Australia Fair...

I landed in London at 5.30am this morning after a lumpy, bumpy looooong happy to be back, to see Paul, to cuddle Alice. But so very sad to leave those 4 beloveds behind. It's something that may be difficult to understand if you haven't experienced it firsthand....but I've lived with the peculiar pain of having a split heart for almost 12 years. Far from getting easier, it worsens with every visit. It used to be just Esther that I missed so terribly. Then came the babies...and it was awful to leave them, but at least it was just me feeling bereft when they were tiny. Now they are older, it's just dreadful. We all love each other so...have such amazing times together...and parting again is like a little death. It sounds melodramatic I know...but 12,500 miles is such a very long way. Still, I am so fortunate to be able to visit. My Mum's aunt emigrated to New Zealand just after WW2 with her young family...and was never seen again by those left in England. Just a letter every month. So I'm lucky - I do know this.
Australia is such a beautiful country. It's colours, to me, are blue & pink & gold...with a particular green splashed in too. Here are a few pictures to begin to show you what I mean...

This is the beach that is 5 minutes from Esther's home...

The rockpools were warm as bathwater...

The sand was so hot that I had to stand in the water!

Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter who died so tragically a few years ago lived nearby...& this commemorative statue of him and his children (with the obligatory 'croc'!) stands on the headland overlooking that gorgeous beach...

These were taken on the unexpected serendipity of a rainforest walk that my oldest nephew discovered for us in the hill town of Maleny...

Lorikeets gathered, brightly coloured & always in big groups, in the trees...

and we searched in vain for the duck-billed platypus that lives in the river...

on Valentine's Day, Esther & I and her youngest son went for a walk at Point Cartwright...we walked alomg the coastal path to the lighthouse. In the centre of the photo above is the message we saw that day, trailing from the back of a small read 'Kirstie, will you marry me again? Love Jason' - how romantic! It flew around for about 15 minutes and we so hoped to see Kirstie!! We didn't...but I hope that she saw her husband's grand gesture of love!

On the rocks at the lighthouse...

33c is 91f for all of you who work that way! Pretty ordinary temperatures for Central Queensland in summer....

The children found a very creative way of recycling their father's old work boots!

In Esther's front garden...

It's almost 6pm as I write. I am determined to stay up until's the only way to get my poor, disrupted body clock back on track! I have been busy all day...walking Alice on the hill (it felt so good after 30 hours in cramped plane seats!)....doing laundry...sorting post...and meeting my youngest sister & her darling son William at the local pool to catch up on the last 3 weeks. Tonight, Paul and I will share a glass of wine and our first meal together in almost a month. The birds are singing an early spring song. In my garden, there are purple & yellow crocuses blooming and the bees have started to collect pollen again. The church clock is mended at last and the bells ring out every quarter hour, a sound I've missed so much.
There is so much to look forward to, and it feels very good to be home.
But still, in my head I see bright hard sunshine & hear humming crickets & exotic whooping birds calling. I see the golden, flossy heads of three children I love as though they were my own and hear their laughter. And I see my darling sister's wide, warm smile and feel her arms around me, as they were such a short time ago.
It will take a little while for me to fully be home I think...

There will be more from my trip much to share with you! Thanks for the lovely comments on my recent posts means a great deal to know you're there! xo


  1. Australia does look like paradise in a sweaty sort of way. It's nice you had such a lovely time but I do feel for you and the sadness in knowing how long it will be until you're together again. Very hard to want to share your lives in person and to be confined to cramming it all in on infrequent in person visits. At least in this age of Skype you can see and talk to each other, which is better than having to make do with letters. Sending you lots of hugggss

  2. I remember when Steve Irwin died. I was in Bath on holidays.

    I know how you feel about leaving your family and the distance. It is always difficult for me.

  3. Welcome home. My heart goes out to all of you. There is nothing like being with those that you love that love you right back! Now it's Paul's turn... Sending a big, fat hug. Be good to yourself.

  4. Dearest Rachel,
    It must feel good to be back at home. Always lovely to go away, but certainly wonderful to sleep in one's home sweet home. I can certainly understand your sadness in leaving Esther and the children behind. My parents live only one hour's drive away and when my Mom stays over for a few days and then returns home, I feel so sad; and it always takes some time to feel back to normal again. It is so understandable! I don't think you're being dramatic at all. Thank you for sharing the lovely photos & video. Australia looks so beautiful! I especially loved the romantic "Will you marry me again?" proposal! SWOON!! Enjoy the Spring crocuses! How I long to see my first ones. Have a wonderful day, sweetie! xoxo

  5. Darling Rachel,

    I'm so happy you are home safely home and yes, I am very familiar with that ache of leaving....your heart split in several places. My youngest daughter graduates from vet school in May and has been accepted to several colleges, all out of state to do a PhD. In the back of my mind, I had hoped that when she graduated, she would work for a practice awhile before setting up a practice of her own.....after a couple of years of her schooling, it was clear that she had a world view of her work and that it would take her far away at times......I'm already aching!

    In a week or so, your familiar routine will become....well, routine, and occasional phone calls, letter, emails will fill the gaps where real hugs were before.....and someday, maybe someday, you both shall live on the same continent once again.....

    May the tiniest bits of Spring bring you love and joy....



  6. Welcome home Ray! Thank you for the wonderful views of Australia and of Esther's neighborhood. Loved the boots the kids did! Love you dearest, xoxo

  7. Dear Rachel,
    Thank you for showing this beautiful part of the world. That beach!!!
    I truly know what you mean about having family so far away. It IS difficult but you make the most of the time when you are with them, I am sure of it. Just think of families split by inner turmoil who live close to each other...more important to have the closeness within, rather than the physical closeness...but it would be nice to have both, I agree! (Does that make sense?)
    Love the statue that you showed us of Steve Irwin with his arms wrapped around his children!
    Love that you got to see that skywriting by the plane, how exciting!

  8. What a time you had, its so different there, and your pictures gave me a feeling of what if might be like; warm , open with those huge skies, but lush too. Wonderful memories for you and now here comes spring!

  9. Susan sent me over to say "Hi" - Have an awesome day!


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