Sunday’s Grateful List 

Today I am grateful for being able to walk and talk and hear and see. 

I have just had the most beautiful weekend. I have been away to Sydney with Lyn Morrison and 13 other ladies with Walking Escapes

We walked 42km along the Northern Beaches of Sydney from Collaroy to Balmoral. 

I am grateful for my legs that carried me those 42km without any issue. This is the first big goal I have had since my accident. I have been training on Mt Cootha in Brisbane every Friday in preparation. I wore appropriate clothing. I had a comfortable back pack. I walked with poles to protect my knees  and I wore Iniji toe socks to prevent blisters. I finished with only regular stiffness and I only had one tiny blister on my toe. I am very proud of myself and I am very grateful to Lyn Morrison who not only invited me along to join the trip but provided a trip that was in a beautiful place, comfortable, challenging, and fun. The trip  was in a place that allowed me to feel safe and able to stop easily and return to the hotel by taxi if the distance had been too challenging. I didn’t have to return to the hotel and I loved it!

I am grateful for my voice. I was able to talk, laugh and share stories with 13 women over the course of the weekend. I didn’t know many of these women well and I felt welcome and cared about all weekend. 

I am grateful for my eyes. The view during the walk was stunning. Not only did we have beautiful coastline to admire but we walked past some pretty incredible houses and gardens. 

I am grateful for my ears that listened to women talking, birds chirping and the sound of the ocean. I loved listening to all the stories and life experiences that all these women had experienced. Whenever women get together I am overwhelmed by their  resilience and the care and compassion that is offered to each other. It was an honor to be in their company. I also loved listening to the birds along our walk. At one point there was an unusual call and a big black cockatoo landed very close to us all. We were blessed to see and hear it. 

I am grateful that I have taste buds. We ate at beautiful restaurants and enjoyed some very delicious food and wine. We were also spoilt by Lyn who made home made lemon slice and Anzac biscuits. 

I am grateful that I was able to spend an extra night in Sydney. I caught up with my baby sister. It was great to spend some time with her and her boyfriend Rohan and her beautiful French bulldog George. 

I am also grateful that David was at home looking after things at home and that he was able to race safely yesterday. 

Once again I feel so privileged to be alive! 

Until next time

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Sunday’s Grateful List 

Today I am grateful for a lovely few days. 

On Thursday I received a beautiful bunch of flowers from my husband. It was such a surprise. 

I had a lovely surprise from a friend of mine. She asked me to be speaker at a Women’s Night of Spirituality in September. I have spent a lot of the weekend writing my talk. 

This morning my friend Dave Shelberg and I went busking in preparation for our gig at the Triffid. We made enough money to have a coffee each after our busking. 

I hope you had a lovely weekend too.

Until next time.

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Monday’s Grateful List 

Today I am grateful for early morning starts. 

Lucy was rowing at 6am this morning so I dropped her at the shed – in fact she drove and did very well! 

I then walked along the river, stopped for a Chai at the Goodwill Bridge Cafe, ran into a dear friend Deb Aitcheson and then walked back to the shed. 

I love walking at that time of the morning. It is so cold I definitely know I am alive. 

The sun comes up over the river and it is beautiful watching Brisbane waking up. 

There are lots of like minded people out walking and riding. 
Even the birds are stretching and waking up to greet the morning. 

Lucy and I then came back into Paddington and had breakfast – definitely my favourite meal of the day. 

Until next time 

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Sunday’s Grateful List 

Today I am grateful for the beautiful weekend I am having. 

We are at the coast. I never tire of the beautiful view that I am privileged enough to enjoy when we come down here. 

Yesterday David and I went to 8th Ave. Terrace for lunch. It is one of my most favourite places to eat. 

I am so grateful for the lovely view we had while eating lunch.

I am grateful for the company I had. 

I am grateful that we know the owners and one of them was working yesterday. Zac and Jordon set up Espresso Moto – our favourite breakfast place down here and they have now added a beautiful restaurant to their venues. They are both so passionate about extraordinary ingredients and great service. I love the way they both talk about their goals and standards.

