Friday, December 31, 2010

Farewell 2010

Goodbye 2010 - good riddance, get packing, out the door, you are GONE!! 2010 is not a year I will look back on with fond thoughts. Some lovely and very happy things did happen, most notably my sister getting married, other friends getting married, the arrival of a clutch of beautiful babies, the new addition to the family being my sister's puppy, my new job but overall it has been a tough year.

Still it was this tough, unpredictable, emotionally trying year in which I had a particularly happy day for no reason whatsoever and I determined to preserve and nurture that happiness. I decided to put myself in a happiness thought spiral, where my concentration efforts would be focused on the stuff that makes me smile. I said farewell to negative thoughts, hello to the happy ones.

And for over half of the year, no matter how tough the day, I've found something good in it to write about. Sometimes I will admit, finding the thing that made me smile has been hard, but I've realised that I now really pay attention to the good things. My face breaks into a grin, or I feel suffused with a happy glow and I think "ohh, I can blog this". It has been the most wonderful experiment, and is one I will continue.

So 2011 I welcome you with hope for the future and a smile that I know will be present every day - even if I have to look hard to find it.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jiggly, wiggly jelly!

Oh dear, two booze related posts in a row - well 'tis the season!

As I've written before a great event isn't just the event itself, the lead up, anticipation, planning and preparation are all really enjoyable parts too.

One of the most anticipated events each year is my friends' New Year's Eve party. I had always found NYE a bit of a let down - until I got my first invitation to this party. It is fabulous. There is always a theme and everyone goes all out on the fancy dress. It is a night that you know will be brilliant, so from about July on the hosts are questioned about theme, theories are explored and it all waits till the much anticipated invitation arrives.

I've spent a fair bit of time on my costume this year and I'm pretty happy with it. But I cannot bring myself to turn up to a party empty handed, so to NYE, I always bring the thing I have somehow become famous for - jelly shots. Yes, I do believe my culinary legacy will be in the form of exotic things set in jelly.

This year's jelly shots are rosewater and raspberries for the non-drinkers and lemon, absinthe and basil for the serious drinkers. They look beautiful, taste pretty excellent and will no doubt go down a treat!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Boozy Boysenberries

Today I popped by Mum and Dad's to pick boysenberries. From a small vine planted years ago, they now run rampant through about a quarter of the garden. You would think that this would mean that we get overloaded with berries each year, but in recent years the drought has taken its toll, both on the number of berries and also in lack of food for the birds. We would race the wildlife for the few berries remaining and usually lose.

But this year's rain has delivered berries galore and is obviously feeding the birds with other things because there is a huge crop.

We have had bumper crops in the past. Previously we tried to preserve them in a variety of ways, most notably the year Mum and I made jam. It was notable because our first attempt was a dismal, runny failure. So we added more berries and boiled it further - still runny. Third time lucky we boiled up our batch again, this time adding a setting agent. It certainly did the trick and set our jam to a consistency somewhat like concrete!

Not keen to repeat the jam disaster, we had to find another way to preserve the berries and Dad came up with a doozy - a boozy doozy to be precise. In our house, boysenberries now become vodka. Oh yes, boysenberry vodka, it is as good as it sounds. And with this year's bumper harvest, the fridge should be stocked with berry-tastic vodka for some time to come!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


So it might be terribly girly of me, but I do love a wedding, yes I really do. Today one of the followers of this blog and a long term friend of mine got married and it was just lovely.

A wedding is such a happy place. Full of love, promises for the future, people who can't stop beaming. Brides always look beautiful, glowing full of love. Grooms always look handsome, serious in the moment they first see their bride, then thrilled the rest of the time. Parents are proud, full of joy and friends, they just radiate the happiness they have for the couple.

This wedding was no exception. Even the weather put on a stunning day for them. All I can say is L3 I wish you a long and happy life together. May today's joy be the set the tone for the future.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The making of a tradition

In my experience one doesn't generally set out to start a tradition. Rather traditions form when a well received good idea is repeated a few times. My family has many traditions including a great many centered around Christmas but possibly the most recent and one I definitely enjoy each year is second Christmas.

