Posts Tagged ‘History’

Extended family visits

Posted: July 27, 2012 in Life
Tags: , ,

(LOL ‘Extended family visits ‘ as in ‘cousins’, ‘uncles’, ‘aunts’ etc, not ‘close family members staying for extended periods of time’!)

So I mentioned on Wednesday that my cousin is coming to stay with me. He arrives later today, and I’m really looking forward to it, seeing as I last laid eyes on him around 32 years ago, when I was 5 and he 7 or 8. He lives in Kent, and is travelling to Oz not to escape the Olympics but because his fiancé has just discovered her father (she’s been looking for him her entire life) and he lives in the Whitsundays. So my cousin, his fiancé, and her two daughters, will be here in just a few hours, and will stay for almost a week with us before heading north for a few more weeks.

Just SOOOO excited!!! (Better go and clean the kitchen, hey!)

On this day…

Posted: April 25, 2012 in momentous events
Tags: , , ,

The time on my computer reads 1.00am. It is Wednesday the 25th of April, 2012. On this day, back in 1915, the ANZAC legend was created.


The clip above was from the Peter Weir movie, Gallipoli. (Unfortunately it was a bit buggy to embed properly, so I apologise if it doesn’t play for you. The link is at the bottom.) Below is a written account.

The original plan / what was MEANT to happen:

The ANZAC landing area was a broad, six kilometre stretch of beach from about a mile north of Gaba Tepe to a point near Fisherman’s Hut, north of Anzac Cove. It was officially designated “Z Beach”. (The five landing beaches at Helles were designated “S”, “V”, “W”, “X” and “Y Beach”). To attain surprise the landing would commence following moonset, about one hour before dawn.

The landing would begin with the arrival of a “covering” force to swiftly capture the area surrounding the landing zone and make it secure for the main force. The Australian 3rd Brigade was selected as the covering force. Three battalions were to seize the third ridge line as well as Gaba Tepe while the fourth battalion remained in reserve. Following the covering force, the Australian 2nd Brigade would land and move to the north, climbing to the summit of the main range at Hill 971 and protecting the left flank of the landing. The original plan called for the capture of Mal Tepe, halfway across the peninsula, on the first day but only if the landing was successful would this objective be pursued by the main force; the Australian 1st Brigade and the two brigades of the New Zealand and Australian Division.

The first wave of the covering force would come ashore from the cutters of three battleships which were to approach within five kilometres of the shore. The remaining waves of the covering force would be landed from seven destroyers which were to approach close in to the beach. The main force would land from transports.

What actually happened:

As the armada of Allied ships draw nearer, by 2.00 am it was spotted by various Ottoman observers who passed the information on to Maidos HQ. The 2nd Battalion of the 27th Infantry Regiment was ordered to be on the alert prepare for action to repel any troops landing on the shores.

The first troops to land were two companies of each of the 9th, 10th and 11th Battalions of the Australian 3rd Brigade. The companies embarked from three battleships. Each battleship dispatched four steamboats towing three row boats (launches and pinnaces)—a total of 48 boats.

The moon set at 3am and the battleships released the tows at 3.30am. Given the night was pitch dark, the tows headed due east and so relied on the battleships having been in the correct position when they were released. The journey of the tows became a shambles and numerous theories have been proposed to explain what went amiss. The southern-most tow kept a good course and was aimed correctly just north of Gaba Tepe but its commander found the neighbouring tows were heading northwards, leaving him isolated. He altered course to bring his tow closer and this may have caused a ripple effect as the other tows responded with a similar correction. As the shore was sighted, the headland of Ari Burnu became visible and some tows mistook this for Gaba Tepe and hence veered even further north.

For whatever reason, these first boats which were meant to land on a six kilometre front between Hell Spit and Gaba Tepe ended up concentrated about Ari Burnu, almost two and a half kilometres north of their intended landing area—in fact, in the landing area of the 2nd Brigade which was to follow. The area about Ari Burnu was defended by a single company of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Regiment, Ottoman 9th Division. The Australians began to come ashore at 4.30am. The first man to land was Cpl. Joseph Stratford #1179. 9th Btn. According to eyewitness reports, when he was waist deep in water, he disposed of most of his heavy equipment and charged towards the enemy, which cut him down in a hail of bullets.

