Posted on July 11, 2017
After our obligatory Melbourne food-coffee-shop-art fest, the three of us bundled into the car and meandered our way to the Grampians via the picturesque Great Ocean Road, Australia’s answer to Big Sur.
I recently came across the Japanese term shinrin-yoku, literally “forest bathing”. It refers to the recommended practice of visiting the forest for health benefits, both physical and mental. Nothing could be truer and articulates so perfectly the effect even a short trip out of the city does to us. The sharp fresh air, the quiet punctuated by only the gentle sounds of nature, letting your eyes settle on wide open spaces and distant horizons. It’s interesting that out there, one can experience true silence and true darkness, perhaps giving our senses the natural rest they need.
Ironically I write this whilst staring at my laptop screen in a bustling cafe, bass-heavy Lauryn Hill blasting from a speaker into my left ear, cars whizzing by on my right, and the barista is doing that thing they do where they bash equipment together really loudly for some reason or other. (Someone help me out here – what are they doing?)
But this is the reality of our everyday. So maybe tree-hugging shouldn’t be a term reserved for altruistic environmentalists alone, it might do us all some good. I’m convinced it does.
Posted on June 27, 2017
I gotta admit, I got onto that plane kicking and screaming on the inside, thinking that this was a very very bad idea. Why would I want to be a sleepless, frazzled new parent somewhere other than in the comfort of my own home.
Insane levels of sleep deprivation and the sudden transition from full-time professional to mother of a tiny being was wreaking havoc on my brain and sense of self. Well-meaning people, parenting websites, numerous books urged me to try all sorts of “fixes” and “routines” resulting in additional stress, making my nerves even more ragged and the tears fall faster.
This trip was in fact the antidote I needed. Every day was different by necessity, routine was out the window as we literally strapped Alexa to our bodies and got outside. We loved it and she loved it! It didn’t matter what we did, there wasn’t any secret magic except for enjoying nature, the act of exploring and simply connecting with one another. Taking the time to notice and drink in the trees rustling in the wind, waves crashing on sandy beaches, the changing colours only sunset can bring, the warmth of my beautiful baby in my arms, the gentle rise and fall of her tummy as she sleeps, placing a little kiss on her tiny lips.
Posted on June 25, 2015
The last long weekend here in Perth called for a quick dose of red dirt and eucalyptus, and a moment of much needed self care. Time to shut that laptop and forget about the mountain of work emails, and just enjoy the zamia palms swish past my legs and watch the sunset tint the smoke-filled sky wondrous colours.
And better than that, time to spend with friends who think it’s a great idea to follow a sign that says “Goat Walk” and proceed to practically rock climb up the side of a hill, friends who agree that appropriate hiking food consists of chocolate and coffee, and friends who accept you as a complete package and help you remember that you’re kinda alright.
Thanks guys. I think you’re kinda alright too.
Posted on March 17, 2014
It’s amazing how much you notice the weather change during the drive down south. We embarked from Perth on a 39 degree Celsius day and I’d packed four sundresses, a pair of shorts and a bikini. Thank goodness I threw in a cardie at the last minute! Searingly bright blue skies were replaced by muted grey clouds, and unforgiving rays of sun made way for a nippy breeze that surely raised goosebumps!
Breakfast at The White Elephant was tasty and unfussy. A lovely view of the waves constantly lapping against Gnarabup beach was the perfect accompaniment to my bacon and eggs on toast. The coffee too was just right. As their sign recommends, if you look out onto the ocean and look left you will notice a formation of rocks that resembles an elephant’s head side on with just a tiny stretch of the imagination!
Alas, the water was way too icy to take a dip. But fret not, we’ll definitely return to this spot on a future road trip.
White Elephant beach cafe / Gnarabup Rd, Gnarabup WA / Mon-Sat 7:30am – late / Sun 7:30am-10pm
Posted on March 10, 2014
Located just south of Margaret River township, take a detour off Caves Road onto Boranup Drive to find yourself amongst these mighty karri trees. It is the perfect place to breathe in the fresh, crisp, eucalypt-scented air unique to our gorgeous and blessed country. Interestingly, rather than being peacefully quiet the place is bustling with the sounds and calls of birds and insects accompanied by the constant swishing of slender branches high up above.
