Category Archives: Life matters

A pause

Two months of posts every day, well almost every day. A one month challenge extended to two. And I was loving it. Enjoying the medium. Playing with different kinds of posts. Seeing myself as a blogger. Loving the likes and follows and reading what others were doing.

And then?

Well not quite sure what interrupted the pattern. But something did. And then I was like all those enthusiastic new gym members in January, burning with good intentions, by mid February reasons why not today become easier than packing the gym bag and ploughing through the rain to that spin class. And then one class missed becomes two and then more…. Gyms rely on these patterns. If every member was really active they just couldn’t cope. The same with slimming clubs… Good intentions, hot commitment, cupboards groaning with all the right things to eat and favourite snacks out of sight, then an event that absolutely requires a day off from the programme, no question about it, and then that one day then becomes two and then more… And the numbers on that dial on the scales slowly climb back up.

But that’s not how my story with blogging will go. My January and February daily commitment now will become a weekly one – one written and one photographic . As a minimum. All very do-able. Still committed. Still a blogger. Just different pace.

That’s what I am committing to up to end April.


Now where did I put my gym bag and trainers?


Street art


Love some of the creative street art tucked away in parts of London. This was spotted as I was searching for a cafe I didn’t know, to meet up with a friend of 35 years. How I enjoy a late breakfast out. Especially in such fine company.

What a great Sunday. Both the street art and catch up were inspiring.

Anna – an endless source of energy with an unbeatable talent to pull people to her, entrance them with her stories and make them feel all the richer for the encounter.

We don’t meet often enough – far north west Scotland and London are a fair hike apart- but each time tops me up for the months that follow. My turn next to fly to Inverness and take the long and winding road through spectacular landscapes to the west coast and the tiny community of Achmelvich. Unbelievably lovely there.

A first meeting way back when in Morocco and we’re still friends who really care about each other after so many years and countries.

Lucky me.



A friend sent me this cartoon below

It made me laugh

Who’d have thought there were so many ways to procrastinate … Obviously never done that myself!

When I know doing housework looks more attractive than a task in hand, I know it’s procrastination going on.

I think of the types I am an internet traveller/ researcher. Something interesting, leads to something strangely interesting, then something else and time speeds by when perhaps I should have been :
Organising tax stuff
Decluttering newly emerged pile of stuff in the house
Making a tricky phone call
Braving the supermarket
Going to bed
Finishing a report….

What kind are you?


My ideal introvert day

Waking to a warm bed, my partner having crept out earlier and managed unusually not to wake me.

A sense of space and time as I look at the day ahead. Stretching out in bed, luxuriating. A great coffee sought and then back to bed with yesterday’s Saturday Guardian to peruse.

A shower with my favourite smelly things -choosing one from the large range to match my mood of the day.

Selecting one of my favourite bits of funky jewellery, each one reminding me of the place it was bought or the person who’d given it to me. Having time to muse on those thoughts as I select and put it on. And all the time in the background, no sounds except the distinct call of Australian birds.

Aware as I write here that my perfect day has that bit of England and the life I love here combined with so much of my Aussie life. This is a blog. Those things are possible!

After tropical fruit and yoghurt and more hot steaming cappuccino it’s a long and leisurely walk by the sea stopping to sit and watch and muse or take photos. And a swim in the sea water pool by Coogee.

Late Lunch in the shade somewhere that I can watch people and dream up stories of who they are. Something yummy and healthy that has been beautifully presented.

And then? More walking, a potter at home, writing or reading or playing with Photoshop and photos.

Ending this perfect restorative introvert day curled on a sofa with a beautifully shot movie with fabulous acting and a compelling story. Something for my brain to chew over as I head to bed and later be aware of my loving partner coming home – after a day that has fed my soul, if indeed there is a soul. Fed my imagination, recharged my batteries, given my body the good food and exercise it loves and had time to create. Perfect.

Written in response to the daily prompt:

Nothin’ but a good time


There was an englishman, an irishman and a scotsman….

Beside us in the cheap and relatively cheerful italian-ish restaurant tonight sat three young guys. An Chinese guy, a Frenchman and a Brazilian. Heads leaned in, creating their own private space in this noisy place. English, not a first language for any of them, was their shared language. With their oh so imperfect english they seemed to understand each other perfectly.

