Making kind choices in your everyday life.

Goodbye 2013. Hello 2014.

Posted by on Dec 29, 2013 in Uncategorized | 8 comments

“Live each day as if it’s your last”, that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that ? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy ? It just wasn’t practical. Better by far to simply try to be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at….something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.” – Emma Morley, a fictional character from one of my all time favourite books “One Day” by David Nicholls.

This post is not really keeping with the theme of the blog but, then again, part of treading kindly surely involves sharing what you have enjoyed throughout the year ?! Without further ado, this is what I have enjoyed in 2013 (am sure my Virgo friends will be proud of my diligent list makings skills throughout the year !) – peppered with a few pics of an animal, Garp (along with his best friend Ivy), who knows how to lead the best life ever…..and his tips on how to do so.


Embrace Friendship (and symmetry)


Books – Fiction

Like A House on Fire – by Cate Kennedy. The equivalent of people watching in a book (short stories).

Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love – Sarah Butler

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

The Sunshine Years – Asfaneh Knight


The occasional bout of naughtiness is ok


 Books – Non Fiction

Madness – Kate Richards (unputdownable memoir about mental illness and what it feels like to live with).

Sex, Drugs and Meditation  – Mary Lou Stephens (did not make me want to do a 10 day silent mediation retreat but was entertaining and enlightening to read about)

Free the Bears – Mary Hutton (if you need some inspiration about wanting to make a difference about something you are passionate about)

Quiet – Susan Cain (if you loathe the limelight and are after some explanation as to why – a very interesting read !).

Changing Gears – Greg Forsyth (loved this book about a couple cycling through Australia and their quest for a more sustainable, meaningful way of life which sounds very earnest but it was very entertaining).


Protest about what is wrong in this world



Did not see nearly as many as I usually do…so just a select few…

The Quartet (sweet movie about the going ons in a retirement village filled with talented musicians).

Amour (bittersweet movie about old age) 

Blue Jasmine (a voyeuristic look into Cate Blanchett’s character’s life unravelling)


Laugh lots



The Bridge (continuing my obsession with Scandinavian crime shows)

Enlightened (cringeful to watch but very funny)

Top of the Lake (by the very clever, creative Jane Campion – set in New Zealand)

Twentysomething (very funny Aussie series)

Orange is the New Black (excellent black humour-ish series about women in a US prison – addictive !)

Redfern Now (from the superb Jimmy McGovern – loved “Cracker” 20 odd years ago and this too was a great series).

Girls (younger, quirkier and more realistic version of Sex In the City)



Turn up the charm or cute factor if required



Have reclaimed my youth by returning to JJJ which helped me to discover…

London Grammar






Mill Paddock Cottage in Mountain Lagoon, NSW.

Tegal Sari, Ubud, Bali

Naya Gawana Resort, Bali


Eating Out

Mocan and Green Grout, Canberra

Nourishing Quarter, Surry Hills, Sydney.


Hold on passionately to what is dear to you


In 2013 I Learnt how to…

Make candles (and had lots of lovely people buy them to raise money for Animals Asia)

Grow mushrooms (a surprisingly complicated feat !)

Has been lovely….

Meeting some beautiful new people through my wing man Garp, gathering a few more likers and subscribers together to read my blog witters, getting down to Melbourne to see old  (figuratively that is !) friends and gaining more clarity and insight about what is important to me.

Would love to hear what has made you happy in 2013 in the comment section below. Am always up for some recommendations from like minded souls about anything.

As for 2014….I have a lot of  plans on the horizon which includes more travel, lots more animal product free cooking, clocking up 100km of hiking (get those walking shoes ready Sam), learning how to do Tai Chi (for my increasingly geriatric body and ever chattering mind), writing many more informative blog posts  and, of course, helping out the animals and environment however  and whenever I can.


Stay unique and true to yourself


I hope that 2014 brings you happiness, fulfillment and adventures. Would love to hear what you hope it has in store for you ! xxx


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Eva

    It has been a unique year, one highlight has been meeting your wing man Garp and you of course. And with that a whole lot of wonderful, beautiful, charismatic souls. Being made aware of this great site with so many inspirational ideas and realising I am wasting time and need to get on board and be more proactive about getting things done. Thank you.
    I look forward to another unique and exciting new year filled with even more adventures and memorable stories.
    I have discovered recently that you can’t make great memories they happen when you live in the moment!
    All the best with all your dreams for 2014 and I look forward to a long and great friendship with you, Skip and Garp.
    PS Garp is hysterical imitating a flower, I might have to steal it!!!!

    • admin

      Thanks Eva, you are so lovely. Your words mean alot to me. Ditto re the friendship with you and Lloyd. Hope 2014 brings you all the happiness in the world. Looking forward to many more walks and laughs x

  2. Lucy

    What a fabulous list… my Virgo nature loves it!!! My favourite books this year has included Wonder by AJ Palacia, Jane Eyre (how did I miss this book all these years), Deranged Marriage by Sushi Das and Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner. My favourite day was doing Tough Mudder in September and my favourite new activity is bikram yoga and looking after our gorgeous puppy….it’s a whole new world!! Thank you for all your contributions with this amazing site it’s definitely been sage food for thought! Xxx

  3. Mary-Lou Stephens

    Thank you so much Ing for including my book in your favourites for the year.

    It’s funny – about half the people who read it really want to do a 1o day meditation retreat, the other half say never in a million years.

    I’ve just returned from the Woodford Folk Festival, where Sex, Drugs & Meditation sold out – twice.
    Have you ever been? I think you’d love it.

    Have a wonderful 2014 & give Garp a pat for me.



    • admin

      Thanks Mary-Lou for making my day by commenting on my humble little blog. Well done on the book sell out – you deserve it, it was a great read ! I have never been to Woodford but will add it to the to do list, thanks for the recommendation. Have passed on your pat to Garp. Thanks again and have a wonderful 2014 too (hope there is a new book on the horizon !).

  4. Lesh

    Ing! What a great blog you have! Your fur baby is just gorgeous. Really appreciate the list. I haven’t read Sex, Drugs and Meditation, but I am keen on {and very nervous about} doing a 10-day vippasana. Perhaps I should read the book after I’ve done it? Happy New Year, Ing, much love to you xx

    • admin

      Thank you Lesh for your lovely words. Yes, maybe read the book after your (very brave) Vipassana retreat but do read it, you would enjoy it. Much love to you too and have a wonderful 2014 (hope the e-book sells like hotcakes !) Ing x

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