Curious. Creative. Living Boldly.
Oct 21
Kyrgyzstan ..fabulous camping… Penny broke and our journey to London is over
We had a wonderful morning with Evgeniy who brought our reserve tyres from Almati to his home town of Osh in Kyrgyzstan for us, subsequent to having to readjust our schedule after our delay in Bangkok. Adrian from ROARR originally organised for our tyres to be transported to Almati for us as we knew that we needed spares along the way. Evgeniy is the most generous man and we’ve had the best time with him here in Osh. Penny also had an oil change and was set to go on our next adventure. We headed back south toward the Kyrgyzstan border into Tajikistan where for me was going to be the highlight of the trip, to drive the Wakhan Corridor.  I felt a sense of freedom after leaving China and the cold air and Max and I were both really excited. I started singing crazy songs into the blue sky. We had a couple of options for the night – Homestay or camping. We had our camping gear with us and it was only going to be about -6 or so at night… so I was secretly scouring for a campsite that was close to our proposed destination for the night. Max was a […]
Oct 20
Kashgar… the lady with the red apron…. then on to Kyrgyzstan
Poached quince in a yellow bucket was being squished in the dark hands which reveal a tough life. The lady wearing a red apron and dust coloured headscarf reassured me with her smile that it was ok to eat… and all my sensibilities left me. Into the pulp on the plastic bag covered plate she sprinkled walnuts, chickpeas and sultanas; and then big dollop of thickened kefir yoghurt which was scooped from a nearly empty plastic jar under the table on the dirt; and then finished with a drizzle of honey which was scooped out of the honey pot with the yoghurt spoon! Big breath. At this point I was praying to every higher authority …Jesus, God, Buddha, Allah… that I wouldn’t get sick. I had been so diligent for the whole journey, and until now had not once been affected by errant bacteria..so this was it… do I… or don’t I???? I decided to dive in and try… and to top it off ALSO try a rice parcel which was wrapped in leaves and steamed… thinking that it was wrapped and hot it had a better chance of being safe to eat… but I didn’t count on the lady […]
Oct 16
Silk road to Kashgar…. well…. a rough dirt one to there but extraordinary!!
The landscape changed again from Zanda to Rutog. It was so dry. Rock was exposed. Prayer flags shivered in the cold wind on the tops of the passes. Snow was shrouding the surrounding mountains as we drove in cool sunshine in the sweeping valleys. The geology of this area was extraordinary. Time folded and eroded in the rugged landscape. The Tibetan Antelope looked healthy and strong…and so did the herds of cashmere goats…. surprisingly, because the vegetation seemed to be sparse. The road was good. Recent tarmac which had been prepared by a different operator than a few hundred kms further south! This stretch we could travel about 80kms/hour on, but much more slowly on the hairpin turns which we are always very careful with. My job is to always keep an eye on the digital map on the iPad mounted on the dash…and let Max know when a hairpin is coming up… and also look for the exit-side of the hairpin for oncoming traffic. “Looks clear. Yes”…. is always a good call from me… but occasionally – “ Stop, Truck on our side!”, is a call Max doesn’t like to hear! Penny was running really baldly – coughing and spluttering ….and […]
Himalayas… Dribble castles… ancient ruins…. Tibet
  Time to leave Qomolongma, but the Himalayas remained our companion to the left of us for many days. Sometimes for hours on end the snow capped peaks shouldered our route northwestward toward Kashgar, where we have a few days planned. The landscape was constantly changing. The valleys became wider and slopes softer. Harvest season was nearly completed and the hay which had been drying in paddocks for several weeks, was now being brought in to be thrashed. Nomad dwellings provided by the government lay blocked in strips in small communities along the roadsides. Autumn mutton hung on display to be sold as the seasonal source of protein. Nomads and their children gathered in groups to skin and butcher the sheep. Dung was being gathered and stockpiled to use as fuel for heating and cooking in the harsh cold winters. Construction, concrete, construction. New power lines were being constructed alongside a regional road to join the 219 to Kashgar; and regardless of the terrain, the large silver stands had to be installed. Huge flying foxes are used to transport some of the materials to the sides of the mountains, and sometimes donkeys are used to carry materials… even buckets of concrete […]
Oct 05
Qomolongma; Mt Everest; Visit to Base Camp
I was excited. The alarm went off in the dark and I popped on the rice-cooker we purchased in Bangkok. This rice-cooker has been a God-send! Lately I’ve been cooking in the morning whilst we are packing up – buckwheat porridge, sultanas, and sliced fresh apple; for when the small rural hotels don’t provide breakfast. Brilliant! Who would ever think of travelling with a small rice-cooker?!?! Penny had a substantial layer of frost on her black cover and it glistened as the sun rose and we packed her up ready for our drive to Everest Base Camp. Porridge consumed – and off we went.  It wasn’t far down the road before we encountered our first of four checkpoints for the day; two of which were police ones, and the other two ticket ones. Recently there has been an increased number of police checkpoints throughout China, and we encounter on average 3 per day, where our guide provides the paperwork with our passports; car registration, drivers license, and appropriate permits for each region. We drove west passing through small villages where the barley harvest was in full swing. Rising from the river flats Penny navigated 42 hairpin curves on the way […]
Oct 04
Off Piste… Sheep and ancient texts….
Tibet is so rich. The culture, landscape, and the Tibetans are so friendly. I love waving to people as we drive by; and nearly always I’m met with such vigorous waving in return. I have to admit that at times I’m brought to a little wave of tears when I wave to someone working in the field, and they return a wave with such generosity and joyfulness. Our days start early and  leaving Lhasa and heading northwards – construction was evident. Newly constructed roads; bridges; cement plants; stacked concrete blocks; trucks filled with gravel; power plants; solar energy plants – everywhere eking into the rural landscape there seemed to be construction and development. The expansive plains and soft hillsides with freshly harvested grain gently rose in elevation and soon we were amongst the clouds and snow reaching our highest elevation of 5,440mts. It was so lovely seeing the yaks grazing on the pastures, but to learn from the nomads that they are unable to graze in their traditional highlands any more is disturbing. It seems like we’ve entered sheep territory and I was so delighted to see so many sheep. Their minders stood guard in the cold wind and bright sun […]
Oct 01
Higher and higher..5,000mts elevation in Tibet
Higher and higher and higher into the cloud and snow we went! What an incredible time we’re having.  I can’t keep up with journaling because the days are so long … and to be honest sometimes quite gruelling…. but today is a quiet day in Lhasa in Tibet Autonomous Region … so here’s a snippet of how the past week has been. We decided to take the roof off as we left Deqen, even though it was drizzling a little. The thought of driving ‘lidded’ amongst the imposing mountains was just not an option. We put our snow wet-weather gear on, and chose to suck up the cold and moisture, to have the opportunity to be able to enjoy the spectacular geology and landscape of the Lacang Gorge, which is the beginnings of the Mekong. It was a little daunting driving along the narrow roads with large conglomerate river rocks ready to rock and roll down at any time. Max was quite relieved to be passed these areas of overhangs, as we could see rumble slides constantly along the road. Pockets of green terraced villages made opportunistic use of any flat land upon which to grow their crops. Bridges leaped […]
Sep 23
Into the clouds toward Tibet….
