Dog sitting in Narrabeen, Sydney is one way of getting a dog for Christmas. This is my first official dog sitting experience in Australia. I am so excited and I have already taken Milo the dog I am sitting for a walk. Not only will I get some great exercise, I get to live on the Northern Beaches for even longer!
As you may have gathered I love the Northern Beaches and I would love to live here for a few months here and there every year! I am lucky enough to be able to get a 3-month visa and stay in this beautiful part of the world. Thank you, universe!
There are lots of things to do in Narrabeen, due to having the lagoon and the sea, it’s perfect for SUP – (that’s Stand Up Paddling), kayaking, walks, cycling, surfing (of course) and swimming in the rock pool. Due to the walking the dog, I haven’t managed to get over to it yet! It’s a very chilled out place to live with plenty of cafe’s and restaurants nearby.
One thing I really love about dog walking is that I tend to notice all the different trees and I just have a few moments to snap a tree, plant or flower along the way!
Here’s some I found on my dog walking trips.
Milo was such fun to care for, she was no bother and besides a morning tease when trying to put on her collar, she was a dream to look after.
In the New Year I have a new dog assignment and this time it’s in Manly. I little dog this time called Pepper. I can’t wait for that either… dogs bring so much love into your life. I met Pepper at Christmas and she is a very different type of dog to Milo – she is quite snappy and moody apparently, we will see!
Happy New Year to everyone. Here’s to creating an amazing 2018!
Wow – it’s been a long since I have been to the Blue Mountains, in NSW and I wasn’t disappointed with my weekend break in Katoomba.
It rained the first day and as I was only fitted out with summer clothes so I retreated to the lovely cafes along the main street and visited a variety of small art galleries. TheBear Gallery was my favourite – definitely worth a walk further down the road to the larger Gallery space, in a white washboard house. They consistently show the work of 40 artists from around and connected to the Blue Mountains who live there or have lived there.
Blue Mountains Cultural Centre I had the pleasure of seeing an exhibition of some early etchings but he British Artist David Hockney at the City Art Gallery. Alongside a permanent exhibition of the Blue Mountains range.
Some of the sights and experience of hanging out in the Blue Mountains for a weekend. I enjoyed the cafes, restaurants and art galleries in the area; not forgetting the amazing landscape of the unique Blue Mountains. The amazing cloud formations and amazing amount of trees and just being in nature. I enjoyed an afternoon at Blackheath pottering around the shops and taking photographs of the streets and nature.
For more images of the Blue Mountains visit my Instagram account. www.instagram.com/travelwith_alice
There are lots of nice cafe’s to choose from on the main street. I really liked this little quiet Korean restaurant called Sanwiye 172 Katoomba St, Katoomba, New South Wales 2780, Australia +61 405 402 130
Enjoy Sydney and the landscape and nature of beautiful Australia
Christmas time frenzy, it turns up every year and in the last few years, it’s been a very different experience for me and I never really know what to expect or where I will be. Alongside that, I never really know how I am going to feel on the day.
This year I have found myself in Sydney, Australia. I was here six months ago and I will be dog sitting on Northern Beaches. So one or two dreams will be coming true for me. Firstly I will be able to experience the beautiful beaches again, surely some of the best in the world and secondly, I will be caring for a dog, so in effect will be getting a dog for Christmas, be it a temporary one.
I have just returned from a trip from Mudgee (more about Mudgee in my next post) where I came across a Centre for Loss and Grief (NALAG) where you can just pop in and have a chat with someone. I just thought what a wonderful idea, no pressure just pop in and have a chat and connect with people. We often forget that Christmas can be a difficult time for a lot of people and these are there five tips for coping strategies from NALAG :
Do something in memory of the person who has died. (Light a candle, place a special ornament on the tree)
Plan your time so that you are under a little amount of stress as possible.
Plan your “escape” if need be, don’t over commit.
Let your friends and family know that you need to take things slowly and as it comes.
Share your memories and stories – as it’s okay to cry or laugh
Do something special for yourself – treat yourself to a massage or buy yourself a present.
Seek professional help if required.(copyright of NALAG National Association for Loss and Grief (NSW) inc www.nalag.org.au
For those of you who have lost a Dad or Grandad, I have attached a link to the little book my sister and I created some years ago. It’s always nice to remember the loved ones we have lost at this time of year and offer a thought or prayer for their well-being and express our continued love for them.
My Dad used to dress up as Santa and give out presents at the local Catholic club, which he loved. We used to celebrate our Xmas on Christmas Eve and stay up late opening presents, and chatting after Midnight Eve Mass – those magical moments have gone. Nostalgia is a wonderful thing – how we choose to remember the past!
