Hurricane of Change

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I’ve sown a seed of an idea… and I’d like you to share in my new vision for my beloved Hobart Hurricanes and the Big Bash Cricket League. 

In that future our Hurricanes is a club that gives prizes or access to player’s autographs to the kids who pick up rubbish from the hill and the stadiums after the match. It’s a club that gives out free match merchandise that is 100 percent biodegradable. It’s a club that composts and reuses its food waste. 

At the food outlets, healthy fare is on offer that is just as tasty as the ‘yellow food’ that currently lines our intestines with fat and salt. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating a bucket of hot chips with ‘dead horse’, followed by a maggot box (meat pie), but what is it in Aussie culture that sees us litter the earth and our bodies with rubbish? 

I guess I’m noticing rubbish, having just moved house. It’s been a hurricane of change, and I’m now left with an almost empty rental to clean that looks like the hill after a Big Bash match. I’ve been dishing the kids up with sub standard meals too until I restart the veggie garden and find the box with the pots and pans. 

In the old house, there are bits and pieces left in corners after the main furniture has gone. It’s got me wondering why do we humans accumulate so much STUFF? We hoard it. Or we cast it away without a second thought for Mother Earth. 

As we left the Blundstone Arena the kids carted home more KFC bucket hats, several purple plastic clappers and a few ‘Four ‘and ‘Six’ cards like a group of Big Bash Bower birds. 

Already in my mind I began repurposing and recycling, planning new uses for the waxy KFC buckets and the cardboard ‘Out’ signs that would end up in the worm farm… but what to do with the plastic? 

Last night at the match between the Scorchers and the Canes, I’d mentioned my vision for an environmentally aware and health conscious sports club to the wonderful cricket administrators whom I’ve come to know and love through my affiliation with BBL. 

I’m glad I raised it with them. I’ve learned from farming that to reap rewards and change the future, you must sow seed. I’ve sown a seed of thought… and it may take time for those seeds to germinate and to grow, but it’s an idea worth spreading and growing. You can help spread it too, but like farming, it’s best grown with love and with faith that it will happen. Change is best cultivated, not forced. I know that change is in the big beautiful Hurricane wind for a cricket culture that not only supports women but also Mother Earth. 

Until then, may my beloved Hurricanes make it through the semis in the WBBL and Purple wins the prize! Go girls!

 

Captain O' Captain!

I have a new infatuation thanks to a series of questions to which I have no answers. It started last night before the Hobart Hurricanes v Sydney Thunder match when my guest, who was new to live Big Bash cricket, pointed to the ground and said, ‘What is that?’ 

I looked to the purple foam and Lycra clad team mascot who was waving ‘Make Noise’ cards at the crowd from a cart with giant sparklers shooting from it.

‘That’s Captain Hurricane,’ I answered innocently. 

But the answer only prompted more questions between us, to the point where cricket was only our secondary focus… with Captain Hurricane, standing proudly in his shiny cape, he became central to my mind as the questions kept coming. My eyes kept roaming the ground to find him. 

Who dreamt him up? 

Did he have a day job?’

Was he an actor or an athlete?

Why was he wearing one 80’s rocker shoulder pad?

Was he a different person at each game?

Did he get paid a lot of money to wear such a costume on a stinker of a 30 degree day and dance about like that?

Who designed him?

Did he like chicken parma?

I began to see our beloved Captain Hurricane in a new light. 

Why did he wear purple washing up gloves and what looked like a purple sanitary pad over his eyes with holes cut in it? Was I being too harsh? 

There are elements of him that were very alluring, like his handsome cleft chin and his rock hard toned thighs. But what was the designer thinking when he gave our Captain Hurricane hair that could be described, (if you’re being kind,) as a dollop of chocolate Mr Whippy ice cream on his head, (or if you’re not), as a dog poo from a dog that’s eaten too much Chum.

As I wake this morning, I can’t get Captain Hurricane out of my head. Yes our George Bailey made 69 not out, giving us some status in our defeat, but Captain Hurricane became my real hero of the night. Afterall, he has to look out of his mouth to see and he didn’t have a water boy following him with every outfield ball chase like the cricketers did. He had to sweat it out. Which got me thinking, what sort of underpants does Captain Hurricane wear? Were they purple like mine?

