The Problem of Writing a Brilliant CV ...

One of the more difficult things about beginning this new life is writing up my CV ... telling the story of me and my work experience so that people think it a good idea to hire me.

And I want to stay with the truth while remembering that it is about marketing.  Modesty isn't really the way to go ...

So how do I define what I have done these last few years.  How do I present my experience.  And myself.

I'm not sure quite fit any pre-defined box but perhaps that's a good thing.

I have a working title for my job description but it doesn't quite capture what I have done ... all that I'm capable of doing.

So, with my head broken after a morning of study and thinking, I wandered off to visit with one of the neighbours - friends of my lovely friends, Kim and Andy. 

What a lovely way that was to spend a couple of hours!

Diana is one of those wise women, a person I felt I had known a very long time.  And Steve is kindness itself.

I have returned to my work station refilled and replenished.

So yes, it's all about me. 

I photographed their 17th century wall yesterday, in the exquisite Autumn afternoon light ... there's a story to come about it all.  Of patents, inventors and brick-laying inventions.

Today ...

This morning has been breakfast in a quiet kitchen accompanied by the noisy purr of Peri, the cat.  She is also a stray.

My coffee machine is back in Belgium, holidaying at the home of my daughter.  I can't begin to tell you how much I miss my morning espresso sometimes.  Other times I feel pure about drinking tap water again.  Instead of plateen brood toasted and slathered in peach jam, I eat bagels with raspberry jam.  Instead of cleaning up and doing the dishes, I load the dishwasher here.

It's so very different.  And quieter.

This morning is all about rewriting my CV to showcase all I have done in my working life, and in doing so, make me an attractive employee.  My skills are many and varied and so it's all about lining them up in a way that is lucid and marketable.

I am unused to this.  It used to be about stepping back and letting my photography speak for itself however the future may need to be about more than the photography.

I went wandering through the zoo, with Miss 11, before leaving Belgium.  We found these guys, just hanging out there, together.

It's been a while ...


I had to make two attempts at logging in this morning ... my password almost forgotten.

It has been one of those years.  So full of mistakes and sadness although, if I learn from it all, perhaps I can already begin to re-frame it positively.  Lessons learned so far ... perhaps.

I have learned about running a business.  My own.

I have learned about taking care of my body.  That anemia.

I have learned about boundaries.  By making myself far too responsible for everyone else.

And so it is that I am living in another not-my-own country, after having to accept that my Belgian bloke had simply stopped loving me.

The break-up has taken most of this year to unfold.  Slowly, but surely, the loss and the sadness that accompanies this kind of experience has silenced me here.

Silenced me because ... long ago, back in the land of stoic people, I was told to leave my grandma's funeral service because my tears were upsetting everyone else.  It turns out that sometimes we can only hold ourselves together as long as no one else breaks. 

My first public speaking experience happened at my mother's funeral, many years later.  My baby brother was heartbroken, and seeing his heart breaking directly in front of me, I stopped to admonish him with a, Kim!  Stop it!  ... echoing that experience from so long ago.

Doing that terrible thing to my brother, the one who loved Mum so very much, gifted me the ability to finish the speech I still had to make about her.

So it is that I have woven my way through 2015, sure that sympathy was the last thing I wanted, or could stand.  I wanted ... no, I needed that stoicism to carry me through.

Just to complicate things, I also wanted to keep attempting to take care of my people as the marriage wound down because taking care of people is a huge part of my reason for being ... I learned. 

I came to see that I loved making sure that breakfast was right for all those who passed through on those crazy chaotic mornings.   I loved doing all that home and family stuff, despite sighing quite often and complaining of my time being lost.  I loved those hours spent taking Miss 11 to and from school, talking the whole way.   And even as I despaired about the mess that appeared everyday in our 3-storey, pippi-longstocking-house, I was also loving that I could fix everything and make it beautiful again.  Well ... cosy.

