Out and About Where I live: Noosa National Park Tanglewood Track to Hell’s Gate

Within walking distance of Hastings Street via a boardwalk following the coast you arrive at Noosa National Park. The park was declared in 1939 and now covers 2,883ha. At this point in the park you can choose one of two tracks to arrive at Hells Gate. We chose to do the Tanglewood Track which you can see disappearing up the centre of the headland taking in rainforest, woodland and open forest. The walk was 3.8km one way and is one of the most isolated walks within the park. This we found to be true as we didn’t pass a soul until we neared Hell’s Gate.

Heading off

We started out from the Noosa Heads Day Use area and headed inland immediately into the untidiness of the Australian bush. The track is classified as a class 4 track which means it can be narrow, steep, with exposed inclines or many steps. They recommend a moderate level of fitness and good walking shoes. Roger was still suffering from fatigue from the chemo and I worried about the sensibility of us doing this walk which was probably going to take around 3 hours to complete but I need not have worried. We enjoyed it so much we did it again a couple of weeks later.

At first the forest was quite dense, the track rough and moderately steep as we climbed up toward the ridge. As we got higher and more sunlight could be seen the vegetation changed from crow ash hoop and Kauri pines to woodlands populated with pink blood woods, scribbly gums, red ironbarks, ferns, banksia and grass trees.

My one disappointment was that we did not come across any wildlife although the birdsong was plentiful, beautiful and varied. There were obviously whip birds, wrens and others around but I didn’t see any. I also didn’t see any of the Australian animals such as koala and goanna that I know are abundant in the park. The closest I got to any wildlife was a spider’s web.

By this time we could hear the sound of the waves crashing on the beach and before long Alexandria Bay came into view.

Waves rolling in to Alexandria Bay

A little further on we reached Hell’s Gate. Roger took the opportunity for a brief rest.

while I tried to take photos of Hell’s Gate in all its fury. Hell’s Gate formed as weathering eroded the joints of sandstone which had been laid down over 190 million years ago. Eventually the erosion wore out a gap, creating a deep narrow cove.

Having reached Hell’s Gate we had finished that part of our walk. We now had a choice – take a track off the Tanglewood track and head down to Sunshine Beach and catch a bus home or return via the coastal walk completing a round trip of 8 kms. We chose the coastal walk – seen in the top photo hugging the coast. I will take you on that walk next time.

Posted in Australia, Noosa, photography, travel, Travel Theme | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Week in Review: Week 6

ginger FOTD

What kind of a week have you had?

I’ve had a busy week but an uneventful week. I had a lovely day on Monday when I took myself off to Hastings Street for a couple of hours taking photographs. As I have said before it is not somewhere I often go because it is so busy with people however, whenever I do go I love it. You have a shopping experience with the sea at to one side and the river to the other so you can escape the hustle and bustle if you want. I love photographing the clothes shops. In my younger days when I was fashion conscious (or partially) I would have drooled over the clothes. Now it is the bright lights that get me in.

Followed by an ice cream

Then out to the beach. A great surf due to the high winds we’ve had recently.

a quick wander through the woods

then onto the river

before heading back to Hastings Street.

I had a lovely morning. My other activities this week were hum drum appointments which I won’t bore you with.

This week I didn’t meet my goals of three posts in the week. Wednesday just proved impossible. I had back to back meetings and when I did have time – no inspiration. Do you write your posts ahead of time so that you can be sure to have them out on time or do you fly by the seat of your pants? Being deadline driven I tend to wait until the last minute but I am finding it is not working for me like it used to so I am going to have to revise how I do things.

Toastmasters this week was a lot of fun and made me laugh uproariously at times. The meeting was a back to front meeting which meant that we start at the end and work backwards to the beginning. It was a good lesson in listening as the evaluators who evaluated your speech before you gave it gave clues as to how you were to present it and structure. This also meant that although you were prepared you had to be able to ad lib and throw in points that the evaluator had commented on. I gave an educational on spoonerisms and had to present black belly jeans, pirouette and dance at times, give a couple of long pauses and react in a certain overcome manner to something someone said. A chap who zooms in from the Unites States had me in stitches with his three failed fiances. Honestly, if you want to improve your public speaking, become confident with off the cuff, critical listening then you should think about Toastmasters. I always come home on such a high after a meeting and I don’t think I have been to one where I haven’t had at least one laugh.

