I have just published a new lengthy post about my early childhood and connection with Nature at http://vickialfordnatureblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/living-with-nature/
“I believe we are all born with an affinity with Nature.
But it’s the location of our birth that determines whether we are fortunate to Live with Nature (or between the jagged skyline of cities and large towns). It’s the education of our mind that encourages the ongoing development of that affinity. It’s the stimulation of our early childhood play that encourages our path to seek out Nature in all her beauty. It may be a simple walk with our parents down the beach (if close by), or a stroll through nearby hills and mountains (if we are luckier enough to live in close proximity). Or even childhood playground adventures in a public park or garden (in the inner city).
In my case, growing up in one of Melbourne’s outer eastern suburbs surrounded by rugged bushland and dusty roads (well over 50 years ago), I was encouraged to get outside and play in the fresh air. And yes, our own 1/4 acre block where my Father build our first family home and my Mother created an enormous flower and vegetable garden, was really on a very steep slope as shown in the early image below. My 88 year old Father was telling me the story of my parents early courtship after they bought………………………….(you can read more at my Living with Nature blog.
My second new Blog, Living with Nature, is now up and running - layout still to be refined, but I’m sure you will appreciate my love of the natural world reflected in the header image.
Hopefully it will have some new images in the near future.
Feel free to follow it at http://vickialfordnatureblog.wordpress.com if you have enjoyed my images of birds, flowers, animals. gardens and coastal beaches in the past..
I forgot to change my new WordPress PhotoBlog from ‘Private‘ to ‘Public‘.
Fixed it now, though.
I haven’t finished setting up widgets (& gadgets) and design yet, but I’d be delighted if someone started to follow vickialford.wordpress.com.
Someone let me know if you can’t view it now, please.
(of course there’s no new photos yet, but need a few days before I get out & about to make some new images.
I’ve decided to close this blog down in the coming months and start afresh.
I will have two new blogs, (at least), maybe even a third. The first which I’ve just set up is under my real name and is located at http://vickialford.wordpress.com. I’ve temporarily inserted a Header photo (which I’ll replace when I make a better photo of Melbourne) and started it off with an old Black & White image. Not sure yet, but I would like to make this site Black & White only I think. Not sure as I’ve made a couple of good colour street photos recently which is leaving me tossing from B & W to Colour in a juggling act this afternoon. I’ve been meaning to do this for quite some time anyway.
The second PhotoBlog with a different template and Nature theme is not set up yet, but I’ve decided which template to use. I did have thoughts of leaving WordPress.com ’cause it’s hiccoughs annoy the heck out of me, but the reality is that I haven’t the energy or computer skills to set up a more professional looking website at the moment.
The third site might be about life in general - Mind, Body & Spirit connections perhaps – maybe a few words of wisdom I’ve learnt along my travels or health journey. I’d better not get too ambitious. I’ll let you know on this blog before I close it down.
These new sites will be mainly photos with no, (or minimal), words initially.
So, if you follow me because of my writing or sense of humour, you may well be disappointed. If you enjoy hearing about my nature walks and bird observations, you will have to wait until I set up the second blog. But I just don’t wish to spend so much time on the computer (as I said in a previous post) – hopefully this will be a more balanced way to share my Love of Photography, Nature, Street Photography & Living Mindfully in Retirement.
I will also be reducing my blog following to only an occasional look at all those wonderful blogs I follow for the time being, until my health improves. The last 10 days have really ‘knocked the stuffing out of me‘, health-wise.
Food photography? Well, that will stay on the back burner for the time being. I’ve given it a try and while mouthwateringly delicious at times, it is damn hard work. My admiration and ‘hat goes off ‘to all you professional Food Photographers. I was taking 50-60 photos to score just one ‘keeper’.
Posts will be a little more irregular for a while.
I think you’ll all agree I’ve improved dramatically since I took up Photography in May 2010 and then bought a DSLR in December 2011, but like all things in Life, you can never stop learning & growing in education, experience and Vision – shame my actual eyesight is deteriorating, but it really only takes practice, practice and more practice to learn how to compensate for this (as some of my photos have shown).
I hope you keep with me in my new directions, but the choice is yours of course. You can follow just ‘one path’ or ‘all paths’ (or even…………not at all).
Just a brief update. Well, not brief. I wasn’t known for being concise in my working life – I’m definitely not concise in retirement.
An emergency dash to the local hospital ER via ambulance last Sunday (the second ambulance ride in 1 week) and 5 days in hospital being prodded and poked, jabbed and stabbed, being medicated (orally and intravenously), x-rayed & ultra sounded continually (as my condition changed), resulted in one of the worst health experiences of my life.
