My breast reduction surgery – 6 months

Well, almost six months since I’ve had the chop!

I still have some tenderness and occasional pain, but it’s not strong, more achy than anything.

I still need to have something separating my breasts from the seatbelt as it starts to get annoying after about ten minutes.

However I’m still happy with the size and how the scars are healing. The nipple scars are fairly stable – some flat but others not so much. The other scars on the body of the breast are mostly flat and fading.

There’s a fair way to go, however I’m sure they will eventually be quite unnoticeable.

Regrets equal zero!

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,

100 million

Sounds like a lot, huh.

Australia’s Powerball is jackpotting to $100 million dollars this week. Not long ago I wrote about being a little bit jelly of a Canberra man who won $50 million all to himself. Last night at the dinner table the kids and us talked about what we might do if we won $100 million dollars.

It was an interesting discussion because as some of them noted, it’s so much, you wouldn’t need more than $1million to really do things like pay the mortgage (none of them have a mortgage yet). We talked about who you might tell – pretty much no one, as the false friends and party people will help you spend it then disappear. We talked about those big winners of lotto in the past, and how many of them are now back to where they started as they’ve spent it all (or had it spent for them) and sometimes worse off because they’ve lost friends or relationships.

So what would I do with $100 million, when half a million would clear all our debts?

1. Give it away.

Straight up $50 million would be given away. Here’s who’d get it:

  • Animal rescue organisations
  • Environmental organisations
  • Organisations who research mental illness, Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • Organisations that research childhood illnesses
  • Cancer research organisations
  • Organisations that support people through illness
  • Organisations lobbying for the legalisation of euthanasia
  • LGBTQI support organisations
  • Indigenous support organisations
  • Our children’s local state schools
  • Domestic violence support services
  • Drug and alcohol support services
  • Homeless people support services
  • Organisations that support people overseas either medically or with basic supplies
  • Zero dollars to political parties!

Right, that took a bit of thought. Now I’ve still got $50 million! (Please note that the government of the day – whatever flavour – should be supporting most of these services. The fact that I feel like I need to give them more money is an indication of how at the moment, I don’t feel like they’re being supported enough.

2. Give away some more

I’ve always wanted to do some sort of ongoing scholarships for education, since I worked in education for quite some time. Education gives people opportunities they don’t otherwise have in this life, and it’s tough enough getting jobs with education at the moment, let alone without any!

So I would have specific scholarships to assist:

  • Students studying in Vocation Education and Training (VET) – any course
  • Students studying art – VET and university
  • Students doing research for changing the world (pretty broad, probably have to narrow that down!) at university
  • Students doing research for the advancement of technology
  • Students working in aged care – whether they’re studying it or not
  • Students working in child care – whether they’re studying it or not
  • Indigenous scholarships – VET or university
  • Refugee scholarships – VET or university
  • Travel scholarship – highly motivated, high achieving students who want to take a gap year to travel and get some life experience
  • Scholarships to support autistic and or kids with learning disabilities through high school and college
  • Scholarships to support young people with carer roles through college
  • Scholarships to assist young women with children through college or VET education
  • Scholarships to assist young people with mental health issues to stay in school
  • Scholarships to assist people over 40 retraining after job loss.

These would be fully endowed scholarships (retaining the principle money).

OK, let’s say we’re now down another $25 million. That’s still $25 million to go!

3. Spend some

Ok, the lovely and I have a few things we might want to do. Right now we could use some cash to:

  • pay off our mortgage
  • get another car for the kids
  • take everyone on a grand adventure holiday!

Then what? Like I said, half a million and we’re done with what we ‘need’. Let’s round it to a million for this exercise.

But what do we want? I’d want the lovely to give up working in such a stressful job. I think I would continue to work for now because I’m really enjoying it.

Of course I’d be consulting with the lovely on all of the things we might do with the money because it would be ours, not just mine but so far I’m pretty confident she’d be supportive but I can’t say specifically what she might do so let’s say $5 million for whatever it is that she has in mind.

Now we still have $19 million left!

So, let’s:

  • Give some money to our brothers – we have one each
  • Give some money to our parents
  • Buy a holiday house somewhere where we can have everyone come and stay (that’s a big house, we have six kids between us!)
  • Invest to earn a yearly income (currently you can put money away and get 3.95 per cent interest for 12 months) to live on
  • Invest to have a holiday each year
  • Buy the kids each a house to one million dollars (that could be a big one or small one depending on where they want to buy!)

Ok, so we’re finally down to the last $3 million! Phew! Well maybe we’ll just put that away for some new ideas that arrive later. Maybe we’ll buy some art for Australia. Or pay for someone’s IVF cycle or cancer treatment. Who knows, let’s just bank it for now and earn an income off it.

And of course pay tax to support the Australian economy, although I suspect that there is quite a bit of offset with the scholarships, depending on how they are set up. Tax minimisation is not the reason for their being though.

Well, this has been fun – and hard! – spending $100 million! Better go and buy a ticket now just in case!

How would you spend it?

