FOTD – Black eyed susan part 2

Happy Friday everyone! Today’s flower of the day was spotted at Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park when I was there last week. This flower really jumped out at me and I couldn’t believe it was another black eyed susan. You might remember I showed this flower last Friday but I feel that this flower looks very different from last weeks. Therefore, I thought it would be good to showcase this flower again. What do you think of this flower today? Does it look similar or different to my previous black eyed susan? I have placed the link to last week’s flower below my image.

https://wrookieschu.com/2022/08/26/fotd-black-eyed-susan/

Enjoy your weekend everyone.

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V23

Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another Doors of WordPress. This week I thought I would show case some more doors from Sydney, as it has now been two weeks since we left and it is never far from my mind.

1 – Woollahra
2 – Woollahra
3 – Paddington
4 – Bondi Junction
5 – Paddington

I think my favourite is number five. I love the colours, the panelling and the design on the windows. Do you have a favourite this week?

Ps. I have started compressing my photos and have seen a huge difference in my storage already. Thank you everyone for your help and advice.

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V20 – Hobbiton Special

The next stop on our road trip from Wellington to Auckland was Hobbiton where the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films were set. I had always wanted to see this location as I loved the movies and I know the set of Hobbiton is stunning in the movies. Where better to showcase this place than on the 20th edition of my Doors of WordPress. If you have seen the movies or seen Hobbiton on the media, you will know it is the place where the Hobbits live, therefore there are many, many houses and that means there are an unlimited amount of doors to showcase. As you can maybe guess, I was in door heaven!

The home of Bilbo Baggins – my favourite house to see here.
Door in the Green Dragon Inn – pub for the Hobbits where we could have a dark stout.

I hope you love the doors as much as I do. I couldn’t show them all as there is simply too many but as you can imagine, they’re all pretty similar. Do you have a favourite one or a favourite colour?

My last blog post for New Zealand will be our final destination of Auckland, coming soon.

Have a great day everyone and thanks for having a look at my doors.

Wayne ✌🏽

Sunday Sunset – Ubud

Watching the sunset from our hotel in Ubud during the week. The glass walkway was stunning and really adds to the image. We couldn’t really see below as it was dark but the sunset was truly magical. This hotel Element Bali Ubud was out of this world and I will write more about that in my future Bali blog 🍃.

I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend.

Wayne ✌🏽

FOTD – Silk Tassel

Silk Tassel Bush is a flowering evergreen shrub and its flowers look like long silk tassels (hence the name). Seen here in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Have a great Friday everyone. We’re loving Queenstown and can’t wait to share some blog posts soon.

Take care,

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V17

Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to yet another weekly post featuring some more of my favourite doors in Sydney. I am currently sitting at the airport in Christchurch so thought I would use my time to show case some more of my saved doors. I look forward to showing some doors from my New Zealand travels soon, all depending on whether I can find some, here’s hoping.

Take a look below and let me know if you have a favourite.

1 – Bexley
2 – Kogerah
3 – Double Bay
4 – Paddington
5 – Kogerah (I just like the train doors here and the fact you can see my shadow).

My absolute favourite door has to be number three. I really like the door and the window design but it’s the steps up to the door and the surrounding greenery that make this door stand out for me. I also love how the autumn leaves add some colour and character to the doorway. What is your favourite this week?

Wayne ✌🏽

Tuesday thoughts 💭 – Travel time

Today is the day! We head on our travels before heading home. I will finally have some travel experiences to share again. As a travel blogger primarily, this makes me very happy.

We will be heading to New Zealand today all being well, first stop Christchurch. I say all being well as you just don’t know what is around the corner, especially in these covid times. Even before entering NZ there is so much documentation needed, for example, obtaining a travel pass, an electronic travel authority, your covid vaccination dates and proof of the vaccines. Thankfully, no covid swabs or rapid antigen tests are needed.

I hope to keep you updated throughout the trip and I will be keen to read other blogs when in the air or on the road.

Have a great day everyone and see you in New Zealand.

Wayne ✌🏽

Northern Ireland VS Australia

Having looked at the pros and cons for Australia in my previous post, let me take you through my pros and cons for living in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland Pros :

Family & friends. My absolute number one reason for moving home is seeing my family and friends and making more memories. Covid has given me a new appreciation for spending time with loved ones, especially as we haven’t seen them in person for over three years.

The Scenery. Northern Ireland is very green and scenic. It has lots to offer in terms of sightseeing, for example, the north coast. Also I plan to visit more of Ireland as a whole and explore what is on my own doorstep.

Europe. Northern Ireland may have left Europe (unwillingly) but we are still situated in the European continent. This means we can travel pretty much anywhere in Europe quickly and relatively cheaply, as opposed to when living in Australia. It really is amazing to have Europe in your back yard and I plan to take advantage and make the most of travelling to places in Europe in the future.

No natural disasters. Yes the weather in Northern Ireland can be horrendous, being wet and cold almost all of the year but at least we don’t suffer the extremities such as fires, floods, earthquakes and volcanoes etc.

The NHS. Yes the National Health Service has its fair share of problems but it is still a free health service (I know we pay through our taxes) and a pretty good one, most of the time, especially in Northern Ireland. To receive free health care for everyone is fantastic and I actually really loved working for the NHS.

The Craic. In our country, this term means fun and good times. It can also mean sense of humour. People in Northern Ireland are great fun and have the best craic. They are also very friendly and hospitable people.

The bright nights. In Northern Ireland it can stay bright until 11pm at night in the summer months. I took this for granted until I moved to Australia, where it never stays light past 6 or 7pm.

Northern Ireland Cons :

The Weather. Unfortunately this has to be top of my list. The weather is pretty horrendous in Northern Ireland for a really long part of the year. From end of September until about April, it will be really cold with good chances of rain, sleet, snow and hail. They even had snow in June this year! We do have the odd good day now and again. Unfortunately we do have the most beautiful scenery but it is all weather dependent.

Spides & Millbags. Yes most of the people in Northern Ireland are extremely friendly but we do have a minority of people known as spides and millbags. These are people who can be described as being small minded, brash, loud, still argue about religion, never leave Northern Ireland and have the worst dress sense. I, for one, do not miss these people. I’m sure every country has their fair share of people like this but in Northern Ireland, they’re a breed of their own. Most of the time you can avoid them but now and again they will leave their homes and make an appearance into your safe little world.

