Posted on December 12, 2012


Today (well, today in this photo!) we said goodbye to our home away from home – Chateau Bell: Herston – where we have been staying for almost five months.  It was an absolutely beautiful house, far too large for us to live in permanently but we certainly made the most of it, as much as we could.

I had mixed emotions leaving.  The whole experience in Brisbane has been more stressful than I’d bargained for, so it was actually a huge relief to move out.  But then … this also means that we are one step closer to our big move to Switzerland.  And that’s exciting and terrifying, pretty much in equal amounts!

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Posted on December 12, 2012


My boy works hard.  In fact, he works damn hard.  His phone usually starts ringing before 7am, and he’s still taking calls, sending emails or on conference calls most nights until close to midnight.  Sometimes later.

So this is a rarity.  Actually relaxing.

Ok, so ten minutes after this he was back inside on a conference call (yes, on a Saturday), but still … he relaxed.  Oh so briefly.  And I’m sure it was aweseome.

Posted on December 12, 2012


Today, Charlotte’s Daddy came back from Sydney, where he’d been for the week.  As usual, his flight was delayed and while he should have landed at 6:30pm, he ended up landing at almost 8pm.  Although it was well past Charlotte’s bedtime, we waited patiently at the airport for him so that they could spend a little time together.

There’s very little that warms my heart like seeing my two loves together.  Despite his constant travelling – I estimate that he’s been away for around a third of her life – they have the most beautiful bond.  He’s a very hands-on, capable Daddy and he adores his girl.  And she adores him in return.


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Posted on December 7, 2012


My daughter is, quite simply, a goose.  She’s an entertainer, a comedian, and an absolute quirkasaurus.  She’s a typical Leo in almost every sense – she loves being the centre of attention and she loves to make people laugh.  She’s also incredibly imaginative & creative, and this started at a very early age – I can clearly remember her engaging in imaginative play at twelve months old, which absolutely blew me away.  If I had to guess now what she would be when she grows up, I would have to say an entertainer of some sort.

Her most favourite thing to do at the moment is sing, and dance.  But rarely does she stick to the usual words of the song – she changes them to suit her mood, her surroundings, her current activities.  And always, always, if she changes the words, when she finishes, she informs us “That was a tricky song!”.  Her creativity and imagination are astounding.

Yesterday, in between packing, packing & more packing, I snuck down to visit my girl, who is spending a couple of days with her Grandma & Pop.  Pop was watering the lawn & cleaning the driveway, and it didn’t take long for Charlotte to go from getting her feet wet to the whole shebang.  Of course, this necessitated a song, and a dance!  “I’m a duck, I’m a duck, I’m a quack quack duck! I’m a penguin! Swim, swim, swim, la la laaaaaaaa!”.

She is amazing.  She rocks my world.


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Posted on December 6, 2012


I’m a little lost for words when it comes to today’s photo.  I feel like I have so much to say, but that nothing will come out.  I know I won’t be able to adequately express myself, no matter how long I sit here & look at this screen, and down at the keyboard.

I don’t believe in soulmates.  But if I did, Nichole would be mine.  I have literally never known my life without her in it – she being my cousin, and having been born three years & three days before I was.  She’s more like a sister than a cousin, and she’s absolutely my best friend in the entire world.  In fact, I think if we were sisters, we wouldn’t be as close as we are, as we have managed to avoid any sibling-y type conflict.  I can honestly say that I can’t recall even as much as a disagreement between us.

It’s been a blessing to be in Brisbane the past five months, in that we have been able to spend so much time together.  Nichole has Wednesdays off, and we’ve spent almost every one together – sometimes with Charlotte, sometimes with Jess, sometimes all four of us, and sometimes just the two of us.  And every one has been so special, but bittersweet, knowing that our time together is coming to an end.  Our two little families just fit perfectly together – all six of us pretty much just plain adore each other.

I’ve always looked up to Nichole.  She’s one of my role models as a mother, and a person.  She’s not had an easy life, but she has raised two beautiful children into two incredible young adults and I am so very proud of her.  If I can be half the mother she is, then I will be over the moon.

Nichole, you already know how much I love you.  I cannot wait until you come to visit us in Switzerland, and we can tick off some of the things in your book & do everything in the brochure as well. xo


Posted on December 6, 2012


My poor sweet girl has had a rough trot lately.  She misses our home in Melbourne, and everything associated with it – our actual house, our animals, her friends, her daycare Mum, her cubby house.  In short, she misses her life as she’s always known it.  Her Daddy’s been travelling every week again, and even her Mummy has had to go away a few times.  On top of that, she’s been sick, and in the past week has been struck not once, but twice, with a mystery belly-ache.  It’s a level of pain that I’ve never seen her in before, and it breaks my heart into a million pieces.

I’ve tried as much as I can to keep her as happy as possible, and to find little pockets of joy for her wherever I can.  Scooting to the park, reading stories together, snuggling on the couch in front of Dora or Peppa.  A jump on the trampoline, lizard & turkey spotting in the backyard, a sneaky ice cream before dinner (shhh … don’t tell Daddy!).

And one of my favourite things to do when I was a child – running barefoot through the sprinkler in the back yard.  It takes her a little while to get into it – “But Mummy, I’ll get wet!” “Yes darling, that’s the idea!” – but when she does, she absolutely loves it.  I’m sure it’s done all over the world, but I do feel that there’s something so very Australian about it … especially when there’s a Hills Hoist, some corrugated iron & a garden hose to complete the picture!

Posted on December 5, 2012


The house we are living in up here in Brisbane has a pool.  I’m a little ashamed to say that we haven’t taken full advantage of it, despite the fact that it’s certainly been warm enough over the past couple of months.  The main reason, I suppose, is that Matthew has been commuting to Sydney ever since it’s been warm enough to swim, and  I’m not a confident swimmer.  Actually, I’m quite nervous in the water.  I don’t want to pass that on to Charlotte, so as a consequence, we’ve stayed out of the pool.  Charlotte hasn’t been able to go to her swimming lessons since we’ve been down here, so her confidence has dwindled as well.

But on Monday, Matthew was in Brisbane, so in the afternoon, my two loves ventured into the pool.  I was upstairs, but I could easily hear Charlotte’s giggles and shrieks of delight.  I had bought her some floaties, and “They help me swim, Mummy!”.  It was so lovely to see our one-time water-baby back in her element, confidently swimming on her own.  The Dora kickboard even got a workout, although we were told “No, that’s not how you use it, that’s my surfboard.”.  As you can see below, no matter how she used it, balance was a little bit of a problem!

Posted on December 4, 2012


Like a lot of people, I don’t make it into photos often.  Naturally, I’m more comfortable behind the camera, but generally it’s because the opportunity just doesn’t avail itself to me all that often.  Every now and then, someone will take a photo of me, usually with Charlotte, or with Matthew, or both.  And even more rarely, I will have my photo taken with friends.  I could fill albums with pictures of me & friends from my teenage years, and even into early adulthood, yet for the past ten years or so I’d be lucky to scrape a few pages together.  The photos I have of me with friends are some of my most treasured possessions, so I am making it my mission to play catch-up over the next month (sorry, friends!).

Enter – the photo booth!  At Emma & Blake’s wedding, they had a photo booth.  It was a hoot!  I don’t know if it was the privacy of the curtain, the knowledge that there was nobody behind the camera or the champagne (possibly a combination of all three), but I had no hesitation whatsoever in being snapped … and multiple times!  I now have a good start to my updated collection of photos of me with friends.  And that makes me smile.

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Posted on December 4, 2012


My personal life, of late, has been somewhat chaotic.  Our world was turned upside down in July this year when my husband was offered a position in Switzerland, only a few days after we had been asked to relocate temporarily from Melbourne to Brisbane.  After much soul-searching & thought, we made the decision to do both.  Our initial two to three month stint in Brisbane stretched into almost six months, and we are now booked on a big jet plane to head to Switzerland in early January.  The amount of work that goes into temporarily relocating a family, and then relocating one overseas is, quite simply, daunting.  And to do both at the same time is borderline insane.  But hey, all in, right?  We have been back & forth between Melbourne & Brisbane more times than I care to remember, we’ve packed up our home and had to say some sad goodbyes.  I feel like I have been stretched in a million different directions for the past five months, and have hardly had any time to sit back & just enjoy things.

This is where this little project comes in – my PAD (Photo a Day) for December & January.  I’ve done a PAD a few times before (once for an entire year!), and I always find it a lovely way to document the little parts of our lives.  This time around, it will be all the more poignant as it documents our final weeks in Australia, and also our first few weeks in Switzerland.

Now this little person isn’t strictly ‘mine’, but he’s certainly part of my Melbourne family.  I’m fortunate to belong to an amazing Mothers Group, still going strong over three years after we first met in the local council community centre.  Over that time, our kids have grown close, and we’ve also become good friends – not just ‘Mums’.  I’m incredibly sad to be leaving them.  I know it will be difficult, as I’ve already missed our little group just being in Brisbane!  On Saturday, Matthew & I had the privilege of attending the wedding of one of my Mothers Group friends, Emma.  This was actually the first wedding I’ve attended since 2004, excluding the ones I’ve been there to photograph this year.  I’d forgotten how much fun they are!  It really was an incredibly special day & evening, and I feel so blessed to have been able to be there.

Emma & Blake’s son Kaine was just about the cutest little ring bearer you ever did see, and strode down the aisle with more confidence than should be allowed in a three year old.  Love him!


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All images and content are copyright to Jody Bell 2011.