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Friday, 27 March 2015

Remembrance poppies. Poppy Park.

Red poppies. Remembrance poppies. Flanders Field poppies. Blood red against a sea of green. As a child I remember buying paper poppies on Remembrance Day, wearing them proudly on my school uniform, but not being truly aware of their significance. 



I knew Remembrance Day had been the end of the war; the war my father had fought in. The war his brother had not come home from. The war his other brother had spent in a place called Changi … I wasn't truly aware of Changi's significance either.

The war was mum teaching me songs with lyrics like "We'll meet again … " and "Over there, over there …" on Anzac Day. But again the significance of these lyrics was lost on me. As a child, war was remote, distant, obscure.

For me the reality of war hit when the numbers rolled for Vietnam conscription. Would my brother's numbers roll out? Thanks goodness they didn't.

War was on my doorstep when I was at Uni and Hanoi was being bombed. I remember hearing the passionate speeches near the Refectory, watching the moratorium marches, the horrific nightly news, sharing my friends' grief when their boyfriends and brothers were conscripted. And then Gough being elected.

It seems we live our lives with war in our peripheral vision. We blink and another erupts somewhere in the world, on the very remote edge of our view.

So far, we are the lucky country. Luckier than most.

But why am I so contemplative?

I visited Poppy Park. 102,000 poppies. One for every fallen Australian Service Person from Sudan in 1885 to the present day.


Blood red against a sea of green.


102,000 poppies make an astounding impression.


Every poppy carries a name.

One of those 102,000 little poppies has my uncle's name on it. The uncle I never knew.


Every poppy asks us to remember.



And to pay respect.


And to say thanks.


One special purple poppy commemorates the animals lost in war.


Let us not forget their sacrifice.

So, I bought a poppy at Poppy Park and I held back the tears … well, most of them ... as those around me did.


After Anzac Day, I will receive my poppy. I was told that, for a small extra fee, I could request a particular poppy with a particular name. You know which one I will ask for.

In the 100th year since the Anzac landing, buying a poppy from Poppy Park is a small gesture of respect and thanks.
Do you want to take part? http://www.poppypark.org.au





Friday, 20 March 2015

Home is where the heart is … and friends, special friends.

Living away from home and friends is just a part of life for the present. MLP's job takes us on exciting adventures to new destinations. New friends are made. New experiences enjoyed. When I return home for a short visit, my heart skips a little beat.


Old friends are special. They hold common history, secrets, private jokes. They know you. They just know.

When my grandparents first retired (when I was a mere youngster), they moved to the beach, a new house, a new town, to where they thought they would be happy … but soon they realised it was their friends they needed most, not the beach … and so ... they moved back. The beach was accessible, always had been, but it was having friends close by that was more important. Friends with whom life was easy, comfortable, close. Friends who they knew well, who knew them. Special friends.

These are the friends I have at home. Some live almost next door. Some live across the lake. Some live in nearby suburbs or towns within driving distance.

I'm lucky.

Home for me, the home I will return to one day, nestles on the edge of a lake



 with views like these.



And circles left on the top of the water from jumping fish.


The lake is enclosed just for kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddle boarding. Not for swimming, because then, I think, there would be safety issues and fence issues and health issues and possible litigation issues … but if you happen to fall out of your kayak, well, then you have to swim, don't you? And if, like me, you become disorientated and swim in the wrong direction …  away from your kayak … well, what can you do but swim … and swim a little more?


It is a piece of paradise.

See that strip of metal on the fence around the lake? That's to stop the koalas climbing the fence. Not your average neighbourhood issue.

Goannas drink from the lake. Black swans and ducks circumnavigate the lake in search of bread and other tidbits dropping from overhanging hands of overhanging deck owners. Kangaroos bring their joeys to the fence to feed on the fresh grass.

And behind the fence is this.


It is a piece of paradise.

I'm lucky.

And a stone's throw away is this.



Paradise. 

And friends with friends like this one who 


luurrvvvees to run on the beach.


And friends with friends like these who …



found the beginnings of my crocheted granny square and had the most amazing fun.

But that's what friends are for.
Special friends.

Home.
Where the heart is.
It is a piece of paradise.

I'm lucky.

Where does your heart reside?
Where is your piece of paradise?
Your home?
Your special friends?



Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Some more cool places I've been on the inter-web this week.

So what have I found this week on the world wide inter-web? Well, to be truthful, some of these exciting things I found a while ago, but I hope they're new and life changing for some of you.


1. My most favourite-est pig ever. Esther. If you don't know Esther, Esther The Wonder Pig, you must take the time to meet her and her dads. Esther was rescued as a mini-pig,


but … well … she wasn't really mini …


Esther has her own Facebook page. She's on all the social media so make contact with her on your favourite social media platform. Join her cause to rescue animals and give them sanctuary.  Esther has spunk and personality. I think you'll like her.

2. A tiny cabin that is home to a family of five.


And the story behind its creation.
And lots more details.

3. This video  Emily Henderson makes over this living and dining room on budget in a weekend.


4. A home built on a piece of land the size of a parking lot. Could it only happen in Japan?


5. My cousin, Maria, is an artist, a poet and a blogger. She not only paints, sketches and writes but also takes amazing photos. Have a wander over to her blog. I'm sure you'll like it.


And, to finish, my photo for this week, one I snapped some time ago, but a favourite.


A pelican on Ross River Dam near Townsville.

I love the inter-web.

So many wonderful goodies to be found.

That house in Japan is astounding, don't you think?

Found anything fabulous you'd like to share with me?