Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The night I met Mia Freedman and Rosie Waterland

So I've put myself out there again, all by myself.  I wrote this post while waiting for my ride in the very mellow bar in the Intercontinental Hotel in Double Bay and having a very mellow glass of wine.

I didn't even attempt asking if anybody I know was going to the Mia Freedman / Rosie Waterland talk tonight. I really didn't even give it a second's thought when I bought a ticket. I thought Bugger it! I want to go, I don't need anyone to hold my hand. I'm sure somebody will talk to me and somebody did. A very lovely Laura who I knew I had to say hello to because one, she was standing there with a glass of bubbly in her hand looking alone too and two, because she had this jacket that talked to me because it was covered in birds (not real birds of course, that would be weird, and a little Hitchcocky). And you know how I'm obsessed with images of birds.

During the great chat between Mia and Rosie I didn't even think there would be question time (duh!) but when it came about I thought I had better ask one or I would regret it.  I'm so glad I did. It wasn't a bad question (I know this because lovely Laura said 'great question!') and Mia gave a great answer while looking straight at me ( I was in the second row).

I had read Mia Freedman's books and she was somebody I greatly admired because she went out there and got what she really wanted. And it was what I wanted long ago and didn't have the guts to go after. After Mia finished interviewing Rosie, I shook the nerves off and walked up to her and virtually made her stop and meet me. Of course all that intelligent greeting I envisaged went out the window and I gushed. At least she was as nice as I had imagined and tolerated my fandom faux pas.

I had a chance to pull myself together a little as I was standing in the queue for Rosie to sign my book and hopefully I sounded a bit more grown up by the time it was my turn. I'm sure she has no memory of it anyway so maybe, one day, I can meet her in a more relaxed situation.

Wouldn't it be nice if when you met somebody you admire it was in a casual environment, maybe sharing a couple of wines and bonding on equal terms and admiration. Aah to dream. Anyway I achieved my purpose and met both Mia and Rosie and even Rosie's friend (Jimmy?) who I revealed some of my story to. So glad I got to hug Rosie and thank her for 'favoriting' some of my tweets to her.

(I'm looking a little gothy-stalker next to the rosy Rosie)

Now I'm sitting in this swanky hotel bar and the publishing company, which seems entirely made up of 20-30 yr old women (no kidding, there are ten of them and the oldest couldn't be older than 32) (god I sound old and bitter), have formed themselves in a circle celebrating their successful night. And good on them. Wish I was one of them! How you can make a decent living out of selling books made of paper these days is a wonder. Maybe there is hope for the printed word yet. I know many of those present tonight bought a copy of Rosie's book so it looks like the 20-35 yr old demographic is still buying in the good old fashioned style of paperback and not ordering on their Kindle or iPad or whatever.

The day I heard Rosie's book was out I rang Berkelouw's to put mine aside that day. Something to be said that it was the quickest I had ever read a book. I knew it would be good because I've been reading Rosie since she's been publishing at Mamamia and cannot watch The Bachelor without Rosie's Recaps.

If you haven't read The Anti-Cool Girl, it's the story of Rosie's life, so far. From in-utero to the moment she finished writing her book in her blanket fort. I imagine there aren't many people who have experienced some, or any, of the things Rosie experienced in her upbringing.

So much wrong. But somehow she makes her tragic life funny, without belittling the seriousness of her situation and showing a whole lot of chutzpah.

The book doesn't put the blame on anyone (except the system and how it failed her and her sisters). It also has a lot to say about the effects of mental illness on generations.

I can't wait to read the next one. Or maybe I better get off my bum and write my own.

Have you written your story?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Dreams and reality

I had a sick day today and felt the need to sleep in until 11am. That means weird morning dreams. You know the ones, they're really vivid and sometimes a little shocking. My dream was the type where you are dreaming inside a dream.

Briefly (because most people switch off when they're listening to somebody else's dream), I dreamt my parents had died (and they had in real life, several years ago) but I woke within the dream in their old flat on their old couch and they were sitting up at their old dining table.

So I was quite relieved that it was only a dream, but Dad was on my iphone (which didn't exist when he was alive) just finishing a call from my boss letting her know I was staying home sick today. I was frustrated with him because he wouldn't tell me what she said and he didn't know how to hang up. So I forgot my relief that he was alive and took the phone off him.

