An Ongoing Issue

The last few weeks have been full of very different and challenging activities for us. One that has really affected Kyah both physically and mentally, other situations have been rather pleasant.

Kyah has completed her 100 hours of driving. She has had three professional lessons. Russell, her instructor believes she is more than ready to do her driving test. That is now booked in for mid August.

We have been looking for a car for Kyah to purchase. The first car we looked at, we realise, in hindsight, that it was probably stolen. The guy selling it didn’t know much about the information in the log books, there was no rego plates on the car, he wanted me to pay him a “deposit” so he could get the road worthy certificate and to top it off he wanted the entire amount in cash! We escaped that one scarless.

The second car we actually purchased from a car yard, thinking it was a safer option. Within 5 days of purchasing it I took it to Lexus so they could do a thorough check on it and write down everything that was wrong with it so we could get it fixed under the warranty. Unfortunately for us, Lexus did not have much good to say about the car. There was a list as long as my arm of little things that were questionable with the car and “…by the way, the car has been in an accident”! Well, I was not happy.

The guys at Lexus of Kedron were amazing and supportive but did not hold much hope for me to get the money back. They obviously don’t know me that well.

I rang “Irish Brian” and told him we wanted the money back because he had sold us an un-roadworthy vehicle. The technicality of the casing of the headlight not being secured meant the car was not road worthy. “Irish Brian” did not want to give us the money back. When I asked him about the accident the car was in and why had he told me it hadn’t been in an accident he got a bit irate. I was not going to back down. He sold me a car that he knew was for Kyah. He knew the fuel gauge was faulty. That in itself is not acceptable. You do not allow any new driver to drive a vehicle with a faulty fuel gauge. Imagine the issues they could face….

“Irish Brian” told me I needed to accept the fact he was going to fix these “few” items and do a wheel alignment and I should keep the car. I said that the only way I would keep the vehicle was if I had the RACQ do a thorough check of the vehicle and if it came back that car had been in an accident I would take him to the ACCC, Queensland Transport and Main Roads, and whatever current affairs program would listen to me. “Irish Brian” did not like that. He then proceeded to hurl abuse and threats at me. He hung up on me. I rang back. Again the abuse was hurled at me and he said he didn’t want anything to do with me, so I was to take the car back and he would give me my money back.

I suggested a meeting place of Fortitude Valley Police Station so I could be assured of my money and that I received all necessary pieces of paperwork. After that “the manager” dealt with me. She was a lot less explosive and abusive. I took the vehicle back the next day and got all the money back. I guess I won!!!

Lesson: No matter what vehicle you are looking at purchasing and how good it appears, you need to get it checked out professionally before you purchase it. Also, don’t trust a car salesman even if they work in a car yard.

Then we found a great vehicle in Newcastle. Kyah’s dad (Kevin), went and looked at it and took it for a test drive, got it checked out and this has a 12 month warranty. Kevin drove it up last Wednesday and surprised Kyah with the vehicle. The three of us have gone thirds in the vehicle, so Kyah was able to buy a very decent car that is safe, reliable, economical and just what she wants. So third time lucky. She is one very fortunate girl. She is very much looking forward to getting her Provisional Licence so she does not have to catch a bus or rely on me any more. Won’t be too long now. 

This is Kyah’s new car. What a lovely car for a first vehicle. A very blessed girl.

In the meantime while we were looking for a car for Kyah, we found another car the same make, model and year, in Rockhampton. The only issue with the car was that it has a few decent scratches on it, but 30,000 less kilometres on it. Anyway, I decided that it was great buy so I purchased that car. Within 24 hours of me deciding I would buy that car I sold my car! Just waiting for my new vehicle to be trucked down to me. Mind you, there is always a hassle in something that we do. I have never had anything happen without some sort of hiccup, and this is no different. The car was supposed to be put on a truck and brought down yesterday. Unfortunately the company stuffed up the order and the car won’t be put on a truck until Monday. Little hiccup – not too bad. The vehicle should arrive in 5 days time.

While I’m waiting for my new vehicle, I have Kyah’s to use. Something that could have been extremely awkward and disruptive to our lives has turned out pretty seamless. We are both happy it’s worked out relatively easy and we are both looking forward to having our own new vehicles really soon.    

Kyah goes for her driving test on August 18. Naturally we are hoping she will succeed the first time. The professional driver that has taken Kyah for a few lessons seems to think she will pass. I will take her for a few drives up in the area where she will have her test, just so she is kind of familiar with the area.

The neighbour’s cat is keeping us entertained. He is clever enough to know that if he wants to come in our house all he has to do is sit at the door and make the bell on his collar ring. He often comes in and hangs around all day. He has even had a few sleep overs recently. He plays a lot with Kyah, loves running in front of her to try to trip her up, he chases her around and plays with her hair.  When Kyah is on the floor playing with him, he walks up to her and gives her a head butt!  That is the start of the games. He is such a funny little cat. When he’s ready to go outside he sits at the door and rings the bell on his collar. We let him out and off he goes, until next time.

Lunar, the neighbour’s cat having a sleep over.

Kyah has one module of her diploma to receive a “competent” on and then she has completed her Diploma of Business. It has been a bit of a nightmare waiting for feedback. Add to that, the quality and detail of feedback has been really poor the entire way through. I ended up having to complain to the “Training and QualityManager” again about the lack of detail and slow response Kyah was receiving from her trainer. Finally Kyah was given another trainer to mark her last two modules. One came back as “competent” and the other module has just a couple of small corrections/additions to make and she should be done. It has been a very arduous journey for her to undertake and complete this diploma. It would have been a more enjoyable experience for her if the trainer assigned to her was helpful like the last one has been. But nevertheless, she has managed to get through it.

Kyah has started her online Pilates course. She is enjoying it so far. Add to that she is trying to prepare for the final exams of year 12. She is studying Hamlet for english. Not long to go and the year will be over and she will be in a new phase of her life.

Ballet has been very trying mentally and physically, for Kyah this year. She has had injured feet; both of them since the end of last year. The pain is more toward the back of her ankles, near her achilles. The academy physiotherapists have been treating her all year. Unfortunately, they have been treating her for impingements in her heels. Because she wasn’t getting better, they finally, in July, they arranged for scans and MRI’s of her feet. The scans have shown she has inflammation of her achilles and all the smaller ligaments in the back of her feet as well as impingements. Needless to say, she has not been getting better. A very frustrating situation for both of us.

I have been allowing the physiotherapists to treat her because she wanted to be a full part of the academy and be treated by their physios. Also, the academy prefer it if their dancers see their physios so they know exactly what is going on with each of the dancers. This is understandable. I have not played much of a role with addressing the issues Kyah has had, because I was relying on them to do the right thing by Kyah.  Now, I realise I should have been keeping a close eye on Kyah with regards to her body, rehab and prehab. Both of us feel like she has almost “wasted” this entire year waiting to get better. She has hardly danced. I would have managed the injury much differently, but what could I do? I am now addressing the inflammation and impingement issues the way I think it should be handled. One thing I realised over 30 years ago with my work, is that every person’s body is different and responds differently to things such as exercise, rehab, massage, acupuncture, dry needling,  food, drink, medication etc. Every single person needs to be looked at as an individual and treated accordingly. I am not sure Kyah has been.

We both hope Kyah will start feeling better very soon. Unfortunately, the inflammation is quite severe; the sports medicine doctor we saw made a comment that it is one of the worst cases of inflammation she has seen. It won’t be fixed quickly; but at least I know what Kyah’s body responds to positively and what her body doesn’t like. So there is hope she will heal. 

We have been to see my dad, Kyah’s grandfather. It is very sad to see someone you love slowing down and moving towards the end of their life. We are really fortunate that we’ve been able to go into the care facility where dad is living. Hopefully the second wave of COVID-19 that is threatening to start up again is not successful, otherwise we will be in lockdown yet again and we won’t be able to see dad.

We have had a few catch ups with friends. Not many, but we’ve been out a couple of times. It’s been nice to be able to still get out and about. We are hoping the latest little outbreak in the southern suburbs of Brisbane does not explode like COVID has in Melbourne.

We have had a few movie marathon afternoons / nights. One marathon was Mr & Mrs Smith, then Oceans 11, Oceans 12 and Oceans 13. What a great evening. A bit of physical relaxation while watching a few action / comedy / drama movies. Another movie evening was the double comedy session with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito; Twins and Junior.  We have seen all these movies before, but it is nice to relax and watch something again when you enjoy it. 

We are still culling things from our house. We are starting to look for a house to buy and move into, so we would like to make sure we are rid of everything we don’t need. I refurbished this table and put it up for sale.  It sold today. The people buying it, loved it so much they gave us more money than we were asking! 

A table we refurbished and sold.

