Monday, November 28, 2011

street philosophy

found on one of my wanderings in the back streets of Fitzroy..............

The number of corners in the soul can't
compare with the universe's dimensions folded
neatly into swans. In the soul's
space, one word on a thousand pieces
of paper the size of cookie fortunes falls
from the heavens. At last, the oracular
answer, you cry, pawing at the scraps that twirl
like seed-pod helicopters. Alas, the window
to your soul needs a good scrubbing, so
the letters doodle into indecipherables just
like every answer that has rained
down through history, and you realize, in
your little smog of thought that death
will simply be the cessation of asking, a thousand
cranes unfolding themselves and returning to the trees.

Stefi Weisburd

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


beauty is found in unusual places

"I stopped wearing a watch after the funeral from that day on, I knew the time would always be too late"
precious little

Monday, October 24, 2011

i believe

                                                                                          photograph by gary gross

i believe art is all around

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

a moment in time

I sit on a chair and look up to the sky
it's a moment in time as I breathe in the spring air.
I turn off the radio and sit with my thoughts.
I contemplate a time not so long ago, when roses were blooming
and the sun warmed my skin.
I close my eyes and wonder how life may have been
how we fill it with dreams, create meaning and reason to steady our thoughts.
But when something is lost be still in your mind,
shut your eyes for a moment and wait for the breeze,
a sweetness fills the air and you realise something is near,
it's a moment in time as a precious soul glides by.

Friday, September 9, 2011


Spring is in the air, new growth is beginning to appear, transformation is somewhat insight.
From the dark depths of despair, a small bud appears, to symbolise an element of hope. The tiny bud it struggled to survive so it huddled below the chill of the cold winters' air. It imagined itself growing into a beautiful tree, with branches lapping the edge of the sky and deep roots penetrating the rich soil below. It lay very still waiting and waiting till the time was right. Then it lifted its head, felt the warmth in the air, it stretched out a branch and let out an enormous sigh, "Spring is here", it sang to the wind. Then the tree grew and grew not wanting to stop. Until one day when the time felt right, all the work was complete, the graceful tree stopped. It basked in the sun and remembered a time not too long ago when it lay there waiting for the warm wind to appear.

Friday, September 2, 2011

two souls collide

When two souls collide it takes courage to go, on
a free fall to the darkness that opens below.
But look beyond the surface for a bright world will emerge,
with curious creatures around every curve.
Have you ever had that feeling when everything seems right
you've found a place with people and you realise it's alright.
Almost down to the minute I can hear a clock chime.
In a universe that is endless but so terribly small.
I do love that tingle when it sneaks up real close
and embraces your soul, for a moment time stops, remember take a breath for things that matter are close,
and you realise the energy that comes with great loss.
Just stretch out your arms and you will feel a soul glide by,
on a warm wind that flows high up to the sky.

Monday, August 29, 2011

open letter to an art teacher

Thank you for opening my eyes to art and composition,
for showing me the subtlety of colour,
and inspiring me with artists who work at moving paint poetically across a canvas.
My appreciation has evolved and become slightly clearer, but I will always remember it's humble beginnings filled with curiosity and perhaps trepidation.
I continue to be inspired by my environment as it gently wraps itself around me.
From beautiful photographic images that expose a tender soul to subtle street art curiously pasted to a cold brick wall.
Creativity and all that it encompasses is a treasure to behold.
So thank you once again for sharing your appreciation, for it permeates my soul.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I have quite enjoyed winter this year. My preference is usually toward warmer weather, but this year I have found reasons to enjoy winter. Firstly I think investing in a pair of ugg boots was in fact a wise decision. Blankets over the knee at night another smart choice. The purchase of a new cookbook has helped to inspire some lovely home cooked dinners and finally harvesting olives and persimmons from our small, but productive garden.

We have spent the past few months picking and curing olives, making persimmon chutney and the occasional 'percy pudding'. Our kitchen bench has been home to olives curing on rock salt and boxes of persimmons collected from our tree have spilled onto the floor.

