Sunday, 27 July 2008

Lilly's Bits

1. The girl has still got it going on.

Sixty year old singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks sounds and looks better than ever (see video of PBS Soundstage July 2008). I can never get too much of the mystical chanteuse. Fleetwood Mac is set to do a world tour in 2009!! Talent just keeps on going.....on and on.



If you had to name one all time favourite singer, songwriter, musician or band who would it be?

2. What's in a name?

Well a lot according to a poor little 9 year old girl in New Zealand who sought refuge in the courts to change her embarrassing name. Her given legal name is: Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii. She hates it so much she has not only told her friends to call her simply K, but has sought help from a sympathetic judge. She has been made a ward of the court by family court Judge Rob Murfitt. He blasted parents for saddling children with embarrassing names, telling the New Zealand Press Association, "It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap."

Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii isn't the only name that has caught the judge's ire. He cited other New Zealand parents who have used these names:Twins named Benson and Hedges (after a brand of cigarettes),Violence and No. 16 Bus Shelter.

Hollywood is rife with stars who were born with different names--some of which are wildly different than the name with which their parents blessed them at birth. Here is a list of some of them. The singer or actor's real name is in parenthesis following the name by which you know them.

Lauren Bacall (Betty Joan Perske), Briggitte Bardot (Camille Javal), Yul Brynner (Taidje Khan), Joan Crawford (Lucille Le Sueur), Whoopi Goldberg (Caryn Elaine Johnson), Macy Gray (Natalie Renee McIntyre),Courtney Love (Love Michelle Harrison), Gene Simmons (Chaim Witz), Bob Dylan (Robert Zimmerman), Elton John (Reginald Kenneth Dwight), Demi Moore (Demetria Gene Guynes),Franco Zeffirelli (Gianfranco Corsi), Desi Arnaz (Desiderio Albert Arnaz y De Acha III), Meg Ryan (Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra) Kiefer Sutherland (William Frederick Dempsey George Sutherland), Stevie Wonder (Steveland Hardaway Judkins), Larry King (Larry Zeigler), Michael Landon (Eugene Orowitz), Dean Martin (Dino Crocetti), Ricky Martin (Enrique Jose Martin Morales),Walter Matthau (Walter Matuschanskayasky).

Do you know anyone who had to change their name or have you changed yours?

3. There can be too much of a good thing, so it seems.

Apparently people who use the internet for as little as five hours a week are less likely to talk to or visit their family and friends and are in danger of shutting themselves off from society, according to new research. Researchers from the Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society in America have found that technology is having a damaging social impact even when people use it in modest amounts. Those who spent 5-10 hours a week online reported a 25 per cent fall in social activity - spending less time talking on the phone or face to face.

I think this is definitely true and is a bit of an issue for bloggers. What do you think? Has blogging affected your social life?

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Back to the Future

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Having focused on Past Lives this week I have to say I have been in total awe of the wonderful creative bloggers who have contributed to the project. What gifted storytellers they are and I encourage everyone to spread the word so we can gain input from writers all over the world. A big thanks to the talented Vikki North from The Red Chair Gallery for collaborating with me to get this moving. We really look forward to keeping this project going for a while longer. Poor David, he may have more problems than he first anticipated....and it seems as though he will be in therapy for the long term.

Anyway, its back to planning my future life (mmm come to think of it, the next series may be Future Lives....).

I am planning a holiday in November for a significant birthday (yes I am turning 21 and my daughter who is 3 came up with the plan - yes, she is truly gifted...ok, I lie, she's really in her 20s but I had her when I was 8....). But any birthday over 40 is significant isn't it? Because it's just one more step towards ....well you know where.. I just hope 'my ending' is not as dramatic as some of our characters in the Past Lives series...

I have travelled widely but strangely I have never spent much time in Asia even though it is so close to Australia. I spent a few days in Singapore a couple of years ago which was very important to me because I got to see where my grandfather was a prison of war (Changi) for five long years. Plus, I got to do some fantastic shopping. Well, more than some actually. It was a whole lot more.

So, in looking at the options I checked out the top five holiday destinations declared by some World Tourism body for 2008. Normally I like to go off the beaten track for holidays but this time, given the timeframe, we'll play it safe. Bangkok is apparently the No 1 destination at the moment, followed by Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Sydney and Florence.

Sydney is not an option (for obvious reasons) and Beunos Aires, Cape Town and Florence are too far away for a 10 day trip. Although I truly yearn to return to Italy again, I would prefer to spend months there, not days.

So, it it is either going to be Thailand, Malaysia or possibly Bhutan. Bhutan is one of the most remote and little visited countries in the world. The interesting aspect to this country is that the King of Bhutan is more interested in the Gross National Happiness than in the GNP.

It will be hot and humid wherever we go at this time of year but look how close these destinations are (well around 8-10 hour plane trips which is close when you live down under).

Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com

And it looks pretty beautiful too. These are pictures courtesy of a friend who goes to Thailand at least once a year.



Has anyone been to Thailand, Malaysia or Bhutan and what did you think? Any advice or tips you can share?

