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 ✌🏽

Tuesday Thoughts 💭 – Mother Teresa

There is a new documentary called Mother Teresa – For the Love of God? Has anyone else watched this? We have it here in Australia on Stan (an Aussie streaming service). I will share my thoughts on the programme and hopefully you can comment if you have also seen it or plan to watch in the near future.

Personally I didn’t know all that much about Mother Teresa. I remember her dying in 1997 when I was 14 years old. I remember it being significant as she passed not that long after Princess Diana and that had made a big impact on my memory. So when Mother Teresa died, I recall people feeling extra sad. I knew she was a good woman who helped the sick and poor and she was a very spiritual person. So when I spotted a new documentary about her life, I thought it could be interesting, especially as the title states, For the Love of God? The question mark made me think, are we to question that her life was or wasn’t for the love of God? Or was the help she provided for the love of God? I wasn’t sure but I was intrigued.

I don’t want to spoil the documentary for anyone so I will just make some vague points but personally, I found it to be very interesting. It begins with telling you the history of Mother Teresa, that she was born in Macedonia and how/why she ended up in Calcutta, India. It shows how she helped the poor, sick and most vulnerable members of society and how her legacy grew. Many women joined her to become nuns and assist with her quest to look after the most downtrodden. There are a lot of positives shown about Mother Teresa and the amazing work carried out by her and her team, for example, giving temporary homes to those who had been orphaned.

However, interestingly, it does show aspects of her work from another point of view. The documentary shows how she became so well known and adored by millions. The Catholic Church embraced Mother Teresa and often utilised her to create a positive image for the church (specifically to cover up the issue with Priests and sexual abuse). She also gained A LOT of money that was given to the church. The controversy being that much of the money was given to the church and not necessarily to those people that needed it the most. The money was not used to treat the sick and dying. Medical professionals who had worked with Mother Teresa initially, were horrified at the lack of proper treatment and facilities and ended up leaving to work elsewhere. Mother Teresa was about bringing the word of God to people whilst they were coming to the end of their lives and providing them with a place to stay, rather than helping them medically or offering any pain relief from their suffering. I think in the eyes of Mother Teresa, pain was seen almost as a necessity when dying, like Jesus was in pain when he died on the cross. This part did make me feel uncomfortable, although I was not that surprised that she was used by the church for financial and popular gain, sadly.

Having watched the documentary, I still believe Mother Teresa to be an amazing woman, who gave up her life to devote herself to God and look after those in need. However, I do think it is sad that much of the money acquired through charity and donations, never reached those who really needed it and very tragic that the church had used her kindness and time to their own advantage.

What are your thoughts if you have watched it? Would this blog post make you want to watch it? I believe Mother Teresa’s life was for the Love of God and I believe her help was for the Love of God. I just think maybe more could have been done to treat the sick and offer them pain relief. Also saddened that she became so popular and maybe lost track of her initial mission, with a focus more on the church rather than the people. However, it’s easy for me to say that sitting at home. I wasn’t there to know the facts and I’m sure we are not seeing the whole picture.

I hope I do not cause any upset to anyone with writing about this documentary. It’s just one take on her story and I’m sure there are many other points of view. However, I did really find the show interesting and gripping, albeit rather sad.

Take care and thanks for reading my Tuesday thoughts.

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 ✌🏽

Tuesday Thoughts 💭 – Share your World

Hooray for Melanie’s questions making a return for her Share the World blog post. I love these random questions as a way of learning more about others and sharing a little more about myself. Melanie has posted the following questions and you can read my answers below 👇🏼.

1 – What two totally normal things become really weird if you do them back to back?

I would say brushing your teeth and then having a coffee. I’m sure the coffee would taste really minty. I always wait a good half an hour after brushing my teeth before I have coffee.

2 – What is something that you just recently realized that you are embarrassed by, that you didn’t realize embarrassed you?

I haven’t really been embarrassed by anything for a long time thankfully. I do tend to be embarrassed if people I know speak very loudly, especially on public transport and normally regarding a private matter. I guess I find it strange that people can hear you airing your dirty laundry (so to speak).

3 – If Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Germany, the USA, Brazil and Italy were represented by one food, which would it be for each?

Australia – Lemingtons

NZ – kiwi fruit (may not be the case but it makes me think of NZ 🤣).

UK – bangers and mash

Ireland – Shepherd’s Pie

Germany – Curry Wurst

USA – burgers or anything deep fried

Brazil – Brazil nuts (may also not be from Brazil)

Italy – Pasta

4 – What might happen if Goldilocks and the Three Bears were set in modern times?

I think the bears would eat Goldilocks.

5 – Where was the most most embarrassing or inappropriate place you’ve passed audible gas?

In the gym! Thankfully only one other person heard but I was mortified.

Thanks Melanie and thanks for reading everyone. Feel free to answer also in the comments section 🙂.

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 ✌🏽

FOTD – China Rose

Happy Friday everyone. Please see below my flower of the day. Todays offering is a China Rose.

China Rose – native to south-west China

This rose is significant for it’s ability to bloom almost every month of the year and therefore, it represents longevity. I like this idea of living a long life, through thick and thin.

Take care all and have a lovely weekend.

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 ✌🏽

Tuesday thoughts 💭 – Anniversary

Today my husband and I celebrate five years of marriage. After ten years together, it was time to put a ring on it and make it official. We had a civil partnership in Northern Ireland as it was still illegal for people of the same sex to be married then. Thankfully, it was made legal in 2020.

For us, marriage was about strengthening our commitment to each other, showing our love for each other to the world, providing security for each other and having that certainty that we would be seen as a couple in the eyes of the law. As we were moving to Australia, we wanted that security, for example, heaven forbid, if something happened to one of us. We also wanted to have a time of celebration with our families and friends, before we would leave Northern Ireland for a new chapter Down Under.

