Archives for posts with tag: sunshine

Happy 2014 to everyone! We had a great start to the year watching the amazing Sydney fireworks from my besties place at Lavender Bay! The skies were lit up by the creative genius of Reg Mombassa, some of the best fireworks Sydney has ever seen. Following the theme of fire we set off on our annual trip to Stradbroke Island. While some people were fleeing the island we headed straight into an inferno. The fires had started by lightening from and electrical storm. Our friends assured us all was safe at their Amity Point beach house. There may not have been power but there was plenty of fresh fish and prawns, delicious wine and some not so cold beers waiting for us. How could not say no? The ferry across to the island was full to the brim, not of the usual holidaymakers but of fire trucks and firemen. Most of these men were volunteers. Brave men and worthy of more praise than they are given. On reaching the island there were men returning to the mainland looking exhausted from long hours fighting fires, back burning and keeping people safe. Over the three days we were there the fires worsened and there was one night I admit to being scared. The winds were constantly changing and were unpredictable, rain was what was needed but it didn’t come.It was not until we were at Brisbane airport that the rain came, closing the airport for several hours. Violent electrical storms, torrential rain and lightning. Nature can be harsh.

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Smoke from Stradbroke Island copyright claire lloyd

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Stradbroke Island on fire copyright claire lloyd

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Fire trucks head for Stradbroke Island copyright claire lloyd

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Billowing smoke from Stradbroke copyright claire lloyd

by Claire Lloyd

The ferry to Stradbroke filled with fire trucks copyright claire lloyd

by Claire Lloyd

A rural fire fighter copyright claire lloyd

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Ready to go copyright claire lloyd

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Our brave men copyright claire lloyd

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Bark of a gum tree copyright claire lloyd

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Tree stump copyright claire lloyd

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Smoke changes the colour of the sky, unnerving copyright claire lloyd

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Shadows copyright claire lloyd

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A view through the gum trees copyright claire lloyd

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Silhouette copyright claire lloyd

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Fun playing Tarzan copyright claire lloyd

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Thwarted by storms at Brisbane airport copyright claire lloyd

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We have gone from Our Greek Island Home on a Greek Island holiday. No dog walking, kitten feeding or animal rescue for a week! We are on the island of Kithira, a beautiful island between Crete and main land Greece and it is bliss. Here is a taste of what touches our senses every day. Now I will jump back into the crystal waters and swim my heart out. Happy summer holidays

IMG_1431So exciting, on my dog walk today I saw the first poppies of the year! Whilst those of you in Northern Europe are freezing your sox’s off, here on My Greek Island Home’  we are getting some lovely sunny days and at 18 degrees outside I can walk without a coat. In the garden hyacinths and camellias are opening up and along the track, leading out of the village there are tiny, tiny, delicate, deep mauve, wild flowers bursting up through the soil. Spring is here. I won’t shout to loudly as you never know when there could be a change. I don’t expect we are over the winter quite yet but I am enjoying these days a lot.

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Finally we are getting some perfect Sydney weather. This is one of my most favourite places in the world, Balmoral Beach, in Sydney. Although I have been back in Sydney since September today was my first visit to this very special spot. Balmoral is usually one of my first stops when I come back to Sydney. It’s a place I hold in my heart a place that has so many beautiful memories. As a child growing up in Sydney my parents would pack a picnic and my brother, sister and I in the car and head for Balmoral a harbour beach about 20 minutes drive from home. We would spend the day playing in the sand, building sand castles and swimming. We would also be encouraged to chase seagulls for seagull pie a game my parents invented to keep us entertained. My parents were inventive when it came to games especially my Mum who managed to invent a game for every occasion. She even had a game for us to play when making our beds at home. Balmoral continued to be a favourite as I grew into my teenage years and well beyond. However there were times throughout my teenage years when I abandoned  this pretty harbour gem for the big surf of the Pacific ocean and the bleach blond haired surfers with tanned muscular bodies who adorned it. Such is the distraction of youth! I came back though, could not resist it, how could you. Coming down steep the hill from Military road the view across the blue green water through the Sydney Heads is breathtaking. Stepping onto the grass in bare feet is the first thing I do before making my way down the sandstone stairs and onto the golden sand with its crushed shell texture. The rock formations and rock pools are so inviting and the crystal clear water and feeling of the sand between my toes and under my feet grounds me. Matthew enjoyed sharing this special place with me today. Sydney Harbour at its best!