Monday, 21 July 2008

Past Lives - Part 3

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Past Lives is a collaborative writing project for bloggers. The story starts with a fictional Australian character called David who goes through Past Life Regression (PLR) therapy to try and resolve his phobias. Join us as we follow David’s past life journey through different times and continents via clever and creative stories written by people across the world. Who knows if it will ever end?
For new readers, please read Part 1 and Part 2 of David's journey (please note that you will be travelling to different blogs throughout the series. If you would like to contribute and join in the fun, please email
lillyslife@gmail.com ) .______________________________________________________"I scream! I scream! I scream! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
As Sassy passed from her short life of untold suffering, she already knew that she had much to learn before she would be allowed to ascend. And with that she knew that she could be dropped back into the swirling spiral. At any time. At any place.
______________________________________________________

David began his second PLR session feeling relaxed and positive. This time round he quickly succumbed to hypnosis with all thoughts of Sassy gone.
Dr Harlowe asked him, "Where are you right now, can you describe it for me. Just tell me your first impression. If things are vague, move over for a closer look."
David moved slightly in his chair and his voice visibly changed. He spoke in a softer, higher pitched tone and he smiled.
"I am sitting in a sauna in a bath house and am about to have a massage and a perfumed body wrap. There are many other women nearby in the sauna and cold pool and there is much laughter and chatting. I look forward to coming here every day."
Dr Harlowe quietly said, “What is your name and can you describe yourself and your life? If you haven’t yet noticed anyone else there, look around for other people.”
"My name is Julia. I am 20 and 4 and half feet tall. I am wearing a long white gown and beautiful gold jewellery with precious stones. I am married to Notholo. He is a 5 ft and 38 years old. He owns the town’s largest brothel and many bars. I despise him for his cruelty. He is as older than my father and I secretly hope he dies soon as most men here never live much past 40.

I live in a town full of Greeks, Etruscans and Africans. Half of the 20,000 people in the town are children and about 12,000 people are slaves.

I am proud of my family's success as my father, Cauis Polybus, is a descendant of a slave, and is now a successful and prominent merchant. My husband and I live with my father and mother Flavia, in a beautiful villa which takes up the entire block. Our home has an elegant courtyard garden with many frescoes of plants and flowers. My father is the envy of all his peers because he has the biggest collection of erotic art in the whole town and beyond.

We live by the sun and wake early. By 5.30am my mother and I and our slaves are in the kitchen preparing honey doughnuts and our favorite dish, garum, a sauce made with marinated fish. By 6.30am everyone is at work. Shops are open, markets are ready and farmers are in the fields.

Around 8.00am each day I go out in the crowded streets and on to the markets to look at the latest wares the merchants have bought. I stop to talk with others. My husband attends to his businesses and spends a great deal of his time at his brothel which is a haven for visiting sailors and the wealthy. I try to avoid this area and do not want to know my husband’s business or who is coming or going. I sometimes see his slave girls, mainly beautiful Greeks, in the baths.

Often in the middle of the day rich noblemen offer the town an exhibition of gladiators and so we go to the amphitheatre. We have a gladiator school here and we hold our courageous gladiators in high regard. I have become very close to one gladiator called Thrax who is favoured by all the girls and is now my lover. He is African. Tall with black silky skin. He noticed me in the marketplace and started to follow me everywhere. Thrax no longer fights and is now a trainer in the gladiatorial school and sometimes is a guard for my father and other wealthy noblemen.

In the early afternoon I usually go to the thermal baths. My favourite time of day. A short time before sunset, I sit down with my parents to have a dinner of olives, eggs, fish, meat and cakes. We go to bed early when darkness comes”.

“Can you tell me about your last day in this life”, Dr Harlow gently presses.
David becomes troubled and his voice rises and he appears extremely upset and his breathing becomes laboured.
It’s August 24, 79 AD”, he says hurriedly. “Vesuvius has been rumbling for three days now but today it seems angrier. The earth is shaking lightly beneath my feet. I am going to meet Thrax in his tiny cell in the basement of the Gladiator school. No-one around me seems to care as we are used to earthquakes as they happen often. But I notice the animals are restless, especially the goats in the marketplace. It’s as if they sense something and are trying to warn us.

I am glad to be finally safe in Thrax’s arms. I am now with child but I have not told anyone yet. Around noon a frightening roar makes us jump up and go to the window. The cell only has one tiny window. It is unclear what is happening.

Thrax said, “please don’t worry because everyone knows that Vesuvius is an extinct volcano. I will always protect you”.

"But now I can hear people crying in terror as they rush into the streets. I can hear the shrieks of women, the wailing of infants, and the shouting of men …I am standing on my toes trying to peek out the window but it’s completely black outside. It’s like the whole town is out on the cobbled streets, running. Running away from ..... "

David starts to become anxious and begins to sob uncontrollably.
Through muffled sobs he says,“We are trying to get out of the cell door but part of the building must have collapsed and blocked our way. Thrax uses his strength to try and force the door ajar but it will not open. Then I hear the sound of thunder. It’s the most horrible noise I have ever heard. It sounds as if the earth is splitting in two. I am suddenly conscious of this tiny space and I curl my body into a ball and rock back and forth, crying for my family. I know that I am being punished for my sins and I will never see my family again.


I scream out, "Oh poena. EGO sum sic vix terminus of orbis terrarum est near. Filiolus have fugitivus nos!! "

Thrax holds me tight for what seems like an eternity and I pray. I pray that the Gods have not deserted us. In the darkness, we can hear groans and shrieks of the terrified, noises from the mountain and the sound of roofs collapsing. I fear that the world is ending and that Pompeii and everyone in it is lost forever.

Strong winds howl down the streets, bringing sharp streams of ash, poisonous vapors and an unbearable heat.

Suddenly, I can hear a blood curdling scream and it takes me some time to realise it is coming from my own mouth. Panic takes over. I can’t breathe. I am trapped. I feel like life is being sucked from me. Our safe haven has become a choking prison of hell.
Then.......complete blackness and a deathly silence....is all that remains..."

Given the important headway David is making, his next PLR Session is scheduled for tomorrow. You’ll be travelling to Plainfield, Illinois to read the next stage of David’s journey in Past Lives - Part 4.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Past Lives - Part 1

how


I would bet money that at some time or other we have all had the feeling of déjà vu.

