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Postcards from Perth

Perth skyline, Western Australia - photo by Katie @ Second-Hand Hedgehog travel blog

Today's post is a throwback to Perth (the Western Australian one, not the Scottish one).

I spent a couple of weeks there at the end of my year in Australia, in July 2011, and loved it. It has a reputation as a city stuck out on a limb, and in a sense, that's kind of true: it's around a five hour flight from the eastern hubs of Melbourne and Sydney, with great swathes of desert in between. 

But the result isn't a feeling of isolation (although imported goods here will cost you even more than in the rest of the country, because of the transport costs). Instead, Perth sets itself up as its own centre, as the focal point for the western side of the country. It's a hub of artwork, of music in the streets, of days spent with family and friends on the water or in the city's beautiful extensive parks. 

Yes, its public transport system leaves a lot to be desired, taxis are extortionate, and the tensions between aboriginal and non-aboriginal cultures seem heightened here. 

But it's a beautiful city, and one that I'm definitely glad I visitied. 

Monday Wisdom: Are You Living Your Dream?



May's Monday Wisdom comes from a piece of graffiti in Malta. Tucked at the back of Mellieha Beach on a wall under the entrance to the public toilets, it asks: 'Are you living your dream?'

If not, why not? 

We're just over half way through the month of May. Make the rest of it a month of possibility: a month of what you may do, and a month of optimism. Work towards asking yourself this question in a month's time, or in two months, or in a year: Are you living your dream? And work towards making your answer: Yes. 

Saturday Beach: Glenelg

Crashing waves

Think of Australia, and you'll probably think of kangaroos, scary insects, or beaches. Understandable, given that the majority of the population live along the coast. But the beach you probably won't be thinking of is Glenelg.

Glenelg Beach, in Adelaide, isn't the tropical paradise you get in the north of the country in Queensland and Western Australia. In fact, it reminded me much more of a British seaside town. Slightly grey. Crashing waves. And we even snuggled under a blanket to eat fish and chips and watch the setting sun. Perfect for a slightly homesick Brit!

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Saturday Beach is a series of weekly posts celebrating beaches around the world, whether cold and rocky or tropical with white sand. I love water; I love lakes; I love the sea. But most of all I love the edge of it: the boundary between the water and the land; where one thing turns into another. This is my weekly excuse to share that love with you.

Travel from Home: A Picnic in the Car


This is the first of my Travel From Home posts: incorporating the spirit of exploration into my everyday life. 

This is my theory that travel doesn't have to be epic. Of course, Sydney Opera House is all very well and good, as is seeing New York from the top of the Empire State Building - and who wouldn't want to jump out of a plan in New Zealand? But it doesn't need to be that extravagant.

Some of my inspiration for this series comes from Alastair Humphreys' microadventures - but it also comes from just looking out of my own window. 

I live on the edge of the Lake District, so the view from my window is kind of beautiful - but I spend so much time indoors, working / writing / blogging, that I don't make the most of it. 

So one beautiful evening a couple of weeks ago, I decided not to just drive home from work with my takeaway coffee and switch on my laptop as normal. Instead, I took a five minute detour to the neighbouring valley, sat in my car with my coffee and my notebook, planned some blog posts and watched the sun set. 

I was still working, but I was doing something a little different, and appreciating my surroundings in a way that I don't usually. 

So this is my resolution: at least once a month, to 'travel' in some way, but from my own home. Travel blogs can get so full of the exciting, extravagant, exotic stuff, that it's easy to forget the fifteen minute trip around the corner.

Do you have somewhere close to where you live, which feels like travelling?

Saturday Beach: Bay of Fires

Red rocks at the Bay of Fires

It's easy to think that Tasmania's Bay of Fires got its name from the fiery red of the algae-covered rocks, but apparently not. The bay was in fact named by English navigator Tobias Furneaux, captain of the Adventure, who saw the fires of the Aboriginal people on the beach.

I know, I know - he was called 'Furneaux' and named it the 'Bay of Fires'. Personally I think he named it after himself as a kind of in-joke, but that's just speculation.

[Photo taken using an underwater camera, above the water. Hence the slightly grainy quality. Sorry!]

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Saturday Beach is a series of weekly posts celebrating beaches around the world, whether cold and rocky or tropical with white sand. I love water; I love lakes; I love the sea. But most of all I love the edge of it: the boundary between the water and the land; where one thing turns into another. This is my weekly excuse to share that love with you.