Sunday 30 November 2014

Day 86...

FRIDAY 28.11.14 - I am thankful for... Youth booklets

*Real booklets but names are not visible to protect identity of the kids

Each youth member gets an empty booklet at the start of each term to write it. They are allowed to write down anything; something we ask them to, notes about the devotions we did that night, or questions for the leaders. We, the leaders, then take the booklets home with us and if there is anything they want answered or commented on we can do that for them. This has proven to be very effective. I know at least from the girls' perspective (ladies collect girls books, men collect boys books) I have had some pretty personal and serious questions asked and it's nice for me to know that they knew they have someone to talk to besides parents and friends. Teenage years can be difficult. I know, I've been there before, as most of you reading this. If you ask a teenager straight out "What's wrong?" or "what's on your mind?" more often then not they'll just shrug and say "nothing". Literally. They feel embarrassed and not willing to share something upfront. But this way is a little more private and they can feel comfortable and not embarrassed. Therefore I am thankful for these booklets as a method of communicating effectively with the teens at our youth group, so I might be a positive and non-judgmental influence in their lives. I hope that's how they see me anyway!

Day 85...

THURSDAY 27.11.14 - I am thankful for... Magazines

I can safely say that I've always loved reading. From an early age I remember reading the Goosebumps paperbacks, then progressing onto teen novels and mature reads such as Jane Austen, Shakespeare and the Bronte sisters. I think my favourite author would have to be Marion Keyes. Her novel are hilarious and moving at the same time. But when you just don't have time to read a novel, I like to read magazines. I'm really into the creative things you can find, fashion, food, photography, home and lifestyle etc... However, I'm not a big fan of celebrity gossip. I must admit it makes me sad because most of the time you read negative things abut their lives, things I know I wouldn't want splashed on the front page for the world to see. I realise that's part of being famous but I feel sorry for them in that way and don't wish to participate in anyone's misgivings, whether I know them or not. Recently I discovered Frankie magazine, it has all the things I want to read and the articles are about ordinary people doing great things, entrepreneurs, travellers and the like. No celebrity gossip. So I'm really thankful for finds like this, for magazines about things I'm interested in providing entertainment and light reading between novels.

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Day 84...

WEDNESDAY 26.11.14 - I am thankful for... Surprises!

I told you all I'd show the work crafty "surprise" when we revealed it. Tada! Today is the day! Two colleagues of mine made a paper chain of everyone who works in our Cardiology Level 1 department! I was able to help out a little. Every paper person has something unique to the person it represents. There are people in their uniforms, doctors with stethoscopes, people with flags representing the country they are from, people with the fancy things they love, funny hair and hats, and even our cardiac MRI specialist inside an MRI machine! We were so happy with how everyone turned out. It's a little Christmas surprise, but more so a celebration of the people in our department, the people who make it run as we have a few people who don't celebrate Christmas but felt everyone should be included. There we many "wow"s and "that's awesome"s and laughs as more and more staff saw the creation. My favourite comment so far was from a doctor who said "there's a lot of love on that wall". And she's right. We took the time to think of each and every person individually and with a positive result. On another surprise note, I also bought my boyfriend a small surprise and can't wait for him to see it when I see him on Friday!  So I love surprises, giving them to people more than receiving them. I love to see the joy I can bring to peoples lives.

Day 83...

TUESDAY 25.11.14 - I am thankful for... Santas in Shopping Centres

*I did not take this picture, obviously. Picture from the internet.

Walking around the Westfields near work during my lunch hour, I saw that Santa was being visited by children. The children seem so excited to be there! All jumping up and down, impatient for their turn with Santa. A group of disabled teens was also there. The excitement and pure joy on one of the boys faces, as he waved excitedly to Santa, would have just melted your heart.  I remember sitting on Santa's lap as a child, with my sister, and getting our photo taken. Christmas really is my favourite time of year and whilst I'm a little too big for Santas's lap now, I have wonderful memories which I hope to share and pass onto my Children some day, and see their faces light up when they see Santa and the shops. So thank you shopping centre Santas for putting the smiles on little and big faces like you do :)

Day 82...

