Tuesday, December 23, 2014


It's a hot summer's night. I've been staring out my window over Glebe rooftops for the past few hours, deciding whether to leave the house again today - maybe go for a run to ease my conscience about the block of (delicious) $1 Aldi chocolate I ate or perhaps do something I haven't done for ages; take my camera out for a walk and hope to catch some pretty sunset light. Too late now, it's dark and I should go to bed but all of the sudden I feel restless and a bit guilty that I haven't written on my blog in a while. I feel inspired but I don't really know what to write about.
Actually, I do. Today I think a significant shift happened in how excited I am about next year - I'm going to the mountains again! Three semesters, ha! Back at uni so soon.  I think it's going to be different this time. Well, duh, it can't be the same - I've changed a lot (I think) this year, there will be different people, a different living situation, a legit full Masters in a different language…
Exactly a year ago today I flew to Istanbul for a week. How differently this year has panned out to what I expected at the end of 2013! It was a good year though, tough at times but definitely more highs than lows.
I hope to take my camera out a lot more next year, I neglected that this year. I'm itching to get on my bike and cycle into the mountains, go hiking and have the feeling of looking down onto the clouds.

This article is amazing and probably more interesting for me than for you, but still worth a read if you're curious to know why I go on about this place so much.

I'll be back with some fresh photos soon.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


And breathe.
I feel like my life has completely changed over the past 3 months. In a very good way. When I've asked friends who I haven't seen in a while what they've been doing and they answer "not much" I find it hard to believe - how can so much change in one person's world but not another's? 
The glaringly obvious change is that I've now finished uni (in Australia…), that I've been settling into a new house, a new job and a new church. So much else though, so many little things that I guess would never have happened if I hand't moved physical locations. My whole schedule has changed because living in the city has allowed me to cycle regularly groups, and I've seriously fallen in love with it! Maybe I'm still in the honeymoon-phase of road riding but I love the adrenaline rush and the camaraderie with fellow riders. Going for a very early ride and watching the sun rise over the ocean puts me into a good state of of mind for the rest of the day (until I start crashing again around 9pm…). I wrote a really 'down' post earlier this year after my heel injury, and I'm truly thankful for this unexpected silver lining.
New friendships. Meaningful ones. A support circle and the feeling of genuine care and love.
Realising I've become so much more sure of myself, my faith and being comfortable in my own skin this year. A really awful thing happened a few weeks back but I think I'm coping okay, and I'm going to take that as a sign of becoming more resilient. Maybe I'll make a zine about it these holidays.
Oh yeah, I'm another year older! I think my perception of age has also changed though, and I no longer feel like I need to ask someone's age straight away and then write-off potential friendships if they aren't within a few years of me. 
I'm excited for what I think the next couple of years might have in store, for now I'll  be putting more effort into writing more on here. I've missed it.

PS. These ^ are some shots from my major project. Have a look at  more here, at my and my colleagues' work here, and at some of my other stuff here. I'm currently available for freelance work, projects and collaborations for anything to do with design, linoprinting or photography - I would love if you or anyone you might know want to get in touch!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Equally divine

I loved escaping to Yosemite (say like yo-se-mi-tea not like vegemite) after a fun but strange 5 days in San Fran. I definitely didn't sleep much the night before we picked up the car, I was so nervous as we had spontaneously decided to rent a car and drive there as there wasn't any other transport options but we really wanted to make it to the park. In all my time in countries where they drive on the right-hand side of the road I'd only once braved it myself and it was enough to scare me off never driving in Europe again. Anywayy, driving ended up being scary but fine, and it was lovely to stay in a small American town for a change. The park itself was as breathtaking as expected - Noora and I made a friend at the small hostel and spent 3 wonderful days hiking in the heat and then cooling down in waterholes and rivers. I'm currently knee-deep in my honours project that deals with the theme of nature and indulgently reading quotes that almost bring a tear to my eye - John Muir wrote this during his stay around Yosemite:

Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountain days, inciting at once to work and rest! Days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God. Nevermore, however weary, should one faint by the way who gains the blessings of one mountain day; whatever his fate, long life, short life, stormy or calm, he is rich forever.

and (this is good - imaging writing this is your journal at the end of a day):

Another glorious Sierra day in which one seems to be dissolved and absorbed and sent pulsing onward we know not where. Life seems neither long nor short, and we take no more heed to save time or make haste than do the trees and stars. This is true freedom, a good practical sort of immortality.

