This week

By Vita Forest

IMG_2800[1]

Picnic lunch atop Du Faurs Rocks at Mt Wilson, Blue Mountains

This week I have been

WRITING Mobile Tales 9: in which Christabel learns a disturbing fact about whales

READING

  • Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
  • The Last Painting of Sara De Vos by Dominic Smith

WATCHING Big Little Lies

VISITING the Blue Mountains with Vastra and Saskia where we did some

WALKING to

IMG_2810[1]

Magical pool at the base of Minehaha Falls, Katoomba, Blue Mountains

  • Minnehaha Falls in Katoomba
  • around the clifftops of Leura
  • around the shops of Leura…

IMG_2792[1]

  • around Mt Wilson through shady ferns and by bright wattle blooming amongst blackened trees

IMG_2790[1]

Cathedral of Ferns, Mt Wilson, Blue Mountains

LISTENING to

  • Whipbirds and
  • Bell birds and
  • Crimson Rosellas and
  • screeching cockatoos breaking the monumental stillness of the silence at Du Faurs Rocks, Mt Wilson

IMG_2803[1]

Oh and saw this currawong at Du Faurs Rocks, Mt Wilson

PICNICKING

  • on a clifftop in Leura
  • on a clifftop at Du Faurs Rocks at Mt Wilson

IMG_2798[1]

RELAXING in the winter sunshine with a cuppa and our books

 

 

This week

By Vita Forest

From Castle Cove towards Middle Cove

This week I have been

WRITING Everyday more geckos

READING The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (just delightful!)

GETTING to school early for our performance group’s big audition (you may be interested to know that we had Ivan of Will you take the risk?  fame read half the introduction (the other girl reader was back too) – so they both got their moment of “Fame and Glory” and both did a fabulous job!)

FINDING out later in the week that we were successful and will be performing at the Sydney Opera House later in the year!

The Succulent Garden with the Sydney skyline behind

SKETCHING in the sunshine in the Succulent Garden in the Royal Botanical Gardens

The Succulent Garden, Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney

WALKING in the bush of Castle Cove with Saskia and Rowdy as we continue our exploration of this beautiful part of Sydney

A fallen bird’s nest amongst the ferns, Castle Cove

This Week

By Vita Forest

Beautiful bush at Castlecrag

This week I have been

WRITING

READING The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein (lovely).

WATCHING The Handmaid’s Tale (not lovely but excellent).

WALKING in Castlecrag with Saskia and Rowdy (beautiful)

Waterfall, Castlecrag


SKETCHING at Sydney Hospital (I was not in the zone…)

FIXING up my classroom, ready for the new term.

KNITTING a cowl.

GETTING ready to go back to school.

Tree ferns, Castlecrag

Walk to One Tree Hill Lookout in Numbers

By Vita Forest

  • 20km drive to Hall from Fleur’s home.
  • 5.4km walk to the lookout each way.
  • Maximum of 9 degrees Celsius, but colder with the wind at the top.
  • 2 walkers –  Fleur and Vita.
  • 2 mountain bikes working their way down the steep undulating section at the beginning of the track, making us stand to the side.
  • 1 rusty-roofed shed seen from the track.

  • 1 stile to climb over.
  • 1 heavy gate to open and lock again so the cows wouldn’t get out.
  • 15 large propellers on the windfarm on the horizon (past Lake George near Bugendore).
  • 3 crimson rosellas swinging on a the lighter twigs of a gum tree.
  • 2 young men walking to the soundtrack of the music blaring from their phone (they were very friendly though).
  • 2 young women who assured us we were “nearly there”.

  • 4 cattle grids to cross.
  • 2 jumpers peeled off along the way (we got hot!)
  • 20 kangaroos high on a hill, silently watching us and leaping away again when they saw they had been spotted.
  • 3 cows on the hill.

  • 1 stop at the bottom of the final climb where the following was observed:
    • sheep
    • cows
    • kangaroos (the world was suddenly full of animals that we hadn’t noticed until we paused).
  • 2 bananas consumed before the final climb, their skins folded up and carefully placed back inside the lunchbox.
  • 1 boy who was being the cheer squad for his mother climbing up the steep steps to the top of the lookout “Come on!  Two minutes to go!  Nearly there!” (Personally, I would have told him to leave me alone…)
  • 100 – the number underneath “Canberra” at the final lookout.  Obviously built as part of Canberra’s centenary.

  • 1 state and
  • 1 territory seen from the lookout.
  • More than 1 tree seen from One Tree Hill Lookout.  Which was the one?