MONDAY 24.11.14 - I am thankful for... The hospitality of others

In August this year, a friend of mine from church married and moved to America with her new husband. She was also in my bible study group and sometimes her parents would host our group in their home for the study. Even though she no longer lives in their home, or even in the country, they still allowed us to meet at their house, have dinner and our study there, with her mum even participating in the group time. I thought that it was such a wonderful gesture, but not surprising because that's the sort of people they are. It's a wonderful thing to have people that open their homes to others. It can be daunting as your home is 'your space', somewhere you can escape the craziness of the world outside. A safe haven. A place to relax without others. And yet how wonderful it is when people freely and selflessly open up their homes for others. So I am thankful for those who are hospitable to others, not just socially but in someone's time of need. There's a lot we can learn from keeping our doors open.

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Day 81...

SUNDAY 23.11.14 - I am thankful for... Worship music practice

I have been blessed to be part of a worship music team for some time now. Firstly in my church in Brisbane and now in my Sydney church. I absolutely love to sing, but don't necessarily like to be a focus of attention, so being in a band is great. Besides, the congregation sing along as well so it's not like everyone is staring attentively at you. I just love participating in music practice. Being so musically inclined, there is just something about taking a song and making something out of it, changing it up to make it different, experiment with different keys, harmonies, tempos. We have a great team at my current church and we just work so well together and bounce ideas off each other. And the end result is usually awesome! So I'm thankful for the opportunity to be part of this type of service at church with fantastic people.

Sunday 23 November 2014

Day 80... and still going :)

SATURDAY 22.11.14 - I am thankful for... Celebrating Hen's nights

*Picture from

Tonight we went out to a Cabaret Magic Show and dinner to celebrate my friend from church's hen's night. The show was great, full of illusion, dance, bad accents, appearing rabbits and flying birds (into my other friend's face in one instance!). The last trick went wrong and two out of the three magicians thought it was so hilarious they had trouble keeping their composure... which just made us laugh even harder! I'm really bummed as I realised I didn't take any photos! It was quite dark in the theatre restaurant and it was so much fun that honestly I didn't think of it, so used a picture from the internet, sorry! As much fun as we had, it was a great opportunity for the 'hen' to just relax and have a great night, with the rest of us celebrating her as a person and friend of ours. It looks like she had a fabulous night too! Earlier this year we organised a Hen's Day for my bestie before her wedding. Unfortunately through the wedding process there is always a person or two who decide that their opinion is most important, even more important than the couple getting married and do things their own way. When my other bestie, the bride's sister and I organised my besties we made sure that the decisions were 100% in line with what she wanted. We added in the surprise of a limo ride but she knew everything else that was happening and she still says it was one of her most favourite nights ever. It really did turn out well. Weddings can be stressful so I'm thankful there are days like Hen's Days/Nights for other people to take over so the bride can just relax and let her hair down, in the most tasteful way possible of course!

Day 79...

FRIDAY 21.11.14 - I am thankful for... Crafternoons :)

Something very strange happened today... Our day's procedures and day clinics were all cancelled due to the doctors unavailability and more important cases coming up. So it made for very rare 'quiet' day. My colleagues have come up with a crafty surprise for the members of our department so in between doing odd little jobs, the three of us spent the spare time being crafty. I really love this sort of thing, as alluded to in my scrapbooking blog post. We had a lot of fun, letting our creative juices flow and were very happy with the results we got. There was A LOT of laughter! What were we making I hear you ask? I can't tell you silly, it's a surprise! But I promise to reveal it once we reveal it to our department. Just wanting to spread a little Christmas cheer and hilarity. So I am thankful for the opportunity to have a bit of fun at work in the quiet times doing crafty surprises with work friends, Lord inly knows these opportunities are very few and far between!

Day 78...

THURSDAY 20.11.14 - I am thankful for... Bubble wrap!

Come on. You know you agree with me. Bubble wrap is awesome, no matter how old you are! I received a parcel today with Christmas presents I had ordered online. As some of the goods were a little fragile they came wrapped in bubble wrap, the large bubble one. My housemate's children found it and just had a fabulous time squeezing, running on and jumping all over the bubble wrap trying to burst all the bubbles. I'm pretty sure if the apartments weren't so sound proof we would have had complaints there was that much noise of childish enjoyment! My housemate was even a little disappointed there was none left for him! I don't know what it is, but everyone I know has a certain level of fascination with it. Whether its a stress release, cathartic and therapeutic tool or just plain fun, bubble wrap is a simple enjoyment for people of all ages. Oh, and as an added bonus its great to wrap fragile items for transport too.

Thursday 20 November 2014

Day 77...

