Red Shoe Project 2016 or Creativity + Minimalism = 2016

red shoe project 2016

A couple of years  ago I attended a teacher librarian’s conference in Hobart, Tasmania. There was several keynote presenters, several of whom were authors. I noticed a common denominator. Red shoes.

The majority of the female presenters (there were a couple of males represented, fear not, though education and librarianship are heavily dominated by females) wore red shoes. The obvious conclusion for me, was that creative people wore red shoes. Therefore, I wanted to be creative, I needed to wear red shoes.

Eventually, I found the red shoes that suited me. They didn’t turn out to be magic shoes of creativity, but I really didn’t think that I would ever click my heels and go to Oz. Aus maybe, but never Oz (sorry little joke for me, as I am Australian! Okay very, little joke…)

What my red shoes are however, is that creativity is a mind set. A mind set that I need to cultivate and nurture. It ain’t going to happen if I don’t!  When I look down at my shoes I am reminding myself that I can be what I want to be, and that, yes, I can do it!

So,  fast forward to the New Year. My mantra or theme for 2016 is Creativity + Minimalism = 2016. I don’t have any hard or  fast plan as to what form that will take, but my goal is to be pursue creativity in all things – personal  and professional life which naturally includes my interactions and relationships with others. Our home will be crafted into our absolute sanctuary where we can live simply and slowly.

I acknowledge that this will be more than a year long journey.There will be good days and bad days, probably good weeks and bad weeks, if not months!  I can make a solid start in the next few weeks while the school vacation continues, after that the road will have more twists and turns as I return to work, but I will be kind to myself and just try my best.



Carrying my place with me



I don’t know why taking the rubbish out to the bin led to my comment, but as I walked back through the front door, I couldn’t help remarking to Mr FD that “we really do live in the best place in the world.”

For those new to the flock, Mr FD and I decided on a tree change just over two years ago. We moved from a large, two storey house in a Brisbane suburb to live in a small “village” about an hour’s drive from the city. Our home is smaller, more manageable to suit our downsized lifestyle, and has the textures of brick and natural wood we love. Every room has a view of trees.

We have a tall cathedral window in our living room that gives us a floor to ceiling view of tall towering gum trees and our garden, as if there is nothing between us and the world outside. In fact, it does its job a little too well, as once or twice a week we hear the bam! of a bird making contact with the glass. We joke that one day the window will break and then we will replace it with a huge stained glass STOP! sign window, to warn the birds.

Living here means that I have a 40 minute drive each way to teach every work day, but that is a small part to play for the joy of living where we do. (And we traded my car in for a hybrid to alleviate the fuel issues). I can walk onto our patio any morning and watch a variety of birds catching their early worms, or maybe follow a wallaby making its way across our lawn. Our trees are old and very tall, and as I write this blog, sitting near the open window, I can hear the wind blowing through the branches of the gums. Just hear the serenity!

Our property is just over an acre on the side of a hill, and so we have the added gift of sweeping views across the valley. There is even a lake to be seen in the distance. Surrounded by trees, the front road is hidden and we can pretend the rest of the world has ceased to exist. I do, for days on end, when not interrupted by the need to go “out there”.

Add to that, our first family dog, a cream, golden retriever named Augie, who arrived as we did, and the cup really does runneth over.

“We really do live in a beautiful place,” I said.

Mr Fd replied, “Someone from overseas wrote to me that they were sorry for what happened in Sydney (a terrorist siege that resulted in the deaths of two innocent hostages) and I said, that though there are horrors vested upon us, on the whole we do live in the best country in the world.”

The best place in the best country in the world, that is where I live.


When you leave a beautiful place, you carry it with you wherever you go.

                                                            Alexandra Stoddard


Just putting this into words, has made me realise, that living here has made me a better person. I am no longer concerned about image, or ambition. I have slowed down. Now moments mean more than things. It would be nice to think that I am also a kinder, more forgiving person; mellowed a little, but at the very least, I am happier and so very content.

I wish to you all, that in 2015 you may find your little piece of paradise. If you have already, that you may hang on to it tightly and let it fill you, heal you and make you the person you wish to be.

Flamingo Dancer.

via Flamingo Dancer blog

bubble 2

I spent the evening with both daughters and delightful granddaughter, though she was in bed by 7pm. We ate Chinese takeaway and watched a movie before toddling off to bed at 9.30. We all figured the New Year would be there for us in the morning and it was!

Daughter2 flew back to Perth this evening, and it will be the end of February before we see her again. It is nice to have met her lovely Beau and to know that she has a supportive partner with her across the other side of the country. He told D2 that he liked her Mum (moi!) and she asked “Why” which may have been a dangerous question. His reply?

“You family is crazy, but your Mum just bubbles along on top of it all!”

I am taking it as a compliment!

as I lay me down to sleep

Dear Diary,

As a first day, the first day of 2012 was rewarding.  Mr FD and I greeted the New Year by trying to flick between television channels trying to find a decent broadcast of the fireworks. Eventually we settled for a delayed broadcast of the Sydney fireworks due to our state of Queensland not following daylight saving time. All was well, and the New Year was welcomed with a cup of tea on my behalf! Wild woman that I am!

The morning was spent working on my office area, and I was able to box up two boxes of books for collection by Lifeline for their annual Bookfest. I have more books to sort, as a result of too many years working in bookshops and receiving a 40 percent staff discount! I never thought I would ever part with my books, but now I see so many as clutter. They have done their task and now it is time for them to find new homes.

The afternoon, was spent in the garden as I planned. I have cleaned all the palm fronds from the garden, and pruned everything that I wanted to in the back garden. Mr FD still has mulching to catch up on, and then we will move to the front garden. Hedges!

I phoned my Mum and we did our annual “oh I haven’t spoken to you since last year” routine. My sister and BIL were taking her out to lunch to celebrate the day, so no guilt there for me! As I said, it was a good day – no guilt at all!

One day done, 365 to go – remember this is a leap year!

Goodnight, sleep tight.


Ring out the old, ring in the new

It is the last day of 2011 and I feel the pressure to call you all to arms, to go into the New Year armed and ready to make it a year to remember.  Go forth and tick those dreams off the bucket list! Resign that job, toss the disinterested partner, learn to swallow flaming swords! Follow your dreams!

Except life isn’t always that easy, is it? We can’t all have independent means, lifestyles free and open to whimsy. We have parents who need us, children to raise, or grandchildren to get to know. We have ill health, and fears and phobias and issues.  We can’t all freelance from the west coast, the east coast, or an island in the Pacific. Complications entwine us, and the list can be so long that it dwarfs any bucket list we might craft.

And maybe, just maybe we are totally happy with our lives. Where does that leave the New Year? Languishing in the waiting room, waiting for its number to be called? What do we do with it once it comes through the door and sits in front of us, demanding our attention?

I suggest inviting it in gently; make friends with the New Year. See where it seeks to go. Maybe divert it with plan, or a goal; two or three. Or none See how it feels, get to know it. Watch it every day. Then work with it. Make it yours.

May 2012 be truly yours. May you treasure it, and it treasure you.

Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true

Alfred, Lord Tennyson