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.
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!
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?
This vision of summer with dappled clouds gives a hint of a breeze on a beautiful afternoon with softened sunlight. These are the times to be outside and luxuriating in the calm surroundings. It encourages you to stop and use all your senses to appreciate the present. A deep breath will confirm that all is real and worth pausing to admire. The atmosphere is relaxed, with nothing rushing past; not the birds, not the people, and definitely not the weather. Not even you.
When this happens a modicum of idleness is in order. These delightful moments are to be savored for the cooler months and the crazier times. As summer draws to a close this week, get out there and soak up some summer laziness.
It’s good to be home. Sometimes we don’t see it, but home has so many everyday touchstones that we only miss when we are away.
To sleep in your own bed again is serenity. The pillows are just right, the sheets and doona are a known quantity, even the orientation provides a level of comfort. The sunlight in the house comes from the right quarter. The smells are identifiable. The freedom to relax and flop in your favourite armchair is bliss. Not only have I come back to a world which includes Vegemite and the metric system, but I have come home to accustomed flavours of drinks and dressings and recognisable food.
With fresh eyes, I notice the minute changes in the seasons as Spring takes hold. The bursting blossoms have given way to the feathers of emerging green. The overnight temperatures no longer require a nighttime beanie to keep my head warm (fashion victim!). The sun is up before I leave for work. The changes are subtle and distinct yet familiar, and promote thoughts of warmer days to come. We don’t see the routine things until they are not there. So open your eyes to your surroundings and enjoy the cosiness and sense of belonging they impart.
We all have tough days, but there is a mateship borne of Australia. We care about each other. We care about all the people in our lives. Sometimes “life” gets a bit too frantic, but there are always people who care. Friends, family or our special someone: people just need a simple question to know that someone cares for them or about them. It is good to be on the receiving end of the question, but it’s also good to do the asking, and just listen to the response. That’s all it takes. “R U OK?”
I’m okay! and I’m heartened to know that there is an organisation out there that cares about all of us. They care enough to create awareness and momentum, to provide tips and tools, and resources if needed. This simple question has begun to change lives for the better. Today is R U OK? Day. Make sure you share the good feeling and ask someone today if they are okay, then try it again tomorrow and the next day … You’ll be surprised at how rich your own life becomes.
One of the more decadent things to do is to crawl back into bed after you wake up in the morning. The space is still warm from your slumber and you can snuggle into the comfort of your doona. It’s your choice whether you snooze or read a book or watch the TV. The pleasure of this simple exercise bestows the knowledge that you don’t have to be anywhere or do anything. Your time is your own.
I have been known to declare a ‘jarmy’ day where the traditional observance is to remain in your pajamas all day, thus ensuring you don’t actually go anywhere. The day is spent in simple pursuits of napping, reading or binge watching Netflix. It’s a slow down from the pace of everyday life; reconnecting with yourself, allowing yourself time in this hectic age. Friends think I’m a bit outrageous indulging as I do. Admittedly, I choose to indulge more frequently than most for my own sanity. So it does feels even better to be vindicated. There is an actual National Pajama Day on 21st July. Let’s mark our calendars and take the time afforded us to appreciate the simple things. Happy Pajama Day to all!
It’s those little things that take us back to our childhood. Reading a dinner menu, I came across a pork dish, with an accompanying apple-based sauce. I just had to have it. The dish was like nothing I’d had before, a bit fancy and full of flavours, cooking techniques and jargon: a pork chop, a balsamic jus, an apple reduction, crispy bacon bits, confit mushrooms, garlic mash potato, deep fried carrot string and a sprinkling of micro-herbs on top. But to me, this was a simple dish – think 1940’s Humphrey Bogart – it was a plate of “porkshops and appleshauce”.
This pronunciation was made famous by Peter Brady of the Brady Bunch staple TV show. My sister and I used to say “porkshops and appleshauce” over and over again to each other in the 1970’s (a long time ago). Yes, confession – we watched the Brady Bunch. So this fancy innocuous dish transported me back several decades to two kids impersonating Peter Brady impersonating Bogart until the laughter takes over and we can’t speak anymore . Here is a snippet of Peter Brady immortalizing the phrase for all time.
Happy Chinese New Year! Always a fun time with fireworks, lots of yummy food and the dancing dragons. Everyone is upbeat, smiling and catching up with family. Yum Cha is especially good at this time of year because of the bustle and pace of the restaurants. So if you get a chance book in for a session and absorb the spirit of the celebration along with the food.
This year is the year of the Rooster. The Chinese zodiac comes around every 12 years. I’m a Rooster so this is my year! As an Earth Rooster I am lovely, generous and trustworthy. Always the positive reinforcement so look up what animal you are and see your good qualities. When your animal year comes around, it apparently brings bad luck. One in twelve is not so bad, but it can be avoided for those superstitious types. Red is the universal panacea to the Chinese. It brings good luck, it protects your house and it even has Feng Sui applications. It is even more potent when given by an elder relative – you know who you are, so I’ll be expecting something Red in order to survive this year 🙂
The title is a little longer than normal, but the journey was longer than normal too. Today, I received my certificate and academic transcript for the recent bout of study undertaken. This had morphed through three different courses and two separate institutions, but I got there in the end. As they say, anything worth doing …
And what a ride with lots of good new information and concepts including a few lateral thinking challenges. My thinking is normally very linear and logical for a scientist and stretching my boundaries to the creative was a worthy goal. It enabled me to see and understand another rarely seen side of me, as well as meet like-minded individuals with which to share the journey.
As per usual, I would encourage anyone to see if they can’t discover another side of themselves and mine the rich environment for creating a greater-than-the-original version of oneself in which to pursue this mortal life. Diversity and expanding boundaries brings a richness with which to enjoy it all. So what are we going to do now? What is the next adventure?