You know, that feeling that we've been somewhere before or we've already been someone in an another life or that we've done something before, even if we are doing that 'something' for the first time.

Destiny or fate seems to pull us in different directions throughout our lives, so who is to say that the energy that impacts our life isn't rooted in an existence from another time and place?

The subject of reincarnation has fascinated me, since I discovered what it was all about. Imagine if you had lived various lives, over the span of many years........

I often imagined the lives I may have led and have been keen to take a past life regression journey to find out the details. Past-life regression (also referred to as PLR), according to Uncommonforum.com is when a person, under hypnosis, can journey back to previous lives.
Maybe some of you have already made this journey.

Maybe some of you are game enough to experience someone else's journey.

Why don't you join the extremely talented Vikki (Redchair Gallery) and I in a meme which will follow the RPL journey of a fictional character called David. David's past life stories will be told by different bloggers in different countries over different life times.
Here is the start of David's story.
My name is David Taylor. I am a single, 35 year old who lives in Sydney, Australia. Since early childhood I've had a tendency to panic whenever my arms and legs are confined or I've had to squeeze into a tight place. I have no idea why this is so. This claustrophobic reaction has made me feel introverted and has affected my life. I joined the Navy when I left school and to help overcome my fears I volunteered for submarine duty. I made some progress with my phobia but it was not enough to solve my problem which seems to be getting worse. I had to transfer to desk duties. A job I detest.

I had heard from many people that phobias often originate in past lives, from some unresolved but forgotten trauma. A friend of mine suggested that I should go back in time, using Past Life Regression, and uncover the original cause of my fears.

While I was on the fence between being skeptical and being a believer, I was open minded enough to explore the possibilities. In fact, I was ready to try anything. However, until I had regression under hypnosis, and experienced these memories first hand, only then, did I believe 100% in the existence of past lives.

I researched the subject extensively and finally went to see the renowned Dr Maurice Harlowe, an international authority in PLR techniques. Through a deep state of hypnosis I was regressed back to childhood, then beyond, and I described what were presumed to be my memories of past lives. Many past lives.

The doctor conducted the sessions with a video running because I wanted to know exactly what I remembered while under hypnosis. I have never been more horrified yet fascinated at the same time.

In my first session I found myself hovering over a disturbing scene. I realised with horror the person involved was me. With morbid attachment I watched my final days in
......
for the next part of David's story please go to California and visit the Red Chair Gallery.



Note to Readers: David's PLR story is purely fictional. If there are any bloggers in any part of the world who would like to participate in David's story by writing about a 'past life' in a time, place and country you are familiar with, please contact Vikki at redchair@cox.net or Lilly at lillyslife@gmail.com

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Are you a Collector?

orIt must be all my talk about old age that got me glued to two television shows over the past week, one called the Antiques Roadshow and the other called The Collectors.

On the Antiques Roadshow, a man had a collection of glass eyeballs. And another had a collection of toasters. The Collectors showed different aspects of collecting and how people get started with them. There was a woman who collected all manner of things but they had to be in a certain shade of orange (a colour found in many kitchens in the 70s).

I looked at this and thought how crazy people are but when I thought about it, we are all collectors of things.......aren't we? One person's 'junk' is indeed another person's 'treasure'.

I used to collect watches. In fact, I had so many that I could have set up a stall on a street corner with them pinned inside my jacket. Eventually, the 'watch phase' passed.

Then, there are the dolls. I love dolls and always have. In fact, I still have many of my childhood toys. When I had my daughter I was so excited that I would be able to share my love of dolls with her. But no, she liked racing cars not dolls. In fact, I remember one Christmas when she was three she was a little put out when her wish for a red racing car turned out to be a toy car and not a real Ferrari. I continued to buy dolls for her but of course I got to play with them on my own. She clung to one doll though. It was Ken. Yes, that Ken. Barbie's boyfriend in all his sunkissed surfer boy glory (complete with Hawaiin shirt and board shorts). For some reason, she took a fancy to him and still has him. In fact at that time if she met any men called Ken she would ask them all about Barbie.... (it's ok though, she turned out alright in the end). I, too, still have all my dolls but have not bought one in many years and they are all stored away. Maybe there will be a grandchild in the future sometime....no pressure Jordan...

I think the only things (other than books and makeup tools and products) I have actively collected over the years are earrings. I love earrings mainly pearls, gold hoops or drop earrings (with my preferred lever backs). I have so many pairs that I could never possibly wear them all. They come from all over the world but I have a preference for a certain type of Italian earrings. I must say my daughter takes a bigger interest in this collection than the dolls. Here are just a few of them.

So tell me, are you a collector and what do you collect?
I would love to be able to make this a regular segment so we can share and find the most unusual collection out there. If you want to share a picture of your collection please email me at lillyslife@gmail.com

Nutrition tips

to help shift the stubborn bits


1. Get organised

If you have an eating plan you never need to worry about what you will eat. Plan the weeks meals and have all your meals prepared for each day keeping it simple is best and will ensure you keep to your plan.

2. Realistic goals

Aim for 0-5-1kg in weight loss per week. Any more is unrealistic and is likely to be coming form water or lean muscle mass loss. Also, setting smaller goals makes the bigger ones easier to achieve. Think of it as a series of sprints rather than a marathon. It is easier to set yourself the goal of eating well for the week rather than the year.

3. Stay hydrated, but avoid energy containing drinks

You should always have a water bottle with you to sip on. Drinking constantly will not only hydrate you but also help suppress your appetite. Water, skim milk or coffee or tea should be the only drink consumed when losing weight. Fruit juice and soft drinks and alcohol should be avoided.