The best day with our nearest and dearest.

When we arrived in Australia the following month, we were surprised to discover that gay marriage was also not legal here. This was astounding as we know how gay friendly Australia is and Sydney hosts one of the biggest Mardi Gras festivals in the world.

On 9 December 2017, the right to marry in Australia was no longer based on sex or gender. This was amazing news and enabled us to be married officially. We had a small wedding service on our one year anniversary (four years ago today), just for us. We felt that we were married before but now it was official. We had a ceremony at one of our favourite beaches with an intimate collection of family and friends.

❤️

#loveislove

Wayne ✌🏽

Sunday Sunset – Fiji

The sunset I am showing today was taken at Musket Cove in Fiji, 2018.

We were sitting in the little hut at the end of the pier for a special occasion. Such a stunning setting.

Hope you all have had a lovely Sunday!

Wayne ✌🏽

Flower of the Day (FOTD) – Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

Happy Friday everyone. This is the day of the week that I post some flowers that I have seen recently or I have managed to haul from the archives, as part of Cee’s Photo Challenges (you can find here).

Today’s flowers were taken at The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and are known as Wax Begonia. They are native to South America and are often used as ground cover.

I really need to return to the Botanic Gardens soon as they have such an array of flower and plant species and it’s a really beautiful spot to take a relaxing stroll through.

Such a stunning backdrop with the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge seen in the distance.

Have you ever seen these flowers? Have you ever visited the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney?

Please do let me know and thanks for checking out my FOTD.

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V6

As it’s Thursday Doors today, courtesy of No Facilities, here are my latest offerings of doors from my neighbourhood. Thursday is fast becoming my favourite day for blogging as I love showcasing the local doors. My only concern is, what happens when you run out of doors?

Please see my selection below and their locations in Sydney👇🏼

1 – Bronte
2 – Paddington
3 – St. James Church, King Street
4 – Bondi
5 – Bondi Road

What is your favourite this week? I love the artwork for the last one. This is a very popular coffee shop on Bondi Road called Up South Bondi. However, if I’m thinking solely of the door/doorway, the first one would be my favourite.

Thanks for checking out my doors.

Wayne ✌🏽

Brighton Bathing Boxes

I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend. I was fortunate enough to fly to Melbourne to visit my good friends. Whilst there I was able to tick off one of my bucket list items and that was to visit the Brighton Bathing Boxes, just 17km outside Melbourne’s CBD. We were able to drive there but you could walk or cycle also if you had the time. This was the perfect timing for us and the weather was beautiful, a welcome change from Sydney’s crazy weather.

The bathing boxes are pretty famous and have been around for over a hundred years. They are a very European idea and still exist in parts of Europe today. I had seen them on Instagram and thought they looked really epic. They are colourful boxes that people use for storage, just on the beach. There are 82 in total and stretch along the Dendy Street Beach. Useful for storing important items, especially for the beach (I assume) but interesting to note the boxes can not have electricity or a water supply. Perhaps to stop people from living in the boxes.

Please feel free to check out my pictures of the bathing boxes below. They are sure to brighten up your Tuesday 😆 and if you want any additional information, you can read more here.

Thanks for taking a look,

Wayne ✌🏽

Flower of the Day (FOTD)

Star Jasmine

Not your typical Easter flower but it’s a great backdrop for celebrations. I hope you all have a lovely Easter break. I am really looking forward to a glass of bubbles or two.

Take care and stay safe everyone!

Much love,

Wayne 🐣

Doors of WordPress V5

As it’s Thursday Doors today, courtesy of No Facilities, here are my latest offerings. I love walking around Sydney and finding new doors. I feel blessed to live somewhere with such an array of fine looking doors 😛. Have a look below and let me know which ones are your fave? 👇🏼

1 – Woollahra
2 – Woollahra
3 – Vaucluse
4 – The Rocks
5 – Woollahra

As you can see, many of my Sydney doors are from Woollahra. I love this suburb in the eastern suburbs and it’s right on my doorstep. It’s very quaint with lots of character and charm.

That’s me just finished work for the week. I am sitting on the train home, tired but delighted to be off for a few days. I hope you all have a lovely long weekend and if you celebrate Easter, enjoy the celebrations, enjoy your time with those nearest and dearest and treat yourself to some chocolates.

Take care everyone and thanks for checking out my selection of doors.

Wayne 🐣

WordPress Monthly Word Prompt – GREEN 🍃

“Each month, we’ll be bringing you a single word that serves as a prompt for your writing, your art, your coding, whatever it is that makes you, you.
For April, the WordPrompt is: GREEN”. Thanks WordPress 🙌🏼.

It’s good to feel at one with nature

Ok I like this prompt and I smiled when I saw the word. To begin with, green is one of my all time favourite colours, falling just behind blue. I love scenery and nature and for me, this will most often include green and blue colours. Perhaps this is a reason for loving these colours. I feel like green has so many shades that can all emulate different energies. For example, racing green makes me think of class and sophistication, whereas, apple green is light, fresh and fun. Even when wearing green clothing I tend to feel good 😊.

I love wearing green!

I am also from Ireland, the Emerald Isle, where we have lots of greenery. We have luscious green fields, trees, grass and moss, namely due to the amount of rain we receive. Ireland is always associated with being green and we can see this especially on St Patrick’s Day, when all the Irish will wear green clothing. This isn’t only in Ireland. People all over the world will celebrate this day and don their favourite green attire. Ok, so it is mostly in countries that have a large Irish population or heritage but wearing green has become a trait of being quintessentially Irish.