Hi julie Starting with another wet day, from Lijang to Shangri La we decided to take the motorway rather than the slippery mountain-road heading north on our way to visit Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan Province in China. The road construction was evident throughout the day with a quite an extraordinary sight of a four lane suspension bridge being built for the new expressway to Shangri La across the river gorge of the Jinsha  river which becomes the Yangtze further downstream. Tiger Leaping Gorge is the third deepest gorge in the world, and the legend goes that when the river is low, there is a rock in the centre which was used by a tiger to leap across the gorge. Regardless of this fable; it’s just an incredible experience hearing the swirling water rage down between the steeply rising mountains. It is so awesome, that thousands of tourists visit each day; and the buses streamed in, one after another; offloading umbrellas with two legs underneath scurrying to view the raging torrent. Many had shoes covered in brightly coloured plastic covers making the steep staired descent…. and a much more labored ascent unless you chose to negotiate a price to be […]
Sep 23
Construction, Crops and Climbing,,,
  Into China now, and what a marked difference from Laos. Our border crossing was seamless, but it was apparent immediately that rules and regulations must be adhered to. After I was processed via the passenger lane at the border I went to Max and Penny at the boom-gate and had a friendly conversation with the border guard and hopped in Penny. My bad. I wasn’t supposed to do that, and it was indicated to me that I needed to get out and walk 5 metres ahead; when I was then allowed to get back into Penny after passing through the entry gate. Max and I realized immediately that our casual Australian disposition needed to be sharpened up a bit here. There was a four-lane highway north of the border, a marked difference to the rough dirt roads in Laos; and also now with lots of Police border checkpoints. Construction littered the landscape and huge grey concrete pillars grouped across the land. These fortresses are the roots of the proposed new highways and railways which connect China to neighbouring countries. The surrounding mountains were covered with rubber plantations, with several National Preservation Parks however, where there are Asian elephants in […]
Sep 23
Laos ..a land of kind people in such extreme conditions….
Long, hot, fabulous days on the road from Northern Thailand; through Laos and now in China…. and I’m playing catch up with my Journal broadcasts and it’s late after another big day so I will try and do a brief round-up to give you an idea of how we’ve been going and what things I’ve seen along our Journey. What and full week it’s been. After leaving Chiang Rai we headed north-east to Luang Namtha. The rice fields became more prevalent and regardless of the increasing poverty, colours were everywhere. Buildings. Clothing. Motor-bike tyres were wrapped in metallic packaging to protect them from perishing in the sun. Umbrellas in all shapes, sizes and colours created shade in the oppressive heat.    From Luang Namtha we then went to Luang Prabang…. 313kms each way so I could participate in a traditional weaving class with The Weaving Sisters. We had planned to return to Luang Namtha after a one-night stay in Luang Prabang, so that we could be relatively close to the border in preparation for our China entry on Tuesday 17th September. It took us 9 hours for those 313kms to Luang Prabang across incredibly treacherous bumpy road for many sections, […]
Sep 12
Heading north… colour, rain and hair-pin turns….
Being on the road again is just fabulous. I had forgotten though how absolutely exhausting it can be; in a noisy old car in the heat, humidity, rain, traffic, cramped conditions and at times treacherous road conditions.   I do though so love driving along in an open car smelling cooking rice wafting from within the small thatched shelters; the damp smell of dark wet forests; pork fat rendering in blackened woks; rainforest blossom.   Our first day was hot, but seemed to brighten the colours of the buildings and glistened the gold of the temples, Wat’s and statues of Buddha. The school buildings and fences were often pained in purple and adorned with flags. Buildings in blocks are differentiated by paint. Giant colourful statues of animals stood on display along the roadside. I could understand the roosters, deer, rabbit, tiger, pig, cow…. because of their reference in Buddhism, but I just couldn’t get my head around the significance of a giant statue of a giraffe or Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo.   We passed through so many check points along the road north close along the Myanmar border, and came to a section where every 100mts was a soldier with an automatic […]
Sep 06
Bangkok … in a holding pattern….
We’re on the road again for our next adventure… well not quite.   It’s been quite a while since my last broadcast and life’s been pretty full since last year. Max and I had the most wonderful time driving around Scotland including the Outer Hebrides and the Shetlands in March and April; I participated in many classes at Edinburgh Yarn Festival; then I returned home and had some skin cancer treatments, which included a skin graft using some of my forehead to make a new nostril. How cool is that, that surgeons can do that kind of stuff and the body heals so beautifully! I am so grateful. Healing is quite a miracle really hey?   So… now we are in Bangkok preparing for our planned adventure driving  in Penny our 1923 Vauxhall from Bangkok to London. . 22,000kms and 16 countries. 3 months.   We will have a guide for our 29 days in China, but other than that we are on our own and winging it along our proposed route.   We left Brisbane on 23rd August and on Monday 26th we went to the Freight Company to accompany the representatives to the port to collect Penny.   We […]
Sep 03
The next journey begins….
Well… our next journey begins. Bangkok to London via the Tibetan Plateau in Penny, our 1923 Vauxhall. This will be a remarkable experience travelling; making new friendships and enriching existing ones; learning about myself and the world in which we live. 22,000kms… 16 countries… 3 months. I hope you can follow our journey over the coming months and I will share when I’m able to.
Aug 23
Images speak for themselves…
I think these images speak for themselves.. Pattern – Samen by Stephen West. @westknits
Aug 23
So enjoying knitting!…
I love using my hands. Knitting. Being creative… … and living Boldly. This brilliant design is ‘The Doodler’ by Stephen West @westknits. So grateful to be feeling so good.
Aug 08
Memory Melting…
Wandering, walking on the earth of Iceland, memories flashed.   Earth. Stone. Sea. Ice. Breath. Memory. Dreams.   Experiences of places of lifetimes past. Future reflections.   Time melting.
May 21
Journey pants! #marledmanialeggings by #stephenwest
I do a lot of journey-ing and on our last road-trip around Scotland it was COLD! We drove through snow and lots of rain and in an open car exposed to the elements it was pretty extreme. I knew I needed an extra layer so I knitted these fabulous #marledmanialeggings by the incredibly talented #stephenwest and used only wool which was produced in the areas we drove through. I knitted them on our trip and wore them in the latter weeks. I’ve called them my ‘journey pants’ because they remind me of the fabulous places we visited on such a wonderful journey through Scotland. When we were taking these pics, Max said something which was really really funny…. I can’t remember what exactly… but now I reflect upon how much fun we have together and how important it is to have a partner who brings out the best in each other. My companion is loving and kind; is fun to be with; is generous and warm hearted; and I feel so grateful to be able to share our lives together. 
May 16
Driving in the snow!!! Open vintage car style!! haha
North of Glasgow the sky became white… the windscreen became white… and our lips became blue!! It was COLD!! … but oh so so much fun!!!
