Thursday, 29 March 2012

Can't get you out of my head

I took this photo yesterday while at the dog beach with Z and Barley. It was one of those perfect hazy Melbourne Autumn days.
It's incredible how being by the sea brings such peace. It made me realise how much I am itching to head down the coast this weekend for our hike and so grateful that we create this space for one another each year.
Good friends, fresh air, adventure, stepping back, taking time, I just cant get it out of my head.

Much like this all time favorite Flaming lips cover of Kylie.

Thank you to my amazing friends who help make this happen.

If you missed the interview with Paula, the inspiration for our hike, then I'll leave you with the link.
Have a wonderful weekend and I'll see you back here next week.
Love xx

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Some days the world just needs more

I googled "loving patience" last you do.... and was rewarded with this gem...I especially loved the vision of myself as a keg of dynamite (or a 'keg' of anything really):

'When you feel like a keg of dynamite just about to go off, learn patience towards yourself. Just slow down at that point - just pause - instead of immediately acting on an established habitual response.....'

It really did the trick because I can't stop laughing at the thought of it. Me, the keg.
What a lovely piece of distraction.

Join me & smile at someone you think needs a little love today...... even if it's yourself! xox

PS. Take a look at beautifully, suddenly's post here for some rather inspiring Sydney love.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Blue skies and beach...

3 days to go! Here's to blue skies and crystal clear water. The forecast is looking good.
I'm so excited...

Something I came across yesterday...
Forgiveness is the economy of the heart... forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.
Hannah More

Monday, 26 March 2012

Send in the wrecking crew.

Loving the new Shins album.
Liberate yourself from the past.... send in that wrecking crew....& let go.
Love it!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Farewell fair friend xx

My friend, Annette, is heading back to Norway after a year living here in the next street. We met in meditation classes and have become great friends. She's part of the running and Crafty Monday crew. I'm really going to miss her.....and so is Z.

She played the most delightful concert for a few friends on Wednesday afternoon, in her music room.
It was such a treat. Thank you A for everything. It's been a lot of fun.
I hope to see you back here soon. xoxo

Happy weekend everyone...a week to go until the big hike.
The countdown is on girls. Yippee. x

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

How deep is your love?

It's been a while so here's a little link love list:
- the idea of eating this Double Chocolate Loaf for morning tea.
- this very stylish lyric camera bag by Epiphanie.
- the International Children's Digital library.
- homemade slime.
- Trula's Chai recipe.
- reassessing some of my outmoded expectations!
- Susannah's post 'Always wear your invisible crown'.
- the incredible Brent Harris exhibition currently on at the NGV. So beautifully curated.
- my gratitude project.
- everything at little birdie.
- urban muser's photography journey me and you 52.
- Inspired by N&M...hoping to explore some of these camp sites with my two lovelies.

Happy hump day. x

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Flickr Faves

1. Untitled, 2. Etsy favourites: a hint of spring, 3. fridge lists, 4. Untitled, 5. Vintage English watercolor box, 6. 9:2012 - In anticipation of spring..., 7. Untitled, 8. It feels like Christmas, 9. Cactus

In an attempt to inject some colour into the morning here are a few Flickr Favorites.
It's a very sleepy Tuesday here. My head just wants to lie down for another couple of hours.
Alas, the little man's swimming lessons beckon. So I must dash.
Enjoy your day.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Paris dreaming

Paris in motion from cinema23 on Vimeo.
** Slight motion sickness warning!

To all the fun times and future adventures. Happy Monday xx

Saturday, 17 March 2012

A year ago all started.

I started this blog a year ago today. In the wee hours of the morning. My aunty had just passed away and I wanted to create a space where I could focus on all the amazing things in my life. Things to help me keep this crazy (but incredibly beautiful) world in perspective.

Thanks to everyone who has supported, encouraged & inspired me on this journey.
Love to all of my family...immediate & extended. Even though we have very different ways of dealing with our loses, we are still so completely connected through these ladies who've shaped such a large part of our lives. xox

Friday, 16 March 2012

Interview # 3... with Paula Constant

Walking is so damn accessible. It's something we all , pretty much, do everyday. We walk to the shops, for a coffee, to work, around the supermarket, to the pub and around the block for a bit of exercise. We walk without thinking about it, all day.

Yet, what Paula Constant achieved is almost unfathomable. In 2004 Paula and her husband, Gary, walked out of Trafalgar Square, London, carrying packs that exceeded recommended hiking maximums by about 20 kilos, to commence their dream adventure. They were to walk, ....with very little training, from London & finish in the Sahara Desert.

