RUOK Day 2017

Today, the 14th September 2017 is RUOK Day, a day that I have always supported which has become a day of much greater significance due to my own mental health issues.


Ever since dad’s passing in March, I have been battling with”The Big Three” mental health issues—-PTSD, depression and an exacerbation of an anxiety disorder my doctor thinks I may have had since childhood.  I always considered myself to be an upbeat, positive, always look on the bright side of life kinda person so the formal diagnosis, while not totally surprising given the circumstances, still threw me for a loop.

I made the decision very early on that I would seek help and that I would also be totally honest with people about my issues. I figured that there was no shame in admitting that I needed help and if people had a problem with that, too stinking bad!! What surprised me most of all was that when people asked me how I was doing, they weren’t doing to be polite or to make conversation….they truly cared and were concerned for my well-being. This totally blew me away as my natural reaction is not to want to be a burden to people as there is always someone worse off than me. I found that by taking the time to talk about it to people who I knew were concerned about me and how I was doing, really helped get things clear in my head and to know that no matter how I was or am feeling at any given moment, people do truly care and I’m not alone.

RUOK Day is the day where we reconnect with people we may have lost touch with in order to check in on them. But I believe that we should be doing that every day. Check in with your neighbours. Have a cuppa with your friends. Spend time doing something you love with someone you love. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day rush that we forget that no person can go through life alone.

For more information on RUOK Day, please visit





Don’t Overthink It: To Live Better and Feel Happy, Have More Fun — Must Be This Tall To Ride

Do you ever find yourself in situations where you’re supposed to be having fun and feeling good, but you’re not and you don’t? Not only is what you’re doing NOT fun, but there’s the bonus element of suckage resulting from your unmet expectations and ensuing disappointment. There are countless reasons why something we expected to […]

via Don’t Overthink It: To Live Better and Feel Happy, Have More Fun — Must Be This Tall To Ride

Apologies for the delay in posting friends. I have been flat out over the last few days but finally, have the chance to sit down and put fingers to keyboard.

As many of you know, my beloved father passed away on the 26th March and many of you are also aware that I had almost three and a half weeks with him while he was on life support in the Tamworth Base Hospital ICU. What you may not be aware of is the cohort of lung diseases that put him there and the campaign to make people more aware of it this winter.


Most people knew Dad was a heavy smoker and had been for as long as I can remember. Of course this leads to medical issues such as COPD which stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (AKA: COPD). This is an umbrella term for chronic diseases of the lungs and upper respiratory tract such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema (among others) which are non-reversible once diagnosed and the ongoing damage caused by these diseases is also non reversible.

As you can imagine, once the lungs are adversely affected, breathing becomes difficult and infections of the lungs and upper respiratory tract become more common with patients often being hospitalised and placed on oxygen therapy. On Sunday the 13th March, dad was medevaced from Inverell by helicopter to Tamworth and placed under sedation and on life support to give his tired, over-worked lungs a break.

What the doctors found while Dad was on life support was that he had less than 10% lung capacity due to the emphysema which came about due to his decades of smoking. Now I’m not going to preach about the evils of smoking and how bad it is for you…that’s not what this blog is for. But I am going to tell you about the #havethechat campaign that the Lung Foundation (a cause I have supported for many years) is currently undertaking It’s a little hard to explain so I’ll direct you to the Foundation website whose link can be found below.

Great News If You Love Flight…Or Even If You Don’t!!


Great news for all lovers of flight. Questacon, Australia’s Science and Technology Centre in Canberra in conjunction with the Boeing Company and NASA has announced today that Above and Beyond has been extended until the 8th October 2017.

Mum and I had the privilege of viewing this breath-taking exhibit during our trip to Canberra and while we have no interest in flight whatsoever (unlike my younger brother Simon), we absolutely loved it!! The advances that have and will be made in the field of aerospace design and engineering are mind blowing and simply have to be seen to be believed.

Fly like a bird. Design your own supersonic jet to race against your friends and use your afterburners to create a sonic boom! Maybe even design the world’s first hypersonic jet or jump on a space elevator and head beyond the stars. At Above and Beyond, you can do all this and more! Even if you hate flying (like me!) or have no interest in anything to do with it, head to Questacon to see this exhibit….I promise you that you will not be disappointed.

Here is an overview video of the exhibit to whet your appetite. Overview Video 

Or maybe you want a closer look. Exhibit Video

Piqued your interest??  Head to Above and Beyond and be prepared to be amazed!!


Friendship–Part 1

Apologies for not posting recently friends. Have been feeling pretty ordinary due to a severe lack of sleep which may be blamed on the Women’s Cricket World Cup and the Lord’s Test Match being on my tv combined with battling a lung and sinus infection which I caught in Canberra.

It did, however, give me time to ponder a few questions that have been on my mind for a while.  How do you define friendship?  What is the true value of friendship? Who do I consider to be my true friends?



Now I do realise that these are fairly deep philosophical questions and while I am not a philosopher in any sense of the word,  given the events of the last few months, I have very quickly realised that my definition of friendship and what it means to be a friend has changed in a rather significant way.

The definition of friendship is shown below:



My two best friends are two people that I have known since I was a very small child and am still close to this day, Beth and Roslyn. Beth and I have known each other since we were three as our brothers Simon and Philip were the same age and her family lived a few streets away from us. She was also friends with the kids that lived across the street from me (who I was also friends with) so our friendship grew and thrived from then to the present day

Roslyn and I first met as five-year-olds in Kindergarten at Holy Trinity School Inverell in 1982 (yes we are that old so no jokes please!!) We were polar opposites–She was quiet and rather mousy while I was loud and outgoing (go figure!!) and we became fast friends. Even now she lives interstate, distance has never posed a problem as we are in constant touch via email, letters and cards exchanged for birthdays, Easter, Christmas and at other times.

As word got out about Dad’s illness and the fact that I had to pretty much cancel all plans so I could get to Tamworth as quickly as possible, another side of friendship started to emerge. Facebook friends were contacting me to render assistance, offer support, to let non-Facebook friends know what was happening and why I would be pretty much uncontactable for the foreseeable future. One such friend was an old school friend who lives in Tamworth with her family and one I am ashamed to admit, I lost contact with many years ago.

I had just posted the first “Tamworth Update” and was sitting at the hospital trying to work out what needed to be done and how long I was going to be staying in Tamworth when my phone pinged with a Facebook Message from my old school friend Bec. She said that she was down the road from the hospital and was coming to take me out for a little while and that she would also not take no for an answer.  My mind was reeling from seeing Dad and even though my mind was screaming that I needed to stay close by, I gratefully accepted the invite.

We ended up at a little coffee shop a couple of streets away from the hospital where we spent an enjoyable time catching up over coffee and cake. I didn’t realise it at the time as I was very much on emotional overload, but Bec was an example of what not only true friendship was, but that it didn’t matter that we hadn’t caught up in years, she would come running if I needed her and nothing was too much trouble.

Another friend who also showed her true worth during this time was my ex-neighbour Sandra. She was back and forwards to Tamworth with her husband and very kindly took me food shopping. It was little things like these two examples which made me realise how lucky I am to have friends like these.

I love this quote from Cookie Monster which sums up how I define friendship.



I hope you find someone (or more than one someone) to share your last cookie with friends.