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Lake Lovely

When I am feeling energetic (and, quite often, when I am not) I go walking after work.  I wish I could say I am diligent and do this every day, but I would be a liar.  I usually manage about three times a week, which is a bit pathetic, but it’s better than nothing.  This is what I tell myself anyway.

Some afternoons I go walking along the beach, which is lovely and scenic and blows the cobwebs of the workday away;  most days, however, I walk around the local lake, which is on my way home and provides me with a nice, easy, 3.5km route.

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Because I am generally quite lazy, it is good to have a circular route to walk – it means I just keep going until I get back to where I started.  I don’t have to think about it.  I don’t get tempted to turn around and head back either.  The lake also has multiple paths; some of them meander through the bush so you can jog a bit and no one can see you ha ha.  I don’t run in public unless I can be sure I don’t have witnesses.  No one needs to see that.

The lake is populated by LOTS of birdlife.  Swans, ducks, moorhen, and herons, as well as my favourite, the pelicans, and some long-necked tortoises, which I am yet to spot.

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As it is breeding season for many of the birds, there are cute, fluffy bundles of downy joy dotted around the lake, following their parents around and getting up to mischief.  There are plenty of reeds and other plant life to provide happy nesting spots and hideaways for the vulnerable babies.

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I am dying to see some cygnets.  I love the black swans – they are so majestic and beautiful.  There are a couple at the lake that have allowed me to get quite close – sometimes they waddle up to me of their own accord.  During breeding season, they can become a little bit aggressive and protective of their offspring, which is totally understandable.  It’s best to keep your distance at those times and give them their space.  Even if you do want to run headlong into those gorgeous, grey, fluffy cygnets and squeeze them in an adoring cuddle.  It’s not really recommended.

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There are also lots of cormorants.  I adore them.  Those funny webbed feet!  The fluffy, shaggy feathers on their plump bellies and chest!  The almost bat-like wings!  The way they dry themselves in the sun, holding up their wings like laundry!  The way they hiss at me when I get too close and annoy them with my photo-taking! 🙂

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The lone egret is a tricky individual to photograph.  He doesn’t like being bothered and you can’t get too close before he flies off.  It could also be because I have mistakenly been calling him a heron, and he’s not.  I have offended him and now he doesn’t want a bar of me, or my camera.  So all my shots of him are blurry (because I am far away and have zoomed my camera in).  It’s very inconsiderate of him, to be honest.

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Towards sunset, the lake takes on a magical quality.  I tend to keep stopping to take photos, which is not really making efficient use of my exercise time, but hey, the sky and water is so pretty at night!  It’s hard to take a bad photo, to be honest.

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I am always on the lookout for new places to walk ; it’s nice to have a change of scenery and some different landscapes/wildlife to look at.  The lake, for now, remains one of my favourites.  Easy to get to, easy parking, lots of people around (for safety’s sake) and lots of lovely birdies for me to photograph.  I am lucky to have these spaces to utilise and enjoy, and get that much-needed exercise.  That egret will just have to get used to me because I’m going to keep coming back 🙂

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Ellis Brook Reserve

I am unfit.  There is no denying this when you are struggling to ascend a set of roughly-constructed bush stairs and you’re wheezing so loudly you’re scaring the local wildlife.  Yes.  That is me.  Two sets of stairs in on a recent hike through Ellis Brook Reserve and I am starting to see stars and pass out.  But, to be fair, I am a little bit anaemic at the moment and I was trying to keep up with girls half my age as they whizzed up the hill on their skinny little legs.  I also did not warm up properly, nor was I actually expecting such a rough and steep climb.  Preparation – apparently not my thing.

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However, wheezing and near-death experiences aside, Ellis Brook Reserve is a very picturesque place to hike.  The terrain is a little rough and not really suitable for a gentle Sunday stroll.  My friend and I went with a new group and none of us had ever been before, so no one knew what to expect (you can read travel guides but unless you’re actually doing the walk yourself, it can be tricky to gauge how difficult it will be) but we all went at our own pace and everyone was very patient and considerate of the slower-climbing members (ie me – Miss Fat’n’Fainty).

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The scenery was beautiful, with amazing views down through the valley.  We snuck into the quarry, which is actually fenced off but some lovely soul had cut a hole in the wire so you could squeeze through.  Ah, vandalism, sometimes you can be helpful!  The colours in the rock and surrounding landscape were stunning, as were the bright blue flashes of the little native Splended Fairy Wren (wish I had been fast enough to get a photo – they are just gorgeous).

