My husband’s birthday is coming up and I have to admit I am well and truly stumped over what to get him. He’s not really a man that enjoys receiving presents, which makes christmas and birthdays a constant challenge, but I know that, if I put my mind to it, I can get him something he really wants. A present he’ll really value. So I’ve been coming up with lists of his hobbies and interests to try and work out what direction to go in and it’s surprisingly difficult. He doesn’t do too much apart from work, but when he does get some leisure time, I know that he loves to go fishing. I also know that he’s been talking about getting a boat for years now. So I thought I might get him something made up for him using a marine stainless steel fabrication company I found.
Even though the kind of fabrication they do is extremely customised, I’m hoping that they can make something generic enough that it will be useful no matter what kind of boat he eventually decides to get. At the same time, I feel kind of terrible getting him something he can’t exactly use now. That’s the whole point of a present, that you can take it and use it, not shelve it until it becomes useful three years down the track.
With all that in mind, I’m leaning towards getting him a set of snapper racks, but I could really use a second opinion from a psychic. Will they be useful for him? Or is this all just a waste and I should really get him a more practical, immediately useful present?
I foresee a future where he will use them and one where he will not. There are many factors which may contribute towards changing his fate. The road ahead is shrouded in mist, my friend. -Joanne.
Joanne. I need your help. I’m seriously worried that Bethany is about to throw away her life and there’s nothing I can do to stop her.
In the past, I may have been what some would term a ‘controlling’ mother, but that was only ever because I have wanted the best for my girl. I have only ever wanted her to be happy, but what she doesn’t understand is that the only way to be truly happy in this world is to make money. Poverty is something I had to deal with in my childhood, I will not let my only daughter fall into its grasp. So naturally, when she told me she had decided to do a diploma of early childhood education and care in Melbourne next year, I was furious.
She attends one of the most expensive private schools in Melbourne, she gets excellent grades, has a repertoire of extra-curricular activities under her belt including rowing, debating, and being in the first strings, and she wants to look after children? How could she possibly be more ungrateful? I have done so much to get her ahead in life and she’s going to throw it all away. She told me she hates high school, which is ridiculous because I know how much she loves it. Her reasoning behind not wanting to attend University of Melbourne next year is that that her passion lies in working with children and so she’s going to get a diploma of early childhood education so she can follow that childish dream. Unbelievable. All this just goes to show that you can do everything right and the fates will still deal you a terrible card. What did I do to deserve this? How can I make her see that she doesn’t want this life for herself?
For your daughter to be happy you must let her be free to make her own mistakes, safe in the knowledge that you will comfort her when she falls. – Joanne
I’ve seen significant problems reading the deeper meaning behind my dreams and I would like your help, Joanna, to help figure out why. For many years now, I have been reading and interpreting my dreams, seeking to understand the messages from my subconscious that have travelled across the divide, drifting upwards from the deep to enter the surface level of thought. In attempting to recreate the wisdom of old encapsulated in dream-reading, I have had incredible success. I feel that I have come to know myself as few others have, understand what I am essentially trying to tell myself in sleep.
Having this knowledge has been absolutely critical to the way I’ve made my decisions over the last twenty years. My dreams have reflected my own deepest fears and desires, and have made the path I must take clear. Only recently all my dreams have revolved around a series of manic chases involving photobooths. Melbourne, as far as I am aware, doesn’t have any landscape that parallels the one I’ve seen in my dreams, meaning that I have not in fact been to the location of my dreams whilst awake. Nor have I, to my knowledge, attended any events where there was the organiser had taken the liberty of organising photobooth hire, either in Melbourne or any place on this earth. So the photobooth itself does not represent a past event or time in my life, but rather must have a deeper symbolic meaning. The problem with this is that I have no idea what that meaning may be, nor even what greater theme it is likely to pertain to. As a result of this, I have made the choice to ask for your help unravelling this mysterious, recurring presence in my dreams.
Sometimes dreams speak to us as through a friend, sometimes as no more than the sun on our skin or the rustling of the leaves. Embrace their magic. – Joanne.
Sorry, do I have to pay for this internet business? The hotel says they have free Wi-Fi, but I don’t know if that means you have to pay for the internet…or is it a per-word business? I really don’t know. It doesn’t matter…someone told me this was a place to air the grievances, consult the agony aunt as it were!
My husband has been loving, faithful and loyal throughout our six decades of marriage. We’ve had our cross words, but only when they were absolutely necessary. We’ve settled our grievances and had such good times. And now, there’s a stick in the gears. A grind in the…system. One of those.
