Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I've just come back from a great weekend away.  Just me, my sewing machine and my knitting machine. 

I know.  Indulgence.
The truth is, I haven't been feeling so great lately.  Real life has been biting and my health and productivity at work have copped a battering.  The realisation struck that I hadn't had more than the odd weekend break in more than 5 years, and the last time I had more than a week's break was over ten years ago. 

It occurred to me last week that if I didn't escape for a few days to completely unwind, I may hit a VERY hard wall before the end of the next 12 weeks, which are booked solid with teaching and writing work (umm...ok... and another crafty weekend sometime mid-September.... but that seems too far away).

It felt vital to take up the offer of a friend's holiday house and escape down the Great Ocean Road immediately - child-free and work-free. I left after school drop-off on Friday and came back in time for school pick-up on Monday.
The quilts I started at Sewjourn in May came together over the weekend.  I'm yet to find the perfect fabric to bind one of them, but the other is finished. They made me happy and feel a bit proud of myself.  I kept looking at them all weekend.  

There was also machine-knitting and (simultaneous) Boardwalk Empire-watching, there was reading and walking and listening to audio books. 

There was no telephone, no internet and no work.  There was no having to be anywhere or do anything and there was no having to take responsibility for anything.  I needed this part, most of all.
It's more than 20 years since the last time I stayed in this part of the world but it was the place where my family always went when we were kids, often several times a year.  It was my parents first home when they were newly-weds and young parents, and is steeped in history and tradition for us.  A holiday homeland, of sorts.
As I walked along the beach yesterday, I found myself treading through memories of sandcastles and campfires, hot baked potatoes and freshly caught fish...songs and laughter.... of being a child, a teenager and a young adult in this place. 

I came up off the beach and found myself in front of the house we stayed in for most of the holidays of my teenage years.  More than 25 years absence couldn't erase my instinct for where 'our' path from beach to house is.

It felt great. Like home.
The sky and sea were so blue today, I changed my plans of driving (quickly) through the mountains to the freeway to taking the Great Ocean Road (slowly) back to Melbourne.  Stunning.

I feel recharged.  Shut down and restarted.  De-fragged.  Great.


Karen said...

It sounds like it was an idyllic weekend, good for your soul. xx

Leonie said...

Love it <3

Fiona said...

Fantastic! Looks like a great place to unwind.

Not sure I could for even a year without at least one full week off ... preferably a fortnight!! But five years with only the odd weekend I definitely couldn't do. Hope you get away again soon.

Ahuva said...

That is just a lovely post!!!!
I could almost relax and unwind like you did, just by reading it.
A breath of fresh air. Thanks for sharing, and your work is lovely!!!

A Peppermint Penguin said...

That's wonderful Nikki! You certainly deserve a break.

I just love how your idea of time off and total unwinding involves packing and transporting your knitting machine and your sewing machine and all your projects :D It sounds like my kind of weekend away.

Katy Cameron said...

Sounds like a fabulous time away, and funnily enough I've been thinking I need a similar escape (alas with a big holiday coming up in October I'll have to just wait!). We got to spend a fabulous night in Apollo Bay when we were over there a few years ago, and my parents often talk about going back, there's definite magic there!

Midge said...

It's so important to take your foot of the peddle and apply the "break". So glad you had a chance to stop and enjoy just being with yourself.

62cherry said...

go you! you beautiful lady xoxoxo

Donna said...

Brought tears to my eyes Nikki. You've got me inspired to take some time off for myself sometime SOON! Just have to work out when and where. Donna xxxxx

thornberry said...

Nikki, I'm so pleased to hear that the weekend was such a balm to your soul.

Kate said...

Good for you lovely Nikki.
It sounds like just what the doctor ordered.
Must say I am more than a little bit excited at the prospect of seeing you soon. Hooray!!!! xx

CurlyPops said...

I get that same feeling whenever I head south west. There's just something about that landscape that feels like home.
Very glad you had the chance to rest and re-charge!

Tracy VT said...

Refreshed and productive! Wonderful! the beach looked lovely ...but not as gorgeous as the quilt! Love the colours!

meli B said...

There really is something about our beautiful shoreline that takes you away from everything.
Your log cabin quilt is stunning. Great spotty fun with beautiful stitching. Hope the trip stays with you for a while.

anna said...

Sounds like a blissful and very well deserved time away from it all. You need to make sure you schedule more of it on a regular basis.

Lisa M said...

Envious, but very happy for you. I think I'll show this post to my hubby; we both need a recharge from everyday life stresses such as work, children (love them to death but they are tiring), extended family and friends and each other. Thanks for the inspirational post. I hope you are feeling more centered.

Sally said...

That's brilliant. Sounds so good... I think I need to organise myself a weekend like that sometime soon.
Your pictures are gorgeous. I feel a little refreshed just looking at them.