Saturday, January 31, 2009

From idea to results

Many people get ideas. Wacky ones, silly ones, very unpractical or unfeasible. Then there are some that actually take shape and become reality. I have great admiration for people who achieve their goals from creating results from their nutty ideas. It’s a beautiful thing.

How about creating a restaurant out of thin air and wrapping it around a tree? Close to Warkworth, north of Auckland you will find a restaurant that’s very special. Tracey has achieved her goal: her restaurant is literally up a tree and she is taking bookings and recently, high teas as well. Check out her endeavors on:

Friday, January 30, 2009


You surely have come across people that inspire you the minute they have finished one sentence. They are onto something, about something and know something. Mostly about a topic that interests me. Then again I don’t think about opera singing or nuclear weapons every day but some people have brought up these subjects. What I genuinely like about interesting people is that they tend to be intelligent and also easy to get on with, bless them. Before you know it you’re talking away and half an hour has disappeared faster than the sun blazing in the Dunedin sky.

I like to think I can inspire others but truth be told, I have no idea. I think I need to work on my humor. I have been toooo serious for my own good last year. Seriousness can become like a low lying disease. If you’re not on top of it, it can get the better of you. I know, scary realization indeed. Aaah. Medic!

Right, getting back to Those Fascinating Ones. When does someone qualify to be ‘Interesting’?

When they vary from the Norm a.k.a being original (some people would call them ‘mad’)
They have something to say that actually makes sense (the famous ‘aha’ moments)
They’re not ego maniacs (come across those; make a run for it)
They have a sense of humor. (You smile a lot when being around them)
They’re charismatic (they inspire and lift your spirits)
See what I mean?

Have a sense of humor or you’re as good as dead. Literally, figuratively. The attraction to life is to not to take it too seriously or to think too much about it. Dream sometimes but always aspire setting realistic goals. Listen to the TFO’s who can teach you more then you know.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What do I know?

Agreed I know some things. I know other people know things. We all do, but they are different things. This is when it starts to get fascinating.

The funny thing is that one person can’t assess the quantity of what another person knows. Why? Because you can’t look in their brains and you do not have access to their private password to subject their inners to investigation and do some prying. Which is a good thing. Each person’s private thoughts and experiences are their own.

It’s good to realize that you do NOT know everything too. If you did there would be no room for exploration. Why would you want to do anything as after all, you already know everything. It sounds so mundane to me. Would God be bored to bits? She’s probably having so many laughs up there.

I think that one of my charming qualities is the fact I confess openly about not knowing everything. There. That’s the secret. Confess, get the word out and there’s no need to impress, convince or hide inabilities. Not that it would matter anyway, because HOW you do something and WHY is really only important to you isn’t it? If I get pressured or forced by other people into learning something because they think I should for one reason or another I can get annoyed. I can dig my heels in. It’s not the best of traits. If I see the valid point in learning something I’m very happy to get going. I’m self motivated but it has to make sense to me in order to do it.

Some things I do know about (ask me about crop circles, I used to be an expert on the things, back in the days before it became a hype) and I know nothing at all about piloting planes or how to make a roast (Nico’s department which cracks up the neighbors).

So getting to the Knowing; is that about information in your brain or about how you do things? Is it the experience or the theory that creates The Know. Personally I vote for experience. I mean you can read about the technicalities of driving a racecar but it wouldn’t give you a clue about what the experience can be like and how you keep the car on the track does it? The Knowing is in the Doing. It’s literally Know-How.

What I’m learning at the moment is learning how to swim Freestyle (in Dutch: borst crawl). Apparently this type of swimming is taught to kids at school in New Zealand. In the Netherlands this isn’t the case for the basics. When I was a child there were the levels, A, B, and C. You guessed it: I managed to get the basic A and that was it. There were horrifying teachers and I hated every moment of it. If I enjoy anything I will do well. When I don’t enjoy something I do average and either improve it or accept this. Most people work that way I’m sure, picture screaming kids who are dragged to piano lessons and so on and so forth. I don’t like accepting average though. I get a bit funny that way.

