roadtrip recap – byron to sydney

We drove back over two days through towns I’ve heard of forever.  Trouble was, that by the time we got to many of them, we were over the hours of freeway and couldn’t be bothered to stop for long, if at all. Just wanted to get home.

In hindsight it would have been better to do it all in reverse. Drive up, holiday wedding holiday, fly back. We were tired.

When I spend any length of time in Byron I think I want to live there. I really don’t. Both ends of the town there are one lane roads in and out – traffic jam in paradise twice a day every day! The town itself is always packed. Locals, backpackers, and high end tourists. Strange mix. The weather is tropical, beaches beautiful, and all of the many eating places are queued up. Always.

We stayed somewhere different this time. A fairly newly built house, very hot but with a great outdoor area. Positioned for the cross breeze and with a small pool that you could walk right into. No ‘cold cold’ dip your toe and take your time submerging…

At night, in bed, you could hear conversations from houses away. No, I couldn’t live there. You could also stand in the driveway though and see the whole universe in the sky….can’t do that in the inner city!

Day one of the drive and after a goodbye coffee and muffin (Hello – you can hardly just call that a muffin. It’s a Large work of gastronomic art. One flavour per day and today’s had big chunks of chocolate and a banana goo in the middle, still warm and runny OMG) from Top Shop, a short detour for a 1km walk in a national park to some falls. Drive drive drive then lunch in Grafton, a hipster café that the others had coincidentally eaten at on the way up (we found out later)! I don’t know why, since Sydney has changed so much, I wasn’t expecting country nsw to be like that…  Next stop was the Big Banana. I’ve been telling the offspring for years ‘it’s not that big’ but little one needed a refresher – didn’t remember visiting when really really little. A few photos and onwards. Petrol stop in Macksville, population 4,500 (I think the sign said) many of them surely at the petrol station it took so long to be our turn. Finally to Port Macquarie and a swim for the little one at Town Beach – one of several beautiful beaches they’re blessed with. At this point we’ve almost caught up with the others and end up at the same old-school motel just down the road. Ah Woongarra what a great night we had. Such friendly Sydney escapee owners, serene walk on the waterfront across the road, and fish and chips all round. Who wouldn’t slow down and be calm there…

Day two let’s go home. I had the old-school motel breakfast just because I wanted to see if it was really going to come through that hole in the wall. It did. And it was good. We didn’t stop til Newcastle. Another swim and a recommended bagel for the little one. A drive around old stomping grounds, sadly unrecognisable…could have been another place, a life time ago.  AND HOME – strange how you can be tired and keen to get there, restless once you are.



thinking ahead



I’ve done all sorts of meditations over the years including just meditating – ie not a guided meditation, not a specific focus. And when I’m calmest and all is well in the world that is the best thing ever.

At the moment, as soon as I’m aware it’s a new day, I begin a focused meditation. Focus on five breaths…notice five things I feel (the fur of the cat sleeping next to me, a pain in my shoulder etc), five things I hear (usually my breath, the cat purring, birds outside and the last two vary…maybe traffic, a door closing, a voice in the street below my balcony).

I was thinking of it just now while listening to the printer. Print. Print. Print. Instructions on how to get into the house, our grocery delivery order, car rental agreement, the schedule of a Lama visiting from Canada in February (can I make any of his teachings?) etcetc.

Tomorrow I’m heading north for a wedding. I won’t take my laptop, we may not have internet, I definitely won’t have time and so I’m scheduling ahead. When you read this I hope to be having a massage (that pain you know!), or lying by the pool…



moths to a flame


Yes, I’m drawn to art thank you.

And here is one piece of sculpture from the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival (2011)  – what does it say to me? I suppose it’s love elusive. Jumping through hoops for love? I like the fact it’s in the middle of a paddock, and the simplicity of the material it’s made of.

I’m going back to the Festival this year just briefly. I assume they display different sculptures every year but I could be wrong – I wonder if love will be in my sight again…





the art of peace


Kozo came up with the idea of mobilising bloggers for peace months ago and the gathering grows, the blogs flow..

Here we are in May and for this month we’re asked to relate art and peace – you can go over to his post HERE to read the details, maybe join in?


byron bay



At the ripe old age of 50 I discovered the joy that is Byron Bay. 

The next year I went back for a longer visit, rented a house and this photo, peace to me, is the bottom of the garden.

As the plane was landing at Gold Coast Airport instead of ‘welcome to blah blah it’s x degrees’ the pilot said ‘Welcome to Queensland, jumpers off!’ (That’s sweaters to those of you across the sea…) . Picked up my rental car and drove south to Byron. Those Queensland Tourism tv ads from years back ‘Ah Queensland – beautiful one day, perfect the next’ are just….true! There’s a joking rivalry between our state and those above us on the map but I defy anyone to spend time there and not admit how lovely it is.  Oh, of course Byron is actually at the top of our state but I’m talking about the area in general.

Anyhoooo where was I? 


When I found the house, opened the back door, looked out at what lay in front of me, I walked straight to the bottom of the garden where the ocean meets the rocks meets my backyard for a week. I went right to the edge. Down the path, on to the rocks and sat. I looked at the water breaking on the rocks, coming and going. I looked out at the horizon, at the waves rolling in. Back to the spray at my feet. Mesmerized by every little droplet – incredible nature. The gift of peace right there 🙂