‘Tour de Bay’ Charity bike ride 46km

‘Tour de Bay’ Charity bike ride raising money in support of the Hervey Bay Youth Mentoring Program!

46km = 1,115 calories ✔ (smashed 40mins off last years time, gotta ♥ the new push bike!!!)

There are distances to suit everyone, so make sure you participate next year!

Last years event here.

Paddle Out for the Whales

Awesome 3km Stand Up Paddle in the rain this morning for the Paddle Out for the Whales.

“National Whale Day is held annually in the whale watch capital (Hervey Bay) raising awareness of the many man-made threats whales face today.
Events are held across Australia on National Whale Day which takes place each June.”
More info here: Facebook, Website

Images via: Fraser Coast Chronicle Paddle Out for the Whales – Gallery HERE!

Get Running, age is no excuse!

He’s the world’s oldest marathon runner & at the grand old age of 100, Fauja Singh is certainly showing no signs of slowing down.

Born: 1 April 1911 in Beas Pind, Jalandar , Punjab , India
Former occupation: Farmer
Running career: Rediscovered at age of 81
Diet: Ginger curry, Vegetarian
Marathons: London (5), Toronto (1), New York (1)
Marathon debut: London, 2000 aged 89
London marathon pb: 6h 2m

‎’I am not a learned person in any shape or form. To me, the secret is being happy, doing charity work, staying healthy & being positive,’ … ‘The secret to a long & healthy life is to be stress-free. ‘If there’s something you can’t change then why worry about it? Be grateful for everything you have, stay away from people who are negative, stay smiling & keep running.’ – Fauja Singh

Fauja Singh

[More info here Fauja Singh]

What is happiness or success to you? Pleasure or Pain?

“Successful people admire other successful people; unsuccessful people resent them. If you view wealthy people as bad in any way, you can never be rich, because how can you be something you don’t like?” – T. Harv Eker

“Happy people admire other happy people; unhappy people resent them. If you view happy people as bad in any way (no matter what it is to the individual that makes them happy or successful; family, community work, achievements, money, career, their looks, their friends….), you can never be happy, because how can you be something you don’t like?”

Who’s to say what is real and not real, or important or not important, successful or not successful to them but the individual themselves with what they know in the present moment?

Is it OK to be happy, successful and have money as long as long as you do not RELY on this for inner happiness?
The Dalai Lama is one of the happiest people and his organisation one of the wealthiest in the world, having won numerous awards and is surrounded by luxury, people pay top dollar to listen to him speak about inner peace … yet his life is based on Three Main Commitments for his inner happiness and not the above.

There are so may ways to feel rich inside.

What is happiness or success to you? Pleasure or Pain? And who is the judge ….. you??? Do you make conscious decisions? or follow the opinions of others?

[Anthony Robbins]

‘Tour de Bay’ 45km Charity Bike Ride

A huge thank you to Steve Bates, the manager from Breathe Health Clubs Hervey Bay for sponsoring $50 for me to ride 45km in The Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre and Rotary Sunrise ‘Tour de Bay’ Charity Bike Ride to be held this Sunday October 16th in support of the Hervey Bay Youth Mentoring Program!!

In return I have sponsored $50 for Steve from Design House to also participate in this FUN charity event!

We had some amazing weather today for the event, especially after last nights storms, with almost 200 people participating raising a phenomenal $20,000. Steve had alittle stack at the half way mark but was not injured too seriously. I think I’ll do the 64km loop next year!

A huge thank you to the event organisers and volunteers!
The registration was smooth, the course was extremely well signed and the brekkie was delicious!

Cane to Coral (Bundy to Bargara) 15km Run

On Sunday I ran in the first ever Cane to Coral fun run with some friends.

I came in 3mins under my projected time which surprised me as there were a few long hills and the heat was extraordinary! The temperature in Bundaberg on Sunday was 26.6°C during the day and we were running in the direct sun, no shade nor not much breeze for my 1:27min run. This heat is quite unusual for the middle of winter!

The race was very popular with over 2,000 entrants and was extremely well run and organised. Thank you to all the sponsors (myself included) organisers and volunteers! Especially Neil and Anita! Can’t wait for next years!

This event is organised by cane2coral incorporated with the help and support of many volunteers and sponsors to raise money and awareness for ‘The QLD Cancer Council’ and ‘Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club.


Donating Blood Take 2

Monday night it was off with the girls for my second attempt at donating blood. You can read about my first amusing experience here. Both myself and my friend Emma were far more successful donating 440ml each and not doing the full bag of 470ml as the staff cut us short and told us we were too skinny …..Helloooooo I’ll take that as a compliment!

