Monday, 19 May 2014

Very, very bright!

 Here are the photos of the orchids I promised the other day, though the wind and the rain have almost spoilt them.  I don't know the name, they came from Bill's mother's home in Brisbane and I just ignore them other than watering them occasionally!
 I love the red centres these bromeliads get at this time of the year
The really exciting news is that I can see very brightly and could read to the second bottom line on the chart with NO glasses!  In fact I am now not wearing any glasses for the first time since I was seventeen!  I keep feeling for them, it is very strange.  I had to buy a cheap pair of magnifying glasses from the pharmacy to tide me over for close reading till I can get my eyes tested in a month's time, but I am typing this unaided - yeaaay!!!!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Social Media workshop

Well, I have just completed a two day workshop on the use of social media to promote organisations, run by representatives of the State Library of Queensland!  I would never have believed I could find that fascinating, but I did.  Most of the participants were representing heritage collections and museums - I was there to represent our botanic gardens as a living museum.
Did you know there are over 750 million people using facebook?  There are even more people blogging using a whole lot of hosts I have never heard about before!

I really went along to learn a bit more about posting photos and events to facebook as I often struggle to get that right when I am posting for the Gardens, I mostly just read and click 'like' on my personal page!

We also heard about a site called historypin which is really interesting.  You can pin a historical photo to the map (google maps or google street view) and then ovelay it with a modern photo of the same location.  We saw several examples around Mackay - fascinating!

I will eventually set up a wordpress blog for the Gardens, but the internet access unfortunately dropped out before the workshop finished and now at home I am too tired to think properly as to how to set it up.
That can wait for a few days as I am due at the hospital at 6.45am tomorrow to have cataract surgery on my right (good) eye.  Hopefully I will be able to see contrasting colours much better by Friday!
I was going to post a photo of my lovely flowering orchid, but the rain started before I could go out to take a photo so that will need to wait a few days also.
Back soon with much better vision - I hope.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Almost caught up - and Margaret Olley

Yeeaaah, I have caught up with the ironing.  That is the worst thing about going away to a conference - there is always a mountain of washing followed by lots and lots of ironing!
I have had a week of doctors' appointments, meetings with subsequent minutes to write up, and now an unexpected but pleasant brief visit from our younger son.  So there has not been much spare time to edit photos.
I really do want to show you some of the photos I took at the Tweed Art Gallery, which now houses two rooms of iconic Australian painter Margaret Olley's house in Paddington in Sydney.
 Everything except the flowers is original.  They had to reproduce the flower arrangements as the originals disintegrated when touched, they had been there so long - Margaret never threw away any of her arrangements for painting!

 She was a wonderful painter of still life, but a very eccentric lady, who lived and painted in the most amazing clutter.  After she died, curators photographed and catalogued everything in these rooms, then packed everything up and transported them to their present home in the Tweed Gallery.  Margaret had her palettes set up in front of every window in the house and worked on whichever one had the best light at the time.
Apparently she was also a very good cook, but in later years if her friends were offered lunch they said they had already eaten.  This is the kitchen, so no wonder.

 I am amazed she could manage to cook anything in the middle of this!
These rooms have only been open for a few weeks and we were lucky enough to see an exhibition of about ten of her paintings, which will hang there for the next couple of months. 
To see some of Margaret Olley's paintings here is a link:

The gallery itself is magnificent and in a wonderful location.  This is the view from the balcony

 I didn't notice the sign till we were leaving - it says OLLEYWOOD.
This visit was the highlight of the week I think.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Home from the conference

We are back home again and almost back to normal - the washing is all done, but there is still loads of ironing.  That is the worst about going to a conference - all the clothes you need!

The weather was very kind.  There was some rain, but only when we were inside so it did not hamper us at all.
The first night we were at the Gold Coast, we attended a performance of Shen Yun, a classical Chinese dance company, which was incredible.  No photos were allowed, but you can find out about the company here:

Our son Stuart drove us around the Gold Coast, which we had not visited for about 35 years, so we could not recognise anything much!
 We visited the Purlingbrook Falls at Springbrook in the hills behind the Gold Coast - not much water spilling down at present, but a very long drop.
 This is Point Danger, at the mouth of the Tweed river, named by Captain Cook for the dangerous shoals nearby.  Click to enlarge the photo and you will see the dangerous bar at the opening to the river. The concrete structure you can see in the background when you enlarge the photo is for pumping sand back onto the beach.  many of the Gold coast beaches have been badly eroded over the last couple of years during the storms, and of course that is not good for the tourist industry.  
 Blogger has put some these photos in the wrong order and I can't seem to move them!  The ladies were taken on a tour to Mt. Tambourine, again in the hills behind the Gold Coast.  We had lunch at Cedar Creek winery, which also has a man made glow worm cave.  This was the scene outside the cave.  The tour through the cave was interesting, but I could only listen to the commentary as I could not see the glow worms.  Possibly if I had been in the dark cave for another 30 minutes, my eyes may have adjusted, but never mind, everyone else said they were wonderful.
 This was the scene we looked at while having a very delectable lunch.
 I had to take this photo of one of the desserts - tiramisau, yummy.
 For the conference dinner the theme was Elvis in Vegas - I was not looking forward to it, never having been an Elvis fan.  How wrong I was, the night was fantastic.  Three of the committee had dressed up in Elvis lookalike costumes.  The one on the right of the photo is a complete extravert, and a ton of fun.
 Elvis was assisted by two dancing girls as well as a very good band.
 Elvis had everyone - well most, but not me - up rocking and rolling - and Genevieve was even up on the stage adding to the chorus!
 Out of order photo, but no matter.  We walked along the gallery walk of shops at Mt. Tambourine, these cloth figures were sitting there to entice people into the nearby shop - full of lovely antiques.  Fortunately I knew nothing more would fit into my suitcase to fly home so I was not tempted!
Lots more photos still to come, we visited the Tweed Gallery with the new Margaret Olley display - and we were allowed to take photos of her rooms, quite incredible.
I need to do some watering now.  There was no rain at all here while we were away and it has turned quite cold.  I love this time of the year, but it is still a shock to the system when I haven't got our warm clothes out yet.
Back soon