Bucket List……

The number 1 item in my Bucket List is Hot Air Ballooning.

Number 1 Completed!!!!!!

I watch hot air balloons in the sky practically every morning when I am home in Melbourne.  Well, last year for my birthday I had received a ticket for a Hot Air Ballooning adventure and I finally went up…up and away over Melbourne.

I was a little apprehensive but extremely excited about going up in a balloon.  It was a magical and serene (except when the heaters went on) experience just floating over my beautiful city of Melbourne.  There was nothing scary about the take off, flight or landing, thanks to our pilot Peter and crew.   Just gently gliding with the breeze….there is no breeze up there because you become one with the breeze and all you have to do is behold the spectacular 360° vista of breathtaking views.

I thought I knew my city well, however it was so easy to get disoriented looking at the sprawling city below.  Except for the prominent notable land marks which were easily recognised, the city looked so different from up there (altitude of approx. 2000).  The rowers on the Yarra River looked like centipedes and the houses in the suburbs were perfect little boxes.  The most surreal of sights was floating over the golf course; it was like an abstract painting.  Absolutely beautiful with all different shapes and shades of green engulfing the odd kidney shaped pool of cream.

Extremely grateful to my children for the experience and finally getting number 1 off my bucket list.  I would do it again in a heart beat 🙂

Until next time,

Laugh, Love & Live!

AlexE

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Writing, good for the soul!

It feels so good to start blogging again; during my long silence I had forgotten why I had started blogging in the first place.  Blogging gives you the opportunity to express yourself and analyse your thoughts and experiences.  When I first started blogging a year ago I had ran into a post by OnTechies “Blog more.  It is good for your health” and it still rings true today.

I never considered myself as a writer, artistic maybe but never a writer (well blogger).  I think that I am slightly dyslexic, thank god for computers and spell check!  However I find that once I start putting a thought to word, the words just pour out.  They are just my thoughts and other people might not appreciate them as much as I do, however I find it exhilarating to get my thoughts out on paper (metaphorically speaking).

More importantly you can write anywhere and express your feelings, insights and learning’s.  With the internet and a blog you have an infinite audience, but it’s not about how many hits you get for your blog, although it is a great feeling others want to read your blog, it’s about the release of your thoughts.

I find it therapeutic and it helps me organise my thoughts, feelings and emotions and sometimes reveal a different perspective on things.  Well it works for me anyway.

I shall leave you with a couple of quotes to contemplate :-)

If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad. ~Lord Byron

What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind. ~Buddha (563 BC-483 BC) Founder of Buddhism.

Until next time,

Laugh, Love & Live!

AlexE

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Solitude

Solitude……

Well it has been awhile since my last blog…. seemed to have taken a side step from cyber space and the world of blogdom.  I had thrown myself into work (earning that dollar) and keeping other people happy.  Well I am back to where I had started; trying to work out what will make me truly happy.  I am not unhappy, however there is something missing.

That’s the enigma of life, what will make you happy.  I know that I am not the only one with this conundrum.  If you google “What is Happiness” you will get about 403,000,000 results. That’s a lot of information on the subject of Happiness.   “The Pursuit of Happiness” site informs me that there are 7 Habits of Happy People ; Relationships, Caring, Exercise, Flow, Spiritual Engagement and Meaning, Strengths and Virtues, Positive Thinking: Optimism and Gratitude.

I have great Relationships with family and friends; I believe I am a very Caring person; Exercise, well I get a lot of exercise around the house, however I have recently joined a gym; Flow, I have been deeply involved in trying to reach my goals and am succeeding, maybe not as fast as I would like in some areas but that is life; Spiritual Engagement and Meaning, I consider myself a spiritual person; I have Strengths and Virtues and I am the eternal Optimist and Grateful for all that I have and yet I am stuck in my conundrum.