In response to the prompt for Carrot Ranch 99 word flash fiction. where we’ve been asked to write about anxiety. I’ve been a trifle lazy this week and reworked a piece I wrote years ago to turn it to 99 words: but then isn’t that what a lot of writing is about. Writing then editing, editing, editing and does the editing ever stop?

Janice took some deep breaths, feeling her heart racing in her chest.  Anxiously she spread her arms to the sky. “I can do it” she muttered under her breath although her fear of flying was freezing her as hard and turning her as white as marble. One more deep breath and she dialled the airline to book her ticket. “Breathe” she whispered wondering how, if she was struggling now to control her fear, would she ever get on the plane. 

“You’re booking number is R I P 76543.”

“I’m sorry but you’ll have to cancel the ticket.” Janice stammered

Monday we’ll be looking around where I live – specifically Noosa National Park. Hope to see you then but if not – have a great week.

Posted in Australia, Carrot Ranch, creative writing, daily events, flash fiction, Noosa, photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Wimmera: A Book Review

This Australian debut novel by Mark Brandi is certainly worth picking up and spending an afternoon reading and so think a lot of others as it has a list of longlisted, shortlisted and highly commended rankings in some prestigious awards in the UK, USA and Australia and won the Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger Award.

This coming of age novel is set in a small Australian town and focusses on the friendship of two friends Ben and Fab. There were a number of themes running through the book – that of the foreigner not being accepted , school bullying, teenage suicide, the development of sexual ideation, domestic violence, and when a stranger comes to town the undercurrent of something deeper and darker. This author is skilled at showing – not telling leaving us in little doubt without having to be given specific details.

The language in the book may upset some due to number of profanities but to me it was the vernacular of teenage boys and much of the language was that of my youth. My question would be that it seemed to be the language of Australia in the sixties and seventies rather than the eighties when it was set. I know that I can certainly remember that special room where we ate Sunday lunch or when visitors came over.

The descriptions also put the reader in place.

” They were at the beginning of a narrow trail that twisted and disappeared into the dark scrub.

Fab had never been up this path before, but he knew the land well. He knew the smell of the rich volcanic earth and the sigh of wind through the trees.

He knew the steep slope of the hills, the brush of the long weeds on his legs, and the sharp grass seeds scratching in his socks.

It was the land of winter, of hunting, of his father.”

As the boys age so too do their voices. Their lives are portrayed so clearly that you feel you are living it with them. Innocent boys being ruined by evil men. You can’t help but flow with the tension as it builds and gives you a whole range of emotions.

Would I recommend this book: Yes I most definitely would.If you liked Jane Harper’s The Dry and also Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird I have no doubt that you would also enjoy this novel.

Posted in Book reviews | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Week in Review: Week 5

FOTD Blossom

Continuing on with the camera saga. It was completed last week. That I thought would be the end of it until Roger came home Monday with a broken windscreen. The camera was connected to a mirror which fitted over the rear vision mirror but as it was tinted blue and we have tinted windows in this car and his eyesight is probably fading he was struggling to now see anything out of it. In his attempt to remove it he pulled the original mirror from its support. In his effort to replace the mirror (and he did tell me he used a hammer) the windscreen was broken. This turned the whole episode into a very expensive camera that couldn’t be used but we did get a new windscreen. I guess that is a plus.

It hasn’t been Roger’s week. At his specialist appointment on Tuesday we found that the treatment is no longer working and his blood results are again going in the wrong direction. This came as a real shock to me and although he had been warning me all along that it wouldn’t last long he too thought he would get at least a year. It brought the finality to the fore and although we have more options available we know that none will give any long term results. The good news is that the doctor will arrange with a specialist in Cairns to give Roger treatment at the end of April so we can go on the roadtrip that I am still in the process of planning.