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Unfortunately, having to watch where we were treading/climbing, for fear of tripping or breaking an ankle, meant we weren’t able to stop and take in the sights as much as I would have liked.  But it was still lovely and made me feel good to be out in the fresh air and not being a slacker (ie staying home, rugged up in bed, on this cold and chilly morning).  The group we hiked with were really friendly and chatty, and made the morning very pleasant indeed.  Apparently, there are a number of trails you can follow and so maybe, next time, we will go on one of the longer ones, which may be less steep and treacherous.  I am very clumsy and have terrible balance, so someone else may find it very easy to hike this particular trail and wonder what the heck I am talking about.  I personally wouldn’t take dogs or kids on the trail we walked, but I did see some people bringing their pooches along with them.

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All in all, a beautiful spot to get some exercise and take in the natural beauty of our gorgeous state, without having to drive a million miles from suburbia.  Worth a look 🙂

Thank you for stopping by.  And a big thank you to all my new followers – your support is very much appreciated! x

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Bells Rapids Hike

In my effort to lose weight, get fit, and be healthier, I have been taking part in some hikes recently.  I have always enjoyed walking, especially if it’s somewhere with nice scenery, and having a group of friends to go with is even nicer.  Makes it feel less like exercise and more like an enjoyable, good-for-the-soul activity.  If you can follow it up with a delicious brunch somewhere, all the better 🙂

I recently went on a lovely 5.5km hike with some friends (one of my friends, SR, is VERY good at organising things and puts me to shame because she MAKES THINGS HAPPEN, unlike me who procrastinates and can’t make decisions) around Bells Rapids, located in Brigadoon, about 45 minutes from Perth City.  A great spot to view the white water rapids of the Avon River while surrounded by beautiful bushland. Plenty of quiet, shady spots to take a rest, with trails for walking – some of them very steep and rocky – and glorious views.  Sitting by the rock pools was lovely and calming, especially after the vigorous hike up the hill.  I don’t have the greatest balance at the best of times, so I found it as bit treacherous at times, trying to keep my footing amid all the loose rocks and gravel.  Still fun though 🙂

There is plenty of parking and dogs are welcome.  Camping is not allowed, but you can certainly have a picnic there or hang out for the day.  The weekends are a popular time, but it isn’t crowded with people.  Room for everyone!  In the Winter months, the rock pools become swirling, white-water rapids, and (crazy) people come from miles around to take part in the annual Avon Descent.

Anyway, I will let my photos illustrate how lovely a spot it was.
I will definitely be back.

Hope you will stop in again here too 🙂

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Beach Vibes

I am not very bright.  Sometimes I am downright dumb.  Case in point : only just discovering this beach, only 10 minutes from my work, when I have been at this job for four years.  Four years!  I could have been going to the ocean every week for the past four years!  What a dufus!  Geography, to be fair, has never been my strong suit, and I never drive in the direction of the coast – I am always in a hurry to just get the heck away from work ha ha.  I just want to go home at the end of the day.

So, now my walking schedule has taken on a much more pleasant vibe.  I LOVE the beach – it is my favourite place to be.  I love the sand and the seashells, the water and the sea air.  I don’t care that my hair gets messed up or that I get sand everywhere.  I actually feel content and happy near the ocean.  It is calming and soothing and makes me feel small and safe all at the same time.  Plus, it is so beautiful and much nicer to look at than a sidewalk or a road, when exercising.

A brisk, half-hour walk along the beach is restorative and cleansing and great exercise.  You feel it in your calves and legs and spirit.  And, for some reason, I don’t feel self-conscious at the beach.  This may be because there are more scantily-clad ladies around than I, so I don’t feel that anyone is bothering to look at me, wheezing along the shore in my daggy shorts and t-shirt.

I’d like to say I am exercising every day, but I’d be lying.  Life isn’t simple or straight forward this year and so free time is not always something I have.  But, I am trying to fit in as many walking days as I can.  With a location like this, I have no excuse, and I actually look forward to going.  I collect shells and take photos, watch the people surfing, and just breathe the fresh air.  It’s good for the soul.

I promise to post some crafting things soon – I’ve just been so busy with life and haven’t been able to get stuck into anything creative at all.  But I have got a couple of projects in the works and will post them here soon.

Hope you are having a sunshiney, happy day 🙂

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Crazy people surfing with parachutes!
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Lacey Waves!

 

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Beautiful Ocean and Sunshine

 

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An obviously well-loved part of the beach.  Look at all those footprints!
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Gettin’ darker and moodier…
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Just one lone surfer left…

 

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The tide’s a-comin’!

 

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See.  I do actually walk as well as stop and take photos!
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Smudges and Peeps and New Starts

A few more cards made over the weekend.  I stopped once I started getting “smudgy” (see last card) and making boob-boos.  In the the first card, you’ll see the little lady has “proper” arms instead of my usual stick arms.  This is because I totally screwed them up when drawing them and, too lazy to start over, needed to fix the problem.  So I cut out proper solid arms and covered over the dicky drawn ones.  So, by default, she is a plumper version of my normal Little Peeps.  I should probably resolve to do all my arms this way – it might actually result in less swearing.

