Monday, January 31, 2011


Australia - you've got to love it.  Flooding one day, bloody hot the next.  Actually at the moment in some places is is hot and flooding at the same time.  What a country of contradictions!

It is on these very hot days that I thank my excellent fortune to be the beneficiary of airconditioning.  I get to work in it all day and sleep in it at night.  Canberra is better known for our freezing winters, but we also get stinking hot summers, so the ability to be comfortable on days like today when the mercury is in the high 30's is a true privilege.

It is just another of the ways that I realise I live such an easy, advantaged life and I'm determined to appreciate it, not just take these luxuries for granted.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Yum Cha

Yum Cha on a Sunday, it is one of my favourite things.  My family does it fairly regularly and it generally involves stuffing ourselves silly with delicious food while catching up on all the gossip.

We see each other so regularly you would think that there isn't much to catch up on.  But usually Mum is cooking, or we are working, or something else is just generally happening.  At Yum Cha all we need to coordinate is the chopstick to mouth action, whilst talking about whatever takes our fancy.

And there are so many delicious things to try.  We have some tried and tested favourites, but we have also discovered over the years, it is a good idea to scope out what is going on at other people's tables - otherwise just as you have crammed the last possible morsel you could in your mouth, something fantastic goes by.

But no matter what, a Sunday lunchtime spent at Yum Cha is always delicious and a real treat for the weekend.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Laughing till you can't laugh no more

Isn't a proper belly laugh just the best?  It makes you feel brilliant.  All those endorphins, plus of course whatever tickled your fancy in the first place.

Even better is one of those laughing fits that just won't stop.  Where you finally catch your breath, chest heaving and sides aching, only to make eye contact with your partner in laughter and dissolve into fits of giggles again.  I had one such laughter attack last night, honestly I thought I might never stop.  It was one of those "you had to be there" moments, but honestly it was just brilliant, I'm still glowing from the laughter now.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A chore free weekend

Last night I went hell for leather on the house chores.  I cleaned the bathrooms, did loads of washing, ironed.  I even cleaned the fish tank.  As a result I now have a clean house and a whole weekend stretching out in front of me chore free!

It is a gorgeously liberating feeling.  To know that I will go home and just get to relax and do as I please all weekend with none of those pesky cleaning obligations.

I must do this more often.

For the record, I used the shower screen cleaning recipe of 1/4 cup bi-carb soda, tablespoon dishwashing liquid and enough vinegar to make a paste that was posted on the Vogue forum and it really works brilliantly!  My shower screens are crystal clear again.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The sounds of summer - Mr Whippy

After a slow start, the Australian summer has arrived in its full glory and it is hot, damn hot.  Yesterday was 37 degrees and even in the shade with the breeze blowing, there was no escaping that heat.

Naturally talk at the BBQ soon turned towards cool things, ice-cream in particular and my friend began to regale us with the story of how the night before she had been walking the dogs with her husband when they heard the siren song of the Mr Whippy van.  In the heat they tore across a major road and through the suburb, lured on by a tinny rendition of "Greensleeves" until at last they arrived at the van and forked out $8 (!!!) each for an ice-cream (he did give them mini free ones for the dogs).

Then with precision timing, as we were still laughing at her story, we heard the fateful music.  Heads popped up like Meerkats, and the ice-cream truck (this time playing "Teddy Bear's Picnic") rounded the bend.  Before he had even stopped the truck the crew were up and running across the park.

There are some things that just taste better, even if you do pay a premium for them - chocolate in the shape of a bunny, grated cheese, a sandwich someone else has made and yes, ice cream out of a truck.  I don't think it matters how old we get, when you hear that music playing, everyone wants an ice-cream.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Australia Day

Happy Australia Day everyone!  I hope you spent it celebrating in style, I sure did.  I had a sleep in, went to a BBQ in the park and finished the day eating gelato and playing on swings, all in the best of company.  What more could you want?

Australia Day means different things to different people.  As a pretty damn patriotic Aussie, it has always been special for me, a day to think about all the things that make this country great. In fact, my activities today kind of summed it up.

A sleep in - we work hard in Australia, but we know how to enjoy ourselves too.  We are rabid sports fans, devotes of the beach, lovers of a good time.  Most people I know are extremely committed to their jobs and work some serious hours, but give us time off and the laid back Aussie emerges.

