Murwillumbah

Fall!

Fall!

Here in Australia, we call it Autumn, not Fall. And where I live, there are no extreme differences between any of the seasons. Autumn is recognisable by the array of leaves on the ground, and being able to sleep comfortably at night for the first time in months. And yes, Autumn does signal colder days to come, but nothing like the cold days of the Northern Hemisphere.

An Autumn day in Brisbane

In some parts of Australia, like Central Queensland (CQ), there are seemingly only two seasons: Hot and Cold. But in Melbourne, you can have all four seasons in one day (or, so the saying goes…).

Kids Don’t Feel The Cold!

Out in Central Queensland, it would be hot one day, and then cold the next. That’s how you would know it was winter. Autumn had been by-passed – there was no in-between. Just hot, and cold. I’m not talking – Northern Hemisphere big-heavy-coat-cold, just an extra-layer-of-jumper cold.

When I was teaching in Queensland, the only sign of winter, as demonstrated by most of the students, was the addition of a jumper (sweater) early in the morning. They still wore shorts! Some of them would pass an occasional remark about how cold it was, but didn’t connect wearing shorts, to feeling cold. Long pants seemingly got in the way of running fast at recess. And by lunchtime, the jumper would either be safely stowed in their bag or lost in the playground; usually the latter.

A beautiful Autumn day in Murwillumbah NSW

Cold One Day – Hot The Next

And the reverse occurred at the other end of the season. Cold one day, and hot the next. The only sign of Spring was the emergence of new buds on trees. But temperature-wise? – hot!

Spring has sprung, here in Murwillumbah

I can’t account for other parts of Australia because my experience is limited (mostly) to Queensland and the northern end of New South Wales. However – there are places in Southern parts of our beautiful Australian landscape that apparently have distinct seasons. Trees put on seasonal colours that are seemingly spectacular, and the early morning chill creeps in and warns of colder days to come. Nice places to visit – but I wouldn’t want to live there.

The Beautiful Fall Colours of Boston

Speaking of nice places to visit, one of the most memorable journeys I have taken, was Boston US, in November. I was mesmerised by the beauty of the Fall colours. A travel-buddy that I had met while on the cruise from Southampton UK, shared my enthusiasm. On a bus from the cruise ship, to and from Salem, we must have driven the Fall-hardened passengers crazy. We (two Aussies) darted from one side of the bus to the other, cameras poised, trying to capture every golden leaf along the way. It was spectacular!

This photo doesn’t do justice to the beauty of the Fall trees in Boston 
Or this one….

Do we have spectacular Autumns (Falls) here in Australia? Yes! But not where I live. Beautiful – yes – but not Boston-type spectacular. Would I swap where I live for a place that has distinct seasons? Probably not. I love the way our seasons just ease gently into each other here in Northern New South Wales.

Oh, and yes, I did turn my heater on last winter – about three times, I think. And only for about an hour each time.

And that’s the way I like it!

Please follow and like us:
Posted by Maureen in Blogging, Travel, 14 comments
Day 22 – UBC – In the Shadow of Mount Warning

Day 22 – UBC – In the Shadow of Mount Warning

The only trouble with living close to an iconic landmark or attraction is that you rarely get up close and personal with it. How many attractions are in your area that you seldom, or have never visited? You know they are there but you keep saying “One day I’ll climb that mountain”, or “One day I’ll visit that castle”, but that ‘one-day’ slips further away until you start saying, “I’ll get there, some day”.  And that’s how it was for me, living in the shadow of Mount Warning, in the beautiful Northern Rivers area of New South Wales – my one-day just kept slipping by.

Then ‘one-day’ a friend mentioned a cafe she had been to, that I hadn’t. We consulted our diaries, decided on a day and time, and headed out of town.

Rainforest Cafe

We were in search of the Rainforest Cafe, nestled in the leafy surrounds of the base of Mount Warning, otherwise known as Wollumbin, which is the Aboriginal name for Mt Warning.

So we sat by the creek at the Rainforest Cafe, under the trees, and sipped our milkshake, and coffee, and ate amazing Middle Eastern cake. In the process, we managed to prove that there is no better place for a relaxing breakfast, lunch, morning or afternoon tea than the Rainforest Cafe at Wollumbin. And then, to offload the calories, we walked through the trees beside the creek, taking photos of nature at its best.

Okay – this isn’t the best photo I’ve ever taken, but I love the effects..

There is no shortage of colour, shapes and rays of sun to capture in photographic spleandour. You just need a full battery on your smart phone and you’ll have plenty of content to upload on whichever Social Media you subscribe to.

