From OMG to OILS!

May I just say — the roller coaster nature of life some days/weeks/months lately is adding to my quotient of grey hair. And smoothing out to much milder dips and swoops would be rather nice.

Two days ago, I discovered that thousands of dollars had disappeared into thin air — out of our bank account in a scheduled transfer — but then missing from the destination bank. Minor panic and some genuine anxiety set in. It wasn’t until last night when I could call across the world at 10 PM to that bank that was just opening at 9 AM in Australia that I discovered what had transpired. Apparently quite a lot of people were left feeling just an anxious as me when their own transactions also disappeared into thin air.

My personal explanation to my husband’s parents this morning? “The bank farted!”

There must have been some sort of security situation for the bank to completely lock down bank transfers — but five days later — the money was all back in our accounts and we had to REPEAT the original transactions. Can you imagine how many people were inconvenienced who were buying houses or businesses or cars or doing something much more complicated than our own personal banking? Still, it’s an uneasy sensation to not know what the heck is going on with your OWN money. A serious OMG moment.

Then today, a friend in France sent me an update from Brittany Ferries about an issue that might affect our own sailing in a few days. Under the ‘you couldn’t make this up if you tried’ category — the harbour in Portsmouth had been SHUT because an unexploded World War II bomb had been discovered this morning!

“Portsmouth to Caen/Ouistreham – Caen/Ouistreham to Portsmouth
16/11/2016 – We’re sorry to inform you that your sailing from Caen/Ouistreham to Portsmouth this afternoon at 16:30 has been cancelled. An unexploded bomb has been found in Portsmouth which has resulted in the harbour being indefinitely closed and your ship is therefore unable to arrive or depart from the port. The Royal Navy are currently in the process of dealing with the situation. Please call us on +44(0)1752 648637 for advice and to discuss alternatives. Once again, we’re very sorry for this inconvenience and we thank you for your understanding.”

brittanyferriesroutemap

I called Brittany Ferries for an update as instructed on their website — the Royal Navy has snagged the bomb and are going to haul it out of the harbour late this afternoon to detonate it. They said that yes, there would be a backlog of departures and arrivals that lasted into tomorrow, but they fully expect everything to be fine within 24 hours and weekend sailings should be normal. Whew! #europeanhistoryneverreallydisappears

What put me in a ‘Happy Space’ today was having a ramble through a huge homewares store after lunch and discovering a substantial art department! The ranges of paints made me say, ‘Oooooo!’ out loud and the woman who walked by at the end of the aisle had a wee giggle at me.

oilpaintsattherange-highlarge

You just never know when you wake up lately — you never know… but there is ALWAYS an opportunity for another expresso — right?

expressoatrange-highlarge

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Sometimes You Stop — Simply Stop

When nothing is working, flowing, creating any joy or satisfaction in your life — sometimes it is necessary to stop — simply stop.

The past few years have been a bit like that and it reached a cymbal-crashing crescendo this year. We knew in our bones that we were never going to settle into Australia, our options seemed to be narrowing instead of expanding no matter how we tried to manifest change, and we finally gave in and realised that we needed to sell our JUST renovated Mid-Century house, downsize, and go back to Europe.

Mid-Century dining

Mid-Century dining

Amidst all of that, my darling husband Mark (and yes, he has given me permission to discuss this) began facing the facts about his chronic depression and anxiety and he began treatment. He hasn’t worked at all this past year and it’s been a real juggling act financially. But I don’t actually care about that because the charming sweetie that I met almost 23 years ago is back — well and truly back. Having the gift of time was a blessing and it brought a clarity that may not have arrived if he had been juggling work and 3+ hours per day of commuting. So hooray and then some!

The lovely house sold in 7 weeks, settled 8 weeks after that, and we had a lot of decisions to make about what to sell or donate or keep and ship overseas. None of that was easy, there were moments of frustration, but at the very last minute everything FLEW out the door — from cars to refrigerator to furniture. Hooray again!

On that last night before the movers arrived at 8 AM to put our now-reduced household items into a 20 foot shipping container, we each slept for 45 minutes at most. We stayed up all night long to make SURE that it was all packed and ready — and there was still an overlap in spite of our best plans.

