Hello! Lovely to see you! Here you will find random posts about living a creative life in country Australia. I am an illustrator. I create, take photos, faff, collect, teach. Watercolour, collage, colour, cheese, travel and dreaming are my faves. And Turkish delight. And cushions. And gardening. And op-shops...

Thursday, 9 July 2015


#my treat

#shareaustralia

for Kidspot Voices of 2015...

I am not sure about confessing this out there for the whole world to judge, because in the past I have been derided and questioned about such beliefs. But because I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, and I really do believe this...

I LOVE time way from my kids. I LOVE time away from my kids with my husband. I CRAVE time away from my kids with my husband. He is my bestest friend, he makes me laugh, he makes me feel happy and part of something really special. He gives me the mega-poos too, he is not perfect... but he is the person who I most like to hang with. We have been together since we were ridiculously immature teenagers at Uni, me as a tulle-petticoat-Doc Marten-ripped-t-shirt wearing Visual Art student, and he was a Doc wearing, cool rude boy.

me and hubby, Canberra selfie July 2015


I adore my kids, do not get me wrong. I love them with a full heart and intense pride. But there was an US before there was a THEM. There is only a THEM because of the US. It was our love that brought them into this world... and it is our love that sustains the family. I have to believe that modelling a good strong, healthy relationship is a great gift we can give our kids. So we are careful, my husband and I, to set aside time for just US. Luckily, both sets of our parents feel the same way, and are more than happy to occasionally take the kids to give us this time together. It is never taken for granted... it is always a BIG treat.

So with  school holidays looming... one afternoon, spent and knackered from a day wrangling with kids, I formulated a plan. My hubby got home, driving-weary and bleary eyed, dogs and children jumping all over him in grateful affection. I chose a quieter moment when I knew the response to my question would be favourable - over a hot cuppa (with extra sugar and a biccy).

"Jason", I said, "I think we need a getaway... just us. A bit of a treat for us both working so hard".
"oh yes PLEASE!" was the response. 
YIPPEEE!
No convincing needed!

Cue a few weeks later... getaway treat is all organised, accommodation booked, kids delivered to grandparents, dogs in kennels, neighbours feeding menagerie left behind, bags packed, car fuelled up, CD's ready to boogie to, tummies are FIZZY with happy, cameras and social media devices fully charged, plants watered, house locked... and we are AWAY!

One of the special things, the first treat... was just driving in the luxury of quiet... no arguing children, no deadlines... just beautiful countryside, sun on my face as I dozed and snoozed, hubby happily driving, mellow music wafting out, sigh. Simple but lovely. Hello Boorowa. Hello Yass. Hello Murrambateman...

the drive to Canberra...trucks, sheep, paddocks, roadsigns - this is rural NSW

You see, our getaway treat destination was Canberra, about 2 hours drive away. I love Canberra, because living in a little country town, the cultural and retail delights alone of Canberra make me giddy. Bring on the movies! The Cafe's! The restaurants! The galleries and museums! The  shopping malls! Bring on the motel and the buffet breakfast! Bring on the sleeping in! Oh YEAH BABY!

Yep, I was pretty excited, we both were! And after dinner at the motel, we zoomed onto town to see a movie. Hello Dendy! Now I realise to many of you this is no biggy. HOWEVER, hubby and I have always LOVED the movies, and we live in a town with NO MOVIE THEATRE. This is hard to bear. So please understand, this is quite a thrill for us. I do not even really care what we see sometimes, it is just the whole experience I crave. This night it was to be Mad Max... full on action, full on visual blast. I liked it. It was pure
fun. Pure treat.

shopping mall! Movies! eyes wide open! Cinema Advertising!

Next morning... was the buffet breakfast(chocolate filled pastries... so naughty). Then... off for retail therapy!!! Once again, I urge you people who live in major cities to appreciate the choices you have. In my town, we have Target... and a few independent shops. So to go to the HUGE DFO centre out near Fyshwick... is really and truly a treat. Oh, I sound so materialistic! Oh well... perhaps I am.