There’s only one more month of winter to get through. Kyah will be really happy when she gets her licence and does not have to get up early each morning to catch a bus in the cold. We are also both noticing that the mornings are getting lighter again too. It is not ice to be leaving the house when the stars are still out.

Every day is just so busy for both of us. We do look forward to resting on the weekends. Soon enough, life will be very different for us with no school commitments, Kyah having her own driver’s licence, living in our own home; renovating it, and not having to do food prep every weekend.

Part of the weekly food prep.

. Proverbs: 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.   

Surviving COVID

Well the last five weeks or so have been very busy … when are they not?

Winter is here. Some mornings have been very cold – others have not been too bad. One morning when I was working I had this scenery. Pretty tough to deal with – it was so pretty – but a bit cold.

Kyah has been clocking up her driving hours. She has almost done 95 hours of driving, mostly with me. In Queensland, Learner drivers need to do 100 supervised driving hours. The plan now is to have a few professional driving lessons, to have them get rid of any bad habits I have managed to teach her and so they can focus on the important aspects of what she will need to know with regards to her driving test.  We tried to book her driving test for this week, but unfortunately, due to COVID, there is a backlog of driving tests that must be done before they take new bookings. It looks like she will have to wait another month before she is able to sit her driving test. I have noticed in the last two weeks or so, that I am not actually teaching her anymore. Her confidence is getting there and her ability is so much better. There is an occasional incident where we need to discuss what she may have done better, or that she did extremely well to react /respond the way she did. There are definitely some drivers on the road that do not consider other drivers and there are also some drivers on the road that really should not be driving. It is kind of good to come across these drivers when I am with Kyah, so she is able to learn the best way to handle these situations.

Kyah has finished her Diploma of Business. Well … she has been waiting for four weeks for feedback on module 7, she handed in module 8 two weeks ago and is now waiting on feedback and “Complete” for both modules. Once this is done, she is finished her Diploma. All she needs to do to complete year 12 is her English. Not long to go now and not too much for her to do. She is preparing to do the Pilates course so she can start work in mid December. She has an online component to complete, then it’s 8 days of face to face practical teaching. She also has to do supervised hours and then she is a qualified Pilates instructor. We both figure this is a great qualification to have for the future. It compliments her ballet very well.
She has returned to her regular Pilates sessions every week. During the school holidays she attended Pilates every day. She really enjoys it; I am so pleased she likes it and happily attends and participates. I went with her one day and did a workout. I am sure she loves laughing at how inflexible I am compared to her. Actually almost anyone is inflexible compared to her! She is extremely flexible and her strength has improved markedly.

She has had sore ankles for a few months now and the physio at QB has been treating her. Unfortunately she has not been relieving Kyah’s pain and discomfort. We had to go see a Sports Medicine Doctor, who requested ultrasounds on both feet, X-rays on both feet and an MRI on one foot. We only got an MRI on one foot due to the exposure to radiation and the thought that the pain is the same in both feet, therefore it would be the same issue in both feet. So the Sports Medicine doctor suggested the most sore foot have the MRI. We were happy with that suggestion.  So far the X-rays and ultrasounds have not revealed anything of note. We had to wait four weeks for the MRI, and now we are just waiting for the appointment with the specialist to discuss the findings. The unfortunate thing was that she wanted us to do nothing to help relieve the pain/discomfort/inflammation until after the MRI had been done. So Kyah has had to continue on for another 4 weeks with pain. But once the MRI was done I started massaging her feet and calves and I set up a foot spa today with salts and warm water. She said her feet feel a bit better, so that is good. I may have to start taking a more active role in Kyah’s well-being. I did not know her feet were sore and had been for so long, until we were at the specialist rooms and I heard Kyah talking about her issues. Is it neglectful if you think someone else is doing a job and you don’t check up?

The X-rays that were taken were of Kyah’s feet relaxed as she was lying down as well as with her in pointe shoes actually standing en pointe! Amazing to see an X-ray of someone en pointe.


Kyah has been to a few birthday parties over the last few weeks. She has had a great time. The girls in both level 1 and level 2 seem to get on very well with  each other. The dynamics with all of them and Kyah are really good. Kyah dances with level 2 and attends school with the level 1 kids, and she mixes really well with all of them. It is so nice to see.

I suggested to Kyah that during the school holidays she be in charge of the kitchen. 2 weeks of her cooking, washing, cleaning, making shopping lists, etc. She did a pretty good job of taking charge and feeding both her and myself. There were some days that the dishes were not done, but they were eventually attended to. I think it is great as a life skill for the to learn how to run and manage a kitchen while she is still at home. She even did the grocery shopping one day. So once school and ballet go back, it is back to me. I was actually enjoying the break for all the work!!

We have been car hunting a bit. It would be nice for both Kyah and I if she had her own vehicle, especially when she gets her Provisional licence. The time it takes for me to drive her somewhere and then drive back to where I need to be and then drive back to pick her up – well, it just takes a lot of time. Then from her perspective; it takes a long time to catch a bus to get somewhere, and it is awkward when she needs to carry all her stuff for dance and school. So, the sooner she can get her P’s and a vehicle the better.

Kyah has been asked to teach a dance workshop in the September school holidays. Kyah’s dance teacher from Port Stephens has asked if Kyah can run a contemporary dance workshop. This will double up with me teaching a core strength/stability/prehab workshop. So lots of preparing and planning for that will start soon.


We have done a massive cook up this weekend. School and dance start tomorrow. Kyah made some very yummy GF choc chip cookies. I made another large batch of protein balls. I also cooked a pork belly and a butterflied chicken. The plan with them is to make salads and add some meat to these. It just saves time for both of us and ensures we are eating relatively well most nights.

Heading into term three for the final year of school. It is hard to believe Kyah will be finished school at the end of this year.  She did miss one year of schooling, but even still, I can vividly remember her first day of school!

Eph 1:11-12 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.



17 Now!

Well here we are, May already. Kyah’s 17th birthday has just passed this week; not without lots of celebrations, loads of yummy food and cakes consumed,  and some fantastic memories made. Thank you to everyone who contributed to making Kyah feel extremely special; simply by contacting her, spending time with her, giving her a gift, or making her favourite meal and/or cake and spending time with her. The last few weeks have been very busy with birthday celebrations and socialising. We are fortunate that restrictions from COVID-19 have been lifted even if only slightly, which have allowed us to spend time with close friends.


Time flies by. We are almost into June of 2020. But even the years are moving by quickly. I can remember Kyah  starting out dancing as a two and a half year old. It really does not seem that long ago. But it must have been. Oh, how she has grown and matured since this photo.

Kyah 2006 – her first year of dance

Everyone around the world is still feeling the effects of COVID-19. It has been at least 9 weeks that Australia has been in lock down of some sort. On March 23, I removed Kyah from face-to-face classes. This was because I was not sure what to expect; the unknown of the new virus, its contagiosity, the incidence and it’s location in Australia. Add to that the fact Kyah was catching public transport to ballet and back home in the afternoons from school. I did not want to put her at any risk of getting sick. Thankfully, both of us have escaped from catching the virus and we managed to stay sane while confined to the home.

Over the holidays Kyah was pretty good with doing strength, cardiovascular, flexibility and prehab training on a daily basis. Her Pilates classes were put on hold  due to the lock down, so Kyah made use of the gym equipment we have at home.

Once term two started Kyah did ballet online. Queensland Ballet gave all students a 1x1m piece of tarkett flooring if they wanted / needed it. Because this is what they dance on we thought it best to take up the offer. They also offered to lend out a barre for students who wanted / needed one. Again, we took up the offer and borrowed a barre. This allowed Kyah to work at home with dance-specific equipment.

Classes happened on line every weekday and Saturdays from the start of term 2. It was obviously very different to face-to-face training; there was the very occasional glitch in the system; which is to be expected , but overall it worked quite well. Kyah did her ballet and dance requirements every morning, then got in and did her school work. She had priority for the gym at home – so when she had classes on and I had a client online, I taught in another room. It was only for a short period of time and we managed. Everyone has had to make sacrifices through this pandemic. Our sacrifices are nowhere near as inconvenient / devastating as some people have had to deal with.

Kyah is so close to finishing all her school and diploma requirements. She is really looking forward to having it all done and graduating from school at the end of this year. It is a bit frustrating for her having to wait over three weeks for feedback on some of her diploma work, which tends to slow her down a lot. But she seems to be filling in her time productively while she waits. She has just about completed her anatomy course, so she can then start the online Pilates course. There has been lots of work happening, but also lots of rest and relaxation. It is amazing how much spare time you have when travel is taken out of the equation.

