Catch Up with A Mate Month 2018

Catch Up with A Mate Month turns Seven!!

Catch Up with A Mate - Winter 2018

Catch Up with A Mate – Winter 2018

Hard to believe that 2555 days ago I decided that in June of each year I would devote my attention and time to fostering friendships, with old and new friends alike.

It was with nostalgia that I looked over the stories from June, 2011. So lovely to be reminded in words and pictures of the people who light up my world. A tug at the heart-strings, missing from the celebrations will be my fur best friend Flora, a founding member of the friendship movement that began 2555 days ago.

Determined to honor her memory , I’m going to commit to writing a blog post each day. For a blogger whose commitment to writing can best be described as sporadic, that is going to be a tall ask!

But a certain reader remarked earlier this week, ‘Blog writing, you hardly do that anymore”… and well,  it got me fired up. The desire to write returning with vengeance of the ‘I’ll show you’ variety! There are stories to be told. About what, only time will tell. Its going to be an unforgettable, quite possibly unremarkable month.

Cannot wait to tell you about it!!

P.S For old times sake, why not take a look back to the month of  June 2011 – Catch Up With A Mate month in its infancy. Bless xx







Catch up with a Mate Month 2017

Out for dinner last night, a home cooked meal at a friend’s place,the conversation turning to my blog writing and the concept that each June I would embark on a month-long campaign of solid catch ups.

My friend asked ‘ How is Catch up with a Mate month going?’

‘ This is it in action!’ was my response ‘ You are part of it!’

Shared laughter – she had no idea!

I admit that in the seven years I have been writing this blog, some years with a steel gaze on June, an unwavering focus on catch ups with anyone and everyone, and some years, only noticing in August that I failed to celebrate friendship at all!

Truth be told – Catch up with a Mate month and the concept that shapes my writing, has cross pollinated, manifested into all aspects of the life I live. I no longer spend one month focused on friendship, it has become part of my everyday. My friends, family, loved one, pets are my world.

To honour all that is great about catching ups, to give you an idea of the person I am, the person I am becoming, the person I aspire to be….I came across this passage by Dr Brene Brown, an US based Research Professor in Social Work.

” I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:

I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go.

Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever.

Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”~ Brené Brown

A nice work email?

It is rare that I write such heart-felt accounts of my work day….but events of late have been inspiring and I have to share story.

Names have been removed to ‘protect’ identities!



I was thinking of you recently and I am sure you will enjoy this story so I will tell it in a bit of detail.

So I had this lovely student, whose listed on his internship application that he had a passion to get involved in the coffee industry – start up business – entrepreneurial etc.

He studied Finance and Supply Chain Management.Instantly I knew which partner to put him forward to – a dynamic dynamo of a site supervisor –  super fit, very attractive, a Bondi Hipster  running a very successful start-up that was shifting into the global marketplace.

The placement went well – very well.

Americans never say thank you for anything and this student thanked me – I was in shock! He also stated he could not have been offered a better internship and that he had been offered to work from the states for the company he had interned for. I was so happy.

On his last day in Sydney, I after I received his thank you email I took a moment to read his application again closely.I came across this line –

While I lean toward the introverted end of the spectrum, I get along well with people and enjoy hanging out. I just need some time to decompress every now and again.

Then it finally clicked for me – why this student almost recoiled every time I reached out to him over the semester!

My enthusiasm was killing him – it reminded me of working with you – I know there were times that I was just too much for you.

You see this student’s interest in the coffee business was a soft spot for me – with my love of café culture and my distant dream of café ownership. So I often would chat to this student with much enthusiasm about coffee shops around Sydney – asking him where he had been / what he impressed him / sending through my recommendations!! He would answer my questions whenever I cornered him – but with little excitement!!

And then I thought what an extremely challenging situation I had placed him in with his internship placement – a start-up business – with a high-flying entrepreneurial hot-shot who is seriously going places. For this introverted student just looking his site supervisor in the eye would have caused his blood pressure to rise.

Anyway, as the story goes, my student got a rave review from his site ‘ his work ethic was second to none’ was offered a job to work from the States, and in the same breath, the student thank me for setting it all up.

Why I am telling you this – this student  has by far been one of my favourite students – in 6 short weeks he made so many professional, more importantly I think – personal gains….and he reminded me of you.

It only hit me on Friday when I read his application closely and he described his introverted nature. A person very sure of himself, his strengths and areas that prove challenging – a very impressive young man, just like you!

So that is my tale for you today. I wanted to share it with you.

Kind regards



The Passing of Time

Catch Up with a Mate Month 2016

Can it really be five years since I declared that each year for the month of June, I would focus on family and friendship?

Time flies, creeps up on you, taps you on the shoulder and confirm the above statement as truth.

Five years have passed.


To honour the passing of time, as well as my commitment to family and friendship in June, I returned to the Sydney Opera Bar with Zen Master Kenneth.

It might have been five years between drinks at this delightful venue, but our friendship has stood the test of time. There has been lots of laughter, tears and general whinging about full time employment. Supportive phone calls, emails & lunch dates. There was also a very disappointing tiramisu birthday cake from China town….but time heals all wounds.

