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".



Monday, 19 March 2018

Cape Leeuwin - meeting of the Oceans - Western Australia

Last week we managed to put aside a few days to go away in our caravan. Travelling only a couple of hours south from our home put us in the heart of the beautiful Cape to Cape region of Western Australia’s beautiful south west.  This is the area between Cape Naturalist and Cape Leeuwin, arguably one the most beautiful part of Western Australia abounding with beaches, forests, caves, wineries, restaurants, galleries, bush walks and escapes, and much more.
By lunchtime we had booked into the Hamelin Bay caravan park situated in the Leeuwin Naturalist National Park, and within a short walking distance – only about 500 metres, to the beach. 

But more about Hamelin Bay another day. 

 On one of our days we re-visited the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. Situated just south of Augusta, Cape Leeuwin was named by Matthew Flinders on 7 December, 1801, during his circumnavigation  of Terra Australis (Australia), taking the name from the Dutch navigators, Leeuwin’s Land, when the ship the Leeuwin (The Lioness) rounded the cape in March 1622. 

Cape Leeuwin is the most south-westerly point of Australia, and according to our guide one of the world’s most notorious Capes along with Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn. 

The lighthouse, which is the tallest mainland lighthouse in Australia, guards one of the busiest sea traffic routes on Australia’s coast.  The shallow rocks stretching 7 kilometres out from the Cape, diverging currents and massive swells claimed 22 ships before the lighthouse was built, and only one since then. Winds can reach 100-160 kilometres on the Cape. 
The position of the light is latitude 340 22’ south, longitude 1150 08’ east.

Here is a little video I took to show you - 

The Cape Leeuwin lighthouse was officially opened by the then Premier of Western Australia, Sir John Forrest, on 10 December 1896. 

The lighthouse was constructed of hand-carved local tamala limestone quarried about 1.2 kilometres away at Quarry Bay, and built on a foundation of 22 feet (6.71 metres).  The walls are 7 feet thick at the base, and a spiral staircase takes you up to the light and the viewing platform. The elevation of the light is 39 metres above the ground and 56 metres above Mean Tide level. 

 Until 1982 the lens of the light was rotated by a counter weight driving a clockwork mechanism, and the beacon was a pressure kerosene mantle type. Think of the lighthouse keepers who had to carry cans of kerosene up the narrow staircase of lighthouse at least four times every day! In 1982 it was converted to hydraulics and electricity. The light was automated in 1992 and has a range of 25 nautical miles. 

 Three lighthouse keepers and their families lived at the Cape and maintained the lighthouse. They only had one day off, Sunday, every two weeks, and if they went away from the lighthouse, had to be back before dark to light the light. Supplies were delivered by ship. 
The lighthouse precinct is heritage listed and includes interpretive signage, boardwalks, decking and telescopes. You can go on a guided walk of the Lighthouse, but be warned there are 186 steps to negotiate to get to the top! Or you may choose to take a self-guided audio tour of the precinct which shares information about the history of the lighthouse, its keepers and the area, but this doesn’t include entering the lighthouse. 

  The other lighthouse you can visit in the Capes region is the Cape Naturalist Lighthouse at the northern point of the Capes. The Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturalist lighthouses mark the start and finish of the 135 kilometre Cape to Cape walking track.

The Cape Leeuwin lighthouse is also a great place to spot Humpback and Southern Right whales May to September as well as fur seals and many varieties of sea birds.

Tours of the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse operate every half hour from 9.00-4.30pm daily, except Christmas Day.

While you are at the Cape make sure you visit the nearby waterwheel, built in 1895 to supply water during construction of the lighthouse, and later to supply water to the lighthouse keepers’ cottages. The waterwheel was built to power a hydraulic ram to pump water from a nearby natural spring. Today the wheel is encrusted with calcified lime and no longer turns, but it is a reminder of the past.

Also at the Cape is a memorial to 10 sailors aboard the HMAS NIzzan who lost their lives in 1945 when a rogue wave hit the ship. And a memorial to commemorate the contribution of "N" class destroyers in WW2 and those who served in them.

More information on the Cape’s lighthouses and the Cape to Cape Track please click here - Lighthouses - Margaret River Attractions

For information on the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse heritage value please click here – State Heritage WA

Before we go, one last look at the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. I took this photo several years ago when I was taking photos with slide film for a magazine. Yes I have played around with it a bit in digital post processing, but this is wild weather on the Cape. 

