All posts filed under: Wellbeing

My personal combination of healthy eating, dance, being in Nature, resting, learning, and asking for support

‘But I don’t need a ceremony Mum’: giving the perfect 18th birthday present

Remember how I worked out what to give him in a flash of early morning inspiration, and then he guessed it HERE? Well of course I went ahead anyway, despite my disappointment delight at his intuition. It took 2 weeks to organise, during which time his actual birthday came and went, but I could rest in the quiet glory of knowing I’d nailed the present. Family and friends got together on 2 separate occasions to wish him well, and I could see he was very pleased at all the love and attention he so rightly received, bless him. As we entered the 2nd week, a little nagging began- ‘How long till my ring is here Mum?’ – ‘I can’t wait for my ring, I wish it would hurry up’ etc (spread out over 5 or 6 texts sent at random hours). Finally I cycled down to the jewellers to collect it, and even she was excited at how well it had turned out, and what an excellent idea it was. But would it fit? She urged …

Damn you, solo beach walker

I’m pretty lucky here in Australia: I live less than 10 minutes from a beautiful long beach, and walk and/or jog down it at least twice a week. This morning was no different, although the stormy sky was threatening rain, so there were a lot less people than usual. I power walked along– away from the break wall with its dots of fishing folk and pram pushers avoiding the sand- watching for the spouting of migrating whales, listening to great music, and enjoying feeling stronger and energetic again after surviving my week on refugee rations. I passed a few dog walkers, who have to turn back after 500 metres, to protect nesting birds.; I challenged myself to run as fast as I could for 30 seconds, and felt the push and stretch of my muscles. I smiled at the rolling waves, the odd seagull, the wind whipping my hair under my woollen hat and hoodie. It felt good to be alive, and I didn’t want to stop walking. Then I saw a lone figure further …

So how much did we raise for refugee food, education & medical care?

I was part of a team called Hungry for Peace, aiming to live on the official rations for a week here in Australia. We set our original fundraising target at $2,500, and were hoping to have 5 of us raising $500 each… Hmmm. Turned into 2 of us aiming at $1,250 each. That’s OK, I can rise to that. My fellow campaigner is a very experienced fundraiser, having done the Oxfam Trail campaign twice, and regularly participating in various community drives, while I would say I’m usually just an enthusiastic-friend-being-supportive-of her-ongoing-great-ideas-like that-damn-hike-in-Tasmania-remember? This time, I had to put my money where my mouth was. Or rather, other people’s money where my mouth wanted to be. And DRUM ROLL…………… our team has raised $3,829.00 so far! Fundraising closes June 30, so don’t hold back now if you forgot 😉   WOOHOOOOOOOO! Such a fab feeling. It costs approx $64 to feed a refugee for 3 months on these rations, so that’s 54 displaced human beings no longer being hungry; totally worth my pitiful ‘rice brain’ whinges. On …

My ‘Refugee rations’ box has arrived, & I’m a bit scared

Next week, June 17-24, I’m going to be hungry and grumpy. How do I know already? Because I will be trying to survive on official refugee rations for that one week. Right now, there are more than 65.5 million refugees and displaced persons around the world, according to the UN Refugee Agency. This means elderly people who’ve lost their lifelong homes, sick or injured people with no access to medical care, loving families crammed into thin tents in cold winters, and of course children with no option to go to school. I live a wonderfully privileged life here in Australia, with fresh water in my kitchen, organic produce at the Farmers Markets every week, and sleeping safely in my bed each night. But if I’d been born in Syria, I would have a different story. Right now, I could be living in a tent with my son, with minimal prospects for employment or education, and trying to feed ourselves with only the official weekly refugee rations: 420g white rice 170g lentils 85g dried chick peas …

Time to get a little serious, and possibly hungry

So we’ve been having a nice time here lately haven’t we? New fun hair dos, online dating adventures, and even occasional Teenage Tuesday posts [still in negotiations for full time returns of this activity by the way]. I haven’t told you how devastated and outraged I was by the increased conflicts in Syria, and now the latest school shooting in the US; I know you’re all with me in this distress and disbelief of course. Remember the friend I went walking in Tasmania with for her 50th? She is a tireless advocate for those less well-off than us, and has easily encouraged me to join her in the Act for Peace ‘Ration Challenge’ Australia’. Basically, we’re going to gain sponsorship to eat only refugee rations for a week, which I’m going to find REALLY HARD. Here’s how it started: “Four years ago, Act for Peace staff members Ben Littlejohn and Karen McGrath visited a Burmese refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Cramped together in tiny bamboo shelters, people were going hungry because there wasn’t enough …