Yes I can do an absolute brilliant job thank God. When I’m motivated and have a bit of a knack for it. With the swimming I start to feel I actually belong in that water instead of being thrown in and making the best of it. The lifeguard was very friendly explaining the sideways breathing. Once I stop taking in as much water as I do air it will be more fun. For now, I’m learning and gaining experience. And sticking with it because it’s becoming fun instead of a struggle.

In order to improve Knowledge and Experience one has to be motivated. It’s easier to learn if the subject interests you. Have you thought about why it’s easier for you to learn tai chi then it is to play chess? It may be a shame to not get past the barrier and give up before hand. Decide whether the goal is worth wrestling through the ‘hard stages’ for. If all fails then at least you know you’ve tried and you can make it into a good story

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Not done things

You know, there are subjects one doesn’t write about. You know which ones they are. Sometimes these subjects come into my head as they are after all, a fact of life. Life is in motion, a developing road of being. A state of revolving stories that washes up again and again on the great sandy beach of Human Experience. Anyway…

A while ago I came to a realization. That happens to me from time to time. This had to do with a man friend of mine. Turned out I’m not sure he still is one. This had made me sad as I like him very much. He’s funny, he’s smart and he’s easy to get on with. Things can get complicated between sexes. Do we really want those clear boundaries? It can be safe to have them, and it also can be so boring to have them. I haven’t decided which I prefer, probably the latter but a girl does have to be sensible nowadays. I know, I know, don’t start. Been there done that.

I have found with men that yes one can be friends, as they are really good ones, but if they’re attracted to you, or you to them, things can go pear shape very quickly. It’s such a pain in the bottom. No wonder a lot of women prefer gay friends because then you know where you are at. No dilemmas and great time hanging out in the pub discussing the wandering males, having something bubbly (mine are usually 1 or 2 bourbons or white wines) and kicking up a storm assessing the Appealing State of the Bottoms and what not. Anyway, those giggly days are over for me. I currently do not have a gay guy friend and I do not drink gin and tonics. Sigh. (I always liked to discuss the situ of rear ends though, compelling topic, and yes before you ask I actually did have a gay friend in artschool who I discussed behinds and other philosophical things with when we were having coffees.)

Men are great to talk to. They are to the point, they have usually a clear way of thinking and things do not get frilly. They’re usually not easily offended either. Wonderful stuff. I like men, they’re great human beings. (Give them a cuddle right now!)

So what to do when you stuff up with them? Like I said, I have done that with one. I did regret this for a while after the fact but then got over it. Now I feel like we are strangers passing at the train station. It’s just life I guess and it’s a bit of a shame. But there’s no point wallowing. So I move on.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

DIY or getting a specialist

Are you often wondering as well whether to tidy up your garden or have a guy come in to mow the grass and kill the weeds? My husband and I have had discussions in the past about our lifestyle block. What shall we do with all the paddocks and what are we going to put where?

To be honest I am always very happy to get someone on board who knows more about a specific topic then I do. This is because of two reasons:
1.) I like delegating (love it!) and 2.) I have a tendency to not want to rack my brains about things I know are way out of my league.

When I met Stefan Mutch, our landscape architect, I knew straight away I met a guy who knows his stuff. He showed me designs he had done and as a creative, I was impressed. Presto! I thought: no more discussing trees and paddocks and what natives to plant where and going over details that make my head hurt. Great! Please hand me my glass of wine thanks very much.

So we started off with a wee chat on the land and Stefan visited us and got onto it. He started describing his ideas with great gusto and we started to picture his Grand Vision for our modest block of green. Nico my husband was listening to him with a little sceptical glare in his eyes at first because of all this excitement but got into it when Stefan kicked it up a notch. He started to 'paint' the way the new driveway could go and how that would improve the privacy of our block and the setting of the house. True, it’s easier to move a driveway then a house of bricks and also it would give our house that ‘sitting on a hill nestling in the trees look’ satisfyingly snoring in the sun. I was straight away sold on the whole concept from start to finish. Brilliant!

It took another session of convincing my DIY husband that yes, Stefan was the expert not us and that yes its worthwhile investing in a professional who actually knows what he is doing. Why? Because 1.) Peace of mind as he does the working out what goes where and 2.) More time on our hands to deal with other stuff and to actually have time to go to the beach.

