Monday, 17 December 2012

Organised for Once ......

I've done it ... I have actually finished my Christmas shopping with a week to spare!  Okay, I didn't need to buy many but all the same I have completed it, wrapped them (or posted them away) and can now sit back and relax.

In fact I am really organised this year - my car's rego is due at the start of the year and normally I get a service and inspection the week before it is due .... not this year!  Got it serviced and inspected last week, bought my green slip and paid for the rego .... all done!

I can't believe that I am so organised this year ... it's a first .... lol

I have to admit that I will be glad when Christmas is over  .... it is a lonely time of the year for me; and for a lot of people who are on their own.  I am looking forward to the New Year, just know 2013 will be great year for me.

Downloaded a couple of new Apps for my phone - (I really love my new phone) - I never thought I would use a smart phone to it's full capabilities but, yes, I am.  I get my email if I am not at home, surf the Internet, have some great games to fill in time, take lots of pictures (and videos) and have my diary on it.  Who knew?  Lol.

It even has a live wallpaper - it reflects the weather in my suburb ... my little grand daughter loves it because when it rains, the screen has raindrops running down it.

Found a great App for getting rid of unwanted emails and Spam without ever having to see them; this app grabs mail marked as spam/junk and any mail from email address you have flagged and returns it to the sender with a polite little note letting them know that the recipient hasn't even seen it.    Ah no more stupid emails in the box; no more emails from Russian brides; no more emails from people you don't want contact with - and the fact you never see them makes it so much better ..... lol.

Babysat my two grand daughters overnight over the weekend .... got back home around 11 on Sunday morning.  My goodness!!!  Fozzie went absolutely crazy!

I know he is rarely left out all night; probably on third time; but the reception was if he had not seen me for months!  He was yelping, then racing around the house, then trying to leap into my arms.  Wouldn't be a big hassle if he was a little toy sized dog but he is a reasonable size (weighs 25 kgs - 55lbs) and I practically ended up on my butt trying to stop him.

He spent the next four or five hours following me everywhere and when I went to bed he snuck up and sleep across the bottom of the bed  .... lol.

The cats, on the other hand, didn't seem to care.  Mr Spot raced out the front door as I opened it and Cali was asleep on the lounge; she just opened one eye, saw it was me and then went back to her nap.

Last posting I mention Kings of Leon and their song "Sex on Fire" - I think I am obsessed with it ... lol.  I can't stop playing it; love the drum/cymbal use in it.  A lot of their songs seem to be heavy in the use of drum/cymbals but they don't have the same impact as Sex on Fire.  I think it is the way that song builds to a crescendo, just seems to work.  Oh .... and it is great to paint to, especially when using oils and a palette knife.

I had to laugh - got a request for contact from a guy; he requests contact at least once a month.  He is in his late 30s and lists his occupation as a Gigolo.  I finally decided to get rid of him once and for all by accepting contact and telling him I am not interested.  His reply when I said I was not interested - he said he wanted a relationship with someone who understood his work & all his other women and I replied that I don't share.  His answer to that?  ....

..... "No wonder you are single, you are too narrow minded; no-one would want you" and then he cut contact.

ROTFL .... what a fool!  Anyway, I then blocked him so I don't have to worry about him bothering me each month any more.  I doubt there are many women who would like to be in a relationship with someone who's occupation means they take out (and sleep with) lots of other women.

I just hope 2013 is better on the dating front - only been out 3 times in the last 12 months ..... hopefully next year I get 4 dates ...... ROTFL

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Pencils, Paints, Pastels, Pusscats, Pup and People .....

Needs a couple of areas fixed still ...
Been experimenting with pencils .... I recently saw a few different artist's work of pencil portraits and thought of giving it a go.  I have only been painting portraits about 2 years and have never done one in just pencil.

So went through all my photographs of heads and found one that I thought had good contrast and would look okay in black and white.  It amazed me just how much work goes into a pencil drawing and how many different pencils; from HB through to 8B, I used.  I am not completely satisfied with it but I think for a first attempt it turned out reasonably well.

When I photographed it I did notice a few areas that I am not happy with like the cheek highlight and the forehead on the left so will fix those before I decide to start another project.

