Category Archives: Travel

International Women’s Day + Carrie Green

Today is International Women’s Day. Today is also the day I received my copy of Carrie Green’s book “She Means Business”. It’s not just any business book. It’s a business book geared specifically towards women entrepreneurs. It’s Motivational, Inspirational and dare I say it, Fun. 

If you’re in the USA, use this link to Amazon.com to purchase your own copy of She Means Business: Turn Your Ideas into Reality and Become a Wildly Successful Entrepreneur:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1401953166/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_ECaWybBKPZ4M3

If you’re in the UK or Europe, use this link to Amazon.co.uk:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/178180740X/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_WAaWyb52RT38W

The fact that my copy of this book, a book geared towards Female entrepreneurs, arrived today, of all days, on International Women’s Day, hasn’t escaped my notice. I’m of the view that there are no coincidences in Life, things happen for a reason and at just the right time. 

So I’m taking this as a sign that I NEED to read Carrie Green’s book very carefully, and pay close attention to the information, advice and exercises within it, and just BE DARING to put myself out there, to start my intented Crafts Business NOW instead of procrastinating. 

Go take a look at Carrie’s site for Female Entrepreneur Association, of which she is the founder, there’s a plethora of juicy extras and bonuses that can be had there. If you’re already in receipt of the book, don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon for a chance to win freebies. Here’s the link with information on how to claim your freebies: https://m.facebook.com/groups/571014886425825?view=permalink&id=615166408677339

To all my Sisters in The Universe, if you’ve been waiting for a Sign to help you kickstart your life, this is it! We are Women, hear us roar!

My New Friend

This friendly and curious magpie was sitting minding its own business when I came along and decided to try and make friends with it.

Notice how there appears to be the silhouette of a blackbird on the white patch on the magpie’s back? How cool is that! 

The white and black birds you can just about make out in photo no.7 are a small flock of pelicans. Yes, we’re exotic like that 😄.

This nature reserve is called Lake Richmond, and it’s just a couple of miles from where I live. The reason you don’t see water sports and crowds of people on and around it is because it’s a protected wildlife area, and restricted to pedestrians on foot only. Dogs must be walked on leash. It’s a haven for all kinds of flora and fauna. There’s even a lookout from where you can see the whole lake, and the houses close to it. Less than a mile out from this unique freshwater lake is the Indian Ocean.

The following 2 images are from Google Images:

Apparently there’s a colony of thrombolites somewhere along Lake Richmond. I have only just read about that here so when I do find them on my next visit I’ll be sure to write about it. Here’s what the Department of the Environment says about the Lake Richmond thrombolites: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/conservation-advices/thrombolite-microbial

30 Days of Gratitude: #9

#9: What place are you most grateful for?

It’s got to be Paris, for the memories it gave me and my son, Jack. Back in Ireland, in the good old days when I was earning a good wage at MBNA Bank of America, I’d managed to save up nearly €8000 in a year, so I decided to treat Jack to a 6th birthday treat he’d remember for years to come.

I told Jack we were going to Paris, France. Of course he had no idea where that even was, or what delights it offered visitors. He was excited at the prospect of seeing and experiencing new things, and of flying in 2 different planes and travelling on trains and buses. It really was a hop, skip and jump kind of trip, getting from Ireland to Paris via London.

What Jack didn’t know was that I’d booked us a holiday for 7 nights, 3 of which would be in Paris itself. And the other 4 nights would be in Disneyland Paris.

And as Jack’s birthday is on Halloween itself, 31st October, I’d bought us tickets to Disneyland’s special Halloween night opening. The park would reopen its gates to special ticket holders, all the eating places would be open for business, and all the rides would operate as per normal that night. Plus, at midnight, there would be a magnificent fireworks display from the iconic Cinderella’s Castle.