Isn’t life great? Don't you just love professionals...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Competent men

Have you ever notice men jittering and becoming self conscious sometimes? I’m talking about when they’re caught off guard or get all funny when you praise their abilities. What’s with that? My own husband is often doubting himself and asking confirmation. For the life of me, I don’t understand it as he is an intelligent, gorgeous, talented man with the most integrity and honesty on the planet. I trust him implicitly. He can start his own business if he wants to but is not sure he could. Does it all boil down to the confidence thing?

I’m genuinely baffled with various lovely men not being able to say yeah! I’m fabulous and then doing a gorilla pounce on the chest. I mean of course you meet the usual full-of-himself-maniac. Some just have a demeanor that covers the fact they either feeling alone, have been hurt by an idiot sometime before or feel insecure because they lacked support in the past. But what’s wrong with receiving compliments? Is that a not done thing? Have I missed anything in Kiwiana training? Should I go back for a course in social kiwi antics?

Never the less: some wonderful men have trouble receiving appreciation and in a nutshell, love. Because that’s what attention and appreciation is, a form of love. They wonder what to do with it. They want it, but they fear receiving it and I just don’t get it. I’m happy handing out friendly words and hugs. Not only does it drive me nuts they are pussy footing but it also pains me. It’s like seeing a child craving a good score at school and then cowering in a corner when it’s been given a sticker and an ‘A’. Maybe the Kiwi culture, derived from the English, is more used to keeping a stiff upper lip then receiving straightforward encouragement and appreciation. I know, I must still be too Dutch…

Maybe I should phone immigration today and find out what integration courses they offer. Clearly I missed something.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Shoe philosophy

I seem to be getting a fettish for shoes. I guess it’s been coming on for a while. I never thought of myself as a shoe mad woman though. Nor a handbag frenzied female. Since I’ve started working in Auckland I acquired very snazzy outfits and along with that came a few handbags and… a few shoes.

Recently I came into the possession of a pair of white ones. Truth is they are lovely but the strap starts to hurt after a while. Why do I keep wearing them? Because I like the look and feel of them even though they end up probably killing me and I hope they will become more comfortable wearing them. I like my legs (would the fact I’ve been wearing heels pretty much daily for 6 years have anything to do with chiseled calves?) and I like showing them off. Yes go ahead, sue me. There. I confessed.

The shoes talk to me. The white ones go beautifully with white skirts, pants and jeans. I recently also got very sexy red ones. They lured me, they whispered to my dancy feet and before I know it I was entranced. Red shoes! Never had nice ones like that with slinky heels. Anyway.

You’ll probably remember seeing I can wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments expressed there even though the target market is cross dressers and transvestites. The story is in the heel. Literally. I tell you what, you couldn’t sell me a flat heel in a million years. Those things are for grannies with bad hips and nuns. I’m neither. They give me the shudders, the itchies, the run-for-the-hills-syndrome and wanting to shout aaaahhhh very loudly.

So back to the heels. I decided after writing this piece I had to go home and count my shoes. Would the amount of them really be that silly? Considering I arrived in the country with none but hiking boots and a pair of jandals, the collection to date is pretty impressive. My Canadian born cousin recently confided to me she had 6 pairs. I admired her restraint. How can a gorgeous woman like that ONLY have 6 pair of shoes? How does she do it?

Ok I went back and counted. Guess what: 13 pair of heels, 3 pairs of jandals, 2 pair of gum boots (live on a farm after all) and 3 oddballs which include 1 pair of new hiking boots. Teresa the cousin said I should send her a photo of them all. Maybe that will help explain to her husband that in fact there ARE women out there with so many shoes. I just never imagined it would be me… Staggering! Please get me a coffee… oh dear…

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hard times for some

Three of my friends have gone, or are going through, a stage where they are trying to pay off their debt. (Two have been declared bankrupt, the other is in the middle of a lawsuit.) By doing so they had or have no money left to pay for food. It’s a very tough place to be in because it means the following:

· Fessing up to strangers that you did things in the past that led you to ask for a food package from the government or the Sallies.
· Feeling humiliated you’re not able to look after your finances and that you need help
· Having to tell family and friends you got to this point which is usually hugely embarrassing (even though the reasons are varied and understandable)
· Having to learn to look yourself in the face and overcome all the emotional issues and find understanding in yourself
· Get a practical plan in place and make a radical change for the future

· After the initial hubbub accept all that happened, tidy up and move on.

