DIY Day: Of screwdrivers, stigmata and that Swedish store

A disembodied hand folding an IKEA magazine

One day last week I looked around me at the piles of newspapers, manila folders, books and binders scattered over the floor in my bedroom/study  and took a deep breath. I’ve been sleeping, working and eating in this room for the past few months.

My brain is a lockdown-induced jumble of broken resolutions.

The freedom of working from home has turned me into a combination of jellyfish and goldfish – lacking in backbone and unable to retain a plan for more than three seconds. I can’t put it off any longer. I need order in my life.

Kids, I’m going to IKEA. If I’m not back by midnight, send out a search party.

A disembodied hand folding an IKEA magazine
Photo by billow 926 on Unsplash

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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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They cancelled Eurovision

This year would have marked the 65th anniversary of Eurovision.

Sixty-four years of big hair, wind machines and pyrotechnics up in smoke. For this year anyway – the year I made the decision to experience firsthand the highs, the lows, the costume reveals and the money notes. The year I sweated over three laptops simultaneously logged in to the second round of ticket sales and won and lost tickets in less than five heartbreaking minutes. And won again.

Three laptops open at the Eurovision booking page
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Resourcefulness and resilience rise from the ashes

Amidst the hardship and heartbreak of the recent bushfires, acts of kindness restore faith in the future of this wide brown land.

It was wonderful to read about the generous responses to the bushfires of sports people like Nick Kyrgios, international celebrities like Leonardo di Caprio and Elton John, as well as local heroes like Chris Hemsworth.

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Late bloomers: flowering later in life and loving it.

Pink late bloomer roses on a red and white checked tablecloth in front of a yellow chair

Australian women are amongst the most long-lived on the planet.

Current statistics tell us we can expect to live to an average age of 85: twenty years beyond what used to be called retirement age. For some, the prospect of filling in those extra decades is daunting. For others – the late bloomers – it’s an opportunity to achieve the goals they set out to reach before life got too busy or too messy.

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Career changing later in life: From croquembouches to creative writing

I spent the first 25 years of my working life as a caterer.

Objects of a past career (whisk and rolling pin) and of my new career (writing pad, fountain pen).

In my mid-40s, I simultaneously lost the passion for my cooking career and gained a love of writing. I decided to use the skills accumulated throughout the previous quarter century to work for me in my new writing career: the ability to match menu to client, the organisational skills to run a small business and a willingness to learn.

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