Friday, 27 December 2013

Aussie Beach Day


Hi People,

Have you had a good Christmas? There is still New Year's to go :)   Yesterday some friends said 'Do you want to go to the beach?' The invitation spread and before we knew it three carloads of people were coming. I took these shots to show you what I love about this piece of coast. A place to throw off the city and just be. Off the tourist track, you'd miss the road if you didn't know it was there. The sun is warm, the air is warm. The sea is just cool enough to be refreshing but not cold at all. People bring picnic blankets, folding chairs, little sun tents, children, dogs and eskies (translation - chilly bins or thermal cooler boxes) of food, or just buy roast chicken and salad on the way and camp out in the shade like we did. Relax and just watch the sea. Eat a bit, swim a bit, go for a walk, fish from the rocks then relax for a while then do it all again as the day fades then pack up and go home. That's an Australian beach day.










Have a happy weekend,
Val.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas from Sydney


Dear Blog friends,
It is Christmas Eve here in Sydney, Australia and amongst my family and friends, the celebrations began tonight. I have a lunch and a party to go to tomorrow then another one the following day!
Because of the way days and times are measured here on planet earth, Australia gets Christmas before Europe and USA does so I'll take this opportunity to say Merry Christmas to everyone.


Thank you for visiting my blog, and for sharing your blogs. Have a happy and fulfilling New Year.
Val.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Take a Picture of That


When you are walking down the street and decide to take a photo of a wonderfully reflective building  and quite by coincidence someone else decides to take a photo, it adds something to the shot, don't you think?


Have a happy weekend,
Val.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Reflections from across the Street


Hello Bloggers,

This photo was taken at the same time as the skateboarder pics in my previous post Summer in the City,  across the street and a bit further down Martin Place, in the Sydney CBD.


Behind this and other wonderful doors are some equally wonderful designer shops but I was on a mission to catch the ferry.

Hope you enjoy my contribution to Weekend Reflections  

Val.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Summer in The City


It's a warm Sunday in the city. Half the population has gone to the beach. The workday hustle and bustle has silenced. What to do? Skateboarding in Martin Place..




Go shopping?


No, let's catch a ferry to the north shore..


Past people doing the Bridge Climb


See those little figures?


It seems like every weekend now there is an ocean liner berthed at the Quay (to the right of the Opera House)


But for a few dollars there is the simple pleasure of the warm air and the sea..


A different part of the city to explore, a charity concert and a hazy sunset ride back.


That little island is Fort Denison, built to defend Sydney from invasion by sea..



A much larger ferry bringing tourists back from Manly beach.


I hope you enjoyed my little bit of summer..

Val.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Edible Reflections


Dear Photo bloggers,

Life is a series of small decisions for most of us. Some people live large and lead revolutions or make decisions that set in motion a series of events that affect many. The whole world knows them.

My life is smaller than that. The only global thing I want to do, ever wanted to do, is to see the whole world. I am setting in motion a series of small decisions that will get me traveling again, camera (of course) in hand. For someone who was born with inherently itchy feet I am a shy person, an observer, anonymous in the crowd. I have never asked a stranger if I can take their photograph. But I will, eventually.  The day before yesterday I did ask a shop owner if I could photograph his cakes and their mirrored reflections.


He owner came out from behind his counter and hovered at my elbow the whole time so I kept it quick.


I don't know what he thought I would do, jump up and run off with the piece of cheesecake I had ordered?

I thanked  him and ate it on the way home.


Val.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Sunny Days

 Dear Photo-blog Friends

Last weekend I went to lunch with some friends that I have known since high school days. We get together several times a year to catch up talk and about what's going on in our lives. It was my turn to organize it and I held it at my local club. Clubs here are usually affiliated with sporting bodies, or worker's unions or returned servicemen's organizations or such. They have bars and poker machines but also family friendly restaurants and bistros and function rooms, their own movie theatres and increasingly, fitness centres.  It is a curious Australian mix of something for everybody. Anyway , this one has an excellent bistro, so we met there.

I also happened to notice the wonderfully reflective windows of the atrium at the front entrance as I was going down the circular drive tot he car park.


Not quite Vegas, but we do have palm trees. This has been known to amaze Canadian visitors.
"You guys have palm trees growing in your front yards!" We went,  "Um, yeah?" It's funny what you take for granted until someone points it out ...



Big blue skies, reflected.
I'd love to end this story with photos of my friends, taken inside but I am careful not to blog photos of family or friends without their permission.
The Christmas decorations were up and it was a very enjoyable lunch.

Linking to Weekend Reflections,

Val.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

To see the world in a grain of sand ..


