Tag Archives: beach

Sydney – sun and sand minus the surf

28 Feb

I was inspired to create this post by Design Mom, a blog I have fallen in love with, particularly since it helps me deal with the Drama Queen’s current French obsession. I’m posting as part of her love the place you live theme.

It’s not hard to love the place I live. It’s hard to fault Sydney, she is so pretty, but the postcard image of the harbour bridge and the opera house, while spectacular, is only the tip of the iceberg. As a family we love to spend our weekends outdoors enjoying the sunshine Sydney normally has on tap (though the sun does seem to have been on holiday this summer). The beach is a favourite for all of us, and last weekend we headed to one of our favourites, and a Sydney gem, Shark Beach at Nielsen Park.


There are two types of beach in Sydney, the surf beaches like Bondi and Manly, and the calmer harbour beaches. Shark Beach is one of the calmer harbour beaches, and while the Drama Queen and Daredevil are still so young, it’s a great place for them to run around, splash and build sandcastles without too much stress.

The beach is part of the Nielsen Park heritage parklands that form part of the Sydney Harbour National Park. We love setting up on the grassy banks above the beach under the shade of one of the well established trees. The park is really popular with families, so there are always crowds of kids in the park and the beach. It’s not uncommon for the Drama Queen to make a new best friend while building sandcastles on the beach.


Nielsen Park is located in Vaucluse, in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and in the latter part of the 19th century formed part of the Vaucluse House Estate. The parkland, including the Heritage Greycliffe House and it’s estate we’re dedicated as a public reserve in 1911, and it was then that many of the gorgeous historic parkland features, such as the kiosk, change sheds and beach wall were constructed. In 1975, the park became part of the Sydney Harbour National Park.


If we’re feeling a bit more adventurous, we have been known to tackle the Hermitage Foreshore Walking Trail. This walking track links a lot of the quieter and smaller harbour beaches and provides spectacular views of Sydney, the harbour and some of the more impressive harbour real estate. Nielsen Park is one of the highlights of this walking trail.



Yes, that last photo wasn’t from last weekend, it was a while ago, and the Drama Queen has grown up a bit since then, but it is a great view!

My favourite part of a lazy day at Shark Beach is the almost compulsory coffee, baby cino and cake that we enjoy in between swims and sandcastles.


What do you love about where you live?



To do or not to do?

11 Jul

There’s not been much on TV tonight, but I’ve been transfixed.  I’ve dished up and eaten ice cream.  I’ve read a magazine.  I’ve been the queen of procrastination.  So when Mr Perfect put his foot down and told me to get up off my bum and get on the computer – it is Monday and therefore blog day, he told me to blog about something I know about and am very very good at.  So here’s a bit of a story about procrastination and avoidance.

It’s always simple to do the easy things, the fun things and the quick and painless.  Harder are the things that take a bit more time, need decisions, or are just plain boring or unenjoyable.  I’m a firm believer that life is meant to be easy.  It’s meant to be fun and we’re all supposed to be happy.  Yes, I know that to be really happy we need to feel pain, grief and sadness, that we need to experience the full spectrum of emotion to understand and really feel, but lets face it it’s much more fun when we’re happy and those around us are too.

As for the easy and enjoyable tasks, I wish that life was like that.  I would love to sleep in every day, but the Daredevil has a bit to say about that.  I would love to spend my day at the beach in the sun relaxing, building sand castles and reading books, but we have to go through winter to see spring, and I think the beach might get a bit boring after a couple of months of the same thing.  I would love to cook and have someone else clean up (hmmmm Mr Perfect might say I already have that!).  If I could have room service every day, and a regular large income deposited to my bank account every week without having to work for it I would be a very happy girl, but would I really appreciate it?

We need to work at least a little and earn the good stuff.  It’s fine to get some things handed to us on a platter, but to really appreciate things and be proud of our achievements there needs to be a little bit of blood sweat and tears mixed in.  Having said that, I know we need to work to achieve, I know that things are much easier when they’re not left to the last minute and I understand that you need to deal with the yuck to get to the yum, why do I always try to put things off?

I’ve had some great excuses reasons for not doing the “fun” things like washing up, cleaning, preparing tax documents or getting on the phone to any government department.  They are always valid and believable, but most importantly they are creative and quite often take a bit of effort.  But really I’ve just been doing something that I just find much more enjoyable.  For me, the creative part is important.  I am most happy when I feel that I’m creating something, when my artistic juices are flowing, which is probably why I really don’t enjoy the government department phone calls!

I am the queen of lists.  I have a list for what I need to achieve in the day, what needs to be done around the house, what I need to do to finish my Drawn Outdoors business plan, basically a list for everything.  I get great satisfaction from crossing off completed tasks.  There is nothing more pleasing than seeing a completed list at the end of the day, if you have managed to complete all on the list.  This is where I hit a snag.  I should write my list and then work out what are the most important tasks for the day, what needs to be done and then get those things done first.  I don’t.  I pick and choose.  I do the fun stuff first, a bit like having desert before your main course.  You never want to go back for bangers and mash when you’ve had the chocolate mud cake.

I grew up with a father who’s favourite saying was “never put off until tomorrow what you can do today” so you would think I would have learnt, but alas, no.

How can I change this habit of false achievement?  I get to the end of the day and I’ve achieved a lot.  I’ve checked Facebook, prepared my blog post, made some brownies and played with the munchkins (yes, all very important I know) but we still don’t have milk, I’m not sure what we’re having for dinner and the laundry is still sitting in the machine (woops!).

I need to adopt the same discipline I have in my landscape design process to my every day.  I have a list for a design process .  It is methodical, and if I have a set timeframe I know how much time I can spend on the fun conceptual stuff and how much time I need to commit to the not so fun detailing and documentation.  I know I need to finish things in a certain order and at the end of the day I have achieved something creative, unique and generally pretty good fun, despite the yuck bits.

So heres to a bit of prioritisation and discipline so I can really enjoy my place in the sun building sandcastles and catching waves. And heres to Mr Perfect for being… well…. right again!!


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