Friday, September 24


I can’t decide whether it’s just the thought of spring coming or whether it’s real. I feel a change coming. Something is stirring, little whispers of ideas and plans. Nothing substantial and often the thoughts slip away, the way dreams do, before I can fully grasp them. But somewhere inside I have a ‘feeling’. It’s a vague ‘feeling’ but it’s definitely a feeling.

Once upon a time this would have driven me to distraction. I would have been frantically scanning the recesses of my mind, feeling frustrated and annoyed that I couldn’t get to work on whatever it is. These days I have been learning a new way to deal with this. I just sit with it. I don’t force it. I take the little bits that come to me and examine them and put them away until some other piece comes and I look at that, maybe add it to the other piece like a mental jigsaw puzzle, maybe discard it, maybe start a new puzzle. Sometimes I don’t know what to do with it. And that’s ok too.

I don’t really know what this is about. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I don’t even know if it is anything at all. Strange thing is…I don’t mind not knowing all that because what I DO know that it will all unfold exactly as it should with or without any help from me.

Thursday, September 23


After initially feeling some resistance to the whole idea of ‘e-readers’ I was eventually convinced by my sisters to get a Kindle. Like most of you I love books, I have several large bookcases throughout the house bursting at their seams and groaning under the weight of the books therein. I love the smell of books and the feel of their pages, but most of all I love the words. And that is what finally convinced me.

I do buy books for the whole experience but mostly it’s what’s IN them that I want. The stories, the information, the ‘facts’ and the questions they answer and also the questions they prompt. When my sisters starting tell me about the books they were downloading to their Kindles my interest was aroused. Then they sent me an Amazon voucher towards my very own Kindle so I could share in the Kindle conversations.


So I ordered one.

It arrived yesterday and I downloaded a few classics to begin my Kindle reading experience. I’m impressed. The screen is cleverly designed to look like a book, it’s small and light (and having recently read a 1,000 page tome which was absolute hell to read in bed - SO heavy! - I’m a bit sold on ‘light’). I’m currently reading Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ (which was free to download, lots of out-of-copyright classic books are free).


I’m enjoying the experience. I like that I can carrying 3,500 books around in my handbag…I’ve no idea why I like that. Perhaps it’s because I’m often reading more than one book – a fiction, a non-fiction, maybe a textbook etc - I’ll pick up one depending on my mood but can’t possibly carry them all everywhere with me. Now I can. It could be that, or maybe I’m just crazy.

This certainly doesn’t mean I won’t ever buy another book, there are some books that are just too beautiful and special to be owned in any other way. But it does mean that I can have an even wider reading experience, particularly with books I don’t necessarily want to have on the shelves but just want the enjoyment of reading.

Summary. I like it.

All images

Tuesday, September 21

Spring Equinox 2010

Well Spring may not have quite sprung but it’s definitely on it’s way.  After a very, very wet winter (YAY!!) everything is SO green and lush and beautiful.  The dams are full and as I drove home this morning I had to stop the car and admire the view several times.  It was one of those still mornings where the water is like a sheet of glass and the reflections crystal clear.  I’d have taken a photo but I didn’t have the camera and the iPhone just wasn’t up to the task.

Trees are beginning to bud and some enthusiastic specimens are even putting on a blossom show already. 


Our Spring Equinox celebrations should have been at a music festival this evening (how perfect!), however I am home again with a still sick child (second ear infection in as many weeks) so we may have to forego that. 

In the interest of acknowledging the turning of wheel I shall however plan some low key events for the evening.  A family dinner with vases of blossom on the table, candles, music and a toast to that frilly show-off that is Springtime.

Happy Equinox to you all (be it Spring or Autumn depending on your hemisphere).

Monday, September 20

Evidence of my intolerance

Hello, my name is Caitlin and I’m gluten intolerant.

I’ve avoided writing about this, partly because I’m pretty sure no-one wants to hear the revolting details of my gastro-intestinal issue and partly because it’s really boring and partly because ‘gluten free’ is such a fad at the moment and I hate being on bandwagons.

Lots of people are gluten free for general health and wellbeing reasons and that’s fine. But it’s never been for me. I like all the stuff that has gluten in it and long ago decided that going gluten free was not a lifestyle that I’d ever adopt.

Admittedly my relationship with gluten has always been a bit fractious, it didn’t make me sick, but it did often leave me feeling bloated and uncomfortable. I was willing to ignore that to experience the joy of a hot ham and cheese croissant or a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel. Until recently that is.

A few months ago I started to experience some unpleasant symptoms in the form of a way too regular upset tummy. I can honestly say that in the beginning I did not relate it to gluten. It gradually got worse so that often, after eating, I’d have extremely nasty tummy upsets preceded by horrible, excruciating stomach pains and nausea. To cut a very long story short I eventually narrowed it down to gluten. I went off gluten and it went away. I ate gluten again and it came back with a vengeance. I visited my doctor, tests were carried out and the result is I can’t eat gluten.

The end.

Except for the fact that I am HATING it. I miss bread, I miss real pasta, I want a cinnamon bun and a turkey, rocket and cranberry baguette from my favourite coffee shop.

I can’t have any of those things. Oh yes, people cheerfully point out that there are lots of gluten free options these days…and there are,…but they’re not the same. I hate that I can’t just go and make a sandwich, I can’t have any biscuit I fancy with my coffee, I even have to have special soy sauce in my stir fry. No more porridge for breakfast, muesli bars with my cup of tea, no warm bread straight from the breadmaker, no hot donuts at the beach, no fish and chips, no pizza, no tempura…need I go on?

