New beginnings…….

We are deep in the good vibes of summer.  Summer is never coy in Australia and this summer has been no exception with a band of unrelenting heat-waves which set temperatures soaring to record numbers.  Now I have no hunger for coquettish summers but I can tell you, the blistering furnace of heat during the last couple of weeks really did knock many, including myself, for six.

For me, summer is usually filled with consistent swells and the clean lines of traditional boards, sunshine, mangos and cherries (my favorite spoils of the season), frangipani flower and skies which are bleached a paler shade of blue.  This year however, Australia really did have its day in the sun as everything seemed to melt  beneath our feet.

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See!  I told you it was hot!!

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Once again my jumpers, jeans and wetsuits were all traded for a lightness of season and as I packed up my wetsuits I realised, the next time these steamers see the light of day it will be in a very different ocean, in a very different state…….

2018 was a mix of the confounding and the brilliance in its yield of absolute unknowability.  People entered my life, returning in the various forms they have now morphed in to, I was challenged and equally inspired and I lived a living which teaches you a little of everything and anything.  And now in 2019, what is it I predict. Well, absolutely nothing as I do not etch my year to stone but mindfully intend to keep doing my best with what I have when I have it.

2019 has also bought with it a major move and it seems through choice or circumstance, any steadfast fixture in your life will change.  It’s a difficult process as sometimes you go back to a place you have once been, even if ever so briefly, to find the place you are returning to has changed……. but not as much as you have.

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Zoe, lovely and ever helpful on packing days…….

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Two shipping containers!  Really!!

Throughout my life, I have often come and gone with ease by not making any great attachment.  Leaving can be difficult for different reasons but there is a part of me that likes to go just the same.  Moving on drives my curiosity and my sense of wonderment.  It always spurs me forward even though I have no surety of what awaits.  Perhaps though, I am content with the idea of everything passing for a later return just as the waning of this summer.  It’s end also being the promise of its return.

When I initially knew of this move, my immediate thoughts went to my ocean.  I believed I would die, just a little, but of course I knew I would not.  To think like that is deeply impractical and it does no one any good.  Do I wish I could have stayed in Newcastle forever?  Perhaps!  But that was not to be so I will hold my time of Newy up to the light like a beautiful piece of sea glass and stay a little longer with all of the good of which there has been plenty.

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I am not one easily seduced but for me, there is always the seduction of an ocean and I can find that anywhere I live but leaving this time also meant leaving a job which I have loved.  A place of work and volunteering that offered a strange and unique gift.

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I read somewhere years ago to ‘find your tribe’ and in circumstances most fortunate for me, I had that wonderful gift for just on three years.  I never really understood the analogy of a tribe until my days meshed with some generous and epically wonderful folk and days became joyful beyond any expectation this girl had.  And work, which is never work when you are doing something you absolutely love, wormed its way into becoming a passion.

In a Newcastle suburb, an open and profound offering of friendship, kindness, a sense of belonging and respect took hold and my time there, so deeply appreciated has left an indelible mark upon my heart.  Humanity, in its blessed munificence, is a strange thing but perhaps these are the journeys we are meant to take when we dare to find the courage to do so.

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This was a difficult goodbye (oh heart, what is this feeling) but there is only so much time you can spend grieving that which is gone.  You can however, hold to a city or to a place or to a time and even to some folk who live there.  Nothing is impossible.

As I drove out of Newcastle for the last time, headed on a road that would lead me through the outback before reaching my final destination, I rested my head against the driver’s window when stopped at the lights.  I tried to take in a little more of the place before the traffic lights changed and the city and my time there rushed away.

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I thought of all the things I loved about living in Newcastle and New South Wales, some people, about the incredible experiences and opportunities afforded me but most of all I thought of how truly fortunate I had been and how truly fortunate I still was……..

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I gave fair warning to all pedestrians of Newcastle…..x

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Over the coming weeks it will no doubt be a chaotic time with little more than a moment to spare, the unpacking of literally hundreds of boxes – for all my perfectionism I still prefer my life lived with a little imperfection of organised clutter and lopsidedness, antiquated books and beautiful vintage china – trying to make the house a home as 5 years of rental neglect has not been kind to it nor the garden, finding my feet (and my place) and allowing those curious textures of everyday life to appear.