Religion. Northern Ireland, sadly is still stuck in the past with regards to religion. You have Protestants and Catholics (both a Christian religion 🤷🏼‍♂️) still arguing about Northern Ireland and whether it should belong to Ireland or belong to the United Kingdom. I actually think it’s not even about religion anymore but more about territory. Thankfully, these people are in the minority and I don’t personally know many people who still think like this but they do still exist in Northern Ireland. Thanks to immigration these people are being diluted and the country is moving forward, albeit at a snails pace.

The dark mornings and nights. Just like the cold and wet weather, Northern Ireland is also pretty dark for a lot of the year. You will go to work in the dark and return home in the dark. This is pretty grim to be honest. Due to this, many things do not open early, for example, it’s nearly impossible to obtain a coffee before 9am. I think I will struggle with this since living in Bondi where you can grab a coffee as early as 5.30 am.

The Government. I don’t like talking about politics so I will just say that our government is pretty basic. They argue with each other and when one party can’t agree with another party, they just stop working altogether. They actually still get paid even though the government stops working. They take whatever rules they want from the UK and if they don’t like them, they will change them to suit their own religious agenda and beliefs.

Even writing about religion and the government in Northern Ireland makes me cranky. On the whole, Northern Ireland is a great country with lots of character and interesting people. I love being from Northern Ireland as I can have dual nationality, meaning we can carry an Irish and British passport. Northern Ireland is a unique country with lots of potential. We are really upping our game in terms of attractions, bars, restaurants, hotels and even media (think Game of Thrones). I honestly hope you all have the opportunity to visit Northern Ireland one day.

Thanks for reading my part two blog post on the pros and cons of both Australia and Northern Ireland. Do you agree or disagree with any of my points? Have you ever been to these countries or want to visit in the future?

Take care,

Wayne ✌🏽

Australia VS Northern Ireland

As I plan to move back home to Northern Ireland (at least for a few months) I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on both countries and delve into the pros and cons of living in each country. I had been thinking of these a lot over the past few months when trying to make a decision about where to live. As an expat, these are things we think about, pretty much on a daily basis, as sad as that sounds. In this post I will look at the pros and cons of Australia and in my next blog post I will look at Northern Ireland.

Australia Pros :

The weather. It’s pretty much warm for most of the year. Winter here can be cold enough but only lasts for about three months give or take.

The lifestyle. It’s very chilled out here in Australia, especially in Sydney where I live by the water. The sunshine makes people happy, the coastal walks, dining outdoors, exercising etc. I think just being outdoors is so good for our mental health and well-being.

The opportunities. Australia is the land of opportunity. There is plenty of work available here and you can process quickly. Even the fact I have been teaching here has been a huge opportunity that I wouldn’t have been given back home.

The money. The fact is, I earn a lot more as a nurse here than I ever will back home. That can be said for many jobs here. Yes the expense of living is much higher here but you can still manage to save money here and live a really fulfilling life.

The health system. It is amazing here, with a mixture of public and private, it works really well. I feel so fortunate to be in a country with such a fantastic health system, unlike America where it costs a fortune and many people can’t afford or the NHS that is really struggling and has been for many years now.

The activities. There is always something to do, especially in Sydney. There are an abundance of bars and restaurants, plenty of bush, beach and ocean walks, lots of experiences, seeing the sights and famous landmarks etc etc, I could go on forever here.

The sheer size of Australia. There is also so much to see and do all over Australia, therefore, you don’t really ever need to leave Australia if you want to see somewhere new. I don’t think I realised how big Australia actually is until I lived here for some time. It is unbelievably huge with each state completely different from the next and offering so much that really is a feast for anyone living here.

Australia Cons :

The weather. As much as I love the weather here, it can also be a negative for Australia, especially the past three years. The bush fires are becoming more aggressive, wiping out so much land and killing millions of animal species. 2019 was horrific, so I dread to think how the next bush fires will be. Then we have the other extreme, flooding. The last two years we have had the La Niña weather event, bringing catastrophic amounts of rainfall. This is also predicted to last well into next year. The only silver lining with the rain is that it prevents the bush fires. I feel also with global warming, that the weather here, sadly, will be seeing more and more extremes of weather disasters.

The distance. Personally, this is my biggest issue. It never used to bother me before covid. I always felt that if I needed to be home, I could always hop on a flight and be home within 24 hours. However, since being in lockdown, we haven’t been home in over three years. We suddenly feel very far from home. We are literally at the other side of the word. With lockdowns, it appeared to the outside world that Australia was very much cut off from everywhere else in the world. Family and friends are very important to me and if I can’t see them, that’s a big problem.

In conclusion, you can see I have many more pros than cons. I absolutely love Australia and its people. It is a magnificent country with lots to do and great opportunities but I don’t have my family here. I feel extremely far away and for that reason, I will be going home for a few months to see how it goes.

Keep an eye on my next blog post where I will write about the pros and cons of Northern Ireland. Thanks for reading everyone and have a pleasant day.

Wayne ✌🏽

WordPress Monthly Word Prompt – PLAY

July’s monthly word prompt seems pretty apt for me this month. I have just wrapped up work in both of my jobs and moved out of my apartment. From today, I am work free and no more moving furniture. Hallelujah and time to play.

Today we listened to a little jazz band with lunch in Homestead at Centennial Park. I had never been here before in the whole five years I have been coming to this park. Isn’t it amazing to discover new things right on your doorstep.
Mulled wine, the perfect winter warmer 🤗
Rounded off with some peppermint tea. Loved it.

Have a great weekend folks.

Wayne ✌🏽

FOTD – Tall Kangaroo Paw

Happy Friday everyone. Check out my flower of the day below. I think it’s amazing and I love the name! It actually does look like a little kangaroo paw.

Tall Kangaroo Paw – Native to Western Australia, spotted in Bronte on one of my walks 😊

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V16

Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to yet another weekly post featuring some more of my favourite doors in Sydney. Luckily I still have quite a few to share before I move back to Ireland. Have a look below and let me know if you have a favourite this week.

