Ten on Tuesday – complete albums edition

Ten on Tuesday – complete albums edition

Wow! This is a topic I suggested to Carole, after putting on an album and realising that I couldn’t just listen to one song of it, I had to listen to the whole thing. I am right proud she’s used it as a suggestion.

  1. Paul Simon, Graceland. This is what prompted the email, as the album is simply perfect. It hasn’t aged either, which as it is now 30, three-zero, years old, both terrifies and amazes me in equal measure. If you’ve not seen it, there is a really good documentary on the making of the album. I also remember on Going Live or Saturday Superstore (magazine program for children on the BBC in the UK), the song and the video were both given five out of five from everyone on the panel that week. It is part of my DNA, and cannot imagine life without it.
  2. Adele, 25. This is the most recent album on the list. I honestly have no idea why  people don’t like it as much as her previous two. I listen to this at work, if (ha! when) I get interrupted, I simply go back to the beginning and start again. Glorious.
  3. Billy Joel, The Bridge. Having been brought up on Billy Joel, I couldn’t listen to him for ages. Overkill. This album was released when I was 11, I can remember posters advertising it all over the underground in London. Finding my way back to him mainly through this album, one I could remember being released, and could play on my terms, meant a lot. 
  4. Clint Mansell, Moon soundtrack. The film is great and Sam Rockwell’s performance is extraordinary; when he says “I just want to go home” if your heart doesn’t break, well… The music is mellow, soothing and perfect for lazy Suunday mornings. Whatever the heck they are.
  5. The Corrs, Forgiven, Not Forgotten. I was introduced to this album by my friend Glenn in Lincoln. He put it on one morning when I was visiting, I brought the tape (yes, I’m that old) that weekend and still listen to it now. Again, part of my DNA.
  6. Enya, Paint The Sky With Stars. Visiting my Auntie Carole and Uncle John, when I was broken, they played Enya a lot, that New Years helped me heal. Auntie Carole played Enya after my Nanny passed away, she shared the music with John after his wife Bobby passed away. I found out Uncle John had passed away a year after he died; no-one in the family told us. Got to love family rifts. I offered an olive branch over a year ago when I heard about Uncle John, writing a letter to Auntie Carole listening to this. But I’ve not heard back. If peopl are important to you, tell them. Life is short.
  7. *cough* Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The first (and certainly) not last musical I learnt the words to. When I play this album at work, I have to concentrate not to singalong. The version I have is with Jason Donovan BTW. I saw it twice with him, once with Phillip Schofield and lusted after Nicolas Colicos as Rueben. I had a whole fantasy life with that Canadian, we’d have family brunches where we cooked pancakes, we’d walk hand in hand through Hyde Park. Oh my. PS I also can ‘sing’ Me and My Girl, Phantom, The Producers, Priscilla, Return To The Forbidden Planet and Rocky Horror, amongst others, from the book if so inclined.
  8. Jeff Waynes, The War Of The Worlds. Buddy brilliant is all I’m saying on this one.
  9. Meatloaf, Bat Out Of Hell. We’ll just gloss over when Meatloaf came to play at the AFL Grand Final and couldn’t carry a tun in a bucket, and just admire this crazy, never to be repeated, concept album in all its glory.
  10. Mike Oldfield, Tubular Bells II. This was hard work, I could have easily had Ommadawn, but I love this album that teeny bit more. Also listening to it, you get to hear the sadly departed Alan Rickman talking through the instruments “…and…Tubular Bells!”

What, no Pet Shop Boys? It would have to be Introspective. No Nick Cave? Murder Ballads. Pink Floyd? Division Bell. Queen? Greatest Hits. What about Take That? Well, no, because I always have to skip over “Gary’s piano ballad” so they don’t count.

Ten on Tuesday – favourite edition

Carole has asked for ten things that we’re liking at the moment. Ready? Go.

1. A long weekend, I took an RDO on Friday and a half day on Monday morning. Badly needed, not least because I’d pulled a muscle in my back. By Friday morning, I was waddling not walking, and in a fair amount of pain. Knowing I didn’t have to go to work helped! I met with a girlfriend on Friday morning, then came home and propped myself up in bed to rest.

2. Parks and Recreation. I’ve been hearing about this series for a while, Hubs brought me season two for my birthday, a friend sent me season one. On Saturday afternoon and evening I watched the six episodes of season one, and 18 of the 24 from season two. I’m now having withdrawal symptoms as season three is yet to be purchased.

