Friday, November 14, 2014


Dear Catherine

Congratulations, your award Bachelor of Social Work has now been assessed as complete and will be legally awarded on 24 March 2015. 

Please go to >uni link< 
to confirm your graduation preference before 02 March 2015.

Kind Regards

Student & Academic Services

University of South Australia

I've been waiting a long time to see that email. I'm still recovering - is that normal?

Is it fair to allocate some recovery time?

I didn't think so but my body might be disagreeing with my head.  And alot of my friends and saying "well, you probably are burned out' and I'm like 'Really?" 

I'm sleeping ALOT.

Hope you're well,

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Lightning Images

As I mentioned previously, Adelaide had a brilliant storm the other night. It moved across the nation and affected Victoria and flooded streets in two hours. 

My Texan friend found this link of awesome pictures of the storm.

Thanks for sharing it mate!

SA Power Networks posted this awesome map of all of the lightning strikes.

I imagine it's caused quite a pain on the ass for them! 


We're always reminded how Mother Nature remains the boss of us!

Loved it


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Degree? Done!

hi everyone!

5 weeks ago I posted here. Gee, the time flies by!!  I thought I'd pop by and say hello
and update you on what's happening here in beautiful Adelaide.

Tonight there is a ferocious thunderstorm with lightning striking all over the place. It's just so gorgeous!

I was driving home just now from Hoyts in Norwood. If you want to read about Norwood, here is what Wikipedia offer you. It's the  suburb next to mine and it's a pretty tree-lined type of suburb, pretty affluent and I'm a regular there. I enjoy loads of the shops in Norwood. The main stretch is referred to as 'The Parade' and you can read about it HERE!  I love that despite it being a pretty rich area to live/reside there are also a mix of less than rich people living in the area. The area is also littered with buskers whom I support just for their time even if they're not talented!!

Anyways, I was leaving Norwood tonight after seeing the new Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman movie 'As I go to Sleep" which is about post-traumatic amnesia: a fascinating medical brain injury.   I was exposed to brain injuries in my final social work placement and become even more fascinated by how amazing the brain is.  I found myself wishing that I had realised this in my 20's and by now I'd be a certifed brain expert!! Alas, I am neither in my 20's nor a brain expert, but keen nonetheless!

So, in other news, I have finished my degree. Yup. I've been waiting four long years to say that. Type it. Live it and think it!

I have submitted all of my pieces of assessment and boy, did they put us through the ringer on the way out. It was symbolically like a beating before they let us out of their clutches!  To say that I'm relieved wouldn't cut it. I am SO OVER IT.  This weekend was the first weekend where I haven't had study committments!! That's a wonderful feeling to re-connect to my life wholly! I slept in guilt-free! And sat on the deck with the cat, reading a book guilt-free! I cooked a heap of meals and froze them for my ready-to-pop pregnant friend, Nicole! It was divine...and then to top the weekend off, I went to see that film I mentioned above. It was great but the trailer for that Liam Neeson film Tomb Raider something or other really got my attention!

On a total side note I have created this silly little salad that I am dead set addicted to!   I became all too familiar with this little dish while I was studying and wanted a quick, somewhat healthy lunch.

From Coles, buy a packet of tandoori chicken breast pieces (already cooked and delicious) (pictured)

To suit your serve size, add chopped cucumber, bunch of chopped coriander, one shallot, dash of light grated cheese and chuck in a bunch of that chicken. I drizzled Deli-Style honey and dijon mustard vinaigrette (pictured)cracked salt and pepper (of course!) and voila  - it's a tasty little bowl of love just ready for a taste.

Anyways, it's about 9.30 pm here and I'm gonna go chill out with a cuppa and read some more. It's so lovely to read non-study stuff for a change. I'm trying to get through "The Gold Finch" and the other book that I am about to start reading is The Tale of Dueling Neurosurgeons"  

The book depository says this about The Gold Finch.."Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 2014. Aged 12, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart.  Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother and down the years clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love - and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle."

So I hope you are well. Are you? Leave a comment if you wish or not. Email me if you prefer. That's always lovely too. I promise to write more now that I have more time on my hands!

