Friday, February 26, 2016

I've moved!

Hey guys

I have made the moved and will no longer be posting on here.  Hopefully my very muddled brain will be able to work out to maybe put a forward on from here to the new site but I am not sure if I can

a) work it out or
b) actually do it because this is a free service usually you have to pay for re-directs lol.

Anyway, you will find me over at from now on.

I will put links up to the posts on my Facebook page ( so if you follow along on Facebook it will be super easy for you to see any of the new ramblings from the muddle that is my brain.  If not now is the time to update your bookmark for my blog.

A little teaser from today's blog that I have almost finished ...

"It is no secret that I have incredible struggles with telling our twin daughters apart but when they get confused ... that struggle just got real!"

Looking forward to chatting with you over at Life Through the Haze.

Cathy xoxo

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Eight things I WON'T be doing before I die.

Image:  Chinaman's Beach Vincentia 2013 

Sonia over at Life, Love & Hiccups wrote about her "Eight things I won't be doing before I die."  Sonia got her inspiration from Holly at Full of Beans and Sausages, who saw the idea on The Pyreflies.  I guess it is sort of like an anti-bucket list.  It is a little odd to write about the things you won't be doing because I could just go around and quietly do them.

Sonia challenged others to do their list of eight so here is mine.  Once I got started much like Sonia I found it hard to keep to eight.  

Thanks for the inspiration Sonia.


Ok I need to declare that I have actually technically been on one already.  Many years ago a good friend and I went on Ready, Steady, Cook!  This kind of really doesn't count because it really is shot in an hr and there is very little editing.  By reality TV I mean Big Brother, My Kitchen Rules, Masterchef or even worse still I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

Many years ago my Mum joked that we should go on MKR and my brother quite rightly declared that Australia is just never going to be ready for that!  I love to cook and bake so if it was going to be any sort of reality TV it would be cooking but honestly the judgement, the editing, the negative side of the 15mins of fame nope it is just not for me!


This one is probably the hardest of all.  The truth is I didn't actually know how deep I was in until it was too late to find a way out.  All I know is that for now and hopefully into the future I have the support structures around me and the safety nets to catch me if I fall.  I know I have lots of love, support, friends and family around me so most importantly I need to reach out.  I think this one will be a work in progress, but I am going to try really hard to keep to this.

That isn't to say that things won't be challenging for me again, and that there won't be tough times.  I am just saying that I will try to do much better at paying attention and noticing before everything spirals out of control.


The truth is it is hard enough for me to get on a plane that is going to take me from location A to location B.  So for me to get on a perfectly good working aircraft to jump out and hope that I land, yeap nope, never going to happen!


I don't have anything against tattoos, some of my close mates have the most beautiful artwork!  The reality is I am the biggest chicken getting around!  I would honestly love to get a tattoo but needles, pain and all of that it's not ever going to happen.  In the meantime I will just admire some of the beautiful artwork on other people.  Plus if I don't get a tattoo I will still be the good child (kinda sorta) my little brother has a tattoo and my mum hates them, growing up all I heard was if you were meant to have drawing on you, you would have been born with them!


Ok so given that I don't drink alcohol at all this is probably not the hardest one for me to achieve.  However, if one day in the future I found I could tolerate alcohol again I will not get rip roaring drunk  so that I wake up with a hangover ever again.  Been there done that, and now with kids it is hard enough getting up each day without a hangover!


I doubt we will ever foster either, but I know that I am done.  Without a doubt you put a baby anywhere in my vicinity and my ovaries explode with cluckiness.  I can goo and gaa over a baby like a pro, the best part about babies now is that I get to hand them back when they cry and I will NEVER have to deal with a toddler again!  On the flip side I am about to discover just how much like toddlers teenagers are, and they are bigger so I can no longer simply pick them up pop them in a cot and walk away!


Ha!  Who am I kidding, I just threw this in to see if anyone who knows me well is reading what I write and paying attention.  That said I will need to significantly work through some of the stash here first and possibly even find a job to be able to buy more wool!

Image:  Some of my stash how can anyone resist wool is so pretty!


Probably one of the things I fear the most is change and uncertainty.  There is a reason we are still living in the same house we bought way back in 2001, and it has nothing to do with my hubby not wanting to move or make a big change.  It is all me I am scared.  I get myself too caught up in the what ifs, whys and wherefores and turn myself into knots to see the outcomes of my decision of change and when I can't I get so paralysed that I stay put.  Stay with the known.  I am going to try very hard to not do that anymore and if the opportunity should arise I will try to embrace change.  That does not mean by any stretch I am going to run out and look for it!

and just because 7 was a little bit of a joke,


I know this in itself is a fairly huge challenge.  I guess I am thinking not just in recent years but over my life.  I know there have been times when I have been an incredibly crappy friend, I have broken the "friend code," and had it done to me so perhaps I felt justified, either way it wasn't right.

