A/N: Whoops this is late, anyway hope everyone like this one- has a bit of a twist at the end (isn’t exactly in line with the prompt but oh well). Make sure you check out Tim’s work.
Prompt: Near Miss
Word Limit: 300 words
It wasn’t easy being a battlefield messenger, carrying top secret messages to and from different locations. Being under heavy fire tended to make most jobs difficult though, and Peter wasn’t about to let a small obstacle like gunfire keep him from being the very best errand boy ever.
There was a kind of thrill and exhilaration to be found in dodging bullets, narrowly avoiding mines and evading grenades. It came with a lot of anxiety and nervousness but still adrenaline was to be found in it and when you can get that kind of rush from a job it is hard to imagine doing something else.
You guys are all great at keeping in touch with me via PM’s on Facebook, WhatsApp and emails. I feel a tad guilty that I’ve been unable to connect with you as much as I would like and it’s been a while since I have posted here on my personal blog. So settle in for a read and I’ll share what I’ve been getting up to.
Remember a while back I talked about the decision of whether to combine the two blogs (Dragon Sisters and this one)? – jury is still out on that one. I do feel keeping sepeerate is probably better but time to do both is sometimes problematic!
So what have I been busy with?
On the personal well being side of things, I’m still dragon boating. I’m also co-facilitating the Intro to Paddling program for the Waterfront Warriors. It’s the best bit about the sport, being able to introduce new people to it. The structured program works well and we’ve been getting excellent feedback.
It’s great to be working in a cooperative environment where there are no egos! I’ve also been able to bring all my marketing skills and almost 18 years of dragon boat to help rebuild the club which came close to folding after the National titles earlier this year.
I am not on the committee as I feel my time for that side of stuff has been well and truly served. However, I do enjoy and feel a sense of needing to given back and be supportive of a sport that has given me so much.
You can check our my spontaneous little Facebook Live promo video below and see where we paddle.
Going paddling is what keeps me sane. I thoroughly enjoy being out on the water as it really blows away all the cobwebs. Taking out new paddlers is also a delight.
Robert, my brother is still waiting to hear about his Australian Immigration. All very frustrating and he had to gain a Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery, despite 20 plus years of experience in UK, much of that as Head Chef! He had to fly to Melbourne and do an interview with an assessor for RPL – it was an easy process, but an expensive one!
It’s lovely to have him with us, and we all get spoilt with nice meals all prepared to us. Sasha and Wayne are also enjoying getting to know their Uncle better – it’s like having 3 big kids in the house!
Janie (our old dog) is turning into a very grand old lady – many of you will remember Janie.
Her legs give out on her every so often, she can’t go for walks but loves to potter around the garden, sleep in my office when I’m in there working, or down in my room each evening. She used to get on Sasha’s bed, but can’t jump on and off anymore so has decided I’m a better bet. Molly, the young one bounces about full of energy, but knows Janie is boss.
On the business front
I’ve been thrilled that Denise Dunn from Slappa’s Thongs agreed to allow me to nominate her for the Telstra Business Women’s Awards, and I’ve just got the news today that she’s through to the next round of a face to face interview. YeeHaa! Denise was a wonderful supporter of Dragons Abreast and of Lifeline Top End during my tenure there. Winning the Award in 2004 was a big boost for me and I am hoping it will be the same for Denise – she’s winning material for sure.
Yvonne and I (Dragon Sisters) have been busy with Smarkting Workshop delivery and development. I love doing the Face to Face delivery and the next one is here in Darwin on the 31st August – Smarketing101.
We’ve broken it all down into a series of 3 that build and add to each other. Now to convert it all into a fomat that can be delivered online. This is a challenge but one that I will manage!
Always fun learning about the new technology, even if it does frustrate me at times! Biggest thing is making sure I do not disappear down a rabbit hole as I come across new stuff. I’ve also been lucky to find a really great VA to help out, and to connect with some talented individuals via Facebook groups.
Dragon Sisters has a new website coming very soon and also just started a closed Facebook Group – The SMART Circle – it’s by no means exclusive, but it is business focussed and based on the ethos of being SMART. This stands for supportive, motivational, aspirational, refreshing and talented.It’s a place where those who are like minded help each other move our businesses ahead – paying it forward. I’m thrilled to have a small, diverse and truly talented bunch of individuals in the circle. If you are in business and would like to join, just click the link and ask to join.
The editing, ghost and copywriting side of the business continue to chug along and it’s nice to have Sasha working as part of the writing bureau team.
My next project is a business retreat in November – details will be released end of August.
Well my dear friends and followers, that’s a little snapshot of where I am right now.
My bag is heavy with supplies, compass and maps along with food and water. In my hand I grasp an old telecommunications device, what people use to call a phone back in the 21st century. The winds are strong today and dust is being constantly flung into my eyes, I guess that should be expected.
I am currently in a land once called Australia, now called the stray land. Specifically I am in a small part of the stray land that was once called Alice Springs, according to the…
The little box here on WordPress is telling me it’s a month since I’ve written anything here. Where has the time gone?
Actually, I do know. I’ve been kept busy with the business side of things. It’s been interesting times as I’ve been grappling with learning more about new fangled way of doing things. It’s really interesting! It also takes up way too much time.
Do you share this WordPress Dilemma is a post I recently did for Dragon Sisters, but I’m thinking many of my followers here may find this helpful. Then again maybe you guys already knew all this about WordPress? If not, hopefully it’ll help you avoid my dilemma.
Since it does not look like I’ll be heading back to Europe in the near future, I’ve registered (at the suggestion of one of my clients) with the NT Department of Business as a consultant. This means NT businesses which are eligible for funding from the Department are able to choose from a list of consultants and I’m one of them.
Speaking of Europe – I’m feeling very sad tonight that the vote has been for the UK to leave the European Union. A good friend of mine wrote this after we heard the news:
Now comes the hard part.
Young people and others who wanted a different outcome but didn’t bother voting have to face up to the consequences of the abdication of their civic duty.
A huge task of reconciling a divided nation in which the divisions have been etched in with a diamond-tipped, power-driven electoral chisel:
Young v Old; North v South; Regions v Metropolitan Areas; Rural v Urban; Scotland and N Ireland v England and Wales; Right v Left; Blairites v Corbynites; Ukippers/Brexiteers v Centre Right/One Nation Tories, English/Welsh v EU/Non EU migrants (now all feeling unwelcome);
The hardest part of all will be in how to appease the 52% who voted Leave, when they eventually realise that absolutely nothing (not one iota of anything that matters – mark my words) will change.
Nothing will quite literally change for about 2 years, until the steps are completed to disengage.
After disengagement, immigration rates will continue at current levels (see why below).
After disengagement, identical payments to access EU markets will continue (otherwise more EU referendums will follow).
After disengagement, almost identical terms of EU trade will be negotiated (otherwise more EU referendums will follow).
EU migrants will continue to come (armed with easily acquired visas issued by overseas embassies and consulates authorized to make decisions regardless of the wishes of Brexiteers).
New UK laws passed to replace repealed EU laws will look indistinguishable from the laws they replace, to fit in with international health, employment and safety standards and international law.
The unskilled still be under pressure as large scale manufacturing and agriculture and other sources of casual and unskilled labour evolve increasingly mechanised production systems.
In only the time it takes for hardworking, aspirational second generation migrants to graduate from university (as most of them end up doing) and enter the labour market, there will be a sudden dawning realisation.
The jobs that neither we, nor our children and grandchildren (nor the children and grandchildren of first generation migrants) want to do – cooking,
work place cleaning, building site labouring, fruit & veg picking, shelf stacking, shopkeeping, bus driving, bus/train attendants nursing, nannying, housekeeping, janitorial duties, street sweeping, night security work, delivery driving, post office till work, super market till work, department store till work, grave digging, elderly care work, social child care work, mental health care work…… Many NHS staff….
………..it will eventually dawn on everyone that the only way to get these societally essential jobs done, will be to let in some more migrants.
Migrants are good for the country – regardless of whether it is UK or Australia. I’m a migrant as are so many others and we all have a good work ethic and no sense of entitlement.
