The Un-fancy Photo Shoot

“There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.” 
Abraham Lincoln

For the next few days I’m on a photoshoot. It sounds much more glamorous than it actually is. We need images for our new website so we are working with a talented friend, Kerry Warnholtz, to capture some shots. This involves trekking the length and breadth of Byron Bay at all hours of the day and night, looking for that picture that captures the emotions we want to convey.

I’m doing my own hair. And my own makeup. My styling consisted of dragging everything out of my wardrobe as well as some borrowed clothes from a friend and then trying them all on and discarding anything that looked ridiculous.

I have some props – but they are all things from my daily life. A favourite teacup, some books, oracle cards, crystals, my singing bowl, my dogs and cows, friends, the farm, the beach, a few favourite cafes.

No smoke machines or giant fans to blow my hair the right way, no fake lashes, fake tans or artificially whitened teeth. And no, we won’t be photoshopping either. The biggest vanity I have undertaken is a tinted coat on my fingernails to hide the beetroot and turmeric stains from my daily juicing habit (not sure how successful it is, but at least I tried!).

If you see me out and about feel free to say hi or to jump into a shot with me.

I can’t wait to share the best and worse of our results with you.
Much love, Nicole ❤ xx

 

 

After Rest Comes Rejuvenation

“In a cool solitude of trees
Where leaves and birds a music spin,
Mind that was weary is at ease,
New rhythms in the soul begin.” 
~ William Kean Seymour

 

Are you taking some time for yourself this week?

As part of my be-gentle-with-myself healing process I spent the late afternoon in the garden yesterday, watching my dogs frolic, watering my vegetables and fruit trees, and inhaling the delectable fragrance of newly mown lawn.

Of course I couldn’t go anywhere without young Rufous following me. That dog is curious about everything!!!

When the air cooled and the sun began to dip behind the mountain we came inside, cooked dinner and curled up on the couch by the fire before an early night.

All that outside time made for a deep sleep!

Here are a few snaps of my soul medicine session.
Much love, Nicole xx

 

Door knobs and knockers of Venice, Italy

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“As for reading, I wish I had a magic door to a library where I could go in, read for days and days, and come back in the same minute I left. I’m still looking for the door.”
~ David Mitchell

 

Don’t you just love that quote? Oh, to have a door like that!

On my recent ramblings through Venice I was entranced with doors. In narrow alleys, small courtyards and squares the doors dominated. Doors replete with history. Doors with their own energies and style. Doors that held secrets.

I rested my hand upon them. Felt the age and the grain of wood or the cold tang of metal. Admired the artistry and personality.

As I strolled quiet morning streets the way a visitor might wander an art gallery the door knobs, knockers and name plates really touched my heart and filled me with wonder.

Here are a few of my favourites. I hope you enjoy them too.

Nx

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Graffitis and Curiosities

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“Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they’re having a piss.”
~ Banksy

 

It’s the last day of my holidays today, and then I’ll be on a plane and heading home. I must say that as soul-nurturing as this trip has been I am ready for my own bed, some big puppy hugs, and a cup of good tea.

One of my favourite travel pastimes is wandering by foot, taking photos and getting far off the well-beaten tourist paths.

I’ve discovered all kinds of wonders on this trip. Here are some of the wall and door adornments that have caught my eye during my rambles through places as diverse as Salerno, Santorini, Naples, Venice, Athens and Bangkok.

Enjoy!

Nx

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Wonders and Whimsies

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“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”
~ William Blake

 

Some holiday snapshots today. The picture above is of the sun coming up over Santorini. We were on deck in the cool morning air before dawn, and saw an enormous sea turtle come up to breathe just as we sailed slowly past.

This next one, the steps to a chapel within the walled city of Dubrovnic.

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I know. It’s a lizard. But not just any lizard. And the photo does not do her justice. She was actually a bronze-green colour, with amber eyes. But she was shy…

So, why is there a photo of a lizard? Remember that I told you Sokli was talking to the lizards. I hadn’t seen a single one, although she assured me that there were many in Dubrovnic. So she made me sit down on the steps of the chapel, and she called one over to meet me. The lizard came down from the roof (Sokli pointed her out to me), she crept down the wall, and then came level with my eyes. After I took her photo she gazed straight at me for the longest time.

I felt a great sense of peace and happiness come over me, and Sokli assures me that the lizard gave me a Blessing. I have never been the recipient of a lizard’s blessing before!

