What I said in 2015

Fiz: Learning to BeOLD

Ever since I turned 60 almost four years ago, I have been trying to work out how to do it well. I am very conscious that, if life is a three-act play, this is the final act. And I want it to be a good one!

This final act may still encompass decades and if it does I want them to be interesting, vibrant decades filled with a sense of purpose and of course the two essential Ls: love and laughter. I want to build on my life experiences, hone my skills, explore new avenues; not close the door on life. And I want to do it with style—a style that is not trying to remain young or lapsing into a diminished oldness; rather a uniquely 60-something style where I am feeling good and looking good.

And so I am starting a blog where I plan to write about the challenges and pleasures of finding the best way to live as a single female in her 60s with modest finances. I hope that the act of writing will clarify things for me and keep me to my quest; and also that by sharing I might receive back from others about how best to tackle this somewhat tricky stage of life.

In many ways my life is unfolding quite happily. 

Hello oldsters

Think you might like this—take a look

Yes, it's about a male model who had his first catwalk experience at 79. His message is 'be the fiercest'.

Wishing you fierceness ...

Come and join the ultimate dance party with UBUNTU
– graduates from The African Children’s Choir!
This is a Zumba class not to be missed!
Enjoy a fun and invigorating workout at our Zumba Gold dance class, alongside 14 amazing young adults from the internationally renowned African Children’s Choir.
Zumba Gold is a ‘feel happy’ dance class combining high-energy and motivating music such as salsa, hip hop, swing and Bollywood, with modified low-impact moves and easy to follow choreography.
The session will leave you feeling totally inspired as not only do you get to groove to the music alongside these amazing young adults……….and boy can they move......but you also get the opportunity to contribute towards their continuing education in Uganda.
Where:   Tuesday 14 June
     Where:   Coolum Civic Centre
   Time:      5pm sharp – 6pm
                    Cost:       $15

Tell all your friends and let’s get this dance party happening!

Song for Helen
Well hello, Helen, should we tell, Helen
All you’ve done so far to reach these 70 years
Those early days in Dalby, farm and kids growing,
Nurtured talent that you share and show for all to see.
Master Chef, lover, great Moth-er, teacher,
Whipping cream and loving Pete from way back when.
And….golly gee fellas, it’s very plain to see fellas
She moulds dough with a grip to make your day.
Hello Helen, here’s to you, Helen
It’s so nice for us to share your special day
You’re looking fab Helen, we can’t wait Helen
To tell you, how much we love you and we wanna say
The joy you make Helen, when you bake Helen
Fills our hearts with warmth and always makes us smile
You look great baby, it’s time to celebrate lady
Helen don’t ever lose that smile …no way.
The joy you make, Helen , when you bake, Helen
Fills our hearts with warmth and always makes us smile
So………… that’s a wrap fellas find her an empty lap fellas
Helen don’t ever go away
Helen we hope you’ll always stay
So we can share more birthdays with you…………

Sung by the Friday Girls to the karaoke version of Hello Dolly

Noosa Women's Shelter fund raiser

Catch the feeling of female solidarity emanating from this video '1 Billion Rising Noosa 2016' by Tash Harkin

Poem written after my grandson's birth....

6:17 am 14 January 2004

Blood          pain
Fierce primeval energy
As he wrenches himself from his mother’s body

The top of his viscid dark head emerges
Miranda grips Blair’s shoulders as she squats
Her body
completely overtaken by his urgent need for birth
convulses awesomely as his head bursts out
dark violet blue
his features packed flat for the journey

One white shoulder slips out effortlessly
and he emerges fully
exhibiting his magnificent genitalia
and gangling legs

Still a terrifying blueish hue
he begins to cry
and his body becomes suffused with healthy pink

In one practised movement
the midwife raises him to Miranda’s arms
Exhausted she leans back against the half raised bed
And gently cradles him

