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Sun Kissed In Tuscany.

Behind the brown shutters are windows and doors with bright red frames. Opening these are how a sun kissed morning begins in Tuscany. Closing them after a long and late night spent eating and chatting is how evenings in Tuscany end.

Food that is grown under kiss of the sun makes for a perfect lunch. There’s a flavour that can’t be ignored. And a reminder of how simple one’s lunch can be.

Herbs for the kitchen, grown in the  garden are illuminated by the kiss of the sun.

A healthy glow and contented manner,  the evidence of a sun kissed boy’s day of play.

A house built to withstand the kiss of the sun. Terracotta tiles on the floor and in the ceiling, thick walls of concrete and brick archways.

The kiss of the sun willing a writer to write on. A day spent in the first 13,000 words of a story. A memoir of a long walk and a time leading towards this life now. A time where questions were asked, actions were taken and the leap of faith that happened. The Tuscan sun enabling the needs of all to be met and comfort to the writer when the doubts set in. The power of his kiss is strong. Write, write he assertively guides. Now is the time. It matters not if the written words see me, the light of day. It matters they are written. That the writer writes the story. For her. Her story.


*edited to change her to him, my instinct was that the sun is a more masculine energy and a little note from a friend confirmed this. xx











A Thing That Completes Me.

Did you know it was Dutch growers who cultivated the orange carrot? True. It was a tribute to William of Orange who led the struggle for Dutch independence against the Spanish in the 1500s. Traditionally carrots where yellow, white or purple. It’s not just colourful tulips here!

One thing I miss from Australia is the way they do food. It’s fresh, flavoursome and tasty! We love food in Aussie. Our deliciously migrant inspired cuisine. How many Masterchef series are we up to? It’s also easy to have a little food adventure with local growers. Farmers markets are a real thing. And there are many small scale, big love for organic practices farmers and farmhers doing exciting things. I’ve popped in on garlic farmhers, pasturised chicken farmhers and market garden farmers.

Produce here is a bit bland, maybe it’s because a lot of our produce comes from outside our borders. And humans have developed a taste for ‘out of season’ food. If we are eating berries here in winter, aargh they’re travelling a LONG way. Typically the Dutch aren’t foodies. In all honesty you don’t come to Holland for the food scene. Ok except for the chips and mayo! This is excellent.

I have been perplexed about food here. We have similar topography and climate to Denmark and yet they do far tastier food. The Dutch are growers. Huge growers. In fact they are the second largest food producer in the world. Last year the agri export industry was worth 94.5 billion euros. Punching way about their weight this tiny country, feeding the masses. Remember this country is half the size of Tassie with a population of 17.8 million (Aussie is 25 mil).

Even the markets often sell imports from all over world. I can buy NZ kiwis here most of the year. I don’t obvs because food miles. One of my goals this year was to get better at knowing where my food comes from. During my hikes through Holland I have seen many interesting farms complete with the farm gate, my favourite. By walking across this country I’ve seen there’s a local food movement. I just have to start tapping into it. And how I love the notion of walking across countries, best way to know one and actual most authentic form of slow travel in my mind.

I was super excited when my friend sent me the link to They’re an online food delivery company whose mission is to sell quality food direct from the growers and producers to consumers. So easy. Simply down load the ap. order and the next night it’s one the door. I’ve only had one delivery but I really noticed the difference in food quality and taste. And the packaging was fairly minimal on the plastic which pleases me greatly.

I did ask about returning the delivery boxes to reuse but as yet that doesn’t happen. It’s a problem in process, hopefully a solution will follow. I think I may also raise the idea of wonky fruit. The fruit the farmers can’t sell because it doesn’t look perfect. I’d be interested in buying that. It didn’t seem a lot more expensive than the supermarket.

I really admire young start ups that seek to create something with meaning. Here they are trying to build a business based on supporting local farmers. I had contact via whats ap with then prior to my delivery and after. It was so personal, so positive and so tech convenient. Lol. I wish I had the energy of these entrepreneurs. Yeah this little find, this way of purchasing food, of knowing the farmer it is surely one of the things that makes me feel complete.

Tell me a little story of something that completes you if you like, if you have time. It’s actually is a nice way to smile inside and I’d like to know you a bit more. :)










Yes, Yes And Yes.

So we’re not camping in France. So it started raining just as we packed the picnic into the car. So the certainty of anything that we may possibly do in the future is basically uncertain. So I couldn’t just book a date with my friend in Luxembourg to come visit because numbers are up and they’re awaiting their prime minister’s announcement as to new restrictions. And so, tonight, we swam, and so we picnicked and so we did it in the rain! Because the only SO that is certain right now is the NOW and saying YES to it.

For so long I’ve been an advocate of learning and practicing to say ‘no’. Of speaking out about the ‘ok’ of no. No to extra curricula, no to excessive parties, no to situational relationships that don’t feel right, no to letting your mind be consumed with bullshit, no to the inauthentic crap that floods our senses. And now the world has flipped! Flipped. Actually flipped. It is about saying ‘yes’. Yes because there is nothing to say no to. The ‘busy’ has vanished. Lol. Not that I did busy or multi tasking, I haven’t got the capacity for it. But now, no one is asking me to ‘be’ busy, no one wants my time. I don’t have to say ‘no’. It almost feels like in my world, the world is swinging the way of the introverts, in the way that encourages creative living, spontaneity and in the way of ‘good’ busy of slow living (busy with intention). 

