Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers' Day

Mothers' Day 2012 dawned (not that I was awake at dawn) cold and very wet, feeling pity and admiration for the devotees doing the Mothers' Day Classic run in the Park.
I decided to go the the Cheltenham Cemetery, and take some flowers to my mothers. 
It was pouring on the trip and I bought some flowers in a blustery gale that magically ceased as I got out of the car and I walked up to the graves in bright sunshine!
I was sure I knew where they were but had some doubts as I approached a tower of Italian monuments, not remembering them from my last visit, and was thinking it must be here somewhere and as I glanced down I was in front of dad's and Maddy's grave. I knew Mum's was over in the next row both visible together.
 So I left some flowers for them all (cleaning Damian's plaque that was filled with sand).
Mum , Mary
Madeline
It was as I was driving home that I realized that though my mothers have gone, I still have mothers all around me who generously share their love and delight in their children with me.
Lynne and Bridie, mothers of Nick, Kate & Dylan 
Kathy, Mother of the Collie Kids!
 HAPPY MOTHERS" DAY!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Presentation Night 2012

Saturday night was the annual end of year celebration and presentation night dinner.
Di did the decor as usual, but we had a simple theme of pink (red, Club colour)) and blue fish. We arrived at the club at 530 Friday night, to help set up and broke a record by being home by 730!!
The table set Up. Beach view shows a cold day!
Phillipa doing the entrance fish. Freehand!!
One of many designs
We had a smaller turnout than usual but still with the last minute responses going from 20 to 72 in a day!!
When I was in Africa I read an article in a flight magazine about the black clothes we all wear except  for the African women. 
Melbourne is renowned for its black garbed citizens, so I have made a point since coming home of never wearing black or gray without a bright colour. So I wore a black skirt and smoky pink sequined top and bright pink scarf; but looking around in the foyer as people gathered I was struggling to see any colour. That didn't mean it was a funereal affair!!
Some of the Volunteers
Janet Bolitho (Council) and Ross Kilborn (Yachting Vic and club member)
John Clayton, Sid Gladman (still taking trophies home!) Chris Boag
It was a great night as usual with some new winners as well as the usual suspects. Sid at over 70 is still winning!
Up and coming Naomi Kirkwood is doing us proud. Here winning the Geoff Graco event
Geoff Graco & Naomi Kirkwood
Cat Champion ( and National Taipan Champ ) Chris Boag and Commodore Jonh carrig
Chris, as Chairman of the sailing committee has been a great shot in the arm of getting more events to the club and supporting extra club activity, resulting in us holding the National Hobie Championship over New Year this coming summer.
It was my pleasure to Award the Annual Club member of the year to Ray Duncan a quiet worker who holds the Race Management team together! We always seem to surprise them. The look on his face was great!!
As I presented the Award, I don't have a pic of him and even on file he is elusive!
In This old pic he is in the pale blue shirt, Centre back
Simon Field received a special award for all his work on the Club maintenance , including the new storage area in the rooms and incorporating a bar over looking the water in what was a wasted spot.
Simon Field
 He amused us by describing how they used the old decking (red gum) for the Trophy bases this year,and when they needed some more he and Bernard pulled up the old ones in the visible places and replaced with new timbers. As he said if you don't like them they will burn well!
The New Bar. Barely had the last brace on before it was mobbed!
Storage under the Race Info board.




Hair cut

When your beautiful son is mistaken for a girl, (in the swimming pool, his wet curls fall down past his neck) it is time for a hair cut!
The golden locks!
Still curly but definitely a boy!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sunways safari

When we all met for the tour in the hotel foyer we discovered we were all Aussies; 9 in total, a family with 2 adolescent boys, Dave, Trish, Antony and Chris, two other sister together Chris & Robyn, Jeanette, and Celia & me.
Big windows for visibility and the sloping front also opens down
We met the tour guides Ruan and Federika from Sth Africa, and were told we were not in a bus but a truck, Afrikaner accent making that Trook
Ruan & Federika
We headed off out of Johannesburg towards the Kalahari desert in Botswana. We passed through towns that looked much like many others except for all the African people.
But once we hit the open road we knew we were in Botswana. There cattle, goats, donkeys  and wild hogs roam freely and if an animal is killed the owners are compensated by the government. Many a time we slowed or stopped for a crossing beast!
It was not so common to see anyone with them!


