I’m moving … want to come along for the ride?

For the past few weeks I’ve been burning the midnight oil, designing a new site for Destination: Here&Now.

It’s pretty gorgeous (even if I do say so myself) and I dearly hope you’ll think so too.

…and thanks to the lovely Libby at Crimson Pear it actually works!

So for the last couple of days she has been sitting quietly, finger quivering with excitement, wanting to press the button to swap to the new site, but I keep saying …

“Hang on. Hang on … change this, change that (it’s the perfectionist gene) and more importantly … I’ve got to let my wordpress.com people know that the site is moving.”

So my friends, if you’ve been enjoying this little blog over the past four months please please come see me on the other side.

The address will be www.destinationhereandnow.com

This is a really exciting step for me. I’ve been having a ball over the past four months, finding my way with this whole blogging thing. I’m not there yet by any means, but having my own site feels like I’m entering a new phase.

Thanks for all your encouragement so far.

See you on the other side? And do me a favour? Rather than subscribing via wordpress, please consider subscribing via email. I’m aiming for one post a week so I promise I won’t bother your inbox too much.

Hope to see you on the other side.


I thought I’d strike gold, but I found something better …

The wattle is out.

It can mean only one thing.

It must be late August.

The quintessential Australian sign that winter is nearly over.

A riot of delicate yellow fluff …

A promise of sunny days to come …

I wanted to capture it for you ….

but by the time I’d finished work …

I’d missed that beautiful late afternoon light

I’d missed the yellows ….

…but I found you some blues.

Have a lovely week.

And stay tuned for I have some surprises in store🙂

… in which she sneaks away with a dozen oysters and goes in search of a happy ending

Foreword note:  No pictures this week. You’ll thank me in a minute.

Scene 1:  A cold wintery morning in Bathurst. Husband is sad. Could be the winter blues or because he’s got a wife who’s gone blogging mad. We don’t know. He’s just sad. He leaves for work. Gives his wife a sad little grin goodbye and heads off to the farm. Tragic.

Scene 2:  Wife starts pacing the house. Can’t settle to anything. Washes up. Checks her workload. Nothing that can’t wait till tomorrow. Decides to take the day off.

Scene 3:  Wife races in and out of shops buying prosecco, oysters, fresh bread and sweets from the patisserie. Hurriedly stuffs the back of the car full of doonas and pillows. Drives to the farm, music blaring.

Scene 4:  Wife arrives at the farm. Sneaks past husband to the top of the hill. Rings him on mobile.
Wife: “Where are you?”
Husband: “In the hay shed paddock.”
Wife: “Well I’m up in that protected little spot on the top of the hill. Want to join me?”

Scene 5:  Cut to shot of husband flying at breakneck speed across bumpy paddock on tiny ancient tractor.

Scene 6:  Dissolve to shots of clouds and trees swaying in the breeze.

Scene 7:  Cut to shot of husband and wife’s children reading this post, holding their hands to their heads in a shoot-me-now-gun-like pose.

Scene 8:  Two happy souls, snuggled under doonas, talking (really talking) and cloud watching for the first time in years.

Which all leads me to ask this question…

When is the last time you truly surprised someone, let alone surprised yourself?

Try it soon.

Trust me.

I’m feeding you pearls lol.

Postcript:  Back in town later that night we went to a fundraiser for a friend. Steve was asked to draw the raffle. He pulled out a ticket. No takers. Checked his own pocket. It was his! First prize – a dozen bottles of lovely local wine. Huzzahhh!

Pulled out a second ticket. No takers. Checked his pocket. It was his … again!

He was so embarrassed he put it back in and handed the bag to someone else🙂

The moral of the story:  If you’re looking for a happy ending maybe you’ve got to rewrite the script!

Have a great week x

… in which she discovers the gentle art of random weaving and decides that she’s not quite the basket case she thought she was.

It has been a long time since I’ve had that lovely feeling of being lost in the moment…

Completely absorbed in a simple pleasure

… facing only the simplest of choices

… sitting quietly

… engrossed in the gentle art of making something.

But that’s exactly what I was lucky enough to do this week at a random weaving workshop with south coast artist Harriet Goodall.

Throughout the preceeding week the boys (and various friends – yes you know who you are) had been teasing me relentlessly about my forthcoming basket weaving workshop.

There had been plenty of snickers.

Well you can snicker all you like my lovelies…

because what I knew and you didn’t, is that Harriet Goodall is not your average
basket weaver.

I knew a little bit about her through mutual friends who put together this video for Country Style magazine and when I heard that Sophie Hansen at Mandagery Creek Venison had snagged her to do a workshop, I jumped at the opportunity.

What I didn’t realise, is that Sophie has this fabulous background as a magazine editor and now showcases local producers in her own blog Local is Lovely. She is also a beautiful cook and spent the day – ever so quietly in the background – preparing lots of deliciousness for us all to enjoy.

So it was a good recipe for a great day.

Good host, good food, good company, in a pretty location surrounded
by snow covered hills.

But back to our weaving ….

What I love about Harriet’s work is its organic nature.

It’s relaxed and loose.

And in a world full of mass produced plastic and rubbish, the idea of learning how to take pieces of nature and craft them into something functional is very appealing.

And sure enough, as promised, within a few short hours we had all produced our own unique baskets from bits of flotsam on the floor.

I had this vague idea that I might create a woven fairy castle to hide somewhere
in the garden …

A fairy castle with its own deck.

I’m not quite sure what I ended up with.

But I had the most beautiful day, lost in the moment, creating it

… and I think the fairies will still approve.

When her here and now is our here and now

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that our daughter Maddy had been in India on a university textiles tour. Her experience was so special I’ve asked her permission to share some of her photos. So if you’d like to join me …. step this way …

UTS (the University of Technology in Sydney) took 10 second year fashion students
to Delhi for three weeks to see first hand the incredible skills of local artisans.
They experimented with block printing …

and dyeing techniques …

but it was the embroidery that really blew Maddy away.

And it’s easy to see why.

So beautiful.

So exquisite.

Detailed beyond belief.

Every stitch made my hand.

Maybe Madz has a bit of story teller inside her because this was the
embroidery that she chose to focus on.

It’s called Sujani and every work has its own narrative.

It describes all the simple things that make up a day to day life.

A here and now of the very highest order I’d say.

There was time out to do some shopping … how could you take 10 girls away and not!

And some exploring.

An opportunity to see the wonders of India…

And experience first hand its pressing environmental issues.

It’s a bittersweet moment to watch your little girl step out on her own.

It’s what you want.

But you can’t help but want to protect her too.

For us it’s always been a high priority to try and get the kids out into the wider world,
to encourage them to travel at every opportunity.

To realise that they are part of something much bigger…

This time round, it was lovely sitting on the sideline watching her start her own journey.

Who knows where it will take her but one thing was certain.

She was in the best of hands.

Thankyou so much for everything you shared with our girls.


Happy Hands Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation reviving Indian arts, crafts and culture. The People’s Project is an art studio-cum-residency where rural artists challenge and explore various theories of creativity.

You can buy Happy Hands products online here.

Or follow them on facebook here.


All photos: Madeleine Hogan 2012