Wednesday, 26 November 2014


Well I must say I had an absolutely cool, funny and fantastic weekend. The concert was totally awesome, just as I knew it would be. They let Keith do a couple of songs, he did Happy and Before You Make Me Run.  I love it so much when he gets to sing.(Mick usually only lets him do one song) And man he is such a cool old rocker, and when he smiles it's like it just lights up the whole stage, he sure was enjoying himself and played his heart out. Mick was like a 20 year old athlete strutting his stuff in his usual style and gave a fantastic energetic performance. Charlie was beautiful and always the gentleman and treated us with a couple of gorgeous smiles.  Ronnie played  like the legend he is and made me laugh as he lit about 4 cigarettes while they played and still does that thing where he puts it in the neck of his guitar under the strings and plays on.  He was looking a bit the worse for wear and tear I thought, could use a few cream cakes! Lisa Fischer was, as always, utterly amazing and did a bit of a solo which had everybody spellbound. Just beautiful, the power of her voice. Great to see Mick Taylor, I hadn't expected that and he got right down to it and played some real mean guitar with the boys. There were heaps more musicians and right now I've forgotten the names of a few important ones. Bernard Fowler -OMG so much power in his voice. They played Sympathy For the Devil and bought on the Auckland Youth Choir for that, which was stunning and very moving. Forgot to mention it rained, just a drizzle, and we had rubbish bags with holes cut out for our heads and arms. I bought a T Shirt before the concert so used that for a hat. It was so cool to see this concert with my 3 long time girlfriends who are all big Stones lovers from way back.
The weekend away was a cool wee break for me, flew up with my good friend from Lyttelton and we got a rental car with a slightly faulty GPS which caused some hilarious moments and wonderfully colourful language from both of us. We got to do heaps of stuff in the very short time we were there. Managed to stick to my ginger beers when all around me were swilling beers and wines and ciders in the afternoon down at the viaduct. We were having a big catch up with my brother and his 2 sons who'd come over from Melbourne to watch it with their Dad, my daughter and 5 of her friends who flew up for it, and some other Christchurch friends. Then back to the lovely house in Beach Haven overlooking the sea to get ready for the concert, where a few more drinks and a few wotevers were going on, and a lovely icy ginger beer for me, then driven all the way to the concert and picked up afterwards by my friends husband (husbands weren't invited to attend). It occurred to me that this was the first concert I have ever been to sober or completely straight. I loved it. I heard every note, every guitar riff, noticed everything, and was totally there in each moment. It was also great not to have to be thinking about how I could get another drink and how long that would take, or lining up for the loo. I could feel the energy of the others slumping a bit as their drinks kind of wore off, and I was glad that it was all real and raw for me.
This was really my first big challenge, catching up with these friends who are totally favourite much loved girlfriends and drinking buddies from nearly forty years ago. We don't always see each other often but when we catch up we sure do make the most of it. So I think it was a little weird for them, as well as me. I don't think they found me too boring, and I found out for myself that I can still be funny and witty and have a great time. They are probably a wee bit shocked and bewildered, because I guess I was the main culprit, and the one who always got us all together. They are happy for me though, I think. It was really nice to know that I could check in and write wee posts to my online community at LivingSober, which I did a few times, and getting some responses was very cool, just to know there are people out there who have my back, and care what is going on for me. So all in all I am feeling strong, grateful and happy, and I had a mighty fine time xo

