Sunday, July 31, 2011


 What I've learned so far. May my misfortune be to your benefit...

·               Even if they writhe on floor like a fish out of water, semi-mobile babies can actually move further than you think.  Mind the plants.
·                Dressing them is like trying to put a cat in a hessian sack. There is no solution to this but to have all the clothes already prepared and to sing louder than they yell.
·               Tupperware is an absolute hit. Big favourites are those things that juice lemons, though I’ve no idea why we own one, I don’t think I’ve ever used one in real life.
·               Babies who reject the bottle will also likely reject cups with sippy-things on them. Just go straight to the cup. Which means water will end up all over them, you and the floor but at least they’re not yelling at you.
·               Vests are great for winter as they’re easy to put on a baby whose arms move so frantically you think you’re dressing an octopus.
·               They’re narcissistic little buggers. Give ‘em a mirror and they’ll gaze at themselves for ages.
·               Hair pulling is apparently a really fun activity. Try and remember to tie back long hair before breastfeeding.
·               Watch out for flailing limbs during a midnight tantrum. A double-footed boxing kangaroo kick to the sternum will really hurt in the morning.
·               There is an unfortunate angle when you’re holding babies on their side that is almost guaranteed to cause a leaker of the nappy if they wee. Again, nothing to be done but a total outfit change for all involved.
·               Everything passes. They can’t not sleep forever. They can’t cry for twenty-four hours straight. It just feels like they can. But if all else fails…
·               Remember that if you have a glass of wine while you’re breastfeeding there’s no way the alcohol can get to them. You are safe. Drink away.

Friday, July 29, 2011


On Gregory’s last day off work, I arranged to leave Miss Q to tutor a lovely young lady who is down to the final few for the title role in the upcoming Australian production of Annie.
(Go Em Go. Belt the be-jesus out of that song) 
I tell ya, that is a tough rep for anyone, let along a ten year old.

Upon my return, not two hours later, Gregory loudly proclaims that while I was gone Miss Q crawled.

I did not see it therefore it did not happen.

I do not get to do 
98% of the crappy nappy changes, 
100% of the crappy nappy washes, 
90% of the baths (not G’s fault owing to his back), 
97% of the whinges, 
100% of the night-time wake-ups (also not G’s fault as he is our financial backer and needs his rest for work and she is a breastfed baby) 
87% of the food preparation and 
96% of the tantrums 
and not get the good stuff.

Her first word – suitably – was Mama. But I am somewhat aware that it is also her favourite vowel and consonant combo and therefore not a certainty that she is saying my name, but rather just her usual nonsensical babble.
Still, I’ll take it.
She says it far more often than Dada.
Ha. So there, Gregory.

I expect her first steps to be straight into her mother’s loving arms.
Her first hug to be around my neck.
Her first ‘I love you’ directly to my face.
I am the person she shall miss most on her first sleepover.
My name is the one she shall utter when she trips over on the skipping rope at school.
My voice is the one her head shall turn for when surrounded by a group of adults.

I grew her. I carried her. I protected her. I birthed her.
I am her mother and she is my girl.

In further attempts to find haphazard employment this week I…

·               was rejected by Random House because my manuscript doesn’t fit their line-up. (Which is publishing speak for ‘you suck.’ It’s just like when you audition and they say ‘thank you’ which really means ‘sod off and don’t quit your waitressing job’).
·               Went to a casting for a wine ad – momentarily getting confused between Jacob’s Creek the wine and Dawson’s Creek the TV show and making myself look a little foolish. Then having my chances further sabotaged by being forced to audition with Australia’s version of Arnold Schwarzenegger without the Kennedy connection.
·               Accidentally submitted to an agency twice, thereby making myself look like a total try-hard loser and ensuring being black-listed by that particular firm.
·               Forgot the password for my online audition places and then ran out of no-Q time to fix the problem before she awoke.
·               Tried to do fancy-pancy cross-linking commenting with my blog to other blogger sites, which is apparently the best way build traffic, but probably just made me piss them off and look like the total novice that I am.

