Friday, September 30, 2011

Fiji time

When we talked about going to Fiji earlier in the year, the first thing the girls wanted to know was, CAN WE GET OUR HAIR BRAIDED????"

And, you guessed it, they did! Well so far Lucy, Rosie and Char have (Bill has one, mini braid!), Sunday is booked in for tomorrow. The lovely hair braiding women sit under a hut by the sea and braid all day, they are such hard workers!

(Bill looks like he's been drinking too much Kava... :)  )

 Speaking of which I heard today that over 800 people are employed at this resort, amazing! It's the biggest employer in this region and provides jobs for many locals. Everyone we have spoken to seems to love working here, one guy, Johnny, has been here for 39 years! 

We got to experience a little local culture the other night at the amazing fire dancing show.

We ate local food and watched the very talented men and women dancers who also somehow got us up on stage dancing too! Very funny!

It was a blast. And also good for the kids to learn a little more about another culture,
we had hoped to visit a local village too but have run out of time.

At times I have felt a little awkward here and very aware of our privileged status as white westerners on holiday. I have tried to remind myself that this resort employs locals and provides other benefits to the local community, but it still feels weird being waited on.

The staff here are so warm and friendly, and their relaxed ways and generosity has made our holiday very special. I'd highly recommend Fiji as a place to visit and have fun in the sun. Everything runs on Fiji Time round here, which basically means it happens when it happens!! I hope I can take a bit of Fiji Time home with me :)

One of the best things about where we are staying is that the beach is right next to the pool. 

We have been happily wandering between the two.

Woo hoo!

You can see what I mean in this photo of Lucy jumping in the pool, the beach is just behind the palm trees.

I've heard that the weather in Melbourne is pretty ordinary and that there was a massive storm, is that right? Sorry for all these beachy shots, I"m not trying to rub it in, truly! I'll be back there again soon,
suffering along with the rest, and I'm not looking forward to it one bit! Well, that's not quite true, I will be glad to be home.

Mum, I hope you've enjoyed the photo's, and I do hope you are feeling better.We are missing you. 
Mark, if you happen to see this post, we miss you too. It seems like forever since we saw you, xo

Oh well, better go and get the kids to bed,
see you soon lovely friends xo

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Greetings from Fiji! I can't believe we are really here! The days before we headed off on our holiday were busy ones, organising our pets, packing, then a crazy whirl of dance rehearsals & the South Street competition. Sunday, above with Bill, had so much fun, I haven't heard yet who won their round but it doesn't matter, she had a ball anyway!

The day before we said goodbye to Mark who was jetting off to France. Mark teaches French at a secondary college and was lucky enough to be going on the school trip to France.

But we have been lucky too, and were all so excited to finally get on the plane on Monday, check out Char in the background here, looking very annoyed by her little brother :)

How fun it was flying up through the white fluffy clouds, away from the cold and into the warmth of the Polynesian islands. After we arrived in Suva we took a funny old wonky bus that wound it's way through the dirt roads and past cows and small fires, villages and cane fields to our resort.

I'll be honest with you, the first day was tough. We were tired, cranky, there was a mix up with our rooms and we were also next to a noisy restaurant. Once our rooms were sorted it all got a lot better, we are now in a fantastic room near the pool.

And lets face it, that's where we've been spending most of our time!

It's just a little walk from our room, 

                                                                    to the glorious pool.

And then a hop, skip and jump to this amazing beach. Today I watched lots of white fish swimming through the clear water,  and collected shells, swam and floated and relaxed. Ahhh....!

These photo's are mainly for my  mum, who sadly missed out on this trip due to illness. Mum, we wish you were here with us, we are so sad you couldn't come. I hope you enjoy the photo's, I'll post some more tomorrow. And to everyone out there, hope you are having fun with the ones you love. See you soon xo

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Recently I received a driving license renewal form in the mail, time for a new license. It took me back ten years to when I last renewed it, when I was pregnant with Bill. I drove to the Sunshine Vic Roads feeling fat & puffy and frumpy and boy does it show in my license photo.! I remember thinking, great, I have to suffer with this photo for ten years!  And all of a sudden, ten years have flown by and I get to say goodbye to that pregnant me, which is kind of bitter sweet. I'm waiting for my new license to arrive, I wonder what the new me looks like?

This got me thinking not so much about how I look but more about all the things that have happened in those ten years.  It's a big chunk of time isn't it? I big chunk of life.

