Catching Flies?

Recently I attended an event which was a really entertaining evening.  Had a lot of fun, most of the guests were dressed in costume and seemed to be having a really good time as well.  It was good old fashioned entertainment with participant ages ranging from early twenties to I’m guessing around the seventies.  All got on well and the energy felt awesome in the room.

It was catered for, as well as having drinks provided which were all included in the price of the ticket.  However the only downside of the evening was the food — or lack thereof.  It was minimal and some didn’t get much at all.  Such a shame as it spoiled things a  bit.

There were feedback forms which most duly filled in, and all categories excepting the food one were marked in the ‘Good’ and ‘Very Good’ columns.  Fair enough.

The organisers were very embarrassed, but in reality that part of the event was hired in — the agreement being with the caterers which was separate from them.  Okay, I guess that most of the guests would not know that and it really didn’t matter in the overall scheme of things.

So the organisers contacted the guests offering free tickets to their next event, in an attempt to make up for the lack of this one.  That sounded really good to me.

One group when contacted, said that they’d had a great time and yes, the food was a bit sparse but overall it was a good night and they didn’t need any further compensation.

However one couple emailed demanding a full refund of moneys paid, or they would take legal action!

Now when I was growing up, I was taught to be polite.  I guess most people are, but demands such as this tend to not only upset people, but make it really difficult to deal with them.   I believe it would have been better to outline their concerns, and then ask nicely for the refund.  Threatening legal action straight off is on the extreme side I would have thought.

Whatever happened to “You catch more flies with honey?”



There are times when we know that we need to take time out, to step away from the busyness of our lives and just relax.

Knowing that and acting on it can be two entirely different things.  And we often end up wishing rather than doing anything about it.

I’ve  looked at pictures of destinations I’d love to visit, or drooled over a brochure on an especially desired holiday or cruise. Dreaming of being there, but then reality always steps in and I look at my bank account and know that it’s just not possible right now.

Still you could visit the library and stock up on books then turn off your phone, hide the car, disconnect the doorbell and hibernate in your own home for a while.  True.

Although that isn’t quite the same as actually getting away from the regular everyday stuff we are surrounded and bombarded with.

We’ve talked about taking time out and using our time-share to disappear for a week .  Now that we don’t have the same demands that as when we were running a business, fighting to survive and ensure that our employees did too.  Yet we still get bogged down in mundane life chores and things that we need to escape from once in a while.

So I cleared my diary as best I could, booked us a week away — and it was not too far either.  I packed some food, clothes and necessities; visited the library and stocked up on those books I’d been thinking about reading one day.  Rummaged through the DVD collection and found some I hadn’t even watched;  packed the car, picked up some groceries and headed off after organising the cat’s care for the week.

Now we didn’t go very far from home, but once we got there it could have been anywhere in the world.  The pool was just down the steps and around the corner, along with the very enticing (and relaxing) spa.

We slept late, read in bed, watched DVD’s and swam daily.  Really relaxed. Took short drives and enjoyed coffees and the scenery.  Did some bike riding, walked barefoot in the sand and generally unwound from our personal daily grind.pexels-photo-319928.jpeg

We enjoyed each others company whilst putting up with small inconveniences of not having everything we are used to having and generally revelled in our time out.


We came back on Friday ready to get on with life again  but this time with a difference.   We now have some priorities and the main one of those is to actually take time out on a regular basis to look after ourselves.  It takes time to get out of the habit of caring for others before yourself.  We’ve done that as parents and then as business owners and now we don’t have that anymore.  We’ll always be parents, but our children don’t have the need for us they once did — and that’s great.

It’s taken a couple of years to lose the habits associated with running a business — the expectations and the hundred and one other things that go with it.   Now is the time for us, being ever mindful of the need to care for ourselves now, and to nurture much more than we’ve done in the past.

So —the internal batteries are recharged and I’m ready to take on my life again.

Bring it on!

Taking about the weather & other things..

2017 was another awesome year and I’d like to think that I did advance my learnings from the previous year.   The first half was rather much of the same as the year before — working one day a week, writing and generally enjoying the life of a semi-retired senior.


My one day a week job is in retail, and some days it seems that all I get to talk about is the weather.  The discussions range depending on the actual weather — how hot, cold, wet, windy, humid it is and so on.  Then it may advance to what a long wet winter we’ve been having; when will summer ever arrive and how sick of the current weather we all are.

Working from nine until five thirty I can have that sort of conversation numerous times, but it’s all with different people and even though I’m heartily sick of the topic, the next person will add their own embellishments on the theme.

