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Sunday, 24 January 2016

Catching Up, No Excuses and Australia's Wild Weather

Exercise??  Don't be silly!

The photographer caught this crazy lightning shot over Surfers Paradise

Bella laughs at me when I tell her my dreams.

Yes, I know, it's been a looooooong time since I last posted but I'm not offering any just is.

You may (or may not) have seen the two articles in WYZA where I was asked about my weight loss regimen.  I was quite chuffed when the editor contacted me and asked if I would be interviewed for these.  It came about when the question was posed in WYZA if anyone had tried the Mediterranean diet and what their results were.  I had to show off (of course!) and commented that I lost 25 kg and had kept it off for several years.  That was the beginning.

A week or so ago, I had a message on Facebook from someone purporting to be a producer of Channel 9's "A Current Affair", as the name suggests, a show on...current affairs.  I thought it was spam or someone trying to be funny and ignored it.  I then get an email from Kathy, the editor of WYZA, asking if she could pass my details on to Ch 9 as they wanted to film a segment on weight loss.  The next day, I heard they'd contacted the facilitator of my writers group.  I was beginning to get the idea that it wasn't a joke after all.

Apparently, they'd been ringing my mobile but as I don't answer unknown numbers and there were no messages left for me, that didn't work.  Anyway, they now have my contact details if they're still interested.  Time will tell.

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It's been a summer of wild bushfires and flooding rains.  Western Australia and Victoria had some dreadful fires with the small township of Yarloop no more.  Now Tasmania is experiencing bushfires in heritage listed areas where fires just don't happen, except they are at the moment.  Meanwhile, rivers in Western Queensland are running again for the first time in four years.  Lake Ayre, the huge salt lake, is full of water and breeding birds.  Severe storms with cricket ball sized hail and very strong winds have lashed Sydney, causing heaps of damage and power outages.  Ours is a country of contrasts, harsh but beautiful.

The competitors playing in the Australian Open Tennis have been playing in awful heat, although it rained yesterday, but it still would have been steamy with a stadium full of people and the roof closed.

Gold Coast beaches have been experiencing cyclonic swells from Cyclone Victor which didn't impact us in any other way.  It made the beaches dangerous, though, and unfortunately, tourists just don't realise how fast rips can develop.  The surf lifesaving clubs patrol the beaches vigilantly; there are warning signs up stating swimming only between the red and yellow flags.  The lifeguards are continuously using the loudspeakers to warn people to move back in between the flags but they can't control stupidity, such as those going for a midnight swim when they've had too much drink or those who refuse to swim between the flags.

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The writers group met up for coffee and a catch up last week.  We talked about what writing we'd done since our last meeting in November.  We didn't have a meeting in December but went out for dinner instead, which was most enjoyable.  I caught the courtesy bus which meant I could have a glass of wine, so I made it a big one!

Yesterday, those of us who'd published books had a half day social media tutorial, the result of which is I now have an author page on Amazon.  Well, I will when my bio, photos, etc. have all been accepted later on today, hopefully.

Our first meeting is next month but we already have our genre for the yearly anthology, Jungle Fever.  I've drafted out my first short story and will go through it again when I've finished this post.  I feel very virtuous.

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There have been a couple of momentous happenings in the family.  My mother turned 96 last month.  I was talking to her this morning and she informed me she has some babies. You can imagine my thoughts!  It turns out she has some goldfish and was waxing lyrical about how much they've grown in the short time she's had them.  Ri-ight.

She and Harold have gone into care now, rather than staying in independent living.  As Mum put it, they were fed up with looking after themselves.  Now they have a lovely suite consisting of a sitting room and double bedroom with en suite plus a tiny courtyard which Mum has set about transforming.  Apparently there was a dried up pond, which she's filled with water and water plants and of course, goldfish.  

They don't do any cooking, cleaning, washing up or laundry and are thoroughly enjoying being waited on.  As Mum said when they first made the decision, "bring it on!"

They both still sing in the choir, learning 24 new songs this year.  Mum and Harold are the music librarians, responsible for photocopying all the words, putting them into a folder for each choir member and as well, sourcing various songs and music for the choir's repertoire.  It keeps them out of mischief.  They also still go on trips but have stood down from the organising committee.  

The second momentous happening was that my uncle, Mum's younger brother, won a million dollars in Lotto!  As he commented, though, it would have been nice to win it before he had his heart attacks!  He's in his 90s also but unfortunately, isn't keeping very good health.  Never mind, my three cuzzies are all $300,000 better off.  Great Christmas present!

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That's it for now.  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones and that 2016 brings you joy and blessings.  See you next time!