give hope to refugees – world refugee day 2017


I was waiting for a take away cappuccino. The cafe is on the water, the view is ridiculous. I had a little lemon polenta cake in an environmentally friendly cardboard box in one hand and my iPhone in the other.

I could tell the man next to me wanted to talk. ‘A homeless person could run in here, grab two of those meals (off the pass) and have a bloody good feed’. We’re a long way from any homeless people here…

‘I was in the city the other day, there’s so many homeless and we should be helping our own, stop this refugee nonsense with all the terrorism going on’ (um…we’ve been fairly insulated from terrorist acts so far, down under. and yes it’s the day after world refugee day – way to give hope to refugees!)

me: ‘How do you tell genuine refugees from terrorists? They need our help just as much as our own homeless.’

‘No, we just need to stop letting anyone in.’

me: (nice!) ‘Well…have you seen the images of what they’re escaping in Syria for example? We’re so lucky here, we have to help!’

coffee ready, conversation over, photograph view on way out…

still swirling in my head – you saw so many homeless, we should help our own first, and so what are you doing to help? did you speak to any, did you give them a bottle of water, a piece of fruit, did you ask if they have family somewhere, or a place in a shelter to sleep in that night?

a group of women meet at my house regularly and for 3 years now we’ve been knitting scarves and beanies which we pass on to local homelessness support organisations, and shelters…when I’m tucked up in bed on these cold winter nights I hope we’ve helped just a little xx


addicted to a sea view – or, last day at the beach house

I imagine I see whales spouting and breaching all the time now, but it’s just the wild wild sea. Murky green after this morning’s steel dark grey.

It’s going that way. Later it might come back the other way. All the smallest creatures under the surface have no say in their destiny – pulled in the direction of the wind. I know our own human lives are predetermined by karma but we have free will to change direction. I think some sea life doesn’t have the strength to go any way, other than as the tide takes them. Go with the flow – mentally liberating?

Where are the whales when they aren’t breaching? When playtime is over what do they do? Did they know it was the weekend, were they showing off for the audience, does our awe give them pleasure? How do we affect them as they wow us?

The sea holds such a fascination. I want to know what’s going on in the depths, but I don’t want to go there…

I hope the big wind comes soon. Two a.m. is a scary time for the howling to begin.

animals as therapy

I am so grateful that there isn’t a tree somewhere that I feel compelled to tie a teddy to. I drove past one today. I drove that colonial bush track to the beach. Escaping my house, my life again, just for a few days. My road to bliss is someone else’s slippery slope to hell.

So I did give pause to think about them, child and grieving parent, but in my own world I’m seeing smiles. Two long, weekend days in the office behind me – two fifths of a course done, and feeling blessed to have met and spent time with the participants. A wealth of Buddhist knowledge floating in the air as I work.

And more joy? I saw an echnida as I started the track! That was a first. Safely navigated the crossing at speed, I’m not sure why I assumed they moved slower than that.  Then, I had just arrived at the beach when the young ones called out ‘WHALES’. Second time in my life, second time in two weeks, whales off the balcony. Whale playtime! One behind another mother and child breached over and over and over. An olympic butterfly race from one headland to the other and I had the best seat in the stands. Magic.

ready, set, write – what’s your story?

The Daily Post : Free Writing

Men. That’s what I’m thinking about – why don’t I have one, where can I find one.

I’ve been single for so long, I so rarely meet anyone new, I have absolutely no idea how to have a relationship.

This past weekend was one love fuelled few days. Surrounded by happiness, friends wishing them well. So much joy. Jaws aching from smiling. And then nothing. The flatness that descended with the night. A big fat reminder of alone. The empty marquee. All the fun and noise sucked out of the garden as the caterers whisked away the plates, first chairs, then tables, then speakers carried back up the driveway.

Ah but what a festival it was. And yes, I want that too. Not a wedding! but the loved up feeling for sure. For me.

So…exactly how am I going to achieve that? Of course I don’t know or I’d have managed it long ago.

Three of us were talking at work today. One has just started a new relationship and she radiates peaceful happiness. The other is originally from South America and she says that in her culture, in her home town, it’s not acceptable to just ignore the fact that someone is single. The community will go out of its way to match you with someone and it Will happen! She has found, since moving to Oz, that it never happens here. Your happily ever after paired friends will not think to introduce you to their single friends – and isn’t it embarrassing to ask? I think it is… but here, I’ll lay it out there.

Do you have single friends? Don’t even bother asking them if they’d like to meet someone. Don’t set them up on blind dates – you can’t always be sure who’s going to be a good match for who. How about asking them round for a meal though. With options. Ask a few single people at a time I mean not just one woman, one man. No obvious set ups. Wouldn’t it feel great, not just seeing your friends happy, knowing you’d gone some way towards making it happen? I can tell you I would have loved it. Give it a try and let me know how it goes 🙂

Ah well – almost 400 words of what’s on my mind. I can go back to my quiet dreams now. Wonder what he’s up to right now?

spring rain…


Tears have been falling from the sky every day since I returned from the great trip, while she lay dying in the next room. When it was done, the sun came out – you can’t tell me that’s coincidence. We warmed our bones in the backyard for just a snippet of time.

Yesterday, from the director’s chair next to her bed, I could see the bare tendrils of the frangipani swaying in the wind. Her bones barely moved as the wind whistled past the fluid at the back of her throat – periodically. 

I had an irrational want to rush around the garden, and chop everything down. How does life go on outside as though life isn’t ending inside? Environmental destruction wouldn’t halt the process…anyway, the rain is pelting down again…nature’s unrelenting sobbing echoes grief.


and we all shine on

Purple winter sky behind the stark bare trees and fashionable grey terrace walls, I could photograph you til my iPhone battery dies…

I drove round and round the neighbourhood duelling other locals for a spot near what passes for a supermarket. Mini gourmet morsels, low lighting. Suddenly, poodles have given way to labradors as the dog of choice, tied to the first house fence waiting.

It’s all imploding. I’m hanging on ok. We’ve never been good at harmony but I didn’t picture this. There’s a sibling called control. Another called confusion. And the others get on with it. Now control is absent, confusion has collapsed and the others really want to be left alone. Seriously, collapse on your own time don’t drag me into it! That may sound harsh without the back story but confusion is a never ending story of self importance and it’s always been inappropriate.

Going back to work today. Jetlag coming with me.


The lads have finally gone to sleep, peeled off, or collapsed in an ugly heap somewhere. Saturday night / early Sunday morning Belfast is a noisy noisy place. It’s hot in the hotel room and jet lag is a menace. My mind takes off in anxious directions.

The sibling, who judges even while sleeping, shares the room – not the bed thank goodness! If I were alone I’d have coffee, turn on the tv, maybe have room service but I’m the inoffensive one. I won’t wake her.

In the morning we might hop on and off the bus. We might hear about the Titanic. And the next day my daughters will be here to share excitement and love.

May all beings be well and happy.

Belfast City Hall

Belfast City Hall