A double post including my favourite flowers, sunshine and cool music. I am lacking sleep as I was watching New Zealand play South Africa in the Rugby World Cup in the middle of the night here in Sydney.
My ex-husband actually cried in a pub in Twickenham when the All Blacks ‘drew’ against England. As a big manly rugby player himself (when he wasn’t banking) that was when I realised that kiwis see rugby as far more than a sport, and it is literally a religion in New Zealand.
So this year, I became an Australian Citizen, but have children with NZ passports. What to do? I am going to take the glass half full attitude and say I win any way it goes (as long as the Wallabies beat Argentina).
My dad would have been a bit sad to see the northern hemisphere teams bomb out were he still alive…next time dad!
Now back to the bbq duties. It’s a warm spring day here in Sydney and the fish is marinading in lime and coriander, and the kids are making green smoothies with a lot of mess in the kitchen. Often more tasty than they look. Often wonder if it wouldn’t be cheaper to pay someone else to make them, and avoid the mess…
From the age of 4-13 I went to a school that I loved. Westbourne School for girls (now blended with Glasgow Academy in Scotland).
Every single morning we would exit assembly to the strains of the congregation (primary school kids) humming to the rendition of Lord of the Dance on a rather ancient piano.
I remember only too well, the pianist wore tan tights and had black hairy legs which were trapped under said tights…possibly one of the reasons I wax, shave and pluck for extremely smooth skin these days. But Mrs McNicoll, I applaud you for your stand.
Two hundred little girls filing out in orderly fashion, humming along – no speaking allowed, they were quite strict about the non-singing as I recall.
In fact, it was one of the first times in my life, where I remember thinking I felt like standing up in assembly and shouting something quite inappropriate (at that age, this may well have meant, “I love Donny Osmond” – I really did love him!).
Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance – Dangerous Games transported me magically back there tonight in the Sydney, Australia version. Courtesy of some impressive choreography and spectacular theatre and seriously great dancing…
Not a purple gym pant in sight (only the ‘purple perils’ would understand this one) with stunning dancers in gorgeous costumes.
Did I imagine, as I danced my way out of assembly at 6 years old, that one day I would be sitting in the Capitol Theatre in Sydney enjoying this version with great friends? No, I didn’t.
Isn’t life great sometimes!
The Lord of the Dance song will be an ear worm I can’t shake off for at least a day, but that is fine. It is full of happy memories.
“If you have a dream, and you are willing to work for that dream nothing is impossible” (Michael Flatley)
What songs inspire wonderful nostalgic childhood memories in your life?
Remember that feeling you have on the first day of a holiday? All possibilities lie ahead of you, finding a fantastic little restaurant, finally finishing that novel you keep falling asleep at night over, re-connecting with your partner or kids?
And then suddenly, it’s the last day. And it’s all over. If you have been lucky with the weather, filled your days with things you loved doing, enjoyed time with the people you travelled with, then chances are, you’ll be ready to go home.
Some of those elements you don’t have much control over, but many you do.
I try to remind myself that to a great extent, it’s only my choices that are creating the life I am living, so if it isn’t the one I want I am the only one to blame.
I attended a seminar recently where the speaker said, at the end of each day, write down something or someone that you are grateful for being in your life, that day. She said ‘you’ll be surprised how much you have to be grateful for’. She was right.
Be kind to yourself, life isn’t always perfect but there’s always something good to be found if you look for it, even if it is as simple as a beautiful image of freshly picked tomatoes on a plate. Have a look at Aran’s blog who took this gorgeous photo above. She’s a food stylist who lives in the US, originally from Basque country and I love her work.
Tomorrow is my eldest child’s birthday. And she chose a chocolate mud cake to celebrate.
Nothing particularly unusual in that. Incidentally, there were many years when I made the birthday cakes for the family, in all sorts of elaborate forms and shapes, but the novelty currently has worn off. I may become inspired again, one day…This beauty came from Coles patisserie in Balgowlah, Sydney, Australia. (Just in case, there is someone from Abu Dhabi or other interested parties looking in at some point).
