The Art of Walking – the people you meet…

Lady in Blcock Street Market with inflated balloons around her in the shape of a horse.
People we meet in Bulcock Street Market, Caloundra

Banx and I got chatting on the back deck the other morning after our respective “different paths” walks up here on the stunning Sunny Coast.. it’s not just beautiful Mother Nature, birds, animals, trees, flowers we come across and observe with interest on our walks… its those other funny things we walk past called PEOPLE! 🙂

“I changed my walking route. The people on the Caloundra section after Shelly Headland aren’t as friendly as on the Currimundi track” said Banx.

“Really?” I queried “but surely you don’t go on walks to make friends?”

“Of course not, quite the opposite, we’re all in our own worlds on the track but it’s nice to be able to look up nod and say good morning to a fellow passer-by and get a friendly response – to be momentarily all part of this community” he replied politely.

It got me thinking and really observing and noticing on my subsequent walks after that! And he’s right – there’s categories of walkers on both tracks … some really make me giggle:

The avoider

…these are the walkers who avoid eye contact at all costs, or maybe if you’re lucky you get a cursory very fast sideways glance, but mainly heads down and the job of walking to be getting on with focus and purpose (sometimes with posh branded gym T-shirts and headphones on – gotta block out those waves and bird noises at all costs!)

The over-friendly

You accidentally make eye contact with the friendly old fella who waves you over, thinking its an emergency you briskly follow his hand gestures, only to find out he’s griping about the Council’s rubbish bin collection and before you know it you’re trying to extricate yourself from a political discussion 🙂

The path hoggers

Usually the whole family of seven plus bikes and dogs stop in the middle of the walking path to discuss what everyone wants for breakfast – it’s just easier to walk the one kilometre around them  – Banx threads his way through them and my darling 95 year old Mum stops altogether and they part like the Red Sea for her to stroll through.

The Speed Racer

These are the walkers that loom up behind you, then pace walk with you side by side breathing heavily then overtake and pass you and win the gold medal on the podium afterwards

The best one of all: The serendipitous no-names-exchanged friendship

One of the loveliest experiences I had last week was finishing my late arvo walk along the Shelly Beach – Kings Beach headland route and I excitedly spotted the P&O Aria cruise ship majestically floating past in the distance. I meandered off the path to allow myself the meditative time to watch it and a lady silently came and stood beside me in a very gentle nonintrusive way:

Pacific Dawn off Caloundra in the evening with golden sun shining off her side
Pacific Dawn off Caloundra

“My son and his family are on that ship” the lovely stranger gently murmurs very aware to allow me my space on the planet too.

The conversation naturally then went back and forth about the virtues of a cruise ship holiday and general pleasurable chit-chat. We eventually walked a little way back up the hill together – she to her car, me on my way home along the path, never exchanging names or any other personal information and yet finding comfort in human contact and conversation that afternoon.

“See you on the next cruise” she called out as we waved goodbye. Something tells me stranger things have happened and I just might bump into her on a cruise ship one day, I hope so.

A sign above a door in the Shakespeare Bookshop in Paris, "Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise"
Shakespeare Bookshop in Paris, Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise

The funniest thing of all is recognising all of these walkers in myself! I have been every single one of these walkers depending what day you find me walking the various beautiful Sunny Coast routes… if you pass me though, I’d really appreciate a nod and a friendly hello, or a simple ‘Morning’ – it gets me to my destination cafe faster somehow ha! The simple pleasurable exchanges that you may give to someone on a low day or the pleases, thank you’s, excuse me’s and a big smile can really make someone’s day. Just try it. I’m going to.

Currimundi Walk

From Paddock to Palette…..

One of the greatest privileges of living and working up here on the Sunshine Coast are our daily early morning long walks.

Sanctuary by Banx art on the easel

Banx prefers his 15,000 steps from Moffat to Currimundi Lake via Dicky Beach and Coondibah Creek along the rainforest coastal walking path, the Annette Corridor, where he regularly sees the rare Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo (and once or twice a baby snake!) eeks! The path meanders past amazing vegetation and loooooong stretches of deserted beaches and birdlife.

