Friday, July 29


This woman's work is always brilliant.


Kath has asked me to participate in this little meme about - id·i·o·syn·cra·sy - A structural or behavioural characteristic peculiar to an individual or group. Write down five of your own personal idiosyncracies. Then, if you wish, tag five people.

1. I bite my nails horrendously.
2. I hate and detest shoes in the house - I'm also paranoid about dog shit.
3. I am a list maker
4. I can eat rice anytime anywhere - and I love food that goes crunch.
5. I am perceptive and can read and feel alot about a person when I look them in the eyes.

Kath, thanks for asking me - you also left out point number 5 by the way. And Happy Birthday!

Now I'm tagging:

Kim, Tony, Rosa, Caliope & Connie & Milva - take the challenge if you wish - and don't worry if you don't want to.

Mount Kosciuszko

mount kosciuszko
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
This is Australia's highest mountain - at 2228 metres high - not high in world terms but high enough.

In summer you can climb it easily. The day we ascented we had sparkling blues skies and a chilly wind that almost knocked you back down the mountain. We got such a buffeting but it was well worth it. Coming down was easier with the wind behind us - it was easier to run than walk and so the descent was very quick.

Well worth seeing in summer and winter.


Be Alert Not Alarmed

be alert not alarmed
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
Because we do live in dangerous times.


pastel beach
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
These colours really talk to me today.


stretchy family
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
This is one of me, my sister, her oldest daughter and our Mum (and a boy we don't know). It was one of the sculptures at Tamarama a couple of years ago. I always love those crazy mirrors.


It's my 20th school reunion tonight. It's going to be low key - and apparently we're not going to have a huge turn out which is so unfortunate - we couldn't get in touch with alot of the girls. I don't know whether to blame that on the lack of real organisation, the fact that women often change their names when they marry or because the girls themselves haven't made contact with the school and don't want to be involved.

When we were very underage, we frequented several pubs in the eastern suburbs. One of them has now been totally yupped up and gentrified and we thought it might be apt heading on back there.

I'm still in touch with only 7 girls I spent those 6 years with - so I wonder whether I'm going to discover anyone tonight who I should have befriended better all those years ago.

Wednesday, July 27

Call me a Bitch, but......

What is up with Rhonda Burchmore in that Riva ad? That is pure weirdness. And the accent?


This place is 35 minutes from my house. It's national park, and one of Sydneys's natural harbours - or flooded river valleys. Stunning huh?

Narrow Neck

narrow neck 20-7-03
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
This is about 2 hours from my house and is part of the Blue Mountains - a sandstone escarpment. On this walk that day we hardly saw any other people. It was pure serenity.

How out of touch can you be?

A woman who gave birth to her son in a toilet bowl, despite having a sterilisation procedure months earlier, has been given permission to sue for damages in the Supreme Court.

Gail Theresa Taylor was granted permission to bring her case despite the time that has elapsed since the surprise 1997 birth of her son, David. As well as claiming for nervous shock, the Central Coast woman is suing for the cost of raising her son, who has cerebral palsy.

Associate Justice Bryan Malpass heard that Ms Taylor and her partner, Michael Garlick, were in poor financial circumstances and already had three children. Ms Taylor attended Wyong Hospital for a tubal ligation on May 6, 1997.

Four months later, on September 11, Ms Taylor said she went to the toilet. "I had passed a very small amount of urine when I looked down and saw a miniature baby's head. I stood up and quite simply caught my son in my hands." She said she screamed for help, and when she sat down again her placenta ruptured, causing huge blood loss and a "very gruesome scene indeed".

She said it was when she went to see a gynaecologist in 1999 and had a hysterectomy that she became aware she was pregnant at the time of the tubal ligation, and a mistake may have been made.

Lawyers for the Central Coast Area Health Service and the doctor who carried out the procedure, Dr John Palmer, argued that Ms Taylor and Mr Garlick should not be allowed to bring the case due to the inability to locate records.

