This Moment

{this moment}: A Friday photo tradition with Soulemama. One moment from this week, one that you want to hang onto and not forget. No words. And if you’re a blogger playing along, please leave your link!

Skater Spectator

This chap was mostly gazing out to sea, past the ice rink below where his owner was having a skate. Not impressed.

My Creative Space: Boat Shed in the ‘Burbs

At the bottom of our garden is a small tin shed…which is now my new creative space….

Boat Shed in the 'Burbs

Its a bit British Antarctic expedition hut meets shed on the wharf. It used to look like this…..

In need of some paint

Its been a long time in the making and is my new Mummy hidey hole for blogging and making stuff. The skiff sails are still in the roof and there are two more walls to paint but having a whole desk to myself after years of sharing the dining room table is absolute heaven. On sunny weekend afternoons you might find me in here with my three year old virtual assistant (who has moved into the desk next door), drinking tea, dreaming up my latest hairbrain idea and generally pottering. Who said sheds were secret mens business?

Its a bit chilly in there right now but as the weather warms and I find a few spare hours…. I’m hoping to spend some more time in there making these…..

Card table


Images inspired by a year on the water...

Which I’m a bit proud to say have made it into the odd shop lately…

Adore Living Display

I love seeing where people do their pottering, bloggers, artists, shed lovers, whatever. Where do you do yours?




This Moment

{this moment}: A Friday photo tradition with Soulemama. One moment from this week, one that you want to hang onto and not forget. No words. And if you’re a blogger playing along, please leave your link!

Godrevy Light, Cornwall

I was sent this lovely photo postcard this week from a dear friend in sunny Cornwall. Her photo, her moment, but shared with me it brought back memories of many happy moments of my own. Have a great weekend one and all.

“Music of The Rippling Waters “..Uteikah II turns 100

Its not everyday you get invited to a 100th Birthday, but two in a fortnight is unheard of. I had the privilege this weekend of attending a celebration of 100 years of the beautifully restored classic yacht Uteikah II. It was on this yacht that I came across the nautical chart that inspired my post “The Magic of Maps”. She has been owned by a friend of the family for the last thirty years or so and has just undergone a complete restoration project which has taken more years than was anticipated, but the final restoration speaks for itself. She is a thing of great beauty and I had a job to put my camera down.  

The celebration included a blessing of the boat. I couldn’t hear much of the pastor’s words from my spot on the wharf but, depsite still being unsure of my own religious persuasion the occasion rather stirred the emotions. I think anyone who “goes down to the sea in ships” might relate to this. It seems fitting and right to launch a vessel with a prayer that might help her and her crew weather any storms that come their way. Sailors are a superstitious bunch. The occasion reminded me of going with my Dad to the blessing of the fishing fleet and the harvest of the sea service in Porthleven. My Dad would say he is not a deeply religious man at all but he often went along to these occasions.

Uteikah has a long and rich history which I won’t attempt to record here in any detail at all as I’d probably get it wrong. The celebration was made particularly special though, by the attendance of the son and grandson of Uteikah’s original owner. The former of which pipped Uteikah to the post and got his telegram from the Queen last year. How special for a man and a boat who have shared the same century to be reunited in this way. Sent a shiver down my spine.

To some people boats are just a means of transport; a collection of wood, metal and cloth that are fashioned together to float and move from place to place. But to a sailor, like the once in a lifetime family dog, some boats are a bit more special than others. They bind together the people who have sailed on them through their shared memories and voyages and they take on a personality of their own by absorbing the spirit that is borne out of life at sea.

I’d love to hear about a vessel that was special to you and any thoughts or recollections on faith and seafaring?

I took too many photos to label and comment on so here are the best in a gallery. See if you can spot Grandad Water’s chunk of cedar that was once a table, then a wireless casing and is now set for a new life at sea.

A New Set of Sails

Now and then every ship needs a bit of maintenance. Sand back the weathered edges, a bit of varnish, some new sails. Secret Water recently got a bit of a renovation with the addition of a beautiful custom banner by the talented children’s illustrator Cassandra Allen.