WEDNESDAY 19.11.14 - I am thankful for... Games

Seeing as this week has been a pretty tough one, I asked my boyfriend to bring over a board game or something for us to play tonight, to keep my mind active and maybe a little distracted. He brought over a dice game called Greed (I forgot to take a picture, was too engrossed in the game, so took this one from the internet), which I'd never played before and quite enjoyed. It's a little like Yahtzee (if you know that game) where you have to roll dice combinations to get a certain amount of points. It turns out we became a little competitive, going for best of 3 games. Sadly, he won. My family and I have always loved playing board games. Scrabble was common and my mother and nan are very hard to beat, my most recent memory of my nan, mum, sister and I playing in a common room at Cradle Mountain caravan park, with a bottle of wine and sitting by a fire! Scattergories is another one which we play quite often - my mum and sister like to make up words, but I keep them in line! When my sister and I were little we loved playing Trouble with the popping dice contraption in the middle of the board. And who could go past Mousetrap or Monopoly! I think board games are a great way for people to spend quality time together. Depending on your level of competitiveness, which may lead to some arguments, generally they are fun and produce quite a bit of laughter. We just don't spend as much time with loved ones due to our hectic lives. Games allow you to not get distracted (I'm talking about old fashion physical games, not digital) and focus on each other and what's happening. You also need to use skills like problem solving, maths, literacy and strategy so it keeps your mind active. Therefore I'm thankful for games and the people who invent them, for the entertainment they provide and brain power they require!
Oh and update from yesterday's post: The "friend" actually apologised as in used the word "sorry". I was quite grateful, that's all I really wanted was acknowledgement :)

Day 76...

TUESDAY 18.11.14 - I am thankful for... Prayer

Today was not a good day. There where a lot of little things that became a hassle and annoyance, and then there was one big thing. A person I considered a friend, and he considered himself a friend of mine, behaved in a way that was not ok. This was not the first time either, so this friend knew how I felt about such things, but still did it anyway. When I confronted him about it again, instead of apologising, he became very defensive and even turned it around to say he was offended by me. Historically I have not dealt with confrontation well at all. I like it when everyone is happy and hate to see people hurting or arguing. I would even have put myself last to avoid confrontation at all costs, swallowing my problems and not dealing with anything. That was the old me. The new me, from the journey I have taken this year, is willing to stand up for herself and what she believes in, even if this causes conflict between people she cares about. After I said my piece I decided to have a solid time of prayer, to pray to God over the situation, to let go of all that I was feeling. I realise that some of you reading this aren't the "praying" type, but maybe you meditate. What I have learnt this year is to acknowledge how you are feeling because that is your body's response to something, but don't let your feelings rule you, especially the negative ones because they just sit there, fester and become harder and harder to shift. After a little bit of time I felt an incredible peace. I was no longer angry or upset, I was able to let it go. Obviously this doesn't fix things, but it keeps my mind balanced so I don't act out of spite and hurt. Regardless of whether our friendship continues from here, I wish this friend nothing but the best in life. I harbour no hate or resentment, and that's an incredibly freeing thing. So I encourage you to pray or meditate about the negatives in your life. The terrible things you feel only effect you, no one else. You deserve peace and happiness and you can be the tool to give that to yourself, don' lt negativity change you.

Day 75...

MONDAY 17.11.14 - I am thankful for... Hospitals

*Photo from

This might sound a little biased coming from me seeing as I work in one, but I really am thankful for hospitals. Even though the staff and facilities are often stretched beyond capacity, we generally have a high standard of care, in comparison to a lot of other countries. We had a gentleman come in to get his pacemaker checked today and it was pretty obvious as we checked it that there was something wrong with the lead that goes into his heart to deliver the electrical impulse to make the heart beat. This particular patient is completely dependent on his pacemaker, without it his heart wouldn't beat that much at all. So knowing there was an issue with this vital lead which could become a major problem at any moment, we were not comfortable sending him home. A doctor examined him, agreed and admitted the patient into the hospital so he could have this problem corrected. Of course, the process usually takes an hour or two, but being a public hospital that's pretty good. There are places around the world were it's not so easy to get the medical care you need. Hospitals have been providing medical care en mass for generations now. Even though there are times when you feel it might be a hassle to go or waiting in the emergency department for hours seems too long, know that hospitals and their staff are always doing the best they can, and be thankful here in Australia we have hospitals that can provide for our needs.

Sunday 16 November 2014

Day 74...

SUNDAY 16.11.14 - I am thankful for... Ikea!

