Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I am always struck by the various contrasts in life. And they seem to come at the strangest of times. It's almost like an "in your face" comparison. It just goes to show the gods work in mysterious ways I guess. But you sometimes look at people you thought you knew in such a different way than you have seen them before. Sometimes you come up disappointed. There was a time in my life that I was very disappointed with myself. I see now how I took no pride in my appearance, lost my sense of identity and my self esteem. And I virtually handed over all of my personal power to someone else.

I know now that I could never do that again. And so it strikes me so powerfully to see others in the same situation. As much as I don't believe a book can be judged by it's cover - at the same time - you are often only perceived by the image you portray. Pride in your personal appearance is often the only perception the outside world gets to glimpse of the inner you. Looking less than your best in a professional situation (to me at least) just says so much about you and your life.

Interestingly I have started a new job this week working as a personal assistant to a man who portrays an interesting combination of power and self esteem. It has been an interesting combination of admiration and recollection of what seems like a lifetime ago when I worked for him straight out of school for some 6 years. In many ways it feels as though nothing has changed - but then so much has changed in the 23 years since I worked for him last. I am reminded of so many things. But foremost in my mind (both personally and professionally) is how far I am removed from the person I was 4 months/23 years ago.....

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Foo Fighters and the weekend.

Well what a fantastic way to start a long weekend. The Foo Fighters concert was last night and Oh My God they were absolutely awesome. Nothing I could say would really do justice to the event - it's without doubt the best live performance I've ever witnessed and that Dave Grohl has THE most amazing stage presence.

The two YouTube videos below were obviously recorded by the person who was sitting next to Shane and I because I can actually hear my voice on the first one just before the 7 minute mark when the lead guitarist starts to play an ACDC song and I remember me saying "That's Mean" when Dave stops him.... Talk about ironic and a small world....

The concert was a sell out and not only was pretty much every seat in Rod Laver Arena filled, but the standing space on the floor as you can see was at a premium. The photos I took with my phone camera and unfortunately the lense was dirty which I didn't realise until tonight. But you get the idea of how packed it was. What an incredible event though. I would go to see them again in a heartbeat. Fantastic show.

It was a great night of entertainment following by a long walk in the city (rather to the physical detriment of the participants). I've really missed those nights out so much, dinner, walking, it was a really incredible night and it was quite sad returning to the real world again today.

It's been a couple of days with much travel. I was grateful to Paul for the lift to Melbourne even if the plans changed part way and I ended up being picked up in Geelong. But of course we had to detour via Apollo Bay with Lakeisha for the Music Festival down there. Ironic he and I had booked tickets completely independent of one another and yet ended up being seated in the same section. Of course that meant that when I returned to Colac today, I had to immediately hop in the car and drive to Apollo Bay to pick Lakeisha up again. The weather was pretty bad and the drive down and back was even worse. I can barely stay awake right now as I type this.

I don't think my computer is very well. After being turned off for the past day - I came home tonight to fire it up and catch up on everything everyone has been doing in my absence, but it took some coaxing to get it to work. After several attempts and some considerable swearing it did finally do the right thing and start but...... I think some IT assistance is required!!!!!

I think tomorrow will be a day of rest to catch up on some sleep amongst other things. I'm looking forward to Monday, although I know it will be challenging and tiring. I just hope the whole thing is worth it!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Just 23 hours

It seems like I have been waiting for this moment for MONTHS........ But wait - actually I have. It actually WAS months ago when I booked tickets for the Foo Fighters concert. I am so excited to be going. It's going to be fantastic. Finally it's here! Yes Bryon I got your SMS.... It took a moment but I finally figured out what was "NO FAIR!!!!!" It's pretty bad when even folks who live in the USA are jealous of your plans...... LOL And I bet poor Frank will be jealous as well. I could be mean and phone all these people during the performance - but I won't.

This week has actually turned life around a little... I now have a job lined up that I am truly excited about. Personal Assistant to someone I have known for many years in a job that I think will be challenging, vibrant and nowhere near as boring as I feared I would be stuck with. I start work Monday and frankly it can't come quickly enough. Stay tuned for more details.