Mar 09
Happy in New York
New York was wonderfully cold and a lot of fun. Many of my regular readers know how much I love the snow, and whilst we were there for the week or so; NY had two of their biggest snowfalls. It was magical. And yes - cold. I was snug though in all my beautiful warmies I've knitted. You can see more of my knitting journey on insta - @skeinydipping   I'm feeling very content right now. Max snapped this pic of me whist we were snug in a small cafe in Greenwich Village. I was so happy sitting there with Max, knitting a Shetland hap for our following journey to Scotland touring in our vintage car...and looking out to the flurries of snow.   We did a lot of walking and exploring of the city, and I feel so fortunate to have seen so many places now that I've seen in the movies.. hehe.  Saw lots of items with I (heart) NY... and I would have to agree. I did love our visit to NY.
Dec 04
The Ice….and the blue!!!
The Ice…. How beautiful the ice was along the west coast of Svalbard where I sailed aboard the tall ship Antigua.   The glaciers calve and purge forward huge chunks of ice, cracking and splashing into the sea.. meandering in the wind and waves until they melt and become part of that in which they float. The crevassed face of the glaciers are extraordinary, with the blue and turquoise colour of the ice just so incredible.   This blue ice is caused when snow falls on a glacier and is compressed and the air bubbles are squeezed out. The dense ice of the glacier absorbs every other colour of the spectrum except blue – so blue is what we see! The crystalline structure of the ice also scatters this blue light making it the most exquisite turquoise I’ve ever seen.   The world around me was blue. Every minute the tone of blue changed. The water was blue. The sky was a blue I’ve never experienced before. And the ice. Ice was blue… and black!   As the glacier surges forwards, the gravel, silt and rock embeds in the glacial ice and becomes suspended in the frozen mass. The black […]
Nov 23
in Arctic
Geology ROCKS!!! … hehehehe… Mountains of Svalbard.
Yes… I know that is a silly pun… hehe…but for those who’ve known me for some time know I’ve often collected little stones on my journeys… because I just love rock… and the geology of Svalbard is astonishing! The geology of Svalbard ROCKS! hehe   We were never so far from the shore that we couldn’t see land… and there is little vegetation covering the land, so the geology of Svalbard was always on show. Even when covered by snow, the underlying formation and structure of the mountains could be seen.   I don’t know what it is about rock and mountains that intrigues me and I get so excited to see. I’m just thinking now about how many people climb mountains… and it surely couldn’t be just for the challenge.  I wonder how many photos of mountains are posted on Instagram every day??? I don’t know what it is about big rocks and mounds of rock that captivates so many of us. It certainly captivates me!!!   My high school knowledge of rock formation facilitated my recognition of some of the types of rock and it was exciting to see how the igneous and metamorphic bedrock layers and Triassic […]
Nov 20
in Arctic
Walking the tundra, riverbeds and rocks…
I was conscious of not walking ahead of our guide, but enjoyed taking steps alongside; often quietly without words. I felt like an explorer. I loved every step of the tundra across the rocky, spongy, icy terrain. I dreamed as a child that I would walk across the tundra, and after my first hikes in Greenland, something sparked within me a yearning to continue taking steps across this frozen landscape.   I loved meandering along the trenches of the watercourses and wished the day and the gullies just kept going. I quickly found a rhythm of walking without actually looking directly down to where I stepped – even with my knee not completely strong again I felt a comfort in my stride.   I was able to casually scan as I walked and so many fascinating things intrigued me; the geology, plants, animal remains, historical archaeological artifacts, the snow, the ice, the waves, the light. Everywhere I looked was interesting.   Walking the land helped me to construct in my thoughts the environment and circumstances early explorers and settlers had to contend with, in the times of early exploration; with those times but a speck on the timeline of Svalbard’s […]
Nov 06
in Arctic
Glaciers.. what are they saying in Svalbard?
I heard a thunderous cracking and deep rumbling boom. Where was the splash? My eye searched for the plume of misty water rising from the huge chunk of ice falling from the glacier front… but I couldn’t see anything. I missed it this time, but often I saw this immense fissured, white expanse of ice expel chunks and pillars into the freezing waters of western Svalbard.   The groaning, cracking roar is unforgettable. The glacier has a voice as it pulses and surges being drawn by gravity toward the sea.   In slow motion, the falling structure of ice slides and crumbles into an engulfing, expanding, rising wave that itself has created.   The huge displaced chunks of ice bob randomly behind the radiating wave that expands slowly away from the glacial front. Every piece of floating ice in the path of this rising arc of water has it’s turn to move and reposition on the near freezing water, and their sploshes answer in response to the recent glacial fracture.   For me there’s something magnificent about witnessing a glacier calving. I know that the increase speed of progression of glaciers especially in the Arctic Archipelago of Svalbard is likely […]
Nov 02
in Arctic
Sailing a tall ship in the Arctic – the Antigua
It’s the wind and waves. The wind and waves determine the way we journey on the tall ship Antigua in the Arctic waters of Svalbard. A Force 8 gale was predicted for most of the following week… so the wind and waves were already penciling in our journey as we boarded the ship in Longyearbyen in Svalbard.   I’ve been anticipating this journey for 18 months … and as the crew cast off the thick yellow rope from the mooring in Longyearnyen… if felt quite surreal feeling the gentle movement of being on the water again.   I love the ocean. I feel comfortable there. I feel more land-sick returning to land than sea-sick on the ocean. I did however have a hefty supply of fresh ginger and ginger tablets – ‘just-in-case’.   I’ve now returned from this incredible journey to the Arctic and have my ‘land-legs’ back, and I’m back on the grid, so I would like to share some my experiences in the Arctic; and follow with our journey from Oslo to London in our 1921 Vintage car – Rosie.   I’ve always loved boats; and so does Max!  I helped my dad build one as a child… […]
Nov 01
in Arctic
Into the Arctic – Happy days!
The Arctic… The sea… the cold… the ice… the snow… the skies!!!!! Aboard a ship…. with my camera … and my bestest friend Max… Happy days!  
Sep 22
Abandoned Soviet town – Pyramiden
Lenin still maintains a protective and proud gaze over abandoned buildings alongside the Nordenskiöld Glacier at a place which once held such hopes for prosperity and prestige. Pyramiden has a very interesting history, hinged on the history of the Svalbard region. Beginning around the 17th century these surrounding Arctic Islands were used as a base for whaling and walrus trapping…. btw…  The Longyearbyen museum gives a fantastic account of the timeline for the history of this region.    By the beginning of the 20th century, the need for energy for industry was a high priority and coal was found here and became a valuable resource – for a period. Up until then, this archipelago belonged to no one nation and was freely used by many countries with no main governance.    That changed in 1920 and the Svalbard Treaty was established by Norway, the United States and Britain; granting Norway the sovereignty over the region. The Soviets were preoccupied with their own civil war and were disgruntled at not being included in the process… but due to the way the Treaty was drafted, it left room for other countries – 40 in fact; to establish commercial interests in the region.     In the 1930’s, […]
Sep 21
78 deg North – Longyearbyen ..Northernmost town in our world…
Shadows stretch in the middle of the day. My fingers are snug in 2 pairs of gloves as I peer out from a goretex hood and a cowl I knitted on the flight to this northernmost town in the world; north of the Arctic circle at roughly 78 Degrees North. My nose and cheeks were not accustomed to the freezing cold accompanying such a blue sky, as we wandered through the empty street on a Sunday afternoon to get our northern bearings set. We soon realised that Sundays were quiet days…. as was before 10am every morning; where the only movement in the street was the occasional flurry of gravel being blown by the howling wind…. and us… wandering inquisitively through the streets.   The mountains dusted with a recent snowfall stood guardian to this small township which has months of both continued daylight and continual darkness. I still can’t get my head around it being dark for 4 months of the year. The locals say they have two winters…. the dark and the light winter. The dark winter, or polar night, when the sun doesn’t rise at all for two months, is followed by a period of twilight in February and early March. My […]
Sep 19
Oslo…. and our attempt at the Top 10 things to do there…
It was heaven to not see signs in an alternate ‘English’ version. It felt like we were once again in a foreign country. This time it wasn’t the poorer nations; but rather what seemed to be a very wealthy country, with a language I had absolutely no skills in deciphering.   On some past journeys to France, Spain, Chile, Portugal, Switzerland… I’ve been able to meander through the words and deconstruct them using my rudimentary Latin, French and Spanish… but Norwegian was a whole new ballgame! It was kinda fun being clueless .. and quite lovely to spend the week in the city where English wasn’t catered to just for tourists. It felt like I was actually in another country.   It was interesting to note however that despite the lack of visible English; English was spoken as a fluent second language. It was however helpful to read the English version in the Museum and Art galleries… but those were places where international visitors were expected to visit… so the use of English was appropriate.   So…now our attempts to tackle the Top 10 things to do in Oslo. Awake before the sun was – body clocks not quite adjusted; […]
Sep 17
Above Iraq, Turkey, Slovenia on way to Arctic!… on the move again!
