ROOM WITH A VIEW (of the sunset)

My Room With a View has changed somewhat since the new tall apartment building over the road has now reached its lofty height and is towering over me.   I don’t know whether its a Feng Shui sort of thing, but it’s now starting to feel a wee bit oppressive (and I’ve lost my privacy having only a cliff face before which was lovely).

Apart from losing about 2 hours of hot sun on a Summer’s evening (which is actually kind of good 🙂 ), my view of the sun sinking below the horizon has totally gone.

Sure there is some sky colour (left), but I miss the sunsets.

I can’t deny it.

There’s something rather magical about sitting at my desk staring out the window, or standing on my balcony, watching the sun go down.

There’s a saying about slowing down and  ‘taking time to smell the roses’ 


I might suggest, you take the time to watch the sun go down also.

In Melbourne, Australia, we get the most extraordinary sunsets (and sunrises, although I’m rarely up to see those).  I’ve travelled through all of the U.K., central Europe and some of South-east Asia in the mid to late 1970s and somehow their sunsets are just not quite the same.   It’s not just a change of the horizon shapes and silhouettes, there’s just something unique about the colours in the sky.   Maybe its something to do with the hole in the ozone layer above our country.   It sure lets in more UV light.  I wonder if it lets in more colour too?

It usually takes some scattered clouds to make a sunset really beautiful.   Here’s a series off my Sunrise, Sunset (and Clouds that Come in between) blog to give new followers an appreciation of what I’m talking about. (That blog has finished now).

The series below was made a few months after I moved to the area on December 14th, 2016, from 7.45pm to 8.33pm.

……..and a short time later…….the end.

The sky is looking a lovely soft pale ‘baby-blue’ today and I just checked the weather report to see if a walk down to the local pond was in order, but it’s going to rain.  Not that rain would stop me going out for a short walk, but I always take cameras and my 150-500mm long telephoto lens which aren’t waterproof when going down to the pond,  so there’s too much risk of getting it all wet.  I also take a hefty dose of painkillers about 45 minutes before I set off for my hip pain (even if my back pain is minimal).

I knew it was going to rain tomorrow but hadn’t noticed that today, Sunday, it was going to rain also.

By the way, all of you around that have been praying for rain, can you tone those prayers down a wee bit.   I know you’ve all prayed so hard and so often for us here in Australia recently.

Southern Queensland and northern New South Wales are flooded and the ball of heavy rain is gradually moving down south.   Our rain in Victoria has been well received and many farmers are (literally) dancing outdoors in the rain (on the TV news).   After 3 years of drought, farmers in some areas are finally getting a taste of the ‘good stuff’.

There are still 70+ bushfires burning in New South Wales, but firefighters are having a chance to backburn some more fire breaks and also some fresher air to breathe.  I haven’t checked the news in the last couple of days in regard to my own state of Victoria.

Firefighters have come from all over the world to help us and for that, we will be eternally grateful.

Here’s an update link on the fires which a blogging friend up in Canberra left on her blog.  I’ll take the opportunity to upload the link on my own nature blog for you.

PS I’m way behind with blog reading, so rather than waste too much time on the computer today, I think I’ll just start afresh next week.


It’s so easy to get bogged down in the trivial annoyances that we all experience.

At the moment, my ‘bug’ is…..about a week ago, I found I couldn’t LIKE some blogger’s posts or make a COMMENT.   Every morning I have to keep logging into WordPress again (and again!) and my usual solutions to this WordPress issue haven’t worked.

So, if I’m following your blog and you haven’t noticed my regular contribution to your blog since Christmas Day, that’s why.

What I find amazing is that there is the occasional blog that I don’t have any problems at all!

I think I instantly lost the feeling of Joy I used to experience every day in the small simple acts of Living in the Moment.  There a tiny window of Melancholy I look through each morning this past week, before I get my act together and open the block-out blinds to see the birds.

I experienced Joy briefly this morning watching the House Sparrows splashing around in the saucer of water, but need to find that Joy in the small things again.

I need to make a Shift in my Mindset.   This current faulty Mindset is unusual for me as I love my Simple Life.

How about you?

Do you find Joy in your Life?

Do you find pleasure in the simple things or do you need a shot of Modern Technology to make your day complete?

What if…………….all the computers around the world went down in one big giant second?

How would you go about your Day?

In the meantime, I came across some sunsets in the archives (which were probably on my Sunset, Sunrise (and Clouds that Come in Between) blog, but I need a re-post to remind myself of what is beautiful in my simple life in retirement.

If you’re feeling the same way at the moment, feel free to pop over to my old Sunset blog and scroll through the archives – always a good way to cheer oneself up.

…..and during that last sunset, this is the scene I saw sitting in my desk chair looking through the lounge floor-to-ceiling windows (below).  Of course, this sight of the sunset is gone now that I have a 6 storey apartment building being constructed opposite.

But I need to remind myself that the sunset hasn’t gone.   It’s merely hidden from view in 2019.


  Inside yourself or outside,
you never have to change what you see,
only the way you see it.

~ Thaddeus Golas ~


COMMON VETCH (Vicia sativa L. ssp. sativa) and TASMAN FLAX LILY (Dianella tasmanica) picked from a nearby field


I nearly missed it last night and when I did notice the sky colour, I was so absorbed in the tiny scattered pink clouds looking like a Measles rash on the rich dark blue, I almost forgot to get the camera out of its soft pouch.