I have had a rather up and down week this week. I have been so touched on the one hand by some of the kind gestures from various friends (especially thanks to Rob and Paul for just managing to be there when I really need them). But there have also been the unenviable down sides that have created a bit of pain. I must admit there are times when I wonder if certain aspects of my life are really worth the effort I've put into them. At the end of the day, all you can do is sit down in front of a piece of paper and write down the pro's and con's and hope that the Pro's column outweighs the Con's. Sometimes they do - sometimes they don't. I suppose it's a bit like the stockmarket really - knowing when to sell out is an interesting challenge.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The 17th

Oh I might as well post these pics for a start.....

Boofcheese & Sporkcheese!

Nice Tiara Ethan!

No my head was not on a platter....

Lakeisha & Mad

Lakeisha with Nick (who actually wasn't drinking despite looking a little lethargic!)


Survival is a wonderful thing! I survived and so did the multitude of partygoers last night. I refer of course to Lakeisha's 17th Birthday celebrations which went off pretty well considering. I was most grateful for good weather. We set up the caravan annex, a tent and a marquee. By the end of the night the back yard look like Tent City with all the campers. But generally they were all pretty well behaved. Except for one or two who couldn't help themselves but overindulge in alcohol, and a certain someone with a fettish for lighting fires...

I don't quite know where I would have been without my dear neighbour Rob who really did save me on so many fronts yesterday. It started with my concern about a rather large hole in the ground which was originally another of Murray's start it and don't finish it projects to make a large pond. I was consulting Rob as to how I could safely fence it off so no one broke their neck falling into it in the middle of the night and ended with him arriving in a large truck with an excavator, not only filling in the hole but also grading the driveway and filling in all the potholes that have been seeking attention since last Winter. He also brought a drum that we could light a fire in, and when the party got going he also made the run into town to pick up the almost $100 worth of Pizza we ordered to feed everyone, allowing me to stay home and keep an eye on things. That coupled with his "crowd control" was most appreciated.

I think they partied all night, at least when we departed the scene, everyone was pretty much still in full swing at 3:00 a.m. When I woke at 5:00 I could still hear people talking, and at 7:00 when I lifted my head off the pillow again - yep - still talking. There were some pretty tired looking faces out there, but everyone said they really enjoyed the night so that was great. Well all except the birthday girl who had been feeling ill in the morning when we were setting up and who during the night managed to raise a fairly significant temperature.

I didn't get possession of the camera last night, and judging by the photos I've seen so far, there wasn't much photo taking happening. I didn't end up getting a photo of the setup before the party either, too busy preparing. Would I take on a party like this again at home? Hmmm maybe not. It makes you realise the responsibility you have and really how easily it could be for things to go wrong and given I had lined up a couple of other mums to come and give me a hand and they pulled out at the last minute...... I was just fortunate that I had Rob there for support when it was needed. The biggest worry is being so far out of town, while it might deter any gatecrashers from coming, it's a long way to get help if there is a problem. They are generally really good kids, but the bottom line is you just never know when someone will make an error in judgement, especially under the influence of alcohol, and create a problem.

This afternoon I was feeling a bit spent, but did some scrapping therapy towards the Scrap Pile Cyber Crop challenges. This time Deb's challenge to create some flowers using scraps and bits & pieces. I had a lot of scraps of one particular paper and it just happened to match the card I made for the Old Dragon for mothers day - so here they are - just "blooming" gorgeous flowers that may never die but will no doubt collect dust!

Well that's Mother's Day taken care of!

Busy day tomorrow with 2 job interviews. One in Colac and the other in Geelong. But one thing I did get out of this weekend was that another interview I need to conduct is with my GP about my back - soon.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

On The Scrap Pile

Yeah well you could say that about life in general I guess, but hey not for long.... however I was really referring to the Cyber Crop at Scrap Pile last night. I managed to get a layout completed even though it wasn't actually for the crop - it was for Mel's April Challenge which was due at midnight. Despite having a disagreement with my scanner (I can hardly call it a printer these days because thanks to the overworked/underpaid experience with the radio station it no longer prints...) I finally got it scanned....