I first came across her work via Inner Pickle who had one on her lovely blog. I hopped over to Cassandra’s site and fell in love with the illustrations in “There Was An Old Sailor”.Mothers day approached so instead of chocolates, flowers and a spa treatment I asked for a new blog banner. This is perhaps further evidence to Reg’s argument that I have become a computer club nerd? Not really, I’m saving my pennies to buy the original painting to put in my new kitchen..if it ever gets built.  I had to wait a few weeks and exchanged a few emails with Cassandra about colours, fonts and the angle and shape of Rhubarb’s ears blowing in the wind.

In case you hadnt twigged, the illustration includes some of my favourite people in the world. I think Cassandra has captured the essence of my blog perferctly.

What do you think?

Surf’s Up

Oh, where to start? As sad as I am to admit, when I check the BOM website these days I’m mainly interested in whether its going to rain or not (washing). Friday arvo web surfing at work used to be all about the Saturday Nor’ Easter (skiffs) or the Sunday Southerly Buster (CYC Winter series). This is why, having not checked the marine forecast, it was a pleasant surprise to find the surf conditions absolutely pumping off South Cronulla last Friday.

Surf's up!

Blown spume

Flung Spray

One more wave

I took the kids down to the beach to make sandcastles and rid myself of the cabin fever that was still lurking from Thursday and the working week.

King of the castle

Fort Banksia

The surf conditions had created that lovely aura of diffused winter light; rays of sunshine bursting through millions of almost invisible droplets thrown up by the spume.

If you’ve been reading along for a while you’ll know that Banksias are my favourite Australian native tree. I think of them as the oaks of the Southern hemisphere. I especially like them when they are perched in the vicinity of salt water….


Wild thing


Banksia and Boat

Banksia's seen better days

When I’d had my fill of Banksias we made a beeline for the sand at South Cronulla, where there was a body boarding competition underway. Shire mums, if you thought your boys were in school, you might want to take a look…

Scores on the door

The beach and the promenade had that distinct off season feel about it when the locals are out and about soaking up the relative peace and quiet. We joined in for an hour or two…

Bubbles I

Bubbles II

Bubbles III

The salty air effect

Post snooze

End of the day

Did anyone else get to suck up last week’s surf? Here’s the rest of the pics :)



The World in a Grain of Sand

We’re still at the beach. Classic golden Sydney Autumn days. The easiest time of year for kids at the beach. Warm enough sun for a good dose of vitamin D and the water still at reasonable temperatures. Carss Bush Park is one of our new favourites; a fairly recently discovered little cracker of a seaside hangout.

walk this way

We started off with a takeaway coffee and babycino from the kiosk restaurant and then set up our picnic rug near the swings, with the sand and water sparkling a few hundred metres away.
It was the end of a big week and as always, to improve our collective temperaments we opted for a day outdoors. We make use of a lot of swing parks in our local neighbourhood, and I have to admit they are a life saver. But if proof was required as to the appeal of the natural environment over the built when it comes to play, then Friday was it.
J1 played on the swings and climbing frames for about fifteen minutes. She ventured over on her own and sat for a bit. With dolly. Then she persuaded me to push her on the swings and to go down the slide a few times. But after that things got a bit stagnant. It was only 1030 so I suggested we pack everything up and plonk ourselves down on the sand. Within a minute, the trappings of modern preschooler life had been discarded at the edge of the beach….

4WD and wellies

in favour of…

tools and a spade

private corner

own devices

I've got my stick and I'm sticking with it

contrasting colours (and smells)

Watching wheels

Rainbow lorikeet clothes

Which left me with my hands free to snap up the scene…

Tides out

ripples on the other side

I gotta bite!


I really think William Blake was onto something when he wrote:
“To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour”

Where have you been making the most of the Autumn weather? Or perhaps its Spring with you?

