101 things about me

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?