You have the chance to write one last post on your blog before you stop blogging forever. Write it.


Greetings friends

Open your hearts

Open your minds

Direction helps with desire

Blogging is your community

You can do it—look for the positive

Even in tough times continue to follow your dreams

Weekly Photo Challenge: Rule of Thirds

 This week, compose your subject off-center, obeying the Rule of Thirds.

For this weeks photo challenge I have chosen photos taken last winter when kookaburras decided to visit our yard on separate occasions. Taking the photos was a challenge as I didn’t want to scare them off, but wanted to get up close enough to use the rule of thirds. For a beginner photographer I was happy with the results.

Kookaburra sits on our back fence


Kookaburra sits on our house trim



Two visiting Kookaburras

Transition Recovery House

You’re given a plot of land and have the financial resources to do what you please. What’s the plan?

If I had the resources I would open a transition recovery house for people in the later stages of recovery from their eating disorder. It would be a small facility with 6-8 beds. Its purpose would be to support during the first 90 days after discharge from hospital anyone who was transitioning from their family home to independent living and met the entry criteria. This post discharge is critical for relapse as the stress triggers reverting to old coping skills. By living in a purpose-built facility and continuing to work on recovery—new practical coping skills can be taught in the here and now.

Moving out of home is a right of passage for most young people. For anyone it is a stressful time with a rewarding goal—independence. For people living with an eating disorder without extra support this is even more difficult. Pre-requisites of my transition recovery house would include:

  • a stabilised healthy weight for the individual—based on their bodies natural set point not BMI
  • study and /or working
  • individual and group cooking
  • group food shopping
  • daily recovery work time
  • weekly group work
  • mindfulness
  • body image work including shopping for clothes
  • compulsory participation in the structured house program
  • no alcohol or drugs
  • shared chore roster
  • personal clothes washing
  • keeping psychiatrist, dietitian and  psychology appointments
  • continued control of eating disorder behaviours
  • nightly accountability groups
  • budgeting
  • meal planning
  • volunteer work

I hope that over time my recovery transition house would develop to fill any other individual needs of its housemates and teach them how to do the same.

Blue Mountains – Australia

What’s your dream tourist destination — either a place you’ve been and loved, or a place you’d love to visit? What about it speaks to you?

The beautiful Blue Mountains are located 60 kilometres from my home in Sydney. For this reason I don’t take my annual holidays there but like to visit for a weekend getaway with my husband. I love the peace and ruggedness of the area that includes rare and endangered flora and fauna. Blue Mountains are also home to some of Australia’s greatest writers and photographers due to the serenity and beauty of the area. People find it truly inspiring.

The mountains get their name from the colour they appear to be when the sunlight mixes with the oil from the eucalyptus trees that cover the area. There are 91 species of eucalyptus trees here—13% of the global total. This is one of the many reasons that in 2000 UNESCO appointed the Greater Blue Mountains Area World Heritage Site—14th in Australia. This area encompasses 7 amazing and individual National Parks some of which I have not yet explored—Blue Mountains National Park, Wollemi National Park, Yengo National Park, Nattai National Park, Kanangra-Boyd National Park, Gardens of Stone National Park and Thirlmere Lakes National Park.

The above photos are from our last visit and are from the Mt Wilson area—six weeks after devastating bush fires had raged through. We were excited to see that new life was emerging.  Internationally Australia is known for its beautiful beaches but just as important is its natural bush land very different to other parts of the world. If you ever get the chance come and spend a few days exploring any part of our beautiful Blue Mountains—they are so large you won’t be able to cover it all—do so as you will be greatly rewarded.


“Think global, act local.” Write a post connecting a global issue to a personal one.

I don’t know if eating disorders are classified as a global issue but I believe they are—statistics from 2002 state 70 million people world-wide are living with one so the number would be much greater today.

Knowing these facts are one thing, but what can be done at a personal level to help protect ourselves or our children from developing a dangerous eating disorder that has the potential to kill them. The answer is increasing low self-worth to a healthy level. Self worth is defined as “the opinion you have of your self and the value you place on yourself.”

Consider your current level of self-worth—do you believe in yourself and your abilities or is your self worth low and a struggle?

