Australia · autumn · Tweed Valley

Towns of the Tweed ~ Over the Bridge in Tweed Heads.

“If only we lost our minds and arrived at our hearts.” ~ Robert James Waller.

My interest in photography is opening up a whole new world to me. There is such great enjoyment in losing my mind and following my heart, during the pursuit of capturing another image with my camera.

“One day I will go there, when I have the time” has been replaced by “I’ll go there right now!”. And so much for my old way of thinking, when I had imagined that stopping off somewhere, just for a few minutes, would throw my schedule out for the day. Since forgetting about my schedule, real or imaginary, I am finding that the days are not only becoming more enjoyable after my “photo-fix”, I’m actually achieving more overall, throughout each day!

A walk across the bridge will lead to....

This gorgeous footbridge, part of a parkland area in Tweed Heads alongside the Tweed River, is a perfect example of ‘doing things, one day’. For so many years I have admired the bridge, as I have whizzed past in my car, never stopping, but intending to stop ‘one day’.

The Tweed River

On a fine sunny day, just as we have enjoyed during these last couple of weeks, the river to the right of the bridge is simply beautiful….

The canals

….and to left, the river continues on into the man-made canals, which back on to an exclusive residential area.

The first thing you see is the playground...

Heading over to the other side of the river, the first thing you see is the children’s playground. I’m sure that the only time I have ever seen this play area empty is at night, and during a storm!

....and all the activity!

Beside the park is a boat ramp, which can always be seen being used, either by private or day-tripper boats. The bridge in the distance is the main traffic bridge over the Tweed River, which leads into Tweed Heads.

Shade for all, including the seagulls.

The park is full of huge old trees, providing an endless amount of shade. Just across the road from the park is a fabulous fish and chip shop, which I must admit we don’t go to often, as the wait is so long! But they have previously been voted the best fish and chip shop in the Tweed area.

Fishing off the pier.

It’s also a popular fishing spot, where my son and his mates have often spent hours fishing, during their school holidays. (Well, most of the time trying to catch fish, but they don’t mind if they go home empty-handed, which they often do!)

Under the bridge...

When you go under the bridge, there’s even more to be seen, especially if you know what you’re looking for, which I don’t! Luckily for me, my husband does….

....there's more to be seen!

….in among the mangroves, where fresh oysters grow. My husband tells me that mangroves such as these are crucial to the ecology of the Tweed River.

Looking down at the mangroves.

As we head back over the bridge and back to the car, we look down again towards the water. My husband is enthralled by the oysters….

….I see our shadows, and another moment to freeze for all time with my camera. 🙂

Australia · autumn · gratitude · spiritual

Over the Border ~ Magic at Point Danger.

“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has the power to move you, if the simple things in nature have a message you understand, Rejoice, for your soul is alive.” ~ Eleanora Duse.

Every single aspect of the Point Danger Lookout had the power to move me this week, and indeed, I did rejoice!

A beautiful sight.

And I believe that I was not the only one affected. There were people everywhere, walking, taking photos, or simply sitting and passing the time of day. No one seemed to be in any hurry to leave.

The morning sunlight, glistening across the ocean.

There was magic in the air; filling the blue skies, the crashing waves, and the green grass.

The highrise buildings of Surfer’s Paradise showed up clearly along the horizon.

Surfer's Paradise in the distance.

In the next photo, you can see that even a seagull was flying high! You may have to click on the photo to enlarge it though, to see him soaring across the sky in front of the rays from the sun.

Flying high.

Whichever way I turned I could see, and feel, the gentle energy in the air. Was it the sun? The ocean? The sounds of the waves?

Who cares! It was there to enjoy, and enjoy I did.The car park was full, yet there was hardly any traffic sounds. The “Sounds of Nature” dominated every sense I have.

A full car park, trees and buildings framed by the blue sky.

I took this last photo through my car window, as I was about to leave. I had noticed a couple who had stopped to admire the ocean, and a magpie who had momentarily stopped walking along the grass. As I started up my car, the couple headed in one direction, the magpie in the other.

We were all on our way...

We were all headed off, on our way to who knows where, each having shared just a little touch of magic.

Australia · blessings · spiritual

Over the Border ~ Queensland. “Ye Olde Houses of God”

Ye Grande Entrance

Whilst taking photos of the other day from Kirra Point Lookout, my camera happened upon an old church building, sitting atop a hill in Coolangatta.

Camera poised, I took a closer look.

Beautiful carved statues adorn the church.

Well, St. Augustine’s Catholic Church in Coolangatta may not compare to St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, but by the standards of this area, it really is a magnificent church building.

The foundation stone was laid on Easter Monday of 1925, with the first mass in the completed church held on January 2nd, 1927, making the church eighty-five years old.