Second Christmas has many reasons for being. First and foremost it is a way of thanking those neighbours who keep a vigilant eye on our house while we are away. It is a chance to entertain (something we always enjoy) and the opportunity for a small family to cook a big Christmas meal that would otherwise never be eaten up.

The date of second Christmas moves but the menu is relatively static - seafood entree, roast turkey and pork (or ham) with all the trimmings followed by a mango and raspberry trifle all washed down with unseemly qualities of very good wine. Most years we get to enjoy entree on the deck but this year's cold snap drove us indoors. Still it made a roast dinner all the more welcome. Good food, wine and (most importantly) company made it a lovely evening.

We may not have intended to create a tradition when we first hosted this dinner but it sure it a great one that will no doubt continue for years to come.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


One of the gorgeous things about being by the sea is the chance to see really lovely wildlife. This evening we had the joy of watching a really large pod of dolphins playing in the waves.

It had been a beautiful day but this afternoon it clouded over and stormed. After awhile the rain cleared but the sea was still stormy and gray, the surfers had disappeared and the beach was empty. It was then looking out the window that we noticed a pod of dolphins surfing. They were having the best time leaping out of the water, catching the waves and just hooning it up. One was doing leaps where it twisted about almost onto it's back. There were heaps, maybe 30 in the pod.

Eventually they must have discovered a school of fish which diverted their attention but for that time when they were leaping, playing itnwas just joyful to watch.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A langerous day

One of the great things about Christmas Eve being the big celebration is that Christmas Day becomes a day of true laziness. There is no desire to be up at the crack of dawn for presents so you can sleep in. There are leftovers galore to keep people fed and gifts to play with and amuse at your leisure. The day is spent in a pleasant stupor of relaxation.

Being the foodies we are a new dinner is cooked (roast duck) but even that is a more leisurely exercise.

It has been a truly indulgent and wonderful day.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Christmas Spirit

My family celebrates Christmas in the European tradition on Christmas Eve. Our evening has been honed over a great many years. After quite literally days of food preparation we sit down to a massive smorgasbord of delicious food. There are salads galore, cold meats, cheeses, and being Australia in summer we also indulge in seafood. There is so much food that we have to extend the dining table!

Champagne provided by my brother-in-law is raised in a toast, a photo is taken and we dig right in.

After we are stuffed beyond any polite level and belts have been loosened, we move to the Christmas tree to exchange gifts. Every year we say that will be restrained, that hasn't happened yet! Present after present is unwrapped, much laughter is shared as our old dog helps with the unwrapping. In her puppy days unwrapping presents was one of her favourite things but now in old age it is more of a token effort.

The night wraps up with pavlova and reflections on what extremely privileged and lucky lives we live.

Christmas is a time to share, to laugh and to love. This Christmas Eve has been all that.

Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Eve, Eve

My family have all arrived at the coast set for Christmas. So tonight we headed out for a celebration dinner. We are lucky enough to have a fantastic restaurant (Tylers at Malua Bay for anyone in the area) as our local.

It is beautiful, fresh, innovative food. Each plate is a work of art and a taste sensation. Our meals included elements such as garlic custard, goats cheese cigars, chocolate dirt, not to mention the confit duck, slow roasted beef or crisp skin blue eye cod. It was all delicious, stunningly prepared and just a walk down the hill away. A lovely way to start Christmas off.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Family ties

Being a British colony, we have all heard all the terrible stories of the blitz in WWII. But no war is one sided and the British gave it back to Germany as well. During those dark and terrible days, my great-grandfather would spend his nights on the extremely steep roof of their house in Leipzig, Germany, armed only with fire-fighting equipment. As the bombs and fire rained down, he protected that house and almost miraculously it survived the war.

