Monday, 31 December 2012
Thursday, 20 December 2012
Thursday, 13 December 2012
It is my favourite time of year. Besides the obvious stuff that I love about it there is one thing I love the most. I love how people seem to soften and seem kinder, more patient, more charitable towards their fellow man. Of course, there are still those who prefer to be Grinches and bah humbug the whole season but maybe they just need a hug.
Today I think I have to be thankful for all the people who make it their mission to make the lives of other people better. My Mother, a prime example of such a person, sent me some photos recently of a Children's Christmas Party she helped organise. My Mother, through her Rotary club, has helped set up this Children's Day Care Centre which is in the middle of an informal settlement near where I grew up. I'll write more about this place and the amazing things that are happening there one day. For now I just want you to look at the faces of the children in the collage below. These are children who come from the poorest families. Families who wouldn't have the money to spend on presents for their children at Christmas time. In fact, Christmas is probably like any other time of the year except maybe they get a Christmas box from work and a few, hopefully, paid days off work. Are you looking at the faces of these children? The happy-and-excited-about-their-one- present-in-the- brightly-coloured-paper-faces. Pure joy! Children are children. These children will see through old eyes far too young but this Christmas they got to be children. Beautiful, happy children. I'm thankful that these faces made me cry and made me smile in one moment. Ngiyabonga! Thank-you!
Monday, 3 December 2012
I've been toying with an idea for a while of having a regular blog post dedicated to someone who inspires me for whatever reason it may be. I started a list and it grows daily. Today I read this quote on Pinterest and it made me think of someone. Today I dedicate this blog to her: Heidi Dawson, my artist, you inspire me.
We met in London. 1996. Both long-time residents of a Backpackers Hostel in Shepherd’s Bush. It took us a while to become friends though. Both Observers so we circled around each other for a while. Hung out with the rest of the pack. We did though. We ended up living in the same house in Stratford and that’s pretty much all I can say about that. Purple teeth :) Whatever happened in the house in Eleanor Road, stays in the memories of those who lived or visited there. If they still have a memory. Heidi used to do this thing that… I’ll never tell.
We’ve been friends ever since. Sometimes going years without seeing or speaking to each other. Then there’d be surprise visits to South Africa, trips to Australia to play bridesmaid and we must not forget the many, many drunken phone calls. Her never worrying about the time difference, me afraid to answer the phone. We’re the pick up where you left off kind of friends.I digress. I meant only to tell you about how this woman inspires me, not get all gushy and take a wander down Memory Lane. For as long as I’ve known Heidi (almost 17 years, really?) I remember her drawing. In London she drew mostly beautiful women. I remember when I came out to Australia to be one of her Bridesmaids she had an art room in the house she was living in. The room with the most light I think it was, only the easel in the middle of it. She never showed off her talent though. Unless I happened to catch her doing it or she’d left a creation unattended for a moment, I’d never have known. Then she stopped. For years. Until, on a trip to London, she met up with my little brother for a drink. My brother is a remarkable young man and one day this blog will be dedicated to him. I’m not sure what he said but she returned to Australia with the spark reignited and picked up her artistic tools again. The spark has become a fire and it burns with passion in her eyes when she speaks of her art.So privately talented and unaffected by her brilliance, it has taken a small army of close friends and relatives to convince her to start showing the world her masterpieces. She took a giant leap forward and created a Facebook page to show some of her work. She hopes to start selling her work soon and some of the proceeds will go towards a Charity close to her heart in Zimbabwe.
Every time I see one of her pieces I am blown away. She inspires me to work at my own craft. Let’s pretend for a moment I can see the future. I see great things awaiting my talented friend. I see her getting the recognition she deserves. I see happiness and contentment as she lives her dream and gets to do what she loves every day. I see grand, sold out exhibitions. So, as I can’t really see the future, I will wish these things for her instead.If you do only one thing today, go click on her Facebook page and hit that Like button.
