Sunday, 27 December 2015

Family Christmas

The past few years, since Littletree and I went through a major shift in our lives, we've been celebrating Christmas. Just quietly, in our own way. The last two years we went down to spend the holiday with my family in South Australia, but that wasn't possible this year, so we created our own special family here at home.

Littletree got involved with the google+ Secret Santa, which was awesome

We created a geeky Christmas "tree" -a binary tree made of coat hangers in a tree formation hung with manila file folders and decorated with broken tech - old USB cables, wonky gadgets, broken ADSL splitters - our 'Angel' was Andy the Android and of course we added a TARDIS.

Gifts we kept simple - of course a few sneaky treats for Littletree from Doctor Who (because we don't believe in Santa)
Naturally, every time Littletree wasn't looking, "The Doctor" popped by with his TARDIS and left another little present

We kept it simple with gifts; aside from her much appreciated Secret Santa hoard of Doctor Who merchandise and Art supplies, Littletree got a portable bluetooth speaker from me and Shark Girl

I gave Shark Girl a gift that was more shark wrapping than actual gift, and Littletree gave her a book about sharks with an altered book cover that she'd made herself

And Littletree and Shark Girl together got me the most incredible gift - a really nice Android Tablet :) Which is super cool and replaces the old iPad that I won back in 2010 (amazingly the 5 year old iPad still 'works' but thanks to Apple's stupid closed system, the device is completely obsolete and unusable - ironic to turn it on and find that it can't update anything and most apps aren't supported on this "out of date" technology).

I also got a very treasured gift - a friend back in Israel sent me copies of my two favourite picture books that we always travelled with and that I read to Littletree every day when she was small. I lost our original copies under sad circumstances, and I missed them very much. So it feels extra special to get these; even if only for nostalgic reasons. And I'm teaching Littletree to read more in Hebrew.

The three of us all hand-painted little singlets for the fresh baby our new housemates had (he's 6 weeks old now!)

And we had a few good friends around for an awesome barbecue. Simple, delicious. Fun times!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Summer solstice

The longest day of the year.
We light a fire to mark the ceremony, cleansing. Wine for the blood, incense fire for the air, the spring flowing.
We let go of all the things that don't serve us, we let go the bonds that hold us.
I cast off the hooks that lying, manipulating abusers have tried to control me with.
They have no power over me.
I take back my strength and I stand in my truth and power.

And so the seasons change, and I grow and heal. Reclaiming myself.

Merry solstice

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Fallow Ground

In farming, there is a practise known as letting a field stand fallow - where the land is given a year to 'rest' in between cultivating crops.
In the Jewish tradition, farmers leave the fields fallow every seventh year, known as shmita - this allows the soil to rejuvenate.
And so with the soul, sometimes there is a need for a fallow year; a time of rest and rejuvenation, allowing the spirit to regain strength.

We let the forest grow wild

And then the rains come to wash away all the collected detritus of the soul; the hurt, the pain, the challenges one must traverse in the journey of life is washed away.

Seasons come and seasons go. Time changes everything.
And then it's time to wake, blossom from the cocoon

I become a butterfly, the me who survived. The one left standing in the butterfly graveyard of all the parts crushed and shed, destroyed and broken down.

In that process, one day it's time to wake up and clear some space. Take back what's mine and clear the garden.

In the strongest of storms, sometimes there is nothing you can do but let the wind tear you apart, let the rains scour you clear, and finally, when the sun shines,  begin to pick up the pieces, repair the damage, and learn to live in the new landscape

It is a new path I walk; a new landscape, new beginnings, new horizons, new dawn. 

It's okay to be broken - it's good for the soul to take some time for fallow fields, only to begin anew; a butterfly.

I will never hide again. I will not live in fear.
I am a butterfly.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Can't Stop Reading

Littletree is so engrossed in reading lately, she's chewing through books faster than we can get more from the library!

I can't even get her to stop reading when we're walking around...

I tried telling her to go and spend some time outside in the sunshine...

I told her to go play and climb trees...

Even when she's supposed to be practising her cartwheels for circus class, she manages to do them one-handed and keeps reading!

People keep telling me that kids who are allowed to structure their own time and have unrestricted access to a computer will spend all their time in front of a video game and never do anything academic or go outdoors... I'm sure that will kick in any day now.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Winter Solstice

So it's the shortest day of the year; the start of winter.

Aptly, our clear, warm days have abruptly turned into BloodyHellit'sFreezing cold and pouring rain.

