Category Archives: Just stuff

Healing health benefits of yoga

A Yoga Pose by woman

Yoga can help balance your body, mind and your life

Over the past four years, I‘ve been practising yoga at my local gym. I took it up when I got a shoulder injury and couldn’t easily do the body pump classes with weights. Continue reading


Everyday things that don’t exist anymore

It’s amazing that things we couldn’t do without only a few years ago now don’t even exist. When I say ‘a few’, that’s relative really. Continue reading

Spring has sprung: almost!

Peach Blossoms in Balmain, Sydney, Australia, Spring 2011

Peach blossoms at their best in Balmain

Come September here in Australia, the first signs of spring are often the peach blossoms which, earlier this month, were spectacular. The weather was warm, and we all started donning short sleeves and thinking about light summer clothing, swim suits and sandals. Continue reading

Manly in May

Sometimes pure pleasure is its own reward. Finding pleasure in simple things is the best.

Looking back to Sydney from the Manly Ferry

The ride to Manly on the Manly Ferry is worth every minute

When I first came to Sydney, I loved getting out on the Sydney ferries and one of my favourites was the Manly Ferry from Circular Quay to Manly Wharf. They are huge boats that cross the Heads – the two headlands that form the entrance to the harbour. It can be like a rollercoaster ride. And arriving at Manly, walking through the Corso to the surf beach. It is bliss.

In May, I had the pleasure of catching the Manly Ferry for a weekend by the beach. The half hour ride was deliciously reminiscent. The views as the ferry makes its way to Manly can lighten the darkest heart.

View from Sante Fe apartment at Manly Beach, Sydney

View from the apartment in Victoria Street Manly

It was my job to collect the keys to a ’60s style one bedder in the heart of Manly (soon to be demolished for some million dollar block). Bill, my hubby, was driving later in the afternoon.

What’s wonderful about Manly in May is that the surf beach has few people swimming, the water is still 20 degrees Celsius, the waves are beautifully shaped for body surfing (and boards) and the weather is just on the coolish side. Did I forget relaxing? As the ads say, ’20 minutes from Sydney, a million miles from care’ – that’s Manly.

From the apartment we can see the ocean and better still, hear the ocean waves crashing on the shore. It’s a quirky little place that suits us.

Manly Beach in May is quite delightful and beautiful

View from the esplanade at Queenscliffe looking towards Manly

What to do in Manly in May

The walk on the esplanade from Queenscliffe to Manly and around to Shelley Beach and over the headland is exhilarating.

Restaurants and cafes abound so its not difficult to find one that suits your style and pocket. We chose Interpolitan for dinner on Friday night. It had an intimate feel to it and the menu had varied dishes at reasonable prices.

Walls of bottles at Beaches restaurant, Manly, Sydney

How groovy: walls of bottles at Beaches restaurant, Manly, Sydney

Beaches is a pizza cafe in Manly that has the most amazing walls decorated in bottles of wine: our sort of place. Again, this is a cosy restaurant with reasonably priced food. Very relaxing!

Why go to Manly in May?

Why not – for the pure pleasure of it. And as my friends well know, I do say that it is the best beach in Australia – and only a 20-minute ferry ride from Sydney’s CBD. How good is that!

However! Another great place to holiday is Port Macquarie – about a four-hour drive north of Sydney.

We book accommodation through Manly Seaside Apartments. They really look after us.

Interpolitan, 22 Darley Road Manly: see info on Interpolitan at Urbanspoon website.

Beaches restaurant, Darley Road, Manly: see Beaches Pizzeria Wine Bar website.

Gotta love Glitterbox

The writer at Glitterbox Hair Salon in Newtown Sydney 20 January 2011

Love Glitterbox Hair Salon in Newtown

Glitterbox hair salon in Newtown, Sydney is the best hairdressing salon in Sydney if not Australia.

What I love about Glitterbox is the atmosphere. The stylists and apprentices really look after their clients and do the most amazing hair styles and at great prices – honestly, the most reasonably priced hairdressing salon in Sydney for the quality cuts and colours. They’re not rip offs like some salons!

