Updated: Dec 6, 2020
Hell-oh or should that be Heaven-oh?
Some weeks start in a way where you feel like you’re on the path to hell oh, and by the end of the week the tide has turned and heaven oh awaits. Today I am writing to you from the veranda of a whimsical little cottage at Possum Creek, just outside the colourful village of Bangalow in northern New South Wales. The serenity, the stillness and the relaxation in the surrounds of this peaceful hamlet is unsurpassed. I can almost feel the slowing of my heartbeat as I drive down Friday Hut Road through the cathedral of trees that provide a shield from the harsh sun.
Friday Hut Road, Possum Creek
As I turn into the driveway and wind through a canopy of flowering jacaranda trees dotted with ageing staghorns, a little home shows itself in the foreground of several towering Bangalow palms. I immediately feel the warmth and welcome of arriving ‘home’. As I sit here writing during the golden hour, it is warm and humid and I am enjoying a cold shandy as I watch the day disappear through the trees, the shadow of the moon and the stars coming out. It’s a breath of fresh air, with nothing but birdsong, crickets humming, the sun fading and night falling. I feel calm. I whisper Heaven-oh under my breath.
Far from the calm I am now feeling, the beginning of the week started out with a complicated twist of fate when our thirteen year old cat, affectionately known as Chili, decided to go for a wander on Sunday evening and not return home. On Monday, my significant others birthday, celebrations turned to commiserations when Chili had still not returned home. Tuesday I spent scouring the neighbourhood calling his name to no avail. Tears were shed, frantic phone calls were made back and forth to loved ones, and through quiet introspection I started to accept the inevitable, that he wasn’t coming back. However, on Tuesday evening just as the burning sun was about to fade I heard the most joyous sound at the back door. Meow! My foggy head became clearer and through a tear smudged face I scooped him into my arms and exclaimed Heaven-oh!
Word of the Year
Each year the Australian National Dictionary Centre looks for a word or expression that best sums up the events of the year.
This year the coronavirus pandemic heavily influenced the shortlist and the word ISO was chosen ahead of the term bubble and the expression COVID normal. ISO has also been used in combination with other words, for example, we have put on iso kilos from iso baking and ended up with an iso waistline . It’s funny how a single word can communicate so much.
Sometimes when I am driving in the car I have the radio playing in the background and the sounds mindlessly wash over me. This week I was driving to a hair appointment when I heard the jingle from the Mickey Mouse show. It was played as a lead in to a story about the anniversary of the inaugural screening of the Mickey Mouse movie released in 1928. Hearing the tune took me back to my childhood and a sun filled lounge room where I would watch the afternoon TV shows whilst sharing a packet of peanuts with my dad. It begged the question, why it is that some songs get into your head and stay there, whilst others disappear? Could it be that we associate some jingles with happy times or could it be related to the patterns and repetition used in the composition? I was keen to explore what jingles I recalled and others recollected from years gone by. I’ll be showing my age when I tell you that the jingle from The Flintstones cartoon, ‘yabba dabba doo time’ was the first tune that was anchored in my head. My love of watching the cartoon with my dad was one of my happiest memories growing up. I also recalled the jingle ‘Felix the cat, the wonderful, wonderful cat’ and the theme song from the series ‘Friends’. My significant other recalled the catchy tune from Gilligans Island and a dear friend recollected the jingle from the Mortein fly spray ad, ‘Louis the fly, Louis the fly, straight from rubbish tip to you….’ I’d be keen to hear what others thought of?
Each morning, I love to start my day with a walk and I often listen to a podcast as I’m pacing along. This week I listened to an episode of the ‘Powerful Stories’ podcast hosted by business mentor Tory Archbold. Her guest this week, Bahar Etminan, was a successful digital publisher and entrepreneur who, having been at the top of her game before she had reached her 30th birthday, came toppling down when her business ‘rescu.com.au’ was heavily impacted by the Global Financial Crisis. At this time Bahar recognised the importance of embracing your vulnerability, ‘owning your ugly’ and reaching out and asking for help as well as discovering that failure is a learning experience which becomes the secret source of your future self. The setback is the beginning of the comeback and that every day we have the opportunity to relaunch ourselves and start a new beginning. This was the attitude she adopted to move forward with her business at a time when she could’ve easily walked away. You can listen to more of her wisdom on the podcast here
Recently, my husband and I spent a long weekend together relaxing at a hideaway located in the Byron Bay hinterland near the sleepy village of Bangalow. Gamekeepers Cottage, at Possum Creek was a last minute find on Airbnb and a place I would highly recommend for anyone wishing to disconnect and go ‘off-grid’. Driving in along Friday Hut Road, you might decide to nurture your gut bacteria, and fill up a bottle with some homemade hemp kombucha from a self-serve roadside trailer dispensing the fermented drink on tap! Quirky, but true! If you slow down you might also spot some koalas. You can learn more about Gamekeepers Cottage here.
Gamekeepers Cottage, Possum Creek
Some places we visited nearby were the Bangalow Hotel serving global food made with fresh locally sourced ingredients, Our Corner Kitchen also located in the historic village of Bangalow and serving squishy Roman style pizza (I highly recommend the Gamberi), and the not to be missed Harvest Newrybar Bakery serving wood fired bread, pastries and cakes. The cinnamon scrolls and currant laden French pastry snails are a must have. Whilst you are there, pop across the road to Newrybar Merchants, an eclectic collection of retailers selling everything from locally grown flowers, unique gifts, handmade wares, clothes and jewellery to a beautiful collection of stunning floor rugs designed and made in Morocco. Check out the vendors and some of the collection on Instagram @newrybarmerchants
If you enjoy swimming, head along to Lennox Head for a dip in the therapeutic tea tree infused waters of Lake Ainsworth or to Main Beach, Byron Bay to soak up some sunshine and enjoy a salty swim in the ocean.
Until next time, may your days be both serendipitous and enjoyable.