Yes, Captain Hurricane is now my man of intrigue. But is he a man? Could he be woman with really strong legs? I love these deep ponderings between friends, prompted by the entertainment Big Bash Cricket delivers. Life at a BBL match is fun… more fun than you can ever know until you’ve been to one. I hope you get to a Big Bash before season’s end, and you meet your mascot. Your hero.

Hurricane hugs,

 

Thoughts from a Crazy Cricket Lady

What is it about autographs? Why do some of us hanker and hunger for them from our heroes? I’ve often wondered what it is that drives us to stand in queues or squash ourselves in huddles before the people we worship. 

Last night at the Big Bash, way past bedtime, I found myself hovering and hopeful that the six foot six English lad, Stuart Broad, clad in Hurricanes purple would come our way so our country cousins could score a signature and a snap. 

‘Oh my God,’ said my cousin Louise, afterwards, ‘I accidently slid my hand down his back! That poor man. He’ll think I’m trying to grope him!’ 

Here was a lady with a pHD in education reduced to fumbling faux pas in the presence of the super star. She’d already cocked up at the servo once when she bumped into George Bailey and, tripped and stumbled over her words blushing at the bowser before the batsman. 

I was the same. Once, as I snapped a photo of my son with Adam Gilchrist and I stammered in front of poor Gilly telling him that I thought he was ‘special, oh so special’. Oh my Lord! I turned myself into a blathering idiot before the legendary wicket keeper. 

But there it was, two Blunnie Mummies acting like teenagers, our eyes bright with excitement to be in such proximity of the cricketing stars. 

It took me back to my childhood where I would hang hopefully over the picket fence of the cricket ground with a pen in hand and a small autograph book, slowly capturing the names of my favourites. 

Even in Tasmania, where big league cricket matches were few and far between I managed to collect some fantastic names. Ian Botham, Kim Hughes and Imran Khan. I’d look at the scrawled signatures later with a sense of excitement and achievement. 

And it seems I’ve not grown up. With my children, I found myself again on the boundary fence, gazing at our willow-wielding heroes as if I was eleven years old again. 

The odd thing is, I’ve been on the other side of the fence. I know a little of what it is like to exist in that weird bubble of ‘fame’ where we put our arms around strangers to pose for a photo. I’ve been the one who has had people standing before me gushing and blushing as I signed books, hats or stubby holders for them. 

We writers generally can be slightly nerdy and homespun and we have ‘readers’ rather than ‘fans’… it’s the sports heroes and actors who really attract a level buzz that must at times be overwhelming, or down right annoying. 

Most of my life is spent as an ordinary mother, country girl, and deep thinking insular creative writer, but for every book I birth into the world, I am wheeled out into the publicity spotlight. 

It’s an odd feeling, and even though I meet the most wonderful people, I sometimes wonder why on earth they’d want my scribbled name there on the page, or on their cap? It’s only me after all. 

But then I realise, whatever I’ve infused into my books must have touched them, given them hope, or courage, or strength and that it is my privilege and pleasure to give them a small favour back for buying my creative works and immersing themselves in the creative world I have crafted. 

So last night, as I gazed at those fit, fantastic cricketers I felt a sense of gratitude for them. They were giving time to our children for taking up a pen to scrawl names on posters and t-shirts. They were letting bush based Blunnie Mummies put their arms around them. These men and women entertain us, inspire us, and help us leave our ordinary lives for a time. 

We forget though, that off the cricket ground and away from the mega-watt gleam of the spotlight, their lives are as ordinary as ours. They work hard. They dedicate themselves. They suffer. They too live a day-to-day grind. But it’s in the day-to-day grind of life that is so ordinary that we can find extraordinary, by living with gratitude and awe of the amazing lives we have. We are all heroes in our own way, whether we sign autographs or not.

 

We wish you a Merry Cricketmas!

I have made up a new word and a new celebration! It’s called Cricketmas! Instead of Christmas, Cricketmas is my summer celebratory religion. 

It was a letter from my daughter’s Quaker school principal that prompted me to rethink how I deal with Christmas which was turning everyone in a spin judging from the cars and frenetic level of crazy at the shopping centres. 

The phrases of well-meaning folk asking, ‘Are you all organised for Christmas?’, and, ‘This time of year is so crazy!’ seemed to be following me around in the summer swelter. 

