Saturday, August 28, 2010

There's No Better Place to Be...

I had the fortunate experience while living overseas to see some beautiful beaches. Particularly in Malaysia and Thailand. But as I am back home and enjoying day to day living, it is clear to me that Australia still has the best (and cleanest) beaches in the world.

Today, I went out on a 45km bike ride through the Jervis Bay National Park with my friends Jay and Mackerz, a very hard ride which involved a lot of time just churning the pedals, trying to stop the dark thoughts from entering the head, trying to stop the pain from making me want to stop.

It was my first real "ride" for over 12 months, since the horse incident, and I was so relieved to make it to the end of the 45kms feeling reasonably strong and fit. My back didn't hurt too much, and my legs felt that they had some of their old capacity back in them. Of course, I am carrying around 7 kgs more than what I was back prior to the accident, and I could feel it as I rode today, but the lung capacity felt reasonable, and my stamina remained strong despite the challenges to medium inclines.

Given Jay had just finished competing in a half marathon, I was only seven minutes behind him and three or so minutes behind Mackerz on the first 24km "sprint" to the end of the National Park.

At the end of the ride on the way back, I was ten minutes behind him and two mins behind Mackerz.

So, for a kid on a comeback, that ain't all that bad.

And what a way to see some of the best beaches in Australia.

Irongirls. Made of tough stuff.

Jay wishing he was still living back in the UK (NOT!)

Jay and Mackerz.

Makerz and I.

Gorgeous Murrays Beach

Murrays Beach again...

These Jervis Bay beaches have some of the whitest sand in the world.

....and its only 2 hours from my home....

I Heart Australia...for the first time in a long time.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Windy Run Across the Beach

This morning's run was so hard. It was like running against a giant fan. The wind down here on the south coast at the moment is ferocious.

The thing is, while the run was difficult, I ran well and I really enjoyed it. Back, in the times of Singapore, running was a chore. I was pushing myself to prove that i was still the same "athlete" I was before the accident. Now, I run because I enjoy the fun of running along a beach early in the morning, with the fresh sea air, playfully dodging the waves as they crash and spill across the sand in front of me. I also enjoy the fact that I reward myself with a Creme Brulee Chiller at Gloria Jeans afterwards (skim milk, sugar free flavouring - of course).

In other words, I am loving the freedom of my life right now, the ability to make decisions on my terms and no one elses. It may not make me the richest person in the world (in fact, its making me quite poor financially) but I'm learning new things each day....

Six months ago, I did not really have a sense of smell. Now, I oil burn wonderful fragrances that make me feel alive.... and lavendar to calm me down.

Six months ago, music was something in the background playing, whereas I now enjoy particular music types, depending on my mood...

The fact that I have moods are amazing... I now feel ups, and sometimes downs, as opposed to 'nothingness'...a detachment from everything... before, I felt so detached from everything.

I enjoy the soft fur on Muffin, our cat, and she comes and sleeps up with me by my pillow, and her purring puts me to sleep....

.....all of these things were non existant to me six months ago. No one could understand what I meant when I kept saying "I am feeling nothing, I feel nothingness, I feel totally detached from my world."

Everything that everyone was taking for granted around me were things I could not feel, see, do, smell, touch, taste.

That is the world of someone who has depression.

Only those who experience it know when they have it. And its a scary place to be.

Now, life isn't so scary anymore.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Its Become Bigger Than Ben Hur

Well, a month or so, I claimed that I would cycle 120km at the Sydney Regatta Centre to raise funds for, a charity that I was involved in.

Its gotten bigger than Ben Hur, for the simple fact that I do not believe in doing anything by halves.

I've managed to score not the Sydney Regatta Centre, but Martin Place, Sydney's premier business plaza, where foot traffic can be about 100,000 people in one day.

"Martin Place is one of the most iconic public spaces in Australia. Sydney's largest pedestrian precint forms the hub of the central business district surrounded by banks and offices. It was made into a traffic-free area in 1971 and is filled with Sydney's workers at lunchtime, especially at the free amphitheatre near Castlereagh Street."

The team at 1200kmsforkids have agreed to be there on a certain date to assist me in collectively riding 1200kms for the kids in one day on stationary bikes, and we are going to get the public involved in raising money for the charities which we represent - the Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, and the Royal Children's Hospital, Brisbane.

I am so excited about this. Locking in Martin Place, at such short notice, only came about by a stroke of luck and one cancellation by a rather large bank, at the very last minute. God (or Allah, or Buddha, depending on your creed) was on our side when I made that call to the City of Sydney to ask for the space.

Please continue to read and if you want to donate, please do so on the website, or contact me directly at

***When you truly believe in something, magic happens******


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Australia's Own "Independents Day" - Australian Politics

So this is going to be my profile shot for when I enrol myself into our local area as an "Independent".