So off to Paris we went. I love Paris, I’ve been there about 6 times, and each time it never fails to enchant me all over again. Jack and I did the usual touristy stuff – the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, walking along the Seine, taking in the Arc de Triumphe and its modern counterpart, La Defense. We even went hunting for boutique perfumes and macarons, and visited some pet shops along the Seine, where Jack and I giggled ourselves silly at the sight of white mice jumping onto wheels that spun them round and round. 

On the 4th day, I bundled us back onto the bus that would take us to the airport, where our connecting bus to Disneyland was waiting. Jack, of course, thought we were simply going home. 

At the airport, we got on the bus and off we went down the countryside. It was only as we neared Disneyland and Jack saw some of the highrise rides and rollercoasters that he turned to me, with eyes as wide as saucers, and said, “Mummy, are we going to Disneyland?”

The look of pure delight on his face was just priceless.

We had a marvellous 4 days at Disneyland. On our 3rd day, the night of the special Halloween night-time opening, I decided that waiting 45 minutes in the queue for a 2 minute ride was a little too much. Why not ride on a train for 45 minutes and spend the whole day in Paris? It was door to door, easy peasy.

And so we headed back to Paris for yet another fun-filled day. Then late afternoon that day, we caught the train back to Disneyland, and I took Jack to a 50’s-inspired American Diner, where the wait staff danced on the countertops to Elvis songs. They even brought out a chocolate cake for Jack, on the house, for his birthday. It had sparklers on it.

The Halloween Night opening was brilliant. The queues were a lot shorter than the ones during the day, so we went on some of the rides not just once, but twice or even three times. 

At midnight, just as promised, there was a magnificent fireworks display that lit up the entire sky above Cinderella’s Castle. It was the middle of winter, bitterly cold, and you’d be forgiven for thinking we were mad for staying outdoors all night, but I tell you now, that was the best memory of Paris Jack and I will ever have.

I’ll make damn sure Jack and I go back there one day. Maybe when he’s older, or maybe even when he’s married with children of his own, and we can all go there as a family.

I’m so grateful for Paris and Disneyland! 

(Image source: Google. I’ve lost all the photos of our trip, due to moving so many times over the years… all the more reason to return there and create fresh memories!)

Gratitude Thursday

Today, I’m expressing my Gratitude for living where I live. There are beaches all around me, all within a 5-10 minute drive. Or a 15-25 minute cycle. The sunshine in Western Australia is gorgeous, and lends itself happily to great photos. And we’re lucky enough that there’s never crowds of people thronging these beaches and spoiling Mother Nature’s beauty. 

People who don’t know Rockingham think it’s full of bogans (aka rednecks/hooligans/uneducated folks), but the reality of it is that Rockingham is an undiscovered natural gem that is now fast developing into a tourist destination… the locals however would like it to stay a sleepy backwater town, so our lovely beaches can stay unspoilt. The common consensus is to let Joe Public continue to believe Rockinghan is “rough”, and stay away so us locals can continue to keep our secret a secret 😄.

Here are just some photos I took (with my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge) of some of the beaches in the Rockingham, Western Australia area:

Sea Glass, Stones & Shells

Here are some photos of my collection of sea glass, along with some quirky stones and shells. These were collected from the beaches along Point Peron, where I had a “mini holiday” just the other day…well, it seemed like a holiday, away from the hustle and bustle of town and people. I remember beachcombing for shells on the beaches of Trengganu on the east coast of Malaysia, as a child. That love has returned to me now in Rockingham, Western Australia.

I must endeavour to go to the beach by myself at least once every fortnight if I can. It’s good for the soul!

See, the jar is only half full, so I’ll definitely need to visit the beaches again for more pretty little things 😄. Don’t they look a bit like jelly beans? 

