Wednesday, December 30, 2015

That eye the stye

I love that my body manifests stress on the outside. Yesterday I awoke to the sight of a stye on my eye. Whatever has manifested itself on my right eyelid is immensely painful and a sign of I'm not quite sure what.





Perhaps it is a symbol to mark the passing of 2015. All appears to be operating smoothly but scratch the surface and there are undercurrents of pus. Yes, that seems appropriate.

Yesterday I went to see my cousin Deborah in Mittagong. It's always lovely to catch up. We have so much shared family history - our dead mothers are sisters - that many things do not be said. The drive there and back did my eye no favours, but I had to collect the teenagers from their beach holiday...so it was all done in the name of love.

Much has been done this year in the name of love.

I end the year unexpectedly without a full-time job but being told by friends that I look amazing, better than I have in years.

There have been some major achievements this year. Getting Mr C through the last year of school, getting Miss B through another year of school, attending two incredible wedding celebrations, seeing 1D at their first concert of #OTRA, doing a mighty fine job at my job, painting, selling paintings, improving at painting, learning astrology with the amazing Mystic Medusa ... walking, eating well, drinking too much wine - especially with a couple of friends in particular - being in touch with loads of gorgeous people from the past who are part of the present and future ... I didn't fall in love but met a couple of beautiful, gorgeous men. I always meet gorgeous men. Perhaps the next one will be single and available??? Haha. Be careful what you wish for ...

Oh and the depression has gone after four long years. If there was a God I would thank them.

Happy New Year for 2016. May love and light guide your way and fill your heart.




Monday, December 28, 2015

Big skies

The teenagers and I moved out of the family home almost three years ago. It's going on the market next month so we've been clearing out their stuff and there's a bit of my stuff still to be packed up and moved.

Not that I have any room for anything else in my house. It's too crowded as it is. If I didn't have so many projects on the go, it would be neat in a magazine way. But I paint and sew and there is a piano, guitars, a trumpet and a few other instruments.

I loved the family home. It's on a big block in a village and the skies are amazing. This is the view that greeted me today.


When I worked stupid hours at Parliament House I loved the drive home late at night and when I got out of the car the starry starry night would transport me to the other side of the universe. There would be shooting stars and planets and we saw a comet once.

Today the house didn't want me to leave. The lock refused to lock and I got myself all in a tizz about not being able to lock the door. Of course there was a different way to lock it and a different door to use...but my brain gets jangled some days with the stress of everything.

This morning a gorgeous friend offered me the use of her new beach house. How beautiful is that? I have the best friends in the entire world.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

So, that was Christmas

I went to Bathurst for Christmas to spend the day with my 87-year-old father. In a normal life, 87 would be old age where you have outlived most of the population and are well-ensconced in the twilight years. When you are 87 and your father is a SuperCentenarian (110) life is a little different. I have to remember that my Dad has indeed outlived much of the population and even though he is in rude good health he is at the age where anything could happen. Heck, he could sit on his chair and fall asleep and never wake up. That's what happens.

My Dad also happens to be an Anglican minister. His firm faith is one to be admired. Some people believe in religion, some in art, some in music. People who are driven to follow their passion are to be admired. My Dad came to this realisation earlier in life than me. I have realised at the age of 53 that the passion I have for art will nourish my soul for the rest of my life. He realised in his 20s that his faith in God was what he needed to pursue.

I've had a few people lately tell me how light I look. Yes, I respond, I have removed the stresses from my life.

It's all amazing when we reach in and connect with our soul. It doesn't matter what it is that our heart desires. What matters is that we listen and pay attention and act on our gut instinct. Most people are too scared to do so in case "society" judges them for not sticking to the "norm". I say, go for it.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The long way home

So Miss B and I left Bathurst this morning and I told her that with the forecast of rain we would likely come across a fatal road accident. As our trip home continued this prospect was reduced from a possibility to a definite. There was rain, drivers were being stupid and there was every reason someone would hit someone else.

I held back, took 10km/h off our speed and continued to comment on those ahead of us who were speeding/tailgating. The route from Bathurst to Canberra via Murrumbateman is one well travelled by us. We have been driving it since 2003 so are familiar with its twists and turns. It is sign-posted 100km/h for a reason...that is the safe speed limit. Plenty of vehicles drive faster and overtake and want to rush. Today we were alerted to an accident way before we arrived at the scene...country drivers will flash their headlights so you know there is either a radar trap or an accident ahead...about 20 minutes after the first indication we came across the accident. The SouthCare helicopter was landing, an ashen-faced police officer told us the road would be closed for hours...so we did a U-turn and took the next turn left.

