marți, 17 iulie 2018

Australia - A Rainy Day in Sydney

I wanted to publish this post a very long while age, but the words were not enough. I wasn't happy with the copy whatsoever. I remember writing and re-writing it several times, but never pushed the Publish button because I was completely unhappy of how it turned out. 

First of all, it happened in 2015. It was mostly cold and rainy, we were in a hurry, as we had only few hours to spend in the Sydney CBD before taking off. I said at the time that we visited the port, which is not entirely the truth, but little I knew about Sydney then. I can sure say that we couldn't feel the pusle of this vibrant city in such a short while. 

I will let the images do the talking, as I'm still finding them remarkable, and share some more about Sydney later. It's easy to recognise the Opera House, the Darling Harbour, the Bridge, the Queen Victoria Building. 

I think we didn't miss any important landmarks at the time, but the weather was extremelly  capricious and I remember being frustrated of not seeing enough, even our feet hurt at night. 

luni, 16 iulie 2018

Sydney Hidden Spots

Since the kids have grown up, it became more and more difficult to extract them from their electronic devices and take them out to enjoy nature. Unless we have a very good and specific plan for the weekend (like we had last week going for ski in the Snowy Mountains), in Sydney it's really hard to decide AND to accomplish what you want to do all in the same day. The escapes in nature are usually well planned and the kids and friends need to be informed a couple of days in advance. Or a week in advance. Or a month in advance. Get the picture?

But for this one we had not even decided on the day, only after we entered the car and started to drive. We asked the kids to get dressed and come out, told them that we'll go out to breath some fresh air with no idea where to go to. But it was a beautiful day and we had to take them out. After Bogdan started to drive, I opened the maps app and searched for water in an area of 20-30 km from our home. I had no idea what I was doing, but it turned out we have chosen the right spot for a Sunday afternoon.

This peaceful place is the Prospect Reservoir, situated in the Prospect Nature Reserve. As it's a preserved area, the access is free but it's completely surrounded by fences and the gates are closing at 4 pm during the winter. It is located approximately 10 km West of Parramatta and 5 km South of Blacktown. There is plenty of water drinking facilities, as well as picnic tables and barbecue. No crowds, only a few visitors taking a walk or a bicycle ride.

The winter light was gorgeous and the old pipes were such a novel and beautiful setting for pictures. There is a bridge on the lake making also a beautiful location for pictures, but there is no public access, so Bogdan had to shoot this from above and through the fence. Actually, the whole lake is surrounded by a fence, I don't really know why, as it was full of ducks and a lot of other birds.

Later edit, a message from a friend: This is because it is the resevoir that holds Sydney's water, so they don't want  all sorts of "crap" getting into the water, after all we will be drinking that water !!! 

It was quite a short trip, but the kids were happy to walk and play for a while. Have I mentioned that while is very difficult to take them out, it's equally difficult to bring them back? But that is a good thing, because hopefully they will know the value of the outdoors and the real fun that can be had?

duminică, 25 martie 2018

One Weekend Away in Jervis Bay

The world is moving, and it’s moving fast. We are caught in its eye of the storm, not even trying to escape, abandoning ourselves to the fast pace and movement. But, once in a while, we need to find a place to recharge our batteries, to be one with the nature, to feel the breeze in your hair. 
Sun in the air. 
Salt on your skin.

To feel the magic of an autumn crisp day with a picture perfect sky.

 We found that place. It's called Jervis Bay. 

Since we've been there, life happened. And it happened for 1 year. One year has passed since I started this post and abandoned it.

I wonder if the girl with the dog is still walking the dog on the same beach.

We were heading South then, we'll be heading North soon for a short battery recharge.

I miss the Ocean, I didn't see it in a while.

See you soon, dear. Do you remember me?

duminică, 14 mai 2017

Mother's Day

It was Mother's Day here in Australia today.

We celebrated it two months ago, on the 8th of March, as a Romanian celebration.

In the morning I was cooking American pancakes, running errands, doing all the urgent things needed to be done asap, as the corporate white collar says. 

The kids gave me nice loving postcards, Runa indulged me with a box full of my favourite candies (which, by the way, I'm eating right now, hidden in my bedroom), I prepared their most loved dish for dinner: shrimps pasta and we ate it all together in the kitchen, quite quietly, and that meant they loved the food. Usually the dinner time is the arguing and teasing time, for all of us, but this time the hunger and the pleasure of eating a good meal was bigger than their animosities.

It was such a simple and normal and beautiful day, that I wouldn't even write about it if it wasn't about my promise to myself. 

To illustrate it, from the middle of an ordinary day, trying to get out from a very busy IKEA, there came this painted sky, with the Australian flag waving in the distance. 

G'day, my friends! 
Never be afraid of a mediocre day, it may just mean you're happy!

sâmbătă, 13 mai 2017

The Aliens' Landing Spot

We've never been much on sleeping in, me and Bogdan. Waking up early, even during the weekends, is a long established habit, for the last 20 years. 

But here, in Australia, we started waking up even earlier, even during the winter months, when the sun rises late and the 98% humidity slips into your bones early in the morning. 

We never get upset with each other when one of us wakes up (too) early. I just drag myself out of bed, go downstairs and fix some strong (usually Lavazza) coffee, then go outside with blankets on my shoulders, socks on my feet and enjoy it for half an hour.
And today, as in every given day, I was siting in the backyard, at 7 a.m., when I noticed some aliens came during the night and drew circles around our lonely tree there. Can you see me? I'm that small dot on the left, laying in a grey armchair on the verandah. You can even notice how impressed I was. 

Of course it was Bogdan, gardening as usual, every weekend morning, an Alien
A Romanian in Australia. 
He just marked the landing spot.

vineri, 12 mai 2017

The First Year

"This is the first day from the rest of our lives" I wrote on this blog one year ago. 
I can't be more convinced of this now. I mean, this IS the rest of our lives.

It was a difficult year, I won't lie about it. Probably one of the most difficult years of my adult life. Struggling with the unknown, worrying about the basics of life, rooting in a new country, on a new continent, in a new language, this was the most challenging year ever. 

We came in Australia one year ago, with all the plans set. 
Where to. 
How to. 
When to. 

None of this actually happened. And that was a big kick to our egos and to our strategic capabilities. And yet we are fine.

We are here and we love where we are. We both have jobs, the kids are good in school, the pace is slower and the traffic is easy.

We are more welded than ever before, we trust each other more, we stand for each other, we go through life hand in hand

I think that, if we made it through this year, the years to come will be nothing but better.