I will also share the road trip, countless moments I do not want to lose because the soil was so breathtakingly red and indescribable and the outback so remotely beautiful it almost broke my heart.   There are other snippets too such as the beast of a lizard which damaged my car, the roo’s bigger than I have ever seen and the hundreds of feral goats on the side of the road from Cobar to Broken Hill which never once startled as the occasional road-train hurtled by.  All moments dichromatic but no less wonderful……

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I never set out to have a blog and since those early days of 2014 I have shared much in the warmth and generosity of the countless places I have visited and the unselfish respite this beautifully wondrous world of ours offers.  So my blog will continue on as I do.  Ever evolving, ever moving, ever resilient and always ever grateful.

Here’s cheers to new beginnings and what they bring……..xx

Footnote:  Incredible ‘melting ice-cream truck’ sculpture created by Glue Society and installed in Sydney 🙂

Coober Pedy: 845k north of Adelaide and 2,088k west of Sydney as the crow flies…….

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Sometimes I worry I have the maturity of an eight year old and other times, I am actually convinced of it.  Perhaps this imperfection is because of the way I often see the world.  I find an almost innocence of curiosity and enchantment where others find only the tiresome.  I still make a wish on a shooting star, I always want to see the best in people and continue to show them kindness even when they have shown themselves not to be deserving of it and most of all, by my spirited enthusiasm at the prospect of a road trip.

Now there is no sugar coating this road trip because heading to Coober Pedy is a bloody long slog so it requires many stops along the way to not only to fuel up and stretch the legs, but stopping also gives you the opportunity to really appreciate this iconic stretch of highway and its many eccentricities.

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It will take much longer if you go by bike though…….

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Truth!!…….

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I do love a road trip and this trip to Coober Pedy was no exception as it encompassed some of the things I love most about Australia………the outback and the characters you find there.

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These are the places where a local will tell you danger is highly overrated yet go on to tell you up until the 1980’s you could still buy dynamite over the counter at the local supermarket and that you can very easily disappear without a trace………as many have!

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The locals are hard working, hard living and hard drinking.  Boot Hill Cemetery is a testament to that fact and is so named because the folk of Coober Pedy work so hard and for so long that they literally die and are buried in their boots.  Charmingly macabre don’t you think.

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The locals really are a friendly lot if not a little wary, but they become sincere and entertaining when you get to know them.  People out here can also spend their entire lifetime with just a nickname.  No Christian name.  No surname.   Just a simple and often endearing sobriquet which everyone knows you by and of which I think is rather wonderful.

It is said some people are running to something but most are running from something and its a good place to head if you don’t want to be found.   The sort of place you can live the sort of life you want to live without judgment or persecution.  Isolation it seems, is good for some souls……..

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Coober Pedy is blistering heat, one main street, cold beer and the gin passable.  The skies are enormous and the earth is scorched, painted and peeling.  It is a beautifully multicultural community, rainfall is low, you can get a latte (the least likely advice I was going to take)…..did I mention the beer is cold 🙂 and there are no trees.  Summer days hit 50 degrees plus, the slow black flies are in plagued proportions, there is pizza and magnificent opal.   It is a place that doesn’t throw its weight around but holds its own with a commanding yet unassuming ease.

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Ventilation…….

Located in one of Australia’s hottest desert climates, ‘the opal capital of the world’, as Coober Pedy is often referred is a labyrinth of underground mining tunnels and dugout housing.

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Looking up from deep underground…….

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An opal seam…….

Attempting to avoid the stifling heat, much of the town has been built underground and you can visit homes, churches, the lovely time-warp that is Faye’s House and stay in the underground motel.

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And you know we did……. 😉

The dog proof fence, built during the 1880’s is about 10k out of Coober Pedy.  It runs 5,614k (3,489 miles) and is one of the longest structures in the world, even longer than the Great Wall of China.  It’s well worth the hike out of town just to see the fence disappear out over the horizon.

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This is about as tough as it gets and I knew being out here I could take no photo to truly capture that nor the immensity of it all and words, well they wouldn’t cut it either.  What I can say though, is that this really is one of my most favorite places on earth.

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Will I return?  Absolutely!  That goes without question.  I found a deep sentiment for this area and although almost apocalyptic it is one hell of a place so easy to love.   My plan has always been to live out in Coober Pedy for a while and fossick about in the burnished golden desert under that massive outback sky and I already have a name for my slag heap.  That life’s adventure has been a dream since I was a girl and I sincerely thank The Leyland Brothers for that 🙂

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I could not help but wonder that perhaps it was not the getting to Coober Pedy, but the idea of it that struck me so.   That starkly beautiful arid landscape, barren as the moon and riddled with thousands upon thousands of holes surrounded by mounds of white powdery dirt.