It was probably entirely stupid of me to take the dirt road detour instead of back-tracking a few more kilometres to the bitumen, but even though it was raining I figured my early driver training on dirt roads would hold me in good stead. Miss B was a bit alarmed, but the lessons learned from driving on dirt (wet) roads returned....stay to the dry side, avoid the wet mud, you won't get bogged...half an hour later, we were where we should have been. Unfortunately, a beautiful soul had lost her life in the traffic accident that we had driven to avoid.

How can something so commonplace become a matter or cause of life and death? It just does. And it doesn't discriminate or judge. If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time and make the split-second wrong judgment call (or someone approaching you does)...that's it, lights out. Tragic.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Oh my goodness. I have just seen Star Wars: VII - The Force Awakens. J.J. Abrams deserves an Oscar for rescuing the films from the debacle of the prequel trilogy.

From the opening sequence to the end it was pure Star Wars. (I'm not going to give any spoilers, you have to go see it for yourself).

When my little brother Nigel and I saw Star Wars in 1977 we were totally blown away. We loved it and The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. This is the fourth film. The rest were rubbish.

Mr C and I went to our neighbourhood cinema which has an Extreme Screen. The cinema has reclining seats so you can almost lie down to watch the action and there is so much room between rows.

I've always loved the movies. I'm going to see this one again.

PS: For fun type A long time ago in a galaxy far far away into Google on Chrome

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Finito

When the firstborn was a newborn a lovely lady from the Anglican Church visited me in hospital and asked what I wished for my child. That he would be happy was my response.

I've thought about this conversation in the intervening years, more times than I would have anticipated.

Is he happy? Was I happy? We are both complex souls who don't always fit into what I call the 9-5 world. I remember as a young teenager walking around the town where we lived and my mother remarked that if only I could be happy marrying a local boy and living happily ever after I would have a nice life.

"But I know you won't do that," she said.

Mothers really do know their children better than anyone.

My astrology studies have revealed that I am an Outer Planet Person (Thank you Mystic Medusa) so feeling like an alien is quite natural.

My life has been filled with grand adventures and a couple of serious bouts of depression. I worry that my children have had to live through the last one with me and it hasn't made their teenage years as sparkly as they may have been.

Their dad and I split, which was never part of the plan, but these things happen and I think we have handled it fairly well.

Then there are the comments about why am I not dating someone, because having a man is really the pinnacle in a life's achievement and I should put myself first (ie have a boyfriend because that really rounds out a life).

The most recent person who suggested that I was not putting myself first - because I was intent on building a business and raising two teenagers, instead of finding a boyfriend - copped a very nice earful that indeed I was putting myself and my future first.

The firstborn and I attended his Year 12 graduation this evening. There were hundreds of young adults marking the end of their school years. The Dux of the school didn't top as many subjects as one of her fellow students but she got an ATAR of 99.8. I hope she is happy in her life. Being a brainiac doesn't always indicate that will be so.

I asked the woman sitting next to me what her son was doing in 2016. Having a gap year with his girlfriend, she said. When I told her the firstborn is joining the Army she was shocked.  I was too at first but I am really proud that he has made this decision and done everything needed to be accepted. I am truly humbled that my son wants to make a career in the Army and I am impressed with the way they have invited him in. I met a man at the Duntroon gym when the firstborn was doing his fitness test. He had been in the Army for 38 years and said to me: "Don't worry, they will look after him. They are still looking after me."

So much has happened lately to shake my world but my friends - as ever - have shown their true colours. It's a bit overwhelming sometimes but I'm getting there. The future is bright.

Love and light.



Sunday, December 13, 2015

My Perfect Life

I have used walking as a form of fitness and therapy for many years. Sometimes there are days or weeks between walks but then I get another spurt along and walk every day. This morning I went for a walk up Red Hill, which is just behind where I live. Then I went to Gallery Yoga.

Then I went to the Christmas pARTy at the Artistic Vision Gallery, then I came home and Miss Bliss gave me a facial and painted my toenails. Then we had dinner and then the teenagers had a spat.

This apparently is my perfect life.










I wear my gorgeous friend Judith's cap and repeat: Never Give Up. RIP Judith xox

When I have some deep dark thoughts I talk to my life coach or I write in my journal, or both.  I talk to my friends, either on the phone or face-to-face. There is no subject that is taboo, no stone unturned, no question that cannot be asked or answered.

I choose to have a filter on what appears on the Internet. My friend who is a cyber security expert (of the entire world) is sent into paroxysms of fear when FB and Twitter and all the other "social" media sites are mentioned. I don't blame him.

