Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Traditional Marriage, what is this?

Check this out ! What a classic...

But more importantly, it raises a very important issue of the traditions we choose to follow in this day and age. Do we still wear chastity belts and pay off the parents of the bride with goats? Do we still think that lesbian and gay relationships are not as valuable or as "right" as heterosexual ones?

We have chosen to legally marry at a Registry Office as we do not agree with the part of the ceremony where it is required by law that "the Monitum" must be read aloud (without which the marriage is not valid) the part that hits our nerves is the part which reads:

"Marriage, according to the law in Australia, is the union of a
man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily
entered into for life"

We have felt very strongly about this declaration and the political anti-gay statement it makes for quite sometime. And I'm sure that some reading will find it quite a shock that this has been one of the reasons we have put off getting married legally for some time. Once we finally got to the decision that we wanted to be legally married, we came up with the alternative of having this read only in the presence of our witnesses and ourselves.

Due to the strong feelings of our immediate family, we have decided in the end to have our official marriage ceremony performed in front of our parents and siblings only. Present will be us, our bridal party (of 4), my mum & dad, D's mum and dad, my brother and D's sister. D's mother & sister felt quite strongly that this was the "actual wedding" and that they would not want to miss this formality. However, it is known to them that this is just a legal formality to us.

Our wish is that our other guests understand that we do not want this statement read in front of them as it goes against our beliefs, and that we have chosen to marry officially not in their presence. They will be included in a more heartfelt and "real" ceremony where we declare our true vows to each other in front of them and then perform a "Hand-fasting Ceremony" which involves members of our community giving their personal blessing to our union.

This is only one of the many things we have chosen to do that doesn't go with "tradition"

Friday, May 29, 2009

So close now

I can't believe it is only 9 more sleeps until I am a married woman! It's just so exciting and I am looking forward to the day immensely.

I also can't believe that, with so much going on in the lead up to the wedding, I have not blogged! I think this is partly because a lot of the stuff I would blog about is very detail oriented and ... for those of you reading who will be there on the big day, I don't wanna spoil anything!

My gown is finished and looks fantastic thanks to my Mother-in-Law-to-be who sewed it, and my Sister-in-Law-to-be who helped out a lot in putting the final design touches together.

Shoes have been purchased finally (what a mission to find just the right pair and decide between the super expensive designer pair and the super cheap pair) and I am wearing them in... I wear them when I am washing the dishes and hanging out the washing! They're still a little tight but we're getting there.

The Guests have all been confirmed, we are expecting 100 of our family and friends to share in our big day ! The Seating Chart has been finalised - what a drama that is - don't sit Aunty Enid with any of the relatives... where do we put the singles? Which is the quiet table for the older guests? Who do we sit near the bar/dance floor/door/etc? Luckily for us, the main course will be served at the tables and the desserts will be serve-yourself from the tables. This means people can mingle and eat dessert from another table if they choose. Food choices - another fun task !

With 9 days left, all we have to do is finalise the vows and the music choices for the day. Confirm all of the people helping us out on the day - flowers, hair, make-up, suits, cars, drivers, etc. etc. etc.

Surprisingly, I am feeling quite calm and relaxed about it all. I have my lists - the best way for me to get all the voices in my head to be quiet so I can sleep! The tasks on the lists are slowly but surely being ticked off. Now for the fun stuff ahead next week - pedicure, manicure, massage, hair, facial - and home come brother and sister - yay!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

And getting Mother-of-the-Bride organised too and girl-time!

Today, we had a great day in the City with Mum and her neighbour who had caught the train down from North-Central Victoria for the day. It was a great time to spend all together. Mum - who rarely comes to Melbourne, my sister Fi - who is moving to the UK shortly and myself... the girls of the family. Catching up, chatting, connecting and enjoying being women in the city.

About 2 weeks ago Fi and I travelled up to North-Central Victoria for the day to take mum and dad shopping for their Mother- and Father-of-the-Bride outfits. It was a very successful day with them both getting fantastic outfits for our Black and White themed wedding. However, due to limited time we encouraged mum to come to Melbourne for the shoes and accessories.

