Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Walter James Palmer, lion killer

If you were a patient of Walter James Palmer, lion killer, you would have to turn up at your next dental appointment so you could berate him for the senseless killing of a majestic beast. Oh he can argue it was legal and he loves killing animals, but none of that washes. It is barbaric to maim an animal and let it suffer for 40 hours before finally putting it out of its misery...brought on by a brutal hunter.

What is it about people who wake up in the morning and think it is ok to go shoot an animal that is living where it is meant to live, not being a feral pest, just going about nature's way?

I'm all for control of feral pests by the most efficient means, but this lion was not a pest. Cecil was
living where it should have been and wasn't killing people or domestic animals. It was living in a national park and was being studied by Oxford University and was popular with tourists.

Surely it is better for thousands of people to see lions living in their natural habitat and being educated about animals than one man getting his rocks off on killing a beast.

What a tragedy. I wonder what Walter James Palmer will tell his children, when he is now blaming his guides for what he did. Man up. Own your disaster. It is the only way you may begin to earn an ounce of respect from the millions who loathe you right now.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The death of Cecil the Lion

I'm saddened to hear that Cecil the lion has been killed in Zimbabwe. Apparently a hunter paid €50,000 track and kill the lion.

I suppose in another time a man who killed a lion was regarded as a hero but we have moved beyond that haven't we? Surely the king of the jungle should be allowed to live and hunt and die of his own accord, not at the hands of a pay-per-kill tourist.

I have never seen a lion in the wild, only in zoos. I've always wanted to visit Africa to see the animals in the wild. Do I want to see poachers and hunters? No.

Where are the values of kindness, care and treating other humans and animals the way we wish to be treated? Why do people have to be reminded to treat others as they wish to be treated?

There is so much angst and hate in the world. It is difficult to navigate some days. We have just seen photos of Pluto, another place, a long way away. NASA has apparently found Earth's cousin in Kepler-452b. What would the Keplervians think of us?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Go outside to see the rainbows

I went for a walk this afternoon. It was exceptionally cold but I was like a cat on a hot tin roof at home. Something is obviously up but I'm not sure yet what that is, so I took myself off in the cold for a walk.

There are lots of walks around here. I can either go straight up Red Hill or walk around Narrabundah and Red Hill and look at the gardens. Normally I see nobody because Canberra is like that but today there were a few other hardy souls out walking, kicking a ball in the park, exercising their dogs.

Towards home there were a few spits of rain (or was it sleet?) The sun was shining the whole time so I got to see a rainbow. I love rainbows. A great reminder that there is a pot of gold out there, just waiting to be found.

This morning Miss B and I went to see Paper Towns at the movies. It is based on the book by John Green and I really liked it. No car chases, no one died, unlike the last movie I saw...but that's part of the fun of the movies isn't it?

Then this afternoon I painted. I bought some roses yesterday and they are already drooping...ripped off...where oh where do you buy decent flowers in Canberra, but I figured I would use them for inspiration. Then I did about half of another painting, this time of poppies.

My paintings at Artistic Vision Gallery are watercolours but I really love the freedom that comes with oils and a palette knife.

I will put them in the gallery. I'm also going to send some paintings to Brisbane for an exhibition in early September. If I had an art patron I could go there with my paintings, so come on Universe, I deserve...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

23rd anniversary

My mother, Lorna, died 23 years ago today. I had the great fortune to go tonight to the launch of an art space connected with one of the business partners of the organisation for which I work. I spoke to colleagues and met new people and it was wonderful to be surrounded by art and good conversation.

As always happens, the build-up to the anniversary of Lorna's death is far worse than the actual day.

I wonder if it ever changes? Probably not.

How life would have been different if she had lived for longer than she did. But she didn't and that's how life is and we must make the best of what we are given.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Meeting Max

Three months ago my beautiful friend Giulia gave birth to Max, her fifth child. I know two families with five children and one with eight. I have two teenagers.
Me and Max, Bliss and Max

The view from their house and the evening sky

Giulia and I met when we worked in Federal politics and we clicked. With her incredible schedule we do not see each other often enough, but it's always wonderful when we do. Miss Bliss and I went to meet Max this afternoon. He's three months old but we have been sidelined with winter coughs so had not visited until today.

She lives in one of those delightful houses where there are always other people present. There were some people there for lunch when we arrived and a neighbour dropped in later with a cake. The children had one of their friends over to play. The children were all having a ball and Miss Bliss and I got to sit and cuddle Max.

