The truck house inspiration

                           
These dear friends are in the project of rebuilding this fantastic old fire truck with an add on cabin. Alongside rebuilding a beautiful old house in Southern Germany. Creativity, laughter and lots of child cuddles to be shared in this family.  I thought you might enjoy a glimpse of their holiday home. When I met them 7 years ago they lived in another wonderful fire truck and I was very inspired for our own travel bus. Simple solutions, lots of hand shaped timber. maybe I will have a truck one day. So spacious! I’m coveting the windscreen fringe….

Clover luck

       
My luck is changing! 

I had never found a four leaf clover before this trip! 

While Lily has found over 25 in the last months, I found one, I really did!

She has her clover glasses on and this whole trip has accumulated and gifted quite a collection of four leaf clovers. 

I think it’s remarkable !

It’s rubbing off on Cedar also. 

Have you ever found a four leaf clover? 

Hope you’re feeling lucky!

The Treadle Machine

     
I am unsure how time passed so swiftly 

But here we are 

Thinking a lot of home and our return in a couple of weeks

What is happening in my garden?

Many stories not shared, I can’t claim I am a proficient travel writer!

Four people in a small space, so much outside to see and explore, where is the plug anyway?

Packing sorting packing

Being held lovingly by a friends home

Watching Lily make a travel bag for her birthday dolls and small things

The treadle machine is a new experience and has a gentle sound and rhythm

I am impressed with her independent skill revealing itself with sewing this project

She began as a wee girl sitting on my knee ‘steering’ fabric or ‘driving’ the peddle for me

Look at her now!

An alpine birthday

Now on this day we celebrate your day of birth 

And we wish you a good and happy life on earth!

(Alternative birthday ditty)        The traditional pancake breakfast substitutes for a cake when we are camping. Lush toppings, fresh berries, cream, yoghurt and maple syrup. I eat renegade savoury pancakes first, gruyere cheese and pesto.

  Craved farm animals from Werner reifentiere. Found at Pastorini in Zurich. Up up up on the cable car from Falkenberg to Oeschin. Summer tobogganing.       The ausblick/outlook is enthralling.     Postcard moments. Oeschinersee. The lake is turquoise. Crispy clear and cold, it is fed by the snow melt and glaciers.       I am enchanted by the alpine flowers and the children hunt out wild strawberries and raspberries. It keeps them busy and happy for an hour and I can soak up the incredible environment at 1500 or so metres above sea level. We are blessed with mostly sunshine and wonderful cloud pictures being sucked on by the peaks.       Another gift was a junior Opinel whittling knife . The end is round so not quite as perilous but just as sharp. There are sticks of softest pine to be found in the woods. This fellow hiked up with his alphorn! I opened conversation as we had all been guessing what was in his pack, and he willingly took it out and played for Us some folk tunes. The harmonic singing of the horn was beautiful to me. It seemed so fitting in this environment. I couldn’t have imagined a better spot to hear it for the first time since childhood.   The sound carried across the water and the long tones needed the space. Magic.   There are many carving and sculptures along the lakeside path. Cedar played his own little birthday Sansula and enchanted us.  

     

 The folk art and carvings on the buildings continuously impress me in Switzerland. I have been guessing they are winter arts to keep hands creative when indoors for much of the year. Strong traditions. The little model house had a barn full of cows like Cedars birthday cow Tulip.  

  Jesse dared to leave the signed pathway (incredibly practical signs for Wanderweg/walkway with distances and times, everywhere in Switzerland. I love the walking culture. This has been a focus of our trip) and despite our resistance ( I’m imagining lost on the mountain in the dark with hungry tired little people) found us a gorgeous place to have a fire for our traditional Swiss sausage roasting. 

  

   

Who loves chocolate and hazelnuts in fire cooked banana s? Have you tried this? Wait  until you have a bed of embers then lay upon it bananas with their side split and chocolate stuffed in. Yum.      Walking down the mountain is not always easier! I think the grade was about 16%. Sore knees and ankles. 

