Friday 30 November 2018


View from my window a couple of days ago. We had a spate of cool, wet weather with quite some rain.

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

Thursday 29 November 2018


Geranium molle, the Dove's-foot Crane's-bill or Dovesfoot Geranium, is an annual herbaceous plant belonging to the Geraniaceae family.

Geranium molle is a small plant reaching on average 5–30 centimetres in height. It is a very branched plant, quite hairy, with several ascending stems. The leaves are palmate, cut 5 to 9 times. The basal leaves are arranged in a rosette, the upper ones are sessile, rounded and hairy, with a long petiole of about 5–12 millimetres.

The flowers are pinkish-purple, 8–12 mm in diameter, with very jagged petals. It blooms from Spring to Autumn. The flowers are hermaphrodite and mainly pollinated by Hymenoptera. Fruits are glabrous, usually with 6-9 transverse ridges.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 28 November 2018


urn | əːn | noun
2: A large metal container with a tap, in which tea or coffee is made and kept hot, or water for making such drinks is boiled: A tea urn is used when large numbers of guests need to be served.

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

Tuesday 27 November 2018


Nôtre-Dame de Paris ("Our Lady of Paris"), also known as Nôtre-Dame Cathedral or simply Nôtre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, and it is among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world.

The naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass are in contrast with earlier Romanesque architecture. As the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, Notre-Dame contains the cathedra of the Archbishop of Paris, currently Cardinal André Vingt-Trois. The cathedral treasury contains a reliquary, which houses some of Catholicism's most important relics, including the purported Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails.

In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration in the radical phase of the French Revolution when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. An extensive restoration supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc began in 1845. A project of further restoration and maintenance began in 1991.

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 25 November 2018


A sunset walk along a nature reserve parallel the Werribee River in Melbourne's Western outer suburbs.

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 22 November 2018


Pelargonium x garden is also known as the common geranium, zonal geranium or bedding geranium and is a common species in the Geraniaceae Family. This species of geranium is most commonly used as an ornamental plant. Hybrids include the usual nursery "seed-grown" and the "cutting grown", which can easily be grown at home by cutting and planting side branches.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 21 November 2018


I have always liked drinking tea, especially so in the afternoons and evenings. Lately I have been enjoying increasingly the delights of green tea. Its delicate flavour and limpid, light green colour are delightful and refreshing not only for the taste buds but also for the eyes.

As William Gladstone once remarked:
“If you are cold, tea will warm you.If you are too heated, tea will cool you.If you are too depressed, tea will cheer you.If you are too exhausted, tea will calm you!”

Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world today, second only to water. The story of tea traditionally starts in China, at about 2700 B.C.  It is recorded that the Chinese emperor Shen Nung, who was a scholar and talented herbalist was travelling with his retinue in the provinces. He was sipping a cup of hot water under a wild tea tree. As he sat in its shade, some leaves floated into his cup from above. He was fascinated by the colour of the tea-tinged water and the graceful shape of the leaves, and in a flash of inspiration sipped the infusion. He was delighted with the flavour and this thereafter ensured that the tea plant was harvested widely.

Tea consumption spread throughout the Chinese culture reaching into every aspect of the society. In 206 B.C. during the Han Dynasty it was ruled that the Chinese character for tea should be pronounced Ch’a not Tu. In 800 A.D. Lu Yu wrote the first definitive book on tea, the Ch’a Ching. From the earliest of times, the health benefits of tea drinking were expounded and this attitude is still prevalent in traditional Chinese medicine.

Scientific research in both Asia and the west is nowadays providing hard evidence for the health benefits long associated with drinking green tea. For example, in 1994 the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the results of an epidemiological study indicating that drinking green tea reduced the risk of oesophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly sixty percent. University of Purdue researchers recently concluded that a compound in green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells. There is also research indicating that drinking green tea lowers total cholesterol levels, as well as improving the ratio of good (HDL) cholesterol to bad (LDL) cholesterol. There is also evidence that green tea is helpful in losing weight and also in fighting infections.

The benefits of green tea are related to it being rich in polyphenols, which are powerful anti-oxidants. Links are being made between the effects of drinking green tea and the “French Paradox”. For years, researchers were puzzled by the fact that, despite consuming a diet rich in fat, the French have a lower incidence of heart disease than other Westerners. The answer was in the high consumption of red wine, which contains polyphenols that limit the negative effects of smoking and a fatty diet. In a 1997 study, researchers from the University of Kansas determined that green tea polyphenols are twice as powerful as red wine polyphenols, which may explain why the rate of heart disease among Japanese men is quite low, even though approximately seventy-five percent are smokers.

But what sets apart green tea from other teas? Green, oolong, and black teas all come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Green tea is processed differently to other teas. Green tea leaves are steamed, which prevents the polyphenols from being destroyed. By contrast, black and oolong tea leaves are made from fermented leaves, which results in the polyphenols being converted into other compounds that are not nearly as effective in preventing and fighting various diseases.

Now, how much should one drink to have all of these benefits? Apparently the more you can drink per day, the better it is for you. A Japanese report states that men who drank ten cups of green tea per day stayed cancer-free for three years longer than men who drank less than three cups a day. However, a University of California study on the cancer-preventative qualities of green tea concluded that you could probably attain the desired level of polyphenols by drinking merely two cups per day. Given all the evidence, I think that drinking four to five cups of green tea daily should give you enough benefits.

