Thursday 30 August 2018


Vinca major, with the common names bigleaf periwinkle, large periwinkle, greater periwinkle and blue periwinkle, is species of flowering plant in the family Apocynaceae, native to the western Mediterranean. Growing to 25 cm tall and spreading indefinitely, it is an evergreen perennial. Vinca major is a commonly grown ornamental plant in temperate gardens for its evergreen foliage, spring flowers, and groundcover or vine use.

Many cultivars are available, with differences in flowers, such as white to dark violet flowers, and different patterns and colours of variegated foliage. Blue periwinkle’s broad-leaved runners form a dense mat, shading out native plants and competing for moisture and nutrients. Its growth is particularly vigorous in riparian and other moist habitats. It competes with native plants for moisture, light, nutrients and recruitment niches. Its growth is particularly vigorous in riparian and other moist habitats. Once established, periwinkle’s rampant growth is very difficult to control, especially in bushland.

It occurs in southern Australia and into southeastern Queensland in regions with winter, summer or year-round rainfall, but its distribution does not extend into the semi-arid or alpine zones or the tropics. Extensive infestations have generally been recorded in regions receiving more than 600 mm annual rainfall. In drier areas it occurs along watercourses and drainage ditches and there are isolated records associated with plantings such as old or existing gardens.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 29 August 2018


Our hand, that marvel of evolution, the maker of wondrous things, the destroyer of beauty. Equally capable of giving a caress as well as of delivering a fatal blow. The hand that writes poems in exquisite calligraphy, is as adept at signing death warrants. The hand that builds is  also the hand that demolishes, that which takes as well as that which gives. The hand which plays beautiful music, can also beat the drums of war...

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Nature Notes meme.

Tuesday 28 August 2018


Aswan (Arabic: أسوان‎) is a city in the south of Egypt, the capital of the Aswan Governorate. Aswan is a busy market and tourist centre located just north of the Aswan Dams on the east bank of the Nile at the first cataract. The modern city has expanded and includes the formerly separate community on the island of Elephantine.

A felucca (Arabic: فلوكة‎, possibly originally from Greek ἐφόλκιον (Epholkion) is a traditional wooden sailing boat used in protected waters of the Red Sea and eastern Mediterranean, in Egypt and Sudan (particularly along the Nile), including Malta and Tunisia, and also in Iraq. Its rig consists of one or two lateen sails. They are usually able to board ten passengers and the crew consists of two or three people.

This post is part of the Blue Monday meme,
and also part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Monday 27 August 2018


The delights of staying in, at home, on cold Winter evenings...

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

Sunday 26 August 2018


Southern Cross (formerly known, and still colloquially known, as Spencer Street) is a major railway station in Docklands, Melbourne. It is on Spencer Street, between Collins and La Trobe Streets, at the western edge of the central business district. The Etihad Stadium sports arena is 500 metres north-west of the station.

The station is managed, as part of a public-private partnership with the state government, by Southern Cross Station Pty Ltd, a private consortium which includes ABN Amro, Leighton Contractors, Daryl Jackson Architecture, Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners and Honeywell Limited. The station is the terminus of the state's regional railway network operated by V/Line, The Overland rail service to Adelaide, and NSW TrainLink XPT services to Sydney. 

It also served by suburban rail services operated by Metro Trains, being one of five stations on the City Loop, a mostly underground railway that encircles the CBD. It is the 2nd busiest railway station in Melbourne's metropolitan network, with some 16.8 million passenger movements recorded in 2011/12. These figures exclude V/Line passengers who use the station.

Southern Cross Station also has a coach terminal underneath the Spencer Outlet shopping complex. Skybus Super Shuttle services to Melbourne Airport and Sunbus Shuttle services to Avalon Airport operate from there, as well as Greyhound Australia, Firefly Express, Premier Motor Service interstate coach services, and V/Line coach services to Mildura, Yarram and Mansfield, and other parts of Victoria not served by rail.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Friday 24 August 2018


View from my window as the rain clouds gather. Yes, it did rain... A good time to be at home, warm as toast and dry.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme.