Madam Bukeshla – Part 3

The quirky Madam Bukeshla boutique in Fremantle, Western Australia, is not only home to Trish Bygott’s sewing skills, it also houses the wonderfully quirky naïve sewn dolls of Danielle (d_for_daniowl on Instagram) and the floristry skills of Sandy (clippings.freo on Instagram). These 2 lovely ladies were very charming, welcoming and curious about me when I visited. 😊

Here are some photos of the glorious garden behind the shopfront of Madam Bukeshla, where florist Sandy works. I can’t imagine a more tranquil, peaceful and conducive environment to work in.

Madam Bukeshla – Part 2

Yesterday, I introduced you to a dinky little fashion store in Fremantle, Western Australia. Now, step inside for photos of the fascinating boutique Madam Bukeshla

Wait, there’s more! And it’s coming up next…

Madam Bukeshla – Part 1

I first came across the name “Madam Bukeshla” while trawling Pinterest for Lagenlook (layered look) fashion. I was enchanted by the photoblog of Design Files, with the many beautiful photos of the interior and exterior of Madam Bukeshla’s home and boutique, as well as the fascinating and colourful story of owners Trish Bygott and Nathan Crotty. You can read the Design Files article here.

I contacted the owner of Madam Bukeshla, Trish Bygott, about visiting her and taking photos of her shop for my blog. Trish very graciously agreed, but warned me that she was about to leave in a few weeks’ time for a long trip to India. 

I’d only begun my new job walking dogs and pet sitting, and last Friday I only had the one home to petsit, so I found myself with some free time afterwards and decided to drive to Fremantle, to satisfy my curiousity about the enigmatic Madam Bukeshla. As it were, that was the very day Trish had set off for her Indian adventure.

For the uninitiated, Madam Bukeshla is a fictitious name with an enchanting story attached, concocted by owner Trish Bygott:

(The following is taken from the website of Madam Bukeshla):

The Story of Madam Bukeshla

This is the fictional story written by Fremantle artist and writer Jennifer Kornberger for the launch night of the Madam Bukeshla store…
 
Trish has named her design studio after the famous historical figure Madam Bukeshla, and I think it would be fitting at this opening fo the Studio to tel a little of the story of this enigmatic woman who lived at the turn of the century. She was an artistic and sensitive daughter of the Russian Tsarist and adventurer Anton Bukeshla and the Zulu princess Ata Bukeshla. She grew up in both Africa and Europe, and studied art at the French academy, becoming fascinated with the elements of good design. One of the stories that has come through tells of her visiting the William Morris Studios in England and peering with great longing through the window in the pouring rain at the wallpapers and furnishings. The head designer, who was at that momentslightly tipsy from drinking French red, spied her and invigted her in to share a glass. Hearing that she was an artist, he flung out a challenge: ‘Find me a palette of fabrics that matches exactly the flavours of this wine.’ Madam Bukeshla took up the challenge. She entered the workroom and turned it upside down: colours, patterns, braids, bibs, bobs, buttons… Out of the creative chaos she emerged triumphant with a stunning combination that took England by storm. She was given a trunk of fabrics, which she took with her as she continued in her travels, visiting all the dress houses on the continent, collecting as she went more and more trunks of fabric. Then a great longing arose in her to connect with her mother’s heritage. She booked a passage to Africa and lived in the rhythm of song, into colours so boldly put together, beads, sun and women singing as they worked with cloths wrapped around their bellies. She returned to Europe with more boxes of fabric. With all these experiences behind her, Madam Bukeshla went into a textile mill in Brittany and climbed the stairs to the very top of the mill and in the last rrom she found an old woman with a spindle. And then for the second time in recorded medical history, a woman (this time Madam Bukeshla) pricked her finger on a spindle and fell into a deep sleep, which lasted 100 years. When she woke up she found that her name was Trish Bygott. And all the boxes of fabric had survived and here they are in this room, under the table. I must tell you that when Madam Bukeshla went to sleep the whole world went to sleep and had a textile nightmare – millions of soulless garments churned out of factories, ugly things with inane prints, some had never been touched by a human hand. But Madam Bukeshla dreamt of divine cloths, of stitching with strips of silk ad she dreamt of garments so individual that each one had a name. So, now she has her own design studio and others come to the window and peer in to see Trish Bygott ‘living that which she loves’.