We all read 1984 by George Orwell and thought "Oh that will never happen". But now people put their whole lives online. The fill out online forms with their actual birthdate, their mother's maiden name, their driver's licence number. All those identifying details. These are stored in many places, even if we read the fine print and think it isn't. It's like when you press "delete" on something on the Internet. It's still stored somewhere, forever.

What happens when the Internet dies? We all go back to being human.







Monday, December 7, 2015

Creative/Knowledge Worker

You will be a T-Shaped Person, and bring an existing depth of skill in one area, such as graphic design or writing, with the ability to grasp new concepts to create a breadth of experience across other facets of our work.

What the feck does this mean? I'm currently looking for a new role and this gives me the opportunity to read job ads. Many job ads. I got two position descriptions today for the APS. I couldn't decipher what the jobs entailed. And they were for Communications specialists.

I despair some days. I have so much knowledge and experience and can get great results and influence policy and politicians and make anyone feel comfortable telling their life story to a journalist...but I am stumped by these job ads.

The PM today announced his Innovation Statement. $1 Billion+ to be spent on an ideas boom. Ideas are great. I have many ideas. Can I get some of the $1 Billion? I inquired last week about getting a Government grant to help me with my new business. I was told it is virtually impossible to get a grant if you do not have an income...so what are the grants for and how do you get one?

The grants are not for people willing to take a punt on themselves and leap into the deep end. If Malcolm Turnbull wants a clever country full of ideas maybe he can follow Finland's lead and give each of us a monthly payment. I promise to spend every cent of it, helping our economy and building my skills so that I am self-funded for many more years of my life and not reliant on a strained welfare system.


Thanks to our friends at the ABC for this report: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-07/finland-proposes-to-pay-each-citizen-800-euros-a-month/7006596

Imagine no more social welfare benefits or income support packages. Instead, you receive $1,190 deposited into your bank account, each month, tax-free.
Finland is planning to pay all of its citizens, regardless of income levels, 800 euros ($1,187) per month as part of its plan for a national basic income.
According to the Finnish Social Insurance Institution (Kela) the payment would replace all other benefit packages.
It is hoped the plan will decrease unemployment rates, which were at high levels of 8.7 per cent in October.
In Finland, taking on low-paid temporary work can leave people worse off due to a decrease in welfare payments, as well as slow reinstatement of benefits once the job is over.
The proposal is being prepared by Kela to be presented in November 2016, and it is still unclear how the government — one of the European Union's shakier economies — will afford the costs.
If the population of 5.4 million Finns was given 800 euros each every month, it would cost the government 52.2 billion euros a year. The government has projected a 2016 revenue of 49.1 billion euros.
A pilot phase based on Kela's proposal would be trialled before the basic income is fully implemented, with Kela research department manager Olli Kangas saying about 550 euros per month would be paid out to Finns during this phase.
While other countries are also looking at implementing a national basic income, Finland has the highest rate of public approval for the plan.
About 69 per cent of the Finnish population are in favour of the idea, according to Kela research.
Finnish prime minister Juha Sipila has spoken in support of the proposal before, saying: "For me, a basic income means simplifying the social security system."
The Dutch city of Utrecht is also planning to trial basic income next year, though the payments would only be for welfare recipients.
The parliament in Switzerland voted strongly against a motion for a basic income in September, but a referendum on the issue is planned for next year.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

What's Ian McFarlane really up to?*

Ian McFarlane: "I have a depth of experience second only to Warren Truss, I've been representing regional Australia for 31 years and I look forward to continuing that opportunity." - Senate Courtyard, Australian Parliament House, 3 December 2015

With that statement late on Thursday afternoon, Ian McFarlane confirmed the reports that he was switching from the Liberal Party to the Nationals.

The reports and commentary since have included takedowns by Liberal colleagues who think he is gaming the system. Perhaps the Liberals are gaming the Nationals.

What if this is a cunning plan by both of the Coalition partners to thwart the leadership ambitions of Barnaby Joyce?

Barnaby has long held ambitions to lead the Nats which means if the Coalition is in Government he will be Deputy Prime Minister. That sends shivers up the spines of many Liberals and quite a few Nats, within APH and in the wider community. Sections of the Public Service would be choking on their iced vovos.

There are a few Nats who are capable of leading the Parliamentary Party besides Barnaby, but it takes a certain talent to raise your profile to a national consciousness.

Enter stage right, Ian McFarlane. Politically savvy, Cabinet credible, Malcolm Turnbull's mate. It's a match made in heaven and means Warren Truss can wander off into the sunset whenever he likes, knowing that a succession plan is in place.

Check mate?