It is super green in the Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland, pretty even on a cloudy day.
Castlerock, Northern Ireland. The blue skies really make the green pop!
Wearing green is essential on St Patrick’s Day ☘️

However, that’s not to say green is solely for the Irish. There are many countries that show case the colour green very well. When I think of green, I also think of tropical places. I think of holidays and paradise. Many countries and islands have wet seasons, therefore, green vegetation will be in abundance. When we travelled to Taveuni, the garden island of Fiji, it was extremely green, as you would expect.

Taveuni, Fiji

I also love to eat many healthy green fruit and vegetables. I love peppers (or capsicums in Australia), broccoli, peas, salads, apples, pears and grapes. I think even just the green colour makes me think of them as being healthy and good for you. I remember as a child always hearing “be sure to eat all your greens!”.

There’s even a green knife!
Everything appears healthy with greens 🥬

Thanks for allowing me the chance to divulge in a sea of greenery!!! What do you think about the colour green? What does it invoke in you?

Wayne ✌🏽 #wordprompt

Solo Sunday in Sydney 🙋🏼‍♂️

Today I am flying solo. I am off from work and the sun is finally shining in Sydney. It feels strange but exciting to see blue skies after having so much rain. I am dying to get out and about so I take myself off for a really long walk, wanting to soak up as much vitamin D as possible and to increase my step count for the week. I can’t do the Bondi to Coogee walk as it will be packed on a Sunday. So I decide to walk to Watson’s Bay via the residential streets, hoping to encounter as few people as possible. I pass Macquarie Lighthouse and from there I walk to Camp Cove, just past Watson’s Bay. It’s a little beach that is not as well know, unless you live here in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. I take the South Head heritage trail to Hornby Lighthouse and return to Watson’s Bay. Here I take the coastal walk from the Gap Lookout and return home via Rose Bay.

As well as being a beautiful walk and a good distance for gaining the steps, it also gives me the opportunity to take many photos, most of which I can add to my future posts for my Doors of WordPress and my Friday Flowers ☺️.

I hope you enjoy some of the scenic shots from today. This is my happy place. Walking in beautiful weather, with stunning scenery and the chance to see what I can photograph.

Macquarie Lighthouse
Camp Cove – a small beach with lots of charm and city views
Camp Cove kiosk – I love the quaintness of this kiosk and it was the perfect spot to stop for lunch
Views for days when you take the South Head heritage trail to the lighthouse
Hornby Lighthouse
Walking from the Gap Lookout towards Bondi.
The coastal views are stunning.
City views and the Harbour Bridge.
When I passed Macquarie Lighthouse again, I took the residential streets to Rose Bay and then home.

All in all, my walk was about 3.5 hours with a lunch stop. My feet are walked off me but I feel great for having done it and I can now put the feet up at home.

I hope you all are able to have a lovely Sunday wherever you are. Take care and keep safe,

Wayne ✌🏽

Friday Flowers

My Friday Flowers are back again this week! Sometimes I will post a flower of the day on a Friday but if I have a few to share, I will call the post Friday Flowers 🤗. I think it’s a nice way to end the working week, splash a bit of colour through WordPress and it’s a good opportunity to appreciate the little things in life that we can often take for granted. We are still having A LOT of rain here in Sydney and through NSW. I can’t even complain about it as some people have it much, much worse then me. There are severe floods here, people losing their homes, their livelihoods and sometimes even their lives. Plus we still have the war in Ukraine that is in my thoughts every single day. When will it all end? 🙏🏼 .

Please feel free to check out my Friday Flowers below and hopefully they can make you smile and add a little colour to your day ☺️. I will tell you their name and where I have seen them 👇🏼

Scarlet Star – Bellagio Resort, Las Vegas
Flame Vine – Vaucluse, Sydney
Angel’s Trumpet – Wendy’s Secret Garden, Sydney
Pride of Madeira – Vaucluse, Sydney
Chinese Hibiscus – Kogarah, NSW

I have to say, I am in no way a botanist but I have an amazing app on my phone that can tell me about a flower species by simply uploading a photo. I cannot believe how amazing it is that we can learn so much from a photo. The app is called Picture This if you want to have a look for yourself.

It also gives you the botanical names, where they originated and other common names.
It can also identify weeds, birds, insects etc. – simply amazing 🤩

Ps. This is not an advert for this app. I just want to share as I think it’s fantastic if you want to know more about the flowers you are photographing. You can check them out here at https://www.picturethisai.com/

I hope you enjoyed my Friday Flowers post. Have a great weekend everyone and if you’re in Sydney, good luck staying dry 😬.

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V4

My fourth instalment is here, featuring doors found in and around Sydney. These posts are creating a door monster within me! Now every time I see a door that I like, I have to photograph it. I just hope the person behind the door doesn’t mind. If ever questioned, I will explain my love for doors and inform them that they are part of my blog post. That is quite the achievement to be featured 🤣 (jokes). I hope you enjoy my selection of doors this week 👇🏼

The Butler Restaurant- Potts Point
Dry Cleaners – Bondi Junction
The Flower House – Surry Hills
Graffiti Door – Surry Hills
Double Doors – Randwick

Thanks for taking a look!

Enjoy your Thursday everyone,

Wayne ✌🏽

Tuesday Thoughts 💭

Thank you Melanie once again for your questions. I will use these for my Tuesday Thoughts today 🙌🏼. I love this Share Your World blog which you can check out again here. A great idea to connect with others and answer questions that you would not normally be asked. Check out my responses below 👇🏼

Are you more productive at night or in the morning? Do you think it’s possible to change and get used to another schedule?

I am always more productive in the morning. My brain must work better or maybe because I’m refreshed from a good sleep. I am more focused in the mornings and determined to meet my goals. I think it is possible to change, however, other things in your life would need to change. Maybe going to bed later and rising later. Maybe going to the gym in the evening might provide you with more energy. Who knows. All I know is that I’m content with my morning productiveness 😆.

What’s the biggest vehicle you’ve driven? If you don’t drive, what’s the biggest vehicle you’ve ridden in?