BBQ in the park - I love the community spirit in this country (which I guess is summoned up by the word mateship, although politicians have stolen that word for nefarious means and I don't like it so much any more).  I have the most marvellous group of family and friends who form my community, but it is larger than that.  The response to the floods shows that this whole country of ours is a community, and it is wonderful

Gelato - Australia is a land of immigrants.  In fact I'm first generation Australian on one side.  Any each of those waves of immigrants have brought such richness and vibrancy to this country.  Food is a great example, but there is so much more of our identity that has been forged from the influence of all those nations.

So on Australia Day each year, I get to revel in the enormous luck I had to be born in such a wonderful country.  However 3 years ago Australia Day took on another meaning for me, because on the 26th of January 2008 I got to stand next to my best friend as she married the love of her life.  We all thought they took a risk on the weather given that Australia Day is generally bloody hot (it was 37 today) but it was perfect, in fact the whole day was perfect.

I've said it before, I love a wedding, but watching my best friend get married was really special.  The happiness that those two have brought to each other's lives, the fate of them finding each other, the life they have forged together, all of those things now form a part of Australia Day for me.  So happy anniversary guys to to everyone else, happy Australia Day!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My productive garden - part 3

Look at the bounty my garden has produced.  I never get past the excitement of picking something from my garden.  It is always full of herbs, but in summer, a bed not much bigger than my desk also gets planted out with as many vegetables as I can fit in a small space.

However, it has been a bit of a disappointing year to this point.  With all the rain everything grew like crazy, but nothing ripened.  The squash were particularly disappointing as they kept rotting before they got to picking stage.  Likewise the black russian tomatoes had just sat disappointingly green on the vine, not doing a thing. 

But what a difference a week of sunshine can make!  Last night I went out intending to pick the few red cherry tomatoes I could see, only to find hiding beneath their giant leaves a veritable army of squash!  And next to them the tomatoes had suddenly coloured up too!  Even the cherry tomatoes were hiding their glory just waiting for a closer look.  There was so much that I was able to bring a massive container into the office to share with my colleagues.

I feel all proud of the efforts of my little garden!  Just imagine what we could all do if everyone turned over a bit of their garden to growing produce.

Monday, January 24, 2011


What is better that a yummy, healthy, satisfying meal?  Having enough of it that you can have it again for dinner the next night with no effort!

I made a massive pot of fresh salsa and bacon pasta last night, so much so that I could have it for dinner again tonight!  It is a simple meal, but super tasty.  Filling but also light on these hot evenings.

It is one of my staple meals, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Fresh Salsa and Bacon Pene (serves 3-4)
4 largish roma tomatos, de-seeded and diced
handful of basil shreded
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons caster sugar
6 rashers of bacon diced
small packet pine nuts
about 350-250g pene
baby spinach (I used rocket because there is a complete lack of baby spinach at the moment)
shaved parmesan (to taste, I like lots)

Mix together the diced tomatos, basil, sugar, balsamic vinegar and oil.  Leave to sit for awhile.

Fry the bacon, when it is looking crispy add the pine nuts for the last few minutes to toast.  Drain the fat off.

While you are ftying the bacon, cook the pene according to packet instructions.  Drain and return to the saucepan.  Add the tomato mixture, bacon mixture, a couple of handfuls of baby spinach and the shaved parmesan.  Stir through till spinach has wilted.

Serve with extra shaved parmesan and cracked pepper on top.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday morning

Oh I do love pastry.  The flakier the better, so what better way is there to start the day than with a couple of golden croissants.

Owing to the wonder that is Sara Lee, I tend to have ready access with a supply of them on hand in my freezer, but I do tend to save them up as a treat.  This morning was a good morning for such a treat, so just a few minutes after getting up, I had fresh, hot croissants, smothered with jam and a cup of tea on the table.

Mmmmmm, a superb start to the day.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

So you remember that time Noah was pole dancing?

There are some images that once seen, will remain locked in your head forever.  For me, the image of someone dressed as Noah in a sheet from Vinnies and shiny nylon hair, pole dancing on a boat is one of those images.

