Go on you deserve it

Go on you deserve it

Is that phrase to blame for the obesity crisis and cotton wool parenting that has taken hold of the current generation of kids?

Is that phrase to blame for global warming, the great divide between rich and poor, famine, drought and consumer greed?

Well to scale it back I have had two interesting encounters with the phrase of late –

First

My beautiful friend Jess, having had the year from hell (yes, another one), did not get around to organising the kind of celebration she would have liked for her one year old daughter.

With valid reason too – major surgery x 2 , family commitments galore –  Irish Dancing lessons, swimming lessons and a weekly reading group commitment at her eldest daughter’s Kindergarten. A house hold to run, a young family to coordinate.

I get tired just recalling her to do list. So the 1st year old birthday party was postponed.

Indefinitely?

Who can say.

But when Jess announced this to me in one of our weekly phone chats, she paused mid conversation to talk directly nearly one year old Mollie ‘But you will have a party Ms Mollie…..because you deserve it’

I laughed and remarked ‘ What has Mollie done to deserve it Jess?’

Jess starting laughing too , the whole idea seemed absurd to us both.

‘Nothing really ‘

True that!!

Second

After a 7.30am personal training session  I felt like something nice for breakfast …..because, well I deserved it.

IMG_2322 (1)

I had my heart set on something sweet….and that craving was perfectly matched by the opportunity to purchase a ‘Nutella Latte’ at a new café in the city.

The menu read as follows ‘Nutella, expresso shot, frothed milk, whipped cream, chocolate flakes and Nutella drizzle’

As I ordered, I felt a sense of guilt having just busted my guts with weights, the dreaded sled of death and stomach crunches.

I relayed this to the Barista, they indulged me by saying ‘Oh, but go on, you deserve it’

I proceeded to order and consume the drink at great speed, but since this conversation I have been troubled by those three words: “You deserve it’

Did I REALLY? Isn’t it just a sentence to help people like me, who are lucky enough have funds to blow on ‘ Nutella Lattes’ , absolve guilt and indulge, indulge, indulge in unnecessary purchases and treats.

True that

On positive note – if you can’t smile at the site of your one year old daughter gleefully opening a birthday gift or sigh for joy as you lick the last of the Nutella goodness out of a latte glass, I have to ask ….what truly is the point of any of it?!

 

Like a moth to a flame…

Strolling through Camperdown Memorial Park last night on a balmy Spring evening, a familiar sound caught me off guard.

I stood transfixed, instantly transported to another place, another time….For a mere millisecond I lost all bearings.

And such is the effect of the music of Mr Daniel Johns.

I turned around in the direction of the sweet melody, and for a moment fully expected to see Mr Johns himself performing impromptu in the park.

Alas….it was not to be….The music was coming from a group of gothic glad youth, practicing a dance number to ‘ Surrender’, a bonus track on the ‘ Aerial Love’ EP.

It was a beautiful site to behold, one of many that evening that my eyes glanced over my way home after a day in the office.

I am  in LOVE with my new suburb, its people, the creatives that greet me each day and the musical sound track that takes hold as I begin yet another chapter of inner city living.

 

 

 

Takin’ the long way round.

Coming full circle, by takin’ the long way round.

To truly move forward, one must look back to realise how far along the journey they’ve come.

I am taken back to 2008, the very best & very worst of years.

Kindred spirits worked their magic and when the timing was just right, our paths crossed- Melle, KM, JK, work colleagues who are now life long friends. Strong, striking women helping to fill out an already exquisitely beautiful friendship circle, one that continues to expands with each passing year.

2008, the year my world turned upside down. My personal ground zero. Each year since has been excruciatingly hard, personally, professionally, spiritually, mentally….but true to form I took the long way round to recovery, slowly setting things back on track…..and I’m not done yet.

2008, the year I first heard ‘ The Dixie Chicks’ album ‘ Taking the Long Way Round’. The songs contain the raw anger, sadness and despair felt upon exercising their right to speak freely, opposing as they did the then American Government’s stance on war.

Thinking back to to 2008, this album was a gift. Three women singing, songs of self expression centred around a personal crisis. If I had been ready I would have identified with the hurt, anger and boundless compassion in their voices…..but I wasn’t able too…My time to let go, to truly let go and risk it all was only just unfolding….