Best to you,

Monday, September 15, 2014

Random Bits and Pieces

I visited the doctor recently and he told me that I have terribly low Vitamin D!  We have finished winter here and I have been indoors for awhile so that could explain some of it. However, Adelaide has had a burst of sunshine of late so this weekend I sat outside a lot gardening, trimming plants, and having hot tea on the deck with three, count them, three different visitors. So lovely. I had previously moved my sun bed back into the house to keep it dry from months of rain so out it went and I languished on that for hours reading.

Reading a new book my supervisor loaned me. It's written by Andrew Gottlieb and is a piss-take on 'Eat Pray Love" and it's titled 'Drink, Play and F*ck"  - I love it. It's hilarious. I'd very much like Daniel in Vermont to read it as I think he'd get a lot out of it.  I am also behind on responding to emails to a couple of people. 

People crack me up, seriously. I was recently in hospital (nothing serious, I'm fine...) and just ran into one of the girls that I met while in there. I said to her, laughing ' I didn't recognise you in civilian clothes with a bra on and not strapped to a beeping machine!" ha ha - she's so cute. It's funny how small the world is, really. There is certainly not a lot of room for fucking around and deceit.

Deceit is the best word that I can muster when thinking about the sweetest friend I have, Jess. Jess is 30 something and like me, a final year social worker student. She's a country girl that moved her. Jess is the girl that gives and gives and rarely takes. And when she's encouraged to prioritise herself (because sometimes we need to...) she struggles with it. So imagine my disgust, to hear that her fiancee of two years had cheated on her. What. A. Dog. I despise him to my very core. Just now as I am typing this, I am blocking him from looking at my linked in profile. He tends to and I have zero respect in any maintaining any connection with him, personal or professional. He has hurt the most beautiful person by pouring battery acid over her future, her trust, her head and her heart. She is still protecting him by not telling people the 'truth' on why they've broken up. 'An amicable break up' is what people are hearing. I was privileged to hear the truth. She said "I just couldn't lie to you" and I'm glad she didn't. She's broken but mustering the courage to face day to day. Of course, I just want to rescue her and get out of her there. She's still house-sharing with the cretin, cheating pig.  It infuriates me that he is being padded and protected despite his emotional and physical choice to cheat on a girl that gave him everything.

Everything is moving and shaking here in gorgeous Adelaide. I'm still keen to leave though and Mackay friends are hip with it. They're sending me different snapshots of employment in my sector and it's all very exciting. I still have not told my mamma. She's going to be out of head with happiness about it. Speaking of mamma, she's recovering beautifully. She has finished her chemo treatment ... what a day that was.... and is fit, tiny and feels like she's '30 again' - she says. Our relationship is just wonderful. It's grown exponentially since I put my foot down and demanded no association with her husband. And she has respected that and managed it so beautifully. I have invited her to my graduation in March where I shall don a different type of gown and she will no doubt weep again!  There were certainly stages in the last  4 years that I doubted that I would make it this far and attend the graduation at all.

All is well here for me. Studying at the moment while I am at home and listening to the best spotify playlist ever! It's a Sunday morning wake up pre-made one by some genius. I'm tempted to write to him and give thanks! 

Thanks for reading.
Cath x

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


I'm in two minds again! What the f*ck is wrong with me?

I've been chatting to an old trivia friend, Macomber (George) who is living in Montreal and now I want to move to Canada instead of Mackay! And, I have another Canadian e-friend, Ed who lives in Lethbridge that is keen on seeing some gigs over his side of the world.

The inconsistency bugs the crap out of me but if I apply the whole 'world is my oyster' phrase, it's probably normal that I would change my mind a hundred times given the freedom of choice that accompanies that phrase.

Carissa also had a bit of a tiff with her daddio on her 19th birthday (oh, the timing is not lost on me...) and now I am not so confident about her living with him.

Maybe I'll have to wait until she leaves for Birmingham and pull up my tent-poles then.

Moving to Canada would be a-fucking-mazing but what a major head-fuck to figure out my eligibility, accommodations, expense budgets and the like.

But the best thing would be that if I was based in Canada for 12 months, I could visit USA friends based there. I have quite a few that I'd like to visit but they're pretty scattered around the place.