When I woke for real I was both sad, frustrated and ashamed.  Big, deep message in there for me somewhere.


To anyone that has been reading this blog for awhile, my apologies for not writing for such a long time - I have a million excuses but it mainly comes down to very little energy and next to no motivation.  I forget this place is for having a chat and I think I can't do a post unless it's perfectly done and interesting, informative or insightful with just the right picture. I've realised if I wait for that miracle to happen, I would never write again.  And I quite enjoy writing.

I promise I won't leave it so long next time.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fresh is Best! A Mother's Day Hint. #FYBF

*This is a sponsored post.*

For those of you that are mothers you might be really looking forward to Mother's Day next month.  Or for those of you that have mothers (or a mother-in-law) you are either planning the perfect gift or tearing your hair out because you're afraid of getting it very, very wrong.

I think there's way too much pressure on gift giving. Some people go to a lot of trouble and think that the more lavish the gift, the more the giftee thinks you love them.  But guess what? Mothers are different (well most mothers anyway).  They'll most probably just be glad you remembered them.

When my kids were little I loved that they went to the trouble of making a card and picking some flowers from the garden. As they got older I would give them $5 to buy something from the Mother's Day stall at school, which would invariably be some lavender hand cream, a coin purse or a glass figurine you have to hide in a cupboard for about 40 years.

I often used to get a version of this home made treasure:

Now that they're older and, I assume, a lot more capable of taking themselves up the shops and spending their own pocket money on a very heartfelt gift they would spend weeks thinking of .... ,  in reality they mostly leave it to their Dad to buy a present on their behalf. Sometimes I let them know what I would like but I secretly wish they could magically know and present me with the perfect gift. 

So I have become that Mother. I've become bored with being a matyr and now demand their love be demonstrated by a gift chosen (and sometimes purchased) by me.

As I do quite a bit of online shopping for gifts for family and friends (OK mostly for myself), I've started to subtly email links of my wish list to my husband and kids when it gets close to special occasions, like Mother's Day!

But it would be wonderful if they were to plan a bit more than a day before that special Sunday and actively go to a website and buy something beautiful delivered in time that they could present to me while I languish queen-like in my bed eating smoked salmon omelette and champagne (or in reality, burnt toast and cold tea).

Which brings me to FreshFlowers - this is a total hint, family! - absolutely beautiful bunches of blooms (and chocolates!) that can be chosen from the privacy of their room, delivered same day or next day, hidden in their closet and sprung upon their wonderful Mum first thing on Mother's Day.

Also it is the perfect solution for that mother-in-law that is impossible to buy for - you can even leave it for the last possible moment!

FreshFlowers also offer a great Reminder Service where you can sign up to receive an email for all those birthdays and anniversaries that get forgotten until the last minute. You'll look like a star! Personally, I think I"ll sign the hubby up to receive the reminders, that way he'll never forget the 101 anniversaries we have (first met, first went out, first started living together, wedding - you've got to celebrate!).
Hint, hint!

Aside from offering Mother's Day flowers, another big plus for me is that they support Daffodil Day and Heart Research Australia. Love it when a company gives back.

On top of all that they have great prices. I know with previous experience in sending flowers through work that many companies charge an arm and a leg for flowers which are pretty ordinary, but FreshFlowers are not only very reasonable every day, they have regular specials like:

Find out here!

Lastly, FreshFlowers know the joy that a surprise bunch of flowers can give someone and after reading 'Flowers and Faith in Humanity', I think I'll be sending a bit of that joy more often.

Or if you'd rather, send yourself a thank you for just being you, signed 'Anonymous Admirer' - think of the attention you'll receive from your partner after receiving that!

**Joining With Some Grace for #FYBF**

Friday, March 20, 2015

Weathered vs Bitter

Have you ever noticed other drivers looking exactly the same as you are feeling when you're on your way to work/school/home each day?

There are many versions of me driving the same streets as me every day.  I see the 40 something mother trying to explain to her teenage daughter why its not a good idea to get her belly button pierced or ask her son for the 745th time to please put his shoes on before they get to training. Or the woman eating her pastry and gulping down a coffee in the bumper to bumper traffic.  Then the time I looked across and a woman was putting her earrings on the exact same time as I was at the red light.