Heidi, never stop doing what you love in the way you do it. Below is just one example of what she does. It is one of her recent Scratchboard creations.
|Copyright 2012 Heidi Dawson Artist|
Thursday, 29 November 2012
Thursday, 15 November 2012
Watching Dirty Dancing for probably the hundred and tenth time recently took me back to so many different times of my life. See what I did there? I was only in Primary school when it came out. I can still recite most of the lines verbatim which may be a little annoying when I watch it with others. A few large Dirty Dancing posters hung on my walls. My favourite : a close-up of Patrick (yes we were on a first name basis) that hung just above my bed.
Every Primary school disco, birthday party or class party was not complete without a Dirty Dancing competition. Every boy tried to mimic the last scene where Johnny beckons Baby with a smouldering look and a nod of his head. We were wild I tell you.
High school Slumber parties always included watching Dirty Dancing. Even in my adult life a girls' night in with pizza and wine had to include watching Dirty Dancing.
A life without memories would be unimaginable. I suppose if you forgot the yesterdays and all your todays brought you a clean slate you'd never have to remember the bad times. There would be no tomorrow. Yet you'd lose all the good too. No ties that bind you, the unbreakable bonds you forged through every childhood adventure, through surviving all your teenage misadventures and all the adult paths you are yet to take. Gone. I say cherish the memories. Protect them, store them and remember, remember, remember to live every moment so you want to recall it.
Tuesday, 13 November 2012
Thursday, 8 November 2012
Monday, 5 November 2012
Thursday, 1 November 2012
Thursday, 25 October 2012
Monday, 22 October 2012
Thursday, 18 October 2012
Today I am writing this from a Starbucks in the city which - by the way - means I get to call myself a real writer. Maybe I am about to write my bestseller. Oh if only that was all it took: coffee, free wifi and a laptop.
It's been a great week for me. I've felt inspired, enlightened and passionate about things I'd long forgotten. I've pushed my limits, challenged my willpower and survived. I feel on top of the world right now. To quote The Carpenter's song : 'such a feeling's coming over me, there is wonder in most everything I see.'
So this Thursday I am thankful for this week. I love my life and I am excited for what the future holds.
Have a great day people and remember to be thankful!
Thursday, 11 October 2012
I am thankful I didn't let him break me. Pyramid sets are hard but in an awesome kind of way.
Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Thursday, 4 October 2012
I decided to use my Google skills to see if I could find him some advice from other Dads of Daughters. Even though he already has two sometimes just knowing someone else feels as you do can be gratifying and maybe you learn something in spite of what you think you know.
Anyway I discovered this beautiful blog written by a guy named Michael. He describes his blog like this:
'This blog is a combination of the parenting style I’m trying to adopt and my attempt to capture the numerous thoughts I have as the doting father of a beautiful and precious little young lady who I’d like to see grow up and mature into a strong and talented woman someday. When that happens, my hope is that she will look back fondly on her childhood and say that I added life to her years… she is certainly adding to mine.
For my first Father’s Day, Isabella gave me a mug that said I was the best daddy in the world. You probably have one too. If you won’t tell my little girl, I won’t tell yours.'
Is that not beautiful? Anyway Big Brother when you read this go read his 50 Rules for Dads of Daughters and see if you agree, pick up some tips or maybe you have your own to add?
I can't wait to meet this newest princess!
Wednesday, 3 October 2012
4:20am. I'm waiting in the dark (I'm scared of the dark just for the record), waiting for my lift and imagining all sorts of Hobbly Gobblys lurking and waiting to eat me. Thankfully I was saved by a Yorkshire lass in a white car just as I was preparing to protect myself from the attack of some nasty creature creeping somewhere towards me. I could sense its evil presence.
5:45am. Arrive at meeting point and find other aforementioned crazy people. Let me tell you a little bit more about this hike. There is an event that takes place every year on the Gold Coast called The Kokada Challenge - this hike is only 6 km (they wouldn't turn around at 6km and come back they'd just keep going) out of that 96 km course and oh my. That is all. Oh my. It starts with a 2km uphill (gradient apparently 41, whatever that means, trust me it was pretty steep) then mixed terrain but mostly downhill for 4kms and then you get to turn around and climb 4kms uphill and end with the steep 2km downhill. Awesomeness!