My grandson has arrived

Late-life creativity

Desmond O'Neil

Major art museums around the world have woken up to the artistic bounty of the longevity dividend, hosting exhibitions of late Rembrandt, Sonia Delaunay, and Edvard Munch. It is increasingly clear that this artistry arises not despite old age, but because of it. This insight is of great importance to clinicians and society alike. By reframing old age in terms of potential rather than problems, it counters those who portray ageing in terms of unmanageable deficit and loss. Creativity also illuminates the complex interplay of growth, loss, and transcendence in later life.
Music provides rich material for analysis of late-life creativity, as explored in Four Last Songs: Aging and Creativity in Verdi, Strauss, Messiaen, and Britten. Linda and Michael Hutcheon's knowledge of music is expert and enlightening: the composition of the last operas of these composers unfolds as gripping narrative. By describing the processes, influences, and documentation surrounding the masterpieces from the eight and ninth decades of life—Falstaff by Giuseppe Verdi, Capriccio by Richard Strauss, and St François d'Assise by Olivier Messaien—they have provided wonderful material for reflection on the interaction between creativity and ageing. In each case we are aware that the creative impulses are not only undimmed with age but also open to radical change. The urge to leave an authentic musical testament to later generations is also evident.
From a gerontological perspective, the authors seem on less sure ground, sometimes Procrustean in their efforts to link a range of theories to the cases in hand or overlooking other manifestations of late creativity. These include Gioachino Rossini's subversiveSins of My Old Age and Petite Messe Solennelle, or Jean Sibelius' relief at letting go from composing two decades before his death—a useful counter to productivist theories of ageing. A false note arises from the inclusion of Benjamin Britten. Illnesses, rather than ageing, were the defining challenges facing him during the composition of Death in Venice, which he completed at age 59 years. Equating heart failure and stroke with premature ageing is a throwback to outdated failure models of ageing, and discordant with the narratives of the book's preceding chapters.
Nonetheless, Four Last Songs is a valuable resource on late-life creativity, preparing us for a world where we stand to gain enormously from our collective increase in lifespan. The authors' infectious and insightful enthusiasm should prompt readers to seek out performances and recordings of these great masterpieces, bringing the longevity dividend to life: as the Countess sings in Capriccio, words make music, and music sings.

Art and parasites? 

Check out the website below to read about an interesting project.

Gula Guri Mayim (Heal the bpdy) by Bernard Lee Singleton

Another grey matter!

Worth while reading this article by Alyson Walsh on accepting her grey hair.

Forever Young(er): potential age-defying effects of long-term meditation on gray matter atrophy
Eileen Luders, Nicholas Cherbuim, and Florian Kurth
Frontiers in Psychology 2015, vol 5, article 1551
Abstract: While overall life expectancy has been increasing, the human brain still begins deteriorating after the first two decades of life and continues degrading further with increasing age. Thus, techniques that diminish the negative impact of aging on the brain are desirable. Existing research, although scarce, suggests meditation to be an attractive candidate in the quest for an accessible and inexpensive, efficacious remedy. Here, we examined the link between age and cerebral gray matter re-analyzing a large sample (n = 100) of long-term meditators and control subjects aged between 24 and 77 years. When correlating global and local gray matter with age, we detected negative correlations within both controls and meditators, suggesting a decline over time. However, the slopes of the regression lines were steeper and the correlation coefficients were stronger in controls than in meditators. Moreover, the age-affected brain regions were much more extended in controls than in meditators, with significant group-by-age interactions in numerous clusters throughout the brain. Altogether, these findings seem to suggest less age-related gray matter atrophy in long-term meditation practitioners.

Donna Hay's molten peanut butter and chocolate fondant cakes

200g dark chocolate, chopped
100g unsalted butter, chopped
2 eggs
2 egg yolk, extra
½ cup (110g) caster (superfine) sugar
¼ cup (35g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
8 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
Cocoa, for dusting

Preheat 0ven to 200oC (400oF). Place the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Place the eggs, extra yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Spoon two-thirds of the mixture into 4 x 1 cup-capacity (250ml) well-greased dariole moulds. Spoon 2 tablespoons of peanut butter into the centre of each mould and spoon over the remaining chocolate mixture. Place the moulds on a baking tray and bake for 16–18 minutes or until puffed. Gently turn out the cakes immediately and dust with cocoa to serve. Makes 4.

