fiji love…
Posted in mini trips, nature, pia's photos August 13th, 2015 by pia

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White sand, bleached coral, palm trees, coconuts, and jungle… for six days, this was our everyday…

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Last week we decided to take a spontaneous and much needed break away to Fiji. Neither of us had ever been, and it was Laly’s first overseas travel – what a wonderful first place to mark with a stamp in her passport…

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We stayed on the Coral Coast, which is the southern part of the main island of viti levu (take a look at this gorgeous illustrated map of Fiji by Kate Evans). At this time of year it was quite windy on the south coast with the seasonal trade winds, and some days there was rainfall, but the temperature was perfect for dresses and sandals.

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Although resort life isn’t at all a representation of life in Fiji, I thoroughly enjoyed getting a glimpse at some of the Fijian traditions that were incorporated into daily activities, including singing, story time, weaving, dance, food and language.

Not far from the resort, the guests were invited to take a village tour of Malevu, guided by the chief who showed us some of the medicinal plants they have growing which included noni and the yaqona (kava root) plant. Along with describing some of the benefits of each plant, the chief gave us a brief history of the village and traditions. Below is the village kitchen…

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At the end of the tour we were invited into the village meeting house for a kava ceremony where we each drank kava from a coconut bowl, and then danced to traditional songs.

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It was such a lovely winter break, I felt my whole body and spirit finally relax. I look forward to visiting Fiji again and having the energy to explore some of the islands and surrounding waters.

xx

Insight:

Since we had limited internet access, I took a break from email and social media and I cannot tell you how much better I feel for it. I have more clarity of thought, and I feel my sense of freedom and creativity coming back.  I have kept it up since we’ve been back, and I’d like to maintain a better balance that works for me – to bring blogging back as my first port stop, and then letting people know about the blog post via social media. At this stage I have decided not to engage in conversation as much on social media, and would instead like to encourage communication and community through this space, where I can write freely and share images without space limitations, as well as include links to other artists and blogs and websites as these are aspects of sharing online that I have missed. Let’s see how it goes…

 

mother. nature.
Posted in australia, mini trips, nature June 8th, 2015 by pia

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A few weekends ago we flew up to Northern NSW  to spend some time out in a beautiful cottage nestled within a macadamia farm, offered to us by a wonderful friend. One morning I walked down to the creek at the bottom of the hill,  alone, and with gum boots on I stood in the middle of the gentle flow of icy water…

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I breathed. I watched. I tried to let go of my thoughts to connect more deeply with the surroundings. In my effort I heard the loudness within. My body and mind throbbing with busyness that I recognise comes from the city we live in and the people that inhabit it, and the intensity of events of the past few months. Years. Instead of feeling at peace to be in natural surroundings, I became more aware of the battle within. And I know for me that open awareness is the first step to healing.

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I’ve been craving nature – to be surrounded by wild nature – and although this craving has always existed within me as a low hum, it is louder and feels more intense and insistent of late. When I explore this craving, my mind is cast back to my childhood, and how being in nature, playing with nature, always felt like my true sanctuary and was often the place I’d run to when I felt the urgent need to escape.

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Today I understand with more clarity why I love being surrounded by nature. It’s where I connect. To myself, and to the world and universe. It’s where I feel freedom. Of spirit. Thought. And emotion…

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As I gain clarity, I continue to observe. And remain open. The winter darkness allows me to rest more. And to be.

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And I write. And write. And write. I know I am in the midst of making another book. I can feel the energy of it. In time, it will take form. For now, I write.

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mini trip to brussels…
Posted in mini trips, pia's photos November 2nd, 2010 by pia

Yesterday I did something completely unplanned and non-work-related: I got up at the crack of dawn and took the thalys train to Brussels to explore a brocante at place du jeu de balle. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, and when leslie told me she was going to stop by there on her way back to Amsterdam from a weekend away, I decided to meet her there and finally check it out. It was great, we loved the market and found heaps of great things. I even bartered in French which was lots of fun, and all the stall owners that we dealt with were really friendly and kind (two of the stall owners let us gather our findings at their stalls throughout the day until we fetched the car).   After that we had some lunch and strolled around town. It was really nice to get out of ‘the office’ for a while…

I was only there for a few hours, but would you like to know my first impressions of Brussels?

1. I thought Paris and Amsterdam were full of cobblestones but Brussels really is the cobbliest city I’ve ever been in.

2. If you love street art, you’ll love this city! It’s full of fabulous street art and graffiti.

3. It feels like a mix of Paris and Amsterdam, which is really cool.

4. Everybody speaks French, and that’s awesome.

5. If you love brocante treasures and antiques, there is plenty of the good stuff in Brussels.

I’m eager to plan a longer trip now and explore some more.

my computer-free weekend, encore…
Posted in mini trips, nature, pia's photos April 16th, 2009 by piablog

Spring was only just emerging in the haute fagnes forest in belgium where french boy and i spent our very restful, computer-free weekend. We walked, talked, explored, sat in the forest, listened to the birds, caught some afternoon sun on the terrace (I’ve got colours), and slept. It was just what we needed – some time away from the city hum and crazy work commitments. We stumbled upon a castle, hidden deep inside the forest, and as we climbed the ancient stone stairs I imagined myself as a maiden, standing on the landing, hoping with all her heart to see her warrior lover come over the hill. I asked French Boy if he would come back for me and he said “without a doubt”. I said, “would you be missing a limb?” and he asked “would you still love me if I was?” and I said “without a doubt”.

A walk in a forest in spring is such wonderful medicine for the heart and soul…

my computer-free weekend…
Posted in mini trips, nature, pia's photos April 15th, 2009 by piablog

…was wonderful.

if i can’t be by my sea, then sit me in the middle of a forest and i will be a happy girl.

would you like to see more?