15 Jul

The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman is a captivating storyteller and I have long been a fan. ‘The Marriage of Opposites’ takes the reader to a West Indies Island – St Thomas and is based on the life of the mother of artist Camille Pissarro.

I am not about to retell the story because it is more than a good story or historical insight- it is a journey to a place and people foreign to me, yet so interesting because of it. I want you to enjoy the discoveries as they happen.

Alice Hoffman’s writing keeps getting better. The magic and mystery of the unseen, spiritual, emotional selves are all present and the book is rich with characters and sub plots. Whenever I see a new release from her, I start carving out reading time in even the busiest days.

12 Jul

50 Years of Latrobe Valley Express

I went to the  Latrobe Regional Art Gallery Opening Night of the Latrobe Valley Express’s 50th year exhibition on Friday night. Fascinating to see the range of news items that have occurred during this time period. I noticed The Express was first published two days before my friend Jane was born.

There are so many interesting chapters in our history.  A range of fires, floods, crimes, politics, plans that may or may not have eventuated and tragedies having their brief moment on the front pages of The Express. The advertising brought back memories of businesses that have been and gone, such as Jeffreys and Sharps, who at the time seemed like they were institutions in haberdashery. The language and shifts in our culture are interesting.

I spoke to Lorraine, who shared a memory of when ‘The Express’ first started in Latrobe Valley. She told me there were several newspapers in the local townships which charged for the newspaper service. They didn’t expect ‘The Express’ would last as it was a ‘free’ paper distributed to the whole of Latrobe Valley. The previous model was dependent on the subscription and pay per issue of each of the individual papers. How would they survive when they didn’t receive an income? New business models and paradigm shifts reminding me that the only constant is change.

I saw lots of people I like at the event last night. It’s great to catch up and talk about things. I had a chat with a local councillor about the Equal Rights issue that our local council recently made a debacle of. I’m a little clearer but still annoyed quite frankly.

So many interesting stories up on those walls.

09 Jul

Wedding News

Asha is getting married in September. Last week we went shopping for my dress and I found it quickly and painlessly, so we went for lunch. I also got to see her in her wedding dress and it took my breath away.

My daughter’s bridesmaids organised a Hen’s Night for her last weekend. The Harry Potter themed party was fun. We dressed up and played games and enjoyed delicious food and drink.

We were asked to bring along an object that would have meaning for Asha. As she retrieved each memory from the box, I was impressed that she quickly identified the person and the connection to the item. She retold the significance and I got to learn more about her. She is a wonderful speaker and storyteller.

I came home feeling warmed that she has good friends. A diverse group of women who love and support her, each putting effort into showing up well for her. There was lots of laughter.

Asha is well organised with the wedding. Her and Peter, her fiancé have had a lot of fun in the process of planning the big day. They have expressed their creativity and made the celebration meaningful for them.  I feel so proud of her and blessed. One more school term to go!


07 Jun

It’s been three moons

So much to record!

I spent time at the Future Morwell, Future Latrobe consultation. I met wonderful people and heard interesting stories. I love this place I live. Some days I see the parts that fill me up, generous people,  inspiring, full of hope and ideas who work and spend their energy making improvements, educating, caring, building, sharing, connecting and loving- then to balance it all out there are are the opposites. Mostly I walk away from the opposites, sometimes they impose.

I went to the ANHLC conference in Geelong and stayed at Auntie Gaye’s house. She has a seriously comfortable spare bed. It was good to spend time with her. I was her flower girl when I was 4. I have fragments of memory. The conference was interesting. There were some excellent studies shared about our sector. It was great to reconnect with Mel from Springvale Neighbourhood House and see all the wonderful achievements in her first year. I met up with a lady I’d met at the Peer Academy Writing Course I’d done during the school holidays. I also enjoyed the Mill Market, wandering for a couple of hours – so much inspiration from the past.

I had that flu/cold that lingers so I cut back everything I wanted or even ‘should’ do to the unavoidable. I felt disinterested and tired and slept. I cancelled appointments and put people off.  I haven’t even had a family dinner for weeks. I nearly went to the doctors – but thanks to the wonderful Annabel Meyer and her massages, bowen and tapping I got through with rest and upped self care. Survival mode! It’s so good to be back though :). I’m not all caught up with everything, but I’m working toward it.

I’ve been keeping up with my son’s travels on his blog and I am so grateful for the Internet with Skype, chats and the sharing of photos. His latest blog post is one of my favourites – ‘despite all the problems they have’ . I know he is having an adventure and yet I’m also counting down the days till his return. He reminds me of pa in that it is people he connects with, place is a backdrop. I can tell.

I’ve read a couple of good books, reviews to follow.

My long time friend Wilma had her engagement party at Yarrawonga and I took a long weekend to go and celebrate this happy occasion with her and her fiancé, Dean. It was great to catch up with Wilma’s crew. I enjoyed long chats with people I hadn’t seen for countless years and it was as though I’d only seen them yesterday. I also made some new friends.