3. Spending time with a friend. She’d had major surgery in December, this was the first time I’d been able to see her since her op, so the two hours we spent catching-up was glorious. I brought her some flowers, because I liked the colours, and inadvertently managed to buy her favourites!

4. The blue shop. This is what Peanut calls IKEA, perfectly sensible to me. When I booked the time off work, I wondered about what I could do with it. One thing was to clear my mind and work out what and where I wanted to take my company. Did I still want to carry on with what I had been focussing on, or move it slightly? Did it need a new name and so on. I’d planned on meeting my friend, then heading over there, but my back was too sore. On Saturday morning, I helped Hubs get ready to take Peanut camping, then headed over. In the restaurant area is a library. I brought a coffee (free refills), opened my notebook and spent a good three hours on my own, no podcast, no music (other than the muzak) and plotted and schemed. After that, I had a restorative walk round to look at all the Swedish neat and order.

5. Billy Bunter roll. Back in my hometown, there was a sandwich shop that did the most amazing rolls. Called Billy Bunter’s after the character, they were round, large (you needed both hands to eat it) and filled with whatever you wanted. Mum and I always had prawn cocktail. Brown roll, butter (not margarine), crisp lettuce and prawns in thousand island dressing. I had a yen for one of these on Saturday, so brought gluten free brown rolls and thousand island dressing. When I got home, I laid my lettuce, tomatoes and two hard boiled eggs with some prawns in a bowl, dribbled over the dressing. Buttered a roll, put Parks and Rec on and was in heaven. Mum and I used to meet on Friday afternoons, my college finished early, so did her work, we’d meet at the station, walk over the road, then head home. By the time we’d got there, the sauce had soaked into the bread, which meant you could eat it without random prawns falling out. Bliss.

6. This.

7. Where the Wild Things Are. Not my favourite book by a long shot, but Peanut and I read it twice the other day, he went out like a light and slept right through. It was the best night sleep the house had for a while!

8. Gloria Steinem. I’m reading My Life On The Road, and eeking it out (technical term), as I do not want it to end. What a great start to #OurSharedShelf

9. Cooking on a Bootstrap if you’ve not found this food blog, please do seek it out. I’m a huge fan of Jack’s. The recipes are amazing, simple, nutritious, versatile and unlike some cooks and chefs, affordable! Literally down to the portion by penny (they’re based in the UK), Jack is now wading back through and converting as many recipes on the blog as they can to include vegan alternatives.

10. Osher Günsberg this man is fabulous. I don’t do reality TV. I don’t watch the Bachelor(ette) or Australian Idol, which is predominantly what he’s known for in Oz. I found him as Osher was interviewed by someone else’s podcast I subscribe to, Meshel Laurie (more in a second). Doing as I do, I followed and connected the dots. Found his podcast, mainlined them, am recommending them to everyone I spend time with, so am sharing them here. iTunes only have the past 100 episodes, so if you try them on and you like them, you’ll have to go to his website to get the rest of them. Working in the media industry for as long as he has, Osher’s network is vast, so the guests that pop up are eclectic, but the interviews are warm, intimate and life changing. Literally.

11. Meshel Laurie set up a crowd funding page to assist child sex abuse survivors to go to Rome to hear Cardinal Pell give evidence in the Royal Commission investigation into the Catholic Church. Make no mistake, this investigation is huge. The cover-up and lies the church committed runs long and deep. Cardinal Pell, now residing in Rome is too ill to travel to Australia. So Mohammad is going to the Mountain, in five days members of the public raised over $200k. The fifteen people travelling to Rome include survivors and support staff, the remaining money will fund mental health support.

12. Tim Minchin also wrote a songin support of the survivors being able to hear Cardinal Pell’s testimony.

PS I make no apologies for linking to the same things twice in two posts, it’s important.

PPS I got to twelve on a Ten on Tuesday – go me!

Ten on Tuesday – Community edition

Carole has a corker of a list this week, what makes your community interesting? I wasn’t sure how to approach this, then had a flash of inspiration in the shower. Libraries these are the very symbolism of ‘Community’ for me. Before I’d even moved to Australia, (Hubs had left the UK before me and found a house for us), I looked at what was going to be our local library and enrolled online, collecting my ticket and first books two days after I arrived.