4. Eat a Rainbow

This means enjoy a range of different colours of fruit and vegetables. Vegetables are great to fill you up but are low on kilojoules so they are your 'free' food, which you can eat as much as you want.

5. The less legs the better

When looking at animals for protein the ones with the least amount of legs are generally the better choice, for example fish (no legs), followed by chicken and kangaroo (two legs he he) and then cows and lamb and pigs (four legs).

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Four things

Jules at Arduous Nincompoop has tagged me for this meme so here goes!

Four jobs I've had:
1) Makeup Artist
2) Marketing Manager
3) Usability Consultant
4) Own business - doing all the above

Four films I love:1) Beaches (agree with you on that one Jules!)
2) Batman (the new one is the best of all time)
3) Breakfast at Tiffanys
4) Any romantic movie with Meg Ryan or Hugh Grant .....

Four places I've lived1) Brisbane
2) London
3) Edinburgh
4) Coffs Harbour


Four Pet Peeves:1) People who lie
2) Queuing for anything
3) Public transport
4) Poor customer service
Four TV shows I love:
1) Sex and the City (reruns)
2) Sea Change (reruns)
3) Kath & Kim (Aussie show being remade by CBS for US TV)
4) West Wing (reruns)
Four places I've vacationed:1) Italy
2) New York
3) Hawaii
4) Tasmania, Australia
Four of my favorite dishes
1) Roast anything
2) BBQ anything
3) Any seafood, especially salmon
4) Any 'caramel' desert.....oh ok, anything with sugar in it.
Four sites I visit daily:1) Blogger
2) Current.com
3) Gmail
4) Sydney Morning Herald
Four places I would rather be right now:1) Somewhere really hot
2) Italy
3) Anywhere where Richard Gere or George Clooney are
4) Curled up in bed

So tell me

what do you eat for breakfast?

I mean they say curiosity is a good thing, right?

Well sometimes some people take their curiosity a little too far.

I was taking a bus this morning (just because my car was being serviced) when I was set upon by one of those busy body strangers who have 10,000 questions to ask.

Yes, I chose to sit next to her but I didn't engage her in conversation. I thought she looked a better option than the teenage school boy with a large skateboard or the nun (I didn't really want to hear about the Pope's visit for the millionth time this week).

However, three seconds into the journey 'she' started asking me all sorts of questions.

"So, what did you have for breakfast?" she asks.

The question came from nowhere.

No, it wasn't the usual banter about what a cold day it is, or the bus is crowded today. No, she may as well have asked me what my bra size was or how much I earned (which I am sure were on the tip of her tongue and coming some time before the final stop). Thank God I got out when I did.

For some unknown reason, I felt this 'perfect stranger' had no right to ask me what I ate for breakfast. Maybe I am just overly sensitive early in the morning. And no, I didn't have garlic the night before, and no, I wasn't wearing my breakfast all over me either (I did check just in case).

I was gobsmacked. Was she employed by some market research agency to survey passengers? I just told her that I didn't eat breakfast. She smiled and then went on to the next question.

It's funny how some people's curiosity knows no bounds. I think I have a sign on my forehead that says 'this women loves any kind of whacko so please approach'.

Plus, have you noticed these types just do not read body language at all? She took no notice of the look of shock and horror that was etched on my face or the fact I was literally turning in my seat with my back to her.

Oh no, my indifference just egged her on.

Where do you work, are you married, how many children do you have, where did you get your coat?

By the end of my trip I felt I had been put through the ringer and had come out the other side the worse for wear.

I felt like a stiff drink for morning tea.

I am leaving public transport alone - the last time I took public transport was in Scotland. I was sitting contentedly on the bus when a dog got on with his owner (oh yes, dogs are allowed on public transport there) and out of all the people on the bus the dog targets me and comes over and sits on my feet. Um, and the owner never said a word. Who wants to make a scene on a bus full of people? I like dogs but......

So I am changing tact. I obviously need to practice being more direct and nosy myself.

So tell me, What did you eat for breakfast?I had toast and Vegemite, eggs and a strong coffee this morning.

Speaking of eggs I saw this very cute video recently that made me smile. Watch and you will see why.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Insight

on this never ending journey

We live in a society that worships youth but it doesn't mean your life has to change drastically or slow down as soon as you hit 40 or 50 or 60 or 100 it seems.

In fact grey power seems to be getting stronger and stronger. In the last week I have noticed lots of stories about our tribal 'elders' which have inspired me to bounce out of bed and face the day, knowing that life can be as great and productive as you want it to be for as long as you want it to be. If you truly want it to be, that is.

First, there is Ronnie Wood the 61 year old member of the Rolling Stones who may well qualify for a free bus pass but is continuing to live the rock star high life. Apparently he has just run off with an 18 year old cocktail waitress and has been on a vodka binge for the last two weeks. Made me smile for some reason even though he hasn't yet grown up. Can't imagine why his wife finally said 'enough is enough'.

Then, I read about the 80 year old Las Vegas star Tempest Storm who has been stripping for over 50 years. Storm is known for carrying a turkey-feather boa, and insists on removing her clothes slowly in the tradition of burlesque.

Some people claim that an 80-year old woman is no longer sexy. Storm says that is “ridiculous.”

“If you want to get old, you’ll get old,” Storm insists. She watches TV perched on her stationary bike, does not smoke, and eats in moderation. It’s important to take good care of herself, considering her job description. Storm can remove a dress in a matter of seconds, and has no qualms about being seen in a g-string. At 80........
Then, there are the 'elderly' Olympians who are still going strong. Australian Laurie Lever started riding when he was 10 years old because it seemed a good idea at the time. Little did he think that half a century on, he would be preparing to compete in equestrian showjumping at his first Olympic Games. At 60, he will be Australia's oldest olympian and certainly the oldest debutante at the Games.

