Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Squares & Rectangles

Squares & Rectangles

This is going to be one of those weeks when I don’t get to take photos so here are a few from home and from the model train show.

Lots of square and rectangular shapes.
Rectangular shaped house

Share Your World 2019: 7 October

Questions

Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat) a good thing, a bad thing or a mixture of both?

I have to say mixed. I get very annoyed by the way that some folk feel they must share every little detail of their lives on social media. I also think that it is very rude to be looking at or replying to Tweets etc when you are with others. On the other hand, social media can be a way to connect with like-minded people or to keep in touch with family and friends you don’t often see, especially the younger ones. During our bushfire crisis last summer I relied heavily on local Facebook groups for the latest information on what was going on and whether friends were OK.

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on Pexels.com

Are you camera shy or do you pose for the camera with confidence?

Love taking photos, hate having my photo taken especially now. I looked a lot better thirty years ago. Naomi and I spent a lot of time dodging the ship’s photographers on our two cruises.

Is there anything you’ve kept from younger years for sentimental reasons alone?

Nearly everything I keep from younger years is for sentimental reasons, things that belonged to mum, things that I had as a child or a young woman. I have things of David’s I wouldn’t part with too.

Favourite treasures in the living room.

Do you like to decorate for different holidays?

The only holiday I really decorate for is Christmas but I adore doing that. I have favourite Christmas ornaments that go on the tree every year (see the previous question). Halloween is not a big thing here.

Do you feel you’re a strong person character-wise?   Also, if you do have a gratitude thought or picture you’d like to share, please feel free!   The world can always use more positive vibes!

I would like to think I am but perhaps it’s not for me to judge. For my gratitude thought I’d like to tell you about a lady who lives in my town who spends all her time helping people. She set up a Pay It Forward page on Facebook for people to donate goods and if she hears about someone locally who is having a tough time she tries to help them; when she is not working on sorting and bagging donations she cooks meals for people who can’t afford to buy food. She spends a lot of her own money even though she only has a pension herself. I am grateful that people like this exist.

Superstition – Unlucky Plants Revisited

I wrote this post in the spring of 2014 and rather to my surprise it has become one of my most viewed posts ever. Who knew that so many people were searching for articles about unlucky plants? Certainly not me! Anyway I thought that I would run it again for those of you that are interested in the subject or just like pictures of pretty blossoms.

Two old nectarine trees next to our "rustic" shed.
Two old nectarine trees next to our “rustic” shed.

Our old nectarine trees are blossoming again. I love seeing blossoms on trees. We have some lovely flowering trees in Australia  wattle, bottlebrush and flame trees to mention just a few of the native plants.  I always look forward to the apple blossom which comes and goes so quickly that you could easily miss it even in orchard laden Tassie.  I always think that pink blossoms would look lovely in a vase with daffodils but I never pick any. Why? Superstition.

Apple orchard, Ranelagh Tasmania
Apple orchard, Ranelagh Tasmania
apple blossoms on our tree.
apple blossoms on our tree.

My mother always used to tell us “Don’t bring blossoms into the house. It’s bad luck.” Well mum thought a lot of things were bad luck but she was mum, we didn’t argue.

Some of her superstitions were:

  • breaking mirrors – seven years bad luck unless you broke a match straight away
  • walking under a ladder is bad luck – well that makes sense, something could fall on your head or you might dislodge it (bad luck for the person on the ladder)
  • spilling salt  is unlucky-you are supposed to throw some over your shoulder if you do that. I can never remember which shoulder though so I do both.
  • black cats are unlucky – I love black cats and the worst bad luck I’ve had  with them is that mine died way too young.
  • peacock feathers in the house are unlucky – I never found out why this is unlucky, maybe they give you the “evil eye”? Some further research required here I think.
  • Putting new shoes on the table is unlucky – Don’t know where this one came from but bet it was invented by somebody’s mother.
  • Opening an umbrella indoors is unlucky – I don’t know where this one came from either. It’s certainly bad luck to be standing too close to someone opening one. You can get poked in the eye.

I don’t know if I really believe all these things myself but from habit I do what mum did – except the one about cats. I’d have another black cat any time.

I wondered about origin of the “no blossoms in the house” myth and googled it just now. I found that it was pretty widespread amongst my mother’s and grandmother’s generations. A lot of superstitions involve particular plants one of the main offenders being hawthorn or as it’s sometimes called in England, may blossom.

Common hawthorn.jpg
Common hawthorn“. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

This has just reminded me that two relatives in mum’s family were called May and Blossom.

Mauve lilac came in for a lot of mentions too and one superstition that I had never heard of was about having red and white flowers in the same vase. Supposedly they signify blood and bandages. I don’t know if mum had heard of that one as I am sure we did that many times when we had red and white roses growing. I also know that mum was not superstitious about honeysuckle because she loved perfumed plants and would often bring it in.

