Friday, 31 October 2008

Calling softly

Near where I was sitting thinking, there is cliff wall with the soft drip, drip, from the hanging swamp above. If you come to this spot at twilight and wait quietly for the night, the ghostly glow of glow worms will light up the darkness.

Words to walk with:
From the Little Green Orchard by Walter de La Mare
"Yes, when the twilight's falling softly
In the little green orchard;
When the grey dew distills
And every flower-cup fills;
When the last blackbird says,
'What - what!' and goes her way - ssh!
I have heard voices calling softly
In the little green orchard

Not that I am afraid of being there,
In the little green orchard;
Why, when the moon's been bright,
Shedding her lonesome light,
And moths like ghosties come,
And the horned snail leaves home:
I've sat there, whispering and listening there,
In the little green orchard."

Thursday, 30 October 2008


I sat down on rock by the waterfall, thinking. I was thinking about today. I am vacating the city apartment and going back to living full time in the mountains (but commuting to the city each day). I'm looking foward to it!

Words to walk with:
Thinking by Walter Wintle
"If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win, but think you can’t,
It’s almost a cinch you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost,
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will;
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you’re outclassed, you are;
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can."

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Adelina Falls

Down, down, down the steps to the place where the falling waters can be seen -- Adelina Falls.

Words to walk with:

The girl's name Adelina \a-deli-na, ad(e)-lina\ is a variant of Adelaide (Old German), Adeline (Old German) and Alida (Latin), and the meaning of Adelina is "noble kind; small winged one".

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Making a good choice

At the top of the cliff, in the dry sandy soil, there was a profusion of yellow pea flowers, rice flowers, smokebush, heath and native iris to name a few. I found pink hakeas as well and since I have not included them before was keen to get a good shot.

Unlike yesterday's flower, Hakea not at all easy to capture. The flower grows along the branch where leaves also stick out. I just could not get the right bits focused so in the end made a choice (hopefully a good one) of this more abstract rendition.

Words to walk with:
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference"

Monday, 27 October 2008


I was inspired by a recent post by James at Points of Light which showed the same lighthouse photographed at different times in different light conditions. I thought it's time I visited the South Lawson waterfall circuit again to see what might be different this time around.

This 2.5 km circuit which takes in five waterfalls starts at the bottom of Honour Avenue. I have walked it quite often but perhaps never at the height of the spring flowering. I was amazed at the profusion of flowers I found, all of them familiar from other walks I did during my year of learning.

Today's flower is a Drumstick (Ipsopogon anemonifolius) -- wonderfully photographic with it's neat symmetry.

Words to walk with:
From The Broken Drum by Edgar Guest
"There is sorrow in the household;
There's a grief too hard to bear;
There's a little cheek that's tear-stained
There's a sobbing baby there.
And try how we will to comfort,
Still the tiny teardrops come;
For, to solve a vexing problem,
Curly Locks has wrecked his drum.
It had puzzled him and worried,
How the drum created sound;
For he couldn't understand it
It was not enough to pound
With his tiny hands and drumsticks,
And at last the day has come,
When another hope is shattered;
Now in ruins lies his drum ...
While his mother tries to soothe him,
I am sitting here alone;
In the life that lies behind me;
Many shocks like that I've known.
And the boy who's upstairs weeping,
In the years that are to come
Will learn that many pleasures
Are as empty as his drum."

Sunday, 26 October 2008

The meditation of my heart

A small moment of contemplation near the little waterfall at the end of the my walk.

Something new tomorrow.

Words to walk with:
Psalm 19:14 the Holy Bible
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Blameless, innocent

The track climbs up and down steps on the way to the Lyrebird Dell a large cave overhang with picnic tables. I rested here, lulled by the sound of the creek with its fringe of ferns.

Last time I was here I was silly enough to retrace my steps because I wasn't sure how long the rest of the walking track would take. The weedy escaped garden plants also by the creek should have been enough to tell me civilisation was nearby. This time I kept on going and found I was quickly back to the picnic area with hardly a climb to the finish.