But Lever won't be the only Olympian whose peers are monitoring their superannuation accounts and pondering life in retirement. Japanese equestrian rider Hiroshi Koketsu first competed in the Olympics at the 1964 Games in Tokyo, finishing 40th. Forty-four years later, at the age of 67, he will compete at the Beijing Olympics and reckons he can improve on that position.

A handful of other veteran Olympians have forged impressive careers. Canadian Susan Nattrass is 58 and a trap shooter competing in her sixth Games. The heralded French cyclist Jeannie Longo is 49 and taking part in her seventh Olympics, while Israeli marathon runner Haile Satayin is also 49.

Then a couple of days ago, the world's oldest blogger, 108 year old Australian, Olive Riley, died. She had just made her final post a couple of days before. What an inspiration to all of us. Check out her blog, The Life of Riley.

Then to cap it all off, last night I watched a TV series called Elders. It featured interviews with prominent people who are over 65 years of age.

There was Sir David Attenborough who talked about his life experiences after a lifetime exploring the world and Dame Elisabeth Murdoch (Rupert's 99 year old mother) who spoke about her long life, love story, family and philanthrophy.

Then there was the deeply passionate, insightful and spirited Isabel Allende who took us through her life's most difficult moments that have shaped her life. Then there was Helen Thomas, the doyen of the White House Press Corps. From JFK to George W. Bush, she has reported on the highs and lows of world politics for 57 years. Finally, there was Bob Hawke, Australia's longest serving Labor Prime Minister, who is still very much the passionate intellectual.

I think with all the negativity faced today and the sense of hopelessness we sometimes feel (given the economic, political, environmental and social issues we struggle with), it is important to take some time out to talk to the elderly about life and the universe (someone who has really lived a bit so choose wisely). Because when you do, you will quickly realise that the elderly have a great perspective about what really matters in life. They have lived through the depression, illnesses, wars, death, tragedy and survived to learn the lessons and tell the stories. Except not many people stop to really hear the wisdom.
Life is indeed a journey and for some, the longer the distance travelled the more living there is to experience. There is no point camping half way to anywhere.
And, on that note, while I can't imagine wearing a g-string on stage in Vegas even now let alone at 80, I have always had a secret desire to compete in the Olympics in synchronised swimming (stop the sniggering). It's not too late - 2016 games here I come! I just have to perfect 'that smile' under water and find the perfect waterproof makeup.

Have you learnt some important lessons from an elderly person in your life? What does aging mean to you?
Picture - my own 'piece'

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

What Tarot Card are you?

helloI visited Tasha's blog and she posted this link to find out what tarot card you are - a bit of fun for a Tuesday.


I am The Empress (no comments required please.....supposedly I can also make the earth barren when in fury or grief)

Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation (I am waiting for these...sometime soon would be good)

The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents, beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.

The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

What Tarot Card are You?



So tell me, what card are you????

Monday, 7 July 2008

Innovations - Car


Not all the technology set appearing in cars in the next few years is aimed at driver convenience like making sure the iPod syncs properly with the in-car entertainment system. The new technology appearing on cars, like the upcoming BMW 7-Series, will make cars smarter and safer and help the driver keep their eyes on the road.

Technology, such as ABS, stability control and airbags, has traditionally appeared on top of the line models before filtering down to the cars that the rest of us drive. Here are five technologies that will eventually end up on your car in the next decade.

Road sign recognition
It seems like science fiction, but BMW's new 7-Series can read speed limit signs and then project the limit into the drivers vision using a heads-up display. The system uses a camera built into the rear-view mirror. It scans the street for signs (it can also read the increasingly-common variable digital speed signs) and then compares the data to information stored in the satellite navigation system.
The data stream from the camera is given priority over the satellite navigation information, meaning that the system will work if there are temporary speed limit changes due to road-works or altered traffic conditions.
Although the system can advise the driver about the speed limit, it does not enforce the limit, so the driver remains in control.

Pedestrian identification/night vision

Another technology appearing in the new 7-Series is night vision that can detect pedestrians on or near the road and alert the driver. The night vision system uses a thermal imaging camera that peers ahead of the reach of the headlights and provides a moving video image thats shown in the central command display of the car and also in the heads-up display if the car is fitted with it.
The system uses intelligent algorithms - another way of saying it uses smart software to analyse the data from the thermal imaging. The thermal camera detects heat, in much the same way that night vision goggles do. If the camera and the software detects a person, they are highlighted in yellow on the video image.
According to BMW, the system will provide additional warnings if it detects that the person ahead is at risk, if they are on the road in the path of the car, for example.
The system minimises the number of warnings given to the driver by analysing each situation individually and creating a “warning corridor” around the car and the person ahead. The warning corridor is created by taking into consideration data about the car, such as speed, steering angle and whether any of the wheels are starting to slide.

In-car broadband internet access

Mobile WiMAX is an emerging wireless broadband technology poised to appear in our cars sometime in the next decade. Unlike the mobile phone system, mobile WiMAX offers true broadband speeds even when youre moving around.
According to research firm Gartner, the car industry is just beginning to realise the potential for mobile WiMAX. The potential is there to stream rich-media content, to enable video conferencing for passengers and to enable new diagnostic and testing scenarios, says analyst Thilo Koslowski.
The new BMW 7-Series doesn't have mobile WiMAX, but it is offering access to the internet using Edge technology. In a sense this is a baby-step towards offering full broadband in the car. That's because Edge is old technology, even lagging behind the wireless 3G technology built into most mobile handsets.

Where the BMW system is a breakthrough is the fact that full internet access is allowed in the car - in the front seat so long as the car isn't moving, and in the back seat at any time.

