The best thing about travelling? The joy of coming home.

Beautiful view from our home
Beautiful view from our home

I have often said that one of the best things about travelling is coming home, and I still find that to be true.  I walked into our home and relinquished myself to the comfort and familiarity of a space that is ours. I am so full of gratitude for our windfall in the lottery of life that has us living in Australia, it’s not called the “lucky country” for nothing.

P1140404 (2)For the last week we have both sunk into the couch, with a distinct unwillingness to move for any real amount of time. We returned to a cold Brisbane winters day where the daytime temperatures only got up to about 19°C and night time was as low as 7°C, I know that’s like summer in some places. The apartment gets no sun in winter and the tile floor, which is better suited to a hot summers day, is cold underfoot We venture out for small excursions before once again curling up on the lounge, Fonzie the dog at our feet and the heater on.  We are reluctant to return to “normal life” too quickly so we do it in bite sized pieces.  We sit wrapped in the comforting cocoon of our home.

Fonzie welcomed us home
Fonzie welcomed us home

I have spoken to my boss and the reality of returning to work Continue reading

Where a journey takes you

P1080249We take many journeys through life and they are not all connected with travel.  Major life journeys I have enjoyed include studying at university, getting married, building a house and of course having children.  I love the way you start at some place with no clear view of where you will end up, and the journey unfolds as you go along.  I have long believed that life is about the journey not the destination.  Writing the book of my friends life has been another journey that has led me to delightfully unexpected places.

When I agreed to write the book, I envisaged Continue reading

Shhhhhh….it’s our little secret…..our Little Malaysia

Whether we live in a small country town or a large city, we all have our favourite little restaurant. 

Little MalaysiaYou know the type I’m talking about. Those restaurants that you always return too….the ones where you are on first name basis with the owner or the chef……the ones where they know what you like to eat before you place your order……..the ones where you don’t need to look at the menu……..the ones where no matter what you order, or how many of you there are,  the bill is never more than $20 per head…….and most importantly……the ones that allow you to bring your own alcohol “BYO”.

Henry is the Chef, and Fania is the front of house manager at Little Malaysia in West End, Brisbane – it’s their Restaurant, it’s their passion, and it’s their life. For us……it’s our favourite little restaurant, where we have spent many of our Friday nights in great company and with great food.

West End is Continue reading

Brisbane is pretty damn good!

I have cycled many of these bike paths almost every day over the past 5 years as I made my way to the office, but today, they looked very different! Perhaps it’s because I had my eyes wide open?

cycling BrisbaneUsually on my morning ride to work I am pre-occupied with what might be waiting for me, either in my inbox or on my desk, oblivious to the really important things around me, and how great they are. Not only the natural beauty, but how fortunate we are to have such well-maintained and positioned cycle ways and paths for moving pedestrians and bikes safely around the river city of Brisbane.

It really hit me just how lucky we are to live here – whilst it’s Continue reading

Lycra, Prawns & Pinot

Cycling shouldn’t just be about sweat and spinning wheels across the pavement. We mamil’s (middle-aged men in lycra) are far more couth than that!

Prawns & Pinot

The idea of a Prawn and Pinot ride came to me last Easter, when I recognised that our favourite route not only included the parklands and foreshore of Moreton Bay, but went right past the moorings of the Moreton Bay prawn trawler fleet on Cabbage Tree Creek.

Since that time I have enjoyed the experience on three occasions. The latest was yesterday on Continue reading

My Inner Road Rager

I’veP1060765_edited been cycling to work most days for  a year, a round trip of about 15 km, not bad for a 58 year old. It’s been a challenge for me. I’ve never enjoyed exercise but started leisure cycling when we moved to Brisbane  8 years ago. I’d enjoyed riding a bike as a kid so to me it was the least painful way to do some exercise.

On holiday in 2013 I was cycling with a group of women who were in their 70’s and they made it up the hills. I didn’t. This challenged me Continue reading

Australia Day

How do you celebrate your national day, and do you really know what and why you are celebrating?

P1060936It’s a bit sad when you have to resort to Google to confirm what the origin of the day is all about, but that’s what I did. For the record, Australia Day is celebrated on the 26th of January each year and marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the first fleet of British ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales, and raising of the flag of Great Britain at that site by Governor Arthur Phillip. (Thanks Wikipedia)

Whilst that’s the historic significance, today I’d suggest that most Australian’s use the day to celebrate our freedom, wealth and safety, the diversity of our community, and the spirit of “mateship”, all attributes that allow us to call Australia “The Lucky Country”. That’s how we spent the day.

Whilst we don’t get hung up on tradition, we always seem to find ourselves spending the day with close friends, sharing the good weather, great food, chilled wine, stories from the year just past, and our plans ahead. Always with plenty of laughter. Where would we be without others to share Continue reading

Wedding Rings and Canoe Paddles

imageI love a good wedding, and Felicity and Job’s was one of the best. It was a spectacularly beautiful summer’s day as they married in the chapel at Sanctuary Cove. The glorious weather was truly appreciated as the day before had seen a deluge of rain resulting in closed roads due to flooding.

image

How wonderful to see families and friends come together for such a joyous occasion. The chapel was full of children laughing and smiling, I’m so glad they were included.

It’s such an honour to be invited to a wedding, to share that special time when a couple make their commitment to each other. Felicity and Job had written their own vows and the heartfelt expression of their love for each other, and their hopes for the future, ensured many tears Continue reading

From Leather to Lycra

I hate the label “mid life crisis”!

The Leather
The Leather

I don’t think I was having one when I bought the Harley at age 45, but I was probably a perfect fit for the stereo typical label. It was just a time in my life when it was what I wanted and could afford it. Did it matter that I didn’t even have a motor bike licence? Not to me it didn’t.

Hang on…..before you get all righteous, let me explain.

When I returned from Papua New Guinea in 2000, I was fortunate to get in early on the Peter Lik train………destination, world domination. I was employed by Peter as his group CEO at the time when Peter had one small photographic Gallery in Cairns, North Queensland. Within four years, Continue reading

Weekend Warriors

Have you every had something that you were good at and really loved, but for different reasons you lost it…or gave it away? I have.

Saxing it up
Saxing it up

That something for me was music. When I was about 14 years old I was an accomplished musician for my age, playing trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, euphonium, a little bit of piano and the electronic organ. Those talents saw me playing most weekends in an old time ballroom dance band – Ron Campbell’s Orchestra, “The Pride of the South Coast”. All was fabulous for a few years, and then I found girls. The pressure for a young adolescent boy of competing priorities got a little too much, and ultimately, I chose girls and lost the music. That loss lasted almost 15 years. When I met Anne she had no idea of my musical aptitude – all she knew was that some odd looking cases took up a whole lot of room in my wardrobe. Those cases contained my sax and trumpet. I knew I would make music again, and in the early 1990’s I did. As a family, in 1990 we moved to Papua New Continue reading