An unseasonably warm and sunny winter's day was perfect for a catch up lunch with friends and an afternoon meander around the fabulous gardens in Cranbourne. I quite possibly took my jacket off at some point, but some of the kids were wearing shorts and playing in the water features - and that's just Madness! Actually, you know what the first sign of Madness is? Suggs walking up your driveway!! Boom boom!
If you've been living under a rock, you might not know that Cranbourne East, a residential suburb about 50kms south east of Melbourne, is the fastest growing suburb in terms of people, in Australia. The flood of residents has given rise to an influx of bogans (normal in any housing estate), an upswing of crime (new houses are often full of shiny things) and endless cries for public transport infrastructure to cope with the area's growth (trains, anyone??).
But it also has something very different. A mere stone's throw across the South Gippy Highway is the very excellent 'Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria at Cranbourne' where one can easily spend the best part of a day exploring the different gardens, structures and waterways and generally forgetting the rest of the world exists.
Right, well it's officially Winter. Ugh, I can feel my insides getting colder already.
Garden wandering again....this time in Mount Macedon. You'd think by the number of posts on this blog that contain trees, leaves, flowers and other bits of organic-based tat, that I actually enjoy gardening. I don't particularly, and I know stuff-all about it, but I hated the back dirt we used to have so I thought I'd have a crack at growing stuff. I do like the fruits of my labours when I can walk out the back and pick some basil and capsicum, et viola! I'm halfway to dinner! This guy was so perfectly formed, it was almost a crime to eat him so I photographed him for prosperity. Or to show off.
The Antipodean autumn is in full swing here in Brunswickwestfordshire. The nights are getting cooler, the days are darker, and actual rain has presented itself a couple of times to tease my plants into thinking they might not die of dehydration. I’m quite sure some of them will cark it over winter, but it’ll more likely be of neglect than lack of water. The grapevine that never has any grapes is shedding its leaves and the wind kindly deposits them in a heap at the front door for me to sweep up every few days. I can do with nature, but it really should learn to clean up after itself!
One great thing about winter’s approach is that the devil birds (aka moths) that proliferate the warmer months tend to bugger off, which pleases me greatly because they are evil, kamikaze creatures that serve no purpose but to scare the crapola out of me with their stupid dive bombing antics. They do have a tendency to hang around gardens though. Maybe I should embrace the metal approach:
But I digress….
And also, this happened (a month ago!):
11TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL COLOR AWARDS HONORS
PHOTOGRAPHER CATHERINE BAILEY FROM AUSTRALIA
LOS ANGELES 11 March 2018 - Professional photographer Catherine Bailey of Australia was presented with two Nominee titles in the 11th Annual International Color Awards in the category of Architecture, and one Nominee each in the categories of Nature and Still Life, at a prestigious Nomination & Winners Photoshow streamed Saturday, March 10, 2018.
The live online gala was attended by over 12,500 photography fans around the globe who logged on to watch the climax of the industry's most important event for color photography. 11th Annual Jury members included captains of the industry from Christie's, Paris; Grey Group, New York; The Art Channel, London; Ogilvy & Mather, Amsterdam; Publicis Conseil, Paris; Preus Museum, Norway; Art Beatus, Hong Kong; Netflix, Los Angeles; Whitechapel Gallery, London; and Phillips, New York who honored Color Masters with 709 title awards and 730 nominees in 33 categories.
"Photography is more popular than ever. Last year around 1.2 trillion pictures were taken. In this awards show we pay tribute to the top 0.0000000001% of them" said Juror Martijn van Marle, Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy & Mather, Amsterdam. Joshua White, Presenter and Producer on The Art Channel, London added "Judging this year's submissions for the Color Awards was challenging. The winning images illustrate the continuing importance of photography as a way of seeing the world around us and understanding human experience."
"It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 5,642 entries we received this year," said Basil O'Brien, the awards Creative Director. "Catherine’s exceptional images represent contemporary color photography at its finest, and we're pleased to present her with the title of Nominee."
INTERNATIONAL COLOR AWARDS is the leading international award honoring excellence in color photography. This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honors the finest images with the highest achievements in color photography.
Awww, isn’t that nice? That’s the blurb that the Color Awards peeps send to Nominees and Winners for promotional purposes. I’ve never used it before but I’m feeling particularly lazy with all this other writing I’ve been doing, so there it is. I entered 5 images and got 4 nominations so I'm pretty happy with that.
And now I must be gone, for there are doors to be widened as my fat head has grown even fatter.
Dear reader, I meant to post this pre the chrimbo holiday period, but things just got in the way and before I knew it, I had a dodgy foot, a dicky back and dead internet connection. Murder could’ve ensued but I’ve managed to not turn into an axe wielding homicidal maniac with the aid of sufficient drugs and some good books. Oh, and a husband who doth wait on me hand and foot because…well… you know…I’m worth it.
Point Nepean is a coastal park containing buildings remaining from Fort Nepean’s use as a defence fort during World Wars 1 and 2, before people realised that Australia was so far away from anywhere, jet lag would stop invaders from bothering to attack.
My companion on this walk was generally fit and healthy, but had the tail end of the dreaded lurgy that had swept like the plague through Melbourne. That she could breathe and talk at the same time was a welcomed return to form. I’m distance challenged (ie: I have no idea how far 2kms really is) and I was getting over a dodgy foot ligament, so we thought it best to tackle a couple of little walks before deciding if the long walk to Fort Nepean was on the cards or not.
Now when I say ‘long’, I mean “this will take longer than half an hour but probably less than 4 hours”. Anything under half an hour is a short walk. Anything over 4 is not worth naming because I’m never going to do one.
A girls weekend away on the Bellarine Peninsula: food, wine, drives and walks, games, sleep… rinse and repeat. One of our jaunts found us at Point Lonsdale at the very tip of the Bellarine. It’s one of the heads that form the entrance to Port Phillip Bay, the other being Point Nepean.
We had a relaxing lunch at Bellarine Estate where we sat outside listening to some tunes, partaking of beverages and food and generally enjoying the ambience of the vineyard.
Each year the tulip festival is hosted by Tesselaars, and this weekend was Irish Weekend, whatever that meant. I didn’t see anything particularly Irish-y except baked potatoes and a pint of Guinness (oh how stereotypical of me!). There was a band that played a couple of distantly Celtic-sounding tunes. Does that count? Apart from that, it was just busy as buggery with far too many people to move around comfortably. It being a Friday public holiday with beautiful weather didn’t help matters much.