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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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.

 

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Coffee Catch – Up # 19

If we were having coffee I would wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 2016 has been an amazing year and I have loved sharing it with you.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that Christmas 2016 had a green theme for our family, which was a great success. My sister who organises our family celebrations really should start a party decorating business. She does a spectacular job matching everything to the colour theme and we all help by coming dressed accordingly. It’s a special and memorable day for all who attend.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that life is getting exciting as our painter is slowly transforming our house into a home. The more work he completes the happier we are with our colour choice of grey/lavender walls and white gloss trims. Interestingly, when the family voted on next years colour theme for Christmas, they chose Gravender (a combination of grey and lavender), so we should have a head start on inspiration.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how nice it was to have Christmas bush back in our life. Our Newcastle property has an old Christmas bush tree and we have enjoyed giving some to family and friends again. Australians love Christmas bush and it helps bring the country to the city.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how much I enjoyed the preparation for Christmas this year. From the shopping to the baking I have loved the planning and execution of each task. Many of the things I now do have become my tradition but I don’t think I realised it until this year.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I would love  to see the rain falling on Ularu at present. Due to the dryness of the area, rain on the rock is a rare but spectacular event.

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


Share Your World – 2016 Week 46

Are you a traveler or a homebody? 

I love travelling. I find exploring new places, their history and culture fascinating. Unfortunately, the longest time I have traveled is 6 weeks. However, I look forward to spending my long service leave travelling to far off lands in the next few years.

PS. Most of the world is far off when you live in Australia.

What kind of TV commercial would you like to make? Describe it.

I don’t think I would want to make a TV commercial, although I have been in two and not actually paid for either. The first was planned and I was shopping for baby goods in my friends’ parents baby shop. I was young and it was fun making it.

The second commercial I was in was for the first season of The Voice in Australia. I had seen the battles being taped live and as we were leaving they asked for our opinions. I must have done a great job as suddenly people were telling me I was on TV advertising The Voice. Personally, I was never lucky enough to see me on TV but it had my family, friends, colleagues and patients talking for weeks.  Fortunately, one of my friends sent me a photo of it on her TV. Gotta love technology these days. I think that I look okay for midnight. 532702_10150695973679053_427701941_n

Describe yourself in a word that starts with the first letter of your name.

Maternal, mindful, motivated

List some fun things for a rainy day.

  • Skipping in the rain
  • Jumping in puddles
  • Sitting by an open fire reading a book
  • Playing board or card games with the family
  • Sleeping especially under a metal roof
  • Baking
  • Planning my next holiday
  • Mindful colouring-in
  • Art and craft work
  • Spending the day in a museum
  • Blogging
  • Writing
  • Playing Wi games with the family
  • Swimming but only if there is no lightening

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Last week I was grateful for family time celebrating my son’s birthday.  Even though he was overseas, my husband, daughter and I went out and enjoyed his favourite food.

This week I hope to finish painting my kitchen cupboards and finally decide where things will belong permanently in my new home.

Share Your World – 2016 Week 46


Coffee Catch-Up #17

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I can’t believe its been two months since our last coffee. Moving and having no or limited internet access changed my world and blogging wasn’t a simple task. It made my world quieter but didn’t stop me from connecting with my fellow bloggers, by reading their blogs during my limited windows of time. I finally have the internet connected I plan on getting my blogging back on track as I think it helps me communicate more efficiently in everyday life. By this I mean I waffle less because I focus more on short concise sentences. It feels great to be back and I realise from your kind words how well we all support each other.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I have been at my new job three months and I feel very much a part of the team. I am also slowly learning the differences between the two hospitals. It has been weird but freeing to go from knowing most things at one hospital to knowing little and needing to build up my knowledge source at the other. I think I am winning although I definitely still learn new things daily.

If we were having coffee I would tell you the weather is warming up in Australia and I am looking forward to my first swim of the season. I was excited about a month ago when I realized that according to Dr Goggle, the beach is only half an hours walk from my house. I definitely hope he’s correct because what a great encouragement to walk regularly. In Sydney I never got to the beach because it takes hours and parking especially is a big hassle.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how excited I was last Friday to have my new washing machine delivered. Talk about small things amusing small minds. Wow! What a difference having one on site makes. I think I definitely took doing the washing for granted before. It was just something annoying that needed to be done. My new washer I have made my friend and it even tells me how long before the load is finished—a very helpful tool. Another thing related to washing that I had forgotten is how cool Hills Hoist Clothes lines are. They move around in the breeze, carry a lot of clothes and dry the washing so much faster. Mine may be an oldie but its a goodie.

Photo Credit: Google

Photo Credit: Google

If we were having coffee I would tell you how our new house was robbed over the October long weekend. They broke through forcing the door and cherry picked there way through the small amount of belongings we had left at the house to begin work. Its funny the thing that made me suspicious that something was wrong was the fact that I couldn’t find the old radio tape player to give me music whilst I painted.  So, I did what wives do. I rang my husband assuming that he had moved it and together we realised what had happened as he listed things and I tried to find them. The worst part was that I then had to wait alone in what was now a scary house for me for the police. I couldn’t concentrate on painting so I read but the police didn’t come. Eventually I rang the police assistance line again only to be told that they would be coming the next day and had left hours ago but nobody bothered to tell me. I was annoyed but at the same time relieved to be able to go to the safety of my mothers house.

The next morning I arrived five minutes before the policewoman agreed to meet me and walked around the back only to find the back door wide open. I ran, panicking to the safety of my car  and willed her to come quickly. Fortunately she was on time. She then lead the way through the house to find that whoever was there had definitely left. She finger printed the back door and showed me how she believed they had gotten in. Now our house is locked like Fort Knox but at least it feels safe again. On reflection it gave me insight on how some people must live, as while a few things may have been sale able, most of what they took from us was edible, drinkable or for home care.

If we were having coffee I would ask you what is happening in your world? Its been a while so I hope life has been good to you. Let me know in the comments.