In the midst of steamy weather, of rain and chill then heat again, I took this reflection in my bird bath when the sun came out.


close up


a bit of blue sky and balcony wall


the object revealed on top of my not very glamourous air conditioning unit

This was a lesson in opportunity. I went out looking for local reflections after the rain, sky in a puddle maybe? Shoppers against a newly built shopping centre wall of glass? No, something always happened to ruin the shot, a screeching car full of teenagers, shoppers standing in just the wrong spot, wind and rain. Frustrating! So I thought I would share what I had available to me..for a Weekend Reflection

Happy weekend
Valerie.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Macquarie Street


Bloggers,

Yesterday I had a lovely day in Sydney meeting up and lunching with a friend, then I went on to see an exhibition by Yoko Ono at the Museum of Contemporary Art which was amazing.

Then I meandered back up Macquarie street, which apart from the area called The Rocks is pretty much the historic centre of Sydney. It has a mix of heritage listed buildings and shiny new ones.

On the shiny side I snapped this.


On the historic side I snapped this moment from a walking tour outside The State Library of NSW.


It is a statue of Matthew Flinders, who charted much of the Australian coastline and also in the background there is a little statue of his faithful cat, who has his own story.

Then, walking through Martin Place to go to the train station, there were lovely reflections everywhere wherever I looked up..


This post is linked to James's Weekend Reflections.

Have a happy weekend,
Val.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

A Drift of Purple Flowers


Every spring the Jacaranda tress that dot many streets in Sydney turn purple with flowers. They blossom on the bare branches until the frond like leaves come out, then they fall. The last few days in Sydney have been wet and have made the flowers fall off  in drifts.






I took these photos on the way to work, to capture the purple blossom before it is gone for another year.

Val.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Everything is Beautiful at The Ballet


Dear Photo Bloggers,

Yesterday a good friend and I went to a ballet matinee at the Sydney Opera House.
Of course, photography is not allowed inside during the performances but everybody I mean everybody photographs the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

But I doubt if too many have photographed reflections from the lower back balcony looking up at the walls of glass..















Can you see me?

Happy Weekend,
Val.





Friday, 1 November 2013

Artistic Reflection



Fellow Photographers,

How do you decide what to photograph? What I mean is, do you go out with a set idea, or just go out to see what you come across or do you sometimes put a compact camera in your bag 'just in case'.

The last is what happened to me. I was out at the Art Gallery of NSW when I saw this photo opportunity. Good for a weekend reflection, no?


Happy weekend,
Val.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Waiting



High on a hill on the edge of the town there sits a Church that is no longer a church. No services, no spire, no cross high on the highest point. It sits between a freeway and a highway in the evening breezes, surrounded by the hum of power lines, the hum of traffic. Vibration goes through it and it sits, moving yet not moving and with it's faithful clutched to its bosom, waiting for That Day.


They say a lady in white walks the grounds, or that light sometimes shines in the graveyard at night. 
I do not know but there is Love and Faith but also Conflict and Loss and mostly a sense of something unfinished and unresolved, waiting. 



Sunday, 15 September 2013

Angel Hair


Dear photo-bloggers,

Nature up close is a wonderful thing.



This is a photo I took of afternoon sunlight shining through a dandelion.
Angelic no?

Happy Monday,
Val.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Gum Tree Reflections


Dear Reader,

Long sunlight and the Eucalyptus or 'Gum' tree are favourite things about my land. I got this shot from my car early yesterday morning on my way to work.  a bit more about gum trees They are everywhere in Australia, they survive anything and there are just over 900 varieties..





Also, I can't resist a sparkly window.
Have a happy weekend,

Val.

p.s. linking to James's Weekend Reflections

Saturday, 7 September 2013

The sea and the sky


Dear photo bloggers,

There's nothing more beautiful in Sydney than a warm weekend and yesterday, Saturday, was the warmest spring day on record here, 29 degrees down the coast where I was, early, early for breakfast, a bit of lazing in the sun and a swim. While I do not have my dream of being within walking distance of the sea, I do live under an hour's drive from it and I guess I am perpetuating the myth of the land of endless summer, blue sky and warm sand. It is not quite that idyllic, our society has its problems like anywhere else, but I do feel fortunate. On the drive back I had to jump out and photograph this piece of sea/sky meld..


Nor could I resist walking over to an empty building site where someone is building a cliff top house...


To lean out from that little platform and photograph a little hidden beach.


Happy weekend all,
Val.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Sunlight



Spring has come to Sydney with an unprecedented warmth. Winter felt like spring, spring feels like early summer. Sunlight seeps into the bones and warms the soul.




What is it like where you are?
I have entered this in Outdoor Wednesday

xx Val