Walls with some added interest.
Tomorrow I will complete the #100happydays challenge.
I have been posting a photo every day, showing something that has made me happy. In todays fast paced world, it has been good to think about the little things that have made me smile, created a positive mood. A photographic version of a gratitude diary.
As you can see from these collages, my “happy pic” has been anything from a pretty flower, blue skies, a theatre show, time with family and friends, days out, noticing the change of season, anticipation, a good book, wildlife, out in nature, a gift, a movie, music, a walk on the beach, a new experience, memories, good news to share. It’s been fun.
Can you be happy for 100 days in a row? Give it a go! Check out the website #100happydays.
“A Letter to my daughters”
I’m grateful that I met your dad
A man from the land down under
A place far away
I’m grateful that we had both of you
That we created our own little family
The joy, the laughs
All your lives, you’ve had family overseas
You’ve grown without grandparents nearby
Visits two years apart
Relatives in photos and letters, occasional visits
Now on email, message, skype and Facebook
The world seems smaller
You are grown now #properadult
Making good choices, creating your lives
Choosing your homes
It’s hard that we are a distance apart
In different countries, different continents
Different time zones
But inevitable, with your background
With your strength and independence
It’s a joy to know you are happy
In your place, with your lives
Love you heaps
Two years ago our life changed. We packed “our UK life” into a five foot square storage unit, and travelled to Tasmania for an “adult gap year”. We’ve had a great time and for the foreseeable future, Hobart is now home.
When we packed up, we didn’t know where our next home would be, what size, what we’d need, so the packing up process was interesting. In reality, there are very few things that we have actually missed in the two years.
We are now back in London to catch up with family and friends and for the task of clearing the storage unit, reviewing our “stuff”.
We’ve had three days of sorting.
~ Furniture, tools, TV, DVD, kitchen equipment, hand bags, clothes, all donated.
~ Books, LP’s, 45’s and CD’s sold.
A few surprises, lots of memories.
So we are down to a dozen boxes in my Mum’s loft. A small pile of things to take back to Tassie. We can now relax and enjoy the rest of our holiday.
I’ve had the song from “Frozen” going through my head as a mantra …”Let It Go”. It’s just stuff.
I haven’t dared open the box of photos yet! I need to see if I have a day to spare to get lost in that task.
Our journey began yesterday morning, as we left a sunny Hobart, where we navigated the small airport, from taxi, through check in and security, to the departure gate, in just 10 minutes. Hold that thought.
We had lunch in Sydney airport, before boarding a fourteen hour flight. The journey from the Domestic to the International terminal took more than 10 minutes. Once checked in again and through security, the walk to the gate was 10 minutes.
We arrived in Abu Dhabi just before midnight, local time. The aircraft parked out on the tarmac, a bus ride to the terminal building took 10 minutes, where this camel welcomed us. More than 10 minutes queueing back through security and round to the departure gate again for the next leg.
Finally to London Heathrow at 7am this morning, where everything took much much longer than 10 minutes. The walk from the gate, the queues at Border Control, the wait at baggage claim, the time until the next underground train into the city. After thirty hours travelling, we are here.
It’s thirty days since I began #100happydays challenge, sharing each day of photo of something that made me happy.
Here is a summary of the past few months ~ flowers from a friend ~ a jewellery gift ~ driving the work electric car ~ full moon on a summer evening ~ a walk around Hobart waterfront ~ talking to my daughter, Australia to Argentina~ discovering a new beach ~ being able to walk on the beach at 5.30pm on a weekday after work ~ a gift in the mail, new book ~ pretty flower ~ a city stroll after work ~ a good movie ~ a fence post with a smile ~ a place in the shade for Sunday afternoon live music ~ afternoon at the beach ~ Tuesday Tapas ~ flowers in the office ~ Exhibition at historic School House ~ sunrise ~ barbeque at the beach with friends.
And the first month’s photos.
It’s taken me a few weeks to decide on a challenge for this year. I wanted to shake it up, something different, whilst keeping a balance of themes – people, places, creativity, commitment, new things, health and lifestyle.
So here goes…
1 – Take a photography course and learn to use my camera to it’s full capability.
2 – Post on blog at least twice a week and keep up with blog reading.
3 – Connect with nature at least three times a week.
4 – Times 3 – Try to do something new each month, something out of my comfort zone.
5 – Learn to identify five different types of gum trees by their bark, leaves and size.
6 – “Pay it forward” on at least six occasions or give an unexpected gift.
7 – Times 3 – Twenty one days in the UK in March, catching up with family and friends.
8 – Introduce eight new things into our diet, not all alcohol based!
9 – Do something memorable on nine public holidays.
10 – Times 10 – Complete #100 Happy Days.
11 – Read eleven books this year, paper books, interesting, thought provoking books.
12 – Experiment with twelve new creative ideas this year.
13 – Send a hand written letter each month, more at Christmas.
14 – Lose at least fourteen pounds and maintain it!
15 – Exercise more. Complete 15,000 steps a day at least twice a week.
