Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lost World

I have been longing for a great escape for quite some time. I’ve been feeling bogged down, stuck in a rut and a bit fed up. But how to get my happy on with a limited budget, a husband who can’t take much time off work and a toddler? It’s a good question thoughtful reader, well said.

I pondered some time in a health farm – pros: peace, wellness, weightloss. Cons: couldn’t bear to leave my spectacular small one behind, prohibitively expensive. I wondered about a day at a spa – pros: relaxation, looking and feeling brighter. Cons: it’s just not long enough, the effects are fleeting and I’m not in the mood to make small talk.

No, the only solution is a weekend away in the country, easy driving distance from home (to minimise toddler travel time) and somewhere beautiful. And, since a change is as good as a rest,  somewhere we have never been. This last criteria ruled out the usual suspects - Maleny, Montville, Mt Tamborine, Stanthorpe, Byron Bay Hinterland, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast – all had been visited and enjoyed by us on previous occasions, plus I was beginning to feel I wanted somewhere quieter, less touristy and with more room to breathe.
And then I found it: Lost World Valley. The very name conjures up images of a verdant wild place, forgotten for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. At around 90 minutes from Brisbane, true forgetting isn’t possible of course but it is a hidden plateau (at the wilderness end of Lamington National Park) a place where it’s easy to imagine that anything could remain hidden and perhaps a part of oneself could be found.
I promptly booked Eighteen Mile Cottage and, as the clock struck one on Friday, we were off – barrelling out of the rain swept city and towards a world of green. Our cottage was wonderful. A gorgeous, wooden, 1920s Queensland cottage which, the owner informed us, had been transported from Brisbane many years before. And not just Brisbane but our suburb; in fact just two streets away from our home. It felt meant to be. Inside was tastefully decorated in a pared-back country style and outside lay five acres of land with the Albert River running through it, just for us.

We had an absolute ball. Agatha very quickly went “free range” toddling at great speed around the garden barefoot and excitedly pointing out birds and wallabies and cows. We popped into town and visited the museum and gathered supplies and then we came “home” and didn’t leave again until our too-short holiday was over. We enjoyed misty mornings, sunny afternoons and star-filled nights. We played football, dipped our toes in the (freezing) river, ate picnics, stretched out on the grass and absorbed the vitamin D.

In the evenings Andy and I talked and read and relaxed. No phone reception and no internet is a very good thing indeed. Nothing else mattered, just us and our glorious girl.

We decided that a place of our own in the country is in our future; the air, the space, the freedom was incredible. We don’t know where yet and of course I know that day-to-day life in the countryside has its challenges and it isn’t simply an extended version of the special weekend we just enjoyed but my word it’s where we want to be. I found my happy!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Somebody has won an apron!

And that person is: aslaugcrystal :-)

Congratulations! Just drop me an e-mail at: atinybitmarvellous@hotmail.com with your name and address and I'll send your gorgeous apron off to you ASAP. May the apron give you 1950s housewife super skills or at the very least, keep your clothes safe from food explosions.

Thanks to everyone who took part, I'll definitely be doing more giveaways in the future so stay tuned.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A free lunch

Although I am new to this online scribing thing, I love blogging. I love musing and writing and having a place to share those things and I love connecting with other people. I have a few loyal supporters who have signed up as followers and rumour has it many more invisible readers who, I hope, enjoy A tiny bit marvellous in secret.

I'd really like to say thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my ponderings and to tempt the reading-but-not-following peeps out into the light. So I'm going to do a giveaway. A free lunch would be nice but since not everyone lives within a 10km radius of my house (why don't you? It would be so much more convenient for me) I'm going to give a gift instead.

As luck would have it I run a little online shop called bauble and as owner/CEO/general dogsbody I am able to raid the shelves and give away this rather excellent apron:

It's pretty and practical and made from 100% cotton. It's also designed, screen printed and sewn in England; so while you can be assured that no small children have been expolited, you'll have to live with the fact several custard creams may have been demolished in the making of this item.

All you have to do to be in the running for this fabulous prize is sign up to follow A tiny bit marvellous and then leave a comment below. That's it! I'll pick a person at random and Bob's yer uncle, Fanny's yer aunt you'll be the proud new owner of a fab new apron.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Buying and Selling

Saturday (5th May) was the day of the great Garage Sale Trail. The Garage Sale Trail is about sustainability, community and creativity. Conceived as a platform for anyone who wants to make some money/raise some money and connect with their community, ultimately the Garage Sale Trail is about making sustainability both fun and social.

I love stuff like this. Fossicking around in other people’s belongings, hoping to turn up a little gem that may just make my heart sing. A bangle from the 1950s, funky old knitting patterns, a (toy) dog in high heels and a tutu: all of these things and more have to come to me via garage sales. Sadly I missed out on visiting the Garage Sale Trail this year as I took part instead! Yes, the declutter I mentioned in an earlier post is finally complete and from 7am until Midday (early birds aside!) Andy and I were spruiking our wares on the front lawn.

We had a couple of early arrivals but since they bought up big and were a very sweet older couple they were completely forgiven. We had three guys vying for our (broken) lawn mower and a car full of (how can I put this delicately?) bogans (I couldn’t put it delicately) do a slow drive-by before turning up their noses and screeching off up the street. I imagine their conversation went something like this: “naw, let’s get out of here Kev, we don’t want any of their shit!” “Yeah Darl, their crap isn’t even worth getting out of the Commodore for.” They were not missed.

I’d say it was a semi-success. I think we offloaded around 25% of our stuff which means our local op shop is about to hit pay dirt. It was fun and a surprisingly good way to spend some quality time with my little family as we sat and chatted between shoppers and watched our little girl toddle between the tables exclaiming “ooh” with each new discovery.

In other news, I have been on the hunt for the perfect wellies, or gumboots as they are more commonly called in Australia. We’ve booked a trip away to the country (in 15 days and counting!) and I strongly suspect there will be mud and puddles and possibly cow poop. Whilst I tend to skirt around these things – except for the occasional puddle, who can resist a quick splash when no one is looking? – Agatha is drawn to them like a bear to honey. Her tiny feet tingle in anticipation of a good old rollick and who am I to deny her such simple pleasures? So, in the interests of enabling my lovely girl to do more of what makes her happy, I have been looking for wellington boots in a miniscule size which won’t restrict her newly acquired walking skills.

It’s harder than you think with most rainboots coming halfway up the leg and starting at a size way beyond the feet of my wobbly midget. But persistence and serious internet thrashing have paid off and these beauties are winging their way from Edinburgh as I type.

I know I need to get out more but aren’t they just divine?