Archives for posts with tag: Australia

I am lucky to have met so many wonderful like-minded and creative people on my journey through life, people who inspire me. It’s a real privilege to be the author of two books, Sensual Living published by Conran Octopus and My Greek Island Home by published by Penguin Lantern and Clearview Books. Working on these books has led to my meeting some really fab people.Recently I met author Karen McCartney. Her latest book published by Julie Gibbs at Penguin Lantern is called Superhouse; it showcases houses that have a strong connection with nature. I met with Karen for lunch and she told me about the house her and her husband, David built The Dangar Island House, on the Hawkesbury River. I immediately too a look at the website http://www.thedangarislandhouse.com and could not wait to book in. Matthew and I were in need of a few days away from our hectic Sydney schedule and this was the perfect retreat. The house was stunning, large, simple and light, nestled high up in the trees surrounded by gums, ferns and native plants. It was like living in a tree house. There was no need for music as we were serenaded by continuous birdsong. The views of the water and the sunrise were stunning. We connected with nature immediately. Matthew and I spent our time drawing, painting, reading and exploring this small island, a perfect mini holiday. Thank you Karen and David for the inspiration and for sharing your beautiful retreat with us. We came back with renewed creativity and completely invigorated. I hope you enjoy some details from inside the house that caught my eye. Happy 2015!

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IMG_4348A Mr Matthew Barr

IMG_4351A Mrs Jessica Barr

IMG_4362 Mr and Mrs Barr

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I am still enjoying the memories from my besautiful niece and her gorgeous husband’s October wedding. As promised…….. introducing Mr Matthew Barr. Matt and Jess are about to embark on their new life together in Darwin, a big change from their familiar Sydney.  I hope it will be great adventure for both of them. Thank you for Matt and Jess for being in my life, I love you both.

 

Sweet juicy mango’s fell from the trees.

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One of my last days in Sydney was spent with my sister, Monica and her daughter Hannah at Neilson Park, a beautiful harbour beach in Sydney. These are some of the snaps I took of beautiful Hannah.

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IMG_0417A I feel very lucky to have met the beautiful Carla Coulson and her husband Francesco in Australia. Carla, Francesco, Matthew and I had a picnic on the foreshore of Sydney Harbour. It was a beautiful sunny Sydney summer afternoon and we enjoyed our time with them, it was so lovely and relaxed. Carla http://carlacoulson.com is a wonderful photographer and I have really enjoyed her books Italian Joy and Paris Tango http://carlacoulson.com/shop Her photography is feminine and her story, brave and inspiring. Chasing a dream is the title of Carla’s latest book. http://www.penguin.com.au/products/9781921382307/chasing-dream The title sums up Carla’s story perfectly. Carla gave up the security of her well paid job in Sydney and took a leap of faith into the unknown. She bought herself a camera and headed for Italy and back to school to learn photography. For the past ten years Carla has lived in Europe and has found something she is passionate about, well two things really, photography and Francesco. I think there is a lot to be said for chasing your dreams. We all have dreams and I think we owe it to ourselves to go after them. I understand that such huge leap is not for everyone but I truly believe in finding something that you feel passionate about and going for it. Get the book and be inspired! Thank you Carla for being inspiring and thank you to both you and Francesco for a lovely afternoon and we hope to see you in either Paris or Lesvos soon.