Laundry would pile up like it had been sprinkled with Jack and the Beanstalk growth hormones and dishes were a constant.  But I loved the smell of the laundry straight off the clothesline during the long summer we just had.  And the sight of our varnished wooden kitchen bench, clear of dishes, did my soul good.

I have always loved wandering but I learned that I also love coming home.  I love meeting new people and living in other cultures but I adore the warmth (and chaos) of family and close friends ... and belonging. 

So the gate-climbing Diane has climbed the gate again.  Actually, no, I was assisted this time.  And when I looked back ... the gate was gone. 

There's no going back.

This is my first blog post, giving you a sense of what has been happening, and an attempt at explaining why my business has been neglected for so many months. 

I'm 'in process' over in England ...  I have really good friends, all over the world, and their kindness had almost undone me ... so many times.

Kim and Andy picked me up and are currently in the process of dusting me off and setting me back on my way again.  I'm living with them while I work out how to move forward. Yesterday it was recruiting agencies in town and exploring the Situation Vacant in the newspaper here.  Today my photography is calling me back, reminding me it's that thing that I love.

So I am sure you will hear more about these remarkable people as I blog my way through.  Even this post is a massive break-through.  Perhaps I'm returning. 

And I realised ... I would quite like to share this unexpected journey with you.

Neil Finn ... & an instant trip back to my childhood

Obviously we didn't have quite the divine guest list as seen in the music video ... so many of New Zealand's greatest sporting folk drop in but this video captures so much that I recognise from my Kiwi childhood.

Those Mousetraps ... the grated cheese, egg and onion, maybe some tomato, on toast, baked and/or grilled.  Sometimes burned.  Hot milk Milo, friends over, furniture moved, mad crazy joy as instructions were shouted at the game on TV.

Martin introduced me to the song and he recognised 'home' too. 

I Have This Friend ... this magical wild woman whom I adore.

Pippa popped up on my Facebook wall, after we'd been chatting over there.  She wrote, and her words melted my funny little Kiwi heart.  She had written me a poem.   Memories from long ago during that first divorce of mine. 

We used to talk for hours back then.  Epic talks.  And beach-walks with that beautiful Labrador of mine - still much missed.  We talked wise woman talk ... tough but so good.  So clear.  That's the 'shit' she talks of .. .the times when we almost derailed our friendship.  Crying or laughing. then simply talking our way back to being comrades, sisters, best friends forever.

She wrote:

Hey Di... miss you as always... just about to retire for the night. But our little conversation here tonight sparked me. So here is a wee gift for you... of course I haven't edited, so rough as always, but from the heart. Love you xxx

Who wouldn't love her right back.  I'll even forgive her reference to that time, while moving a mattress, it collapsed under me as I leaned on it.  She almost died laughing as I face-planted on the shag pile carpet.  My head bounced off the floor on impact!!! 

(Fortunately some red wine may have been consumed.)

If I'd died ...!!  I told her.  Later.  After the laughter had stopped convulsing her body, the laughter that had rendered her speechless.

(She couldn't have called an ambulance.  I swear it.  I would have just died ... there on the floor. with her laughing too hard to give the address.)

How we laughed, back then, in the land of long ago.

Her poem ...


Couldn’t resist
Sorry e hoa
To share such a rampant line:
Delicious as red-wine face-planting mattress-miss
Singing along
To magic music
Veins running red

Life-saving walks on beaches
Dog like abandon
Almost rolling in our own shit
To come out clean
Conversations shredding our lives
From before conception
And beyond limits

Dreaming outrageous dreams
That have come true
To make room for the exquisite chaos
Of life

Before death claims me
I know without doubt
I have lived!
And fearful
In spite of
Because of

I will die a complete woman
Defeated, humiliated
To arise
To seize the dawn before anyone else is awake

Your smile, our clowning, stumbling shared
Brilliant jewels in the kaleidoscope
Of my life