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.
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.
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.
The Narrows is the only entrance to St John’s Harbour, Newfoundland, Canada. The Narrows has a rugged natural beauty seen above from many angles over many days. At it’s narrowest point it is only 61 metres across, which has proven to be a great natural defense over the centuries. In the 1600’s, the harbour’s narrow entrance has provided the city with protection from pirates and later from enemy ships during war time.
When I first visited the Narrows, I remember my joy at seeing the mighty Atlantic Ocean for the first time—it felt different to the Pacific, I can’t explain why it just did.
If we were having coffee I would tell you that I enjoyed my job interview last Monday and am very excited to start work at my new hospital in early August. The unit has a calm feel to it and I am pleased to be back working in my home town, although I have been happy living a free lifestyle for the last 2 months.
If we were having coffee I would tell you how surprised and in some ways saddened I was, to hear on Friday nights news that they were closing the wooden escalators in both Wynyard and Town Hall Stations over the next 12 months. Apparently there are only 7 wooden escalators left in the world — 4 at Wynyard, 2 at Town Hall and the other in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Of the 4 at Wynyard Station, 3 were opened in 1932, the same year as the Sydney Opera House and the 4th in 1952. The Wynyard wooden escalators were the first in Australia and over 80 years later are still working hard carrying over 150,000 commuters daily.
Growing up I remember that I loved to ride on the wooden escalators in David Jones stores as they had a warm and inviting look to them which made me feel like a part of history. Unfortunately, these escalators were taken out over a decade ago and since then using the escalators is just a means to an end. My mission now will be to make sure that I get to Wynyard Station before they close the wooden escalators for one last ride and reflection.
If we were having coffee I would tell you about the walk my father and I went on, from his house along Throsby Creek to Newcastle Harbour and back again. With stopping off along the way to explore, our walk took us 2 hours and as you can see it was a magical winters day. I couldn’t believe the growth that has occurred in this part of Newcastle including the formal walking trail includes many beautiful sculptures like the large lounge shown below.
If we were having coffee I would tell you I can’t believe how quickly this year is going. Tomorrow is the 25th July which means that it is exactly 5 months till Christmas Day. Wow! Then I think about how much I hope to get done between now and Christmas and that is when I get truly exhausted. Start a new job, pack up one house, do repairs to our Newcastle house before moving in, move in, finish book, catch-up with old friends, shop for Christmas and plan a trip to Japan to visit our son. Think positively is my motto so I am sure it will sort itself out for the best. After all, its amazing what one can achieve when motivated to do so.
If we were having coffee I would ask you what is happening in your world?
Life is unpredictable and that is what makes it great. If everything we did was the same everyday, yes it would be safe but also boring. One of the things I love about mental health nursing is that no day is ever the same. It’s the interactions with people that make the difference and change the course of the day. I see being unpredictable as adding the following to my life:
Unpredictability makes life more exciting, like the difference between riding the rapids or a calm stream. A mixture of both allows us to use all of our skills.
Lower Tonangiro River
The Sea Jelly Spectacular at Ocean Park Hong Kong is an amazing display of over 1,000 sea jellies from around the world. In these underwater gardens there are curves everywhere. The display tanks are round and highlighted by neon light and special effects. The sea jellies themselves are curvaceous and their pulsating movements help emphasize the musical score. If ever you are in Hong Kong do yourself a favour, visit Ocean Park and get lost for a while in the cleverly planned maze that is The Sea Jelly Spectacular.
Life is a personal journey. Others can help and support along the way however, they cannot do the work for us. When they rescue us, we never learn the skills required to save ourself when things get tough. Sometimes life has an odd way of putting the challenges we require in our path. But, it is important to notice what we learn from each experience — the good as well as the bad. The following true story of unknown origins explains the importance of struggles very well.
A man finds a butterfly cocoon, which develops a small hole. Over several hours, he notices the butterfly struggling to force its body through the small hole.
After a period, the man noticed that the butterfly appeared stop progressing. In trying to be helpful, the man decides to cut the cocoon open. The butterfly emerged easily however its body was swollen and it had small-shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch the butterfly expecting at any moment the wings to enlarge and expand enough to support the body.
In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around the ground. It was never able to fly.
What the man in his kindness and haste did not realise was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle by the butterfly to break free was nature’s way of forcing the fluid out of the butterfly’s body and into its wings so that it is ready for flight when the butterfly emerged.
Like the butterfly’s journey out of the cocoon, the struggles, we overcome help to develop our strengths needed for later life. They allow us to overcome obstacles that would otherwise cripple us. Without them we are unable to fly.
All our journeys are unique experiences and remember, there are no maps.