Believe me young friend there's nothing - absolutely nothing

Every time we are on the northern beaches of Sydney I keep meaning to go back to The Basin in The Ku-Ring-Gai National Park. We used to go there as kids on days out with my uncle's work. It was such fun, we'd hop on a boat all together and head off - there were huge canvas eskys full of dry ice with ice creams - I'm sure there was other food but that's all my young self remembers.

"Believe me young friend there's nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about on boats" Kenneth Grahame

Waiting at Palm Beach Wharf we watched this gorgeous yacht being taken out to it's mooring

So seeing how we had a spare day on our hands, we decided to take advantage of being so close by and go visit.

Palm Beach wharf... photo from Google Maps by Marek Blaszczakiewic - view more here

We hopped aboard Myra and headed off across Pittwater

It's a short 20 minute or so trip from Palm Beach wharf to The Basin - a lovely little ferry ride... I wish it was a longer one.

Smokey day on Pittwater

The fires had been burning around Sydney and smoke haze filled the air. Only a couple of weeks earlier Barrenjoey had been alight with the lighthouse under threat, so there were restrictions about walking on bush trails.

When we arrived at The Basin, there were warnings to not go on any of the trails due to the fire threats, a police van was on watch for any signs of fire - ready to spring into action.

I'd originally thought I would go on one of the short walks my dad and I had done when I was a kid, but it wasn't to be this time around.

We saw some gorgeous Wallabies, one with her baby in her pouch...

and we so loved watching the baby wallaby feeding on the grass while still sitting in it's mum's pouch.

I was taken with the mother's face when she looked at us, it almost had an old man's face look to it, with white beard... I wondered if that was where the 'old man kangaroo' name comes from.

Time to leave, but hopefully we'll be back again to camp here

Coffee Hearts, Cute Cabins, Sage Quiches and Cat Wisdom

Off we go again... a quick stop over at home to collect our clothes and we are off to Sydney.

I was delighted when I saw a little heart in my coffee on our way to Sydney at Oliver's Newcastle

We found a lovely little cabin through Air BnB for two nights in Avalon - perfect for our stay in Sydney.

Our Avalon cabin... isn't it cute?

After connecting with our family, we had a lovely wander around Avalon to recharge the old batteries.

Yummy nurturing sage quiche and avocado dressing at Nourished

Loved their wall wisdom philosophy...

Life's Short stay healthy for it

Bit of cute cat wisdom on the wall

And a permission... in case you need one... to live

On a course I am doing at present, there is a lot of talk about permission slips. If you're anything like me, when you think of permission slips you're mind will go to school and kids. The ones we are doing in our current course are a bit different. Permission to learn to surf - even if you are 60. Permission to travel without a suitcase - scary. Permission to try something new - Italian cooking school in Tuscany - especially if you are 84. Get my drift? Little longings that we may hold within, dreams put on the back burner. Permission to be imperfect. Permission to get the grammar complelely wrong, hugely bigly wrongly. Permission to sing/dance/write... What would you put on your permission slip? Permission to swing on a child's swing in the park. A recent one of mine was to run through the kids park while whales spouted water, risking getting my clothes wet so that I could play with my grandkids. As I let go and played with the girls, I saw so many faces light up and smile. Boy don't we need that in life, more joy?

I first saw permission slips in a book I was reading by SARK called Inspiration Sandwich. Sark is a great believer in play and the power of fun. she's been an inspiration to me many times through her books. Below you'll find a video of her giving a TEDx talk.

If you haven't seen a TEDx talk before, they have an immense range of talks that you can tune into... TEDx talks are 'ideas worth spreading'. Another one of my favourite Ted Talks is Jane Fonda talking about life's third act.

But you'll have to excuse me, I've just written myself a permission slip to go and buy a swing to hang downstairs... what does yours say?

Colourful Lennox

Well we've finished our Gumdale house sit and we headed off to Sydney. Sadly we had a phone call to say we'd lost a family member during our last house first it looked as though Kevin would fly down while I stayed at the house, but as things worked out the funeral wasn't till a few days after we finished our sit. We were glad we could both be there for the family.

