A sunny moment

The sun has come out, what a delight after the last couple of days, so we all went outside for a moment... how cute do Peaches and Xena look together? Talk about the long and the short of it.

Peaches follwed me into the garden and we both wandered down to the very healthy looking lemon tree, lemon citrus tart came to mind... hmmm... time for morning tea I think.

Speaking of lemon citrus tart we shared a lovely one yesterday at Seaforth, time to get back into our walking again... please rain fine up!!

There were some very plump ducks wandering around the lawn after all the rain, and the grass just seems to be loving the water, it is so green. I tried to get a couple of pictures, but the iphone could only manage a certain amount, I must go and brave the camera choices again.

On my way around the garden trying to capture these two on film, I discoverd a fabulous sculpture hiding in the garden... isn't it fabulous? I want one...

I love wandering around gardens and finding hidden treasures... I can't wait to explore more here.

Rainy Days

Our Ingleside housesit has started off with torrential rain, so we all cosied up last night and stayed warm and dry inside. Toby and Peaches sat with Kevin and watched the Wallabies beat The Lions at Etihad Stadium (I like to throw in things like that because when Kevin reads this he sounds so stunned that I actually know where they played - which I don't - I had to look that up) - (but while I'm on the subject, I do think that Etihad Stadium is fabulous the way it can open or close depending on the weather, it's got to be so much better for everyone, do you think?).

Xena doesn't like rugby as Kevin starts to tell the players how to play, and she doesn't like it one bit, so we sit together at the computer and organise the blog together, last night we had fun making our first little video. One of the house sitting sites we are on, ask you to put a video together, so we had our first go.

Toby and Peaches

Well we've arrived to care for Toby and Peaches, aren't they gorgeous? Such loving dogs and wonderful natures. Toby is a Labradoodle and Peaches is a labrador. It was a rainy day today when we arrived, and so we've had a slow start to our housesit. Toby and Peaches have had their afternoon snacks and a yummy dinner and are off to beddiebies with a little treat.

I'm fascinated with the geranium in this picture - I love how the pink stands out against the white.

Maurice the Marvellous

Once upon a time, in a magical place called Northbridge, there lived a beautiful schnauzer called Maurice, a truly marvellous dog.

In fact we've heard tell, if you visit Northbridge today, you may even get to meet Maurice. We met Maurice one day when Kevin was doing a bit of gardening...

Maurice stopped by and asked Kevin how the gardening was going, and announced that he seemed to have misplaced his home.

He pointed to his collar, which had his name and a phone number, that's how we learned his name was Maurice (what a great name - so much better than spot don't you think?) (Not that we have anything against spot as a name - just sayin.)

Anyway, back to the story, in a dog's whisker, before you can say schmackos, his dad called around and collected him, and they went home, and the story ended happily ever after (because that's how all good stories end - and we love happy dog stories).

How marvellous. The end.

Maggie's Diary... 3 more sleeps

Well it's been an exciting few days, going for walks, and playing. But today it seemed as though I wasn't going to have any fun at all, as it's so cold and it started to rain really hard.

But then I got lucky, the rain stopped for a while and I took Kev out to play with the ball thrower, it was great fun and I got a bit tired after a while.

But then I ran out to the deck again and looked back at Kaz, and she understood that I wanted to go play more - so she told Kev and we went out again to play, and I ran and ran.

Aww it was great to run off some energy, it gets boring just watching TV. I had a nice bone though and some treats so that was OK. Eating is always fun on a rainy day.

I hid my bone downstairs, but I can't tell you where I put it on here as someone might go and get it.

I meant to tell you too that my new friend here, had got himself lost on his walk, but luckily he had a tag on so Kev & Kaz could call his family. They came and got him and he went home again.

Oh and hey - guess what? I saw scout today,and we had a play! Kev forgot to take the camera but we had lots of fun, and scout said to say 'hi' and asked if I can come and have a play date soon - can I can I? I've been very good.

Kaz told me it's only 3 more sleeps, oh I'm so excited to see you all again.

Love from Maggie...
PS - did you buy me a treat while you are away?

Noticing Red

For a while now I've been taking part in some online art classes. They are a great way to keep contact with like minded creatives while we travel, and there are often exercises posted as a challenge.

Most of the images in this collage are from our trip over the last couple of months. The image below is for an exercise from one of our challenges and is called 'noticing red'...