Thursday, 13 November 2014


I've been having a bit of trouble expressing myself the last couple of weeks, even to myself! I am not really sure how I am feeling. There's nothing wrong, just life going on as usual. I am happy and proud to have reached triple numbers and at 115 days today I guess I must be approaching four months. I have had a couple of nice outings lately, well parties really but in the afternoon. The first was an Upper Middle Bogan party that a girlfriend put on where me and another friend dressed the part and went along. She has given up smoking and I'd given up drinking so that was a bit of humour and a challenge for us both.  The other was a nice Jazz afternoon on a friend's lawn. I got through both of those with a couple of nice soft drinks and not really a bother at all. The Bogan one lasted till the wee hours but we got home at 6.30 after about 4 hours.
I think I am feeling a bit glum to be honest. My daughter moved out two weekends ago and I was not dreading it or anything as it was the right time and a natural progression for both of us. So now I'm rattling around in my big 4 bedroom villa on my own, and that's ok, I just feel a bit weird.  My business is very busy at this time of year, and it takes a lot of mental energy to keep up with all the details. I operate from home so you could say I don't get out much, though I do get out and about picking up parts and other necessary items required.  If I was lonely I would probably be ringing up family and friends more to have chats, but I'm not doing much of that at all. I think I am mentally exhausted by the end of the day, and just want to have something to eat, and check into and see how all my online sober buddies are doing that day. That actually takes up a lot of time but I've got a tablet now and do it away from my desk so it is separate from my work, and it's about my favourite leisure activity (is that sad)? It certainly takes a hell of a lot less time than drinking!! I love watching movies too but the stupid Sky remote isn't working and for 2 weeks I've been waiting on a replacement. Useless service!!  I guess I am still adjusting to this new way of living I've taken on, and I guess also there have been some major changes in my life since doing so.
I have heaps to be grateful for and I am looking forward to going to Auckland next weekend to catch up with friends and go to the Stones concert (for the 4th time)! Then the following weekend I am catching up with family and going on an all weekend garden tour on Banks Peninsula. That sounds so grown up and I'm not even 60 yet! Not even 59!
I've been trying to be really open to what it is in me that I've been trying to dull down with alcohol all this time.  I honestly don't know. I am hoping it will be revealed to me some time soon. I am feeling a bit boring and serious at the moment, as you can tell by the writing. Hopefully I'll have a bit more flow back on next time I check in here. I think this is my time to really try some of this self care you all talk about. I tried it tonight by cooking myself new potatoes, the first broad beans from my garden, and chicken tenders stuffed with green Harrissa and soft Italian cheese and wrapped in prosciutto. It was lovely but I felt like a bit of a dick cooking and eating it by myself. I'd bought the ingredients last weekend thinking one of the kids might be over for dinner, so thought I'd better use it up. Here begins a long weekend, and one way or another I intend to make the most of it. Could be reading, could be writing, could be working, could be movies, could be visiting, could be navel gazing, or if I get really lucky I'll think of a few jokes to tell myself and then it could be laughing!  Over and out........

Saturday, 1 November 2014


I don't know why I never wrote part two of the Queenstown Event until now.  Partly just being busy and occupied having fun in Queenstown, and more likely is that when I got back after a few days away it was insanely busy for me here catching up and keeping on top of my business (which is a bit insane at the best of times)!
The speaking event with Mrs D was absolutely fantastic. She is a truly natural speaker, with the most quietly powerful honesty, raw and gritty, and just so flipping real that it cannot help but touch a deep chord within anyone who listens, whether they have a problem or not!  No one left that hall that night without being deeply moved by Lotta and her story. I would guarantee that.  It was so great to meet her and have the opportunity to chat away with her for quite a while. She is a fabulous, funny and gorgeous person, and she is definately my Hero.
So all in all it was a fabulous wee trip away, and great fun to get right out of my comfort zone and pick up another member of Living Sober at her house at 5.00am to fly down together, rent an apartment for two nights, and just hang out together. We got on like a house on fire, had lots of stories to tell each other, felt very comfortable with each other, and enjoyed walks beside the lake, many cafes, and a trip up the gondola where I also had a couple of rides on the Luge (nice wee adreniline buzz).  On one of our walks on the last day, it was beautiful and sunny and after walking for a while, we each found a comfortable rock to lean on, and had a half hour meditation. This was great for me, the sounds of the waves lapping onto the beach were quite loud and I got my breathing in sinc with them, and with each inward breath I was drawing strength, and with each outward breath I was letting go of anguish I have been feeling on several levels. I have often tried meditation through my life, guided ones, and ones alone, and it has been helpful to a degree, but I think this was really the first time I have totally and utterly succeeded in getting into an amazing space, where there really was just me and my breath and the sea. I can highly recommend that!
Today is my 105th day of being alcohol free
My friend is coming over soon and we are going to a little jazz afternoon at a friend's back lawn.  Cucumber sandwiches and all, the invite proclaims! I guess I'd better go try to make something posh to take.
So over and out for now.....