I arrived in Newcastle Thursday evening to a wet and windy airport... 17 degrees is cold for summer here!
Next day my friend's children and I equipped ourselves with umbrellas and went foraging for material for our drawing workshop that morning.
The local community garden where they often spend time was a great place to find what we were looking for, and whilst there, we found real foragers from local restaurant Bacchus gathering things for the menu that night. They also plant and garden here and were more than happy to chat.
Loved these pretty garlic flowers... remarkably pungent... one flower is said to be virtually as strong as one small garlic segment.
I squeezed in quite a bit over two days... my gracious hosts J & P were delightful and with so many stories and exciting developments to hear about I forgot to take photos ... except for the casual workshop which I will put on my studio blog soon.
Below are a few snaps of a gathering at another friend's home where I remembered my camera... lovely ambience, company and home cooked deliciousness thanks to M & W!
The youngest member of the party had had a big week!
Next morning I was out with camera for a while and catching up with an interesting artist friend from Uni (postgrad days) in 2007 so it was wonderful hearing about her recent projects. A grey but clear day we walked along a small stretch of coastline to this favourite place. Photos and paintings have been focused on this place by a huge number of people... it was great to visit once more!
The Saturday afternoon train trip from Newcastle to Sydney was a treat, especially when reaching the Hawkesbury River with its magical scenery. I took one photo after another from the speeding train trying to get a good shot that didn't feature electricity cables, bridges or trees blocking views.
Many a poet and writer has written about these winding waterways and islands, the oyster leases, people on remote reaches escaping city or other. I've always fantasised about having an old cottage as a holiday escape only reached by boat along here ... long train trips between these two cities at frequent intervals over the years afforded many an hour to imagine!
Waking up this Monday morning in the bustling harbour city of Sydney, clocked onto holiday time, fills the week with promise. Yesterday at a sunny picnic at Lavender Bay ... here overlooking both bridge and opera house ( if you peer closely under the right side of the bridge you'll spot it) ... my brother and his wife were great company. We found a huge shady tree, a breezy spot, to put our rugs down and lie reading books ... or napping in the case of my brov who'd been kayaking at 6.30am on the harbour!
The ferries were chugging past and boats of all kinds could be seen bobbing around. Later I will pop back to tell you about the secret garden I visited at Lavender Bay... located on the foreshore behind the boats in this image above.
Enjoy your week won't you!