Morning Tableau

We had an amazing anniversary (married for 21 years, 😊) hike on the weekend. Deep in the bush, in winter, in the middle of nowhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I seem to have acquired this horrible cold that is going ’round and I have woken up again way too early with that dry cough. It will take it’s course and I will be fine, so I shall stop winging right now.

The upside of waking up early is sneaking in a bit of knitting time and HUZZAAH I have finished the socks I started in 🇩🇪. This is a pattern from my aunt’s old knitting book.

For my little project I also received from my aunt this gorgeous hand made project bag – I just love it 😍 .

I have quickly filled it with some yarn for the next small project – a hat for my brother in law Chris, which he has requested years ago. I know how cold it is here now, so I can imagine how cold it is in Canberra, so I must get on.

I treated myself to some fancy new knitting needles in Germany, since I could feel a ‘sock-knit-obsession’ coming on. Not sure what to say about them.

The tiny circular needle is strange to hold in the hands, since there is nothing to hold on to! They are great though if you knit a pattern that spans over a significant width, possibly over your dpns.

The set of light dpns is lovely, but since I knit fairly tightly, it irritates me when the yarn gets stuck in that tiny ridge between the wood and the metal. Am I hard to please? I simply think there is not really anything wrong with my ancient (bent) sets of dpns… sometimes I think all this new stuff is just a jazzy marketing ploy…

 

Knitting Soldiers

On my way home from a very quick trip to Germany I stopped over in Vienna for a day. It was a very easy place to visit – it’s small and quick to get to from the airport with a bus. Once in the city centre, you can get a tram to take you around the ring road to see just about all the sights. Then walking straight through the city centre takes only 20 minutes!

There sure is a Museum for everything in Vienna, it’s a hoot. But then the whole place is one big Museum, really… statues of major artists and politicians everywhere, historical buildings and monuments – you cannot look anywhere without feeling firmly tied to European culture!

Apart from sightseeing on the tram and aimlessly wandering about the city, I only had time to visit one Museum, which turned out to be an amazing choice: the Leopold Museum. I joined a guided tour for an exhibition featuring an old and a new master.

I really enjoyed Spitzweg’s critical social commentary hidden in his meticulously executed traditional paintings. And obviously enjoyed meeting two knitting soldiers!

The other highlight of the Museum were the paintings of Egon Schiele, who sadly died at age 28 – God knows what other amazing art he would have produced, had he lived to an old age!

And there was a lot of Klimt, Kokoshka, and so much more… I’ll be back for more…

 

 

Autumn Leaves

We had a lovely weekend in Canberra. Not sure how often I exclaimed “DO look at these colors!” The leaves were amazing, especially against the backdrop of the biiig sky.

I had forgotten how fun the architecture in Canberra is – it seems like most buildings look mid- century, even if they are contemporary.

So there was a bit of culture in the National Art Gallery.

But there is art everywhere, it seems…

We cooked up a storm in the evening at Chris and Helens.

We shopped in lot’s of second hand shops and found plenty of treasure.

And the icing on the cake was a visit to our nephew’s metal working workshop – so much serious machinery!

Surfing 101

Get in the water. Search for wave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wait for a sweet little wave, paddle for your life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get up, Stand up…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look kinda cool ok kinda cool for a split second.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oops, wobbling already… the fun didn’t last long enough ☹️

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wipeout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So do it again and again…

Well done.

 

Gone Surfing

I bought a surfboard many years ago, with the intention to take to the ocean and learn to surf. That year, I had done a lot of swimming in the local pool and was truly fit and ready. But I never really got very far with this idea.

There was no work in the diary for this week, and since the weather is still warm and beautiful, I couldn’t think of a really good reason not to learn to surf. I booked myself into a tour to go to Seal Rocks – and what a great decision that was!

We had a day in Sydney on a private beach with tiny waves and it was so much fun to really give it a go, get served a BBQ on the beach and get back in the water for more!img_1226img_1227

In the late afternoon 5 of us went in a minibus to Seal Rocks and checked into the local caravan park. img_9336img_9339img_9334img_9335

The beauty here is that there are so many beaches and one of them is always right for beginners. We are getting so much attention from our instructor, who also is the chef and recreational officer (movies after dinner in the communal tent).

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I am sure I will not return to Sydney at the end of the week as a super surfer – but I will have played in the beautiful clean, warm water for a week, having learned to paddle towards giant waves, rather than ducking under them, understanding the interplay of all the ocean forces much better and being really tired and slightly fitter.

It’s also been really lovely to spend the week with 4 backpackers from all over the world and play cards, share beers and stories.img_9341

And I had my first encounter with bluebottle jellyfish. Oh no, they really do sting horribly. I had one trapped in my leg rope that was strapped around my ankle – fortunately I was in the shallows, and I could not get the rope off fast enough. The photo does not do the redness and agony any justice… all part and parcel of the experience…img_9340

Nepal (part 7: Last days)

The change from the calm atmosphere, beautiful surroundings and clean air in the monastery made Kathmandu look like a mad house. We had two nights booked in a modernish little hotel downtown, where I had my first coffee in weeks!

We arrived in Kathmandu at lunchtime and simply wandered through the old town, took a bit of a ‘guided tour’ for a reckommended walk in our guide book. We had changed so much! We had become confident in crossing the roads, navigating the narrow lanes packed with people, coped with the noise and the dust…! (Photos from that walk in the last post…).

On our last full day, we visited Patan, which appears to be more or less part of Kathmandu these days, as those old small independent city states have grown geographically and have become part of the ‘Kathmandu Valley’. We saw the main sites, the Durbar Square, old palace, old city, bazaar… again – it was devastating to see the earthqake damage. img_8992img_8986

There were artisans working everywhere, welding, painting, beating cotton prior to sewing it into mattresses… img_9046img_9060

Patan must be the place with the highest number of worship sites per square metre in the world! Wherever we looked, there was prayer, incense, offerings.img_9063img_9062img_9028img_8997img_9042

The bazaar was simply stunning…img_9096img_9094img_9091img_9089img_9088img_9054img_9057

In the evening we were taken out by our travel agents. We had a very fun evening in a very noisy restaurant with plenty of food and drink and dance.

We had no plans for our very last day, happy to let things just evolve – and evolve they did! We got picked up by one of the founding members of the travel agency to view the school he had founded. He is an extraordinary man boundless energy, vision, organisational talent and a huge heart!  img_9105

Apart from learning so much about this incredible school, it was amazing to look out from the buildings rooftop and spot the local dairy farm (remember, we are in the CBD of Kathmandu!), kids playing, mothers showering their children with a garden hose…img_9100img_9103img_9101img_9099

After that private tour, he took us to his nearby home and we met his entire family! Parents, siblings, nieces… and had a wonderful long lunch and conversations. What a way to end these amazing three weeks!img_9118 img_9129 img_9131 img_9140

The final goodbyes…, I won’t say anything about those…img_9157

We have been back now for 4 weeks. Whilst I do get carried away with worries and stresses that come with our insanely complex life style, in those moments I try to recall any of those wonderful experiences and imagine what the Buddha would advise me to do… and often I hear him say “this is merely a First World worry…”.img_9097