"Babasiga (pronounced bambasinga) is the dry land of Macuata in northern Fiji - our place in the sun in Fiji. Peceli is from Fiji from the village is Vatuadova and the beach is Nukutatava. Peceli Ratawa passed away on 27th December 2015..." Their joint blog no longer exists. However, Wendy, an Australian living in Geelong, Australia, still pursues her interests.

Fyansford.com has been a long-time fan of Wendy & Peceli; featuring their photographs, artwork and friendly commentary throughout the site. This gallery is a personal tribute to them as a team, their community spirit and to their shared memories. Our thoughts are with Wendy as she continues her travels through life.  

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Geelong Visual Diary is Peceli & Wendy's blog.  It is a wealth of information presented in an easy-to-read, light-hearted manner. 

Also, to me in retrospect, heaps of melancholy...

Gallery One ~ Under a bridge at Fyansford January 2, 2014

Click first image to see at full size.

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Gallery Two ~ A kind of Brigadoon near Geelong July 05, 2010

“Considered a heritage village, Fyansford’s old-world charm has been challenged by the developers. In the Geelong Advertiser last December the Council agreed to let the developers go ahead transforming the hillside around the Cement Works (now no longer working but the buildings are still there) into little boxes on the hillside. Meanwhile the little village with a population of about 150 is like Brigadoon, out of time, out of place in the 21st century. Not that I am complaining as it is fascinating. Once thriving with three hotels, three schools, two churches, the ford crossing was the place where the seekers of gold crossed the river heading for the gold fields of Ballarat and Bendigo”.

Gallery Three ~ Fyansford, view by Noel Murphy June 07, 2014

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"Autumn’s burnished reds and yellows lie as prettily littered leaves atop the grey, stained concrete piers and triple arches of John Monash’s bridge at Fyansford. For 114 years, the bridge has spanned the Moorabool River where it emerges from the old cement quarry, a serviceable chunk of infrastructure for the valuable and historic trade routes and social links to Geelong’s west. Superseded more recently, it is a mute witness to dramatic changes unfolding in the area – an area named for colonial Australia’s ferocious “Flogger” Foster Fyans, the Norfolk Island commandant who became Geelong’s first police magistrate."

Gallery Four ~ Paper Mill Fyansford October 25, 2014

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“Peceli and I had a simple picnic above Buckley's Falls a couple of days ago. There's very little water running at present. The Moorabool River at Fyansford merges with the Barwon River not far from this spot, opposite Queens Park.  The paper mill is used for other purposes these days. I added here a photo taken over a hundred years ago at the paper mill, and also a pastel picture I made a few years go, where I was sitting much lower down on the hill opposite the mill.”

A lady with eyes to see…

A poem about grief

 

A tree clings to the cliff face

after searing fire rushed towards the sea

until there is no colour

only line after line of blackened trees

and grey ash for ground.

I trudge on the deep sand

footprints making hollows,

going nowhere, circling.

The wild sea is there, wave after wave

and surfers dare them as they do.

I cannot touch cool water yet

only walk on and on in the deep sand,

one step after another

waiting for a renewed spirit

 

after the shock of fire.

If Only


If only I knew you in childhood summers when you galloped over dry Mallee paddocks on your favourite horse, your red hair flying. Now you lean towards the television from your sunlit corner seat, straining to hear the newsreaders’ litany of grabs of violent deeds.

If only I observed your watchful gaze over hospital patients during war years, your attentiveness through long nights, assisting in the cycle of birth and death, and five children of your own. We took your skills as the norm, protecting us from clean.

If only I was sensitive to your view of the feminine as homemaker, your acceptance of a nurturing role. Stamina we took for granted, a focussed heart and magical hands which drew the extended family like spokes in a moving wheel.

If only I had conceded our indifference. Gallivanting to Nepal, Montreal, Suva distanced us. We prattled of foreign adventures, ignored your inability to leave, as you stayed still, always there. We fell, bruised, confused, and called home, reverse charge.

If only we took the time to notice your pain, your shy eyes as you stood alongside Dad in his community focus and civic duty, laughed at his stories a hundred times. Dad died, you were alone and your role dissipated in confusion.

If only we had become good friends years ago but we were both affected by different paths and agendas. Yet we women, both mothers, are in a treadmill society where others set rules and fracture, and we pick up the pieces.

Now I see you as a friend not the role of ‘mother’. If we do not love one another we are like dead branches in a drought-parched land.

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Gallery Four ~ Adieu!                                                      Wendy has the last word

From Wendy’s second last blog

 

Our angel from Christ Church Anglican has dropped in with a box of vegetables and all sorts of goodies. We are so blessed by these gifts.

·         Tea is bacon and eggs and greens.  I have now a plan for six months which                     includes care with diet, twice a week at the heated swimming pool, etc. And after           the periscope examination in a couple of weeks, then I can find out if I have a                 serious illness or not – to know why I have anaemia and low iron stores, etc.

·         Tidy up the kitchen, do the dishes.  Nothing much on TV tonight.

·         Aching despite the Panadol Osteo so find the Deep Heat.

·         That’s about it for the day so it’s time for bed and listening to the ABC talkback               and quiz after midnight. But before that, I make a latte and a peanut butter                     sandwich!

From Wendy’s last blog

The Old Chook

My feathers once crimson and pink
are now tattered, falling, or thinning out.
My beak has a crack in it
so I only eat the blandest of tucker.
I watch the young chicks preening
their iridescent coats, clucking and gossiping 
in a circle which excludes me.
I waddle, I wander, I wobble,
then as expected, stand with legs wide enough
to do the splits and fall into a muddle of pebbles
as I slide on melon and banana skins.
My favourite rooster, so bright his feathers 
were like Joseph’s technicolour coat, is gone,
taken one day by the humans in the big house:
that night we heard singing and laughter
as visitors from far away were hosted.
I don’t leave the bamboo walled pen much 
because of the sly creeping mongoose
who would grab one of my arthritic legs
and that would be the end of me,
though really the tender chickens would be tastier
than this old chook with the falsetto cluck.         

Final selections from Wendy’s blog

A poem about grief

 

A tree clings to the cliff face

after searing fire rushed towards the sea

until there is no colour

only line after line of blackened trees

and grey ash for ground.

I trudge on the deep sand

footprints making hollows,

going nowhere, circling.

The wild sea is there, wave after wave

and surfers dare them as they do.

I cannot touch cool water yet

only walk on and on in the deep sand,

one step after another

waiting for a renewed spirit

after the shock of fire.                 

Cheers,

Peceli & Wendy!

 
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