Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. My passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography.
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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A forest of sunflowers

Today I have some creative writing for you - a writing group exercise this week.
My grandmother did have a huge vegetable garden, and there was a man that lived over the lane we used to visit, but I don't remember his name, and I don't remember any sunflowers, so this story is partly true and partly fictional.

A Forest of Sunflowers

There is a forest of sunflowers at the bottom of my grandmother’s garden, up against the back picket fence between the chook pen and the outhouse under the weeping trees.

The sunflowers are so tall that when we stand amongst them we can only just see over the top. We crouch down on the dusty dry red dirt amongst their stiff scratchy stalks. The sunflower heads are so big they form a canopy shading us from the hot sun and casting a yellow glow over us. Sometimes we take a book with us and read it sitting amongst the sunflowers. It’s our secret world where anything is possible.  As we doze in the sun the world of the Faraway Tree comes to life under the sunflowers.

Please click on "read more" to keep reading!


Beyond the sunflowers is grandma’s big vegetable garden stretching all the way from the back veranda to the chook pen. It seems like every vegetable you can imagine is growing there.  Every day grandma collects vegetables from the garden for our dinner, pulling up potatoes, onions and carrots with the dirt still clinging to their bulbs. Dirt pathways run between the beds and after our bath and on washing day we scoop the water out of the bath or the laundry trough with a can and water the garden.    

It’s fun to help grandma dig in the garden beds and push the seeds into the damp earth that we have watered with our bath water.  But our favourite place is the sunflower patch.

It’s a mystery how the sunflowers came to grow there. Grandma says she didn’t plant the seeds. Perhaps old Mr Rosini who lives in the little cottage over the back lane threw the seeds over the fence one day when he was cleaning out his budgie’s cage.  When we sit amongst the sunflowers we can hear him talking in Italian to his budgie, and Bluie talks back to him. Sometimes we go with our Aunt to Mr Rosini's house, taking with us fresh warm bread that Grandma has just taken out of her big black oven.  He turns on his radio so we can listen to the “children’s hour” and he pulls off chunks of the soft bread for us and slathers it with jam.

My Aunt says Mr Rosini has lived there since the war. Perhaps the sunflowers are how he repays Grandma for her kindness.


Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this little creative writing exercise. You can see some more creative writing by clicking on the tab "creative writing"

Enjoy the rest of your week and weekend. My computer had a dizzy fit this week, so hence this brief post. I hope to have all my photos back and be back again with regular posts next week.

cheers
Jill

Note: I have just asked my Aunt about the man. His name was Bill Gard. He was a bachelor and lived in a one room cottage. Grandfather used to go and chat with him for a couple of hours on Sundays. 
 

19 comments:

  1. I need some creative writing classes - this was great!

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  2. On the campus where I work they have grown several varieties of sunflowers in the past, and some were 10 ft tall!!! They had such a variety of sizes and colors as well. Not sure if they will grow this year.

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  3. Love your writing Jill - 'Slathers it with jam' & I am there in the moment surrounded by the budgie seed and smelling the fresh bread.
    Wren x

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  4. Oh I did enjoy this, very nice Jill. Sunflowers, make me think of Summer, warmth, my mother and aunties who grew them a bit, and all of the enjoyment the birds get from them. Hugs to you. Amtrak got cancelled, as train broke down and so now I am to fly to FL this Friday. Here is hoping. Take care~

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  5. Ah, grandma's house! Such great memories. Lovely flowers, too.

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  6. This was absolutely spectacular, Jill! I loved the part about taking the warm bread to Mr Rosini and then him turning on the radio. I bet they were older, more nostalgic shows which I love! This so reminded me of my grandmother's old house here in Reno. She moved out of it many years ago (she's deceased now) and into a condo. Yet, those childhood memories I have of that old house are still so vivid. I will still drive by it every now and then. Have an absolutely fantastic rest of your week! :)

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  7. Hi, I'm River, found you via Red Nomad OZ and have bookmarked you for further reading. it's nice to read tips that I can almost understand. Loved your food photography tips. I'm still not sure what depth of field means though.

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    1. thank you for stopping by River. It is great to meet a new "face". I am glad you have enjoyed my blog. Hmm...depth of field...thanks for the query. I can write a whole post just about that!
      Happy travels.

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  8. Hi Jill, I loved this evocative piece and I'm happy that memoir like this includes things that might or might not have been, but very well could have been! I don't think our memories can be relied on for everything, but our imagination is attached I think to our greater being, and so can fill in some of the details. As long as it's done with good grace and is in sympathy with the way things are then I believe it adds to the writing, rather than detracting from it.I think you've done a lovely job here and whisked us back to a time gone by when life was slower and childhood was quite different.

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  9. Simply wonderful Jill! It brings back memories of my great grandmother's cottage in Tarnagulla in Victoria and her extensive vegetable garden. I adore sunflowers - they make me feel happy!

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  10. I read your blog about your memories of Grandma’s house and loved it, I have lots of memories of holidays in Corrigin and Grandma’s garden, cooking and picnics up on “The Rock”.
    No one makes little meat pies quite like Grandma did, they were so yummy.

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  11. I remember going to Grandma's for school holidays on the bus from Perth it took nearly all day and the roads were gravel, the bus would be full of dust and I clutched brown paper bags for travel sickness, I didn't enjoy the trip much but I did always did love going to Corrigin. One year Malcolm and I went together, he talked about that in later years. We didn't do anything exciting but I loved picnics up on the rock, walking into town to the butcher & baker and calling into the Co-op where Aunty Beth worked in the office. When I smell Stocks flowering I still think of Grandma's garden, each day when Aunty Beth came home from work we would water the garden with buckets from the rain water tank. Of course I would walk over to play with Laraine and her friends, sometimes she wouldn't be able to play 'cos she had to help Uncle Ray making a rain water tank, he used to make tanks in the back yard

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    1. it's wonderful to think back on those times, and it is surprising what memories come up. I hope you write yours down Margaret.

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  12. Even though it's your story, it's a great trigger for my imagination too! I'm sure sunflowers must have a special meaning for almost everyone who's ever seen them - you've got me thinking about my connection with them! I know this is a late comment, but I hope your weekend is going beautifully!

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    1. I don't even know if Grandma had sunflowers. My cousin says she had stocks. So who knows where the story came up from, but I enjoyed the writing of it, and the comments that have come along with it.

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