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Friday, 15 December 2017

First of the Month Fiction - January

This will remain open until February, when I return online. Hope you all have a wonderful break and happy holiday season.

For newbies, write a story in 100 words exactly, or one less than 30 words in the comments, then link your blog.

Mine is 100 words:

It wasn’t quite the birth experience she’d imagined. She hadn’t be able to get into her first choice. It all seemed a little unsanitary but they’d thankfully survived. She smiled lovingly at her husband, who had been incredibly supportive, even though she told him the babe wasn’t his child. Not once did he falter in his devotion.

Around her, everything seemed aglow and the brilliant lightness she felt permeated around her. The baby smiled. Suddenly three strange men from afar appeared bearing gifts. How had they known, she wondered? 
Apparently her small miracle birth shone glory on the whole world.

Happy Christmas everyone.

Linking with #TwinklyTuesday

Monday, 11 December 2017

Enjoy the moment for what it is.

Christmas can be a difficult time for people. It can remind you of what once was but is now lost. Memory is a very deceiving mechanism. We look back fondly on events and people, who at the time, may have actually been troubling.
I was chuffed to see this on Instagram

I said once to someone "Don't let the dust from the past fool you to think it's glitter".  I think our memories glimmer with an enticing sheen, only because there's no way for hard facts to correct it. Our memory is like a Facebook feed - it's photographic highlights of the good bits, or the funny bits - even the terrible events seem to lose some of their danger, from our safe position ensconced in the present.

As I've quoted before "Time and memory are true artists; they remould reality nearer to the heart's desire."(John Dewey) 

The only lesson we can learn from this, is to not let comparison spoil the moment. Enjoy the present, untainted by the past or hopes for the future. Now is all we have, and we should try to focus on what is special each day as it happens. No matter how small, how insignificant or how imperfect it may be. These moments are exactly how the best memories are made, even when we don't realise it at the time.

Linking with #IBOT (with a reminder that careless words can make a difference), #FortheloveofBLOG #StayClassyMama and #Dreamteam

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Sydney by Sea

We were lucky enough to hit the water yesterday with 20 or so of our friends for a final preChristmas catch up.

The sun was out and Sydney harbour put on a sparkler for us to swim and dine (and play banangrams) while bobbing around in the water.

There is a peaceful tranquility that comes when you are hostage on location, so have nothing to do except relax and enjoy your universe.

As the sun set, I realised how much I would miss summer in Sydney, when our beautiful city puts on her finery for all to see. It is a city I will never tire of.

Many of the guests who came yesterday are friends of  30 plus years, and they have shaped my little world in so many ways. Their friendships are truly the gifts that matter most in this life.

May you too love life over this holiday season.

Linking with #LovinLife Linky #WednesdayAroundtheWorld #OurWorldTuesday #ThruMyLens #TravelTuesday  #TheRealWordlessWednesdayand #HighlightsofHappiness

Sydney by land - North Head

My friend organised for us to see an art exhibition but got the address wrong so we ended up strolling around North Head instead. This city is truly stunning and you can immerse yourself in it's beauty without spending anything except time.

The Memorial Walk has pavers dedicated to the fallen and historical events of the Wars that Australia has fought in.

Then you can veer off onto a dirt track to join up with the Fairfax lookout.

There are historical ruins still intact on the walk.

Just peaceful serenity, as far as the eye can see - and in whale season you occasionally get a surprise show, as the giant mammals frolic in the harbour.

It was such a splendid afternoon, I wondered why we didn't visit more often.

Do you make the most of where you live?

Linking with #WWOT #Nanahood #PictorialTuesday and #WordlessWednesday

Friday, 8 December 2017

Today I will....

I appear to have lost the original image

Today I will do a little bit of house keeping first: I'm shutting the blog for 6 weeks, back Feb, on Friday with a First of the Month Fiction. I'll be in Finland for a bit and the only SM I'll use is Insta, as a semi detox.

Today I will look back on the year that was:
Back in January, one of my photos made the final cut of the Dix Mots competition (which is open again now for those interested).

February saw some pretty spectacular days on the harbour.

March saw my first experience of Womad, and hopefully not my last!  Coasttrek and dance classes to try and get this old bod in shape....