All of which leads me to believe quite strongly that I should in fact remain the fulltime carer to the divine Miss Q and never go back to work ever again.

Have you ever heard a more convincing argument for unemployment?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I've never had much success with scratchies.
I've got horrible luck with raffles, don't know how to enter the lottery.
I've never even won so much as a meat tray.

But I did place as a finalist in the Kleenex mum's blogging competition.
They sent me a lovely overnight bag.

Of course, the winner won an ipad.
Now wouldn't that have been sweet, sweet revenge...


This is what Gregory failed to see...twice

Gregory wanted to buy an iPad.

But I told him that the SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS we donated to the state revenue service for him running TWO RED LIGHTS IN TWO WEEKS was his iPad.

About the only good thing about the whole catastrophe was that because the RTA woman had been a royal witch to him when he’d gone to get his Australian licence, he was still driving on his US one and therefore couldn’t lose any points.

In situations such as this you have to be thankful for small mercies.

So I am thankful to the witch at the RTA and I hope she is just as unhelpful to many others thereby accidentally assisting them in their quest to circumvent the rules of the road.

Seven hundred dollars is a lot of money.

I have a friend who has an arrangement with her husband that if they do something stupid like drop a bottle of wine, lose their keys or RUN TWO RED LIGHTS IN TWO WEEKS, they have to pay back the money by depriving themselves of their ritualistic pleasures.

For example I would have to give up my coffee-purchasing habit and I am a hot beverage whore so that would be very hard indeed.

Gregory, by comparison, is a cookbook whore. 
To be fair he is a chef, but those books are bloody expensive.

And so I have banned him.
Based on an average price of $80, the next 7.5 books he wants to buy he shall be refused.
He can sit at Dymocks and stare at them instead.
Pour over the big, shiny pages, drool on the photographs of dishes so intricate and fine, memorise the ingredients, but he shall not buy.

And so shall he learn.

This post has been sponsored by TAA – Tight-Arses Anonymous. 
A support group for fiscally prudent financiers, particularly those encumbered with a financial hand grenade.

Membership is inclusive. All the economically challenged are welcome.
Just submit a comment form below.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

THE SINGLE MOTHER - Today's profile of a stranger

She’s a very controlled person.
Dies her hair red, she’s feisty like a redhead but not as passionate. She doesn’t allow herself to be. She reads a lot. Books on parenting and successful people, but only the ones with a holistic, organic approach. She’s not interested in big business.

She had a daughter young. No contact with the father. She’s not good at that. She knows it’s not the best thing for her daughter but it’s the only way she knows how to be. Her life needs order. He would disorganise.
Her daughter can have contact when she’s older and not living under her roof. Then she needn’t know about it.

It’s not that she’s cruel. She just knows she couldn’t cope with that, so it’s better she doesn’t try because she’d lose control and that wouldn’t be good for anyone.

She’s independent. Likes it that way. Worked hard her whole life to prove she can be.
She’d like to travel. To Africa. And South America. Particularly Peru. She’ll wait a few years though. Her daughter is only sixteen at the moment.

She’s gentle though, and very loving. Firm with her daughter, but only because she wants her to be kind and loving. Good grades are important because her daughter is clever and you should always honour your skills by using them well, but it’s not as important to her as being a nice person.

She uses the library a lot. And always wonders why others don’t. She does pilates twice a week and learns Spanish on Thursday nights at the local night school.

She’s content. She likes a slower paced life. She loves her daughter tremdously, and her daughter loves her. They’re happy together, they have a great time in each other’s company and she’s terribly proud of that.


There is nothing more fabulous than a glorious, long, hot shower.

I’ve been fine-tuning the delicate art of wasting litres and litres of precious Sydney water for years now, but it has never been a more treasured activity than now as the full-time mum to Little Miss Q.

