Tag Archives: summer

Pick Your Own Cherries – Young, NSW

The annual National Cherry Picking Festival took place in Young, New South Wales on the first weekend of December. The drive from Canberra takes two hours, more or less. This was our second time of cherry picking. Kids always love to pluck fruits straight off the trees, that includes my children. So far we have been to blueberry, cherry, and apple orchards. And from experience I have learned that we, children and adults alike, tend to get carried away when it comes to how much we can/want/like to pick versus how much of the above mentioned fruit we can actually consume in the fruit-keeping-life period. I remember one summer when we had blueberry pancakes for almost 4 days straight (plus add blueberries on ANYTHING), and still had a bucket left.

Young has several orchards you can go to for cherry picking. The day when we were there, because it was the Festival of the year, there was a lot of merry making in the town center, so more surrounding streets were blocked, but there was plenty to do and to see. To get to the orchards, you need to drive 10-15 minutes from the town center. We stopped on the second orchard we found. This time, I was a bit more clever, I told friends that I was going cherry picking, and I actually took orders. And people do LOVE their cherries. No, I did not take any profits from the order, my kids enjoyment when I said “go nuts” as they took the bucket and got ready to do some picking was ‘profit’ enough for me. So you enter the orchard for free, and you pay for all the cherries you picked. Those you eat along the way are not counted. It was $10/kilo, which was half the price of what they sell at the supermarket.

We went to the town center after our cherry picking, and hung out there for a bit. A cherry pie eating contest was on, and I can tell you, the competition was fierce. They’ve got contestants from everywhere: apart from the  interstate contestants, even some overseas tourists put their best teeth forward. If you are ever around, this cherry picking can be a fun family activity during the school holiday. I believe the season continues until late January.

cherries in the buckets, pick your own cherry, cherry festival, young nsw. cherries in the buckets, pick your own cherry, cherry festival, young nsw, cherry picking children




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up in the air

Do you remember when you were young kids and played so hard, you would run so very fast, or jump so high that your chest hurt and you had to stop to catch your breath just to do it again the whole day, and how happy that made you feel? Well, these shots of my son took me back to that time. There must be something joyful about keeping your body up in the air that he always try to bounce back up as soon as he landed. I love watching him go hard at it even when he had to stop a couple of times to catch his breath. It’s the joy of childhood, not yet  ‘play hard work hard’, it’s all about ‘play hard and go nuts’, until mum calls out for dinner.

Good times…

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One Night at the Kangaroo Valley

canoe kir

As it happens, summer is (officially) nearly over here in Australia. The new routines have started to kick in, daily  activities soon became a blur, and before long our summer fun will turn into distant memory.

We have had a great summer holiday. Despite the extreme weather (extreme heat, extreme cold, heavy rain, and more) we really enjoyed this summer, maybe the fact that the two summers past have been a real fluke (constant rain and cold weather) made us really grateful for the ‘real’ heat.

We went for Kangaroo Valley Safari at the beginning of January. We, my family and one visiting old friend, had to peddle in canoes for 3.5 hours, find a campsite, pull up a tent, slept for one night, then pack up the next day to do another peddling for 2 hours along the river to get to our meeting spot at Tallowa Dam to wait for a bus to drive us back to our car. With two young kids and a bunch of people with under trained upper body muscles, it was a full on trip. The view was beautiful, and we practically had the place to ourselves. The second day was extremely hot, I was grateful we were surrounded by water. The experience was super exhausting, but fun.


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Day 365 #Project365


Sydney Beach

Day 365 of the my Project 365. Surely this is the last day of the project? Or is it?  Project 365 runs for a year, which traditionally starts on 1st January to end on the 31st of December, as the 365th day. However, this year is a leap year. There are 366 days in a year. So I think we will have 365 days of photos and a BONUS day tomorrow! Yay!