BMW hasn't said if it will make internet access available in Australia. Overseas the company is charging a flat rate for internet access from the new 7-Series.
Lane departure and lane change warning. This is not particularly new technology - BMW, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz have been offering it for a while, and others plan to do so. But it is the technology likely to filter down fastest to the cars the rest of us drive.

It works by using cameras, usually located in the rear-view mirror or at the front of the vehicle, to scan the lane markings. If the car's cameras and computer detect that the driver is shifting out of the lane without indicating, they get a warning. Some cars warn the driver by vibrating the steering wheel, others do it by vibrating the seat base, or projecting a warning onto the centre console or the heads-up display.

Lane change warning is a similar technology but instead of using cameras, it uses radar to monitor the blind spot around the rear three-quarter of the vehicle. If the driver indicates and the system detects a vehicle in the blind spot, then the driver is given a warning. This can be a visual warning Audi has a series of lights in the side mirror, while BMW has a warning triangle that is illuminated in the side mirror or a tactile warning, such as a vibration from the steering column or the seat base.

Driver monitoring technology

Stop, revive, survive is the mantra in Australia when youre taking a long journey. Fatigue is still seen as a major contributor to our road toll, with some studies suggesting that fatigue is responsible for more accidents on freeways and motorways than alcohol.

Mercedes-Benz has developed a system that monitors the driver for fatigue and when it detects that the driver is getting tired it issues an auditory warning, and a display in the centre console saying Attention Assist. Break!

Volvo also has a system in its upcoming XC60 that will warn the driver when it notices slowed reactions.

So how does it work? Mercedes-Benz has found that steering inputs are particularly relevant to monitoring driver fatigue. What tends to happen is that a tired driver makes minor steering errors which are often quickly corrected in a characteristic manner. In other words, the driver has trouble keeping the vehicle on track.

The system also takes into account indicator use, accelerator position, and external influences such as wind and road surfaces. During the first few minutes of a journey, the system creates a driver profile that is then compared with the drivers behaviour throughout the journey. When the drivers behaviour starts to vary from the profile, a warning is issued.

Mercedes-Benz says that the system will go into production in 2009, however it hasn't said which models it will appear on. The Mercedes-Benz system is part of a broader suite of technologies that research firm Gartner has christened mood recognition technologies. These technologies sense the emotional and physical state of the driver using cameras, and driver input (such as in the Mercedes-Benz Attention Assist technology) and then alter the cars systems to suit.

This could be something as simple as changing the lighting in the vehicle to address high stress - some colours have been shown to lower stress levels - or playing dynamic music to help address fatigue.

Mood recognition also takes into account eye tracking technology, which could be used as a secondary interface to the vehicle. An example might be that the car prepares for music commands issued by voice when the driver looks at the stereo, or minimising navigation information when the driver looks at the side mirrors or rear mirrors.

So far mood technology hasn't made an appearance in any series production cars. But it's a sure bet that it will in the next decade or so. Stop, revive, survive is the mantra in Australia when youre taking a long journey. Fatigue is still seen as a major contributor to our road toll, with some studies suggesting that fatigue is responsible for more accidents on freeways and motorways than alcohol.

Mercedes-Benz has developed a system that monitors the driver for fatigue and when it detects that the driver is getting tired it issues an auditory warning, and a display in the centre console saying Attention Assist. Break!
Volvo also has a system in its upcoming XC60 that will warn the driver when it notices slowed reactions.

So how does it work? Mercedes-Benz has found that steering inputs are particularly relevant to monitoring driver fatigue. What tends to happen is that a tired driver makes minor steering errors which are often quickly corrected in a characteristic manner. In other words, the driver has trouble keeping the vehicle on track.
The system also takes into account indicator use, accelerator position, and external influences such as wind and road surfaces. During the first few minutes of a journey, the system creates a driver profile that is then compared with the drivers behaviour throughout the journey. When the drivers behaviour starts to vary from the profile, a warning is issued.

Mercedes-Benz says that the system will go into production in 2009, however it hasn't said which models it will appear on.The Mercedes-Benz system is part of a broader suite of technologies that research firm Gartner has christened mood recognition technologies. These technologies sense the emotional and physical state of the driver using cameras, and driver input (such as in the Mercedes-Benz Attention Assist technology) and then alter the cars systems to suit.

This could be something as simple as changing the lighting in the vehicle to address high stress - some colours have been shown to lower stress levels - or playing dynamic music to help address fatigue.

Mood recognition also takes into account eye tracking technology, which could be used as a secondary interface to the vehicle. An example might be that the car prepares for music commands issued by voice when the driver looks at the stereo, or minimising navigation information when the driver looks at the side mirrors or rear mirrors.

So far mood technology hasn't made an appearance in any series production cars. But it's a sure bet that it will in the next decade or so.

In-car broadband internet access

Mobile WiMAX is an emerging wireless broadband technology poised to appear in our cars sometime in the next decade. Unlike the mobile phone system, mobile WiMAX offers true broadband speeds even when youre moving around.

According to research firm Gartner, the car industry is just beginning to realise the potential for mobile WiMAX. The potential is there to stream rich-media content, to enable video conferencing for passengers and to enable new diagnostic and testing scenarios, says analyst Thilo Koslowski.

The new BMW 7-Series doesn't have mobile WiMAX, but it is offering access to the internet using Edge technology. In a sense this is a baby-step towards offering full broadband in the car. That's because Edge is old technology, even lagging behind the wireless 3G technology built into most mobile handsets.

Where the BMW system is a breakthrough is the fact that full internet access is allowed in the car - in the front seat so long as the car isn't moving, and in the back seat at any time.

