Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

Bird books for sale

February 26, 2013

I have the following bird books for sale.  Contact me @ wjcsydney@yahoo.com if you are interested:

http://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Australian-Animals-Birds-Vol/dp/0207169764/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361843969&sr=1-1&keywords=encyclopedia+of+australian+animals+birdshttp://

http://www.amazon.com/Birds-Sydney-Ern-Hoskin/dp/094932440X/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361844035&sr=1-5&keywords=birds+of+sydney
 

http://www.amazon.com/Seabirds-Australia-Terence-Lindsey/dp/020715192X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361844319&sr=1-1&keywords=the+seabirds+of+australiah

SOLD

http://www.amazon.com/Australia-National-Photographic-Australian-Wildlife/dp/0207154376/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361844372&sr=1-1&keywords=parrots+and+pigeons+of+australia
SOLD (Parrots and Pigeons)
http://www.amazon.com/Birds-Prey-Ground-Australia/dp/0207154384/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361844420&sr=1-1&keywords=birds+of+prey+and+ground+birds+of+australia
 
 

http://www.amazon.com/Robins-Flycatchers-Australia-Walter-Boles/dp/B001UBWMR2/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361844480&sr=1-2&keywords=robins+and+flycatchers+of+australia

SOLD

http://www.amazon.com/Cuckoos-Nightbirds-Kingfishers-Ronald-Strahn/dp/0207185220/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361844607&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=cuckoos%2C+nightbirds+%26+kingfishers+of+australia
SOLD
 

http://www.amazon.com/WATERBIRDS-AUSTRALIA-John-Douglas-Pringle/dp/B003DIGXQG/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361844672&sr=1-2&keywords=the+waterbirds+of+australia

SOLD

http://www.amazon.com/Shorebirds-Australia-Brett-Lane/dp/0170068242/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361844722&sr=1-3&keywords=shorebirds+in+australia
SOLD
 
 http://www.amazon.com/Birds-Australia-Book-Identification/dp/0709944756/ref=sr_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361844859&sr=1-11&keywords=the+birds+of+australia+simpson+day (except mine in 1986)
All as new or excellent condition except for the last one which is “good” condition.  I’m located in Sydney but can mail elsewhere.  What offers?

Wendy

Advertisements

Snorkelling at Shelly beach

August 5, 2011

I bought myself one of those ‘deals’ vouchers for a snorkelling lesson/guided snorkel early in the year. I LOVE snorkelling but just don’t make the effort to go unless we are on vacation, so thought this was a good way to get a snorkel in. (I can highly recommend Pro Dive Manly! ) After lots of procrastination (and some health issues), I finally booked myself in at the beginning of April before the weather got too cold. Sydney water stays warm till July at least but it’s nicer getting out into balmy air than chilly winds.  And I did choose the last warm day for several months!

It was amazing! I loved it. It was just me and the guide in the “group” and we snorkelled for an hour in the marine reserve at Shelley Beach (right in Sydney – at Manly.  How blessed are we Sydney-siders!).  Shelly Beach is apparently unique amongst east coast beaches in actually facing west.  Which makes it sheltered, calm and less windy and you can watch the sun set across the water.

The abundance of fish and sea life blew me away.  I didn’t see any leafy sea dragons (have to go further out to see them.. maybe another trip?)  But apparently one of the bronze whaler sharks that have become common in the bay since the marine reserve was established came within a metre of my face but I missed it.  I was looking the other way!  Which is probably good as I was a tad nervous about the resident sharks even though there haven’t been any incidents and there were SO many people in the water that I would not have been a logical target, even if one of them decided to turn mean.

I learned quite a few snorkelling tips and techniques as well as having one of those deeply pleasurable experiences that is almost spiritual in its intensity.  Who would have thought Sydney is home to such incredible sea life!

The sun was setting over Manly as I lingered on the beach, not wanting to do the hour’s drive back home in rush hour traffic.

Sunset from Shelly beach

Here is Shelly beach in the late afternoon (my lesson was at 4pm).

See the waves beyond the rocks?  That’s where you have the best chance of seeing the leafy sea dragons.  We snorkelled to the left of this photo, following the coast towards Manly staying close to the shore.

And the view looking north towards the Northern beaches:

towards the Northern beaches

Click on photos to get a larger view. You can enjoy hundreds of other gorgeous sky photos here at Skywatch Friday.