*I totally forgot to get a picture while I was there today, so am using the logo from the internet :)

My boyfriend took me to Ikea this afternoon before church. All I needed was a new bedside lamp (as my current one has been broken for months :p). Yes I suppose I could have gone somewhere just to buy a lamp, but going to Ikea is much more fun! 2 separate floors of homely design goodness! I've always had an interest in interior design and love shows like The Block. I'm not saying that I would be very good at it but I like looking at all the different things and ideas that people come up with it. Ikea lets you do that! So we walked briskly through the showroom first, looking at all the pre-designed rooms, before heading down to the market hall to look at the walls and walls of goodies. I found my lamp (yay!) and a few photo frames. Coincidently my bestie Dani had just gone to Ikea in Brisbane earlier this week and sent me a picture of her haul. So thank you to the Swedes for inventing and providing us with Ikea. Innovative, contemporary, and interesting, Ikea provides something for everyone :)

Saturday 15 November 2014

Day 73...

SATURDAY 15.11.14 - I am thankful for... Remedial Massage!

I have been hanging out for my massage appointment ALL WEEK! When I was 14, my mum, sister and I were in a car accident. A minor one, but we were rear ended by a car travelling at high speed. Since then we all have needed physio and massage on a semi regular basis, due to whiplash injury. It's been a few months since my last one, so I had some pretty nasty knots in my upper back and neck. The fact I've just gotten back into boot camp probably doesn't help either. This afternoon I had an 1 hour remedial massage and it was exactly what I needed! I have been going to this place for over a year now and they are fantastic. It can be relaxing, but painful if the knots are tight enough. The next few days after are a little stiff but long term I feel so much better. I think I have been getting massages for so long now I can't imagine not having them. But I am aware that it really is a first world luxury that not everybody can afford (but thankfully its claimable on your health fund!). I am thankful I have the ability and the means to afford remedial massage, something I will never take for granted.

Day 72...

FRIDAY 14.11.14 - I am thankful for... Opportunities to help others

Today was not a great day at work. Certain things and issues, out of my control, had me completely frustrated and not in the best of moods. So I was really looking forward to doing some physical labour tonight, to work it out... literally! Our youth group went to the home of an older couple from our church to put up Christmas lights for them. It really was a lot of fun, and doing what we were doing, and spending time with great people really helped my mood and to let go everything that happened during the day. And of course the end result was so worth it! The best part, however, was that the couple was so incredibly appreciative and wouldn't stop saying thank you. The lady even baked a whole lot of goodies for us that we devoured afterwards! It's interesting that I'm writing this actually, because our devotion tonight talked about that when we do help the needy, we shouldn't go around telling others all the good things we do. But instead, to keep it secret, to keep us humble and not full of pride. So me advertising our works over the net in my blog is a little contradictory to that. However, I don't wish to boast about my works for others, but merely point out that helping others comes naturally for us as humans of conscious. It's good for the soul. And expecting nothing in return makes it all the better in my opinion. I am blessed and have more than I need, as well as people to help me out when I need it. So why would I not do that for others? I am thankful that I get the opportunites to help those in need, on a small or larger scale. The reward comes in seeing the blessing you can be to someone else.

Day 71...

THURSDAY 13.11.14 - I am thankful for... Memories of past loved ones

*Picture from

An elderly gentleman came to clinic, accompanied by his daughter, for a pacemaker check today. His daughter mentioned early on that they were from Mackay in Queensland but were in Sydney as the patient could no longer live by himself and was moving in with his son and his family. We had a lovely chat about his life over the years, how he used to drink and smoke but gave it all up for a healthier life many years ago. He told us he has had heart surgery in the past and that he had the Meals on Wheels program come to him every day for the last several years and how great it was. As we were talking, I couldn't help but be reminded of my Pop, my great grandfather on my father's side. He too lived in Mackay and lived on his own when his wife, my great grandmother died not long after I was born. He too had the Meals on Wheels program come to his place with meals everyday. One of my great memories of my Pop was he'd always save his orange juice cups he received with his meals, put them in the freezer, and every time my sister and I came to visit we'd have frozen orange cups. Unfortunately, he too had heart disease and died of a heart attack when I was 10. Though I was young, I only have really positive and special memories of my Pop, a World War II veteran and great man. It also got the thinking and remembering about my other great grandfather (my grandmothers father) and my Uncle John, who passed away a few years ago from heart disease and was like a second father to my sister and I. I am thankful I have wonderful memories of those important people who are no longer around. It also reminds you to treasure those who are, because you just never know when it might be the last time you see or hear from them.

