Every Exit is an Entrance



Exit / Entrance

through “The Door”

Grace to forgive

Faith restored


Last week I had an amazing experience of forgiveness. Over the years I had carried a lot of pain in my heart that related to things that had happened in my family. They related to a tragedy that had happened in the family before I was born, and also resentments built up against my father as I grew up. I felt entirely justified to feel resentful and didn’t deal with it. Because I was all screwed up inside I was often a prickly character and I didn’t want to be like that at all.

A few weeks ago I came across a blog by Jake Owensby named Looking for God in Messy Places and started reading the lessons. They were very challenging for me but helped me to form a new view about a lot of things.

Eventually matters came to a head when I read the lesson called Every Exit is an Entrance. a lesson that was tailor-made for me. Over a few days I prayed and tried to recognise what the things were that were pulling me down. God allowed me to understand some new aspects I hadn’t understood before. I admit there came a point one morning where it just seemed too hard and I wanted to give up. I thought about where I was coming from and made a strong decision to push on. And that afternoon all the dark, weighty stuff that had been a burden just quietly receded away right out of sight. This happened so gently that I was completely unaware of it until the evening when I realised the weight had gone.

Later that evening I was having a relax before heading to bed and in my mind I could clearly see my father’s heart and all I could see was a heart of love – no shadows from things I resented. I realised I was seeing Dad as God sees him – a man who is forgiven. And I realised that was how I now saw him, that I had in fact truly forgiven him. And then I could also see myself forgiven for the prickly character that I’d been. The thing is, I didn’t have to “work” at the forgiveness. God by his grace gave me the gift of forgiveness. And once I forgave Dad, I was then able to understand that I’m forgiven too.

Today’s poem encapsulates this experience. Jesus is “The Door”.


Words by Exploring Colour. Photo from Pixabay.

Art in Autumn : Designing with Leaves

Me and SO were at the Dunedin Botanic Garden a few weeks ago on a perfect autumn day and he started playing around with the leaves under a Liriodendron tree (tulip tree). The leaves are very big and there were lots of different colour variations. I liked the results of his efforts!





Words by Exploring Colour; photos by SO (2017)

Australia’s Convict Women. Book Review of “The Tin Ticket”

Book Review: The Tin Ticket by Deborah J. Swiss

The Heroic Journey of Australia’s Convict Women




“Under the Transportation Act, 162,000 women, men and children were exiled to Australia from 1788 – 1868.”

“During the nineteenth century, twenty-five thousand women were discarded by their homeland.”






I was aware of male convicts being sent from the UK to Australia and forced into hard labour but I was completely unaware that many female convicts were deported as well.

This book helps the reader to understand the social and economic conditions of the times that led to so many women and girls being shipped to Australia.

In particular, the book follows the stories of two girls from the slums of Glasgow and a widow from London. We find out about their backgrounds and the circumstances that led to their petty thieving and subsequent convictions. They survive the hell-hole of Newgate Prison (London) and the voyage to Tasmania only to face great hardships in Australia as they serve out their laborious seven to ten year sentences.  These three women are fortunate to survive the rigors of primitive conditions, slave labour and harsh treatment and eventually make a life for themselves as free citizens in Australia.

The book is well-researched and very readable. The story does jump around a bit between different characters which may cause a little confusion. It wasn’t a problem for me as I’m an impatient reader who dives in all over the place anyway! Some people criticise it for excessive use of adjectives and that it reads like historical fiction in places and I’d agree with this but to me these are only minor quibbles. The fact is that I knew nothing of the convict women sent to Australia and the book provided a very readable introduction to their story.

After reading this book I can’t help but ponder on the plight of the poor and the destitute in our society. Do we harden our heart to their predicament and blame them for the position they find themselves in? Our own society races on with research and development into Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. Of those now employed, how many will still be employed in five or ten years from now? What will society look like in terms of distribution of power, wealth and resources? I found this story very thought-provoking.

