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Simple appreciation

Jenn Shallvey

On my walks I venture out to a range of places in Sydney. One such place lines the foreshore of the Sydney Harbour. I amble along at a dawdling pace because I am in awe of the beauty of nature, the idyllic location of the homes and the incomparable view of the water.  It is a divine outing that restores my soul even though set in the midst of a busy city.

Over the years I walked past many houses. Usually the windows are devoid of life. Maybe a cat peers out or a flutter of movement can be seen behind the window. There are two houses that stand out on my walk.

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A dip into vulnerability, because we all have them!

Jenn Shallvey

What do you do when it hurts inside? What do you do when you at times you have a gnawing feeling in your gut saying give up? It is like being pulled into a trance, a vortex and a hole all at once. On the outside you smile when you can. On the inside you cringe every time you hold back a tear.

The worst thing is the risk that someone will know or that if they do you will burden them with your troubles.

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Eastern Water Dragon in backyard

Jenn Shallvey

Hanging out in the backyard we see lots of wildlife. This guy is our latest visitor.

Lest we 2012

Jenn Shallvey

My daughter's class is studying WW2 during this term at school.  As my father served as part of the RAF during that time I thought it would be useful to share his story. My purpose was to show what life was like from the perspective of an individual whose job was to fight. After compiling the presentation from an objective and fact based perspective I reflected further. I share here some thoughts that came to me as a result of this exercise.When asked about the war (WW2), my dad did not often comment. He preferred instead to let the memories stay in a drawer with the memorabilia.

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Sculptures by the Sea 2012

Jenn Shallvey

Squeezed in a visit to Sculptures by the Sea today. Thought if we went on a cloudy day we might get a parking spot. Lucked out. Enjoyed the walk. I find half the fun is watching other people. Though it appears not everyone 'sees' signs that say 'do not touch' etc. Love when the sculptures are interactive.

Sharing a few snaps...

Magnetic Signs

Jenn Shallvey

I just returned from a week on Magnetic Island.  The time was one of restoration for health and happiness.  On my walks around Horshoe Bay I discovered that the telephone poles were painted with images of local wildlife. As these images really do brighten your day I am sharing them here.  Enjoy.

Sandy pics after storms and Venus

Jenn Shallvey

Just playing with my phone while at beach today. In the aftermath of both a big storm and Venus passing by the sun, it felt a bit other worldly.

Beauty shining in the rain

Jenn Shallvey

After many many days of rain in Sydney, we may miss seeing the subtle beauty of what lies around us.  Trapped inside for yet another downpour I went back to some photos taken the other day when the sun came out to tease us.  I was fascinated by the reflections in the water pooling on the balcony. Nothing mystical or reflective about these shots. I just liked playing with the abstract beauty of nature meets man made dwelling.

Blue sky reveals the bright side of life

Jenn Shallvey

Weather is one of those topics that can fill the space. Easy in a taxi. Easy amongst people you do not know very well.  I don't tend to talk too much about weather though unless it's unusual or relevant. 

On Friday last week in Sydney weather became a relevant topic.  For what seemed like forever but was only days, Sydney was shrouded in gray clouds and drenched in rain. Umbrellas and wet clothes were more in order than sleeveless shirts and sandals. For summer in Sydney to feel like winter took many of us by surprise. I heard a few jokes about dusting off the winter wardrobe and turning the heaters back on.

It is in this context that seeing the sun shine again on Friday was a joyous occassion. I felt my spirit lift as did many others. I swear people smiled more, greeted people casually as they walked by and relaxed just a bit more rather than rushing to find cover. 

This welcome change made me reflect, as I do alot, on how symbolic the weather can be for the way we live our lives. So often we walk around with a metaphorical gray cloud over our head worrying that it's going to rain in our life. It's a half empty saga.  Yes the rain comes. And yes our lives can have dreary and frustrating moments or even periods of time. Yet somehow, sometime along the way the sun does shine again. Similarly in our lives what goes down seems to go back up.  Now of course this may not be the case for a cerain percentage of people. For the average person though we get to experience contrast and variety in our life.  It is in the contrast that we can truly really appreciate and know the beauty of living and loving life.

So on Friday I had this almost euphoric feeling brought on simply by the sun shining and the blue sky returning, even if only for a day (it's raining again as I write this!). I felt like a little kid. As soon as I got home from my morning meetings I grabbed my camera and went out and just took pictures of the sky.  Yes there were clouds. And the clouds revealed unending and infinite blue sky.

Even when the clouds are there I am reminded by these photos that behind the cloud is not just a silver lining but always, always, always BLUE SKY! 

So enjoy these when you are having a cloudy day moment.

Lunar eclipse meets Christmas lights...

Jenn Shallvey

Like many others I could not resist the temptation to wait up and watch the lunar eclipse. The wait was worth it even with the cloudy interruption. 

The fact that just turned 10 year old daugher had 5 friends sleeping over did not get in the way. In fact is was refreshing and fun to see the moon not through just my eyes and the camera but theirs as well.  Just a reminder of how fun nature can be + a little technology to capture it :-)

So here are my shots from the balcony of the house. The Christmas lights were getting in the way and then I realised that they make for some interesting abstract shots.

Ferrying past Opera House

Jenn Shallvey

Just because I had my camera with me and wanted to pretend I was a tourist for the day...

One tree gone yet many left. Let's keep it that way. (Read to end to see the new view)

Jenn Shallvey

​Two nights ago I was in awe of the combined beauty of this eucalyptus tree in the rain at dusk.  I quickly grabbed my camera to capture the moment.

I love living amongst the trees. I also appreciate the open space, fields and parks. The two symbolise balance.

Being surrounded by trees I take it for granted that these wooded friends will always be around. Sometimes a tree’s life comes to an end before it’s natural demise.  

In our constant pursuit of a dream home or a civilized dwelling we can find a tree or two in the way, right?

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Wondering why...

Jenn Shallvey

On my walk this morning I kept finding pockets of litter and trash. It made me wonder why. Now normally I am one of those people that picks up the trash and throws it in the nearest bin.  Only today I decided to experiment. Left this where it was. Will come back and see if is still there the next time I walk by. If so will fill the bag up and get rid of.

Still wondering why...

Cooking eggs naturally

Jenn Shallvey

I couldn’t was hot in the sun today. So I thought I would see if I could cook an egg. Well it works in the movies, right?  

Steps you see...

  1. Check the temperature 
  2. Get the ingredients 
  3. Start cooking 
  4. Done!

Ok and there’s one step, (maybe four) missing....the one where I carried the frypan and egg to the kitchen, then turned the stove on, next cooked the egg and then put it back on the doorstep.

The fun was that I fooled my family into thinking I really did it.

What next?

Thought I would share the silly side of me, just because...

(Ok, I was really trying to take a photo to tell a story for my FB page, but got carried away :-))


Jenn Shallvey

Enjoyed the fireworks from the Sydney Harbour Bridge from a distance. 8km/5mi to be specific. Nice view from suburbia. No traffic to get back home. Chilled and relaxed with the family to bring in the new year.

Welcome 2011!!!!!!!!!

(Sharing some fireworks photos to be in the spirit of the holiday.  Just for fun and a bit experimental for me. Had a tripod but still learning how to shoot in the dark.)