So cheers to enjoying our lives Mr Lowe, to the month of June and the promise of happy happy days with those I hold nearest and dearest.


Got you on my mind….Shi pow pow!

Sitting on the train to work today, looking out the window at the splendid beauty of Sydney harbour, I cross the bridge to North Sydney & this song popped into my head.

I was certain it was by Nineties ‘Hit Maker’ Haddoway…. but no, it was by ‘London Beat’ – How could I forget?!

Anyway, this song surfaced for I was thinking about family and friends, the many people scattered around the globe, and as I did I was smiled-

My mate, 5 years passed since he ‘called Australia home’….I think of him each time I venture to the inner west suburb of Marrickville to go to the gym. Marrickville is full of hipsters now, hip bars, hip cafes, hip everything…You should come back….With your beard you would fit right in!

Childhood friends I have not seen for over 20 years….and the catch up I am organising for May this year. Where has the time gone? What have we done with our lives since we last were in the same room together? Our brunch catch up is sure to set the record straight! We will meet new additions to family, partners and reacquaint ourselves with one another. We were a tight group in the late 80’s / early 90’s….2016 will surely cement our friendship once more.

A lunch date with girlfriends who have been part of my life…well….f.o.r.e.v.e.r. I can’t to have them all around the one table. Kids can play outside….there will be serious catching up to do!!

A family getaway….something I have tended to shy away from in the past. But 2016 is the year to embrace family (warts & all) and shack up with the parentals on the South Coast of NSW. Not too far away will be the brother, sister-in-law & niece. I cannot wait. And better still, in a town nearby, a friend I have not seen in close to 4 years- a long overdue phone call last week and a lunch date that weekend is now confirmed.

Yes, I have been doing a lot of thinking…about you…and at the same time, putting plans into action. Watch this space….. there is more on the horizon.

Welcome subscriber 104

Yes you! Welcome!

There is much to catch up on, almost five years of blog posts. I would not dare suggest you start on writing pieces from May 2011 though you are most welcome.

Knowing you as a person who treasures family and friends, art, culture, music and cats there are a few posts that come to mind that I am sure would wet your whistle, tickle your fancy, float your boat!! Please reach out to me if you want a heads up where to start looking, but can I suggest the following –

Cat Post

Family Post

Culture Post

How did you find me? What made you subscribe at precisely 9.13pm on Friday the 19th of February 2016? What was the reason that you hold the converted title of 104th subscriber to Catch up with a Mate.

Truly, none of these questions need be answered.
I am just glad you found me.

Welcome to my online musings, digital account of life lessons learnt, observations of inner city living and strange but true story telling.

You have arrived at the perfect time!! 9.13pm on Friday 18th February 2016 to be precise.

Catch up with a Mate Month June 2015

Where has the month of June gone?

Have I slept through most of it for it is as if I am awakening from a long slumber to find that tomorrow is the 1st of July.

Yes…June is well and truly on the way out.

And therefore I sit down to write about another Catch up with a Mate month of festivities….that wasn’t!!

When this blog began, I loudly and proudly proclaimed that each June would focus in on friendship, catching up with my nearest and dearest, making the most of my time to reconnect with those most precious to me.

In 2014 I failed to acknowledge the month of June had happened at all….it was September till I bothered to flip the calendar over to February!
In 2015, a marginal improvement….celebrating and reflecting on all that is fabulous about friendship today and only today.

But seriously, I think my focus on an intense month of friendship in the early years of this blog has caused a ripple effect….my focus has broadened.

Friendship and family, pets , creative pursuits and passions, nature, coffee…all the good stuff has become a focal point of the everyday, not just the month of June.

Friendship is a wonderful thing

Friendship is a wonderful thing

Being a human is hard, focus on the fun stuff and with certainty you will encounter grief, sadness, anger, resentment….

But with certainty I can say I would not have it any other way.

So to 2015 Catch Up with a Mate Month…it has been a blast, not different from the 31st of May or god willing, the 1st of July.

Summer Sound Track 2014

It appears that each Summer I have a pre-destined musical soundtrack to accompany the season of sun, sand, sea and general good times.

Last year, the that honour went to the divine Ms Jessica Mauboy and her album ‘Beautiful’. The song that accompanied me on countless visits to the beach was ‘Pop a Bottle ( Of your Love). I could not get enough of this song…..Come Summer 2014 however, a new beat is in need.

And it so happens that the Summer 2014 soundtrack is set to be another Australian Idol winner, Mr Guy Sebastian. I realise this admission could lead to a decline in readership, with people questioning my taste in music in general, but I am not bothered.

I want the sounds of summer to be carefree and fun….good beats, strong base and super fine vocals….Mr Sebastian fits that bill perfectly…..

During the year 2014 I have seen an eclectic mix of musical performances….The incomprable Ms Katy Steele at the Basement, Circular Quay, the breath-taking K T Tunstall  at the same venue in April. I saw the children’s group High 5 with my god-daughter Mae at the Enmore Theatre in July, and backed in up in September by seeing a the Super talented Australian Hip Hop act Horrowshow. I went to a classical music concert with my Dad at the Opera House in May and 2 weeks ago, saw pop sensation Katy Perry at All Phones Arena, Homebush.

