101 things about 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?

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

May Day! May Day!

Oh my goodness!
It's May already?

Whatever happened to April?

Friday, 30 March 2012

Accepting the inevitable...

To cheat or not to cheat... THAT is the question...

It's over a week now since I have posted - and this from someone who was going to blog on a daily basis this year. It's my first major slip up... and though I could list many things that got in the way, I'm not much of a fan of excuses, admission of guilt is somehow easier. And inevitable.

Having said that, I am going to share with you what I have been up to and give you a quick round-up, of my life since last week...

I have been busy with school. I have had regular Tuesday night classes for the last 4 weeks which have been fantastic. Some of it confronting, a lot of it challenging, and all of it confirmation that this is right. I may not know the destination at this point, but I do know that I am on the right path.

I had last Friday and Monday off and spent nearly the entirety on art and study. It was a really good chance to re-visit some of the theories and practices we have covered so far, and a chance to ponder and reflect. I also managed to finish one of the major parts of the first module which I was happy with, though I have yet to complete a 2000 and a 1000 word essay in the next few weeks. No time to take a break.

Last Friday night I had a friend come and stay and it was lovely to see her. She came straight from work and we went out for dinner, did the final artwork for her upcoming wedding, went out to brekkie the next morning, and spent time hanging out in the city for a few hours, just browsing the shops and sitting by the river with a drink. All the while chatting without break. About all the important things, work, family, weddings, love, loss and grief, clothes and internet dating... Pretty much everything! So so nice to catch up.

I have seen 3 movies, all of which I would recommend - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, My Week with Marilyn and The Artist.

Wow - what a line up. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was a delight to watch - full of colour and spirit, and a great cast to boot. An extraordinary adventure into the exotic.

My week with Marilyn was a moody and beautifully shot insight into another era and beautiful to watch. Both Michelle Williams and Eddie Redmayne were fantastic.

The Artist was an unexpected surprise. Despite it's awards, it was not top of my viewing list, but due to an expiring ticket, I took the chance. Wow. It was really really good. I Loved it. Totally connected with the characters and was captured from beginning to end.

I have been on bookdepository.com and ordered a few books which will add to my pile of reading, as I have realised very early that my reading will have to increase if I am to even survive, let alone thrive, in this course. The TV is not getting much of a showing, apart from maybe a couple of faves, but none of this gazing blankly at the screen when the viewing is of no real interest.

Last Sunday I was invited to a family dinner to farewell my cousin's daughter who is off to India for 3 months of volunteer work. Such exciting times. And so nice to be a part of it and hang out with the young people of my family. They are such great company and full of energy and character.

Work has been ok. Quiet on a few days which has allowed me to catch up on some additional reading and internet surfing/googling. And this morning, my blog. If it lasts for a few hours I may even add in some posts for the last few days.... just to fill a few of the gaps.

I'm feeling good today. It's a Friday, the sky is a bright autumnal blue and I am looking forward to a busy weekend.

Enjoy!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Like Crazy...

Yesterday I went and saw this movie, and whilst I would probably agree with my friend who thought it was a bit slow, I still really liked it.

It was about a couple who meet while she is in the USA on a student visa and (of course) fall in love. The match, seemingly made in heaven, is made more complicated when she overstays her visa.

It's an insight into long distance relationships, lives complicated by distance and bureaucracy, and for me was pretty on the button.

It was a long time ago that I was in the early stages of a similar relationship (though not quite so restricted by the authorities), and I recognised a lot of the situations and connected with a lot of the emotions and frustrations.

It's worth a look. Don't expect a tearjerker or a chick flick romance, and it's not essential cinema big screen viewing, but take a look sometime.

I'm not selling it so well here, but I liked it, and I think it's worth a look.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The new iPad...

It was eventually going to happen... my heart would rule my head and my purse-strings and I was going to weaken.

So I decided not to fight it, and just go with the flow, and join the millions who are all sitting cosily together on the rather crowded apple iPad bandwagon.

Yes, yesterday I picked up my new iPad. I had to go and collect it from the courier as I missed the delivery while I was at work on Friday, and I was not alone. When I arrived at 8:20am, just 20 minutes after the depot opened, there was already a queue. Thankfully it wasn't too too long to wait, and thankfully they found it easily and I was on my way.

Some were not so lucky... being told their delivery could not be located and they would be contacted when the item was found. Most likely on Monday. Yikes. I would not have been happy about that.

