Wednesday, May 29, 2013

On our doorstep - Archer's Point

The skies are clear and the air is cool. The afternoon is too perfect to waste. Into the car we jump with some freshly baked scones, strawberry jam and cream.  I hold my pregnant belly tightly as the car skips over the corrugation and bumps, there are more dirt roads than sealed roads up here in Cape York. Dirt roads make it feel like more of an adventure.

Archer's Point is one of our favourite destinations. Notorious for picture perfect beaches, mountainous vistas and gustily winds. This country is free from cluttered buildings, overcrowded beaches, and congested roads unlike the rest of Australia's east coast. I breathe freely on this country, and the sea breeze carries my worries far away. I say country instead of land. This is Yuka-Baja country. The ancient landscape carries on for as long as the eye can see and still provides bountiful supplies for it's traditional custodians. 

We spend the afternoon collecting fresh coconuts, combing the beaches for treasure and enjoying the sea breeze. As the sun starts to set we head for home.  Our last stop for the day is Keatings Lagoon, part of the wild National Park that Caleb works in. We hide in the bird watcher's cabin. Silently we watch the water lilies close their petals for the day while we listen to the mass chorus of wetland birds sing their dusk songs. 

Blessed are we to live among such natural beauty and to share this everyday with our son and babe-to-be. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

River Dreaming - Wee One




Lately I've been dreaming about the arrival of our wee one. This time round I've promised myself I would keep things simple. I plan on reusing baby clothes and cloth nappies which we still have packed away from Ba'il. I might however treat myself to a new sling as I wore Ba'il for close to two years and still do occasionally carry around my 16kg big boy on my hip. I especially love the Amber colour that beautiful Steph wears Remi in. 

Soon I will unwrap our baby basinet to air it out, the very same basinet I slept in when I was a baby. Ba'il took turns of sleeping in the basinet and in our bed for close to a year and for this reason I won't be setting up a nursery just yet. Instead I'll create a lovely little corner next to our bed so our baby can be an arms length away. As I keep reminding myself that simple is best, I find it so hard to believe that in only four more months our wee one will be in our arms. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013." 

This week you spent most of your time in the chicken coop. Making the most of having the top roost to yourself while the chicks are still small. Pretending to be a chicken and giving our new little chicks lots of hugs. 

Pop over to the lovely Che & Fidel to play along or check out the other portraits. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The new editions.

Early this morning we woke with the sun and hurried outside to check on the newest editions to our family. Peppa, George, Mamma Pig, and Madame Gazelle are our lovely little purebred sussex chicks who made home in their new mobile chicken coop yesterday afternoon. Even though they are in the middle of shedding their baby feathers and are rather pink, we think they are just beautiful. 

Caleb & Ba'il created a mobile coop for me (a late Christmas present) from 100% recycled hard junk. A little crooked around the ridges and painted in a retro wimbledon green chosen by Ba'il, our new little chicken home is just perfect. 

Naturally we let Ba'il name the chicks and after much pondering he chose the names of his favourite Peppa Pig characters.  For a moment I had visions of our River Nest in the future where the pigs have duck names, the chickens have pig names, and the goats are named after horses. A rather muddled up farm indeed. 

We look forward to many adventures in our little Cape York chicken coop and lots of fresh delicious eggs. One day Peppa, George, Mamma Pig & Madame Gazelle will be the leaders of the pack in our massive River Nest chicken pen but for now it's just the four of them. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013."

My little dare devil. I can't believe how much you love climbing rocks. The bigger, the better. 

Play along or visit the lovely Che & Fidel for more portraits. 

On our doorstep.

The bush track is littered with eucalyptus leaves in hues of amber and ochre. Steeply down the side of the mountain we go, hand in hand. We walk slowly collecting crystals and feathers. We stop to admire mushrooms and giant paperbarks. 

Sometimes Ba'il rides on Caleb's shoulders like royalty, absorbing every detail he passes. 

The landscape echoes ancient memories of hunter gatherer days. Of colonial ships and first explorers. 

A little bay all to ourselves. Paradise on our doorstep. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

River Dreaming - Keeping Warm





It's been a while since I've had a River Dreaming moment. Today I'm dreaming of the many cold River winters we will experience over the years to come. 

