Blog-vember. A post of day for November 2012.

Blog-vember … post the ninth … tactical error

It takes time to establish new habits. While the brain may exhibit neuro-plasticity, the limbic system takes limited effort and energy to operate, while the pre-cortex or front brain which takes a lot of effort to run and consumes vast amounts of energy. What this means is that while your brain can learn new habits and patterns, the pre-disposition is for old patterns. It is quite literally painful to learn new habits and over-ride old patterns with new ones. It hurts your brain.

Today, I might have made a serious tactical error. I have, as is my established pattern, immediately started on the ‘Friday Fun’ when I got home this afternoon. This is fantastic from a Friday Fun perspective, it is lethal from a blog-every-day perspective. Read More

Lion hearted … blog-vember

Life is often an endurance test. Sure, there are bright moments when joy fills your heart, when you can re-charge. But often it is a relentless quest. At present, my patience is daily tested by an irrepressible toddler who is now more willful and dastardly than I thought possible. I need to rapidly acquire new skills. They say not to negotiate with small children. But what am I to do with a child who says ‘I’ll cry if you like mama.’ He has me beaten already and we haven’t even started! Read More

Blog-vember post the seventh … process writing

On the seventh day, she went out to dinner.

If I were a more organised and a more diligent writer, I would have written this this morning, or yesterday or even earlier this evening. I am not that writer. I am pantser not a plotter, as they say in #NaNoWriMo. I don’t map out the plot before I start, I trust my gut and I fly by the seat of my pants.

When I wrote essays as an undergraduate, I found I was still under the spell of my early formative writing experiences. In primary school, there was a kind of writing called ‘process writing’. My memory of this is that children were encouraged to not get it right, but get it written. It was extremely tolerant of ambiguity, which was quite good as it happens for my wobbly spelling. Incidentally, my spelling is still wobbly. (Indeed I just spelled incidentally with only one L)

My early essays, I often wrote a few hundred words or even a thousand words, then chucked away the first 500 and started the essay from the middle. The middle then became the beginning and I went on, having discarded the dross I had written to start with.

As it is already really late, I have no time, tonight, to edit. Like NaNoWriMo this post is about word count and getting it written. This post was to be about ‘the dignity of risk’ and about mud. Two topics that were conversations over dinner. The dignity of risk is about being allowed to make mistakes and undertake risk in your engagement with life’s experiences, and the mud is about demonstrating what you are made of; in spite of those who think you will be undone by being made the wade through a few meters of knee deep clay.

Rather than throw out the beginning and start again, molding the clay into a story, I have to stop. It’s late and tomorrow I have to get up and convince myself yet again, that not every day is a fight to the death.

It’s a long road


Blog-vember post the sixth … the fifth year

… they don’t let a woman kill you in the tower of song …

Yesterday I celebrated five years with the ACT Government. This means it’s been five years since I returned to Canberra, something I vowed I would never, never do, and five years since Robert and I met.

That seems a breathtakingly short period of chronological time for what has come to pass since 5th of November 2007. That moment when his shoe collided with my empty filing cabinet and nearly made me fall off my chair, has the clarity of fine crystal. It is fine, and sharp and precious and rare.

It is two years since I wrote one of my favourite ever pieces; open letter to my child about his father.

While you are reading this, I will be eating his roast chicken and we will be talking about everything and nothing.

I will ask about his favourite Leonard Cohen song so I can add it to this post, and he won’t remember any of the names. He will describe about five songs because he finds it impossible to limit the choice to just one.

Luckily I don’t find it impossible to limit my choice to one.
One song, one soul mate, one shared life.

Blog-Vember My Day on A Plate

MT @ @ wha??? @ This is among the most incredible bullshit I've ever seen
Stella Orbit

Inspired by the furore on Twitter yesterday about Pete Evans’ description of his Day on A Plate, resplendent with its activated almonds, here is #mydayonaplate blog. This post may contain traces of gluten, nuts and irony.


7:00 –  Glass of water
7:02 – Two cups earl grey tea – no milk. One straight after the other.
7:17 – Muesli, honey (Honey Delight Spring Harvest), full cream milk, yoghurt (Country Valley) and a seed and fruit cereal topping to stop me dying of boredom – may contain linseed, not sure, but little bits get stuck in my teeth.
8:14 – Water while standing around waiting for coffee (HURRY UP!)
8:35 – Double shot latte

9:12 – Early grey tea

11:04  – More water and earl grey tea
Thoughts turn to second breakfast. Stupid worthy muesli.

11:47 – Two lady finger bananas – because the Cavendish banana is just horrible.
12:03 – At least six Haighs dark chocolate pastilles.
12:29 – More water

12:47 – Lunch of left over chicken, chorizo, olives, potatoes with salad from the garden of sorrel, cos lettuce and parsley.

3:00 – Soda water from my Soda Stream that I take to work every day to stave off the 3 o’clock desk slump. There is nothing so cheering as that PFFFFTTT as the lid turns and my personal carbon sequestration project is unleashed.  The tiniest Cherry Ripe ever.

