Looking forward, looking back…A photo essay of 2014…

This song by Slim Dusty touches the nerves of my gypsy soul. It brings back memories of the past year and starts me thinking of the year ahead.

It was this time last year when we sold Matilda our faithful camper van that carried us around Australia for 4 years.

Goodbye Matilda

Matilda takes off with her new owners to new adventures. Goodbye Matilda.

Now it is pedal power.

mixed garden bikes buses pc 044_2362x1884

I never thought I would be able to survive life, as I know it, without a vehicle. But we made the decision, in December 2013, to be carless for the time being, as during 2014 we would be travelling and having the use of other people’s vehicles.

 Our 2014 adventures took a new direction.

During February and March 2014 we were in New Zealand.

April and May we house sat in Geraldton, Western Australia, and had the use of Hector a grunty, rusty, old, diesel, 4WD Toyota land cruiser that I bonded with and loved driving. Made me feel macho…

June is winter in Australia and we had 4 weeks before the next house sit, so we hired a camper van and toured the south of Western Australia. Visiting friends made during previous travels.

Canberra was the next house sit, July, August, September, October. It is winter and Canberra has a reputation for very cold weather. But the house was warm and Canberra is an interesting place. This time we had the use of an almost brand new Mazda 6, and we had the company of an adorable “Labradoodle” called Molly.

2014 is flying by, we have been away from home almost 9 months but decide on one more 2 week house sit for the year. This time it is on the New South Wales coast. A delightful place called Valla Beach. We have the company of  Rufus, an affectionate blue-heeler, and 3 rather haughty alpacas. This time we are driving a Honda Jazz, a very zippy little car.

Finally we arrive home end of October.



So here I am back home for Christmas and taking time out to catch up with family and friends.

What is in store for us in 2015? Well I am already starting to plan our next adventure and it will be the slow way to New Zealand, something I have never done before and I’m wondering if cruising is going to be my style. Our friends tell us it is so relaxing. Am I ready for relaxing? In the past it has always been the road less travelled, roughing it and minimalist style travel, taking time to go where ever looked interesting.

I’d love to hear from my cyber friends if they have been on a cruise and what they thought of it…


Categories: Australia, Canberra, Geraldton, house sitting, New Zealand, photos, Valla Beach, Western Australia | Tags: , , , , , , | 46 Comments

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46 thoughts on “Looking forward, looking back…A photo essay of 2014…

  1. I have never been on a cruise per se but I did travel by ship across the Tasman from NZ to Melbourne. It was a tough patch of water and we had a lot of seasick folks on board. It was quite the trip!! I am sure ships are better and more prepared for bad weather these days. I so enjoy your posts and especially your photographs.


    • We were lucky when we crossed the Tasman, it was very calm. I do think the big ocean liners are better equipped for bad weather these days.


  2. What a wonderful year. Ypu two never cease to amaze me. I’ve never been on a cruise but if I were to go I would want it to be with you. I look forward to “our” trip!


  3. poppytump

    Aww Pauline … what a year.. and not having Matilda hasn;t stopped you a bit thankfully !!
    SO much …it doesn’t feel possible you and Jack have fitted such a variety of places.. visits … and doings … I’ve enjoyed it all tagging along in blogland 🙂
    Roll on NZ … never cruised so will be very interested to hear your thoughts Pauline .


    • Been pleased to have you along Poppy. It some times makes me feel quite exhausted, as without Matilda I have to plan more carefully, can’t just up and go like we used to…
      I’ve never cruised before and I’m really not sure what to expect. Well in a way yes I know there will be lots of food and lots of people….😁


  4. Yes, it’s that bit of the year and I’m mindful that we’ll be posting end of year roundups. I’m always amazed at what fits into a year when I look back through my media library. You got in early but what a wonderful year you have to share. 🙂 I hope next year is as good for the two of you.
    Ferries are more me than cruises, I think, but I’d jump at a Baltic cruise if anybody offered me one.


    • I’m looking forward to seeing your “year that was” Jo it has been a busy one for you too. Cruising is going into the unknown for me, but I’m sure we will enjoy it.


  5. What a great post! Love looking at your photos, & reading the stories of the animals you meet as you house-sit. This is a super re-cap.
    The joys of being on the water for me are really seeing the stars at night while walking around the deck. The waves, the storms, the open waters, & the scent in the air all thrill me. Inside, seems like you meet some lovely people on a ship. I’m sure you will enjoy!


    • Thanks Deanna I love how you have described the joys of being on the water. I am really looking forward to a new experience.


  6. We cruise for at least one week every winter. BECAUSE it is relaxing. You don’t have to be anywhere; prepare anything; think about anything. Your every desire, plus some, are catered to. I wouldn’t want to do it for a long period of time but if you get off the ship every morning and explore a new place and get back on to eat and sleep it can be a good holiday.


    • G’day Cheryl, thank you for commenting on cruising. I think I am going to really like being pampered and not having to do a thing but what I want to.


  7. Lovely post. I will be curious to see what you think of the cruise. I love boats and ships of every size and shape but have always been put off by the over abundance of food, people, and arranged activities on a cruise. But, then again, I’ve never tried one! I hope your upcoming year is as rewarding and curiosity-fulfilling as this past year. Enjoy.


    • Your comments have hit the nail on the head, those are exactly the reasons I have never been on a cruise, but it is only 2 weeks and it will certainly be some thing totally different for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What a great adventurous year! Going to have to take some time and back read some of your blogs. Fun collage of photos too.