Once the men had left and the house was clean and ready for the new owners, we took the train from Ballarat down to Melbourne and checked into a pre-booked apartment by the sea in our old neighbourhood — the beachside suburb of St. Kilda. Something told me that we would need a few days of decompression before we got onto a long-haul flight across the world — and that was more accurate than I could have imagined. I was shattered and on the verge of being seriously ill. But we slept and ate and walked in short bursts until I was just about back to normal after 5 days.

Sunday in St. Kilda

Sunday in St. Kilda

On Melbourne Cup Day, we headed for the airport HOURS ahead of time and eventually got onto our 25 hour flight towards London. By the time we arrived, we had been awake for over 40 hours!

Again, I knew that we would be two zombies when we arrived at Heathrow at lunch time on the 2nd of November, so I booked us a hotel nearby and we checked in and slept, slept, slept. The next day we headed to Mark’s parents’ house on the east coast of England. That’s where we are now — still resting, still recovering after 10 days, getting ready to leave here on Sunday.

We’ve slowly and carefully picked a new car, bought insurance, reopened accounts, sorted out the banking, purchased proper winter clothing, and done mundane things whilst being spoiled rotten by Mark’s darling family. We are feeling very blessed.

The new car...

The new car…

We’ve arrived about 5 weeks before Christmas and it is rather cheerful to shop for winter coats and shoes in gaily decorated malls — especially when the temperatures outside do actually feel Christmas-y!

christmasreindeeratroyals

These aren’t new ideas, but when life becomes overwhelming — sometimes you just HAVE to stop.

We HAD to stop fighting the fact that nothing was coming together in Australia and it was no longer a good fit for either of us. We had to stop avoiding the fact that Mark HAD to get himself back to a happy and healthy state with therapy. We HAD to have those necessary hotel breaks in Melbourne and London or these two over-50 (and then some in my own case!) folks would have been in a state of total collapse. We HAD to stop thinking we’d bounce back after 2-3 days here in England and be ‘right as rain’ in no time. Um — no — it’s taking a lot longer nowadays!

You’ll notice that I have hardly posted for the last 3 and 1/2 years compared to the stream of information and photography prior to that. Australia wasn’t our cup of tea on so many levels — and I’ll leave it at that.

I have a book to finish and it might be a few weeks until I get back into the groove of posting a few times a month — but keep watching this spot. There are NEW things on the horizon!

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Beginning The Back-to-Europe Process

Leaving Australia began to feel a bit more real this past week. I have booked the movers to come and pack up the household goods and ship them back to the UK — in a VERY few weeks. Yikes!

Several of you have asked if that means we plan to live in Great Britain — but truthfully, we don’t know where we want to resettle. We’re starting in England and sending our ‘stuff’ there because that’s Mark’s passport country. Are we more likely to end up living in one of the EU countries? Quite possibly.

We are very open-minded right now and since we’ve been away from Europe for three years, we plan to do short term work contracts and travel through several countries BEFORE we make a final decision.

Boxes, boxes, boxes and mountains of bubble-wrap and shipping tape. THAT is what will take up at least 50% of each day for the next few weeks. And we have to do a long list of pre-departure things like new glasses, dental cleaning, getting our medical records, donating things to charity, and a big garage sale. And did I mention packing – packing – packing?

Packing boxes -- ready to load!

Packing boxes — ready to load!

We’ve gone from a gorgeously tidy house as people viewed it for a few weeks prior to sale to stacks of boxes and bubble-wrapped artwork lining the walls of the hallway. I’m still wrapping my head around it!

Just a short update today.

More soon!

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©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
Please respect the words and images on this page.
All rights reserved.

Why So Driven With The Writing?

A friend asked me the other day why I was suddenly so VERY driven to complete an entire series of books before we leave Australia.

Short answer — I don’t know how reliable our internet connection is going to be when we first arrive back in the UK for a short visit with family — and then we head on to France.

