Tag Archives: Wildlife

Let’s go crabbing!!!!

What could be better than sitting¬†on the Semaphore jetty, catching crabs, drinking beers and having fun with a bunch of good friends?! That’s called a perfect Aussie summer day ūüėČ

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Let’s go to the jetty!

Last Friday, Kim (Vietnam) came up with the perfect and most original idea: “Let’s go crabbing at sunset”, she said! It is something that none of us have experienced before. We thought, yes sure, why not, let’s give it a try! Jessica (Mexico) believes that each week we should do something totally new in order to embrace our new Australian lifestyle and make some good memories.

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Sometimes it feels like your own private desert island!

I must confess I was a bit confused about the technique and was picturing myself running on Semaphore beach, lifting (small) rocks and chasing (or being chased) by crabs and running even faster should this happen to me! I thought, yes well, worst case scenario I would enjoy the beach and maybe even an ice cream.

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Catch me if you can ūüėČ

But actually, I was wrong, crabbing is easier than I thought, all you need¬†is a jetty, a bucket to hold your catch, a fishing basket with¬†line¬†and a little bait to attract crabs such as fish heads… mmm I know yummy! Like fishing, it requires some patience, so the best way to make the time flying by is to enjoy this activity with some crazy and lively friends!

So lucky to be surrounded by my international friends!

Our friend Kim (Vietnam) was the best instructor ever. She gave us many instructions how to throw the fishing basket far far away. You need to keep if flat and be careful with the strings attached to it because you don’t want to end in the sea with it eaten by the crabs. Three, two, one, GO and fly away!

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Thank god, I have been working out lately and it shows!

We were pretty successful and we managed to catch something like 12 crabs. Actually we caught more but we had to release the little ones. Everybody was super happy and Peggy’s kids (Taiwan) were so proud and they had so much fun. It is definitely a good idea for a family/friends activity.

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Summer time can be so hot in Australia, sometimes the temperature is so high that sleeping at night becomes nearly impossible despite a good air con. Some people prefer instead to spend the evening until late at night on the jetty crabbing. There is a cold breeze coming from the sea and as the sun is disappearing the temperature is dropping. Actually I recommend to bring sweaters, socks, trainers as it can get pretty cold on the jetty… As it was a first time, many of us did the mistake to come in their beach gears, not the best idea especially at sun set, it was “freezing”!

We spent a really good time together and stayed at Semaphore¬†beach from 6pm to 10pm. We also had like a little picnic there because the sea, the air, the activity make you very hungry! Kim was thrilled, I must say some crabs were HUGE and Liliana tried to make me pause with a crab on a picture but I was a bit scared (she is a naughty girl haha). All in all it felt like being on holidays somewhere else. Sometimes you don’t need a lot of money or being in fancy hotels to enjoy life, simple things can actually feel even better. Best Friday, since a long time, I really enjoyed it ‚̧

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But the fun did not stop there. Crabbing¬†is something and eating crabs is something else! And the party went on at Kim’s house. She invited us in her beautiful home and taught us how to cook the crabs. She also made some delicious sauce to go with. It was fun, because we learnt how to eat a crab, breaking it in small pieces and sucking the flesh out of it… does it sound like a zombie/vampire thing?! I must say it was delicious and we all enjoyed it¬†very much and we can’t wait to go again crabbing!

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I would have never imagined that eating crabs  that I caught could be so much fun!

These moments make me realise how important it is when you are abroad to be surrounded by amazing and generous people that you can call friends. They will make you smile, welcome you in their home and share some part of their culture with you. This is the beauty of living overseas, getting to know new people, bonding with them, discovering new places, opening your heart to new experiences and so much more. The more you are discovering about what is surrounding you, the more you are learning about you ‚̧

Who could have imagined that crabbing could be so deep ūüėČ

 

A generous arts and antiques buff!

“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home” – Twyla Tharp

What if I told you that I know a place here in North Adelaide to travel the world, escape the routine and embrace history, would you believe me?!

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The Pratts called this type of pottery their “Etruscan” ware.

The David Roche Foundation is an impressive arts collection gallery featuring two centuries of European designs. His founder, David Roche, was passionate about antiques and fine arts. He devoted his whole life traveling the world and acquiring¬†unique objects. When it came to arts he¬†had absolutely no limits and he adored everything: furnitures, paintings, sculptures, porcelains… His home was filled with treasures from the past to be cherished and kept secret! But David Roche had a¬†dream: he wanted¬†¬†to leave a legacy to Australian people! His foundation is his last gift so visitors can enjoy his legendary collection and learn more about history through unique and original pieces.