Thankfully my company kept my mind off the journey. Laughing always makes everything easier. I still have the Wombles Theme song in my head.
9:35am. Back at base camp (I like calling it that, makes me feel like we climbed Everest). There are complaints of blisters, knee pain, back pain, tiredness but mostly there is there is this grand sense of accomplishment. Every person who got out of bed before the sun and attempted this hike, no matter how far they got before they turned back, I think should feel a little bit proud of their greatness. It is not something I would have thought I'd be able to do 2 years ago.
|Me with some of the other Crazy People and Kommando Nate!|
There is someone I like to thank. Without its help I may have gone ass over tit a few times. It appeared when I needed it most and I brought it home with me.
Oh and for the record my gluteus maximus has not fully recovered. Hot butt on the way!
Friday, 28 September 2012
'A handstand hey? Mmmm, do I dare?'
I didn't dare, not at first. The Idea grew and it got a voice. Just a tiny one like it came from a fairy sitting on my shoulder.
'A handstand could be fun.' And that was all. I went to bed and in my dream I wasn't just handstanding, oh no sirree Bob, I was cartwheeling. Then I woke up. Did I dare try? I went to RPM without dwelling on it but during track 6 - while I was happily shaking what my Momma gave me - the Idea made a guest appearance. The voice was louder more like a cheerleader (actually may have been the voice of my RPM instructor Commander Ally)
'You could definitely do a handstand! Just do it!'
I don't like to disobey Ally so her voice in my head was the push I needed. I left with the intention of trying it. Later. Later came and I stood in my bedroom - no way I was trying this outside. Handstand up against a wall - how hard can that be right? I couldn't do it. I tried a few times and it just wasn't happening. I gave up and went back to the gym instead.
Still the Idea persisted. In fact, the Idea formed the Handstand Idea Support Group. Ally's voice was joined by more voices all offering advice. It was a noisy affair in my head - I think they had wine.
'Probably just your technique, try again.' Totally! My technique is non existent.
'See if you can find a You Tube video to remind you how it's done' Cheeky! I have a good memory.
'Lose your fear of falling, hurting yourself and give in to the motion.' Interesting. I was afraid I'd fall.
On and on these thoughts came, the HISG were a persistent lot.
There is a happy ending. The Handstand Idea Support Group has been disbanded. Their mission was accomplished. Shortly before I began to write this blog I decided to give The Handstand another attempt. First attempt fail, second attempt fail, third attempt we gained some momentum and with that confidence. And I am very happy to announce that on my fourth attempt I, Super Jay, did my very first Handstand in about 23 years!
And now I can't stop doing them. Use it or lose it they say. Well I'm going to do Handstands till I can't no more.
Go on, I dare you! It feels awesome!
Thursday, 27 September 2012
Monday, 24 September 2012
If I think back over the last few years I could probably list a few things that I never thought I would achieve, that I just thought would be impossible for me. Running especially. I used to say: 'I'll never run, just not built for it, hate it, can't do it.' and now I'm training to run my first 21km race.
That's only a small example. Made it to the halfway mark for the 12 week Challenge on Saturday. It got me thinking back to the last time I got to the halfway mark on a Challenge. I had different goals then: Wedding Day goals mostly. It gave me a big thing to focus on. This time my big thing is getting to my final goal, once and for all. To getting to the end of this journey, once and for all. To be the fittest, strongest and leanest I've ever been, once and for all. This is my 'Once and for all' Challenge.
At times these last few kilos have seemed like the impossible dream but I refuse to believe it. I am going to get to my final goal in the next 6 weeks. I am just going to do it. To quote Alice again: 'It's no use going back to yesterday because I was a different person then.'
I wish you all a fabulous week of great things - whatever you want those things to be just let them and they will be.
I leave you with the quote below from one of the wisest of men:
Thursday, 20 September 2012
Try this task: tell the above twice or thrice through to testify to the T and be thankful that it is Thursday!
