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.
As I was awake at 5am I joined the Monday morning commuters and got the train into London. As expected the train was standing room only, but rather than going to work, I went for a photo walk, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Hayes Galleria and The Monument, all before 9am.
I then headed out of town for a five hour lunch with a girlfriend who has known me since the 1980’s. Great to catch up and reminisce.
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.
Lighthouses seem to defy the odds, especially the old historic ones. It amazes me how they were built in the often rough remote locations, with the equipment of the day. And, of course, they did beat the odds, reducing the number of ship wrecks and groundings.
This is the Iron Pot Lighthouse at the entrance of the River Derwent and shipping lane to Hobart.
It is the first lighthouse built in Tasmania, in 1833. This square lighthouse made of rubble was built within an earlier timber frame where the light apparatus was raised and lowered by hand.
It is the second oldest lighthouse ever built in Australia. The first built at Sydney Heads in 1818.
Iron Pot was the first to use locally manufactured optical apparatus and is believed to be the first Australia lighthouse to convert to solar power.
There is debate about the origin of it’s name, one story relates that since the early days of European settlement, whaler’s pots were left on the small island where the lighthouse is located.
Hobart is hosting the bi-annual Australian Wooden Boats Festival this weekend.
There was a spectacular show on the River Derwent this afternoon as the Tall Ships arrived and were escorted into the city waterfront by a couple of hundred smaller crafts.
I’m so glad that I took the afternoon off work to join the spectators before enjoying the view from our balcony.
I then went to see the ships up close on the waterfront.
Some of these ships spent ten days sailing from Sydney or Melbourne. It’s hard to imagine the months that the first Europeans spent at sea, as they journeyed to the far side of the world. This year celebrates 375 years since Abel Tasman visited this island that now bears his name.
There is a fascinating exhibition as part of the commemorations for Black Tuesday about items that real families took when they left their homes, fleeing the bush fires.
There are stories of hidden jewellery, war medals later found in the rubble, precious items that survived heat that could melt a telephone. Furniture and possessions piled out in the front yard.
One mother packed a small case filled with toys and cardigans for the children, nappies for the baby and the family photograph album.
As the drama unfolded for the adults, the children at Sorrell School were evacuated to open ground. A circus was in town and camped there. So the children remembered the excitement of seeing elephants wading at the water’s edge. One of their best school days ever. A total contrast to other memories of the day.
One unexpected item that many young women took with them was their contraceptive pills. It is something my generation and my daughter’s generation take for granted. We forget how revolutionary it was, how it gave women real control of their fertility for the first time in history. For women born in the 1930’s, forty percent had nine or more pregnancies. The Pill changed that. It was introduced in Australia in 1961, but was still controversial at the time of the fires. Many doctors would only prescribe it to married women, it was relatively difficult to obtain, so it was a precious possession.
What would you take?