Posted in Flowers, Learning


Another dahlia today – this one with loads of squiggly bits (which will only mean anything if you read yesterday’s post). This dahlia was dancing in the slight breeze- which is fabulous, but it does make it slightly tricky to photograph.

Imagine, if you are so inclined, your favourite music and this dahlia moving along with the beat – whether that’s dreamy, or pumping, or folk-y, or blues-y, or pop-y, or perhaps a little bit classical. The flower doesn’t care what it looks like when it’s dancing, but most of us are not so free.

Over the summer, Tim and I went to the Queen Vic Night Market a number of times. We’d grab a chair and sit and listen to the fabulous music from the likes of Opal Ocean and Horns of Leroy. One of the delightful sights was the little children creeping away from their parents to move to the middle of the stage, stare at the musicians and then dance. Their delight in the music was clearly evident and they felt free to express that delight. Most of the adults were like Tim and I – happy to listen and to dance on the inside.

This dahlia wasn’t keeping it on the inside … that’s something we can learn from flowers. And from little children!

Posted in Life, Photography, Travel


Staying with the Sydney theme for another day … although, really, this image could have come from anywhere. All over the world people rage against injustice, and express their rage in different ways. And some photograph the man who covers himself in a sign, while others photograph the photographer.

What this image doesn’t show is busker Joe Moore, playing in the Pitt St mall … the music this man was joyfully dancing to. The dancing man signifies balance to me – the injustice he’s railing against hasn’t dampened his spirit – he can still dance with enthusiastic abandon while sending passers-by a message.

Posted in Festival, Melbourne

Icons of Melbourne #10

Tim and I are taking a break today from architectural icons of Melbourne and have decided to focus instead on a cultural icon.

The Moomba parade was held today and as we hadn’t been before we thought we’d see what all the fuss was about.

An hour after finding a spot to view said parade, we found out … bored children and flags.

But then the parade started and we found out what it was really about.

Colour and movement and celebrating the multicultural nature of the city we now call home.

Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne and her brother Stevie were crowned king and queen – a very popular choice. King Stevie was having a ball!

A study in contrasts: the poised queen and a very excited king.
A study in contrasts: the poised queen and a very excited king.


Here are some more images of the parade. Tim’s photos of the parade are here.

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Posted in Festival, Life

TumbaFest 2016

Tumbarumba is a little town, just off the Hume Highway, half way between Sydney and Melbourne. On the final weekend of February each year, locals and visitors gather on the banks of the creek to chat, soak up the sun, drink local wine, and eat locally produced food.

This is only my second TumbaFest; we came for the first time last year and enjoyed the relaxed nature of the day so much that we decided to come back this year. It helps that my sister and brother-in-law live here and so it’s also a great excuse to catch up with family.

The thing I like most about TumbaFest is the music. What better way to spend a sunny Saturday than sitting on the grass listening to great music? And dancing, should you be so inclined.

Here are some of my pics from TumbaFest. If you’re in the area on the final weekend of February next year, pop in. You’ll be glad you did.


Posted in Learning, Life

For richer or poorer …

In a throw-away society, it’s affirming to witness things that last; that endure; that go on … that despite setbacks and difficulties and challenges, keep going.

Fads come and go … fads in fashion and food and where to go for coffee. One day ‘this’ place is in favour and you wait half an hour for a table (if you’re lucky and if you can be bothered waiting), and the next day it’s empty; tumbleweeds blow through eyeing the perplexed owner with disdain as he sits with his head in his hands wondering what on earth went wrong. The tumbleweed has no answer and blows right through to the place next door which, at this very moment, has a queue of people out the door, all prepared to wait at least half an hour for just the right blend of MoroccanBrazilianHighlandofNewGuineaUnderwaterPoland coffee that’s suddenly all the rage.

Big hair is in; then it’s out. Shoulder pads come and go, more or less subtle at each reincarnation. The ripped jeans that I wore in the 70s are back, this time with more rip and less jean. I’m waiting for a resurgence of the gozunder – the pot that’s squished into the under-bed space, along with the bulbs waiting for planting, and the kids’ Christmas presents.