Work on improving your self-worth by focusing on the following 3 areas:

  1. Listen to your self talk – ensure you tell yourself positive statements. When a negative statement comes to mind—at least turn it into a neutral statement—even if you can’t  go all the way and make it a positive one.
  2. Give yourself permission to do one fun thing or one nurturing thing a day—because you deserve it.
  3. Set a mini goal each day that works towards your longer term goals.

So lets help to spread the growth of positivity through the world, by beginning at home. Let’s focus on supporting increased self-worth in everyone we come in contact with. Ensure that if we can’t do anything to help, we don’t do anything to make the situation worth. Self worth is improved one small step at a time—it won’t happen overnight.

Life Changing

Write about anything you’d like, but make sure the post includes this sentence:

“I thought we’d never come back from that one.”

It was 10.27 am on 28th December, 1989. Suddenly I was woken from my night duty slumber by my house shaking violently. I didn’t know what was happening, although the realisation quickly hit—Newcastle had been hit by an 5.6 magnitude earthquake—I thought we’d never come back from that one.

But Newcastle and I both have. See more detail in my earlier post here.

The following week changed my life forever. Not only did my beloved city look like a war zone but, I got engaged—it definitely was a new decade and new life for me. On one hand there was the destruction including my house and on the other hand their was the excitement of what a new life had to offer.

The lessons I learnt working in mental health in Newcastle during this tragic time have never left me—13 people died and most of the city was effected. I learnt anything can happen to anyone at anytime. It’s how you handle it that makes the long-term difference. I know with support I can and will get through anything and when I need to I follow St Francis of Assis’s advice.

St Francis of Assisi quote

Survival Foods

You’ve being exiled to a private island, and your captors will only supply you with five foods. What do you pick?

As I am on a private island, I am assuming it is worth buying otherwise it wouldn’t be private. So my island is supplemented with tropical fruit and other items I can use at my leisure. I am also assuming that my captures are delivering me raw foods that I need to cook for myself or possibly them as well.

After serious consideration my five foods are:

  1. Flour – This I could cook over an open fire and turn it into damper, pizza base, pancakes, tortillas or a cake.
  2. Eggs – They too are versatile and can be used in various forms.
  3. Cheese – I love cheese in all its forms—especially vintage cheddar and feta.
  4. Greek yoghurt – I use this in many ways. Both as a sweet and savoury additive for meals and to cook in.
  5. Vegemite – Being an Australian I couldn’t be without this Aussie favourite. Full of vitamin B, it would help keep me well while awaiting my rescue. It may also save my food from being stolen, as anyone who isn’t Australian struggles to eat it.



While I am waiting for rescue, I will write a recipe book on the ways I find to use my 5 foods in combination with the foods I find on and around the island. The exciting thing is cooking will turn into a pleasure again as I have nothing but time to think about what i will make for each meal.

Our Journey

Today’s assignment in Writing 201 Poetry is to write a limerick based around the theme of a journey. I chose a description of our failed attempt at a white Christmas last year.


White Christmas

This year we wanted to grow

Excited by the opportunity to show

What we had seen

But alas it was green

So we couldn’t experience the snow


Clone Myself – Never

If you could clone yourself, how would you split up your responsibilities?

My life is fairly balanced now—I don’t want a clone. I have spent fifty years trusting my own decisions. I am not about to give over any of my responsibility to a duplicated version of myself. Yes, there are parts of my life I do not like—commuting to work—however, changing this, changes my whole life. I wouldn’t even give this job to my clone as what I do on the train makes up who I am—writing, reading and sleeping.

If I am running short of time to do the things I want—I realise it is time to reassess and prioritse what is important to me. I believe you can have time to do anything if it is important enough to you. I wrote a third of my book on my daily commute. Although now, editing doesn’t work as well on the train.

Now I am looking at ways to make sure I get enough exercise in each week. I haven’t come up with a definitive plan yet but handing this responsibility over to a clone is not going to get it done the best way for me.

The other problem, of course is cloning is an identical copy of my DNA—not of everything I do. My clone would be the age of my daughter unless I was cloned at birth, but would live its own life—like Dolly the sheep—cloned in 1997. For now I will focus on rearranging my time to get what I need done and leave the scientists to worry about the cloning.