Loads of work there in Canada (over 1700 jobs) for qualified social workers and it part of the Commonwealth.  Like here, Government social workers, get paid much more and looks pretty equivalent to what I'm on now.

Now I'm all confused and messed up, god damn it.

Edit: 13th Sept: Is it positive or therapeutic in some way to try and untangle thoughts via a blog? I think so.  I am now leaning towards moving to Mackay once Carissa goes to Birmingham and holidaying in Canada/USA from there. That's a more solid achievable foundation to work from.

Hope you're well,

Sunday, August 10, 2014


It's everywhere and still silent. Still leeching into the homes of people everywhere no matter what their social standing. It seeps into the lounge rooms of every family like light through a cracked door.  No matter what their life experiences. The top class education, support and 'happy' outward exterior counts for nothing. " I knew he was upset but I didn't know it was that bad'  - it's inescapable. It takes the lives of celebrities. It takes the lives of sportsman. It takes the lives of every day mums and dads. It takes the lives of the beautiful girl. That fat kid.  The victim of sexual assault. The offender that can't see past his past choices.  The star football player. The plumber. The soldier. The kid next door. The child of a friend. It's brutal. It's final and it's an epidemic; it's suicide!

Today I received word of a school friend's son who has taken his own life.  Again, a person reached a dark point in their depression where checking out is 'their only answer' to the woes and grief that they're facing.  I look at his photos and see a fit, gorgeous young man. Playing footy. With a girlfriend. With prospects. Smiling with his mother and his brother. All of that doesn't count when you're buried in depression... the insidious disease that it is. People write about it. It is sometimes an outlet, seeping through the cracks,  for artists to create passionate work either in art or music, or plays; or drama - it's a creative source that feeds and destroys at the same time.

When I was living in the UK, I attempted to slice my wrists with a razor while I was sitting in the bath. I was only 19 maybe 20 and thought my life was done. It was a tumultuous time in my relationship with Phil and I felt alone, isolated and hopeless in dreary Bedfordshire. Looking bad, my troubles were NOTHING and I'm so glad I didn't do any serious damage. I didn't even scar. I'm gladder that I didn't succeed in my attempts. Whilst my life hasn't been spectacular, it's been a good run so far. Of course, at the time I felt buried in helplessness, was dead on my ass broke, unhappy in a relationship, resentful and couldn't go home. Where else could I go? It was surely the best decision. At no point did I think 'Mum would be sad'  - I simply thought 'this is the best choice' and was pretty locked into that way of thinking.

Phil's cousin, Jim, who I adore to this day, knocked on the bathroom door and that interruption and subsequent hug really prevented me from following through. To Jim's credit,  he never told Phil. He just held me for awhile and smiled warmly at me. We laid on our tummies listening to records for awhile and drank hot tea... and it was just what I needed.

Now as a 42 year old successful educated woman, I'm so happy that I got through that dark cloud.  My heart hurts for these young ones that make that decision not knowing that their depression or dark space can be a temporary place.  My heart hurts for the soldiers who have bruised brains from all the trauma they have seen or participated in 'in the line of duty'.  My heart hurts for people who are buried in depressions. There is a way out. Don't lose sight of that. Please - talk to someone. Get help.

 And if you go on anti-depressants, ensure that it's coupled with counselling. Either through a psychologist, a social worker or a psychiatrist.  Anti-depressants particularly SSRI's only lift the physical fog to give you a head start into the day ahead. The fog that it lifts provides clarity. This clarity is the optimum stage for receiving counselling. Don't be scared or intimidated by that C word. It's a clinical word sure but therapy comes in all forms. We all practice therapy.  It helps us unburden our psych of the stuff that invited the fog in the first place. The self-esteem. The worthlessness. The hopelessness. The 'why bother?'  - something started that........and perhaps it's complex. It's layered but it's workable.  What was life like for you before you remember the fog? You were there once. Can you be there again?

If you don't have a connection with the psych/social worker, move onto someone else. You're worth it. You don't have to be polite to them. Find a connection and talk it out.Relationship is the key to any change. If you can't talk and form a 'relationship' with your worker, move on. Relationship building is the blocks of communication.  Don't let it bubble to the surface where you feel pushed into an inescapable corner. Suicide is not the answer.

