I am a princess

Just in case you missed it, there was a Royal wedding yesterday. Good Ol’ Harry got hitched to Meghan (the extra “h” makes her just a bit fancy). The wedding was a blend of Royalty and the everyday, past and present, British and American, and traditional and modern. Quite a balancing act when you throw in a bit of self-assured feminism, respect and sustainability, but I think Meghan pulled it off remarkably with the eyes of the world watching.

Every women is a princess and we should universally celebrate this fact. I attended a Princess Party for the wedding (and birthday party too) where we watched the pomp and ceremony, and indulged in some yummy morsels of finger food and champagne. There was a wonderful atmosphere of shared excitement, even at times where laughter replaced words as the only cathartic response possible. A most enjoyable way to pass a royal evening of fun with my fellow princesses and our tiaras. Dress up and make an occasion of sharing you inner princess whenever you can. Never lose sight of how truly special we all are.

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I tasted friendship

Yet again, another splendid affair from the MCC. Tasty canapes of unexpected flavours packed into bite-sized morsels paired with a glass of Bollinger. A great start, setting the bar very high. The following courses did not let me down either. Seasonal mushroom and truffle soup, roasted spatchcock, baked Camembert with Tasmanian old growth honeycomb, bread and butter pudding with spiced apple and chocolate truffles to finish. But amongst this culinary delight, something even better was going on.

I had invited three long-time friends from my High school days, two of whom are turning 50 this year. We have known each other for most of our lives, almost four decades and are still in touch, though not regularly and usually in one-on-ones when calendars and schedules allow. To have us all together in the one place was special and to feast on amazing cuisine whilst catching up was extraordinary. So any chance you can to combine great food with old friends – grab it, savor it, enjoy! You’ll come away richer every single time.

I have Breath

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A Q&A with Simon Baker and the two young stars of this movie was my indulgence this week. Simon has been an actor for many years and this movie was his directorial debut. The movie was based from a novel of the same name written by Tim Winton. Let me tell you – it was a wonderful experience. The vision of the waves, the coastline and the freedom of nature was stunning. It made me want to dive right in. For a story about pushing the limits of fear, friendship and nature itself; it excelled on many fronts.

Sometime we all need to challenge ourselves, push out own limits and boundaries. We can be the surfers of our very own waves of change in an ocean of acceptance. There is a moment and the thrill of being present when riding a wave, seeing the possibilities and surfing headlong to meet them. It is refreshing and a kind of awakening to new opportunities, akin to that of a brisk early morning ocean swim which gets your heart beating a little bit faster in anticipation and excitement of what is to come. So dive right in, and ride that wave!

I saw fish

Now that’s a fish! A greenback flounder otherwise known as Rhombosolea tapirina. A very cool sort of fish. It starts its life at about 5 mm long with an eye on either side of its head. At an early point in its juvenile life, one eye migrates across its head to join the other. It is known as a flat fish, because instead of swimming vertically in the water, it swims horizontally, at times lying flat on the sea bed. It is amazing the crazy things that nature gets away with. Starting life as one things and within a few days evolving to something else.

The pace of change is dramatic, which we can all relate to. The adaptations made by this fish are extreme and remind us all to be flexible in our own environments. We all have the freedom to be flexible and adapt. It is the evolutionary path of least resistance. So make life a little bit easier and remain open to change regardless of how crazy it can get. Embrace the change!

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I have fire

20180407_182452 (2)The radiant heat from a blazing fire takes you back to those camp fire days in your youth where friends and family would mill around or sit nearby in easy companionable silence. Intermittently someone would get up and poke the fire, or add a branch or log. The dynamics of the fire would change and we would all stare fascinated at the progress of the flames. These would range from tall and slender blazes, to the slow low pulsing of red coals, equally good for sausages or marshmallows.