It's kind of reassuring that there is this evidence of so many people going through the same daily trials and tribulations as you.  When you work almost alone each day (or you're at home every day by yourself or with your little people), you forget that we are all just a little part of a whole lot of everyday confusion, stress, boredom, excitement, frustration, satisfaction and busy-ness.  That's why I like to veer off the highway on the way to work and grab a coffee from the little kiosk on the bay and look out for a moment over the water with my back to the traffic. It gives me a small smack of interruption to the chaos of mornings at home and before the chaos of mornings in the office. I can contemplate floating around on one of the many boats moored out there with a line in the water and nowhere to go. Or I just watch a passing pelican scooping up its breakfast whenever he feels like it.

(Posted on Elizabeth Gilbert's page)

I read something today from Elizabeth Gilbert that a friend posted on Facebook.  Elizabeth explains the point women can reach in their 30's/40's/50's when they can make a choice to be bitter and mad at the world for all the bad things that have happened in their life and the disappointments they may have with their lot or they can choose to have "weathered happiness".  I really like that idea. It's fought for and earned. I know many women at this stage, some become more and more mad at the world and in the process make themselves more miserable, and some crawl back up and change and decide that it's about time they got happy as no one else was going to do that for them.

Have you reached this fork in the road? Or have you always been on the happy team? Is it real happiness with yourself or a mask you're using till the true thing comes along?  Or are you feeling the pull to become the grumpy old woman (which is a very comfortable place to be by the way) and you're feeling "pissed off and pooped out".

If so, surround yourself with puppies - that always makes me happy.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Getting back into the swing - plus Hawaii! #FYBF

Yes, I know, I've been slack again. Last post published was 9th December.  I just haven't had the urge to publish lately.  I've written a few draft posts and even got started on my book, but between Christmas up the coast, a holiday in Hawaii (I know!!!) and general lethargy realising all the things I COULD write about, I ended up posting zilch.

I've just checked through drafts of posts I've started and there is one that's so negative and down on myself about writing, that I don't think it will do anyone any good (particularly me) if I publish it.

I could start posting my first few pages of the book I'm writing that's loosely based on my mum's life that I started writing after the self attack above, but not sure anyone would want to start reading a story that may never be finished!  But then again you lot might kick me up the arse to keep on with it. That's a bit scary. I'll think about it after I've added a few more pages.

So to get me easily back into the swing of things, I'll post some pictures from our surprise Hawaiian haitus because who doesn't love to see someone else having a great holiday(?) Yeah, looking for the sarcasm font there....


The sun rises on our arrival at Outrigger Reef on the Beach, Waikiki.

An ethereal tour of the Arizona and its memorial to those that lost their lives at Pearl Harbour.

A massive Missouri - still functioning, just waiting for a chance to use those guns!

Some of the beautiful dancers at the Chief's Luau at Sea Life Park, great show.

A view from the top of Diamond Head - a heart testing climb to the top.

You can see almost all of Oahu from up here.

One of many just perfect sunsets at Waikiki.

Surf god Duke Kahanamoku

More on that trip another day.

*Linking up with #FYBF With Some Grace*

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Where I just want to crawl into a flower bed

Recently I started a new, and permanent! job as an Administrator and Event Manager. Its local and in a beautiful heritage building with lovely people.  So though its not shiny/glittery and exciting or fast paced, I'm finding out that it suits me quite nicely at the moment.

It also gives me more time to get back to this, Birdy Num Num.  I've been very slack lately, no inspirational thoughts and frankly, no energy or desire to create anything by the end of the day.  The new job is also handy in that I can finish at 4.30pm and it only takes me about 10 minutes to get home.  So there was no problem about accepting Sheridan's invitation to look behind the scenes at their head office in Ultimo recently (yes this is a review of a product, but its not sponsored and I just love to look at lovely bedding!) and get a preview of next year's designs.

Something I learned about Sheridan products is that they not only have their own designers, they do the artwork in the actual head office with paints and everything! There was even a design that was based on one of the designers' little girls' artwork that she had bought into the office to put up at her desk.  The other designers spotted it as something special and adapted it to this ...

