Thursday, 23 October 2014

A belated conversation

Like my bloggy mates H and FF, I have been lacking in the blogging mojo department recently. My facebook statuses are a bit few and far between as well, unless it is something shared, a talking point.

Perhaps it is that being outdoors is so lovely at this time of year?

Walking through my 'hood is a real treat at this time of year. There are lots of lovely established rose bushes in people's front gardens. I have been performing an olfactory survey of all of the roses. Some of them look pretty but have no smell. Some of them, like the peachy ones with the pink bits at the end of the petal (not the botanic name) smell divine. We have some in our front garden; our cleaners prune a few buds and put them in a vase for me to sniff regularly. Perhaps encouraged by green thumbed bloggy friends, I am starting to appreciate having a garden.

Also I have been thinking about things that might be a bit boring and or repetitive for the blog.

But there has been a bit happening elsewhere in the world to talk about.

Like Gough Whitlam.

He was only PM for three years, and before I was even born. Though I never had any experience of his leadership and no feel for the type of man he was, I know I am a beneficiary of what he achieved in his time. Somebody from my background would not have been able to do what I have done without his legacies, and I am acutely aware that it is getting harder for people coming from more modest backgrounds to achieve what they want.

I was talking with an older colleague about him the other day. My colleague, who is quite conservative politically, was quite generous in his praise of Gough Whitlam. My colleague was of the era that he could just as easily have been packed off to fight in Vietnam, rather than having a wildly successful career in business and finance before becoming a doctor and being very contented. He was glad when Gough ended conscription. He said that Australia become a bolder   and more confident nation after Gough's time; perhaps inspired by making sweeping changes that would have been considered quite shocking and foolhardy at the time.

Yet all we hear about is the assorted gaffes of the politicians, and failed reforms. I have a friend whose husband is a politician. We don't hear about his good, steady work behind the scenes. Our view of politicians is shaped entirely by the media.

But that will do about that....

Bella the dog's personality is coming out more by the week. She sleeps on the couch at night. When I get up, I find her coiled up in a snail position on the couch. I greet her, and I get only a side-eye in acknowlegement (perhaps she is not a morning dog). I can only lure her outside with soup bones; no dog treats or dry dog food will work. And she is starting to get me figured out.

When I get home, she greets me with a waggy tail, then sits on the couch with me for a quiet cuddle. When my fella gets home, she bounces about like a loony, and they play their wrestling game. They have it choreographed quite well.They are best mates. The dog has improved my fella's stress levels quite considerably.

She likes to do crazy happy-laps in the backyard. She will get an old bone from her stash and throw it up in the air with her teeth. Funnily, she does not do ball games.

She loves to shake hands too. She is scared of most visitors, but we are getting visitors to hand-feed her dog treats. Maybe she will learn that humans are good.

But most importantly, it's Friday! It's going to be a good weekend! A cooking class, a hens' night and a family barbecue is lined up. All the weekends in November have big events in them too. I have to find time to re-curate my wardrobe, having performed a de-clutter of the garage with my fella.

Tell me, what are you doing this weekend?

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Mindfulness, the cilosophy way.

Perhaps mercifully I have not been internet shopping and have nothing to show you.

Actually that's probably a lie; nothing has tickled my fancy enough to want to buy it.

Today comes another navel-gazing post. Well not navel gazing. Quite the opposite.

In order to get my body ready for being a  sacred vessel of the wonder of new life(?!), I have had to make some changes to medications. That finely tuned neurotransmitter and hormone balance that keeps me well and functioning has been upset, and other things need to be brought in to maintain that balance.

Don't worry! I am ok! Thankyou for asking!

I am exercising regularly. I have cut back on alcohol. I wear clean undies and wash behind my ears.

One of the things I have been encouraged to practice is mindfulness. It is a cognitive therapy based on Buddhist meditation.

Imagine you get a bothersome and unpleasant thought in your head. It could be reality based.
The thought becomes bigger and darker.
It becomes so real. It is like that thing you thought about is actually occurring.
You get the physical signs of that thing actually occurring. The breathing quickens, the pulse quickens and becomes palpable. You feel sick, or can't sleep.

