Tag Archives: relaxation

Reverse Sunbaking.

While I’m not sure whether Reverse Sunbaking is going to take off, I’ve been converted.

Before you Northerners think I’ve gone bonkers, I live in the sunny, Southern Hemisphere and you’ll find me living near the beach, just North of Sydney.

Umina Beach post storm Thurs

Our beach after a storm..

Reverse Sunbaking involves basking in the air-conditioned indoors, rather than turning lobster out on the beach in the midday sun. While you could set yourself up on a towel on the floor, I’ve gone for my writing chair…a comfy recliner. There’s no sun, sand, ocean views or the sound of the waves but I can chillax. For some reason, frying myself to a crisp has lost its appeal…along with melanoma.

Not that I haven’t been outside. Indeed, this morning the family walked down to the shops, thinking we had Buckley’s chance of finding a car space. Of course, we spotted two empty spots in prime real estate once we got there. Isn’t that always the way?!! Yet, it’s also good to actually use our legs for their intended purpose. Sometimes, I think my legs feel their only mission in life is to sit in the car!

Unfortunately, Reverse Sunbaking and Couch Potatoing are  closely related with only minor variations in their DNA. So, if I start sprouting, I’ll have to start moving. After all, I definitely don’t want to be swallowed up by the couch, losing all sight of the outside world. Couches can do that, you know! (Sounds like the horror makings of a Roald Dahl novel).

By the way,”Buckley’s chance” is another one of those weird Australian idioms. It means “to have little or no chance of doing or achieving something”1. You can also say something like: “You’ve got Buckley’s”.

Good luck if you’re trying to work out who Buckley was and why they became the personification of negative thinking. Like so much slang, it’s hard to retrace its origins but these conundrums do keep  academics employed.

So, what are your views on Reverse Sunbaking? Do you think I’m launching the next trend? As one of my favourite shows: The Living Room asks: is it hot or not?

xx Rowena

Camellia Dreaming.

In a split second of eternity,

everything is changed,

transfigured.

A few bars of music,

rising from an unfamiliar place,

a touch of perfection in the flow of human dealings…

I lean my head slowly to one side,

reflect on the camellia on the moss on the temple,

reflect on a cup of tea,

while outside the wind is rustling foliage,

the forward rush of life is crystalized

in a brilliant jewel of a moment

that knows neither projects nor future,

human destiny is rescued from the pale succession of days,

glows with light at last and,

surpassing time,

warms my tranquil heart.

Muriel Barbery

The stunning pink camellia I’ve photographed in situ here, was lying on the mossy grass in my parent’s garden yesterday. It was about the size of a saucer and absolutely beautiful!

A taste of a Sydney Spring.

xx Rowena

Why I’m Not Sailing!

Today, when our sailing trip with my Dad was cancelled due to strong winds, I discovered that even when you have a yacht, going sailing isn’t guaranteed and smooth sailing isn’t as easy as I thought.

Apparently, one of the first things you need to learn about sailing, is that just because you have a yacht or access to one and you’ve made plans, that there’s no guarantee that you’ll get out on the water as planned.

Indeed, it turns out that having a yacht is only a very elementary part of going sailing. Unfortunately, sailing is at the mercy of that greatest of vagaries…the weather.  Of course, you don’t want to take unnecessary risks. However, when you’ve been counting down the days and you can already feel the wind in your hair, it’s only natural to feel upset. Want to fight back.  Ignore the weather report. After all, where there’s a will there’s a way.

It’s good my Dad knows when to call it quits. Moreover, quite aside from risking lives, taking the kids out in rough conditions is counterproductive. We need each and every sailing experience to be a good one when they’re starting out. So, I had to be sensible and find an alternative to lessen the disappointment.

Today, we’d arranged to go sailing with my Dad. I had a routine appointment with my lung specialist in Sydney and sailing fitted in well afterwards. So, I’m sure you’ll understand that while I’m coughing away having lung function tests, that I was picturing being out on the water enjoying some smooth sailing and my disappointment when it didn’t happen. As we were driving back from the hospital, the wind was whipping through the trees and although my knowledge of sailing is pretty basic, it was looking like we wouldn’t get out.

Yet, I’m a pretty determined person and live that old adage: “where there’s a will there’s a way”.

However, you also need to be responsible and know when it’s time to think laterally and find something else to do…especially when the weather bureau is reporting 30 knot winds and making special, additional reports.

Clearly, it wasn’t the day to go out.

Yet, Geoff has the week off work and the kids are on school holidays and I didn’t feel like simply going home. We decided to stop off at Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury River on the way home.

dsc_3499

In the meantime, Dad was taking a few photos of the garden  and I decided  to retrieve the camera from the boot and go hunting. We’re just edging into Spring in Sydney. Lush green leaves are budding on deciduous trees, flowers are blooming and inspiration was everywhere.

