The Eloquent Garden

The garden you create or dream of creating is a mirror of yourself

Countdown for Papagajka Film (The Parrot)!

You’ve heard me plug my daughter’s dream- now she’s on her final 46 hours of fundraising her debut feature film so if you were thinking about helping her then here is the link: http://j.mp/1xxTqDC

Just spend 30 secs having a look at the project to see if it intrigues you- it’s very mysterious!

(You can donate as little as 1 pound and every bit counts!)

Gardening, a cautionary tale – Living with the Alien, homage to Crazy Russian Hacker, Crocodile tea-towels, and reflections on cults

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Waste not want not. Just eat your lumpy Porridge.

Lilith:

Oh, I just love this blog! His alliterative talents “practicing a pensive thought or two’, deep philosophical wonderings as to the discarding of meatlovers pizza, marriage tips and so much more..hope you enjoy also.

Originally posted on Oosterman Treats Blog:

 Some time back

Some time back

I was abused from an early age by having to eat lumpy porridge. It has left its mark and no psychologist or therapist has given me any insight into how this continues to shape me into the present dysfunctional personae, still grappling with life so fraught with fits of uncertainty as to its real meaning or purpose.(Phew)

The weeks just prior and after the end of WW 2, Holland was on its knees. Oats, Biscuits and Spam was fought over by people running towards the US, Canadian and English Lancaster bombers overhead, dropping food parcels. I remember my dad running on a field towards one and bringing home a huge metal box with rock hard but very nutritious English biscuits. The sky was dark with food being parachuted , raining down on Rotterdam. How glorious a liberation it was! Dancing in the streets.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operations_Manna_and_Chowhound

untitled food at last

Despite the biscuits…

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My Brilliant Career as Unit Manager and what I found out about Actors and filmmaking

Many people who’ve had Brilliant Careers have to work very hard at them.

But sometimes they just fall into your lap. Or you fall into theirs.

And that’s how I discovered my Talent.

My Daughter, aspiring Director, was making a short film ‘The Storymaker.’ I said “Ok I’ll donate the money for on-set  food.’

Possibly right then, memories of culinary delights as she was growing up, a nostalgia for times past, overtook her.

oldpics007(1)More likely she was always on the lookout for a free, reliable worker. ‘How about you come down and do the catering?’

I discovered I had a Title. Unit Manager. That’d look very good on my CV.

I discovered that every day at 6AM the Crew would arrive, feeling very hungry. That they would be busy all day so would need many many cups of tea, coffee, snacks delivered on set for between takes.

And I discovered the Actors wait around, a lot. They’re therefore able to consume great quantities of lollies, chocolate. Amazing since they were all svelte.

SM_ScribesAtDoorA clue to why this is so, after the shoot. The DOP (Director of Photography) said ‘I won’t need to eat for a month after this.’

Ah. So now I know actors are special humans, with camel-like abilities. Fascinating.

I discovered that every afternoon a Call Sheet would be delivered to me. It’s an impressive document. It lists precisely the scenes, time of each scene, which cast or crew is involved. For me that meant how many would need to be kept fortified with tea, coffee, snacks, meals, drinks.

Next day, I discovered that the Call Sheet should have come with the disclaimer…”any resemblance to these stated intentions, will be accidental and hugely co-incidental.”

I discovered that if a scene is going well, there could be a sudden visit from the 1st AD (first Assistant Director) telling me that instead of lunch in an 15 minutes, it’d be in an hour. Then in ten minutes again would come the 1st AD with change of plan. ‘We need lunch, for actors in 20 min. For Crew, in a 50 minutes.’

I discovered my Talent for inventing recipes. If there’s an Olympic Category for innovative, speedy Recipe switching, I’m in with a chance. It was a lot like Demand Feeding, of which I was a proponent in the 80’s. But more menu variations and people involved.

I discovered that Haribo (Bears are excellent but any Haribo good) and Chocolate are essential. That without them the film won’t get made.

Actors have many fascinating tales to tell. They are obsessed with Film, stage, dancing, Haribo bears, and know hardship that they deal with in innovative ways.StorymakerStill1b(1)

Then, 4 years on, Emma’s lives in London. Again my Talents are called upon. She’s shooting ‘Scuffle’. Will I cater again? Love to.

This time I met a group of Dancers as well as actors.  Because the film was shot in  London, I had to order Good Weather as well as good food. Luckily for my reputation, I was able to deliver on both.

