Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Paris in July - Sign Up

What is on your mind?
Do you think Victor Hugo would be thinking about Paris in July right now?
Paris in July is an annual blogging event, for bloggers who love all things Paris. This is our 7th year and we're looking forward to another fantastic July.... Check out last years welcome post for some ideas on what you might like to do...  Also, you can follow this link to last years wrap up post to see what others did..
This year, you'll be invited to link your Paris in July Posts through Mr Linky's that will be posted each week here at Thyme-for-Tea. A couple of other bloggers will also be involved by providing weekly summaries of Paris in July Activities - and I'll make sure there's a link to their posts when they're up.
Comment below if you have aspirations or link up now. I'll try and maintain a participants list here on my front page to make it easier to connect..
Let's have some fun!
If anyone would like to prepare a Paris in July 2016 button please do so as I dont have the skills. Share it through Mt Linky.

 If you're participating this year with one post or plenty, just link in here...

Monday, June 20, 2016

Is that Paris?

July is coming.. too fast. Many of my blogging friends know that July is a big month for me here at Thyme-for-Tea. I have co-hosted Paris in July for the past 6 years. Paris in July has been a fixture, and has almost become the infrastructure of this blog. So when I ponder the possibility that I may not be in the best position to host it this year, I'm torn. Of course I want to...

I wrote this summary post last year, which still today, rings true for me and Paris in July. When I re-read this, I am energised again. However, I am a strong advocate for women to be conscious of not becoming over committed due to 'obligations ', and perceived 'responsibility', so I  must listen to myself on that one too.

So, what about Paris in July 2016?

I will host it. It will be about bringing together a community of Paris loving bloggers. I will make this a place for you to come to post your links to your Paris in July posts.  I'll post a few  myself.. but it'll be a simple affair.

I plan to post the sign up Mr Linky page on June 22nd so we can all see who's joining in. Then each week, hopefully on a Friday, I'll post new Mr Linkys for you to link your new posts.

I'd invite any of the participants to offer to write a summary review of one of the weeks in July. The idea of this is to capture the highlights of all Paris in July posts for that period.  If you'd like to do one of these, drop me an email. (My address is in my 'about me' tab).

So, with much anticipation, I now declare Paris in July 2016, the annual blogging event for lovers of all things Paris, will be happening.

All welcome.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Books, Rain & Lights

Winter is settling in, the rain is falling, the heater's on, and we've experienced some of the worst winter can offer this past weekend. It's going to be another week where I cant really get on my bike and cant really spend time in the garden. So, it's time for a little review of my reading journey over the past few months... it's a sad story, but I feel telling it will help me move on.

I've been trying to read 'A Little Life' by Hanya Yanagihara. I had great intentions to read this because it had some great reviews, it was short listed for the Man Brooker Prize. I downloaded it onto my Kindle and started reading. I felt like I was getting into it, and each week tried to read a little bit more. My kindle said I was progressing in 5% increments.  It wasn't really engaging me, probably becuase I wasn't reading it consistently. Then on the train one day, I noticed someone reading the real book. It's HUGE! I would never have chosen that off the shelf.

Anyway, I woke up this week to realise it's June, and I've been trying to read this book for 6 months! As a wise friend (or many) has said, you dont have to finish every book. So I'm not going to.

Has anyone else read the book? Was it good?

I've got two other books on the go, and I'm enjoying them.

Helen Garner's "Everywhere I Look" - it's a collection of essays,diary entries and true stories spanning more than 15 yearsof the work of one of Australia's greatest writers.

and "Walking Towards Ourselves: Indian Women Tell Their Stories" edited by Catriona Mitchell. Reaching across different strata of society, religion and language, this anthology creates a kaleidescopeof distinct and varied real life stories.

Just for something beautiful, here's the sydney opera house in lights for the vivid festival. We went in the midst of the storm but it was still beautiful.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

This is where I live.

Last weekend was mothers day and the weather was beautiful. My niece, whose mother is overseas this year on her own adventure, decided to come and spend the weekend with me (cheaper than going os). We had a lovely time visiting Newcastle's Olive Tree Markets, having lunch at the Honeysuckle Wharf watching boats in the harbour, and strolling along these beaches, and rock pools.

