Certainly the first time I've written the words 'yacht racing' in relation to my day. But yesterday, that was my day. A friend / colleague bought a yacht last year and asked if I'd like to join her for a few races this season. Without any idea of what it might involve, I went ahead and said I'd love to. It was a lot to take in, and mighty hard work, but so amazing. I'm kind of obsessed with how the skipper was reading the wind and the harbour, charting direction in degrees as we tacked between pins. It was daunting trying to move quickly with the sail (I was on the winch), but once I got a feel for it, I found it pretty exhilarating. It was a warm day, and fairly still, so nothing too serious for a beginner like me. YEAR TWO.
I'm done now. Done with the sweating and the smelling of coconut suncream and being eaten alive by mosquitos all night long. I want to close windows and sleep with the covers on, I want autumn and winter and weather where I can wear socks. I want to make a roast chook for dinner and drink red wine on Sunday nights. * Socks from No 6 Store.
I'm running behind on things here. Too busy with life to pay mind to old Sugar Mountain, much as I love to write. I know I need to make more tie to write, but it's hard when there are exhibitions and drinks and dinners and beach walks and yoga and lectures and picnics to be had. Last SUNDAY was special though. Started out early in a most spectacular way with a Nathi Crying Country Ceremony in the Botanic Gardens, just after sunrise. I cried and laughed at the stories, then we all shared breakfast in the Utzon Room at the Opera House, where little Rosie and I pressed our heads against the window taking in the grey harbour (above).
The All About Women festival at the Sydney Opera House was a pretty wonderful program of speakers and events. I went down with a few of my lovely aunties and my cousins Mabel, Tess and Lucy, saw friends and inspiring ladies who I know, had champagne and soaked in a lot of interesting ideas. I was impressed and in awe of Anita Sarkeesian and Tara Moss in the morning session, who spoke so eloquently and powerfully and passionately about harassment and violence against women - I feel that there is no more pertinent issue for feminists, for our society, at the moment. Germaine Greer reminded us what she's so important and funny, talking about aged care and the women it leaves behind (being both aged and those caring for the aged), Clementine Ford and Celeste Liddle spoke about Australian media and Roxane Gay was quiet, nuanced and terribly good at shaking things up. I heard the spectacular Elizabeth Gilbert, who stood barefoot on stage and had the whole room enthralled, telling us how to be creative, how to get out of our own way and have courage. She is such a gift, so intelligent, articulate, compassionate, funny as hell and so engaged with life, I just loved hearing her speak.
You can watch and listen to the sessions here.
A fine little SUNDAY, this last one. Damn fine and just what my head needed. I went for a mid-morning walk with the amazing Elize, who is not only super talented but genuinely lovely and smart and just old-fashioned good to be around. She bought me a latte and we walked from Clovelly to Tamarama and back, which is a thing very well suited to good talks. The picture is from Bronte, a little overcast, where the swell was strong and the tide high. I spent the afternoon gardening and tidying, and then made a 5 PM yin yoga class. Quiet, slow poses with long holds at golden hour in the leafy part of Surry Hills - some kind of bliss I tell you.
I'm home in Sydney. Not quite where I want to be I don't think, feel like I could have stayed in Adelaide forever and ever, but work and bills and real life called. It was an emotional goodbye, but after four long weeks of lovely, it was bound to be. I landed on Thursday and had a quick couple of days down the coast for a very amazing gathering and marriage that I felt blessed to be a part of, so it's nice to be home to my own bed for a bit of rest before Monday morning comes. Today was a lovely grey morning, cups of tea and reading my book instead of unpacking because I can barely tear myself away for a moment, then rainy arvo wines with Addy at the local (see above).
She's a gem of a friend, a genuine joy to be around, so just what I needed to get me through the homecoming.
Pretty happy to share this post with you - such a favourite. Little Flowers is a Sydney-based business that I think is just the bee's knees. Each day they find the best in season and deliver small bunches of just that, all around Sydney, for $25. It's such a simple and perfect idea, executed so beautifully. I have used them quite a few times, for all kinds of occasions - friends' birthdays, when someone's had a rough week, and even a 'congrats on making it to your second trimester, I hope you stop vomiting', because how else do you say that but with flowers?
If you're in Sydney, keep them in mind. Small bunches of joy for a damn fine price...
* All images from Little Flowers - Candy Bianca Roses and Carnations, Snap Dragons with Chincherinchees, and Garden Roses with Sweet William.
Gosh there is something lovely about being home. I landed yesterday morning and the distinctly Sydney kind of humidity and heat eased my sleepy and sore body the moment I left the airport. It felt so familiar. And while I was only gone ten days, so brief really, it was wonderful to come home to my bed and my washing machine and my shower and my kitchen and my old car. Three loads of washing, some groceries, an easy dinner and an early night and then first thing today, THE BEACH. Something about immersing yourself after a long flight - the sensation of it, the stretching your limbs and moving all over as you move through, and especially the saltwater. Saltwater is a gift from the gods, good for all that ails you. I have a friend that likes gardening after long-haul flights, she says having your hands in the earth grounds you. Which is nice, but Bronte at 8 AM is better if you ask me. Japan was spectacular - can't wait to share some of our finds and favourite things here. And hopefully a few pictures.
Such a full and bright day. Out the door by seven AM (in spite of a late and boisterous dinner party at ours the night before)(roast dinner and games for 18 if you please), breakfast and chai at Bourke St Bakery by eight AM, an airport drop-off and then in the water at the Maroubra baths by nine AM. To be fair, I would have been in by about half-past eight, but I spent a good twenty minutes on the rocks watching the ocean and worrying about the waves and the cold before I had the heart to get in. It was pretty washy and grey but soon calmed a little, and Roy - the oldest, most weathered local I've ever known - assured me it was nice in. And it was. I'm usually one to hesitate on the first step, and then the second and third, but I got to the first, laughed at my fear, and just dove in with not a care in the world. It was the warmest it's been all season, all year, and only a few days away from winter. I would have stayed in an hour but I had a morning tea date with Nell.
The kind of morning that was so wonderful and so tiring, it took a whole afternoon of cleaning and reading and napping to get over it.
This isn't Sunday. This is the day before, for reasons of beauty (look at that sky and those old bricks - all muted and grey), and brevity. Brevity because on Sunday I'll be travelling. Heading north to the hinterland for a week of yoga in a retreat just down the hill from Mount Warning. I've packed my water bottle, comfortable clothes, a woolly hat, my raincoat, and my bathers (because you never do know). I've got the new Kinfolk to read, the better part of The Goldfinch and today's Saturday Paper. I'm not taking my lappy, and think it will be good to step away from all my usual online distractions. I'm not even certain I'll have phone reception, which may indeed be a nice change.
The picture was taken in Balmain, after a pub lunch of fish and chips and a beer with my father, who is in town for a couple of nights. Balmain is our old stomping ground, we drove past parks we used to play in and the street my grandfather grew up on. It's a pretty lovely part of the world.