From London they walked through France to Spain...across the Pyrenees and along the Camino de Santiago.....down through Portugal and back into Spain. Exhausted yet? It's starting to sound a little like the Demtel commercial...'But wait there's more'....(no steak knives, sorry)...but Paula then walked to Algeciras, across to Morocco and down through the Western Sahara.
Just thinking about it tuckers me out. Over 12,000km's. One foot in front of the other, day after day.

(Photo courtesy of constanttrek).

I first came across Paula's journey when my brother handed me a book back in 2010 and said 'I think you'll like this.' It was a copy of Slow Journey South, Paula's first book about her adventure. I was hooked and slightly encouraged by the fact that this seemingly 'normal' person has achieved something so incredible by a means that were completely available to me. I have two feet!! .... & I love an adventure.

Paula was the inspiration for the Great Ocean Road walk I organised with 5 friends last year (this years adventure is in exactly 2 weeks time! Yippee). The GOR walk is a far cry from the Sahara but with little training and little space in our lives, I was encouraged by her philosophy to just get out and get walking. Paula's story has stayed with me since and I often draw on her determination to keep me focused on taking each and every step, no matter how seemingly small, in the direction of my desired destination.


Hello Paula & thanks for agreeing to do this interview. I appreciate you taking the time between hiking & writing to be here at Stupendous Joy. You have carved an incredible life for yourself through walking. Where on earth did the desire to traverse countries on foot come from?
I'd traveled a lot with a pack on, in trains and buses or cars. I was tired of seeing places pass me by - it always seemed that the most interesting parts were those in between stops, that I could never find my way back to. I wanted to walk through these places so that I could be a part of daily life, see a country as did those who inhabited it.

Most of us have tripped up short of our goals after one mere set back.....but you, wow! How did you stay so motivated through blisters, foul weather, a marriage breakdown and financial strain to keep on putting one foot in front of the other in order to persue your dream?
Sometimes I think it was the walking that actually got me through those things. It was easier to physically put one foot in front of the other than to stop and think about it. Somehow walking allows you to walk through things almost subconsciously, so it passes, and you stamp it out. You don't have to sit in the middle of the pain and think of nothing else. Walking, in my opinion is the greatest cure of them all.

You talk about the journey of life interesting you more than the giddy highs of intrepid adventure. No doubt you gained many insights into yourself and life through the intensity of your walking. What changes or revelations did you experience through the walk?
I think the changes wrought in me by the walk only became apparent years later. In some ways it is only now that I realise what walking did for me - how it matured me, made me more patient, made me more humorous. Perhaps the best thing about being out there for so long was the realisation that the human experience really is universal - just at the moment you feel the loneliest, you discover that the nomadic Muslim 60 year old guy next to you is thinking the same thing and you both laugh. This is the secret to happiness for me.

What were the small unexpected joys experienced on your walk?
Dawn every day. Walking in the middle of the night beneath wheeling stars so bright they couldn't help but make me smile, right before I rolled over and died in deep, deep sleep again, with the desert breeze on my face. My camels, who cracked me up and kept me company. The many small kindnesses I was shown and the humility of many of the people I met. The sheer joy of cresting a dune to find Tomboctou lying in front of me. The miracle of good food in an arid part of the desert. The sight of the dunes changing colour in the middle of a dune sea. So many joys to be honest. No matter how hard the day was, I never wished myself somewhere else.

I imagine the adventurous spirit is a hard one to quell once ignited. What's next?
A 'very' mini adventure. I'm setting off this weekend from the Costa tropical in Spain to walk 1300kms to Santiago de Compostela along the very well resourced Via de la Plata. It is a little walk that will give me time to think and write, and I' can't wait. It feels like a luxury. Walking never ends. It is a passion that once ignited can't be quelled, a wonderful meditation that you can find anywhere, anytime. I Love it, and feel very grateful that I've had the chance and support to walk as far as I have.

Thanks for the lovely insight into your walking Paula. For your inspiration in getting me and my friends out there hiking... with little training..... and igniting a sense of adventure in us. There's nothing quite like being out in the elements and savoring every step, right here, right now. All the best with your current adventure in Spain. The Camino de Santiago is on my to-do list . I look forward to reading your third book. Much appreciation xx

Paula Constant Links:
::: website
::: Books: Slow Journey South & Sahara
::: diary
::: motivational presentations

My Previous Intervies:
Clare Bowditch
Susannah Conway

Thursday, 15 March 2012

my weekly thanks

A couple of this weeks photos from my gratitude project.

In anticipation of our upcoming hike I'll be back tomorrow morning with interview #3.


