Monday, October 29, 2007

Just to prove I'm in Hawaii

This was taken at a beachside restaurant where Dad and I had lunch today. Life is good.

I spent the morning at the zoo, and went back again after lunch. Even though it was Sunday, there were no crowds to contend with - everyone's at the beach. I saw flamingos for the first time since a trip to Florida in the 1950s. Such a beautiful color.

The galapagos tortoises were awesome. This one was quite lively, and HUGE.

The view from the zoo towards Diamond Head is great
- you can't see all the high rise hotels.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Not drowning, waving

I will soon be in Hawaii, leaving on Friday. I'll spend a couple of weeks with my dad, have a few mai tai drinks under the 100 year old banyan tree right on the beach, eat some prime rib steaks at Chuck's Restaurant, and in general hang out. My very dearest friend from university days will be visiting there from California too, which will make it even more special.

I'm not much of a beach person, but I've actually bought a new bathing suit and a pair of canvas beach shoes (Keds!) so that I can at least look the part, but don't look for photos of me looking the part! Instead, if you go to this site and watch long enough, you might see me walking by and waving to the camera. You'll certainly see other people doing that, and lots of people who don't know they're on camera and looking silly, having their photos taken in front of the Duke Kahanamoku Statue. Hee hee.

One of my physical feats when I was in Hawaii last year was to hike up to the top of Diamond Head from the crater, and then walk back all the way to Waikiki beach. (Bus reliability is not Hawaii's strong point). Look at that photo above and marvel at the distance covered!

So dear readers, this blog may become even more dormant over the next couple of weeks. I will try to post once or twice and read some of your posts, but don't hold me to it.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Victorian Seniors Festival Week

...and oh what a week it was. There's a substantial book filled with various events free or low cost to seniors, right around the state, offering something of interest to everyone. It'll take me a while to get through all the things I was interested in, but managed to get to a few events this week.

One of the best things about Seniors Week is that public transport throughout Victoria is free for seniors, so on Tuesday I decided to do a train trip and went down to Geelong for a few hours. There were lots of seniors on board, we all just flashed our seniors cards at the conductor - oldie power! On the journey home, I had a nice little snooze, the kind where you don't really fall asleep, but just close your eyes occasionally. So I feel fairly confident that I did NOT snore, unlike the senior lady across the aisle who woke herself up with a snore, and then she laughed at herself.

On Wednesday I drove up to the Dandenongs to see a house built from flattened kerosene tins. A returned soldier after World War One lived there with his two sisters for about 20 years. It would not have been an easy life but they made things as comfortable as they could. The water for the bath was heated up by pipes connected to the fireplace. Since I had driven so far I decided to look at the National Rhododendron Gardens, but as so often happens to me in the Dandenongs, I missed the turnoff (or more likely, the sign was missing at an intersection), and wound up at the Nicholas Gardens instead. Never mind - these gardens are beautiful, although needing restoration, and mid week they were quiet.On Thursday I did a tour of one of Melbourne's oldest cemeteries, the St Kilda cemetery. This is just down the road from MIL, so I stopped in for a chat afterwards.

On Friday, after going to a rather disappointing paper craft exhibition, I went on a tour of the Capitol Theatre, a cinema designed by Walter Burley Griffin and his wife Marion in the early 1920s . It was fascinating to see, even though changes have been made over the years, but at least it wasn't demolished completely. The best thing was the ceiling, which this photo doesn't do justice to. Originally there was seating for 2100! That has been reduced to about 550, the lower level was demolished to create a shopping arcade. More info and photos, if you're interested, here.
Today we drove to Black Rock, a beachside suburb, to tour an old house that was used as a summer house by wealthy people in the 19th century. I would have never known about this if it were not for it being mentioned in the Seniors Week book. The Minister for Senior Victorians (yes, there is such a government official) is going to get a big thank you from me.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Where did the time go?

I have been keeping busy with lots of fun things to do since I returned from my trip to Albury. Have been to a great new version of the Nutcracker ballet with MIL, celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary this week by going to see the musical 42nd Street (I LOVE tap dancing, and even the Man Who Cooks enjoyed the show), created books inspired by the artist book exhibition I saw in Albury, went for a walk along the Yarra River, and of course fitted in a bit of work at the optometrist. I have not been reading blogs but aim to catch up in the next few days.

I still can't get over the wonderful exhibition I saw, and have since been in touch with one of the main book artists. Unfortunately she works far away up in Queensland, but I am determined to one day go up there to attend one of her workshops on bookbinding. Here are some photos I took, to give you an idea of the scope of the exhibition.

Some info on the exhibition. The book pictured here is made from sewn together bus tickets. I have been saving my tram and bus tickets to create a book like this, but it sure takes a while to get so many!

Yes, Virginia, this IS a book. Books can come in all shapes and sizes.

The circular book at the top left is made of emptied and dried teabags, again, lots of tea drinking necessary to collect so many! The paper used for teabags has to be strong, and the tea is a natural dye that makes a lovely shade. The book at the bottom left is made of envelopes sewn together.

These books have been sewn with coptic stitching, with decorated stitches added. There was a whole bookcase devoted to books with this stitching (see next photo).

One of many such bookcases in the exhibition.

A closeup shows a concertina book on top of the bookcase, cut out to form a beautiful structure when opened.

At the middle bottom of this photo are a couple of tiny books made out of cardboard, where the waffle of the cardboard forms part of the visual interest. I have a "thing" about working with cardboard, so boxes tend to be hoarded at my house.

This is the workspace provided for visitors - I spent a number of happy hours here, working out the construction of some of the examples left on the table. Basic materials and equipment, as well as instructions for making one of the books were provided.

Here's a spectacular looking book, opened out, that has a clever construction using no paste or glue, just sewing together.
And my miniature version, looking at the spine, and with accordion text pages.