One recipe I served the Cast and Crew was Tuscan Vegetarian Terrine from Dr Heidi’s Anti-Aging Cookbook.2014-11-02 16.33.58 There are lots of Superfoods in her book, as they are now called. Dr Heidi was ahead of her time, she wrote that book in 2007.

It’s very important for actors  to remain looking youthful. If it’s a long film shoot, actors need to remain looking the same age as when shooting began. That’s called continuity.

Those actors prone to Cosmetic enhancement could save a fortune on Botox and plastic surgery if all Unit Managers knew Dr Heidi’s as I do.

If word got out, Actors would probably refuse to be in any Films at all, unless I was Unit Manager. My Brilliant Career would become Stellar.

But I guess the Actors Plastic surgeons would probably put out a Hit on me then, movie-style. So I’ve decided to work exclusively on Emma’s films, as I like a quiet life.

For the  Terrine I layered sliced tomato, cooked pumpkin as the centre layer, basil, mozzarella cheese. I mixed together the salad dressing of fresh herbs,  1 tspn wholegrain mustard, 2 tblspns Balsamic Dressing, 2 tblspns Olive oil. Put dressing all over Terrine and refrigerate overnight.

IMG_4915Look at them. Director, and AD, thinking. IMG_4917

Sound Engineer, DOP, AD, Actors.  They look so hardworking. Soon they will consume amazing amounts of food.  And say “OH good, Haribo.’IMG_4918

Being a Director, you can change the way men look. You can put moustaches on them, without anyone crying assault, or control freak.

Here’s an Actor, choosing his Fruit salad. He looks a bit startled. Maybe he’s never had a woman put a moustache on for him.

IMG_4924Go ahead, choose exactly the one that’s perfect for you. Eat with abandon, because I have  a feeling things are not going to turn out well for you.

As I predicted, dead. IMG_4922

Gosh, Emma’s taken his moustache off him after he’s dead. IMG_4933

There’s a word for that, I’m sure. I won’t talk about that  on this Blog. My readers are sensitive people.

In January 2015,  Emma will shoot her first Feature full-length film ‘Papagajka.’

Emma’s written the script  and her film will be set in Sarajevo. It’s the first psychological thriller to be made there. It will be exciting to seeing how a year in Sarajevo, doing her MA at FilmFactory under the mentorship of the great Director Bela Tarr, has impacted on her film-making.

Sarajevo in fullon Winter? Not ideal for me or my Brilliant Career. I would be too cold.  I wouldn’t be at my best.

I met some of the other Film Factory young Directors when I was in Sarajevo. I discovered that Directors are very into Superfoods, so Emma will find one of them to be Unit Manager, I am sure. I could be UMC (Unit Manager Consultant) if she wants. That would look good on the Film Credits.

Perhaps the film after ‘Papagajka’ could be set somewhere warmer. Montenegro? Albania.

I believe they’re lovely in Spring,  fascinating places. I am bound to feel very creative in Warmer climes.

Emma’s film will be funded by her Indiegogo Campaign.

Please go on over to the site #PapagajkaFilm on Indiegogo,  and consider donating. There are some unique, fabulous Perks.

Emma’s mentors believe in her project, so they donated Perks too.  Bela Tarr! Guy Maddin, Brothers Quay! Jonathan Rosenbaum! Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Cristian Mungu!

Oh, look at the Vimeo! The Director herself talks about her film.

Gosh, Emma looks very good.  She looks about 21.  I think it’s all those Superfoods. You can see ‘Papagajka” in Sarajevo, in the background! Read about the Actors, Adnan Omerivic I met him in Tusla. And Susanna Cappellaro

The Crew, Aleksandra Niemczyb, I met her, she’s also into Superfoods. So she’ll be around for a long time, making  Artworks. Look at her website, I love ‘overheard – overlooked’ oil on wood works. And Guy Fixsen, wonderful with Soundscapes. That’s what the Sound, Music is called, I discovered. I’ve met him, too. Talented Annika Summerson DOP, Emma’s excited she will on her Project.

I discovered those are the perks, too, of being Unit Manager. Meeting diversely talented people who are, and will be, Filmmaking Greats.

And finding out all their food quirks.  But that’s a story for another blog!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Lost, finding yourself, midnight plane snack-bars and duels for Papagajka Perks

IMG0137AI take a long trip, three flights in 34 hours, gloriously in defiance of gravity.

I discover Thai Airways now have adjustable-height foot rests that I can tip gently back and forward to keep that circulation moving. This is very comforting since I’m a fanatic avoider of DVT. I’ve got such a stash of anti DVT stockings, I expect anyday to be contacted by a TV show that feature Famous Collectors.