Libraries a hub for people for a variety of reasons, and it is maddening to me that governments think they’re only about books and rental figures. Here are some arguments about why they’re so important to me.

Seaside Library

  1. Free or heavily discounted activities for all ages. From baby sing-alongs and story sessions, to showing how use tablets and computers, to language classes, to keeping chickens and researching your family history, there is something to do for everyone. If a session isn’t being run, have a look at the notice board, there will probably be something advertising a group or meeting you may be interested in. Sometimes, getting out the house with Peanut and going to a reading session was all that I achieved that day, but it meant a walk there and back, a reason to shower and some adult conversation, with the possibility of a coffee afterwards!
  2. A place to study. Even before I got to high-school, there were reference books that were permanently onsite that I used to refer to complete homework at the Seaside Library in my hometown, see above picture. I can still smell the room now, parquet floors and wooden floor to picture rail shelving, with moveable shelves, tables and desks in the middle of the room, the librarians had a central desk towards the front of the room, where your books were stamped in and out. I could probably still direct you to my favourite books in my mind.
  3. Access to more books than I could ever afford. Books are not cheap. When you devour them as quickly as I do and with a birthday not long after Christmas, my main book buying binge was usually in the sales in January with book tokens (remember them) and gift cards to WH Smith. I can remember carrying a stack of a mixture of Arthur Ransome and Sweet Valley High (oh my) to the counter, for the lady on the till to say “I think you like reading!” My mum fell about laughing.  Through the library, I was able to borrow books, read them, try them on, if I loved them, I could renew them, then put them on a ‘to-buy’ list. It also widened my sphere of reading, (way over and above Sweet Valley High), I’m still an eclectic reader now.
  4. A thirst for knowledge. If I want to learn about something, I read about it. Despite it being a digital age, (and loving my kindle), I love the tactile feel of paper. Most of my books have pen or pencil marks and notes in the margins. I love following the breadcrumbs of a subject, when a book point to another title or topic for me to lose myself in.
  5. Knowledge of how to research properly. Long before Google, there were microfiche readers and images of newspapers on reels. Standing up in front of a bank of cards, rifling through, taking the number of the tape or sleeve you needed to the librarian, waiting while they dug it out. Hoping a machine would be free. Another smell that is still there as I type this: the hot, dusty, celluloid, chemical tang. Going back and forwards over your tracks, making notes of where you were so your references were complete and correct at the end of your assignment. Kids these days…
  6. A place of refuge. In Eastbourne we also the ‘Central Library’, a concrete and glass monstrosity, but right by the train station. So if it was piddling it down with rain, you could make a made dash across the road and wait for the rain to stop. It also was a place I could spend hours in when my mind was struggling. Finding solace in Dewey, the smells of the books and stacks, people watching, writing endlessly, throwing the notes away and starting again.
  7. Librarians. A font of knowledge, support when you’re struggling to make a decision if you’ve accidently chosen too many books. I heartily miss the clunk-clunk of the stamp and my own little cardboard wallet with the tickets from the books I’d taken out in it. While Peanut loves scanning his books to take them out, it ain’t the same. Plus, we can take out 30 items at a time, so no quandary over what book to leave behind, wondering if I’d left the wrong one there.
  8. Meeting place. I cannot stress this point enough. Libraries are not just about books, they provide a safe, clean and welcoming place to meet. For mother’s groups, for play-dates, for friends, study-groups, you name it, you can meet there. You can also hire rooms out for meetings proper if your group needs somewhere, or for a change of scenery if you need an off-site work meeting.
  9. Resources for use/hire. I saw a picture of a bake pan library yesterday! See, I told you it is more than books. Catalogues now include DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, magazines, reference and text books, knitting patterns, board games. Our library is a networked group across different municipalities, there are nine sites in total. You can browse across the entire catalogue, ask for what you want to be sent to your local site. This arrangement is fantastic as the Councils can pool resources, to provide a truly excellent service.
  10. They help give back to the community. This leads off all the previous points, when you’re new in town, head to your local library. They will be able to help you get settled with lists of activities, doctor and dentist surgeries, more local historic information than you can shake a stick at.

I don’t think I will ever get off my soap-box about libraries. They are a necessity. They are precious and should be cherished, with funding secure. They’re a lifeline for many people, including me. I take Peanut to one of our local three every month, we check out a bag full (or two) of books, each time. He loves it as much as I do.