High above Iraq and Turkey it struck me how different all our lives are… and how different each of them are when viewed from different perspectives.   I was captivated by the rugged landscape below and was thinking how wonderful it would be to live and journey across that incredible land… until it dawned upon me that I was looking down on Iraq and Turkey.   I then had a sad wave of recognition of the history of the peoples who have inhabited this rugged landscape, and had a sobering realisation of how different things are from different view points.   I felt a deep sense of gratitude for my life.   I am privileged to have been selected and invited to participate in artist residency aboard the tall ship Antigua, sailing around Svalbard for a couple of weeks. Max and I have started our journey together toward Oslo. Our trajectory over 36 hours took us through Adelaide then to Dubai which was  during the night… but the flight from Dubai to Oslo was spectacular. We passed over Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey, Black sea, corner of Bulgaria… then the clouds started to cover Rumania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Sweden, Norway.   It […]
Aug 06
‘The Ice breathes’ in my own jumper design…
‘The Ice Breathes’ is my body of work generated from my experiences in the Arctic, and has been exhibited internationally as a moving image work and individual fine-art photographs. As an artist with my foundation in photography; over the past year I’ve found my artistic expression expanding into my knitting and fibre arts. There is no differentiation between how I live my life and my art that is an expression of it… and without really realizing it I’ve found myself diving into designing something from my own personal profound experiences.   I'm planning on wearing this to the Arctic in a few weeks to participate in the Arctic Circle Residency, which I am sooo excited about.   I’ve connected deeply with the Polar Regions and have felt ‘the ice breathe’. My photographs are an expression of the ‘unseen’ which I felt and brought me to tears in these incredibly precious and powerful places… and now this experience is being translated into this jumper I’m knitting.   When I saw #guthriesweater
Living quietly….
Winter solstice and I’m living quietly.   I looked to the sky today and reflected on the path my life has taken and how it has changed; in particular over the past year or so.   I saw in the space of the deep blue sky that I am living more quietly… and that doesn’t mean that I’m not doing crazy things all around the world… it doesn’t mean that I’m not playful and exuberant…. it doesn’t mean that I’m not expressive and connected… it just means that my mind is more quiet than it has ever been.   There is no push. There is no striving. My thoughts are quiet and I am content.   For so many wasted years I pursued a misguided notion of purpose… and that engulfed every part of my being. My thoughts were focussed on how I could ‘fulfil my purpose’; (which is just plainly quite silly); and I realised far too late the destructive nature of my committed pursuit. There was so much cognitive static and chaos in my head. I had chronic insomnia. My mind was so noisy.   Last week I came upon a sketch I drew many years ago of […]
Jun 18
in rallies
London to Lisbon 2019 – Hero Event Rally
2019 is looking pretty big for us. First a trip to the UK combining heaps of wonderful things.   In March a visit to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival and cruising in Penny around Scotland and the Shetlands...the Flying Scotsman in Penny... then to a rally in May from London to Lisbon with Hero where I am driving this beautiful little 1957 Austin Healey. As many of you know I love driving and the rally from Paris to Madrid was where my love of rallying was ignited. I'm not physically capable of driving Penny or Rosie... so we bought this beautiful car which has an interesting race history. I've been practicing on our ritual Sunday drives to Maleny for brunch.. and I just love how it handles. I will be driving and Max will be doing the navigating this time. I'm sooooo excited.   Then in August/September/October...
May 02
Happy Days! Knitting … @Skeinydipping!
Happy Days! ... Well... I turned shit into fertiliser and what a wonderful world I have re-entered.   Knitting. Yes knitting! Have a peek at my my new Instagram account @skeinydipping.   I learned to knit as a child and bred angoras when I was first married over thirty years ago; and smile quietly when I see sheep in the paddocks - wherever we go, all across the world. I love wool. I love the hair from goats and alpacas. I love working with the softness in my hands. I love the earthy raw smell of unscoured fleece. I love the natural colours using plant dyes. I love the beauty in speckled hand painted yarns. I love the texture of stitches. I love the warmth of garments made with love and time.   I feel such a sense of comfort and joy when I knit.   I also love the rhythmic nature of spinning as the fibre slips gently through my hands.   The colours of nature reveal themselves miraculously as my pot of petals or plants surrenders and seeps their essence into the wet hot fibre.   Knitting pretty much was my saviour last year and I havent stopped. Always - "Just one more row! I laugh. My spinning wheel now takes pride of place in my room and I often have skeins of beautiful yarn at the end of my bed as I look at the colours in the morning as the sun rises.   I've been knitting a sweater for myself for a trip to the Arctic later in the year. I've also been knitting...
Apr 21
Road trip – Vauxhall Rally Merimbula
Road trip! On the road again in our beautiful 30-98 E Type Vauxhall on a trip to Merimbula organised by The Vintage Sports Car Club of Australia on a National Veteran and Vintage Vauxhall Rally. This rally was sponsored by the National Trust (NSW).   We met with a fabulous group of Vauxhall enthusiasts who shared their passion and commitment to these remarkable vehicles. I wonder whether the engineers back-in-the-day ever imagined how capable and longstanding these machines would be and how much pleasure they would bring to all those who journey in them!   Our vehicle is magnificent. She has been amazingly restored and amongst the collection of 30 or so other vehicles – was a stand-out. ‘The J’ – as Max and I fondly call her; is beautiful. Her idle needed a bit of attention – but other than that, riding in her was exhilarating… and yes a whole day on the road and 500kms can be quite arduous.   It’s noisy. Max and I don’t really have conversations. Just comments about the smells… the birds… the landmarks… directions…. and when to stop for brunch or a cuppa and cake! We had such yummy food on our road-trip. […]
Winner of Moving Images and Nature Book -Tokyo International Foto Awards
Excited to receive winner of two sections - Nature book and Moving Image at the Tokyo International Foto Awards.   Winners exhibition in Japan on May 12-16, 2018 at the CA Gallery in Tokyo.   All winning entries can be viewed here - TIFA Award Winners You can view my winning entries here - The Shape of Cold   The Ice Breathes
Selected work for LoosenArt exhibition in Rome
LoosenArt has curated a themed exhibition - 'Underwater' which I am thrilled to have had one of my works selected to be exhibited in Rome from 22nd-30th June 2018.   You can view the exhibition online here - LoosenArt Underwater Exhibition
Mar 08
International Women’s day – Women with Grace….
