Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

PhotoHunt: View

A cat's eye view. What do you see little Pyewacket?

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

PhotoHunt: Road - Bramasole, the villa of Frances Mayes

One of my favorite stretches of road, is the one that runs past beautiful Bramasole. Standing there, looking up at the apricot colored villa, then looking across the blackberry thickets to the grey mists of olive groves and the distant Umbrian hills, is a poetic moment.

Do you know your Robert Frost?

I first went to see Bramasole in 2001, then again in 2005 - and these pictures are from my 2006 trip.

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International Pirate Day

My pirate name is:

Iron Bess Rackham

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network

A pirate's life isn't easy; it takes a tough person. That's okay with you, though, since you are a tough person. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham)is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!

Idea taken from the treasure chest of DSP designer, Marcee Dugar. I just want to know if the sun is over the yard arm yet?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Crazy Hair Day at school

I couldn't resist joining in with my students today so I let some of them spray the heck out of my hair. I think they enjoyed it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Floriade - the annual flower festival in Canberra

Kathy from Persnickety Tutu sure got it right when she said: "We can always find ways to get away, even in the place we live. I highly recommend being a tourist in your own town..."

When it's Floriade time in Canberra, the tourist numbers swell like the spring buds on the trees. Tens of thousands of bulbs of all types and colors are planted in Commonwealth Park on the lake each year for everyone to enjoy. All the locals turn out to see flower display as well as interstate and sometimes overseas visitors.

I always go if I'm in town, but sometimes Italy calls...

An annual outing all the years my children were growing up, was to the Floriade flower festival. It is a wonder to see every September, in Commonwealth Park, in the City, next to Lake Burley Griffin.

Gran means love - my boys will always have memories of strolling through the flowers, tip toeing through the tulips, with their gran.

Friday, September 12, 2008

PhotoHunt: Wild - Pyewacket

This is Pyewacket - she is our wild child. Pyewacket is an Old Style Siamese - a back to the basics breed, not the oriental siamese that has become widespread in the past fifty years. As there is only one breeder in Australia who specialises in this old fashioned style of siamese, Pyewacket had to come up on a plane from country Victoria.

She dances to her own drum. She plays tea party in the middle of the night with the tiny vegetable shaped teapots. We think every little thing she does is magic.

She plays a great game of pool with Australian representative player Alessandro. There's nothing sedate about little Pye and nothing has changed since I wrote A Day in Life of Pyewacket, published in her blog, topcatrules, over a year ago.

Pyewacket is different from our other cats - she is our very own wild child.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

PhotoHunt: Strings - of flags festooning a cruise ship in Venice

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The Rick Steves phenomenon: Is he an asset or someone to avoid?
Alessandra Federici of Il Girasole in Cortona once very wisely said,

"What I find strange is that almost all of the ones that complain about how touristy places have become, are themselves tourists."

Before I stayed in the Aberdeen Hotel in Rome for a few nights and found several of his guide books on a coffee table in the lounge, I'd never heard of Rick Steves. Apparently he is thought to be responsible for an influx of visitors to certain areas in Italy. The Cinque Terre and San Gimignano to be precise. I'm wondering what the shop owners, hotel keepers and restaurant owners think? Not to mention the workers in the tourism industry. Are they upset or are they pleased by the extra visitors?

We are all so diverse in the ways in which we travel. There are those who dart like dragonflies from place to place while others practice slow travel by staying in one location for a longer time in order to get more out of the experience. Some are 'foodies' and patronise the restaurants, others prefer a trattoria or pizzeria. We may spluge on a four star hotel, or maybe we stay in convent accommodation. There are guided tours groups and independent travelers.

The way we travel and who guides us in the end, be it Rick Steves or our own independent spirit - is ultimately up to us. And as I often say - whenever the crowds start to overwhelm, there are lots of alternative possibilities to explore. There are numerous side streets, day trips, a myriad of museums and glorious little art galleries to explore.

Just a thought, but there are lots other of beautiful places in Italy that the tourists like to visit. I wonder if peope are blaming him for this as well:

I filmed this in October last year at the start of my way too brief, eight night stay in Venice. This was at 7.30 in the morning. Walking through San Marco before the majority of the visitors are up and about is a glorious way to start your day.

And I just discovered a wonderful report on Venice on Trekcapri's website. Great photos and beautiful writing.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fun in Florence

Lilly asked what I was going to do with my pics - initially I just did them to put onto the three main blogs I run - this one, and the two cat ones. But now, since May, I have published ten blurb.com photo books. Three for me, one for a colleague and the rest for my rellies.