Saturday photo journal

Yesterday was a day steeped in old times. I went to a newly restored, 111 year old hotel with two old friends. While we were there, we came upon a flapper style jazz festival where all the attendees were in 1920s garb. They were trying to break the world record for the most number of people doing the charleston at the one time. I felt like we’d walked right into the Great Gatsby. It was wonderful.

Days with your best friends are good for the soul. IMG_0406 IMG_0409 IMG_0412 IMG_0415 IMG_0418 IMG_0419 IMG_0435 IMG_0439 IMG_0443 IMG_0444 IMG_0446 IMG_0448 IMG_0456

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Wanderlust

When you’re wanderlust like me, you spend a lot of time trawling the interwebs for travel related reading material. I’ve recently found a blog called I’m a traveller not a tourist and I’m addicted to it.

The posts are filled with cute infographics like this one.

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And this. I’ve only been to 10 of these attractions. Clearly I nearly to spend more time exploring the world!

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And relatedly, there’s a few other great travel posts I’ve read lately. Including:

– This piece on travelling alone. I know it’s easy to say this when you’re in a comfortable relationship and therefore have a built in travel partner, but I really think I could travel alone quite easily. It’s certainly a fun thing to do with other people but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easier than being by yourself!

These travel tips for Japanese people who visit the USA made me laugh. I don’t think we realise how strange our everyday behaviour is until we see it through the eyes of others.

– These NYC travel tips also made me laugh. Anyone who has ever lived in a city will be able to relate to these!

– And then there’s this fab post! This guy lists 20 things he learnt while travelling. My favourite is him pointing out that nobody but Americans care about America.

And now it’s time to head to TripAdvisor so I can start planning my next adventure…..

17 & 1

So here’s something cool. My husband and I have been together for 17 years today. Yep, it’s true. We were 16 (me) & 17 (him) years old when we got together in 1996.

He is radder than rad. The bees to my knees. My favourite. My best. My everything.

If you told us 17 years ago that we would end up living happily ever after, neither of us would have been surprised. We always knew.

1 June also happens to mark the one year anniversary of us being Mountains people. I miss the city more than I imagined I would but I sure do love my home. And the person I share it with.

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April and May – all of the things

The last couple of months have been really quite good. I’ve been up to all sorts of stuff. And now I’m going to tell you about it.

  • We started April off right with some early morning gardening sessions. Every day for a week we got up at 6am and gardened until it was time to get ready for work. It put a huge dent in our outdoor ‘to do’ list. And what a lovely way to start the day – out in the fresh morning air with your honey!
  • Then was the event of the year – the arrival of my niece Antigone Eliza who I simply can’t get enough of. She’s the cutest little cuddlebug and nothing makes me feel happier than holding her, talking to her and thinking about her. I love this recent picture of her.

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  • After Tiggs came along, the next big thing was a family trip to the Gold Coast. My Aunt had organised a ten year anniversary service for my Cousin Patrick. At first I was perplexed by this event. She asked me to speak and I was befuddled. What does one say at such things?  It wasn’t a funeral but it wasn’t exactly a celebration. In the end, it really did turn out to be a lovely way to remember Patrick, who passed away so suddenly at the age of 17. It meant that the anniversary of his passing wasn’t just a ceremonial nod to an event confined to its moment in time. I guess I’d like to think that if I died, 10 years on, people were still willing to attend a service for me.

Also, the school Patrick went to is TSS on the Gold Coast. It’s certainly an amazing school , very Hatter Potterish with a formal dining hall, stunning buildings and beautiful grounds. I always like visiting there.

TSS

  • Then it was my birthday. The thing I loved the most about my birthday was being reminded that I am friends with the best people. I was spoilt rotten with messages, phone calls, cards, presents and emails. My sister is always lovely, but her particular lovely loveliness was all the more evident when she baked me this cake.

Cake

Chocolate cake with smarties is the way to my heart! Leigh not only spoilt me with this  nom nom nominess but also with the most divine gifts. And only a week after having a baby!
Love. Her.

