Saturday, 25 April 2015

Anzac Day Special: Gallipoli - A Century On 1915-2015

Even though I'm very busy these days (hence my long absences from blogger-sphere), I just had to share something in recognition of this very special day here in Australia. In fact, I would most probably find it extremely difficult to forgive myself if I let that day pass without posting something!

via Pinterest
Today is ANZAC Day. At this time every year (25 April), we take time to remember all "Australians [and New Zealanders] who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations."[1] This day was named officially as 'ANZAC Day' in 1916 and, originally, it commemorated the landings by ANZAC troops on Anzac Cove, Gallipoli in 1915. The actual landings on Anzac Cover were actually quite successful. However, everything that happened after that did not go according to plan. It eventually became an 8-month campaign that proved very costly (more than 8,000 lives were lost) and, unfortunately, due to unexpected difficulties, bad management, and incompetent leadership, a disaster and tragedy.[2] However, the Anzac troops were resilient in face of all these odds and demonstrated the true 'Anzac Spirit' "with its human qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice."[3] In many ways, this 'Anzac Spirit' "...continues to have meaning and relevance for our sense of national identity."[4] The birth and development of what is known as the 'ANZAC Legend', which began with war correspondents, such as Charles Bean, has its roots firmly set in this 'spirit'. 

Image: H02316 _"Anzac Beach, Gallipoli. 1915. Looking north along Anzac Cove after Anzac Corps had landed and members were settling in on the slopes of the hills." 
via the Australian War Memorial
ANZAC troops on Gallipoli peninsula
via The Australian
This ANZAC Day is the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli landings and it is quite remarkable how the whole nation has risen to remember and contemplate its relevance and meaning to us today. The Anzac Legend has been and continues to be a very powerful force in Australia's memory and has deeply shaped our understanding of ourselves as a nation. It's been and still is a matter of interest, discourse and debate to historians and academics and people in the media. I've been really made aware of this this year as I continue to study for my History Honours degree. My thesis deals with the role and experiences of ANZAC nurses during both World War I and World War II, and as I research their lives and experiences, I'm impressed by how much they really embodied the qualities of the ANZAC Legend, namely their courage and heroism, their love and loyalty, and their commitment to duty. 

Anzac Nurses
Anzac Girls (2014) an ABC TV mini-series
A moving portrayal of Anzac nurses during the Great War based on the book with the same name by Peter Rees. Highly Recommended Reading and Watching!
Australian Nurse, Matron Grace Wilson, on Lemnos Island near Gallipoli
From Anzac Girls (2014)
Sister Alice Ross King, Anzac Girls (2014)
Sister Olive Haynes (left), on Lemnos Island (close to Gallipoli). [Sister Olive Haynes is one of my favourite characters in Anzac Girls (2014)
Well, I really found this TV series so inspiring that I've even designed a Polyvore set based on the nurses from Anzac Girls (2014). It is also a tribute to the brave nurses who served and sacrificed to save lives during the War. I just love their uniform! 
ANZAC Day Special: Anzac Girls - A Century On

There are indeed many things we can take from this time of commemoration. As a historian (in the making), it's so easy for me to get bogged down in the debates. It's so easy to fall into cynicism. Some argue the worth and relevance of ANZAC Day or the presence of the ANZAC Legend in our society since it's very selective, fails to tell the whole historical truth and that it glosses over the darker side of the experiences of the soldiers and of what really happens in war.  In many ways this is true. However, while it is important to be truthful in our study and analysis of the past (without which we can never really know the truth and learn from its mistakes or really appreciate its full significance), we must not forget that legends are still built on historical realities and truths. It helps us articulate complex truths and realities and make them more tangible for ourselves. Making legend out of history helps to remind us of many of the great virtues exhibited by many (if not most) of the Anzacs - courage, heroism, loyalty, duty, and honour. That doesn't mean they showed these ideal qualities at all times. They were ordinary men and women with a fallen nature like us. However, they did aim for those ideals and many times embodied them at various times despite all odds. That's the point. Legends, therefore, put a standard or ideal for us to aim at. We all still yearn to have these ideals before us, despite all the scepticism and hostility of postmodernists and moral relativists in the media and academia today. Legends help us to better ourselves and our society. It creates a goal. I believe that is why the ANZAC Legend has endured and will endure. The ANZAC Legend also embodies that heroic ideal of sacrificial love. Christ has shown us the true meaning of this. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends," (John 15:13). There is something within us that yearns for this love. Having the ANZAC Legend, I believe, gives a cryptic image of this love to our society that yearns for this love but has lost it and can only really find its true meaning in rediscovering Christ's love and sacrifice. Australian Defence Chaplain, Geoff Webb puts really beautifully: 