The food yesterday was fantastic. The wine complemented what we ate perfectly. 

I had a lovely long walk this morning to walk off my lunch yesterday and enjoyed a Chai latte sitting on the top of Burleigh watching the surfers and listening to the helicopters over the Gold Coast Marathon that was happening further up the coast. 

Once again I am grateful to be able to enjoy all these things so joyfully. 
Until next time 

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My reflections two years after my cycling accident. 

Today I am grateful that it is over two years ago since my accident. Today I am going to reflect about  how I am and what I have learnt. 

Two years on I still hate the words – everything happens for a reason. I still believe what happened to me on the 10th June, 2015 was an accident. There was no reason for it. It did not make my life better. It did not make my families life better. I do believe everyone experiences terrible things in their lives. I have come to appreciate that everyone experiences dark times in life. The experience of these dark times can break people but it can also illustrate how wonderful the good times are and that it is so important to love and cherish the special times. It is also important to integrate the event into your life and for me that means my life is different but still wonderful. 

I believe in mystery and miracles.  In the last four months I have a much greater appreciation of the possibility that I could have died that day. In fact I do not understand how I could have had a renal artery that was bleeding into my belly for more than 45 minutes and that I am still here to talk about it. It does not make sense. Not everything in our lives can be explained. I love that there are unexplainable possibilities and that miracles are a reality. 

I am lucky. I have read that  chronic post‐surgical pain is common, can be severe and results in distress and disability for patients. I have none. I could suggest that the care I was given and the activities that I have engaged in post accident have caused me to have no pain but I really do not know. I would love to have a greater understanding of this and I would love to know what the recipe is for reducing chronic pain. I would love to be able to advise other people who have experienced trauma to replicate whatever it is that I have done that results in no pain. I believe there are a number of things that could have contributed to having no pain . These include good nutrition, experiencing  lots of unconditional love, gentle exercise, meditation, having a grateful practice, having a wonderful Bowen therapist, having a wonderful chiropractor, having a wonderful physiotherapist, doing an Aruyvedic detox, floating in a flotation tank regularly and singing regularly. This again illustrates the mystery of life. 

The way I exercise has changed. When I was young I did not do much exercise at all because I always felt that I was not good enough. After having my children I discovered a love of exercising and I loved how good I felt with all those good endorphins flowing. Once I started cycling I discovered a world of like minded people and an endless number of wonderful places to explore on my bike. I think I also became focused on the end result and I always worried that I was not going to keep up on the next ride instead of purely appreciating the ride. The last two years have reminded me that the present moment is what is important and that whatever exercise I am doing and whatever pace I am doing is perfectly enjoyable. 

I still have days when I react to a situation in a totally unexpected way. I was walking a few weeks ago on Mt Cootha and the descent was very steep and slippery. I panicked and then cried. My thought process was I have fallen once very badly – I do not want that to happen again. I stopped , took some big deep breathes, and pulled myself together. I have learnt it is very important to be gentle on myself and recognize these times are possible. I know if these incidents become regular or unrealistic that I need to go and get help. 

I believe in a higher being and I believe in angels. Again this is part of the magic and mystery of life. I believe there are many angels that walk among us on this planet. They don’t do grand things they just make the lives of those they come in contact with better. I do not believe in hell. The reason I don’t believe in hell is because I believe everyone deserves forgiveness. Perhaps for some people their hell is what happens to them on earth. I have been asked if I saw the light on that day in 2015. Nope I did not see the light – I instructed my husband to go home and do the washing. I have no idea what happens to us after we die but I do believe in eternal life.  I am unaware what form that takes but I am absolutely sure we live on in those people that we have made a difference to. We may go to heaven but I truly believe our spirit lives on in others irrespective of the existence of heaven. For this reason I believe it is always best to be kind. 

Practicing gratitude works. I can and sometimes am overwhelmed with the sadness of others and the terrible things human beings can do not only to our planet but also to each other. There were times in the last few years I could have become overwhelmed that my life was different to what I expected. Practicing gratitude made me look for the positive things. Practicing gratitude makes me realize that there is so much good in the world and that so many wonderful wonderful people exist and are working tirelessly to improve our planet and the lives of others. 