  • Many flocks of fairy wrens scuttling in the undergrowth, alighting momentarily on logs and branches and balancing on the wire that stretched between fence posts marking the boundary between the track and “Private Property”.
  • 1 lone kangaroo crashing through the trees and disappearing into the bush again.
  • 1 instance of rain on the way back – made us walk a little faster.

  • 3 hours return with a couple of stops for food and many for photo opportunities.
  • 4 tired legs.
  • 2 burgers inhaled after the walk at a very late lunch.  Perhaps the best meal ever!

This week

By Vita Forest

The Grounds of Alexandria


This week I have been

WRITING Mobile Tales 8: in which Christabel becomes aware of an unusual weather system

READING 

  • SuperFudge by Judy Blume
  • Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (strange combination of books hey? Both good reads!)

SKETCHING and WANDERING and SIPPING coffee at The Grounds of Alexandria 


VISITING 

  • The dentist!
  • The AGNSW in NAIDOC week and seeing the exhibition Sentient Lands


  • South Curl Curl with Betty
  • Canberra to see Fleur

WALKING 

  • Along the headlands of Curl Curl with Betty.
  • With Saskia and Rowdy for a couple of night-time debriefs.
  • To One Tree Hill Lookout near Canberra with Fleur.

SEEING kangaroos, fairy wrens, crimson rosellas, galahs (amongst the native fauna) and cows and sheep (amongst the non-native).

CHATTING to my kids on the other side of the world.

Because I am early…

By Vita Forest


Arriving early I walk through Hyde Park, hear the busker singing loudly of love, admire the arrangement of winter plantings, ringing the fountain with tight purple and green ornamental cabbages.  See a backpacker taking an entire park bench for his pleasure, reclining on top of a sleeping bag, resplendent in his happiness as he luxuriates in the winter sunshine, backpack at his feet.  I look at the statues in the fountain and think of Greek Gods and how we will be into them next term.  I think of Alexander on his Outing getting stuck down a hole in this general vicinity and being raised up again with water from that very fountain.   I see the cathedral with its circles and triangles and gothic spires and think, I should really try and draw that someday.

I walk through the tunnel of fig trees and turn back to see the Archibald Fountain shining, being the light at the end of the tunnel, sun hitting the sparkling water and remember how I had drawn that tunnel of trees long ago, at high school, the branches arching up to meet above the paving stones drawn into the distance with excellent perspective.  Remembering how at night the trees were filled with fairy lights and then reading the sign that warns the unwary stroller of the possibility of “tree failure” if there be storms.  Just imagine.


I walk behind a shrieking girl clinging onto her Dad as he stomps along, daughter’s hands clasped around his waist, yelling “Where is she?  Where is she?”  Daughter hysterical with delight as yet again he turns to find she isn’t there.

Because I am early, I cross the road and take the boardwalk over the water on top of the indoor pool.  Remember how once water lilies grew in this pool, reeds, bulrushes.  What happened to them?  I wonder, and how long ago was that?  But still, the boardwalk is there, reminding the walker of jetties, piers, ferry wharves, the sea.  The museum floats upside in the water as I walk toward it on the boardwalk that I choose to take, up high above the footpath, above the pool, above the street.  I take these adventures where I can find them.

I am still too early so I sit in the sun and watch a toddler marvelling at the world – A stick!  Another one!  I can scrape them in the dirt!  Wow!  His Dad crouching down beside him, seeing the world through his son’s eyes.  And later they mount the boardwalk, enjoying the slight ringing of their feet on the wood and the boy is almost stunned when the fountain shoots sudden water out from under his feet arching out from the wood and into the pool.

Can the world get any more amazing?


 

 

This week

By Vita Forest

Queensland Bottle Tree, Royal Botanical Gardens Sydney


This week I have been

READING 

  • Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (finished at last).
  • The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (highly recommended by Sui-Sui, I have just started).
  • The Art of Frugal Hedonism by Annie Raser-Rolland and Adam Grubb (now I know what to call myself!)

SKETCHING a Queensland Bottle tree at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Succulents at the Royal Botanical Gardens


VISITING The Powerhouse Museum with my class (great fun!! My little group just loved revisiting their early childhood in The Wiggles exhibition). 

MAKING an astronaut/aviatrix costume (my sewing machine and table are covered in silver glitter – looks like Tinkerbell has been for a visit).


EATING Belgian Chocolate gelato in Chatswood with my kids – sensational!

WALKING with my kids on a gelato expedition and later in the brisk winter air with Vastra and Saskia.

FINDING that our dance performance group is “all coming together”.

DIRECTING a little play with my class and watching them shine!