Jude 2

Yay for the Australian medical system.

June 16, 2011

Today I am grateful for living in a country where medical services are freely available (in the cities anyway) and accessible by all, without being dependent on the ability to pay for those services. We have had a lot of medical expenses over the last 4-5 years and over the last year especially. I am thankful that Medicare covers the bulk of those costs (for non-Aussie readers most Australians pay a 1.5% income tax levy which funds the national health system) and our private health cover picks up a substantial portion of the rest.

I stopped counting when I got to 50 medical appointments (just for me) for 2011. My car “knows” the way to our medical practice and can get there on autopilot. So today I give thanks for a doctor who bulk bills my daughter’s visits.

Yes, I know the system has its faults. Yes, I know waiting lists in the public system are increasing and if you live in regional or remote areas, things can be very grim.  But it’s good to live in a country where a heart attack will not bankrupt you. My mother spent 6 weeks in ICU in South Africa after heart surgery (in a private hospital) and the bill was more than the value of my parents’ home. My dad never recovered from the debt.

So thank you, Dr L, for bulk billing MissN and thank you, Australia, for Medicare.

Jude 2

Skywatch Friday – a cold Mount Wellington

April 15, 2011

We spent 2 weeks in Tasmania in December and loved it. On our last morning in Hobart we drove up Mount Wellington, were amazed that we were almost IN the cloud and that there were bits of snow at the top.  We enjoyed the view (that’s where the Sydney to Hobart yacht race ends, folks) and tried to keep our hands from freezing  before driving up the coast to some beach. It was COLD up top.. probably about 3C at 9am. This is mid summer!

View from Mount Wellington

View from Mount Wellington

and here am I…

Wendy and Hobart from atop Mount Wellington

Wendy and Hobart from atop Mount Wellington

Click on photos to get a larger view.  You can enjoy hundreds of other gorgeous sky photos here.

Jude 2

Blueberry Lavender Muffins – Skywatch Friday

January 20, 2011

The last stop of our recent (December)  Tasmanian trip was Barnbougle Golf Course, near Bridport, about an hour north east of Launceston. C tried to pretend that the Tasmanian trip was for the purposes of a blissfully relaxing child-free (MissN was on exchange in China) driving holiday but no-one was fooled.  We all knew that the  purpose of the trip was for him to play golf at Barnbougle, which has been hailed as Australia’s finest golf course and one of the top 100 public-access golf courses in the world. (He also managed to get a game at the very newly opened – like 3 weeks before – adjacent Lost Farm course.  His verdict is that Barnbougle is better and that he would like to visit both again SOON.)  Hobart, Freycinet and Cradle Mountain were added to the itinerary to legitimise the golfing and make it seem as though we went to Tasmania on holiday.  (Love ya, sweetheart! You may play golf any time and place you choose,)

I don’t do golf.  I did walk around MOST of Royal Adelaide with him last April but by the 13th hole I was wilting and bailed (went to find coffee at Semaphore).  So I left him to enjoy the stunning scenery of Lost Farm and the joy of hitting two little white balls into the dunes and I headed off to Bridestowe Lavender Estate which was about half an hour’s drive away (maybe less) through pastoral scenery and the very neat and prosperous looking town of Scottsdale.  Much of Tasmania is wild or empty but this corner (patch?) is very ordered, farmed, green and quite lovely.  Like a more hilly England.

Bridestowe Lavender Estate

Bridestowe Lavender Estate

The entry fee was $7 pp (during flowering season, Dec-Jan, otherwise free) which I thought was expensive, seeing as almost everyone would spend money in either the cafe or the shop or both.  The estate was stunning scenically, the display was informative, the cafe good (I had scones with lavender cheese and lavender tea) and the shop was to die for. I restrained myself into merely buying a lavender deodorant, a bottle of essential oil (yes, it really is essential!) and a tin of culinary lavender.  You know me – if it’s an unusual ingredient, I buy it and find how to cook with it.

Bridestowe with Mount Arthur (I think!) in background

Bridestowe with Mount Arthur (I think!) in background

They had recipe cards!  I picked up a few (lavender brownies and  lavender baby cakes to be tried soon).  A batch of lavender blueberry muffins was my first attempt at cooking with lavender and they were a huge success.  The lavender flavour is very aromatic and goes perfectly with the blueberries (which can be found on special at the moment at about $3 a punnet – usually fresh blueberries are prohibitively expensive here).  It’s a moist (maybe the yoghurt?) muffin and not too sweet.  Just perfect with a cup of Darjeeling.  I will be making them again – soon.

