Special features:

Be the change you wish to see in your children. Unschooling thoughts Great playgrounds Unusual dwellings — Tour other's homes It's fun to be arty farty Rainbow gatherings Processing grief and loss — when tears form words

Aussie travels:


Western Australia


Southeast Queensland

Outback Queensland

South Australia

Northern Territory

New South Wales

Further afield:

New Zealand

China and Hong Kong


Other topics:

In brief:

I'm a redheaded mama with four lovely daughters. We're based in southern Australia and travel in a small, colourful housebus — meeting inspiring people, learning lots and re-thinking everything. I feel passionately about spirituality, good design, alternative education and conscious parenting.

Help me out here:


Give if you like:

Behind the scenes:

15 January 15

The short walk from the carpark to Junee Cave reminds me how casually much of the Tasmanian bush wraps itself in astounding beauty. We walk along mossy edges, past treeferns bigger than giants and alongside a clear creek that is almost too frigid to drink.

On the pathway to Junee Cave, Tasmania, January 2015
Although it's so beautiful it should be declared a national treasure, much of Tasmania's forest remains under threat, and we've driven past clear-felling sites to reach this location.

Junee Cave is part of an extensive underground labyrinth that includes caves, sinkholes, swallets and tunnels. Intrepid spelunkers have discovered the system stretches for over 40 km under the forests around Maydena in the Florentine valley of Tasmania’s southern centre.

As soon as we arrived, the girls were attracted to edge of the swiftly-moving creek that is the headwaters of the Junee River. The waterway flows directly out of Junee Cave — seemingly appearing from nowhere.

Lana drinking from the creek on the pathway to Junee Cave, Tasmania, January 2015
Lana tastes the water which runs clear and cool.

On the pathway to Junee Cave, Tasmania, January 2015
While pausing at the small bridge that crosses the Junee River, we have no idea that we're going to see the visible start of this waterway just a kilometre up the track.

On the pathway to Junee Cave, Tasmania, January 2015
Once we get off the gravel forestry road, the pathway is soft underfoot and the trees are frosted with moss.

On the pathway to Junee Cave, Tasmania, January 2015
The pathway ends rather abruptly at the mouth of the cave.

Junee Cave, Tasmania, January 2015
From the depths of the rock, the creek flows in a constant stream. Visitors who have the right gear and experience can start exploring the extensive cave system from here.

Junee Cave, Tasmania, January 2015
I love the lush vegetation that surrounds the cave. Although it's priceless, this section of wilderness is only considered a nature reserve and remains at the mercy of the successive government agendas.

Visiting fragile and beautiful places like this is enough to turn anyone into a conservationist. I’m so glad I have the opportunity to see lush locations like Junee Cave with my girls, and I hope that it’ll be preserved so they can bring their children to it too.

Share this:

twitter icon digg icon delicious icon stumbleupon icon email icon

14 January 15

A group of intrepid Melburnians are thumbing their ways around Tasmania this month — braving the changeable weather conditions as they wait on the side of the road for a helpful lift. Competitors in The Big Green Hitch are raising funds for Friends of the Earth as they race to certain locations around the state.

Hitchhiking competitors, The Big Green Hitch, Mount Field National Park, Tasmania, January 2015
The group of hitchhiking competitors rest and connect together after reaching Mt Field National Park.

Points are allocated for the first, second and third teams to arrive at their prearranged location. Everyone gets to rest for one day, and then the slowest team are sent on their way first, with the previous winners being the last to leave.

It’s less of a serious race than an excuse to meet a range of interesting people around the country and spread the news of what they’re doing. The hitchhikers report that the drivers who pick them up are eager to assist them, and many drivers feel more competitive about their riders’ standing in the competition than those who are actually in the race!

Pademelon and our vehicles at the campground, Mt Field National Park, Tasmania, January 2015
Fat little pademelons graze among the campsites at Mt Field National Park.

We parked last night at the campground of Mt Field National Park, primarily to continue a conversation that had started on the roadside when a friend and I passed each other on the road and then each pulled off to say hello. In camping alongside a friend and talking long into the night, I’m reminded how good it is to share openly with another person. Sometimes I’m reticent with my issues because I’m reluctant to open myself up to deeper examination.

As I share the depths of my story with those who live alongside us — those issues that I would never share online — I’m met with the same level of intimacy. I’ve heard stories of single-parenting that make me weep, how a partner’s death has led someone into the pursuit of soul midwifery, tales of parents who never spoke of their gay adult children for fear that their chuch-mates would ostracise them, and how family members are often the first to curse and the last to forgive.

Michael Leunig cartoon about vulnerability
Cartoon by Michael Leunig.

Brené Brown says:

“The difficult thing is that vulnerability is the first thing I look for in you and the last thing I’m willing to show you. In you, it’s courage and daring. In me, it’s weakness.”

So I’ve lately discovered that in saying, “Hey, I’ve got this thing going on. What do you think?”, I’m rewarded with wisdom and gentle encouragement. Long may that continue!

Share this:

twitter icon digg icon delicious icon stumbleupon icon email icon

12 January 15

The girls have experienced an intensive series of drawing instruction with cartooning workshops over the last three days. I enrolled Aisha and Brioni in a cartooning class before I realised that Bradfield Dumpleton was also offering workshops at the Cygnet Folk Festival last weekend.

Cartooning workshops with Bradfield Dumpleton, Tasmania, January 2015
I appreciate the opportunity for the girls to sit in a classroom together and learn new material.

Cartooning workshops with Bradfield Dumpleton, Tasmania, January 2015
At the music festival, Bradfield took the kids' ideas and mixed them to create bizarre, musically-themed characters.

The workshops at Cygnet were only one hour long, but today’s class lasted two hours. I asked the girls what they thought about the classroom situation, and they weren’t fazed by having to sit at a desk for that length of time. The material and interaction remained interesting enough that they could embrace the subject matter easily enough.

Cartooning workshops with Bradfield Dumpleton, Tasmania, January 2015
Bradfield has a way of relating to children through humour so that he comes across less as a tutor than as a buddy showing them new tricks.

Cartooning workshops with Bradfield Dumpleton, Tasmania, January 2015
At the end of today's workshop, Aisha shows me the two pages of her completed drawings.

Cartooning workshops with Bradfield Dumpleton, Tasmania, January 2015
These cartooning workshops are advertised for children aged 9-12, but after I talked with Bradfield, he agreed to let 8yo Brioni participate. Aisha only wanted to go if her sister could come — not because she was afraid to do something by herself, but because she didn't want Brioni to feel like she was missing out!

During the summer-holiday period, intensive lessons are often offered for kids, and these tend to suit our lifestyle better than traditional schooling. After three days of drawing lessons, the girls have improved immensely, although Brioni would prefer to find someone who can show her more life-sketching techniques. So I’ll keep an eye out for that and hopefully someone suitable will cross our paths soon!

Share this:

twitter icon digg icon delicious icon stumbleupon icon email icon

Keep on reading: