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Colour…Full Stop.

9 Nov



Colour is everywhere. Yes! I know you know!

And it’s Spring…So I’ve gone a bit nature crazy.

This post is just about the photos.

No ranting.

No raving.

Just where I’ve found colour in the past week…in nature…that’s it.

Enjoy. black & red.


Cherry Blossoms


Hot Pink

More pink...


Go On…Tie a Yellow Ribbon…

20 Oct


The Album Cover - Tie a yellow ribbon around the ole oak tree

There have been so many songs written about the colour yellow.

From Coldplay to India.Arie, The Beatles living in their “Yellow Submarine” and girls in “Itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikinis”

With all these glorious shades of yellow I decided to stick the plant theme.

If the Waratah is the emblem of New South Wales, then the mighty Oak must be the emblem of America.

Yellow ribbons are usually used a sign of support for military troops. They are worn either on one’s person, or tied around a tree in one’s front yard.

Welcome Home - A yellow ribbon around an ole oak tree

The origin of the idea of a yellow ribbon as a token of remembrance may have been the 19th century practice that some women allegedly had of wearing a yellow ribbon in their hair to signify their devotion to her husband or sweetheart serving in the U.S. Cavalry.

The song “Round Her Neck She Wears a Yellow Ribbon” later inspired the John Wayne movie “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon”.

Visions in Yellow- Tony Orlando & Dawn

“Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree” is a song by Dawn featuring Tony Orlando. It was written by Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown.

It was a worldwide hit for the group in 1973.

The song is about a sign that a released convict requested from his wife or lover, to show that she still wanted him and that he would therefore be welcome to return home.He would be able to see the ribbon from the bus driving by their house, and would stay on the bus in the absence of a ribbon.

He turned out to be very welcome: there were a hundred yellow ribbons.

The song reached number one on both the US and UK charts for four weeks in April 1973.

It was the highest-selling single in 1973 in both the US and UK.

Alternate Album Cover

In 2008, Billboard ranked the song as the 37th biggest song of all time in its issue celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Hot 100.

Now, here’s a little tid-bit I bet you didn’t know: Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson took the name “Dawn” from the daughter of their record company promotions man, Steve Wax.

Go the Waratahs!

18 Oct


The Bush Queen. The Waratah at Mount Tomah Botanical Gardens.


If you live in the Australian state of New South Wales, then you’ll probably know that “The Waratahs” are the NSW’s rugby team. But, today I’m looking at the Waratah plant variety.

The Waratah was named the floral emblem of NSW in 1962. You can spot a Waratah (Telopea Speciosissima) a mile away. The stunning red flower heads are spectacular. They have spirally arranged leaves 10-20 cm long and 2-3 cm broad with entire or serrated margins, and large, dense flower heads 6-15 cm diameter with numerous small red flowers and a basal ring of red bracts.

The name Waratah comes from the Eora Aboriginal people, the original inhabitants of the Sydney area.

Waratahs are popular, though somewhat tricky to grow.

To learn how to grow a Waratah, click here.

Several hybrids and cultivars have been developed, including some with creamy-white and pink flowers as well as the natural red. White forms of Telopea speciossisima are named Telopea “Wirrimbirra White” and T. “Shady Lady White”, while T.“Shady Lady Pink” and T. “Shady Lady Red” are actually hybrids between Telopea speciosissima and Telopea oreades.


A botanical plate of the Waratah


If you can’t grow your own, a single Waratah stem will set you back about $7 to $10, depending on the size of the flower head.

According to Aboriginal legend, this is how the Waratah came to be…

Long ago there was a great fight between the people along the Deerubbin (Hawkesbury/Nepean River)

It was a firece and bitter affair with so many people dying in the encounter that the river ran red with blood – driving away and killing many of the creatures that lived there.

Not long after, the Sky father Biami arrived. Upon seeing the senseless destruction before Him, He wept. His tears fell to the Earth. Where they mixed with the blood that lay there…Up came the red Waratah.

Robert Brown (1773-1858) named the genus Telopea in 1810 from specimens collected in the Blue Mountains.