Fast forward to 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany. It was at that point that my grandparents who had escaped communist East-Germany shortly after the war received some amazing news. They had made the decision to leave and had only been able to take with them one small suitcase of the essentials each. After many trials and tribulations ended up in Australia, a country that they loved and absolutely adopted as their own. But they had to start over again, build up a life from scratch.

The amazing news they received was that the house my great-grandfather had so valiantly protected was still standing and abandoned by them had been taken by the Communists. With the fall of communisim, it was being returned to its owners - my Grandparents! As they had no desire to move back to Germany, they sold it and with some spare money for the first time in their lives, they helped my parents buy a holiday house at the coast.

The coast house is our oasis. It is our healing place, somewhere for celebrations, for relaxing, for living the best parts of life. To be blunt, it is a pretty ugly house, it has features including astroturf balconies, but it is comfortable and has a view that can't be beaten. We all love it here and I hang out for any time I can spend enjoying it.

But without the bravery of my Great-Grandfather all those years ago, we couldn't have this place. So every time I come here, I think of the man I never met and how he is still having a very important impact on my family, all these years later.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Oh I am just a puddle of relaxed muscles! I had the BEST massage this afternoon. We have a fantastic masseuse, unfortunately she works about 2.5 hours away from my usual location, but whenever I come to Bateman's Bay for a break, I always try to get an appointment.

I don't know why she is so brilliant, but she really is that much better than anyone else, truly those are healing hands. My stiff neck and tight shoulders are all relaxed, my back feels wonderful, it is just fantastic.

Just the perfect way to start my holiday.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Tonight I watched a television show with my Mum. She is about 250km away at the moment, but once I spotted Jamie Oliver doing Christmas stuff I texted her about it, then we preceded to text back and forth about various aspects of the show and how we can use it for our Christmas.

I love all the modern communications we have on tap. I keep in touch with people around the world, across the country and even in my own city through email, phone, text, this blog, etc, etc. I still write old fashioned letters, but you just can't beat the immediacy of technology we have at our fingertips. What a great time to live in!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Mum - part 2!

Today, of course, was Mum's birthday. Mum is the best person on earth to buy a present for, because she never expects to get one - so pretty much whatever you get her will get a great reaction.

We have been planning for ages as it is a significant birthday. Many ideas were canvassed, then Mum started to mention how much she would like an iPad (mind you just as a concept, she would never expect us to get her one) and the decision was made. The iPad and various accessories were purchased.

But then Dad came up with a brilliant twist. Mum had recently watched "Julie and Julia" and really loved it, so we got her Julia Child's books and gave them first. Mum unwrapped them and was thrilled. She was busily perusing them when we turned up with the "extra" present. The reaction was fantastic. I've been looking forward to it for weeks (and have on more than one occasion nearly slipped up when chatting with her) and the reaction was as good as we could have hoped for.

My sister, brother-in-law and I got together to make a lovely gourmet BBQ which we enjoyed with a glass or two of excellent wine.

It has been a lovely day.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Mum!

Tomorrow is my Mum's birthday and I know she will read this blog on her birthday morning over breakfast, so Mum, this one is for you.

I have a super excellent Mum. I've written before how I'm lucky to have the world's best Mum and I really think I do. She is a wonderfully caring, loving, supportive Mum and she has been instrumental in shaping me into the person I am today.

Just recently someone commented to my Dad that I'm a chip off the old block, but I think it is fair to say that both my parents are intrinsically represented in me. This is not always easy - I have Dad's hoarding tendencies and Mum's clean ones, which means I'm a bit of a household bulimic, I hoard then purge at regular intervals!

But back to Mum, it is fair to say Mum has had a shit of a year. Really, there have been good moments but on the whole it has been pretty awful. But throughout it, through all the rough times, she has stayed that special, caring, loving person. The way she has handled this year is really inspirational to me and has made me love her even more than ever.

