Friday 31 July 2015


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It's midwinter here in Sydney and its been cold, in fact one of the coldest winters in years. But then its never THAT cold in Sydney! We did go out west in the holidays and see some minus temps and ice skate though.

I love this time of year when the air is crisp but the days are getting longer. I don't mind the cold but I do miss the daylight hours. I'm much happier when we get past the shortest day and we're heading towards spring.

I'm sure the plants sit up and take notice. Spring heralds start flowering. My daphne is out, I saw a magnolia in flower just yesterday and the jasmine is budding up. The last few days there has been a real feeling in the air that warmer times are coming!

The most exciting thing this spring is that I have my garden back. Last year's building work really trampled a lot of the garden as predicted. And changes to our house mean the whole layout of our outdoor space has changed.

These past few weeks though have seen the new garden emerging from the rubble, to the point where I have spent the last couple of days putting new bare root perennials into empty beds! I'm dreaming of how they'll look when they grow, and back to my daily garden walks watching seedlings emerge and shoots appear.

But more of that in another, overdue, garden post!

This post is more a check-in, to say I'm still here, I'm still blogging so please come back and visit me soon. I've been a bit tongue tied, which happens when you don't blog for a while, you get out of the rhythm. But I have some new creative pursuits, an update on our reno and other stuff to share.

Thank you to all those lovely, lovely people who sent messages or left comments here or on instagram about my Dad. Those messages mean so much to me.

Talk soon.

p.s. want to take that pesky new Flickr watermark off your photos, just remove the code between  a and href in the html which says data-flickr-embed="true".

Monday 20 July 2015

My Dad


I lost my beloved Dad eight weeks ago. On the 25th of May he died peacefully and suddenly in his sleep after a drawn out battle in hospital. Just when we thought he was getting better, we lost him.

I've been wanting to come back to blog since then but I need to mark his passing here before I do... though I'm not sure I have the words... how do you honour a life in just one post?

Those of you who have lost a parent or close family member will know the unfillable hole they leave. It seems impossible that he isn't still here with us. I think about him all the time and every little thing reminds me of him. Which is lovely, but bittersweet.

I was lucky that I got to spend time with Dad before he died. I got time to tell him how much I loved him. That has helped. One thing I talked to him about was how he had passed on to me his love of making, and what a precious gift that has been.

We are similar my Dad and I, we love making things. My earliest memories are of Dad building furniture for our house in Canberra, making a tree house for us and building a barbecue pit in the garden, planting petunias and making a fireplace!

Dad loved to make, he loved to garden, he loved art and sculpture, he painted, he cooked, he bottled jam, he fished, he loved travel and nature, wine and food, he loved words and politics, he loved family and history and restaurants, he loved stories and laughing... and he loved us.

We held a Memorial for Dad the week after he died. We held it in a most beautiful hall, set among the trees in Bangalow, northern NSW. All his friends and family came together to celebrate his life and lots of wonderful people stood up and gave beautiful, funny, sad speeches. We showed hundreds of slides taken from all our family albums, and played his favourite music. He would have loved it.

The speeches were about his wonderful life, his sense of humour, his career achievements, his making and his generosity. My Dad loved knowledge, and he loved making things from scratch. I'm so much like him in that way and so this blog is a record of that legacy. Thanks Dad.

You can read more about my Dad in this obituary in the Sydney Morning Herald written by his old mate Mungo MacCallum.