Monthly Archives: May 2012

Busting for Real – a Postscript to the Sydney Writers’ Festival 2012

This is more than just a case of bad luck or poor planning. I went just before I left. I am very careful like that. I don’t like to get caught out.

I’m sure it must have been the muesli… all that gorgeous, toasted muesli with fresh, crunchy almonds and plenty of fibre. I’m sure you know exactly the sort of muesli I mean. The kind of stuff you only ever find in hotels or upmarket cafes. While it might have looked kind of healthy, I wasn’t stupid. I wasn’t taken in. I knew it was loaded with heaps and heaps of honey and fat. I could  see the zeros multiplying on my Kilojoules counter just looking at it. Yet, despite all of that fabulous head knowledge, I still couldn’t resist. I ate it.

Besides, it was almost the healthiest thing on the menu and everything else was much, much worse. That means in a funny roundabout sort of way that the muesli was actually healthy after all. I’m pretty good at spin and as usual, I can justify eating almost anything.

Now, however, I’m having regrets. I shouldn’t have been so healthy after all. I should have  had the almond croissant. It doesn’t have anything like all that fibre. But it’s now too late for blame. It’s not going to help me find a toilet any faster.

I’m in the Sydney CBD on a Saturday morning halfway between the Mitchell Library and Wynyard Station. Everything is shut. The place looks like a ghost town and I don’t need to tell you that the ghosts aren’t even at home today. The streets are empty.

I have to find a toilet.  There has to be a toilet somewhere.  Surely, something’s got to be open in this thriving metropolis?

I’m afraid not! Everything is shut- as dead as a doornail.

I shouldn’t need to go to the toilet. I went just before I left. That was only minutes ago. But none of this helps. The fact is that although I’ve been, I need to go again. My body is faulty and right now, nothing wants to stay inside…the cough, the runny nose, the muesli. I’m leaking all over.

Actually, I don’t think it was the muesli after all. It was actually the book or more precisely doing a writer’s workshop with legendary kid’s book author, Andy Griffiths. In the workshop he explained that his stories are based on real life but they didn’t have to become part of my life. I didn’t need a busting experience today. I just wanted to have fun. I barely ever get into the city, especially without the kids and I have so many better things to do. I mean this is the Sydney Writer’s Festival! It’s better than Christmas.

Only last week, Jonathon and I had read Andy Griffith’s story “Busting” about a little boy who gets stuck needing a toilet in a multi-storey shopping centre. Of course, all these impossible barriers got in his way and as I read the story, I was almost shouting: “just leave the boy alone. Just let him go! He’s busting.”It was getting excruciatingly painful and yet in the true nature of Andy Griffiths, there was yet another twist and the poor boy ends up wetting the bed.

I could really relate to that poor boy now. There was no way that story could ever be funny. It was torture. But I am not a character in a story and I’m certainly not dreaming. I really am busting. This is real life. Right here. Right now.  I have to find a toilet. Oh my goodness! I am trying very, very hard not to think about the muesli but it’s zooming through my body like an express train and it’s about to burst through the tunnel.

Just imagine the embarrassment… I mean… I’m not in Infant’s School anymore!

I’ve got to find a toilet!

Now, I’ve got a great idea. One day when they finally elect me to be the Lord Mayor of Sydney, I’m going to stick port-a-loos on every single street corner. Then, nobody would ever be caught out again. How’s that for some sensible urban planning? It’s brilliant. Inspired even. I always knew I’d make an excellent mayor.

But all these brilliant ideas aren’t going to save me now. I can’t wait to be elected. I can’t even wait to set up a campaign. I need a toilet now! Immediately! That’s right an instant toilet.

I had been hoping that I could make it to Wynyard Station. It’s only a couple of blocks away and theoretically I should easily make it. But I’m moving like a tortoise with its house on its back with all these Andy Griffiths books piled up in my bag. My legs are so tired and my feet are starting to drag. Step…plod…step plod…blow nose….cough. I’m not going anywhere fast.

The muesli, on the other hand, is sprinting.

There’s no way I’m going to reach Wynyard Station especially when I have get across George Street without being hit by a bus, a taxi or even a fellow pedestrian. No one looks where they’re going around here- even on a Saturday.

