The world has become so consumed with serious, sad news; I think it has forgotten how to be happy. Yet, happiness comes so naturally for kids and when we hear those joyful, little souls, it reminds us to play again.
Forgetting the troubles of the world. isn't easy for them either - especially over this new CoVid era, but the joy of spring was everywhere. These children have worked so hard to contribute a wonderful display of colour, for Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers.
Believe it or not this wonderful account of happiness in hard times was overlooked by the news, because it was not miserable, nor did it have criminals or crooks. There was no blood and guts to be splattered across the front page of our newspapers - only happy faces, doing happy things - living a stress-free day, at the start of spring. And, you'll have to agree, these kids were more than worthy of front page news!
Spring has sprung and although the annual Carnival of Flowers Parade hasn’t yet found its way to the Toowoomba City - flowers have bloomed beyond all expectations at the Toowoomba East State School Fete, on Saturday 11th of September.
Conscientious students have been busy for weeks - designing, planning, creating, potting, and watering some incredibly beautiful hanging baskets, as part of the month-long, carnival activities.
As a creative individual myself, I was totally blown away by the genuine and ingenious thought processes - displayed by the young, artistic talent, clearly brewing at this school. I was equally impressed by the sheer number of clever cookies, who entered this adorable, green thumb floral event.
Daring dragons, fierce fairies, mystical frogs, and toadstools – flew and jumped their way into moss-covered, rocky-ferned and floral-hanging baskets of sublime colour and perfume. Yes, this was a wondrous sight that entailed weeks of earnest dedication, encouraging nature’s beauty to blossom, beneath the caring hands of young children.
And…if this was not enough – for what I thought was the icing on the cake of talented East State School students – low and behold, around almost every corner of the school, emerged more of this unexpected, clever creativity that revealed itself in fine spirit for the Carnival of Flowers.
I found sumptuous cakes and biscuits at the school’s ‘Baking Competition’ that would easily find themselves on the tables of some of the finest, dining establishments on the planet. Yes, there were magical dragons here, too! There were fairy cakes covered in colourful jelly jubes; decadent chocolate-covered mud cakes; luscious lamingtons; coconut and vanilla butter biscuits – and more! So many sumptuous recipes – most, far too challenging, for the likes of me.
However, judges happily sat for the first part of the day - sampling each and every, delicious morsel and stated, “There’ll be no dinner for us, this evening - we’ve had far too much fine-dining!”
As I wandered around the School Fete, I came across well-tended vegetables of all varieties – from spinach and carrots to tomatoes, parsley, and lettuce. It was all there; beautifully presented with baubles, ribbons and sparkling lights that would put my garden to shame.
Yet, an enormous sense of satisfaction and immense pride took hold of my face; I felt so very blessed to have witnessed such commitment to their schooling and integrity at presenting it to the world. From Prep to Year 6, all students had their hands in this very, creative pie.
Wondrous voices, of none other than God’s angels, heralded my journey. Students, proudly singing their lungs out - in full school attire - immaculately pressed, all for the opportunity to showcase their vocal talents in front of throngs of impressed mums, dads, and happy visitors.
I can imagine, just how wonderful it must have sounded to the youngsters, busily giggling their happy souls next door, up on the ‘Merry-Go-Round’ and whizzer rides. Happy faces were abounding and the worries that had plagued many of them for the past CoVid year, seemed so very far away. Who could not have enjoyed, such a wonderful day? Yes, life is absolutely blooming on this side of town.
All the wonderful pictures of the day!
With my legs somewhat weary, but my mind eager to experience what else this fine school had in store for me, I grabbed a drink and a nibble from the fine organisers of this event - all whom had selflessly sacrificed their day, week, month if not more, to ensure this day ran smoothly.
By the looks on young faces, who were there for the first-time experiencing farm and native animals, it was a day for being inquisitive and experimenting with life. Even the beauty of painting and face decorating brought hesitant, but joyful souls to life. We are truly a curious species, and I must say, hours of delight have engrossed many a youngster, here.
Experimenting and learning about the mysteries of life is what it is all about, and the students who presented their intriguing ‘Lego’ creations – on this day, were none other than exceptional – to say the very least. How does one make Peter Pan’s ship, out of Lego blocks?
Could there be anything else to challenge these intrepid inventors - those whom we might see in years to come, devising incredible, architectural feats in metropolises - like London or Dubai? Yes, here the architects of life are taking their first, creative strides.
So, how can such a day, possibly come to life? How do children grow to be so ‘in love with life’ and learning? Yes, healthy family units - supporting everything a child sets his or her mind to; a school that supplies the right educational tools and a lust for learning, to allow students to discover all that life can offer and more. Yes, talented teachers, supportive business groups, unrelenting organisers who go out of their way to ensure everything and everyone - is where and as, they should be.
Support, encouragement, and a love for life - just, as it should be!
