Thursday, 30 June 2011


Colin is just about to christen his new cooking pot – some kind of curry soup with salmon. He has a favourite pot at home but it is too big to bring away in the caravan, hence the same pot but in a smaller size. When the sun sets by five and it is dark and somewhat cold outside, soups and curries hit the spot. I am sure the red ‘crueset’ will get lots of use over the next couple of weeks.

Today has been a settling in kind of day – finishing the shopping, a quick stop at the hardware shop for a couple of things, joining the local video shop (the cold, dark evenings also bring on a spot of dvd watching) and finally a surf by the point (not very satisfactory but appreciated none the less) We walked along the beach late in the afternoon and watched a non spectacular sunset from the deck. We continue to bump into familiar faces and re-acquaint ourselves with the regulars at this time of the year.

It feels like easing back into a familiar rhythm – a peaceful soul soothing sigh.

There are a couple of differences though; our site has been concreted (goodbye lovely grass) and has a brand spanking new ensuite (yahoo), the lounge area has  had a face lift and so have the amenities block and Johanna is reading books from the ipad (I’m sure we will still peruse the second hand book stalls at the local markets though)

It is cold and dark outside now, Colin is cooking, music playing, Johanna is reading – warm yellow light, warmth, good smells; familiar rituals fill our little van – a peaceful soul soothing sigh……

Wednesday, 29 June 2011


I often talk about deferred gratification with the kids. And so after two and half days of driving, the thought of driving past Bellina towards the most eastern point in Australia, Cape Byron, was oh so sweet. I had imagined driving slowly into Clarkes Beach Caravan Park many times over the last few days.

Maria and Poss were walking so I was in the car on my own. I savoured every slow rotation of the tyres. I rounded the last corner before our site. I spotted Gavin and Julie's immaculate old Valiant and a second later I hear Gav yell out, "Welcome". What a great word. 30 seconds later I pull up outside our site. Scott emerges from their brand new van and as I climb out to stand on Byron Bay ground I hear that word again, "Welcome", he says.

When said with meaning, is there a better word in the English language? "This space, which I 'have' in some way, now has you in it, and I'm glad." Welcome is about place and relationship. Welcome is about being yourself. Welcome is about leaving behind where you've come from and being fully here.

Oh so sweet.

Poss and I made pact. Get in the ocean every day. Today, by the time we'd stocked up on supplies for a signature yurting dinner, it was late afternoon. I left the wetty behind. That was a mistake, but the feel of the salt water on my skin was ... well ... it was as if the swell at the Pass was whispering in the lapping swell, "welcome".

Thursday, 23 June 2011

a few more days

2010 was a shocker. As we've written before, for our little family it had threads of grey and black, stress and death. I wondered if we could regain anything of the innocent pleasures with which we have been blessed. No, the scars remain. Yes, there are washes of colour.

In the early months of the year I was nervous, stepping tentatively through the weeks, hoping nothing major would go wrong, but expecting it would. In recent months I have felt surges in my spirit. Little things. Getting excited about a recipe. Seeing Heidi move into Mario. (Mario is the nickname we've given to the Roma caravan resplendent with 70s Italian decor that sits in our driveway and is her new room.)

And this afternoon as I sat down to get my head around work commitments over the next few weeks while we live in the yurt, I felt the surge of anticipation that comes ahead of another excursion out of town. It's a few days early but I couldn't help myself; I drove the old Patrol down to the servo and checked the tyres, water, oil etc just so I could feel like I was getting ready.