memory

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This is a post that I seem to have written countless times in my head. One line here, another line there. At times bursts of whole paragraphs.

Sometimes though, it’s not a post at all, sometimes it’s simply a letter. A letter to be written, reflected on, and then gently folded away. After a time, brought out again once more.

These words that I stick together in fits and bursts are words that are accompanied by so much more. There are vivid pictures, and strong seductive smells, intense inner feelings and deep hidden emotions. In there is also probably more than my fair share of nostalgia. It’s my precious memories I’m talking about, and if I stored them in suitcases I think I would have a whole mountain of them.

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I’m not the first in my family to hold on to memories like a sacred gate keeper. My grandma before me is also one too. I held her hand recently to take a picture of it. Somehow I wanted to capture a tiny portion of her own memories that she held, before I no longer could.

These hands that had lived through a depression era, a world war. Hands that had held three children as they had traipsed their way to school. For eleven grandchildren, these hands had lovingly waved and told stories of the “olden days”. Hands that had now been lucky enough, as she says, to stroke the soft cheeks of five great grandchildren.

As a woman now in her 80’s, there’s a new found fragility to those hands, which is something that I have never known before.

Something that isn’t in my memory.

In the afternoon I took the photo, holding my Grandma’s soft skinned palm, and cool fingers in my mine- I felt her memories. Every single one of them.

In that moment I wanted to say a thousand things, but I didn’t. As the memories they got stuck, and they wouldn’t, couldn’t get out of my throat. Making a jumble of my words, my grandmother, I think she knew. As she held back her own choked words. Instead, I felt the soft, delicate skin of her hand and I was simply there.

As one day, I knew she wouldn’t be… but then, neither would I.

As I type this I can hear my boys muffled giggles. Through a closed door they are trying to be quiet while their little sister sleeps the afternoon in. My small sleeping girl’s memories are just emerging, and I wonder what it will be that both her and her brothers will choose to record for their own childhood memories. Will they carry them around in the suitcases that my Grandma and I seem to do, or simply leave them to the whirl of the winds? Something to be caught, held and then thrown free again at a moments notice.

Will they have memories of being carried high on strong shoulders? Will they remember those late afternoons at the beach and the salty smell of the sea as they ran towards it?

Maybe they’ll have a very small memory of their mother quietly holding their great grandmother’s hand in a sunny room, late one morning.

Or maybe, they’ll simply look at some of my old photographs.

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If I’m lucky enough to get to my 80’s, I don’t think I would ever have too many photo’s. As we are living in such a digital age, my collection of photographs continues to get bigger and bigger. How could it not though? For nostalgic kind of people like me, well photos are a pretty wonderful tool. 

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been lucky enough to be loaned an Olympus OM-D E-M10 for a trial period of a couple of months, and I’ve loved seeing some of the things I can do with it, capturing some of those moments that I want to remember.

There’s an always growing collection of many photograph piles and files, along with my instagram account. So many of those little seemingly small insta squares have now got a little memory attached to it like a post it note on a fridge. My kids flick through them, making comment, like the way I used to do to our family photo albums when I was their age. (With this camera there is a nifty wifi function that can switch your pics to any social media or email to doting grandparents as well.)

Being a compact little camera it’s an easy one to carry around in my regular every day bag, rather than carry around something bigger and separate. And, if you like to edit your photos a bit, there are also Art Filter options- which can be done easily either in camera, or afterwards via the Olympus app on your phone.

Sometimes I use this function, and other times I just leave it as it is. As a raw moment.

A captured memory. 

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loving… doors, dinosaurs, biscuits and coffee

secret door ways || cityhippyfarmgirl

 Loving…

secret leafy doorways that lead into secret leafy walled gardens. (If you never read The Secret Garden as a child, you really should get it from local library. The magic of gardens should never be underestimated.)

good coffee || cityhippyfarmgirlLoving…

coffee dates with friends. Just like leafy gardens, the magic of coffee should also never be underestimated. anzac biscuits || cityhippyfarmgirl

Loving…

a baking rack full of cooling Anzac Biscuits on wintry afternoons.

dinosaurs at dusk || cityhippyfarmgirl Loving…

Playing with dinosaurs at dusk, because really, how could you not love that?

