May was the month

May is one of my favourite months of the year. With summer long gone, and autumn colours dotted throughout, looped scarves have found their way again. Here, changes were many in the month of May, (and not just scarves.) Beginnings and endings, scratchy throats and prizes, farewells and fabulousness. May was the month for all of that.

May was the month, when I excitedly got to see my Head On landscape finalist picture hanging in some pretty swish surroundings at NSW Parliament. It was also when I got to shake hands with a few politicians having just won the president prize. It’s this pic if you are curious.)

May was the month my dear fabulous friend Fran, finished her epic Camino di Santiago journey on the other side of the world. After walking 800kms in 28 days to raise money and awareness for the education of girls in Sierre Leone and Uganda. I’m pretty darn proud to say I know this rockin’ woman, because she really is, all kinds of fabulousness.

May was the month, I hung some of my works from The Sunrise Swimmers in a totally new space. As part of Arts for Health at John Hunter Hospital, some prints from the collection are now hopefully distracting anxious loved ones outside of operating theatres. Sidetracking patients going into wards, and sharing a few everyday stories with people rushing by. I’m honoured to be a part of this program, and truly hope in the three months the pictures will be hanging, that they lighten someones day if only for a minute.

May was the month when the sea water got cooler and the crowds dropped off, May was also the month when I questioned (just briefly) my decision on swimming through winter.

May was finally the month that the garden got a better look in. Not quite the pumping of produce that I’d hoped it might be at this time of year. However with a little recent rain and some gritted determination, maybe June will be the month for the garden.

How about you? How was your May?

Or June, how’s that month lining up?

Roll in the direction you are facing

Just like that this little space has once again changed. No fanfare no, no jazz hands and no jumping about with pointing fingers. It just kind of happened.

Slipping into the realm of when the time feels right to, well write. After over eight years of consistently blogging, at first every second day, then several times a week to, once a week, it’s now drifted into ‘surprise’ posts. Over that time there was consistency I gave myself deadlines, it worked for me and helped to practise my craft. A part of doing so turned me into a writer and a photographer. I’m incredibly grateful for blogging because of that.

Recently, it all changed again, not dramatically but slowly things just kind of organically shifted. This year I’ve just come to the end of a beautiful project I’ve been working on for some time.

With this long term project has come a different focus. A need for deeper thinking, more channelled energy, which has meant less time in this blog space. That’s ok, after 8 years the international blogging landscape has shifted a lot, and wowsers things are different to when I first started! That’s ok, I’m different too. Not the core of who I am, that is still the same but the gently ever changing focus, yes it has changed a bit.

While sustainability is still a strong pull, with some of my work being regularly found in Earth Garden Magazine, Organic Gardener, Pip Magazine and various other pop ups. My community focused documentary photography is finding it’s feet and that is crazy exciting as it’s something that creates excitement and a slightly held breath in ways that haven’t been seen before. And now, it’s time to roll in that direction I’m facing.

If you are a local to the Newcastle area, The Sunrise Swimmers of Merewether Ocean Baths exhibition has just finished, however the book can be found on my website, (also sold at Macleans Booksellers, Harry Harthog, and a lovely new stockist The Newcastle Shop.)

Over at I’m having a ‘Little Print Sale’ to celebrate the exhibition and book release, and early next month a few other things are happening. I found out I’m a finalist in the very esteemed Head On Photo Festival, and there will be an encore viewing in two different venues with some of my prints from The Sunrise Swimmers collection.

In addition to that, and importantly…after a really hot summer and a slightly distracted backyard focus… my garden might just get a proper look in.

What’s happening in your world?


Whale Migration and Seismic Testing

Seismic testing has been given the go ahead along Newcastle’s coastline. It involves sending repetitive sonic blasts into the ocean floor to identify natural gas deposits, which in turn has the potential to effect everything pretty much everything through the marine life chain.

These pictures are from last weekends protest rally here in Newcastle, NSW, where it seems  someone forgot to ask the community if they actually wanted a potential offshore gas field along their beautiful coastline. The testing also coincides with annual whale migration, meaning both testing and consequences of potentially having an offshore oil or gas field surely need to be seriously reconsidered.

Further reading can be found here.

The Launch of The Sunrise Swimmers

A week slipped by, well maybe two, but where did it go they all whispered?

It went here, she called back. It went here! Not hiding the excitement that had snuck into her voice when she said so. Two weeks slipped by in these pages but out there in the community, there was a book launch, an exhibition opening, and an amazing weekend to kickstart it all.

The launch went beautifully. The gallery space was packed, the swimmers happy and I’m still feeling like it’s all a little surreal. Until my feet land completely back on the ground, I’m going to keep things fairly brief.

I’m incredibly lucky to be supported by both the Newcastle City Library for inviting me to use their gallery space and also to Olympus for trusting that I would produce a body of work that they would align their name with. (That still rocks my world!)

If by chance you are in the Newcastle area, the exhibition is on until the 17th April, with two artist talks, and a sunrise swim within the time.

If you are further afield, but are still interested in seeing some of the imagery and reading a few of the stories of The Sunrise Swimmers, the book may be purchased via my website here, and locally (Newcastle at this early stage) via all good book sellers. Prints if you are keen for some salty sunrise images for your walls, are also available via here. 

The Sunrise Swimmers Launch

Exhibition The Sunrise Swimmers: 24th Feb- 17th Apr 2018

Artist Talk: 11am 3rd March (yesterday, and it was so much fun!)

Artist Talk: 11am 9th March

Merewether Ocean Baths Sunrise Swim: 6.30am 17th March (no bookings required)

Instagram @brydiepiaf  #thesunriseswimmers

It’s all coming together

the sunrise swimmers

The next few weeks are filled with preparations, lists slowly being whittled down, installing, and rather a lot of strong coffee, (ahhh yes, coffee.)

And after all that coffee is drunk? The Sunrise Swimmers exhibition officially launches.

My book also launches. That launch week will see a crazy amount of people coming to celebrate the delicious joy of sea swimming at sunrise.

From here on in, the boxes of beautiful shiny books are standing by the wall. The bottles of wine are ready to go by the door. The invitations have been sent out, posters are being placed in corners of this wonderful city, and encouraging words are being gathering by all kinds of lovely people.

Seeing this project slowly unfurl, piece by piece has been amazing, but to stand here now and watch these last few weeks really come together, well THAT is very exciting!


The Sunrise Swimmers

Nearly two years ago I loosely started a project as a way of reconnecting to a city I hadn’t called home for a really long time. All I knew is, it would involve a camera and the ocean. As time went on this delicious project evolved into The Sunrise Swimmers. It’s something I’ve put my whole heart into, and next month this collection of portraits, seascapes and stories from the early morning swimmers of Newcastle’s iconic, Merewether Ocean Baths is launched. My solo exhibition is supported by Olympus and will be on for 7 weeks at Newcastle Library, and along with it, a limited edition book.

Am I excited? You betcha. I feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of this project and to have met so many wonderful, wonderful people because of it. Connecting with community is something that is incredibly important to me, and through this project I’ve done just that. Tapped into the most wonderful, sea loving community of people, while being able to tell a tiny part of their stories. Yep I’ve loved every part of it!


To register for tickets (it’s free, yay!) for both the exhibition and book launch event. Please clickity click here.

Time for a seasonal siesta

It’s time for a seasonal siesta.

But before I draw the curtains and pop open the prosecco. I just wanted to thank you  lovely readers, for coming along for the ride. Whether you are a long term reader or just bouncing in for the first time. In a world where there a gazillion web pages to choose from to read, I truly appreciate that you’ve taken the time to stop by here.

See you in 2018 for more posts on simple connected living.

(or instagram if you are want to say hello over the blog siesta period 🙂

Between the pages


Italy, it’s woven into my heart beat








I needed to go back and to find a piece of my heart. It was still there where I knew it would be, I just needed to go back and find it again. 

