Scenes from our Collaroy housesit

Spotted at The Waterfront Cafe

The table there is always a delight to see

Teapot delights - now I want a little mini milkbottle

An delightful visit to Cherry Blossom at Narrabeen. Gorgeous dresses and Mexicana.

Painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe outside Cherry Blossom

Popeye at Cherry BLossom - Click here to see Cherry Blossom's delights on facebook

Celebrating Chilli's mum's birthday with Chilli so she didn't miss out.
Chilli had liver treats, we got the cupcakes... we thought that they'd be stale
by the time that the kids got home, if we didn't eat them...
and that's our story and we're sticking to it.

We saw a lost bunny at the beach

... and a pink elephant on the way to Tango class

If you are ever in Collaroy and would like to experience traditional Argentine Tango you can dance the night away with Margarita and Guy at Tango Embrace - Click here to discover their facebook page

Relaxation Time

Well our time minding Chilli is nearly at an end. What a delightful dog to mind, and a beautiful home to spend time in. We are very lucky to have been asked to housesit here and have so enjoyed our stay. Chilli has taken us on one or two walks each day, and in the process we have experienced many delightful moments.

We've discovered mosaic paths, mystical playgrounds, seen cute ducks sitting in dog bowls, we've watched paragliders, and seen woven hearts swinging in Norfolk Pines as the full moon peeked over the horizon.

We've had lots of laughs at the dog antics in the dog parks and watched ball thieves scamper away with Chilli's ball. We've even seen Chilli do the same, only to return it the owner and place it down in front of them after a run. How does she know how to do that? She's so clever.

No wonder they say dogs are great for health and well being - we can all learn a lot from our doggie friends. After her walk today, Kevin gave her a little massage. We tried to capture her response to the massage in this little snippet of footage, and we've also had some giggles watching her slowly sink to the ground as she has her massage on other days.

Bilarong Playground - Never Leave The Playground

On a walk around Narrabeen Lake, we found Bilarong Reserve Playground, it really is a wonderful place to visit no matter what age you are, if you are still in contact with your inner child you'll love it. The sculptures are just amazing, and you'll be wishing you could rush around like a kid again - I say go for it - play is so good for us.

While we are on the playground theme... if you are interested in how to keeping fit and healthy, you might be interested in how playgrounds can help this process... Playgrounds and play can help our balance, stability and co-ordination. Playgrounds aren't just for the young, they can be of help all throughout life. I invite you to watch Stephen Jepson in Never Leave the Playground.

Delightful moments - watching the paragliders on our walk

One of the joys about taking pets on their walks, is that we happen to stumble across the most delightful moments... this is one that we happened across taking Chilli for her walk yesterday. It was so lovely just watching these paragliders fly... Chilli was a bit concerned though watching them jump off the cliff, I'm sure she was trying to warn them not to!

We want to try this - what about you - want to try it too?

Meeting the ladies for lunch at Stowaway Cafe... but first a run at Rowland Reserve Bayview

Chilli had a fun run at Rowland Reserve and her ball wandered down onto the beach at one stage and we wondered if she would be able to bring it back as she's not too keen on water...

She met a few little friends but she still didn't want to venture down to the sand with them...

After a while she had a little rest in the shade...

But not for too long and soon she was wanting to run again.

Afterwards we met family at Stowaway Cafe for lunch and Chilli had a nice rest. Slight water bowl incident there you'll notice the wet cement...

while we had yummy lunch Chilli had some beefy liver treats. We practiced waving bye bye... but I think it was more a paw plonk on my lap for more treats.

She saw another little dog running about on a yacht while we were there, and thought about becoming a sailing dog...

But the water's definitely not her favourite place to be.

Click here to take a virtual tour to Stowaway Cafe on Pittwater

Paper Girl

Each morning we practice bringing in the paper...

Some days are the paper is easier to pick up than others, some days there are just too many other interesting things to see and do. On Sunday the paper was just too big to hold.

Last week the Manly Daily featured the new penquin boxes at Sydney Aquarium that had been freshly painted by Manly artist Rachel Carroll. Rachel painted the boxes in a reuse, recycle theme to bring awareness of the damage plastic pollution creates to our oceans and sea life. Rachel said... “I am passionate about the environment and the effect plastic has on Little Penguin populations so this project fits perfectly with my motivation to increase awareness on the topic. For me, art is a tool of communication and if I can present my message visually I think the impact will last longer and appeal to all ages.”