Ten on Tuesday – David Bowie remembered

Despite my post last night, I’m still reeling from the news of David Bowie’s passing. I’ve dressed in black today too, on a 36c day, but I needed to do that, for me.

Carole hadn’t sent out our notification for Ten on Tuesday (sign up here), so amended it to our favourite Bowie songs, along with the wall to wall avatar changes on social media, tweets and airplay of his songs, I hope his family are feeling the world wide love towards him and them. If you’ve not found it, his narration of Peter and The Wolf is lovely too.

This is in no particular order:

1. Young Americans

2. Space Oddity

3. Boys Keep Swinging

4. Rebel Rebel

5. Dancing In The Street, with Mick Jagger

6. Fame

7. Ashes to Ashes

8. Fashion

9. Absolute Beginners

10. Starman

11. Under Pressure, with Queen

12. Boys Keep Swinging

13. Rebel Rebel

14. The Next Day

15. Peace on Earth / Little Drummer Boy

16. Let’s Dance

17. Lazarus

I tried to get it to Ten. Failed, I couldn’t cull it any further. Blackstar is such a soft, gentle album. It really is lovely.

Ten on Tuesday – Less is More edition

Carole has asked us for five things we want to do less of and five things we want to do more of in 2016.

1. I want to spend less time worrying about what strangers think of me; I want to spend more time with my family and friends, paying them compliments and thanking them for being in my life.

2. I want to spend less time worrying about what might happen; I will spend more time on making what I want to happen get here.

3. I want to spend less time on my phone and spend that same time otherwise frittered away wisely – with people I love, exercising, studying or reading.

4. I want to spend less on coffees and see how much more money I have in my account at the end of the year. Every time I don’t buy a coffee, I’m moving the money to savings account. (This may flow through to eating out generally, not that I do a lot, but I’d rather have a walk with friends and take a picnic or snack with me).

5. I want to spend less time fretting about not finding a pair of jeans that fit me and more time worrying about where the cheap jeans are coming from.

Picture credit

Christmas and New Year break

Let’s have a recap on what I had planned over the break:

  1. Hubs didn’t have to go away, so he was at home on Christmas Eve after all. We spent that evening with Manny and Auntie Susie, Peanut opened some presents they’d brought over. We wrapped the rest of his to put under the tree while watching the Classic Album program on Graceland. It was a program I’d watched on TV in the UK, brought as a DVD and not watched, it turned out to be perfect wrapping viewing. And as it was nice and gentle, perfect wind-down viewing too.
  2. Christmas Day we opened up presents with my parents on FaceTime, had our boiled eggs and soldiers and then headed to the Botanic Gardens to have a picnic with Hubs’ dad and his wife, Pa and Nonie. It was lovely, but very hot, so after a couple of hours we headed home.
  3. Boxing Day, Hubs went to the cricket to meet up with a friend and his son, Peanut and I stayed home. During the day I developed a sore throat; we went for pancakes in the afternoon to just to get out the wee man out the house and were promptly caught up in a traffic jam of people trying to go shopping in the sales, we then spent a good hour at a playground running off some energy and maple syrup. When we got back, we pottered about, as Hanno was due down, so I got his room ready. We played with Christmas toys and generally had a nice day, Hubs came home, I croaked at him and we watched The Descendants.
  4. Sunday lunchtime, we caught up with Pa and Nonie again, and Hubs’ brother and his family, we had a nice meal, exchanged more gifts, chatted and enjoyed ourselves. We came home and watched It’s A Wonderful Life, Peanut watching the whole thing. That’s my boy! Hanno went to the cricket all day and came back a bit windburnt, but happy.
  5. Hubs and Hanno went to the cricket on Monday together, my cold was in full flow, I just took Peanut to the local shops, he played in the local playground for a while, we then went to Target and brought some stuff in the sale, ate sushi and went home. exciting stuff.
  6. Tuesday, we went to the zoo (with everyone else in Melbourne) to celebrate our nephew’s first birthday. It was broiling hot, there were queues everywhere, but we had a good time. My nose running notwithstanding.
  7. Wednesday I stopped sneezing long enough to watch Star Wars with Hanno, at a 9am showing. Most odd, not only because we had to hunt for a coffee shop in the morning, (this is Melbourne, there should be coffee everywhere!), but also because people were eating popcorn at 9am too. Not sure the 3D added anything to the film, I’m looking forward to going to see it with Hubs in 2D on a normal size screen where I can see all the screen. We loved it, Hubs watched it today (Saturday) and seems a bit non-plussed by it all.
  8. Thursday was another hot day, so we toddled off to Doncaster early, had a coffee, wandered around in their air-con, had some lunch and headed home when us adults were getting ratty with all the other people meandering along, stopping for no reason and talking five deep in a narrow walk-way. I finished off one book, read another in one sitting, the whole house was asleep by midnight. Hubs snoring like a train, so I went down to the spare room and just got off to sleep, when Peanut woke up with the fireworks and came into me. After an hour of ‘They’ll finish soon, don’t worry’ I was just getting off to sleep again, when the cat decided he needed to run around, (he’d been shut in all day as it was so hot, then with the fireworks predicted he hadn’t gone out in the evening either as we’d never get him back in again). Just dropping off, Peanut needed to go to the bathroom and dragged me with him.
  9. Friday, cold returned in full force, I spent the day in bed. Moving for refreshments and not much else.
  10. Today I went to the GP and have been given horse-sized antibiotics to take, two doses in, I do feel heaps better. Hence me updating the blog with this and moving the page of books from last year to a post too. Mind you, I really shouldn’t have driven this morning, and almost passed out in the supermarket. I got lots of funny looks for wearing a hoody I can tell you, but as I was shivering, I needed to. Hubs has taken Peanut to a Twenty20 match at the MCG, they’ll be back later tonight.

