Good Morning Maggie

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I opened my eyes to hear the Magpie’s glorious morning song.

It fills my heart with joy, reminding me I am here, in this day, where anything is possible. Surrounded by nature I feel blessed.

“Good morning Maggie.” says a soft sleepy voice from my daughter’s room. I smile to myself. Mr Magpie is waiting there, near Willow’s window. They usually talk to each other for about five minutes. I often wonder what they chat about.

Every morning for the past two weeks he has visited her without fail. At 6am, maybe a minute or two early or late he is there. She calls to him and thanks him for being her alarm clock. I sneak up the hallway to see him. He stands on the back of the deck chair in front of her window preening himself and yodeling away. He makes an almighty racket at such a tender hour. But we love him.

DSCN6017 (copy) Willow will be watching a movie and she won’t even know that her friend is at the window. He sits there behind her watching too. I wonder if he is looking at his own reflection. Willow thinks he is in love with himself.

I have tried to  film him singing, but he is too quick and sharp for me. And so I just appreciate his quirky personality, feed him crumbs sometimes. Although we are thinking of buying some bird seed, yet we don’t want him to become reliant on us for food.

I adore magpies. Most people don’t appreciate or notice them. I find the black and white a striking contrast against the back drop of green grass and blue mountains. When the babies squeak for food (so cute) I tell their parents what a wonderful job they are doing. I have always talked to the Magpies. My mum believes if you talk to them and get to know them they won’t swoop you at nesting time (has worked so far). I’m wondering if Willow’s magpie is a little lonely? Now that his mum and dad have new babies to look after. How curious life can be.

These minuscule moments we must cherish. When I think about the uncertainties in life, the unpredictability we all experience. I tell myself to stop and look at the things around me. Appreciate what I have and where I live. My life is far from perfect but I am thankful for this day and the next and the next.

I know my daughter will carry her Magpie moments with her into adulthood. She has a special connection to nature with her art. She notices the little things like her brother does too. I know if she ever writes her books, filled with childhood memories maybe Mr Magpie will become famous.

Magpie and Baby by Willow

Magpie and Baby by Willow

Next week we are going on a road trip to Sydney to see Taylor Swift for the second time. Spending precious time with my sisters and family. I will be offline most of the time and am looking forward to unplugging from social media for a little while.

I hope you notice something curious and wonderful in your day or meet a friendly magpie.

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Reed met a friendly Magpie on the beach. Photo by Pete Unsworth

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A Very BIG Adventure

Art by Kath

Art by Kath

Spock’s Very BIG Adventure.

Sometimes life truly can be stranger than fiction.

I received a call from the Grandparents (my husbands parents). Nothing unusual they often call me when they arrive safe home after a stay on the farm. I could tell by Nan’s voice that something wasn’t  right. We all know that voice, the one that delivers bad news.

After a six hour drive to Sydney anyone would sound tired but there was something else. I waited for the bomb to drop.

“We found one of your cats under the bonnet of the car.”

“What?” I said, my throat felt dry, my mind clicked into gear, as I waited for her to tell me which cat had died.

“Its okay, its a bit scared, but okay.”

Turns out it was our baby girl Spock. The cat presumed to be a boy at first until the vets informed us he, was a she. The name stuck.

The funny thing is the grandparents joked about checking the car for cats. Apple jumped in the back of the car when they were packing. We make sure its a cat free zone under the car when visitors leave. They are such curious creatures. Nan and Pop stopped at a local service station they thought they heard a squeak in their door. Pulling everything out of the car just in case it was a cat, they did not think to look under the hood.

The chance of survival sitting on a hot battery all that way to Sydney is slim. The grandparents had several stops for food and coffee’s. Poor kitty I can only imagine the fear and exhaustion she went through. When Pop finally lifted the bonnet, he found a scared and overheated little kitty.

Spock is our little adventurer  but this adventure will go down as her biggest.