Thursday 23 August 2018


Chaenomeles japonica is a species of Japanese Quince in the Rosaceae family. It is a thorny deciduous shrub that is commonly cultivated. It is shorter than another commonly cultivated species C. speciosa, growing to only about 1 m in height. The fruit is called Kusa-boke (草木瓜) in Japanese. Chaenomeles japonica is also popularly grown in bonsai.

It is best known for its colourful spring flowers of red, white or pink. It produces apple-shaped fruit that are a golden-yellow colour containing red-brown seeds. The fruit is edible, but hard and astringent-tasting, unless bletted. The fruit is occasionally used in jelly and pie making as an inferior substitute for its cousin, the true quince, Cydonia oblonga.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 22 August 2018


Mystras or Mistras (Greek: Μυστρᾶς/Μιστρᾶς), also known as Myzithras (Μυζηθρᾶς) in the Chronicle of the Morea, is a fortified town and a former municipality in Laconia, Peloponnese, Greece. Situated on Mt. Taygetos, near ancient Sparta, it served as the capital of the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea in the 14th and 15th centuries, experiencing a period of prosperity and cultural flowering.

The site remained inhabited throughout the Ottoman period, when it was mistaken by Western travellers for ancient Sparta. In the 1830s, it was abandoned and the new town of Sparti was built, approximately eight kilometres to the east.Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Sparti, of which it is a municipal unit The municipal unit has an area of 131.948 km2

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Nature Notes meme.

Tuesday 21 August 2018


The Murray River is Australia's longest river at 2,508 kilometres in length. The Murray arises in the Australian Alps, draining the western side of Australia's highest mountains and, for most of its length, meanders across Australia's inland plains, forming the border between the states of New South Wales and Victoria as it flows to the northwest, before turning south for its final 500 kilometres into South Australia, reaching the ocean at Lake Alexandrina.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Sunday 19 August 2018


The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Patrick (colloquially St Patrick's Cathedral) is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, and seat of its archbishop, currently Peter Comensoli. In 1974 Pope Paul VI conferred the title and dignity of minor basilica on it. In 1986 Pope John Paul II visited the cathedral and addressed clergy during his Papal Visit.

The cathedral is built on a traditional east-west axis, with the altar at the eastern end, symbolising belief in the resurrection of Christ. The plan is in the style of a Latin cross, consisting of a nave with side aisles, transepts with side aisles, a sanctuary with seven chapels, and sacristies. Although its 103.6-metre length is marginally shorter than that of St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, St Patrick's has the distinction of being both the tallest and, overall, the largest church building in Australia.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Thursday 16 August 2018


Erythrina is a genus of flowering plants in the pea family, Fabaceae. It contains about 130 species, which are distributed in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. They are trees, growing up to 30 m in height. The generic name is derived from the Greek word ερυθρóς (erythros), meaning "red," referring to the flower colour of certain species. Particularly in horticulture, the name "coral tree" is used as a collective term for these plants. "Flame trees" is another vernacular name, but may refer to a number of unrelated plants as well.

Many species of Erythrina have bright red flowers, and this may be the origin of the common name. However, the growth of the branches can resemble the shape of sea coral rather than the colour of Corallium rubrum specifically, and this is an alternative source for the name. Illustrated here is Erythrina x sykesii a medium sized deciduous tree with knobbly grey-green bark, and numerous small triangular rose-like thorns. The bright green leaves are compound, with three large roughly triangular leaflets, the central one on a much longer stalk than the two side leaflets.

Flowers are red, about 5cm long, enclosed in a single large folded petal, in large clusters. Seed is not produced in Australia. It has been widely planted as a street and garden tree in many cities in Australia, and being a sterile hybrid, it is not capable of getting out into the bush by itself. It should therefore be a harmless garden or farm plant, but unfortunately any piece of the plant left in contact with the ground can take root. The plant is spread from fallen branches, and prunings dumped in the bush. Do not dump any part of this plant. If existing plants are being cut down, they need to be burnt or taken to land-fill where they will not re-grow. For existing plants, cut and paint or stem inject.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday 14 August 2018


Rome ( Italian: Roma; Latin: Rōma) is a city and special comune (named "Roma Capitale") in Italy. Rome is the capital of Italy and also of the Province of Rome and of the region of Lazio. With 2.9 million residents in 1,285.3 km2, it is also the country's largest and most populated comune and fourth-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. The urban area of Rome extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 3.8 million. Between 3.2 and 4.2 million people live in Rome metropolitan area.