What do you do when you can’t find a toilet? You look for the next best thing.

Now, I’m looking for a tree and it can’t be just any tree either. Remember I’m a lady and this isn’t a number 1.

But there isn’t a tree anywhere in sight. Not even a sapling. I thought I read something in the paper once about them turning the city green. Weren’t they supposed to be getting rid of cars and planting trees? Or were they getting rid of cars and replacing them with bikes? I don’t know. I just had a cyclist overtake me on the footpath and she didn’t even offer me a lift to the nearest toilet. How inconsiderate! I could have been there by now.

Or perhaps some bright spark has decided that all the trees belonged together in Hyde Park. They had to congregate. They couldn’t just scatter the trees indiscriminately around the city. Disperse them a little. If they did that, then every man and his dog would use them as a urinal. The entire city would stink. But this wouldn’t be a problem, of course, if they followed my plan and set up all those port-a-loos as I’d suggested. Then the trees could just be trees and help us win some carbon credits. I’ve heard we’re going to need a few of those.

But now is not the time to think about carbon credits or Sydney City Council’s tree planting policies.

I need to walk as fast as possible while trying to engage my brain.

Surely, somebody has to be open on a Saturday? I don’t know if we are still officially in the Global Financial Crisis but doesn’t anybody believe in making money anymore? Doesn’t somebody work seven days? Apparently not!

If they just charged to use their toilet, they could make a fortune.  I’d pay just about anything to use a toilet right now!

Hey! I can hear a siren. Suddenly,  red lights are flashing past.

Ah! I finally have an answer. I’m going to ring 000. This is an emergency. It might not be a life-threatening emergency. But an emergency is an emergency. An ambulance could have me at a toilet within minutes. I’ve paid my taxes. I have ambulance insurance. Surely, using an ambulance wouldn’t be a crime, would it?

As desperate as I am right now, I can’t afford to risk it. While an ambulance could get me to a toilet faster, they could also get me to the Police Station just as fast. We all know just how long a trip to the Police Station could take with all that paperwork! I can’t risk being locked up just in case there’s no toilet in my cell.

Calling 000 isn’t such a good idea but what about the NRMA? They’d have to help me. I am a member. Besides, everybody knows that you call NRMA for    H-E-L-P. Things are starting to look up.

I pull out my mobile and my membership card and start tapping away but now I’m stuck. I’m looking for toilets in the Sydney CBD. I’m not calling about a car, a house, a boat or a caravan. All I want is a toilet. The voice tells me to hold on for an operator.

“What use is an operator when I need is a toilet?” I scream down my phone, forgetting my manners completely. I was really tempted to hurl my stupid iPhone somewhere I’d regret but had rethink. I’d only just signed up for a 12 month plan and couldn’t afford to replace the damn thing. Phone rage wasn’t covered in the plan.

I keep walking and suddenly a neon sign appears before me like an apparition just when I was about to give up.

Subway is up ahead and it’s open. It’s actually open. I just make it to the entrance and I see a door at the back saying Staff Only. I’m sure the Ladies is just around the corner. I am almost there. There is just this couple in front of me. A couple who can’t decide whether to have swiss cheese or tasty cheese. She looks longingly at him and whispers: “whatever you want Schnookums.”

He looks back at her and in equally dulcet tones replies: “No! No! It’s your choice, Honeybunny.”

Then they have the biggest pash you’ve ever seen right in front of you. Don’t they have any shame at all? Don’t they know the difference between public and private? Apparently not! I’m not usually prone to violence but I feel like punching both their lights out. How could they be so deliriously happy when I’m in such excruciating agony? It’s beyond nauseating. Someone should just lock them up. I’ve stopped being polite. I’ll have to butt in.

I am starting the think about the spare pair of undies in my bag. At least, there’s plan B.

“Excuse me do you have a toilet please?” I ask the cashier trying to appear relaxed. I am sure relief is just around the corner.

“I’m sorry, we don’t have a toilet,” she replies.

“Oh!” I gasp. I don’t think I said another word. A sheer sense of horror sheer horror engulfs me. She quickly anticipates my desperation and for once something is going my way.

