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Balloons and lights :: Happy Birthday Canberra

Balloons and lights from Canberra Day celebrations

Today (actually I think it’s tomorrow) Canberra is celebrating its 100th birthday. For residents this has been a great time of celebration and reflection and for us newcomers it’s been an opportunity to learn its history.

A city that was born out of solving an argument between Sydney and Melbourne about which location should be capital. It was completely designed by Walter Burley Griffin, the prize winner in an international competition to design Australia’s capital. Can you imagine? The prize being the honour of designing an entire city. Today planners work hard to keep his vision even in the newer suburbs and I’m sure some are a little sad that the 8 storey limit that was imposed on buildings has just been decimated by the 32 (?) storey monstrosity that is making its way towards the sky in Belconnen.

For me it still doesn’t really feel like home. I spent time in Sydney as a child, my Mum was from Sydney and I lived there for 15 years so I still feel more a Sydneysider than a Canberran. I have an ongoing love hate relationship with it. I love the nature and the fact that I can walk less than 1km from my house and come across a mob of kangaroos. I love to true seasons, the cold and the abundant bird life. Now if I could just swap out the majority of drivers for those that don’t speed or tailgate and know how to merge, then I may be content.

With ‘Canberra bashing’ about to enter the dictionary I defy any visitor not to find something they love about the city. It gets a bad wrap as being boring and full of public servants (the latter is true). It certainly doesn’t have the glitz and glamour of a very large city but then it’s barely bigger than a large country town and it has its own energy and charms.

Today is the end of week long celebrations and we have enjoyed Enlighten (top) and watching the balloons take off (bottom) from the grounds of Old Parliament House (now the Museum of Democracy) this morning at dawn.

Happy Birthday Canberra.

March 11, 2013 \ canberra \ 2 comments

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A trip to Floriade

A bed of tulips

Close up of tulips

We had such a beautiful day for our trip to Floriade last week. In case you don’t know it, it’s the annual spring flower festival that runs for a month over September and October. We missed it last year as we were overseas so it was nice to return again. My Dad came with us this time, we had been trying to get he and Mum to visit since we moved to Canberra but she was never well enough. He really enjoyed his time there and since he’s become quite the gardener he was literally on his knees examining the soil! He also, at age 81, had his first ride on a ferris wheel, which is the only way to truly appreciate the elaborate garden bed designs.

You can see by my photos what a glorious day we had. There’s nothing like Canberra in spring.

October 9, 2012 \ canberra \ 2 comments

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Fine feathers

Another reason to enjoy living in the bush capital is the abundance of bird life. The main road into Canberra (Northbourne Ave) was overtaken with white cockatoos this morning and even our garden has been know to house crimson rosellas, rainbow lorikeets and the odd king parrot – all of them stunningly colourful. We’re getting better at choosing bird attracting plants and we (especially the little one) enjoys finding the colourful feathers in our garden. I have a friend who thinks of feathers as good luck, that you must hold onto one if you find it and it will disappear when it is ready. She once gave me a tiny feather just as she was boarding a plane for a move to Canada – I kept it in my wallet for years and then one day it was gone. She and I now live in the same city. Do you have any feather superstitions?

My feathery finds are from top: Printable Wall Art – Three Feathers by Bates Mercantile CoFeather Dish from Have You Met Miss Jones, Falling Feather Kitchen towel by Little Lark

April 15, 2011 \ canberra \ 1 comment

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What says summer to you?

Everything I look at and read at the moment is reminding me that we are in the middle of summer. The snake in the courtyard on Saturday (that was a little bit of drama) reminding me that I live in the bush capital. To be honest I’m not a big fan of summer and my usual mantra is the colder the better but there are some things about summer I just love; mangoes, lychees, nectarines, the beach, the smell of sunscreen, fireworks, alfresco dining, cicadas, salads… just to name a few. What do you love about summer?

About the photo – The Sunbaker by Max Dupain. You may be surprised to learn that this photo was taken in 1937. This photo always speaks to me of hot summer days and I can almost feel the sand between my toes.