Today we had another successful shopping trip, getting mum's shoes (the 3rd pair she tried on - $20 off at Sandler) and her bag (also $20 off!) and a new thing for mum - ear-rings! She doesn't have pierced ears and so doesn't wear earrings., however she couldn't walk past a gorgeous pair of clip-ons and Fi's favourite Jewelry shop, Jeeba (at Australia On Collins) We lunched at a gorgeous little Italian Bistro in the city and had a glass of wine and were rather "Sex and the City" !

Tonight, a dear friend took me out for dinner for my birthday - some more girl-time - at a gorgeous little restaurant called Oyster Little Bourke. What a fantastic night with chats, oysters, more chats, oyster shots (mini bloody Mary's with and oyster in a shot glass!) some more chats and giggles then delicious mains - Baramundi for Fi, Veal for Lani and I had the special - Blue Eye! Delicious! Followed up by some more chats and giggles and a chocolate liqueur affogato for dessert! Yum!

What a great way to top off a great day ! Lots of fun had by all!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Oooh oooh ooh ... forgot to mention the photographer!

We have secured ourselves the most amazing photographer... Shazzah !

A dear friend who we love love love and who is stepping up into her passion of photography is going to be taking our happy snaps on the big day. And we couldn't be more thrilled to work with such and enthusiastic, hysterical and delightful person.

Now, we just need to see how good she is at hiding all of those chins and Fudubadas !!

Seriously, I am delighted that Shazzah is doing our photos as she is someone who we can feel comfortable with and I am sure ... being the happiest, smile-filled day of our lives ... will make us look great regardless of the chins and flabby arms.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wedding things are happening

Things are happening very quickly in the lead up to the wedding. In fact the last few days have been a marathon effort of wedding organisation combined with the delights of Easter socialising.

We have scouted out all of the City and Chadstone to find the girls' shoes, bags and wraps. Shoes and wraps were finally purchased today (at 20% and 25% off thanks to the sales), bags/clutches have been chosen and yet to be purchased. They have had their dresses since before Christmas, so it was just a matter of accessorising. Phew ! *wipes brow*

The boys have chosen their suits for the evening and been fitted etc.

We have decided on design, wording and creation of our Wedding Invitations. Purchased the materials and set about putting them all together this weekend. Between the creative genius of Tam, the cheerful determination of Fi and one semi-Bridezilla moment .... 20 hours or so of work and now we have the finished product.... perfect.... enveloped.... stamped.... posted today ! Yippee *raises arms in glee* (I will post a pic of the invites here after thems that are expecting them receive them in the mail.)

My dress and wrap are being made by my Mother-in-Law to be as we speak, already the bodice and toile have been made and fitted. The fabric for my gown has been purchased by my M-I-L2b on her recent trip to Vietnam (She got it at 10% of the price of similar fabrics in Australia). Today, we purchased the final piece of adornment that will top it off.... a piece of fabric I have been dreaming of for the last month or so since seeing it in Franke Stewart Fabrics on a fabric shopping expedition with Fi and M-I-L-2b.

Next for me is getting my shoes, having a make-up and hair trial and finalising our accommodation details. Also, finalising the flowers for the day. Next for D is finalising the honeymoon details.

Next for the girls is finalising the Hen's Night details and invitations; I have no idea what they have planned for me for the day and I am looking forward to the surprise. Boys are in a similar situation with D's Bucks Night activities!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Money and Experience

This is a great email that was forwarded to me today. I think it is a perfect account of what is happening in our society today and how we can choose to live our lives - from a place of lack or a place of abundance and valuing each and every one of our experiences rather than the financial implications of them.

Enjoy !


Money has no memory. Experience has. You will never know what the total cost of your education was, but for a lifetime you will recall and relive the memories of schools and colleges. Few years from now, you will forget the amount you paid to settle the hospitalization bill, but will ever cherish having saved your mother's life or the life you get to live with the just born. You won't remember the cost of your honeymoon, but to the last breath remember the experiences of the bliss of togetherness. Money has no memory. Experience has.