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this look at the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.  I wish they would open up their cottages for accommodation. I would love to stay there. Have you ever stayed overnight at a lighthouse? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it 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.  

You might also like - 

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, 12 March 2018

International Women's Day - Identity and Transition

On Saturday I felt privileged to be able to attend an all day International Women's Day event hosted in my home town by the South West Women's Health and Information Centre. How inspriing it was to be in the company of such an amazing, diverse, intelligent, creative and talented group of women across all ages and walks of life. 

And how wonderful it is when women get together supporting each other. 

 The theme of the day was "Women as we age - identity and transition" and the fabulous array of speakers touched on this theme in various ways - from displaced lives through circumstance or war, taking up new challenges, and changes that happen as we go through life. 

The day was opened by the traditional welcome to country followed by an opening address by City Councillor, Betty McCleary on behalf of the City of Bunbury.  

We were then treated to an amazing performance by Viva Aerial Dance and Freespirit Trapese performers backed by the Bunbury Vocal Fusion Choir. 
The strength and flexibility of these aerial performers is amazing. Charlotte, the girl you see on the left is only 13.

Following this we heard several lively pieces from poet Kate Wilson, Marilyn Palmer from Edith Cowan University, Helen Shervington the chair of CinefestOz Film Festival (the largest regional film festival in Australia), indigenous Australian Naydeene Edwards (a moving story about looking for belonging and identity) and Cambodian Daravann Meek talked about culture and identity, special guest, political scientist, Karen Paget from the USA, ABC gardening guru Sabrina Hahn talked about the healing power of nature, Deb Perry entertained us with her spoon playing, and Josephine Wilson talked about her 2017 Miles Franklin awarded book, Extinctions, before we enjoyed a singalong with the amazing voice of Tracey Musham. 

A few quotes from the day -
  • "there is power when we unite" - Betty McCleary
  • "what she wrote became an antidote to her choked throat" - Kate Wilson
  • "these lines (on my face) are my stories and they run deep" - Kate Wilson
  • "stay conscious about the power of language.... language forms and creates our world.... choose words carefully.... be careful of the power of words.... look for opportunities to be involved" - Marilyn Palmer
  • "transitions happen bit by bit...just get on with it" - Helen Shervington
  •  Talking about her book - Last Days of the House - "the house helps me commune with my younger self... we are all in transition... we all look for our rock... and tell ourselves stories about our childhood..."  - Karen Padget 
  • "the importance of finding someone to connect to... family is about love and connection... family doesn't have to conform and can change..." - Josephine Wilson

  • "transition is a constant thing... sometimes it is difficult but sometimes the hardest things are the most important... it's ok to feel what you are feeling....it builds resilience... we don't allow out kids to explore things in their own time and make their own mistakes. Play is how they learn. As adults we forget to play. We take ourselves too seriously. We need to get away from screens...get outside...zone down..... Don't allow aging to get in the way of things you want to do - just find a way to do it differently. Don't think you can't do it. Keep learning..... We are one species among many. Everything is connected to everything else. We need gardens more and more in urban living for community health. It is so important to sit, listen, and just be. If you are not quiet you miss so much.... Remember that the person next to us is not better than you." - Sabrina Hahn

After a delicious lunch we were able to attend an array of half hour workshops - some serious and some just for fun!  I went to one with Sarah Evans about memoir and bio writing. Then learnt a bit about drumming with Felicity Dear, before de-stressing with Clair Connolly and Dru Yoga, finishing up with learning how to play the spoons with Deb Perry.  The basics are fairly easy to learn. I demonstrated to my family after I got home, and I think they are hoping I won't take it up - castanets around home is more than enough for them! 

 And a few final comments from the panel - 
"Transitions occur throughout our life and are ongoing....the roles we are fulfilling in the moment are not our true selves... life is messy - these experiences enrich our lives... invisible labour we do for love.... look forward without fear... think about all the women on whose shoulders we stand .... how we love is the most important thing.... all women are connected.... chase your dreams and passions... make a ritual everyday to sit, listen, look and hear and then fiddle with something you've always wanted to do."

 I was also able to have a space to sell some of my products - eco-dyed silk scarves and greeting cards, hand folded paper flowers, and cushions, tote bags and greeting cards featuring my photography. 