Watching ‘The Devil wears Prada’ for some extreme fashion tips completes my flying pleasure. Listening to ‘Flight of the Conchords’ just seems so right.

And reading matter ‘How to Kill Your Husband and other handy household tips’  (Attention: Potential Husbands, this was put in by someone else. Possibly the so-called deity who’s just seeing how far he take the limits of ridiculousness in my romances. Extreme Romance, is that an Olympic Sport?)

If the plane goes down, this book’s perfect for your Last Moments, such a soothing shade of Pink.

Then I discover! As if all these entertainments aren’t enough, now I can check ‘yes’ to “do you want to be available to chat to other passengers?’ Gosh!

Am I the kind of person who talks  to strangers? Am I that person? Am I losing myself, already, after leaving Australia for only five hours?

What then? Perhaps meetup and discovery of a common DVT phobia? Then finding this common ground, unhampered, uninhibited access to the midnight snack bar with another consenting adult?

You know about the Midnight  Snack Bar, yes? Late at night, the Flight Attendants are fed up and resting Somewhere at peace from audacious requests. Hopeful of maintaining satisfaction, they leave creative snacks out for those passengers unable, or unwilling, to sleep. Not everyone knows about this. Good place to swap tips on anti DVT exercises.

When we put ourselves in a different country, a different world, do we lose ourselves? Explore being someone else – try out new ways of being? Free of the usual encumbrances to be serious, funny, responsible, extreme.

I remember after my Daughter left home, went to live in Sydney. She said it was interesting seeing herself through the eyes of people who hadn’t known her all her life. Through the eyes of people she hadn’t grown up with or gone to school with. In a way she lost herself, left herself behind to begin to discover who she was.

And now, she’s in Sarajevo. Seeing herself, and the films she makes, through the eyes of people who speak another Language. Through the eyes of her fellow-students, this group of talented filmmakers and documentary makers from many countries – Spain, France, UK, America, Portugal, Singapore. Through the eyes of her mentor, Bela Tarr at Film Factory

Are her films autobiographical, I ask? Ways of seeing herself through her imagination?  She smiles. ‘There’s a little bit of many people  in my films.’ Her first Feature film ‘Papagajka” a psychological thriller, to be made next January, is about a woman who finds herself disoriented, in Sarajevo. As she comes to, she gradually takes on the life of someone else. There’s more. It’ll take you aback!

Rebecca Solnit has an article “A field guide to getting lost’ in Brain Pickings. She says “Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark.’ And, “Never to get lost is not to live, not to know how to get lost brings you to destruction. And it is somewhere in the terra-incognita in between lies a life of discovery.”

I spend three amazing weeks in Sarajevo. I see myself through the eyes of my Daughter. I see her through new eyes.

I lose myself in the culture, the sounds, the intensity, the mystery, the wonder of this brave, rose-filled country. I experience the unknown, or at least a small glimpse of it possible in such a short time. Sarajevo, Bosnia has such a long history, it would take much time there to know it.IMG0005A

I find myself there, too. I find possibilities. New pleasures. New friends. Imagine meeting a quantity surveyor from Melbourne, as I stare up at the gorgeousness of the newly renovated Town Hall. A  place of destruction and the burning of over 20,000 books during the siege of 1992-96. He was riding a bike all around Europe for three months, in Sarajevo. Discovering himself, perhaps? His friends seeing him in a different light as he sent home stories and photos.

I discover the smells of incense, like no other incense I’ve ever experienced, while walking up the amazing glass stairs beside the Synagogue. The pine scent of the sauna, clean pool smell, where I meet my Daughter for a swim, every day after she does her quota of writing her new script.P1050512

I discover I love the meditation, the  inspiration of swimming.

I bring that self home with me. I find a Gym here where I can swim and sauna. Yes in Brisbane, where it’s not even Summer, yet is very hot. Am I mad, or just renewed? Taken back to my Sarajevo self, that self visiting my Daughter.

A blog I’ve long followed is  Bucket List Publications, by a young woman who loves to travel the world.

I love that blog, not so much for the extreme of things she does, but for the feelings she has about her travels. Recently she wrote about the letters she gets and all the  different ways people see her for what she does, and doesn’t do. She’s criticised for traveling with her child. For leaving her at home. For traveling with her husband. For leaving him at home. It’s as if she’s two different people.

