Blogs to Love

Blogs to Love

In my last post I vowed to fulfil my duty as a nominated “Inspiring Blogger” and nominate 15 other bloggers for the same award.  I have said before that I am not much of a ‘net-surfer.  I don’t sit for hours in front of the computer looking at blogs and Pinterest and all the other wonderful things on the internet.  I don’t have time and I have issues with my neck and back so I’m more of a sit-down-and-do-what-I-have-to-and-get-out kind of person.  I stare at a computer screen for most of my day at work so I don’t really want to do it when I get home, so I limit my time doing it at all after work.  That’s not to say I haven’t discovered lots and lots of lovely blogs.  I have.  So here’s a few that I feel inspired by or cheered by or made jealous by.  There’s a couple that just make me laugh.  I’ve included video bloggers too – not sure if that’s allowed but I figure in this day and age, everybody is welcome.

The Feathered Nest   Oh such pretty, pretty things!  And you know I love anything with birds or speckled eggs…

Eat Drink Chic  More pretty things and foody things and things I want to make.  There’s some lovely wooden bunting on here I want to steal the idea from…

A Story Of    I recently attended a mini-market with some friends and A Story Of had lots of lovely things on display.  I was supposed to blog about it but my camera didn’t perform very well and the pictures were no good.  And I’m lazy.  So apologies to Candice whom I talked to on the night and promised to “spread the word” about her gorgeous goodies.  I am a bad blogger *slaps wrist*.  I can make up for it now.  Go to the website and check out all the cool stuff Candice makes including hand-painted creatures (owls, deer, bunnies) on vintage china, embroidery and jewellery.  I did get one photo that night that turned out ok.  Look at these adorable mittens!

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Someone else snapped these up before I could get my butt into gear and nab them for myself.  Candice also promotes and supports Fair Trade organisations and other worthy causes so you should definitely stop by her blog and learn all about her and her work with women in places like Thailand and India, helping them to build lives for themselves.  I’m not explaining it very well so you should just visit her website already!  She’s doing good work 🙂

Something Special   I have been buying perfumes from Something Special for years.  They are just so yummy smelling and I always get compliments on what I am wearing.  My favourite one is “Butt Naked” which is a dreadful name but smells deeeee-lightful.  I wear it all the time.  The products are not tested on animals which is a huge selling point for me – it is so hard to get cosmetics or perfumes that are cruelty free these days.  But I don’t want to be stinky.  So I buy these perfumes.  They have literally a bazillion different scents and you can buy teeny little sample bottles to try them first.  Two thumbs up.

 Grav3yard Girl    Bunny makes me laugh.  A lot.  Plus she goes thrift shopping all the time (my favourite thing to do when I’m not crafting) and she just has a unique outlook on life.  She’s a bit crazy but heck, who isn’t?  Check her out.

Kate’s Creative Space  Lovely, lovely things and inspiring ideas!

Lia Griffith  Printables and more

Tilda’s World  If you don’t know about Tilda Finnanger, where have you been?  Her fabrics and papers and STUFF are just gorgeous.  My Mum is in love her with I think.

La Belle Brocante  I think I may have mentioned this one before…so I’m cheating and adding it to this list because I can’t find where I linked to it before!  Lovely stuff on here…

CreartfulDodger  Every time I visit this blog I want to curl up inside it and stay forever.  Just wonderfully inspiring collages and vintage-inspired artwork and mixed media pieces.  Love, love, love!

There, how many is that?  I think I failed the “Nominate Fifteen Bloggers” bit of the rules.  Oh well.  I hope you do have a look at some of these blogs, websites and vlogs and feel inspired.  Or that they just make you smile or laugh or whatever.  It’s all good.

Now it’s freezing cold and I need tea and I should get in my PJs (I’ve just come home from my evening walk and it’s nearly 7pm and I’m still dressed!  What?!!).  Hope you’ve all had a good day – mine was hectic and busy with lots of little jobs to get finished and horrible traffic to wade through.  Time for dinner and some catchin’ up with the hubby.  Have a great evening 🙂

Nominations and Green Soup!

Nominations and Green Soup!

Hi there – thanks for stopping by.  It’s so nice to have all these lovely new friends from all over.  I appreciate all your comments and “likes” and “follows”, I really do.  I am excited each day to see who’s written to me or how many followers I have.  I also worry daily about whether I am posting anything decent or if I’m posting enough at all (which I know I’m not).