Good times and bad times, times of prosperity and times of poverty, times when the future looked so secure and times when you didn't know from where the tomorrow will come… life has been in one way or the other a roller-coaster ride for everyone. Beyond all that abundance and beyond all that deprivation, what remains is the memory of experiences. Sometimes the wallet was full… sometimes even the pocket was empty. There was enough and you still had reasons to frown. There wasn't enough and you still had reasons to smile. Today, you can look back with tears of gratitude for all the times you had laughed together, and also look back with a smile at all the times you cried alone. All in all, life filled you with experiences to create a history of your own self, and you alone can remember them all.

The first time you balanced yourself on your cycle without support…

The first time she said 'yes' and it was two years since you proposed…

The first cry… the first steps… the first word… the first kiss… all of your child…

The first gift you bought for your parents and the first gift your daughter gave you…

The first award… the first public appreciation… the first stage performance…

And the list is endless… Experiences, with timeless memory…

No denying that anything that's material cost money, but the fact remains the cost of the experience will be forgotten, but the experience never.

So, what if it's economic recession? Let it be, but let there not be a recession to the quality of your life. You can still take your parents, if not on a pilgrimage, at least to the local temple. You can still play with your children, if not on an international holiday, at least in the local park. It doesn't cost money to lie down or to take a loved one onto your lap. Nice time to train the employees, create leadership availability and be ready for the wonderful times when they arrive. Hey! Aspects like your health, knowledge development and spiritual growth are not economy dependent. Time will pass… economy will revive… currency will soon be in current… and in all this, I don't want you to look back and realize you did nothing but stayed in gloom. Recession can make you lose out on money. Let it not make you lose out on experiences… If you are not happy with what you have, no matter how much more you have, you will still not be happy.

Make a statement with the way you live your life: How I feel has nothing to do with how much I have.

-Author unknown (although I would love to meet such a wonderful, eloquent, insightful writer)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Baby Showers - no, not a weather forecast

Yesterday, I attended my 2nd ever baby shower. However, this was the first of my close friends to be having a baby, whereas the other was an aquaintance who I didn't know especially well.

It is so exciting to have a close friend just about to have a baby, she is due in 4 weeks. It is a magical process to follow their journey through the early days of sickness and relative normalcy of their routines. To the "showing" part where it is really much more obvious that there is a baby growing inside... and those first flutters of movements growing into movements that the dad (or we) can feel from the outside. To today, where there is a bump that appears more baby-sized and that the little person who is inside might just be getting ready to make an appearance on the outside world and come to meet us all.

The wonder of the growth of a baby in the womb has been something that has awed and amazed me since I was 6-7 years old and my mum was pregnant with my little brother. And I'm sure it was there earlier than that growing up on a farm and being very much involved with the birthing of lambs and feeding of new babies (lambs) every spring! And being the chief babysitter for all of the ladies at the weekend tennis or netball matches - so they could enjoy their games knowing thier little ones were taken care of.

The amazement of the human body had me choose to study about the human biology and how it works at University and even take an Embryology elective - which taught me the intricate process of the formation of an embryo ---> fetus ---> baby from those original 2 cells that join together in the extraordinarily precious act of conception. Let me tell you, it is beyond words and sometimes beyond our capability to imagine how the act of procreation occurs... and that it occurs at all!

After University, I worked for Obstetricians for a number of years and fell in love with the beauty of meeting pregnant women and the delight of meeting that little person that grew inside them and came back to be showed off at their 6-week check up! I even went on to work in a research field in one of the biggest maternity hospitals in Melbourne and witnessed many births (natural and Caesarean) in the process.

Through all of these experiences, both good and not-so-good, I have unwaveringly "known" that I would always hold a high fascination for the creation of our offspring and be involved in this process, by either working in the field or participating in the conception-birth process myself. I look forward to the time in my life when I get to experience being pregnant and bringing a new little being into the world and assisting them along their journey.

This is why I LOVE having one of my very close friends going through this process under my nose. It excites me and reminds me of one of my great purposes in this lifetime. This is why it was such a great pleasure to celebrate this impending arrival with a "Baby Shower". To show her how supported she is, so that she will know that our energy, support and love will be with her always, through the birth and beyond.