Wednesday, 19 September 2012
I could wake up in the morning and decide how I want the weather to be based on what my plans are for the day or perhaps on what I want to wear. The possibilities are endless. I could even take requests, for a small donation of course. Every girl wants perfect weather on her wedding day. Every child in a hot country wishes just once the could have a white Christmas. Every holiday maker wishes they had to be stranded for a few more days because a mysterious weather condition is preventing planes from taking off - yet the weather on the ground is perfect. The list could be endless. The possibilities revolutionary.
That kind of power actually sounds like way too much responsibility. I guess with all great power comes great burden. I'd be hounded day and night. This would not end well. I'd have to lose the cape and find a wig, a moustache (every disguise needs a moustache) and a quirk - like a twitchy eye or a limp. The best disguise is sometimes when every notices you and therefore does not suspect you.
Anyway, the actual reason why I declare Winter to be over is because I went for a swim today. I do not swim in Winter so my powers of deduction deducted:
Swim + Super Jay ≠ Winter.
Tuesday, 18 September 2012
I let my Inner child come out and play at gym tonight. Every time they launch a new round of Les Mills programs at the gym we normally have some sort of theme class - wear pink, green, purple - you get the idea. This time red the colour but the theme was Super Heroes. One of the ladies in the class decided to get her Mom to make some of us black capes with our names on them. Put a bunch of adult women in capes and they turn into giggling adolescents or maybe even pre-adolescents in my case. Loved it!
I know everyone at some point wishes they could be a kid again. If I count the amount of times I've heard someone say 'I'd love to go back to school knowing what I know now' or even one friend who said she'd go back knowing what she knew then just for the social side and the relatively worry free existence we had back then. The first one I don't understand. The second one I get.
I liked the feeling of the cape. The feeling you can play pretend and not care a sausage. People looked and mostly they smiled. I reckon half of them were thinking, 'Aw a cape, I wish I had a cape!'
And me I wanted to say just one thing to them: 'Naaaa naa, nun naaa naa!'
So it's official. Super Jay has her very own cape. Look out Cleveland I may wear mine to go running.
Off you go now, go play.
Monday, 17 September 2012
Anyway. The kick start works. It sets my whole week off on the right foot - which is a good foot for me to start on as it is so much stronger than my left. I should stop trying to make jokes on a Monday. It is my least funny day of the week. By Friday I'm hilarious!
This week I need to shake things up a little. Saturday marks the halfway point for the 12 week Challenge. I'm a little excited, a little nervous. I've been working hard but I'm thinking it is a good week to try something new, to add something into the mix, just add that little extra spice. I want to be sure when I'm standing on those awful scales I did everything possible up to that point to get good results.
I found one of my mantra's on Pinterest today. I've only just started using Pinterest and I'm worried it may become another addictive Procrastination tool. So much to look at and time goes. Poof! Gone forever and what have I gained? Well it does make me a little happier. I think that is because I'm yet to find anything negative on there. It's all light, bright, cheerful and amusing.
I leave you for today with the note below. Thanks Pinterest. This is my aim for the week.
Sunday, 16 September 2012
I expected these books to be cover to cover hilarity but as I've browsed through them I found myself nodding at few times, passing on some of the wisdom to my husband from whom I just get a 'Yes Dear' and laughing out loud at advice that even if I tried to follow my husband might think I'd gone completely loopy. Now I'll admit I'm a bit of an old fashioned girl in some things - I didn't think my thinking dated back to 1913 though.
The Red Book is divided into 12 chapters: Personalities; How to avoid Discord; Habits; Financial Matters; Evenings at home; Jealousy; Recreation; Food; Dress; Entertaining; Household Management; Children.
The Blue Book is divided into 11 chapters: General Habits; Personal Relations; Jealousy; Hints on Finance; Household matters; Recreation and Holidays; Health; Dress; Hobbies; Food; Children.
- 'Don't vegetate as you grow older if you happen to live in the country. Some women are like cows, but there is really no need to stagnate. Keep both brain and body on the move.'