    • It has been a good year. Thanks for the comment. It took me quite a while skimming back and choosing the photos for this gallery, but I enjoyed the journey back. That is one of the joys of blogging, having that record of the year that was… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You and Jack have had a very busy year, and I’ve enjoyed following you on your adventures. Great photo gallery, Pauline. I’m sure that you would enjoy a cruise, as long as there’s a nice garden and a few animals on board ship. 🙂


  10. It sounds like you are a very busy person who is living life to the fullest and enjoying it along the way. The weather here in Vienna is grey and it gets dark at about 4.30 pm, so I am envious of the sun I am seeing in your photos.


    • G’day ZL nice to hear from you. It has been an interesting year. Vienna is a lovely place to live. Do you get any snow over there?


  11. These pictures are absolutely stunning! Wish you a great holiday season and an exciting 2015!


  12. This comment is for the benefit of your followers Pauline.
    2014 was just one of 32 jam packed years of good times.
    1989 Pauline went to England to see her mother.
    I knew she was capable to go on her own.
    I wanted to go to the USA I thought I had seen England.
    Off Pauline went, surprising me, by going via China on the Transmongolian rail.
    She did it with a budget bunch of like minded people.
    A year later I relented and followed her to England.
    That was the start of a wonderful adventure that has never stopped.
    As she then came with me to see the highlights of the USA.
    As well as all the best places for music.
    There have been so many great times, magnificent places and best of all wonderful people.
    We have never had a problem and have stayed in some pretty sleazy places as well as some top class.
    Never fear, people attract problems by being too afraid to smile and so look unfriendly.
    Or are disrespectful or they (big note them selves) flaunting their affluence.
    There have been times where fear would have been fatal.
    I came out of a cheap hotel in LA and a big black man asked me for money in an or else kind of way.
    I smiled and laughingly said ” Do you think I’d be staying in a dump like this if I had any Spare cash.”
    He forgot all about money and wanted to know where I was from.
    He was actually a nice bloke just trying to pick up some easy money.
    Any way Pauline could tell you lots of exciting incidences we have had.
    I love your blog Pauline and the one writing it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We have had some great adventures over the years Jack and they are made better with some one to share them with. Thank you for your patience along the roads we have travelled

      Liked by 3 people

  13. I enjoyed every part of your travels this year PP and this has reminded me of all you have packed in to the year. I’m not sure I see you as a cruiser, but Jack may enjoy the rest 😉

    Have a lovely restful time at home, I am ready to join you on your adventures next year!
    Jude xx


  14. The Magnificent Adventures (and perils) of Pauline!


    • Love it Cindy. Actually I think my Mother called me after that movie… Maybe Dear Old Mam is to blame or bless for my gypsy life style…


  15. What a delightful romp through your year in photos! So glad you shared this with us. I only wish I had the bravery to wander and explore like you do.


  16. wow sooo many lovely pictures !!!!


  17. What an action packed year you have had, Pauline! Fabulous 😀


  18. I will be back to leave some feedback – but have two quick comments – first – what a great idea to reflect on the year – I might have to do something like this – and I love the variety and collage style – okay – be back later int he week amiga ❤


    • See you later Y. I look forward to seeing your year in photos. It took me ages to do that post as I wandered through my photo collection reliving the year.


      • Hi Pomme – well I made it back and I recognized many of them from following your blog this year – so that was cool – I also liked the two different shots from the driveway on Barwon St. – the van and then the biker – cool. but so much variety and truly a fun year…

        and I was able to read Jack’s comment
        “2014 was just one of 32 jam packed years of good times.
        okay – huge sweetheart and congrats on so many years ❤ ❤ ❤

        oh and I

        tried to play the song (to enjoy some music while scrolling) but it said the uploaded did not make it available in my country – just thought you'd want to know.

        have a great night amiga….


        • Pleased to have you along through the year Yvette, I love your comments. That biker was me, I love my bike and it is very flat around here so no hills to test my stamina…
          Sorry to hear you could not play the Slim Dusty song , it is a real classic and he and his music was the sound track for the travels with Matilda and we would sing this song along with Slim at full volume. It will forever bring back memories of those years of travel.
          Enjoy your weekend and keep warm my blogging buddy… 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • thank you and I love your comments too – and how fun to cross blog oaths with Jack too now 🙂
            thanks for the warm wishes – brrrr – and hope you have a great rest of your week…

            Liked by 1 person

  19. Great images and lots of lovely memories!


  20. Wow.. I so enjoyed re-visiting the places you have been Pauline.. and some I had missed.. This year has flown by all to quickly.. But I am sure you will enjoy your next plans.. I hear too cruisers are wonderful.. We have several friends who go on them regular all over the world.. But Hubby likes the land under his feet!.. 🙂 so I doubt to ever be on one :-)…
    I have so enjoyed sharing your’s and Jacks journey around NZ and Australia Pauline.. You have brought me sights I would never have seen or known existed..
    I have especially loved the gardens and trees and views of oceans and mountains.. And all of your reflections in Windows along with Jacks…
    Many thanks for sharing 2014 with us.. And I hope to enjoy your travels in 2015..

    But in the mean time.. its good to have time at home with family and friends.. Enjoy..
    Sending you my thoughts your way
    Blessings _/\_ Sue

    Liked by 2 people

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