We have learning experiences at The VRI with our students and participants. I appreciate working with Dave. An example of his awesomeness; he has found the exact Pandora channel that gets the least complaints from the huge variety of music appreciation that comes through the place. This is no small thing :). I feel very supported by my team around me.

I had lunch with my cousin Sharon last weekend. We sat and caught up with one another’s lives. As children we spent much time together and over the years it’s been too infrequent. I reconnected with her last year at her father’s funeral and our Auntie’s funeral and we made a pact to meet up. I’m so glad we honoured it because I really enjoy her company. We had some laughs!

Thursday this week we presented our #getsunflowered experience to the Keep Australia Beautiful judges. It was an opportunity to revisit the project and I enjoyed hearing all the different stories and perspectives. The timelapse from The VRI –

So glad it is a long weekend. I spent yesterday afternoon having long conversation with clever people who are also generous. It’s my dad’s birthday on Monday so I can cook for the family and for once he’s not away!

26 Apr

Begin Again – Megan Washington

I thought this title was fitting for my return after a bit of an absence. I’ve been quiet for a while cause I had another laptop stop working. I have switched to a Mac now. I reasoned if I was going to have to adapt to windows 8, I may as well adapt to Apple. I’ve had it for a couple of days now and it’s great. I wish I’d done it years ago. I’ve caught up on most of the 100s of emails I haven’t been dealing with. Things pile up after a while!

Lots has been going on. We had our first Dancing Banana event last weekend at The VRI and it went well. Digital Shed started up again this week. This weekend the Traralgon Neighbourhood Learning House is having a poppy display for ANZAC day and I’m having a quiet weekend at home to catch up… on housework, paperwork and sleep.

Straight from the press release –

“ARIA award winning artist and one of Australia’s most adored songstresses, Megan Washington, has just released a remix of her single ‘Begin Again’ taken from her 2014 sophomore album ‘There There’.

Collaborating with producer, Jasper Leak, (SIA, Tegan & Sara) the mix navigates the song through a soundscape of hauntingly sinister beats and samples. Leak builds the dynamics with precision; eventually shifting into his signature 80’s inspired analogue synths.”

This time last year we launched our plans for The VRI whilst streaming TEDx Sydney. Megan Washington gave a courageous speech there about why she avoids public speaking. It was incredibly inspiring to me.

04 Apr

Full Moon Eclipse in Libra – Saturday 4th April, 2015.

The eclipse starts at about 11pm tonight. It’s good timing for Easter and I imagine there will be a lot of people who will get to see it here in Australia.

An Eclipse in Libra may have influence on our relationships and finding the right balance between meeting our own needs and the needs of the relationship. Moonkissd by Jessica reflects on traps that relationships can fall into.

Big Sky Astrology’s Full Moon Post speaks about not being too nice “I’m a big fan of sensitivity and courtesy. But sometimes, you have to do the thing that is selfish and impolite. Sometimes, it is a matter of survival to put yourself first. Say no. Skip the party. Ask for what you need. There are consequences when we do this. Some people might not like it. They’ll call you difficult. Relationships might suffer. But I believe this eclipse marks one of the times when you truly have no other choice.”

I am hibernating this Easter. I’m sleeping, reading, eating and restoring the balance. Mystic Medusa ‘The Full Zap’ outlines the recent intensity. These days off are being put to good use by me.


27 Mar

Home Wedding

Kate and Paul’s wedding was fun! I’d had a busy week, yet the combined powers of my family and friends made it doable.  I still managed to squeeze in the time to have hens drinks with Kate’s girls on Thursday night and to take Paul out on Friday night for the buck’s night he couldn’t have away from home as he was, whilst Kate spent her final single hours with mum and dad.

Food was  homemade – Paul is waiting for his visa so in the meantime (apart from feeding Kate and I) he had cooked up a storm for the wedding. Mum delighted us with deserts from trifle to rum balls and Asha had the cheese and meat platters well handled as well as bringing the amazing cake seen below.

Décor was kept simple – Annder provided candles, banner and wishing well and I borrowed fairy lights from Reactivate Latrobe Valley and had sunflowers provided by their Abby Garden #getsunflowered project. Dad and Paul had provided a lot of the work to get my place good to go.

I loved that it turned into a weekend celebration. The Irish visitors who flew in from Sydney mixed well with our family and extended the celebration to a weekend event. There were plenty of leftovers to last a week!

I love that Kate and Paul are confident enough in themselves to know their priorities and not have to spend thousands to get the paperwork in order. Kate looked stunning on the day with flowers in her hair provided by her friend Hailey from Valentina Floral Designs and GiftsKate and Paul got Married

I loved so much about it that I have very few photo’s to show cause I was busy enjoying it. Here is one of the few photo’s I took whilst waiting for the tribe to arrive.

Glad to have a quiet night at home tonight though :).

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