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Category: Weekend in Pictures

Roadtrip – The Northern Territory

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 ©Kara Rosenlund

Thought I would share my latest road trip with you, straight down the centre of the Northern Territory, Australia…. I couldn’t believe how fast and dramatic the landscape changed along the three day journey….. I have always wanted to visit the NT and of course Uluru, though flying into Alice Springs and driving out just didn’t feel right for me, I wanted a longer journey which made the reward – being Uluru, feel deserved….. If you have the chance to make the trip I would strongly recommend the drive from Darwin. There is just something silencing about a road trip; you set off with your head ablaze with city stresses and before long the landscape dissolves all the pressures….today’s post is a lengthy one, make yourself a cuppa and settle in….

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 … I arrived in Darwin and was welcomed by the winter heat in the air… I was keen to hit the road, so I headed straight out of Darwin down the Stuart Highway to Katherine for the night…. watching the landscape change in the light as I drove…

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 … passed many a ‘road train’ on the highway; some of the longest I have ever seen with numerous dogs – dogs is trucker talk for trailers – impressed? Some empty, some full of cattle. I found the truck drivers to be very considerate on the road, indicating and waving when it was safe to overtake and giving a friendly ‘Hoy’ hello when passing in the opposite direction, in actual fact there was so much ‘hoying’ happening on the highway my index fingers were feeling the strain of the kindness….

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 …. what I love most about road tripping is when you see something you want to take a shot of or take a closer look at you just can pull over – hence this herd of curious brahman lining the highway in parts…. 

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 … driving into Katherine on dusk; the ghost gums almost glowed against the back burnt scrub…

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… and then on to Tennant Creek…. old gems like these make my heart sing; original old establishments lost in time…

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 … back on the road for sunrise…. watching the electric colours of the dry grass alight whizz by, framed by the car window….

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 … I like looking out for quirky things along the way; something unexpected, something that makes you realise that within the vast open country activity is happening…

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  … then after three days of driving the colour palette of the land intensified and I realised I was in the heart of Australia, in the red desert… I had arrived…

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 … I was very fortunate to stay at Longitude 131; I had always wanted to stay here, for years and years. I would see shots in magazines of the luxury tents nestled in the sand dunes of the desert and rip out the pages and stick them onto my mood boards. Their timeless nature really stayed with me, immersed in the wilderness with views of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. I had promised myself that if I ever had the chance to make the journey to Uluru I would make the most of it by staying at Longitude 131… who wouldn’t want to wake up to Uluru…

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… each tent plays a visual narrative; homage to a notable pioneering Australian who has had a significant impact and challenged Australia’s vast interior; either through exploration, anthropology or indigenous rights, including Edward John Eyre, John O’Hara Bourke and William John Wills, John McDouall Stuart, Ernest Giles, William Christie Goss, Sir Sydney Kidman, John Flynn, Jane Webb, Bill Harney, Len Tuit, EJ Connellan, Ian and Lyn Conway, Peter Severin, Olive Pink and Bill King… impressive line up…

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 … the interiors of the each of the tents are very considered…. lots of framed handwritten letters and paper ephemera matching the unique person of whom the tent is named. This particular tent was named after Ernest Giles, the Australian explorer…. and given the style and layout of Longitude 131 you really feel as though you are a little bit of an explorer – discovering the undiscovered…

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… nothing was overlooked at Longitude 131.... even the colour palette of the furnishing and linens were indigenous of the landscape, with rust reds and burnt browns… and don’t even get me started on the tent’s fabric canopy ….. I couldn’t take my eyes off it….

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 … complete with a little writing nook… where I wrote some of the post from…

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… I loved how at one the tents are with the landscape; no bright colours to distract your eye; just calm colours of the area…

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… I also stayed in the Pink tent; named after the illustrator, anthropologist and indigenous activist Olive Pink who lived in the Northern Territory. This is one of her hand written letters, sent with string and a wax seal no less…..  however beautiful these letters appeared they were often politically fierce…

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 … upon evening turndown hot water bottles were placed under these beautiful blankets…the temperature sure does drop after sunset…

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 … even a pool to cool off those desert winds…

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 … after settling into Longitude 131 it was time to explore Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and get ready for sunset…

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…While waiting for the light to become just right at Uluru, Longitude 131 catered at every stop with delicious local produce such as canapés of salted murray cod with pretty pink beetroot and more, indicative of the surrounding colours…

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 … I wasn’t really expecting the vibrant colours of the native flora, at every turn, like a colourful carpet…. 

