life on the farm

Heya! How are you? What have you been up to? We’ve been finding our feet and a new routine on the farm after heading back to work, so are now juggling work and the commute into our daily lives again. Each day is a thrill to pull up into the driveway after a long stretch of driving, we sigh and exhale then take a deep breath in of the fresh country air and it fills our lungs and hearts. I find something instantly calming about looking out over grassy hills dotted with wandering cows and sheep.

The return to routine has also heralded the return of my crafty mojo… I actually wondered if it’d permanently vanished but I now realise that I just didn’t have the capacity or energy or motivation, physically or mentally, to invest into crafting when I was preparing for the move. I don’t think I realised just how much of a toll it took. Gosh I found moving house a big deal! I can’t show you any pictures of my latest crafty project as it’s a present for someone who reads this blog (hiya sis!), but rest assured I’ll bombard you with crafty photos again soon.

The other morning I was woken by a strange – not normal sounding – mooing from a cow, only to check out the window and be greeted by a huge kangaroo bouncing in our back yard! And by back yard I mean our little house paddock… he was so close! I think Mr Cow was unimpressed with Mr Roo eating all the green grass and making himself at home! The timing was perfect though, the sun rise was beginning to throw a lovely soft peachy pink glow over the horizon. I wandered outside to hear the birds come life, there were no other sounds but for the gentle breeze through the cypress trees. I mentally pinched myself. Again. A regular thing since we’ve moved in. It still feels incredibly surreal that we live here now, smack bang in the middle of our dream. Granted the full scale of the dream has not blossomed yet, but we are here, we’ve made a solid move into the dream and that feels pretty cool.

The wedge tailed Eagles are regular visitors up the valley, we’ve watched the full moon rise over our home and loved seeing hills become tinged with lime green after a little rain. We’re looking forward to watching the seasons roll by imparting their special qualities on the land. Autumn is my favourite and when we visited the local little community schoolhouse at dusk I was reminded why. The colour on the leaves as the sunlight sparkled through them was beautiful. Such a sweet little old schoolhouse it is too. If I’ve got the story right, apparently a long long time ago the community decided they wanted a school for their kids so a local land owner donated a portion of his land and it was built. Unfortunately the original schoolhouse was burnt down but the community rallied together and rebuilt it with donations, so now it’s totally owned by the community. Sweet hey? It hasn’t been a school since the 1960’s I think but seems to be regularly used by the community which is pretty lovely really. On the way back from the schoolhouse I photographed our house from a distant road as the last of the light was dusting the top of our surrounding hills. Our little home perched on the hill glistening yet subtly blending in to its surrounds. More mental pinching goes on.

I’ve also decided to look at the commute to work as a positive thing. There’s nothing we can do about the situation for the moment so best to embrace it I reckon. We now have 3-4 hours a day sitting down where we can’t do anything else but drive… and listen. I’m choosing to fill my head with the good stuff and have been working my way through a podcast series. Of course I listen to lots of other ones too but this is by far my favourite and so worth a listen if you get a chance. It’s called ‘the one you feed’ and it’s based on the premise of a parable ‘The tale of two wolves’ which goes like this:

A grandfather is talking with his grandson and he says there are two wolves inside of us which are always at war with each other. One of them is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred and fear.
The Grandson stops and thinks about it for a second and then he looks up at his grandfather and says ‘Grandfather, which one wins?’ … the Grandfather quietly replies, ‘the one you feed’.

The series covers a huge range of topics and has a really varied mix of guests from Monks, to Rockstars, to Doctors, to Authors… But the theme running through all of the podcasts is about what these people do to feed their ‘good wolf’ and keep heading in the right direction in life. It’s totally fascinating, interesting, knowledgeable, sad, mood lifting, realistic, enlightening, funny, and entertaining and I would recommend it in a heartbeat! It certainly makes the long commute pleasurable and actually beneficial to my mental health. Win win right? If you want to have a listen to one but have no idea where to start (there is over 100 after all!) may I suggest this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, or this one. Let me know what you think if you do ok?

Hope life is treating you sweet and your ears and hearts are filled with life enriching things! X


on the cusp of change…

Is where I’ve been lately… Sifting through nearly 20 years of memories in our beloved Dove Cottage… finding first birthday cards and first pairs of shoes… holding pretty much everything I own for at least a moment and assessing if it’s something I should pack, gift, donate or tip… that takes some serious time and emotional energy for a sentimental clutterbug like myself… trying to keep in mind some wise words I read about the purpose of precious keepsakes like old letters… constantly reminding myself stuff is just stuff… even if some stuff sparks memories long forgotten… packing, packing, packing and packing… all the while during moving mode life pushes on… work is worked… chores are done… birthdays are celebrated… gigs are enjoyed… and minds have been blown – hello Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings!