I cry a lot and that is Ok. It is ok to be devastatingly sad. When someone you love dies, when people are killed needlessly it is ok to cry and it is also ok to cry over little stuff. 

Meditation works for me. I meditate because I think it is important to have some way of creating space in my day. I have an iPhone, an iPad, a computer and a television. Meditating allows me to create a little bit of space and to be truly in the present. I always dedicate my meditation practice to being a better and kinder person for the benefit of all living things. I love thinking that there are many many other people doing the same thing at the same time all trying to be better and calmer which hopefully means humanity is evolving to be a little bit better.  

In relation to cycling I am cycling a little bit. I do not fit in anywhere any more. I am too slow to ride in any groups. I am too scared to ride on my own. I tried to get a ride going on a Sunday but I found it was too big a responsibility to be the one organizing it and if I had been out on Saturday night I worried about letting people down. I am trying to do a regular windtrainer session during the week with the aim of getting back on the road to do a slow river loop. I hope this happens. Riding used to be so important to me. It is not so important any more but when I am driving at 530am in the morning either to walk or take a child to rowing and I see riders on the road I still cry. I still want to be riding with like minded people, watching the sun come up over the river as I ride around or seeing the sun coming up over the bay when I ride out to Wellington Point. 

I have learnt I can achieve whatever I want to achieve. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. I have finished a Graduate Diploma in Counselling. It has taken me a long time. The reason it has taken so long is because when I started I was determined to do my diploma in a way that would not impact my family life. It didn’t impact my family life. My study was then interrupted by my accident. I didn’t have the cognitive function to go back to it until this year. I have now finished!!!!! I eventually got there. 

I am grateful for the opportunities that I have been given as a result of the accident. I have been the guest speaker at the HeARTfelt Dinner and I have been the guest speaker at the Right Royal Affair. Both events raised money for the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Foundation. I am grateful that I have been able to give something to this organization. 

Many people said to me two years ago that it would take me at least two years to get over my accident. I didn’t believe them. I thought once my surgical incisions had healed I would be back to how I was before the accident. I have learnt that we are never the same from one day to the next. I will never be the same person as I was two years ago. I still grieve over what I have lost and how things are different for me now but I am happy and I love life and that is what is important. 

The first day post accident .

Two years to the day after the accident – Life is wonderful.

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Saturday’s Grateful List 

Today I am grateful for all the amazing people who do incredible things in response to what is going on in the world. I can get so overwhelmed with the terrible things that happen in the world and so I have to work really hard to remind myself that there is always light to counter the dark. I think that the light actually outshines the dark. This always reminds me of humanity’s incredible resilience and I truly believe our world is full of wonderful human beings. 

Here are a few reminders of this humanity. 

The Concert For Bangladesh in 1971:

Organized by Beatles legend George Harrison and Norah Jones’ father, Ravi Shankar, the two concerts were held at Madison Square Garden in New York City on August 1, 1971. According to Yahoo Music, the events were created to raise money and awareness for East Pakistan refugees, who were struggling to become Bangladesh at the time. Packed with an all-star line up, The Concert for Bangladesh was the first benefit concert of its kind. The concerts were attended by a total of 40,000 people. This concert set the stage for mega-watt benefit concerts that pulled in various big-name artists for one common cause.

Live Aid in 1985:

 Sir Bob Geldof’s famed concert for the starving in Africa, which was held on July 13, 1985, was at Wembley Stadium in London and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia.
Performers included Phil Collins, Sade, Bryan Ferry, U2, Queen, David Bowie, the Who, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, the Pretenders, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Mick Jagger, and Bob Dylan.
The Live Aid concert raised $38 million.

A Concert for Life: The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness in 1992:

 The concert was held at London’s Wembley Stadium. The concert acted as both a tribute to the late Queen singer, and a benefit for AIDS research. The was an audience of 72,000 and broadcast live on television and radio to 76 countries around the world. There was believed to be an audience of up to one billion people. The money raised was intended to go to “AIDS projects worldwide.”
Performers included the surviving members of Queen, Metallica, Def Leppard, U2, Guns N’ Roses, Seal, David Bowie, Mick Ronson, Elton John, George Michael, Annie Lennox, and Robert Plant.