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Patinated bronze statue of the Madonna: Mother of Mercy

I really recommend to visit this art gallery. It is fascinating to gaze at all these original¬†objects and hear about their origins. It is like traveling to the past: it is a beautiful journey from the early rococo of France to Faberge in Russia. Furthermore David Roche is quite an intriguing character and it is interesting to hear about his life.¬†The gallery is run by an amazing Lady called Ann, she is absolutely fabulous and I could honestly listen to her for hours presenting each item of the collection: so fascinating! Besides she speaks English beautifully (crystal clear)¬†so for foreigners like me, it is a really good practice!¬†¬†In my opinion, she speaks the “Queen’s English” and it is absolutely divine! I think she really adds something to the whole experience!

As for me, thanks to Ann explanations, my favourite piece was actually¬†a Napoleon¬†dessert service depicting views of Paris. It was made with delicate and finest porcelain and it looked really precious. The emperor offered this set to his beloved sister Pauline! And if you paid a closer look to the dessert plates, you could see on one of them the “Jardin des plantes” and 2¬†kangaroos¬†as part of this beautiful scenery! Actually the French¬†emperor¬†was fascinated by Australia: in the 1800s it was considered as the most exotic, exiting and unexplored place of the world! No wonder that at that ¬†time an expedition was¬†orchestrated¬†by Napoleon himself! He appointed the French explorer Nicolas Baudin and instructed¬†him to bring back to France typical Australian plants and animals! It is nearly a miracle that the kangaroos survived the 6 months journey on the ship (when I can hardly cope with the 21 hours trip by plane from Adelaide to Paris) and could be seen in the famous Parisian botanical garden. So as you can easily imagine I really enjoyed gazing at this beautiful Napoleon dessert service, it is more than an object, it is all the (hi)story it represent and what Australia means to France and French people ‚̧

IMG_1191So next time, you happen to visit the fancy Melbourne street on North Adelaide, pop by the lovely¬†cafe E for Ethel for a nice lunch or a latte and then head to The David Roche foundation and don’t ¬†leave the gallery before having found a favourite piece to remember so you can tell me all about it in the comment section ūüėČ I’m really looking forward to hear from you!

VIEWING GALLERY

237 Melbourne Street
North Adelaide SA 5006

(08) 8267 1755
 
Entry by donation of $2 per person
Tuesday to Thursday: 10am to 3pm –¬†Friday to Monday: Closed
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Here are some informations about the antiques presented on the different article pictures:
The pair of moulded and carved terra cotta figures are allegories of Spring (with the posy of flowers) ¬†and Summer (with the buch of grapes) and are in the style of¬†Charles Percier (1764-1838) and Pierre-Fran√ßois-L√©onard Fontaine (1762-1853). They are from France, early 20th century.The silvered and parcel-gilt electrotyped copper wall plaques are referred to as “Chargers” and were made by Elkington & Co. in England in 1869, from French designs.One is ¬†“January-June” signs of the zodiac, the other is ¬†“July- December” and each has a different season portrayed in the centre.
 
The black and white earthenware Pot-pourri Vase is by Pratt & Co. of Fenton, England and was made circa 1880.¬†It is in perfect condition, and is in three sections with a domed lid, an inner lid pierced with holes and a base with two handles attached from the shoulders to the rim, decorated in black over white with painted and transfer printed classical pattern borders and figural designs and gilding.¬†The Pratts called this type of pottery their “Etruscan” ware.
 
The patinated bronze statue of the Madonna is by British sculptor, Nic Fiddian-Green who was born in 1963. ¬†¬†It is titled ‘Mother of Mercy’ and was produced in England circa 1999.¬†This sculpture was created for the new millennium as an edition of only three – the first is in the Vatican in Rome. On completion of the third and final cast, all moulds are to be destroyed by the artist.

Be prepared to face Adelaide “City-Wildelife”

When you¬†think of Australia, the first things that come to your mind are: the cute koalas, lively kangaroos, playful dolphins and happy platypus. ¬†But what you maybe don’t know is that Australia is also the home of dangerous animals such as: the Box Jellyfish, the Taipan, the Saltwater Crocodile, the Blue Ring Octopus, the Stone Fish, the Red Back Spider, the Brown Snake, the Tiger Snake, the Funnel Web Spider and the Great White Shark… scaring!

I must say I am more like the city girl type: spending time with my friends, going to cafes, reading in the Botanical garden, gazing at the shops… ¬†and Adelaide is the perfect place to enjoy these activities! I mean it is lovely and friendly ‚̧ so you would think my chances to bump into a dangerous wild animal when walking down the city streets¬†are close to zero, right?!