I also learnt that they have branched out into lounge wear and candles, room perfumes and soaps, which base their scents on nature (beach, forest, flowers etc).  In fact all of the new range is based on the sea and Aussie bush.

Their lounge wear have a vast range - from as casual as the trakky dak and tshirt style to the long, loose cashmere cardigan which I coveted and hope to be able to afford one day.

My favourite of the day was the children's bedding.  It was bright, stylish, fun and lush - and not a Disney character in sight!  Though my kids may be a little too old now for some fun kids' decor, it made me want to demand they make some of it in queen size. Once again its based on nature, it was reversible and the little touches like the tiny (baby-safe) pom poms on the cushion made me just want to slip into every one of those beds (which may have frightened some of the crowd).  Feast your eyes on this (hopefully some of you are just as obsessed with pretty rooms as I am) ....

(look at those pom poms! and the other side is patterned)

Then there was the baby bedding - so gorgeous and gentle I was jealous I wasn't a baby myself.

All the materials used were thoroughly tested and approved by SIDS Foundation.

Lastly came the towels and tablecloths and runners. One of the invitees, a twenty something boy-man, was particularly taken with the hooded towel for kids and requested that they make one for six foot little people - didn't sound like too bad an idea.

All in all I was pretty impressed by the goods and look forward to selecting one of these sets for my new improved, non cluttered and fresh new look 2015 bedroom. Which is your favourite?

p.s. I just watched the last ever At The Movies with David and Margaret - 28 years of movie love shared with the oddest couple on TV.  There will be no others that could replace them, ABC.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Live Life Love Music

I spent a good part of my misspent youth watching bands do their stuff in pubs, clubs and outdoor concerts.  In 1981 I was in Year 10 (4th form in those days) and I was faking my way into pubs and clubs using my sister's ID (no photo ID's then).

I still see a band now and then and a few times a year I may get to a music festival.  I still have a big soft spot for those bands I first heard in my teens and a lot of the background noise to my childhood was the music played at my parents' parties and barbeques. Some of Mum and Dad's favourites were Tom Jones, Neil Diamond, Ray Charles. Then my older siblings brought in Captain Matchbox Band, Daddy Cool, ZZ Top, Rolling Stones and Creedance Clearwater.

It seemed all of my parents' friends were up for a party most weekends (especially in Summer) and Mum would rustle up a bit of lettuce and tomato or a giant potato and egg salad with a side of canned beetroot and corn on the cob. Dad would char some tiny, thin steaks and sausages on the big, metal plate he had suspended on bricks over a fire, which was his version of the barbie.

There was always loud music, lots of canned beer and cask wine, laughter, dancing and someone with a guitar. Dad would sometimes play the bongos, spoons or the tea-chest-base (which of course he made himself) and occasionally perform one of his party tricks (my favourite was when he would suspend himself in a perfect horizontal line from the clothes line pole, sometimes in his red striped pyjamas - I don't know why - but I was impressed by how strong his arms were).

(this is how I ended up on the Hills Hoist most times)

When I finally got to escape the backyard BBQ (which were actually always good fun with Mum and Dad for entertainment), I discovered live bands (professional ones).  My first concert was Midnight Oil on Wanda Beach where even after convincing two of my friends to go with me, they chickened out and I ended up in front of the stage with Peter Garrett's head sweat raining down on me (along with a torrential downpour).

Two of the earliest, and favourite bands were the Radiators and The Sunnyboys.  I must have seen the Radiators about ten times over the years and, unfortunately, only saw The Sunnyboys a few times. The first time was at Caringbah Inn with my sister where, once again, I wiggled my way up the front to look at them up close. Not quite a groupie, but I was transfixed.

Zoom forward about 30 years and I was transfixed again watching the ABC special "The Sunnyboy".  It was about the life of Jeremy Oxley and his battle with mental illness.  Absolutely brilliant film and even if you're not a fan of The Sunnyboys, I recommend you watch it. Jeremy is an interesting man and, in the end, a Happy Man.

So did music play a big part in your youth? What was your favourite band?

