Escape

A very hot weekend so we have escaped to the seaside. An early morning walk and one seagull to keep us company.

We are mindful that some areas on the other side of Melbourne are impacted by bushfires.

Tomorrow will be another hot one.

Travelling North

I have begun to lose count of the many flights we have taken from Melbourne to Brisbane over the years. Waiting at the airport always reminds me of that John Williamson, play made into the film, Travelling North.The protagonists leave their families in cold Melbourne for a new life of warmth and laughter in Far North Queensland or more colloquially known as FNQ!

For us it’s the other way round. Yes, we take the opportunity to escape the winter cold but also use it to spend time with my ageing mother, visit Daughter Number One and One-And-Only-Grand-Daughter.

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We departed in 5 degrees C and arrived at a comfortable 13 degrees. Long, light sleeves are still required. We make it a point to walk in and around the steep slopes.

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Robert McFarlane in his recent tome, The Old Ways describes walking as “enabling sight and thought rather than encouraging retreat and escape”. Even though as a child I did indeed escape mundaneness by walking up and down these slopes, the reflective time enabled me to have a sense of disciple and endurance.

Walking, for both Colin and I, is a time to talk, reflect, plan, laugh and reminisce, often on the lives of our grandparents and parents who came to this country, post war. One of our favourite walks when we come here is to take a nostalgic visit to one of the many vintage stores. He has his favourites and I head straight for one which is named after a film starring Maggie Smith and based on a humerous novel by Graham Greene.

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Steering away from his usual religious allusion, Travels With My Aunt tells of a lonely, serious banker, who loves dahlias, meeting his long lost Aunt Augusta at his own mother’s funeral. They embark together on a series of adventures, journeying to exotic places as well as time on the Orient Express. During the course of the novel, these two diverse characters form a bond. There is a twist in the story, which you might guess! They reclaim each other through their travels, talks and adventures.

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What is it about the simple foot-fall that places many things in perspective?

The little vintage store which I visited (I do hope the proprietor does not mind me taking a quick snap of some of the wares) is perfect in its nostalgic nod to the past.

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Overall, what are we to learn from returning to our places of origin? I alluded to this in a previous post Streets of your town. For me it places things in perspective. We have four more days here so stay tuned….

All the leaves are brown….

And the sky is grey… well, I did go for a walk as the song suggests, on a not-so-winter’s day. The sky may not be very grey but winter is just around the corner. The autumnal garden changes so rapidly that I thought I’d better take a walk and show you around the garden and its variant colours.

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This weeping cherry puts on a very different display in autumn. Gone are the pinks of spring and the greens of summer, now replaced by gold and russet.

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The red hues of the Japanese Maple carpet the ground.

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This maple will soon lose its red hues…

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There will be much time spent raking leaves during the month of May.

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Currently there are many interested Japanese tourists in our area admiring the seasonal changes. These wonderful colours shed a final luminescence before the barren, grey of winter sets in.

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The golden elm resplendent in its regal colours!

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This particular dogwood could glow in the dark!

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Gone are the ornamental apricots on this weeper….

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The cats joined me on the garden tour.
What ever the season in your part of the world, I wish you happy gardening in nature’s truly amazing playground! Thanks for following and may all your days be garden days!

Take a walk on the wild side …

As our autumn starts to reveal its true splendour, we should take some time to walk and wander around the neighbourhood. It’s not often that we can walk in solitude. Invariably our walk is pleasantly interrupted by a quick chat or catch up with a neighbour or two. You see we live on an unsealed dirt road. This road meanders for a couple of kilometres around a State Forest before it joins the bitumen.

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At approximately 700ft above sea level our little road is not particularly beautiful and can be described as quite rugged, however, it is the plant life at this time of year that makes it interesting. When we walked on this particular day, the last remnants of summer revealed themselves to us.

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Just a few blackberries left on this bush.

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Autumnal hues appearing.

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Walking out into the brisk day, we always see something new. It never ceases to amaze us even after ten years on the mountain. This peaceful statue gazes over tranquility itself!

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Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both, Robert Frost’s famous poem highlights the single choices that we make in life. The road metaphor is a common one. For us, our little, dirt road on the periphery of a grand forest, is the one which leads us home. I’m sure many of our visitors query our choices in living here – a bush land setting does come with its disadvantages especially in the summer months. Winter fogs and impenetrable sunlight often leave us flat but its when we take the time to venture out and set foot on the road that it reveals many otherwise unseen treasures. Like Frost’s poem, we are happy we took the one less travelled. most of the time, anyway!

Yesterday, we met a dear old soul who has lived up here for ninety years – he has seen it all and continues to appreciate the splendid change of season!

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I also think it takes some internal fortitude to survive the winter on a mountain. There’s the issue of heating to be taken very seriously – we haven’t lit our inside fire yet – ANZAC Day is our start date! Then there’s the burn off of summer debris – we have yet to light our Bon fire to rid us of summer detritus. Before long our wood fire will be going day and night to keep us warm. Indeed our “road” and our choices have their ups and downs – pardon the pun!

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20130422-194313.jpgLet’s hope there are not too many detours or road closures to negotiate as we enter that wonderful season of winter with all its silvery magic and dewy delights!

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Is the approaching winter season one you relish or one you would gladly relinquish?

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I hope your road at the moment is a smooth one, with few bumps and not too much of a wild ride! Enjoy the wonders of your season!

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To The Lighthouse

Our little soirée on the border of Queensland and New South Wales has seen us celebrate our anniversary by walking to Fingal Point lighthouse. Colin’s dear friend, who passed away a couple of years ago, has a memorial at the site. It is breathtaking.

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Fingal Lighthouse is only a short walk from the road but the colour of the ocean and the coolness of the air are a welcome reprieve in this hot weather.

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The area is an aboriginal sacred ground as well as being home to many native plants and wildflowers.

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Pandanus palms line the foreground to the lighthouse and the boardwalk.

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I must admit that Colin and I both have a fascination for lighthouses. This particular one is a small example with its big brother Byron Bay Lighthouse a mere fifty kilometres away and designated as the most easterly lighthouse in Australia.

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Secluded beaches are a must see and a must swim in this part of the coastline. Though not part of what is known as The Gold Coast, Fingal is much more inviting and private and only a few kilometres from the township of Kingscliff. Be mindful of the rips though and check for a patrolled beach if you are unsure.

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In some ways we are thankful to be temporarily away from the heat wave and bush fires which are gripping many parts of the country. Our thoughts go out to those who are fighting bush fires all along the eastern seaboard and to those who have lost loved ones and properties in Tasmania.

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