Wednesday, 25 July 2012

snap it {soft}

The soft gossamer wisps of a dandelion clock, as they carry away wishes, have always captured my imagination since I was a little girl.

Link with snap it {soft}

Whispered Wishes

Tuesday, 24 July 2012


I didn't realise quite how many photos I took of signs! But perhaps it's not all that surprising with my interest in the written word. This is just a small collection of the many signs I have photographed over the years.  The last two, however, were taken last week on my way to a photography course.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

snap it {growing}

My lovely friend brought beautiful orchids for me the other evening and they were extra special as she had grown them herself. Clever thing!

Link to snap it {growing}

Growing Your Own

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

snap it {yesterday}

After a recent setback and loss of confidence, yesterday, I came to a decision about my photography. For a few months now I have been coasting along with a comfortable collection of 'samey' images that are safe. So, in an attempt to take things to a different level I booked myself onto a lighting course to learn some new tricks; but also in the hope of being inspired and challenged!

Yesterday... Moving into the Light!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

2166 Cabramatta

I found myself 'visiting' Cabramatta very soon after arriving in Australia. Having secured casual teaching in Sydney's south west I'd often fall asleep on the train on my way to work (having left the eastern suburbs at 6am) and would frequently miss my stop! The platform of Cabramatta station is where I would end up. I'd heard bits and pieces about the drug notoriety of the place but had never thought to fear it. Much like Redfern it had a 'reputation'! I'm not denying that the criminal element still presides but the council, police and local community have worked hard to rid themselves of the labels and stereotypes after the bad press they received. Their efforts to turn things around have been a great success!

These days people go on organised day trips to Cabramatta, food courses, food photography courses and food (nine eateries in one day) tours. In addition to the locals doing their weekly food shop, the place is visited by tourists, mostly from Sydney and most of them on a food mission! Do you get the picture? Interesting fact - It is thought that 'Cabramatta' came from the Aboriginal words for fresh tasty water grub CABRA and MATTA meaning a point or jutting out piece of land. How apt that even in it's earliest days it was a stand out area for delicious food!

Max and I felt quite relaxed walking around with our cameras in hand. It was like we were expected and people were very happy to see us. The faces, in that hustle and bustle of Saturday market shopping, were a mixture of energy and happiness, earnest shopper, concentrating game face, bemused worker, young and old. All familiar faces and universal feelings. 

This suburb that has become synonymous with the Vietnamese, Chinese and other east Asian immigrant communities gave Max and I another wonderful day; and of course we were drawn by the food too, swapping our usual cuppa and cake for green tea and yum cha.

These unusual specimens certainly caught my eye... any ideas?
King of Fruits - the infamous durian fruit was aplenty and as some may describe, 'heaven to eat and hell to smell!'
A family favourite
Cane... juiced!
Green tea and yum cha

Our Medicine man

... actually, fabric is another draw card for the area. Andrea and I sourced fabric last year for our dance group from this very store. Lots of people busily looked and touched, stretched and tugged to find the perfect material.

The conical hat in Vietnam, is called  nón lá - leaf hat
The innocence of childhood...

... and the cheekiness of age!

Xiangqi 象棋 - Chinese Chess

"Children Playing - Many of the people now living in Australia have come as refugees from war devastated countries. The First World War was once described as 'the war to end all wars'. Sadly, this was not to be but there is always hope that our children will be able to live in peace. " Plaque at Cabravale Memorial Park.
Remembering the past whilst looking to the future

Cabramatta - A taste of Asia in the heart of Sydney

I went in search of gold whilst in Cabramatta and this was the best I found. The jewellers wouldn't let me anywhere near with a camera (I guess I could have been casing the joint) so gold lettering, which was abundant, would have to do! So why gold? As you may (or may not know) I'm intrigued by the history of words, a common garden variety etymologist of sorts you could say, so I was thrilled to have come across a plausible and likely explanation for a true blue Aussie expression.

'During the Gold Rush of the 1850s and 1860s thousands of Chinese flocked to the goldfields of Victoria and NSW. It is believed that they gave rise to that most Australian of expressions: ‘Fair Dinkum’. In Tsoi Shan, a dialect spoken in Southern China Chin Kum means real gold. When asked by buyers if their gold was real they would reply 'chinkum' (real gold). '

... and so enters into the Aussie vernacular a new saying. Fair Dinkum!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

2768 Glenwood

Glenwood is my suburb... my place! Interestingly it wasn't recognised as a suburb until 1996. Glenwood used to be an agricultural centre with orchards, dairy farms and market gardens... and not too many people! The population of the Glenwood/Parklea/Kellyville area combined was only 1109 in 1996; it took a while to establish itself. But when it grew, it flourished at an amazing pace. In last  year's census 15325 people called Glenwood home!

SO WHERE IS EVERYONE???  You rarely see huge crowds of people around (except perhaps at 3pm by the school gates). We seem to be a busy lot, but busy elsewhere! Or we're enjoying the comfort of our 'McMansions'. Hmmm yes, a term that is frequently used in a derogatory way to describe where we live, but a label I'll gladly wear as I sit back and enjoy all the 'mod cons' of a home in the growing urban sprawl.

My photographic journey through Glenwood has been a gradual collection of images over time, much like the development of this area from early settlement to thriving residential area. It's an area of endangered environmental communities, heritage listed buildings, colour and variety. A place that I'm proud to call home.

The Dharug people who traditionally lived in this area would have survived on the plant and animal life within the Cumberland Plain Woodland. It originally covered 30% of the Sydney basin. but now only 6% of that woodland remains. Luckily, residents help to preserve and care for it through bush care groups. This small area of woodland is 50 metres from my front door and within it grow two trees that my girls planted shortly after we moved here. It's a great way for the next generation to be involved and also made aware of the possibility of it's disappearance if it's not looked after.
Exeter Farm c1820 

This small unassuming property was derelict, vandalised and rattling with termites until it's recent restoration through the Endangered Houses Fund. At one point after restoration it was the oldest property for sale on the Australian market, but now it belongs to the Historic Houses trust. It's a very rare timber-slab, early settlers cottage that stands confidently alongside the solar panelled, brick rendered properties of a new century. You wouldn't guess from these pictures but it's surrounded by 'McMansions'!
Glenwood Park house c1850
This has been home to a number of families over the years and has had almost as many name changes. It's last name , Glenwood Park House, is the one  from which Glenwood the suburb gets it's name.
If you love your football then Valentine Sports Park is the place to be, home of Football NSW and the soon-to-be training ground of the new A League team Western Sydney Wanderers FC. There were no other major changes or developments in Glenwood until the park was opened in 1986 and still it remained fairly quiet until...
... the building boom of the mid to late 90's! And still it goes on, although I'm not sure how much space is left here! This piece of farmland behind the rusty milk churn mail box will only be green for a little longer, as it has now been subdivided and the lots have been sold. I think I'll rather miss seeing the cows grazing as I drive past.
... the building of the Sikh Gurdwara (1998)

A place of community and contemplation

... the building of the 'village' shopping centre (2000)
... the building of schools (Caddies Creek Public School 2003)

... and the creation of spaces and places to relax, unwind and enjoy the natural beauty that still surrounds us in this suburb of rapid growth and change.