Waratahs overlooking the Blue Mountains


West of Sydney, the mountains are the spiritual home of the waratah.

So, ever the colour reporter, I went in search of the Waratah and where is the best place to go? You guessed it! The Blue Mountains.

I ended up at Mount Tomah Botanical Garden and found they were in the midst of the “Wild about Waratahs” festival. I dug around some more and found that the iconic Australian fashion designer and artist, Jenny Kee, was hosting an exhibition at the gardens of none other than her Waratah paintings.


Australia's Queen of Colour, Jenny Kee.


The exhibition features 12 arcylic on canvas paintings, which are part of Kees own spiritual and emotional journey. Here is what she had to say:

“I want to share my passion for the waratah: the flower that has become my totem, the symbol of my firery emotions”

“I live surrounded by native bush land that is frequently ravaged by fires. After fires, waratahs are like flames exploding into bloom from their bed of ashes, big crimson hearts opening to the sun.

I am always astonished that such beauty can spring from such devastation. I see Waratahs as the essence of fire – from the destruction comes rebirth.”


One of Jenny's Waratah paintings.


It’s safe to say that red is the trademark colour of Jenny’s career. And for all of you that don’t know Jenny’s work, I suggest that you take a look. It’s vibrant and exploding with colour!  But that could be in a future post…so stay tuned!

I guess the NSW rugby team named themselves after a very becoming plant.

Full of passion and fighting spirit, Waratah is a fitting name indeed.

The festival and exhibition run through to mid November.

Waratah plants can be purchased at Mount Tomah Botanical Garden or any good plant nursery.


I’m Not Gonna Spend My Life Being A Colour

7 Oct



Black Or White - Single Cover


You tell ’em Michael!

Black & White are shades, and not actually colours, but this is such a great song, I’m rolling with it!

Last year, when Michael Jackson died, I was in Paris. I can still see all those thousands of one-gloved, crotch grabbing, men, women, boys and girls, dancing, singing, crying…and crotch grabbing (with posters)…under the Eiffel Tower.


Under the Eiffel


The words on everyone’s lips “Le Roi de la pop est Mort”.

The King of Pop is Dead.

“Black or White” was written by Michael Jackson, with the rap lyrics written by Bill Bottrell.

The guitar intro is performed by Guns N’ Roses guitarist, Slash.


Slash and Jackson performing "Black Or White"


The song was released on the 8th of November, 1991. It was the title track off the album, Dangerous.

I was 10 years old.

I can remember walking past a record store here in Sydney with my mum, and seeing those two mysterious eyes staring out at me from the Dangerous album cover.


Dangerous - Album Cover


“Black or White” is a song about racial harmony. A mix of hard rock, pop and rap.

Michael declares: “I ain’t scared of no sheets, I ain’t scared of nobody” referring to KKK ceremonies.

The rap lyrics state: “It’s not about races, just places. Faces. Where your blood comes from is where your space is. I’ve seen the bright, get duller. I’m not gonna spend my life being a colour”.


Black or White? Racial Harmony!


The “Black or White” film clip features Michael, with Macaulay Culkin, and supermodel (and now talk show host) Tyra Banks. It was directed by John Landis, who had also directed Thriller for Michael.

The song reached Number 1 in 20 countries. And it remained at the top of the charts through 1991 to 1992.

The music video premiered simultaneously in  27 countries. It had an audience of 500 million. It holds the record for the most watched music video of all time.

The music video was special. This was the first time that a video clip had used the technique of morphing (this happens in the last few minutes). Different people’s faces morph into each other, and Michael morphs into a black panther.

Can I tell you a secret? I totally wanted to be one of those morphing faces! Ahhh, childhood dreams!

The only times that this technique had been used previously was in the films Willow and Terminator 2.

Of course, the song also had a back lash for Michael, with the press asking “Michael? Are you black or white?” and other slurs.

But the song spoke for itself, breaking records previously set by Elvis Presley and The Beatles.

