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Monday, 23 October 2017

Useless wedding information you might never need to know

I was invited to a kitchen tea but when I turned up, the welcome sign announced it was a bridal shower. When I commented that I thought it was a kitchen tea, my friend said 'it's the same thing, isn't it? What's the difference?' I replied that I thought it was basically the gift you gave.

So when I got home, I did a bit of googling.
A kitchen tea is traditionally just an afternoon tea and you give gifts specifically for the kitchen. A bridal shower is to shower the bride with gifts and you give anything (and there may be alcohol at this even and it can be a lunch). It is usually only female friends and relatives that are invited but in the US apparently they are now unisex.

So there you have it. I know, amazing.

Raise your glass to love and all the celebrations that it entails.

Linking with #IBOT

Sunday, 22 October 2017

What I would do with $1000...

To be honest, I'd pay my energy bill. How did I get an $800 electricity bill when we didn't even use a heater all winter and we have gas for water and the stove?  And the more important question, when did $1000 not become a lot of money? It is a lot of money but it just doesn't seem to go far when you talk rates, insurance, rego or electricity and water.

Life is expensive and at times very dull.

That said, at Bingo I had the chance to win $1400 and I looked at my friend in amazement, eyes widened and announced "That's a LOT of money!". So I guess the money is more if it is for fun. For $1000 I could buy a great dress, shoes and dinner to match. For $1000 I could throw a great party or go on a little trip.

I went to Bingo for the dancing and the fun, and I guess ultimately, that's more important than the money. Especially as I didn't win any.

There is truth to the adage by Francis Bacon “Money is a great servant but a bad master.” 

What would you do with $1000?

Linking with #Lifethisweek

Friday, 20 October 2017

After the ball

I like the strange forlornness, that the fun is over but the evidence of the party is still there...just whispers of a good time, and a lot to clean up.

Linking with #RubyTuesdayToo #WWOT #MySundayPhoto and #SundayBest

Bongos Bingo DownUnder

If you're at a loose end tonight in Sydney, or next weekend in Western Sydney (then Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane), grab yourself some tickets to a crazy fun night! There's laughter, dancing and of course, bingo! Dates and tickets here.

Our small posse were the oldest in the crowd but it didn't matter (and let's face it, it's now my normal) as we knew the music and amid the shimmering glitter showers, no one cared....

There is dancing and yelling between rounds of Bingo, and during the games as well. The prizes range from substantial money to the curiously desirable (I really wanted the Pikachu suit, and yet have no idea why?!), but it isn't really about the winning...

You too will be loving life, as least until the party is over...

Linking with #Sundayinmycity #WWOAT #OurWorldTuesday #Thrumylens #TheGood,TheRandom&TheFun

Monday, 16 October 2017


I was a little down in the dumps today - no reason, just general malaise and a bit of wear and tear. I have talked many times (here, here and it all started here) about my awe of the work of the Landmine Museum and School in Siem Reap When I got back from our trip to Siem Reap, I set about finding a way to help them. I rang airlines to see if I could pay an attendant to carry books over for me. I tried to see if I could get book depository to post there for me. A friend's daughter was going to go there on a school trip but then it fell through in the last minute. Fast forward almost three years later and a friend is going for work. She has offered to take the bag of donations over for me (please note she will pack the bag herself and I've purchased a new bag that can be left with the charity.) I have rung the embassy who has assured me it is fine to bring in a suitcase of donations/gifts for the charity as long as I have a copy of the correspondence with the charity. Given the items are pencils and toothpaste, we will be well under the value limit for importing gifts anyway.

Which brings me back to my mood. Feeling a little fragile, I decided I would go out and purchase the bag she will take over. I then came home and packed it with the items already donated by friends. It made me feel so good. My mood has shot back up and currently is slightly elated. You see, now that I've managed to fulfill this small dream, three years in the making, I've decided to aim higher. On their wishlist page, where they have a link to donate  via paypal for simple things like hair brushes and laundry detergent, they also have this: IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A MAJOR DONATION TO HELP US BUY A NEW TRUCK TO TRANSPORT THE KIDS, CONTACT US DIRECTLY AND WE EXCHANGE DETAILS.

So I've decided I'm going to get them a truck. I have no idea how, as of yet, but it's a worthwhile project. They say helping others makes you feel good. I have to say even just the idea of helping others seems to lift your spirits.