“Turn shit into fertiliser”. Love that saying, and on International Women’s Day I’ve reflected on those women who have done precisely that… and in doing so live their life with Grace… with “gratitude, empathy, modesty, attentiveness.”… “grace lifts us up out of our awkward difficult lives.” Sarah Kaufman   One of my friends wrote something to me recently (which I will pop at the end of this post)… and I was truly moved to realise that someone had recognised the quality of ‘Grace’ within me. I then started to realise there were so many other women who also live their lives with Grace.   I realised that nearly all of these women had experienced ‘shit’ in their lives. Difficult journeys. Misplaced trust and love. Lack of respect. Abuse. Manipulation. Workplace inequality. The list could continue but you get my drift.   Each of these women I admire because of their resilience and the way they have handled themselves in spite of the ‘shit’ in their lives. Each has just got on with it and dug deep and used their shit as fertiliser to grow and be strong, resilient and beautiful. I have.   These women demonstrate empathy, courage, honestly, strength, […]
Mar 07
Marigold memories of India – my joyful garden!
My garden is beautiful at the moment...with fruits, flowers, herbs and vegetables abounding! Such a delight harvesting lemons and limes.. onions and beens... planting peas and garlic.... picking oregano, mint, parsley, ginger, lemon myrtle and drying cinnamon.... gathering macadamias... collecting eggs. Such a wholesome life! The bright yellows of my border marigolds and sunflowers bring me such joy and remind me of our extraordinary adventures - particularly through India. The smells and sounds of India pass through my thoughts as see my marigolds... and I recognise what an amazing life I live.  You can see some of what we saw in India here - Here's a collection of posts with photos and stories of our wonderful journey.
Mar 03
Russian Arctic Weather Stations…
The Northern Sea Route is still frozen in my thoughts. An abandoned building with orderly numbered memories in metal cases. No chairs. Just an empty shed with rows of films in cases. Tikhaya Bay on Hooker Island is in Franz Joseph Land in the Arctic was a meteorological base from 1929 to 1963. Germans were marooned there during WW2. I felt a weird sense of sanitisation walking along the timber walkways amongst the rocks. The remnants of the buildings have been preserved for tourists. Cups and teapots stood awkwardly on the wooden sideboard. Functionality ceased. Redundant.  Tikhaya Bay on Hooker Island is in Franz Joseph Land in the Arctic was a meteorological base from 1929 to 1963. Germans were marooned there during WW2. I felt a weird sense of sanitisation walking along the timber walkways amongst the rocks. The remnants of the buildings have been preserved for tourists. Cups and teapots stood awkwardly on the wooden sideboard. Functionality ceased. Redundant.    There are many Polar Stations in the The Taymry Peninsular on Pronchishcheva Bay in the Laptev Sea; the New Siberians – Kigilyakh Meterological station on Great Lyakhovsky, the largest of the Lyakhovsky Islands; Bunge Land; Chetyrekhstolbovoy Island.   These decommissioned  bases in the […]
Feb 01
Subscribers Only Privileges
As a thank-you to my loyal subscribers, periodically I offer fine-art prints and artworks exclusively for subscribers only.   This is a sample of the set of images available for my next Subscribers Only offer is “Intimate Icebergs” as a part of my “Intimate Series” of small fine-art prints, which will bring the beauty of our world into your home or make wonderful, unique gifts.   These small run fine-art series, which I print myself using archival materials,  will only be available for a short undefined period of time. When the small edition runs out.. or the series is changed… that’s it. 🙂  I’m a go with the flow sort of girl so I don’t have a defined schedule for their availability. If you like an image, I suggest you hop in quickly to purchase it. 🙂   One of my goals in sharing how I view the world, is to add to the beauty already within it. I love creating beautiful photographs and prints which reveal the amazing natural world in which we live, as a reminder of how much beauty surrounds us all.    The link to my next Subscribers Only “Intimate Icebergs” will be given in my next Journal Subscriber […]
Feb 01
Walrus snorts, whiskers and tusks…
Snorts and grunts... whiskers and tusks surged towards us with inquisitive urgency.   We were sitting in a small inflatable dingy in the waters around Cape Ostantsovy, a peninsula on Hayes Island in Franz Josef Land, the world's northernmost archipelago situated in the Barents Sea north of mainland Russia and east of Svalbard; and as yet - we hadn't been given our presentation on the 'walrus'.   I was quite startled to see this small group of animals powering ahead towards us. Bow waves, whiskers, and nostrils and flashing tusks. Perhaps we were unwelcome intruders in their territory? ... or...Perhaps we were welcome and this was the 'meet and greet' party?   Not that the subsequent presentations
Dec 30
2017… what a year!
Well....2017 didn't go as planned... LOL... Life never does really though hey!   Plans aren't reality!   I've learned that living an enriched and meaningful life isn't about the dreams and plans which are achieved... it is about the honesty, love and genuine care and kindness which is experienced and given whilst following the path pencilled in by endeavouring to achieve those plans and dreams.   In 2017 I experienced a love for snow and cold... and felt such a deep connection with the Arctic. I sustained serious injuries in a fall whilst I was doing something I loved - skiing. After I fell, in the silence of softly falling snow, I learned from the deer and trees how to deal with pain. I have used that skill a lot since that day.   I want to be honest and as always, share not just the 'pretty' bits of my life here.  @idoamazingthings , but that isn't the whole of my life. There is also another reality. That reality isn't pretty... but
Dec 22
Migratory birds…. just extraordinary…
Migratory birds… astonishing really!   I’ve always had a keen interest in birds – with a small set of binoculars and Simpson and Day Bird book near the side door…but until this journey along the Northern Sea Route; I hadn’t really GOT it before.   This time, I wasn’t just looking at the feathers… or whether it had a dark line along it’s eye… I was actually just trying to get my head around firstly how so many birds can survive in these conditions; and then how they migrated from one hemisphere to another along flyways… often without even a rest!   How did they know how to do that? How do they know where to go?   Some of the species I’ve seen on the tidal flats locally at home near Bribie Island have flown from north of Siberia where we were!!! OMG… For me – I found that just astonishing!   Each species has a distinct path and schedule it follows. The parents have nesting areas; grow their chicks until they have enough feathers to fly; then the parents leave and head south to avoid the harsh winter… and then the chicks just somehow work out that they better fly south […]
Dec 22
Pollution in the Arctic…
Incredible pollution in the Arctic... The USSR collapsed in the early 1990's. Weather and polar stations and bases were closed. People just left. I don't know how they left. Probably a ship arrived ..and they were instructed to just get aboard. I suspect from what I saw on МАЛЫЙ ТАЙМЫР that all they boarded the 'rescue' ship with - was carried in a single bag.   What remains though...
