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. I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist.
Focussing mainly on Western Australia and Australia, I am seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Tuesday 29 March 2016

Celebration of the Australian Banksia

On Easter Saturday we celebrated my nephew's wedding in Perth. Despite the drizzling rain it was a beautiful day. The bride's bouquet was mostly Australian native wildflowers. The main flower you can see here is Banksia.  There is also some Australian eucalypti and South African protea.

Banksia is from the Proteaceae family. 

Spread across the southern hemisphere, it is most commonly found in Australia and the southern regions of Africa. Australian native Proteaceae include Hakeas, Banksias, Lambertias, Dryandra, Macadamias, and Grevilleas, and the Warratah, the state flower of the Australian state, New South Wales. (from the net:  proteaceae - flowers for everyone)

The Proteaceae family comprises about 80 genera with about 1,600 species. There are 173 Banksia species, and all but one occur naturally only in Australia. 
 South western Australia contains the greatest diversity of banksias, with 60 species recorded.  (from the web - Australian National Herbarium)

The presence of the Proteaceae family in Australia, South America and South Africa led scientists to put forward the idea that these land masses were once joined, forming a supercontinent which they named Gondwanaland. Australia has the greatest diversity of Proteaceae. They occur in the rainforests, the deserts, on coastal sand dunes and in alpine regions.  (from the net: ABC gardening)

 Here are two examples:  Ashby's Banksia and the Showy Dryandra. 

I love taking wildflower photos, but I am not a botanist, so I can't absolutely identify any of the banksias below, but I hope you enjoy the images. These have been mostly taken around the South West of Western Australia.

Tuesday 22 March 2016

From paddock to city

The last week or so has been very busy, and this is supposed to be retirement! (smiles) What they say about retirement is correct - you will wonder how you ever had time to work... how true....
From country paddock to city there has been a lot happening to visit and be involved in.

On Friday 11 March we travelled inland (east) into the wheatbelt to the Wagin Woolorama country show. My question is - "how high can you dog jump"? This was the highest jump on Friday - 1.93 metres. The finals were on Saturday, I must look-up and see what the highest jump was.  They keep moving up the boards so the dogs have to jump higher and higher. Some took the easy option and ran around to jump up the side of the ute. They are not silly!

It might be called the Woolorama, but it about more than just sheep. There is something for everyone.
Over 350 commercial exhibitors; over 1000 sheep, cattle, horses and poultry in competition; working sheep dogs; hourly fashion parades; art, photography and crafts in competition; education options; side shows; free entertainment; lifestyle displays; woolhandling and shearing competitions; markets; current and future rural industry products and services; travel products; smoke free environment; indoor and outdoor displays; 20,000 visitors; massive local community effort; family friendly;

Phew! This is a great country show, worth a look at if you are around in March. But it can be very hot, so make sure you bring a hat, sunscreen, and water. 
Please click here for more info on the Woolorama - Wagin Woolorama

Also the Wagin's Historical Village was open for visitors to take a fascinating step back in time. More on that in a later post.  We hadn't visited the village before, and we thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing as we strolled around the houses and shops.  Located in Kitchener Street Wagin, the village is open 7 days a week from 10am to 4pm, and is worth a look if you are passing through Wagin. Please click here for further information - Wagin Historical Village

The previous weekend I went with my eldest son and his two boys to the Busselton Aerofest Air Show organised by the Busselton Aero Club.

There were planes on display from a 1931 Tiger Moth to rescue helicopters and water bombers, to the latest jet fighters, aeronautics and aerobatics handling displays, and a fabulous display of vintage cars.  Please click here for more info about the show - Aerofest 2016

I also attended an International Women's Day morning tea put on by the South West Women's Health and Information Centre, met some lovely ladies, listened to some inspiring women and joined in the singing with Parkinsong (a singing group for those inflicted with Parkinson's Disease). 
If you missed my previous blog post about my take on International Women's Day you can visit at my blog here - Celebrating International Women's Day 
and visit the South West Women's Health and Information Centre here - SWWHIC 

And here is a native hibiscus seen on the side of the road when we returned from Wagin. 

We also went down to the Eaton Foreshore Festival run by Eaton Primary School, and helped cook a fund-raising sausage sizzle with Sol y Sombra at Gibbs Pool at Harvey Dam for the South West Opera Company's Music Spectacular evening. It was a lovely autumn evening, a beautiful setting, good company, perfect weather and a wonderful night of music and entertainment under the stars.  Below you can see the venue and Susie from Sol y Sombra showing her skill with the cape during a performance of one of the songs from Carmen.  
Please go to their Facebook page for more information about the Company - SWOC on Facebook

Last week we had an overnight trip to Perth and went to see Sculpture by the Sea 2016 at Cottesloe Beach. This was the twelfth time this annual exhibition has been held, and this year 77 sculptors  from 18 countries exhibited their pieces. It seems to get bigger every year.  To see more images and find out about Sculpture by the Sea please click here - Sculpture by the Sea

A friend of ours commented - Some very creative ones. Some that made us smile. Some that made us think. Some that made us wonder just what was going through the artists' minds.

The iconic Cottesloe Surf Club and Indiana Tea House. 

 Some of the sculptures were definitely "hands off", but others invited interaction. Like the one you see below - top centre - a pinewood collaborative construction by Rocardo Gomes and Ben Allen with Lise Kassow. What a wonderful place to sit and contemplae while looking at the sea or across rolling paddocks. 

Here is another interactive sculpture for Zilvinas Kempinas made from steel snow poles and bird repellent tape this sculpture interacts with the light and wind.

