Access to photos

Yallingup 010

I would love to have greater access to photos on the internet but I want to do it legally and ethically – i.e. I don’t want to breach copyright or use someone’s work without their approval. I am open to paying a subscription fee if it provides me with what I want.

The photos would be sometimes used in my blog but may also be used in my business and on Facebook. Currently I use my own photos or Public Domain photos from Wikipedia.

All suggestions appreciated! Thanks in anticipation ūüôā



DP Challenge: Procrastination


Recently while talking to some people I had just met, I realised how often my lifestyle decisions are based on doing things online. I met my husband online and I am a member of Weight Watchers online. I order my groceries online and buy my books the same way. I have personal Facebook page and business Facebook page plus I have this blog and another business blog. I do online research and read the news and weather online. I am also studying online.

How does this relate to today’s topic?

Well I need to get out into the community and do some face to face promotion and networking to help bring in some work. I seem to find a hundred reasons why I can’t do that. I am so much more comfortable in an online environment but I realise that good old networking seems to be the way to generate more work. Remember the saying, ‘it is not what you know but who you know’.

OK – here and now I will make a commitment for the coming week to visit two businesses with my flyer and business card and see if that breaks the ice for me :-).



Any port in a storm

IMG_0016I found this ticket among my photos and had a chuckle at the memory of that night. My work colleague and I attended the function as we shared office space with the Small Business people plus we thought we should show our support. It was a formal affair so Chris and I had to find something suitable for the occasion. We both found lovely formal gowns at the right price. Their earlier life was in a Formal Wear Hire business and they were as good as new.

The food was great and there was plenty to drink – probably too much! We knew a lot of the people at the function as they were local business people – so generally a great atmosphere. We had a Local Shire Councillor at our table who was very tipsy. I wasn’t drinking so when the glasses of port were handed out he took mine for himself. That was fine by me, however… the next thing I saw was the contents of the glass flying in my direction down the front of my evening gown!

Who knows why he did such as silly thing. I was so amazed that I didn’t get angry. A lot of people around us were horrified. The night got a lot worse for our Councillor friend and he ended up on the front page of the West Australian newspaper the next day. It seems he continued his drinking spree after the function and took guests back to the Council Chambers and created some mayhem there.

Next day I had the Mayor on the phone wanting me to take action against the Councillor but I am not vindictive and couldn’t see the point. The said Councillor sent me a dozen long-stemmed red roses and offered to pay for the cleaning of my evening gown. I was happy with that outcome ūüôā



Figure of a Woman (Before the Theater)

Figure of a Woman (Before the Theater) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Bad hair day!

The barber

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday I had my hair done (coloured), as I do on a fairly regular basis. Nothing unusual in that? Well, it nearly became exciting.

My hairdresser is located in a small shopping complex not far from my home.  I was a little early and placed in front of the mirror straight away and the magic chemicals (hair dye) applied to the roots of my hair to hide any grey ones creeping in unnoticed. With that done, they put a timer on for when it needed to be washed off. I think it was for about 30 minutes.

The¬†“boss” hairdresser went to use the tap and discovered there was no water. It turns out that some work was happening on another unit in the building and they turned off the water for the ALL the shops. They couldn’t isolate the water supply to just one shop. It only got worse though, because they then discovered a burst water main. It was flooding the car park and there was a bit of a panic.

Meanwhile the clock is ticking down on the timer for my hair treatment. I tried to be cool and suggested we could get some bottled water from the nearby supermarket. People were coming and going with promises that the water would be flowing in 5 minutes. Fifteen minutes passed and no water arrived. I was getting a little uncomfortable however the clock ticked down and it was time to remove the colour. Hurray! Just in time! The water was flowing again.

As the hairdresser¬†led¬†me to the basin, a burly Aussie¬†bloke poked his head in the door and said they had to turn it off again straight away. He was quite chatty and even amused, not realising (or caring ūüė¶ ) about the havoc he was creating. Well, the long and the short of it (pun?) was that my hair was saved from a disaster, just in the nick of¬†time.

The¬†salon owner¬†told me about another time when this happened. On the previous occasion,¬†she agreed to go with her customer back to her house to wash her hair (very flexible country people here). They arrived at the house and the woman¬†had lost her¬†house keys! It was crisis time¬† – their solution was to wash her hair using the garden hose on the front lawn of her house. I said to her, “that would make a good story”. Well, she is too busy to write so I thought I would take advantage of the tale!



Red dirt and Iron Mountains – Living in the Pilbara

Marble Bar, Western Australia

Image via Wikipedia

In 1988 I met and married a man from the Pilbara region of Western Australia. He worked as a driller for Mt Newman Mining Co. which later became BHP Billiton, based in the township of Newman. Newman is within the East Pilbara Shire which covers an area of 378,533 square kilometres. The region is known for its rich mining and pastoral industries. It also takes in parts of the Gibson and Great Sandy Deserts and the historic Canning Stock Route.

The area is populated sparsely. There are many remote Indigenous communities and the towns house the general population who staff the hospital, schools and small businesses. Most people in Newman are employed at the mine at Mt Whaleback Рone of many  large iron ore deposits.

I moved from Perth with my new husband and my three young sons in December 1988. It was HOT! Fortunately we had a nice home with good air conditioning. I lived in remote communities before but this was my first experience of a mining town. The Company was moving away from providing all the infrastructure for the town (they still provided housing for their workers) and the government provided schools, hospitals etc. It was a very multicultural community with over forty nationalities represented. The demand for workers attracted people from all over the world.

Newman was a very social place. Most people knew each other as the population was about 7,000 at that time. It has fluctuated up and down depending on the needs of the mining industry. The pub was a popular place for the workers. It was pretty rough and not the sort of place to wander through without a male companion. I think I only went there twice in the seven years I lived there ūüôā

It was a place of opportunity – the chance to be a big fish in a small pond, as the saying goes. I very quickly found more work and interests than there were hours in the day. I was coordinating a migrant English program, writing for the local regional newspaper, and later became involved as a Shire Councillor for the East Pilbara Shire. It was great to have input into the decisions impacting on the community and the region.

We used to fly small planes to Council meetings each month as we tried to meet in different parts of the vast shire boundaries. We normally chartered small planes to places such as Marble Bar, Nullagine, Telfer and Shay Gap. Marble Bar is known as one of the hottest places in Australia and its history as a gold mining town. During the time I was on the Shire I was the only female councillor. It was a memorable experience with many larger than life characters on the Shire and in the districts they represented.

Today a lot of the mining companies employ their staff on a fly in, fly out basis. The partners and families stay on in the cities and towns and the men do some time at the mine site and then have a week or so back home with their families. I opposed that concept as it was very bad for the towns in the region. Fewer children meant fewer teachers were allocated to the schools etc and the towns reverted to a company town with the only focus being on the mines and the pubs. Community services declined and the lives of the families in the cities live only part-time with their partners. It can be very lonely for them, however  it pays well and that is why they do it.

I have some great memories of my time up there but I don’t want to go back. I would love to visit for a holiday but my life has moved on since then. Some of my information for this blog¬†was¬†is from a book commissioned by the Shire when I was there – Gold Dust and Iron Mountains – Marble Bar and Beyond by Hugh Edwards for the East Pilbara Shire.

cheers for now


All About Words W.A.

It took me a long time to think of a name that encompassed all the different aspects of my interest in writing РAll About Words WA (ie Western Australia) fitted the bill and I registered it as a Business Name. When it came time to choosing a name for my blog it was the logical choice.

Today I changed the theme of my blog from Coraline to ChaoticSoul. It is great to get access to these opportunities through WordPress.

I do like change. It gives me a fresh start, even a bit of anonymity for a little while however I do admire people who stay living in the same house or town forever and have a distinct and recognisable image/style of who they are.

¬†I like to keep re-inventing myself in little ways, hence the new theme in my blog today. It gives me permission to do things differently than what is expected of me ūüôā

I hope you like the new look!



Chilled out…

Some days there are just so many things to think about and to do. Where do I start? I haven’t written a proper blog for several days – how frustrating. I just don’t seem to be in the flow at the moment. What to do?

Fortunately I remembered how important it is to sit down and write all the things that are on my mind. Once I wrote down my list I felt a bit better. Then I took it to the next stage and did a mind map so that I could see how all the different things impact on each other. It is often surprising what comes out of an exercise like this.

I looked at what choices are open to me.¬†I realise that the decision over a¬†year ago¬†to give up full-time work and move to the country¬†is a¬†mixed blessing.¬†I love where we live but there are not the¬†(part-time) work opportunities to match my skills. I feel I still have a lot¬†to offer to the work place but I don’t want the high level of pressure I had previously. I want¬†to be my own boss.

Others in my family have been self-employed quite successfully, however I don’t want to take on a lot of financial¬†risk at this time in my life. If only¬†I knew how long I had to live, I could ration my resources accordingly! But, I don’t have that information – and maybe just as well ūüôā

I am so fortunate to have such a problem in not knowing how best to spend my time! So many people in the world have much greater worries than mine. I don’t envy their lot by any means. I realise I am very fortunate in my life, having the choices I do, but with choice comes responsibilities. I am afraid of making mistakes that I will regret and so I find myself stuck in indecision.

So, today I didn’t make any decisions. I took some time out and read the papers; watched the football; and did my fingernails. It was a good day!




I had a good day today!

I was home all day today and I dedicated the time to setting up my new website. I felt it could be challenging so I was a bit nervous about taking it on. I am NOT an IT person and acknowledge I have a lot to learn, but I really enjoyed my day. You can visit my site if you at

Yes, WordPress¬†¬†has great web builder software and it is mostly fairly easy to use. I am one of those people who take on a task that I have never done before, and “have a go”. I said to my web host Help Desk that I would go as far as I can and then call for help if I need to.

I am full of ideas for my business and I hope to use my web page to attract some clients. Time will tell.

Anyway, please visit my web page and feel free to comment or leave a message ūüôā



Why is linking up so hard?

At work today I was pondering the reality that, on the hand, there are so many services provided by government and community organisations, and, on the other hand, there are so many people in desperate need of these services! How is it then that so often people in need do not have access to what can help them?

I have heard it said recently that our region is very poorly catered for in mental health services. There are actually over 100 different services available – most of them I hadn’t heard of before this week!

Another time I was working with small business people and became aware of their lack of knowledge of the plethora of services available to them by the government. We (the Department) actually funded a position for twelve months and his job was to go and visit small businesses in the region and raise their awareness of these services.

Sometimes there needs to be a person to advocate on behalf of others. Other times there needs to be someone who is a catalyst to making things come together. Another strategy, brokerage, is used by many governments today. What we have to watch is that the community “brokers” don’t start to behave like the bureacracies they are replacing.

Another strategy, and maybe one of the best, is the use of the internet to find the services you need. Which is all very well if you have a computer, the skills to use it and access to the internet.

Another dicothomy I see is the inbalance in material possessions. What is considered waste in our Western societies is considered luxury in Third World countries. We don’t even have to leave Australia to see the financial divide in our communities. Some people have so much while others struggle with so little.

I don’t have answers to these delimmas but it has got me thinking!

cheers for today


Desperately seeking…


Image via Wikipedia

What more can I do? In my quest to become self-employed I have used a range of strategies. The following are examples of what I have done:

  • designed some business cards describing the writing services I offer and distributed them on notice boards and to friends and contacts
  • emailed a range of community organisations offering my writing services
  • emailed the editors of my local newspapers and offered to write for them on a part-time or regular basis
  • emailed all the local printers and offered to proof-read and offer copy for their customers
  • send a story off to a magazine – I got a nice reply but my story wasn’t suitable
  • put an ad in the local paper – no response
  • learnt how to advertise on Google – that was fun but no success in gaining business
  • contacted my local college to see if there were any opportunities
  • utilised my networks and passed on my resume to lots of people
  • joined Seek
  • joined LinkedIn
  • set up a page on my blog related to my business ideas
  • read several books: Facebook Marketing; Consulting, Contracting and Freelancing; Work from Home; Make a Real Living out of Freelance Writing; Magazine Article Writing; Style Manual; various books on grammar etc.
  • practised writing by doing my blog as often as I can
  • offered my skills to the local Member of Parliament’s Office
  • offered my skills to my local council
  • explored doing some more training

I acknowledge that I need to be patient and keep writing and keep trying. It is my dream to be able to be fully occupied working from home through using what skills I have in writing.

Perhaps I need to stand back,  give everything a good shake and then re-look at where I am going and what I want to do.

Cheers for now and have a happy and safe Easter!