I always find these stories so hard to believe - how can you not know you are pregnant?

The Hoff Mann

Because I don't work in an office anymore and therefore don't have access to this sort of thing, this story leads me to tell you my own David Hasselhoff anecdote. When I was still at school, I had a Thursday night job at a hair salon in the city. I worked with fantastic women there - very strong, independent, intelligent women and the clientele were upwardly mobile male city workers. All very interesting for a naive 15 year old. One of the permanent staff was a transexual. An amazing woman, who had had a hard life, but was very resilient, had great yarns, was incredibly glamourous - she looked like a young Rachel Welch - and had all the men falling at her feet. But that's all by the by. My Hoffers story is this: out in the back room the girls had collected a wall of men, loads of them with no clothes on - including David Hasselhof. Who actually probably had one of the longest of the dicks on show. While waiting for the kettle to boil making client's tea and coffee, I would peruse the wall and I honestly have to say, despite not feeling one inch of lust for David Hasselhoff, for some weird reason I would always ending up staring at him and his long dick.

Is anyone working in an office where this phenomena is happening or does anyone else have a Hoffers story to share?

Tuesday, July 26

I Just Don't Get It!

Horse racing is not glamourous. Why do a whole bunch of people actually care about seeing and being seen at a Spring Carnival? This is sick, depraved, and so superficial it makes me sick.

Horse racing is about gambling. That's all. And about extravagantly wealthy people using whatever means possible to get their horses over the line first.

This sick obsession about deciding on which dress, shoes, make-up, nail-polish, a hat or a fascinator, the handbag etc etc to wear to a bloody race-track is doing my head in. Do these women get so done up because they actually think they're going to find a rich man out there - their Prince Charming - or is it because we have so few opportunities these days to really dress up and show off that we'll take any old event like a horse race meet to do it?

And what the hell is a fascinator anyway? An incredibly ugly and stupid accessory that's what!

Don't you just want to have one of your own.

Self Portrait Tuesday

mirror project 2
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
Well done to Kath for getting this project up and running and to Joy who has morphed it further at flickr.

OK I know this is a terrible shot - nothing clever at all about it - but it is of me and so suits this purpose.

Monday, July 25


Hang's still July (winter) and it's 23 degrees. What's going on?

Got the Water bill today and it's so weird because we have changed our usage to a seriously conservative level and our bill says we're using more water than ever. We've always been waterwise, I think I started thinking like this back when I was a teenager and first thought about our climate and the precious commodity that water is for us. And JD being a German - well they've got to be the greenest most progressive country in the world. We water the plants 2/3rds less, flush the loo every 2nd or 3rd time, have shorter showers, never ever wash the cars. How can this be so?

This head always makes me smile and thought it fits my mood today just perfectly.

Sunday, July 24

Weekend Roundup

It's actually been a nice weekend, despite a few fuckups and some tediousness.

JD has been wanting a rug for our living room since we moved in more than 3 years ago. He didn't think it felt cosy without one on our hard wooden floors. Finally we went in search of one. We drove all the way out to an IKEA near Homebush. This meant driving approximately 30 minutes west along one of Sydney's most ugly streets - Parramatta Road. It's car yard after car yard, bumper to bumper smog filled air disgustingness.

Anyway, it's all an experience and we got a rug, that we like, from IKEA. Now I love ruggy so much I can't stop lying on it. And I even love it despite it shedding itself all over the house in huge woollen fluff balls. So our home is now an even cosier haven.

Stuffed ourselves stupid at Sagar South Indian as a reward for enduring all that smog - Masala Dosai, Lamb Varutha & Malabar Fish Curry - yummmmmmmmmmmm.

To top the night off - watched the 3rd day of the Test - stunning stuff - cricket was definitely the winner and the Tour de France - just awesome.

Walked a lap of Centennial Park today - first time in months. It was like summer had returned today - it was really beautiful there.

