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Last Thursday, 26 January was Australia Day! And not being there, i surf the internet hoping to find images from the celebration. But in no time Mays Gibbs popped in my head. She is one of Australia’s top children’s authors/illustrators and i absolutely loved her books when i was a kid. She created books about the bush fairies surrounded by Australian native wildlife. Here are my favourite, cute little gumnut babies sitting on gum (eucalyptus) leaves ….and together with skippy!

{ images via: here and Australian childrens literature website}

It’s Australia Day today! A nation public holiday, a day tribute to everything that is great about Australia and being Australian. Sure it’s about the day the anniversary of the arrival of the first white settlement in Australia in 1778. But today we can’t ignore the fact that it was also the day that Australia’s Aboriginal community were invaded by the British on that day in 1788. Having said that, it’s a reason to weave together the past and present of a great land and its people. So, it’s officially a day off to have fun, have a party with friends and family, and check out all the live events going on during the day!

A year ago I was back there, celebrating the day under the hot sun…There is so much going on Australia day that i wouldn’t know what to suggest what to do or see! You have to see it for yourself. Though I can guarantee there is something for everyone. Aussies love to have fun, party, hang out the beach, have a BBQ with family and dress up and make an effort to look silly! Hope you like the photos.There’s another reason why I love Australia day and that is due to THE BIG SWIM. A swimming event around the corner where I grew up from (see the photos below) It’s a local event held on the Australian Day weekend. The course runs for about 2.5 km. The swim starts straight out from Palm Beach, parallel to the coastline, around a little head and into the center of Whale Beach. I’ve done it more than 6 times now and  it’s tough since the weather conditions can vary. Though the experience is AMAZING!!! I hope to do it next year! {All photos by me except the last photo, found via the big swim website}

I might have been grumbling about the rain here, grey sky, its cold and wet…but nothing like what Queensland is having to go through, such devastating floods – massive amount of water sweeping away cars, houses, everything and streets turning to rivers. Today was the worst day yet of the ‘inland tsunami’ and its horrible to see the footage on TV. My heart goes out to all the Queenslanders who have lost everything, their home, loved ones….and to all the dear wildlife out there… i’m thinking of you!
{images from: allvoices.com, clubadventist.com, watoday.com.au }

A few weeks ago on November 2, Andy Irons, three-time world champion surfer passed away unexpectedly at the age of 32. Friends, fans and admires came together around the world, for an honorary paddle-out to pay tribute to his legacy. One of the locations was at my home-town surfing spot, Avalon. It’s a gorgeous little beach that draws great surfers…and where I use to hang out ALL the time after school, every chance I got, back in the old days. So it means a lot to me to see these photos and footage below…it’s very sad but at the same time, it must of have been a truly magical experience…: Photos from Tracks Magazine

And last  Sunday, November 14, Family, friends and fans came together at Andy Irons home-town, Kauai  in Hawaii, to paddle out and join hands to pay tribute (a Hawaiian tradition) and say their last goodbyes. Andy is survived by his very pregnant wife Lyndie, his brother Bruce and his parents…I think its amazing the impact it has brought…the unity, the love and the Aloha Spirit from surfers around the world in times of need….peace x

Music…: by State Of Grace, Sooner or Later, 1994

Phot0 by…: by Gareth Rhys

Phot0 by…: by Pip Wilson

Photo…: by Pip Wilson

When I think of November, I think of spring, Jacaranda Tree and celebrating my Birthday! Around this time of the year the stunning Jacaranda Tree begins to blossom…and by the end of the season its spread over the grass, streets looking like a purple carpert….but it’s not like that here – no tropical trees like the Jacaranda…orange yellow Autumn Trees is what i see instead…it’s a windy, colder birthday than i hoped…but a very exciting and very cultural night ahead of me!

Every kid who grew up in Sydney has probably some fond memory of Luna Park, at least i do. Luna Park is an amusement park and very well known in Sydney. It’s been there ever since I can remember but has closed down, re-opened and closed down again…: at the moment it’s still operating. The location is fantastic; it sits right on the water side, next to the Harbour Bridge.

Sometime in the late 80’s (when i was around 12 years) my best friend at that time, Nadina invited me to go along with her family to celebrate her birthday at Luna Park. I remember the entrance (everyone does) and the only other thing I recall is the drive there – I was so excited to experience Luna Park for the first time…: So anyway, over the summer I was contacted (via flickr) if I was interested in submitting my photo (see below) to be used for  a Sydney city guide.  Then a few months later I was delighted to hear that my photo of Luna Park entrance had been selected for inclusion in the newly released edition of the Schamp Sydney Guide.

Link to my photo and Sydney Guide on-line…:Luna Park

The photo was taken early this year while I was there with my brother and his daughter…on my way out of the wide, maybe a bit creepy smile for some of us.

 

 

 

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