Last night was the great K's 30th birthday and he had it on the "Pirate Party Boat".  Everyone donned high seas themed costumes and we sailed around the lake for hours, enjoying a BBQ, drinks, music and eventually as a result of the drinks and music, some impromptu pole dancing.

The costumes were many and varied.  There were several excellent pirates, quite a few sailors and members of the Admiralty, but there was also seaweed, a suba diver (complete with fins which made walking interesting) and of course, Noah.  Sourced from Vinnies, his costume was excellent, but it is his enthusiastic, if unskilled, pole dancing that will lock him in our memories forever.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A meeting of minds

I was standing in the queue at Woolworths trying surreptitiously check out the awesome 50's hairstyle of the checkout chick when I accidentally caught her eye.  It was a tad awkward, there is nothing like someone realising you've been looking at them.

Of course as luck would have it, I ended up at her counter, so I decided to break the ice by declaring that her hair was really cool.  "Really" she said "because I've been thinking how excellent your dress is".  There it was, we had both been checking out each other's retro styles!

As she scanned my groceries we had an excellent chat about mod-vintage style, where to get a decent petticoat (ebay is your friend) and other clothing / fashion topics.  It was a surprising momentary meeting of the minds and reminded me of a decision I made ages ago to comment if I think someone is looking good.  There is nothing like a compliment to lighten your day.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The family jewels

I've been lucky enough to inherit quite a bit of jewelery. While some of it is worth something it is maily special because of sentimental value, in memories of my grandmothers wearing it.

But there are a few pieces that I don't remember them ever wearing which I still treasure as something that ties me to my family. Today I wore two of those things. The first is some antique pearl earrings. I don't ever remember my grandmother wearing them but I know that they belonged to her mother. I'm the 4th generation for those earrings, what changing times they must have seen.

The other is a "pearl" necklace, 4 strands graduating from white to dark grey. Occasionally I get comments about my south sea pearls - I wish! They do look great but are definitely fake, in fact my Mum had them in the charity box before I rescued them. But with the earrings and the right outfit I look pretty swish if I do say so myself.

I love the jewelery I've received as gifts or bought over the years but I must say when I get out one of the old pieces, they are just that bit extra special.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


This morning as I drove into work I went past a massive group of corellas. I don't remember seeing them before in Canberra, so seeing such a large flock was a lovely surprise (well lovely for me, the church whose conifers they were destroying might think differently.)

Corellas look a bit like a small cockatoo minus the yellow crest and they are equally as willful and mischievous.  This morning's flock were busily destroying a stand of conifers to get at the seeds, but in doing so were so cute.  They were hanging from trees, squabbling with each other, performing aerial gymnastics.  There was one really sweet one with a massive branch, running along the footpath, shooing all the other birds out of its way.  It honestly looked like it was running late for an appointment.

I love how birds, particularly parrots with their stumpy little legs, look when they run.  Waddling side to side, almost hoping, they look so clumsy, I always think to myself, you have wings, fly!  What a fun way to start the morning.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Generosity in all shapes and sizes

As I walked into the city today to meet my fabulous mother and sister for a spot of shopping, I saw a young girl busking, but I was in a hurry to meet them so I didn't pay much attention to her.

However as I walked back to work I really noticed her.  She was young, maybe 10, playing the guitar and singing just beautifully.  As I went by she was playing the Leonard Cohen song "Hallelujah".  She was fantastic, her playing was great and her voice lovely.

But the thing that really made her special was the sign she had propped up in front which read "Hi, I'm Lucy.  All proceeds will go to the flood appeal".  She had obviously painted the sign herself and her guitar case was brimming full of coins and plenty of notes.  I would guess she had made several hundred dollars for the flood appeal.

I am so proud of this country of ours and the many ways that people have helped with the disasters unfolding around us.  From the stories of the thousands of volunteers turning up to help clean in Brisbane, to the businesses and community groups fundraising, to individual efforts like Lucy's where she gave up a day of her school holidays and her busking income, Australians have been overwhelming in their generosity.

But I do have an extra space in my heart for kids like Lucy.  It isn't easy helping a cause as a kid, lets face it you don't really have access to many resources beyond your own ingenuity.  So seeing a kid work out a way to do their bit is just that extra bit meaningful and reminds us that we can all contribute to making this world a better place.

