Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fiery skies.....

A bit of a guest post today. You might have read that I didn't make it to Skyworks this year (my brain hurt!) but I didn't want you to miss out completely on the show. Bill who did go has agreed to let me show some of his images from the evening. It was a little difficult to choose just a few, so in the end I picked one from each colour group, red, blue and gold. I really like the 'aura' created by the smoke from the fireworks in the sky behind, kind of dramatic don't you think! Can you see the bird in the last shot (just in case, 'x' marks the spot haha!) I don't think Bill realized that he actually captured it until he downloaded..nice! Hope your Thursday goes well, almost the weekend, yay! . Take care.....

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tale of the drunken beauty..........

Last week I was invited to visit and take photo's at Sima Gallery in Claremont. Hanging in pride of place this stunningly quintessential Chinese embroidery above by Yang Changjia titled 'The Drunken Beauty', the story of which is as colourful as the work itself and a classic scene in Chinese opera.  Briefly, Yang Gui Fei, one of the most beautiful ladies of ancient China was sent at the age of sixteen by her father to the palace of the young prince, but when his father the Emperor (fifty six) sees and falls in love with her, he takes her for himself. After getting drunk she performs this beautiful dance to express her sorrow and emptiness at losing her young love..
The paintings behind Ronny, Director and Public Relations person for the gallery, and the exhibition below called 'Women of Beauty' were painted by Chao Jingan mother of Jason Yun, Director and artist himself. Oh my, check out her credentials as a photographer and you'll understand why I'm a little nervous about my efforts here. What makes these original paintings even more special is that Chao Jingan painted them as part of her therapy after suffering a stroke, incredible oui!
The gallery also has an eclectic mix of handicrafts from embroidered jewellery boxes to vintage eastern style shoes and while you're thinking about things you can sit and sip a cup of Oolong tea, nice! Here's hoping that your week is going well, thoughts go out to the people of NSW and Queensland who are experiencing the worst start to the new year possible, take care.....

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Riding the wind.....

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the nicest thing (?) about having a migraine is how good it feels when it's gone. Out and about for the first time in a few days Aimee and I had an early evening walk along Whitfords Beach, popular with both fishermen and kite boarders, so there was a fair bit of dodging lines! Interestingly I read that because the kite boarders go quite far out to sea (below), some of them, like surfers and divers now wear Shark Shields, sounds sensible! A typical warm summers night on the beach in Perth. Hope your week is off to a good start, take care and stay safe.....

Monday, January 28, 2013

A triumph, before and after.....!

Just because I haven't been out of the house for a couple of days doesn't mean that there wasn't a lot of activity going on in my kitchen..Aimee, baker extraordinaire, was whipping up another fabulous creation, this time for my nephew and his wife who both turn 40 within days..I remember 40..just! I know there are quite a few 'foodies' out there that might like to have a little drool over this Black Forrest cake, this one's for you. I took this shot just before leaving home, I'll get back to you in a few hours with a look at the black cherry jam and chantilly cream (with a dash of Kirsch) oozing out between the layers.....
A few hours later and there wasn't much cake left, it was so good! If you fancy checking out the recipe you can see it on Aimee's blog Midnight Pie. Sorry I haven't been around much this weekend,
'mal de têtes' and computer screens are not good bedfellows, will catch up today. Thankfully it's a holiday in Australia today, another day to recover. Hope your week starts well, take care.....

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sweet surprises.....!

I didn't make it to Skyworks last night (I had my own my head!), this almost graphic shot is my favourite from last years display. Do you ever download an image and think 'what the!' Straight from the camera this one was most unexpected because apart from little flashes of colour it's almost a B&W, the frame of the Bell Tower to the left which was lit up like a Christmas tree all evening stark against the black background. In an overly colourful evening this one was a sweet surprise! Happy Sunday, take care.....p.s. So happy that I got the star on top.....!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Australia Day 2013.....

