Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wise words

Image courtesy of: http://www.geekologie.com/2007/09/18/magical-weave-mirror.jpg

In response to my last post, the wonderful and wise Braja left this comment:
"Our perception of how we look is mostly driven by our false ego; we therefore have a false concept of how we look, whether we think it's good or bad. "

These are profound words and worthy of a mention here. I also believe these words are applicable to a popular phobia:


(Not a fear of shiny magazines or lip gloss...)

I recently read an article about recent research into Glossophobia, or the fear of public speaking. It is the number one fear in humans and rivaling death (which is the second greatest fear). And (as with most things!), it is believed that glossophobia stems from childhood. Apparently, the worst thing a parent could ask their child after their child has given a presentation, is if they were nervous. Children do not have a sense of understanding of what nervousness is. Parents should encourage and reward their child for their efforts and avoid the word 'nervous'. By directly using that word parents may be providing an affirmation to their child's mind that they felt was nervousness, rather than say excitedness or interest.

When we do experience concern over speaking publicly the most important thing to do is to breathe calmly and deeply. When we are nervous our breathing becomes irreglular and shallow impacting on the amount of carbon dioxide released from our body. This results in the tingling sensation around our lips, even in our hands sometimes. Another important thing to remember to do days before the presentation, is to create a mental image that the presentation is over, people are applauding, that you have responded to the questions and you are finished. When we focus on the positive then there is less chance that 'bad' things will happen, we cut out the bad thoughts and the negativity we force on oursleves, casting self-doubt aside.
I believe we can apply this behaviour to many aspects of our life to positively influence our sense of self (or, ego) and being a model to those around us, especially our children, to enable them to possess self-worth and self-esteem their whole lives. This I believe, will assist us in having a 'true ego' enabling us to be true to ourselves, as per Braja's wise words.
Thank you Braja.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Image courtesy of: http://www.katebloom.co.uk/images/pageimages/curly_hair.jpg

A few months ago my sweet Hubby was putting together photos to display in a multiple picture frame. Every photo he chose was perfect. Each photo, that is, except the one he chose of me. It is the last one I would have chosen to display of myself. Yet, of the almost 900 images he had to choose from, he chose this particular one. I don't think I have self-loathing issues (well, none that I know of - if you are a psychoanalyst and reading this, please enlighten me!). And, after a fair amount of consideration, self-analysis and confirmation of family support, I don't mind having pictures of me displayed on my fashion blog. However, I chose these pictures, crop them and display them from my perspective. In my mind they are reasonable and my blog moves on.

However, getting back to the picture my Hubby chose of me. My hair is back in something akin to a ponytail and I have what I call the 'sunrise frizz' happening all over the crown of my head. And, as we had travelled 20,000 km two days prior, I was bloated and wearing some pretty run-of-the-mill attire. Mind you there are photos from a wedding where I was wearing a stylish outfit and my hair was coiffed etc, etc (in my minds eye, anyway!). And still darling Hubby chooses that particular picture of me to display.

When I considered taking this photo out he told me that he thinks it is one of the most beautiful photos he has seen of me and that is why he chose it. The photo still sits where his obliging hands placed it but I am still a little bothered by it. However, I don't have the heart to remove it.

What is it that he sees that I do not?

Moreover, what is it that I see that he doesn't?

And, how does this apply to others whether they are near or far?

Friday, May 22, 2009

A big wet hole in our back yard!!

Three weeks ago this is what our back yard looked like, washing line and all. Even Mr 6, doned in his school uniform, is looking on. You can enlarge any picture by clicking on it.

Then the big bull dozer arrived...

...and took its first bite:

And, after several mouthfulls:

My darling brother, his work cut out for him!!

Some flattening:

And even bigger bites:

A different view; and in the foreground a tree stump discovered within that ground in the first two pictures:


The cutest and most hard-working little piece of machinery to exist, a bobcat:

And after three days of excavating, flattening out and shifting dirt and rock, me 9.5 feet under!

Mr Almost-16 by the scaffolding-clad hole:

AND after three days and nights of endless rain, these are the footings for the future retaining wall:

We didn't really want a lane pool in the beginning, but whether we like it or not, we have one now!

And more water; this is after draining and clearing some of the collapsed walls the last two days:

Despite what the tradespeople are saying, I don't think this will be concreted-in any time soon...

If you enlarge this last image you will see a big bucket and a shovel used to remove collapsed mud. Those tired and wet tradespeople gave up after a while.