Caught playing with a baby snake, not once but twice. We thought her time was up, red belly black snakes are just as venomous when they are babies. I found her sleeping in the washing machine once, almost put her on the rinse and spin cycle. She has a love affair with the cows, which leaves me nervous, praying she does not get stomped on.

Yet out of all our cats she is the smartest (opens sliding door) comes and goes as she pleases. Wish I could teach her to close the door when she leaves. Uses the kitty litter box and never makes a mess. Comes to me when she hears the word treat. Sits on my artwork when I am busy. Yes she is special.

I hadn’t  noticed that day, my little buddy Spock was missing. Usually when I have an art day she likes to sit and watch. Imagine my surprise, receiving the news that she was in Sydney. Poor baby, none of us slept well thinking about her that night. She could not stay long at the brother-in-laws as his partner is allergic to cats.

So the very next day we drove to meet the grandparents. The kids extra excited getting a mental health day off school (happy kids). By the time we met Nan and Pop, Spock had busted out of her box. Nan had to sit in the back of the car to calm her, she used their esky to hold her in and keep her quiet.

When I lifted her into my arms, the kids surrounded me and smothered her in kisses. I think she knew who we were. We placed her in our sturdy cat box for the long four hour journey back home. The kids fed her treats through the holes and talked to her all the way.

Spock is sitting by my side on this early morning as I type away. She is a special  kitty and we love her so.

Thank you Nan and Pop for meeting us and taking care of her that night. Apparently, the next morning they could not find her in the garage. When they heard her faint meow they found her curled up under the hood of a different car. Maybe she thought she could get a lift back home this way….who knows how cats think. All I know is they bless our lives with companionship and their own special kind of  love.

The children had a great story to tell at school the next day and we had our little friend back alive and well. I love a happy ending how about you?

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No Ordinary Stranger

“No one is ever really a stranger. We cling to the belief that we share nothing with certain people. It’s rubbish. We have almost everything in common with everyone.”

Mark Haddon

She walked through the door of the information centre on an ordinary Friday.

“Hello, can you tell me where I could get some good food?”she asked. “I feel like a burger and chips.”she said.

“Well Im afraid the Train Cafe has closed down but you could try the Pub at the end of the street.” I said.

She then went on to ask me if a bus stopped here that could take her all the way to Melbourne (around 600km away). And would they take her bike on board?

When I rang the bus company they told me they had stopped running that service. But she could get a bus, then a train if she went to the next town.

The local bus wasn’t coming for hours, I could see the frustration on her pretty young face.

Remembering my backpacking days on a shoestring budget. I decided to help. My volunteer shift was about to finish at the information centre.

“How about I take you and your bike to the next town, I have to go there anyway.” I said. Her face lit up, that is all I needed. I could see the relief and understood it well enough.

“My name is Hani.”she said.

In one car trip into town. I learned many things about Hani. She was 25, had studied chemistry and computer science. Her biggest shock about Australia was how expensive the food is. I agreed it does indeed soak up much of your holiday monies.

Hani arrived in Brisbane with her bike. Riding some of the  way and catching trains and buses down the Australian coast (No small feat). I learned she had been couch surfing ( Something they never had when I was travelling. Yet if she did not have somewhere lined up to stay, she camped out under the stars. There are many free camping sites for the braver traveler. I know I could not have done this, especially on my own. I told her to be careful camping out in the bush alone. It wasn’t the snakes and spiders I worried about.

The kids thought it a big treat taking Hani into town.  Especially when we made a stop at the golden Arches for the long over due burger.

My daughter has a fascination with Chinese language. To her, someone from South Korea was just as interesting. We drove to the hostel. My standards had risen over the years on accommodation. To me this hostel looked a bit shady. Hani said it would be fine. I gave her my number and told her to call me if she felt unsafe.

We decided to meet for lunch. An Aussie beach day with fish and chips on the Sunday. The kids grinned from ear to ear when Hani met them holding two giant size boxes of chocolates.

The spring weather did not disappoint. I saw a little of my young self in Hani. I felt like we had met before, she talked with the kids and played in the surf alongside my daughter and our friends. I smiled watching them. Such a beautiful sunny spring day enhanced by a stranger.