RIP Zeke.


Thursday, August 7, 2014


hi everyone,

It's been only 8 days into my three month placement at the rehabilitation centre. Our rehabilitation centre provides care for people who have suffered a spinal injury, a brain injury, a stroke, an orthopedic injury, experienced severe burns or had a body part amputated.

Some reflections so far:

They don't care for your pity or sympathy. After a bit of adjusting, they don't care what you think of their appearance on the street. The people I have met so far regard their status as LIVING as a privilege and they're not about to waste time thinking about how you feel or assisting you manage your reaction to their appearance.  I met a man who said that not dying from his massive stroke was a 2nd chance and whilst he grieves about loss mobility or cognitive functioning, he's so enthusiastic to repair and live his life to the fullest. He's just adapting ways to do that now.

Another bloke who lost his big toe after a serious infection disclosed with tears in his eyes that it's the first time he's had to really 'make it about me' where his previous roles in both his professional & personal life have been about serving others. These amazing people have taught me about the importance of expanding your vocabulary and having 'considered speech', watch your language and laugh and smile. They've also taught me to drive safer. The other day, this guy, maybe 60 with a walking frame stopped me in the corridor.  He was a bit embarrassed but he said 'Excuse me dear. Can you please pull up my pants?" and I did, with a smile. We laughed later, as I escorted him back to his bed that it was "too cold to have bare bum out on display. Maybe next week the warmer weather will permit that?"

I see a young man no more than 20 being wheeled in by his dad. I see the aged dad being wheeled in by his young son. Tragedy escapes no one.   So many of these people are here through no fault or choice of their own. They chose to go to town that day. Many didn't choose to speed. Or abuse their bodies. Or take risks... I am moved when I see the younger patients with brain injury limp slowly and make cups of tea for the elderly brain injury patients. Respect for the elders reigns supreme at Rehab even if you're worse off than them. It's an inspiring place and I'm so lucky to be there witnessing these moments, the dedicated professional motivated staff and the people...

Any given day, I'm walking (another privilege, I had neglected to consider) along the wards and I get a random 'G'day love!' this place is endearing.  The other day I was walking back to my car to drive home (another privilege) and I heard this beautiful classical music playing. Initially, I thought someone thought that everyone in the ward just HAD TO hear this magical piece and I smiled at thoughts of 'what happens after 5pm' when admin staff go home. I had heard blokes between them order pizza and play cards from time to time.  As I got closer, I saw this elderly paraplegic gent lean into an ipad that was mounted on his wheelchair and swipe the screen. As I got closer, I saw his oxygen tank, his permanent shunt and then realised that the classical music was in fact him playing the piccolo.  He was swiping electronic music sheets that looked very complicated to me. He plays music every single day as people walk to their cars..... such is his talented gift to us.  Finally, I attended a seminar on Post-Traumatic Amnesia the other day and the lady who delivered it said she remembers a man who shouted to her across the ward "I can still barr up!!!" and the blokes cheered from their beds and the nurses smiled.

          Every day and every night, I relax after work listening to music, emailing friends and reading. Occasionally I watch telly but I feel as though I should be doing something more productive so that's pretty rare. I have recently downloaded Spotify and transferred my favourite playlist from Last FM to Spotify. I don't know how to add people so let me know if you're on there and I'll figure it out.

Anyways, I have much to write but this post is long enough.  I hope you're well and thank you as always for reading my silly blog. And please, don't speed. Don't drink and drive.  I would be devastated to hear about any of you having such a serious accident. The consequences are dire.


Sunday, July 27, 2014


For the last maybe twelve or eighteen months, I've been gradually living a life as a person with no kids. Of course, Carissa is around but she's really independent. She will be nineteen this year. She's been driving since she was sixteen, working, studying and maintaining relationships since school ended last year. She loves to dance, hike, hang and laugh with friends, cook them stuff and well, she's forging her own way.

This means that I've been left to my own devices. Thankfully it's been gradual and I'm used to it now but it meant that I started to think of life 'beyond Carissa" and my role as her mother. I'll always be her mum obviously but she needs me less and less.

