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“I would rather trust a woman’s instinct than a man’s reason.”
Stanley Baldwin

~

I wasn’t sure if I would be writing tonight since my sudden decision to retire last night had its own strange carry over to this morning. In fact, it was more like lunch time before I really reached the point of being conscious. That is bad enough, at least from my perspective, after all that’s half a day wasted doing nothing but sleep or snooze in a semi catatonic state.

The truth is that the new medication the doctor prescribed is, what you might call, a trifle heavy handed. Great if you want to spend a day in delightful slumber, but if you are like me, then you spend all your time struggling against its soporific effects to wake up. So why on earth take the medication if I’m going to fight against it, and have a headache as a result?

The answer is incredibly simple. When the pain becomes bad enough that I’m in tears and I would desperately like nothing more than to go to the hospital for some help, I reach for these Dopey Dora tablets. Yes, they eventually make me too cotton woolly to think but I’m left with this strange urge to be doing something because it doesn’t hurt as much. As far as logical thought goes, it’s pretty ridiculous.

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Yet when I tuned in to my inner critic, I heard a song from a favourite movie, My Fair Lady. It was a slapstick piece of complaining from Dr Higgins to Colonel Pickering when Eliza has left after her success at the ball. It was that beautiful soliloquy: “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?”

Because it’s been rattling around my head all day I decided to really listen to it and it’s quite funny. All of the ‘lovely’ attributes he is bemoaning woman of the era do not have and men do, are the very essence of the difference between men and women. Women are emotional, feeling creatures who feel things deeply in a different way to men. Men, of that era especially, are somewhat cold, unemotional and aloof, and definitely believe the ‘fairer sex’ should be seen as a trophy and not heard. Ugh! Not my cup of tea at all.

The same thing is apparent from the early twentieth century. At present we are being inundated by a plethora of movies and soapies about the late, great gangster imitations in Australia. The ‘underworld’ and organised crime have perpetuated this myth that there was something glamorous about being a ‘possession’ of one of these mobsters.

Now, I’ll admit to being one of those ’pioneering types’ and would more than likely have been carted away in handcuffs because I’d chained myself to the railings advocating voting for women. That’s a funny enough thought on its own, but doesn’t address the fundamental differences between men and women. Men are all for the rough and tumble, fists flying and if anyone else gets hurt, too bad mate, she’ll be right! Women on the other hand have all those nurturing abilities which see them sacrificing themselves, for their children and their miscreant husbands.

Cats and Dogs

image from thegenealogycorner.wordpress.com –  The looks say it all.

So when Higgins asks, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man” it’s a simple case of nature versus nurture. Some men get it and some don’t. But don’t get me wrong, in an ironical twist, there are some wonderful men who are great at rearing children whilst the woman is great in the high pressure stakes of business.

In short, I believe there are blurred lines in the roles between men and women today. We are seeing a great upheaval in thought, attitude and cultural mores. It brings an added dimension to life, sometimes good and sometimes bad, but that is the tenor of life and learning. We have to take the good and the bad and learn from it.

So Mr Higgins, a woman should not be more like a man, life would be boring indeed, and at the end of the movie, if she wasn’t different, he would never be able to say, “I’ve grown accustomed to her ways”….. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?

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I hope you enjoy my  wander down memory lane , mixing it up with today’s dilemma.

Blessings,  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Future: Past, Present or Future

Be mindful of your self talk, courtesy of Facebook.com

” What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment. And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new, right now.” – Unknown Author

~

There is always much discussion regarding the future. Yet there is another way of looking at it, and whilst it may sound strange, it is, in its own way, perfectly sensible. Have you stopped to consider the future in these terms; the future past, future present and the future?

In order to look at this strange idea I would ask you suspend normal thought processes and simply look at this idea.

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The Future – Past.

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The future past is achieved by having knowledge of the future which by its very nature has allowed you to behave differently in the past. This past could not have occurred if you did not have this knowledge. The purist would argue that the future has been altered because of the knowledge it has provided to you in the past. Convoluted, perhaps, but take a few minutes to think about it and its possibilities.

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The Future – Present.

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Once again, the future present is able to exist because you have been able to acquire knowledge from the future which you are able to use in the present. This present could not exist if you had not been able to know information from the future. It might have benefits, but we are unable to determine what it might alter in the future. Give it a moment and think of the possibilities.

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The Future – Future.

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In this context, the future must be referred to as the future, future. This is the future which would be created by bringing forward all the changes which occurred in the past and present due to knowledge taken into the past and present from the future. This is an even more convoluted theory, but needs more than a moment to consider.

Is this Science Fiction or Science Fantasy or simply a view of the future?  Who can really know? There are purists from each group who would argue this on its merits, and who is to say it is so farfetched an idea?

To answer a possible question, I have been watching a program called “Fringe”. It has progressed through some fascinating plot lines and stories, bordering at times on pure science fantasy and at others on science fiction. I have difficulty deciding between the two, because the lines are blurred between them each time we make a new advancement.