Initially Gregory and I took Q into the shower with us – I’ll never forget that first time when we were so worried we only passed her between us after a tentative count of three – but now she’s a little wriggly (read independent) to be held underwater with soapy hands in a cold, tiled area, so she’s graduated to the bath.

Which leaves me free to reclaim my day’s greatest pleasure and enjoy my shower without Q in my arms trying to amputate my ear with her teeth.

Today it felt extra fabulous because she has been Captain Cling-Whinge for the past few days, and it really doesn’t suit her and it leaves me so tired I can’t even be bothered to get the cheese out of the fridge and pour myself a glass of wine.

Instead I snuggle her till she sleeps (don’t tell Tresillian) put her in her cot and head for the bathroom.


Tis indeed the simple things in life that make it grand.

Monday, July 25, 2011


There is a musical called Stop The World I Want To Get Off.
It’s no Sound Of Music largely because the title is too long I suspect.

Things with long titles don’t do as well as their short-named cousins I wager.
Consider The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
That should have done a lot better given who was starring in it.

Or Homework, or How Pornography Saved the Split Family from Boredom and Improved their Financial Situation, which didn’t do well at all and I think we all know why.
Seriously. That’s the name of a movie.

Or this book - An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England, which I haven’t read (and I doubt many have) but I do like the title.

What about For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enough.
It’s a play but unlikely to be done in Australia too often I’d say.

Then again there is that musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee which won a bunch of awards at the Tonys a few years ago thereby debunking my theory entirely.

The point I was really trying to make is that I don’t want to be like the musical and get off the world, but I do want the world to stop so I can catch up on all the things I keep trying and failing to do.

Jeez it’s annoying, my list. I mean it’s so satisfying to cross something off, but that’s been a little tricky of late.
My husband doesn’t always embrace ‘the list’ but when he does he really goes for it. He gets out the pen and paper, rolls up his sleeves, sits down at the table and starts writing
·               get up
·               make coffee
·               start laundry
·               clean teeth

and so it goes, interspersing actual chores with things one (I) might argue are daily incidentals. Necessities of life if you will.

But he’s onto something you know, because every time he writes a list he (unlike me) manages to finish it. And he’s so satisfied and smug and then he struts about the place refusing to do anything else for the rest of the day because he’s managed to make coffee and clean his teeth.

This morning my list started with
·               take car in for rego

but Miss Q was finding life tough today and I completely, utterly and totally forgot until I looked in my diary at 4.45pm this afternoon.

And so I’ll add it to Thursday’s list where I’ll incorporate it with a trip to the airport thereby consolidating bullet points, which in the list game is really quite impressive and would earn me a fair bit of kudos amongst my fellow list-doers.

The problem with my lists at the moment however, is that after a few bullet points particular to that day, the next point is this: SEE YESTERDAYS LIST.

So far I’m going back at least ten days before I’m in the clear.

And that doesn’t include my GRAND LIST, which holds the points saved for days rainier than last week’s effort.
That’s the super serious list.
The one reserved for things like
·               consolidate superannuation
·               do wedding album
·               make an alphabet poster for Q (that point is going to sit there for a year or so at least given that’s she’s currently only 8 months old)

Dunno what might prompt me to do that list. A monsoon maybe.

A list can work two ways.
If you manage to get through it all, it can be more gratifying than a whinge-free-baby day, a real victory over the world, a universe-butt-kicking moment if you will.

But if – like today – you consider getting out of your long-johns to go up to the pharmacy a triumph (despite the fact that I had to do it with Q permanently glued to me because she’s developed this anxiety that even though we’re together 29 hours a day, I might for a second leave her) getting to ‘the list’ can be an absolute impossibility.

Maybe my husband is onto something. I need to make my goals attainable. Things I know I can actually achieve. I shall review his list now.