Day three of my new diet and exercise regime.  I would say it is going so-so.  I had a bit of naughty moment today where I scoffed a load of chocolate.  Which is bad because a.) it is fattening, b.) I’m not supposed to eat chocolate anyway because of my kidneys, and c.) it was for other people (ie Easter gifts).  So today was a bit of a fail.  I did, however go for a long walk and did some weights afterwards so I don’t completely hate myself.  And I kinda enjoyed it for once.  One day at a time… I’m trying not to beat myself up too much about making mistakes and falling off the wagon.  I started the dreaded therapy again last night so I am committing to being kinder to myself and just being a little less obsessed about dumb stuff (like my weight and appearance).  Which is difficult when you’ve always been obsessed by that same dumb stuff and have let it rule your life.

A couple of friends at work today said I always make them feel better and know what to say when they are feeling down.  So I am trying to be that person for myself too.  I think that’s important.  I’ve been my own worst enemy for too long.

Hope you’ve had a good day today – thank you for stopping by 🙂

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Stormy Weather

Stormy Weather

Yesterday afternoon we had a magnificent storm.  Thunder, lightning, heavy rain, winds – the whole shebang.  It was lovely after several weeks of relentless Summer heat.  Which, normally, I don’t mind – me being a cold-blooded little fishy – but the storm was so cleansing and made everything, including my brain and spirit, seem fresh again.

I nearly cancelled my afternoon walk – I didn’t particularly want to get electrocuted and really couldn’t be bothered getting my raincoat and other wet-weather gear on.  I decided to wait it out, make myself a cup of tea and see if the rain decreased enough for me to attempt some outdoor exercise.  The rain slowed down and became just a light shower, and the winds calmed as well.  There was less lightning too, so I decided to brave the elements and get moving.  I’m so glad  I did – the walk was just what I needed.

I encountered very few people out and about (wusses!) and, other than a few bedraggled cormorants, seagulls and magpies, I was able to have a peaceful, solitary walk.  Bliss. The air was cool and fresh, and the light rain on my skin felt wonderful.  I didn’t even care if my hair frizzed, for once.  I didn’t bother with an umbrella or raincoat – I just walked in my usual gear, stepping gleefully into a few puddles as I went.

The sky was black and murky, but beautiful with impressive cloud formations.  Flocks of birds twittered happily through the spattering of raindrops.  Grumpy-looking cormorants dried themselves off on jetties and shorelines, their fat little bellies all fluffy and damp.  I took photos and just breathed in the air.

Kinda wish every afternoon could be like that – it made exercise so enjoyable and less like a punishment ha ha.  It definitely cleared the cobwebs out of my brain and made me feel good again, ready for the rest of the week.

Hope you are having some weather you enjoy or, at least, can find elements of it that make you feel happy and alive.  I’m yet to find anything about cold weather that I really enjoy…but storms make me happy every time 🙂

Thanks for visiting x

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Christmas Cards 1 & 2, Cowardly Cats and Some Crazy Dogs

Christmas Cards 1 & 2, Cowardly Cats and Some Crazy Dogs

Hey there…it’s Tuesday!  That’s, like, nearly Wednesday!  Which is almost Friday, right?  Well, maybe not, but today was a better day than I had had in some time and so I am being optimistic and forward-thinking.  Nothing amazing happened – it was just a good day with friends at work (my workmates returning after a short-but-seemingly-long stint away) and some laughs.  I went for a good walk after work and watched the antics of all the neighbourhood dogs in the park which never fails to put a smile on my face.  They are such clowns.  I saw a golden retriever outrunning a greyhound to get to a ball, a beagle becoming suddenly deaf when his owner was calling him back and a tiny terrier trying to take on a much larger dog (always a recipe for disaster!). I also “rescued” a beautiful black cat who was being dive-bombed by a feisty Willy Wagtail.  The cat saw me and bolted towards me meowing pathetically and took refuge in my outstretched arms.  So funny – he’d never seen me before in his life but he knew sanctuary when it walked up to him I guess!

I managed to make a couple of Christmas cards this weekend.  I am so behind on my card-making this year.  I’ve not done any at all in ages.  But usually I get into panic mode and make a few before the situation gets too dire and I have none to sell at my Xmas craft sale.  These two were ok – I like the first one the best as it came together easily and looks co-ordinated.  The second one was less so but it will do.  I did make a 3rd and 4th one but I’m not happy with them so I won’t show you! (so there!).  I bought myself a little guillotine thingy this afternoon so I can cut with a bit more precision.  How have I gotten by all these years without one?  My cards will be less wonky from now on I hope!

Have you started your Christmas preparations?  (If you celebrate Christmas) The count down is on! 🙂

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