Monday, 26 December 2016

Oh no!

I can't believe I've not written since August! That's quite a few months with no comment on my life as it is, the places I've been and the people I've met. And believe me there's plenty of all those things happening at the moment, perhaps why there's been so little writing.

My new business is being quietly successful. No dipping into my savings to live so that's a huge bonus. Getting to work in a variety of workplaces supporting others to be the best they can be is my highlight. Coaching others to draw on their own resources and skills while adding value to these through readings and conversations. Always communication, the delight and the downfall.

Life revolves around communications. Open, honest communication. Respectful communication. Meeting of minds communication where one concept follows another. Where words of love and respect are spoken. Never wondering, just knowing that it's okay. This is my theme as 2016 draws to a close. All the practice I've had over the years culminating in strength I was unaware of.

Back to the going places. I wished to travel this year and it happened. Not to Vietnam or Cambodia as I had envisaged. An unexpected and sudden trip to Myanmar, formally Burma, to meet with a new travel companion. A compatible traveling companion who explored organically, trekked into the hills, ate locally and discovered temples.  Lots of temples. And met with lovely people along the way like the two Scottish lasses we managed to have a big night with in Bagan, the rain thundering down and Myanmar beer and travel stories.

What an adventure. The highlight was Inay Lake with it's fisherman and villages over the water. Bagan was interesting, we were a little templed out by the end of the day although the guided horse and carriage ride was fantastic. Bumping along the rough roads and wandering off to explore. We were both tired after the trek so leisure was needed.

Mandalay, oh the romance of the Road to Mandalay, was much like other cities. The locals enjoyed us two with an ear bud each listening to the rugby on our phone, beer in hand and cheers for the winning team. My team of course. The palace there was amazing, the temple on the hill and its dragonflies and the sunsets a photographers dream.

It's been a while since we came back, the beginning of November, and so much has happened since then. That's another story for another day. For now, here's some pics from our wonderful trip.

Water lilies - Mandalay

Amazing sunsets over the river - Mandalay

Skilled fisherman - Inlay Lake

Astounding pagodas, new and old - Inlay Lake. The sounds of the bells tinkling in the wind

Sunset catch - Inlay Lake

Drying leaves for Cheroots - Hills of Inlay Lake

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Wild life

I've had a few wildlife experiences lately. I got dive on the Great Barrier Reef when working up in Cairns, my first ever proper dive and oh what an amazing experience that was. Finding Nemo; watching the turtles dance; the bright coloured corals and the silky sea. I will go again, I've promised myself that Padi course for a while now. 

My home in Cairns came with two dogs. It's been a while since I walked dogs and they were patient with me. One took a fancy to my handbag goodies and disappeared with several coffee bags and lunch treats before I realised who the culprit was. She gave me those puppy dog eyes, too hard not to forgive. 

Kathryn decided feeding the birds on my balcony was a good idea. They flocked in for days and still come and tap on my window when they see me inside. These brightly coloured characters. 

Rosellas enjoying Kathryn


I was lying in bed this sunny Sunday morning thinking about all I have to be thankful for. I got to thinking about all I've learnt living in this big city, how I've grown, the people I've met and the experiences I'm having. The resilience I've further developed. This business of mine that's doing okay despite my nervousness at the start.

Thankful, there are so many ways. The joy of holding my fifth grandbaby a few hours after her birth, seeing her first bath, being there to support my son and  lovely daughter in law. Being grandma on the spot with the two and a half year old and five year old. What joy having small people with very cold feet sneak into my bed for a cuddle and some warmth. Reading bedtime stories, splashing bath times.

I'm so loving being so close to my family. The opportunity to spend regular, non jet lagged time with them so the little ones are happy to spend time with me and talk with me when we're apart. I watch with joy the photos posted on Facebook of our new addition and her sisters, joy because I was part of such a special event. A first for me.

