Tag Archives: Australia

Friends are the family we choose


Our last post saw Croc having to make a difficult decision indeed. Did he stay on an adventure, heading into the unknown with Bertie or did he join his family and stay safely huddled on a shelf? Croc chose Bertie and, like all big decisions, now he was back in the car and on the move again he was beginning to doubt himself.

Bertie had noticed Croc’s mood change, which would have gone unrecognised to anyone who wasn’t a friend of Crocs. Croc didn’t really do moods, or expressions or emotions. He did hiding, lurking in pockets and observing the world. This was a whole new experience for Croc and Bertie knew exactly what it felt like.

Eventually Bertie shuffled closer to Croc on the dashboard of the Hilux they were travelling in. Trees and red dirt whizzed by outside but Croc had turned his back and was looking most confused. Bertie nudged Croc, “What’s wrong?” He asked. Croc looked at him with big sad eyes and shrugged. “Let me see if I can help” said Bertie and he launched into one of his tails of travel and adventure. It didn’t seem to help. Bertie sat silently next to Croc and began to feel Croc’s downtrodden mood too. Looking wistfully out of the window Bertie said quietly, “You know, I don’t have a family. I don’t even know who my family are. I do have a friend. The only friend I have ever had and he is like my family. I read once that friends are the family we choose for ourselves.” Croc looked up and raised a small crocodile paw and pointed to himself. Bertie nodded and Croc began to smile!

It turns out that Croc didn’t really know his family who were all huddled on the shelf. In his short life he had spent most of it with Bertie, which meant he had chosen his family after all.

Two friends, on an adventure into the unknown. What could be better than that? Croc decided. Bertie said, “It’s not about making the wrong or right decision Croc, it is about having the opportunity to make a decision at all.” Croc smiled and nodded and watched the trees and red dirt whizz past the window. Where to next he wondered?


Heading out

2016-07-16 07.52.57

As Bertie and Croc head out on a brand new adventure together they had no idea what to expect, but then thinking about it, they decided that they never knew what to expect anymore.

It had been a rollercoaster of adventure since they first met two years ago and they had no doubt that this time it would be no different. Bertie explained to Croc that he had decided that the feeling of fear and the feeling of excitement actually felt the same…..Croc thought about this for some time and observed the butterflies he felt in his stomach. Was he feeling fear or excitement?

Croc was about to leave the only home he had ever know and relocate himself with his best friend. Bertie had already been through this mixture of feelings, although the feelings never changed he had become so much more confident in himself from the bear he was two years ago when he had first moved to live in Australia.

Bertie and Croc had a rough plan and as they looked out of the windscreen of the 4 wheel drive camper van that was now to become their home for a few weeks. One thing was for certain, a whole new and exciting world was out there waiting for them, and it was time to move on!

What are friends for?

Wow. Two years ago today Bertie and Croc first met. Croc had a different name then and over time he has developed the nickname of Croc.
It’s always good to start a story from the very beginning….

Key Image

Bertie and Colin May 2014

Bertie didn’t know much about friendships. He had always been a pretty solitary bear. He found that he had problems relating to other toys. They just didn’t seem to have had the same past as him and he found that his past did shape his views and who he has become.

Then one day, in a hostel Bertie found a friend…..under the bed, with a small layer of dust gathering on him, alone and abandoned, just like Bertie was Colin the Crocodile. Bertie was so shocked at first to see him there. As he started to speak to Colin Bertie began to realise that they had a lot in common. He had never met another abandoned teddy before and he felt a strange urge to help Colin. After all, it was not too long ago that Bertie was in the exact same situation as Colin.

Little did Bertie realise that…

View original post 78 more words


Sweetheart Blog post
Never smile at a crocodile! 

Bertie has met some interesting characters on his travels. Some would even say he has become a little nonchalant to unusual sights. A recent trip to Darwin’s Art Gallery soon changed that and reminded him that you need to be alert at all times, especially if you are near water and in the Northern Territory.

Yes, that beautiful green blue tropical water might look enticing and pleasant on a warm humid day but there are creatures living in there which might find a small bear a tasty snack.

Here is an appropriate moment for Bertie to introduce Sweetheart, a HUGE 5.1 metre saltwater crocodile. Yes, you heard him right, SALTWATER as in SEA!

Don’t be fooled by Sweethearts ironic name. If you listen carefully to the commentary at the Art Gallery you will learn that Sweetheart was responsible for a series of attacks on boats in Australia between 1974 and 1979. He attacked outboard motors, dinghies, and fishing boats. In July 1979, Sweetheart was caught alive by a team from the Territory Parks and Wildlife Commission, but unfortunately drowned while being transported when he became tangled with a log. The crocodile’s mounted body is now on permanent display at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.