So happy to get to the playground at the bottom! We walked back to camp at 9 pm via the restaurant for slices of cake and warm milks. I took candles and we had a mini birthday celebration there. A super special family day! Hooray Cedar!

To you we sing

And happiness we bring

To celebrate your birth

An angel here on earth. 

Thanks to friends for this song

Merging Midwives

A dear Midwife friend of mine Carly, has put together a fantastic project called Merging Midwives.
They are halfway to raising the $10,000 they need for the educational project.

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In her own words…

The story of the project

This is a unique project FOR midwives, created BY midwives.

Indonesian midwives from Bumi Sehat birth centre in Bali, Indonesia have been invited to travel to Perth, Australia for a midwifery study tour to further their education.

Bumi Sehat is a by-donation clinic that provides the most gentle, safe and culturally appropriate midwifery care in Indonesia. The clinic has a focus on reproductive health but also offers free general health care services to people of the local community.
Bumi Sehat provides humanitarian relief and has been a first responder after disasters in Indonesia, the Phillipines, Haiti and most recently in Nepal after the May 2015 earthquake.

Indonesia has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in South East Asia. It is well recognised that one of the key factors for improving maternal mortality rates is the attendance of skilled birth workers. The Bumi Sehat midwives are awesome! They rock. However, like most midwives from developing countries they have limited opportunities for continuing education. Professional development is virtually non-existent in Indonesia so midwives that want to improve their education face a huge challenge in accessing further training.

This is why I have designed this project.

To read the full project click here.
If you are not in a position to donate money, you can still help by spreading the word about this project. Or if you think you can help in any other way, please contact me on: balimidwife@gmail.com

What an inspiration!

I was blessed with fantastic midwives at both of my children’s births. These women (and less commonly) men are essential in our communities please consider donating to this project.
Blessings on all the babies!!

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3,4,5 triangle

       While researching  Ancient Egypt in June for Lily’s studies, I came across the 3,4,5 triangle. Apparently the Ancient Egyptians used a rope of 12 (we used metres) knotted sections. With angles made at 3m and 7m a right angle or Egyptian triangle is made. Fascinating little insight into geometry without a compass or ruler. 

With my father we went out in the hof (courtyard between the house and barns) with string and sticks and measures and markers and  water cans, we created an Egyptian triangle in the dirt. After we marked the triangle we flipped it and made another triangle, for a rectangle, then marked the centre and made circles with 3, 4 and 5 m diameters. Finally we finished with a central post and made a pyramid! A really fun, visual exploration. 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

          While we travel I homeschool Lily. I follow the Waldorf curriculum as closely as I can (with guidance from her teacher in Australia) while not being a trained teacher myself. It usually works really  well and it’s a fantastic opportunity to tutor Lily in areas she has challenges. Getting her motivated is not always easy though and the differentiation from parent to teacher is interesting (read challenging, inspiring,frustrating) for me. I learn so much alongside her and enjoy the intellectual stimulation and discovery in research also. It is difficult to maintain consistency when we are moving a lot so this 6 week interlude with my parents in Germany was a good foundation for studies. We visited the Egyptian museum in Berlin which inspired us with incredibly detailed and beautiful carvings and paintings. It is the home of the famous bust of Nerfetiti which cannot be photographed, so we took our sketchbooks and drew her. The guard commented Lily was the youngest artist he had witnessed sketching her.    

  Her drawing books are full of images of Egypt. 

  

A moment, a day, a moment.

A moment captured. Beauty. 

  

  Sometimes a photo is the only way to really see these wriggly little peoples faces! Who is this shining being smiling so contentedly? Like a happy cat I imagine he purrs. Warming himself on papas comfy back. 

We spent this day at Türler See(a lake is a see) in the near from Zurich ( more Denglish). We made a jetty our home for the afternoon. The forest behind us, the green water and hills framed by reeds. When I swam far into the lake and spun around I was overjoyed with the beauty surrounding me. So much of my stress and my worries dissolved in the moment. This gift from nature offered freely to us. Serenity in nature. My place of worship.  The water a soothing balm. A moment. A much needed moment. 
    

