Talk about a long romance!
My love affair with the Web began in the Southern Spring of 1997. Our romance is still hot!
When I can be dragged away from my computer I'm a Funeral Celebrant, produce a syndicated talkback radio programme, direct and perform in community theatrical productions and blog a lot. The rest of the time I run a small business from home, Smooth Stuff
I enjoy the company of animals and grandchildren, traditional Irish music and walking along the river each evening. to greet the bats
Please allow me to show you the lenses I have so thoroughly enjoyed creating..
My hometown, Melbourne
On Port Phillip Bay
I live in Melbourne, an immensely livable city with two rivers running through to the beautiful Port Phillip Bay a huge shallow body of water with an extremely dangerous entrance to its placid waters.
One river is the Maribyrnong, 'Mirring-gnai-birr-nong' - meaning 'I can hear a ringtail possum'. You can still hear the ringtail possums along the Maribyrnong, they're incredibly noisy creatures.
The other river is the Yarra, once called Birrarung in the Woiwurrung language meaning 'The River of Mists'.
The word, Yarra Yarra, just means "waterfall" and is descriptive of any river or creek. The early European settlers misunderstood what the Aboriginal people were telling them.
Perhaps the noise of the local possums deafened them.
Living on the Merri
Where the Merri Creek meets the River Yarra
I live alongside the Merri Creek in Clifton Hill, on a jointed basalt column formed by cooling lava, just where the creek meets the Yarra River. A few steps out my back door and I'm on the creek, looking over to where the creek tumbles into the river. It's very hard to be depressed when you live in a spot like this.
The Aboriginal name is Merri Merri meaning "very rocky" and rocky it certainly is! The back of my house overlooks the area where the Wurundjeri people held their large gatherings - the location for one of the earliest land treaties in Australia between Indigenous Australians and Europeans.
My great grandmother, Mary Humphries, was the first white child born here.
I knew her well, she lived a long life and I spent a lot of time with her. She told me wonderful stories about the early days of her childhood and of her father, a miner from Ballarat.
After the Eureka Rebellion he came down to Melbourne and was one of the quarry workers who achieved the Eight Hour day in 1856.
You can see by the photo how the 13 long years of drought have affected the creek. Yes, that's Melbourne on the close horizon, I'm within walking distance of the CBD.
"Looking out my Back Door"
I have the best of two worlds, the capital city is just the kick of a football away (an Aussie Rules torpedo punt) and the creek is home to echidnas, kookaburras, black cockatoos, rakali (native water rats), diving egrets (there must be plenty of fish in there) tawny frogmouths, lots and lots of flying foxes and a thriving population of possums!
Every evening, just on dusk, the fruitbats come up in a rustling cloud from the other side of the river, pause to nibble a little on my quince tree or bush lemons, then continue to fly northwest to some unknown fruitbat destination. I love to see them. They mark the end of the day, every day.
Sicilian Recipes - Inspired by Montalbano
- I love Inspector Montalbano!
I have a passion for a handful of fictional detectives. Salvo Montalbano is one of them.I love the Sicilian food too.
These little balls are Arancini, deep- fried rice croquettes coated with breadcrumbs, filled with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and peas. The Sicilians have been making them for a thousand years.
- Sicilian Eggplant Caponata
Caponata is somewhere between a salad and a stew. Pile it on top of fresh crusty bread for a perfect lunch. Use more liquid and pour it as a sauce over pasta for a hearty vegetarian dinner.
- Traditional Sicilian Pasta with Cauliflower
Pasta with cauliflower is so simple to put together that my first attempt was enthusiastically received by my dinner guests. I've never used cauliflower like this before but I certainly will be in future.
- Traditional Sicilian Pasta alla Norma
Pasta alla Norma, pasta with fried eggplants in a tomato salsa sprinkled with fresh basil and ricotta, is a hugely popular dish in Sicily.
I love Arthur - The Once and Future King
I've been enamoured with Arthur of Britain since I was 9 years old and the magical world of fantasy is still very close. There are quite a few lenses on Arthur, and on magical creatures.
- The Progress of Merlin
As the Arthurian saga develops, so does Merlin, changing from an aloof, druidical character into a more human, magical being, though always retaining traces of his Welsh origins.
- The Progress of Arthur
The Legend of Arthur is used by each generation to reflect changing views on the world. The Legend changes and grows as each society changes and grows.
- The Women of Arthurian Legend
The tales of Arthur are legendary. Stories are still told and songs are still sung of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. But who sings the songs for the Women of Arthur?
- Where was Camelot?
Camelot, the starting point of the Quest for the Holy Grail, is at the very centre of the Arthurian legend. But where was Camelot?
- King Arthur, the Sleeping Hero
Arthur's mysterious departure is one of the most intriguing of Arthurian legends. What happened to Arthur? Did he die and was buried? Was he placed in a tomb which vanished in a mist? Was he taken to Avalon to be healed of his wounds?
- Tristan and Isolde, a Legendary Love Story
The tale of Tristan and Isolde was one of the most influential romances in the medieval period, predating and influencing the Arthurian romance of Lancelot and Guinevere.
- Vortigern, the King who gave Britain away
Vortigern is remembered in legend as one of the worst Kings of the Britons. Stories tell of Ambrosius, of Merlin, and prophecies, and of several dark secrets about long-forgotten hill-forts in Wales
- The Island of Ghosts
In the Caucasus Mountains are the little republics of the Ossetians, almost forgotten by the world. How could modern Ossetians be telling stories of their ancestors that sound so much like the story of King Arthur?
- Best Books on the Legend of King Arthur
From the faraway days of Britain come the stories rooted in ancient Celtic and Germanic imagination, stories of the strongest, the bravest and the best. Here's my list of the best books on Arthur, King of Britain.
Mythology is very real in my life. My Great Aunt Nell gave me for my 9th birthday and I hurried home from school every day for weeks to finish reading it all before Mum called me to set the table for tea. Bullfinch : The Age of Fable
Those fantastical stories of fabulous gods and fearsome monsters stirred my imagination and summoned me to discover more. Bullfinch also blessed me with a deep love of beautiful language, a love which still thrills me today.
Years later, when I began to study Behavioural Sciences, I discovered Jung.
Myths are public dreams. Dreams are private myths : Joseph Campbell
Jung constructed his concepts linking the world of outer events and the inner realm of fantasies, dreams, and symbols - symbols which appear again and again throughout history in mythology, religion, fairy tales, alchemical texts, and other forms of creative expression.
The source, he said, of this symbolic material was the collective unconscious, a pool of experience accessible to all humans through history.
So when I first found Joseph Campbell I swooned! The journey of the hero is the one we all make, and I make mine accompanied by the faces of the Goddess I found in Bullfinch.