Of course you could do it with any colour that may be standing out to you, or go back through your photos and see if a particular colour jumps out that you have photographed over a certain time period.

Red has been standing out to me, it's chilly here at present and red is so warming. When we've been out and about, I notice people going up to fireplaces and checking to see if they are on, I've noticed the red tones in the autumn leaves, something we don't have a lot of where we live as it is mostly evergreen.

And here's the same image converted to black and white, which one do you prefer?

Digital art is a fun thing to do and especially on a rainy day like today, a collage makes a nice memory jogger for a trip or something to frame to use in your house.

Wandering around Northbridge

There are so many things to love about Northbridge, aside from the beautiful place on Middle Harbour, we love that the people care enough to paint their drains, a little reminder about what is going down the drain, and where it is going to ...

Wandering around the streets we notice so many beautiful things here, swings on tree for families to stop at, little hearts on the pavement, the bright colour of a bike against the backdrop of nature, it's like being in an artwork...

It is really heartwarming to simply walk around the streets. Maybe there's a connection that I feel here, my grandmother, uncle and aunt used to live here in Woonoona Road, and some of my childhood was spent visiting her.

Maybe it's the beauty of the place, or perhaps we've just been lucky in meeting such lovely families that we have sat for, whatever the reason, Northbridge has been a lovely place to housesit.

I've recently been taking part in an online course from Penn State University in the US. One of our recent topics was to create a digital collage about Memories - we needed to use black and white photography (thank goodness for Picassa) and I've been wondering what to do.

The memories that I have of the Northbridge Bridge, have stirred an idea, but that's as far as I've gone so far. I need to go and buy another camera, that's my excuse for procrastinating

On one of our drives, we took a wrong turn, but in doing so, we happened to stumble across the Incinerator Art Space at Willoughby.

Wouldn't you know it, they have an exhibition called Mapping Memory - which made me stop and wonder if it was synchronicity happening. (The amazing silver construction in the picture is the lift... we had to take a ride it looked so fabulous and we both had tardis fantasies on the way in.)

A couple of months ago, Kevin and I had watched Kevin Bacon Cured Cancer a movie based on the concept of six degrees of separation. After visiting the Incinerator Art Space, we talked over how this seemed to be another link in our own 6 degrees of separation. You can watch the movie here... see what you think.

The Incinerator Art Space is a fascinating building built by Sir Walter Burleigh Griffin.

One of our favourite things to do is to go and visit galleries when we are away, or when we are at home for that matter, so this was a great find on our 'wrong turn'.

Mr Li Zongwen caring for strays

"Li Zongwen, from Wuhan, has taken in over 140 stray dogs from the outskirts of the city. Mr Li began adopting strays from the streets of Wuhan in 2009, and in just two years time he had taken in an impressive 140 hungry dogs. He put a roof over their heads, but admits he couldn’t afford to feed all of them, without donations from other local animal lovers. Food and rent for Mr. Li and his big family of canines cost around 5,000 yuan which is way more than he could pay on his own. Although sharing a home with 140 animals isn’t exactly an easy task, considering the noise he has to put up with at night, and the considerable mess he has to clean up after them, Li Zongwen doesn’t complain. On the contrary, he likes having them around as he prepares a big bowl of dog chow, using a garden shovel, and even eats his own meals in their company. There is still hope in the world!"

found on facebook today at... Heart Openers

Walkies and Coffee

We had run out of our Nespresso pods, so we took off a bit earlier on our walk today and stopped at Bond's corner for our coffee.

The muffins looked so delightful that we indulged, apple and cinnamon and mixed berry and white chocolate. Thank goodness we do long walks!

I love the large pots outside Bond's with herbs and little lettuces and strawberries. When we eventually go home, they've inspired me to plant more herbs.

We've started taking Schmacko treats with us, as the dogs can look a bit forlorn watching us while we sit there enjoying our delights. Maggie had a spontaneous joyful moment and jumped into Kevin's lap. She's a fun doggie and very enthusiastic in her responses.

The waiter recognised Maggie and so we weren't sure if she was so excited to see her regular barista, or she was just pleased with her schamckos, either way, Kevin received a big hug and kiss...

The houses are interesting and the gardens are beautiful, and today we found the house with the cute letterbox again. I think I want one! Now to convince Kevin.