In conclusion I must mention a surprising female character from the wealthy class in London, a Quaker reformer named Elizabeth Gurney Fry.  In January 1813 a male Quaker minister (bless him!) had visited Newgate Prison and had found out for himself the unspeakable conditions in which the female prisoners were confined.  The very next day Elizabeth Fry and a close female friend went into Newgate Prison and experienced the filth and degradation for themselves (they insisted on being let into the very cell with the prisoners). She asked them what they wanted and then immediately set out to assist them in very practical ways. The important thing here is that while she was to offer great practical assistance she also worked hard politically as well. “A radical for her time, Elizabeth Fry was the first woman to speak before Parliament, lobbying on behalf of prison reform”.

I found this book very educational, thought-provoking and challenging and I hope more people will be inspired to read it. I found it in Dunedin Public Library (NZ) so try your local public library. If they don’t stock it then ask them to interloan it for you.


This Book Review by Exploring Colour (2017)

REBLOG: The Most Colorful Steps Around The World

REBLOG: Really enjoyed this post from Flow Art Station showing beautiful street art steps in various locations. My personal favourite was the fish swimming on blue steps in Seoul, Korea. By following the credits I found what appears to be the original article at Bored Panda.


16th Avenue Tiled Steps, San Francisco

Image credits: yellofish

16th Avenue Tiled Steps, San Francisco

Image credits: Jordan Wong

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Image credits: rleigh

Valparaíso, Chile

Image credits: oueduabroad

Seoul, South Korea

Image credits: Kevin Lowry

Wuppertal, Germany

Image credits: frizztext

Sicily, Italy

Image credits: Andrea Annaloro

Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Image credits: jr-art.net

Beirut, Lebanon

Image credits: Jubran E. Elias

Stairs to the musical theater in Seoul, South Korea

Image credits: Kimhwan SEOULIST

Stairs of Peace in Syria

Image credits: Jood Voluntary Team

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Image credits: justin-travels

Angers, FranceI

image credits: Mademoiselle Maurice

Istanbul, Turke

Image credits: DHA

creative-stairs-street-art-60 Morlaix, France

Image credits: ZAG

creative-stairs-street-art-61 Tehran, Iran

Image credits: farsizaban

Beirut, Lebanon

Image credits: Dihzahyners Project

Valparaíso, Chile

Image credits: Jean-BaptisteYunis

The Most Colorful Steps Around The World

There are many forms of street art out there, but those that create optical illusions or that can only…

View original post 72 more words

Rainbow Color Architectures Around The World

REBLOG: I’ve never seen anything like these colourful buildings so I’ve decided for today’s post to simply reblog this post (which I only found this morning).

Addicted To Prints

Olafur Eliasson (www.olafureliasson.net/) is a Danish-Icelandic artist known for sculptures and large-scale installation art employing elemental materials such as light, water, and air temperature to enhance the viewer’s experience. This is his design, the Aros Aarhus Art Museum.

Aros Aarhus Art Museum by Olafur Eliasson Aros Aarhus Art Museum by Olafur Eliasson

Aros Aarhus Art Museum by Olafur Eliasson Aros Aarhus Art Museum by Olafur Eliasson

Ecole Maternelle Pajol School in Paris design by Palatre et Leclere architecture firm.

Raibow School Raibow School

Raibow School Raibow School

This church in Spain was built in 1912 and transformed into rainbow colors by Okuda San Miguel (http://okudart.es/showcase/)

Rainbow Church by Okuda san miguel Rainbow Church by Okuda san miguel

Rainbow Church by Okuda san miguel Rainbow Church by Okuda san miguel

Rainbow Church by Okuda san miguel Rainbow Church by Okuda san miguel

Rainbow Church by Okuda san miguel Rainbow Church by Okuda san miguel

Rainbow Church by Okuda san miguel Rainbow Church by Okuda san miguel

Rainbow Church by Okuda san miguel Rainbow Church by Okuda san miguel

Rainbow Church by Okuda san miguel Rainbow Church by Okuda san miguel

Amann-Canovas-Maruri (amann-canovas-maruri.es/) is also a Spanish architect and this rainbow warehouse is his work.

