101 things about me

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Aurora Art Therapy...


Just over a month ago, Tony and I started renting an art studio for us to pursue our creative dreams.

For me, it's about creating a space to run sessions and workshops for my business Aurora Art Therapy and to grow my own personal art practice. Tony is using the space to create amazing prints using alternative photographic print processes - cyanotype and platinum palladium printing.

Originally we saw a bigger studio (with a window that let in lots of natural light) but it wasn't available at the time, so we took a temporary space in the same building and set up there in the meantime.

We have loved creating a space - filling it with lots of cool art materials and decorating it to feel warm, bright, creative and inviting. And despite the fact it wasn't the exact space we wanted, we both really loved it. And then, just last week, the other studio became available and we finally got to move into the newer bigger space. I haven't got a picture of the new studio yet (the one above is of the first studio), but it's totally awesome and we love it too!

Yesterday, I was very excited to finally launch my business website! It's all about my art therapy practice and I think it reflects well the colour and passion I have for art therapy. Click on the link and have a read... If you live in Melbourne (or you are planning a visit) you might like to come along for a private session, or maybe do a group workshop!

Welcome to Aurora Art Therapy.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Mandala Healing...


Three months ago today I had a hysterectomy. It was not what I had expected. For some unknown reason I expected it would be easy. Don't worry, I am totally fine, I'm referring to the time following the operation - the recovery. I believed I would not take the suggested six weeks to recover, that I would, within just a couple of short weeks, be up and about as if nothing had happened.

Of course, I was totally wrong.

My belief that I would recover at a greater pace than anyone before me, that I would be back at my studies within two weeks, that having someone at home with me for the first week, was really more for company and entertainment than a requirement... was all wrong.

I spent 4 nights in hospital and then my partner Tony collected me and took me home. My healing was slow. And at times painful. I was exhausted. I slept long hours, got out of bed with my body aching, then slept for much of the day on the couch. I could barely walk for any distance and when I did venture out, I did so at a snails pace. Tony was amazing. He looked after me every minute of the first week - until he returned to work for a holiday! And even then, he would come home each night and cook and clean and pick up after me.

The six weeks they told me I would need to feel even remotely back to normal was, funnily enough, as they advised. Seems they did know more than I did in these matters! They were not exaggerating.

I had big plans for my down time. Art. Writing. Catching up on some school work. Seeing friends. Going out for coffees. Learning a language. Reading. Watching endless movies. But truth be told, apart from a few visits from friends, I managed very little.

I started my first mandala the day of my operation, with big plans to do more. I had a book I wanted to fill. But it wasn't until ten days later that I finally had the energy to come back to it. For the next three months my mandala book became a big part in healing and my journey back to health. It was what I reached for when I was under strict orders to rest but had enough energy to concentrate. And once I was feeling better, I continued to reach for it as a daily ritual. And today, three months after my hysterectomy, I completed the last mandal in my healing mandala book. Forty-eight in all.

I am happy to say, I am feeling so much better than I did this time three months ago. Each week I have improved and I am now ready to face a healthy 2014 with energy and enthusiasm. With thanks to my friends and family for checking in, with big big thanks to my gorgeous man and with deep thanks too to my mandalas, as each one of them created a link in the path to health and wellbeing.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Friday, 8 November 2013

Walhalla - a step back in time...

So, as I mentioned in my last post, we went on a little road trip last week to the little town of Walhalla in Gippsland, Victoria. And what a treat.

Here are a few of Tony's pics for your visual enjoyment. The scenes all look a bit 'tiny town' as Tony used an effect on his camera called miniatures. Such a pretty pretty place.

The town bandstand and Star Hotel.


The hillside cemetery. Over 1400 people buried here.

The Corner Store and streetscape.

Church on a hill.



Monday, 4 November 2013

A year unexpected...