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  … then it happened….being up so close to Uluru was such a surreal experience… I suppose when you are familiar with a particular visual through postcards and television it is easy to become nonchalant; however nothing prepared me for how I would feel in the presence of Uluru, the true emotion of it all… it took my breath away, no words. I just stood and inhaled it all, couldn’t take my eyes away for a second at the thought I would miss a subtle change in light or colour….

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  … surprisingly it was actually lightly raining and there was heavy cloud cover which prevented a blazing sunset, though I was actually really happy to see a ‘cooler’ toned Uluru, with blues, magentas and purples in the shadows…  in any conditions I think Uluru comes to life… everything feels insignificant in it’s presence…

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 …. then back at Longitude 131 each meal was such an opportunity to get excited… breakfast, lunch, dinner, such an array of local, greater local and seasonal produce ….

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 … the Smoked Murray Cod in Paperbark was a favourite; accompanied with crispy leaves and the delightfully humble choko….

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 … Hervey Bay Scallops with Sea Urchin Butter and Lavender…. so pretty…

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  … have you even seen a more beautiful House Salad….  

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 … the spectacular Native Plate with Davidson Plums, Lemon Myrtle Leaves, Quandongs, Reberries, Quandong Seeds and Finger Limes, on a bed of Paperbark…  

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 … I really wanted to see Uluru and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) by air to really understand the full scale of the area and the park… the aerial gives another dimension to the vastness….

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… Kata Tjuta…

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 … then on the last day I decided to visit one last time and capture Uluru in full sun before I left…

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…. the aerials going over the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales were like nothing I had seen before…. so graphic and almost illustrated….. rivers and waterholes beneath….. so beautiful….

… and then before I knew it I was back at home, missing the NT badly.

K x

February Fete

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Ah, Saturday, you were grand… we had the February Fete with ceramist Kylie of Paper Boat Press at her shop/gallery over at Ashgrove, Brisbane…. my gosh, was it a crazy busy day… these lovely shots on the blog were actually not captured by me this time I was a little busy wrapping and packing and hanging out with lovely customers… they were shot by the talented Ashley Oostdyck - thank you Ash x

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… a few weeks ago while chatting over a glass or three of red wine Kylie and I decided we should do something together, a collaboration of sorts; we came up with a ‘february fete’, where I bring my caravan Frankie over to her studio/shop and we ‘bang out our wares’ so to speak; my old wares and Kylie’s handmade ceramics; we put it out there through our social media avenues and come Saturday morning we both really didn’t know how it was going to pan out…. eeeekk

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… let’s just say that the power of local community is where it is at…. Ashgrove – who would of thought! We were both so overwhelmed by everyone who came out to see us and to take part in the little suburban fete….it felt like a really good party… seriously and I have been to a lot of parties in my time….there were so many familiar faces and so many new faces too….. lots of laughter, music and excitement…the buzzing corner block literally went off…

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…. thank you so much to all who came out to see us… we are going to plan another one for later in the year…it really was that much fun …. sometimes good things do come from having a few too many glasses of wine with friends….

Love Local!

K x

 

What happens on holidays…

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 ©Kara Rosenlund

…. Ah, summer holidays…. weren’t you grand…. do you know what happens on summer holidays… you become blissful…. you become more resilient…. you become happier and trust life more…… well, at least this is what happens to me once a year until real life wears it out of you….

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… so the thing about me is that I love unpractical old stuff… my very first car was a 1954 powder blue Morris Minor….Dad and I went halves ….. My father and I used to burn around on the northside of Brisbane together as he taught me shouted at me how to drive a manual… Frankie the caravan is a 1956 caravan….stubborn old lady… our house is an old girl… bless her bones – an 1890′s workers cottage it’s called a ‘workers’ cottage for a reason!’… you have to work her hard…. I have always loved the old… I think it is all Dads fault... so what happens on blissful summer holidays….. you blissfully think you have more room and patience in your life for more of the old …..