I’m back home now. The person I found, swims a lot, does a lot of yoga. Chats with strangers in steamy saunas. Is single. Sits in groovy coffee shops writing blogs. Does holiday things every day.  Smiles as though she’s on holiday. Plans to be in Albania in 2015. Leaves the door open for possibilities.

I help my Daughter promote her Campaign to get her Film Made. It’s an Indiegogo one  j.mp/1tAEIOD #PapagajkaFilm

Go on over to look now. Do something different. When  you donate even a small amount, that’ll help make her film. And you’ll be part of that. Your name on the Credits.

The Perks are one-of-a-kind, groovy ….a handwritten cocktail book invented from Bosnian spirits, especially for the post-shoot Cast party. You, drinking the cocktails at the Cast Party! Film props, custom decks of cards the Characters play with in the Film. Signed DVDs and postcards from famous filmmakers, A character named after you. The chance to be someone else.

Gosh you could even get together a group to go for the Extreme Reward, ‘Producer Party Perks’. Groovy! Party at Cannes with Emma, the DIrector, herself! See her do the famous Happy Dance.

You could all put together the money, then duel to decide who actually goes with her! (Tights obligatory!)

Come on, Antonio Banderas, rally a few close friends – maybe Simon Baker, Guy Pearce, Nicole Kidman, The Hemsworth brothers – just a suggestion…..

P1040453

Chaos Rose – The Flower of the Rose Blooms in profusion in the World of Chaos

Blooming in profusion in a world of chaos – it is the Chaos Rose.

Roses have a language universal.

5 I arrive in Bosnia to visit my Daughter and to welcome me, she has sweetly placed a vase with a posy of red Roses and mint in lilac flower, in my room.

I look from the balcony of her house next morning  –  yellow roses arch to the top story, Blackberry canes heavy with ripe fruit, a green and lilac understory of  mint .

I walk this ancient city of Sarajevo and see gardens and balconies filled with roses and ivy geraniums.

Lives slightly glimpsed through windows and doorways partly hidden by cascading ivy and roses.

 

I see the “Roses of Sarajevo’, on streets where reddish resin fills mortar scars.

I see beside the streets the many, many little white gravestones of the men, women and children, who died in this invasion.

I visit the art display, “Genocide of the Bosnians 1992-1995′  painted by Dr Mevludin Ekmecic.SarajevoRose

There are Rose bushes amongst the part-ruins of the bombed Morica Han Caravanserai,    where traders and their horses could stay.

Who knows what those Roses have seen amongst the chaos of those times?

And yet, I see in close proximity, Jewish Mosques, Greek Orthodox Churches, all day hear the blended sounds of Catholic bells, Muslim call to Prayer.

 

In the Caravanserai and the Old City area, people have stalls and shops with unique locally made art and jewellery.

I buy handpainted scenes of Sarajevo and am drawn irresistibly to a brass filigree-framed gold-orange worded picture  from “Art Denici”.

A painted butterfly bracelet in brass from ‘Egoist’ for a friends daughter. Handsewn glittery table mats for a friend who adores a sequin-overdose.

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I see elderly ladies on footpaths, selling small treasures. Posies of homegrown flowers, roses, zinnias, mushrooms, beans, mysterious root vegetables. Amazingly, fruit massed with bees attracted by the super sweetness of the fruit.

Men with tiny stalls selling everything from corn on cob, to secondhand shoes and clothes and honey.

People living on their own resources.

 

In the country, huge pumpkins, garlic ropes, tomatoes deep red from the richness of the soil.

My Daughter and I wander the streets of Stolac, see huge pumpkins, take hot Chocolate while feeling the spray from the waterfall.

We walk along the river flowing under houses from Ottoman times, see giant pumpkins, buildings now completely colonised by plants and trees. Curious schoolboys ask shy questions, then give us chestnuts for the ducks.

And everywhere the  Rose. It blooms in profusion amongst the signs of chaos, the beauty, the history and wonder of this lovely, mysterious, intense, relaxing, country.

 

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They say to drink from the Fountain in the Old Town means that you will return.

On the last day in Sarajevo, I admire more roses in a garden.

The Woman whose garden it is,  has a few English words and I have only a few Bosnian words. Therefore, we must use the Language of Flowers.

“Hvala’. Yes, she understands. Signs me to wait. She cuts three roses, red, yellow, apricot and hands them to me. We smile. I take the roses and inhale deeply. ‘Hvala.’

I give the roses to my Daughter as I leave Sarajevo that day.