My daughters are planning a trip to India and flipping through their brochure on India I came across the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan which was described as a peaceful haven with a carefree lifestyle, where Gross National Happiness is deemed more important than Gross National Product.  Sounds like heaven, yet the country does not appear in any of the Rankings of the Worlds Happiest Countries.  It appears that the world’s fascination with the Happiness Rankings of a country is centered on the GDP of a nation and not the actual state of happiness of the inhabitants.

The Forbes site has a slide show of the world’s happiest and saddest countries and there are some very sad countries in the world battling with their own adversities, however there were a couple of captions against pictures of two countries that caught my eye.  Senegal, ranked as 92 in the Legatum Prosperity Index and one of the 20 saddest countries in the slide show, the caption quoted: “Literacy rate at 50%, per capita GDP is $1,900. Only 55% have mobile phones”.  What a sad place to live in, only 55% have mobile phones!  Or what about Nepal, ranked as 93 in the Legatum Prosperity Index and also one of the saddest 20 countries, the caption quoted there was: “No basis for economic growth; very little internet connectivity, yet 96% feel hard work will pay off”.  Very little internet connectivity, now that is a truly sad country.  No points for the 96% that are positive and feel that hard work will pay off!

Not all Happiness and Prosperity Index’s are equal.  The Happy Planet Index (HPI) ranked Costa Rica as number one and more surprisingly Nicaragua (according to the U.S. Department of State is second-poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere) also ranked high in the HPI Index.  So does financial prosperity equal happiness?  No, however in the developed countries it does give you a better lifestyle in regard to Medical services, housing and security.

Reflecting on time gone past and oh how life was so simple then.  The reality is, that life was just as challenging then as it is now.  The only difference is that we have managed to jump those hurdles in the past and moved forward; hence on reflection it all seems so simple.

I am stuck in my solitude, not knowing which door to open.  Some people may consider my solitude as depression and in some ways it is, but there is no hopelessness, just the apprehension of opening that door; the right door, the door that will lead to happiness.  And the question arises again…… what will make me happy?  It’s not easy being truly honest with oneself, I guess because you know that there are consequences to any path that you take.

Maybe my biggest challenge is to overcome trying to keep everyone happy because in the end there is always a looser, no matter which path you take.  Or maybe it is just to accept that there is always a loss and that’s the only way life can move forward……. hmmm

My solitude reminds me of an old joke:-

How do you confuse an Irishman?  Put him in a barrel and tell him to piss in the corner!  LOL  (Sorry Irish :-))

Until next time,

Laugh, Love & Live!

AlexE

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Oh WOW!….Kate and Will

I can’t say I am a royalist, but wasn’t the Royal Wedding of Catherine and William spectacular.  I was glued to the TV through the whole wedding broadcast.  A real fairy tale come true and every little girls dream, well maybe not every little girls.  You know what I mean.   Well I guess after a string of failed marriages within the royal family, they have moved into the 21st century and approve the second in line to the throne to marry for love and a commoner at that.  And in love they did look, in the very public and grand ceremony.

Catherine Middleton looked absolutely amazing in her wedding gown, which was modern, feminine and traditional at the same time with the full skirt and train; absolutely timeless elegance and well chosen by Catherine.  I assume a reflection of who she is and the kind of princess she will be.  Most likened her gown and styled elegance to Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco on her wedding day.

There is something to be said about men in uniform, no matter who it is, put them in a uniform and they always look dashing.  Prince William did not disappoint us in his red Irish Guards colonel uniform.  He was absolutely dashing and handsome in the red uniform, which contrasted beautifully with Kate’s ivory wedding gown.  They looked every bit like a young couple in love on their wedding day.  You could see by Kate’s reaction (Oh wow!) as she stepped out on the royal balcony at Buckingham Palace that she was taken aback by the massive gathering of well wishers to their union.

