Out and About

With the arrival of spring, I’ve been making more of an effort to get out and about and put my camera to use and learn at how to make better use of it.   I’ve recently become fascinated by Bokeh photography from Mixy’s Blog and searches on Flickr have shown some fantastic photos, so I’ve been trying my hand at some Bokeh as well… (trying being the key word)

This photos below, I took whilst I was walking home from the doctors a week or so back.  It was such a bright and beautiful springs day and when I came across this tree, it was like spring personified.


Cherry Blossom Tree


I posted these photos at the end of my previous post, but I thought they needed the justice of being featured as larger photos and not just a collage.


Cherry Blossom Flower


I love the fact that the one tree has the different coloured flowers ranging from pure white, white with pink  stripes and bright pink.


Cherry Blossom flower


The photo above is one of my faves at the moment.  It looks so pretty and delicate.

Art & About Sydney

While I was on rostered days off on my own, I decided to head into the city and partake in Art & About Sydney.  I love it when we get things happening in our city and especially when they’re free.  There were two ‘exhibits’ that I was keen to see – Laneway Art and Sydney Statues: Project! I like doing these kind of exhibits as it allows me to wander on my own through parts of the city I would not normally go and to see each thing at my own pace.  I put on my walking shoes, print out a map or use the Google Maps on my iphone, camera, backpack a bottle of water and I’m off.

Here are a few of my favourite photos from my day out.


Milk and The Town Went Mad – Mikala Dwyer



Rush – Nick Savas


The above 2 photos are from the Laneway art project.  I did the Laneway art project last year as well and will add it to my ‘things to do list’ every year along with the Sculptures by The Sea (Bondi to Tamarama Beach).

The next lot of photos are from the Sydney Statues: Project!  I was really looking forward to seeing Il Porcellino (located at Sydney Hospital, Macquarie Street) all dressed up, but he wasn’t ready!  He was butt nekkid!  I tweeted @artandaboutsyd and they said they weren’t due to finish dressing the statues till the next day 😦

Anyways, here are some of my favourite statues:

Edward VII
Love the stripy socks on the horse!


A Young Queen Elizabeth


Apparently this statue of Queen Elizabeth is one of her when she was a lot younger compared to the one at the Queen Victoria Building (below).


Queen Victoria


She looks a touch scary…


Prince Albert


Prince Albert looking very handsome with his red socks and blue cape.


Prince Albert’s lovely cape


Look how purrty his cape is!  The day was quite warm and a little humid which is why I think Centrepoint is a little hazy in the background.


The Captain


The above is a statue of Captain James Cook.  His lovely cape was made by Ken Done, but I wasn’t too keen on what he was wearing on his front, it was too daggy to warrant a photo here.  LOL.

Hyde Park

As part of Art&About Sydney, there were a few things happening in Hyde Park.  The Council has commissioned an artist to build a HUGE rabbit out of recycled bottles.  On closer inspection, I’m pretty sure the whole thing is made from the 1 brand of bottled water, manufactured by a large soft drink company…


Recycled Bunny


The bunny is due to be completed early next year in time to mark Chinese New Year in 2011 – the Year of the Rabbit.  Aww look at his blue eyes and pink nose!  I think the use of the bottles actually makes the sculpture look fluffy!

The next thing to take my interest was the Bubble making man.  I’ve seen this guy before and he’s one of the better buskers around Sydney.


The Bubble Man


He makes these huge bubbles and there’s always a kid around that wants to pop it was soon as he makes it.  Luckily there weren’t any kids around on this day so I was able to get some good shots.


Blowing bubbles


They’re so delicate, all it takes is a gentle blow to get them floating skywards.

While I was standing there taking photos, he called me over to stand next to him and then he created a bubble around me!!


Bubble worm!



Look Mum! I’m in a bubble!



Girl in a bubble 🙂


Luckily I was quick enough to switch my camera to auto/sports mode otherwise I would’ve been to slow to take these photos on the manual setting.


And that pretty much brings me to the end of my day.  The Art & About Sydney trail I was following actually continued from here back down through the Botanic Gardens down to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair then over to Circular Quay to finish a round trip of down town Sydney.  But by the time I got to Hyde Park, it was about 3pm, I was a touch hot and bothered and with the lure of the bus stop being so close, I decided it was home time and to leave the Botanic Gardens and Mrs Mac’s chair for another day out 🙂

For more photos on my day out, check out my photostream on Flickr.


Bunny in the City



Spring is Here!

If the saying is “a builder’s house is never built” then does that mean a horticulturist’s garden is never grown?  In my case I think it may be true.

The bare balcony before zshuzshing

Living in an apartment block doesn’t give me the pleasures of having a proper garden and lawn, but since we’ve lived here, I’ve accumulated quite a few pots and planters with the hope of growing some perennials, but mostly annuals.  Generally when spring comes around (like now!) I get all excited and go out and buy a whole lot of annuals, usually petunias and fill up my hanging pots and troughs so that hopefully by summer I have a balcony that looks somewhat close to the typical hanging basket you’d find outside a British pub during their summer.  I think in the first spring/summer we lived here, I got very close to that look, but as the years went by, the amount of flowering plants during summer dwindled.  Oh except for the Christmas’ the in-laws came to stay from England 😛
I’d find by the time summer came around, every spare moment was either going out for a picnic or going to the beach and on the days that I was at home, it was way to hot to go and tend to the balcony garden (yes, I know, excuses! Excuses!)  And by February all I had left were some dried, leggy plants that had too many days of not enough water and were hanging on for dear life.

I had never been too bothered with trying to grow edible plants.  I have a husband who doesn’t like to eat the fun things to grow – tomatoes and strawberries, so I didn’t want to grow things that we couldn’t eat up and I would have to give most of it away.  Earlier this year, as I grew more and more confidant with my cooking ability and experimenting (Thank you Masterchef!), I decided to start the edible plant collection with some herbs as we usually use dried herbs in our cooking anyways.  I started off with some basics – rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, chives and mint.  The chives didn’t last too long, they were gobbled up quick smart by insects.  The mint, poor thing, lasted a few months, but ended up being decimated by white flies and caterpillars.  And when the caterpillars finished with the mint, they moved onto the basil and oregano.  By the end of 3 months I was only left with the thyme and rosemary.  My rosemary was going gang busters until a combination of a week of heavy rain and constant snipping of sprigs for dinner killed it off a few weeks ago.  My thyme however, it still going strong.  For some reason, the insects didn’t touch it and it’s not too fussed if it doesn’t get any water for a few weeks or gets absolutely drenched for a whole week.

Spring Thyme 😛

So that brings me to now.  I was sitting in an almost windowless office at work last Saturday morning and all I was reading on Twitter and Facebook was everyone commenting on how lovely the weather was and I decided it was time to do my annual buying and planting of plants in the hope of a pretty garden in December.

My new babies

I bought some herbs – basil, rosemary and mint, a cherry tomato plant, a punnet of capsicums and a strawberry plant.  I also bought a mega-punnet of mixed colour petunias for the hanging baskets just to add a bit of colour to the balcony.

Planted petunias

Planted basil

Planted tomato

All I need now is some mozzarella for an instant salad!

I have promised myself to make a concerted effort to make more use of our balcony and the more I’m out there, the more I will take notice of the plants and their wellbeing and hopefully it will produce a bountiful edible garden with lots and lots of colourful flowers.

We’ll see how long this lasts…

A beautiful Cherry Blossom tree I saw on my morning walk

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