Sri Chinmoy says ‘when we offer a rose to someone, the beauty and fragrance secretly stay with us.’

2 noname

 

 

 

 

 

 

The roses of Sarajevo stay with me.

SarajevoRose

I was just wondering…..

                                                   I saw this on Chris’s desk at Statravel 

 

                                                              NOT ALL THOSE WHO WONDER ARE LOST

tiny umbrella jan

                                                                                       This is so true.

                                                                    Happy wandering. Fruitful wondering.

tiny bat plant

little walking sea

 

 

Change – The Secret Guide To Change

I really like this Blog from Sandra, hope you find it is thoughtful as I did.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the different perspectives on ‘Change’ from the seven of us in the Health and Happiness Collective bloghop.

We are soon to choose a new subject for our next bloghop.. I’ll keep you posted

 

Change – The Secret Guide To Change.

crazy little thing called change

Humans seem  fascinated, sometimes obsessed with change. In the name of change, humans embark on some fabulous,  interesting, and some might say quite crazy behaviours.

I’ve just read “Maddadam’ by Margaret Atwood. Now she’s an author who’s  terrific at imagining change. She  takes our fantasies, our dreams of change and details them in dystopian comedy-dramas. “God’s Gardeners” in charge of the world. Hmm. Not so practical, it turns out. And that marvelous  fantasy that males and females have –  ‘if only we knew exactly when someone wanted to mate with us’ –  that would save us so much time and heartache we think. It’s wonderful what Atwood does with that one. I won’t spoil it for potential readers, but it does involve spontaneous colour change of body parts.

And plants and animals  change too in surprising, fascinating ways.  Convergent evolution, where two unrelated species take on the characteristics of one another. Scientists suggest this may be explained by such things as shared climate which accounts for similar changes in both the species.

Then, Plant Chimeras, the shape shifters of the plant world are spontaneous mutations that create a bloom pattern called a pinwheel. This pattern is genetically unstable, but sometimes if you take a stem cutting,  a plant with the same flower can be reproduced.IMG_5354

Or you could take a cutting from a variegated plant and see what happens. What fun, being the creator.

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You could deliberately try to replicate nature’s changes. And  perhaps you could also take an early morning garden walk and see what change has happened in your Garden, think about that change and how it relates to your life?

tiny umbrella jan

For isn’t our garden a projection of our dreams, fantasies, desires for change, desire for self-sufficiency, desire to control our environment or be at one with it.

Clare Marcus Cooper believes that our house is a mirror of our selves. Certainly a garden is an extension of that house.

A therapeutic gardener may ask you “what do you like in your garden? Why have you planted this? What do you like? What do you want to change? And in answering these questions, you will find some interesting questions and answers about your life. It’s Rainer Maria Rilke who says “we should try to love the questions themselves”, not only the answers.

Let’s see what my garden tells of. Last week I discover a delicate, yet at the same robust-looking trailing vine has mysteriously appeared under my papaw tree.  Its bright green heart shaped leaves and  clear white flowers surprise me, but  I welcome it into my garden and wait to see what it will do. Will it blend with my garden amiably, will it fit nicely with my other plants? Will it need curtailing, or shall I be happy for it to twine its way among the slightly restrained experimental wildness that is my back garden. Time will tell.

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And there’s a new  dwarf zinnia, from Spring-scattered seeds, now a compact bush surprising me with many coloured flowers. Unlike the parent plant which, from memory, was pink. I think of Wally, now gone from this world, whose garden they came from. I think about him, wish I’d asked more questions, different questions.  Changes like this often bring regrets. But also the chance to change the way we are,  ask the questions while we can.

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Twelve months ago, I put up a wire mesh frame so my outdoor sitting area could have a green wall to shade from summer afternoon sun. I chose to plant a honeysuckle vine, symbol of enduring love and loyalty in friendship and love. And now it’s lush and twining, fulfilling my imagination in planting it.

I placed a seat in my garden right in front of the wall of honeysuckle, for when I want to contemplate this vine and its meaning for me. What’s important in friendship, in loveship. What things help friendship stay through life’s changes.

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And what of my cute, maintained front garden? I had to take out the pepper scented geranium, it just wasn’t suited.  Which left a space for something…..What a change in my garden two Flamingos make!

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How else can the garden help us change? As Sarah, fellow blog-hopper of the Health and Happiness Collective  quoted in her blog the Wellness Ninja “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.’ If work weighs you down, would a bunch of flowers on your desk help you and others change the way you look at situations? Would humming a song, my favourite for such occasions “Blue Skies,’ not only cheer you up, but confuse those workplace bullies? Would buying a new house plant while on your lunch break help your mood?

