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Entries in holiday (88)


The Golden Mean

Most Aussies did not grow up in the tradition of celebrating Halloween, but the holiday is growing in popularity in recent years – mostly, it seems to me, through parties for young adults who simply love to dress up, (at least, I don’t live in the suburbs, so I don’t know if kids are trick or treating).

I’d forgotten about these Hipstamatic photos I took a few years ago while playing dress-up myself. I’m not sure who or what exactly I am trying to evoke, but they seem to fit the evening’s theme. That golden mask is scary looking in its impassive anonymity! And you can just imagine the ominous flutter of black wings hovering over you in your last moments of life …

Do be careful, and enjoy your All Hallow’s Eve … Ooooooo!

Photos: May 2013


Easter Soufflé

Sadly, there aren’t too many millinery traditions upheld at Easter these days, except perhaps in the classroom, where children still construct Easter bonnets. So this Good Friday, I bring you a robin’s egg blue soufflé!

This vintage 1960s glorified beret has so many enjoyable points: it’s striped; it’s robin’s egg blue (or, if you like, Tiffany blue, one of my favourite colours); and is has an amusing amount of volume. That latter characteristic is why I’ve dubbed it my soufflé hat. It can, however, be flattened to a less conspicuous and more omelette-type shape if I want to go about incognito.

So many eggscellent reasons to wear it at Easter time!

Photo: April 2013


International Arrivals

Today is Australia Day. There is a lot of controversy in this country about whether we should celebrate our nationhood on the 26th of January as it is in fact the day Europeans invaded a country that belonged to the indigenous people, decimating and dispossessing the population. Aboriginal people call this ‘Invasion Day’, ‘Day of Mourning’, ‘Survival Day, and in the last few years ‘Aboriginal Sovereignty Day’. It is a commemoration of deep loss.

Aboriginal woman Professor Jakelin Troy is the Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research at the University of Sydney. “We shouldn’t have to be marching and protesting and making big political commentaries in order to get recognition – that should be built into this day,” she says. “There should be, in all the advertising that goes out about Australia Day… it shouldn’t be this frivolous, frothy sort of stuff about barbeques and coloured towels and spending the day at the beach. It should be, you know what does Australia Day mean for all Australians?” [From Creative Spirits]

In that spirit, I’m sharing what Australia means to my family. Everyone who has emigrated here has a personal story. My parents and three older sisters escaped from Communist Yugoslavia, and, via the Catholic Church in Austria, were accepted as refugees into this country. Australia, to them, meant freedom. It also meant that they felt fortunate enough to have one more child. If they had not immigrated here, I may have never been born!

The photo above shows them arriving in Melbourne in 1969 via a domestic airline, most likely from Sydney; probably my uncle who was already living here took the photo.

Yes, there are tragic things that happened in the past, which are difficult if not impossible to atone, but here and now I personally am grateful that I can call Australia home.  


Into the New

Early on New Year’s Eve, I had a lurid dream which in once scene had me running through a deep forest down a narrow but well trodden path that followed the curve of a slope. In the dream, I thought: “Oh! This reminds me of that other beautiful forest I have run in before – and I’m going to be there tomorrow!” And within the dream, my mind’s eye pictured this other forest; far more beautiful than the one I was in. It was an untouched wilderness, the green so vivid, the grass so lush, the trees like dryads dancing in the wind – you couldn’t believe it was real.

In past days I had been pondering the coming new year, wondering where it would take me, down what adventurous roads. A forest, in dream symbology can represent the unknown, losing your way or perspective, and the concept of infinity, the great out there. A new year always seems full of infinite possibilities, doesn’t it? We take a step out of the old year, and into the new.

A new year always seems full of infinite possibilities, doesn’t it?

Late this afternoon I walked to the botanic gardens nearby, to my favourite place, a ‘lawn’ of oak trees, elms, and pines, covered in long, lush grass: a pocket wilderness in fact. (Also in fact, the long lush grass was slippery, sticky and stingy; and hidden underfoot were great spiny seeds, and I was wearing thin-soled sandals. I hope that’s not a metaphor for the coming year!)

It was so beautiful there, lying in the grass under the trees, with the wind blowing through the leaves; a lovely start to the new year. I’ll just make sure to put on sturdier shoes when there are hills to climb.

Happy New Year!

Photo: Yesterday


Eleventh Hour Resolutions

QUICK! You (if you live in Australia) have about six hours left to complete your 2015 resolutions! I am piling on the scarves today (despite the blistering 39°C heat) in an effort to scrape a passing mark.

I have tallied up my own score for your edification:

Resolution #1: Do Not Get Sunburned
Score: A-
Remarks: Was ‘sunkissed’ only a couple of times; no irreparable damage

Resolution #2: Wear Scarves More Often
Score: D+
Remarks: Average grade was brought up only because of winter layering; last-ditch attempt to raise score utterly ridiculous

Resolution #3: Keeping On Top of Ironing
Score: B+
Remarks: Basket perpetually full; no sooner one lot was done, clean laundry refilled it only to languish for a week or two before being attended to; however, it was getting done despite slowness

Resolution #4: Keeping Up with Mending
Score: B-
Remarks: Pretty good but more consistency required; final grade achieved by skin of teeth: last batch completed on penultimate day of year

Well, apart from the scarves I did not do too badly. How did you go with your own promises?

All of these resolutions are still keepers, and I am busy rustling up new ones too, just to keep me on my sartorial toes.

I hope you have had a great year, and here’s to a fabulous last night celebrating!

Photo: Today

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