For the second half of our date, we met visual artist Patricia Piccinini at Brisbane’s GOMA

OK, that statement may not be strictly true… After our great night together, my date and I decided to treat ourselves to a café breakfast in the morning, then go to the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA). Siri was back on board being deceptive, so after yet another convoluted journey via a random overpass network (those things sure are hard to get off once you’re on), we lashed out on underground parking just to get rid of the city-car-driving responsibility ASAP (no traffic lights or roundabouts in my home town y’see). Then in the Gallery foyer, the descent into Patricia Piccinini’s darkly vivid and futuristic imagination began: Flowers? Brains? Sacrums? Aliens? Who knows. But it’s just the start… A few years ago, ’17’ and I went to the Adelaide Art Gallery during his school holidays, and rounded a corner to see this sculpture ‘Mother’ displayed in a huge archway of her own; we’ve never forgotten the shocking image. Here she is again, no less disturbing to me: Using silicone, fibreglass, human hair, and wax, Piccinini’s …

It’s a Hallmark construction yes, but has layers to it still

My son ’17’ and I don’t do Mother’s Day; he did give me a hug, and we acknowledged that lots of other people around the world were celebrating it together. But this is the image I shared on my Facebook page that morning (no source credit sorry). “Motherhood” is such a loaded concept, with so many differing expectations, and I was grateful to be able to offer my tiny input into considering some of the non-dominant paradigms as illustrated. Then I went and got sweaty on a bush walk with the Tasmanian tiger who recently turned 50 and made us all do that bloody 4-day hike! It was so good to be in the forest, and commune with Mama Earth. We started by looking at the waterfall we were walking to the base of: The track was clear but narrow, and obviously heading down, but everything is easy among the trees when you’re NOT carrying a 15kg back pack: We got to the base after scrabbling up rocks like ninjas middle-aged ninjas, where recent rains …

Swim underwater with Australia’s Tim Winton in movie ‘Breath’

Two nights ago I submerged myself in a 2-hour film called ‘Breath.’ Based on the novel of the same name by Tim Winton, with his contributions to the screenplay, and voice-over narration, it washed through me so deeply that I didn’t even want to keep talking over coffee afterwards, but went home to float through the ongoing swell of watery images and sensations. My movie buddy asked me to articulate what I got from it, and I tried to sum it up in 3 main ways: An immersion in the uniquely-Australian, beachside surf culture of the 1970s (which I didn’t live), but which ’17’s’ Dad did, and to an extent ’17’ still does A reflection in the capacity to ‘lose oneself’ in one’s passion, as I feel when I dance, and yet also being more at one with yourself than at any other time. Also, seeing the  stunning natural landscape- it’s set in Western Australia- and hearing the torrential downpours of a typical summer The crafting of the characters, where a simple sentence showed so …

“Women are going to run the world within 5 years,” she said. Who am I to argue? Amplify Her.

  Remember the 5Rhythms dance weekend I went to at the start of May? Two of the other participants were women just turning 30; during a pairs’ exercise with one of them, I expressed my fury at the state of our world, and the dumb old white men who were still in charge and ruining it for all of us, especially the children (obviously I’m not always a light-hearted workshop participant with cold ears). She just fixed me with a look of complete clarity and certainty, then gave me the title for this blog post. I stared back at her, faced with the pure strength of her vision, and the commitment to back it up: she was just offered a PhD scholarship on international health issues for women, and recently returned from a year in Cambodia, working with child sex trafficking agencies. I saw myself in her mirror: an over-50s proud Feminist yes, but a jaded idealist, getting tired and cynical now as the world totters closer to environmental disaster… with Trump pushing the Doomsday …

‘What are YOU going to do Mum?’

My son ’17’ and I just sat down to the yummiest vegetarian nachos I’ve ever made (why was it so good?? I did the same as always) About halfway through the meal, we were talking about his plans for 2019, once he’s finished school at the end of this year (fingers crossed), when suddenly he asked me what I was going to do? *gulp I’ve no idea. Since he was five, and first started at that earnest Steiner kindergarten with the massive tree in the playground, and the cute soft toys with no faces, I’ve been making lunches and healthy snacks, washing uniforms, and cajoling homework demands… Thirteen years of school-based predictability and rhythm; everything dictated by the calendar of classroom timetables and holidays. Now the future stretches before me, and while I smile at the prospect of freedom, I’m also swamped with sadness at the end of such comfortable routines, and a mild growing panic at the arrival of the huge unknown. Why, I could do anything couldn’t I? Anything. Like, move to Sydney or Melbourne, …