Couldn't get our computer to recognise our new adsl modem - and Telstra's helpline couldn't help either - they gave up after an hour. Brilliant. Frustrating as hell. Then JD started work again on chipping back the sandstone slab at the fireplace - and while cleaning up the vacuum cleaner bag burst spewing sandstone dust all over the entire house, filling our lungs and eyes and clothes and hair and covering every surface. Brilliant. Just what you need on a Sunday afternoon when you're starving and want to get started with dinner.

And now with nicely stuffed bellies once again, we're feeling fantastic, relaxed, happy and loving playing on ruggy.


Happy Birthday sweet Doll!

Today Doll turns 2 years old. I was at her birth - just like I was for her big sister 3 years before that. My sister is a true sight to behold when giving birth. She does it all natural and for Doll she did it at home with 2 gorgeous midwives helping. It was such an amazing experience, and like Doll's grandmother, she is a home birth child.

Here is a shot of Doll at less than 3 minutes old. And the following one is Jindi wanting to get very involved with her new baby sister - I remember one of the first things she said about her "She smells funny".


I love you very much - lots of love

Saturday, July 23

Itchy Feet

That cooped up feeling is getting me down again. I really feel the need to be in a new totally foreign place with different smells and colours and people. I feel most alive when I'm travelling - and that could be anywhere, even just out of town a few hours away. But definitely I feel the need for a bigger proper trip somewhere new on the planet.

My world has become quite small since hooking up with JD. When I lived in Germany, we holidayed here in Australia. And now that we live here, we holiday back there. Because of the restrictions of 4 weeks holiday a year the world has shrunk down to 2 countries and that feels shitty.

In a couple of months JD has got a project in Germany for several months, so I'll be joining him half way through, which is going to be cool because it's in the former East German part, which will all be new to me and also close to places like The Czech Republic and Poland and loads of interesting east German cities like Dresden and Leipzig. And we won't be far from Berlin which is one of my all time favourite cities.

So instead of travelling I've been looking through old photos and just found some from my trip tp southern Spain 2 years ago to see friends. Estapona is near Malaga, and one of the coolest things I remember was being able to see the lights in Morocco and Gibralta - I really didn't know how close to Africa Europe is down there.







I love road trips. Just taking off and discovering and seeing nature and beauty. My eyes seem
to soak
everything up. Like I can see more and notice all the small details. I think I'm going
to have to organise
for us to have a little weekend away somewhere very very soon.

Friday, July 22

What is going On?

Has the game of Test cricket turned into the One-Day game? Is the pitch contributing to the over abundance of wickets? Have today's batsmen lost all sense of watching the ball, playing yourself in, keeping your head down, hitting ONLY the balls that need to be hit? Or are these bowlers and fielders full über cricket gods that are just out-witting each other?

Whatever it is, this game has got it all happening. Runs, wickets, blood, tears, records, history.

How can anyone say cricket is boring?

And as I sit here, the Poms are all out and the Aussies lead by 35 on the 2nd day before lunch.


Excellent news. JD's Dad is now in recovery and all went well with the operation. It was a day of anxiousness and nervousness and worry and now we can breathe again.


Of course he isn't entirely out of the woods so to speak - but for now this small battle has been won. Here is a picture from 2 years ago - seeing him like this is like a lifetime ago.

And while our thoughts are with loved ones in Germany right now here are some of the things I enjoyed on that trip Easter 2003.




Family Matters

And on the subject of family, last night we celebrated (a few days early), the 2nd anniversary of the birth of my 2nd niece Doll. She totally loved that it was all for her and soaked up being spoilt and made special for the night. Her real birthday is this Sunday but she'll be down south with her family all weekend.

Happy Birthday also to Gus & Annika & Max who all turn 1 this week.

Thursday, July 21

Day Trippers

Here are 3 lovely places that are all within easy reach of my home
and rejuvenate the soul.

Part of the sandstone escarpment and the northern edge of the
Blue Mountains.

A small temperate rain forest is also in this area - with
beautiful old tall trees and waterfalls.