So I'm adding it to the list. And if there is any big business that needs a tax write off or wants to help some fabulous kids and people in need of transportation, please contact the Landmine Museum and Relief Centre.

Torshlusspanik List:

1. Shooting (check)
2. Fencing (check)
3. Play croquet at Croquet Club
4. Laser skeet
5. Off road buggy driving
6. Play Assassins Creed
7. Jetpacking (check)
8. The Color Run (check)
9. Invent something
10. Cooking Masterclass (check)
11. Master a Masterclass (check)
12. Perform a rap song (check)
13. Trampoline adventure (check)
14. BMX Riding (check)
15. Do a cart wheel (check)
16. Ride an Electric Bike (check)
17. Astonish Myself
18. Write a book.
19. Participate in a distance event (check)
20. Climb Sydney Tower (check)
21. Dance in a dance class (check)
22. Trust a stranger
23. Get a truck for the Landmine Museum and Relief Centre in Siem Reap

Linking with #KALCOLS & #MummyMondays #FortheloveofBLOG #StayClassyMama #OpenSlather

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Sunday Lunch

On Sunday I took some time out with some girlfriends for a lunch at Sake in Double Bay. 2 hours of free flowing champagne and a Japanese feast, we talked and laughed and escaped our normal lives. Not wanting it to end, we retired to the roof top bar for a final hurrah.

Lovely views and a relaxed setting were not marred by the inclement weather. For a few hours I was truly loving life!

When was the last time you spoiled yourself?

Linking with.#OurWorldTuesday #TravelTuesday #Thrumylens #WordlessWednesday #LovinLifeLinky #WednesdayAroundtheWorld

Friday, 13 October 2017

Look again!

See the exotic flowers of the Malaysian jungle?

Look again.

They're Lego, planted amid the real garden at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore.

Linking with #WeekendReflections (see the dome structure reflected in the pond?) Also #PictorialTuesday #MySundayPhoto #WordlessWednesday #PointShoot #OutdoorWednesday  #TheRandomAnd #SundayBest

“Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.” ― Phaedrus

Monday, 9 October 2017

A blow to the ego

I entered a story competition, and I quite liked my story until I had a dream where I got a very detailed rejection letter telling me all that was wrong with the story. I actually wished I'd got the letter prior to submission, as I would have 'fixed' it. Clearly my brain knows what a good story is when it's in subconscious mode. Talk about an inner critic!

The winners were announced and the person who came first, also came second. So they wrote two stories way better than mine. Even though I already knew my story was no good, thanks to the dream, for some reason it seemed more of a blow to the ego that the same person could rustle up two award winning stories on demand while I struggled with one...Wonder what my subsconscious will say about that?!

Linking with #Littlethingsthursday #OpenSlather #MummyMondays

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Monkey see, monkey do

While in Thailand, on a beach on one of the many islands in Phang Nga Bay, I learnt that monkeys eat crabs and oysters, and are excellent swimmers. Apparently this is common knowledge. They use tools to crack open the oysters. This massive monkey was on the beach we visited, slurping away. Given the size and the ferocious teeth, I zoomed closer, and stayed a safe distance. I know how quick they are on land and didn't want to test the speed in water.

Linking with #WednesdayAroundtheWorld #SundayBest #MySundayPhoto #PointShoot #TravelTuesday #Thrumylens
#TheRandom #OutdoorWednesday #WordlessWednesday #LNRSeasons

Regret, it piles up around us like books we haven't read

While in Singapore, we went to the Children's Biennale at the National Gallery. As we went floor by floor to the installations, my map reading ability and lack of familiarity of the building's layout was challenged. In my defence the gallery spans across two buildings, but I am also a little deficient in this area.  At one point we stop to ask a guide where the work was and she pointed us in the other direction. As we cross the gallery, I realise she has to be wrong, so we return, this time asking 'kid's biennale?' and pointing past her. She then nods in surprise, bemused that we were wanting to see it, and points around the corner from where she is standing. In Singapore, apparently, adult tourists without kids with them would not be interested in the whimsical art works of the Children's Biennale.

The work in question was Lynn Lu's Duplet. You sit under the cloud and answer questions. The first question was 'What do you most want to do in life?'
The second question was 'Why haven't you done it?'