It takes a while to get to that last point. I have great admiration for my friends who have admitted they made mistakes, that they didn’t handle their finances in the best of ways and that they are majorly committed now to sticking with budgets and self restraint. My friends said that some people responded weird, that because they ‘lost face’ they were no longer friends. To me that should tell my friends more about what these ‘supposed’ friends were really like in the first place then what it says about themselves.

I think it does anyone great credit to admit they have done something that wasn't so handy and that they have chosen to face the music and continue on regardless. It’s what makes us human. The fact that people, and friends, may do silly things or make mistakes is not a reason for me to stop being friends with them. I would be a very shallow and unwise person if I were to do that.

A friend of mine always says: “Bless the Crisis, because it creates movement and change”. I think he’s very right. Yes, when you’re in a tight spot or when you are going through hard times it’s not funny at the time but looking back it’s one of the best things that could have happened. Why? Because WE LEARN. Being in a safe unchangeable environment is not going to challenge you nor make you grow. Basically I find if people have nothing going on in their lives they are either Mahatma Ghandi types who are transgressed beyond attachment and judgment (extremely rare breed these) or they are trying to safe-glide through life which really, is incredibly boring! I’m not a boring person myself so I’m not surprised I get to know people who are slightly off the wall. That’s fine with me. Imperfectness is beautiful, perfectness is boring as heck.

Having said that, I wouldn’t suggest creating dramas in your life for the sake of it, but when things do happen, taking a good look and work out what the scenario is. What is the hardest part? What do you hate about it? Anything you resist persists someone else said. It’s very very true. You know how events come back into your life, different people and stage, same topic. It stops once you learn from it, when it changes you. These situations honestly cease to come back. I swear funny but true.

Life is to experience, not to learn from in the sense that we are here only to learn. We acquire wisdom by doing. This includes choosing to do stupid things or making choices where we later go: “Hang on, that wasn’t the brightest idea on the planet.” Still we are people. Can we at least be allowed to be human?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New times

Today I wanted to share a shortened version of an article by the blogger and entrepreneur Steve Pavlina. The man is insightful and I can relate to what he says and thought you would too. I thought the topic Exposing Your Uniqueness is amazingly apt. He writes it so well I don't see the point of repeating him as, after all, we are all best to show the uniqueness of who we are and not borrow that of others. You think about it.

On a day when the 44th President of the US has been inaugurated and the Americans take hold of the future before them, it’s time for all of us to look at what we can do for ourselves, but also for others. There’s no more sitting on your hands, waiting for the economy to get better in order to keep your job and secure your finances, it’s literally a new time. Get to it, there’s plenty to be done and it’s up to each of us to make it work. Be done with the old stuff as it no longer serves you. Start afresh and please, be true. posted 15th of Jan 09
"Most people lead with their sameness and hide their uniqueness, so as to maximize their chance of being accepted by others. I prefer to share my uniqueness openly. As you can probably guess, this exposes me to criticism — sometimes a great deal of criticism. But I’d rather be judged for the man that I am than accepted as someone I pretend to be. (…)

Does it bother you to know that if you totally opened up and shared your real self with the world, warts and all, that you’d attract some criticism, judgment, and condemnation? Would it bother you to discover that some of the harshest judgment might come from the very friends and family you keep right now? (…) When you show the world a false front, the world responds with false acceptance. When you show the world your true self, you’ll receive both harsh judgment as well as genuine acceptance. (…)

There’s something really amazing about being around people who love and accept you as you are. This doesn’t mean such people won’t stimulate and challenge you to grow — in fact, they often will. But it means you can feel totally safe in their presence. There’s no need to worry about being rejected or condemned for being who you are. Being nonjudgmental is a step toward unconditional love. A good place to start on this path is to love and accept yourself. Stop beating yourself up for past mistakes. If you can’t love and accept yourself, you’ll have a hard time loving and accepting others, and vice versa. (…)

The road to misery is trying to satisfy other people’s expectations. Instead of trying to please others, decide to live congruently with your own ideals and values, and allow others the freedom to do the same. Some people will accuse you of being selfish for doing so, when in truth you’re performing one of the most important services this planet needs — demonstrating how to live honestly and authentically.