And when all is said and done, I settle on the album ‘Maddess by Guy Sebastian as my summer sound track

Maddness you say? I just don’t care.

I ask you to indulge me, and take a moment to listen to Guy’s  song ‘Come home with me of said album’. To me, it is summer in a song – carefree, joyous and fun.

Go on…. lighten up, take a listen and just enjoy!!

Related Post- Summer SoundTrack 2013

Hello Good-bye

A couple of months ago I met with a friend in a bar in Redfern, Sydney. It had been at least a year since we had caught up. So naturally one if the first questions was ‘ What’s been happening?’

His response caught me off guard, confused me, so I repeated back to him what I thought I had heard.

‘ You have been to the chiropractor? ‘

A smile crept across his face, ‘ No, I am moving to Cairo, Egypt’

Wasn’t expecting that!!

But having known this friend for 12 years it did not surprise me. This guy does not follow the well trodden path, rather the road less travelled. Probably why, despite being polar opposites in everything, we have remained friends.

A photo of photos of Aaron

A photo of photos of Aaron

I first met Aaron in 2002 whilst living in the Cowgate Tourist hostel, Edinburgh,Scotland. I was living in the staff quarters( though not an employee) when Aaron talked his way into a job as ‘Manager’. A cushy role that suited his lifestyle of beer drinking and chatting up women, I was lucky to find myself with a roof over my head, as once Aaron assumed his manager role, he enforced a ‘ NO Australia policy’ in staff living quarters. Desiring diversity, a preference for Spanish, French, Polish, German travellers took president over Aussie/ and  Kiwi (New Zealand) folk. There was ONE exception, if they were girls & good looking, regardless of nationality then they could stay in staff quarters ( Surely why I was kept on the books!!)

And the rest, as they say is history, 12 years of friendship, odd catch ups here and there…  12 good years none the less. The fact that he is moving away, to Cairo of all places, well that is just fantastic … For I will probably see more of him in Egypt than I do in Australia

And this relocation is for the most admirable of reasons….Love . Yes love with a girl who would have been granted permanent living arrangements at the Cowgate Tourist Hostel, Edinburgh instantly!!

And so on a school night this week, along with another fellow Cowgate Tourist Hostel alumni, Glenn, we toasted Aaron’s future Egyptian happiness….

Great company, fantastic memories and bright futures!! A night of hello and goodbyes, smiles and laughter.

12 years later, Aaron, Glenn and I

12 years later, Aaron, Glenn and I

The Last Supper- Catch up with a Mate June 2013

Catch up with a Mate Month, June, 2013 is over…..and this is the first blog post I have written about it.

But with good reason…I have been to busy doing the things that make my blog Catch up with a Mate: catching up with people.

For those of you have been following me for a while, or you might have stumbled across my writing for the very first timea breif history lesson, I started this blog back in May, 2011 with the intention of using it as a platform from which to use words to encourage friendship – What is this BLOG all ABOUT??

Like all blogs, I have diverted from the topic of friendship in my writing, but each in June of each year, I declare it Catch up with a Mate month, and my focus turns almost entirely to friendship.

So June, 2013- What happened?

  • I caught up with Interstate friends from Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland ( it just so happened that they where all visiting NSW in the month of June, what a lucky girl I am!!)
  • I caught up with friends in NSW, friends I have had in my life for many moons, friends I have collected since making the big move to Sydney 9 years ago, friends I formed whilst travelling the globe in 2001-2002…but when it all boils down to it, friends are friends, no matter how the bond is formed…and catch up with did!!
  • I met, held and hugged new babies….tiny, tiny people who will be part of my life from here on in

Where did these catch ups take place?

Small bars in Sydney, BBQ’s in Wollongong, a city South of Sydney, in Art Galleries and restaurants, movie theatres and cafes.

But conversations weren’t just limited to these venues, whilst they provided the frame-work for our catch ups, it was often on the walks to a venue, or whilst waiting at a bus stop or train station that our friendship really came to life- my companion and I would talk and talk, reminisce, laugh, shed a tear, voice our concerns or fears– friendship at its finest xx

What a month! Today is the 30th of June and I am spent! I lay in bed till 11am this morning…the month of June has taken a huge toll, all this catching up has left me tired, a have accrued a sleep dept that I doubt I will recover till May 2015!!

Yesterday was the last hurrah…I caught up with three friends at separate veneus, all with babies ( two brand new). That evening I hosted a dinner party ( the last supper)at which some of my favourite people in the whole world sat at table- my brother, my sister-in-law,my dear friend Miriam and her husband Luke.

The meal was simple- A main of  chicken parmigiana and roast vegetables and for dessert, sticky sate pudding with cream and ice-cream.

The highlight of the evening- hands down, the  conversation…. followed ever so closely by the BEST ever ANTIPASTO plate Miriam brought for entree ( three WHOLE plates for of ANTIPASTO delights) Note to self- ALWAYS ask MIM to cater!

So farewell Catch up with a Mate Month 2013…I need time off to recover, to recoup and refresh….June 2014 is only 12 months away!!


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