Monday 31 October 2016

Australia - the lucky country?

Please note there is discussion that may trigger distress. If at risk of depression or been a victim of sexual assault, don't bother reading or if fragile, please always reach out for help. Lifeline 13 11 14  (or 000 in an emergency). Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636, Reach Out , Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467, 1800Respect  or NSW Rape Crisis Centre 1800 424 017.

I still tend to think of us, Australians, as a happy go lucky people, very laidback and full of fun. In the last month, I've read three statistics that have made me question this belief. The three were not related - once came from a book on education, another from an article on comedy and I've forgotten where I read the third but lumped together, it's quite a disturbing portrait.

We (Australia) have the highest rate of reported sexual assault (presuming per capita), the highest per capita prescriptions for anti depressants, and the highest rate of suicide (also presuming per capitia) in the world.

We live in an affluent society, there is welfare and in theory a safety net. We have good weather, with plenty of sunshine. We are not at war. I would have thought our violent crime was low (but evidently I was wrong, depending on your definition of violent crime, as I would count sexual assault as a violent crime, but maybe it just means murder?). It is not a crime to be in the LBGTQI community - though I acknowledge we clearly are more backward in marriage equality than we should be, I would have thought most people come out to acceptance rather than thrown out of home etc (but maybe I'm naive?). We have relatively low unemployment. We have government supported healthcare (though shame on you Liberal Government for pulling that apart - and in view of this post, especially in the area of mental health).

So what is going wrong?

And more importantly, how do we fix it?

There are plenty of ad campaigns on mental health and violence against women. The government clearly recognises there is a problem. But as with all things, the best way to fix a problem is to change the environment so the outcome is different. Treat the cause, not the symptoms.

I don't have the answers, I am currently reading a number of books to try and understand what I see as a pandemic of Anxiety in young people (teens).  Where have we gone wrong? When did we stop being the happy people and become the nation that is limping through life, trying to keep it together? 

I'm after any feedback or ideas you may have. Please feel free to leave your opinion, even if not based in science or research.

I believe we can change this. I believe it is our responsibility to do so. As always, we can do better, we must do better.

A very incomplete post for #MummyMondays and #OpenSlather

Saturday 29 October 2016

7 Bridges Walk

On the weekend I got 5 straight hours to my self to march around Sydney and enjoy the beauty (and raise money for the Cancer Council). The good people at Harris Farm were donating money raised from fruit eaten by the walkers and there were plenty of buckets for gold coins (plus enterprising lemonade stalls along the way).

It's a lovely sense of community and great views.

I'm stiff and tired but happy.

I guess you could say I'm loving life right now.
And you? What are you loving?

If interested for next year, click here. For those OS, you walk 28km around the Harbour crossing 7 Bridges in the process.
(Not sponsored, just enjoy it).

Linking with #FridayPhoto

Thursday 27 October 2016

First of the month fiction - November

In haste, I forgot all about First of the Month Fiction. So in unprecendent lack of creativity, I'm reposting an old seasonal story.
For newcomers, a story in exactly 100 words or one less than 30 words. Add it in the comments then link your blog if you have one.

They had planned this job for months. They knew exactly what to do. Get in, get out and most importantly, get what they came for. They had considered the risks, given her fierce, noisy dogs. They knew the strange lonely old woman was home. It would be difficult, but their greed outweighed their fear. Nervously they pulled on their masks and crept up the drive stealthily. One sidled up to the window and looked in, but there was no sign of her. The other approached the door tentatively. The door swung open unexpectedly. "Trick or treat!" the children screamed, hopefully.

Here's to a less chaotic month ahead. Happy writing!

Monday 24 October 2016

Stress and Moving

I'll admit I've been under enormous pressure and not coping. Moving has been a nightmare and I seem to be allergic to the paint or finish on the house so I feel constantly sick as I unpack a lifetime for five people. I'm exhausted and bad tempered.

However, After spending 5 hours on Sunday moving the last of the boxes in the apartment, I ran away with a friend down from Brisbane to the Intercontinental. We got a club room, so had high tea, cocktails and breakfast all overlooking the stunning Sydney Harbour. I can tell you that for 22 hours I felt like a million bucks again!
Brief today as I have more to unpack, but hope you too are loving life!

Linking with #OpenSlather

Conversations with Belief

I have written before on self doubt and how what holds us back more than anything else is usually ourselves. We set up all the obstacles in our path before we even try. Sometimes we never even make the phone call, submit the story or ask the question. We pre-empt the negative response and defeat instead of asking 'why not me?'

There is a wonderful little poem by Walter D. Wintle called the The Man Who Thinks He Can. It opens with the wisdom:
"If you think you are beaten, you are;If you think you dare not, you don't."
and then ends with the line:
"sooner or later the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can!"

This week, I offer you a challenge. Attempt everything, say yes to everything, make the call and submit the article. Anytime you think there's no point, it's a waste of time, just do it anyway. When a doubt creeps in, think of Kanye. (Stop laughing, I love Kanye.) His self belief is what has made him what he is today - not just a musician but a leading fashion designer (if financial success if a measure of judgment). He seems to be able to decide what he wants to do and make it happen. He summed it up:

 “I always felt like I could do anything. That’s the main thing people are controlled by! Thoughts- their perception of themselves! They're slowed down by their perception of themselves. If you're taught you can’t do anything, you won’t do anything. I was taught I could do everything".

This week, believe in yourself 100%. Don't take no for an answer. Push forward with the expectation of success. Let's see where that gets us.

Linking with a very hurried Conversations over Coffee on Belief. #MummyMondays, #FortheloveofBlog and #KALCOLS

Wednesday 12 October 2016


The holidays were fab - EBGames, a bbq at Cottage Point, the Dinosaur show (where I had the epiphany that I'd been doing the same things for over a decade?!), and of course the ever wonderful Bali, where we stayed away from Seminyak for the first time, and I loved the sleepy feel of Jimbaran and the sensational restaurants like Cuca, Balique and Fat Chow (Temple Hill).

However, we have hit the ground running and alas blogging and writing will have to take a backseat while we (a) go to Melbourne for the marathon and (b) move. A lot of logistics to organise, so with all the kids concerts and appointments that have also fallen this week (fingers crossed the braces come off today!), I will not return until the last week of October.

Just wanted to say all was well, and I'm loving life, just too busy to put words on the page.

Hope the sun is shining in your world too.

Fat Chow gets a special mention for playing Parov Stelar and getting me back into this:

Linking with #WWOT #WWOAT