We managed to get out of the house a couple of times and did some shopping. It is birthday month for us, on top of Mother’s Day. So we went out and did a bit of shopping, for each of us. We obviously practiced social distancing and good hygiene.  (Sorry, but who doesn’t normally practice good hygiene?) We got Kyah’s hair cut and put a colour in it; there’s no time when she is back in to her busy schedule, so we have made good use of her time. We did massive cleaning, culling and sorting of stuff in the house. I know this has been a very popular activity with a lot of people, during this lock down period.  We both had our ‘flu injections so we are ready to go out into the big real world again, feeling slightly armed against viruses.

Kyah has really missed doing her Pilates sessions. I can imagine when they are open again, which apparently is June 13, she will be booking in 4-5 times each week, if she can!!! She is really looking froward to getting back into those classes.

We have had friend’s birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations, farewells, all observed keeping the recommended distancing and number of people regulations in the forefront of our minds. Thank goodness for the internet. Again lots of food consumed and good times enjoyed.

Easter was a kind of non-event, as I think it was for most people. It kind of seemed to come and go for us. It was a blur of days at home, doing much the same thing each day. We caught up with friends we haven’t chatted to for a while – that was lovely. And, we did some online shopping. So we did pretty much what the rest of the world did for the last nine weeks.

ANZAC Day celebrations were significant for us. We stood out on the driveway with our neighbours on theirs, remembering those that made os many sacrifices for our country. ANZAC Day is also a significant day for us, as Kyah lost an uncle in 2014 on ANZAC Day. His death was health related, but even still we stop and take time to connect with family and remember Vincent.

Two weeks ago the Queensland Government allowed the two senior years to go back to school, which meant Queensland Ballet Academy resumed face-to-face classes. Kyah really enjoyed getting back to the new facility and having like-minded people around her. She much prefers the interaction and instruction she receives when they are in the same room, as I imagine most of the them would.

Once restrictions were lifted here, we started going over to friends’ places. A few dinners, lunches and simply catching up with people. it’s been a very social last three weeks. We are now settling back into the safe confines of our home. We do not want to see this virus start to spread again, so we are trying to stay indoors as much as we can.

The neighbour’s cat loves to come over and visit. He is such a nice cat – definitely made me realise there are actually cats that can be affectionate and nice!!! Kyah enjoys playing with him and having the occasional snuggle.  Who needs a pet, when you can borrow the neighbour’s???

Restrictions have now been relaxed so it is possible for us to visit Dad in the nursing home. We plan on going down tomorrow to see how he is going. It has been a couple of months since we have seen him so we are both very much looking forward to seeing him tomorrow. We speak to him regularly on the phone, but that is not the same. So tomorrow will be nice to actually see him in person.

We were recently notified that there will be no Gala Performance for Queensland Ballet Academy at the end of this year. This is very sad, but to be expected. The dancers are still required to practice social distancing and there has been no pas de deux at all for almost the entire year.  This means dancers have had limited time to dance together and possibly will not perform at their best. Also considering the fact there is a high chance there will still be restrictions on numbers in auditoriums it would make performances possibly less than less than ideal to organise and conduct. This is such a shame, but I am sure something positive will come out of the decision.

So for the time being, life is slowly returning to normal as we knew it. Let’s hope and pray there is no second spike in the numbers of incidents of COVID-19.

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. NASB


The COVID-19 Intrusion

I am sure everyone in the world has been affected by, and are aware of, the COVID-19 pandemic. It has definitely caused a change in most people’s lifestyles, ours included.

Generally the first term of school and dance was pretty busy. The usual routine was maintained. There was a level of tension in the air with the potential threat of contracting COVID-19 from anywhere.

Kyah was attending school and ballet as usual up until week 8 of term one. At this stage I thought it best to remove Kyah from all unnecessary risk of contracting COVID-19, so I pulled her out of school and had her doing her schooling from home. The only way Kyah could get to ballet was utilising public transport, so I made the decision to pull her out of that as well.

Up until the government introduced regulations on restricting contact and reducing potential contagion environments, Kyah was doing her usual Pilates sessions 3-4 times per week, as well as her prehab, school and diploma work. Since the restrictions have been implemented and Kyah is not attending ballet or school, all her work is being done from home. She is getting up relatively early each day, using the gym at home every day; doing some dance specific exercises along with general fitness and strength activities. She is also enjoying a bit of down time. It is quite amazing how much more time we all seem to have. Minimal to no outings is really creating some free time at home. We have played some board games and done some online shopping. There are some real bargains to be had at this point in time; we have just taken advantage of a couple of these.

Her ankle impingement is getting much better now and she is able to go en pointe for up to 5-10 minutes at a time. The break from dance has been good in that sense – she has not missed much in regards to dance instruction and classes. We are both hoping her feet will be better before face-to-face dance resumes.

Kyah is accessing the QB physio online which is helping her. She is doing everything she is supposed to in order to recover from the impingements.

Kyah is ploughing through her business diploma. It is a bit tougher for her to do it at the moment because she does not have assistance from the tutor at school, and it requires her to find her own level of drive and commitment to get it done. We all know how easy it is to delay doing something when there is no immediate deadline. But, she seems to be getting it done.

She has also completed six of the seven modules for her online anatomy course. This is great. Once she’s completed that she can get started with the online portion of the Pilates Instructor course. I am hoping she may get that completed over the next few months and undertake a face-to-face course sooner than originally planned. But we will see how restrictions go and when Kyah actually completes all her schooling requirements.

Life itself has been fairly quiet for us. We have not been out much at all. We have had hardly anyone come to visit. And we have definitely not had any parties or gatherings as we normally would. We are trying to contact our friends that are totally isolated because of the COVID-19 on a daily basis. Some people live alone and do not go out at all. This is to prevent putting them at risk of contracting this dreaded virus, and some of these people need to go to these extremes. So we are trying to ring them and chat with them every day, just so they do not feel too isolated or alone.

As I told you last post, my dad, Kyah’s grandfather, is in a nursing home in northern NSW. This was great, because it meant we had access to see him. But now, unfortunately, due to COVID-19 the nursing home is in lockdown and the border between NSW and QLD is closed. This means we are unable to see dad. We try to ring him every second day just to hear his voice and check in on him. Apart from a fall last week and splitting his head open, and being on antibiotics for cellulitis in his arm, he seems to be doing well. He is in his own little world and it’s lovely chatting to him and seeing what “jobs” and “meetings” he has planned for the day in the “system”. Even though he seems to have lost all comprehension and awareness of where he is, who I am, who Kyah is, and he does not remember anyone  else, I am trying not to be upset. He has wanted for so long to get to heaven. So the day he closes his eyes on this earth will be the same day he opens his eyes in heaven – he will be totally healed, totally well and happy. I am focusing on that for Dad.

We learned a very valuable lesson very quickly. We were out last month and purchased a cold drink each. The shop we went to is trying to be environmentally friendly and serve up paper straws. The drinks looked and tasted amazing, but within 5 minutes of using the straw, mine broke! I had to wait until I got home to finish my drink. TIP: take your own metal straw wherever you go..


Today, we received a piece of Tarkett flooring from QB. This is so the dancers are able to practice on the correct flooring at home. It is looking like all instruction will be online from next week for at least 6-8 weeks, with a reassessment after that. This is all in line with the government’s guidelines and restrictions. Obviously no one wants to relax restrictions and open borders too soon and have to go through all of this again, so hopefully everyone will continue doing the right thing to eliminate COVID-19 from the planet (if that is at all possible). Australia is looking to be doing the right thing with only 25 new cases diagnosed over the last 24 hours. I think the real proof will be in two weeks. If these numbers continue to fall then it will indicate that all Australians have done the right thing over the Easter break. Here’s hoping.

So Kyah is gearing up for at least the next 6-8 weeks to be working from home for both school and dance. I too am gearing up for her to be home! I work mostly from home and although my work has slowed a lot due to COVID-19, I am trying to get other things done such as paperwork and courses. So we will see how we go. Alex is still living with us too. At the moment he is working each day. But if that stops, there will be three people here at home all day … every day!!! Please Australia, do the right thing, let’s get rid of COVID-19. I like my own space.

We hope you are all safe and well, and managing with the restrictions. We are so thankful the panic buying has ended. We went shopping one day for essentials such as meat and salad for dinner. We were shocked to see the number of shelves in the grocery store that were empty. The only option we had to choose from in the meat section was “Duck Fat”, yes Duck Fat!!  We could buy plenty of ironing board covers, air freshener and duck fat; three things we really did not need. Needless to say we did not purchase many items that day. The infamous hand sanitiser has not been seen on the shelves since late February, so I have been making my own. It is extremely effective and accessible, which is what matters to me.

This time of isolation, will test our resilience in more ways than one. Try to make the most of it; connect with those close to you and those around you who do not have anyone to support them. Go through those cupboards and boxes you have not gone through for many years, but have been meaning to go through. Try to undertake a regular exercise program; do something every day for your physical and mental well being. There’s loads of free stuff available to you. Here’s my Facebook Page Have a look on there and my You Tube channel.  Try to find the positives in this environment. Take care and stay well.

