Thursday, December 1, 2011

Across the seas...

...and back! I absolutely love to travel, I especially love flying and everything associated with it...but it's good to be home...for now anyway ;)

Next stop: visiting all the wonderful blogs I have missed.

See you soon

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mr. 18, a high school graduate

As hard as it is to believe, our Mr 18 has graduated from high school. On the day of graduation the school also held the Year 12 Valedictory Dinner. But he is yet to sit his final exams. These start next Tuesday 18th October. I'd like to share with you some pictures from the day, as well as from the evening events.

Pride is the only word that comes to mind when I remember that emotion-packed day.

M 16 leading in his year to the tune of Party Rock Anthem

Rocking on with class mate

An image from Year 7 at 13 years of age

At Year 12 and 18 years old

Cousin Miss 3, a quiet attendee

Each Year 12 student was presented, one after the other, with a flower from a child in kindergarten

Younger brother Mr 9 in the audience

Mr 18 and the boy who presented Mr 18 with his gerbera

Father and son embrace

Mr 18 with his (maternal) grandparents

My family

With proud & loving aunt

Mr 18, Miss 14 and Mr 9

Boys will be boys :)

On our way to the evening celebrations...guess who drove?

A dapper Mr 18


Mr 18 with darling cousins x

Hubby, me and The Graduate...


My beautiful sister with her gorgeous children xo

My boy

The Mo Pose

Anyone need special security? He's your man!

Check out Mr 18 in top left hand corner!

So pretty

So pretty...again!

As our son was receiving his certificate and awards

Going up to the stage...

I present to you our Valedictorian xo

Now kick your shoes off and let the party begin!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My new old gadget, LOL

A few months ago I spotted a dusty and very old typewriter sitting just behind a dripping gutter at a garage sale.  After making a few enquiries to the owner, I found out that it was bought it in the 1970s. Twenty-five dollars later (and feeling like it weighed 25 kilos!) I carried my purchase home. Let me introduce you...

We later worked out that this Underwood typewriter is from 1904, before the birth of any of my grandparents. Miss 14 was so taken that she took picture after picture of this beautiful piece of technology that was the earliest precursor to whatever device you are using to read this post. We then realised that there was still an ink-roll inside the typewriter and so we inserted a piece of paper. The creak creak as we turned the round handle was almost eerie. The oily scent of the ink and tiny clouds of dust that puffed up as each letter hit the ink-roll were surreal and completely out of this world. The sound of these letters pounding the paper...inexplicably satisfying!

Now what would a 14-year old in the year 2011 type, using a 107-year old gadget? 

'OMG, Mum this is sooo cool, LOL! '

Ah, the irony of technology!

Sadly I post this on the day that Steve Jobs, an innovator, leader and undeniable force in the information and technology industry, passed away.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Suko's Book Blog Contest

Book Giveaway

Please visit Suko's Notebook to enter this fantastic giveaway!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Doctor...and an 18 year old.

Late in October 1992 I visited my family doctor, The Doctor, telling him excitedly that, after having conducted a urine pregnancy test, I believed I was pregnant. I remember smiling so much my facial muscles were twitching. The Doctor looked at me quizzically and asked me how old I was; I told him (I was a month younger than 22, bless me!). He then stroked his chin, nodded his head and said that he would like to do blood tests as he did not have much confidence in urine tests. Now, even though the main hormone of pregnancy, BHCG is the only hormone that urine pregnancy tests look for, he still doubted the result. So, I obliged him and had a blood test. Afterwards I went home, feeling completely deflated and convinced that I would NEVER fall pregnant. At the time I still had another six months of university. However, darling Hubby and I had planned this pregnancy down to the last month, where, I would finish my final exams in June that year and have the baby by the end of July. Things are supposed to work out the way you plan them aren't they?...

A few days later I received a phone call from The Doctor's secretary asking me to go in as The Doctor was very concerned about my blood test results. Hubby and I left our apartment so quickly we forgot to lock the front door.

Sitting in the waiting room, our legs kept bumping into each other we shook so much. I felt so sick. What if I am not pregnant? What if I can never fall pregnant (for some reason I always thought I would be sterile)...'see, we should have started trying for a baby a year ago, as soon as we were married', I kept repeating to myself 'I am barren!'. As these thoughts became deeper my resentment towards poor hubby escalated and I can only imagine the distraught look on my face decline further with each worsening thought...