So 2 pairs of new Converse shoes later (and a good laugh and giggle with the boys behind the counter, flexing gams, sharing Instagram feeds), a melange of water-colour paper and craft supplies, pressies for the kids and a bag of goodies from Typo... but still on the hunt for some Doc Marten boots, we departed the DFO to head into Canberra CBD. MORE TREATS! Honestly, just the street art, sculptures and  people watching is a treat for me, but throw in shops... like the fabulous April's Caravan, where I chatted with the owner Nettie about mutual friends, and ogled her retro/thrifted shop of divinity and you cannot get the smile off my dial!

Converse fun at DFO, April's Caravan loveliness, street art, Mexican munchies, the elusive Doc boots

A quick bite of yummy Mexican for lunch,(SQUEEE!)... but sadly... no Doc boots in my size or colour anywhere. I felt I could overcome this sadness, this hole in my retail heart... if there was caffeine, and gardens to ease the pain. So, ensuring my happiness (and thus his) we drove to the Canberra Botanic Gardens on Black Mountain. And there, amongst the rainforest gully, eucalyptus lawn, red desert garden and stunning banksia ericifolias, with our hands intertwined, sun setting, lorikeets and kookaburras in the trees... my heart was filled with a sense of contentment again (and the promise of ordering Doc boots on-line when we got home may have helped too).

Botanic garden beauty, Telecom Tower, Black Mountain

That night the treats continued. Yes, completely spoiling ourselves, we went out for Thai,(oh thank you red curry god and The 3 Mother's Thai)and went to another movie (via the Sugar Station where we loaded up on sugary sweeties and treaties). Gosh, all this shopping and city stuff, these gardens and driving, and sleeping and spending money... is exhausting! Home/motel to bed, after a nice cuppa. Last of the all night ragers! 

Three Mother's Thai...yum yum, all in my tum...

sweetie treaties at Sugar Station remind me of my childhood...fizzy and fruity...nom...nom

We awoke next day to -6 outside, roos and rabbits nibbling frosty grass, and another buffet breakfast. Not wanting to offend, we forced ourselves once more to partake of its delights. We are so thoughtful.

early morning roos, chillin' outside our motel room

And it is about here that reality begins to rudely intrude. Waiting for us, several hours way in Bathurst are our kids, needing to be brought home, and in completely the opposite direction, near Canowindra, some doggies waiting to be picked up from their boarding kennels.

The drive home begins, with amiable chatting, laughing at our Mexican food induced farts, discussion of where we will go on our next holiday, scoring the movies we had seen... you know, the pleasant banter with someone you feel entirely comfortable with, someone who knows you so well that just being with them... is good stuff.I just love my guy.

Several hours later we pull up at home in Cowra, glad to see it still standing. I get into my own car, and begin the drive to get the dogs. Hubby turns his car around to begin the 200km plus drive to get the kids.

It's not a curse, this drive I must do to get the canine critters. I will see the rolling hills of the Lachlan Valley, granite tors, fat sheep grazing with little lambs, vineyards pruned and sleeping for Winter, scenic views across to  Mount Canobolas, and time for quiet contemplation of how lucky I am.

picking up the doggies... Olive Pip the puppy, looking to Mt Canobolas, nice stuff, dusk

On the way home, excited about seeing the kids again in me, there is a stunning sunset, and I cannot resist the temptation to pull over and take some photos. Another treat. Another thing to be grateful for. Another bit of loveliness not to be taken for granted.

Yep, these days away have left me feeling I am truly blessed. Not only do I have a hunky, funny, smart, adorable, sexy, amazing  husband who loves me (and will be ordering those doc boots soon?Jase?) there is also being announced in the Top3 for Kidspot Voices of 2015,  my art business, 3 wonderful kids, a beautiful home... fabulous friends online and in the real world... Pro-Blogger and a trip overseas in the future. So many great things in my life. I touch wood QUICKLY

Just having the time and the distance to see this clearly is a gift, a treat. That's what we both needed. Because I am not so blind to the fact that where I am right now is pretty good. 

I am not unaware though of how hard we work, the immense pressure and ordeals we have been through... how tough life can be... how demanding the ongoing STUFF is. My life is NOT perfect. But life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful. 

I know that life is a trick... and a treat. And it's the little treats as well as the big ones, that make it extra special.

(And a quick P.S... you know all those word in red... they are to click onto, they are links..but you probably knew that!)


reflecting on things... the end of our treat away, the end of a lovely day, the golden glow of loving life