IN BETWEEN

For those in need of soulfood, inspiration, a good giggle

Graciously grateful…

Well, lovely readers, the literature I’ve read thus far indicates that 2018 will be the year we will actively step up our kindness, generosity and gratefulness. Well first up, let me tell you how grateful I am that you follow my blog and for your lovely comments both on the site and in person. Motivation to continue working on my wordsmith efforts.

For many of you, 2017 was a year you’d rather forget, and for a while I totally concurred. But why? What exactly had occurred that made me so willing to jump on that bandwagon?

Sure – dramatic changes at work made the daily gig a whole new challenge, yet we came through with a more efficient framework. Being the perpetual solo at group gigs made the heart a little tender, yet reinforced an appreciation for liberating independence. Succumbing to the most wicked flu in years, yet realising there are folk out there dealing with actual life threatening health issues.

Trawling through snaps from the year I suddenly realised that there were a lot more highlights than lows. In fact, I had rather a lot for which to be grateful. In the spirit of gratuitous oversharing, here’s my top 10 on the 2017 gratitude list:

Social Media:

Farewelling these two chaps – decision made to work in London and within one month they were gone, but not forgotten, thanks to social media. Enjoying my UK family’s winter during our sweltering summer via FaceTime. Cruising the Greek Islands on a vicarious vacation via friends’ Instagram feeds, or simply saying happy birthday through Messenger and FaceBook to make someone’s day. Thanks Pete & Mark and FB friends and fam.

Rebellion:

Visiting this wonderful woman, here with her son and daughter in law – her positivism despite her confinement an inspiration, her history rich with amazing experiences – and her demand for fish and chips over pureed vegetables wickedly rebellious. Thanks Jen, Ross and Mum Lyons.

The richness of family:

They say the family who plays together, stays together and this one’s a shining example. Here a surprise birthday and 50th anniversary celebration for the matriarch and patriarch of a family.  Over the years I’ve observed the guests of honour exercising their entrepreneurial chops while raising these kids, then nurturing their grandkids, plus the odd hanger’s on, into the fine tightly knit family they are today. Grateful for your guidance Pete, Lyn and fam, all of you! x

Food for the soul:

The GOMA for artistic brilliance – furry walls, Marvel comic heroes, giant sized women, fallen elephants. QPac for cultural fixes – The Play That Goes Wrong, Modern Citizens Oz Circus, Kinky Boots, the Pink Floyd ExperienceThe Kransky Sisters. The Tivoli for a Wa Wa Nee, Pseudo EchoHuman League blast from the 80’s. Grabbing movies with the Cheapskate Gang, so named for their love of 1/2 price Tuesday movies at the Blue Room, food and wine delivered directly to your seat, a lovely mid week ritual – all food for the soul.

Friendships old and new:

Catching up with this lot from a childhood in the rural 70’s –  the same fabulous school buddies, all of us just a tad older and wiser. Thank you Bill, Ian, Kenny, Di, Chris and Debra.

As well, for the many precious moments spent with loyal and loving friends over home cooked dinners – celebrating enduring friendships. You know who you are.

This lovely man:

Drives in the country, exploring markets and savouring new taste sensations.  Chilling with Netflix marathons, debating the meaning of life, the value of bitcoin, John Snow’s potential global dominance and fixing blocked drains – the lovely man providing the lesson that independence can, in fact, go hand in hand with love and companionship. Thank you JB.

My lifetime family:

A day’s worth of flights to celebrate Sis and her hubby’s birthdays in rural NSW,  a chance to reconnect with the whole lovingly dysfunctional family. Flying this Mum of mine up for a holiday to celebrate our July birthdays, a small appreciation for the woman who birthed me while just a teen, then left a husband that didn’t deserve her to raise me in the west – respect for her brilliant parenting and ‘can do’ attitude. Love you fam!

Playing dress-ups:

Getting my 70’s mojo on while revelling in another birthday celebration, this one for that crazy guy in the pink Zoot Suit, complete with mirror ball, cubed cheese and cocktail onion hedgehogs and a rocking 70’s play list to which I knew all the words – memory intact. Thanks David and Andrew and gang!

My daytime family:

Having fun with the team, most of whom have been right there beside me for years, our well oiled machine dedicated to our purpose – making a difference in people’s lives. I’m eternally grateful for their expertise, guidance, friendship and support Julie, Carly, Danielle, Kellie, Deb and Maree.