This photo was a simple bit of fun at the outset of a fire, with an obligatory poke to manage the burning mass. The heat on my face was buffeted in waves, drying and tightening my skin. The simplicity of a fire and its hypnotic appeal provide a calming of the mind. It carves out a unique piece of time, whilst being indelibly imprinted on your mind. A blazing fire can create memory way points to other memories. What significant camp fires and camaraderie do you remember? Where do they lead you?

I touched the sky

The last vestiges of beautiful weather are to be enjoyed. I promised myself one last swim in the ocean before the cooler weather descends. The gentle waves at the surf beach are a feature of a morning swim before the wind and tides pick up. The breaking waves, stacking upon each other, stage the cold water in steps up your legs until it reaches your waist where it bobbles up and down tickling you incessantly. At this point you are forced to dive under and acclimatize your whole body at once, then break the surface giggling and gasping for air. The rude shock doesn’t last for long and then the weightless fun begins beyond the breaking waves.

Floating and drifting in the quite of the morning is peaceful, taking the opportunity to appreciate the view out to sea as well as the scenery back towards land. All the hills and trees look like you could reach out and touch them. You could almost play with the clouds between your outstretched fingers as you float looking up at the sky. These moments of fantasy are to be reveled in as they relax both the mind and the body. I will miss these early morning swims until the next turning of the earth around the sun.

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I tasted tea

A bit of pretty and a bit of perfect. What better way to spend an afternoon with the sisterhood. This decadent High Tea was found at the foot of the Dandenong mountains. Each morsel was delicate, delightful and delicious. The presentation detailed, exquisite and colourful. The tea was tasty and plentiful. Several tea options were available to match with the sweet or savory. Sometimes we need to stop and take the time to enjoy lovely company, food and conversation.

It is important to feather these activities into our lives. It keeps us grounded, sane and connected to the real world. We touch base and check in with our friends; it’s a two way street of benefit. It also adds a richness (not just a sugar hit) to your world that other people and experiences bring. Go ahead and make a calendar entry to catch up with friends in a novel way.

I heard colours

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I found myself in the country this week with a clear view of the horizon one evening. A friend mentioned to me that he had missed the sunsets when he lived in town. He has a point. Getting away from the metropolitan lights and the pace of city life allows for the leisurely appreciation of a simple sunset. The glorious slowness of the evolving colours with barely a sound to denote the passage of time is pure indulgence. The suspension of the real world for this feast for the soul provides perspective and calm for any situation. It is well worth the effort of planning a trip. Easter is around the corner and with a few days of downtime try to pencil in a sunset or two. You’ll be richer for the experience.

I smelt change

20180302_081803 (2) And just like that, the seasons change. Autumn has come with all its crunch and crispiness under foot. The big old trees, that shaded us and kept the sun at bay, are now showering us in their colours. The temperatures are a bit cooler providing a reprieve from the summer heat. The breeze is a bit stronger making those autumn leaves dance and swirl. The air is a bit brisker with hints of rain and earthy notes. The angle of the sun is moving more northerly, letting light in where once it was directly overhead.

It is time to get out and notice all those bits of difference as the palate of our world changes. Explore the transformation that the new season brings.

I saw woman

This week celebrated International Women’s Day. I was lucky enough to attend an event that acknowledged inclusion and diversity, not just women. So a new acronym abounds: “I&D”. “Diversity means that you are invited to the party, but inclusion means that you are asked to dance,” – Verna Myers. I heard some amazing speakers and wanted to share some quotes.

“Work is what you do, not where you go.” – Carl Wiese.
This theme was all about flexibility in the workplace. You don’t have to physically be at work, to get the job done, nor do you have to do it between 9am and 5pm. This simple paradigm opens up the potential for a larger and more diverse workforce.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
Benjamin Franklin’s spin on a Chinese proverb, which is one of the best reasons for inclusion.

“Decide that you want something more than you’re afraid of it.” – Holly Ransom.
This tidbit of how to get what you want was coupled with “recognizing what resistance looks like,” whether it is from within or without. Then you can make something special happen.