If you cannot share your true self with the world, your life will be filled with shallow, inauthentic connections at best. The relationship you maintain with your inner self, when you’re all alone with your private thoughts, will be very different than what you experience with other people. Your personality will be split between your private persona and your public one. You will probably crave solitude more and more because at least when you’re alone, you’re free to put down your mask and be yourself, without risking the judgment of others. (…)

Imagine what a delightful world this would be if we were all open and honest with each other, while also being completely accepting and nonjudgmental with respect to our differences. This is the reality I wish to experience. I previously shared this vision in
my book as the Oneness World exercise, and it’s also reproduced on this site in the article Oneness. (…)"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Honky dory

When are we feeling fabulous?

When we are happy
When we feel satisfied
When we feel safe
When we are restful
When we are content within ourselves.

Basically: when we are in our happy state of being when we Live In the Now.

Right. So to achieve this state of honky doriness we do many things. Sometimes we do many stupid things but that’s another story. The idea is to Not Do Stuff All The Time and to Avoid Stuffing It Up by resisting that which is. We peoples tend to do way too much. We get confused, we get befuddled, we get compexed, we get hyper or go in over drive. Not pretty.

So remember: feel fabulous, stay in the Now, be happy with all that is and live by Winnie The Pooh attitude: soft and simple wording and gentle actions. (Feel free to include cuddles.)

Monday, January 19, 2009

magic frequencies

Having brainwaves is a good thing. It means the pink blob is working, ticking along and humming on its magic frequencies, making popping noises when ideas start tumbling over each other and resulting in a waterfall (like chocolate pouring out of the huge container in the chocolate Cadbury Factory here in Dunedin). It can be overwhelming and it can be very Eureka. It can taste delicious too.

For me, I had been pondering how to resolve a situation involving my own dear business, Quality Living ltd. I have a group of wonderful people I’d like to continue to work with, I have got myself and my limitations time wise, and I have my financials that are in pretty good nick but have yet to evolve to come even close to compare to Buffets empire. (There's time still.) As I’m continuing to work on my business plan and tinkering along filling it out I wonder and ponder. A practical and sensible idea has entered my head and I will go and see a business consultant to discuss this with tomorrow. I realized that I can’t be everything and do everything. Everyone has their expertise and mine is seeing things others don’t and getting these ideas underway and into motion. Being creative helps too. I have a knack for picking up on gaps in the market, trends, how certain things will pan out and so on.

There’s more to life than making money though, for me it’s about passion and keeping my eye on the ball is important. Growth is a motivator through experience and bringing people together who can share that. It’s about learning, not accumulation. You can’t take material things with you when you die but heck I decided I can have fun in the meantime. Money is energy and a means to and end, not a goal in itself.

Last year I felt I was trying to learn to mountain climb but couldn’t see the whole mountain from where I was and I hadn’t all the necessary gear. It would be a bonus if I found someone who’s climbed a rock face before but I will make do without him or her if it so happens. I’m not afraid of trying new things or to fall on my face. Playing safe doesn't get you anywhere. I’m not stopping my enterprise because it’s daunting. I’ve concluded I’m better doing what I do best and to learn that which I think I can get my head around and consult the ones who are experts in areas I'm not. Keeping taking steps is the best way. I am not yet a hard core businesswoman who knows the whole nine yards. I probably will be quite knowledgeable by the time I’m 40. I’m not wanting to become this straight haired business biach anyway, with bright red lipstick and stilettos to kill. I'd laugh at myself too much looking like that. If you take yourself too seriously then live starts to lose its shine.

The more I think about it, the more sense it makes to do what I intend to do. I found that it no longer matters what opinions others may have. I do my homework, draw the conclusions and keep building. Those who will understand what I'm doing and support me will definitely benefit from it. So we all win the end of the day and the main thing is that I know I've done all I possibly can. And it will be quite a bit.