Innocence in the sense of ignorance is not always a good thing. Innocence in the sense of blamelessness is.

Words to walk with:
Psalm 19:13 the Holy Bible
"Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression."

Friday, 24 October 2008

Who can discern

Yellow pea flowers were beginning to appear in profusion along the path. Regular readers will know that there are quite a lot of different pea flowers to be found in the mountains. And they all look similar, but just a little different. Different flowers. Different leaves. Different sizes. Take a close look at today's photo and you'll understand you'll why I am so easily confused with identifying them -- these are all different varieties.

Words to walk with:
Psalm 19:12 the Holy Bible
"Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults."

Thursday, 23 October 2008

More precious than gold

I kept an eye out for the last flowers of the autumn/winter banksias.

Psalm 19:9-11 the Holy Bible
"The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure
and altogether righteous.
They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the comb.
By them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward."

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Giving light to the eyes

This eucalypt basking in spring morning light against a backdrop of endless blue sky made me think of a post on Richmond on Thames Daily Photo by Chuckeroon. I've felt sad for that magnificent tree reaching up to grey skies in what seems to have been a particularly dreary English summer.

This particular eucalypt (of which there are thousands of different types) is known by the common name of Blue Mountains Ash.

Words to walk with:
Psalm 19:8 from the Holy Bible
"The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes."

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Making wise the simple

I don't have the trouble or surprise of last year identifying many of the flowers. I welcomed the little pink finger orchids as old friends.

These were on the track above the Pool of Siloam. I chose not to walk down to it this time ... too many stairs.

Words to walk with:
Psalm 19:7 from the Holy Bible
"The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple."

Monday, 20 October 2008

Nothing is hidden

Last year I was surprised by grass flowers. This year I am fascinated by the detail in something as common as grass.

Words to walk with:
Psalm 19:4-6 from the Holy Bible
"Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,
which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is hidden from its heat."

Sunday, 19 October 2008

The skys proclaim

The Lyrebird Dell circuit starts at Gordon Falls Reserve near Leura. My husband settled down to enjoy a good book and this view while I walked the 1.5 km circuit.

Please join me over the next few days on this short bushwalk and a mediation on Psalm 19.

Words to walk with:
Psalm 19:1-3 from the Holy Bible
"The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard. "

Saturday, 18 October 2008


There are lots more shops in Leura, including the upstairs shops where I never go. I always think of upstairs being the place for junk. I will come back and show you more some other time, maybe even upstairs, but tomorrow I am going to take you on a bushwalk.

Words to walk with:
Upstairs by Carl Sandburg
"I too have a garret of old playthings.
I have tin soldiers with broken arms upstairs.
I have a wagon and the wheels gone upstairs.
I have guns and a drum, a jumping-jack and a magic lantern.
And dust is on them and I never look at them upstairs.
I too have a garret of old playthings."

Friday, 17 October 2008


But even outside the shops temptation prevailed. All it took was a tiny smile from the lady at the street stall for us to willingly yield.

Words to walk with:
From The Kings Breakfast by A.A. Milne
The King asked
The Queen, and
The Queen asked
The Dairymaid:
"Could we have some butter for
The Royal slice of bread?"
The Queen asked the Dairymaid,
The Dairymaid
Said, "Certainly,
I'll go and tell the cow
Before she goes to bed."

The Dairymaid
She curtsied,
And went and told the Alderney:
"Don't forget the butter for
The Royal slice of bread."

The Alderney said sleepily:
"You'd better tell
His Majesty
That many people nowadays
Like marmalade

Thursday, 16 October 2008


There are so many yummy things in the shops. Time to run before I empty my purse on wasteful indulgence.

