Friday, December 28, 2007

Playtime

Shallow pools of water splashing as raindrops hit.

Birds stand on the edge, with their heads cocked, waiting. Splash! The first jump. Water droplets fly upwards, mingling with the rain. Another bird takes the leap. One in, all in. The birds jump from puddle to puddle, splashing each other.

Tomorrow the puddles will be gone.


** I wrote this after rereading an email I sent to a friend. I was describing what was happening in my backyard after the heavy rains we had last week. So I pinched a couple of the sentences and edited them. **

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

It's 10.45 on Christmas Eve, and I've finished wrapping all my presents. I've spent a couple of hours babysitting my small sisters, and now I have the house to myself, my boy and my brother. We are watching Carol's by Candlelight, commenting on how much older so many of the regular participants are looking and drinking too much red wine. Whenever I can I flicked across to the Edinburgh Tattoo - I'm a sucker for pipes and drums.

Tomorrow morning I'll be given breakfast in bed for my birthday, and then my boy will head off for his family Christmas in rural Victoria :( After that my father and small sister will come over to give me my birthday present, and then he will drive my brother and I across to my mothers to spend Christmas. We really are quite civilised these days.

Lunch will be for my birthday, and I've already put in an order for a chilli and garlic calamari salad, followed by marinated lamb and greek salad. Yum, all my favourite flavours. We will all probably collapse for a couple of hours before going outside to play with whatever demented game my mother bought for Christmas this year - somehow I suspect quoits will have another outing! Then, dinner - ham, chicken, salads, salads, beef, followed by pavlova. I think the only reason my stepbrother and sister in law get invited is for her pavlova :)

Have a safe and happy Christmas everyone! How will you be celebrating it?

Friday, December 21, 2007

25 December

I am in a dim room. I can see vague forms around me, and hear breathing and nervous giggling. I feel the anticipation build. I see a faint glow coming towards me, getting brighter and flickering. I smell recently lit matches. I can hear my family singing; "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you"

****My challenge this week - write everything in the first person, and include as many senses as possible.****

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

If ... meme

I stole this meme from Mike. I'm not going to tag anyone for it, but if you want to do it, go for it.

If I were a beginning, I would be ... it was a dark and stormy night

If I were a month, I would be ... May
If I were a time of day, I would be ... 5.47 am. A time with soft light, and not many people.
If I were a planet, I would be ... Neptune

If I were a season, I would be ... Autumn, constantly changing.
If I were a sea animal, I would be ... dugong

If I were a direction, I would be ... forwardly
If I were a piece of furniture, I would be ... dusty. Seriously though, I would be a beanbag. Is that furniture, or just a bag full of beans?
If I were a sin, I would be ... deadly

If I were a liquid, I would be ... viscuous
If I were a scare, I would be ... tactics

If I were a gem, I would be ... unpolished.

If I were a flower/plant, I would be ... a daffodil
If I were a kind of weather, I would be ... tropical
If I were a musical instrument, I would be ... a xylophone

If I were an animal, I would be ...a marsupial
If I were an emotion, I would be ... confusion
If I were a vegetable, I would be ... a pumpkin
If I were a sound, I would be ... echoed
If I were an element, I would be ... Pb

If I were a car, I would be ... a Leyland P76
If I were a song, I would be ... Amazing Grace
If I were a food, I would be ... cheese
If I were a place, I would be ... uninhabited

If I were a material, I would be ... silk
If I were a taste, I would be ... savoury
If I were a scent, I would be ... lingering

If I were a religion, I would be ... Om

If I were a sentence, I would be ... disjointed
If I were a facial expression, I would be ... a smirk
If I were a subject in school, I would be ... 19th century history

If I were a color, I would be ... bright red

If I were a thing, I would be ... a volkswagen

If I were a book, I would be ... much read
If I were an artist, I would be ... obscure
If I were a collection of poems, I would be ... studied in school
If I were a landmass, I would be ... an isthmus

If I were a watch, I would be ... 5 minutes fast
If I were God, I would be ... very surprised
If I were a vowel, I would be ... U.