Rejoin the jigsaw.


Seventeen years it took me to get back to Italy. Seventeen years that had been filled with life, a deliciously full life, but now it was time to go back. This time I would be returning not alone as I had done in previous times, but with a family. My family that was ready to embrace all things Italian.

And weave a little of Italy into their heart beat.


Sticky buns and spices

With three days to go until Cinnamon Bun Day, I thought it might be a good time to refresh the sourdough starter and stock up on some of those all important spices, cinnamon and cardamom. A whole day designated for sweet nordic baked goodies? Yes indeed.

Over the blogging years I’ve done quite a few posts on variations of these delicious little morsels. If you are new to and are keen to give them a try, or perhaps need a refresher on how to twist or bake them. There are a few posts to choose from.

How to twist your kanelbullar, and my favourite recipe can be found here. 

The Challenge of the Sea


I had set myself a goal. Swim through as much of winter as I could. As long as I got further into the year than I did last year, I would be happy. If I managed to get to Spring? Ah yes, that would be a cracker of an achievement indeed.

Each year that I’ve set this goal, I’ve gone just a little bit more, a little further into the depths of winter. Solstice, no problem. July done and dusted, and then August? I danced the joyous awkward dance of someone with freezing numb wet feet.

Now if I could get to August, surely I could get to September swimming in the cool water oceans wilds?


With a determined glint in the eye, and so I did. I swam through winter and straight into spring, and now that I’ve done it once, a precedent has been set. The challenge has been marked. This is something that I’m not sure I would have been able to do if I hadn’t been doing my sunrise swimmers project.

Having this connection to these wonderful people I think has helped me find something that I wasn’t even aware I was looking for.

Life Skills

A few years back my small boy had one of the best teachers I’ve ever had the good fortune to come across. Seriously this man was incredible. Along with keeping the kids up to speed with all the normal school curriculum, he used to throw in a few extras like a regular Dance Party, and Life Skills with Mr P. While I’m a huge fan of any dancing in a regular day it’s the Life Skills one that stuck with me. How it worked, was he wanted to teach the kids some of the things that he wished someone had taught him when he was a kid.

Pretty simple right? The kids loved it. They hung on every word he gave them and with the stories that were told, my son placed his young teacher a little further up onto his complete and utter hero pedestal. Was their parent support? You betcha.

Fast forward to now, and lately I’ve been thinking about my own life skills I’m passing on. Some are formed by osmosis, and others I have to make a concerted effort to make sure they are taught. For me making time for this important. It doesn’t always happen at the time I would like, but it’s still important.

While there aren’t set lists, (besides knowing your food, cooking, growing, reading and how to swim of course.) Those small moments in the day can often create huge amounts of opportunity for spontaneous life lessons. Things that come about after a conversation being had, an opportunity that’s jumped out, or perhaps it’s just something that might have been thought of as we are trucking along one day.

Different environments present different learning possibilities and while I would love to be showing my kids how amazing building your own rocket stove is, or the consequences of damming up a small body of moving water, for the moment I have to work with what I have.

There are so many things to be learnt in life, and I know I’m not ever going to even begin to cover them all. How could I when I’m still learning myself?

What’s important for me is cultivating an environment for questions. Eternal curiosity, creating big and little things, reading, making stuff, and always growing something. By doing this, hopefully it all just continues to build from there.

To those teachers whether within a school or life teachers who make learning exciting,  passing on lessons in fun accessible ways, making kids/people just want to know more, are gold. Bloody gold. While I can’t replicate Mr P, I can offer my own version of lessons in life skills, and with that I’m hopeful those steps are something that my kids in turn will be able to build up from.


What’s on your list for necessary Life Skills? 

How to have a conversation?

How to open a can without a can opener?

What kneading dough until smooth looks like?


Knowing what to do when there is nothing to do?

What to do with mushy bananas?

How to take a pallet apart?

Public speaking?

How to sprout things?

How to light a fire without matches?