Category Archives: Wannabe marathoner

Plodding along…

While I am writing many blog posts, all the time, in my mind, sadly they are not getting to the magic publish button stage on this page.

This of course has nothing at all to do with the fact that I am training for the NYC Marathon in 24 days from now……  However my other blog One Mountain, One Marathon does have a few more recent posts than here. So if you want to follow along drop over and see how it’s all shaping up.




Six hours before I was scheduled to fly to Australia today I cancelled my flight.

That sounds so simple.

It was a complex decision in what has been a most difficult week. There are people that support this decision and the others. I don’t have the words. I feel numb.

I booked the flight less than 48 hours ago, so sure I was going to take it that I didn’t consider insurance. I spent the last 36 hours in a frenzy of planning and list writing, bill paying, car registration, pantry stocking, Halloween shopping and possible activity planning, given the kids have half days this coming week due to school parent / teacher conferences – and making up the guest room for my Dad and his wife who are due in town tomorrow.

The time difference with Australia is crap at the moment, not that its great normally. 4pm here is 7am Australian Eastern Standard daylight savings time the earliest I can really call and find out what happened overnight. 6am here is 9pm there, almost always too late and definitely too late by 7.24am here when the kids step onto the bus to school.

Last Sunday I got a message, Mum was back in hospital. A girls weekend away at Hyams Beach, half a day in and a 2am trip to Nowra Emergency dodging Kangaroos on the drive into town by four capable ladies (including two nurses), one in tremendous pain from another blocked bowel. I’ve done that drive here with my Mum, not knowing where the hospital was, not fun.

All week I have called at 4pm and then spent the next eight hours speaking, texting and Skyping with various family members and the most important person, the star of the show, my brave and wonderful mother, taking any and all information in and processing, calculating, wondering what to do, when to pull the trigger to fly home.

Every day she sounded stronger, yet the blockage didn’t clear. The palliative care team and my aunt now all set up at another relative’s house, managed the pain (mostly) and adjusted the drugs in such a way as to assist if at all possible to clear the blockage. Don’t know if you’ve ever had a bowel blockage – I haven’t but I’ve witnessed it twice and it looks painful beyond measure and requires large amounts of serious pain relief that don’t always work. To watch someone you love suffer it is difficult beyond belief or description.

On Wednesday Mum told me she didn’t think it was going to clear, this being her third time round the block I rely on her past experience to gauge these things, I told her I would give it 24 more hours, on Thursday I booked my flight, Friday morning I called and she told me a magical thing. The first step in a bowel blockage alleviation, the passing of wind, had happened. Its not often so many people get excited about a fart.

This doesn’t mean the blockage is clearing definitely, it doesn’t mean there is a long term, or even a medium term, Mum sent an email and updated her own blog earlier this week letting  people know that her fight continues but that the bad guys are winning, it does mean there is more short term up for grabs and she will grasp it with both hands.

I will go to Australia to be with my mother, maybe it will be tomorrow, maybe the next day, maybe in three weeks time – I will be there when she needs me. Today wasn’t the day. My brother is with her, her sister and brother, her 92 year old father and a daily stream of visitors spending precious minutes with her sitting in the sun on the balcony.

Time is precious, I know that. We were able to have two months of her all to ourselves, not having to share with anyone. I didn’t take enough photos, I didn’t want to break the moments we were sharing. Regrets.

I cancelled my flight, I cancelled death for this week.

Me – the Ferrari photographer

I know its called Random thoughts….etc etc…. (longest blog name in history) and I promise you (as they say here in South Africa) this is straight from the file marked ‘Random’.

Last weekend while minding my own business I got a message from someone at my favourite local cafe telling me their photographer for an event the next day had fallen through and asking would I mind coming to take some photos. I imagine he had been through a slightly stressful time and was some way down a lengthy list of names.

I thought about it for about a second, checked that my husband could ‘parent’ (not babysit) our children during the early hours of Sunday morning and replied that if no professional could be found then I would happily step in and wave my camera around.

Just call me professional expat, amateur mountain climber, wannabe marathon runner, novice surfer, social media addict and now semi-professional photographer with a huge tongue in your cheek. I think the title is apt because I was paid in kind with one of my favourite currencies, food. In particular a delightful eggs benedict and a range of breads from my favourite bakery on earth.  My family also breakfasted on my camera, there were further bacon and eggs, pancakes and milkshakes in the mix, of which they were most appreciative.

It was, according to the signage, a meeting of the Southern Equitorial Ferrari Automobili Club.  They were gathering at Remo’s Fratelli Cafe, Flanders Mall, Mount Edgecombe to check out each other’s cars, allow others to check their cars out, wear their best red clothing, eat breakfast and catch the Aussie Grand Prix on the tele – what multi taskers they all are.

My ‘brief’ as it were, was to photograph the cars, the people and the cafe and the staff. To do this I was allowed behind the counter!!! It was really so exciting and ended up being so much fun. I love to take photos, I am now inspired to take many many more and perhaps learn some more editing techniques.

I offer you a tiny sample of my wares, so if you need a ‘semi-professional’ photographer at your next function – I also accept payment in South African Sauvignon Blanc.

So many red Ferraris, one yellow, one dark grey.

                                 A junior inspector in full gear was cutest on ground






A little bit of old school





The people and inside the cafe were really my favourite part.

The Baristas



Ferraris of every size (as long as they were red)




Never too early to own a red t-shirt and start supporting Ferrari.










The Remos scooter (not a Ferrari)

                  Remo’s Village loaf – go no further in your search for the perfect bread!

                         The Gingerbread people – just before they got their eyes….

THE END (the part where I head off to work out how to better put multiple photos on blog in future – you know just in case of new assignments)