All in all, it’s been successful, but not what I thought the break would be. I would dearly like to stop getting sinus infections particularly over Christmas! I’ve not caught up with all the people I wanted to, I’ve had to rain check on too many of you, I’m sorry.

Nevair mind, I’m off to start my first book for the year, and have another snooze. I’m good at snoozing.

Ten on Tuesday – holiday rush edition

Carole has asked us for ten things we’re looking forward to doing after the holiday rush:

1. Spending time with family and friends

2. Watching It’s A Wonderful Life

3. Watching the Boxing Day Test

4. Going to the zoo to celebrate our youngest nephew’s first birthday

5. Watching Star Wars at IMAX with Hubs and Hanno

6. (Lying in my hammock optional) but reading: Reckoning and Little Paris Bookshop, amongst others

7. Going for a walk/run by the bay, I’m going to park at Luna Park, waddle to Port Melbourne and back again

8. Catching the Andy Warhol Ai Weiwei exhibition at National Gallery of Victoria

9. Taking Peanut to a BBL Twenty20 match in January

10. Taking care of myself

See you on the other side, I’ll still be posting pictures via tweets to Instagram and Facebook, but I won’t be blogging until the New Year.

Ten on Tuesday – knowledge edition

Ten things I wish I could learn instantly:

1. French. I keep trying. All I want to do is watch my DVDs without the subtitles on, it’s not much to ask really. I’ve got a great little app on my phone call Duolingo, which I love, but I don’t practice enough.

2. Touch typing. I’m pretty quick, but wish I used my fingers properly. Looking back, I should have taken this in school.

3. Speed reading. I do read pretty quickly and I know that reading for pleasure and knowledge are different, but there are so many books I want to get through.

4. How to blow dry my hair. I can do one thing, the head wrap technique, and that’s about it.

5. Gardening. I have a brown thumb, I do wish I could be more successful in our veggie patch.

I honestly can’t think of anything else. Either I’m pretty happy with my lot, which I am, or I’ve got to spend some more time on thinking about what I want to learn.

I’m generally a sponge, I read all the time, online, books, articles etc. connecting the dots between them all, I can’t really complain.

Ten on Tuesday – best friend edition

More specifically things I like to do with my best friend, Carole has asked for this while my best friend is firmly in my thoughts. Because as I type she is on board a cruise, so while she probably won’t get to read this for a bit, I’m hoping she is enjoying herself after a frazzling 2015. Her husband is also a very good friend of mine, and also on the cruise, as it is their 25 Anniversary; the three of us muck about together gloriously, I miss them both.

1. Talk – there isn’t much we can’t put right in the world when Wiz and I get together. Thank goodness for Skype and FaceTime, as it was three years ago this week I last had a hug from her. She came out to help me with Archie when he was three months old; took over the housework, did everything for me, in return I drove her to the 12 Apostles. She’s also Archie’s godmother and sends him English and British bits to keep up his Colonial heritage.