Kirsty another friend of mine came along too for her first go and went really well with no problems. She even had the Dalai Lama giving her guidance with his autobiography sitting on her lap!

Well done ladies, see you in 3 months time with hopefully some more recruits!

To find out more about the opportunity to donate blood and help others, please click here.

Today’s Good Deed – Donating Blood

I decided this week’s new challenge would be ‘Giving Blood’. I’ve never done this before but have wanted to for ages. Therefore with a best mate of mine Emma in town, who is an experienced blood donor I ceized the opportunity and asked her if she may like to take me for my first experience!

We had a big lunch, drank heaps of water and headed to the Hervey Bay Blood Bank. After filling in our forms we had our blood pressure taken, followed by a finger prick test to read if our Haemoglobin levels were within a healthy range and were then taken into the blood taking room.

As Emma was quicker than me with the paperwork being a regular donor you can imagine my surprise when walking in and finding her nearly upside down, legs in the air, ice pack on her arm and damp cloth on her forward!!! I just thought OMG what am I in for deciding whether it would be rude or not to giggle at Emma!!!! Poor Emma’s experience didn’t go as well as usual this time (even though she still had a smile on her face!), but being such a great mate I busted her in this amusing position saying to the nurses “quick, quick get me right before Jeanette comes in and sees” (not wanting me to freak out!) then saying, “see I told you she would take a photo!”

Next it was my turn. I was a little nervous before I had even seen Emma  and had already gone to the toilet 3 times as you have to drink heaps of water, 2L is recommended! I was fine with the needle, everything was going well, the nurse asked me how I was feeling and I said maybe a little light headed but that could be due to nerves. I then mentioned that my hands were starting to sweat, she decided that was enough for my first time. They took 270ml out which I thought was not too bad for my first go.

The staff at the Blood Bank were AWESOME, extremely professional, really nice and made me feel at ease. I will definitely donate again in 3 months time and recommend everyone give it a go!!!!!

Donating Blood

1 in 3 Australians will need blood products.
1 in 30 Australians give blood.

Donating blood – Giving blood takes just 5-10 minutes but you should allow about an hour from arrival to departure, which includes time for your interview and refreshments. You’ll feel a small pinch as the needle goes in, but it feels no worse than a pinch on the inside of your elbow. If you’re nervous about donating blood, let our staff know.

Safety – All equipment is sterile; needles are used only once and then discarded. In the great majority of individuals, a donation of 470mL is less than 10% of your total body volume and may be given safely every 12 weeks. Your body keeps on discarding and replenishing blood all the time whether you give blood or not, so this amount is quickly replenished.

Click here to learn more

Not the best odds, so get involved!

Chenrezig Institute – Buddhist Retreat

Chenrezig Institute – Buddhist Retreat


Chenrezig Institute is a centre for Buddhist study, meditation, retreat, and practice nestled in the foothills of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland in Queensland, Australia.

Established in 1974 Chenrezig Institute was the first Tibetan Buddhist centre in the Western World and remains one of the largest.

Today, the Institute is home to a Tibetan Geshe (Lama), a large community of ordained Sangha (nuns and monks), students, residents, volunteers, retreatants, and guests.

Apart from the formal study programmes, Chenrezig Institute is a peaceful, calm and relaxing place to spend a few hours, days or weeks. Stroll along the bush paths, wander in the formal garden, sip espresso in the café, have a vegetarian meal, drop in for a meditation class or teaching, or just sit and listen to life.

CI’s mission is to transmit the Tibetan Buddhist tradition as the path to ultimate happiness and freedom from suffering.

Buddha Bootcamp!

This is the name our teacher gave to the Calm Abiding Meditation Course | Retreat I have just completed on Sunday taught by Choeying a very wise Buddhist nun who has studied Buddhism for 20+ years. By the end of the course it sure felt like Bootcamp, I was physically and mentally exhausted!

What I was I looking for in deciding to learn meditation?

I guess less anger and stress plus more knowledge and skills to become a better person.

What did I learn? Where does one start!!!!