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…. Hello Margot……. So, let’s start at the beginning….. I have always loved old Mercedes… the classic hat shape, the grill, the lights, the bench seats…. the calibre of people who drive these cars are what I call ‘my tribe’…. people who persevere even though really, let’s face it, it can be a pain in the arse to own an old car…… so, 1968 was always going to be the year – its a classic year for Mercedes my secret dream car is actually the ’68 Mercedes  Pagoda, hello $60k …. so it was just a matter of waiting until the right 45 year old bird came along so to speak…..

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… and she did…. after researching on and off for years on ‘car’ websites I found my girl on ebay…. yup, ebay… I know…. crazy town.. you would think dodgy huh, but so soooo not….. my parents were convinced it was a hoax ad and I would be abducted.… anyway while on a blissful Stradbroke Island three day holiday previous post….I stalked the ’68 on eBay….. and I did good…. I won her….. i never win anything usually….

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… except she was in another state and a little bit regional in her geography…… ah, that holiday sunshine sure makes you think anything is possible doesn’t it…. so, just like that Timothy O and I boarded a plane, hired a car, drove four hours and met our new four wheeled friend and her motor parents….

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…. it really was love at first sight… the corner windows…. the leather upholstery… the large windows… her smell….. ah…. love….

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…. and just like that the keys were handed over and she was ours…… see you later hire car…. hello old friend ….some things just feel right from the start…. the thing with driving an old car is that it really is a treat, it really is…. you know when you pass an old car on the highway and the windows are down and the drivers’ arm is perched out the window and their hand is catching in the wind dancing in the current…. you look at that car from your air conditioned ‘windows up’ new car and you think wow, freedom….. you know what… it really is…. it really is pure indulgent old school freedom…..

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….. so we set off on our long trip home back to Brisbane…. like anxious new parents….. listening to every noise and vibration she shared with us….. we drove….

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…. and drove…..

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…. bought some apricots from the roadside…. everything looks better in Margot….. 

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…. and kept driving some more…..

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….. and even some more…… these two shots were taken from the inside of Margot’s window frames…. whizzing through the bush, the slow narrow Australian roads, before the bustling fast highways where built… we passed only tractors…

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…. met another old girl on the highway and had a cold ale together…. how could you not….. bless Australian pubs….

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…. and we drove some more….. taking it all in…. breathing in 1968 air and slowing life down a bit….. appreciating the good life. Ah, holiday sunshine, you sure make the impossible possible!

K x

Stradbroke Island

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©Kara Rosenlund

Before Christmas Timothy O and I set off on a little ‘pre’ Christmas holiday…. just a quick  dash away… we had hoped to take Frankie our caravan away, though we had let it go too late to get an available site at most caravan parks….its competitive you know, ha instead we thought ‘where else can we get that old school easy summer holiday vibe by the sea’..…. Hello Stradbroke Island….

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… I must admit I haven’t spent too much time on Straddie… the last time I visited was about ten years ago when I was photographing cricketer Matthew Hayden at his holiday house… so the thought of going somewhere ‘new’ which wasn’t really that far was rather exciting…

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… I even found the 45 minute barge ride over to Straddie from Cleveland exciting…. looking out onto the bay….

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… from the moment we arrived there was such positive energy everywhere…. friends, cousins, parents, kids, all enjoying each others company and sharing the best of the outdoors together…. it literally felt like we had gone back in time….

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… I just couldn’t get over the sheer natural beauty of the island… um,why hadn’t we come over before this?… Timothy O and I had a long swim here at Amity Point in the turquoise water and washed all traces of the city off our skin…

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… we then set off to explore the island, picking up some local seafood along the way…

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… we came across this beach and made ourselves right at home on the sand….

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… isolated… in the best sort of way…

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… I forgot to pack the beach umbrella, so we made do with an old favourite hemp blanket of mine… this old thing doubles or rather triples as a sheet for the bed, a picnic blanket for the park and a tablecloth for entertaining… and now a beach canopy…

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… and this was us for the next few hours… just like this… how ridiculously lucky…

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… the perseverance of nature… beautiful little balls of sand made by sand crabs; filtering the wet sand looking for food…

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… all along the beaches are these ghostly trees… so rugged…

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… early dinner in the sand…. seafood always tastes better when you can see the ocean doesn’t it….

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…. and then the sun went down…

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… bright and early the next day we headed to Point Lookout to see what has happening there…

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… more of the good life…

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… we came across this too cute for words ‘Prawn Shack’…. love it’s simplicity..

