Wednesday 3 April 2024

Tribute to Beryl Florence Cameron

My dear beloved Mum passed away in her sleep on 25 January 2024 at the age of 101 years, 9 months and 20 days. 05/03/1922 - 25/01/2024.

What a wonderful long life she had, an inspiration to all who knew her, generous in everyway, who will be loved forever and never forgotten.

My brother-in-law found a poem that blew me away, written by Linda Ellis called THE DASH.

Between the time we are born and the time we die, there lies a dash of events that sum up our life. According the Linda Ellis, this dash represents our whole life.

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
from the the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth
and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own --
the cars...the house...the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what's true and real,
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more,
and love the people in our lives
like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
with your life's actions to rehash,
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?

Mum and I at the Kirribilli Club in Sydney celebrating her 101st birthday in March 2023.


Saturday 2 December 2023

Use it or Lose it.

Use it or lose it, they say!
Usually the slogan refers to memory or frequent flyer points but the same applies to vocabulary, too.

Maybe you learnt a word last week - let's call it "farkle" - and unless you use farkle in a sentence pretty soon then the same word is likely to melt into oblivion.

Let's pretend farkle means to pick up an object with your toes. Anglers at low tide can be nifty farklers of buried pipi shells, just as anyone who's gathered a sock off the floor has been known to indulge in farkling.

That's the problem with acquiring strange words. Unless we use them, then the farkles of this world will only grow stranger to us.

According to different sources on the web this is what I learnt about farkle:

"Motorcycle enthusiasts may install accessories, called farkles (also spelled farkel), to customize their machine. The term Farkle apparently originated among the ST1100 riders. It is an acronym:"

F ancy
A ccessory
R eally
K ool &
L ikely
E xpensive

"Always and never are two words you should always remember never to use."
~~ Wendell Johnson

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Australia 2022

Wednesday 14 June 2023

Shine on and Flourish

Like plants, to some degree, all of us struggle or flourish according to where we are positioned. Our lives can be hard or easy depending on where the pot is placed. 

Most of us, I think, have had this experience: behaving quite differently according to the people in the room at the time. With some people we feel in perpetual shadow; with others, the sunlight seems to angle in and we are aglow.

With one friend you feel as if you are quite intelligent, discussing erudite issues of politics or literature. You are witty, insightful; the right phrase springs into your mouth at the right time. The very next night, in the company of someone else, you feel dumb and boring. Anxiety or insecurity grips so strongly that the right word, the witty phrase, can never fight its way through to the surface.

I've been thinking about the subtleties of positioning - how the sunlight can hit us when we are standing on this spot, but not in this other spot.

Why, then, don't we strive harder to move into the sun? 

Why don't we spend more time with those who bring out our best selves, and less with those who bring a nuclear winter? Perhaps we could all send out the mental note: ''Paul Whatchamacallit, I know I'm booked in for a barbecue with you on Saturday week but suddenly I find that I am busy. I'm off to spend time with people who think I'm fabulous. And guess what? When I'm with them, I mostly prove them right.''

The best compliment you can pay someone is to say, ''I like the person I am when I'm with you''.
"Yeah we all shine on, like the moon, and the stars, and the sun."
~~ John Lennon - Instant Karma

Waratah Flower at Vivid Sydney Light Show 2017

Wednesday 22 March 2023

Acceptance - 2023

In reflecting and selecting my word for 2023, “Acceptance” felt like a natural choice. 

Accepting and meeting others where they are at.

Accepting and loving myself as I am.

Accepting a difficult reality.

Accepting a challenge.

Accepting help.

Accepting praise, feedback, and different points of view.

Accepting new opportunities. Deciding what one cannot - and will not - accept.

Acceptance isn’t about giving up, or surrendering. It’s about getting perspective, and making a decision that is best for you at that time.


Acceptance supports us in making good choices. When we get thrown a curveball, it helps us move forward towards new goals instead of getting stuck in muck of regret or disappointment. 

The longer I live, the more I’ve come to accept that things rarely go the way we imagine. While we may get blown off course from time to time, we may also end up somewhere more beautiful than we dared to dream.

"I think tolerance and acceptance and love is something that feeds every community."
~~ Lady Gaga

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Australia 2008

Sunday 13 November 2022

The Answer Maybe in the Question

Asking the right question in order to get ourselves thinking, really thinking - there is so much truth in this.

When we can ask that question, at the right moment, and that gives us clarity of direction, how powerful this can be in our lives.

These questions I found while surfing the web have no right or wrong answers, because sometimes asking the right questions is the answer.

1. How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?

2. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?

3. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

4. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?

5. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

6. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

7. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?

8. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?

9. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?

"I cannot stress enough that the answer to life's questions is often in people's faces.  Try putting your iPhones down once in a while, and look in people's faces.  People's faces will tell you amazing things, like if they are angry or nauseous or asleep"
~~ Amy Poehler

I took this photo in January 2011 when hiking with friends at Seal Cave, near Stoney Bay on the Banks Peninsula Track on the South Island of New Zealand. It would be a perfect spot to contemplate some of these questions.