??Journey or destination??

Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness


For Now , For Later, For Ever??

Now, no denying I’m a technology fan! I grew up in a home that promoted it. I love new gadgets and am up to date with my phones and tablets , not to mention apps. I see merit in the often put down selfie stick and love a good selfie. It is great to be able to take a photo or video memory of an adventure or experience – without having to invade the personal space of others by interrupting them to take a photo for you . This also eliminates that embarrassing moment when you need to ask the stranger to again take the photo because their first attempt wasn’t good enough.

So while I love what technology can do, I’m a little concerned about its imposition on living in the moment. Yesterday I attended a Fleetwood Mac concert. It was an outdoor arena in the Hunter Valley ( 2 hours north of Sydney for those not familiar with the area). The weather wasn’t so kind to us concert goers but it didn’t impact on the quality performance given by the band.

The seats we had were very good and close enough to the stage to see the full facial gestures. The side screens were good for an occasional glance but the stage held my attention. What amazed me was I had to dodge around not just the patrons that felt the need to stand and dance  ( don’t get me started on that haha) but their two arms extended with camera device, eyes gazing up at their screen, filming the whole thing, watching the performance through the lens of their smartphone or other similar gadget. I suppose they can relive the moment later, but did they really live the moment as it evolved?

What are your thoughts? Can we be too obsessed with recording for the future that we miss the present?

My photos of the night :)

Capturing the mood

Capturing the mood

Steve Nicks belts out a tune to the smart phones

Steve Nicks belts out a tune to the smart phones

Mick Fleetwood's drum set

Mick Fleetwood’s drum set


Riding and Gliding 

Ever had a bird’s eye view of the top canopy of a rainforest? We did and what an exhilarating day it made ! We visited Kuranda on the Kuranda Scenic Railway, returning home on the Skyrail. For one who struggles with heights it provided challenges and I am proud to say I rose to the occasion. Our first leg of the journey was the Kuranda Scenic Railway. We raced to the Cairns station following our Google map instructions. Had we stuck with that we would have walked about 6 stairs onto the station, but no, I saw the station and took what looked like a short cut only to find the lift out of action so I had to walk the 30 or so steps up then down onto the platform – a lesson learned. 

Our carriage was 14, the final carriage on the train. It gave us a great view of the train as it rounded the bends as it made its way to Kuranda I must say.

A running commentary was broadcast through the train telling of the history of the railway, and sights along the way. You can take a look at the facts here.  The making of the rail line and its tunnels certainly was an amazing feat considering the use of hand tools and lack of modern day surveying skills. 

 Sugar cane farms lined the track as we headed from Cairns before giving way to rainforest vegetation, some very deep ravines and spectacular waterfalls. We alighted at Barron Falls for a short photo opportunity then boarded the train again Kuranda bound.  

Our return journey from Kuranda was by the Skyrail. We chose the diamond view gondola, paying $12 extra each for the fear factor :) It has a glass bottom so you can enjoy not only looking out but down onto the canopy of this majestic rainforest. The views in all directions were spectacular and even I eventually tolerated enjoyed  the view through the glass. I have a fear of heights, especially over water, so I wasn’t the least bit doubting that our first small stop ( we had been told to expect a few as we travelled) would see our gondola mid way between poles dangling over the river… And I was right! 

We alighted at Barron Falls and walked the short walks to the lookouts over the falls. They were a closer view from here than from the train station. From there we next alighted at Red Peak again taking a short boardwalk through the rainforest. Standing in awe of the tall trees, green vines and ferns making their way to the light via the trees, brush turkeys digging and sweet bird calls echoing the only sense that wasn’t tantalised was my sense of smell. No this rainforest doesn’t emit an odour. It was in fact the freshly lit cigarette a walker had to ‘share’. He could only have been on the Skyrail for a maximum of about 20 minutes and this board walk was only 200 metres and a return trip was a maximum of 20 minutes yet he couldn’t go without in that short time. He butted it out in a rubbish bin and when I made the comment that it was disappointing to have my time spoiled by his smoke he just stared and walked on. Imagine if that butt then started a fire in the bin then proceeded to the rainforest leaf litter. 

The final leg on the Skyrail into freshwater is very steep. We were lucky not to have to share our gondola ( had this luck all the way) and we both sat facing the descent ( the man loading passengers had said it was perfectly ok for us to do that without unbalancing the gondola – of course I needed the clarification of that point). To add to my fun it was gondola 13. The view was amazing as the rainforest gave way to the ocean. By now I was coping fine with the glass floor.

Another bucket list item ticked off . 


I write because…

I love to talk. I want to share my ideas and hear yours. I speak the truth but sometimes I like to turn it to fiction, embellishing it to make it more interesting , just like adding a variety of textures to a collage. Ears aren’t always there when the thoughts fill me and need to flow like soap bubbles blown from a wand. That’s the beauty of writing. It waits patiently to be heard, while I can start on my next conversation. The words swirl, creating pictures, interpreted personally, as are the images captured by a camera lens of etched with a paintbrush.



Dreams do come true!

