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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Perth holiday - Part 4

One of the main reasons we were keen to go to Western Australia was the wildflowers. We had heard they were magnificent in spring and various tours showed wonderful places to see them. However, because of commitments back here we arrived a bit late for the best displays - or maybe our expectations were a bit coloured by the glossy advertising! But in various places there were certainly lovely flowers to be seen and this collage makes up for not seeing them in the large sweeps of colour we had imagined!

And speaking of colour... this display of colourful umbrellas over the entrance to the Kings Park Gift shop really tickled my fancy!
Back home now we are deeply grateful for such a lovely holiday - and a beautiful place to return to! Today is exactly one year since we moved in to our house in Orewa! 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Perth Holiday Part 3 - Shoalwater Retreat

Our final place to explore and stay was south of Perth in Shoalwater. We had booked at a retreat centre I found online - and what a find! The Sisters of St John of God retreat centre is a large and beautifully run retreat centre with single rooms, larger family units, conference rooms etc. It is just across the road from a magnificent stretch of the Indian Ocean which is also a marine reserve. Due to the cancellation of a large group we (and one man on retreat) were the only people there for the week! We were accommodated in a suite with two bedrooms, kitchen, lounge and bathroom! But all meals were beautifully provided in the dining room.
Panorama of the beach
On the walkway across the road from retreat centre.
Labyrinth in the lovely gardens.
This speaks for itself!
From Cape Peron at one end of the beach, looking back. 
Sunset on our last night

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Perth holiday Part 2: The Pinnacles

One of the delightful things about our holiday was an unexpected change of plan. We had booked three nights at New Norcia but decided we'd seen everything after two days so we moved on to visit The Pinnacles and spend one night in a motel in nearby Cervantes.
The Pinnacles are large rock formations in a huge area of desert with a 4km road track and a 1.7 walking track. They are believed to have formed 500,000 years ago and been repeatedly covered by sand and then exposed again in the changing weather patterns. The day we went there had been a tropical downpour and the skies remained dark as we wandered round but fortunately no rain!

We stayed until sunset and were fortunate to see two kangaroos leaping past us as well as the setting sunlight on the Pinnacles.

Note the guidepost! It was very important to always see the next post before wandering off and getting lost!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Perth holiday Part 1

We've just come home after a lovely twelve days in Perth and surrounding areas North and South. Here are a few of the hundreds of photos I took!

Beautiful Kings Park. We spent some of our first and last days here. 
Acres of lovely flowers, trees and places to sit and relax.
We aren't city people but appreciated these sculptures and the walking track along the river.
We took the ferry/cruise down the river to Fremantle. 
A beautiful wide river with the usual million dollar houses and boats on the shores!
The Tram tour was excellent. A passionate and well informed driver gave us an overview before we wandered around this delightful town.
Of course coffee stops were an essential feature! This one in a tiny courtyard cafe in a building previously used as a mental hospital for women which is now an Art Centre.
Then on to New Norcia an amazing Benedictine monastic settlement from the mid1800's. It's worth clicking this link to get a feel for the place. A few photos don't begin to reveal what is behind the scenes. Taking the two hour tour is essential. All the buildings are part of the Monastic settlement though now there are only 11 monks who occupy the monastery. We stayed in the monastery guesthouse though there is also a hotel.
Just one of the several Chapel/church buildings with all the art and woodwork done by previous generations of monks.
The small enclosed garden outside our guesthouse room.

The Guesthouse in the evening sunlight. 
(We had the hottest days here with many flies during the heat of the day!)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Why Christian?

If you are a Christian what would you say if you were asked: "Why?" (I'm still thinking about my own answer!) I found the answers a dozen funky women gave at a conference of 900 people fascinating, inspiring and motivating. The motivation was about how I would use "non-religious" language while still speaking authentically as "me".
Click here to find out what these people said!
And if you wouldn't identify yourself as Christian you might be surprised at what it's really about!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Spring Collage

Looking up or down
Beauty is to be found
wherever eyes and heart are open.