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 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 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 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


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 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:

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.