*I am a former adviser to four Federal politicians, including then Senator Barnaby Joyce. I am not nor have I ever been a member of a political party. I am a member of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance and work as a freelance writer and artist.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Save the world, one IKEA at a time

Canberra has been begging IKEA to open a store in Australia's capital and on Monday, the Swedish monolith came good.



IKEA is to home furnishings what Macca's and its duplicates are to food. You know what you are going to get before you enter the store, but your anticipation levels are still high.

We happen to live about five minute's drive from where the store is sited - on a sheep paddock, but isn't all of Canberra? - and we have even put off visiting the Tempe store over the past few months, knowing that we were getting our own IKEA.

Why is this temple of soft furnishings worthy of cult status? It's not as if owning something from IKEA is rare. It's not as if anything in the store is particularly eye-catching or a must-have piece. What it offers is reasonably / cheaply priced stuff that if you choose wisely will look good in any home and be useful.

We bought towels and tea-towels, candles, Christmas wrapping paper, a strainer, a trivet and a few other bits. All are available in many other stores, but do not have the cute Swedish names.

For information: there is no mobile phone service in the store.

May I add this was the first visit to IKEA in many years where I have not bought washing-up brushes. For some reason that was always my go-to item, but I still have new brushes I bought about a year ago.

Does it matter that a new store opened down the road in a week when people have lost their lives in dreadful random attacks? No. But if you can get your stuff sorted, you're in a much better place.











Sunday, November 8, 2015

Classic encounters

Miss B and I travelled to the NSW Central Coast today to celebrate my Granddad Alfred Date's 110th birthday. It's become something of an annual pilgrimage in recent years. We went to his 108th, 109th and now his 110th. We went to his 100th and I well remember attending his 80th birthday party and thinking what a great age he had achieved.


Alfred with his granddaughters and great granddaughters

Alfred was born in London but his parents George and Harriet brought their young family to Australia to escape the looming trouble in England and Europe. They arrived here in 1911, before the outbreak of WWI.

Alfred is looking pretty good for a supercentenarian and speaks with the sharp mind he has always possessed. Tomorrow the Governor-General is going to visit. I expect a card from the Queen is nice, but he has quite a few of those now.

When Alfred turned 108 he told me he wanted two more birthdays. Well he's got them and who knows what comes next. He fell over twice this week...and has a large bump on the back and front of his head to show for it, but as he told my brother, he would have left an awful lot of people in the lurch if he hadn't made it to today's party.

On the trip north, we stopped at Pheasants Nest for a refreshment break. Parked was this most amazing Rolls Royce.



1963 Rolls Royce

The lovely owner Greg was in the car, on his way to a vintage car show, and I asked him if he minded if I took a photograph.

The car has been in his family for three generations.

Greg: It is 52 years old.

Me: That's one year younger than me. Who is looking better for their age?

Greg: You are, of course.

Love a roadside encounter like this. Haha.





Monday, October 5, 2015

Do you need a tampon?

At about 3.30am on Sunday I was asked by my new neighbour if I needed a tampon. The reason? I had told him and his mates to get in from their balcony and close the door and continue their party inside. The balcony in question is metres from my bedroom window.


The party is over

The gist of the neighbours' argument for being able to make as much noise as they liked was threefold.

It was a long weekend, I should close my bedroom window and I must be on my period.

When you are up against intellectual grunt like this it's hard not to be speechless, but I managed to find a few sledges, especially when I had to tell them three times over an hour to shut the F*** up. I may have made mention of my neighbour's ability to win a Nobel Prize judging on his intellectual capacity...

My new neighbour invited me in for a Vodka but I told him I wasn't interested as I would drink him under the table.

Twenty-four hours later and I was at it again because they were at it again. My neighbour professed undying love for me and said they would try to be a bit quieter. I told the gang of three I would get them evicted. One of them realised I may have been serious and took the party indoors.

Seriously. I live in row of townhouses with another row behind us. The teenagers and I have been here almost three years and love it. We've never had a problem with anything until these morons moved in a few weeks ago.

I made my point by emailing the Body Corporate and all the owners at 3.35am today. At least they are aware of what has happened.

Next step is to get the bogans to clean up the rubbish that has dropped from their balcony onto our well-maintained gardens.

Maybe it is their first time living away from home? I feel as if I am in a time warp.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

My week

Home after our work conference. What a huge week. The build-up was intense and the event was interesting and intense. As ever, I spoke to hundreds of people from the 1,000 who were there as we had activities from breakfast to late at night.



I know our delegates and speakers and everyone else gets so much out of the annual event, but I'm glad to have had the weekend at home to recover. This year we went to Perth. I haven't been there for a few years.

