Tag Archives: walking

Mothers’ Day Cloud Hunt.

Nothing like a Sunday afternoon stroll along the beach to clear the cobwebs and psyche you up for another week…even if it is Mothers’ Day and you’re supposed to be immersed in your family.

After lunch and then watching the hit movie Lion with my son, I noticed some striking clouds and nabbed my camera and headed off to the beach, which is two blocks from our place.

Clouds Ettalong Beach

Clouds at Ettalong Beach, NSW.

Although I’m not quite a woman obsessed as I drive down to the beach, almost absorbing the clouds as I check out each and every curve, the lighting and am thrilled at the brooding darkness…even though I’ve been stuck photographing dangerous storms in the past.

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Ettalong Beach, NSW looking towards Broken Bay and Palm Beach.

Yet, it’s all too easy just to duck down to the beach and once again, I didn’t check the weather report before I took off. Five minutes. Surely, hail doesn’t strike the same place twice????

This time I was lucky. Not judicious, only lucky.

At the same time, I really enjoyed a quick walk along the beach and feeling myself become one with the landscape, inhaling and exhaling the sea.

How did you celebrate Mothers’ Day? I’d love hear what you’ve been up to.

xx Rowena

Weekend Coffee Share – 30th April, 2017.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

To be quite honest with you, I don;t quite know where I am this weekend. For the last month, I’ve been Travelling Alphabetically Around Tasmania for the Blogging A-Z April Challenge. Yet, last week, I was back and forth to the lower Blue Mountains West of Sydney and exploring historic Richmond and Windsor both through the lens and through my heart.

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Just to add to my geographical confusion, the weather’s been all over the shop. Being cooler up in the mountains, the leaves are changing and there’s Autumn colour. I even spotted an open fire. That spells Winter to me. There’s also been a few nights this week when I’ve added extra blankets and the electric blanket has moved up to medium. I shouldn’t be surprised as it’s almost May. However, when I left home in jacket today, it was put straight onto the back seat and I’m back to short sleeves.

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Toasty warm at Lochiel House, Kurrajong Heights.

What is the weather doing in your neck of the woods? No doubt, most of you are enjoying Spring after snowy Winter’s. We don’t have such marked seasons here, but I appreciate your excitement through our coffee shares.

By the way, would you like tea, coffee or something else? I’m rather brain dead tonight.

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The last week, has been quite challenging for me. Our daughter went away on a three day dance camp at Kurrajong in the Blue Mountains and it was my job to drive her there. It was about a 2.5 hour drive out there and I stayed overnight to get her there for the 8.00 AM registration. We aught up with an old school friend of mind and her family for dinner nearby the night before and the whole thing felt like a big adventure.

Driving back, I decided to visit historic Richmond and had lunch in Windsor and went on extensive walk around town checking out the old buildings.

Windsor is the third-oldest place of British settlement on the Australian continent. Settlement at the location was first established about 1791, near the head of navigation on the Hawkesbury River (known as Deerubbin in Dharuk) and taking advantage of the fertile river flats for agriculture. The area was originally called Green Hills, but renamed Windsor (after Windsor in England). The town was officially proclaimed in a Government and General Order issued from Government House, Sydney, dated 15 December 1810, Governor Lachlan Macquarie having “marked out the district of Green Hills”, which he “… called Windsor”, after Windsor-on-the-Thames.

Of course, given my serendipitous, unplanned approach to travel, I hadn’t done any preparation. In actual fact, that worked well for me this time because my meanderings gained a sense of spontaneous discovery and I really don’t like taking a shopping list approach to travel. I like to sens, feel, explore and not fly through a place so I can tick it off my list. Done Windsor!

So, I was quite thrilled when an innocuous road sign pointing to St Mathews Historic Church led me to the oldest Church in Australia by foundation stone. Not only was it historic, but it was incredibly photogenic from so many perspectives, including the clock, the Church itself and the old cemetery. The Church was design by famous convict architect, Francis Greenway. and you can read more about the history of the Church Here.

From there, I checked out the rectory nearby and then drove into town for lunch. It’s always a bit of an educated guess when it comes to choosing somewhere to eat when you’re travelling. I usually go on the cakes, which are usually on display and give some indication. I chose well and one of the other customers put me onto a spectacular building with a woman standing on the roof. So, this was my next adventure which took me past another old cemetery, which was located next door. I am still trying to work out what the building was built for, but it was possibly the mortuary or a hospital.

At this point, I first noticed the huge, towering white cumulus clouds, which were hovering very close to the ground. I made a mental note, that they could be trouble but they weren’t that menacing shade of angry purple, which has gotten me into trouble before. You see, I am quite a cloud chaser and my beloved camera has gotten me into serious trouble in the past.

Still, I walked.

That was until the wind picked up and Autumn leaves were twirling in the wind and the sky was purple and not longer threatening to rain. The raindrop were falling thick and fast and I was moving to the car fast.