At which point we fled, not to be made to feel bad in our inadequacy by an artwork.

The simplicity of it is confronting. You have a dream, you just need to do it. That is basically all that holds you back. Your lack of action. The question strips you of your excuses, because it's quite hard to listen to your excuses out loud.

Ironically, the experience with the guard highlights that on occasion, other people's expectation of you holds you back. We clearly wanted to behave like children in the eyes of the guard, but we did it anyway. We could have easily skipped that work out of embarrassment. However I learnt long ago not to miss out for fear of looking foolish. 

So to avoid regret, I ask you:

What do you most want to do in life and why haven't you done it?

(This is a funny one for #LovinLifeLinky but for three hours as we roamed the gallery, I was so delighted by the whimsical installations that I was truly loving life! See the link to the Biennale in the opening paragraph for the colourful, quirky photos)

Linking with #KALCOLS #fortheloveofBLOG #TwinklyTuesday

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

First of the Month Fiction - October

Very quick one, as school holidays are fast upon us. The blog will be shut until the 12th of October but First of the month fiction will be open until then. So you have a few weeks to add your story in 100 words exactly or less than 30 words.

Mine is inspired from a conversation overheard in the bathroom in Singapore.

The sari clad beauty reapplied her pink lipstick in the hotel foyer bathroom, her eyes fluttering with irritation. "I have no idea why my eyes are so dry here. I wonder if it’s the constant air conditioning? I don't understand it.” She paused, then shrugged “But when was life was ever meant to be understandable?" 
Her friend laughed in agreement, washing her hands carefully.
Three strangers also at the mirror turned towards her in unison, awed that her offhand comment instantaneously put their lives into perspective. A hush fell over the room as each woman became lost in her thoughts.

Add yours in the comments then link your blog (please note you can only link you're blog after writing a story). Have a fab few weeks, everyone.

Linking with #OpenSlather #MummyMondays #LifeThisweek

Rain and Flowers

Back from a fabulous weekend in Singapore, having fun with the #30daysofleap on Insta, and school holidays are pending. Big thanks to Singapore Airlines who for some reason gave me an upgraded seat AND 2 empty seats beside me on the night flight home. So I actually arrived home feeling great!

First of the Month Fiction will hopefully open this afternoon and stay open until the 12th of October as the school holidays are upon us. Normal blogging will resume mid October. Take care and have a good break to those that are taking time off.

Linking with #SundayBest #MySundayPhoto

Monday, 11 September 2017

Procrastination & teens

One thing that happens in high school is change. One thing to keep an eye on is anxiety in your child. As the hormones and the workload increase at the same time, it can be difficult to see what is going on. Macquarie University holds fabulous free talks and I attended a brilliant one on procrastination recently. I lamented I didn't bring my child, who is currently needing endless reminders to do their work.

I'm not sure if this entirely fits the reasons why my child is preferring to game over doing school work, but I don't think it hurts to hear what might be an underlying issue, just in case.

The talk, Overcoming Procrastination in Adolescents by Dr Carolyn Anne Schniering in full is linked here. It is well worth a listen. The visual are the powerpoints, so listen to it while cooking or cleaning the bathroom (or driving in the car), you can always pause to look at the bullet points if you want to.

One of the most interesting things she says is that some people will never feel motivated. It's the action that creates the motivation, and leads to more action. I know for me, the blog post due Tuesday, only happens when I start writing because I know I have to post something. I'm not always inspired to write, but usually, once I start, some idea comes. Even if it means I delete what I've just written and start again.

She also states that we need to remember 'States of mind' are temporary. We can work with it - ride the wave of emotion until it subsides. Helen Mirren's 5 rules for a happy life speech says that 'Like a hangover, neither triumph or disaster last forever' same too with these emotions of panic or disengagement.

Basically, the short of it is, start to work often. You can study for a short period, it's the starting to study that rewires the neurons. Make it the habit. The more you start to study, the easier it is to study. The more we face our anxiety and fears, the less power it has. It will subside.

I really loved this talk, and I think she probably hits the underlying issue of what seems to be a pandemic of school refusal and anxiety regarding school work.

