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 !