Kia Ora “Hello”

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It’s 5.00am in the morning here in New Zealand.  We’ve been in the country only 3 days and already feel settled in.  I’m writing to let my family know…we’re alive.

Leaving Australia, mid air – it hit me (rather unexpectedly) that we were finally moving, and the emotions came pouring up to the surface and out my tear ducts.  I was a blubbering mess and could hardly explain what I was feeling to Mike.  Saying goodbye is very hard, and yet saying hello was equally exciting.

We’ve spent a day in Wellington with our friends, Mark and Shelley…and their rather hilarious pugs; Isla and Guinness.  Of the two, the later was particularly ridiculous and could be likened to a hyperactive little grunting piglet.  Mike had met Guinness before, and had shared stories of their love affair to me.  They were a total love match for each other.

While we were out at a local beach getting the pugs some exercise we stopped at a small dog park, where we were introduced to this enormous Newfoundland retriever.  I was in the midst of taking a photos when he cocked his leg and pissed on me.  There was an audience of about 7 strangers who cackled at the fence line.  Thankfully he only got my toes.  It was pretty random, and a memorable welcome to the country.  In fact it wasn’t the only “blessing” of the day.  Later in the afternoon, a very small baby girl that I was holding for Mike’s Uncle adorably, spewed all into my crotch.

At the moment we’re with Mike’s dad and his partner.  We have been catching up with his family in the areas of Fielding and Palmerston North.  We will be renting a home here for the first 6 months as Mike begins work, I continue working from home and await the arrival of the little dude that’s rapidly growing in my belly.  It feels like everything lined up perfectly.  Our transition from Australia to New Zealand has been in fact, seamless.

Yesterday we chucked on some bee suits and were able to see the inside of some honey boxes from hives that his family have been keeping at their farm.  The honey season is quite intense, long hours and a lot of manual work are required.  Mike’s cousin Kat’s husband has been working in the honey industry here for quite a few years and was really helpful in showing us some of the process and how to maintain the structure and integrity of the colony.  There are drones, babies, nectar, pollen and of course the queen shown in these photos.

Can you spot the queen?

We are now getting a few things sorted before we begin our month long road trip around the country in a few days time.  We’ll be stopping in to visit many friends and family along the way and should hopefully get to spend some time with everyone.

I’ll post again soon.

x

Holly

Fremantle, Western Australia.

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Fremantle has some seriously stunning architecture.  Early this morning I popped onto a train and headed West to capture some of the details.  The breeze was perfect, it made the balmy weather feel like magic.

I also took some time to watch the film “The Danish Girl” which had me literally in tears every five minutes.  It’s a beautiful film.  It’s also terribly sad.

Have you seen it?  What were your thoughts?

5.00am

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This morning the balcony view was stunning.  I stared at the colours until the red and pink faded into blue sky and then promptly fell asleep again.

I’ve just ordered some organic cloth diapers, and waterproof merino wool bottoms for the baby this morning.  If anyone has ever tried these types of diapers/covers before I’d love to know how you went with them.  Naturally we’re prepared for it to be a little gross and more time consuming… and will have some disposables for back up/emergency.

Now, I know some of you may or may not have just rolled your eyes (like my dad probably this this morning when I told him).  Stay with me, the basis for this choice – is the apparent long term cost savings.

This could all end up going “bottoms up” and become a terrible experience as my dad lamented this morning when we spoke.  Either way, if you’ve given it a crack let me know what it was like.

Diapers preferences aside, are there any newborn/baby items you swear by as a mum or dad?  

We’ve only just begun considering the crucial things we’ll need to have ready for a new born. I discovered a blog about eco friendly diapers here, which lead me to the merino woollen covers and eventually down the path to cloth diapers.

Seriously though, any words of wisdom would be much appreciated and welcome.

We’ve been gifted some ridiculously teeny tiny cute outfits, toys and books from our friends here in Perth, and New Zealand.  One item particularly is at first glance odd – but is in fact a small flatout koala bear that is made of sheepskin.  I may or may not have been known to cuddle with it…  I’d never heard of it before, but as an adult I see the appeal of luxuriously soft wool.  It’s irresistible to touch.

Unrelated side note: There has been some good music surfacing online the past few weeks:

And in keeping with the parent theme of this post:  If you love dad jokes – you need to check out this link.  A few of them had us cracking up.