Perhaps planning to get your garden project moving along would give you a new outlook, get you in touch with what’s important for you. With what your dreams and desires are.

Would starting your day with a short garden walk help you change the way you look at things? Would planting a passion fruit vine be what you need?IMG_5298

Not such crazy ideas for change, I think. What about wearing a green wig? A little shape shifting?   Oh maybe that’s going a little too far.. but then again maybe not…….is seeing the world from another perspective,  shape shifting our brains?

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Winds of Change and a Little Pesto on the Side

Lilith:

Beautiful blog, Margi!

Originally posted on some energy thing:

Monet_Poplars_in_the_Sun This full moon just past – while making pesto – The Eloquent Gardener suggested we invoke The Winds of Change with a simple ritual. It’s amazing the flashes of inspiration which come when you’re in the kitchen!

After dinner, we headed off beneath the moon to the seaside and a fierce wind, all set with fragrant white flowers, salt, spring water and clear intentions.

We were ready to create and meet change head on.

Claude_Monet_-_Les_PeupliersIn the days which followed, I got to thinking about rituals and their role in modern life, and of change in general.

One of my recurrent observations in clinical practice, is the struggle which so many of us have with “change”.

For some, this can be grappling with the pain and incapacity of acute injury, for others it might be workplace change and stress, for others it’s the transition from one stage of life to another.

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Our changing diet: what Paleolithic man can teach us. (And it may not be what you think.)

Lilith:

Some great information here on ‘Paleo Diet” from Sarah, a practitioner of Natural Medicine

Originally posted on The Wellness Ninja:

I’m once again lecturing my favourite subject, Chinese dietetics, at Endeavour College of Natural Health this semester. And this has inspired me to write about dietary change for our change-themed Health and Happiness Collective blog hop.

Chinese dietetics is all about the joy of food! And how we can use it for healing according to Chinese Medicine principles. I love that last year some students with no interest in cooking were actually inspired to start cooking at home. That is a win for mankind in my books!

This semester I kicked off Lecture One with this TEDx video: “Debunking The Paleo Diet” by Christina Warrina, an archaeological scientist.

Now, I didn’t show it to them because I’m anti-Paleo Diet – because I’m not. I know many people who love living by the principles of The Paleo Diet and feel well doing so. I showed it to them because it…

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My top tip for healthy change

Lilith:

Here’s another perspective on ‘Change’ from the Health and Happiness Collective.
This blog from Kathleen, a Naturopath and freelance writer. Wise words indeed…hope you all enjoy this article.

Originally posted on Your health. Your life.:

Getting started on a health kick is often overwhelming, particularly if there are a lot of changes to be made or many habits that you feel need adjusting. However, as with most things in life, simplifying your approach can remove unnecessary stress and help you turn these changes into easily maintained habits.

Here is my number 1 tip on where to start.

Be honest about the quality of your diet and how it makes you feel.

What percentage of your diet is made up of processed and/or packaged foods? Does your diet feature food or drinks that leave you feeling heavy, bloated or a bit ‘off’. Do you eat because you’re hungry? Because you’re bored? Because you’re feeding mid-afternoon sugar cravings? Or, are you eating without being aware of ‘why’?

These are important questions, as they’ll help you nut out what’s driving both your healthy and unhealthy habits.

Also be honest…

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Welcome to The Health and Happiness Collective Bloghop

Welcome back to The Eloquent Garden!

And welcome to a bloghop that I’ll share with six other bloggers.

We all share interests in natural medicine and gardens as a source of health, happiness and inspiration.

I enjoy these different writers..they take me on a journey with their words and stories, then send me off in a different directions of thought.

Our bloggers practice naturopathy, homeopathy, aromatherapy,  natural medicine, therapeutic gardening, the creation of  perfumes, gardening experiments and Chinese Medicine.

Over the next seven weeks we’ll all blog from our different perspectives on “Change.”

Please hop on over to their blogs..with all our different yet similar passions it’s bound to be fascinating!

Enjoy reading blogs from The Health and Happiness Collective:

Some Energy Thing – Margi MacDonald

Your Health, Your Life – Kathleen Murphy

Peter Kington

Vitale Blog –  Ananda Mahoney

Natures Healing – Sandra Venables

The Wellness Ninja – Sarah George

‘One cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore’   French Philosopher, Andre Gide…

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We are not alone

In my garden I am not alone….

