A Brief City Escape

For today’s DID I spent the night in a different bed!

Before the rumours start. Let me explain.

Chris was chosen as part of a selective team from ANZ that was invited to attend the Google for Education Trainer Network. I think their focus will be on Google Earth. Part of this involves bringing people physically together. So, he was invited to come into town and stay with them at the funky Ovolo Hotel in Darling Harbour for a couple of nights.

Given how much my husband travels and that I’ll be gone for a month soon, I wanted to minimise the time we’re apart. So, I joined him at the hotel.

I didn’t take him away from his work commitments or the social ones either. In fact, I didn’t even tag along on their evening out.

What I did instead was get to experience a fabulous little hotel with a refreshing and vibrant personality. The Ovolo offers a free in-room mini bar, free and fast wifi, a direct email to the CEO for feedback, a free happy hour with drinks and snacks, iPads in the rooms, and the most hospitable and friendly staff I’ve seen in Sydney. And this is all located in an old woodshed building with an inviting urban decor. You can almost feel the history emanating from the exposed brick throughout the building.

See for yourself.

And, the hotel’s location placed me within walking distance of a few VIVID precincts –  Darling Harbour, Tumbalong Park and Barangaroo.

So, for today’s DID I seized the opportunity that presented itself, spent the night with my husband (well sort of – he joined his tribe, I racked up over 17,000 steps on my FitBit) and got to explore the colourful display that is VIVID.

Here’s a sampling.

But, seriously, if you’re in Sydney – get out there and see VIVID for yourself!


Fresh Without The Plastic


For today’s DID I changed up my usual grocery shopping habits. Like most people in Australia, I do most of my shopping at one or both of the major grocery chains – Woolies or Coles, with a dash of Aldi’s on the side.

The produce selection there is okay, the quality is okay, and the prices are okay, but quite often I am turned off by just how much plastic and packaging these chains use in the selling of fruits and vegetables, that, let’s face it, come in their own packaging.

So, today we ventured out to Paddy’s Flemington market to get ourselves some fresher, better quality, cheaper pricIMG_7511ed and less packaged fruits and vegetables for our weekly shop.

The market atmosphere, the freshness of the produce and the vast quantity and selection were just what we were after. We came home with a colourful variety of tasty treats, most with no additional packaging with the exception of two small plastic bags.

They say eating colourful is eating healthy, so healthy it is!

VIVID – Round 1


This year VIVID isn’t going to sneak up on me. My DID for VIVID this year is that I’m taking a planned approach to seeing as much of it as possible.

This year I’m going to visit the bright and colourful installations all around the city.

This year I’m going to see the VIVID lights at least three times

This year I’m even going to take my “real” camera to capture some of her beauty.

This was our first visit to the festival this year. As we did last year, we met up with friends Rhys and Effie and went for a stroll around the Circular Quay area. When making the choice between Thr Rocks and The Botanic Gardens, we chose the latter and then carried on to Martin Place as well. Followed by a stop to a colourful little place called Baxter’s.

What did we see – VIVID colours, VIVID installations and lots and lots of people enjoying it and taking lots of VIVID photos like these https://goo.gl/photos/UsY2KKQnJxKzyEXt7

Can’t wait for round two!


Kate’s Home And Away

We’ve heard her sing. We’ve seen her in countless live performances on stage, but today we had the pleasure of seeing our WAAPA grad on our very own television screen.

Today’s DID was a tad surreal. It was definitely different watching Kate’s debut appearance on the long running, true blue, Aussie night time soap opera, Home and Away!

Yep, that’s right, we watched a member of the family act her way into the lounge rooms of Australia.

Kate played Rebecca, a young, coquettish new love interest who spent just enough time with VJ to help him come to an important realisation.

We are all so proud of Kate’s success. Since she graduated, she’s had a role in the documentary “Is Australia Racist?”, her two episode appearance on Home and Away, a small role in an Australian action biopic, In Like Flynn, and she’s just landed a role in a stage production for young people that starts rehearsals next week.

Well done Kate Betcher, well done! With Kate’s skills and tenacity, we’re pretty sure she’s going to do great things! And if you want to keep an eye on what they are, you can find her on IMDB, right here!


A Wee Surprise

I have an elderly neighbour who I speak with from time to time while I’m out walking Buzz.

She lives alone and I suspect doesn’t get many visitors and family seems to live a distance away.

I learned a few days ago that she’s going in for knee surgery. I was going to drive her but it conflicts with a prior commitment.

Today I was up early and I got dressed, put Buzzie’s lead on him and we both went to her place and left her a wee gift that I hope helps to make her hospital stay a little better.

So, today’s doing it different is just that, leaving a small surprise gift that should come in handy. I hope she is thrilled and that it helps to make her day.

What I left for her was one of the handy little personal amenity bags they give you on Hawaiian Airlines – they’re filled with helpful things like an eye mask, ear plugs, moisturiser, a comb, etc..  and I added a lip balm (don’t know about you but I always find hospitals very dry).

So there, DID is done and it’s only 8:15 am!

Stop, Reflect, Ponder, and Plan…

IMG_7260Today I was very reflective. I spent a great deal of time pondering change, taking stock, looking to the future. I thought about what I want for myself, what I want in my relationships, from my career, family, hobbies, health, and what I want the next phase of my life to look like.

I thought about what I want for myself, what I want in my relationships, from my career, family, hobbies, health, and what I want the next phase of my life to look like.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not horribly unhappy, but I do see some real opportunity for growth, change, and improvement.

So, today, I had a sort of reckoning and made some decisions on how I will build a better life for myself and for those I care about. I see some changes coming. Some small, yet some far more challenging than others.

But, I do believe that you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. Most of us may well just glide through life rarely reflecting or taking stock, just remaining very comfortable with status quo.  But, there are some days, when through the influence of events, circumstances, or calendar dates, you stop, reflect, ponder, and plan for the future.

That was my DID for today. I  did all four and I feel good about what lies ahead.

I will take steps, some teeny tiny ones, some massive leaps, toward being a better me, creating a better life, and realising the wonderful future that I envision for myself. I will accept the challenges I have set for myself because, in my opinion, there is no more important a person to answer to.

Tell me, when was the last time you stopped, reflected, pondered, and planned? Are you do?

Canadians with Canadians


Today I enjoyed a bit of Canada right here in Oz.

We were invited out for a backyard bonfire. When we went looking for bevvies we scanned the beer aisle, when what to my wondering eyes did appear? But a familiar maple leaf on a six pack of beer.

So today’s DID was enjoying a few Canadians with a few Canadians. (Okay and a few Aussies, an American, an Irishman, and a Brit. Sounds like the start of a joke…)