And now let us venture within:

More in Part 2 tomorrow! 😉

Dreaming of Ireland

I’d forgotten just how beautiful Ireland is. And I’ve just realised that I’ve hardly scratched the surface of this glorious country, even after 4 years living there, from 2007-2010. Still plenty of places I haven’t visited yet. The last time I was there I hadn’t discovered the world of mobile photography yet, but the next time I go back, I’m determined to make the most of my photography skills and do Ireland some justice.

But all that is in the long run. It’s good to have a dream, it may not be The Dream I envisioned, but that’s okay too. What’s meant to be will be. Dreams can change, circumstances can change, who knows this Change, if it happens, may be just another stepping stone towards The Dream? 

All I know is my ex-hubby and I have to go where our skills, qualifications and experience can be of use and appreciated. Where I’m not made to feel like I’m too old to be employable, losing out to 18 year olds with 30 years’ experience. Where workers are appreciated by employers, instead of being used and abused and tossed aside like so much used toilet paper, like he’s been treated the last 6 years here in Australia. Loyalty is not a word Autralian employers have in their vocabulary. The Australian Dream may have come true for thousands of emigrants, but sadly not for this family. And not for lack of trying, either. Yes, there have been small mercies and a few good opportunities here and there, but not enough for us to continue living in this most expensive part of the world. 

Yes, we may not be together anymore as husband and wife, but we are thankfully still good friends and continue to watch out for each other. So if we do go back to Ireland, we’ll start out by sharing a house together until the time comes for us to naturally part ways. Life’s funny that way. Better the devil you know than the one you don’t, eh 😉. 

So for now, I’ll dream of the lush green mountains and valleys of Ireland, with her misty woodlands and babbling brooks, and her friendly, welcoming people. And imagine I’m back there, with the light drizzling rain on my face, wearing wellington boots and splashing in puddles with my dogs by my side.

It’s a Good Dream.

(Photos curated from Pinterest, and cam be found on my Pinterest Board, Ireland).

Ferrets

I was in Perth CBD today and on my way to drop into T2 to try some free teas, when I walked round the corner and bumped into this young man and his girlfriend taking his 2 ferrets for a walk. The ferrets were on chain leads and scampering over each other with excitement. Everyone went Ooh! and Aaahh! because they were so darn cute. The ferrets, I mean. 😄

Anyway, I went up to the couple, and without my even asking, the chappie scooped up one of the ferrets and handed it over to me for a cuddle. I’m in love with ferrets now. Sure, they smell like a room full of mice, but it’s not a bad smell, just quite strong. I probably smell like my dogs to other people, but I don’t notice it. And I guess if you love animals you’ll be quite happy to smell like them too!

I only managed to snap a few photos of the ferrets, but they really are cute and I wanted to share them here with you all. If you want to keep ferrets, do your research first, as they are not for everybody. They are very high energy and although domesticated, they are wilder and more unpredictable than dogs or cats. 

And yes, like any other animal, they can nip. The one I was cuddling in my arms decided after 5 minutes that he’d had enough and could he go back to his Daddy please, so he squirmed about and finally decided to have a nibble of my hand, between the thumb and index finger. It wasn’t painful, it felt exactly like when Boo my cat bites me when he’s had enough attention. 

The ferret on the left is 2 years old. The one on the right is 8 months old and a ferret x polecat, and when it is fully grown will be about 2x the size of his ferret buddy. They eat mince and love fresh fish. 

When I got home, my 2 dogs Shelagh and Scruffy had a field day, sniffing at my hands and clothes at that strange ferret scent!

Here’s a good site for information for starter ferret keepers. 

https://www.lovethatpet.com/small-pets/ferrets/ferret-care/