Embrace Your Inner Activist

Photo: Cindy Trinh, Activists of New York, activistnyc.tumblr.com

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” ~ Elie Wiesel

I have a challenge for you, dear readers – I want you to embrace your Inner Activist.

If you seek a more spiritual life, or a more balanced or mindful one then it is not enough just to practice self-care, meditate, eat healthy, do yoga or pray and think that’s all you need to do. As someone who is moving to a more conscious way of being it is also important to use your voice and your actions in order to create to a better world.

Follow your passions, contribute your energy, act!

What do you care about? Bigger things like global warming, plastic use reduction, clean energy, racism, gun control, equality for all, safe food, clean water and air, social justice, access to education, health care, families, elder care, human rights, animal rights, saving wild spaces and species? Smaller things like protecting an old tree from property developers, saving your local library, recording oral histories from elderly community members, teaching migrants to read and write, stopping a local beach from eroding, cleaning up your local waterways, petitioning for public toilets to be installed at the park near you, getting disabled or pram-friendly access for public transport, making drinking fountains available in the inner city. People like you have changed the world, because they cared and because they dared to become involved.

There is no time to stand by and wait for someone else to fix things. We need to stand up for the things that we value and speak out against the injustices, inequalities and issues that go against our values.

Your voice matters. Contributing to the conversations and actions that can change the world matters. Please don’t think that someone else will fix things. Don’t count on governments, politicians, big business and global organisations. Real change always comes from grass-roots movements, from many people adding their individual energy to create momentum and progress and measurable outcomes.

Many of us were brought up to believe that it is rude to speak up, to make waves, to make others uncomfortable or to rock the boat. We’ve been taught that it’s better not to get involved, not to make ourselves a target, not to ruffle feathers. And that’s how injustice and inequalities flourish. Indifference and lack of action are actually a silent condoning of the things you fail to speak up about or act upon. Of course, I advocate personal safety always! But if it’s safe to speak up then do so.

Define what activism means for you. For some people it is speaking out, literally. Joining rallies and protests or blockades or affirmative action groups. For some people it’s writing letters or sharing blog posts or social media. For some people it’s becoming involved with a local group whose values match your own and adding your energy to their existing work. For some people it’s starting their own local group or action. Or maybe you’ll be a solo activist – picking up trash and putting it in the bin, planting trees, reusing and recycling, finding meaningful ways to put your beliefs into action. Every dollar you spend has a voice too, in the energy company you choose or the food you buy. Let your dollars be more aligned with your values.

Can’t find the courage yet to use your voice? That’s okay. Support a person or group whose voice you believe in. Follow them on social media. Give financial or other support if you can. There are already so many good people in the world doing great work. The more you look and realise that’s true the more hopeful you’ll become.

Being an activist is simply being a good citizen of the world – one who cares about the community around us and the planet that sustains us. We are the change that the world needs. It’s us! No-one else is coming to save us or our planet. The power is already in you. I urge you to use it, just as Greta Thunberg, a 16 year-old Swedish climate change activist is doing:

Biggest hugs and love, Nicole ❤ xx

The Coral Bird

“Our memory is a more perfect world than the universe: it gives back life to those who no longer exist.”
~ Guy de Maupassant


When I was growing up my mother’s parents, Ceddie and Marga, owned a boat (first a yacht and later a motor cruiser) and they would often take us out into Moreton Bay with them where we would while away endless summers and school holidays.

One of my favourite activities was beach combing with my grandmother, Marga. She had a vast collection of coral and shells in glass cabinets back at her home on the Brisbane River, and an eagle’s eye for finding new treasures.

I remember walking a narrow isthmus of sand one day, between Bird and Goat Island. To my delight I found a small piece of bleached coral that for all the world resembled a tiny bird. I picked it up, cleaned off the grains of sand at the edge of the water, and hurried to show my grandmother.

Yes, she said, enthusiastically. She could see the bird too. What a good find it was! I loved her so much in that moment that I spontaneously gave my coral bird to her.

Back at the boat, as we were preparing dinner she showed my coral bird to my grandfather, and he then took out a giant book of Australian birds so that we could work out what kind of bird it might be.

A pied oyster catcher, I decided. Turned to coral by a terrible, mean witch.


Me and my beautiful grandmother, Margaret Nurcombe, known to all as Marga.

My grandparents have both passed away now, and last year Mum packed up their home. A few of the boxes made their way to me at my little farm down at Possum Creek, and in one of those boxes was Marga’s shell and coral collection.