3:12 – Rest of the soda water – after I found I was still slumping

Narrowly avoided a vile cup of coffee.

5:40 – Vodka, lime and soda.

5:55 – Half of one of toddler’s spicy-ish meatballs – just to make sure they weren’t poison.

6:20 – Nuts (yes really) almonds included!

7:15 – Half of the freshly picked sugar snap peas from the garden on the way back to the kitchen – quietly curse myself for not planting four times as many pea plants.

7:40 – THIS

Haloumi and green salad

Grilled haloumi with a salad made of spinach, sorrel, fennel, parsley, mint, lemon juice and olive oil.

Soda with lime.

Every single thing I ate for dinner except the haloumi and the olive oil grown by me. The olive oil was grown by Homeleigh Grove.

I am reserving the right to eat some more and perhaps drink some more tea. Probably jasmine picked by virgins but I really haven’t decided yet.

Have food trends gone too far? How important is balance and eating well to you?



Blog-vember Sunday Confessional … Lies I tell myself

It’s Sunday. I have a few things to get off my chest!

Sunday essentials
Oceans of tea

It seemed right to share some of my secrets in a cathartic Sunday session for Blog-vember. I will need to pull every stunt in the blogger’s tool box to make it through this month of posts. Here goes (no laughing please!)

Lies I tell myself – just a random sample

1. I need all the more glassware

2. I will have two alcohol free days a week

3. I will put away my clothes and not live out of the washing basket

4. I won’t try to re-hydrate at 10pm on the weekends

5. I will learn to use all the features of wordpress before I cherry pick and launch into stuff before I know what I am doing!

To celebrate the release, the warm sunny Sunday, a musical treat. Deborah Conway embodying how we should all live out our Sundays with joy. Staying in with coffee, toast and chocolate! Amen to that.

Got anything you need to get off your chest?

There’s your Sunday Blog-vember post!

Blog-vember post the third … what sort of story is this?


On Friday, I wore a little black dress all day. I didn’t wear pearls round my neck but I did wear them in my ears.  I was dared by @foxinflats. I find her hard to resist. I did her red lipstick dare too. I wore red lipstick all day, every day for a week! The little black dress dare was called #breakfastattiffanys It was great. I had a lovely day, worked hard and when I got home, I spent a glorious evening watching the movie. Read More

Gin, how I love you, let me count the ways…

I don’t remember my first sip of gin. There is, however, a crystal clear memory of my favourite gin drinking moment and the beginning of my love affair with distilled botanicals in a spirit base.

I was 21. The mother of my then boyfriend took me to lunch for my birthday. I was about the start my Honours year. We went to a restaurant on the North Shore of Sydney. It was just the two of us and it was rather a treat. I was, at the time, a starving student and so lunch out was a luxury. Liz ordered two gin and tonics.

I was sort of momentarily shocked. In the daytime?

It was glorious. Read More

It’s Blog-vember! Post the first

On the way back from Melbourne, I gazed out the window mouching quietly about having missed seeing some fantastic people. There were just too few hours and I really needed a time machine to make it all work. I even missed out on drinking gin in The Gin Palace; that really really hurt. The trip was too short, the family commitments too long to make it work.

I started on a bit of a reverie then. I’m missing people, I’m missing writing, and I’m missing NaNoWriMo!

I tossed ideas around. What if I could do something else? How could I make this work? How could I write and keep the little smouldering embers of love of writing burning? I certainly couldn’t write 1667 words a day! But I could blog every day. I workshopped ideas. What to call it? Blog-a-rama? NoNoNaNoWriMo? Blog-vember? Yes that says it all. It’s November. It’s blogging.

I wrote the post and sent this little idea out into the ether and who should show up?

Only the gorgeous people I missed in Melbourne!  I may have let out a little squeal of delight at the first response.

Here we all are. Drum roll please.

Blog-vember! A little idea to keep my writing spirits up and share the love.

Here are just a few of the people playing along.

Under The Yardarm

Twitchy Corner


Join us. You can still play and catch up and keep your writing spark. A post a day. Every day for November. Blog-vember!




Blog-vember or NoNoNaNoWriMo

No No NaNoWriMo for me. I have come to a sad realisation that I cannot participate in NaNoWriMo this year. As much as this decision pains me, it is the right one for this year. I just cannot commit the necessary time and my experience last year taught me exactly what that commitment looks like. Of course, I am not willing to give up altogether. Too easy to do that.


Instead of NaNoWriMo this year, I give you Blog-vember!

A blog post every day for the month of November. At least that way I have a target and a writing goal. Feel free to leave pull-your-socks-up comments if I start writing about what I had for lunch – unless of course the lunch was at Tetsuya’s then you’ll just have to suffer through a blow by blow description.

For added interest, I will also give myself the end of November as the deadline for my long overdue book reviews that I keep promising and failing to deliver.

Join me! If you are NaNo-ing then go you. But if you are not join me for Blog-vember.

A post a day for November. Who’s in?