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fred Williams

I have had bronchitis early this week and now left with an asthma cough so not feeling too energetic. Decided to go and see The Fred Williams exhibition at NGV.
I have always loved his landscapes especially of the Hammersley Ranges in WA.

NGV is holding a Retrospective the first in over 25 years. Fred Williams (1927-1982)  is acknowledged as one of Australia’s greatest painters esp of landscapes . He created a highly original and distinctive way of seeing the Australian land and was passionate about the painting process itself. 


 There were many other works of his I had not seen before. Ones I particularly liked were the strip paintings esp of the beach.

 Some of the works he did when in England of acrobats were great too. 


Cape Town

Still working backwards, after Celia flew home to NY I went down to Capetown for the Bi Annual Congress of the World Association for Infant Mental Health. Megan(RCH) had booked an apartment for us and it was Fantastic!! In sight of the Venue so only a 2 minute walk.
The lounge 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms kitchen and washing machine!
I arrived on Monday night and the first event was the opening at 3pm next day, so I went off on a Hop on Hop off Bus tour to see some of the sights and get oriented.
I stopped off at the District Six Museum, an area of Cape Town infamous for the Apartheid government's decision to declare it a white area and move the 60,000 people who loved there to outside Cape Town and bulldoze the houses. This in 1968! Like having Brunswick gone!!
A seat from days of Apartheid
Streets no longer in existence
View down on to map of area 
Stopped off to see the Green Street markets and browse a very similar lot of stalls. Towering over the town from many angles is Table Mountain, and on the first morning there was a 'tablecloth" of cloud lying on top and over the edges.
Further on I walked through Bo Kaap (North Cape) an area of freed slaves housing that as a reaction to the drab clothing they had to wear all the houses are in very bright colours. Despite many warnings I felt very safe walking around, (never take risks though!)



On later days I went to the Art gallery of South Africa and was delighted to see there was a Centenary  Exhibition of Barbara Tyrell's drawings (she had turned 100 in March) Barbara Tyrrell is known internationally for her detailed costume studies of the traditional dress of the indigenous peoples of southern Africa.
Four rooms of her work as well as some exhibits of the clothing in her drawings.



Also an exhibition of Animals and art and this disquieting series called Butcher Boys.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Johannesberg

 I flew in to Johannesberg and met up with Celia at the Hotel. Like all hotels in the city we had a security guard and a gate with fences and barbed wire. We ventured out for dinner as Celia had been intrepid in the morning and already discovered the shops. (due to a massive allergic reaction ? to fumigation on the plane?? and needing eye drops.)
We had been advised to go on a tour of the city and Soweto so we did that the next day.


We saw Nelson Mandela's house, the contrast between rich and poor, views of the city , the trees of which are all planted not naturally occurring.
On a tour of the city we went to a Muti shop (traditional African medicine, looking a it like a Chinese medicine practice but more exciting!)
First thing we saw was the sign from Apartheid era.
Bones and Skin
Ground, who knows what?
Herbs and grasses. The shop smelt really good 
Walking sticks

We then went on to Soweto, whose origins go back to 1903, when Kliptown was established after authorities cleared an inner city slum on the pretext of trying to eradicate an outbreak of bubonic plague.It is the most populous black urban residential area in the country, with a population of around a million.

We visited this house, home top six people,who had come from Northern Cape


Now people coming to the city for 'work' find there is none and they set up a 'house' in the Townships. In johannesberg (contrasted to Cape Town) there is not power or running water, despite the township being next to a Power station that was never opened. The two huge cooling towers are now a Bungee Jumping site.
There are also many house now being built by the government, and house people can buy (called appropriately Bank Houses!!) and many accommodation houses, bit like hostels, but it will take a while to re house everyone.
Soweto exploded in violent riots on June 16, 1976, when schoolchildren took the struggle against apartheid into their own hands based on their refusal to have to learn at school in Afrikaans (many had not had this in primary school so then struggled with classes in a 'foreign' language). Hundreds of children around the country died on this day, but South Africa was never to be the same again – the slow road to democracy had begun, culminating in the elections of 1994 and the established of democracy in the country. 
We visited The Hector Pieterson Museum that recognises the young 12-year-old's sacrifice (first child that was shot in the 'peace march') and hundreds of other children who gave their lives for freedom.
A chilling reminder of how privileged we are to be born in our country.