So Mum, I hope you enjoy the day we have lined up for you and that this marks the start of a year that will be wonderful - happy birthday.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Be safe

Please excuse me for a moment as I take a step into a more serious tone. Today is the last work day for a lot of people. Kids have finished school and Christmas is nigh. It is the time of year where news is filled with lighthearted stories on Santa getting ready, or the best Christmas lights, but it is also the time of year where the news starts to feature a map of the country with the road toll on it.

Last year TAC released a special 5 minute montage of the last 20 years of their road safety ads to the REM song "Everybody Hurts". It is a hard watch but a worthwhile one and I recommend that you all read it and forward the link on to your family and friends with a reminder to be safe on the roads this holiday season. Link

The thing in my life which most consistently brings a smile to my face is my family and friends. I'm surrounded by such an amazing circle of loving, funny, clever, talented and quirky individuals. Each and every one of them adds something special to my life and I will readily admit that one of them being hurt or killed is the top of my fear list - yes, everyone who knows me well, that scares me far more than standing on top of a mountain.

This is a wonderful time of year, really, my favourite time of year. So please, my Christmas wish is that you all keep safe and just enjoy yourself this holiday season.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A storm in sunshine

This morning I woke to the sound of rain absolutely pelting down on the roof, but was very confused by the sound as the sun was also streaming in through cracks in the blinds. It transpired that I had just been hit by the edge of a thunderstorm and soon the sky was dark and crisscrossed with massive bolts of lightening, but for those few moments I got the wonder that is rain falling through sunshine.

I just adore the combination of weather. The way the raindrops catch the sun turning golden, how much blacker the clouds look against a sunlight hill. There is something about the contrast that makes each of the parts just that little more beautiful.

The storms rolled around for a few hours before clearing to a fresh, blue sky day. The air still smells rich and moist from the rain, but the sun is warm. What a fantastic day!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Let me tell you about the wonder that is lebkuchen. Lebkuchen (literally life cake) is German gingerbread. Rid your mind of any thought of English biscuit like gingerbread (not that it isn't great too, just different), lebkuchen is a fluffy, highly spiced cake. It is made into biscuit sized pieces in various shapes - most often hearts - and coated in chocolate. There are also filled versions with jam centres.

Lebkuchen, like stollen, is a German Christmas staple. My grandparents lived at a German retirement village and they had a little shop that sold specialties like it. Since they died we have occasionally found it at specialty delicatessens, but a week or so ago, Mum discovered it in all sorts of forms at Aldi. Now it probably isn't surprising that the German mega store stocks this fantastic German treat, but I went a little nuts and bought heaps.

I brought some into work, where with mouths full people have berated me for making them eat so much yummy food, but I've also kept myself a decent stash! I'm being good, limiting myself to only one (or two, maximum three) pieces at a time, but it is hard, lebkuchen really is that delicious.

Oh I just love these special treats that you can only get at a certain time of the year. I'm sure the fact that in my mind lebkuchen is tied to Christmas is part of what makes it so delectable. Bring on the Christmas treats I say!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Last night I was in Sydney for the U2 concert. It might be un-Australian of me, but I'm just not a fan of Sydney. Actually I'm really not a fan of big cities in general. The traffic, the crowds, the pollution and noise. Sure I happily go there for events, special shopping or family things and there is funky stuff there that I can't get at home. But every time I do visit Sydney, I appreciate my hometown of Canberra just that little bit more.

People bash Canberra all the time. It's boring, it's full of politicians, etc. I, however, love Canberra. As I drove back into our wide, tree lined streets, negotiated the few cars which we laughably call traffic and took deep lungfuls of fresh air, I felt that deep sense of contentment which can only come from being home.

This is a beautiful city. Easy to live in, it far from boring and for me, filled with the best things in life, my family and friends. Ahh to be home is to be happy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Another week, another concert

So last week I wrote about how in the 90's I reverted to music of the 60's and 70's. But it isn't true to say that I didn't like any of the current music of my teenage years. There was one band that I really loved - U2.

