Valley of clouds, vines and leaves

Last week I went on a much-anticipated short break to the Yarra Valley. It was heavenly to drive out of suburbia, and into a lush valley of clouds, vines and leaves, and feel utterly engulfed by nature’s wintry beauty.

My friend Rachel was my travelling companion – YAY!! She was the perfect person to have by my side last week, as enamoured with the sky as I am, which meant we both oohed and ahhed repeatedly at the amazing light show we were driving beneath.


Tarrawarra never disappoints. The setting, the weather, the golden carpet of falling leaves, and then the incredible artworks. Heaven.






Clouds_2.jpgGetting to spend time with my awesome online friend Rachel, in real life, and in such a beautiful setting, was wonderful.

Being out on the open road, watching the sky and the hills and the vines whizz by was magical. Taking time to pull over and snap photos as we pleased, which I know isn’t something Rach usually gets to do as she ferries kids hither and thither in Auckland was great. We were the captains of our souls, and our schedules.

Sitting together in the front bar of the Healesville Hotel, drinking Gembrook Hill sauv blanc and eating bar snacks was delicious.

Strolling, shopping, collaborating on a couple of paintings and drawings, laughing… everything we shared had my emotional tank filling, filling, filling. What a gift. We fit together well, as I think our collaboration shows, I painted, she drew, and it wouldn’t be what it is without both of us. (Just quietly, I think she’s an INCREDIBLE illustrator.)

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The conversations we shared came so easily and were wide ranging, silly, sacred, intimate, and free flowing. I’m going to call those the highlight of the trip.

It feels rare to connect so deeply with someone, especially online, and to have that friendship deepen and have the ease of #pastlifetwins when we were in the same timezone; that’s something I’ll treasure as we continue as friends separated merely by geography. Geography’s got nothing on my bond with this girl! (By the way, if you don’t, you really should read her blog The Chronicles of Rach, she’s so gifted with words and has so much soul. #notsponsoredbuttotallytrue)

There’s so much that’s yet to come from that trip, for both of us.

I feel like spending time with Rach, and the long conversations we shared, really unlocked something in my soul, which has me pondering how I can more deliberately live the life I truly want to.

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My advice to you dear reader, plan a getaway like this for yourself and that special friend you’re thinking of as you’ve read this. Find a place with big skies, and vines, and wine, pack your slippers and silly accents, your books and your craft supplies, and most importantly, upon arrival, gently unpack an open heart, and let a few days with a sister you’ve chosen fill your emotional tank.

I’m brimming over.


Annette x


10 thoughts on “Valley of clouds, vines and leaves

  1. how lovely for you Annette!
    definitely good to fill your emotional tank!
    just what the doctor ordered I feel!
    thankyou for introducing us to Rachel
    I just subscribed, as I love her honest writing! … beautiful!
    much love m:)X


  2. Oh my goodness, lady. What a lovely post! I sit here with tears brimming over the edges of my eyes, because it took me back. Because I miss you already. Because you are one of the most lovely people I have ever met.
    “since many years” tee hee!
    I adored my road trip with you. Thank you a thousand times for sharing it with me. X
    My past life twin and current life soul sister!


  3. I love that phrase – ‘Captains of our souls and our schedules’. It’s been too long since I was captain of either – captain of the kitchen maybe? I’ve just read The Chronicles of Rach and loved her post so much I signed up – had no idea it was this Rach you’d been travelling with. You are both inspirational women. Love your work.


  4. Both of you have written about this time away so beautifully and so differently – love it! We’ve got a two day / overnight escape, minus kids, to Healesville too, next Friday / Sat – definitely adding the gallery to our otherwise laid back itinerary!


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