Northbridge is a lovely place to walk, and take photos, there are some lovely glimpses and views of Middle Harbour as you weave around the streets.

I've been noticing the many gorgeous varieties of camellias, as all the flowers are in bloom at present, and as the gardens here are so established, there is never a shortage of beautiful blooms everywhere you look.

On the way home we saw rapunzel in her tower, well, rather we heard rapunzel in her tower calling to us to come on a walk with us. That's how we interpreted the call anyway.

Message from Maggie

I've been snuggling up to this pillow and thinking of you all at night and then in the mornings I call out at the bedroom and say 'wake up, wake up it's brand new day' well it sounds more like 'ro ro ro ruff ruff', then I jump onto the bed and snuggle with Kevin & Kareen. We go for our walks everyday - we've only missed one so far as it was a bit wet, and I love having walkies. We've been exploring and this is me looking at the view overlooking Castlecrag...

I've seen lots of fun things on my walks and this made me think of you...

from Maggie ♥

Winter breakfast at Plonk

Had a lovely morning at Plonk Beach Cafe at The Spit - we had a great breaky - and such perfect poached eggs. One day I hope to master those! I thought I was getting somewhere with my skills until today... how do you do it? Seriously I would pay to have lessons here to find out!

Our good friend Richard Harris was able to drop by for a coffee with us... his office at Auspak overlooks this magic view... Plonk cafe at the doorstep and Middle Harbour views outside the window - what a workplace! By the way if you are in the market for a mortgage give Dick a call - and let him know we suggested he take you for a coffee there.

And if you bring your best friend, there's a space nearby to

Message from Maggie

Hi family... I made you this from my pawprint and the morning dew!

Well I've had lots of walkies and sniffs at trees - mostly everyone loves me but one dog barked at me from behind it's fence, which wasn't very social I thought, but my sitters told me not to worry as it was just guarding it's house, like I do when I woof at the door. I wasn't convinced though as I'm just saying boof woof, when I do it, and it sounded like rarahrahaha barkbark. Never mind, we kept walking and saw this sign... apparently it means attention guard dog... Kareen told me that's to warn people when naughty dogs live somewhere, but I don't need that because I'm a good dog!

Anyway we kept on along our walk...

and found Northbridge Baths... but dogs aren't allowed in there, so I just got to have a little peek in, pity as Kevin said there were lots of big fish in the baths there to see.

Hope you're all having fun. I saw a couple of girls on one of my walks, and I thought that they were mine and I got all excited, but it wasn't you both...

Anyway, Kareen & Kev told me it won't be long till you're home now about 1 week but I worked that out to be 7 dog weeks - that's a long time in dog days...

I'm looking forward to seeing you all again... love and tail wags from Maggie.

A hoody suits those chilly days

Could Maggie be any cuter in her hoody? It sure has been chilly these last couple of evenings - there have been quite a few fogs and mist from the harbour rolling in, and the lawn was soaked in dew when we took Maggie out after breakfast.

I can't even begin to tell you how cute Maggie looks when she smiles. We got her lead out for her walk, and I have never seen a dog smile like Maggie can. I tried to catch her on camera but this was the best I could manage. Hopefully before our sit is finished I'll capture her great smile. It's a treat!

This morning a cool wind was blowing, but we decided to go for our walk anyway and just one street away the wind dropped and we soon warmed up so much the jackets all came off. We had a lovely wander around Middle Harbour.

We went for a wander down via Minimbah Road, and there were some beautiful harbour glimpses. We met another couple on their walk who shared their local map, and told us of all the various houses to note on our way. This is such a lovely area.

Maggie was quite fascinated with something at one stage and stopped to see what was going on... it turned out that Kevin's watch was creating little lights on the pavement and Maggie wanted to chase the light.

Rainy day photo shoot

It was a bit of a rainy day here today, so we had a photo shoot before the sun finally gave an appearance and allowed us to have a walk down to Woonoona Road and back again.

Having a browse through a book on the coffee table 'What the Dog Saw' by Malcolm Gladwell made me wonder, what do the dogs think? Does Maggie wonder what the heck these people are doing in her home?

Well whatever Maggie is thinking, she is all tucked up nice and cosy in her warm home, being cared for. A mist is rolling in from the water, and tonight is turning really chilly.