Big thank you to Santa's elves at The Department Store at Wauchope, what a delight to see such a wonderful display in the window. We had such a beautiful shopping experience there this year, it was so inspiring to visit the store and see the beautiful care and inspiration that had gone into creating a magical Christmas for their shoppers.
Well Christmas has come and gone again... Are you as weary as we are? Christmas is fun, but it's so nice to stop again, and rest. We had a gorgeous catch up with family at Gladstone on the riverbank. If you happen to be on the highway travelling and looking for a stop around Kemspey, it's a lovely little stop off, or a destination point.
The cafe and very tempting art gallery are located right on the river bank.
Off for our walk last night, we were delighted to see the thong tree back again at the beach. I don't know who puts this tree up, but it is such a joy to see and it brings smiles of delight to so many people. (Update... we found out the tree creator's name is Mary Pavicich)
and this time we noticed a message at the base of the tree...
We're having fun decorating our house this year, lots of baubles around the fence lines and on our front yard. The first year we did it, the neighbours teased us badly, but after all the kids going past saying how much they love our decorated tree out in the front yard, we've got over the teasing. Every so often I attempt to capture the kangaroos at our back fence but my photography skills are sadly lacking. I can either get the baubles in focus or the kangaroos, but not both. Oh well... the spirit's there. How's your Christmas preparations going?
You can visit Gaye's blog here...from-the-rooftops: Christmas art....
On what would otherwise be an uninspiring wall that makes up a lane way in our town, someone has created a loveliness. I'd love to let more artists loose on walls that need to brush away the dust of everyday life. I know not everyone will agree, but it looks better to me than dusty old boring brick walls with graffiti plastered all over.
Have you ever wandered around your home town taking pictures of what delights you?
It occurred to me that I always do that on holidays, but I rarely do that in my own town.
I love this little doggie curled up here...
― Frances Mayes in Under the Tuscan Sun
Here's a little exercise for you... think about all the things in your home, that you normally see everyday, that you enjoy or find helpful, and take pictures of them. Simple everyday things that make our lives easier, or things that if they weren't here anymore, you'd miss. I notice when I am away, I am more conscious of the little things that I have at home, that I enjoy using.
It's usually because another home doesn't have the item, that makes me conscious of it's absence... does that make any sense at all? One of my favourite everyday items is a salad spinner, not many homes we've minded have one. I only started using one a couple of years ago myself, but now I use it a lot.
I'm grateful when I visit other homes for all the homey touches, but sometimes forget to be grateful for the everyday items in my own home. I invite you to join me and take some little pictures and collage it up and think on what you're grateful for...
Thank you for visiting here today...
Every time we are on the northern beaches of Sydney I keep meaning to go back to The Basin in The Ku-Ring-Gai National Park. We used to go there as kids on days out with my uncle's work. It was such fun, we'd hop on a boat all together and head off - there were huge canvas eskys full of dry ice with ice creams - I'm sure there was other food but that's all my young self remembers.
So seeing how we had a spare day on our hands, we decided to take advantage of being so close by and go visit.
It's a short 20 minute or so trip from Palm Beach wharf to The Basin - a lovely little ferry ride... I wish it was a longer one.
The fires had been burning around Sydney and smoke haze filled the air. Only a couple of weeks earlier Barrenjoey had been alight with the lighthouse under threat, so there were restrictions about walking on bush trails.
When we arrived at The Basin, there were warnings to not go on any of the trails due to the fire threats, a police van was on watch for any signs of fire - ready to spring into action.
I'd originally thought I would go on one of the short walks my dad and I had done when I was a kid, but it wasn't to be this time around.
I was taken with the mother's face when she looked at us, it almost had an old man's face look to it, with white beard... I wondered if that was where the 'old man kangaroo' name comes from.
Off we go again... a quick stop over at home to collect our clothes and we are off to Sydney.
We found a lovely little cabin through Air BnB for two nights in Avalon - perfect for our stay in Sydney.
After connecting with our family, we had a lovely wander around Avalon to recharge the old batteries.
Loved their wall wisdom philosophy...
On a course I am doing at present, there is a lot of talk about permission slips. If you're anything like me, when you think of permission slips you're mind will go to school and kids. The ones we are doing in our current course are a bit different. Permission to learn to surf - even if you are 60. Permission to travel without a suitcase - scary. Permission to try something new - Italian cooking school in Tuscany - especially if you are 84. Get my drift? Little longings that we may hold within, dreams put on the back burner. Permission to be imperfect. Permission to get the grammar complelely wrong, hugely bigly wrongly. Permission to sing/dance/write... What would you put on your permission slip? Permission to swing on a child's swing in the park. A recent one of mine was to run through the kids park while whales spouted water, risking getting my clothes wet so that I could play with my grandkids. As I let go and played with the girls, I saw so many faces light up and smile. Boy don't we need that in life, more joy?
I first saw permission slips in a book I was reading by SARK called Inspiration Sandwich. Sark is a great believer in play and the power of fun. she's been an inspiration to me many times through her books. Below you'll find a video of her giving a TEDx talk.
If you haven't seen a TEDx talk before, they have an immense range of talks that you can tune into... TEDx talks are 'ideas worth spreading'. Another one of my favourite Ted Talks is Jane Fonda talking about life's third act.
But you'll have to excuse me, I've just written myself a permission slip to go and buy a swing to hang downstairs... what does yours say?
Well we've finished our Gumdale house sit and we headed off to Sydney. Sadly we had a phone call to say we'd lost a family member during our last house sit...at first it looked as though Kevin would fly down while I stayed at the house, but as things worked out the funeral wasn't till a few days after we finished our sit. We were glad we could both be there for the family.
A quick stop on our way at Lennox Head for a coffee and a shiver as a storm passed through. Gosh the temperature is changeable at present, one day it's like mid summer, then next freezing again.
Yummy coffee and breakfast stop, and such great service at Quattro... I so admire people who enjoy what they do it seems to shine out of their whole being.