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Once Alexander Graham Bell was ridiculed for the idea of communicating over vast distances using a telephone, yet we take this for granted now.

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Marconi was disbelieved when he said we would be able to talk using a radio.

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Similarly, Albert Einstein was laughed at with his theory of relativity and gravity.

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All of these and many more have been shown to be future thoughts of impossible scenarios which were in their present, shown to be possible and their future, our present, accepted as normal. The same can be said for physical accomplishments. Take flying to the moon in spacecraft.  An impossibility which is now accepted as such a common occurrence that many people pay it no heed.

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There is no special ‘ah ha’ moment to this idea. It occurred to me that the way we think about any given event can be coloured by what we know and believe at that time and in the time to come.  Dreams are made of this: the ability to blend fact and the not yet fact, and bring them together in a possible future. Such are the talents of our storytellers. Such are our talents and abilities. Exciting isn’t it?

Here are some of the possibilities people have already thought of.

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All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
T. E. Lawrence

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There are millions of ideas, and more as ideas are born each day. The only thing limiting out imagination is ….. our imagination.  The future is limitless.

May imagination and ideas flow to you always.

Blessings  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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No Way Out

image from bigjoyyoga.com

“Being truly happy in life involves you feeling more in control of the direction your life is going.”
― Deborah Day

~

I’ve been really chipper for a while now. I haven’t let the occasional bad day get me down. Who am I kidding – they’ve all been miserable to some degree or another, but I’m getting that attitude of gratitude and focusing in on the good things. I’m working the Law of Attraction every day to bring health, wealth and… oh the list is huge.

But it has been a struggle today. I woke up after a fabulous sleep, which is a huge blessing, in an absolute mess. I couldn’t move, get out of bed or get to the damned bathroom unaided. I know Ray is here to help me but that’s not the point. I am grateful for the help, always, but sometimes it would be really nice if I could get up without waking him because I’m in pain. If he hears me moan, even a little, he jumps out of bed and rushes round to help me, just ask the corner of the bed which he regularly bashes into.

No Way Out

image from euromednews.ru

What seems worse is that the pain didn’t go away, despite wheat packs, pills, potions and waving my magic wand! Each time I tried to stand the world turned. That’s quite neat, isn’t it? It’s a Blessing the ensuite is so close and I can bounce off the walls to get in there. Trust myself with the kettle – oh no.  How about a sharp knife to cut my muffin? I don’t think so. Fry the bacon or an egg? Same thing applies. Thank heavens it’s an electric cook top even if it’s ready for the trash.

So, from early I’ve been cataloging my blogs. I mean, what would happen if WordPress had a glitch and all my blogs disappeared? So I’ve been copying them across to a word document and then saving them in my blog folder. Who said I couldn’t do tedious? I’ve already found some posts where the picture I used seems to have vanished like Aladdin when he said Abracadabra.

Now I was irritated, as well as the annoyance with the mobility bug, as if I needed anything else. What was worse was I felt that old friend of mine “The Black Dog” sitting just behind me waiting to visit. The misery I felt just seemed to amplify everything else.

I needed to make some decisions about my super fund which made me irritated enough to want to strangle someone. But what’s the point? It’s not going to make the damned pain leave me alone. It won’t let me see clearly, and without a blazing headache to make the keyboard move all by itself  – Yes, it’s true; I have a possessed keyboard which makes intergalactic messages at the drop of a hat – or in this case a finger.

No Way Out

image from positiveimperative.com

Okay, so what am I to do. What steps can I take to get rid of this feeling that I have “No Way Out? Right, out comes the self-healing and self-help basket!

  • I acknowledge to my body that, yes, I am in pain and therefore I am going to have to stay in bed until it goes away.
  •  I accept that I sometimes need help getting around so that I don’t make things worse by bumping into everything, or falling over!
  • I give myself permission to allow Ray to look after me and do the daily chores. He’s already said he’s happy to do this so why make a big deal out of it every time?
  • If I need to I can and will have a nap during the day. It helps to ward off the intensity of the migraine.

Okay…. I have my diploma in Financial Planning and courses in share trading in my portfolio,(Yes I really do), so there is no drama with the super fund. I may not like it but damn it I CAN DO IT My four step self-help and healing plan will work fine, if I stop doing blogs at midnight. I CAN DO IT.

Yes, the phrase is from Louise Hay, but there are so many self-help books with oodles of advice in my library that they’re almost interchangeable in parts. I can do it and as soon as I hit the publish key this is going to be shut down and the land of nod will come calling.

Are you listening, my voice of self-doubt? I can do it and I don’t need you to get me all frazzled over nothing. So off you go and let my nurse come out and help with the self-care program.

For anyone feeling as though there’s no way out, remember that there is always something you can do, even if it’s acknowledging that just for a while you may need to let someone help. It’s okay. In fact, it’s good for you, and me too.