- 'Don't 'manage' your husband too visibly. Of course, he may require the most careful management, but you don't want your friends to think of him as a hen-pecked husband. Above all, never let him think you manage him.'
- 'Don't open the door for yourself when your husband is present. He would open it for a lady guest, let him open it for you. Besides, your boys will not learn the little courtesies that count nearly so well by precept as by example.'
- 'Don't be satisfied to let your husband work overtime to earn money for frocks for you. Manage with fewer frocks.'
- 'Don't omit the kiss of greeting. It cheers a man when he is tired to feel that his wife is glad to see him home.'
- 'Don't be jealous of your husband's acquaintance with other women. you don't want him to think you are the nicest woman in the world because he never sees any others, but because he sees plenty and still feels that you are the only one in the world for him. Have nice girls about the house pretty frequently.'
- 'Don't object to your husband getting a motor-bicycle; merely insist that he shall buy a side-car for you at the same time.'
- 'Don't forget to 'feed the brute' well. Much depends on the state of his digestion.'
- 'Don't talk to your husband about anything of a worrying nature until he has finished his evening meal.'
- 'Don't let your husband wear a violet tie with grass-green socks. If he is unhappily devoid of the colour sense, he must be forcibly restrained, but don't be sarcastic about your husband's taste in dress. Be gently persuasive and train his sense of fitness.'
- 'Don't drop cigarette ash all over the drawing-room carpet. Some people will tell you that it improves the colours, but your wife won't care to try that recipe.'
- 'Don't flourish a grimy handkerchief about because you have forgotten to take a clean one out of your box or your drawer. If your wife provides you with a reasonable stock, you might at least take the trouble to remember to use them.'
- 'Don't omit to bring home an occasional bunch of flowers or a few chocolates. Your wife will value even a penny bunch of violets for your thought of her.'
- 'Don't object to your wife going out with another man if you can't take her yourself - so long as you know and approve of the man.'
- 'Don't be afraid of lending a hand in the house during a temporary servant difficulty, or if you keep no servant. It will do you no harm at all to learn to light a fire or clean a pair of boots, and be sure your wife will have to do plenty of things she is unaccustomed to.'
- 'Don't say it is no fun to go out cycling with your wife because she can't "scorch." It will do you no harm to ride more slowly than usual, and your company will give her a great deal of pleasure. Her "going slow" is one of the secrets of her chances of longer life. Take her with you, and you will avoid that overtaxing of the arteries which leads to premature old age.'
- 'Don't insist on wearing your hair or your moustache in a style you know she hates. Just try it another way to please her.'
- 'Don't get up too late to eat a decent breakfast before starting out for your day's work. It is bad for you go without, and will worry your wife.'
Thursday, 13 September 2012
- I am thankful for my good morning hug and kiss from my husband - I'm beautiful in the morning.
- Ever so grateful for my first perfect cup of coffee - yes, I need my coffee in the morning.
- For my car starting happily.
- For the friendly smile from a stranger at the gym.
- For the wave from a friend.
- For the high five from Kane after trying to break me this morning.
- For my second perfect cup of coffee with my hard earned breakfast. I've mentioned how much I do love breakfast.
- My long, hot shower.
- The clothes that hang a little looser on me.
- For the hot sun and the cool breeze.
- 100% mark on a chapter test.
- The sweet message from a friend.
- The smell of clean washing when you open the machine.
- The sounds of sirens heading away from me.
- My favourite song playing when I turned on my radio.
- This feeling I have right now. A peacefulness, a serenity - possibly the desire to have a long, undisturbed nap.
Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Tuesday, 11 September 2012
The watching, of course, leads to lengthy discussions with lots of 'what if' and 'can you imagine...' scenarios. Last night my husband began one such discussion. Can you imagine if you woke up right now and the last 3 years had just been a dream? What would you do?
My initial gut response: 'I think I would scream for about an hour and then probably run and jump off the balcony.'