Romans 8:28  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called  according to His purpose. (NIV)

Isaiah 12:2  Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defence; he has become my salvation. (NIV)

Official Opening

We are almost half way through March already! Kyah hit the ground running this year. The brand new facilities at Kelvin Grove are absolutely amazing. One real positive for Kyah is that she only needs to catch one bus to the facility and she can get up at 5.15am, not 4.45am. That extra thirty minutes of sleep in the morning makes a big difference. I am sure it will make an even bigger difference when winter comes and it is dark and cold.

We have done some low-key stuff like mini shopping outings at both DFO and Chermside Westfield. These have been really nice for both of us; a bit of time out from the hustle and bustle of life, wandering around, relaxing and enjoying the time away from commitments. A few very good bargains have been acquired along the way too. An added bonus! We have also decided to go out for dinner once a month just the two of us. Somewhere simple, easy, convenient and has great food. There’s a great asian food place just down the road – we went there last week.

This year  Kyah has the opportunity to see the Queensland Ballet physiotherapist, so we are utilising that service. It is so much easier for her to see the physio at the facility, rather than me try to get her to another location to see Jo, her usual physio; who we totally love. However, time is very precious and it gets hard trying to fit everything in. I am sure you all know what I am saying.

Taken beside the Brisbane River, in West End.

At the moment, Kyah has an ankle impingement in her right foot. So on top of all her prehabilitation (prevention of injuries) she is seeing Louise (QB physio) regularly, along with her usual 3-4 times per week of Pilates sessions. On top of this she dances from about 7.30am to 1.15pm every  week day  and 8am to 2pm every Saturday. She is very busy with dance. Then let’s add year 12 studies into the mix.

She is getting through her scholarly work, including her Diploma of Business and the subjects she must complete for year 12. So she is looking like she will successfully complete year 12, which is great. On top of that she has added an online anatomy course! (Oh dear, I see she has picked up some of my behaviours – taking on a lot – perhaps too much,  work!). The anatomy course is so she can become a Pilates instructor when she has time to take on a part-time job. She loves her Pilates and she understands a lot about correct technique and ideal posture, and she knows how to motivate people to exercise, so I think she’d be great at it. The prerequisite for the Pilates course is that she have a certain level of anatomy study completed, then she can do the theory portion of the Pilates course and then the practical portion. This may take until November / December to complete due to time constraints with ballet and the need for face to face learning, but that is okay.

Kyah’s grandfather and grandmother on my side, have both had major health issues over the last six months. It has been a very distressing time for both of us and a lot of unnecessary angst has come about due to certain behaviours. But we are looking for the positives in the situation and finally we found one. Dad was moved into a nursing home so we were able to see him. It was so nice to see him, to sit with him, to chat with and to pray with him.  We hope to be able to see him again very soon, as he is not geographically close to us, it makes it a bit difficult time-wise. But we will find a way.

We had a friend, Alex, move in with us. It is really nice to have someone staying with us for a while. He is from Maryborough and currently looking for work. We are all hoping and believing the right job will come up for him very soon.

We had another gathering at our place. Just a little BBQ, with about 15 people. It was a fun night, as usual. Kyah and Luell managed to use the old “water through the cracks in the verandah” to wet a number of unsuspecting people down below. It was quite amusing watching it happen. Fortunately Brisbane is quite warm and they dried off quickly. Good company, good food, good laughs – something we all need on a regular basis. It was a great evening – just what we both needed.

The official opening for the Queensland Ballet Academy facility was on Friday March 6. There were a number of dignitaries including Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations, the Honourable Grace Grace MP, Queensland Ballet Patron and Governor of Queensland, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, present. Channel 7 filmed the event. It was a very successful opening. There was a number of people moving through the facility looking at the amazing building as well as  watching the classes. On Saturday, those that had donated to QBA to help furnish the facility were able to walk through the building and see the equipment their donations had contributed to. They were also able to watch portions of classes again.

Here is the link to the Channel 7 article on the opening I can see Kyah in both clips of dancers, I wonder if you can???

We are conscious now more than ever of Kyah eating well and getting enough rest. The COVID-19 virus that is set to hit Australia in the next few weeks will impact a lot of people. We are not alarmists by any means, but we are both taking the potential threat seriously. If we can remain healthy and continue to practice ideal hygiene habits, we both believe we will get by without too much of a direct impact on us personally. We hope you all do too.

Taken beside the Brisbane River, in West End.

Isaiah 54:17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the Lord

John 15:16  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

Here We Go 2020

Well, the end of 2019 was relatively easy for Kyah. She finished school and dance about mid November. She had a fair bit of time on her hands, so she was doing Pilates 4-5 times each week. She was also doing her business diploma. She made sure she had some down time, lots of resting, sleeping, recovering from the busy year, but she also kept up her training. Food wise, she indulged a little bit, but got back on track fairly quickly.

In December she went to see Queensland Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker. As always, Queensland Ballet did an amazing job of this ballet. Kyah really enjoyed watching it. It was the final commitment Kyah had for the year.

We had a Christmas party at our place mid December. It was a pretty good afternoon / evening of laughs, fun and super soaker fights. Very appropriate for the temperature of Brisbane.

We caught up with a friend at Southbank. He’s from the Gold Coast and we might see Gerry every few months. We had a swim at Southbank which was lovely; the water was not cold at all – which is one thing both Kyah and I do not like. After swimming for at least an hour we went and had dinner at GYG  then dessert at Cowch. I have never had ice cream so creamy ever! This dessert bar is simply amazing. A bit on the expensive side, but the taste is just so creamy and divine. If you get a chance to go there, you really should try it out.

We headed down to Port Stephens on 21/12/19. A friend of ours mother passed on 18/12/19 so the funeral was 23/12/19. The drive down was very long. So much traffic and road works most of the way. It took over 11 hours for us to get there. 2 hours to get from Brisbane to the southern end of the GC! Not a good start. Kyah did some driving and she did really well. Seeing places along the highway that were totally burnt out from the fires that had passed through there only days before was a reminder of just how far the fires had spread at that time.

NSW and QLD have different road rules when it comes to L platers. L drivers in QLD can drive the recommended speed limit. In NSW, L drivers cannot exceed 90km/h even on the motorways. Displaying the L plates is also different rules, so we made sure we were compliant with the correct rules for the state she was driving in.

We saw Kyah’s dad and the dogs. Spent a fair bit of time with the dogs. They were pretty happy to see us. Walks along the beach, playing with them, and them sitting on my lap!  We saw a couple of friends on the Saturday and Sunday but that was it.  Time was pretty short so we were not able to see many people at all. It was a shame, because we wanted to see a lot of people and catch up with them, but what can you do? We stayed one night with Tina and Vanessa, which was great. Then we stayed 3 nights with Anne, which was also great. Funeral was Monday. It was so nice to see our dear friend Sandra, but it would have been much nicer under different circumstances.

Tuesday we had Christmas drinks with some friends at Anne’s. That was lovely. We did presents that evening with Anne. Then Christmas Day, Wednesday, we drove to Sydney. It was a very different Christmas Day to say the least, but without speaking badly about anyone, let me just say families can be very trying. I had to file a missing persons report to find out where my Dad was!!! Not something I was expecting. Kyah was so supportive  of me the entire day and she really never had a Christmas Day because we were looking for Dad, at the police station and on the phone trying to speak to Dad. Such a sad and shocking day for both of us.

Aside from that we caught up with my friend Monisha, who we haven’t seen for about 7 years. We went to her wedding in Fiji and she now lives in England. So we don’t get to see her much at all. It was really nice seeing her. We stayed with Kyah’s paternal grandmother on Christmas night. It was lovely seeing her and one of Kyah’s cousins. I am so glad Kyah has relatives on her dad’s side that are nice and she sees on a semi-regular basis.

Boxing Day we got on the Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas cruise ship. A 10-day cruise around the south island of New Zealand. Apparently, the ship is the largest to come to the southern hemisphere. It takes about 5000 passengers. It is big. Far too big for our liking. There was so many people on the ship we did not get to do many activities that we wanted to do. The queues for each thing were so long. We simply did not want to stand around waiting for a turn. If you really wanted to do something, see a show, participate in something, you had to go to that venue at least an hour before start time to ensure you got a decent seat. So our holiday was nowhere near as active as we had anticipated, very relaxing … we both did need to rest. Cruise life can be very relaxing and very easy. Food was fantastic, staff were so friendly.  It was just a shame there was so many people on the ship and wait times were so long. I did leave a constructive evaluation with Royal Caribbean, but they never replied. That too is disappointing.