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Did my photos and text of Coober Pedy do it justice!  Of course not!  This place is like a wild brumby.  Too stunningly glorious to be captured and tamed but a girl with a heart for wild horses can always dream can’t she………x

Slice of Heaven – Part III

A final snapshot of New Zealand…….

In a patchwork of weather patterns which saw me peeling off layers often down to a t-shirt and other days of cold and fog, New Zealand, with its history, stretches of coast-line and spectacular mountain ranges, is a lovely part of the world to find yourself in.

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One is continually stunned by a beauty which seems is made for large expensive lenses and slow shutter speeds.  It is those photographers who can capture the scale and beauty of the landscape.  They catch the perfect light, the lift of the land, the panorama of the sounds and an incredibleness of a country which somehow seems too captivating for words.

551.JPGNow it is no secret I love a city.  I really am a city girl at heart and sometimes, I just like the feel of concrete beneath my feet.  And of course, cities are made to be walked.

Even when the streets (like some folk) show their very disagreeable side, even when overcrowded with tourists, even when the weather is miserably inclement and even when I get hopelessly lost I am still smitten by a city.

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I walked a lot through the bigger cities of New Zealand.  Some days I was driven with a purpose to see something in particular and other times my wanderings led me to a cocktail bar or bakery……… which I swear was coincidence!  Sometimes its nice to walk without purpose or a plan.  Just filling my skin with that moment of solitude.  If tired, I occasionally hopped on public transport but for the most part, I saw everything on foot.

I liked Wellington a lot.  It reminded me so very much of San Francisco with its steep winding streets, its fog covered bay, the hill set houses and its lovely architecture.Lean+Timms+Welly+Like+a+Local++(44+of+110)[1]007366140

Located right in the westerly belt known as the Roaring Forties, the city did indeed live up to its name The Windy City.  Howling winds can whip through at up to 160kmh with average daily gusts of 30kmh so its probably not the best place to hang out if you want to practice your skill as a sabre juggler!

The wind in Wellington became difficult toward the end of one day.  It was that sort of icy wind that will always find that tiny gap between your coat and the bare nape of your neck and as most know, I am not a fan of windy weather.  Gusty winds tend to make me irritable yet although I was having possibly the worst bad-hair day ever, it just didn’t seem to matter.

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The harbour-side city Auckland hit the mark too with its ferries, super-yachts, galleries, restaurants, bars, cafes and the very iconic sky-tower.

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And then, there were all of the little towns and places in between.  Those places where my heart felt so glad for just being there.

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And as quickly as the New Zealand trip began, it ended.  I guess that’s just how travel goes sometimes…….x

Slice of Heaven Part II – Eat Drink New Zealand…….

For the most part during the trip I did two things – ate and indulged in my own private wanderings of sea, art deco architecture, rain-slicked back streets, record shops and stunning scenery.   There were places I could have stayed forever and my leaving was with a heavy heart.  Other times, I was ready to move on with barely a backward glance.

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Some of my other favourite moments were found fossicking around a little curiosity shop, eating tartare (one of my favourite things at present), sitting up on a hard wood stool devouring oysters, watching my husband engrossed in reading ‘tap’ and ‘tasting’ notes, ordering and sharing plates and looking for huge bumble bees on flower spikes.

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There is something quite nostalgic and humble about that most quintessential of all NZ cuisine, fish and chips.  When I was growing up, every Friday night was fish and chip night.  Never ever take-away, but always home-made by my Nana of fresh fish daubed in plain flour with hand-cut potatoes.  I can’t say I remember how it tasted but I remember it was always covered in table salt.

The fish and chips in New Zealand I remember.  They were piping hot and perfectly seasoned, the locally caught fresh fish encased in a golden batter served right up alongside crispy chips.  Just perfection!

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If fish and chips aren’t the official national dish of New Zealand then holy cats, they should be…….

The seafood on offer in New Zealand is not only incredibly fresh but it also comes from some of the most pristine waters of anywhere in the world.