It’s a Quaker belief that every day should hold the message of Christmas – that of love, peace and goodwill. I agree!

Walking with peace in our hearts and giving gifts of service everyday to others, and sharing meals together with those we love ought to be everyday, so there’s no reason to drive ourselves over the edge with Christmas pressure and feel the noose of family obligation tighten around our necks. 

That’s why Cricketmas is a much better way to go. 

My Cricketmas festival involved a backyard bush style bash on a farm in the Fingal Valley. It was a six hour rolling game of Christmas day cricket, on the lawn with towels on the line as the slips fieldsmen and many trips up the ladder to retrieve the ball off the farmhouse roof. 

Balls were tonked into the spud patch, at the chook house, a rare six into the poppy crop and one ball almost landing in a bowl of pav. Cricketmas Day was my perfect way to celebrate food, family and love of life in general. 

Boxing Day became Bowling Day when driving home listening to the Test on ABC Grandstand the kids and I heard the first wicket taken by Nathan Lyon. It was chorused by several thousand Facebook followers, all cued to shout ‘Nice Gary!’ on the third ball of his first over. The sound of the overjoyed Cricketmas crowd gave me goosebumps. 

Cricketmas reached a final crescendo for the kids and I at the Big Bash. Here over 18,000 Christmas weary folk came to celebrate Cricketmas as the Hobart Hurricanes took on Melbourne Stars. 

We were treated to seats in the Century Room decorated with buckets of purple soft cricket balls… so refreshing after all those red baubles around the shops! I was in a fog of festive season tiredness but I felt it melt away as I settled in to watch a solid partnership between Tim Paine and George Bailey. 

As the match progressed and the Hurricanes fans got quieter as a defeat was imminent I was inwardly glad it wasn’t’ a tense finish. 

After the Christmas rush, I’m sure there were a lot of mums like me. There was very little fuel left in my tank, so it was nice to just sit for a bit and be with my children and share the festive season with my cricket congregation. 

Merry Cricketmas to you all!

 
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Purple Passions

I am lucky enough to be both Tasmania’s State Ambassador for Riding for The Disabled and our cricket team the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League.

It’s a nice co-incidence that both organisations feature the colour purple which I’ve read suggests wealth, extravagance, fantasy and the world of dreams. The colour is said to enhance spiritual pursuits and enlightenment.

With that symbolism, it is the perfect colour for both cricket and horses!

Horses offer the wealth of beauty and cricket, the wealth of agility in sport.

Both are, in my mind, spiritual pursuits.  The tribal oneness that cricket brings with its excitement of peaceful warriors battling to win, and the enlightenment one discovers about ones self on a horse is something otherworldly.

My passion for cricket and horses has been life long. As has my love of being active and encouraging others to make the most of the bodies that we’ve been blessed with – no matter their limitations.

I urge people take on the healing that comes from horses and feel the joy that comes from being part of a team sport like cricket - no matter what your age or gender.

Cricket is the perfect platform for celebration of all things Aussie, and now with women’s cricket at last sharing the stage and soon, along with the salaries that the men enjoy, I encourage you to rev up your daughters for this rich sport.

If you have a person in your life challenged by a disability, I can’t recommend RDA more highly. It’s changed the life of our family dramatically and my darling Rosie girl is flying high since joining the RDA tribe.

As for stories… I love to get people reading… so watch this space for more stories on cricket and horses and humans!

Both are my purple passions! Join me in them! 

http://www.rdatas.org.au

http://www.hobarthurricanes.com.au

 
 
