The Fault in our Stars


Ashlea and I are very excited about the release of ‘The fault in our stars‘. We have booked our seats for new Thursday. Whoohoo.


Thanks for past 6 months Ashlea

IMG_1232Hi, my name is Ashlea and I am a fourteen year old student in year eight. I am the oldest of four children and am constantly surrounded by my younger siblings and cousins. I share in Mum’s passion for writing and reading and can say I am most happiest when I can indulge in either. I am excited about writing a blog as I get the chance to practice both passions.

My favourite genre to read and write is teenage fiction, especially fantasy. I also have an interest in Greek Mythology, recently having decided to write a story based on some of these myths. When I read and write I feel as though I can escape our crazy lifestyle and fall into my own surreal creation.

My Mum and I have a special bond, one that we have based on mutual likes and dislikes. I hope that between the pair of us we are able to shed new light on different topics or help your burning questions. Even though our worlds may seem miles apart, I know Mum and our parallel connections will always be there for me.


100th BLOG

So between the pair of us, mum and I have officially written 100 posts on our blog – Our Parallel Connection. It has been really enjoyable and interesting to write with mum and look at how similar or different our ideas can be. I love writing about different topics as it has taught me many things about my own thoughts and ideas. I know have developed as a writer whilst working on this blog and I know that mum has as well.

I think working on this blog with mum has brought us closer and now I know even more about how she thinks and writes. I feel more confident as a writer and ready to take on greater writing challenges (which we are looking into as I write). I love writing with mum and love writing for everyone who reads our blog. Ask your friends to join our blog, just for fun. It’s hard to describe the confidence I’ve gained over the past 100 posts and I think I speak on behalf of mum and myself when I say that we can’t wait to write 100 more.

I would like to thank everyone for their continual support for Our Parallel Connection.  I personally can’t wait to pursue even more interesting topics and ideas. I love writing about things that are going on in my life and comparing it to what mum has to say and I hope everyone else does as well. see ya Ash xxx

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It is amazing how time goes by so quickly. Ashlea and I began this journey in November last year, purely out of the joy we both have for writing. The past 6 months have been wonderful and I have enjoyed spending that extra little bit of time with my teenage daughter. A mother daughter relationship is precious but can get a little strained or tense at times. This blog helps keep our relationship on track.

Over the past 100 posts, my favourite part is reading what Ash has to say on the topic chosen. Sometimes we discuss topics, while other times we tell each other what we would like to write about. It works both ways. I am lucky as I get to delve into my daughters mind, hearing what her true thoughts are on topics most parents would never discuss. It is a privilege to have this wonderful opportunity and I would like to thank Ashlea for jumping on board with me and putting all her heart and soul into every post. I love you Ash….

Precious Memories by natalie


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The fun begins as your loved ones beautiful stories are gathered, collated and transformed into Precious Memories.


Book Review – ‘Touching the Rock’ by John Hull

‘Touching the Rock’ by John Hull

John Hull was born in 1935 in Victoria, Australia, with full vision. In 1980, after many years of experiencing issues with his sight, he became legally blind (Hull). John wrote a book about his experiences with coping from being a sighted individual to learning how to deal with the blankness. This book is ‘Touching the Rock’, an experience of blindness.

I will review three extracts taken from the book – ‘Faces’, ‘Rain’ and ‘Between you and me, a smile’.

 FACES – “There are those with faces, and those without faces . Hull describes how he can still picture people he knew before he lost his sight, however the people he has met since, are without a face. He compares his lack of vision to an art gallery. There are canvasses on the wall, some of which are familiar to him, some which are blank. The blank canvasses are new faces, ones he has never seen and struggles to visualise. The contrast between a gallery and his sight is beautifully written and effective.

As I study this section, I close my eyes, becoming part of his darkness, to form a connection with the gallery. Some canvasses on the wall have a clear image with intricate details forcefully pushing through the darkness. Then I come across a blank canvass, nothing catching my attention. The harder I try to form a picture, anything at all, the further the canvass falls into nothingness. But I can open my eyes and pursue the image, Hull cannot.

Hull describes the images he has of his three children, three years after becoming blind. His eldest child is now ten years old but his memory is of photo’s taken of her up until she was seven. His youngest child he has never actually seen, so she is a blank portrait, like many others in his life.

The sadness of ‘Faces’ flows through out, making me feel sympathetic for his major loss. He almost appears to be bitter, angry at his loss, which is understandable. He is expressing his mourning for his sight through the loss of never being able to see his children grow up, a realisation he may not have fully understood until now.

 RAIN – “…it has granted a gift to me, the gift of the world”. Hull describes a simple experience of opening his front door and it is raining. This was written only a few months after ‘Faces’ but the difference in the emotion of the two is extreme.

