Let’s Be Pen Pals

Hello Lovelies! Thanks for visiting today. I am so happy to be here. This is a post I have been quite excited about sharing.  If you have been hanging out with me over on Instagram you would have heard me talk of a recent road trip I went on with one of my cakes. Yes, that’s cake, not kids! Sounds a bit crazy I know, but it was something I have wanted to do for years.  

Even though I have now lived on the coast for more than half of my life, I still consider myself a country girl at heart. Growing up in a large country town, I feel more at home surrounded by wild grass and cockatoos than the big ocean blue. I know I’ve just lost half of you right there, and I must sound like an ungrateful twat, but everybody knows that you can take the girl out of the country, but not the country out of the girl. 

Over the years on the rare times we have driven over the mountains, my imagination has always come alive and I am spellbound by the beauty of the wide brown land. I was talking to a friend’s husband recently about my futile attempts to get my family out to Broken Hill for an Aussie road trip out west, which is another one of my long held dreams. No matter how much I try to share my enthusiasm for the beauty of the vast open plains, they refuse to see it as anything other than torture. SO narrow minded! Humpf!! It completely drives me crazy! Anyway, as I was sharing my lament, he said something very profound which has really stuck with me. “Well Anna, you are an artist and you notice things other people don’t see when you are driving along, like textures and colours. The kid’s don’t see those things.”

Ahhh yes, I guess that explains why I get so excited about dead trees (glorious sculptures reaching to the heavens) and drought ridden paddocks. But still!! Any of you who are over 45 should remember driving long distances on holidays as kids with nothing to do but look out the window and listen to tapes on your walkman. It’s precisely in those times of boredom that we have our most profound thoughts, dream great dreams and our imaginations are ignited.

Anyway, I’ll keep you posted on my progress with Broken Hill. At this stage, with one week left of the holidays, the best I am managing to muster up for the family getaway is a trip an hour down the coast to another beach (sigh…really!? that’s the best we can do? Ugh.) Actually, even that is seeming too hard (insert eye roll). I’ll let you know if we make it out the door.

Ok. I am an ungrateful twat. I will own it.

Ok, back to my road trip. It has been on these country drives that I imagined little photo shoots with a cake, or ideally a whole dessert table, set up in some random farmer’s ploughed paddock or an abandoned old house. The more rustic the better. Each time I saw such creative potential my heart would leap inside my overly emotional heart and I would convince myself that one day, one day I am going to just do it.  Of course I don’t have the courage to actually face a real farmer and ask him if I can do such a silly thing on his property, so when I had the opportunity to finally run away from home by myself, I resolved to do a covert op and carry out my mission (should I choose to accept it) in stealth and secrecy. Yes! I would be the cake vigilante. 

The plan was this…drive along with eyes peeled until I saw a suitably photogenic place to stop where I could pull off the road easily and safely. I packed only a few rustic props and had the cake all boxed up. After the first stop I realised how fortunate I was to be driving a huge van, because I could pull over and the van acted as a shield between myself and the road. It also gave me a sense of privacy and made me feel safe from any scary farmers who might pull into their dusty driveways (where I was usually parked) and growl at me. 

After the first stop I was beside myself with excitement. It was such a success. I literally couldn’t get the smile off my face. I was beaming, feeling so alive and creative, like I was doing exactly what I was designed to do, flourishing in my God given gifts. Not to sound overly dramatic, but in the solitude I began to recognise a familiar old friend emerging. I wasn’t Mum. I wasn’t even a wife. I was simply Anna. I was me. I felt like the whimsical teenage dreamer I used to be, full of unhindered joy and unbridled delight.  Being a stay at home mum for almost thirty years so far, with another nine to go, it has been a challenge to carve out my own identity and maintain a healthy sense of who I am in amongst the joys and responsibilities of motherhood. But with each stop, a little bit more of my ‘inner AnnE’ (with an E) was breaking through, and I welcomed her with affection.

Sometimes all we need is to break out of the mama mould for a minute. Motherhood is a long haul, and while it is undoubtedly the greatest joy and privilege of my life, it is still a long haul. I know for me, I have needed to come up for air. To notice the world around me and look up from the often mundane chores that seem endless and fruitless, but in essence are essential in keeping the the family train chugging along smoothly. It didn’t take much, and it cost even less. One day. One day out doing what I love to do. One day allowing my free spirited nature to chase a dream and create beauty out of the ordinary. I tell you that drive filled up my tank and breathed life into my very soul. I might not be in a position right now to completely spread my wings and fly off into all that is in my creative heart to do, but as one dear friend often reminds me, it’s important to keep stretching those wings, to take moments to exercise and expand them just to remind ourselves that they are there and one day, when the time is right, they will be strong enough to make us soar.  

Thanks again for listening to my rambles, my heart. I know we are all on different journeys, but right now this is mine. Thank you for allowing me the time and space to share it. 

Lots of love,

Anna xx


  • Anna you are the perfect Cake Vigilante! Each photo is magazine worthy and your cake is another masterpiece. I can relate to much of your musings too. Maybe I should plan a one-day quilt road trip……

    • A
      Anna Hogbin

      Oh thank you so much Karen. Really appreciate your encouragement, and yes! get those quilts out and go on a road trip! ha ha! xx

  • HoppitySKIP Anna! Rejoicing with you ??? Such gorgeous pics. Vibrant colours with the muted bush…your props are perfect & your words just take me right along for the sweet ride.

  • Kathie Tanttari

    I LOVE sharing Saturday mornings with you from afar Anna. I could feel your joy and delight (plus I so enjoy how you craft your musings) in this creative venture.
    The cake is stunning (as is everything you do). More than the cake though, YOU are a stunning human. xxxxxxx

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