We have had a heat wave here. I’m glad they told me as otherwise I wouldn’t have known. Two days it was hot but no more than I expect in summer which this year I have felt to be particularly mild. On one of these hot days I decided to clean the walls of the pool (a nice job for a hot day) and got in with my scrubbing brush. I was idly looking around when I saw something that I hoped was a bit of a palm frond but at worst could be a snake poking out from the skimmer box. I went and had a closer look and sure enough

snake in pool skimmer box

To me it was brown and therefore could be a brown snake (highly venomous) so I would need a snake catcher to remove it from the garden. I went in and posted a picture to Fast Snake Identification – a brilliant site on Facebook for identifying Australian snakes. They get back to you within minutes. My snake was instead a yellow faced whip snake capable of a moderately venemous bite. We helped him out with the pool net and let him loose in the garden. I guess he was just hot also. I did get back in to clean but I kept the dogs out of the pool area for the next few hours.

This week I have done a lot of paperwork. Prepared my spoonerisms talk, done the agenda for Toastmasters, got together a lot of what the lawyer requested in regards to my Mum. I tell you – it has taught me that I have to get my act together. If my Mum had not been as organised as she was or had been like me totally disorganised I hate to think how difficult it would have been to get her affairs in order. It has been hard enough as it is. When I have finished I am definitely making a start on my own. In some ways I did as I have finally answered a lot of emails. Were you a good letter writer? Are you better at answering your emails than you were at writing letters or the same. I had great hopes but discovered that I was not better at writing email responses than I was writing letters.

All up I feel my goals are on track apart from my blogging. This week I have struggled to visit as many as I would have liked. I also struggled with a post for Wednesday and finally published it on Thursday. I have added a new goal to my list – get ahead with blog posts. So far I have written each on the day it was published. Apart from Week in Review it would be good to have them done a little in advance particularly if we are going to do our road trip which will see me for some days without internet access. Do you write yours on the day or do you also leave them until the last minute?

My PPAC submission this week comes from the beachside town of Sunshine Beach. It gave me quite a start when a quick glance up an alleyway showed me the silhouette of a man taking a dive from the roof.

statue at Sunshine Beach Qld

A longer, more studied look showed me the stays that were suspending him in position Naturally it made me walk up the alleyway for a closer look. There weren’t any shop entrances in the alley so it appeared that this was someone’s idea of brightening an otherwise dreary space. I wondered how many people saw it. I know no-one else in my group happened upon it. Looking up underneath he definitely is other worldy.

How was your week? Have you kept working towards your goals? Have a good week.

Posted in daily events, Floral Friday, photo challenges, Weekend Coffee Share | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments

Creative Block

FOTD Bougainvillea

This post should have come out yesterday but my head refused to deliver. I had not one creative thought to be found. Indeed I had no thought at all. Where could I get my inspiration from. I half heartedly looked at subjects that might interest me on the web – but none created that little spark that set my fingers flying across the keyboard. I read some poetry and some daily thoughts but again – nothing. Wednesday’s post would have to wait.

Today I again sat and stared at my blank sheet feeling no more inspired than I did yesterday. I determined that I would just post my Flower of the Day for Cee’s FOTD challenge. A Bougainvillea. My favourites are the red and normally the purples do little for me but this one has a vibrancy about it that I enjoy.

Suddenly, from nowhere, came a germ of an idea as a response to Carrot Ranch’s 99 word prompt. So tiny it needed nurturing. A murder story no less written in the vernacular of the 1949 Californian Gold Rush days. Agatha Christie was going to eat her heart out.

I wish (but that was the last challenge). Perhaps I was being too ambitious. No. That creative block was back in full swing until I again thought Agatha Christie and how she may have overcome it (and really I doubt that she ever had writers block so this is pure literary fabrication.)

Striking Gold

Agatha C clutched the keys to 1849 Lode Street in one hand and some documents in the other. “Finally it’s mine. Time for pay dirt,” she muttered, throwing the keys and contract onto the bench. She smiled as she unfolded the other document carefully. The removalists would bring the necessary tools.