This is a fantastic country and as distressing as events have been recently, it has also gone to show just how strong, resilient and community minded we really are.  Well done everyone!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fruit Salad

Yesterday I went to the markets at the end of the day. They are only open Thursday - Sunday so on a Sunday afternoon they sell off everything at bargain prices. Everyone of course knows this and they can be absolutely packed, but I managed to get a massive basket full of lovely fresh produce for just $20.

Included in my basket were nectarines, peaches, plumcots, a rockmelon, passionfruit and strawberries which this afternoon I have been enjoying as a very summary fruit salad. All the fruit was just bursting with flavour. It is just a joy to eat and I could feel my body soaking up all the vitamins and minerals.

It truly was a delicious afternoon tea.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Let the good times roll

This time last year I was at a very confused stage of my life. Relationships and work were both at up in the air, I felt unsettled, not comfortable, ill at ease with life.

I reflected on this today when I was thinking about just how very happy I am. I'm surrounded by brilliant people, in a great job, with a year ahead of me that already holds the promise of wonderful times to come.

It can be very easy to be aware of the difficult stuff but not pay the same attention when things are good. Right now things are fantastic and I'm super happy!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Being a kid again

I went to Questacon today. It was hugely fun, running around, trying the experiments, being a kid again.

I really do give the Questacon people a huge amount of credit for the fantastic work they put into the exhibits. They make the science so interesting and engaging, even as an adult you get caught right up in the fun of it all.

There were families galore and on occasion we had to jostle the kids for position (only kidding) but it was wonderful to see everyone getting into the science like that.

What a fun day out.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Red Shoes

What is it that is so captivating about red shoes? It can't be a new phenomenon, after all Hans Christian Anderson wrote his story about them back in 1845 (if you haven't read it, they were not good shoes, even if they were fabulous). But there really is something beguiling about red shoes.

I'm pretty sure that you can present any woman with a bit of a shoe fetish (which lets face it is a rather large percentage of the population) with a red shoe and she will swoon. They draw comments like nothing else and everyone I know seems to remember getting her first pair of red sandals as a little girl.

I own 4 pairs, from ballet flats to boots and I would buy more in a heartbeat. I have consciously added red clothes and accessories to my wardrobe, just so I can wear them and even when they are not being worn, I just like to look at them brightening my wardrobe.

Today I'm wearing my favourite pair of red ballet flats. They have been loved, almost to death. In fact I've been rationing my wearing of them because they aren't going to last much longer. But every time I look down at my bright feet they make me happy.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


You know the smell of a lamb chop on the BBQ? That super delicious smell that wafts over from the neighbours house teasing your nostrils with it's inticing yumminess?

With all the warm weather that mouthwatering smell has been teasing me everywhere I've gone and without a BBQ of my own there is nothing I could do about it. But tonight my gorgeous Mum pandered to my cravings and cooked me a BBQ. Lamb cutlets, BBQ prawns and potato and bacon bake. Yum, yum, yum!!

Thanks Mum I loved it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


"Nothing is more important than cheesecake."

A quote from a colleague today who clearly has his priorities in the right order! Cheesecake might seem a bit frivolous at a time like this and to be honest, I've spent the past 24 hours glued to the news of the floods on TV, radio and the internet, not to mention the personal accounts on the Vogue Forum, but our cheesecake break was as much about sanity as it was about Martin's birthday.

The flood crisis is so great that it is difficult to think or talk of anything else. But my chocolate ripple cheesecake and our terrible rendition of "Happy Birthday" (our office really needs to hire someone with a great singing voice to carry the rest of us) was a lovely break. It was yummy, it was comforting and for a few minutes at least we talked food rather than floods.

I hope you found a few moments distraction today.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hope shines through

My thoughts today, I think like most Australians, have been on the unfolding flooding tragedy happening in Queensland. Lives have been lost, homes have been shattered, communities devastated. And while the worst of the human toll may be in Queensland, these amazing rains are also wreaking havoc in states across the country.

Experiencing a natural disaster changes a place and it changes you. I was in Canberra in 2003 when bushfires claimed 4 lives and over 500 homes. In 2009 following the horrific Victorian fires my direct work phone line was inadvertently given out as an assistance line and I spent weeks talking to distraught people who had lost everything and needed assistance that I just couldn't give them.

