So what does freedom taste like?

Sweet! And pun intended I am afraid!  I have indulged in culinary pleasures with my new found taste of freedom. Perhaps like many of you, I have a list of things I would like to try but have either not had or made the time. Well that has changed, and I have knocked two things of my list – jam and ice cream – and I have even managed to combine the two.

I remember my Mum making jam, there was always loads of plum jam which was never my favourite, clearly we had plum trees. When we lived in the UK Dad and I would go blackberry picking – I have fond memories of Dad and I scrambling in and around bushes. More importantly blackberry jam was my absolute favourite.

When I was at the Queen Victoria Markets I noticed that I could buy three punnets of strawberries for just $4.50, and that triggered my thoughts and started me looking at recipes. I am now very proud to say that I have made strawberry jam; and it was not as complicated nor as time consuming as I imagined it might be, and it set (with some help from Jamsetta).

I have now also made ice cream for the first time in my life, and even the “hard to get a compliment out of other half” thinks it tastes like the real deal. I made strawberry ripple ice cream by hand, using my jam. Again not that complicated, I would make both jam and ice cream again. Making them myself has also reminded me that jam and ice cream are not health foods! I also made a strawberry cloud cake, definitely not a dieter’s special! My thanks to Annabel Langbein, it was her ice cream base recipe and strawberry cloud cake recipe that I used.

I also wanted to give a shout out to Bee Sustainable on Lygon St, I went there to purchase some Kleerview covers before making my jam, and at the time they did not have any in stock, but very kindly directed me to Fowlers Vacola– back in North Melbourne (asking if I was familiar with North Melbourne – just a little!) and in doing so giving up a sale. And thanks to Fowlers for suggesting the Jamsetta when I said I was making jam for the first time.

So what does freedom taste like? For me rather a sweet start! When you made a change, how was it for you?

The power of change

SET YOURSELF FREE, and the rest will follow.

I originally titled this post, “Why am I deaf to myself?” but a period of time has lapsed between starting and finishing this post. However let us return to the start.

Five months ago I wrote that change was coming, that I had got myself to the point of action. Well how wrong was I? And that horoscope quote came back to nip me on the bum – damn it. I turned down what was an incredible opportunity for a next job – I had achieved the almost impossible which was an academic role after being out of academia for a dozen years. Why did I slam the door in my own face? I was kicking myself a month later and could not see the answer as to why I had done that.

It is more than this role that I was deaf to though. I say to myself time after time that I am putting too much of myself into work and not enough into living. And yet I let it happen again, and again. Well I have finally cracked it – somewhat inelegantly. With no notice I took two weeks of work off at the end of November – precipitated by I do not know exactly what, other than I was in a complete funk, and the thought of being at work was more than I could bear. Perhaps the trigger was that I had been at work in Sydney, and then Torquay and the thought of heading physically back in to the office was just too much.

And do you know what I did at the end of those two weeks? I resigned! I finish up at the end of this month. And I feel free. For the first time in a very long time I do not know what is next, and do you know what, that pleases me more than anything.  I have managed to exit the treadmill. I have created possibility and it feels powerful. Time for reinvention, realignment, or who knows what, and I am excited.

Would love to hear if you have done something similar, or want to do something similar…


Baby blanket finally finished

I have to confess that when I realised that I was not going to have enough time to finish the gift of a baby blanket before the mother-to-be finished up at work I took the proverbial foot of the gas, or in this case hands off the knitting needles. However I had taken the work in progress into work to show her before she swanned off (!) on maternity leave. I am pleased to say that she was delighted with the colours and the look, as was I. With the wee boy approaching eight weeks of age I was determined to get this out of my door, and I am utterly stoked with how the baby blanked turned out, from the colours to the texture. The photos do not quite capture the delightful brightness – may sound silly but it is a happy blanket! And the no longer mother-to-be is also delighted.

For those of you who are interested this was knitted with Passioknit baby Aran 10 ply – a sliver under one ball (250g) of the minty jubilee (mottled yellow/green/white) and about 20% of the snow (white) ball; total yarn cost about $8.40 – what a cheap friend am I! I had purchased two balls of the yellow/green thinking I would need them, and now have enough yarn over to make the entire blanket all over again – I won’t be – famous last words! The free pattern that I scaled down in size can be found here. The first time I have knitted f/b (front and back), such a simple pattern but so effective.

Married at First Sight – I know I shouldn’t…

but I am!  Before I begin this post in earnest I need to confess. Before our daughter was born one thing my other half and I randomly discussed was our fervent desire that when she grows up she does not like reality tv. It would be the antithesis of us. TV, an invention that could have been the most powerful worldwide tool for education that is anything but. This I have to reconcile with my absolute besotted-ness with Married at First Sight. I have watched the entire current (S03) series twice, and watched Seasons 1 & 2.

Now this post comes with an upfront caveat. We were watching edited TV. We have to be really honest with ourselves – we were shown the stories the producers wanted us to see – no more no less. The public reaction to the subsequent news that the couples were no longer together, in particular Keller and Nicole, and the subsequent social media storm is both odd and not odd if we think about it.

I am a grown woman, have been in a loving partnership for 11 years, we have a gorgeous 4 year old daughter, and I am hooked on this couple; so hooked that I ended up on Instagram – how sad is that?! (No responses to that please!). I wanted them to be together. At the end of the day I do not think you ever know what really happens between two people, even your best friends. Why do we suspend that with these two? I have been pondering this, and I think it speaks to the fact that at the end of the day we are social creatures, who want to love and be loved in return. We see bits of ourselves, and bits of people we have known and are wishful for an outcome like ourselves or equally are wishful for the outcome that we didn’t get or didn’t pan out for our friends.

So pretending for a moment this is a TV show with characters not real people, my sincere apologies in advance to the real people here for what I am about to write. Not to be read as anything other than fiction, and bad fiction at that with tongue firmly in cheek. Here is my first possible ending to what we are seeing. The sweet but steely girl character, we will call her Nihcole, has now hooked up with the nefarious boy character known as Jhono. It is going as badly as some have suggested, she is reeling from being badly treated and he abandons her. She does not know where to turn, who to call, and in the moment the one person who springs to mind is the audacious yet deeply loyal Kheller. If only they were still connected on social media… fortunately this can be changed instantly and initial contact is made. He is around in a heart beat and we see them sailing off into the sunset.

Or my option two, where all that is transpiring on social media is still the show. They are actually together and the disintegration playing out on social media is all for TV, the postings staged, a big ruse to set season 4 off with an almighty bang – a one hour special where they have twins on the way (they have skipped a generation!), as clearly need to also do one better than Alex and Zoe if the next season is to be super-charged!

I know – how sad am I with both these options?! We all want the fairytale in one way or another, or at least me and many of those on social media. I think it says something about the human spirit, the human condition, a wistfulness for the magic and happy ever after. Though of course all of us in long standing relationships/marriages know only too well that the reality is ongoing work and effort, with days when we want to shoot the other person!

In ending thought I would share this from Simple Reminders, about people coming into and out of our lives, some staying, some going, and a reminder that a piece of them stays with us always. ♥ So wishing every one of us the ending that we each desire And for me personally a halt to my newly developed Instagram addiction! At the end of the day the only life you have to live is your own, most of us probably need to put more attention and effort into that.

craig keller nicole heir

Image courtesy of

The real joy of Nana

Trying to get day care in Melbourne is a little like a lottery, only the impact of not winning can have a larger outcome. We are currently waiting for an extra day to become available for our daughter at daycare – we are one day short per week. So her Dad has covered a couple of weeks, and then we put the call into Nana who lives over the Tasman sea. She was with us covering three days (as in one day a week for three weeks), as well as generally making life easier for us. And then we are back to Daddy daycare for that day.

Nana (and Pop – who stayed at home this time) are very accomodating. We only have two bedrooms, and so they stay on an airbed (double height I should mention) in our little girl’s room. Now we have been having trouble with the afore mentioned little girl – she keeps waking in the middle of the night and wanting to sleep in Mum and Dad’s bed. We have been trying to figure out if she is scared of the dark, cold, not feeling well, just doesn’t want to be by herself. We have been trying different tricks, lights, more/different blankets, if we were not so tired we would give her a cuddle and put her back to bed after 10 minutes. We know we have to get this figured out. And then along came Nana. For almost the entire time she was here, while our little girl would still wake in the night, she would hop herself into the air bed with Nana. So Mum and Dad have experienced almost three weeks of sleeping through the night. Oh what a feeling! Of course normal transmission has resumed, and we are back to square one. New tactics about to be trialled.

tired parents north melbourne