I didn’t expect to be this psyched on the final day, but I am. It has been such an exciting year. This project has helped me value my life this year even more. You know that sometimes with all our activities, chores and routines your days just seems to mesh together in a blur, that you can’t tell one day from another when suddenly you are faced with another weekend? Well, no blurry days for me this year (excuse the pun). Every day there was something. Not always special, but mostly unique.

I’ll start with the downside of doing this project:

  • Stress. At the beginning it was not so stressful, as I exclusively used my iPhone to take photos. It was easy to do the post edit, write up and upload, because I could do all that in my iPhone. However, as of April I started using my DSLR to take photos, so the challenge went up a notch. It was stressful only on bad days; when I was too busy I often only remembered to take photos really late at night, and I was already too exhausted to do anything, let alone take nice photos. Sick days were always hard too.
  • Too many crappy shots in my library.  Every day I downloaded several pictures onto my computer, but I did not always chuck the bad ones into the trash.
  • Funny that I thought I would have a lot of downsides, but I don’t. Probably have to ask my family on this one.

The highlights of doing this project:

  • I became more skilful in photography. I guess it’s true what they say that if you want to learn more you have to take more photos. I was exposed to taking photos in different kinds of lighting, various subjects, and locations, and I can confidently say I am better at it now than I was in January 2012
  • A full 2012 journal with pictures! Since I also love to write a little something to accompany most of my photos, those posts became pages that I can go back to. A thought, experience and many sweet memories have been journaled, to be cherished in years to come
  • Great new online and off-line contacts. So many wonderful comments and ‘likes’ from fellow bloggers and twitter/Facebook friends made me happy and embarrassed at the same time. It’s a wonderful feelings to have people love what you love doing. I love the interactions I had with fellow bloggers, so much to learn from each other
  • A healthy mind. My family was fully aware of this project, so I always had at least half an hour of uninterrupted ‘me-time’ every day, which means A LOT for me. I know it doesn’t sound much to most of you, but as a busy mom with two kids, this allocated ‘me-time’ really kept the ‘craziness’ away

This might be the end of this project, but this won’t be the last  of me. I intend to keep on blogging, or maybe doing a different photography project in the future. To all my readers, I thank you for all your support; I may not show it enough, but I really appreciate all of it.

The day 365 post is dedicated to my constant inspiration. My two energy balls, T (Mr 8) and K (Ms 4). Love you loads, kiddos..!

kiddos 2012


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  • ria mahney01/01/2013 - 2:48 pm

    Keep blogging Ayu, I love your blog. Am gonna miss checking out your blog every night before I go to bed! 🙂 It’s kinda stress relief and also inspiration for me.
    Looking forward to February, please :))

    Ps: Happy 2013! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • [ayu]01/01/2013 - 9:24 pm

      You are so sweet, thanks for your comment it made my day! Definitely will return to blogging, after spending January enjoying summer holiday with the family. Have a Happy new year! xReplyCancel

  • […] Day 365 #Project365 […]ReplyCancel

Day 356 #Project365


356-365, T and teacher

Summer holiday is officially started. Today was Mr 8’s last day of school. Also, it was his last day in this school. He is going to a new school starting next year. So yeah, it was kind of big deal. The school had this farewell ‘bang’ at the end of the day to say goodbye to all the Year 6 graduates and those others who will not come back next year. A lot of chanting, screaming, banging and clapping. Not a teary goodbye for sure.

A photo of Mr 8 with his class teacher, Miss S seems appropriate for today. I love the big smiles in both of their faces. They had a good year together. A tiny chapter in my boy’s life ended. The new one is waiting just after the holiday.

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  • ria mahney26/12/2012 - 7:20 pm

    How old is your boy? If am not mistaken from what you calls him on your blog he’s 8? And he finished year 6 already?ReplyCancel

    • [ayu]26/12/2012 - 9:08 pm

      You are right. He’s only 8, but he will start his Year 4 at a new school that’s why we had to say good bye to his old one.ReplyCancel