Later she paced exactly eighteen steps from the back gate and forty nine steps from the easterly fence and started digging, hitting metal within minutes. “I’ve struck gold” she thought. Opening the metal box she pored through the manuscripts she’d written twenty years before. This time they’d sell.

Posted in Carrot Ranch, flash fiction, photography, Writing | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

The Porcelain House: A Book Review

I met Angie Oakley as our husbands play golf together and we discovered we had quite a bit in common. We both blogged on WordPress and we both enjoyed writing. Angie had published The Porcelain House some time ago but as she says “in an amateurish way.” It wasn’t available to read at this time. Recently, after some editing and fine tuning, she has published it and it is available both as a hard copy or on Amazon Kindle and there is nothing amateurish about this edition.

I purchased a copy on Kindle and then Angie gave me a paperback as a present. I didn’t know anything else about the book when I read it so I made some assumptions from the cover. I assumed with the photos of family on the cover, I presumed this was a memoir of a family member. In the first part of the book there was nothing to dispel this allusion and I spent time trying to pick out who Angie was in the narrative, but, I started to question whether it was indeed fiction by the second half. I could have saved myself much querying had I simply gone to Angie’s site or indeed rung her up. For me though it served to demonstrate that we read fiction and memoir very differently and we do need to know what we are reading before we start. You won’t have this as an issue as you now know it is a novel.

Having said that, I would have enjoyed this novel irregardless of whether it was fact or fiction. The story started in an England at war (1943) with a Mother and two daughters (Pauline and Doreen) waiting for the two sons that were both coming home on leave. The description of the setting let the reader know just how much this was an occasion the women were looking forward to and how much effort had gone into giving them a special homecoming. The disappointment was palpable when one son had his leave cancelled. The set place at the table did not go to waste as the other son brought home an Australian airman and this was the beginnings of a romance between Bill Howard and Doreen.

The characters were well drawn and I’m certain that Doreen and Pauline and their mother were based on actual family members they were so real. The mother was certainly a force to be reckoned with and controlled the two girls lives to their detriment, particularly Doreen’s. The romance started that night went as many war romances did but a series of events, manipulated by Mum, Pauline and Tom (their brother and Bill’s friend) plus wartime led to tragedy for many family members.

The novel is set in both England and rural Australia following the life of one of the next generation Jack. The differences between the two countries are apparent from the different ways of life described. I became very invested in the characters – a single father and his young son – and the novel held me in a tight grip to the end where an unexpected twist led to its conclusion, leaving me wanting to know what happened next. This is the subject of Angie’s next book Treading Water.

I have been a little vague regarding the details of the story because I believe there is nothing worse than not having to read a book because a review has said it all.

Would I recommend this book – Yes I definitely would, particularly if you enjoy family dramas, romance, novels where you become invested in the characters, want to get a feel for the differences between England and Australia and enjoy quests to find where you belong.

Posted in Book reviews, fiction | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Week in Review: Week 4


Week 4 and I’m starting to feel like my old self. The passion has returned. Roger has found that he can have treatment in Cairns which will give us up to six – eight weeks that we can be away. A good time for a house sitter. the big decision then was do we combine it with my conference. We sat and discussed it over coffee on Thursday and decided that it would be better weather wise to go in April. It meant that I will go to the conference by myself and somehow Roger will have to manage the dogs alone, something he finds difficult. We were just about to leave when someone we knew but hadn’t seen for ages came along. She’d looked after the dogs in the past and when Roger asked if she could have them for a night she was thrilled. That means he can come with me and explore Hervey Bay whilst the conference is on and then we can have our holiday in middle of April. A plan is in place and now just to thrash out the details.

During the week I have got on my high horse but am trying hard not to get into altercations. I firmly believe we are each entitled to do what we want until it starts to affect others. I don’t believe in personal rights taking precedence over what is good for the community as a whole. If they did then drunks would be allowed to drive. When it comes to vaccination against COVID I have no issue with people who choose not to vaccinate ( apart from the risk they can be incubators for a new virus strain, put health care workers and the hospital system under huge pressures and risk of collapse, it puts the vulnerable at risk and harms our economy) and I do believe that with every choice you make there is a cost which we have to accept.

