29 September 2015

New Blue

At the start of the month Michael and I took a 4 day trip from Sydney down to the snow. We weren't sure whether it would be snowy or slushy because September marks the start of off-peak season but we sure had all our fingers and toes crossed.

We didn't leave our house until about 11am on the Saturday and ambled steadily out of Sydney via the western suburbs on the Hume Motorway (M31). Just after Goulburn is a left merge onto the Federal Highway (A23) which always has me paranoid because the turnoff is more like a subtle left lane merge with one signage that doesn't leave for much reaction time. (I've never actually missed the turn off so it's not as dramatic as it sounds but I always think I have. Every. Single. Time.)

So we arrived in Canberra at 2pm for lunch, swapped drivers and made our way south out of the ACT via the B23 Monaro Highway all the way to Cooma. It got quite dark around 4 in the evening so when we finally arrived in Cooma 1.5 hours later it was pitch black outside and freezing. And so, like your everyday unsuspecting tourists we paid $20 each for weird tasting pad see ew and checked into our motel for the night.

6:30am wake ups meant that we were driving out of Cooma at 7:30 the next morning just so we could make the most out of our lift passes. The drive from Cooma to Jindabyne takes approximately 45 minutes on a highly patrolled road so please take extra care if you're driving. Once you get into Jindabyne you can get to Thredbo in around half an hour depending on the weather. 

We were lucky enough to stay in a little cabin overlooking Lake Jindabyne and I would have loved a little more time enjoying the view with a mug of tea but instead we decided to subject ourselves to an activity known as "collect lots of bruises on your ass" (snowboarding). Here's a step by step guide to how you can do it too. 

1. Turn left on Alpine Way and enter Kosciuszko National Park (fee at entrance).
2. Enter Thredbo Village in 32 kilometres, park your car and remember where you parked it.
3. Buy/pick up your lift passes.* 
The closest place to the public car parks to do this is right in front of Friday Flat. 
4. Pick up your snow gear rentals at Thredbo Sports either at Friday Flat or Valley Terminal.
5.  Approach snow based activities without fear.
6. Watch little kids shred you on the slopes.

*You save quite a bit of money if you buy your Thredbo Lift Passes online at least a week in advance 

There was a storm on the second day and we were worried about driving into the national park that morning because it had started raining quite heavily. But as we got closer to the mountains the temperature had dropped so much that by the time we stepped out of the car the rain had turned into a million little white crystals falling from the sky. I was later told that it was not really snow but "frozen rain" but until I see otherwise that was one of the prettiest things I've ever seen.

And snowboarding ended up being so much fun. Despite all the falling over and leg muscles screaming fatigue there were plenty of hi5s and laughs. Especially when we started chasing each other down the mountain with snowballs to the face I miraculously learnt how to snowboard really well. This was probably also contributed to the fact that Michael was such a good snowboard teacher that he didn't try to stuff snow down my shirt until after I could stand up on my own. I was laughing so much for a moment there I felt like a child again. 

At the start of the trip I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy this frozen version of nature that I'm normally used to. But this new blue play land already has me dreaming of New Zealand/Japan/Canada.


18 September 2015

Every Time Nostalgia

We drove up the coast last weekend to visit Michael's mum who was waiting with surprise Christmas presents. She definitely had the surprise element down pat considering its mid-September and we've only just brushed the snow off our beanies (literally). So with that being a highlight of the day we were also blessed with a beautiful day, so much so that it felt stupidly good to be back in the warmth as the weather picks up for Spring. 

The 1.5 hour drive was familiar in every sense. The entrance onto the Pacific Motorway (M1), the music playing via the AUX and the all too familiar tingle of sun across our bare limbs as the traffic gradually thinned out and the high rises that we've grown accustomed to gave away to lower lying lots. 

Seed Heritage Top, Zara Shorts, ASOS Boots, QUAY Sunnies

We spent pretty much our entire summer '14 up on the Central Coast so the closer we got the more we couldn't help but reminisce with "Remember when" sentences. This particular spot is Soldiers, one of the beaches we frequented over the summer. Just south of Norah Head Lighthouse the headlands are always a good spot to watch surfers and picnic on the grass. The stretch of beach is never overly congested with people which is always a welcomed change of pace from Sydney's beaches. Especially down the south end, tucked away from the headlands there is always a quiet spot that is perfect for yoga.  

I miss those days when we would jog down the beach and do sun salutations towards the blue horizon with only the sound of waves filling our ears. And I think I tend to get sad/nostalgic when I realise those moments have already passed and to try and relive them would only ever beget dissatisfaction. Surely I'm not the only one who feels this way? 