Imagine my surprise to find my little coral bird, tucked up amidst my grandmother’s treasures.

coral bird

It evoked such a tenderness in me, to hold that small bird again, and to think back on the many happy times I shared with my grandparents, learning about nature, quiet time and the importance of imagination.

I realise now what defining influences they have been in my life, and I am filled with love and gratitude that they were able to pass such values to me through their own way of living.

I’d forgotten that this small piece of coral was what created my fascination with pied oyster catchers, a bird I often see on the beaches of northern New South Wales.

Isn’t life the most wonderful unfolding story!

Pied Oyster Catcher - Image by Geoff Taylor for abc.net.au

Pied Oyster Catcher – Image by Geoff Taylor for abc.net.au

A Moodle on Noodles…

Image from laughspark.com

Image from laughspark.com

“The saddest thing about selling out is just how cheaply most of us do it for.”
~ James Bernard Frost

For a very brief moment yesterday I thought I’d hit the blogging big time.

I was approached to do a review of cup noodles on my blog ‘based on my blog’s successful readership and suitable demographic’.

The approach was a legitimate one, by a large organisation. The rewards were… awesome? A supermarket voucher, a LOT of cup noodles for my personal use, and a ridiculous amount of cup noodles to be donated to my workplace or favourite sporting organisation.

Seeing that I work for myself, and my sport is fighting lyme disease that meant potentially an epic amount of cup noodles.

My next problem was this.

I had no idea what cup noodles even were.

So I googled them.

Image from blisstree.com

Image from blisstree.com

Cup noodles are dehydrated wheat noodles, vegetables, strange chunks of possible other flavour and textural items, spices, flavourings and a truckload of MSG and other scary additives and chemicals. In a non-degradable  styrene cup, with a disposable plastic fork. Using palm oil. No wonder they hadn’t ever been on my radar.

They’re not even food! Also, nasty!

In America alone, they use enough single use non-recyclable styrene cups each year (from cup noodles?) to circle the world 426 times. (source: . Department of Environmental Quality Oklahoma, “Eco Views Volume 2 Spring 2004” http://www.deq.state.ok.us/pubs/l pd/ecoviewvol2.pdf) Styrene is bad news for us and the environment.

Even as an impoverished student I never ate such a thing. Sadly, I might be trending up in the blog readership stats but I am the girl who blogs home-made chicken soup, gluten-free treats, kindness, walking sustainably upon the earth and old-fashioned cooking. Not the girl who writes reviews about trash food.

As a dear friend of mine wrote on my facebook page yesterday, Sell out for money, not noodles. Thanks, Kim!

My blog is edging towards two million views, and I have over ten thousand subscribers. I’ve built a community of friends and like-minded people here. And I feel very protective towards you, and my little Cauldrons and Cupcakes offerings.

So let me assure you, this girl is no sell out. Not for noodles. Not for money.

There is a reason my blog remains endorsement and advertising free. This is MY blog. It represents MY views. I value my values. I value my editorial freedom. I value control over my content.

If I like something, I’ll tell you. For free.

And it sure won’t ever be me telling you about cup noodles. Apologies, if you’re a cup noodle fan. But I know you’ll understand.

Lots of love, Nicole

Image from EmilysQuotes.com

Image from EmilysQuotes.com

Reflections From A Cancer Clinic Waiting Room

Image from pixgood.com

Image from pixgood.com

“From even the greatest of horrors irony is seldom absent.”
~ H.P. Lovecraft, Tales of H.P. Lovecraft

A small family cluster of us sat endlessly in the waiting room of a cancer clinic yesterday.

It was a busy place, at a busy hospital. On the way to the clinic, we’d passed a young woman who had lost her eye, a man in a wheelchair missing a foot, a series of shuffling and shambling patients of various ages.

There were hosts of worried relatives in thrown-together outfits, looking careworn and in need of coffee and a hug.

The waiting room was packed. We found seats underneath a television screen we could not see. But I listened to the running commentary.

The irony was not lost on me. Television spruikers talked about the importance of skin care and maintaining our youthful appearance. Life was better with young skin. You would be more popular, and get better jobs. You could look  like a movie star. Then there was a miracle exercise machine to effortlessly melt fat. It came with complimentary mineral makeup. Call now!

How truly offensive it was, listening to these paid presenters playing to our insecurities. Deprived of the pictures, the commentary took on a lewd ignorance.