In Queensland we have a mask mandate for indoors. It makes sense apart it would seem to those that haven’t been vaccinated. A violation of their human rights. The Nuremburg code was thrown at me. I have to admit I had never taken much notice of the Nuremburg code so I did some research and came to the conclusion that the person who threw it at me also didn’t know what the Nuremburg Code stated. I wonder why her human rights take precedence over the right of mine and others. Two people left that meeting because they couldn’t afford to take the risk of being in close proximity with unmasked people. I too should have left as I have a husband who is severely immuncompromised due to his cancer treatment.

I do try hard to understand the reasoning of those that refuse vaccination and I don’t want to get into battles with people. I wish however that they would also listen to other points of view instead of being on the offensive before any word is spoken. It makes it so difficult to have a conversation that will end in a decision that will keep everybody happy.

Enough of that. We have purchased an old car – a second car. We had got rid of our second car when Roger became ill as we weren’t using it and it sat in the garage. Now he is on maintenance treatment and feeling more like his normal self our need for a second car has increased. What I hadn’t expected was that at my age I would be out there working on the car. Roger has always been able to do anything and has. He hates spending money when he can do it himself. Unfortunately his brain is still a bit fogged and I am required. Thus we have replaced a broken glass in my old iphone and this week we installed a reversing camera in our new old car. Have you found that no instructions are given with things you buy anymore? Drives me mad. It took us hours and eventually we had the car back together only to discover that the picture showing was upside down. We had to pull the whole thing to pieces again in order to place the camera in the other direction. This could have so easily been prevented had they said there is a top and a bottom to the camera. Anyway, we did it and it is all working well but there are no beeps. Will I find next week sound sensors have arrived and I’ll have to help install them?

I had my booster yesterday with no side effects followed with a lovely lunch at the Boathouse with a couple of girlfriends. The week couldn’t have ended on a nicer note.

I’m still working on my Toastmaster goals – am doing an educational on the 10th about Spoonerisms which I have to prepare. I have gone a long way to making my life easier as Vice President Education as I did an educational on goal setting and managed to get three months worth of meetings planned. The two educationals will also see me finish the evaluation section of motivational planning which requires two speeches and an evaluation of an evaluation I give.

My blogging goals have also been met this week. Wednesday almost didn’t happen because I was uptight about the mask business but I managed it in the evening just before Wednesday finished for me. I finished the book of a fellow blogger which will be this Mondays book review. I’ve also enjoyed getting around and catching up on some of your posts. It is the community that makes blogging so enjoyable.

My PPAC (photographing Public Art a challenge from Marsha) this week was found at Eumundi – a town in the Noosa Hinterland. This statue, placed down hill of the rememberance park, is a thank you to all the soldiers that have died in wars. The artist, Meg Geer, wrote thank you for the innocence we possess because yours was stripped by unspeakable horrors. Thank you for the freedoms we enjoy that you were forced to fight for. Thank you for sacrificing your peaceful hearts to violence so that we may live in peace. Thank you With our deepest and most heartfelt gratitude This is for you.

I wish, I hope the world has peace, that we are not divided by our life choices and our major world powers sort out a peaceful solution to the crisis that appears imminent.

This week the Carrot Ranch prompt for a 99 word story is ““the wish I made.” Whose wish is it and how does it fit into the story? What kind of wish? Go where the prompt leads!”

Wish list

“Have you got any last wishes?”

“No. Do you have any wishes?”

“Oodles. I wish we could be at peace. I wish the government would lead, not follow. I wish you weren’t sick. I wish we could travel overseas again. I wish we could travel in Australia. I wish……I’ve got lots of wishes. Come on. You must have something you wish for.”

“ Nope. You know something if you live your life wishing for things and you don’t do those things then you are going to die with regrets. Me, I’m going to die fulfilled and happy.”

Posted in Carrot Ranch, Cees Flower of the Day, daily events, flash fiction, musings, opinion | Tagged , , , | 33 Comments

Wordless Wednesday – Some times it is good to keep your mouth shut.