If you’ve been lucky enough to take a trip even further south to Pemberton or Walpole to experience the gigantic and awe-inspiring karri forests down that way you may wonder why this community of trees is almost dwarfed in comparison! Boranup Forest was completely logged around 100 years ago and these trees are the regrowth! Another fact that makes this lively reserve unique is its proximity to the coast. This is the farthest west that karri trees grow and hence our closest location to admire and soak in this atmosphere.
Lucky us 🙂
Posted on March 3, 2014
A trip to Margaret River was just what the doctor ordered. Pure sunshine on my face and a healthy breeze whipping through my hair. Sometimes we just need times of solace, to introspect, to heal and tend to our own hearts. This is a simple outfit, a few of my favourite things, fuss-free and comfortable.
Posted on October 2, 2013
Posted on September 24, 2013
Spring is here! You wouldn’t have thought it, given the uncharacteristically dreary and rainy weather in Perth recently (highest September rainfall for more than 90 years apparently!). Last weekend Jinn and I took advantage of a sunny break in the wet weather to make our way to Kings Park and enjoy the wildflowers currently in bloom for the annual Kings Park Festival. It was still rather chilly though, hence the cardie and tights! What an amazing assortment of flowers there were to see – I didn’t know native flowers could look so pretty, I’ve been inspired to plant some in our own wee garden! It was great to be able to get out of the house and soak in some of that warm sun. The Kings Park festival runs until 30th of September – find yourself a patch of sunlight amongst the rain and get there! You’ll be handsomely rewarded. 🙂
Posted on June 24, 2013
This idyllic destination nestled amongst the Buccaneer Archipelago is so secluded that it is virtually only accessible via seaplane. We were flown here from One Arm Point by the amazing crew from Horizontal Falls Adventures and were treated to incredible, once-in-a-lifetime views over the hundreds of rocky islands that form this archipelago.
Quietly floating down one of the pristine creeks in the area, beautifully coloured rock formations reveal the layers of time. We stayed silent, hoping to catch a glimpse of a sun-baking saltwater crocodile. The waters were rich with wildlife, multitudes of fish, and who could fail to spot the sharks that seemed to knowingly circle the houseboat.
The last photo is proof that I, Little Miss Phobia herself, swam with the sharks. Yes, I was in a shark cage, and yes I did shoot very rapidly out of the water involuntarily yelling “Woah!” the first time I popped my head under the water. But – I did it! So to all you people who said I wouldn’t – I dedicate a big ol’ raspberry to y’all!
Photos by me
Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures / Tours from Broome or Derby / firstname.lastname@example.org / (08) 9192 1172
Posted on June 21, 2013
My awesome Mumsy and Papsy came up to visit me a few weekends ago, and amongst taking in the Broome markets and feasting on barramundi wings and Kimberley mud crabs, we also went on this cool hovercraft tour. At first I was like, hovercrafts are real?!?!? I thought they only existed in sci-fi novels and movies! What a doofus…And to top that off, part of the tour included a look at some actual dinosaur footprints (see the photo above!). Admittedly, they’re not that easy to spot, but once they’re pointed out to you and you see just how regularly they’re positioned, you recognise how those holes could not have been made by some random act of nature or weather.
My mum always tells me stories about how she used to pelt boys she didn’t like with slugs and snails, but I never believed her as these days she is the definition of clean-freak. However, when the hovercraft landed and the low tide revealed a treasure trove of sealife I practically had to run and hide to avoid being splattered with bright red sea cucumbers and sea snails of assorted sizes. My dad, well he was not so lucky. I may or may not have used him as a human shield.
This was one of the most spectacular sunsets I’d experienced yet. The way the colours were reflected in those tiny pools made by the tidal flats. The lingering pinks and purples of the dying light. With only six weeks left up here in the Kimberley, I’m coming to realise just how much I’m going to miss this place.
Photos by me