*Joining with Essentially Jess*

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Losing my shit

It really wasn't a bad day, a bit boring if anything. I did all the work I could find, I helped out at Reception and I had a lovely lunch with a friend.

I applied for a couple of jobs, both of which were completely different but equally suitable.  Seems I still don't know what I want.  Or need.

Had a half glass of wine and a good laugh with the girls before leaving work.  There was hardly any traffic on the way home and an interesting talk on Triple J. Then I went to take the turn on to my road and a car went right through the big, red sign that says "GIVE WAY". Then another big hoon-mobile shot through too, which almost cleaned me up and put an end to my moderately lovely day.

A great rush of hot anger went through me and I leaned on that horn like a mother.

My house is about four houses down from the intersection and the first car had pulled in to park outside my house while the hoon sped off. I went to go in front of the first car to park, but she then decided to first reverse then drive forward too so I was stuck out on the road in the traffic, not being able to even get in my driveway (which was occupied by Mr Moneymaker's car).

Getting even more hot under the collar I decided to park half in the driveway and half on the pavement and got out. Looking over at the parked car, two women got out in their Lorna Jane coordinated running gear, the passenger on the phone and the driver getting something in or out of her boot.  Calming myself, ever the lady, I politely asked her "Did you realise that was a Give Way sign there?" She replied offhandedly "Yes, I waved you through, I did give way".

Steam. "No you didn't".  I'm so polite I was grinding my teeth when I said this.  Jogging bitch replied "Oh, I don't have time for this" and waved me off. For real this time.  Her friend must have had a very interesting phone call because she did not pay any attention to us and walked quickly across the road.

You know when a situation like this arises and you think you know what to say and are sure that you will cut them down to size with your quick wit?  No?  Me neither.  So I growled "Yeah, I don't have time, you don't have time, time to kill someone" or something just as nonsensical.  She casually crossed the road as if I wasn't even speaking (well, to be honest I'm not sure she could understand my gibberish) and I stormed inside slamming the door.  After I blurted it all out to Mr Moneymaker who was on the phone to his sister who said to her "hold on a minute, my wife just walked in really pissed off", I then thought of all the things I SHOULD have said straight at her.  Like:

"What's your hurry? Late for your monthly jog?"
"Don't park your shitbox outside my house, you're bringing down the tone of the neighborhood"
"What's wrong? Lycra riding up your arse?"

OK, so they're not so witty.  If you have any suggestions, please let know. I need to memorise witty comebacks for these exact situations.

After I came inside I was still shaking after twenty minutes. I was thinking of either parking her car in so she couldn't leave, putting a sternly phrased letter on her windscreen or keying her car.  All really good revenge acts - if she hadn't seen where I live and what car I drive.  So I just gave good glare out the window when she returned to make her think I had done something to her car.  Also I decided that people like that will always be punished by Kharma.  I hope.

*Linking with Essentially Jess for #IBOT*

Friday, September 19, 2014

Stuff happens - nose picking, yoga phone, Bachelor Eye Language - it's time for #FYBF!

Stuff happens during the week that I really want to tell someone about, but by the time I get home or catch up with a friend, I've completely forgotten about it or too much time has passed for it to be relevant and then if I blurt it out randomly in some conversation with friends weeks later, I look like crazy-lady.

For example last week I was in the usual line of traffic trying to merge onto Epping Road after work when I looked across to the next line where a not unattractive young guy was busy discovering UFO's up his right nostril. I thought, hang on, this is disgusting but I wonder what he'll do with it when he finds one? Well he had made a thorough inspection of it on the end of his finger then, before the choice of where to get rid of it (steering wheel? door handle? seat? mouth?!?!), he looked across at me smirking and then guffawing out loud at him.  The lights went green and both lanes moved on except he kept a constant car length back from mine.  I guess he was more than a little embarrassed as I was virtually laughing in his face.  I also made a vow to myself to NEVER be tempted to have a bit of a pick in the car. People are watching!

Then there was that time at band camp yoga where it was all zen and the hypnotising voice of Phil the yoga guru was getting us all stretchy and twisty when I look at the young Chinese girl in front of me who was half heartedly bending and reaching then twisting, all the while scrolling through her Tumblr on the iphone next to her. I let it get to me and instead of being all relaxed and peaceful, I was annoyed and holding back my old lady tsking while in resting baby pose. Why can't they get their hand off it for a minute?!?

show off! (from here)

And I can't start talking about The Bachelor because the best bits were so well covered in this hee-larry-os review by Rosie Waterland at Mamamia - so read about Dirty Street Pie Laurina and the Eye-Touching Trauma here.  Rosie really should be getting a commission from that show.

There's also the fact I've signed up at work for Steptember which is fundraising for Cerebral Palsy Alliance by doing at least ten thousand steps a day.  I'm mostly getting them done by doing a lot of document deliveries from one end of the shopping centre to the other, circuits of the Bay Run and the yoga classes - yes they can be converted to steps!  Its the asking of donations I'm not great at.  So if you want to help me out there and help those living with Cerebral Palsy, please go here.

Well, I'm glad that's all out of my system. I hope some more stuff happens next week that I can share with you.

*Joining With Some Grace for #FYBF*

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

When a vision becomes reality

I'm not a complete sceptic when it comes to positive affirmations and visualisation, but I do believe in thinking positively with most things.  It was only the other day that I realised I had actually visualised a life for myself almost 20 years ago that is now true.  Whether it was coincidence, an accident or good planning, it came to me while walking around the bay on Sunday that while sleeping on my couch in 1996 and after being mighty disappointed that I hadn't been able to see Crowded House perform for the last time on the Opera House steps, I had what I thought was a vision but may have just been wishful thinking.

I had imagined myself divorced from The Plumber, sitting in a lovely, big house looking out on the water, having two kids (specifically a girl and a boy) and being in a happy relationship.

At the time it had been a bit of a pipe dream. Firstly, I had been with The Plumber since I was 16 (I was 30 in 1996). Secondly I had tried to leave three times in the last five years. Don't ask me why I didn't make it permanent, I can only say it was a combination of a lack of confidence and fear of the consequences.  Thirdly, I was flat broke - most of our money went on the rent and some very stupid personal loans, along with an obsession with horse riding, breeding large dogs and an alcoholic husband who was mostly unemployed. We had been surviving on $30 a week for some time.  Fourthly, the possibility of having children was already a lost cause as we had been trying to get pregnant for about five years.  And I had got used to the idea. In fact I thought it was probably a good thing as The Plumber wasn't exactly father-material and I had realised I had only thought I wanted to have a baby so I could love something other than the four-legged creatures in the house.

Therefore the dream/vision was pretty unattainable to me at that time.  But it was such a strong picture in the depths of a very depressing time, that I've remembered it perfectly. And with all the things that's happened in my life since - divorce, marriage, kids, buying homes, travel, happiness - I've only realised recently that the vision I had on that old couch in a miserable rented house in 1996, has become my reality.

Visualisation seems like it might be a real thing! Unfortunately I haven't seen Crowded House since.

*Joining Essentially Jess for #IBOT*

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Think. Plan. Do.

(This is what I looked at for an hour tonight)

There's not many opportunities for me lately that let me just sit and think about stuff, but the traffic has been so bad getting to and from work lately (what is it about rain that always puts a stop to everything? Its just water for goodness sake!), I've had plenty of time to tune out of bad drive time radio and just THINK.

Besides a really interesting session on Triple J the other night about the furore over the blog showing women explaining why they don't need feminism (so frustrating hearing twenty something women saying they are against feminism because they make their own choices in life and are enjoying equal rights - not realising if it wasn't for the generations before they wouldn't have this freedom! grrrr!), I tend to wander around in my head (in between singing Its All About The Bass 'Bout The Bass, No Treble).

(This was built for revenge - to block the view of the tree killers on the bay)

Some of those thoughts are what job would I really want to do, or how could I make a living from home, or why do I keep saying what I would like to do and don't actually do anything about it!?!?! PLAN!

So when I saw that this subject keeps popping up in front of me, I realised I can't say "I wanna" or "I'm gunna".  So I've applied for this free session (you may have seen my blatant plugging of Suzi's 3 Month Coaching Program here) and if you would like to get your own 45 minutes of free coaching, click here.
(Some graffiti is just great art)

*Joining Essentially Jess for #IBOT*

Saturday, August 23, 2014

When Memory Lane has been renovated

Its not always wise to visit the streets of your past.

