Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Chilly Start

It was a chilly start to the day; and I almost didn't get out of bed... almost! But at 7am, I pushed myself to get out and dressed so I could strip the bed and put on the first load of laundry, open up the curtains and let in the sunshine for the day.

Yes, it's been a while since I've posted and I must apologise for my laziness. I'm usually a lot more regular and it's due to my personal life taking a hit. Since my dear friend, Hannah, has been laid to rest, I've begun to see life a lot more different. I'm not going to leave things to sort themselves out. Life is going to be different.

This morning, after I finished two loads of laundry, I took photos around the small garden, I sorted out what needs to go and what plants need to be replace, repotted and how much potting mix will need to be purchased. I'll be also working on how the garden will look as well after around July/August. 

Anyway, the fridge was cleaned out and the rubbish was put out in the bin outside - and the hand washing was hung out on the clothes horse in the living room (as there was no room on the clothes line outside). In between all of this, I ate breakfast as well as sorted out what I needed to get done for the rest of the day - like what is needed to be done for dinner tonight and tomorrow night: a great vegetarian stew is to be done in the slow cooker this afternoon! 

I've still got laundry to put away, vacuuming to do, as well as dusting, the bathroom and both toilets to clean and all my shoes to put away too and then there's some things to sort out as well around the house to make it come back to what it looked like a few months back - tidier and better than it does now. 

Other than this, I'm concentrating on the series of paintings I'm doing at art school of Brunswick Heads; and I'm up to my 4th one! They're looking great, as I am starting to paint faster and see where I went wrong last year when I started working with oils. 

Well, that's all for now. I have other things to get going in my life; and they will take time to prepare and organise. Until they come around, I hope to keep myself from falling back on old habits and stopping like I have recently done. I don't think Hannah would want me to do that... she's want me to keep going and be bold, just like she was, and do better than I can possibly do - with every year being a better achievement than that last. Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Vintage Clothing Day

Today is the first annual event of Vintage Clothing Day. I've created this event to honour my dear, sweet friend, Hannah Northedge, who committed suicide early last month. 

Hannah was right into the vintage era, clothes and lifestyle and so I thought to create an annual event in her memory 'Vintage Clothing Day' and it's today, 5th, June, as it's today she is being laid to rest in the UK. Unfortunately, I'm unable to make it to her service - and this includes a lot of people across the world who knew Hannah in every way. 

Some of us knew her from school, and throughout her life. While others knew her as a teacher, as they were students who took singing lessons from her - and they knew her for only a short time. However, she had this affect on everyone around her, something which was contagious in the way she carried herself.

She must have been in a lot of pain - physical or mental, or both - to have thrown herself off a cliff (the most horrible way to go) and not tell anyone where she was going. None of us, her friends, knew where she was. As far as I knew, she was in London. 
I knew she wasn't well, and I also knew she was begging for any medical help available and getting nowhere with the hospitals and doctors. The NHS and the medical professionals failed my dear friend; and this is horrendous. 

This is what 'Vintage Clothing Day' is all about. It's a day where you wear your best old clothes to show you have lost somebody in your life - to remember them, that they're not of the past or forgotten - to suicide. Sometimes, the causes to suicide isn't diagnosed properly or easily; and when the causes have gone on too long and the person takes their own life, it's too late.

It's the people left behind who are hurt and who are damaged, who are wondering what else they could have done to help - when really they couldn't have done anything more, and it was the what the doctors should have done which would have helped save that person; or in the very least got them talking.

So, do you think 'Vintage Clothing Day' is a good idea? I think so. It commemorates the passing of my dear friend, who should have had the help and assistance from the doctors who she asked to help her, and they didn't give her enough help, just gave her pills... they didn't see the other problems disguised as everyday habits, they didn't recognise the problems she was having with everything in her life. 

And you know, I don't think any of us saw any of the problems until it was far too late either. In a lot of ways I blame myself for not seeing what was wrong with her... but it's too late now, and this is how I'm hoping to help others in the future - as well as myself - and keep this an annual event. 

Even if it doesn't take off as an event across the world, I'll be doing it next year again to keep Hannah's memory alive. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Grieving And Loss

My last few posts have been all over the place; and for this I must apologise. I've lost a wonderful friend to suicide and it's really thrown me. My life has come to a complete and crashing halt because of it. 

This friend of mine was the bright star, the person who was always out there and doing things, singing gigs at every place in town, recording new music all the time, enjoying life right to the hilt and teaching as well as playing music - notes practically oozed from her pores. But she was in the most immense pain over the past six months; in and out of hospital and undergoing test after test and after all of this, she didn't know what was going on. She was losing weight, feeling as though her head going to implode, and at the same time, she couldn't breath or hold her own body weight - and yet, the doctors told her nothing came up on the tests to say there was anything wrong with her. 

