I can go the distance!

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I’m inspired by Disney as though I’m still a little girl – but this song although I’m not aspiring to be a hero I feel is very reminiscent of what I am trying to achieve. I think that if I didn’t do everything in my power to achieve my life goals then I wouldn’t have the same satisfaction as I did once I got there.

If finding a job takes more than 70 job applications with most of them being rejected before I find the school that’s right for me then, then so be it.

I want this more than anything at this stage of my life and I will do what it takes to get there.

If it means singing a long to songs such as “I can go the distance” featured in the Disney film “Hercules” in order to help in boosting my confidence than so be it. I have to hold on to the belief that I will get there in the end.

Like anything I’ve so far achieved, it takes what it takes to get there and I just have to do what that is!

In the meantime – got anymore Disney songs I can sing to reflect how I’m feeling??

Signing of for more singing! 🙂

Woah… short post!

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Book Review: “Any Human Heart”

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Someone’s journal is usually or at least to me kept away from any other person but to that it belongs to. “Any Human Heart” however is Logan Mountstuart’s journal. It is a place where I never thought I would find myself. I have a journal and write it with the thought that no one else will ever read it. I write in such a way where I allow myself almost total freedom. I say almost total freedom because I know that one day it is possible that someone may find all my journals and read them. The people who will maybe one day get the chance to read them will either make discoveries of what I really feel or think to themselves that they knew how I felt all along.

To me a journal is a place where I put my thoughts and feelings. It is generally not where I write entries such as “Dear Diary today I went to the movies with so and so we saw blah di blah and it was great. Afterwards we grabbed a bite to eat and it was delicious” – it is more to do with venting in order to get something off my chest. In some ways it is a healing process in which I deal with negative emotions. I don’t always write about the bad things that happen but it does help in that way. It is a place where I can go before I talk about things to other people…

What originally drew me to this book was my uncle saying that this blog reminded him of this book. In those words I instantly thought to myself – I had to read it. In that moment I did not realise what I would be getting myself into.

Mr Mountstuart writes in a very honest voice about what happens in his life, there isn’t any of the “Dear Diary” stuff but it is very much a detailed description of his life. His incredible life. He lived through every decade of the 20th century. To be a part of this was at sometimes very intense and in other times very enjoyable. Because of this there were times where I wanted to stop reading. I kept going because Logan himself kept going. He kept living despite the moments in his life where he wished he had not lived through. Towards the end of the story (without giving anything away) you understand that he was a person who simply wanted to live.

He wanted to live every encounter of life. The highs and lows. The joys and woes. The light and dark. Every part of it needed to be lived and through his eyes it was.

I do not believe that unless you read this story you will truly understand what I am trying to say. When my uncle told me about the book and how it spanned over every decade of the 20th century. I thought to myself, it would be interesting to see what that meant. I did not believe until I read it how much change one person could be confronted with. Trust me – there was in this book an amazing amount of change – some of it drastic and some of it smaller but all of it had huge influences to where his life took him.

“Any Human Heart” by William Boyd I believe is a must read. I do not believe that I could rate it out of ten because of how personal it is but I do believe that every page takes it’s time to unravel and reveal a life that was much lived. It proves to us or at least certainly to me that life is worth living.

I would like to thank my uncle who told me about this book – I don’t think I would have known about it or read it if it wasn’t for him.

Signing off because I need to get back to doing things I need to but do not want to do… urgh.

Regaining my imagination…

I want to write a story that is based on the home/house that I grew up in and possibly then have it extend to other areas of Australia that I’ve been…

I’m about to go to the Northern Territory!! I will be living and working in Pigeon Hole for six weeks and will get to be amongst the people of that community… This trip is part of what is called SWIRL or Story-writing in rural locations and is run by my uni and also happens to be my last ever teaching placement.

I am so excited, scared, and simply just awaiting all the possibilities of what will come from this experience.

When asked “what do you wish to bring?” I thought and thought for an appropriate response and came up with – an open mind. I think in this case instead of being the teacher I will be very much the learner. I don’t really know what I’m getting into, about where I’m going, what to expect or how I’ll cope living in such a remote area.

Some people might think I’m mad and I’m happy to accept that, maybe I’m mad and maybe we’re all mad. But what good would it be if all we did was sit at home and did not take on adventures like this? I don’t think I’m any less mad than someone deciding to go to Europe by themselves, am I? 

I feel very much inspired by this and I think it might have something to with always wanting to be a story-teller. For some reason creative writing to me as always been something that even though I have had to work at (a lot!!) I have still very much enjoyed…Some of this comes through with reasons as to why I wanted to be a teacher as well so equally it’s both just great!