If I were a consonant, I would be ... M

If I were a theory, I would be... Chaos

If I were a famous person, I would be ... checking my Wikipedia page daily
If I were an item of electronic equipment, I would be ... a CB radio

If I were a sport, I would be ... trugo
If I were a movie, I would be ... directed by Alan Smithee
If I were a cartoon, I would be ... Inspector Gadget
If I were an explorer, I would be ... lost
If I were a scientist, I would be ... Isaac Newton. My kind of scientist sits under a tree and waits for an apple to fall on their head.
If I were a relation, I would be ... an aunt
If I were a river, I would be ... murky

If I were intoxication, I would be ... public

If I were alone, I would be .... still in good company

If I were a question, I would be... unanswered
If I were a habit, I would be... bad
If I were in an atom, I would be ... an electron
If I were you, I would be ... my friend

Steal Away

Friday, December 14, 2007

Writing

I've been writing posts for the 55 Flash Fiction Friday blog. I find that the discipline of telling my story in 55 words is a real challenge. I haven't had to be that disciplined in my writing since my first year at uni, when we had a weekly assignment of 50 words. One week we would need to write without using adjectives, another week only in the present tense. I'm wondering what challenges I can come up with to try, to keep myself challenged and thinking.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sisters are doin' it for themselves

I had fun last night. It was my turn to help out with babysitting my (nearly) five year old sister. There was way more giggling than should be allowed.

We played with the inside ball, and I introduced her to playing tunnelball - possibly not ideal with 2 people, but I didn't hear any complaints. Thank goodness for polished boards.

Arial taught the butterfly to swim, and then the butterfly took Arial for a flight. I followed instructions and took their photo with my phone, and then we had to add clip art. To say she knows exactly what she wants to do is the understatement of the century.

Whenever I babysit I try to do something new and special with her. Last night we put the coins from my purse under a piece of paper and coloured over them wtih her pencils. The look on her face when she saw the numbers and animals appear was priceless. Doing them in colour was fun too - whatever colour I chose, she needed to use shortly afterwards. Luckily her purse had coins that Dad had given her from Singapore, Malaysia and Canada, so we had lots of different patterns and sizes to choose from.

My favourite part though, was her bedtime. Once she had her satiny pink nighty on (did someone say Princess?) it was time to read stories. I read the first Winnie the Pooh book properly, following exactly the words and pictures. I got into big trouble with the second book because I kept adding words to the sentences. When she stopped laughing at me, and telling me off for being silly, I was banished to lie on the floor next to her bed and listen to her read the story for me. I got into more trouble for heckling from the floor. That meant she read the story to me twice.

Last time I babysat, I sat and sang to her after we finished reading. This time, I had to do it again. Christmas songs this time. As all big sisters are required to do, I sang the wrong lyrics to Jingle Bells - "Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin flew away etc" Of course, then I had to explain Batman & Robin. Good King Wenceslas went down well, and so did Away in a Manger. I started the 12 Days of Christmas, but had way too many mental blanks for what happened on which day - unfortunately, in my version last night, my true love sent me lots of different chickens. I was okay going backwards from 5 gold rings, but on the way up, I got lots of chickens. Apparently they were a swimming too. If nothing else, she laughed. So did I - I unwound so much.

Friday, November 23, 2007

7 things

Betty tagged me with this meme ages ago and I've finally got my act together enough to do it.

1. Words are fun. I love playing with words and names. This has been pretty unfortunate for some of my pets, especially my rabbit Hopalong Casserole. I really enjoy stupid punning wars, and find they are a great shortcut to friendship. One of my favourite word games is based on a stupid joke. Q How many surrealists does it take to change a lightglobe? A Fish. The aim of the game is reverse word association. Whatever you say can't be associated with what the previous person said. It isn't easy - just don't do it when you are the driving.

2. I like voting. We have a Federal Election and I have to vote tomorrow. I hate the election campaign itself, and I'm so sick of seeing and hearing politicians ad nauseum, ad infinitum. I'm really excited that I get to walk down to the local tennis club or primary school, get myself ticked off the roll as having voted, get given 2 pieces of paper and a pencil and go and stand in a cardboard box to fill in the papers. I'll number 1 to 6 for the lower house, and then I'll select below the line for the house of review. I love standing in those cardboard boxes. Apparently that's odd.

