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.



a month like no other


November is a long long month. No doubt committing to a post a day increased the bulk of these 30 days and might have been a little crazy…but it’s just been full on anyway!

Birthdays either end of it – his starts us off, hers finishes us. Silent, sullen types both. Family skeletons that rattle in the slightest breeze…but never engage.

Three close family members with hospital experiences.

The famous roadtrip. The usual suspects all gone north for a few days to a week. Coffee with neighbourhood friends 8 hours from home! The magical hinterland wedding – there’s even video of me on the dance floor.

Humid days, sleepless nights while the overhead fans hypnotise. Mangoes, amazing muffins, geckos. Little magpie larks divebombing me in the pool.

Home. And the beach house.

The push me pull you work situation has drained me. A tsunami to my month. I always thought that one day I’d write about this amazing job. After years at home getting it was a miracle, and there were such positives in the last several years – but the ending? definitely the stuff of fiction, and therapist couch conversations.

Let’s go in to December to rest. And 2017 is a completely clean slate. I think it’s the first year that begins with no plans, no idea what’s next. I just know it’s going to be a great year.

goals – getting through



Last week my goals all revolved around getting myself out of town for this trip / wedding. Life seems ridiculously simple and privileged and yet you know that stress has a home here for about another month so, a lot of these menial tasks are about controlling something, getting through days.

I cleaned my room for the cat sitter. Though, when I say cleaned…I moved things from place to place and when I get home I either won’t be able to find things, or will have to move things all over again to do the urgents – bills, etc.  I cleaned my bathroom, I packed. I left notes, I emailed, she’s well listed. She sent back laughs and smiles emojis.

I’m scheduling this post ahead, the wedding is over as you read (three days in the future as I write) and I’m now on the roadtrip home. Do you think Tuesday’s a strange day for a ‘goals for this week’ post?

This week – I really want to relax and enjoy the two days it’ll take to get home. Enjoy the time with the little one, discovering coastal towns we’ve never seen. Waterfalls and national parks she’s mapped for us. Perhaps there’ll be photos or stories I can end out this month of blogging with…

And then I’ll have two days of work, the volunteers I most enjoy working with choosing to come in end of week instead of their usual day when I’d be on the road. A big meeting with the weird beard to avoid, and we’re almost done!

Simple goals – to look in awe at the natural beauty on the trip home, see how beautiful our world is, breathe, smile, go slowly.

white tara, yellow khata


scheduling ahead, going out of town, posting every day in November – click on the banner!



Prompt 41 from Promptosaurus 

Choose any color. Now look around and notice every single thing that is that color. Write a list of those items OR a mini-story about any one of those items.


I chose yellow before I looked up. I specifically picked a colour different to my favourite colour – blue. And then, when I look around I see soooo much blue – do I wear blue every day?!

Yellow – crazy but there is only one yellow thing in my sight, in my bedroom! And it’s a khata. I traditionally think of khatas as being white and I remember when I received this one, I wanted white…however I’ve since learnt they come in many colours. A yellow khata represents happiness. That’s not a bad thing, right?! This khata is from my White Tara initiation. White Tara is known for compassion, long life, healing and serenity; and is also known as The Wish-fulfilling Wheel. All good there too, right?! So I’m no longer disappointed I didn’t get a white khata on the day.

Those of us who arrived without a khata on the day were kindly given them by the centre. At the end of the day we offered khata to the Geshe who led the teachings, and khatas offered are usually returned with a blessing.

Several years ago I met His Holiness the Dalai Lama. A photo of the two of us is above my altar, and this yellow khata hangs over the frame. So, if I only have one splash of yellow in my whole bedroom, isn’t that the most amazing place for it? 🙂