Autumn leaves in Bright, Victoria
I haven’t had much time recently to add more posts here on this site. If you’ve missed me, my apologies.
Like many “retired” people I find that life can get very hectic when one is cut loose from the demands and discipline of fronting up to a job on a daily basis. I seem to be everyone’s target for calling on to do extra things. I guess I was also far more disciplined in my working years, and only took on those activities I knew I could handle – most of the time.
There is also the matter of advancing years. I find that physical tasks often take far more time to complete these days. Strange phenomenon that one. In retirement I also find many more interesting things to distract me, where I was far more focussed when I was working.
I have managed to clear the decks somewhat in the coming months, so I can hopefully devote far more time to my writing for the rest of the year, including this site and my other sites as well. That’s the plan anyway; I hope it pans out as planned.
I see only one major obstacle: our desire to travel.
My wife and I recently enjoyed our first long caravan holiday in many years. We were delighted to visit Mt Beauty and Bright in the Victorian high country. The amazing display of autumn leaves left us wanting to stay much longer. Then we spent a few days bush camping in the Barmah Forest near Echuca. We started to question our lifestyle. We concluded that we could – like many retirees – become accustomed to being itinerants, moving around and exploring the wonders of this beautiful country of ours.
Autumn leaves in Mt Beauty, Victoria
Mt Beauty, Victoria
The Writers’ Digest magazine is currently promoting a Poem a Day challenge. Participants are encouraged to write a poem every day for the month of April. I think it’s a great idea to get people writing, and they have a writing prompt every day to help you along.
Part of the deal is that the prompt is posted every morning and poets can take it from there, writing whatever the prompt brings to mind. For the brave there is also the opportunity to share your poem on the blog site, inviting others to comment.
A few years ago a fellow poet went on an extensive trip overseas. She told me before leaving that her goal was to write a poem every day during her trip. That seemed like a great idea, so I borrowed the idea when my wife and I travelled Ethiopia (to visit our daughter), Morocco and Spain. We were away for 45 days and I wrote 55 poems so I exceeded my goal. Most of these poems were vignettes of sights we saw, or responses to our many wonderful experiences. The poems ranged in length from haiku through to longer works over 50 lines. It proved to be a very rewarding and creative time. You can read about my travels on Trevor’s Travels. You can also read some of my poetry here.
To find out more about the Poem A Day Challenge click here.
Roman ruins at Volubilis in Morocco
If only the stones could talk.
I was totally fascinated by the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis in Morocco when we visited during our tour of that country. It was certainly a highlight of the tour – a holiday with many highlights. These ruins are now a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Volubilis was settled in the third century BC but only reached its zenith as a commercial, cultural and administrative centre under Roman rule in the first century AD. It was occupied for at least another 700 years, so it has a long and rich history.
Many of the ruins were destroyed during an earthquake in the 18th century, and it is only in the last 20 years that excavations have revealed some of its former glory.
While wandering around the site, the writer in me couldn’t help speculate about the myriads of stories these ancient ruins could tell. At one stage over 20,000 people lived here. Each had a story to tell.
- What did they dream of?
- What struggles did they have?
- How many tragedies could be related?
- Who were the heroes – and the villains – who called this home?
- Think of some historic place you know well – or even revisit it.
- It can be a building, a monument or even a natural feature steeped in history.
- It could even be a photo of a place you have never visited – like those above and below.
- Let your mind imagine the people of the past who may have worked there, lived there or had lives changed by being there.
- Drawing on your imagination, write about those people, telling their story.
Roman ruins at Volubilis in Morocco
WARNING: This post is not much about writing. I felt the need to vent a little online. I don’t do it very often.
Most of the time I am very calm and don’t let minor things upset, but every now and then something gets up my nose.
Then I try to let it slide; life’s too short to let a minor irritation get the better of me.
For many years now I’ve had a watch which had a stopwatch facility. Whenever I am writing, or doing research linked to my writing, I have used this facility. At the end of each day I record on a chart how many hours I’ve spent on my writing that day, as well as how many blog posts I’ve written and a word count for the day. These figures are kept as a tally on this chart so I can see if I’m reaching my writing goals. It’s a way of keeping me accountable to myself. Works for me.
Just over two years ago I bought a new watch. The old one had seen many years of faithful, reliable service, save for an occasional new battery. The jewellery shop I usually go to no longer stocked the watch, and batteries were no longer available. Time for an upgrade after many years, I thought. The new watch was good, albeit a little bulky/clunky in appearance, but I coped.
A few weeks ago the battery failed. Suddenly – right in mid-sentence. So I went to have it replaced – not a problem. It was a few weeks out of warranty, but that wasn’t what upset me. A few days later the rubber/plastic strap threatened to break at any moment. Oh no. Having just spent money on a battery, I wasn’t keen to fork out more for a strap. It would have almost been cheaper to have bought a new watch. So I did.
The old watch is still very functional; I just can’t wear it, so it sits on my writing desk still performing nicely in timing my writing patterns. I am determined to get my money’s worth out of that battery.
The throw away society mentality really gets up my nose. Built in obsolescence has always pushed my button.
And I won’t even start on about having to replace a perfectly good – but very old – mobile phone this last week. SIGH.