Nice to see you!

Three major events occurred for me last year (2010), all in the space of about 2 weeks. I turned 50. The following day I got married. Two weeks later, my oldest daughter became pregnant with her first child and my first grandchild.

Most middle-aged people will tell you that in their minds, they still feel 20 something. It's the same for me.

Wasn't it only yesterday that I was planning a night out with guys from the surf club? That gorgeous new perm. Flaired, cuffed denims and the red t-shirt with the off-the-shoulder frill. Corked platform wedgies. **sigh**

Suddenly I'm looking in the mirror and wondering how 30 years can flash by so damned quickly!

So here I am in cyberspace, sharing my genuine shock and horror with anyone who'll listen and maybe I'll even meet some other over 50s who find themselves in the same predicament!

Welcome to my dilemna!!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

I'm Here!!

Sydney airport was loud, busy, congested and chaotic this morning. I've never seen so many people!! The queues for Virgin Blue check-in were out the door and down the footpath. There were hundreds of people packed like sardines inside the terminal and at least another hundred queued outside. Unbelievable!

Luckily for me, there was no queue in the Rex check-in section!

I didn't have to wait long in the screening line either, so I was able to find my way to coffee and breakfast quickly, with time to spare for some window shopping before I had to board my flight. Ok, ya got me .. I didn't window shop. I DID buy something.

Three people were late for my flight and we had to wait in the bus for an extra 20 minutes until they arrived before we were driven across the tarmac to our little Rex plane. One passenger jumped off the bus and ran behind it to throw up! They wouldn't let the rest of us off the bus until she had finished and they could hose the ground.

Our pilot looked like a young Val Kilmer .. he even wore the same style sunglasses as Val Kilmer when he played Iceman in Top Gun!

Our attendant was a bit cranky. She was obviously trying very hard to be happy and friendly, but I could see in her eyes that she wasn't having a good day. She spoke sternly to one lady passenger who sat in the wrong seat and then raised her voice at a passenger who was talking on his mobile phone when she had to ask him twice to hang up and turn it off.

The flight was very bumpy as we hit quite a bit of turbulence. There was a lot heavy cloud all the way and sometimes it felt like we were driving over a corrugated road. Not very pleasant.

Obviously, we landed safely and BGWLBH was waiting to greet me. It was hot. Oppressively hot.

We went straight to my hairdresser and made an appointment for Tuesday morning. We will be starting our road trip as soon as I walk out the door from that appointment.  My hairdresser, Richie Rich, was not a happy chappy and I found out later that he had been offended by a lady and insulted three times. He said it got right under his skin and we could tell by his very low energy and unhappy vibe. He is usually so happy and vibrant and flamboyant.

We visited Mum W and I cooked her some fish and veg for dinner before we headed to the Chinese Restaurant for some bad food for dinner .. we both suffered for the experience and I certainly won't be eating there again! It wasn't 'bad' as in 'off', but 'bad' as in 'full of stuff that I don't usually eat' and my whole body felt 'ugh'.

We had enough time to eat our dinner and then walk to the cinema where we watched the new Star Wars movie. I enjoyed it very much and am looking forward to watching it with Adoring Husband when I return home .. if he forgives me for seeing it first without him!

Unfortunately, when the movie finished, we walked outside to steady pouring rain! BGWLBH lives about 500 metres from the cinema. It was pitch black and we didn't take umbrellas. The rain was cold! It had obviously been raining for some time because there were some deep puddles to trudge through and no footpath, so we alternated between walking on wet grass or dirt and the road.

If I'm honest, it was quite refreshing and not unpleasant at all. As BGWLBH said "When is the last time you got to walk in the rain like this?"

I got straight into a hot shower and washed and blow dried my hair.

Next on the agenda was opening my Christmas gifts from BGWLBH. Knowing that my favourite colour is yellow, her gifts followed that theme and apart from some very beautiful shiny sparkly jewellery, I also received some lovely yellow home wares and a fabulous hand made knitted yellow cushion.  I feel very lucky and very spoiled!