I guess yes but…. yes there is a “but”… after 5 months living here I also realised that¬†Adelaide CBD is also the home of not so friendly creatures. I assume for locals they are part of your everyday life but for a French girl it is pretty scaring… so I thought I could share my experiences so foreigners like me are more prepared to the “city-wildelife” when they move here!

  • First say hello to creepy cockroaches!

IMG_0462This is what I found one morning on my kitchen floor. A big cockroach lying on its back, agitating its little legs. Absolutely disgusting… I was really surprised by the size of it: nearly the size of my little finger… YUK… much bigger that the ones I have seen in France! No wonder nearly everybody here has a Mortein spray in the kitchen cupboard (and my rented fully furnished house is no exception). So I terminated the wild animal by spraying it and I must say the product is very efficient.¬†My Australian neighbor told me that cockroaches are¬†on their back when they are about to dye so in a way I did him a favor by finishing him… He added that on warm nights you can hear them crawling in the back of the¬†lane. I have asked him what would happen if one night for example I can’t sleep and it is dark in my house and I want to have a glass of water, should I switch on all the lights and wear flip flap shoes all the time so I don’t walk on one of them?! He laughed at me saying that I should be all right it never happened to him and anyway cockroaches run so fast, there are no risks so “no worries”! Well I wish I was that relaxed and that cool… ¬†maybe after a couple of years living here I will ūüėČ But at the moment, I have put cockroach baits nearly everywhere in the house so problem solved… I guess.

  • Now meet psychopath spiders!

IMG_0270This is what I found one afternoon on my bedroom window. A gigantic black spider…. I swear it was the size of my hand!!! I have never imagined before that such animals could be found in big cities! I¬†tried to knock at the window so it will go away…hopeless… it did not make any difference. ¬†I was so scared I did not sleep well on the following night because I had nightmares… dreaming that the spider could come into my house and walk on me with her hairy legs when I would be¬†asleep!¬†Again I talked with my Australian neighbour about it. He smiled and he said I shouldn’t worry. These kind of spiders are called “Huntsman” ¬†and don’t be fooled by the name because NO¬†they are not hunting men, they are hunting LIKE¬†men (speed and technique)… actually they are pretty harmless… So I guess I was relieved but then he added that I should pay attention to small spiders with a red spot on their back because they are very dangerous and potential humans murderers… creepy… but then when he saw my face he said, don’t bother too much, they are peaceful and generally they keep to themselves in the garden… really?! Anyway a couple of days ago, I found a sneaky black spider in my¬†shoe – size of a 50 pence coin (more like the ones you would find in France in a dark cellar… but I still don’t like them). I had just the time to check that it was not a “red back spider” and then I¬†managed to neutralize it! I hope there will be no revenge from any spider family members…

Well I hope I did not scare you with my stories! I just think it is part of the experience of living abroad… Most of the times you will fall in love with everything you see in your new country… ¬†and sometimes you will discover things you dislike… and it is OK, I mean it is natural and inevitable!¬†Afterall it is not that different¬†when you are in love with somebody, you like the good sides and you learn to cope with the not so good sides, that’s life! Falling in¬†love with a country does not make you blind, actually it is the opposite: it makes you open¬†your eyes and your heart to new experiences, new feelings and new ideas and then it is your choice to go with the flow and make it work ‚̧

Learn to swim like a dolphin

Sometimes I dream I have a house on the beach so I can wake up each morning with the sound of the sea, enjoy my chai tea latte while gazing at the waves and eventually if I am lucky catch sight of some majestic dolphins…

It used to be only a dream but since I live now in Adelaide, I tend to think that maybe someday… who knows?!

Actually when I have learnt I was moving to Australia, I got excited and automatically started to think about things I wanted to do, places I wanted to visit. The first thing that came to my mind was “See the wild dolphins”!

We moved to Australia in September 2014 and I decided I will go and see the Dolphins the day of my birthday! I guess I wanted to make it special! I think it is nice sometimes to spice the day!

So when my birthday came, I went to Port Adelaide as planned. First, I started the day with a lovely breakfast at the Red Lime Shack: I had freshly made waffles with banana ice cream, berry coulis and pure maple syrup. I also drank a chocolava smoothie, basically raw cacao, bananas, coconut and dates. Everything tasted sooooo good, it was a perfect birthday breakfast to kick the day! https://www.facebook.com/RedLimeShack

Then I headed to the port and took a nice cruise with Dolphin Explorer. I really recommend them, the staff is so friendly and the captain is really nice and good fun too! http://www.dolphinexplorer.com.au

It was a very pleasant moment I must say. I was sitting on the upper deck, my hair dancing in the wind, ¬†listening to the Captain’s comments about Port Adelaide history. Suddenly a group of dolphins showed up and started to swim along the vessel. They were¬†absolutely gorgeous. What a moment!