We decided for our retirement that we’d move to the sea, and the most obvious place was Lorne. Luxury apartments were something we were quite familiar with, having stayed in them many times over the years, and we wanted something to leave in the inheritance. You know, for the children. So that we did, taking up residency at a hotel we particularly loved. For years, it was all fine. We took quite a few things with us, such as cutlery, furniture and bedsheets. We’d had the same ones since we were married, a lovely set given to us by my great aunt. All covered in marigolds, but is also had foxes and other animals. Very nice, very breathable. Naturally, it didn’t last as long in the hotel. We ordered some coffee one night, and there was an incident. It was ruined, completely. I was devastated. We must’ve looked in every Lorne hotel for sheets that were similar, but they were truly unique. And now we’re in a spiral of sleepless nights and irritability, because this husband of mine just won’t settle for anything!! The design is wrong, or it’s too feminine, or it causes itching…honestly, when you try to compromise!
This Lorne hotel is spoken of by the stars. The foxes and marigolds dance in the heavenly galaxies. Beware of cats bearing gifts, because cats do not usually bear those. – Joanne
As a parent, I’m constantly trying to guide my children towards becoming the most complete version of themselves. That is not only my goal for now, but my goal for the future, that as they grow older and mature, I can help them towards spiritual fulfillment, as my mother helped me. At their age now, where written words are just starting to take on the greater meaning they represent, the most important part of that journey is creating a sense of imagination. In a day and age dominated by screens, where the ideas of others are forcibly rammed into the minds of the young, developing the capacity of a child to think for themselves is absolutely paramount.
Usually, I delight in finding safe, clean ways to achieve this end. Something enjoyable yet relatively risk free. Today, however, it was not the child but the appliance that was unknowingly put in harm’s way. Following an idea sparked by a children’s show, I decided I could create a cave by using the air conditioning unit from Perth to blow up a sheet, erecting a cave-like structure which the children could then play in. I thought this was a wonderful idea, a way to combat the heat and indulge my children in new sensations, but it backfired horribly.
For whatever reason, the action of our particular air conditioner is such that it periodically sucks. After making the cave and observing it had worked, I left and the sucking action soon thereafter commenced. The sheet immediately flew off its weights and into the air conditioner, becoming incredibly entangled. With summer only just having begun, where can I find someone to do air conditioning repairs? Perth city is quite far from our house, so I need someone with a broader scope.
The answers you seek will come to you through your dreams. Listen to your subconscious, it has much to say. – Joanna
I’m worried about my son, and I’m in need of some advice. Not that I usually run to other people, especially people on the internet, when I need advice. This one is a special case.
And my boy, he’s so special. Very talented, and good with kids. But the thing is, he loves the sun. He loves it a bit too much, in my opinion, but he uses sunscreen so that isn’t the issue. No, the issue is how he can’t cope with the cold. As in, any cold. None at all. As long as he’s inside, with Brisbane’s greatest ducted heating services pointed directly at him, he’s totally fine. And of course, Brisbane gets a lot of heat all year round, so he’s quite happy with that even when inside, despite not really liking air con. But come the winter months, and he’s just miserable. People visiting from other states or countries just think he’s mad, since Brisbane barely has a winter to begin with. Still, my boy just can’t function in any sort of cold. Brisbane had its coldest morning in decades just last year, and that’s the worst I’ve ever seen him. He didn’t go into work, firstly because he couldn’t leave his bed, and secondly because I rang them up and told them that he was very ill. That wasn’t a lie. The cold actually made him ill. Here I was thinking that living in the sunshine state would be enough, but it’s not. He may need to move to somewhere else, like Darwin or possibly one of the islands just off the coast, where it’s hot quite literally all the time. But how will he travel? He loves looking at pictures of the UK, but even their summers aren’t enough for him (though their heating probably would be). Canada is out of the question.
All I can do is scour Brisbane for central ducted heating that could possibly be up to his standard. But this isn’t going away any time soon.
The moon has entered the third phase, meaning that cats will soon be replacing world leaders. Be kind to zebras, for they are the spark of life that will unite a nation. – Joanne
Dear Mrs. Duncan. Please help me make this decision. My name is Ellen, I am ten years old and I live in Melbourne with my mum and dad. I am in Grade 4 at Primary School and I have two best friends, their names are Arabella and Lucy. I also have a dog, his name is Rufus, and two goldfish, called Sam and Frodo.
On the weekends, my mum takes me to the to the Docklands for ice skating. I used to like to go ice skating a lot, I went ice skating all the time and it was really fun. It is really cold and sometimes mum says my lips go blue. It is a lot of fun to wear my beanie and gloves and big fluffy jumper. I feel like an eskimo. I made friends there in my ice skating classes. My friends were really nice and we had a lot of fun and laughs and smiles. They are my favourite part of going to the ice skating rink.
I loved to go ice skating when I was young, but now I am older and I don’t like it anymore. I feel bored when I go skating, but my mum really wants me to keep doing it. I have told her I don’t want to, but she keeps making me go. She doesn’t care that I don’t want to go. She nags me about it all the time. We fight about it but that makes us both sad and I don’t like being sad. I go to ice skating to keep mum happy. She always says she just wants me to be happy.
How do I stop going ice skating without hurting my mum’s feelings?
To be brave as the bear, you must be gentle as the willow in the wind, as willing to compromise and adapt to the changing seasons. – Joanna
I guess I’m one of those people who need a hobby. I always have to be doing something, learning something new … otherwise I just sort of fall apart into a big aimless heap of directionless sludge. I also have a pretty short attention span, which proves to be a pretty lethal combination. I always start out learning or taking up my newest hobby with huge amounts of enthusiasm and energy, but almost always return to the lethargy I thought this time I’d finally escaped. It probably comes from some deep seeded restlessness of my soul, the practical upshot of which being I have mediocre skills in a whole variety of seemingly random activities. This month, for example, it’s ice skating.
To my surprise, that day that I decided to pursue this wonderful, beautiful sport, I discovered there are lots of wonderful places to learn to ice skate in Melbourne. You would think that Australia’s environmental and weather conditions would make ice skating an outlaw sport, available to only the very rich or highly dedicated, but that really just isn’t the case. Ice skating turns out to be pretty easy to get involved with, and pretty similar to roller blading (which was my hobby of the month about three years ago). Of course, ice skating in Australia is wonderful in the summer, when I decided to take it up … it’s just a fantastic way to escape that awful heat waves we get in Melbourne.
The problem with all this, and the reason I’m writing to you Joanna, is that I can feel my gusto for the sport gliding away. It’s like my heart just isn’t it to it any more. My shrink has implied this has something to do with parental neglect during my childhood, but I was hoping you could offer me some more spiritually centred advice. After all, I’ve recently found myself wondering if the realm of the spiritual could hold my true calling.
The view of the forest from the blade of grass and the furthest leaf on the tallest tree differ greatly, respect and honour these discrepancies. Yellow shall be your colour of luck during the downward cycle of the harvest moon. – Joanna
I have recently realised the complete and utter folly of my ways, and am working in earnest to try and rectify the grievous mistakes of my past. I have realised that it’s more than likely that some of my zeal over the protection of the planet has been misguided. Not the heart of my mission itself. No, I truly believe that making my life sustainable and promoting environmentally friendly behaviour in those around me is of the utmost importance. What I have realised over the last few days, however, is that slandering another person for their choice of lifestyle is not a morally righteous pathway.
In my ignorance, this is the path I have been following. It was only over the past few days that I have seen the error of this way.
One of the innocent people I have mercilessly hunted down has been the steel suppliers in Melbourne who work in the building next to mine. As a part of the finite resources industry, they perpetuate a culture of unsustainable conduct that has led to and continues to lead our planet into a state of incurable warming. This, clearly, is a terrible thing, and the reason why it continues to be undertaken in today’s day and age is a mystery to me.
However, having said that, it is not the fault of the poor steel fabricator, Melbourne is an interesting city after all. He is merely a symptom of the disease, not the disease itself. It’s not his fault that he trained in what is becoming a redundant field in a time when he didn’t know the negativity of what he was creating. It’s not his fault that he has kids and a mortgage, so doesn’t have the time or the liberty to retrain. Or at least, that’s what he told me when I bombarded him with accusations of destroying his children’s futures last week.
I guess I hadn’t quite thought of it from his perspective before. I just assumed he knew exactly what he was getting himself into. I think what I’m trying to ask is: is it wrong to persecute someone from just doing their job?
There is nothing more sacred than the freedom of choice given to each creature by good mother earth.
All my life, I have strived to be a staunch naturalist. What I mean by that, is that I have never subscribed to the modern premise of capitalism. I have always tried to live off the land – use that which I can grow myself and or can pay for through trade with others. Perhaps living in the country helped further this agenda, but it’s impossible to know for sure. All I do know, was that I had reached a pinnacle of contentment – that I was complete and fulfilled within myself.
That changed when Karen left. I knew that I was quite a lot older than her, but I also believed, falsely, that we shared a real love. She ran off with a man I hadn’t seen since university who had unexpectedly walked into one of my classes about six months beforehand. Naturally, I was devastated, but in retrospect, I handled it poorly. I decided to fill the void with an Alfa Romeo. Little did I know that an Alfa Romeo would not service my soul.
It wasn’t just the Alfa. I moved to the city, abandoning my small farm in the country. I used the savings I had amassed from an early success in my youth to fund a spiral of consumer-driven madness. I lived in an apartment in the city, owned too many objects that had no value other than their price tag. Perhaps, in a distant part of my suppressed subconscious, I knew that I was receiving none of the spiritual nourishment I so desperately craved, but as was now my habit, I ignored it, and focused instead on my Alfa. The Romeo restoration project I had embarked on became an all-consuming obsession. It occupied hours of my time and hundreds of my dollars.
Now I have moved back to my home, my true home, in the bush. It’s a safe place, where I can pick up the pieces of my shattered psyche. However, I find myself at a loss as for how to accomplish such a feat. How does one return to their lost selves after such a cataclysmic and fundamental change to their life?
Take a chance on the wind and let it carry you away, to a better life and a better tomorrow.