I want to make better choices and not be so influenced by others, I want to know "how I like my eggs"* and not just follow others along.  I want to make better choices when I am making new friends and be guided by my own judgement.  Equally I want to really listen to my heart when others or perhaps my heart is telling me it is time to let go.

Lastly, I want to be a better person.  I want my children to understand that in life we all make mistakes, how we accept responsibility and move on from those will define us more that the mistake itself.  I want to teach my children to stand up for what they believe in and when they see injustice to call it out, but to do this in a loving way where possible so as to not hurt others in the process.  Mostly, I just want to live my life in a meaningful way, a way that fits with who I believe I am inside, who some people see me to be, I want to live up to that.

Image:  Meaningful things to me, my bedside table
I would love to hear from you, what your list of eight things is.  If you can't or don't want to share all eight please share one or two with me.  If you write a blog and do write up your eight let me know and I will let Sonia know and she can work the internet magic she has and create a link up because that is waaaayyyy out of my scope of ability at this point in time.

Come on don't be shy!

Cathy xoxo 
* Reference to Julia Roberts character in Runaway Bride 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Where is our moral compass?

I am honestly struggling today with the news.  Yes this is going to get political and it may even be uncomfortable for some people.  I am not going to apologise for that, I am incredibly uncomfortable about the entire situation and it is not lost on me that I have the ability to sit in the comfort of my lounge room and write this up.  

The two major stories that I have been following and interacting on twitter about are Sydney lockout laws and Baby Asha who is still currently at the Lady Cilento hospital in Brisbane. 

I have read some horrendous tweets today that I am truly in shock that people could say about other people.  Most of us in Australia live in a situation of relative wealth and privilege.  Yes, even those members of our society that rely on public housing and welfare are doing better than at least 50% of the World's population.  Perhaps not great by Australian standards but by global standards most certainly! 

I have read the tame cries like 
"How about we look after our own people first" or 


To this "If protesters get their way, they'll be throwing burning babies off boats to get into Australia." on twitter from Bernard Gaynor Australian Liberty Alliance Senate Candidate for QLD! That's right this man hopes to sit in parliament!

Without doubt if I look hard enough there is a lot of support for Baby Asha and her family actually it isn't too hard when Brian Owler the current AMA President is speaking out with comments like these "The prolonged detention of children is a state sanctioned form of child abuse and we call for it to stop " or this from Saturday night "Any attempt to forcibly remove baby asha a dangerous act from which there is no return ".  

Late this afternoon (Sunday) there appeared to have been a "deal" done whereby Baby Asha and her family will be allowed to move into community detention.  For how long it is uncertain.  The family is still not able to access their advocates or legal team so I am somewhat cynical about the humanity of this "deal" and fear they will be whisked away in the dead of night when the "noise" dies down, at least I feel that is what the Mr Dutton is hoping, I pray I am wrong! 

When we have the entire medical profession against the government something is wrong, very wrong!  And it would seem not just the medical profession in Australia 

"When doctors start civil disobedience it’s time to take notice " - Tweet Lesley Russell Wolpe Adj A/Prof, Menzies Centre for Health Policy 12:32 AM - 22 Feb 2016 * 

Image Source:
Of course there are lots of just ordinary people speaking out on Twitter and protesting outside of the hospital itself and supporting those who were protesting overnight by supplying them with water, food etc as they kept vigil.  It all just feels so empty to me.  We are all up in arms about the 200+ asylum seekers that are currently here awaiting imminent deportation after the loss of the High Court Case regarding the legalities of offshore detention that was somehow found to be legal.  #LetThemStay has been trending for a little while now and has a fair following.  

The thing that I find hardest of all to put together in my head is that Australia is a signatory to the Human Rights Convention, a signatory to the Refugee Convention and we as a country have also been engaged in conflicts in many of the areas that these Asylum Seekers are fleeing from.  I believe that we as a nation have a moral obligation to assist these people.  By no means am I suggesting that we throw open our borders, but honestly what is the worst that can happen for that.  Upon arrival people will still require processing.  At that point if they are not suitable or do not meet the refugee test then put them into detention until a suitable homeland can be found for them. 

I also struggle that these people fleeing horrors that we cannot imagine and cannot simply return home because in many cases their homes simply do not exist anymore.  

Images from the home we want Syrians to return to! 

Image Source:

Image Source:
They are then "housed" in accomodation that we do not even expect some of the worst of the worst prisoners to live in!  
"Former detainee says that detention doesn't feel like prison, because in prison he still felt like a human being. "- NSW Medical Students Twitter.  