  1. Well the same principles as any Bootcamp apply – No Pain No Gain!
  2. We all consist of 2 things; our mind and body.
  3. The course is about ‘Letting go”
  4. We are all deluded!!!
  5. Let your thoughts come in, be with it, let it go!
  6. Nothing will bring you happiness if you don’t fix your mind.
  7. Our mind determines whether our life is good or bad.
  8. Alertness & mindfulness are the 2 things we want as a meditator.
  9. Our enemy is our teacher; they have a message for us. They are our mirror what do we need to learn?
  10.  The better your posture the better your meditation.
  11. Don’t avoid pain, understand why it is there, then let it go.
  12. Pain is temporary.
  13. See pain as your teacher.
  14. The pain in our body during meditation is years of blocked emotion that needs to be released.
  15. Everything is impermanent.
  16. A lifelong tool and skill to handle any situation.
  17. You really have to come along to experience it, it is so deep.

Choeying has taught extensively in many parts of the world and has now started her own Sanctuary on the Fraser Coast. We are very blessed to have the opportunity to learn from her. This was officially the first Calm Abiding Meditation Course taught at The Oddiyana Dharma Sanctuary and a huge honour to be a part of such an enlightening experience.

Are you seeking a challenge | life altering experience, plus the tools | skills to control your mind and the opportunity to meet likeminded people? Then please contact Choeying for information on the next course 07 4124 5530 or choeying.dolma@gmail.com

Quote of the course from Peter’s homework diary; “Why am I listening to this woman who believes she is going to come back in another life and be able to fly!”

Gala Charity Ball; OMG $166,000 raised!!!

The 4th Annual Forget Me Not Children’s Orphanage Charity Ball was on again last night at Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island.

I attended the Ball with Fraser Coast Regional Mayor, Mick Kruger and my friend Naomi Wood.
The ball started this year from the Marina cruising on board the Spirit of Hervey Bay enjoying alcoholic beverages on route to Fraser Island. We then proceeded to the function room at Kingfisher Bay where we enjoyed a three course alternative drop meal plus free beer and wine.

We listened to Lars Olsen founder of the orphanage and viewed plans for the projected further development, buildings and stages involved.

This was followed by 6 live auctions raising $19K +. Quite a lot of testosterone could be felt in the room as alcohol infused men bid big dollars & egged each other on.

20 people from the floor also took to the front stage to pledge a donation of $500 each with over a third of the people at the ball being from Bundaberg.

As the night progressed and the drinks & dollars flowed it looked like over 80% of Stage 1 of the proposed 6 stage plan would be achieved just from the donations at this one ball! The response was overwhelming.

I won an Award for ‘Best Fancy Dressed Female 2009’ and I wasn’t even in fancy dress, that’s how I was dressed normally!!!! (How Funny!)

Next we had an Amazing performance from the very talented Jon Stevens. I had hoped to have a photograph taken with Jon after his performance as it was mentioned he would be coming out to mingle. Disappointingly we never saw Jon again with some commenting on his appearance as being brief even though it was well over an hour far longer than he had been booked for!! (Nice job Jon!) Time flys by when your having FUN!!!! (Luckily we had snapped a couple of shots while Jon was on stage).

Once again a very professional and successful night for the Forget Me Not Children’s Orphanage team and a sensational job by organiser Debbie Haigh from Haigh’s Jewellers.

$35K Rush QLD /NT
$30K McDonalds Bundaberg, Gympie, Hervey Bay
$19,600K+ live auctions on the night
$15K Private Donation
$15K Cardno (in services to build)
$14K + Silent auctions
$13, 800K + Ticket Profit
$10K in $500 lot donations from 20 ball attendees (the 500 Club)
$5K Hotondo Homes
$2,900K +  Haigh Jewellers emerald & diamond pendant
$1K The Pier Pavillion
TOTAL RAISED $166,000.00

Ticket cost went up from $120  to $195 this year, it has not been mentioned yet whether some of this cost will also be donated.

Click here to read Lars Olsen’s Quick News.

Some more exciting news from organiser Debbie Haigh…!

a)    The final figure which was a straight donation from every ticket purchased was $107 per ticket!!!

b)    Jon was given a private transfer & a drive around the Great Sandy Straits & over to Kingfisher by ‘That’s Awesome’ which he totally loved (totally sponsored)

c)    Jon was given a private transfer off the island by MI Helicopters & they gave him an aerial tour on the way to the airport.(totally sponsored)

d)    FMN had a Chef travel onsite to cook a fantastic meal for the Ball Committee & Jon & his crew on the Friday night – It was a great night (totally sponsored)

e)    Jon, Dion & Adam (the guitarists), Tommy (the sound engineer) & Simon (his manager) were very impressed with Hervey Bay & Fraser Island. They were also very impressed with the generosity of the people on the night.

f)     Jon does a lot of charity work, but not in venues this small. He did it only because of Lars & Forget Me Not – They were very taken with the organisation.

g)    Jon had personally waived his performance fee for this event – but we still had costs from the rest of his crew, which were covered by our platinum sponsor  *‘Harris Dental Boutique’ Bundaberg & three gold sponsors *McDonalds –Bundaberg, Gympie, Hervey Bay *Bay Dental Care – Hervey Bay *ABN AMRO Morgans – Bundaberg

h)    Jons Performance – was 85 minutes

i)     Jump in ticket price included; Private transfer over & back … alcohol all night … headline entertainment plus a much larger donation per ticket from last year

Sigatoka River Safari Fiji

Talk about the experience of a life time!