Now who wants to get away from Kevin Costner?

“She felt trapped, but she didn’t have to. The world is wide open and ready, waiting for us to escape this bubble and join it.”
― C.M. Stunich, Losing Me, Finding You

Blessings to all, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Insight into Life

image from spykebytes.me

Peering

Through eyes tight with pain

Wondering

How long this is going to last

Thinking of a way to make it past

This annoying hindrance

Life and love surround me

Happiness and joy

That everyone can see – but

What lies beyond this world of mine?

What more is there when I close my eyes?

Sightless I sit in solitude

I hear a baby bird calling for its parents

It’s time for food his cheeping says

Another calls its incessant too-wit

To herald another shower of rain

A whirring at the window

Tells me a dragonfly is near

Coming to see what this strange barrier is

A rumbling grows louder as it nears

A car is straining to make it in top gear

There is a low susurration of sound

As the ocean follows its ebb and flow

I hear bubbling grow in heated tempo

As a kettle is brought to boil

I smell tea brewing in the pot

And hear it pouring into a cup

I smell the delicious aroma as it is brought near

I catch the aroma of something sweet

A pastry of some kind I think

Yet there is a sharp tangy scent carried with it

A filling of tart fruit inside the pastry

The taste, sublime, even more intense

As the fruit and pastry are carefully nibbled

The tea is sipped slowly

The fragrant aroma floats over the tongue

And seeps into the senses

A sigh – Who could know

Fruit Danish and tea could taste even better

And the world outside could be heard

With a greater intensity

By resting my eyes from the pain

The world has given me a new refrain

A delight for the senses refreshed again

To see and hear is such a boon

Yet they live again renewed

Eyes open once more, almost too soon

Insight to Life

image from midstridemoxie.blogspot.com

A million words can be used to describe identity and what it means to you or I, and when we’re done, a million more can be used to interpret what we’ve said. Identity, part of that unique quality which remains almost indescribable. We can catch a glimpse, a new insight into identity and turning around find a new insight is laid bare before us.

“Don’t let a day go by without asking who you are…each time you let a new ingredient to enter your awareness.”
Deepak ChopraThe Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life

Blessings and Insights to enliven your days.

Ciao, Susan  x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

This is the last post of my NABloPoMo challenge. 30 posts in 30 days.

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Identity

Image from http://www.bizarbin.com
Best friends

“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Identity… what is it?

Identity is what makes you who you are and it makes me who I am, two totally separate and unique individuals. There can be no other person exactly like either of us and that is why we are unique, and it is this very uniqueness which gives us our wonderful identities.

Amongst the many definitions of Identity Wikipedia say this in relation to “identity formation” –

“the process of the development of the distinct personality of an individual”.

I had to question the reason why there are so many differing ways to define “identity”. There are personal, corporate, country, sexual, gender and philosophical “identity” and whilst they all have some resemblance to each other they are all also very different. Perhaps the easiest way to understand this abundance of differentiation is to acknowledge that as an individual we are complex creatures and in order to understand something as simple as a person’s identity, it has become necessary to view identity in context to the subject being discussed.

Identity

Image from ecofriendszz.blogspot.com
More best friends

So, What is identity?

The above is however, a very clinical way of viewing someone, breaking the very characteristics and behaviours which make people unique into small bite sized chunks of individuality. I believe an identity is the sum total of those characteristics and behaviours which makes an individual unique in comparison to everyone else.  Just as no two people can be the same then no two identities can be “identical”. Even copycats cannot be identical because it is impossible to remove all the individuality of the copycat. Even identical twins are not absolutely identical.

The complexity of ‘identity’ can be seen if you look at the “national/public holidays” a country has. Labour Day is ‘celebrated’ in many western countries. It has created an identity unique to itself by creating a movement to raise the standard of labour laws which had not been seen before. It therefore became part of the national identity to celebrate the ‘global’ change in national identity.

Identity

Image from webtaj.com
Rabbit, mouse, kitten and puppy friends

What is identity in Australia?

In Australia we, as a nation, are known by the colloquial saying of “She’ll be right, mate”. We are also known as a nation of sun worshipping surfers and athletes. This however is only a small part of the picture. There are many more people who are not sun worshippers, not surfers and definitely not athletes. The national image has corrupted the true individual identity, and also the national identity since it has taken away our ability to be unique.

What is identity in America?

In the US, Thanksgiving has just been celebrated (or is still being celebrated). There is discussion on the relevance of celebrating it, in the manner it is currently. It seems there is always some disagreement over what or how, certain celebrations occur. In context it is a good thing.

Identity

Image from advocacy.britannica.com
Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving originated after the Mayflower had landed, half the people had died from illness and the local Indians had helped them to learn how to survive in their new land. At that time it was the creation of a new national identity which is still celebrated today, even though many individuals have changed since then and the national identity has changed, as much as the individual identities have changed to reflect the times. The celebration is one of identity, unique circumstances and the forging of a partnership with the inhabitants of their new land. The celebration remains although much of the original import has been forgotten or changed.

What really is identity?

Identity is the sum total of all the parts which make us who we are. It is the ability to choose our path through life, our spiritual path as well as our family path, career path, life path.   We, as human beings, are unique on the planet in that we can choose to change, to grow, to become more than we are right now.  If we are not happy with who we are, or how we see ourselves and our identity, we can choose to become more.  We can choose to learn more, to understand more, to grow and evolve.  It is human nature to grow and evolve, and we can direct our growth and development, as we choose the identity we wish to present.

Societies, human beings, our unique spiritual beliefs, all form a part of our “identity”.

When we choose to band together, our identities merge to form a group of people with a common bond, purpose and identity.  It may be to celebrate one of these national holidays, or a religious festival.  However, we remain individuals within the group, always with free will, always with the ability and capability to decide to be different, unique, truly an individual, because we do have our own unique identity.

Perhaps this is the most important part of ‘identity’ that needs to be remembered.  Regardless of the group, the bond or the cause, at all times, we have that free will to choose to step out of the group.  We are ‘united’ by the common beliefs, but not necessarily ‘bound’ by them.  It takes strength and courage to be an individual, to accept your own uniqueness, but then, that courage and strength is also part of your identity.

Celebrate it.

identity

Image from eeryelegance.blogspot.com
My best friend is ducky!

I believe that identity is a multifaceted and unique part of each person. It makes us a spiritual being unlike any other. The very complexity of our identity is what makes us a global and spiritual masterpiece.

Blessings, Susan x

“We know what we are, but not what we may be.”
― William Shakespeare

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Abundance

Happiness

“If you always attach positive emotions to the things you want, and never attach negative emotions to the things you don’t, then that which you desire most will invariably come your way.”
Matt D. Miller

There are times when, no matter how hard we try we feel that nothing we do is going right. Everything seems hard and we don’t know how to get things back on track again. We feel as though we are going round in circles and can’t find a way to get off the merry-go-round. The last thing we can believe is that abundance is all around us.

It’s so frustrating when things feel like this. Unfortunately the more energy we put into these thoughts the more of those kinds of events seem to occur around us. Abundance seems to be anywhere but around us.

Abundance

image from harmonyinspirations.com.au

Your day might feel something like this:
  • You’ve been feeling tired and lethargic and decided to have just a few extra minutes in bed to get the day off to a good start. Instead you drop off into a sound sleep, wake up half an hour later and now you’re running around madly because it looks as though you will be late for work.  
  • Frantically rushing around you forego breakfast to make up time and as you finally dash out the front door you trip, catching your jacket on a nail you didn’t see and tear a huge hole in it. Now you have to go back and change your outfit which means you will be late after all and it’s going to cost you a repair bill to get your jacket fixed.
  • Finally on your way to work you have a dream run with no traffic hold ups. You start to think you are going to get there on time after all when you turn the corner and… there are road works ahead and the lollipop facing you says “STOP”.
  • Instead of a long delay the lollipop is turned around almost immediately and you get through the road works.
  • There is one car park ahead but a car suddenly cuts in front of you and it looks as though that parking space, which would have seen you arrive at work on time, is gone. Your sigh of despondency turns to a cry of joy as the car in front keeps going and you drive into the parking space.
  • In through the front foyer and you are going to make it if you catch the next lift. As the thought crosses your mind you see inside the lift. It is crammed full of people. There will be no way you can get into that lift. As your shoulders start to slump three people suddenly get out of the lift and you quickly get in.
  • You are working on the fifteenth floor and as you look at the panel you see almost every button for each floor is lit. Can anything else go wrong? The doors slowly close and the lift just sits there for what seems an age before climbing to the next floor. This happens all the way up.
  • Thoroughly chagrined you finally arrive on your floor and start to make your way out only to see your boss walk out of the lift just behind you.
  • You are waiting to be chipped for being late when he says, ”Damned lifts, it’s impossible to get in on time is it? Drop by my office later, I have your bonus cheque on my desk”

At each step of your journey you have met with delays and unfortunate accidents. Each one seems to be the one which is going to ruin your day and possibly get you in hot water with your boss. It couldn’t have been a worse start to the day, could it? Now the day has started so badly the rest of the day will only get worse, right? It’s so bad how can abundance be anywhere near you?