“There’s a toilet in the gym across the road,” she says.


It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been anywhere near a gym and believe me, I’ve never been keen. I usually break out in hives at the mere mention of the word but all of a sudden the dreaded gym had become my best, best friend. The gym is literally going to save my life.

Fitness First… Actually, today it’s a situation of toilet first. There was nobody in line and I was almost there.

They weren’t going to charge me to use it and I didn’t have to become a member but I did need to sign in.

“Sign in?” I gasped. Every second counted but I was almost there.

It’s the first time I’ve ever signed in anywhere to use the toilet but I didn’t care. I might have signed my life away but I was in.

Well, I felt pretty chuffed in the end. Not only had I found a toilet. I’d also been to the gym. Now that was really something to write home about!

Sydney Writers’ Festival 2012: When Mummy gets man flu…

I bet no man with man flu has ever had to:

1)      Get out of bed.

2)      Make the kids fried eggs on toast.

3)      Feed leftovers to the dog.

4)      Fill up the dog’s water bowl.

5)      Empty the dishwasher.

6)      Reload the dishwasher.

7)      Turn the dishwasher on.

8)      Look after sick child with “Princess Flu”.

Despite having man flu myself, that’s what I had to do this morning. Actually, make that this afternoon.

Before you start picking on my husband, he hasn’t exactly been idle. It’s Sunday morning and he left for work at 5 am. Obviously, he’s no couch potato either.

The reality is that neither of us have the luxury of getting sick. That’s all. The world doesn’t suddenly grind to a halt and stop spinning on its axis because we can’t get out of bed in the morning. No little fairies suddenly do all our jobs just because we’ve “got a headache”. It doesn’t work like that. Instead it’s more than likely that if we sleep in, the kids will completely demolish the place. As every parent knows, that’s the price you pay for a good sleep-in.

That said, lately I’ve decided that instead of just adding to our workload, the kids are actually an untapped labour force. I mean if my husband and I are both working, why shouldn’t they contribute? After all, isn’t the family the original team? Everyone needs to pitch in… especially when Mum is sick!

Isn’t it inevitable though, that when one gets sick we all go down? Rather than waiting on me hand and foot, our daughter is curled up in a blanket in front of the TV. That’s where she’s been for the last three days except when she got transferred to an alternative chair at my mother’s place on Friday while I scooted off to the Sydney Writer’s Festival. Our son spent most of last week at home off school and has so far missed out on the dreaded NAPLAN tests.

Hang on a minute. I sense you’ve smelled a rat… an enormous, very well-read rat? How could I possibly get to the Sydney Writers’ Festival if I really have man flu? As everybody knows, man flu is by definition totally debilitating. You can’t move. You can’t even raise your head off your pillow.  All I have is a severe case of attention-seeking hypochondria! That’s all.

In my defence, I’ll argue that even when it comes to man flu, where there’s a will there’s a way and I had a mighty strong will.

Such a strong will that I actually managed to survive two whole days at the Sydney Writer’s Festival. Against the odds, I also endured shacking up with friends in the city and put up with going out for dinner and breakfast. Against my will, I was chauffeur-driven to my morning session with Andy Griffiths. My friends even loaded me up with tissues and cold and flu tablets. Even my strong will couldn’t hide the fact I’d turned a sickly shade of green.

I know. If I was well enough to do all of that yesterday, then I should be well enough to manage the home front today. My husband had his turn and now it’s mine… quid pro quo! But just you try telling that to the man flu? Man flu has no concept of fairness…or convenience. It just strikes when it wants to and doesn’t care who it upsets.

See! It wasn’t my fault! Man flu made me stay in bed.

Actually, I was lucky to make it to the Sydney Writer’s Festival at all.

With only one day to go, I woke up with the biggest brick in my chest and the cough to end all coughs. This cough was seriously threatening to put me out of business. The last time I coughed on a train, somebody pulled out a mask and another woman pulled her jumper over her head and that was just my regular cough. This cough would empty the entire carriage and I wondered how long I’d survive in the seminar room. They’ve given lepers better treatment before.

