Saturday, January 10, 2015

2014


It did take me longer than expected but here is my little review of 2014. I enjoyed going through the posts of the last year (previous years 2010, 2012 & 2013) and to realize how lucky I am for the good life I am able to live. 


January
It was a hot January and I remember going to the amazing Arcade Fire concert right after our trip back home to Germany. We also saw the Exxopolis exhibition right in front of the Opera House with some dear friends who visited us from Germany. It was also one of the first times I took out my new Leica camera to give it a try. It became a little tradition to go down to Tasmania over the long Australia Day weekend, so also last year we went, this time with a bunch of friends. I love this place so much. We didn't do really much apart from going on bush walks, have lots (and lots) of food and wine, long evening chats and play games. I could have spend weeks there and hope to be back soon. 

EXXOPOLIS - Architects of Air / Sydney Festival Bush walk in Tasmania
February
We enjoyed many ocean swims with dear friends after work and also the amazing Summer fruit and veg you get in Australia around this time. Summer is such a special time of the year and everyone wants to hold to it a bit longer when you feel it might slowly get Autumn. A few things which come to my mind - fresh mangos, open windows, sea breezes, swims (before and after work), salty skin, sandy wooden floor boards, drying beach towels, long evenings & late dinners, fish tacos, a little summer tan, the smell of all the plants which blossom in Summer, Will's birthday. I think 2014 was also the year we got the most visitors from Europe. Some more good friends visited us in February and we tried to show them the best bits in and around Sydney.
A day at the beach Summer lunchMarch
We still spent lots of time at the water in March. The water being warm from the hot Summer sun makes it particularly nice in Autumn to go for ocean or rock pool swims, plus it is actually still quite warm in Sydney to this time of the year. Reading the paper on a Saturday morning by the sea and listening to the waves is really something else. We started having regular lunch dates with our dear friends Mel & Polo. Such a nice way to spend time together by eating good food, having a few good laughs and resting on the couch or going for a walk afterwards. 
A Saturday morning swim Sydney Summer Food Untitled
April
We went to Perth to visit Will's family over the Easter break which was a really nice change. Western Australia is so different compare to the East coast. The beaches are more wide & long and a lot more empty. We went for a swim every single morning. We would wake up, quickly get into our swimmers, grab a towel and off we were to the beach which is just a 5 minute ride away. Some mornings the water was so calm and beautiful, I could have looked at it for ours. The water itself was beautifully warm and clear.

Back in Sydney I enjoyed the warm Autumn temperatures and went for long walks on the weekends, sometimes alone, sometimes with company like my friend from Denmark who spent a few months in Sydney writing on a kids book and who left in April.


Untitled A walk with a friend

May
My dear sister and friend visited us in May, the weather wasn't that amazing the weekend they stayed with us but it is always wonderful to go to the sea, no matter which weather. So we went and watched some big waves and brave surfers. 
We also went for a weekend to Melbourne to meet friends and to just go to all those wonderful places they have down there. Its just such a great city, full of wonderful bars, restaurants, shops and cafes. 

The sea on a rainy day Melbourne

June
We went to New Zealand the second time in June, this time to the North Island. We drove from Auckland down to Wellington and wanted to walk the Tongariro Crossing but unfortunately the weather was so bad that they had to cancel the tour. Nevertheless we had an amazing time this country is just so beautiful, the North is very different compare to the South island but very magical in its own way. I really would like to go back, which might not happen for a few years but its definitely something I would love to explore a bit more. Apart from the stunning nature and landscape we particularly loved Wellington, you can smell the coffee beans being roasted when you walk down certain streets, everyone is incredibly friendly, the food amazing and the city, also being close to the water is just stunning with its different neighbourhoods.

In June a few of my photos got published in the wonderful Alphabet Journal magazine (a few outtakes here).