I feel like life is becoming faster and slower at the same time. Months fly past but days seem to go on forever and next thing I know I'm finishing my honours degree in less than a month. I'm still savouring my new lifestyle closer to the city and have loved getting to know Sydney more and seeing a different side to this place. I love that I can quickly dash around the beaches on my bike if I get myself out of bed early enough before uni or work or head down to the park under the Anzac bridge to catch the sunset after a day doing work in front of the computer.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


"The mountains are calling and I must go" - John Muir 
I was craving the feeling of being above the world, looking across and down at snow-covered mountain tops - an addiction I developed in Austria and don't get to satisfy very often in Australia (perhaps briefly in Tassie). Man it was good to get out of cities and into beautiful nature at Whistler. I didn't like some things, like the amount of party-Aussies there (even in summer) or how obviously it was a rich people-only (seemingly) resort town. It was beautiful, bright weather though and up the mountain we didn't come across many people.
I met someone at a shoot I assisted on months prior in Australia, who very kindly organised Noora & I a treehouse cabin in a beautiful, quiet part of Whistler. It was perfect, after having travelled for more than a month at this point, sleeping on strangers' couches, it was nice to be by ourselves again and have some routine. We'd wake up early every morning, take the gondola up one of the mountains, have a coffee at the station and spend most of the day doing hikes, then return to the cabin & listen to the radio or read or just have a beer and talk - those things you do when there's no internet, TV or shops around. :)

I'm quite self-conscious about what I post here which partly explains why it's been sop long between posts - I wrote a long one about Montreal a while ago but it seemed so silly and first world (all about the wonderful cafes and quirky shops and markets) that I didn't post it. So much has been happening in my life this past month! I finally made the move from the suburbs to inner Sydney. It was (still is) a shock to my bank account, but no regrets! I'm loving my new lifestyle - that I can bike ride anywhere I need to be, am so close to the water & am not spending hours every week on a train! There's so many places to still discover in my new area. I also started a new 2 day/ week job for something I actually studied for! How nice it is to be out of hospitality and have my Friday and Saturday evenings again, and a bonus that it's a job to do with things I'm interested anyway. I'm trying to time-manage reallyyy well as the due date of my honours project draws closer (but enjoying the process) and I'm excited for all the possibilities after I finish uni!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The big smoke

So (obviously) I didn't have the best camera or lenses to take to north America - maybe a good thing since my last few trips have resulted in broken expensive things. Everyone seems to ask with great expectation what I thought of New York; it was like permanently walking through a movie set. I liked it. It was crazy, chaotic, senses-overwhelming, cliche yet unfamiliar. You have to focus on the smaller things because it's impossible to get an overview, a summary, of the city. I don't have any insights that people more eloquent than me haven't said about New York - I had a really fun, humid 9 days there.
(My 2 favourite meals in NYC were from Absolute Bagels (lox bagel YUM) and Shake Shack (duh... that banana peanut butter shake tho)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


I'm not the best at coming back from travelling, but I felt a sense of peace as I landed in Sydney this morning. The crisp winter air, the familiar eucalyptus smell, a welcome note from my mum and jasmine next to my bed, tea and funny stories with my brother. I feel (kind of) ready for what is bound to be the biggest semester of my studies yet and I'm looking forward to having some routine again. Post-travel blues will no doubt come soon but for now, it feels okay to be home.

By the way, the past 6 weeks have been amazing - many stories, so many beautiful places, countless wonderful people. I'll share some of it soon.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

South II

Hello, I'm back! It was a lovely semester until the last 2 weeks - which were mad - but that's all done now, had a wonderful exhibition of our designs for a Visualising Research subject on Wednesday night, and now I have just over a week to get organised before north America! So finally... part II of my cycling trip in Tasmania.

After we hiked down Cradle Mountain, we decided to head for a free campsite a few kilometres from the national park. I'd never done any off-road or mountain biking so it was a bit scary being introduced to it with a heavily loaded bike that would only change to the easy gear if you physically changed the chain. It was worth it though, I will never forget cycling down into that valley during that stunning sunset. This campsite was such a gem, there was only one German couple also camping there and in the evening we sat around a fire together. The guy, being a chef, offered us some ingredients upon seeing our very sad pasta & canned soup situation (I never said we ate well during this trip...). The next day my friend had the idea of making my bike seat lower which instantly made it a lot easier on my knee which by this point was almost unbearably painful when cycling or walking. I really loved this day of cycling, it was quite an easy 80km through beautiful forests and countryside. We had lunch at the tiny town of Tullah and nearly cried tears of joy at the sight of real food (burger with the lot) from the milkbar for lunch. That night we found another great place to camp (with taps and bathrooms, luxury!) in Rosebery, a small mining town not far from the west coast. That night was so good, we went to the Rosebery RSL (last photo) for a beer and started talking to the locals there who instantly bought us blue shots (...) and gave an interesting insight into life in the town and their experiences of working in the mines. The man in the last photo had been working in their mine for 45 years (!), from when it was 15 levels down to now,  60 levels down, 2km under the earth! Conversations with such genuine and honest people are so good and this night was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. The next day I got a bus with my bike to Launceston, explored the town and stayed with a family of a friend of a friend. They were so hospitable and lovely, trips like these restore my faith in humanity!
Tassie was so so good and a trip to Hobart and the east coast (hopefully by bike again) is definitely on the cards for next semester.

I'm leaving for the States/ Canada next Sunday! My trip will roughly be: NYC - Montreal - Toronto - Chicago - Seattle - Vancouver - Whistler - San Fran - LA. I would love any tips for those places, especially where to go for walks/ hikes/ bike rides in the vicinity of those cities.

ALSO, I made some zines for the exhibition I mentioned earlier and I've got a few copies left. It deals with a topic I've been researching in depth over the past few months; Australia's offshore detainment of asylum seekers. If you would like one, email me your postal address and I'll mail you one :) madeleine.mtn[@]gmail.com