It was my birthday on October 23rd. And for my birthday treat, Tony and I escaped for a five days to the tiny town of Walhalla in Gippsland. It is an old goldfield town in the foothills of the Australian Alps and it is a great place to retreat for a few days. It only got electricity connected in 1998, it has limited mobile phone coverage, very little internet access and with a permanent population of only 16 residents, at this time of year, it is particularly quiet.

And so, as access to the outside world was all but cut, and my phone (and its camera) ran out of oomph, there was time to slow down. Really slow down. And a chance to reflect on the year since my last birthday.

And it's fair to say it's been quite a year. From my last birthday to this, a lot has happened. This time last year, I don't think I could have ever imagined where I would be right now. Life has certainly changed.

In October of last year I met Tony on RSVP (internet dating site) and on November 1st 2012, we met in person for the first time. He has since captured my heart and bought unexpected joy and love into my life. In the last twelve months we have travelled and explored Adelaide, Halls Gap, Bendigo, Walhalla and Ballarat. Not to mention spending many days exploring an enjoying Melbourne too.

In February I was made redundant from the company where I had worked for the last 13 years. In some ways this was a good thing, in other ways, not so good... Since then, I have been working in freelance graphic design and finished art as I continue to look for my perfect job. Finding a part time finished art role that gives me space for my studies and art, all the while working on expanding and moulding my place in Art Therapy, is not an easy task.


In August, I rearranged my home as my flatmate Jason moved out and Tony moved in. It was a crazy time, with Tony selling off much of his furniture and us both embracing the joys of Ebay. And as I anxiously concerned myself with how Tony would fit into my space, he moved in bit by bit, making sure I wasn't having a melt down and carefully arranging as he went. And in the end? It all worked beautifully and we haven't looked back.


And finally (as if there hasn't been enough upheaval during the year), at the beginning of October I spent 4 nights in hospital following a hysterectomy. The last month has been all about recovery and recuperation. I am happy to say, I am finally starting to feel back to my old self again. It's been slower and less comfortable than I had expected and there's still another couple of weeks to go of doctors ordered rest & recovery.

Tony has been amazing. Looking after me and ensuring I didn't do anything I shouldn't... lifting anything heavy, bending to pick things up, housework, driving. Friends have sent messages of love and dropped by to visit, bought bouquets of flowers and bags of chockies, and most importantly, good company and emotional support and love. I am truly blessed.


And whilst you might think I might be slowing down, there is so much to do in the next few months... Throughout this past year I have continued my studies in Art Therapy which has involved attending classes, running workshops, organising placement and completing assignments. I will complete my advanced diploma early next year. 

I'm expecting work to get busier as we head toward the end of the year. In January we will be heading to Hobart to celebrate Tony's 50th birthday. And of course, Christmas is just around the corner... Phew!

How are you going?

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Sunday, 8 September 2013

A weekend at The Ballarat International Foto Biennale...

 







Tony, my Mum and I have just spent the weekend in Ballarat, walking from venue to venue to view the Ballarat International Foto Biennale. Tony is a keen and accomplished photographer and was keen to go, and given we knew there would be a lot to see, we decided to make a weekend of it.

Mum and Dad were all set to come along, but at the last minute Dad had to cancel, so it was just the three of us. It's a shame, because I really think Dad would have loved it. It was a great weekend. Lots of great photography (most, but not all of it to my liking), the weather was clear and sharp, and the company was excellent. 

In between visiting all the exhibits, which were located in many different venues including the Ballarat Gallery, selected wine bars and cafes, the Mechanics Institute and the Ballarat Town Hall, we also managed to catch up with friends for dinner on Saturday night and then another for breakfast this morning. As I said, a great weekend. 

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale is on until September 15th, so there is still time if you can make the trip.

The top two photos were taken at Eclectic Tastes cafe. The one on the left, their funky interior, and on the right, a small selection of photographic works of exhibiting artists Alison Spence and Denise Regan.

The next two pics are of the red brick gallery. The first is the exterior of this quirky little gallery where Kirsty Macafee's work was being shown, and to the right, a sample layout created by Tony, Mum and I at the venue. Fun fun fun.

Finally, below are mini portraits of Tony, me and my Mum, wearing the bubbles used in the works by photographer Vikk Shayen.


  

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Modern Monet...



Have you been to the NGV lately? I was on my way to see Monet's Garden, and this is just one of the little joys I found along the way.

It is a pond of china bowls drifting in eternal motion.

Clinking as they go.

Drifting.
Bumping.
Turning...
Twisting and spinning...

Mesmerising.

It's an alternative take on Monet's Lilly Pond I believe.

And totally beautiful.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Ahhh bureaucracy, we meet again...

What better way to apply for a permit, than online. Sure beats the traditional paper form where make one mistake and you have to start again. Gone is the race to the post office to submit the form within limited opening hours. The online version allows you to sit in the comfort of your own home with any required information within easy reach, at any time of the day or night. In your pyjamas if you so please!

The questions are answered (despite the online version not losing the ambiguity of their hard copy counterparts) and at the end of the process the form is submitted with the touch of the 'enter' key. Easy, yeah?

Well, one would think so. Except for the final requirement and the instructions to print, add a passport photo and then head to the post office, so that the forms can be sent off for processing to the relevant government department.

Now, I don't know about you, but I find the passport photos available in pharmacies, post offices and small smelly automatic boxes in squalid corners of railway stations way over-priced and have long believed I am more than capable of reproducing one at home, using a digital camera, shooting me against a neutral background and printing it to the right size on some photo paper at home. Seriously. Not hard at all... right?

Wrong again.
Three attempts at the perfect passport photo follows... to get this form to an acceptable and submittable level as required by the authorities that be.

First attempt - photo not on gloss paper. And head too small. Fail.
Second attempt - Too many teeth. Apparently when working with children, teeth are not allowed - no teeth are to be showing. Fail.
Third (and most miserable looking) photo attempt and at last tit's deemed as acceptable. But then, there''s more. Bureaucracy has not done with me yet!

I am told I am also required to produce ID. (My online version didn't make this clear at all). Licence. Credit card. Medicare Card. Utilities bill (with address). Passport. Of course, I don't have them all with me. Expletives follow in the car as I return home to collect what is required.

Attempt four. 
I have a photo. 
On gloss paper. 
I am not smiling.
My head is of acceptable proportions. 
The form is signed and dated. 
My ID is examined and recorded. Passport. Credit Card. Drivers Licence. Medicare card. 

Finally, everything is verified and signed off by the post office clerk. 
And I'm good to go.
Aye aye aye. 
I eventually walk away with a few more grey hairs and a relieved scowl, having lost the best part of 2 hours of my life (across a number of days) that I will never recover. But - the form is IN. 
Thanks and good-bye bureauocracy. 
Until we meet again.

Monday, 1 July 2013

The Company I Keep...

We have just arrived home after a lovely four days away, staying at Halls Gap in The Grampians (seen in yesterdays post). It's a long time since I have been there, and the first time Tony has visited the area.

Honestly it was such a gorgeous weekend. The first two days we were blessed with the most amazing weather which allowed us the chance to get outside and explore the area without having to be too concerned about winter woolies, and then yesterday we just hung out near base and got out between the worst of the weather.

Tony was in charge of bookings and  decided last minute to upgrade to the cabin option. SO glad he did. It was a comfortable little wooden cabin just away from the main part of town, with a verandah along two sides and a wood fire inside. Perfect for this time of year in Victoria. And a great spot to sit in the sun and greet the local wildlife that dropped by.

What can I say, the company was great.




Sunday, 30 June 2013

Lazy Sunday Afternoon...

We are staying in The Grampians this weekend. And, as is obligatory for the area, we spent yesterday hiking. We took a circuit route that travelled over 10 kms, starting at Halls Gap and lifting 400 meters to the aptly named viewing ledge of The Pinnacle. From there we came back along a different route along a ridge overlooking the lower valley and eventually descending back to where we started.  I admit it doesn't sound tooooo difficult, but there were a lot of steps up and down and lots of big rocks to clamber over, and it took us nearly 5 hours to complete. Phew.

Today (Sunday) our muscles and joints are complaining angrily at yesterday's endeavours and so we have decided to kick back and take it easy. And what a place to do so. A lovely wood fire, a back yard where local wildlife drop by for a chat, and a short stroll away is a cafe or two serving mugs of hot chocolate and freshly baked muffins.

Lazy Sunday afternoon.
I love you. X


Monday, 4 March 2013

Love









Wouldn't I just love to be tootling around in this little cutie.

It would sure make finding a park easy!

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Remnants...




The physical remnants of the past 13 years of my working life lie scattered on the kitchen table.

The cutlery tray I used in my drawer to organise my stationery. A place for my pens to be divided from highlighters, paper clips, post-it pads and an emergency nail file. A pile of note pads and scrawled notes, reminders about procedures and things I had to do.

A couple of mugs, one for pens and scissors, one for hot chocolate. Folders of instructional manuals that are long superseded. Business cards. A stapler and a hole punch. And an odd little collection of trinkets/memories that I couldn't throw away at the
time for whatever reason.


I emptied the box onto the kitchen table last night.


I had thrown my spare keys in there a few days ago and listened as they had rattled to the bottom of the box, and I had to retrieve them. So I figured I may as well empty the whole darn thing and deal with it, instead of stepping around the box in my crowded bedroom for the next month or more until motivation kicked in.

And now.
This morning.
The physical remnants of the past 13 years of my working life remain scattered on the kitchen table...

As a reminder that I am unemployed.
For the first time in over twenty years I don't have a job.

A reminder this morning that I have nowhere to go. Or rather, nowhere that I have to be, with no routine to speak of.

A reminder that I am not on holiday.
This is not a day of rest.

That today, there are things that have to be done.
and sorting out the stuff on the kitchen table is my first job of many.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

So many things...






































So many things have been going on in my life across the last few weeks.
Crazy things.
Small things.
Big things.
Life changing things.

It's exciting and scary and wonderful and head spinning.
And I don't quite know where to even begin to tell you about it, so I'm going to go to bed right now and post again tomorrow...
I promise.

I have a bit of free time up my sleeve because I lost my job last week.
I know.

lost 
my 
job.

See what I mean? 
I wasn't kidding, right!
Crazy, head spinning, life changing THINGS!

Back tomorrow...

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Sunday







Last Sunday I was drawing in the gallery.

This week I am back at school studying my second year Art Therapy Diploma.

What are you up to this Sunday?

If you are at a loose end and the NGV Melbourne is close by, maybe you could drop by and give one of their Sunday Summer Sessions a go.

Enjoy!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Art Therapy...

“The task of therapy is not to eliminate suffering but to give a voice to it, to find a form in which it can be expressed. Expression is itself transformation; this is the message that art brings. The therapist then would be an artist of the soul, working with sufferers to enable them to find the proper container for their pain, the form in which it would be embodied.”
- Stephen K. Denise Levine

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Back to School...

It's not just the kids heading back to school this week... it's my turn too. My second year of Art Therapy begins on Feb 1st and I couldn't be happier. I am very excited to be getting back to it.

Back to the learning, back to the challenges, back to the awesome group of women in my class. My creative soul mates.

By the end of this year, I will be a fully qualified Art Therapist! In the meantime, I have lots of work to do, assignments, art, self examination, workshops, professional development and a minimum of fifty hours of work placement. It's going to be pretty full on, and I am itching to get into it.

Last week I handed in my final assignment for last year (one week ahead of schedule) and I was so so soooo relieved to get it done and be able to physically let it go. It felt clunky and heavy, and as I wrote it, it felt like I was going around and around in circles. Awful. I reworked and reworked until my head was spinning, but in the end, I just decided it was time to let it go. My fingers are currently crossed tightly that it will all be ok.