Lavender blueberry muffins

Lavender blueberry muffins

Blueberry Lavender Muffins

(Recipe from Bridestowe Lavender Estate)

2 cups self-raising flour

1 TBS BRIDESTOWE CULINARY LAVENDER

1 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup plain yoghurt

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

2 1/2 TBS melted butter

I usually substitute spelt flour for plain flour and use soy milk but didn’t bother this time as I didn’t have a yoghurt substitute, and so the muffins wouldn’t be dairy free anyway.  Sometimes you just have to break the diet!

Lightly beat the egg and mix with the yoghurt and butter (make sure the butter has cooled and the egg and yoghurt are at room temperature or the butter will solidify).  In another bowl, mix the sieved flour, lavender, blueberries and sugar together.  Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir together.  Stir in the milk.

Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin tin.  (I use the silicone thingies…)

Bake at 190 C for approximately 20 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins.

And next morning whilst C played Barnbougle I went birdwatching on the beach

Barnbougle beach

Barnbougle beach

where I saw fairy terns with chicks and hooded plovers with chicks (both rare and endangered birds and life ticks for me) and sooty and pied oystercatchers and kelp and Pacific gulls, went walking in the wildflower reserve (where I saw more birds and numerous wallabies),  had coffee at a lovely cafe in Bridport,  and feel in love with the place.  Roll on next golf trip!

Barnbougle beach

Barnbougle beach

You can enjoy hundreds of other gorgeous sky photos here.

Jude 2

Flood relief the stitching and crafting way

January 19, 2011

Some ways you can contribute:

The Australian craft community are auctioning wonderful pieces of art and craft or having sales, raffles or giveaways with all proceeds going directly to the Queensland Flood Relief AppealHere is list of what you can bid on.  This is a great opportunity to get an amazing “piece” and give generously at the same time.

I’ve purchased a couple of (stitching) flood kits (only $10 each)  from Suzanne in Ipswich.  I’ve copied the following from Helen Stubbing’s blog:

Suzanne is making up 300 little sewing kits with help from Birch, Wildcraft Farm and myself which will have a needle,needle threader and thread cutter, thread, stabaliser, simple instructions and a design from NPNT already transferred onto fabric for those sitting in evacuation centres to keep busy, take their mind off things and have some stitching therapy. She is then making up extra kits for all of you to purchase with all profit going to the relief fund. However, she asks that you return your stitched blocks in the stamped envelope included in the kit and they will be made into finished quilts and then raffled to raise further funds. Suzanne, altho safe from the floods is in Ipswich and personally knows many who have lost their homes and even lives. She knows first hand what people are feeling and suffering and has thought carefully about how to make a difference and help.

I’m looking forward to stitching and returning my blocks (I LOVE Helen’s designs!) which will be incorporated into quilts to be raffled for funds for the Flood Appeal.  Win/win!

The flood situation in western Victoria continues to deteriorate. Praying for strength and courage for all affected and that no more lives be lost.


Jude 2

Skywatch Friday – sunset @ Freycinet on Christmas day

January 15, 2011

A new year, and a resolution to blog more frequently!

And what better way to begin 20011 than with a Skywatch Friday photo or 2… or 4…

Sunset @ Freycinet, Christmas day 2010

Sunset @ Freycinet, Christmas day 2010

We spent two weeks in Tasmania in December – our first visit.  It was special for many reasons, not least of those is that we nearly cancelled the trip 2 days prior because of some health issues I am dealing with.  But – we went, it was wonderful and we hope to visit again soon.

As well as Hobart, Cradle Mountain and Barnbougle golf course, we had 4 nights at Freycinet Lodge in Freycinet National Park.  On Christmas Day we drove up the coast (in the hopes of getting mobile phone reception so that we could call MissN who was in China on exchange) to picnic at Binalong Bay at the southern end of the Bay of Fires.

