Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Things my mother taught me

To give of my time & my money to causes that I believe in & am passionate about. For my mother this has included working with young mothers - teaching them to sew & looking after their children at "playtime" and also the sponsoring of overseas missionaries. I still remember how excited my mum became when she & her friends had raised enough money to purchase a motorcycle for a young minister from the Phillipines. Thank you mum for fostering a spirit of Charity within me.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Things My Mother Taught Me

To take care of my belongings;
to not be wasteful.

As a little girl I remember bathing my dolls
and grooming them carefully,
I would dust down my ornaments
and wipe them gently clean.

I have been able to pass on
a few of my old toys to my daughter
(she finds much pleasure in them,
they are like a museum of my
childhood to her- little connections
to her Mother's world)
and I have kept a few for myself.

My Mother was also
able to pass down to me
the only doll she ever owned.
As a child I felt sad that my Mother
only ever owned one doll; for I
lived in a world of plenty and
could not imagine how I would
feel owning only one doll.
I named the doll after my Mother,
Desley Josephine.

Desley Josephine was an example
to me of my Mother's success
in taking good care of her belongings -
this made me want to look after my many dolls.
I still own this precious old doll,
which My Aunt Norma Jean
bought for Mother in the 1950's.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas
peace on earth & goodwill to all

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Great women from art, literature & myth

Titania, Queen of all the Fairies.

"I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in'

- Oberon from William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream"-

I believe I discovered a bottled piece of heaven today - I tested L'eau D'Issey by Issey Miyake for the first time & now I just have to have it!

"It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion that heralds your arrival & prolongs your departure"
- Coco Chanel (on Perfume)-

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.


A Few of My Favourite Things - Lace

Lace has been coveted for many a generation.
Such a beautiful thing is a piece of lace.

Things My Mother Taught Me

To Love
To Laugh
To Dream
To Cook
To Sew
To Knit
To Tinker
To Garden

Friday, December 19, 2008

'Stressed' spelled backwards is 'Desserts'

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Great women from art, literature & myth

Frida Kahlo 1907-1954 was born in Mexico City. Frida began to paint while she was an inpatient in hospital after a bus accident left her with a crushed back, pelvis & leg, leaving her in chronic pain the remainder of her life. A metal bar had impaled Frida's abdomen & uterus during the accident which subsequently affected her reproductive capabilities. As a child Frida had also contracted Polio which had left her lower limbs disfigured - it is estimated that she endured up to 35 operations during her lifetime. Frida had a special easel made so she could paint from her hospital bed, the majority of her paintings were self portraits expressing her pain & suffering as well as her sexual experimentation.

The first of the two paintings, "The broken column," depicts her body as being split apart like a cavernous fissure in a landscape left ravaged by an earthquake. Like the barren earth behind her, her body is empty - unable to nurture life, the only thing that exists is a column that is shattered to pieces and is being held precariously together by a corset & Frida's own rigid stance. Nails pierce her skin & tears drive down her checks yet her stoic expression denies the presence of any pain.

The second painting, "Self-portriat with thorn necklace and hummingbird", shows Frida with a thorny collar that is peircing her neck - leaving her once again rigid & unable to move freely. A dead hummingbird sits like a pendant on her chest - a token of her ressurection. On her shoulder sits a black monkey, symbolic of lust & sexuality - is it helping Frida get out of the thorny garland or is it helping construct the torturous necklace? And the black cat - is it steeped in superstition & bad luck or is it associated with anarchism of which Frida was increasingly an active participant? Or is Frida trying to tell us something altogether different?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Things my mother taught me

Creamy potato mash - the best mashed potatoes you'll ever have - guaranteed!

1kg of pink eye potatoes
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 large knob of butter
& extra salt (for boiling)

Peel the potatoes, cut into pieces & place in pan of salted boiling water. Boil for about 10-15 minutes (until tender & cooked through). Drain off all the water and then add remaining ingredients & mash together until creamy & smooth with no lumps.

serves 4 - Enjoy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Inspirational women - Dorothy Porter 1954 - 2008

Dorothy Porter one of Australia's greatest poets died last week aged 54 after a four year battle with breast cancer.

a dark rose
in a bowl
of light water

its scent creeps
like a slow spider
up my face

and it stings
in the eyes

so I cry
for pleasure
for no reason
in Nefrititi's rose room.

-from "Akhenaten" -

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Things my mother taught me

To never hate, it takes so much energy to hate someone or something. When we chose to hate we become angry, bitter & hostile.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

From The Brown Book

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;
what is essential is invisible to the eye."

- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry from Le Pétit Prince

Things My Mother Taught Me

To Always...
Be honest;
Embrace the feelings of my heart completely;
Be brave when it comes to the matters of the heart;
Stand up for my beliefs;
Not cave in to peer pressure and passing fades;
Listen to my inner voice.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Things my mother taught me

Those old world manners, which have served me well in life but have also been the cause of bitter disappointment with fellow mankind.