Check out the clip below…please note that there are two versions. Black or White was seen as one of the most controversial film clips ever made because of all the racist slogans and imagery. The full clip only gets air play in the US and UK between certain times, usually the 1am to 4am TV slot.

Here is the complete version, without the Slash intro, but with Michael destroying the windows with the racist material…and The Simpsons finale.

Just like the song, standing under the Eiffel Tower in the days following Michael’s death, colour didn’t matter.


The Moves Live On!


Black or white?

No one cared.

The Perfect Dinner Guest: Colour

5 Oct

Ok, so I’ve been looking at the work of a man called Don Tolman aka The Medicine Man.

Don Tolman

For decades, Don has studied the relationship between whole foods and the human body.

Mr Tolman is passionate about whole food medicine and has completed three 40 day water-only fasts. Don’t try that at home kids.

But, according to Don, it works. And he has many supporters.

The late Earl Nightingale said:

“If George Carlin and Albert Einstein had a son, it would be Don Tolman.”

TV talk show host, Phil Donahue recently stated:

“Like what he says or not; it’s people like Don Tolman who, in their own unique way, will impact social change.”

Well, this is a blog about colour, so what I was interested in with Don’s work is that he believes that eating specific coloured whole foods has a specific effect on the human body and it’s functions.

It’s what he calls our emotional anatomy and feeding our emotions.

Your local green grocer...It's like a medicine cabinet!

All this information can be found in Don’s set of books: The Farmacist Desk Reference.

The Food Colour Wheel

But I’ll just give you a quick run down of the things I found interesting…

As you will see below the opposites on the colour wheel work together to help each bodily system.

Red is for Confidence.


The benefit of Red is confidence.

The constituents of this emotion: Lycopene & Anthocyanins.

The Red bodily systems:

Reproductive/Endocrine system

Digestive/Eliminatory system

(Red works with the colour green)

If you want to support and target this system eat:

Red Apples | Cherries | Raspberries | Watermelon |Tomatoes | Rhubarb


The Yellow and Orange Family

The benefit of Orange is Curiosity.

The benefit of Yellow is Intentionality.

The constituents of these emotions are: 700 + Carotenoids

Bioflavonoids Vitamin C

The Orange/Yellow bodily systems:

Orange: Muscular/Skeletal system & Respiratory system

Yellow: Lymphatic/Immune system & Nervous System

If you want to support and target these systems eat:

Anything Orange or Yellow…

Mangoes | Oranges | Lemons | Carrots | Peaches | Corn | Pineapples

Like we have discussed...It's not easy being green


The benefit of Green is Self-Control.

The constituents of this emotion:

Lutein and Indoles

The green bodily systems:

Reproductive/Endocrine system

Digestive/Eliminatory system

So with the Red group, if you want to support this system:

Eat green…

Kiwi |Limes | Green Beans | Cabbage | Peas | Spinach | Lettuce | Green Grapes

Purple & Blue...The rarest colours in nature


The benefit of this group is Co-Operativeness.

The constituents of this emotion: Anthocyanins & Phenolics.

The Blue bodily system: Muscular/Skeletal system & Respiratory system

(Blue works with orange)

The Purple/Violet bodily system: Lymphatic/Immune system & Nervous System

(Purple/Violet works with yellow)

So, you get the drill…If you want to work on these systems eat the rarest colours in nature…

Blackberries | Plums | Purple Grapes | Eggplant | Purple Cauliflower | Blueberries | Purple Figs



Our last colour group…

The white & brown group supports all the other colours, generally not specifically.

The constituents of this group is: Allicin (found in onions & garlic)

So, to generally support all your body systems eat white & brown, this includes:

Dates | Coconut | Onions | Parsnip | Ginger | Turnips | Potatoes

There is sooo much more information about Don and feeding your emotions and eating by colour, but that would spoil all the fun.

Get to the Don Tolman website, head to the shopping cart and pick up a copy of the Farmacist Desk Reference.

To see more, click here.

And invite to your table the perfect dinner guest: Colour.

Oh, and that includes a glass of your favourite red or white…

You gotta love colour!