Aren't they adorable?

We love walking by the water and do so most days. On our walks we are very aware of the problems of pollution on our beaches and oceans and often take bags with us to pick up plastic and rubbish on the beach and surrounding areas. Not too long ago I found a book in the library, it was mostly it's cover and title 'Moby Duck' that got my attention.

Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author,Who Went in Search of Them

I picked it up off the shelf and took it home, to find the most fascinating story about how rubbish is affecting our environment. Moby Duck is the story of how Donovan Hohn learned about 28,000 rubber ducks and other bath toys who were lost at sea. He thought he'd just interview a few people about it, however, the search led him on a long and fascinating journey. Reading Moby Duck I felt like I was right there with him at times, picturing thousands of little ducks floating on the ocean, viewing the The Great Pacific Garbage Patch and being tossed in giant seas. What a great adventure...

After reading Moby Duck, I felt more connected to others doing similar tasks, knowing how important it was to remove the rubbish for the animals and the environment. But after reading about the immense problem in the ocean, the next time I started to pick up rubbish, I also wondered if my little bit of rubbish collection was any use. I couldn't do much really considering the scale of the problem. But then I thought, maybe if it helped just one animal, then it made a big difference to that one.

(Image of Rachel with the penquin boxesfrom Sealife)

Chill out with Chilli

Chill out with Chilli on her morning walk...

After a lovely run at Griffith dog park Chilli went on a walk around Long Reef headland. When you get to the top of the headland there is a little waterfountain that runs into a bowl for the animals at the base...

There was quite a queue for drinks... and while we were waiting we overheard a debate from some doggie owners about whether there should be bins for people to leave their rubbish in and bags to pick up doggie leftovers... what do you think? Is it a personal responsibility or should the council provide?

The whale sculpture at Long Reef Headland

Sheila's Rest a shell sculpture donated to the people of Warringah for their tranquility and pleasure. Sheila Wells - 'she who so loved nature's beauty'

Chilli's Video Diary

Hi family here's my little diary for you all... love you... miss you...

Chilli's exercise morning at Truman Reserve

Chilli took us to her favourite park to run today we met a beaut little Pugalier called Kirby.

Kirby and Chilli had a fun run together for quite a while today and we learned that...

Kirby is great at sharing, playing ball and waving bye bye...

Me ke aloha

Chilli sending aloha...

Paper Girl

Chilli is practicing her paper girl duties and gets great delight out of bringing the paper in of a morning. We think she's a clever cookie, oops make that a clever Chilli.

We're having lots of fun with Chilli, and as I write this every so often she wanders in with her Hawaiian print ball... so I'd best get ready so we can take her to dog park... Aloha.

Fun at the park with Chillli

We had lots of fun today on our walk met lots of ducks and other doggie friends and later on a ball chase... we're all settling down now to watch BB. Ben's back YEAH.

Minding Chilli

We're in Collaroy housesitting Chilli while her family are on holidays. Chilli is a very lovely border collie with such a beautiful nature. After her gorgeous family left for their holiday, we took her for wander down to Long Reef dog park.

She met a couple of friends there and this friendly boxer came over to say hi...

I love watching the antics of dogs on their outings. A little foxy kept lying in wait in the long grass only to pounce out and then run past us.

Chilli wanted to say hi, but this little puppy just wanted to play jack in the box. Don't you love how the colours marking their coats are so similar?

After playing at Long Reef Dog Park for a while we wandered along the headland to the point and as the sun started to set the near full moon was looking so lovely against the milky pink back drop of the sky.

At the headland there are some carvings and a dedication to the spirits of the place. It is a very beautiful peaceful space to visit.

To find out more about Long Reef's history, the local indigenous people who lived there and The Spirit of Long Reef visit Reef Care click here

The dedication plaque reads... The Spirit of Long Reef Headland
On a quiet peaceful night you can hear the Long Reef spirits singing in the ocean breeze. They use their beautiful voices to entice the humpback whales closer to the shore. The whales respond with their songs, that's when you can see them in the distance from the top of the headland.

The Long Reef spirits are very nurturing as they care for the whole of the Long Reef ecosystem and everything that enters into this environment. But they cannot do it all by themselves and they help from the spirit of all those who enter this place. Gordon Hockey 1997

Chilli at Long Reef Headland.

Out like a light after her walk

PS... she said to say hi to Matt and Elle and that she loves them and wishes that they were on the walk with her.