Monday, 10 September 2018

happy birthday

Family. Food. And a Caravan. That about sums up Colin's birthday this year.

The weekend began with the arrival of Rachel (back from her working stint in the Northern Territory). Barramundi cooked over the fire was her very fitting dinner suggestion and expertly executed.

Johanna's eggplant

almost time to add the barramundi parcels

keeping an eye on things

Zac and Jan and Heidi and Alex joined us for a 'cruisey' Sunday. The highlight was christening Colin's new Paella pans (thanks for the recipe Gavan)


getting things started

a gentle patting down

simmering away

the taste test

time to eat

And in between all the cooking and eating was a bit of caravan appreciation. The building of the caravan we purchased when we were in Queensland in July, was completed earlier than expected. We were able to collect it from the factory here in Melbourne just in time for the weekend celebrations. There was a definite caravan kitchen theme in the presents this year!

inspecting the inside

inspecting the outside

so much to be thankful for

Saturday, 18 August 2018


Pizza making tonight...

a little sarcasm from Johanna - "well that was very enjoyable, a nice family bonding activity, good conversation and very relaxing especially with Mum sticking a camera in your face and not letting you eat"

Wednesday, 8 August 2018


The clouds were looking a bit ominous as I headed down the street to run a few errands. It should have been warning enough to take an umbrella or a coat. All was well until there were a few giant spots of rain as I came out of the IGA and untied Winnie from the seat where she waits. At the pedestrian crossing the heavens opened and we ran to shelter under a canopy over the bookshop. The owner had rescued the bargain table from the downpour and was wiping spots from the covers of books. We chatted as I sheltered and she offered me the umbrella in her car, "you can just return it tomorrow when you're going past". The rain eased so I declined and Winnie and I made a hasty dash towards home. The 'easing' was fleeting and a steady rain set in. There didn't seem much point trying to wait it out and a little water near hurt anyone and there are plenty of people in other parts of the country who are desperate for the stuff. We were almost home and dripping water when we crossed paths with a woman dashing to her parked car. She kindly offered us a lift home.

One of the wonderful things about living in a village is the friendliness and kindness of your neighbours...

A bedraggled Winnie on the beach (from another time), but we both looked a bit like this earlier today

Monday, 30 July 2018

friends, family and food

That pretty much sums up the weekend. There was a definite Italian theme with home made gnocchi on Saturday night and spaghetti and meatballs for Zac's birthday on Sunday night. Sharing food is such a simple and yet profound thing...

a sneaky photo by Colin

Sunday, 22 July 2018


I guess it might appear a bit impulsive to have a conversation about caravans one day and buy one two days later. It didn't feel that way though. We always intended to buy another caravan, the camper trailer was for the in between. It just turned out to be a shorter in between than we imagined.

Holidays are a good time to take stock, of where you have been and where you want to be. As we imagined the next phase of life, it became obvious that a caravan was the missing essential for us. The camper trailer is fine, when the weather is good, when the time is short and when you are staying put. But when it is wet and cold and it's dark at 5pm or you are moving from place to place it becomes problematic, well perhaps a bit unpleasant and more work is a more accurate description. We longed for warmth and the feeling of a tiny home, for freedom and flexibility and yep, comfort. We longed to be in a caravan again. We longed to spend more time travelling/working, exploring and enjoying this beautiful country of ours. The camper trailer felt prohibitive, a caravan, heart warming joy.

We figured it would be better to sell the camper trailer now, while it is still almost 'as new'. And while we were on holiday and had a bit of time we may as well look at some vans! And one thing led to another and it is a bit of a story but we ended up finding 'just the right one' (that was in our price range and that the patrol can tow). And so we paid a deposit and in a couple of months it will be built, fortunately here in Melbourne.

Conversations and dreaming and making decisions and choices to live a life without regret is never dull, that's for sure...

From Col's iPhone

Goodbye Dingo

Hello future caravan

Sunday, 15 July 2018


Returned south and promptly picked up a virus. So it has been a slow week, luckily there wasn't much I had to do. Anticipating some warm and sunny weather as I fly to the Sunshine Coast to meet Colin tomorrow, makes me feel heaps better...

Sunday, 8 July 2018

byron bay

Think this year is number ten. Another winter, another Byron Bay escape.
Familiar places and familiar faces. Sun, sea, surf and sand. Wind, rain and grey skies. Friends, shared food and drinks on the deck at sunset. Surf, paddle and swim.

Unfortunately Colin is not doing much of the latter. A foot injury just days before leaving has left him watching rather than participating. He has hobbled his way through one week and the next is not looking much better. A big disappointment to say the least, a reset of expectations a neccessity. Johanna and I joined him for the first week, a friend will keep him company in the second and he will head to the Sunshine Coast for a specialist appointment where I will join him again before we drive home.

'What happens, happens' was part of our Yurting Mantra in the days when living in and working from our caravan were plentiful. This last week was one of those weeks that reminded us to let go and to be thankful. To let go of expectations and desires and to be thankful for what is rather than frustrated by what is not. Pain and injury and crappy weather 'happen' and so do kind friends and good conversations and mulled wine and a big pan of paella and the occasional warm burst of sunshine and the ever present sea. And there is always tomorrow...

Friday, 29 June 2018

visibility: poor

The fog has been thick and persistent this week, alongside the cold and grey skies it has been a dreary few days. But interesting too. It is a bit weird to walk your dog along the river and not be able to see the water. To hear voices coming from a boat but see nothing, "There is a guide post just up here, slow down, a bit to the right, no, no I mean the left". I didn't hear a crash so they must have got it right. I certainly couldn't see them and sometimes I couldn't see the dog who kept walking while I got distracted taking photos, but thankfully who came running when I called her name, materialising out of the grey mist...

Monday, 25 June 2018


The house will be quiet this week with both Colin and Johanna in Melbourne. One is trying to complete as much work as possible before he takes a break and the other is attending her first midwifery placement. That leaves Winnie and I on our ownsome...

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

the last leaves

We planted a couple of ornamental pear trees for my birthday. Watching the leaves tell the story of autumn brings joy to my heart...

Sunday, 27 May 2018


When you place some flowers in front of a window so that the natural light allows you to take a photo indoors and an inquisitive four legged, furry friend interrupts...

what are you doing?

yes I can sit and stay, I am a cute and clever dog

ok enough sitting and staying, just a little nibble

and a little lick

hmmm interesting

a bit more of a chomp

oh oh

Sunday, 20 May 2018


My favourite kind of celebration this weekend - having all the kids down. There was a fair bit of cooking and eating, some sitting around the fire pot and the planting of some trees.

(Some rather grainy and blurry snap shots!)

A watched pot never boils

Beanie buddies

A spot of fire contemplation

The resident chefs cooking up a storm

Gnocchi making, with the genuine article gifted to Rachel from family in Italy when we visited last year

Meanwhile outside the trees were going in (there was a slight oh oh moment when a water pipe was damaged - a wonderful local plumber fixed it up in no time)

And the gnocchi was very very good...