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 :).

20 Mar

New Moon Solar Eclipse in Pisces – Friday 20th March 2015

The new moon/solar eclipse is at 8.36 tonight here in Australia. The dark moon lead up has felt long. This new moon is in the last degrees of Pisces.  Pisces is the final sign of the zodiac and a water sign. Piscean moons are sensitive – to yourself, to others and to surroundings and all that goes with that. Creative, compassionate, imaginative and romantic feelings can be stirred by this moon. There are plenty of posts about this eclipse so this is going to be personal. I’ll share the posts I find valuable on my facebook page.

I’m excited  because my little sister is getting married the next day after this eclipse and it’s perfect for Kate and Paul to start their new life together on a new moon. The lead up to a new moon is a good time to let go and clean up. The wedding party is at my place so I have benefited from the combined efforts of all, getting my home ready for the big day.

Kate was born when I was a teenager. We didn’t live at home together for long before I moved out and she’s spent most of her adult life travelling. She is an Aries and Paul is Cancerian so they have the fire and water combination going well. They didn’t consult me on their wedding date, but last night I was looking at charts with Kate’s girlfriends and I saw that Venus and Mars are returning to her natal in her chart for her big day. I don’t think she could have chosen a better time. I love the synchronicity of it.

Paul and Kate have been living with me since Tom went overseas.  It’s been fun getting to know Paul and having Kate around. Paul’s a chef and he’s been cooking for weeks leading up to the big day. I can’t wait to enjoy his work! I’m able to understand his Irish accent better than the overseas calls on Christmas days in the past. I’m looking forward to having a brother-in-law.


15 Mar

Sunflower Gifts

Sunflowers by Annie Hudd

Sunflowers by Annie Hudd

I had a crappy week this week for a couple of reasons that I don’t want to share. On Friday we had our #getsunflowered event in Morwell and it was again extraordinary in terms of the crowds that came and the smiles that came with them.

I was late to the 7am clean up session but pleased that there were some new faces who’d come along to help. We even had a couple come from Melbourne to pitch in.

I dashed home at lunchtime to change my shoes. I’d made a wrong choice when I’d dressed myself that morning.  In the mail had arrived this gorgeous drawing and a sweet note from my friend Annie. I was so touched. I’ve seen some brilliant photo’s and my eyes have been filled with sunflower sights, yet I know this drawing will have staying power in terms of reminding me of what a special experience I’ve had this summer.

It’s amazing how beauty can uplift you.  It was perfect to spend a day in the middle of a patch of sunflowers. Being with my hardworking, committed friends, cutting and giving the flowers  away to both friends and random strangers was the best circuit breaker for the head miles I’ve been doing.

Craig’s step tracking app reported that he’d walked 20kms Friday, so I reckon I would have managed perhaps half of that –  the exercised muscles made their presence known on Saturday morning and it felt good. Exercise is not the first thing on my list when it comes to ways to spend my time, so it’s always good to get some bonus physical activity.

I have to admit when we started this project I had no idea of how much they would create in terms of joy and goodwill in our community. In the beginning at times it felt like it was hard work and criticism.

I should have known because my son made this picture for me in kinder during a time when I was really sad and worried. It was reassuring at that time, and it continues to brighten my space.

Sunflowers by Tom

Sunflowers by Tom


06 Mar

Full Moon in Virgo – Friday 6th March, 2015



This morning the moon was full. This photo was taken at my friend Jane’s house a couple of night’s ago when it was nearly full and we were celebrating her birthday.

Virgo moons are very organising. In the lead up to a long weekend here, I’ve felt the urgency to finish things and get things done.

I’ve been working with two brilliant Virgo’s Rose and Craig who are amazing in their ability to get things done and to attend to such a diversity of details. I tease them about their efficiency and discernment at times – but the truth is that we couldn’t do what we do without it. I appreciate them more than I can say. They have worked all summer preparing the sites, planting and watering the gardens and have delivered such an amazing gift to all the people of Latrobe Valley and visitors from beyond. They are also a lot of fun to work with.

Last weekend we had our #getsunflowered Garden Party at the VRI. It went really well and  we saw a stream of people come along and enjoy the space, food and entertainment.  We had great support from Three Little Birds, The Coffee Cart, Sari’s, The Paper Dolls,2015 018 Paper Dolls #getsunfloweredThe Latrobe Community Choir and Matt Frescura started the afternoon off well with his acoustic performance. I was delighted with the crowds that came through and it was beautiful to watch people leave with arms full of sunflowers and smiles on their faces.  It’s been a very uplifting couple of weeks and people have responded well to #getsunflowered.

I’m looking forward to our next event in Morwell on Friday 13th March at the Church/Buckley Street site. If you missed our event, make sure to go along and get some flowers to brighten up your place. They really do make you smile.

Haven’t had time to visit my usual astrology readings this moon, but I will catch up over the weekend and share on the Joh Blogs facebook page.

21 Feb

Mum and Dad have been Married for 50 Years

Yesterday my parents celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary. No big fuss was made by them, they are happy as they have always been being together.

cake & Mum and dadI must admit I have taken their solid relationship for granted most of my life. I haven’t been able to duplicate it and have watched them for signs or formulas about how to have what they’re having. I’ve even asked them flat out what the ‘secret sauce’ is. They don’t make a big deal of it.

They have achieved a lot in their 50 years together. I could run through the stats, the six children, the home, the extended family and the good times but that would be my perspective and they are private people.

I don’t have the definitive answers, but what I have observed is they genuinely care for one another. Many of my friends when I was younger and even ex-boyfriends would say to me how wonderful my parents were and what a great relationship they had but I took it for granted and didn’t think it was that special. As their first child who will be 50 in another 10 months I’ve had a lot of time to watch what they do and this is what I’ve noticed.

mum and dad and familyThey have totally embraced one another’s families. Sadly they are the last two remaining people alive in this photo. I have been blessed with a family that gets along. At our family occasions, both mum and dad’s families have been welcome, included and have enjoyed being together. My mum’s younger brothers and sisters (she came from a family of 8 children) have demonstrated as much love and respect to my dad as to my mum and that kind of sentiment is earned not demanded. My mum has also been lovingly a part of my dad’s smaller and close family. I never got the mother in law jokes when I was a child because both my parents showed genuine love and care for their parents.

They were a tight unit when I was a teenager. The only time I got to play one off against the other was the Richmond/Collingwood football Grand Final in 1980 and I did have to consult Google for that date. I do recall I wanted to go to a Blue Light Disco in Morwell that evening and mum said ‘No’ – she barracks for Collingwood. When dad returned from the GF he said ‘Yes’. I quickly took off and didn’t wait around for a discussion.  It was rare. I still remember it :).

They made a lot of time for each other whilst we were growing up. They would go out for dinner or away for weekends – which gave us lots of time to become close to our grandparents. My Auntie Pat also looked after us a lot. They allowed others to be a part of our lives and thus carved out precious time for themselves. They clearly have always enjoyed being together.

I am blessed to be the child of such a stable relationship and all the security and love it has freely brought to me. It’s given me the strength and support to do all that I’ve wanted to do in my life. I haven’t been able to replicate their great union, but I’ve had the freedom and support to do what I’ve wanted to do. I no longer take their strong foundation for granted and I appreciate the love and home that I was gifted by their commitment.

As an interesting aside, they had a wedding breakfast. They got married on a very hot day. Wedding BreakfastMum borrowed her wedding dress. Dad had just returned from Darwin. They seriously wanted to be together and it wasn’t about the party – but it looks like a good party.

I am grateful for all involved. I was brought up in a happy home.

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