What a beautiful afternoon we all created for her, with presents and food and lovely conversations and games... Did I mention lots of fun and laughter? The opportunity to be creative was there too - painting plain baby singlets with fabric paint for lingering gifts with personal touches, to be used with this baby and the next and possibly handed along to other friends with newborns too.

The energy in the room was so loving and nurturing and knowing that all the women there were in their own part of the female cycle was delightful - the single women, the women in relationships, the married and the soon-to-be-married, the mothers-to-be, the mothers and the grandmothers. It was just perfect in its simplicity and wonder.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Girl time (AKA Me time)

Today I had a wonderful girly relaxation with good girlfriends of mine. Some of whom I know very well and others who I would love to know very well, but don't yet.

We planned ahead to spend a delightful Sunday afternoon catching up, connecting and generally enjoying each other's (female) company. In fact, we are planning on doing this monthly or thereabouts with whoever is available on the day and I'm already looking forward to the next afternoon and the next and the next as our lives grow and expand (one of our next sessions will have a baby added to the mix!)

I think it is a really important part of our growth, our sanity and our society that we make time to spend time with the girls and be amongst other estrogen infused bodies. We all love the company of our lovely male partners, significant others and husbands but there is an amazing connection and nurturing that goes on when you have a group of girls all sitting around together.... watching movies.... painting toenails.... knitting.... laughing.... and of course, chatting !

Who could forget the chatting.... debriefing, sharing our knowledge, discussing issues of our worlds, our relationships, our friends, our homes, our families. Reassuring, encouraging, allowing and advising. What a lovely energy to breathe in an absorb for an afternoon; to nurture, to re-charge and to release.

I feel like I have filled so many of my love tanks by connecting with other women; my friendships tank, my fun tank, my relationships tank and even my self-love tank. (You can read more about love tanks in "How to Get What You Want and Want What You Have" by John Gray, the author of the Mars-Venus books.) It makes me feel fuller and more prepared to go out and face the next adventures of my life. It reminds me to thank the Universe and acknowledge myself for my female-ness and all the beauty, joy and love it brings with being it.

For the cuteness

For the cuteness:

And the love of long nights with your lover, which you never want to end.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dress Ups

Today, I took my little Entourage of gals to a gorgeous local bridal store. I bought along one of my bridesmaids (the other one was working), a friend, my Mother-in-law to be and Sister-in-law to be (both with lovely fashion & design sense).

We went in to try on a dress design I have been eyeing off for about the last 2 months, after seeing a gown in the window before Christmas. They specially couriered in a dress for me to try and I have finally decided on the style of dress that I want to wear on my big day.

I felt very special, loved and the centre of attention for the 15 minutes I was in the dress. It excited me to think that this is what I'll be wearing when I go from Miss to Mrs ! I'm looking forward to the dress being made and the fittings to come. I'm anticipating lots of fun, joy and excitement as it gets closer to completion and to The Big Day !

Friday, January 30, 2009

Hot hot hot !

3 consecutive days of 43+ degree weather..... A Melbourne record...

And this is why we are getting married in Winter.

When you are cold you can always warm up by putting more clothes on. However, when you are hot, if there's not enough cooling then you can't cool down.... and there's only so many clothes you can take off before you become publicly offensive.

Not so good to be nekid on your wedding day in front of all the friends and rellys...that's the thing of nightmares only !

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lamb Chops

My dad was born in New Zealand but migrated to Australia to become a sheep farmer, go figure! So, when I was a kid, I grew up on a sheep farm... which meant that we often had lamb chops for dinner.... and by often I mean ALL the time ! So, as a youngster I really didn't like or appreciate the absolute deliciousness of lamb.

As an adult I have come to re-learn the joy of the humble lamb chop... and in fact, I think this would have to be one of my preferred meats to eat. I am also very partial to a lamb roast and having parents who still farm sheep, albeit these days they breed specific breeds and stud-lines to create the best tasting lamb, we get the occasional rack of lamb sent our way :-)

It amused me enormously to see Sam Kekovich in his Australia Day rant and telling us to all eat lamb... I love it ! Watch it and you'll totally understand what I'm getting at.

Happy Lamb Chop Munching !