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,

P.S. I played Monopoly with my 12 year old daughter yesterday and she beat me by $2000! Maybe I should let her decide what to spend it all on!

board game chance fun gambling

Photo by Pixabay on






More dinners

Tonight I ended up at Vietnamese, which was delicious. And hot temperature wise. Nang is just across the road from the hotel and although last night there was one person there, tonight it was packed.

OK, I thought, I’ll give that a crack. Probably shouldn’t go the burger and chips option again after twice last week!

All I had was the special fried rice in a clay pot and spring rolls. Both were very tasty and seriously temperature hot! I elected to take half the rice for lunch tomorrow so I could fit in dessert. $28.00 but I’m getting lunch out of it so not bad value.

I ended up at Bay Vista dessert bar and cafe, a massive space with a lot of student age people inside. This should have been a hint. The 90s style dessert menu should have also been a hint.

I ended up looking at the selection since I couldn’t decide from the 20 page menu. I’ve made too many choices today already! The caramel cheesecake appealed so I went went with that for $14.90. I can see why the place is popular…

CheesecakeGigantic serve.

Sadly though, at least for my taste buds, it was a big pile of meh. Caramel taste non existent, cheesecake base was OK I guess. Bits on top – tasteless. Chocolate sauce was great – best of plate but even it couldn’t improve the cheesecake. Disappointing.

Perhaps in my 20s, during the 90s I would have enjoyed it but not in 2018.

Meanwhile sunrise from my window is quite lovely! If only they cleaned the glass I could get a better shot!

Sunrise through window


For a while now I’ve been hearing about growth mindset and fixed mindset – mostly at work. A few weeks or more ago I borrowed Carol S Dweck’s book ‘mindset’ to read from a colleague. I’m finally able to read it as I’m away for work and it was a light book to bring along!

I’m not particularly far into it yet but she writes in a way that is very easy and relatable and I’m already considering different things.

Firstly, for the most part I have a growth mindset. This is the mindset that does not believe that intelligence is set but can be improved with effort and continual learning.

The fixed mindset is one that believes you have what you’ve got and that if you’re smart, you don’t have to exert effort or practice.

Growth mindsets see failure as opportunity to learn and try harder. Fixed mindsets see failure as devastation and an indication of not being good enough.

While I mostly identify with the growth mindset, I considered where I might have a fixed one and came up with a couple of areas.

Running, which I have been avoiding since my surgery and in fact even before that. I feel like and also talk about, not really being a good runner with quite a few limitations.

Managing my weight, which is a little tricker but I think I can see that I feel like it’s almost inevitable that I’ll always be fat because my mother was and still is and why would I be any different?

So I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do about these things with my self imposed limitations – my fixed mindset.

Another interesting thing is recognising the fixed and growth mindsets in our children…

I just need to keep reading to find out how I can move through the stuck bits!

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,

Well hello Parramatta!

Here I am in Parramatta, Sydney, for work. I’m staying at the Parkroyal Parramatta hotel which is quite nice but never the less has no cooking facilities. This is not a mistake I will make again!

Also I forgot a bowl, so my porridge was quite the messy experiment in a borrowed mug this morning! I think I got to eat about half of it!

However, in the spirit of just letting it all go, I’m getting out and about and trying not to feel too corpulent while I’m at it.

Last night I ate at a Thai restaurant. There are a few here around where I’m staying and this one seemed like a pretty stock standard option. Three entrees- satay chicken skewers, deep fried calamari and spring rolls – later, I heartily agree. Stock standard but good – calamari a stand out. I also had a drink which was kind of a fruit and coconut combination – was more of a solid than a drink until it melted. Still it was pretty good too. Thai La-ong was a decent choice for last night’s dinner.

Tonight I ventured across the road to Coco Cubana, a small restaurant/bar featuring South American/Mexican type food. Lucky for me it was Tuesday, so I was able to get a $10 mango mojito to start with.


I elected to try the steak fajita and also corn chips with guacamole. Both were good. Chips served warm and thin with some chunky guacamole- although not particularly spicy. The steak strips were delicious and tender, served with roasted capsicum, not enough guacamole or salsa, and some tortillas. It was very enjoyable, despite wanting more salsa!

I wanted to hang around a bit longer, as I was seated in a comfy chair looking out to the street, and reading my book while listening to the tunes – I sound like a complete wanker but this is what you do when you’re all alone on a work trip!

Since I’d been careful not to completely stuff myself I had room for dessert, which did not disappoint! A ‘churro scroll’ with ice cream, some (not enough) courveture chocolate and caramel sauce, topped with caramel popcorn.

Churro and ice cream dessert Call me simple, but it was delicious and not overly big or too rich.

With no further excuses, I headed back up to my hotel room, where I finally worked out how to turn off the air conditioning. Too hot for me last night but when I turned it down, it blew cold air! I’m getting better at working these things out…

Disaster night

Last night we ended up watching the back half of the movie 2012. In it the world ends with some dodgy acting and special effects. Meanwhile, we are supposed to dislike a character who is a corpulent Russian billionaire who has dumped his wife for a younger model, then dumps her because she’s having an affair with someone else. He’s bought tickets for a billion dollars for himself and his two spoiled sons on the arks (I know, spoiler alert). Towards the end he heroically throws his son into the ark while falling to his own death. We are supposed to say ‘well, he got his karma’.

