Family Traditions

 

What I love about family traditions is that they are unique. Every family, even families within families have their own traditions and there is no end to the options. Big or small to start a new tradition the only need to enjoy the experience and do it regularly. My husband and my latest tradition is to prepare breakfast on the weekend and eat it together on the front verandah, watching the world go by. The only thing missing is a newspaper but we haven’t added that to our traditions yet.

Some times of the year like Christmas and birthdays involve more traditions than others. Being part of a large extended family this means the tradition of celebrating is never far away. The hardest part is setting the date, time and place and from there on the organisation of  a party for a special occasion isn’t difficult. Everyone knows what to do and our family traditions that always involve FOOD – GLORIOUS FOOD continue.

COLOUR THEMED CHRISTMAS last year you guessed right – GREEN.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to explore the new University of Newcastle building at its community open day. The building was architecturally designed using square boxes to highlight several Newcastle icons. From the outside it may look unusual but it’s also practical and spectacular.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The unusual building was filled with unusual performers ensuring everyone felt welcomed.

From level 8  I saw many unusual views — an aerial view of Hunter Street, Newcastle’s main street,

over Civic Park,

Newcastle Harbour,

and out to Nobby’s Beach and lighthouse.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Bridge


 


The Sydney Harbour Bridge plays a major role in all celebrations on Sydney Harbour. These photos taken during VIVID 2017 show her in all her glory from both sides of Circular Quay.

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Coffee Catch-Up #21

If we were having coffee I would tell you that instead of coffee today we were having champagne to celebrate Inspiring Max turning 3 recently. Wow! I can’t believe how quickly that time has flown. When I started I knew nothing about blogging or where this journey would take me but I am so glad I took the plunge and dived head first into the deep blogging pool. I have learnt so much and love the sense of community out there in the blogosphere.

I love it when I connect with new blogs. My geography has also improved as I discover someone from a small country or island I didn’t know existed has visited Inspiring Max. Thanks for being part of my world and I hope our journey continues to deepen.

If we were having coffee I would tell you about our recent visit to Copeland Tops State Conservation Area, just outside Barrington Tops National Park. We walked the Hidden Treasure Loop Track, a 2 hour bush walk through a dry rain forest. The area is an old gold field and is scattered with old mine shafts throughout, so it is essential to stick to the path or risk serious harm or death. The highlight of our walk was Hidden Treasure mine entrance. Despite it being sealed up, with the help of flash photography we could see the old quartz seams that had once held gold. It was quite spectacular in its natural forest surroundings, but I wouldn’t have wanted to walk that distance to work every day.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how much I am enjoying working in my garden at our new house. I have always wanted to develop a vegetable and herb garden, but I’ve never had the time to devote to it. Now with only working part-time and not having children to run around my time is my own so I’m hoping to prove I have green thumbs. This week I began by making a herb garden, which so far is going well. I also bought a modern version of the Yates gardening guide to help me prepare for Spring planting. As Winter starts in Australia next week I’ll be planting soon enough. I am interested in any advice you may have of things to do or not do when growing my produce.

If we were having coffee I would tell you about King Street Boutique Motel, the accommodation my husband and I stayed at on our recent trip to Gloucester. It was created from one of the old homes of the area and contained a communal lounge, dining and kitchen area with 4 rooms on each side of the communal real. It was great value and our fellow travelers were friendly. Our room also had a little verandah that overlooked the driveway and from which you could see the  mountains in the background.

 

If we were having coffee I would ask you what is happening in your world? Let me know in the comments.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Evanescent

Last weekend my husband and I went on a road trip to Barrington Tops National Park, where we enjoyed many fleeting moments in time. My favourite was the time we spent with an echidna, one of our wild Australian animals. We found her on the side of the road as we drove past. She was only the second echidna I’ve seen in the wild and she was a treasure to behold. In truth, I don’t know the echidna’s sex but we nicknamed her Edna so she was a female to us.

Initially, she was scared of us taking photos of her so she hid in her spines until she thought the coast was clear.

 

Then she decided to walk into the bush for a moment.

We however weren’t giving up so we kept very still and she came out to play again. Walking or should I say waddling around on the road in front of us for over 5 minutes. I don’t know what she thought I was but she just kept walking towards me.

She was absolutely beautiful. Then, just as we had finished watching Edna, my husband noticed in the distance that one of the wild brumbies (wild horses) we had driven past earlier had wandered into the middle of the road and was just standing there. 