On the Steep and Narrow Road

When we left the cafe, a right-turn took us up the hill towards the majestic Mount Warning. The road was steep and narrow; there isn’t a lot of room for passing another car on that road. But luckily there wasn’t much traffic and my friend’s car made the climb seemingly effortlessly.  Although, when we reached a plateau’d car-park near the top, there was a slight ‘hot’ smell coming from the engine. Compact car – steep climb, what more could we expect?

Rise and Shine, Australia!

The Bundjalung People are the original custodians of the land surrounding, and beyond Mount Warning. For them, the mountain is a sacred site. With respect for the Bundjalung people, I would rather treat the site as sacred ground and not climb to the top of Mount Warning. Just to be able to see its beauty up close and personal from a lower point, is all I need.

Mount Warning is said to be the first place in Australia to witness the birth of every new day, as the sun peeps over the mountain, ready to warm the earth below.

While it boasts a New South Wales address, Mount Warning is still close enough to be a short trek for South East Queenslanders, and visitors to the Gold Coast. The uniqueness of its peak makes Mount Warning easily identifiable, from both sides of the border. Seeing Mount Warning from a plane, while taxiing into the Gold Coast Airport, is the warm welcome-home you look forward to, after travelling far and wide.

The only thing that says “Welcome Home” louder than Mount Warning, is the Tweed River, as you drive along Tweed Valley Way on your way into Murwillumbah. Only then do we appreciate the real beauty of where we live.

What! You don’t believe me?

Then come and see for yourself. Oh, and let me know when you’ll be heading into town and we’ll meet for a coffee, I know all the best places, and they are all in the shadow of Mount Warning.

See you in Murwillumbah!

Please follow and like us:
Posted by Maureen in Blogging, Travel, 4 comments

Day 21 – UBC – Does it Matter Where I Sit?

When I visit a friend or relative’s home for the first time, I usually ask “Does it matter where I sit?”. Everyone has their favourite chair, or seat in the house, and I am wary of plonking myself down on my host’s favourite chair. And one of the most common questions asked of writers is: Where do you write? Like the rest of us, writers probably have a chair or place that they prefer, while writing. I know I do.

Old Habits Are Hard To Break

We all have habits, right? Some good, some not-so-good. And some of us are more bound by habits and routines than others. My morning routine of ‘coffee first!’, is sacrosanct. Pity help anyone who stands between me and that first coffee of the day. Once I’m caffeinated – I’m fine, and the immediate vicinity is once again a safe place to be.


Part of my routine features the chair I sit in to write. My favourite chair in summer is by the door, leading out to the verandah.  The chair is comfortable and rocks just slightly, and with a breeze coming through the door, writing is easy.

My Outside Space

If I want to write early in the morning, this is my ‘go-to’ place. Of course, there’s another little habit that goes with that seat – when I sit out there, I have to have a coffee beside me.

Where Do You Write?

Inside? Outside?

On the Move

While travelling this great planet of ours, I’ve discovered a few places I like to claim as my writing-chair. Top of the list would have to be coffee shops and cafes.

Here are some of the places I’ve sat, with iPad and keyboard stragically placed, and churned out a blog – or two. Usually while sipping about eleven or eight coffees.

My Local

Re Cafe Nate: my neighbourhood coffee shop in Murwillumbah. It can get a bit busy here because the locals all know how good the coffee, food and service are, but it’s a great place to write; thanks Josh, Desley and Don.

West End Brisbane

Between The Bars: West End, Brisbane. This is my home-away-from-home coffee shop. Great coffee and great service; thanks Nick and Mal.

Seattle: WA

RedWing Cafe: Seattle, US. Tucked away in Rainier Beach, this is the best place for just hanging out and writing, on a cold winter’s day. The coffee, food and service are outstanding. And that’s all the encouragement I needed to sit and write. Thank you Anthony, Sue and the fantastic team who kept me fed and caffeinated while I wrote, early this year.

Berhampore (Wellington) NZ

Rinski Korsakov: Berhampore. What can I say? This was just the cutest place – with a table in the front window for people-watching, when inspiration waned. Luckily, there was no shortage of great coffee and carrot cake, when I frequented Rinski’s in September 2017.  Thanks Jet!

Where do Famous Authors Write?

J.K Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, came up with the idea for the series while on a delayed train, but wrote in cafes in Scotland. Could it be the coffee that provides the inspiration?

If you have ever asked a writer – “Where do you write?”, what was their response? Do they favour cafes, or a park bench? Do they prefer a log cabin in the woods, or a bench on a busy street?

My guess is, writers have a favourite place when it comes to the serious business of writing. Inspiration, on the other hand, can happen anywhere.

Write On!

Please follow and like us:
Posted by Maureen in Blogging, Writing, 2 comments