Rainbow House by Amann-Canovas-Maruri Rainbow House…

View original post 60 more words

Mobile Food Caravan, Dunedin, New Zealand

Its now Friday morning in New Zealand and this means that Michael (Prema Bakery) parks his caravan on the side of the busy Kaikorai Valley Road near where I live. He makes the most delicious meat pies and assorted other baking such as Belgium Biscuits, Custard Squares, Dutch Twists, etc. I feel so fortunate that he visits here every Friday morning because any of the food that I’ve purchased from him has been top-notch!


Prema Bakery mobile food caravan in Gordon Road, Mosgiel on a Saturday morning.


The Prema Bakery caravan is in Mosgiel on Wed and Sat, and Kaikorai Valley Road (South End) on Fri. Time is from 10am until sold out or 2pm, whichever is earlier. I’d say you’d best be in before 1pm to make sure you don’t miss out.


Here you can see the inside of the caravan with the pie cabinet clearly visible. I’ve read a couple of posts from American visitors to NZ who are amazed by Kiwi pies – they haven’t come across the same thing in the US apparently.  Pies are sold hot from the pie cabinet and are like a meal-for-one in pastry. The standard pies available throughout NZ include mince, mince and cheese, steak, steak and cheese, bacon and egg, etc. In addition to these Michael offers Vegetarian and “Kumara and Venison”.


Words by Exploring Colour and Photos by SO (2017)




New Zealand Cabbage Trees

NEW ZEALAND CABBAGE TREES (CORDYLINE AUSTRALIS). Iconic native tree of New Zealand. Frequently seen in both town and country.

cabbage tree in flower header

The cabbage tree looks particularly beautiful when in flower.

cabbage tree in flower 600w

These cabbage trees are growing in the median strip of a street in the city of Invercargill in the south of the South Island.


Quintessential iconic shot of a cabbage tree in the NZ pastoral environment, Caroline Valley, Southland.


Cabbage tree viewed from above, Larnach Castle, Dunedin, NZ.


Roadside cabbage tree clump, NZ.


Young cabbage tree determined to grow in the expansion joint of a bridge over the river Thames, London, UK … you’ve got to admire their spirit!


Words by Exploring Colour and Photos by SO (2017)


REBLOG: This is my favourite poem. When I read it I feel like I’m cosily cocooned within the layers, the “million meters mounded into magic”. I love how the shape of the text mirrors the shape of the dress. Savour the words that ripple and flow like the dress itself. For more poems and other writing, and for delightful photos in Paris head on over to Deuxiemepeau; Picturing Poetry by D. B. Donnelly.

Featured Image -- 1579

Deuxiemepeau; Picturing Poetry by D. B. Donnelly

Look for me
in the layers lost,
in the careful caress
that concerns the contours
of form and finesse. The million
meters mounded into magic, turned
and twisted into tastes now termed timeless,
look for me in the yards that yield towards yellow,
that burn into beauty, like ochre opening, that grow towards
the gleam of green, that flit and flow like a feather in flight, like rays
of the old days that ripple on the water. Look for me by the curt corners
of concrete where complacency converges, look for me where the columns congregate,
creation is not just a concept concerned with procreation
but with the colours and costumes

we claim to parade our personality.

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:

View original post

A Cute Orange Cottage Stole My Heart

Sunday 18 June in Dunedin, New Zealand. Glorious, sunny winter’s day with an almost cloudless blue sky.  My husband and I were out walking on a street, just relaxing and chatting and looking at houses, plants, gardens.


And I spotted this bright orange cottage with blue window frames and a blue door and fell head over heels in love! The cottage will never be mine – its in a student accommodation area but it was just so nice to look at!


The nearby tree is a New Zealand native commonly called the cabbage tree. Its very distinctive and its a NZ icon. The botanical name is Cordyline australis.


Cabbage trees cast fantastic shadows.


Words by Exploring Colour and photos by SO (2017)