Words to walk with:
From on old hymn by Horatio Palmer
"Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin;
Each victory will help you some other to win;
Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue,
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

Ask the Savior to help you,
Comfort, strengthen and keep you;
He is willing to aid you,
He will carry you through."

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Freddie and Fanny

The guys in yesterday's post may well have been reading about Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae. What strange names for financial institutions, they seem better suited to these jolly fellows seen in the toy shop in Leura.

It's horrifying to see the great economies of the world struggling to stave off a depression. My parents spoke of the hardships their parents endured to keep their young families afloat during the Great Depression. And we have been living the good life thinking such a thing couldn't happen again.

Today is Blog Action Day where bloggers around the world are writing on the topic of poverty. Unexpectedly, the cold hand of poverty is begining to creep towards the respectible lives of those around us, starting with the aged and frail. Our parents spoke of the way people helped each other in bad times. May we each use this time as a wakeup to help others in need, not only those near but also those afar who's daily lives are always a struggle.

It's sobering to know my fabulous room with a view overlooks what was once known as the Hungry Mile, where men gathered every day in the hope of getting a day's hard labour at the wharf.

Words to walk with:
From the Hungry Mile by Ernest Antony written in 1930.

"They tramp there in their legions on the mornings dark and cold
To beg the right to slave for bread from Sydney's lords of gold;
They toil and sweat in slavery, 'twould make the devil smile,
To see the Sydney wharfies tramping down the hungry mile.

On ships from all the seas they toil, that others of their kind,
May never know the pinch of want nor feel the misery blind;
That makes the lives of men a hell in those conditions vile;
That are the hopeless lot of those who tramp the hungry mile ...

And when the world grows wiser and all men at last are free
When none shall feel the hunger nor tramp in misery
To beg the right to slave for bread, the children then may smile.
At those strange tales they tell of what was once the hungry mile."

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Lazy days

Oh the joy of a lazy start with the morning papers and a good cup of coffee. Leura is replete with places to indulge in such liesure.

Words to walk with:
From Laziness by Robert William Service
"Let laureates sing with rapturous swing
Of the wonder and glory of work;
Let pulpiteers preach and with passion impeach
The indolent wretches who shirk.
No doubt they are right: in the stress of the fight
It's the slackers who go to the wall;
So though it's my shame I perversely proclaim
It's fine to do nothing at all."

Monday, 13 October 2008


A reminder of the jars Mum filled but hers were never packed with this artistic care. These are at the fabulous Leura Deli cafe a good spot to eat, one of my favourites.

The ABC Shop has a new book on preserving Year in a bottle by Sally Wise. I'm so tempted to buy it just to look at, I know I'll never preserve a thing.

Year in a bottle -- that's an interesting thought -- is this year worth bottling?

Words to walk with:
Counting in sevens by Judith Wright.
"Seven ones are seven.
I can't remember that year
Or what presents I was given.

Seven twos are fourteen.
That year I found my mind,
Swore not to be what I had been.

Seven threes are twenty-one.
I was sailing my own sea,
First in love, the knots undone.

Seven fours are twenty-eight;
Three false starts had come and gone;
My true love came, and not too late.

Seven fives are thirty-five.
In her cot my daughter lay,
Real, miraculous, alive.

Seven sixes are forty-two.
I packed her sandwiches for school,
I loved my love and time came true.

Seven sevens are forty-nine.
Fruit loaded down my apple tree,
Near fifty years of life were mine.

Seven eights are fifty-six.
My lips still cold from a last kiss,
My fire was ash and charcoal-sticks.

Seven nines are sixty-three; seven tens are seventy.
Who would that old woman be?
She will remember being me,
But what she is I cannot see.

Yet with every added seven.
Some strange present I was given.

Sunday, 12 October 2008


Magical Moontree candle shop -- beautiful, fragrant and mysterious.

Words to walk with:
Another Haiku today from Yosa Buson
"Lighting one candle
with another candle
spring evening."

Saturday, 11 October 2008


Elizabeth Rosa's shop also has other sensuous delights like these gorgeous rice papers.

