postcards from hawaii … waikiki

Aloha! I’m just back from Hawaii so this is one of those postcards you receive after the holiday maker has returned home. It was just a week in Waikiki and it included some work and play… there were swims in the famous Waikiki beach with water so warm it could have been a bath… decadent meals including one at Iron Chef’s restaurant, Morimotos … fruit smoothies and berries… a cocktail (or 3) called Ginger Kiss (think lemon meringue pie with a ginger hit)… a cocktail called Chocolate Raspberry Truffle (dessert in a glass)… lots of sweat running down your back walks… frizzy hair thanks to the humidity…. wind so strong it unbalances you and blows your hair right out of its plaits… sunshine, squalls, rain and rainbows… shopping including the best top ever from Johnny Was… early mornings and late nights with a couple of nananaps thrown in… million dollar homes that look like shacks but have views to die for… a photography tour that took us half way around the island and back… mad keen sunrise surfers… pineapple plantations as far as the eye could see… turtles bobbing about in the shallows… knock your socks off sunsets… Aloha and Mahalo 50 times a day… walks along Waikiki Marina where a friendship was struck with a friendly possibly stray black cat that kept rolling over for a belly rub… a rekindled love affair with Wholefoods (why can’t we have Wholefoods in Australia?!)…Godiva chocolate – in blocks and drizzled over fruit sticks… volcanic mountains and lush green forests. I’m so grateful for the blessings of travel, yet each trip makes me fall in love with home a little bit more. Take care, will write again soon.

May you catch a sweet sunrise or sunset today x

Advertisements

postcards from the country… peace

After not one, but two cups of the local freshly roasted and ground coffee, with blends named Zen and Smooth Criminal, I knew the day was going to be a goodie. 

The craft came out and stayed out… all day. Charlie stretching, bevelling and plaiting his leather whist I crocheted. The magpies warbled and sung, the ducks quacked and laughed, doing a damn fine laughing Donald Duck impersonation. The currawongs played their familiar tune and the kookaburras let us know the rain was coming… though I could already smell it in the air.
I felt myself unwind like my ball of yarn with every new row I crocheted. And I could hear it in Charlie’s voice, as he too relaxed into the quiet crafty day we had been dreaming of for ages.
Breezy winds rustled the trees and we watched as the early autumn leaves gracefully tumbled through the air, rolling and flipping along the ground until all was still… until the next breeze.
As the sun went down the local owl settled into his rhythmic whooo whooo whoo… and the calm quiet of the country settled into our beings.
Ah yes, that was the feeling I had been missing so much lately… peace. Welcome back my friend, I have missed you so.
Wishing you restful days full of peace.

postcards from peru… machu picchu

IMG_0725-1.JPG

Machu Picchu is very high in the clouds, peaceful despite the murmur of tourist and guides, and oh so magical. The awe inspiring stonework is quite something to behold, the scale impossible to grasp in photos. The massive rocks and boulders that were too large to move, were incorporated beautifully in the design. Some stones perfectly rectangle, others with little notches carved out to fit the next layer precisely. It’s not as high as Cusco but I felt closer to the sky than I’ve ever been (aside from flying!), literally amongst the clouds. The huge surrounding mountains and their jagged ridge tops, allow sunrays to filter through the clouds and shine on this incredible wonder of the world so beautifully. Perfectly curved terraces hug the steep mountain tightly, making use of every available bit of space. Water channels weave their way through the site. Sweet happy soundings swallows flit about. Baby hawks on the lookout for food. The friendliest ‘wild’ lamas wandering about. One sat down, had a couple of big yawns, then let people sit next to him, patting him and getting their photo taken. I swear he was smiling at the camera! Another followed tourists sniffing out food and gobbled it down quickly when it appeared. We wandered for hours, mostly in silent awe, and tried to soak it all in. The spiritual vibe. The calmness. The beauty. The majesty. You can’t possibly take it all in on one day. So we’re going back tomorrow for more. Will write again soon.