You may wonder why I am writing about disasters on a blog that is supposed to be about the happy things in life, but some of the times I've felt most uplifted have been associated with disasters. There really is nothing like it for bringing people together in the most inspiring of ways. And witnessing loss at such a scale makes me realise how fortunate I am and what a blessed life I lead.

Canberra has often been called a city without a soul, but the community spirit we all experienced in 2003 shows what is lying just under the surface. In a city this small everyone knew someone who had lost a home. The effect was profound, it was as if the whole city had post traumatic shock, but people opened their wallets, their wardrobes and their homes. I witnessed families being gathered up in the arms of their friends and sheltered as they rebuilt their lives. For those who lived through it there is a definite before and after, it was a shattering of innocence as we realised our city is so fragile but an awakening of a community as people revealed just how strong they are.

It truly makes my heart lift and fills me with pride about how we support each other, through acts of bravery, acts of friendship, acts of love.

So in these dark days, when the news seems so terrible, I encourage everyone to think about what they can do, and know through your own generosity, you will not just be helping others, you will raise your own spirits too. The rain may be pouring now, but the sun will shine again.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Yay, dance classes are back!

In 2004 at about this time of year I convinced two friends to come to a dance class with me and it proved to be a life changing action. Sometimes the decisions and actions that have the most profound effect on our lives are ones that we barely notice at the time. Like my year 8 form tutor suggesting I might like to try drama, an off hand comment which provided me with away to deal with my shyness and the tools on which I've built a career.

But back to dance. I had always wanted to learn to dance but thought you needed a partner to go to classes and even in that case, I thought I was too uncoordinated. A chance conversation at a Christmas party introduced me to the world of ceroc and when the new term started, I gathered my courage, rounded up a few friends and off we went. I would love to say I marched into the room, but it was nerves and trepidation that caused my friend to practically push me in the door. But once in that door it was love at first step and I haven't look back ever since - that is the dance lead's job!

Dance has given me fitness, better posture and presence. But more importantly it has given me the most truly wonderful group of friends who are now my family. My life has been made so much richer by the dance world, I can't find the words to adequately express what an impact it has had, but suffice it to say, I'm sure Terry who told me about ceroc, or Barbara who prompted him had no idea that one 5 minute conversation at a party could change the course of someone's life in such a significant way.

So I head to dance class tonight with an extra spring in my step, and the world's biggest smile on my face.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Just lazing about

The plan for today was to enjoy a BBQ with friends in a local park. Mother Nature however, was not in on the plan and proceeded to deliver us large quantities of rain, not suited to BBQing.

Because I'd planned to be out all day, I did all my chores yesterday which left me with the wonder of a completely free day. I considered going out and doing something productive, but in the end I've spent the vast majority of my day lazing about. I really mean doing absolutely nothing and it has been lovely. Lying on my comfy couch, listening to music or watching episodes of "Mad Men", or simply listening to and watching the rain fall day.

A perfect relax.

Jazz in the evening

The Australian Botanic Gardens run a summer jazz series. On the weekends in the evenings they have jazz bands play. You bring a picnic and a rug, sit under shady trees and listen to great music. It is just a brilliant way to spend a summer evening.

Really, what could be better than good music, in a lovely setting with the added benefit of butterflies dancing about?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Apple Torte

I love to cook and my gorgeous parents know this well, so for Christmas they got me a Kenwood Chef stand mixer. Lack of having a stand mixer since I moved away from home has not stopped me baking, but it makes such a difference. Properly creaming butter is simple. Whipping eggs and sugar till they are "pale and creamy" is a snap. So of course, my rate of baking is increasing markedly.

Last night I decided to make a cake which had got brilliant reviews on one of the blogs I regularly read "Apples Under My Bed". She herself had discovered it on the fabulous blog "Greed Gourmand" who it transpired had found it on a third blog, "Cook Almost Anything". It was difficult not to get distracted by each wonderful blog as I undertook my quest for the recipe, but at last it was found.

The fabulous cake in question is the Apple Torte. It may not be the most visually attractive cake, but it is delicious. It is one of those recipes where you wonder if it is going to work as you assemble the ingredients. Somehow, the 6 finely sliced apples just seem too voluminous, the delicious batter not quite enough, and the addition of pine nuts unusual in a sweet thing. But it all works.

