blue

17 05 2012

This week’s WordPress challenge is to feature something BLUE.   Here is a selection of blue things from my world, captured during my lunchtime walks around the city of Perth, Western Australia.

The restaurant made of straw

11 05 2012

Yes, seriously!!  In the sterile concrete and glass jungle (which is Perth city) a green building has emerged housing a fantastic bar and cafe inside its insulated straw walls. The exterior is clad in potted plants and I just had to go check it out.

The Greenhouse – Perth city

Designed by Joost Bakker and aptly named “The Greenhouse it is a small establishment on St George’s Terrace, in the heart of Perth’s CBD. I was impressed to see so many bikes and scooters out the front but quickly decided it was all very gimmicky and just another marketing ploy. That’s what happens when you work in an office with no window – cynicism wafts through the air-conditioning.

It turns out I was mistaken and it has some great features including worm farms for organic waste, a rooftop garden for herbs and veges (with run-off watering the exterior walls), furniture made from old road signs and wooden palettes. The exterior is clad with corrugated iron and mesh which houses a vertical garden of 4000 terracotta pots filled with ivy and strawberry plants.

Ivy and strawberry plants clad the outside

I had to concede that it was a great place to be and a sustainable building really does bring life as well as yuppies!  Our city (and cubicle office life) is such a harsh place that I have to admit The Greenhouse does offer a little oasis and touchpoint back to the natural world during my lunchtime walk.

Oh, and the coffee is great too.

Wow, fancy me mentioning the coffee second. It must be a good place… LOL.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sun

22 04 2012

Quinns Beach, Western Australia

This week’s theme is SUN and we have plenty of it in Western Australia. I tell my Northern Hemisphere friends that our sun really IS a big ball of fire in the sky. It is bright, glary, harsh and biting at times. Here are a couple of shots I found that weren’t thrown away!!

Sunset over Perth, Western Australia.

You can also join in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – follow the link!!


Perth Alley Art – III

28 03 2012

I regularly walk through the Perth city centre and am especially drawn to the alleys and laneways that feature urban art. I’m not talking about the senseless tagging, obscene scribbles and outright vandalism on bins and bus shelters, I’m talking about art. Street art. I’m not advocating vandalism, I’m celebrating a medium and artist that is often misunderstood.

I love BIG art.  I love big, gutsy public art.  These pieces are really special to see.  I love to get up really close and let the whole picture consume my peripheral vision so I feel like I’m IN the picture.  I can check out the detail before pacing backwards with awkward strides to soak in the whole piece.  In – out, big – small, piece – whole, detail – entirety. I love it.

Unlike a gallery, there are no laminated signs saying “Please do not touch”. There are no fancy ropes keeping me from approaching and no security guards watching my movements.  I have complete freedom.  I like to stand close and see the textures on the surface, the shape and flow of the paint, the overspray, the layers, the runs, the stencil edge, the faux holes painted for effect, the shine and highlights on the brickwork or concrete.  Glorious.

Here are some more pics I’ve found lately around town.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do – it certainly brightens up my lunchtime walk!

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Check out my other posts in this series:  Perth Alley Art – I  and Perth Alley Art II


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