Being married to a Catholic for many years has taught me that any indecipherable words, relating to anything Catholic, will no doubt be Latin. “HIC EST DOMUS DEI” (which you will see above the doorway here), I have discovered, translates to “This is the House of God”.

In need of repairs.

Apparently the church is in need of funds for repairs to the building. Excuse me for possibly sounding cynical, but I’m quite sure that if the local parishioners cannot come up with the required funds, head office may be able to chip in a dollar or two.

And so they should. A building as grand as this deserves to be cared for. If I hear of any upcoming fundraising events, I will make a point of attending, to help this worthy cause. Perhaps I should encourage my husband to attend a few masses at this church, just to help their fund-raising along. Every little bit helps.

Taking photos of the church high up on the hill, from the position of standing down on street level, really gives the illusion of the church scraping the sky, and just look at the colour of the sky!

An abundance of detailed features.

Have you ever seen any more brilliant a sky-blue than in these photos? It was blinding in beauty! A gift from God, you might say.

St. Peter's Anglican Church, Coolangatta.

Just down the hill and around the corner is another beautiful Olde House of God, this time St. Peter’s Anglican Church.

Ye Olde Church Bell.

Being a Protestant myself, I felt more of a personal connection to this church. It has a wonderful welcoming “feel” to it, and is kept in the most immaculate condition.

The plaque on the side wall of the church tells us that the foundation stone was laid on October 31st, 1937, making the church seventy-five years of age this year. We can all only hope that we are in such a good state of repair when we reach the age of seventy-five!

A building with a history.

I really liked the arched windows around the building. Some of the windows were stained in pastel colours, but the sunlight would not allow me to take a successful photo of those. Perhaps that would be a photo for a day with less brilliant sunshine.

The arched windows add to the character of the church.

Although the old buildings in my area of Australia are few and far between, I have really enjoyed taking photos of, and learning something about, the history of the old buildings around me.

There's that sky again!

I do hope you have enjoyed visiting these churches with me.  🙂

A Sense of Spirit · concepts · making contact · remembering · spirituality · unbreakable bonds

The Souls We Remain With, Throughout Time.

“Do we continue to share our time with the same souls, being reborn, year after year, time after time, within the same families, as brand new people; people who know one another; people who remain with you throughout time?”

On a Saturday night a few months ago, my son, child number four, and I sat in front of the television and watched a show about the ‘supernatural’. I forget the name of the show as I am not a huge fan of such shows, finding they are sensationalised by the producers, no doubt to draw viewers in with the unbelievable topics portrayed.

This particular show, however, did not slot into this category. The show may have been called “Celebrity Ghost Stories”, or some such name, as those chosen for the show, in which they shared their amazing but true stories, were celebrities.

One of the stories had my son gripping his seat, whilst declaring that he hated watching these types of shows, because they were too scary and would give him nightmares. But he didn’t leave the room, being so transfixed by the story being told.

As the story unfolded, the female celebrity told of an incident which happened many years ago in her home, when two little girls had appeared out of nowhere, and began to laugh and skip around one of the rooms in her home, laughing and playing together. Yet she didn’t know who these two girls were, she had never met them.

One night some time later, again, she heard children laughing and singing outside of her window at her home. She looked outside and saw the same two girls, playing together and having a lovely time as they chatted and laughed in their carefree way.

Fast forward to some years later, when the woman was married and had two daughters of her own, and she remembered the incidents from years ago, as she watched her two real daughters, playing together and laughing. She recognised the two girls she had seen before, many years earlier, as being her own two daughters!

My son heaved a sigh of relief. This woman hadn’t claimed to have been possessed by the spirits of two evil spirits, or any other such other gruesome ending to her story. My son declared that he had enjoyed her story, said goodnight, and off he went to his room.

What my son didn’t know was that I too had been mesmerised by the story, but for another, more personal reason.

In my early twenties I had longed to have a child, but my husband had other ideas, claiming we should wait until the “time was right”. In our home in Sydney, we had two spare bedrooms, the one at the back of the house being painted in light blue, and the room I had intended being the babies nursery, when my stubborn husband finally decided that it was the right time to start a family.

At first, I brushed off the faint smell of babies powder I could smell each time I went into the room, but as time progressed, it was there constantly, when I stood beside the window, looking out into the garden.

Within a few weeks, the laughter started.

I could hear the most beautiful babies laugh I had ever heard in my life. And I knew it was the laughter of a boy. He came to me a few times, and even though I didn’t actually see him, I heard him, and knew him. And he would talk to me at the most unexpected times.

Late one night, as I drove home alone, after a visit with a friend, the child told me that everything would be okay, that I shouldn’t worry about anything! His laughter and child’s voice rang in my ears, as clearly as if he sat right there beside me in the seat in my car, speaking to me.

The months passed by and he didn’t speak to me again, but I knew he was there, constantly.