Entitled "Trouble"... even though she isn't really THAT much trouble... kind of.... ish.... LOL

And since it's most unlikely my mother will ever read my blog between now and Mothers Day - here is the Mothers Day card I made this morning for Jewls' challenge at the CC last night.

And while I was taking photos since the camera is "available" again - I've added these detail shots of some of the recent layouts as well....

Big day today and lots to do for the gathering this evening so I better get into it.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Why isn't it Friday?

But then again would it make any difference? Probably not. Boofcheese celebrated (?) her 17th birthday yesterday. It wasn't exactly a stupendous day. I suspect one of those birthdays relative to my last one. You'd like to forget it happened. No one promised each and every birthday would be memorable for all the right reasons I guess. Reality has a way of getting in the road of even the most sacred of life's moments. You learn that as you get older. For the young ones though sometimes it comes as a bit of a shock the first time around. We lived through it though. Tomorrow is always another day as they say. Hopefully the gathering of friends on Saturday will help.

Today for me has been a fairly unhappy day as well. How is it that some people just thrive on crap. I don't understand why some people do or say the things they do. It never ceases to amaze me the lengths some people will go to further their own personal agendas. But then I don't get so much about some people these days that I sometimes think the less you have to do with the human race the better. Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story. And you have to ask yourself how it is that some other people get sucked in by the stories even though they should know better. I hope the new broom sweeps clean....

The job search continues. I spent much of yesterday talking with people who might hopefully be able to assist me in locating a new job. Trying to actually see someone other than the receptionist seems to be the most frustrating trial at this point. Although I have faith that eventually the right thing will come along.... tiresome though the wait may be...

Monday, April 14, 2008

One More

Yes one more post which must almost be a record for a Monday. I have one more layout that I finished today using a couple of Iron On transfers I spotted at the local $2 shop. I just thought they would make great scrapbooking embellishments.....

Sleep would be good!

And the bit I missed....

I remembered a bit of news that I missed before, after going into town today to pick up mail etc, I got a pizza box... Knowing I didn't have any undelivered orders due, I was really excited to see it was from Scrapbook Creations magazine - my layouts plus the latest issue of the magazine - and of course two of my layouts are featured this month. A double of "Grateful 4 Friends"

and a single "Garden Of Life" which as it turns out was originally the layout I created to apply for the 2nd term of the Design Team at Scrap Pile.

It's so exciting seeing your work get published. Not that I'm striving to create layouts for that reason, but it's just a kick to see something you've created be selected out of all the hundreds of layouts they must be sent every month.

A fine Sunday and a new week!

I swear that my entire life lately seems like a complete out of body experience. The highs and lows are like being out on the ocean going from the calmest of waters to violent storm. Except unlike the weather, you often don't get any warning of impending change at Mareeville.

Sunday was an interesting day to say the least. Aside from a bit of relaxing Scrapping therapy in the morning, not much else got done around here as I realised I had forgotten to get the blasted Otway FM banner from the office window to put on display at the Otway Idol contest. For a second I was contemplating the "Care Factor = Nil" concept but since we had plenty of time up our sleeve I decided to go and retrieve it.

Thank heaven the weather held out for us. It didn't actually start to rain until the contest was over and almost everything was packed up. And even then it was only a light shower, not enough to really wet stuff, but just enough to qualify above mist.

Judging the acts was actually a lot of fun, even though in the end there was a bit of disagreement over the runner up placegetter and no one was prepared to change their vote so we ended up with 2 Runner Ups. We watched each act play/sing about 5 songs for their set and then one of the judges had to get up after each act and say a few words without actually giving away our complete thoughts on how they went. The acts were interesting. There seemed, to all four judges, to be a clear winner in a young local band called Saint Da Ville, who had not been together long but who just managed to do a really great job on the day, hold everything together (including their pitch in vocals which sure helps....) and actually looked as though they were enjoying themselves. I was sitting next to Greg Arnold and we were chatting about how relaxed they looked. When they finished I had to get up and say something about them so I recalled my conversation with Greg about "our" first appearances on stage and how in contrast we had had that "Bunny In The Spotlight" persona and were pretty much in awe of how relaxed and confident these guys had appeared on stage. Given their average age was 14 I think they did extremely well.