My parents have a very established garden, which was initially developed by an avid gardener with then exotic plants. There’s a jungle of azaleas front and back and numerous camellias including the ginormous reticulatas, which Dad planted and more dainty sasanquas. Their garden also has quite a range of Japanese maples and there’s a stunning Crab Apple flowering by the front door at the moment.

If you are also seriously into photography, you’ll know what I mean when I say that I was walking through the garden looking through the lens, trying to pluck things out of the under and overgrowth, which would take on a life of their own in 6 x 4.

dsc_3452

A Twisted Fork in the Road.

I spotted bare branches with a maze of dark sticks silhouetted against the azure sky. I saw that proverbial fork in the road as the branches split and branched out but then as you moved out toward the twiggy ends, there was such a maze of sticks. This reminded me of what it’s like to get lost and how your plans can get so badly scrambled, that you get lost in the maze..where am I? Do I even know who I am?

a-jumbled-path

When your path becomes a jumbled maze…

Fueled by the strong wings, clouds were sprinting across the sky, whisking me out of myself and into their arms. Senses overloaded, I lay down on the grass using my camera bag as a pillow, opening the eyes of my heart up to the sky. White, flossy cloud streaked across the intense blue sky like trails of cotton wool. The leaves were rustling and chattering in the wind and various birds flew by.

DSC_3485.JPG

Scrumptious Clouds!

Indeed, while I was lying there I heard a “Scratch! Scratch!” in the undergrowth and a brush turkey was wandering by.

Despite all these “distractions”, I could feel myself melting into the grass and the full weight of life’s burdens being lifted from my shoulders. I can’t remember the last time I lay down on the grass and looked at the sky and stopped. Completely stopped…my heart rate slowing right down to R for rest.

maple-leaf

So, although we didn’t get out on the water today, I was able to experience the same sense of deep relaxation on land.

This is an important skill for a sailor to learn. After all, just like you don’t catch a fish every time, you can’t always get a sail. So, instead of succumbing to the disappointment, you’re better off keeping an open mind and finding other ways to carpe diem seize the day.

That is, instead of dwelling on the yacht which got away.

Have you ever been sailing? Please let your stories flow!

xx Rowena

Walking Through The Mist

Each and every day starts out as a blank canvas and you never know what it is going to bring.

Yesterday, our town was covered in a very thick blanket of fog, clouds which have fallen to the ground and it was so atmospheric.

Such a gift!

xx Rowena

The Reading Pile

 

Smashing through my roof,

soaring through the clouds,

zooming through space

at the speed of light;

my reading pile grows exponentially.

Balancing precariously beside by bed,

a tower of teetering, twisted titles

fuelled by my nocturnal dreams,

it’s a marvel of modern engineering.

 

 

The weight of ambition

far too great,

Rome falls.

Pictures,

words,

rhythms,

rhymes,

cascade all over the floor.

Spilt milk

from the writers’ glass,

neither half-empty

nor half-full,

but always overflowing.

Words to spare.

 

 

Trapped in a pressure cooker

somewhere in between

my nightmares and my dreams,

an alarm clock and a ringing phone;

my reading pile grows

continuously…

higher and higher

like marauding weeds.

A mighty monument

dedicated to Summers past

when I had time.

Now,

I’m still waiting for the holidays,

which seemingly never come

AND…

I am no longer my own.

 

 

Yet, I haven’t forgotten

how to dream.

Book by book.

Rome rebuilds

after the fall.

Because my love

has never died.

So,

like an indefatigable knight,

I will charge on!

 

 

Rowena Newton 3rd January, 2016.

 

This poem needs no explanation, except to say that it’s very exceptional for me to share a poem straight away with anyone aside from my usual reader-in-residence, the long-suffering Geoff.

However, writing is communication and wasn’t intended to be something locked away but to be shared…especially with those who share your folly.

I’m sure many of you also have book towers built up beside your bed. which were, of course, constructed with the best of intentions.

I have so many unread books and yet, I keep buying more and blogging is only making it worse. I have ordered one book online over the Summer  break and am about to head off to the local bookshop for another. They are:

Dr Wayne Dyer: What Do You Really Want for Your Children?

Ted Hughes: Grief is the Thing with Feathers.

I seem to remember posting not so long ago about bad habits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L80XYgxjIw8

Meanwhile, as I add to the pile, I am also intending to subtract. If I lived to be a thousand, I still don’t think I could get through all the books I haven’t read in this house.

And yet, I will not give up trying!

Happy reading!

xx Rowena

 

Apache Blessing: 3 Day Quote Challenge.

“May the sun bring you new energy by day,may the moon softly restore you by night, may the rain wash away your worries, may the breeze blow new strength into your being, may you walk gently through the world and know it’s beauty all the days of your life.”