The 26th January is Australia Day, the day when back in 1788 the First Fleet arrived in Port Jackson, aka Sydney Harbour from Great Britain. Although not welcomed by the indigenous Australians they were here to stay. For we here in Perth it all began when James Stirling arrived in 1827 for a 'stickybeak' (peek) at the West Coast of Australia and liked what he saw, I think he would be very happy if he could see Perth one hundred and eighty six years on. For me when I think of Australia, surrounded on all sides by water, I think of the sun and the beach, the 'protectors' of the beach The Royal Life Saving Society who begin training as 'nippers' from the ages 6/13, I've often watched and admired the dedication they put into their training to ensure a safe beach experience for all.
I think about the 'mateship' that you see every year on Anzac Day when Australians of all ages come together and remember.  Veterans sit amongst the crowds of young people in a world of their own exchanging yarns that only they could possibly understand. I remember chatting to these gentlemen and that's exactly what they were..gentlemen. And of course the celebrations wouldn't be complete without fireworks..magnificent fireworks. This is a shot from last year, I hear that there are going to be a few additions this year, must try and get there tonight to take a few pics! Summing up I would have to say there are times when living in..let's just say Paris for instance, sounds like a wonderful idea, but I think perhaps that's just a romantic 'notion'.. Australia is the place for me and Perth is home for sure! Have a wonderful weekend, take care..  Click here to view all participants of this theme day

Friday, January 25, 2013

Girls watching boys.....!

The sky and sea are as blue as ever,
the beaches pristine white..
but alas the grass is turning brown
With not a drop of rain in sight..

Just across the road from the Beaches Cafe, (yesterdays post) in Cottesloe is one of Perth's best beaches and the venue for the last eight years of Sculpture by the Sea, the 2013/ ninth exhibition is in March, looking forward to it. The colonial style building on the left is the Indiana Tearooms.. I couldn't resist the last shot, it seems to me that as long as there have been boys 'playing' on the beach, there are invariably girls watching them! As I've always been a bit of a night owl I usually post at midnight Perth time (now), but my late nights and early mornings are catching up with me, so from now I'm going to be tucked up in bed with my book (?) by 10 pm and will post at 8am Perth time, makes much more sense right! So I'll see you on Saturday morning! Happy Friday, hope it's a good one, take care....

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Beaches... and cafes.....!

I was lucky enough to have a quick coffee with a friend yesterday in my favourite Cottesloe cafe. The thing about Beaches Cafe is that driving by you might not even give it a second look, but if you take the time to stop you'll find that it's a gem of a spot. For starters it's right across the road from one of the best beaches in Perth (show you tomorrow) and check out that menu..good stuff!
It's definitely not 'posh' but it certainly is trendy.  Pet friendly with bowls of water placed around the outside area, it's popular with locals who walk or ride their bikes, and visitors alike..did I mention that the coffee is delicious, most important..I was just sorry that I didn't have time for a second cup.. I hope that you're keeping warm over there in the Northern Hemisphere, keep the thought that spring is on it's way. Happy Thursday, take care. P.s. when we win (positive thinking) the lotto, we're definitely moving to Cottesloe, hah!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Vexillology and flexibility.....!

The Black Swan has sat on the gold disc of the WA state badge on the Western Australia flag since 1870, back then the swan was facing away from the changed direction in 1953 to conform to the 'Vexillology ' guideline that animals on flags must face the hoist so when carried on a pole the animal faces the same direction as the bearer, hmmm! you sure find out some interesting facts blogging! Oh what I'd give for a neck half as flexible as this (I'd settle for a quarter).....
Up until now I've not been lucky enough to catch a Black Swan with it's wings spread, but when I was on the beach very early a few mornings ago, I just had enough time to swing the camera up and catch this wedge of swans as they flew past overhead in their trademark 'V' formation, and although not the best shot (apparently my reflexes are as stiff as my neck haha!) you can see the white flight feathers on the underside of the wings and their extraordinarily long undulating necks stretched out in front. Quite a wonderful sight really. Have a good Wednesday, take care and stay safe.....

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Three generations, bridging the gap.....!

I like to look at fishermen
And often times I wish
One would be lucky now and then
And catch a little fish.
                                                        Robert Service
I went very early hoping for horses on the beach, alas there were none, I was seduced by this little scenario...three generations of fishermen baiting their lines. I don't really understand fishing, maybe it's a 'patience' thing..all I know is that if it bridges the gap for a while, it has to be a good thing oui! Taken at 6.30am on the beach at Pinnaroo Point, this early bird wasn't early enough to catch the time! Happy Tuesday, take care.....p.s. can you just imagine this little chap saying 'like this Dad?"