Monday, January 19, 2009


What does it take to REALLY listen to a person? Not to just wait until it is your turn to speak, but to truly listen from a state of concern and desire. To listen from within their heart and mind and truly understand a situation from the other person's point of view.

In TMC, we call this looking at the "other side of the brick" If you were looking at one side of a brick you might see the long edge that is filled with holes, whereas another person might see it as a short solid side - each of us thinks we are looking at the same thing (the brick) although our perceptions can be quite different. We can both think "I am right" about this, and in actual fact we are both right about what we are seeing. The skill of being able to pick yourself up from what you know to be true and look at the brick from the other person's view really gives you an amazing skill of observation. This can allow you to truly understand their problem, issue etc and be honestly empathetic and sympathetic.

When you first begin to listen like this, there are moments of discomfort when you put down your own perception to hear another's. We do need to be willing to be a little uncomfortable to listen in this way initially, however the benefits of this listening far outweigh the initial awkwardness.

Be patient. Make this conversation more about them than about you. Be quiet and allow them the space in which to express. If you are going to share or speak or fill the silence, please do so with comments which will forward the conversation, not halt it or reverse it. This will begin you on a path towards some of the most amazing conversations you can have... and you will wonder why you had so much trouble understanding someone else in the past!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tupperware Lady !

Totally excited, I've just signed up to be a Tupperware Distributor !

How does this relate to love or a wedding ??? I'm glad you asked.

I LOVE Tupperware, i love the colours, the plasticyness, the collectability and usefulness... and most of all I love the ability to Organise with it ! Organise your pantry. Organise your fridge. Organise your freezer.... in fact, organise your life with it ! I buy Tupperware regularly and decided that it was time to become a Distributor and be done with ordering though the middle man !

As we are paying for the majority of our WEDDING, we are saving money like nothing else. This means working more for me which means more and more and more repetition of the same old classes over and over and over again, which can get very boring very quickly. I am used to meeting new people and going into their homes, I am used to standing up and talking in front of people and I believe that Tupperware sells itself.... so I thought I would start a business where I go into people's homes and remind them what's available and help them to organise their kitchens.... and hey presto *make some money out of it*

Did I mention that I love organising???

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I just got home from a friend's 40th birthday dinner. It was a gorgeous swish-o affair at a Golf Club with a sit down dinner. It made me think about food - my favourite thing - and the environment in which you choose to hold a celebration. It also got me thinking of some other celebrations being held this year... another 40th, a wedding, a couple of friends having babies - so therefore baby showers and the like.

Tonight's was a simple meal for friends, family and colleagues; the night began with drinks on the balcony and mingling. We then sat down to a lovely banquet-style dinner of BBQ meats served with veges and salads followed by 3 different desserts (a spoonful of chocolate mousse, a shot-glass of pannacotta and a miniature creme brule) served to each person. A delicious meal served at elegantly dressed tables with no allocated seating, but plenty of opportunity to mingle with other tables and catch up with friends. A lovely setting for a significant birthday celebration and possibly even a wedding-type occasion also.

D's 40th which we will be celebrating in about 2 months, will not be such a swanky affair, although I would love for him to have something like that - we are conscious of the fact that we are putting on (and saving for) our wedding. I think D has all but decided to have a BBQ dinner party at our home for his birthday. I love the intimacy of a casual BBQ at home as people come to share themeselves in your world and there is no formality to make things awkward, etc. You can wander around and chat to anybody and often everyone there knows each other. People can come and go as they please, there's no need to stay for a "polite" period of time... there's no stress if you are "late".

For our Wedding Feast, I love the idea of combining the informal and formal of a dinner and BBQ to create a casual situation where people are comfortable and at ease. I am looking forward to people having an early opportunity to mingle and greet each other... as well as some more mingling once we've done the "I do's".... followed by a sit-down main course where you can relax, get comfortable, chat to people on your table and mingle a bit. We are still to choose our food for the evening... but I am sure I'll write more about that in time!

I love the idea of having stylishly dressed tables, with tablecloths, flowers, candles, beautiful crockery and cutlery. I love simply dressed tables which aren't overly cluttered or too distracting. Comfortable chairs (and some couches) for people to mill around on are a must, but also the opportunity to stand around to chat or hit the dancefloor for a boogie.

