New South Wales makes a good pie

Pies are a symbol of Modern Australia.

We eat them, devour them, feel warmth as they fill up our bellies. We can create them.

CHUNKY STEAK

So the other week I visited the small town of Braidwood. It was a pretty historic town with a welcoming environment – small but worth the pie.

It started a country town pie 🥧 search obsession.

This week I visited Goulburn. This is the home of the NSW Police Academy and a gaol. Safety and fear together you could say.

How would my pie encounter unfold?

My chunky steak pie was 😋 (picture above)

My friend had a steak, bacon and cheese. I stole a photo for your pleasure.

STEAK, BACON AND CHEESE

Visit Australia for the sunsets, beaches and stars?

Or the country recipes of the pies.

Which coast is this one?

Australia is a land of coastlines. The Gold Coast, The Sunshine Coast, The east coast, the west coast, The Sapphire Coast, and the list continues…

This weekend I took myself to The Central Coast, just north of Sydney Metro area. It is home to many who work in Sydney, seeing the one hour or so commute as a good option.

I went to a line of the popular beaches – Wamberal, Terrigal, Avoca.

Each little coastline was a simple lighthouse toward ocean. The broad open Tasman Sea, the almost never ending Pacific Ocean beyond.

Wamberal Beach viewed from Terrigal Beach

I had never actually been to this coastline, despite it being so close to Sydney. I had only ever travelled through the inland parts of The Central Coast’s, where the motorway connects Sydney to elsewhere.

I loved seeing this little breathe of calmness close to Sydney. It relaxed the weekend and I hope everyone else found a relaxing moment in their own. 😋

Avoca Beach

Gerringong – South Coast NSW

There are things you focus your life on without knowing your surroundings.

Travel can ignite this personal realisation.

It was there, but I didn’t know it even existed.

That is Gerringong to me.

I only realised this beach town existed a few months ago.

Gerringong is two hours south of Sydney, a city I spent much of my life living in.

I came down for a festival at a beautiful winery near the coast. A coast like many in NSW, filled with nature and human enjoyment…but calm.

Tunes and rolling hills. Wine made and wine grown. This was what came alive for me.

Visit the places surrounding you. Not the focus of your lives, but the illuminating places just outside of them.

The more I talk of my illness, the more friends leave.

Illness is an individual experience.

There are many illnesses that could be terminal or chronic for several years. I personally found my own recovery with Brain Injury had a few key points that made it difficult to explain and ‘socialise’ with;

  • The controlling reality of Brain Injury is often ONLY learnt through having it. (example: fatigue, attention to detail, sporadic memory loss, frustration).
  • Brain Injury understanding often (but not always as I described here with AVM) aligns with physical injuries. The social element means people focus on the recovery of your external body they can see.
  • Many psychological illnesses require experience to understand the feelings and dark vision it can create without an ‘escape’ seeming possible.
  • It’s a numbers game, recovery can take a long time and most of your friends are come and go parts of your life – before and after the accident. Don’t blame yourself.

Talking from my own experience, I would still urge people to speak up about their illness. However, do it with people who will not judge or put you down where possible. Their negative actions will only compound the feeling of withdrawal from society and will not be beneficial in the end.

Speak up! There are so many campaigns or organisations targeted on doing this with mental illness. Yet my personal experience tells me too many people still think you are just focusing on your self again. Self focus is actually a common symptom of Brain Injury and looking back I can see why. It’s like you’re drowning and your self focus is a call for help. If you were physically drowning in the ocean someone would rush to your aid, unfortunately with mental illness people may judge you instead – but power on!

Be honest, teach as you learn yourself and some will stay or new friends will come. Your mental recovery is about you, not those who didn’t have the time to listen. Be confident you are worth it – having 1 friend or 300 friends is irrelevant to your mental recovery ❤

Katoomba – viewing the aura of the land

The three sisters

Katoomba is west of Sydney. It is the main, but not the only, site for visitors to the Blue Mountains.

After a 2 hour journey yesterday to see this little town, I automatically decided to head for the main viewing platform of ECHO POINT.

Why the echo? Look beyond as your eyes play with the expanse.

Echo Point

I’m not in Katoomba to truly hike the land and immerse myself in the greenery. If you choose to do so, take some time to bask in the luxury of nature presented to us here.

I did meet a local cockatoo ☺️

He loved his chip

Blue Mountains – the emerald city shining

I woke up this morning. I thought for a moment. I searched some nearby hotels in the Blue Mountains, a city adjacent to Sydney. I made a decision to explore a place known by me, next to our emerald city, a train ride away.

I booked with little reasoning.

I now sit on the train toward the west. A two hour ride into the known lands of wilderness unknown. Time to explore again.

Earth, Wind, Fire, Water: It’s All Here!

Today, for Sunday Stills, the theme is: The Elements of earth, wind, water and fire…….I wanted to find a photo with all of them, not an easy task! I scoured my collection of a bazillion photos! Ha ha! I found this photo that I took of another ship, the Crown Princess, that was anchored off […]

Earth, Wind, Fire, Water: It’s All Here!

Re-imagining my story

Many know I’m writing a book about the recovery from an accident where I fell 15 metres off a building in 2014. It was no easy journey. Neither is the completion of a perfectly packaged book for a publisher to support printing and distributing the work.

Recently, I employed a professional editor to review a chapter and a half. She gave me a few pointers I will incorporate and felt I could revisit the story in a more logical professional manner – in a way separating myself to become the reader a little more.

So I am working on a memoir exercise book, gradually piecing the story back together, by pulling it apart.

The difficulty with the story is how it was not written as a recollection. I did not decide to tell my story after recovery in a thoughtfully clear moment.

It was written during the events occurring. For this reason it inhabits the mind and embodies the voice of a person suffering from Brain Injury, of me suffering from Brain Injury. I am trying not to lose that voice to who I am today. I didn’t write the book. Paul from 2014 after falling 15 metres off a building wrote the start of the book. That is the person I want to convey as the storyteller to future readers.

This week I looked at the theme of the story.

Here is a list of words I made that embody the story’s theme;

unexpected, passion, interest, life, unknown, judgement

The exercise book had accomplishment, disappointment, victory, fear and gratitude as words to encapsulate the story I wish to tell. I felt ‘accomplishment’ was a word closest to the heart of the story. All the hard work I’d done paid off in the end. That is an amazing achievement when I read or recollect the worst stages of recovery.

I could combat struggle through confidence and strength. Strength in what I wanted in the end had to be overarching to influence me at the darkest times. Comparison and judgement were detrimental from an internal or external perspective. I had to follow my interests and passions to get through it. I learnt the value in focused listening to my needs for the first time in my life because if I didn’t, then I wouldn’t be here today.

That’s a little summary of this week. It is good to lay out the story. Within time (7 more years maybe, who knows), I will get that publisher and review/edit the over 250 pages again 🙂

Never give up. We all have a story.

Husband’s Story About That Tragic Day

A personal story and Brain Injury

Overcoming a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

On the day I got the call from police my wife had been in an accident and was unresponsive was without doubt one of the scariest moments of my life. Rushing to the hospital not knowing of she was even alive was excruciating. Seeing her for the first time in the ER, before she was brought up to the room I would become very familiar with, was heartbreaking. I cried for some time before realizing a doctor was even taking to me. Once she was set up in a trauma room in the wing of the hospital where they handled cases like hers I cried seeing her again hooked up to so many machines, all making noise and not knowing what they did. It took a few days before I could look at her without crying, thinking I might never get to hold her again or see her smile anymore…

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