Photo Friday: Reading, Writing, Playing

After last year's realisation I had only read two novels (I'd read about twenty non-fiction books and had started several books...), I've concentrated on finding new novels to read this year. This week I've scored a few novels from Australian and independent authors. The blurbs sounded intriguing. These are now in my growing reading pile. Will I make it to the bottom?

   

But I still can't resist the non-fiction...

 

And then there's writing. I'm currently working on an Absent Sherlock Holmes short story for an Australian anthology. Submissions open soon. Wish me luck!

It wasn't all written word this week; we started a new game, introducing some of our friends to D&D. Huzzah!

Photos © 2017 Karen J Carlisle

Photo Friday: Time Travellers’ Picnic

International 'Pretend to be a Time Travellers' Day' is traditionally held on 8th December each year. Last Sunday we calibrated our chronospheres, jumped in the TARDIS or appropriated a Vortex Manipulator to attend this year's picnic. It was wonderful to see members of Steampunk South Australia, Cosplay for a Cause Adelaide and Australian Costumers' Guild, as well as newcomers.

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Of course, it was a costume affair. We had steampunks, Stargate travellers, daemons. Even Batman and Wonder Woman made an appearance.

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We fed the ducks, ate cake, drank tea and enjoyed a relaxing day in the Botanic Gardens.

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James some gifts - geeky Christmas wreaths (our is hanging on our door).

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 And I finished my latest outfit (just in time) - steampunk explorer loosely based on Lara Croft and made from a free stash of material (Huzzah).

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 Photos:©2016 Karen J Carlisle/ David Carlisle. Group photo ©2016 Neil Swadling. All Rights Reserved.

Photo Friday: In the Garden

Last week I partook of 'feel good' Tryptophan and Phenylethylalanine via (way too much - is there such a thing?) dark chocolate. This week I've added Endorphins* to my arsenal to dispel the gloomy funk set in after weeks of anxiety. And what better way to get exercise than pottering in my garden in an effort to catch up on several months of garden neglect? Here's to sunshine, fresh air and endorphins.

Front yard:

First, I pulled out a few of the self-seeded lavender to liberate a couple of rose bushes near the path from being smothered - and discovered some asparagus was still alive behind them. The path needed some serious clearing. The lavender hedge (and more errant self-seeded lavenders) had grown across the side path and needed trimming back...

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... as did the path for the postie, near the verge (below). There is oh so much weeding, to remove errant grass clumps in the vege garden and stone paths (I decided to leave the parsley for now and pull them out as we need them).

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The path from the verge to the house is now swept and the irises trimmed.

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I also pulled the multiplied succulents from the garden beds. The cuttings and removed plants waiting to be re-homed (I'm giving them away).

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Next, I set to clearing the footpath around the house (there was only about thirty centimetres to wiggle past) and cleared out part of the overgrown 'fairy' garden, where I discovered some long lost solar Christmas lights - just in time to put up for this year.

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Back yard:

I've also been hard at work in the back yard, doing a clean up for the inevitable Christmas parties. I did some more weeding, discovered some surviving strawberries, rejuvenated two potted bushes - a rose and the blueberries (replacing some of the old potting mix) - and potted a self seed tea camelia into a new home. Dearheart mowed the grass - the seed stalks stood over four foot high - and now we can access the garden beds and more of my roses.

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We're so fortunate to have healthy soil. I don't use chemicals if I can avoid it. Then I opt for ecologically-friendly options. Companion planting and using the natural predators helps also.

I took this photo before the grass was mown. I stand with the First Nation of Grassy Narrows in Ontario in their bid to have mercury removed from their land. You can support the youth of Grassy Narrows at Go Fund Me.  #standwithgrassy

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Sciencey Stuff:
*Endorphins are released from the pituitary gland (brain) during of strenuous exercise, emotional stress, pain, and orgasm. They aid in the relief of pain and induce feelings of pleasure or euphoria.
  1. The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically Depressed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC474733/
  2. The Exercise Effect: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/12/exercise.aspx

Photos:©2016 Karen J Carlisle. All Rights Reserved.