Monthly Archives: October 2016

Dateline Bali


Yesterday was the most incredible day. We started with a drive into the country . First stop rice paddies all terraced up the hillside. The first opportunity to see the real Bali. Fresh coconuts at this stop and then on to the volcano. What a truly magical experience. We pretty much had the place to ourselves. The only downside was we were the sole focus of the few hawkers that were there. Then on to the coffee plantation where I blew my spending budget on Luwak coffee and special Bali teas…This was followed by lunch at a nice but for Bali expensive restaurant. First satays….the gado gado is different everywhere .each place has its own version. What is disappointing is there are no pasam mukan (food markets) no mukan carts in the streets. From there we went on to the water palace what an experience. We had to don sarongs to cover our legs. The Baliniese do not have a religion as such their way of life is their religion. A Moving experience. We also visited a traditional family compound. The young woman who was at home was shy but gracious. All these lumbering westerners blundering around taking photos. Then to finish the day a wood carving workshop…one word. Breathtaking….finished the day by walking down to get Pizza and to bed ..body clocks still on Australian time. Thank you Eileen.


An ending and new beginnings


Yesterday I completed my final assignment/presentation for my undergrad. It feels surreal I was  lucky that I had some peers who have become friends there to support me, what a lovely surprise.  I double checked my printed work last night and found four typos, I read and re-read my work I put it away for a week  and rechecked and still there are mistakes. I had someone else proofread it and still the errors were not identified.

Oh well, a big deep breath and forget it now it is done and I can’t change it.  My excuse is they were my speaker’s notes and were only a guideline.  Moving on.

I have lived my dream and I can tick that big item of my bucket list. I am so looking forward to graduation in April 2017. In the meantime, there is my  Master of Creative Writing Bring It On.

The world is a funny place and synchronicity is plays a hand in the way your cards are dealt.  What a week this has been. Our anthology has gone to press and the printer is thrilled with the layout and the way our DTP Lynn, has compiled the work,  He has said it will cut the printing time in half  and we will soon have our book in our hands.  Nine months in the making. I am praying there are not too many typos.

We have sent off for the Ancestor DNA test kits…. an early Christmas and birthday present. Will be so excited to see the results it will be interesting to see if there is any  indication of South East Asian or Oceanic markers. May help break down a brick wall in research.

And now to the exciting part … 2016 is on schedule to go out with a much better focus than was experienced at the beginning of the year .


Why reseach is so important


This is a perfect example of why research is important and not to accept everything you see at face value. A recent post on an “authoritative page” stated that the photo shown was referred to as “‘Tu’penny upright’. For people who couldn’t afford a bed in Victorian times, you could hang on a rope for the night!”


An unfortunate error – A tuppenny upright is OE slang for sexual intercourse while standing upright with the prostitute against a wall for a tuppenny. (two cents)

A simple check shows the photo to be an example of a “two penny hangover.”

In London in some homeless shelters, a rope was placed in front of the bench. The client was allowed to sleep when he leaned on (or hung over) the rope during the night. He was not allowed to lie down flat on his back and sleep. The rope was cut at daybreak in order to encourage the clients to wake up early and leave.

b. twopenny upright, a prostitute. slang.  1958 L. DURRELL Balthazar ii. 41 A little old tart, button-eyed and razor-nosed – a tart of the Waterloo Bridge epoch, a veritable Tuppeny Upright. 1978 Maledicta II. 258 At the turn of the century, an Iowa woman was awarded $200 for being called a ‘whore’, while in England, at about the same time, a woman was denied any award for being called a ‘two-penny upright’.

Countdown to Bali 16 days to go

Countdown to Bali 16 days to go

Haven’t had time to think about Bali, and now the reality is setting it. I keep looking at the empty suitcase and thinking I must organise my packing. So many other things to do. I saw the photos SCRIWF founder Wendy OHanlan published this morning and was immediately whisked back to when I lived in Penang and first visited Bali.

The smells the sights the sounds are all as if it were yesterday. 

There is so much I want to do while I am there and seeking inspiration in the gentleness of the Balinese people and the beauty of their island I am sure the words will flow.