+ Serve immediately to ensure they have a lovely, molten centre.

Donna Hay's molten peanut butter and chocolate fondant cake

Thought this was a neat summary of how to get things done--what do you think?

Books I read during the week

The best book was 'Stoner' by John Williams. Very American -- but because Williams writes about the fundamental elements of life it has universal appeal.
The other book was 'Leap' by Australian author Myfanwy Jones. It is very Melbourne and the main characters are youngster so it was interesting to read about love and grief from a young person's viewpoint.
Both books were worth reading and provided insights into how others manage life.

Under One Sky

The African Children's Choir Australian Tour 2015

Sunshine Coast 7 pm 20 June at Lake Kawana Community Centre

Contact Yvonne 0403 013 555

And if you are lucky enough to live in the area....


Want to meet and mix with the dynamic African Children's Choir whilst they
are here in Coolum? You have two fantastic opportunities where you can. On
Sunday June 21st at 2pm they are running a fun and interactive Public
Workshop at the Coolum Sate School where they'll teach you how to sing,
dance and drum Ugandan style.

Then on Tuesday 23rd June at 6pm they will be joining everyone for a special
Zumba Dance Party being held at the Coolum Civic Centre. Come and groove to
the music with the kids whilst raising funds for their long term education
programme!  DON'T MISS OUT ON THE FUN!!!

Workshop tickets buy online at:
<>   or purchase direct through Yvonne on 0403
013 555 <>  Tickets
$15 Child/Under 10 $2

Zumba Dance Party tickets buy at the door: $10 adults Children $8

More boots

Ignore the photo above but click on to the article as Alyson Walsh gives some good advice.

If you are feeling great it could be just your age!

The graph of the well being (WB) Ladder below shows that well being increases after the age of 50 years. The researchers found that: 'Stress and Anger steeply declined from the early 20s, Worry was elevated through middle age and then declined, and Sadness was essentially flat'.

Stone, A. A., Schwartz, J. E., Broderick, J. E., & Deaton, A. (2010). A snapshot of the age distribution of psychological well-being in the United States. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences107(22), 9985-9990.

Thanks to my friend Sam who emailed me this interesting piece of research.

Sweat shirts in style

Love it that clicked on the style site this morning and the heading was 'All hail, the essential sweatshirt' and I am wearing my old Bond's sloppy joe! Nice to know I am stylish as I beaver away on my computer today-- but what about the stretch black trackie pants mmmmmm

Article from The Age titled 'Age of Definace'  17 May 2015 that I have copied below. Apologies but I don't have a hyperlink and I haven't been able to show the photos.

Sarah Jane Adams wears Adidas Originals x Farm leggings, tee and windbreaker; a hand-made skirt using fabrics from Chiang Mai, Thailand; a hand-made belt of antique Afghani fabrics, beadwork and coins; Adidas Originals high-top sneakers.Photo: James BrickwoodChristine Barro wears navy Martin Grant trench coat with polka-dot lining and Lanvin crystal necklace. Bags by Anya Hindmarch. Photo: Damien PlemingJenny Bannister’s dress is made from eight recycled T-shirts and worn with a customised wetsuit jacket decorated with upcycled sardine cans, skateboard sliders, a coffee scoop and soft-drink bottle end. She wears 2 Baia Vista shoes from Zomp. Photo: Damien Pleming