A massive estimated million people lined the procession route from Westminster Abbey and gathered outside Buckingham Palace and they say about 2 billion people tuned into the live broadcast, I know I did.  A very popular couple among the Brits and it seems the world.  I am sure the monarchy are viewing this union as a step into the 21st century and back in favour with the British public.

Long live William and Catherine! I hope that this royal couple will live happily ever after, just like a fairy tale 🙂

Until next time,

Laugh, Love & Live!

AlexE

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Reclaimed!!!

In my last blog I mentioned that I was off to prune my Oleander.  Well I have reclaimed my view…… shame I can’t do anything about the street light or the ugly university building that recently went up and claimed half my city view!

I under estimated the task at hand, which is not unusual for me.  You’d think I would learn by now!  But then again, if I knew that it would take me a couple of days to clear it, I might not have started it in the first place and then I would have missed out on my view, which I think is spectacular.  Should have snapped a pic with the hot air balloons!  Then again it was a bit foggy this morning and it would not have been a great shot.  Hot Air Balloon business is doing well in Melbourne; I see a minimum of 4 balloons almost each day.  There were 5 balloons out this morning that I could see.  It’s in my bucket list of things to do before I die 🙂

Now I have my view and the garden has benefited from the mulch.  And there was a lot of mulch; I could not believe how many branches there were.  Sadly the Oleander does not look so great at the moment.  Never mind it will bounce back, it always does.  It is a pretty hardy plant and pretty when it is in bloom……easily puts out a display for 4 months of the year.  My shrub, or should I say tree now,  is easily over 40 years old and still growing strong.

Off to find something else to do and there always is.  Oh the joys of home ownership. 

Until next time,

Laugh, Love & Live!

AlexE

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The joys of the internet!

Back home for a long Easter break, I decided that the house needed some tidying up, especially the garden.  The tribe are great at living in the house but alas not so great at maintenance.  Since I shall be working interstate and only back for short visits I decided that now is the time for a major garden overhaul!  This meant some pruning of large shrubs around the house.

Not one to do research on the topic of pruning normally, usually I just jump straight into it, however as I have the internet and I thought I should research when is the best time to prune.  Well my head is spinning……wrong time zone, wrong location, but I pretty much worked out that now is not the best time to prune.  Bugger!!!!  But I did find out that I can prune the Oleander now 🙂  …….which is the one that I wanted to prune the most, as it’s blocking my view of the city and overhanging the drive.

In my quest for knowledge on pruning I ran into this forum ‘The Tree World’.  Reading through the posts on pruning elms I ran into a gem of a post by ‘derwoodii’.  Assuming the querent Kay was a newbie to OZ, ‘derwoodii’ proceeded to give Kay a fabulous exposé on ……fast lessons about OZ…. WE ARE ONE …. http://www.treeworld.info/f2/pruning-elms-18536.html   Nothing to do with pruning trees and definitely worth a read and a laugh!  The joys of the internet…..it’s just full of such gems!

Well I am off to prune my Oleander!!!

Until next time,

Laugh, Love & Live!

AlexE

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WOW it’s been awhile!

Wow it’s been awhile since my last blog!

New job, new state!  Currently in sunny Brisbane, or should I say BrisVagas!  Originally coined by southerners like me to reflect the lack of night life in the city, however the city is changing with the influx of overseas students and the boom in the resource industry in Queensland…….. a nice escape from the impending cold of Melbourne  🙂 

Arriving in Brisbane, I was pleasantly surprised to see how the city has recovered from the devastating floods in January.  There is a lot of construction work around the place, but nothing to really indicate what the city endured during the floods.  Looks more like a growing and progressive city, which it is!

It just goes to show how resilient people are in times of adversity.  It is like that in life and I always say “If there is a will, there is a way!”

Anyway BrisVagas is just a stepping stone for me, induction and training only.  I am off to Gladstone to work and play!  I think I shall have to create my own play there!  LOL

Still it will be warm and better still……… I shall have time to blog! 

Until next time,

Laugh, Love & Live!

AlexE

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