However  I’ve also had some really amazing conversations that started out with the weather.  But it has led me to consider what people really have to say to one another when they are virtually strangers trapped in my domain for a few minutes or so.  There are variations of conversation openers I can have, such as asking about their day, and if I’m working in one of the coastal stores — where they have come from or if they are on holidays.

But it seems to be a universal thing to discuss the weather and all its foibles as I’ve been involved in such conversations in many different locations.

Something else I’ve had to learn over the past few months is how to be patient — or be a patient.  Having been sidelined for several weeks I’ve discovered that I can actually just sit and be in the moment without having to worry about getting lots of things done.  And after lots of practice with doing nothing I’ve found I actually enjoy it.


So my new thing is to take time to just sit and not actually do anything except think about what I could do — when and if I feel like it.

Plus I’ll have some new topics of conversation when I go back to work.


New Year Resolutions

Many of us have gone down the track of making New Years Resolutions, often for us women they are centered around weight loss and fitness and we’ve frequently failed after a short time.

I know I’ve done this on many a New Year.  Determined that this will be THE year and all will work well.  Only to realise a few weeks later that I’ve lost that enthusiasm and momentum.  So I’ve quietly given up and decided that I don’t need to call it a New Years Resolution, but it is something that I can do at anytime.

Ha Ha Ha.  Who am I kidding?  Only myself of course.

So over the years I moved from making these unrealistic resolutions, to attempting to be more honest with myself.   I stopped holding them in my head and started writing them down — with a little more success.   Then I eventually transitioned to deliberately not making any resolutions at all — because I was above all that rot.  (Secretly wishing I could make them and achieve them like others seem to do.)

Then today I read a Facebook post about resolutions that intrigued me — the concept of making a resolution and then sharing it with another significant person in your life. Not simply a thought that easily drifts out of your head, or a note that gets written in a book that you forget where you put it.  But something that moves from thought to the written word to a sharing that makes it set in concrete.

I think in reality I stopped sharing them because I ended up being so unsuccessful with them that I didn’t want to keep looking like a fool.   I moved to writing them down and keeping them to myself because then it didn’t matter if they failed to come to fruition because nobody else knew about them.

So the post made me get thinking about what resolutions would I make if I was going to share them.  Of course there are the obvious ones like losing weight, getting fit, keeping my housework up to date and so on.  But what do I really want — what is it that really rings my bells when I think about it?

So I’ve considered it, and I don’t have a long list — quite a short one really and that’s not because I don’t want to show up wrong again.   I’m going with quality over quantity, and then going to share them here.

  1. I will attain optimum health and fitness for me in 2018.
  2. I will strive to be a loving and compassionate wife, mother and friend at all times.

Now that doesn’t seem like much, but when I look more deeply at them I can see that there will be a fair amount of effort required for me to be successful.  And now that I’ve shared them I can’t move the goalposts.

So what resolutions will you make and share this year?

Feel free to share them with me, or perhaps someone closer who can hold you accountable.

Happy New Year



Well another silly season is behind us and now people are starting to return to the regular routines of their lives.

For me I’m finding it just a little bit exciting— the thought of returning to my usual activities is quite refreshing.

I love Christmas time and all the hype that goes with it.  Setting up the tree and decorating it.  Thinking and planning  food that is a little more special than the everyday; deciding what presents to get along with the anticipation of receiving one or two myself.  Almost routine, but with so many different Christmas parties to attend, life is hardly the usual run-of-the-mill.

So I embrace it all. Listening to carols and being really indulgent with naughty treats  is so much fun.   Then there is the planning for Christmas day.  I’ve done with catering for twenty-five or more and feeling utterly exhausted when they finally go home.    So this year we decided on a picnic again and invited my family to go with us. We selected a family-friendly beach, packed the food and enjoyed a lovely meal.  The water was warm for paddling and we played a bit with the frisbee and wandered along the shore.  The sun shone, there was a breeze and it was simply lovely.

Returning home, there wasn’t much to unpack so relaxation continued to be the order of the day.

New Year — well I’ve decided I’m past caring too much about seeing the old one out, so we had a quiet evening with a lovely cheese platter and a bottle of French champagne.

There — all done and dusted for another year.  Now back to the routine of living again.  It is nice to have a break from routine, which makes it all the better when you come back to it.  Perhaps I’m getting old?

So now to pack away the decorations, take out the tree and clean up the cards for another year.  And then to dust off the diary that I’ve neglected over the last couple of weeks.

