Thursday, 28 April 2016

Throwback Thursday! Moments in Time 28 April 2013 - Waterperry Gardens, England


28 April 2013
Waterperry Gardens

When we lived in England, on the border of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, 
we drove by the sign for Waterperry Gardens all the time. 
Spring was Springing, we had a visitor over from Australia and 
despite an overcast and chilly day, I grabbed my chance to 
take my little family on a garden adventure with our visitor.

Waterperry Gardens is 8 acres of beautiful gardens. 
A riverside walk lined with daffodils A meadow filled with
Snakeshead fritillaries, my absolute favourite native English wild flower. 
Formal gardens, rose gardens and a herbaceous border.
Magnificent Magnolia's in bloom, Fruit trees budding
Springtime filling the air with perfume.

A lovely way to soak up the countryside in Spring, 
or any time of the year, England has a flower for every season season. 



Meadow filled with Snakeshead fritillaries, Waterperry Garden, England

Waterlily Canal, Waterperry Gardens, Oxfordshire, England

Riverside Daffodils, Waterperry Garden, England

Snakeshead fritillaries, Waterperry Garden, England

 Aren't these the most amazing flower, the chequerboard petals, 
the bell shaped flowers nodding in the breeze. 
Also known as the chequered daffodil!
They are sure to be home to the trendiest of fairies!!!

Snakeshead fritillaries, Waterperry Garden, England

Snakeshead fritillaries, Waterperry Garden, England

Magnolia in Bloom, Waterperry Garden, England

Magnolia in Bloom, Waterperry Garden, England

Spring blossoms, Waterperry Garden, England

Spring blossoms, Waterperry Garden, England

Monday, 25 April 2016

ANZAC Day 2016, Fremantle Dawn Service and Parade

We are fortunate to have had the freedom as Australians,  
to live and work in China, England and Germany for the past eight years. 
A freedom and way of life due to the service and sacrifice our 
servicemen and sailors made for us all. 
We have attended dawn services alongside fellow Australians 
and New Zealanders in Shanghai
We have laid wreaths at our village war memorial in England, held our own service 
and in a corner of a tiny cemetery in France.

Today we commemorated our ANZACS on our home soil. 
Stood amongst hundreds of other Australians and New Zealanders 
in the misty grey light of dawn. All silent as the beat of the drum 
filled the air, joined occasionally with the dawn chorus of native bird life.

An ANZAC Dawn Service is moving. 
We listened as the stories of local men, who left our shores, put the lives of their comrades 
and country before their own and died as heroes were read. 
Descendants of those men blessed to return home, myself included, 
stood together and honoured these men and women who served 
and paid the ultimate sacrifice.

ANZAC Dawn Service Fremantle 2016

ANZAC Dawn Service Fremantle 2016

ANZAC Dawn Service Fremantle 2016

ANZAC Dawn Service Fremantle 2016

We went into Fremantle and clapped and cheered as the parade of  veterans passed us by

ANZAC Day Parade, Fremantle 2016

ANZAC Day Parade, Fremantle 2016

ANZAC Day Parade, Fremantle 2016

We watched with pride as a new generation of our service men and women passed by, 
prepared to protect our country and way of life.

ANZAC Day Parade, Fremantle 2016


ANZAC Day Parade, Fremantle 2016


We were joined by thousands of others at the closing ceremony. 
The ANZAC spirit doesn't diminish but grows stronger with each passing year. 
Older generations passing the baton and pride to the next generations.
We will remember our fallen.



Heavy rain did not dampen the spirit, our soldiers and sailors stood tall and proud.



Thank you for your Service. 
After eight years of ANZAC Day abroad for me, 
it has been an honour to pay tribute on home soil today.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, 
We will remember them.

Lest we forget.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

This time last year..I was walking in my forest in Germany, soaking up Spring!

We have been home in Australia for three months today. 
The girls are settled at school, we have whittled the pile of boxes to a more manageable level 
and are planning a few necessary renovations on our "renovators delight" home. 
The Perth lifestyle is great, a warm autumn has arrived...not to be confused with fall 
as no leaves really fall in Perth, let alone change colour. 
It is wonderful to be around family and friends again, to be able to go to 21st birthday
celebrations, see new babies and just hang out. 
Though we still feel we are on a trip home, that we will be heading back to our 
house in the German forest soon. 
We have to remind ourselves "We live here now" we don't have to do everything 
all at once, catch up with everyone in a rush. 
Though we still feel a little like a square peg in a round hole, we don't quite fit. 
Friends waiting for us to settle before catching up and
we are not sure if we will ever feel settled here again. 

I am a little, well, more than a little, homesick for the European Spring.
After a long cold winter, our forest literally explodes with colour and life. 
Gardens show a wave of spring blooms, snowdrops, daffodils, tulips and bluebells.

Exactly a year ago today, I went for a walk in my forest....