In all it was a really good afternoon's entertainment. Although I have to say I am at a bit of a loss as to why you would go into a musical competition selecting songs that were clearly either out of your voice range, or beyond your musical ability, and still expect to be competitive. I would have thought the importance of song choice was a given.... but then sometimes I think I must just be a bit too practical for the real world. That said, I bow to these young people for having the guts to get up there and give it a go. They all have talent. Some just need a little more fine tuning than others. My best advice for the day was never give up on your dreams and always follow your heart.

Should I be mean now and mention that Greg has to take the prize for being the most "out there" for the weekend. Since he drove all the way down from Melbourne to judge the contest THE DAY BEFORE!!!!!!!!!!! Good one Greg! And his new CD is called "Lost Marie".... yeah right... That's pretty funny. So much for making jokes about Lost Maree and playing the tracks on the radio show last Thursday (Frank and Sue) while promoting the Idol competition in my absence - I think Greg wins that award hands down.

And so after a rather chilly day of sitting outside, the back was just a tad sore so I finished off the layout I had started in the morning - entitled "She" with a photo of Lakeisha taken in Forrest just before Christmas and the lyrics of the Elvis Costello song of the same name (She that is - not Lakeisha).

The big weekend fast approaches so there is a bit to get done around here this week. That coupled with some serious job hunting is likely to be the focus of the week.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Saturday Scrapping

Aside from spending a couple of hours in town putting a Saturday pre-recorded program to air (yeah it never ends....) I did manage today to complete a layout for Mel's weekend challenge to scrap a layout predominantly using black & yellow. I may have kind of pushed the rules a little unless you - like I - am happy to include gold and cream as shades of yellow. Hey no one said it had to be the same yellow all the way through.....

Anyway here is the layout, a photo of Lakeisha from her Year 10 Formal in that gorgeous pink dress (not that you can see that in a black & white photo....) - entitled "Grown Up B4 My Eyes"... and my, hasn't she....

The big day tomorrow in Gellibrand for Otway Idol draws closer. Looking forward to it.

Thank God it's Saturday

A couple of people asked me about Dan England, and so here is his myspace site "danenglandlive" Definitely worth a look and a listen. I have a laugh about that now - up until last Tuesday I couldn't have recommended that - but now that we have broadband I can actually get myspace sites to not only load but I can hear them as well. Isn't technology just a miracle. Yeah I know - we here in Barongarook are a bit slow and behind the 8 ball.

Isn't it wonderful how life constantly gives you perspective. By comparison to Thursday, Friday turned out to be a very character building day. Getting text messages from a friend who had clearly been given misinformation by someone who is clearly just not a nice person has really upset me and has the potential to do a whole lot of damage to something I love. There is nothing I can do but shrug my shoulders and move on. In the end everyone shows their true colours - this will be no exception.

At least I managed to get a little sleep last night, thanks in part to a few panadol. Although I must say my back is feeling just the tiniest bit less painful this morning which has to be a positive sign. I could actually manage to roll over and sit up without the extreme grimace in pain this morning. Still a way to go yet until it's normal though I suspect. But awake at 5:00 a.m. and my guess is, the chances of going back to sleep at this point are slim. I hate that on weekends......

1 more day until Otway Idol Just wish the weather was shaping up to be better than it is.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Memorable Thursday

What an awesome day today was. After a rather painful day yesterday - and I mean PAINFUL in the most physical sense. Managing to tip myself off a chair, landing on my rear end on a concrete floor yesterday and now having some EXTREMELY nasty bruises on my lower back (insert butt here...) I have to say that the last 24 hours has certainly challenged the pain threshold. But what better way to cheer yourself up than to spend a day with people you love.

One of today's highlights was meeting the gorgeous Jewls - one of my online friends at Scrap Pile. I've felt drawn to Jewls since she joined the site and it was so great to meet her in person. She was everything I had sensed she would be. What a great lady and I am in awe of her talent as a scrapper as well.

