Libreria Acqua Alta | Venice

Tags

, , ,

The joy of finding small treasures in a foreign country and the excitement of finding a new bookshop, Nora from The Art of Travelling has successfully managed to combine the two. As someone else who loves the quirky, quaint and sometimes ridiculous I have to say she is on to a winner with this one. Pop on over to her blog and have a read of her other articles too.

The Art of Exploring

Libreria Acqua Alta
Libreria Acqua Alta
I remember finding out about this bookshop while watching a documentary on Venice during wintertime with my mum last year. I found it hard to believe that such a place existed in real life and was not a part of a film set. So when I went to Venice last January, I couldn’t wait to see it with my own eyes. It was actually one of the first thing I ticked off my ‘to-see-list’. It’s no easy feat to locate the Libreria Acqua Alta, like most places in Venice, really. I was walking on a shopping street, literally about to give up, when I stumbled upon a little square, or campiello as they call it there. At the back of it, an arched entrance, lit up from inside, seemed to invite me in. Could it be it, I thought, trying to match what I saw with my televised memory…

View original post 357 more words

The Amazing Power of Scent

Tags

, ,

I don’t know about you, but for me a scent can send me spinning off into the dark caverns of memory, touching old thoughts, transporting me into hitherto forgotten scenes or awakening old emotions.

Sourdough bread, for example, that warm, wild and yeasty scent evoking memories of security; an incense bringing into sharp relief the memories of laughter and a precious friend’s welcome home from a trip to Nepal; a rose reminding me of a special time and place of joy or lavender, the rare times I spent with my grandmother on the other side of the country.

While working towards my decluttering challenge I picked up a book, long unopened, fanned through its pages breathing in the mustiness and was transported back years before the speed of the internet, email and mobile phones made us all a part of a new world and easily accessible.  Private time readings as a child, teenager and young adult was salve to my soul.  Many hours were spent in other worlds with a variety of characters, all while curled up on my bed with a late winter sun pouring through the window.

I decided against moving on those books just yet.  With autumn arrived I still have things to do in the garden, but those books …. well I am going to reread them all again before handing them over to the local charity store so that others can share the same stories.  I am going to have an amazing winter without TV, with the computer and phone turned off, and just dive into those worlds again with the cat curled up and a hot chocolate by my side.  I can smell it now.

5 Things I Did Not Expect To Learn From Permaculture

A truly inspiring article and one that resonates very deeply with me. I am learning about permaculture presently and unfortunately had to postpone my own PDC for another 10 months. Most people I know who have done the course find that their worldview changes, their world changes and that amazing things happen. Please enjoy this read.

Shake This Land

I believe in the power of a good cry. Three years ago, I read a book called Eaarth by environmentalist Bill McKibben and it changed my life. Few things have had such a profoundly lasting effect on me, and I dealt with coming to terms with his depressing statistics and threatening realities through cycles of anger, dread, denial and hope. Interspersed with fits of crying, of course. For a long time I felt weighed down by his insights and powerless that his suggestions for changing the world could actually do so… What effect can one person really make by biking to the grocery store and using a reusable bag?! I can see the parking lot full of cars and the stacks on stacks of plastic bags ready to be used! Also, I cannot afford even one solar panel, dude.

One day in the middle of a good cry, I got sick…

View original post 1,812 more words

Out the door, turn right and pay a visit ….

Tags

Tonight I jumped at the assignment opportunity to ‘visit the neighbours’.   There are so many wonderful blogs out there and so little time to read, at least while in the throes of learning how to use WordPress.  I presume once I have mastered the day to day aspects of blogging it will be easier to find time to include the joy of reading the work of others.  As part of a community, and not flying solo, I think such visits make blogging meaningful.  Without readers there is only us.  If there is only us, why are we writing in a public place?  I promise to make time to read your creations.

So how do you take your coffee?