No, the unusual thing is that it is her farewell to dairy products and becoming a vegan.
At seven years old, having watched a Dr Dolittle film (original and best) she asked the normal sort of questions little children ask. “Mummy, where does this come from?” referring to the lamb cutlet on her plate.
Where do we go with this one? Is it a Santa type question, where a little white lie, could mean adding years of innocent pleasure for your children – or creating a minor moral dilemma about ’telling the truth’ always…or something else?
I told her the truth, the lamb was a baby sheep “yes” just like the ones in the fields behind Grandma’s house. Thinking this would be a passing moment, as it is for most of us.
In my mind, I put into the category of the ‘dummy’. I should have known better with H. When she was little, and first born, I of course received a mass of unsolicited advice about ‘what to do’ on child raising. To give them a pacifier? or not to?
In desperation, after weeks of sleepless nights, and sore boobs, but let’s not go there. I gave in to the ‘dummy’.
On the whole, the advice of those that said it was ‘ok’ and she would grow out of it, was correct. By the time she went to her lovely little Sunflower Montessori pre-school, she in fact, did NOT have a dummy hanging out of her mouth. So the ‘yes’ brigade, were right in that instance.
She has, however, been a total vegetarian, since she was seven. So expecting, that particular interest not to work out went by the boards.
It takes a lot of strength as a child to turn down lollies because they have gelatine in them, and she always checked and asked.
I embrace her view that animals should be treated well and with respect. I think quite often that I turn the other cheek looking at pre-packaged food from the supermarket (although I do that minimalist thing of at least buying food that says it is free-range, or reared humanely).
Would I eat it if I had to kill it? Probably not. But I do think there are farmers out there who look after their stock very well, and until we find an alternative as a civilisation then I can’t be too hypocritical. I’m not ready to start eating bugs yet.
And here we are, on the verge of a new commitment for H, which I have no doubt, if she whole-heartedly embraces will be a lengthy, if not, life-long one.
Happy birthday darling and always follow your heart.
What would you give up to solve a moral dilemma in your life?
A few years ago I suggested to a celebrity chef that I know that he become involved with Oz Harvest . A great initiative that scoops up (not entirely literally) quality excess food from restaurants and functions and re-distributes to those that need it around Australia. He didn’t pursue it at the time, but I am happy to say he is now one of their enthusiastic Ambassadors…
Another foodie type friend who catered for well known musicians including a band, who let’s say, weren’t The World Health Organisation – organised a party where despite the vast payment involved, made her feel quite queasy at all the conspicuous waste (including some beautiful silk cushion seating which she knobbled for domestic use rather than bin).
On a rather lesser scale, I save bananas. And a surprising amount of other fruit and veg. Chop ‘em, bag ‘em, freeze them. Works a treat and makes smoothies open to a world of unusual opportunities.
Nelson Bay is one of my favourite places in the world, so seems a good spot to start this blog. Over the next year, I am going to share with you the best of the health, wealth and kindness tips that I come across.
This is how it will unfold.
Manly Monday – I happen to live in Manly, Sydney Australia. A particularly beautiful part of the world. I am going to share lots of photos with you. I’m also going to share some manly tips….we will let those be revealed later. I think it’s always good to give tips to men. It is always good to share!
Tight-ass Tuesday. Money saving tips which will be curated from around the world. Possibly some tips for tight asses from my PT (personal trainer) daughter.
Woop it up Wednesday. Time to dance, prance, book a holiday or buy exquisite or fun gifts.
Thoughtful Thursday. I’m planning to pick the best of the bunch I come across each week. We can live with them just one day a week…
Frisky Friday. Ideas to get you in the mood. This could vary widely. We will leave that to the imagination right now, but not just for those with partners. Might just be inspiring you to do something you have dreamed of – like writing a book, running 5kms, meeting your dream partner…
Sanity Saturday. A special time to do something good for yourself.
Serenity Sunday. Time off to chill. We all need time out.