Yes, I’ll go for a long ride this Sunday morning. Yes, let’s take the long road home – no plans. Yes kids, we can go to the lake tonight and yes, we’ll take a picnic because it’s summer. Yes, the rain has started but we can head down incase it stops. Yes, you can go for a swim in the rain if you like and we’ll have the picnic at home. Yes, take the boogie boards in. Ok, yes, you can pump up the SUP. Hungry? Yes, we’ll improv and picnic from the boot of the car. And YES, friend, Louise, as soon as it’s a Thursday and neither of us have plans and the borders are still open we will drive down and visit you because YES. YES, to good friends, good food, forest walks, lake swims, late night chats and laughter. Yes, to spontaneity and yes, to embracing all that is free, close, meaningful and soulful. 









The Good Busy.


‘Gardeners, I think, dream bigger dreams than emperors.’ – Mary Cantwell

What’s in a day of pottering? Hmm where can this tale go I wonder? The truth is I spend the day in the garden with busy hands and a busy body. Lost in a hard day’s work without really thinking. My mind in the garden, the jobs and the possibilities of this tiny space. Intoxicated by the smell of these tomato plants and the the sun on my back. They smell like the the ones you buy on a vine. My poor tomato plants who were sitting in a holding zone, in pots too small for them, growing without a stake. They’re a little wonky, hopefully they’ve still a little resilience in store and I’ve re-potted them in time!

Perhaps a cup of tea and my tale will come I thought. Into the kitchen, tea pot on and a Barry’s Irish tea bag in my favourite cup. It’s proper black tea, big mug kinda night. In the window sill I see my orchards have also outgrown their pots. Can you see the new roots sprouting out into thin air?! And wouldn’t you know it, here is where a gardening tale arrived.  It’s a simple reminder that we grow out of things. Taking care of plants is not so different to taking care of ourselves.

I’ve mentioned before that it’s time to end my #runstreak because I want to train with more intention. I want to train for a half marathon. I can’t do that if I run everyday and ride a couple of times a week, it’s too much! I’ve grown into the fitness to run a half marathon and into my new cycling hobby and now I’m too big for the pot I’m in. I need to change it. Otherwise I’ll respond like the tomatoes and grow all wonky, or the orchards where there is no space for new roots to flourish.

We need to adjust our space just as we need fuel to grow. Oh did you notice the pizza oven was lit in the first photos. Tonight’s was a pretty heavenly one. Some leftover olive, feta and mint salsa from last night, artichokes, porcini mushroom, rocket and burrata cheese. I spent the whole day pruning, planting, sweeping, shifting pots, enjoying and dreaming dreams about our tiny garden space. We are growing together, my garden and I. And it’s hungry work giving yourself to the garden all day. Or does the garden give itself to you? Perhaps we meet in the middle. I think we do.

I used to find fairy houses and fairy doors in the garden from the daughter who now regularly calls me a hippie and gives me the eye rolls! Lol. Today I found her stash of moon water. There is also one that belongs to her best friend. The garden is truly full of magic, truth and enchantment. It’s a place for daydreams and the good busy. Tomorrow, I’ll replant the orchids and refresh the herb planter after I take my morning’s ride amongst the canals and the windmills. And tomorrow I won’t run. After 140 days, I’ve outgrown my runstreak. I’m repotting myself!






Taking Stock. The season.

It’s the season of summer. The streets are empty. The sun has returned after a week of rain. In a way I’m living in a world that feels surreal. A world I can’t get too deeply in bed with because the flux is mind blowing. And for me the secret to surviving is in the stopping, in the taking stock.

There’s a tradition on the interwebs of taking on a word for each new year. A word to focus on. Maybe a word that finds you, a word that focuses on what your life needs. I’ve had words before, although not for a while. Somewhere, somehow, along the way I’ve stopped living year to year. I’ve started to live season to season.

Seasons not defined by dates. Seasons defined by timing, life, often correlating with the seasons of nature. The past season was the one we were quarantined. It was the last of the winter and the beginning of the spring. It was a season of ‘planting’. Bulbs, seeds and us. We planted and we were planted. Literally.

As it does, one season began its drift into another, spring faded, giving way to summer and our freedoms were no longer curtailed. We stepped outside a little more, welcomed the smiles of friends and slowly began a new beginning. It was warm and sunny both perfect ingredients for a beginning.

It opened into a time to taste the pleasures of life. The abundance of fruit, the energy of the sun, the encouragement of the long days to move and the gift of time, quiet time. And for me it’s become a season with its own words, a season to ‘take stock’.

Uncharacteristically, we are home for summer. Trips are googled but never booked. The pull to stay still prevails. Even though last minute trips are off the charts enticing, our ship remains anchored. It’s comforting to follow our instincts. And we’re connecting with home in a completely new way, in a season we don’t normally experience being home.

Memories are being made as we swim the local lake, SUP the canals, skate the empty streets and eat together on holiday time. The teens are investing in friendships with lazy sleepovers and local adventures. And in amongst all this we’re organically sorting ourselves out. The kind of sorting that can only be done by stopping. Stopping at home. Taking stock. Processing. Reflecting. Where have we been? Where are we going? What do we need? What don’t we need?

Summer is unfolding a new season of serendipities. It’s magic and I need to believe in magic, that it exists. My soul survives on magic. Perhaps magic is simply trust. And the magic is flowing in being home, in connecting with our local life, with each other, with ourselves. So here we remain, anchored, yet traveling new waters. Doing new things, doing things differently, taking stock and expecting less, taking less from the world, a world who has nothing to give right now. And giving, it feels like a time to give more, more from the chest. The heart.