'Mervat'...The Doctor called as I was stunned back to reality.

Seating himself behind a big mahogany desk he looked at me over his octagonally-shaped glasses.

'Mervat, we received your blood test results and not only is there (the pregnancy hormone) BHCG...'

'Whooohooooo' I screamed in my mind, 'I'm pregnant!'. My body language though was at a complete contrast, as I sat hands in my lap, my feet flat on the floor, my shoulders slumped forward...I could sense a big BUT coming up...

'...BUT, there is too much BHCG' said The Doctor...'There is so much in fact I think you have  a tumour, and...' remember dear reader, that this was one single blood test, no physical examination, no history, no biopsy of said tumour... 'I believe it is malignant'. The only thing to do from here' he continued telling a desperate-to-fall-pregnant 22 year-old 'would be a hysterectomy'.

This was when his royal highness, The Doctor, sat back in his high-backed leather chair, interlaced his fingers over that big scratched ugly table and breathed down through his nostrils.

Darling hubby grabbed my hand, we stood up and we left the building! Stat!

Even a third year medical student, as my dear hubby was at the time, worked out that this idiot Had No Idea!

We went and found the nearest medical centre, saw someone who was on duty who repeated the urine BHCG test and were promptly told our baby's due date (31st July 1993). We were booked in to our local hospital for regular check-ups immediately.  And no talk of any type of tumour.

After an ice-cream, we made our way back home and walked in through the unlocked front door without batting an eyelid.

****18 years and nine and a half months later*****

I still walk past The Doctor's surgery regularly. In fact, one day, I would like to introduce him to my 18 year old provisional driver tumour...and what a handsome tumour he is!

So, this was going to be a gratuitous post all about my Mr 17-recently-turned-18 year old. Yes, we are now parents to an 18 year old. He is 18..and I can't get my mind around that. Of course we are proud of him and the young man he has become etc, etc...but I can't grasp the fact that he is that age. So much has happened in the last 18 years that if I stop to rewind my mind becomes a blur. And yet, it seems like only months ago I found out I was pregnant...and you now know how that went!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Swift Kick!

To my dear Readers, but especially to Anonymous (xo) who recently commented on my last post,

I have been slack. Terribly slack. Thank you to anon. for your comment that made me smile but also to be ashamed all at the same time. I promise be a better blogger from now on.

Please forgive me,

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I have written over 42,000 words of my Present Book. And I have reached somewhat of a stalemate. I have so many ideas about ways I want to approach the structure of my book but I don't know which way to turn. Right now the easiest thing to do would be to leave it for a time and maybe just check in on it once in a while. Gosh, I have even considered a Fantastic New Book Idea (and, I admit, I've written around 150 words towards it...and I've collected some pictures...and I think about it often, too often). But, as Andrea of once noted, another new book idea in the midst of a present book is like having an affair. And I do feel bad, I really do, but I really am desperate. In the end though, sense will prevail. I know I can't leave Present Book in limbo. So, I have printed out all that I have written so far. And it sort of feels like I have reached a milestone; that is, I have a thick-ish wad of paper. But where to next?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fancy a Thai resort...

...or a cold Sydney winter?

The air is so fresh.
Standing on the crispy grass with the sun on your back.
 It doesn't get much better than this (for me!).
I love Sydney in the winter.

Monday, June 27, 2011

100 minus your age

For me, one of the best places to be is in a comfy chair and a new book. The anticipation of a new book can be so overwhelming that I start reading as soon as I have a moment to myself. When the book takes off there is nothing in the world that can compare. But then some books can be such a let down even in the first few pages. Trying again and again, and again and still it goes nowhere. So, when do you stop? When is it okay to decide that a book just does not deserve our hard-earned, eagerly awaited Spare Mental Moments? According to a reviewer on our local radio station, if you subtract your age from 100 then the remaining numeral is the number of pages that you should read of a book before giving up on it.

Clearly then, the older we get the less time we have for suffering foolish words. Or is it a case of decreased attention span? I guess it's a bit of both...

So, to one of the books above: I have read 64 of your pages and that is 4 more pages than I needed to read...out you go!