January 20, 2011 \ canberra \ 3 comments

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Floriade :: Canberra in Bloom

Floriade 2010

Canberra turned on a glorious spring day for our visit to Floriade yesterday. This was made even more delightful by finding a car park as close as possible. We had a friend visiting from Sydney and everyone had a lovely time in the tulips, on the ferris wheel and all the treats that seem to go with a day out at our month long flower festival. This year the theme was imagination and you would think I would get tired of taking photos of tulips but it seems not – I especially like the yellow one that is just starting to wilt.

October 1, 2010 \ canberra \ 3 comments

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Something Seasonal

Japanese Maple in my garden

Winter is officially upon us (in Australia anyway) and tomorrow the weather person is promising us a whole day of cold, wind, rain and maybe even snow. I am a little obsessed with the weather – I think I may have mentioned it before. Even my blog name is homage to the inexact science of weather prediction. I think I inherited that trait from my Dad – he can tell you exactly how much rain has fallen each month for the last 20 years. When you live in the outback of one of the driest continents on earth it’s hardly surprising that rain becomes a hobby of sorts.

I do love this time of year and I especially love the seasons in Canberra. The last of the trees are changing and in our garden this means the Japanese maple is showing it’s colours. Do you have a favourite season?

June 8, 2010 \ canberra \ 0 comments - be the first

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In Training

Underwater shot of swimming pool

This has been our view of the world for the last two days. The cyclist and I are in training for the 24 Hour Mega Swim and spend our time venturing off to the pool in shifts. Yesterday we took the boys as well and kept them amused while we swam our laps. I do love the up and down of lap swimming, I think he finds it a little dull. But strange things happen when I get back into swimming in earnest. Firstly, I start to crave chlorine… not the taste, just the environment of the pool. And I also have strange food cravings when I’m done… yesterday it was Christmas Cake. Feel free to sponsor me if you like, and wish me luck!

{image via flickr by getthebubbles}

April 18, 2010 \ canberra \ 0 comments - be the first

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The Owls are Hunting at Handmade Market – 1 Week To Go

Only 1 week to go and it’s on again! The quarterly Handmade Market is of course what I’m talking about… go and have a look at the designers that will be attending and tell me you wish you could be in Canberra next Sunday. If you are already here then don’t miss it! I have already bought something.. this gorgeous Jenny lamp will be waiting for me (with a discount I’m told). This is by local artisan Jo Kent who is the talent behind The Owls Are Hunting vintage inspired lamps to light up your life. Now where should I put it?

March 19, 2010 \ canberra \ 0 comments - be the first

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It’s Peony Season

So I have been struggling with inspiration lately but I’m currently hatching a few plans for a shakeup to my blog world come 2010. Nothing like a New Year for new beginnings but I’m loathe to call it a resolution. When it does strike, inspiration always seems to come in the shape of a flower and more so when it’s a peony. They are in season at the moment and I have had two weeks of being able to purchase them at the farmers market from the Peony Lady for the bargain price of $15 for 10. I can say that now as I saw them for $20 for 5 at the florist last week! Sadly the peonies all bloomed at once this year so this was her second and last week at market. The extreme temperatures are wreaking havoc on these blooms. Another reason to dislike the hot weather, can you tell I’m not a fan?

November 14, 2009 \ canberra \ 0 comments - be the first

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Floriade 2009

Yesterday we finally made it to Floriade. The weather held out, which was nice. I have never been so late in the event when all the flowers are just starting towards the end of their blooms. This years theme was Mind, Body and Soul, which I think is fitting for a floral festival. There is something very serene about mass plantings of flowers. A few other things that struck me this year; it’s been raining so the flowers looked lovely and it’s expensive – $21 for the 3 of us to ride the ‘Giant Wheel’, although the view from the top was almost worth it. Lucky it’s only once a year.

October 7, 2009 \ canberra \ 1 comment

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