Saturday, January 17, 2009



Fall on paper
As if it is raining

The connection sheds

Releasing the story

Friday, January 16, 2009


When are we being innovative? I like to think I am but probably I’m being more common then I would like to know. God I can be so arrogant! Of course I’m fabulous…. Yeah. Okay.
Innovation comes in different forms:

Being creative
Being original
Being surprising
Being new to the world
Being exclusive

What they all have in common:
They are a clever way of thinking and it’s something NEW. We people like new things. We are like kids unwrapping x mas presents and getting all excited at the latest and greatest. We like seeing our firstborn, buying our first fancy car, booking our first oversees holiday.

What does that mean? Do we like change? Not many people do. Usually we like to have routines and feel safe. Excitement everyday gets tiring too as terrible as this may sound. I guess us homo sapiens are curious in nature. We like to ponder things, discover, grow and develop. We like to be “in the know”, “onto it” and “joining the club”. Trends exist because we like novelties and because we like to belong.

The innovation of all that we do is self discovery. We learn things about ourselves while we experience. We can only do this when we get out of our comfort zone and think outside of the square.

Innovation is self expression through exploration.

Crikey that’s deep.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The deal with the Goats

Yes I like goats. You heard me. Fuzzy white creatures kitted out with intelligence and naughtiness. My mob is hilarious. I got 1 Angoran buck, 5 wethers (boys without their dangly bits) and 8 females. Being equipped with a sense of humor and playfulness they bounce around like there’s no tomorrow. All the girls have kids. We have 14 small critters in kindy class flying about. The biggest I named Robbie, after my dear dad. Robbie’s mum, Jezebel, wrecked dad’s arm muscles and tore them as dad tried to catch her for drenching when he was last visiting. He needed to wear this special strap on his elbow for ages…. So never underestimate the Power of a Goat.

So how come an urban working girl, living in the WOPS, has goats? Good question. Because: 1. We are not keen on sheep 2. They keep the grass short 3. They are great entertainment. Mainly it’s door number 3!

We have learned a lot about goats since we got them. We lost three of them due to this bugger of a worm infection. Apparently central Otago has this worm disease that wiped out whole flocks. Our vet, bless her cotton socks, knew about this particular nasty worm and gave us a drench that works and prevents the goaties from being eaten alive. I know it is gross. Seeing a goat being cut up for a post mortem wasn’t exactly a picnic first time round, but hey its part of life and the biological display eventually was quite fascinating. Good pink colors, healthy organs, what goes where, that sort of thing. The poor goat boy in question had been put to sleep as to cease his suffering. Of course I was sad, and actually had no time to blubber my eyes out as there –quite literally- was hay to be made! So off we trot to spend HOURS in the paddocks getting the hay in with the help of our neighbours.

Bottom line: goats bring joy and sorrow. Only sorrow when we lose them because of stupid worms. We have learned our lesson, look after them carefully and appreciate the company of these wonderful creatures.

They live in the Now and the Force is with them. Bless the fluffy beasties.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The art of Words

My mother writes professional poetry ( She’s been doing this for years and has published her own books, about 8 by now. She has spread her wings and is travelling nationally to read from her work and she holds annual poetry meetings where members camp out, swap stories, build friendships and have a lot of fun. Inspiration and igniting people’s minds is what she gets a real kick out of.

What’s between the words can be truly inspiring. She has passed on her wordy genes to me and I am very grateful. Both my parents are talented and I think it’s fabulous when people go after what they believe in and explore the boundaries of their being. Mum is bringing out a new poetry book next month that contains work of 25 poetry writers from Belgium and The Netherlands. Go mum! Humble me did the graphic design for the cover and I suggested the title as well which she has taken to heart; the Nature of the Beast (the theme being animals). Yes, there’s a lot to be said for words…

I like supporting others in their endeavors. I do not believe in competition but joining forces. I believe in sharing and bringing out hidden talents in others. Seeing something or someone grow is a fabulous sight. Do not give up on your dreams or ideas. Move boldly forward. If you don’t, who else will? We all have to start somewhere. Do your bit, sing your song, do your dance.

“They say the writing is on the wall
But I am reading between the lines.”

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Business plan jitters

Yes it’s that time again: the big BP is looming. True it was already looming last year and I had done one version and started a second. The first one I understood but found lacking and the second attempt was way too long and felt like a visit to the dentist where the root canal was thoroughly being carried out. Time for version number 3 and the last one. I hate doing these things but that’s procrastination talking.