BMW hasn't said if it will make internet access available in Australia. Overseas the company is charging a flat rate for internet access from the new 7-Series.
Lane departure and lane change warning

This is not particularly new technology - BMW, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz have been offering it for a while, and others plan to do so. But it is the technology likely to filter down fastest to the cars the rest of us drive.

It works by using cameras, usually located in the rear-view mirror or at the front of the vehicle, to scan the lane markings. If the car's cameras and computer detect that the driver is shifting out of the lane without indicating, they get a warning. Some cars warn the driver by vibrating the steering wheel, others do it by vibrating the seat base, or projecting a warning onto the centre console or the heads-up display.

Lane change warning is a similar technology but instead of using cameras, it uses radar to monitor the blind spot around the rear three-quarter of the vehicle. If the driver indicates and the system detects a vehicle in the blind spot, then the driver is given a warning. This can be a visual warning Audi has a series of lights in the side mirror, while BMW has a warning triangle that is illuminated in the side mirror or a tactile warning, such as a vibration from the steering column or the seat base.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Message from your Mother

hello
Note to new readers: Message from your Mother is a series of letters written by Lilly to her daughter which are based sometimes 'too closely' on their most recent phone calls. The letters are often written in the kind of irrational way that seems to come naturally to most mothers when it comes to the lives of their children. Whether the letters are funny or serious, you will always find a 'message'.

Well hello stranger

How are you? It seems so long since I heard from you and I know that when time is critical some things like mothers have to be bumped off the list. What with 7 billable hours a day, plus your training, networking, charity work, eating, housework, shopping, the gym and not to mention your social life, it doesn't given you much time to even sleep, does it?

Don't feel bad. I know you will contact if there is an emergency (um like this phone call about the fire). I'm always here for life's big questions. Like if Gary the gregarious, gorgeous hairdresser stuffs up your latest colour or you don't quite know what you are going to wear with your hot pink satin pumps with the emerald green bows (in fact don't ever ask me that because there really is no answer to that question). It's just that I am not that good with real emergencies particularly when your kitchen is on fire and I am 6 hours away.

I know it was because you were multi-tasking.


Cooking, applying makeup, talking on the phone, text messaging, one eye on the TV and riding your exercise bike.

I have been trying to make the best use of my time too! And there is no easy answer. It seems we all have to multi-task and risk it all going up in flames.


It all started when someone told me that you only need to spend an hour a day, every day for a year to write a book. I have always wanted to do that...one day. So, I marked that into my daily plan.

Then there is my blog but apparently I can't spend anymore than one hour a day online otherwise I am branded a social misfit.

Then I also read that a really determined person needs to spend just half an hour a day to achieve a firm butt and flat stomach. So I have scheduled t
hat before the book writing and after the blogging because I had to prioritise and I am not sure how many firm butted authors there are out there (and everyone needs marketing leverage anyway they can get it if they are low on talent).

Then, as you know, I have been going through the whole organic diet experience. You know, trying to go back to basics and live like Hal and Liz did in the depression. Apparently I only need to spend 15 minutes a day looking after chickens and voila, I will have a fresh supply of eggs. Then, I need to spend another 30 minutes a day on the vegetable garden to produce a bountiful spread (and unfortunately another 15 minutes just to get the gardening boots on) .

So, now I am up to 4 hours already.

Now, you probably remember my IQ score. The one which showed my logic ability was almost non existent? Well, I found out that meditation for about 20 minutes a day increases the size of your brain and gives you a 30% increase in your IQ. So I had to weigh that up - what comes first the flat stomach or the bigger brain and the possibility of joining MENSA?


Then there is the whole environmental issue which is weighing heavily on us all. So I am walking more and saving on fuel. So that adds another 40-60 minutes a day.

Then, I also want to continue learning new things and doing my hobbies. So there goes another hour a day.

Then it takes me 15 minutes to write my daily schedule.

So now I am up to 6 hours.

And I haven't even added my family, business, work, friends.............not to mention your emergencies....

I feel stressed.

I need to cut my commitments down because there truly isn't enough hours in the day. I turned to my best friend....the big G.

I asked Google about what "just an hour a day" means. There are 219,000,000 web pages, all full of advice. In just one hour a day I can be fit, rich, look ten years younger, learn the flute and have a working knowledge of Spanish. Spend the hour "in selfless service" and I can change the world. Spend it listening to Bach and I can increase my mathematical abilities and radically lower my blood pressure. It now needs lowering.

All this pressure is making me panic. How to choose between learning Spanish, blogging and saving the world? Between "infusing myself with inspirational thoughts" and achieving a working knowledge of organic gardening?

Maybe I need a shorter time frame, just to fit it all in. I changed my Google search to "just 30 minutes a day". This time I got 128,000,000 web pages. In just 30 minutes a day I can make $7000 a month, become familiar with past life regression, learn to paint and be fluent in Zulu.

The shorter time frame seems a good idea. I narrow it again, to "just 10 minutes a day" and have now got 30,300 pages of advice. In just 10 minutes a day I can read Jane Austen's complete works, learn conversational Italian and become a pole dancer.

"Five minutes a day" is even better. In that time-frame I can develop a beautiful bust and become closer to God and make bread.

It comes to 65 hours a day of constant activity, not including sleep, work or eating. But I will have rock-firm abs, look younger, be fluent in six languages and have a regular supply of eggs.

That's the trouble with this sort of relentless advice. Everyone talks as if you are stupid if you don't meditate, do yoga, walk for 20 minutes and read all instructions carefully before use. You're also meant to check the batteries in your fire alarm, form meaningful relationships with your neighbours (who has time for family), make soup from scratch and save the world in Brangelina style.