From a Christian perspective ANZAC Day is a phenomenon that we have to deal with and understand if we are to reach the Australian heart. I suppose it is almost trite to point out that the spirituality of ANZAC Day echoes the themes of the Gospel. Sacrifice, mateship, patience and courage are at the centre of Jesus’ ministry. It is interesting that ANZAC and Easter usually are very close to each other. 2013 is about as far apart as they get.It seems to me that God has placed at the centre of Australian national consciousness a reminder of that ultimate and divine sacrifice that brings not political freedom but eternal freedom, not just life for a nation but eternal life for all. When at the end of every dawn service the bugler plays Rouse or Reveille they are proclaiming confidence in a resurrection that only one sacrifice has made possible. So don’t condemn ANZAC Day but look for the links to and the longing for life and hope that only the sacrifice of Jesus Christ has made possible.- See more at:
I was very privileged to get the opportunity to visit Canberra last month and I got to visit the Australian War Memorial for the very first time. I was so glad to attend the ceremony of the 'Last Post'. It was such a moving experience. 
Panoramic view of the Federal Parliament of Australia, Canberra from the Australian War Memorial.
Photo curtesy of my sister Joy C. from Fullness of Joy Blog
The Australian War Memorial.
via Wikipedia
Poppies on the Roll of Honour in the Australian War Memorial.
Photo courtesy of my sister Joy C. from Fullness of Joy blog. 
Lest We Forget Memorial. Australian War Memorial
Photo Courtesy of my sister Joy C. from Fullness of Joy Blog.
Statue of Simpson and his Donkey. Australian War Memorial. This is a very iconic image of the Anzac Legend.
Photo Courtesy of my sister Joy C. of Fullness of Joy Blog
Yesterday, I took time to make some ANZAC biscuits with my youngest sister, Gracie! We just had a lot of fun making them and they're just so yummy! 
ANZAC Biscuits are one of the important traditions of ANZAC Day. Here is the recipe I use (there are a number of variations to this recipe and a bit of contention whether they should be served hard or soft! - I prefer them a bit crunchy, but not too hard): 
3/4 cup/ 170 g/ 5 1/2 oz. caster sugar 
1 cup. 125 g/ 4 oz. flour, sifted
1 cup/ 90 g/ 3 oz.  instant rolled oats
90 g/ 3 oz. butter
1/4 cup/ 60 ml/ 2 fl oz. water
1 tablespoon golden syrup (I used rice syrup)
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1. Place sugar, flour, oats and coconut in a bowl and mix to combine. 
2. Melt butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Remove pan from heat and stir in water, golden syrup and bicarbonate of soda. Pour into dry ingredients and mix to combine. 
3. Place heaped teaspoons of mixture on greased baking trays and bake for 15-20 minutes. Oven Temperature 160*C/ 325*F / Gas 3. 
4. Stand biscuits on trays for 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool. 

Makes about 30. 

**Recipe from Carolyn Fienberg and Anna Philips, The Collector's Collection: Recipes From a Country Kitchen, Australia: J.B. Fairfax Press Pty Limited, 1998, p. 16**

I'd like to close with the words of the Ode from Blinyon's poem, For the Fallen: (Listen to the sound of the 'Last Post' here)

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We shall remember them.


The Silence.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Happy Australia Day!

I've been rather busy lately, but I just couldn't pass this day without sharing something about this special day... which is very much like the 4th of July in America!

I'm writing this at the end of the day. It's been lovely! Very hot and humid, but great! We enjoyed a picnic bbq lunch with friends at Wellington Point, a lovely park by the bay. Played music and sang and just basically got burnt to a crisp!  A typical Australia Day out! Though I could've done without the last bit...
Wellington Point, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
via Pinterest

I found this beautiful version for our national anthem: 'Advance Australia Fair'

The following is an oft forgotten verse...understandably so, I suppose but it is very special and I sing it prayerfully with faith and hope for the future! Nothing is too hard for God! 

(*oh, by the way, I think you'd enjoy listening to link above for the anthem. It's a lovely, sweet version*).

With Christ our Head and Cornerstone, 
We'll build our Nation's might, 
Whose way and truth and light alone, 
Can guide our path aright. 
Our lives, a sacrifice of love, 
Reflect our Master's care
With faces turned to heaven above, 
Advance Australia Fair
In joyful strains then let us sing, 
Advance Australia Fair.

Here is also one of my favourite Aussie songs...a bit dated, I think, and probably not so well's by Ted Egan, 'This Land Australia'. However, I just love the way it describes the variousness and vastness that is Australia...Would just love to explore more one day! 

This Land Australia 
Ted Eagan

Try to understand
This land Australia 
Take her as she is, her moods, her mysteries
Mother of us all
Beneath the Southern Cross
In her frame of peaceful seas. 

