Wednesday, 29 July 2009


after being given some gorgeous presents
which included these beautiful flowers

and lots of heartfelt goodbyes,
I've left work for six months of Long Service Leave.
(Long Service Leave, for those of you who don't know, is additional leave that is given in Australia and New Zealand if someone stays with an employer for a certain length of time. It's to do with our colonial past; it used to be a way of enticing public servants to come out to the furthest reaches of the Empire...and it's a fabulous institution!)

This is a real change of pace for me
and it's started beautifully ~ I spent my first weekend at a retreat in a lovely, secluded property on the outskirts of Perth. It was wonderful to reconnect with Nature out in the bush and in the gardens:


Lichen on granite


Winter narcissus

I also felt blessed to spend time with some truly wonderful people. I caught up with old friends and made some new ones. We meditated and walked and danced and shared delicious, lovingly prepared meals. We also created mandalas. I drew one in white pencil, using the beautiful camellias and sweet alice that were growing in the gardens as inspiration:


Mandala in progress

Molly, poor love, had to go to the cattery.

As you might be able to tell,
she's terribly timid and it was horribly cold
so she was very, very glad to get home.

Since then we've been doing a lot of snuggling on the couch,
Molly and I,
I've been making a Monroe Lacy Stole:

I can't wait to get to the edging ~ I'm going to put in some small glass beads.

I've also been keeping warm with this beautiful, hand dyed, feather and fan scarf, which I couldn't help but buy from Spacefrog's etsy store:

What's bringing warmth into your world?


Indigo Blue said...

uns like a lovely start to your leave. Pity the colonial tradition did not extend to the UK. We can have a sabatical for up to a year but generally only one and the Headteacher has to agree with it too. If you are not furthering your training by doing an MA for some other course it is frowned upon. Enjoy yourself as much as the hours in the day will give you and I look forward to following your travels and fun if you are able to keep posting here. So if you fancy a visit to Cornwall as part of your leave we have a spare room or friends with holiday homes. Lovely scarf find on Esy too. Lovely colour.

Kathleen said...

All of it...simply beautiful.

Balkan Style Bloggers said...

That long service leave sounds like a sweet deal, but very well-deserved.

In Canada, we're keeping warm by leaving the air-conditioner off. :) Lovely flowers and scarves. You always seem to surround yourself with beauty.

Kathy Ann said...

Hi there, was wondering if you got your invitation for the love of crochet along. I would really love for you to join us. Let me know if theres a problem!

Judy Merrill-Smith said...

Fabulous mandala!

Lots of summer sweating going on here. I'm trying to plan my days around doing cool things in the afternoons.

Red Hen (dette) said...

Lucky you! Enjoy, we really must find a time to get that bag to you! It might be easier while you are on a break. I will email you.

Anonymous said...

Long service leave sounds like a good deal, and to spend it in a retreat, wonderful. What a fine way to settle into your break.
The shawl looks fab and the scarf is just gorgeous. Take it easy x

Rachel said...

Gorgeous scarf! The colors and pattern are so beautiful : )

LĂșcia said...

Hi there, what a wonderful post!
Amazing photos. Ah and the cat is so cute...:)

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of anything like Long Service Leave, but it sounds like the best idea ever! Have fun with those six months. All of your pictures look great!

fantasia said...

I love your mandala and also your scarf!!! Enjoy your meditation, it´s just a wonderful sensation of peace!!!...

Susana Alves

Anonymous said...

Sounds and looks like paradise. So glad you enjoyed such a special time and place.

Katie said...

Love the green and blue scarf! I have kitties that like to snuggle when I knit :).

AnnBan said...

hello! i found you in the members of the Ravelry Blog Train -- at last, some knitting content! Lovely stuff! I'm working on a feather & fan stole, Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in colorway Baltic Sea. Tag, you're it!

lizzzknits said...

Always glad to have you stop by! I have enjoyed your floral photos. Enjoy your leave!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures. The stole is already looking fab and the beads sound like a lovely touch. I'd not seen the pattern before but I'm off over to ravelry now to add it to my queue!

Barbara from Nova Scotia said...

Molly looks positively miserable in that photo. Poor kitty. Snuggles well deserved.