I have had the most amazing summer break. It has been six long leisurely weeks of bliss. I have taken much needed time off to rest and rejuvenate and get back to nature, and honestly I feel great. It has been ages since I have written here in my blog. But you know what? I don’t want to be a slave to my blog. I write for the joy of writing and freedom of expression, and I feel I needed a break from it for awhile.
I may not have been writing here, but I have been writing in other ways. I have been writing letters and postcards to friends all around the world. I think I may have up to 6 or 8 pen-pals going right now! Once again I am waiting for them all to write back to me…that is okay though. They come staggered now and I can easily keep up with replying. I also tapped into a new thing called post-crossing, where you write postcards all around the world then get one in reply from another random. So far I have sent cards to America, China, Finland and Russia. So exciting. I know right!
So where do I begin? At the beginning I guess! When school ends for the year, I have this weird mixed feeling of relief, elation and trepidation for all this free time ahead of me. A lovely colleague of mine had me over for a drink on the last day of school, after our big day out with all my other school friends, I guess I just did not want it to end. But it did. And I soon melded into the new routines of no routines! I overcame my anxiety within a day or so and filled it with loads of activities. I happily filled my days with art, walks, gardening, camping, beach visits and naps. Honestly, it may have been the best summer holidays yet.
Within days of finishing work, I was packed and ready to venture down south to Dunsborough, for my new annual routine beach holiday. I love it down there. Magic beaches, epic forest and rocky coves, wineries and big trees, I was in heaven. A good friend of mine spontaneously decided to join me, making my holiday even more fun. We jammed in art sessions, skinny dips, winery tours, chocolate tasting, photo sessions, with lots of giggles and fun. It was not all that relaxing though as we did SO much! But fun it was and very memorable.
After this I went down on a camping trip with some other friends. We travelled only a few hours out of Perth and camped out by a river, with ferns and big trees and screeching black cockatoos, and even a few pesky kangaroos came by to forage for some scraps of food. We spent our days swimming in natural rivers and lakes, taking walks, and relaxing at night playing games. I loved it. I love getting out of the city, reconnecting with nature and having quality time with my friends. Plus being offline and disconnected from technology was brilliant.
Within days of returning to Perth I was packing again to fly out to Sydney for new years eve. Flying is always exciting, and every part of the journey I squeeze for joy. From the titilating conversation with my uber driver, to the succulent prosecco I sipped in the airport lounge, to browsing new interesting reads in the bookshop, where I take photos of the covers and order from my library, cheeky I know! I even love airport food! It was so terrible for a period of time but it seems to have improved now once again. I scored a little airplane blankey which also added to the joy of my journey. It’s the little things in life, and I seem to be a woman of comfort. I arrived to a humid hot Sydney, ready for a massive thunderstorm, exhilarating!
A good friend of mine hosted me for my 6 nights in Sydney, where she lived in Coogee Beach. It was great to explore a new part of Sydney and stroll to the beach easily. My fave being the Coogee ladies baths, where women can go topless and swim carefree without the leering male eye…so liberating. We also enjoyed going out to restaurants for good food, and took a fabulous drive down to Kiama, 2 hours outside of Sydney. I enjoyed the harbour, taking a ferry to Watsons Bay for lunch, and we visited the botanical gardens, always a huge favourite of mine. I also went barefoot walking out at Wentworth falls in the Blue mountains, a massive highlight for me, it was so amazing to connect to the earth, dip my toes in cool streams and feel the mud squelch between my toes. Sydney was great! I loved travelling more in my own country, and it certainly has encouraged me to take more holidays in Australia.
After Sydney I travelled to Adelaide, where I went to visit my Step Mum and Aunt and Uncle. I have been to Adelaide a million times but it was still great to visit, as I had not been for 3 years. I had a really fun time, enjoying quality time with my family, eating and drinking more yummy things, visiting the art gallery and botanical gardens as well as making time for lots of art. I was possessed with drawing the perfect naked body, back view and front view at times. So strange as I had never drawn people that much. Anyhow, it was fun! I also brought back a painting my paternal grandmother made over 70 years ago, it was an oil painting of flowers in a vase, and I love it. It makes me feel really connected to this brave woman I never had the chance to meet.
Back in Perth I had some breathing time to relax in my home, do some gardening and get settled again. And then I went camping one more time! We returned to the same place as before for another few nights, as we loved it so much. This time we camped out right by the river, listening to the roaring stream every evening as we fell asleep under a canopy of bright twinkling stars. We enjoyed a big hike to Island Pool one day, where we swam and frolicked around on inflatables the next day. It was so luscious and green down there, and fun to be in nature, barefoot, without a care in the world.
Soon it is time to return to work again for another academic year. I am looking forward to getting back to routine and earning some money again! I have grand plans to upgrade a few things in my home, I want to install a bath, and a bigger and better vanity. I love baths, and want to enjoy all their relaxing benefits.
It is great to be writing again, I have missed you! I hope you have enjoyed my article, and please say hi in the comments!
Another piece of inspiration, I listened to ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert as an audio book the other day, and it was brilliant. What a great use of time in the car, and I consumed that book so quickly. I had read it before, but it was really interesting for me to listen to it, I certainly feel I have absorbed more words of advice. It’s my new favourite thing to do in the car!
I am also inspired to learn an instrument this year. A friend brought a flute type of instrument camping recently, and I was like YES! I want to learn the recorder! Ideally the base /deeper sounding recorder, remember from your youth? It’s a simple instrument, portable, does not need plugging in or tuning, it’s my new favourite idea!
Okay, hope you have enjoyed reading this… I hope you too can find some time to be creative! Happy new year!