― Apache Blessing

Rainbow Toes at Byron Bay 2015.

Rainbow Toes at Byron Bay 2015.

Many thanks to our friend Melinda from purpleslobinrecovery, who has nominated us for this Challenge. Melinda blogs about her journey from slob to clean queen, and her ongoing battle with the Clutter Fairies, who we think must be related to the Slapstyx Goblins!

Thank you to Annabelle Franklin from https://annabellefranklinauthor.wordpress.com/ who nominated me for the challenge.

Rules of the Challenge

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you
  • Publish 3 quotes on 3 consecutive days on your blog. It can be your own, or from a book, movie or from anyone who inspires you.
  • Nominate 3 more bloggers to carry on this endeavour

I would like to nominate:

Kathy from https://timenomatter.wordpress.com/

Kath Unsworth: from https://timenomatter.wordpress.com/

Trent: https://trentsworldblog.wordpress.com/

I would also like to thanks Joanne from Top of JC’s Mind for this Indian Pudding Recipe. Living in Australia, I haven’t had much exposure to Indian culture but am going to try making this with the kids https://topofjcsmind.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/indian-pudding-recipe/

xx Rowena

Byron Bay… Setting My Rainbow Feet Free.

Although I wouldn’t describe myself as stuffy, there’s something in the air at Byron Bay that makes me so relaxed that I almost fall apart. It’s the most fabulous feeling that I wish I could pump it into the air and make everyone all over the world feel that magic.

If you know Byron Bay at all, even just by reputation, you could cynically agree that there’s definitely something in the air. Something that you smoke. That’s why Byron Bay has that unique ambiance. However, I didn’t even sense a whiff of the stuff. I’m  talking about its natural beauty and how the sun, sky and sea gradually become white, powdery sand, green palms, jungle, green pastures dotted with cows or perhaps macadamia and coffee plantations until the earth meets the sky via those jagged blue hills.

The magic of Byron Bay is more than just going to the beach. Having a swim. This is something I actually take for granted and I live right near a beach and walk my dogs along the beach most mornings.

No, there’s something else. Something special which I don’t think anyone can truly name or understand which makes Byron Bay so special.

It just is.

Although I’ve shared some beautiful photos of Byron Bay, I thought this series of photos of my feet at the beach really captures how Byron Bay set me free. Indeed, as I relaxed I felt so liberated. That the layers of stress just peeled away, liberating the butterfly from her stiff and stuffy chrysalis to finally spread her wings and fly towards the sun.

The new arrival...shoes still on.

The new arrival…shoes still on.

What you won’t appreciate simply by looking at this photo is that these shoes have practically been glued to my feet since I broke my foot last December. I had to wear a boot for about 3 months and then the physio told me it was joggers and I certainly haven’t worn any heels. Just the of pair of boots and now that Summer’s almost here, a pair of sandals. You could say I’ve been playing it safe but my feet have appreciated the extra support.

So my journey starts off with my feet in laced-up joggers…a bit over-dressed for the beach.

Especially when you don’t want to get your shoes wet.

Feet in the sand.

Feet in the sand.

Now that you’ve actually seen my feet, I trust you’ve noticed and admired my rainbow nail polish….thanks to my daughter. It’s become a bit of a holiday thing where she paints our nails rainbow colours. That’s been my choice more than hers. Seeing my rainbow toe nails makes me smile and when I had my foot in the boot, I caught quite a few people smiling at them. I’d just smile at them and say: “My daughter did it”. Oh how they sighed!

Mother & Daughter Feet: Not big feet and little feet anymore!

Mother & Daughter Feet: Not big feet and little feet anymore! Her feet are definitely catching up!

Rainbow Toes

Getting my feet wet.

Rainbow feet scudding through white powder.

Rainbow feet scudding through white powder.

As you can see, the shoes came off. I rolled up my cuffs and at least got my feet wet. While there were people swimming, it was still a bit cold for us. I managed to brave getting my feet wet and that was about it. Yet, I still have fun!

Have you ever been to Byron Bay? Any stories to share?

Take care and I hope you’re having a great week!

xx Rowena

PS: I just strayed across this excellent post about existence versus truly living, which contrasts free-range and battery hens. A great read: http://betterlifecoachingblog.com/2015/10/16/free-range-hens-a-story-about-existing-or-living/

Happy Father’s Day, Geoff!

Just because you’re standing there with a fishing rod, doesn’t mean you catch any fish…much to Geoff’s relief. Fishing isn’t what you’d call his “thing” but he was on an overnight camp with the kids at Scouts. Had a great time while I stayed at home and ordered a pizza swarming with anchovies!

Happy Fathers’ Day to all Dads.

Love,

Rowena