Binalong Bay

Binalong Bay

Our lunch was a picnic comprised of fruit and pastries from breakfast, cheese and a bottle of pinot noir we had bought at Freycinet Vineyard a couple of days before, and chocolate from the Christmas stocking (we didn’t exchange gifts this year).  We watched some locals dive for crayfish and abalone and later drove as far north as the Gardens.  (This area has been affected by flash flooding – the same weather system that has devastated SE Queensland, northern NSW and western Victoria – this week).   We did manage to get to speak to MissN on our way home (there is reception at Bicheno).  She was waiting (in the cold – it was about -2C there) to get a table at Pizza Hut in Tianjin with her exchange buddies.  A very different Christmas for her too!

Dinner was at the Lodge – a rather uninspired buffet.  But we had the view.. and the sunset.

Here are a couple more.

Sunset Coles Bay, Freycinet

Sunset Coles Bay, Freycinet

Coles Bay

Coles Bay

A blessed day.

You can enjoy hundreds of other gorgeous sky photos here.

Jude 2

Open House

December 16, 2010

A young man born without arms or legs who is not angry at God any longer.

A member of the Mafia deserts the Mob because of his faith.

A doctor tells how and why she and her husband went to Ethiopia and started a hospital for fistula patients.

Another doctor tells how he died for 55 minutes – and returned to life.  Obviously.  Or he wouldn’t be relating the account.

 

 

These are some of the stories in Sheridan Voysey‘s latest Open House – Volume 3, his third volume of conversations from his excellent national Open House radio program.

I loved Open House Volume 3.  The range of interviews Sheridan selected from the program are varied, but almost uniformly inspiring.  I was enthralled by Michael Franzese’s journey from mobster to living a life of faith – all through the power of the love of a faithful woman.  I have been exposed to a lot of internet “hype” about the amazing Nick Vujicic but Sheridan’s interview showed his vulnerability.  I was left with immense admiration for all Nick has accomplished but could still relate his journey to my very mundane one.

 

Joel Osteen faced probing questions from Sheridan, Caroline Jones’ unorthodox (in the Christian sense) grief reaction is handled sensitively,  and there is poignancy in Bryce Courtney’s story – surprisingly not in the account of the loss of his son from AIDS.  You will have to discover it for yourself just why.

 

Life, faith (or lack thereof) and culture.  It’s great reading.  And would make a perfect Christmas gift.

You can buy Open House Vol 3 here or in all good bookshops in Australia. Volume 3 isn’t listed on Amazon yet but you can get the earlier volumes there..

 

Get it.  Trust me on this.

 

 

Skywatch Friday – Parliament House, Canberra

September 10, 2010

It’s been a long while.. but I’m back blogging with a Skywatch Friday photo or 2.

MissN and I had a trip to Canberra (3 hours drive away) in July with Amy, her exchange sister, who is from Tianjin (near Beijing), China.  Of course, Parliament House was on the itinerary.  It was a grey, chilly day but there were patches of blue from time to time.

Here are the girls in the House of Representatives. I love the colours in the two houses. The green symbolises the eucaylpts, Australia’s dominant and defining tree.

The Senate is rose-pink – the colour of the new growth.

Parliament House is a remarkable piece of architecture.  I love it,  This is on the roof looking south.  The vertical lines are part of the huge flagpole which can be seen from many partsof Canberra and acts as a guide to which direction to go when you get lost on one of the many circuits or roundabouts!

This is from the forecourt looking towards Old Parliament House and Mount Ainslie.

And here are the girls – dressed in grey for a grey day (apart from MissN’s socks!)

You can enjoy hundreds of other gorgeous sky photos here.

Skywatch Friday – a fun Sunday afternoon at McMahon’s Point

October 23, 2009

MissN and I attended a Women’s Event at my church back in March where the men cooked for us gals and shared their recipes.  MissN has been making Simon’s Thai red curry ever since, both with fish and with chicken!  The session finished at 4 and we had 2 hours till evening service at 6 and so decided to go down to McMahon’s Point (I used to catch the ferry to and from McMahon’s Point to Drummoyne when I worked in North Sydney many years ago) and chill. We had fun!
march209 052
I love how the clouds in this photo dominate both the bridge and the Opera House! Spot the train crossing the bridge!  We watched the ferries

march209 061

and the water taxis

march209 062

MissN decided to act like a 3 year old and had fun rolling on the grass.

march209 066

and behaving like a kid.  She does that well.

march209 067

She isn’t quite grown up yet.  But then neither is her mum.

march209 068

I think we will always have fun together.

march209 056

You can see more Skywatch Friday posts here.