Monday, 27 April 2015

Fiz's glass box

In the run up to Anzac Day I felt an element of unease about the commemorations. I decided not to attend any events but instead to quietly mark the day at home.

I was tired out by the time I got to bed Friday night and I was glad that I didn’t have to set the alarm for an early wakeup. I slept soundly. Then it was 4.37 am and I was wide awake with the words LEST WE FORGET booming in my mind. I thought what the heck: looks like I am going to the dawn service after all. And, naturally, I was thankful that I did.

It is our young people who do it for me. And praise to the organisers, especially Coolum-Peregian RSL president Bill Powell, who allow our young people a voice. It is wonderful, inspiring, reassuring to know there is such a brilliant crop of them. The high school students nailed it with their speeches brimming with thankfulness, respect, and inclusiveness. Who could not be touched by the innocence in the voices of the children’s choir; and the sometimes quavering last post by Harry in Year 6 was so deeply, deeply moving precisely because the rendition wasn’t perfect.

Later down at the beach for the oar salute, it came so strongly to me that what I have is life and I damned well better make the most of it!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Gorgeous woman making gorgeous things

I’m so happy to introduce you to an amazing bold woman, a friend since high school, who is never afraid to follow her heart and do the things that bring her joy.  She told me she loves being creative and never hesitates to put any new skills into practice.  Today I heard about the woman behind Sanchay Jewellery and discovered what inspired her to become a silversmith, creating unique pieces using quality gold and silver.   She designs and crafts exclusive jewellery (no two pieces the same) from her Caloundra studio and has customers from Melbourne to Cairns and as far away as Europe.  Introducing Linda Jones and Sanchay Jewellery:

1.  Linda, where have you come from? – I grew up in Strathpine and attended Pine Rivers State School and then Pine Rivers State High School.  From an early age I had a love of fashion and style. In contrast to the ‘in’ fashion and what my friends were wearing at the time, I entered a modelling competition dressed in black gaucho pants, yellow shirt, black boots and a black sombrero hat.  It was 1972 and I was 15 - I won the competition - a Vicki Keo deportment and modelling course.  At the same time I was offered a hairdressing apprenticeship and chose that over modelling.  Not pursuing a modelling career didn’t really bother me at the time because my generation was focused on getting a job and setting ourselves up for our future and, to be honest, hairdressing appealed to me more.  I started my apprenticeship at the Lawnton Beauty Salon, owned and run by Phyllis McNamara.  I had already been working for her as a tea and tidy on the weekends and school holidays and loved the industry so it really wasn’t a hard decision to make. 
2. A bold question - how old are you?  I am 57 years bold, have experienced a lot of  things, gained a lot of knowledge and believe it or not have ticked off my bucket list, achieving everything I wanted to do.  I am enjoying life – sharing with my husband, lovingly ‘putting up’ with four very special little people (grandchildren) and filling my days being creative, hairdressing, making jewellery, and my new love… befriending the native birds that come to feed on my back deck. I have at least nine king parrots, lost count of the lorikeets as well as a beautiful pair of pale-faced rosellas visit daily.  I also feed the kookaburras by hand.  I have a real connection with the birds.  My friends call me the bird lady – I’m happy with that.   
Feeding the kookaburras off my back deck
3. When did you decide to change career and become a silversmith? When I finished with the café. I needed something to get me back on track, back to normality. I had the time then – I hadn’t had the time or energy before.
4. What has made you change directions in the past?  I have changed directions a number of times throughout my life - trying new things, but always in parallel to my hairdressing - I worked for five years with kinesiology and published two gluten free cookbooks.  My daughter had severe allergies and was gluten intolerant.  To help her and to ensure she didn’t miss out on eating a variety of foods, I developed gluten free recipes. Wanting to help others as well, I published these in a series of cook books.  
It was inevitable - my interest in food and creating recipes led me to setting up and running my own café.  Quickly I learnt how to cook, how to run a café and how to be a barista - and all at the same time.  We had the cafe for two and a half years and honestly, it nearly killed me.  After it was sold and still high on adrenalin from constantly running flat out, it took me months to get back to normal.  It had been ‘go, go, go’ for so long my body had forgotten how to relax.  To help wind down I decided to have one-on-one classes with a silversmith I had been introduced to through the cafe and I really enjoyed it.    And so I began learning the art of crafting jewellery and becoming a silversmith - the last thing on my bucket list.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Fiz on a Tuesday

It is great being with young people.  Their enthusiasm, optimism and recklessness rub off on me and I tend to forget just how old I really am.  And it is so good to have a man’s point of view. To see things from their perspective (interesting man’s view in Summer house with swimming pool by Herman Kock). Yet there is something ever so comforting and reassuring about chatting with other women of a certain age.