Why do I write one? Because I want to clarify the direction my business is taking. In short: a road map showing how goals and objectives can be achieved. You can’t get anywhere without knowing how to get there unless you’re keen to get lost and enjoy the experience.

First up: I have to do a SWOT. Looking at the word gives you the idea of either squatting behind a flax bush on the beach or giving the boot camp commander 20. Neither is applicable but I agree with the sentiment. A SWOT means doing a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis. (Beats sitting behind that flax bush any day cooking in the hot Dunedin sun not wearing any slip slap slop.) I type, I sigh, I think so hard that it makes my blond curls nearly straighten out with the forcefulness of it.

Then onto the next phase: The Now, The Strategy and ‘le grand vision’ followed by the Tactical Rapport (very Star Trek) topping it off with the Timelines (told you, it’s like being back in an episode with Seven of Nine). Do a profit and Loss forecast and where the Cash Flow is going to hang out and off you go. Well not quite but breaking it down into chunks sure helps my heartbeat return to a more normal thumpety thump. I have a great mind for expressing ideas, creative stuff and designing which is joined at the hip with socializing and whipping up pastas, but these number crunchers positively give me the willies! Give me an overly fussy client any day of the week instead of this. (I’m so grateful for Debbie the accountant we have here at work, she is a marvelous efficient woman.) And to think that I did a post graduate year of communication and PR where there was equal amounts of theory babble. How on earth did I tackle that?

The good news is that once I have survived all this I know at least what I’m looking at. It’s by no means a guarantee for success but the blond beware attitude is better then happily winging it a la Barbie. (And she was signed up with Mattel so turns out she wasn’t that stupid either even though she was made of plastic.) Bottom-line: whether you are Entrepreneur or Employee, and I’m both, it pays to prepare. So I type, sigh and persevere. Not with a vengeance but with an honest attempt to smile.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Wedding anniversary

9/1/2008 - 9/1/2009

I see my Love
with new eyes, bless him.
I forgive myself as does he.
We carefully take of
the wrappings
of old and lovingly
rub on a new layer of cuddles.
Warm tender nights.
We gaze at the stars
possibilities for the future.
We laugh so hard we cry.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Procrastinating: being wary of the inevitable and making life easier in brackets by sticking your head in the sand. Also look up; denial, blissful forgetfulness and pussy footing.
The famous To Do list. (Ewww ….. scary like cooties)

How to deal with this?
Advice I received through an inspiring read:
Make a list and start with the To Dos putting the ones you resent or hate most at the top. This way, the further down the list you get the easier things are and the more your day improves! Great idea. I tried this in the weekend and I have to say that after window cleaning (inside and out and we own a 4 bedroom) it wasn’t too bad. I got plenty of other activities of my list as well and once the late afternoon rolled round I had perked up realizing that yes! I had conquered the procrastinating bug. Jolly golly me! It worked!

I also have a small agenda that contains the To Dos. Why? Because I used to write them on post its that got lost in my handbag and I conveniently forgot about them thus creating marital problems.
How to avoid marital problems:

Write stuff down and do it, otherwise you’re toast, dead duck a l’Orange, ultimately unrecognizably parked in a very small room at the local Morgue. You get my drift.
“Just do it”


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The loves and lives of a chook

(No I’m not referring to me. Let’s do that again another time.)

A chook house is a busy enterprise. The hens lay eggs; they get picked on, followed around and jumped on by roosters. They nest together as hens in arms do, chatting to each other. There are benefits: sitting in the sun, breakfast and dinner served every day, wonderful views and the dog stays outside. No rain to befall the chooks to muck up their perms. They are determined not to let you get their price once they’re brooding. My egg! My egg! Get your hands off you filthy human!