Abundance

Grateful for everything

Look at the day again.
  • You managed to get an extra half an hour of sleep which means you won’t feel tired all day. Yes you had to rush a little to catch up but you did and were going out the door on time.
  •  Oh, but then you ripped your jacket. Then you remember that you chose that jacket because you thought it might rain and you really don’t like it much at all, so it wouldn’t have bothered you if it had gotten wet. You will get it mended but it’s really not such a disaster.
  • You could have been delayed for ages at the road works but the lollipop guy turned his sign around almost the second you stopped and you got through in no time at all.
  • You would have had to drive around the block if the parking spot had been taken but instead you drove straight in.
  •  If those people hadn’t left the lift you would have had to catch the next one, but you didn’t have to.
  • Stopping at every floor you cannot get to your office in time, but as you leave the lift your boss is behind you.
  • He has been stuck waiting as well as you, and even better he has a bonus cheque on his desk waiting for you.
Abundance

image from onajourneybacktoherwings.blogspot.com

In the first scenario everything which could have gone wrong, did, and it would have made you late for work and probably seen your boss, at the very least, upset with you. Your focus was on the negative which might have happened.

However, each time something happened, the worst case scenario didn’t follow. Instead something positive happened. At the end of the journey to work, which saw one positive thing after another happen, you found out you had a bonus waiting for you as well. You found that abundance had been surrounding you all the time.

Abundance comes in many forms, not always money, although that is nice too. Abundance is something positive which makes your life easier, better or nicer. It may even mean it is something which can be shared with someone else. It may also be something which might seem negative but is a blessing in disguise. (Take for example a car accident. It could have been disastrous, serious injuries, but whilst your car is damaged you just have a few bumps and bruises, that too is abundance).

If all the negative aspects were the only ones you gave thought to, you would have had an awful day. However, if you consider all the positive things which helped you, then, you are going to be grateful for all the blessings you have received.

Abundance is all around us; it all depends on our perspective, how we choose to view the world.
 “As long as we remain vigilant at building our internal abundance—an abundance of integrity, an abundance of forgiveness, an abundance of service, an abundance of love—then external lack is bound to be temporary.”
― Marianne Williamson, Everyday Grace: Having Hope, Finding Forgiveness And Making Miracles

Abundance and Blessings to all.

Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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A Blend of New Worlds

image from spirit_elements-www-josephinewall-co.uk

Apart from my trip from England to Australia, which I admit is quite a trip, I hadn’t traveled overseas much. I had been to Tasmania, which is considered part of Australia, just not attached to it, and to Fiji, which was my one overseas trip.  This however, was my one REAL overseas trip since I was doing it alone. So, everything I saw and experienced was with the eyes of a novice. It was fresh and unknown.

As my driver pulled up to the Sheraton (Yes, I really went all out on my first big trip), one doorman rushed over to get my door and another went around to get my bags. Luxury was the name of the game. I didn’t want to stand and gawk but I tried to look everywhere at once, I wanted to savour the idyllic splendour of this incredible place….. until a loud voice in my head yelled “Get it together girl! You don’t want to look like a country yokel, wet behind the ears, a little more aplomb please!”

A New World

image from http://www.colourbox.com“Never been anywhere before”.

Alright, I was back on track and my image not too tarnished. I signed in and was taken up to my luxurious room. I had traveled in Australia and seen my fair share of hotels and motels, but this was something else. A huge king sized suite – just for me. For the first time ever, I had this huge bedroom for my own personal use. No-one coming to me for anything, no-one to share it with, it was just for me. It was totally surreal.

A New World

Room to move and then some

I started to unpack but the lure of the sunshine through the window, and wondering what was there drew me, so I threw on a pair of joggers and decided to go for a quick walk. I was never one to ask for directions, I always managed to get lost anyway, so deciding to throw caution to the winds I took my rough bearings, crossed the driveway and away I went. The traffic! I couldn’t believe how much traffic came flying down the road. Everyone jaywalks in Australia- at least we used to.  Taking a long look and gauging the traffic, how fast it was flowing, I dashed across the road.

The esplanade was amazing. It was so wide and the paving in geometric designs as far as I could see. It seemed as though there were seats arranged in nooks and booths everywhere and people were sitting, talking, reading or walking, jogging, running, cycling along, on roller blades or skate boards. It was a hive of activity and at the same time an oasis of calm. The sand was a refined golden carpet and the ocean, the Mediterranean, was the most amazing blue imaginable.

A New World

Tel Aviv Boulevard       This open air exercise area was used nearly the entire day and night.

Mesmerised I didn’t get too far that afternoon. The beach seemed to stretch for ever and the different architecture, from the ultra-modern to ancient almost next to each other. It was a glimpse of the Old world and new side by side. In the distance I could see the old town of Jaffa. It was to be my destination the following morning.  Retracing my steps I once again took my life in my hands as I charged across the street to get back to the hotel. I decided if I was to stay in Israel for any length of time I had to work out how to cross the roads, or at least where to cross them.

For someone who was not a great breakfast eater, the temptation to go into the dining room and simply watch the world go by was too enticing. Once in there I had to have a look around and with freshly squeezed orange juice in hand I could hardly leave without trying a few dishes, could I? I cannot remember the names of the dishes I decided to try, but, a tasty tomato, cucumber and parsley salad with a tuna, mayo and onion dish and I felt my batteries charged. So, fortified with some traditional Israeli breakfast I set out.