Lily wove up minute armbands from the reeds. Her nimble fingers astound me! I am so happy that from my coconut weaving she has absorbed this method and can apply it to other materials so easily. Lily had her 11 th birthday this week, I’m so full of love and wonder for this delightful child! Lucky me. Sure we have our challenges together, but more and more as this trip extends I see Lily cleared from the tiredness and influences of school and peers and see her nature shinig through. I credit her resilience to handle the adventuring lifestyle as I know for myself it’s not an easy path yet it has many rewards. 

We had read recently, The Golden Goblet, as part of our Ancient Egyptian curriculum and spoke about the reeds along the Nile and the character Ranofer and his friend in the reeds and how the reeds squeak and rustle. Read it. Reed it. What did the frog say in the library? Read it read it read it….

  One of these perfect dragonflies landed on my leg, oh lucky me I thought, surely a blessing. Then it bit me! Haha. Did you know they bite? Beware the vicious Swiss dragonflies!  

Jesse and I were able to read a lot. We later spoke about how reading is an escape from the moment. It disconnects you from the moment, I looked at where I was and my family and saw I didn’t want to be disconnected, but I enjoyed the distraction as I was so tired this day, sometimes reading is sleeping with eyes open. I read so little now compared to having the reputation as a book eater years ago, Jesse rarely reads also and I gave thanks that he is so available and present usually. Luckily Lily and Cedar where very occupied and happy playing and making boats from sticks and string so we could tune out.   

My loyal servants. My feet. How did we get here?      

Cedar is gaining confidence in so many things, especially the water. I only thought to give him floaties (water wings) on this trip at my cousins suggestion. It really suits him to feel safe in the water and he’s finally getting wet! On the opposite side of the lake from the “paying a small fortune to swim” section you can find beautiful quiet places to bathe for free!

If the shoe fits.

A comedy relief.

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Last week traipsing across the river bed My sore toes where thinking “what I need is river shoes to protect my feet, this is rough going!”
A moment later I found a pretty sparkly right shoe stranded on a mid river rock! A bit small but wow! That was quick!
“What I need now is a left shoe!”
Aha there on a log is a giant men’s thong. Left foot of course!
Fantastic! That set of giggling!

Next time I will ask for a matching pair in my size….

And look what I found today when I went for a rock hop and a swim! A pair of abandoned river shoes in my size.

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I give Thanks for the small amusements in life! Now, why doesn’t that house and land appear….

Anyway, As the saying goes…

Have you got a wishing story to share?

Waking up to…

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Waking up to the beauty of the Sense river in Switzerland. A steep gorge and rocky bed. This unique covered wooden bridge frames the morning sunlight.
Yesterday we hiked up the valley to a hidden, adult size bush-cubby and made a fire. Swimming sunning roasting haloumi marshmallows and flower sausages. Across the water is a small house built into the cliff, Villa Anna. Intriguing.
A happy warm family day lingers with me this morning.

What are you waking up to?

Right now.

Right now I’m amazed we can move from this

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To this

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In less than half an hour! Phew.
Negotiating a stau, kilometres of traffic jam on the French Swiss border region in 40 + c heat panting out the windows and aiming to stay friendly we sweated down to Vevey looking for a swim and a camp spot. The sharp silhouette of alpine pictures and immense lake of Geneve is so enticing but where the heck can you find a free place to swim! Many beaches are privatised unfortunately for us who want something a bit quieter. Lucky turn down a lane we find a sweet rocky beach with only… 100 others. It’s a dream!
It’s taking a lot of courage on this our fifth official day in our van. We where held up for weeks with mechanical misfortunes, luckily while still at my parents so we could get a rich time of connection with them and Cedar could accompany Opa on the farming adventures. But hallelujah for journeys beginning since I last posted in excitement! Lots of dear friends and family we’ve seen, cherries eaten, wandered up and down wobbled and cried and re calibrated.

Hooray for water. Hooray for adventures. Alls well that ends well. Now for a dip in that clear clean water.

Where are you? Warm or cold? Winter or summer?

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