And now it's time to look forward to the next module and the next twelve months.

Woo hoo my creative friends, THIS is what it's all about!

xxx

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Filling the jar of gratitude...





This year I have many things I want to do. Many.

What's new right?

Here is one of the many... and I want to share it, because I love this idea, and you may be equally inspired, and wish to do the same...

I have a jar on my desk. A big jar.

An empty jar that is just waiting to be filled.

And every day I will be adding to it.

With little notes of gratitude about my day.

A single note every single day.



And then, at the end of the year, when the jar is filled with 365 little beautiful notes, I get to tip them all out and read every one and remember what life has given me in 2013.

And in the meantime, I have a daily reminder to be aware of my blessings. To recognise and pay tribute to even the smallest of things. There are three notes in the the jar already, so I'm right on track so far!

Want to join me?

Monday, 31 December 2012

It seems I have learned a thing or two in 2012...

SO. It's the last day of 2012.
It's a beautiful sun-shiny day in Melbourne, and apart from the fact I am at work today, it's a good day.
I am looking forward to 2013, and ready to wave 2012 a fond good-bye!

I just revisited my January 2nd post from this year, knowing I made a pile of resolutions I did not meet, and as expected there are some elements of disappointment...

I did not post every single day as I had intended, (in fact today is the first time I have managed to post since SEPTEMBER!), nor did I keep a daily diary (that little plan lasted less than the first few weeks of 2012). I didn't manage to get as much reading done as I had hoped (and I think the pile may be even higher than at this time last year) and the book I am writing is still on the backburner... It was a full full year, and I realised early on I just couldn't keep up with everything, and ultimately, something had to give a little.

BUT! Rest assured, I have squeezed a lot in this year.

I did return to full time study this year (whilst continuing to work full time). I am now one year into a two year Art Therapy Diploma. This time next year, I will be a qualified Art Therapist. And I am love love loving it. I have been graced by the most incredible class mates and a few amazing teachers and found more life-long friends. It makes me happy. The friendships, the art, the creating, the discovery and the growth. What an amazing year it has been, exploring our past and our dreams, and reaching into hidden corners to reveal long lost secrets of the heart and soul. Some dark, others filled with light, just waiting to be released.

Thinking about it, makes me breathe a deep deep sigh of gratitude and awe. And as 2012 closes, I feel a deep sense of gratitude. For my family, for my friends, for my continuing studies and creativity. And as the year ticks by, I have also met someone on RSVP... and so far so good. In fact, really good.

He is a creative.
He is cute.
He makes me laugh.
He is fun and an adventurer.
And he's a damn good cook!

 I had a mini-panic about three weeks after meeting him, and nearly messed the whole thing up by over-thinking everything. But before it all went hay-wire I stepped back, and realised I was panicking about all the wrong things (in fact, mostly MY things), and that I need to breathe and be open minded and (more importantly) open hearted. I turned 45 this year, you'd think I'd have it pretty sorted by now, but alas, it's still a work in progress.

Art therapy has certainly made me more self aware and I welcome that into my life. It seems I have learned a thing or two in 2012, and as I said, it's all going really well, so something is working!

SO. Tomorrow is the first day of 2013.
It's forecast to be another beautiful sun-shiny day in Melbourne, and (especially because I will not be at work), I'm looking forward to another good day.
I am ready to wave 2012 a fond good-bye, and welcome 2013.

I wonder what's in store for us all this year.
May it be filled with health, joy and happiness for us all.
Best Wishes everyone.
xxx

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Meeting Sir David Attenborough...






































Sir David Attenborough is my hero. His early television awakened in me a love of all things natural, but in particular my breath was stilled as I watched him hang out with the gorillas in Rwanda. It was 1979 and I was 12 years old. Nine years later, inspired by this remarkable film  I followed in his footsteps and visited the mountain gorillas of Africa in Rwanda's neighbouring Zaire.