I know so much about my everyday life is going to change, and whilst we’ve been counting down the sleeps til we move like a 6 year old does a visit from Santa, we’ve also been soaking up the goodness of where we are… morning coffees in the window are that little bit longer and sweeter as we wonder what we’ll ever do without a window seat… every flower that blooms in the garden is a little more meaningful as I recall when I purchased it, planted it, watered it and pruned it… Really appreciating the significance of saying ‘I’ll pop over in 5 minutes’ as I mentally prepare to change that line to ‘an hour and half’ or so.

Sitting on the cusp of change is a weird place to hang, you know it’s only temporary so you can’t really get comfy… there’s sadness in letting go of the old yet excitement in leaping into the new… it’s a bit like doing the limbo in no mans land … and I’m trying to hold my shit together and not get sick from pushing so hard… and packing, packing and packing some more… and trying to embrace one of my favourite Dalai Lama quotes ‘Change is the only constant in life’.

Some things will stay the same of course… I’ll still be me… but I’ll be me in this new phase of my life, no longer in the Dove Cottage era… it’ll be the farm era… the time we followed our hearts and just went for it with some research and knowledge about what farm life might be like, but mostly with a dream bigger than the sky, a bunch of blind faith and a basket full of hope.

May the changes in your life be smooth and sprinkled with sweet things x

field and flourish

Back in November I got to enjoy my August birthday… a gift to attend the fabulous Field and Flourish workshop run by Tamsin from Tamsin’s Table and Mel from Cecilia Fox. I adore Mel’s flower arrangements and I’ve long been a fan of Tamsin’s Instagram feed, her images feel like they’ve been plucked from my dreams – rolling green hills, beautiful farmhouse, lots of fresh homegrown produce, and so many pretty flowers and table settings not to mention delicious food… just gorgeous. Funnily enough I didn’t seem to capture any food shots, I guess I was too busy eating it, all of which was homegrown and homemade, sprinkled with pretty flowers and love.

The day began with a wander through the Rose paddock…. yes paddock! Tamsin planted a whole paddock full of Roses, not just any Roses either but a carefully curated collection of Roses that not only travels through history as you travel down the hill, but blows your socks off with perfume and petals and colour. Then it was time to wander through the veggie garden, collecting all sorts of lovely foliage and veg that was purposely left to go to seed. Did you know Leek seed heads make for a stunning addition to an arrangement? They do! Most of us ventured beyond the veggie garden to collect some grass seed heads and other goodies and of course to check out the free range Turkeys and their babies. Who knew baby Turkeys were so cute?

We prepared our flowers and dethorned our roses under the cool shade of the magnificent old Ash Tree that graces the garden surrounding Tamsin’s farmhouse, listening to the lovely stories Mel shared about all sorts of things including becoming a florist in New Zealand. All the while Tamsin and her friendly team were busy preparing our lunch, the smells wafting out of the kitchen were amazing. Back inside and under the gentle guidance of Mel each student made a posy and a large arrangement, whilst delicious snacks were served and we sipped rose syrup spritzes. Freshly dug heirloom radishes, with a generous slathering of butter and a sprinkling of salt and deep-fried onion anyone? Oh my that was a taste sensation that had to be eaten to be believed. Divine!

Before we knew it first course was served and my taste buds were in heaven again. Tamsin kindly accommodated all my tricky food allergies and blew me away with a flavoursome 3 course lunch. Everything looked pretty as picture and almost too good to eat. Blue potatoes with pretty little blue flowers scattered throughout the fresh greens may give you an idea of the kind of pretty I’m talking about. But it couldn’t convey the deliciousness. Nor could my description of a quince syrup sorbet with sweet tangy poached Rhubarb (so fresh I saw it being carried from the veggie garden whilst we were eating first course!) and sprinkled with the tiniest but most divinely flavoured fresh rose geranium petals. I guess you’ll just have to trust me when I say the food was as pretty as it was delicious and fresh. We ate our fill and chatted around the beautiful big table, surrounded by gorgeous old windows with views to die for.