I learnt a lot and know when I do another I will do things much differently.

Still it is the same with anything you do for the first time - trial and error!

10mtrs of paper
Here is a picture of all my goodies from the Art Scene sale ... I was very good and only bought a couple of pencils extra (needed them for my portrait experiment).

Those little boxes contain all the Schmincke pastels I got; lots of colours plus a half dozen white ones.

Was so excited, especially about my Kolinsky brushes ... while I was having my order finalised another customer looked over and said "my god, you are buying Kolinskys .... 5 of them!  I am so, so jealous!"  I was rather chuffed because I have previously been the envious one when others have bought them.

There they are, in all their glory

Happy that I got another roll of Arches watercolour paper - I only have about 1 1/2 mtrs left of my old roll.

Went to see my Doctor last week and the next thing I knew he has arranged for me to see a surgeon next week!

Got me thinking about the differences in health care here in Australia compared to the US ... I have friends in the US on Facebook who have cancer and even though they have insurance ... they are out of pocket by thousands and thousands of dollars.

Here in Australia, even if you have no health insurance you will be treated and it won't cost you a cent.  Those of us with private health insurance have access to our own doctors/surgeons/private hospitals and, in my case, the most I can be out of pocket is $1000.  I can only be charged a maximum of $500 for my hospital stay; if my surgeon is in "Gapcover' (and he is) then there is no extra payments to him; my health fund collects the medicare rebate and sends it to him along with their share so I pay $0!

I would hate to think how much I would be up for if I lived in the US!!

How is everyone going with their Christmas shopping?  Fortunately I don't have many people to buy for; my children in Queensland are all purchased and sent.  The ones down here are finished; my sisters and I swap gift cards so that will only take a few minutes to get next time I go to the supermarket.  My eldest grandson wants a game for his PS3 so will pick that up next week.  My mother in law gets a hamper from me so I will do that also on the next supermarket visit and that is it!!

Haven't put up decorations; in fact I haven't done so for a number of years - doesn't really seem worth it as no-one visits on Christmas day and I doubt Fozzie and the cats really care if there is any .... rotfl.

 The beautiful Cali is getting more adventurous and wanders through the house and even the front and side yard now.  At dusk she likes to play in the front yard and runs from one side to the other, then jumps and climbs up as high as possible in the trees ... mind you as soon as she sees another person she rushes back under the bed for a few hours .... lol.

Spotty is in everything!! He likes to check out my art gear, hides in a cardboard box so he can harass Fozz and Cali, he has even taken over Fozzie's doggie bed in my workroom!

And Fozz?  Well he is always smiling and up for a game or two ...

For those of you interested in how the Internet dating is going .... an update.

Been emailing and texting a fellow for a few weeks.  He did not have a photograph on his profile but he was in the right age group etc.  He was 56, 6'4", single (divorced), adult children and lived within 40kms of me.  We seemed to be getting on okay but each time I asked him for a photo he would have some excuse.  His profile said he had blonde hair, blue eyes, was very muscular and was always being told how attractive and handsome he was.

Well, in the end I said unless you can send me a photo I was stopping contact; I couldn't understand what the problem was ... he had already told me his phone had a camera app.  Well, that did the trick because within a few minutes he had sent me a photograph ..........

.......... even allowing for camera distortion there is no way he could be considered very muscular, he was overweight; even obese, his hair was white/grey and I think that maybe his friends were just being sarcastic by telling him how attractive he was.

When I asked him about the differences (weight/hair) he said "women won't accept me if I tell the truth, that's why I don't have a photo on my profile."  .....  So lying is better???    DUH!!!
jeffrey dean morgan, 05
So now back to square one again .... lol.

Surely somewhere out there is a great guy between 50 and 65 who is single, lives locally, over 5'9", kinda cute and would like to meet a crazy artist ...... lol.

Mind you my idea of cute is probably someone else's ugly  - no George Clooneys or Brad Pitts for me; prefer Jeffrey Dean Morgan  - you know those guys with a hint of 'bad' boy showing, a little rough around the edges

Please email me ...... rotfl!!!

BTW Mr Wentworthville ... why don't YOU send an email and say hi - mmm or are you married?  ...... lol!

I am loving this song .....

