Welcome and thank-you for stopping by my blog. I appreciate you spending your time visiting and would love to hear your comments. I can also stop by and say hi to you.

Vicki xx

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Winter Sun.

Pottering around. 
Time with Alex.

Time?  People talk about being time poor...spending quality time... putting your time to good use, time slipping by...running short on...So, on Sunday Alex and I spent the day together, outside, exams over, no books, no computer, actually no technology at all as our mobiles had no reception on Mt Tambourine. Bliss. Lots of bird song, cottage gardens, foodie shops, the Lavender Barn and lunch at the pub where if you don't book you'll be lucky to get a table. The landlord bought all the contents from a pub in Tunbridge Wells that was closing down to make way for a shopping mall, it only cost him 7,000 pounds for some amazing artifacts, one side of the pub is decorated in the English style, the other Irish.
I'm lucky my 16 year old daughter likes to spend time with me, it's fun exploring together.
The Irish side.
Lunch, The Fox and Hounds.

Menu gazing.

Eton Mess.

A beautiful winters' day on Tambourine.

Looking for corks for our board.
We stopped here but the gardens were only opened by appointment. 
Driving down the mountain, past the owner built houses nestled on the sides of the hills or perched on the top, smoke curling, fog swarming in, horses standing majestically in the setting sun, golden rays lighting up the green leaves making them almost transparent,  I felt that all was good where we were.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A little sushi place.

Varsity Lake, 11am.

Thursday is my new 'Moments' day.

For when I do something that I wouldn't normally. A simple little thing but one that makes memories.

So, today, Chantal has a long break between classes which she usually spends in the library or doing group work with other students. I picked her up and we went for lunch at a little sushi place near where she's finishing Yr 12, she loves this place as the ladies who work here are all so polite and gracious, not to mention that she loves to eat with chop sticks.

The little sushi shop

It was so nice to do something spontaneous. We covered many topics, her law presentation just handed to her in which she received a HD and as she's going into law, many assorted legal issues, the Australian diet and the way it has encompassed foods from many cultures, the school kids who came in to buy their lunch who 20 years ago would not have seen a sushi shop, her soon to be graduation, should she invest her savings from a little job where she works serving donuts, 15 hours per week, her nephew whom she adores and wants to buy presents for all the time and her favourite question...what are we doing on the weekend?

Cucumber sushi with pickled ginger.


Back to school.

Soon, my precious 15 year old will be grown up, forging her life and off and away. Precious moments.

Hope all my blogger friends are well and all is good for you.

Take care,


Monday, June 13, 2011

A Walk into the Sunshine.

Today I woke early, my normal routine, I opened up the house, made a cuppa, cooked some Anzac biscuits for the girls school snack, but then I turned on the radio and it was news time...
The darling Kristian, walking into the sunshine, Milton, N.S.W.
I was fine before the news, my day had been planned, I was on track with everything I needed to do but after listening to one disaster after another I somehow felt overwhelmed. To hear that our Prime Minister won't see the Dali Lama because China doesn't wish it was the straw that tipped me over. In the past I've thought when we get through this flood, earthquake, war, famine, terror threat, etc the world will be on track to a large degree, I used to think that we/they would learn and move on/upwards. You know, cessation of hostilities, humane treatment of women, enlightenment, progress, mediation, speaking on friendly terms with those that have different lives and cultures, etc. Do we not learn? If nations can't, how can the individual who is struggling with housing, finances and set backs see a clear path?

So, what to do? I ponder.

Sugar Mill, Northern N.S.W.

I suddenly reaslised that I am an optimist and always have been. It's a coping mechanism. Life is a fine place when I can see hope and good intentions through the butts of  injustice. But I think I need to pull a bit more reality into my being. I need a mind shift. I think I'm missing something.

Moving forward.

A well recognized symbol of peace, Bamboo nursery, Tambourine Mountain.
I am not going to turn my back on the daily world but I'm going to find restoration in the kindness and outpouring of love of strangers in times of catastrophy. I'm not going to waste any more emotional grieving on what is done, troubled times bring out the best in we fragile humans. That so often, supreme effort is shown, given, offered with never a thought of pay back is the best of all hope that I can wish for this planet now.

Pink, symbolising love, caring, acceptance and calm
And finally, these words by Robert A. Ward;

Robert A. Ward

I wish you the courage to be warm when the world would prefer that you be cool.
I wish you success sufficient to your needs;
I wish you failure to temper that success.
I wish you joy in all your days;
I wish you sadness so that you may better measure joy.
I wish you gladness to overbalance your grief.
I wish you humor and a twinkle in your eye.
I wish you glory and the strength to bear its burdens.
I wish you sunshine on your path and health to carry you on your journey.
I wish you peace — in the world in which you live and in the smallest corner of you heart where truth is kept.
I wish you faith — to help define your living and your life.
More I cannot wish you — except perhaps love — to make all the rest worthwhile.

I wish you all a truly lovely week,

Vicki xx

Thursday, June 9, 2011


The darling Kristian, when a bottle just won't do!
Earl Grey at the National Portrait Gallery.
Take away macchiato or latte.
Alex, with hot chocolat, sourdough raisin toast
Tea for two or four or....
I'm very grateful to the discovery of tea. I love it. Put me in a tea shop and I'm in sensory overload, the olfactory has never had such delight, well maybe in spring time...and I do love the smell of little babies...