The thing is, very few people are purely bad or purely good. People instead are generally good, with flaws that cause them to do things that aren’t great sometimes.

Segue – I had the opportunity to see Rachel Robertson speak at my work this week. She talked through some of her experiences leading an Antarctic expedition for a year. One of the things she spoke about was no triangles. You don’t speak to me about them; I don’t speak to them about you.

She also had a number of other great stories and lessons on leadership including stepping up when no one else does, and counting the little wins when it’s all about work. (This article sums it up pretty well.) I completely recommend seeing her if you have the chance.


Two people I know are in a struggle right now. They are both good people with flaws. One of them can be selfish at times. The other frustrated by people’s inability to think of others. I’ve been in the middle of them pretty often and it’s tricky.

Last night I let them battle it out by themselves. I don’t want to be in the triangle and my intervention always upset both of them anyway – it never worked right. Yep it got messy and now they’re both upset. However, they are now also seeing perspectives directly from each other instead of me trying to present something to each of them.

One thing Rachel said was this – respect trumps harmony every time. It’s impossible to keep things harmonious and move forward. Respectful disagreements are ok though – they bring change and understanding.

What will happen with my two people? Hopefully they will come to an understanding.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,


Although I was at work this week in Brisbane, I did have the opportunity to eat out a couple of times. When I’m travelling, I try to keep it reasonably healthy – salad and fish for lunch, porridge for breakfast, a piece of fruit a day. My evening meals are generally fish or protein (this time I had pork fillets) with some veges and I treat myself a meal out.

This week though I ended up eating out twice, as the friend I was waiting to get back to me didn’t get back to me and I decided to go ahead and find something to eat. I ended up at Miss Kay’s which is a burger joint on George Street.

It got busier as I sat there and served up loaded fries, burgers and milkshakes, as well as having a bar. The ambiance was OK – 80s movies playing on TV, some music and black tiled surfaces. I was there early and they clearly needed to get some more staff of because the young woman was friendly but clearly doing all the jobs of serving, taking orders and clearing away. Eventually a couple of other people appeared.

I ordered a James Brownie chocolate milkshake, Miss Kay’s fries and a Ludakrisp chicken burger. Although I waited some time for the food – see above for missing staff – it was tasty when it arrived. The chicken was crispy fried and the chips were seasoned with something yummy. The milkshake had plenty of cream on top and was chocolatety and creamy, although I would call it cake more than brownie on top.

Burger and fries

Later that evening I got a text from my friend so we met up the next night at Fat Noodle, Luke Nguyen’s restaurant in the Treasury. We ordered to share – chicken and coriander dumplings, edamame with sea salt, twice cooked pork belly and chicken pad thai. I also had a quite yummy cocktail (I think it was a Pink Lady) with watermelon and lychee.

Our food arrived super quickly and the service was great. The food wasn’t as good as I expected though. The dumplings were a little dry and chewy, even with the dipping soy provided. The pork belly, although it had a very yummy crackling on top, was also a little dry and there was not enough of the sauce to go around (or the pork for that matter). It came with some soup which we asked how to eat – apparently you just have mouthfuls of it as you wish. It had a nice umami flavour but I didn’t enjoy it enough to have more than two mouthfuls. The pad thai was delicious and the chicken was moist. Best of the meal. Edamame is, well pretty much edamame!

My next eating out opportunity happened on the way home at the Brisbane domestic terminal, where I ate Carl’s Jr. Not expecting terribly much I was super surprised that this was a way tasty burger and fries! I ordered the Guacamole burger and it was quite large and really, really yummy! Sounds silly but it was the best thing I ate out all week! Completely recommend. (Looks like currently there are only three locations but they are set to expand into Victoria soon.)

Next week, Parramatta.

Wait, what??!!

The Front

Well I wasn’t intending to blog about breakfast but it was so good I have to!

The Front is a cafe in Lyneham, Canberra that was a bit daggy but has now been renovated. It’s always had local artists work there and so we were interested in seeing what it was all about- we’d heard good things!

Firstly the renovation looks good! Clean and bright, two rooms facing out to the street.

Cafe interior

The menu is not extensive but the hot chocolate was good! I ordered hot cakes with sweet potato and maple purée with macadamia crumble, ginger and lime. The lovely ordered the spicy fritters with poached eggs and greens.

Hot cakes

This is why I had to blog! Look at this!!

The hot cakes were thick and fluffy, sweet potato purée was totally yummy and a squeeze of lime added a little acidity. I had to leave a bite on the plate as I was so full!

Fritters and vegetable

Looks a lot healthier than the hot cakes!

The fritters were just spicy enough for breakfast and the eggs were poached perfectly. The lovely enjoyed the greens as well.

Staff were very friendly. Totally recommend!


Paper art – very cool!