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Once again, I’d left my run too late and as I driving down Windsor Road, 2.5 hours from home, the road became treacherous. Pelting rain, strong winds and lightening and the road was starting to get submerged. I aquaplaned a little and slowed down, even though I wanted to escape the storm like a bat out of hell.

While Billy Connolly might’ve called the storm an “act of God”, I must say that getting out of there without incident was more of an act of God. I was spared!

After all that drama, I had to drive back out there to pick her up on Friday and was much more cautious this time because I also had to drive straight home with very little chance of avoiding the Friday arvo peak hour.

Yet, I had an hour in between getting up there and the dance concert and I explored Kurrajong and was put onto a stunning restaurant called Lochiel House at Kurrajong Heights. I can’t believe that I had about 20 minutes to drink my tea and enjoy their beautiful lemon and pistachio cake, which came with a side serve of scrummy cream and obviously home made jam. As you can see from the photos, Lochiel House was very pretty and as much I love its historical elements, I equally appreciated the little floral arrangements carefully positioned throughout, creating an eye-catching vista. There was undoubtedly a lot of care and attention to detail throughout. Very impressed.

It was lovely to see my daughter dance and simply to see her again. Really missed her.

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Our Sailor.

 

However, life isn’t just about dance and today we were off to the local sailing club for the junior presentations. I feel we’re on the brink of a huge precipice of commitment there. Like dancing, what starts out as a few lessons, either progress into a monstrous commitment or it dies out. It looks like father and son will be driving around the countryside racing later in the year. I think this is where we’re thankful for the off season, even though I’m hoping they get out in our laser. There are no icebergs around here during Winter.

Tomorrow, is the start of another week and my daughter has three auditions for the performing arts selective classes at our local high school. Audition hell…and that’s just from my perspective.

I don’t even know what I’m doing.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed our coffee share. It’s getting very late here so I’m going to speed off.

Best wishes,

Rowena

 

 

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

Happy Birthday To Me…Enjoying the Australian Outdoors.

Happy Birthday to me!

We cruised by the sea.

Bushwalked to the lookout.

Then went home for tea.

Welcome to my virtual birthday party. Once upon a time, one of my friends would’ve turned up with vodka jellies and chocolate mouse, but I can offer you a Tim Tam. You could also join us to watch a great Australian movie: Oddball. It’s based on a true story of a Mareema Sheepdog, Oddball,  who saved a endangered colony of fairy penguins from foxes. We loved it.

Today, I reached the magical age of 21…again!

After opening presents this morning with the family, we set off bright and early for a history cruise along our local waterways with the kids’ Scout group. Although I’d originally planned to head into Sydney to the Koi Dessert Bar for my birthday, this cropped up and it felt like a ready-made party. We just had to turn up…perfect!

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Fisherman’s Wharf, Woy Woy.

The cruise set out from Woy Woy, which is is roughly 2 hours drive North from the Sydney CBD. You might recall that Spike Milligan placed Woy Woy on the world stage, although you could say the publicity was hardly positive. He described Woy Woy as “the world’s only above-ground cemetery”.

Indeed, this is what he had to say about Woy Woy back in 1959, when he wrote a portrait of his parents’ home “Goon Fishing”:

“There is, somewhere in the steaming bush of Australia, a waterside town called Woy Woy (Woy it is called Woy Woy Oi will never know).

 

Walking Along Bleak Beach.

Yet another storm…

Once again, Mother Nature has ravaged our precious beach, savagely ripping our embattled Banksia trees out by the roots. I could feel their pain but as a mere mortal up against the sea, there was nothing I could do. No kiss of life was ever going to save them. It was all too late. As their bedraggled corpses lay discarded on the sand, I could only express my heartfelt sympathies after the fact.

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High Tide…the rough surf has turned the foam into whipped cream.

Perhaps, I should write a eulogy or an ode? Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do when you lose someone you love to such heartless destruction?

I don’t know. What else is there?

Build Hadrian’s Walls to keep the Barbarians out? Construct an eyesore to preserve its skeletal remains?

Send the storms somewhere else?

Yet, we all know this isn’t just about the storm, don’t we?!!

That someone’s turned the oven up way too high and someone needs to turn it back down again before Mother Nature blows her stack completely.

When there’s so much more than my precious beachfront at stake, isn’t it about time we revisit how we cook?

I have no doubt and I can only hope that we’re not too late.

Otherwise, what are we going to say?

Am I willing to take the blame?

What about you?

What’s been going on in your neck of the woods? Do you hear climate change knocking on your door?

xx Rowena

surfer

Despite dangerous surf conditions and warnings, there’s always a surfer willing to risk it all for the thrill of the wave.

 

 

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

Window Shopping: Crown Street, Surry Hills, Sydney.

I really love photographing reflections in windows as you can really capture some quirky images and intriguing effects.
Manikins and dolls also appeal. They look so life-like and yet there’s that vacant stare. I’m not really there, which can be quite haunting.
Anyway, all seriousness aside, I had a lot of fun capturing this lingerie model in a shopfront in Crown Street, Surry Hills.
Any thoughts about my belle dame?
xx Rowena