They may seem smaller and less sparkly than you remember, but sometimes, even worse, they look exactly the same.

To explain myself, I spent last weekend with my sisters (Sister T and Sister D) playing in the suburb I grew up in, Cronulla. I haven't lived in the Sutherland Shire (it wasn't called "The Shire" when I was there) for almost 18 years.  But last weekend I had a bird's eye view from the sixth floor of the Rydges Hotel.  Even with the rain and the black clouds, the beach was still beautiful.

Of course the first point of call was the lounge downstairs for a quick cocktail then, after way too long getting ready, we took ourselves down the mall and found a trendy bar that wouldn't have looked out of place in Newtown or St Kilda. It was furnished with beaten up old wooden furniture with a feel of Southern Moonshine. The bar was very hipster so we sat in a quiet corner to have a drink. OK that's quite different to what we would have done 20 years ago but even more telling that time had definitely passed, is we were ordering food - shock horror - and sadly had to bring out reading glasses to read the menu.

But we couldn't sit still, as usual, and went out to find some music. We headed towards the RSL where a lot of nights were spent dancing at the Friday night disco in our youth. It was now about twice the size and unrecognisable - or as Sister T said "walked down memory lane and discovered its been renovated". And there was no music!  We had heard there was music in Gymea so assumed it was at the Tradies' so hopped into a taxi - nothing will stand in our way of a night of dancing.

Turned out the Tradies' had also exploded into a glass and steel monolith - and no music. The night was turning into a dud.  We were all dressed up and nowhere to boogie.  Luckily the reception guy at the Tradies' told us about the Vinyl Room which we had heard rumours about earlier.  This sounded right up our alley and it was only a billionty metres down the road (well it felt like it in high heeled boots).  Upon approach our dim dark memory was awoken and we realised it was a bar we used to go to way back when. After paying the door girl a whole five dollars(!) she said yes, its been there even before she was born (hurrumph) and it was called Cascades. It all came back to us and in unison we said "Oh God, its Catch Aides!!" Well that's what we all called it in the 80's.

It was a desperado type pick up joint but because they played all our favourites we always ended up dancing there all night.  Even our brother was known to lurk in the corner.  And yes, they still played all our favourites and everything else from before 1990.  At that stage, around 10pm, there was only a handful of mostly single males there but it soon filled up with dozens more drunken, dancing dudes. And some girls.  And of course we ended up on the dance floor as well.  Its easy to dance when you know all the words.

The next day was a late breakfast in the mall, shopping for stuff to wear that night (Rundles is still there!) and reminiscing about shops that had disappeared - like the toy shop, the pie shop and Jolly Rogers. Three staples as a kid.  I remember saving up my pocket money to buy a piece of tiny, wooden reproduction doll's house furniture each week, then it would be treating myself to an apple pie with cream and as a teenager buying my very own records (or cassette tape) - my first was The Chipmunks (I was so cool).

We spent the afternoon at Northie's in Old Joe's which is a reproduced Milk Bar that was situated next to the old Cronulla Worker's Club over the road - now torn down and fancy restaurants in its place.  They've put in the stuff you would expect like a pinball machine and Space Invaders game table (I wonder if they had come from the old game parlour, Flashez, where I used to spend all the change I pinched from Mum's pokie money?).  There were old photos of Cronulla, a Jackson surfboard (Sister D's husband used to work at Jackson Surfboards in the seventies, so had to take her picture in front of it of course) and retro furniture - which I loved so much I Instagrammed it.


Besides the Kettle of Tea With Norma (a very tasty jug of cocktail goodness), the best thing at Old Joe's was a ping pong table.  It's taken over forty years but I think I may have found my thing. Its a sport that I both really enjoy and I'm quite good at it.  Sister T and I spent so long playing table tennis, Sister D was able to pop over to the hotel for a Disco Nap.  We had so much fun we're thinking of buying a ping pong table.  Or just getting the net to stick over the dining table.

That night Sister D had a school reunion at The Taren Point Hotel so Sister T and I tarted up got dressed up again and went looking for somewhere to eat.  We ended up meeting some friends at the Cronulla RSL for dinner and stayed to hear a band called Too Many Guitars which were a group of teachers who played pretty good covers (even fitted in a couple dances, even though my feet were still killing me).