I find the anticipation of the coming year exciting.  What excites you about the new year?

Happy New Year xxx


It’s That Time Of The Year Again

It’s a bit of a cliche — but where did the year go?  People seem to be obsessed with “getting ready for Christmas” and wherever you go, whoever you talk to the subject seems to come up.

It’s the silly season and people do stupid things or at least that’s what it seems like.

We have all year to be ready for it, yet every year most people appear surprised that it’s that time again.

There is talk on the news about how many millions or billions will be spent on Christmas presents across the nation.  We are being urged not to overspend and run our credit cards up too high that it becomes a struggle to pay off over the next year.

Then you meet the really organised person who smugly states that they’ve done their shopping over the year and they are all ready.  The cake and pudding are made weeks ahead, their menu is organised, presents wrapped, timetable filled in — they probably even know what colour undies they are going to wear on Christmas Day!

Discussions about  what colour scheme or theme to have, or should you choose a real tree or fake and so forth. The merits of hot food versus cold, pre-prepared or cooked on the day etc etc.

Me — well I’m definitely not organised.  I haven’t even discussed with my family what is going to happen and where or when.   I guess we will get around to it sometime this week.  But to me it’s not a big deal anymore.  I’ve done the organising and catering for twenty-five or so people, ending up absolutely exhausted on the day — not to mention the end of the day.  Now we’ve had some of the oldies pass away, couples separating, family members moving away or removing themselves from the family orbit and so on.

Last year we had a pre-Christmas dinner with close family and on the day  I packed a gourmet picnic then Ross and I drove to the beach and had a lovely relaxed lunch.  The weather was perfect and it was no big deal, yet it was really lovely.  Special even.

I’d like to do it again — although the weather forecast is not so good, it will still be fun. Plus it’s not so easy to overindulge when you have to carry all your food with you.

Then talking about Christmas has me thinking about how fortunate I am to be able to consider which options to choose when there are so many close by us who do not have that choice.  I am privileged to have friends and family to celebrate Christmas with, to have the ability to buy presents for them and prepare food from an array of ingredients.  To make the day different from every other day.

Still, when it all boils down to reality — none of this is as important as being around family.  For me, that is what makes a Christmas — not the presents, the food or the decorations.

It’s the people who count.



Quite an innocuous word really until you start thinking more deeply  about it.

Just what is normal?  What determines normal?  Who sets the benchmark for normal?

So I’ve been thinking about what is normal for me, since my doctor asked me a couple of weeks ago if sitting around not doing much is normal.  I replied “heavens no, I’m normally like the energiser bunny!”

But then again when I think about it, some days just sitting around doing nothing much really is ‘normal’ for me — especially on weekends or on holidays.  Then at other times I really do run around like a madwoman, doing several different things at the one time.  And probably not doing any of those really well either!

However, if for example I disappeared, and the detectives (like the ones we watch on the telly) started asking my family, friends and colleagues what was normal for me — what would they say.

They wouldn’t say ‘well she always gets up at x o’clock, has a cuppa, reads the paper, goes for a twenty minute walk…’ and so on.    To me that would be too organised, too much routine and I rebel against being too regimented.

I recall my mother-in-law always set the table for breakfast before going to bed, which was simply weird to me.  Occasionally I will get organised the night before I work, but certainly not all the time.  My movements are generally unpredictable, although I’m sure there are some things I always do that are unconsciously done.  Whilst I don’t embrace routine, there is a certain comfort in having it.

I’m sure we’ve all tried brushing our teeth with the non-favoured hand and felt really uncomfortable doing it.  We’ve done it the same way for so long we don’t even realise how routine it is.

So I guess for most of us there would be some things that could be said to be normal for us, even though we don’t think about them as such.

For those of us who drive a car, we have our own little routines when we get behind the wheel.  When asked I’m sure there is a process we follow but just don’t think about.

I remember when Kelly had been admitted to the psychiatric unit for the second time, and we — the family— attempted to tell the Psychiatrist that her behaviour was not normal for her.  He dismissed us totally — wasn’t interested in what was normal for her.  He was only interested in what he could see, and in reality we as her family were voiceless because she was an adult.

Thats a difficult thing to accept as a mother because for a long time society generally looks to the mother for information.  But as our children move on to adulthood, we become unimportant — relegated to the sidelines and our opinion  means very little.

So on thinking more about my ‘normal’, I’ve discovered that I probably have a lot of things that could be attributed to me as being ‘normal’.

So what’s your normal?