Seeing U2 live has been on my bucket list for as long as I've had one, and in 2006 I managed to get to their Vertigo concert. It was fantastic and as we left, my best friend commented that now I could cross that one off my list. My reply however was "but I want to go again!"

Tonight was that opportunity. With a bunch of friends, I headed to see the amazing 360 tour. The thing with a U2 concert is that you just know it is going to be spectacular, they do not disappoint, and the "claw" at the centre of this tour is unbelievably cool. The crowd were amazing. Several times Bono stopped singing and took ouut his ear pieces to hear the sound of the people and you could tell they had a brilliant time.

Sorry to keep using the word amazing but it really was just the epitome of amazing.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Just wait one cherry pickin minute

I've written before about how much I love birds, and how my parents garden is an absolute haven for them.

A large part of the backyard is an informal orchard. In the orchard are two cherry trees. The original one was planted by my parents. It is grafted with a couple of cherry varieties and is carefully protected under a large bird net to make sure we get to eat them. The other is a self-sown child of the original tree. Now very large it also gets covered in cherries, but they are tart and not nearly as juicy, so it is left uncovered for the birds to feast on.

As it has grown, it has developed one, almost horizontal branch with very few leaves. This makes it the ideal bird perch. Today I watched a rosella systematically picking a cherry, climbing the tree to the perch branch where it would then sit to enjoy its treat. When finished, it would toddle off to a cluster of cherries and repeat the process. It was so cute.

Are you ready to roll...

Tonight I went to the Roller Derby. I had only the vaguest idea of what it was, something about skimpy dressed women on roller skates, biffing it up. However I felt there was probably more to the story given its huge popularity.

And there was. It is a really exciting, fun to watch spectacle. The girls are amazingly talented skaters, there is a load of tactics involved, they all obviously train really hard and it is engrossing to watch. Add to that a fantastically camp 80's tribute band at half time and that was one of the best spent $20 of my life!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Back of the drawer

So possibly this indicates that I have too many clothes, but every now and then I find something tucked in the back of a drawer or the cupboard that I had completely forgotten I owned. This morning was one of those days. I was looking for a black top and grabbed a random bit of black fabric only to pull out a surpise! I honestly cannot remember when I got this top, but I really like it - which is probably why I bought it in the first place.

Finding something like that is the best kind of surprise, a bit like finding money under the car seat, it is manna from heaven. While it has always been yours, was hard earned and carefully considered, finding it again after your brain has so effectively wiped the memory of it is just like getting something for free.

It was a very pleasant way to start the day.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

We'll all be rooned

Dorothea Mackellar had it right when she said Australia is a land "of drought and flooding rains". After years of drought, the dams are full to overflowing and there are floods everywhere. While flooding is never good, there has been a hum of nervous excitement around town accompanied by the photos of the flood in Queanbeyan. Hundreds of people have turned out to look, several of my colleagues I suspect were heading off to check out the overflowing scrivinner dam after work.

But all of this crazy extreme weather just reminds me of a fantastic poem, Said Hanrahan. I've found it online for you, I don't think anything else could quite express the situation like John O'Brien's 1921 poem.



"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
In accents most forlorn,
Outside the church, ere Mass began,
One frosty Sunday morn.

The congregation stood about,
Coat-collars to the ears,
And talked of stock, and crops, and drought,
As it had done for years.

"It's looking crook," said Daniel Croke;
"Bedad, it's cruke, me lad,
For never since the banks went broke
Has seasons been so bad."

"It's dry, all right," said young O'Neil,
With which astute remark
He squatted down upon his heel
And chewed a piece of bark.

And so around the chorus ran
"It's keepin' dry, no doubt."
"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
"Before the year is out."

"The crops are done; ye'll have your work
To save one bag of grain;
From here way out to Back-o'-Bourke
They're singin' out for rain.

"They're singin' out for rain," he said,
"And all the tanks are dry."
The congregation scratched its head,
And gazed around the sky.