On the morning of my departure from Sydney an email notification hits the spot. Where do you come from? A post by Carla Coulson, http://carlacoulson.com it stops me in my tracks. Food for thought on a very long, 30 hour trip door to door from my native Australia to my home on the Greek Island of Lesvos. This trip has been the longest time I have spent to date in Australia since my departure in 1983. Although it has been more than hectic, it has been a fabulous trip. The launch of my latest book, My Greek Island Home http://www.penguin.com.au/lantern/life-style/books/my-greek-island-home has been a wonderful experience and introduced me to lots of new creative friends, Carla has been one of them. Old friends do not be worried, you are all so special and all very creative too and I enjoy our time together enormously. Spending time with my family when I’m in Sydney also means a lot to me. On my latest visit my Dad gave me an A5 envelope containing some of his father’s documents to read. These are some of Dad’s treasures and I felt very privileged to have them handed over to me. My Grandfather, John Joseph Lloyd started an apprenticeship in 1921 on Cockatoo Island. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cockatoo_Island My Dad, Mum, Matthew and I took a ferry ride across Sydney harbour to Cockatoo Island as Dad was keen to show me where my Grandfathers working life began. This was something we had discussed doing on several occasions. It was such a beautiful summers day, the perfect day for such a trip. Cockatoo Island is a fascinating place and walking around the grounds and seeing all the old buildings reminded us of such a different life and time. It was a great thing to do with Dad as he told me the stories he remembered being told of his father’s time there, we guessed which of the buildings he may have worked in. My Grandfather John or Jack as he was called married my Grandmother Mary in 1926, they were both 20 years of age. My grandfather left Cockatoo to go to the war in November 1940. He served for 1,118 days, 744 of these were spent outside Australia. When he arrived back to his family his thick black hair had turned completely white and he was missing his left arm. He was refused his job back at Cockatoo Island and he took legal action. The case went to court and my Grandfather won, however he didn’t go back on principal. Sadly my Grandfather died just 8 months before I was born, he was 50. My Grandmother always told me how much he would have loved me and I believed her. Walking around the Island with my Dad made me wonder about the hopes and dreams of a young boy starting his life as an apprentice and wishing I had had him physically in my life. So Carla’s question, where do you come from reminded me of the trip I took with my Dad only a week, to the day before. Thank you Carla for that thought provoking question. Below some photos of our trip to Cockatoo.

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COCKATOO ISLAND/ CLAIRE LLOYD

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IMG_0135 My wonderful Dad

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COCKATOO ISLAND/ CLAIRE LLOYD 2

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As my wonderful time in Australia draws to a close I am reminded of beautiful summer days spent with gorgeous friends. These days spent on Stradbroke Island  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stradbroke_Island on the eastern side of Moreton Bay, close to Brisbane have been amongst my favourite. Beautiful lazy beach days with Dave, Rob, Matthew, Eddie and Lil. Thank you all for the time we spent together, so, so special.

STRADBROKE This is a taste if Stradbroke Island .I will be posting more soon

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Finally we are getting some perfect Sydney weather. This is one of my most favourite places in the world, Balmoral Beach, in Sydney. Although I have been back in Sydney since September today was my first visit to this very special spot. Balmoral is usually one of my first stops when I come back to Sydney. It’s a place I hold in my heart a place that has so many beautiful memories. As a child growing up in Sydney my parents would pack a picnic and my brother, sister and I in the car and head for Balmoral a harbour beach about 20 minutes drive from home. We would spend the day playing in the sand, building sand castles and swimming. We would also be encouraged to chase seagulls for seagull pie a game my parents invented to keep us entertained. My parents were inventive when it came to games especially my Mum who managed to invent a game for every occasion. She even had a game for us to play when making our beds at home. Balmoral continued to be a favourite as I grew into my teenage years and well beyond. However there were times throughout my teenage years when I abandoned  this pretty harbour gem for the big surf of the Pacific ocean and the bleach blond haired surfers with tanned muscular bodies who adorned it. Such is the distraction of youth! I came back though, could not resist it, how could you. Coming down steep the hill from Military road the view across the blue green water through the Sydney Heads is breathtaking. Stepping onto the grass in bare feet is the first thing I do before making my way down the sandstone stairs and onto the golden sand with its crushed shell texture. The rock formations and rock pools are so inviting and the crystal clear water and feeling of the sand between my toes and under my feet grounds me. Matthew enjoyed sharing this special place with me today. Sydney Harbour at its best!

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photo-49 The first day of 2013 was perfect! A swim in the pacific followed by a casual dinner with friends. Hope all of you have  fabulous 2013! Matthew took these photos of me enjoying what I love best, a beautiful Sydney beach.

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