  •  I also really must show you this present. IT’S THE BOXED SET OF ROALD DAHL BOOKS. My work partner-in-crime bought these for me and I am a bit lucky to have them, I think! I have been coveting this set for years. You’ll find them in prime position on my book shelf. When you visit, I’m happy for you to look at them but please don’t touch! And sorry but you’ll never be able to borrow them. Just sayin.
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  • I also received two beautiful bunches of yellow flowers, which when merged into one bunch was like a MAJOR burst of sunshine on my dining room table. They made me happy every day that they were alive.
  • I spent my birthday watching this movie.
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    It was beautiful but incredibly depressing and I did a lot of crying. Not really smart planning for my birthday! But then I had a bit of a dumpling gorge and everything was ok. What is wrong with two whole steam boats of dumplings for lunch? Nothing.Dumlings
  • I came home one day to find that Sheela had decorated my eggs. How awesome are these eggs?
    IMG_1567It made me laugh for weeks. And now everyone now seems to be drawing faces on their eggs. It’s like the fashion accessory du jour for your fridge.
  • David, Leigh & Tiggs came to stay over Anzac Day. We went to the bakery then ate treats by the lake. Then my Mumzy-in-law and nephews came to visit. We had a toastie night and did a lot of talking. My nephews fished hot cross buns out of my freezer and smooshed nutella and banana into them before toasting. They were sickly in the best possible way. Toasties
  • Other wonderful things in April: An afternoon browsing through the cute shops in Wahroonga, beef pho & Black Star Pastry with Sheela, dinner club with the Williams at a delish Greek restaurant in the City.
  • In May, Sheels, Kys & I went to Canberra to visit our friends Kat & Adrian. Their baby Connor is so cute it is ridiculous. We picknicked and breakfasted and played in the beautiful autumn leaves. Was delightful!IMG_1790
  • Then there was a day off work in the middle of the week to celebrate my Mumzy’s birthday. We went for a lovely walk around the lake with Leigh and Tiggs before lunching with friends.BoatsDespite it being my Mum’s birthday, our close family friends gave me a stunning gift! They passed their beautiful Royal Albert tea cups on to me. I have loved these cups since I was little, which they knew. I don’t really feel deserving but I was most touched!IMG_1780
  • Then was some more family time. I got to meet my Cousin’s new baby Mason (isn’t he cute with Tiggs below?), there was Mothers Day, a family lunch and more snuggles with my niecey.
    Mason and Tiggs
  • We spent Ian’s birthday dining at Porteno with Mel & Jay. We slept over which meant waking up and finding this little dude in my bed!Harley
  • Then the next night Ian and I had dinner in the City and it felt so good to be back for the second night in a row in our old stomping ground.
  • And now to this past weekend. It was la superbe! I met up with Lis & Mel for the Writers Festival on Saturday. Both events I went to were great! One was a talk by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and the other a panel discussion on speculative fiction. In the evening we had our May dinner club with the Williams at Gallon. Cue drinking, good food, laughter and another sleep over. I love those two. On Sunday we brunched, shopped and then went home to the Mountains feeling like we’d had a good fill of City time.

So that’s the last couple of months for me. It’s been fun peeps! And did I mention we booked return flights to the ‘dam? No? Well more on that in my next post then!

Autumnal leaves

I’ve just come back from a lovely little overnight stay in Canberra. It’s looking quite stunning down there right now.

We lay on our backs and gazed up at the blue skies, watching the sun stream through the trees. Then the Sheelster had some fun frolicking amongst the pretty leaves.

 Canberra, in all your autumnal glory, my breath was officially taken. 

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Looking back

2012 was a funny old year.

When I look back at my posts, highlighting the best bits of January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November & December I realise that I had a jam packed year. There was a Melbourne trip, a QLD trip, a snow trip, a Byron Bay trip, plenty of theatre visits and lots of eating out.

There was also the major high of buying our house! Hurrah! our-place

 

On the low side, was the passing of my cute, fiesty, 96 year old Grandfather.

There was also spending a year in a job I don’t quite like in an organisation that’s truly lost it’s mojo.

But I’ve met some great people this year both online (hi Claudia!) and in real life (finally, finally, Sam Brady!)

I also learnt a lot. Like:

  • You have to be really happy in your heart and with yourself and in your skin and in your soul.
  • You need to spend time with people whose presence feels like a giant breath of fresh air sweeping through your life.
  • You need to maintain the childish hope that good things come to those who wait.

2012 rocked. Mostly because the world didn’t end after all!

So 2013, I do declare – you are open for business. Let’s do this!

 

Ski trip

We’ve just come back from a ski trip and it was wonderful.

It was a family affair – Mumzy, Dad, Husband, Mumzy-in law, Sister in law, Brother in law, Brother in law’s girlfriend & two riotous nephews.

