Australia · blessings · new

Magical Beginnings.

happy new year 2015
I found this elegant photo on Facebook and love the complete image it portrays ~ the pine for Christmas just past, the subtle streamers for celebrating the New Year, and glasses of champagne, for a toast to the very best wishes for 2015 to friends and family.

 

As I begin to write today, I think it would be safe to say that the entire world has now welcomed in the New Year. I always feel that the promise of new beginnings, carried through on a wave of excitement into a new year, is perhaps the most magical time on the years calendar.

The thought of writing a list of New Year’s Resolutions leaves me rather cold, however. I prefer instead to feel my way to a higher level of wisdom, and for want of a way to describe my feelings, that is the best I can come up with!

The magic of this time of the year in Australia also lies also in long, lazy, hot summer days, taking a break from work, setting the usual routine aside, and relaxing. Since Christmas day, I haven’t cooked a real meal, we have lived instead off the left overs of cold Christmas meat, the occasional bar-be-que, and salads. We have mince pies in the cupboard, rum balls in the freezer, and oh, the chocolate! My indulgence in sweet treats will end shortly, then I will diet. 😉

My husband is at home every day, not doing anything in particular other than relaxing. He’s also reading a lot. I remember many years ago, a time when he simply hated me reading, feeling it took time away from our “together” moments, and I actually stopped reading for a while, just to keep the peace. How times have changed. After thirty-five years of marriage, he finally discovered the joy of reading for himself, perhaps initially with an attitude of “if you can’t beat them, join them”, and recently he confessed that he regretted the time he resented my books, and wished he had discovered the joy of reading sooner. Those few sincere words from my husband were a highlight of 2014 for me. We now enjoy our together time, sitting in the same room, on different comfortable chairs (it’s too hot to share a sofa during summer!) each reading the book of our choice.

Today is a photo-free day, just an opportunity to wish good health, good luck, happiness, blessings and love to all my friends, as 2015 begins.

I have a great feeling about this year….it’s going to be magical. ❤

 

 

Australia · cooking · daughter · happiness · sewing

Christmas is in the air….

Always the helper. :)
Always the helper. 🙂

….and I think I can smell Christmas dinner roasting in the oven and the beautiful scent of the real pine Christmas trees my dad used to chop down every year in the bush, haul up onto the roof of the car and bring home for mum and I to decorate in the lounge room.

My imagination is working overtime, as is my body, seated mostly now in front of my sewing machine, as I spend my days madly sewing away at the last few orders that I must deliver this week.

I’m really looking forward to Christmas this year. The house is decorated, most of my shopping is done and my daughter and I have planned our Christmas cooking days for early next week. This is what Christmas is all about, isn’t it, the get-together with loved ones, the food, the gladness, listening to Christmas carols, relaxing. In Australia, it also mostly includes a swim in the pool after a huge Christmas dinner has been devoured, or falling asleep on the coolest available couch we can find around the house, preferably in front of an open window with a cool breeze blowing through.

For now though, for me, it’s back to work. So much to do, so little time! Yet I’m happy and organised and filled with anticipation.

Has anyone considered what their “word” for 2014 will be yet? Most years I struggle for ideas, this year though I already know what mine will be. But more about that later; the rest of 2013 is still here and to be enjoyed.  🙂

My other daughter (not the afore mentioned who loves to cook), knowing how much I love the Christmas carol “The Little Drummer Boy”, sent me a link to the song which I’d like to share with you all. It gives me goosebumps to hear this song, no matter what version it is I’m listening to. That little boy sure had amazing insight over two-thousand years ago, knowing the birth of this baby to be something special, and here we are, still celebrating his birth so many years later. And what better gift for the drummer boy to give the baby than that of his music. Priceless.

“When someone shares their favourite songs with you, embrace them, because they’re giving you a small glimpse into their soul.”

Here I give you a small glimpse into my soul ~

advice · challenges · Changes · freedom · inspiration

When Freedom Begins.

A quiet bay, my kind of beach. Note to Self ~ I must spend more time visiting the beach.
A quiet bay, my kind of beach. Note to Self ~ I must spend more time visiting the beach.

Some of the most memorable conversations I have are brief, and with total strangers.

During the past week I had a phone call from a woman who identified herself as Marina, from a magazine I have subscribed to for the last ten years.

“What a lovely name you have”, I told Marina, to which she exclaimed, “I’ve asked my mother what was she thinking, naming me after a place where boats were kept!” And so our conversation began.

You may remember last year, (when my sewing shelves were much tidier than they are now!) I received a brand new wooden sewing box in the mail, along with other goodies that I had ordered over the phone from this same magazine company. Well, it is that time of year again, when they tempt me, the sewing and craft lover, with no end of fabulous paraphernalia, in an effort to have me part company with some cash.

I have to tell you, this is cash that I am happy to part with! They offer tremendous deals and as their offerings are purchased sight-unseen, when the boxes arrive in the mail it is like opening up a whole array of exciting Christmas presents!

But back to Marina. When I spoke to her, her manner reminded me of that of my daughter Emma, honest, friendly and easy to talk to, and whilst very good at her job, she loves a chat with the customers too.

She told me that she wondered what I would be finding to make with all of my new fabrics and threads when they arrived and I assured her that I had plenty of craft magazines on hand to give me inspiration.

I went on to tell Marina that it was only within the last year that I had returned to my love of craft and sewing for fun, that my priority of being a mother for so many years had meant my own interests had taken a back seat.

“It’s so good to know that there will come a time when I will get my “me time” back again!” Marina said, as she explained that she found being a mother was both demanding and time-consuming.

Whilst I wouldn’t have changed my last twenty-eight years of living in the Land of Motherdom, I must admit to feeling relieved that my children are now almost all independent of my motherly care and their dependence on my time is diminishing.

My brief conversation with Marina reminded me of those days, so long ago yet they seem like only yesterday, when my children were young. I recalled their sweet young faces and innocent ways, noticing my feelings erring towards accepted nostalgia rather than sadness of a time long gone.

When Marina told me that she was looking forward to her freedom I advised her to enjoy the days with her young children rather than wishing her life away; she told me she’d try.

Occasionally I have thought of my conversation with Marina a few days ago and it has helped me to realise that I am contented with the place I have reached in my life. The days when I look into the mirror and wonder who that person with the older face is are diminishing. She has earned the lines on her face, the greying hair and the skin that is beginning to age and sag. These are the signs of a life well lived.

As my conversation with Marina drew to a close she gave me her direct phone number to contact her, should I have any questions at any time, she would be there most days until six in the evening, she said. What a long day that is, no wonder Marina had no free time to herself for her own enjoyment!

This morning I came across a quote which reminded me of Marina. I get the impression that she may be a fun and quirky woman, however short of time she may be feeling. It is also a reminder to myself, a reminder of what true freedom really is ~

“Freedom begins in the moment you allow yourself to be you; the you that is fun and silly, quirky and different, unique and splendid, funky and kooky.

Hide not the parts of you, the expression of which fills you with joy and rapture, beauty and contentment, humanity and aliveness. It is by revealing those aspects that you radiate to the world the shining light you are and that we all yearn to see. “ ~ Robert Beno.

I’ve reached a place in my life where I am far more comfortable with revealing the real me, albeit with wrinkles! 🙂

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. 🙂