Bite Size memoir No.11: Holiday Reads

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

Books have always been a large part of my family life. My parents were both avid readers and I can remember the regular parcels coming from James Thin Edinburgh with first editions of novels for my father long before the book would become available in Australia.

When we moved house and occasionally at other times it was my job to check the library of books for silverfish and to remove dust from the top edge (head) of the book. Each volume would be removed from the shelves, the pages opened as though shuffling cards (looking for signs of silverfish) and a big breath exhaled to blow the dust away before moving onto the next book.

My brother followed in my parents footsteps and could certainly be called a book-worm. Although I too enjoyed books and was never without one on the go I was far from having my nose constantly in the tome. As a child I loved to play but as we were isolated my games were often solitary. It was not till adulthood that I really began to lose myself in books and my reading would range through all genres and authors depending what time of my life I was at.

My holiday reads now are books  I can access on my ipad or leave behind on completing. I always take too many and end up reading few. As a child holiday reads were a bone of contention. Our beachside holidays would consist of  the other members of my family laying in bed all morning reading their books and eating their Xmas chocolates whilst I annoyed them all, agitating to go to the beach. Books during the day did not hold me, not when there were sand castles to build and surfing to partake of. I pleaded for everyone to arise but even threatening to hang myself moved no-one from their books except my brother, who stirred out of bed to watch. It only gave him something to crow about as my attempt failed because I tied a slip knot in my noose. Luckily, I had not yet read “How to tie knots”.

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http://sharingthestoryblog.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/bite-size-memoir-holiday-reads/

 

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Flash Fiction Challenge July 16:

For this week July 16, 2014 prompt Charli asks us to in 99 words (no more, no less) write a story influenced by a musical score. Where do you drift, hearing the notes? How does it fire you up to grab the story and hurl it into existence? Or is it gentle, and leading you into lyrical pastures of green? Respond by noon (PST) Tuesday, July 22 to be included in the compilation. Additionally if you can find a youtube of the music which inspired you also add that to your post.

There is so much music that I could easily write a story about however it was the music that was to inspire, not the lyrics and if I know the lyrics of  a song I find it hard to divorce myself from them to write a narrative which doesn’t relate to them. Another piece of music which is extremely evocative is The Death of a Wombat but again I find it impossible to remove the dialogue from my mind. I have included a clip of this amazing work as it probably is not known widely. The music is evocative of Australia, the dialogue I wish did not exist.

So instead I have chosen in the Hall of the Mountain King from the Peer Gynt Suite by Edvard Grieg. I grew up listening to this music and it has always fired my imagination. All I know of the pieces are their names and naturally my imagination as a child and still now focuses on stories that feature beautiful women, trolls, huge caves and Arabian dancers. I have never investigated the stories that Grieg was telling with his music so whether my imaginings were on track or not I do not know.

My flash today was almost definitely not on Grieg’s mind when writing his piece.

The town woke as normal. The early workers slowly dribbled onto the streets, joined by more as the morning aged. By rush hour the numbers had built to ant-like proportions.
They didn’t hear an explosion. Caught by surprise they stared in alarm at the volcano the town sat in the shadow of as a plume of gas raced towards them from above whilst a river of red-hot lava snaked its way in their direction.
“Run”.
The crowds panicked and bolted in terror. They heard the next eruption, followed by several more. They dropped where once they stood.

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Silent Sunday: Reflections

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

Posted in photography, Silent Sunday | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Bogong Moths: An Australian icon

Lisa, from the UK, who reads my posts and runs bite size memoir each week commented that she would like to see the moth that caused me to douse my room with napthalene flakes.  Hence this post was born.

image museumvictoria.com.au

image museumvictoria.com.au

The Bogong moth is so memorable in Australia that statues are built to honour it, people wear bogong moth outfits to fancy dress parties and the like and in the eastern states (mainly New South Wales and Queensland) you know that summer is around the corner when the bogong starts invading.

multiculturalfestival.com.au

multiculturalfestival.com.au

The moth is large with a wingspan of around 2 inches and is recognised by arrow shaped dark markings, a dot resembling a comma and another, lighter spot all of which are on its upper brown wings. It lays its eggs at the base of plants in New South Wales and Queensland and approximately four weeks later the caterpillar emerges. It hides in the ground during the day and feeds at night – decimating the plants it attacks. It is known to farmers as cutworms as they cut up the pieces of plant and take them to their homes in the ground to eat. They love to eat almost everything the farmer likes to plant including cereal crops, peas, cabbages and cauliflowers to name just a few.

When it is about two inches long it weaves itself a cocoon and in another four weeks the moth emerges. Being a temperate climate moth just before summer starts the moths start their migration to a cooler place – caves in the Australian alps. For many of these moths this migration covers a distance of 3,000 kilometres (1,865 miles). The Bogongs don’t like to travel alone and somehow they all start their journey together in numbers of ten to millions.

For cities in the flight path of these moths problems arise for both the city and the moths. As the moths fly at night the city lights fool them into thinking the sun is coming up and they will attempt to find a dark place to rest and in the type of numbers entire walls of buildings can be hidden by the moths covering its surface.

photo www.independent.co.uk  Page by kathy marks - Australia's bogong moth invasion turns even yawning into a potential health hazard

photo http://www.independent.co.uk
Page by kathy marks – Australia’s bogong moth invasion turns even yawning into a potential health hazard

Eventually they find the cool caves and settle for the Summer.  The bogong was a staple food of the aboriginal people in the area and animals still make their way to the caves to feast on the moths. An aboriginal festival to celebrate with feasting on the moths traditionally attracted many people and is still held today – called the Ngan Girra Festival.

The moth is extremely nutritious with a body comprising 60% fat. At the end of summer the moth makes its way north to lay its eggs and start the cycle over again.

Bogong moths are not the largest moths in the world. This honour is taken by the Atlas moth, a relative of the silkworm, of South East Asia which has a wing span of over 10 inches. The Bogong by sheer numbers, in Australia, makes you feel as though it is one huge moth.

 

 

All photos are taken from the internet and attributed to the site from which they were taken.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

In France containers for food and items with which one cooks are more than attractively contained. The markets have the food presented in beautiful woven baskets and these oils and vinegars are artistic enough to want to display them to look at.  It is a different matter in Vietnam where the only French influence is in some cooking techniques. Many of the animals are sold live in containers that I would normally use for the laundry or for my dog’s drinking water.

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

The final container of a person’s life however is of much more ornate design made from granites and marbles with no expense spared.

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/containers/

 

 

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Skywatch Friday : Noosa July 18th 2014, 4.49 pm.

 

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

Towards the end of a perfect blue but too windy day.

 

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Floral Friday: Napier Gardens

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