For Hot January

While my families and friends suffering the extremely cold weather in Canada, US and UK, in Australia we too, tried to endure the extreme heat. For the last three days, the temperature has been in the 40° Celsius (107° Fahrenheit) in Melbourne. I was not the only one suffered, but my little garden also, despite my effort to rise early in the morning while still a little cooler tending to the garden, my flowers and herbs wilted from being burnt by the fierce sunlight.

For the first time in my life, I attempted to paint the fence at the front of my house, which also suffered through the weather. The job was too small for the trade men, which they could not afford the time but the hourly rate was too high for a pensioner like me. Without any experience, I decided to buy a can of paint and a brush then set out to paint! I thought I was doing so well in my careful way until my neighbour came by telling me some simple things as: “Stir the liquid harder and right down to the bottom of the can…” and “Load the brush with lots of paint…” In another word: “Do it properly, woman!” Which helped.

“Hibiscus” Oil on canvas

But even as I chose as late as 7PM to paint the fence, the last couple of days were impossible. The weather was still hot (35°) and paint won’t stick! So instead, I was content to capture the pretty hibiscus flower on the canvas before they wilted. It was even too hot to eat and salad has been on the menu daily. However, tonight I am going to make “herb” pasta sauce with the beautiful fresh herbs I picked this morning before they all get demolished in the heat or by the hungry insects.

Pasta Sauce
Dinner tonight

A bouquet for my table from the unused herbs, which gave the whole room a lovely fragrance.

Bon appétit!


Count Your Blessings

It’s the third Christmas since the day my beloved husband died (990 days to be exact). Although each day had been as long as an eternity yet, it seems as though he only passed away yesterday. This year I am learning to appreciate time on my own, I am also learning to be happy facing the misery of being left a widow instead of, running away from it as I did the last two Christmas

I learnt to count my blessings, and that I did not have to plan a big Christmas dinner for anyone, and definitely counting my blessings that I did not have to shop with thousands of other shoppers. I smiled watching how people rushing around buying as though the shops would be closed for weeks and not for just one day. Anything but to do with the real spirit of Christmas: Shouting the insults at one another, fighting for a spot in the car park that already full. So many dramas that being put into one day of the year for families to connect or to disconnect? And if Christmas comes once a month, would families have enjoyed each other more without too much effort? We’ll never know.

Perhaps I envied those, who have families gathering around them?  Who had to get up on Christmas morning and in a hurry to get “things” done? Perhaps I should have felt guilty that I did not have any worry making sure the family Christmas dinner is up to the usual expected standard; like the turkey might be too dry? Or the pork is not crispy enough? And what happened to the pudding?  But instead, I did not have to rush out of bed, and then I took my meditating time wandering through my herbs garden, listening to a birdsong,  picked some fresh herbs to make a creamy omelette that would turn into a soft fluffy scrambled eggs for breakfast. How perfect! Not to mention the aroma of my favourite freshly brewed organic coffee, just the way it should be on Christmas morning and I better get used to it.

Well, like a bear, I decided to hibernate this Christmas, in the luxury and abundant quietness, away from the hustle and bustle of the festive season, allowing not, the crowded loneliness and the loud misery affecting my soul. I am counting my blessings indeed, for a lovely Christmas morning, totally alone. And yes, I did turn my phone off just for Christmas.

“Christmas Roses”

A Day Like This

In my recent trip I spent only nine days visiting Marin CA – mainly in Novato and Tiburon. After twenty-nine years, Tiburon had changed a lot, though the shortest Main Street and Ark Row are much prettier now. This few minutes video was put together from some short clips I managed to take, it did not turn out too badly so I am happy to share it with you and hope you’ll give this old grandma a thumb-up.

Visiting a beach in Point Reyes National Park was particularly nice. Watching the waves rolling in, crashing on soft sandy beach, beneath the piercing sunlight the sea sparkled like thousands pieces of brilliant cut diamonds.

The white fog blanketing the bay quietly slipping across the Golden Gate Bridge was always a fascinating sight to watch. We used to be able to see it from our balcony listening to the sound of the foghorn.

Don’t ask me why I use “that song” for the background music. Normally, I would prefer something more classical, but somehow this crazy song seemed more appealing to me at this time:

Words based on a song from The Seldom Seen Kid

” Drinking in the morning sun, blinking in the morning sun. Shaking off the heavy one…

…I can only think it must be love, and it’s looking like a beautiful day… Kiss me when my lips are thin…

…Holy cow! I loved your eyes, and only just now I saw you lying with me half awake… And it’s looking like a beautiful day…”