Monday, January 21, 2013

Better than Bali, flying.....!

Aimee and I decided that we wouldn't give each other 'stuff' for Christmas this year, an 'experience' that we could share was the way to go. I had heard whispers here and there but it was on recommendation from a friend that we booked in last week for a massage at Onyesha Spa (a Swahili word translated here as 'to discover') not really knowing what to expect. Oh la! walking through the wooden arbor, catching a glimpse of the spa through the tall trees, we knew we were in for a real treat!
Just a mere 30 minutes away using the Mitchell Freeway there it was, a gem set amidst 10 acres of lush gardens, who knew! We booked the outdoor Rainforest Pavilion (see last post), not realizing that on the day it would be 36C outside, no worries..under the canopy of tall trees the lotus lake spread out before us, the weather was a non issue. After a full body massage, a hand and foot treatment, we floated back to the garden terrace to drink herb tea with nibbles..such an exhausting business haha! Thanks to Lauren my messed up back is feeling much relieved, but I can see that we're going to have to return now and then for a bit of 'maintenance'! Hope you had a good weekend and are all set for the week ahead, take care.....
 On the way out, I caught this glimspe and had to pull over for one last shot..!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Where am I encore..encore.....!

You guessed correctly when we were in Roma and in Paris, but this is a tricky one.. or is it! Here's a clue... we had one of the best massages ever.  The wind blowing through the tree canopy above, water gently flowing, the hot humid air relaxing..perfect.  I'll tell you all about it on Monday as I'm away Saturday. Hope you have  wonderful weekend, take care. p.s. did I mention the smell of incense floating and the sound of windchimes ummm...chiming!

Friday, January 18, 2013

'I'm in a rabbit stew'....!

I'm late, I'm late for a very important date,
No time to say"hello goodbye"
I'm late, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late..... Lewis Carroll

Young lady on a bright sunny morning seen rushing 'somewhere' in Kings Park ..why le petit banc
and large suitcase? Now if I was Jack from Hartford I would have just caught up and asked her..or if I was Joe in Melbourne I would make up a whimsical tale, but alas c'est juste moi..any ideas? So here we are, Friday once more, hope you have a good one, take care and stay safe.....

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Emu with attitude.....!

Last few shots from our trip to Fremantle on Friday. It's possible that you may recognize some of these colourful, quirky Australian characters created by artist, author and sculptor Wendy Binks, who  opened 'Stunned Emu Designs' on busy South Terrace, aka 'the cappuccino strip' in 1982 after graduating from Uni.
I can't imagine any visitors wandering into her gallery leaving without a little something to take home after their travels, whether it be a fridge magnet, a tee shirt or one of her canvas prints , you really should check them out, my favorite are the Kookaburras, 'What a Laugh' and 'Morning Gossip'  but be careful, you might not be able to resist ordering one and I promise I'm not getting any commission haha! You might already know someone who has a 'Stunned Emu' or 'Twisted Sisters' stuck on their fridge..I seem to add a new one each time I visit. So here we are almost at the end of another week and half way through January, ziiiiiip it's happening all over again. Happy Thursday, take care.....

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Do you fancy a beer....!

There are no shortages of good cafes and restaurants in Fremantle, but Aimee and I had already decided on Friday that it was going to be lunch at Little Creatures (excellent link) for us. Since they opened their doors in 2000 in an old building on the Freo waterfront, they've added to the pale ale which was brewed, and still is, right there on the premises..a fascinating look into the brewing process for any 'hopheads' that may visit! I don't drink beer, but I have to admit on a 35C day a long cold glass of beer does look tempting, I wanted to ask if they made a 'shandy', a mix of beer and lemonade, but was a little afraid of the 'shock, horror' it might cause haha!
It's always pretty lively with seating inside, outside and above on the balcony level.....
An aerial view from the big wheel.. that's Little Creatures on the left.....
Although pizza is the big deal on the menu, there are alternatives..we opted for the chilli beef nachos, and the best 'frites' ever, brought to the table by a waiter with a scrumptious French accent..bonus!! Hugely popular with both visitors and locals Little Creatures is a top spot for a meal or a drink, that's definitely not a disappointed look on Aimee's visage oui! Catch up tomorrow, happy Wednesday, take care and stay safe. p.s. do you... fancy a beer?