Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking back looking forward

"Welcome to the last practice of the year"!

That's how I was greeted when I went to the Ashtanga studio this morning. Nice! And it was a pretty good one, which was also nice ... I'm really enjoying practicing at the new studio with Christian, another thing that has clicked into place in my life this year.

2015 has been a great year for me. Really feeling settled in my new life down in the Byron shire, and grateful that someone - 'life', is looking after me so well. I'm kind of reluctant to go on about how happy I am as part of me (the negative part of course!) thinks that will bring bad things down on me! Who knows ... But life is indeed good! Regular yoga practice, the wonderful choir, music / singing lessons, big overseas trip, and of course an amazing 5-day 'event' with Maharaji. Each of those things I could write an entire post about ... But I won't!!

I spent Christmas in Sydney with John and Gina, nephew Peter and his wife Tammy, and lots of other extended family members. It was a really nice few days, including swimming in the seawater pool at Curl Curl, and going to a lovely exhibition at the Gallery of NSW - from the National Gallery of Scotland.

And now I'm home again ... And looking forward to a wonderful new year ... No big overseas trips planned for 2016. I'm going to settle in and enjoy life here!

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Changes, new things

Now that the choir concerts are over for the year, my life is quieting down a bit, and there's time to give more attention to other things ...

One of these has been my yoga practice, and where I actually go to class. It's been quite hard ... 2-3 years ago when I was deciding where I should move to when I sold my place, one of the things that drew me down here was the opportunity to practice at Dena Kingsberg's shala. I know it wouldn't be with her as a teacher - she only teaches here in monthly intensives for part of the year, which are usually booked up almost a year in advance. But there are daily public classes at the shala and I was going to those.

As I'm sure I have said here before, I was going to the 10am class ... The shala has only one yoga room, and so obviously when there is a 7am intensive class then the only morning 'slot' is after that has finished. And anyway - I live 30 minutes drive away and thought I'd never be able to get up, showered and to the shala by that early in the morning. But then, when Dena went to Europe in the middle of the year to do workshops, Christian, one of her students who had been teaching the 10am class, started doing a 7am class as well. And because I had been finding a mid-morning class seemed to end up taking up half the day, I decided to give it a go. Which was, of course, a complete revelation to me!

So then after a few months of this I went overseas, where I went to Dena's Bali workshop, and then practiced at AYL in London, all at 7am or earlier! And then I came home about a month ago. But Dena is now doing the intensives again and so I have to go to a 10am class ... But ... Christian has left and started up another Ashtanga practice place in Byron Bay - The Ashtanga room. Which of course has an early morning Mysore programme!

I agonised over what to do about this for days - it felt faintly disloyal to Dena to go away and practice at Christian's place. But in the end I felt I had to do what was right for me ... I emailed her to explain what I was doing, and why, and she was fine about it - said she completely understood my reasons etc! And anyway, I'm still signed up to go to one of her month intensives in May - which will be another high jump for me but hopefully a wonderful time!

And in the meantime I have now been practicing at Christian's shala - the Ashtanga Room for a couple of weeks, and it's been lovely. He is a wonderful teacher.

Well, after that long long explanation (which must imply that my feelings of awkwardness/slight disloyalty are not completely gone!!) I'll just mention that the other change in my life is a new VW Golf car! Which I'm pretty thrilled with! A very large step forward from my old car ... Has AppleConnect, Bluetooth, all sorts of things that were unheard of when the little Yaris was built!!

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Faure concerts

This week has been all about the Faure's Requiem concerts ... Two concerts down now, one more to go, tomorrow afternoon in Bangalow.

The concerts in Lismore (Wednesday) and Mullumbimby (today) were lovely. We were better at today's concert - and hoping to be even better tomorrow! The first two concerts also included a very sweet children's choir that Ian teaches. They marched in singing the Mozart Alleluia, and then did it all in solfa (do, re, me etc,) including the hand signs. They were better than me at that!! Below is a photo of them rehearsing minutes before the concert started.

