in the light of the sun

moments of me and my life by the sea



it’s harvest time!

Sayonara city – I’m out of here! I’ll be offline for 9 or so days (who’s counting?!) as I head off to my parent’s farm near Mudgee for the annual East Ridge Olive Grove Harvest Festival.

I look forward to this time of year even more than Christmas. It’s got all the elements needed for a great festive holiday – family, friends, copious amounts of good food and wine, good conversation and a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life – with the added bonus of fresh clean country air, gentle exercise and the satisfaction gleaned from being involved in the making of the most delicious tasting, award winning olive oil you’ve ever tasted!

Okay so I’m a little biased due to the fact that I helped plant these olive trees for mum and dad and have helped harvest them every year. I think this might be our 5 year anniversary too (I’ll have to check with mum about that though) so it’s going to be extra special. And we’re hoping for a bumper crop – harvest is being held over 2 weekends this year instead of just the one. That’s if the birds don’t eat them all, hail doesn’t destroy them, fires don’t come through the area or Icelandic volcanic ash decends upon us. Tom’s parents come every year and this year they’re bringing extra help all the way from Stockholm. Fingers crossed Dory gets to hop on the plane in time, what with all the delays due to the Icelandic (int)eruptions…

So I’ve packed my Blundstones, an array of colourful beanies, a large stash of wool for making granny squares, my cameras, a book (Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami) and I’m keeping Dad company while Tom and the rest of my family head back home mid week for work/uni. Dad’s hired out a few seasons of The Darling Buds of May for our viewing pleasure. Oh, and The Brittas Empire, which would be loudly voted off the island if the rest of the clan were still there. We share a love of British television, the good, the bad and the extraordinarily, painfully woeful. But that’s just for the evenings of course – I plan to spend my time off scouring the local op shops and snoozing. Bliss.

Just like this…

I’ll miss you, you know. I’m sure I’ll have loads of catching up to do on the interwebs upon my return. Don’t do anything too exciting while I’m gone, will you?

I’ll also miss you Snouting Girl. Sad you won’t be eating rotting rabbits and then getting sick, grousing at the other dogs being the grumpy old fun police, getting dirty with a filthy stinking beard, carrying kindling for the fire and generally being the loveliest dog we’ve ever had. (Sorry to all our other dogs, Cleo will always be my favourite, it’s true…)

R.I.P Cleo Sept 2009


happiness is…

…a warm blanket to snuggle in…
bano collage
…fresh clean sheets to rest your weary body on…

…and sweet, sweet dreams of otters holding hands…
Well come on now, could something so adorable be real?!
That had to be a dream!
That moment at 1:18? My heart explodes with happiness. I’m otterly in love.

And if that didn’t melt your frozen heart I don’t know what will. I’ve decided I do believe in reincarnation – in the hope that my next life will be spent as a hand holding otter who fills their days snoozing and floating in a pool with the one they love the best.
Hope your weekend is filled with snuggles, sweet dreams, hand holding and happiness.

Chillaxin’ with the Friday Top 5 before 5 #2

Please take a deep breath and make your self a cup of tea and come sit quietly with me as we run through today’s Top 5.

This weeks theme is all about being happy – taking the time to relax, have a peaceful moment and move forward in a graceful, positive manner. Sound impossible? Feels like it sometimes. And I don’t mean just putting on your “happy face” and repeating that “everything’s wonderful” and shoving the bad nasty feelings aside, I want to be calm, cool, serene even. Cooler than a tropical island holiday – tropical islands have sticky sand that gets in places you don’t want it to be, pestering flies, sunburn and hangovers. In fact, tropical island holidays are just the same as putting on your happy face, with a big credit card bill at the end of it all.

So I’m working towards a lifelong chillax. Yes I am. Will you join me?

Here’s what inspired me this week to make a few changes in my life to increase the happy and relaxed me and decrease the emotional, stressed, fragile and self-sabotaging me.

(Well, baby steps people. I have not fully evolved into a goddess yet. Please do not expect such a startling transformation so soon. I also have a weekend of excessive drinking planned*, but I will try not to make this ‘a diet starts tomorrow’ sort of situation.)