It made me think about how when there is a will to communicate, you can. How often it can be however that people let the reputation of others, built up fairly or unfairly over time, get in the way of really understanding not just what they say but what they mean. How easy it is for those reputations to build. People make assumptions and judgements based on what they see or hear or think they have seen or heard, and then thereafter seek evidence that backs their assumptions. And if you look, you can always find such evidence and put aside anything that doesnt fit the assumptions you hold so dearly.

I enjoy coming in new to organisations and getting a picture of what’s going on. Who is listened to and who not and why does that seem to be so ? How did someone who speaks so passionately about the importance of good working relationships and her desire to be liked, get to be seen as an unhelpful obstacle you need to work around ? How is it that the most senior person in a room sometimes can seem to be the least influential ? How do those stalemate relationships and conversations come about and why is it they feel so intractable to those involved?

I started this blog with an observation about my dining neighbours, not knowing where this would go. I feel a blog on organisational communications coming on – but that’s one for my work blog! So….

So where was i ? Ah yes…there was an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman….

A cultural british reference for my non british blog readers. So many jokes start this way over here and depending on whether you tell it in Ireland, England or Scotland, the buffoon of the story, the butt of the joke changes.

3 guys at a table, sharing animated enjoyable conversation in a language that wasn’t any of theirs. Their intention being to make the communications work, to create something positive together. Very different from the 3 sets of english language speakers in the jokes.Less sharing, more false assumptions, more disagreement and ego.

Where there is a will there is a way, they say.

Flying high


Today I watched a plane high overhead in London, on the descent to Heathrow I imagine. A clear day so I wondered whether they were being treated to the view in the photo, taken on a plane recently.

I love airports, watching all the people, wondering who they are and where they are going. Its sometimes a place of high drama. Balloons and delight greeting some passengers, others anxiously reading cardboard signs for their name, the long haul flighters looking tousled and bemused – economy more tousled than the fresher looking first ones out at the front of the plane. And the departures. Teenage sons keen to get out of their mother’s fond embrace to get through to passport control and to a new life beyond. Passionate kisses, minimal pecks on the cheek, the shake of a hand, a wave not unlike the Queen’s. You see them all. I love all that. Watching it all unfold around me.

And when I see planes in the sky I muse on those in them. On descent the relief of a long journey nearly over, a sadness that a holiday is now done and its back to work all too soon, parents with young children keen to get out of the censorious gaze of those who were deprived of sleep through their children’s sobs that went on just too long. For some a new start in this place, part excitement part anxiety. And when I spot planes ascending I think of all that expectation, settling down and trying to get comfortable, wishing you’d picked another seat or book, checking to see what movies are on, holding tightly the hand of your partner, wondering why the child behind you is already kicking your seat.

Just a plane in the sky and that is enough to set me off on a whole set of imaginings.

How about you?

Weekly writing challenge: the sound of silence

I thought for a bit about this challenge – silence, perhaps something left unsaid or something better left unsaid, or just silence. Lots of ideas came to mind. One i decided to pursue – the silence you experience when it feels like time has stopped moving…enough explanation. Right into it.

Back from a couple of weeks in China, a strange greeting, tension in the air she didn’t understand. Perhaps jetlag or not having seen each other in a while. Troubling. But she went about the little normal things after a trip, while he finished the last of some work on a laptop on the dining table. Cases opened, things thrown in the washing machine, phone put on charge, a shower. The shower head lower than normal. Strange. She adjusted it back up.

Feeling a bit more refreshed, the smell and feel of an overnight flight now gone, she dressed, thinking about the evening they were going to spend together. A few words exchanged but not many. He needed to get the report done so she continued.

She ambled through to the room that had become an office though little used for work, each preferring the brightness of the living room. She plugged in her ipod to synch and download the next lot of podcasts for the long flight back to China in a week. And as she connected, up on to the monitor screen popped a photo.

Time almost stopped in that moment. Her brain ever so slowly took in what was before her. An image. Of people. Of Paul. And who was that draped on his lap? Debbie, the twenty something year old from his office. What was she doing that for?

A sharp intake of breath. Silence. Time stood still for what felt like forever. A rush of emotions and still no sound came. She closed her eyes and opened them again hoping that it was all a mistake. No mistake.

In the silence, breath held, eyes now full of tears, her life changed had forever.