1 – Paddington
2 – Edgecliff
3 – Paddington
4 – Darlinghurst
5 – Waverley

This is a tough one for me this week but I think number 4 just pipped at the post. I love the red door with its doorknob and letterbox but I also love the whole setting with the window to the side. The plants and flowers really add to the quaint and homely aesthetic. What do you think? I also love numbers 2 and 3, the former for its vibrant colour and the latter for its unique appearance of blending into the wall and the little step.

Please let me know and thanks again for reading.

Wayne ✌🏽

Gym Junkie…who me?!

Never in a million years did I think I would become a lover of the gym. Yes I have been many times in my life but never on a regular basis. I always thought, maybe if I can stick it out with the gym for a few months, I will somehow get the gym bug…and guess what… I certainly did. It actually works. I had heard if you do something every day for 30 days, you can become devoted to that something. When I joined my gym Signature Fitness here in Bondi Junction, it was for a 30 day challenge. There were lots of us that joined together and we were participating in small group classes, working out in a combination of strength training and conditioning/sweat/high intensity training classes. I loved the classes from day 1 and I think when I started to see results, that became my drive to keep going. Always being a skinny guy, I was delighted to see results, even after a few weeks. Not huge results to anyone else but for me, it was impeccable.

Why did I love this gym so much? I think the fact that there is a coach telling us what to do in every single class. This was unbelievably beneficial for me as I almost didn’t have to think, just do what I was being shown. You didn’t have to worry about being bored either and thinking “what will I do today?”.

The coach would go through the programme with us and show us how to perform each exercise. If we weren’t doing the manoeuvre correctly, the coach would teach us the correct method so that we were getting the most out of the exercise and also not injuring ourselves. Furthermore, the fact that we had to book in online for every class, almost meant that we HAD to attend, so missing a class was not an option for me. I liked that accountability factor and that feeling of “you can’t back out now!”.

I loved and still love the small group training classes. There are just the right amount of people in the class so as not to intimidate but also the right amount to be able to converse and make friends. Every class could differ. You could have 10 people in the busiest class or just 2 people in a quieter class. If you were lucky/unlucky you could even end up with a PT session (lucky as you have the sole attention of the PT but also unlucky as you would have nowhere to hide!).

This gym is a safe space for learning and growing. There are no intimidating characters i.e. “muscle marys” taking over the weights section and there are no mirrors so there is no time for posing and hogging of the equipment. Everyone is extremely friendly, supportive and encouraging, constantly pushing each other to be the best versions of themselves. There is also some friendly competition, especially when we have the conditioning/sweat/high intensity classes 😅.

You meet the best characters, in this gym especially. I have made some amazing life long friends, who not only enriched my gym experiences but also had a huge impact on my social life and employment opportunities. I would say most of us love to come to the gym to train obviously but also to see our friends, catch up with each other and have a laugh whilst being in a “relaxed” environment, albeit extremely sweaty and red faced 🥵.

Other benefits of joining this gym are:

– weekly body fat scans

– monthly programme changes (great for changing things up and challenging your body)

– nutritional advice

– health education and training

– weekly check-ins with your own assigned coach

– challenges that can include the whole gym and help keep you motivated and accountable

– social events (great to see other members NOT in their gym gear and just fun to catch up outside of the gym setting and let your hair down.

I loved the gym for all these reasons. I can’t even put into words how much this gym has changed my life for the better. Not only do I feel better physically but also mentally, socially and psychologically. Sometimes I look at my progress pictures and can’t always see a big difference but the confidence in myself has grown tenfold. I wouldn’t have taken my top off easily in the past without fear and worry of judgement but now I really couldn’t care and I am much more confident in myself and proud of my achievements.

2018 VS 2022 – not sure if there’s a huge difference but I think my face says it all. I definitely feel more confident.

Don’t be afraid to join a gym, we all have to start somewhere and you honestly will feel so much better for it. You never regret a workout!! If you live in Bondi or nearby, be sure to check out Signature Fitness. I have tried many gyms in the past and have never found one as good as this one 😊.

Thanks for taking the time to read. I just wanted to share my gym experience with you all.

Wayne ✌🏽

#gymjunkie #tuesdaythoughts

Five years of blogging!

Wow! Another milestone hit this week for me. I have been blogging for five years now and I really feel like I have come full circle.

I started blogging when I arrived in Australia five years ago. I wanted to document my travels and the plan was initially to share my travels with those from home in Ireland. However, I soon found that when I was blogging about places in Sydney, local Sydney people were taking an interest and learning from my travel experiences. This was fantastic and really gave me a boost to keep sharing the places I had been visiting.

Now after five years, I will be heading back home to Ireland. My blog has come full circle and I now really look forward to taking my blog back home and sharing travel experiences from Ireland and Europe. We have a lot to offer in Ireland and Northern Ireland, where I will be living. I hope you continue to follow my journey and see what the other side of the world has to offer.

It hasn’t been an easy decision to move back home after five years but again I have covid to thank for that. Suddenly we feel so far away from home here in Australia. Previously I always thought I could be home within a couple of days, however, it has now been over three years since I have been home. I miss my family and friends and feel I have to take this opportunity to return home and see what the future has in store for me there. That’s not to say I will never be back to Australia. It’s not a good bye but rather a “See you later”.

I will be doing a little travelling soon before I reach home with my partner so stay tuned and hopefully I will have some really interesting places to show you on my blog.

Thank you everyone again for following my journey and I hope to keep you further entertained in the next chapter of my life.

Wayne ✌🏽

Two Hundredth Post!

This week I hit a HUGE milestone for me. I cannot believe I have made it to 200 posts. I have to admit, my blogging journey was a slow burner but it has really ramped up in the past year. I actually have covid to thank for that.

Initially I was blogging about my travels, so I was only blogging once a month or every few months. When covid hit, we could no longer travel and I suddenly realised I had nothing to blog about. I had to have a think and revamp my ideology of what blogging means to me.