I can’t keep up with his vigorous long strides (and there’s not enough coffee stops with artist Banx!) so I head off in a different direction (healthy for any relationship, right? ha!) and my walking path is either via Moffat Beach over the headland (that hill is steep!), onto Shelly Beach and beyond to Kings Beach with my fave coffee stops at Coffee Cat at Kings Beach and Happy Turtle Cafe at Happy Valley, and then back along that mesmerising meandering headland to Shelly Beach and back home to Moffat.

When we meet up later on our back deck, we are always SO excited to share what we have seen on our walk that morning – funny stories about dogs or kids, descriptions and gestures of birds we aren’t sure of (Banx has written to Bird Life Australia sending pics to identify birds that have dropped into our garden like the Pallid Cuckoo and the Pheasant Coucal, trying to recreate to each other the sheer beauty and magnitude of what we’ve observed and witnessed that morning – and it’s always new and different and changing from what we’d seen the day before. Or what we’ll experience the next day.. and the day after.. and the day after that…

…So I wasn’t the least bit surprised to read this statistic in the Sunday paper a few weeks ago!

Sunday Paper cutting – benefits of art

Nature is SO inspiring! On so many levels – its hardly surprising artists like Banx literally rush back in to the studio and start re-creating all those things in a scene that they felt, smelt, touched… the “stories” and beauty of Nature they just observed and were privileged to witness first hand.

From paddock to palette.. from walks through exquisite natural landscapes to paints, palettes, easel and gallery… thank you Nature – you inspire us daily!

Got your Back by Banx 1300x900mm MC6795
Got your Back by Banx 1300x900mm MC6795 $2970 to buy $89.10 a month to rent

To see more nature-inspired and beautiful landscape paintings by Banx click HERE

 And… “Let some Sunshine In!”

Life’s a Beach……

Livin’ the dream! We all are! How lucky are we to live in Australia ( a good reminder as Australia Day approaches, not too far away) – most Aussies along the East coast live within relatively easy reach of a beach and can catch a wave or a good dose of Vitamin Sea when life and work commitments allow.

A lot of us have been fortunate enough to travel to some far flung exotic destinations over the years and every single time I come back saying over and over again “we have the best beaches in the world in Oz” as I wash my sandy feet under our outdoor shower.

Outside shower
Outside shower

A neighbour of ours up here at beautiful Moffs was telling us recently that they have a friend from Croatia who bought a beach over there (yep! bought one!) and makes his living from renting it out along with beach parasols, chairs, even ice creams. (he better not have his eye on Moffat!) And what about those beaches in Italy and France with lots of rocky terrain where you have to pay to even step foot on the rocks! Long live Aussie beaches, the greatest equalizer in the world where CEO’s sit in their boardies alongside uni students, Tradies and Judges all sharing the same beautiful piece of paradise.

Our daily mindful fave walks up here are for me over the headland or for Mike, through the beachy rainforest to Currimundi constantly inspire our creative juices – and we’re not fair-weather friends to Moffs, we love all her moods (and boy does she have some!)

Storm over Moffat Beach
Storm over Moffat Beach

Nothing better than sitting and watching storm clouds move in or hopping in the van in the pouring rain to see what the waves are doing on a full moon. Sitting on a beach seat with our visiting Aunt from the UK one night after dinner in the village watching the moon in companionable silence is up there as one of life’s highlights: “sometimes me sits and thinks, sometimes me just sits”.

So it’s NO surprise that Banx loves getting stuck into Coastal inspired paintings back in the studio when we are literally swimming in creative stimulation at Moffat and beyond. Here are a few of Banx’s pieces

What’s the best part of being at the beach? Maybe its just “the beach feel” that feels good!

High Rollers by Banx 2200x1000mm MC6803
High Rollers by Banx 2200x1000mm MC6803 $5390 to buy $161.70 a month to rent