Eclectic, bohemian hippie, urban rebel, punk rocker, anti-establishment. 
A Sydney jewellery designer and expert in antique Victorian jewellery, Adams recently moved to New York to launch her eponymous jewellery label.  This year she went viral on Instagram wearing a three-stripe Adidas tracksuit, which then featured on New Yorker Ari Seth Cohen's blog, Advanced Style. She uses the hashtag #mywrinklesaremystripes for other women in her age bracket to adopt. 
My style is a mixture of many different influences. First and foremost, style for me needs to be comfortable. I am menopausal and can't wear synthetic fabrics that make me itch or sweat.
I don't wear high heels – I always wear kicks. My style is practical and colourful. Each day I look outside the window, see what the weather is doing, and throw on what feels right. It is very different from one day to the next and always unpredictable.
I feel wonderful wearing no labels. I don't source my look; it finds me. I don't shop; I hate it with a passion. I don't like high street malls. Whether you're in Singapore or Sydney it's all the same – and for the brain-dead. I go to op shops, markets and don't buy very much. I am wearing Adidas at the moment because I love what they are doing, but I may not like what they're doing in two weeks' time. I love wearing handmade items with a beautiful finish. I also love wearing the pieces of clothing that have been with me the longest because they are very much a part of my identity. 
The jewellery items I treasure are four pendants I had made of my children's baby teeth. [Adams is the mother of twin daughters, now 25]. I had them mounted in 18-carat gold caps. When I travel I wear their teeth around my neck and an 18-carat gold dog tag with both their portraits lasered on either side – it's all worn out and you can hardly see it. 
My style rule is there are no rules. I am the mother of reinvention. 
You can never have too many quiet moments.
Fashion expresses little to me. I am anti-fashion.
My wardrobe is hanging open on my wall in my new base camp, breathing life again.
Shoes are not essential. 
The thing I will never wear again is my school uniform.
My style icons are Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Rotten and [designer] Vivienne Westwood. These people didn't have stylists, they just wore what they loved. They represent a time when I was growing up. In those days, if you wanted something unusual, you had to source it from markets and op shops. In order to find exotic and amazing things you had to look to other cultures and times in history. That has always been my inspiration. It made me the weirdo and antique dealer I am today.  
As I get older I get stronger.

Femme fatale, avant-garde modernism, statement jewellery.
A Melbourne boutique owner, Barro is known for her Flinders Lane accessories shop, Christine, which is full of sumptuous items hand-picked on international buying trips. She counts hat designer Philip Treacy as a friend.

Style is walking out the door wearing your pyjamas and nobody would know because you'd have a fabulous coat on. The garment is the canvas and the accessories are the three dimensional embellishment. I keep repainting a picture of me. Whether I layer with jewels or add a great scarf, it has to reflect my mood. I believe if you have a great pant you should always get two of them – one for a flat shoe and one for a pair of heels. 
I feel wonderful wearing a rich silk satin red swing coat by Toni Maticevski. It makes me feel fabulous. 
The jewellery item I treasure is a ring my husband Peter surprised me with for my birthday last year. He collaborated over eight months with jeweller Adrian Lewis. This amazing ring is in memory of our little boy and only child David, who we lost seven years ago. The ring looks like a bunch of black caviar with an antique white diamond in the middle. I treasure it as it holds special memories for us.
My style rules are: there should always be two points of contrast, never three, and knowing the placement of a jewel to frame the face.
You can never have too many coats. I have three I love that come to mind, including a short Anya Hindmarch bottle-green winged jacket, a Martin Grant navy three-quarter coat (pictured, previous page) and a Sonia Rykiel coat.
Fashion expresses many personalities and it depends on where you're going. When I go to the country I am all about Blundstones and Hard Yakka. You don't have to over-think fashion.  
My wardrobe is layered chaosThe designer jewellery has a section and I know where to go to dig for it. My pants have a section and maybe the coats and jackets do as well.
I feel wonderful wearing my Robert Clergerie shoes. They remind me of how comfortable I am on the inside. I glide around in silence and total comfort when I wear them. I cannot be a victim to tottering around in something that might give me a sore head. I want to operate and be in charge, not the shoe.
The thing I will never wear again is a short dress.
My style icon is Audrey Hepburn.
As I get older I am learning to control my intake of chocolate and it has been rewarding to the waistline.