And, as if I needed confirmation that I was not alone in my eagerness to purchase the latest apple 'it' thing... apparently the couriers delivered over 4,500 devices on the release day.

WOW! Four thousand five hundred - just in Melbourne. Incredible!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day...

May the luck of the Irish be with you in 2012. To be sure, to be sure...

Friday, 16 March 2012

The Jeans Test...

Many years ago, when I was a teenager, when fashion was a daily concern and what you wore was paramount to how cool you were at school, tight jeans were all the rage. 

I expect they are today also (judging by what you see in the streets) and have been many times between, with a few seasons of bootleg and stretch thrown in. Comfort now rules for me, and whilst snug is fine, tight without any stretch just isn't even going to make it into the change room.

In any case, back to my teenage years...

What my peers thought was cool and what my mother deemed as acceptable, sensible, reasonable and value for money, was generally poles apart, and so my mother (in the name of peace) came up with a test that I agreed to follow...

Tight jeans could be bought, if, and only if, once they were on with the zip fastened, I was able to sit easily on the floor of the dressing room and get myself back up without assistance. Level of comfort was whatever I could hide from my mother, which meant my face changing to different shades of red was also a likely deal breaker.

In any case, the jeans test worked well and many a denim jeans equivalent of the straight jacket was returned to the racks in the name of healthy blood flow to my legs. And although I was never part of the cool group (truth be told for reasons that stretched well beyond my fashion sense) I had a great group of friends that didn't care too much about what I wore nor me about them and we all survived despite it all... 

And so, with this rule in mind, I am blaming my night of broken sleep on a slip up in the 'test' this morning. After a long weekend away followed by a busy week of nights out after work, I have a pile of waiting washing and an ever decreasing limited stack of options. This morning as I sorted my way down past shorts, 3/4 pants and a denim skirt, I came to a pair of jeans that I had forgotten I even owned! 

Now, THAT should have been warning enough, right?

In any case, after my shower I pulled them on and was delighted to find they fit (rather snugly perhaps but not so tight that I needed a coat hanger to pull up the zip!) So, across the next 15 minutes as the clock ticked and I started running late, I congratulated myself on my find and it was not until I got to my car that I realised my oversight.

In my eagerness to get out the door, I had neglected the jeans test. 

And let me tell you, had I applied the rule, I would not be sitting at my desk right now, with a day of work ahead of me, feeling rather uncomfortable, wondering if anyone will notice if I undo the button, if I do if the zip will stay up!

Oh, if only I had remembered to take the jeans test this morning!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Melbourne on a balmy autumn evening...

I'm loving being classified as a full time student... Concession public transport is awesome.

And at 22 degrees at 10pm, it was a fine night to take in the view as I waited for the tram home.

I love Melbourne.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Hamilton wishes...

Yesterday when I posted I was in Hamilton, blogging friend Cam (aka Curly Pops) commented that this was the area where she grew up. She made a few local recommendations, and today I found the wishing well in the Botanic Gardens.

The plaque read '1 wish to remember former Hamiltonians'.

It seemed the natural thing then, to make my wish for Cam.
So Ms Curly Pops, this one's for you.
May 2012 be your year.
I have everything crossed for you. X

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Long weekend road trip...

So my Mum and I are making the most of this long weekend and taking a bit of road trip. Destination Hamilton, Victoria. 3.5 hours from home.

When people asked me this week why we were going to Hamilton, I said I wasn't sure. And now I'm here, my answer is unchanged.

Hamilton is... ummm... quiet.

All shops close Saturday 12:30. We arrived at 1:30. Seems most of the people (excepting a few stray window shopping tourists) had disappeared.

After a quick stop at our motel, we visited the local gallery (which i found a bit disappointing), then we took a drive to 2 waterless waterfalls and did a quick drive-by of the 'big wool bales'. We might leave a visit there for tomorrow... Don't want to see all the highlights on day one!

Having said all that, it's not all about shopping and entertainment. And despite my complaints, the sun has been shining and the air is clear. The terrain is open country with lots of sheep gathered under huge gum trees and the skies are blue and big. We are having a good time.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Aurora Australis may be visible tonight...



Yes, it's true. For people in the southern states of Australia, this may be the perfect night to see Aurora Australis. Conditions are right apparently, after solar flares earlier this week.

This is incredibly exciting to me and I would love to see it (have been wanting to see them for many years), but living in the city, chances are I will not see them tonight. BUT it is possible they will appear tomorrow or maybe Saturday night too, and given I will be down the coast and with a clear view South... there is time. There is hope.

But in the meantime, as you think about heading to your bed tonight, or as you wake in the early hours of the morning, please please please get out there and take a look to the Southern skies. And by the way, I believe (though I could be wrong) this also means the chances of seeing Aurora Borealis are also increased. So those of you who live in the Northern parts of the Northern hemisphere, eyes up too...


If you see them, be still and soak up the moment, because this is a rare occurrence... Capture it if you can... and make sure you come and let me know.

If you want more information, you can go here to spaceweather.com.

The above photo is of Aurora Australis over the city of Hobart, found here on the internet. Amazing isn't it?

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Hurting the harmless...

Our next door neighbour has (allegedly) been leaving poison out for the possums. There was a little ringtail possum lying dead on the paving in our courtyard this morning. The sweetest little thing... The second one poisoned in less than a week.

This is the same man who allows stray cats to breed and reproduce in his backyard and then leaves them to fend for themselves... The kittens that grow onto stray cats that spray at my front door and attack native birds and animals.

Love thy neighbour?
Not a chance.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Queen Mary 2...

Big news in Melbourne today was the arrival and departure of the cruise liner Queen Mary 2. Twice the size of the MCG, this boat is big - real big!

It left Melbourne at 6pm tonight and has just gone through the heads, past Point Lonsdale. I'm guessing my Mum and Dad were there and no doubt joined by a huge number of the curious onlookers as they gathered to get a glimpse of the biggest ship ever to sail into (and out of) Port Phillip Bay.

This was the view from the Port of Melbourne Webcam from Point Lonsdale Lighthouse as it went through the heads. Makes me wish I had driven down there tonight to see it close up.

As I said, that's one big boat, and that's one huuuuge electricity bill...

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Sunday snippets...

Whoa.
What a weekend.
Seems like I caught up on a lot of sleep.
Two early nights.
Two lie ins.
AND two Nana naps.

But in amongst it all, in all that time of rest, I have also managed to do some sewing and catching up with friends (Thanks Lyn for your wonderful patience and guidance in pulling together Nikki's purse pattern - I reckon I bought the kit at least 18 months ago) and also great (as always) to catch up with H too.

Such a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon on a lazy weekend.
And how cute is this purse?

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Hugo, I love you...

I finally went and saw the movie Hugo today. And thank goodness I got to see it at the cinema, because THIS is one of those movies that you really SHOULD see on the big screen.

And whilst I'm not a huge fan of 3D movies (they often seem to be 3D for no real reason, going for a wow factor that is perhaps absent in the actual film), Martin Scorsese has created magic that is truly enhanced by the 3D effect. It is beautiful.

If you have seen it, I hope you enjoyed it too.
If you have not seen it yet, try and get to it at the cinema while you can.
Lose yourself for a couple of hours.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Autumn...

In honour of the first day of Autumn in Australia, here is a pic of my Rob Ryan autumn plate... one of a set of four that I gifted to myself at Christmas. Collecting plates is not really my thing, but this little bit of art was impossible to resist.


Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Last day of summer...

I would like autumn if only it wasn't followed by winter.
And so it is a sad day as I say my goodbyes to summer.
But in honour of my favourite season, here is a pic of one of my favourite places in the world, on a beautiful summers day.

"sigh"

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Happiness...


Art makes me happy... pretty simple really.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Art Therapy - Day 4...






































What a weekend.
It was hot and it was crazy, and not all of it was comfortable, but I have loved every minute of it so far.

I am exhausted yet energised.
And ready, so ready, to get into it.

Bring it on!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Art Therapy - Days 1 & 2...





WOW.
What a start!

Class started yesterday and I am already loving it. We are a group of 19 women. All interesting, all ages and all backgrounds. There's already a great vibe and the group is bonding easily. There is a sense of trust and respect and space for everyone, and we are all there because we want to be.

I have a long weekend (full days on consecutive Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday) followed by one evening class for four weeks. And that's per each module (12 in total across two years).



It was nice to start to get to know everyone, spend some time on some necessary theory and to get our hands dirty. And who can resist a new pack of pastels to play with?