It’s funny how a total stranger can feel like an old friend. Hani you are an amazing, intelligent young women. I wish you much joy in your life, no matter where you travel. You touched our lives with your smile and sense of humour.

We will treasure our special day at Tathra beach. With one hundred and one seagulls, fighting for our lunch and a happy backpacker named Hani.

No one is ever really a stranger if you just give them some of your time.

Hani sent me a message from Melbourne. She said when she arrives back home in Seoul she will pass on our kindness to another traveller. I hope she does.

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I have met many strangers through my blogging and like my experience with Hani I feel very blessed.

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Bird O’Clock

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Sometimes when inspiration won’t come and I feel like I am stagnant and uncreative I know I need a reboot. I go on an outing, I did this with my last trip to the zoo and getting out and about is a great way to fuel those creative fires.

An opportunity arose to visit a bird aviary on my recent trip to Canberra.

My husband wanted to see the War Memorial, art galleries all the usual stuff the Capital city has to offer. We agreed to see as much as we could in the three days, whilst the kids were at school camp.

The aviary went way beyond my expectations. They had many species of birds from all over the world. The time passed quickly. I sat captivated. Looking up to the tops of the aviary I did feel a little sad. The birds were not free but most of them had only known captivity and would not survive in the real world. The caretaker told me sometimes hawks and eagles tear the nets and grab the birds. When the netting is open he mentioned most of the birds come back because they know they get fed and feel safe.

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When you walk through the gates with your bowl of food beware. The cheekiest lorikeets make themselves known. Using your arms as bar stools, they eat and bicker among themselves.DSCN7065 (copy)


I noticed the park also accepted birds that people no longer wanted. I overheard an elderly woman talking to her pet Lorikeet, saying goodbye. She told him he would meet some new friends in there. (broke my heart) She said she and her husband were not able to care for the bird anymore. At least he would have a good home. But I could not help noticing the sadness in her voice as she handed him over to the park owners. Me, yes, I felt her loss too.

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I think I must have taken at least a hundred photo’s on that day. But as usual not all of them turn out well, but these are a few that I love.


My only disappointment, I could not find the bird I love to sketch. The blue wren. The gardener said they escape out of the holes in the nets (which they fix daily) and come and go as they please.

The good news  I found some on my morning walk. They had made their home in the blackberry bushes, far away from my cats.

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So my message to you.

Go for that outing for some extra inspiration. You may only need to step out into your own back yard.

Ending with a little story….Why do birds make me happy? I don’t know, I only know that I feel a connection to them. I remember a day when I was young and my cat had climbed up into a tree hunting a nest of poor newborn sparrows. I scolded her, grabbing a ladder I leaned it up against the old gum tree and climbed high to get her down. My father laughed at me and said that the cat was just doing what cats do and if I loved birds I should not own a cat. It was on that day when I came home from a trip to town. I found an empty nest and a cat with a full belly; I realised I had two conflicting passions. Such sadness I felt, that I could not save those birds. My conflicting passions still haunt me today. I think my father was right all those years ago.


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The Magic of Virtual Friendships

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Jewellery By Mary From MagicsOfCreation her Etsy shop.

It really is a small and wonderful world.

I can get to know a person on the other side of the globe, without leaving my house. Learn about how they live in a matter of a few posts.

There are no limits to where I can go. I only have to extend my fingers and type a comment on someone’s blog and something magical can happen. Blogging for me began as a way to  journal about the things that inspire me to write or sketch.

But I did not plan on the many connections I have made with you, oh the people I have met. So many talented and unique people who inspire my creative mind to dig deep. (You all know who you are.) If I visit your site and follow you, then you are sharing something of value to me. Like Mary.

I met Mary through her visits to my blog and then we discovered we both enjoy art.

Mary is an artist I admire. Every time I visit her space I am in awe of her work. Mary helped me set up my Etsy shop. It still needs work, but having friends like Mary made the process easier. So I just wanted to say thank you MARY I appreciate YOU.

