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.
This weeks’ indulgence was a trip to the Nova Cinema to see Ellipsis. I’ve always been a David Wenham fan, from lovable idiot in Gettin’ Square to tough and buff in 300. This time he is behind the camera as the director of a beautiful movie. A serendipitous meeting of two people and their awkward getting-to-know-you provides the merest narrative to this experimental work of visual richness. Jasper and Viv could be anyone and their stroll through the reality of Sydney is both whimsical and heart-warming.
A secondary story is woven in the background about a telephone repairman. His subtle story unfolds with minimal dialogue to tie in masterfully. The title was explained by Wenham in the Q&A afterwards, as an epiphany at a school meeting. An ellipsis is literally “…”, the three dots that move a story from one point to another skipping over the non-noteworthy, everyday mundane. But sometimes this is where the magic is found, the redemption and the renewal. Pay attention to the ellipses of your life, savour them, explore them but most of all enjoy them.
This week I got to swap a day of work for a day of play. I hung out with a baby which was lots of fun. Some think baby sitting is a chore, but see it from the baby’s perspective: someone new to play with, new adventures to discover, and boundaries to advance. The innate curiosity of a baby has them reaching for everything, tasting everything and doing the unexpected. If you want to see the world in a different light, choose a fresh frame of reference. Babies are always learning something new.
This particular little man was definitely into everything. The untrained [me] fell prey to grabbing the spoon and flicking food everywhere which was hilarious. Reading books takes on a whole new pace when someone else is turning the pages. There were even pauses where a flop on the mat gave a respite between adventures. Expanding family circles bring these unique opportunities, which just means there is more love to go around. Take the time to indulge your curiosity too.
Some girlfriends and I went to the National Gallery of Victoria on a Friday night. Sounds like a boring option, doesn’t it! But the trip was actually well worth it. We saw The House of Dior exhibition. The historic fashion, the colours, the fabrics, the styles, there was a lot to take in. The elegance of the original Haute couture and the following 70 years of designs from 1947 to 2017. It was a visual feast of the beautiful and the practical, along side the weird and extreme. Some outfits were weighty – literally, others were delicate and simple. There were evening gowns, attire for all seasons, even wedding dresses.
The detail in this dress can easily be missed. Its simplicity has hidden grace. Look closely at the pattern of beading. The size of the repeating square pattern actually grows with the girth of the dress as it falls. Each row maintains the perfect symmetry of the square pattern. The number of columns does not change around the circumference of the dress. The meticulous attention to the intricate detail of this dress can be appreciated upon closer inspection. So pay attention to the elegant and simple things, as they have caught your eye for a reason. Look closer and see the perfection.
I’ve talked about it before, and I’ll talk about it again. It’s a bit of fun. It’s a splash of colour. It’s a piece of whimsical art. I saw this yarn-bombing down at my local shops. An ordinary tree trunk next to a bike rack in a dull and dreary streetscape was made to come to life with a simple addition of wool.
The relevance was to hark back to a memory where I first saw yarn-bombing and discovered the global effect of this uncomplicated act whether it was knitted or crocheted. I saw it first in Argentina and thought it was a local affectation, but upon visiting other countries it became clear that wool and colour was being used in the same way around the world, including here in Australia. This was reconfirmed on the weekend in my own neighborhood. Here is the original photo from Buenos Aires in 2013, which brings a slice of levity to this ordinary street. So adopt a splash of knitted colour to bring a window of frivolous fun into your life.
I had occasion to drive the Great Ocean Road along the Victorian coastline. I’ve done it many times, generally as the driver – I’m not so good on windy roads. The road is a challenge and requires all your focus and attention. I’ve normally tried to execute the arrival plan in the shortest time possible.
But sometimes road are not merely to get you from “A” to “B”, they can be enjoyed. There are many stopping spots on the Great Ocean Road, above is just one of them. It was a glorious winter’s day with only a slight breeze. The stop was only for 10 minutes but the vista enriched your eyes and the sun was warm on your face. Taking a deep breath, it was good to be alive, being able to appreciate the time and locale. It’s definitely worth it. So next time you’re on the road, pull over and experience the moment.
We all have our Mr Snuffaluffagus. Remember Big Bird from Sesame St, who had a friend that nobody even saw. It was a wonderful sojourn into my childhood days remembering Sesame Street and the frustration of Big Bird. My Mr Snuffaluffagus was also real, but uncannily elusive. Ever vigilant with the phone camera, I eventually won out. I had seen a massive cat on my deck and only ever managed to scare him(?) off with my dash for the camera. I had remarked to many that this cat was huge having no idea of the breed. I started to feel the story was sounding implausible with every telling, compared to my norm of light weight 3kg pussy cats.
Then one day sitting on the couch watching television, having just answered a call, Mr Snuffaluffagus dared to walk by. I caught a snap and since the gig was up, he(?) hung around for a portrait shot as well. Mystery solved, Mr Snuffaluffagus does exist and I have photographic proof. I’m sure he’s asking if anyone wants to come out and play!
Last weekend was Round 16 of the AFL which saw Carlton v Melbourne, the Blues versus the Demons. This is a traditional family rivalry where most in my family are either one side or the other.
It was a game that delivered. The Blues were ahead at the first break, but the Dees came back to within a point at half time. The tug of war continued through the rest of the match with the Blues having 22 scoring shots at full time versus the Dees with 20. Yet the Demons had the accuracy and won 90 pts to 82 pts in the dying moments of the game. Neither side gave up. It was exciting, edge of your seat viewing.
The Carlton coach described the team as giving ‘their heart and soul’ and that the ‘developing side will be forged through adversity’. Carlton has been at sea for several years until Brendon Bolton took over the reins as coach. Their determination has raised hope for the future. The intensity and fervour from coach and players was infectious to die-hard Blues fans and supporters. The game was thrilling and full of emotion. It was good for the soul. So pick a team to follow, it doesn’t have to be an AFL team. Enjoy the roller coaster and the passion of competition. It lets you know you’re alive!
Ever thought that a project was too big to tackle? I tripped over a way to make it more attainable – at the local cafe of all places. In the past I’ve knitted jumpers and wraps, but they were big projects. Therefore, I’ve generally stuck to knitting baby cloths which are smaller and generally can be completed within the enthusiasm window of the first inspiration. Then there are all those left-over balls or partial balls of wool, what do you do with them?
Reunion Cafe are tackling this in a different way, a community way. They are asking fellow patrons to knit squares. It’s doable in a short time span, it puts the left-overs to good use and builds a sense of community. Donated squares are welcome, but they are also offering hot chocolate/coffee periods to come together to knit. The squares will be sewn into winter blankets and given to the homeless. This is a brilliant initiative and is to be supported by the crafty amongst us like me that like small feasible projects and to contribute to a better world – even in just a small way. Dig out those left-overs, and give it a crack.
The food is quite delicious as well. https://www.reunioncafe.com.au/
What Summer break? A distant memory for those back at the salt mines, if you even took one. February has snuck up on us and it’s not slowing down, we are over half-way through February! So to break up the crazy work hours I felt the need to indulge. You work harder and more efficiently if there’s a reward looming. So write yourself a list and treat yourself to regain momentum.
What did I do? I went to ‘Flicks with the Chicks’ and was spoilt rotten. Champagne on arrival, pre-ordered food, a gift bag of surprises and lots of girl talk! It was like being in an alternate reality, taking a pause from my current existence to renew and refresh.
I can thoroughly recommend taking some time out to just be… No demands, no expectations, no deadlines. Just enjoy the moment washing over you. Be present in your own life. It’s well worth it.