Today I wrote one draft email followed by another, then another, and another. Numerous more. When someone doesn’t listen to understand how you feel but instead takes it very personally it is impossible to communicate without spiralling into a conflict. I don’t want to be a Russia, nor do I want to be a Ukraine. I just want what is best for the majority because I care. Eventually I decided. Don’t write anything. Make it a wordless Wednesday. Tomorrow is another day.

Posted in musings, opinion, Wordless Wednesday | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Publishing Your Blog the Easy Way

Okay, so it’s only a blog but you know the time and the effort you put into it and you don’t want to lose the body of work held within your sites’ pages. Perhaps you have been travelling and your travel photos along with commentary are held here. Perhaps you have recorded the skies on a Friday for a number of years and just want to be able to sit and marvel at the differences in those cloud patterns. For most of you it is probably not a book that you want to sell to the public but one for yourself or perhaps a present for a friend. If this is the case then there is a really easy way to do just that. Pixxibook.

Pixxibook makes it easy. All you have to do is specify your blog name and then which blog posts from …..to with whatever tag or ones to exclude and pixxibook does the rest. It does mean you can’t format it yourself and move post c to in front of post a but it does create a lovely book. All that is left then is to choose the colour of the book and what you want on the front cover and spine. Pay your money and in a short time your book will be delivered to your door. Mine have always come sooner than the time they have given me for delivery.

I learnt a lot with the first one I published. It was posts I had made in 2013 excluding all the skywatch, memoir, flash fiction and my petmoir series. I realised from the preview that I needed to do a little work myself. In those early days I linked many sites that were doing a similar item or challenge to mine and some of these took up a page in the pixxibook. I went through and removed them all. I also looked at my titles which I had also acknowledged the challenge and removed as many as I saw. I missed a couple from both the first and second book.

Another small problem was formatting. It is essential that each photograph in a gallery is captioned and avoid using the gallery caption. It will appear as an orphan in the book. For poetry the formatting may pose a real problem as for this poem below. The only way to get around this that I can think of is to photograph the poem and put it in as a photo. The formatting you can’t control so where on your blog you might have photo with words under it followed by another photograph the print version may be all paragraphs together and the photos separate to it. These means you need to caption your photos as they will not necessarily be together with the text.

Pixxibook of Egypt – second book published

The second book was a travel book – my trip to Egypt. Again I discovered some pitfalls. As I was doing many challenges at the time it was natural that some of these featured photographs from Egypt that I wanted in the book. They were however not in the chronological order that we had visited various sites so it made it a little jumbled for my liking.

In the future I will think carefully about all posts before I make them if it is going into a chronological book. I did however find out another way around this in the third book I made. I changed the date of publishing. This was a little time consuming but worth it.

By the third book I’d worked out the errors and worked out ways to overcome them (apart from one). This book was a little different. My brother and I did it jointly – him from Switzerland and me from Australia. Due to the lockdowns, the inability to enter Australia and my mother’s age we were finding that she was losing her place in the world and who was in her world so we decided that we would write her a book that explained who everyone was, what their relationship to her was and be full of photographs of her interacting with these people. We were going to give it to her for Christmas but luckily I sensed I should give it to her earlier. I gave it to her two weeks before she died and she got so much joy out of it I am so glad that I did. Had I waited until Christmas she wouldn’t have had that pleasure.

the third book published

The only error in this book that I have come across was the images on the front cover. The feature picture is my aunt and uncle rather than my mother. I’m sure there is a way around this. I could have easily changed it to a single picture which I could choose but I did like the collage and let it go. I didn’t feel as I had the time to play around moving posts (I’d already done that). This one I also removed the blog’s title and just had the book title on the front as well as on the spine.

We used a private blog site to create this book making it limited to public but not available to search engines when we were ready to hand it over to pixxibooks. I returned it to private after they had finished with it. They were great. I returned it to private too early and the publisher emailed me and told me that as soon as he had finished he would let me know. He did in a very short time frame. We initially posted the chapters as we finished them but it meant I had to change the date of publication to get the order we wanted so we eventually kept them all as drafts and then posted in the order we wanted them. We created title page and chapter page. The copyright page is prepared by pixxibooks.

