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. And in many ways it is my journal of everyday life. If you click on the Index you can see my posts under various topic headings.
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-printing with Australian leaves onto cloth and paper.
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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PLEASE CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO GO TO MY RED BUBBLE STORE.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Chocca lotta

It's beginning to feel a bit like Easter around here with Easter eggs and Hot Cross Buns in the shops (well actually they have been in the shops for weeks!), so today I decided to share with you a Chocolate Tart recipe I made a few years ago, and have just searched for again. I haven't made them since, but I think I will have to as they were delicious!


 The recipe says only 20 minutes prep time, but it took me longer than this. So allow 1 hour preparation, 30 minutes chilling, and 35 minutes to cook. 

Here's the recipe: (from Woolworths Fresh magazine, July 2012)
Chocolate Tarts

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
125g butter, chopped
2 eggs
2 pears, peeled, cored, thinly sliced 
2/3 cup cream
200g dark cooking chocolate, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons roughly chopped roasted hazelnuts

 Process flour and cocoa in a food processor for 30 seconds. Add butter and process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 1 egg and process until mixture comes together.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide dough into 6 even portions and form into balls. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease 6 individual loose bottom fluted flan tins (approx 8cm x 2.5cm deep). 

On a lightly floured surface roll each piece of dough out until 3mm thick. Press into pans and trim off any excess dough. Place plans onto a large baking tray. Line each with baking paper and fill with baking beans or dried beans (not that I bother to do this). Bake tart shells for 10 minutes. Remove beads and paper. Bake for 5 minutes more or until pastry is just cooked. Set tarts aside to cool.

Arrange pear slices into each pastry shell. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until small bubbles form around edge. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and stir until melted and mixture is smooth. Cool for 5 minutes. Stir in remaining egg. 

Pour mixture over pears and sprinkle nuts on top. Bake for 15 minutes or until mixture is just set. Stand for 5 minutes before removing from pans. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cold. 

Sit back and enjoy the compliments. 


If that sounds just a little bit like too much work when you are trying to have a relaxing Easter too, try this recipe instead. 

I've often made a quick chocolate self saucing pudding in winter, but this one is cooked in individual dishes. Have you ever made the one made in a mug in the microwave? I haven't. 

Quick Chocolate Self-Saucing Puddings (recipe from Woolworths Fresh magazine, June 2011)

Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 30 minutes. Makes 4-8 depending on the size of your pots. 

125g margarine, melted
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
2 cups self-raising flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1 cup milk
3/4 cup caster sugar, extra
2 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons icing sugar
thick cream or ice cream to serve 

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease 8 x 1 1/4 cup capacity ramekins or ovenproof dishes. Stand dishes in a large roasting pan. Whisk melted butter, sugar and eggs in a large bowl. Sift flour and half the cocoa over mixture. Add milk and whisk until smooth. Divided evenly between prepared dishes.

Place remaining cocoa and extra sugar in a bowl. Slowly add boiling water, stirring constantly until well combined. Pour cocoa mixture gently over each pudding. Pour enough boiling water into roasting pan until water comes half way up the sides of the pudding dishes. 

Bake for 30 minute or until puddings are cooked when tested in the centre with a skewer. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with a dollop of thick cream or ice cream. 

Here is a pic - they shrunk back from the sides of the dishes when they came out of the oven and started to cool. 


 PS - I had a question about caster sugar which is readily available in Australia, but might not be in your country, or might be called something else. Here is an explanation I found - What is caster sugar and does it make a difference in baking?

Thank you so much for stopping by. If you celebrate Easter I wish you a safe and happy one. Do you have a favourite chocolate recipe? 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:
Winter days and an energy bar recipe 
Making and photographing blueberry pancakes
Melting moments and hydrangeas in my garden

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.








Wednesday, 21 March 2018

World Down Syndrome Day - 21 March

I don't usually post twice a week, but it is World Down Syndrome Day today 21 March, and I just had to share this very special video with you. 


 A carpool karaoke lip sync video in support of World Down Syndrome Day features 50 mums and their children singing along to Christina Perri's multi-platinum selling track, "A Thousand Years".

The mums are all part of a Facebook group known as "Designer Genes" created for parents who have a child with Down’s Syndrome born in 2013/14. They got together to show the world just how ordinary and fun life with the condition is and how they "Wouldn't Change a Thing".

The video was originally inspired by Singing Hands - a UK organisation whose videos have helped many in the group learn Makaton for supporting their children’s communication development.
Makaton is designed to help hearing people with learning or communication difficulties using signs, symbols alongside speech.
With thanks to the artist Christina Perri for her support and Singing Hands for the original concept.


 
A Thousand Years - Christina Perri
 
Heart beats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave
How can I love when I'm afraid to fall
But watching you stand alone
All of my doubt, suddenly goes away somehow
One step closer
I have died everyday, waiting for you
Darling, don't be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more
Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything, take away
What's standing in front of me
Every breath, every hour has come to this
One step closer
I have died everyday, waiting for you

Darling, don't be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more
And all along I believed, I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me, I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more
One step closer
One step closer
 
I have died everyday, waiting for you
Darling, don't be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more
 
And all along I believed, I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me, I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more
 

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.