I have a collection of songs and music that was mentioned in the 50 Shades books - 55 tracks altogether and  that is one of them.  Others that I adore are Spem in Alium .... have absolutely loved it for ages and had forgotten to play it so when it was mentioned in the book it reignited my love for it ..... and Lakme - Delibes wonderful duet.

If nothing else the book has introduced a new audience to some really wonderful classical music ....

I read the three Fifty Shades books ..... the first book was probably the best of the three, and in all honesty I think she (the author) could have made just one thicker book as there was a lot of repetition across the three books.

She certainly isn't a very good writer, too much of the same things, some of it was very amateurish ... the sex scenes were good but even they become more of the same by the second and third books.  Still as I mentioned it has opened the world of classical music to a lot of people who would never have listened to it before so that is a very big plus.

Also the fact that is isn't vanilla sex was great ... I know there are lots of people out there who are very happy with a vanilla life but there are a great many (including me) who have some flavourings - maybe not full strength but nevertheless like a little more spice in their love life; so the fact it was written in a very popular book has taken BDSM and non-vanilla out of the proverbial cupboard.

I am not suggested that everyone grab the whip and the ropes but by bringing the subject to the fore it shows that "there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy" and as long as each partner is consenting then why not have fun and enjoy.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Art Sale, My Christmas Present .....

My favourite art supplies shop in Sydney is having it's annual sale and I can't wait .... Art Scene in North Ryde!!!  It is a minimum of 15% off everything and up to 75% on some items!

I decided at the start of the year that I would buy myself a Christmas present this year; my elder son has already given me a present - my sun lounge and my other son, I think, is buying me a coffee machine.  I have no-one else that would be buying me anything so figured I should spoil myself .... lol

So in anticipation I have been saving my pennies all year and have place my order ready to be picked up when I drive there next week while the sale is on.  I love the fact that you can place your order before the sale starts and arrange to have the sale prices if you pick it up or have it delivered through the sale week.

I know very well when I do go in to pick it up other items will take my eye, will try and be good and only put a few extras in .... lol.

So what am I spending my pennies on?

Well, I need more watercolour paper; I buy a 10m roll because it is cheaper and because I can choose the size of work I want to do, so a new roll is on the list.  Plus it a much cheaper way to buy watercolour paper.

I ordered Arches 300gsm NOT - my preferred weight and brand; it is a 100% cotton watercolour paper.  I can repeatedly rub-out, wash-out and re-work areas without worrying that is will pill or lift off.

Now that I have found a way to work pastels to my satisfaction I need a few more colours - skin tones and I have used up all my white pastels so have ordered 10.  Naturally I ordered Schmincke's because I love the softness of them  Okay they do crumble but the soft creamy texture is wonderful.

What else?  Need a few tubes of watercolours that I have used up - order Art spectrum, have used them before, they are an Aussie company and I like the way they work.

Because I have now decided to do more pastel work I have ordered some larger coloured sheets of Pastel Paper; I ordered light colours - creams, ivorys, soft pinks, etc as I am only using the pastels for nudes at this stage.

To hold all the pastels that I now have plus those I ordered I have also order a My Box empty pastel container.  It holds 90 pastels and has foam inserts to keep them safe.  My original Schminckes came in a wooden box with foam so it is only to hold all the extra ones I have managed to collect.  An added benefit is that they are made in Australia!

Ordered a few more kneadable erasers - I love them!

Okay, okay - I know have a reasonable collection of brushes (watercolour, acrylic and oil); the ones picture are just what I am working with at the moment.  There are, shall we say, another equaly large collection of watercolour brushes in the cupboard, along with my oil ones; BUT ..... I have two Kolinsky sable round brushes and I love them.

They are wonderful to work with; they hold water, are springy and have a fine point. The Kolinsky sable hair is produced using the winter fur of the male sable.  It isn't actually a sable but a species of mink that is a member of the weasel family and is found in Siberia and NE China.

If you are an Artist you know exactly what I mean.  They are the Rolls Royce of brushes and have a price tag to match. Some are hand made but all come with a great reputation.