Because I travel alot with work, and spend nights in the big smoke, i love to return home to my garden and my town. I pinch myself often as I remind myself.... I live here!!!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Relative Value and Costs

High School Students living at Barathi Girls Hostel
One of my joys in life has been to have spent time with these girls in Tamil Nadu. Since 2007, I've been volunteering with ODAM India to support the girls education program and hostel accommodation for high school girls. These girls have come from incredibly poor families, who have traditionally been unable to send their kids to school. Many of these girls were actually bought by local factories with a promise of work until they got married, and a dowry. The truth is, very few actually get their rewards for their lifetime of service.

ODAM negotiates, sometimes with payment, to have the girls released into their care to live at the primary school (partly government funded) to get their essential schooling. Then ODAM offers a hostel for girls who wish to continue their education at the local public high school. They will also support girls to go on to University or other vocational training programs.

Many of these girls are getting a better education than any other member of their family - which means they will have greater choices in the future, and greater capacity to help their families in old age.

The hostel is based in Thiruchuli - a small town/village - where buses and trucks pass through on their way to other places. But few families actually have their own transport. Recently, ODAM employed a full time warden at the hostel for security and maintenance. But they don't have transport options for the warden. We've been asked if we can help raise money to purchase a scooter. The scooter would help the warden and other hostel staff to attend to the day to day needs of the hostel - but more importantly - assist with getting sick girls to the local medical clinic at all hours of the day/night.

Scooters or motor bikes are affordable transport options for the small town.
It's all relative isnt't it? I've mentioned before how I'm studying business ethics at present. I was not surprised to learn about relativism in ethics. But here, I see an issue of relative value. What is quite expensive in Australia (a scooter) isn't so expensive for us in India. Althought it's a little out of reach for ODAM. So, I've started a fundraising page, for friends and family, and supporters, to contribute to this simple and easy target. We just need to raise AUD$1500. That's just $50 each for 30 people.(or $25 each for 60 people) ... easy!

Click here to go to our fundraising page...

Help out if you can - or pass this link on to others - put it on facebook - whatever.... it's appreciated :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Delightul Australia Bush

 The scribbly marks on gum trees
 Beautiful rough and glossy leaves
 Stunning scenes in the Blue Mountains
 Natural Features
 Rough seed pods left after the flower
I've been away for a few days with my man.. enjoying mountain bike riding, bushwalking, and resting in a beautiful cottage with a fireplace, port, cheese and chocolates. It's been a beautifully relaxing, refreshing and rejuvenating few days. I feel so lucky to have these opportunities so close to me....

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Ethical Relativism and other reflections

It's a mid April Sunday afternoon, and I'm sitting in my study listening to a beautiful autumn rain as it trickles down the gutters and streams down the road. I'm glad I spent some time in the garden yesterday feeding and mulching the soil, preparing it for the winter crops. This rain will wash in the compost, blood and bone and extra lime ensuring the soil PH levels will be suited to my crops this winter. I just read this post which made me feel like I was on the right track with my garden.

I am thinking I should be studying, preparing for my corporate social responsibility and ethics exam coming up - but I'm blogging instead... As this is my first trimester in this MBA, I only enrolled in one class (working full time and living life doesn't allow too much time for extra study). Still, I've found this subject particularly easy - maybe because I'm comfortable with speaking and thinking about ethical issues. But one issue that I hadn't quite prepared myself for, is that I'm a mature aged Anglo woman doing post graduate studies, in a class that's 90% international full fee paying students under the age of 35yrs. It's been fascinating. 

I've just finished a group assignment which was quite a learning experience for me - not on the content - but on the process of working with students from other cultures. I feel quite confident now on the theoretical construct of 'ethical relativism' - that is to say what is ethically right or wrong in one country may or may not be ethical in another country. I was quite surprised to  have a conversation with my small group about our case study - a matter of corporate ethics - on what I clearly saw as a contravention of Human Rights, my fellow students saw just the way it is.

Besides spending time reflecting on the study experience, I've also been enjoying the distractions - here are some of the posts I've enjoyed this week out there in blogging land...
And I'm currently reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, written in 2015.  I have to say that start is a little slow for me..... going to give a little bit more time.

Last weekend I went down the south coast for a friends party, and this was the early dawn view from my motel room - I just wanted to share it with someone....