In February, this little creature came into our lives.



Born in early November last year, he arrived from the breeder a bit worse for wear: our local vet confirmed he was underweight and treated him for an evidenced flea infestation and a suspected case of worms.


Little Mangy Mouse

But with lots of TLC (not to mention sleep and food)…

..he’s thriving.

Such a funny, sweet creature, who chirrups and chats away. Considering Mainecoons can reach up to 16kg, let’s hope he stays that way 🙂 .

The Reproach of Matilda

She’s there every morning, glaring down at me, when I open my eyes.

“If you’re going nowhere, neither is that extra chin”, she seems to say. “I have limits, you know. If we’re to ever get any closer, you should be out there, not hitting the snooze button repeatedly!”

She’s right, of course, my ideal dress size. I breached her boundaries a long time ago and won’t be fitting back in any time soon, unless I get out there and move. Every single day.

“And cut out the champagne while you’re at it, lardarse.”

By my calculations, transforming Matilda’s reproach into rapprochement is about 720 km away.

Ho hum.

The Matilda Dress

The Matilda Dress



Much Violence, Zero Harm

If I were a voodoo-hoodoo, my more annoying clients might experience the mysterious onset of a headache around 7:30 on a certain week night.

“Do you know why people like violence? It is because it feels good.”

Alan Turing in The Imitation Game

But the only violence I like is the kind that doesn’t hurt anything.


Chu-daiko and Shime-daiko

So Taiko is perfect. Thus far, we’ve learnt the basics of the Miyake and Yatai-bayashi  rhythms, fantastic workouts for the body, brain and voice.

The Beauty Of It

Oliver Sacks is loving it. Frederick Wiseman forgets that he’s it. Ellen Langer thinks that it’s possibly nothing but a mindset.

In Japan, they know how to style it.


Ginza O-Fashionistas

Forget the Erololi, Ero-Kawaii and Gothic Lolitas of Akihabara, and the Cosplay kids of Harajuku; it was the quirky, fun and completely unselfconscious fashion sense of the older generation that stood out for me on the streets of Tokyo.


The View from Down Here – Fitness Level Zero

Sludge has been building in my veins and arteries, the accumulation of sitting for weeks on end – working, studying, watching the entire series of ‘Breaking Bad’…

If you don’t start moving, you’ll have a stroke, and die, or worse: and live.

That nagging inner voice kicked me out of bed this morning to tackle what my husband calls the ‘Three Hill Challenge‘ — a 5km route in our neighbourhood, which includes three hills.

Well, that’s hardly a challenge.

I thought I’d do Hill One only today (don’t want to overdo things, after so much sloth) – it looks like this from the bottom.


I don’t remember it being so steep.

That’s what happens when you don’t exercise – your memory goes.

I prefer the view from the top.


And on the way down 🙂


I skipped Hill Two, but Chrissy Hynde and The Pretenders got me up Hill Three – it’s a deceptive but-wait-there’s-more kind of hill.


I suppose it’s a start.

Have a great weekend, and keep moving. 😀

For more entries to this week’s photo challenge, see The Daily Post.

Perspective: Ways of Seeing

‘Look Both Ways’ is one of my favourite Australian movies. The worst-case-scenario imaginings of its main character, Meryl, are depicted in ghoulish animations, which are juxtaposed with the realistic elements of the unfolding storyline. It’s a wonderfully quirky and inspired way of bringing Meryl’s inner life to the audience and providing light relief to a film that has death at its heart: the director—the late Sarah Watt—was diagnosed with breast cancer during its making.

The film’s black humour resonates with me because, despite my scientific rationalist leanings, I think in much the same way as Meryl: worst-case-scenario is my oldest imaginary friend defensive tactic.

I hurt my back a few weeks ago, cleaning (yes, it’s bad for one’s health). I’ve never had back problems, and when my condition hadn’t improved after a week of intermittent resting, the bone-cancer-metastasized-from-the-bowel-cancer-I’ve-yet-to-be-tested-for-serves-me-right-for making-jokes-about-it thought crept into my head . A lot of magical thinking for someone who doesn’t believe in fairies and ghosts.

The benign reality—that sitting behind a desk for 8 hours a day and in a car for close on 2.5 hours a day has turned me into a blob (note the passive construction of that last sentence), and my core strength just isn’t what it used to be—finally popped into my blobby brain, and off I went to the gym swimming pool, where I spent some time running through water, shocking neglected muscles back to life. And my back is suddenly better. Magical, isn’t it?!

bb-psp3 - Copy

Snow Poles in Summer – Falls Creek, Victoria, Australia

For more entries to this week’s WPC, see The Daily Post.

Five favourites out of the entries so far.