Yes, oh scoffing northerners, we do have winter here. Today only got up to 18 degrees Celsius! That's only 64F!!

Thankfully we have a roaring fire to snuggle up in front of.

2013 - 1


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Home Sweet Home

The journey was long and arduous – not so bad, as far as international travel goes, but still about 14 hours all up, with two flights and a 3 1/2 hour stopover in Darwin, all overnight.

So it was a rough night. Littletree slept through the meal, and then wouldn’t eat it later when she was hungry because it was cold, and then wanted to save it for later, but it was seized by customs in Darwin (because a vegetarian pasta airline meal poses a threat to national security). So she was hungry and she whinged a lot. But she still managed to sleep for most of both the flights and the stopover.

In Bali, they wouldn’t let me take my mandolin as a carry-on and I was terrified that it would be damaged if I checked it in, but it did arrive safely, as did all our luggage, and us.

Lady Demelza and Uncle CJ were waiting to pick us up at the airport (so lovely to be met at the airport!) and whisk us home to our beds.

We got home totally exhausted, but happy to see that in our absence, Lady Demelza had spent a lot of time decorating our house and preparing it for winter.

Winter-weight curtains up in the living room

56 welcome home

pictures up on all the walls

57 welcome home

Littletree’s crafting and studying nook all organised and prettified

58 welcome home

Books sorted into the bookshelf

59 welcome home

And the whole place spic and span and scrubbed spotless.

So glad to be home again, and sleeping in our own beds. Though we do miss our “second home” on Gili Air.

I finally got all the photos uploaded, you can see the whole album HERE

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Last fling in Bali

So after our last night in Gili Air, which we enjoyed under a full moon

44 full moon

And a fascinating breakfast alongside the cutest tiny little ants ever which were kind enough to clean up the drips of honey Littletree spilled from her pancake

49 ants

And Littletree had said her billionth goodbye to the Indonesian kids in the family who ran our villas

47 sequoia naiela

We got on the boat to Bali…

It was not the best boat ride ever; of course, they were overbooked and we couldn’t get seats – I managed to make enough hullabaloo for the guy to let us sit up on the roof so we could at least sit down, and lo! There were seats up on the roof anyway; no idea why they just wanted to keep the rooftop vacant.

We landed on Bali to find it pouring with rain and many of the streets flooding

49 flood bali

(So glad we were in a minibus and not on a moped!)

And happy to arrive to our hotel to relax after the journey. The next morning, it cleared up a bit and we spent the day wandering around, ingressing and sightseeing a little, marvelling at what counts as a petrol station on Bali

55 bali petrol

– I even found a bar that was made just for me

52 spider bar

And having hacked all the portals we could, and gotten more massages than should be humanly possible, we set out for the evening to find the awesome night market we ate at last year, only last year, we’d gone there with some people who knew the way, and I only vaguely knew the rough area we needed to go to. I tried googling, but ended up somewhere very, very not where we thought we were going.

A surprise adventure!

By sheer chance we found ourselves wandering after dark around a random neighbourhood; thanks to googlemaps on my phone I vaguely knew where we were, but no idea how to get to where we wanted to go. At the point that Littletree was fed up with walking and just wanted to eat, we walked into the first place we came to, but Littletree got a bad vibe from it and wouldn’t even walk though the door.

Next door to that place we tried again, and it turned out to be a duck restaurant and we got the most delectable dinner ever! Duck fried rice, duck fried noodles and a spicy green curry duck. Oh, it was divine!

54 duck

And finally, after even more massages; time to get on the plane back to Australia…

Monday, 27 May 2013

Leaving Gili Air

The last days, sad to leave, but happy to be heading home, and saying goodbyes amid promises to be back next year.

Littletree did her daily Bahasa Indonesia work over breakfast…

66 bahasa indonesia lessons (478x640)

And we got to meet the freshly born twins, Nadiya and Nadira – the newest additions to the family we stay with on Gili Air (pictured being held by their grandmother and great grandmother.)

33 nadiya nadira twins (640x480)

Littletree spent our last morning playing with Naiela, the little three-year-old girl who lives next door to us; Naiela absolutely adores Littletree, and taught her a bunch of nursery songs in Indonesian.

46 sequoia naiela (480x640)

As a parting gift, Littletree decided to give her soccer ball to Naiela, seeing as proper soccer balls are at such a premium on Gili Air. A very valuable gift indeed!

39 playing with naiela (480x640)

Naiela was so happy, and Littletree too. Until finally, it was time for us to get on the boat back to Bali. The whole family came out to hug us goodbye, we shall miss them so much!