I'm dreaming of warm homemade bread with a dollop of honey from my own bees. I'm also loving the idea of making a feature out of firewood and creating a warming clutter of eccentric bits and bobs. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Home again, home again... (jiggety jig)

It feels lately that we have been literally living all over the countryside. This year already we have been to Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, and Cairns (several times). Clocking up in excess of 6,000 km in less than five months just in the car. That's 400km one way just to get to the airport. Last night Ba'il was playing with his spaceship when I asked him where the spaceship was going, he replied with such innocence "to my big house in Sydney". 

No, we don't have a big house in Sydney, he was referring to the apartment we stayed in when we were there at the start of the month. In that very moment my three year old son made it totally obvious to me that he too was feeling the effects of so much travel. This week I have spent my days in bed, fighting through the fevers of an ear and throat infection. In a way this week was a rather painful reminder for me to 'slow down'. Perhaps all the travel has taken it's toll on me also. 

Unfortunately I can't say we have seen the end of the long car trips and airports either. In the months to come we will juggle countless work trips away and to top it off - an exhibition in Sydney when I am eight months pregnant. Then after all of the work travel is over we may make one final trip away from home to wherever our second child will be born. The thought of packing up my family and going somewhere to have a baby is so overwhelming at the moment, that I have decided to "not decide" on a location until the very last minute. You see, up in Cape York it is advised that women travel out of community to 'civilisation' at least one month before their due date because there are no birthing services this far north. There are whispers however that a birthing unit may open up here before my due date. The thought of not having to travel to have a baby is almost too good to be true.

For now, I am grateful that the rest of May will be spent at our home with no long car trips, suitcases or airports (for Ba'il & I anyway).  I'm grateful for home cooked meals, the comfort of our space and the slower pace of life up here in the bush. Most of all I'm grateful for the perspective my son brings into our lives - that no matter where we travel, as long as we are together we are home. I will continue to remind myself of this when it's time for us to pack our bags again and when the time comes to decide where to birth his sibling. 

I'm grateful that one day, we will live a grounded simple lifestyle on our River Nest and Ba'il will know exactly where his home is.

If you had to birth a child away from home, I'd love to hear from you! x

Monday, May 13, 2013


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013." 

Caught mid conversation. He chatted non-stop all afternoon, often forgetting to take a breath. I guess all his talking scared the fish away. We came home empty handed. 

Head over to the beautiful Che & Fidel to check out all the other portraits. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Wishing all the incredibly passionate, dedicated, hard working mamas out there a beautiful Mother's Day with the ones they love. May you continue to do an amazing job of nurturing your little people on their journey. May you find time today to give thanks and be grateful for your children who have blessed you in so many different ways (and to put your feet up and relax in one way or another). Let the simple things make today brilliant.

Sending extra love today to my amazing Mum Anna & Caleb's mum Annie. Two inspirational women who love and support us so dearly with so much passion. How we would have loved to have breakfast with my mum at the Art Gallery or be wandering the streets of Istanbul with Caleb's mum today but instead we are hundreds, thousands of kilometres away from each other.  

To my husband & son who crafted me such a beautiful dream catcher and spoilt me with so many handmade gifts, kisses and cuddles this morning, you are my sunshine. I'm hoping the dream catcher is the solution to ending many recent restless nights. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Creatives

This time one week ago, I sat in Belinda's light filled living room among eight beautiful women and together we listened whole heartily to Tim & Jodi sharing their stories and inspiration. At times I had goosebumps, other times I had tears. For most of the day I felt speechless. The energy within that living room woke something within me that had been stirring for years. 

With handmade notebooks and cameras in hand we explored the local neighbourhood and followed the eucalypt lined path down to a beautiful beach. I breathed the cool salty air deep into my lungs. The number of boats docked around the coastline and the number of houses built almost on top of each other felt a little alien to me. Part of me yearned to live closer to the city, the other part of me longed to travel 10 hours north back home, so I could start telling my story. For me, The Creatives was very much a personal journey, a 'time out' from my norm in the quietly challenging wilderness, a life not many people know of and one I often take for granted. For me, a day with The Creatives was an awakening of spirit. I came home feeling grounded, settled, motivated and ever so grateful for the everyday stories I have to share.

Tim & Jodi's gentle words, presence and encouragement is something I'll be forever grateful for. To share the company of those fellow creatives was totally priceless. I am totally blessed. To Jodi & Tim, thank-you.