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I started this blog as I entered my 40th year, and now firmly in my 40s, I continue to learn so much about life. I'm learning that life rarely goes according to plan and that there's something new to learn every single day, be it a subtle nudge or a smack in the face.... This is my blog about muddling through my 40s-working hard, writing a book, being an ammateur photographer, trying to exercise and eat well, endeavouring to be the world's best aunt, as well as having fun and laughing out loud every single day.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

#65 Dear Rocky -Calvary

Dear Rocky,

Well, it's better late than never, wouldn't you agree? I apologise for the huge space in time between reviews but am happy to be writing one more at least before the end of 2014.

You'll remember that we spent some time working through Graham's Top Ten Movie suggestions earlier in the year. Did we ever finish those? Well, the other day I stumbled across a post Graham put on his Facebook page asking people for their favourite films of 2014. One that kept coming up was Calvary.

I hadn't really heard much about it, I'm embarrassed to say, so I took myself off to the video shop and picked up a copy for Saturday night.

The cover had a photo of a priest on it, so I gathered the film had something to do with religion. What I wasn't prepared for was such a dark look at human nature.

The opening scenes are spine tingling. A threat to kill the priest "because he had done nothing wrong" - Sunday, by the water.

I found the conversation with the senior priest afterward about the rules of confidentiality so fascinating. What an incredible concept. I also found the role of the priest within the town to be no different to that of a psychologist - albeit in different clothes. The additional storyline of the priest's suicidal daughter to the already desperate stories within the town was genius. As was the modernisation of the priest's role in the town, juxtaposed with his old fashioned religious attire.

The more we saw the town's folk resist his help, and the closer we got to Sunday, the darker the movie became. I almost couldn't stand it anymore when the priest's dog was killed and as he stood atop the cliff with Dylan Moran (who I always see as Bernard Black no matter who he plays) I almost willed him to jump off. Life couldn't get much worse, could it?

Throughout the entirety I played the "who is it" game, and I was wrong. I was surprised to see Chris McDowd (is that his name?) show up on the beach. I was more surprised he shot the priest and then finally killed him, when I guessed he'd turn the gun on himself.

The final scene in the jail with the daughter - genius. I'm so glad they didn't speak, although I was sure she would say "I forgive you" after her final conversation with her father.

The only time I was confused was when the priest went to Dublin - but that was a flash forward? Was that his coffin. I'm still confused.

I felt sorry for the priest. And I thought the film was brilliant.

I'm giving it 10/10.

How about we review "To Kill a Mockingbird" next?

What did you think Rocky?  Read Rocky's review here.


Monday, December 15, 2014

#64 The Terrorist at the Lindt Cafe

My parents are gorgeous. They were so worried that my recent trip to Central America would spell disaster for their eldest child, namely in the form of kidnapping or a life imprisonment for drug trafficking. Don't ask me why.... and sorry to all of my Central American friends.

Parents worry about everything, and of course that is their right. But sadly, they needn't worry about us having to leave the country for any crisis to occur. No. Today I could have been sitting in the Lindt café in Martin Place in the centre of Sydney. Just like any other coffee date any of us could have been on.

Sipping on our hot chocolate, slowly stirring our chocolate through our warmed milk, indulging in something rich and sticky. Would we have even noticed when he walked in? The gunman I mean. Would he have demanded our attention straight away?

What would we have done? How would our bodies have reacted, our survival instincts kicking in?

I imagine my parents sitting at home watching the news as I am now. They wouldn't even have a clue if I was in the café. I'm clearly not. I'm not even in Sydney. But I could've been. And just as likely, the gunman could've been anywhere. In any café.

There is no way for us, the ordinary people, to know when, where, what or how these things will happen. I'd like to think our government, our police, our army have more of an idea. They've certainly managed - are managing - the situation today. This is not 9/11. But it's just as scary. We don't know what will happen next. Nor do we know where. Which means we don't know what to do to prevent it from happening, nor how to protect ourselves.

I don't know what else to say except I hope the remaining hostages are freed soon, unharmed, and have access to quick and effective support when they are released.

Our thoughts are with you and your families.

#63 Working to live??? I'm trying!

Well hello there, it's been quite a while and I have to admit, I've missed blogging!

Where have I been? Where haven't I been? It's a long story and I'll be happy to share over the coming weeks. But, essentially, and unfortunately, I have fallen deeper into the trap that I promise to avoid each and every year. I have taken on too much!

Since having cancer almost 5 years ago, I've battled with the urgency of fitting every possible opportunity that comes my way into my life. I have struggled with saying no. I mean, what if there isn't that much time left and I (gasp!) miss out on something!

So, in the past six months I:
  • decided to add university lecturer to my busy schedule
  • continued to write my book
  • planned and held an amazing fundraising event (with a lot of help from my friends - I'll write about that too)
  • planned and went on a trip to Mexico, Cuba and Nicaragua
  • built a house for a Nicaraguan family
  • oh, did I mention I also had a fundraiser to raise the funds for the house!
  • and, I kept up with my usual life too!
I was exhausted. Thankfully my trip provided much needed reflection time. I've made some big decisions for next year. Scary decisions. Decisions that may impact on my financial stability, which as a single person (eeeeeekkkkk!), is really very scary. But you know what, they are decisions I needed to make for my own health and wellbeing. For my quality of life. No matter how long it is.

Wednesday morning yoga classes..... I'm coming for you!

Have any of you had to make life choices like this too? I'd love to hear how it's turned out for you.

So good to be back. Thanks for reading me.

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