Why chronic pain is weird

Waiting for my second PENS (peripheral neuromodulation nerve stimulation) procedure, 2016.  One of many surgeries and treatments in my 5 years of pain.

When you’re on antidepressants it’s nearly impossible to cry.

It’s frustrating actually because when you’re watching the heart-wrenching part of a Pixar movie, where it’s your usual cue to start blubbering, there’s just nothing.

Some wetness in your eye, but that’s it.

Kind of like when you can’t quite reach the climax of an orgasm, and you’re pointing your toes and doing all your usual let’s-get-this-finished moves but you realise it’s a done deal.

There’s no more juice in the tank so you roll over and grunt in defeat.

Anyway, where was I? Pixar movies, right.

Continue reading “Why chronic pain is weird”


I swear with my kids and we’re cool with that

By Penny Shipway from Queens of Constance – Constance Hall


OK I’d be lying to say that I don’t cringe completely at that headline. And I’m pretty sure my husband may not actually side with me entirely.

But can we all at least establish that if I was to cry, “oh f*ck it!” at the school playground every single parent’s head would turn and give me, probably, a very puzzled look.

“Did she just say what I think she said?” they would say. “Did she really just go there?” they’d debate and walk off hurriedly hoping I might just vanish into thin air.

Of course I’ve never cried “oh f*ck it!” in the schoolyard (I save that one for when I’m wiping up Weet-Bix smeared over the entire kitchen floor).

But what I do know for a fact is that swearing is still a big old taboo and if an unsavoury type (like me) dared to even utter one of those boorish phraseologies within ear shot of one of my children (oopsy!) I would to this day be considered a rather unpleasant, foul-mouthed mother.

A few years ago I decided to test the waters to see where my friends were at with their kids’ swearing levels. I figured I could make this embarrassing admission within the safety net of a tight clique at a casual barbecue.


Fraser Island is a wild ride for familes!

Story from Flight Centre by Penny Shipway

Flanked in natural beauty and steeped in cultural heritage, it’s no wonder Fraser Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia. This World Heritage-listed wonderland, where sandy beaches are long and uninterrupted, freshwater lakes are sublime, and ancient rainforests are simply magic – ideal for families.

Long, uninterrupted beach driving is guaranteed to soothe the soul. (Image: Penny Shipway)


5 alternatives to meditation

Mindful walking is a great way to wind down

By Penny Shipway from


Taking time out of your busy schedule to be with yourself is an important part of staying healthy, happy, and sane. But if “omming” isn’t your thing or you’re too anxious to sit still with your eyes closed, there are other ways to experience calm in your life. “But remember to unplug the computer, turn your phone off, and claim your personal space,” says Soraya Saraswati, Australian international writer, speaker, and facilitator of mindfulness and music meditation. Here, Saraswati shares her favorite meditations in action:


Taking your baby to Bali?

Story from Flight Centre by Penny Shipway

10 things you need to know before you go…

Thousands of Australians flock to Bali each year to experience its rich culture, exquisite cuisine, pure rainforests and sense of adventure. But if it’s your first time with baby in tow, there are a few things to consider. Here are 10 practical tips to keep things cheery in our favourite holiday spot:

Let your littlies be Bali beach babes. (Image: Shutterstock)



Fermenting foods: is it just hype?

fermented-foodStory from Kids on the Coast by Penny Shipway

Fitness and foodie nuts love nothing more than sending us bananas over the latest health food craze. There’s been kale chips, quinoa smoothies, acai bowls, chia puddings, coconut water, cold-pressed juice cleanses, overnight oats, ‘clean’ microwave cakes in a mug – we’ve seen it all. Even fruit and veg blasting machines are still getting a good run.

Well, now we have yet another health craze upon us. These days it’s all about fermenting.


Pic credit: Elise Ryan Naturopath


Is private schooling really worth the heartache?

Story from The Motherish by Penny Shipway
It was like a scene out of Gossip Girl: rich girls with their perfectly braided hair and matching ribbons being dropped off to school in their flashy cars.
There were Mercedes, BMWs, Range Rovers, a Bentley or two, while my parents pulled up to the school in an old Chrysler Sigma. I would flee the car as quickly as possible in the hope no one would see our embarrassment, bomb of a car. It was mortifying.
I was that girl.
A middle class girl in a rich kids’ school.
All my friends had mansions with circular drive ways and sparkling swimming pools that resembled Barbie’s Dreamhouse. We had an old Queenslander, which Dad painted himself, and a jacaranda tree which sprinkled its purple flowers over the backyard during spring.

Pic: polyvore.com