I want to write about home because no matter how I far I am from it I’m always thinking about it, it’s always there in the back of my mind, I have such a love for the place that I grew up in that I think wherever I go it will be with me… People have often said that home is where the heart is amongst other sayings of similar ilk but to me – home is where the cat sits on your lap and where you find fairies hiding in the garden.  For me I wasn’t the one who moved – it was my mum… I have lived in other places since she moved out and am now back here but without her… It’s a long story!!!

The idea behind my ‘home is…’ is that I have a cat (last year I had two cats 😦 ) and wherever he goes I feel at home because he is comforting. The fairies though are because when I was a child I very much believed in them and I think even as an adult if you look at a garden very closely you can see that somehow they are there – they take you wherever you need to go and I think that comes back to them being ‘make believe’ or ‘magic’ – they create the colours, the leaves, the petals, the branches, the soil, etc of what makes the garden so beautiful and warm. Because they can fly – they fly with you…and it doesn’t matter where you are or who you live with…

{I think that our mind can very much be in a ‘real’ world and in a ‘fantasy’ world… ‘real’ = cat ‘fantasy’ = fairies…}

 

I am very lucky to live in an old terrace house… The floor boards creek under feet, there are cracks in the walls, there is a door with an old-fashioned key that allows you to enter a part of the garden…

My imagination as a child would be racing with stories… Stories of a made up past; I used to think of so many past lives that this house had and so many fantasy style lives that this house had…

They were intertwined with other people’s imaginations but my favourite stories were those that were merged with the author of the Secret Garden, the Little Princess and Little Lord Fauntleroy — I remember creating my own secret garden and pretending that I lived in boarding school. The funny thing was that I took these imaginings with me…

There was an old brick building as big as big could be… It had tennis courts you see… I used to walk past dreaming of whom lived there and dreaming of all they could have had… What was this place so grand and strange…? I wonder? Who lives there?

Little did I know that red brick building that I used to imagine as a grand house was the school that I attended… I laugh now when I think back to that child who was me but in the same light I also wish I had that same imagination.

Imagination is lost somehow and that loss begins when we go to school… Is it possible to harness it and not drag it down? I don’t it’s primary school, I think it comes more once we reach secondary school…

Hopefully I can allow the very real stories of the children in the NT to open my mind to a whole new world of stories, stories that have been passed down from generation to generation and stories that will keep being passed on. I’m writing this now with anxious butterflies in my stomach just thinking of what is ahead of me…

Goodness!!!

Signing off to get some rest. 🙂 


 

I have writer’s block!!!

I have the urge to write but don’t know what to write. This is a rare occurence for me. A rare occurence indeed. Ususally I can write at any time even if it’s about the most mundane things… But this evening as I decided it was about time to write again – anything, just anything to get me going – I thought but I have nothing that I want to write about…

So instead I’m going to try this thing called a ‘stream of  consciousness’ or a continuous flow of thoughts in writing whereby I write all my thoughts as I think them… goodness I hope this isn’t over sharing

Here we go: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3,2, 1…

What am I afraid of? I’m listening in my mind to this song about someone being afraid of something to do with love but what is that I’m afraid of? Obviously I’m listening to this song because I can in some way I relate to it but I’ve never been in love so am I afraid of it? But I have had a broken heart just not in the traditional sense of it… my eyes are drooping so really I should sleep but I know as soon as I climb into bed it’s not going to happen that’s all I want to write  now… sleep gosh there is a part of me that wishes I wasn’t on holidays…

The sound of my fingers typing is a soothing sound that I like because it means that I’m writing something that’s just for me something that no one has to like it’s just for me just for me that’s what I like best about this typing though is very different to holding a pen or a pencil I feel as though somehow handwriting is nicer than typing…goodness I’m so old-fashioned why am I so old-fashioned?

If you look at my hair you wouldn’t think it was old-fashioned or the act of shaving it off maybe I’m partly old-fashioned and partly not… I miss you, you know… here I am getting that sinking feeling again of missing a person you love wait love in its traditional form isn’t all about the love between man and woman or woman and woman or man and man love can be friend and friend pet and owner etc but come on I am human I want the other kind…

Gosh people could be reading this soon what if I just deleted this entire post. Emma keep your eyes open. No. Go to bed. No awake. Awake is where you’ll be when you feel like this…