As a guest, there is usually a period of time which you really must be present at the wedding. At our engagement, we specifically performed the formalities at a reasonable hour, as it gave people the messeage of when they could start to head off towards home if they wanted to. I think a similar idea will be used at the wedding, especially as it is being held on a Sunday night - although there is a national Public Holiday the next day, so really there's no excuse!

Hmmmm.... more things to think about and plan - how exciting !

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

6 months 'til I marry Mr (W)right

Today is exactly six months until "The Big Day"

Which means it's six months until I marry my Mr. Right and become Mrs. Wright. Yes, I am changing my name. I never really thought about it, but always just assumed that I would change my name when I married. When it came to it becoming a reality, I thought about what it means to me and also included D in the conversation.

I love my own surname and acknowledge that is the family that I come from and grew up in; my mother, father and siblings. It took me through school with some terrible nicknames and annoyance at people who had no idea how to spell it.... let alone pronounce it. With "The McClymonts" becoming a little better known in the Country/Pop music arena, the name doesn't seem so terrible and horribly mis-pronounceable anymore!

I love the concept of a "Family Name". When I grew up, everyone in one family had the one name, you belonged to that family... there was no confusion. I feel strongly that when I have a family I would like us to all share the same family name and that is another positive reason for me taking D's name. Traditionally, the wife takes the husband's name and I have no problem with that at all, however I do have married friends where the guy is going to take his wife's name as he always wanted to get rid of his - Hoare !

Hyphenating names? Well.... that can get difficult after a while, especially with a multi-syllable name or two... then a couple of people with hyphenated names get married and suddenly there are 4 names in your surname !!! Only really works if your name makes a fun word... I have friends who are King-George and I think that's pretty cool!

Taking the name of my husband, to me, is an honouring of us joining our selves and our future lives, moving forward together in the same direction. I have never liked the notion that joining two people together in marriage makes them one complete person, or that two halves make a whole. Rather, I like the idea that two people can stand next to each other and be stronger (and more supported) for having the other person at their side.

I was delightfully surprised to hear that D, who is sometimes quite anti-traditional, would like me to take his name when we marry... especially if we were going to have a family in the future.

Love Quotes

In no particular order....

Love doesn't make the world go 'round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.
Franklin P. Jones

We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.

Women wish to be loved not because they are pretty, or good, or well bred, or graceful, or intelligent, but because they are themselves.
--Henri Frederic Amiel 1821-1881, Swiss Philosopher, Poet, Critic

"Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction."
--Antoine de Saint-Exupery

To love a person is to learn the song
That is in their heart,
And to sing it to them
When they have forgotten.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly without complexities abide. I love you because I know no other way than this. So close that your hand, on my chest, is my hand. So close that when you close your eyes, I fall asleep
--The movie Patch Adams - 1998

Better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all
--St. Augustine

Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor... Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.
--Mother Theresa

Love - a wildly misunderstood although highly desirable malfunction of the heart which weakens the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise and the lips to pucker.
--Author Unknown

Who, being loved, is poor?
--Oscar Wilde

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Sound of Silence

Sometimes I truly appreciate the sound of silence. For those of you who know me, this might seem to be an odd thing to say considering my relatively extroverted and word-i-licious personality (this blog's not called Loquacious for nothing).

Once upon a time I was the kind of person who couldn't be quiet in a quiet room. If there was a lull in conversation, I would be the one to fill it with a new topic, an opinion, a random thought or ask "What are you thinking about?". In the past, I felt very uncomfortable with the silence between two people, as though it meant there was something wrong. I mean, there must be something wrong if neither of you has anything to say, right? You must not be good friends or good romantic partners or something must be amiss, surely?

It took spending time with D (and lots of his insistence) to have me realise that there are times when a comfortable silence is just that - comfortable. There is no need to fill the space with noise for the sake of noise. In fact you can communicate just as much without the words and allow the most amazing peace in your life. I have also found that not filling the spaces with my own words really allows other people to come out with some of the most magical statements. I wonder how many of those gems I missed whilst I was busy chatting away?