Do the hens know they are expected to lay eggs otherwise Nico is going to send them to chooky heaven? I don’t know. We had to kill 4 roosters last year and it was not a fun exercise. I was appointed neck wringer. They went all gaga after my attempts and Nico still had to chop their heads off. I had to hold their feet to keep their dignities and not let their body run off. Very sad and bloody affair. And then my brother in law asks me how we enjoy the romantic lifestyle on the farm…

The loves of the chooks are not to be envied. Their lives are. Generally the prospects are their own brothers. Not a good look. When Johnny the rooster comes to visit they run around in a state. Poor things do not know he’s their dad and he does stay outside of their run. We tend to strip the hens for their eggs except Suzie and Maya who are not related. This way we do not create chookies who are slightly deranged. So it’s a bit sad really this controlled love life. Rules and regulations. Enough to do you in. The frolicking is permitted on a strictly birth controlled system. I feel sorry for the hens. Complicated to explain things to them. Wouldn’t be surprised to see them marching up and down one day holding banners and demanding abortion rights.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Smell of Coffee

Life is like a big stage. People come people go and you’re standing there blinking at the spot lights getting itchy from the layers of makeup. Do we conjure up lines as we go? Do we follow the script? Do we run screaming from the stage? Do we lie on the timber floor falling asleep? Which one are you?

I am not one for scripted ways of living but I have to say there’s a lot to be said for some planning. After all, if you do not know where you have been and where you are now, would you have a clue of where you are heading? If you have an inkling of where you like to aim for would you know what you’d be doing in a year’s time, two? Three? Ten? I always have some clear ideas about my designation (not destination in case you thought I put the wrong word). The point is to enjoy the trip while in transit. I have found I needed to re assess these field days however. Now I do this on a 2 month basis as my life keeps changing so quickly.
My eldest brother used to drive me mad with his overly planned life when I was a kid. He’s ten years my senior. I thought his planning was plain creepy. Whatdoyoumean you know what you’re doing when you’re 30, 40, 50, 60? Still, one grows up and starts to smell the coffee. So where from here?

I reckon it’s good to do a few things:
Self management (not others)
Prioritize activities
Set goals clearly
Know about The Now and the Horizon
Execute plans

Assess and Follow up. Right. Have we got that? Get set, ready, go!

Monday, January 5, 2009

New beginnings

Naturally a lot of people make new years resolutions as it's a new year with a clean slate. We love those don't we? I've made some too eventhough several big resolutions have taken off since November last year. I'm just happily continuing them on. Have you made any? I've asked around and found that all the women had made them and that the men hadn't. That was interesting. What does that tell you? Do we women feel we have to keep improving ourselves all the time and men just toodle on? No idea. I guess the male species do not believe in new years resolutions, it's the same casual approach for them regarding Valentines day and they barely remember our birthday or anniversary. That sort of thing.

The biggest surprise so far is that I agreed to participate in a Triathlon in February. A sport event.... (I know) with me taking part.... (I know!) Trust me I was the most baffled of all when I agreed I'd go. The good thing is that when one decides to try something one normally wouldn't, or in my case run like mad every morning with a sheepsdog in tow, the world changes. I've been told that a new habit takes 3 weeks to become a regular event and as the Triathlon is on the 22nd of Feb there's hope. My husband was the second most astounded person. I like exercising, which is born out of necessity as we have a farm, but I have no huge desire to sweat for recreation unless it's throwing a ball around with friends. As long as I enjoy it I'm quite happy to go for a long time but otherwise I can't be bothered. My student years saw me trying several types of sports but it never sparked enormous amounts of excitement. (I don't come from a sporty family as they're more the intellectual cultural kind.) Once I moved to New Zealand I did get hooked. Climbing mountains for a flat country chick was an enjoyment and physically a right killer (crikey that was tough as) so applepicking turned out to be practically a walk in the park after that. I thoroughly enjoyed push biking to work in Auckland, and it was also handy as I didn't have to go to a gym biking an hour a day.

The 3 new years resolutions I did make don't have a lot to do with the Triathlon funny enough. They're to do with keeping my sense of humor up and watching my boundaries. 2008 made me serious and all that seriousness got the best of me I thought. Stop. Reality check. Move on. I'm engrained with laughs and I'd like to keep singing, dancing and having fun. Yes I will still have to work hard but heck I did that already anyway, what's new? With work the same applies as sporting: as long as I enjoy it I can go on for ever. It will be exciting to see new ideas and projects take off. The launch of the new fabric I designed will be one off them.

So, watch this space and your own as well. What would you like seeing happening this year?