3. I've always wanted to kiss the Blarney Stone. One thing I've always wondered is; if you already have the gift of the gab and you kiss it, does that mean you talk less? I'll try it September 10 next year, and I'll let you know.

4. I love that the spam folder of my gmail gives me Spam recipes. I can't imagine myself trying any of them in a pink fit, but I love some of the choices - Spam burritos, Spam Confetti Pasta, Spam and Cheese pancakes.

5. I'm a hoarder. I really struggle to throw anything out. What happens if I throw something out and I need it later?

6. I hate changing lightglobes.

7. I'm really scared of losing someone I love. My mum's recent emergency surgery and slow and painful recovery showed me just how scary it can be. It showed me just how much I wanted to say, and how much I can't imagine life without people I love.

If you want to do this meme, go for it. I'm leaving it open for anyone who wants to. Just let me know if you've done it and I'll come and read it.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Observation

I got a bit pouty at the boy today. Saturday last week I had my hair done and the previous Thursday I'd had a pedicure. He hadn't noticed. His reason?

He touched the corner of my eye, and said "the things I notice are your mind and soul", and then touched my chest and said "and your heart"

How do I stay mad at that?

Friday, November 02, 2007

My name is thisisme, and I'm a workaholic

I've been reverting to my workaholic habits again. Every day this week I've been sitting at my desk before 8 am, several before 7.30 am. I left work at 6.50 tonight. My earliest finish for the week. I took 20 minutes for lunch today too, so I've been really slack. I took a personal phone call too.

I don't want to turn back into the person I was 15 months ago. I'm tired. Naturally. I'm dreaming about work and getting frustrated. On the plus side, it did solve a problem that has been bugging me for months. I'm snappy. I know I'm doing it, and I hate it, but I think I've forgotten how to stop. My weekends are too short. I'm trying to pack in a whole world of life into the weekend. I think about packing it all in and becoming a checkout chick. All care and no responsibility. I'm not happy right now.

I love my early mornings and late finishes. They are the most productive parts of my day. My day goes downhill about 9 when all the questions start, and really improves about 5. It sounds egotistical, but I know I'm good at my job. I know that I wouldn't have the demands on me if I wasn't. The problem I'm facing now is that I've created a monster. I have ideas and suggestions, so my colleagues use them. I'm so busy helping them to their job, I'm struggling to get mine done.

I need some help here. I'm losing the balance I was starting to build in my life. I was lying in bed last night looking at my day. I got up, I had a shower and washed my hair, had coffee and breakfast while I was online, drove to work, worked, took 10 minutes to grab lunch to eat at my desk, worked, drove home, tried not to strangle my landlord, had a glass of wine, put on a face mask, watched TV and was online (yes, those 4 were concurrent. Multitasking anyone?), and went to bed. Did I make anyone happy? What made me happy (besides my call with the boy on my way home)? Did I add value to anyone's life yesterday? I know I made one of the richest men in the world richer. Wow, that's an achievement.

Help me out here. What helps you find balance? How do you stop work from being all consuming? What makes you happy? What helps you stop the world and take time?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday Reflections

Monday night, and the weekend is long gone.

My mum celebrated the last birthday of her sixth decade. We had a family lunch at the same beachside restaurant that I had my first farewell lunch at last year. We were disappointed that the entertainment wasn't repeated. It was lovely to sit in the sun with the sea breezes, watching the yachts on the bay. After lunch we went back to mum's house to play with her new toy. She was very excited when my stepfather presented her with a game of quoits. Mum decided that we all needed to play by the rules that were included with the game. So we stepped out 9 feet and used a hockey stick to mark a throwing point. We sucked. We all threw about 60 times each, and only one of my brothers, my sister in law and my stepfather managed to get the quoit over the pole. Heck, we sucked big time. We even tried with our eyes closed. I laughed so hard when I was throwing with my eyes closed I didn't get anywhere near the pole. I guess I was the comic relief.

Yesterday I had an invitation to a 4th birthday party. I had to go and get the rest of his present first, so I accidentally bought 4 books* - the glorious Waterhole by Graeme Base for the birthday boy and the rest for me. I'm thoroughly enjoying Fridge Magnets are Bastards right now. I had the privilege of watching my favourite almost four year olds tear the wrapping paper from his stilts and his book, and then practice walking on the stilts. I do enjoy being his honorary aunt.

