The Happy Mondays: On the source

Putting the soul into the solstice.

It’s fair to say that living on the most eastern tip of the Australian mainland that we get to see the sunshine first. With our vast open sky, no high-rise buildings and a bounty of ocean at our doorstep, there is a proliferation of natural light – even on the shortest day of the year. When I lived in Melbourne we would shudder and shiver when the winter solstice rolled in with June. Darkness crept in like the Grim Reaper announcing it will be a long cold winter, so the thought of creating a winter cleanse for the house and soul seemed unimaginable.

In Byron Bay we celebrate the seasons wholeheartedly – and every other day that has its roots in a spiritual practice, ancient ritual or astral insights for that matter. In fact, you become very accustomed to what the universe is doing to you and your loved ones, and when Mercury does a back flip and goes retrograde it sparks conversations at the post office most mornings. In Melbourne they talk AFL on Mondays. In Byron they talk about their house cleansing ceremony. Like the barrel bath below my mate Alex celebrated the solstice with. So swapping goal posts for incense sticks I did the same. Clean, clean, clean, polish, polish, polish. Best of all, turned my desk around to face the ocean – albeit it’s down the street a bit – and with that came a whole bunch of new energy, clarity and creativity.

Don’t you just love that?


Alex’s winter solstice barrel bath

As I suffer from writer’s block sometimes –  more like a stagnant creative swamp – a clear space in which to write, create and fix stuff on my website is vital. Like a bloke and his car, I love tinkering about on my site. I’m proud of it. I built it from scratch – yes this one too – and been doing so with the help of a few web developers since 2002 when the first incarnation of foodandhealth.com.au was born. I know I should have captured the website in its various incarnations for you. But suffice to say it was a pretty good online offering back in the days when it was built on a Mambo Open Source platform. I taught myself to code. I had to, I had no resources.

I taught myself html, CSS and the difference between Gidget and a widget.

Years later I migrated to wordpress.org and then had a moment of marketing madness where I moved to three wordpress.com blogs including samanthagowing.com, bittersweetsour.com and foodhealthwealth.com. Clearly I am a multi-tasker, but watering three cyber gardens with content was crazy! I lost all the SEO I had cultivated over the years. Finally over Christmas and toward the end of my three-month sabbatical from the stove, I spent the last of my savings on an offshore web developer to migrate all three blogs into one self-hosted wordpress.org website – complete with bells, whistles and the shopping cart you can see today. It’s the smartest thing I have ever done online. And a great learning curve as the interwebs – and the way we search for stuff – changes faster than the I Ching.

To celebrate, I took myself to San Francisco last month to attend The Blogcademy – a two-day blogging love-fest with all the sass and sequins you could desire for those who want to flourish online. I am going to tell you all about that in another post because it was so damn good, but in the meantime, I wanted to share with you one of my fave blogs – that also drops in on a Monday – to help you out of your Monday funk and get your home planet spinning the right way.

This one of my all time fave cheer-me-up, get me out of a funk Monday blogs.



The Glamorous Housewife 
A retro flavoured blog about Bethany’s journey to glamour.

A few years ago Bethany looked in the mirror and couldn’t recognize herself. She saw a frumpy, unfashionable, messy haired and no makeup gal staring at her. She had let herself go. Right then and there she decided to throw out her sweat pants and become the elegant woman She always wanted to be. Her retro flavoured blog includes fashion, cooking, crafting, and creating an inspirational life.

I just love the way it feels.





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