I promise (swear on my heart) not to do this kind of post often.

x

-Holly

Perth, Western Australia

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 7.25.27 PMThis common bronzewing startled me so badly that I yelled out when we first met one another today.  We shared a moment.  It let me photograph it for 10 minutes at about 2 feets distance.  Which was incredible…  The colours were truly that vivid.  I also think this may be the first time I’ve seen one. Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 7.22.56 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-22 at 7.21.09 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-22 at 7.22.31 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-22 at 7.24.57 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-22 at 7.23.29 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-22 at 7.23.38 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-22 at 7.23.16 PMOne of Australia’s “most dangerous” creatures – the common magpie.  Mum/Pops bashed this centipede for a few moments before passing it to it’s loud, totally capable and incessant offspring.Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 7.23.03 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-22 at 7.19.34 PMThere are still a few flowers popping out despite the season technically ending in early December. 

It’s dawning on me now that we will be moving overseas in less than two weeks.  Of course I’ve been packing and all that tedious stuff, but a part of me is not fully ready to say adieu to this charming city.  I’m currently finished work, and so have taken time each day to visit with friends and get out and about to enjoy the nice things this city has to offer.

I became acutely aware of my deep love for the city only in March of this year.  We’d just spent three weeks in Japan – 4 of those days in mega city – Tokyo.  Tokyo is an amazing city, however almost immediately it hit both Mike and I that it lacked nature.  Returning to Perth, I observed a city that was lush, green and divided by an enormous river teaming with wildlife.

Some of my favourite parts of the area have featured on this blog over the past couple of years…

Kings Park – Some of you may know is my favourite place here, and it is a treasure.  Even today as I strolled about, wildflowers and native birds were on display and gave me plenty of beautiful moments to photograph.  The vibe at this park is just chilled – and I will forever be grateful for the 6 months we were in walking distance to it’s beauty and charm.

Moonlight Cinemas – Due to the non rainy summers, you can almost certainly head to this awesome outdoor cinema whenever you fancy (there are several, however we’ve only been to the location at Kings Park).  It’s such a cool way to see a film.  Mike and I went about a week ago, brought blankets and hired some bean bags and enjoyed one of the latest releases “The Big Short”.  You can pack a picnic dinner, order junk food and beer and enjoy a great film all in the warmth of a summer evening under the stars.  It was here that Mike felt the baby (boy!) kick for the first time.

The clean beaches.  By god they are nice here.  Nothing will top the beaches in Greenhead, but for a cosmopolitan city – you really can’t go wrong at any of the sandy, sun drenched spots.

Fremantle – This was the original location for the township of Perth.  It’s architecture is very distinct, and the people here are much more relaxed than in the CBD.  We go out every couple of months and always say we could live here.  There is a great market, and plenty of dining options… And if ships take your fancy, there is also a maritime museum and shipping docks to explore.

Northbridge – Apparently this place used to be pretty scummy.  Now, it’s a great hub for the arts, foodie and entertainment crowd.  At the moment Fringe Festival is on and the whole community is getting amongst the quirky entertainment that can be found here.

The proximity of the city to the Perth Hills and Swan Valley.  If you love good wine, beer, cheese, chocolate and nature…consider this an area not to be missed.

There is plenty to see and experience in this sun soaked city, and I’ll be trying to squeeze in as much as I can these last few days.  If you do get the chance to travel West – it’s worth checking out.  Perth is absolutely a great place to start.

x

Holly

Happy Healthy – Food & Fitness in Perth

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Yesterday I worked with new Perth business: Happy Healthy. Owner Jess is passionate about creating nutritious, organic food and helping inspire others through fitness.  She is kicking off the new year by following her dream full time, and will be providing fitness classes as well as expanding her already successful health snack business.

The location, energy and laughs were awesome, and really made capturing these moments very enjoyable.

After the shoot, Mike and I went to Fremantle, played some arcade games and feasted on some delicious Italian at the always popular Sandrino Cafe.  I had a spicy tomato, parmesan and garlic gnocchi and Mike enjoyed a fresh calamari salad with lemon and garlic aioli.

Tonight I’ll be headed out to the suburbs to get some snaps of a friends young son and daughter by the river.

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This is the only item we’ve bought for our little baby…  

Early in the day we had our latest ultrasound.  Where we learned the gender of our baby.  What was kind of hilarious (and concerning!) – Mike didn’t make it through the whole scan.  He was feeling very sick being in the hospital, and had to leave the room before he fainted.  This isn’t the first time… and it’s made me wonder how he’s going to manage when we’re actually delivery the baby?  It’s adorable, and concerning.

Do you squirm at hospitals or know someone whom also gets distressed like this?