After all this excitement Bertie needed a nice cup of tea, he is a British bear after all, and went to the Museum and Art Gallery’s cafe, Cornucopia, which he can highly recommend as, although there was a view of the ocean there were no crocodiles in sight!

How do you celebrate yours?

Beautiful spring blossom in Hyde Park, Perth

It’s an interesting topic, the topic of birthdays.

If you think back to when you were a child birthdays were so exciting. You got presents and cake and people made a big deal out of you being another year older.

You spend your entire teens waiting for the next birthday, to be one year older and then you can….drive a car, smoke and drink, vote and do all the things adults do!

As we grow past the exciting birthday milestones of our 18th and 21st birthdays become, for most people, a sensitive topic. A downhill journey where each year brings you closer and closer to getting older. Birthdays can become less of a milestone and more of a hurdle. I was once told after I turned 25 years old that “its all downhill from now…”

For me, I decided a long time ago that I wanted to enjoy every moment of my special day. I wanted to view birthdays with the child-like excitement and wonder which I had had when I was little. This revelation came after a particularly depressing and very none eventful birthday where I sulked alone in my own little world. The following year I decided to do something special for me. I would buy myself a gift. Take myself somewhere nice and do all the things I wanted to do on my special day.

I now have a count down to my birthday. I eat cake, ice cream and don’t feel guilty. I always try and do something nice, something special for me. I have been to spa’s, travelled, brought myself a new MacBook just to name a few. I have balloons, birthday songs and tell everyone I meet (whilst proudly presenting my drivers licence with my date of birth on) that its my birthday!

Celebration cakes at work

I find most people find this sense of childish excitement quite baffling but uplifting. They join in singing Happy Birthday and they share my cake with me, they begin to smile and laugh at my 8 year old enthusiasm. I think it takes them back to their childhood when birthdays were something to celebrate rather than hide from.

This year I went to Perth and walked on the beach in the warmth. I visited my favourite parks and walked through the blossoming trees. I ate at one of my favourite places to eat and I had an awesome ice-cream smash! In the UK my birthday, being in November, has always been cold, wet, damp and an advocate for indoor activities so it was so very exciting to be outside in the blazing sunshine randomly telling people I was really excited because this was my first birthday in Australia.

I realised that if I change my attitude and belief system about something, then it carries other people along into that positive attitude.

So whenever your birthday is, let’s celebrate it! It is a very special and unique time where you came into this world to impart your special gifts and wonderful unique self onto the imprint of this planet. It was truly a special day! How do you choose to celebrate yours?

Faces in the rocks

For some time now I have noticed faces in rock formations. It has never been so prominent than when I have been travelling in the Northern Territories outback. One of my favourite ones is from King’s Canyon near Uluru. Kings Canyon offers an awesome walking track, amazing views and scenery and the beautiful and reflective Garden of Eden. I highly recommend a visit if you are planning a trip to Uluru.

The face I saw in the rocks here looks like a king I think, with his stern look, straight set mouth, prominent nose and beard staring across the land which is rightfully his.

2014 05 Kings Canyon Face copyright Key Image Photographers

All it takes is a little imagination and a keen eye to spot patterns in nature. Have you spotted any faces in the rocks recently?


2015 10 10 Adelaide flower copyright Key Image Photographers

I have been in Australia a while now and worked hard to get a visa which would allow me to fulfil my dream of living and working here. My idea was to come to Australia and set up my photography business here however, the visa I was awarded has requirements and certain restrictions which mean I have to work in an office for the time being…..

I promised myself I wouldn’t go into an office again! I have always found the office environment harsh and challenging. As an empathic person it can be over whelming at times and I have never been any good at playing office politics games. I found my photography allowed me to be outside more and to use my creative side. I was always a lot happier when I was being creative.

This week I started a new position in a new office. I have moved around so much in the past few years that starting somewhere new does not phase me anymore. There has been a lot to learn, as there always is when we are starting somewhere new. The week itself has moved quickly and I have been pleasantly surprised at how nice the whole environment has been! It has left me exhausted today and I have been taking some time to chill out and rejuvenate. This week has taught me a lot and I wanted to share with you some things which have helped me cope with the changes:

  • Acceptance – As hard as it can be sometimes you have to accept that something has to be done and get on and do it.
  • PMA (positive mental attitude) – Every morning I have woken up and decided what kind of day I want today to be. It has done wonders for setting the tone for the day.
  • Breathe – Take time out for yourself every day even if it is a few moments to focus on 10 breaths. You will be amazed at how much better you feel.
  • Be yourself – People can tell whether you are being genuine and true to yourself…besides why would you want to be anyone else.
  • Rejuvenate – Look after yourself and listen to your body. If you need to take a day out take it, your body, mind and soul will thank you for it!

I plan to continue to blossom positively in my new role and to continue to be creative at every opportunity I can. Do you have any suggestions regarding how you keep a PMA (positive mental attitude)? I would love to receive your comments below…..