Ananas comosus

More commonly known as the pineapple, even though the species have no relationship with pines or apples.

Pineapple is also not native to Hawaii. The world associates the fruit with the island due to the mass production that occurred over the 20th century. It is a key feature of the ‘Hawaiian Pizza’ and is now so meshed into the Hawaiian culture that when it rains on a otherwise sunny day, the locals refer to it as “pineapple juice”.

The Pineapple origin story begins in South America, and was brought to the world by Christopher Columbus and to Hawaii, by Captain James Cook.

Did you know pineapples save lives? It is a great source of Vitamin C, and has enzymes that help with digestion and acts an anti-inflammatory.

Which is why I decided pineapple would be a great addition to my afternoon smoothie experiment. I wasn’t expecting Woolworths to deliver a full size pineapple. This is where it helps to check what exactly is included in the bundle packs.

So I did what any rational Xennial (those of us caught between Gen X and Millennial) would do… I googled.

Step 1: Cut the head and bottom away.

Step 2: Cut the pineapple in half

Step 3: Using a sharp knife cut an inverted triangle around the core.

Step 4: Cut the pineapple in half vertically and then slice horizontally about a cm

Step 5: Guide the knife between the shell and flesh.

Step 6: Pull away the bite size pieces and try not to eat all in one go.

The good news. No writers were harmed in the disassembling of the pineapple. A handful of pieces were pulverised in the afternoon smoothie and the rest lay asleep in the fridge ready for another days snacking.

In addition to saving lives they also make a great inspirational quote:


Snow fell in Victoria today. Hail hit the coast hard. And my little patch of the state saw more rain in an hour than we have in a month. Not to mention it was so cold I donned the hoodie and wooly blanket, spending most of the day nestled in my little reading nook.

In addition to the copious reading and writing that goes with drafting the first version of a literature review, I took study breaks by watching my favourite Hallmark show; Good Witch.

Good Witch never fails to give me the warm and fuzzies, especially on days like this and todays episode was no exception.

Snuggled into the plot and script, the main character ‘found’ the perfect poem that encompasses everything the words ‘I do’ at a wedding should mean.

If I ever find the person I want to my spend the rest of my life with. I want it to feel like this.

As these words flowed around the enchanted congregation, I pulled down the hoodie and leant forward so I could feel the words better. It was a fuzzy moment but it was also a powerful reflective moment. Three letters, two words.

Today, I do want a better life. I do know I am in the driver’s seat. I do believe that out there is possibilities.


When I was little my pillar was my grandfather. I remember cuddles on the couch, and hiding behind is knee during family gatherings. I remember him walking me to first school in the middle of a blizzard and sitting eagerly on the station steps as his train came in from London.

My memories of my grandfather are always happy and peaceful. Food and family time with the rest of the James’ clan. When we cousins were all young, naive and discussing conspiracy theories about new technologies like the Internet.

It’s strange thinking the day has turned into night 9,123 times since we got that call and he hasn’t left my heart, not for one second.


– Mark Twain.

“Climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow…” – there was an important lesson in that song, and also in Mark Twains words. It is hard to truly understand one’s place in the world if we have never travelled the world.

Every corner has it’s own unique colours, smells and tastes. My culture is very much Eurasian. I have enjoyed the delicacies of English High Tea in a castle garden. I have walked up (and slid down) the Great Wall of China learning that sandwiches can be a foreign concept. I’ve done the 10km crawl around Uluru and felt the spirit of the Australian bush. I’ve tried and failed to say “lanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysil” in the Welsh tongue. The English translation although easier is just as hard to remember: “St Mary’s church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the fierce whirlpool of St Tysilio of the red cave”. Travelling fills the soul of wonderment, and you learn things you never knew you never knew.

As I’m writing and recalling all these memories, I remember this amazing anthem:

Australia is my second home. The first time I travelled was when I emigrated to the land down under. Melbourne is by far my favourite city. It’s a place where you can meet every culture and sub culture from across the globe. You can eat lasagne with your onion bhajee, or buy a round of dumplings with your souvlaki. It’s a place where everyone belongs.


Mother Harriet: Leader of a Sisterhood

Today, members of the St John the Baptist community, observe the memory of Harriet Monsell. Co-founder and Mother Superior of Community of St. John Baptist in Clewer (near Windsor, Berks, UK).

Her vocation was in the social services. As Mother of the House of Mercy in Clewer, she sought the disadvantaged and destitute females of the community and taught them skills and trades, eventually employing them in schools, orphanages, hospitals and soup kitchens.

It didn’t take long for a sisterhood to mushroom across the kingdom.

She got a nod from Queen Victoria, who after a visit noted Mother Harriet as “an excellent person… [who] manages the whole admirably”.

She was also remembered by Lady Caroline Courtenay:

“She impressed all with her wisdom, her grand mind, the power she had of sympathising wit, and understanding of all kinds of different minds, and her delight in doing so. She shewd in all she said a thorough knowledge of the World … tenderness with a strong character… it was impossible not be struck with her entire absence of self-consciousness and her great personal humility

Information and quotes about Mother Harriet was found in Journey into Truth by Peter Ball.

I’ve bolded a few key words because I believe that is the heart of any truly great leader. Wisdom, understanding, character and humility.


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Let’s start with the numbers…

  • 11,379 Steps
  • 77.1kg at 6am weigh-in
  • 3 hours 50min sleep

Oi with the poodles! Do I hate Mondays! Yes, I did just double-wham the popular culture references. But you’ll forgive me, did you see the hours I slept?!

The clock struck at 5am. I was already awake. So as I sat in the pre-dawn shadows of my suburban home I pondered where today could take me. I could go down the narrow path of passive aggressive grumpy troll who had no sleep or I could fight the waves and brace the wind. I chose the latter.

First conquest of the day, hitting 5,000 steps before I hit my desk. Which means I didn’t have to feel guilty about the double shot coffee warming up my hands.

Second conquest of the day, refusing to get angry at the inane questions that are unfortunately a occupational hazard of anyone working with people. Sorry world, but there is such a thing as a stupid question.

Third conquest of the day, getting to 10,000 steps before my front door. In this case, I quite literally braced the wind and walked from the highway to house. One day I just know I will be blown away into the Bass Strait, it’s a predestined fate I have come to accept. My back up plan is to swim to Antartica and live with the penguins.

Fourth conquest of the day, finishing my ethics application (again!). It’s no small feat. There are so may considerations to be accounted for. Supervisors must have the patience of angels (which mine do) and students well they need all the gusto they can muster. If anyone reading this has done postgraduate studies you have my sympathies.

So at 10.30pm. I’m exhausted. But I’m also grateful for today. I woke up with the roof still over my head, I got food in the fridge (for a change, I’m a chronic Uber-Eater), my phone didn’t die, I didn’t miss the tram, and I met all my goals.