Ten years ago I didn't know that I would be living in beautiful Daylesford, in a pretty yellow house with a lovely garden.

How could I have known I would fall in love with chooks and ducks? That we would have fresh eggs daily, fruit trees, a vegie patch, flowers, fresh air, sunshine and bitter winters.

That I would stand outside at night and smell that good country air and feel such freedom from the noise & bustle of the city.

I didn't know then that I would have a boy called Billy who would be a little brother for Lucy & Charlotte. Or that I would have two more girls, Sunday & Rosie. Who would have thought? 

Ten years ago I was nervous about having a third baby, but thrilled to be having a son who was born just before Christmas. Ten years ago I was in my thirties, I had dark brown hair & wore red lipstick & I lived in Footscray.

I didn't know then that we would sadly lose both Mark's parents to cancer. His mother at the start of my pregnancy with Sunday, and his father a week before she was born. A sad & difficult time that we will never forget. A time made less painful by the arrival of our little girl, such a sweet & adorable baby.

Ten years ago I had no clue that my Dad would sell a precious family home where many memories were made. That my brother would move to Tasmania with his own family. That my mum would buy an old church in Hepburn and become such a lovely part of our every day lives.

Ten years ago I would have been so happy to know that I would have such good and loving friends. That I would meet some beautiful people who I adore, who ride this crazy roller coaster of life with me.

How could I know that I would still be with Mark? Of course I had hoped so but anything can happen. How lucky we are to have each other & our children who we love so much.

In the ten years that have passed I have grown older and maybe a bit more relaxed. I still stress sometimes, like us all, but I have slowed down a bit too and try not to worry about the little things. I've brought up four toddlers and a teenager, and now the four are at school & Charlotte is discovering the world as an adult. Some days I really feel the challenge of parenting, it's such a huge responsibility.  But every day I also feel so grateful to have them in my life, they make me laugh, they give the best cuddles, their creativity & freshness inspires me & their love & fun fills my life with happiness.

Ten years ago I didn't know I would be addicted to Grand Designs, that I would actually like olives, that I would love photography so much, that I could make bunnies out of blankets,  that I would have a blog! I didn't know I would have just had a lovely night away at the Windsor Hotel with my beloved,

or that he would be flying off to France on Saturday. A billion, million, trillion other things have happened over the last ten years, many thoughts, events, happy times & sadnesses. 

I didn't know ten years ago that a lovely family we are so fond of would lose their beautiful mum & wife. Her death reminds me daily to make the most of each moment, to love my family, make plans, to laugh & to live life, to really be in it,
 to treasure it.

I wonder what you were doing ten years ago? Do you feel like it's gone quickly? 
I hope all is well in your world of today,
take care &
see you soon, lovely friends xo

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Random beauty

I wonder when you pop by to visit me do you say to yourself,
oh no, not another chook shot?! You know, I just can't help myself,
I love our crazy family of pets. Norman is such a handsome fella,

and how could you not admire his crest and feathered pantaloons?
When I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by life all I have to do is go outside
and the back yard gang make me feel better.

Inside is a happening place too, pet wise. Have you said hi to Shorty lately?
There he is, look closely, he's waving!

Bill assures me he actually does wave his little flippers if you wave at him, he is a very social turtle.

 Besides being all about animals this week I've also managed to actually complete a bunny!! Woo! It's been a while.

This little ballerina was an order for a lovely girl who is turning 12 this week. I do hope she likes her. I'm so happy with the way she turned out, although that tutu was a little bit of a drama! So fiddly..

Speaking of beautiful girls, I had fun with Sunday yesterday, getting her outfit ready for Arts Night at school.

She was playing Red Riding Hood's mum, and looked so cute in her flowery apron. Arts Night went really well. Sunday & Rosie did group songs and plays with their classes, Lucy sang with two friends and Billy played his original song, Snow Cap.

I was so proud of them all. It was also great hearing the other kids play their individual pieces, and watching the senior room do Thriller was amazing! 

What are you up to today? I'm working through my list...hopefully I'll get to tick off a few things. Is your life a bit crazy and hectic sometimes? Mine feels a bit like that lately. In amongst it all though, I love the way this life of ours is full of random beauty and precious moments. I guess it's just a matter of making sure you stop and find them. 

Hope you find something special in your Wednesday,
much love & see you soon xo