If this sounds like an ad for the salon, it’s not. I’ve been going to Glitterbox since Sharron opened and before that I followed Sharron from salon to salon.

Check out the Glitterbox website. If you need a new hair stylist, give them a go. You won’t be disappointed. Ask for Sharron, Tom or Dale.

It’s goodbye to 2010

Fireworks see out 2010 and see in the new year, 2011

Enjoy the fireworks on new year's eve – roll on 2011

It’s been great, it’s been grand, but it’s time to move on. So 2010, thanks for the memories.

New Year’s resolutions? I think not. Let’s make it up as we go and, if in doubt, smile or better still, laugh out loud.

Our Chinese doctor’s words of wisdom: don’t worry (about things you can’t change), keep warm and drop down shoulders (de-stress) – pretty good advice really and easy to follow.

Back in the new year with more stuff that matters or not.

Images of things past

Beatles LP records and Beatles poster at a second hand shop in Vernon Canada

Beatlemania is alive and well in Vernon Canada

For those of us who actually remember the 60s, finding a shop full of memorabilia from that time is, well, nostalgic.

Vernon in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia Canada has its fair share of second-hand shops selling everything from Beatles LPs to suitcases that are incredible well travelled.

These days, travel luggage is so mass-produced and expensive too. This suitcase plastered with stickers from places far and wide has its own unique style.

Suitcase covered in stickers from around the world

But, don’t worry, some luggage manufacturer will get onto it and reproduce hundreds of thousands. But this is an original found at 30th Avenue Pawn, a second-hand shop in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada.

Lunch on the Hawkesbury River

After-lunch table on a houseboat on the Hawkesbury River

We all look forward to Easter and the four-day break  from busy daily schedules; it’s a time to take off to the beach or other destination, to catch up with friends or just take it easy. But travel over Easter in Australia – especially on the roads – can mean traffic jams, long delays and fractious nerves. Rather than taking the car, we opted for public transport for a trip to Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury River to meet friends for lunch this past Easter Friday.

The train trip from Central Station takes an hour and is quite glorious, not to mention relaxing. Once there, we were spirited to the marina and onto the houseboat moored at the end of the pier. Champagne glass in hand, there was nothing more to do than enjoy the company as we watched the passing parade of boats chugging up and down the river. Divine!

It may be a cliche but the simple pleasures in life abound.

One sleep to go!

Packing for a trip to Canada must have Vegemite, a pair of thongs (flip flops to the rest of the world), a good book and some decent Twinings tea.

Stuff to take on a trip overseas must include Vegemite, a good book and flip flops

Travel is one of the great joys in life. The older we get, the more time we seem to have to do some of the things that were difficult when we have young families and large mortgages to pay – doing stuff like travelling.

Skiing is a passion and it has become a business for me too with my new skiing website, which will work with my skiing blog, to inform and entertain the skiing (and snowboarding) fraternity around the world.

Tomorrow Bill and I are off to Canada to look at some well-loved and new ski fields, write some articles about the best and not so good resorts and to cover the Vancouver Olympics.

Work should be pleasurable and building websites that are about one of my great passions in life makes work fun.

We fly Air Canada direct to Vancouver – only 14 hours which is great for a trip from Sydney Australia. Then we fly on with Air Canada domestic into Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley to start a ski adventure.

There are some must-haves in the stuff we take. Minimal clothing as our ski gear resides in Canada with friends. Vegemite is essential and it’s always fun feeding it to the Canadians on Australia Day. A good book – essential and flip flops for the hot tub (getting to and from so our wet feet don’t freeze to the floor).

That’s it. Next news will be from Canada.

Christmas cheer

Susie Stevens and Bill Twyman dress up for Santa!

Susie and Bill's Christmas message 2009

Cheers to all friends, family and fellow bloggers this Christmas. It’s hard to believe that there are only 12 sleeps until Christmas Day. Hey, but I say that every year. It’s not called the silly season for nothing!