Spring in the forest, Hofheim, Germany

The branches, silhouetted against the sky show a green tinge as the forest wakes after Winter.

Spring in the forest, Hofheim, Germany

The forest is immersed in a cast of near fluorescent green.

Spring in the forest, Hofheim, Germany

With the warm sun casting a glow though the trees, the leaves awaken and
seemingly open right before your eyes.

Spring in the forest, Hofheim, Germany

Spring in the forest, Hofheim, Germany

Cherry Blossoms, Spring,  Hofheim, Germany

Our neighbours cherry tree was a riot of colour, wish I could see it now.
Stand under it taking photos of the blooms, after our walk in the forest, 
 much to my neighbours' amusement.
I am sure they miss the quirky Aussies next door and hope that nice people are in our old home.

Spring,  Hofheim, Germany

My own garden full of colour and contrast.

Cherry Blossoms, Spring,  Hofheim, Germany

A trip to do some shopping in the village revealed cherry blossoms galore.

Cherry Blossoms, Spring,  Hofheim, Germany

The car park awash with pink petals, I spent a few minutes soaking it up, 
letting the fragrance engulf me as petals rained down. 
I was joined by an elderly German lady and we stood together, laughing, delighting in the moment.

Cherry Blossoms, Spring,  Hofheim, Germany

Tulip and Cherry Blossoms, Spring,  Hofheim, Germany

Bright tulips, caught the petals in a friendly embrace.

Spring,  Hofheim, Germany

365 days on, I am sure my little village in the forest is again a riot of colour and new life. 
I hope the little old lady is there to let the petals rain down on her, 
that my old neighbours look at the cherry blossoms and remember the crazy Aussie taking
photos in their garden, getting the angle just right 
and that my forest is once again exploding with spring colour and life. 
Wonderful memories of our life in Germany!

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Fragrant Flashbacks, scent makes travel more vivid.

Travel escalates all of our senses to another level. We see things that astound us, 
sounds create the ambience of the setting. Unfamiliar textures and tastes stimulate our minds. 
Smells intensify the experience and years later, the same scent can take you back in time.
This month's travel link up is Scent, thanks for the trip down memory lane 
Emma, AngieJessie and Sus!


I remember stumbling across this field of bluebells in England. 
A vibrant feast for the senses, the colour and dappled light, a magical sight.
The sounds of the leaves rustling, the cool breeze on my skin...but oh the smell!
Sweet, fresh and woody. You could smell the sunshine!
I have this photo on a wall...I swear every time I walk by, 
I am back in that forest and can smell the bluebells once more!


Whenever I return home to Perth from my travels, I cannot wait to walk out those airport 
doors and into the loving embrace of the smell of Eucalyptus. 
Forget the diesel fumes from the tour buses, smokers having a last puff at the door, 
all I smell is the smell of home.



The delicate sweet smell of Cherry blossoms will forever take me back to the 
cherry groves in Germany.


The heady smell of Autumn in my German forest is in my memory bank, 
ready to be reignited, though it could be a while, Perth not known for autumn colour.
I will miss the changing of the seasons and the scents they invoke...until next time!


One of my favourite smells is the briny smell of the sea. 
Takes me home to Perth, back to Greece and Croatia, Turkey and Sanya. 
Comforting and invigorating, happy times spent in the oceans of the world. 
I was walking on this beach, sea air in my lungs, sand between my toes, by a group of kids 
on the sand, learning about beach safety...the smell hit me...sent me back to my own childhood
and swimming lessons at the beach...the smell of the same sunscreen took me back in time.


Whether my next adventure is is tiptoeing through tulips and enjoying the smell of 
Springtime in Keukenhof, The Netherlands. Walking the streets of Shanghai, breathing in the smells of wet markets and street foods or discovering new destinations, the smells will be 
imprinted in my memory, ready to be reignited sometime in the future.




Monday, 28 March 2016

My favourite, Sculptures by the Sea, Cottesloe 2016

There is always one sculpture that grabs your attention, stands out from the crowd. 
This year the one that stood out for me was
Kakashi by Zilvinas Kempinas 
who was born in Lithuania and now lives and works in New York. 
Made of steel snow poles and bird repellent tape, in the colours that represent our
Surf Lifesavers, the sculpture constantly changes with the wind and the sun, 
tape glistening and vibrant against the blue sky.
The shadows cast played on the soft white sand, children chased each other around the poles, interacting with the kinetic sculpture.
Kakashi was loved by many, as well as being my favourite, won both the People's Choice 
Award and the Kid's Choice for 2016.
A worthy winner that captured the hearts and minds of the visitors 
that connected with the sculpture.

