A drive on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria about 150km west of Melbourne reminded me of the coastal drive in California between San Francisco and Los Angeles… Memories, oh memories!
To-night the west o’er-brims with warmest dyes;
Its chalice overflows
With pools of purple colouring the skies,
Aflood with gold and rose;
And some hot soul seems throbbing close to mine,
As sinks the sun within that world of wine.
And twilight comes with grey and restful eyes,
As ashes follow flame.
But O! I heard a voice from those rich skies
Call tenderly my name;
It was as if some priestly fingers stole
In benedictions o’er my lonely soul.
From a poem by Pauline Johnson
“… Here about the beach I wandered, nourishing a youth sublime – with the fairy tales of science, and the longest result of time; When the century behind me like a fruitful land reposed; When I clung to all the present for the promise that it closed: When I dipped into the future far as human eye could see; Saw the vision of the world and all the wonder that would be…”
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
“… I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does… I wonder how the road beyond it goes – what there is of green glory and soft, chequered light and shadows – what new landscapes – what new beauties – what curves and hills and valleys further on.”
It is toward the end of my month-long journey as I am re-packing my suitcase to return to Australia. I have had a wonderful time bonding with all four grandchildren from London to Seattle plus a quick first time visit to Ireland where beauty of the country even so little that I have seen left me speechless!
I will miss my family as I missed each and every one of them after each time I’ve been with them. I still have a life of my own to live and to enjoy however long or short it will be and I know ‘he’ would not want me to be miserable, as I know there is still so much for me to explore and discover. See you on my next adventure.
Coming from Melbourne, Australia I think we have the best coffee! I might have been wrong but with all my travels almost yearly since 2009 I have not had a good cup of coffee anywhere except in Melbourne, and a café here in Fremont. Thank goodness my daughter chose “quirky” Fremont to live while in Seattle.
My grandchildren walked with me down some very steep hills to the main Fremont shopping area on 36th Street, it took fifteen minutes and where I could have a cuppa at my favourite café and a bit of a wander before climbing up the hill heading home again. After a good cup of coffee, I could climb mountains even if it took half an hour for me to walk back a couple of steep hills. At half of the way the grandchildren were tactfully found a shady spot under a tree suggested a rest, which pleased grandma no end.
And since it’s Friday, I enjoyed a family’s traditional dinner with delicious homemade pizza created by my daughter. The salad was made with Tomatillo, a type of green tomato that we don’t have in Australia, or that I have not seen in Melbourne, it happened to be another of my favourite fruit and which I could enjoy while in Seattle. And to top up my pizza with fresh “hot” cherry pepper, it was perfect!
I have been to Seattle many times before, the first few visits were with my beloved husband when we could share all our joy together. Since he died, Seattle with my daughter, my grandchildren and their home have always been a safe and peaceful place for me to seek certain respite as well as being able to hug my grandchildren, sharing their love, enough to send me back home rejuvenated for another year.
A 2.5 acres of landscaped garden with hundreds varieties of roses that suitable for Seattle climate, and being a pesticide-free garden, the gorillas of the nearby zoo can enjoy the gourmet treats of the spent flowers.
This beautiful rose garden is within ten minutes walk from where I stayed. It is not only a sanctuary for the birds and the bees but it is a great place for me just to sit and contemplate, letting each breathing to exhale and inhale the perfume fragrance of the roses, a perfect place for daydreaming!
“All things uncomely and broken, all thing worn out and old – The cry of a child by the road way, the creak of a lumbering cart – The heavy steps of the ploughman, splashing the wintry mould – Are wronging your image that blossoms a rose in the deep of my heart.
The wrong of unshapely things is a wrong too great to be told – I hunger to build them anew and sit on a green knoll apart – With the earth, the sky and the water, re-made like a casket of gold – For my dreams of your image that blossoms a rose in the deep of my heart” W.B.Yeats
It’s a lovely suburb just north of the Aurora Bridge. This is my fourth visit to Seattle and Fremont is like an old friend where I feel very comfortable wandering around many up hills and down dales streets. And I am never tired of looking out to a vista of mountain ranges on the far horizon, sometimes catching a faint view of the snow-capped Mt Rainier, which is always an awesome feeling!
At the local grocery, as always staff and manager are so helpful to help me finding the right stuff for my cooking, which for today I plan to make my version of fish cakes, simple and easy. My way of cooking is that I am not fuss for complicated recipes. As long as the ingredients are fresh and wholesome then I am happy. The less time spent in the kitchen is the better.
My simple fish cakes that I made for my English family over a couple of weeks ago in Haslemere were a success so I hope my Seattle family will enjoy them as well. Though I can never guarantee they will taste the same since I’ve never follow any recipe but use what ever is available.
I am very happy to be back in Seattle once again and to be with my daughter and her family. The welcome hugs and greetings from my grandchildren wiped out all my tiredness from my wandering in Dublin and Galway.
It’s great fun and exciting to venture in places that one had not been before, but it was also great to relax in a familiar environment where a comfortable room and bed that you slept in before. Thanks to my granddaughter’s hospitality giving up her room for grandma.
My first morning was in the spectacular solar eclipse of a hundred years that swept across America when for a few long minutes the sky darkened and I could feel the air became cold. It was an experience of a lifetime! But it did not cure my jet lagged. The children decided to take grandma for a play down at a nearby park and that was nice. How they have grown even in just a year. The twelve-year-old: “Look grandma! My feet touched the branches!” And the eight-year-old could spin his little football like a pro.
My tour today took me to the Wicklow Mountains and National Park. It’s the largest continuous upland in Ireland occupied about four counties. Passing by slopes and peaks covered with blanket bog and heath in beautiful pink and purple heather against the many shades of green. Such a beautiful sight to drinking in despite sun showers throughout the morning.
Wicklow Mountains including Glendalough, where an ancient monastic site founded by St. Kevin in the year 555 AD. Despite being attacked by the Vikings over many years, Glendalough thrived as one of Ireland’s great ecclesiastical foundations and places of learning until the Normans destroyed the monastery in 1214 AD.
We stopped at Kilkenny, a Medieval Capital of Ireland for late lunch and a bit of a wander through an Anglo-Norman stone castle built during the first decade of the 13th century, later became the principal Irish residence of the powerful Butler family for almost 600 years.
I have had the best time in Ireland!
As we travelled on the bus today from Galway toward Connemara, rows and rows of many layers stone walls and colourful hedgerows reminded me of the romantic Irish landscape in books and films. I realised how this land could get under the skin of so many artists, writers and poets alike. From the barren mountain peaks to the golden green hills and vales – cascading streams rushing toward the blue Irish Sea, something untamed, strong and oh so beautiful!