When I was working as a Paramedic, I found the tool of "being quiet" often allowed a patient to present you with the gift of a symptom, or a description of a pain, or a memory of an incident or illness, which was the last piece of the puzzle you were looking for to figure out what was wrong with them. I was so grateful for being able to develop the skill of allowing the silence, which then assisted me to assist others in need.

As much as I love my chatty friends who lift me up and energise me with their expression and enthusiasm, sometimes I just love those lazy afternoons where you can sit with your girlfriend(s) and enjoy their presence in contented silence. Knowing full well that if there was a need to chat about something, the occasion would arise to comfortably do so.

Saturday afternoon gave me a great opportunity to spend some girl time; we put Mamma Mia on the dvd and painted our toenails and sang along to our favourite songs. Then Dirty Dancing (an old favourite) and some afternoon snacks, some wedding talk with a newly engaged friend (congrat's 'Cole), some reminiscing... and there it was... that comfortable silence.... the delight at being comfortable in each other's presence. What a great way to spend an afternoon and evening.

I love a comfortable silence in my home, whether it is sitting next to D at the computers having the occasional word or two; sitting in different rooms and sporadically calling out "I love you" to each other; pottering in the kitchen or the garden or simply doing my favourite chore - washing, hanging and folding the laundry. It has given me the opportunity to be more in touch with myself and my feelings, to know myself and to "spend time with myself" - a wonderful tool a very wise woman once taught me when I used to complain about spending time"all by myself".

Appreciate and enjoy the silent moments in your life, you never know what you might hear, as Cindy Campo sings in her song Beautiful Soul - "even in the dead of silence,You are being blessed by what you hear".

Friday, January 2, 2009

The love of my friends (and food)

When I get woken from slumber by a text message saying "Do you wanna go out for brunch?" and of course the answer is "Yes!" What rightful Taurus would not accept an invitation to eat delicious food and drink divine coffee on a lazy day off? And all of this... with friends.

Ask a Taurus how to better enjoy spending time with their friends or family and the answer is always "Just Add Food!"

Spending time with friends is a very important part of my life. It always has been:- from the days of sleep-overs and blue-light discos through my school years; The house parties and booze cruises of my University days and now to the much more sophisticated dinner parties at home, at restaurants at cafes and BBQ's. I love the socialising that occurs when people share themselves over food, I find the real me comes out to play when there is good food involved.

The thought of sharing a meal with someone is like inviting them into my family. I fondly remember sitting up at the kitchen table to eat our dinner at home, telling stories about our day and connecting with Mum, Dad, Sister and Brother. I remember the delicious home-cooked meals prepared with love and the sometimes arduous task of getting my seven-years-younger brother to eat anything that was orange or green.

This Christmas I was able to really delight in the opportunity to prepare a meal for my whole family, in D and my new home. I loved putting the roast on to cook, chatting with family as we prepared the veges and sauces. Seeing the joy on my mother's face that she could have the day off after cooking 3 meals per day for a farming family all of her married life, not to mention cooking the Christmas Turkey each year - usually in the middle of harvest! I loved serving the meal onto warmed plates alongside my sister and savouring the looks on people's faces as they bit into that first mouthful. This year's feast consisted of a Maggie Beer inspired roast goose with apple, walnut and sage stuffing accompanied with roasted root vegetables and topped with apple sauce and gravy. Yes, of course there was traditional plum pudding with brandy custard for desert.

Sharing food with friends can serve many purposes; to celebrate, to commiserate, to lend a hand, to strengthen a bond or to connect, but ultimately what we're trying to accomplish is nurturing. Nurturing occurs with the feeling of love and freely given effort and time in which a meal is prepared and shared. Nurturing occurs even in that silent moment of not knowing what to say when a friend just needs your presence.... or that piece of advice given which assists in ways beyond measure.... or that conversation that lifts someone's spirits with ease. I'm not only talking about the nutrition of the food we eat but the nurturing of our souls which occurs alongside.