When I purchased one of Mary’s beautiful pendants there was a surprise. A stunning moon pendant had been gifted to me (above) . Mary believes we should make art our fashion. How could I not, with her wonderful designs. I hope you skip on over to her shop and take a look. I walk the town proud to wear her art. It complete’s me, knowing it came from halfway across the globe makes me smile.

If there is an artists shop you love who inspires you please share in the comments.

Below is my hand painted stone pendant that I will treasure always, it is everything I imagined it would be. Thanks Mary.

The link to Mary’s shop

Jewellery by Mary from MagicsOfCreation at

Jewellery by Mary from MagicsOfCreation at

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Follow Your Heart

Zebra (Mogo Zoo) by Kath Unsworth

Zebra (Mogo Zoo)
by Kath Unsworth

When you discover your gifts, those moments of inspiration take hold. The hours speed past, yet you feel like you are in a place where time stands still. A place where you feel complete.

“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.”

Joseph Campbell

I love that quote. I know that my art is complete if I listen to my heart.

You know that little voice or vibe you get in your very soul, it’s a creative itch that won’t go away, that’s your ticket to freedom.

If I force something  my work is never as good.

On a recent trip to the Mogo Zoo to entertain the children, I found myself inspired by nature, as always. I feel sorry for caged animals, but zoo’s play a very important part in educating us on how amazing this earth can be and the breeding programs alone, assure the continuation of each species.

A bunch of happy children ran wildly about the park soaking up zoo life. I found myself in a daze, captivated by the light and shadow. I imagined the art I could create with a handful of pencils and some good paper. But the luxury of sitting still and doing a couple of animal portraits, was not the order of the day.

This day was all about the kids. So with trusty camera in hand I collected the memorable moments to store for later. When I returned home the zebra called to me and I could not wait to sketch, there is something about that photo that inspired me. I don’t question why any more I just follow my heart.

After our visit (we walked the circuit twice) we all agreed that nature indeed is an amazing gift. Every visit I learn something new. My daughter and I adore snow leopards (below) but dream about seeing them in their natural habitat (brrr). We wondered if they were dreaming of the same thing.

Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard

When you do the thing that inspires you, wonderful moments float to the surface. I know my art is just a hobby. Yet it is leading me somewhere wonderful. To a place of completeness, where I peel off the layers of self-doubt and become my true self.

How about you, when you follow your heart does your heartbeat match the beat of the universe?

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Happiness is……..

Art work by Kath Unsworth FOR my MUM

Art work by Kath Unsworth

My joy is the silence, waiting and listening.

 I am grounded, within those small moments

Life in all of its complexities does not exist.

The birds song is the sound of happiness.

The real joy, is finding someone who shares that passion.

A recent trip to the Botanical gardens, a day out for my mothers birthday, I asked for a hint on what I could buy her as a gift. She said she would like one of my bird sketches. We stopped at the café, and ordered  hot chocolates before our walk. The first thing I noticed was the amount of wrens flitting about and jumping from table to table.

Happiness washed over me.

I cannot deny the simple fact that birds make me happy. On this particular day I did not have my camera with me. The children thought the cheeky birds were cute and fed them crumbs. I sat quietly grinning and savoured the moment.

I think we forget to enjoy those tiny moments. A wren sat on the back of my mum’s chair and we both smiled. My mum loves birds too.

My mum knows happiness and makes every day count. She is thankful for the sunshine on a winter’s day. She smiles at the children playing in the playground and enjoys her surroundings where ever we go, especially the birds. I feel blessed she handed her positiveness down to us.

Happy birthday mum you are my inspiration.

After that day in the gardens I decided I would sketch a blue wren for her birthday. I added a bit of extra charm by using newspaper and was happy with the results. The best way to express how much I love my mum is through my art.

Happiness is sharing my passion for birds with my beautiful mum.

I leave you with Mary Oliver, she really knew how to see and enjoy the smallest of moments. Her passion for nature shines through.

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”
― Mary Oliver

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