Linking with #IBOT #Dreamteamblogger #GlobalBlogging #TwinklyTuesday #Stayclassymama #FortheloveofBLOG

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Me time & Housekeeping

 In a strange turn of events, I've found myself footloose and fancy free (due to last minute offer for a weekend away and no dog sitter available), so after I've helped out at the election and then high tea with friends, I think I'll take myself off to a movie. But which one? One of life's hard decisions....

I will be shutting the blog next week from Wednesday until the following Wednesday so I can get everything done before heading off to the Singapore Grand Prix (Go Kimi!).

Lastly, for the weekend reflection (see in the water), I'll leave you with Father Rod's words. "You may hear in the coming weeks all sorts of unkind things being said about you. Do not believe any of it. It is not true, it says nothing about you, and everything about those who are saying it."

Have a great weekend everyone!

Linking with #WeekendReflection #RubyTuesdayToo #WordlessWednesday #Nanahood

Also linking with #LovingLifeLinky because while I'm away I hope to be loving life!

Wednesday, 6 September 2017


Feeling a little flat after a stressful few days, I treated my self to a quick trip into town to see the David Jones Spring Flower Show. 

I have no idea why it makes me so happy. The perfume hits you as you walk in the door, and seeing so many people enjoying the displays makes me happy to be part of this community, even for a fleeting moment.

This funny tradition officially  marks the start of Spring for me.

Linking with #OpenSlather #WWOAT #TheRandom #PointShoot #WordlessWednesday #PictorialTuesday #LNRseasons

Monday, 4 September 2017

“All shadows whisper of the sun. ” ― Emanuel Carnevali

We sat under a sunshade and the tree cast mesmerising shadows. It is sinister and beautiful at the same time.

May we all cast glorious shadows.

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. Abraham Lincoln

A little parenting reminder....

I misplaced my licence on Father's Day, and spent 3 hours hunting around the house to find it. I needed to drive to see my Dad, forty five minutes away. I thought I'd organise a replacement on Monday when I went to renew the rego, but at the last minute I googled what I needed to do and discovered I could replace it online, and that would get me an interim cover note. So I bit the bullet and did exactly that.

When I called the kids to get in the car, my Learner Driver questioned "But how are you going to drive without a licence?". In that instant I was relieved I'd done the right thing. I could explain about the interim licence and set the right example. 

We can't very well tell our kids to behave one way when we do another.

My intentions may not have been pure but I learnt my lesson regardless.

Some rules are not made to be broken.

Linking for #MummyMondays  #KALCOLS #FortheloveofBLOG & #GlobalBlogging
Update: I love that the licence turned up in the post when the sushi bar at the Fish Markets posted it back to me, and I love that the outcome was in my favour without more drama than 3 hours wasted pulling the house apart trying to find it. And as I've said, before 'it's the little things, and not expectation, that make life worth living'

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Happy Birthday to #LifeThisWeek

Over the years, there have been many prompt led link ups, and they all seem to have vanished over time. I am happy to have #LifeThisWeek every Monday as it allows me to explore ideas or stretch - write something a little more poetic than usual or just see where it takes me.
Sometimes it's as simple as discussing a topic, like #Mindfulness or #Education.  Other times we can explore ideas, in any way we see fit - like #Belief. Some chose religion, I chose belief in oneself. Occasionally, in the process, I learn a little about myself. I start writing a post heading in one direction but midway through it, start over and end up somewhere completely different, like when we discussed #WhatCan'tYouLiveWithout?

My favourite prompt over the year was #HowMuchMoneyIsEnough? It took me quite a while to think about what I wanted to say on this topic. I enjoyed the memories I trawled to get there, and I'm happy I perhaps shared some good for well deserved charities in a country I adore.

So thank you Denyse for hosting a prompt led link up that forces me into directions I may not naturally take. I love seeing where people decide to go with the prompt.
Congratulations on a busy twelve months.

Linking with #LifeThisWeek

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

First of the Month Fiction - September

I am very late this month - I am running around like a mad thing. So quick version.
Write a story in 100 words exactly or less than 30 words. Add it to the comments then link your blog if you have one.

Will be open until 15th Sept, due to late posting.