One of my many fond memories of sharing food with D was the first night that we met. We met through a mutual friend who I had driven 450km to Melbourne to visit while he was home from the UK. I met my friend who said he had to pick up D before we went to the movies (a new change in plans...) and then we would head out clubbing later (which was what I was expecting). The movie date we were crashing was the birthday celebrations of Tam (who I would come to know as a wonderful friend, housemate and later on, my bridesmaid! Anyway, more about that another time, back to the food). Following the movies, but a little while after sparks had started to fly between D and I, we ate a snack at Pancake Parlour. I will always remember the offer to share pancakes and the cheeky, flirtatious looks we shared over those mouthfuls of strawberries and ice-cream. Eating meals together and sharing food has become a firm habit of ours and we enjoy eating new cuisines, however creatures of habit that we are - we often end up at the same place every weekend chatting to the staff that we know and love and ordering the same thing off the menu every time!

Of course, my fondest memory is of the brunch we shared together on Friday 29th February 2008 at our favourite cafe - Coco Lounge in Glen Waverley - where we ate our usual omelette & hash browns and scrambled eggs & beans accompanied by coffee (mine a tall latte and his a Vanilla flavoured latte). This was the memorable occasion when I asked him to marry me on the day of "The Ladies' Privilege". What a blast proposing to him, it was quite nerve-wracking and you know, I really had no idea whether he would say yes or no.... but figured I couldn't loose either way ! We joined with his family to celebrate that night over a delicious dinner and the next night saw an impromptu BBQ with a bunch of our loved ones and some delicious Moet & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot - my two favourite champagnes.

Following the purchase of an engagement ring - and a surprise return proposal with Darryl on bended knee and all *swoon* - we celebrated with about 100 guests at Palate Restaurant Bar in Prahran. We chose this venue because of it's size, it's central location and wonderful comfortable atmosphere. But we also took into consideration the delectable platters of food prepared by our favourite chef, Chaminda, and the sumptuous cocktails mixed by Brendan & Loz (our fave wait-staff)... yes, it really is all about the food and the friends, isn't it?

When we began discussing what kind of wedding we would like to have we knew that food would be of utmost importance to the event. We were both firmly of the opinion that we wanted to share a wonderful first meal with our closest family and friends on the day of our wedding - and a dinner would be the meal we would choose. So, a Wedding Feast is what we will be celebrating with our guests in a little over six months; it will begin with roaming entrees and bubbly to encourage people to socialise before being seated for their main course ... and then dessert.... we haven't quite decided whether to eat these whilst mingling, on the dance floor or seated at tables, but don't be afraid, there will certainly be dessert !

The Year of Love - 2009

This year I will be living with love in my life as though never before; loving myself, loving my wonderful fiance D and loving other people in my life; loving my home, my surroundings and my everyday activities. I look to experience love in it's many forms to it's deepest level and to experience life from a state of love, rather than the state of fear I have often found myself coming from, in the past.

Love is a very magical thing. As a child, I experienced the love of my parents; the strong protective love of my Mother and the adoring gentle love of my Father. As a new teenager, the parental love was that of discipline versus rebellion and how far could I push the boundaries. As a teenager I began to explore love of the opposite sex and I thought that was the most amazing thing I could possibly experience. Moving into my twenties and my first "real" relationships, I experienced love as safe, binding, fun, joyous and hopeful followed by my fair share of heartbreak, desperation, disappointment, regret, powerlessness and unfullfillment. In my 27th year, I met my husband-to-be and knew almost instantly that I would be with him for the rest of my life. Following some ups and downs in the getting-to-know-you phase (coupled with some 450km separating us to begin with) we found our place with each other and then I was able to experience love of a different kind.

The love I share with D is whole, complete, all-encompassing and yet it allows me to feel completely independent, whole within myself and equal. I believe that this love is what I thought I'd been searching for all of my life, the stuff of fairy tales.... but wait... this love is so much bigger, stronger, more fulfilling and satisfying than any I could have imagined. This love makes me more of who I am at the same time as allowing D to be more of who he is. This love reminds me that life is worth living to it's fullest potential.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I'm inspired to blog in this very important year in my life. I have thought about blogging many times before but have never thought to set up the website and get typing until now.

Why now?

This is the year of my wedding to the beautiful D and I wanted to be able to remember some ups & downs of the planning of the wedding, the emotional roller-coaster and the wonderful memories along the way. And if someone else reads it too, well that's also great !