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There was an undeniable charm to be found when hunkered down in a small windswept coastal village, a harbour or even a big city while tucking into the freshest of seafood, the best fish and chips or shoveling freshly shucked oysters straight into our mouths.

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It doesn’t get much better than this – freshly shucked oysters, smoked mackerel pate and a fabulous New Zealand Sav Blanc.  Definitely a slice of heaven.

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On the whole, the fish and chips were to die for and the deep fried paua we tried, well that was a whole other story.  It looked really tempting even with its odd blue/grey-green colouring but to the bite, it was gritty and had the taste and texture of a huge prawn poo-shoot which had been compressed!

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The paua shell however, is lovely when polished.

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Hello my lovelies……..I’m talking to the pav’s 😉

Created in honour of the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, this long favoured and often contentious dessert – both Australia and NZ claim to have created it – never failed to impress.  Each lovely pav I devoured (and lordy, there were many!!) had that very beautiful marshmallowy meringue centre encased in a crisp, snowy white shell.  Bliss…….

The humble pie has been consistently voted New Zealands’ number one comfort food ahead of its popular Hokey Pokey ice-cream and chocolate.  And for very good reason!  After having one (okay, once again it was more than one) they get a colossal tick of approval.  The pies, due in part to the rich buttery golden pastry used, are amazing.   I’m a traditionalist when it comes to a pie.  I love steak and kidney or a simple mince pie but I do appreciate the flavours on offer in NZ such as satay, butter chicken, venison with cab sav, pork, bacon and cheese, lamb and mint and curried chicken.  The unofficial hangover cure when washed down with a Harpoon Cold Brew Coffee!

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We also tried lamb, green lipped mussels, venison, scallops and a traditional hangi while in the thermal region of Rotorua.

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A Kiwi microwave

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Getting beach bod ready

Drink New Zealand

Wine:  ‘only the first bottle is expensive’……..

  • Sav Blanc:  a pungent and almost grassy wine produced in the sunniest and driest part of the land.  Most view it as a bit of a ‘have with anything, goes with anything’ kind of wine.
  • Riesling:  wow!  This style of wine continues to cement NZ’s reputation as a world class wine producer.
  • Pinot Gris:  swung between pear and honeysuckle notes and oftentimes, pleasantly intense.

We tended to favour the whites on this trip but all the New Zealand wines we had were equally lovely.

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Coffee:  another hotly contested debate between Australia and those across the ditch as to who created the Flat White, but I care little a dot when the coffee is good.  Most coffee is made with locally roasted, organic or fair trade coffee beans.

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Craft beer aka Liquid Gold!:  craft beer is a huge industry in NZ with just over 160 boutique breweries cropping up across the land.  We tried some of the best on offer from aromatic hop driven Pale Ales, punchy sours, big malty reds to the richly roasted coffee stouts.  The beers went well with all food including the pavs.  Happy days indeed……. 🙂

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Mulled Wine and Cider:  a great boozy winter warmer laced with cinnamon and cloves available in just about every pub and bar.  Choice.

Part III coming soon……x

Slice of Heaven – Part I…….

This is not the first time I have been to New Zealand yet each time I go, I seem to see it all in such a different light.  There was no way I did not want to once again explore those cities and their streets, nor find an equal richness in the heart of a small community just as I could not have but wanted to find that little piece of coastline whose rugged beauty stabs me right in the heart.

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There was still a feel of winter chill left in the November air.  The temps at times were low and there was the occasional downpour of cold sporadic rain but nothing could dampen my enthusiasm upon seeing that lush green hobbit like landscape running right down to the sea.  When the sun came out, and it always did, it made for sapphire blue skies and the warmth of a love affair with this country began all over again so fickle is this heart.

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I saw the Southern Cross as clear as a bell in those big inky skies, the almost soft golden light of sunsets over the Sounds, the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean and the long expanses of foggy beaches.  There were boat rides, whales always in the distance, forests, lovely wildflowers and weeds that seemed to even burst with their own kind of beauty.

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It was wooly sheep in the greenest of pastures and fat happy cows who seemed to graze their days away.  It was the roar of the geysers, the stench of sulphur and the bubbling pools of mud.  It was a haka, the thunderous ferocity of which made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and I haven’t even mentioned the craft beer and regional wines.

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I walked for miles over the New Zealand landscape.  My feet, so very mistreated yet so irrepressible, never fail me.  There are some wonderful walks upon trails and tracks where the sense of isolation, the tall forest trees and the occasional glimpse of the city or ocean below was all I needed.