Wild colour, upcycling, wearable art, kooky. 
A Melbourne fashion designer who launched her eponymous label in 1976 and retired five years ago, Bannister is known for creating iconic outfits (she dressed Kylie Minogue in the I Should Be So Lucky music clip). She was honoured in the Australia Post "Legends of Fashion" postage stamp series and the National Gallery of Victoria and Sydney's Powerhouse Museum have collected her work.
My style is all about being artistic. It's based on colour, shape, flattery and art. I hate fast fashion. I don't follow trends; they're common and boring. I'm an individual, and I am not scared to express myself. In fact, I get a hell of a buzz out of going out on a limb because it brings in other people
who are interested in the same sort of thing and it wipes out all the bland people who can go and sit in the corner like wallflowers.
I feel wonderful wearing things I have made myself that I have upcycled. I make dresses out of old T-shirts with slogans I sew together. I just made a jacket from wetsuit material with sardine cans attached and bits and pieces of plastic landfill that I make look artistic, sculptural and colourful (pictured, left). I am all about wearable art. I also bought Adidas track pants from [Melbourne boutique] Shag and unpicked them and turned them upside down to become a fabulous dress. I attached the sleeves of an old Joe Saba jumper – it's the best wool – and now have a stunning tunic dress. 
The jewellery items I treasure are pieces by Melbourne designer Lia Tabrah – I own a pair of earrings made from real baby-crocodile feet plated in 24-carat gold and a crocodile tail made into a big pendant coated in 24-carat gold.
My style rules are thinking about it yourself. It's about putting garments on your body to flatter you and make you attractive, but you can look outlandish and zany at the same time. You don't have to look like Coco Chanel, you can look outrageous and still look posh. You can never have too much black underwear.
Fashion expresses nothing at all. It's style that expresses your personality. You go into a shopping mall and the people all look like bogans to me. You should look in the mirror and check if your polyester skirt is climbing up your legs before you head out. Put some thought into your look or it can come across skanky. You don't need big bank accounts to know how to shop. 
My wardrobe is full of stuff. I have a few wardrobes because I live in two houses [one in St Kilda, the other down the coast at Aireys Inlet]. The one in Melbourne is full of really loud zany clothes I've had made or items I have bought from young labels like Discount Universe. I have another wardrobe with stuff I can't throw out, like my Jenny Kee hand-knitted jumpers and Linda Jackson hand-printed kaftans and all the hats I have collected over the years. My beach wardrobe is full of bikinis. I still wear them – I'm not a swimwear model but I don't care. I also have a heap of cotton muumuu's I made out of bright fabrics and can pop them on with my Minnie Mouse Birkenstock sandals and my plastic recycle earrings and be ready for a pub meal.
Shoes are there to make an outfit. They make or break the outfit. I can't stand a ballet flat with a bulge sticking out at the side. Nasty and cheap shoes and thongs are not on my Richter scale.  
The thing I will never wear again is skin-tight jeans – simply because they hurt my "Bollinger bump".
My style icon is English fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, in the late 1960s and early '70s. I also love [brewing heiress] Daphne Guinness for her eccentric sophistication and Vivienne Westwood for what she stands for as a woman. Marianne Faithfull and all those rock-chick girls with long blonde hair who might be 70 with wrinkles now and still smoking – I don't care, they're sexy and have an opinion and look a bit grubby and they aren't your pearl-and-twin sets. 

The Age , May 17, 2015

If you are into shoes.....

A work mate sent me this link

Fabulous out there designs referred to as architectural footwear; and kind of sweet that the brand's genesis was a bloke's broken heart and his attempt to woo back his girl.

Warta-looking age spot gone

The warty-looking age spot on my left temple that I referred to in Fiz confronts a vein thing (2 March) is no longer. It was so simple. I can't believe it was sitting there for about five years, and it only took a few minutes to whisk it off. My GP did it: a local anesthetic injection, 5 minutes wait for it to take effect, a few seconds of skillful scraping, and it was gone.