But I’m no quitter. More determined than ever, I waged a serious counterattack… swallowed spoonfuls of olive leaf extract, chewed handfuls of vitamin C, guzzled cough mixture by the gallon and ploughed through the cough lollies as well as taking a couple of Panadol.

There was no way I was going to miss out!

But then Friday morning came. My cough was just passing muster and I was feeling marginally better. However, both kids were still miserably ill and almost comatose. My husband was having a particularly busy week at work and couldn’t really take the time off. Once again, it was all starting to look too difficult when Mum came to the rescue and agreed to look after our two little germ-making machines.

She understood exactly what the Sydney Writer’s Festival means to me.

You see, ever since having the kids, the Sydney Writer’s Festival has been my thing each year…”me time”. The first year, my aunt was a featured writer and I actually made it inside the Writer’s Green Room. I also managed to get one of the official guide’s shirts to take home. That shirt is still sacred! The next year, I heard playwright David Williamson speak. I remember looking up at him hoping that some of that stardust would sprinkle over me. Then there was a writer’s workshop with acclaimed kid’s author, Jackie French where I got a behind the scenes look into our much loved book The Diary of a Wombat. Last year, when I found out Morris Gleitzman was going to be at the Writer’s Overnighter at the Powerhouse Museum, my son and I lugged our sleeping bags in on the train and we ended up camping under the stars in the space room while the light rail seemingly roared through our heads.

This year, I was booked in for two writer’s workshops. One on Friday afternoon with Alice Pung on writing memoir and another with legendary kid’s author, Andy Griffiths on Saturday. While I am currently writing a memoir, I was busting to meet Andy Griffiths.

I was literally busting to meet him and had told absolutely everyone everywhere that I was going. I had waged a heroic battle with the Internet to get the very last ticket and no cough was going to stop me now. This was destiny!

At last, I got there. Andy Griffiths totally exceeded my expectations. It was huge. He not only signed all our books but he also posed for a photo with me as well.

Full of inspiration, I somehow managed to stagger down to the Walsh Bay precinct for a coffee, cup cake and another session. I was bursting with ideas.  It’s amazing what you can achieve when you set your mind to it.

I just can’t quite explain where all that stamina went once I got home.

I guess I’m only human after all!

Mum Versus NAPLAN

Tomorrow, our son will finally sit for the NAPLAN test.

You will hear people try and tell you that NAPLAN is an acronym for something sensible like National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy.

Don’t believe them.

I am now convinced that “NAPLAN” is yet another confusing, IT technical term. You know what computing is like. They always use heaps of acronyms, which don’t make sense to anybody else and the more they explain it, the more confused you get. Everybody knows IT is like that. Well, since LAN stands for Local Area Network in computing, I’m sure I’m on the right track.

Here goes…

 NAPLAN…. (n) when your computer network has a nap, also referred to as downtime.


NAPLANNING (v)…. to practice for the NAPLAN tests.

As a parent, you really have to take a position on how you are going to handle the NAPLAN tests at home. In the true spirit of NAPLAN, you can do your own multiple-guess…

Will you…

a)      Remortgage the house to pay for professional coaching.

b)      Do practice tests at home and do the coaching yourself.

c)       Forget all about it.

d)      Book your family holiday for NAPLAN time and avoid it altogether.

e)      None of the above.

I couldn’t justify professional coaching and as much as going on a holiday was tempting,  I thought a bit of practice in an exam situation would do him some good. My next  concern was how much practice we should do at home and whether that would stress him out or help him relax. It was at this point that I spoke to a few people. Bought the book and realised that I didn’t really know much about NAPLAN after all. Not the nitty gritty anyway. Sure, I’d seen the booklets before but that was quite a different thing to actually sitting the test. I decided that the only way to know how to handle the test with my son, was to take the test myself and make a more informed decision.  I am very pleased that I did.

Perhaps, I was taking things to the extreme but I decided to take on the NAPLAN test myself.  After all, how could I help my son prepare for NAPLAN if I didn’t know what it was and what was involved. Rather just reacting to fear and panic or sticking my head in the sand, I did the test to make an informed choice and I found the whole exercise very beneficial.

