Weekend Wanderings – Royal Botanical Gardens, Cranbourne

Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY

Recently Miss Rosanna mentioned that I should try going out to Cranbourne, to the Royal Botanical Gardens there.  I had never heard of the place.  I knew there were Botanical Gardens in the city, but not out in Cranbourne.  So I googled it, found the website and decided to see if my new photography buddy wanted to go along. So last Monday we went to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Cranbourne.

CRBG 1This desert garden is one of the first things you see.  It is quite incredible and is meant, I believe to represent the Australian Outback.  This garden is the Australian section of the Royal Botanical Gardens.  Cranbourne is all Australian, from what I can make out.   The Royal Botanical Gardens in the city have more exotic and foreign plants.

The weather was not great when we went, but it did mean we got some fantastic skies.  The…

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Why Yahoo acquiring Tumblr for $1 billion makes a certain horrible kind of sense

Gigaom

According to a blizzard of anonymous news reports, Marissa Mayer is working feverishly to land the biggest fish of her career as CEO of Yahoo (s yhoo): namely, the $1-billion-plus acquisition of New York-based Tumblr, the ultra-hip blog network — the two are reportedly involved in discussions that could come to fruition as early as Sunday. Although Tumblr fans seem horrified by the idea, this one makes a substantial amount of sense for both sides.

Of course, as Om and others have already mentioned, there’s no guarantee this deal will actually be consummated: it could fall apart on valuation, as so many deals do — or Facebook could swoop in with a much higher offer and snatch Tumblr out of Yahoo’s clutches, the same way it did when it stole Instagram away from Twitter last year for close to $1 billion.

Update: According to the…

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How iPads, apps and YouTube can be a band’s best practice tools

Gigaom

It started innocently enough. “Let’s get together and jam” lead to a rehearsal song list, and  the possibility of starting a band. I had about a week to organize and prepare for a mostly full band rehearsal. We don’t have a singer yet, so that duty, sadly, has fallen on me until we get someone. As noted on this site before, I’m a guitar player. By nature, I’m a very organized an prepared individual, and I wanted to get everyone prepared for the songs ahead of time. After I sent out links to YouTube clips of the songs to the other members, it was time to get to work.

Here are the apps and devices I used that made my life a lot easier during this process.

Practice, practice, practice

One of the nice things about being the person everyone points to and says, “pick some songs” is, well, the…

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Yahoo officially acquires Tumblr for $1.1 billion, promises “not to screw it up”

Gigaom

Yahoo (s YHOO) and Tumblr announced Monday morning that Yahoo has officially acquired Tumblr for $1.1 billion in cash.

In the release, the companies noted that “Per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business. David Karp will remain CEO. The product, service and brand will continue to be defined and developed separately with the same Tumblr irreverence, wit, and commitment to empower creators.”

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer also announced the acquisition on her own Tumblr, while Tumblr CEO David Karp wrote about it on Tumblr’s staff blog.

Tumblr has over 300 million monthly unique visitors, according to the release. (comScore had pegged the site’s April traffic at 124 million uniques.) The companies say that half of Tumblr’s users use its mobile app, and reiterated one of the reasons that Yahoo was willing to shell out…

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WAITRESS by KIKA SIMONE

   

 

      ‘Have you ever fallen in love?’ Please, do not answer that. I’ll rephrase: ‘Do you believe in love?’ I’m sure you are not sure whether or not to answer honestly and truthfully. You are also not sure of my reason for asking these questions.

     Love? Demilade thought to himself and chuckled. This chuckle was closely followed by a long, dry laugh, like a  rainstorm following a drizzle on a cold, dreary day.

     He was not what you would call the quintessential cynic, but he could not help thinking that love was basically  an overrated, overpriced and over exaggerated commodity. There was no particular reason that nursed his belief, it was just that he had never had any cause to believe otherwise.  Love- everyone wants it, but can never get enough of it- a labyrinth of sorts.

     This was not to say that he had never felt connected to the opposite sex; he had just never had to use the words so often, and when he did, the words were lifeless on his lips- with no meaning or dedication.

     This was the notion he was pushing back and forth in his mind, as he sat at the hotel bar, a cognac in his hand.

     Enslaved by his random thoughts, it was no wonder he was sometimes bordering on stark madness. It was as though his mind was some sort of crowded powerhouse; an incubator for the brilliant ideas that placed him at the top of his career chain; and a forum for self-prodding and probing. Who was complaining anyway? He thought his mind to be his gift and also his curse.

