Cork Trees, Russell Crowe and WW1.

I’ve spent the last few days catching up on newspapers and changing hair colour.

An item that piqued my interest featured artist, Beverley Teske, who is creating an installation out of bottle tops to be staged at the local museum.

Teske is collecting 61,555 bottle caps with each bottle cap representing an Australian soldier who died in World War 1. To date, Ms Teske said she had collected about one-third of the number of caps required and asked interested people to drop their caps at the museum before and during the installation.

The exhibition will also feature three large paintings, with one entitled Under Clear Blue Skies they Came to Die also representing  the 61,555 soldiers with hand drawn crosses. Another painting also has 130,845 crosses representing all soldiers who died at Gallipoli.

Teske is quoted as saying, “The original piece was inspired when I saw Russell Crow in The Water Diviner. It really moved me that all these people died. I wanted to do something to acknowledge that”. World History via Russell Crowe. Don’t you just love that!

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Can’t help with bottle tops, though I do have a few corks hanging around.

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On my recent travels I visited a Cork Tree which was brought from England in a jam tin in 1861.

Known as the Wishing Tree in English folklore, it is said that the trees are surrounded with a strange power to bring good luck to those who observe certain rituals dating back to the time of the Great Plague of London 1665. At that time, people came from all parts of the country to walk around the tree three times and as they walked, to make a wish. Some came for better health, some for better fortune and others for a wife or husband. It was said that few were disappointed.

Fortune Favours those who see
More in me than just a tree
Look at my cork
And three times walk
Before my girth for all to see

I had visions of re-enacting mystical Druid rituals underneath the moon light. Unfortunately, the shade of this magnificent tree is also home to numerous Shetland ponies, and they are not one to share their environment.063107F6-045A-40CC-A59E-B79872758D68

Valentines Day, For The Love Of…….

With Valentines Day knocking at the front door, some thoughts on love – not necessarily number one on my personal list of attributes.

Attended the annual fundraiser for the local Museum over the weekend. It’s only a small set up with a passionate belief in preserving the area’s past and is almost completely run on the goodwill of volunteers: lots of farm machinery, military history, and the usual assortment of haberdashery are on display.

The local community theatre group performed Love Letters, after our Roast Lamb and Apple Crumble tea, which was cooked by Museum Members and served under the towering Eucalyptus Gums. Love Letters is a play by A. R. Gurney that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play centers on two characters, Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd 111 , and follows the power of love, through the point of a pen, over a period of some fifty years.

I’m no theatre critic but this was a community event in every sense of the word.

Sunday was designed for airconditioning. The experts had been tipping a week of 36 to 40 degree days, plus humidity. After venturing out early and spending some time in the garden, I made a mad dash to the Nursery where I discovered these Poppy Seeds for sale as a fundraiser for Legacy. No advertising, no fanfare whatsoever.

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I love the Red Poppies and their symbolism is one that takes me back to places and events from before I was born. Anyway, I have to get back to the Nursery pretty damn quick as I’ve taken orders for another twenty odd seed packets. Everybody seems keen to plant them as a commemorative display to mark the end of WW1 one hundred years ago this coming November.

Today is even hotter, even stickier, and instead of mopping floors it’s a day for sitting quietly with a good book. I’ve returned to one I was gifted back in 1988 when my youngest daughter was born. It’s another that is well travelled and won’t be leaving my side.

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Pictures In The Post is a book containing some of the illustrated cards that Sir Henry Thornhill, a distinguished soldier-administrator of the British Raj, sent to his two year old grandson, commencing from 1914. This tradition continued with each of his three grand daughters, though when the children reached 5 years of age he would write a message in capital letters, in addition to an illustration.

Not only are these letters to his kin nostalgic, but the book also outlines the life of a fine old gentleman from a long gone era.

Lurvvve is in the air, even at the office.

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They say “Love makes the world go round”.  Whatever it is you love, whoever it is you love, simply enjoy.

That’s my annual display of mush over and done with. I promise there will be no more till this time next year.