A New World

Breakfast salad, a new idea

I rounded the corner from the hotel and, not dashing across the road walked along the footpath towards where I could see a crossing. Five minutes later I found myself surrounded by six giant, well-armed American soldiers. The funny side of the situation hit me and I started to smile, then giggle and I was not making the soldiers any happier. After all, I was a mere 5’7″ and these fellows were all giants, at least 7’ tall, or so they appeared to me.

Demanding to know what I was doing did not help. I really tried to explain I was just walking up to the crossing, but it appeared I was committing some serious crime, and I couldn’t work out what it was. The tension mounted and I simply could not stop the chuckles. Eventually someone asked me where I was from. Once I said Australia I heard a grumbled “Bloody Aussies” and there was an immediate release of tension. Apparently I had transgressed onto the US Embassy grounds. Apart from three foot high bollards there was nothing to say I had moved onto a prohibited area. One of the giants pointed a finger skyward so I craned my neck and saw a US flag on the top of the building. With a stern warning to “watch where I was going” I was allowed to leave, still holding in the chuckles until I made my escape.

That morning was the first time I walked from my hotel into the old town of Jaffa. There was a great view from the top of the area around the marina and along the boulevard to the high rise buildings along the foreshore. After breakfast and around midnight each day I would make this walk to Jaffa, listening to my iPod and watching the whirlpool of people passing by. There was a constant flow of people, walking, running, on roller skates, skate boards or little scooters. People walked their dogs and groups of people would be sitting and chatting until the early hours of the morning.

I’m not certain what the hotel staff made of my nocturnal jaunts but I received a smile each time I returned. I still wasn’t sleeping very well or for very long but these nightly walks were soothing. During the day I explored the city. Being geographically challenged (I got lost easily) I saw a few areas more than once, but it was fun, almost as much as my first excursion to a shopping centre.

My map was great, my sense of direction not so good and my Hebrew non-existent, so the fact that I found the shopping centre was amazing. As I walked towards the doors I was surprised when a man, not much taller than I, suddenly popped out of the corner of the entrance,  dressed all in black and carrying – a machine gun. (I’m no expert so I’m not guessing and he didn’t tell me exactly what it was). At that time all people not recognised by the guard were stopped and had their bags checked. Okay, it wasn’t that long since the Gaza problems so I could understand it, but it did make me stop and think. Since my natural reaction would have been to resist someone grabbing at me it could have been a different outcome. It appears I had my guardian angel sitting on my shoulder each time I ran into an armed and dangerous person. It was good to know.

A  New World

image from http://www.reuters.com     Israeli soldiers, a fact of life.

This strange new world still felt like home and I was excited about exploring more of it.

Next week…….. History comes alive and a new friend.

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The Best laid plans.....

image from www-arts-wallpapers.jpg

There are so many things I had planned to do this week, from the ordinary mundane of going shopping to the obligatory visit to my Lyme doctor. Yet the best laid plans often go awry.  I wanted to inject a little light-hearted anticipation into the week instead of following the same routine as always. Then only feeling tired at the end of getting all the ‘to do’ list done, but nothing that really made me crack that “I’ve had a wonderful experience smile,” which has been missing for too long. It didn’t need to be anything astronomical, or expensive, just something my husband and I could do, out of our normal routine and lighten the everyday routine. Remember, best laid plans and all that jazz.

Okay, this was going to be a little easier than I thought, when I realised my doctor’s appointment was at 7pm. It’s a three-hour drive up to see him, which meant that it would be a long day for me if we made a round trip when we couldn’t leave until after 8.30pm. Checking out the local Bed and Breakfast places in Maleny or close by wasn’t very hopeful at first. It’s a beautiful place to visit and at this time of year, coming into summer, even more so. So when we found a lovely place at Wootha, available for us, it was an immediate winner. At the top of the range and overlooking the valley towards the Glasshouse mountains, I could feel the tension draining away just thinking about it. But I forgot about Murphy’s Law and the best laid plans warning. I sent up my request to my angels for a nice break and off we went.

Even in the air conditioning of the car it was hot. I don’t travel well in the heat and the medication has my blood and body super heated at the ‘best’ of times just now. The blazing sun beat mercilessly through the windscreen like a well stoked furnace. I have a magnificent  case of hives so the heat was adding a new dimension to the itchy torture. (Best laid plans again).  But distracted by the scenery, we arrived and breathed a sigh of relief. It’s amazing what a heartfelt plea for relief can do to ease sorely troubled minds and bodies. Unpacked, a quick refresher and off to the local ice cream shop for one of the most magnificent ice cream cones imaginable. All locally sourced produce and heavenly taste. For one of the very rare times, brain freeze was – worthwhile.

Apart from a long discussion of what’s next, needing to return early the next morning for bloods to be taken, there were no real surprises from the doctor. We had been looking forward to a sleep in and leisurely breakfast, but we could get around that too. Our hosts were only too gracious in offering to let us have breakfast after the test. I was woken through the night by the sound of an unusual barking noise. Not a dog but a fox barking to her young. After a look outside under the full moon, where of course I could see nothing, I returned to my comfortable bed to listen to the possums running across the roof and into the trees, noisily talking to one another.

