A cold and foggy morning

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It was a beautiful morning with our local river fog, “The Bridgewater Jerry” trailing down the River Derwent. The suburbs upstream were engulfed in the fog, but from suburbs south of the Tasman bridge, the “Jerry” looked stunning in the sunlight.
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I took these photos on my way to work, from Howrah, Kangaroo Bay and Tranmere. I like that you can see Hobart City under the fog, while Mount Wellington stands tall and proud above.
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Autumn at the Botanical Gardens

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The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens reopened this week as lockdown restrictions begin to ease. Only outside areas were open “for exercise”. The shop, café and kiosk were closed. Also the Conservatory and Antarctic House.

It was a perfect autumn day to visit. Feet of all sizes had fun scrunching through the fallen leaves.
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I joined lots of people for a delightful walk around the gardens. Everyone was sensible and respectful, keeping social distance, waiting to pass on narrow paths and bridges over the lake.
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It was pleasing to see the autumn colours.
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Many of the maples in the Japanese Garden have finished their display. There were a few still putting on a show.
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Also to see what is happening in “The Patch”, as seen on Gardening Australia. Local charities maintain some beds.
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The gardeners have kept busy while the gardens have been closed.
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Changing Seasons – April 2020 in lockdown.

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April has been a full month of lockdown. Hobart’s Salamanca Place is usually a bustling market on Saturdays, surrounded by popular cafes and bars. Now it is empty except for the drive through test centre.
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I’m fortunate to still be working full time and work has been hectic, with some days in the office, others working from home. As well as formal Zoom meetings, our Deputy CEO organised a “Big Hello” meeting so colleagues from all three offices could meet online. Hats, backgrounds were optional as we waved at each other and said Hi. It was a fun ten minutes in a busy day.
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“Time is like water, if finds its own level.” Away from work, some weekends have dragged, despite walks along local coastal paths. I painted some pebbles to leave along the pathway and benches for kids to find.

I’ve spent time in the garden, planting veggie seeds and seedlings, cabbage, radish, spring onions. We are harvesting carrots, rocket, spinach and I’m on my second jar of bean sprouts. Our olive trees have fruit.

On Monday 20th April, I noticed comments on Facebook that the Aurora Australis was putting on a show. One side of our balcony faces south, so I went outside with camera in hand. I was pleased to get a few reasonable photos of the green glow in the night sky.
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I’ve drunk lots of tea and written more than usual in my diary. I have kept journals on and off for thirty years. I was happy to find new books in a local newsagent, that match earlier volumes.
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We keep in touch with family and friends and I’ve enjoyed video chats and receiving photos of our grandkids.
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I continue to feel inspired by “Action for Happiness” calendar and quotes. Here are just a couple from April.
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Stay safe. This is my contribution to Su’s Changing Seasons challenge.

ANZAC Day 2020

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At 6am this morning, ordinary people stood at the end of their driveways, lit a candle, held a minutes silence, in remembrance of all who have served in wars and conflicts.

ANZAC Day is the national Remembrance Day for Australia and New Zealand, commemorating the landings at Gallipoli on this day in 1915.

Usually, dawn services are held at local cenotaphs but such gatherings are cancelled this year. So we were encouraged to “gather as one” outside our homes.

I could see three other sets of neighbours in our small section of street. I could hear the broadcast from the National War Memorial in Canberra. I held a candle and sprig of rosemary, which grows wild on the Gallipoli peninsula and is as much a symbol of ANZAC Day as the poppy.

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Everyday musicians were asked to play “The Last Post” on any instrument.

Our daughter played her saxophone and made these lovely lanterns out of milk cartons.

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Remembering the Yorkshire Dales

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This time last year I was in the UK to catch up with family. I organised a mini break in the Yorkshire Dales, in the spring time.

My Mum, daughter and I stayed in a country hotel with views like these.
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We visited Aysgarth Falls.
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Also the 600 year old Bolton Castle.
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We travelled past Ribblehead Viaduct.
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And climbed Malham Cove to the limestone pavement.
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Happy memories. Fun times.

As there are a lot of lines in these photos I’m linking this to Jude’s 2020 Photo Challenge.

Human Connections

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How have you connected with family and friends during the current social distance restrictions?

I’ve had spontaneous calls with our toddler grandson, shared matching Easter Eggs, compared items in our fruit bowls.
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I’ve had regular “coffee meetings” with my Mum for five years. I arranged similar online Skype chats with UK girlfriends this weekend.
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Our London based daughter called on Face Time for a “breakfast chat”. She was so happy that she’d been able to buy a tin of Milo. Her dinner was cereal with Milo. I had my usual porridge with blueberries and we had a lovely catch up.
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I’ve had “afternoon tea” online chats and phone conversations with friends.
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I’ve shared emails and Facebook comments and messages.
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I’ve been able to share everyday moments with our two week old granddaughter, see her safe in her mother’s arms, see photos of her older brother interacting with her. My daughter even took her phone for a nappy change and continued chatting to us. It felt as though we were there in the room, just without the smell.
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And I’ve enjoyed creating photos to reflect all these different connections.

Daily Gratitude

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What are you grateful for in these unusual times? Here are some of my daily photos.

Finding balance in this new normal (17 stones, my personal best).
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This weekend I am especially grateful for where we live. We arrived in Hobart five years ago yesterday. (We knew Tasmania’s history but never thought we’d be “locked in” with no flights out! Lols)
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Daily exercise after working from home. Grateful for these tracks and views. We do not have to walk along city or suburban streets.
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Our new garden windmill, looking good with this week’s full moon in the morning sky.
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Early morning high tide at a local beach.
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Fresh local produce still available at our weekly farmers market.
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We are very fortunate and grateful.

Changing Seasons – March 2020 The month everything changed.

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I’ve been wondering what to write for this month when everything changed. The life we knew has been cancelled, our freedoms restricted, our everyday activities challenged.

There were so many ordinary yet pleasurable things that I had planned for March… evenings out at restaurants, theatre, cinema. Trips to our weekly farmers market and local craft markets, museums, the library.

There was a special trip planned, to be with our daughter as she gave birth to our granddaughter. But I’m in Hobart and she is in Sydney. We soon realised that I wouldn’t be able to make the trip so readjusted our plans. I walked up and down our lounge while on the phone with her in the birthing suite, sharing our breathing, positive words and vibes.

So, I have decided to concentrate on the positives, on gratitude and the simple joys.

Our granddaughter arrived safely four days ago, Mum and bub are doing well. I am so grateful for Facetime to keep in touch with family and friends. We can see her cuddled up, hear her unique little snuffles and snores. See her big brother being so gentle and amazed.
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I am grateful that I live in Tasmania. We are an island and our government has taken strong, decisive actions to help keep us safe. This was front page on our Tassie newspaper.
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Nature continues to share it’s wonders. Rain after such a dry summer, nurturing our trees, plants and crops.
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I have paper daisy flowers from seeds I planted last year. Rocket and spinach continue to thrive in our balcony pots.
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A rainbow appeared as I left for work one morning.
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Dolphins played in our river Derwent as I got off the bus on way home. Such a joy to watch.
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There are hints that autumn is here, as our days get shorter.
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I am grateful to be part of this blog community. Stay safe friends.