Thing is, some days Gregory’s first point is about the only one I can manage.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


For about twelve seconds (and largely because I ate an entire bucket of Ben and Jerry’s half-baked ice cream) I considered going for a run today.

It’s only rain – torrential to be sure – but it’s not going to make me melt. 
Although, as my brother pointed out, I could trip in a puddle and sprain my ankle and then we’d have me with a gammy foot and Gregory with his gammy back and both of us fighting for the sympathy card and that wouldn’t do at all. 

Largely because a slipped disc is going to trump a self-inflicted sprained ankle every time and I don't fancy doing all the chores and taking care of Miss Q with a big, fat cankle and no sympathy.

So instead, I did an indoor workout using household items, furniture and Miss Q as my ten kilo weight.

It's ok though people, I'm going to share, but where I reference Miss Q, replace with your own human or get the heaviest coffee-table book you can find, that ought to do the trick.

The cabin-fever Workout with a bit of help from Little Miss Q:

·               To begin, perform a couple of downward dogs with Miss Q lying underneath. She loves the angle of your face directly above hers, but beware, when she shoves a finger up your nose, you can’t use one of your arms to get it back out again. Ow.
·               Tricep dips off the table bench. Sit Q in your lap for some extra poundage.
·               Bench-press Q style. Bonus points for singing the grand old duke of York at the same time.
·               Incidental Exercise – put the load of nappies in the dryer and start the load of drenched towels being used to soak up the water from the leak in the roof.
·               The bicycle ab set with Q straddling your neck. Fine until she leans forward to pull your hair and cuts off your air supply.
·               Recover – fold one of the five loads of today’s laundry.
·               Bicep curls – lower and raise Miss Q alternating arms after sets of ten.
·               Obliques – sit on the bench with knees raised and feet on the ground and swivel Miss Q from one side to the other. The colours of the rainbow song works well here and gets you an extra bite of dessert.
·               Breath control – join in Miss Q’s conversation and respond to her babble with babble of your own.
·               Lunges, Squats, leg lifts – all can be done with Miss Q in arms or cheering on from underneath.
·               Cool down – lie on the floor and relax. Again, watch out for Q’s wandering fingers.

There you have it people. 
No excuse not to exercise, or at the very least a reason to justify your ice cream addiction. 

And given that this weather is set to continue for the next couple of days, this could be a more valuable blog than it at first appears.

Jeez, this sort of unrelenting, hour-by-hour, close proximity to each other thing could really start to get old. 
At least it's just the three of us.
I don’t know how the Irish catholics do it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

THE DRAG QUEEN - Today's profile of a stranger

Today’s profile of a stranger…

He walked into the cafĂ© today and took a seat along the wall. He’s been in before and is comfortable with the space but I shocked him because he was expecting the other waitress. (She’s having her wisdom teeth out and I was an absolute last resort not least because I had to duck out twice to run home to feed Miss Q).

He’s dressed today in thin, black leggings. Thin by wear, not by fashion. They’d make a great pair of comfy pyjamas now, but have probably had their day in public. 
He’s paired them with knee high ugg boots. He’s had them since way before they were cool. And he really hopes they last. He can’t afford to replace them now, given how much he’d pay for them today. They have a cuff at the top and braiding down the side. You don’t see them anymore. They’re rare.

His hair is long and stringy. Like a surfer's, but it is perfectly obvious that’s not what he is.
It’s clean hair, but stiff and alternately matte and shiney. Like a dancer’s after a performance when all the hairspray has been brushed out.

His eyes are tired, his skin is weathered. He’d be about sixty if he’s a day, and many of those years were spent labouring outside. A bricklayer perhaps. Or maybe a jackhammer-er.

There is the faint stain of bright red dye surrounding his lips. The outline you see drag queens use to make their mouths both feminine and large.
Is that what he does?

His voice is kind and so are his eyes. He smiles easily and seems startled but glad that I ask more than his coffee order.

