a moment in universal time

shooting star through the trees in Edsbyn, Sweden

High on our hillside at night, the lights of the town below glitter like dozens of sparkling stars. I sit outside my house and know that I could just raise a hand to pluck twinkling lights from the branches of the trees.

True stars, brilliant in the clear, country sky above, are not intimidated by my thoughts of  paltry substitution.  They have glistened for millions of years, and will for millions more. Humankind and streetlights, but a blink in their light years; a moment in universal time.

sign of the times

list 1

Upon first seeing this photograph, my initial thought was, what good is a grocery list on a wall when I am in the supermarket? Then I realised, I could take a photo of the wall and have it in my iPhone, and voila, no more lists left at home!

Of course I would have to remember to take the photo in the first instance. And make sure I had my phone. And make sure it was charged.

Maybe I will just shop online.


Q: If you did write your list on your wall, would you include things like tampons, condoms, incontinence pads  and haemorrhoid cream?


And a big yellow taxi

Dear Readers,
This is my new “other” blog. Fear not, Flamingo Dancer remains steadfast!

As an educator, I am passionate about creativity, life long learning, and nurturing a growth mindset. As we age, I believe these are even more important to enable us to enjoy a sustainable, old age. Creative Habits, as the title heralds, is my journey into creativity. It will be what it will be.


When outside and inside is all inside.

sleep pink

I simply can not quieten my mind.

No matter what I do, or what I tell myself; the whirling, twirling, tangle of thinking just keeps rolling through like a train that has zoomed nonstop through all stations.

I guess it is the hyper adrenalin residue of a term of teaching, but it just seems like a massive waste of limited vacation time. And that thought doesn’t help in anyway!

It would be tolerable if there was a attaching burst of energy, but there isn’t. I am exhausted.  I try to sleep, but the head is on busy business. Damn.

The Big Whatever is playing games with me, I just know it.

Do you ever think you sabotage yourself?


I believe I threw a challenge out to the Big Whatever last night, when I declared I was going to sleep in. Despite ensuring the alarm was definitely switched to the off position, and checking it twice, I woke not long before dawn. Dawn!

That was it. My brain snapped into activity. Still wondering how to adapt an ICT coding unit for 10 learning support students (in one class!) who have numeracy and literacy levels equal to a year one (some less!) A couple are do not report students, meaning they don’t get A,B,C…E, but rather just comments about what they did and achieved, but they still need to be included in all acitivities. Luckily, next term, I will have a Learning Officer (current term for school aide) to assist with the class, but they are high support students – 10 in  a class of 14! Luckily it is a far smaller class than usual. My other ICT class has 24 students, only two are learning support.

No best solution there, but then my mind just wandered my inner world. Up and down, over there and back here. It didn’t help that Augie Dog slept by the side of my bed the entire time. Not only slept, but snored! He didn’t move until I sat on the side of  my bed and placed my feet beside his nose! He was to his feet in an instant. A shake of his fluffy golden retriever body and he was ready for his Saturday. I wish I was!

Wondering out to the kitchen to make a cup of tea, I flicked on the morning news. More terrorist attacks. Then, I heard President Obama burst into song, singing Amazing Grace at the service for Clementa Pinckney. It brought tears to my eyes. Such a simple, but powerful moment. A gift to see a leader with humanity, a rarity in Australia these days.

On the plus side, I am still in my pyjamas. I shall cling to them like as to a life saver today.The good thing about vacation is that there is always time to nap.  And Augie? Same activity, different position. Asleep, beside my chair. It’s a dog’s life.

truth to tell

mac flamingo I kind of lied this morning. I didn’t actually feel unbridled happiness; more tired, bitter and twisted. Bone wrenching exhaustion accompanied me as I limped across the finish line, but I got there!

Today was a day of farewells to a couple of long standing staff members, both of whom are spectacular teachers who gave more than a 110% to their students and their colleagues, but neither could find peace with the new regime and so have chosen to move on. They will be missed. More than a few other teachers are feeling the same.

I don’t feel that I want to move on, and to be honest we in our fifties don’t find it easy to find new employment these days, if we ever did. I am not unhappy, just a little frustrated that things have become so governed by the rule book. That said, it is far better than the last regime – they were cruel and inhumane in their treatment of individuals and I was so glad to see them exit.

So, obviously I need this short break to recharge and regain my mojo.

Mr FD has been away the last couple of days. He and his sister have gone south to visit their aged uncle. I never enjoy the trip, so I am grateful that they decided to go while I was still working. It has been very enjoyable having the bed to myself for a night or two, however. I dare say they may arrive back tomorrow as Uncle is not the easiest of people to spend time with, but duty calls!

Next month Mr FD is having his knee replaced. A week in hospital and then he has elected to go to rehab for a couple of days before returning home. I dare say, he will enjoy the nurses fussing over him, despite the pain of the operation. He is having the operation in the same city that I teach in, so I can just run to the hospital after work each day. Joy. Not looking forward to the recovery period at home, as Mr FD can be very “needy” at such times. It will be nice though, to have him walking about again, and not in pain after as little as 10 steps! Maybe he will start taking Augie for walks – they are both a little overweight from lack of exercise!

I may sleep in tomorrow, in fact, I feel a pyjama day coming on – and I think there is rain forecast. Perfect winter holiday! carol landis

The reading table

reader 1

Books I have brought home to read – the Librarian’s version of taking your work home with you!

Rock, Paper, Scissors : Game Theory in Everyday Life by Len Fisher

The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

Creative Schools by Sir Ken Robinson

Breakthrough by Jack Andraka

Readicide : How schools are killing reading and what you can do about it by Kelly Gallagher


Audiobooks I purchased to listen to on my journey to and from school

The Clothes They Stood Up In by Alan Bennett

The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaimann

Where’s You Go, Bernadetter by Maria Semple 

Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord 

Let Your Librarian Be Your Guide

…or, maybe not.

enter without so much as knocking


Yesterday, I was searching for an image of two mature women to represent my sister and I in old age. It was almost impossible to source an image that did not ridicule and marginalise older women.

Almost every image that I found of two women, represented the women as bizarrely dressed, smoking cigars, playing on children’s playground equipment , skateboarding, riding motorcycles or looking grumpy.

When are we going to stop this marginalisation of older women? Why do we allow, in fact, not only allow, but perpetuate the stereotype of the crazy old woman? Why does ageing mean that we either have to be grumpy and frumpy, or bizarre and childish?

I don’t want to act like a child when I am old. I’ve passed through that stage of life, why would I want to go back to it? I am an intelligent, independent women with all my faculties. I have worked hard to have the life I live, I am not going to stand by and allow the media to stereotype me as a weird or senile older person. If I don’t have respect for myself, why should others?

Repeat after me : I will not marginalise myself, or other women by allowing older people to be represented in such a manner as to cause disrespect or ridicule. 


The Birthday Adventure

young us

Mission accomplished. We treated my sister to lunch in Toowoomba, in a restaurant where she has not been before. She even enjoyed a glass of wine, which is really letting her hair down as far as Sister is concerned!

Then, it was on a movie. Purchasing the tickets I had to smile as I asked for “Two seniors, and an adult ticket please.” I was the adult, which is a worry at the best of times!

middle us

We went to the Pixar movie, Inside Out, which we thoroughly enjoyed. I don’t think it will connect all that well with children, but from an “adult’s” point of view it is a timely reminder that life has both sadness and joy, and it is what we make of it that is the fabric of our lives.

So much excitement! We were exhausted by the time we dropped Sister back to her house – at 4pm! Talk about rocking the high life!

old glam