The biggest vehicle was a Renault Scenic. Maybe not that big for some but my first car to drive was a Ford Fiesta so the Scenic seemed pretty big. I loved that feeling of sitting up high with a good view around you. My dream is to drive and stay in a camper-van one day but like one of those big motor homes from Meet the Fockers.

What songs would be played on a loop in hell?

Oh anything heavy metal or trance music. That would be painful 🙉.

How were your spirits (mood) over the past week?

Pretty good to be honest. I have a lot to look forward to this year and plans are starting to come together. Watch this space 😉.

Thanks everyone and have a good week. Enjoy your Tuesday (Monday night for some).

Wayne ✌🏽

Sunday Sunsets – South Pacific

Happy Sunday everyone. If you’re in Australia, I hope you’re all feeling fresh as our clocks went back last night and we had that extra hour sleep ☺️.

The sunsets I want to show you this week are from the Coral Sea when we travelled on a South Pacific cruise. This was a Christmas cruise and our very first time holidaying on one. It was magnificent and the sunsets we seen were unreal. We also really appreciated the clean open air as Australia was in the middle of a really horrific bush fire season and the air was so smokey that it was difficult to breathe for a few days and nights. This was December 2019. It was bad enough we were experiencing the fires but little did we know that the coronavirus pandemic was just around the corner.

Have you seen many sunsets from the middle of the ocean? It really is something spectacular and this holiday will be forever etched in my memory.

Take care everyone and enjoy your Sunday.

Wayne ✌🏽

Flower of the Day (FOTD) – Frangipani

On this very wet Friday morning in Sydney I want to share with you my flower of the day….Frangipani, a small tree or shrub, native of Central and South America. This beautiful species definitely lifts my mood when I see it and they are everywhere in Sydney. Also today is the 1st of April. Can you believe it! For many people across the world, this means spring is on its way. For us Down Under, autumn has well and truly arrived.

Thanks for checking out my Frangipani pictures. I hope you like them as much as I do ☺️.

Wayne ✌🏽

Tuesday Thoughts – YOU LOOK SO FAT!!!!

You look so fat!!!! Have you put on weight?? What happened to you?

Ok so these are questions and statements that I would never ask or say to anyone and hope that no one else would (unless seriously worried about a loved one’s health).

Yet, I receive the opposite of these questions and statements on a VERY regular basis. You look so skinny! Have you lost weight? Are you eating enough? What is happening with you?

Granted I have always been skinny and always received these questions for as long as I can remember. However, I have had three different people ask me this in the past two days! When does it end? As a skinny man, it has always been my goal to put on weight, possibly for this reason. I’ve only really been working on my weight gain for the past five years and I want to do this in the best way possible and in a healthy manner.

I train at the gym which I absolutely love and yes I have put on a good amount of weight when I increased my calorie intake by 1000 calories. However, I noticed that my body fat was also increasing. Therefore, my new goal is to put on weight that is muscle mass and not body fat. I want to train well and eat a healthy diet. This takes a lot of time and effort, there is no quick fix. This is fine for me, I’m in no rush. However, the constant questioning and statements about weight is both tiresome and saddening. Now, I know this is not intentional. These are lovely people saying this and they would be horrified to know if I was offended. However, I am honestly surprised that I don’t have more of a complex about this. I guess I’m a tough cookie, quite resilient and do not let comments bother me too much.

Just another side note – unfortunately this is not people saying I’m skinny in a good way. For example, they could say, you’re looking slim or you look very toned…instead of saying skinny with that look of worry and disbelief in their eyes. Another point to note is, my weight very rarely changes on a daily basis. Therefore, I think people must forget how slim I am and when they do see me after a few weeks, they have forgotten and assume I have lost weight or I am not eating enough. People who know me well, know that I am always hungry and always eating. I love my food and am extremely grateful that I don’t need to worry about putting on much weight. Good genes I guess 😜.

Anyway, thanks for reading. That is my rant over. What are your thoughts on people’s own weight? Would you comment on someone’s weight? I don’t think people realise that being called skinny is just as bad as calling someone fat, which I personally would not do. Therefore, it really baffles me 🤷🏼‍♂️.

Don’t get me wrong, I am more than happy with my progress. Even if I will always be “skinny” 😆

Many thanks to you all,

Wayne ✌🏽

Sunday Sunsets – Portrush

Happy Sunday everyone. I’m up early here in Sydney, bright eyed this morning but without the bushy tail 🤣. Four hours sleep is just not enough for me (I’m a 7 hour man!) and I’m away today for some wine tastings. So I thought I would create my Sunday Sunset post before I head out for the day.

These were taken in 2016 at a place called Portrush. It’s a little seaside town along the north coast of Northern Ireland. This is the small harbour known as Portrush Harbour (funnily enough). It’s a really beautiful place and it’s a town that many people from Northern Ireland visit for a mini vacation. At the harbour you can find a variety of restaurants, quaint and cosy pubs, a yacht club and you’re in very close proximity to the beaches and town.

I am extremely fortunate that my parents moved here a few years ago so it means I always get to come here. I used to frequent as a child, like most kids did then, as most people couldn’t afford foreign holidays. People would have travelled locally for the weekend or a week away. However, we always had the best times and treasure those memories into our adulthood.

Have you ever visited Northern Ireland’s stunning yet underrated coastline? I feel like it often gets forgotten about when people visit Ireland 🤷🏼‍♂️.

Be sure to let me know.

Take care everyone,

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V3

My love of doors continues to thrive. I cannot wait to travel again and see doors from other countries too. However, I do love how Sydney has such an array of door types and fortunately for me, are all in my neighbourhood. If you are also a lover of doors, check out Thursday Doors here. You can take a look at my top 5 doors this week below 👇🏼.