I did have a sticker covering it for two days but it was white so it blended with my hair (that's what I told myself anyway). I took that off yesterday and I can see that it is going to be just fine. Even if there is a bit of a white mark it wont have the witch/crone connotation of the warty-looking spot.

And to make it even sweeter, the doctor bulk-billed even though he normally charges for a consultation!

The morale of this tale is: it pays to investigate unwanted skin formations because -- besides checking for cancer --removal may be quick and painless (physically and financially).

Treat yourself to a bit of New York style with Bill Cunningham!

I pinched this from the 'That's not my age' blog site - click on the video link to the new Prada video to see a bit of boldness!

Congratulations to Emily Bitto for winning the 2015 Stella prize with her first novel The Strays

The Stella prize is named after iconic Australian writer Miles Franklin (Stella Maria Sarah ‘Miles’ Franklin), and was awarded for the first time in 2013. The annual prize is for an Australian women writer of fiction or nonfiction. To find out more, click on the link to The Guardian article below.

Vein update 

Why have I been so hesitant to get back to you about my vein experience (2 March blog Fiz confronts a vein thing)? I think it is because – having had the treatment – I don’t want to acknowledge that spider veins were streaking up my nostril and that my chin was getting ruddy with them. I also feel guilty about the cost—$330. And another thing, it hasn’t been totally successful. The nurse who undertook the procedure said I might need to come back in about six weeks because some veins might be missed. She explained that she had to work fast before my skin began to react and prevent her from seeing and treating all the veins. But another $330 for just a couple of tiny veins? It seems too self-indulgent when Médecins Sans Frontières could do something truly worthwhile with that amount.

In the brochure about the treatment ‘Vein Gogh’ (they are really into puns), it says that results will be immediate and that ‘You will see continuous improvement over several weeks as the treated vessels are reabsorbed.’ I had redness around my nostrils and on my chin which gradually faded and was entirely gone in about a week. My chin is probably less red but really it looks rather aged anyway. After a couple of weeks, I stopped scrutinising it in my magnifying mirror. It just seemed too ridiculous to worry about.

However, I have just taken a look. Definitely could do with another treatment. The brochure says: ‘Generally only one treatment is necessary. However, depending on the specific condition, a follow-up treatment may be necessary.’ Mmmmmmm sounds a bit rubbery to me.

Did it hurt? Of course it stung but it was only for a few minutes. I don’t think pain would be a factor in deciding whether to have the treatment or not.
How the treatment works is described in the brochure:
 The VeinGogh Ohmic Thermolysis system generates a tiny, regulated, high frequency current delivered to the vessel via a hair-thin probe. A “microburst” of energy selectively heats the vein, coagulating the blood and collapsing the vessel wall, which is quickly absorbed into the body. All this is accomplished without affecting the outer out layers of the skin resulting in a   quick return to normal daily activities.
Verdict:  Yes, it was worth it for me because my spider veins worried me. As I said in my earlier post, I have come to accept wrinkles, eye pouches, jowls, etc. but spider veins seemed an affront. When I look closely in the mirror, I can still see some but they don’t catch my eye like they used to. For the time being, I am over the vein problem. In retrospect it all seems well—vain.

Vale Betty Churcher 31 March 2015

Betty Churcher, former director of the National Gallery of Australia and first female director of an Australian art gallery died aged 84 years. What a wonderful, inspiring person she was!

Love this article in the Huffington Post!

Gone are the days when women in their 30s, 40s and beyond would attack gray hairs with bleaches and hair dye, as if they were rogue chin hairs. No, as of late, gray is in. We're not talking just aging gracefully, we're talking about women with fully pigmented hair that are rushing to salons to get the most coveted shade of hair in town.

To read more, click on below 


BOLDmag said...

Love this article Fiz. It inspires me to take another step towards a silver style. Tks for sharing.

BOLDmag said...

My pleasure