While some other parents thought I was a bit crazy and over-the-top, it seemed like a very sensible approach to me. I usually try to put myself in my kid’s shoes to get a better understanding of what they are going through. I have taken up the violin to help our daughter and I learned the basics of AFL (football) to help our son. I don’t believe putting yourself in your child’s shoes makes you a helicopter parent. It just means you’re better informed.

Or in the case of NAPLAN… very confused!

The maths, even though it’s not my thing, was pretty straight forward. It’s either right or it’s wrong.  I didn’t do spectacularly well but I passed. That’s all that matters. My husband scored 100%.

Hmm… at least, I caught up in the literacy.

That was until we came to the persuasive writing and then I was completely stumped. Funny that because I am a professional writer. If a third grader can do persuasive writing, surely so could I? However, it wasn’t quite so easy. Things have changed a lot since I was at school. Back then, all you needed was a bit of imagination, a few big words and a basic plot to write a good story. Now, it seems you need to be a journalist instead.

Feeling out of my depth, I decided to cheat and asked my son to teach me persuasive writing. Well, he folded a piece of paper into three and then started writing points…firstly, secondly, finally. Now I was completely lost wondering how origami ended up on the syllabus. Upon conferring with his teacher, however, I found out this was a good visual approach to explain the structure to the kids. Three folds…beginning, middle and end or was that three sections one for each point?

Personally, I could see a few paper planes taking flight during the NAPLAN test if modern kids are anything like how we used to be.

I don’t know why it took me so long to get my head around writing persuasive text. Could it be that after years of parenting and being nagged out of existence that “just do it!!” is now about the full extent of my persuasive powers?

For this reason, I’d like to lodge a formal complaint to who or whomever it was who had the bright idea of teaching our kids how to be more persuasive. Whose side are you on? Surely, you have kids? Why are you teaching our kids to fine tune their powers of persuasion when all we parents can muster is a two letter word… “No!”? They’re already experts! No, it’s us poor, struggling parents who need the help. How about holding a session on “Writing Persuasive Texts” at the Sydney Writer’s Festival? The place would surely be packed.

By now, you’re probably wondering if I actually reached any conclusions at all after all this research? Unfortunately, thinking about NAPLAN all got a bit much. I think they call it PTA or “Paralysis Through Analysis”. It’s quite a serious disease characterised by an over active brain and limited movement. I’m afraid my case is terminal, which is why I’m writing about NAPLAN, instead of getting on with it.

My preliminary research has shown that the NAPLAN test is a bit like sitting for the HSC without any set texts. These poor Year 3 kids have to know a hell of a lot. But you know what, I sometimes forget my son is growing up and that he isn’t in Kindergarten anymore. He actually knows much of this stuff and has come such a long way since he started school barely able to write his name.

I have also found that when it comes to NAPLAN, the usual communication gaps between parent and school still exist i.e. “the child”. My friend’s daughter had forgotten to tell her that NAPLAN was coming up. Instead, my friend read about it on my Facebook page and wasn’t happy. After a bit of cross-examination, she told her daughter to “pull her socks up”. Well, her daughter gave her a puzzled look and literally pulled up her socks. No doubt, she is still wondering how that is going to help her in the NAPLAN test!

These are the sort of hurdles you have to overcome when your child is doing NAPLAN.

Seriously though, I did buy a NAPLAN book from our local bookshop and he has done a few practice tests and we’ve gone over the results. When I found out he was struggling to tell the time, I quickly printed off a few worksheets from the net. But as the enormity of NAPLAN hit me, I realised that I couldn’t cover everything in such a short space of time.

More importantly, I realised  that if we spent too much time on it at home, I might actually camouflage his difficulties and might not be helping him after all.  If my son does have gaps in his learning, it is better that they’re picked up now and ironed out properly. His education is far more important than getting a perfect score!

I know a lot of people who are cursing NAPLAN but it hasn’t been all bad. I can’t help thinking about all those kids who can’t do their shoe laces up in Year 3. I bet they’re all euphoric! Tying up your shoe laces isn’t on the NAPLAN test so it’s perfectly okay to use velcro instead.  and I can’t help wondering if these kids are all slipping under the radar these days.