Woollahra, Sydney
Bondi, Sydney
Woollahra, Sydney
Point Piper, Sydney
Waverley, Sydney

Thanks for taking a look and stay safe guys,

Wayne ✌🏽

Tuesday Thoughts 💭

For today’s post I want to reply to Melanie’s post which you can find here on SHARE YOUR WORLD. I love the idea of sharing our thoughts. Ps. I just missed my spot to hop off the train by about three stops. The joys of being engrossed in the blogosphere 😬.

What very common thing have you never done?

I have never been married to the opposite sex.

Are we morally obligated to be charitable, if we have the means to?

This is a really tough question. I don’t think we are morally obligated but it is the right thing to do. We should want to help others as decent human beings. I feel morally obligated to help Ukraine but feel so helpless as a single entity to do anything significant.

What is the most amazing fact you know?

That the sun will rise again tomorrow.

What’s your favorite sandwich and why?

Chicken and cheese all the way!

Something that inspires me…

The youth of today inspire me, especially their stance on global warming and wanting to improve the world we live in.

Thanks for taking the time to read my Tuesday Thoughts and thanks to Melanie for the inspiration.

By the way, I actually can’t believe this but I have just missed my train spot again on the return train!!!!! No more blogging for me this morning 🤦🏼‍♂️.

Wayne ✌🏽

Sunday Sunsets – Phuket

Happy Sunday everyone. I have been thinking about this for some time now. As well as my love for travelling, doors, flowers, architecture and anything quaint, I am also obsessed with sunrises and sunsets. Preferably sunsets as I don’t like to wake up too early to see the sun rising. I want to share with you every Sunday some of my favourite sunsets (and a few sunrises) over the years and where I have seen them. Hopefully the colours will also brighten our spirits with all the sadness in the world today.

This week I will show you a sunset I watched in Kata Noi on the island of Phuket, Thailand. I met my parents here for a few days as they were holidaying from Ireland and I flew over from Australia. It was amazing to be able to catch the sunset with my parents and spend some quality time with them on my own. A time I will forever cherish.

Kata Noi Beach
With my Dad

Thank you for taking a look.

Wayne ✌🏽

Friday Art

This amazing piece of art is from my good friend Grainne Knox. You can check her out on Twitter, Instagram etc. Grainne is providing people with this image if they care to donate to the people of Ukraine via the Disasters Emergency Committee here. No matter what the amount is, it can make a difference. It’s a good idea if you’re feeling helpless and not sure how to help.

I think it’s a lovely gesture and I love this image. It is very relatable for Ukraine today with the sunflower being their National flower 🌻. I also love the idea of sunflowers growing everywhere.

If you want to check out Grainne’s work online you can click this link https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/GrainneKnoxArt?coupon=GRA4MNA.

Wayne ✌🏽

Doors of WordPress V2

Welcome to my second Doors of WordPress post. I am posting today because it is Thursday today and there is an amazing Thursdays Doors group in the blogosphere that showcases the most amazing doors. You can check it out here https://nofacilities.com/category/thursday-doors.

Please let me know which one is your favourite. I have written the location where I found each door in the caption below the photo. Note they are all from New South Wales, Australia ☺️.

1 – Surry Hills
2 – Bronte
3 – Robertson
4 – Kogerah
5 – Woollahra

The last door is my personal favourite. What’s yours?

Thanks all and keep safe,

Wayne ✌🏽

Sir Joseph Banks Park

If you’re looking to check out somewhere different near Sydney, then this could be your next stop. Situated near Botany, this park has it all, including a walking trail, a sports oval, themed gardens and ornamental animals, a maze, shaded walkways and picnic benches dotted around the park.

If you’re intrigued to know who Sir Joseph Banks was click here.
The tiger pen…you wouldn’t get this close if they were real 😝
Beautiful sculptures
Stunning scenery along the water

This park is a lovely way to spend a couple of hours on a sunny morning/afternoon. It’s always a blessing to find a new spot to discover and explore.

Thanks for taking a look with me,

Wayne ✌🏽

FLOWER(S) OF THE DAY CHALLENGE (FOTD)

Cee from Cee’s Photo Challenges has a Flower of the Day challenge. You can check it out here. I thought this would be a fun post to show some of my flowers as I have quite a lot on my camera roll. They just aren’t popular on my Instagram feed for some reason, therefore, they are rarely seen. I’m delighted to show them off here on my blog. A big thank you to Cee for creating this challenge 🙏🏼.

Tulips from the Walled Garden at Glenarm Castle, Northern Ireland
Orange Coneflower, Swords Village, Ireland
Montbretia, Cremorne Reserve, Sydney
Guarianthe skinneri, Fiji
Fire-star Orchid, Fiji
Bird of Paradise, Sydney
Daffodils from Queen’s University Belfast

Thanks for having a look. All photos taken by me. I have so many more if this post becomes popular enough 🤣.

Wayne ✌🏽

100 Posts ☺️

I just want to write a quick post to say thank you to all the amazing bloggers out there. This community is amazing for encouraging others, inspiring others and making everyone feel extremely welcome. To everyone who reads my posts, likes them and leaves a comment, I sincerely appreciate it. It’s true that when you know people read and take an interest in what you have to say, it really drives you to keep writing and sharing your experiences. I am delighted to have found this community and make new friends.

I wrote a post a few months ago to show some pointers that I have learned along my blogging journey and was keen to share with others. I still stand by these points today. You can check it out here and hopefully it might offer you some advice, especially if you are taking the first steps on your blogging path.

Thanks again, everyone!

Wayne 🙏🏼

Doors of WordPress V1

I have wanted to create this post for some time as I have a real love for doors, as strange as that may sound. I really like anything quaint, so if I see a door remotely quaint, I cannot help but admire it. I thought I would do a blog series showcasing doors in and around Sydney, just a few at a time. Whenever I see a door worth showcasing, I will add it to my list of Doors of WordPress. I may even display doors from other parts of the country or even other countries too. Please let me know what you think ☺️. I have numbered them and added their general location.