Dec 22
The Eurasean Widgeon duck that didn’t move…
“It’s a bird……” I crept carefully and quietly. “It must be asleep. ..Perhaps it is dead? ..Poor thing. ..Just sitting there on the cold sand. ..It might be playing dead??? ..It might think if it doesn’t move I won’t take any notice of it. ..It isn’t moving. ..Perhaps it is just frozen???” Shhhhhh  I clumsily gestured to Max as I walked tentatively across the Arctic beach toward this duck. I bent over to look more closely at this frozen duck and OMG….   Two weeks attendance at the ‘Bird Club meetings’ after dinner did not prepare me for this! Nowhere in our log-book was this duck mentioned. I could not believe my eyes.   I bent over and as gently as I could, nestled my thickly gloved hands around the sides of the duck and lifted it carefully up to show Max – who was by this time nearly beside me where we stood on Zemlya Bunge – or Bunge Land in the language of the Yakutian people is known as Ulakhan Kumalch – The Land of the Great Sand.; in the New Siberian Archipeligo between the Laptev and East Siberian Seas.   Bunge, who I named after the Island upon […]
Dec 10
Exploring an abandoned polar station – Малый Таймыр
I’ve found myself sliding down into the Rabbit hole of Russian history; trying to gain an insight into why a frozen red book with the English title “Saint George” would be left abandoned on a table inside a Polar Station on Maly Taymyr Island in the Laptev Sea.   Snowdrifts nestled comfortably on a lichen coloured fabric lounge. Metal ribbed heaters with severed rusted pipes, remained on guard under the windows, despite being decommissioned years ago.  Floral wallpaper cracked and peeled off the freezing walls buckling in these extreme conditions.   A spilled plate lay broken on the floor alongside books and a pair of gnarled leather boots.   …Who once sat here?..   Sky blue shards of paint hung suspended in the three inches of slippery frozen ice down the hallway encroached upon by a snow drift, where a long eared brown dog and yellow and red butterfly painted on small child’s metal toy truck, lay trapped.   A metal beaten wall plaque of a Greek-Roman god-like figure defiantly bared his strong muscles and skin to the frozen air. He stood beside a white and floral teapot without a lid.   Pipelines and instrument gauges were lifeless.   ….Why […]
Nov 22
The Sea
The sea was a companion for me which was comforting. I found myself for hours just watching its changing moods and the way the light often danced with the texture of the wet surface.   At times the sea supported thousands of birds, walrus snorts and white tusks, and spouts from whales.... and at other times there were days where the barren expanse of the sea made its' powerful presence felt.   Wonderful childhood and teen memories of sailing blew through my thoughts as the ocean wind changed it's tone in my freezing ears.   I had a couple of spots - on the bow usually alone; that I loved to just stand and stare.... and feel the sea.... those moments brought such richness and happiness on this journey for me.
Nov 04
Northern Sea Route – Russian Arctic Expedition : Some photographs
The Northern Sea route has only become passable as a result of global warming. Very few people have traversed the sea passage between Russia and the North Pole across the breadth of the whole of Russia.   Our journey commenced in Murmansk in the north west of Russia and we completed 4,950 nautical miles eastward to Anadyr on the far eastern coast of Russia 28 days later.   Click at the top of the Menu dropdown under 'Journeywoman' for the two pages of galleries.
Oct 10
#metoo Supporting women who like myself have been sexually violated.
#MeToo I am writing this in support of all those who have been sexually harassed, abused or violated.   I have been sexually abused not by random strangers; not by family members – but by some men with whom I have trusted in both a professional capacity, or of friendship – who have taken advantage of, and misused my openness and lovingness as an opportunity and vehicle to meet their own personal and sexual needs.   This predatory behavior was masterful in its’ execution; manipulating and blind-sighting me because of my naivety and open-heartedness.   For me these have been abhorrent, deceptive and cowardly betrayals of professional conduct, friendship and trust; that pass through my thoughts as I navigate a path to not allow the perpetrators of this sexual abuse to destroy my kind, joyful and loving Spirit.   Some may ask “Why didn’t/don’t you do anything or say anything against those men?”. Only those who have been the recipient of such deceptive sexual abuse will be able to understand and answer; as I understand and see thousands of women on facebook write ‘#MeToo’ who have never spoken nor revealed before of their sexual abuse.   Perpetrators are often narcissists; […]
Polar Bear feast on whale Wrangel Island
“They look like sheep.. what do you think Max”, said Dr John aboard the Akademik Shokalskiy looking toward the cliffs and soft slopes of tundra Wrangel Island. “They’re Polar Bears”, said Max incredulously and asked Rodney Russ the Expedition leader of Heritage Expeditions to have a look for himself.   Rodney at first thought they were lumps of ice and Alexander Gruzdev from Wrangle Island State Nature reserve said initially that it couldn’t be Polar Bears because there wouldn’t be that many… but there WERE that many!   Within 15 minutes we quietly embarked into zodiacs to cruise slowly and quietly past this natural phenomenon difficult to adequately articulate.   181 – one hundred and eighty-one Polar Bears on the hillside around the carcass of a dead whale… with approximately 60 others walking towards the round-stoned beach.   Rangers from the island confirmed the presence of 260 bears that day; one mum with quadruplets; and many with triplets. There seemed to be a second mum with quads, but upon careful inspection it can be seen that the mum is endeavouring to herd away the fourth from her own triplets.   This Polar Bear feasting on a whale was an incredulous […]
Oct 03
in Books
Winner IPA International – Book Photographer of the Year and Finalist Lucie ‘Discovery of the Year’
Winner IPA International - Book Photographer of the Year and Finalist Lucie 'Discovery of the Year' for my publication - "The Shape of Cold". Such wonderful news!
"As an explorer in the space of raw isolation and extremes, I saw and felt the shape of cold. The 'Shape of Cold' exposes itself in an environment where no indigenous peoples could say it was their home - Antarctica. These shapes began to reveal to me the nature not only of this profoundly exquisite and powerful place; but of the nature of myself. In our times where climate change is controversial yet evident in the polar caps where ice sheets are retreating and glaciers are calving and moving at unprecedented rates; most people are far removed from the effects of how we live. My journeys to the polar regions of both Antarctica and Greenland have enabled me to experience and witness the changes of our planet and through my connection and photographs I offer others an opportunity to have greater awareness and connection to our incredibly beautiful planet and our place as a part of it." Julie Stephenson (Interview 2017)
I am excited to have been invited to the Awards ceremony of the Lucie Awards at Carnegie Hall in New York in late October.
Oct 02
‘Struggle’ selected to exhibit in The Center for Fine Art Photography, Colorado.
‘Struggle’. The natural world is my teacher and when I saw this iceberg in Antarctica this word came to mind. I saw myself. I saw a form trying to expand and be free, yet entrapped by dark ropes. I saw beauty restrained. This powerful image was selected to be exhibited in an exhibition with the theme' Water' at the The Center for Fine Art Photography, Colorado. You can view the exhibition images here. You can purchase your Limited Edition Fine Art Print of this image from my   Online Store here. 
