How do you know if you’ve found the right person?

chipped metal heart

I have this theory…

Nobody is ever 100%.

As in, NO-body you EVER meet or end up with is EVER going to be 100% the person of your dreams.

They might be, for a time, in that rosy, heady, frisson-inducing period the experts (i.e. Wikipedia) call limerence.

But once that wears off, the theory kicks in.

Trust me. I’m feeding you pearls here.

So if nobody is ever 100%.

Stop looking for it.

And focus on this instead…

A high average.

A really high average is even better.

If you hit the 80s or 90s you’ve really lucked out.

What are the must haves? Well yours might be very different but these are mine.

1.  Similar values. You might want different things in life but fundamentally you need to believe and value similar things.

2.  If you fight. And you will. You need to be able to move forward after a fight. If you keep playing on a loop and not growing and not moving forward, you’ve got an issue.

3.  Laugh. Don’t underestimate the joy of being with someone who makes you laugh.

4.  Talk. You need to be able to talk, and sometimes that’s difficult, but when passion fades you have to be able to connect in different ways. And that can be just as beautiful in its own way.

5.  There’s got to be spark. That’s completely inexplicable but it must be there.

6.  And last, but perhaps most importantly, you must share a love for some tragic TV show. I’ve written about this over the years. A shared love of SURVIVOR. Or jumping aboard Ragnar Lothbrok’s vessel together every Thursday night with VIKINGS. I can see you shaking your heads. I know. Just try it. That’s all I’m saying. One hour a week.

What do you do about the bits that are missing? Well ..

1. You have to decide whether they are total deal breakers. And only you can answer that one…


2. You look to your friends or colleagues or the community to fill your cup. And really that’s just as important in the mix of life as well.

The real issue is when you drop below the 50% mark and suddenly there’s more bad than good. That’s the ultimate deal breaker. When the bad consistently outweighs the good.

Why am I writing this?

Because sometimes I get filled with silly fears and an urge to leave snippets of sage advice for the kids to make life-mattering decisions. I’ve considered Post-it notes on the fridge but somehow they don’t have the same sense of gravitas.

I have written (what I wickedly call) an If I Die Book which totally freaks the family out but it’s basically a How To Guide for them to function if I drop off the perch. Behind their eye rolling I know it gives them secret comfort ;)

I have no plans to do any of the above. Just think of this as a Post-it note for life. Maybe we could create a new category here lol. Take from it what you will. Now go and find yourselves some spark. And feel free to add to your own thoughts on the subject.

Aunty Marg


P.S. Steve has just read this and reminded me that there are exceptions to my theory and that I am very lucky to live with one. God love ‘im.


    Punakha, Bhutan aka seventh heaven

    “Keep an eye out on the road to Punakha, they might be roasting corn,” she calls out as we’re leaving.

    And as we drop down below the clouds – after a bone jarring couple of hours on a road scheduled to be finished later this year – there they are.

    I love these moments, standing by the roadside, chatting away with the help of our guide, Penjo and driver, Wangchuk.

    roasted roadside corn bhutan

    It’s Saturday and we get wind that the weekly food markets are on.

    punakha food market bhutan

    Bhutan is chilli central at the moment. Everywhere we go the roofs are covered in red chillies, drying in the sun.

    little girl with hair clip bhutan

    The national dish is Ema Datchi, a wickedly hot dish of chillies and yak cheese, a little like feta.

    punakha market bhutan details

    I’m snapping away madly …


    And the boys are busy negotiating a price for a whole sack. They’re so funny together.

    penjo and wangchuk

    weighing chillis bhutan

    I am dragged away and taken for a walk to a Madman’s Temple through rice fields a week or two away from harvest.

    rice fields punakha

    And then on to the mighty Punakha Dzong.

    punakha dzong detail

    If I could I would take you inside but I can’t. No photos are allowed within the temples. There are 40 gold plated columns inside the innermost temple, embossed with thunder dragons. It stops us in our tracks. This is the emotional heart of Bhutan, the ancient capital.

    punakha dzong details

    A peaceful night’s sleep and a little hike deeper along the valley.

    punakha valley

    Lunch by the river and Steve leaves a little piece of himself behind.

    steve in bhutan

    And me? Well I’m just in seventh heaven.

    marg in bhutan


      Bathurst’s best kept secret …

      Taking inspiration from a new friend I am trying to walk 2kms morning and evening.

      I need some company so you’re just going to have to come with me.

      orange gate bathurst

      I think you’d like Bathurst.

      It’s got a little bit of everything.

      architecture bathurst

      And a community needs a little bit of everything, otherwise it’s at risk of finding itself gated and out of touch with the world.

      old gate bathurst

      A community needs different textures.

      textures of Bathurst

      Some old and new. Some big and small. All living alongside each other. In an ideal world, all keeping an eye out for each other.

      deco house bathurst

      daisy cottage

      I got chatting to a local builder this morning about how it’s nice to walk in a town that has a grid system of streets. How you can wander any number of ways to and from your destination.

      And he said “You wanna know Bathurst’s best kept secret?”

      “Sure. Fire away.”


      (Raglan is a suburb out near the airport. You pass it on your way in from Sydney.)

      “Raglan?” I said trying to pull down my sceptical eyebrows.

      “Raglan is a fantastic community. There’s a system of laneways running through it that I think date back to the old sani-carts. Anyway the kids are all out on their bikes and everyone knows everyone and if any of them gets out of line someone will growl at them and say ‘I’ll tell your old man.’  They have an annual cricket match – east versus west – worked out by which side of the central street you live on. It’s a great little community.”

      “It sounds it,” I said, sceptical eyebrows packed away.

      Old school. Cool.

      The things you learn …

      Moments later I was taking this shot of a little public laneway up the block and a man stood next to me and said “I’ve lived here three years and I never knew that was there.”

      secret path Bathurst

      So which way shall we go? Shall we take a secret path? Or turn left or right?

      left or right bathurst

      heading home

      Or just head for home?

      A little morning postcard.

      Have a beautiful day.


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