Friday, December 1, 2017

7 days of black and white

I've been absent from my blog 
while I was winding up some uni assignments
But I've been participating in 
On instagram

Images from my garden and other corders of my life. 


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Poonhill, Nepal - My Mountaintop Experience

It may have been 430 in the morning, and I may have climbed 3000 steps the day before, and my body may have wanted to stay lateral for many more hours, but I rose. I stirred my partner and knocked on the paper thin hostel dorm wall to wake our friend,  and we pulled on our boots, unplugged the camera from its charger, and waited anxiously for our guide to meet us for the pre dawn walk to Poonhill.

Joining the possible 500 other trekkers doing the same pre dawn walk, we marched in an honourable silence, some with headlamps, others enjoying the moonlight path ahead. There were moments when the shrubbery holding us in, opened to glimpses of a pre dawn deep valley below up, and towering peaks above. The respectful crowds stopping just off the path to get that snap, or just to take a breath. We climbed for 45 slow and steady minutes to get to the summit at 3,200 meters. (Just for a reference point, the highest point in Australia is just 2,228 m)

This was both, the highest point we were going to get to on this trek, and the highest point in this, my post operative journey.  I'm a goal setter, and along time ago, I had set myself the goal of doing the Camino Pilgrimage this year, but having time off work for my hip replacement, meant I couldn't have the time off also for the full Spanish holiday I wanted. Next best thing, climb a mountain!! And I did. (Although for Nepalese standards, Poonhill is not a mountain).
 We stood at the top of Poonhill and watched, in awe, as the clouds sank or parted, and the sun rolled across the Peaks of the Annapurna Ranges. The Tibetan Prayer Flags, flapping in the light breeze reminded us of the mountain people & their faith and respect for the mountains. There something amazing about being with other like minded people, from around the globe, with no common language, just taking in the glory of a sunrise.

Our little party, guides and trekkers, took selfies, snapped photos from every vantage point and angle, but eventually you couldn't take anymore photos, it was time just to sit and be. (Luckily for my partner, there was a little tea stand on the top of that hill with hot coffee on offer).

We were on the top of Poonhill for probably 90 mins, before the steep stepped walk back to our trekkers lodge (teahouse) for a big breakfast. But those 90 minutes were really special. It was a time to reflect on just how big our world is, how diverse we all are, but yet how much were are the same. I saw the beauty of the pristine mountain ranges around us, and was reminded of what we do to the lands we have ready access to and how we must care and respect the earth in the places we live. Rescuing damaged lands is not an easy thing and protecting and maintaining natural environments is so important.

I was encouraged to come home and make a place where I will focus on these reflections, where I can find peace in my place, where I can remember and honour the people of the world.
When I share photos of Poonhill with others who have been there, they all gasp as they recall their own experience of being ontop of this hill. I hope I will be the same for along time.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Travelling Nepal

Busy streets and discovering secret temples.... Kathmandu is a constant source of surprise.
Travelling from Kathmandu to Pokhara, we get first glimpses of snow capped Annapurna Ranges..
Trekking on the Goonapani cirtcuit for 5 days, we had many glimpses again of snow capped mountains, and opportunities to meditate on the amazing glory of this country. 

Visiting the significant sights around Pokhara... the World Peace Pogoda is particularly outstanding. They ask for visitors to respect the silence as we walk around the Stuppa. I found this amazingly powerful.

Travelling brings with it opportunities to learn more about yourself, the people you travel with, and the host country. Today, we have changed our travel plans because we've been invited to join our hosts at their family home to celebrate the Hindu festival of Dashain. I'll post more about that when I know more about it...

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Singapore weekend

 I'm reflecting on the past and taking time to recover and prepare for the next journey of my life by taking a holiday. This time, I'm enjoying a trip with some great friends. However, holidaying with others opens up both new experiences  and challenges. Im enjoying both..