Covid opened my eyes in terms of blogging. Although I wasn’t travelling any more, I realised there was so much more that I could blog about. I have a lot to say and I really wanted to make an effort connecting with other bloggers. I started to blog about things that were happening in my life and also began participating in blogging prompts. When I took part in Bloganuary, my desire to blog and connect with others grew tenfold. I loved having something to write about and share more of my personality. I met so many other bloggers and loved the connection you could make with complete strangers. I soon started to participate in other blogging prompts and still do to this day. I have many bloggers here to thank for that.

I would like to share with you a few bloggers that continue to inspire and encourage my blogging journey 😊 –

https://renardsworld.wordpress.com

https://ceenphotography.com

https://hughsviewsandnews.com

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.wordpress.com

https://nofacilities.com

https://fivedotoh.com

https://lifesfinewhine.ca

https://beetleypete.com

The people you meet here in the blogosphere are amazing. You realise you share many of the same experiences and beliefs and appreciate so much that there IS a space for you in the blogging world. You also have the opportunity to meet others from different backgrounds and cultures and can learn a huge amount, therefore, growing as a person of the world.

I just want to say thank you to my followers and to those I follow and inspire me every day. This honestly is such a great space and I really look forward to growing, learning and sharing more of what life has in store for me.

All the best wishes,

Wayne ✌🏽

FOTD – Bigleaf Hydrangea

Happy Friday everyone. Today I want to share with you these amazing flowers. The Bigleaf Hydrangeas I’m showing today are part of the decor of one of my favourite restaurants in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. The Chiswick in Woollahra offers a plant to plate experience where many of their ingredients are grown in their own garden. I love the outside setting, with a rustic, quaint and countryside feel.

I think the Bigleaf Hydrangeas really add to the ambiance of this amazing restaurant. You can spot them hanging from the outdoor roof in a variety of colours.

Enjoy your Friday and have a lovely weekend everyone.

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V15

Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to yet another weekly post featuring some more of my favourite doors in Sydney.

With all the rain we have been having lately, it’s great to be able to look back at photographs that make you smile, back to when we had sunnier days. There have been no new doors spotted this week due to the wet conditions and also me working a lot this week but that’s ok as my collection is pretty big at the moment.

Take a look at my chosen doors for this week and see if you have a favourite.

1 – Paddington

2 – Darlinghurst

3 – Paddington

4 – Bondi Junction

5 – Paddington

I like all of these but I am really drawn to number 4. I love the door for its colour and carvings but I also love the hallway to the door and the little lantern hanging outside.

What are your thoughts? Do you have a favourite and if so, what are the reasons? I’m always intrigued to hear other people’s perspectives.

Thanks for reading and take care.

Wayne ✌🏽

FOTD – Matchstick Plant

Happy Friday everyone. It’s a wet one here in Sydney and apparently we are expecting a months rain in the next five days. Something to look forward too. Anyway, I spotted these amazing flowers on my walk a couple of days ago and was really mesmerised. The flowers come from the Matchstick Plant and it’s clear to see why, as the flowers look like they are made up of numerous little matchsticks, with a different colour for the head of the stick, just like a matchstick. How cool is that? Have a look for yourself below 👇🏼

How amazing are these 😍
This is such a pretty flower. This plant originated from southern Brazil and is often used for landscaping and gardens.

Have a great day everyone and I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V14

Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to yet another weekly post featuring some more of my favourite doors in Sydney. I went on the biggest walk along the coast yesterday from Bondi to Maroubra and back and just by chance, stumbled across a few amazing doors. Let me know which ones stand out for you.

1 – Bondi
2 – Bronte
3 – South Coogee
4 – Maroubra
5 – Queens Park

I actually love all of these doors so it’s extremely difficult to pick a favourite. Number one is certainly my least favourite simply because it’s an outside door and pretty simple compared to the other more majestic looking doors. I love the colour of number two but doors three to five I think are stunning, especially with the additional features in the door vicinity. What do you think? Do you have a favourite this week?

Wayne ✌🏽

Sunday Sunset – Henry Deane

A beautiful sunset this evening at Henry Deane, Barangaroo, after an amazing day with the bestest friends. Having glasses of wine with this backdrop, you couldn’t beat it 😍

Hope you have all had a lovely Sunday.

Wayne ✌🏽

Saturday morning rituals

What is your Saturday morning ritual? I work quite a lot of Saturdays, especially in the afternoons but I do have my Saturday morning routine, even if I’m working later in the day or not. I just happen to enjoy my routine even more when I know I’m not working later in the day.

I love to kick off the day with a gym session. A little lie in until about 8am and then hit a gym class. It may be tough at the time and you may wonder during the class “why did I come here? or “why do I do this to myself?” but believe me, you always feel better afterwards and are sure to have a spring in your step. It’s a great way to start the day and kick off your weekend.

Gym workout done and dusted 🙌🏼

Afterwards, I love to go out for a coffee and some breakfast. Nothing better than a good feed after a workout. This morning we were fortunate enough to be able to sit outdoors in the sunshine. It was a perfect winters day here in Sydney.

Saturday morning coffee ☕️

I normally then have to get ready for work but not today! Today I am heading into the city to meet some friends from home. Looking forward to catching up and having some beers in the sun.

What about you? What do you love to do on a Saturday morning or what is your normal routine? No matter what you do, I hope you enjoy your weekend.

Wayne ✌🏽

FOTD – Orchid Canna

Happy Friday everyone. I am delighted to finally have that Friday feeling and have a whole 2 days off this weekend 🤗. You can see my flower of the day below. They definitely suit my mood today 😊.

Today’s flower of the day is the stunning orchid canna, also known as canna lilies (however, not actually lilies). I see these all the time doing the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. They are dotted along the walkway, specifically when leaving Bondi at the beginning of the walk. These flowers always mesmerise me every time I see them, the bright colours, especially against the blue backdrop of the sky and sea 😍.

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V13

Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another weekly post featuring some more of my favourite doors in Sydney. Who knew one city could have SO many amazing doors and doorways. I feel so lucky to have an abundance of doors on my own doorstep. Let me know which one is your favourite. 👇🏼

1 – Edgecliff
2 – Darlinghurst
3 – Paddington
4 – Paddington
5 – Tamarama

It’s a hard one for me but I really love door number five. I know it’s not a door to a house but it’s a great door nonetheless. I love that we don’t know what is on the other side of the door, there is an air of mystery, almost like there could be a secret garden. I love the colour, its simplicity, the archway and the steps leading up to the door. What is your door favourite and why?

