Sunday, 15 November 2015


Feeling the world as deeply as I do, I am devastated about the carnage those disaffected, misguided and violent men who make up ISIS have wreaked upon us all in recent days. The murder and havoc in Baghdad, Beirut and Paris in particular. I've been active on social media this morning and wish to share my thoughts wider than my circle of friends, and their friends. So here I am, sharing some of my beliefs, thoughts and refections.

Reflections about peace, tolerance, harmony, good people overcoming those who would do damage. Forgiveness and a view of people as people, individuals with families who love each other, parents who want the very best for their children. No matter their culture, race, religion, no matter where they live in our world. The extinction of 'other'.

'Other', the 'them' and 'us' mentality, feeds the people who are ISIS. The more we are 'we' and learn about and celebrate our similarities and differences, the greater chance we have of defeating violence and terrorism. Tolerance will take away the recruits. Tolerance and an understanding of each other should mean that young men are not so able to be disaffected because they are understood and honoured for who they are. Not just young Muslim men, young men everywhere.

I think of the many peaceful people in the world as 'us'. The people who conduct mass shootings in the USA in the name of Christianity; people who kill in the name of Islam; those who supply the arms that enable both to happen, governments who profit from war. They are 'them'. I wonder if people forget in these times that the peaceful 'us' is very much the majority.

I read somewhere that there are around 31,000 people fighting as ISIS. Given there are over 1.6 billion Muslims in our world, it would be a stretch to say these people represent the majority. Indeed, how could 0.0019% of the world's total Muslim population represent all Muslims? Certainly not the lovely, peaceful families I know personally. Families with aspirations for their children that are far removed from losing them in this devastatingly violent way.

Then there seems to be the belief that Muslims are required to apologise for the havoc this minority cause, the belief that all Muslims are responsible, even those who are fleeing to escape the indiscriminate violence in their own countries. Leaving all they know, their homes and economic bases to find peace with their children. Where are the apologies from other world religions when a non-Muslim kills in the name of their religion, the apologies from governments who make war on civilians and the arms dealers who profit from all of this?

What if all the arms in the world were destroyed or there was no profit in war? Wouldn't that be a world we could all enjoy.

The media play a role in perpetuating the drama and hate, especially these days with such instant coverage and the sensationalising that happens. The media being controlled as they are to show part of a story. To feed the cult of the other. There has been terrorism from a variety of causes, including religions, internationally and within nations, for generations. The crusades were religious terrorism, the persecution of Jewish people, the PKK, the Basque unrest. Too many to mention here.

I do hope those wanting their homelands free of oppression, being able to rule themselves and live in peace, may have their causes are highlighted when they fight against ISIS. I do worry that other news is being pushed from the public's consciousness, such as the atrocities and terrorism perpetrated by Israel on the Palestinians. What a world we live in, when will it settle?

This evening I feel sad, watching the stories on the news, only from Paris. Lest we forget Baghdad and Beirut where families are also suffering. Families who want just what families want all over the world, a better life for their children. Lets work on that. All of 'we'.

Somewhere over the rainbow.....

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Blue Mountains

My recent trip to the Blue Mountains provided me with lots of places to play with waterfalls. It's such a beautiful place, expansive views all with the blue haze that gave these hills their name. The eucalyptus oil burning off the trees in the sun. 

I really enjoyed getting out walking, although it was teeming with people on most of the trails. I found the big shots a bit difficult with the mix of haze, light and shadows so have added some water shots here. I have a great series of the two women enjoying that waterfall, wish I knew who they were so I could share them. 

I couldn't believe how close the Blue Mountains are to Sydney yet how different. Once again AirBnb came to the party with the best apartment, so close to everything yet so peaceful. I had another moment of being glad to be from Aotearoa. There was a wonderful band playing at the Station Bar in Katoomba. A lovely bunch of guys with a variety of instruments and that NZ funk sound I so enjoy. They chatted with us during their breaks, seems they love do Fat Freddies and others. 

The pizza was the best I've had in a very long while as well. I was starving after a day out exploring and ready to enjoy some music and dancing. 

The sun playing havoc with the Wentworth Falls

Cooling off

In the cool of the trail

Sunday, 8 November 2015

It's November? How did that happen!

For the first time ever, I've missed a month. That's right, no entries for October. The reasons are many, probably the main one the demands of writing for a job and not just for pleasure. A bit like someone who loves to cook becoming a chef with the demands of the public. My demands have been deadlines and a variety of topics I've needed to research in this new place. Somehow after being on a computer all day creatively writing and preparing presentations means I'm not as keen to do the same at home.

I've also been out and about. A lot. So busy doing I don't get as much time to write about it. Sailing has been interesting, a whole day Sunday commitment. I tried out for a racing team, a serious one, and decided I didn't want to commit to the time it would take, plus there was yelling and I'm a bit over that. It was a hectic sail and yelling was needed once or twice.

Sailing in regattas on Australia One and working with the 12 Metre club to do some promotional work and fund raising is more up my ally. Enjoyable sailing, meeting lots of different people out enjoying the water. There may be twilight sailing too, a great Friday night activity. There's just so much to do in this big ciy of small villages.

My lease runs out soon, I've been here six months already, and need to decide where I want to be. Really love this location so will stay if I can. I managed a long weekend in the Blue Mountains and took some great pics I'll share here soon. This weekend I'm in Brisbane getting some much needed whanau (family) time with two small ones. Amazing how much they change and grow in a few months.

The youngest is awake now, couch time is over and playtime about to being. All is well in my world.