It's a funny city. I was at the Lucky Shag Bar the other night after our boat cruise and there was a tinkling bell...last drinks...at 10pm.

In my grand tradition of meeting gorgeous men who are unavailable and impossible...I met one this past week. He's visiting Australia for the first time and we had a lovely time dancing and talking. Why don't I ever meet single, available men who live in close proximity? Maybe I give off a vibe. Haha.




Sunday, August 23, 2015

Weekend projects

I hear that some people spend their weekends watching movies, going out for meals and generally resting. I've had my second long-weekend in a row and haven't stopped.


The weekend workbench

I've shopped, cleaned, cooked, gallery-sat, went to art class, played the piano, worked on four or five paintings to send to my friend Jacqui's exhibition in Brisbane next month, there is another load of washing in the machine, there is some sewing I would like to do and there's been time for only one walk.

Miss Bliss tells me to finish one project before another one but it's not the way my brain works.

I love my projects and it's lucky that we don't really need a dining table because it is the best work bench.

There's also been some astrology homework this weekend as Mystic Medusa explains in her blog: To summarize, this is the last blast of Saturn in Scorpio. After a power trip/psychological colonic/master declutter ongoing since October 2012, it is vacating the establishment.

Think what has morphed in your life since late 2012 if you want some Saturnine perspective.

For me that has been a new job, new home, singledom, looking after the teenagers, sharing some precious times with beautiful friends - you know who you are - and working out what I really want for the next half of my life. Luckily there has been a rather patient and special life coach beside me all the way to help me understand why certain choices are made and others are not and myriad reasons why the people of my tribe belong there - and why some interlopers exist to teach me things or for me to teach them. I've also seen magic.

After an intense few months I'm now ready for new adventures. Wiser, grounded and enjoying the art/music side of life more than ever.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

All roads lead to Parliament House

I've been going to Australian Parliament House in Canberra since 1993. I love that building. I know so many people who work there and I worked there from 2002 to 2011.




I went tonight to catch up with one of my Besties and love that when I asked to go into the visitor's gallery in the Senate chamber the security guard recognised me. One of the other guards was astonished when I told her I had worked for four politicians.

Then another Senator said hello by saying "Welcome Home".

This on a day when the AFR ran one of AT's photos of Prime Minister Paul Keating.

I'm not sure people who are not associated with parliament understand the sense of belonging.

I've always thought the only reason to live in Canberra is to work either in Parliament House or some associated entity. Luckily my current job allows that.





Sunday, August 16, 2015

The whiff of Spring

I live near Red Hill. There is a fantastic walk from my place up a dirt track to the top of Red Hill. It takes about 20 minutes. It is steep and it is wonderful. Then when you get to the top, you walk along a track with kangaroos eating and sleeping everywhere.

There's a lovely Australian saying that someone who is a bit off the planet has a few roos loose in the top paddock, or a few sandwiches short of a picnic. There were quite a few roos loose today but only in spirit.

There were lots of other folk on Red Hill today. It's still winter but the afternoon was a bit warmer than it has been for the past two months and lots of people were out walking.

A walk after three days off work did me good. I have four more days of work and then another long weekend.


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Dromaius novaehollandiae

Went to art today. Wasn't going to as I have gone dark, or rogue, keeping away from everything pretty much. I think it was the dark moon that affected me all week.

Emu, acrylic on canvas, with palette knives

However, the mood is lifting so I took myself off to art class. We had a lovely time using Impasto Gel to add texture to acrylic paint and created a portrait of an emu.

Emus are weird creatures. The run but do not fly, they pinch food from humans and they lay really big eggs, which the dads mind, while the mother goes off and finds another mate.

Something to be learned from the emu...haha

With thanks to the Australia Zoo:

It is up to the male to take care of the eggs during the 60 day incubation period and he is the sole parent for up to 2 years after the eggs hatch. After laying her eggs the female will find another wandering group and usually another mate with which she will lay another clutch of eggs. Female Emus can lay several clutches of eggs to numerous males in one breeding season.

http://www.australiazoo.com.au/our-animals/birds/ratites/emu


Friday, August 14, 2015

#Winning

I worked with a lovely man called Tim for half of this year and we had a hashtag: #winning

We would say it and make a hashtag with our fingers whenever we achieved something great. This could be once a day, once a week, three times an hour. It could be a good report, a funny story, solving a problem from one of the many we received, whatever. But it was great to have such a positive way to build team morale.





I don't normally blog about work. My work speaks for itself and I'm really proud of what my colleagues and I do. We get along really well and have the most wonderful boss in the entire planet, make that galaxy.

There's been a few things going on lately in my life that have unbalanced me and as a Libra, I need to rebalance. So on Monday I asked for today and next Friday off. I've taken two days of annual leave and I feel half human after not doing very much today.

I sat in the sun for an hour, I washed the front door and screen door, changed the cat's litter,  spoke to my Dad on the phone, bought milk and wine. That's it. Nothing else. Divine.

Now I'm cooking a roast. The teenagers and I love a good roast. We are having veal and a mountain of vegetables. Yum.

PS. I could have tidied the dining room table, which would take three minutes, but I haven't even done that.

#winning

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Spellbound

I cast a spell tonight. I know that would have meant being burned at the stake in older times, but sometimes it's the only thing for dealing with a situation.


Fire and brimstone

The spell involved fire and combustible material and words and the ritual of being outside in the dark and cold and boy did it feel good.

There is a situation (non domestic) that is coming to a conclusion and has affected some people dear to me. Instructions were delivered by the one and only psychic life coach and were followed precisely.

Keep calm and let Karma finish it. Delicious.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Joe's Bar

I went out tonight. My social life is mostly non-existent, I'm not sure why. I run into local friends at the supermarket but we don't go out...but when friends visit Canberra I get to go out.

Glass art

Tonight it was to Joe's Bar at the East Hotel. Joe's has been open for 10 days and it is quite sensational. Canberra does continue to surprise with the way exceptional eateries/bars open up with little fanfare.

Delighted as I was to be there, it was even more delightful to see my friend Kylie who works for East. She and I shared many an AFL sideline over cold winters when our boys played for the same team.

There was a man at a table who kept staring at me. I almost went over and asked him to buy me a drink as he looked interesting. Then I thought of my hot water bottle and my bed and decided to come home. Haha


Monday, August 10, 2015

All things bright

When I began blogging on 9 October 2011 I knew the following 12 months were going to be interesting, terrifying, exasperating, frightening, challenging and a few other "ings". I vowed though that I wanted to document the good, rather than the bad and the heartache.

That blog ended about 18 months later as it had served its purpose and then Paris Apple Hotel was opened.

A friend asked in the early days "where is this Paris Apple Hotel of which you write?"

My answer: in my imagination.

It's a place where stuff happens, art is created, ideas are generated and I generally have a rant or a rave.

My most private thoughts are consigned to a journal that no one gets to read. I have bequeathed them to Miss Bliss when I die. I'm up to Volume 8 after five years...She can read them, burn them, turn them into compost, whatever she wants to do. Maybe she will sit around on the the third Thursday of the month with which ever friends are there and they can read them aloud...I don't mind. Maybe they will learn a few life lessons and have a cry and a laugh.

The past few weeks have been a bit hard on the life side. There's quite a bit of Sh*t happening. Any one of the events would be enough to send you/me crazy.

I'm the world's nicest person but all that seems to mean is people take me and my kindness for granted. How do you change your personality after a lifetime? You don't. But you learn more about yourself through the people who come in and out of your life.

My beautiful life coach talks to me about crossing paths with people. This is a phrase I have heard all my life but it's only recently that I understand what it means. We are all on a path, on our own. Some people join us for sections of the path, others criss cross.

The fad saying is that we are on a journey. No, we are living our lives. It's A to B and C and D and all the way to Z, with backtracking, crisscrossing, fireworks, black fogs, black dogs and white light.

Love and light. Find the love, follow the light.

Peace. Believe in peace.





Sunday, August 9, 2015

What happened to the weekend?

Why are weekends over so quickly? 48 hours ago it was Friday night and now it is Sunday night and I feel as tired as I did on Friday. I sat around yesterday morning contemplating a trip to the market but did not go until this morning.


Yesterday afternoon was art. Last night was a blur. This morning I did the chores...car wash, groceries, market, this afternoon Miss B and I went to have afternoon tea with a gorgeous friend, I've been cooking since we got home and now I'm about to eat dinner and could honestly go to bed at 8pm.

When did this happen? Is it age? Is it stress?

Now the teenagers are fighting. No wonder I drink.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Once in a Blue Moon

There was a full moon last night, a blue moon, the second full moon of the month. Today the Horses celebrated their birthday.

The moon over... I want to say Bourbon Street... but it was over the golf course


As the moon rose over the golf course tonight it was yellow and big and semi-covered with clouds. There has been magic in the skies lately, thanks to NASA's New Horizons spacecraft.

How wonderful were those images of the heart on Pluto's surface?

Luckily for us we get to see the moon every night from when it is full to when it is a sliver. This past week was quite intense on the ground, but full moon weeks always are.

Now we are in August. Lilith moves into Libra...how exciting...my natal Lilith is in Libra so I expect big things this month.

