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?
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...
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
And I know it's certainly not an essential purchase in my life...
BUT, it is adorable and I totally want this cute little guy...
Click here to go to his home website.
Or click the video below to see him in action.
And tell me you adore him too!
I 'm sure, like me, you'll be signing up to find out when he's going to be available for you to purchase so he can come and live at your place!
This program has been highly recommended by a friend who has seen it pre release and says it is a supurb, powerful documentary. I expect it to be heart wrenching, traumatic and shocking. I do however believe my friend when she says it is must watch TV for every Australian.
I imagine it is actually important watching for people all over the world. It's showing on the ABC on Tuesday night at 8:30pm, 3 years to the day that the tragedy unfolded. I plan to be watching.
This is a billboard from an advertising campaign in the UK when I was there last year...
They were giving away these little guys (a toy version) when you signed up to one of the insurance policies on their website. I think the connection is the play on words, 'compare the meerkat' and 'compare the market'... in any case, as an advertising campaign character, I found him pretty adorable.
Some days ago I was sent a link to a youtube video of one man's extraordinary encounter with mountain gorilla's in Rwanda. It's came in a trail of clips that people forward en masse in a flurry of enthusiasm, many of which I ignore. But this one, given that it starred gorillas in Africa was irresistible.
Many years ago I was fortunate to see the gorillas in Zaire in their own habitat, having trekked into the jungle in search of their daily hangout. It was without doubt one of the highlights of my life. I have a few images of my time there, but nothing that I experienced compares to this...