Cat on a hot tin roof!


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#Love yourself – health, wealth and kindness

I wish I was as brave and cool as one of my cats…

I drove my car today to the end of my road (luckily a little alleyway down the side of our house) and stopped at the end – and bump! an unexpected visitor appeared.

Mittens then strolled down from the bonnet and hopped off!

My 11 year old cat had been sitting on the roof of my equally elderly car and had come along for the genteel ride of 5 seconds to the end of the road.

I immediately went into overdrive about WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED. She could have jumped off in front of the car as I drove off, and I could have driven over her.  Unimaginable! or at least unbearable to imagine.

But she didn’t.

She waited for the ride to stop and took her leave. No panicking, just taking it in her stride.

Cat on a hot tin roof.

Cat on a hot tin roof.

Not only did Mittens survive to give me close to a heart attack another day, but she taught me something.

Is it worth taking a chance and not to sweat what might happen till it does?

Even if you find yourself on the edge of something quite scary, there is a good chance that it might turn out alright. Better than alright, even exciting.

I am hoping this is the beginning of an exciting new I start my new business.  Thank you already to some wonderful people who have been so supportive.

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Persistence pays off – Chef Yoji Tokuyoshi


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I absolutely love this video and this Chef’s story.  He almost gave up and then he became one of the best.  In the world…

He followed his dream and found his personal success with persistence and skill and a passion for his chosen path.

Tokuyoshi Restaurant, Milan.  Chef Yoji Tokuyoshi.  

I have worked with a lot of Chefs over the years.  They are an interesting bunch, but one thing that is consistent is that they work extremely hard and the best are completely passionate about their craft.

This is a wonderfully executed video, and tells the story beautifully.  I hope some of you share it.  I think it is a work of art in itself.

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Serenity Saturday

I must be psychic 🙂 as I was writing my ‘man on the moon‘ blog post yesterday John Lewis was announcing it’s annual Christmas advert, aptly named #manonthemoon.

Should I say “great minds think alike?” – please get in touch next year JL if you need some inspiration 🙂

Unashamedly pulling on the heart strings and following in the steps of all the songs that celebrate the heady mix of old and young, and hearth and home that make up the best of family times at Christmas.

Playing on our longing to be ‘home for christmas’.  ‘Tis the Season when it is completely okay to be a total schmaltz.

Even Chris Rea gets away with it while he is ‘Driving home for Christmas’.

With half my family in the UK and my immediate family here with me in Sydney, Australia I always have mixed feelings at this time of year.

It is difficult getting into the Christmas spirit – as I sit here listening to the waves in the distance and looking out on blue summer skies.

Plenty of time for inspiration though, and thank goodness for Skype.  I don’t miss the cold, dark nights but I do miss the Christmas lights and cosy fires and pubs.  Carols in beautiful churches and silly christmas jumpers.  Most of all I miss my family.

I’m off to the beach now.

It’s a tough life but...

It’s a tough life but…

I think my US friends have it right.  Christmas talk after Thanksgiving. 

But on the other hand, if John Lewis deems 6th November the start of the celebrations, who am I to argue?  I do DRAW A LINE at anything before November though.

The stuff of madness, especially if you have young kids who are going to be besides themselves with pre-‘must-have’ presents/Santa’s letters/Disney movie hysteria even if you don’t start celebrations until December.

My chosen ‘lift off’ point is December 1st – to go back to the ‘man in the moon’ theme…and my particular indulgence is It’s a Wonderful Life which a girlfriend and I watch every year, on opposite sides of the world, over the same weekend.

And like the proverbial pearl in the oyster, grows larger and more glossy with age – like our friendship.

Which reminds me while I like this


So if you can’t be ‘home for Christmas’ – what do you miss most of all?

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Love yourself – health, wealth and kindness

Can you remember seeing this?  Were you even alive when it happened?  I was a little girl in 1969 and can’t remember any of it ‘live’ but have seen countless re-runs since.

It must have been really exciting to be part of the build up and then to see Neil Armstrong take those first steps.  Apparently NASA is recruiting new astronauts with plans to get someone to Mars by the 2030’s. Incredible

Quite a few of the predictions foreseen in fairly recent times have come true.  George Orwell’s 1984 foretold the prevalence of CCTV all over the planet,and the collection of (meta) data about us all through government institutions. Internet providers gathering every last bit of information about us and regular wiretapping echo ideas about keeping tabs on the ‘proles’ (population).  But goodbye News of the World (UK) and hello Edward Snowden showing that it isn’t all a one-way street…

The planet isn’t overrun by airborne cars flying Jetson style all over the place…more’s the pity.