Apart from the Requiem and children's choir, the concert included a Bach Concerto for Flute and Oboe, a Tallis piece and a Michael Leunig poem (A Gruntled Fellow) set to a Bach piece. That was really lovely, and made everyone smile/laugh.

Choir concerts are quite different here than in Brisbane ... I'm not talking about the standard of music. That's definitely really high! But - probably it's a 'Byron' thing - everyone is so much more relaxed and laid back, including the audience! A great rapport between the director (Ian) and audience ... Children wandering around, people with babies standing in the doorway ... And today the hall was completely full. Kept having to put more chairs out. On Wednesday evening in Lismore the fire alarm went off in the church, and the solution was to turn the lights off and carry on! (This was the caretaker's decision!!)

However, I do have to admit that my yoga practice has suffered in the few days since I got back to Australia. Partly because I've been feeling a bit off, and partly coz I'm finding it very hard to go back to a 10am class as opposed to a 7am one. I really don't like that any more, but there's not much I can do about it if I want to keep practicing at Dena's shala ... Sigh!

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Sunday, November 08, 2015

Beautiful Portugal

Have been in Portugal for a few days. First of all we stayed in Lisbon for a couple of days. It is such a beautiful city - I was amazed! Couldn't put my camera (iPhone!) away ... We spent a day wandering up and down all the beautiful little streets. Getting trams sometimes, and even got on a funicular train one evening - going up an extremely steep street! The next day we went to the Gulbenkian museum and beautiful gardens ...

Then we caught the train down to the Algarve where Wendi lives -

One day - think it was yesterday (!) I went to an Iyengar class at a centre where Wendi and daughter do vegetarian catering for yoga and similar residential groups. The teacher had decided to do a 'restorative yoga' class then. It was interesting to see how differently poses we do in Ashtanga, are approached .. But I'll definitely be sticking with Ashtanga!

Back in London now, and the last couple of days before I head back home ...

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Monday, November 02, 2015

Dublin and back to London

We got back from Dublin on Friday evening ... Had a really nice couple of days there. We seemed to go to a lot of places - Judy and Carla had us on the move constantly. I know I've been walking a lot in London (apart from anything else, you walk for miles in the tube stations between platforms!) but it certainly seemed like we were walking huge distances in Dublin! Mind you, this is coming from someone who lives in a much more car-based area!

Anyway, the day we arrived we went to Dublin Castle, and then an exhibition of (I think) 18th century comic prints. We also went to a beautiful 'Palladian-style' country house set it beautiful grounds ... Again the beautiful Autumn colours were a feast for eyes. The Library (long room!) of Trinity College is also a lovely place to visit.

Back in London and we went out for dinner last night in Notting Hill. Last night also happened to be both Halloween and a Saturday night! The tube was brimming with witches, zombies and any other fancy dress you could imagine! Plenty of fake blood dripping everywhere - it was hilarious!

Today I made it back to yoga after a gap of 6 days! And boy did it show!! I've made sure to pack my yoga mat to go to Portugal - can't leave it that long again! But it was lovely to be there - met up with Kevin and we had breakfast together after and talked for ages. We only meet up every few years but there's always plenty of yoga to talk about!

Tomorrow - Portugal!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

More adventures on holiday

I'm getting towards the end of my time here in London. Tomorrow morning we're flying to Dublin for 2-3 days, visiting another sister who lives there ... Then a couple of days after we get back I'm off to Lisbon for 5 days, and a couple of days after I get back from there I start the journey home, via Dubai.

I'm only going to make it to Ashtanga Yoga London a couple more times sadly ... But it has been lovely going there, despite the extreme heat and mats that are placed no more than 5cm apart!

Last Friday Judy took me to Wisley (the Royal Horticultural Society gardens) - it was just such a lovely day! All the trees and shrubs were changing to their Autumnal colours, which you really don't see in Australia - or not where I live anyway!

And then on Sunday my nephew Jo and I took little Hugh (my 6-month old great-nephew!) to Gloucestershire to visit Napier relations ... It was a lovely day too - my Aunt, the 3 lovely cousins and various of their children too.