This is a shot of me and JD. We saw whales this day - we'd
been bragging to our friend TD that we always see whales at
this spot, he being the cynic didn't believe us until he saw
them with his own eyes, pretty much on cue as we arrived.

In the Nose

At the height of the SARS epidemic a couple of years ago I was about to fly to Europe by myself - to see & help out JD's family, and see friends in Spain. The day before the flight I had freaked myself out so much that I was going to get SARS - yes I am rather paranoid at times - and I wanted to limit the amount of contact I was going to have with fellow commuters and airport staff in Singapore. I especially hate the toilets on planes and how dirty they get a few hours into a flight.

My darling JD unselfishly gave me 100,000 of his well earned Qantas points and I upgraded myself there and back from cattle to business class.

On check in I was feeling rather chuffed and arrogant as I stood in the business class line and I never looked at my boarding pass until I was walking down the ramp to door of the plane, wanting it to all be a surprise when I got to my seat knowing it could be either great or excellent - I was actually hoping to be upstairs in the top deck.
As I handed the flight attendant my card, and then saw her pointing down the aisle to the back of the plane, I slowly started to realise what an idiot I'd been for not having looked sooner. My allocated seat was 68D. Not good and not what I'd organised.

I made my way back to the desk in the airport where I started to describe the misunderstanding. What happened next was appalling. Firstly they looked me up and down not believing my story. Then they man handled me, threatening that if I didn't get on the plane now - they would take my bags off and I wouldn't fly at all. They raised their voices which was highly embarrassing and started going red in the face they were so angry with me. The whole time not once did they listen to my request to contact the Frequent Flyer (FF) program people to see if I was telling the truth. I was in shock and close to tears and felt they were really treating me badly and intimidating me. I called JD & my Mum to try and sort it out, but FF had them on hold for so long that I was left with no other option but to take my seat in row 68.

Within minutes of sitting down, I was given a bottle of Bollinger, a business class toiletry bag, magazines, and many apologies. The entire way to Singapore I got extra special treatment. Why were they treating me like this if they didn't believe my story, and if they believed my story then why didn't they just give me my seat in business?

Just before take off JD assured me he would have everything sorted for the next longer leg to Frankfurt. On arrival in Singapore, I checked the transit desk straight away. Before I even spoke they said "Ms. D", and I said "yes" and they gave me my new boarding card. 3A sounded pretty good to me.
It was in the nose end. There were lots of wealthy looking people around me. Everyone knew it was my first time - as I didn't know where anything was or how to use anything, but several people helped me - the atmosphere was cosy not stuffy at all. Everyone changed into the Qantas pajamas. It was surreal. The flight attendants were so über friendly and helpful. The only bummer was that I was so tired from not having slept a wink on the Sydney-Singapore leg because I was fuming and irritated by what had happened that I promptly fell asleep as the first meal was put in front of me. I hadn't eaten much since getting on in Sydney and my blood sugar levels must have been so low that when they woke me up for breakfast I felt so nauseas and dizzy - and instead of relishing the amazing food in front of me - I had to run quickly to the loo. As I held my head over that loo I was so grateful it was a nice clean 1st class loo instead of a scummy SARS infested poo saturated stinking economy class one.

Once I'd arrived back home in Australia, I complained to Qantas about their hideous treatment. After a couple of months I received an apology and $200 worth of David Jones gift vouchers. Nice enough of them but I would have preferred the lack of drama and intimidation.

Wednesday, July 20

I Love this Place

I just want to show you a few things that I love about where I live. This is something probably more for all those Aussies abroad who may be feeling homesick, or for anyone who hasn't yet been down to this beautiful land.
Our national flower.

A view from the Botanical Gardens. Sydney has a real mix
of architectural styles.

Probably our most famous man made structure.

A beautiful sea creature with a sting attached.

A great place to stay fit over the winter.

The bush can be found only half an hour out of the city.

An all year flowerer.

Still wonderful in winter.