Three weeks ago, she took her own life after going missing from a seaside township near the Devon Cliffs. Her service is next Tuesday - 5th, June - and I wish I could be there in the UK to say goodbye to her, but I can't. I live too far away to attend it. 

It's still very early days where I'll have a few hours where I don't think about her, and I'll be cleaning up around the place and everything will be fine. Then, I'll find the smallest thing she gave me and my whole day will be a mess. Everything I've done for that day will mean nothing to me and I'll fall down that rabbit hole of darkness and grief where I know my dear friend is no longer in my world and she's gone forever.

It's horrible to grieve the death of somebody who's been in your life for so very long that you think they'll always be there. The thing is that I have lost so many friends between my 30's and 40's that I really think it's time I stopped losing them... seriously, it's getting beyond a joke with my lot of friends diminishing as my life goes on; whereas my family's friends seem to keep on living beyond the age of 50. 

Next week is my friend's service - on 5th, June - and I've heard she wanted people attending the service to dress in their best vintage clothing (or bright clothes) for the service. I've thought to make an annual event in her honour: The Vintage Clothing Day. I don't care if there's one already knocking around, this is for my friend... and what's happened to her; which was dreadfully unfair. Her doctors failed her. The hospital failed her. The NHS failed her. This day is for people like her, the ones who felt they had no other way out but to take their own lives when the medical professionals stopped trying and stopped listening. 

Will you join me on this day wherever you are on 5th, June? I hope so.

Friday, May 25, 2018

The Cooler Days of Winter

They're here at last! Yes I do love the cold when it comes to my country; and love it completely in every way. It's the food, the clothes and the comfiness of my bed when the temperatures drop - I love the Winter here in Brisbane in such a way I'd love to follow this season around the world; in much the same way people follow the perpetual Summer with their surfboards.

Winter is a great time of the year for as I'm really not built to survive the Summer months here; not in the way most people are. I hate the disgusting heat and the way it makes me feel sick and light-headed... and how I just can't get comfortable with anything I wear or want to eat. There's so much variety, but I never want to eat anything because I'll sweat too much afterwards.

In Winter, I get to wear my most colourful and lovely clothes. I get to cook my most wonderful, hot & stodgy food. And in Winter, I get to jump into the gardening and pull apart the yard and put it back together again when it's sleeping. It's a great way to get in and restructure it into something I want it to be without killing it off completely. 

This Winter, I'm also writing a new book, sorting through a lot of things in my house and organising myself in a big way. 

I'm still mourning over my friend - and will probably still be until her service is publicised online; where I'll feel the pain again a second time around. It'll be okay, as pain is good thing and I'll be planting a rose bush for my friend in her honour; to keep her memory alive. 

Yes, this month hasn't been good to me - unlike the happier months in my calendar of life. I hope the coming months are so much better for me. Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

To Live Life

It's been almost a week since I found out my dear friend, Hannah Northedge committed suicide in the UK. I'm still feeling the greatest of loss from this; as I've known her since we were 10 years old - as I can imagine her family is still reeling from the shock of this as well. 

However, I've been to my therapist and he's pulled a lot of things into perspective for me. He told me - as a GP - that she could have had any type of health problem from health complications from mould (which was in her last place of residence at Gypsy Hill) to Ovarian Cancer (which shows its gruesome face in its last stages of the disease; causing all kinds of pains, torment and weight loss in the patient). But nobody will know anything for another year; mainly because the living is more important than the tests of the dead... that's just how life goes I'm afraid.

Anyway, I've been writing on my Facebook page, letting my friends know what I'm doing more so they know I'm getting there - even though I'm having a few drawbacks here and there - and life most certainly does go on after a loved one's death; no matter how untimely it is. 

But I am going to do something more.

Hannah was only 43 years old - a year younger than me; and I got the opportunity to show her what I'd been working on at art school, how my back yard looked and told her that my medical condition was completely stablised and she got to see my car on the 24th, April - the day to the year I got my car. She was so happy I had my life so sorted... she also loved my 70's house, and told me she loved me. That was the last thing she told me two days later.

But what I'm going to do with my life - the life I have without my sweet, wonderful friend in it to enjoy it with me - is going to be so much more than it was before.

Life is to be lived I find and it's not the big things or the little things which mean the most to us as we walk our journey which is our life. It really doesn't matter how we get there, it's who we meet along the way, how we enjoy the scenery, what we do and how much we love to do what we do during that wandering journey of life. And by the time we're at the end of it - no matter how old or young it turns out to be - I believe it's a matter of what we've done with our lives, not what years we've wasted or the regrets we've made. 