Words to walk with:
Hiaku by the famous Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa
"A lovely thing to see:
through the paper window's hole,
the Galaxy.

Thursday, 9 October 2008


Though I am a computer person from way back, when I choose to write instead of type, I prefer to use a fountain pen, with black ink on plain white paper -- much to the amusement of the increasingly youthful people I work with.

My delight in beautiful writing instruments is well fed at Elizabeth Rosa's store on Leura Mall.

Words to walk with:
I wondered who coined the well worn phase "The pen is mightier than the sword."
Apparently it was Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839 for his play Richelieu.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008


Up the highway from forlorn Lawson is vibrant arty/crafty/wealthy Leura. Today I am starting a new series showing some of Leura's lovely shops.

Words to walk with:
Leura -- a pretty name for pretty place.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The house that ...

This is a forlorn state of Lawson's shopping centre in light of the highway widening I have written about recently.

Words to walk with:
From the nursery ryhme The House that Jack Built, used for no other reason than it's where I remember first learning the word forlorn though I didn't know what it meant any more than I understood what a crumpled horn was.
"This is the maiden all forlorn,
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn,
That tossed the dog,
That worried the cat,
That killed the rat,
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built."

Monday, 6 October 2008


While not yet in flower this purple bud and native iris were bursting with potential. I expect it will turn into a Rush Lily. I am much smarter about what I am seeing the bush than I was this time last year.

The abstract appearance of this photo got me thinking about abstract poetry. Wierd stuff.

Words to walk with:
From Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll
"'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought–
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought. "

Sunday, 5 October 2008


Things really were tough photographically so I settled for late afternoon light on the grass. I have grown quite fond of grass (in the bush not in my back yard), it's interesting.

Daylight saving started today.

Words to walk with:
From The Daylight is Dying by AB Paterson
"The daylight is dying
Away in the west,
The wild birds are flying
In silence to rest;
In leafage and frondage
Where shadows are deep,
They pass to its bondage—
The kingdom of sleep"

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Light at play

Even though it's spring there was not a lot happening along Victoria Falls road. I ended up playing with the light on the gum leaves, something I always enjoy.

Words to walk with:
From the Holy Bible John 8:12
Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Friday, 3 October 2008

Victoria Falls

After the art gallery at Blackheath we went for a drive out along Victoria Falls road at the end of which is Victoria Falls lookout. This is in fact a misnomer because you can't see the falls from the lookout, just an expansive view over the Grose Valley. It's apparently a walk down a 'steep grade' to get to anything like a view of the falls which are no doubt not much more than a trickle. I don't know because anyone who has been following this blog for long will know that 'steep grade' is not something that I indulge in

Words to walk with:
Penned by David Livingstone on seeing the magnificent Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River in Africa.
"No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes; but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight."

You could say the same of the beautiful Grose Valley.

Thursday, 2 October 2008


When I am out doing the cafes I generally like to take in the galleries too.

Perhaps one of the most famous poems set in an art gallery is Robert Browning's dramatic monologue My Last Duchess. I like this poem, its interesting to recite. Even though it is quite long I learnt it by heart when I was driving down to the city each day and spending more than an hour in bumper to bumper traffic. They say memorising things is good for a health brain -- it certainly beats listening to talk back radio.

Words to walk with:
From My Last Duchess by Robert Browning.
"That's my last duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf's hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will't please you sit and look at her? ..."

You will find the full poem here to read the whole drama.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Chocolate cake

Exhausted from mowing I decided to undulge in a more favoured activity -- afternoon tea at a nice cafe. This flourless chocolate cake was served a the Bakehouse on Wentworth at Blackheath.

Words to walk with:
A traditional nursery rhyme
"Pat a cake, Pat a cake, baker's man
Bake me a cake as fast as you can;
Pat it and prick it and mark it with a 'B',
And put it in the oven for Baby and me.