"There won't be grass, in any case,
Enough to feed an ass;
There's not a blade on Casey's place
As I came down to Mass."

"If rain don't come this month," said Dan,
And cleared his throat to speak -
"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
"If rain don't come this week."

A heavy silence seemed to steal
On all at this remark;
And each man squatted on his heel,
And chewed a piece of bark.

"We want an inch of rain, we do,"
O'Neil observed at last;
But Croke "maintained" we wanted two
To put the danger past.

"If we don't get three inches, man,
Or four to break this drought,
We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
"Before the year is out."

In God's good time down came the rain;
And all the afternoon
On iron roof and window-pane
It drummed a homely tune.

And through the night it pattered still,
And lightsome, gladsome elves
On dripping spout and window-sill
Kept talking to themselves.

It pelted, pelted all day long,
A-singing at its work,
Till every heart took up the song
Way out to Back-o'-Bourke.

And every creek a banker ran,
And dams filled overtop;
"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
"If this rain doesn't stop."

And stop it did, in God's good time;
And spring came in to fold
A mantle o'er the hills sublime
Of green and pink and gold.

And days went by on dancing feet,
With harvest-hopes immense,
And laughing eyes beheld the wheat
Nid-nodding o'er the fence.

And, oh, the smiles on every face,
As happy lad and lass
Through grass knee-deep on Casey's place
Went riding down to Mass.

While round the church in clothes genteel
Discoursed the men of mark,
And each man squatted on his heel,
And chewed his piece of bark.

"There'll be bush-fires for sure, me man,
There will, without a doubt;
We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
"Before the year is out."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On the road again

A few weeks ago I had a little bingle in my car. Nothing serious but enough that it had to spend a few days at a garage being fixed.

I love to drive and I'm really very independent, so having no car for the first time since I was 18 was a bit of a shock to the system. It wasn't an issue as I'm surrounded by helpful family and friends but I still feel overlly guilty about putting someone out for me.

Last night the car was fixed so today I was back behind the wheel. Oh the joy of the freedom! It reminds me of getting my licence for the first time all those years ago. Driving is something I will never take for granted.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Travelling is a great excuse for eating badly. Too much fat, salt and sugar in all sorts of tasty or convenient forms.

So when I get home, all I want is veggies. A big bowl of stirfried yummy healthiness. I like to head to the market, buy anything and everything which is really fresh and cook it quickly. I can feel my body relish the fresh, healthy food. Yum!

The Eagles - Part Two

When I was a teenager, grunge ruled. Cool equated to baggy pants, flannelet shirts, loads of eyeliner. I was not cool. Grunge was not and would never be my world. It isn't that I don't appreciate it, it is just not what lifts my spirit ... which I guess was the point, but I was never a depressive teenager.

So faced with all that angst I just retreated 30 years and found the 60's and 70's. When rock was young, when melody and lyrics were as important as each other. The music was beautiful sometimes massively complex, sometimes deceptively simple. My CD player was filled with the Beatles (I prefer them to the Stones - feel free to engage me in discussion as to why), Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Animals, Herman's Hermits, Cat Stephens, The Doors, Daddy Cool, the list goes on. I can pretty much recite all 18 minutes of "Alice's Restaurant" by Arlo Guthrie, give me a movie soundtrack from the era and I will sing along. I was definitely a teenager in the wrong era.

Now there is only one problem with my music tastes, it doesn't really make for many live music opportunities, but last night I got to live the dream, I saw the EAGLES!!!

The Eagles have long been one of my favourites. Made up of enormous talents, the sum of their parts is so much greater. They manage to tread a line that could almost end up country but stays so cool and unique, you couldn't imagine anyone else quite pulling it off.

They have a truly amazing catalogue of songs and even played some of Don Henley's solo stuff, however the moment I was most waiting for (and it is a cliche, I do know) was the first notes of Hotel California. It is such an iconic song, it must be a difficult choice for them about where they put it in a set. Last night it was the third song and they began it with the long trumpet intro. It was unbelievably good live - I actually shed a tear it was that good, but also because for me that song is my special car song that I listen to with my Dad and it was phenomenal hearing it with him.