The beneficiaries of all this baking activity are my colleagues. There were very few people in today, in fact only 5 cake eaters, yet half of it had disappeared before lunch, and the rest followed in rapid succession. This recipe is a keeper.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The King's Speech

I love a good movie and I've just seen a brilliant one. I know I'm by no means the first to rave about "The King's Speech" but it really is as fantastic as everyone is claiming it to be. As a friend said to me, the major elements of the story aren't really that surprising, it is history after all, but the story behind those events, of a man struggling with himself to be the king he wanted to be is compelling.

And the performances, well they are sublime. There is a lot of Oscar buzz about this movie and it really deserves it. Everyone is just pitch perfect, even the kids. Huge kudos as well to the director and cinematographer, as it looks beautiful and the use of camera angles to illustrate the the Kings feelings of intimidation when confronted by a microphone or a gathered crowd are brilliantly done.

This is one movie most definitely worth the price of the ticket.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A clean and tidy desk

My desk is clean and tidy! By which I mean you can actually see desk again and said desk has been spray and wiped so the layers of accumulated grot are gone.

I'm a hoarder, I can't help it, I think it is genetic from Dad. But I really love things to be clean and tidy and in their place, also genetic, Mum's side. These two sides of my personality do not necessarily sit well together. I hoard and hate myself for it and then in a fit of peak, I clean and throw stuff out. I guess it makes me a paper bulimic.

The end of the year is always particularly bad for the hoarder. With everyone super busy and looming end of year deadlines, there are excuses galore for why filing isn't done. Paper mountains grow, including ridiculous things like envelopes, old newspapers and magazine supplements which should all be thrown away the minute they arrive.

But that is where January's calming influence is so wonderful. Time is suddenly available and enthusiasm renewed from the break. So I have filed (properly, even making file name tags), sorted, disposed of, organised, cleaned and now I sit in a little haven of quiet calm. I feel at peace with the office and I have sworn (as I do every year) that I will maintain this tidy gorgeousness. Ahhh the serenity.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back to the coalface

Back at work - it might not seem the obvious thing to put on the blog of things that make me happy, but there is nothing like a good break to renew enthusiasm and get you set for a productive year.

I actually love the first week, when things are generally quiet and those tasks like sorting the mountain of paperwork can be actioned. The office is quiet, the drive in sure is quiet and easy and it is all just a little bit more relaxed.

So yes, I am happy to be here and I'm set for a great year in the office.

Monday, January 3, 2011


I had lunch today with an old friend and her two gorgeous rambunctious kids. They are both bursting with energy but sat so nicely to eat lunch and an ice-cream later. In between they played hide and seek behind store displays, explored the space under sandwhich boards and made toys from fallen leaves.

I love watching that completely unselfconscious joy of life that kids have. The ability for anything to become a toy, any place a playground, regardless of how silly they may look or who might be watching. The happiness to hug someone who really is a stranger to them because they know she is their Mum's friend and they have decided to like her. It seems somehow the most honest of reactions.

It is a little sad to me that we lose that innocence as we grow, so to watch that freedom of honest expression in action for a few hours is always lovely.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


What can be nicer than a day spent on a picnic blanket, under shady green trees on soft luxuriant grass? Tasty tidbits in hand, chatting, making shapes from the clouds, lazing in companionable silence. The heat of the past few days toned down to a warm glow that encourages relaxing, a light breeze keeping everything fresh. Just perfect!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A new hope

A new year. New possibilities, new hopes, new wishes. The first of the year is when I usually find myself thinking of the year ahead and hoping for all that it might bring.

Newness was all around me today it seemed, even down to the luck of seeing a rosella feeding its baby. The parent had been chirruping at me to fill up the bird feeder - although from the lipstick stains on its beak it had obviously been helping itself to my parent's boysenberries! And I quickly realised why when my attention was drawn to it feeding a young one. Big enough to fly but still cloaked in the green feathers of a baby rosella, the sight of it really reinforced the feeling of this day in particular as being another beginning. It is such a privilege to see nature in its glory like that.

A new life, a fresh start, the future reaching out ahead. The perfect start to a new year.