Then I shall become a Member of Parliament - and Independent MP. Because Independent MP's are the way of the future.

And force real change in Australia. Mental Health Reform, National Broadband, Murray Darling Issues and many more (including the thieving of photos from people's online blogs - jerks)

Actually, no, I am not running for parliament, I'm just really excited by Australian politics at the moment - for the first time in a very very long time.

Okay, I'm done.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I took years to develop those photos, spent hours working to make them great and you've gone and taken them. You are just as guilty as stealing someone's car or robbing someone's home, you piece of dirt.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How Life Has Changed

So, I've reflected a lot on how life has changed for me over the past six months. Much of the reflection has been quite confronting, much of included dark times, and reflections of not so nice struggles as I passed out of my twenties and into my thirties.

What I've failed to mention is that because of the huge changes I made in my life, my outlook on life is so great, the weight of the world is entirely off my shoulders, I am beginning to enjoy the smell of the fresh ocean air, the sand beneath my feet, the food that I taste, the company that I enjoy.

While I am no poster girl for 100% perfect living still, I now integrate exercise into my life EVERY day, even if its half an hour. I wake up, I put my running shoes on, and I jog, and if I am not jogging, I'll jump on the bike, and if I don't feel up to riding, then I will just take a walk along the beach, picking up interesting type shells which I think I'd like to photograph. I'll then walk on up to my local coffee shop, where I now know them all, have my coffee, prepare work or push out a few emails for some charity stuff I'm doing, and then I'll wander on home. My days now are always filled, despite being so afraid that they'd be so empty without that high powered job.

The other day, I sat in the Southern Highlands, on a green patch of grass with a lime picked from a lime tree. I just sat, smelling the lime with my eyes closed. It had been so long since I had taken the time to sit down and do something so simple like that. It is a well known wellness exercise, and I totally understand why it is. It helps to reconnect your taste, to your smell, to your sight. It reignites the senses. The one thing I noticed when I was heading down into darkness was my loss of taste, smell and touch.... it all felt so meaningless, when really, our senses are our greatest gifts to have.

Life seems to much simpler, and I can say that I am slowly, for the first time in a number of years, beginning to like the simple things in life.


A Repost from April 2010....

I think this post is an interesting read, given that I wrote it in April 2010, when times were tough. Its amazing to see how far I have come in such a short while, and how sometimes, while making life decisions are hard, they can make a world of difference to your well being.


Dear all,

(My family say I share too much personal stuff on this blog, but sorry guys, this is important)

Over the last four weeks, I have had to embark on the scariest of journeys. I don't know whether any of my readers can relate to this, but I reached a point where I found myself both physically and mentally realising that I simply could not go on like I had been.

It was completely and utterly normal for everyone to look at my life from the outside and see that I had just about everything my heart desired. An incredibly prestigious job, one that probably should have been performed by someone well beyond my years. I had a good looking boyfriend who I travelled the world with. I had a luxury apartment in an exotic foreign country. My bank account was being piled with money. On weekends I would stay at the most luxurious hotels in tropical locations. I had my photography and blog and I was able to communicate across the world to anyone remotely interested in my life just how wonderful life was.

The truth is that, over the last 12 months, I have never felt so empty, confused, robotic and disconnected from my life. I could not see where my future was heading. I was attempting to create a future but I couldn't see the next steps ahead of me clearly. For every negative emotion I felt, I was able to intellectually rationalise it - "you're just away from home", "you're just lonely", "its just because you are growing up", "its just because you haven't integrated into life here in Singapore", "oh, it was the horse riding accident", "its just a tough time at work at the moment", "its just that you are carrying extra weight"..... on and on and on came the excuses.

You see, when you are an intelligent person, you can rationalise your way out of just about everything - except what it is that you are feeling deep down to the core of your heart and soul.

You can buy yourself just about every self help book imaginable so that you can improve "this" or "that" and if you highlight enough of the important passages in the text, you may come away with a little bit of enlightenment and a little bit more confidence. However, no book, no motivational quote, no pay rise, no new job offer, no new boyfriend will EVER hide whatever it is that your heart and soul is really trying to tell you. And for as long as you turn your mind away from the truth, by reading books, or taking a path that "kind of" gets you there, you will remain restless and unhappy.

I had become deeply unhappy and I had become numb to absolutely everything around me. Even coming home to see my gorgeous little nieces didn't incite that thrill or love that I wanted so desperately to feel for them. And sadly, as much as it pains me to say it, seeing my boyfriend, my international man of mystery no longer filled me with love and passion. I was laying in Egyptian cotton hotel sheets and feeling like I was sleeping on a bed of nails.

