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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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My Week in Pictures

My Week in Pictures

It’s been a busy week.  I haven’t had time to even think about blogging, let alone do it.  Plus, it’s been so hot and my little office where my computer lives is stifling and stuffy and ugh.  So I’ve spent as little time on the computer as possible.

I have been crafting though…I had to make some hot pink earrings for a friend at work but, as hot pink is not a colour I usually work with or like, I had difficulty finding anything in my bead stash to even start.  Which meant I had to go out and buy some more beads, of course.  I won’t show you what I made – I’m not at all happy with any of them.  It’s funny how colour choice affects your (or, at least, my) ability to make and create.  I like paler pinks – more shabby than shocking I guess.

I got them done as quickly as I could then moved on to other orders I had to complete…

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…I had a go with memory wire (and managed to stab myself in the thumb with it – blood everywhere!)…

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…my iron count has been a little low the last few months so I had to have an iron infusion
(look away now if you don’t like needles and hospital stuff…)…

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…I went for walks…(but not as often as I should have…)…

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…lots of bird watching…

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…baby swans!…

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I got some belated birthday gifts…including this gorgeous handbag from a friend of my Mum’s…(I don’t normally wear or use leather but as I didn’t buy it I guess it’s ok…plus it is so lovely and soft and stylish.  Sorry cows, I will still keep to my non-leather-buying values, but I’m keeping the bag…)…

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…and a lovely jewellery box from (drum roll please!) TIFFANY’S!!!…

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…the same lovely lady (my volunteer library assistant) gave me this beautiful gift AND  made me a take-home curry
to have for my dinner (Oh my God – so yum!).  She is too good to me…

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…my penal Rem’s partner Dianne sent me a lovely Valentine’s card…
(you should check out her blog if you haven’t already – it’s great!)

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…I discovered my new favourite sweet treat – frozen grapes!

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I also went op-shopping and bead shopping with my Mum and bought a ridiculous amount of beads.  I think I have a problem…

Now it’s Sunday evening yet again and soon I must pack up and get ready for bed.  I am trying to get to bed before 10pm these days because I am always so tired and can never get up in the morning.  I have a busy day tomorrow – lots of meetings and a three-hour “fire suppression” training (as I am supposedly a fire warden for my building).  I’m hoping the day goes quickly and that I manage to get some things done even though I will not be at my desk.  Every week I tell myself I am going to sort my desk out and get things in order, but I never have time or anywhere to put everything.  So I just try and make all the piles of stuff look tidy.  Moving them from one place to another helps, as does shuffling them, hiding them under the desk and shoving them in the filing cabinet marked “to deal with later”.

Have a great Monday everyone – hope you are more organised than me 🙂