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What have you been loving?

[“Often life’s pleasures pass us by simply because we don’t take a moment to focus on them… Make a point of noticing everyday something that uplifts your spirit or tickles your heart… Stop to breathe in the joy of this moment and then tell someone about it. Share your joy and revel in it. When your joy is savoured, and then shared, it is magnified…” ROBIN GRILLE]

 

 

 

Winter’s Song

winter sun || cityhippyfarmgirl

winter || cityhippyfarmgirl

If winter had a song it would be deep and slow.

A song that gets carried around in coat pockets,

slowly warming cold fingers.

A lone violin, a methodical drum.

Music that gives pause and time for reflection.

A song with the sounds of muffled whispers, crunching footsteps

and grainy long grey shadows.

A solo tune that echoes into the dark night

music that is slowly swayed to in colourful knitted socked feet,

and listened to on plump fluffed up blankets.

wintry tree || cityhippyfarmgirl

 

Favourite

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cityhippyfarmgirl.com

(For this post I am lucky enough to be playing with a different little camera that has been loaned to me from Olympus.)

I never had a favourite toy when I was growing up. I liked some over others sure, but a favourite? Not really. I had books instead, and they were all my favourites- Every. Single. One. Of those pages.

One of my kids so far is taking after me in that regard. Reading all of those delicious pages. At each turn, a new story, a different tale, another adventure…a new favourite. I love the fact that this unlocks so much of his imagination.

While books are also firm favourites for my other boy child. I can see that he’s drawn in a different way. An energy, a call, a different direction. This is the boy who loves running, and drawing and jumping, (with more running.)

Then there is this one. The smallest of the pack. The feisty, wild cub, where everything is a favourite. A favourite with an intensity that only a two year old can show.

favourites || cityhippyfarmgirl

shaping the dough || cityhippyfarmgirl

On instagram recently there was talk of favourite cameras and favourite lens. Alas, as a blogger and keen taker of pictures- this really is one of my favourite topics. (Along with the topics of real food, homebirth, sourdough baking and why I really would like to have some Scandinavian heritage.)

I still feel like I’m on the outer edge of the photography pool, I keep splashing on the edge but it’s the deep end I’m really after. Slinging metaphors aside, and it was back to the instagram conversation of lenses. From another blogger or instagrammers perspective this is fascinating stuff as this is how so many of us are telling our day to day digital stories and sharing it with the world. A camera of some sort is a necessary tool.

For me the dslr world opened nearly two years ago and I’ve loved every second within it. Then there is instagram and within that it feels like another whole world of picture-taking…. so many apps, so little time. (And then in walked the Olympus, and ooh aah indeed. This little camera seems to marry photography and social media platforms ridiculously easily with built in wifi…it still bends my mind a little.)

One of my favourite photography things to look at it is when people, give the photo specs of what they did in a particular shot. f stop, ISO, and whether they pressed the button with their nose or not. I love knowing it all, every little bit of it. ( And *ahem* yes, occasionally the nose is needed.)

photography favourites || cityhippyfarmgirl

14mm- 42mm ISO 400 f3.5 1/250

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THE GEEKY BITS

I have been loaned the Olympus OM-D E-M10 for a couple of months. It’s a rather nifty little camera that I’m just a little bit excited to be playing with. Below I’m going to add some of those nifty things that it does- As there is going to be at least one person out there reading who wants to invest in a camera, doesn’t know what to buy, and is slowly going cross eyed with reading online reviews.* While this is by no means a review, for this post and a further two more I’ll mention a few of the features.

Wifi- No adaptors, no cords, no dropbox, no emailing yourself a picture. It’s there to your phone. In a magical Wifi-the-Fairy type kinda way.

It’s little- Cute, petite, tiny and tres chic. Call it what you will, it’s not going to be breaking your back or neck like some hefty DSLR’s do.

Little means discreet- Street photography is something I’m slowly developing a bigger interest in. It scares the hell out of me, but I’m ok with that- It’s kind of good to do something that pushes me. Using a smaller camera but not compromising on the quality of the shots makes getting shots like these ones, a whole lot easier for me, (and a huge thank you to the kind young men for happily saying, yes.)

street photography || cityhippyfarmgirl

* And you should research these kind of things. That way you know what exactly you are getting and what you can do with it before you hand over your hard earned coins.