One of my favourite things about his birthday parties is that I get to catch up with such a varied group of friends. We celebrate and mourn together. Some of these people have been my friends since the 1980's. This weekend we were celebrating an unexpected but very welcome pregnancy. We were also the ears for the end of a 12 year relationship. Politics and religion got a good going over too.

These are the people that ground me. They are the important people in my life. Without them my life would not be as rich. I'm very lucky to have them in my life.

*They just fell into my arms. Really. It was an accident.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fight night

Months ago I went and had a sleep study done. It was a very odd experience. As someone who is used to wireless everything, spending the night wired up to (what felt like) thousands of electrodes measuring my all, was very disconcerting. As someone who doesn't sleep well at the best of times, tangling myself up in cables does not improve the quality or quantity of my sleep.

The bottom line is that I sleep really badly. I had to do a couple more studies to ensure that the first one wasn't an aberration. Not fun. I'm lucky to get about an hour of unbroken sleep a night. As an added bonus I stop breathing approximately every 45 seconds. It's overrated. Really. On the plus side though, I have really high levels of oxygen in my blood. Painful bloodtests those ones. My specialist, who I really rate, told me that I was a freak, and that I should be falling asleep combing my hair.

Because of this, I've got a new addition to my bedroom. Unfortunately it isn't anyone from my list. At night I get to put on a very fetching headset, with the quaintly named nasal pillow. All night long this pillow pushes oxygen through my nose, stopping me from stopping breathing. Such fun.

Every night, I have fights with this machine. I haven't made it through one night with the mask staying on my face. I've found it over the other side of the room. I've managed to unplug the machine. I've managed to wrap the tube around my neck. I have no clue that I'm doing any of this until I wake up - usually somewhere between 3 and 4.30 in the morning. I don't think I'm a very nice person for an innocent machine to share a room with.

I'm noticing a difference though. Friday night I fell asleep without the machine, and woke up about 6 am. Yesterday was a complete write off. I was so tired I just wanted to sleep all day. I felt like I'd been hit by a truck, and if I'd combed my hair I would have fallen asleep.* I have to keep trying with this machine. I know what it does to me when I don't use it.

Thank goodness it shouldn't be permanent.

*I brushed it, I swear!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Rambling ...

I can't believe it is Monday evening already. I suspect that is something I have said way too many times already this year. Time just keeps flying.

Mike made my day today. It was lovely to come home from work and have an award from him. Thanks Mike - it was such a lovely surprise. Mike is a blogger I really enjoy reading so the award means a lot.

I'm so relieved that our PM has finally called the Federal Election. For those of you not in Australia, every three years or so we have to elect all of our lower house, and half of our upper house. We don't have fixed terms for politicians, so for the last three months there has been a swirl of rumour, breathless analysis of every movement in the current ruling party and relentless advertising telling us how good the government has been for us. All that is over, and now we have nauseating numbers of ads telling us how good one party is, and how bad the other party is. Next ad, it is reversed. I don't think I help myself though - being a media junkie means that I visit at least 10 news sites each day, I listen to the local public radio at home and when I'm driving, and if there is an ad I notice it. Roll on November 25th.

I had some lovely mail this week. My brother and his very lovely, still very new wife sent me a beautiful thank you card. The effort that they both went to to ensure that it was a personal message was just lovely. (Eeek, too many lovely's, but I hate the word nice) I'm so happy that they appreciated things I did for them, even though I wasn't looking for anything. The same day, we got an invitation to my step brothers wedding. I don't think he has had much say in it - the invitation and the envelope were hot pink! From what he says, he will just show up and do as he is told. I suppose it is a handy survival skill. I don't think I've been to a formal wedding on a week night before, so that will be a new experience. I'm glad I've managed to take the next day off work though. I've even convinced the boy to have a 3 day weekend. I'm really looking forward to it.

The boy and I are planning our next holiday already. We started within a week of coming back from the last one. Neither of us has ever been to Europe, so we are looking at spending a month there next September/October. He is very keen to spend at least half of it doing tours so we don't miss things we want to see. My sister and sister in law are horrified by the idea, but I'm happy to look at different options. Suggestions are always welcome.