What a beautiful boy. An Aries...ha ha ha...I told her "good luck with that".

I've had a nice week off work. Back to it tomorrow, with a much tidier house and more focus. Many adventures ahead.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Wake up, kick a*se, repeat

Depression is a funny (peculiar) condition. It stops you/me from doing the very things that make you/me feel better.

Take walking. I love to walk and clear my head. It also helps to burn off the calories, but for me it is more about head-clearing. So what have I been not doing the past couple of months?

Today I went for a two-hour walk up Red Hill. This is one of those bush wonderlands that dot Canberra. Most suburbs have a nature park nearby and this one has a steep climb, wildlife, trees and views. It's such a beautiful walk and I'm sure I will miss it when I move to the beach and watch dolphins in the waves (haha, joke...about missing it).

The wattle is flowering

Hello kangaroos and the view to the south-west

My staycation has involved doing lots of not much, having some friends and family over, working for an afternoon in the Artistic Vision Gallery and doing some paintings. Today, after Miss Bliss got her hair cut, I took myself up Red Hill for a two-hour walk. I didn't mean to go for so long but I had consumed rather an amount of alcohol with two of my besties last night and needed to sweat it out.

Hello Joey


It wasn't the warmest day today but there was no wind, so it was lovely walking weather. And the kangaroos...normally I see two mobs but there seems to have been a population explosion and there were twice as many as normal. The joeys in the pouches are so cute.

Bunny art.  I love this garden and the people who live in the house have a number of sculptures, which are lit at night. Art in the suburbs. There should be more of it.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Winter Staycation

It's too cold at the moment but I'm too broke to go anywhere warm so the teenagers and I are having a  Staycation in Canberra.

After the excitement of Une Magnifique Soiree I fell into a deep depression last had been building for some time and luckily I have this week off to rebalance myself.

Saturday and Sunday passed in an Antarctic Vortex blur but the temperature hit 9 today so Miss Bliss and I took ourselves to the National Arboretum. It's terrible when you live in Canberra and are surrounded by buildings and places of national and international importance...but you drive past and think "oh I'll visit some day".

I must have driven past the Arboretum hundreds of times and often wondered what the point of it was. Having visited today I get it. There are forests of different species and in the decades to come as the trees grow it will be quite spectacular. Now though it is a most glorious place that gives views to the north and west of Canberra. It is as cold as fuq on a windy winter's day but it is beautiful. In 20 years' time it will be even more beautiful as many of the trees are babies.

What lured us there today was the promise of seeing the Warm Trees.

As the website says: Warm Trees is a social event – groups of volunteers knit together, share their ideas and have a lot of fun. Last year's volunteers included knitters in an aged care facility, contributions from families, and the work of many individuals from the Canberra community and around Australia.
The main goal is to encourage people to visit the Arboretum and explore the forests, even in the winter time, and to engage with the Arboretum in a very different way.

Well it worked. We had a lovely visit and will return. I even have a plan to yarn bomb a tree or two outside my place...the golfers and the neighbours will think I'm nuts.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

A gorgeous event

How lucky am I? Yesterday Miss Bliss and I drove to Sydney to attend Une Magnifique Soiree to celebrate the wedding of our friend Alex to his beautiful French bride Domi.

Alex and I met about six years ago when I was working in Parliament House. Neither he or I truly understand our friendship but we love each other dearly and catch up when he is in Canberra, for French Champagne and a huge talk.

Last night was the first time I had met the beautiful Domitille, who greeted me with that classic line "I have heard so much about you".  She is everything and more that Alex has said. No wonder he fell in love with her.

Alex and Bliss

It was also delightful to meet Alex's mum and dad who treated Bliss and I as members of the extended family.

Their home was transformed into a fairyland with lights, CanCan dancers, a band, beautiful food and drinks.  And oh so many flowers and candles. Everywhere I looked were family photos, books and art. No wonder I felt at home.

I gave the happy couple a little watercolour I did a few weeks ago.

Whenever I feel a bit blue in the cold Canberra winter I draw on experiences like last night's. It was so lovely to be in my friend's family home and feel a sense of belonging. I knew one other person who was there, but left after meeting some truly gorgeous and interesting people. I am so lucky to have these beautiful friends. What a blessing to be so loved.

Back through the arch to reality today.