Friday, 24 February 2012

What to wear on a first date... with a fashion designer...

Fact is, I was intimidated. The huge decision of what to wear is bad enough on any first date... when he's a fashion designer? It's HELL!

Did I tell you I was back on RSVP?

That I decided it was time to 'get out there' again? That reality is, I am sometimes lonely and that whilst I am not unhappy being single, I think there is much to be said about finding a great partner. Trouble is, it's actually not that easy to meet eligible single men... So, here I am back internet dating. 

I've done it before, way back in 2006, and decided recently it's time to give it another go. I have been pretty cautious this time. Being very choosy about who I agree to contact/email. Taking it slow, not expecting Mr Perfect to contact me in the first day, though of course hopeful he will materialize at some stage, and hopefully sooner rather than later.

He had a great profile. Well written, witty, no corny name, an interest in art and design. And so I said I was interested and he emailed me back. And so we corresponded online getting to know each other, as much as one can in a format than can be edited and composed any number of times before the send button is pressed. And finally we agreed to meet.

OK. As I said, I was intimidated. And meeting in person where he could actually SEE me, was ridiculously nerve-racking. Needless to say, I asked friends for advice. And the replies... dress up, dress down, dress short were little comfort. And finally, the one true response that would work for me... just be yourself.

And last night (Thursday) we had our first date.
We met at Fed Square and took a quick look at a late opening exhibition of collaborative artwork in "The Studio" where we chatted to a couple of the artists, before heading up to an outdoor cafe for a drink and catch up while watching the world go by.

It was a beautiful evening to be out and about in Melbourne. Balmy with a light breeze. Perfect weather to wear a hand-sewn skirt with fitted top, a light jacket and flattie shoes. Pretty much me. And the thing is, dressed as I was, even though I was nervous, I figure if he didn't like me because of my sense of fashion, then it was never going to be a match made in heaven anyway.

Was he nice? Yes. 
Were there sparks? Not really, no. Actually, no. None. 
Will I see him again? Not so sure about that.
But the thing is, if I do, I'm already worrying about what to wear and I'm not sure I can handle the stress...

Thursday, 23 February 2012

I can't lie, but maybe I can tweak the truth just a little...

I can't lie. There's just no point, because basically even if I try, it's written boldly across my face. So here it is. I am about to cheat. Yes CHEAT.

Fact is, I have failed in my New Years Resolution to post a blog every day.

And so, on this Sunday night, currently not having posted since Wednesday, I'm going to post them all now, tweak the dates and fill the gaps to reinstate my status as daily blogger, even though technically it isn't really true. And I could say I've been busy, and I could make all sorts of excuses, but what's the point.

Let me prove it to you instead...

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Friday, 17 February 2012

Back to school... at 44...





























I am going to be an Art Therapist.

This time next week, I will be sitting in my first class. Eager, nervous, excited... scanning the room for a friendly smile. New friends. New things to learn. The beginning of a 2 year adventure of personal growth and professional redirection.

I am going to be studying within a small group of 16 like minded students, part time for 2 years. Exploring creative methods, including painting, clay sculpture, sand work and music, counseling and theory... and goodness knows what else. I imagine it is going to be challenging and sometimes confronting. I expect it to be a lot of work, though I am hoping I love it so much and that it will all be so interesting, that it won't feel like work at all.

There are many directions this may lead, exactly where it is going to go for me, I am not sure right now.
Of these things I am sure...
I need to do something new.
Something creative.
Something of value.
Something that will challenge me.
It will feel good to be working with like minded people.
It will be nice to feel as if my work means something.

For the first time in my working life (over 25 years) I will feel good about what I am doing. Actually, that's not entirely true, I loved my time working at summer camp in the USA in my early 20's. But that didn't really feel like work, so does that count?

In any case, it's been a long time of being unhappy and we all spend way too many hours of our lives at work, to not like what we are doing. It is time to change.

This is my mountain.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Bubblewrap Calendar

Lovin this funky calendar...
There's a bubble to pop every day...
But I'm thinking, it would be way too easy to start the pop and not be able to stop, and before you'd know it... it would be Christmas again!

You can order one here for next year.
Hmmm... I might have to add one to my wish list!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Valentine's Day 2012... yes, it has come to this!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
May your day be spent with that special someone.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

The story behind the smile...

The smile from yesterday's post has a story.