With Father’s Day tomorrow in Australia, I was looking through early posts on my blog. I knew I had written one about my dad and wanted to re-read it. I found it (take a peek if you like). I also found a list of dreams I had written – not dreams as in sleep time but dreams of things I wanted to achieve. I wrote it 2 years ago so decided to see if I could tick any off the list.

The Ticked

Visit Port Douglas and the Daintree Rainforest

Almost ticked. The flights and accommodation are finalised and we will be there in around five weeks time. We are traveling around Cairns to Kuranda and up as far as Cape Tribulation. It will be a planes, trains and automobile style trip ( oh and throw in a cruise ship too!)file2101291129795

Visit the Blue Grotto and Pompeii

In June last year my family (husband and two grown up kids) traveled to Italy. It was an amazing holiday, made extra enjoyable by us all sharing it together. We didn’t actually get inside the Blue Grotto. Heavy seas, high tide fast approaching and a long queue of boats meant we only saw it from the outside. But, still we saw it (and a lot of other pretty grottos on our sail around Capri


Pompeii is hard to put in words. It’s like you can still feel the lives of the people there both before the catastrophe and as they faced it. I cannot even imagine the fear that filled them as some struggled to escape (but to nowhere) nor those that curled up tightly with their family aware they could not beat this beast. And, there, looming in your vision is the all powerful Mt Vesuvius.

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Do a Sound of Music Tour

What an amazing time we had in Salzburg (July 2015) fulfilling this dream. The Mirabellplatz Gardens were opposite our accommodation. This Garden is the scene of the ‘Do-Re-Me’ steps, gnomes and trellises .Of course I sang the song as I jumped steps,tapped gnomes on the head and of course skipped ( yes skipped!!) through trellised walkways. I also did an organised SOM bus tour where I danced around a rotunda singing walked around lakes and saw the church of the marriage.

use steps notes

Watch Sunrise and Kochie Live

Sunrise is an Australian morning news TV program. It is filmed at Martin place and is visible from the street.I’m a Kochie fan so was excited to make the trip to Sydney to stand outside to watch.I was extra thrilled when a few months later I actually got to be part of an inside audience, something they don’t have very often.

tv screen pixkochie Fixed

Cook a three course meal

My cooking IS getting better. Maybe because I don’t do it so often now we are empty nesters. This makes the times I do it no longer the compulsory chore it used to be.

carb fettcake

Learn more conversational Italian

My Italian is still VERY limited but I loved listening to others using it during our travels. I was able to read the train ticket machines which was helpful.I also had a few(very simplistic) conversations-mostly transport or food related. Sadly since our return non-use means I need a HUGE refresher course.


These on the list are YET TO BE COMPLETED but are still important to me.I’m taking Abbey Lee off the list though as I don’t watch the show much now.

*Visit USA again and see Abby Lee Dance Studio – and hopefully Abby Lee :)

*Visit Churchill to see the polar bears in the wild

*African wildlife safari

*Go to the Melbourne Cup

*See the Canadian Rocky Mountains by train

*Fly over Antarctica – preferable ice class :)

*Attend a dawn service for ANZAC DAY

*Be on Sydney Harbour for New Year’s Eve

*Write a children’s picture book

*Write a collection of short stories

Have you ticked off any of your own dreams lately? Did they live up to your expectations?


Learning a craft

Do you have a favourite craft activity? Craft is a relaxing activity ( when it goes right 👍 ) with great satisfaction in achieving an end product made by yourself. I have tried paper quilling, knitting and calligraphy, and as a teenager a little bit of candle making. This craft only lasted until my mum realised I’d used her best saucepans to melt wax after the one she’d given me had the handle loosen ( watching my safety I’d thought as I you the new saucepans haha). No more milk carton, mould and drip candles for me.

As a child I remember watching my sister crochet after being taught by our nanna. Somewhere along the line I picked up the basic stitch. Now with the help of YouTube ( technology is interwoven in all I do) I am trying to teach myself to crochet.

My first project is a square cushion for my lounge. It’s just a big ‘grannie square’ really but I couldn’t help myself to try adding my own personal twist. I’ve tried to incorporate a colour change just on the corners. So far ( thankfully) the result seems better than when I adlib on cooking recipes with ingredient changes. Can’t wait to share the finished product with you.

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I think I’ve found what just might turn out to be my best friend forever in a site called Craft Yarn Council. It not only has free patterns and some interesting articles to read, it also has informative topics, like the all important ones like ‘What’s that stitch’ and ‘How to read a crochet pattern’. For knitters ( or aspiring knitters) it has ‘how to’ guidelines and patterns as well.

If you crochet, do you have any hints or tips to help as I learn this craft? I do know I need to work on getting my tension even !!



Can’t believe it’s first day of my holidays and I’m awake this early. Actually I awoke at 6 am with the alarm going off for my husband to get up for work. Guess my body is still in work mode.