One thing we did do that was so much fun was the indoor skydiving. I just loved it. Kyah didn’t enjoy it as much as I did, but I recommend if you ever get a chance to do it, to take up the opportunity. It was great fun.


We did a cupcake decorating class at Jamie Olivers’s Restaurant. Here is the final products – not very technical, but the bonus was they you got to eat your products.


We went to the gym on the ship eight of the ten days which was really good. The two days we didn’t go was because of the day tour commitments we had. Kyah allowed herself to eat a few indulgent things the first 3-4 days, then stuck with the more healthy options for the remainder of the trip. Really we don’t “get our money’s worth” on a cruise, because we sometimes only have 2 meals a day, and we definitely don’t overload our plates with food. Each to their own. We enjoyed eating the healthy options without having to prepare them ourselves or clean up afterwards.

Most of the day tours we did were really good. We were about 10cm from little Blue Penguins nesting and were looking straight into their eyes as they were laying there. We saw Yellow Eyed Penguins on the beach, apparently these are listed as an endangered animal species, with only about 4000 of them living. We had a 4 day old fur seal and it’s father right beside us on a path. We watched a colony of fur seals playing and then two males almost had a fight. These encounters with nature were just so special.  We had smoke from Dunedin all the way back to Australia, due to the extent of the fires in Australia and the direction of the winds.

The towel folding talents of the housekeeping staff was something to be admired. This was a display on the final day on the ship.

Once we disembarked on January 5,  we drove from Sydney to Newcastle and caught up with Kyah’s dance teacher from The Bay. It was so nice to see her. She is always so encouraging with Kyah and supportive of where Kyah is going and what she is doing. Then we headed to The Bay.

Kyah was planning on spending a week with her dad and seeing people in The Bay,  but decided against it. So she came home with me. We left at 4am on January 6. The traffic was much better. It only took 9 hours all up to get home.

Leading up to school and ballet, Kyah has been doing Pilates 3-4 times each week, exercises in the gym at home and all her foot strengthening exercises every night. She has definitely matured with her attitude towards building the foundation of strength, which is so good to see. She had to have a medical with the GP. We have been on a couple of rather enjoyable shopping days. We went and Saw “Bombshell”. We’ve been out for dinner with friends. We’ve been culling more stuff from our house; selling a few items, giving other items away, both large and small. It’s great to get rid of things we don’t want or need anymore.

Tuesday was orientation for Queensland Ballet and school. The new facility has just opened up at Kelvin Grove and it is amazing.     The kids in the academy are so fortunate to have such a world-class facility for their use.  Kyah is looking forward to the year ahead. She has stayed fit and strong over the break, so she should not have any issues with returning to dance and experiencing soreness. Her school load should be fairly easy as she has been doing some of her diploma every day since we got home from the cruise. This year, she only has english and diploma to complete. She is undertaking further studies but I will tell you about that next post.

2 Tim 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. NIV

Note: the photos of the flowers were taken in Zealandia Sanctuary, New Zealand.

Almost There

Well, we are almost at the end of 2019. What a frantically busy year it has been for both of us. Kyah finally has some time now to slow down a bit and get her breath back ready for next year.

Just after the last post, we went  to a girlfriend’s (Hannah’s) 18th birthday party. That was loads of fun. A few of us are now of the age where we really have no concern for what people think of us having fun, enjoying ourselves. So Kyah ended up having a great laugh with a friend of ours, Steve, at the rest of us enjoying ourselves. We all had a great time; perhaps for different reasons but that’s OK.

We had one homestay girl leave and another homestay arrive. This one was a male school teacher from Japan. He was really interesting. We had lots of great discussions about life in Japan. He was a real pleasure to have stay with us. He only stayed in Australia for ten days, so it was a very short stay, but also a busy time. The other homestay girl we had staying with us, finally moved out towards the end of November. She was also an absolute pleasure to have stay with us. I think that might be it for homestays for the rest of the year.

It is kind of nice having just Kyah and I in the house for the time being. We are looking at the possibility of having someone stay with us permanently next year, so that will be nice.  We are discussing it with him at the moment. In the meantime, we are going through all our stuff we have managed to accumulate and are culling things we do not need. The house is a mess, but soon enough it should be a more sparse, tidy home.

How is this for decoration on a coffee? I thought it was pretty cool, so decided to take a photo of it. I have never seen swans on coffee before and found that pretty amazing so thought I should show off someone else’s handiwork. The swirls are a result of me stirring the coffee. Even this was quite amazing – a different pattern was created. I found that quite fascinating and thought I should share.


Kyah went to the Powerhouse in Brisbane and saw QB perform Bespoke. Apparently it was really good. I had a ticket but I somehow managed to double book myself for that night. I gave my ticket to a girlfriend and I caught up with an old school friend. We both had lovely evenings. It is very unusual for me to overlook something like that, but there’s been heaps going on. That’s my excuse and I will stick to it!

We had a girls night one night. Who needs a reason to get together? We don’t. Just a group of girls decided to get together and catch up over food and great conversation. We all had a great time. It is not often we take the time out of our busy schedules, but it is essential sometimes to have some down time with lovely friends, just so we can get up and go the next day, week, month. We both find the enjoyment and good memories of these times far outweighs the tiredness we may experience from an hour less sleep. It is worth it. We also try to schedule these things for Kyah on weekends, so she has a chance to catch up on any lost sleep immediately. It is not good for her to be living her busy life sleep deprived.

Weekdays have been busy for Kyah with finalising all school assessments, doing her diploma as well as her dance commitments. She is ploughing through her business diploma; it has proven to be more time consuming than we thought, in that receiving decent feedback from drafts is taking a lot longer than anticipated or expected. So Kyah currently has  four modules on the go, waiting for final approval of each and then checking them off. It will be really nice when it is fully completed. We anticipate she should be totally finished by April next year.

One weekend in November we had a very quiet, very low-key weekend. Did not go anywhere. We both needed a rest and I wanted Kyah to be fully rested and prepared for her ballet exams that following week. It was such a nice restful time. Both of us benefited from it. It is so unusual for us to have literally nothing on over a weekend. It was just wonderful. I should try to make sure there is more of them next year.

Kyah continues to see her physiotherapist regularly for prehab. Jo is great. She was a dancer in a past career, so she can very much relate to Kyah and her niggles and knows exactly what she needs to work on. It also helps that Jo and I think along the same lines, so I am very confident with what she recommends for Kyah, which is fantastic. The best thing is that Kyah listens to Jo! Prehab is essential; the prevention of injuries is so much the preferred to rehabilitation. So far what we are doing seems to be working quite well. Kyah has not had an injury this year. We will continue doing this over the Christmas break as well as next year. If we are finding it is not as effective as it has been this year, we will reassess and implement new plans.

Kyah had her dance exams  over four days in mid November. She felt quite confident that she did a good job. We got her results and she is back in QB for next year, Praise The Lord. They have asked her, and two others, to repeat this year. We are actually really pleased about this for Kyah. The year she has just completed, and is going to repeat, is focused more on technique, so she will have a chance to really master her technique, get a great foundation of technique, get a lot stronger and a lot more confident, especially with pas de deux dance. It is also really nice that the other two people that have been asked to repeat she gets on very well with, so we are looking forward to next year.

Kyah’s dad came up to stay with her while I went to Sydney for a weekend. I am sure she thoroughly enjoyed her dad’s company instead of mine for a change.

QB allow family and friends to watch classes on a specific day each semester. I was fortunate enough I could rearrange clients and sit to watch all the classes Kyah was in. It is always nice to see how they practice and how they interact with each other. I do love watching Kyah dance and I can see she just loves dancing. We are still believing it is part of His big plan for her, and we walk by faith.

Kyah has been attending Pilates sessions regularly. Getting stronger and more aware of what she needs to work on. In the holidays she plans to do Pilates at least four times each week, plus other stuff in our gym to stay strong, and prepared for next year. Once they start back it is straight into it. There is a level of expectation that each dancer stay strong, fit and flexible over the break so Kyah plans to do just that.

We did a very quick trip down to the Gold Coast. Kyah needed to see the orthodontist for a check up. While we were down there, we stopped in at a number of dance stores and fitness places and showed them my books I have written. So far they have proven to be very successful and very much wanted, which is great. I hope it continues. Kyah doesn’t like the dance book because it features her as the model for most exercises. Oh well, too bad! She was the best, most convenient option for a model I had. If any of you are interested in looking at the books, here is the link

We managed to see a couple of friends for very short times while we were down on the Gold Coast.  It was nice to see friends, and catch up, even if it was only for a very, short time. Even though it is only an hour away, we hardly ever get down there anymore.

