Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Travel Tales

It's true what they say about travel broadening your horizons. It doesn't matter if it is three hours from home or a long haul international flight, there will always be something you will learn, about the place you are in, about a different culture and about yourself.

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to spend a couple of weeks in Japan with my beloved. We knew at the outset that it would be an adventure, but what an adventure it was! Not only do I now know how to make chopsticks work enough to not starve and how to say thank you in Japanese, I learnt so much about myself along the way. 

Fushimi Iari-taisha

There are always surprises and unexpected things around the corner. Sometimes you do not find what you were looking for but you might find something else amazing. 

Ryozen Kannon

If you can master the public transport system and cope with being a little lost occasionally, the world is your oyster, or mackerel or prawn. There is a lot of fish on the menu in Japan!

Imperial Gardens, Kyoto
Local knowledge is invaluable. Things are not always what they seem but this does not always diminish their beauty. 

Suirokaku Aqueduct,

Sanmon Gate
Some things are worth getting out of bed early for. 

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

There will be new friends to be made along the way and despite planning, the things you stumble on may end up being some of your favourite moments. 

Otagi Nenbutsu-ji
Try new things and always know that even if you don't enjoy it, it might still make a pretty picture!

Nishiki Markets

Enjoy and embrace all the things that make your destination different from home. 

 Go with the flow...

Shibuya, Tokyo

Many things about Japan were well and truly out of my comfort zone...and I enjoyed that!

 I tried to speak the language, ate different things, remembered that free wi-fi and google maps are every traveller's best friend, packed an even smaller bag than last time, lost my bags (momentarily and on the way home, thank goodness), enjoyed the uninterrupted company of my beloved for the first time in a long time, got lost, found things I was not expecting and took so, so many photos.

Every time I travel I long to see more. I become braver and my wish list contains more and more destinations I would not have considered before. I want to try new things while I have a new and stronger appreciation of what I have at home. I have had long and monotonous travel time to ponder on what is really important to me, what I am passionate about and how I will prioritise these things. 

So while the dramas and workload of Term 4 that is familiar to all teachers encompasses my days, I dream of the next destination...and the one after that and the one after that!

Kate xx

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Here & Now ~ September

It has been a while but I am still here...
This is a very small snippet of what has been going on.

Loving // The change of season and the abundant wildflowers this year. It has been much wetter than it has been for a long time and the paddocks are alive with colour. It takes me back to my childhood and memories of collecting paper daisies or going out on our property to look for Sturt Desert Peas with my Grandpa

Eating // Testing out the Broken Hill School of the Air cookbook, Boots Off Apron On and making jam drops. They make me think of shearing. I think they were one of the Smoko Box staples!

Drinking // Beautiful English Rose tea given to me by a friend for my birthday. 

Feeling // mixed emotions about changes and saying goodbyes. I keep hearing that quote in my head from The Sound of Music ' When the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.'  Other days I just hear Elton John singing 'The Circle of Life'. Ah well, if nothing else I am entertained.

Making // Time to just be. Tricky, but essential

Thinking // About seas of white paper daisies, clumps of yellow billy buttons and splashes of red desert peas...

Dreaming // Of days spent adventuring, exploring, getting lost, being an intrepid travellers
 with my beloved...these days are coming! Soon...

Enjoy the spring flowers (or the autumn colours), wherever you may be.

Kate xx

Linking with Sarah from 'Say! Little Hen' for Here and Now

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Fire and Flour 2016

I felt a bit like Charlie Bucket opening a Willy Wonka's chocolate bar and finding a golden ticket when I received the invitation to 'The Shady Baker' , otherwise known as Jane's annual Fire and Flour Day.

I get so excited about this day. I am not a natural baker or cook. My garden does not have an abundance of produce and I devote much more of my time to my passion, Early Childhood Education, than I do to food, growing, making and creating. This being said, Fire and Flour day incorporates all the things I truly enjoy. There is beautiful food that we get to make, bake and cook while learning from Jane herself. There is beautiful produce grown to eat on the day or to take home from the swap table. There are friends and, in my case, family to catch up with and enjoy the company of and every year there are new friends to meet and make. There may even be a cheeky red or two!