The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of Tiber river. Vatican City is an independent country within the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: For this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans more than two and a half thousand years, since its legendary founding in 753 BC. Rome is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in Europe. It is referred to as "The Eternal City" (Latin: Roma Aeterna), a central notion in ancient Roman culture.

In the ancient world it was successively the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and is regarded as one of the birthplaces of Western civilisation. Since the 1st century AD, Rome has been considered the seat of the Papacy and in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Sunday 12 August 2018


The St Kilda Pavilion is a historic kiosk located at the end of St Kilda Pier, in St Kilda, Victoria, Australia. The kiosk was designed by James Charles Morell and built in 1904 by John W. Douglas. The kiosk was proposed and operated by Francis Parer. Until the 1930s the structure was widely known as Parer's Pavilion however its actual name was the Austral Refreshment Rooms. In the 1930s it was renamed Kerby's Kiosk. The Kerby family were involved with running the kiosk from 1934 through to 1987. Noble and Ivy Kerby acquired the lease from the Victorian Government in 1939.

From 1987 through to 2003 the kiosk was leased and operated by Joe Sillitoe then Carmel Grant. On 11 September 2003 the structure was destroyed in an arson attack. After massive public support to rebuild the kiosk and the support of premier Steve Bracks, it was reconstructed to the original 1903 plans, utilising some of the salvaged components, such as the cast iron roof, decorative cresting and weather vane. An additional structure, expanding the capacity was erected directly behind the kiosk and is obscured by the pavilion when viewed from the pier. The Pavilion is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The kiosk re-opened in March 2006.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Saturday 11 August 2018


A male chestnut teal duck (Anas castanea). This is a dabbling duck found in Australia. It is protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme,
and also part of the Weekend Reflections meme.

Thursday 9 August 2018


The Sparrieshoop rose was bred by Reimer Kordes (Germany, 1953). It is a shrub rose producing many light pink blooms with a strong fragrance. The flowers are single with five petals, have long pointed buds, and an average diameter of 10 cm. Blooms in flushes throughout the season. A bushy, climbing, upright rose with dark green, leathery foliage. Height of 150 to 305 cm, width of 120 to 275 cm. This type of rose can be hopped to produce even more ample flowering.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 8 August 2018


The English Eccles Cake is named for the town of Eccles in Lancashire, and was a popular pastry in the seventeenth century. However, these cakes were banned (along with mince pies) by the Puritans in 1650. In fact, Oliver Cromwell decreed in an act of Parliament that anyone found eating a currant pie would be imprisoned. Luckily, by the time of the Restoration, the cakes were once again popular.

Eccles Cakes
50 g unsalted butter
150 g dried currants
2 tablespoons chopped candied mixed fruit peel
50 g white sugar
1/3 teaspoon mixed spice
1/3 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
250 g frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg white, beaten
4 tablespoons caster sugar for decoration

Preheat oven to 220 ˚C.and grease a baking tray.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in currants, mixed peel, white sugar and spices. Stir until sugar is dissolved and fruit is well coated. Remove from heat.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to a 5mm thickness. Cut out eight 13 cm circles, using a saucer as a guide. Divide the fruit mixture evenly between the circles. Moisten the edges of the pastry, pull the edges to the centre and pinch to seal. Invert filled cakes on the floured surface and roll out gently to make a wider, flatter circle, but do not break the pastry.
Brush each cake with egg white and sprinkle generously with caster sugar. Make three parallel cuts across the top of each cake, then place them on the prepared baking tray.
Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes, until golden.

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.

Tuesday 7 August 2018


Rome's oldest market is held on Campo Dei Fiori ("Field of Flowers"). Here you will find the best fish in the city, fresh vegetables and attractively-piled fruit, spices, as well as kitchen utensils, tablecloths and toys. The open air market in Campo de’ Fiori is undeniably one of Rome’s most famous. Much of this has to do with its location. It is pretty much the only open air market left in the centre of Rome (except for the one in Trastevere).

All of Rome’s rioni, or neighbourhoods used to have an open air market. Sadly, things change. Due to transformed shopping habits, rising real estate prices and shifting family customs most of these markets have died a slow death over the last two decades...

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.