And as I write this post there is an absolute down-pour outside. I am having to think bigger and deeper about our predicament. Is this payback for disturbing Mother Nature, by excavating out so much earth? I promise to plant many trees, bushes, shrubs, whatever it takes, just Please Stop Raining! And yes, the drought in our neck of the woods has broken and the nearby dam that provides half of Sydney with its water supply is at almost 75% capacity. So, Please Stop Raining, I pray, I beg, I plead...

I will keep you posted.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I have been lucky enough to be nominated for another award. This time it is the 'Your Blog is Fabulous Award' and it has been bestowed upon me by the Fabulous , Talented and Witty notSupermum.

The etiquette of this award states that I must list my 5 least favourite things before passing it on to some of my favourite blogs. These are as follows:

1) Being late for an appointment, meeting, (and, on the odd occasion) party, anything that is dictated by the dreaded clock.

2) The fact that I plan to blog for twenty minutes and then an hour (or more!) later, I am running late for an appointment, meeting (and on the odd occasion) party!

3) Getting food (especially leafy greens!) caught in my braces. I am usually quite meticulous after eating. Even then, if I talk with someone and they happen to look towards my mouth (as people do when they speak with you!) I get very paranoid and impatient to get to a mirror (and then I'm most definitely late for an appointment, meeting (on the odd occasion) party!).

4) The weather at the moment. It is cold and very, very wet (unlike our usually sunny, cool Autumns). Usually this would not be a problem, however when you have a 10 metre x 5 metre hole that up to 2.5 metres deep in your backyard and filling up at a rate of 10 or more cm per day, then the weather really gets to be a problem. I guess we'll get our pool a little earlier than expected and a little murkier as well...tears well up in my eyes as I write!

5) The tradespeople who are trying to convince us that they can pump the ever-increasing water out of the 10m x 5m hole, and try to convince us it is okay to concrete over rusty scaffolding and mud. Yes, these people are really starting to be my least favourite 'thing' already.

To shed a little happiness (and I need all the happiness I can get right now!) and blog cheer, I would like to award the following blogs with this Fabulous award:

Don't forget to list your 5 least favourite things when you pick up!
Have a great day everyone, while I check how much more rainwater we have in the earth-shell of our pool!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Brave & Generous Kayleigh

This post is dedicated to a brave, strong woman, Kayleigh, who has taken us with her on her journey: discovering she has breast cancer. From the moment she had her mammogram until recently finding out she needs to have a mastectomy, and possibly chemotherapy and radiation therapy, she has unselfishly and generously kept us updated on her blog Fashionably Later.

On top of having to deal with learning, in less than a month, that she has cancer, requires surgery and treatment, as a nursing mother, Kayleigh is also faced with having to wean her young son, Daniel. In learning of her pain and torment, I could only offer her my words so, I wrote the following poem:

Still your Mama

From the moment of conception
They prepare for you
They tingled, they ached
Readied to nurture you

Thick pearl-like colostrum
Rich in nutrients, high in energy
More suckling, more milk
Before long there was plenty

I fed you, you suckled
I nurtured you dear
You were near to me
Close to me
Over twelve months and a year

And, after all this is done
Please rest assured, that
I’m your Mama, Meggie’s Mama
Not one who is new

Our routine will continue
Your place near my heart
Lay your head on my arm
Touch my hair, close your eyes.

Kayleigh is not only a beautiful, stylish lady, she is also a talented writer and has two other blogs: 1000 words each day and Miscellaneous Brain Music.

Please pray, meditate or offer what words you can at this time to Kayleigh and her family.

Copyright: Mervat @ The Writing Instinct

Friday, May 15, 2009


A character well known,
he'd shake your hand, have a laugh
quiet man, thinking man,
he didn't do things by half.

Wonderful children and a wife
he truly was blessed,
but then his pain came
with all its wickedness.

His smile it shone
through thick and thin,
he picked at his food
'til he had no energy.

And when they sat with him
noon and night,
they stroked his forehead
held his hand tight.

His daughter beside him,
she recited a prayer
with her heart, with her head,
she willed him, please stay.

His breathing was laboured
his body limp,
these were his last moments
a final glimpse.

One last goodbye,
he took his last breath
he gave his last smile
and she bowed her head.

Copyright: Mervat @ The Writing Instinct

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lovely Blog Award

I am thrilled that the lovely Amy has nominated me for an award.

The One Lovely Blog Award, says that I have to pass this onto 15 new blogs. I don't usually follow blog award rules, but a change is as nice as a holiday and I will stick to the rules (yes, I am still hyperventilating at the thought!). I would like to nominate the following blogs who make the blogosphere that much more interesting and special. In no particular order, they are:

Okay, okay, I cheated and nominated an extra few...couldn't help myself!