Here I was, surrounded by people fighting for their lives.

For some, the fight isn’t going well. For some, the fight will be lost.

People bald from chemo, their skin fragile, bruised and thin, their faces bloated and round or gaunt and pale, looked away from the screen. I saw beauty in every single one. I witnessed the most tender exchanges of love and care. I saw how valued and precious each person was to their family and friends.

You are beautiful. Life is beautiful. This endless quest for youth and physical perfection is the ugly thing.

Hug your loved ones today. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to the people around you. Don’t buy into that garbage on television and the media. What’s inside you will always matter more that big hair, white teeth or a perfect hip-thigh ratio.

I love you. Right now. Just as you are.

Nicole <3 xoxo

Everything Will Wait, Except The Things That Can’t

2015-01-24 18.16.23

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
~ Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey


Illness has taught me many things. One of them is that most things can wait.

Strangely, it has also shown me that some things can’t.

When something, or someone, really matters to you, it’s amazing what can be reprioritised. On all but my very worst days I have found myself able to blog. You’re important to me – our friendship means a lot. Writing is one thing that I’ll find a way to do unless I absolutely can’t get out of bed, or function in a useful way.

If one of my animals was hurt I would be right there. If they needed me – unless I was on my last breath, and even then I think I’d try – I’d move mountains for my family, my husband, my dearest friends. There is a strength within us all that still surprises me when I dig deep and find it there waiting.

You don’t need to have illness to sharpen your focus about knowing what will wait, and what can’t. Use your values. Trust your heart.

I’m not talking the crazy desperate kind of sacrifice where we throw away what was important to us in order to support or sustain a bad relationship, or to get the attention of someone who was never worth our while. When we feel into those situations we can taste the crazy. We cringe a little, knowing our aim is off and then we rush forward hoping that fortune will favour us and momentum will clear away the whispering voice of our conscience that has already owned our stupidity or pointless gesture.

The things that can’t wait are clearly recognised and understood by our hearts. Our minds unify with our hearts, and burn with a bright purpose. We are transformed by a deep conviction. In short, we just know that this thing needs to be our utmost priority, letting everything else fall away.

There is something solid and steadfast in right choices. Even when we lose, we don’t regret our actions. We are guided by something so right and true within us. Doubt never creeps in. Not then. Not later. Our faith holds.

To be there for a loved one in crisis. To support a friend. To stand up for someone. To submit that paper. To voice our needs. To rescue that dog. To make that call.

We are compelled.

Always listen to that compulsion. Trust yourself to act. I sometimes think that God and all the angels and energies beyond our ken gather in that moment of decision to give us wings, to uplift and carry us, to enable us to help others or ourselves, to shine and claim our moment or to survive whatever may come. It’s a blessed space. A space of pure flow and love.

Look inside yourself and I know you’ll understand what I mean. Everything will wait, except the things that can’t.

Thank you for being here for me, my beautiful friends.

Much, much love to you, and some really big hugs,

Nicole <3 xoxo



The Importance of Meeting for Coffee

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”  ~ Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey


I was talking to a friend on the phone yesterday. She’s like so many of my friends right now. Exhausted. Overwhelmed. A busy working mum. And on top of that all the usual life dramas.

We were nearly at the end of our conversation and I heard it.

The catch in her breath.

The sound of silent tears falling.

It came out of me in a rush. ‘Let’s meet for coffee tomorrow,’ I said impulsively. ‘Sounds like you could really use a friend right now.’

Talking on the phone is a marvelous way to stay connected. So is email, or texting.

But nothing beats a good old-fashioned catch up. With hugs. With eye contact. With the chance to truly connect face to face. Things can get said, heard, supported and sorted face-to-face in a way that they never can via distance.


Meeting for a cup of coffee (or a walk round the park, or a glass of wine, or a green smoothie or whatever else is your thing) is a vital part of not just maintaining a friendship, but of maintaining our lives and emotional well-being.

If you’re feeling strong and in a good place right now, maybe you could reach out to someone you know is struggling a little and offer to meet them for coffee.

If you’re the one feeling lonely, isolated and like you’re drowning rather than swimming (even if you’re doing it with a stoic smile on your face as many of us do!) why don’t you ask to meet a friend for coffee.

Let’s make an effort and get together.

Because when we do, the love and care that flows has an amazing power to help and heal. And we all benefit from that magic.