The ones I have ordered are not the top of the line - which can be up to $2000 for one brush - but they are of a good quality and normally beyond my means.  I promised myself that I would buy some this sale and have ordered five rounds - a size 4, 5, 6 10 and 12.

To give you idea of just how expensive the hand made ones can be; the 5 I ordered could have cost close to $5500!

Mine cost a respectable $250.

So that is my shopping list on order, I would have liked a lot more Schminckes, and some other Pastel Papers but just can't afford them, instead they will have to wait until this time next year when the 2013 sale is on and hopefully I have run out of anything important or expensive .... lol.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Internet Dating and Age Differences ......

My inbox has been overflowing with requests for contact from men on the dating site.  One day I had  ..... 35 requests!!!! ..... couldn't believe it.  Anyway, after going laboriously through them all I was able to get rid of most - the married, the overseas, the 20-30 yr olds, the one's whose profiles said NSA or sex friend only; I was then left with 8 who seemed interesting.

I swapped a few emails with them all and found that a couple weren't really interested in a relationship despite having that on their profile (so many think a woman of my age is only interested in sex) so narrowed it down to 4.

.... 2 of them were, at least in my eyes, very attractive; one I swapped a few emails with but something isn't ringing true, he is 55 and says he lives in Sydney but something about his grammar and syntax has my scammer radar ringing; but the other we swapped phone number and we talked on a few occasions.

I hesitated a bit because of his age, he was 43; he actively pursued me and repeatedly said that he is very attracted to me, prefers older women and that age is not an issue; in fact he has stressed that he would love to be with the person he loved even if in ten years they are in their 70s and he only his 50s.  So we talked a few times and swapped some txt messages but in the end it didn't go anywhere.

The remaining two .... one is supposedly my height and 61.  Seems nice but I don't get a warm and cuddly feeling when I look at his picture .... rotfl.  The other is 52 - but he seems to be rarely onsite so the conversations are really, really slooooooooowwww

toy boys cartoons, toy boys cartoon, toy boys picture, toy boys pictures, toy boys image, toy boys images, toy boys illustration, toy boys illustrations
It is really weird, a lot of young men seem to actively pursue older women and by young men I mean those in their 20s and 30s.   I am 63 and I would have to say that at least 75% of requests I get are from men in those age groups.

The funny thing is those in my own age group just aren't interested ... I get maybe a couple ever few weeks .... and when you look on their profiles they are seeking women in their 20s and 30s .... lol.

Anyway, this got me to thinking about age differences .....

These days doesn't seem as major an issue as when I was younger.  It has always been accepted that men will probably marry a woman younger than themselves and we have tut-tutted when a man has a woman half his age on his arm but never really minded, in fact other men seemed envious.  But 30 years ago if a woman was seen with a man 10 years her junior it was considered scandalous.

Now, of course there are all the terms that go with it like Sugar Daddy (or Mummy), Gold Digger, Trophy husband/wife, Cougar, Puma, Manther, Cradlesnatcher, Toyboy,  etc, etc.

My late husband was 4 years younger than me and I can remember the family shock when we announced our engagement as he was only 21 ...  I was 26 and he 22 when we married.

Today most people are more tolerant and age gaps between the sexes of 20 years are not as frowned upon BUT whereas if the man is older and has a young girl on his arm people say he is lucky; when it is the woman who is older she is now referred to as a Cougar.

I don't really like the term the dictionary it means a woman over 40 who pursues sexual relationships with males more than 10 years younger.

Yes, there are a lot of women who fit that category but then there are a lot of women like me who prefer a younger man's company; who are not interested in casual sex but who want to develop a relationship with a man that is based on mutual love - if that man happens to be a lot younger should it really matter and should she be referred to as a cougar?

toy boys cartoons, toy boys cartoon, toy boys picture, toy boys pictures, toy boys image, toy boys images, toy boys illustration, toy boys illustrations If I was in a loving relationship or marriage with a man who was 15 or 20 years my junior should I be considered a cougar?

In western culture the 'supposed' rule of thumb is never date anyone more than half your age plus seven .... so if I work on that rule then half my age is 31.5 + 7 = 38.5 so anyone over 38 yrs old isn't too young for me  .... rotfl.

Of course the problem with that is in my mind a man of 38 reminds me of my children and I can't get past that.  Even a man in his 40s seems a bit too young, although I admit that I have been out with a few.

