Favourite things - back to nature

I'm hankering for some time spent in nature of late. Hearing the wind in the trees, splashing through puddles, growing things and eating them. All those cliches. Winter isn't exactly the best of times to decide to get back to nature, but it's still rather nice to dream, don't you think? 1. The Kombi tent

kombi tentKombi is the name we use in Australia for the classic VW buses that everyone wishes they have until they actually get one and then they realise they smell and overheat and break down all the time and the romance isn't the same once you're INSIDE the story.

Phew! Taking a breath now. I had a boyfriend who bought a Kombi once upon a time. I was really excited about the purchase, until I had to push the damn van along a freeway in 40 degree heat on one too many occasions.

But this tent? Be still my heart! It has the romance of the old Kombi, minus the breakdowns and petrol fumes and sticky vinyl seats. Just the wind in the trees beside you. Perhaps the babble of a creek not too far away (you'll take a dip later). The kettle singing on the campfire.

It sleeps four adults and, at 182 centimetres, is tall enough for most of us to stand up inside. Now, how can I justify the (rather steep) price and convince Mr B that we need to buy one of these for family camping trips in the summer?

2. The peony farm

peonies white peonies pinkIt was Madeleine's birthday last weekend. A year ago, peonies became "her flower" and this is why, but winter is the wrong season for these floral beauties and, sadly, I couldn't find any to decorate our home in time for her birthday.

But on the other side of the world, Madeleine's birthday falls in just the right time for peonies to bloom. So we may just need to take a birthday trip north one day and while we're at it, visit a peony farm like this one. (Or skip her birthday and visit a farm closer to home in the summer, I guess).

3. Nature girl

nature girlIsn't she lovely? Aren't these photographs incredible?

4. Indoor picnic

picnic insideThis indoor picnic is a lovely idea for winter, or for the ever-unpredictable Melbourne weather. I love the use of checkered napkins and cardboard and simple wooden boards, as well as the patio lights strung above the 'picnic'. I'd probably go one step further and host the whole party on a rug on the floor. Have you ever had an indoor picnic?

5. The Kings of Summer

kings of summerFrom its trailer, The Kings of Summer reminds me of Moonrise Kingdom. It has also been compared to Stand By Me. Have you seen it? Will you see it? I can't wait. It's a comedy about three teenaged boys who escape their overbearing parents and decide to spend the summer in the forest, building their own house and living off the land.

What do you think?