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You really are spoilt for choice in the big cities of both islands but for me, the little coastal towns with their sandy beaches, stunning Sounds, boats and rocky inlets were perfection.  These were places where I felt a deep connection and happiness ……

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The Maori language is beautiful.  They actually have 35 words for dung which is pretty darn impressive when you think about it.

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New Zealand is a country of infinite beauty which just keeps on giving with an incomparable and unexpected charm.

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Watched the running of the Melbourne Cup while in NZ…….pretend I do this everyday 🙂

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Travel is always what you make of it and for me, it gives a gentle nod to appreciate even the tiniest of moments and although a homebody, any trip is never quite long enough…….x

Part II – Eat drink New Zealand coming soon

A Pride and Prejudice death stare, old girls and spunk rats…….

It’s spring and with this lovely season comes the bonus of day light savings.  How wonderful to think that every day from now until April 2019, a rebellious sun will defy its own bedtime to linger longer in these beautiful Newcastle skies.

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Hello spring…….

It has been an exhausting few weeks which accounts for my tardiness in writing this post.  I have been distracted and made somewhat distant by things designed to break your heart in a thousand tiny ways.  Perhaps I take too much time trying to make sense of my world knowing I am often looking for explanation where there is none.  Yet amongst the chaos and uncertainty, there have been some wonderful moments of kindness, a few short road trips, the deeply bonded gift of lasting friendships more precious to me than all the stars in the darkest of nights, plans afoot and ocean waves.  Procrastination and inspiration it seems, make for strange bedfellows!

There is difficulty in acknowledging I have also been a little stressed of late.  I have come to realise though, it is not the stress which is most wounding but my reaction to it so given this, I have taken to drinking water laced with apple cider vinegar shotted with turmeric and ginger along with green smoothies.  They are by no means pleasant elixir’s, but learning to be a responsible adult by looking after oneself and eating healthily is ………all well and good until it hits 10 pm and there’s no gin or dark chocolate left in the house!

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I know my best does not come easily.  It takes an awful lot of work yet I still very often fail spectacularly when it comes to looking after myself.  There is no pride in saying that, its just the hand I have been dealt just as it is no secret that I often make poor decisions (some nutritional and many under the influence of gin) when what I really need do is permit myself a little self compassion.  Such a simple desire but as with most things, it is easier said than done but I’m working on it.

 Seal Rocks……..

Occasionally when I post my photos, I am immediately transported back to the early 70’s.  Sharing my photos reminds me of a time when a relative or family friend who had just returned from an exotic holiday (and yes, Surfers Paradise was a wildly exotic destination in the 60’s and 70’s!) would turn up in the evening with a projector under one arm and small rectangle boxes filled with Kodachrome slides in the other.

There is no doubt many of these nostalgic old images have been lost forever yet I still remember that large bulbous glass lens so hot to the touch, those tiny coloured slides, the whirr of the projector and the beam of light which I always thought was made of stardust.  Little did I know back then, the gossamer haze which fascinated me so was nothing more than dust particles floating in a beam of artificial light.  But one can dream a little when you are lost to a more innocent time of abandon.

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A collection of slides, the precious ghosts of someone else’s memories…….

I woke early one morning, grabbed my nipper board and underwater camera and headed up to Seal Rocks, a small coastal settlement on the mid north coast of New South Wales.  Surrounded by state forest, Seal Rocks is little more than a scattering of houses and a stunningly beautiful beach.  Unpretentious, this spectacular part of the world is achingly beautiful and somewhat isolated which is why I love being there.

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 And on this day, as luck happens, the beach was completely deserted………..with the exception of a few locals.

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This was one of those near perfect days where the aquamarine water shimmered with sunlight and schools of small fish.  While sitting out on my board lost in thought and watching for distant whale spouts, a fin, not half a metre from the front of my board sliced through the calm.  My heart raced like that of small deer and momentarily I wished I had worn a brown wet suit, then a pod of exquisitely winsome creatures broke the surface………

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I think I reeled off about one hundred and one photos in the space of a couple of seconds but these gentle creatures were far to quick for the old cameras aperture.  I slipped from my board and dived deeply to watch these most beautiful of aquatic mammals swim above me and then as quickly as they had appeared…….. they were gone.