In addition to this we as a nation deny them appropriate healthcare, mental health care, education the list goes on.  

These two pictures defy logic they almost make Nauru look like a tropical holiday destination when the reality is very different.  
Image Source:
The truth is far more like this 

Image Source: Nauru
Image Source: Manus Island

This however, has not occurred overnight, slowly but surely through a long campaign of fear from the conservative right since 2001 has ensured that as a nation we live in fear of anyone who looks different, believes something different, wears different clothing or speaks a different language.  We do not stop and listen to their stories to discover how enriching they could be to the society, they are pigeonholed as illegal and terrorists.  Bit by bit successive governments have enacted tougher and tougher legislations against refugees and illegal migration.  We as a nation have allowed this to occur because we continue to vote in conservative governments.  Of course we conveniently forget that the largest group of illegal migrants in Australia today are visa overstayers see the table below for the 2013 figures.  

To me the entire situation is beyond embarrassing and I find it ridiculous that our leaders feel justified in lecturing other nations about their Human Rights records when ours both historically (with the treatment of our Indigenous peoples) and currently with the treatment of refugees is beyond abhorrent.  

As almost a ridiculous sideshow Sydneysiders today took to the streets to protest lockout laws predominantly in the Kings Cross/Darlinghurst vicinities.  Really, you are kidding right that the biggest issue facing you today is that you can't get a beer or two after 1am!  I am not unsympathetic to the plight of those who work in industries such as theatres etc and finish late but really if you want a drink that badly you can go down to the casino and get one.  Just because you are in the casino does not mean that you MUST gamble.  

Image Source:
Closing bars and clubs at 3am with lockouts from 1am does not mean we are turning into a Casino culture there are a whole raft of other factors contributing to that!  Equally the lockout laws do not equate to killing off the music scene as was claimed by some interviewed for news stories today. 

We have the medical profession clearly saying that these laws are actually making a huge difference in the incidents of violent injuries presenting in the ER departments of the major city hospitals.  If these laws prevent just one death or long term injury then surely that is a good thing?  

Now I am not a wowser by any stretch of the imagination, and I am not going to say things were better in the olden days.  Seriously, I did my fair share of drinking in the Cross and I don't remember the alcohol fuelled violence we have today.  The only late openers in the Cross back in the day were the strip joints (which I didn't frequent!) and the Bourbon and Beefsteak, given we would often need to train it back to the 'burbs we would try to make the last train of the night otherwise it was a long wait at the Bourbon and Beefsteak til we could get home! 

I also had a large group of male cousins and friends and honestly they drank A LOT and there just wasn't the violence for violence sake there seems to be today.  I am not saying there weren't fights there were but there was typically a reason (never justifiable in my opinion) but I just don't remember blokes walking up to other blokes (or girls on girls) and hitting someone for no reason.  Things were getting out of hand, alcohol violence was increasing at alarming rates and something had to be done.  

Hence the lockout laws.  Sure they are not popular and certainly there was always going to be casualties in these laws, from the many arguments I have heard today all of them revolve around the ability to buy alcohol after a certain time.  It is like Sydneysiders are being denied their Human Right to drink alcohol!  Really?! 

Here's a thought if you as business owners are really serious about staying open late and providing opportunities for musicians to play or places for people to hang out, think outside of the square.  Diversify your business accept that as a nation we have a HUGE problem with alcohol so perhaps it is time to address that and provide alternatives.  After a certain time offer other forms of drinks mocktails, non-alcoholic beverages, hot drinks, food.  If it is really about the venue being able to stay open late and listen to music then this will work.  Though I suspect it actually has a lot more to do with the fact that people don't like that they can't buy drinks and they don't like being told what to do even if it is having a beneficial effect for the community at large.  

I guess I am just in shock at the sense of entitlement that some Australians have.  We will defend our right to buy a beer after 1am but we won't defend the right of someone seeking safety and sanctuary.  It just all makes me sad.  

*  Edited to add tweet 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Have you ever ...

Have you ever rediscovered something that you once loved and then somehow life moved on and so did you?

This has happened to me recently and yes, it goes without saying that everyday I rediscovered lots of things.  This discovery was different.  I discovered a whole heap of my old music!  You know CDs from the early days!

I also have a huge amount of LP Records (and 12inch singles) around somewhere too I think they are in the roof space though.  Given my fear of ladders and well the fact that I can barely stand up to balance there is little chance of me climbing up there to find the records.  Oh and combine that with the fact that we don't actually have a record player (or a cd player we use the Playstation by the looks of things!) there would really be no point except to reminisce.

I think I can do that pretty well without getting my records down.

