Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cooktown Hues


 There's nothing like a summer sunset that takes my breath away. The Cooktown hues are especially beautiful in early summer just before the big wet hits. The bougainvillea and poinciana lined streets are the perfect foreground for a dusty pink and blood orange sunset.

There's something about this time of the year that makes me so grateful about living away from the hussle and bussle of city life. My outdoor afternoon conversations with my son usually revolve around the colour of the sky, the types of clouds and the different evening bird calls. On a typical Saturday night we will treat ourselves to a pizza or fish and chips and have a picnic on Grassy Hill. The night always ends with a trip to the wharf to check out the best catch and to admire the glow of the moon over the 
Endeavour River. 

Last night we did something new. My parents came to visit, and my Dad been the keen fisher he is, couldn't pass up the opportunity to bring his first grandson for a fish. We packed the deck chairs and the fishing lines and headed to the wharf for Ba'il's first proper fish. We watched the sun set, the moon rise, and instead of noisy buses, trams, taxis or restaurants - we watched boats silently head out for their nightly catch, ate, laughed and shared the wharf with a few other locals. It was truly lovely. One of my best childhood memories is fishing with my Dad. 
I'm so glad Ba'il is able to have the same special childhood experience.

Photos - Sunset in our front yard. Sunset over the Endeavour River. Moon rising. My Dad & Ba'il. The Wharf. Dinner. Laughs. Fresh prawns. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Introducing our River Retreat

Up at the river retreat - looking down over the paddock and dams, toward the river side cottage that's hidden in the trees.
The makeshift bush shower. A simple luxury showering under the stars.

The make shift kitchen. The delight of smoky breakfasts and camp oven dinners.
Family, friends and flying the kite.
The mighty make shift throne.
The simple things. Thunder box love.
Cooking fuel, night time light and warmth for those cold wintery nights.

Our river retreat is a temporary bush dwelling among the lemon eucalyptus and cypress pines on our 20 acres of river side love. On the long weekends and holidays the river retreat is our home, until we move permanently into our river nest (our river side timbre cottage) that is occupied by our family while we live up north in the Cape York wilderness. 

The things I love the most about our river retreat is the simplicity of cooking on an open fire, doing the washing up out of a bucket and showering among the trees under the stars. For now we sleep in a tent under the shelter of an old tin shed and wake to the sound of the bush and birds when the sun rises each morning. 

Over our Christmas break, we look forward to putting in some more permanent structures which will eventually make this river retreat a second home with the long term plan of being the WWOOFer's  quarters (who will help us maintain our self sustainable dream). Our main goal with this space is a combination of hard junk, recycling, and using existing junk, trees and odd bits already laying around our property to build the perfect space.

I look forward to sharing the slow and steady transformation of this space with you. 
As well as some of our inspirations for the final masterpiece. 
For now, it's all about getting the basics established and dreaming things into reality.

Until the Christmas break we will make the most of our lazy weekend and continue adding to lists of things to pack for our much needed end of year break.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Slowing down

At the end of the week, our household pace steadies itself to a slow jog. I wrap up work for the week and begin the household chores so we can wake on Saturday morning feeling fresh and ready to welcome the weekend with a casual stroll. 

I'm looking forward to laying in bed that little bit longer tomorrow, especially because the sheets are crisp and clean. It's been a long (hot) week with our papa bear away, but we are looking forward to my parents visiting. Visitors in our house are sometimes fair and few between, four hours north (depending on how fast you drive) is a little far for our loved ones to pop in for a cup of tea. 

On Sunday, my parents will be taking Master Ba'il back south with them (gasp), and I will be home by myself for the first time in nearly three years. There will be no girly movies or pedicures. Instead there will be lots of funding submission writing, end of year tidy ups and Christmas parties to attend. More on that later.

Photos - Stills from our outside life. 

P.S. I'm glad to say that I've fixed my internet problem, and once our new modem arrives I look forward to posting more happenings much more regularly. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Red Summer

Every weekday I travel half an hour north to a beautiful little Mission where I am helping to run an Indigenous Art & Cultural Centre. Since the 1st of December, summer has graced us with her presence, the sky seems a little more blue, the dust seems a little more thick, the air is oh so humid and the flowers are ever so red. I love the contrast of colours that come with a Cape York summer, especially in the lead up before the wet. 

I am saturated in colour. Despite living away from our families (not having a babysitter at the drop of a hat) and not having a typically 'civilised' life (not having access to lovely organic food shops and cafes), I feel satisfied with the simplicity that living remotely brings. Lately I've made a point of showing Ba'il the noticeable summer colours. As we drive to daycare and work, we point out the different colours and beautiful flowers and trees we can see, we chat about the change in the seasons. 
My heart sings when out of the blue, in the quiet of the car he says 
"Oh Ba'il loves that red, red, red tree". 

*Photos - The dirt road to work. The red, red, red tree. Dora Deemal 2012 Four Lagoons from HopeVale Art Centre. Wanda Gibson 2012 native seed jewellery. Gingers & Totem Pole in the Art Centre garden. The dust that coats absolutely everything we own.  

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A new space.

It's literally been over two years since I lasted blogged. When the creative forces struck again recently, there was just no way I could go back to my old neglected Ngaachi. The memories there seem like a lifetime ago and deserving of a space of their own. I needed something new, something fresh and simple. A story place where I can let my creativity grow. 

So when asking myself what my new blog would reflect, it seemed only fitting it would tell the tale of our River Nest dream, and our daily happenings and good folk we meet along the way. This year (2012) we purchased a little river side cottage on twenty acres of partly cleared bushland. Our dream home. Our dream is simple really, to slowly create a self sustainable property that will nourish and inspire our family, hopefully for generations. 

The only complicated part to this story is that due to our chosen careers, we are working and living four hours north in the wilderness of Cape York. Getting back to the property to fix the fence or plant some trees can be rather time consuming but we are determined to make it work. For now it's a juggling act of living in the moment, here in remote Cape York and manifesting the future, there at the River Nest. 

It's nice to be back. I hope you enjoy this space. Please say hi, and stay tuned for more soon. 

*Photos - Unicorns crossing, we live in a magical place. My boy finding treasure on the beach. Super kid, and our regular dinner view! Cooktown wharf, a favourite sunset family spot.