Can you guess which book it is from the pile above that I have had to let go? One of these is also one of the most memorable books I have ever read.

P.S. Sorry Pat (who kindly commented) but here are the titles:

Hotel of the Saints by Ursula Hegi
Will you be there? by Guillaume Musso
The Embers of Heaven by Alma Alexander
The Moneypenny Diaries by Kate Westbrook
The Lighted Rooms by Richard Mason
Like Heaven by Nial Maharaj
Bubbles in Trouble Sarah Strohmeyer


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Words...for words

 I hope the following quote helps you as it helps me...daily. I have this as my wallpaper on my phone, on my desktop and I can even imagine it as actual wallpaper...okay, time for my OCD tendencies to settle down. Here it is:

'Writing inspires inspiration.
Keep writing.
If you succeed,
keep writing.
If you fail,
keep writing.
If you're bored,
keep writing."


Keep writing,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Missing writing...

A quick check in as I type single-handedly and recover from an operation to my left arm. Through the haze of pain-killers I realize how long it has been since I wrote anything. I miss writing and I miss blogging, particularly visiting my favorite blogs. I have even let my own deadline for finishing my first draft, fall by the wayside. I miss my characters and where their life was heading. Time to get them back on track...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Beautiful Malice

A few months ago I purchased a young adult thriller titled Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James. I enjoyed reading it so much that I just had to find out about the author, who I am proud to say, is a fellow Aussie. I discovered that Rebecca also has a blog.

A few weeks ago my daughter and I entered a competition, held by Rebecca to celebrate the newest cover of her book. However, we did not realise that the competition had closed (in fact she had also announced the winners but we were so excited to enter we negelcted to check her blog properly!). Rebecca still kindly sent Jena a copy of Beautiful Malice. Jena was so excited she read it during the school holidays in two days. In three words, Jena's response was: "Oh. My. God!" She thoroughly enjoyed it and asked me if there was a sequel. While I don't know the answer to her question, what I do know is that Rebecca was generous enough to still consider Jena.

Thank you Rebecca. You absolutely made her day!

Friday, March 4, 2011

I died last night

I died last night.

I was driving in the left lane on an Australian road, minding my own business, when a car came screaming at me from the opposite lane. I swerved, missed it and felt very fortunate that it did not hit me. I then approached the object that was causing the oncoming traffic to drive into my lane. Just ahead of me I saw a small trophy. I could not believe it was this trophy, so insignificant, that was reaping so much havoc. And then as I passed the trophy, car after car unknowingly crashed into me. I saw the drivers’ faces, aghast and in disbelief. I realised then the inevitability of the moment: that I was going to die. And when the cars crashed into me, one after the other, after the other, I expected to hear a deafening crush, but there was none. I expected pain, but there was none. Looking up I felt myself floating above my vehicle and ahead of me were those who had died just before me, but by other means. I saw them moving forward and upward with their beautiful multicoloured gowns trailing behind them. I momentarily thought of my family whom I had just left behind. And I though to myself, it’s okay. It’s okay. They’ll be fine. My heart leaped and I moved forward to join the colourful angels. I felt so content.

Interpreting this, I know that this dream is not about me dying, per se. It is about some part of my behaviour that is dying. And that is a good thing. I am changing the behaviour that ties me down, that makes me beholden to others. I realise that there are things I can let go of, things that are as insignificant as that trophy. I can cut back on these insignificances. It's okay. I don't have to always be running everything so tightly and on schedule. It's okay. I can trust my family to do things for themselves sometimes. They'll be fine. I need to trust in myself and follow that which makes me happy, makes me content. And then I will join the happy angels, in all their glory, that have come before me. I know I will.

Until next time,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Window shopping in Paris

At times, when I need inspiration (such as now when I have to crunch numbers for our business!) I look back at some of the pictures I took while in Paris, last May. 

Our time there was such a mix of weather patterns and emotion. Regardless, I remember those short nine days with warmth and fondness.

Please, let me share some of my Parisian window shopping adventures with you.


So tastefully detailed...

Baccarat chrystal...

Exotic teas...

Vintage Madeleine Shop...where the owner sources pre-loved high-end fashion and accessories

 Ahhh, vintage Chanel...just three (thousand) euros...

Until next time...


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