Thanks for reading everyone and hope you’re all well.

Wayne ✌🏽

Father’s Day 2022

Monday morning here in Australia but it is still Father’s Day in the UK and Ireland. I just want to write a little blog post dedicated to my Dad. Not many words are needed when I show you a picture of us below. I have a great Dad, as I’m sure many do but I am simply grateful for his existence as I know many of my friends whose fathers are no longer with them.

I cannot wait to see my Dad this year after being away from home for over 3 years now thanks to covid. It’s such a long time not to see your family. I am so excited just to have a beer together, have a big hug, have interesting conversations and take some new photos together. It’s good to cherish those we care for and make as many memories together as we can.

This photo speaks volumes to me. This was my graduation day and my Dad is holding an umbrella so I do not get wet. It’s the little things in life 😊. I’m very grateful for his support, his guidance and the man I have become as a result.

Love you Dad 💛

Wayne ✌🏽

Sunday Sunset – Robertson Park

Happy Sunday everyone, I hope you all are having a lovely weekend. Today’s sunset picture was taken in 2018 at Robertson Park, just beside the famous Watson’s Bay in the eastern suburbs of Sydney.

December 2018, summer time in Sydney ☺️

Wayne ✌🏽

WordPress Monthly Word Prompt – OPEN

June’s monthly word prompt makes me think of an event I attended a couple of nights ago at the OPENing of the new Hijinx Hotel. This is not a hotel to stay overnight in, rather each room of the hotel has a challenge room where you have to partake in different activities with your friends.

Invited guests on the opening night had a red carpet entrance and were able to see first hand what the Hijinx Hotel has to offer. You can see some of my pictures below to get a feel of what is in store when you visit this funky hotel. We had an absolute ball at this event, made even more enjoyable by the fact that we are now learning to live with covid and returning to a new kind of normality. It was unbelievably refreshing to be out socialising again, meeting new people and experiencing new things to do in Sydney.

Amazing to dress up and feel a real buzz!
The paparazzi warming their bottoms. They were hilarious yet extremely professional 😉 staying in character for the entire evening.

There you have it. My fun night at the Hijinx Hotel and the opening night just so happened to coincide with my WordPress monthly word prompt 🙌🏼. I hope you also have the chance to partake in this month’s word challenge. I previously found it difficult to find the prompt but if you follow WordPress on Twitter, they will announce the monthly prompts there. Also, be sure to check out this amazing new venue if and when you happen to be in Sydney.

Take care everyone and enjoy your weekend.

Wayne ✌🏽

FOTD – Tea Rose

Happy Friday everyone. Hooray for the weekend…even if I am working tomorrow but let’s not dwell on that. For today’s flower of the day I am showcasing the tea rose. It’s basically an ornamental, garden rose and can have a variety of colours. When I discovered these yellow tea roses, it just so happened that I was matching with the colour on this particular day with my bright yellow jumper. You have to love yellow, such a bright and cheerful colour.

As much as I loved the roses, particularly for their colour and placement, I also loved the architecture of this home and the white picket fence, which can be found in Centennial Park, Sydney.

Thanks for reading guys and have a lovely Friday.

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V12

Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another weekly post featuring some more of my favourite doors in Sydney. This week show cases doors that I discovered last weekend in Glebe, an inner-west suburb of Sydney. I hadn’t been here in donkeys so really wanted to revisit for a stroll and a coffee. The doors seen were an added bonus. Feel free to let me know which one you like the best. Some of the images you may have to zoom in as I really liked the whole setting or building as well as the door and wanted to include that.

1
2
3
4
5

Many thanks for checking out my doors again this week. Did you have a favourite by any chance? I love them all but I am really drawn to number 4, mainly because I love the architecture of the whole building. I do love the design, shape and colour of the door too. How about you?

Take care everyone and enjoy your day.

Wayne ✌🏽

Vivid Sydney 2022

Vivid Sydney is a yearly light show that is on display in many key parts of Sydney. You can find light displays around Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, Barangaroo, Taronga Zoo, The Royal Botanical Gardens and many more spots around Sydney. You can find lots of information on the official website https://www.vividsydney.com with timings, locations and what’s on offer.

This year is a special Vivid as the last two years have been cancelled due to Covid, so every is very excited to witness the event. It truly is a spectacular show and a real feast for the eyes. It starts as soon as the sun sets, making the lights really stand out and the best thing about it, is that it’s a free event for everyone.

I would say the best time to visit is during the week as it becomes pretty busy at the weekends. Pick a location to start and spend some time walking around and to take it all in. There are food trucks around and plenty of portable toilets around Circular Quay and on the route to Barangaroo, which is great if you have a weak bladder like myself. You could head over after you have had your dinner or pick somewhere nearby for a bite to eat. We chose to eat at a Thai restaurant at Circular Quay and watch the sunset at the Sydney Opera House.

View of the Opera House from the left side of Circular Quay.

We really wanted to see the Opera House lighting up first before we started our walking light tour. We headed from Circular Quay around to Barangaroo and there were many light installations on the way. Many impressive buildings also have light shows depicting different stories and show case the distinctive areas of Sydney. These shows are pretty magical for children and the whole family.

We never had the chance to see the Royal Botanic Gardens but we will try this week to visit Vivid again before it finishes on the 18th June. Be sure to head down and visit if you’re living in Sydney and if you live abroad, you can check out the website or my pictures below 👇🏼🤗.

Sydney Opera House

Let me know if you have heard of Vivid, have ever been or plan to go in the future. It really is quite the spectacle, with locals and tourists really looking forward to this event every year.

Thanks for reading and take care,

Wayne ✌🏽

Sunday Sunset – Newport

Hi everyone. I hope you are all having a great Sunday. Today’s sunset was pictured last night when I was frequenting the Newport Arms Hotel. This is a beautiful spot for food and drinks in Newport, sitting outside by the water. There were plenty of heat lamps to keep everyone warm as it was a pretty chilly evening. As soon as the sun began to set, the sky was constantly changing colours. People were jumping up to take some pictures as it was really stunning.