He has been able to capture every intricate detail of what rain feels like, smells like, sounds like and even looks like through the eyes of the eyeless. He is joyous in his words and believes he is at one with the world when it is raining. An amazingly uplifting section, I smiled through out, wishing as I read that the rain would fall outside.

I have never looked at rain in the way Hull does. Yes I have vision but it made me realise just how beautiful the world is with simple, common experiences. Hull was able to see the world as a sighted person sees the world when it rains, as every sense in his body became sensitised to his surroundings.

There was no loss in this section, no deep sadness, only recognition of his reality. It was as though this part of his life, which he had taken for granted, now was the part that made him happy with losing his vision. ‘Rain’ is the journal log that is most commonly used for promotion of his book; (Hull, RAIN 9th September 1983), maybe it is when the light finally began to shine through.

BETWEEN YOU AND ME, A SMILE – “…the breakdown which blindness causes in the language of smiles . This is written six years after losing his vision and he is with his youngest child helping her get dressed. They exchange smiles but his daughter is confused how he knows that she is smiling.

Such a touching moment that I shed a little tear. A tear for his loss of never seeing his child smile. A tear for his joy at knowing his child was smiling with him. A tear for his knowledge that he had accepted his lot in life and his children were flourishing.

I knew when I read this that I needed to read the complete book. He is not trying to hide what it is like to be blind. He is not focusing on all the negatives about being blind. His words gave me the opportunity to see how he sees life and it is not as dark as I originally believed.

In an interview with Hull by Mary D’Apice from VisionAware, Hull talks about the first few years he did not register that he was actually blind. He talks about his acceptance of blindness, understanding fully in order for it to not destroy his life.

It was through his many vivid dreams that he learnt how to begin to deal with his loss and move on with life. Hull also points out what many people think maybe helpful for those who are blind or assumed about those with no sight, something I must admit I thought too. Not judging a book by its cover (sorry about the pun) is a lesson I learnt from reading his private journal.

Reading his book, I felt like I went through the journey with him. He went through the acceptance and then the understanding and now leads a full and active life. A beautifully written journal, something to read when you need time to slow down and gain a deeper appreciation of life. Highly recommended to all age groups.

FOMO (Fear of missing out)

How do I teach my children to cope when they miss out on something, when at times I hate missing out too. This week a group of friends have headed off to Bali for a 10 day holiday. I am so happy for them as everyone deserves a break from reality. However, it is an opportunity I would have loved to partake in but just wasn’t able to co-ordinate everything.

FOMO (fear of missing out) is now a word used to describe what many young (and older) people suffer from. With technology at our fingertips, we are constantly being updated on what our family and friends are up to. These snippets are exactly that.. snippets of their lives. No-one wants to put an updated status of …’I just ate dinner of mash and sausages’… BORING. So everyone only puts the good things that happen, and sometimes these good things maybe slightly exaggerated too. 

I don’t like to miss out on the fun things in life, whether it be with my family or friends, but I understand that I cannot be a part of everything. However, it is always nice to asked. Cherishing in the moment is the most important thing, not wondering what I might be missing out on. When I am with my children, it is their time with me, and that is something that I do cherish. cheers natalie



Fear of Missing Out is very real, especially in my generation. We live on technology and our lives our ruled by social media. I know that when I don’t have access to the Internet, I always seem to miss lots of Instagram and Facebook updates. I don’t think that I necessarily fear missing out on things but I do think that I can stress about missing important information. It’s so easy to miss photos, videos or messages that everyone talks about and it can only take one day to fall behind on what’s trending.

FOMO (fear of missing out) can be very real amongst many people. Not being able to join in on every little thing in life can be a major problem for lots of people. Since I have siblings, I see them do things on their own without me so I am used to it. As well as siblings, I have a massive family so missing out on things hasn’t always been an issue for me. I do think that having easy access to social networking that allows you to see what other people are doing, makes it easier to feel as though you are missing out.

The instantaneous jealousy that people can feel from seeing people do things that they wish they could do is probably a lot more common than missing out. I think that many people do have a fear of missing out and whether or not it is just feeling as if they aren’t wanted, it is a real thing for some people. For other people though I think it is more of a fear of being left behind and not knowing what is going on. If I were to classify myself into one of these fields I would definitely say that I have a fear of being left behind. see ya Ash

Check out our new business


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I would like to introduce our friends of Our Parallel Connection to a new business venture.

Everyone has a story to tell and those cherished moments should never be forgotten. Preserve your loved ones memories and photos, celebrating their life for generations to come, in a beautifully bound storybook to keep forever. Every story, every book is individually designed and personally constructed from beginning to end.

Precious Memories by natalie

I am woman, hear me roar

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NEW BUSINESS … excited

NEW BUSINESS … excited

I am almost ready to launch my new business…. I am very excited… Can’t you tell?Photo on 15-05-14 at 9.14 PM #2

Happy Mothers Day


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