 A friend set a challenge for those of us not going away for the holiday break to set ourselves some goals. I took up the challenge …

 1. To accept I’m not going away for the vacation period and so will make sure I don’t end up buying myself a ticket somewhere
This will be my hardest challenge. I’m not good at staying home during a holiday break. I get a bit twitchy and more often than not end up escaping somewhere if only got a few days. But, I have a vacation planned for later in the year and so I am going to work hard on meeting this challenge. Maybe Challenge 4 might help me stick to this one.

2. Write some blog posts and read the blogs of others.

I love writing but it seems to get pushed to the background with the demands of a day job. I love having time to sit back and paint my reflections of life with words but sometimes finding the time is the challenge. Reading the thoughts of others is insightful. It’s people watching of a different kind. It stretches my my mind to new ideas, opinions and visions and takes me to places that are already in my memory or have been beyond my thoughts.

3. Spend sometime outdoors in the sunshine admiring the beauty of where I live. 


 I live in a coastal town but rarely take time to enjoy the beauty of what I have at my doorstep. I allow the mundanes of life ( and my often sheer laziness to get moving) to get between me and this natural beauty. Winter is the perfect time for hot coffee watching the waves crash on the sand and possibly a whale frolicking on its northern migration. I’m getting out there!!


4. Put together a photo book of my Europe trip of 2014.


This definitely might help me avoid a trip away as I relive memories and organise the photos and thoughts ( or will it make the desire to get away burn stronger- we’ll see). I have so many photos of the trip I took to Europe – travelling with my husband and our kidults. At this stage I’m imagining a coffee table style book . Anyone with suggestions of easy online bookmakers to work with?




So with those challenges set up , I think I shall make myself breakfast in bed and as I eat my jam and cheese toast and sip my coffee I’ll start with reading some of the blogs in my reader.


Twitter Anyone?? 

I started my Twitter account back in October 2013. I didn’t really understand the concept of #hashtags and thought it polite to follow everyone who followed me. I learned the @ tag was actually part of my (is it a ) name. 

My first followers were family but gradually I have built a small following picked up from my love of cavalier dogs, black cats and my high involvement in watching reality television. 
 Today I was reading through the tweets of  @WanderinPoet and saw a tweet about How to Spot Fake Followers  and it got me thinking about how to increase my followers so I posed the question back about how to increase followers. The reply was almost instantaneous ( just how I like things) with a tweet AND a WordPress blog post of information ( read here). If you are a Twitter learner like me you’ll no doubt  find it interesting – I did. 
My Twitter usage is social predominantly, I love that I can always find something to comment on or join in a discussion, and admire a photo or read an inspiring quote. I’ve also used it to contact big brands for tech help. I also use it to publicise my new WordPress blog posts ( that have been few and far between recently).  
If you are a tweeter how do you use Twitter?  Oh and can you tell me if a ‘@whoever’ is shared differently in  Twitter  if it’s put at the start  or end of a tweet – I notice people do either . 

Leave a comment

On my way…

The WordPress photo prompt this week is about the journey.

‘In-between moments can be just as memorable as grand finales. This week, share a photo you took on the way to something else.’

These photos show on the way to Norfolk Island. I visited in January . I was looking for a summer holiday break and this destination looked beautiful. It certainly lived up to that expectation too. The scenery was amazing and the way of life relaxed. And if you want to read about my flight over take a look here 😄

First glimpse

First glimpse

Flying over Emily Bay

Flying over Emily Bay




Chat over Coffee

If we were to have coffee it would be in a cafe. I love having my coffee made for me ( those swirly pictures in the foam add to the experience) . Being able to choose something delicious ( like a cake, preferably with cream) to go with it is essential too – the whole experience- cemented together with friendship talk.

My talk of course would start about my kidults, although they are grown up and live away from home we still keep in close contact and I couldn’t imagine life any other way. My son and his fiancé are mulling over wedding plans and their dog ( oh I miss him living here) has had an infected paw needing antibiotics. He is a beautiful natured Cavalier but one of those dogs ( like some people) that injuries and illness just seem to happen often too. Lucky he has good people watching over him closely. My daughter is off to school camp in Monday for three days. As an over anxious parent I always hated school camps and gave my kids strict instructions to stay near the teachers and not get lost wandering. Now she is the teacher – still told her to stay close to the others :)) Her partner is nursing a foot injury that has been recurring for quite a while. I feel for him not being able to pursue his love of running at the moment.


I’d tell you about our campsite home. This here will fill in the background talk. The floorboards are down and the painting is done with just a few touch ups go finish. The painting is thanks to my husband taking some of his holidays to finish the job and it does look great. Hopefully today we will start moving at least our bedroom furniture back into the room. I’m over having to get up from virtually down on the ground each morning. In keeping with my declutter theme a lot will not be returning to the rooms. I am taking part in a 30 day declutter challenge which is difficult for hoarders as my husband and I are, but it’s happening so it’s all good.


I wouldn’t bother you with telling about work except to say this year I’m being more realistic about my time spent on it at the expense of time doing things I enjoy.
Let’s not have this conversation all one sided. I’ll sip my coffee and devour the cake while I listen about your week. Look forward to reading about it in your comment :)



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