Boat Boffin Birthday Bash

Its official. I’m a geek. I used my children as an excuse to spend the whole of last Sunday morning, and more, hanging around with the radio control boffins at the St George Model Boat Club 25th Birthday Regatta. I went down on the pretence that the kids would love all the little toy boats.
It was really to indulge in my own idea of becoming the owner of a  classic timber schooner. Or perhaps a vintage Sunday chugabout with graceful lines. On a reasonable budget. It was like being down at an expensive  marina pointing out all the boats you’d buy if you had a spare half a mil. I took about a gazillion photos. Luckily I had some friends with me to make sure the kids didnt fall into the duck pond everytime I got distracted with another photo opportunity. There was everything from….
…Olympic class sailing yachts
….the Manly ferry
……paddle steamers
…The South Steyne (with real steam!)
….ducks doing a ditty
…my dream runabout…
…grand old ladies…
….some serious attention to detail…
…some hooners…
…and schooners…
….gentleman racers…
…boys and their toys…
…the real reason behind the state’s public transport issues…
…the fishing fleet…
…ships that had sailed the seven seas to get here…
…The Life Boat…just in case…
And everything else in between…

Lets go Fly a Kite

With tuppence for paper and strings
You can have your own set of wings
With your feet on the ground
You’re a bird in a flight
With your fist holding tight
To the string of your kite

Mary Poppins might be in Sydney town right now but she, nor anyone else, was down at Dolls Point yesterday. It was blowing a chilly Southerly so we decided to see if any of the regular kite surfing crowd had skipped work to take advantage of it. Sadly they were all at their desks so instead we shook the dust off ours and sent it up where the air was clear.

We're experiencing some technical issues


Ready for take off!

We have lift off!

Fist holding tight


Bye bye Bob!


Shadows on the sand

Up to the heighest height


Feet on the ground you're a bird in flight


Mums turn


Busy with other stuff


Foraging for food


Jonathon Livingstone turned up


Up in the Atmosphere


Just because


Feet firmly back on the ground

Wanna go? Put this in your diary

Festival of the Winds

Antidote to the Hallmark Mothers Day

Parked at Redjacks

Yesterday I described to Reg, the fantasy Mothers day that all mums imagine but which I now realise will never materialise. Funnily enough this fantasy was much like the one described by Kerri Sackville in the sunday paper today, which gave me a chuckle. In this fantasy I awake to a sparkling house, filled with fresh flowers, folded clothes, freshly brewed coffee and a gaggle of shiny clean smelling children waiting patiently to present some expensive jewellery and a voucher for the day spa. Previous posts may have unintentionally created the false impression that I lead a charmed nautical sort of life in which my house is kept in ship shape bristol fashion just like a boat, and that we just scoop up the kids and head out to sea to take pretty pictures as soon as the sun comes out and the tides are favourable.  In the interests of keeping it real I was going to post a photo of the carnage that is our lounge room, just to disprove this notion, but luckily for you Reg put his foot down. Instead of the Hallmark fantasy Mothers day we shut the door on the mess and made our way to Redjacks Point to a super special picnic spot we came across this time last year. Jones number two loved her second trip out in the tinny with the arm flapping and squeaking proportional to the increase in speed as we left the 8 knot zone.  The picnic fairy was on hand to look after the food….

Precious picnic cargo

We picniced (is that how you spell it?) on some salmon sangers and leftover roasted veggies with feta, washed down with thermos tea. I was kicking myself for not chilling some champers as the view certainly deserved it…

View to Lilli Pilli

Look up

A spot of fairy hunting to work up an appetite for pudding…..

MUST find fairies

We didnt see any actual fairies but we know they are there because we found these…..

Magic Toadstools

Followed up with a few sandcastles…..

Fort Locks


Aerial view


…spotted some strange looking jellyfish…

Jelly bean


A visit from our friend Percival….

Sir Percival

And time to head home….

Heading for Home

And that…is the last time I ever wish for the Hallmark fantasy Mothers day. How did you spend yours? :)

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