This book cave by Juliet Lea was attracting a lot of attention as people came in close to read the book titles, whilst one little girl went in and just sat in the cave. 

Perth itself is a mixture of new and old architecture, but more on that in another post.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this little tour of what has been happening in my corner of the world. 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!

Mosaic Monday
Travel Photo Mondays

Lifestyle Fifty Monday Linkup 
Our World Tuesday

Through My Lens 
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Worth Casing Wednesday
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday

The Weekly Postcard


Monday 7 March 2016

Celebrating International Women's Day and Aging with Attitude

Tuesday 8 March is International Women’s Day where we celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, discuss women’s issues and strive to help women in need all across the world
Love, justice, strength, celebration, equality, dignity, self respect and hope for all.

 I will be going to an International Women’s Day morning tea, with guest speakers, being put on by the South West Women’s Health and Information Centre in Bunbury

My memory was recently taken back to a meeting I had in July 2004 with an inspiring group of Over 50s women, the Granny Grommets in Albany on Western Australia’s south coast. They might have greying hair, but their sparkling eyes were full of life and I felt immediately drawn in by their attitude to life and their infectious laughter.  By doing something different they are throwing out perceptions of aging and were certainly living up to their motto, “Ageing with Attitude”.

What brought about that memory was hearing keen surfer and ocean lover, Albany’s Tony Harrison, talk on the radio following being named in the Western Australian Premier’s Active Awards as part of the Australia Day celebrations. 

67 year old, Tony, who has coached surfing since the 1970’s, is passionate about protecting our oceans and environment and is the mentor and coach for the Granny Grommets who meet at Middleton Beach in Albany every Friday all year round. 

The Granny Grommets started in 1999, when a number of seniors from Albany’s Over 50’s Recreation Association approached Womensport West about learning to surf.  A six week body-boarding course was developed by Kim Buttfield and Due South Surfing Academy's Tony Harrison.  

The course covers coastal safety and basic ocean awareness, including knowledge of rips and swells, weather patterns, parts of the board and the skills of body boarding. Tony also passes on a love of and looking after the environment. 

The minimum starting age is 50, with the average around 60 and their oldest member is 82. 

The Granny Grommets at Middleton Beach in July 2004
Many of the women retired to Albany from other regional towns or farming backgrounds, so the ocean is quite a novelty to them. They are looking for things to do, and are prepared to try something just a little bit different.  Some of them, particularly from rural backgrounds, have never learnt to swim or aren’t confident swimmers, so the concept of even going into the ocean is quite challenging for them, and something they are determined to conquer. 

The ladies know their limitations and everyone works at their own level, where they feel comfortable.  Some of the younger or stronger ladies will catch the bigger waves, while those who don’t feel so confident stay in close and catch the white wash on their body boards.  

Linda, a non-swimmer, told me that doing the course, being in the group, the wet suit and board help her feel confident.  “I feel invincible out there.  It’s terrific, I really love it”.  

 Tony enjoys coaching the ladies. “I get a kick out of watching them catching waves and enjoying themselves.  Their eyes light up and there’s a big smile on their faces because they’ve caught a wave, it’s the exhilaration.  It makes you feel alive, being out there in the salt water, it gets the heart going and keeps you fit.”  Tony’s attitude is, “If you keep surfing you think younger and feel younger”.

Dolly agrees about the important health benefits. “It makes you feel good and gives you a good start to the day.  It’s great fun. The more time you spend on your feet and the more active you are, the better you feel.  It makes you feel you are able to do more.  You can go at our own pace, you don’t have to over do it.  You just do what you feel you’re confident in doing, and everybody accepts that.”

Brenda, a newcomer to the group when I visited, said she joined because, “The outrageousness of a group of wild, wonderful women out there denying the mythology that it’s not possible to do these sorts of things attracted me.  I’ve spent a life time in my head in my profession, so the sheer joy of movement in my body and being taken along by a force other than myself and just surrendering to it is a wonderful feeling.”

One of the originals, seventy-four year old Nan agreed. “The wonderful feeling of flying across the waves is everything.  It gives you a wonderful feeling of being alive.” 

Jann encourages others to join. “If you want to have a go, get on with it, come and enjoy it with us. You’re out of your comfort zone, and I think as you get older that’s most important, to have to make an effort and learn something new.  It’s great being part of a community that has a caring attitude for each other.” 

Tony laughed, “tell them, give my apologies to the card group, I’m going surfing.”

I was saddened to hear during Tony’s interview that Brenda had passed away last year and that the group had been shattered by her death. 

I have vivid memories of Brenda (that's her on the far right in the image above and in the bathers top in the centre of the group image above) and I have always remembered her words,  
“I feel if I don’t come down, I would miss the wave.  How awful to be missing the wave at 60.  I’m wanting to catch every wave I can”.

I think there is a message in Brenda's words for all of us. Whether it is body-boarding like the Granny Grommets or some other new active pursuit you are interested in trying, then just get out there and have a go. 
The Granny Grommets in July 2004

You can find out about the Granny Grommets by emailing dianne@westnet.com.au
To read more about Tony Harrison and his Australia Day award please click here - ABC.net

To find out about the South West Women's Health Centre please click here - South West Women's Health and Information Centre

To find out more about International Women's Day  and how you can help or be involved please click here -   International Womens' Day

My story about the Granny Grommets was published in the Summer 2005 edition of Australian Vital magazine. 

I started learning Spanish Flamenco dancing in my 50s.  Have you started a new pursuit since you reached your 50s? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in the comments. 
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!

Mosaic Monday