Friday, April 30, 2010

Petal Edges


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sometimes Differences are the Best Bits



I was reminded on our cross Canadian adventure recently that I really do love that C and I get a total buzz out of completely different things.

Examples:

Driving across the prairies towards Calgary...
ME: 'Look at the contrast between the bright yellow fields and the blue sky!'
C: 'Woooahhh! Check out the size of that digger!'

Strolling through Banff on a lovely spring afternoon...
ME: 'How cute are these wee historical buildings in the town centre?!'
C: 'Hey check it out! That's one impressive fire engine!'

Driving through the snowy Rockie Mountains...
ME: 'These mountains are huge!'
C: Stop looking up there, you're supposed to be looking at the road, looking for moose and bears. Moose and bears, I just gotta see a moose and a bear before we leave Canada. Oh, and a beaver. Yeah a beaver too. So keep looking.'

What is life if your other half can't make you crack up, and I so love that C makes me crack it ALL the time. Love it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Flashback Tuesday

OK it's time for a few musical flashbacks! C and I have been on a massive road trip to Calgary and back over the last ten days, and one of my favourite parts of road trips is turning the radio up LOUD and singing like idiots - and I actually got C to sing along too on a couple of occassions!

Canada has some super 'oldie' radio stations that play songs that I remember from when I was little, you know those songs that you register as being the first music you probably took notice of?

So here are three of my favourites that featured on our travels... enjoy!






Sorry no vid available for this one!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

esdesign - Wellington, NZ


Taking things back to the homeland for a moment, I just wanted to give a shout out and point you all in the direction of the recently up and running blog for Wellington based design store 'esdesign', which I have written about once or twice before.

If you are in Wellington and have a chance to stop by and see them on the corner of Marion and Ghuznee Streets you won't be disappointed.

They specialise in reviving tired, old, deco and mid-century styled furniture, as well as sell fantastic NZ designed homewares, offer a great interior design service, have a sewing room on site as well as a brilliant range of fabric sampling alongside their fabulous showroom. Phew! I think I've used up all my adjectives!

You can find their blog here to follow along with all their latest projects and happenings. Check it out!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Importance Of Being A Kid Again

Sometimes it's really important to pretend you are ten again, blissfully carefree, open to possibility, unafraid of consequences and finances, the ins and the outs and the plans.

Because sometimes it will mean you end up somewhere totally unexpected and having a really great time.

Who would have known that passing through Kelowna on our way to Calgary, we would have stopped by to see some old friends, who then invited us to stay a couple of nights at their place, which just so happened to be a condo right at the Apex ski field. And because the ski season is now over the place was deserted except for the four of us, which gave us the chance to be ten again by building snowmen and tobogganing and have the entire ski field to ourselves. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee!






Saturday, April 17, 2010

Green Love



I am developing an affection for all things green. There is something wonderful and satisfying about preparing the earth, digging, mulching, composting, planting, watering and watching those little green leaves and tightly furled buds strengthen and thrive.

One of the projects we've been working on here is to develop an orchard, which has even included building the deer proof fence to surround it. So far, we have planted raspberries, blueberries, kale and a cherry tree. And every day I'm watching their delicate stems grow taller and stronger in the island's fresh spring weather.

I love to see the newly seeded clover green up day by day, and the deer amble right by, cautiously watching me out of the corner of their eye, but with curiosity and hunger bringing them closer and closer. I hold my breath and just listen to their little jaws go 'crunch crunch crunch'.

I've always loved the idea of growing fruit and veges, perhaps overlooking the part which actually requires a lot of hard work, patience and perseverance. But I am learning so much from being here that the challenge of that sounds really appealing to me now. I used to think you could just dig a hole, bung a plant in it and expect it to do it's thing, but I'm fast learning this is so not the case.

A couple of weeks ago we transplanted hundreds of wild growing furry leafed plants from the back of the section, onto a hillside beside our campervan. I half expected them to wilt and die away one by one. But their leaves are shooting skywards and their feelers are reaching across the earth further and further each time I check their progress.
Martin says their success is all due to the work we did before they were even re-planted. A layer of brown (not shiny surfaced) cardboard in the bottom of the hole (for the worms to hide under), a few shovels full of compost, a few shovels of 'specialty mix' (peat moss, clay soil, chicken poop and bone magic) and then the plant on top. It seems to be working.

It's a shame we won't be here to pick the berries that are certainly going to appear in our little orchard, but it's still nice to know we helped to provide them for someone else to enjoy too.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Just Dandy

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Vancouver Island

We splurged this weekend and took a trip over to Vancouver Island, with a two night stay in the quaint little seaside town of Tofino and then a night in Victoria.



In Tofino, we found ourselves staying in a lodge cantilevered over the Pacific Ocean, and with wee cabins dotted throughout the bush. We sat in front of an open fire, drank wine and played checkers while a storm whipped up outside, and then the snow began to fall. Bliss. Such a novelty for us Wellingtonians.





We explored cute wee gift shops, galleries, wind swept beaches, hidden lakes and bays. I get it now, I see why people always say that Canada and NZ are alike, because there was a breathtaking scene round nearly every corner. Be it winding through snowy hills, happening upon glass like lakes with mountainous backdrops or marvelling at architectural features, my camera got thrashed. Completely.





It was also a weekend of, 'Oooh you're from Australia!' 'No, no we're not, we're kiwis.' 'Oooohhhhh.....'

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Gluten, Lactose, Red Meat & Friends


                                           Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/libellule/3335270068/


The past few weeks have been eye-opening for us on the food front. Our lovely hosts eat very little red meat, very few products containing gluten and only drink goat or soy milk.
So of course as we are living 'under their roof' as mum would say, we eat exactly what they eat. And our bodies are starting to thank us for it.

I won't go into too many details because... well you don't want to hear about the 'ins and outs' of things, but I have noticed all sorts of positive changes in my body. My skin is clearer then it's ever been, I no longer get that crampy, bloated feeling in my stomach that I would get now and then after eating carbs, I wake up with so much energy and positivity, and I'm even noticing stranger things like I don't have a constantly sore back any more.

OK OK so we haven't eliminated gluten and red meat and cows milk completely, it still sneaks in to our diets here and there during the week, but I am starting to realise that I can't put these great changes down to anything else except diet.

It will be interesting to see how it goes for the next month and a half while we are still on Salt Spring, and I would love to hear if any of you have found similar things have happened by removing or reducing these items from your diets too.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Song of the Week: Janelle Monae - Tightrope



How have I never come across this chicky until now? It's my turn up song of the week, now get movin'!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Droplets


Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's Home Baby, At Least For Now...




Just a few of the many reasons that we decided to travel were, (even as cliched as it sounds) to get out of our comfort zone a little, meet some new people and take up any opportunities that popped up along the way.

Our volunteer posting is going so well we've been asked to stay until September, and house sit while our hosts are away over the summer. Literally three weeks ago I would never have guessed that this opportunity would present itself. We're not sure if we're going to take the offer yet as we are conscious that we have a lot of ground to cover over the next year, but the fact that we have been so lucky to meet and stay with such lovely people, and be given this offer in such a beautiful part of the world is pretty neat.

Perhaps it is our good luck or perhaps it's just the Canadian way but people here are so unbelievably friendly. Be it the bartender at a steak house, the hairdresser on Salt Spring or this random chatty fellow on the train in Vancouver, we have had offers of tour guides, accommodation, and beers at the pub. Just total strangers that we barely know, being completely, genuinely friendly. It gives me a bit of a 'warm fuzzy feeling' really.

So it looks like this is 'home' for a little while yet, our snuggly caravan overlooking the forest and the ocean.