Artists for Grenfell 

Simon Cowell has pulled together multiple acts to raise money for the victims and survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Until next time

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Tuesday’s Grateful List 

Today I am grateful for beautiful spaces. 

Today I am grateful for people who have the talent to create calm, serene, and cosy spaces. 

We have been staying at Spicers Sangoma Retreat in the Blue mountains and there are so many lovely places to sit and read a book, meditate and enjoy your own company and those of others. 

Our room at Sangoma Spicers Retreat

The dining room

Another beautiful space at Sangoma Spicers Resort

Until next time 

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Monday’s Grateful List 

Today I am grateful to be able to travel.

Today I am grateful that On Saturday David and I were in Sydney with friends. We had a lovely day. We caught up with my sister and then David’s oldest friend Antony and his wife Catherine. 

Today I am grateful that Saturday evening we had dinner with our friends Rachel and Shannon and then went and had a look at Vivid in Sydney. 


Sydney Opera House Lite Up

Then on Saturday we drove up to Sangoma Spicers. We are having a lovely few days here with delicious food, great accommodation and wonderful walking. 

Sunrise at Sangoma

The view from our room

The proteas are stunning

The view near the end of our walk

The bottom of the valley during our walk

Until next time 

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Wednesday’s Grateful Post 

Today I am grateful for my amazing Saturday. 

Today I am grateful I was given the opportunity to be the guest speaker at the Right Royal Affair. This is the big fund raiser for the Royal Brisbane and women’s Hospital Foundation. Over 500 people go and it is a very gala event. 

I was very surprised to be asked. I was asked to speak at a dinner last year and I thought that was my way of giving back to the Royal and sharing the story about my accident and my recovery. This time I shared not only the story about my accident but I was able to share my connection with the Royal Brisbane. My dad was a vascular surgeon at the Royal and I used to visit patients with him, I trained at the Royal and I spent ten years as a registered nurse at the Royal. I was then a patient at the Royal in 2015 for 3 weeks. 

I developed life long friendships from the Royal and I am sure that is where I learnt to laugh and love life. We were exposed to so much of the terrible side of life. 

Jan, Jane, Joy and Jenny – friends from my training days


The day we graduated.

The four of us together again last week.

As I said in my speech the Foundation is able to respond to these terrible things and develop research and education which helps to make the lives of many of the people of Brisbane better. 

It was such a big week last week. It was 2 years to the day from the accident when I did my speech. I also finished all my hours for my Graduate Diploma in Counselling. It feels like life is going to have some very exciting new beginnings. 

About to speak.

I am very grateful for Karen Galligan the marketing manager from the Foundation for asking me to speak. I am very grateful to Sami Lukas for introducing me on Saturday night and getting all the room to be quiet. I am grateful to Petrol Clothing and Paula for my beautiful dress. I am grateful that nobody in the room spoke while I was speaking and many people gave me positive feedback afterwards. I am grateful to my husband David for making sure I got to the stage without tripping and for giving me a big hug once I had finished speaking. I am grateful that my sister Liz came up from Sydney and brought some of her lovely friends. I am grateful that my lovely friend Lisa and her husband Graham came along to support me and the Foundation. I am grateful for my beautiful friend Cass who is on the Foundation committee and who has always been an amazing friend. 

Sami Lukas and I

My friend Cass George and I

Today I am also grateful to be able to write this blog from the most beautiful place in the world while enjoying a delicious breakfast. 

Until next time 

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Friday’s Grateful Post 

Today I am grateful for winter in my garden. Whoever planted this garden did a beautiful job. I have different things in it that flower at different times during the year. 

Today I am grateful for the hibiscus.

Today I am grateful for the roses.

Today I am grateful for the golden pender.

Today I am grateful for the camellias. 

Today I am grateful for the geraniums. 

What have you got flowering in your garden this month? 

Until next time

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