Thursday 13 November 2014

Day 70... Another 10 days down!

WEDNESDAY 12.11.14 - I am thankful for... Office supplies

I have been feeling lately that my desk at work is rather lacklustre. Although I don't really spend too much time in my office, I just think when I do it'd been nice to have a space to work in that inspires me a little. So I decided to go to Officeworks for a little shopping spree! I got several things in a lovely bluey green colour (as pictured). I have always been a fan of stationary, one of my favourite stores is Typo (though they don't have much in the way of desk supplies at the moment, but soooo many other cool things). I can't really tell you why, but as long as I can remember I have. At the start of every school year, mostly high school, I'd enjoy putting contact over all my books, make sure my pencil case was full of new and exciting writing utensils and that my diary was neat and ready for the year. I know a lot of girls/women who are the same, so maybe it's just a girl thing. There's just something about having funky books and stationary and desk storage that is satisfying to the eye. So I'm thankful for a my little shopping spree that will make my work desk a little more modern and inspiring!

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Day 69...

TUESDAY 11.11.14 - I am thankful for... Remembrance Day

On the 11th of November 1918, the Allies and Germany signed a treaty to mark to end of fighting in western Europe that was The First World War. On November 11th, at 11am every year, we here in Australia pause to remember, and reflect, the great sacrifice those who have fought in conflicts since and including WWI gave, so many with their lives. I was working in the cath lab today, and for the first time ever since I started working here, there was an announcement over the PA system marking the 11th hour. The voice told us that it was on this day in 1918 that the armistice (the treaty) was signed to end the fighting. Then the last post was played, followed by silence, followed by a section of The Ode of Remembrance and then finally, the Reveille. Every person in the lab stood silent and still. The only ones who continued their jobs were the nurses tending the patients, even then they did not speak a word. I was really touched that the hospital administration did that for us, because honestly when you're working its easy to let time slip by but I always like to stop for the moment's silence. I have a strong family history of war veterans. 7 Boveys I know of in total, 3 who lost their lives and whose names are on the Wall of Remembrance at the Australian War Memorial. Most recently my grandfather, who is a Vietnam veteran who has never seen himself as anything more than a man doing his job. Though I absolutely despise the very concept of war, it is unfortunately a reality in our history and continues into today. I am grateful and forever thankful for those who risked their lives for our country's freedom, so that I and everyone else here can live the lives they choose for themselves. We can never repay that debt.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Lest we forget...

Day 68...

MONDAY 10.11.14 - I am thankful for... Failures

Making my dinner and lunch for tomorrow I decided to make couscous, but do it the 'lazy man's' way; putting hot water and couscous in a bowl and cover it to soak it up. However, I didn't measure anything and was busy doing something else, forgot about it for a while and when I returned, the end result is what you see in the picture. Mush. Gooey, sloppy mush. To top it off I ran out of couscous so I couldn't even save it by adding more to soak up the excess water. Big. Fat. Couscous. FAIL. Oh well. I was a little annoyed because I was looking forward to what I was making too. But what was done was done. It got me thinking too, how many little failures do we encounter in life, and what do they say to us. This particular instance has taught me not to do it that way again, but stick to the way I usually cook it! You might think that I'm ridiculous, that being thankful for failure is stupid, perhaps impossible. But when you think about it, every failure teaches us something; what we might need to change, how to improve, how to become stronger whether it be mentally or physically, what works and what doesn't. When you have failed and you feel miserable or maybe even worthless, it's hard to find perspective to see that it isn't the end of the world, that you just have to try something else. If I've learned anything in my lifetime, especially from my wonderfully wise mother who tried to teach me this numerous times, it's that you can't dwell on your failures. Even the best and brightest in this world fail from time to time, it's what makes us human. You just have to pick yourself up and move on and find a way. Failure also helps us to appreciate the good times, the things we do right. And just maybe success is made all the more sweeter through failure, because you get to see the person you were beforehand and what you have achieved in the process to where you are now. Incredibly rewarding.

Day 67...

SUNDAY 9.11.14 - I am thankful for... Scrapbooking!

A friend of mine introduced me to scrapbooking when we were in high school. I always thought it was a fun and interesting way to display your memories in your photos, but never thought I could do it myself. She showed me that its not that hard, providing you have a little imagination. Since then I have done several scrapbooks, mainly for other people's birthdays (with very positive feedback too) and have started one for myself, chronicling my adventures overseas. Now, I would most definitely not say that I am an expert, or even really that good at it, but I really enjoy the process of creating something unique, something that I can look back on that evokes the memories I'm trying to preserve. I have always been much better at physically designing things, like craft type activities, than digitally (hopeless!) so this is the best way I know how. This is the year of getting back to doing things I love. And hopefully (providing it lasts long enough) when I have children they will get some enjoyment when looking through it.

