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My cousin just shared this and I thought.  Pooh.  I love you.
wishing you all a togethery, remembery Christmas, full of love!

Petits ‘fours’

I’m joining in a blog post idea suggested by my blogging friends Clare and Nettie. It’s a series of questions with answers of four. I’d love to hear your petits-fours too!  Just copy and paste the questions into the comments field, I’d like to get to know you better and this is a fun and easy way!  In-four-mation makes the world go round.  Bahaha!

Four names that people call me, other than my real name.

Fat Foo

Four jobs I have had (not counting current jobs)

Cut Price Deli chick
IT help desk
Telephone marketer
(yep.  be kind to those poor souls, they’d rather not be calling you, either)
A blue body-painted extra in a promotional event.

Four movies I have watched more than once

Toy Story
The Piano
Whale Rider
We bought a Zoo

Four books I’d recommend

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
North of Normal by Cea Person
Purple Hibiscus (or any of Chimamanda Ngoze Adichie’s books)
The Good Women of China by Xinran

Four places I’ve lived

Christchurch; enduring memories are icy puddles on winter mornings and frost on my woollen school socks.  I had a pink school uniform, a tree hut in the willow tree. And I met two lasting friends, Rachel.G and Dana.

Papua New Guinea; land of Islands and Mountains, sunshine and breeze. This country is a big part of who I am today. All the memories fill my heart and mind and have shaped my personality.

Melbourne; in a boarding house, far far from home.  It was in a huge city, yet my world there was very small.

Sydney; my first ‘grown up’ home, a little flat with gingham kitchen curtains.  I loved keeping house and making everything just so. But arranging cushions does not a marriage make!  Thankfully, happy endings have been had by all who lived in that little Hornsby nest.

Four places I have been

China (loved the alleyway markets in Tian Jin)
USA (Colorado is my favourite state so far)
Germany (au-pair to a family in Munich)
England (where I met rellies who made me appreciate the marvel of genes)

Four places I would rather be right now

There’s no where I would rather be, but if I HAD to be somewhere else… and there were no limitations hefted on me by reality…

I’d be at Vista Verde in Colorado, having another magical white Christmas.  But only if everyone I love could be there too (yes, that includes you Nettie, and all the Pipsters, my dear friends, my girls from the Dysautonomia community and my lovely readers)!  We’d book out the whole ranch and build gingerbread houses and sing carols with the cowboys and take sleigh rides, or ride horses through the snow and drink mulled wine! There would be hot spas looking out over the snow covered Lodge, steaming mugs of hot chocolate, Cholly’s homebaked cookies, cedar scented cabins, snow tubing and twinkling trees lighting the snow-ploughed path home each night! Ohhhh!  Lucky lucky people that are doing just that right now.

(here’s some photos from when we did it for real)




I’d be in Darwin: so I could see the precious bump that is going to be my little nephew next year, and hug his much-missed parents this Christmas; see their new house and get a fix for what their world looks like.  I’ve only seen it in my imagination and I want to know what it feels like in that part of the world.

I’d be in Sydney: so I could wish my bro and his beautiful wife and kids a Merry Christmas in person, which would involve my arms around all of them, lots of loud and enthusiastic singing and lots of floating in the pool, ‘cause Sydney, like Darwin, is too HOT!

I’d be in Gisborne: so I could marvel anew at how giant my nephews are becoming, meet the new puppy, chat and reminisce about my Mum with my sister. Dose up on those sisterly cups of tea, and wish them all a beautiful Christmas too.


Four things I don’t eat

strange parts of animals
pork buns (after an experience once on a ship that I cannot shake from my amygdyla)

Four of my favourite foods

(I had to put these into categories, because I couldn’t stop at four!)

Pavlova, Chocolate, Cake, Cinnamon Rolls
Fresh garden veggies; asparagus, snow peas, capsicum, grilled artichokes
Venison, lamb, crayfish and salmon
Fresh still-warm white bread (I know.  Evil.  Yet delicious!)