I am strong I know it other people know it and if I cry it’s not a sign of weakness it’s not it’s just not…hmmm why not have a sip of hot chocolate with almond milk yes that’s right I spent more than any normal person should on one litre of milk just so I knew what it bloody well tasted like and crap it had to taste so bloody good that I’ll buy it again why just why food for me has become an expense I mean I know I don’t need almond milk but in so many gluten-free recipes they use almond and rice milk so I thought oh what’s the harm in trying this milk it’s meant to be good for you so why bloody not the only problem is because I also didn’t want the milk loaded with sugar I got the bloody organic one I want so much to be healthy so I don’t have to go to fing hospital but I also don’t want to be poor why make people who have fing coeliac disease pay for it out of their hard-earned money why… so back to that crying thing yeah it’s happened

oh good it’s stopped sigh deep breath sigh and deep breath

ok I’m ok

19 days till I fly to Darwin why did I sign up for swirl I mean I know why but now I’m scared I’m excited but lets face it if I was lying I’d be saying I’m so excited and so honoured to be given this opportunity blah w****r is what I would call myself if I said that because it’s not true I mean the teaching thing the story telling thing great the bloody remote thing what was I thinking oh yeah I wanted the challenge crap I have to eat gluten-free food what was I thinking…oh this is stupid I’ll be fine no seriously ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ok need to change my thoughts to something different.

Saw “Annie” today it was so fantastic and being able to see it with a great friend made it all the worth while and leaving the theatre we saw a wedding party who gets married in winter idiots. oh there would have been many reasons but seriously idiots.

ok I need to stop this otherwise the whole world if the whole world is reading will know my inner most thoughts and I don’t want that…

 

Activity complete. Back to normal:

It’s always good to write like that once in a while and it got me out of my writer’s block.

If there are readers of this post please don’t take my thoughts too seriously they were literally in the moment I didn’t plan what I was writing they came to me at the moment – also I’m tired so any worry or concern or even a positive emotion has been heightened by 1,000… plus the last time I did this I was in a state of joy and there were very different results I can tell you.

Lesson of today (to writers):

Writing all your thoughts like this can be a great way to ‘unleash’ anything that needs to be taken out of your mind to you free you up and write and also you might be surprised in what you come up with – some great story could come out of it!

*note* I read over what I wrote in the end for spelling and grammar in no way though did I delete anything that I wrote – that would defeat the purpose.

 

 

Oh Baby It’s Cold Outside!

You know you are on holidays when it gets to 3:00am and you’re still awake. The day couldn’t have gone any slower and your pjs become the attire of choice…unless you need to buy chocolate. Well at least this is what happens in winter. Winter days are filled with dreaming up your next hearty but comforting dish and you can’t help but to indulge on baked goods… and knowing that tomorrow you’ll be wearing 3 jumpers just to keep warm makes it all the worth-while. This morning I nearly decided that  I would read all day long with a cup of tea and a cat on my lap, but as I realised there were forms to fill in for my up-coming N.T trip this wasn’t going to be possible…

But I will make it up to myself 🙂

At this point in time though it’s not just that I’m on holidays it’s also that I’m really close to finishing my degree! The day that I never thought would come is soon here and although I’m excited I can’t help but to take a big swallow and sigh!!

I cannot believe that I’m sitting here half-way to finishing my degree – I keep having this terrible dream that I’m in a classroom on my first day and all I do is stare at the kids… I don’t know what to do on my first day – I will, I know I will…but in the back of my mind I’m second-guessing myself… It’s almost like I need other people to stop saying that I’ll be fine and to say I’ll be rubbish – just so I can be determined to prove to them they’re wrong…but that’s crazy!!!!!

All these irrational thoughts are crazy… I just hope I’m not the only on thinking them…

Am I the only one thinking them?

This is crazy! This is crazy! This is crazy!

Why do I do this to myself? Think like this?

I guess it’s partly human nature and partly going back to not believing in myself and also partly totally normal but still!!

Urggghhh…

I’m sure it will all come into place I just sometimes wish we didn’t have to go through all of this before it did or that I could just magically see exactly where I’ll be next year.

Ahhh I seriously dislike not knowing what I’ll be doing…

This is crazy! This is crazy! This is crazy!

*deep breath*

Tonight I will dream:

Knowing what to do, knowing that mistakes are ok and knowing that I will be ok no matter what happens.

Tomorrow I will:

Write a list of things that still needs to happen before NT and tick them off as I do them so that I’m not sitting around stressing

and then we’ll go from there…

Is it too late to bake a cake?

I’m conjuring in my mind the perfect layered cake perfectly decorated, GF and utterly delicious…

Right now… maybe I’ll have a sneaky scoop of ice-cream with drinking chocolate on top? hmmm yes… Ice-cream in winter that’s what we all need!!

Ok. Good plan.