I do like this picture - the cat inside staring balefully at the bouncy dog outside, teenage boy staring at his phone and young Hugh wanting to get involved in everything!

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Friday, October 23, 2015

London notes

Have been having an enjoyable time in London - in between bouts of cold and cough recurrences! The other day I went to yoga, and having sniffled and coughed my way through all of standing (including falling over onto someone in utthitta hasta padangustasana !!) and a few of the seated poses, Hamish tapped me on the shoulder and told me me that was enough and to stop!! (Please please stop!!) So I left it a couple of days, and went back this morning. Still a bit cold-y but a lot better!

I've been spending some time with my nephew and his wife. We've been going out to galleries, and then having delicious lunches! I feel like it's a bit of a foodie tour of London this time, although not talking about famous restaurants or anything! Went to the Goya Portraits exhibition today at the National Gallery ... That was wonderful. And after we went to a Spanish food place - Barrafina. Really yummy food!

Also went to see the film Suffragette with a friend. I wasn't particularly wanting to see it, but it was really good. Quite amazing to be reminded that 100 years ago women could not vote, or even decide what would happen to their children ...

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Hello London!

view of back garden from upstairs window

When I arrived in London on Sunday it was after an exhausting 3 flights from Bali, and I really wasn't feeling well. The dreaded cough had come back strong as ever, but luckily I was able to get the necessary drugs (!) from a doctor and after a couple of days on them things are getting a lot better.

This morning I finally made it to yoga at AYL. Lovely to see Hamish's friendly face - and he was on my case immediately! So many assists ... And then - last time I was there (5 years ago) he got me into Marichyasana D (on one side) for the first time ever. That's only happened a couple of times since then, but today he got me into it on both sides! So, even though I can't see it, there has been some (minor!) improvement over the last 5 years!!

Anyway, planning on going again tomorrow, and then on Sunday to meet someone who only goes on Sunday's ...

Yesterday my sister took me to this wonderful exhibition at the Royal Academy, by Ai Wei Wei. Apart from it being a truly wonderful and inspiring exhibition, he is such an inspiring human being! He's had so much thrown at him by the state but he's just stood there, unmoving, unchanging ... Really awe-inspiring.

Now that I'm on my feet again (!) I've been busy trying to organise meet-ups etc. Spending Saturday afternoon with Jo and Emma (nephew and wife) and their two small kiddiwinks which should be lovely. We're also all going to drive to Gloucestershire the weekend after next and visit some other relatives, which should be fun. It seemed like a long stretch of time when I was planning it, but now it's getting squeezed at all ends! Off to Dublin in just under 2 weeks, and then Portugal a couple of days after I get back from there. And then 2-3 days after that trip it's onto the plane for Dubai, and home!

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Last musings on Bali

I've been in London for a few days now ... Below is something I started writing but didn't finish from before I left Ubud.

As the week drew to a close the class got fuller each day with more people joining in ( I assume they all asked if they could!) Mats got closer and closer ... Luckily Dena was very good at reminding us to check we weren't invading the next space! Staggered mats etc ...

This afternoon is the last of the afternoon classes - where Dena focuses on a particular aspect, and how it can be worked on/considered in different poses ... One day she focussed on backbends, and how a back bend is also a front stretch. Another day it was on bandhas(sp?!) and how essential they are in so many different ways. And about downward dog, and how you could focus on different areas that I hadn't even thought of - like if you have tight shoulders, then focus on the stretch from the shoulders down into the arms. They have been really great - just hope I can remember some of the things she has said. Haven't been as good at writing them down as in previous years (to be honest I haven't written anything down!!)

I'm definitely going to sign up for one of her month-long 'intensives' in Byron for next year. At the moment they are booked up till May, and then they stop while she's away in Europe etc ... So, May!!

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Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Update from Bali

I've been in this little slice of paradise for about 4 days now ... Feeling very lucky. The hotel and surroundings are just so lovely. And it's a wonderful opportunity to focus on yoga for a few days ... I was going to say 6 days, but I did miss this morning's class (last night was a very 'coughy' night unfortunately!), but hopefully that won't happen again.