Alphabet Family Journal (Outtakes)

KareKare Beach, New Zealand The Refreshment Room, NZ Eastern Walkway - Wellington
July
Winter has been so stunningly beautiful in Sydney last year. I do love Summer but the blue sky and crisp air Winter days are also pretty special. They just invite for long walks and shadow collecting, going to lots of cafes and cooking Winter recipes, like soups or stews. 
Happy weekend from Sydney
August
We came up with the idea to start a food blog on which we share our favourite recipes, stories around the recipes & food in general. It is called 'Mostly Saturdays' and we know we have been bad in the last few months with new updates but we really like to work on it in the new year and update it very soon.
food
September:
We enjoyed Winter to the fullest, its blue skies and shorter days which invite for more cosy evenings at home and catch ups with friends. 
I also was in Melbourne to take some photos of Elizabeth's (Primoeza) studio for the Weekender. 
Sydney
Bronte, Sydney, AustraliaWinter in SydneyMelbourne - Primoeza
October
We went for a wonderful hike to the Royal National Park with our dear friend Mel. It is just a 1,5h drive out of the city and such a peaceful and beautiful place. It was also the month in which we slowly started realizing that we only have a few more weeks left before we had to say goodbye to our life in Sydney and our dear friends.
Bush walk in the Royal National Park, Australia
A walk in the Royal National Park, NSW Australia
November
The month we moved back to Germany. The idea of moving back grew in our had since a while and got more and more real mid 2014. We had long conversations about it and finally decided to give it a try. So much effort & time went into this move. I can't tell you how exhausting it is to start your life all over again at the other end of the world. Apart from all the annoying bureaucracy stuff the most challenging part for us was to get emotionally ready for the move, to let go a bit of our roots which were so deeply grown into that place we called home for 4,5 years and to let change happen without too many comparisons & being too sad but to rather look forward to everything which is lining up. Let me tell you that it is not easy to move from Sydney Summer to Hamburg Winter. There are a lot of things we are struggling with at the moment but it is always the people around us (in Australia and Germany) who welcome us with open arms and heart and try to make this all a lot easier for us. We feel so lucky and are so thankful for that and really look forward to an exciting 2015.

In November we tried to spent as much time as possible with our dear friends, we also managed to go for a long weekend up to Byron Bay. The photos are developed and I am go through them so many times. I think I will keep them for a little bit longer but will share them soon. There just so many memories connected to those last weeks in Australia.


Royal Botanic Gardens - Sydney

December
We are back in Germany. It is so great to spend time with my family and friends, to celebrate my birthday and Christmas. To just call during the day without looking up the time in Germany and to just be closer. There is still a lot to get used to but we are excited for everything ahead. 

Byron Bay 2014



I wish you a wonderful 2015. May it be filled with wonderful moments, health and love. 


Thank you for coming by this space, leaving a comment to say hi or letting me know what you think about my photos. I really appreciate it.


I felt really happy that some of my photos got printed in some wonderful publications such as the Weekender, The Plant and the Alphabet Journal in 2014. 


To a great & exciting 2015


Take care,

Maria 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Northern Beaches

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A few more beach impressions.
I am trying to bring my camera out for walks here in Hamburg but the light is rare here in Winter so it will take longer to get a roll of film full. We are still waiting to get our container from Sydney until then my digital camera is locked away and all I can show you are some more impressions from Australia. I hope you don't mind. I am also working on my yearly review....hopefully it will be ready soon :) Just a few more days to go.

>< Mieke and Renilde made the wonderful ABC book which I can't wait to receive in the mail. Have a look here.



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Winter at the beach

Northern Beaches, AustraliaUntitledNorthern Beaches, AustraliaNorthern Beaches, AustraliaNorthern Beaches, AustraliaNorthern Beaches, Australia

Thank you so much for all your kind words about our move to Hamburg. The first two weeks went by and we have been slowly adjusting to the colder weather and few hours of daylight every day. We have been lucky and our first apartment application went through and we got the keys for our new place yesterday. Now all we need is our container which is on its way from Sydney.

I am so glad for all the photos I took while being in Sydney in the last years. It happened in the last weeks that we sat on the couch and flicked through them, remembering days, moments, chats, friends.....I came across these photos I took in 2013 at the Northern Beaches and I realized I never shared them even though I really like the mood and colours of those shots.