As I've mentioned before, she's doing one maybe two semesters overseas in Birmingham for her degree. After that, she intends to move to Melbourne with a friend. I think she'll do it. She's pretty focused and is planning for it well.

This means that my day-to-day role as Mum kind of ends.  No more cooking dinner, cleaning her room, doing her washing from time to time - all that stuff stops. I had anticipated this moment when Carissa was three. Me and her dad separated then and I always said I'd stay in Adelaide to foster a relationship between her and her Dad. Well, that time is over now. She fosters her own relationship with Daddio and Me - well, I'm a free spirit now.

I daydreamed for at least a month or two about just packing up and going to live in say San Francisco! Or, going to hang with my friend George in Montreal! Now, with a qualification up my sleeve, I was suddenly more attractive to more destinations, particularly Commonwealth ones.

And then I researched some post-graduate specialisations that I'm interested in and thought 'One day but I want a break now....' and then around the same time, I thought of my mum.  And I thought "Maybe I should go home while she's still on this planet'....

So that's the decision I made.  At the end of my lease, I will not renew and I will return to Mackay, in Northern Queensland, pop 166, 181 (Wikipedia, 2011) and spend some quality time with her. Mackay, when I lived there, was like a resort full time.  It was easy living, fun  and friendly. People were laid back and everyone knew anyone. Since then, the mining boom has attracted crap-loads of people and the culture of Mackay changed somewhat. I'll write more about that later but I will add that it's not a culture that sits well with me. At least, I make that assessment based on what I've experienced when I've returned of late.

So to counteract this cultural conflict, I'm going to live in the Northern Beaches no more than a 20 min drive from the city heart. I plan to work in social work, preferably Government, (probably child protection or a hospital) and experience a sea-change. Wikipedia tells me that Mackay has 31 beaches. Thirty one. That's a lot and my front door will open onto one of them.  Here are a few pictures of the view of the property that I'm looking at. When I say beach-front, I mean, beach front.  I don't see the point of a sea-change if I'm going to be living in suburbia.


The properties that I am targeting are also furnished. I'm selling up most of my bits and pieces and will travel light and rent for 12 months in the first instance.

Carissa's independance has well prepared me to live without her.  Once I was serious about my move home, I sat with Carissa and we discussed it. She said "if you want to move closer to Nanny, I can move into Dads anytime' and we brainstormed any areas of concern and problem solved.   She feels as though at 19 the issue she had with Dad are non-existent and if things go wrong, she can fly to me or move in with some of her friends. I wrote to my old trivia friend, George today and said that I will probably grieve very hard for Carissa. I don't drink alcohol but I will probably partake in a glass or two of wine to self-medicate for a bit.  Skype, sure. Fly up, sure but gee... that is the biggest adjustment. Ollie is staying with Carissa... and Ace is coming with me. Ace has arthritis so the tropical weather will be good for his bones. I will miss Ollie almost as much as I miss my girl.

When I told her dad that I was doing this, he automatically assumed Carissa would be coming with me. I said 'No, Phil. She has intentions of completing this degree and flying to the UK. It means she's moving in with you.....she's happy to do that....' and he looked away before I saw his eyes went all misty. He loves that girl and he softly said 'I would love to be able to connect with her before she flies the nest completely...' and I agreed.

I used to swim here alot as a kid.. in the beautiful Finch Hatton Gorge. I plan to really live well. I plan to start a series of projects that I've had on hold, perhaps a series of short stories and take care of myself.

So there is no turning back now. I've starting selling furniture, stuff, dvd's, books, excess things that I will not travel with. I will pack up my car and drive from Adelaide to Mackay. It is a road trip across Australia and I will need the best playlist ever created!  I've done it before and it's a big big journey of 2510 kilometres or 1559 miles. It will take about 3 - 4 days and I won't drive at night. It's too dangerous with wombats, cattle or kangaroos that will wipe out my mazda at 110 kms per hour in the black night.  My mother does not know that I am coming home. I haven't lived in Mackay since I was 18... I expect she will weep.

So there you go! I thought I might set up some GPS tracking stuff on my phone when I go and if you're interested, you can track the trip.

Lots to do before then but there you go. You got the scoop.

Best of luck to you,

Friday, July 11, 2014

66 days to go...