The colours were spectacular and I love the little lamps in the image also. Beyond the trees lies the bay of Pittwater.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend guys and take care.

Wayne ✌🏽

FOTD – Golden Dewdrops

Happy Friday everyone. Boy, am I glad to reach the weekend this week, it’s been a long, cold one here in Sydney. We’re all looking forward to a long weekend here in Australia for the Queen’s birthday, which isn’t actually her real birthday, so I’m not sure why that is, nevertheless, I’m not complaining for an extra day off.

I am not, in fact, showcasing a flower today but rather, I am showing you the berries of this shrub. The Golden Dewdrop (what a fantastic name by the way!) and I happened to pass this last week when I was looking at some doors in Darlinghurst. The flowers are a blue colour but I didn’t happen to see these, just the berries. I was really pleasantly surprised to discover these, even though in Australia the Golden Dewdrop shrub is known for being a weed. To me, it looks beautiful. It reminds me of the Leonardo da Vinci quote – “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. Let me know what you think?

Golden Dewdrops – I love the vibrant orange colour against the green of the leaves.

Have a great weekend everyone and take care.

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V11

Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another edition of Doors of WordPress. I want to show you all some doors that I happened to stumble across last week in Darlinghurst, Sydney. I couldn’t believe my luck when I passed a couple of streets with the most amazing houses, featuring beautiful and colourful doors. It was a feast for the eyes!

1
2
3
4
5

Do you have a favourite this week? Mine has to be number five. I love the colour of the door with the yellow brick work.

Thanks for taking a look at my doors and take care.

Wayne ✌🏽

Tuesday thoughts 💭 – Share your world 07-06-22

Melanie’s questions this week are good ones in my opinion 🤗 so thank you Melanie.

When you were a kid, did you eat the crusts on your sandwich or not?

Yes absolutely. I love the crusts and still do. They also give you curly hair!

Are you a fan of musicals—why or why not?

Yes I LOVE musicals. I love the energy and the way that musicals can be emotive, really lifting your spirits with one song and the next you could be weeping like a willow. I used to work in the Grand Opera House Belfast as an usher and this is where my love for musicals blossomed. We were able to watch every single show that visited the Opera House. I remember “having” to watch Chicago for fifteen shows straight…and I loved every minute of it. The euphoria you feel at the end, when everyone is clapping and the actors take their bows, it’s another level.

Is it difficult to do what you do? (for a living, hobby etc.). If you’re retired, what you ‘did’ previously for a job can be substituted.

I am a registered nurse here in Sydney. I would say it is a tough job but when you enjoy what you do, it doesn’t seem so bad. The tasks that we have to perform are not difficult, as we are well trained. It’s the obstacles in front of us that can make our work hard. For example, being short staffed, not having the resources we need, having numerous tasks to perform in a short period of time, not to mention the things that can happen out of the blue, i.e. if a patient becomes really sick or we enter a pandemic. The last two years have been extremely difficult for nurses worldwide. Not only for the extra duties we have to carry out and the PPE that we have to wear for a whole shift but we were also fearful of becoming sick ourselves and/or bringing the virus home to our loved ones. You not only become physically exhausted but also emotionally drained. I feel for those nurses who were working in nursing homes, emergency, ICU and the covid wards. When family were unable to see loved ones. That must have been heartbreaking for everyone concerned and for the nurses being the patients first and maybe only point of call. Nurses do not want to be recognised as superheroes, we want to be seen as professionals in our trade and respected and paid accordingly 😊.

What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to? (Doesn’t have to be a rock concert either).

Eminem, Glasgow, 2003. I’m not a huge rap fan but he was really out of this world. Also John Legend in Atlantic City, 2005 was pretty special.

GRATITUDE SECTION

Looking back over your life, what is one thing you’re grateful for? One thing you really regret?

I’m grateful for the upbringing I was given. To be kind and respectful to others, to be the best person I can be. The one thing I do regret is undertaking a geography degree. I completed it but it has done nothing for me. It was one of those degrees that everyone seemed to be doing whilst having a great time at uni so I thought, sure why not. However, it was a complete waste of time. Maybe I learned some life lessons but that’s about it 🙈.

Thanks for reading guys. Have a great day.

Wayne ✌🏽

Sunday Sunrise 🌅 – Bronte

Happy Sunday everyone. I have shown a lot of sunset pictures over the past few Sundays so I thought it was finally time to show you a sunrise snap. The eastern suburbs have the best sunrises, I guess because the sun rises in the east, therefore, we have a great view point. I hope you like the shot. This particular morning was a special one. I went for a sunrise swim with my cousin and we fortunate enough to see dolphins swimming in the distance. Truly spectacular 😊.

Bronte rock pool – November 2019 05:55

Enjoy your day guys.

Wayne ✌🏽

Pride Month 🏳️‍🌈

I read the most amazing, open and honest blog post this morning and wanted to share it with you all, especially, as for many people around the world, pride is being celebrated this month. We should be proud of who we were born to be and educate others who are still ignorant to what it’s like to be a gay person.

It’s LGBTQ Pride Month. I was struggling with what to write about that has not already been done, and better, by smarter, more talented people than …

Pride: A Powerful Reminder.

Thanks for reading guys and have a lovely day.

Wayne ✌🏽

FOTD – Poinsettia

This poinsettia was discovered near my home in Bondi Junction, Sydney. It originates from Mexico and Central America and is today a very common decoration in the United States, specifically at Christmas time. This species is known for being a poisonous weed but also an ornamental flower. It just grabbed my attention with its striking colours and beauty. A classic example of how looks can be deceiving 😝.

Happy Friday everyone and I hope you all have a lovely weekend, whatever way you plan to spend it.

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V10 🎉🎉

Welcome to my tenth edition of Doors Of WordPress. I love creating these posts and it has really fuelled my love of doors even further.

When I started these posts featuring doors, I had no idea that doors were so popular on WordPress. I soon found other like minded bloggers posting about doors in a feature called Thursday Doors. Perhaps that’s why I love to post my doors on a Thursday. If you want to check out other doors and join a community of door lovers, feel free to check out the amazing No Facilities by host Dan.