We set the Christmas tree up and all the decorations. Kyah didn’t like the Christmas wreath we had. (I have had it for at least 20 years – it has served me well though). Anyway, she kept on about how it was too small and didn’t look nice. So we went to Spotlight and spent two hours in there; choosing things that I could use to make a new Christmas wreath. We do like to wander around and browse in that shop. We ended up purchasing a number of things so I could make a new wreath from scratch. I wanted to make my own rather than buy one. At least that way I know it is ours and no one else will have one the same .Here’s the before and after.

Here are the items I used to make the new wreath

This is the new wreath. It is at least twice the size of the original – Kyah is now happy!

We have had a lot of socialising this past month. It has been nice. We also went and saw A Christmas Carol; at QPAC. It is adapted and created by shake & stir theatre co. We both thoroughly enjoyed the performance. It was really different to go to QPAC and see something other than the ballet. I am not complaining at all about how much ballet we see, it was simply a nice change.

I (along with many others), had helped QB on their “Giving Day” – making phone calls to help raise money to fit out the new building that is being constructed at Kelvin Grove State College. As a “thank you” to the volunteers, QB allowed us to watch the rehearsal of Act 1 of The Nutcracker. It was so interesting … simply fascinating to see these dancers performing in clothes that were not their costumes, and having imaginary props – some props were there, but others weren’t. Then when you see the actual performance (I have seen The Nutcracker a number of times) it is just amazing that what they have been rehearsing is almost identical to what they do on stage with props. It is definitely a very underrated skill and talent these athletes have.

Here is a photo of the very unique Christmas tree Queensland Ballet have. I think it is fantastic. The pointe shoes have been put to good use.

We have pretty much completed our Christmas shopping. A few different shopping expeditions, and we are pretty much done. We need to give each other our presents before Christmas Day. We will not be at home then, as we are off on a cruise – so it is necessary for us to do it beforehand. It is amazing how fast the time is going. Almost two weeks and it will be Christmas! Still so much to do before then.

We are planning for Kyah to have some time down at The Bay in January, with her dad and other friends of hers. She will also be doing exercise, and her diploma, just to ensure she is on top of everything. It kind of never ceases, but this is the life of any serious athlete.

We went to the QB breakup yesterday. It was nice to speak to all her teachers, even if it was only briefly. They are extremely happy with Kyah and her efforts this year, but want her to get much stronger. It is difficult for someone with Kyah’s body type. She is hyper mobile and so the perception is that she is not as strong as others. But in actual fact, sometimes she is stronger than other people that are less mobile than her. It can be deceptive. We really don’t mind that she has been asked to repeat. We totally believe it is God’s will and the best thing for Kyah. She knows all the dancers in the year below, so next year it won’t be that daunting for her, she will be with two friends from this year and she knows everyone moving up to level 2.

Kyah is off to see The Nutcracker  this Thursday night. It is part of the QB Academy program, and if the academy students are around and want to watch the final dress rehearsal, they are able to. I think it is a great opportunity for the students to watch. Most of the kids will be heading home to wherever they live, so we are thinking that there won’t be many students there watching. But Kyah enjoys watching the dress rehearsals – it is a great way to see the company perform.

So we are winding down to Christmas, or rather winding up to Christmas and all the activities we have planned over our break. Still so much to do before we go on our cruise. I am hoping that  once we get on that ship we will be able to turn off the brains and relax for a while, in amongst the daily gym sessions, rock climbing, indoor sky diving, dodgem cars and all the evening entertainment we have planned.

Life has been good to us this year and we are very much looking forward to next year.

Deut 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments. (NASB)

She Performed Beautifully

The Queensland Ballet Academy Gala for 2019  is now complete. There were four performances in total. Friday night, Saturday day, Saturday night and Sunday day. The week leading up to the busy weekend was rather hectic too. We had a new homestay arrive on the Sunday morning. All dancers had the Monday of school and dance and the entire week off school to prepare for the shows. Kyah used her time wisely; did a pilates class, some school work and rested on the Monday. Tuesday onwards she had 11-12 hour days. Leave home 9am, home by 10-10.30pm.

The change in routine was tough for both of us. We are usually in bed, if not preparing for bed by 8.30pm. So the late nights were a bit of a shock to the system, but it needed to be done. In preparation for a performance or competition, if you are performing / competing at 10pm, there’s no point training at 8am. You need to try to get your body to adapt to performing at the new time. So I figured that’s why they were working those hours. It may have been another reason totally, but I am sticking with that line of thought.

Anne arrived on Wednesday evening. So I had to pick Kyah up from rehearsals at 10pm and drive to the airport, pick up Anne, and then drive home. Anne had to wait at the airport for us to come to pick her up, but she knew that would be the case.. Kyah drove. She did well. Once we got home, we sat up for a short while chatting to Anne.

Thursday, we picked up another girl, Meg, (we did this every day that week), and drove Kyah and Meg to rehearsals. Then Anne and I volunteered for 2 hours at Queensland Ballet. It was their Giving Day. Queensland ballet were hoping to raise $2m in a 24 hour period. For every dollar that was donated, certain sponsors were quadrupling the amount. So Anne and I helped for a couple of hours with that. In the end QB were successful in raising the money they wanted. This money will go towards fitting out the new premises at Kelvin Grove State College. Hopefully it will be complete by early next year, ready for the academy students to use.

We picked Kyah up at 10pm. By this stage her dad had arrived, so there was more excitement in the air for her. I still had to work, so I got both Anne and Kevin working for me! They were preparing lunch for Kyah, doing the drop off and pick ups, and I had them do lots of food prep for us. It was almost like a commercial kitchen at one point. We had so much food being cooked, it was amusing. The freezer is now full of ready made meals for us to pull out and eat when we need. I think they will last us for a good 2-3 months.

On top of the meals made, chocolate brownies and protein balls were made. Some of these were consumed over the busy weekend. The rest are being consumed this week, while I recover.

Their first performance was Friday night. When Kyah came home, she was hyped up so it was difficult for her to settle and go to bed and sleep. Saturday was a hectic day: I had clients early. Kyah needed to be  at the venue by 10am. We had another homestay student arrive at 10.30am. A friend, Grace, arrived at midday, because she was coming with us. We left just after midday. Met up with Ruth, Clare, Kirsten, Annie, Deb and Eloise. We were all spaced around the theatre because we’d purchased tickets at different times. Me being the ardent mum that I am, managed to purchase tickets in the front row! Kyah is used to that by now – having me right in her face. Her biggest fan and also one of her biggest critics. The performance was great. Amazing talent, ability, technique, choreography, presentation, costumes, music, lighting, staging. It was great. Very much worth seeing.

Deb, a friend who came with us has been going to the ballet for many, many years. Her comment was that she “…forgot she was watching adolescents…” That’s a good compliment, one that I totally agree with. QB are doing a fantastic job of teaching these up and coming dancers.

The ten of us (Ruth, Clare, Kirsten, Annie, Deb, Eloise, Kevin, Anne, Kyah and I)  met afterwards, took photos, and then had burgers and a drink. It was so nice to see everyone and catch up on some of their news, even if it was only for a short while. We are both very thankful to everyone who came and supported Kyah as well as those who sent messages of well-wishes for her performances. It means a great deal to both of us.

Kyah had to prepare for the next show that evening, and we all headed home. Kevin (her dad) drove back to Newcastle. Anne and I sat around and waited for 10pm to come again, for pick up. This particular evening Jimmy Barnes was performing at Riverstage; right beside Gardens Theatre. Needless to say there was people everywhere and I got to hear a few songs from Jimmy while I was waiting for Kyah to come out.

Sunday was again another hectic day. Dropped Kyah to Gardens Theatre. Anne and I found the Northside Flower Market and bought some absolutely beautiful flowers. Believe it or not, they actually have a scent and as I am writing this, 4 days after the purchase, they still look as fresh as the day we bought them!!! We then went to church, had lunch with a group of friends, picked Kyah up at 4.15pm. Drove Anne to the airport. Drove home and Kyah unpacked from the busy week. Then I had to turn around and go back to the airport to pick up one of the homestay girls.

It was a very busy week and I am still recovering. Kyah had Monday off school, as it was a pupil-free day, so that gave her a bit of an opportunity to recover, which is great for her. Unfortunately, one of the girls coughed on Kyah all weekend and now Kyah is feeling a bit unwell, but we are hoping she can get on top of it by the morning.


The last couple of weeks leading up to the Gala week were also busy, but we had some fun activities thrown in there as well.

We went to the Queensland Museum to see the Space Exhibition. It was pretty interesting; lots to see, loads of facts and information about space travel. We spent almost 3 hours in there, so that should say something. That same afternoon we went to the movies and saw Ad Astra, with Brad Pitt. The movie was good to watch, especially after we had spent so long in the museum looking at space stuff beforehand. (It wasn’t planned that way – it just worked out it happened that way). So we had a very space-focused day. At one stage when Kyah was young, she wanted to be an astronaut, so it was very absorbing for her.