Four TV shows that I watch

Game of Thrones
Downton Abbey
Graham Norton
Anything on the Living Channel

Four things I am looking forward to this year (and into 2015)

Finally trialling treatment and hopefully having favourable results
Hearing back about a study opportunity… and hopefully, DOING it!
Spending heavenly horse time with my daughter’s new pony (shhh!  still a secret from her!)
Writing more…



Four things I am always saying

“WHO was the last person in the toilet?!”
“Try again, using calm words…”
“…it’s a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, the part of our bodies that controls all the automatic functions”
“FFS” (it’s swearing, so I won’t translate)


Come on!  Tell me your fours…

(copy and paste this into your comment)
Four namesFour jobs
Four movies
Four books
Four places lived
Four places been
Four places I’d rather be
Four foods I don’t eat
Four foods I love
Four TV shows
Four things I’m looking forward to this year
Four things I say

Jolly Holiday

FROM rach


School’s out. The holidays are here.  My usual writing time has been hit by the double sabotage of kid-time and christmas-time.  On top of those more lovely distractions, I’ve had a few hospital appointments to get through, a temporary change in my med regime and I’ve been feeling less chipper than usual.  So if I am a bit slow on the blog for a while, bear with me, I’ll be back.  Just taking some sensible measures to get through the next two weeks.  Merry Christmas beautiful people.  Your presence here with me keeps me going, keeps me thinking, keeps me hoping.  Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting and being there with me.
I wish you all a wonderful festive season full of the things that make your heart sing.

a Good Girl…


The kids have been writing their wish-lists. I love the funny things they still think are realistic. I love that they still dream pie-in-the-sky christmas dreams.  That they pretend to not believe in Santa but still harbour hopes they won’t admit to. I have been ever more grateful for the way online shopping helps people like me make Christmas dreams come true.  How did people with health challenges manage before the internet?  I just can’t imagine.  I am mindful that gifts aren’t everything; there are other ways to show love, but oh my goodness I adore Christmas gift giving.  I love choosing things and the thinking about how tickled each recipient will be over each gift.  But the crazy commercial nature of it all has me thinking about the non-material things I wish for this Christmas.

Do you have a grown up Christmas List?  Maybe mine is a bit pie-in-the-sky, but if there was ever a time for dreaming big, it’s Christmas time…

For my family, I wish time spent in contented company with one another. Making memories and enjoying the benefits of our antipodean summer Christmases.  Beaches and picnics and bare feet on grass.  I wish ice creams and kite flying and movie nights with fish and chips.  I wish them rest and recuperation from their busy year and time to get excited about the new one. I wish for them, the ability to see how lucky we are.

For my friends, I wish good self esteem and inner peace.  I wish recognition for their efforts in whatever field they’ve been endeavouring this year.  I wish them health and body vitality and the ability to look out beyond their daily grind to the beauty all around us. I wish them calm and joy and love.

For my community I wish greater connections, stronger ties between the people we pass on the street.  I wish the safety net of good medical care and provision for timely mental health services. I wish clean streets and strong infrastructure.  Clear water and fresh vegetables. Room to grow and mountains to climb. The ability to see the beauty in each person they connect with and especially, their own significance as part of the whole.

For my country I wish for a burgeoning sense of value in what we have, right here in this beautiful little nation.  I wish wisdom for the government and gratitude from the people.  I wish for strong safety nets to catch the needy and better programmes to build self-determination and strength among the marginalised.  I wish for compassion among the people for one another, personal accountability.  And kindness.  More kindness in this country.

For the world… sigh.  I wish someone would call a stop to the madness.  We are all people.  People should care for each other, not kill each other.  Our similarities are far more significant than our differences. I wish we could look in the mirror and see our neighbours instead of ourselves.  I wish we could gaze at our children and see the faces of our enemies children. I wish we could stop the violence because it makes no sense.  The problem is so big because no one seems to think the answer lies within themselves. If you can change your heart to include the people you feel like you should hate, if everybody could do that.  It would be done.  I wish we could all live and let live.

Is that too much to ask for, Santa?
I think I have been a good girl…