Now for one last word on NAPLAN. It doesn’t really matter what everybody else scores as long as a child does their personal best. For some of those kids who are in the lower bands, their results may actually be a real achievement for them personally and for their school who has dedicated many hours helping them to do what they can. This is a real achievement that needs to be acknowledged and celebrated perhaps even more so than the kids who are naturally gifted and automatically score well without a lot of effort. and we really need to make sure we don’t look down on these kids, their teachers or their schools. They are fantastic!

Having largely missed the boat with our son, I am hoping to put all this research to good use when our daughter does NAPLAN in a few years’ time. However, you know how these things go. It will all probably change by then!

That just goes to show. With the way NAPLAN is constantly changing, it really must be an IT term after all.

Best wishes,

xx Ro

13th May, 2013 NAPLAN A Year On…

Tomorrow, the NAPLAN tests start all over again. This article has been very kindly reblogged and I’ve had quite a lot of visitors… Welcome to my blog. It’s been very exciting to have so many people read my post.

After much anticipation, my son was actually very ill for the NAPLAN tests and actually missed all of the tests and had to do the make up tests.  So, NAPLAN was actually quite an anti-climax.

As it turned out, he sat for the make up tests and completed all of the NAPLAN tests except the writing. My son was probably relieved but I was interested to see how he went and we had both worked hard. While the work we did together wasn’t wasted, I did feel a bit let down. It had taken me quite a lot of effort to understand how to write persuasive text but looking back on it all now, it seems so straight forward. I’ve been writing persuasive test in my blog ever since. There was just some kind of blockage in my head.

I thought I’d put the NAPLAN tests behind me but a friend very kindly reminded me that I he will be sitting the year 5 test next year and out daughter will be in Year 3 so I’ll have 2 Naplanners (This better not be the equivalent of having two children doing the HSC in the same year LOL!)

However, now that we’ve been through the first one, I am feeling much more at peace with it all. Bring it on!

xx Rowena

Mother’s Day 2012…the Road Less Travelled.

I’m sure Mother’s Day is synonymous with sleeping in and doing nothing all day.

Someone should have mentioned that to the AFL organisers. Our son had an AFL match up at The Entrance with a 9.00AM kick off and of course, we had to be there half an hour beforehand.  So instead of sleeping in, we were out the door at 7.45 AM. From my perspective, that’s the crack of dawn. Such early mornings are always painful but on Mother’ Day, it was cruel.

Yet, somehow I managed to stagger out of bed and crawled out to the kitchen for my cup of coffee.

However, before you see me as some sort of crazed Supermum, I’d better confess. I had a huge ulterior motive. Photographer Ken Duncan was going to be in his studio and that was on the way home from football. Sacrificing my Mother’s Day sleep-in was a small price to pay for meeting Ken Duncan.

I don’t know what I expected to happen when I finally met Ken Duncan. I always seem to hope that meeting someone inspirational is going to rub off on me somehow…a bit like rubbing the proverbial genie’s lamp and getting my three wishes!

Well, perhaps I was granted my three wishes after all but not in the way I’d expected.

We went to meet Ken Duncan and we did but we also met another perhaps equally inspiring photographer, Steve Fraser. Just because you haven’t heard of Steve Fraser, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to get out of your couch and make an effort to see his work. Just do it!

You can get a bit of a sneak preview  at   You can experience his recent trip to the Sub-Antarctic by downloading his newsletter here

I have taken a lot of photos of sunsets in my time and these days they have to be pretty spectacular. However, Steve had taken this photo of the sun shining through the clouds that just blew me away. It felt like I was encountering God in such an amazing personal way. This was heaven. Not just because it was a beautiful photo. It was also spiritual in the purest sense of the word. I just sat down and stared so deeply into that photograph trying to almost absorb it. Eat it with my eyes.

We not only had the opportunity to see Steve’s work but we also met him and he explained some of the shots to us. It was so fabulous to get that personal insight and walk in his shoes for a bit. It makes such a difference.