April saw us in London for the Marathon and exploring Malta, Amsterdam and the glorious Belgium.

May and June lit up with Vivid, one of my favourite times of the year. We also finally expanded the family to include this gorgeous gal.

July was the start of my festival of High Teas. I've decided this is a lovely way to spend time with friends and intend to keep it going next year.

August was a dash to Brisbane for a fleeting visit with an old and very dear friend, and Thor (well, the Marvel Universe). Such luxuries are what make life so pleasurable.

September was busy, the highlight being a trip to Singapore for the F1 and the sensational Children's Biennale. I also attended this EXCELLENT talk on teens and procrastination (the video linked in the post is well worth a watch).

October had lots of fabulousness - champagne lunches, shows, bingo and lots of fun with friends, but the highlight was obviously the short 5 nights stint in Phang Nga Bay.

November has seen much frivolity but the highlight has to be the Yes vote getting up with the Australian public. It restored my faith in humanity a little, as I do like to think that in this country, we believe in what is fair. I also fulfilled a dream three years in the making, getting my donation of supplies to the Landmine Relief Centre in Siem Reap.

December brings Christmas, holidays and reflection. I want to say, looking back, this year has seen a lot of change for the good for me personally. I've been carrying some pretty difficult loads and for the last four years, have been at times overwhelmed with my situation, just struggling to keep afloat. However, this year is the first year for a long time where I've been able to enjoy life and look outward again - helping others and providing the support that was provided to me by others in my time of need. I know how fluid it is, and the inevitable will still happen, but for now I'm enjoying this feeling while I can, and not worrying about what is heading my way.

My story was published again in the Grieve anthology, and I nervously await the outcome of Museum of Words. I love the story I wrote for them, and I sincerely hope they do too.

Today I will wish you all a Merry Christmas and safe and happy holiday season. May you all be greeted with a joyful 2018. Come New Year, I'll be raising a glass to you, kind readers.

Keep fighting the good fight, both for you personally and on behalf of others.

Linking with #KALCOLS &# TwinklyTuesday #Lifethisweek

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Random Photos

As I'm cleaning out my phone, I came across these photos that I like but really have no idea what to do with, so am sharing them here for the photo themed link ups.

While this isn't a perfect shot, I like the reflected fireball

I love the perfect sphere of this flower. Whenever I go to delete the photo, I can't quite commit to the act of finality and losing it forever.

Found this set up in the shower one day - it still makes me smile

I love the glowing light in this one, and the man walking into some mystical void.

I think it's just the symmetry of this one that appeals.

This one is my child's light reflected in the window. I adore the floating ghostly head in the black.

Do you have photos you just can't bring yourself to delete?

Linking with #SundayBest #MySundayPhoto #WeekendReflection #WordlessWednesday  #TheRandom #PointShoot

A visit to Santa #ChristmasLinkUp

It seems very early to be wrapping up the Christmas posts but I just realised I would be shutting the blog next Friday so there'd be no use in hosting the link up next week. First of the Month Fiction will go live next Friday and stay open for the next six weeks, until my return in February. There will be plenty of Christmas pics on my Insta over the next few weeks though.

We ventured into the city for our annual pilgrimage to see Santa and the Nativity. Only one child accompanied me, which was sad in itself as I am reminded soon enough it will be a solo visit to view the David Jones windows for me. Life moves on, bringing both the good and the bad (or sad).
My daughter was devastated that Myer had changed their 'ride on' train (but after a decade, I guess they thought it was time). We however, LOVED the Nerf gun shooting range - I know, nothing says Christmas like racking up points shooting at targets.

These felt gift bags at David Jones are gorgeous!

She wrote and posted a letter to Santa and then we headed over to David Jones for the free balloon. Last but not least, were the gorgeous Gingerbread Man's escapade, both in film and animated window. It was lovely to see my daughter's face light up in wonder and joy at the magical excitement. She definitely dreamed of sugar plums in her bed that night. Which reminds me, I must dig out the Christmas Story books.... 

Do you have Christmas traditions? Do you feel sad as the kids outgrow them? Will you continue to do them when the children give up on them?

Linking with #MummyMondays