Here are some notable (or perhaps not) mentions:

*  Clarence Carter - Strokin' 12inch
*  Paul Lekakis - Boom Boom
*  Wham - Make it big and Fantastic
*  Bros - Push
*  1927 - Ish
*  Robert Plant - Now & Zen
*  John Cougar Mellancamp - Lonesome Jubilee
*  Paula Abdul - Forever your girl
*  INXS - Kick
*  Grease
*  The Specials - Self Titled & More Specials
*  Duran Duran - Seven & the Ragged Tiger
*  Violent Femmes - Self Titled
*  Michael Jackson - Thriller
*  Ratcat - Blind Love
*  The Radiators - Feel the Heat
*  Hunters & Collectors
*  Madness - Mad Not Mad

And so many more.  I didn't say it was a good selection, it is certainly interesting.  If I had a record player probably one of the first I would listen to would be Duran Duran so here is a film clip to reminisce.

Video - Duran Duran Union of the Snake

On the more recent CD front (these are as equally eclectic) some of the ones I have rediscovered are:

*  Falling Joys - Wish List
*  Nirvana - Nevermind
*  The Clouds - Loot, Penny Century & Octopus
*  Billy Bragg - Talking to the taxman about Poetry & Don't try this at home
*  New Order Compilation
*  Triple Hottest 100 from 1994-1999
*  Midnight Oil Best Of
*  Janet Jackson - Janet
*  Jill Sobule - Self Titled & Happy Town
*  Indigo Girls - Rites of Passage & 4.5 Best of
*  Hunters & Collectors
*  Shaggy - Bombastic
*  Living Colour - Stain
*  Paul Kelly

But probably the one that I have on high rotation at the moment is Wendy Matthews - Lily.  She has this beautiful soothing voice that is just divine to listen to.

Video - Wendy Matthews The Day You Went Away

It is fairly clearly evident that I spent a lot of money on music throughout the late 80s and 90s!  There are many things that are coming back into fashion from the 80s some of the music could be quite happily left behind but lots of it is actually really great catchy tunes that you can dance to.  Much of the music from the 90s revolved around the pub scene especially for me that many the Lansdowne, St George Leagues, Selinas at the Coogee Bay with it's sticky carpet, Coyotes many times to see Def-FX, The Annandale, and when I wasn't in the pubs I was on Oxford st dancing the night away (or Carmens in Miranda!)  

There are times when I wonder why I can't fit into that size 8 black skirt I used to wear everywhere or my little hot pants I would hazard a guess it has a whole lot to do with the amount I used to eat (not much), smoking cigarettes, substituted alcohol for food and danced for hours and hours (plus walked EVERYWHERE when we couldn't get Taxis - I once walked from Shark Park to Soldiers Rd Jannali at about 2am in the morning alone pre mobile phones!!!! About 10km!) 

Is there anything you have recently re-discovered that brings back happy memories? 

Have a great weekend albeit a hot one so I hope you can find somewhere to stay cool! 

Cathy xoxo 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

So she has left ...

According to everything that I have written down and read this morning it was 12mths ago today that my mind started to unravel in earnest.  The quick rundown is I ended up in our local hospital on 17/2/15 transferred to the rehab unit 24/2/16 and discharged home 23/3/16.  Since that time I have been slowly working (and by slowly I mean I have been trying very hard, progress is not a straight forward upwards trajectory to wellness that is all,) on getting well or better, whatever well or better will look like.

On 26/3/15 I met a lady who has been pivotal in this recovery process and that was my psychologist.  It was a strange relationship because it was a situation (and still is for me) whereby I honestly cannot tell you what she looks like, I cannot even remember her voice and I know her name only because I have read it on a report this morning.  All of that said when I read some of the things I have written it is a relationship where I clearly trust her, through my writing I can tell that we have a connection and she has most definitely been a guide.  Much like a travel guide to help me find my way through the quagmire of the mud, dirt, darkness and suffocation of crap that I found (and still do find) myself bogged down in the hole under.

Source:  Mt Everest, Photographer AH taken 11/01/1997
The journey/road to recovery is not an easy one because well for me at least before I could even begin that process I needed to realise and know where I was.  I say journey/road because I think that last year I was on a  journey to find the road and now I am getting closer to the road.  The journey that I took last year could be best described like climbing Mt Everest alone, carrying all your own baggage and at times struggling to feel your arm or leg or both at the same time and lots of the time not feeling the air filling your body and the only way to get down is with your guide (who is waiting patiently for you at the bottom but at the end of the line anytime you need them) but ultimately it was a journey that only I could take.