The perception of beauty is a moral test

-Henry David Thoreau-

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Great women from art, literature & myth

You may find them swimming in the seas -
off Shetland and off Orkney
In the cover of darkness you may see them shed their pelt
And come ashore as beautiful maidens
To wander the earth for a time

If by chance you can capture a skin
A human existence she must endure
And become lover, wife and mother

But if she should ever find her pelt
She will once again slip into her Selkie skin
And to the sea return
Without hesitation
Without regret

Friday, December 5, 2008


Once a woman came to the Buddha holding the corpse of her dead child, wailing in her anguish and pleading with the Buddha to bring the child back to life. The Buddha said that to do this he would need a rare ingredient: a mustard seed from the household of a family that had never known death. He sent the woman out to find such a mustard seed. But her desperate search yielded no such seed - only many stories of grief as great as and greater than her own. In the end these stories connected her deeply to her own suffering and so she was healed from her anguish.

excerpt from: 'Taking our places' by Norman Fischer

Inspirational women - Nigella Lawson 1960 -

I absolutely adore Nigella Lawson, not only did she teach me how to cook but she has helped me embrace being a "curvaceous" woman. I love how she formats her cooking books - it's as though she is right there in the kitchen with you, I love how unabashedly excited she gets over food. Nigella makes me want to be a "domestic goddess", she makes me want to be a better wife, step-mother and aunt. I like her recipes even better for the fact that she is not a chef, but that her formal education is in medieval & modern languages. I love that she went to Oxford University - that she uses elaborate adjectives to describe her cooking, making her recipies into delightful tales for the reader to enjoy.

Nigella is also an avid supporter of the Lavender Trust which gives support to young women with breast cancer, she lost her own sister to breast cancer in 1993.

Great women from art, literature & myth

Jeanne Hébuterne in red shawl by Modigliani is perhaps one of the saddest paitings ever put to canvas. Who would have guessed that in less than a year the artist, his muse, and their unborn child would all be dead. Modigliani, aged 35, from ill health, Jeanne at 21, throwing herself from their apartment window 2 days after his death. They had met just 2 years earlier when she was an idealistic young art student and he was the struggling but brilliant artist.

The tilt of her head, the vacant stare – eyes like frozen lakes in winter. Is she looking at you, through you, or past you into another dimension?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Things my mother taught me

To treat others as you yourself wish to be treated. If you want respect, be respectful. If you want kindness, be kind.

I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Great women from art, literature & myth

In the dead of night
I hear her cries
Reach deep and dark
Into my being
Into my bones
At the waters edge she wails
Her unearthly song
She calls me by name
Like a knell from Hell
My angel of death
My Banshee bride

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Great women from art, literature & myth

Celie from Alice Walker’s “The Colour Purple”

From an early age, Celie is subjected to a life of abuse and is told she is ugly. Because of this she shies away in silence, and learns to hide her smile. When alone Celie's talks to God - to Celie God is a remote figure whom she fears doesn’t much care for her.

Celie does little to fight back against her stepfather, Alphonso – and soon finds herself pregnant with his children – both of whom die. She is then married off to an equally abusive man, who separates her from her beloved sister Nettie. Then along comes Shug Avery, a strong beautiful woman, who slowly over time becomes closer & closer to Celie. Shug helps Celie restore pride in herself by showing her love and tenderness. Celie once again learns to smile and develops the courage to fight back.

Celie’s new found self worth transforms her into a creative, successful, independent woman whom life has seen fit to shower with happiness. This comes through being reunited with her long lost sister & her own children whom she believed were dead.

The colour purple won the Pulitzer prize for fiction in 1983 and was later developed into an acclaimed film.

“Listen, God love everything you love—and a mess of stuff you don’t. But more than anything else, God love admiration….Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the colour purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”

From The Brown Book

Encouragement is the light suspended in my soul that says,
"take the curtains down and shine".

From The Brown Book

A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.
- Lao Tzu

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Wives Book

I found the following joke in 'The wives book: for the wife who's best at everything:'

three women, one a girlfriend, one a mistress and one a wife decided to surprise their men by dressing up in sexy leather outfits, high heels and leather masks. A few days later they compared notes:
'My boyfriend came home and found me in the leather bodice, steletto's and mask,' said the girlfriend. 'He was so thrilled he said, "You are the woman for me. Will you marry me?" Then we made love all night long.'
'I met my man at our little love-nest,' said the mistress. 'I was in the leather bodice, stilettos and mask and he was speechless, but we had great sex all night.'
'I sent the kids to my mother's for the night,' said the wife. 'Then I put on the leather bodice, stilettos and mask. My husband came home from work, opened the door and said, "All right, Batman, what's for dinner?"'