Lets go and execute it!!!

Lesson of the day (haven’t done one for ages…):

RELAX! It’s all good. 🙂

Signing off to make a yummy concoction.

Leaves make Autumn beautiful

As I am sitting here enjoying what has now turned into brunch. I cant help but to think what a beautiful Autumn we have had. I look out onto my backyard and get to witness all the beautiful colours that make up Autumn. As the last leaves are falling as we get ready for Winter this is what I get to see…

    

The colours I believe give us a sense of warmth through the reds, yellows and oranges and sometimes even silver, grey and blue we can visualise and remember the summer and spring just past… just as a new change is beginning. Autumn leaves have seen us through many changes…

When we were children we jumped and played in them…coming into Adulthood we walk through the old days and look forward to new things and as I’m almost at the end of my first semester of my final year I can see a new change emerging for me.

At this time of the year I always reflect on what has gone and what will happen next it’s exciting to think that I will be working at a school in my own classroom this time next year – a new change that will occur just like the seasons that change every year.

With every new season comes new foods in summer we eat ice-creams, have BBQs, Pavlova with summer berries, in spring we enjoy a good old lamb chop, in autumn it’s a spicy pumpkin soup and by winter we are eating comforting stews and warm apple pies!!

With each change we feel something different and we do different things… My change will be going from a student to being a teacher… It’s an exciting change but it’s a big change.

It’s bigger than going from jumpers to tee-shirts or soup to ice-cream…it’s more like taking a leap or jumping into the unknown…

I will be ready to take it on. But at this stage I can’t imagine how different it will actually be.

Signing off as I have to finish my final assignments for the semester…

I hope you are enjoying the colour of the leaves or whatever weather it is for where you are as that might be not quite the same. 😉

Reflections of the year gone by

This time last year I was faced with my first Easter of being a Coeliac… because last Easter was when I got diagnosed. I remember in the rush of last-minute shopping before the shops were shut. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to eat a decent meal again. It was such a huge shock.

I know that it could have been far worse, but at the time it felt like everything was falling down around me.I couldn’t enjoy Hot Cross Buns, Lindt Bunnies or Fish n Chips on Good Friday – three Easter essentials, felt really big…and I was at my grandparents farm, with a grandmother (retired doctor) who didn’t believe that Coeliac Disease was real and a mother who didn’t know to what extent not being able to eat Gluten meant… they were all trying to be supportive but didn’t know how, which is ok and I am not upset at them – but they were people who I turn to and who I was with and I couldn’t really do that.

Irraitableness had set in big time – which I think I mentioned in a post “living life the coeliac way” (or something along the ways) but most of all it was about facing not being able to eat anything I wanted.

For quite a few months after I was still processing how and it meant to be a Coeliac I attended Coeliac society meetings, I put in a lot of research, etc on what it meant and still to this day I am making new food discoveries.

The only difference now is that it’s finally become an exciting thing as opposed to a sad thing. By this I mean before I was sad of what I couldn’t eat, now I’m happy of what I can. Plus I have an excuse to buy cookbooks, go to the healh-food for ‘weird’ ingredients and have a cupboard dedicated to flour.

Let me show you some of these discoveries… please note I’m not at all a food photographer and that it’s not me trying to take great or even good photos it’s just about the content…

– The flour that I now keep… plus some other GF things, GF plain, GF self-raising, Xanthum Gum, GF Baking Powder, Polenta, GF Yeast, Dried Apricots, GF Corn Flour, Lupin Flour, Almond Meal, Quinoa, Quinoa Flakes, Rice Flour, Buckwheat Flour, Corn Crumbs, Rice Crumbs, Soy Flour, White Chia Seeds, Caster Sugar, Brown Rice Flour and possibly a couple of things that I have forgotten… Plus there are still more flours on my to purchase list.

Gluten-Free cooking and baking isn’t just as simple as substituting flour, there are some recipes that I have found that will use five flours just for one, I know that I don’t have to cook like this and there are ways to keep to keep it simple and usually that’s what I do… but when I have one those moments where I have to try a new recipe it’s nice to have these flours on hand…

      

These are all the cook-books that have guided me… 4 Ingredients – was a great starting point, it let me see that I wasn’t limited, the bible has given me more variety in my diet, Sue Shepherd is amazing…haven’t made anything from her book though and Indulge says it all – info on flour and recipes that you can truly indulge in… from this I made the Choc-Berry Buckwheat Pancakes – yum, yum, yum and soooooo easy to make.