What I know is that for a very long, long time I have had the heaviest weight all over every part of my body and mind.  I couldn't in the before and really even now put into words why I feel this, none of it makes any logical or rational sense.  Equally the messages that my brain gives me are very different to what I know in a rational sense.  It is hard to say but some of the messages I hear are that I am not worthy, have no value, everyone would be better without me, I am needy and as such no-one wants to be my friend, I am useless, hopeless daughter, wife, mother and on.  You get the picture the things I hear in my head are really awful and negative.

I have heard these things for honestly as long as I can remember.  As such I have always been striving to fight against these voices.  Which in some cases actually made things worse, I have always tried so hard to be the best at everything I am.  The perfect daughter, sister, wife, mother, in-law, friend, work mate, student etc.  The problem with striving for perfection is that it is actually impossible to achieve, perfection is not a realistic or tangible measure for anyone and by even a reasonable measure of good enough no-one can be all of those things all of the time, which means that I set my self up for constant failure on a very regular basis.  Even if I could find my crazy idea of perfection in one or two of those areas I was surely dropping the ball in another.  Part of my cycle has always been in my head that if I am not perfect then I am not good enough and if I can't be perfect then I may as well give up altogether.  Setting up a very difficult tug-of-war in my head.

Last year through a series of very dramatic events landing me in hospital and then a whole series of other issues that arose from that I was extremely blessed to have had this amazing travel guide to help me make this journey into the unknown and find the road again.  I honestly can't tell you anything tangible about my guide what I can tell you is that I have a strong feeling when I think of my guide.  I feel sad knowing I have a new guide, I feel sad that my old guide has left.  This feels quite illogical to me because on a logical, rational level how can I feel sad about someone I don't remember.  However, what I understand about the brain is that even though I might not have a recall of tangible memory and continuity in the day to day, these things are still happening and the emotional brain is a different area.  So I can still feel emotions like sadness, guilt, shame, occasionally happiness, joy.  When I read my story (which is the best way I can describe my journals like reading a story about someone else) I have quite an emotional response to things.

Many of the feelings around changing my guide have to do with change and fundamentally change is not something that I cope with easily!  My guide tells me that I have done the really hard work, I have always faced the challenges whether I understood, could reconcile those with who I am or not I have faced them head on.  I have owned things I have done but I have done that with the safety net of my guide.

My guide has left, she had an opportunity to travel a new road herself, which has meant that she has had to pass me over to a new guide.  I am sure that this new road that I find myself on will be fine, well too be honest I am absolutely not sure of anything.  But I am sure that she would not have left me in the hands of anyone that wasn't going to be able to help me along this road.

Here is a little ode to Dr Seuss using my most favourite book ever.  A book that I gave many of my students when I was teaching because I really feel it is a great guide to life.  I only wish that I had read it much earlier and taken more notice.  I think though sometimes we just can't take the journey until we are ready to find the road.

Oh the places I will go! 

Last week I was off and away to meet my new guide.

My first guide is sure that I have got what I need to keep going,
she told me that I have brains in my head, feet in my shoes
she knows that I can steer myself in any direction I choose.
She tells me that there are places I will go
she tells me that I am off to great places,
I am off and away.

I had to climb that mountain
I had to have the bang ups and hang ups
And get stuck in a lurch and come down with a thump
I needed to find myself in the slump that was not much fun.
It was hard to un-slump but I had a guide to point me on my way.

I still have places to go where the streets are not marked
with some windows are lighted but most of them darked.
Do I dare to go in, do I dare to stay out.
I have a guide to help me,
because simple it is not!

But sometimes along the way I will still have the lonely games to play
games that I won't win because I am playing against me.
For those times my guide has left me with another guide to help me along between hither and yon because there are with no doubt places that will scare me so much that I won't want to go on.
She tells me though I will go on though the weather be foul
Onward up many a frightening creek and my arm may get sore
and my sneakers may leak.

She is sure that on and on I will hike
She knows I will hike far
and face up to my problems whatever they are.

I know I will get mixed up
this I already know,
I need to be sure when I step to step with care and great tact
She has left me a guide to help with Life's Great Balancing Act.

She is sure I will move Mountains one day
because I am off and away.*

I am eternally grateful for meeting this wonderful lady and helping me find my way and pointing me in the right direction to be off and away.  Thank you for everything you know who you are.

I wish her every success and I know that one day our paths will cross again one day and that she will also move Mountains because she is off and away.

Twelve months is such a long time but so short in terms of where I have to go.  Thank you to everyone else who has walked along side of me and continues to be there for me.  I will continue putting one foot in front of the other to find my way with the help of my guide.

love always 
Cathy xoxo 

* My eternal apologies to Dr Seuss for Destroying your wonderful book Oh, The Places You'll Go

Video:  The Beatles - She's Leaving Home

Monday, February 15, 2016

Missing the point ...

