Friday, 27 May 2016

Pamper me!

Last week we visited Daylesford - a place I wanted to visit for nearly a decade - it finally became reality! Daylesford is 90 mins drive northwest of Melbourne and popular for its natural occuring mineral springs and therefore it's named the Spa capital of Australia. 
When we arrived, it reminded me very much of Germany - it was cold with daily maximum temps of 10 deg C, the autumn leaves were on the ground and hardly on the trees anymore, the sky was greywith occasional showers and everybody wore black! It was the right weather to have some 'Gemuetlichkeit' (=cosiness) and so I booked myself into a Spa for a whole day - heaven!
I arrived at 10 am and started with a 60 minute full body relaxation massage which was beautiful but unfortunately 60 mins isn't enough to loosen up my tied (and tired) muscles around my shoulders. Sleeping in a caravan has left its marks...
Afterwards I jumped for half an hour into the hydrotherapy massage bath which is like a huge bathtub with water nozzles which massage different parts of your body - I loved it! It was so relaxing and felt so warm and nice - awwww! I then had an hour to explore the retreat area. I started with the steam sauna as I was still wet from the bath - the steam was just amazing - especially on a grey looking day with 8 deg C. After the sauna, I quickly jumped in the plunge pool which had only 17 deg C - brrrrr! I tell you, I went in and out. I then relaxed in the Mineral Water which was 37 deg C - now we're talking! The front of the retreat area was open, so I was partially 'outside' but as I was up to my chin in nice warm water, it wasn't cold at all. I looked straight at a beautiful veggie garden which was really nice. When I started to nod of, I visited the sauna with the burning coals. They had like a big brick BBQ there and on one side where the flames with the bucket of coals and every now and then the coals were moved over by an old fashioned wheel and dunk in the cold water. Hmm, I didn't want to leave... But I followed the program, plunged in the cold pool, then relaxed in the spa mineral water, went to the infrared sauna which wasn't hot enough for me. It felt like being outside at home on a nice spring day, so back to the mineral pool...

After an hour, I showered and went for lunch. Lunch wasn't great but it was included in the package and I enjoyed being dry for a little while. After lunch I enjoyed a cuppa in the lounge before going back to the retreat (they only serve herbal tea, so I really needed to coffee after lunch). Then I had the best experience yet: an hour of a mineral cocoon on a soft pack bed! First your entire body gets dry brushed and then covered in a mineral mud. You lay on something which resembles a giant floaty and once you're covered in mud, you're completly wrapped up like a mummy and then you slowly sink int the water but the stuff you're on keeps you afloat, so you don't actually get wet but you feel the warmth of the water similar to a very soft waterbed. It was superb! I fell asleep very quickly. Then I had to try and remove all the mud of me which wasn't that much fun but still worth it!

Last but not least, I received a 60 minute facial including scalp massage. When I left the Spa at 6.30 pm, I was radiant, relaxed and very, very happy!
Mr S picked me up and we had Pizza and red wine for dinner - it was a fantastic day and I'm so happy I've done something for (and by) myself and feel great! Sometimes we all need a bit (or in my case a lot) of pampering. :-)

Sunday, 15 May 2016

I'm back!!!