My balance in utthitta hasta padangustasana seems to be improving/coming back, amazingly! Just have to hope this continues - at least I now know that it can!

Below is the view from the yoga room here - quite different from the rice paddies view we had at the Ananda Cottages hotel, but beautiful in a different, more mysterious way!

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Friday, October 02, 2015

Up up and away

Sitting on a plane flying over Western Australia on my way to Bali - via Singapore! And really, don't ask me why I have to fly over Bali and on to Singapore, spend a night in the airport hotel there and then fly back to Bali the next day. I have no idea! I know it's something to do with keeping all flights on the one ticket - I am going on to London after a week in Bali - but it still makes no sense at all to me!

However, I've just had to give up questioning and do it! After a week of waking up at 2am virtually every night panicking about one thing or another, it's all happening! The housesitters did come and although the pussycat was pretty freaked out with all my packing etc., she does like them so I'm sure she'll be fine - much better than 6 weeks in a cattery for her. And although I had an awful coughing fit at 2am this morning, it seems to have subsided now and I've done all I can to avoid picking up yet another cold/cough on the journey. Out of my control now - just have to surrender to the Universe! If I'm going to have to be sick, then I guess Bali is a pretty nice place to collapse in!

Fingers crossed that won't happen though! I'm really looking forward to a week of yoga with Dena ... And then on to London visiting family and friends ... :)

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Grumblings ... (!)

Oh I don't feel so good, and I'm sick of it! Came back from a wonderful 5-day event with Maharaji at Amaroo about 10 days ago (bringing with me various overseas visitors!) and promptly got sick with an awful cold, and of course a cough! Dragged myself to the last choir practice of term (and for me it's the last until I return from overseas in November) - well, I couldn't miss it could I?! I hope I didn't spread my germs, but I may have ... sigh. My overseas guests departed on Wednesday and since then I have been hunkered down trying to rest and get better. I keep thinking I'm on the mend and then the next day I'm back where I was. At least the cough is a lot better now.

I went to a 10am yoga class on Sunday and managed to get through to navasana. Felt fairly good after that, but yesterday when the alarm went off I turned it off and went back to sleep! No 7am yoga for me then. So I was determined to go this morning. Alarm went off at 5.30, and then the next thing I knew it was 6am and I had to leave within 20 minutes if I was going! So I dragged myself out of bed, discovered my lower back was not feeling great but thought a shower would fix that. When I arrived at the shala I realised it hadn't fixed it, and I ended up having to do a very restricted practice. When I got to seated I talked to Christian about it. He told me to just concentrate on the breath, not worry about doing poses fully or binding, vinyasas or anything. And just do what felt good. So that's what I did and in fact it was really nice. I went from worrying about how far I could push myself before it started to hurt, to just enjoying the breath (!) and about 25% of forward bending!

But now I'm home again and definitely not feeling 100%. And it's actually really difficult trying to do the 'final preparations' for an overseas trip when I have umpteen things to do, but zero energy or enthusiasm to do any of them! It has even crossed my mind to wonder what would happen if I just cancelled it all! Of course I'm not going to do that (unless things go seriously awry!) but kind of shows the state of mind I'm in!! At least my first stop is Dena's workshop in Bali, so at worst I can just do the class and then collapse each day. I've done that before!! And of course, this is all 10 days away. I surely must be better by then ... !!!!!

(( fingers crossed! ))

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In my sister's footsteps

Last week I started going to the 7am yoga class, instead of the 10am one. I had thought it would be too hard to get up early and drive to Byron to do this, but of course I was wrong! Or the benefits far outweigh any difficulties! It now feels like I have the whole day in front of me when I've finished, rather than half a day! I managed to go 3 times last week, and this week I'm going to try for four. As I couldn't come on Monday, that does mean I'll have to get up early 4 days in a row, but I shall see how I go!

It also makes me think that perhaps it wouldn't be impossible to go to one of Dena's month-long intensive workshops (that she runs here at various times of the year). I had thought I could never do that, but ... ! Of course they are booked up months in advance, but I'll see what I think in a while, and maybe sign up for one for next year.

