Six months into 2013 – the fabric of my life

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Write up a mid-year “State of My Year” post.

  • In the first six months of 2013 I divided most of my time between doing some consultancy work and being a Committee Member of the Residents Committee of the life-style village where I live. I assisted three community organisations to apply for grant funding and I was also contracted by three private businesses to undertake work on their behalf.
  • During this time I decided to give my business a complete shake up with a change of name and focus. I had some support through some ‘pro bono’ coaching and the local business enterprise centre.
  • We have visited the city (Perth) at least three times. One time was when we were in transit to a funeral interstate when my Aunt passed away in March at 92 years old. Another friend in his early 60’s passed away two days after my Aunt. The second visit included catching up with some old friends, which was good :-). The third visit was to see an eye specialist.
  • The trip interstate provided a great opportunity to see my son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons. They were the silver lining behind that cloud.
  • April was a bit tough with the recent deaths and took some coming to terms with but it has got easier with time.
  • During these six months we have enjoyed visits from family and friends including an especially nice Mothers Day this year.
  • I saw a dietitian about some ongoing food sensitivities and she recommended I go on the Low FODMAP Diet  – it works better than anything else I have tried (as long as I stick to it anyway).
  • In June I did a one-day training course to set up a business page on Facebook. It was good fun. I have now started a unit of  study about publishing, editing and design. On the learning front, I am also being trained to tutor adults with reading and writing difficulties.
  • And I spent some time blogging too. I passed the 500 blogs marker :-)! So, I wonder what the next six months will hold.




Weekly photo challenge: Masterpiece


I have a framed print of the above painting by John Longstaff (1862-1941). Titled ‘Breaking the News’, it was painted in 1887. I was delighted to find a Public Domain copy of it online. The painting is located in the Art Gallery of Western Australia.

It is a sad painting. When I first saw it I could really identify with the woman holding the child. It was in the mid 1980’s and my marriage had just broken up and I was looking after my three young sons on my own. I was instantly connected with the anguish on the lady’s face. In this case we can just see the men outside the door carrying the body of her husband. I have always assumed that he was killed working in a mine or a similar situation. Her world is about to collapse around her with the news she is about to receive. It captures a moment in time.

Today when I look at the painting I also remember my grandmother’s home as it was so similar to the one in the painting. It has a very homely feel about it. To me, it is a masterpiece!



25 July 2013

Mandt Enterprises LogoWhen it comes to blogging, I am running on empty lately! I am distracted by Facebook. I set up a Facebook page for my business and  I am directing my energies in that direction Naturaliste Business Writing Solutions WA It is not as much fun as blogging and difficult to gauge if I am achieving anything or wasting my time. I find that if I do paid ads I get more ‘likes’ but doesn’t necessarily bring me any work. Imagine if we had to pay to get ‘likes’ on WordPress!

So, to get back into blogging I am tapping away at the keyboard without any great ideas to share in an experimental sort of way :-). In my world at present the big news items are:

  • I am seeing (?) an eye doctor this afternoon due to some zig-zag lines and bright lights yesterday
  • I start studying again next week – is this a good idea or not?
  • We are watching lots of 3D movies at home with our recent purchase of a 3D blu-ray player
  • It is only 5 months until Christmas and we are celebrating Christmas in July this Saturday

Hopefully I have broken the “writer’s block” and can get engaged in blogging once again.





If I had one wish…

so many people around the world - the same and yet different in interesting ways

so many people around the world – the same and yet different in interesting ways

Fellow blogger, Nancy from Spirit Lights the Way did a post recently titled “If I had one wish…” and it got me thinking. If I had one wish, then what would it be?

I know that wishing for world peace is often scoffed at however I am amazed that we are in the 21st Century and there is still so much conflict and suffering in the world. Just think about how much money is spent on people fighting and killing each other. Then there are the mega dollars spent on space exploration. We spend a fortune on science (and rightly so most of the time).

It doesn’t matter what age the archaeologists study – there are always weapons found and mass graves. We could say that, yes, that was thousands of years ago and they didn’t know any better, BUT we are still doing it today with more sophisticated and expensive weapons. We can even wage war via remote control.

Obviously money is not the answer to solving our world’s self-destructive behavior. We have come so far and yet we have changed so very little. My wish is that we could use our financial bounty plus scientific, and spiritual wisdom and experience to find a way we could all live together in harmony.

What would you wish for if you had one wish?




Letting go…

flower 002Falling asleep is difficult this week. No reason why it should be. I try to quiet my mind unsuccessfully. I think about all my family and wonder what they are doing and where they are. I wonder if they are happy and safe. I tell my mind to let go…

I realise what I need to let go of is the illusion that I have any control over their well-being. I can hope, pray and wish all things good for them – that is as much as I can do (with love).




They say a change is as good as a holiday

I had been really hanging out for a holiday but we were finding it difficult to get away (more due to inertia than being so busy). Eventually we agreed to have two nights in a self-contained apartment in Mandurah, a bit over an hour’s drive from here. I was really taken with the decor in the apartment and took some photos. The apartment, managed by Quest is located near Dolphin Quay as shown in the photo below. Even though the weather was wintry it didn’t lessen our enjoyment of it at all.

I came home feeling energised after the break! Amazing what a couple of days change of scenery can do!



Getting personal with Project Management

2013-03-18 15.12.00A few days ago I decided I need to write a project plan for my life. I am not sure where the idea came from but I grabbed hold of it anyway!

I started jotting down the headings for my plan and adding items under each heading. I thought a chunk of time, say thirty years, would be the time schedule to meet all the outcomes. I have done Project Planning in the workplace and also in assignments but it hadn’t occurred to me before how useful it could be in life planning. I felt a bit silly but who cares if it achieves what I want it to do i.e. making sure that I include the quality experiences and people in my life in the years to come.

So far this morning I have five pages of planning under the following headings:

  • Introduction
  • Project Management Approach
  • Project Scope
  • Project Scope Management Plan (several areas covered under this title – family, interests, income etc)
  • Milestone List
  • Change Management Plan
  • Communication Management Plan
  • Cost Management Plan
  • Schedule Management Plan
  • Quality Management Plan
  • Risk Register
  • Cost Baseline

I have appointed myself as Project Manager and my husband as Consultant and Adviser :-). A few things really jumped out at me:

  1. The financial implications of living for another thirty years
  2. The responsibility is MINE to make sure things happen – “If it is going to be, it is up to me!”
  3. The importance of looking after my physical and mental health for the duration

I don’t know what the future holds, even if I will still be typing away at my desk tomorrow, but the exercise was really challenging and made me think beyond today!



Weekly Photo Challenge – Nostalgia

The above photos are from old recipe books. My mother, mother-in-law and other generous souls have handed them on to me. I do remember most of the items as being common in the kitchen at the time. Canisters used to be important for things like flour, sugar, tea, biscuits etc.

I have a Page dedicated to Nostalgia on my blog and you are very welcome to check it out!



Asbestos country – industrial disaster

Wittenoom was once home to many….the following information is quoted from Wikipedia.

“Wittenoom is a ghost town 1,106 kilometres (687 mi) north-north-east of Perth in the Hamersley Range in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It is the site of Australia’s greatest industrial disaster.


The area around Wittenoom was mainly pastoral until the 1930s when mining began in the area. By 1939, major mining had begun in Yampire Gorge, which was subsequently closed in 1943 when mining began in Wittenoom Gorge. In 1947 a company town was built, and by the 1950s it was the Pilbara’s largest town. During the 1950s and early 1960s Wittenoom was Australia’s only supplier of blue asbestos. The town was shut down in 1966 due to unprofitability and growing health concerns from asbestos mining in the area.


Today, eight residents still live in the town, which receives no government services. In December 2006, the Government of Western Australia announced that the town’s official status would be removed, and in June 2007, Jon Ford, the Minister for Regional Development, announced that the townsite had officially been degazetted. The town’s name was removed from official maps and road signs and the Shire of Ashburton is able to close roads that lead to contaminated areas.”

I took these photos in the 1990’s when we lived in the region. It was still a popular spot for tourists at the time. One of my neighbours lived there in the 1950’s and she told me about many people who have since died as a result of asbestos related diseases. A great tragedy!