Autumn

🍃🍂🍁

Autumn steals in like a quiet

cat, looking for a warm place

to settle. On the mountains

in the copses and through the forests, the trees rustle

amongst themselves, and blush

at her touch. Do the beetles know

of this? I do not know, they talk

to their gods in tongues.

©️2019 K Price

Look Up

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Concealed in the sameness
the faded blue suit
Clark Kent by day
Who cares, who cares to look?

But out there
when darkness falls
it’s kite-flying breathtaking riddles
out of dayshadows, an infinite teasing
of zetetic minds
unphysics exploding:

The Universe
ultimate mystery man.

Opposites

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Ugg Boot Face-off

To find oneself, at 50-something, studying astrobiology (under duress) as a subject in a Bachelor of Arts (Linguistics) degree is a little discombobulating, to say the least. Particularly if your last contact with the fields of chemistry, mathematics and physics was some 30-odd years ago (and geology, never). But the university at which I’m studying crawling through my degree has a rule (which only came into effect after I started) that every undergraduate student must complete a Planet unit and a People unit outside of their stream in order to complete said degree.

So, every week this semester just past, a very grumpy band of Arts students, including me, would huddle together in the prac room, muttering furiously over concepts such as chirality; and biomarker composition; and whether the lump of rock before us was sedimentary, metamorphic or igneous; and whether another lump of rock before us was a stony, iron, or stony-iron, meteorite; and whether the earth was oxic or anoxic when another lump of rock before us was formed.

On the opposite side of the room, sat a bunch of engaged, aspiring astrobiologists, scientists and geologists, who spoke in a language even the polyglot Arts student doesn’t care much for. We were strange bedfellows; almost different species. 😀

What a discomfiting experience.

But, it blew my mind!

I learnt so much. About how far (and not) scientific knowledge has come since I was at school; why the exploration of our solar system (so what’s the big deal about a bunch of dead rocks and gassy balls in the sky?) is deeply interesting; the mysteries of the vast and strange universe that we find ourselves in; and, most fascinating of all, the extent of the microbial and extremophile world around, beneath, on, and in us. I even had a bit of fun with the Design-a-Lander-for-Titan assignment (the tutors mentioned that they were looking forward to the Arts students’ designs. Yeah, I thought, some comic relief).

There is much value in seeking out our opposites and differences in knowledge, beliefs, philosophies and interests.

What have you learnt recently that has broadened your mind?

Treasure Hunting

Shopping is one of my least favourite activities, so I usually try to avoid it. But when I’m travelling, I love to shop for small, unusual gifts for family and friends.

Shopping prep, Granville Island. Photo by Vi.Shopping prep, Granville Island. Photo by Vi.

My husband’s not an easy giftee. He has everything he needs, and although he doesn’t have everything he wants (who does?), my budget doesn’t extend to Beneteaus and Breitlings. So his gifts from my travels are somewhat (ahem) eclectic. This is the latest.

Miniature Solar-powered RainbowMaker designed by David Dear

It’s an elaborate yet simple piece of engineering (to delight a child of any age).

Rainbows…go, catch some.

 

 

 

 

 

WPC: Abandoned (Tilly, don’t look!)

Abandoned: the word speaks of the ghosts of things, memories, people, activities, better times, and not a little sadness. A few weeks ago, my husband found this cicada exoskeleton still clinging to our garden fence, after its living contents had taken flight. So perfect in form and function, yet used no more.

Abandoned Cicada Exoskeleton

Abandoned Cicada Exoskeleton

My five favourite interpretations from this week’s WPC:

Puncta Lucis
(Evokes wonderful images of mad-haired, smoking hacks, clacking away to meet their deadlines.)

On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea
(
Who lived here? Where did they go? Why?)

Chronicles of Illusions
(A star that should have been.)

Picture the Pretty
(The tragic truth of many lives.)

365 Days of Thank You
(Reminds me of my first day of school, around 44 years ago, and the fact that BM tried to kiss me in the sandpit after the parents had left, haha.)

(Sh)It’s in the mail

First came the warning letter…

..and then the package.

Sending poo in the mail: there are few things more deviant, surely?

No, it’s not what you’re thinking: I didn’t receive poo in the mail from some demented troll, but have been requested by my Government to send mine. I kid you not. In Australia, you know you’re 50 when you receive…

bb-bcsk..your very own Government-sponsored DIY bowel cancer screening kit. With instructions in 18 languages, an information & FAQ booklet, sample sticks, test tubes, labels, return envelopes, the lot.

FAQ: Can I place my samples in the fridge?
The mind boggles, and the imagination runs riot (the unsuspecting child, home from school, thinking mum’s left them some sort of treat, a la Heston Blumenthal).

Mine would be more along the lines of: Can they tell I drank a whole bottle of champers within 15 minutes of stepping through the front door last night? (Or that I have gag reflex to shots of our PM is his red budgie smugglers?)

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So, Australia, not only is Big Brother watching you, but your poo, too.

Secretly, I’m impressed.

