Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. My passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography.
Most recently I have been enjoying exploring other art genres, including Eco-dyeing.
I hope you enjoy scrolling through my blog. To visit other pages, please click on the tabs above, or go to my Blog Archive on the side bar. Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of any of my posts. I value your messages and look forward to hearing from you.If you like my work, and would like to buy a print, or commission me for some work, please go to my "contact me" tab.
Thank you for visiting my blog and helping me "step into the light".

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Monday, 21 May 2018

Mauritius Pamplemousses gardens

In May 2016 we had a week's holiday in Mauritius in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa. I realised I didn't bring any photos to you, so today I am sharing with you some photos from the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botantic Gardens in Pamplemousses. 


Covering an area of about 37 hectares the garden dates back to the French period of Mauritian history. In 1736, the French Governor, Mahe de Labourdonnais, chose to set up his domain around the present main gate of the garden. In 1767 the French Intendant Pierre Poivre, the creator of the garden, introduced vegetables, fruits, flowers and spices from all over the world. 

Today the garden is famed as being the oldest Botanic Garden in the southern hemisphere. The garden has a collection of rare and magnificent plant species brought in from around the world and also plants native to Mauritius. Several areas of the garden have been created to house medicinal plants, endemic flora, spices and ferns, as well as orchids. 

There are over 80 species of palms throughout the garden.


One of the main attractions is the water lily pond which features the giant water lily - Victoria amazonicawhich was first introduced to the garden in 1927.

Native to tropical South America, Victoria amazonica was first discovered in Bolivia in 1801 and named Eurgale amazonica . It was subsequently moved to a new genus named in honour of Queen Victoria (originally as Victoria regia ). In South America it grows in the backwaters of rivers in the Amazon basin, the Guianas and the Pantanal.


The enormous circular leaves, which grow to over 2.5 m across, have upturned rims and are anchored by long stalks arising from an underground stem buried in the mud of the river bottom.The spectacular flowers are relatively short-lived, lasting only 48 hours or so.


Another pond features the Indian lotus - Nelumbo nucifera 



The garden attracts around 250,000 visitors annually and is one of the main attractions of the island. Its shady paths and quiet pools are a welcome respite from the heat of the busy streets. If you visit Mauritius you certainly must add it to your list of places to visit.




Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this little look at the garden.  I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.  

You might also be interested to know that there are several endemic species of hibiscus in Mauritius, and these colourful plants are a favourite in Mauritian gardens.  

You can learn more about the giant water lily here - Kew Science - Plants of the world online

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

If you are a blogger you can also link your blog to Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global. 






Monday, 14 May 2018

Autumn and a healthy delicious fruit & nut bar

It is autumn going into winter here. Our Australian trees don't loose their leaves in autumn, but I love going down to the Balingup Golden Valley Tree Park where there are trees from all around the world turning their leaves from every hue from yellow, orange to red and purple.



I've blogged about the Balingup Tree Park before - if you would like to revisit....
Autumn in Western Australia - 2017
Autumn, season of change - 2016
Autumn in the Golden Valley Tree Park - 2015



 Autumn is the time when our minds turn to baking, and making soup. 

I found this delicious and easy fruit and nut bar recipe last year shared by Roxy at So Vegan.  The colours remind me of autumn.



 I've made it a couple of times since then and thought I would share it with you here with some of my own notes added in. 

Do adapt recipes? I do it often if I don't have exactly the ingredients they ask for. I think, just give it a go...

Ingredients:
1 cup oats
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (I accidentally bought pepitas, but they were fine)
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats (I couldn't find any, so I substituted the same amount of plain flour which worked fine if you are not worried about gluten) (So Vegan recommends just using more oats or another grain) (another reader suggested spelt)
1/2 cup raisins (sultanas are fine)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup soft dried apricots (or you could use dates)
1/4 cup maple syrup (or you could use honey)
1/4 cup water

Note:  Buckwheat Groats can be found in the kosher section of your supermarket, if you have one. They are called Kasha. It is not wheat but a berry. There is no gluten. 



Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Spread out the oats, pumpkin seeds and almonds evenly on the tray, then roast for 10 minutes in the preheated oven.
  3. Meanwhile, put the softened apricots, maple syrup and water in a blender and blend until completely smooth, then transfer to a mixing bowl. Note: I found that I needed to soften the apricots by cooking in the maple syrup and water first before I blended them)
  4. Next, add the buckwheat groats, raisins and cranberries to the bowl.   
  5. Remove the baking tray from the oven and leave to cool, but leave the oven switched on. After cooling, transfer the roasted oats, pumpkin seeds, and almonds to the large mixing bowl. Mix all together. The mixture needs to be sticky. (I added a little extra water)
  6. Line a 7” x 7” square cake tin (I just used my usual 9 x 13" rectangle slice tin) with baking paper, then transfer the mixture into the tin. Smooth over the top using the back of a spoon, pushing down to make sure the mixture is compact. Make sure you push down as firmly as possible to prevent the bars from falling apart when you slice them into bars. (this is very important)
  7. Place the baking tin in the oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove the tin from the oven and leave the energy bars to cool completely. Note: the energy bars might crumble if you try to slice them before they have cooled completely.
  9. Cut into bars 
So there you have it. Delicious! 


I love making slices. They seem much quicker to make than biscuits or cookies. Do you have a favorite nutritious easy make slice? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in your comments. 

You might also like:
What's baking in your house?
Making Anzac biscuits

Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

If you are a blogger you can also link your blog to Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global.




Monday, 7 May 2018

Where would you like to fly to?


Where would you like to fly to? Flying can take you to far away lands and exciting new cultural experiences, but do you like the long haul flight to get there, or would you rather travel somewhere that is only just a short hop away? I don't like long haul flights as I don't sleep. I wish I could. Do you have any tips for sleeping on a long haul flight? I would love to hear from you if you do! 

I call the above pic my Himalayas image. I took it one very early morning flying somewhere over that part of the world on the way back from Paris about 12 years ago. And no I hadn't slept, but I loved this scene with the early morning sun and the mountain tops peeping through the clouds. If I'd been asleep I would have missed it! And bonus! I had a window seat!

We haven't done a lot of international travel, but here are a few links to posts I've written about places we have been to (including some across Australia trips - Western Australia, where we live, is the most isolated state in Australia....) 

 

Remembering Africa
Remembering beautiful Paris


Penang travel tips for the first timer
The breaktaking world of Gardens by the Bay, Singapore


Icons of Sydney, Australia
Searching for Platypus and great short walks in Tasmania, Australia


Where was your last trip that you flew to? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in your comments.  

Have and great week and happy travels. 


Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

If you are a blogger you can also link your blog to Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global.






Monday, 30 April 2018

April Randoms

Can you believe it is the end of April already? I'm not sure where it has disappeared to. In the southern hemisphere we are enjoying the cooler days of autumn, while in the north you are, I hope, reveling in the spring sunshine. I've compiled a few of my April randoms, with a few links to previous posts if you care to look over there.

April is: 

Quinces - stewing delicious quinces "which they ate with a runcible spoon". Autumn is the time when the quinces ripen and are available in our local farmer's market. Have you tasted them? You can't eat them raw, but cooked they are delicious! We have just planted a quince tree, and I am so looking forward to picking my own quinces in the future! The quince is an old orchard variety that is making a comeback. 
I've blogged about them before here - The quince, the symbol of love in ancient Greece and Rome and And slices of quince which they ate with a runcible spoon



 Lillypillys - Lilly Pillys are a native evergreen rain forest Australian plant. There are several varieties. Early inhabitants used them as a food source. We have one growing in our front yard, and it was only a year or so ago that I made Lilly Pilly jam for the first time. Delicious!  Making Lilly Pilly jam, an Australian bush tucker delight

New season oranges in my garden


 As autumn creeps in 



 And as the result of a writer's group homework topic I delighted in returning to a book I loved as a child - Milly Molly Mandy

Back in the early 1960s, I think the Milly Molly Mandy books lead me into loving reading. Oh how I wanted to climb into that hand-drawn map at the beginning of the book and have adventures with MMM, her little friend Susan, and Billy Blunt.  MMM lived in an English village with her mother, father, grand-mother, grand-father, aunt and uncle in a "nice white cottage with a thatched roof". Their adventures were much more exciting than mine ever were. In one particular book they even held a tea party and camped out in the Meadow and found a baby hedgehog in the Woods! (amongst other amazing adventures) Things I could never imagine doing in my suburban house in the city.
First appearing in 1925 this delightful series of books were written and illustrated by Joyce Lankester Brisley

Mum had a travelling library van visit, and in the school holidays we could borrow a book. Oh the excitement I felt as the man opened the back door to reveal the books for my age group. What book made you fall in love with reading? I found this related post about MMM at Books are my favourite and best


In April I went to see at the cinema the newly released movie: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Society. Written by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, it is one of my favourite books, so I was very excited to go and see the movie with some ladies from my writer's group. The movie was every bit as good as the book is and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. I must now reread the book!
It is written as a series of letters in 1946 between a London-based writer and the residents of the island of Guernsey, which was German-occupied during WWII. If you have never read it I can highly recommend you do.