There's something to be said about growing, harvesting and bottling one's own produce. It gathers people together for a shared experience, cause we always need a bit of help from family and friends. Thanks to everyone who helped in the production this year. Looking forward to next years' harvest. Perhaps we'll add a bit of wine making and sausage making to the mix next year!

Friday, July 29, 2011

ideas that resonate

I began this blog earlier this year to try and make some sense out of the devastation we faced as a family last year when Sunday was stillborn. I wanted to record the road we were about to travel, to a destination where there were no obvious directions.

I had no idea that what I would stumble on, would be my 'raison d'etre'.

I started to understand the real value of connecting with people in a true sense. I discovered inner strength on the flip side of the shame and vulnerability that hit me when Sunday died.

Writing and talking seemed to help make sense of an otherwise confusing and numbing experience. Sharing my story and hearing others peoples' stories has guided me through the healing process and given me insight into a broader perspective of life.

Here's some thoughts translated from Tao, that resonate......

            "To be whole, let yourself break.
             To be straight, let yourself bend.
             To be full, let yourself be empty.
             To be new, let yourself wear out.
             To have everything, give everything up.

             Knowing others is a kind of knowledge;
             knowing yourself is wisdom.
             Conquering others requires strength;
             conquering yourself is true power.
             To realize that you have enough is true wealth.
             Pushing ahead may succeed,
             but staying put brings endurance.
             Die without perishing, and find the eternal.

             To know that you do not know is strength.
             Not knowing that you do not know is a sickness.
             The cure begins with the recognition of the 

             Knowing what is permanent: enlightenment.
             Not knowing what is permanent: disaster.
             Knowing what is permanent opens the mind.
             Open mind, open heart.
             Open heart, magnanimity."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


photo by jen hosking

When my Dad suddenly died it was like being struck by a bolt of lightning, overnight my world changed. Up until that time my life had been secure, predictable and safe. Suddenly I became intensely afraid. In order to recover myself I decided I needed to be kind to the world that had so cruelly taken my father. 
I had the intense need to do 'the right thing' in order to make up for losing my Dad. I was struck by the notion of karma. I felt my actions could change my world and make everything better. Did it change? I really don't know, perhaps it was my first insight into understanding compassion. 

Yet again this feeling has surfaced, not so much the element of karma but rather the need to be there for others. The more we can connect with each other and share our stories the more enriched our lives could be.

Taking a moment to stop and have a conversation and really listen to what someone has to say or to discuss what is on your mind or sharing an experience, is an important aspect of what it means to be human. Smiling at someone in the street, talking to neighbours and sharing thoughts with friends is what life is all about. 

Sometimes we just need to rethink the important stuff in life.

Friday, July 22, 2011

asleep in their dreams

   Asleep in their dreams
   Here under the apple tree
   Blossoms hang heavily
   Nodding in the humidity

   In the bones of branches
   My secrets, tangled and held
   Dressed in drowsy fragrant lace
   tears fell amid the pink embrace
   The bruised haunt of lovers’ death
   I Hunger for my own demise
   Here where I lost you
   Here where I wait for you

   shared and written by tracy hickling

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Sunday will always burn brightly in my heart.

She has brought people together, has allowed us to share feelings and intimate details of our life. She has inspired creativity and helped us discover who we really are.

When all seemed to be lost she gave me the strength to gather my thoughts and to realise this is all part of life and living. She has given me a richer understanding of what it means to be alive and appreciate those around who have loved and continue to support us.