It was a fabulous day which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. Congratulations South West Women's Health and Information Centre for putting on such an amazing day in celebration of International Women's Day. 

 Thank you so much for stopping by.  Did you go to an event for International Women's Day? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it 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.  

You might also like:-
Celebrating International Women's Day and Aging with Attitude - 2016
International Women's Day 2017 
The life of women in Australia's past 

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.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Happy Chinese New Year: 新年快乐 - xīn nián kuài lè

Happy New Year - Xin Nian Kuai Le 
Chinese New Year - 16 February to 2 March

The celebrations for the 2018 Chinese New Year (also known as the Spring Festival) have just drawn to a close. 

Last year, 2017, we were in Sydney during the Chinese New Year celebrations (Year of the Rooster), and there was a riot of colour, sound and experiences not only in the China Town quarter, but also around Circular Quay on Sydney Harbour and the excitement and furious pace of the Chinese New Year Dragon Boat Festival at Darling Harbour. 

Here are the roosters which were lit up at night on the Sydney waterfront just below the Opera House (you can see it in the background of this shot). 

This year we enjoyed some of the Chinese New Year celebrations at an event organised by a local family in our town and hosted at the Stirling Street Arts Centre. 

We managed to secure a spot in the front row at the central stage where we enjoyed dance performances by the Chang Zhi Dan Dance School, a Tai Chi display from a member of the Tai Chi Academy, a flute performance by Xiang Ji, a tea ceremony from a member of the Oriental Culture and Arts Association, and a demonstration of Chinese painting. 

There was also a table tennis demonstration, food stalls, calligraphy demonstrations, mini language lessons, arts and crafts activities, paper crafts, mah jong games, and other activities. There was also a photo exhibition from Zhejiang Province. Our city's Chinese Sister City is Jiaxing which has a population of 3.4 million and lies on the Grand Canal of China, the longest canal in the world. 

Later on in the day dancers from the Balcatta Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy performed the Lion Dance. I love seeing this but unfortunately we were not able to stay.  However we have seen it many times before including at many dragon boat regattas and in Sydney last year, where I took this photo you see below here. I am amazed by the athleticism and strength of these guys as they stand on the shoulders of their partner. 
I am always drawn into the drumming and clashing of symbols of the Lion Dance. 

 Click on the link below to see a film clip of a Lion Dance in Beijing during the 2016 New Year celebrations.

 Some interesting facts about Chinese New Year - 
  • Chinese New Year is also known as Spring Festival and Lunar New Year. The date changes every year depending on the moon. Chinese New Year ends with the Lantern Festival, where lanterns are believed to light the way for the new year. 
  • Hong Bao or red envelopes containing money are usually given to children at this time of year as a gift of good luck.  
  • Fireworks can be heard throughout the day and night. This tradition began with the legend of Nian - a ferocious monster that ate people.  The loud noises are to scare the monster away. 
You can read other interesting facts about Chinese New Year - Spring Festival - here 21 Things you didn't know about Chinese New Year

2018 in Chinese culture is the Year of the Dog or more precisely this year, brown dog or "earth dog".  People born in the Year of the Dog are usually independent, sincere, loyal and decisive according to Chinese zodiac analysis. They are not afraid of difficulties in daily life and have harmonious relationships with people around them.  You can find out more about people born in the Year of the Dog here - Chinese Year of the Dog

The Dog on display in Sydney last year

I was born in the year of the Goat and I am amazed how many of their traits I have. You can click here to find out what year you were born in and the personality traits of yours and others according to the Chinese Zodiac. 

There are 12 Chinese Zodiac animals and the zodiac system repeats every 12 years.  A zodiac system has existed in Chinese culture since the Qin dynasty, more than 2,000 years ago. Over time the zodiacs became more and more integrated into everyday life, with different meanings and characteristics assigned to each animal. This in turn gave rise to various compatabilities (and incompatabilities) between each zodiac, and play a major role in marriage and career decisions, fortune-telling and much more.
You can find out more about Chinese New Year here - Chinese New Year 

 Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed my little post about Chinese New Year. In our multicultural society I feel it is an enriching thing to learn about other cultures.  Did you experience Chinese New Year where you live? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in the 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.  

You might also like - 
South West Multicultural Festival 
Fitness Focus - Dragon Boating 
10 things to do in Sydney, Australia 

China Town, Sydney
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 here on Wednesday, to Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global.