Posted in Life sparks

Two anniversaries today

Today is a special day for two reasons – it is our lovely Dad’s birthday (77! Imagine!) and it marks two years since my friend Steph and I took our first steps on the Camino de Santiago. Both anniversaries include wonderful people, and bring back many fantastic memories of fun times and lots of laughter. With a few challenges along the way (if you were a blog reader two years ago, I am recovering well from The Insect Attack of 2013, thank you).

I reckon it’s always important to celebrate and remember on a day like today, so here are some snaps for today that make me smile.

All dressed up - LIttle Jim and Little Pat. (That's my Dad on the right, circa early 1940s, I guess.)
All dressed up – LIttle Jim and Little Pat. (That’s my Dad on the right, circa early 1940s, I guess. He still has good hair.)
Dad / Dadoo / Dooey. Or you can call him Pat. Our lovely Lauren's portrait (on an etch-a-sketch) from a few years ago.
Dad / Dadoo / Dooey. Or you can call him Pat. Our lovely Lauren’s portrait (on an etch-a-sketch) from a few years ago.
Steph on the Camino. I am available to photograph weddings, parties, etc on my iPhone.
August 2013. Steph on the Camino. And yes, I am available to photograph weddings, parties, etc on my iPhone.
Fields of smiling sunflowers along The Way. Sometimes cute, sometimes very creepy.
Fields of smiling sunflowers along The Way. Sometimes cute, sometimes very creepy.
Cruz de Ferro on the Camino, at sunrise. This should be on more bucket lists, I reckon.
Cruz de Ferro on the Camino, at sunrise. This should be on more bucket lists, I reckon.

IMG_5634
And we made it! After 800km, our arrival in Santiago de Compostela, September 2013. [Unfortunately, this pic is missing Shane and some of our other Camino family.]
So many good times. So many good people. Happy Birthday, Pat, and Buen Camino, Steph and our Camino family!

Posted in Life sparks

Happy New Year!

Hello and I hope that your 2015 is off to a great start. I always like the first day of a new year (or month, or week…or the first day of most new things, really – but especially a new year). It definitely feels like it’s a chance to start afresh, with a clean slate, or a blank page, or a restarted ipad (if you prefer). And that’s super exciting, that sense of optimism and possibility.

'We are lucky ducks', I said yesterday to my niece Amelia (3) as we spent some of the last day of 2014 here. 'But we aren't ducks, we are PEOPLE', she said. Fair point.
‘We are lucky ducks’, I said to my niece Amelia (3) as we spent some of the last day of 2014 here in Busselton, WA. ‘But we aren’t ducks, we are PEOPLE’, she said. Super lucky, either way.

Whatever has happened before can be irrelevant, as the new year marks a new beginning. Whether it’s beginning a commitment to being healthy, reading more books, blogging more frequently, baking more cakes, taking more holidays, meditating regularly or whatever. And it doesn’t even matter if it’s a real beginning or a fake beginning (a re-beginning that is kinda more like a second or fifth or four-hundredth attempt). Whatevs, THIS could be the year!

Anyway, 2015 has not turned me into Deepak Chopra, so that’s the end of my reflection for today.

(Oh, and for the record, I am smashing my new year commitments so far – here’s a blog post, there’s a half-read copy of Amy Poehler’s excellent book ‘Yes Please’, we baked rainbow cupcakes yesterday, and I’m currently enjoying a short break in Western Australia. This year definitely has the potential to be the best ever. Because, why not?)

Posted in Life sparks

Some very good advice…

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and the festive season, I thought I would share some excellent advice from my lovely niece Laura, aged 9. This was part of a homework assignment last week. I really do think that this little book, Recipes of Advice, could come in handy for children and adults all around the world. Including, you know, political leaders and diplomats and HR professionals. And meanies.

LG_recipecover
Recipes Of Awesome, more like.
Some excellent suggestions.
Some excellent suggestions.
And I take this opportunity to say, 'thank you in general' to my fantastic parents.
And may I take this opportunity to say, ‘thank you in general’ to my fantastic parents.
A good friend indeed.
A good friend indeed.

 

So many gems to consider – love you and your work, Laura Grace. xoxo

Posted in Life sparks

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my lovely Dad’s birthday. Here is a picture of him, drawn on one of those etch-a-sketch things by my fabulous niece Lauren (I think she was five at the time).

Dad / Dadoo / Dooey. Or you can call him Pat.
Dad / Dadoo / Dooey. Or you can call him Pat.

There’s a quote from the book that I wrote about yesterday that has stuck with me since I read it and it reminds me very much of my Dad and my Mom. And so, for the day that’s in it, I’ve included it here. Because they really do know that this stuff matters. What’s even better, they really do live like this stuff matters. And to me, that’s pretty amazing.

[from We Are Called To Rise, by Laura McBride]
[from We Are Called To Rise, by Laura McBride]
And here’s a photo of little Pat, with his brother Jim. Pat is the curly haired larrikin on the right. And although he hasn’t worn a tie much since this picture was taken, he still has a unique sense of style. Happy happy birthday to my amazing Dad!

All dressed up - LIttle Jim and Little Pat.
All dressed up – LIttle Jim and Little Pat.
Posted in Fashion Sparks

New jewels

A quick post today…

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget how lucky we are. In the midst of running around and paying bills and cooking dinners and catching buses and shopping and walking and sleeping, you can lose sight of those little everyday sparks that make you smile. So, in case you’re having trouble finding yours, please share mine from yesterday – a beautiful necklace made for me by my five year old niece, Lauren. Yes, that’s a silver Barbie logo and little silver handbag (Carrie Bradshaw, eat your heart out) and there’s a pearl and a shell and too many other good things to mention. And it fits over my head and sits beautifully, like a designer necklace should. Tiffany & Co, look out.

Uh huh.
Uh huh.