Tomorrow I have the other two year old for the day. I'm looking forward to her caring play with her babies. Wandering to the park and babychino after. Girls missed my life in the first round and are such a joy this round. Then there's my eldest grandson, a budding rugby player wanting to follow in the footsteps of those All Blacks.

Things I have learnt in this big city; most people I meet are lovely, friendly and open to sharing their place. The food is divine, coffee fantastic in my small neighbourhood. And there's that word neighbourhood. Sydney, the big city of small villages. Right now I'm looking over the harbour from my desk, watching the wind on the water, the gently swaying yachts on their moorings, the sparkling sun. Last night it was the yellow moon rising. I know when I go out there will be people who smile and say hello, people who recognise and acknowledge each other as neighbours.

I owe a few friends a call, at the moment I'm in hermit mode regrouping after a stressful contract out of town. I wished to be somewhere else for my birthday, my wish took me to Gympie and the Sunshine Coast. Last time I was on the coast was in the early '90s, it's changed a lot since then. It was great to eat out and explore the night life, pisco sours and tapas at Machu Picchu on the strip was a worthy birthday celebration.

Driving again was great, I quite like having a car although it makes me lazy. Driving in Sydney is a treat if you know where you're going; are in approximately the right lane when you're close to needing to change direction; have a well charged phone; don't have a small child in her car seat who is hungry, thirsty, tired, grumpy, wanting something from the floor neither of you can reach. I've got wise to the phone thing and now have a portable charger.

Three of my lovely besties came for a visit from New Zealand recently. The four of us in my small place enjoying picking up where we left off. Lots of sightseeing, fun and laughter and of course much wine and food to celebrate. One had never been to Sydney, two hadn't been for many years so it was all new. They all had bucket lists. Next year our reunion will be in NZ, on an island in that part of the country I love so well.

I'm really procrastinating, enjoying the sun without having to do the work I need to settle to. I have writing to complete, courses for prospective teachers, and a strategic planning session to further develop. Later I suspect. Here's a pic from this lovely place, I've had my camera out so more will follow.

An evening ferry trip

Friday, 20 May 2016

New adventures

There's a reason I've been quiet here, I'm off on a new adventure and it's been a time and brain power sink for a few months now. An emotional sink too, the decision to take a risk and follow my heart and logic into a new venture. The decision is made, my last day at work is next Tuesday.

Collaborative Training Solutions is up and running with proposals invited from a couple of places already and ideas discussed with others. So many ideas and streams and possibilities. I've been humbled by the response from others, so very excited for me, encouraging and supportive. Leaving a well paying permanent job to set up on one's own is very scary and I've had moments of major panic. Those middle of the night 'oh what have I done' moments. As the lovely Renee would say 'this too shall pass' and it has.

I have three blogs on my new site. Ambitious I know, one of this weekend's jobs is to get some content flowing. And I will keep writing here, with pics, as I travel in this lovely country and beyond. Feedback is alway appreciated.

My main house, my other is just beyond

Saturday, 30 April 2016

One year

April has almost gone, how did that happen? I really haven't written much here lately, competing forces meaning my writing is going elsewhere. Change is in the wind, the first step is here. A new position at my current place of employment means writing shouldn't be so much a busman's holiday, as the saying goes. And today is a day to celebrate.

It's my one year anniversary in Sydney. One year since I packed up my life and headed across the ditch to this big city. To my fifth country. What a year it's been! I have much to reflect on, much more to be grateful for and much to anticipate. Today I'll be on this beautiful harbour sailing in the final race of the summer series. Sailing with some new friends and an old one re met many years later.

I've just come back from the best visit to see family. Enjoying a small boy, now 6, and his mum and dad. Being there for a birthday of the boy I used to bake special cakes for, for the first time in a while.  Coming home to cuddles from miss almost 2 who's at that independence age and feeling a bit under the weather. Next weekend is a special birthday in Brisbane. I'm hoping to make that too. Skype is amazing and getting to share the Brisbane crew with my elderly mother was such a treat.

So best I get moving on this the slowest of Saturday mornings. There's food to gather, gifts to post and an afternoon race to get to. 