I reached what is known as a 'Growth Fork' - two mutually exclusive paths ahead of my and my challenge was to firstly, have to courage to acknowledge the two paths, and then to decide which path to take. Growth Forks can cause your personal growth to stall, sometimes for years, they say. People sit, absorbed for hundreds of hours to figure out the right decision, and still feel unsure about what to do. You can use all of the different diagnostic and analytical tools to help you decide. You can consult your intuition. You can ask for advice. You can think some more. And at the end of the day, you can end up with ambivalence.

I have often been accused of being too impulsive, but it was first my impulse to get up and get home to Australia, and then it was some space to clear my head, that assisted me to make a decision as to which of the mutually exclusive paths I needed to take.

I needed a break from my career. I needed a break from the everyday world of material existence. I needed a break from my own selfishness. I needed to reach into my heart and soul and truly ask myself what mattered to me right now, right this minute. I decided that I needed to set myself free from my own expectations, and to some extent, the expectations of others that had built up over time.

Choosing to leave your job, your boyfriend, your life and risk yourself financially is not an easy decision to make. And believe me, I have gone through each and every consequence of my decision, over and over again, and I am well aware that what I intend to do over the next 12 months is a scary, daring and ambitious thing, particularly at an age where many of my friends are settling down and marrying, having children, developing their careers further. I know that what I am going to do will have consequences and I am not going into this without considering those consequences. Yes, it will financially set me back. Yes, it will stall my amazing, growing career as a powerful legal counsel.

However, for every consequence that I recognise that I face, I reach into my heart and my soul and I realise that no matter what, i will be okay. Its called having trust and confidence within yourself to know that regardless of whatever challenge comes your way, you'll find a way to make it out.

Deep down, I have known for a very long time that I needed to reach one of those mutually exclusive forks in the road and I have known for a very long time that I would choose the path that I am taking now. It just has taken me time to reach a point where I could recognise that the Growth Fork had arrived.

Accepting this path is giving rise to some interesting emotions. Relief, that I've finally made the decision, that the pressure that I've carried for over eight years is now off my shoulders. Excitement, that I am embarking on a journey to parts of the world that may be considered as dangerous and volatile. And there is a great deal of anxiety and fear about what the next 12 months will bring - I am only human. I am not superwoman. But I am a (nearly) 30 year old woman who has been brought up to be strong, sensible and smart.

I may not know what is ahead, but I can at least now say that I can see my path a lot clearer than when I was searching for it in amongst the Gucci shops and Hilton Hotels.

I know that this has come as a shock to many people. I know there are some people who do not agree with what I have done. I know that I may be disappointing a lot of people who believed that I was far better off continuing to climb the corporate ladder. I may resume that climb in a year or two, but for now, I ask for support and faith that whatever happens in the next 12 months, I will be okay - in fact, for the first time in almost 10 years, I may actually be happy.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Pakistan Floods

All, I have contributed just a little bit more $$ from the Auction to go towards UNICEF's Pakistan Appeal. Its getting worse for them, and ever dollar is going to count.

Just because UNICEF do not have celebrities singing "We are the World" for this cause, it doesnt mean its not real - in fact, on this occasion, its worse. It just seems, for some strange reason, that earthquakes seem to capture the hearts of more people than dangerous floods and outbreaks of diseases resulting from the water.

Thank you to everyone who gave me money from my art, because without you all, I wouldnt be able to direct even just small amounts to these big big disasters.

14 million affected as monsoon conditions worsen

SYDNEY, 11 August 2010 - Pakistan's deadly floods have now affected over 14 million people - 6 million children - and with the monsoonal rains likely to continue for another month, concerns are esclating for the welfare of the already huge numbers of people in need of humanitarian aid.

The floods are now impacting more than the combined total of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

“The floods are the worst in Pakistan's living memory and UNICEF’s immediate priority is to reach all those hit by the flooding especially those in the most remote areas,” said UNICEF Australia spokesperson, Louise Brockbank.

"The evacuation phase is over and the situation is now clearly at relief phase. With the monsoon season lasting at least another month, things will probably get worse, before they start getting better,” Ms Brockbank said.

The largest part of the operation is the provision of water and sanitation systems to head off the outbreak of diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera, especially deadly to children. UNICEF is already providing clean drinking water to over half a million people and will bring in emergency food rations and emergency health kits.

In order to prevent dehydration and a potential outbreak of measles, UNICEF is delivering 4.2 million sachets of oral rehudration salts, and 2.1 million doses of zinc to children in the affected areas.

Emergency supplies also consist of de-worming tablets, micronutrient tablets and powder, midwifery kits, interagency health kits, sterilisation kits, and tarpaulins

“Many of those affected by these floods are children who are especially vulnerable to disease and the present harsh conditions. We are working at full speed to respond to the most urgent needs of the affected populations."