Please see below my doors for this week along with their locations and my reasons for liking them.

1 – Woollahra

This door reminds me of Dracula or does anyone else remember Count Duckula?
2 – Paddington

You can’t beat a red door, am I right?
3 – Paddington

I know technically you can’t see the door but I love the external door and everything about the setting, the colour, the style, the plants etc.
4 – Double Bay

I love this door and the fact that the house looks like it is part of the tree, almost like a secret house. The door has wooden panels on it, presumably to make it blend in with the tree and create a natural aesthetic.
5 – Randwick

I love the simplicity of these doors and the colour but for me it’s the floral wreath that makes it pop! Perfect for a gelato shop.

I saved a few of these purposely for my tenth edition and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Please let me know if you have a favourite.

Have a great day and take care,

Wayne ✌🏽

Sunday Sunset – Bexley

Bexley, NSW

Although we cannot see the sun actually setting, I love how we can see the sky change colour at this time of day. This was taken five minutes ago, waiting for my train home from Bexley. I had a lovely time catching up with friends and old work colleagues today and even managed to drink soda water for the whole duration (no alcohol 😜). As an Irishman this has to be told with pride as it doesn’t happen too often. I think people were actually in disbelief 🫢.

I hope you are all enjoying your Sunday, if possible.

Take care,

Wayne ✌🏽

FOTD – Mexican Sunflower

Happy Friday everyone. Today’s flower is the Mexican Sunflower. Named so, as it originates from Mexico and is a member of the sunflower family. This was spotted on my walk to Coogee in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. I couldn’t help but love the bright yellow. It is so cheerful and brings a smile to your face (mine at least 😃).

Mexican Sunflower

All the best everyone and have a great weekend.

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V9

Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to my latest edition of Doors of WordPress. I am further showcasing doors from my neighbourhood in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. They were all spotted on my daily walks 👣 . I hope you enjoy looking and please let me know if you have a favourite.

1 – Darlinghurst
2 – Waverley (two for the price of one here)
3 – Bronte
4 – Paddington
5 – Paddington

I think number five is my personal favourite. I used to find it really strange that doors here in the eastern suburbs have an exterior security door. I thought maybe the areas were unsafe and prone to burglaries. However, I have noticed that this is a very common practice here and most doors will have this external door. It must be simply a security thing, so you can leave your front door open for air but have the security of the exterior door 🤷🏼‍♂️.

Thanks for taking a look at my doors!

Wayne ✌🏽

Sunday Sunset – Bondi Beach

2018 Bondi Beach. This was taken at Icebergs restaurant. It’s a beautiful spot to see the sun set and the skies often turn beautiful colours. With my partner at one of my favourite places.

Happy Sunday everyone. I hope you all have a lovely day.

Wayne ✌🏽

FOTD – Crimson Bottlebrush

What an amazing looking flower. My partner and I thought this looked like one of those bottle brushes you see mothers having to clean their babies’ bottles with. When we found out their name, we thought it was very amusing. The crimson bottlebrush is native to Australia and is very popular with birds for its nectar, specifically lorikeets, which we see here in Sydney all the time.

Thanks for taking a look at my flower of the day and I hope you all have a very happy Friday!

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress – Game Of Thrones Edition

I was inspired by Suzette B’s Blog some time ago when she showcased one of the Game Of Thrones doors in her blog post. It was a fascinating read and it made me think back to when I had also seen one of these doors. So as part of Dan’s Thursday Doors, I thought I would show case the Game of Thrones door that I have seen.

First of all, a recap of what these doors are all about. If you have watched Game of Thrones and were an avid fan, you might be aware of some of the filming locations. Many scenes were filmed in Northern Ireland, much to my delight and the delight of most people living there. A prominent scene was filmed at a location called The Dark Hedges in Co. Antrim and has since become a huge tourist attraction. It is basically a road lined with beech trees but the trees are magnificent in their stature and appearance, creating a very moody and suspenseful location to wander through.

The Dark Hedges – 2015
We came back the next day to see the trees with blue skies

Over the years, sadly many of the trees have fallen. They have been subject to storms and the ever increasing presence of tourists coming to the site. Tourism Northern Ireland and HBO found a way to keep the fallen trees alive (in spirit at least) and make good use of them. They were upcycled to create ten wooden doors, with each one depicting a scene from the Game of Thrones series and scattered throughout different locations in Northern Ireland. If you want to see their locations, you can find information here. This is where I found out that mine was number six in the Game of Thrones doors series.

I had heard about these doors when I was last in Northern Ireland, three years ago. My parents had known that there was one nearby in Ballintoy, in a pub called the Fullerton Arms. We headed there for a pint and a nosey and we were delighted to spot the Game of Thrones door, created with such finesse from the fallen beech trees. The pub also had a shrine to Game of Thrones with other memorabilia, a themed dining room and even its very own throne!

Game of Thrones Door #6 at Fullerton Arms
Amazing carvings and such intricate detail. This one show cases House Targaryen 🐉

I absolutely cannot wait to see all of these doors when I head back to Northern Ireland soon. Once I have seen them all, I will create a new post to show case them all.

Thanks so much for reading.

Take care,

Wayne ✌🏽

FOTD – Coral Tree

Happy Friday everyone!! Today’s flower of the day is from the Coral Tree (Erythrina), also can be known as a Flame Tree. I think the flowers look really spectacular. The vivid red colour and their shape is extraordinary. What do you think? Have you ever seen a Coral Tree?

Spotted at Queen’s Park in the eastern suburbs of Sydney

Wayne ✌🏽

Happy International Nurse’s Day!!!

Happy International Nurse’s Day!!! To all the hard working nurses out there, be that registered nurses, enrolled nurses, nursing assistants and nursing students, all around the world…especially throughout the past two years. It’s not the easiest of jobs but we love what we do 👨🏼‍⚕️💛👩🏼‍⚕️ and it’s Florence Nightingale’s birthday!

Wayne ✌🏽

Sunday Sunset – Sydney airport

An epic sunset at Sydney airport at the beginning of the year. We just arrived back from our trip to Uluru. I have a feeling I will be seeing this airport a lot in the coming months as my travel plans ramp up! 😉

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend. Enjoy your Sunday everyone.