Thinking about that response afterwards made me feel a little silly. Firstly there would be no balcony because we wouldn't be living in Australia yet and secondly, even if I did jump off the balcony of our house I'd probably only twist an ankle. We are only one flight up! Silly me.
Seriously though I do think I would go into shock and maybe even lose my mind. My life is so different now. I look so different now. 3 years ago, 3 long years ago. We would have been on holiday in Italy, staying with my little brother and about to get engaged. I would have been in paradise.
Don't get me wrong, these were good times in my life. Very good times. My life is so very different from 3 years ago I wonder how different it will be in another 3 years. I guess time will tell.
So what would do if you woke up 3 years ago? Where would you be?
Sunday, 9 September 2012
We are into the 5th week of a 12 week Challenge now. 13 more sleeps till the halfway weigh-in. Yes, I've started counting the sleeps. I'm excited. I can feel the changes in my body, in my fitness and want to see them in black and white. I want the measurements to reflect my hard work. It is the point of doing it - to improve, to achieve your goals. Even better is watching other people transform too. Often people don't realise how much they have changed and at the end of 12 weeks, when they see their results looking back at them in a photo or through their measurements or the size of the new pair of jeans the bought, it is an unbeatable feeling when you achieve something you set out to achieve. Even better when it improves your life. So I'm excited that we are getting so close to halfway.
Another week draws to a close for me. Looking forward to the new week. Great things await. I can feel it.
Catch you Monday!
Saturday, 8 September 2012
This is the view I started my Saturday to. Beautiful. Really ignites the soul first thing in the morning when it feasts on such magnificence.
An hour later I'd completely forgotten about the view. Boot Camp does that. Still an awesome way to start a Saturday. Followed up with an hour ride on my Forty and home for breakfast. All by 9:30am.
You'll notice that I'm writing short sentences. This is because it is now 9pm. I'm very tired.
You enjoy the view. I'm off to bed.
Friday, 7 September 2012
I'm a very loyal person. I like that about myself. Forty has my undying loyalty. I work him hard, he never complains. He performs consistently well and that is what I love about him the most. His consistency.
I'm thinking of getting a sign made to hang around his neck. 'Super Jay rides me! Beware the wrath of Super Jay' - think it would work? Not sure it would be allowed. I've tried to make it clear in other subtle ways that he is mine but every so often an eager beaver wanders by and Forty takes their fancy. He is beautiful. Hard to resist. They get the look. The first time.
Without further ado I present to you MY FORTY :
Looking good for 5am on a Friday morning wouldn't you say?
Thursday, 6 September 2012
Wednesday, 5 September 2012
Tuesday, 4 September 2012
Monday, 3 September 2012
|Me with the Fit Stuff Crew - Bridge to Brisbane 2 Sept 2012 ( http://www.fitstuff.com.au/ )|
Sunday, 2 September 2012
I ran my race today but more about that tomorrow when I'm less tired. Today you get to look at the beautiful sunrise I saw this morning.
Look beyond the random stranger who is about to get his 15 seconds of fame and focus on the horizon. It made waking up at 3:30am almost worth it.
Saturday, 1 September 2012
Friday, 31 August 2012
So my Friday is done. A good one. I spent time with my gorgeous 3 day old niece, Charlotte. The miracle of life. It is hard not to be in awe of it when you hold a little person in your arms. Through her eyes this old world is brand spanking new. Everything, an adventure for her brain. She is just starting on her story and I wish only for her to have one that ends with a happily ever after.
I know this isn't much but it is something. I feel better. I may be able to sleep now. I've got to be up early for Boot Camp in the morning. Good Night, Good Afternoon and Good morning - pick which one fits your day best but make it the first word that counts.
Thursday, 30 August 2012
Wednesday, 29 August 2012
I decided it was time to move on from my old Blog. Been so long since I wrote there anyway that it felt a bit like returning to a happy, old life - you feel comfortable, secure but the weight of previous expectations is draped around your shoulders like your favourite Winter TV blanket. I decided I needed to throw off that blanket and, with Spring around the corner, embrace a brand new Blog!
Welcome to the Super Jay Blog!