Do his family know? Did he come to this late in life? I think so. I think he lived a long life of heterosexuality and this is a courageous, but timid move.

He’s excited though, still buzzing from the thrill of the audience’s applause. He’d always been a good athlete – AFL where he grew up in regional South Australia – so the dancing came easily to him.

The money’s not bad too, though he’s not too fond of the tips from the patrons. They often come with great assumptions on the part of the tipper. 
And he’s not ready for that. 
It’s a companion thing he’s looking for at the moment. 

As I said, it’s a timid step for now. But an honest one.

This is today’s profile of a stranger…

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


A little while ago I mentioned I would be interviewing Andrea Culligan, CEO of Unimail, one of the speakers at this year’s Women, Management and Work Conference, to take place on the 28th and 29th of July through Macquarie University.

Andrea has won a swath of awards, (including Telstra Young Businesswoman of the Year 2009) chased robbers, breathed fire, worked as a deckhand, lived in Coober Pedy and has a passion for singing.

I like her already.

I’ve been variously employed as a choreographer, a director, a whore, a nun, a cow, a wolf and a dancing plate. I’m also a mum, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a colleague, a writer and a friend.

Professionally we don’t have much in common, but Andrea’s insight into leadership, women’s roles and navigating a road through today’s cultural climate still resonated with me, as I’m sure it will with you somewhere along your way.


N            Your company Unimail, works in graduation attraction and engagement.
You connect students with employers.
When did you first see the need for such a niche market and how did you begin your company?

A         Funnily enough – it really didn’t start out that way.  Unimail started out as a web based email service for students.  This was before Hotmail, Gmail etc.
We initially started with one publication – backed by a jobs site and 11 years later, we’ve had over 25 products and services in the business.

N            That would require a huge amount of self-belief and stamina. How did/do you keep going when the road gets rough?

A            I’ve had my fair share of life experiences that have provided me with the tools to just pick myself up and get on with it. 
That’s not to say I’m always awesome at these times, I struggle with keeping a neutral tone when it’s all going a little pear shaped.
It’s not easy, it never is, but you just have to keep on trucking if it means something to you.

N            True that. I am the tortoise. I’ll get there one day. Slow and steady…

N            You are a leader, a team player, an initiator, a developer, a karaoke singer and a whale watcher. What else would you like to try?

A            Anything.  I believe the world is most definitely your classroom and there is so much to learn from just about anything.  I’ve been really enjoying tapping into a more creative side of my life. I would also like to get more involved with property development.

N          Ah, property development. The way to go in Sydney town. Not that I know this from personal experience of course, just from observance.

N      You’ll be speaking at this year’s Women, Management and Work Conference about the fast track to leadership.
Miss Q seems to be on it already, what are your hints for a quick ascent?

A      In my opinion there aren’t any quick tricks/tips or fixes to leadership.  I do believe in about 8 key things that I’ve learnt over the years that I wish I knew from the outset:
1)    Understand that status means nothing.
2)    Self awareness is key in understanding your strengths and weaknesses. Being true to what you’re great at and praising others for being assets to your weaknesses can show you understand how you lead a team and help others to accept themselves as well.
3)    Set high expectations for yourself by setting goals for yourself. Do not expect what you are not willing to do yourself.
4)    Remember that education does not finish in a classroom.
5)    Challenge and test everything.
6)    Make a lot of mistakes – and learn from every single one of them.
7)    Your path may not come in the package you initially set out.  Be open to new ideas and opportunities as it may lead you to something greater than you initially imagined.
8)    Sometimes being a leader isn’t always the top job – collaboration is key so understand when you need to lead and when you need to follow.

N            People always bang on about ‘work-life balance’.
I’ve read of your love for physical activity and singing. A lady after my own heart. Are these the yins to your professional yang?