Way, way back, before the 10th Century it was being served, exchanged and adapted.

What would we do if not for this social ritual? I could imagine meeting a friend in a park or a gallery but so often the most bonding of times is simply sipping a beverage with said friend in a busy, noisy cafe. There is an intimacy in these places that belies their appearance. My favourite was a tiny, dark, stone walled, old cafe in a lane way in Rome, large covered mugs of rich, gooey hot chocolat and coffee with aromas to lift the senses. What is your favourite place to drink tea or coffee in?

Have a lovely day,

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Real Joy.
Mirth...also known by her other names, joy, cheer, happiness, joviality, lightheartedness, delight, vivacity, merriment...

Everyday I try to wear this coat of organic happiness, to exude a simple joy and with that comes a paring down of our life. The world, the news, the push and shove of the academic pathway for the girls, the pressure to use minimal resources, to be informed, to keep up is not how I want to live. I want a simple life, to be able to give of what I can to contribute to the community and hold onto a quality of life that is in how we treat each other,how and what we eat, how we talk to each other, what we read, what we see and what we do.

Often a legacy is not in tangible items. I have no antiques or expensive jewellery but I have a way of living that I hope my children will take with them into their future and that it will be there to shore them up if they need or want it.
Here's hoping, always,

Keep smiling,


Friday, June 3, 2011


Alpaca heaven. Berrima.
We're just visiting but would love to live here.
Leaf  blowers in Canberra, a regular morning sight.
Kristian waiting for the horse.
With mum and Dad, big two.
The Blessing of the Fleet parade
20 cents for a slice of watermelon
Alex, Chantal and I have not long returned from a little tour of the Southern Highlands via a visit to Ulladulla to see daughter and sister Stephanie and grandson and nephew Kristian. It was so good to take leave, no more books and study for the girls, no more routine for me, just free days with no agenda. Delightful.

Like mother, like son.

The days were deliciously crisp, the leaves crunched under foot, the wind rustled in the trees,  the pine cones fell, the wool shops beckoned, the cafes sent out their aromas to lead us in, people smiled, talked, told me their stories, in one shop whilst looking for a toy owl for Kristian the lady owner told of her struggle in life with her son, her father asked her back home to live, on a big property, for over 4 years she struggled to regain all that she'd lost, she learnt to cook, to garden, to care for her son, to rest, now she has bought a shop and is working towards building some cottages for guests where she will cook organically from her garden. She smiled a lot. Another, a waitress, told of selling her restaurant and packing as she and her husband are moving to japan. She is excited to live in an embassy and to ski in Japan. A dream that has come true.
Alpaca warm.

I'm drawn to the cold climates, when the air is fresh and the cheeks are cold, it's there that I can think and process all my thoughts, not when the air is heavy with moisture and hot and the limbs drag. I love to start the day with porridge, to walk in mist and see the moss growing on stones, the houses that are a part of a town through always being there, tumble down walls, sometimes as in Tasmania the old milestones on the side of the road still in roman numerals. I need to feel part of what's gone before me.

Thanks for visiting,
have a lovely day,

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Road Trip.

Chantal, starting the trip with some apple purchases.This fruit shop sells a lot of wheat grass.
At a rest area, 100 miles from no-where.
Off we go.
Second hand bookshop in rural QLD.

The girls and I have just returned from a 3,000k trip to see our daughter and sister. From Queensland to Ulladulla. From Ulladulla to Canberra. And off on some side roads. Endless undulating sugar cane, merging lanes, narrow bridges, wide rivers, road works, country towns, endless bush, caravans, coffee stops, trucks, petrol stations selling local honey and eggs and assorted weather.
Sugar cane, smoking tractor in distance.

Rural Berry
Rain coming at Berry.
Veggie pie for breakfast from Kempsey, enough for lunch too.
Basil growing in the park, old B&B in background.
Maclean, 1862,  Street signs all have Gaelic translations
Sweetness growing right up to the roads' edge, taken whilst waiting for road works. 
Food and wine, even a BBQ.
We have our favorite stops, the park on the river at Ulmarra that the locals plant with herbs, roses, pansies and whatever is in season, it has a very kitch second hand bookshop that also sells collectibles, even some religious items that look as if they've come from a convent. Maclean, the Scottish town, where every telepole has a clan tartan painted on it and you'll always get a smile from the locals. Little Italy, the rest stop that gives you a huge veranda covered in grape vines to eat your pasta and drink your coffee as you gaze at the murals of Florence and Milan, more herb gardens and a little museum of the early days. Cassograin Winery, where we think we're in France, a formal garden, roses to take your breath away, the best coffee on the east coast and somewhere to throw a ball.

Back street of Berry
Alex doing what she loves, perusing bookshops.

Last stop, Bonjour Patissere, Wahonga, coffee and cake. All the cute, pampered little dogies were out in force, the owners have their coffee brought to them along with a dogie bowl of water. Such is the life of a city dog.

And now we're home. Our adventure is over, I don't think we'll be repeating it for a while as life has changed, University next year. Our routine is firmly back in place. Chantal's 15th birthday tomorrow. What to get this youngest daughter who insists that she has everything she needs and doesn't want a thing? Except maybe an Agatha Christie book. I can't complain at all.

Hope everyone is well, thanks for stopping,