The Emma Smoothie:

– Yes it’s purple – well at least this one…

Base ingredients – Greek Yoghurt (sometimes you have to check for Gluten), Milk and Fruit. I then add things like Chia seeds (An old house-mate now friend told me about this one), Honey, Golden Syrup – Maple if you have it and so prefer, Cinnamon, Chocolate, Almond Meal, nut meg would be great… pretty much anything… favourite fruits for an Emma Smoothie – mixed berry or mango… It’s so simple but so delicious and incredibly filling!

The BEST GF bread that I have found is from a cafe on my street – it actually folds, is fluffy, looks like break, isn’t like a brick, tastes amazing, etc… here is one of my sandwiches:

– Seed bread with Spinach, Egg, Olive Oil and Feta – sounds a little boring, but honestly tastes really great – and it’s the first time that I decided not to toast it… I can tell you that picking up a normal “boring” sandwich for the first time in a year felt absolutely incredible that I actually felt like my life had changed.

Some of my friends sometimes say to me when they talk about what they have for lunch “Oh just a boring sandwich” my response is “Oh if life were that simple” and I used to be one of those people who winged about having a sandwhich…and now am thrilled at the opportunity – mainly because this bread costs $7 a loaf and I don’t want to spend that much a week…so bread or at least this bread – is a treat… ha…bread as a treat…

Other favourites include – mozzarella on olive bread and strawberry jam on pumpkin bread – cos the pumpkin bread tastes like scones!! 🙂

Thoughts on packet mixes… you have to buy them cos otherwise there are just some things you miss out on like cinnamon donuts… which I crave ALL the time… here is the GF version (yes from a packet):

– It’s pretty easy once you get to the frying bit – but seriously these don’t taste (from memory) any different to the normal cinnamon donuts and next time I’m adding jam!

Treats from here and there:

– Macaroons from the Lindt Cafe – one on the left I can’t have, one on right – the Champagne one I can – yum. Macaroons though at a cafe at uni – I can have and all the flavours…

– Most of my food is now organic, not really by choice, but it’s much more affordable now and I’m getting really into it- this is as you can read from the label Organic Lemonade which was purchased from Hooked a healthy seafood place or fish n chips whichever – which is so far the only place I have found does GF fish n chips and even their burgers are GF too – it’s ALL great and doesn’t make you feel as though you clogged up with grease.

– I started drinking coffee last year when my Aunt and Uncle were here visiting from DC – cos of their love of coffee shops and ordering quickly especially on the road… I stopped asking if the Hot Chocs or the Chai Lattes were GF (I know I shouldnt…blah) and decided that coffee was easier…next to this beautiful Cafe Latte is a Cranberry and Hazelnut Meringue (I think it was Hazelnut…some nut anyway) – with something else inside which makes it cake like without being a cake…truly delicious… This cafe also has GF bread which means that most of their meals I can eat as long as I ask for the GF option… I love when this happens because I feel somewhat normal again.

Ah yes McDonald’s – It is on a rare occasion that I go there especially now, but when I do I either get the ice-cream or the hash-browns… there are other things I’m pretty sure I can eat, but as I’m there for a treat and not a meal – it’s not really that critical that I make sure I bring my own bread just so I can eat their cheeseburgers again. Now I know that this lid full of ice-cream looks somewhat dismal…it really isn’t because it’s great to be able to have a small pig-out…besides the cheeky raspberry lemonade that is hiding made it really worth the while.

Even those forced to be incredibly healthy in some respects need ice-cream from McDonald’s or Maccas as we say here in OZ…

There are so many moments when I crave bread, pasta, pizza, donuts and all of those yummy gluten laden foods and days when I want to cry because I can’t eat them…or am frustrated at a restaurant, etc…

But after a year of being diagnosed I think I’m doing pretty well and I have to say that I’m pretty fortunate to live in a suburb that has a bunch of cafes that caters for someone with intolerance, allergies and coeliacs…plus as it’s become more “mainstream” – supermarkets are now stocking things like Xanthum Gum and Quinoa which makes life easier and more affordable so I can buy shoes… 😀

Because really that’s all we need is a good pair of shoes or 20…

Nah but seriously the fact that I can eat bread that folds even if it’s occasionally is pretty damn good!

Lesson of the day or year I should day:

We are all capable of jumping over hurdles and breaking down walls. We are all strong enough to live with what we are faced with. We are all wise enough to call upon friends and family and we are all brave enough to be happy in discovering new things.

Crying isn’t a sign of weakness and neither is hope, it’s knowing that when you have hope you are incredibly strong.

Signing off because I really need to get something eat even it’s 11:00pm – because after talking about all this food I’ve become hungry – here’s to getting the most out what you can eat!!

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