The 'old girls' eventually turned up and there was more dancing.  It was still pouring rain by the time we left so three tired 'ladies' huddled under an umbrella and hoofed it back up to our room.

The next day we donned our very bright matching hoodies (a coordinated rash online purchase a couple of months ago) and hit the mall again for breakfast which for some wanky reason was served on a square slate tile similar to what I used to have on my kitchen floor (have you ever tried to eat poached eggs off a tile?). We did drew out our grumpy old ladies card and asked them to be brought back out on plates. They won't forget us in a hurry.

I kept forgetting that we looked like a very unfit sporting team on their end of season weekend away and wondered why everyone was giggling at us. At least we could find each other - we stood out like very bright dog's balls!

Have you had a recent run down memory lane? Has it been demolished or spruced up since you were there?  Have you ever looked as ridiculous as these three?

 "It's a Bird Thing - you wouldn't understand"

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Coaching Program and Retreat Deal - #IBOT

*Joining Essentially Jess for #IBOT*

After the sadness of last week, I think its best that instead of trying to work my tired head into creating an original blog post this today, I use my space to promote an opportunity my chiropractor told me about yesterday.  He started the Petrozzi Wellness Centre where I've been going to keep my bent spine in working order for about the last ten years.

The resident psychologist, Suzi Petrozzi (who also happens to be my chiro's wife), has developed a coaching program specifically for women which includes a 3 day retreat in Kangaroo Valley!  She can help you achieve your personal goals and be the best you can be (read more about it below).

Suzi Petrozzi is a coaching psychologist, and an expert in helping women who are at a life transition step into their calling and start living a life of upliftment, purpose and meaning.

It sounds wonderful and as it's a saving of $900 off the regular price, its a bargain too!  The deal runs out on the 29th August 2014 and places are limited so get in quick!  You can call them on 02 9518 0096 or email Suzi at suzana@petrozziwellness.com.au -  I might even see you at the retreat!

Save $900 on 3-Month Coaching Program with Suzi Petrozzi

Move Forward Creating Your Ideal Life…with this 3-Month Coaching Program for Women

Includes a Bonus 3-Day All-Inclusive Retreat in Kangaroo Valley...SAVE $900

Are you holding yourself back in life from achieving more? Are you tired of the 'same old, same old' way of life? 
Are you feeling disconnected from the people in your life?

Are you yearning for the freedom to be authentic and loving?
Are you ready to become a recognised leader in your personal and professional life?

Would you love to work with an expert Coaching Psychologist who knows how to move you forward...closer to your dreams?

I've worked with thousands of people just like you and coached them to create amazing changes in their life.

I invite you to join my exclusive 3-Month Coaching Program which includes a BONUS 3-Day Retreat in the heart of Kangaroo Valley. 
Join me for this exclusive program where you will:
  • Get clear and focused on what you want in life
  • See things in your life finally start falling into place
  • Be yourself, laugh and relax more
  • Start attracting more positive people and experiences
  • Have closer and deeper relationships
  • Have the confidence to let go of things that don't make you happy
  • Make decisions with confidence
  • Create more joy and happiness
  •  No longer worry about what other people think you should be doing
You will get:
  • Weekly 90min group teleconference coaching calls, over 3 months,  where you will be coached on the framework to successful living
  • One monthly 60 min 1:1  coaching session with me where you will have the opportunity to refine and action your goals.
  • 5 Modules over 3 months to give you unstoppable momentum
Reserve you place now in this exclusive 3-Month Coaching Program with a BONUS 3-Day Retreat at a special price of $2097 (this is a $900 saving of the usual $2997  when you book before the 29th August 2014 midnight AEST). BOOK NOW! 

Suzi Petrozzi is a coaching psychologist, and an expert in helping women who are at a life transition step into their calling and start living a life of upliftment, purpose and meaning.

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You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website, centre or you are included in Suzi's business network. 

Our mailing address is:
Petrozzi Wellness Centre
183 Norton Street, Leichhardt, New South Wales, Australia
LeichhardtNSW 2040