It is just nice to know that they too can’t wear high heels anymore (thrilled with my new flats – so, so comfortable );
that they wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep (my sister recommends hot milk with nutmeg. Reading something ‘worthwhile’ rather than ‘gripping’ generally works for me. Geoffrey Blainey’s The Story of Australia’s People got me back to sleep for weeks.); and not nice but nice to know that I am not the only one with eyebrow issues (mine were always dark and orderly; now they are running a muck. It’s the white hairs that are the unruly ones—I yank them out but then I worry that there will soon be gaps so every now and then I dye them, but not sure if I should keep doing this.)

Friday, 17 April 2015

Naz gets a call

An unexpected phone call, a name that vaguely stirred my memory; a person I had not thought of for forty six years!

There was a primary school reunion being organised for the grade seven students of the class of 1969.  I felt a flutter of excitement as I thought about reconnecting with the kids, (obviously now very much adults; mature oldish adults) who I had spent seven impressionable, happy, fun and at the same time, challenging and often scary years of my life.

On the end of the phone a voice not ever heard before but somehow familiar is inviting me to this event.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Fiz says: contribute to everyone's health—IMMUNISE!

Here’s me thinking I’ll write about nail polish or whether eyeshadow works on saggy eyelids and then Naz opens up the immunisation debate. I have been strongly pro-immunisation for decades so it is good to be confronted by the opposite view. Naz raised two important issues (a) childhood immunisation and (b) adult booster immunisation.

I checked out the websites links she gave. Two presented convincing arguments for immunisation backed up by quality research. One suggested vaccination might cause other unrelated harmful health conditions but did not provide any supporting back-up evidence. The other webpage was no longer available. I was re-assured by the weight of evidence that the benefits of immunisation far out-weighed any negatives.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Non immunisation needles some.

A controversial issue - immunise or not:  to take responsibility for your children’s health and confidently make one of the most important choices as a parent.  There is pressure from doctors, government, others and even family.   There is copious information, documented studies, research, statistics, reports and professional opinions – weighted evidence and reasons both for and against.  There is judgement, even threats, manipulation and ultimatums.

This provocative topic came up today over lunch with my mum and sister.  My mum, now seventy-six years of bold, lived through times when childhood diseases such as whooping cough, measles, mumps and polio were rife.  Fearful that she may be next, she watched helplessly as classmates and friends contracted polio.  She experienced their pain and suffering and the double-edged sword if they survived the disease – their struggle being left crippled – immobilised—locked into heavy, metal calipers and destined to endure years of cruel ridicule and teasing as they watched from the sidelines.  Their life and dreams restricted by a past illness.   

From our lunch conversation, I discovered how these memories invoke real fear in my Mum. 

Monday, 6 April 2015

Fiz: the kids aren't too bossy yet

Baking pikelets with a daughter sounds just the type of thing being bold is all about – because aren’t relationships the essential core of being?  And when they get tested as invariably happens, those precious connecting times offset the exasperation, annoyance and hurt that we may feel at other times.

And have my two children taken charge? Well not yet… is more like we are all independent —for the moment. Not that we don’t support and care for one another. It is just that I no longer feel that same degree of responsibility for their wellbeing and their actions. The hierarchy of mother-children has flattened. My son sometimes calls me ‘mother duck’ and I feel that they are now swimming beside me, rather than under my wings or following close behind.

I remember one writer describing her children as being ‘done’ in the sense of how a cake is ‘done’ when the cooking time is up. I feel my children are ‘done’. Extra cooking time will not improve them. I am just glad that they turned out so well.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

It's all about the love

Boldmag was never intended to feature recipes and baking; how to do the best Sunday roast or get the perfect rise on that sponge – you know, the one Granny used to make using her secret recipe that has been handed down through the generations.  The one that you are told in no uncertain terms never to share with anyone outside of the family or you may lose your life!   No, Fiz and I wanted this blog to provide information to help traverse our 50+ years, discuss things that inspire, share ideas, ask questions that provoke thought and debate and to ultimately encourage you to engage in our conversations; to have your say too, to offer your own unique wisdom and advice no matter what age you are. 

Today, however, I am guilty of contravening our intention and want to share an experience that involved the kitchen, food, a recipe and some family love—one that made my heart sing and one that I absolutely reveled in—I baked pikelets with my daughter and then, together, we devoured them shamelessly; calories, GI and sugar content—cautions thrown to the wind, all valid concerns parked for another day.

The last time we shared baking pikelets,