Image source:  Mental
This morning I was watching Studio 10 when Joe and Jess had a little heated discussion about the news that broke over the weekend that Garry Lyons was seeking treatment for depression.  Apparently it also broke that Lyons had had a relationship with the ex-wife of his best mate Billy Brownless (if you want to read more of the details you can here.)  It certainly isn't the first sex scandal to rock the footy world and to destroy friendships (Carey/Stevens,) and it also not the first time depression has also been used in the disclosure (Ettingshausen/Mellor.)

Jess was trying to say that above all else that the mental health concerns of Lyons should be paramount in the concerns and that his actions should be considered secondary.  Joe was of a different opinion and took the perspective that Lyons should not use depression as an excuse for his actions and Joe also felt that anyone who hadn't found themselves depressed after loosing a best mate and a relationship wouldn't be quite human.

Sitting back watching Jess and Joe (both of whom I love) it was a little bit like neither of them were listening to each other.  Jess is extremely passionate about mental health as am I.  Joe was trying to look at the story objectively (not that Jess wasn't) and was wondering based on the information released which came first the chicken or the egg so to speak.

I feel like I am in a unique position (well I very much doubt I am Robinson Crusoe here,) of having made a fairly huge mistake that hurt and disappointed a lot of people who loved me AND I also have a pretty significant mental health diagnosis.  So my perspective is a combination of what both Jess and Joe were trying to say.

Part of my mental health condition is that I have dissociative amnesia which means that for whatever reason I have no recall of memories that have occurred over the last few years, we think they are there I just can't easily access them.  Every day I wake up and my hubby or family reorientate me to where I am at!  However, in spite of all this I have accepted responsibility for my actions.

My mental health diagnosis (that came to light after my big cockup!) is in my opinion not an excuse for anything that I may have done, it can only help to explain or try to find understanding but never an excuse!  The reality is that I still need to own my actions whether I can remember them, whether they fit within my value system or not, whether I can even comprehend what I have done.  I did them and I need to own those actions, apologise and make restitutions to those that I have hurt.  Without doing any of that I don't believe that I can even have a way forward.

So given that I think Joe & Jess were both right.  Garry Lyons needs to accept that it is his actions alone that have caused the breakdown of his friendship.  Sure according to sources in the newspaper there is a sex scandal which means it takes two to tango, whether the Brownless marriage had previously ended or not, Lyons' actions have hurt his former mate.  He needs to own that depressed or not.

It absolutely goes without saying that Lyons' mental health needs to be treated with utmost concern and that he should and needs to be given the space and privacy to get the help he needs.  Mental health is no joke, depression is a serious condition and there are many things that people do to try to cope, self medicate, to hide, to hurt themselves, to punish themselves and many of those actions are anti-social, hurtful to others, damaging to their careers.  I would hazard a guess that the person that will be punishing himself most in all of this will be Lyons and honestly nothing anyone else can say or do will be any worse than what he can do to himself inside his own head!

We need as a society to talk about mental health more, we need to understand it more (I really don't think we do), we need to empathise more and judge less.  Sure we don't all make public cockups but is that because we aren't all 'famous'.  I also think that we need to be careful like Joe was trying to say that we don't hide behind a diagnosis when we cockup!  Mental health can help with an explanation but should never be used as an excuse to have inexcusable behaviours forgiven without an acceptance that we did what we did and that we will do everything in our power to not do them again.

I think that we are all missing the point and truth is we all make mistakes, some bigger than others, we all need support at one time or another.  We don't do well at talking about mental health and truly understand the effects it can have on a person and we are even worse at understanding it in men!

Jess & Joe keep on fighting the good fight, you are both passionate amazing people who do great things!

Video:  Boys don't cry - The Cure.  

Cathy xoxo 

Monday, February 1, 2016

No one expects the Unexpected Chicken!

This morning I discovered that our next door neighbour has a chicken (I am not sure if there is more than one but I only heard one.)  I was relaying this story to the children.  

I was telling them that I heard this Bkerk, then another Bkrerk and there it was again Bkerk.  I wasn't exactly sure I know I am a bit slow on the uptake at times.  It suddenly hit me bloody chickens!  Great was my first thought, quickly followed by #@$% mice, it's wings better be clipped!  Last time they had them one flew over the fence was chased around our yard by our old dog who cornered it then it played dead!  Hubby and I think #$%^ he's killed it hubby goes to pick it up and it sprang to life!  I laughed so hard I tell you, he didn't at the time scared the crap out of him!  We took the dog inside and figured if it got here it could get back and if not the dog would sort it out eventually!  Not that we really wanted that to happen!  Sure enough eventually it went back home so we could let the dog back out.  
My gorgeous boy Ruts

Then it all started!  Bkerk goes the chook, woof woof barks one of our dogs!  Bkerk, woof woof woof, Bkerk, woof woof woof woof.  Are you getting the picture?  My thoughts of a quiet morning outside on the deck were rapidly vanishing with the discovery of this bloody chicken!  

