Tip No. 14 : Steal.



STEAL ! I cannot think of a single thing to steal for today’s post. Other than ALTUCHER’S 33 TIPS that is. I once was told that I used different words from your normal criminal for the concept of STEALING. Being of a non-capitalist inclination, that might well be true. Its been a busy day  today, in its own way, within the parameters of the lifestyle I choose to lead. Kati B has started her first University work and the Cheery Redhead and me spent the day In our world of Fantasy and swimming pools and tall stories. I have a white horse staring at me and that brings to mind one of the therapies of early recovery.

In order to locate myself in the present and not disintegrate into full madness and despair, I would quickly scan around me from wherever I was sitting and note 5 things I could see, 5 I could hear, smell, touch and taste. I always struggled with the taste  and smells but it did ‘ centre’ me as they used to say back in the 1980s.

Being uninspired to steal any ideas or writings today, I might just take a look at some other thoughts and tales about STEALING. In fact, I might just steal some pictures and stories about STEALING.


rat Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW  1870 - 1907), Wednesday 24 June 1903,


There’s a few GYPSIES TRAMPS AND THIEVES in this MOB of mine.

stop theif The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), Wednesday 11 April 1979, horse thief The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.  1848 - 1956), Saturday 21 February 1948,
title.” The Australian Women’s Weekly (1933 – 1982) 11 Apr 1979
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), Saturday 21 February 1948,
warder The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.  1848 - 1956), Tuesday 26 August 1947 loot Worker (Brisbane, Qld.  1890 - 1955), Wednesday 17 November 1926
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), Tuesday 26 August 1947
Worker (Brisbane, Qld. : 1890 – 1955), Wednesday 17 November 1926

“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders…and millions have been killed because of this obedience…Our problem is that people are obedient allover the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves… (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.”
Howard Zinn




Tip No. 13 : Have a shocking title.




I wasn’t one who encountered death very much until the last decade or so. Over 50 years of age I was when the Buffer Zone started to go and now the Peer Group. Altucher suggested using a shocking title. The Blog Title is not very shocking and not likely to attract many visitors. ON THE BENCH. Unless they’re weary as I was when I began it in January of this year. Or unless they’re of an intelligent enough mental and emotional disposition to appreciate the Value of sitting and yaaning to Storytellers. I don’t want to change the name of ON THE BENCH. Its where I sit in all manner of moods and conditions so I went for the naming of this one post. Nothing shocking about the date, I guess. 29 NOVEMBER 2011. It does, however, mean that I have been writing close to a post a  day for 11 months.

The Shock comes with the Dead Lovers. I don’t know that it will shock you but it shocked me when I realised it the other day. These are not all of my lovers. There was a batch prior to 1987. These are the ones since I got clean in the August of that Year. 1987. The title may be shocking and the deaths were. One died of lung cancer, another of skin cancer and one of heart disease. But the Lovings weren’t shocking. I add them to the Good Experiences of my Life. One taught me of Gentleness. One taught me of Freedom and One taught me about Suntanned Laughter and Good Men.

Behind the Shocking Title are a whole lot of Shocking Stories but I am not telling them today.

One word to the Wise – don’t underestimate the StoryTeller.

2 out of my 5 Lovers are still alive.

As well as most of the ones from pre 1987. 




On the intentional taking each day of a challenge shot.

Cheery Redhead’s first day ever away from Mum who was in hospital for the Day. C.R. spent the day with Dad and did – EVERYTHING. Mum won’t let me put her photo up because she doesn’t look so good after 4 hours in hospital and a general anaesthetic.





Tip No. 12 : Be opinionated.

wax The Australian Women's Weekly (1932 - 1982), Wednesday 6 July 1955,


BE OPIONATED. Well indeed. I am hesitant about this Tip No 12. Altucher’s advice in Tip No 11 on writing 10 things noone knows about me brought in the lowest number of  readers I have yet had. I suspected that could be the case. Now he wants me to be opionated and I surely am that. I often don’t write till I am angry, just as Altucher speaks of. If I write one of my opionated posts, I am likely to lose the 3 readers I seem to have left.