Ignorance is what causes fear. Fear of what is not understood. Education, both of the formal and travel the world kind, is the key to breaking the cycle.
The older I get, the more I appreciate all the experiences I have lived. I am thankful to have travelled extensively, to have received a great formal eduction as well through my life growing up globally. I am very fortunate to have friends from so many different nations. Our skin colours and religious beliefs have no bearing on our friendships and I am doubly pleased this has passed on to both my children.
I am not a political animal, but I do have a number of friends heavily involved in politics on both sides of the fence. An election is in the air, both at Territory government and at the Federal level so there’s a more than the usual amount of door knocking and pamphlets in my letter box happening.
Yesterday morning I met the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, at an informal coffee catch up down at the fabulously located Cornucopia Restaurant.
It was interesting to watch the entourage at work, and the masses of camera’s that clicked away madly, especially around the babies! Admittedly, the kids were very cute and well behaved.
So what was I doing down there?
Well, the PM was with our current sitting member Natasha Griggs to promise a PET scanner for the Alan Walker Cancer Centre if they are re-elected. I was invited as a breast cancer survivor and the rest of the small group of guests were also those whose lives have been touched by cancer.
A PET scanner is a very expensive piece of equipment – millions of dollars – and we are the only jurisdiction in Australia without one which means patients need to travel interstate to access such diagnostic equipment.
The Opposition is similarly promising the same – so regardless of who wins the election, it seems like we’ll get the PET scanner. I certainly hope so.
The thing that I find so fascinating is that if both parties are able to promise a PET scanner, then how come it has not been provided to date?
I am not as closely involved in the advocacy world as I once was, so I am not sure of all the details around reasons why, but the one thing I do know is:
When people combine to make their voices heard things start to happen
Often it takes years of lobbying and advocacy to bring something to fruition
Advocates are vital and advocacy needs to be above politics
I did ask the PM if the felt the role of the advocate had made a difference to services. He confirmed that a patient centred approach was always the way to go – not exactly his words, more a case of me paraphrasing.
When I was diagnosed, almost 19 years ago, we had no oncologist, no breast care nurses, no McGrath Foundation and no Alan Walker Centre – today we have all of these things thanks to lots of lobbying and persistence all round by a vast number of individuals. Several of them have lost their battles and not benefitted from the improvements to services and conditions, but those that follow do.
From a personal perspective, the work I have done as an advocate has always been driven by the desire to see better services in place for my daughter and my nieces.
As we said back when we started our campaigning for breast cancer awareness (back in 1998), it’s not about us, it’s about those who follow down this pathway. It’s also about working in cooperation with others who will benefit from the same services.
Cancer is not about politics. It is bipartisan and does not discriminate. Allocation of funding should come regardless of who wins office at the next election.
It is also my personal belief that we need to continue to develop advocates who will continue the fight to ensure cancer patients are provided with the best services and conditions possible.
It’s National Volunteer Week and this year is the first time in over 18 years that I have not been involved with volunteering or organising something for volunteers. Last year doesn’t count because I was in Spain.
You know me, I can‘t just sit on my hands, so when I saw the appeal go out for help, I stuck up my hand – or more accurately I filled in the online box.
We are in the age of technology after all and it was all just a matter of type. Click. Upload my Working with Children card. Press submit – so easy!
So where am I volunteering? This is something different for me – it’s the Starlight Foundation Ball tomorrow night at the Convention Centre. Instead of being a guest, I’ll be helping out by donating my time as a helper for a very worthy cause to raise much needed funds to benefit Territory kids.
I’m lucky I never had to go through the anxiety of a sick child in hospital, but for those who do, it’s nice to know the Starlight Foundation is there to help make things a little easier.
It’s always a personal pleasure to give my time to worthy causes – I enjoy volunteering and meeting new people. It’s usually hard work, but also lots of fun and best of all, I almost always learn something! I’m sure tomorrow will be no different.
As I sign off, I just want to say how grateful I am to have worked with so many fabulous volunteers over the years. Many of my great friendships have been made as a result of volunteering. Volunteers are the life blood of this country.
Love to hear how other people choose to volunteer – there are so many worthy causes in the world.