Exploratorius (who can resist a good mystery?!)

Colder Weather (an ant’s perspective)

happyface313 (look up!)

autopict (things catch the eye)

Lucid Gypsy (horseying around)

(Sh)It’s in the mail

First came the warning letter…

..and then the package.

Sending poo in the mail: there are few things more deviant, surely?

No, it’s not what you’re thinking: I didn’t receive poo in the mail from some demented troll, but have been requested by my Government to send mine. I kid you not. In Australia, you know you’re 50 when you receive…

bb-bcsk..your very own Government-sponsored DIY bowel cancer screening kit. With instructions in 18 languages, an information & FAQ booklet, sample sticks, test tubes, labels, return envelopes, the lot.

FAQ: Can I place my samples in the fridge?
The mind boggles, and the imagination runs riot (the unsuspecting child, home from school, thinking mum’s left them some sort of treat, a la Heston Blumenthal).

Mine would be more along the lines of: Can they tell I drank a whole bottle of champers within 15 minutes of stepping through the front door last night? (Or that I have gag reflex to shots of our PM is his red budgie smugglers?)


So, Australia, not only is Big Brother watching you, but your poo, too.

Secretly, I’m impressed.


The upside of the downside is creativity,
downside of the downside – survivability,
upside of the upside,
downside of the upside…
..dearth of poetry.

In a dark time, the eye begins to see
Theodore Roethke


Someone who’s definitely not suffering from a dearth of inspiration at the moment is artist (and hidden poet) Bénédicte Delachanal.

Check out her wonderfully humorous marriage of art and words as she tackles this month’s NaPoWriMo challenge. C’est une joie. 😀

To Kill a Nerve… By Any Means (without support crew, Charley Boorman!)

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I had a bit of a planes, trains and automobiles day yesterday, and trams…oh yes, and crutches…

At the end of November, I suddenly developed pain from a rather nasty pathology in my left foot, known as Morton’s neuroma (MN). And then, at the end of January, I developed the same thing in my right foot, although with far less intensity and pain – (but with an exponential increase in anxiety).

For anyone, let alone an active person, this is a debilitating condition which can literally stop you in your tracks. I stopped walking the golf course and, shortly thereafter, playing golf, altogether. I stopped jogging, taking my afternoon walks and, ultimately, any non-essential walking. I couldn’t walk barefoot painfree and I stopped wearing closed shoes for the same reason. I took to wearing Birkenstocks (and am now a lifetime convert – yes, Cin, I know it’s a style travesty…) and Orthaheel thongs (slops, slip-slops, flip-flops) because these were the only shoes I could walk in at all.

Anyone who has received expert help from the medical profession for MN knows it does not go away of its own accord and if left untreated it only gets worse over time. The surgery is invasive (they cut out the damaged nerve), has a long recovery period, no guaranteed outcomes and often has lingering adverse effects. Chris Freeland’s blog post on MN is the best anecdotal resource I have come across, if you are interested in reading more about people’s personal experience of the surgery and recovery (if you are, read the comments as well). [June 2013 – Chris’s blog has been deregistered]

I won’t bore you with the details of all the research I did and my convoluted path to find a practitioner of a promising, minimally invasive, non-surgical treatment for MN, known as Radiofrequency Denervation (thermoneurolysis), in Australia, but can tell you that it’s available in Melbourne and Cairns, but does not appear to be available anywhere in Sydney.And none of the medical practitioners I saw here mentioned it, and when I asked them about it, only one of them–the orthapaedic surgeon–actually knew about it, so I asked him to refer me to Imaging @ Olympic Park (IOP) in Melbourne. And, so, because I live in Sydney, I have travelled twice to Melbourne over the last seven weeks to have the treatment at IOP, first on the left foot and yesterday, on the right.

And my outcomes so far? Other than a numb foot for 24 hours, after the first treatment, I was back on my feet straight away to the same level as just before the procedure and then 5 weeks later, after the inital healing process, was back playing golf and walking the golf course, but in wider shoes and custom-made full-length orthotics. And I will need to take a golf break again now while the treatment I had yesterday settles down, but overall am very happy with how things are progressing.

One person’s outcomes will almost certainly differ from another’s to some degree and each person will have their own level of expectation as to what constitutes a successful outcome, but if you live in Australia, have been diagnosed with this condition by a podiatrist or orthopaedic surgeon and want to find out more about RFD treatment before opting for surgery, you can contact Imaging @ Olympic Park – they will be more than happy to answer your questions. 😀


Update – 9th October 2012

I have no neuroma pain 6 months after RFD treatment, walk the golf course every time I play and am back to doing my long walks on the weekend. Very glad I did not have the surgery.