The first troops to land were met by sporadic rifle and machine gun fire but casualties were relatively light. The 11th Battalion, which had landed just north of Ari Burnu, suffered the worst. The main enemy was confusion. The erratic course of the tows meant that the units had become intermingled. Officers were unsure where their units were or indeed where they themselves were; some thought that they had landed at Gaba Tepe. The geography was utterly unfamiliar and no objective could be identified.

Most of the troops of the 9th and 10th Battalions began to climb the first hill that confronted them, which unfortunately turned out to be the dead-end Plugge’s Plateau.

The time on my computer now reads 1.30am. It is Wednesday the 25th of April, 2012. On this day, back in 1915, the ANZAC legend was created. At this time on that fateful day, the men would have been looking out at the shoreline, using the last of the moonlight to memorise the distant shoreline. Fearing the moon setting, and impatient as well, so that the landing could be over. How many of them knew the circumstances that were turning against them? How many had any idea of just how bad it would be?

I am a proud Australian. Today is a very special day for me. I shall be posting this at 4.30am, the time that Corporal Joseph Stratford, the first Australian to land, was cut down while still waist deep in water, having not even made it to the sand. The first to die of 4,931 Australian casualties. It is my hope today that you, dear readers, may pause with me, and remember those who gave their lives for the liberties we enjoy today.

Lest We Forget.

Video courtesy Peter Weir’s 1991 film “Gallipoli”, uploaded to YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N87UwyRI1tk by fronteitaliana

‘Written account’ abbreviated from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_at_Anzac_Cove

CC Image courtesy louisemakesstuff at http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisemakesstuff/1185971424/

Due to last night’s extreme lack of sleep, and this morning’s early rise to get Miss 6 off to her first day of Year One, I find myself sitting down to blog with no real clear idea of where this will end up. But that’s cool. I’ve been tagging stuff ‘random thoughts’, but on reflection, have noticed that they weren’t particularly random. So, using the (supposed) words of William Wallace made famous by Mel Gibson, “That’s something that we shall have to remedy then!”

Today is this blog’s one-month-and-one-day anniversary. Which makes me officially onto my ‘P’ plates, I’ve decided. Which brings me to some random facts about my travelling experiences, and some random thoughts about the same…

  1. I got my motorbike license before my car license, and I rode the blue Suzuki GSZ250 that I had bought from my older brother from the streets of Eight Mile Plains to Rochedale and back for several weeks from 2am – 4am, teaching myself to drive the thing before I went for (and just passed!) my test.
  2. Almost a year later, that same motorbike died at the top of the Gateway Bridge (hole in the gasket or something? Whatever that means!) but luckily I had enough momentum to get over the top and roll back down towards the toll gates on the southern side. Thank you, guardian angel! I hate to think what might have happened if it had sputtered to a stop 30 seconds earlier… rolling backwards into oncoming traffic may not have been the nicest way for my life to end!
  3. My husband taught me to drive while we were dating, and bought me my very first car. A little red Suzuki Hatch. What a sweetheart!!!
  4. I’ve been on only three planes in my life. Once in the cult, going to the Phillipines for an international conference. Once on my honeymoon on Fraser Island. And once from Brisbane to Proserpine, holidaying with hubby on South Molle island back in 2003. I love plane travel. Wish I could do more… but the presence of three kids in my life tends to place some restrictions on wish fulfilment, I’ve noticed…
  5. I have owned four boats. Two currently reside in my shed. I don’t have a boat license.
  6. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to own, or part-own, a horse. And, of course, go camel-riding!
  7. I absolutely ADORE my caravan! (Might have to sell it though, if I don’t get a job soon…)
  8. We currently have another caravan, and a campertrailer, residing on our property too. Storage for the in-laws. Recent occurrence – we didn’t look like a used car sales yard til just before Christmas. Wish that I could sell THEM! Hehe, wouldn’t that be funny! (not…)
  9. My eldest asked me this morning when she could go up in a rocket. Got quite discouraged when I informed her. But she also wants to drive a tractor when she is 20, so I guess some goals are still within her reach…
  10. My husband and I owned nine different cars in the first nine years of our marriage. Silly, I know. Kidless, double income… lots of fun!

Well, that’ll do for now. More randomness tomorrow, I wonder? Have a lovely rest-of-the-day, dear readers!