     He frowned deeply and reached into his pocket for a card of Panadol . The protective foil crinkled as he hurriedly took three and threw the little white pills into the back of his throat. Panadol is to headache, as cognac is to fatigue. He laughed at his own joke before deciding that it was hardly funny. His randomness had only begun to kick in, and after a few drinks he would stumble back to his hotel room down the long corridor and climb into his bed alone. This was his life: From one hotel room to the other in elegant but affordable 3 star boutique hotels; with the promise of silk sheets and long nights  in beds that felt so unfamiliar yet so welcoming. In the mornings, he would unpack his travel toilet case and manage to get to his business meetings without leaving a trail of razor bumps along his strong, angular jawline . Yes, this was his life; and with no wife or string of girlfriends, he owed emotional obligations to no one.

     Yimika, his last girlfriend, had thought their relationship was less than functional. She told him this on their  first anniversary, in a room full of people; and the ‘clitter clatter’ of cutlery on crockery had nearly drowned her voice in a sea of people that were in that restaurant. They were at Radisson Blu that evening, and he had cancelled his flight to Abuja just to be there with her. At that point, he found himself getting drawn more and more to her clear fair skin, the way she paused to lick her lips when she spoke, and the way she demanded more until he was spent in the moments they were intimate. ‘Intimate strangers’ , ‘mediocre’ and ‘hardly functional’ . Those were the words Yimika had used to describe their year long relationship. They never seemed to agree on anything, she said. He was also never there(always working!), condescending and treated her like a child. Of course, he had had no response to her allegations. It was not a conversation they were having; it was simply a situation where one person was speaking, and the other, listening. She left after saying goodbye, and he watched the sway of her full hips as she walked across the room and out of his life. He recalled still ordering the full menu and champagne with strawberries that night. Comfort food is never overrated.

     ‘Would you like another , Sir?’ It was the waitress who spoke. Demilade was suddenly forced to return from his trip down memory lane., and back to his snifter of cognac which was now near empty. Her voice was pure, clear and confident. It was the same girl who served him the first drink, only he had not looked at her until now. She was no extraordinary beauty, but she was striking in  such a way that one could not help but look twice at her. Her eyes were wide and alert, and her small broad nose and full lips dotted her face. She was smiling, revealing a set of white teeth.

‘Sir, can I get you another drink?’ Her voice was urgent this time.

‘Answer the girl and let her go’ his mind raced for a split second.

‘Yes. I’ll have another cognac . Straight up.’

‘Coming right up.’ She said and backed into the bar to get his drink.

Demilade’s  eyes followed the girl as she made to pour his drink.

At this point, he wondered  about her. She was full figured but not fat; with curvy hips but not small waisted. She was not quite tall, but she had a graceful appearance- like one who knew herself completely, and was at peace with herself. To him, it was an odd combination. It was perfection.

‘Here you are. ‘ She set his drink down on the table. He reached for his wallet and made to settle the bill. His eyes met hers, and for a minute they were locked in each other’s gaze, forgetting time and space and everything in between.

 It was in that split moment that he saw pain and warmth and fatigue in those big ,wide brown eyes. Then, he saw beauty  , with all the imperfections that come with it. Dark skin. Brown eyes.

‘Can I talk to you sometime?’ Shit!! That was a dumb line. He knew he shouldn’t have said that.

She paused a moment before answering. ‘I’m sorry, but it’s against hotel policy to have personal contact with hotel guests.’ She smiled , a patronizing smile so sweet and sickening that he became even more embarrassed. He hated himself for talking to her.

‘Okay. Thank you. ’ He rose to leave , but not after leaving her a more than generous tip.

‘No , Sir. Thank you.’ She declined , playing up a smile; this time a genuine, appreciative smile.

Demilade walked out of the bar and into the lobby. He felt something. His palms were unusually sweaty and his heart was racing, his mind playing up a dozen questions per second. He even felt a tad stupid for making that dumb move. Now he must seem like every other jerk who hit on lowly waitresses in hotel bars. The classic aristocratic  idiot.

As he walked along the corridor, he thought about the waitress. He did not even know her name, or where she lived. He wondered about everything about her; from her favorite food to her favorite pair of underwear.

Demilade wondered if she liked hot peppers in her sauces , like he did; and if she liked to dance, and laugh and run around in the rain like all those star struck women in chick lit  novels and romantic comedies  that women generally like .

Maybe she was even married to some loser who hit her. He hoped not.

Maybe she was even a chronic snorer, like he was – a sleeping stereo .

As he brushed his teeth and packed for his flight back to Lagos the following day, she still filled every corner of his mind. Every thought of her was accompanied by the stark reality of the fact that he might never see her again. Maybe  it was love at first sight. Of course it wasn’t. He scoffed and turned off the bedside lamp. As he settled in bed , he realized that he had grown too old for puppy love. Maybe it was the real thing after all. Demilade shrugged and went to sleep….

                                       THE END?