Ps. I have realised that it may not even be the door that I love but it could also be the entrance or even the building.

1 – Hunter Valley
2 – Surry Hills
3 – North Bondi
4 – Paddington
5 – Taylor Square (open door 😉)

Thanks for checking out my doors and please let me know which was your favourite?!

Wayne ✌🏽

Pps. I have just been informed by other amazing bloggers that there are others writing posts about doors and buildings. I am so excited to see these and join the doors community ☺️. Join me in checking out the below sites.

https://nofacilities.com/2022/02/17/buckingham-square-district/

https://ceenphotography.com/2022/02/15/cffc-buildings/

Uluru – Sunrise tour

This tour was part of our Field of Light tour. After the lights, we headed upwards to the vantage point. There we were offered some tea/coffee and biscuits to watch the sunrise (this was needed due to being so early 😉). Needless to say, the sunrise was unreal. Even though we had witnessed a sunset, seen Uluru up close and from afar, this sunrise still managed to massively impress us. Take a look for yourself below.

Sun is rising
Waiting for the sun to rise 🌅
The colours 🤩
Sunrise with Uluru to the right. The way the sun hits is just stunning.

So we have now come to the end of my Uluru blog mini series. I hope you all enjoyed the pictures and are maybe now inspired to visit Uluru for yourselves. As I mentioned previously, we travelled here for a weekend break and didn’t quite get to see everything on our list, although I am overjoyed with what we did manage to see. If you plan to visit for yourself, there are a couple of other excursions you could try. Dining under the Stars is supposed to be amazing and was on my list big time. I’m sure it’s beautiful to eat in the middle of the desert with a clear sky above. Can you imagine how bright the stars must be? Also a camel tour around Uluru would be pretty epic, riding through the desert. Although part of me is slightly wary of this, could this be considered cruel to camels?

Anyway, hopefully you can do all the things you would like when and if you travel there. Not every excursion suits everyone. I for one am extremely happy with what we have seen and done and we have absolutely made memories to last a lifetime.

Thanks for reading,

Wayne ✌🏽

Uluru – Field of Light

This light show, created by Bruce Munro is a feast for the eyes!!! I had heard about this from my barber who had said how amazing this is. I looked it up online and knew that I had to see it for myself. It is a light show, made up of 50,000 glass lights, that lights up a massive area the size of more than seven football fields. With Uluru in the distance and as the sun rises, the lights create a real spectacle that is something truly out of this world. It has to be seen in the dark for obvious reasons but it is absolutely worth the 4.30 am wake up call. We booked this as a tour that also included a sun rise tour that will be featured in my next blog post. Please enjoy my photos below taken from this truly magnificent experience.

Photo taken before we entered the Field of Light

Please let me know what you think?

Wayne ✌🏽

Uluru – Sacred Sites & Sunset Tour

We had already booked a sunset tour but we really wanted to get up close and personal to Uluru. We had initially booked to have a BBQ after the sunset with some interesting bush tucker but sadly for us the weather had been pretty wet the week before (great for the National Park as rain doesn’t happen too often). Therefore, the BBQ had to be cancelled as they could not have it due to the area being saturated. This actually worked out well as we could then swap our BBQ for a day tour of the scared sites at Uluru. This enabled us to see Uluru up close and learn about its history. It’s one thing to see Uluru from afar but when you have the chance to touch the sacred rock formation, it was a welcome addition.

We booked our tour with AAT Kings and it offered a walking tour guide of Uluru and a sunset experience with drinks and nibbles. I have to say the tour was really good but for us, having the chance to simply see and touch Uluru from up close was the main event. You really do feel how majestic Uluru is and you can’t help but become engrossed in your surroundings.

We were delighted to able to touch Uluru
Mutitjulu Waterhole – this is a really special location and is one of the few permanent water sources around Uluru. This is a beautiful spot to sit and appreciate the peace and tranquillity.
We stopped here to see where tourists used to start the climb of Uluru. It’s hard to believe this was only stopped three years ago. Now we know how insensitive it was to climb this sacred site.

After seeing Uluru up close, it was time to head out and see the views from afar. This way you can really see how the light changes when it hits Uluru as the sun sets.

Sunset here is pretty special ☺️
Cheers to life 🧡
Every second spent here changes when the sun starts to set. The colour changes are impeccable. This was lovely to watch, whilst having some wine, cheese, dips and crackers.

As the sun was setting, local Indigenous people sit nearby displaying their incredible art work, hoping to sell a piece. They were all outstanding creations of art and we had to buy one. Such an amazing location to buy local art and support the local community.

This was honestly such an unbelievable experience seeing Uluru up close and at sunset. It’s difficult to even put into words. I hope you all have this opportunity to visit Uluru but until then, I really hope you can enjoy the photos ☺️. Thanks for reading.

Wayne ✌🏽

Uluru – By air

This was the first excursion we did when arriving to Yulara. This was a surprise for me as it had not even been on my radar to see Uluru from an airplane. I was told five minutes prior to being collected by the pilot. My remarkable partner had it all secretly planned.

We travelled with Ayers Rock Scenic Flights and yes you read that correct, we were collected by the pilot. This was certainly a first for us. We were taken by minibus to the airport where we boarded a very small airplane, a four seater Piston-powered aircraft (that’s as much as I know) and we had a safety talk with our amazing pilot.

I have been in a few different aircraft that holds up to ten people but never one that has just four seats. This was very exciting. You have to wear a headset that enables you to talk and listen to the pilot, whilst also listening to her communicate with the local air traffic control team. Then up, up and away.