Meeting Sir David Attenborough has been a longtime dream of mine, though I expect I would be incapable of intelligent speech and the conversation would be rather one sided! Thankfully it seems David Attenborough is never short of something of interest to say or a story to tell, so maybe my muted awe would go relatively unnoticed.

I saw Sir David twice when I lived in London. I lived in Richmond at the time and we shared the TW9 postcode, though I imagine he was 'further up the hill' than I. He was walking about town the first time I saw him,  strolling along, hands behind his back, quite happy in his own space and though I desperately wanted to, I couldn't bring myself to disturb him.

The next time I saw him, I was standing at the end of a long, slow moving queue waiting to buy a ticket at Richmond Underground Station. Unbeknown to me, he was quite near the front of the same queue, though close enough to hear me sigh and curse at the delay.

It was aimed at my late departure from home and the frustrations at my own tardiness (aided thereafter by the world that turned all it's efforts to making me miss my train) but I did not realise quite how loud my comment was, nor how well it travelled.

In the moment immediately after it came out, I was shot a look by Sir David that bought shame upon me and left me in no doubt that that particular day was not the time to introduce myself as one of his biggest fans. Nor the day to tell him how he inspired me, and certainly not the day to tell him how much I admired and tried to live my life guided (in part at least) by his example.

Quite a few years later (and surely long enough after our Underground incident for all to be forgiven and forgotten - I suspect it was a rather less memorable moment for him as it was for me afterall) he was scheduled to talk in Melbourne and I managed to get tickets. I was delighted. My hero! He was going to be signing books and I was determined to meet him... but then at the last minute, his appearance was cancelled due to illness and for a third time, I missed my opportunity.

When the announcement was made early this year he was to return for a show at Melbourne's Regent Theatre, I was thrilled. I was not alone. The tickets sold out in just a few short hours and I missed my chance. I was so disappointed, but unwilling to pay scalpers elevated ticket prices, I just had to accept it.

My friend Mal and his wife Marion managed to get tickets and my excitement for them was genuine, particularly when I realised Marion was also a huge fan (she cried when she realised they had managed to get tickets 2 rows from the front). It was to be a special occasion for her 40th birthday and they were both thrilled.

When I received a message from Mal to tell me Marion was sick the night before the show, I hoped with all my heart that she would be well enough to make it the next day. But she didn't get better, she got worse and the next morning they decided she would not be leaving her bed, let alone the house. She would not to make the show and they offered their tickets to me. I didn't want to go in her place, they were meant to go. Not me. I was devastated for them. But they insisted that they wanted me to go and to take their tickets and so the arrangements were made. And that night my Mum and I went and saw Sir David Attenborough.

He did not disappoint. What an incredible man. At 86, he is the world's most traveled person. He has been to the North and South Poles and everywhere in between. He has been on our TV screens for sixty years and in that time the world population has trebled. He is passionate and so so excited to share his stories. He has gratitude for a full and exciting life and is full of praise for the people in his life. Without the cameramen taking such extraordinary footage he admits, there would not have been a show. They captured the magic, he was merely fortunate to be there to stand before them.

He spoke for just on two and a half hours, after which we all gave him a standing ovation, as he stood and nodded his head in humble thanks. And whilst I have yet to meet my hero in person, I do feel as if we sat together and shared a chat. And as expected, the conversation was a little one way, but I'm ok with that... I was a little awe-struck afterall!

Make sure you click on the link below to watch his rendition of "It's a wonderful world." It really is magical.

It's a wonderful world...

Even in hindsight and having loved being able to go to the show, I still wish Marion and Mal had been able to attend. And rest assured, if/when he ever comes back to Melbourne, I will be queueing up to get them (and me) tickets.
*As an added bonus the two nights he appeared in Melbourne were being recorded for DVD, so I'll be keeping my eyes open for that too!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Remembering 911...



