Subdued September: A Picture a Day

September marked the first day of spring in Sydney, a month I truly love. The mornings are crisp and fresh, the sky is blue and the days seem to last just that little bit longer. It is a time when everyone starts to emerge from their self-imposed winter cocoons in search of some vitamin d.

This September was a month of reflection for me. It was all about happy memories; plans to create new ones and treasured moments with the people I love. Some sad news about a dear friend of mine meant I took a few weeks off social media in early September, and therefore, my cherished moments were few and far between.

But the beauty of my picture a day challenge meant that after some time out, I could once again embrace the reason I started to post a daily picture in the first place. This helped me to remain positive and search for those moments of beauty in every day life, those moments of true happiness, those slivers of contentedness, where if time stood still, I could happily stay there forever.

Moments like walking along the beach on a strangely warm spring day; the feeling of excitement and anticipation at seeing Mr B’s face when he returned from a five-day work excursion to the Australian bush; and the simple pleasure of a glass of wine, a good read and great conversation.

In the past, I have been guilty of letting life’s shitty moments weigh me down, sometimes, even life’s run-of-the-mill mundane moments. But if September taught me anything, it is that life is too short to dwell on what could have been; it is too short to harbour grudges and it is too short to waste time on being unhappy.

Life is precious. It is for loving and it is for living. Fill it with people you love; live it doing the things you love and look back only ever to laugh and smile. No regrets.

This was my September.

Remembering the good times

Remembering the good times

Quiet time

Quiet time

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Spring has sprung

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I see people

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Back with my boy

Fearless July: A Picture a Day

July saw my life take a significant shift in direction, which is probably why it has taken me so long to complete this blog entry. Admittedly, three months is pretty slack, but it has been a roller coaster few months and I have only just had time to stop and catch my breath.

For me, July was a month of discoveries and new beginnings. I decided to leave my old job after a very long period of uncertainty and subsequent buyout of the business. It was a very easy decision to make and one that forced my hand after feeling undervalued for far too long.

It was a big decision, but I knew it was the right one. For the first time in three years I felt confident of my own achievements and truly believed the world was my oyster. Then, before I had time to panic about the direction in which my life was heading, I was headhunted for a job that I love and have been doing for almost two months now.

It’s funny how things turn out. The timing of that phone call could not have been more perfect. After years of feeling disillusioned, lost and completely and utterly exhausted by my ‘career’, I finally feel rejuvenated and have rediscovered my passion for writing, editing and all things creative.

While leaving my old job was the most significant change in my life in July, and probably the most significant of the year, the month itself was a great period of reflection and discovery for me.

I had time off in between jobs to ‘sort things out’ and while I had grand plans to ‘get stuff done’, I didn’t even make a dent in my to-do list. Instead, I enjoyed it for what it was – time to breathe.

It is so rare in today’s hectic world that you find yourself with time to simply just enjoy all the day has to offer. Rising early, going for a run, walking by the beach, cooking, reading good books, the sound of birds, catching up with friends and spending quality time doing what you love with the people you love the most.

Sydney can be utterly exhausting, and the weight of that exhaustion has overwhelmed me these past three years, but July signalled the start of a new chapter for me. I feel happier, more confident and more positive about all aspects of my life, and for that I am extremely grateful.

This was my July.

Cabbage roses

Beautiful cabbage roses

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Gorgeous Samantha Wills earrings

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A reminder of home in Sydney

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The ocean pool in my front yard

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The new local hotspot – Coogee Pavilion

The Month of March: A Picture a Day

Is it mid April already? Time is flying by. I apologise for being rather tardy of late, but there have been so many things going on outside the blog that I have had little time to sit down and think, let alone actually write something. Still, that is no excuse.

March was a fabulous, if busy month, and choosing my top five moments has been very hard. The month was dominated by food, weather and glorious downtime, which I have been relishing with every inch of my being. You can never have enough down time, I feel.

The month kicked off with a fabulous breakfast at a new Coogee eatery called The Little Kitchen. Breakfast is my favourite meal, I LOVE it and rushing to eat in the morning puts me in a foul mood for the rest of the day. I just love that moment of solitude when I enjoy my first meal of the day and there is nothing more disappointing than a bad breakfast. Of course, at the weekend I like to be more sociable and venture out to enjoy the culinary delights of Coogee and the little beauty below more than exceeded my expectations.

Mr B was away for three days at a conference in March which meant three whole days of me-time. While I relished evenings of Downton Abbey catch ups, Sex and the City re-runs, and PLENTY of glossy mags, I also felt like I was missing a limb, especially when I seemed to revert back to my bachelorette ways in the kitchen. I’m talking solitary dinners of eggs on toast, eggs without toast, eggs with leftover vegetables and eggs in every God damn form known to man. That said, I did manage to sex it up with a fancy rye sunflower loaf that cost the earth and weighed a ton, so maybe I’ve stepped up in the world. Downton is clearly rubbing off.

March was also the setting of some CRAZY weather in Sydney. Rain has been rather plentiful since February unfortunately, but there was one storm that was out of this world. It loomed over Coogee like a massive spaceship and really was quite spectacular. I have never seen anything like it in my life, until the following week when it happened again. A sign of global warming apparently.

Of course, I cannot mention the month of March without a nod to St Patrick’s Day, when everyone wears green and everyone drinks black. It would have been rude to not raise a toast to my Irish heritage, but as I am no longer a spring chicken and struggle with drinking on a school night, I had to reign it in after two pints of Guinness – very sad. Even sadder was how rough I felt the next day, after only two pints. I should be disowned by my family.

And finally, March saw me tick off a visit to the final state/territory on my Australian mainland adventure – the Australian Capital Territory. Mr B and I went on a three day road trip to Canberra and were pleasantly surprised by the capital city. Canberra gets a raw deal sometimes, and while it may not have the beautiful beaches of Sydney, or the earthy culture of Melbourne, there is a fabulous community feel about the city. Everyone is friendly, the food is fab, and there are some cracking little bars hidden away if you know where to look, and the hotel we stayed in was utterly amazing. But more on that later.

Here was my March.

Amazing breakfast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avocado on toast with roasted tomatoes, poached eggs and buttermilk curd.

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One of life’s simple pleasures.

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The mother of all storms hits Coogee.

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A pint of the black stuff.

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The final piece of my Australian mainland adventure.

 

February Delights: A Picture a Day

I think I am starting to get the hang of this Picture a Day concept if February’s top five are anything to go by.

Churches, bridges and the beach I see every day made me very happy last month proving that when you take time out to pause, be still and reflect in today’s hectic and manic world, pleasure can be found in many forms.

I guess seeing these things every day means I can sometimes take them for granted, especially if it is raining, the traffic is bad, I’m tired or have had a bit of a rubbish day. But this little project has forced me to look for a positive moment in every single day. I like that.

I must confess however, that a rather nasty bug swooping around Sydney rudely thwarted my picture a day experiment for the first few days of February, hence the absence of any ‘happy moments’ at the start of the month.

But, the good news is I rebounded faster, better and even more snap happy than before and this FOLLOW-UP piece (yes, I am creating a series) showcases some of my most cherished moments from the month of February.

I hope you enjoy.

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A beautifully handcrafted note that both broke and warmed my heart at the same time.

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St Mary’s Cathedral in all its majestic glory.

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Proof that rain can sometimes be colourful.

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Sydney’s lesser known beauty – The Anzac Bridge.

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Beautiful Coogee on the most glorious of mornings.