The Sadsock Truth

There is a shopping bag behind the laundry door. It has a special purpose: the answer to that eternal, infernal question: Where do unmatched socks go?

bb-tsst1I once read that they end up sunning themselves on the beaches of Tanzania. Why not? We now know that flip-flops of the world escape to Kenya’s Kiwaiyu island. So it’s not difficult to imagine a soggy sock, in the despairing depths of a dreary sock marriage (and a job that’s more than a little on the nose), slipping down the washing-machine outlet pipe, away from its unsuspecting laundry dance partner, and out into the wide wonderful ocean. And then, finding itself on some idyllic distant shore, being swept off its feet foot, so to speak, by a sock mismatch made in heaven – ‘Shirley Valentine for Socks’. Sigh…

bb-tsst3But the truth, I fear, is as dull as wash-water – missing socks, it appears, lie so near, yet so far from their perfect match somewhere in the bowels of the dark sock-drawers of their myopic owners. In our household, these sad singles end up in the bag behind the laundry door, invariably, not far from their original sock suitors.

Time for me to go and match-make.

bb-tsst2For other hated household chores, see The Daily Post.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Horizon

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Smoke Eclipse

This is a snapshot of the skies towards the Blue Mountains, which were ablaze with raging bush-fires last week – and there is more of the same on the horizon for Australia. Today, a week later, Sydney is blanketed in smoke once again, and Summer is not yet upon us 😯

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Didn’t get time to do my usual 5 favourites, but love these two entries to the Horizon WPC

Wind Against Current

Third Eye Mom

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Hue of You

I'm a night person - chronotype: late

I’m a night person – shadows and light – chronotype: late

What chronotype are you?

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For more entries to this week’s WPC, see The Daily Post

My 5 favourites

These Vagabond Shoes

Promenade Plantings

Marsowords

Broken Light: A Photography Collective

The Quotidian Diary

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual Point of View

bb-upovTraffic

There is traffic
and, then, there
is
a galaxy. Traffic does not move
at the speed of light, like a flash
of rage. Step into space
without the gravity suit
and you will see
there is traffic
and the oh so important
corporate man
and, then, there is the universe. I don’t look

at the pegs as I hang
out the washing. I look
for you

beyond the moon.

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For more entries to this week’s photo challenge, see The Daily Post.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

I’ve dived and snorkelled in different parts of the world and so, for me, the sea is about the many strange and wonderful things that live in it – I think of it as liquid art.bb-sea0

For more takes on the Sea theme, see The Daily Post.

My top five:

Ohm Sweet Ohm

Serendipity

Life through a Lens

What’s (In) the Picture?

In search of a thousand cafés

Balancing

The upside of the downside is creativity,
downside of the downside – survivability,
upside of the upside,
anxiety-free,
downside of the upside…
..dearth of poetry.

In a dark time, the eye begins to see
Theodore Roethke

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Someone who’s definitely not suffering from a dearth of inspiration at the moment is artist (and hidden poet) Bénédicte Delachanal.

Check out her wonderfully humorous marriage of art and words as she tackles this month’s NaPoWriMo challenge. C’est une joie. 😀

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique

Reconstruction of an Archaeopteryx - Melbourne Museum

Reconstruction of an Archaeopteryx – Melbourne Museum

The staff at the Melbourne Museum have done a wonderful job of reconstructing this strange creature.

For more entries in this week’s photo challenge, see The Daily Post

Five favourites from this week:

Creativity Aroused

Travel. Garden. Eat.

The Urge to Wander

Lucid Gypsy

Woven Decor

Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

“Old and rare books!”, we gasped in reverent unison,bb-l14

as we swerved off course, making a bee-line for the shop window.

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“Don’t open ’til ten”, a chap behind us on the pavement drawled, the smoke from his early morning cigarette curling around his smile. He’d obviously seen our type before.

My niece and I were in Melbourne, relishing some girl-time. The day before we had spent a wonderful day at the Melbourne Museum, where we immersed ourselves in a shared love of all things scientific –

the wild,

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the weird,

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OK then, the weird…

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..and the seriously mind-boggling.

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This day we would spend the morning traversing Melbourne’s laneways, indulging our love of shopping, architecture and art,

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and the afternoon marvelling at the mysterious workings of commercial harbours (Melbourne’s has quite a colourful history but I doubt that any internet resource can provide an as wry and amusing and account as our ferry driver did  :lol:).bb-l16

But about that bookshop – we made a mad dash back before closing time
and what a treasure trove it is – an extraordinary collection of enthralling books,

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watched over

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by the largest collection of owls I’ve ever seen –

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they are everywhere, roosting in glass cases,

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on pelmets, in windows and on bookshelves,

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and have been mysteriously multiplying for the 47 years that Kay Craddock, the bookshop’s owner, has been in business.

But Old and Rare Books was nearing closing time and we were fading fast – a love of chocolate chocolate addiction is in our genes and we hadn’t had our Koko Black fix for the day,

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so, after a quick purchase for the love of my life, we exited this wonderful place.

My niece and her husband were with us for three weeks over the 2012/2013 Festive Season: a wonderful and extremely precious time. We don’t know when we’ll see each other again; we live on different continents. But a myriad of shared interests and the deepest bonds of love keep us connected.

😀 😀 😀

More about Melbourne

Food recommendations from our trip:

Koko Black (of course!)

City Wine Shop (don’t let the name fool you – this establishment is not all about wine: their food is quite delicious – and their desserts are sublime!)

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Longrain – the duck salad (which we shared) was superb, as was the banana and lime sorbet- yum, yum.

And for excellent photos of Melbourne, head over to Leanne Cole’s blog – mine can never do Melbourne justice the way that Leanne’s most certainly do.

For more entries to this week’s photo challenge, see The Daily Post.