(1) The shimmer of the midday haze 
Un-endless inland plains 
The busy city's bustling pace
The drenching life-filled rains. 


Uluru - Ayer's Rock, Australia
via Pinterest
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
via Pinterest
via Pinterest

(2) The lustre of the Barrier Reef 
The snow-clad Alps on high 
The fires, the floods, the searing droughts
Just love her don't ask why!


The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia
via Pinterest
Snow gums in the Snowy Mountains, Australia
via Pinterest
Mt. Buller, Victorian Alps, Australia
via Pinterest
Searing Droughts and Burning Fires
via Pinterest

via Pinterest

(3) The tribal stories ages old
The deeds of pioneers
The way of life we proudly hold 
The triumphs and the tears! 

(Chorus x3)

Indigenous Australia, 'The First Australians'
via Pinterest 

via Pinterest 

via Pinterest

This was just a tinsy-winsy sample of the so many contrasts of this beautiful land...this land I call home...I'm so blessed to live here. I pray that God would bless this land. May He visit us and truly make it ''Terra Australis Espirito Santo', The Great South Land of the Holy Spirit'! Amen! 

Extra Bonus!!! Just a couple of my favourite Aussie Movie Classics...

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

The Road Goes Ever On and On

"Praise is awaiting You, O God, in Zion; and to You the vow shall be performed. O You who hear prayer, to You all flesh will come...You crown the year with Your goodness, and your paths drip with abundance. They drop on the pastures of the wilderness, and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys are covered with grain; they shout for joy, they also sing." (Psalm 65: 1-2, 11-13 NKJV)
via Pinterest

HAPPY NEW YEAR, dear friends! I can't believe it's 2015 already! This past year just went by so fast! So many things have happened. Many blessings and joys to be thankful for! Many challenges faced and conquered by His mercy and grace! However, new ones have also come that are still being faced and challenged back and others might show up in this coming year. I walk forward, though, confidently knowing that what He began He will finish. He is there holding my hand. Sometimes I may not 'feel' Him there beside me, the mists hanging low and obscuring the light, fear and doubt making me falter, but He is there all the same, ready to pick me up when I fall, ready to forgive, ready to heal.

"For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, 'Fear not; I will help you.'" Isaiah 41: 15
via Pinterest
My prayer is that I He will give me His grace and strength to hold onto Him more firmly; to learn to trust Him fully and without fear; to always commit my hopes and dreams to Him, knowing that only in His hands can they become something really beautiful for His glory; o love Him more who loved me first and unconditionally; to serve Him in everything I do, make or think; to do wholeheartedly and conscientiously anything He wants me to do; to be faithful and diligent in my duties; to learn to love and serve others better and unselfishly;  to be always thankful and contented; to pray and seek Him more wholeheartedly.

I don't know what this year will be like, but it is enough knowing the One who knows and that this One is my Father in heaven! It's a great comfort! Because of this I know it will be good!


via Pinterest

...knowing He is holding my hand!

via Pinterest 
I love how this picture portrays our journey going straight to the glory of the horizon - where our Lord is! Everyday takes us one step closer to the Celestial City! 

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas! Peace on Earth, Goodwill to men!

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." (ST. LUKE 2: 8-14)

I'd like to share  with you a beautiful Christmas Carol that I just noticed the other day. It's words are simple but very relevant. Sometimes it's hard to celebrate when so much darkness is around us. Here in Australia, for example, we've recently had that dreadful terror tragedy in Sydney that took the life of Katrina and Tori, two ordinary people in the prime of their lives. Just turn on the news on TV or read online or the newspaper and stories of violence and darkness just flood us. Many people around us are suffering in one way or another. Often we are going through our own sorrows and pains. Have you ever wondered at the words, 'Peace on Earth', 'Goodwill to men'. The words seem to mock what we see with our eyes and what we experience. However, even when the world around us is turbulent, our God is still there in the darkness and silence. He is Emmanuel - God With Us. Sharing our suffering, weaknesses, and pain. He bore the punishment of sin for us. He chose to be born in this sin-sick world for us, to redeem us. He is our Peace. He is our Hope. One day all will be put to right. Everything will fall into place. Every tear will be wiped away. All because He came. All because He lived among us. All because He died. All because He rose again from the dead. That is why the angels rejoiced that day! Yes, we can say with the angels who sang on that first Christmas night,  "Peace on Earth and Goodwill to men!!" Amen! I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Peace to you! 

"I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" 
Lyrics by
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), 1867

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!



Sunday, 21 December 2014

It's Christmas At Polyvore!

One of my favourite pastimes is to create some beautiful and artistic fashion sets on Polyvore. I always love the opportunity to be artistic and creative. I've been making some Christmas sets and thought it'd be nice to share them with you. Hope you like them.

