Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My love to the people of Samoa

Some years ago I had the privilege of holidaying in Western Samoa. It was by far the friendliest place I have ever visited. I attended a church service one Sunday morning and was touched by the beauty of the singing and the open-heartedness of the people. I was instantly befriended by a young woman, taken to her father's home, bought food, and welcomed with open arms in her village. A few days later, this same young woman took me to a waterfall, where we slid down the rocks together into the pool below. Her smile was as wide as the sky.
My prayers, thoughts and love go out to this young woman and her family and all the Samoan people there who have been affected by the Tsunami today. I hope their amazing sense of faith and spirit, and their abundant love gives them much strength. And may their enormous generosity be returned to them now in their time of need.

Wordless Wednesday...a spontaneous moment

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Farm Girls

The coming of Spring for us always features a visit to Bundoora farm, and feeding time for the lambs and kids.

While the girls galloped around freely like two Spring fillies, I soaked up the warm sun on my back with a good light hearted (and long overdue) read with the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency. This little hen decided to join me. The joys of Spring!

My Story Tree Blog

My toy shop blog The Story Tree was going through a bit of renewal must be Spring!

It takes a while for a blog to find it's voice, well at least that's my experience. I've decided that the only way I can write is from the heart, and I would really like to write about what has inspired us to "play" as a family, the inspiration we have found from the work of Rudolf Steiner, and also hear stories from our customers too. My daughter was happy to pose for a photo or two, and she might even write some book reviews.
It's taken all afternoon, but I'm fairly happy with it, except for the banner which I have an idea for...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Monday, September 07, 2009

Winter in retrospect...Part 3...winter by the sea...

My Dad was diagnosed with Prostrate Cancer a few years back (he's taking Chinese herbs and it's not getting any worse) but as he turns 85 this year, we are conscious of spending as much time as possible with him. So, when T had to pick up her new glasses all the way down at Queenscliffe (3 hours drive) we decided to make it an adventure with Papa!

When we arrived the first thing we did was head for the beach - it was SO cold but that didn't stop the girls wanting to explore.

We had cosy "Hideaway" Cottage waiting for us. I really enjoyed being here, it was so simple and peaceful and set me reflecting about all the clutter we gather in our lives.

Charlotte and Irena seemed to feel right at home too.

The next morning the sun greeted us as we enjoyed breakfast watching the passenger Ferry's come in through the heads of the bay.

We took a little time to find out some history. At the time of European discovery of the area, it was inhabited by the Bengalat Bulag clan of the Wautharong tribe, a member of the Kulin nation. In her first term of class 5 this year E had learnt that William Buckley, convict escapee, was the first European settler in the area in 1803 (hopefully I can post some of her work on that at another time). Permanent settlement began in 1836. Because of it’s position at the head of Port Phillip Bay, Queenscliffe was originally a fishing village and soon became an important cargo port, hence it’s famous lighthouse. It became a popular tourist destination as early as the 1800’s, and now carries tourists across Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay to Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula.

The main street of this historic town is delightful to wander around. I was very taken with this art deco shop front amongst the nineteenth century buildings.

There's some fun Op Shopping to be had here, and T bought herself this lovely necklace which we fancied was very 1960's.
I found a pretty piece of lace, and an old fashioned lolly shop where we indulged in sherbert foutains (just like Papa used to by me when I was little!).

In the pale afternoon sun, the girls paddled by the old jetty;

Until paddling turned waist deep - in the middle of winter!!! The joy of being 9 and 11!!!

We warmed up with hot fish and chips in the park overlooking the ocean - the end to a perfect day.

Our retrospect...Part at a different pace

Ever since we read the series of Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingles Wilder, our family has had a passion for the nineteenth century. The girls have been wanting to visit Sovereign Hill (recreating Victorian life during the 1850's Goldrush) all year, even Brendan was able to take a well-earned day off work - we had a great day!

This ice-sculptor was amazing to see in was his work...

One of our favourite parts of Sovereign Hill is the Chinese village on the Goldfields, a part of our history we don't hear much about. I was touched when I turned around in the Chinese Temple to see E on her knees praying. I found out later that she was praying for the people who had died in the riots in China on 5 July, just a few days beforehand.

Our retrospect...Part 1...Midwinter Birthday

As this little bear seemed to be hibernating over the last few weeks of Winter (ie. conserving energy for living and all that needed doing), I missed sharing how we enjoyed (for a few moments at least) the quiet hush of this season. Here's a glimpse of what we got up to...

T chose the theme for her 9th birthday "Christmas in July" - we really soaked up the Midwinter astmosphere.