Today I spent the morning at Artistic Vision Gallery. I almost sold a painting...yes, one of mine...it is so close I can feel it.

This afternoon in class we painted a snow scene. Who would have thought to use purple and Viridian to paint snow? It was quite an intense lesson and we haven't finished our paintings...which is unusual...but we will finish next week.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Walter James Palmer, lion killer

If you were a patient of Walter James Palmer, lion killer, you would have to turn up at your next dental appointment so you could berate him for the senseless killing of a majestic beast. Oh he can argue it was legal and he loves killing animals, but none of that washes. It is barbaric to maim an animal and let it suffer for 40 hours before finally putting it out of its misery...brought on by a brutal hunter.

What is it about people who wake up in the morning and think it is ok to go shoot an animal that is living where it is meant to live, not being a feral pest, just going about nature's way?

I'm all for control of feral pests by the most efficient means, but this lion was not a pest. Cecil was
living where it should have been and wasn't killing people or domestic animals. It was living in a national park and was being studied by Oxford University and was popular with tourists.

Surely it is better for thousands of people to see lions living in their natural habitat and being educated about animals than one man getting his rocks off on killing a beast.

What a tragedy. I wonder what Walter James Palmer will tell his children, when he is now blaming his guides for what he did. Man up. Own your disaster. It is the only way you may begin to earn an ounce of respect from the millions who loathe you right now.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The death of Cecil the Lion

I'm saddened to hear that Cecil the lion has been killed in Zimbabwe. Apparently a hunter paid €50,000 track and kill the lion.

I suppose in another time a man who killed a lion was regarded as a hero but we have moved beyond that haven't we? Surely the king of the jungle should be allowed to live and hunt and die of his own accord, not at the hands of a pay-per-kill tourist.

I have never seen a lion in the wild, only in zoos. I've always wanted to visit Africa to see the animals in the wild. Do I want to see poachers and hunters? No.

Where are the values of kindness, care and treating other humans and animals the way we wish to be treated? Why do people have to be reminded to treat others as they wish to be treated?

There is so much angst and hate in the world. It is difficult to navigate some days. We have just seen photos of Pluto, another place, a long way away. NASA has apparently found Earth's cousin in Kepler-452b. What would the Keplervians think of us? 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/26/zimbabwe-hunt-spaniard-accused-of-killing-cecil-the-lion


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Go outside to see the rainbows

I went for a walk this afternoon. It was exceptionally cold but I was like a cat on a hot tin roof at home. Something is obviously up but I'm not sure yet what that is, so I took myself off in the cold for a walk.

There are lots of walks around here. I can either go straight up Red Hill or walk around Narrabundah and Red Hill and look at the gardens. Normally I see nobody because Canberra is like that but today there were a few other hardy souls out walking, kicking a ball in the park, exercising their dogs.

Towards home there were a few spits of rain (or was it sleet?) The sun was shining the whole time so I got to see a rainbow. I love rainbows. A great reminder that there is a pot of gold out there, just waiting to be found.




This morning Miss B and I went to see Paper Towns at the movies. It is based on the book by John Green and I really liked it. No car chases, no one died, unlike the last movie I saw...but that's part of the fun of the movies isn't it?

Then this afternoon I painted. I bought some roses yesterday and they are already drooping...ripped off...where oh where do you buy decent flowers in Canberra, but I figured I would use them for inspiration. Then I did about half of another painting, this time of poppies.

My paintings at Artistic Vision Gallery are watercolours but I really love the freedom that comes with oils and a palette knife.

I will put them in the gallery. I'm also going to send some paintings to Brisbane for an exhibition in early September. If I had an art patron I could go there with my paintings, so come on Universe, I deserve...


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

23rd anniversary

My mother, Lorna, died 23 years ago today. I had the great fortune to go tonight to the launch of an art space connected with one of the business partners of the organisation for which I work. I spoke to colleagues and met new people and it was wonderful to be surrounded by art and good conversation.

As always happens, the build-up to the anniversary of Lorna's death is far worse than the actual day.

I wonder if it ever changes? Probably not.

How life would have been different if she had lived for longer than she did. But she didn't and that's how life is and we must make the best of what we are given.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Meeting Max


Three months ago my beautiful friend Giulia gave birth to Max, her fifth child. I know two families with five children and one with eight. I have two teenagers.
Me and Max, Bliss and Max



The view from their house and the evening sky


Giulia and I met when we worked in Federal politics and we clicked. With her incredible schedule we do not see each other often enough, but it's always wonderful when we do. Miss Bliss and I went to meet Max this afternoon. He's three months old but we have been sidelined with winter coughs so had not visited until today.