Now, please take (cut and paste) this lovely award and disperse it further into the blogosphere, spreading flowers and cheer to all the new blogs that come across your path. Don't forget to link back to The Writing Instinct when you do - it's all part of blogging fun and games.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

My mother's day started out with breakfast in bed (notice the heart shaped mandarine wedges by my daughter!) and the most thoughtful and lovely gifts from my children and hubby, plateaued out to include me cooking lentil curry, rice and making naan bread for my wonderful family and ended with me doing the ironing! And I wouldn't have wanted it any other way (except for maybe getting a magic ironing lady whom I could summon any time I pleased!).

My beautiful gifts (including my favourite perfume line):

(Mr.6 purchased the blue box with candles and incense, using his pocket money, from his school's mother's day stall).

My hand-made treats:

To all my lovely friends, whether or not you are a mum, I hope you had a day filled with love, a peaceful moment and a cup of your favourite brew!

Friday, May 8, 2009

My Words

Photo courtesy of: http://media.photobucket.com/image/art%20words/jim131314/words-1.jpg

I recently read a newspaper article about Betty Churcher, previous Director of Australia's National Art Gallery in Canberra. She is a 78 year old woman who, after being diagnosed with melanoma of the optic nerve six years ago, is blind in her right eye and has deteriorating vision in her left eye. She is losing the very thing which allows her to live her passion and focus in life: Art. Her way of coping and keeping her art alive is to draw her favourite works of art. In this way she learns the intricate details of a piece of art, becomes familiar with its brush strokes, its depth of colour and may even experience a part of the art work she may have previously missed. And, when she does become blind, she will have a mental image of what that piece of art was like visually. She will cherish this and relive her art work in her mind.

Words are so much a part of my life. I have thought about losing the ability to use words (cognitive function), the ability to write (hand function), the ability to read (eye function). I would be truly devastated. For me, losing the ability to read would be worse than not seeing colour, a sunset or a rainbow anymore. And, although I would be able to memorise a few more poems, how could I memorise my favourite books? And after a while, would I really be able to remember the shape of the 26 letters I hold so dear? Would I remember what a sentence looked like, let alone a word?

What is it you hold most dear? Imagine losing the function of that part of your body which allows you to enjoy what is most dear to you. Could you cope, and if so how?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Waiter, there's a fly in my soup!

Disclaimer: This is NOT a dream/nightmare. Please read on...

Image courtesy of: http://i222.photobucket.com/albums/dd99/ryan-sam/hi5.jpg

Picture waking up on a crisp Autumn morning, a pot of tea brewing, your favourite spread is out, toaster is ready and as you prepare to toast your eagerly-awaited slice of bread you find an unwelcomed surprise...a cockroach! This was what a Sydney-sider experienced earlier this week.

I am reminded of a popular waiter's joke:

'Waiter, there's a fly in my soup!!'
"No Sir, that's a cockroach, the fly is on your steak!"

My worst dining-out experience (thankfully, I suppose!) has been finding a hair (which I imagine fell of the back of the chef's hand, or even eyelash) on my plate. Now that I think of the eyelack, I also imagine the millions of bacteria which exist at the base of our eyelashes. Mmmm, maybe I shouldn't be so thankful after all...

What inedible thing have you found on your plate in the past?

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Baby?

Photo courtesy of http://www.carmelbabyboutique.com/images/baby_clothes.jpg

Whilst waiting at the Roads and Traffic Authority office to pay my car registration, I noticed there was rack after rack of babys' and childrens' clothes beside me. Inquisitive, I took a closer look. I started to choose a couple of outfits with my seven-month old niece and my sister-in-law's unborn baby in mind. The closer and more involved I got the more excited I became. I could even feel a tremor of excitement in my hands. Pink overalls, yellow frilly tops, tiny blue velvet jackets and petite pistachio pants. My arms were almost overwhelmed when I noticed a little wriggle appear from a striped blue jumpsuit. I looked again and there was another movement and a jerk of a tiny arm. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw a baby, yes, a newborn baby boy! I couldn't hold back any longer. I threw aside what clothes were still in my arms and reached for this adorable infant. I held him and smelled him and felt his velvety soft skin against my cheek. I couldn't just stand there so I approached the desk and caught the attention of the service person standing behind it. I told her of my find. She asked me if I was the baby's mother. Of course, I answered no. She then stated that she needed proof that I was not the mother of the baby and that I had not abandoned the baby in the first place. One way she could get her proof before calling authorities was to check to see if I was wearing a nursing bra! About to pull the neck of my top to the side to prove that I indeed was not wearing a bursing bra, I was disturbed by an almighty sound.

My husband's snoring!


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