This year we arrived to the sight of a long trestle table in the paddock, ready for feasting. There was a big fire to congregate around, an absolute must at an outdoor event in July, and there was a coffee van! Yes a coffee van. Summa and Nathan were busy firing up the coffee machine, ready to share their mobile barista skills with us for morning tea. Jane has the BEST friends!

Throughout the day we talked bread, made zeppole and pita bread, watched Mr Shady Baker work his magic with hot coals, hot oil and naked dough, ate the fruits of our labour and shared lunch together. Once replete, the children joined those not deep in conversation for some crafting with Sophie. She wove her magic with yarn to show us how to make God's eyes and experimented with some natural dying. We topped this off with an affogato from Uncle Frankie and a sweet treat made by Nina from The Nutty Baker,  who was visiting from Sydney.

Waiting for us before our departure was the swap table where everyone had contributed something from their garden, kitchen or craft room. We were all excited to see what others had brought and chose from garden cuttings, preserves, things lovingly stitched or crocheted, oranges, lemons and quinces, seedlings and many more treasures to take home. There is a real spirit of sharing and generosity surrounding the swap table and every time I enjoy someones stewed quinces and homemade marmalade in the weeks after it brings a smile to my face.

Goodbyes mingled with thank you's, "See you next year" and exclamations of how we have known each other through social media and now we know each other in 'Real Life'. I went home, happy to have once again spent time with my Fire and Flour family and excited to have made new friends I might get to see this time next year.

Kate xx


Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Here & Now ~July

here comes the sun

koinobori, a study of wind and Japanese culture

evening winter light

Loving //time to relax, time to enjoy the company of my children and time to catch up

Eating //gingernut biscuits from this recipe book

Drinking //beautiful freshly squeezed orange juice 

Wearing //a blanket on my knee

Making //crochet shopping bags from Knit-O-Matic. They can be whipped up quickly and are a truly satisfying project

Thinking //about all things Japanese...while dusting off my passport!

Dreaming //of beautiful outdoor spaces and winter light

Thank you Sarah for your invitation to join in the 'Here & Now' link! 
What is happening in your Here & Now?
Kate xx


Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Bush Birthday Celebrations

I only have two nephews. They are cousins, born two years apart and by pure chance their birthdays are on the same day! 

I share a birthday with a cousin and joint birthday parties growing up were the best. We were lucky enough to be invited to join in the bush birthday celebrations on the weekend and what better excuse to pull the boots out of the cupboard, leave behind the weekend sporting schedule and head out of town. 

birthday boys

feasting...this is the hand of experience in the roasting of lamb!

it wouldn't be a party without games

bush flying fox

even the young at heart joined in

and of course  there were marshmallows
This was the perfect weather for roasting marshmallows in the great outdoors and a great way to celebrate a couple of special birthdays!

Kate xx

Linking with (almost) Wordless Wednesday
My Little Drummer Boys


Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Here & Now ~ June


lunch in the tree

Loving //The last of the autumn colours and the winter sunshine
Eating //out in the paddock. It's the best way to have a sausage!
Drinking // vanilla lattes...why did no-one tell me?!
Feeling //a little overwhelmed but there are school holidays on the horizon. This may be a chance to breathe and reset. 
Making //lots of making. I have the crochet bug again and have completed a granny stripe blanket and a cushion cover. Every time I finish something I still surprise myself at my ability to read and complete a pattern
Thinking //about my garden. There are some unloved corners but I know from experience that gardening gets pushed down my priority list if I'm pressed. I am trying to come up with solutions to make my garden a place I want to be while not making it something I can't manage!
Dreaming //of a pair of winter boots from Frankie4 Footwear I have been coverting for a while now. There is a sale on today....

Kate xx

Linking with Say! Little Hen for Here & Now
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