Also, since I am truly ‘out of the closet’ now about all of the psychic encounters throughout my life, these books will hopefully be a sort of printed ‘calling card’ or multi-page business card that lets people know who we are BEFORE we arrive. And who knows — that up-front attitude may open some new doors that we could never have imagined.

That’s where my intentions and manifestations are aimed right now!

The latest book — Acts Of Intention — went live 45 hours ago. So from now on I will refer you to my AUTHORS PAGE at deborahharmes.com where I will update the BOOKS page each time there is something new in both PRINT and EBOOK versions.

actsofintention-cover-print-website

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©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
Please respect the words and images on this page. All rights reserved.

Time To Move On — Joyfully

It’s been a challenge — being back in Australia after living in Europe. We returned to find the social and political climate had changed significantly — and it wasn’t our ‘cup of tea’ any longer.

We had a plan and we’ve stuck to it — even if it did all take a bit longer to unfold than expected. We bought a fixer-upper house in a charming and established neighbourhood — a practically derelict 1950 house on a 1/4 acre lot with mature trees. And yes, it was that classic real estate cliche — the worst house on a good street.

The goal was to fix it up and sell it and then head back to Europe. But my oh my — didn’t 60 hour work weeks (on top of the renovations) and BREXIT and other kerfuffles add to the stress.

The house was completed and listed for sale in early July — and 7 weeks later we had an unconditional sale. Now the gritty part begins — deciding what to sell, what to keep, and then the flurry of packing boxes and bubble-wrap appears again. There will be happy moments and wistful moments and we know that it’s all part of the process of getting us BACK to a continent where our hearts are happy and we resonate with the look, smell, art, history, and social ethics of the place.

gladstonestreet-sold-sign

So wish us luck as we transition away from this quite beautiful Mid-Century house and off to the unknown! I’ll post progress updates along the way — and there will be some REALLY big news in the next few weeks about my simultaneous project (as if I didn’t have enough on my plate!) of launching an entire trilogy into the Amazon universe plus re-issuing 2 previous books that have unexpectedly gained ‘traction’ again.

Whew! Back to work!

Book-ish Things

Happy to report that things are going quite nicely since the book launch. But being a self-published author does have challenges, and those include spreading the word and trying to create an interest in buying and reading it.

It’s quite delightful when I discover that someone has read the book and given it a sparkling review. And another wonderful bonus is having fellow authors who help to publicise my book on their own websites.

Today I would like to thank Kim Petyt, a Parisian wedding planner who publishes a PaperLi online journal called le monde according to kim petyt. Thank you, Kim!

PublicityOnPaperli-29August2016

Back to work I go. I’m doing the first revisions of the NEXT book in the series. Back soon!

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©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
Please respect the words and images on this page. All rights reserved.

NEW Book – Gifts Of Ash And Sorrow by Deborah Harmes – Available NOW!

I am thrilled to announce that my latest book, Gifts of Ash and Sorrow, is now available in both PRINT and E-Book versions. This is the FIRST of 3 books in a trilogy titled The Closet Mystic.

If you are in the USA — simply click on either the image of the PRINT book or the E-BOOK and it will take you straight to the Amazon page for that version of the book.

Gifts of Ash and Sorrow - COVER of Print Edition

Gifts of Ash and Sorrow — COVER of Print Edition

Gifts of Ash and Sorrow - COVER Ebook Edition

Gifts of Ash and Sorrow — COVER of E-book edition

If you are in the UK — you will find both versions of the books listed at Amazon.co.uk

If you are in CANADA — you will find both versions of the books listed at Amazon.ca

If you are in FRANCE — you will find both versions of the books listed at Amazon.fr

If you are in AUSTRALIA — you will find the EBOOK listed at Amazon.com.au
For now, the PRINT version for any Australian buyers will need to be ordered from either the USA (click HERE) or from the UK (click here). It’s unfortunate that the Amazon site in Australia is not as comprehensive as those in the USA or Australia, but I have no control over that particular aspect of distribution.

I have authorised global distribution, so you will also be able to find these books in any other country that has an Amazon presence.

ENJOY! And keep watching — the 2nd book in this trilogy should be completed rather soon-ish.

Copyright ©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
Please respect the words and images on this page. All rights reserved.