Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Sunday Selections #398

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files.
 
The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen. 
 
Like River I usually run with a theme.  Our spring flower festival Floriade is on again.  Of course we went.  


Most years, in addition to lots and lots of spring blooms there is art and whimsy to share.  There was a LOT less this year.  There were less flowers too, and many less tulips.  We went early, and a lot of it wasn't completely out.  We will go back later, and I will share the blooms then.

In the interim, here is some of the other things which made our first visit well worth while.


The froth of white blossoms along the foreshore of the lake is Manchurian Pear - which I think is a delightful tree whatever the season..






I adore pelicans.  This pair was just outside the Floriade Gates.

Floriade always has a theme.  This year it is Pop Culture.




Drat them, they are recycling some features.  This water lily was here last year too, and is without doubt illuminated for Night Fest.

The pansy Dalek is also recycled (which I mind less than the water lily).


Rotary is having its 90th Birthday in my city, and gave us a cake.




I thought the Abbey Road sculpture was the most fun of this year's crop.  I notice that in my usual fashion I have got a tad carried away with posting photos.  More next week.

In other (and I think excellent news) some of you will remember these charming statues from last year.  It was announced this week that they have been given a permanent home in one of our newer suburbs - near a nature reserve.  I wonder what the kangaroos will think of their giant relatives?





  I think of them as Kanga and Roo but they are by  Jimmy Rix - and he called them 'Stopping to Enjoy the flowers'.

As usual I picked up some Floriade fridge magnets (and a bookmark).  I am happy to post them world-wide.  If you would like one let me know in the comments or via email.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Sunday Selections #397

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files.
 
The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen. 
 
Like River I usually run with a theme.
  I have mentioned before that I am a creature of habit.  Sadly not all of my habits are good.


After the Out of The Shadows walk finished it was still early.  There is always a breakfast for participants after the walk.  If I had gone to the breakfast I could almost certainly have got a lift home.  I rejected that because I was all peopled out, and needed some time to think about the walk, and about conversations I had with other walkers.  I could have waited an hour or so for a bus.  But no, I didn't choose either of these practical options.  Instead, as usual, I walked into town.  I was already tired and sore and adding two or three additional miles to the walk wasn't sensible.  But I did it, and took photos all the way.

So, come walk with me again, and revel in the early spring.





I take photos of this garden every year.  I love those entrancing paths...





I think these flats are ugly, but was impressed with the balcony garden.  Their citrus tree has fruit too.


 My city is often called the bush capital.  Photos like this explain why.



Without doubt this hotel was once a very posh home.





Despite the original house being demolished, fragments of the garden remain.





These bunnies (and another hutch too) were in the front yard of the house above.



The outskirts of the city.


The rainbow on the pavement was put there when the gay marriage plebiscite results were announced. 


 An office block.  I think it looks a little like a docked spaceship...

   At the second bus interchange of the day, with a developer's plans for future development.

It did feel good to get home.  Very good.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

A Very Nice Thing Happened Today

I went into town today to do my usual shift on the crisis line.  As always, I also took a selection of goods for the Early Morning Centre, to go into the 'weekend packs' for the homeless.  The Early Morning Centre is, as its name suggests, open early.  They provide breakfasts from about 6.30 but shut (for clean-up) for an hour or so until 9.00am.

So I was filling in time, having a cup of tea when a perfect stranger walked up and gave me this.



Wasn't that a lovely gesture?  I have been smiling all day.  And, to make matters even better, the posy came from the woman who sells flowers from her garden, who I often stop and talk to on my way in to do my shift.  When I reached her today she smiled and said 'Someone gave you my flowers...'

Monday, 10 September 2018

Out of the Shadows, Into the Light 2018

Today, September 10th, is World Sucide Prevention Day, and the start of World Suicide Prevention Week.  I spend time in the dark places myself and know both how fast and easy the plummet to the bottom can be and how very hard it is to see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel much less climb out again. 

Most of you know I do voluntary work with Lifeline Australia, a telephone crisis line.  Almost everyone who rings those lines with thoughts of suicide has at least a degree of ambivalence.  I, and all the other volunteers, will work on that ambivalence to keep the caller safe for the moment/the day and to help them see and consider other options.   Lifeline believes that suicide is often preventable and that the start of the journey to safety can be only a phone call away.  It is often a long and painful journey but should never ever be one that people feel condemned to walk alone.

Here in Australia suicide is still the leading cause of death for people aged under 44.  More people die from suicide each year than are killed on the roads.  Sadly the numbers of people we lose to suicide are rising again.  Which, given that I suspect suicide is under reported, is scary.

Not only does suicide take its toll on our young, there are other groups who are over-represented in its tragic ranks including (but not limited to) our indigenous population, the LGBTQI community, people with mental health issues, farmers, tradesmen, and the military.  We lose more of our veterans (and those still serving) to suicide than we do in combat. 

In 2011 Lifeline began  national suicide prevention walks - 'Out of the Shadows and into the Light'. The walks begin before dawn and continue into the growing light.  It remembers those lost and those bereaved by suicide, with an additional focus on raising awareness.  The symbolism of starting the walk in the dark and progressing into the light of a new day means a lot to me.  Some centres start their walk later (ten or eleven) to attract more people and publicity.  I can see why, but am glad that our walks start in the dark.

I don't think that all suicide is wrong, particularly given our euthanasia laws.  However, it is such a final decision that I hope it is not the first option considered or tried.  And, as a solution to a temporary problem, I do think it is wrong.  Right or wrong it is always a tragedy.  A tragedy for the person who had, or believed they had, no other options and a tragedy for those they leave behind.  And the ripples from that tragedy encompass a lot of people.  Research shows that each time someone suicides, there are up to 135 people affected.  In addition there is strong evidence that if someone close to you dies by suicide your own chances of taking that path are dramatically increased.  

I couldn't attend the first walk, but have gone on all the subsequent walks. Which saw me heading off again before dawn this morning.  The dread disease slows me down, ensures my gait is uneven and is painful.  The issue is much more important than I am.    So I walked.  Slowly just as I did last year and the year before.  Stopping to take photos.

There were brief speeches.  Some of the names and ages of those lost were read out - which I find moving.  No longer nameless, but identified and missed...  This morning the ages ranged from 16 to 84.  There was also an acknowledgement that there are names we do not know, which doesn't diminish their loss.

Come walk with me, through the cool dawn, into the hopeful light of a new day.




The empty chairs from other years have been replaced with candles to symbolise the light(s) lost.  Some people carried a candle with them as they walked.












A very noisy flock of cockatoos came with us.













RU OK day (September 14) is also celebrated in World Suicide Prevention Week.  A question we should be asking family, friends and colleagues every day.




Some services and links which may be useful for Australian readers include:
Lifeline 1311 14
Suicide Call Back Service