2. Window shop – we are so good at this.

3. Shopping for smelly stuff – Molton Brown, Lush, Penhaligons, perfume and make-up counters, we will visit them all.

4. Shopping for stationery – oh boy, are we great at this.

5. Drinking coffee – usually wrapped around a shopping expedition, or before we start on one.

6. Drinking cocktails – oh boy, are we great at this.

7. Visiting art galleries – we had a weekend in London, she took me to Harrods, I took her to the Tate Modern. We sat in a café at the top of the building, people watching as they walked along the Thames. One by one people came running through dressed as gorillas. The annual Dian Fossey run was on, not only had people de-nuded every fancy dress shop within miles around of gorilla suits; people were dressed as gorillas dressed as ballerinas, clowns, doctors. It was one of those glorious days that we both giggle about now.

8. Going to shows – Wiz also took me to Lion King, while we were in the balcony so we didn’t get to see the animals walking through the audience, we could see the children see the animals walking through the audience. I watched their faces and heard their squeals of joy.

9. Breakfast at Tiffany’s – I did her make-up for their 15th Anniversary, I was there when she found the dress she wore, on another one of our meandering shopping, walking, talking, eating sprees through Brighton. When I worked in the CBD not long after I arrived in Melbourne, I took a picture of a Starbucks coffee cup (she works there) as I sat outside the Collins Street store sipping on my cup, while waiting to head to work. Every so often I’ll get a card in the post, “I just fancied having a coffee with you” stream of consciousness. Every so often, she’ll get one back.

10. Waiting for my annual Starbucks Christmas decoration – it simply isn’t Christmas till my china coffee cup arrives in the post. The collection of them I now have are amongst the first ornaments I hang on the tree. We’re so far apart, but hanging these up, she’s right here.

And now I’m weeping. Oooof.

Ten on Tuesday (Monday) – Joy Edition

I missed typing this last week, but Carole asked us for 10 seemingly ordinary things that bring you joy.

1. Reading. I cannot tell you how much being able to read has helped, shaped and challenged me, and opened my eyes to what happens around the world.

2. Having a bath. Ridiculous how happy this makes me. I’ve always loved baths, but now they’re such a rare occurrence (thanks to the 4 year old), they’re a real luxury. Last week after a horrendous day at work, I ran a bath, got in it. Archie got in it with me, ‘Mama your legs are prickly!’ (thanks kid, but that is the least of my problems!) When he was washed, he got out, I filled it to the brim with boiling hot water and read a book.

3. Walking. I grew up by the seaside, but the town was nestled in against the start of the South Downs. The best of both worlds, we could be walking by the sea in 10 minutes. Or walk by the sea for over an hour and be on the Downs. Or drive for a bit and walk on the Downs, looking at the sea. I still love walking, where we live now is hilly, full of trees and has a creek that runs through for good measure. When I really need to clear my head though, I drive to Luna Park and walk to Port Melbourne and back, just over 10km.

4. Sleeping. I love being in bed. Blanket fort, security blanket, whatever you want to associate it with, curled up on my side, my ear under the covers, just my nose poking out. I can relax.

5. Meditation. Getting back into this, thanks to work who run at least one session a week, but I’m also using Andrew Johnson too. His apps are fabulous.

6. Friends and Family. I don’t get to spend enough time with either, but seeing them either virtually or physically restores me.

7. Breakfast. My favourite meal of the day, combined with number six, I’m a happy bunny.

8. Cats. I’m an unapologetic crazy cat lady, our current two Chief Brody and Doctor Hooper, (named after characters from Jaws) are the first male cats I’ve had. CB is the most affectionate boy, he is a beautiful, medium haired ginger tabby. DH is crazy, eats like a pig, is grey and white, yells a lot and has no idea he’s a cat. At all.

9. Hubs. He’s just come back from a business trip, tomorrow he leaves for another one. I like hanging out with him, we can go anywhere do anything, museum, art galleries, AFL or cricket matches, the cinema or theatre – you name it, we do it.

10. Archie. This little boy is truly the light of my life. When my mood begins to darken, when I struggle with life, he lifts me up and makes me realise that nothing I’m struggling with is worth worrying over. He gives the most amazing cuddles, cooks with me, helps with the grocery shopping and as we read books together completes the circle of important and joyful things in my life.