I am now snuggled into a gorgeous brass double bed for the night.

I'm not sure what tomorrow will bring, but right now, I'm feeling pretty relaxed and comfy.

Nite all.

Friday, January 1, 2016

What a Day!

First of all ...

My original plan for New Year's Eve was to have a couple of drinks with some friends early in the evening, then attend a street party behind me for a couple of drinks and then catch the pub courtesy bus with Lady Lynn and Happy Harry to see in the new year at the pub. 

I didn't want to have a big night, or drink too much, because I was flying to Sydney the next day and there is nothing worse than flying with a hangover!

Well, I checked off the first part of the plan, but that's where the plan ended. I was having such a good time, I decided to stay where I was. I drank too much on an empty stomach, was home (and asleep) before midnight and woke with a ripper of a hangover this morning!

I really struggled trying to get all the last minute things done that I'd planned. My stomach was churning, my head was spinning and my thought processes were scrambled.

We were going to leave home at 10am to get to the airport before 11am and then fly out at 11.35am.

At 9.44am I received a text from Virgin advising that there was a delay and the flight would not depart The Bay until 2.25pm and would arrive in Sydney at 5.30pm.

This was a problem because my flight to Griffith was departing at 5pm!!!

I phoned Rex and immediately changed my Gff flight to the next available, which was 10am on Saturday 2nd Jan - at no extra cost.

This meant that I had to spend the night in Sydney, so I contacted Virgin to request assistance to pay for a motel, considering that it was their fault that I was inconvenienced. Apparently, the delay has to be more than 3 hours for them to offer assistance. I gave them a small piece of my mind.

I thought I might be able to spend the night with Bubbles, but, as my luck would have it, her father just happens to be spending the night there tonight (but of course!). Knight in Shining Armour offered a bed at his place, and as much as I appreciated the offer, it didn't feel right, so I booked myself a room in a motel quite close to the airport.

I arrived at The Bay airport at 1.30pm and checked in. Adoring Husband and I ordered coffee and sat in the cafe area waiting for the plane to arrive. Finally, it landed albeit ten minutes late.

I think it was about 2.50pm when were asked to board the plane. We were all seated and we waited ... and we waited ... and we waited. Twice the pilot announced that there was a technical difficulty that they were trying to address and it shouldn't be long now.

At about 3.15pm he apologised to us all, telling us that there was nothing wrong with the plane and there was nothing wrong with us, but we had to all disembark and go back into the terminal to be screened again, taking with us all of our belongings from the cabin. Our checked luggage was allowed to stay in the belly of the plane (thank goodness!).

So, all of the passengers and all of the crew with their carry on luggage had to go through the screening process again and the plane had to have a complete security check done.

Apparently, somebody had boarded the plane without going through the screening process (I have no idea how that could happen) - a big security breach!

The plane finally took off very close to 4pm!!

It was a smooth flight. All the food and drink was free for the entire journey. The staff were amazing - apologetic, grateful for our tolerance and patience, friendly, efficient and happy. It was an enjoyable flight.

As we flew over Sydney, the sun was low enough (6.10pm) to make the river look like liquid silver snaking it's way through the city and the heavy shadows of the bridges and buildings created perfect symmetry. The sunshine was glistening on every shiny surface so that it looked like diamonds twinkling everywhere.

We flew over the ocean and it was shining golden in the sunlight. Just amazing.

It was a good landing, I was quickly able to collect my luggage, climbed immediately into a taxi and was at my motel within 5 minutes. 

The motel is quite old and looks like a big red brick block of housing commission units .. although much better maintained and with lovely gardens. There are about 750 rooms and all of them have recently been refurbished.

My room is very very small and contains a king size bed, a very stylish lounge chair and an open wall unit that is part wardrobe, part kitchen cupboard (with bar fridge and coffee making facility) and a shelf with towels. There is a charging dock for my ipad which is cool too.

Sorry about the quality of the pics but I took them with my phone and didn't even edit them before sharing here (I'm tired).

