Monday, 19 May 2014

I have my hat for the Ascot Races and when the crop is in, we will leave for London! #ascotraces #london #hat #friends

My bedroom floor is lined with my favorite dresses as I decide what to take on our trip overseas this year. Once sowing is over we are heading to England and France, with our first stop being the Ascot races. While feeding the sheep Howard and I have conversations about the gorgeous places we have always wanted to see, rather than how many sheep are being sold or when the wool will be delivered. It is refreshing. The excitement is building and we get the feeling this is going to be a trip of a lifetime.

My fist step is to plan an outfit for Ascot. I look on the internet at all the wonderful hats and dresses everyone is wearing. The men are in tails and top hats, the women in beautiful dresses and it’s a bit daunting wondering what to wear myself. The local shops in Young are fabulous and I find a lovely red dress at ‘Cint’. It feels important to buy locally although we are in Sydney so much.

When I ask Lisa Schaefer if she could design me a hat for the Ascot races in London she is as excited as I am. Lisa is a fellow farmers wife who lives just out of the lovely old town of Grenfell but we don’t know each other very well.  It is always a pleasant surprise to find such talent along a dusty lane in the country. Lisa is an Australian milliner and her dining table is covered in bridal material, racing headpieces and completed special event hats of all colours and shapes.

When I start trying on Lisa’s creations it is such a delightful surprise to feel so lovely wearing all the different hats. Lisa has a roll of material nearby that is just the right match to my dress colour. We sit and discuss style options for Ascot and I leave her with some ideas and can’t wait to return.

A week later I discover that the hat is lovely and when the whole outfit is on, Lisa fills me with confidence with her delightful encouragement and genuine excitement about the event. I think to myself, ‘this is what it would be like to have a sister,’ as Lisa is really happy for me. We get along really well and as I head back to the farm with my beautiful hat in a box that will fit on the plane, I feel like we are going to be good friends for a long time to come.

Good friendships are one of the best parts of life. I had coffee with my writing buddy Jo this week. We are always encouraging each other to complete our book ideas and send them off to a publishing company. Jo was bubbling with enthusiasm about an idea that is taking shape and all I wanted to do was share in her joy and be a good friend. She noticed and said thankyou. It is such a gift to share in someone else’s celebration and give them a place for their success to land.  

I think of the ‘Rainbow Warriors’, the group of women who have joined me for a little yoga and deep relaxation over the past 2 years now. They met at the oncology unit and friendships formed in the Yoga Tree Studio after class. Everyone has a chance to be heard, to have a laugh, a cry and share all there is to celebrate. What they do celebrate here is climbing rocks with the grandchildren children, managing the stairs effortlessly and friendship itself.

As I sit hear at the computer by myself in the kitchen I put my red hat on. To me it represents fun, laughter, feeling confident and happy but most of all this is my little symbol of the gratitude that I feel for all the good people in my life, especially those divine four daughters of ours. 

Cherish the friendships that help you shine and be on the look out for the new ones. You never know when the next beautiful blessing is going to arrive xxx  

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