 

There’s a little bit of a tinge of sadness in the air. A greying. Cool mist. It’s as though the laughter-filled ‘honeymoon stage’ has passed, and the vision of ‘hard slog’ has just started to inch towards me over the far horizon. Ho hum.

Today is the 23rd of January. Exactly one month ago, I set up this blog, in preparation for @fionawb’s #blog12daysxmas challenge, which would start on Christmas Day of 2010. So that’s it. Been blogging for a month now. How sad – I can’t really class myself as a ‘newbie’ anymore. Well, not really.

Generally I find milestones exciting. They signify the culmination of something. But that can mean the end of something, too… and in my experience, when something ends it is never repeated again. Which can be sad, I find. Today also marks the end of my 6 posts on ‘momentous events in my life’. It’s been an interesting challenge I set myself… I had NO idea when I started, just how confronting it would be. Bearing my soul and my innermost thoughts at the most emotional experiences I’ve had! And only a brand-new blogger! So this week’s been rather a soul-searching one for me, deciding how to best present the stories of my life, pitting the ‘truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ against the ideas of privacy, discretion, and of course a pretty massive word count when I get all rambly!

Still an’ all… today’s event, number six, while still extremely emotional, was one which still leaves me incredulous. It goes like this…

It was the latter half of 2010. August, maybe? Or September? It was a warm day, and it must have been a Saturday because hubby was home. So we decided to swap the baby seats into our Pajero and take the 5 of us to Bribie for the day. So we did. On the way, I noticed that I was still wearing my watch and rings (I never take them to the beach, as I don’t like the potential that sand has for damaging them!) and was about to take them off and put them safely into my handbag, when I was distracted (probably by two fighting daughters in the back seat!) and so didn’t. And it wasn’t until we were actually ON the beach, the car unpacked, the kids changed into their swimmers etc that I remembered that I was still wearing them.

I should probably pause and explain… I’m not into jewelry. I wear my engagement ring and my wedding ring and my gold watch. That’s it. And I only wear them when I’m out somewhere – as soon as I’m home, I take off the rings and store them on the watchband; do up the watch again, and presto! Safe. I probably started the habit when my eldest was born, as I didn’t want the stones to scratch her when I was picking her up so constantly, but now it’s a bit of a habit.

Anyway, we got home from the day at Bribie tired and happy. And the following morning, headed off to church. I opened the section of my handbag where I usually keep the watch / rings… and they weren’t there. Back home, after church, I check the box where I leave them… and they weren’t there. I go back out to the car, check the glovebox, the floor… no. I go to the Pajero, check the glovebox, the floor, the centre console… no. I panic. They’re gone. Completely. Gone.

Questions, guilt, more questions, more guilt. Why can’t I remember! I must have taken them off at the beach… but maybe that was just before my youngest crawled head-first into the water and got knocked over by a wave?

A week goes by. A very very very sad week. I was coming up 15 years married and had lost my rings. Worse – I couldn’t even remember when I had removed them and where I had put them. Hubby suggests calling the Bribie Police Station. Sure, I say, but don’t. (I’ve mentioned how depressed I get, haven’t I.) The following weekend it rains, or we’re busy, or something. Anyway, we don’t go back to Bribie. I don’t think I would have handled it too well, if Hubby had even suggested it. He keeps reminding me of the Bribie Police. I say, ‘Stop nagging.’

Monday after lunch. The eldest is at school and the younger two have gone down for their naps. I can’t put it off anymore. I call Bribie Police. Teary, I tell the constable my story. She asks me to describe them. I do.

She them says, “You’re not going to believe this. They’ve been handed in, not half an hour ago. A lady found them on the beach this morning – well, her husband did – and she wanted to hand them in straight away because she knew that whoever had lost them would be devastated.”

I die. (Well, not literally, but pretty darn close!) I bundle the kids into the car, rush down to Bribie Police Station, and reclaim my beloved watch and rings. Oh my GOD!!!!! How absolutely INCREDIBLE!!! I had been praying, and praying, and praying, all week. And here they were again – back on my ring finger; back on my wrist – without even any extra tarnish for their eight days in the sun, wind, rain, exposed to the salt and the sand!

How awesome is my God?!! Pretty darn! I was completely blown away. Incredulous. And so, so, so grateful. I had thought them gone literally forever, and been in various stages of mourning and denial. But they had been preserved somehow… heck! The watch hadn’t even lost a minute! How absolutely INCREDIBLE is my God!!!