So I'm blessed that my other half is the yin to my yang on this one. He seems to be content/nostalgic, happy to wade in the memories and connect the events as ones that has lead us to where we are now. 

And I think that's a much better way to look at it. So every time nostalgia comes around I think I'll remind myself how lucky I am to have them. 


3 September 2015

Head In the Clouds

We all piled into my car that day and made our way down the coast. Taking the A1 Princes Highway south out of Sydney (a route I've come to know so well) we took a left at Loftus into the Royal National Park and wove our way through the trees and the sea cliffs before finding ourselves standing at the very edge of it all. 

About an hours drive out of Sydney takes you to Bald Hill Lookout just off Otford Road. You can't miss it if you're coming from the north- as the winding road suddenly breaks free from the canopy of trees and you'll find yourself up high on the cliffs that look across the vast Tasman. The road wraps around the coast for a little bit and the turn off will be to your left. Keep an eye out for the ice cream truck which is parked there most days. 

This particular winters day was overcast and a touch humid. The clouds rolled in from the ocean and drifted daringly close above our heads as we sat overlooking Stanwell Park beach and across at the Sea Cliff Bridge. With our head in the clouds we drew lungfuls of salty air and talked about ridiculous things ranging from what on earth we were going to do with ourselves as art students to how one particular individual in the group had a penchant for eating dirt (not kidding).

As I recall the four of us were there to capture something for class and so we spent the rest of the day wandering along the cliffs in hope of finding a picture. Following Lawrence Hargrave Drive further south took us down to Coalcliff beach. In front of the scarp wall were a few local surfers out battling the swell. We picked our way past the creek and through the rocks to the tidal rock pool and stopped to dip our toes in the sea. 

Such a refreshing little trip out of Sydney, can't wait to go hunting again. 


18 May 2015

An Abundance Of Summer.

Mink Pink TopSeed Pants, Midas Shoes, Lack of Color Hat, Vintage Bag, Sportsgirl Necklace

Photos by Michael

There are things in life I've learnt that cannot be controlled. The changing of the seasons for one, try as I might I could not make the summer stay. At first I grieved to think that I was losing something that to me was once so precious and all consuming. And I was desperate to recapture it before it slip from my grasp forever. Because the thought of losing the warmth and its touch on my skin was unbearable agony. But slowly and surely it drifted away and because I had been so intent on holding on to the waning sun I wasn't even remotely prepared for the winter. The winter seemed to last for an eternity and the knowledge that spring was eventually bound to reappear became my mantra.

I woke up one day emerging from hibernation into the full throve of spring. Elated, I felt full of life once again. But the experience had left me with a profound wariness. I knew that spring was bound to be followed by a repeat of the seasons. Was there a perpetual cycle in play here that I could not escape? Was I stuck in some weird reality loop bound to repeat endlessly over and over? 

Well I still haven't figured out the secrets of the universe yet but I know this: the only constant all along was me. The seasons may change but as long as I don't lose myself I can't lose myself. Common sense perhaps but sometimes I think we all need a reminder. 


31 March 2015

I don' t know what to make of it


Photos by Michael

It all kind of goes by in a flash before you realise that you've been holding your breath for the entire time. Then you realise that it doesn't really matter and you should've learnt to live in the moment. 

I hate knowing that all things come to an end but I've slowly taught myself to soak in the present, filling my memory banks with as much sunshine and laughter as it can possibly contain. 

This past summer I spent most of my days up in the Central Coast learning to be a child again. In doing so I discovered my best friend was also the one who holds my hand when we cross the road, who never fails to make me laugh again when I cry in sappy movies and cooks me banana pancakes in the morning. It's also fairly convenient that he lives in the Central Coast so the last couple of months I've been exploring the area as a half tourist half local. 

This particular hang is Norah Head (1.5hr from Sydney) where we would spend the days walking along the beach watching surfers catch waves, then pick our way through the rocks to sit at the edge of the cliffs overlooking the vast blue sea imagining how different our lives could've been and how it will all play out. 


24 February 2015

Hazy Summer Days


Photos by Michael

In five days we mark the start of Autumn and I'm left wondering how Summer always manages to fly by in a blink of an eye. I never seem to have collected enough sand in my hair or at the bottom of my bags or in absolutely every crevice of my phone. 

Already I'm eyeing the weather forecasts to make sure the predicted thunderstorms don't hit during the shoot I've booked for tomorrow and it feels like I've wasted three months frolicking in the sunshine and burying my toes in the sand.

I lie, I regret nothing.

Honestly this summer has been one of the best I've had in a long time (as indicated by actual teeth in photos) and I have so many photos of road trips, beach days, the surf and cafe adventures to go through...

Summer I miss you!