It's very clean and tidy, has a big screen TV on the wall and a giant mirror, but a tiny bathroom with a tiny shower cubicle, a tiny basin and a regular sized toilet. I think a big man would have trouble moving in the shower cubicle!

There is a restaurant and I could have had room service, but there is no menu in the room, so I figured that if I had to go down to look at the menu, I may as well stay there and eat. 

The restaurant looked like a cross between a university cafeteria and a cool yuppy bar. The menu was small. Chicken Caesar Salad. Steak, chips and salad. Battered fish, chips and salad. Curried chicken. Hokkien Noodles with veg and your choice of meat.

I chose the curried chicken. It arrived on a long rectangular plate with a round bowl of the curried chicken in the middle, a mound of rice to the right, a ramekin of yoghurt to the left and a large fried papadam. It was the most delicious curried chicken I have ever tasted and I struggled to finish it all! Even though I struggled to finish it, I just HAD to order dessert of home made vanilla bean ice cream - I drool as I'm reminded of it! I asked to bring it to my room, so that I could savour it slowly at my leisure :)

Apparently the menu changes regularly and the two girls who served me were lovely. Charming, polite, respectful and wanting to please. They made me feel important - well ... I am! Haha.

So far, my only concern is the noise from the corridor outside my door .. and the noise from the planes flying low overhead. The air conditioner has a steady hum, which I like .. it's my favourite kind of white noise that lulls me to sleep, so I'm hoping that it will muffle the other sounds enough to allow me to sleep soundly.

The restaurant opens for breakfast at 6am (mine is free with my room) and the airport shuttle is picking me up at 8am. 

So aside from the crappy start to my day - it has all worked out very nicely and I am thoroughly enjoying my alone time. I can't wait to spread myself across this massive bed and head off into the land of ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZs. 

Nite all. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Pension Age

There has been a lot of time spent in the kitchen.

The last few days have been productive .. 2 coconut lemon chicken meals, 3 lamb casserole meals, 3 butter chicken meals, 40 meatballs (chicken, pork and sausage mince GF), 1 beef stroganoff meal, 15 chicken broths, a dozen beef broths and chocolate coconut ice cream.

The ice cream is tasty .. though a sugar addict probably wouldn't like it because it's not very sweet. The other weird anomaly is that even after it has set and is frozen, it just doesn't feel cold in your mouth, the way that regular ice cream does.

Anyway, I have the container in the fridge right now, so it will slowly thaw overnight and I will eat a large chunk of it tomorrow!

One of our neighbours (and friend) celebrated his 65 birthday today and had a gathering of neighbours and friends at his back garden.

I arrived very late and everybody was there already, but I had a fabulous time. I got to talk to people who I have never shared stories with and got to catch up with others who I haven't seen in a while.

I drank a whole bottle of wine to myself between 6pm - 9.45pm. One particular guest cooked 4 gluten free meals for the two of us who cannot eat gluten.

Chicken and vegetable meatballs with a GF soy sauce, mini quiches, mini pavlovas and mini chocolate cakes. It was all delicious and I felt very grateful that she went to so much trouble for us.

I was not the last to leave, but there were only a couple of poeple left when I did decide it was time to go home.

It was a lovely night and I hope to catch up with people tomorrow night for New Year's Eve as well.

Nite all.

First Thought

Looking back on 2015, what is your first thought? What stands out the most?

There are a few things that come to mind immediately, for me.
  • Changing our lifestyle to paleo and feeling the positive health benefits.
  • Having the best road trip EVER with BGWLBH, during which we got to visit Bubbles.
  • Losing three family members, including BGWLBH's Dad.
  • Doing well with my studies but withdrawing due to extenuating circumstances.
  • Having two weeks with Chicklet while Vegan Chickie travelled overseas.
  • Vegan Chickie being in Paris when the terrorist tragedy occurred.
  • Having my teeth fixed.
  • Dipping my toes into Jeunesse.
  • Creating great memories with the Burrum ladies over long lunches and delightful morning teas.
  • Supporting Adoring Husband in his dream to make a difference in the SES.
I have a few immediate plans for 2016.
  • Getting back into my photography.
  • Being more 'arty' and 'crafty'.
  • Another road trip with BGWLBH.
  • Attempting to set some life goals and making plans to reach them.
  • Walking along our beach more often - bare foot.
  • Work harder at promoting Jeunesse.
There will be more to add to the list, after I spend some time thinking about it.

