Monday, March 24, 2014


There are a couple of flower-related activities on my bucket list. One is to do with tulips - more specifically, to stand in a field of tulips, and be surrounded by them as far as the eye can see. I've managed to visit the Netherlands three times, and yet none of those trips were the right time of year. Not to despair though, because I've heard a rumour that there is a region in northern Washington, famous for its tulip festival every April. You can be sure where we'll be headed one weekend soon.

The other fantasy of mine is connected to my love of all things Japanese, and that is to partake in hanami - the viewing of cherry blossoms. All the images I've seen over the years of spring in Japan have me wishing I could jump on the next plane there, and follow the sakura (cherry blossom) trail from south to north as they bloom.

Van Gogh's Almond Blossoms (source: Wikipedia)

In a strange little hybrid twist, I even bought myself a print of Van Gogh's Almond Blossoms, after being captivated by it in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, way back in 1999. Wanting to save it until I had the spare cash to splash on getting it framed properly, I carried that damn print (along with another Van Gogh print) - rolled up in its special box for travellers - from home to home. London to Brighton, to Melbourne, then to Sydney, when I was finally feeling both settled and flush enough to give those prints the frames and wall space they deserved... only five years later. I'm not kidding when I say I procrastinate. This print followed us to the US, and has a special place on our bedroom wall.

I don't know when I'll get to Japan, so yesterday we did the next best thing and visited the University of Washington campus to see the cherry blossoms in their Quad. Of course, we didn't realise at the time, but arborists had declared that weekend to be the best time to see the cherry blossoms, in bloom at 100%. I think every second person in Seattle had the same idea as us - it was insanely busy.

It was also insanely beautiful.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


It appears that the last batch of photos I shared here were completely snow-related. I love the snow - it'll take a lot for that novelty to wear off - but I'm also happy to see some more sunshine light at the end of this wintery tunnel I've been existing in.

I know, I know... winter is much harsher elsewhere and I just need to get over myself. I was talking the other day to someone from Colorado, and had moved to Seattle six years ago. She sang praises of the much milder winters here, and I realised I needed some perspective. Still, after a few winters in Southern California, a bit of adjustment to Pacific Northwestern winters is required. Not going to beat myself up over that.

Anyhow, I've been meaning to come and update on life here. I've conquered tackled a couple of major fears of mine (I intend to write about), I've officially changed jobs, the girls have had long-overdue haircuts, a black eye and suspected broken nose (thankfully not), and we've been flat out selling Girl Scout cookies. Have I mentioned I co-lead the Faery's Brownies troop? Yeah, enough with the laughing. I'll get around to writing about how that eventuated, some day.

In the mean time, let's play photo catch-ups.

The chop for the Faery was fairly drastic, but one I'd been pushing for some time (daily tangle dramas and all that). She'd resisted in the past, and I didn't want to force it... thankfully she agreed to try it, and loves it. Mornings are so much easier now.

A week later, Miss Pie also wanted a chop, and she wanted drastic too. Sadly for her, I wasn't ready, so we compromised. I'm not prepared yet to say goodbye to the lighter curls on the end, as I have a feeling it won't grow back that way. Given that her hair doesn't have the tangle-issues of her sister's, I kind of want to cling to that baby hair a little longer.

 New boots, as the ones I'd bought her in October already had holes. Here's hoping these last longer.

The black eye and suspected broken nose I mentioned? She had managed to fall up our stair case one evening. The huge swelling the next day was enough to warrant a visit to the doctor's for a check over, but nothing serious - apart from resembling a bout in a boxing ring.

A glimpse of spring weather, at one of the beaches in our neck of the woods. Winter? Go away.

We have a case of backyard envy (at a lovely friend's house). Mind you, there is a bear known to amble through their next door neighbour's yard, and I think I can live without that.

Bruiser, yo.

Flowers, cookies, and gap-teethed little girls selling the cookies. What's not to love?

Sunday morning coffee in the sun. I'll have more of that, please.

Lake Washington, with peekaboo snow-capped Olympic mountains in the distance.

We are more than just a little excited to have daylight savings back again.

I am also more than just a little bit in love with the way that the buildings all around Pike Place are lined above with daffodils.

These tulips took a bus ride home with me from Pike Place Markets, because who could resist?

More Lake Washington, more mountains, plus downtown Seattle peeking through.

Last of all, I have taken a gazillion photos of all the pink and white cherry blossoms around town. Between those and all the daffodils, it's feeling like spring. Finally.