UNICEF is appealing for $47.3 million to fund its relief operation. This reflects concern for the longer-term recovery operation in regions where critical infrastructures has been affected and livestock and crops have been wiped out.

UNICEF is providing clean drinking water to 830,700 people and has distributed 6,390 family hygiene kits.

The flooding has caused widespread destruction of infrastructure with roads submerged and bridges swept away. Power lines are down and many hospitals, schools and sanitation systems have been severely damaged. There is also concern at the damage to crops and livestock in regions where agriculture is the main source of income."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Very Cold and Rainy Days....

......are always much better to deal with when you have someone to cuddle up to so that they can keep you warm!....

Monday, August 9, 2010

Something You All Should Know

Dear all,

Over the last two months, I have had a number of events occur in my life which has led me to the point of writing this blog.

Those who are close to me know that I am now ready to stand up and deliver news that will either shock surprise some of you, or just confirm what you may already know.

I suffer from a major depressive disorder.

I have suffered from this major depressive disorder for over ten years.

I have lived my life, trying to keep it all under wraps, so that it did not affect my standing as a legal professional. I was so afraid of putting it in this blog because I did not want anyone to "stumble over it" and discover the "truth".

As a result, over five months ago, I was so low that I wanted to end my life. Thankfully, I had the support and facilities available to me to ensure that my depression wasn't the end of me.

I have now accepted that, by trying to keep it a secret, to battle it quietly, I am not only living through poor example, but I am contributing to the stigma that hovers over society with respect to professionals who have been either biologically, or through psychological reasons, been given this horrible illness. This stigma is wrong. It is appalling. It is cultivated through misunderstanding.

This stigma contributed to the demise of my relationship over six months ago. He may not agree, but I actually don't care what he thinks anymore. He gave me the greatest gift possible. Freedom.

People who have been (and gone) in my life would have cringed if I had have put this up on my blog six months ago. However, as I now believe, there is nothing to hide about this illness - and there is a heck of a lot more to gain by doing this. I have begun to disclose this illness in a respectful and unashamed manner, without any flair or drama. I have not required people's permission, nor acceptance, in doing so. This was the first step I needed to take in order to go on and actually make a difference. I am now no longer apologetic for the mistakes I have made along the way, I am proud of my ability to rise amongst the ashes (so to speak).

The constant changing of identity, from triathlete, to lawyer, to Asian traveller, to photographer, back to lawyer and then all over again was symptomatic of this illness. Now, I understand that I am not just one of these things, I am all of these things - and if I happen to fail at it, so what. Life goes on.

What that difference is, is still to be determined.

I walked away from a massive salary.

I walked away from a relationship that wasn't making me happy.

I am now being open about my illness.

I am now inspiring people to talk about their own battles with this illness.

I am now making people think a little more about their own behaviour and stigma towards mental illness.

I am now talking with a large non profit organisation about obtaining funding to go on and assist in breaking down the stigma attached to depression amongst professionals, like lawyers, doctors, psychiatrists, pharmacists and professors - people we look up to with respect, people who struggle with life under the weight of this respect. Its time I used my brains to help others make sense of the world, not make sense out of making money. My time is done with that.

So there. I have a mental illness. And I am not afraid.

For anyone in Australia who is struggling with mental illness, I urge you to contact:; or

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Loving - My Gorgeous Ellie

Loving - My Beautiful Charlotte

Loving - My Photography

You lit the match again today....

But you know full well nothing is ever black and white....

I'm happy to play it cool....

....because if we dont, the fire may get well and truly out of control!!!

...but its okay....we'll be fine.....its just the rest of the world that's crazy.

Loving - The Beach

Right near where I now live...and love...

Two Triathlons and a Long Ride Lined Up

K is back in a big way.

Bring on the 120km for kids, the TriShave Womens Festival and now for the big one....the Huskisson Triathlon in November. I'm joining my good mate Jay Luke and a few of his buddies, by heading on down to Huski to do it.

15 weeks to go, and KateOnTheBike is back.


First Official Donation of Auction Funds


For those who participated in the auctioning off of my art work for charitable purposes, I have donated a small amount of those proceeds to UNICEF's Pakistan Urgent Appeal for Floods in North West Pakistan. The funds raised at the auction were going to be directed to Asia, and I wanted to ensure that my first donation was directed there. There are some charities that I would like the money to go to in Australia as well, but it was important that the first donation went into Asia.

03 August 2010 - UNICEF Australia today launched an urgent appeal to support emergency relief efforts in north-west Pakistan as severe flooding in the region has left more than three million people in need of emergency assistance.

Despite whatever political turmoil a country may be in, their citizens still deserve to remain safe during monsoon season. I may have only donated a little bit of money but every cent counts.