We awoke to the sounds of the Rainbow Lorikeets making a raucous noise around the bend in the verandah where the owners fed them each day. It really was a colourful display.

Off to the doctor and a small procedure later I was waiting for the nurse to take blood.  That’s when things went ‘off plan’. My ‘best laid plan’ went up in smoke, but not up the needle. Once, twice, three times and still no blood. Again – once, twice, three times and as she removed the needle the blood flowed freely – too late!  I was feeling hot and more than a little bothered. I heard someone say “adrenal surge’ after the procedure and I would have to see the collection office in town. Oh well, it could have been worse I suppose. That was an errant thought which came back to haunt me later. In the interim the nurse suggested breakfast and a drink and get the tests done later.  No arguments here, nor from my husband, the gentleman in the peanut gallery offering hilarious solutions to the lack of blood. It’s always funny watching from the sidelines, I know I’ve been there too, but silently!

Welcomed back into the cool sanctuary of the home we quickly went to freshen up. Then it was back into the dining area where we were greeted with a freshly squeezed orange juice and a huge selection of fresh fruit, rhubarb and peach compotes and local yoghurt with the hostess’ own muesli blend.  The entertainment from the birds continued as we were served with a delightful cheese souffle, accompanied by fresh asparagus spears and bacon. I have never yet managed to get a souffle to rise as beautifully as this, and it almost melted in your mouth.  Refreshed and hunger assuaged we settled back with a cup of tea.

It was hard to tear ourselves away but…. the pathology needed visiting before we could enjoy walking around town. Then we hit a larger snag to our ‘best laid plan’. After waiting quite a while in the surgery, since no-one told us we could just walk up and knock on the door, (usually I wait to be called in when it’s my turn), I went in and after she spent ten minutes deciphering all the requests she pronounced sentence, “You haven’t eaten, eggs, nuts, banana, etc, etc this morning have you?” she said. “It really should be a fasting test!” Well, that was that. Best laid plan up in smoke and not going out that day!
Not her fault but I was thoroughly put out. Finding her in town was one thing, waiting for her another, then to be told she  couldn’t do it anyway. UGH!  We walked around town, somewhat jaded, and I have to admit I was hot and itchy by now before finally settling for a visit to my favourite crystal shop to soak up those lovely vibes. Not a total waste then. We left feeling soothed by all that crystal energy and set off back to Byron.

I’m sorry to say the strain was too much, I really can’t take the heat and I fell asleep on the way home. I woke up in agony and had to be helped inside the house. Thankfully one plan I made had worked out magnificently. Knowing I would be away I had posts ready and scheduled for publishing, so I met my NaBloPoMo challenge and I’ve been tweaking photos and today’s blog.

It was to be an easy day. My tests are booked in and a mountain of messages have been attended to. Photos are all downloaded and labelled. Have you ever noticed how the names escape you if you don’t label them immediately? Brain fog, that’s my reason, that and the heat which fries my brain.

Here’s a lovely picture of the storm lilies which came out after the storm we had on the weekend. Delicate shade of pink on the edges, just beautiful.

Best laid plans

Storm lilies

I hope you enjoy the views as much as we do. Plans are meant to be broken and sometimes you get amazing surprises as a result. If we hadn’t had our plans altered we wouldn’t have been able to spend time watching the birds, seen the King and Pale Headed parrots, which don’t hang around with the noisy Lorikeets. The Fire Tailed Finch was a real treat. It felt like we were being fortified for the disappointment we had no idea was coming. I’m grateful for that blessing.

Blessings to all.

Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Learning How to Breathe Again

image from spirit_elements-www-josephinewall-co.uk

“I thought about having a proper room, breathing life into it, and nobody minding.”
― Jenny Valentine, Broken Soup

Arriving at the airport in Athens to catch the El Al plane to Israel was the beginning of something totally unexpected. The entire place was bustling despite the early hour. Needless to say the El Al departure gate was at the furthest end of the airport. Arriving in Athens I had realised I had over packed, but by then it was too late to do anything about it. After hauling my cases (2) to the El Al checkpoint I was unconcerned when I was shepherded to the side to have my luggage checked. After all, I had nothing to be concerned about. Had I?

Enter one of the most handsome men I had seen in a long time. Pointing at my large suitcase he indicated I should place it on the waist high bench and open it. OK, everything was tied down really well so as soon as I unclipped the straps the clothes jumped up another eight inches – at least. Not content with that embarrassment I was then amazed to see him painstakingly go through everything in my case, and then the second case. I mean EVERYTHING – bras, pants, the lot! By the time he had finished inspecting them there was this mangled mess of clothing and toiletries on the lids of the suitcases. Smiling beguilingly he told me I could repack my bags and join the queue to get a boarding pass.