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I’ve been nominated for an “Inspiring Blogger” Award by the lovely Audra of Joyosphere and you should definitely have a look at her blog too.  She has some great posts about all things to do with the home and family life, plus she’s a fellow librarian so, you know, she gets extra points for that.  🙂

There are some rules for the award acceptance….

  1. Link back to the blogger who so kindly nominated you! 
  2. Post the image of the award…. I think I’ve successfully done that, I hope…
  3. Share 7 random facts about yourself…I am pretty random in general so there’s lots of things I could list, but I’ll stick to the following seven:

1.  I used to be a lot bigger than I am now.  I once lost about 25-30kg.  I was basically a big round ball on legs.  Fat, stumpy legs.  I live in fear of returning to that state.  It is a constant battle.

2.  I once sold dog food door-to-door.  I only lasted one day.  I hated it.

3. I used to collect pigs.  Not real ones, just ornamental piggies.  It started when my brother bought me a gorgeous piggy bank and went from there. I had hundreds of them but then one day just got fed up and didn’t want to collect them any more.  Most of them ended up in op shops and garage sales.  I hope they found happy homes!  Other things I have collected – erasers, stickers and stamps.

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4.  I have had the same best friend for 32 years.  It’s a miracle she isn’t sick of me yet.  I should be careful to hang on to her…she knows too much about me!

5.   I love the ocean on dark and stormy days when the sky is black and the waves are angry and crashing about.  I love storms in general.

6.  I’d really like to dye my hair purple but I am too chicken.

7.  I can’t stand coriander (also called cilantro).  It is gross and smells like vomit to me.  Yuck.

So there you are.  Not very exciting but definitely random!

I also have to nominate 15 bloggers for the same award.  I plan on doing a special post on that so I will keep you posted (pardon the pun).  I am particularly bad about this last rule – I just always seem to forget to do it so I will try extra hard to not put it off for too long.

Gotta go and serve up some dinner for me and the hubby.  It’s a cold, miserable night again and soup is the order of the day.  I’d eat soup for dinner every night if I could.  Especially Green Soup.  I make this about once a week and have it for lunches too if there’s enough left over.  I just saute some onions until they’re translucent, chuck in some chopped celery (about 4 stalks) and let that cook a little bit.  Then I add in some chopped zucchini (one whole one) and some frozen baby peas (about a cup or so).  Add enough stock to cover and let it simmer away until all the vegies are soft and ready to be blitzed.  In the meantime, blanch a handful of snowpeas in some boiling water for about a minute.   Drain them and let them sit in some cold water (this helps them keep their colour and flavour).  Chuck them into the rest of the soupy mix when you’re ready to blend and blitz until smooth.  Season as necessary.  I usually sprinkle a little bit of parmesan on top and just a little bit of black pepper.  Yummo!  Serve with some nice warm bread or cheesy scones.  Delish!

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Whatever you’re having for dinner tonight, hope it is exactly what you’ve been wanting all day and that you can share it with some good company 🙂

Dementia

Dementia

I work for an organisation that assists people with dementia, their families, carers and friends.  I thought I should do my bit to educate any of you who may be interested…

Dementia is the 2nd leading cause of death in Western Australia.  That’s a scary statistic.  Many people think of dementia as the “forgetting disease”, where the only symptom or problem it causes is the inability to remember things.  They don’t realise the impact it has on people’s lives, and the lives of the people who will eventually have to care for them.  Alzheimer’s Australia lists some of the changes a person with dementia may experience:

Early dementia 

Often this phase is only apparent in hindsight. At the time it may be missed, or put down to old age, or overwork. The onset of dementia is usually very gradual, and it is often impossible to identify the exact time it began. The person may:

Appear more apathetic, with less sparkle 

Lose interest in hobbies and activities 

Be unwilling to try new things 

Be unable to adapt to change 

Show poor judgement and make poor decisions 

Be slower to grasp complex ideas and take longer with routine jobs 

Blame others for “stealing” lost items 

Become more self-centred and less concerned with others and their feelings 

Become more forgetful of details of recent events 

Be more likely to repeat themselves or lose the thread of their conversation 

Be more irritable or upset if they fail at something 

Have difficulty handling money. 