No matter. I promised myself that I would follow these tips and see where they led me, so following I am. Years back when I was doing my Ignatian ONLINE RETREAT IN EVERYDAY LIFE, I had the experience of coming to terms with St Paul, someone I had never liked in the least. He was opinionated. Extremely opinionated. I was idly doing the retreat out of an equally idle curiosity when Kaboom It came to me that some of us are MEANT TO BE opinionated. Meant to be rather abrasive and loud mouthed. It doesn’t always seem fair to me. I have yearned to be the sweet thing who comforts and brings peace. I have craved a Buddhist inclination which hasn’t come at all or a Hippy New Age smilingness – but I remain opinionated.  Me and St Paul.

Such a Pity. I was hoping to be a gentle old lady with curling hair and an elusive serene smile.



I don’t say a lot about my Mum and that’s not because I don’t think a lot of her. She was cute, my Mum. I learned a lot about life from her.

20 15 joyce bell rosebery 192730 9 joyce40 16 joyce on lismore station


b. 28-11-1926

d. 28-8-2001




Christina and Lizzy Bell


Tip No 11 : Don’t be afraid of what people think.


From the flooding rains and cold weather in one day to 30 degrees C heat and sunshine all day. I was intending to take a FAMILY photo each day. That’s what I usually do as a matter of course. Now today with FAMILY as the Photo Challenge Topic for the Week – some evil sprite caused me to forget to do so.

I rather thought Altucher was going to hit some tricky places within me and Tip No 11 is doing just that.  I know I write with certain people in mind. Not wanting to hurt, antagonise, earn the disdain of, look silly in front of or get hurt by. Altucher suggests :

for the next ten things you write, tell people something that nobody knows about you.

Could be interesting. An integral part of the way I live is talking at depth in front of people several times a week and I’m not sure what things there are about me that someone doesn’t know. Ah well, I am going on the image hunt and see what gets triggered. 

Most people know I am an anarchistic, recovered addict/alcoholic , grandmother, Hep C, low plateleted, enlarged heart Libran. Grandmother and Mother who is delighted with her family. A rural Australian. East Coaster. 62 years old. With long grey hair.  Schoolteacher.  What else ?

Well lets look back over the last 10 days and see.



I am very ritualistic. A touch OCD perhaps.Once my son fell off the monkey bars and broke his arm. I HATE seeing my kids hurt. IN any way. Physically, mentally, emotionally. No apologies for that either.

I wish I could keep the kids and their kids close by and safe and happy.

I LOVE seeing people truly , legitimately happy.

When I was about 12, I sat on a swing and realised that I was beginning to look a little foolish in a children’s playground – swinging – and that the swinging days were just about over. 

056 2
My kids had truly lousy early childhoods. Like REALLY lousy. Lousy enough that I walked away and left them for a year or two rather than have them live with active addiction and violence anymore.
I am almighty proud of getting clean and raising them as a single mother and I am almighty impressed with the people they have become.
And I am truly, deeply happy that they have their beautiful little girls and make such fine parents.
I consider myself one very fortunate woman.
026 3
I am not a big TOUCHER. Especially of animals. Not a horse patter, or a cat patter, or a cow milker or anything. I am not even very brilliant at touching other people.
I am cautious about going close to animals. I enjoy watching the cattle pass by but – I guess I must be afraid of them. I’m not quite sure.
I like life through a camera lens. Have done so since I was a little girl with a box brownie. But I am not much of a Toucher.
001 4
I struggle within relationship. A lot. Izzy and I have been together for 4 years or so but I had a lot of years without a man dwelling with me and now I struggle.
I struggle with liking myself as a related person. I wake up talking and theorising and I don’t think I am restful.
I feel sometimes like a caged animal, very afraid of the ‘ black abysses which yawn ready to swallow me.’
Probably  fortunate that he is who he is.
026 5
I like swimming almost more than I like anything. I come from a swimming family. I hate all the sunscreens and tons of clothes kids have to wear these days. I can’t think of anything people don’t know about me on this topic. Give me a moment.
I consider non-swimmers as aliens. And likewise distance swimmers. I just like being in the water – and I don’t much like dolphin people. Same as Cat people. Well, I like some of the people but – they’re aliens. I like flathead.
009 6
I really dislike coffee. That’s not an unknown either. I like drinking ginger in an infuser in boiled water with a straw. I did get turmeric mixed up with ginger recently. I liked that as well.
I love my niece’s ceramic work. I don ‘t suppose  that’s unknown either.
Sometimes, mornings yawn before me like the abysses. Sometimes, I don’t even want to chew the bagel or swallow the white tea.
Maybe  – the unknown is that something in my life is a little askew and I don’t quite know what it is – yet.
crits - Copy 7
I have one favourite game. AGE OF EMPIRES III. I can’t make it work on my laptop which is a buggar because it remains the one game I really like.
There are things about living with Izzy which suit me very well and they include his fondness for the critters and the care he takes of them while I am wondering how to get AGE OF EMPIRES III working.
026 8
I remain homeless even here in the Cottage. Afraid of the future. Sick of handing over mega quantities of money for housing which might or might not be mine in a year from now.  Places where I never quite unpack.
I am fully over the serious consequences of making small financial mistakes.
I really HATE the Intervention in Australia. And I am shattered by what alcoholic drinking and drug addiction do to people.

