Stop Sit Enjoy // Paris, France

Stop and smell the sunshine
Stop and smell the sunshine

Every now and then it’s good to stop what you are doing and just sit down, stay still, and take in your surroundings.
I never did tell you about Mary, one of the many strangers I met whilst exploring Paris.
It was the most stunningly beautiful day and I found myself strolling along the Seine, merrily photographing as I went. Here I had stopped to sit in the sun, cherishing the moment.
As I walked past a lady in a wheelchair who was busy scribbling on a notepad I made a comment to her about the lovely day in my most favourite of phrases: C’est Magnifique! She agreed and asked “Anglais?” “Oui”. I had been on a mission to find the most glorious and memorable rose flavoured macaroon by Pierre Hermes, but instead I just sat in the sun by the Seine with Mary and chatted all afternoon.
We spoke about all sorts; travel, writing, life, philosophy, Paris, Australia, health, tales and more. She was so interesting and we just seemed to click. She had told me she used to work for the New York Times but was dropped after an extended stay in hospital, but that our mission was to get me published before I left Paris.
Hours went by and as the sun slipped behind Musée d’Orsay it was time to move on. I helped pushed her in her broken wheelchair along the pavement, on a bus, over a bridge, down tight streets, across busy intersections, all the way towards her area / near my macaroon store. I told her I would like to buy her one of the macaroons if the shop was still open.
I do not know if all her stories were true, but it didn’t matter. Mary made my day, and that rose flavoured macaroon – the entire afternoon for that matter – made her week, her month.
Four days later, life changed.
Three days ago, I had my first article published! 🙂
Today, I was looking on Insta at photos of places I visited with strangers in Paris, delighted to see that the flowers I’d been told about were blooming.
“After all, seasons change. So do cities. People come into your life and people go…” – SATC
** From time to time just stop-breathe-enjoy the life in front of you, and smell (or taste) the roses. It can make your day, and others too. 🙂

The White Trees // North of Český Krumlov

The White Trees of Czech Republic
The White Trees of Czech Republic

Somewhere between Prague and Český Krumlov we turned off the highway and wound our way around some back country roads, discovering these beauties.
It was our first day of the road trip and the weather was making driving conditions rather atrocious. Snow and icy patches covered the roads as we left the capital, and even though legal speed limits on the highways are 130km/h, all traffic was creeping at no more than ~40/50.
I can’t remember if it was before our scenic detour or after, I think before, that I saw a vehicle just three or four cars ahead of us slide out on the ice when swapping lanes and smash into the barrier, spinning 270°. Brake!!!
Snow went everywhere. I’ve not seen anything happen so quickly before. The poor woman who was driving was alive as we went by – we could not stop, there was nothing we could do – but the shock in her eyes was something else. All I could hope was the rest of our trip wasn’t going to be like this… it wasn’t.
Nicola and Chaz drove, I was either back passenger or navigator, which allowed for many merry hours enjoying the scenery we passed through, so no complaining. I wasn’t exactly in a state to concentrate on the roads anyway.
We called these the “white trees”. They were simply stunning. We were entering the first major spread of snow of our trip, with absolutely everything turning white. I loved these things, and think back to them fondly.
Czech doesn’t hold the best memories for me, but these trees remind me to recall the beauty and the good bits, that did and do exist there.
Our experiences of certain situations can impair our ability to see things clearly, to see them for what they really are.
Lately I have been seeing and hearing a lot about Europe and its current snow scatterings. I shouldn’t really complain, or be jealous, for this day with the wonderful white trees was just one of many special snow moments we got to experience on the continent. We touched down into snow in Brno, and saw it in every continental country we visited in the New Year, all seven of them.
Winter in Europe sure is a very beautiful time to be there.

Eat, Sleep, Photo // Melbourne, Australia

Eat Sleep Photo
Eat Sleep Photo – an enjoyable day in Melbourne filled with food, photography and people watching

I slept. It took me a while to get to sleep last night, but when I did it was through until 9am, my longest since Saturday!
Little bro got back around the same time I got up so we chilled for a bit, watched some disgusting mega food show where I couldn’t work out if I felt hungry, or should vomit, then I headed into the city.
Going in on the train I put the headphones in and tunes up. I don’t normally go about with them in, but today I felt like it.
Walking all around the place I took my normal lane and arcade routes, then wiggled through some alternate areas and a couple of lanes towards the West where I don’t remember being before. I walked, talked, people watched, helped numerous lost tourists with directions, replaced my scratched non-scratchable lens filter, and also hunted down my favourite coffee and food in the city.
Whilst moving about I got pangs of inspiration about a few things, so hurriedly scribbled down notes so not to forget.
I continued to walk around and treat Melbourne a bit like I was a tourist, surprising myself on a few occasions by looking at things from new vantage points.
I went into The Little Library at Melbourne Central, finding a book to read, then realised how tired I was. I continued on, stopping to sit at a bench on the walkway to Emporium. I may have had a horizontal rest and accidentally fell asleep for almost an hour. The jetlag keeps hitting me hard late in the afternoon, I didn’t even know that I had.
Waking up I needed to be on my way, destined for a photography exhibition opening. I’ve never felt quite like I did when I woke though. Headachy, slightly delirious, and rather out of it, my vision kept blurring too. I stopped for some water which helped a touch, but I must have looked strange to others passing by.
The exhibition is at Magnet Galleries (@magnetorgau) on Bourke St near Southern Cross. It’s about Women At Work, taken by 15 or so women photographers, and held on International Women’s Day. Go check the place out, so much photography greatness going on there! 🙂
Afterwards I looped back to Flinders via Southbank before a train and 3km walk home. Now, sleep.

Magic // Melbourne

The magical feeling of friends and famliariry felt in Melbourne, Australia
The magical feeling of friends and famliariry felt in Melbourne, Australia

Magic is a concept of beautiful illusion designed to intrigue, entertain and enthuse an audience.
Last night I met up with a great selection of mates for a picnic in the gardens by the river to enjoy the day as it came to an end, the sun casting it’s last light over the city skyline.
It’s a delight to be able to sit back, relax, laugh and enjoy with people whom I have not see for four months or more, yet for everything to also feel so natural, so normal.
It was a beautiful evening in a superb city with a solid selection of the sweetest souls, all whom are curious about life and all its little lovelies.
A few weeks ago I wasn’t sure how I would go flying home, or being in a city again too, but all was good and it was nice to know I had such a night to look forward to upon my return.
Happy to say that as I revelled in the magic of the moment, it did at times felt a bit like a dream. Surreal is the fact that I am back down under once more, I had to keep reminding myself it was indeed real – I was there, my friends were there, and I wasn’t about to wake up.
Life is beautiful, life is magical, and it can feel like a most desirable dream if you allow it to. The illusive and illusory quality of such a thing comes from the idea of how much time we get to spend with these precious moments, along with our desire to understand and interpret what’s going on. Our time may be limited, but I would rather that then none at all.
Thanks to all who made it along, those who couldn’t, and to all whom didn’t as well – thank you for the special times shared not only last night, but in the many moments prior to now that have combined to be the collection of memories I get to call my life.
** Intrigued and entertained always, life sure is lovely!