She lives in one of those delightful houses where there are always other people present. There were some people there for lunch when we arrived and a neighbour dropped in later with a cake. The children had one of their friends over to play. The children were all having a ball and Miss Bliss and I got to sit and cuddle Max.

What a beautiful boy. An Aries...ha ha ha...I told her "good luck with that".

I've had a nice week off work. Back to it tomorrow, with a much tidier house and more focus. Many adventures ahead.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Wake up, kick a*se, repeat

Depression is a funny (peculiar) condition. It stops you/me from doing the very things that make you/me feel better.

Take walking. I love to walk and clear my head. It also helps to burn off the calories, but for me it is more about head-clearing. So what have I been not doing the past couple of months?

Today I went for a two-hour walk up Red Hill. This is one of those bush wonderlands that dot Canberra. Most suburbs have a nature park nearby and this one has a steep climb, wildlife, trees and views. It's such a beautiful walk and I'm sure I will miss it when I move to the beach and watch dolphins in the waves (haha, joke...about missing it).

The wattle is flowering

Hello kangaroos and the view to the south-west


My staycation has involved doing lots of not much, having some friends and family over, working for an afternoon in the Artistic Vision Gallery and doing some paintings. Today, after Miss Bliss got her hair cut, I took myself up Red Hill for a two-hour walk. I didn't mean to go for so long but I had consumed rather an amount of alcohol with two of my besties last night and needed to sweat it out.


Hello Joey


Bark


It wasn't the warmest day today but there was no wind, so it was lovely walking weather. And the kangaroos...normally I see two mobs but there seems to have been a population explosion and there were twice as many as normal. The joeys in the pouches are so cute.




Bunny art.  I love this garden and the people who live in the house have a number of sculptures, which are lit at night. Art in the suburbs. There should be more of it.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Winter Staycation

It's too cold at the moment but I'm too broke to go anywhere warm so the teenagers and I are having a  Staycation in Canberra.

After the excitement of Une Magnifique Soiree I fell into a deep depression last week...it had been building for some time and luckily I have this week off to rebalance myself.

Saturday and Sunday passed in an Antarctic Vortex blur but the temperature hit 9 today so Miss Bliss and I took ourselves to the National Arboretum. It's terrible when you live in Canberra and are surrounded by buildings and places of national and international importance...but you drive past and think "oh I'll visit some day".

I must have driven past the Arboretum hundreds of times and often wondered what the point of it was. Having visited today I get it. There are forests of different species and in the decades to come as the trees grow it will be quite spectacular. Now though it is a most glorious place that gives views to the north and west of Canberra. It is as cold as fuq on a windy winter's day but it is beautiful. In 20 years' time it will be even more beautiful as many of the trees are babies.

What lured us there today was the promise of seeing the Warm Trees.

As the website says: Warm Trees is a social event – groups of volunteers knit together, share their ideas and have a lot of fun. Last year's volunteers included knitters in an aged care facility, contributions from families, and the work of many individuals from the Canberra community and around Australia.
The main goal is to encourage people to visit the Arboretum and explore the forests, even in the winter time, and to engage with the Arboretum in a very different way.

Well it worked. We had a lovely visit and will return. I even have a plan to yarn bomb a tree or two outside my place...the golfers and the neighbours will think I'm nuts.






Saturday, July 4, 2015

A gorgeous event

How lucky am I? Yesterday Miss Bliss and I drove to Sydney to attend Une Magnifique Soiree to celebrate the wedding of our friend Alex to his beautiful French bride Domi.

Alex and I met about six years ago when I was working in Parliament House. Neither he or I truly understand our friendship but we love each other dearly and catch up when he is in Canberra, for French Champagne and a huge talk.

Last night was the first time I had met the beautiful Domitille, who greeted me with that classic line "I have heard so much about you".  She is everything and more that Alex has said. No wonder he fell in love with her.


Alex and Bliss
 
                             


It was also delightful to meet Alex's mum and dad who treated Bliss and I as members of the extended family.

Their home was transformed into a fairyland with lights, CanCan dancers, a band, beautiful food and drinks.  And oh so many flowers and candles. Everywhere I looked were family photos, books and art. No wonder I felt at home.

I gave the happy couple a little watercolour I did a few weeks ago.

Whenever I feel a bit blue in the cold Canberra winter I draw on experiences like last night's. It was so lovely to be in my friend's family home and feel a sense of belonging. I knew one other person who was there, but left after meeting some truly gorgeous and interesting people. I am so lucky to have these beautiful friends. What a blessing to be so loved.


Back through the arch to reality today.