I haven't had the most perfect life - and goodness knows, I've had to fight tooth and nail to get where I am now. But I'm getting out there and working my life to what I want it to be. 

There's always somebody who is going to be saying that life is a chore, or it's difficult or that it's not what you think and it's hard. Well, that's you, not me. Sure I work my butt on writing books and stories. I also have my art class where I've worked my butt off learning how to paint with oil paints and learning to work with other mediums as well. 
Life is what you make it and I see people who make their own lives so difficult due to the choices they've made. However, it can be so much more easier if they take a good look at what they're doing and just change one or two things. 

It's okay to make a mistake... but after you've made that mistake once, forgive yourself. You're Human, it's normal. But making it more than twice? Well, you're making a choice to go and do that again. And this is what life is like: making a mistake or two then remembering the life lesson you've learned. It's not hard, it's not easy, it's not anything except what you make it out to be. 

As for me, I'm going to live life better. Hannah Northedge isn't going to be here to be an old fud with me when I get older... to travel the world with me and enjoy our time on the planet. But I'll take you with me, Hannah, you'll be with me everywhere I go, in my heart and spirit. I'll live for you and with you here. I'll do the things you never got around to doing (and believe me you got to do things and meet more people than I have so far - so I have some catching up to do). This is my promise to you... to live life, not drown in my grief. 

I promise.

Monday, May 7, 2018

I Promise Myself

In the last few hours, I found out one of my dear, sweet friends killed herself. She had huge mental problems and even though I urged her to get medical treatment - as did everyone else in her life - she didn't. 

Her name was Hannah Northedge. 

Google her, and you'll find the news reports.

I have known Hannah for over 30 years, visited her once in 1997 and have found in the past few years, she had some health problems. She was convinced she was in pain and doctors were testing her for everything... but this year, they stopped testing her and wouldn't see her. 

This isn't right. 

She was a great jazz musician who was a dead-ringer for Vivienne Leigh (the lead actress from 'Gone With the Wind'). And you something? She worked herself so hard, she was a star who burned so brightly, that she ended up burning herself out.

This has brought me to promise myself something. I'm going to live my life to the fullest, enjoy every bloom of every rose, of every flower, love every sunrise and sunset and live each day as much as I can possibly enjoy it - and fall exhausted into my bed knowing I had lived that day without wasting a single moment in it.

I may have something wrong with me, but I went to the doctors, and I went through the tests and I'm on medications to help me live my life as full as I can. 

Living a full life doesn't mean taking it by the horns at 5am every day and going everywhere, doing everything full charge ahead. 
It can mean enjoying the rain falling on the roof on a cold morning while you're sleeping in on any day ending in 'y'; just because you feel like it (this is if you don't work or you're retired).
Get out and enjoy working in the garden and making it work for you; then sitting back and watching it grow over the next few months; only maintaining it as it does its thing.
Being the only one up at sunrise to go for an early morning drive and enjoy the silence of the beginning of the day - making it something of ritual as the car and you feel as though you're the only things on Earth.

My promise in this life is to just be. I promise to live my life fully and totally until my life ends at the right time; not until I say so. Life is far to precious to waste and I don't wish to waste any of my life because I'm in pain or have problems with my health. I've had problems with it and went to the right doctors for it. This will take time for me to get through - my friend dying so suddenly - and all I can do is live my life in the best way I know how.

I promise to live, be positive and be the best me I possibly can be... that's all I can promise. Right now, though, it's so hard to be positive - I'm doing my very best.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Living In A Super-Sized World

I've been noticing a bad thing happening around me lately - and it's only since I've been helping Mum go through her old things from decades gone by. I've noticed that way back in 1960's and 1970's everything was much smaller.

I'm not imagining it. I brought out a set of wrapped up cups and she told me that they were coffee mugs she had bought in the late 60's and used. These lovely mugs are a quarter of the size of the ones I have here at home and it got me thinking about how it all works - I mean, how does the government bodies think that it's our fault that we're getting fatter when everything is so 'super-sized' now?

If you compare how our grandparents ate back in the old days, you'd see them having a huge breakfast, a medium lunch and a light snack at dinner - with some small grazing snacks in between those meals (and I mean just cheese and biscuits with a cup of tea not a piece of cheesecake or anything rich). And they caught early nights of around 9pm because the television stations shut down at that time. 

Now, look at our lifestyle now. 