The cruise went on and I really enjoyed my time. At some point, people started to get inside the boat to have lunch in the restaurant. I chose to stay outside to enjoy the show as much as possible!

A group of young people showed up on the upper deck with beers and sodas to celebrate which I thought was a good idea.  I mean even if you are not lucky and you do not see a single dolphin, you can still enjoy a lovely cruise with a fresh drink.

Later, I decided to make my way to the lower¬†deck and I am glad I had this idea because I was in luck! Actually a dolphin started to swim only one meter away from me. It was a magic moment, I was totally hypnotized, I could not believe my eyes. ¬†It was so closed from me…

I know this sound silly but the dolphin looked so happy, so free… enjoying the swim, sometimes ¬†jumping, going up, going down, playing with the boat. It woke up my inner child and I was totally amazed… it was a lovely feeling. I could not help smiling…I felt so good, so happy, so alive!

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“Dolphins are social mammals, capable of enjoying their lives. They form close bonds with other members of their group.”Peter Singer.

When you think of it, we are not that different. We need to bond with people, to be part of “groups”… ¬†We are unique but in the same time we are shaped by our social environment. Our need to connect with others is fundamental and gives us meaning. It is part of our happiness to share and to interact. It is what makes our lives so¬†special and interesting. Don’t you think?

It is as simple as that: learn to swim like a dolphin through life, meet as many people as you can, connect with them, make friends, enjoy your time on earth and above all SMILE!

 Stay bold and fearless!

Traveling and living overseas has definitively become a part of who I am. I wouldn’t say that I am a new person now but I feel different for sure!

In order to embrace my new lifestyle I had to adapt, to learn, to compromise! Sometimes it was not easy but each victory, even smalls onces have helped me to grow in a beautiful way. Today I feel confident about my future, determined to be happy and above all bold and fearless!

I mean if you can get over of moving to another country far from your family and friends, leave your comfort zone, learn a new language, deal with the uncertainty… you can get over (nearly) anything!

It takes courage, patience and motivation to build a new life but it is also very enriching and so rewarding! Each day is a challenge with a situation to overcome. Sometimes you succeed and sometimes you fail. It does not matter because the most important is to¬†keep trying! You gain strength, confidence and suddently you start to do things you would never have¬†considered before: Yoga, Chinese ¬†class, creative writing workshops with native people, a blog in English, driving lessons… and this is a wonderful feeling!

For those who are sharing the same lifestyle, I am sure you agree on the fact that living abroad has pushed you to experiment new things to have new perspectives, to have new projects and also to deal with your fears…

Speaking of that, on Sunday I was invited for a walk in Morialta conservation Park (an amazing place 20 minutes away from Adelaide). I was really thrilled because I love the “Australian wild” the kangaroos, the koalas… I was already picturing myself walking in the rocks, gazing at the trees and the flowers, listening to the birds, crossing a river… dancing with the butterflies!

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It turned out that I was completely wrong! I was not invited for a walk in the rocks but for rock climbing instead! At least I got the word “rock” right… I knew I was not going to go shopping in Adelaide CBD for¬†sure haha!¬†This is the thing when you are learning a language, sometimes you think you understand and you say “Yes, sure, count me in” and the minute after you realise you made a huge mistake and you feel a little bit silly!

But like I said, the whole point of this experience is also to try new things and as I said now I am bold and fearless… So guess what, I did it! I have never done it before but somehow I have managed to climb this gigantic rock… of course I was scared and not really relaxed but I succeeded! I was really proud of me and really glad I did not give up. And it was not easy because¬†I was not wearing the right shoes… my Converse trainers are pretty but they are not ideal for this sport!

In conclusion,¬†it was a lovely day, it was challenging and fun! I have learnt some climbing techniques, how to use my body , how to use the rope… it was very interesting. Furthermore Morialta park is absolutely gorgeous with splendid waterfalls, the scenery is amazing and there are a lof of wild animals (I have seen a kangaroo). I would be happy to come back for a nice and long walk next time!

I have really enjoyed this new adventure, I would not call myself a Lara Croft (yet) but I am glad I did not let my fear decide my fate!

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 http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/Find_a_Park/Browse_by_region/Adelaide_Hills/Morialta_Conservation_Park

Embrace the wild with style!