Love is like a butterfly … a rare and gentle thing…
All about Love and Loss
I titled this post “Love is like a butterfly” becauseI have just been writing this post on the bus, and the song of the same title is playing very loudly which makes me smile! In Sydney, drivers can play whatever music they like on their buses. It floats through the air, so loudly I am unable to hear the Go-Betweens on my iPod. The music transports back to the to the 70’s sitcom show Butterflies. It is also very apt as I am just been writing this blog post thinking about the fragility of life and how a delicate butterfly represents this.
Part of living is about losing, whether it’s a loss of a favourite item or a person we hold dearly in our lives. We can lose them to death, an endless non-physicality, or we can lose a relationship, children, grandchildren, or a friend; they don’t die but are removed from our present lives. Either way, the loss can be felt deeply and is often filled with deep pain and sorrow. Overcoming experiences of both can be a lifetime’s work.
” I have tears streaming down my face, this book is so beautiful. We think the book is lovely! ” The Child Bereavement Charity
Losing my Dad was the biggest physical loss of a person in my family and it happened back in 1999. My sister created a story about my dying dad it was her attempt to help our nieces and nephews to come to terms with the loss of our Dad. It was their first experience of loss. They were all young children under ten years old. I later created the book for my Mum as she loved the story and I wanted to bring our special family story to life, share the humour and love my Dad had for us all. It was hugely difficult time back in 1999 and sometimes one loss leads to another. Everyone’s story is different and in our case, we knew he was going to die soon…it was a case of when. Even so, nothing can prepare you for when they do leave you. I hope this book is of some use to you and your family and friends. Sending love to everyone who is going through loss and remembering the love of their loved ones.
The free e-book Once upon a time.. will be emailed to you when you subscribe to the mailing list below.
Things I have found useful relating to understanding loss
Dr Kubler Ross – and her Kubler Ross Curve can be a useful tool to explain the ups and downs of the grief process. Meditation of some kind is a good idea to have in your toolkit as it keeps you in touch with your inner feelings and well-being. You can find meditation in many ways whether sitting looking at the sea, being in nature, or following a set meditation practice.
Sadhguru is a big favourite of mine. He is an Indian Yogi and Mystic and he has a free app you can download to your phone and use daily, even when you don’t have a connection to the internet.
Sadhguru says there are 3 things we can do every morning. When you wake up in the morning celebrate you have woken up and not died during the night and check that the 5 people closest to you are alive too – then celebrate again, how lucky you are!
I will be seeing Robert Forster ex founding member of the Go-Betweens, he’s doing a talk at the Sydney Writer’s Festival. He has written a book called GRANT & I. I saw the Go-Betweens play live loads of times in London over the years. They have recorded over 15 albums but never really hit the big time! A bit like the Indie band I was in during the 90’s – never quite got there but had a lot of praise during their time.
I will be seeing Liane Moriarty author of The Husband’s Secretand Little Big Lies – she was really popular in my book club back in the UK. I have been living on the Northern Beaches for the last month so have been getting a feel for where some of the books were set.
To book visit a place at the festival online: www.swf.org.au
2. Palm Beach Pool – I love the salt water pools at the northern beaches. Palm Beach a beautiful spot to sit against a warm wall and watch the sea, the pool and the blue sky. Followed by a coffee in a lovely coffee shop called 2108 espresso!
Take a boat trip from Palm Beach to Pittwater and back. I took a trip from Palm Beach to Ettalong Beach and visited a friend in Umina. It was lovely to be on the water!
My favourite spot Air BnB – check out this amazing location and a cosy cabin with views overlooking Palm Beach, located in the Northern Beaches of Sydney. I can personally vouch for Bobbie she is a lovely person and you couldn’t ask for a better host.
Here are some images of her place:
5. Clothes shopping Absolutely, no need to leave the peninsula for a shopping trip. I came across a brand called BOOM Shankar – it’s colourful brand, fun, practical and stylish too! The skirt I bought is perfect for travelling as its reversible. It’s a FREE SIZE and held together with poppers and made with 100% cotton. If you can afford to go upmarket or buy a signature piece for your wardrobe visit Lee Matthews shop in Newport Beach – OMG – Beautifully made clothes but sadly not on my budget. The pieces you would wear for years to come! If you are on a budget pop a few doors down and find a bargain with second-hand designer wear at Encore. Again I saw some Lee Mathews clothes in there.