postcards from peru… streets of cusco

IMG_9989-0.JPG

Hello! Hope this finds you well. We’ve been walking the streets of Cusco! Some young Peruvian dude approached us on our wanders, ‘Ah you’ve been looking for me yes? I’m Johnny Cash, would you like to buy my paintings?’ … Never thought I’d meet a Johnny Cash in Cusco! So many street sellers, many napping until their 6th sense kicked when someone walked by. Little street markets where I was thrilled to see so many stall holders either spinning, knitting or crocheting. Some with bubs on their back, some with multiple strands of yarn wrapped over their shoulders. Shops inside shops, through courtyards, into more shops inside shops. Watching the dramatic sounding Peruvian TV is the thing to do if you are a shop owner too, they all seemed riveted!
Cusco is a maze of streets and alleyways, so narrow you think they are just for pedestrians until a small car comes along honking his horn warning you to move over. In fact driving in Cusco involves a lot of horn beeping, seems it’s not an aggressive annoyed thing, more a courteous I’m here, move over thing. There’s been a few hold-your-breath taxi rides as it all feels quite chaotic on the road, people ‘merging’ millimetres in front of you, with right of way seemingly going to those with the most guts pulling out. Stray dogs know to get out of the way, and the lucky ones are chewing a bone by the side of the road.
Tonight on the taxi ride home, we passed the bustling hub of San Pedro, listening to Twisted Sister on the radio, passing traditional elderly Peruvians, young modern Peruvians, and Tourists. It was a hive of activity and noise and a huge cultural mix, and I found myself welling up. I’m feeling so lucky and blessed to experience this amazing city and need to pinch myself to remind myself that’s it’s real. I’m here. In Cusco! What a thrill! Take care, write soon.

postcards from peru… cusco

IMG_9743.JPG

We arrived in Cusco yesterday weary but excited be here and to see my son for the first time in ages. It’s only been 7 months but it felt like a long time… that first hug was a tight one. We celebrated with dinner at a nice restaurant in town and tried to catch up on 7 months of happenings. I’m impressed with his language skills as he conversed with ease to the waiter and our taxi driver, he’s come a long way since the Spanish lessons he used to have at the dining table back home this time last year.
The lack of oxygen takes some getting used to, we need to take it easy until the dizziness, headaches and general woosy sort of feeling fades. So we had a quiet morning then went to San Pedro Market, and it was everything I thought a Cusco market would be and more. From the traditionally dressed women with their aprons, skirts, jumpers, plaits and hats to the mamas carrying their bubbas on their back in the colourful woven fabrics Peru is known for. I was in alpaca heaven surrounded by alpaca jumpers, hats, gloves, scarfs, and socks… I may have partially filled that spare suitcase with a ‘couple’ of jumpers. The butcher section of the market proudly displayed their meat with the goats heads taking pride of place at the front. A bit confronting for me but maybe that’s just because the heads still had a full set of teeth in, eerily smiling at you as you walked by! Then there were the potatoes. I know Peru is famous for them but to see so many varieties was quite a buzz. We found our way to another the fruit & veg market. It was absolutely a locals market and we got a few stares as we wondered around stocking up on supplies. In fact two very cute young girls, maybe five years old, followed us for a wee bit giggling shyly at me when I smiled at them. I guess a white haired pale skinned lady wasn’t something they saw everyday. All in all it was a special day taking in the Cusco vibe. Hope you’re all keeping well, will write again soon.

postcards from usa… malibu

IMG_9615.JPG
Maalibuuuuu! Said best like Courtney Love sings it, but beware – it’ll be stuck in your head all day if you do! Ah the sparkly waters of Malibu on a beautiful sunny day, surfers surfing the most perfect waves, lunch on the Malibu Pier, blown away by the traditional craftsmanship at a Native American Indian arts centre, a cruise down Mullhullond drive, dinner, mojitos and last wander around Santa Monica. It’s been a lovely beachy visit to LA, but now for the real adventure, Machu Picchu here we come!