P1080350 (640x528)
P1080346 (494x640)
P1080351 (640x469)

How do I capture raindrops

in early morning light

as rays of sunshine burst

through misty haze?

From solitary shafts they hang

and fronds of lavender

from leaves bowed down

with weighted drops

that glisten in my garden.

A gift from nature

to capture me

And yet, despite my frantic haste

with camera and a steady hand

I can barely see them now

in these images I’ve made.


Morning Sparkle

P1080355How do I capture raindrops

in early morning light

as rays of sunshine burst

through misty haze?


From  solitary shafts they hang






Continue reading

Catacomb of Domitilla: Rome, May Day

After our special mass in St Peter’s on that Sunday, May 1st, we took an underground train to the station near Piazza Barberini where we had to meet Barbara from Viator Tours. Again we were very impressed with the intelligence and enthusiasm of the guide provided by this company. See www.viator.com for small group guided tours if you are planning a visit to Rome.

1-DSC01767-001 (640x444)

Rome’s underground rail service.

My legs were aching as a result of so much walking. Thank goodness I had packed my ‘shooting stick’- a walking stick that turns into a seat at the touch of a button. I had seen travellers from UK and Europe using them on previous trips and was determined to find one here in Australia. They’re made from lightweight aluminium and fold down to fit into a case or even a backpack. I was the envy of every other tired traveller.

Catacombe Di Domitilla 1-DSC01779was our first stop, a short distance from the piazza. We entered a church-like area, not far below ground level, then followed our leader along narrow passages and down steep, uneven stairways, many of them lined with burial spaces, now empty. At school we were taught that the Christians used the catacombs to hide from their Roman persecutors, but being so close to the surface and so obvious to the Romans, it soon became clear that this was a fiction told to us by gullible nuns.

Continue reading

St Peter’s Basilica: Papal Blessing on May Day in Rome

In front of St Peter's in Rome

In front of St Peter’s in Rome








May Day, the 1st of May, is celebrated throughout Europe. Initially to welcome spring, it is now, at least in Italy, a holiday for the workers and called Labour Day. My sister and I decided to join the crowds at mass in St Peter’s before our planned tour of ‘Crypts and Catacombs’ with Viator tours that afternoon.

A mass of people crammed into the central aisle

A mass of people crammed into the central aisle

We are in this crowd at the back section of St Peter's.

We are in this crowd at the back section of St Peter’s.

Inside, the cathedral was packed with onlookers, crowded into the rear section as mass was in progress and tourists were not welcome at that time. Having been raised as Catholics we had no trouble convincing the guards that we intended to participate in the mass, not use our cameras, and generally conduct ourselves with decorum.

Continue reading

The Vatican: Museums and Sistine Chapel

Our guide for the private tour of the Vatican Museums1-DSC01692 (640x426) and the Sistine Chapel, met us in the foyer of the Hotel Farnese at 9am on Saturday, 30th April. Having a guide isn’t necessary, especially for those who were raised in the Catholic school system, but we were promised a short cut from the museums and chapel to the basilica, so it seemed worth the price.

P1050970 (480x640)

Decorated floor as we entered the museum corridors



Once inside the museum, Annalivia insisted on providing a twenty minute history lesson about the church and the papacy (most of which we knew) and describing the sections of Michelangelo’s ceiling, because, as we discovered later, speaking is not permitted in the chapel. One interesting snippet that I didn’t know, was that St Peter’s Basilica was only built after the popes returned from Avignon. Started in 1506, it was opened in 1626. Before that, the main papal church was on the other side of the river, in St John’s, which (I hope I’ve got this right) is still part of the Vatican territory, even though it’s outside their walls.

Continue reading