Thursday, 31 December 2015

New Year's Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

I know, I know. New Year’s resolutions are those flighty, lofty, well meaning, seldom kept, do good things that we saaaaay we’re going to follow through with… but often don’t.  Most of the time they are very grand goals, but we lack the strict motivation to follow them through. Plus we don’t seem to beat ourselves up about not keeping them, so there is no sting in the tail. 

So… here are a few goals that I am going to set myself, that I just might be able to follow through with. I’m going to keep them simple… attainable… and fun. So in no particular order, (drum roll please) they are:

Washing the dishes before going to bed each night. 
I know this sounds simple, but who hasn’t had a big day/night of cooking up a storm and thought, ‘pfffft… I’ll do the dishes tomorrow’. Well no more for me. I might just get my zen on from doing this, and who knows, I might sleep better? Case in point. I started this tonight, on New Year’s Eve. Go me.

Efficient travels in the house.
What do I mean by this? When moving from room to room in the house, I plan to take something with me that belongs in another room. Rather than all those solo trips picking up bits and pieces to store them elsewhere, I’ll be more efficient. Heading downstairs? Take some garbage with me to put out. Things like that.

Make my lunch more often.
Too often I rush out of the house each day heading to work and think ‘I haven’t got time to make a nice lunch’ so I end up buying something. I know it is nice to frequent local, often family run cafe businesses, but it is costing me a small fortune. I will though treat myself to a bought coffee every now and then, but that’s about it. Maybe a muffin too, but that’s the limit.

Take more photos…. with purpose.
I take a bunch of photos now. You may have seen them plastered on Facebook and Twitter, but I vow to think about photos more rather than just snap away. I will slow down a bit, take it all in, compose, think, plan… and then snap. I know I will have the voice of my photography teacher Irene in my head saying wise things like “see the light”, and “bump up your ISO”. Thank you Irene.

Write more.
I don’t write as often as I would like. Work and life seem to get in the way. So does internet time, television time, pat the cat time and dawdle time.  Time to create writing time.

Be creative.
This year, I vow to be more creative. Put my energies into fun things. Use my noodle. Be more kid like. Enjoy colours. Enjoy life. Create.

So reader, what are your New Year’s resolutions for 2016? Have you made any? Do you think you will see them through? 

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Fadden Pines - A nod to Thomas Charles Weston

A recent walk around Fadden Pines reminded me of just how beautiful this park is, and how lucky we are that it still remains in suburban Canberra. But it got me thinking, just when, how and why did this park come into being? 

The 41 hectare park was begun in 1953, as part of the afforestation policy of Canberra which was first decreed by Thomas Charles Weston nearly 40 years earlier. Charles, a trained horticulturalist from England, worked as the officer-in-charge of afforestation in Canberra from 1913 until he retired in 1926. He had a very meticulous and planned approach for the horticultural beginnings of the budding young city of Canberra. 

His four goals for Canberra were:
1. To establish a first class nursery (he accomplished this, founding the Yarralumla Nursery in 1914);
2. To raise stocks of plants likely to prove suitable;
3. Reserve all local hilltops and improve their tree cover; and
4. Seek out and procure useful seeds (the seed library he created at the Yarralumla Nursery is unrivalled).

Charles was also involved in the first plantation of Mount Stromlo, where nearly 1.2 million trees were planted between 1921 and 1924.

Charles' legacy lives in other parts of Canberra, namely Weston Park, which was named after him in 1963. The new primary school to open in Molonglo will be named the Charles Weston School.

For further fascinating reading about Charles, please have a look at these two links.
A thesis written in 1999 by John Edmund Gray about Charles’ contributions to the landscape foundations of Canberra;


A detailed history of the Yarralumla Nursery and the in-depth planning that went into the first government initiated plantings across Canberra. This report was compiled by Lenore Coltheart in 2011;