Sunday 9 November 2014

Day 66...

SATURDAY 8.11.14 - I am thankful for... being on call

*The cath lab at work where we do life saving angiograms for heart attacks

For my job I participate in an on call roster, and this is my weekend on. The on call team is called in whenever a patient presents with a life threatening heart attack. It means we pretty much have to drop whatever we are doing and get to the hospital as soon as we can. Being on call can be sometimes tedious, boring or get called in at awful hours of the late night/early morning. I was called in around 7pm tonight and got home around 10pm, so pretty convenient hours for me at least. Even though I've been doing it a few years, I feel a little nervous every time we get called in, mainly for the patient and that we as a team can do everything as best we can to help save the patient. It's very rare to lose a patient, but it does happen, it's in the nature of what we do. But on the most often occasions where everything goes well and we stabilize the patient, you come away feel really good and satisfied with the job you've done. I have a great bond with all the people I do on call with and we all work really well as a team, which is so important. Though it's not an easy job, though it can be stressful and go very badly very quickly, I am thankful I get the opportunity to be part of a team that is there for someone at possibly one of the worse moments in their lives to date, to be hope for that person and help them. It's incredibly rewarding.

Day 65... Only 300 days to go! Oh boy...

FRIDAY 7.11.14 - I am thankful for... Choices

*Which colour would you chose?

At youth group tonight we started by playing the 'Chalk Chase'. For those who don't know, a team head off to design a trail using arrows for the other team to follow, whilst trying to throw off the other team by drawing false arrows that lead away from their track. The second team follow the first team after a given time and try to catch them. Of course, you might come to a point where there are 2 arrows pointing in 2 different directions and you have to chose which one to follow. If you're correct, the arrows continue, if not you'll find a cross and have to turn back the other way. It got me thinking how much of life is made up by the choices we make. There's everyday choices like what to eat for breakfast, what to wear for the day etc. And then there's the big life choices like what university degree to choose, what house to buy, what to name your child etc... There are good choices that continue you on your path and not so good choices where you might have to back track a little. Then there are times when you don't have a choice. When life deals you a hand whether you like it or not. All of us experience that from time to time, and you feel powerless because you have no say it what has happened, but you do have a choice on how to deal with it. The little choices we take for granted, such as what to eat or wear, may be just like that for people who have little to no food or no possessions to their name due to poverty or circumstance. So therefore I value choice in my life, because if I have choices then I have more than enough to live. I have freedom.

Saturday 8 November 2014

Day 64...

THURSDAY 6.11.14 - I am thankful for... Movies based on real events

*Theatrical poster for Oranges and Sunshine
Spending the day at home sick, feeling sorry for myself, there wasn't much else to do between sleeping than watch TV. Day time television isn't the most exciting to watch but I happened across a midday movie I decided to watch called 'Oranges and Sunshine'.  It's based on the life of a British woman named Margaret Humphreys, a social worker, who uncovered the scandal of the "home children" where children from poor families were forcibly removed from homes and relocated to either Australia or Canada. The movie follows the process of her discovering what happened and reuniting families whilst bringing worldwide attention to what happened. She listens as most of these children were not put in foster care or adopted but placed in institutions of hard labour and horrific lifestyles. I was completely drawn in from the beginning. After watching it I did what I usually do after something sparks my interest, I researched it. Why had I not heard about this? Why had this terrible lapse in judgement by the British and Australian governments not been made known, that resulted I the awful upbringing for these young children? Then I read that it was only as recently as 2010 that the governments recognised this atrocity. There are so many great movies that recount real events, especially war, natural disaster and famous crimes movies. Obviously I am aware that in some cases the movies can "Hollywood-ise" such events and they may not be exactly truthful, but I appreciate knowing significant events and people in history, so I enjoy these movies and am very thankful they are being made and continue to be made.

Wednesday 5 November 2014

Day 63...