What a lovely day it was. Mel’s stories and helpful advice with the flowers and arranging, and Tamsin’s welcoming hosting and delicious food made for the most perfect combination. I learnt about arrangements having ‘ins and outs’ and giving each bloom room to breathe. I learned that the right variety of zucchini will make the most amazing noodles you’ve ever tasted and you can grow a huge amount of produce in a relatively humble plot… and of course so much more than I could eloquently share with you here… If this dreamy day sounds like your kind of cuppa tea, then you’ll be pleased to know Tamsin and Mel run this workshop every year, but they always sell out within days of being announced so you’ll need to be quick if you want to book into this gem of day.

Wishing you dreamy days flourished with delicious prettiness x

dear monday 19.10.15


The doors of Cusco filled my blue loving heart.
Cusco, Peru. September 2015.

What? Greeting Mondays with gratitude and memories of dreams come true.

How? Sharing a favourite 2014 holiday photo every Monday in 2015. 

Why? Cos I don’t like Mondays so I’m going to fight them with sweet moments.

You? Feel free to join in #dearmonday2015 (leave a link in the comments below so we can see it!)

See? You can see other dear mondays here

more about how this all came about here

photographic diary of hawaii

Ok if you got this far, well done you! I really just wanted to share some photos of Hawaii with you, I know I wrote you back here, but I have so many photos (shocking yes?) of the incredible natural beauty on Oahu that I just couldn’t leave it at a single postcard.

One day my sis, her hubby and my hubby all went on a Photography tour (the first 10 photos are from this day). The pick up was early in order to catch the sunrise, and as it was only our second day there we were deliriously tired, but boy was it a great way to see some of the Island.

Sunrise over Sandy Beach was pretty special. Our guide made sure to mention it was the number 1 beach for accidents in Hawaii with lots of fractured necks etc due to the extreme shore break and rogue waves. So I was the girl just about walking up on the grassy embankment for fear a freak wave would come and drag me in, never mind the fact of 30 odd surfers out there playing in the water! #callmechickenshit. I got a little braver after we’d been there a while but you wouldn’t find me doing this for the ultimate shot! I got sweaty palms just watching the girl fishing off the rocks further around the island, as the sheer drop right in front of her was pretty damn big. And rough. And the force at which those waves broke against the rocks was powerful. And it was so windy that day, a decent gust could blow you off balance. That said, there was a massive squall travelling parallel to us for most of the day. We crossed paths a few times but mostly it made for dramatic skies and a double rainbow. And getting rained on at exactly the minute our guide informed us we would. He’d say, ‘see that grey bit just there, that’ll be hitting us in about 6 minutes” … and sure enough, 6 minutes later we’d be getting dumped on. It passed as quickly as it arrived but it wasn’t cold, so it didn’t matter too much. We just ducked for cover a few times.

Back home (in Waikiki) we enjoyed a sunrise and sunset walk around the marina. I was impressed with the sheer number of surfers hitting the waves so early and again at dusk. The sky was probably one of my favourite things of Hawaii. Everchanging, colourful, dark, eerie, gloomy, clear, bright, sunny, muted, pretty, sparkly… it was constantly changing and always stunning. And the colour of the water, I understand why they call it Blue Hawaii now! So vivid like a royal blue at times, then towards a teal and aqua in other places… but mostly a rich deep beautiful blue. And how could I not love a place surrounded by my favourite colour?

Mahalo Oahu, till we meet again.

Wishing you sparkly skies full of your favourite colours x

beechworth vibes

A roadtrip to Beechworth with my mum and my sister…

Buzzing picturesque main streets… deserted early morning main streets… an old convent with family history, turned into accommodation, complete with creaks in the night and suspicious orbs in photos…… blossom trees bursting and flowering wattle everywhere… shopping for alpaca socks, wool scarfs, cashmere scarfs, jewelry, lollies, and Annie Sloan chalk paint in duck egg blue… drives through the gorge… hysterical tired delirious laughter… reminiscing about childhood memories… learning about cheeky rascal relatives who’d ride their horse into town all wild like… walking in the chilly early morning drizzling rain… paying graveside respects… ‘foraging’ for flowers in Nana’s old deserted house and possibly getting sprung via the bush telegraph… maintaining traditions of buying apples from the long standing honesty box… passing by ‘up top‘ and feeling sorry for the poor lost souls who were unfortunate enough to have a mental illness a hundred years ago… being in the moment and enjoying special quality time with my mum and sister… realising that the reason I feel so strongly connected to Beechworth is not just because it’s a beautiful old country town, it’s that there is just so much family history there… It’s a hard thing to describe what that feels like, except that I feel a belonging in this town and not like a tourist at all… even if I have my camera hanging around my neck like a rubberneck*.

May you feel a sense of belonging and enjoy hysterical laughter occasionally.

* official terminology for tourists according to my relatives in the 1970’s.