Oct 02
“Grace” – Exhibited in SE Center for Photography South Carolina
Helsinki… Things to do wandering in this beautiful city…
On our way to Murmansk in Russia for the North East passage Northern Sea Route journey; we stopped in Helsinki for a week.   Helsinki is beautiful. Quiet. Clean. Had such a lovely feel to it. Max and I walked about 10kms a day and immersed ourselves totally in the city area to acclimate our body clock before our epic sea journey north of Russia.   Language wasn't an issue, and
Aug 28
Aeroplane view over China and Mongolia….
Breathtaking! "We have driven down near there Jule."..Max said as we peered with an aeroplane view from 30,000 feet over China and Mongolia on our way to Helsinki. It was absolutely incredible knowing that we had driven in Penny, our 93 year old vintage car - just to the north along parts of the Gobi desert. I was so moved seeing from the air the landscape we had driven in the 2016 Peking to Paris car rally. It really hit me with such gratitude what an amazing life I have and how many incredible experiences I manage to fit into my life!   Now in Murmansk about to board the Akademik Shokalskiy for the
Aug 09
in Courage
What is your life about?….
What is your life about? I saw myself in the mirror whilst I was recording our outing in Rosie, our beautiful 1921 Rolls Royce and I had this unusual feeling......
Vision – New Greenland photograph gallery
Click button to view new  Vision - Greenland Gallery
Definition of vision 1a:  the act or power of seeing: sight   b:  the special sense by ...
I won the Book Category in Moscow International Foto Awards!
Hehe... I won first place of all the book categories in the Moscow International Foto Awards with my recent publication 'The Shape of Cold'. I won my entered sub-category of 'Fine Art Book'; then won First in all the book categories. I just received an invitation to the presentation ceremony; but can't manage another Russian Visa since I already have one commencing on the 27th August for our trip through the North-East Passage along the north of Russia for 28 days.  How wonderful that my connection with Antarctica, and my expression of how I saw and felt 'The Shape of Cold" is now being seen by people all around the world.  You can purchase your copy here.
Screening of video ‘The Ice Breathes’ at ANIMA MUNDI 2017, the International Art Festival in Venice!
I'm off to Venice in August on our way to Russia; to view a screening of my short moving image video 'The Ice Breathes. This is such a wonderful art festival alongside the Venice Art Biennale, and I feel so privileged to have my photographs and video being screened during the ANIMA MUNDI 2017, the International Art Festival.
“The glorious gift to age and greet another day”
"The glorious gift to age and greet another day". What a beautiful sentence shared by a lovely lady as a comment on one of my recent Instagram posts. I spoke about witnessing my body change with scars from experience and surgeries and how I feel about watching my beautiful body change and age as time passes; and how this revealed itself to me through listening to one of my photographs from Antarctica. It seemed that..
Apr 01
To take notice…
I was asked the other day by a friend how to choose a fulfilling path in life. Perhaps it is simply to - 'Take notice'. I will explain - and although a bit of a read... may illuminate something for you.   I was a little taken aback when my friend asked me, since I felt that I myself was a novice at this..LOL.. and then she said… “Julie. Look, you have had incredible ups and downs – but look where you are now. Look at how you are known and respected throughout the world and how you inspire so many. You have the most incredible life, and even...
Mar 26
in Arctic
‘The Arctic Circle’ residency… Svalbard….I’ve been invited!!! Such a privilege …..
"The Arctic Circle is a nexus where art intersects science, architecture and activism—an incubator for thought and experimentation for artists and innovators who seek out and foster areas of collaboration to engage in the central issues of our time.".... and I have the privilege of being part of this incredible residency. Wooo Hooo!!! During October 2018, I will be spending nearly 3 weeks on a the Antigua - a barquentine tall ship in the Arctic environs of Svalbard, Spitsbergen, with a group of creatives and scientists; where I will continue to ...
Mar 20
in Courage
My grumble…. Please stop the accepted practice of stealing others photographs!
Ok.. today I am having a grumble. It has become commonplace for many people to incorrectly think it is OK to use someone else's photographs to illustrate their own website, Facebook, twitter, Instagram or other social media account. It just isn't cool! Using without permission someone else's photograph to put as a background profile picture on...
Melbourne Art Book Fair – Momento Pro – My two books being displayed
I have been approached by Momento Pro to ask if they could display my two self-published books "The Shape of Cold" and "Where Do They Go"; during the Melbourne Art Book Fair. How wonderful that my books have this opportunity to speak to a wider audience. So - if you would like to feel these lovely books in your own hands and see my beautiful photographs; and to be inspired to have a go at publishing your own books - pop to the Melbourne Art Book Fair and look for the Momento Pro stand. I have found the staff at Momento Pro to be absolutely brilliant to work with and the quality of their publications to be outstanding. Melbourne Art Book Fair - 16th to 19th March.
Shortlisted for ‘The Arctic Circle Residency’ – Tall ship in Svalbard (jumping for joy!)
I am SOOOOOOOO excited... jumping for joy!!!!!. I have just received notification that I have been shortlisted for 'The Arctic Circle Residency' on the specially rigged tall ship which sails within the region of Svalbard in the Arctic. "Artists and scientists led, The Arctic Circle is an annual expeditionary residency program. The Arctic Circle brings together international artists of all disciplines, scientists, architects, and educators who collectively explore remote and fascinating destinations aboard a specially outfitted sailing vessel. The Arctic Circle provides a shared experience for its participants to engage in myriad issues relevant to our time and to develop professionally through interdisciplinary collaborations, exhibit opportunities, and public and classroom engagement. The Arctic Circle is administered by The Farm Foundation for the Arts & Sciences, Inc. a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit in New York State." The next round of selection processes will be complete on March 24th... so... until then... :-) .. enjoy my new love - frozen water!  The Arctic Circle Website
Feb 20
I have a new love… frozen water…
Oh my goodness... I have fallen in love with frozen water. It first started when I travelled to the US in 2009 and it snowed... and I was just soooo excited. Then a few years later I was captivated by the ice formations and expanses of white in Antarctica... The Shapeof Cold opened up a way of experiencing landscape I had never felt before. Then to Greenland... and I developed a deeper sense of wonder for the icebergs which calved of glaciers... frozen time. Then to my second journey to Antarctica where the icebergs had a more significant emotional effect for me. ... and now.... skiing in the snow.... and sitting on the edge of a forest in the silent snowstorm was just so magical... and the phenomenon of it snowing in a space void of all sound was just captivating and breathtaking. I love frozen water.... and I have only realised just today that the subject matter for my first photographic exhibitions were water..... and now they too are of water but in a frozen form... and both have provided such mystery and magic for not only my photographs but personally as well.   I hope to continue to experience this incredible world of frozen water... in ice... and snow... and cold!!! Click READ MORE to see some more short little video clips and pics....
Feb 03
What I heard whilst watching this ice waterfall…..

Sometimes it is good to stop and take a few moments to see and experience more than just what appears on the surface - no matter how it first appears. Sometimes there is more wonder, movement and power beyond the surface.

Pause.. breathe.. dive deeply into living! Look and search for what is behind and beyond what you can just see glimpses of!

I heard this whilst watching the water in this amazing ice waterfall.