The views even taking off were out of this world. I have never seen the ground so red and dusty. It’s amazing to be in the desert with not much at all around you. There were some green plants however, as there had been much needed rain just days before. We could see the town of Yulara, the hotels, the workers’ accommodation and an even fancier hotel away from everywhere else, where William and Kate had stayed. Our pilot was a great tour guide, giving us a run down of the area and history.

Then when you see Uluru, it’s just magnifique. Such a feast for the eyes. From the air it doesn’t look as big as on land but it fairly stands out in the middle of the desert. You can also see Kata Tjuta, another rock formation about 25km away from Uluru, which is just as formidable but somehow understated.

Honestly this is such an experience to see from the air. Whether you choose a plane or a helicopter, it will be worth your while booking a trip in the air. You won’t regret it. it’s not as scary as you might think and the turbulence was very minimal. The pilot talks to you throughout and you’re busy taking in the scenery to be anxious or worried about the height you are at.

Some advice for you that I learned after. You can only take and post pictures of Uluru from one side. On the back of Uluru are some culturally sensitive sites that you cannot take pictures of or post on social media. I had learned this when doing the tour on foot, however, I had never considered that fact when I was snapping away from the air. Granted I had this experience before the tour on foot so I was ignorant to this information. I have so many photos and videos but unfortunately cannot show them here from this angle. I will show more in the next blog post when we carried out the tours on foot.

Let me know what you think about seeing sites from the sky?

Thanks for reading all,

Wayne ✌🏽

Uluru – An introduction 🧡

Hey guys! I cannot wait to share this blog post with you about our very recent trip to Uluru. I have so many amazing pictures to share so I think I will create a short blog series, featuring this introduction and a post for each excursion that we managed to fit into our weekend. This is my first time creating a blog series for a place I have visited, so I think that speaks for itself how amazing I found this place ☺️.

I’m sure most of you have heard of Uluru, previously known as Ayers Rock, located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. If not, you can find some really interesting information here. For me personally, I know it as one of the wonders of the world and appears as a huge rock in the middle of Australia. Situated in the desert, it is known to me for its amazing colour, stage presence, it’s spirituality and is one of the first things that comes to mind when I think of Australia. It can also be referred to as the spiritual heart of Australia 🧡. For me, this is a bucket list trip that I am so grateful for now being able to tick off my list. Previously people could walk on top of Uluru until people were informed that this is actually very disrespectful to the Aboriginal people. This is an immensely culturally significant place for them and has to be treated as such. Therefore, walking on Uluru was ceased, albeit only from 2019 surprisingly.

For some people, they simply think of Uluru as a giant rock formation in the desert, which it is. However, there is so much more to this feature. When you see it for yourself, you just cannot help but be in awe. It is absolutely mesmerising. You can feel a sense of spirit and connection to the land and the history of Uluru. The way in which the light can alter the appearance of Uluru from sunrise to sunset is astonishing and photographs simply do not even do it justice. It is fascinating to learn about the geography of Uluru and it’s connection to the Aboriginal people dating back to about 30,000 years ago!

It had been advised to me that three days would be enough time to see Uluru. I agree that you can carry out many activities in three days, however, I believe I could have easily stayed for another couple of days if time permitted. Just a heads up if you’re ever planning to visit. There were some other activities that I simply didn’t have time for or they were booked out as this was a very spontaneous trip for us. I will write about the activities that we were able to carry out, whilst also mentioning the couple that we didn’t have the chance to do, in case you have the opportunity to see them for yourselves.

Ok so I will begin with how we travelled to Uluru, where we stayed and a little information regarding the area. As Uluru is in the National Park, the town neighbouring the park is actually known as Yulara. Travelling to Yulara from Sydney is a 3.5 hour flight approximately.

View on arriving into Yulara. Sitting on the left side of the plane gives you an amazing first glimpse of Uluru.

Thankfully Yulara is a small enough place and everything is very close by. When arriving at the airport it is less than a ten minute drive to the main inhabited area with the accommodation and town. All transfers to your accommodation are free and there is a free shuttle bus driving around Yulara every 20 minutes which is pretty awesome. We stayed in Sails in the Desert simply because I had seen it on Instagram and it looked really beautiful. This was a great hotel, lovely room, great food and extremely friendly staff. We couldn’t have asked for more. Although the pool was closed for renovations, we could use the neighbouring hotel pool which was perfect. All of the hotels are running at a reduced capacity due to covid and people not travelling. Personally, I loved this as we had more space to roam around, we didn’t not have to queue for anything and there was great social distancing.

Sails in the Desert hotel
Hotel restaurant where we had an amazing buffet breakfast and the best fried eggs I have ever eaten!

The town has an amazing art gallery displaying all the local aboriginal art (seriously out of this world!) known as GOCA – Gallery of Central Australia and there are also talks from local Aboriginal people, discussing their history and ways of life. Yulara has a cafe, a supermarket and a couple of shops selling some amazing Aboriginal artwork and gifts. There is a local pub known as the Outback Pioneer. This is for visitors and the locals and is most definitely worth checking out. Just hop on the coach and you will be there in 15 minutes or so. The town of Yulara, albeit small, has a lot of character and is extremely welcoming.

Hello, thank you, goodbye and welcome – Palya ☺️
Gallery of Central Australia
Neighbouring pool
Town centre
Outback Pioneer

Stay tuned for my next post where we look at the different activities we managed to undertake, the first one – seeing Uluru by air.

Thanks for reading,

Wayne ✌🏽

Mudgee – a photo blog

I am excited to show you all a snippet of this wonderful place in NSW, Australia known as Mudgee. First of all, what a great name. It is an Aboriginal name meaning ‘nest in the hills’ which is very apt as it is geographically located within the Cudgegong River Valley.

