Outdoor Orchestras and Saying Yes

I’m gazing up at the striking blue sky of Central Australia. My vision is guided by the looming red walls of Simpsons Gap. White, fluffy clouds drift overhead. The breeze picks up and I huddle even more under my thin blanket. The sounds of the AS World Chamber Orchestra wash over me. The soothing, deep sounds of the cello. The dancing of the flutes. The sparkling sounds of violins resonate off the red cliffs. This is probably one of the best Saturday mornings I’ve had in a long time. It’s probably one of my more unique Saturday mornings too.

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Bucket List: Visit Uluru and Kata Tjuta

Red Uluru at sunrise

I put my belongings into the back seat of my friend’s ranger and hopped up into the passenger seat. I was terribly excited because in 4 short hours I was going to be in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and would be ticking one of my biggest bucket list items off.

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Round Up: September 2020

What I’ve Done

September was one busy month for me in regards to work. I started my new job in August as a part time relief teacher and was looking forward to a reduced work load and responsibilities. However, that didn’t quite eventuate. I agreed to take over a full class load for 3 weeks while that teacher was put in to cover higher duties. This cover involved working 5 days per week, lesson planning, and marking assessments. While it wasn’t quite what I’d signed up for, I agreed because about 3 weeks into my new job I was taken out of action for a week with the flu and didn’t have enough sick leave to cover myself for that time. Working 3 extra Mondays would cover that for me. Long story short, the 3 week cover turned into 5 and to say I was hanging out for the mid semester break would be an understatement.

Outside of work I started running again and set a new PB for myself. This was terribly exciting and had encouraged me to finally buy a smart watch to help me track my times rather than just relying on my friend’s watch.

Outside of work life was pretty uneventful. I explored a bit more of my local area and visited N’Dhala Gorge for the first time. N’Dhala Gorge contains almost 6000 petroglyphs that are 10,000 years old. While I certainly only saw a tiny fraction of those petroglyphs, those I did see were awesome, especially when I was able to link them to the Aboriginal Dreaming stories that I’ve grown up hearing.

The Parrtjima Festival of Lights made it’s 2020 comes back and while smaller than previous years, was a fun to visit a highlight. The giant moon display and emu eggs were my favourite displays.

Overall, while a busy month for work, Supreme saw me spending more time on the couch than our and about.

Photo of the Month

It had to be of Parrtjima. I partake in this festival every year because not only is it beautiful, but it celebrates local Aboriginal culture. This Vgiant blow up ball changed every 5 minutes or so, and looked like a giant moon on the horizon. So pretty.

Quote of the Month

Take the time to heal.

My friend said this to me when I was complaining about how my back pain was disrupting my exercise plans. She reminded me that rather than being angry at my body I need to love and care for it. She also encouraged me to get a move on with seeking professional help with madman the pain rather than just doing yoga and taking Panadol.

My Favourite Things

I started listening to a new BBC podcast called ‘Real Dictators’ which just feeds my history lovers soul so beautifully. So far they have 3 past series up on Stalin, Kim Jong-il, Mao Zedong and Papa Doc. It’s almost like the audio to a good documentary so if you’re into that sort of thing.

I am obsessed with earrings, so it should come as no surprise that my new Shrek earrings have made their way into this post.

Goals for Next Month

Last month I said I wanted to climb Mt Sonder (Section 12 of the Larapinta Trail) before it gets to hot. Unfortunately that did not eventuality and with temperatures already climbing into the mid to high 30s, I don’t think its going to happen any time soon. For that reason this goal is going on the back burner for now.

My goals for October include seeing some doctors in regards to my back pain. I want to get on top of it so that it stops interfering with my health and fitness. As I wrote this I am currently not in pain but that can change pretty easily and quite frankly, it’s getting in my way.

ByMy second goal is to be a bit more assertive at work and say ‘no’ to taking on extra shifts. I know how privileged I am to say that I am happy doing part time work at this point in my life. As I discussed in my August round up, I have been experiencing teacher burn out for a solid 6 months (and probably longer) and as a result, I felt like I needed time to rest and recover which is why I opted for part time relief work.

My last goal is to FINALLY visit Uluru. This had been a goal of mine for a long time and with the recent hits to local tourism thanks to the virus that shall not be named, now seems like the perfect time to make this happen.

Thanks for reading. How was your September?

An Attitude of Gratitude + 50 Things I am Grateful for

The Peak of Mt Gillen from the summit of the mountain.

Earlier this year when I was in a total slump I bit the bullet and made an appointment with a counsellor. While there I received a metaphorical slap in the face. My counsellor told me that I should try adopting “an attitude of gratitude” by listing five things I am grateful for each morning.

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Round Up: August 2020

August is one of those months that has always been insanely busy for me. It’s the beginning of Semester 2, there’s usually a scramble to find my mother a birthday present, I have to actually start caring about getting my tax done, and it’s the second half of the year meaning it’s the time to re-evaluate my goals and how much (or how little) progress I’ve made on them. This year, August has been much for calm and settled than usual despite a big change that I recently made in my life.

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Bucket List: Wine Tasting at McLaren Vale

Wine Tasting in McLaren Vale Blog cover

Going on a wine tour has been an item on my bucket list for a very long time, so when I found myself heading to Adelaide during a time that corresponded with my birthday you can bet I jumped at the opportunity to celebrate with a big bucket list check.

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Bucket List: Play an Escape Room + Tips and Tricks for Your First Escape Room

The Escape Hunt image cover the The Deadly Discovery game

Escape rooms have in recent years become all the rage, and for obvious reasons. Not only is it a great social activity, it’s like playing a 3D board game. My friends and I recently decided to give it a go as part of my 2020 birthday celebrations and we had a ball.

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Trephina Gorge Ridge Top Walk and Chain of Ponds

Chasing Emma at the Trephina Gorge Ridgetop Walk Lookout

The wind had a bite to it.

It had kicked up the night before after we’d set up camp at the Trephina Gorge camp site and sent us in retreat to our tents for an abnormally early night, but I guess the copious amounts of wine and cheese also contributed to this. Nevertheless, we were committed to our mission. There are a number of short day hikes available at Trephina Gorge. Infact, we’d done the 2km Trephina Gorge Walk the evening before to admire the scenery. Today we were going to do the Ridgetop Walk and half of the Chain of Ponds Walk. A total of close to 19km. I wasn’t feeling fear exactly, but I was nervous.

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Bucket List: Experience the Magic of Rainbow Valley

Rainbow Valley as the sunsets

“How many people do you think will be camping there?” H asked as we turned off the highway and onto the red corregated road.

“I think there will be five” I said hoping Murphy’s law would be on our side and we would instead be blessed with an empty camp suite.

“I think there will be two others” T said.

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Hiking Bridle Path Lookout in New Boots

My heels were really starting to sting and I could feel the sweat trickling down my spine. Over the past half hour my strides had shortened to something akin to a shuffle and my rest stops became more frequent. I could see the end point and the 4km marker indicating I only had another 900 metres before I reached the goal of my hike. I gritted my teeth and pushed on.

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