Anyway, that’s it. The sixth, of six ‘most momentous events in my life’. The list is complete. A little sad, in a way. A little grey. But touched with golden around the edges, for a challenge completed successfully. And as for the next? I haven’t decided yet. Might go sleep on it.

As always, thank you for allowing me to share my story with you. And, dear readers, have a lovely night!

It’s been a big day. Woke up to discover my dream job for 2011 had been advertised on Monday, with submissions of applications by close of business YESTERDAY! (That’ll teach me for having a husband and two daughters all having birthdays this past week, and so not turning on my computer as much, won’t it!)

So I applied anyway. And then felt depressed all day. Youngest is teething (and whingy), middle child has a rash over her entire back from the neighbour’s over-chlorinated pool (and MEGA whingy) and eldest is… well… she’s just too like me on every day of the week, so we butt heads anyway. A LOT!

Hubby has been out at a staff retreat for the last few days, so he arrived home tonight. Just as I discovered a colony of ants were playing at falling out of the lovely home they had made in my cathedral ceilings, all over my lounge room. Over chairs, over cushions, over the inevitable collection of toys that accumulates throughout the day. Over literally everything. Yay. But thanks to my lovely twitter support group, a #virtualtweetup, and a pretty massive #sugarhit, I feel as though I can focus enough to blog for the day.

Hmmm… that’s right. My topic: momentous event in my life number four. The first time I felt ‘released’ from the emotional prison that was suffocating me. And again, I should probably fill in some details as to how I arrived in that prison in the first place. So settle in… this may take a moment or two…

Well, as I mentioned in an earlier post, once upon a time, I helped to lead a cult. Really? Yes. Really. In my second year of my B.Ed at Griffith, Mt Gravatt, I was sitting on the grass near the bus stop when a girl several years older than me walked up and, out of the blue, invited me to a Bible study. Shocked? Yes! Because how was she to know that, not 30 seconds earlier, I had just finished praying that I might be more committed to my Saviour, and that I would find the way to do this.

Long story short, I ‘studied the Bible’ with her – and her fellow “church” members – for the next ten days, a couple of hours at a time. (Wow! I must have had SO much free time on my hands back then!) By the middle of the studies, I could see where they were heading. Verses from the Bible had been chosen, and were studied in detail, in such a way that the proof was irrefutable – I was NOT (as I had thought all my life) saved, I was NOT a Christian, and only by joining this “church” would I then become a Christian, and be saved. Tell me tell you – I fought this and fought it! What they were saying was absolute anathema… but in all of it, I had to keep going back to the Bible. Seeing the words. And agreeing with their point of view, even though I didn’t want to, because, really, there was no other explanation. So I joined. And a few months later, moved out of my parents, into a “sisters” house, renting with other girls from the “church”. By Semester One of my third year, I was ‘in deep’. I had virtually lost all contact with my non-“church” friends, and my family. By the end of that semester, I was one of the two Interns. As in, the leader of the “church”, Jordie Barham at that time, and his wife, Paula, had one assistant (Intern) each, and together, the four of us led the whole of the Brisbane “church” – almost 200 members at that point in time. I had decided to postpone Semester Two, in order to devote 22 hours per day to my ‘work’, and I joked how I would tell my parents that it was just for the rest of the year, rather than (as I had planned) for the rest of my life.

But by September, I was completely burnt out. I had not yet succeeded in ‘being fruitful’ (converting someone through to “church” membership) and the Internship was stripped from me and given to another. A month or so later, I feigned illness on Sunday morning, and while everyone else was at church, put through a distress call to my parents. They picked me up, drove me around to the three different “sister’s houses” I had lived in and left possessions at, and then took me back to their house, before the others in the “church” were any the wiser. And then we all ignored the phone, which rang off the hook 24 hours a day for the next 4 days or so.

Still, I had left physically, but not left mentally or emotionally. I knew that when I had left their “church”, that I had walked away from my salvation. That I had turned my back on God. That I was going to hell. And I remained utterly convicted of that fact. Nothing could convince me otherwise. After all – I had seen it for myself, in the black and white words of the Bible.

I finished Uni and got married. I then fought constantly with my husband, as he, a Christian, couldn’t understand how I could be that ‘stubborn’ about my opinion. And then the inevitable happened. After two and a half years of marriage, we split up.