The other day I went for my first swim here after work. It was -4C and I took the train two stops further of our current home. I have never been to this bath but it was one of those old beautiful bathes with old tiles and high ceilings. When I asked where the pool for the laps is they pointed outside. Yes, the pool was outside. I wasn't sure if I can do it as I thought this is quiet an extreme contrast to the pool I was used to go to in Sydney. Well, I saw two elder people outside, swimming their laps, so I got changed and after slowly counting till 3 (maybe 5) I entered the water (which was of course heated) and started swimming my laps.

So here I was, swimming in this heated pool, my head cold and the rest of my body warm, the water was 'sending' clouds of steam into the cold and dark night air and every now and then the subway drove by. It was very different to the pool in Sydney but in its own way it was also very nice.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Leaving Sydney

Leaving Sydney

And then our last week in Sydney arrived.

Even though we have made the decision to move to Germany a few months ago I feel now that we have actually left, we can slowly process the change and realize that it is not just a holiday we are here in Germany for but actually to set up our life again.

I am so grateful for the amazing time I had in my last 4.5 years living in Australia, most of all for the people I met, friends I made and places I have been to. It was a big move back in 2010 but I am so glad I did it and was able to collect all those different experiences and go on many adventures in the last years.

It was a hot Sydney Summer day last Friday, our last day. I got woken up from the noise of the birds outside our friends apartment. Those exotic birds whose songs became so familiar to me over the last years. The Summer light and smells coming through the window and realizing that this will be the last time for a while until I'll feel, hear and see this again. Our bags were all packed up and we had farewelled all our friends over the previous days. So we woke up early and walked through the Botanic Gardens to the Andrew Boy Charlton pool for a final swim. It was a 35C day and it was already quite warm...the Summer sun was standing high and hit the surface of the pool which was glowing in its inviting blue. I put on my goggles and cap and dived into the cool and salty water. Swimming my laps, like the many mornings before work in the last years or late afternoons after work. I put my head under the water, the blue of the tiles seemed so strong due to the midday light and with every move I could see the shades of my hands at the bottom of the tiles of the pool. It was a really nice moment which I wanted to remember as I said goodbye with every lap I swam and seemed to be getting ready to leave after finishing the ritual which I'd gotten so fond of over the years.

We left the pool, our towels around our hips still seeming to be people who are living in that great city but secretly saying goodbye. We went for a last coffee and breakfast to our favorite cafe (Room 10) before we took a taxi and left our street and neighbourhood behind. After an almost 30h trip we arrived in Hamburg, welcomed by dear friends and relieved to finally be here.

The last view days have been all about settling in, catching up with friends, getting used to the different season and trying to find an apartment. It is very exciting to be back and we look forward to everything which is about to come over the next few months. I still have a few photos from Australia which I would love to share with you over the next weeks....

I hope you are all well.
Maria

PS I took the photo earlier this year when we flew back to Sydney from Hobart, Tasmania :)


Sunday, November 16, 2014

A studio visit - Pippin Drysdale

Cearmic artist Pippin Drysdale in her studio in Perth, AustraliaCearmic artist Pippin Drysdale in her studio in Perth, AustraliaCearmic artist Pippin Drysdale in her studio in Perth, AustraliaCearmic artist Pippin Drysdale in her studio in Perth, AustraliaWork of Pippin Drysdale

A few months ago I showed you some photos of Western Australian artist Pippin Drysdale. When we were back in Perth some weeks ago to see Will's family we had another chance for s sneak peak into Pippin's studio, where she works on the most amazing ceramic pots.

We are packing up our apartment this weekend and the weather is helping us with not feeling too bad being inside all day. It is pouring down this morning. I am secretly hoping that we will be able to going for a swim later on in the afternoon.

Hope you are all having a great weekend,
Maria

Monday, November 3, 2014

Royal Botanic Gardens - Sydney

Royal Botanic Gardens - Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens - Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens - Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens - Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens - Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens - Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens - Sydney
A few weeks back my friend Rosa and I went for a walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens here in Sydney. It was a warm Winters day and you could smell that Spring was just around the corner. We only live 10 minutes away from the gardnes but I know I will miss having this beautiful oasis close by (a lot).