I have to think about every single thing I eat, I have to read labels in the supermarket, I have to refuse the treats that are handed out at the weekly morning tea at work. And frankly, in most cases the gluten free options leave me cold. If made with GF flour they have an unappetising powdery texture and a vaguely odd flavour.

However, I am gradually coming to realise that this is my life now and I have to adapt. I won’t starve, I’m not dying and I’m sure there is a world of new taste experiences out there waiting to be explored. and most chocolate is ok for me. Things could be worse.

Just don’t eat a croissant in front of me.

Saturday, September 18

Saturday mornings

Sometimes on a Saturday morning I listen to the busy sounds of ‘other people’.  They’re all out there mowing their lawns and hanging their washing and playing with their kids and sanding their latest projects and…well you get the idea.

Saturday mornings for me are quite different.  During the week I am up every day at 5.30am and fall exhausted into bed at 10.30 if I’m lucky.  Only then do I relax and read for half an hour or so before turning out the light usually after smacking myself in the face with my book several times as I doze off reading.

So by Saturday morning I have no intention of getting up and launching into vigorous activity.  In fact on a Saturday morning I spend a long time in my pyjamas.  I drink a whole pot of coffee over the course of the morning, graze on the few things I can actually eat these days, read blogs, send emails, farm my farm, browse magazines, stare out the window and generally do absolutely nothing productive.  It’s bliss, it really is.

For a while I felt guilty about all the things my poor neglected house needs to have done to it.  I kept thinking I needed to get up and just get on with domestic chores and be a good housekeeper.  Wash those filthy windows and dust the top of the picture frames.  But the fact is I just can’t.  I’m busy, I’m tired and I am learning to focus my energy (or lack of it) in ways that make sense.  And if that means having one totally lazy, slovenly, unproductive morning a week then so be it.


Thursday, September 16

Blogging stamina

I have none.  I had a good go for a few days there and then lost my energy for it and it all came to a standstill again.

Never mind, I’m not giving up.

Not much to report here, Hannah has finally recovered enough to go back to school. She ended up with an ear infection and slight perforation to the ear drum.  She doesn’t do things by halves that girl.

So life has returned to relative normality. 

It’s almost the weekend (huzzah!) and I am absolutely knackered and can’t wait to have a couple of days off.

Roll on Friday 5pm!

Monday, September 6

Plague House

I make no secret of (or apology for) the fact that I love winter.  It’s by far my favourite season, and yes, even when in the icy, grey, rainy, windy climes of Scotland it was still my favourite.  I would sooner tolerate freezing cold than heat any day.  In fact, I’ve also made no secret of the fact I loathe the heat.  My legion of long time readers will attest to this. But that’s another post (or several, come summer when the whining will commence).

This winter however has been one of the worst for ‘winter ailments’ in our family.  It seems like every two or three weeks another round of sore throats, coughs and sniffles descends upon us and Tom and I are either a) taking sick leave because we’re actually ill ourselves or b) taking ‘carer’s leave’ because one, or both, of the girls has it.

Once again I had to ring work this morning and make an apology for my absence due to a sick child.  Of course this means a day spent fussing and fetching and carrying and mopping the fevered brow of the little darling.  Fortunately she’s sick enough that she is actually lying quietly reading and has been doing that for the last three hours.  I hate the days that they perk up by lunchtime and annoy the bejesus out of me for the rest of the day.  I’m a great parent as you can see.

The upside is there was time for a blog post.  

Saturday, September 4


 It’s raining here and has been for several days. It may never stop.  I’m building my ark and have started gathering animals two by two, so far I have 3 rats (all female), 1 dog and 1 cat.  Clearly I’m not very good at this.

Due to the rain people are not complaining about the drought anymore, which is a relief.  However they are complaining about the rain. Sigh.

Our creek is overflowing and the Royal Adelaide Show has been rained on and flooded.


It hasn’t stopped people going.


We’re not going, we only go every two years.  That’s as much as I can stand.  This year is a good year NOT to go obviously.

That’s about it for now – it’s a slow news day at Bridget’s Flame. 

As you were.

Thursday, September 2


Just lately I’ve been thinking about what is enough. Or at least when am I enough? When is what I have done or what I do enough?

This thinking has been the result of a bit of soul searching on my part. Something I’ve avoided for quite some time because the trouble with searching is sometimes you find stuff and it’s not always pretty. However, my constant discontentment has forced me to take the advice I usually give to my clients and ‘go within’ just a little bit.

I’ve told you about my new job, how much I like it and the people I work with it and they seem to like me too. I also whined about the decisions I had to make about more study or continue with the business etc. I won’t go on about it again, I still don’t know what I’m doing. Anyway….what I have realised is that this is a bit of a pattern with me (at least in career terms). I run away from what I really want, find something that I quite like and will settle for, then decide that I have to BE MORE for this role so I start cramming my life with more hard work and study and angst about my abilities. Until one day I collapse in a heap of disillusion and depression and exhaustion – and slightly lose my mind for a little while. And then I start all over again.


Why do I do it, why am I constantly putting myself in the position of thinking I have to be more, always more. Never ok just as I am, never ENOUGH.

Jennifer Louden writes about the ‘Hounds of More’ she says “Hounds of More are petrified you won’t be able to do what you most yearn to do in your life, so they keep you running in circles, chasing your—and their!—tails.”

Mine are there, always snapping at my ankles making me go faster, search harder, grasp at more, and more and more. So much to do and learn and achieve and BE!

When in actual fact I don’t think I really want any more – at least not that stuff. I want a peaceful life, I want to plant a herb garden and draw again and grow some vegetables and walk the dog and play with the children.

I just haven’t quite worked out how to pacify the hounds.