Thinking of you today and sending so much love, Nicole xx


My Whole Life I Was Wrong

Image from Olaalaa.com

Image from Olaalaa.com

“If I am right, Thy grace impart
Still in the right to stay;
If I am wrong, O, teach my heart
To find that better way!”
~ Alexander Pope, Moral Essays


My whole life I was wrong. I laboured under the illusion that I needed to be perfect. More beautiful. Thinner. My relationships harmonious. My home a picture of neatness. I was sure that I needed acclaim, prizes, and a string of letters after my name.

Why did I want these things? Not to be better than anyone else. No. It was never that. I felt that I needed these things in order to be worthy. In order to be taken seriously. In order to be loved. In order to teach.

In order to have value.

No wonder then, that life ground me under her heel. That my family shattered, flinging me far from its arms. That illness stole my youth, my words, my energy and the fruits of my womb.

Image from WallpapersinHQ.com

Image from WallpapersinHQ.com

Thank goodness.

Each day now, I see the wisdom in that path.

Next weekend I shall begin a five day teaching; a residential retreat to help others to embrace and use their psychic gifts. My preparations thus far have involved meditations, contemplation, reflection, connection and lots of quiet time. My game plan this week mostly involves working from bed so that I shall be well rested and can give my all. I am not yet well. I may never be well in the way that others are well. I may become better and still be bound by limitation. But that doesn’t matter so much anymore. What matters is that I am still here, still in the game, and capable of doing what I came here to do.

Next weekend I am not concerned about how I shall look, what car shall carry me to my event, what clothes I wear other than that I must be clean and comfortable, and happy in myself. I will not be at my most svelte. My face is lined with both age and pain. I have no idea what colours are popular this Spring, or if the coral lipstick I favour is in right now. Who cares? I am not there to be judged on my appearance. It is not about me. I am there for my students. It is they who are the important ones. This event is for them. They are my focus. I don’t mind how they dress either. As long as they are warm, or cool, and unbothered by their outfits. They could be in their pyjamas for all I care. I want their attention, their passion, their hearts and minds. Within a minute or two of being together none of them will notice these external things either. We are coming together to immerse ourselves in things other than the external.

Next weekend the house I leave will be messy. There will be tasks still left undone. Any fashion style I may exhibit will be the result of my sister’s careful ministrations. Or a friend’s. All that matters for me is the work. All that matters for me is honouring the needs of my students, and the teachings of my Aunties and Ancestors, the whisperings of my own heart, and the collective energy and well being of my tribe as we come together. I have no energy for anything else, and these days, little interest for anything that does not support my values, my passions and my own well being.

I will tell my students what it has taken me this lifetime to learn. That living to please others is not important, and in fact can be downright dangerous to your own sanity and the happy playing out of your talents and gifts. That already, as humans, they are enough, but that to strive in the pursuit of knowledge or a craft that grows and shapes us is a worthy thing. A transformative thing. A very good thing.

Image from Tequila Cupcakes

Image from Tequila Cupcakes

None of us will ever be perfect. And anyway, perfection is a myth. But if we are prepared to do the work, some of us, one day, will be wiser. Kinder. More smoothed at the edges. More broken open by life, brightened by pain, luminous from loving and being loved.

Each, in our own way, having gleaned some knowledge, can then lift others up with one hand, as we steady ourselves or climb with the other.

Who ever could have known that in the brittle perfection of my youth I would loathe myself so much? Who could have ever imagined that in being thoroughly broken, I would come to love myself so dearly?

Lovely, Lovely 3am


“You were born and with you endless possibilities, very few ever to be realized.  It’s okay.  Life was never about what you could do, but what you would do. ”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year


Every day, since I was around twelve years old, I have risen early to meditate, to write, and to reflect on my day before the rest of the world wakes up. That quiet time is my gift to myself, and I have come to value it as sacred time.

Today, the day after my birthday and the first day of my new year, I am awake more early than usual. I wanted to reflect on my year ahead. What that might mean for me. How I would shape these coming days. What choices I might make.

If I am the Captain of my own ship, then I must set my own direction.

I grew up in an era where I was told that girls could do anything. That my life would be a whirling dance party of endless opportunity. That makes me smile now, thinking back. There is such hope and breath-taking naivety in that assumption. Perhaps it’s true that you can have anything. But in choosing one thing it often precludes others. No-one ever talked about that!