"You look tired"
"I don't sleep well at night" the little boy stated glumly.
"Are you a vampire?" she asked with a grin.
For the first time in two years, the little boy laughed. "Of course not!. I don't even like the taste of my own blood!"
"That's good to hear. I'd hate you to turn into a vampire, because you'd miss all this glorious sunshine."
The boy smiled and the eyes showed a connection, an opportunity to ask more. "So what thoughts are keeping you awake?" the teacher broached casually.
Sometimes the first chip in a wall comes unexpectedly.

Linking with #TwinklyTuesday #DreamTeamBlogger #MummyMondays #LifeThisWeek (off topic, sorry),Paula's No Rules Link Party & #Blogger's Pitstop

Your turn!

The beauty you see in me is a reflection of you. Vanna Bonta

Can you see me?

Sometimes while looking at something, we catch a glance of something else.

Twice over the weekend I had friends give unkind motivations to the action of others.

We will never know the truth. I took the culprits at their word and was dubbed a fool.

"No one has ever been angry at another human being - we're only angry at our story of them" -Byron Katie

Maybe I am a fool, but I'd still rather give them the benefit of the doubt.

For the record, both cases were just pulling out of an event last minute and I thought I should try to recoup their money for them, other people thought I should just give away the ticket, as long as they'd reimbursed me (which they had). What say you?

Monday, 28 August 2017

Uber etiquette

A friend and I shared an uber home one night. I booked it on my phone and we swung by her house before heading to mine. She made a comment as she got out about going to a movie but I wasn't really paying attention. A few weeks later we planned the movie but at the last minute I had to cancel, so we just had lunch. The lunch place only took cash and she didn't have any, so I covered her. At this point she said "Now I owe you twice. The whole point of me taking you to the movie was to pay you back for the uber". I had no idea what she was talking about so she elaborated "I was going to buy your movie ticket because you paid for the uber".

Now I have always thought that it evens out if you are travelling with friends you will see again - you book it one time, they book it the next. I did do a distance race with some people I didn't know and sought out the cost of the uber and dropped the money in their mailbox. The woman said "You're the only person that did that" but I assumed the others wouldn't have as they were closer friends, and it would be repaid over the years.

However, what is the etiquette? If it was a cab, you'd all hand over notes. In an uber, how do you split it?

We all seem to have different ideas so I'm wondering if I'm doing it incorrectly. How do you split an uber?

Linking with IBOT.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Doing nothing is respectable at tea. Sasaki Sanmi,

Following on from the High Tea in the Calyx, a group of ladies and I took a few hours to relax at the High Tea at the Power House. It's a fabulous offer for members, only $38.50 with sparkling rose or $45 with champagne (slightly more for non Members).

What makes high tea so pleasurable is not so much the food or decadence but the time spent in conversation that you probably wouldn't have had otherwise. Rarely do we spend an afternoon in discussion. Having just written about mindfulness, high tea is a lovely way to practice clarity of thought and focus.

We were literally the only people in the tea room, so it was an extremely exclusive event. For a few hours it was easy to really love life.

There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. – Henry James

Have you checked out the Powerhouse's tea offering?

Thursday, 24 August 2017

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer. Ralph Waldo Emerson

A Marvel is 'a wonderful or astonishing person or thing'. So it is little wonder we've fallen in love again with the Marvel Universe.  At the exhibition at GOMA I found myself grinning excitedly as we entered each new realm.  If you haven't been, and can get to Brisbane before the 3rd of September, it's well worth a look.

I am a reader of comics but not so much the Superhero ones, unless you count Watchmen, though as a kid I loved the Phantom comic and the Spiderman cartoon (love the current incarnation of Spiderman, as that irreverent teen is how I first met Spiderman, and the one that sticks in my mind.). I've always loved Flash and weirdly Capt America. In the movies, I like Captain America and Thor, even though I never took to Thor in book form. I think I clearly have a soft spot for earnest do-gooders.

I think our current love affair with Marvel is first and 
foremost, Stan Lee was a genius way ahead of his time, but also because the world needs a hero. We're a mess. We need someone to bring the global humanity back on track. Two thousand years and we seem to have learnt nothing. I guess if the superheros aren't going to appear in real life, then it's up to us. What will you do?
I have cheated, this is from DC Lego exhibition - shh!

 Linking with #MySundayPhoto #MySundayBest #PictorialTuesday#Therealwordlesswednesday #WordlessWednesday #PointShoot (not the ideal photos for this link up but alas nothing arty this week :)