Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Rose Garden

These are some pictures of roses. They are from our backyard and elsewhere. Enjoy.


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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Flower and Bee

I had recently signed up for a Flickr account and learnt how to put up a slideshow of some of the photos that I'd taken.
Check this out.



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Sunday, September 24, 2006

In the Neighbourhood

Do not be fooled by its quietness, our neighbourhood is a pretty busy place.



There is often a pigeon roosting on our roof gutter, cooing and crooing away.








We found a spider measuring about 10 cm on our toilet door the other night, and had to chase it out of the house with a broom.








Spiders aren't the only 'spooky' creatures on the prowl at night. We found a rather large 'worm' in the house too.




And not forgetting the flowers of course.
Well although they don't make any noise, they sure get my darling of a wife all excited about them.
  
         The 'bottle brush'                         Close-up




   An iris in our backyard









   and Blue Rose







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Saturday, September 23, 2006

It's Show Time

The Royal Adelaide Show.
A show that had kids acting up in school in the weeks leading to it and one week after they had been to it.
And a show that makes parents hit the depths of their emotions (and their pockets).

I had never known there to be so much excitement over any show and had to see it for myself.

There were pig races.

             Oink! Oink! Time to pig out after all that exercise!

There were animals (alpacas, cows, horses) and animal shows.
 
               moo...


Someone obviously did not agree with my views about Animal Farm.

You could also select and buy the animals on sale there.
There were competitions, eg wood-cutting.
Thrills and spills from motorbike stunts.
 Vroom...
 Vroom...Vroom... and
 Oops, another one bites the dust.

Game booths, food, vendors selling all kinds of things - from recuitment booths set up by the Army to jacuzzis and school enrolment booths.
And to top it all, a Big Boy Ballet - a precision, synchronised 'dance' performed by 4 Bobcat vehicles.


        Who said mechanical movements and ballet don't mix?


Of course, the happiest people are the kids and those young-at-heart.
They get to buy show bags like
     
                    this                         and this.

It was also the first occasion I tried out my new camera.
And I must say I hadn't done justice to it on my first try.

I will be back.

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Monday, September 04, 2006

Fathers' Day Gift

I had a most wonderful experience shopping for my digital camera over the weekend.

My current digital camera is about 3-4 years old now.
3 MP. Still works fine.
Only problem is that the proprietary rechargeable batteries run dry pretty quickly.
Probably reaching the end of its shelf life.
Oh all right, I also could not resist the temptations of the many new cameras with 5-8 MP.

So, I had been looking out for a good deal for a reasonable digital camera for a while.
And thank God for Fathers' Day.
All the Departmental stores were selling their digital cameras cheap.

I went to the first shop advertising a Kodak Z650 for $398.10x optical zoom, 6.1 MP.
I thought it was a pretty good deal.

Well, so did everyone else, it seems.
The camera was sold out in all its outlets within a 30 km radius of where I live.

I went to the next store advertising this for $399.
Again, they were also sold out.
This time, the entire chain is out.

Feeling pretty depressed, I went to another store advertising this for $473.
Not so much to buy it as to look at and touch the camera as I haven't had a chance to see the actual camera so far.

As it turned out, the store was having a 20%-storewide discount (except digital cameras).
But, the salesman must have made a mistake for he told me that the 20% applied to the cameras too.
So, having been promised a 20% discount, I was naturally 'shocked' at the bill of $473 when I paid for the camera at the counter.

I sought out the salesman for clarifications. He called his manager. After some discussion, the store honoured the offer made by the salesman.
And I got the camera for $392 - cheaper than any of the other stores.

Now, how good is that?




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Friday, August 04, 2006

Cherry Blossom

“Look, darling, what beautiful cherry blossoms!”

I turned around in the direction of my wife’s exclamation and saw a 3-m tall tree, magnificent with very pale pink flowers.

What a strange sight, I thought.
The entire tree is bare except for the cherry blossoms.


“Hmm, if you were a cherry blossom, what colour would you be?”, my darling of a wife looked expectantly at me.

I froze.
How the hell am I supposed to know?
I’m just a bloke, not a bloody flower!

“Hmm, that’s a good one. I suppose I would have to be something less feminine, wouldn’t I? And pink is definitely not my colour”, I responded thoughtfully - brows knit, eyes squinting - buying time.

“I think you would have to be the plain old vanilla one,” volunteered my darling of a wife.

Phew.
That was close.
Just as I was wondering where that was supposed to be heading, another even more terrifying question came:

“And do you know what colour I would be?”

Now, had I been younger, I might have simply dismissed the question.
But, having been married long enough now, I know never to underestimate the potency of such ‘silly’ questions.
Oh no, don’t you ever dare dismiss such questions.
Or you’re toast.

The answers to such questions are a reflection of how well you know her.
The problem is, the longer we have been together, the lesser confidence I feel of answering them correctly!
Women seemed to change their minds so quickly.
Barely had they made up their minds before they changed it again.

My brow broke out in cold sweat in the 12-degree air.

“Of course, darling! You cannot be the plain old vanilla. In fact, I think you would be the most brilliant of pink, radiating with vitality and livening up the surroundings.”

I kept my fingers crossed that there are indeed such varieties of cherry blossoms.
But, I need not have worried. A wide smile flashed across her face. Apparently satisfied with my answer, we continued our way to the supermarket for our weekend groceries-shopping.

It seems there are varieties of cherry blossoms that are bright pink.


Besides being a ubiquitous symbol of Japan, the cherry blossom (‘sakura’ in Japanese) is also a metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life. Its flowers bloom and fall within a week before the leaves sprout. In Japan, there are daily forecasts of cherry blossoms during the flowering season in early spring. Thousands of Japanese take this opportunity to have a nice picnic under the cherry blossoms.

How apt, I thought.
Life is short.
We should make the most of its every moment.
I’m going to have a cherry tree in our garden. The next time it blossoms, I shall be ready.
Imagine sipping a nice glass of wine, over some cheese and crackers, under the beautiful flowers, soaking up the cool spring sunshine, taking in the crisp fresh air.
Heavenly…


“Look, darling. What lovely peach blossoms!”

I came straight back to Earth.

As I turned to look at the peach blossoms, I whipped out the notebook from the back pocket of my jeans. Turning to the page with the heading “Trees for the backyard (as indicated by Darling)”, I crossed out the last line and wrote:

138. Cherry Blossom
139. Peach

Life.
Ephemeral indeed.


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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Clouds


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