Oh my - it's been nearly a month since my last post!!! That certainly wasn't my intention but lack of reception while travelling didn't really help - so please accept my apologies!
This post might be a bit all over the place but lots has happened! Just as a recap, I was struggeling to figure out what to do with my life now where I lost my job. We're still on the road travelling around Australia and also it's nice, I certainly miss my home and I miss animal company. One night I dreamt of all of my past animals. I was in the chook pen collecting eggs and Hera and Quentin (and of course the chooks) were there with me when I saw a pair of Sun Conures. I thought Stormy and Sunny had escaped and upon catching them and wanting to put them back in their cage, I noticed that it was another pair. I was just contemplaiting what to do and where to put them when I woke up. I felt so sad when I realised that they're all gone - Quentin, the chooks, Hera, Stormy & Sunny. I felt so alone and very sad. I then decided to lay my Tarot cards, hoping to find some comfort in my future.
This was the result: 
1. Past: Dog - Loyalty it reminds us to maintain the loyalty we have to urselves as a prime objective, for without it we cannot expect loyalty or unconditional love to be returned in any form.
2. Present: Frog - Cleansing teaching us to welcome and honour our tears and to see them as a healthy way to cleanse the sould of pain, grief, fear and longing. It offers us a chance to recharge our batteries and reclaim a sense of balance and healing, thus affording us a fertile new ground on which to start again.
3. Future: Butterfly - Transfrmation to be encouraged to harness the silence, so yu may better hear those around you, both corporally and etherally; those who might be calling to you from their heart rather than their voice.
Incredible! So I used our time at some of the most beautiful caravan parks with quietness and thoughtfulness. I tried to re-learn to listen to my heart instead of my head. The beautiful surrundings and no reception helped me to see things clearer and to make some decisions. More about that later.
I was still determined not to buy any clothes this year but I did buy some fabric to make a few things. My Grandmother wanted some oven gloves and pot holders, so the red ones on the left will be for her. The bottom ones are for a nice clover shaped table runner, while the oilcloth will become a pegbag and  picnic placemats. And the little blue birds with cherries will become a nice winter nighty for me. 
I started with the peg bag as we really needed one and here it is - perfect!
Yes, I said I wouldn't buy any clothes, but I didn't say shoes. On contraire to most women, I don't like shoe shopping and I don't have a lot of shoes. I bought new sandals at the end of last year and as I really liked them I bought 2 pairs - one in black, one in nude when they were on sale, so I only paid $80 for both of them. But other than a pair of Sneakers I didn't have any closed shoes - you never need them in Queensland. But here is starting to get cooler and I know there will be snow and rain and my sneakers will get wet. I decided a while ago to invest in a good pair of RM Williams boots. Not the cheapest but they're very good quality and should last me for a decades. So when we went to Dubbo, I bought myself an early birthday present and I have to say I absolutley love them! They look classy and dressy, they're comfortable and I now wear them every day. What a great investment!
Since we're at this magical location, I have become a bit happier and I reckon it shows. I feel more at ease, more balanced and slowly all the things I love doing and were important to me are coming back. I feel so much better despite having shed a lot of tears but I guess that's part of the healing process.
As we drive a lot, I knit whilst driving. I really needed some winter staples, so first thing of the rank was a beanie made out of beautiful soft non-dyed Alpaca wool. Turned out alright, didn't it?!
While travelling, we see a lot of places and I try and gather ideas for our home. These hanging pumpkins are a great idea! They also would provide some shade, I will most certainly give it a go.
When we continued our journey to another caravan park where the wild animals weren't that wild anymore unfortunately. I think we only had 2 breakfasts outside as the birds and roos kept taking our food. However, I love this pic I photobombed when Mr S was trying to take a pic of the big Roo right next to our breakfast table.
One day we went to Canberra to visit the war memorial and this sculputre really touched me. I so miss the loyal companionship of a dog!
I'm trying to enjoy our travels more and some of the things we do I absolutley love. So I was looking forward to climbing Mount Kosciuszko but unfortunately on the day we planned, I woke up with a terrible migraine. I walked over 14 km in icy cold weather with one of the worst headaches I ever had. I was so dizzy that I walked all over the place and people stopped to ask me if I was alright. Mr S went ahead because I stopped too many times for pics in his opinion. Well I didn't know it was a race, so I took the time I needed and made it to the top at 2228m high! I was icy cold but very proud! Actually I enjoyed the quiet time in nature and just let my thoughts venture - it was a great experience!
Other than sewing, knitting and hiking, I also enjoy cooking and so I took the Thermomix out tomake some nice bread, rice pudding with steamed cinnamon apples and some other yummy dishes. Hmmm, cooking in the cold is a lot more enjoyable and it's nice to cook some hearty meals.
In case you were wondering what kind of gloves I was wearing while I was walking up the mountain - taaadaaa! I made some beautiful cable fingerless gloves. They only took me a couple of days and they are my first cable pattern. I'm happy with them and the soft merino wool is keeping me nice and warm.
Just before Hera passed I made a shaped vest - it was my first ever knitted garmet! I made it way to big but I pinned in some wool lining, sewed it tgether and voila here it is. I know it's not great and a bit uneven but I wanted it to wear over my PJs in the evenings - so it needed to have something warm and that is exaxtly what it is! It certainly has tought me a lot about how to knit clothes and how to see them together.
Despite not having done much exercise (I only have shorts & a t-shirt and it's just way too cold!), I lost some more kgs. My clothes are looser and I feel a lot better, also I do miss regular exercise but there never seems to be any time as the days seem a lot shorter due to the cold. In a few weeks time we're going to travel through warmer areas and I hope to pick up the exercise again. But in the meantime, I just eat healthy and don't overindulge. We normally take our own lunch and I cook dinner, so we eat out a lot less than we used to which is good. I've started t just order 1-2 entrees instead of 1 main as they're always to big. I also cut down on my wine intake. I think, I look a lot happier and healthier.
Knittingwise I'm still working n my shawl which I hope to have finished before I travel to Germany in July. I just completed a present for my friend, so I can't show it here yet. My next project is a sleeveless shirt I can wear in summer and of course my Mum and Grandma ordered a couple of scarves. Ah well, lucky we drive a lot. 
Until next time - take care!