Kyah was asked to do a dance at church as a special celebration to pray for the Jewish people and Jerusalem. She looked beautiful, and her performance was lovely. She choreographed the dance a few days beforehand, so it was all totally her input. So many people gave her compliments afterwards about how they were in tears and deeply moved because the dance was so anointed. That was really encouraging for her to hear. I can imagine there will be more of that to come.

We are looking for a new place to move into. Where we are is really not that accessible with public transport. Even though we live 4.5km from the school Kyah attends, it may take her over an hour to get home some afternoons, because of the timing  and routes of the public transport. This is not really ideal. She had dance practice recently that fell on a public holiday, in preparation for the Gala performance. Kyah had to leave home with me very early so I could drop her to public transport that would get her there on time. I was working with clients, otherwise I would have dropped her in there. So, we need to look for a new place to live. That is taking a bit of our time at the moment. Checking places out on the internet, going to look at some of them…. My gripe: it is very interesting the measurements written on floor plans … for some reason they seem to be very exaggerated in some cases. I wonder when the real estate industry will get an overhaul. It is very disappointing to turn up to a place when you are expecting floor sizes to be 4.5m x 7.2m and you know by looking at the room that the measurements have been increased by 25% at least.

We went and watched a local dance school perform their end of year show. The intention was to see the standard the kids are at and what type of dance school they are; what genres they focus on, music selection, costumes and age appropriate dance moves. We were very pleased with what we saw and had the assurance that Kyah would be able to teach dance to the younger kids. This is something we want to look into her doing next year, so we are looking around now. Obviously, the dance school will also be determined by where we move to. But it doesn’t hurt to look.

We are now in the final term of school. Lots of things for Kyah to complete before the end of year. Dance exams will be coming up very soon. As yet they have not been told a date, but I can imagine it will be very soon. After that they then get told if they are accepted back into Queensland Ballet Academy for next year. We are hoping and believing for God’s plans to come to fruition. Everything is in His time.

Numbers 23:19-21  God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? 

Upcoming Gala Performance

Gosh how the time is flying. Another month is gone. School holidays for Kyah have come and gone. She was fortunate enough to have one week off both school and dance, and now she is back into dance, with another week off school.

I will fill you in on the happenings since the last post, as best I can. Kyah was doing some of her Diploma work on her computer and managed to spill some water on her laptop computer! It wouldn’t turn on so I suggested she grab a tea towel and place it on the bench, then cover the tea towel in raw rice. Place the laptop keyboard on the rice with some books on it, to ensure the laptop did not fall. Leave it for more than 20 minutes and hope and pray. Well, after 30 minutes the computer worked again. I am figuring the rice absorbed the moisture that was in the keys. So she was able to use her computer and back everything up. Even though the computer worked, she said it was running very hot, so it was off to the computer store to purchase another laptop. Oh my gosh they get you with the price now don’t they? Captive audience aren’t we??

I have had to delete all the files from Kyah’s laptop and iPad so we can trade them in, as we no longer need them. As I was going through the files I found the journal Kyah had done on our trip through Canada. It was so nice reading it and remembering the holiday, but also reading it from a nine and a half year olds’ perspective. We would happily go back to Canada, especially Yellowknife; we had such an amazingly different experience.  Down to minus 30 degrees. Snow over one meter high beside the roads. Dog sledding. Snow shoeing. Ice walks where crampons were essential footwear. Seeing beavers nests and how they set up for winter. Watching the set up for ice fishing nets on the lake the ice truckers use. Riding snow mobiles. Mushing. Skiing Whistler and Blackcomb. Having snow come up to your waist as you walk. And the most memorable of all experiences – seeing the Aurora Borealis.

This was taken in Canada when we were doing an ice walk in Johnston Canyon.

Back to reality…

Kyah has managed to get through all her subjects for term three. She is confident she has passed all her subjects; as yet we have not received a school report for all the subjects she is doing. I imagine the report will be forthcoming.

She is now almost half way through her Diploma in Business so she is able to drop a subject at school. This will be implemented as of term four – starting next week. What a relief for her. The Diploma course is proving to be very time consuming as it requires feedback on numerous drafts for the same module. The feedback is taking time to receive as well, so it seems to be a bit frustrating in that Kyah is not able to complete a module, have it marked and signed off as ‘successfully completed’ and move on to the next module. She is currently waiting on feedback for three modules and starting another one. It’s a bit confusing, but it is how she must do it in order not to waste too much time. She will get there.

We are thinking that next year while she is completing year 12 she will be able to undertake a part time job. We are hoping it may be in dance teaching or in a dance shop. But she should have some time free for a job. This would be amazing to think with the huge load they have with dance and school, but it is a genuine possibility. It will also be good for Kyah to get out there into the employment world and take on added responsibilities. Available time for her will be the determining factor.

Our two homestay girls finally moved out. They were with us for two months. They were very pleasant to have around and absolutely no problem at all. It is great for Kyah to have people around that she has to consider. Being an only child she can become very used to not considering others, so I think it is a good thing to have others in our house. We have another student arrive in a couple of weeks and two teachers attached to international schools coming. I think by the end of November we should be just about done with the homestay people for the year. It does keep us busy, but also it is nice to be able to open our home to others and make them feel welcome when they are in our country.

Our cruise has been paid for. We are definitely going to NZ. Both of us are very much looking forward to it. It will be a much needed break. Loads of activities to do on the ship, as well as participate in fitness classes, go to the gym, racing dodgem cars, rock climbing, indoor sky diving, along with simply sitting down to meals and not having to prepare them, nor having to clean up afterwards. My idea of a perfect holiday. Bring it on.

The last few weeks of school were pretty busy for Kyah. Finalising all assessment tasks, getting her diploma done and ballet. Queensland Ballet have an upcoming Gala performance in October. So the dancers have all been preparing for that. Kyah has been doing her 2-3 sessions of pilates each week as well. She has got to stay on top of prehab and maintain and improve her strength all the time. The preparation days for the Gala are very long. She leaves home by 6am and arrives home after 5pm. She is at dance all day. So when she gets home, it is feet up or feet in an ice bucket,  bit of rest, eat a healthy dinner, shower, unpack, prepare for the next day. Then she repeats the process the next day… a bit like Groundhog Day. She is enjoying it though.

There are a number of dear friends coming to watch Kyah perform in the Gala. I am really looking forward to catching up with every one of you. It is only 2 weeks away. So much to get done before then…

We had a bit of a gathering at our place in September. About 20 people, all playing games, laughing, enjoying each others company. It was lovely. Kyah managed to corrupt one of the “more responsible” women. She had Luell and herself go out on to the back verandah with a bottle of water and gently pour it through the timber cracks down onto some of the people sitting and chatting at the BBQ table!! I knew what was going on, but the others didn’t for a little while. They thought it was spray from a bottle being opened or sprinkles of rain. It was actually very funny to see it happening. They had fun. It was a great time for all, memories made and friendships strengthened.

Kyah went down to see her dad for a few days last week. She flew down and back. While she was there she caught up with a couple of friends, which she loved doing, she went to the gym with a friend. But mostly she spent the time with her dad and the dogs. She said she had a nice time. I think the fact she had no structure, except attending the gym each afternoon (thank you Tina), and just chilling without any commitments was exactly what she needed. Now it is back to the routine.

She arrived back on Thursday night, to give her a day to unpack, settle back in and wind up for the sprint to the end of the year. She started back dancing on Saturday, and it will be full on until after their Gala and exams.

We received her report for QB and she is doing really well. We are both very pleased with the report. Obviously there is always room for improvement, but it seems she is doing well and is meeting all criteria more than satisfactorily. This is not a guarantee she will be in again next year, but we walk in hope and faith on that promise. We will find out after the Gala and the exams, which will be early to mid November. Keep praying for God’s will to be done, please.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. KJV

September 26 marked three years since her horrendous accident. She was boarding the plane to come home at the exact time it happened three years ago. Her foot does not give her any problems at all. It is still a bit larger in the ankle, but that will probably never change. I thank God every day for the miracle of healing and the blessing He has given her. We are blessed in that others have heard of her injury and can see the number of miracles that happened regarding her foot including the complete healing of it. It may give them hope and direction and possibly plant a seed of faith in them that will grow.

We have heard that one of Kyah’s most lovely dance teachers, back when she was very young, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Robyn really was the instigator in us pursuing Kyah’s ballet career. She recognised Kyah’s ability even when she was 8 and 9 years old. When we left Port Stephens, it was Robyn who said to us that Kyah really should pursue ballet and that she has huge potential in the ballet world. We catch up with Robyn when we can and hopefully we will be able to see her over Christmas. Our thoughts and prayers are with her through this tough time.