The reason I have always wanted to visit Mudgee as I have heard that it’s the place to visit for wine tasting. I know we have Hunter Valley nearby (I have so many posts on this) but I was excited to try somewhere new and visit a more rural location. Mudgee, being further inland of NSW and a 3.5 hour drive from Sydney is the perfect getaway. I had heard that Mudgee has a lot of character and is extremely rustic and quaint. These traits are right up my street and boy did Mudgee deliver.

We were only there for a weekend so we didn’t have the chance to explore everything on offer. However, that just means we will have to return one day! I will show you where we stayed and the places we managed to check out, including 3 wineries. Also the people here! The people are amazing here and so, so friendly.

This is where we stayed. This is Perry Street Hotel, part of the Peppertree Hill Group. Gorgeous place to stay and very central location.
The kimonos were a lovely touch 👘

The architecture in Mudgee was fantastic. I love seeing the old style buildings and churches. It adds a bit of character to the place and showcases the history of the area.

Mudgee Town Hall
Mudgee memorial clock tower
⛪️
Regent Theatre 🎭
Even the solicitors office looks impressive

We booked a wine tour with Mudgee Wine Tours and we planned the half day tour. This offered three vineyards to visit and to be honest this was just the right amount. We have done a full day wine tour in the past and it’s a long day of drinking wine 🤪. Others on our tour were carrying out the full day and they were exhausted by the end. Our tour guide was with the most fabulous woman we could have met. Lindy was professional, personable, extremely friendly and honestly made the tour very memorable for all the right reasons. She would interact with the different vineyard staff also which was really lovely to see and to be honest this was a first for us. Most tour guides will simply wait outside and operate mostly as a driver for the day.

1 – Our first vineyard was Walter Wines. A lovely place to visit and we also had the most amazing pies here for lunch.
2 – Pieter Van Gent Winery – really delicious fortified wines with an exquisite interior featuring some awesome old church furnishings.
3 – Bunnamagoo Estate – beautiful area to sit outside
Too good not to purchase 😜

A couple of places where we had drinks and dinner. These are all popular spots in Mudgee and worth checking out.

Kelly’s Irish Pub (why do Irish people always have to find the Irish pubs?!)
Beers at Mudgee Brewing Co – the food was amazing here too
Delicious food at Cade Kitchen and Bar
Breakfast at Alby and Esthers – amazing outdoor space, feels like you’re eating in a secret garden.
Paragon Hotel – Our favourite pub just beside our hotel. Perfect for a wee night cap 😉

We loved walking around the town and even managed to stumble upon a pretty park just by the river.

Quaint stores
A lovely walk along the Cudgegong River.

We also took a ten minute drive outside Mudgee to visit Windamere Dam. It is really stunning and you can also visit on your way home from Mudgee as it’s on the route back to Sydney.

Thanks for checking out my Mudgee blog. I hope you liked the photos and maybe feel inspired to visit yourself one day. It is a truly wonderful place that I would happily visit again.

Wayne ✌🏽

Where do you see yourself five years from now? #FPQ

It’s funny but I used to really hate being asked this question in job interviews. How the heck would you know where you were going to be in five years?! Especially as a young person, as the idea of being in the same place five years later would literally terrify me.

Now this question has been posed by fellow blogger Fandango as his provocative question. You can see his post Here.

I feel like I have two realities that could be equally possible. Almost like a Sliding Doors scenario if anyone has seen that movie.

1 – I will still be living in Australia, working as a nurse and teacher but living further afield. I will move out of the big smoke to somewhere more rural, purchase an amazing property, have my own car and have a couple of dogs. I will be able to travel home to Northern Ireland once or twice a year as covid will no longer be an issue.

2 – I will be living at home in Northern Ireland. Covid is still an issue and we cannot travel to Australia as freely as before. I will have a similar life, working as a nurse, buying my own property, purchase my first car and have two dogs. I may be considering a career change as nursing travels deeper and deeper into the depths of despair with the NHS sinking (hopefully not). I will have lots of great times with family and friends, seeing them whenever I please. I will travel all around Ireland (albeit with my raincoat and umbrella) and will travel all over Europe (covid restrictions permitting if still exists).

To be honest, any one of these scenarios would be fine as long as I remain healthy and my loved ones stay safe and well 😊.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Thanks for reading,

Wayne ✌🏽

Bloganuary Day 31 – we made it!

Last day of the blogging challenge!!! Cannot believe we made it to the end. 31 days of blogging in a row. For the most part I have really enjoyed it, however, I do feel the prompts have went downhill since the beginning. I can appreciate it must be difficult to think of new topics every day that will keep people enthralled. I was really hoping for an amazing prompt today, seeing as it’s the last one but it fell a bit flat for me. What do you think of today’s topic? On a positive note, it does make you think outside the box.

I don’t often see many stars living in the city. So when I do have the chance to see them, I know for sure that I am out of the city and a little more rural. This in itself is a good feeling as I must be on holidays.

There is something very special about looking at the stars and it always makes me feel contented. It provides a feeling that the world is not that big, as everyone on the planet can look at the same stars (not all at the same time). It brings us together as human beings and with me living so far away from home, I take comfort in knowing we are all under the same stars ☺️.

I also often think about who else can see the stars out there. Are there other planets or galaxies with living beings that can also see the the same stars? Or maybe they have their own stars.

I feel calm and at ease when looking at stars too and almost become lost in their beauty in the night sky. How does everyone else feel?

On a final note, I would like to add a huge well done to everyone for making it this far with Bloganuary. It has been an amazing month of blogging, making new friends and reading other people’s perspectives. It’s funny how we all interpret the blog prompts differently and we form our own methods and ideas to tackle the questions. I have thoroughly enjoyed the process and look forward to interacting more with my fellow bloggers.

Thanks so much for the support and all your amazing comments. I love reading what you have to say and learning more about people from all over the globe.

Take care, stay safe and keep blogging!

Wayne 💛

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