It came as no surprise to me when I found out that I was pregnant with my first child. I didn’t think about the child’s laughter and voice during my pregnancy, but I knew my child was a boy. And, I knew him; we had been together before.

Right throughout the months of my pregnancy, to me, my son was Sam, although I knew my husband wouldn’t agree to the name, as it had been the name given to my father, grandfather and great-uncle. My husband didn’t want our family tree to appear “boring” with the same names repeated generation after generation.

When I saw my son for the first time, his soul was so familiar to me. There was no doubt in my mind that we knew each other, and now I could see him, touch him and knew what he looked like. Those seeing my new baby for the first time would often comment that he had an “old soul”.

His nappy change table sat right under the window in his blue room, right in the spot where I had smelled his baby powder, and as he grew, and I heard his laughter, I heard the exact same laughter of the child who had visited me, long before my son was born!

My eldest son is, and always has been, my rock; he makes everything alright for me. As a toddler, when we would park the car in a large shopping centre, I would worry that I might forget where I had parked the car, and my son would tell me not to worry, it would be alright, he would remember where the car was.

And so it has continued throughout his life. He makes everything alright for me. He tells me not to worry; he takes care of things, just as he did before his birth.

My next two children were daughters, and I could always rely on my son to watch out for his sisters, with his attitude of don’t worry, and casually, quietly and efficiently taking care of minor details that the two girls would overlook.

The day my son’s baby brother was born, when he was twelve years old, I was positively bursting to tell my boy that he had a baby brother. When I told him, as he stood beside my bed in the birthing room in the hospital, he told me he wouldn’t have minded being the only boy, he would love the new baby just as much as he loved his two sisters, regardless.

My new baby grew and his big brother played with him and cared for him constantly, just as he had played with and cared for his sisters.

And as time progressed, he nick-named his little brother George.

The name caught on, and for quite some time George was the alternate name used for my youngest child, and everyone knew who we were referring to. George suited him.

A few years ago, as I traced my family history and began to discover the names of my ancestors, I learned that my grandfather, Sam, had been a twin. The name of his twin brother, who had passed away at only one year old, was George.

Sam and George; the alternate names for my two sons. 🙂

Australia · Changes · new

Over the Border ~ Kirra Point Lookout, Queensland.

The road below...

After weeks and weeks of less than perfect weather, it is so wonderful to finally see days on end of nothing but the sun! The weather has cooled down dramatically and everything is looking pristine and sparkly.

I paid a visit to Kirra Point Lookout the other day, knowing I had the perfect weather for taking some great photos of the ocean.

From the lookout to the north is Kirra Beach, usually jammed packed full of surfers. Kirra Beach is world-famous for its surfing conditions. In fact, it was at Kirra that the second Surf Life Saving Club was established in Queenland, at a meeting held on January 7th 1916, with the Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Club, established in 1911 being the oldest in the state.

As you can see here, Kirra Beach was almost deserted. Perhaps the surfing conditions were not as they should be, even on the sunniest of days…

Kirra Beach

Coolangatta Beach too, to the south of the lookout, was all but deserted.

...and Coolangatta Beach

I loved the blueness of the sky as a backdrop for this white apartment building in Coolangatta.

White on blue

Over the last twenty-five to thirty years a number of older style beachside apartment buildings have been demolished, in favour of these multi-story apartment buildings and holiday units.

Tall buildings against the sky.

A monument of a large iron eagle, with the appearance of it soaring through the air towards the ocean, has been erected at Kirra Point Lookout. Whilst it is very interesting to see the iron eagle, I don’t know the significance of it.

Ready to soar out across the ocean...

I wonder if there is a significance, or whether someone simply liked the idea?…I’ll keep asking around.

The iron eagle, in perspective to the lookout.

Whilst I stood at Kirra Point Lookout, clicking away in this direction and that with my camera, I spotted an old church, nestled beside some other buildings, up on a hill in the distance at Coolangatta.

A different scene, something old, amid the new.

It started me thinking and casting my mind back to the Tweed Heads and Coolangatta area that I first knew, back in the days before the new apartment buildings and holiday lets were constructed.

How many old buildings remain in the area?

The weatherboard holiday lets along the beach – gone, and replaced with highrise buildings.

The row of shops containing two cinemas – gone, and replaced with a multi-level shopping centre, office space and one new cinema.

An old roller skating rink ~ gone, and replaced by a car park.

The original lighthouse at Point Danger ~ gone, and replaced by the Captain Cook Memorial Lighthouse.

I have decided that, by and large, Australians are an unsentimental (is that a word?) race of people and prefer to re-built rather than refurbish and extend!

Anyway, yesterday I took myself off to the old church on the hill and took a number of photos. I found another church of a similar vintage just around the corner also, but have yet to find any other old buildings in this area!

Next post, I’ll share with you my two old churches, (and any other old buildings I may come across in the meantime, if they exist!)