PS. for anyone who joined in on the morning yoga stretches... do you have sore ribs too?

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Move that body

I've been wanting to get back into yoga for some time but finding a class that works in with all of our schedules hasn't happened this semester. I've decided to turn to Tara Stiles...NY yoga guru.... and follow her Morning Yoga for Flexibility routine. Being an ex-ballet dancer yoga seems to fit...especially once I get past the initial aches and pains. If I can't get out to do it.... then I'll just have to do it at home. Me on my little mat, by my computer.
Here's my wee challenge: I'm going to do this routine on the days I don't jog. So, each Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday morning for the next month.

Want to join me in the challenge?

Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape. ~Author Unknown

PS. I just did a little trial run and already my body feels happier!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Where the Farck is Yarck?

We spent a totally relaxing weekend in Merton for the Labor Day public holiday weekend. The L.F. has a rather extended and sometimes hard-to-get-your-head-around family.... so, in order to cut out the step & ex long winded description, let's just say we were staying with the in-laws, Mumma Cat & Poppa Zeke.

I always enjoy my time with these two. Poppa Zeke guarantees a laugh and at least 1 road trip per visit. I've never met a man so fond of traveling the wide open road. He can jump in the car in a heartbeat and travel 200km, then turn around and come right on home without so much as battering and eyelid. He's a rather loveable grey haired hoon.

Mumma Cat runs a second hand bookstore, Books at Yarck, so we've come home with all manner of treasured reads. We ran out of time this morning to swing by the shop again on our way home... which is probably a little we may have cleaned Mumma Cat out and returned with a boot load of printed loot. If you're ever in Yarck stop by and say hello. There's a great selection of books to quench any literary thirst.

With a population of only 220 odd Yarck's a lovely little place to spend some time. The Yarck Hotel, renowned for it's legendary saying 'Where the farck is Yarck?' is a cozy spot for an afternoon beer, with a very inviting beer garden. The Giddy Goat was 'the' spot for bike riders along the Gouldurn River High Country Rail Trail this morning..... and made us a very tasty takeaway Chai latte for our trip home.
We still haven't made it to The Tea Rooms....but hopefully sometime soon (who'd believe there's so much to do in Yarck!).

We ate dinner at the Bonnie Bar in the town affectionately portrayed in this movie...'ahhh the serenity', took a drive to Mansfieled, fueled our country dream by looking at a property, collected sticks while walking 3 rowdy dogs in the afternoon sun and we all cozzied up around the campfire last night with the scent of cypress bellowing out under an incredible country sky.

Thanks Mumma Cat & Poppa Zeke for a really enjoyable weekend. x

Friday, 9 March 2012

Dreams do come true....look at me babe I've found you

Phillipa Finch Tea towel by Third Drawer Down

I really enjoyed the interview with Abigail Crompton from Third Drawer Down over on the Craft Victoria blog. This question in particular:

But do you love everything you’ve done so far and everything you’re doing now?

Yeah yeah. I wake up every morning excited about what I’m doing and how I’m doing it. I think it’s really important, and I’ve said this before I think, you have to have integrity with what you do in the world. There’s a lot of people that don’t and they may get somewhere in life but I always think that it does follow people too if they don’t have integrity with their business.

I volunteered one morning a week at Craft Victoria 'before craft was cool' ....I started when Craft Victoria was still down at the Meat Market, mmmm, a long time ago ..... and I worked with Abi once we moved to Flinders Lane. I remember my friend Ladle & I having a conversation with her, over a coffee, in the planning stages of Third Draw Down. Abi had a mountain of tea towel samples, a larger than life dream and some very funny stories about what people really did keep in their third draw down. Over a decade on and it's incredible to see how she's grown her business into a world she loves.

This TED talk was over on Abi's website and I thought I'd share.

Now, to answer the question......What does freedom mean to me?

Happy Long weekend.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Good morning

An early morning walk around my neighbourhood this morning. I love watching a city wake up.
Have a great day. xx