Image by Vladimir Pervunesky

Image by Vladimir Pervunesky

So here I am, standing in the doorway of another year. What a privilege to have these days stretch out before me. Having lived on the cusp of demise so long, it buoys me up to think that the quality of these next three hundred and sixty-five days may be better. That I may enjoy improved health, more energy, and a brain that can grapple with the bigger questions.

Life has certainly been a big teacher for me. Lyme disease, left undiagnosed so long, has until recently left me rendered down to so few possibilities and functionalities.

This year, as I contemplate the advancing year and how I may best use it, I am able to be steered by my values. What’s important to me. What actions, philosophies and relationships matter to me.

There is great comfort in that. And that comfort has been won by so many years of early mornings, of quiet reflection, of painful self-examination and wordless wonderings.

I have whittled down all of those endless possibilities into a handful that have meaning for me. Later today I will sit with my journal and a pot of tea, and create a map for myself, steering me toward what matters, and away from what doesn’t.

How about you?

Do you ever gift yourself time for reflection? Do you actively make choices about the person you wish to become, and the life you desire to lead?

It’s not too late. You can start today.

There is something precious in honouring the finite choices of our life. There is power in choosing this thing over that thing. Our choices are how we shape ourselves. Making choices consciously is how we claim back our emotional and spiritual centre, turning life into a delicious adventure.

Your life, like mine, is a precious gift. I’m excited to be unwrapping the beginnings of another year.

Bless xx


Don’t tell me how good you are. Show me…

Image from www.freeflavour.com

Image from www.freeflavour.com  PS: If you’re not sure what the Australian slang expression FIG JAM stands for , I suggest you google it… (Warning: swears alert!)

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ” ~ John F. Kennedy

“Talk is cheap.” ~ Anonymous

Today’s post has come about in part after watching a good friend be deeply wounded and disillusioned by the bullying actions of some people who loudly proclaim themselves as ‘enlightened and spiritual’.

Another friend is considering walking away from their life’s passion because of the vicious and mean-spirited ‘critique’ (it wasn’t constructive criticism, it was a poisonous personal attack) from an instructor at an invitation-only Master Class intended to guide emerging artists in front of a public audience at a large gallery. The instructor used my friend to make themselves look good and to extract a laugh or two from the crowd. The attack left my friend floundering in self-doubt, shame and humiliation, suffering anxiety attacks and questioning everything they’d previously held as true.

Most of the people I know who are incredibly good at what they do are also among the most humble, no matter their what field of endeavour. They sit in their integrity. They acknowledge their ability as fact, but have little need to bang their own drum because they are busy being actively engaged in the things that define them. As the saying goes, they walk their talk.

The yoga teacher who awakens each day to perform her personal meditation, pranayamas and asanas before eating her healthy yogini breakfast and getting ready for her classes. Who then comes home to eat her healthy dinner and concludes her day with more yoga, as an integral part of her daily life and philosophy.

Image from tumblr

Image from tumblr

The business mentor who has had years of experience building and running successful organisations, and who continues to sit on the Board of Directors of profitable companies.

Image from leParisien

Image from leParisien

The artist who still attends classes and workshops, and considers themselves constantly evolving; working on their craft even though they are at the top of their field and lauded by their peers.

'Painting in Gold' by Chad

‘Painting in Gold’ by Chad

Whether you are looking to form a relationship, seek employment or learn something new (and especially if you’re a starry-eyed beginner), listen with your eyes. Don’t be seduced by spin.  Don’t be sucked in by wild claims and promises. When we are eager and ready to begin the journey, our enthusiasm often nudges our discernment over into a corner.

Eagerness and newness make us all vulnerable. And sadly, I’ve seen many a beginner derailed because the people they put faith in to guide them on their journey trampled and stamped out that fledgling flame. Or didn’t give them the tools they need to have that promised ‘success’, and then put it all back on the learner when they fail. “Oh well,” they say, “you mustn’t want it enough, you don’t have the ability, your attitude’s all wrong.”

There are so many self-proclaimed ‘guru’s’ out there.  Who do you trust? How do you work out who can actually support your growth?

Image from www.zdnet.com

Image from www.zdnet.com

Word of mouth is a great place to start.

Trust your intuition.

And look for validity of the person’s abilities or claims. Do they walk their talk?  Are they respected within their industry or profession?  Do they have a public track record?  Do their ACTIONS align with their mouth?

The ‘Law of Attraction Wealth Creation Coach’ who has a mountain of debt and lives on credit cards?  Maybe not your best bet.