Kakashi by Zilvinas Kempinas, Sculptures by the Sea, Cottesloe 2016 Peoples Choice Winner

Kakashi by Zilvinas Kempinas, Sculptures by the Sea, Cottesloe 2016 Peoples Choice Winner

Kakashi by Zilvinas Kempinas, Sculptures by the Sea, Cottesloe 2016 Peoples Choice Winner

Kakashi by Zilvinas Kempinas, Sculptures by the Sea, Cottesloe 2016 Peoples Choice Winner

Surf Recue, Cottesloe Beach, Western Australia

Kakashi by Zilvinas Kempinas, Sculptures by the Sea, Cottesloe 2016 Peoples Choice Winner

Sunday, 27 March 2016

A little time out at Sculptures by the Sea, Cottesloe 2016

Repatriation is hard work, settling the girls into school, job applications, so many balls in the air. 
Throw in the arrival of a huge truck with 300+ boxes of belongings that have 
travelled across the seas, it gets a little overwhelming. 
So with mountains of boxes filling our home, waiting for the tape to be removed 
and the contents revealed, memories released, homes found...
we locked the door, jumped in the car and headed off for our only opportunity to 
visit one of my favourite Perth events "Sculptures by the Sea" 2016.
A wonderful exhibit, this year there were 77 sculptors from 18 different countries,
their works delighting thousands of visitors, myself included.

 The grey clouds drifted off as we arrived, brightening our day with a 
glorious blue sky, turning into the perfect day to wander among the sculptures 
with sand between our toes.
So many school children ran around, enjoying the sculptures and a day by the sea.
We overheard international visitors saying "What a fabulous beach and amazing location for
the sculptures". I was so proud to be a 'local' again.
I relished a few short hours, taking some time out from unpacking and sorting to breathe the
salty sea air, feel the sun on my face, gaze over my Indian Ocean and
delight in the incredible sculptures by the sea.

Enjoy a few of my favourites! 

Beacon, by KWY with Lisa Kassow, Portugal/Germany, Sculptures by the Sea, Cottesloe 2016

Beacon, by KWY with Lisa Kassow, Portugal/Germany

Beacon, by KWY with Lisa Kassow, Portugal/Germany, Sculptures by the Sea, Cottesloe 2016

I absolutely loved this sculpture, the light, the lines, the geometry. 
It was exhibited at Sculptures by the Sea, Aarhus, Denmark, which I wanted to get to 
but didn't quite manage it!

Book Cave, by Juliet Lea, WA, Sculptures by the Sea Cottesloe 2016

Book Cave, by Juliet Lea, WA
It would have been wonderful to curl up in here and read a good book, 
 a heap of school kids were enjoying the cave when I was there.

 Skin Cube, by Louise Sparre, Denmark, Sculptures by the Sea, Cottesloe 2016

Skin Cube, by Louise Sparre, Denmark

Dust by Norton Flavel, WA, Sculptures by the Sea Cottesloe 2016

Dust by Norton Flavel, WA
Striking!

Xanthorrhoea and Tree Form, by the late, great West Australian artist, Robert Juniper. Sculptures by the Sea 2016

Xanthorrhoea and Tree Form, by the late, great West Australian artist, Robert Juniper.

 City Dreams, by  Gao Xiaowu, China, Sculptures by the Sea, Cottesloe 2016

City Dreams, by  Gao Xiaowu, China.
This sculpture exuded joy.

Manscape, by Tony Davis, WA, Sculptures by the Sea, Cottesloe 2016

Manscape, by Tony Davis, WA

Memories of the Ocean, by Andrea Vinkovic, WA, Sculptures by the Sea, Cottesloe 2016

Memories of the Ocean, by Andrea Vinkovic, WA

Bubble no.7 by Qian Sihua, China, Sculptures by the Sea, Cottesloe 2016

Bubble no.7 by Qian Sihua, China

Oushi Zokei Gate to the Beach by Keizo Ushio, Japan Sculptures by the Sea 2016

Oushi Zokei Gate to the Beach by Keizo Ushio, Japan

Sea Sponges, Karen Macher Nesta, Sculputres by the Sea Cottesloe 2016

Sea Sponges by Karen Macher Nesta of Peru

Nobody has been here from the beginning, Masayuki Sugiyama, Sculptures by the Sea 2016

Nobody has been here from the beginning, by Masyuki Sugiyama, Japan

 Kakashi by Zilvinas Kempinas, Lithuania/USA, Sculptures by the Sea 2016

Kakashi by Zilvinas Kempinas, Lithuania/USA

A Burden, Suzie Bleach and Andrew Townsend, NSW, Sculptures by the Sea 2016

A Burden, by Suzie Bleach and Andrew Townsend, NSW

Pilgrim, by Russell Sheridan, WA, Sculptures by the Sea, Cottesloe 2016

Pilgrim, by Russell Sheridan, WA

Big Intentions, by Mikaela Castledine, WA, Sculptures by the Sea 2016

Big Intentions, by Mikaela Castledine, WA

Golden Section, by Ivan Black, England, Sculptures by the Sea, Cottesloe 2016

Golden Section, by Ivan Black, England
This sculpture was mesmerising, twisting and turned as the wind blew.
The yellow so vibrant against the blue, blue sky.