Autumn is a beautiful weather to go walking


 Although these young guys preferred to be surfing on the backwash at the rocks - Adrenalin rush versus madness? 
This last weekend has been busy for sport in our town with a week long Australian beach volley ball competition, a 2 day running and sprints competition, parcor competition and display, and an outrigger ocean racing competition.  Making the most of the autumn weather.


I also had a stall at an art fair at the Stirling Street Arts Centre. It was a quiet day for all the stall holders, but still it was good to be able to promote my work. Below here you can see the leaf prints I've been doing lately. One lady bought two! Thank you!


And practiced my castanet playing!


Thank you so much for stopping by. What have you being doing in April? Perhaps you'd like to tell us in your comments.
I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.


If you are a blogger you can link up to Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global right here:





Monday, 23 April 2018

25th April - Anzac Day - when we remember them

"At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."



These words are said every Anzac Day across Australia and New Zealand, and wherever Australians and New Zealanders gather for services on 25 April. 
(The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) )

The words come from the poem For the Fallen, written by the English poet and writer Robert Laurence Binyon in mid September 1914, a few weeks after the outbreak of the First World War. It was published in London in The Times on 21 September 1914 and a couple of months later in the "Winnowing Fan; Poems of the Great War" in 1914. 

Below is the fourth stanza of Binyon's poem, which we now know as The Ode. It has been used at commemoration services in Australia since 1921 and is also sung as a hymm.

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."

Every year it seems the crowds at Anzac Day Dawn Services and marches increase as people remember those who went to war and paid the ultimate sacrifice, and those that returned home broken in body and mind.  Not only at the Australian War Memorial in our capital city Canberra, but at smaller ceremonies and memorials throughout Australia. 

And at the same time remembering those that have served overseas or are still serving overseas in more recent conflicts.  And who return home to their families as different people to those that left. When will we ever learn the futility of war and the loss that it brings. There surely must be a better way.

Below you can see one of two remembrance walls at the Australian War Memorial where are recorded on bronze panels the names of 102,000 Australians who have died in conflicts. On one of these two walls you can find the name of your family member and place a poppy beside their name, as we did when we visited. This is the closest we can come to their burial place, so it was a moving experience to be able to do this.




A couple of years ago I set out to find a photo of my father's uncle, my great-uncle, Norman Albert Clayden, who was killed at the age of 19 in the first few days of the Gallipoli campaign in 1915. I am very happy to say that recently I was able to make contact with a distant relative who had two photos of Norman which she sent to me. 

I see Norman looking so proud in these images, and I wonder what were the dreams and aspirations this young man had for his life.  Instead his name is on the Lone Pine Cemetery memorial at Gallipoli with many thousands of others. I do not know if he has a known burial site. The Lone Pine memorial names more than 4,900 Australian and New Zealand servicemen who died at Gallipoli.

My sister and her husband visited Gallipoli several years ago and found Norman's name on the memorial.



  I volunteer one morning a week at our local primary school library. There are many excellent picture books for children about Anzac Day and conflicts where Australian's have served. I found one last week titled "Lone Pine". Written by Susie Brown and Margaret Warner and illustrated by Sebastian Graffaglione, it tells the story of the Gallipoli lone pine, and how a pine cone from the tree was sent home to Australia by Benjamin Smith, an Australian soldier, and how it came to arrive in Canberra. Since then thousands of new trees cultivated from the seeds of trees cultivated from this one pine cone are now planted in memorial gardens and schools all over Australia.  In 1990 a group of Anzac veterans returned to Gallipoli to plant two of these trees.



As I stand with my head bowed and tears on my cheeks in the early morning light at the Anzac Day Dawn service I think of Norman who's life was taken from him at Gallipoli and my husband's uncle, Richard Ramsden, who died in a prisoner of war camp in 1943 in Burma in World War 2 and lies in the Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery in Myanmar. 

I wrote more about these two young men here - Anzac Day 2017
And more about Anzac memorial's here - Anzac Day - we will remember them

For more about Australian Anzac Day traditions, please click here - Anzac Day Traditions
More about the Lone Pine at the Australian War Memorial - Australian War Memorial

Thank you for stopping by today. Do you have someone you remember on Anzac Day?

I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.


If you are a blogger you can link up to Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global right here!