And then there’s marriage. It seems to go in and out of favour, depending on which celebrity endorses (or trashes) it. And most of the marriages we hear about – the ones featured in magazines, not the ordinary ones we live – don’t last. We seem surprised when they do, or maybe we just don’t hear about them very often and because it seems so usual to hear about the ones that fail we are surprised to hear of the ones that don’t.

But weddings still happen and marriages are still celebrated. My son Daniel and his wife Cathy just celebrated their first wedding anniversary. Tim and I have just celebrated our fourth.

And yesterday, my parents, Noel and Sheila Pittaway, celebrated their 56th.

Yes, 56 years together. Through richer and poorer; in sickness and in health. They’ve been together through the tough times and the good times. Through the Navy years and the many years since then: learning to live together after sometimes months at a time living apart. Through the business years driving up and down the coast, and helping people make happy travel memories. Through their own times spent travelling and living overseas. Through the work years and the retirement years. Through living on the south and north coasts of NSW, into Queensland, and back to NSW. Through raising three (gorgeous) children, and welcoming a flurry of (gorgeous) grandchildren (ten at the last count), and the same number of (gorgeous) great-grandchildren (I don’t know how they keep up because I’m not sure I’ve counted them all) into the family.

At his wedding just over a year ago, Daniel (grandson number 2) paid his respects to his grandparents when he spoke about them in his speech, acknowledging their place in his life as role models – for their love and commitment to each other, and to their family.

It seems fitting then, that to celebrate their 56 years together they should spend the weekend with Daniel and his wife Cathy, together with other grandchildren: Eliza and her partner Shawn, and Chase and his wife Megan, along with two great-grandchildren, Hunter and Lily.

The younger generations, spending time with the family elders – learning what it is to work hard at what matters most, sharing quiet moments together, laughing, eating, doing the things families do. Celebrating those things that count.

Happy anniversary Mum and Dad. Still dancing after all these years!

Newlyweds Noel and Sheila Pittawaystill dancing
My sister wrote a beautiful tribute to Mum and Dad earlier in the week. In her post she said that ‘I love the fact that I am a part of them’. It’s a sentiment I share. Thanks for putting it so beautifully Deb.

Posted in Life, Uncategorized

On Zumba

Zumba, in case you’re not in the know, is a form of dance exercise. Dancercise perhaps? Or maybe exerdance?

Anyway, it’s something mostly women do and it’s about moving to music in a choreographed way.

I went today. Yes, to a Zumba class.

I moved to music. I want to stress that I didn’t move in the choreographed way the others in the class moved, and when I say ‘moved’ I’m not using the word in the usual way the word is used.

After a time the instructor looked at me and mouthed (over the loud, thumping Latin rhythms) “Sharon, you’re supposed to be moving”. I took umbrage. I was moving!

Yes, she said, but you have to move on the outside as well.


I looked in the mirrors filling the wall in front of me and where the instructor’s arms were above her head, mine were flapping in the vicinity of my waist; where her hips were swivelling at a hundred miles an hour, mine were shifting somewhat erratically; where her feet were going right foot tap to the front, left foot tap to the front, right foot double tap to the front, mine were going right foot … what? Just … what?

And she wasn’t just doing these things in isolation … she was doing them all at the same time. In time. Quick time. And then she sped up.


I looked … well, not like I was dancing, that’s for sure.

But I was dancing on the inside. And that has to count for something.

Doesn’t it?

Posted in Travel

Just for Mum

Hi Mum,

I thought of you especially today when I was wondering around St Mark’s Square. There were loads of people and I wasn’t sure what to do. Other people were taking photos of themselves and each other in front of the basillica, or in front of anything really. Kids were chasing the pigeons, adults were being told off for feeding them (the pigeons, not the kids), some had pigeons sitting on their head or shoulders.

This man was told off repeatedly for feeding the pigeons.

I was asked by loads of people to take photos of them with their cameras. Others I just took with mine …

This couple asked me to take a photo with their camera too.

I became aware of music. There are cafes in the square with orchestras playing and gorgeous waiters in white coats and black bowties. I saw a couple dancing

What better way to move around the square.

I wandered closer to the cafe and looked at the menu. The prices were out of this world, but then I thought “If mum was here with me, we’d be in there like a shot” … so Mum, I played ladies and thought of you while I drank my Darjeerling tea with lemon and listened to the beautiful music.

Playing ladies with(out) Mum

How about next year we do it for real?