Obi Wan

Next thing I hear Bkerk, scratch scratch scratch Bkerk followed by more scratching of nails on a colour bond fence.  On investigation I discover both of our dogs scratching and digging to find what the noise was!  This was not happening, seriously I have just got the kids back to school I just wanted some peace.  


With the scratching, digging, barking I took my dogs inside.  Next thing I hear is more Bkerks and howling from what sounds like a dog the size of a small bear that sounds to be coming from the house the other side of the house with the chickens!!!  Awesome this goes on for about another ten minutes!  Then silence the giant sounding dog either ate the chicken or the chicken went to sleep, stopped Bkerking and stopped annoying the street full of dogs!  

Anyone who thinks dog barking is annoying has never listened to a chicken Bkerk for at least 30 minutes non stop!  

This is a video of the kids laughing at my story telling!  This is a good five minutes after I had finished my story!!!  They had sore tummies and chests from laughing so hard!  I truly didn't think it was that funny but apparently it was! 

I just want to be super clear no chickens were harmed by me or my dogs (or the other dogs in the st!) to the best of my knowledge today and I will endeavour as best as I can to keep it that way.  

Cathy xoxo 

Linking up with Karin from Calm to Conniption for the Ultimate Rabbit Hole!


Nan & Pa WW2
The thing with my memory is that my longterm memory is working just fine.  Which seems great in theory, but it seems that the hardest memories for me to let go of are the incredibly painful ones.  The ones that have changed my life profoundly, one way or another.

Obviously, when things happen in our lives that we have no control over there is an impact.  When that event is painful and one that hurts and the impact is sadness and grief it is really hard.  This can be made even harder when your brain has this ridiculous ability to hold everything like a snapshot frozen in time.

I wonder if I hold this snapshot because if I let it go even the most painful parts, then somehow I have convinced myself then I will forget everything.  I will forget all the good times and all the wonderful qualities and well then when the memory is attached to a person then it is like they have never lived.  I don't know if this is true, even the thought of letting go is making my heart race and my breathing is becoming rapid, so I will just be for a little while and come back when this has passed.

Twenty Six years ago, I was just a few months short of turning 19 at the time and mostly recovered from my tonsil operation that I had a couple of weeks earlier (there is no better way to spend the summer holidays!)  It was a Thursday night like any other really.  The phone rang in the middle of the night and that never happened in our house especially then because my parents owned and ran a news agency so everyone knew that 830-9pm was really calling very late.

My Dad answered the phone and then I heard it the scream that I will never forget the only other time I can think of a scream just like it was a Friday in May 1998 when I was on the receiving end of the call that my parents had just taken.  But that is a story for another day.

February 1, 1990, was a day that my life and the lives of my extended family on my mum's side permanently changed forever.  It was the day that I started to build a little wall around myself little brick by little brick.  The call Dad took was my Uncle calling to let us know that my Grandparents, my Mum's parents had been tragically killed in a car accident.  None of it made sense I can feel that sense of complete confusion I felt at the time.

After that call my Dad made calls to his brother, my Aunt & Uncle came to stay with my brother and I until it was time for us to head over to the shop to open up.  Mum needed to be with her brother's and sister and their families, Dad needed to take her and we needed to open the shop until we could get someone to come and cover the shop for them.  I will never forget the moment we kissed my parents goodbye not really sure when we would see them again but knowing it was the hardest thing I had even done.

That next day and the week after I can still tell you all about in lots of detail but I am not sure it is necessary or even helpful to me to still hold these memories.  Try as I might though my brain just doesn't seem to want to let them go.  If I don't remember the bad then how can I remember them I suppose I don't know, I wish I did.  I wasn't the only one whose life changed profoundly and forever that day there were 2 sons, 2 daughters, 2 daughters in law, 2 son in laws, there were 10 grandchildren who would never know life as it was in the before ever again.

My grandparents were wonderful people.  At least to us grandkids they were pretty awesome.  My Nannie could be strict but boy she could be a total pushover too!  My Pa he was a man's man and he was always sleeping lol.  Pa had this amazing knack of falling asleep mid conversation and being able to join back in at exactly the right point it was always so funny growing up.

Nannie loved nothing more than to have fun with the grandkids and honestly she would do anything for us, except when we crossed the line.  Honestly sometimes you were never quite sure where it was until you crossed it but as soon as you had you knew it.  Nannie had a temper and we knew when we were in trouble.  This wasn't often but it happened.  I don't think Pa ever raised his voice to us kids I am not sure he had it in him honestly.