Pre-trip, I had butterflies in my tummy. How would 10 of us from three very different families live together in the one place for a whole week? Would I remember how to ski? Would any of us injure ourselves?

I’m not a worry wart per se, but every now and then I do tend to over think things and get my knickers well and truly knotted. But as with most things in life it all ended up being absolutely fine.

The weather was perfect and that made for amazing skiing. The snow itself was heavenly! It was fresh and fluffy and when I lay down to make snow angels, it felt like I was lying in a pile of clouds.

When I was younger, my parents owned a flat in Jindabyne so I was lucky enough to go on skiing holidays at least once (if not twice!) every single year. This is only the second time I’ve skied as a adult though and last time it was a bit of a disaster. But this time round, I loved it. Not to brag (ok I’m bragging) but I was the only one of us who didn’t have a single fall!

Husband boarded alongside me almost the whole time too. I wasn’t expecting that, he’s far faster and much more daring than me so I thought he’d stick to black runs. But no, he hung  with me on the green and blues. He’s a keeper that one. We had lovely little hot chocolates dates on top of the mountain each day. There’s something dizzyingly romantic about sitting in the snow, sipping a hot drink, snuggled up with your honey. I felt happy to my core.

The absolute highlight? Hands down, it was seeing how my nephew Drew took to skiing. He had a couple of lessons but then skied for the rest of the time with us. He skied with such unbridled joy that it made my heart smile big! I always knew when he was skiing up behind me because I’d hear him screeching ‘WHOO HOO, WHOO HOO’ over and over, as he made his way down the mountains. There’s something quite revitalizing for your soul, seeing and hearing pure happiness like that.

Can’t wait to go back next year.

 Photo credit.

Our place

We’ve been in our new home for 7 weeks now and we’re kind of in love with it. It’s amazing that we’ve ended up in total suburbia (which we vowed we’d never do) and yet it’s so private. Once you step inside our house, or walk into the backyard, you don’t really see or hear any neighbours.

We live on 1500 sqms that backs onto State Forest. It’s bushy and peaceful and feels like the middle of nowhere.

People have been asking to see photos so I thought I’d share some first of the property.

Our house – what you see from the backyard looking back up. From this perspective, it’s like we live in the trees :)
Our bushy back yard
The backyard – what you see when you’re sitting on the back verandah
The front yard
Standstones steps leading from the front of the house to the carport under the house.
Steps going from the front yard down to the washing line. I have a washing line! Like a grown up!

We love our little world.

The awesomeness of May and June

I’ve loved the last couple of months. Here’s some photos from May and June.

Below:
* Squids ink linguine at Pasta Vera, Pyrmont. The week I moved to Pyrmont, someone recommended Pasta Vera to me. It took me the whole 11 years to get there but it was worth the wait!
* Beautiful flowers from Tomas & Jones
* Wilkins and Kent on Little Bourke Street, Melbourne. I want every ceramic item in their window. Love that store!
* My favourite winter nail polish
* My flat, all packed up
* Beef bourguignon in mini pots – dropped around by Sheela on one of the first days in our new place.

Melbourne art below:

Top row = my favourite pieces at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne University

* I was too perplexed by the first piece here to write down what it was. Let’s just call it the Weirdo piece by Weirdy McWeird
*Vivienne Shark LeWitt, If the shoe doesn’t fit must we change the foot?
* John Brack, Two Typists

Bottom row = my favourite pieces at The Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria

* Bronte Berenger, I promise to never get paint on my glasses again
* Wall of Indigenous masks
* Sidney Nolan wall


Below:

My favourite pieces of Indigenous art at the Ian Potter Centre,
National Gallery of Victoria

Below: 

* Rock the Ballet fun. Not the best show I’ve ever seen but a good night out
* My cute little sleeping husband
* Mexican dinner club with Mel & Jay at El Loco, Surry Hills
*Beautiful housewarming flowers from Leigh and David that lived three whole weeks! I guess they stayed so fresh because our house is pretty much like a cold storage container!
*Long weekend in the ACT with my homies Kys, Sheels & Kat. And yes, that is Kylie sitting on top of the ACT sign reading a book. Cos that’s how we roll.

Below: Friends’ babies & fur babies
*
Kat’s  doggies -Irish Wolfhound Murphy who when standing up, is as big as a pony! Her staffy Lucy has the most expressive eyes I’ve ever seen on a dog.
*Harley Williams who can communicate whether he wants to wear his jumper or not. He’s possibly a shape shifter.
*Amber’s new baby girl,  Skye Willow.