‘Well I fought with a stranger and I meet myself

I opened my mouth and I heard myself

It can get pretty lonely when you show yourself

Guess I could have been easier in myself’

Takin the Long Way Round – Dixie Chicks

And I did it, the hard way, the only way, I took the long way round, the long long way round…. And my loving family and friends saw me through….the journey never truly ends, we just continue, side by side, a hell of a lot closer than before.

The Dixie Chicks sang way back then, eloquently about risk taking and the suffering it unleashes. But from the depth of pain, with the passing of time, comes an unwavering belief that one can meet challenges head-on, learn life lessons and the ability to love unconditionally.

Thank you Melle, KM & JK for coming into my life when I needed you most.

Thank you to the Dixie Chicks for recording an album that is forever close to my heart.

Change is in the Air

Change is in the air.

It has been a long, long  time coming.

And this year, it is happening for me on a variety of fronts: work, home…..love – not just yet.

Having never dealt well with change in the past, it is surprising how a new approach has brought about a new state of being ; a self-assuredness that was not there before, clarity, calmness, peace.

This time I have met the concept of change as I would a long-standing friend, welcoming it into my life with open doors.

This time change is my friend, and I am taking hold of its hand and trusting the direction it is taking me.

The decision to change in something I have wrestled with, it has not come easy, sleepless nights, endless conversations with parents who continue to provided unwavering support and counsel, as do my trusted friends. I have written pages of lists, weighing up pros and cons, I have spoken to experts about change, doctors, financial planners and career counsellors.

But in the end , it was my Father who got me across the finish line with the simplicity of a few words – ‘ Make a decision, stick to it ‘

And with those 6 words, all the angst, self-imposed worry, doubt and anguish dissipated….and I knew what I had to do.

Change is in the air…..

Friday Songs

For the last five years ‘ Friday Songs’ have appeared on my Facebook page in the form of a youtube clip

My Friday song represents me on that particular day, that week, in sound form.

I love picking my Friday songs….. Often I start  searching for the perfect tune in advance, other times I leave it to the last minute, stressing over which song to choose….and on the rare occasion the song chooses me, I am but a mere vessel for the music.

Music and memories….each song chosen is accompanied by a personal story, with its own emotional tone and imagery. Happy times spent by the sea, on dance floors at discos, travelling expeditions, Saturday morning ‘ Rage’ sessions.  Sad times, the loss of family, friends, childhood pets……Despair, elation, joy, anger…..my Friday Songs say so much.

Friday Songs… selecting them is a life affirming process for I  love the variety of music that represents the soundtrack of my life.

All my friends are Hipsters……

When did all my friends become Hipsters?

So Hip it hurts the eye!!

So Hip it hurts the eye!!

Or have I just become so liberal with the use of this word that I brand those nearest and dearest to me as forever ‘hip’!?

I like to think the second question is my stance on this global trend….My….friends…..are …..SERIOUSLY….cool.

Off the richter scale awesome, exuding a confidence and self-belief that money cannot buy. They are as precious to me as gem stones…..one of a kind, beautiful and unique. They shine.

Don’t get me wrong, my friends are human, they suffer from self-doubt, setbacks and life challenges a plenty….

But my mates are troupers…the kind of variety that when life serves them lemons….they make lemonade.

My friends are hipsters….and I love them dearly. xxx

Lambert…The Sheepish Lion

I have loved this cartoon since I was a little kid.
It is just plain childhood magic….and quite frankly being a grown up is boring from time to time.
So today, I took a stand, I watched Lambert the Sheepish Lion and instantly felt the joy of being 5 years old again.
May it have the same effect on you
xx

Merry Christmas

Catch up with a Mate has been a bit quiet of late.

The 12 Beaches of Christmas Campaign launched with gusto on the 2nd of December has dwindled…There are still 11 Beaches to review and only 6 days left in December. In hindsight, I should have probably stated at the beginning of the month that the reviews would reach readers in a single post, rating the beaches 12 to 1 in 500 words or less. Watch this space…that post IS coming!!

But today, todays post is about Christmas…all that is wonderful about friends, family, food, festivities and tradition.

What would the 25th of December be in my family without catching up with the wonderful Lee clan over a ham sandwich and a rum ball or three. With the arrival of children, new traditions have been added…the reading of Christmas bedtime stories, discussions of the toys that Santa will bring and impromptu Christmas dancing in lounge rooms.

And the Boyle family lunch, more ham, bad Christmas jokes – ‘Why was the lettuce blushing?’ ‘Because he saw the salad dressing!’, champagne and gift giving.