Back to the Cats. I’m no cat person. I miss Odin our Staffordhsire Terrier even though it’s a long time ago.
Whilst I am not a cat person I don’t want to end up living in the sort of place where people can’t have cats – and birds – and kids and things.
I don’t like modern buildings. Don’t like airconditioning.

Inside, I am one very angry woman for the Hard Times that so many of us have. I am much happier at the moment than I have been for a very long time because suddenly – a whole lot of people all around the world  are standing up and saying the same thing. One friend of mine from up North breathed a sigh of relief and   said one word – VALIDATED.



And in the end. Validated and Tired.

No apologies.

Not open for constructive criticism.

Nor any helpful hints.

Validated and Tired.  

26 NOVEMBER 2011 : Don’t Hurt Anyone..


Tip No 10 : Don’t Hurt Anyone.




Good Morning All and Sundry. I ‘m here with you early today. Just sittin’. Just thinking and yaaning. I think that the word ‘SATIRE’ means to tear flesh, which is a shame for me because I once enjoyed a little satire. The barbed tongue.  Due to a non-resilient nature of my own which is easily wounded, I am a little more careful with what I say and do these days but I am also careful about being too saccharine. Too gentle. Too allowing.

In recovery from drug addiction we take a step which involves determining which people we have harmed. Somewhere in the Dreaming Years, the Compliant Years, the Nice Years – it  seems to me that many people confused the concepts of HURT and of HARM.



This week’s challenge is in.  Not that it really is a challenge. Its an international sharing.


Time for a look around and see what’s on offer.  A shot of mine first and then a look at the early pics from fellow bloggers. Maybe some random sites as well.

For mine, I have chosen one of the most devastating weeks in the life of our family.


How wonderful is the love of a family at a time like that ?








Izzy coming back up the driveway after his early morning run.




Tip No 9 : Be Honest.



Okey doke. So here I am on the eBENCH and likely to be sitting here for a goodly while with the rain coming down and the waters coming up – again.  Altucher suggests being honest. That’s where as a Libra, I get myself confused. Every point of view makes sense to me a lot of the time. Doesn’t matter tonight. I am looking at days at home if this weather continues. That seems a right shame. Up in the Valley a young local woman is having a Gypsy wedding celebration for her marriage to a Berliner she met this year. They have a marquee and a porta loo and 100 very mixed guests coming but its likely some of the bridges will be underwater and certain that the ground will be a boghole.

We took a drive up to Bellingen today to deliver a Gypsy shirt to one of the wedding guests. We missed them but purchased an $80 sofa bed from the new opshop and loaded it into the Starwagon to bring home. Its still in the back of the Van because of the incessant rain. We haven’t as yet perfected guest accommodation here and hope that this one might do the trick.

It was STOCKING UP day. Years of flood experience has me STOCKING UP pretty early in the Rains so we did the IGA ( Independent Grocers’ Association) ) and gathered $139 worth of foodstuffs. Then we did the new café in town . No 5 CHURCH STREET. It used to be GURU FOODS and had many more identities before that and I was rather expecting a schmick upbeat ‘urban’ atmosphere as envisioned by Council and Chamber of Commerce. Instead it is rather good. Simmering chickpeas and smiling young people. The furniture appealed to me and I am well pleased with No 5 Church Street.


009 008
+018 028
039 048


Good Night from the Wetlands.