A            The old work life balance thing hey?  I have struggled with this sentiment for years.  When I did biathlons, and rowed surf boats, I was training 2-4 hours a day – that was my priority then and my business was second in line.  Most recently my business has taken precedence and therefore the other has suffered.
Work life balance is about LIFE which means sometimes it’s work and sometimes it’s life. 
Choose to have both in your life at different times.

N            There’s a word for people like you, you know…over-achievers. Biathlons indeed.

N            When I was first married, my husband took a job that moved us from one side of America to the other.
For our first month there, I wasn’t working and found the role of stay-at-home wife so uncomfortable I cried one day while I was in Target purchasing an iron.

Do you think the current generation is better at breaking down stereotypes than their predecessors? Do they have different expectations?

A            Interesting, I’m writing an article on this at the moment as in my peer group and particularly my age group of 30-40 years of age, I find that there is absolute equality in the “partnership”. During the week when I’m working 14 hours days, my husband cooks, cleans, walks the animals, and takes care of all domestic duties.
However, when he’s travelling with his business, working long hours, we switch and I cover the day to day. My peer group experiences similar occurrences.

N            You talk in your post on Mia Freedman’s blog Mamamia, your decision not to have a child at the moment, if at all. How has this prejudice presented itself in your professional life?

A            I don’t find it offensive but more of a surprise that it’s an expectation for me to have children and that I “haven’t lived”, “truly don’t know what life is” or “have no idea about being busy” until I have children. 

Perhaps they are all completely correct, but perhaps not, and I find it surprising that people assume my emotions or capabilities before I’ve had the opportunity to prove either way.

N            You can borrow Miss Q for a while if you like. I won’t charge you too much.

N            I spent many years in the States where mentors are a big thing in the professional world.
They love that word, mentor. Everyone has one.
Is this the case in Australia and what has been your experience? 

A            I actually haven’t had a dedicated mentor.  I find inspiration and advice from a variety of people in my peer group.  They all bring varied opinions, ideas and suggestions.  They also pick me up when I’ve fallen and that has been very special over the past few years.

N            I’ve never had one either.
They’re a bit thin on the ground in the world of musical theatre…anyone offering?

N            Fourteen hour work days, triathlons, vocal coaching, fire breathing…is there no end?
Please tell me you enjoy a good glass of red. In fact, what is your favourite wind-down beverage at the end of a long, hard day? 

A            If I had my way, a hot bath and either a beautiful glass of scotch or a divine SA red would be amazing. 
However, what I find the most rewarding is a walk in the park with my other half and the dog – and realistically that’s what happens more.

N             I’ve never had a real job. I’ve certainly never had a job where I have to wear a business outfit everyday. How many pinstriped skirts do you own Andrea?
No seriously, what is your fail-proof, knock-‘em-dead outfit that you pull out to take on the big guns?

A            I have a favourite Lisa Ho military inspired jacket and pencil skirt that I love to wear and makes me feel invincible.  However, a sharp pant suit in my opinion just knocks it out of the park every time. 

N            A pant suit. I’m getting one.
And I’m wearing it to my next audition even if it’s completely inappropriate.

N            I have a tenuous relationship with the word compromise.
Like many of my generation, I’d like it all – live overseas, but be close to my family. Raise a family but get back on the stage. Eat chocolate but stay in the size 8 jeans.
How do you tackle this dilemma?  

A            I don’t to be honest.  I struggle with guilt of just about everything.  Not giving enough to my spiritual side, then not giving enough to my professional side, then not calling my parents enough, not training enough, it goes on and on. 
I’m starting to just realize that I don’t have to be perfect and that there is a time for everything – perhaps just not all at once.

N            See, it’s not just new mums and Catholics that suffer from irrational guilt after all. What can you offer from your journey to those currently on the road?

A            I wish firstly that I was more accepting of all the crazy bits I have. I tried to be someone I’m not for a while and it got me nowhere.

          Be clear on your vision.
The values you start with will help you define what your business looks and acts like.