I have found pixxibooks to be an ideal way to publish my blog posts both for myself and as a gift. Apart from the small traps I have found in the early books I feel I have now perfected the technique and my fourth book – Friday skies will soon be published once I can decrease it to 300 pages. I’m glad I have found a way of preserving my blog posts with minimal effort. Is it expensive? That of course is relative to your own circumstances and although I don’t think it super cheap I also don’t see it as expensive. Compared to other photo books I have created of trips this was by far the easiest, gave more flexibility with photos and text and the end product is a quality book that I am proud of.

Have you tried pixxibooks? Have you come across any other issues that can be corrected before submission? Have you found another blog publisher? Would love to hear about your experiences.

Posted in irenewaters, opinion, photography, road to being published, Writing | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Week in Review: Week 3

Flower of the Day Taken on iphone 8

Three weeks gone into the New Year already and it seems as though years end is almost visible. Time is flying and I realised that I needed to look at organising the trip in March. Unfortunately the timing of the conference does not fit well with Roger’s treatment and travelling in February is not really an option. It is the worst month for heat and storms. If we wait until the conference and then have time we will only get a couple of weeks before we have to return for treatment. A big dilemma as we need to have three – four weeks to get where we would like to go and the same amount of time to have a dog sitter come to the house. My goal for next week – have a plan in place.

I am well on the way to achieving my toastmaster goals. It is the goal after that which will be difficult. I have to do a High Performance Leadership project. This means you have to have a vision, form a team, set goals, and carry your vision to fruition. The types of projects that fit this requirement are organise a conference, start a new club, and perhaps a membership building exercise. My goal for this is to have a plan in place as to what I can do by end February.

My Blogging Goals – so far I have kept to these with Sat being a week in review, Wednesday a random thought. Mondays have a variety of topics with writing /photography being the focus of the one for next Monday. I was going to avoid challenges but I find myself unable to resist but I will limit it to the three posts I am committed to post each week. As I get more time this might change but I want to give my husband a full two days where we can do whatever he wants and two days where I can spend visiting other bloggers.

I now have an additional goal. The photography tutor has had to retire his position and I have volunteered to fill his shoes. The way we operate is that we have a field location one week and then attend U3A to show our best 10 photos from the previous weeks shoot. We learn more from seeing others photos and working out why we like it and then trying to add that element to our own photography so I don’t really have to know anything. My goal is however to learn the rules (of course made to be broken) and give some kind of educational following our photo viewing. We can then try to implement this in one photo we show from the next photoshoot. This will take some research on my part but I hope to learn from it as well. I hope also to utilise the various talents in the existing group and have them each take a session.

My week apart from goals has been uneventful. I am slowly trying to reorganise my house as my mothers bits and pieces came here. I need to go through every file and determine what to keep and what no longer needs to be kept. There are lots of finishing off things to do as well and that is taking a bit of time. Another goal is that I am going to get back to reading. I found over the last couple of years that I didn’t have the concentration needed to read and I struggled with most books I picked up. I feel much calmer this year and I think that I will again enjoy losing myself in another world and the book I am reading (and will be reviewed next) is allowing me to do just that.

Two challenges that I am going to join in today for the first time are RDP Friday I don’t know what the letters stand for but we are given the word Skookum to use in whatever way we want. This was a word that I had never heard of and discover that it is la Chinook Jargon word that historically was used in the Pacific Northwest. No wonder I’d never heard of it. According to wikipedia it means “strong”, “greatest”, “powerful”, “ultimate”, or “brave.” I am going to display this with photography although you can write a story, a poem, graphic piece or any creative way you like. I am going to also combine it with Marsha’s challenge Photographing Public Art or as you will see written PPAC

These skookum sculptures were found in a rainforest near Maleny, making wonderful use of the natural surrounds to enhance these works of art. One I think shows anxiety or fear rather than skookum. Another show love which can engender skookum or possibly possession whilst the third I think is definitely skookum. What do you think?

Posted in Cees Flower of the Day, daily events, photo challenges, photography | Tagged , , | 18 Comments