Back surgery in 2008 was a pushover in comparison to a lower intestine blockage which was stopping all liquid/food. I think I’ve lost 4-5 kilos in 4 days – not a pleasant ‘diet’ I can assure you. The worst news is that it could happen again (as they’re not sure whether scar tissue from my 2001 gall bladder surgery wasn’t part/all of the cause - investigation is needed).
Home yesterday afternoon and feeling 97% better in the sheer Bliss of Silence and the comfort of my own wee Nest this morning – (if a little tired). I only got all the tubes out and allowed home with a promise of returning immediately if I deteriorated even the slightest (as I live only 10 minutes away from this major hospital).
But what I want to talk about this afternoon is finding Balance in our Lives – specifically my life.
I think a little of my life got out of Balance in the last 6 months. Like a starving wild dog, I’ve been devouring more and more blogs and photography websites in the hope of finding some sort of direction and inspiration in my Photography Life. I’d lost Balance and Pacing in my day. (and this is nothing to do with the time I spent setting up a Photo Library this year).
Sometimes we yearn for the Ultimate in our Hobbies (when in actual fact, Average may well be………….Enough!). We strive for Perfection……….. (when, we don’t need to Win the Race).
I love the interaction of the Blogging community and have found some great friends through WordPress (and beyond). I certainly am grateful for all the support when my intermittent health takes a dive for the worst.
But lying in a hospital bed watching the magnificent colours of the sun rise over Melbourne’s city skyline for a few days, (yes, I had a perfect view by only turning my head slightly towards the window on my left), gave me time for Reflection. I’ve allowed my Life to get a little out of Balance. I hadn’t kept as close an eye of my health as I should have.
I need to slow down some more.
So I’m going to retreat a little more out of the Blogasphere. I know 3-4 people follow me because that just like hearing about my walks or day outdoors. But the reality is that I’m spending too much time on the computer and not even enough time on other pastimes (as well as Photography outdoors). I think I have mentioned this before (more than once, recently).
I want to get back to reading a little more (which I’d found too hard in recent times – well, harder than when I had contact lenses and better eyesight – but believe it or not, I read 2 books in the last few days which my kind neighbour bought in off my travel/philosophy book shelf for me – well they weren’t hard books to read anyway – Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung by Ajahn Brahm is my ‘go to’ book of some 108 stories for welcoming life’s difficulties, filled with cockney humour and some laugh-out-loud entertainment and spiritual uplift – it’s getting rather dog-eared as I’ve read and shared since I first bought it in May 2007).
I want to delve in to more of the of the Nature Writers of the Past. I want to do a bit more study on the early 20th century Black and White street photographers too. I had already ordered books on both subjects before all this health drama occurred.
I am going to share just the occasional image and read the occasional blog (while I rest some more and find my true ‘Balance’).
I’m just going to Change my Tune and Play On – after all, Life is but a Journey – it’s not the direction or path one chooses that is important – it’s the very act of Travelling that makes Life a Joy.
I was feeling a little ‘seedy’ as I set off late Tuesday morning.
A Short walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens (to record some of the last flower names I needed for my totally re-organised Photo Library), a tram to a medical appointment (far too early, but I wasn’t feeling well enough to do more more walking in the warmth of the afternoon sun), and then a tram ride into Melbourne’s CBD to do some quick street photography.
I started to feel a bit dizzy, so decided to just take some random street shots on the way to the tram stop and go home – (you will have seen most of these subjects and locations before) – they are of, quite literally, anything that I walked past.
Anyway, without too much detail, an early Wednesday trip to the local Hospital ER at 2.30am and most of the day in hospital with numerous tests, then home and an early night has left me still a little unwell. So I’ll be off the computer for a while.
This post is about Melbourne’s inner CBD (central business district) at that time when office workers are heading for home and the cafes and restaurants are empty, before the night-time diners start their evening socialising. You’ll notice most of the dark alleyway cafes are closing down and the bright cafe lights are gone.
This is my inner Melbourne city between about 4.30pm and 6.00pm.
I’m taking a short break from Blogging, Blog Following and Photography while I attend to some health matters.
It’s called a Computer-free holiday.
In the meantime……....Slow down and Take the time to smell the Roses. Ensure you spend some time each day doing what makes you Happy.
Your ‘number’ may be up sooner than you think.
My thoughts and sympathy are for the families and friends of those who lost their lives on Malaysian Airlines 370 (and all the other natural and man-made tragedies around the world these days).
Hopefully, when I get back online, I’ll have some new subjects & locations to share.