August 22nd, 2011 — 7:01pm, 1 comment »

No, I  have not dropped off the side of the the earth, I am however on the other side of it.  I’m in Italy (yes, ITALY!) on Rose’s Yoga Retreat, although that hasn’t started yet.  We needed to acclimatise first – sample the local produce – the prosecco (champagne), sauvignon bianco, (and the food), find our bearings – from Rome, to the ancient wall city of Lucca, to the coast of Cinque Terre where we’re heading today – and undertake language immersion.  ‘Acqua frizzante’ (sparkling mineral water) is just rolling off the tongue and it’s only been three days.

I do have photos to share, but can’t upload them for some reason. Very annoying … and technical support isn’t resonding to my pleas for help. Where are you Sam?

Ciao for now.

Italy Yoga Retreat

July 11th, 2011 — 9:38am, Comment »

Hold that hiatus – I forgot to tell you something.  I mentioned last year that my friend Rose is taking a yoga retreat, well two really, in Italy this August/September.  The exciting news is that she has a few places left.
The first retreat, August 20 – 27,   is in Tignano, a renovated medieval village in the Tuscan country side, and the second, August 30 – September 6  is at La Selva, a mountain location near Positano on the Amalfi Coast.   For more information, visit Rose’s website.

If you think you would enjoy partaking in beautiful flow vinyasa yoga, in very good company, while experiencing the beautiful Italian surrounds and culture, do come.  I’ll see you there.

Rose, Byfield, Central Queensland

Nothing like old friends…

March 2nd, 2011 — 10:28am, 4 comments »

And I don’t mean old as in aged – even if we were celebrating a 50th – I mean friends you have known for a long time.  In this case – 34 years.  A few weeks ago, I met up in Melbourne with two of my dear (old) high school buddies for a weekend – four nights to be precise – of catching up, debriefing, workshopping, reminiscing – photos and all, while simultaneously shopping, eating, drinking, and thoroughly enjoying ourselves in this fabulous city.  Yes, we have seen each other during the last 34 years, (most notably at the official 30th high school reunion we’re trying to forget) but with Sarah living in Ireland, and Barb and I in various locations around Australia, this was a pretty special occasion.  I even stayed up past midnight!

Despite a little dispute with a bad-attitude-waiter-in-a-cafe-to-be-avoided about gluten free food and rudeness (not mine!) – the weekend was perfect.   A point of interest – did you know that the term semolina derives from the ancient Latin ‘simila’ – meaning flour? Not that the waiter was interested …  Google is one of the few things I do know how to use on my iPhone, and in case my kids ever read my blog, yes boys it was turned on and charged thank you very much.

Apart from the good company we thoroughly enjoyed exploring Melbourne’s laneways …

a bit of shopping at SHAG – vintage clothing boutique, Collins Street …

Chinese massage in Flinders Street …

dinner at Movida’s Next Door …

and feasting on Holy Goat Cheese, Sicilian olives and salami from the Vic Markets.

Could it get any better?


January 25th, 2011 — 8:29am, 2 comments »
photo by Samuel Jesse

Sumo wrestling – not to be missed!

You may recall that last year while we were visiting son number two who lives in Beijing, son number one moved to Tokyo.  Within no time at all (with his encouragement)  we were planning a trip to visit him too.  If nothing else, we do try to be fair.  Again, my parents were keen, this time my sister and her lot wanted in on the family fun, and of course it made perfect sense for son number two to join us all while we were there. You only live once …  Done! – trip booked for January.  Slight hitch – son number one moved back to Australia late November – change of career.  You wouldn’t read about it would you?  Except for here.  So, we went without him (what else could we do?), armed with his good advice, language and sightseeing information. And on the up side (you just have to look hard enough)  he house sat and kept us informed of the local flood situation.

Having never visited before, I could see very quickly why son number one had been so taken with life in Tokyo.  It’s busy and exciting, yet manageable and easy to get around.  Most impressive were the people – so considerate, helpful and friendly.  I think for the first time ever travelling,  I wasn’t mindful of theft and never considered personal safety an issue.  We were very comfortable letting the kids (well they are teenagers) navigate around the city alone, even in the evening. Where else could that happen?

Not one but two …

July 17th, 2010 — 12:01pm, 1 comment »

It goes without saying that the highlight  (and purpose) of our family trip to China was visiting Sam.  It was so good to see where he lives, works, and plays – sharing a little of the Beijing that he loves.  Now we can picture him going about his daily life and understand his new world a little more.  It makes all the difference don’t you think?

It was sad to say goodbye when we left, but I can honestly say that I am very happy about  (also just a tad jealous of) a son living overseas. 

But two? 

While we were in Beijing, Jordan, son no 1, moved to Tokyo for a 2 year work contract.  This wasn’t entirely unexpected.  He had been talking about it for a while after falling in love with Japan on a visit last year. However, in the end it did all happened rather quickly.  Wow.  How life changes… 

Of course I’ll miss them both but, with Skype and Email, distance no longer holds the tyranny it once did.  The way it did when my parents moved from the US to Australia for a two year stint and never left.  The world now seems a much smaller place.

This also means I have the perfect excuse to travel, I mean visit the boys.  I just can’t wait to see Japan – I’ve never been – and revisit China.  I love my children – almost – as much as I do an adventure …

The boys in Beijing