A quick stop on our way at Lennox Head for a coffee and a shiver as a storm passed through. Gosh the temperature is changeable at present, one day it's like mid summer, then next freezing again.

Loved the doggie bowl that matches the gelato bar

No I didn't eat any... I've got a month of walking to walk off the gelato from Manly

Big colourful pots dot the street

Love the octopus but I think my favourite is the mermaid

Although the turtle is pretty cute too....

Rainy day at Lennox

Loved the painting at Quattro

Yummy coffee and breakfast stop, and such great service at Quattro... I so admire people who enjoy what they do it seems to shine out of their whole being.

Light and Dark

The beautiful waters at Moreton Bay, Queensland

Great walking and cycling track around the Bay and during the week, it is a joy to walk there. The council has put up signs everywhere about sharing the path and keeping to the left, and I wondered why there were so many. I discovered why at the weekend. We noticed that some people had difficulty in telling the left hand side of the path from the right. It does get very busy at weekends and at times it got quite unpleasant and dangerous from cyclists ignoring the path rules.

Colours of Manly

'I'm sure I just saw a pink palm tree' so we turned around and went back... I know if you're seeing pink elephants it's a bad sign, but I haven't heard anything about pink palm trees - have you?

Love this photo of my granddaughter in her pink top and her lovely braided hair...

A little walk before dinner - kidding ourselves that a 30 minute walk will have any impact at all - love the moon above the boats

Back to a certain little Italian Eatery on a full moon...

Is it a bad thing that I'm drooling while loading these pictures on the blog?


Gelato from that certain Italian Eatery... oh yum

Loved the lushous fruit at Manly Market

Cute cart

Loved the Manly-Wynnum area... hope to visit again soon....

Cleveland Lighthouse

The Cleveland Lighthouse.

No we're not house sitting Cleveland Lighthouse, just exploring the area while we've been in Gumdale.

"In the 1860s, small farming settlements along the south coast of Moreton Bay, including at Cleveland, Victoria Point, Redland Bay and along the Logan and Albert Rivers relied on small ships (coastal steamers) for transport.

Travel by ship could be dangerous as the mudflats and sandbanks in Moreton Bay move and there are rocks. The bay is also very tidal, which meant it gets very shallow, especially close to shore. Cleveland Point was a dangerous spot. Before the lighthouse was built, people living in Cleveland put up small lights to make sure the ships didn’t run aground. These small lights kept getting damaged, and eventually the Queensland Government decided to build a permanent light." Read more here

Children's Park at Cleveland Point

I'd love to stay in a lighthouse one day... like Bell Rock Lighthouse or Muckle Flugga... Kevin says 'no way' but I'm sure I can drag him along - maybe? I've wanted to visit the lighthouses ever since reading 'The Lighthouse Stevensons' by Bella Bathurst. I wonder if some friends would come with me for company... hmmmm.... I think I'd need it, as with my imagination I could scare myself silly in the middle of the night!

A visit to Bell Rock with Bella Bathurst

Walking Wynnum

She must have been a beautiful baaaaabeee cause baby look at her now...
Scarlett resting - she is such a lovely doggie to mind.

Gorgeous morning walk at Wynnum

Pandanus Beach

We woke early again and after seeing to Scarlett we started our walk down at Wynnum.

As you can see from the pictures, Pandanus Beach is gorgeous and it was a beautiful day to walk. It was nice to see white sand after all the mud flats and mangrove swamps.

Had to laugh when I saw the legs poking out from below the sign

Adjoining Pandanus Beach you will find Whale Park...
We had a great time catching up with the grandkids again... three times in one week how great....

The adorables (our granddaughters) at Whale Park
We had a whale of a time... grrrrroannnn... grandma jokes can be worse than dad jokes

Adorable no 3 at Wynnum - oh my goodness am I in love or what...
how's that jump of the crack in the path! Fabulous

Adorables no 1 & 2 at the wading pool at Wynnum

It's been great to be able to catch up with our family while we have been on this house sit. We are hoping to find some more sits around Queensland so we can spend some more time together... only one more sleep and Scarlett's family returns.