Hitting the in-law jackpot in the lottery of life

A bonus long weekend post in honour of my nephew Tom and his mother – my friend – Anne

A gift like Anne comes along once in a lifetime

An in-law who becomes a close friend, confidante and partner-in-crime. From the day we met, we got the point of each other. We laughed at each other’s jokes, shared each other’s pain (including a common mother-in-law), went on holidays together and shared a brood of children who were best mates and just happened to be first cousins.

Two smiling women with their arms around each other and a champagne bucket in the foreground

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Music for simple minds

Violin resting on sheet music

Since lockdown began six (or is it seven?) millenia ago, I have begun to realise how reliant I am on the companionship of sound, and of classical music in particular.

Violin resting on sheet music

I wake up to Russell Torrance and his gentle Scottish brogue on Classic FM, then move on to my late father’s classical music CD collection for the rest of my working-from-home day. Once meticulously filed in alphabetical order in his study, it’s now a jumbled pile in his old bedroom – my current retreat. I sift through it for old favourites – the B for Bach, H for Handel and M for Mozart sections were always heavily weighted on Dad’s shelves – and spend hours every day of this 21st century pandemic immersed in 18th century music.

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The kindness of strangers

A recent invitation to join the Kindness Pandemic Facebook page brought to mind this story I wrote for The Age in 2009 shortly after the car crash that – in a strange way – was the catalyst for DIY Woman. I was determined to make the most of the life I had been spared to live. It was the inception of what started out as a guide to separation, divorce and living happily ever after, and grew into a blog for the Daring Intuitive Young@heart Woman I aspire to be. The type of woman (and occasional man) I write for. And that is you, dear reader. I hope you enjoy this story from The Age archives.

The Kindness Pandemic artwork

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Comfort reading in the time of COVID 19

I used to be one of those people who always finished a book, even if they weren’t enjoying it. These days I regard it in the same light as eating everything on your plate: some meals just aren’t worth the calories.

Today’s post was meant to be a review of Julia Baird’s Phosphorescence, a beautifully written paean to nature’s ability to inspire awe and wonder. But five chapters in, I’d read enough to sustain me. 

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The Weekend by Charlotte Wood

The first DIY Woman book review – I hope it will open up a discussion about books that helps create a connection for those who love to read.

I’ve wanted to read The WeekendCharlotte Wood‘s latest book – ever since I heard about it on Radio National’s The Bookshelf. Its basic premise – the 30-year friendship of four women, a weekend away after the death of one of them – was one that appealed to me.

Book cover of The Weekend by Charlotte Wood including the silhouette of a dog
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Beating the Isolation Blues

A few Saturday nights ago – a lifetime away – I had an epiphany. 

 I was in a form of self-imposed isolation due to a cold I had picked up from some visiting relatives. It was early on in the unfolding of the coronavirus catastrophe to come. According to the Nurse-On-Call, I didn’t tick any of the boxes that would have entitled me to coronavirus testing. So I was erring on the side of caution. And there was something seductive about cancelling all social engagements and staying in on a Saturday night. Especially with Hugh Grant for company. A Very British Scandal was showing on iview, so my pyjamas and I settled in for episode one.

Isolation in front of the TV with slippers
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