A week later, he came back. To find me as unrelenting as ever. I KNEW that I was going to hell, and nothing he could say or do would change that. He virtually begged me to go to marriage counselling. I agreed, but with the attitude that ‘nothing will change. They can’t convince me otherwise. I know it. I’ve seen it.’

So anyway, we went to counselling. Another couple, Graham Ballam and his lovely wife, the Baptist pastors at Victoria Point (where we were living) had one session with us. Just one. And then said, “You (two) don’t need marriage counselling. No – marriage counselling won’t work. Instead, you (Ceridwyn) need counselling. To get this wrong way of thinking out of your head. Because you’re wrong. What you believe. It’s wrong.”

My response? Sure. Bring it on. We agreed that I would go through ‘studying the Bible’ with them, each and every session, and I knew, I just KNEW, that by the end of it, I would have convinced them that they too, were not saved, not Christians, etc.

So it started. And it continued. And for every SINGLE verse, I explained the verse how the “church” had explained it to me. And then we would go back to the original meanings of the words themselves, in Hebrew and Greek, to the nuances of the verbs, to see whether the explanations provided by the “church” matched up with the reality of the original Hebrew and Greek words. And while the majority of them DID match up, there were one or two discrepancies. Maybe just in the ‘present continuous’ form of the verb being used, rather than what I had been taught, but it was enough. I saw a chink. A glimmer of light. And that was the beginning.

It took the best part of a fortnight. Hours and hours of debate, intense scrutiny of those same Biblical passages that had so convinced me of my hell-bound future. But it was worth it. By the end, I could smile. I could feel a peace that I hadn’t felt in years. And I felt, again, some hope. Again, just a glimmer… but it was a start. A release. I emerged from that prison a stronger person for being in there – and even more convicted of my God, and my salvation. So although I had endured quite a few years of being ‘bound and gagged’ (to quote the title of one of my brother’s movies), there was an end. A wonderful, wonderful end. Which, as it always does, resulted in a new beginning. Phew.

Well, that’s probably it for today. And I’d say that long enough too wouldn’t you agree?! Thank you for reading, and I’m heading back to say goodnight at that #virtualtweetup now…

 

I’ve just recently started seeing the value in long term commitments. You see, I suffered (and sometimes still do, to be truthful) from pretty major depression as a teenager, and quite literally believed that I would never see January 1, 2000. I had worked out that I would be 26 years old, and, as I could never imagine myself EVER being ‘that old’ (“HA!” my brain is saying now,) I just assumed that I wouldn’t be around. That I’d be dead by then.

So, seeing 2000 was pretty momentous for me. But not enough to make the list I’m starting today: the six most momentous events in my life (to date). And the first would HAVE to be the day I commenced the long-distance “marathon” I hope to finish only on the day I die. (Which will hopefully be many, many, MANY years from now! I’ve kinda gotten used to this whole ‘living’ bit!)

The 18th of November, 1995 dawned just as the day before it had, and the day after it would. Nothing momentous there. I was up early, full of adrenalin and my brain working overtime with those “last minute” things which absolutely HAD to be done. Then it was a quick dash (no, I didn’t speed!) from the family home at Eight Mile Plains to the Stradbroke Ferries Water Taxi at Cleveland. Arriving with a couple of friends with a few minutes to spare, we clambered aboard the 6am Taxi and spent twenty minutes being jolted across to Dunwich. Once there, we made our way to the first of three destinations for the day. Meanwhile, up the hill, in the green house with the stupendous view overlooking the whole of the Bay, and the mainland from Coolangatta to Coolum, more people were busy, getting ready for the day’s activities. An informal bus service was set up, from the house down to the Water Taxi terminal, to collect the many visitors that would be arriving, and bring them either back to the house or take them to the second destination. Which itself was also a hive of activity – being decorated with flowers, ribbons, and candles, ready for the midday celebrations.

By 8am it was starting to heat up. So much so that by 9.30, it was raining. Enough to dampen the spirits of others, but not mine. I was determined that nothing could spoil this day for me… and sure enough, the rain stopped well before 11, leaving a cooler day and enough time to dry out the ground prior to the big event.