Brewing a Good Cup of Green Tea
It’s particularly important not to overbrew green tea as the polyphenols and other compounds are altered chemically and this can make the tea distasteful. Use one tea bag (or 2 - 4 grams of loose leaf tea) per cup.
Boil a kettle of water and allow it to stand for up to 3 minutes. Then, pour the still hot (but not boiling!) water over the tea, and allow it to brew for up to 3 minutes. If using a tea bag, remove the bag. Allow the tea to cool for three more minutes. Traditionally of course, tea is drunk unsweetened. However, some honey can be used to sweeten it for those people who cannot drink it unless it is sweetened.
Various flavourings may be added to the tea during the brewing process: Jasmine flowers, ginger slivers, mandarin or orange peel.

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 20 November 2018


Lucerne (Luzern) is a city in north-central Switzerland, in the German-speaking portion of that country. Lucerne is the capital of the Canton of Lucerne and the capital of the district of the same name. With a population of about 76,200 people, Lucerne is the most populous city in Central Switzerland, and a nexus of transportation, telecommunications, and government of this region.

The city's urban area consists of 17 cities and towns located in three different cantons with an overall population of about 250,000 people. Due to its location on the shore of Lake Lucerne (der Vierwaldstättersee), within sight of Mount Pilatus and Rigi in the Swiss Alps, Lucerne has long been a destination for tourists. One of the city's famous landmarks is the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), a wooden bridge first erected in the 14th century.

These photos are from 1999, when we visited Switzerland and they are taken with my first digital camera, so the quality is not optimal - however, they do bring back happy memories. 

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 18 November 2018


Altona is a western suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 13 km south-west of Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the City of Hobsons Bay. At the 2011 Census, Altona had a population of 9,918. Altona is a large suburb consisting of low density residential in the south-eastern half, with mixed industry in the north-western half. A key feature is Altona Beach on Port Phillip, which is one of only two swimming beaches in the western suburbs (the other being Williamstown Beach). Altona takes its name from the then independent German city of Altona which is today a borough of Hamburg.

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 17 November 2018


The chestnut teal duck (Anas castanea) is a dabbling duck found in Australia. Males have a distinctive green head.

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

Thursday 15 November 2018


Gardenia grandiflora 'Star' is a compact low maintenance shrub. This small dense form of Gardenia needs little or no pruning to maintain a good shape. The foliage is dark glossy green and single flowers appear throughout the year being white fading to cream. It makes a great hedge. Excellent for containers and can be brought inside for short periods when in flower. Frost tolerant.

One of the most attractive features of this plant is the strong, heady perfume of the flowers that will permeate the air when the plants are in flower.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday 13 November 2018


Bury St Edmunds,  commonly referred to as Bury, is a historic market town and civil parish in the in St Edmundsbury district, in the county of Suffolk, England. Bury St Edmunds Abbey is near the town centre. Bury is the seat of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich of the Church of England, with the episcopal see at St Edmundsbury Cathedral. The town, originally called Beodericsworth, was built on a grid pattern by Abbot Baldwin around 1080. It is known for brewing and malting (Greene King brewery) and for a British Sugar processing factory, where Silver Spoon sugar is produced. The town is the cultural and retail centre for West Suffolk and tourism is a major part of the economy.

St James' parish church became St Edmundsbury Cathedral when the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich was formed in 1914. The cathedral was extended with an eastern end in the 1960s. A new Gothic revival cathedral tower was built as part of a Millennium project running from 2000 to 2005. The opening for the tower took place in July 2005, and included a brass band concert and fireworks. Parts of the cathedral remain uncompleted, including the cloisters and some areas remain inaccessible to the public due to building work. The tower makes St Edmundsbury the only recently completed Anglican cathedral in the UK and was constructed using original fabrication techniques by six masons who placed the machine pre-cut stone individually as they arrived.

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 11 November 2018


"There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember." - William Shakespeare

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

Friday 9 November 2018


"Where does the rainbow end, in your soul or on the horizon?" ― Pablo Neruda

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

Thursday 8 November 2018

Wednesday 7 November 2018


rainforest | ˈreɪnfɒrɪst | noun
A luxuriant, dense forest rich in biodiversity, found typically in tropical areas with consistently heavy rainfall: Save the rainforests | [mass noun] : Tracts of rainforest | [as modifier] : Rainforest plants.

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 6 November 2018


Situated beside the Swan River, Perth the capital of Western Australia is a living picture postcard, as this view of the city from an airplane shows. Regular flights to Perth depart from overseas, all state capitals and many regional locations, landing you just 20 minutes from the central business district. Perth offers an eclectic mix of city culture and stunning nature, from Perth’s burgeoning bar scene and open arts festivals, to its world-class beaches and expansive parklands. Australia’s sunniest capital city, Perth embraces a relaxed outdoor lifestyle. Whether in the 400 hectares of Kings Park in the city or the inviting clear waters and spectacular sunsets at Cottesloe Beach, Perth is sure to please every visitor.

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 4 November 2018


The hamsa (Arabic: خمسة‎ khamsah; Hebrew: חַמְסָה‬, also romanised khamsa; Berber languages: tafust) is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa and commonly used in jewellery and wall hangings.

Depicting the open right hand, an image recognised and used as a sign of protection in many times throughout history, the hamsa is believed by some, predominantly Muslims, Jews and Catholics, to provide defence against the evil eye. It has been theorised that its origins lie in Ancient Egypt or Carthage (modern-day Tunisia) and may have been associated with the Goddess Tanit.

Khamsah is an Arabic word that means "five", but also "the five fingers of the hand". The Hamsa is also variously known as the Hand of Fatima after the daughter of the prophet Muhammad, the Hand of Mary, the Hand of Miriam, and the Hand of the Goddess.

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 1 November 2018


Rosa 'Teasing Georgia' is a beautiful climbing rose. The rosette blooms are a rich shade of yellow, the outer petals falling back and fading to palest yellow, providing a most pleasing two-tone effect. There is a lovely strong Tea Rose fragrance. It is a DavidᅠAustin rose introduced in 1998.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.