Cheap flights

Melbourne to celebrate another dear friend’s birthday with these guys. Yo! Stewie & Clinton, Tab and Iain.

Hay for Christmas with family.

Sydney for New Year fireworks with the guys below – all serving as a reminder of the love for my family; of lasting friendships – and the joyful value of sharing all life has to offer.

Grateful indeed!

Happy Christmas lovely readers!

Hi there my beloved festive folk (and not so festive too)! Don’t know about you but I’m ready to slip away from the Christmas mayhem to a quiet Bora Bora beach with a pile of books and a sweet wait-staff sporting crisp white attire, a large palm frond and crystal flutes brimming with Champagne. Instead I’m heading to Hay.

Where the hell is Hay I hear you ask? Well it’s a small rural NSW town wrapped around a critical service station somewhere between Dubbo and Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide. They do a damn fine nosh at that there servo. Just ask the Truckies and Grey Nomads!

It’s also the place where my Mamma resides. Where my siblings unite from said cities to wrap that Mamma in love and laughter. Perhaps a little bubble wrap too when she indulges in a wee glass of Baileys. Fairy lights, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, that famous Xmas pudding of hers, sparkling white wine, 40 decree temps…and family…in all its dysfunctional glory.

Enjoy your own family gatherings this Christmas lovely readers. Or that solitary beach retreat. Just don’t post pictures of those brightly coloured toenails against an azure blue ocean backdrop on Instagram for I may just be inclined to disown you. Happy Christmas!

Sparking F**king Joy here…

Hey there lovely readers, recently a girlfriend hung out at my place while a swarm of folk descended on hers to embark on a total spring clean. Now inspired by her fresh canvas she’s planning on having a monumental de-clutter. Good for her I said for there’s nothing better than an ‘out with the old and in with the new’ to start a new year.  Then I remembered my own attempts…aaargh! Of course I had taken to the blog to share my angst. Here’s a repost:

 Twelve months ago I embarked on an attempt to declutter my home and my heart. The urge always strikes when I’m desperate for change, for a new beginning. Conversations of late indicate a whole raft of you are also in need of a mental and physical purge. Well read on, giggle and possibly be inspired as I re-share the robust argument my head and heart had while acting on that aspiration…

‘My book will help you transform your home into a permanently clear and clutter-free space’ claimed Marie Kondo. Your book will transform my brain into a permanently traumatised cluster-f**k’ I retort.

I’ve been standing in my wardrobe holding items of clothing one by one, asking my heart IMG_9825‘Does this spark joy in your life?‘ while my head’s responding ‘You paid good money for that girlfriend so it damn well better!’ I’m already exhausted, and I haven’t even started perfecting the art of folding the remnants into sweet little ‘stand-ups’ for easy viewing yet. I need fortification. Pouring a glass of red while cranking up my fave Spotify playlist, I gave myself a stern pep talk – you’ve got this girl! 

Marie Kondo’s ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ has so far seen crates of excess clothing, kitchenware, and office detritus make it’s way to charities, recycle depots and the brilliant folk at ‘Dressed for Success’. Pretty pleased with myself for according to Kondo, ‘The KonMare way of curating your space to represent what’s important to you will clear your mind and make you much happier’. Wait? Curated space, yes. Clear mind? Nope! Still traumatised.

I turn to Sarah Knight’s ‘Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k’ a beautiful parody of Marie Kondo’s work. Self-help with an edge. Seems that wasting my time worrying about giving away that item I paid good money forIMG_9826 is taking up a whole damn raft of mental energy I could be using elsewhere. Taking her advice, I put said energy to good use by curating the content in the ‘F**k Barn’ that constitutes my brain.

Yep! I’ve now scripted polite ways of letting you know I no longer give a F**k – about your fund-raising requests or your incredible kale chip recipe or your horrible boss. Nope. I may just give one about your theory on John Snow’s resurrection, but definitely no F**ks given on your passion for Kardashians or the volume of Instagram followers you might have. Nein. Non.  Nada. Not a single one.

Sooo…am I concerned about that Gollum-like voice in my head whispering ‘nobody will like you‘? Nope. No F**ks given there either. As the subtitle states, this book’s a primer on “how to stop spending time you don’t have doing things you don’t want to do with people you don’t like”. Sorry-not-sorry Gollum. I’ve now prioritised the F**ks I do have to give – and I’m giving them to the people and things that matter most, direct from the sofa in my zen-like clutter free home.

In need of a declutter yourself? Both books a damn fine starter kit.

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