1. Gwen Bell of Big Love in a Small World blog fame wrote an interesting article entitled “Are you your Biggest Competitor? 3 simple ways to relax right now“.What she says about stress and learning to relax makes a lot of sense to me and it also makes for very reassuring reading. Feeling like you don’t live up to expectations (whether they’re placed on you by yourself, your friends/family or society) takes an awful toll on your emotional well being and ability to relax and be happy.

She also speaks about yoga. There is a yoga class at my gym which I have been thinking about taking for some time. (I do think a lot don’t I?!) Do you practice yoga? Do you think it helps relax you? I guess I worry about being the fattest most uncoordinated person in the class, but then that’s just self sabotaging thinking isn’t it?

2. Whole & Happy is a new blog that my lovely friend Alex has just started. She’s on a truly courageous journey practicing healthy, happy, harmonious habits for a healthy, happy, harmonious planet. Pretty inspirational. I certainly embrace the philosophy that making a better ‘you’ requires making a better planet too. I’m not as brave as her (sugar free?! ARGH!) but it’s good food for thought, that’s for sure.

3. Living without Money – is an article about another courageous women who has willingly lived without money for 13 years now. She gave away everything she owns. It’s a scary but inspirational read which makes these 5 small decluttering projects seem like a piece of cake! I’m not planning to live without money or possessions but I would like to make living in my one bedroom apartment with a boy and a cat a little bit more roomy. I’ll always have sentimental attachments to some items but I don’t want to feel defined by my stuff, or worry about what I don’t have.

I’ve made a start – I just donated 2 enormous bags full of clothes to Vinnies, which my groaning shelves have thanked me for. Next plan is to tackle the bookcase. But don’t worry – I’ll let you all know what’s up for grabs before I donate them.

4. Remembering that there is a world outside of ‘me’ – take a look at some of these awesome images from the National Geographic 2009 International Photography contest and tell me the world isn’t an amazing place! I should get out more. Out of my office.

5. Make something. And please note – I did not specify finishing said project, just to keep making. Keeping my hands busy seems to be the best way for my mind to relax sometimes. Thoughts about the day and things that are stressing me out all seem to melt away when I’m focusing on a nice crafty project.

I’m finding that mastering the crochet hook is ever so relaxing. I can’t crochet and pay attention to the TV, so that cuts down on my mindless television watching, which is a plus. I’m also getting a kick out of making really tasty food from scratch. Extra satisfying to eat. And of course, folding paper cranes, the ultimate time out for me. My collection of security paper cranes is growing and growing thanks to lots of lovely people donating the envelopes their bills come in!

If you can finish your project then good for you. But don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t wielded instant results. Just keep at it. Next step – give it away, spread the love and start over. That’s the happy part!

Well, that’s my plan anyway. What do you think? Got any tips for relaxing and being happy? What works best for you?

* Decided to excessively drink ORGANIC wine and cider this weekend. That will alleviate all guilt, surely.

Do you stop to smell the roses?

I am not a morning person. Hence, I am late to work most days.

Today, as I raced out the door and up the road, already starting to fret about work (and also, whether to get fruit salad or turkish raisin toast for breakfast. Food is a very serious matter to me.) I was distracted by this rose bush out the front of someone’s house.

Well…to be honest the roses are about 2 metres in the air, drooping downwards from a fence/garage, so you’d be correct in thinking that it’s hard to get distracted by something above your line of sight. You could say, I deliberately stopped to look at them. You could even say I was dawdling when already late for work.

One might even say that I was stopping to smell the roses, if you’re that way inclined.

I am that way inclined. It’s a nice inclination. They smelt damn sweet too.

These two fuzzy close ups remind me of a Cath Kidston print, don’t you think?

Incidentally, her Rose & Carnation hand cream is one of my favs. It smells lovely and has sweet little silver gold stars on the tin.

I suggest you buy yourself some then if you don’t have a rose bush to stop and admire, you can stop and admire your lovely smelling hands. (I found it stocked in Target for all you Australian readers!)

Good things come…

to those who…

1. Don’t particularly deserve them
2. Were really in need of some cheering up nonetheless
3. Are immensely grateful for all the love

Today was tough. Tonight was just lovely.

On the way home we took the scenic route for fresh ocean treasure AND there was a lovely surprise parcel waiting for me when we got home. 

My stomach bulged with contentment, my heart burst with happiness.
Good things come. Yes they do. I will remember it.

deep blue calm

what is it about the ocean that makes you so happy?

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