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The picture below is part of the ruins of Ancient Olympia. This was an unexpectedly wonderful site energetically, built as it is on the remains of even earlier temples and energetic gridlines. There are layers of meaning and significance here. It provides an oasis of serenity with all of the old trees and stone, and the river boundaries with their fresh running water. I’m looking forward to bringing some of you back here with me next time!

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Part of the old walled city of Dubrovnic. It was good to be well enough to walk the walls (very Game of Thrones, don’t you think!) but I didn’t see a single dragon.

Love to you all, Nicole xx

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Watching The Afternoon Fade to Grey

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“On this road
where nobody else travels
autumn nightfall.”
~ Matsuo Bashō

 

Late yesterday afternoon I wandered through the back garden, and then up the hill toward the old orchard behind our house.

My word for the year is ‘home’ and I truly allowed myself to feel into that space yesterday.

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Close to the house a basil plant has self-seeded from last year’s bumper crop. It has flourished with neglect while I have been away and then unwell. It made me so happy to see its broad soft leaves and vigorous growth.

The guava is laden too, and perfumes the air with a heady fragrance that reminds me somehow of passionfruit. I’m looking forward to making some jam and perhaps a chutney with the fruit. I ate one straight off the tree, warmed by the sun and perfect. It was a luxury for the senses.

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The sky turned from bright blue to pale, degree by degree.

The air cooled.

Birds called to one another and sang their evening songs.

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Harry and Bert, exhausted from their mad games and running around, sat on the freshly mown lawn waiting to accompany me back to the house.

They were both so happy to have played and to have kept me company. Nurse Bert seems pleased that I am finally out of bed and well enough to venture out again, although he has been incredibly patient with me.

He couldn’t wipe the goofy smile off his face!

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And so the night slid softly across the sky, the sun set behind the hills, and the first stars winked out.

I filled myself up on it all, and it was good.

What a magical place to call home!

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Autumn in the Air

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“At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Cézanne

 

After a scorching heatwave, suddenly change is in the air.

The mornings have a welcome crispness, and early fog creeps up from the river and hangs about the flats. In this cooler air even the sun is up later, and the birds are delaying their morning chorus for that extra bit of shut-eye.

Still our days are long and warm. The midday sun only slightly less ferocious. But the twilights are languid and warm instead of stifling, after which cooler air pushes away the heat of the day and brings the promise of a decent sleep, and the need for a blanket in the early hours.

All about town we are talking gardens again. What we’re planting. What bounty we might enjoy in a few months time. Before this it has been too hard, too hot, and we have been at the beach instead, or laid out in the shade. Summer here is cruel for tender seedlings and young plants. Finally this change has us thinking possibilities again.

I am grateful to live with the earth’s ever-changing canvas and moods. Nature remains a most powerful teacher.

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Autumn At The Farm

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“There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves.”
~ Joe L. Wheeler

 

The last of the summer grass is long and lush and sweet.

The wind by turn blows warm and then cold.

The leaves are tumbling down, making a pretty carpet upon the lawn.

The air is rich with the fragrant smoke of burning camphor and eucalyptus branches as farmers light their burn piles.

The fields are full of new calves, noses wet with milk as they push at their mothers’ full udders.

My basket is full of crisp apples. Soup bubbles on the stove.

I love this time of year!

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Random Magical Things

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“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
~ Roald Dahl

 

Here’s a collection of random magical things, because it’s Friday, and magic seems appropriate today, don’t you think…

The feather above is from a Powerful Owl who comes to sit in the giant old teak tree outside my window, watching me as I write.

Here is a big chunk of Australian green chrysoprase I found on the side of a newly graded road, just outside Kalgoolie. It’s one of my favourite stones for Heart Chakra meditations.

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These are some small sacred treasures given to me by an Aboriginal woman, one magical day…

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I found these seagull tracks in the sand on an early morning beach walk.

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Bonfires at dusk evoke their own kind of magic, flames all a crackle and dancing merrily.

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Waking to a sparkly winter wonderland when my farm frosts is always a magical feeling.

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Secret fairy messages scribbled on the fallen gum tree bark.

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The first newborn spring calf!

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And cupcakes, because what is life without a little cupcake love now and again?

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Life on Hold

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“Finished crap can be edited. Unfinished greatness languishes forever. The only bad writing is the thing you didn’t write!”
~ Margarita Gakis

 

I’m tweaking the very final edits of my memoir. You know, the one about my time in the Kimberley?

So, there’s not much else to report right now until that’s done.

That’s why the dogs look so bored.

Anyway, while I finish up, fuelled by copious amounts of tea, here are some pictures from yesterday morning’s walk…

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I’ll be back tomorrow with something much more exciting, I promise!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend,

Lots of love, Nicole xx

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