Our lives have been enriched by those generous souls who have surrounded us with their thoughtfulness. To all those who have joined us on our journey, you know who you are, we will always be grateful, you have renewed our faith in what friendship truly means.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Cooking is a wonderful creative process for me. I love spending time in the kitchen creating something out of raw ingredients. Imagining something in my mind and bringing it to life to share with family and friends. Food can be symbolic of ones past, a favourite dish from childhood or a memory of a country once visited. Food brings people together around a table, thoughts are shared, arguments are had, ideas are exchanged and maybe even secrets shared. There is much more to food than simply eating and feeding hunger. It is a central source of my inspiration, I love recipes from faraway places. I enjoy using different ingredients and experiencing flavour. I'm always searching through books or magazines for my next food adventure. With that in mind, Gary and I decided to combine our passions and here is the result, braised oxtail with orecchiette pasta. 

Serves 6 

100ml olive oil 
2kg oxtail pieces 
100g unsalted butter 
300g mirepoix (1 each celery stalk, carrot and onion finely chopped) 
1/2 bunch thyme 
2 fresh bay leaves 
1 tsp white peppercorns 
2 roma tomatoes, quartered
2L(8 cups)red wine 
4 carrots, thinly sliced
500g orecchiette
Freshly ground white pepper(I finely grated)
Flat-leaf parsley, leaves very thinly sliced to garnish 

Heat 75ml oil over high heat and add oxtail in batches cooking 
until browned on all sides. 
Melt butter, in the same pan, add the mirepoix and cook, 
stirring, until golden. 
Return oxtail to pan with thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, 
tomato and wine. Bring to the boil and then reduce 
to barely simmering. 
Cover and continue to cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until 
meat is falling from the bones.
Allow to cool then remove meat from bones and keep separate 
to stock.
Cover and refrigerate stock overnight. 
Place sliced carrots into a saucepan and cover with cold water 
and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil 
and then simmer for 20 minutes or until quite soft. 
Drain carrots then puree in a food processor and pass through 
a fine sieve. Refrigerate until required.
Remove as much fat as possible from the top of the stock and 
then heat until just liquid enough to 
pass through a sieve into a clean pan. Draining as well 
as possible.
Bring to the boil and reduce to about 1 cup. Reduce heat to 
low and add oxtail meat and carrot puree 
and warm through.
Meanwhile cook pasta in a large pot of water with the 
remaining oil and some salt. Drain well.
Add the sauce to the pasta, season with salt and white pepper, 
and stir gently to coat the pasta with 
the sauce. 

Garnish with cheese and parsley just before serving. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

good bye

I have been thinking a lot about people from past decades who lost babies and were never given the opportunity to meet them. Thankfully it has now been recognised that seeing your baby, naming them, holding their precious body and photographing them is an essential part of the healing process and letting go. I am so grateful to the midwives who led us through this most difficult time and treated us with the utmost respect. We spent time together as a family for a brief moment, we watched the sun go down and quietly held Sunday.

'One can only say good bye once one has been able to say hello.' 

I respectfully take this moment to contemplate all those who have suffered silently with the loss of a child. My heart goes out to people who have not been given an opportunity to say good bye. There is a great need in our society to open up dialogue in these circumstances and support each other in difficult and often misunderstood situations. People tend to shy away from discussions about death and grief but it is human connection and shared grief that can help mend a tear in the heart.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I have created a safe space for myself over the past months in order to mend a broken heart. I have given myself much needed time to contemplate the deep wound that was left gaping when Sunday slipped away from our grasp. I have surrounded myself with people and elements I know are good and positive in my life. Filled my home with wonderful cooking aromas and treated family and friends to intimate dinners. I slowly emerge from my self imposed cocoon, returning to everyday routines and work life. Things have changed dramatically and inner strength tested, but here I am to face another brilliant autumn day, with the ability to find a smile.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Shopping from a market can be so much more fulfilling than walking down a supermarket aisle (although our local supermarket has a very different feel to most).

photo by jen hosking

In a market place people feel free to connect with each other, unexpected conversations are had, impromptu recipes exchanged and there is always beautiful produce in wonderful arrays of colour and texture on display to inspire the next cooking adventure.

