when the bloom of the jacaranda tree is here

The Jacaranda trees in the main street of our Village, are blooming in all their purple beauty.


“Too late to study when the Jacarandas are in bloom”.

The flowering season of Jacaranda has real and imaged meaning for students at the last year of high school and at university (school year ends November/December). The blooms signal the imminent exam season and some teachers warn that those who have not started studying by the time the trees start flowering cannot expect to do well in their exams. http://www.qhatlas.com.au/jacaranda 


It also marks the end of our second year living in The Village, our secret Paradise. It really is true that life often takes you to places you never expected … and to happiness never contemplated. Counting blessings this day.


Kangaroo on a hot, tin roof


I was making my breakfast about 5.30am, when there arose such a clatter on the roof.

Dashing outside, I caught sight of a young kangaroo  hopping down our drive, not three metres from the house. He/She paused, giving me a backward glance, and then bounded through the garden and back into bushland.

Further investigation, utilising my best CSI skills, showed that said kangaroo  had bounded out of the bushland, through Son’s melon and corn plot, across the terrace garden, then onto the roof of the small carport attached to the  house. The carport’s roof is the same height as the top of the terrace area’s stone retaining wall. From the carport roof, the kangaroo must have bounded into the garden running from the terrace down to ground level, parallel to the driveway. It had landed on the drive way by the time I had made it through the front door, ready to eye ball me from the drive.

After giving me the once over in my pink stripe pyjamas, it retreated back into the bush.

Welcome to the country, Australian style!


a hero is me – because I get out of bed, each day!


My iPhone is my alarm clock. The sound that I have selected it to play is titled “Uplift”. I don’t think anything is uplifting at 5 in the morning, but I chose it as not being too raucous, or shattering to the nerves of a slumbering, Flamingo Dancer goddess.

Every morning, as the alarm plays it “uplifting” tune, Mr FD likes to sing along with it. He has created lyrics to match the beat of the tune. The words?

“Get up… and save the world!”

He repeats it until I switch off the alarm.

Then he rolls over and goes back to sleep, and I go… well, save the world!

Things I learned from being a kid

kid 3

·         Grownups lie.

·         If you eat your crusts your hair doesn’t grow curly

·         Swimming after eating grapes doesn’t give you a stomach ache

·         If you swallow a watermelon seed, it won’t sprout in your stomach, or if it does, you will never know

·         Dirty ears don’t grow potatoes

·         Don’t consume poison (I tried this as a toddler, and it ended up in stomach pumping. Possibly accounts for many things…)

·         If you go to an outside toilet at night, and your siblings say they will wait for you, they never do.  Better to go to the loo before they do and stand some chance of not being left too far behind.

·         Never trust your brother not to dunk you under the water

·         In fact, if anyone says, “trust me”, it is probably wiser not too.


(Now, can you see why I was an anxious child? So many rules to live by!)

kid 2


·         If someone tells you “this won’t hurt”, it probably will.

·         If a parent tells you to “come out from under there, or I will punish you”, they are going to punish you anyway.

·         The starving in African probably don’t want to eat broccoli either.

·         Marriage proposals at any time in your early childhood years are not binding.

·         It is possible to contract Scarlet Fever and not die a lingering death as did Beth in “Little Women”.  (At the age of 11, I read the book and three weeks later I was diagnosed with Scarlet Fever. I compiled my will. Best friend was to receive the Barbie collection – she is still down to receive the Barbie collection.)

·         If you are the baby of the family, you are going to get stuffed into a lot of things – hand me downs, boxes, empty clothes hampers, cupboards.

·         If you want to round up dairy cattle, call, “bail up!”, but if you are calling pigs, you yell “sueeee!”

·         To feed a baby bird fallen from the nest, mix the seed with honey to spoon into their mouths.

·         Birthdays are not public holidays.

·         Don’t pick your mother’s flowers the day before her garden is to be judged in the local garden competition.


·         There is no place like home.

·         It is possible to love your siblings, even like them at times!

·         When someone yells, RUN! Just run, don’t stop and look for the reason.

·         The anticipation of Christmas is often better than the actual Christmas Day.

·         Ditto for birthday parties.

·         Gaining a library card can be a life defining moment (It gave me a profession and lifelong joy)

·         Grandmothers cook the best desserts and bake the best cakes.

kid 1

the finest words ever uttered, and having the last word


When I celebrate my 100th birthday, and they ask me what my secret to a long life is, my reply is going to be:

“Just don’t die.”


You know, how funeral notices often describe them as dying “peacefully”? Well, I want mine to read:

She died kicking and screaming and really pissed off.

The Hardy Tree In the churchyard of St Pancras Old Church in London,

The Hardy Tree In the churchyard of St Pancras Old Church in London,


things to write about when you can’t think of a thing to write about



Some days I could write nine different posts, and then the next day, absolutely zilch comes to mind and my keyboard falls silent. So, I have been trying to develop a back up list of things to write about when I can’t think of a thing to write about!