A man in his 50s is more to my liking, I think he is more settled, he knows what he wants and he appreciates a woman more than one in his 30s.  A man in his 50s is still younger than me but only from 13 years upward, he, hopefully, still thinks young and has an appreciate of a mature rubinesque woman.

Then maybe I should get over my prejudice and accept requests from men in their late 30s and 40s and just see what happens ...... lol .....

..... and if he looked something likes cuties ...... I think I would have trouble resisting .... rotfl.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Decisions, decisions ..... ?????

Decisions, decisions .... what to do?

I finished the portrait of Lusi and now have to decide what to do next.  I have the diptych but the modelling paste is still a little damp so I won't touch that until maybe next week.

Have more in the self studies to do but I really want to paint some waves, surf, waves crashing on rocks .... but not enough pictures of what I want.  I have taken about 100 surf/rocks photographs and done some work from them but I just can't seem to find the ones I want at the moment.

I was going to drive up to the coast to take some last weekend but it turned out a fizzer ... Saturday was overcast and hardly any wind and sunday wasn't much better despite the warnings of dangerous surf conditions.  I am guessing that would have been a lot of rips but the surf would not have been very big at all.

So it is a waiting game until the wind in is the right direction and fairly strong PLUS no rain and no or very little clouds

Until then I have to decide what to paint next or even finish ...

I went through my WIPs - there is a brightly coloured boat on water with reflections about half finished; a Wodaabe warrior, also half done.

I have also sketched out a number of ideas - a giraffe head, a bear head (which has the first wash on it), a rodeo rider, a walrus head, two rainbow bee eaters, a water reflection abstract and an elephant's eye.  All of these have been sketched out and then drawn onto paper ready to begin painting.

Unfortunately none of them 'float my boat' at the moment .... lol.

So what to do?

I could turn my attention to one of the many fiction books I have partly written and maybe even get one finished.

Although I do have one completed, a non-fiction, but now have to buy an ISBN and register as a publisher so that it can be self published.  I will be selling it through Amazon and could use their ISBN free but it restricts the selling of your book to only Amazon.  Anyway, I hope that by early next year it will be available for sale.

So what to do;  back to my procrastination - er ... my decision making

On top of the paintings I have organised I also have a large number of books I want to read and a few I have started, so I could just sit on the lounge and read all day ....

I have been reading some of Dr Michio Kaku's books and have one half finished; up to book three of Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody series which I am thoroughly enjoying; have the first few chapters of Boyd Morrison's The Roswell Conspiracy read and had a glimpse at the first dozen pages of Michael Byrne's The Sacred Bone.

Plus ..... a few thousand (like 20 or 25 thousand) ebooks that I just had to have .... lol.

So what to do?

I have been good ... before 9am I had whipper-snipped the small grass area I have in the side yard (it's for my Fozzie); swept and wash the deck of the BBQ area and tidied up (sort of).  Last night I dragged all my rubbish out to the curb for the council to pick up (we get to book 12 clean-ups a year and I rarely take advantage of them).  So my old queen-sized waterbed, some old wooden garden chairs, an old mower, some general junk went out.

But OMG that waterbed was sooooo heavy!

Times like that you wish you had a man in your life to help ...

I ended up splitting the bladder open and pulling out the baffles so I could drag it all out to the curb.  Heard the garbage truck come about 5.30am this morning and I had my fingers crossed that they would take it.  The restriction to the clean up is that you can only put out enough for one small trailer load and it has to be able to be lifted by one man.  I hoped that my dragging would constitute lifting by a guy ..... thank goodness when I got up and looked it was all gone!

Had an email from a friend on Facebook (female) when I had posted about dragging my stuff out - she told me I should have several 'boyfriends' - a collection with each serving a different purpose and maybe a little overlapping.

ROTFL ... hell, I am having enough problems finding one guy without  finding half a dozen; although I guess under her 'rules' a number of the men/boys who have contacted me would fit

Sorry but it just isn't me .... seems like using people instead of loving them.

So what to do?

I could get stuck into cleaning the garage - now that it is almost empty I could start cleaning it in preparation for turning it into my studio.  The few things that are left in it could get carried down to the back shed - except for a slight problem ....

