Monthly Archives: May 2011

Making a Commitment to My Life List

One of my dreams is to live in Germany.

I adored taking German at school, and loved taking it at university. But it’s been a decade since any formal linguistic training, and I’m itching to get back to it.

[Source: me]

So I’ve made a commitment to improving my German because I enjoy learning, but also because I want to start making some of these Life List dreams happen! I have started learning through the Rosetta Stone program for German, and so far, we’re just covering stuff I already know. I’m interested in seeing if this Rosetta Stone is really as good as they say…

Who knows if I’ll ever achieve #20 and #21 on my Life List, but what’s the harm in trying?

[Source: me]

What is something you have always wanted? What are you doing to make that happen?

[Source: me]

Ich liebe die Prinzen!

So my husband has been holding out on me. I’ve been with him for half a decade  and he’s only JUST told me about Die Prinzen.

I am in heaven. Words cannot express.

It more than makes up for missing Eurovision last weekend because of crappy US programming.

Ich liebe die Prinzen! Kissing is forbidden.

Everything will be okay.

Back in Sydney, I once worked closely with a lovely woman who was in her mid 50s. Even as most women her age were looking forward to retiring and slowing down, she was vivacious, charismatic and had energy for days. And, rather importantly, she was an amazing campaign manager.

As things would have it, she turned out to be a friend of my parents’ (Mum’s right when she says “you never want to talk about anyone…”) and over the course of the campaign, we became quite close. Her quirky habits started to make sense as I learnt more about her.

She had recently lost the love of her life and her son within months of each other. Tragic story, and one I will always remember. But yet each day she seemed so… together. I really enjoyed being around her, learning a lot about Aussie political wheeling and dealing. It was great to watch her in action.

When the votes had been counted, we celebrated the following day an amazing home right on Cronulla Beach. During dinner, all hell broke loose. The darkness slowly started enveloping her, and she was powerless to stop it. It broke my heart to see her like that. I wanted some way to remove some of her pain, her hurt… but it was all-encompassing.

So I took her home and stayed with her until she was asleep. It was haunting to see something so deep, so personal.  How do you recover from something like that? I don’t know if you ever do.

I remember checking in with her a few times following that night, and then that was it. I went back to uni, and she to whatever came next for her. It sounds cold, but I don’t think it could have been any other way. It may have been awkward having someone walking around who had seen her at one of her darkest moments, but in the end, I actually thought more of her. She remained so articulate and was able to describe the abyss so graphically, and I felt powerless beyond belief to do something more for her. I could do little else than drive her home, put her to bed and just sit with her and listen.

It’s been a decade, and I still think about her. You’d be surprised how much.
On the off-chance recently, I googled her. Turns out she has emerged, phoenix-like, as  a successful photographer who divides her time between New York City and Sydney. Someone as vivacious as her will always triumph. I hope what she’s doing fills her with joy and happiness. She deserves it.

Wise words.


The Seattle Wrap Up

One of the loveliest parts of my long weekend to Seattle was taking some time out for myself and wandering around the city early on Sunday before the wedding.

Very few places were open so early — a far cry from the way I used to travel, starting out at around 2pm.

I wandered down to ‘Pike’ (Pike’s Place Market) and watched all the vendors set up as the rain fell. I feel a real affinity with people who don’t bother about the rain and umbrellas, and these were my people.

It was Mothers’ Day, and slowly, middle-aged men with little tykes perched on their shoulders or holding the miniature hands of their offspring (sometimes both), descended upon the market to pick their favourite tulips for their mums/wives. Much discussion was had about colour and taste (“What color do you think Mom would like, Maddison?”), with few tantrums.

There were some amazing tulip hybrids, and am loving the tulip/daffodil and the tulip/peony combinations. I couldn’t get enough of their colour, their perkiness, their beauty: I was dying to take them all home.

As I wandered around the market, the other sellers started arriving. The fruiterers, the organic doughnut lady, the leather men, the newsagent, the nut and berry lady, the hippies selling homemade clothes from their homespun wool. I bought some pomegranate white tea from the spice shop, and enjoyed free samples of various types of dried apples from the dried fruit lady.

The fishmongers were setting up for the day’s trade, getting into the spirit by singing local ditties as they threw the fish down the line.

There’s few things I love more than enjoying the sights, the smells, the colour of the markets around the world. The coolest thing I saw for sale: edible ferns. Apparently you saute them with a little butter and shaved parmesan cheese and voila!

What’s one thing you love doing in a foreign city?

A few hours later, we were on the lake meeting new people from all over (did you know the Ontario accent sounds somewhat Scottish?). Thankfully, the omnipresent rain held off so Terry and Amelie were married outdoors. It was a beautiful wedding and we had a great time. Félicitations Terry and Amelie!

Can’t wait to see the pics from the wedding, particularly the photos from the photobooth… we had a lot of fun!

Greetings from Seattle!

Dear Seattle,

Ah, Seattle. There’s so much of you I remember from when I was first here a lifetime ago.

Parts of you are beautiful. A stroll down 1st Street reminded me last night. You are a  marvellous mishmash of styles and getting around is pretty easy.

Though I usually avoid the tourist traps like the plague, I love your Space Needle. It says so much about that brief period of time when we aimed for the stars, and that resonates with me. I love that you call it a needle. Rock on. Only a city comfortable in its own skin can do that. Makes me want to stick around a join a band.

You’re unpretentious and easy-going. I like you.

But I’ve gotta ask: what is WITH this rain?



Why hello, Seattle!

Why hello, Seattle!
And what do you have in store for our long-long-weekend now that the Annual Report is off at the printers?

Looks to be a true Pacific Northwest experience

Looks like we’re in for some true Pacific Northwest weather!

(And yes, I still operate in degrees celcius).

Any tips for places to eat, things to see?