My Mother is in my garden….. poignant reminder in a quirky pot I once bought her. She candidly confessed to me when packing up, years later, that she thought it a bit odd. But she kept it for 23 years anyway,  because I gave it to her.

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My Mother is in my garden …..in the cutting that I took from a  frangipanni that grew in her front garden.

My Mum is in my garden … in the memorial lemon tree I planted,  because she was good at citrus trees. I think the strands of grey hair I took from her hairbrush are helping it along.

My Daughter is  in my Garden….Her favourite plant, Holmskoldia growing. Full of surprises, purple and blue delicate flowers in a beautiful unconventional mix like a Philip Treacy concoction, on a tough unstoppable plant.

Holmskioldia tettensis

My daughter’s in my garden …  in the little hand-made Grecian pot, trailing German ivy, that she made for me  at school.

Natasha’s there in my garden…. her now unused scratching post allows a hedera ivy to climb. Natasha’s  there in the dwarf Mulberry tree, in memory of the first tree she may have noticed, when arriving as a kitten at her new home 18 years ago.

My Grandmothers, Alice and Doreen, are in my garden, in the love for gardening they gave me. In the seasonal snake beans I grow.  And the Chinese gooseberry bushes and passion-fruit.end march 2013 112

My Aunty Marge is in my garden… Hoya cuttings from my recent visit and seeds from cute mystery plant.

My friend Joanne is in my garden…unusual lilies she gave me, and amazing red hoya from Northern Qld.

Jamie is in my garden…his  fabulous garden mirror encircled by concoctions of found wood in bird and snake likenesses.

My future love is in my garden…  in the Twining honeysuckle vine, symbolic of  enduring friendship and love.

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Margi’s in my garden….jasmine sweetly twirling its way upwards.

Lyn is there too…her unusual exotic house warming plant.

My Father’s in my garden…flowers arranged in the Chinese vase brought back from afar so many years ago…

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There’s Rosemary, in my garden. Rosemary for remembrance and memory.end march 2013 107

We are not alone in our gardens. All our friends and loved ones are with us there.

Our garden history is there.

All our hopes and dreams are expressed in our garden.

Buddleia

Who’s in your garden with you?

What dreams are there?

Shared plant – dicentra spectabilis ‘gold heart’

Gardening in the Lines shared a wonderful plant for plant Monday and I wanted to pass it on.

It is dicentra spectabilis ‘gold heart’. Here’s another picture below:

Momofuku Compost Cookies

Momofuku Compost Cookies (via my baking empire)

For the name alone….never mind they also sound deliciously different..oh yeah and healthy too

Messages From your Heart on this Valentine’s Day

I think it’s no co-incidence that so many flowers and leaves are Heart-shaped.

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Versatile..what a relief!

How wonderful!

…After years of confusion, thinking I am scattered/focussed; intense/frivolous;  nutty/sane;  intrepid/fearful; cool/excitable; blunt/subtle;  honest/dishonest; imaginative;  conservative/ lateral; dancing to distraction/introspective; flexible/stubborn; and Overly Fascinated with — the meaning of gardens, irony, alliteration. With history, mystery, strange dark Finnish films, chocolate scrabble, idle and not-so-idle chat……..

Kevin at Nitty Gritty Dirt Man has solved the mystery, and set my mind at rest…..

………………….apparently I am VERSATILE!

Thanks Kevin for being on his list of those nominated for the Versatile Bloggers Award. I don’t know if this nomination had Capitals, but for here, I have chosen to give it some.

Anyway,  here are some of the many things that I find Overly Fascinating, just on the verge of full moon early in February 2012……

The Language of Flowers….Once there were no Texts or emails and people relied on letters and words to stuff up communication between the sexes. Before that, writers claim, would-be lovers communicated their feelings with bouquets of flowers, with each flower having a specific meaning.

These bouquets were called Tussie Mussies. I can only imagine the monumental  miscommunications these must have caused! A peony posy and a few dandelions misinterpreted and you could have found yourself married to the wrong man…or a woman! Or two men! Or celibate for life! Gosh! …Makes my love life seem tame really……

What inspired these thoughts? A book by Vanessa Diffenbaugh  ‘The Language of Flowers’ …about love and fear and flowers. Vanessa wrote “My skin lifted under his gaze as if the surface of my body were reaching toward him without the permission of my mind.’  How I wish I’d written that!

A fine way to begin the weekend with The History of Madness in Brisbane a local history session at Brisbane Square library this Saturday…

Hmmm, I’m thinking of differing historical views of madness….

