A child’s wish.

Star light, star bright.

The first star I see tonight.

I wish I may, I wish I might,

Have this wish I wish tonight.

I remember this rhyme. It was on a Holly Hobbie type picture on our wall when I was young. Very young. A time when I shared a room with my sisters and when my brothers slept in a bungalow out in the backyard. When my sisters slept in the room with me on bunk beds painted in lurid gloss paint by one of my sisters (it was the 70’s). A room where if I was scared, I could climb into the tiny bunk and be comforted by one of my sisters. Where a huge stuffed teddy bear named “Wozzy” offered me those cuddles in lieu when my sisters were absent. A room where my sometimes hippie flower child sister sat on the floor with an assortment of friends with guitars and music and laughed and talked about what seemed such worldly views to my eyes. Where another sister experimented on herself as well as me with makeup. Where I was read to and learned to read and where we could just be silly as older sister’s indulging a younger sister can be. It was a safe and happy space.

I am not sure who put that rhyme on our bedroom wall. I suspect it was my sister Debra as she was wont to put such things … I do remember looking at it each night and using it as my own silent wish each night before I went to sleep in my own bed, simple childlike wishes, surrounded by family. I took that for granted then as children do. That those you love and rely upon will always be there. There to comfort you, to protect you, to listen to you and to be what family are – your first confidantes and playmates. Your teachers. Your source of unconditional love. Our family was imperfect and dysfunctional, as all real families are, but I would not have had it any other way. We sometimes fought, we often argued. We were loud and large. One thing was never in doubt though – we loved each other. 

 Sisters, Brothers, Mother, Father. So much has changed since that time, but tonight as I lay myself down to sleep, I think of those words and they keep rolling through my head – Now I know for what I would wish … I wish I could rewind time. If not back to my childhood at least back seven years. 

Seven years to when my family was still full. To a time before. Before my family and I knew too much about loss and grief and absolute gut wrenching sorrow. A time of ignorance and oblivion to those things. Being the youngest of a huge tribe has its advantages and its disadvantages. You will forever be called the baby (I am currently a 48 year old “baby”) and considered the “spoiled” one. The one who had a Mum and Dad “broken in” by the older siblings. Definitely not true, I can tell you as the youngest. If anything, Mum and Dad had seen all the tricks and were wiser for it. As we all age though the hardest thing about being the youngest is watching your family members age and in our family’s case decrease in numbers through death … And with that the fear that you will be left alone of those you grew up surrounded by. I am sure that feeling is not unique to large families. Anyone who loves will one day feel loss of loved ones, but since all I know is my own family which is large, my perspective is influenced by my experience. 

My wish tonight can never be. I know that now. I am an adult, mostly rational, who left that childlike belief in the magic of wishes behind. But just for tonight I will say it here and also whisper it to myself before I sleep …I wish I may, I wish I might …


Dear Cancer,

I write this to you in a moment of great sadness, anger, hurt and loss.

Once again you have stolen someone I love.
You steal everything before you eventually steal life. You steal, energy, vitality, appetite, mobility, cognitive function, peace of mind, you steal the very breath from your victims lungs and you inflict unbearable pain and nausea. Then worst of all you steal dignity before you finally steal life. You are one greedy and cruel bastard. You are evil in your randomness. You suck!

It is time for you to piss off Cancer! No more. As my sister so eloquently said “I wish cancer would get cancer and die!”



Bucket Lists & moving on … 

 I had never made a bucket list before. Like New Years resolutions, I had always steered clear of them. Now I have one. I have not published it because I have been focused on actually living it. Doing it. Actions rather than words.  

It is a very slow process recovering from an abusive relationship. Escaping the relationship and then recovering from the damage done. I am going to continue to share my story in the hope that it creates a better understanding for other victims and that it may help someone recognise their own situation and to realise it is not hopeless. There is life afterwards. A better life. There is hope.

It is hard to explain to someone who has not been there but when you are in an abusive relationship you lose all sense of self and become someone that you no longer recognise. Trapped. Smaller. Less than who and what you were. Defeated. In order to recover you need to rebuild every aspect of your life. Like building a house, you start with the foundation and then build from there. Brick by brick, building to something bigger and stronger. The life which had been on hiatus restarted and allowing you to move on. Stronger for the lessons and the knowledge gained. Better for the appreciation of life as it can be. 

It has been a year of change, of rebuilding, of “doing”. It has been a great year! New job. New outlook. New opportunities. So, here are a few of the things I have done in my year of freedom … My Bucket List as I tick it off. 

… I can & I will – Just watch me! 

– Bluesfest Byron Bay –

Over the Easter long weekend I travelled to Byron Bay for the 27th annual Bluesfest. The music was fantastic, the experience itself was incredible. I also had my total “fan girl” moment when I got to meet Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi at the signing tent. That moment alone, after having just watched them kill it on the Crossroads stage, had me floating home. 

Bluesfest March 24th-28th 2016 

– Kayaking –

As part of my Byron Bay trip, I wanted to go out on the sea and see some dolphins in their natural habitat. I also just really love being out on the water. It was an unforgettable experience. So many Dolphins, dumped off the kayak by a rogue wave, climbing back on (now there is a strong metaphor for my last year) and loving the absolute beauty of Cape Byron, Watego’s, Byron Main Beach and the volcanic reef. An exhilarating experience I would definitely recommend. My next kayaking adventure will be the Melbourne Moonlight kayak tour. 

 Go Sea Kayak Byron Bay March 27th 2016  

– Inflatable Regatta on the Yarra –

600 inflatable boats slowly floating down the Yarra River. The hashtag for the day was #floatyourboat … well, it certainly did that. A wonderfully whimsical and relaxing journey in a part of my marvellous home town that not too many people get to appreciate. It was an absolute blast.

Inflatable Regatta February 27th 2016

– Fun Runs, Challenges and Climbs – 

Part of my goal this year was to get out and be more active and to take on physical challenges. I am fitter than ever and I want to take advantage of my new found energy and have fun. I have completed the Eureka Climb (November 2015) and Color Run (June 2015) and have Obsta Splash (April 2016), Mother’s Day Classic (May 2016), Stadium Stomp at the MCG (June 2016) and Miss Muddy (February 2017) ahead. I also climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge (July 2015) with my sister Robyn. That was an amazing experience!    

Color Run Melbourne November 22nd 2015 

Eureka Climb November 15th 2015 

Sydney Harbour Bridgeclimb July 25th 2015  

– New Years Fireworks On Sydney Harbour – 

Sydney throws one of the worlds best New Years parties and seeing it not just by the harbour but on a boat on the harbour was an amazing experience. 

New Years Eve Sydney Harbour December 31st 2015  

– Travel –

Being a shift worker has its fair share of disadvantages. One of the advantages though is getting blocks of days off. I decided that I would take advantage of these and do some short getaways within my home state of Victoria and interstate. I have annual leave coming up later in the year and will be doing one of my bigger getaways then. 

Broome July 2015  

Daylesford July 2015   

Sydney July 2015  

Sydney September 2015   

Sydney December 2015   

Bright February 2016   

Byron Bay March 2016   

– Learn Ukulele –

This is a work in progress but I am getting there. With the help of my daughter who is showing immense patience I have started on the journey. Adding new skills and hobbies is high on my list … Next is juggling.   

Stay tuned … Life is good! There is so much more ahead.

– I can & I will … Just watch me!

I can & I will – Just watch me. 

One year on … 

It has been a really important 12 months. It has been a year in which I have focused on rebuilding my life and I have to say – life has never been better. I am living and loving every moment. I am getting out amongst the world and enjoying everything – work, activities, socialising and just being me. What a difference a year makes. What a difference being free makes.  I am healthier. I am fitter. I am mentally stronger. I am happier.  Above all else, I am comfortable with who I am and where I am in my life. Me.


Yesterday I floated down the Yarra River in an inflatable raft as part of the 2016 Inflatable Regatta. It was an absolute blast. Gorgeously scenic, tranquil, slightly ridiculous but loads of fun. Out on the water, enjoying the best of what Melbourne (and life) has to offer.

My way of living now is pretty simple. Enjoy the now for there may be no tomorrow. I can and I will – just watch me!