Learning to Breathe

image from http://www.live4.com.au         Too much of a good thing is still too much!

Time – I couldn’t forget the time. It was running through my mind over and over with the idea that I might miss my connection. I knew I shouldn’t have packed so much! So when I finally got to weighing my bag I breathed a sigh of relief. A sigh which was very short lived. Over weight! On Singapore it was only two kilos over which they waived. On El Al the weight permitted was much less and I was eight kilos over! OMG. Take the bag back and haul ass to the counter to pay for the excess baggage. Of course the counter was two thirds of the way back up the concourse, a very long concourse, and I had to take my luggage with me.

Thank heavens for a very helpful Greek airport staff guy. He hauled the big case and I grabbed the second and off we trotted. The trot became a gallop as we tried to get to the counter. Of course they wanted cash which I didn’t have as I was leaving. Finally they put it through on my Visa, mainly thanks to my Greek friend and we began the mad dash back to the El Al departure point. After a very frosty look from the lady behind the El Al counter I escaped towards the departure lounge. The fun was just beginning though.

Boarding a plane is fairly standard, right? There’s the squeezing between the seats and trying to get your luggage in the overhead racks, getting into your seat and settling down. This was completely different and people were going every which way, apparently without any rhyme or reason. Seats seemed to be taken as they wished and it felt as though chaos ruled the day. Amazingly, all the seats were filled and the plane left on time.

However! As soon as the plan set off down the runway seat belts started popping open and by the time we were airborne most of the passengers were wandering all over the place, talking, from one side of the plane to the other and from back to the front, and all in Hebrew. The odd one out wasn’t even close. I huddled down and tried to remain inconspicuous. Not very likely but there you have it. I did receive some rather odd looks which I interpreted as “what on earth are you doing here”?

The trip from Athens to Tel Aviv was just over an hour long and the passengers milled around the plane for the entire trip. I’m not even sure if they sat down for the landing, and the disembarkation felt like a free for all to get off first.

Learning to Breathe

image from http://www.itnews.com.au                 Why are you here?     

Arriving at the passport check in was reasonably straight forward; just follow the queue, yet not quite. The Israelis walked through their gate at a fast pace whilst I joined a much smaller queue. I handed over my passport and then had my first ever taste of being on the receiving end of an interrogation. Why was I coming to Israel? Why was I alone? Was I meeting someone? Did I know anyone here? Had I come to find a husband? A husband?! I had just managed to divest myself of the last mistake so I most definitely wasn’t looking for another. After I explained that I was divorced she relaxed, until she asked me for my maiden name since I didn’t have my husband’s surname.

Oh! Well. Hmm. I had changed my name by deed poll after my divorce and chosen a name I liked, so I couldn’t give her my maiden name as a reference either. That didn’t go over very well so we went through all the previous questions again. It was obvious she didn’t like me and didn’t believe I wasn’t there to snare some poor unwary Israeli guy for my next husband.  Eventually, as the last person in the checkpoint left and I was there alone, one of the other men came around to see what all the fuss was about. I don’t speak Hebrew but the rapid fire statements from her gave me the feeling she would have loved to send me back. Thankfully he must have out ranked her and I tiredly walked through the checkpoint to get my luggage. I was the last person in the airport and my greeter had vanished.

Learning to Breathe

image from jewishcentralvoice.com                       Tel Aviv

After many phone calls and what felt like a long wait but was probably only a half an hour I was met by a nice guy who shepherded me to his vehicle and we set off for the hotel. I was thrilled to have a running commentary of all the sights and history as we traveled into Tel Aviv.

The strangest part of all, despite the language barrier and the quasi interrogation at the airport, there was a real feeling of coming home. I took my first deep breath in a long time and realised I had started to feel relaxed. It really felt quite strange.

Next week – A blend of new worlds

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Lady in Red

Susan with the red feather boa

A few years ago I somehow managed to get the nickname as  “The Lady in Red”.  I guess it was the closest song anyone could find since there wasn’t a song about the lady in the red feather boa!  Just to prove that there was more to “The  Lady in Red” than a feather boa I have added this… All photos were part of a celebration of life retrieved and being lived to the full, for the very first time.

Lady in Red

The Lady in Red taking it easy

So, this is for you “Wild Thang”, just to prove I could, would and definitely can and did! 🙂

~~

~~

I love this film, for the story and what might be. The hope, the fairytale ending and the beautiful lady in the red dress.

My fairytale ending….

Lady in Red

Wedding Day 2011

Sorry, this one wasn’t in red.

“At times it may seem as though you and your past are one. Sometimes we fail to differentiate between what has happened to us and who we are today. If you have a hard time getting beyond that damaging mind-set let me encourage you right now. You are not your past Although you are changed and shaped by past experiences who you were yesterday does not control the person you have the potential to become tomorrow.”
― Sue Augustine, When Your Past Is Hurting Your Present

Ciao, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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