On another sad note, one of my dearest friends has been diagnosed as having a tumour in her pancreas. We are hoping surgery to remove and then reconstruct the pancreas will be all that is needed, but we must wait and see, and hope and pray. Both Kyah and I simply adore Sandra and this has been a huge blow to us.

Trying to stay positive:

Ever wondered what cheese and bacon rolls would look like if your child (Kyah in this case) left a packet of them in the glove box of the car for 16 days? Well, here’s your answer!!  Thankfully the bag was closed and there was no smell. But I would not recommend anyone do it. Needless to say, they went straight in the bin, no consideration of giving the scraps to the birds or dogs.

Kyah has been doing some driving and is going well. Her confidence is growing along with her ability. She is learning to read the traffic more effectively each time she drives, and she is becoming more aware of how to spot a lunatic on the road. Driving home yesterday there was one of those tiny motor scooters that simply do not have the power to reach 40km/h. What an experience for her. Cars were trying to get away from the scooter, pushing in and out of different lanes, the scooter rider was (I think) totally oblivious to the traffic confusion they were causing. It was quite amusing to watch, and teach Kyah what to do and what not to do and see how certain drivers respond when they realised they were driving behind a very slow vehicle. Kyah did well to merge with the traffic and avoid being stuck behind this scooter.

We use the driving app and it is so easy. Kyah simply puts in the odometer reading and the start location. Presses start and the app follows where we drive. When we get to the end she then puts in the odometer reading again. If it is night time she needs to specify that, otherwise it gets registered as a day drive. I then go online with an email prompt and approve the drive. Then the time gets added to her diary. It is so easy. If any of you are thinking of doing it this way or manually, I recommend doing it this way. It is so easy.

Our home is turning into a bit of an animal farm. We have a cat that visits us every day; Lunar. He is actually a nice cat – if there is such a thing !!! He used to live here and when the previous tenants moved out, apparently he wanted to stay, so he moved in with the neighbours, but comes over here every day. He almost behaves like a dog and he and Kyah have a good play a few times each week. He is a lovely natured cat, likes to make himself at home. We also have a few currawongs that come into the house now. They obviously feel comfortable enough to walk into the house. Mind you, the birds don’t come in when Lunar is around. It’s entertaining if nothing else.


Kyah is dancing at church this Sunday. It is a low key dance, just her. We have a ‘Day of Prayer for Israel’ on Sunday and Kyah has been asked if she could dance just for one song as part of the entertainment and celebrations. She is such a blessing to watch when she dances, so those of us that know she is performing are all looking forward to it.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. NIV



Term Three Almost Done

The year is flying by. We are racing around every day, trying to fit everything into our busy schedules. We have to forego many offers of catch-ups and get-togethers, but both Kyah and I realise there is a means to an end for all this work, dedication and relinquishing of special times.

This term is the busiest one she has had so far; school commitments, assessments, assignments, her diploma, a dance performance night. Then add to that the dance commitments she has with Queensland Ballet; six days each week, her pilates for prehabilitation and strength enhancement three times each week, and the fortnightly physio appointment to ensure no bad habits creep in. We hardly see each other at the moment, with her schedule and mine, but sometimes that is not a bad thing when they are teenagers!!!! Did I just say that???

Kyah had a few Sunday dance commitments for school prep for their “2019 Night of Dance”. She was only in 2 dances for the night, but the planning and prep requires all dancers to be there for certain times. This way the teachers know all students are fully aware of what they are required to do, where they need to be and when. She enjoyed performing “A Chorus Line” and the “Finale”. She realised from last year that being in too many things added extra pressure on to her, and that is something she simply does not need at this point. Most of the year 11 Queensland Ballet kids only did the two dances, for this reason.

This is not a good photo but it’s the only one I have access to at the moment. The night ended up being quite a late finish, which was expected, but not really what she needed.

Kyah performed in “A Chorus Line” with the Year 11 dance class.

It was nice to see Kyah dance as I have not seen her perform for a while. Soon though…

Kyah’s school commitments have been huge this year. Her load, if she completes it all will have her graduate high school with 27 points. Even though she and I planned and sorted her subject selection carefully to ensure she had a relatively “easy” load, the school requirements have been such that she has had to undertake other subjects up to this point. It is now at the point where both Kyah and I know she needs to reduce her load by at least 4 points. 20 points are what is required to graduate. So I called a meeting with some school staff and thankfully, we have come up with a plan.  We are implementing a better program for her so she is not going along blindly with certain subjects, and she will be able to drop certain subjects once she has accumulated a specific number of points. Already it seems to be a much better option and program for Kyah because, this now gives her guidance and instruction on a regular basis, as well as an incentive to get her business diploma done, as this accumulates points with every module completed.

Just recently, Kyah had do to a practical dance assessment and then report on it. The assessment was quite a task, and involved filming of the dancers in a specific room. The issue Kyah faced was trying to coordinate the availability of the room, when she and the other dancer were both available, as well as having someone film the entire dance. It ended up far too hard to coordinate and have access to the room, so Kyah ended up using me as her dancer!!! So the initial choreography was altered dramatically to compensate for my lack of ability to look like a ballet dancer. We had a great laugh, mostly at my expense, but we finally got the job done. The story was told, and it was a very effective method of putting the story out there. We used our gym, so we just packed up half the room and made it look like a ballet room as best we could, then went for it. Kyah ended up getting a very good result for it. So, all in all, even though it was a very stressful time trying to get it done, it was very successful in the end. Thought I’d include this photo for those of you that want a bit of a laugh. Kyah is not even trying to look elegant, and I am!!! Note to self: stick with my vocation, and don’t expect a call up from and dance company any time soon. Haha.

Kyah has managed to have a bit of social time. Catching up with friends from school and ballet outside of both, but her main focus this term has been school and dance. Just trying to get all her work done and handed in on time.

I made her some “cookie dough flavoured” bliss balls for a relatively healthy snack, along with apple and cinnamon muffins and banana bread. All have been consumed pretty heartily. Kyah’s whole existence revolves around her dance; eating well, getting enough sleep, getting through her school work quickly and effectively, to ensure she has enough time to do all that is required for dance. This is a lifestyle she has adopted and will continue to do  for the length of time she wishes to pursue this avenue. It is almost 100% dedication, which she does not seem to mind at all.

These are pretty yum!!! Cookie dough flavoured.

We went and saw Bangarra Dance Theatre perform at QPAC. It was their 30th Anniversary Season. The performance was great. That was last Saturday night. The night was not too late, and Kyah was able to have a good sleep-in on the Sunday, so she was well prepared for this week of school and dance.

My dad has been unwell the last few months and this came to a climax two weeks ago. Both Kyah and I have been on edge a bit with that; as it is stressful when close  family and friends are unwell. We are believing for God’s will to be done in the situation and whatever that looks like, we know it will the best for all concerned.

Winter is just about over, but we had a couple of mornings recently with some beautiful heavy fog. It was just amazing to see. Kyah still got up and was ready and out the door by 6am. No complaints from her. She got some great shots of the city all fogged-up while she was travelling to dance. I was training people in this and it was just so serene.


Queensland Ballet are currently performing Romeo & Juliet at QPAC. I went to see them on Tuesday night; dress rehearsal night. Kyah made the decision not go to. Reason being: early in the week, so much school work on at the moment, and a very late night, hard to catch up on missed sleep at the moment. It was a wise decision. She did miss a good night though.

The ballet was absolutely beautiful. Lots to look at and enjoy, the story was told very well, costumes were great, music performed by Queensland Symphony Orchestra was wonderful, dancing was amazing. It is easy to see why Queensland Ballet are considered one of the best Ballet Companies in the world at the moment. I very much recommend you go to see this.

Link is here:

So we (mostly me!) are going through all our “stuff”. There’s 2 huge boxes of barbie things that we are currently preparing to sell. It is time to move on from the childhood and get rid of things we simply do not need any more. There are so many thing we accumulate over the years. Now it is time for us to get rid of what we don’t need. We are still renting in Brisbane and one day we hope to move into our own place, so the fewer things we have to move, the better. Culling can be very therapeutic and cleansing. It is that way so far for us.

The school holidays start September 20, 2019. There is so much to get done before that, so it is heads down and get it done. Kyah will also be doing her diploma through the holidays as well as dancing, but at least the intensity will be reduced a bit and she may not have the early mornings…

Queensland Ballet have their Academy Gala coming up, from October 18-20. I have had lots of people asking how to buy tickets to come and watch. It is a great performance to see if you want to see good quality dancers at not a huge cost. Obviously the dancers have started preparing for the Gala now, and will do so over the school holidays as well. I am looking forward to seeing Kyah perform. You never know what dances they are in until the actual performance time. But that is part of show business.

Here is the link to purchase tickets if you are interested.

2 Cor 1:20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our AMEN to God for his glory. (ESV)