I made this ice cream tonight, but it's currently freezing, so I can't tell you if it is a success or not.

1 cup of pre-soaked cashews. 
1 cup of coconut milk.
1 cup of shredded coconut.
1/2 cup maple syrup.
3T raw cacao powder
2t vanilla extract

Put it all in the blender and blend until it's all smooth and beautiful. Pour into a bowl (I shredded some premium organic dark chocolate to mix in at this point) and put in the freezer. Take it out every hour or so to stir the mixture. It should be ready in about 4 hours.

I hope it's as delicious as it looks!

Time is rapidly heading towards 1am, so I'm off to bed!

Nite all.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Forever Empowered

Who doesn't love Rod Stewart? Who knew that his daughter sounds just like him?

I've had a bit of a cooking day today. Chicken broth brewing in the slow cooker as we speak. I made a double batch of beef stroganoff and we ate some for lunch and froze the second batch. I did a big batch of lemon coconut chicken and froze it.

Tomorrow I plan on preparing and freezing meatballs, curried beef, beef casserole and butter chicken. Spaghetti bolognese might be on the cards too.

The morning will be spent having morning tea with the girls. I'm not sure how many of them will be here but I know that I won't be alone, so that's a good start.

My second word to consider for next year is 'Empower'

Empower - make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.

Some quotes from empowered women ...

“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” — Oprah Winfrey

“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” — Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo)

"I always thought that people told you that you're beautiful--that this was a title that was bestowed upon you...I think that it's time to take this power into our own hands and to say, "You know what? I'm beautiful. I just am. And that's my light. I'm just a beautiful woman." — Margaret Cho

"You are more powerful than you know; you are beautiful just as you are." — Melissa Etheridge

"The question isn't who's going to let me; it's who's going to stop me." —Ayn Rand

"I believe that the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st century." —Hillary Clinton

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”  ― Nora Ephron

I have three things that I need to do before Friday. Pack away the Christmas tree, clean out the fridge and groom the dogs (which was on my 'to do' list prior to Christmas but I ran out of time).

I've decided to make my 'to do' lists shorter, so they don't seem so intimidating!

It's just ticked over to 11pm so I'm off to bed.

Nite all.

Voices in my Head

This guy is pretty amazing. Jordan Smith won America's version of 'The Voice' this year (2015) and deservedly so. If this video of 'Somebody to Love' doesn't convince you, go to Youtube and watch his renditions of 'Halo' and 'Hallelujah'. You will soon be convinced.

I have to choose my new word for 2016.

Remember last year I chose the word 'peace'.  I'm not sure that I generated as much peace as I'd planned, however, I now possess many peace symbols in the form of wall art, jewellery, decorations and even the new chook pen has a peace sign painted on the outside wall.

I have until 1st January to choose my new word. Right now I'm liking 'mindfulness'. Here are three links to sites explaining various techniques to becoming more mindful in your life.

Mindfulness - means maintaining a moment by moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surrounding environment.

Mindfulness - “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”


What I most want to be mindful of, are my thoughts and feelings of self-sabotage.

I have a very loud mind. I think a LOT. I make jokes all the time about the voices in my head but the number of thoughts that shoot through my mind every minute of the day is exhausting and I need to find a way to quiet my mind. Meditation and mindfulness might be able to do that.

I will further investigate and make my decision in the coming days.

Meanwhile, I have booked my flights to Griffith for the 1st January. I'm not sure how long I will be away, but a 'cheap as chips' road trip is on the cards and hopefully will end with BGWLBH here for some R&R and TLC.

I'm looking forward to dusting off the camera and practising my photography again, as I'm sure BGWLBH is too. It's been too long!

Right now, it's after midnight, so I'm off to bed.

Nite all.