And I am so enjoying the choir, and learning some music theory. My life is quite filled with yoga and music these days ... Funny that. My sister (who died many years ago) used to be really into classical music (piano and flute) before she moved onto computers in the early days. And now here am I. First of all I got into computers and software (quite a long time ago) and then the internet, and now music and singing!!

Thursday, August 06, 2015

a cross-legged turtle(!)

Today at yoga Christian crossed my ankles in Supta Kurmasana ... that's a first! I've only recently started doing that pose again (one of the poses that was taken away from me in the past when I was sick, and somehow never found its way back!!) Still can't clasp my hands, but that will come ... :)

And it's funny - I got my hair coloured yesterday, and he (Christian) commented on it this morning! I laughed - he always notices when I've done that, unlike most men who are completely oblivious! Lucky I do it for my own benefit/enjoyment and not anyone else's ... :)

I've been going to the 10am class, but I'm going to try and go to the 7am class next week. If I got at 10am, it pretty much takes half a day and particularly if I want to go more than a couple of times a week (going to aim for 3!) it just makes it difficult to do other things that I want/need to do ... For a start, I'm going to Bali / UK / Europe in 2 months time and there's so much to organise before I go! I need someone to look after the pussycat/house, and so put an ad on a housesitting website a few days ago. I've now got about 25 responses to sift through!! I guess it's a pretty prime location though! 5 minutes walk to the beach, and half an hour from Byron Bay ... mmm I'd want to do it myself if I wasn't already living here ... did I say how lucky I am?  <grin>

I'm so looking forward to practicing with Dena in Bali. It's funny - I practice at her shala here, but have to go to Bali to get to do classes with her! (Note: I could of course book into one of the month-long intensives she runs here at certain times of the year, but truthfully I cannot see myself getting myself to her shala at 7am every morning for a month!)

OK - back to practicing the Agnus Dei from Faure's Requiem!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

It's been a while!

... since I posted here! Don't know why but here I am back again ...:)  Yoga is good - though I did get a quite bad cold a few weeks ago (first one for years so I guess I shouldn't complain - too much anyway!) And I did have to pull my practice right back for a few days ... Christian told me to concentrate on the breath (which resonates in so many ways!) and not to worry too much about how far I could get in any asana ... I think I'm well on the mend again now, although I do have to admit that after having a day off practice yesterday, I felt incredibly stiff and slow this morning!

Choir and singing have been wonderful! A local friend, also in the choir, came back from overseas a few weeks ago and we have been practicing a bit together. And I'm really thrilled to hear that we're going to sing the Faure Requiem in a concert at the end of November. Have always wanted to sing that and now I'm going to!

Had a friend staying for a few days and managed to do a bit of driving around with her - here are some photos!

Old house outside Eureka

We went to a community arts market in the hills behind Byron - at The Channon, and on the way back we were driving along little country roads and passed this lovely old house. Stopped to take a photo and the owner plus small son appeared from another house nearby. He was using the old house to display furniture he made and gave us a tour!

At the Murwillumbah Regional Art Gallery

Another day we went to the wonderful Murwillumbah Regional Art Gallery - where I always say this view is just as good as the works of art on display ... And below is a selfie taken by another friend who came to join us!

At the Murwillumbah Regional Art Gallery

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Punchy title goes here!

Didn't know if I was going to get to yoga class this morning ... My pussycat Miss Squiggle used to be really good at coming back inside when I called her, but - I think she's started exploring a bit further afield (over the fence into the next garden!) so maybe she's out of earshot. Giving her the benefit of the doubt here!! But I won't leave her outside when I'm out so had to wait till she came back. Luckily she reappeared just before the latest time I could leave ... And I'll have to bear this in mind in future!

Look at her - butter wouldn't melt in her mouth!!

Last time I went to class (earlier in the week) Jack had me trying out headstand (which I've never done). I said I wasn't sure I would be able to, even with help - still not enough strength. And I was right, but for now, as well as doing that 'dolphin' preparatory/strengthening pose I'm going to actually make steps towards - hmm, getting used to just the starting position. I actually had no idea that my head was supposed to be on/touching the ground (or my hands). So even that seems very weird and difficult! Oh well, baby steps (as usual!!)