So information about Ubud. The town of Ubud, in the uplands of Bali, Indonesia, is known as a center for traditional crafts and dance. The surrounding Ubud District’s rainforest and terraced rice paddies, dotted with Hindu temples and shrines, are among Bali’s most famous landscapes. Ancient holy sites include the intricately carved Goa Gajah (“Elephant Cave”) and Gunung Kawi, with its rock-cut shrines.


Book Review – One Photo



Written by Ross Watkins and illustrated by Liz Anelli published by Penguin Viking Australia RRP $24.95

published by Penguin Viking Australia RRP $24.95


This is a powerful picture book about a family’s journey with Alzheimers. For ages 5 to adult. It subtly underlines the frustration of both the person with dementia and their support persons.

Explaining the impact of dementia to a child is never an easy process. This book views the transitioning of a father with Alzheimers through the eyes of his child. Having lost a parent to Lewy Body Dementia 18 months ago this book hit a responsive chord. It is a thoughtful book tinged with sadness but it also has a positive side.The book is dedicated to a member of the author’s family. This one is a keeper.

 Dementia in its associated forms is now the second highest cause of death in Australia. Although this deals with Alzheimers, and not LBD it remains an excellent book for leading a discussion relating to the altered capacity of any person with dementia

Book Review Hamilton Hume


Book review   HAMILTON HUME   written by  Robert Macklin. Published by Hachette  and RRP $32.99

hamilton-hume-coverAn excellent account of the life of a man who made such an impact on Australia, I have spent countless hours travelling the Hume Highway without giving Hamilton Hume a single thought. The story is woven with skill and craft and emphasises the humanity of the man. This homegrown explorer faced the hero’s journey with courage and dogged determination. He overcame obstacles that would defeat all but the strongest. We see a rare glimpse, the personal side of a man who cared for our first Australians and who was slighted, and his wealth of knowledge disparaged and compared to that of a competent bushranger. What was Hume’s crime that upset the colonial apple cart? Simple. He was born in the colony in Parramatta. He was not English. The next time you travel the Hume Highway spare a thought for this great explorer who thanks to Robert Macklin’s work may obtain the recognition he so richly deserves. A great read and I can thoroughly recommend it.

REGRETS….Yes or No

REGRETS….Yes  or No

A friend posted a video this morning about living life without regrets.

Living life to the full. I can reflect and say in real terms I have no regrets. The things I cannot control I will not weep over. That would be  wasted energy.  I will express my passions regardless of the outcomes. I have that freedom.

The future lies before me and  I have a supportive partner and family. There are personal hurts and slights, I have made mistakes and  each of those has served a purpose to make me who I am today.

There are things I would like to do but can’t for whatever reason. I would like to be closer to family in terms of distance. Even this separation has a positive side. My partner and I have raised wonderful children who are funny, smart, loving, independent people. They have their own family units and we each of us know that we are only a phone call or a message away.

I would like to see more of my grandchildren. This has not been possible due to aging parents and other constraints. They know I love them and I hope when they are older they will understand that duty is important and that we don’t always get the outcomes we expect in life.

I would like more of this and less of that – but those are material wants and are they really important and the end of the day? Are those wants and desires essential to my being?

I don’t always get it right but I try and that is the important thing .

There are times I wish I had made different choices but I can’t change the past.  To indulge in a series of “I wish I had done this or not done that” is self-destructive. Learn and move on and be grateful for the teaching. Importantly  practice compassion in understanding your own failings.

We are imperfect beings and make mistakes for that is how we learn and grow towards enlightenment.

10525745_146738395496766_2154460950089802710_nEvery day the book of life presents me with a fresh page to write my story .

I do not believe in fate,  I do not believe in predetermination.  I believe all things, all phenomena arise from the mind. The important thing is to develop right view according to Buddhadharma, live correctly, and practice diligently. It is by right view, right living, and right practice that we progress. Belief in fate can lead you in circles, but with Buddhadharma you can take each day and start anew.

‘Who I am today is as a result of who I was yesterday. Who I will be tomorrow is determined by who I am today “