Monday, 7 March 2016

Feel good February

We had a thing at work where we drew a name and had to provide one of our colleagues with something thoughtful so they felt good in February. My gift was small, the very thing my person wanted and lost at the christmas party gift giving do. Receive then someone can choose to take it and swap for theirs. I got water balloons and one of the kids there was keen to swap for that! So my person swapped and lost a packet of yummy Tim Tam biscuits, he got a pack from me in return. 

So others went all out. Baking, chocolate, flowers lots of thoughtful gifts that made everyone's day. Why do I write about this now? Well it got me reflecting on all I have to feel good about. The gifts that come to me during this life of mine I'm so enjoying. February brought some special gifts.

My lovelies from Brisbane are coming down to see me, all of them, all staying at my my little place. I'm so excited, it's a first ever. I usually visit them because of babies and cost and the ease of travel for me. I gave them airline vouchers for Christmas, the best gift ever. It's the littlest one's 2nd birthday while they're down too so we get to celebrate together, bonus. 

I finally upgraded my Mac to a new iMac, a bigger beastie that sits on my new table. It's the best, well it is now I've managed to sort the password stuff. Who knew. And my new table was a gift from Sam. A glass map of the world table I've coveted for a while. My keyboard sits down under, my screen between Asia and the USA. There's plenty of room for my stuff too, important when writing. And writing I am, a series of short stories so watch this space. 

I got to sail on Saturday, in a race, in a small boat like my old one and I loved it. I must have done okay too because I've been invited back. It was great to be out on the harbour with a responsive rig where the main sail has a micro trim. I was house sitting over on the north side and had a car for the weekend so managed to get out and about a bit. So back to the table. I picked it up on Thursday evening after burgers at Batch where the lovely staff made sure I had the best custom made burger. 

The plan was sound, I'd lift it out at mine, put it in the lift and take it to my place. Parking in that no parking zone I quickly realised that wasn't going to happen. So I did what any damsel in distress would do, i asked for help. Two lovely guys lifted the top out and into the foyer and off they went with bewildered smiles. It seems they didn't speak English very well and were here for the Mardi Gras. As I was scratching my head wondering what next, one of the lovely wait staff at one of my local restaurants came along. He was not only helpful, he gave me a history lesson of my building. About the nightclub and wild parties with celebs like the Beatles and Stones staying. 

This has turned into a ramble, it's late I ramble when it's late. One of the greatest gifts I am most thankful for are my lovely family and my friends. The silver and the gold. I loaned my home to one while I was housesitting and she enjoyed my place like I do. taking much needed time out to regroup after a difficult time. I'm ever thankful to those who include me like sailing friends DJ and Jacqui, hilarity on Saturday evening over wine and pizza. And as for the small ones, a never ending joy. 

It's March now, there's a feeling of anticipation and excitement in the air as I move towards my next adventure. Making haste slowly. Being wise with my choices.


Wednesday, 24 February 2016


Do I have such a deep mistrust of the things that happen in the USA that I'm not going to engage in some social research being conducted from there? It's firstly about using the web for population analysis. Fair enough I can see that might be useful and I may not have read further and just clicked through. Then I saw the next piece.

And I quote "studying the relationship between what you post on your weblog to your actual stances on issues, attributes about yourself and things that you do".

Actually as I'm re reading and writing I'm not sure it's as intrusive as I thought. For the record, here in this space, I only write about things I believe in. I advocate for those who by accident of birth are not as fortunate as me and my family and friends. Whose plight I feel deeply, the reason I drop out to recharge sometimes. 

Attributes about myself. I write to share news and views, amuse, entertain and generally keep in touch with people. This is a forum for shaing my photos too. And promoting places I've loved. I seldom bare my personal soul, those who know me well know this sensitive extrovert is a private person. That's not to say I'm not going to go there one day soon. Watch this space. 

So yes, I have now externally processed and suspect I might just take part. Kind of a little flattered to be asked, but don't tell anyone.