If we did everything demanded of us, we'd need 300 hours in every day, would never be able to sleep or work and would still wake up every morning with this vague feeling of guilt and underachievement.

I am so confused, guilty and weary that I want to do precisely nothing........yes, I totally get why I don't appear on your list. Truly a smoke signal every now and then is truly ok! Then again, you tried that this week ....um, just ring when you get the chance....

Love

Your Mother

PS And now I have wasted 7 more minutes of your time by reading this.....and no doubt another 30 minutes while you correct my grammar.....oops sorry....




Thursday, 3 July 2008

If we can talk to Animals why can't we talk to Spirits?

hello
You know there are just some things in life that you are better off not talking about unless the person you are speaking with is on the 'same wavelength'.

Take clairvoyants for instance.

I met up with a friend today. As we were having coffee we got onto the subject of clairvoyants. He said, "mediums pretend to contact the spirit world to con you out of money and clairvoyants pretend to see the future to con you out of money." He then said, "in fact, it's way more likely that the tax accountant was sent to you by your late Aunty Mary".

I just smiled. You see I am one of those people who definitely believes in the paranormal and the ability of some people to be able to communicate with the dead. Like every profession there are good ones and bad ones. However, there is just no point in debating the issue. Because you are either on one end of the spectrum or the other when it comes to 'believing'. And it kind of depends if you have ever had a clairvoyant 'experience' or not.

I have had the pleasure of meeting three very, very good clairvoyants. My first meeting with two of these clairvoyants was in a social setting. Simply because they were both working in the same building I was. We used to talk about them in our design studio, giggling and umming and ahhing about their abilities. In fact, whenever I saw one of them, I would never make eye contact, just in case they could see something........I didn't want them to see....

Eventually, like most of the people I worked with, I went to see both of them.

First, there was Angie. She is gorgeous. I was expecting to see a crystal ball and was a bit disappointed. I have actually seen her two times, four years apart. Both times she told me that my spirit guides is my paternal grandmother. In fact all three clairvoyants I have seen have said the same about the spirits closest to me.

She used photographs to do my reading. She was spot on without question. And I was very careful not to give too many details away.

The second clairvoyant used tarot cards. She told me more about the future so much so I disregarded what she had to say. She told me about a sister who was going to move her family overseas (which happened within months) and that I would move overseas (when I had no intention of doing so).

The third clairvoyant I had contact with was a guy in Scotland. I was running Girl's Nights Out at a club and wanted a 'good' clairvoyant as part of the entertainment. I was sitting down on a lounge when he walked in. His first words were, "your grandmother wants to know how your ankle is?" I had boots on so it's not like he could even see my ankle. I had been in a bus accident some time before and was having trouble with my ankle. He then went on to say that I should be careful of my bracelet as the safety chain was faulty and I would lose it if I wasn't careful (yes he was right and I knew it but there is no way he could have). He then told me my grandmother was laughing at all the trouble I was having with locks. It was true and was something that drove my then partner crazy. For some reason, every door I tried to open I had trouble with the keys. He then said that my grandmother said hello to my sister and named her. He was good. Really good. I went back to see him later for a personal reading because I was so impressed. He then dragged some guy out of the family tree whose name was Ferdinand - an unlikely name in Scotland. But with a German great grandfather with that name it wasn't so unusual for me and he described him to a T.

I don't take what they said as gospel but the ones I have seen have been spot on about many things. I have kept the tapes and from time to time will listen to them just to remind me.

They have all given me future predictions about my life and those closest to me. If it happens it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't. We can all change our futures. Although, I have to be honest and say that every time my daughter tells me she has met a guy I ask her "is his name Marc and is he four years older than you and does he have a job where he travels a lot and has he got a brother?" She just groans.....

Meeting all three clairvoyants really just made me feel more convinced that our spirits live on. That makes me feel more relaxed about death and means I talk to Elizabeth (my grandmother) far more than I may have once done (don't worry I only do that when I am on my own and no, she never answers me back).

Oh, and while I am at it, if you happen to know a man whose initials are either RC or CR let me know.......

What about you, are you a believer and have you had any experiences with a medium or clairvoyant?


Picture - me and the spirits.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Carrie & Co

why I love them



I must have been one of the last females on the planet to see the Sex and the City Movie. I loved the TV series so much I was a little worried that the movie may not live up to my expectations.

I was with the girls all the way from when the series started in 1998, even though I often thought their romantic choices were often misguided, obviously wrong, spiritually and psychologically clueless, superficial, selfish, and jaded. Pretty much like most of my own come to think of it.

Sex And The City is like a snapshot in time, an inviting, elusive moment when we felt we could conquer the world. It's hard to hang onto that innocence when our waistlines are fattening faster than the price tag on a barrel of oil but if Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha teach us anything, it is that behind the madness, the tears and the laughter, it is friendship, and little else, that endures.

STC on the big screen is a fairytale for the consumer generation. A sort of Cinderella where the heroine wears Vivienne Westwood, it runs the gamut of emotions, from frivolous whimsy to gut-punching heartbreak, yet still delivers something more honest than anything Hollywood has cranked out in recent memory.

In the end, I loved it because fewer things in life are more pleasurable than friends, good laughter and walking down a windy, wet New York-esque street in heels for a late-night Chinese meal. The entire show is about the consistency of friendship. You fight, work it out, offer support, drive each other nuts, and always come back together.

More importantly there were so many key relationship lessons to go through before finding the key. I loved these words from Carrie, after she has gone back home to New York, to herself, her friends, and her Big love: "...the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous."

This truly was a show that influenced a couple of generations.

Something tells me it won't be the last time we see the girls. That kind of makes me happy.

Drawing of Carrie - my own