The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Little holidays.

When we were growing up our our best holidays were staying in a farmhouse on a station during the school holidays. I loved it and would count the weeks to departure. These holidays were very healthy ones, lots of walking and adventures, no tv, a wood fire and stove, a lake to swim in and we had boats to paddle in. No electricity so Mum boiled water on the wood stove for our baths, poor Mum, maybe not such an easy holiday for her but I remember these as very happy family times.

Other holidays were staying in a shearers quarters and a shared house with my Nan and Pa in summer, for many years. They were fantastic times.

Holidays are just so important. But somewhere people seem to have gotten the idea that it has to be a huge expense and involve thousands of kilometres and debt to pay for it. We decided early on that we would take what ever little breaks we can manage as often as we can. And we do it very inexpensively. But what a difference it makes to how you feel! Every time I am amazed at the difference in how I feel after a break. A favourite for me is any beach holiday and summer or winter I don't mind.

When I come home I walk into this house with fresh eyes. Rested and with fresh eyes I see how lucky we are and am so glad to be home as well. I usually come home full of ideas and am dying to get started on them.

I think we can easily fall into a rut. A break jolts you out of it and gives you a new perspective and time to think and plan. I will often come home having decided to change this or that as distance gives you the chance to review. Sometimes I have realised things and wondered why am I doing that!? Being away I have seen things differently. In this way a holiday is also a great problem solver, giving you time to think and a break, the break you may need to decide to make changes. 

The thing is if affordability is a problem to hopefully find possibilities. My friend Helen inspired me hugely. She and her husband have mini breaks and sometimes they are quite impromptu. They have a little caravan and will travel sometimes not very far away at all and stay somewhere very inexpensive. Helen will take her little crock pot and cook and they do it for the fun, for a break and it costs so little. Helen's little holidays are inspiration to me. They know caravan parks and where to go for a few dollars a night and off they go.

From Helen I learned about setting up your little abode for comfort and a nice time. I have adopted her method only for us we will get a cabin near the beach somewhere. I bid on online travel auctions and so far have booked two holidays this way. Last year we had 4 nights at the beach about an hour and a half away. It was so nice! And we have one coming up 5 nights in a beach cabin. I got it for $50 a night. It is a longer trip, 6 hours. But just think of all the towns and little op shops! Also it is in the town my Dad was born and it is a very sweet old fashioned little place. I set ourselves up with baskets of our favourite things, make simple little meals and picnics. We totally relax and enjoy it.

Take a look at Helen's little set up in their caravan. A home away from home. Of course you get an outside area, with a caravan or cabin... I like to set up a table and chairs outside and spend much of the time there as well. Our last place was under a gum tree near the ocean. You could hear the sea while in bed. I sat and wrote and read at a table and chairs under this glorious tree. In the evenings we had a fire and cooked BBQ's. It was so relaxing!

When we are away we admire peoples efforts to provide comfort. A favourite is caravans with fairy lights all over their out door area awning! Admiration.

Now Helen's children are grown although I do know their son has gone with them and had a little tent with them and they have all holidayed together.

I look at this and think comfort! So sweet. I sewed Helen pretty t towels for her caravan kitchen knowing how she has it! It makes me wish for a caravan. I think if I could find a little old caravan and do it up...but evidently other people have had the same idea.

Over the weeks before we go away I collect favourite things to take away with us. We arrive with supplies as little country towns often have expensive groceries. I pack little luxuries like Quince paste and brie, a favourite with us.

Helen's little table speaks of cups of tea and comforting dinners. I could feel at home here!

When there has been no chance to get away we have just gone on a regular weekend. Even one or two nights is enough to work miracles. It's a wonderful gift to give... I would forfeit a gift for a night away as it is a gift in itself. And planning it is half the fun.

If really stuck think outside the box, perhaps you could house sit for someone, stay with someone... some way to have a little break. And great expenses don't have to be involved. Kids love the beach, when they are little sand castles, chips and seagulls are thrilling, no theme park needed.

The seaside just agrees with me. I understand why in the old days people were sent to the seaside for holidays to recover from illnesses. The sea is so beautiful and does me good. And a proper rest really is good for you.

A little break can be better than any medicine.


  1. This is so true Annabel. And Helens caravan just reminds me of her all over! We take regular breaks too. Sometimes just 2 nights and a day in between, but even that leaves us feeling

    1. Thanks Mimi. Yes you can see Helen in the van thats for sure. Im glad you get some breaks, you are so busy and it makes a world of difference. xxx

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  3. Hi, Annabel, we are going away for a night in our little van tomorrow nite ( just for the nite) but long overdue! Can't get away for longer at this stage so not going very far!! Will let you know where and how we went when we get home!! Have been looking forward to it for ages!! Also caught up with Phyll the other day and hope you don't mind but I read to her your comments from the other week! She was thrilled, said to let you know she can't get around much anymore!! I keep in touch fairly regularly!!

    1. Dear Jenni have a wonderful time! Thank you so much for reading that to Phyll. Truly you have made my day that she liked it and you did that. I'll write her a letter now. You are a wonderful friend Jenni. xxx

  4. Trip abandoned at the last moment due to unforeseen circumstances ! Oh, well maybe next time!!

  5. Beautiful post Annabel. You are terribly lucky to have such loving family memories of your childhood and Andy's seemed similar. Maybe that is part of what attracted you to each other as 15 year olds?? I don't know Helen yet but can see that caravan as belonging to what I've read of her, but at the same time it could be yours also. Yesterday we were working in the bush (me just faffing about really) and I hopped on the tractor and rode up to the house under the guise of needing the bathroom. I got two lovely baskets, made a quick batch of muffins using the blackberries i had just picked and whilst they cooked I chilled a bottle of chardonnay and a bottle of mineral water. Then I hopped back on tractor and drove back. Set up a picnic rug and out came good wine glasses, an inch of wine topped up with mineral water, then steaming hot muffins, some butter and my nice gold edged plates. He came out of the bush and was so happy. We ended up having an hour long break listening to the birds. Suddenly it dawned on me why I was so happy, I said this is what we would have do have driven to before living here. Nature, birds, cooking from scratch, I can't be more at ease here. Sound like I had an hour of your holiday Annabel.


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