The Sigatoka River Safari tour is described as “Simply Unforgettable” and two days later my heart still lies in the Village of Vunaqoru with my new friends, especially Aggie.

The day started from our resort in Denarau with a scenic bus trip through the countryside to the Coral Coast town of Sigatoka where we ventured further through the Sigatoka Valley enjoying spectacular scenery of the Fijian country side.

We then began our safari Jet Boat ride with Captain “Jack Sparrow” (Josh) learning about the cannibal history in Fiji. Christianity was introduced to Fiji which put an end to cannibalism but not after a missionary Thomas Baker was eaten for touching a comb in the chiefs hair which the then Fijians felt brought them years of hardship in their villages… click here to find out more. We also discussed the operations of the river and history of the valley.

Upon arriving at our village we were met by a lovely local lady named Aggie and were guided a further 500m into the Fijian highlands. After the protocol was explained including the wearing of a sarong (ladies must be covered past the knees) and the removal of hats & shoes due to respect for traditional culture we proceeded to meet the Village Chief and elders participating in a traditional kava ceremony.

We then walked throughout the village viewing the simplicity of their lifestyle and learning about their day activities. Aggie told us they have no electricity and their next village project is to bring a cable across the river which would cost $11,000 then $300 for each home to be connected to the electricity. They are nearly finished rebuilding their church that was destroyed with the floods in January due to the help of a $5,000 donation from an Australian business man who also fell in love with the villagers on his visit. The villagers use a generator to operate two televisions, have running water from a spring, pay $60 per acre to hire a tractor and sell the numerous vegetables they grow to create an income. The process in Fiji seems to be to raise a little funds, do a little more work to your project, taking time and numerous stages to complete a project which could be seen in the construction of a house and the church.
You will soon notice in Fiji everything is done on Fiji Time – No Hurry, No Worry!

Aggie explained to me they have early nights without electricity, not much TV makes lots of babies, we both couldn’t stop giggling again.

200 people live in the village with the children crossing the river each morning and walking 2km to go to school. Aggie goes to the town once a week on the bus, after crossing the river to buy supplies and said she thoroughly enjoys her day out but it is hard work to get everything back across the river.

The villagers gave us an amazing home cooked lunch and then sang songs and kindly invited us to dance. I couldn’t stop laughing at some of our new groovy moves and had an absolute ball leading my first ever Fijian Congo line through the villagers in the Community Hall.
Upon leaving, I felt terrible for not asking the Chief if he may enjoy a dance!

I asked Aggie if the Chief would mind if I took a photo with him. She said she would ask and couldn’t stop giggled saying “You Single, Chief Single!!” I then also couldn’t stop laughing ,specifying just a photo would be more that generous!

I had so much fun dancing, Aggie offered I could stay with her overnight any time I liked and we could dance all night with breaks to catch our breath. What a kind offer and something I would be delighted to do one day.

As we left in the jet boat it was lucky I had on my sunnies as I felt such sadness and a tear in my eye, thinking how blessed I was to be part of such a special day with such friendly special people and couldn’t stop waving to Aggie till I could no longer see her.

On the return trip we did a few donuts / 360 degree burnouts with Captain Sparrow, squealing with laughter and getting quite drenched.

What a once in a lifetime experience!
I would recommend this tour if you have the privilege of visiting Fiji, get away from the tourism and become a part of the real heart of the Fiji, the people! Your life will be touched by the experience…

10% of your ticket cost is donated to the villages plus you are able to make a personal donation on your visit if you chose to do so.
There are 12 villages in this exciting project with this soon to be 14.

Sigatoka River Safari
Feb 2008 – Awarded Fiji’s Best Adventure Tour at the Annual AON Tourism Awards
Feb 2009 – Awarded the Best Fiji Experience at the annual AON Tourism Awards

Positive Change

Last Night I went to the Urangan Community Centre to listen to Lama Choedak Rinpoche a Tibetan Meditation Master talk on “How to bring about Positive Change”.

