Life's a pretty precious...

Life's a pretty precious...

Wednesday, 19 October 2016


PINK... Dazzling, vibrant, exuberant, playful...

The bougainvillea inside the main gates of Bellingen's beautiful showgrounds...  where horses are stabled and ridden, visitors camp, the annual Agricultural Show is a must on the local calendar, produce markets sell fresh and amazing
food twice a month, yoga classes are held in the hall, where I take a long cut to town on La Vie, where I added a bit more pink... 


PINK... thoughtful, 
 still, calm, serene...under the showground's  open pavillion. Mosaic table and benches a community creation.


PINK... cheeky, bold, sassy,

It was 10 degrees as I rode La Vie to Bello's 3rd Saturday of the month fabulous market last weekend. Warm cardigan, scarf and boots sort of cycle. But fickle Spring and her partner in seasonal crime, daylight saving, caught me out (just as autumn caught me out in an earlier post)
Two hours later the sun announced that winter was definitely over and I was sans hat - until my cardi
took on a new life!

In the pink with a mosaic friend
(pre loved skirt from Vintage Nest, Bello - before it became Hyde; cardi discovered in an Op Shop down south for $1) 

The mosaics were created
by festival goers at the former
Global Carnival - an ablutions 
 cement block wall became an 
art gallery.

PINK...joyful, audacious, vital...

I adore my pre loved denim jacket discovered at the 
Bello Market a couple of years ago. Worn here with blue 
camisole top  from Ubud market, Bali, on our holiday there last year. 


Earrings, a new pre-loved purchase! 
From the local Anglican Op Shop
last week for the outrageous 
price of $2 (I was happy to pay the 
ticketed price of $3 but they would 
only take $2...) 


OCTOBER IS PINK...Breast Cancer Awareness month 

PINK...Hope, faith, love...


PINK...Alive, grateful, vital...

In October 2004 I turned 50. I was in the midst of seven long weeks of Radiotherapy post two breast cancer surgeries. 
Twelve years ago...I give thanks every day for my life. For the privilege of living in Australia where our Medicare system paid for everything. 
For my amazing Breast Care Nurse, herself a survivor of breast cancer twice. 
For my G.P. who wasn't happy with an initial biopsy result of "atypical" and recommended that we should "dot the i's and cross the t's".
For the wonderful medical teams. 
For my beloved J.B. and my children and their partners.

My cancer did not show up on a mammogram. 
Because it was in the lobule, it took ultrasound to find it. 

Women, and Men, know your bodies, be aware of any changes...

Each moment's a gift 


Thursday, 6 October 2016


The village of Nimbin is a 3 1/2 hour drive from my home. One of my two closest friends lives on 100 acres in the hills outside the village. 
A visit to Nimbin is a step back in time to the Aquarius Festival which made the village and whole area famous. A 10 day event in May, 1973, the Festival aimed to celebrate alternative thinking and sustainable lifestyles. It's often described as Australia's equivalent to the Woodstock Festival and the birthplace of Australia's hippie movement. 

The Festival had a permanent effect on the  economy of Nimbin as many Festival participants of all ages decided to remain in the district. The area was previously a dairying and banana growing region in severe decline. Communes, offering a cheap housing alternative, were created from pooled resources of the new settlers and these Communities continue to thrive today.


Within a decade, the "Aquarians" were outnumbered by the continuing flow of disaffected urbanites and tree-changers coming into the area. 

Set in a beautiful green valley with volcanic spires, Nimbin is near World Heritage rainforest, waterfalls and the magnificent Mt. Warning - 1,156 metres. It's known as Wollumbin, a sacred place to the Indigenous Bundjalung people...the Rainbow Region.
 Mt. Warning is the first place on Australian mainland to be touched by the sun in the morning. 

The name Nimbin comes from the local Widgibal clan whose Dreamtime speaks of the Nimbinjee spirit people protecting the area. 


Today, Nimbin is still a haven for escapees from the rat race and those looking for the elusive utopia. 
Tourist buses, backpackers and visitors from around the globe add to the economy. 
There are rainbows and rainbow colours everywhere...beautiful hand painted murals above the shop fronts...

Every May, Nimbin hosts the 
Mardi Grass Festival, a cannabis 
law reform rally.

The Hemp Embassy stands for 
everything cannabis which is 
illegal but somehow in Nimbin...

I found the jeans (almost brand new) 
in Vinnies for $5; the gorgeous pre loved top
at the Bellingen markets recently for $4 
(I love the sleeves and uneven hemline); silver bangles a combination
of gifts from my two closest friends and my own, discovered somewhere 
in the past, as were the earrings. I bought the silk rust scarf for my eldest son's wedding (I wore it tied around my head) and the silk purple scarf was a birthday present a few years ago. 

It's worth a visit to the public loos...