N            It’s so refreshing to get to that point in your life where you go;
‘Bugger it. I know who I am, what I stand for and what makes me tick. 
I’m accepting of the good parts and the bad and gee it feels good to be able to finally say that!’

N           Is there something in particular you wish you’d known before you began your climb?

A          Ask lots of questions! I felt I had to know everything and everyone and made a complete arse out of myself on a regular occurrence.
I would have loved to have understood that humility is quite attractive and that it made other people feel like they contributed to my growth.

N      Here's a question - do you like to travel? What is your ultimate holiday destination and why? 

A         I travel a truckload for work, I’m currently in Canada now!  I love travelling and in 5 years we plan to sail throughout the Mediterranean for 4 months – I’m definitely looking forward to that.  However, something I’d like to do next year is a 3-week food tour throughout East Asia – just cycling through little shanty towns trying all the local foods. 

N          My husband and I considered a moved to Vietnam before we left the States. Gregory would have worked for an American hotel and I was going to earn the big bucks volunteering for my favourite charity International Red Cross.
In the end, we decided to try to make a human instead.

N            A lot of us ladies are seriously burning the candle at both ends.
Most days I feel the flames licking my heels while simultaneously singeing my eyebrows. Do you take a herbal saviour, a daily potion to keep up your frantic pace? 

A            Yes it’s called red wine. 
No seriously, I’ve struggled with anxiety and panic disorder for years.  It’s not something I wish for anyone to go through, one of my saving graces throughout it all has been yoga.

N            Ah yoga. That old thing. 
            Yes, yes I will concede it is great for you and I do partake, (upon occasion) but the lycra, the smelly rooms and the spontaneous-stranger-flatulence do dampen my enthusiasm somewhat.

N            If you could meet one person in all the world, who would it be and why?

A            I LOVE Tina Turner.  I find her incredible.  She has this amazing stage presence, incredible physique, rough sexy exterior, incredible power and yet is one of the most eloquently spoken women I’ve ever seen.  I love the dichotomy of it all.

N            I LOVE that you love Tina Turner. Great biceps. And great hair. 
            Of course, you can’t forget the hair.

N            Are you scared of heights? Slightly left-field question, but my husband wants us both to go skydiving, but I’m vehemently refusing. I’m terrified. I would pee my pants and pass out. At the same time.  

A            I’m not scared of heights, but I am scared of the dark which is even more embarrassing! 
I was robbed in the middle of the night whilst sleeping in a hostel in Hervey Bay – he fell over before charging out of my room and my gut instinct was to chase.  I chased him alright and caught him and let him have it.  He went to prison, I got everything back including a watch a dear friend of mine had had stolen when she was staying there – it was her grandmother’s heirloom watch. 
Long story short – I think that memory has stuck in my brain as when it all became a little clearer in the morning I was petrified.

N            Wow. Can’t think what else to say, except don’t stay in the hostel in Hervey Bay.

N            As a new mum, I’m on an awesome ride of fatigue, joy, madness, steep, steep learning and utter bewilderment. Does this sound like how you felt when you started your business? Any survival tips for those embarking on a similar journey?

A            I still feel that way – I call it the roller coaster. For me, I’m very lucky that I have a team of people that can see outside the roller coaster.  Sometimes, I’m stuck in it at warp speed and can’t see the outside and feel so many highs and lows.
I also believe in reflection – although this is one of my greatest weaknesses.  Reflect on your recent achievements – and see how far you’ve come along the path to where you’re going allows you to ease into the future.

N            There you have it folks. A few teaser tips about leadership from one of Australia's best, Andrea Culligan.

For more tales of how Miss Q leads her mother in a merry dance, stick to this blog, but if you'd like to know and understand how it's really done, head on over to the Women, Management and Work Conference
These ladies really know what they're on about.

Thanks for chatting Andrea, and good luck with that biathlon. 

Not that I'm suggesting Andrea looks like this or points her finger. Q would if she knew how.

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