A friend of mine is a massive Eagles fan, so I rang her and held the phone up so she could hear it down the line. I think she was thrilled, but I couldn't hear her over the roar of the crowd. I was sorry that my phone battery was dying and I couldn't let her listen to the rest of the concert.

I went to the concert with Mum and Dad - it was my Mum's first rock concert! What an introduction to the concert scene. It is one concert I will never forget.

The Eagles - part 1

I was at the Eagles tonight. It was truly cool but is very late - more tomorrow.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Nanna Nap

I am a fan of the nanna nap. I could easily exist in place where the siesta forms a part of daily life.

Of course, life is usually too busy to accommodate an afternoon nap, but today I worked hard cleaning the house and by 2pm, all was spick and span and I was ready to curl up on the couch for an hour or so.

It really is the ultimate luxury. Just to stretch out and nap away the afternoon. I arose feeling all refreshed and had a busy, productive afternoon.

I vote for more siestas!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dance like no-one is watching

I love to dance and I generally dance with partners. I also love music and have days worth on my iPod organised into playlists by mood. It is rare for me not to have music playing if I'm home and some days the music really speaks to me. I find myself dancing, swaying and spinning to the music, almost unconsciously by myself about my lounge room.

There is something almost indescribably about how good it feels to lose yourself in movement to the music. I cease to think about anything, except for how my body feels responding to the lifts, the lows, swells and hits in the music. I dance for the feeling, not for an audience, I dance in response to how the music makes me feel, I dance for me.

I feel as graceful as a ballarina who has trained her whole life. Goodness knows what I look like, it doesn't matter. It is the experience of being swept away, abandoning myself to the music.

Today has been a dance day, even in the course of writing this blog a couple of good songs have played and pulled me away from the computer. It is a joy that I hope to continue to experience my whole life. And now if you will excuse me, the music is playing and I need to dance to this song.

Friday, December 3, 2010

After the rain

It has rained, boy has it rained. Facebook is full of references to the arc, streets have been flooded, houses inundated. But for the first time in who knows how long, definitely since long before we started paying attention, today the dams are 100% full.

And as if to celebrate, this afternoon the clouds parted and the sun streamed down. All the rain nourished plants glowed luminous green. The flowers lifted their heads which had been weighed with water and beamed colour, the air is warm and humid and so clear and clean.

In the distance bulbous clouds, white and grey still hang, full of promise in the air, but between them, the clear blue sky and the warm afternoon sun showed what a beautiful summer there is to come.

What a sight to behold!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Surprise - it is a free scarf!

We all know that I love something free, I also love surprises and I am slightly obsessed with scarves - so what could be better that a free surprise scarf! I know, really, does life get much better?

This is an original Larry Kazmerski design. If you are are struggling to remember a designer by that name, shift your thinking from fashion to solar power. That's right, Larry is one of the solar power industry's luminaries but every year for something like 30 years he has designed a scarf and tie that he gives away as gifts. People apparently hoard them and they are a real collectible for solar geeks.

And now I have one. Aren't the colours brilliant? It really looks fabulous on, several people not in the know about its solar significance have commented on its fashion worthiness. Now I just need to work on my strategy to continue to receive one each year!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Taking a breath

I've had a bit of a stressful day. Delayed flights, led to tense waiting, rushing to get where I needed to be, fitting too much into not enough time.

But as I rushed very late from the airport to my business engagement, I took a moment to stop and take a deep breath. The rain had finally stopped and I paused beneath a gum tree, heavy with blossom. The rain had brought out the deep, cleansing scent of the tree and it filled my head with a calm that had been missing.

It was a great moment to stop and get some perspective on a frustrating day and I entered the event in a good frame of mind and without the tension that had filled the day.