It Reminds Me of Narnia...

It Reminds Me of Narnia... by of-simple-things

This set is one of my favourites. It really reminds of Narnia. I did not intend it to be so at first, but as I was trying to give a name to the set, I just saw it! Narnia!! I think it would be something close to what Susan would wear.

Children's Smiles at Christmas Time

I love the smiles of those two beautiful girls. I love the tartan, too!!

Christmas Red Country Church

Christmas Red Country Church by of-simple-things

This is another of my favourite sets. I did it for a small Group Polyvore contest. I love that little red church against the snow. I also love that Dolce & Gabbana dress with it's delicate embroidery and folky look and feel.


A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol by of-simple-things 

I just saw this picture of Ebenezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol and I just had to create something for it! I found this tartan dress and this old coat - they perfectly fit a Dickens sets! 


Red and White Christmas Treats!

Red and White Christmas Treats! by of-simple-things 

A red and white Christmas set with a pretty red and white Dolce & Gabbana dress. 


Warm and Cozy Christmas

Warm and Cozy Christmas by of-simple-things 

This picture with it's decorated and warmly lit window just emanates Christmas warmth, coziness, and welcome, doesn't it? I love the dress here, too. Another Dolce & Gabbana dress. 

An Elegant Vintage Christmas

An Elegant Vintage Christmas by of-simple-things 

I love this vintage set! I just love this coat!!


I hope you enjoyed these sets. I find that the sets often 'make themselves' so to speak. I always look for artistic inspiration when I'm working on one. If that doesn't come, I never force it. With these artistic sets I also aim for the artistic in the fashion items I use and I don't note the price tag!! They just make me daydream, I suppose! 

Well, I'll hopefully come back with more Christmas posts in the next few time allows during this busy week! Till next time. God bless and Merry Christmas!! 

Friday, 14 November 2014

There and Back Again! A Long-Awaited Update!

Oxford, UK
Hello dear friends! I'm finally back after such a loooong absence. So much has happened since my last post last Easter. God has been very good and faithful. Yes, I can truly say that 'hitherto hath the Lord helped [me]' (1 Samuel 7:12). 

So, I guess I owe you all a little update. 

via Pinterest

First of all, the biggest update is that last August I finally finished my BA degree in History and Politics! The graduation ceremony is scheduled for next year still, but I'm definitely done! It's been a long and wearisome four years, but definitely all very worth it! Praise the Lord! I just feel so relieved to have that all behind me now. I've just reached another important milestone in my life and, now, I'm looking forward to what the Lord has in store for me for the future. As an aspiring historian, more history study is expected. In fact, I'm planning to do my BA Honours next year, if the Lord wills. I'm still praying for His guidance regarding my thesis and all that, though. It'll be a great deal of work, that's for sure, but an important thing to do.

via Pinterest

For the time being, though, I'm trying to find time to relax a bit and 
do a bit of catch up on a lot of things I've missed on during the last four years. I've started some sewing projects and a knitting project; I'm continuing my singing lessons; helping mum around the home more and learning to be a better homemaker. I've also taken up quilting for the first time! It's a challenge but I'm eager to learn. I'm also continuing decorating work on my younger sister's, Dollhouse, by adding curtains and lights! Christmas is coming up soon, too, and I've got some craft projects on my mind. Meanwhile I'm trying to catch up on some leisurely reading. There are just so many books out there waiting to be explored! At the same time I hope to refresh my spiritual life and my relationship with the Lord, with more devotional reading. Yes, it's a lot of stuff. I've really missed that creative side of me with all this study. It's a really welcome break. 

via Pinterest

Hopefully, I'll be posting more updates on these projects! (Don't you like this picture on the left? Sweet, isn't it?!)

Another important thing that happened during this time, last July to be precise, I went with my family on my very first trip to England! It was a long and very hectic trip, yes, but an amazing and very exciting experience for me. We stayed in London, Oxford, and Cambridge, about a week in each. I loved England and I would love to visit again someday! (more on my UK trip in another post, Lord willing...please stay tuned!)

London, UK

Finally, during this time, my dear grandmother (Dad's mum) passed away. She was the last surviving grandparent. We all miss her very much. Our comfort is that she is in a far better place, with no more sorrow or pain. With Christ it is far better indeed! Our hope is that we will see her again one day, through God's Grace and mercy! I'm thankful for the sweet memories I have of her. She's inspired me in a lot of things, particularly in my love of singing, storytelling, and interior designing. She was great in all these and I appreciate her encouraging me in them. 

via Pinterest
So, this is all for this update! I hope this will restore my momentum in blogging after this absence! 

Granny's favourite hymn, 'What a Friend We Have in Jesus!'

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...