The Fishes and the Bees

Tags

, , ,

Bees in an aquaponic system

Bees in an aquaponic system

For sometime I have been toying with the idea of installing a small aquaponics system in my yard.  Part of the sustainable lifestyle I am trying to lead is the important responsibility of raising as much of the food we eat as possible.  So the thought of breeding my own fish for eating, while their waste water recycles as nutrients in my veggie patch, cycling, cleansing and returning to the fish, really appeals to me.  I want some living systems to learn from as well as to grow my own provisions – at least within the capabilities of my (very) small garden.  I want to spend more time immersed in ‘nature’ than I do.  So all hyped up with that in mind I decided to visit a recommended aquaponics retailer.  Now I must say, although my research showed I’d have to wait a while for the fish to grow large enough for harvesting I was running a few recipes through my head on the way there.  As you do.  Unfortunately discussion with the helpful staff made me realise the tank I thought suited to my courtyard is not suited to having edible fish because of the small area.  Pop!! A bubble bursts, there goes that dream.  But in its place …. more room, bigger systems.  A girl can dream!  And speaking of learning – something I observed in the vegie beds which had just flushed with water, beautiful, buzzing, thirsty little bees.  It’s a perfect drinking hole for them because they cannot drown.  So there is another part in a wonderful cyclic system we need to care for.  These industrious little creatures play such an important role in maintaining our complex food structures.  Without them, it might be life, but not life as we know it.

365 Journeys in One Year

Tags

, , ,

Hoarder and messy, that’s me.  I love to collect things – books, bowls, timber boxes, rocks and shells.  Just to mention a few.  I am not sure why I do, perhaps when looking at or handling it I find myself in another world.  New worlds are easy to fall into through literary channels.  But think about rocks and shells; a sea fossil found in the Australian outback thousands of miles from the ocean.  It’s fascinating stuff and it takes my breath away considering how they got there, what it must have been like when there was a huge inland sea instead of red sand dunes and spinifex.  But all that is about to change.  All my precious, and not so precious, treasures are going under scrutiny.  I want to simplify my life and removing the work in storing, dusting and cleaning these things or moving them to get to something else is going to reduce some stress.  I want to become a minimalist.  Not overnight of course (can such an event occur!).  Just little by little, until I find that balance where I can enjoy more time ‘being’ instead of ‘doing’ as one blogger recently wrote of.  This year, to begin with, I am testing myself with a 365 declutter challenge – one thing goes – every day.  For those of you who have no appreciation of a hoarder’s nature I do not expect you to understand.  365 may not seem like much, but the time involved in going over each item, reflection of special times, places and people, being transported all over again is not a small challenge.  Imagine.  365 journeys in one year.

Rock and Roll

Tags

, , ,

Pebble Beach, Exmouth Western Australia

Pebble Beach, Exmouth Western Australia

From working seven days a week in three different jobs I finally managed to connect the dots to get three whole days off work in a row.  Pure magic!   Exmouth had a pin on the map, now I was getting the opportunity to visit, even if briefly.  There is much to feast your eyes on in North West Cape of Western Australia.  Try snorkelling on the Ningaloo Marine Park World Heritage Site!  It’s hard not to imagine you are a fish in a tropical fish tank, at least that was how I felt on my first float.  However, one of the simple things that truly took my breath away was possibly of less interest to many.  As a West Australian I think I can sometimes take long, empty stretches of white sand beaches for granted, as you can do with things that become everyday familiars.  But now I have another kind of beach to compare with that fine, soft sand.

Pebble Beach in Exmouth is made up of, you guessed it, pebbles!   This is not the norm for me.  I was totally astounded.  They were not rocks or coarse broken shells as I have seen in foreign photographs, but small, rounded pebbles which appeared to have been tumbled.  Each precious little rock had been rubbed smooth, as though having been lovingly touched, rolled around in a small hand over many years by a little boy to whom it was the most precious of items.  For me it conjured up all sorts of questions, who? how? when?  I lay on the rocks, as someone unfamiliar with white sand would lay upon sand. I suspect with a similar sense of wonder.  I trickled those rocks though my fingers with a certain reverence.  I am not a religious person, but when I realised each rock fell straight from a larger rock, each one already “tumbled” as the parent rock eroded and let it roll free I guess I came to wonder yet again at the magnificent simplicity of nature.  Dear Reader, I hope you too have the opportunity to experience such a sense of awe for something today.