6. Avalon Cinema – catch a movie here see what ‘s one.. this week it was Their Finest – a British Comedy with Bill Nighy and Gemma Atherton.
7. I haven’t been to Bigola Beach yet, so if it’s sunny this week I will be heading down to this beach again and trying out their pool. There are so many beaches that are all gorgeous but you might as well as visit as many as you can!
8. Mona Vale yoga – Introductory price only $29.00 for a whole week’s yoga.
My Organic Hairdressers – Corner of Foamcrest & Coles Prd. Newport Beach, NSW 2016 – Meet the lovely Hairdresser Claire… and her lovely dog Koochi.
To book call Claire on 9979 2494
Visit one of the many cafes on the Northern Beaches and read one of my favourite books this month: Jamie Catto’s Insanely Gifted Turn your Demons into Rocket Fuel and Robert Forster’sGrant & I.
Why I have fallen in love with Sydney, Australia – May 2017
Colour: Each country I will choose a colour and Australia for me is the colour blue – rock pools/sea/sky everywhere you look is blue…
Cafe: Northern Beaches especially Palm beach – lovely spot, great coffee and delicious bliss ball – lovely friendly staff! visit: @2108esspresso cafe
Inspirational /favourite book: Robert Forster ‘s Grant and I
Animal: Birds – Rainbow Lorikeet (Hilariously funny things and amazing multi-coloured coats)
Nature: So many beautiful trees around here I am living in a sea of green but my favourite is the Paperbark trees, shredding its bark from the outside and it’s like a soft blanket of creamy coloured contoured bark.
Place: Northern Beaches – also known locally as the “the insular
peninsular” – Palm Beach rock pool /Newport Beach Rockpool – all the beautiful beaches – who needs to go anywhere!
People: Friendly Australian people – love ’em. Always seem to be friendly and kind, willing to redirect you when you get lost or have a chat. I even got invited for Sunday lunch and I had a really lovely time!
Music: I have been listening to Go-Betweens – revisited CD – Live on Snap!
Cinema: Buena Vista Social Club – feel-good documentary about Cuban music.
I fall in love with every country I visit… Nepal, India, Bali, and currently Australia…I realise I have not just fallen in love with the country, I have fallen in love with life, and in doing so I have fallen in love with my own life!
The month of May brings a month of many birthdays around me and this year it has been more significant as I turned 50! For the last six months I have been traveling in Nepal, India, Bali and now I am in Sydney, Australia. It wasn’t planned that I would be here for my birthday but I found myself here house sitting in the Northern Beaches. It is a truly beautiful spot, full of sandy beaches, coffee shops and a laid back atmosphere, so all my needs are catered, only one thing I am alone, having left all my friends and family in the UK. I couldn’t wish for a better view though, sunrise and sunset, sunshine or rain it is a great spot to be.
I love the number One: the beginning, the leading number, being number One has such positive connotations. This month will be a month of many firsts for me besides turning 50. I am setting up my first blog www.travelwithalice.com and therefore writing my very first blog post. I have joined an online course to assist me and making the step out of my comfort zone into the world of blogging. Let’s hope I don’t live to regret it!
Lately, I have come to celebrate the 1st of every month, as it reminds me to start the month on a positive note and set my intentions for the month, a stepping stone towards creating my new life.
The number one reminds me of universal oneness and inter-connectedness. On this first blog I want to celebrate one special person in my life – who happened to be instrumental in my birth too, my Dad. He would have been 85 years old today the 18th May but died aged 66 back in 1999. I am offering a free e-book to my all my new subscribers. I created the book from the story my sister Christine Readman wrote about our dad’s passing to help the then young members of our family to come to terms with the loss of their granddad, you might find it helpful for yourself or someone you know who has lost a loved one.
Join the subscriber list and Once Upon a Time… A story of a Grandad : e-book will be sent to you via email for you to download.
I have recently joined a 30DC creative clinic with the author John Williams it’s been on my to do list since June 2016 when I posted the cover on my Instagram account to remind me. So on the 1st of May 2017 to coinside with my turning 50 i started the course. I was inspired to read his book Screw Work Lets Play and Screw Work Break Free when I found myself yet again needing to reinvent myself and do something new.
I was so enthused by the book I told lots of people about it especially those in jobs or situations that was slowly draining them of their enthusiasm for life. Well, here I am not only doing his online course and feeling totally inspired by the community he creates around it but working on creating a new life and freedom for myself.
The free e-book Once upon a time.. will be emailed to you after you have subscribed to the mailing list below.