I climbed back on my board and wonder-stuck, just lay there.  As the wind began to pick up and the chop gathered I turned and paddled back to shore.  After dragging the nipper up the sand, I stripped out of my wetsuit and stood for a while letting the warm sun flood my soul and dry my hair.

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This is about as close to a selfie as you are ever going to see of me…….x

Dry and happy and in search of coffee, I walked up the pot-holed gravelly road to the small general-store-come-post-office located near the headland.  I could not smell that unmistakable aroma of freshly ground beans and once inside, could see no espresso machine.  I skulked around looking at the kitch on sale, flicked through a local tide book and tried to find a best before date on a packet of twisties before casually asking the woman behind the counter if they served coffee.

She looked up from the paper, slid her readers to the end of her nose and eyeballed me with a death stare to rival Julie Bishop.  Suddenly, I felt as though I was standing before the most priggish librarian ever imaginable while holding a stack of trashy Mills and Boon and asking if she knew who wrote Pride and Prejudice!!

I took her reaction to be a resounding NO! on the coffee front.  I said something off the cuff which actually made her laugh and just as I was about to leave the store, she offered me a cup of instant.  I wandered across the road and sat on the grassy knoll of the headland nursing my mug of graciously accepted Pablo thinking how lucky I was to be in this place which I loved so much it actually hurt my heart.  My alone time, sitting on that greenest of grass was nourishing and I have to say the coffee was also pretty darn good although I am still not sure if was the coffee itself or the location.

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How’s that for feigning charming ignorance!  Of course it was the coffee……. 🙂

Buoyed by the strong bitter brew, I started on a walk up to the Sugarloaf Lighthouse.  Constructed in 1875, this magnificent structure standing watch over the Pacific Ocean, is the perfect place to watch for migrating whales.   I often crave the silence of solitary walks and the walk to the lighthouse, on a track which winds around She-Oak, Black Wattles, Gymea Lily and towering Gums, resonated like a tuning fork with me as all was blissfully quiet save for the occasional call of the Green Catbird.

Once at the lighthouse, life takes on an ordered simplicity.  Everything is white, neat and deeply tranquil.  These buildings are not just dazzling white plaster, glass and wrought iron as each building, beautifully preserved, has a story of humanity attached to them.

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I enjoyed this day so much.  It was one of those ‘spur of the moment’ days where everything just seemed so perfect in its allowance of me to not lose perspective over how truly fortunate I really am.

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Possibly my most favorite sign ever!  Oh be still my aging childless hipster heart…….

This is just a little of what happened on this precious day and how wonderful the dolphins, you will have to imagine for yourself.  Leaving Seal Rocks was difficult and I won’t pretend otherwise but believe me when I say it is one of the best places on earth.  Just watch for old girls and spunk rats and for the love of Pete, don’t ask for coffee.

Footnote:  This was my 155th published post. Who would have thought……..xx

The Honey Badger, ‘Where the bloody hell are’ we going and a final snapshot of Georgetown Penang……

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What a week this has been in Australia.   Our farmers are continuing to battle through horrific drought conditions, our cost of living is on a perpetual trajectory and power prices (at an all time high) continue to soar.  Our indigenous population are still dying at alarming rates from very treatable and preventable conditions such as diabetes and our aged pensioners are treated with equal contempt.  We have a less than impressive report card when it comes to homelessness, unemployment, suicide rates, environmental and human rights issues, poverty, deaths in custody, housing affordability and healthcare yet what happens as our nation continues along in crisis?  Well, our elected representatives choose to ignore these issues and seize yet again upon another opportunity to demonstrate their indignant lack of grace with apocalyptic antics more cringe worthy than an episode of The Bachelor Australia!

While the Liberal party went about punching kittens and themselves, the Labor party trotted out snarky Little Back Door Bill and his handy side-kick Fibbersek.  With the warring escalating among the Libs, Back Door Bill and Fibber-Mac-Fib-Face toured the nation handing out sample bags (he’s not known as Showbag Shorten for nothing) filled with just as many false promises of a fair go for all Australians as the Liberals once did.  Cluster bombed with images of Bill and Fibber kissing babies, massaging the feet of Carmelite nuns and manically smiling while tucking into sausage sandwich’s – and why is it politicians always seem to grapple with the very simple act of consuming food – it was enough for any of us to wonder why we were ‘sweatin like a bag of cats at a greyhound meet’ because quite frankly, none of these pollies can get their shit together!

