Somewhere over the rainbow

The KLM flight landed just after 6am at Kingsford Smith Airport, twenty years ago, today. The morning was very much like the one today, around 17oC and a huge blue sky.

We had spent the previous month in a heightened state of anxiety; a mixture of panic and excitement. We had packed up our home, shipped it to Australia, furnished the apartment we were letting out, and farewelled our dear friends and family.

The final scenes in the UK are etched on our memories. Friends sat waiting with us until the last moment when we needed to go through passport control and security at Birmingham International Airport. The usual chatter felt somehow constrained by what was about to happen.

This prelude culminated in a long walk of goodbye, amongst tears flowing freely, while carrying more hand luggage than a pack horse would carry in its lifetime.

The relief of taking our seats on the plane to Amsterdam, where we were to pick up an international connection to the Far East, was overwhelming.

Time has dimmed the memory of the stopover in Singapore and the flight to Sydney.

Why is it significant to mark this milestone? It is an opportunity for us to reflect on our choice to make the journey over the rainbow, to become immigrants and aliens in a foreign land. The fact that we have lived over 54% of our adult lives, to date, in Australia is an indication of commitment, at least.

We plan to review our decision over dinner, this evening.

Excerpt from the song, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, lyrics by Yip Harburg:

Somewhere over the rainbow way up high
There’s a land that I have heard of once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
and wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemon drops

Way above the chimney tops that’s where you’ll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly

Birds fly over the rainbow why then oh why can’t I?

Before the parade passes by

Yesterday was momentous. It was the day, at precisely 10:00 am that the head of the Australian Bureau of Statistics began sharing results of the recent marriage equality survey. I was fortunate to be able to share the moment, with work colleagues and friends. We were gathered around an iPhone, intently watching, as it was streamed live by the Australian Broadcasting Company. 

A majority of Australians said yes to marriage equality. It’s now up to the politicians, to debate and determine if equality will truly be reflected in the legislation. 

Later my husband and I joined friends to participate in the celebrations on the Middle Bar balcony of Kinselas Hotel. Our friend, Meryl anointed me with a glittering rainbow lightening strike. It brought back memories of our excitement of moving to Australia, almost 20 years ago. And of the vibrant and seemingly liberated LGBTIQ community.

In recent years we have increasingly enjoyed the familiarity of our home suburb. Occasionally tasting the declining nightlife, due Sydney’s lock out laws and online dating. 

As I stood looking up at the rainbow flag, gently fluttering over the crowd in Taylor Square, a song from Hello Dolly popped into my head. I could not shake that song for the rest of the evening, it was still there this morning. 

This rendition is outrageous. Resplendent with marching band, a heavenly chorus and Barbra Streisand belting out the lyrics. It reflects so many moments in my life. 

Today is one of them. 

When the parade passes by

Happy birthday your majesty


This is an enhanced picture of the horizon above the clouds at sunset. I rotated it 90o to the right and added a twirl filter in ArtStudio for iPad. Today Australia celebrates the Queen’s birthday with a public holiday (except Western Australia). 

Rainbow hope

This is the first time in its 64 year history as a university that my place of work has raised the rainbow flag in honour of LGBTIQ Pride and the 2015 Mardi Gras. I don’t believe it’s coincidental that our new President and Vice Chancellor, Professor Ian Jacobs arrived in February; a new broom sweeps clean. 

Thank you to Ally and the Kirby Institute, Sydney, Australia, for arranging this auspicious occasion.

Rainbow Spiral

When I write, draw and paint I become completely absorbed in the task, as if a creative power has taken over my mind and body. Those that follow this blog, know that I’m an introvert with something to say using a quiet voice. I speak to those who want to listen, rather than competing with those who talk over me.

I created the Rainbow Spiral picture above in an unconscious moment, while trying out a stylus for iPad, my dear friend Matt gave to me. The spirals reflect the interconnection between people on their paths to enlightenment. The movement and colours are inspired by this time of year when Sydney celebrates Mardi Gras.

The first gay and lesbian Mardi Gras Parade was held in 1978 to lobby politicians for equal rights. One of the reasons my partner and I moved to Australia in 1998 was that the land down under appeared to be more progressive in the equality arena. How times have changed, same sex marriage has passed the House of Commons in the UK. My partner and I celebrate 20 years together this year, yet we do not have the same rights as married couples.

I believe that equality is one of the prerequisites for peace. This is still a far off dream here.

Refracted light

refracted light

refracted light

I have always enjoyed rainbows; it took a physics class for me to realise that they are created by light refracted through water droplets. I remember directing white light at a prism and being amazed at the colour spectrum emitted from the other side.

magic bathroom

magic bathroom

This fascination sparked my interest in candle magic, auras and chakras. I count myself fortunate to live in a house that has a leaded, coloured glass window in the bathroom. Some of the clear glass panels have bevels that catch the bright northern light (southern hemisphere) and project rainbows onto the white porcelain fittings and tiles. The effect is heartening and magical.