I watch the sun go down most nights of the week, whether it be Summer, Winter, Autumn or Spring.

It reminds me of how small and insignificant I am in the whole of Mother Earth.   It communicates a richness and vastness and embodies me with the  beauty we live in, be it in my southern hemisphere (or to the north).

Last night I was absorbed in the TV daily news, something I rarely watch as, day by day, month by month,  year by year, I am horrified by the way mankind treats his fellow man.   I worry about the state of the planet and the toxic waste which mankind continue to spew out.

The only thing that keeps my thoughts muffled is the beauty I see on nature documentaries and fellow nature lover’s web sites.

…..and of course, my own Balcony Garden and Avian visitors.

But getting back to the sky……..

I stopped posting in my Sunrise, Sunset (and Clouds that come in Between) blog as my view of the setting sun is now being gradually covered by the new building construction across the road.   But if you enjoy looking at the sky colour as the sun goes down, feel free to swap over to the link of my old Sunset/Cloud Blog for a scroll down of the lovely colour we Melbournians receive regularly.

Last night the wooden framework made an interesting silhouette and I managed to capture a few rather weak images as the light quickly disappeared from sight.

If only I’d looked up and gone out onto my balcony earlier.

Somehow my photos didn’t quite capture the interesting cloud cover as it was, but here it is anyway.

Note: the images in this post are hand-held so may not be as sharp in focus as they would have, had I used my tripod.


……here’s a few more shots of the sky, late afternoon to dusk, the 17th October.   Not as spectacular as Melbourne’s sunsets usually are, but I like looking at the sky as the light fades anyway.   There does need to be clouds to capture the colours for the most part.

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I took some more photos of the poor little sparrow who was feeling the heat yesterday.  He hopped over to the cool side of the bird bath, but was ‘gular fluttering’ (i.e. avian panting) with his throat heavily.

…….. and a cropped version so you can see him better (note: this is through a dirty glass window hence the spots and lack of clarity).

Another shot as he stands on the shady side of the bird bath.

……with a cropped version.

and then to the edge and he flew away.  (Note: I am really missing my broken 150-500mm lens as it would have bought you the birds up close and probably in good focus as I can rest my elbows on my desk to make the shot).

The cool change didn’t come until much later in the day, but it was very welcome and made for some lovely storm clouds (high winds and thunderstorms even blew the roof off one house I heard on the TV news last night).

Normally I have cloud and sunset shots on my other blog, but I can’t decide which shots to share, so here’s a few of the 50-60 images I made at dusk and sunset.

(I have an addiction to cloud formations and sky colours as seen from my desk chair or apartment balcony – they are always different, unless the sky is completely clear).

Cool today & tomorrow and back to heat wave over the weekend 🙂

Roll on Autumn………….please.


I normally share most of my sunset images on my other blog SUNRISE, SUNSET (and Clouds that come in Between), but I am in a quandary about the series of images that I made on Thursday evening starting at 4.52pm.  From time to time I came indoors that afternoon and then went back outdoors, as I didn’t want to miss the real Sunset (when I hoped it would appear).

The sight was so extraordinary as the minutes went by, but my images don’t quite meet my vision of the actual scene.  Maybe they’re not quite worth sharing?

If I can work out which images do portray the sight, I will post them on my Sunset blog, but in the meantime………


It was a beautiful afternoon on Thursday with a (mostly) clear blue sky, but when I went outdoors, I was met by the usual brilliant late afternoon sunlight in Winter (example on the left).

Thursday, half the sky was blue and the other half, to the right hand side of my vision, was filled with dark clouds, but what I found extraordinary, and I don’t know whether you can see this if you only have a small laptop screen, were the leaves on the trees in the foreground.

They were lit up with the sun in such a way that it looked like each leaf was painted with gold paint.  I’m not quite sure that I’ve seen any previous light quite like it (except that another blogger in the Northern Hemisphere, and I can’t remember who, captured the same type of light on exactly the same night).

You might need to zoom in on the lower right third of the image below.  The trees on the top of the hill and main road were in silhouette as I’m looking directly at the sun.

Here’s another shot of those gold leaves (if you can zoom in).  The leaves were a bit brighter (or perhaps more in focus in the 2nd shot).

Talk about sunsets touched with gold.  These were leaves painted gold.  It was only the leaves that were gold, not the trees themselves.

I stood on my apartment balcony and watched the effect for some times and then went back indoors.

…….and then back out again at 5.44pm and thank goodness I did.  The clouds had moved further to the right of the horizon and lower (which would have been to the north or at least N.N.W.)

Such an extraordinary sight with the rest of the sky pale blue.

It looked like the clouds had been painted on a clear sky.

I’m fascinated by clouds and their patterns and movement, not that I know what particular cloud shapes are called.

At one stage the clouds changed colour and you’ll notice one small lonely cloud reflected in the window of the apartment next to mine, below.  We have a 6 foot partition separating each apartment balcony, although I’ve never ever seen people using their balconies on this (road) side of the building.  I think most tenants or owners use their balconies on the other side of the building which look over Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve, the parkland and the Maribyrnong River in the valley floor.

I’m certainly the only person on this side who actually has a garden growing on their balcony.

Maybe other tenants work 9 to 5 and don’t have time (or the interest) in gardening 🙂 or just plain…… arrive home from work in the dark and go out every weekend.


“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.”

Camille Pissarro