And tonight I will partake in something new, I am heading over to a friend’s place to join in their traditional board game night. What wonder awaits?

Ah, the joy of Christmas, the weird, the wonderful and the downright ordinariness of it all….

Merry Christmas to one and all

Morning Song : When Love Takes Over

Is it asking too much to insert song lyrics into a blog post and expect people to read it??!!

Well, hold onto your hats, for the 200th post in the Catch up with a Mate series, that is what I am doing.

I awoke this morning, and true to form, I walked over to my cd player and pressed play….expecting the soulful tune of Ms K.D Lang to herald in the morning. For seasoned readers, you will be aware that Ms Lang’s music has been played on high rotation in my home for the last 9 days.

K.D Lang Post to bring you up to speed

But not today…the tune that filled my tiny bed sit was David Guetta feat. Kelly Rowlands ‘ When Love Take Over’

And I just had to dance…right there and then at 6.23am, in my pyjama’s and bed hair….for I just LOVE this song!!

I connect to it…It makes me feel good….it forces me to be in the moment and be thankful for all that is good in this world.

Above all it speaks of love…and of late…that is all I want to hear about!!

It’s complicated, it always is, that’s just the way it goes
Feels like I’ve waited so long for this, I wonder if it shows?
Head under water now I can breath, it never felt so good.
‘Cause I can feel it coming over me I wouldn’t stop it if I could

When love takes over, yeah
You know you can’t deny
When love takes over, yeah
Cause something’s here tonight

Give me a reason I gotta know, do you feel it too ?
Can’t you see me here on overload, and this time I blame you…
Ohhh… Looking out for U to hold my hand, it feels like I could fall
Now love me right like I know you can, we could loose it all

 When love takes over, yeah
You know you can’t deny
When love takes over, yeah
Cause something’s here tonight

If only everyday could start with a song and dance..to welcome in a new day, new beginnings, new possibilities and opportunites to surround yourself with things you love.

If you could start each day to song, which would you choose and why??

I would just LOVE to know.

Unexpected Gifts…The Best Kind

A few weeks back I took a lunch break by myself.

I left the office uncertain of the direction I would take, where I where go, what I would do.

When I arrived some 20 minutes later at a charity shop on Broadway, Sydney…I knew this was where I was meant to be.

I had fun rummaging through clothes racks, eying dresses and tops up and down, before deciding on the purchase of a jade green denim skirt. I did not even try it on…I had faith it would fit me.

Whilst paying at the counter, the sales assistant informed me that clothing items with an orange tag where half the marked price. My skirt purchase came to a grand total of $3.00.

Feeling the need to offload a little more cash, I bent down and started looking through a stack of cd’s that where gathering dust.

As a kid who once owned a walk-man, listened to cassettes and did not get a mobile phone till 2003….I have always felts slightly behind these technologically advanced times.

I have not joined the Apple revolution, and whilst I no longer listen to cassettes…I am a cd girl through and through.

Rumour has it no one buys cd’s anymore…..music is downloaded, or uploaded, side swiped or something!!

The cd I was to buy was  Bic Runga’s second solo album of 2002  ‘ Beautiful Collision’….Yep ,10 years behind the times in getting into this particular jem…but when you listen exclusively to cd’s  you get used to being behind the times!

I had seen Bic sing in May of this year at Sydney City Recital Hall, and 6 years prior to that at the Basement, Sydney.

She is by far one of the most beautiful performers I have ever had the privileged of seeing live.

I had only ever purchased one of her cd’s, her debut album ‘ Sway’ in 1999, and I remember thinking at the concert in May of this year…it was time to acquire more of Bic’s tunes.

Sometimes, without trying too hard, things just happen, come to you….they appear out of no where…true gifts.

I was meant to wonder aimlessly that lunch break, through the tree-lined park, past a bakery and into that charity shop….all the stars had aligned, it might have taken 10 years, but on that particular day I was ready.

Ready to take on board lyrics and melodies that have since struck a chord with the place I currently find myself residing…a happy place, one of certainty, self-assuredness and beauty.

Listening for the Weather- Bic Runga

So I’m listening for the weather to predict the coming day
Leave all thought of expectation to the weather man
No it doesn’t really matter what it is he has to say
‘Cause tomorrows keep on blowing in from somewhere

All the people that I know in the apartments down below
Busy with their starring roles in their own tragedies

Sunlight sends you on your way
And those restless thoughts that cling to yesterday
Never be afraid of change

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