Hanna Barbera cartoon c.1962

Hanna Barbera cartoon c.1962

But we do have high speed trains that run via magnetic levitation.  The Shanghai Maglev reaches an eye watering 500kms/hour.  I often (well sometimes) wonder if people feel sick when moving so fast?

Personally, I’d like the invention of a transformer that can ‘beam me up Scotty’ and get me safely to where I want to go (anywhere on this planet is fine, I’ll leave interstellar travel to someone else at this point…).

No more jet lag, no more stressing about getting on a plane.  Just instant travel.

Clearly, a great deal of potential to end up in a shrunken state like Mike Teavee

after being processed through the airwaves in Mr Wonka’s factory or even worse… but hopefully there will be a pill to numb any pre-transformer anxiety and another one to get rid of the potential nightmare ‘hangover’ that total body disintegration then reformation might bring about. I wonder if Magnesium tablets would help? They are pretty useful after a work-out.

One more to beam up Mr Scot

So, what invention would you like to see come about in YOUR lifetime to make your world a better place?

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Serenity Saturday or perhaps not.


If you say it often enough it sounds quite atrocious...

If you say it loud enough it may even sound  precocious…just saying.

I can remember well, when I thought the height of my parents ‘uncoolness’ (Clue number one) was that they had no idea what was No.1 on TOTP (Top Of The Pops to the uninitiated – Clue No. 2) a BBC UK music popular music show.

Top of the Pops!

There was NEVER going to be a day, where I didn’t know at least the top ten on the music charts.  Well, these days, I’m relying on apps to keep me updated, although I was a bit dismayed to see my Apple music had recently chosen ‘Pop gems from 1976’ to keep me entertained!

At this stage, I was a mere child listening to pirate radio stations in the darkness of night and under the bedclothes to avoid detection…(and we will say no more about that).

I remember sighing when my parents moaned that the re-make of the song had nothing on the original and feeling deep pity for them.  Now I quite admire that they had any knowledge at all.  As with everything else in this fast moving world of information overload, the options now seem endless.

Apart from the highly processed, highly commercialised likes of the X-factor and similar which band the mainstream tv watching population into following potential future moneymakers – there are an overwhelming amount of other lesser known musicians via other media to consider.

Still, if you are Gen Y  or Z you are probably surfing it all with ease.

“At what point in my life should I stop listening to Triple M and start reading The Australian?” is probably not on the tip of your tongue.

I like to surprise my offspring occasionally with unusual current music choices that they kindly patronise me with the faint praise that I have ‘slayed it’ (that’s good) at which point I am ‘lost in the sauce’ (totally confused). But I take the compliment with grace.

But as I say we have parted friends and slang is dead to me, because I generally TOTES dislike it.


Have decided on the whole, it’s best to embrace the generation difference and let them get on with it…

Another thing about getting older….

Trying to decide whether it is worth attempting sleep or to attempt to stay awake till 3am to watch the rugby World Cup final. EST Australia.

It’s pretty active in Manly tonight. Lots of ghouls and zombies and for the life of me, I know not why – but what look like borderline prostitutes roaming the streets.

Not sure when Halloween transformed itself into this as our repertoire as kids was a little bit more tame…but then again, I wouldn’t have been sharing grumpy old woman posts about slang then either!

I felt a little bit envious seeing all of them roaming around, clearly having fun and a good amount of rugby fans in their ‘green and gold’ or ‘all black’ strips set for a spectacular night out.


All Black

A few years ago, I would have been with them.  The thought of going to a pub at 3am doesn’t thrill me these days – although there is still a tiny part of me that if pushed would give it a go!

So tell me, what sporting event would make you stay awake to the middle of the night just to watch it live?

Love yourself – health, wealth and kindness.

Sanity Saturday & Serenity Sunday 

The weekend….

The weekend….

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…

So, share with me what made your weekend special?

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Frisky Friday

Irish dancers

Irish dancers

Frisky Friday boys. #irishdancers #lordofthedance #MichaelFlatley

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?

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