Priceless. Definitely shows it pays to be mindful especially when spending time with nature.

Two wild Australian animals in one fleeting moment in time.

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Impression

My impression of a person, place or thing depends on how they present themselves in the moment. I agree first impressions count, but to me they aren’t the be all and end all. They are often tainted by other issues more pressing at the time. This means I am always ready to change my view should different circumstances prevail.

After consideration, I realise my impression is unconsciously judged and can be explained by the following acrostic poem:

Integrity

Motivation

Positivity

Respectful

Empathy

Sincerity

Self-respect

Individuality

Open-mindedness

Nurturance

When these values can be seen in a person, place or thing, I leave the experience feeling good and wanting more. The more of these values missing, the poorer my experience. Do you know what drives your impressions?

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Heritage

 

Here in Australia shipwrecks form part of the heritage of many coastal towns. The jagged rocks, unpredictable storms and ocean currents have sent many mariners to an early grave. It is estimated that since the 1600’s there have been approximately 8,000 shipwrecks off the Australian coast with only around 2,000 being found.

To help protect lives, ships and cargo, lighthouses were built to help warn of the dangers ahead. Our most famous  — The Cape Byron lighthouse is on Australia’s most easterly point with its light sending out its warning all over the Byron Bay hinterland and a long way out to sea. It was built in the 19th century and manned by resident lighthouse keepers until 1989 when it became automated.

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Free Floating

Last December, after 25 years I was reminded how relaxing it is to go to the beach after work. To lye on my back free floating, totally unmoored to the world —just bobbing around in the waves. Trusting I was safe but keeping an eye out for any bigger waves that could do me harm. Then to keep myself safe, I would simply dive under the wave and avoid its direct impact. Free floating is now my preferred mindful activity for the warmer months.

As I gazed over the horizon watching the random sets of waves, my muscles relaxed and looked for a new way to work. Suddenly, I realised my free floating had turned into the best core exercise I had ever done and with no effort on my part.

Give it a try and  say goodbye crunches. Take you feet off the ground and free float. Go with the rhythm of the waves and focus on the horizon. It’s my favourite way to centre myself.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/unmoored/

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Coffee Catch – Up # 20

If we were having coffee I would tell you I can’t believe its nearly 5 months since our last coffee. Doesn’t time fly when you don’t keep an eye on it. Today I was also struck by how quickly I have lost my writing skills. From writing nearly everyday in my old life, I am struggling for inspiration today. I know it is purely because I haven’t written anything for a while, so I’ll make a commitment to myself to get back on track as I have missed you all.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that back in March my husband and I finally got our furniture delivered from Sydney. It was very exciting to see the big truck pull up outside. Finally, our move was complete. So we did what anyone in our situation would do and had a glass of bubbly (champagne) to celebrate. Yes, it tasted good.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how much I love the Sydney Royal Easter show.I love to spend hours walking around the pavilions — arts and crafts, food, leisure and kids — they are all amazing. Some people are so talented. I love the creativity especially in the fruit and vegetable displays every year. Each area creates a display using the fruit and vegetables they grow in a design that depicts where they are from. This year  my 3 favourites were

 

If we were having coffee I would tell you about my brother and his partner’s housewarming party. It turned out to be code for secret wedding. It was very exciting and caught many family and friends of guard as they had dressed for a backyard BBQ and ended up having their photo taken with the happy couple. Fortunately, my father who was in hospital was able to get a leave pass so was able to attend. As for me I was very suspicious they were up to something and was very happy to be proven right. I loved their wedding cake — chocolate mud cake topped with cute umpa lumpas to match the chocolate factory theme of their house warming.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you how great it has been catching up with family and friends since moving back to Newcastle. Recently we meet some of our diving friends for dinner at Valentine Bowling Club and while the catch up was great, the sunset over Lake Macquarie was amazing. I had forgotten the joy a simple sunset can bring.

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If we were having coffee I would ask you what is happening in your world? Let me know in the comments.


Retreat

Retreat is an active word. It’s not a sign of weakness, but a sign that you are in-charge of your reactions. It shows you know when to do something differently. To me, the word RETREAT breaks down into the following powerful actions and helps me to move forward in the direction I need to go even if it’s not the direction I originally wanted to.

Return to a safe space

Experience feelings associated with current stress

Take time out

Recover your strength

Experiment with new ideas

Activate a new plan

Test it out

Have you ever found retreating to be a successful strategy to move forward?

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