The ‘Parenting Expert’ who has never had children of their own, or even had them in their home for any length of time.  Really?

The ‘Write a Best-Seller Workshop’ run by the person who has never been published. Perhaps someone who has already walked the path you want to walk would have more concrete advice to share with you.

Even more than that, are they a person you can respect?  Do they have the sort of values and habits you aspire to? Do they treat others well? Are they leading by example?

In this age of social media it’s easy to set yourself up as an expert. In fact there are courses in how to do that!

Back in the day, experts had… wait for it… expertise.  And expertise was hard won through experience.

There’s no magical pill or quick fix in this life that is going to take you from the bottom to the top of your particular mountain. We all have our own path to walk, and everyone has something to teach us, whether that’s through a positive or a negative experience.

The people ahead of you in the climb up your mountain will have valuable insights to share based upon their own journeys. Those insights can save you time, move you ahead more quickly, and help you hone your own skills and talents. So be an active player in your own development.   Use your discernment.  Do your homework.  Make sure they really are higher up that mountain, and not someone standing at the bottom with a giant megaphone and some smooth-talking words…

Take on board what resonates for you, and leave the rest behind.

Above all, don’t take it all too seriously.  Life is an adventure – a big messy glorious adventure. And that’s a beautiful thing.

A Day without Context has No Meaning

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.” ~ Edith Wharton

Yesterday was my birthday.  Last night a girlfriend called to see how my day had gone.

“Did you spoil yourself?” she asked. “Did you get massages, and go somewhere fabulous to eat, and get heaps of presents and stuff yourself full of cake?”

“No, not this year,” I replied.

She began to express disappointment for me, but I stopped her. For me, it was a beautiful day. It just didn’t look the way my friend thought it should.

Things started well. I woke from a deep sleep at 4am, slipped out to meditate for my students, clients, friends and family, then I blogged and jumped back into bed for cuddles with my husband and my dogs. I was blessed with lots of kisses, two birthday cards, a beautiful steampunk ladybird necklace, and a windmill (well, the windmill is on someone else’s farm right now, but soon it will be pumping the water from our spring, making my little piece of heaven even more ecologically sustainable ♥.)

My wonderful steampunk ladybug necklace by Chris Huebert

We headed down to Byron Bay for an early morning walk on the beach, followed by breakfast at a favourite cafe. There I was showered with birthday hugs from the staff, who kindly gave me my meal for free, and we bumped into friends who gave me more hugs and who stayed for chai and chats. I had that lovely heart-swelling feeling of being home, in a well-loved space.

And then my day altered course. On the trip home from breakfast I got a phone call from my Dad to wish me happy birthday and tell me that my Nana was worse.  I packed a bag, jumped in my old farm ute and headed up to the hospital, an hour away, to spend the day with her.

Dad came too, and we spent precious hours talking, sharing and healing.  Birthday Lunch was a toasted sandwich and an ordinary coffee in the hospital cafe.  But I got to spend it with my Dad, who I don’t see nearly often enough. That was a precious gift in itself.  We also talked about the unpublished manuscript of ours that he’s reading, and got lost for a while in the world of stories, history and the Pacific we’ve both travelled and loved.

My Dad, helping Nana to smile for the camera ♥

It was hard to see my little Nana frailer, weaker and less with us.  But I brushed her hair, and rubbed cream into her hands and face, and hugged her often and talked with her, and for her. I got to share one last birthday with my other September Girl. And I never cried once.

I saved that for the car.

By the time I got up to Brisbane late yesterday I was wrecked. I fielded more phone calls from loved ones who are all deep in their own issues and dramas right now, and I got to tell them that I loved them, and to help where I could. They sent me love and well wishes too, and I felt that deep connection that ties us all together through time and space, ups and downs, and everything in between.

Ben and the dogs came to spend the night in the city with me and dinner was take-away Chinese from the dodgy restaurant down the road, after which I read through an avalanche of birthday wishes and love on my facebook page, and in my email in-box.

There was no cake, no candles, no fancy meals, no extravagant gifts or lush pampering.

But there was so much love, and life, and connection.

I went to sleep last night feeling truly blessed.

And this morning I shall go somewhere nice and eat cake for breakfast! I might even have some for lunch too.  ♥ ♥ ♥

A cake like this one would be just the ticket…
I ate this one at Queenies Tea House, Nundah, Brisbane, some months ago.