.... they are bloody heavy - need that man again ... lol!!!

Of course, there is a big danger that I will end up playing on the computer all day .... rotfl.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Satay, Scams and other Stuff ....

Been out on another date .... lunch this time at a Thai restaurant .... I had Tofu & Veggie satay - delicious!

He seems a very nice guy but as soon as I saw him I thought "no".

He had said he was 175cm (5' 9") .... normally I love men over 6 foot but I just haven't had any luck in the men department so I thought I would drop down to my own height.

So I saw him walking toward me and I thought ... there is no way he is 175cm (5' 9) .... when he got up to me I saw he was probably about 165cm (5' 5).

Okay so I am not a nice person but I really can't cope with a man who is shorter than me ..... lol.  Probably comes from the fact that my sons are 196 cm (6'5") and 206cm (6'9")

Anyway, we had a nice lunch and sat and talked for a while.  He does seem nice but I think that maybe, apart from the height thing, he just doesn't share the same interests as me and we don't seem to have a great deal in common.  It is nice to have differing points of view but there has to be some common ground there also.

So it is back to the drawing so to speak .... lol

I have noticed that scammers are changing their tactics a little ... they are now saying they live close to were you do and it is only after a few emails are exchanged that they say that they are presently working overseas for x amount of time.

Had one do this to me ... we had exchanged a number of emails, swapped photos of family and talked about all and sundry.  I mentioned meeting up for coffee and he casually informed me that he was working in Malaysia for another 4 months but that it shouldn't stop us from corresponding.

Okay call me suspicious but my scammer radar started buzzing and I replied that I did not want a long distance relationship and we stopped emailing.
3 Brentwood Way Castle Hill NSW 2154 Real Estate Photo 1
Then a couple of days later I got an email from him asking me to look at a house in Castle Hill as he was considering buying it but needed someone to check it out. He attached pictures of it and the address and price etc.

It was a beautiful enormous house BUT ... I had no intention of looking at it and said so.  His return email was suggesting I look at it and if it seemed suitable I pay HIS agent (?) a small holding deposit and he would immediately transfer the money ....

Oh foolish man!!  I am older and wiser than that!!!

Working on two art works at the moment ... one is a portrait and the other a diptych of a Buddha.

The portrait is probably about the half way mark and the diptych is only just started.

 I have used a modelling paste on the diptych then will paint over it with acrylics.  Hopefully it works out as I have it planned in my head ... lol.  Once the paste has fully cured I will start painting; it will be in browns and golds I think but not 100% sure at this stage.... will see how it looks as I start applying colour.

Had to giggle to myself.  I have a lovely doggie bed in my studio for Fozz to relax on; he is never far away from me, but instead he chooses to sleep under my desk and I have to maneuver my feet/legs around him.

You can see him peeping out in the photo and you can see the lovely soft doggies bed ......

Anyway, Mr Spot has decided that it is perfect for him and whenever he comes inside for a visit through the day he plonks himself down on it and makes himself comfy.

Cali, on the other hand, avoids it like the plague.  She would rather lay across my shoulders, look out the window or play Mousehunt on my computer.

You can see her checking out the results of her last hunt before deciding if she needs to change the cheese on the trap ....  rotfl.

Trying to decide whether to drive up to the Central Coast over the weekend; dangerous surf conditions have been predicted and I love getting pictures of heavy surf and waves crashing on rocks for reference.  But when I check the BOM website it said the winds, although from the SE, Ne or E; will not be that strong but the warnings are in place for coastal waters.

Last time I drove up in similar conditions the water was very flat - I imagine there would have been rips and undertows but there was very little surf so I am in two minds in case it is the same this weekend.  It is an hour and half drive and if I can't get the photos I want it is almost a waste of time and petrol.

I am leaning toward waiting until the Bureau announced much stronger wind conditions.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Koi, Lotus, Mantras, Beds and Men ....

Spent time at the Buddhist temple in Wollongong yesterday and found this Lotus pond.  Naturally one of my ever present sketchbooks came out of my handbag and I did 3 very, very quick watercolour sketches.