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Now indulge me in the comments… What lenses, apps or photography tricks do you use? What are your favourites? Go on, lets geek talk.

last swim

last swim || cityhippyfarmgirl Six months ago, I had promised myself I would swim on the first weekend of winter.

This year, I wanted to know when my last swim would be. Not for the season to have simply just stopped and trickled away. I also wanted a challenge. I wanted it to be dark and cold. As that’s what swimming in winter should be like, shouldn’t it?

The clouds were dark, the water was coolish, and every stroke of that first weekend in winter swim was divine. But now that I had made it to the first weekend of winter, maybe I should push it a little further? Second month of winter?

Or, should I just keep going though out the year? No more chickening out because the water is a bit cool for my delicate constitution. (Perhaps I could be one day brave enough for this?)

last swim || cityhippyfarmgirl

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cityhippyfarmgirl.com

While the water was certainly cooler than last time I had been in, it wasn’t as cool as I thought it would be. 21C isn’t exactly arctic waters.

The outside air temperature was also cooler than the sea temp, but only recently so. This month just gone by was abnormally warm, not just here in Sydney but across a fair chunk of Australia.

Is what we have to look forward to in our future?

While some people rejoice in that they get to wear their summer clothing almost all year long, this kind of weather scares the hell out of me.

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Climate Council- Abnormal Autumn

Plants confused by extra warm autumn

in the mess of my kitchen lies…

sticky cupboard doors and splattered bench tops,

but look beyond that and you’ll find

marmalade || cityhippyfarmgirl

 a few jars of lime marmalade

sweet dough || cityhippyfarmgirl

Apple and sultana dough ready to be divided into rolls. Easy thing to go into lunch boxes for small ravernous people.

Christmas Tea || cityhippyfarmgirl

Tea. Not just any tea either but Christmas Tea. Now I’m not known for straying from my favourite tea, (as it’s the best and why would I?) But Christmas Tea? Well I had to give it a crack didn’t I. And bought in one of the best country bakeries I’ve been to in Nimmitabel.

apple crumble || cityhippyfarmgirl

The winter staple of Apple Crumble is back. Taking pictures of said apple crumble must be done in haste. Or small airplanes are discarded and sticky little fingers attack. And quickly too.

pears || cityhippyfarmgirl

Seasonal pears are lining up.

smokey eggplant || cityhippyfarmgirl

And if I wanted to avoid the mess inside, I just send it outside… I do love eating outside. All the rules are left at the backdoor. I like that.

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What’s been happening in your kitchen lately?

Linking in with the kitchen Queen Celia.

 

First Light

rising || cityhippyfarmgirlthinking spot || cityhippyfarmgirl

If I was starting another blog from scratch again, I think I would name it something watery like “Webbed Feet”….well, maybe not that one. Maybe, “The Old Sea Dog”. A blog entirely made up of photos and stories from the sea. A tiny corner to put my salty thoughts, and damp wonderings.

In lieu of having another blog entirely dedicated for my love of the ocean, I do get to sooth my cool water needs with some posts within here and reading this beautiful magazine– Great Ocean Quarterly.

If there is a part of you that yearns for the ocean, a desire for sand beneath toes, rocks by your side and a secret tiny longing for a merpersons tail, than this the magazine for you.*

It’s divine. Every. Single. Page.

There is no other magazine like it.

For the blog readers here, who are also salty people of the sea. This link is for you. A peek into how the article First Light was done in the magazines first edition.

Magic. Pure salty tinged magic.

 

* I get nothing for mentioning this beautiful magazine, except for the knowledge, that I’ve passed on to someone else who also likes the feeling of dipping their toes into the salty wet good stuff. 

That morning, with Ben Lowy

cityhippyfarmgirl

That morning, with Ben Lowy

Yes, I fell in love again.

Not with Ben, (although he is charming, witty and lovely) but with photography. Madly, truly, deeply- all the cliches that I can bundle together.

It was seven kinds of awesome, it really was.

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cityhippyfarmgirl.com

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Thank you Ben.

If you are in Sydney see here for more Head On photo festival goodness while it is still on.