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Here's a little update

1. 6th March: the cinema, 2. 5th March: coffee, or rather, chai with friends., 3. 4th March: amazing Melbourne skylines., 4. 3rd March: walking in the rain with my little man., 5. 2nd March: Frash flowers, 6. 1st March: the Forum Theatre., 7. 29th Feb: Home sweet home. Catani Gardens. It's always lovely to return home to St Kilda after a road trip., 8. 365 Gratitude: 28th Feb. Nature! It's a huge pleasure source for me., 9. 27th Feb: time for seeing., 10. 26th Feb: holidays & early morning walks with my sweet little man., 11. 25th Feb: early mornings, deserted beaches and my lovely peeps..& pup., 12. 24th Feb: weekends away with friends.... & their new additions., 13. 23rd Feb: i love these. Spanish glass from Doo., 14. 22nd Feb;exciting new lives and possibilities., 15. 21st Feb: a new face to welcome into our family... & she's oh so sweet., 16. 20th Feb: afternoon light in my living room., 17. 19th Feb: amazing meals cooked by friends at the seaside after a day on the beach. Bliss., 18. 18th Feb: giant comfry leaves in my herb garden, 19. 17th Feb: so very pleased to be about to climb in here this evening., 20. 16th Feb: The feast, at Vic's., 21. 15th Feb: perfect beach days with neighbours., 22. 14th Feb: early morning jogging and all the lovely people in my life., 23. 13th Feb: this card that hangs above my desk... & Monday night meditation., 24. 12th Feb: City Square Yarn bombed to my a few of my favorites...the wooden wombat, Brunetti's & The Nicholas Building., 25. 11th Feb: lunch at Tiamo with my boys

Here's a little mosaic of my Gratitude Set. It's such a lovely way to look back on the month. My friend Ladle, in London, is also taking part and so is the gorgeous Greta, in Italy. There's something really special about seeing the little things happening in their lives. Things we forget to mention on Skype calls or via email.

Silence is one great art of conversation. WILLIAM HAZLITT, Characteristics.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

We're preparing for the wild...Bear Grylls style.

Almost a year ago 5 friends and I set off with our packs, clothes, tents and food (Bear Grylls style) for a 3 day hike along the Great Ocean Road. In less than 4 weeks we're heading off again to finish what we started and I can feel the excitement building inside me. It was such an incredible trip. A complete indulgence to be able to walk, slowly and consistently towards a destination of 'our' wee voices demanding we go 'this way'....ahhh the serenity.
We walked approximately 10-14km per day....not huge distances...but far enough considering our packs weighed around 16-18kg's (I'm still convinced mine was the heaviest...& is not the heaviest...then the 2nd heaviest!). There are many wonderful stories from the trip. There were so many laughs along the way and being out in nature with friends is an incredible tonic. The count down is on. Yippee xox

Monday, 5 March 2012

Injecting colour into our day with cupcake crayons.

You may remember we whipped up some of these crayon cupcakes way back, in May last year. Something about these cooler days inspires a boost of colour.... today was the day for another batch.


Friday, 2 March 2012

Celebrating Dickens & Dr Seuss

I'm off to see Dickens' Women tonight at the Arts Centre. I love Miriam Margoyles... Her incredible sense of the ridiculous really appeals to me. If you haven't yet seen this Denton interview (it's in 4 parts) you're guaranteed to giggle.

Febraury, the 7th, marked the bicentanary of Charles Dickens' birth date. Dickens 2012 is an international celebration of the life and work of Charles Dickens. There's a list of events happening internationally to celebrate. Do you have a favorite Dickens novel? I must confess I've never read any....mmmmm, I know I can't believe it. In order of it being his bicentenary I may just have to read my first.... (movies and plays don't count. Them, I have seem).
This made me laugh....Wikipedia on Charles Dickens..... 'Dickens's work has been highly praised by writers such as Leo Tolstoy, George Orwell, and G. K. Chesterton for its realism, comedy, prose style, unique characterisations, and social criticism, though others, such as Henry James and Virginia Woolf, have criticised it as melodramatic, sentimental, and implausible.' Literature (like life, I guess) really is a highly personal journey. What one praises, another finds implausible.....and there lays the beauty of life.

Now from novelist to................. Dr Seuss' whose birthday it is today. It seems fitting to pay tribute to the day with some rather ridiculous Dr Seuss link love:
Seussville, the official Dr Seuss website
Take the Dr Seuss trivia quiz.
Dr Seuss quotes
Montessori inspired, One Fish Two fish Maths activty
Dr Suess biography....he was born in Springfield in 1904.

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
― Dr. Seuss

Do you have a favorite Dr Seuss book? I personally had a love hate relationship with the books as a child. I read them but I wasn't sure I really liked them. I'd get a funny feeling similar to motion sickness. I have the same feeling, to this day, when I read Dr Seuss to Z....and I still can't work out exactly what it is that makes me feel this way. I did enjoy this film however.

Happy weekend. xox

Thursday, 1 March 2012

So long summer!

So long sweet summer. Hello Autumn....eek! Not sure I'm ready for you but hey, I did, just last night, learn to knit in the round..... with double pointed needles! A sure sign I'm preparing for hibernation.



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