Home Sweet Home – with wonderful memories!

20130924_211134[1]The welcome home was ecstatic, and I needed a little rest after all our adventures. I enjoyed sharing my experiences with my granddaughter over a cup of tea, in the comfort of my own home.
Despite my severe loss of sight, my carers’ generosity made this a memorable holiday. My greatest appreciation and thanks go to Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, who inspired my entry and provided the award which brought my unseen experience to reality!

Sunday reflection

Belco Church 120130922_112944[1]We were so thankful that so much had been achieved during my trip, especially due to my carers’ descriptions and explanations. Together with the Experience Unseen prize from Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, I felt a great sense of thankfulness; and I enjoyed meeting others and telling them about my experiences!

And along came the band…

20130921_16194520130921_140139The augmentation of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra by the Band of the Royal Military College, Duntroon provided a very engaging matinee concert at Llewellyn Hall, ANU on Saturday afternoon. The conductor’s humorous commentary on the music about to be played provided a most satisfying performance. It ended with a very stirring rendering of the 1812 Overture – we could hear and feel the cannons! A very appreciative audience earned two wonderful encores.

The Governor General’s Family Picnic Day

20130921_12125620130921_11014020130921_10364220130921_103447_120130921_103543Camellias and other spring flowers gave great beauty to the gardens. Along with thousands of other people, we toured Government House, looking at the rooms and the treasures. Furniture with exquisite inlaid parquetry and the large dining table set for an imposing state dinner, complete with place cards. Lots of lovely artworks. The Rolls Royce used by Queen Elizabeth on her recent visit made for a memorable day. The staff were all thoughtful and helpful, with golf carts offered for transport of people with additional needs – and they deserve our thanks! A lovely sunny day for a picnic in the sunshine!

The wider panorama

20130919_13211320130919_13235220130920_15224120130920_152337There are so many trees in Canberra, it’s such as lovely environment. An exhibition at the National Library, called “City of Trees”, gave an opportunity to walk inside a (cardboard) tree! I joined others in recording my memories about trees. It brought to mind a special tree in South Australia which was big enough for an overnight stay when moving from one place to another, in the earlier days of settlement. Later, I went on a drive through the Arboretum, which gave beautiful views of Canberra and the mountains to the west. The wide variety of so many recently planted trees will grow into a magnificent forest in the future. The nearby Scrivener Dam was overflowing, quite spectacular!

Exploring the home of Australian democracy – then the new

20130920_14082420130920_14053220130920_142213_120130920_142354_120130920_143813Further up the hill, a much more spacious new Parliament House awaited our exploration. We enjoyed looking at panels and pictures giving information about women in the government and about our local member. Queens Terrace had a statue of Queen Elizabeth, and stately views included the War Memorial. A special favourite was the large tapestry wallhanging in the great Hall, worked by the Victorian Tapestry Workshop, and inspired by Australian painter Arthur Boyd. A small sample was available for people to feel and touch, to help with understanding the complexity of the work. The foyer and staircase had interesting marble features.

Exploring the home of Australian democracy – first the old

20130920_11521120130920_12021920130920_120854_120130920_121650We explored Old Parliament House, which has now become the Museum of Australian Democracy. What famous words may have echoed within these walls? We sat in the Prime Minister’s office; took a call from Prime Minister Calwell, and sat in the Speaker’s Chair. The seats in the chamber were very comfortable, but I could see why they needed a bigger building – even the corridors seemed too small!

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