Spring is in the air...

Ahhhh... Spring is in the air.

The skies are crisp blue and there is warmth in the September sunshine. The breeze carries the smell of new blossom and tufts of green burst forth on waking branches.


It's a good day to be in Melbourne.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

No shame...



Without shame, I am going to ask you to put your hands in your pockets. To make a donation to a cause close to my heart. And I do this without shame, because if this walk gets us one step closer to a cure to kidney cancer, it's worth it.

This Sunday I will be joined by my Mum and good friend Denise and will be walking to raise money for Kidney Health Australia. We will be walking in memory of my brother, who died from kidney cancer in December 2008.

Here is the link for our BIG RED WALK page, which includes a tribute and a link to fundraising.

Please donate if you feel you can - every little bit helps, and in the battle against cancer we need all the help we can get.

And as the saying goes, from little things, big things grow...

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Canadian in Aus...

  
This past weekend I welcomed a family friend to Melbourne who I had not seen for 36 years! I know, you thought I was only 28 right??? Crazy stuff I know!

In any case, he lived in the town where I grew up for one year during his primary school years - I think he was probably 12 at the time... he was a great friend of my brothers and I was great friends with his younger sister Becky.

When Mum and I visited Canada a couple of years ago we stayed with his Mum (a great friend of my Mums) in Ingersoll, and visited his sister too, and it was as if the years dissolved and the laughter picked up right where it left off 34 years earlier...

So, when Tim (who we did not manage to see in Canada) said he was coming back to Australia and high on his list was a visit to Melbourne and Point Lonsdale, we were excited to have him come stay.

And boy did we keep him busy... a few meals out, a lot of walking around the city of Melbourne and an introduction to the sites... A smiley shot beside pie-face in search of the great Australian pie, a visit to a few great galleries, and a match of Aussie rules.

After the footy on Saturday night, he headed to Lonny with my parents and with the two remaining days in Victoria, they re-visited the local sites and did a road trip down the coast along the Great Ocean Road. They travelled via Anglesea golf course where Tim got up close and personal with the locals (kangaroos) and walked in the tree tops at the Otway Fly.

Seriously, this is such a great place to live, full of natural beauty, great architecture and fabulous art... It's impossible not to have fun showing someone around. It helped of course that he was great company.

Safe travels Tim, would love to see you again... bring the family next time!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Magical Melbourne morning...































What a great way to start the day. This is the view on my walk to work.
Have a good day everyone, wherever it is you are.
x

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Laughing until you pee...



This coming weekend I am catching up with one of my oldest friends. Actually, apart from family, my oldest. I should be clear here - it is neither her nor I who is 'oldest' but our friendship!

What can I say... Lou never fails to bring a smile to my face. 

As kids, she and I used to laugh so hard together we'd wet our pants... when I pushed a bublegum ice-cream into her face in the main street (when I was old enough to know not to), all she could do was laugh... she's also the one who walked down the street in a t-shirt and knickers at the age of about 9, when she had forgotten to put on her shorts before leaving home, and yes, you guessed it, she laughed! We lived hours apart, but her family had a holiday house in my beachside town and from the day she arrived at the beginning of each summer holiday, to the day she left late in January, we were inseparable.

She has a great laugh and is a lifelong friend. We spent long stretches apart when I went traveling, and with busy lives now (she has two gorgeous grown up daughters and a new grandson!!!) it's not always easy to organise much time together, but whenever we do it's like we have not been parted at all. Ah yes, she's one of those friends. The last time I spent the weekend with her and her partner Trev, we went to a local antique/junk shop to have a browse. When I picked up a plastic snoopy and the head came off in my hands, her laughter shook the rafters! Actually we were both hysterical, but I was trying to put his head back on at the time, so I was trying to be discreet!