I always have a small kit in my handbag - a small sketchbook (like a moleskine).  Also some pencils, water-filled travel brushes and a small paintbox that fit into a small pencil case.

Then there is a much bigger kit in the back of my car, along with a folding chair and a large umbrella come beach-tent thingy .... lol

Anyway, back to Nan Tien - love being there, not only because it is my religion but because it is such a beautiful place.

I went into the main temple to spend some time reflecting and praying with the Buddha.

The scent of incense in the air; the soft noise of bare feet padding into the room; a nun chanting her thanks; a large singing bowl echoing across the space.  In the distance I could hear the great temple bell pealing out its deep throated sound.  Such a wonderful time.

Anyway, back to the Lotus pond which was full of Koi and there were a few sleepy ducks on the bank; their heads tucked into their bodies, they opened a bleary eye as I arrived then quickly went back to sleep when they saw no food.

The lotus pads almost covered all the pond, except for a few spots around the edges.  I love the way the leaves unfurl ... they are coiled either side inwards then slowly stretch out; Some were held high above the water and were like small umbrella shading the fish.

The Koi were very curious but went away disappointed when I had nothing to feed them with; these few fellows practically came out onto the bank in hopes of gaining a feed .... lol.

Love the colours of Koi ... from white right through to black, there were a couple of very fine ones that I spied .... with three or four different colours on them, the oranges being particularly bright against the splashes of black on them.

I will have to go back when I know the lotus are in bloom - the pond must look spectacular!

The lotus is one of the eight auspicious signs of Buddhism - an eight petalled lotus used in Buddhist mandalas symbolises cosmic harmony, a thousand petalled Lotus - spiritual illumination.

The well-known mantra "Om mani padme hum"refers to the jewel of the lotus - enlightenment.  The 14th Dalai Lama wrote on the meaning of it here.

It is said that all teachings of the Buddha are contained within the mantra.  Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche wrote that "there is no a single aspect of the eighty-four thousand sections of Buddha's teachings which is not contained in Avalokiteshvara's six syllable mantra "Om mani padme hum ..."

Buddha of Compassion, Chenrezig
Enough of my religion .... lol ... but I thought some of my readers may have been interested in the connection between the Lotus flower and the Dharma.

Anyway, as I mentioned I will have to work out when the Lotus will be blooming - the pond must be an amazing sight when it happens .... a sea of pink amongst the soft green of the lotus pads .........

Have I said how much I love my new bed?  I love my new bed ..... lol.

I have to say I am surprised at how quickly I have gotten used to sleeping on a 'normal' mattress as opposed to a waterbed one.  Although I guess because I went for an orthopedic mattress (actually the one I got is approved & recommended by Chiropractors' Association of Australia) it meant that the support for my back would be there.

Still giggle when I get into it because it is so high off the ground .... 70cms (28") from floor to the top of the bed .... I am 175cm (5'9") thank goodness I am not a few cms shorter, I would need a step to climb in .... lol.  I feel a little like the Princess and the Pea character.

Met up with and spent the day with a very nice man ... but I am not really sure that he is for me despite him saying that he was very much taken with me.  I think maybe he is too emotionally intense for me and I am not sure how to cope with it; I tend to shut down when I don't know how to handle situations... lol. In other words I panicked, and quite possibly I should have persevered but sometimes I just get overwhelmed by emotions in others and in myself.

At least I actually met someone  I have not been out all year so even just spending the day with someone was exciting even if I never see him again ..... rotfl.

Mind you it never rains it pours and I have now 4 men who have contacted who 'say' they are looking for a relationship and not just a sex friend or casual sex buddy ... time will tell but it is very flattering and great for one's self esteem.

The guy I met kept saying "I can't believe how gorgeous you are" "you are stunning!" and "I really hope this is the start of a lifelong relationship" ... okay maybe it was all talk but it does give one's ego a very much needed boost.

I have to admit that the past 11 months my self esteem/worth has been non-existent and so to have someone tell give you some very lovely compliments goes a long way to healing all the previous damage done by you-know-who when he completely under-mined my self confidence and my self-worth went out the window.

By getting those wonderful compliments I feel I can face other people; I feel that I do have something to offer others and that I am very worthy of the attention of a nice guy.