Friends Hospital in Philadelphia described madness as ‘people deprived of the use of their reason’, and treated patients with active therapeutic gardening.

Yet Sam Harris, after publication of ‘The End of Faith’, received tens of thousands of emails and letters from people of all faiths and doubt, ‘who believe that the most important moral questions facing humanity today are not able to be answered by reason.’

What about the passion of Luang Pu  Boung Leua Souriat who depicted his unique vision of spiritual life in an astonishing giant size cement statue garden near Nong Khai in Thailand. Do you find this reasonable? And what of his devotees who continue to maintain his vision after his death?

And Edward Wilson’s Biophilia Hypothesis described our affinity with nature as innate, essential, part of our biology.

So maybe those who don’t regularly go into nature are in danger of madness?

Richard Louv, author of “Last Child in The Woods’, describes children who don’t spend time in nature as having Nature Deficit Disorder…

And Gardeners….what of our madness? We lose sense of time and probably reason, as we give ourselves over to the passion of gardening. We believe our plants communicate with us. We fall in love with plants,  wonder where and how l they’ll fit in our gardens? But we love them,  find a place, learn their needs.

Sometimes gardens have their way. They create a living work of art. This one’s at Ayutthaya in Thailand, the head of a statue enclosed within the roots of a Ficus tree.


Gardeners are taken with strange ambitious projects that consume us and make our friends smile fondly (mostly…) and maybe wonder just a little, as we confess our sudden inspiration to grow a…

Frangipani Forest ! Yes indeed. I had many frangipani cuttings, and a sudden vision overtook me! Of a colour wave of  frangipanis, kept to 2 and a half metres high, a perfect canopy of fragrance and colour, their deciduousness to remind me of cooler climates, and maybe my Grandmother who grew them…. Madness?  Memory?  Inspiration? …Sometimes inexplicably linked.

And People with Passion ….inspire us to lateral or amused thoughts, to keep us mainly sane….

Think of visionary gleam, one of my fav bloggers, who honours plants and flowers that look like football teams. Oh, have a look at that one! Fabulously nutty!

And me so thorny……now he ‘s a funny one! But is he mad?  Not in blogging world…maybe blogging is  therapeutic? And if therapy is needed, is blogging madness? Oh I can see where this is heading….

Then appreciation of delicious, a blog by a Filmmaker, of things pleasing to her eye. Some quirky, amazing finds from creative talents in art, photography, fashion. Keep an eye on the progress of the author’s films, too. Think on ‘The Storymaker”  and latest ‘Campers’ – Art that ‘has the capacity to generate different meanings without ever being completely consumed.’ (Umberto Eco.)

Now over the last few months, I have come to appreciate the concept that neighbours may potentially become confused when aspects of adjoining lives are glimpsed in cosy moonlit backyard…chocolate scrabble playing, idle and not-so-idle chat, pumpkin picking rituals, memorial ceremonies for my Companion Animal, practicing Modern Jive, other such fanciful-ness.

So, to avoid neighbourly confusion,  I have become Overly Fascinated with…

                          Garden Rooms, the concept of creating private, enclosed spaces within a garden..using hedges, vines, green walls. Now I believe I read that in Germany and Switzerland it’s mandatory for all roofs that are flat to be Green Roofs, now that’s just sensible, and lovely.

                                                 My Garden Room is to be purple Honeysuckle climbing sides of a pergola, with a golden Duranta hedge on other side.

Another has begun to be walled with jasmine and passionfruit, completely climbing over this immovable

children’s fort that came with my new bare backyard. My very own Folly, complete with Ship’s Wheel.

And as there are other things in life than gardening….

I am also Overly Fascinated with…..

Becoming a versatile, playful Ceroc dancer..maybe even sultry if I can be bothered going to any workshops.

And swimming in a tidal swimming pool to cool this Summer Heat.

And making Alzira’s Russian Salad

mix together: 1 cup beetroot, cooked & sliced. 1 kipfler potato, cooked & cubed. 2 hardboiled eggs, cubed. 2 tablespoons pickled cucumber.  few drops of lemon juice. approx 2 tablespoons salad cream.

and reading  ‘Damned’ by Chuck Palahniuk, which begins ‘Are you there Satan? It’s me, Madison. I’m just now arrived here, in Hell……’. Hilarious, contentious. And he wrote ‘Fight Club’ too, among many others.

This has reached the tipping point of versatility…..I hope you enjoy this in several readings and tell me what you think……

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