What an absolutely enlightening evening, with plenty of laughs at how disillusioned we are from a very engaging, intelligent, wise, positive & amusing speaker.

I was even laughing pretty hard at myself about some of things I have let consume me!

I also had the pleasure of meeting Choeying Dolma a Buddhist nun living in Hervey Bay. Well I didn’t even know there were Buddhist nuns; I assumed only monks let alone one right here in town! (How disillusioned of me!)

The Lama really switched back on a light bulb for me reinforcing personal self growth traits and goals I had been working on for enlightenment. Some of the key notes I enjoyed and will reflect upon were…

•1.    We must accept changes that are happening, everything is IMPERMANENT!

•2.    We refuse to think different & change our own opinions creating our own difficulties & suffering!

•3.    People blame god or someone immediate in their lives, never themselves for their own views!

•4.     All suffering stems from selfishness!

•5.    People’s senses are deceived by their own afflictions!

•6.    People believe the perceptive truth as the ultimate truth!

•7.    People make themselves suffer without realising they are the cause!

•8.    People justify their wrong by blaming others!

•9.    Positive change is to examine what the 5 senses are bringing in with your 6th sense.

•10. People magnify small issues that you can’t see the good things your loved ones do!

•11. We want to believe that our suffering is caused by someone else & we want others to believe that we are the victim.

•12.  Some people see poison as medicine and others medicine as poison!

•13.  Buddhists practice meditation to air deceptive truth.

•14.  We must have our senses to be sensible. Sensibility comes when you are focused.

•15.  Afflictions obscure your mind & make you see non existing things & make you believe they are real.

•16.  Whatever you attach to are causes of suffering even your success.

•17.  No success is ultimate cause of happiness.

•18.  Positive change has to have a beneficial outcome.

•19. Treasure time & energy while you have them.

•20. Don’t worry about what didn’t go well, it’s too late & you’re wasting time now.

•21. Our past is only a memory, why remember bad things not the fantastic things!

•22. Talk less about your delusions & more about the greatness others do for you!

•23. People have a lack of the present, accept where you are now!

•24.  Look with eyes of kindness, compassion & wisdom.

•25.  Are you getting what you want or getting what you need?

•26. If you let something go your hands are free to receive good!

•27. Your relationship with yourself is most important.

•28.  Buddha said, “Be your own master, not seek one from outside”.

•29.  Most importantly, everything is IMPERMANENT!

For more information on the Padma Buddhist Centre at Point Vernon in Hervey Bay, Please contact Peter: 07 4124 2980 pleney@smartchat.net.au  or Choeying Dolma: choeying.dolma@gmail.com

Find out more about the Lama here.

Latest News arrives via airmail from South Africa

World Vision

I always love receiving letters from my World Vision sponsor child.

I chose her as her birthday is on the 16th of August which is the anniversary of the passing of Elvis Presley. Being a huge Elvis fan I saw this as a sign from above that the King had chosen this child for me to sponsor!!! I’m pretty sure she would not even know who Elvis was and may consider my rationalisation a little off with the fairies!

She is in grade four, lives in South Africa, enjoys athletics and wants to be a doctor when she finishes school and her sister wants to be a nurse.

I find her letters very well written and enjoy the photo’s that are occasionally included and the updates on what is being done in her community due to the sponsorship money received . This year there was construction of 2 toilet blocks at the primary school, receiving of 5000L rainwater tanks at four schools, two additional class rooms added, new school bags to carry books, orphans received school uniforms, HIV & AIDS awareness conducted….

Over the last couple of years I have posted her numerous books (some educational children’s books on the human body seeing as she wants to be a doctor), colouring pencils and crayons, toy doctor sets, assorted toys, colouring books, sarongs, hats, bags, pencil cases etc….she is very good and tells me she shares with her sister (lucky I send two of everything!)

My parcels can take about 3months to get there by ship. I sent this one pictured above for her birthday in August and it has just got there recently. I guess she will receive her Christmas one in March or later!

Letters from her are written in Zulu and then translated.

A quote from one of her first letters; “Oh my friend I don’t know what I can say about your present, it’s unbelievable to me…..what a beautiful hat and socks…..from today, me and my sister will never be heated from sun because we have hat…I’m going to be a doctor of tomorrow using my doctor set….I love you my friend, my sister is very happy because we are going to share….please pass my regards to all of your family”

I find sponsoring this child very rewarding!!!!

….for more details on World Vision child sponsorship please click here….