‚ÄúDon’t keep forever on the public road. Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do you will be certain to find something you have never seen before.‚ÄĚ‚ÄēAlexander Graham Bell

If you are looking for something different, if you want to make memories and see things you have never seen before, if you love to travel with style while exploring South Australia… Off piste is definitely for you! This tour off the beaten track will literally take your breath away!

I¬†went went on the ultimate 4 WD adventure and it was absolutely amazing from the start to the end! This is why I wanted to share this “little secret” with you. We took this tour in October 2014 and the weather was just perfect not too warm and not too cold! Besides we were a small group, only 6 people driver/guide included.

What a day I must say! McLaren Vale wine area and the Fleurieu peninsula region are such great places to visit! We felt so privileged going to spots that most would never have the opportunity to experience. We saw kangaroos with their babies in the wild, a huge snake right in the middle of the road, a blue tongue lizard … also Ben (our friendly guide) even played a didgeridoo for us while we were having lunch on a beautiful spot in the hills with a spectacular view on the fields and the sea! Especially enjoyable was the stop on the morning along the riverside in the Onkaparinga River National Park where we enjoyed locally source wine, cheese and bread: it tasted absolutely fantastic!

Ben (on the picture) is so friendly and easy going, always smiling, talking, trying to put everybody at ease. He makes you feel special and does his best to meet your expectations depending on your interests (nature, photography, animals, wines etc). He is so knowledgeable about the area, its history, wineries, local people, the natural beauty of the countryside. It is very interesting to listen to him and you can tell this is truly his passion and not just a job. We could easely understand why – it’s a beautiful region of South Australia.

This was a fantastic day! Overall a great tour and a unique experience that I will highly recommend even (or especially) if you are a local because it will literally blow you away!

http://www.offpistetours.com.au

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Bali : The island of the gods…

Bali is not just a beautiful trip, it‚Äôs a cultural and spiritual journey that needs to be experienced in order to be fully appreciated… Actually, it all started 2 years ago when I have read this famous book called ¬ę Eat, pray. Love ¬Ľ based on a true story of a woman who lived 6 months in Italy, then 6 months in India and then 6 months in Bali. Her wonderful story inspired me and I was curious to know more about this country since I have never been there before. So I felt very lucky to spend my christmas time in Bali!

I have really enjoyed this country, its amazing temple, its wonderful colours, its delicious cuisine but above all its friendly people. It is impressive how balinese people are generous, lovely and cheerful… somehow you always end up with a big smile on your face when you are around them. Thanks to Airbnb I managed to find¬†a beautiful villa with a nice swiming pool near canggu’s beach. Each day, I would get up early, do a 1 hour yoga session on the garden rooftop facing the sea, have a swim, enjoy an awesome breakfast prepared by Ketut (I ate the best bananas pancakes ever), then I¬†would go surfing in the afternoon or visit a famous place, the evening I¬†would enjoy a nice dinner on the beach or at the villa. Time went by so quickly… I¬†have visited many places such as Ubud (known as the capital city of art), the monkeys forest, the water temple, the rice paddies… everything was absolutely gorgeous…

While in Bali, I had the chance to experience two important ceremonies called : Galungan and Kuningan

¬ę Galungan marks the beginning of the most important recurring religious ceremonies. The spirits of deceased relatives who have died and been cremated return to visit their former homes, and the current inhabitants have a responsibility to be hospitable through prayers and offerings. The most obvious sign of the celebrations are the penjor – bamboo poles with offerings suspended at the end. These are installed by the side of roads. On the other hand, he Kuningan ceremony in Bali traces its name to the special offerings of Yellow Rice, or ‘nasi kuning. These are offered to the ancestors and Gods, to appease them and keep them happy. The Kuningan in Bali is a time when the spirits of decease people return to earth and the whole family comes together and prays to their ancestors and the Gods to keep them happy and to bless them. ¬Ľ (source Wikipedia)

In my opinion it was a humble and peaceful experience which I am glad I could be part of. Balinese people are very spiritual people and it felt really good to pray with them and for the peace of their ancestors.

I am grateful I can travel and learn about different cultures. I am always amazed by what I discover…Once the Dalai Lama said : ¬ęAs often as possible, go someplace you‚Äôve never been before. Experience new places and new things. You might find yourself with someone or somewhere that makes you much happier than your previous circumstance. The Earth is so vast with unique and beautiful places, why wouldn‚Äôt you want to go explore them? ¬Ľ ‚Ķ

What about you ? Which country are you going to visit this year ?