The things I remember most about Nannie was her love of life, honestly she would give anything a go.  There was a time when Nannie, Pa and my Uncle Gordon came to spend Christmas with us in Fiji and Nannie wanted to go snorkelling.  Nannie wasn't used to flippers, goggles and a snorkel and the only real stroke Nan could do was breaststroke.  In the water she went with the all the gear on oh she was a sight to behold and she started to breaststroke.  The thing is flippers are not designed to do breaststroke and using a snorkel is actually quite a skill to master.  There she was in no more than two foot of water clearly just about to drown.  All she needed to do was stand up which she did eventually, she was perfectly fine, and gosh we had a good laugh about it but Nan would not be deterred.

There was another time we went to the growers markets in Canberra (they weren't markets like we have today all trendy this was where you got your fruit, veg & meat).  Of we would all go in incredible safety in the Sigma station wagon Nan & Pa in the front, Mum & Dad and either my brother or I in the middle and the other over the back (often with the dog!)  This was around the time that Hubba Bubba was released in Australia.  My brother and I wanted some, Mum said no, Nannie went and bought some and had a piece (the main reason was if she was having it then we could!) This seems great in theory except for the fact that Nannie had false teeth.  Guess what Hubba Bubba isn't non-stick to false teeth, well it might be now but it wasn't in the late 70s'!  So this meant that we had to all go home, right then that minute because Nannie couldn't be seen ever with no teeth!  In fact I think this was one of the only times I remember her with no teeth, I know I would try to get up really early for a snuggle and catch her with no teeth but you never got a kiss until her teeth were in, Pa was the same.  Nannie had taken out her teeth because she had gum stuck on them, what do you do with teeth that have gum on them wrap them in a tissue of course.  I'm certain it will come as no surprise that tissue also sticks to Hubba Bubba!  Home we go!  The only thing that got Hubba Bubba off her teeth was metho, no amount of brushing could get that taste off the teeth, only time.

It wasn't the first time and wouldn't be the last time that Nannie would do something like that to justify the grandkids getting what we wanted against our parents wishes.  Pa was so patient and kind.  I honestly don't think that Pa ever raised his voice to me in my entire life.  As I said Pa dozed a lot but  only when sitting around doing nothing and it was just one of those things we loved about him.  He was long suffering with Nan, goodness I can hear her saying "Frank! Fraaaank can't you hear that noise! You aren't in the middle of the lane" when he would drift onto the cats eyes that make that noise as you drove over them.  In all honesty Nannie yelling was louder but still he adored her.  Pa had hearing aids that I am sure he had switched off half the time so that he deliberately couldn't hear Nannie but goodness she loved him too.

My last memory of Pa was actually the night of their funeral I was sleeping on their lounge room floor, Pa came to visit me and he told me that he loved me, he said that he and Nan were together and they were safe now.  I know that the most incredibly feeling of peace washed over me when that happened.  Maybe I imagined this to help comfort me, to help me process the tragedy in the only way I could, I believe that he truly came to me.  Who knows.

There are so many times since 1990 that I have wished more than anything that Nannie & Pa were still here.  I wish that they had been here longer for my younger cousins to have had more time with them, to have some of the memories we all have but it wasn't to be.  I wish that they had been here to see at least some of us married and some of the great grandchildren born.  Last count I think there are at least 25 great-grandchildren though I think there are more.  Nannie would have just adored to have held our babies, gosh she would have fussed over them.  The amount of times I have cursed Pa for not being here because we have needed a plumber I have lost count.  We have lots of electricians in the family but no Plumbers!  Pa we miss you.  Mostly I miss Pa's calm nature.

I know that if they had known what was coming it wouldn't have made them happy, but I also know that they were together at the end and that more than anything was the right way for them to be.  They would do anything for their family, we truly were their world.

Besides if I ever really miss my Nannie too much I don't need to look too far I only really need to give my Mum a hug because she is just like Nannie.

I miss you Nan & Pa no less today than when I first heard the news all those years ago.

Cathy xoxo

Please indulge me with a few photos it is hard to narrow it down to just a few. 
Nan & Pa

The Bookends and Brothers Brian & Gordon
Sunday Roast 

Pretty sure this is July 1986 with Renee

40th Wedding Anniversary

Nannie with her sisters Alice and Nina visiting from England

Uncle Gordon off to the Navy (didn't last long) 

Nannie & Pa with Katrine, Kylee, Sean & Me

Nannie, Mum and I 
Fishing in QLD 
Pa & Gordon
Nan & Pa with Renee
Bula Pa! 
This is just so Nannie