We have 24 hour, 7 days a week television of the most crappiest programming you'll ever come across - even on Foxtel. And a lot of us get up at 5am, rush around stuffing our kids' lunchboxes full of ready-wrapped junkfood we'd never touch personally and expect them to eat it, then race off to work by 7am (and drop off the kids to school by 7:30am or so) and then work our guts out until lunchtime - which most of us probably eat at our desks of whatever we've packed ourselves (if we're lucky) or takeaway food from a nearby restaurant or canteen, then we're back at it again until we finish work in the late afternoon only to rush back home in peak hour traffic and arrive home in the dark.
We barely want to eat dinner - not that we have a family meal together at the dinner table - and we fall asleep in front of the huge, wall-sized television at around 11:30pm... only to repeat this process the next day.

You know, eating the crap, processed food that's on the shelves of the supermarket isn't good for us. But on the other hand, a lot of us don't have time to make the food we want either. Yes, we're between a rock and a hard place and it's not getting any better for us.

However, not only are we stressing ourselves out paying for a house we barely spend any time in, going to a job where if we drop dead tomorrow, they will replace us with somebody else within the week, it's also that we no longer know how to slow down anymore.

We've forgotten how to speak to each other - instead we're forever texting or snap-chatting. We're glued to our televisions and phones just in case we miss out on something important when the most important person is right next to us, right in front of us and yet once that person leaves, we don't know what to do next - or how to get them back; or worse, what we did to make them leave.

In this super-sized world, we have so much going for us, so much offered on a huge silver platter to us, everything is right at our fingertips. We have all the power right here on the internet and yet... 

...yet... 

We have no idea how to use it to best of our ability.

Because it's such a huge amount of power, we have begun to self-destruct. Instead of taking in a little of this power of what we've found and what we've been offered with the new technologies, we've been folly enough to jump at it feet first and not realise that it's also going to be our undoing if we're not careful. 

Already there's signs showing that the super-sized world is becoming far too much for the Human Race and we must do something about it. If you look at the news, it's been going on for some years - and everyone is ignoring it. 

For me? Well, it was to do with drinking mugs from the 1960's compared to now. A little bit of coffee is just enough ... but too much? Well, you'll never get to sleep at night and wake up feeling like crap, not ever get that energy back and you'll know something's not right, but not sure what. Then you'll make yourself another cup of coffee in that big mug you usually use. And seeing you've never used anything else, how else can you see the world in any other way than the super-sized one you've grown up in? 
You don't - not until you are handed a cup from 50 years ago and find that it's a quarter the size of the cup you've been using; and realise you're eating too much, drinking too much and not sleeping enough. 

Until then, there's going to be a certain lot of the population who have the smaller cups and another lot of the population with the larger cups - both think they're right. But we all live in the super-sized world and only one lot of the population will survive - who do you think will it be? 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Fears In Our Lives

I've just been on Facebook, cruising around looking at some groups I'm a member of and found that people get really angry at the smallest things - like for example if I have an actual opinion of my own.

Yes, Lord forbid I have a real opinion about something which isn't of anyone else's.

In one group, somebody took a photograph of a spider and uploaded it onto the group discussion and asked what kind of spider it was. I said that I wouldn't care, and to kill it. Well, the backlash that came from that comment was huge... people asking me why, and how horrible I was! They didn't think twice in putting up piles of those stupid angry faces. Instead, why didn't they ask me: 'Oh... are you scared of spiders. Sorry about that - of course you'd say to kill it.' 

And this is another thing: why is it that one person's fear is something hilariously funny to another? 

Okay, I'm terrified of spiders ... and I mean I'll kill the smallest one around just in case it disappears around the house somewhere and grows into something I don't like. Yeah my mind plays games like that. I'll kill it before it does anything - even if it's been hanging about in the corner and it's only the size of a penny and won't hurt anyone, I'll still kill it.

I'm also terrified of clowns - those hateful, grease-paint-covered people in big floppy shoes and wigs with the cotton gloves! You won't see me screaming or anything, I just go really quiet and start backing away slowly, staring at them. I don't like them at all - not since I was seven years old and I went to a circus and one thought to 'entertain' me. In reality it freaked me right out! 

Another fear I've got is needles. You know when you go to get a blood test, and you can just walk in and get it done? Yeah, well, it takes me days to work up the courage to actually walk into a place like that and get a blood test done - sometimes I just don't get it done because I'm so scared of those stupid things. And it's because I had been getting blood tests since I was 2 years old every 3 months until I was around 9 years old... not a big thing to be scared of really; not until you have to be an adult about it - like I had to be last week when the doctors had to put me to sleep in a hospital and the guy knew I didn't like needles and hid it from me (great person to do that).