1 More Sleep

Maybe I'm being all nostalgic, but I'm so hoping that a non commercial coverage is going to make the cricket more like how I watched it as a kid. Good luck SBS - I hope this Ashes series rates it's
**** off!!! Start time 7.30pm tomorrow night.

Speaking Up

Chen Yonglin, the Chinese defector, flew out of Australia yesterday to give evidence to a US congressional human rights committee.

The Australian Government described the hearing, as an opportunity for Mr Chen to substantiate claims that China spied on and harassed pro-democracy activists in Australia.

This move will definitely increase tensions between Australia and China.

Mr Chen was given a protection visa by the Australian Government last month, six weeks after he abandoned his position as first secretary at the Chinese consulate in Sydney and sought political asylum.

Mr Chen says that as a consular official he was ordered to spy on pro-democracy activists in Australia, notably the Falun Gong group, which Beijing brands a seditious cult.

The sub-committee is to examine alleged human rights abuses by the Chinese Government against Falun Gong members.

Good luck to Mr Chen. I think he is being incredibly brave and unselfish in speaking out like this.

Tuesday, July 19

World's Greatest Living Icon

Yesterday Nelson Mandela turned 87.

I have a personal story to tell about Mandela. Back in the 90's I was a member of the Anti-Apartheid movement in Sydney. When Mandela came to Sydney after his release from prison (and who can forget the images being played live the night he walked out of Robben Island prison), I was invited to a special meeting to be held in the crypt of St. Mary's Cathedral. I cannot remember so much about what was said that day, but what I do remember is Mandela's presence.

He was brilliant. He is much taller than you imagine, and back then he stood before us so dignified, so humble - I had tears in my eyes the entire time. I was standing only 2 metres from him when he addressed us, thanked us, spoke wise words of wisdom to us, and then we all sang the now National Anthem of South Africa. The acoustics in the crypt only added to the beauty of this event. I had eye contact with him several times. And then it was all over. Everyone stood in 2 rows and he walked between us shaking hands as he passed. Unfortunately he turned the other way when he came to me. I was crushed. I couldn't believe I wouldn't have my own moment with him. I needed more. So I ran to the end of the line, and stood and waited. And I shook hands with the great man and told him he was wonderful. He laughed and then it was over. I was on a huge high for weeks after that. This is still one of the most memorable and significant experiences of my life.

Happy Birthday Mr. Nelson Mandela!

Love & Revolution

His story. Her story. Their story.
A truly beautiful and amazing coming together of spirits and minds. I find them both charming and fascinating.

You can read more about her life with the East Timorese leader in her book "A Woman of Independence".

And if you want to know more about what is going on with East Timor right now, and the Fair Deal for East Timor, including knowing more about the maritime borders between Australia and East Timor this new site can provide alot of information.

Self Portrait Tuesday

Bondi 2004
Originally uploaded by love life live love.
I was looking for that shot yesterday of the black cockatoos - remembering it as something much better, way more close up of the actual birds themselves - and came across this shot of me enjoying the beach at the end of last year. It's winter here, mornings are only 7 degrees and icy, and my gas heater is on pretty much the whole day. Looking at this makes me want to organise a holiday up north somewhere for the weekend - just to get this chill out of my bones. I guess I shouldn't whinge - I endured far colder than this for months on end whilst living in Hannover.

For a whole host of people contributing to this growing community check out Kath's links.

Monday, July 18

Stop Making No Sense

Sometimes I try to catch Newshour with Jim Lehrer. A US News show on SBS every night. Last Friday night I saw an interview with Lt. Gen. John Vines - the head honcho in charge of The Coalition. One of the questions he was asked was something like - What are The Coalition up against at the moment and why are they there? His answer was strange to say the least. It went something like this:

A small group of religious fanatics are trying to take charge and use their vile ways to rule the country. An even larger group of former Regimists are also trying to get back the power that was taken when we got Saddam. But an even larger number of Sunni Arab rejectionists or Nationals, who are completely opposed to any non Iraqis being in Iraq meaning any foreign armies are the major source of problems for us at the moment.