To meet her and have her meet someone important to me as well was such a special thing. A long day and not just a little painful at times.... but well worth it. Hopefully Jewls liked her gifts. I know one would have been appreciated. Looking forward to her being home again and being able to chat. Mind you - Jewls if you moved over this way it would be even better!!!!!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sunday afternoon with Dan England

Well what a great day Sunday turned out to be. Went to see Dan England at the Terminus Hotel in Forrest. What a great talent. You might remember Dan from Australian Idol if you watched it. Fantastic voice and did an awesome job on every song from his own compositions to Bob Marley to the Beatles. Had the opportunity to chat with him at length as well and what a nice guy! He has a new album coming out in the next few days and if what I heard today was anything to go buy - I'd recommend going out and buying it!

Work tomorrow and looking forward to meeting Jewls this week as well. Gee girl I can't believe I got the date wrong!!! DUH. Thursday or Friday this week... Can't wait! I'm on a high.... at least I have something exciting to talk about tomorrow morning.

Sunday.... again

Time really does seem to fly by faster the older you get. I can't believe where this week went. Next week shaping up to be so busy as well. Looks like a trip to Melbourne Monday, Tuesday is "Get Connected To Broadband" Day, Wednesday I have a rather interesting lunch meeting with one of my favourite girls Kerri... (I think we'll both be having an early day from that one...), Thursday the usual job hunting exercise, and Friday lunch with Julie & Ange. I'll try to find some time to squeeze a bit of work in there somewhere as well. One thing I will miss is the freedom...

I bought some new paper recently and have been sitting looking at it trying to figure which photo would go with it. In the end I could only come up with one, so here is the layout I created this morning, entitled "Cherish".

Lots to do this afternoon so hopefully I will get a little of it done at least. Tossing up with the idea of checking out Aussie Idol Dan England tonight. Julie get off the phone so I can call you woman.... LOL

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Another layout

One additional layout before I wander off to bed. This one entitled "Perfect Result". Photo of "the Red Team" at Australian Business Week at the Deakin University. I took this photo after the presentations in their board room. It was smiles all round and much talk about the trip to Sydney in June. It was neat to meet some of the other parents. I'm really looking forward to a quick trip to Sydney!


Change as we know is inevitable. You can fight it all you like, but the end result is that you end up very tired from swimming in the wrong direction. And I think when you finally do get swept up on the bank you realise that instead of swimming towards the point you thought you were, you've actually ended up a long way from anywhere in the process. And then you have to find your way back again.

Everything in life progresses. Nothing and no-one stays the same. You either grow with the things around you or grow away from them. It's not to say that what was is wrong, it just means that as life progresses your needs change. It's a bit like outgrowing that childhood bike or toy. It was right for the time but not for the future.

Having the courage to progress is an interesting challenge. Starting a new job, moving to a new city, making new friends, it's very challenging and very intimidating. We all have our comfort zones. So few of us reach our full potential because it's easier to be comfortable than it is to challenge ourselves.

If nothing else this past year has taught me the rewards of challenging yourself. The enormous satisfaction of doing different and getting a different result is a reward in itself. But the confidence gained with knowing you can do it, knowing you are "bigger" than you thought before, is the most precious reward for stepping outside the comfort zone.

I think that I am not the only one to learn this lesson in the past year, and certainly Lakeisha has too had a taste of that with her Australian Business Week experience.

And so comes another layout which was based on a Sketch Challenge from Suzie from the Keep N The Memories site - entitled "New Friends".

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Good Grief

Sometimes things in life just leave you shaking your head. Like when you feel you are the only one who sees the urgency in something while everyone else just sits there nodding their head going - YUP someone should do something about that..... Hopefully as I write this the radio station is back on air after an equipment failure but getting it there has been an interesting challenge. I've decided that if no one else is really worried I don't know why I should be. God knows I've lost enough sleep over this thing to last a lifetime. It's almost worse than owning your own business......

That aside I am feeling so positive about everything else concerning my future. No I haven't got a new job yet, but I am not worried - I know the right thing will come along at the right time. There is just one thing missing for me in the big picture right now. But I guess whatever is meant to be will be there as well. Perhaps I am concentrating on the wrong things. I don't know. I do know that whatever life has in store for me, all will be revealed eventually. Right now I'm keeping my eyes open, an open mind, and not discounting anything. Sometimes life works in mysterious ways. I've already wasted enough of it. I don't want to waste any more.