photo by jen hosking

A market place is the heart beat of a city. People busily rushing about finding fresh produce for their evening meals, family dinners or extra special guests. I admire the groups of older people catching up for their weekly chat and coffee and it makes me happy to see old friends sharing stories.

photo by jen hosking

The market is my sacred place in a world that can sometimes lack depth and authenticity. It's a great place to watch the world go by. I breathe in the market ambience and think about my grandparents soaking up the market air and selecting their weekly produce, many years ago.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

girl and a bumble bee

I began my blog earlier this year with an image. It was found by chance in the back streets of Fitzroy the day we went to buy fabric to wrap Sunday's small body. It became a symbol for an amazing girl that entered our lives ever so briefly, making an incredible impact on us and to those around. Her death the sudden and intense pain of an unexpected bee sting. I stumble across the image again today, 7 months down the track. The girl and the bee are no longer just an outline but have become a silhouette with a flower now pink. It seems the image has evolved over time, just as we have.

photo by jen hosking

Some more green that caught my eye today.

photo by jen hosking

Monday, May 16, 2011


photo by jen hosking

today is a blue day 
so I will choose green 
its the colour of my olive tree
it reminds me of regeneration 
 it makes me feel a bit calm
and even sort of happy
and coriander with your wonderful aroma
 today you help me choose green.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

a million pieces

The day Sunday died my world shattered into a million pieces that lay strewn across the floor. I have gathered some pieces and put them back together in a slightly different order but some days, for no apparent reason, the pieces just tumble back to the floor. While some are gathered, others are completely lost, unable to retrieve. I don't expect you to understand my missing pieces, just perhaps help sort what's left strewn across my kitchen floor.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

remembering to breathe

A wonderful element of practising yoga is that just for a moment the world around us becomes less complicated & life is all about stretching & breathing. It teaches us to be in the moment and let go of unwanted thoughts and to be conscious of how the breath moves through our body. Yoga has always been something I come back to when I need to refocus & calm my mind. The subtle movements are incredibly powerful and should never be underestimated. How often do you hold your own breath when you are stressed or anxious ?

Friday, April 29, 2011

little things

photo by jen hosking

'enjoy the little things, for one day you will realise they were the big things'.
                         robert brault

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


It has been 6 months since Sunday died. The past months have been some of the most difficult of our life. Thankfully I have been able to take time out from my regular routine to reflect on the events past to try to make some sense out of such a sudden and unexpected loss. I have been drawn to everything I know to be authentic in my life in order to get through this devastating experience and still genuinely smile and feel good about life. It often feels surreal, to be taken to such depths of pain and agony to then surface again to find meaning and hope in life. It can be exhausting stuff but somehow empowering, the resilience of the human spirit can be amazing. Each night before I sleep I glance across at a beautiful photograph of Sunday that sits beside my bed to remember her in my arms once more.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

hanging plants

The last few weeks I have been thinking about purchasing an indoor plant. I have seen a few examples at various shops & cafes and have also noticed the emergence of macrame.  I eventually made my 'plant' discovery at a local shop in Sydney Road called mr kitly a lovely shop/gallery filled with lots of inspirational things, ideas & macrame. I found something that goes by the name of 'string of pearls',(sencio rawleyanus, for my learned plant friends) & it's exactly the type of plant I have been looking for.
Here's a little snap of the shop courtesy of mr kitly.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


These were the roses we laid beside Sunday the day we said good bye. They were the most beautiful bunch of highly perfumed old fashioned roses. We left one bunch with Sunday & we kept another bunch at home in our bedroom. I have always loved roses but now they have taken on another dimension as they remind me of my beautiful daughter Sunday. The wonderful thing about the gardens in Brunswick is many of them are filled with gorgeous roses, so I often find it irresistible not to stop and smell the intense aromas as I pass by.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Olivier & Sunday

This was a beautiful quiet moment that Olivier was able to share with his sister, Sunday.

