Sunday, 29 March 2015


I've posted before about the increasing emphasis and importance of mindfulness, but now I'm bucking the trend and saluting mindlessness!

There are some very legitimate occasions to be mindless. One being a very long run.

Last week, about 40 or so members of the George & Jaz Forever Young team did the Run for the Kids, opting for either the 15.5km or 5.5km course.

I did the 15.5 and must say that much of it was spent in a state of meditation - or, in truth, mindlessness.

And it's not bad!

Before the run

There was a few nights after my course that I came home and watched The Real Housewives of Melbourne. That counts too.
Why are you watching that crap? Geoff asked.
It's like junk food for my brain, I replied.

I'm sure there are moments when you too choose mindlessness over mindfulness - I'd love you to share them!

Monday, 23 March 2015

The Course

I've undertaken a course. I've been wanting to do it for a couple of years and did a few things to prepare - like getting onto a NFP board. Finally, my chance arrived and I jumped in head first!

Truth be known, I am an unmitigated nerd.

I received the course reading material and a link to the pre-course course, 'Interpreting Financial Statements' which I launched into immediately. It took a few hours on a Saturday afternoon but I passed, printed off my own certificate and posted in to Facebook.
Do I know you? commented a friend I used to work with. Clearly I'd managed to hide my inner-nerd from her!

The pre-reading was estimated to take 30+ hours. In my case it was probably 60+ as I set myself my own little memory tests and Googled the unfamiliar. In fact, it took me to the Sunday before it started to get it done.

The course started last Monday. I tried to look like a proper business person, really I did. I had my nails done in a neutral beige - no green, blue, black, metallic, fluro or pastel -  I wore a black dress and didn't drop the f-bomb once!  

Not sure I nailed it. 

Maybe the it was the hooker shoes, the visible tattoo or the striped feathers and/or purple extensions in my hair - but they seemed to notice I wasn't one of them.

There were drinks after day one. I grabbed a glass of sparkling water and stood there for a bit before one of the guys from the organisation that runs the course came over and spoke to me. He was friendly. He popped over to get a drink and I swear - I was standing there again, wedged in between about 15 people and not one of them spoke to me or attempted to include me in the conversations going on around me. Shag on a rock. I was forced to wait for the 'host' to rescue me. It was so humiliating. Here's me on the phone to my business partner, telling her it was like day one at school and discovering none of the kids like you :(

Anyway, as the week rolled on, it did get better. In fact, by Friday, I had found some amazing people I was keen to connect with. (Although when I was telling the girls about one guy, who really was extremely impressive, Sass asked Are you going to ditch Dad?! For the record - no!) Also by Friday I'd let go of all attempts to fit in wardrobe-wise and went straight for the gold jeans and alpaca fur shrug. 

Now I just need to complete my assignment (suggested hours: 20-30, at the rate I do things, probably 50+) and a 2 1/2 hour exam and I'm done!

So if you've been wondering what's happened to the frequency of posts, now you know! 

Friday, 13 March 2015

Port Fairy Folk Festival 2015

Yes... that's where I've been. Well, that and having to read two huge folders in preparation for my course next week - but I'll save that for another post. Back to the #PFFF.

Some people think this is a festival of such daggy proportions they're surprised it draws a crowd at all. But it does! And an old crowd at that. We hazard to guess the mean cohort is in their late 60s. Perhaps the $290 a ticket and about $100 for kids between 12-18 is the reason why, but like our cruise on the Queen Mary 2, I felt young! And surely that's worth $290??

So, 'who was there?' I hear you ask.

Here's a taste:

Mark Seymour. My goodness, isn't he hot?! He can come and play his guitar and sing to me on my couch anytime!! According to wikipedia, he's also turning 59 this year. Amazing.

Sinaed O'Connor was the star billing. Christ knows why, she was shocking. She didn't speak and her mannerisms indicated a real annoyance and agitation to even be there. Luckily, we might have snuck in a cheeky red and some divine French brie - so all was not lost. So dull was it that I started Googling her - she's one fascinatingly strange and probably unhinged chick. My fave story was when her biggest hit, Nothing Compares 2U was at its peak. Prince, who wrote it, summonsed her to his house to let her know he was not happy with the language she was using during interviews, She told him to fuck off. I liked her better after reading that!