Plant Lore is a website that collects folklore about this sort of thing and it has some interesting information on it.  Most of the responders to their “Unlucky Plants” survey seem to be like me, warned off by older family members with no real explanation given. “Just don’t do it. Because I say so!”

One writer, a former nurse said that she’d been told not to put red and white flowers together on pain of dismissal. Even in the 1960s this seems a remarkably superstitious attitude and a harsh penalty. Although this is an English site I’m sure that there is a lot of folklore about plants from other countries too.

 

Red and white flowers are considered unlucky
Red and white flowers are considered unlucky

As far as I know it’s not unlucky to post pictures of blossoms on your website so here are a couple more pictures of flowering trees. Will I be cutting some of my pretty blossoms to bring indoors? Probably not.

Tulip Magnolias

nectarine blossom
nectarine blossom

Links:

TOP TEN AUSTRALIAN FLOWERING TREES

http://everything2.com/title/bad+luck

 

Which Way to go, that is the question.

What To Read

I first wrote this post in October 2013 for a WordPress Daily Prompt on choices. I still read books so I decided to dust it off update it and run it again as most of you won’t have seen it. I had about half a dozen views a week back then if I was lucky.

How do I pick what blogs or books to read?

Whether it’s books or blogs the thing that always gets me to read it is the hope of being entertained. If I see the name of a writer whose work makes me laugh or who tells a good story I will be eager to read what they have written. I enjoy the humourous take on everyday life that I find in some of my favourite blogs but I also like those who share their knowledge and passions. I have learned a great deal from my fellow bloggers about writing and photography.

If I don’t know the writer I’ll look at the subject matter, if it is  non fiction is it about a subject I’m interested in? Is it relevant to my specific interests? For example I like cricket so I’ll read biographies of players but  I wouldn’t read a book about the laws of cricket or a blog giving an interpretation of the LBW rule unless the writer made it funny because I would get a headache!

Biographies and Autobiographies.

Is the title appealing? An intriguing title will at least get me to read the first few paragraphs to find out more. Sometimes it turns out to be not what I thought it would be but sometimes it will turn out to be a good read.

Fiction is a bit trickier to choose than non fiction. When I was at school I often used to enjoy the fiction extracts in my English text books so much that I would search for the books they were from in the library.

I don’t like to read books with  excessive violence or bad language, so as well as reading the plot outline, I will usually skim through a book trying to get a feel for it before I settle down to read. There have been many books which promised to be good stories that I’ve walked away from because they were just too graphic for me.

Sometimes I read something because a friend has recommended it or I’ve read a favourable review but only if I think it sounds interesting myself. If I have enjoyed a film that was based on a book I may decide to read it but I won’t read best sellers just because it is trendy to say you have read it.

True story

I think a lot of people must do that. In our book room at the Op Shop we have at least three copies each of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and its sequels. It seems to be by far the most often donated book we have. (I haven’t read any of them.)

Recently I have started to listen to audio books and I found that the reader makes a big difference to my enjoyment. “A Christmas Carol”, by Charles Dickens is a favourite story of mine but the main reason I bought the audio book was because Sir Patrick Stewart was reading it and I love his voice. Likewise Stephen Fry is exactly the right person to read the Harry Potter stories. One of my first audio books was “Deep South” by Paul Theroux. I have read several of his travel books and I understand his style but I had a lot of trouble listening to the book. It was partly the book itself, it was long and I’m afraid I fell asleep a couple of times. I just didn’t enjoy the narrator’s voice though. I decided that in future I will stick to reading the books.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Cars & Trucks

Highway Trucking

I am a bit late getting this post up but decided to do it anyway because cars and trucks are a fun subject to photograph. I took these this morning when I took Cindy for a short walk to the local football ground. It is about 300m from my house and the intersection is a good spot to photograph the big log trucks as you can hear them coming from some distance away and they have to slow down to get around the corner. The Huon Highway is not a highway like the big ones that many of you overseas are used to. It’s not even much of a road compared to the Bass or Midland Highways here in Tasmania. The speed limit outside my house is 100kmh, slowing to 80kmh just past me on the outskirts of Geeveston. There is no footpath so walking that 300m is something I only do in daylight.

Vehicles on the Huon Hwy near Geeveston
A truck approaching the intersection.
A ute on Scotts Road

I was actually heading home when this last truck appeared around the corner. I had time to take the last two photos and hold Cindy tightly while it passed us. Luckily there was enough room to get out of the way. You can see from the first two photos that there is not a lot of room to walk while crossing the small bridge and it is safer to walk on the side with the concrete kerb even though I normally prefer to be facing the oncoming traffic.