By midday, everyone had arrived that was meant to, and all had been transported to the second destination. St Marks Anglican Church – a tiny wooden building on the road north. It had louvres for windows, and each louvre was a different colour. “Perhaps the Australian version of stained glass windows?”  I joked later. Still, everyone was there, milling around, catching up with old friends and acquaintances, and meeting new ones. By 12.10 Pastor John Geoghegan could be seen checking his watch. He then started pacing from the altar to the front door, looking earnestly. He was there, ushering the last of the stragglers inside, when he caught sight of the car. He happily turned to the church and announced, ‘Well – Ceridwyn IS here’ and then took his place back at the altar.

Steeping out of the car in my dress and heels, veil over my face, I remember I couldn’t stop grinning from ear to ear. My father took my arm, and as the flower girl and bridesmaid walked ahead, I thought to myself, “Well – this is it!”

It’s now over fifteen years later. I’m 36, and on the 18th of November 2010, my husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. No, it hasn’t always been easy. Some of it’s been downright TOUGH. But without that first day, I wouldn’t be sitting here now, on the 18th of January 2010, proud of the longest commitment I’ve ever had. (Well, with the exception of being alive, that is.) Without that first day, I wonder if I would indeed lived to see January 1 2000, even. Looking back, I’m very glad I DID live to see it – and glad that I’ve seen every day since then, too!

Well that’s it. The most momentous event in my life. My wedding to the man of my dreams (yes, literally!) on the 18th of November, 1995. A brilliant event. One I’m so appreciative I’ve experienced. And I hope you don’t mind my sharing it with you today.

So – any thoughts on YOUR most momentous event?

I’m the reason my parents moved to Australia. My older brother had been born in a hospital in New Guinea, four years earlier, and I guess they didn’t want a repeat experience. So when they discovered that I was on the way, they relocated to Australia – to Eight Mile Plains in Brisbane, to be precise. Dad found employment as a lecturer in Literacy and Language Development at Mt Gravatt Teachers College, (later to become Griffith University,) and I arrived on the seventh of June, 1974. Six months before the floods devastated the city.

I spent the first nineteen years of my life in that house on Padstow Road, just up the hill from Logan Road, and opposite Multicap Meadows. It got busy during that time, so much so that the B-doubles letting off their airbrakes as they drove past my window lulled me to sleep during my final years there, while I finished Senior at Redeemer Lutheran College in Rochedale and started my B.Ed at Griffith.

I was fortunate to have a bus stop not 100 metres away. With the help of a year-long, go anywhere at any time’ student bus pass, I did the ‘teenage rebellion’ thing and used it lots, spending the majority of my time passing through Garden City on my way into town, to meet friends and hang out, catch a movie, window shop. When at Uni I would bus to my part-time job/s in town, spend time reading novels while sunbaking at South Bank, or (later still) try winning money at the casino. In fact, I was so comfortable travelling by bus, I didn’t get my license until I was 20 – and that, a motorbike license. I then found an even greater sense of freedom on my blue Suzuki GSX250, travelling to UQ at St Lucia to study French in the evenings, during my 4th year of Uni – and the back way, past the Rocklea Markets, became quite a speedway at the almost-10pm mark!

And now to my apology. My prior two posts were… well… more non-events than events. Due to my incredulity at the floods devastating Brisbane again. Quoting my younger brother, who emailed me from London this morning, “I knew those streets. Now they’re gone.” Perhaps this post will go part-way toward an explanation. And that brings me to what I had not realised about myself, but have now…

My important word for today: history. My past, to be specific. I guess what ‘they say’, IS actually true. Your past DOES make you the person you are. So as I stop, and remember, and grieve for what may never be again, I shall also remember  that if my history IS that important to me, then today, right now, and every moment to come, will also be a part of my ‘history’ one day. So I should make the most of it. How about you?

Til tomorrow, dear readers…

Today marks Day Two in my aim to discover seven ‘Important Words in my Life’, inspired by the American Dialect Society’s ‘Word of the Year’. This list reflects the person I think myself to be. (But I’m happy to be proved wrong, as for each character trait I tend to see the negative outweigh the positive!) So each day I’ll be explaining why I believe each word to be important enough for me to include in my list. So. My word for today? Restless.