 Caro and I have been close friends for more than 20 years. When we left the same area we pledged to nurture our friendship by visiting each other at least once a year, in between phone calls and emails and because we live an easy drive away, we can. However, this year, Caro's best friend, love and husband, was diagnosed with prostate cancer - a double wammy to Parkinsons Disease and she hasn't made it down to visit. So, in addition to J.B. and I calling in on a trip north in April, I visited them a couple of weekends ago. And was hit hard seeing my dear friend's pain and exhaustion. 
Usually we go adventuring to the rainforest and National Parks but this time we sat on the balcony and sipped tea, coffee, wine...strolled the village that wants to remain in the 70's. With Ian and Harry the labrador we wandered the little Nimbin Show where one of Ian's photos (he's a very creative, keen photographer) won first prize surrounded by the local vegies, cakes and preserves. We saw the sun on Mt. Warning. We hugged, we shed tears, we laughed, we talked...

Caro has a fabulous wardrobe of skirts, earrings, dresses...pre loved, vintage...

Ian's well lived hat and his 
regulation shorts - and ever present camera slung over his shoulder... 

Rainbow Country...


Mt. Warning in the distance from Caro's balcony

Tuesday, 20 September 2016


Not technically a "Bello Person", she has more power and presence than any human as she runs through our lives. The Bellinger river - serene, fresh and clear or tempestuous and dangerous in flood both divides and connects our town and valley. From her source at the foot of the mountains to the sea where she meets the Kalang River at Urunga (meaning where two rivers meet) she is awesome in her beauty. 
Legend has it that the Bellinger Valley was dominated by a feminine presence so strong that it kept the local Aboriginal men away. 

Early morning from my balcony above the Bellinger River, end of winter low, awaiting the summer rains...

I have been one of the Bello people for almost 18 years, drawn here because of its natural paradise and its amazing eclectic community.

I have been washing walls, touching up paint and oiling doors - ongoing joys of being a home owner. The ladder was there - A prop! I showered, changed, and tried to fit myself into the rungs! 

My vest, pre loved, discovered in a fabulous Op Shop (Op meaning Opportunity) in Newtown, Sydney. It's velvet and I love it. 

The gypsy shawl has appeared in a couple of earlier blogs. I love wrapping shawls around pants and skirts...

Pre loved stretch jeans discovered in Vinnies for $5 - almost brand new!

My beloved red Justin western boots - J.B. brought them back from Texas after a trip there in 1985. They've been re heeled and worn and worn... with various costumes. 



The well heeled ladies on 
 Gelato Bar wall...

Bello people...a cast of colourful 
individuals from all corners of 
the globe, drawn here by the same reasons
I was...They're colourful, earthy, outrageous, 
conservative, young, elderly, farmers, 
arty, sporty, famous, sassy, hippie...

I am always entertained, bowled over, amazed...and grateful that I am part 
of this extraordinary community.   


dressed by Vintage...

Jillian, the queen of pre-loved clothing and accessories... 

Bruce and Robert from Gelato Bar travelling through the 1950's 
on the drinks refrigerator...

 Luke, creatively 
by Pre-Loved and 


 Lovely Hanna from Gelato Bar, creative, unique...

Julie...a little bit hippie, a little bit urban...

 Mary Bernadette, dancer, motorcyclist... 

Tos, approaching 80, always colourful, always creative, wise, outrageous...

Other Bello people...stunning at the market.

 Sleeping Aboriginal Man at sunset...he's high above the valley...

Linking to

Thursday, 8 September 2016


Back home in Bello, I haven't been able to find out what this old building was originally but when I moved here it housed a vetinary clinic. Now it is 
very quiet - except when J.B. and I do a photo shoot in the alley ( I also ride La Vie through here when I've been at Gelato Bar, a short cut to the back lane).
I'm actually wearing clothes which were all purchased brand new! BUT...there are stories...I fell in love with the Italian wool shawl when I stopped at a little boutique in the Adelaide Hills in the early 70's. It was expensive but I knew I would have it forever. 40 plus years later... The long mohair jumper/short dress is also from the same period as the shawl - a Carla Zampatti

My Metalicus skirt (worn previously in Spontaneous Intuition) has a few  decades to catch up.

I love Bellingen Gelato Bar  and its "retroness".
Their gelato is sublime...

Remember to go by 
the ATM on the way...


 Their staff are young and fabulous - the most gorgeous, creative dressers...

Beautiful Hanna in her "Russian" hat, (her outfit is a dress which she found online) makes me wonderful coffees...

 The former entrance to the Vetinary clinic, now the back 
wall of the Gelato Bar courtyard. 

As we speed towards the Spring equinox in my part of the world, 
the birds are singing earlier in the morning, the sun is setting later 
behind the mountains, the firewood is being stored...
the air is fragrant...
The days of wearing boots and early morning scarves are numbered...