***Toowoomba East State School students, parents and friends kindly posed for this newspaper editorial - Thank you!***
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I couldn't get everyone on here, but I did my best!
I am so happy to announce a new, inspirational design line for Sketa Oz Design. It is a small start, but a start none-the-less and that is all that counts. Wallpaper was not first on my list to develop, but it happened by wonderful chance and I guess that is often how wonderful opportunities begin.
I can tell you early starts, except for a school day are not my cup of tea - as you know. However, I was both curious and keen. I too, was totally unprepared for anything, let alone showing someone my work, which was originally designed for paper goods. Either way, I did as my neighbour suggested - gathered what I could to visit a well-known, wallpaper producer - Milton and King. And the rest is history.
I am both eternally grateful to my neighbour for being such a caring individual and to Milton and King for taking a look at my work. I am going to have to work hard to develop a new line that will knock the public off their feet - but I am so keen to do so!!!
My plan for January 1st, 2019, was to kick-start my New Year with absolute vigor and inspiration! I got off to a great start - getting out all my messages early, wishing everyone all the best for the coming year - even got to the fireworks in Queens Park. Gosh, I felt good. I thought, this is the way to do things. Maybe, I will go a step further.
A week ago, I planned to pop down to Brisbane to deliver an electronics attachment to my son, in Brisbane. This was left in my car by mistake, last time he visited for Xmas. So, I thought I would kill two birds with the one stone - pop down to Brisbane, spend New Year together and see it in with that BANG! I mentioned earlier.
At a little after half twelve, I started up the car - filled the tank full of petrol - gave the windscreen a quick de-bug and I was off, down the Toowoomba range. I was feeling pretty good, given it was New Year. So, on the way, I decided to wish my social media friends all the best! An hour and a half later, feeling a bit dry, I popped into a servo for a refresher and rang my little darling.
"Hmmm. - no answer?"
I remember Ethan saying, he was going out for a drink with a mate. He wasn't sure when he might be back, but if I rang when I arrived, he'd pick up. So I rang again, once I arrived outside the apartment complex. Alas, no pickup. What to do? Do I just drop the attachment in the letterbox? No go, it was too big. Maybe, leave it at the front door where anyone could pick it up? Not a good idea. "Hmmm, I'll ring the buzzer, again. He might be back." Eth's not that into drinking, so I thought my man would be there for sure. Alas no.
Feeling rather dejected for having come down to Brisbane, only to be met by, "Please leave a message." I decided, the best bet was to leave the attachment under the bench, leave him a message and drive back to Toowoomba. New Year was not going as planned. "What a damper! I can't let this be my entire New Year. "
So, I put the key in the ignition and drove off to the centre of town and began a lovely stroll of window shopping, in the middle of Brisbane. So much had changed since last I was there, and everything looked so Christmas-y. The shops sparkled and a quiet emptiness filled the mall - it was quite unusual for New Year. The roads on the way down to Brisbane too, were incredibly quiet. Nobody seemed to be doing anything out of the ordinary. If I didn't know that it was New Year, it could have been any other night in the week. Weird!
As you can see, not even the Christmas tree was still alight. A security guard, sitting on a nearby post, said he was watching the tree.
"Watching the tree?"
Yeah, I am guarding it."
From what I could see, the tree could have been on fire and nobody would have noticed - it was that quiet. So I just exclaimed, "really?" and went about my New Year window shopping - as one does, at 3~4 am in the morning. However, given I don't do this sort of thing on a regular basis, I was racking up quite an appetite. Yes, I felt like an early breakfast! Well, I couldn't leave Brisbane until I had actually done something down here. "What a great idea!"
I rock back up to Jimmy's on the Mall - by this time it is about 5 am. No-one is within coo-ee - except a few lovebirds, the street cleaners and a couple of fellas setting up or cleaning up - I don't know which. I ask if they are open for breakfast.
"No. Not until 6 am."
"Oh." I ask if they could arrange, maybe a coffee. With raisin toast?
Another fella comes back to me and says, "sorry the kitchen is closed - so we can't do raisin toast, but you can have anything from cheesecake to muffins from the Bay Marie. " By this time, I was feeling quite despondent. Thinking to myself, the act of tanning the old raisin toast must have suddenly, become quite arduous. "Hmmm - I understand."
I wander some more, thinking, 'is this the best I can do?'
I trundle back to the car, resolute never to do this sort of impetuous, New Year's stint again. I drive over the bridge toward South Bank - my favourite haunt. The river is incredibly still, Brisbane wheel has stopped and little old me says, "This is 2019 - Breakfast, I am going to get!"
To my surprise, not only did I find a coffee-shop, just opening for breakfast - I got to watch my first sunrise on the bank of the Brisbane river, while eating a croissant, supping on coffee, watching New Year's Day rise in mighty splendor!
What a wonderful start to 2019!