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… and fell head over heels in love with the sweet sign writing and colour scheme….

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… Trumans … an independent health food / general store….

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… the island is dotted with such quirky charms…. like this weathered pair of old plastic chairs… concreted into the cement….. perhaps two old friends like to fish off this cliff together… and don’t like to bring along their own chairs, ha

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… and the iconic fibro fisherman’s shack, scattered all over Straddie… such humble proportions… four walls and not much else..

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… and just like that it was over….

K x

Christmas Day

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©Kara Rosenlund

Happy New Year! Christmas came by and went just as fast as it arrived didn’t it?… I was a bit late getting the tree up this year, though she did come together rather well in mid December…eeekk,

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… each year I always ‘treat’ the tree and myself to a couple of new ornaments… this year it was some beautiful handmade stars by Brisbane ceramic studio paper boat press

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… trimming the tree would have to be one of my most favourite Christmas time activities…I purchased these ornaments last year from Anthropologie… a pair of tin and glitter whales…

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… and a feathery swan… everything looks better with glitter…

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….You know how some years are great Christmas’ and then other years are just not so great… well this year was the latter – a ‘not so’ Christmas, though honestly it came good in the end…. it had all the makings of being a cracker of a Christmas I adore Christmas…. First and foremost I had found a ‘Christmas Day dress’, ha  love a new frock for any occasion, I had planned a really interesting menu using local produce suppliers and was ready to jingle myself well into the mayhem of Christmas when …. Timothy O and I unexpectedly ended up spending Christmas Eve at the avian vet with one of our beloved little girls Coco… which resulted in her sadly being put down….. this broke our hearts, even more as our Gigi had come to the same fate three weeks earlier….just like that Christmas was off…

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… to have the love of an animal is a true gift and the purest of joys… needless to say Timothy O and I felt the aching loss of one of the brightest and most curious of characters within our home and secretly our favourite chicken …. come Christmas morning I decided to pull it together and put Christmas ‘back on’…. makeshift style….a coming together of loved ones to enjoy each other’s company and conversation….. to celebrate the good times with the not so good times…

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… I had planned to visit my local haberdashery on Christmas Eve to buy some grosgrain ribbon to pretty up all the plates for each place setting…. needless to say that was the last thing on my mind… instead I tore up an old skirt which I had been holding on to for far too long could never part with it as I loved the fabric…. and just like that ‘hello better than grosgrain ribbon’ for the plates…..

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… I didn’t have any bon bons / crackers on hand either, though I did have quite the number of these delightful triple milled ‘bon bon soaps’ by Murphy and Daughters… so they were the ‘makeshift’ bon bon’s to top each place setting…. plus they made the table smell delightful… summer frangipani wafting in the air…. I will be doing this again next year…

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… I threw a few bottles of our most favourite rosè on ice we always have plenty of this….. Logan wine make every gathering feel that bit more special and familiar…. like seeing an old friend who still wears the same fragrance…

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… I also didn’t get around to doing much of a grocery shop either, as in the fridge was practically empty so Mum and I made up a few boards of what she had in her fridge and what we had in ours….

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… my father had bought a kilo of prawns straight off the trawler on Christmas Eve, so my parents brought them up on Christmas Day… I made the prawns into individual ‘Potted Prawns’ and ‘potted’ them into glass clip jars to posh them up… amazing… super easy and rather effortless…

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… we all chopped wood and cranked up the wood fire oven and Timothy O worked his magic on a piece of Bangalow pork I had arranged at least something prior.… I threw together some potatoes from the pantry and beans from the garden, while roasting some everyday ordinary apples to make apple sauce…..

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… stocking filler gifts became parts of dessert….. sorry Dad, I owe you x…

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… and luckily Brisbane’s baked goods ‘institution’ Jocelyn’s Provisions had an extra Yule Log on hand…. practically unheard of at Christmas…

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… as the Queensland summer heat came down we migrated to the cool breezes in the backyard on the lawn …. I had these coconuts left over from a food shoot, so my father cracked them in half and we had scoops of ice-cream in coconut ‘bowls’ to cool us down…..

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…  we then spent the rest of Christmas afternoon in the backyard with each other, enjoying and appreciating what means the most to us….

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas

K xx