Feb 03
On the road… snow from Salt Lake City to Banff…
What a wonderful journey. I am in love with snow!!! To ski on... to play in... and to look at. Ice waterfalls.... snow mountains... moisture for the land in spring. I know it isn't much fun for those who live here in the slush... but I am finding the snow and cold just wonderful! It is -21 here today in Banff... with a maximum of -8... brrrrr... but I am rugged up and off to do another hike around this spectacular landscape. The ice waterfalls are magical. Pop to this link to a gallery to follow the road trip from Salt Lake to Banff in the snow!!
Jan 25
A quick peek at Whistler…. blue-bird day!
A quick pan from the top of a lift at Whistler on a blue-bird day … my third day learning to ski! Woo-hooo
Jan 23
OMG… I am hooked on skiing… it is sooooo much fun!!!!
Well…. skiing is incredible!!! I am astounded at how amazing it is. I started with a lesson…learning how to clip my boots on to my skis… and then off we went… and I havent looked back…. just forward to where gravity takes me!   I have to say though it is a bit nerve wracking… learning to be “in control” all the time is the key… and time and focussing on my technique and awareness of what my body is doing is what my task is.   I followed Max on one run into the white fluffy stuff and he was yelling out “NOOOO” …. and when he got up he said he forgot I was following him and was trying to tell me to stay on the groomed bit. Mistake number one – leading me to the powder!!! OMG…. I stayed up and LOVED going through that white fluffy stuff on the shoulder of the run.   I have a VERY long way to go to say I am in the least bit competent …. but I am having the BEST time experiencing something new.   I also experienced something quite magical whilst it was snowing at Alta. The […]
Jan 17
“..This is Living. This is pushing boundaries.” … my words published in ERA Book “Driving the Impossible” by Gerard Brown
"This is living. This is pushing boundaries".   Max read out a short paragraph on the first page of Gerard Brown's book from Peking to Paris... and I thought to myself.... "Hey, I know those words. I wrote them! hehehe. Gerard Brown used my words from my feedback form for the Peking to Paris as an introduction to Gerard's book; and hearing them read again made me realise how many things in my life I push boundaries with... and how many things in my life I can truly say "This is living."   I've realised that I DO push boundaries. I DO live to the fullest. I embrace everything I do with a full open heart with passion and a willingness to dive in and to really  'go there' wholeheartedly. I recognise that sometimes doing this has led me to seriously fall flat on my face; and probably where my greatest learning has been derived. I also recognise that my approach to living has enabled the most incredibly rich experiences and a wonderful life for which I receive so much Universal support; and after my recent trip to Bhutan, realise that perhaps 'karma' is organically manifesting in my life right now.   There is no way I can live without pushing boundaries. I can't let fear cripple me. I live and love wholeheartedly. Thank you Gerard for popping my words in the beginning of your fabulous book of our drive from Peking to Paris - which WAS extraordinary. I want to also be able to say for everythign I do that "This is pushing boundaries."  "This is living."
Jan 11
in Bhutan
Photographs from Bhutan – gallery
Jan 06
in Bhutan
Journey across Bhutan… 3 weeks of family and friendship.
This collection of photographs is from a recent journey to Bhutan with my friend… a journey which marked yet another point in my life. Our guide Sangay Dhendup – the BEST guide in Bhutan; and our driver Dawa Gyeltshen – the BEST driver in Bhutan; welcomed us not only into Bhutan but their families as well. Get a tea and a coffee and journey with me for 30 minutes – from our 3 week exploration from Guwahati in India before entering Bhutan from the East; to the sights of the Himalayas leaving Bhutan in the West – to see how this experience was a journey of a lifetime.
Bittersweet love… “I love you for what you have done for me”
Bittersweet love - Recently from a girlfriend I received a hug with the words .. "I am so grateful and I love you for what you have done for me." Now on the surface this may sound like a beautiful 'thank you' ... but I actually don't want to be loved for what I have done to support others. I want to be loved for who I am - NOT what I have done for someone... and I don't do things to be loved by others. I do things in support of others because I have a privileged life and I WANT to in caring for them and loving them... NOT for
Jan 03
#tennisfan hahahaha….. lightening up on a hot Qld summer’s day at the tennis!
#tennisfan hahahaha..... lightening up on a hot Qld summer's day at the tennis! Off I went to the tennis. ..Haven't been for probably 30 years and this year was the year of instead of saying "I would love to go to the Brisbane International tennis one year".. this year was it! ;-)   I hopped on a train and then
Dec 29
Qld summer ….Back home for 3 weeks and new adventures ahead!!
Qld summer... just wonderful! Cicadas. Dragonflies. Koels. Sweaty mountain walks with the afternoon sea breeze. Hot balmy days with the cricket and tennis.... skinny dipping in the pool ......the smell of freshly mown grass and the oils from the eucalypts in the hot long days.   I'm back home after an incredible journey to Bhutan... and
Dec 23
“If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts, happiness follows him like a never departing shadow.” Dhammapada
Buddha - Dhammapada  - “If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts, happiness follows him like a never departing shadow. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts, suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of an ox.” Internet at last!!!!!! ... on my way home with a stop-over in Bangkok. So much to share....   This journey to Bhutan for me has been such a spiritual one – connecting with the landscape; real Tantric Buddhist philosophy; friendship; and myself.   We spent some time with a nun at the Sangchen Dorji Lhendrup nunnery in Punakha,  and her departing words from the text Dammapada have been in my thoughts and have been contributing to my deeper understanding of Karma through my own inquiry and experience as I am travelling through this amazing country.   We were so fortunate enough to be able to meet with the head Astrologer of Bhutan, a Lama who is the head teacher at the Pangrizampa College for Astrology in Thimpu; and after consulting with his texts he said I had a pure heart and that I give more to others than I receive, and that some speak and act unkindly to me behind my back; that this year has been a difficult one; and I have to be very wary and careful of a dark, demon energy and seek protection from that. He said I have a small number of friends with whom I am loyal to, and yet they have not been loyal to me.   My astrological animal sign is tiger; my element is....
Aeroplane window – toward Bhutan… Bangkok.. Kolkata…
The smell of the cedar-wood shampoo reminded me of my last trip to Kolkata a year ago with Max before our drive through India and Bhutan.  I love Kolkata. Yes. I know. Some are shaking their heads. For some reason being here feels.... hmmmm... can't quite put my finger on it. I think it brings me back to earth and I deepen my sense of gratitude. I am in awe of how so many people here survive and still offer such generosity and kindness.... and work so hard just to survive.   The air this morning was damp and thick as the ravens reminded everyone of the smog, yet the small birds in the courtyard chirped that it was a new day with new opportunities to experience living. As I looked out from under crisp white cotton sheets through...
Nov 25
‘The Shape of Cold’ Antarctica published and available online now!
I am excited to have published 'The Shape of Cold' a beautiful artwork of the collection of my black and white photographs from my first journey to Antarctica in 2014. This book is an expression of my connection with Antarctica; of the way the hand of Nature sculpts 'the shape of cold'. There is a very special relationship revealed with the pairing of images on adjoining pages; which gives this book a quality which is beyond just a collection of exquisite photographs. This book is available to be purchase now on my online store