16 – Go to sixteen events, art exhibitions, festivals, movies or shows.
17 – Discover seventeen new places in Tasmania that we haven’t yet visited or explored.
Can you be happy for 100 days in a row?
I’ve taken up the challenge to submit a picture every day of what’s made me happy.
Check out the website 100happydays.com
“We live in times when super-busy schedules have become something to boast about. While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being.”
Here are my first week’s photos – birthday wishes from family and friends – met a friend at Hobart Airport and discovered the Tassie Devil sculpture – saw beautiful hydrangea whilst waiting to get bus to work – lacquered screen and delicious meal at local Chinese restaurant – flowering gum tree on way to work – belated birthday lunch at local winery – Sunday relaxation with a good book.
At the beginning of 2016, I challenged myself to do something new each week during the year. It wasn’t a predetermined list, I waited to see what unfolded.
We discovered more of Tasmania
~ Explored Cradle Mountain
~ Visited Sheffield and explored the town’s murals
~ Cruised around Bruny Island
~ Visited another convict historical site – Coal Mines
~ Saw Tasmania’s Tulips fields
We travelled to “the big island”
~ Visited Western Australia – Perth, Freemantle, Rottnest Island and
~ Visited Sydney for “Vivid” Festival
~ Toured along The Great Ocean Road, Victoria, saw The Twelve Apostles
~ Found a hidden bar in Melbourne, through a bookshelf
Whilst out and about, we encountered some of the local inhabitants
~ Saw wombats in the wild
~ Got up close to possums whilst in a hot tub
~ Saw koalas in the wild
~ Saw penguins in our local neighbourhood
And we captured some of nature’s shows
~ Observed Aurora Australis on a couple of occasions and took reasonable photos
~ Took photos of lightening during night storm
We went to a variety of sporting events
~ Twenty 20 cricket / Big Bash match
~ Local TSL footy game (Tasmania State League – Aussie Rules)
~ V8 Supercars
~ AFL game – Sydney Swans (Australian Football League – Aussie Rules)
~ Car Drifting
~ Harness horse racing
We participated in these wonderful Tasmanian events, exhibitions, festivals:
~ MONA FOMA “Festival of Music & Art”
~ Went to a silent movie with live soundtrack
~ Hobart Regatta Day
~ Wine tasting weekend
~ “Taste of the Huon” weekend
~ Several live comedy shows
~ Bonsai exhibition
~ “Dark Mofo”
~ Winter Feast
~ Big Sing at “Festival of Voices”
~ Antarctic Festival, including tour of ice breaker ship
~ Tasmanian Quilt Expo
~ Hobart Town Hall 150th anniversary, with historic trams
~ Lego exhibition
~ Historic Ford Car exhibition
~ Medieval Festival
~ Opening of MONA exhibition
~ “Bach in the Dark”
~ Open House weekend – Dorney House
~ Huon Show
~ Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
~ “The Taste of Tasmania”
I made small changes to my health and diet
~ Started using a fitness tracker
~ Introduced quinoa into our meals
~ Ate a Vietnamese meal
~ Started eating cauliflower rice regularly
On a theme of Community & Creativity, I achieved the following:
~ Organised Neighbour’s Picnic
~ Organised Café Catch Up for local Photo a Day group
~ Put signature on my photos
~ Completed 2 years of consecutive Photo A Day posts
~ Watched a street artist at work
~ Completed Blog A-Z challenge, posted every day in April
~ A couple of my photos were chosen in top 6 – Photo a Day group
~ Created and published a Volunteer Newsletter at work
~ Invited neighbours in for “Footy Finals Weekend” AFL & NRL
~ Knitted baby strawberry hat, lamb hat and mermaid tail blanket
~ Wrote Trip Advisor reviews
~ Participated in Pub trivia quiz
~ Created our second driftwood Christmas tree
~ Completed fifth year of “Sentence a Day”
On a personal level
~ Enjoyed Australia Day in Australia
~ Celebrated our first anniversary of living Tasmania
~ Attended Anzac Dawn Service on my own
~ Volunteered for three months
~ Found full time paid work
~ Continued online study and passed a closed book exam
~ Drove an electric car
~ Maintained long distance relationships with UK friends
~ Swam in ocean on Christmas day
They were not all big challenges. Some took me out of my comfort zone, but generally they were things that encouraged me to take a positive step, to get out of routine, to be part of our local community and to enrich my life. Looking back on the year at this level, not just the highlights, it was a good year, with more than 52 things to write about.
How should I challenge myself for 2017 ?
This week’s challenge is to consider the journey we’ve taken this year or where we hope to go in 2017.
I wonder how history will look back at 2016? Many of the global events and politics have been unsettling, so my heartfelt hopes are for a safe, healthy and happy new year.
May our paths lead to unexpected joys, to familiar places, to new adventures and back to the place we call home, to warm sandy beaches, to the wonders of nature’s wilderness and to our favourite city streets.
Best wishes for the coming year 🙂