Am finally getting it together to organise my trip to the UK/Europe later this year. I'm going to do one of Dena's Bali workshops on the way. Which always involves a bit of backtracking - flying to Singapore or Bangkok and then back to Bali - have no idea why but it's much more expensive to do it in a more direct fashion. Just have to doublecheck with my sister in London that the dates are ok with her and then I can finalise the booking!

Oh, and I'm still having a lovely time at choir / singing! And learning SO much that I never knew (or had completely forgotten) on the 'technical' / Music Theory 101 level!! Perhaps I should rephrase that as discovering how much I didn't know, but need to! It's just great!!!

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Singing again at last!

Last night I got to start going to choir practice at last! Oh yes, I did the audition 2-3 weeks ago and passed! Very relieved - and in fact, in the end I think it was really good for me to go through this experience. The actual audition was more like a singing lesson, and it was really good for me to be able to sing in front of a teacher, and not sort of freeze up or shrivel away! I'm much less scared about singing in front of people now. In fact, at choir practice last night Ian got me to sing the exercise we had been doing in pairs, by myself and I just did it. Didn't even think about it until someone commented about it afterwards ...

As the choir was putting on a concert a couple of weeks after the audition, we had agreed it was best to wait till after that before coming to choir practice. But I had a couple of lessons with Ian, and feel I am learning so much. Much more than I ever have in the past! Very happy about it all!

After a very busy couple of days this week I'm finally going to yoga class tomorrow morning. It's over a week since I've been - I think I was a bit sick last week or something. Definitely need and want to get on the mat in the Shala again!

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Marichyasana D and choirs!

Christian, one of the teachers at the Ashtanga Shala in Byron, gave me some help/advice in Marichyasana D yesterday, and I ended up with my fingers touching on one side ... Very amazing! Of course I can't do it on my own, but the advice/pointers he gave me certainly helped me today without assistance, and I begin to believe that I really will be able to do it one day! In fact he told me that after struggling to do it himself for 4 years, he finally decided he'd never be able to, relaxed and then was able to! Which was part of his advice - don't strain and struggle!

Ever since I moved down here I've been looking for a choir to join that sings classical choral music. It's been hard - all I could find were gospel-type choirs. I did try one once, and they were nice but it's just not what I like singing in choirs. But then I discovered that a friend of mine sings in a classical choir ... The only drawback to me was the fact that you have to audition to join it! Which is something I've never had to do before ... All the choirs I've sung in were community / non-auditioning.

On top of this, I haven't really sung in a choir for a couple of years and don't feel very confident about my voice at the moment. So I found this online voice training course, and have been going through the exercises, and more importantly, doing the warmup voice exercises most days. Then I do something like sing through part of the Messiah alto choruses ... I've recorded me singing one of the choruses ("And the Glory of the Lord") a few times, and I can definitely see - no, hear! - the difference. The guy who runs this course (Eric Arceneaux) strongly emphasises the importance of doing voice exercises every day, and it seems he is right!

I've made contact with the choir conductor, and will probably go and do the audition on Friday! When I said I was somewhat nervous, his response was: "Don't worry about the audition. It is for me to find what you can do, not to give you a pass/ fail. We love people singing here."

So that was nice! Hopefully it won't be too onerous!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Shala practicing again, and ...

Since I last posted I have been to Mysore class at the Byron Bay shala a few times. Each time Christian was the teacher, and each time Dena was there in a corner of the room, doing her own practice. A strong, quiet presence in the room ...  Feels really good to be back practising in class again.

On the weekend a friend and I went out for a drive, which turned into a bit of magical mystery tour! We had been going to the monthly market at a small village in the hills behind Byron, but it  turned out to have been on the previous weekend. So we decided to carry on driving through the beautiful countryside and ended up in Nimbin. For those either not old enough to remember, or not from Australia, Nimbin was the location for a famous Aquarius Festival back in the 70's (see for a description of it!)