  1. Why the supermarket should be arranged in Dewey  Decimal Classification
  2. Your first memory.
  3. What your most hated teacher would say about you if they knew you today.
  4. What you would tell your most hated teacher if you met them today.
  5. What you want to achieve before you die – not do, achieve.
  6. The stupidest thing you have ever done.
  7. The worst outfit you ever wore.
  8. Who you would like to be best friends with and why.
  9. Belly buttons – inner or outer and does it matter?
  10. What you would have done, if only your mother would have allowed you.
  11. Five defining moments in your life.
  12. What would you do differently at your wedding, if you could do it again – changing spouses is not part of it!
  13. What you hope your child will do, but will never tell you they did.
  14. Which of your five senses could you live without, if you had too?
  15. The worst medical problem you have ever had.
  16. The funniest/most embarrassing medical problem you have ever had.
  17. Did you ever cheat at anything, in your life – child or adult?
  18. Is it possible to have too many piercings?
  19. Favourite Christmas memory.
  20. Worst Birthday ever.
  21. First attempts at cooking.
  22. The first time you ever spent the night at home alone.
  23. Favourite colour and why
  24. The sound that makes your teeth grit.
  25. The songs you want played at your funeral
  26. Was the painter Picasso really a genius, or did he just fool us all into thinking he was?
  27. The book character you would most like to delete.
  28. Things you never told your mother.
  29. Something you learnt from your sister/brother
  30. Your first driving lesson.
  31. Which celebrity was pinned to your bedroom wall growing up?
  32. If you were the richest person in the world, what daily pleasure would you indulge in.
  33. Three wishes…
  34. Is the book really dying?
  35. Five people you would like to invite to dinner.
  36. The one person you would like for a sleepover. Define the type of sleepover.
  37. Your “go to” movie when you need comfort.
  38. The worst gift you ever gave someone, and why
  39. Giving or receiving gifts, which do you like most?
  40. Should Christmas trees be traditional, or designer?
  41. Why do we love reading scandal?

Well, that’s my first 40. What do you think?


[Feel free to use any of these suggestions. May I ask that you just link back to this post, so that we can enjoy too?]

Mind it, now

I am about four weeks into my online meditation course. Maybe it is a placebo, but I do feel different. I actually find myself slowing down, and experience actual moments of pure contentment and calm. Mindfulness is bringing me peace, calm and a weird kind of confidence, and dare I say, a new kind of happiness?

It hasn’t been easy. I meditate at night and sometimes I am just so tired that I would rather sleep. However, except for two nights I have kept to my schedule, but  the nights I didn’t meditate I did something radical – I forgave myself.

Just like a dieter falling off the carrot wagon and into the chocolate fountain, I got up and got right back on the meditation chair. I am kind – to myself. Heck, who is perfect, anyway?

If, after getting up at 5am and driving 40minutes to open the school library by about 7.15, then working an entire school day, often with a couple ten minute breaks to gobble food; as well as attending after school meetings and driving 40 minutes home, I find I need to sleep rather than meditate, then I am going to sleep. I am going to do what my body wants.

No guilt, and this lack of guilt means that next day I am more eager to return to my meditation schedule. No anxiety.

As I start to meditate, I tell myself that I am doing this for me, then I spread that out to my family, and my students. I meditate for all the people in my life. If I am a calmer, less anxious, more contented and confident person, then hey, that is got to be a bonus for them too, right?

A couple times, recently, I have found myself using the breathing techniques during the day. Soft focus, breathe in, breath out. Calm, let go. The letting go and telling myself to live just that moment, and to know that I can work through whatever it is, has been an enormous benefit to how I am coping with life’s issues.

So, four weeks in, I am sticking with the plan. I like to imagine areas of my brain firing, and reconnecting, renewing. Like, I said, it may all be a placebo, but heck, give me that sugar pill any time!


on our knees

nun habit

As a small child I attended a catholic, primary school and in the first years we were there, back when the Sisters of No Mercy still wore the full heavy black habits, we would say morning prayers, prayers before “little lunch” and “big lunch” and after big lunch we would kneel on the bare wooden floors and say a decket of the rosary.

We were six and seven, and most of us carried little plastic pouches in our pocket in which we had our rosary. I remember my pouch was pink, lined with pink foam, with the words “my rosary” in gold on the opening flap. It was secured with a clip.

The beads were pink also. They were small, as was the rosary. Looking back, I suspect they were a children’s set.

When I made my first communion, my godmother gave me a much more elegant white set of rosary beads as a gift. They were pretty, and I still have them somewhere, I think. At the time, I remember I was much more interested in the shoe box size marshmallow rabbit covered in coconut that she included. I was born on an Easter Monday, and now years later I wonder if she was connecting Easter and my communion in some way. Maybe she just woke up and decided to make a marshmallow bunny, as you do!

My Dad had a set of rosary beads that were given to him when he was young. I saw him take them to church a few times over the years. He always kept them in his sock drawer, along with the cash my parents used day to day. Odd combination, but he has made a lasting memory. My mother placed the beads, and his old prayer book in his coffin when we said goodbye. No one would ever have picked my father as being religious, but in many ways he was the most religious in our family. A simple faith, from living a good life.

Mr FD has a cousin who claims that her rosary turned gold when she made a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. His grandmother was raised by nuns, so there is great faith in parts of his family. Not Mr FD.

You know, I think I still have the pink rosary set as well. Mine have probably turned to rust.


[Looking online I notice the use of two terms : decket and decade. I remember it as decket. Maybe it was a all about where you came from]