Moderate dementia

At this stage the problems are more apparent and disabling. The person may:

Be more forgetful of recent events. Memory for the distant past generally seems better, but  some details may be forgotten or confused 

Be confused regarding time and place 

Become lost if away from familiar surroundings 

Forget names of family or friends, or confuse one family member with another 

Forget saucepans and kettles on the stove. May leave gas unlit 

Wander around streets, perhaps at night, sometimes becoming lost 

Behave inappropriately, for example going outdoors in nightwear 

See or hear things that are not there 

Become very repetitive 

Be neglectful of hygiene or eating 

Become angry, upset or distressed through frustration. 

Advanced dementia

At this third and final stage, the person is severely disabled and needs total care. The person may:

Be unable to remember occurrences for even a few minutes, for instance forgetting that they have just had a meal 

Lose their ability to understand or use speech 

Be incontinent 

Show no recognition of friends and family 

Need help with eating, washing, bathing, toileting and dressing 

Fail to recognise everyday objects 

Be disturbed at night 

Be restless, perhaps looking for a long-dead relative 

Be aggressive, especially when feeling threatened or closed in 

Have difficulty walking, eventually perhaps becoming confined to a wheelchair 

Have uncontrolled movements

Immobility will become permanent, and in the final weeks or months the person will be bedridden.   

There is so much research being done into the causes of dementia.  I have to produce a report each month for our board members on all the latest research and news that is relevant to this particular health concern.  I think most people (including myself) are scared of the condition, and there is no cure, but there are things you can do to help reduce the risk of developing dementia and to delay its onset.  Remember, dementia is not a normal part of ageing.  The “Your Brain Matters” program is designed to help you keep your brain healthy.  There is even a “Brainy App” for your phone!  There are three main “areas” you need to take care of in order to promote a healthy brain:

Keeping your brain active matters: Keep your brain challenged and be socially active

Being fit and healthy matters: Eating healthily and participating in regular physical activity are important for a healthy body and a healthy brain

Looking after your heart matters: What’s good for the heart is good for the brain – avoid smoking, manage your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and body weight

For more tips and information, click here

There are some awesome books you can read on the subject of dementia too.  Working in the library, I get to see lots of great resources and tend to take a few home to read, just to get an idea of my collection and what books to recommend.  Here are a few of my suggestions:

“Contented Dementia” by Oliver James (An interesting book that outlines specific techniques for communicating and interacting with people with dementia.  Not a “doom & gloom” read but rather a positive and uplifting guide that shows you how to make the life of a dementia patient so much happier and, in turn, the lives of the people caring for them.  It’s had mixed reviews amongst members of the medical and care profession.  I think it has some worthy suggestions and it’s always up to the individual to decide what is best for them and their situation).

“Aging with Grace : what the Nun Study teaches us about leading longer, healthier and more meaningful lives” by David Snowden, PhD.  (The title is a little bit misleading – it makes it all sound a bit airy-fairy but it is actually a fascinating book about a remarkable study which changed the way medical science looks at brains, ageing and lifestyle.

“Still Alice” by Lisa Genova  (I actually read this book long before I even knew I would be working with a dementia-oriented organisation but it was definitely a good starting point and gave me some understanding of what a person lives through with dementia, particularly young-onset dementia.  This is a fictional story but well worth a read.  Very sad in parts.)

“The Validation Breakthrough” by Naomi Feil and Vicki de Klerk-Rubin (This book is VERY popular in my library – I have several copies in the collection and they are rarely on the shelf.  Validation is a way of communicating with older adults living with Alzheimer’s-type dementia and responding to their challenging behaviours.  It focuses on acknowledging the person’s feelings and emotions and promotes greater self-worth and contentment whilst reducing anxiety, anger and fear.  Simple techniques and examples make the book easy to read and interpret.  A great resource for anyone living or working with people with dementia.)

“Dementia Reconsidered : the person comes first” by Tom Kitwood  (Focuses on the “person-centred” approach to care ie that each person is an individual and should be treated as such.  Sometimes it is easy to forget the person underneath the disease and this book reinforces the idea of recognising that there is still a personality with his or her own characteristics, likes and dislikes, talents and interests.  Recommended by lots of staff members here!).

There are so many great resources out there and new ones coming out all the time.  It’s well worth reading a few titles to get an understanding of dementia, even if you’re not yet in direct contact with anyone who has the condition.  Chances are, at some stage in your life, you will be and it doesn’t hurt to learn a little bit about what they’re going through and how you can communicate with them, help make their life easier.

I’ve learnt so much in the short time I’ve been here.  Some of it scary, some of it uplifting and hopeful.  I am certainly no expert (far from it!) and you should contact your medical practitioner if you have any questions or concerns.  Access your own National dementia associations – most will have an abundance of literature and resources for you to borrow or keep and will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have, as well as providing support and assistance if you are caring for someone with dementia.

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 Well, that’s my community service for the day!  I’ve just been out walking (or dragging myself around the streets if you want me to be honest) after a long and headache-inducing day at work.  Wasn’t a bad day, really, I just had lots to do and a few stressors were, well, stressing me!  I’m looking forward to getting into my jammies and slippers, putting the heater on and maybe watching a few youtube videos on op-shopping (thrifting).  I am a bit addicted to those videos.  I love seeing what other people are buying at their local 2nd hand store.  Makes me jealous though ’cause I wanna get out there and do some shopping myself!  Also cracks me up the way people call everything vintage – even if it’s just a few years old.  Lord, my whole wardrobe is practically antique by their standards!  🙂

Hope your start to the week has been as eventful or uneventful as you’d like.

I hope some of this post has been helpful, or at least interesting for those of you who have an interest in the subject of dementia.  Stay happy and brain healthy!  :)

My Sunday in Pictures

My Sunday in Pictures

I went over to my Mum’s today with the intention of doing some crafting with her.  Epic fail.  We ended up just spending the day talking and having tea and admiring the cat (it’s what we do).  We looked at some craft magazines so I like to think that counts but really, we didn’t actually do anything constructive.  I think sometimes you just need a day like that.

Mum is trying to get her tiny little art/craft room organised and kitted out.  She doesn’t have a lot of room and so she has taken her time getting furniture in there and deciding on what kind of storage unit she wanted.  She’s making it look really pretty though and a lot more inspiring than my craft room (which is basically a mess all of the time).  She’s good at arranging things and grouping “like” things together in an attractive way (instead of my method of just cramming stuff wherever it fits).  She uses bought pieces and items she’s made to decorate and create charming little nooks and spaces.

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We visited a local scrapbooking store because I needed some glass slides to use with some memory frames I bought.  I came out of the store $47.00 poorer and still with no glass slides.  Oh well…I needed more paper and stamps and embellishments, didn’t I?

During my visit, Alexander, the very spoilt and gorgeous love of our life was a cheerful and attention-seeking companion, never far from where we were sitting.  He does, however, enjoy a nap in his “boudoir” which is actually Mum’s spare bathroom.  He has a whole set up in there.  A bed fit for a king in the bath tub.  Mum worries that he gets cold but he goes in there by himself and looks perfectly content to  me.  He gets to sunbathe as the sun filters through the big window and he feels safe and secure within the confines of the bath tub.  Sure, it’s a little bit odd but he likes it.  He’s 16 years old so we figure he can do what he likes.  Although he is a naughty boy and will scratch at Mum’s brand new couch.  He gets away with murder because we love him.  It is impossible to get photos of him – not just because he camera-shy but because he is very black and the camera doesn’t pick up his features very well.  He is the sweetest-natured cat we have ever had.  Never bad tempered or spiteful.  We raised him and his siblings from when they were only a few days old so I guess we brought them up “proper”.

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The “King” in his “boudoir”.  Comfortable much?

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I don’t know what he was saying here.  Most likely “Get that camera away from me!”  Look at those perfect teeth!  Not bad for an old man.

Mum showed me a couple of the things she’d been painting this week.  She thinks her painting is getting “terrible” as she is getting older.  I think she’s crazy.  If I could paint half as well as her, I’d be happy.

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Pretty little country scene on a Christmas bauble.  These are big sellers for Mum at our Christmas craft sale every year.  She never has any left by the end of the day.

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This “Frosty” bauble not finished yet but he’s cute.  I like the little robin too.

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This is going to be a brooch – it’s painted on a wooden “slice” from a tree branch.  I’m going to do some brooches with these too but Mum beat me to it.

So, not the most productive day (and of course, now that it is late, I am suddenly filled with creative spirit and want to do something…) but a nice, chilled one and no stress.  Back to work tomorrow.  Had an awful time at work this week just gone so I am hoping this week will be better.  Hope your week is great too 🙂

Coconut and Pistachio Barfi

Coconut and Pistachio Barfi

I am off work today with a cold.  Not a terrible cold or the flu – just sniffly and snuffly and couldn’t get out of bed-dy.  I always feel guilty about taking time off work but I really didn’t feel well this morning and so when hubby asked me if I was gonna stay home, I said “Yep” and went straight back to sleep.

I’m not feeling well but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna sit around and do nothing.  I have to be really sick to just lie on the couch all day watching TV or sleeping.  So I’ve been re-organising my jewellery supplies.  When I say “re-organising”, what I should really say is “organising” because they were in a pretty bad state and nothing was even remotely organised.  At all.  I want to put all my silver findings in one box, copper findings in another and so on.  So I can find stuff when I need it.  Which will certainly be a novelty for me.  It is going to take me the better part of one whole day I think.  I’m culling as I go as well because there are beads and findings that I just won’t use. Lots of plastic beads and stuff that I’ve just acquired over the years.  So many boxes and cases to go through…it all looks so much nicer when it’s all neat and tidy and colour matched though:

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As I said in my last post, I have a “Bollywood” themed fundraiser at work tomorrow so my department had to make Indian foods for a staff banquet.  I said I would make some sort of sweet thing.  I chose Coconut Barfi because it seemed pretty simple to make and didn’t have lots of ingredients.  I altered mine a bit to include Pistachio because it’s just such a pretty colour and I love the flavour.  So, here’s the recipe, provided by my lovely library assistant, Bhavni:

Coconut & Pistachio Barfi

Should make about 12 – 15 pieces depending on how big you roll them

Ingredients 
2 Cups Desiccated coconut ( I am a bit of an idiot and accidentally used shredded coconut but it still worked fine)
Condensed Milk -1 Can (300 ml)
½ tsp Cardamom powder
100g ground pistachio
Extra desiccated coconut for coating

Method
1.Heat a non-stick pan on medium flame and add the coconut.
2. Saute until the you can smell the coconut, making sure it does not brown at all (it takes 5 to 10 mins).
3. Add the condensed milk and cardamom powder and ground pistachio

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4. Saute for 5 mins continuously until everything rolls out to a ball.
5. Add some food colour if you like (the pistachio was green enough for me) and mix it.
6. Switch off the stove and let mixture cool down so you can handle it.
7. Roll into small balls and roll in extra coconut.

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8. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.

Voila!  Pretty easy really.  Thanks Bhavni!

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Hopefully people at work will like them.  I should point out that I washed my hands continuously throughout the making of these little gems.  I didn’t want anyone getting my germs as a special surprise in their Barfi.  I’m not coughing so I hopefully kept my plague to myself.  I had some ideas for dressing up the dish and making them look all blingy and Indian-inspired and colourful but I’m not feeling that well.  I’m just glad I got something made, despite my ill health.

Have a great week everybody.  Why not try some Barfi?  They don’t take long and you could make some to take to your own workplace and share around.  Let me know if you do 🙂

PS The Barfi can also be pressed into a tin (buttered, the recipe suggests, or, as I would suggest, lined with baking paper) and when set, cut into diamonds.  Pretty!

Cold, cats and clean ups…

Cold, cats and clean ups…

I have a cold.  Or, at least, the start of one.  Thanks to hubby.  He’s had one all week and now it’s my turn.  Not that he “gave” it to me.  I thought I had managed to stay well and avoid actually getting sick too but today I feel pretty rotten.  Blah!

Have been trying to tidy up my craft room (again) for the past two days.  It’s not going well.  I just have so much stuff and nowhere to put it all. I know, I have said this many times.  I need to get rid of stuff but I’m just no good at that.

I did get rid of a big stack of magazines (they will be visiting the recycling in soon) by cutting out all the pictures and tips that I liked and putting them into a photo album.  That is a least neater and more organised.

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I am flagging a little bit now.  It’s cold and I’m achey and snotty and pathetic and just want to curl up on the couch and watch tv (even if hubby is watching back-to-back episodes of Star Trek).  I really want to get my jewellery findings boxes sorted out.  I’ve been meaning to do that for ages.  I might sit and do that in a minute…maybe.  In between blowing my nose and making endless cups of tea.  And being pathetic.

My lovely friend from across the sea (San Raphael – is that technically across the sea?  I guess so…you can’t get there by bus from Australia!) sent me a lovely parcel of stickers this week.  So pretty!  And I loved the washi tape messages on it.  If you haven’t already visited Dianne’s blog, you should do!  She has lots of creative, crafty things on the go and she puts me to shame with how much she accomplishes each week. Check out her blog here. It was very kind of her to send me some “treats” and it cheered me up no end! 🙂

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Dianne’s partner, Rem, is my pen-pal (for almost 20 years now!) and he has a blog too – check it out here

Last night, hubby and I and a group of friends went to dinner at Chutney Mary’s (Yum! – Indian food…I shouldn’t be eating any of that stuff – too much salt and potassium and goodness knows what else my kidneys won’t like – but my renal function is up to 46% this week so…) and then to see a friend perform in CATS.  The production was excellent, and, although I’m not a fan of the musical (sorry Andrew Lloyd Webber), it was a good night and we had an enjoyable time.  We stopped off for Gelato on the way home…so naughty, no wonder I can’t lose any weight.  Speaking of Indian food…I have to make some Indian sweets for a Bollywood-themed fundraiser we are having at work this week…not sure how my contributions are gonna turn out but I have a lovely volunteer in my library who is of Indian descent and she has given me recipes and tips for making them successfully.  It’s not what you know, it’s who you know!

Well, it is cold in my office and I’m sneezing and snuffling and being altogether sickly, so it is time I went back out into the warm lounge and probably also put the kettle back on.

Hope you are all well.  Sorry there was no crafting going on this weekend.  I don’t know about all of you, but I can’t be creative when I’m all bunged up and sniffly.  That’s my excuse anyway! Take care and have a wonderful week 🙂

PS Not only is Dianne the creator of a wonderful blog – she also is great for proof-reading my blog…I had some very bad mistakes in here but she kindly pointed them out to me and I have fixed them…so hopefully not too many people noticed that I called Rem my “penal”.  I don’t even want to know what that means…I don’t have penpals from prison or anything like that, truly. So thanks Dianne! 🙂

If wishes were horses (I’d be in the middle of a stampede!)

If wishes were horses (I’d be in the middle of a stampede!)

What would you wish for if you were given twenty wishes, guilt-free and with no nasty consequences? Excluding money and health for yourself and everyone you know, what would you ask for? Let’s just say curing cancer and creating world peace were off the table. What does that leave you? What, in your wildest imagination would you really want to ask for? Come on, you can be completely selfish, silly and self-absorbed here….
My wishes change on a daily basis, depending on what frustrating or annoying circumstances surround me at the time. But here’s a few things I would pretty much like at any given moment.
1. Beautiful shoes that look amazing but are super comfortable and vegan-friendly and that I can walk in without looking like a disabled duck. And I want them in every colour. And they need to be able to turn into any style of shoe at my command. Yeah, transformer shoes!

2. A live-in hairdresser. I cannot “do” hair. On any given day my hair is an uncontrollable mess. I am lucky to have thick, healthy hair that grows in record time and never seems to get split ends, but I cannot style it. So someone that just appears in a puff of smoke each morning and turns my mop of curls and knots into something gorgeous and magazine-worthy would be lovely. It’s not vanity – it would just be one less thing to worry about every day.

3. A driver. I don’t mind driving but I do get very stressed if I have to drive on the freeway or in the busy city area or anywhere I’m not familiar with, especially at night time or in the rain. A chauffeur would be pretty awesome. Or a talking car, like K.I.T.T. Back in the 80’s I would have said maybe a driver that looked like David Hasselhoff (just to complete the Knight Rider set) but I think those misguided days are well and truly over.

4. A perfect body. Well, come on! I’d settle for looking good in a pair of jeans really. A fit body, one that can run for hours and look great doing it.

5. The ability to change my eye colour. That would be excellent. Imagine changing your eyes to glowing red orbs when someone pushes in front of you in the line for a movie ticket – awesome! You could match them with any outfit – the ultimate in colour co-ordinating! I know I could get contact lenses but I don’t like the idea of having to poke about with things in my eyes.

6. A personal organiser. I don’t mean a Filo-Fax or a diary or Blackberry. I mean an actual organiser person. Someone who would file all my stuff and manage my mess. They would be invisible and not tut at me when I leave stuff lying around.

7. A substitute for chocolate. A magical foodie substance that mimics the taste and texture of chocolate but that isn’t chocolate and contains no potassium or fat or sugar or anything bad. It would actually be good for you and you could eat as much as you liked. It could be the new super food. Maybe it will be discovered in some rainforest somewhere. People with bones through their noses will survive on it and live to be 200 years old. It will be so plentiful that it will never be overfarmed and it will make millions of women happy.

8. A transportation device. I hate flying – I’m not scared of planes or air travel, I just really hate being stuck in one spot for hours on end and it’s painful and noisy and boring. So I’d like a “Beam-me-up-Scotty” kind of device. Just imagine being able to go to New York or Bhutan or London or anywhere, without having to ever set foot in an airport. No passport required!

9. On the topic of flying, I’d like to fly. Like, actually fly. Like Superman. It would be so amazing. I would probably end up deranged and unemployed because all I would ever do is disappear to go fly somewhere. Awesomeness.

10. Singing. I’d like to be able to do that. Not to be a pop star or something – just to be able to sing beautifully and confidently. Without going squeaky in the high bits or sounding like a foghorn in the deep bits. Without scaring small children and animals. I’d like to sing, that’s all. In real life I sing constantly in the car and when I’m by myself, but nobody needs to hear that. I’d like to be able to whip out a guitar and strum away and amaze people with my musical talent. I want birds to alight on trees near me just to hear me sing. I want the whole Disney princess thing – bluebirds circling around me and fawns lying contented at my feet. I once dreamt that I saved the world from Alien invasion by belting out some 80s pop tune. It was so cool.

11. Invisibility. That’s in my trifecta of awesomeness. Singing, Flying, Invisible-ing. My whole life would be so much easier if I could be invisible. I have social phobia so being able to disappear but still be there would be so ace. I’d never be frightened or self-conscious again. I could go out in my PJs ALL THE TIME. I could sneak into concerts (but knowing me I would feel guilty and end up leaving some money at the ticket stand) and sample food off people’s plates in restaurants. Actually, I wouldn’t do that. That’s kinda gross and not very hygienic.

12. I’d like to be sure-footed. I am a super-mondo klutz and I fall over very easily and without provocation. I’d like to be graceful and elegant and not clumsy.

13. Dancing – I would love to be able to dance. I don’t mean anything special or super-talented. I’d just like to be able to do it, especially in front of people. It looks fun but it is terrifying to me. I would rather stick a fork in my eye than dance in front of people. I would like to be able to go to concerts and get my groove on instead of sitting there like a limpet.

14. A channel on TV that plays music videos ALL DAY LONG. Without commercials or annoying VJs or interviews with random celebrities. It would have the best music from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s up until now and it would a-mazing. And it wouldn’t repeat the same ones over and over and it would never, ever, ever play diva-esque ballads (I’m talking to you Celine Dion and Mariah Carey). I call that kind of performance “Hooting”. There will be no hooting on my watch thank you very much.

15. I’d like all the cosmetic companies in the world to suddenly stop testing their products on animals. I’d like to buy any lipstick, eyeshadow, shampoo or hairspray in the world and know that it’s cruelty-free. It takes me an absolute age to select cosmetics or body-care stuff because I have to read every bloody label. Every time I buy them. Because cosmetic companies are sneaky – they can change their policies at any time, without notice. It sucks.

Wow, I actually have more wishes than I thought. I could probably keep going for ages, which either makes me greedy and ungrateful, or creative and imaginative…I’m not sure which. All jokes aside, I would of course want a more peaceful world and a cure for all diseases and an end to famine and terror. I’d like to give the Save the Bears Foundation a bazillion dollars so they could save every single bear in the world that is suffering. I would make whales harpoon-proof and give pandas an appetite and digestive system for something other than bamboo so they would be able to survive better and in wider areas. Possibly I would make people stop destroying their habitat in the first place. I would make SIDS and meningitis and asthma and cystic fibrosis disappear. I would give every lost and lonely child a family to love and to love them. I would it make it compulsory to tell bedtime stories. I would make the working week shorter and the average wage bigger (with an economy to withstand it).
I’d abolish dementia. I’d make nursing homes into places people wanted to go to and they’d be free and staffed by happy, caring people of every sex, creed and colour and no elderly person would ever be hurt or neglected again.
I’d wish myself a picture-book pretty house complete with white picket fence. I’d live near the ocean and have plenty of land for gardens and horses and geese (I miss my geese so much). I’d have five dogs and 3 cats and a cow or two. I’d have pigs and chickens and grumpy old goat called Fergus.
I’d have an amazing craft/art/creativity studio that would be light and cheerful and would have a place for everything and everything in its place.
So, I guess you could say that the usual three wishes ain’t gonna cut the mustard with me. I’d need a few extra. Just to be on the safe side. Dream big, I say.
I wish you all happiness and love and peace and good health, today and always 🙂