WEDNESDAY 5.11.14 - I am thankful for... Paramedics

*Picture from

In case you weren't aware, today was 'Thank a Paramedic' Day! I honestly wished I had found out sooner because I see several a day, as I work in a hospital, and it would have been nice to tell one how much they are appreciated face to face. They are the unsung heroes of emergency medicine. First on the scene, on the front line, dealing with traumatic situations and sometimes even putting themselves in danger. They are even confronted with abuse from the very same people they are trying to help, usually due to drug and alcohol consumption by these patients. I myself have had a few personal experiences with being the patient paramedics have a attended too, and I can't speak more highly of them. One such instance was the first time I lost consciousness due to my heart condition. The two paramedics that came were named Nicole (my name) and Scott (my father's name). And if that wasn't coincidence enough, Scott and I had the same birthday! Weird! But besides that they were lovely and calm and extremely diligent. Because of this I considered a career as a paramedic myself, even going through several stages of the employment process but alas, it wasn't meant to be. So thank you to all the paramedics out there. You are a special people and you do a fantastic job without much credit. And if you are considering a career as one and have a heart for helping people, though I can't speak from experience I can imagine it would be terribly rewarding and encourage you to go for it.

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Day 62...

TUESDAY 4.11.14 - I am thankful for... Enjoying fun festivities at work

Now today has been a very difficult one for me as I have been quite conflicted in my thankfulness topic...

Today here in Australia it was Melbourne Cup Day. The biggest event in horse racing calendar, the "race that stops the nation". I was looking forward to today. Though I was at work, the girls and I wore dresses and bought flower fascinators for our hair. Everyone brought yummy nibbles and soft drink. I'm not a gambler so the only time I ever really take a punt on anything is the Melbourne Cup, and even then it's just the work sweep. So I bought a few draws and hoped for the best. All for a bit of fun right?

The first moment I felt a little uneasy is when I saw about 10 grown men forcing one of the horses into the starting barrier. It did NOT want to go in and fought very hard against them. I thought at that time that it was unusual, seeing as these horses are born and bred to race, they have done this several times over to get to where they are now. So for a horse to not want to race or go in the barrier rose concern in me. But I'll admit once the race started I quickly forgot. We all clapped and cheered and barracked for our horses we had drawn in the sweeps. We congratulated the winners (sadly I was not one), ate and drank a bit more, then returned to our work. Shortly after the race we heard that one of the horses, the favourite to win no less, had collapsed and died on the way back to its stables post race. My heart sank. This poor, beautiful creature had just dropped and passed so quickly. They labelled it as a "heart attack" and he died of "natural causes". Natural causes in unnatural circumstances perhaps? Then I remembered the Melbourne Cup last year and how a horse broke its leg during the race and was put down immediately afterwards. Now, I want to stress that I am not by any means laying blame on anyone or passing any judgement. I do not know the first thing about horse racing or what it means to train a horse. I don't know how these horses are treated or how they are looked after, though the amount of money spent on these horses I always believed they were treated amazingly. I have not grown up in that environment and don't know anyone who has. So therefore I can't point the finger and say that he died because of the race. Maybe there were underlying health conditions or maybe it was just a freak tragedy, I don't know. What I do know is that my thankfulness topic was going to be the Melbourne Cup. So while I'm thankful for dressing up a bit and enjoying a relaxed 15mins or so with work colleagues during it, an animal died today which is connected to the race and, as an animal lover, I can't be thankful for that. Hence why I decided fun festivities at work was they way to go.

Hopefully this will change they way horses are raced, if that's what can be done to prevent such things from happening again. Death of animals to provide food or in defence of people, livestock and crops maybe be one thing, but death of animals in activities that are purely for human enjoyment? Unnecessary and disgraceful, and in saying this there are much, MUCH worse activities than horse racing. What I do know is that I will be wary of supporting such activities in future if deaths like this are linked directly to the activity. Of course this is purely my opinion based on what knowledge I do have, other people may feel and think very differently.

If you are a racing expert or have knowledge in such matters, I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this matter. Please feel free to educate me on how it all works.

Day 61...

MONDAY 3.11.14 - I am thankful for...Anti-nausea tablets

Ok, so not a very enthralling one today. Work was unremarkable (in a good way) and nothing terribly bad happened, but I have just been a bit off since the weekend. Unfortunately it happens to me quite a bit, so I know it's just my body telling me I've either had too much on or pushed myself too far. So I had to stay home from bible study tonight (dislike!) and have a relaxing and early night. It's the nausea that affects me the most. I hate it! Actually, I don't know anyone who can stand it very well. Luckily for me, a little while ago, someone got me onto these anti-nausea tablets pictured above - not a great picture sorry but hey, I was feeling unwell. I honestly can't remember who. They are magic! I take one and within 15 mins I'm feeling so much better. I did still go to bed early, but at least I wasn't feeling too sick. So there you have it. If, like me, to are a victim to nausea every now and then, give these a go. I hope they work for you like they do me!