Due to a lower than low Judas act against one of their very own, it came down to a two rat race.  As the rolfing continued under Labor Party policy, the two remaining Liberal party heavy weights simultaneously hatched more devious Janus faced plans all while applying a little acupressure of their own – apparently in the Liberal Party, acupressure is also known as bullying!  Dutton, the scurrilous dirt-bag who opposed same sex marriage, who encouraged a boycott of the very long over-due apology to the Stolen Generation and a climate change skeptic along with Morrison, the evangelical conservative who also voted against same sex marriage and who opposed a banking royal commission were left to battle it out.

Ultra-conservative-far-right Scott, who happily claims to the creation of Lara Bingle with his backing of the ‘Where the bloody hell are you’ ad campaign, eventually won the leadership. He also lists his interests as ‘the church’ and please note.  The Church he refers too should not be confused with that amazing indie/new wave Sydney band of the 80’s who produced the playlist of peoples’ lives with songs such as The Unguarded Moment and Under The Milky Way.  I guess I missed the bit where his interests involve the welfare of the nation so it does beg the question, where the bloody hell are (is) Australia headed ScoMo!

Now if you thought another leadership spill wasn’t enough to further anoint us as a laughing stock on the worlds’ political stage, ScoMo’s first undertaking as Prime Minister was to invite Trump to our shores.  Nice one!  Actually, that was second thing he did.  The first was to mansplain while pointing through the lens of a camera to deliver those well rehearsed words ‘we are on your side’ .  He also declared former Prime Minister Turnbull to be ‘a dear friend’.  Really! Like that shits going to fly so let me clamsplain it to you Scott because believe me, we have all had that ScoMo friend in our lives and asking us to think you are on our side does not instill confidence in you and nor does it fix our nations problems!

Australians are pretty weary with the rabble who inhabit Canberra and five Prime Ministers in five years should be a very sobering wakeup call to anyone. It would also be safe to say most of us are now more interested in whether Nick ‘The Honey Badger’ Cummins uses Redkins Curvaceous Ringlet Anti-frizz Curl Perfecting Lotion on his locks or whether he was referring to Julie Bishop when he said ‘You’re as tough as woodpecker lips’.

And just for the record, my hopes rested on the woman with one of the most fabulous earring collections of the nation rivaled only by Michael Hill himself.  Julie Bishop, tough as woodpecker lips, would have been the perfect model of PM grace, decency and decorum not only because she has an impressive earring collection but because she bloody well deserved it.  How was it the peoples choice was over looked as PM!  Perhaps, like the sweetly natured Cass on Bachelor Australia, Julie was also cruelly and sorely duped by the master manipulators and bullies who surround her.  I have a feeling however, their outcome is going to be no where near as bad as ours and if Australians aren’t ‘Sweatin’ like a gypsy with a mortgage’ then something is seriously wrong.

In a beautifully gracious moment, Julie Bishop resigns in killer red heels…….

This was never about our country and its people!  This shambolic spill, despite decades of multiculturalism, an increasing presence of women and Indigenous people to politics and the rise of an egalitarian challenge was entirely about those segregating self-indulgent privileged male Anglos of a certain age looking after themselves and the bastardry they have created.  And all said and done, if their actions over the past few weeks do not further highlight their discriminatory, ageist and sexist views of our ever evolving Australia, then nothing will.

Well Malcolm, you were correct to think Australians would be rightly appalled but we are also fed up because we know we and our country deserve so much better than we were handed last week.  And is just me or does anyone else think replacing Malcolm with someone who is about as popular as a dose of herpes really the right thing to do!

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‘Don’t worry Australia.  I can bloody well sack them all’………..

Final snapshot of Georgetown Penang…….

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Penang cemetry

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Best travel tip:  You can always warm a croissant with a hotel supplied hair dryer.

Best political tip:  Educate yourself on all parties and make your vote count in the next federal election –  18 May 2019.

***Best tip for all refugees and asylum seekers:  List occupation as Au Pair and list your advocate/referee as Gillon McLachlan.

Footnote – Quotes in blog post by Nick ‘The Honey Badger’ Cummins:

  • sweatin’ like a bag of cats at a greyhound meet
  • you’re as tough as woodpecker lips
  • sweatin’ like a gypsy with a mortgage