"replace fear of the unknown with curiosity"

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

expecting the unexpected

Life does not always turn out the way we expect and certainly in our experience it has certainly thrown up something rather unexpected. We can plan our lives, have hopes & dreams but only to a point. It is the twists & turns & unpredictability that make us who we are. It is our ability to adapt to change & make something out of a difficult situation. The experience of losing our daughter has touched the core of our soul & whilst it is not a pleasant experience I will never view it as a negative experience. It is part of the cycle of life & death, bringing someone into the world is an amazing event just as death is an amazingly powerful event. There is the feeling of absolute freedom in death, it is unfortunate that it also conjures up negative & fearful emotions. I aim to draw strength from this situation & a greater understanding of how the human spirit copes with the unexpected.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

community spirit

photo by jen hosking

Today as I peddled my bike down the street I thought about a conversation I had been having earlier with a friend about Dharavi & the community spirit that exists in India's largest slum. To a westerner the slums are considered disgusting and filthy and yes they probably are, but it's the sense of community spirit that burns strongly in the hearts of these people that I admire. Whilst Brunswick is nothing like India I still like to feel part of a community. I dislike the thought of arriving home & closing the front door & not being connected with the outside world.

I arrive home to find a cat waiting patiently for me on the front step. The cat happily followed me inside the house & after retrieving the phone number engraved on the disk from around the cat's neck I make a quick call to the owner. I now know, 'Chinard' lives at the end of our street & has been out all night.

Human connection (& the random visit from a local cat), play an incredibly important part of healing process during a time of loss & grief. We have made some amazing connections with people during this time, new friendships have formed, established friendships have grown stronger & some friendships have unfortunately faded into the background. The loss of someone can certainly divide friendships. Unlike my new friend 'Chinard', Sunday can never be returned, but it is the community spirit & the friendships that will continue to see us through.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Grief can be a difficult thing to deal with, its not like an obvious wound that you can observe healing. It's often not openly discussed so it's often misunderstood. It can feel like an enormous storm cloud enveloping your whole self and other times it can feel like a puffy billowing cloud, filled with air and lightness. It has an obvious start but not an obvious end and doesn't necessarily move in a straight line.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

street art

Street art can have a magical way of making life seem better. I find it reassuring that a person creates an artwork for the street, for those who stop to take notice & for no obvious financial benefit. It brings me a smile & reminds me there is much more to life & the human spirit. Here are some wonderful examples, just north of the city.

photo by jen hosking

photo by jen hosking

Monday, February 7, 2011

rice congee

This dish was inspired by Gary's recent trip to see our traditional medicine practitioner, Tracy.

onion, diced
1 cup barley
1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup red lentils
mix of ground spices,cumin,coriander,fennel
dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked & sliced
wakame, soaked & chopped
1-2 litres veg stock (massel stock cubes can be used)

soak barley in water overnight, rinse rice & lentils.
cook diced onion in heated oil until transparent,add spices
then add barley,rice & lentils
add stock slowly as required stirring to ensure rice does not stick to pot
soak mushrooms in hot water, rinse & soak wakame in water for 10 mins 
when rice is almost cooked add sliced mushrooms & chopped wakame
served garnished with grated carrot.

serves 4

Saturday, February 5, 2011

looking back to look forward

I want to relive the day we lost Sunday, the conversations that were had, the people present in the room, the wait for the inevitable moment to be told she had died. I revisit that day in order to remember a little girl I will never know. A free spirit unable to be captured in a human soul. Each morning I reflect on my emotions, some days I feel strong & calm with what has been experienced, while on other days I feel the tiredness of the endless thought that goes on with processing a loss such as this.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

beginnings & endings

I begin by saying farewell to all that was 2010. A year of sharp beginnings & endings. Sadly we said good bye to our daughter Sunday who was stillborn on October 17th. It was incredibly sad & gut wrenching, but also very calm & peaceful at the same time.
Hopefully this blog will help to unravel thoughts & ideas & inspire what lay ahead.