Lou is also an amazing cook and she has started a project this year to cook a different evening meal every day for twelve entire months! Yes, all 365 days! (less any meals out of course)

As if that wasn't crazy enough, she has also started a blog to chart her year and share with family and friends her daily menu and some recipes... She is also asking for inspiration. So pop on over and take a look. But be warned, it will get your mouth watering! 

Oh I am looking forward to the weekend. I think rack of lamb might be on the menu - a special treat for me! Thankfully I have great taste in friends! And hopefully we both have better bladder control than when we were 6, because there are sure to be a lot of laughs!

xxx

The above photo is of us with my Mum on the beach at Point Lonsdale, sometime in the 70's. I am on the left, Lou's sister Jodie is behind me, that's my groovy Mum in the middle, and Lou's the cutie with the wide grin and zinc creamed nose on the right! Such happy sun-shiny memories.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The magical connections of blogging...

























Monday, as you know, I updated my blog for the first time in aaaaages. Since then, I've been so excited to have had a few comments from some ole blogging friends, and it means so much. So thank you. I will be dropping by more often to say hi!

Then on Monday night in the midst of my renewed blogging glow, I had the pleasure of catching up with Luhlahh who was visiting Victoria over her Northern Territory school holidays! What a treat, and fun to catch up on all the news, though it occurred to me later, that I had managed to forget a couple of things. I'll admit to getting a little distracted by talk of her school kids, art and journalling, then books and a display back at the car where she revealed all her extraordinary book buys from her time in the city over the weekend.

WOW! It's so easy to get excited about books full of art, creativity and possibility. No wonder she couldn't resist! Oh it would have been nice to sit around for a few hours, beside an open fire browsing in more detail whilst sharing a mug of hot chocolate, but alas she was on her way back to the coast and all of a sudden the night was over. Safe travels home Lou, it was lovely to see you.

Also, I just want to send out my thoughts to another blogging friend Lesley, who lives in Colorado Springs in Colorado which has been devastated by forest fires over the last few weeks. Hundreds of houses lost and even worse, the tragic loss of lives. Such unbelievable loss, and then, amongst all the sadness there are also stories of hope and she shares one here. It made me smile, and I hope it does you too. Take care Lesley, big love and hugs to you.

xx

The image above is an instagram pic of cookie cutters I have framed in my kitchen. When I created it, shuffling the letters until they fitted together, the word joy was sitting right in the middle!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Romantics Anonymous...


Another movie you really must try and track down.
Quirky. Fun. Touching.
French.
I loved it.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Ch ch ch ch changes...

It's been two entire months now since I last posted, the longest break since I started blogging in Feb 2007. And I've been pondering on this a lot lately. Wondering as to why I seem to have abandoned it so absolutely. Seemingly without a backwards glance.

If you are a regular reader and have stumbled upon this post, I imagine that's what it must look like. But truth is, I have been missing blogging, and certainly missing all my blogging buddies. But I've been struggling... though I'm not really sure why.

Yes, I have been studying, yes, I have been busy, and yes, I have changed jobs, but none of these things has ever stopped me in the past. Often these are the things I have shared here. The very things that have kept me blogging.

And whilst the days and weeks have passed, three things have reminded me recently why my blog means so much to me and it really is time I get my blogging back on track.

Firstly, friends have been asking if I'm ok and what's going on, my parents who are regular readers have both commented (hinted) that I need an update post.

Secondly, I had a friend contact me recently to ask where my blog had gone!!! I thought she meant it had disappeared all together and my stomach lurched. There was genuine relief when it came up on the screen and I saw my one little acorn blog was still there. if it was gone, I really would have been devastated.

And then, over this weekend I got a comment on my latest post (way back on the first of May) from a long time blogging friend just checking in, and flagged the fact I had been MIA for such a long time!!!

Thank you Little Red Hen for hanging on in there, and for your check in!

So. Here I am. I'm back.

Hi.
Remember me?
Busy, yes, new job, yes, still studying, yes. But I am back, because my blog (and yours) is something I'm not about to abandon.

How are you?