Thing is, it's not actually happening. In fact, 90% of the unpleasant thoughts and worries don't actually occur. If you are thinking about an unpleasant thing from the past, it is just that: past. It is not the here and now.

Cognitive behavioural therapy gets us to challenge the beliefs that occur as a result of these thoughts. I can be quite good at that.

Mindfulness gets us to stop the thought. Hold on for a minute, without judgement or letting it affect you too badly. Then let it go. Return to the here and now, mainly by concentrating on your internal signals like your breath, and your surroundings.

I actually find concentrating on the breath quite anxiety provoking, to be honest, but the theory is good. I am told it actually helps with frontal lobe function (that bit of your brain that carries on higher functions like planning).

The here and now is actually not at all threatening.
My situation at the moment, my life, is actually....really really good. I need to go back to that.

Here is a link to some short mindfulness exercises from the black dog institute - anyone can try them.

Do you meditate? How do you go with it?

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Not making dreams my master.


So I have gone from light, shopping related posts to an introspective one here.
One never knows what I might come out with.

It must be that time of the year where I hear every few days that somebody is pregnant. A close girlfriend of mine is about 14 weeks.

I am thrilled and excited for these people, but part of me gets a little jealous. Exactly the same as in this post.

I have a bad case of preggy-envy.

Now that going on, there are certain other things that are occuring within me.

I think about babies quite a lot. It's not a mournful thing. I just have to catch myself.

I am making plans based on being pregnant within a certain period of time.

I catch myself deferring things "in case" I get pregnant.

That is not the path I want to go down.

I came to thinking about this stanza from my favourite poem, If.

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;

I must continue to live my life unashamedly. The path to mumma may well be long or beset with trouble. I can't make dreams my master. As somebody clever once told me, I have to trust in the process.

So I will submit that abstract to present in Boston next year.
And I have registered for the 10km fun run in December with the aim of improving my time.
And I will continue to try and build my private practice.

And I will just try and be patient, and live fully.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Cilla wants.

Continuing on with the theme of the last dress, I have been looking for an occasion dress (I've a few weddings coming up).

I want this one!

It's the Atiya dress from Coast.

I am thinking nude heels and diamante earrings. What say you?

I went to the Bill Bailey concert last night.

Bill Bailey is the funniest and cleverest man in the world. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. He poked fun at our government, he told funny long winded stories, did interpretive dance and sang Abba's "Waterloo" in the style of Rammstein. In German.

I think I have a bit of a crush....

I am now trying to write a talk for a presentation I am giving on the weekend.
I agreed to it 6 months ago.
I know.
No good deed unpunished.

I am running the 10 km event in the Melbourne Marathon event this weekend. I have a bit of a dicky calf. Fingers and toes crossed for me, 'kay?

I am procrastinating....
better apply nose to grindstone....

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Impulse buy(s)

There is this clothing/accessories/lifestyle shop near where I live, it is called ili (I love it). It is owned by a woman who is a stylist. She stocks lots of Australian brands like Sacha Drake, Mesop, Elk, Walnut, Nicole Fendel etc.

She also stocks a label called nancybird. Nina from Offspring wore a lot of the clothes and Accessories.

I have been there to look around and have a chat with the saleslady a few times, but never felt confident to buy anything. Today, I bought this. It's silk. Look:

Image courtesy of

I shall style it with some grey skinny jeans and sandals. Or blue/indigo jeans.
Or with a straight skirt for work.

Also, I have a few weddings coming up. Any good ideas of where to get formal-ish dresses?

I quite like this frock from DeCjuba. It would look good with a gold belt. But it might be a bit bright.

I generally love garments that you can throw on and feel fab. That can be dressed up or down. I bought this from Katies a couple of weeks ago, after I saw it on Sonia Styling.

image via Sonia Styling (who is on my blogroll - she is a babe)

How would you style these? 
Any good buys you wish to talk about? Brag here!