I’ve recently been up to Sydney for a holiday.
I don’t normally use the word holiday when I make trips to Sydney as it’s my original ‘hometown’ so in a sense it feels more like returning.
But this trip Mr Petal & Pins and I played tourist with a visit to the Botanical Gardens, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and a day exploring the coastline in the Royal National Park.
Knowing that when we got back to Hobart the cooler nights and crisper mornings of autumn would have set in, we were determined to take advantage of Sydney’s still summer like temperatures to spend lots of time at the beach swimming and lazing in the sun.
We spent several afternoons exploring around the rocks and venturing as far as we dared to watch the waves breaking. I’d forgotten how wonderful the rock pools in Sydney are with their miniature sea gardens. It brought back memories of exploring them as a child, eyes on the lookout for red centred sea anemone, crabs and the notorious blue ringed octopus.
With Blackwoods Beach on our doorstep, we wandered down at dawn for me to draw in the blank canvas of sand left by the tide while Mr Petal & Pins took photographs. We were treated to a colourful sunrise and a double rainbow.
It was so much fun we decided to do it again the following morning, inviting a friend to join us. Marg turned up with a rake as her drawing implement and a bunch of Moonflowers that had opened the previous night for me to turn into Garden Fairy dresses.
Collaborating with her on the beach drawing proved to be even more fun. Our activity piqued the interest of early morning walkers on the cliff top path above and Mr Petal & Pins photographed our progress.
My September trip to Magnetic Island was coincidentally timed when the native kapok were in flower. They remind me of magnolias with their bare branches adorned with showy blooms.
There were many on the drive down to Florence Bay scattered through the bush and in between the dramatic boulders that punctuate the island landscape.
It was a blue sky day, the ocean glistened.
My sister and I swam, explored the beach and created a portrait of ‘Florence’ on the sand.
Two days later on our return to the beach Florence was still there, still smiling having escaped the tide’s ebb and flow.
And the kapok flowers provided inspiration for another tropical flower dress for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe.