Friday, 31 December 2010

The last hour

It is the last hour of 2010 and I am sitting in the passenger seat thumbing this post.

The last 24 hours have been an apt reflection of what this year has been like for me; full of ups and downs, reactions and insights, conflicts and resolutions.

I am happy to say that I am at peace.

Tonight we opted to escape the new year madness and, after driving around for 90 minutes, Patrick and I created our own magic.

We decided that having kebabs and Champagne by the quiet shores nearby Melbourne's shipping docks would be the perfect way to end a perfectly imperfect year. And indeed it was - though we did swap the bubbles for organic orange juice.

With the clock ticking, the new year is but a few minutes away. Can a project dated 2010 continue into 2011?

I have decided not to answer straight away. I am taking a few days off and let the new year settle into my bones. Whatever I decide, be rest assured that I will let you know.

As midnight draws nearer, all I feel now is enormous gratitude. Thank you for lending me your ears and giving me a voice. Know that you have been instrumental in putting Humpty Dumpty together again.

This greatest reveal of Project Grace 2010 has been that my mojo was never lost. It was simply buried under years of emotional garbage, which took 9 months of regular trips to the dumpster (aka blog) to eliminate.

I feel stronger, clearer, focused and committed. There is structure, strategy and security in my renewed optimism.

Until next year, eliminate your emotional garbage regularly so that your mojo is within easy access.

Grace xx

PS. Have an amazing 2011. May it be full of love, happiness and exciting goals that will challenge and reward you. Don't be shy to embark on your own personal project and share it with the world... or at least me :-)

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Thursday, 30 December 2010

New Year's Eve Eve

The number of couch surfers we are hosting has multiplied!

As a result of fully booked backpacker accommodation in Melbourne, we now have three gorgeous, youthful, fun loving Italians staying with us (Lucio's friends who bused in from Adelaide).

After an amazing meal prepared by the newcomers Ambra (the marine biologist), Raffa (the barista) and a few glasses of good vino, the box of wigs and spectacles came out to play.

Needless to say we've had a fabulous night and have welcomed the last day of 2010. It's now 2:47am and it doesn't look like we'll be going to bed anytime soon.

So without further ado, I bid you adieu. I'm off to play Miss. DJ for there are many great tunes that ensue.

Oh, and for those who knew me in the days of Gracelands, Club Safari and /or the Salmon Palace, I am happy to report that my mojo is in full swing... and if you're lucky, you may even get an "I love you" phone call.

Until tomorrow, open your heart and home to those stranded with nowhere to sleep... you could be harboring the parents of a future messiah.

Grace xx

PS. Patrick has written his own version of this evening's events... click here if you're keen to read his side of the story ;-)

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Wednesday, 29 December 2010


Today we bid farewell to yesterday's interstate guests and welcomed an international couch surfer from Italy. Luciano is a delightful fellow who is here to explore Australia whilst improving his English.

Our conversations have hit several stumbling blocks, often prompting to us to reach for the nearest translation tool. On one occasion, Lucio (as he'd rather be called) grabbed his copy of 'Tutto Inglese' (I'll let you Google translate that one) and as I flicked through the pages I came across this word; lackadaisical.

To my memory, I've never heard it. Ever.

Patrick on the other hand, was familiar with the term. He joyfully stroked his feathers (in his cap) as he waltzed to his laptop in order to give me a more articulate definition:

lackadaisical |ˈlakəˈdeɪzɪk(ə)l|


lacking enthusiasm and determination; carelessly lazy : a lackadaisical attempt at sun bathing in the Himalayas, saw Grace lying flat on her back whilst fully robed (amazing - it really said that! - okay, it really didn't).

I have very quickly become fond of this word. Not so much for what it means, but for the way it sounds and how it feels to say it. Lackadaisical.

Just when you think that an Italian couch surfer couldn't introduce you to a new English word, Tutto Inglese would prove you otherwise... and THAT'S what I love about sharing conversations with those that are learning your language, or you learning theirs.

Until tomorrow, don't be too lackadaisical to learn new words - even if it means having challenging inter-language conversations.

Grace xx

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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Under cover

This is me literally under cover as I type one fingered on my iPhone. Not easy.

I find myself in this situation after welcoming our surprise interstate visitors, who are now in bed in the next room.

The children are sensitive to light and our window dressings are no match for this beacon of light (I live in a converted office space with windows that divide the two rooms).

So it's just a quick hello from me as I sweat under here.

Until tomorrow, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Grace xx

Monday, 27 December 2010

Walking in water

Mum and I went for a walk along the beach straight after dinner this evening. We fought off temptation to retire to the couch for some well-earned potato inaction. Instead, we headed out the door.

We didn't have far to go before reaching the shore and swiftly kicking off our flip flops. We let the cool water wash over our feet as we engaged in conversations destined to solve the world's problems. It was delightful.

As we walked side by side, I couldn't help but notice my heightened senses. The sound of the waves lapping, the smell of the the salty sea air, the feel of sand between my toes and the wind playing with my hair. All these glorious sensations as I connected with my beautiful, sensitive, funny, loving, generous and nurturing mother, transported me to a place of pure bliss.

I love these magnificent moments. It's like walking-talking meditation where time performs a magic trick; it stands still, yet passes quickly. How does it do that? Oh yeah, it's magic.

Mum and I returned home feeling refreshed, and revived. It's these magical moments where we are fully present that rejuvenate us.

Then I had a light globe moment - such magic doesn't just happen, we create it.

Mum and I could have chosen recuperation by spending our evening gazing at the television. Instead, we chose rejuvenation by investing our time on the beach, with each other and walking in water.

As time goes on, I know I'll remember and treasure tonight's walk more than any Hollywood blockbuster Foxtel could offer. I'm glad we created magic.

Until tomorrow, invest your time in rejuvenation by creating your own magic moments.

Grace xx

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Sunday, 26 December 2010

Sunday Sentence

"Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas."
- Calvin Coolidge

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Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas

I love the message of this YouTube Video...

Have a great Christmas everyone!'

Love Grace xx

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The Spirit of Christmas

Some time ago, I had an underlying negative attitude towards Christmas. Though I didn't vocalise it, I thought (deep down) that Christmas had lost it's soul and in its place was commercialism, consumerism, alcoholism and gluttony. In my view, Christmas had turned into an annual obligation that had little to do with the acknowledgement of a baby being born in Bethlehem some two thousand(ish) years ago. What was the point?

As I evolved into being more spiritual and less in line with 'a' religion (I do declare that I have a healthy respect for all religious teachings), I began to question whether it was appropriate to even celebrate Christmas. So for many years I was in limbo. That is, until the day I witnessed Fathia (a practicing Muslim) writing out Christmas Cards.

Fathia and I had done a business course together, where I'd learned that this amazingly strong and brazen woman had an enormous heart of gold. Seeing her scribe next to images of Santa Claus must have drawn a puzzled look on my face as she was quick to explain, "I am Muslim, we do not believe in Christmas. But my friends do, and I know this is a very special time for them. So I am writing these cards to wish them a happy Christmas because I know it is important to them".

Well, I was completely humbled. Wow. What a woman.

From that point on, I began to see Christmas differently. If Fathia knew how important Christmas was to her friends, then how could I be so blind? I stopped making Christmas wrong and everything about it negative. I started looking at what Christmas does mean and what it brings to those that celebrate it.

In a world that aims to make life effortless, Christmas is the one day of the year that calls for people to... well... make an effort. Whether it be organising, planning, shopping, wrapping, baking, making, cooking, cleaning, decorating, flying, sailing, driving, grooming, dressing, impressing, playing, thanking, giving or forgiving, it's a time where we do more for others and less for ourselves... and it's about making wishes come true (that's what the letters to Santa are about, which is similar to writing letters to the cosmos - apparently they share the same address - shhhhhhhh).

Christmas is essentially about family.

When most meals are spent in front of the telly and dinner with siblings happens but thrice a year, Christmas asks us to stop, organise our lives and make family our priority. Out of 365 days, this is the only day that asks this of us (unless of course you're from North America and Thanks Giving makes two), and yet we STILL grumble.

The spirit of Christmas lies in appreciation, gratitude and love. It really doesn't take much to ignite the spirit when all three are in play. If you're feeling a bit grumpy about tomorrow, take a refreshing new look at it and allow the spirit to brighten up your life. And if all else fails, remember Fathia - a generous woman with a heart of gold who, despite her own beliefs, realised the importance this day is to those she cares about. Bless her.

Until tomorrow, be sure to ignite your Christmas spirit and make the effort to have a very merry and loving Christmas.

Grace xx

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Thursday, 23 December 2010

The Secret to Power Shopping

You might be shocked to learn (even horrified) that I traditionally do all of my Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve.

I stumbled upon this oasis of a shopping experience a few years ago when for some reason or another, I was forced into the stores the eve before Christmas. I was astounded to witness how few people actually shop for gifts on this day.

So while the masses have migrated from gift traps to supermarkets and bottle shops (aka liquor stores), the few that are brave enough to leave it to the last minute are rewarded with relative tranquility.

Today I did my shopping a day early and started my quest at 4:30pm this afternoon and was in the car soon after 6pm. Done and dusted. Yep, that's right, all done.

So what's the secret to power shopping?

It's about being open minded and seeing what appears. I liken the experience to hunter gatherers. Hunters know what they want and go for it. It might take days to get their kill, but they are dedicated to the hunt. They'll do whatever it takes to claim their prize.

Power shoppers are gatherers on a mission. They are exploratory by nature and tend to fossick through what might appear as random objects, searching for what would appeal to the intended recipient. They go to the quiet corners, bottom shelves and generally have an open mind and allow the gifts present themselves.

Have faith and listen to your intuition.

When you have a limited time, you get into a zone. No distractions. You are there with a purpose to fulfil. It's amazing how much you can get done in such a short space of time. Notice your feelings. There'll always be an indication as to whether you're on or off the right track.

I have to admit, I was a bit clumsy at first and purchased things despite my gut saying no. My head was all too quick to settle with an "it'll do", then I'd go around the corner and discover the perfect present and my gut would spit out "see, I told you so!". Then I'd go into damage control and manage my post-purchase dissonance - usually by getting a refund for the not-so-perfect present. A slight time-waster, but a small price to pay when you have the entire shopping centre to yourself.

So that's it, all my shopping done in record time and a day early. Fabulous.

Until tomorrow, learn to maximise your time during the silly season and get tips from an expert ;-)

Grace xx

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Cherry on top

A few days ago I came across this quad-cherry. Doubles and triples are common, but a quad - when have you ever seen such a thing?

So I left it out to photograph under strict orders that it not be eaten until I did so.

My current schedule meant that the cherries were out longer than necessary and consequently went a bit soft, thus resulting in a less than 'wow' photo.

This got me thinking...

Sometimes we have to take opportunities as they present themselves, for delaying it could mean passing up the optimum moment. If we wait any longer, we could miss it all together.

Taking action promptly may mean that we not only get to 'have the cake and eat it too', but we also get a bite at the cherry on top.

Until tomorrow, don't wait for the second bite of the cherry for it may not come around twice.

Grace xx

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The Sicilian Girl

Before you start thinking that this space is transforming into a movie review site, it's not. Let's just say there are only three sleeps till Christmas and my days have been full to the brim. So busy in fact, that I haven't called my mother in three days! (sorry Mum, I'll buzz you tomorrow).

I'm also immersing myself in the preparation for my dream endurance event, which means training six days a week and doing the groundwork in setting up the 'goal getters group' at my gym. This has left me all but completely spent by the time evening falls upon us (BTW I have filmed a number of in-action videos, which I plan to upload on YouTube this year - so stay tuned, there aren't too many days left).

This year's Christmas build-up has been quite different to most. The persistent rain and unbelievably cold weather has made the traditional Aussie BBQ seem as inviting as going skinny dipping in Antarctica. Needless to say, crap weather and fatigue has led to me spending several evenings zoning out in the lounge room giving our DVD player a good workout (much like my legs).

Tonight's movie, The Sicilian Girl, is based on a true story. I won't tell you too much other than it's about a young girl's vendetta against the Mafia, and is well worth the read (that is, if you can't understand Italian dialogue). What I loved most about this film is that Rita, the main (and real life) character discovered the difference between revenge and justice. What also struck me was her unwavering commitment, despite her young age. Very powerful and utterly moving.

Until tomorrow, seek sanctuary from the silly season and shelter from the rain by reading a good foreign DVD.

Grace xx

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Monday, 20 December 2010

Cemetery Junction

Occasionally I'll see a film that I completely fall in love with. They're usually ones that have me feeling good, without it being too cheesy. A bit like a good salad.

Tonight we watched a British film called Cemetery Junction. If you Google reviews you'll read two opposing opinions (isn't that the case with most films?). I sided with those that loved the movie.

Despite what other's say, I always think it's important to sample things for yourself - just like food and wine. Taste it and make your own judgements.

Patrick and I were left feeling warmed. We enjoyed the cinematography, the 1973 setting and felt the balance between belly laughs and touching moments was just right. We are just about to climb into bed now and are both feeling uplifted. Isn't that a nice way to end the day? (especially one that's been wet and cold).

Until tomorrow, ensure that you sample life's offerings and make your own mind up.

Grace xx

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Sunday Sentence

"You will never find time for anything. If you want the time, you must make it."
- Charles Buxton

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Saturday, 18 December 2010

Saturday Quiz No.12

I must have been so tired yesterday. I said that Garrie 'has left a really good clue'. Well, actually, he did better than that. He answered it correctly!

The absence of navels aka belly buttons, is what made scientist rethink the theory of evolution.

Today's quiz is relatively easy. So come on, if you haven't had a go... try now before Garrie wins another one!

Until Monday, have a simple Sunday.

Grace xx

Friday, 17 December 2010

Things are in the pipeline

You've probably guessed that I've had a fair bit on my plate if you were to judge by my last few posts. Not wanting to abandon my blog when times get busy, I thought a simple photo with a little blurb is enough to know that I am still committed to this project. It's just my way to say "I'm not abandoning you". By 'you' I mean you the reader, me in the mirror and my blog personified.

As for what's been keeping me busy, I am delighted to say that I have a few things in the pipeline - all of which are terribly exciting.

Firstly, I approached the owners of my gym and proposed that I run a women's 'fitness support group' for want of a better term (I've got my marketing cap on to come up with a more apt and inspiring term). The idea is to run weekly meetings where I start by sharing my journey and what I've learned. Then I'll invite others to share their stories, triumphs and tribulations. The objective is to create a supportive, informative and inspiring environment for women to strive for and achieve their fitness goals, which I hope will extend to their life goals.

Secondly, I've been actively practicing a number of Thermomix recipes in preparation for officially launching my Thermomix Queen Blog and YouTube Channel in 2011. The objective is to provide delicious, educational and inspiring recipes and tips for those who own or aspire to own a Thermomix.

Since becoming a consultant a few weeks ago, I have fallen into deeper love with my Thermomix. In the name of research and development, I have ventured into fields I have long been afraid of. I have become the Nigella of my own kitchen and have been whipping up bread, the best home made ice cream (OMG to die for), whole egg mayonnaise, real choc-orange custard and today I made my first ever chocolate mousse (divine).

Don't panic, I've been using low GI sugar to minimise the impact on my insulin levels - very cool and let's be honest, empowering.

I've also been answering a number of couch-surfing requests, which has been so fascinating. People from all around the world wanting to sleep on my couch. We have a few in the pipeline with an Italian Stallion, a French Femme Fatale and a very cool Aussie couple who read my blog, so a big g'day to them!

There are also a lot of other little things on the go, too many to mention - but all exciting and potentially opening new doors. I'll let you know if any of them open. I'm also getting closer to making the phone call I've avoided for over two years. My fear of the word 'no' has prevented me from taking the step. But with my confidence rising, I'm feeling that I'm getting ready to take the plunge and dial the number that could potentially turn my lyrics into a No.1 dance hit.

Jaala, I know you'll be happy about that - I'm getting closer.

So now you're up to date.

Saturday Quiz No.11 is still up for grabs. Garrie has left a really good clue. Have a go. The prize is VIP tickets to my song launch. Yep, that song is really going to happen - just haven't set the date yet.

Until tomorrow, keep working away at things and add them in your pipeline.

Grace xx

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Thursday, 16 December 2010

Random Chair

I saw this chair in Seminyak, Bali. It was in the middle of an abandoned building site. I can't help wondering how it got there. Any clues?

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Flying Home

On board my flight from Adelaide to Melbourne. It was a bumpy ride, though it didn't seem to bother some.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Something's missing...

After yesterday's tooth extraction I've been feeling like there is something missing (in my life... Maybe it's a tooth.

This pun would mean nothing to anyone who was not a Marcia Hines fan in the 1970's (I'm proud to say I was). Just search her name and 'Something's Missing' on YouTube to get my drift.

Anyway, this is what I've discovered...

1. You never know how large your teeth are until you start tonguing the gap. MASSIVE.

2. Teeth stop you from sucking the inside of your cheek onto your mouth chamber (if that is such a terminology).

3. The gum line feels hideously deformed after having the dente removed.

4. It hurts more on the second day - especially your cheekbone (if it's on the top deck).

5. Despite the offending septicemia-ridden tooth being removed from the roots, it still stinks like a rotting corpse.

I'm off to bed now. Trying to go to sleep before I start feeling sorry for myself.

Until tomorrow, be thankful for all the things in your life that are not missing.

Grace xx

Monday, 13 December 2010

Better out than in

You may recall that I had some teething problems in Penang a few months back.

I was in a dilemma about what to do - save my tooth at the cost of hundreds, if not thousands, without any guarantee that it would work out... Or remove the troublesome tooth.

I couldn't decide what to do, so I chose to hold out till I saw my favorite dentist in Australia.

So, to cut a long story short, after a couple of consultations with Dr.McKinnon, it was deemed that my tooth was not able to be saved and needed to be extracted - which happened today.

I have grown quite attached to my teeth and this little festering incisor proved difficult to say goodbye to, despite smelling like a rotting corpse in the Amazon jungle.

As I lay on the dentist chair I knew the time had come to let go of my septicemic tooth, and all the attachments it came with.

As Dr.McKinnon struggled to pull the three-rooted tooth from its core, I took deep breaths and said "let go, let go, holding onto this tooth is doing you more harm than good".

So with a few good tugs, my tooth was removed - and so was the septicemic stench.

Until tomorrow remember that the saying "it's better out than in" relates to more than stinky farts.

Grace xx

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Saturday Quiz No.11

I don't have access to Internet outside of my iPhone, so I am very restricted to what I can do today.

What I have for you us a riddle. It's an oldie but a goodie.

Archeologists find two perfectly preserved bodies of a man and woman that they believe are without a doubt Adam and Eve. What was so significant about these two bodies that made scientists rethink the theory of evolution?

Until Monday, have a fiesta-filled Sunday.

Grace xx

Friday, 10 December 2010

I love old train stations

Gawler Railway Station, South Australia

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Broccoli chips

OMG I have just discovered a taste sensation - Broccoli Chips. Yes you read correctly, BROCCOLI CHIPS.

They are completely scrumptious!

Ingredients: 97% broccoli, 2% rice bran oil and 1% salt and nothing else. No numbers to decode, no words you cannot pronounce, just three ingredients. Amazing.

Now I must confess I am a HUGE fan of green veggies. Just love them. So these little crunchy morsels of deliciousness are right up my alley. YUM!

I generally stay clear of processed packaged snacks, mainly because they either have wheat, rice or potato - all of which are high GI.

I'm generally okay with that and happily snack on fresh fruit and nuts. However there's the odd time when I really fancy something crunchy, and now I've found it. I am the happiest girl alive right now.

So if you're keen to try them or some of their other kinds like mango (they looked heavenly only they're high GI so off the menu pour moi).

The brand is 'greenday' and manufactured by I found them at an Asian food grocer in Adelaide for $1.95 per box.

Now I'm not popular enough to get paid for endorsements, nor am I sleeping with the boss. I simply love these healthy treats and want them to remain on the shelves. So that means people have to buy them. If you try and love them, be sure to tell your neighbour... Same goes for any children's books you might be into (hint hint, wink wink).

Until tomorrow, if you love something tell the world. You just don't whose table you might be putting food on.

Grace xx

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Face value

Have you ever wondered why I post so many pictures of myself on this blog?

The short answer is self-healing... but I'm not exactly renown for short answers, so here's the long one...

After being ashamed of myself for way too long, this is a cathartic approach to restoring my self esteem. I absolutely HATED having my photo taken after I gained weight a decade ago. They were far from flattering and to be perfectly frank - I appeared fat and terribly ugly.

During our trip around the world five years ago, I mastered the art of self portraiture - thanks to my husband who is a superstar at it. Over time, I cultivated a relationship between me and the lens and have consequently captured what I refer to as 'the essence of my spirit'.

While this may sound a bit new age and purple crushed-velvety, this is something I have been known for in the portraiture of others. I have often been praised for my photography of people and (wait for it) capturing the essence of their spirit. I have been told on more than one occasion "Oh my God Grace, you can make ugly people look beautiful" (seriously).

The truth is, I don't make people look beautiful... I see people as beautiful.

Through self-portraiture I have been able to see and acknowledge my own beauty despite how other people see me in their photographs. This has been hard and, let's face it, WEIRD. But it has been a necessary step in embracing myself and restoring my self esteem and confidence.

My self portraits are primarily a reminder that I am worthy (I should also add that they are also practical as I'm always in my own company and don't need to seek my permission). Someone with fledgling self esteem, such as your's truly, needs to be reminded of this regularly (the bit about being worthy, not about self portraiture being practical).

The act of me taking a self portrait that I deem worthy and, dare I say, beautiful enough to post on the world wide web is an enormous breakthrough for me. This is what I call 'face value' and for that, I make no apologies. While it may appear narcissistic, I can assure you that it is therapeutic.

Until tomorrow, make no apologies for improving your self worth - whatever it takes.

Grace xx

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Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Out on the town

Tonight we were invited to an exclusive event hosted by master blogger Wade Wallace of Cycling Tips. The event was held at ACMI in Federation Square where a series of short films were presented by Rapha, a deluxe brand of cycling apparel.

The films were great, but it was Wade that shone in my eyes.

Wade is such an inspiration to an aspiring bloggess like your's truly. After starting Cycling Tips around two years ago, he is now highly sought after and his blog is his full time job.

Wade's site has the support of great sponsors and is the epicenter of a worldwide cycling community with over a million hits a month. Yet he is humble, humorous and an absolute joy to be around.

As we walked to our respective cars after a post-event dinner, I couldn't help but marvel at Wade's success. In short, he is my hero and my inspiration. So much so, that I am sitting here nigh on midnight tapping away with one finger on my iPhone to bring you a post that was supposed to be about my night on the town, and has turned into a tribute to the great man.

I suppose this photo of me taken just minutes before I climbed into the car is completely out of context now... other than the fact that Wade said I looked nice (thanks Wade).

Until tomorrow, let conversations take you where you hadn't planned and enjoy the detour. Much like a good road trip.

Grace xx

PS. Just got home and thought you might like to see this post Wade did about the time we hung out in Switzerland (as you do). He and Pat went for this crazy bike ride along a cliff face (as they do). Check it out by clicking this link. Oh, and make sure you watch the video at the bottom. Crazy!

Monday, 6 December 2010

The power of attitude and the ignorance of youth

I stumbled across a bunch of old photos when I was organising my house a few months ago. Out of all the hundreds (if not thousands) of photos spanning four decades, the ones that struck me the most were those taken in London - where I lived from 1992 to 1994. Such attitude.

I was 21 years young when I booked a one-way flight to the capital of our mother country, much to the distress of my parents. It was an impulsive decision made in attempt to escape my circumstances at the time (which I don't want to get into at this stage).

I had gone to a travel agent one morning to make an enquiry, and had the ticket booked and paid for by that afternoon.

When I returned home to inform my parents of my impending departure, their concerns for me were obvious. "What are you going to do when you get there? Where are you going to live? How will you find a job?" "Isn't this a little too sudden?" "Are you prepared?" were some of the many questions fired at me.

My answers were plain and simple. "I'll get there and make it up as I go. I'll find a place to live. I'll get myself a job. I'll work it out."

Within two weeks of that conversation, I was off.

I arrived in London after having spent a fortnight in Los Angeles with my gorgeous friend Gabriella, who was studying acting in Hollywood. We had an amazing time in sunny California, which was a stark contrast to what I faced in the UK - a place and population that was cold, miserable and overly grey.

I HATED being there and invested in many tearful ISD telephone conversations with Gabri, postulating ways I could return to LA without a green card or money for an airfare. I went so far as to drink a gazillion Diet Cokes per day in order to win a trip to La-La land, but to no avail. Gabri assured me that I would fall in love with London as she had done years before.

She was right. I did fall in love.

It all began on a sunny spring day when I found a room advertised in the 'Loot' for £50 a week (all inclusive - bargain!). I turned into Waller Road in London's South East, hopeful that this might be the place I'd be calling home. I was greeted by the funkiest music my Top 40 ears had ever heard and the cheerful face of DJ-in-the-making Alan, one of the six students that occupied the quintessential London terraced house.

After a brief tour, I became the seventh roommate and my world would completely transform. It was a turning point in my life, one that has carved me into the interesting albeit quirky person I am today. If it weren't for my 'I'll be alright' attitude that partnered my youthful ignorance, I'd have never had the courage to purchase that one-way ticket in the first instance.

Yes it was all a little too sudden, and no I wasn't all that well prepared... but I did find a place to live, I got myself a job and found lots to do. I made it up as I went along and I worked things out.

Nineteen years later I find myself reflecting on the person I was back then. I'd like to borrow some of that youthful ignorance and attitude to get me through a sticking point right now. Is that appropriate or is it like a mother borrowing her young daughter's jeans? I guess it depends on the jeans. Hmm.... perhaps that's another blog post.

Until tomorrow, let the power of attitude and ignorance work for you now as it did back you know when.

Grace xx

PS. I still love London and the amazing people I met there. It'll always remain as a sacred place in my heart for all the personal growth that occurred there. If I were a butterfly, London was my chrysalis.

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Sunday, 5 December 2010

"Life is either a celebration or a lamentation.
You choose."
- Grace Mimmo Fitzpatrick
5th December 2010
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Saturday, 4 December 2010

Saturday Quiz No.10 - Clues

There have been a lot of guesses for last week's quiz, however no one has answered it correctly.

So here are a few clues - good luck!

Grace xx

ps. Congrats to Top Gun Tenor for correctly guessing Saturday Quiz No.9 - It was in 1977 where North Melbourne drew with Collingwood at 76 all.

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Friday, 3 December 2010

It's official...

It's official...

Today marks one month since turning 40 and I have mustered the courage to enter my dream event, which is taking place in around one year's time.

I saw my health care practitioner earlier this week to ensure that I'd be okay to go for it. To my delight, he has given me the green light... and a training program.

I now have information, an action plan and a vision. I am so excited.

I still don't want to spill the beans at this stage as I fear that telling you might deflate my enthusiasm. There's something about secrets that make them exciting, and I want to keep it that way. I'll also ask that you don't try and guess what I'm doing in the comments section at this stage. As the event draws nearer, I may change my thoughts on that.

I imagine there's going to be a lot of ups and downs on this road, and I want to push through it all. It's about keeping the end in sight. In fact I'll be taking on board a lesson that Pat often reinforces with me (and his coaching clients) in challenging situations - envisage the chequered flag Grace... and indeed I will.

Until tomorrow, may you find something that is worthy of the chequered flag talk - and go for it!

Grace xx

Thursday, 2 December 2010

It's so exhausting being fabulous

I came across this fabulous image on a wall calendar a few weeks ago, and have been waiting for the perfect day to use it.

Today is that day.

After suffering a night of insomnia, I worked till 5am this morning designing an invitation template for my Thermomix shows. After a few hours sleep, I helped a dear friend move out of her home as she prepares to depart for an international adventure with her son.

After loading and unloading a truck full of life's accumulations, I am completely and utterly exhausted.

Just like the picture says... It's exhausting being fabulous. Completely.

Until tomorrow, be fabulous no matter how tiring it is.

Grace xx

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Child's Play

Another busy day and another short blog post. Only this time I'm aware of the pitfalls that follow too many shallow posts.

I could have skipped a day, however I've come to value the importance this daily practice has on my general well being.

So here I am with full awareness. Knowing the worthiness of daily blogging and the dangers of prolonged superficial posts.

As I settle into being a quadragenarian, consistency and balance are two attributes I've come to value above all. They are not only the hallmarks of a truly superb wine or single malt Islay, they are also the ingredients for a livable life.

Which brings me to the title of this post.

This afternoon I popped into visit my 3 year old niece who was playing in her watery sandpit. I couldn't help but marvel at her joy whenever she mastered the skillful maneuver of pouring water from one vessel into another without spilling a drop. This seemingly simple act required a consistent and balanced action, which she improved with each attempt.

What I had observed in fact was a metaphor for life, and that mastery is nothing more than child's play.

So with that I'll leave you with today's sign off...

Until tomorrow, may your journey into mastery be as fun-filled as child play... and as delicious as an Islay.

Grace xx

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Organising life

Why does the process of organising anything worthwhile take sooooooo much longer than we ever thought it would?

And when we're in the midst of our organising frenzy, why does it always look much worse than before we started?

What about when day goes into night, we don't seem any closer to the end and we cannot bear the sight of it any longer - how do we stay motivated to finish the job?

I'm well experienced to know that if I don't see it through till the end right now, it could take MONTHS before I get back to it - and that could lead to more clutter and chaos than my brain can handle.

Well, I am right smack bang in the middle of organising three trillion documents, check lists, brochures, leaflets and forms care of Thermomix. OMG!

I keep thinking I've only got an hour to go, and have had those thoughts for over five hours. Scary.

So it's short and sweet from me tonight and back to the pile of paper ahead. It's not all bad though, there's a sense of satisfaction each time I make, find, borrow or steal a home for each piece of sacrificed tree (so much for a paperless society).

Until tomorrow, remember that if you're not organising, you're disorganising.

Grace xx

Monday, 29 November 2010

The path ahead...

Today I did my first Thermomix demonstration at my Mum's place in Frankston.

I went for a jog along the beach in the morning and went to the end of the jetty (pictured) and back.

I couldn't help wonder about the path ahead... Where is it leading? Will it be rough seas or smooth sailing?

I don't know.

All I know is that I've started something new. Something that is challenging me beyond my comfort zone. A mystery journey.

As I sit here in my car awaiting a team meeting to commence in a few minutes, I just want you to know that I am thinking of you... And what this future ahead will bring to you in terms of blog fodder.

We shall see.

Until tomorrow,

Grace xx

TV fy BBC b f bf r SSS brevet

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Sunday Sentence

"All misfortune is but a stepping stone to fortune."
- Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)

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Saturday, 27 November 2010

Saturday Quiz No.10

It's baaaaaaaaack...

Saturday Quiz - woohoo!

Today's quiz is a little bit fishy, so good luck ;-)

Until Monday, have a whimsical Sunday.

Grace xx

ps. It's been so long since we've done a Saturday Quiz. Perhaps it was because no attempts were made to answer Saturday Quiz No.9 - so if you're up for a challenge, have a go at both. The virtual prize is still up for grabs.

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