Ken Duncan’s work was also amazing and needs no introduction. I have to admit that seeing his work “blown up” in the gallery was amazing. There was one shot with a field of purple flowers and I could feel myself diving into them. It was amazing! So amazing!

Next stop…we went into the theatre and saw Ken Duncan’s work on the big screen. It was just breathtaking and if ever I find myself in a bit of a black hole, I’m going to get in my car and come back. There is such incredible beauty and wonder on this planet. We need to climb out of our despair and go find it. Grab onto it. Be inspired!

View Ken’s work online at

A little bit later on, we met and had a chat with Ken Duncan. His photography has always been an inspiration but the man behind the photos is out of this world as well. He is a humble man and there were no trumpets or fanfares when he arrived at the gallery. He just wandered around like a spectator. By this stage, the kids were quite restless and were being a bit silly but it didn’t bother him. He wasn’t precious.

I should also add that Ken Duncan had invited Steve Fraser to exhibit in his gallery and it seems has been very encouraging to someone who could be perceived as “the competition”. That’s a bit of a lesson to the rest of us, don’t you think?

After all that inspiration, we came home for pancakes, presents and had a nap. Later on, we made the finishing touches to the Devil’s Food Cake Amelia had made with a bit of assistance…nothing like a bit of home-made caramel sauce poured over the top for true decadence and we brought out the tea cups. Geoff’s Mum is no longer with us but she was the Old Country Roses set and my grandmother was the crinoline lady. Amelia had the butterflies and Jonathon had the Three Sisters Set. We went there last year on a family holiday. We had celebrated Mother’s Day with my Mum last weekend when we were in Sydney.

So there we have it. We managed to squeeze in football, photography, eating , sleeping all into a wonderful Mother’s Day. I could have slept in or had breakfast in bed but look at all the wonderful things I would have missed out on!

Yet another reminder to carpe diem…seize the day!

I hope you and yours had a sensational Mother’s Day and if it was a day of quiet reflection without your Mum, our thoughts are with you!

XX Rowena

Hello world!

When you think about launching something new, there are so many, many things to consider. After all, you want to get it right. You want it to have impact and at the very least, be good.

I believe that this is why so many good ideas never make it off the ground.

We spend way too much time trying to perfect our good ideas before we get started. Moreover, since no one can ever reach perfection, nothing happens.Another good idea bites the dust.

Meanwhile, somebody else actually has the guts to go ahead. We watch them in horror perhaps as they pursue our dreams while we are still  “thinking about it”.

My daughter recently took up the violin. She is only 6 years old and she is just starting to read music. Even though we thought piano would be an easy instument to start off on, she pleaded to learn the violin and so we let her go ahead.

As everybody else knows, the violin is not the easiest instrument to learn and can make some spine-chilling screeches that sound something like two tom cats fighting in a back alley. These sounds are part and parcel of learning to play the violin.

Well,  Madam took these sounds a bit too personally and refused to pick up her violin. She ended up having a complete primadonna meltdown and cried:

“But Mummy, I just want to be perfect.”

I was understandably concerned and had no idea where all this perfectionism had come from.After all, I’m always making mistakes.

It was only later when I was doing battle with my writing back home that I finally acknowledged that the seed hadn’t fallen very far from the tree.

You see, when it comes to my writing, I’m such a perfectionist that I am constantly editing my work. Hence, it is never finished and not ready to share. I feel like I have some pretty good ideas but they are just stuck inside my computer going nowhere at the moment and I want that to change.

This is why I have started my blog. It is my first tentative step away from my computer and out into the real world.

Well, it’s not my first step but it’s probably my second. I have after all had my press releases published in the Peninsula News and one press release even made it into the Express Advocate.

I know I’ve rambled on for awhile now. In case you’re wondering what this blog is going to be about…it’s a bit of whatever….philosophy, parenting, writing, striving to overcome my health issues and just making the most out of every single moment we have in this life.I hope you’ll come along and enjoy my journey.

So here goes. I can’t say that I’m actually diving into the vast unknown of blogging. It’s more a case of just dipping my big toe in the water. The rest of me is still standing back a little just checking things out. But I am actually taking the first step towards pursuing my dream and that’s all that matters.

xx Ro