I fully identify with some people’s difficulty in just ‘stopping’. I don’t think that I actually can. Looking back on my life post-school, it would be easy to mistake me for a Gen Y, as I’ve changed direction every few years! (Yes, I realise that this seems to contradict the ‘commitment’ inherent in yesterday’s important word “Integrity”, but all will become clear…)

I graduated High School in 1991. I then started my Bachelor of Education at Griffith University the following year, but left mid-third year to lead the cult I had joined about six months earlier. (That’s another huge story for another post though!) Fortunately, I had left the cult by the following February, so I enrolled in 12 courses in my fourth year, to finish the degree with the rest of my cohort at the end of 1995, the same week of my wedding. From being a teacher in 1996, by mid 1998 I was a Subject Area Cordinator and by 2002 a Head of Department. I became a mother in 2005 and then a Head of Middle School in mid 2006. In 2008 I became a mother of two, and then had my final child in 2009, the same year I founded goodoldtalk.com – the site I run with my own mother. In 2010, I ventured into the world of Primary teaching, and also started my Masters mid-year, with a view to qualify myself as a Teacher Librarian by mid-2012.

So when you boil it all down, it would seem that I lack commitment to seeing things through. Not true though, in my opinion. When commencing each position, there was a steep learning curve initially. But I endeavoured to master the ins-and-outs of each job quickly, developing each department under my care to the fullest of my ability, before moving on to my next challenge, leaving each position better for my being there. (I think that one of my words for later in the week should be ‘conceited’, too!) So regarding being ‘committed’, ask any of my employers. I doubt I would have been promoted as quickly through my career if they hadn’t seen my potential. So rather than being a non-committal employee, I would say I am the opposite. I give 110 percent to any job I have. (And there’s my pathetic maths skills showing themselves again!)

But in my own opinion, after I’ve ‘been there, done that’, and conquered that particular challenge, I’m ready for the next one. I think it’s because I want to ‘suck the marrow out of life’ – after al, we only get one of them! Or maybe I’m trying to find my ‘limits’, or something. Came pretty close to finding them in Semester Two of 2010, too! (Teaching three days a week at two different schools, running a website and the Mosquito Magnet business with my husband, studying 38CP’s worth of my Masters – and getting 2 HD’s and a D, which I’m quite proud of! – and being a wife and mum to three children aged 5, 2 and 1.) That was pretty insane, I must admit. Not going to do that one again!

Anyway, I’ve blabbed on enough. Have a lovely rest-of-the-day, and I’ll meet you here, same time, same place, tomorrow!

The Roman Empire. 350AD. Constantine’s legacy is being fought over by his three sons. The new state religion, Christianity, is fumbling to find its feet, as civil war rages across the known world.

Ancient Rome – the setting for my forthcoming novel. Forthcoming, as in: conception has occurred, but I’ve barely reached the end of the first month of the first trimester. And considering conception occurred a few years back, it will most likely be a number of years before the ‘possibly-getting-close-to-being-published-now’ stage. And yes, I feel guilty about that. In our instant society, it seems as though to take your time over something is an indication of something being ‘wrong with you’. Which is sad, I think. (But possibly accurate in my case, anyway!) But it’s true though – how often do modern writers produce at least a novel a year – or if not, then one every few years? Actors are known for what films they have released, and how regularly they work – musicians, too. In fact, I would say that most industries are the same, as it’s a symptom of the time, not of the media. We’re an instant, output-based world now, and the days of a novelist spending years if not decades agonising over a manuscript, are long gone. Which is a pity. But still…

This post is the first of four on ‘places I want to visit prior to death or rapture’. D’Oh! Can’t visit Ancient Rome. Bumma! So I guess modern Rome will have to do. And once there, I guess I’ll just have to do the touristy thing and visit all those places where the ‘Ancient Rome’ has been preserved. Further research on my novel. I want to walk where Theophilus walked and see what he saw. Maybe not smell what he smelled, exactly, but at least be able to imagine it!

So why Ancient Rome, exactly? Well, I first fell in love with the historical novel when I spent many an hour with Brother Cadfael as a teenager. Being half-Welsh myself, I felt a connection with Ellis Peters’ creation, and developed a fascination with her ability to conjure character profiles and detailed storylines from historical figures and factual events. And Rome of 350AD? Well, I’m a Christian. And for almost a decade now, I’ve been interested in the Hebrew Roots of my faith, and the growth of the ‘Church’ in the West, particularly from the time of Constantine onwards.

So yes, that’s why Ancient Rome – or Rome, at least – makes the list of Top 4 places to visit. Tomorrow’s destination is closer to home. Well – it’s in Australia, anyway. So stay tuned, dear readers, and have a lovely rest-of-the-day!