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We had the pleasure of seeing the new year in while on a trip to the beautiful volcanic island of Bali.

Bali is home to some of the happiest and hospitable people in the world. Helpful, honest (where else in the world could you leave your camera in a taxi with your entire trip’s favourite moments only to have it returned with a smile a couple of hours later after only one phone call? Or after leaving your passports in an Ubud resort safe, have them driven one hour to you, then because the driver wasn’t happy about leaving them with strangers, he tried again the following day…amazing), calm and gentle…they will go out of their way to ensure your trip is outstanding.

The Balinese practise a unique form of Hinduism- Hindu Saivism fused with Buddhism, ancestor cults and local spiritual beliefs which they hold on to furiously, despite Western and Muslim influences…their spiritual practises can be seen all over the island in regular colourful festivals and ceremonies. The temples in Bali are stunning.

Bali contains a wide variety of stunning natural features from picturesque rice terraces, dramatic coastlines, lush jungle and palm-fringed tropical beaches. There’s so much to do in Bali and many of the resorts are amazing- beautifully maintained and luxurious, providing service of the highest standards at a fraction of the price you’d expect to pay for a similar property here in Australia.

There are too many highlights to mention but we really loved Ubud and the Purist Villas and spa, where we stayed, is really, very special. The food and service, as well as the gorgeous villa was incredible, well worth a peek if you’re planning a trip to Ubud. Ubud itself offers so many wonderful activities including cycling, hiking and white water rafting.

We also loved the Ayana resort at Jimbaran Bay- the Rock bar is a jaw-dropper. Sundara restaurant at the 4 seasons Jimbaran is fabulous too.

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rsz_10891816_10153171474164180_6495028647978914845_nAs you can see we really enjoyed our few weeks in beautiful Bali…however, I will say that it isn’t a place for narrow-minded travellers. You can’t expect to find the infrastructure and high standards of living that you often take for granted at home, it is, after all, a developing South East Asian country with a heavy reliance on tourism. Having said that, I must admit, the rampant development and millions of international tourists, did make me ponder the cultural and environmental impact on the island. Massive traffic jams plague the island’s mostly narrow roads and what’s especially unnerving is the amount of rubbish from increased commercial activities piling up on the beaches at Seminyak and Kuta, not that we visited Kuta, but can only imagine if Seminyak was anything to go by. There are vast parcels of land on and around rice fields in Ubud being converted into even more tourist facilities. It’s wonderful that Bali has become more prosperous because of tourism but I can’t help but think that if it isn’t contained, much of Bali’s charm and spirit will sadly be lost.

xo

 

 

 

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Recently, I spent an amazing week with my family  in Central Australia…I wasn’t really prepared for how incredible the landscape really is…this truly is the lucky country.

600 million year old Uluru/Kata Tjuta is unlike any other place. The size of it alone is breathtaking… 348 metres in height with a further 2.5 kms of its bulk beneath the rich red oxide earth.

The iron content of Uluru/Kata Tjuta creates surface oxidation giving the natural grey colour of the rock a striking orange-red hue which is even more incredible during sunset.

We did the 10km Uluru base walk which was just a feast for the senses. The flora, fauna and abundant bird life as well as the stunning ever-changing scenery was incredible. The valleys, ridges, caves and strange shapes created by erosion over millions of years make this walk an unforgettable experience. In short, it will blow your mind.

I loved seeing the rock art and songlines that tell the story of Anangu culture and history, I found viewing them deeply moving. I’m not sure exactly why, but they made me cry. It’s just such a spiritual place and something about that art felt very precious to me.

While we were there it was Springtime, there had been some rain so the desert flowers were in full bloom making for the most spectacular display of colour. So vivid and so much more colourful than I’d imagined. I was inspired to create an art work to try and recreate the beautiful colours I saw.

Here she is… My ‘Uluru Goddess’

xo

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It’s been so long since I’ve carved out some time to sit and write a blog post. I have so much I want to write about, yet finding the sometimes several hours that go into each post is often harder than it sounds.

I’ve been keeping really well, exercising, eating well, sleeping soundly, living, loving…just feeling lucky I guess. My boys are growing so quickly with my eldest ripping through his first year of high school, his voice slowly mellowing and my baby, not such a baby now he’s turned 10…life is good.

I’ve also taken some time this year to connect to my creative self, which actually, is a big part of being me. I discovered a wonderful online art course which is all about finding your inner creative voice through meditation, yoga, photography, sketching and abandoning self-limiting beliefs. It’s a great course for everyone from passionate artists to those who don’t think they’re creative at all, if you don’t think it exists, this course will find it! It’s called bloom true and they also do workshops as well as art retreats around the world… how much fun would it be to take a friend on an art retreat to Bali!

I completed a canvas recently which I sold which always feels pretty amazing. Proceeds went to Hamlin Fistula… to think this lady helped pay for obstetric fistula surgeries kinda blew my mind…

Also been working on this one…she’s hiding among the butterflies…work in progress…

Sending love.

xo

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I recently discovered that the fragrance equivalent to the love of my life, Dior’s Midnight Poison, is no longer.

I’ve been captivated by this intoxicating invisible armor of mandarin, bergamot, black rose, patchouli, amber and french vanilla since its creation and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to replace its over-powering, exotic, hippy, powerfully seductive loveliness.

My first and strongest memories about perfume come from my childhood, from my mother, who regularly sprayed herself head to toe in a confusing scent-fest of any french fragrance she could get her hands on:)…but the one that I instantly recognised, and came to be, for me, the scent of my mother, was the YSL fragrance, Opium.  This scent encompassed everything foreign and lovely to me and it was wonderful to see the big iconic tasseled rectangular bottle in the intimate space of my domestic goddess/working mother who cooked our meals, cleaned our clothes, held us tenderly and everything in between.

When I looked up the ingredient list of Opium  just now I interestingly found a similar combination to Midnight Poison- of citrus, cloves, bergamot, patchouli, musk, vanilla, rose and amber.

Which got me thinking…do we choose perfumes based entirely on personal taste or does the strong connection between fragrance and memory subconsciously guide our choices?

Either way, Midnight Poison…I’m really going to miss you.

xo