Excerpt from the five-day writing retreat I’ve just returned from. Day one…

I’m the girl who loves cats, scrawny or fat, fluffy or flat, cuddly or coy.

I’m the girl who loves the jingle jangle of an armful of bangles, and the sweet sentimental memories of an amethyst necklace.

­I’m the girl who loves to be loved, for fear she’ll never be loved enough, and hungers for hugs and connections, smiles and acceptance.

I’m the girl whose heart is cleaved to music. Who felt the rhythms and vibrations of Mozart and Messiaen, Bach and Brahms, Charlie Parker and Louis Armstrong, pulsing through the soft comforts of my mother’s womb.

I’m the girl who longed for babies of her own all her living days, and hugged those cherubs to her bosom from the moment they were conceived.

I’m the girl who loves to travel – to an island near or far. A country overflowing with foreign flavours, mountains to climb, oceans to dive into, alleyways to explore.

I’m the girl who adores her friends, but chooses wisely whom to befriend.

I’m the girl who loves pink lady apples, Lindt chocolates, King Island triple brie, Liam’s crème brulee, warm toast with melted butter and just a smear of vegemite.

I’m the girl who loves her own bed, with it’s carefully chosen soft sheets and the goldilocks pillow that’s just right, and the little furry bunny to cling to each night.

I’m the girl who loves to love, to teach, to cuddle, to care, to nurture and nourish. To be wanted and appreciated and thanked.

I’m the girl who likes to drive too fast, who loves spinach pies and pumpkin soups and my mother’s cooking and my father’s good will.

I’m the girl who loves fit balls and kettle bells. Suspension trainers and resistance bands. The exhilaration of becoming fit and strong and the sense of community from the wonderful women of the gym.

I’m the girl who loves boho and raincoats and the smell of wet grass and the sun on a winter’s afternoon.

I’m the girl who loves the radiance of an open fire on a cold winter’s night, with a lover’s arm around me and a sleepiness in my soul.

I’m the girl who loves to write. To work with words and fill the page with nonsense and to write some more, exploring the hidden depths I can touch in no other manner.