A couple of weeks ago I went to my beach house... well actually, I went to my parents home which happens to be in a beachside town, and I happen to be lucky enough to visit them there often. It is my home away from home, and I count myself blessed to have 'the best of both worlds' - my life in an inner city suburb of Melbourne and my beach side retreat at my family home.

I am also totally blessed to have a family who love me and who always greet me with wide open arms and smiles. When I arrived on the Friday afternoon, after a warm drive following a long day of work, my Mum and I took a quick trip down to the beach to dip our toes in the water and cool down a little. Normally we would walk, but Mum had a dodgy ankle so we jumped in the car.

On the way home, she asked if I wanted to see something special and (of course) I said yes. Up the hill, away from the beach and a few corners later and she got me to pull over and we got out of the car and walked back to the spot on the road where this smile was waiting to greet me. Here I was expecting a nest full of freshly hatched chicks, or a painting on some wall, or a beautiful flower or tree... and instead I was being shown a small scar in the asphalt of the road that looked like a smiley face!

And THAT is why I love my Mum so much (that and so many other reasons besides). She has a sparkle and a sense of fun, and also, she knows me so well, she knew that it would bring a smile to my face and she couldn't wait to share it with me.

Love.

Friday, 10 February 2012

The Hobbit House...

Have you heard of Inhabitat?

Their catch phrase is 'design will save the world' which I love. They're worth a look when you have a spare minute (or 3 hours!) As stated on their website, Inhabitat.com is a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.

Here are some pictures that they posted recently about a home in the UK, rather aptly named The Hobbit House. It cost just 3000 pounds (and a lot of ingenuity) to build.





Thursday, 9 February 2012

Summer lovin...















I love summer as you know, and one of the very best things is opportunity to pick fruit and vegetables straight from the garden.

I don't have anything edible in my pots anymore as I gave that up years ago when I found my stuff was being 'taken' by fellow residents before I could get to them...

But my Dad grows lovely tomatoes and the best corn and 'to die for' snow peas!

Mmmm mmm.

*This photo was taken at a friend's home recently, and were not the fruits of my Dad's labour, but you get the picture, right.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

When TED Talks, I listen...

Have you heard about TED?

Have you been to their website 'just to take a look', only to find yourself still there 3 hours later, inspired and a little overwhelmed, but unable to drag yourself away before listening to just one more talk?

Have you listened to Jane Goodall talk about her years with the chimpanzees, Ken Livingston talk about education and creativity, have you listened to talks about answered dreams and been inspired by speaker's passions? Have you laughed and cried as you have heard people's tragedies and triumphs?

Have you ever dreamed of going to a TED conference or imagined yourself on the stage... Have you wished to be on that stage and motivate a huge group of people and share something in a speech that is possibly THE BEST TALK EVER?

Well, you might just be interested to hear, that this year TED is auditioning around the world in a global search to uncover a hidden gem, a person from the crowd, someone who has something important to say, that is just waiting for a chance to speak to a greater audience. It could be you! What would you say?

As advertised on their website...



Tuesday, 7 February 2012

You must always have a mountain to climb...















































For a long time I've been unhappy in my work. Maybe forever. Yes, I know, regular readers will be groaning and sighing that I am back on this subject! It is a recurring theme here at One Little Acorn!

I have always envied those people who have had an unquestionable certainty about their calling from an early age. I wished I had the same drive, the same determined direction. Instead, it seems like I have stumbled from one thing to the next, changing paths in the search for something that feels right but still missing the target. I have shifted a number of times in my work life, jumping in at the deep end, paddling like crazy to get up to speed and learning on the run. I have worked in different roles, from being in charge, to answering orders, liaising with clients and management. Doing the juggling that is required in an attempt to keep everyone happy. Often at my own detriment.

I am not afraid of hard work, and think I would love my job - if only I knew what that job should be!

I met a friend of my parent's the other night and the conversation turned (as it often does in early introductory conversation) to my work life. When I told him I didn't like my job, he seemed disappointed. When I told him I was bored and my job lacked challenge, he was horrified.

And having considered this for some moments, he gave me some sound advice. Advice that an active, intelligent octogenarian is well qualified to give... And I'm going to leave it with you to ponder, as I have done for the last few days. Because, no matter your age, job, lifestyle, your financial status, your weight or your education, no matter where you are in life, his statement is relevant.

You must always have a mountain to climb.

*Image from here