My friend and I had both been at that festival - in fact I remember hitching up to it with a friend from Sydney ... Cannot imagine ever doing anything like that now ... :)  To be honest, I can't remember much about it all - probably too under the influence of various substances! But we ended up in an information  centre in Nimbin and I was completely delighted to see a display of photos from the festival, including photos of two of our musician friends!

And today someone is helping me put in two raised veggie beds! (Actually, he is doing it, I am supervising!!) Can't wait to be able to grow some veggies again. I bought some (biodynamic) seedlings at the farmers market today in anticipation!

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Finally, back to class

I'm not even going to say/guess how long it is since I've been to a class at the (any!) shala. A loong time, far too long! Some of that because of sickness or visitors etc, sometimes because of monkey mindtrips!

I have been practicing at home, but a bit sporadically, and definitely lacking in intensity. I did decide to stop beating myself up about it all, and wait till I felt like going back. And finally that has happened. I went to a led class at the Gold Coast Yoga Centre yesterday afternoon. I like that place - people are friendly. The teacher (Danny) remembered my name after all these months! and he told me to take it easy ... I certainly had to do that! Standing was reasonably ok, but once we'd got to the seated poses and all those vinyasas, my arms got more and more tired! I started off just doing vinyasas between the pose (not each side), but ended up not even being able to do any! It's unbelievable how quickly strength goes! I knew this theoretically, but right now I really know it! Today I am aching in muscles I'd forgotten about!

And while on a roll, I'm going to go to Dena's shala tomorrow morning for a Mysore class. Not with her - she is teaching intensives and they are booked up for the rest of the year! But there is a 9.30 class, sometimes taught by one of her assistants, sometimes by Jack. So those are the classes I usually go to.

Hopefully this will get me on track to continue practicing at home with more intensity, and to go to classes regularly too ... Fingers crossed!

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

The weather event!

Experiencing 'interesting' weather here! My local beach has gone from this:


To this:

Stormy sea at South Golden Beach

A cyclone (Marcia) came across the mid-Queensland Coast yesterday and careered its way down south, while at the same time a 'rain depression' was hovering over the northern NSW coast (ie the Byron coast, where I live!) I live in a flood-prone area although to my knowledge the house hasn't flooded in the past few years (as long as anyone can remember). But there are rivers and creeks nearby that flood and it's all a question of how fast the water can get away / into the ground. It rained pretty solidly for 24 hours - that was the rain depression! - and today seemed to be the calm before the storm / remnants of the cyclone arrived to join in. But so far nothing much has transpired. I don't know if the cyclone has fizzled out and/or gone out to sea, or whether it's still lurking waiting to pounce!

Yesterday the local SES (State Emergency Service) came to everyone on our street, handing out information on what to do if we had to evacuate! So I made a list of what to take, and what to do to protect what is left in the house if that were to happen. All seemed slightly surreal, but better to have that done at leisure than in a panic I'm sure!

And now I'm going to go and do some yoga (there's a yoga mat in the car so I didn't have to add that to my list of essential things to take!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A day of cooking

Went to a sourdough bread-making course today ... Held up in the hills in a pretty little village called Federal (which appears to have a general store and a Japanese restaurant!)

This was just some of the things we baked! Sourdough bread, sourdough hot cross buns, sourdough buns ... Not to mention delicious buttermilk pancakes, and cultured butter (?!!) made either with dairy kefir or butter milk and yoghurt or sour cream. And then eating said pancakes with either the butter with orange jest and maple syrup, or with herbs chopped through. Utterly delicious!!

And we each prepared and kneaded the dough for a sourdough loaf and brought it away with us, as well as some sourdough starter! A truly great day ... :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad Air

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Late Christmas holiday

Having a lovely time down in Sydney - late Christmas celebrations with family!

Today we went into the city to see an exhibition, and decided to go via ferry. What a wonderful experience - I'd forgotten how I used to love that when I lived in Sydney ... Here are some photos ...



It's very hot here - hotter than home even though that's quite a bit further north. I guess the rainy sub-tropical weather there keeps the temperature down ... as it is, my knees got burnt sitting in the sun on the ferry!


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