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V8

As it’s Thursday Doors today, courtesy of No Facilities, here are my latest offerings of doors from my neighbourhood and beyond. Please let me know which ones are your favourites. Check out my doors below 👇🏼

1 – Darlinghurst, Sydney
St Kilda, Melbourne
3 – Hunter Valley, NSW
4 – Portrush, Northern Ireland
5 – Paddington, Sydney

I find it hard to choose a favourite as I like them all for different reasons. I am watching the tv series Cheers from start to finish at the moment, so for that reason, I will say the door from Northern Ireland as it has the Cheers logo 😉.

Thanks again for checking out my doors this Thursday.

Wayne ✌🏽

FOTD – Silky Oak

Happy Saturday everyone. Usually I post my flower of the day on a Friday as I always think of Friday Flowers. However, I was pretty beat after work last night so I thought I would leave it for this week.

However, I was doing my usual walk today after work around the eastern suburbs and spotted this amazing flower on my way home from Bronte Beach. Even though it is Saturday, I really wanted to share this one with you all. It is known as Silky Oak and it’s botanical name is Grevillea Robusta. The Silky Oak is an evergreen tree and the flowers appear from spring to summer, which is quite funny as here in Australia it is autumn going into winter. Go figure! I was fascinated as I don’t recall ever seeing this one before. Let me know what you think? Have you ever seen this flower before? It honestly put the biggest smile on my face when I spotted it. I love the bright orange colour and the long looking tentacles.

Silky Oak

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V7

Welcome to another week featuring some amazing Doors of WordPress. I was fortunate enough to spot some fantastic doors last weekend when we were staying at The Rocks in Sydney. Therefore, the doors featured this week were all spotted there at The Rocks, almost like a Rocks special episode of doors. This is a very popular tourist spot with a very interesting history. You can read more about this area here if you so wish.

I was really hoping to explore Darlinghurst and Five Ways today but alas, the rains have returned again to Sydney. That will be for another day, all being well. Please check out my doors below and do not hesitate to let me know which one is your favourite this week.

1 – I’m a sucker for plants, flowers, wreaths on people’s doors or in the vicinity.
2 – I love the colours of the doors with the colour of the building. As well as the doors, the windows and lights also add to the quaintness and character of the building.
3 – Amazing colours and I love the door knobs.
4 – I really like the steps here and the door to me looks quite old and rustic, almost a medieval or Game of Thrones feel.
5 – The colours here are fantastic and look quite regal to me. Also the door knocker above the handle looks great.
6 – Great colour and design. I also love the light to the side of the door.
7 – What a great building. You can’t really see the door too well but I still liked it. I was going to remove the bins from the photograph but then I thought it maybe adds a “je ne sais quoi” to the image.
8 – I love the appearance of the red door with the rustic brick work, looks quite European to me.

That’s my lot for this week. Which one do you prefer? Have you ever been to The Rocks in Sydney? It is honestly such a beautiful area, with cobbled streets and meandering pathways all around. You can spend a lot of time here and I never tire of visiting. It’s a bonus that there are so many amazing doors to discover and I have only scratched the surface.

Thanks for having a look and take care everyone.

Wayne ✌🏽

Tuesday Thoughts 💭 – Birthday

Today I think of my partner and how it is his birthday today! Unfortunately we are both working today so we will celebrate modestly this evening. On the other hand, we were able to celebrate during the weekend just past and had a really lovely weekend together in Sydney.

Sydney Opera House

I planned a secret outing on Sunday in the CBD. I wanted us to participate in an event or excursion and it just so happened that there was an Oyster masterclass happening, courtesy of Sydney Oyster Farm Tours. This was part of a larger event that was happening all weekend in the Sydney CBD to celebrate food, drink and live entertainment.

We were able to shuck our own oysters (the process of opening the oysters) and thankfully none of us managed to injure ourselves. There was a girl in front of us who nearly chopped her finger off! We learned some history and gained knowledge regarding oyster farming and we were able to eat them afterwards. We had a collection of Sydney Rock Oysters and Pacific Oysters and I’m sure we managed to eat nearly a dozen each! This was a great experience and one that we had never done before.

Oyster shucking – The Pacifics were already opened in the tray and the Rock Oysters were in the bags waiting to be opened.

We then checked into our hotel for the night. I thought it would be cool to stay in a really nice hotel with stunning Sydney views, just for one night. You have the novelty of being away from home but with the luxury of not having to travel too far. Being a tourist for the day and night was fun. We stayed in the Shangri-La and really, thoroughly enjoyed it. I would say the only negative point was that it was a long weekend, therefore, it was pretty busy and had lots of kids. It was impossible to get a window view at the bar for drinks and also for breakfast the next morning. Out of season would be better. However, the bottle of bubbles in the room for my partner’s birthday was a really lovely touch and the staff were so, so friendly. The views of Circular Quay were stunning and I’m sure if you have a Harbour Bridge view, that would also be pretty epic.

❤️

We had dinner at The Spice Room at Circular Quay. Delicious Indian food in a really quaint and authentic setting. I had been here before and loved it. Thankfully, my partner loved it too 😊. When you see many Indian and Nepalese families eating there, that’s a sure sign the food will be tasty and authentic 🇮🇳.

On the following day, it was ANZAC Day (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps), remembering the soldiers lost at war. We had a dip in the pool and checked out. We had breakfast at The Rocks which was beautiful and watched the parades honouring the service men who fought in the World Wars. I always find this day really moving and I love how people of all ages come out to remember those who lost their lives fighting for their country.

Breakfast at The Rocks Cafe
ANZAC DAY PARADE

We headed home for a quick change and then out for lunch with friends at The Chiswick in Woollahra. Absolutely stunning venue and food. If you ever have the chance to visit here, do not hesitate. It’s definitely up there.

Ready for lunch
Apple crumble and ice cream or ANZAC biscuit and ice cream 😋

That was our weekend in a snapshot. I really feel like birthdays deserve to be celebrated as we only have one a year and life is so short.

How was your weekend? I apologise as it’s Tuesday but we were off work yesterday 😛.

Cheers,

Wayne ✌🏽

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