But when I was in high school, they did the T.B test (which was a stamp the year before) and I had to have half the staff sit on me and somebody hold down my arm - and this was after 3 1/2 hours of them trying to talk me into it. When they finally did get the needle near me, the nurse told the principal, 'Next year, go back to the stamp - you won't have somebody like her in the mix, and it'll be so much faster.' And the following year, they did.

So, why is it that we as a Human Race make fun of another person's fears, thinking it's something small? I don't understand it - and never will. I don't make fun of another's fears simply because I have my own fears which people think are stupid. 
The reason for us doing this is because deep down inside we don't want to be seen as sensitive to another's feelings and seeing them as a person with their own fears - and therefore have our friends think we're not going to think the same way at them. Yes, we fear rejection from our own tribe if we don't make fun of the people we do make fun of; instead of breaking away from them and thinking for ourselves.

Isn't it so true that our fear of not being ourselves in this world is also how we filter our lives on Facebook and on the internet? I don't filter myself online or offline... and if people don't like me for who I am, well, that's tough. I'm not changing myself for them - and it looks like they're not going to be part of my life... right? 

Fears - it holds us back, makes us tougher, causes weakness in some and then keeps us in check as well. But if we didn't have them, we wouldn't be human either. 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Weekend Work

It may seem as though I'm not posting much here, but I've been busy offline. There's a lot going on in my life that I haven't written down here - but I have done in my offline journal. 

And I have to apologise for that. You see, some of the things are a little too personal to put up here for the public to see.

But over the past week, I've been getting as much housework done as possible; and it's good to get in and actually see it done. All the laundry is finally finished up - and tomorrow I'll be putting all the laundry away in its proper place, putting away any art/craft boxes I don't need in the wardrobes and washing the floors and vacuuming everywhere.

Yep, it's going to be a busy day - I might even get in and wash the car; I'm not sure yet.

The backyard is looking pretty good after being mowed twice this week and all the weeds pulled out as much as possible - and that was after I did some serious work on it a few weeks ago.

I have been in planning mode for this one-day visit to a hospital for the past two weeks. In my last shopping trip, I made sure I had enough bread and frozen goods to see me through not only last week, but this week as well. I also made sure I had plenty of other dry goods in the pantry to see me through the next couple of weeks... and so when I have to go shopping next week with Mum, I'm not pushing myself too hard; and I'm not stressed out. 

This is something I try to do with big things like this... plan ahead - and I'm really good at planning for things like this too, I've found.

So far, I've gotten all my bills paid, my rego of my car paid, the insurance paid and next week sometime, I'll be paying my RACQ as well... yep, it'll all be good! Now, I hope my phone bill gets paid properly; and I'll be able to happily say that my planning for the first half of this year has fallen into line. If not, well, that's something I'll have to work on.

Anyway, my work this weekend isn't finished; and I'm not worried about how much work is left - I'm only worried about how to get it done. Time isn't a factor when you've got your mind on a deadline - and my deadline is Sunday night; because, well, Monday night is my night for 'Supernatural'... I'm not letting that slip by. Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember I'm always here.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Been Busy

It's been a while since my last post, and it's because I've been busily working away on paintings and decluttering - well, okay, not so much decluttering but collecting from charity stores - and hanging out with my friend Tutasi. She's heading home to the USA earlier than expected; so I'm hanging out with her more over the next few days as I don't know when I'll see her again.

Anyway, today, I got in and did three loads of laundry and it's all outside on the line. The garden has been mowed, weeded and cleaned up over the past week or so. And I have to get either new batteries for the lights out in the garden - or new lights. I'll see if I can get new batteries first and if I can't, new lights it is!

I'm looking at cleaning out the kitchen and living room again and donating what I don't need anymore - yep it's time for another major declutter and donation before I buy anything else. But I've been buying some clothes for Winter and getting in and buying some bangles. 

Otherwise, I'm onto my 3 painting of Brunswick Heads at the Logan Artists Association and my 2nd one for this year. The first one this year will be going to the Member's Exhibition next week and I'll be hoping to sell it - now that'd be great! I can't wait if I do. 
I'm also knitting away at night for myself. I'm making my own throw for my bed. It's taking shape really well and I can't wait to pull it together in the next year or so. 

Now Autumn has been showing itself more, I'm looking at what I enjoy wearing more and the nights are cooler - thank goodness. The pedestal fan has been put away and I'm sleeping better; Summer really isn't a great season for people like me, people who can't handle the heat. But as the year moves on, I'll be working on bettering the way my place looks, the way the garden looks and the way everything fits in my place. This is going to be a really creative year for me in every aspect of my life. Until my next post, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.