Mike Brady. I thought I was mistaken when I heard Up There Cazaly belting out from a tent - but no, he was there. When I saw him the next day - too briefly - he was singing Celtic ballads. He has a beautiful voice and can really tell a story that stabs you right in the heart. Go Mike!

Steve Poltz. Laugh! Unlike we peeps in advertising and marketing, this guy is actually a proper story teller - (a small distraction but if you have time, check out this very funny video on we creative types who think we're story tellers - language warning!)  - so much so I reckon he only sang about four songs in his hour-long gig. One story was about when he was dating Jewel (You Were Meant For Me - which Steve wrote and features in the clip). They went to Mexico and got caught up in a big drug bust. It was so funny it seemed implausible. So I Googled and found this....!!

Frankie J Holden and Wilbur Wild - I'm sad to say this was in the Shebeen (beer aplenty) but was like the Wiggles for the elderly. Fail.

Wagon - they're okay.

Geoff is a big fan of Shane Howard and Richard Thomas - both masters of their game.

BUT - and here's the big revelation, if you're looking for something cooler, head out of the enclosed ticketed area and into the streets and pubs. Two bands we spotted last year were back and as brilliant as ever. The crowd out here is about 30 years younger too - and ticketless!

Zeon. Yes - they're folky but get over it! The lead singer has an incredible voice - reminds me a bit of Dolores O'Riordan from the Cranberries.

And Buddha in A Chocolate Box. They played at The Stump pub. It was packed and heaving. Somehow we found ourselves front and centre. It was huge! It was also unbelievably hot with everyone sweating profusely. Apparently the aircon interferes with the equipment. My guess is it interferes with the sale of beer. One gorgeous young thing near us had such perfect make up we asked if she'd just arrived. 'No,' she said, 'I just spray my face with hairspray. Works a treat. Just the cheap strongest hold from the supermarket.' I must try that! I wonder if it takes out wrinkles?
Anyway, these guys are incredible - watch out for them around town. We're now officially groupies!


We're seeing Hozier at The Corner Hotel in a couple of weeks, so no doubt I'll bore you with my unprofessional critique of him as well. That'll be something to look forward to!!!

Monday, 2 March 2015

Elle's Ls

Elle got her Learner's Permit last week. Yay! She passed with two questions to spare. Am I alone in hoping the questions she got wrong weren't the important ones - like what to do at a red light??

Elle's a bit of a late starter. Most of her friends turned 16 and got their Ls last year. And oh how I laughed - the stories! Girls turning corners in heavy traffic, only to forget which side of the road they were meant to be on, parents insisting cars be stopped - in the middle of the road - and learners ordered out of the driver's seat, language that parents really shouldn't direct at their own offspring. Oh yes, it was all very funny. But now it's our turn.

Geoff took her out first. The talk and coordination of the time took longer than lesson - which lasted seven minutes. I hadn't even realised they'd gone.

Me: When are you taking Elle for her lesson?
Geoff: I did.
Me: Really??

For someone who's pretty quick to be giving me driving tips, turns out she can't drive ducks to water. So afraid was she of getting out of control, she didn't get over 10km per hour.

Elle: So Dad's telling me to speed up and we're going down this really narrow street with a BMW on one side and a Porsche on the other....
Geoff: I had to grab the wheel before she drove into something!

I mentioned to my brother that Elle had her learners and mooted the idea of a neighbourhood letterbox drop. Fair warning I thought. He suggested I explore the system used by CityLink that interrupts radio frequency in the tunnel to deliver 'important messages'.

We're heading to a folk music festival in a few days - 3 hours out of town. I had thought it would be a good chance to get Elle's hours up. Geoff says it's a good chance we'll all be killed. It's not happening. In fact, he's insisting we're not ever both in a car when she's driving.

So I've booked her in with the RACV to have lessons. The first one went well - and managed to last the full hour! Next one later this week. Watch this space. And watch out for Elle on the roads!!!

The Moroccan Bath

The girls and I have come up to Dubai for a few days to escape the Melbourne winter. It's in the 40s so we've thawed out - quickly. ...