My friends have joined my partner & I in singapore for a few days, so weve be creating an itinerary to suit all. So we've been to the botanic gardens (my choice), and to have breakfast with the Orangutans at the Zoo, and to see a light show at Marina Bay.. each experience different and exciting.

Breafast with th Orangutans (my friends choice to add to itinerary)  was very touristy, as we sat down to a smorgasbord of Macdonalds quality french toast, waffles, eggs & terrible coffee with 100 other families. The Orangutans sat on a timber perch while individuals & families lined up in front of them for photos.

I had imagined something more like being seated in a location where we could watch them in their own space while they also had breakfast... more natural...

Visiting the other animals in their enclosures also came with mix of awe & wonder, distress & concern. But who cant love a meerket??
 The National Orchid garden is in the Botanic gardens and is just amazing. The garden designs and the 1000s of varieties are just beautiful.
 Singapore has the most amazing gardens, and I can get lost in them for hours.... but apparently its not everyones cup of tea..
Our final night in singapore with friends was celebrated with a boat cruise and a light  show. This was not on my itinerary but so glad i was convinced to do it.. the light show came with music, smoke, laser lights & fountains. It was thrilling, and (even the costly price tag for the boat) well worth the time.

Now for the next phase of the journey, my partner & i are heading off to Nepal fora few weeks... a very different adventure.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Spring & Wellbeing

I started this post several days ago, and just got distracted... but the intention was to celebrate Spring and Wellbeing.  I was so proud of this harvest recently, I found myself returning to the photo just to check it.... yep all of this came out of my garden.... chuffed!

This spring my garden is flourishing, which is nice because the past few years its been a struggle.  This Spring, I too have been flourishing after a long period of hip pain (since 2015). But  since my hip replacement I've bounced back, as my garden has....

I see my vegetables as signals of wellbring in my garden & myself.. 

This magnolia is near my flat in the city, and it too, speaks to me of spring, new life & energy.. Next week, I am off to Nepal for my 2017 adventure, trecking in the Annapurna Ranges!! 
So, here's to Spring 🍾🍹
I love this poem of an Australian Spring..

Spring is the magical time
When the rainbow lorikeets hum and the honey suckles Blossom,
When I actively bounce down the sand dunes
And onto the pea green grass,
The waratahs and the wattles bloom,
And my heart opens to the riot of spring.
I love this time when everything comes to life,
Nature triumphs in the trees, swaying freely in the wind,
Stealing my train of thought
And making my imagination run wild.
I am inspired by this heavenly kingdom,
The tranquillity of dew droplets falling,
The mastery of the rain.
I feel connected.
Tree sap trickles down the bark of native gum trees
I examine this , calmly, curiously.
Sometimes the wind whispers to me at dusk
Giving me confidence within my body
I promise
I will always make the most of springtime.

Source: these poems were written by Australian children in masterclasses on The Four Seasons using The Hathorn Technique led by Libby Hathorn.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Spring & seasonal change

Paris in July 2017 has been and is now behind us for this year.... its time my blog changes direction for spring... I now focus on my garden and growing things, creating a new season ambiance here at Thyme-for-tea.  

I do love July and my month long focus on Paris & France, things french, and sharing that time with many long  time blogging friends, and new ones..

But here in Australia we are on the verge of a new spring.  This is a real time of celebration for me. I love the new life that springs up around me. 

What does the changing of season mean to you? 

Last Sunday afternoon walk... 
Treated to a reminder of the amazingness of this creation! 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Paris in July 2017 ...... the Finale!

Here it is, the final few days of Paris in July 2017. Its been a delightful month of dedicated posts to many different things we all love of Paris, Franch and French culture. I regret that I have not had enough time to visit all of your posts, or to have even read the books on my TBR pile... but I know many of you have had a chance to visit and support each other during this blogging event.

So as the sunsets on the Eiffel Tower, I'm going to invite final reviews, commentaries or "best of" posts....  you could nominate another bloggers post as one of the best, or review a series of posts, or even post a link to one from the past. I will hope to get some time to do a few visits this week..