Just 66 days to finish my degree. Can you believe it? It has been a tiresome but exhilarating journey. I've met some amazing people and increased my social circles exponentially. I've been told that some students 'admire' me and that many are very grateful for my input. See, I am the admin of a facebook group for our social work cohort at Uni and I share and share and share. Whether it's a resource, advice about a paper, loan books, I loan my experience and I care about these students, especially the young ones. In a way, graduating is bittersweet because I will let go of that role but I am excited to have finally finished my degree too. It's been tiring working full time and studying full time.

Just this last weekend, I sat on my ass under a heated throw and watched all of Season 1 and Season 2 of Bates Motel. It was fabulous and I did it drinking copious amounts of coffee and tea from my new Noritake set (pictured) picked up for a bargain of $20 from a local garage sale.

Here are some other random pictures for you.

Planning to move back to Queensland within 12 months.

Pics of the broken glass where thieves gained entry to my house.

Ollie enjoying his sun bed in the now gone warmer weather.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Wintery June in Adelaide

It's cold here.  I get that countries get buried in snow. People die because it's so damn cold. Iced roads cause accidents. I have not lived in countries like these so I can't compare but for my  humble existence to date, I'm cold.  Today the sun came out for like, 15 mins and my plants soaked up every single one of those minutes but aside from that, it's rainy, overcast, hail sometimes and it's 'sleeping with clothes on' type of cold.

So how are you?  I wanted to say thanks for the peeps that continue to stop by this blog and realised quickly that I'd deleted the wordpress site and emailed me. Thanks. You know who you are. For reasons beyond my knowledge, the stat counter for this blog continues to increase and increase. I still get a good 50-80 visitors here a month from all over the place. People from all places pore over pages for hours. Some quickly realise that 'pussy pics' isn't vagina and leave but the numbers are pretty consistent.  I thought it was appropriate to breathe some new life into this old space rather than dump it for a pretty, newer space. I also hovered the delete button and just couldn't do it. There are so many great posts here. On top of that, there are also so many great comments. Comments that still make me laugh today. I'm happy that a fair few of the old bloggers from those days are now active participants on facebook - the murderer of blogs.

This week, I've been at Uni for a long intensive course. It's called "Professional Development" and I find it batshit boring. I tried to get credit for it but my uni is lazy and will choose the easier answer of 'No, sorry' then, 'Sure. Let me sort all that paperwork out for you"  - and so I attend.  The content itself just bores me because I'm already familiar with it and I feel it's too basic and simple for our students. On top of that, there is a lot of pressure in the cohort about final placements for our degree. Within the assessment perimeters of the Bachelor of Social Work, the Australian Association of Social Work developed a cirriculum for practice on the job. Sure. I get that. It is to the value of 1000 hours and mostly they're unpaid. If you're already working in an agency, you might be able to tailor a placement paid but mostly they're unpaid hours. Broken into two, that's about three months unpaid. I was offered a very ...prestigious? No... honourable? Highly sought after? placement. The top of the pops placement. I can't name it because it's a place that attractions media scrutiny and I'm respectful over their business/clients. When I rang to schedule an interview, the  manager said that my uni had been slow to respond to him and as a result, he had to go with another student from a different Adelaide Uni. To say that I was floored would be an understatement. I was devastated. This placement is not just 'any' placement - it's the best placement you can get. When I told people that was where I had been provisionally 'matched' they said 'holy shit. I wondered who would get it!' or 'it makes sense that you would get offered that place'  - and other sweet complimentary things. I was a bit shaky during the conversation with the manager  but explained and apologized before ending the call. Armed with that biting sense of rejection, I marched into the office of the field education coordinator and closed the door. I was shattered that the incompetence of her team had compromised a massive career opportunity and I told her so.  I am not 15. I am a mature aged paying student with high grades and career path. You let me down. You are the service provider and this is what this pivotal agency had to say about your team and this uni. She apologised and said she would investigate. And then gently said 'where do you want to go?'

I couldn't really think straight and said that I'd get back to her. But man, was I wild.

Have you ever had the opportunity of a life time offered you after hard work, or maybe on a silver platter and then had it withdrawn just as quick?

I'll keep you posted.

lots of love,