• Cats!

    7 things I’ve learned from having cats in the first 7 weeks

    It took more than four decades of desperate wanting, and now I finally have cats in the house! Let me tell you a little story about how that came to be before I dive into what I have learned about myself and cats in the short time we’ve had them.  I was seven years old when I found out that I was horribly allergic to cats. My family was travelling and visiting friends on dad’s long service leave trip. One family we visited had some kind of fluffy cats that I immediately fell in love with, and equally rapidly started having severe asthma attacks, hives, and eyes that itched and…

  • camping stove
    Military Life,  Miscellany

    The power of ritual

    Battlefield tea and rollies  A couple of years ago Mr Collier was preparing for a particularly difficult assault on an enemy position. His team had positioned themselves out of range and with good cover, and they waited for right time to begin. This was always a fraught moment. Eager to get the job done, everything planned and contingencies in place. Everyone knew their role. But there was always an element of the unknown, of possible chaos that one cannot plan for. And so, the men lingered in a state of limbo and waited for the signal to move out.  At this point Mr Collier could be found off on his…

  • Poetry

    Playing with Words

    Sometimes when my energy is running low and ennui is running high, I want to play with words, but they just won’t come. So I steal other people’s words and bend them to my purposes and play in my visual diary. This piece is taking a leaf out of Austin Kleon’s book and choosing words in situ. I use a black marker to kill off the words that don’t fit the story, and in this case I embellished with some collage. A couple of hours of being lost in the process was just what I needed. The next time I needed to steal words, I chose song lyrics. I love…

  • Consistency - 2020,  Consistency - 2021

    Same Storm, Different Boat

    Looking back at 2020 and my word for 2021  2020 was a very odd year all around. To put it mildly!  I had chosen Consistency as my word for the year, and I intended to put solid effort into building habits and working towards being where I wanted to be health-wise before my milestone birthday at the end of 2020. That didn’t really happen. Derailments occurred and habits came and went as stress levels ebbed and flowed. I didn’t get to where I wanted to be, but I did make a little progress, so cannot claim complete failure! And so, consistency will continue to be my word for this year,…

  • Military Life

    Last man standing

    Remembrance day in a pandemic Things are different this year in so many ways, 2020 has been quite the year. For everyone. We’ve all had to change the way we live in order to stay safe and to keep our loved ones safe and well. This is the first time in many years that I have not attended a Remembrance Day service in person, and whilst I am disappointed, I know that in the spirit of sacrifice and mateship engendered by our service people throughout history, we will do what is required of us and demonstrate our remembrance and solidarity from a distance. We are not alone, thousands around the…

  • Experiments,  Miscellany

    Priming the pump

    I remember the first couple of weeks after we were told to leave the office and work from home for the foreseeable future. There were days when I stayed in my pyjamas. There were weeks on end when I wore nothing but gym clothes or frumpy tracksuits that I wouldn’t be caught dead in outside the house. I even hesitated to walk up to the mail box some days. I didn’t put on a scrap of make up and mostly threw my hair up in a messy bun. I contemplated shaving it off completely at one stage. I wasn’t wearing earrings, and started to wonder if the piercings were going…

  • Consistency - 2020,  Journalling,  Miscellany

    How consistency is helping with COVID-19 anxiety

    Do it again and again. Consistency makes the rain drops to create holes in the rock. Whatever is difficult can be done easily with regular attendance, attention and action. Israelmore Ayivor  We’ve just launched into the eighth month of what has been one of the more interesting years in modern history. It’s time for an update on how my word of the year Consistency has been helping.  As with most people I can confidently say that this year looks nothing like I expected it to. I started working from home at the end of March and the change threw me for a little while. I failed to create new routines…

  • BFG cover
    Miscellany

    Making time to play!

    I love to read! I usually have three or four books on the go at any one time depending on what I am interested in at the time, and my stack for this year has more books on it than I can conceivably read in 52 weeks. So it was alarming to me when I found that couldn’t read what I wanted to any more! At the beginning of the pandemic when everything and everyone was confused and afraid, and normal routines were changing, I found that I could not concentrate on heavy non-fiction books or articles, or even complex fiction. There was just too much conflicting information coming in.…

  • Journalling,  Miscellany

    What’s in my coping toolbox – Art

    Get to know all about it life etc don’t disconnect, reconnect Explore what lies beneath curiouser and curiouser Find love The world is an odd place at this moment in history. I don’t like going to the shops for groceries at the best of times, but yesterday I found myself feeling incredibly anxious about leaving the house and possibly exposing myself to the virus. By the time I got home I was feeling exhausted and wanting to hide. I was annoyed because the feelings were not logical, I know the science and how to protect myself as much as possible, but they were there. And feelings are for feeling. All…