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Country Careers

country-careers

There is a catch cry of many farmers who say, ‘there’s no future in farming!’
What a load of ‘man-made fertiliser’ - (Rach’s new term for ‘Bull shit’ as bull shit is actually great stuff for the soil!)
Of course there is a future in food production! We all eat! Der! 
There is, however, a bleak future in farming the way we have farmed - see my Inspirational Agriculture section on this site to find out what myself and others are doing in our own farming systems and how to get positive about farming in both attitude and profits!
There is no better place to find your ‘calling’ as a human than in working with soil and growing beautiful healthy food for our society, while keeping the planet healthy.
So if you are a young person or a young-at-heart person looking for an area to ‘work’, I would enthusiastically urge you to take a look at agriculture as a ‘career’ choice.
There is so much scope to be innovative, regenerative, clever and entreprenerial in what I envisage will become a new age of farming.
Many people ask me ‘how do I get started?'
Tune into your passion in whatever area it is that appeals to you about farming, google it, then jump in the river of life and go with the flow, knowing you have made the right choice.
To make a start, look at the advertisements in OUTback magazine for the courses and companies that foster young people into careers. Join an organisation like Tasmania’s Rural Youth, and become involved in an event like Agfest. Enrol in a course like Low Stress Stock handling, KLR marketing or Pasture Cropping. Above all, question all you learn and hear. 
And I would say, don’t focus on the dollars of what you may or may not earn. Focus on the difference you can make in a positive way to our farming systems. Whether it’s handling animals better, improving soils or farmer profits through clever banking or accounting or discovering a new way to power car engines that we haven’t even dreamed of yet!
The world is yours to create. Go forth and grow!

 
 

 

Ruralbiz Training

RuralBiz Training provides quality and high-value training to the rural and agribusiness community. http://www.ruralbiztraining.com.au/

Grahame Rees Low Stress Stock Handling

Meeting the needs to handle stock in a calm and confident manner in all situations. http://www.lss.net.au/index.htm

Colin Seis

Profitable regenerative agriculture, cropping for a changing climate. http://www.pasturecropping.com/  &  http://www.winona.net.au/farming.html

Cowgirl Spirituality

I’m not a ‘God Botherer’ in the religious sense of the word. My place of worship and comfort is my
‘blue sky Cathedral’ that is the land and life that surrounds me. 
As we journey in life some people get battered, some become weary, and there grows a sense of fear, or a sense of lack.  I have been fortunate enough to have always been a ‘questioner’ of life and a scholar in ‘expanding my self-awareness’. 
For some reason, even in the early years, when I was not as ‘aware’ of my universal connectivity as I am now,  I always followed my heart and my love. Instead of being driven by money or by what others believe I ‘should’ do I was always driven by my passion.
It’s not always been a straight path, and I have been diverted many times, but my inner compass that is my ‘faith’ has always led me back to my true nature… which is one of love and peace and more recently abundance and joy. 
When I say ‘faith’ I am not talking about bibles, or ‘God’ as man has created. I am talking about connecting to an energy that is within us all. It’s an energy that is not just in humans, but plants, animals and all things that is on this earth and beyond. We are, after all, made up of the same stuff as stars. If you are prepared to look and become aware, there is an epidemic that is raging across the planet. It’s a veil of negativity and fear. 
The media shines spotlights into every corner of every disaster and awful event that is happening around the world, then they package it up and feed it into our lounge rooms, radios, i-pods and internet and call it ‘news’. During the ad breaks they show commercials of all the awful illnesses our bodies are susceptible to. Then they want to sell us stuff to artificially make us look better, feel better and make us temporarily happy. 
When you are a cowgirl like me and live on a heavenly hill like mine surrounded by nature, kids, dogs, horses, very tame clean-the-floor- in-the- kitchen chickens, and the best in country music, I do not, and I repeat, do not chose to funnel the media’s version of the world into my home. Some may call me ‘ignorant’ but I am very selective about what I bring into my living space and therefore into my thoughts. 
After many years of reading, mentoring from others and meditation, I deliberately focus my attention on joy in everything I do; even packing school lunches when the contents of my fridge is looking like a chook’s breakfast. Thanks to my study I have been training my mind and my thoughts, to see what an abundant world we live in, and because of that, life just gets better and better.
But it hasn’t always been this way. My sensitivity as a creative being has also led me to great pain, anxiety, chronic depression and illness. But this too has been a gift. Divorce and losing everything material, including a place on my family farm has also been one of my greatest lessons and a gift, hard though that journey has been. 
I can’t ‘show’ you how I got through those events in a bid to assist you in what you are searching for in life, but I can outline a small portion of the people, places, books that helped me and continue to help me along my wonderful path. The rest is up to you to find your inner Cowgirl or inner Cowboy so you can lead the
magnificent life you were sent here to lead….

Now let’s have a beer….. 

 
 

 

Inspiring Links:

Katherine Bright

'Keeping the light burning bright' - offering life counselling, energetic healing consultations as well as natural therapies and natropathy. http://www.katherinebrightaustralia.com/  

Hay House

For everyday inspiration: http://www.hayhouse.com.au/