Life Changing people

I haven’t written for a while, many things have been going on and sometimes really personal things are only shared with family. It’s nothing dramatic but they involve family who need to have a voice of an advocate rather than a bias (own perspective) opinion. Also something’s need to remain ‘in-house’ when you are involved and they don’t involve you.

I want to talk about a person I met who is intoxicating, inspirational and just someone you know you want to have in your life no matter how long or short that time is. There have only been a handful of these people in my life where being in their presence is consuming, exciting, loving, exhilarating and leaves you wanting more, I gave birth to one , I married one and then I have met others whom we shared different times and relationships. Sometimes they leave when the feeling disappears or they find others who stimulate them more, they are not necessarily opposite sex based. Attraction takes many forms, intellectual, work based, sex based and are not always opposite sex based.

I am actually going to talk about Gill Hicks today, after hearing her speak at a UN International Women’s Day breakfast yesterday in Adelaide. For those of you who have never seen her speak if you ever get the chance to see her, run to it for it really is life changing, her humility and presence kept a room of over 2300 people quiet. For those that do not know this name she is the Australian survivor of the 2005 London bombings where she lost both her legs below the knees and lives to teach us all about forgiveness and peace.

Her journey started at the moment she realized she had a choice, looked at her injuries and had to be her own ‘first responder’ then wait for the rescuers to get her out of her seat. It was fitting to hear the first one who came to her was one woman (ambulance officer) who disobeyed orders and entered the zone to start treating the injured (they are still friends today). Gill makes jokes about herself and those people to whom she holds in the highest  places of her heart that got her to the hospital despite the gravity of her situation, the Dr’s who worked out a system to take her from “unknown estimated female” to becoming Gill Hicks, then to fit her with artificial legs that have given her a life she feels she was chosen to do.

There is no hatred or self-pity in her voice or actions, she told us it was the wrong moment in time for everyone that day. She talks of her love and collection of vintage shoes prior to the bombing and then the steely determination to become a mum, this part of the story brought me to tears,  I looked around the table and I wasn’t the only one. Her story becomes more poignant when she was given the Australian of the year award in England and she made a speech that had everyone holding their breath. She said during that speech that she realized she would never again feel Australian soil under her feet,  the sand under her toes, feel the warmth and cold of the sea as it laps her ankles nor ever sit on a bar stool wearing thongs. There was no tone here, it was her statement of sadness of longing for the things she will never feel again.

She moves directly into her life now as a peace advocate, a mother and a survivor and encourages us all to become part of the solution. She places pictures throughout her story and shows us a video she is most proud of – which is posted on her website You CAN, Doves can’t.

Lastly she left us with this saying from her mother and which she had added to

Someone, Somewhere is Feeling the effects of something YOU have said or done

I stood to clap her, then when possible I asked my girlfriend to take me to meet her, I am lucky enough to know one of her good friends who came to breakfast with me. There she was surrounded by politicians talking and hugging people. I was awe-struck and she was gracious when I introduced myself and thanked her. It was fleeting but it was enough for me, I also walked past the Ex Prime Minister Julia Gillard and dozens of school children trying to get their photos with Julia to get to meet this lady. I felt and understood the adoration for Julia but thought perhaps she could have had a bit more class and moved herself and the photographers away from area to allow Gill to be congratulated on her amazing life and story of love, forgiveness and peace.

To finish, Gill, Angelina Jolie does not hold a candle to your courage, determination, ambassadorship for peace, inner and outer beauty. She would be in awe of you and the amazing life you chose to be a part of and share and I hope our paths cross again soon.

Cooking!! there is no glamour in this chore

It this really busy world where women and men are out working, being parents, playing sports, being on committees and numerous other roles unmentioned in this blog. There is always that nagging feeling when coming to the end of the working day, even if you do not work in paid employment after a day working, it comes to about 4pm and your mind starts thinking about the dreaded chore of preparing the evening meal. Remember the ‘frustrated Chef‘ from ‘Sesame Street’ well cooking daily makes me feel like this

There is no speech by your parents when you grow up about how laborious this chore is, yes they talk about sex, making babies, financial responsibilities and school and growing up but my mother never told me how this could be the worst chore ever invented and how necessary it is to daily functions. My mother also never told me how frustrating it is when you ask people in the house what do they want to dinner and have responses like “anything as long as I’m with you” as nice as it sounds it’s a cop-out. In Australian language that means I have no idea and I’m not prepared to offer any suggestions, this is frustrating to say the least, or what would be nice occasionally is to have someone say, “I know” and get up and prepare it and present it themselves.

We sit and watch shows like ‘Masterchef‘, ‘My Restaurant Rules‘, Huey’s kitchen and every other ‘lifestyle’ program has a cooking segment on it and we (pardon the pun) devour these shows, in my case I love some of the dishes and want to see who wins, that’s the competitive nature in me coming out there. But sometimes these dishes they don’t relate to normal life do they? Who really has the time (other than paid contestants) to spend 5 hours preparing meals? Not me I could not think of anything more boring. Preparing and presenting a perfectly cooked meal, consuming it and then CLEANING up.

There are some days when I think, can’t I just go and buy dinner? I live where there is no identifiable (no golden arches) fast food places within 150kms or in American terms 93.20 miles so when I do feel like this I rely on the trusty freezer, to have meat, oven fires and frozen vegetables and normally use this opportunity to do a mixed grill, rump, fillet or lamb chops which I will crumb, eggs from our chooks, sausages either our beef or lamb, then bread cooked in our bread maker and frozen oven fries cooked in the oven. This really is our choice, I don’t keep frozen ‘fast foods‘ like hash browns or others, these can be high in fat and salt.

But sometimes just sometimes I would love someone to come in and cook and clean. The last time farmer was out for dinner I cooked a microwave bag of popcorn and ate that, nothing else but white wine with it. When we travel to the city to see family and friends it normally is for a celebration so food is part of this shared experience, I have a family of cookers, they bring salads, hot vegetables, desserts and we cook either a leg of lamb or roast some of our beef. There is nothing nicer, but if we dine out, I note farmer goes for the seafood or steak, I normally go the steak option, it is just nice to have food prepared and presented to you. We also like Asian foods which I also cook when I feel I have time, but overall home cooking is always much more flavor some and healthy for you than ‘fast foods’ but for the convenience fast foods will win this mental trauma every time and this is back by the statistics, people would rather drive through than shop in.

My advice, find a great fresh home delivery company that will bring fresh fruit, produce and meat to your door, plan your meals so that you only order what you know you are going to eat. This will help reduce the high calories intake and save you from opening your purse. Put that money towards a long desired holiday where, when you get it you can PAY someone to cook what you want and clean up.

frustrated chef