Monday 3 November 2014

Day 60... Here already!

SUNDAY 2.11.14 - I am thankful for... Jacaranda Trees

I took a quick detour via home to do a load of washing before my bestie and I did a little sight seeing of Sydney before her flight home tonight. As I was hanging out the washing, my housemate's young daughter said to me excitedly, "Nikki, look at the purple tree!", purple being her favourite colour. I asked her if she knew what it was called, she shook her head, so I told her "It's called a Jacaranda Tree". You always know its spring when the Jacarandas start to bloom, which is a memory I have since being at primary school. The light purple flowers always look amazing in contrast to the green leaves of the trees around it and are found in many places around the world. There are several places here in Australia (that I know of) that have an annual Jacaranda Festival to celebrate. And did you know, the Chinese use the leaves to make a distinctive purple dye? There's your fun fact for the day. So I am thankful for beautiful and unique trees like the Jacaranda, that bring colour and life to spring.

Day 59...

SATURDAY 1.11.14 - I am thankful for... Water

Though I love summer and prefer hot weather to cold weather, today was very hot. The air-conditioning in our hotel room wasn't quite working properly, so our room was a bit stuffy when we woke this morning. After a lovely breakfast, my bestie went off to her conference session for the day and I went off to my Zumba class. It was quite fortunate we were staying about a 5-10min walk away from my usual Saturday morning class! There were so many people in the class today that everyone was dying of the heat afterwards; I was as red as a tomato and I must have gone through my entire water bottle in about 45mins! On the way back to the hotel I walked past the harbour and took the picture above, the water looked so inviting I wanted to just dive in! I also went to the hairdressers to get my hair done for the Gala Formal Dinner we attended tonight, as did my bestie, and halfway through it absolutely bucketed down with rain. Luckily, it had subsided so we didn't ruin out hairdos before the ball (First World problems, right?). When thinking about what I was thankful for today it did seem quite obvious... water. I am thankful that we can drink water to replenish our thirst. I am thankful we can swim in water at the beach, in a pool or lake (NOT the Sydney Harbour) for recreation and to cool down. I am thankful that here we have an abundance of water to bathe in and wash our hands to keep clean. I am thankful we have rain to water our earth when it needs it. Whilst I'm aware that water can be a strong and unforgiving force of nature (flooding and drought) there is no way we could ever live without it. Afterall, our own bodies are 70% water! Even though it seems to us that water is "always there", it's not the case for everyone around the world. I choose to not take it for granted.

Day 58...

FRIDAY 31.10.14 - I am thankful for... City Lights

One of my bestie's is here for a medical conference and she invited me to all the fun things organised for this weekend! Woo! Tonight we went on a dinner cruise of Sydney Harbour and once the sun went down, the views of the city lit up were fantastic. The picture above is of Sydney Opera House (for those of you not familiar with Australian landmarks) with the CBD in the background. Unfortunately, I only had my phone which doesn't take the best photos at night, but I think you can get the idea. It was nice also to see my bestie enjoy herself so much, not having been to Sydney very often, and appreciate all the different sights around the harbour at dusk and night. Though the breeze was quite chilly, many people braved it to enjoy the harbour by night as well. I couldn't help but think of U2's song 'City of Blinding Lights' in my head as we went around! So all in all it was a great night, the dinner was delicious and we met some great people and enjoyed the sights. If you ever get a chance to do a harbour cruise by night, I highly recommend it.

Day 57...

THURSDAY 30.10.14 - I am thankful for... Starting my Christmas shopping early!

Since deciding to only give Christmas gifts from charities and non-profit organisations (I mentioned this in an earlier blog) I have gotten in early and started my shopping today. I love giving gifts, shopping around for each person hoping I get something they will really like, but there's also something a little extra special about knowing the money is going to a worthy cause.Several people are being blessed by each gift I buy, the recipient, the organisation and the people/animals/places that are recipients of the organisations help. However, this is not as easy as it sounds because obviously your shopping options are a little more limited that just going to the local Westfields and doing it all it one hit. So today I had an idea of a few people's gifts and have gotten straight into it, knowing most of it will have to be done online and to prevent any stress as we get closer to Christmas. It's coming up quickly, and I planned to be super dooper prepared!