So my question is this: Who are the Iraqi's who have been put into power by The Coalition and why are they not respected and wanted by alot of Iraqis? And what outcome will the Coalition be willing to accept as a victory or success in order that they will pull out and leave Iraq? Weren't we in Iraq because they had WMD and because we had to rid Iraq and the world of Saddam? Umm, it has been proven there were no WMD and Saddam is well gone.

Guys, how much bullsh*t do you expect us to keep on believing?


Today is the last day of the school holidays - well for public school kids anyway. My sister and her girls wanted to do something very chilled out and so we met down at Nielsen for a few hours. It was so warm in the sun and the wind soon stopped after we arrived. An altogether lovely start to the week. And lucky me, the black cockatoos visited again very early today - this photo is from last Spring when I huge flock were flying overhead at Centennial Park. Yes they are the microscopic black dots in the air. I will endeavour to snap something more appropriate.

Sunday, July 17

Up & Down

A full cold southerly was blasting through my 4 layers of clothing and the sand was cold on my feet but it didn't matter at all. Regardless of what the weather might be doing it is always restorative and healing being at the beach near the waters edge.

The surf was going off. There were some amazing surfers out - and a couple of professional surf photographers were getting the best shots I'm sure. Our little camera couldn't capture much - but look closely at this one - that is not the horizon in the back - that is a wall of water. It was huge.

Visited the gang MSJH at Bondi later for afternoon tea and then we managed to have a wonderful afternoon nap. So we were feeling fantastic until J called his brother in Germany and found out that his very ill Dad will probably need to have an operation - which is all very scary considering his fragile condition. We'll found out more in the next couple of days, but J is already saying he wants to be there if the operation is to go ahead - and I think I should be there too.


I am just feeling so good!

Yesterday was the day for garage sales around town. I went to just one and bought these little gems.


Visits from friends in the afternoon somehow led us to going hunting to buy a swivel arm thingo - like a pivotelli for the tv. Now it's installed and screwed on the wall and we're looking at the tv and dvd suspended in mid air and are scratching our heads and asking ourselves "is that cool or is that just really really ugly?".


Treated ourselves to dinner at Pazzo. They kindly squeezed us in. Had to die for food. Baked sardines with an amazing onion tomatoe salsa and then crispy chicken with porcini mushrooms and potato cake with slow cooked capsicum deliciousness and topped off with a lemon polenta tart with lemon zabliogne - or how do you spell that??

And now while I wait for a load of clothes to spin out, I've found a couple of new blogs to enjoy and my gorgeous JD is whistling "She's Leaving Home" while working on the bridge of his new guitar which makes me feel very very happy.

Hi to my darling Milva - hope the yoga and space is helping you feel better.

The day is so über gorgeous - blue blue sky and chilly. A walk on the beach is absolutely necessary. Gotta run.

Friday, July 15

The Week that Was in Pictures

We are baby sitting Naoeme's orchid - and it's just started flowering and now I really don't want to give it back.


Jindi stayed the night. Doll didn't - she is still too young to stay, and our narrow steep staircase is so not baby friendly - I just wouldn't stop worrying the whole time. We had the usual fun and craziness - lots of games and laughs and sparklers - she is too funny.


In the big clean up this week we wondered why we'd been hanging on to so much crap - including lots of old bottles. Dumb. Dust catchers. And now GONE to the recyclers. Had to take a shot of this label - at something like $300 a bottle it may be the only time I have one of these in my possession. And yes it was the best wine I have ever tasted. Smooth and fine!!


School holidays scream Luna Park. And so did we on the giant slides. The Ferris Wheel was also really cool with an awesome view of the harbour. The girls could have stayed the whole day.


Mum and I took Doll to the park today to see the birds (not feed) and have a play. It's hard to believe all these birds live a 5 minute drive from my house. All of the playgrounds were over the top crowded - I suppose that was to be expected on the last day of the holidays on a fine wintery day.