My backspace key is having conniptions. It has decided that it wants to sit on a slope and nothing I have managed to do will fix it. Does anyone know how to resettle it? It is a great way to ensure accuracy though.

Why do so many people find my blog by googling "random questions" Why do people google that phrase? If you are one of them, please tell me - I'm bewildered.

My boy is gorgeous. I just wanted to say that :)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Blast from the past

Yesterday I spent 57 minutes trying to find a car park at one of my local shopping centres. Fun isn't the first word that springs to mind. I didn't get as frustrated as I could have done though, as they had an endless musical loop playing.

For a lot of people, the constant playing of the Urban Cookie Collective's "I've got the key, I've got the secret" would be one of the circles of hell. It catapulted me straight back to the summer of 1993 - 1994 when I lived and breathed cheesy pop music for 3 months. I volunteered at a community radio station during test broadcasts. The whole point of the test broadcast was to prove that the station could meet community needs and had an audience.

Driving around the carpark yesterday, I flashed back to the songs that just didn't stop that summer - Sing Hallelujah, What is love by Haddaway (responsible for one of the worst jokes of all time - What is love? If I haddaway I'd tell you), Dur dur d'étre bébé, Boom Shake the Room, No Rain by Blind Melon, All that She Wants, a remix of Walk this Way, It's alright, Oh what a night, Can we talk, One, I will always love you, End of the Road, This is it (the Ruth Campbell version), Gimme little sign, I've got the key, I've got the secret, the Chipmunks version of Achy Breaky Heart and Agro's version of Ballroom Blitz. Some of those songs I'd still be quite happy never to hear again. I was quite surprised to find myself thinking fondly of a lot of them yesterday though. I'm more stunned to realise how many of them are already on my ipod.

I thought that most of that part of my life was over. I don't expect to find myself back in the adult version of school camp ever again. I don't think my liver could cope with it again. I know my sleep patterns couldn't. I left the group about 18 months later - I couldn't stand the politics, and the constant jockeying for positions. Now, thanks to that song, and Facebook, that part of my life has come back.

I wonder if I can keep the good things, and let the bad things go.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

So now what?

I took this quiz after seeing it over at Mike's. I'm devastated. Apparently I'm "Pure Evil"


How evil are you?


Where on earth am I supposed to go from here? Where is the room to grow and develop? Does this mean I've reached the pinnacle, scaled the dizzy heights? How do I improve on perfection?

Suggestions? (Except for working for AOL - I already work for an evil empire)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

6 days, and a whole world

I got my first letter from my sponsor child yesterday. She is a 4 year old girl. She loves to play dancing and will try to be a good girl. I wonder what her life will be like in future years. Will she reach her goal of becoming a doctor when she grows up? How does she know at 4 that she wants to be a doctor? She lives in Burma (Myanmar), 700 kilometres from the capital city. Is the violence in her country affecting her now?

Last night I babysat my little sister. Sorry, childsat. She isn't a baby anymore. She is 6 days younger than my sponsor child. She loves to play dancing too. Last night she insisted on wearing her Little Mermaid dancing costume to bed.

I look at the contrast between these 2 girls, and I am thankful for my life. My sister does not need to rely on people from another country to help her with her education. We take clean water for granted. We don't need to go to the well for drinking water and we live in a house with more than one room.

We wrote a letter to my sponsor child last night, and my sister drew a picture for her. Apparently we can send flat gifts with the letter. One of the suggestions is stickers. We are going to choose some. My sister loves stickers so she is looking forward to helping me choose.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Back to reality

I'm back home again. After 12 nights, and 10 days away I'm back home. At the risk of sounding like a real princess, it is heavenly to be back with DSL and not using dial up anymore. I'm also freezing back in Melbourne - who would have thought that Tasmania was warmer. Another myth exploded.

Big things first - my brothers wedding was lovely. My new sister in law looked absolutely beautiful, and the ceremony was very simple. Most of the extended family were very entertained by the 6 or so rabbits hopping around - lots of suggestions of fertility were made. Everytime that we have a big family get together I'm stunned by the resemblance of our family. Looking back at the photo's now, I see groups of people who can't be anything other than related to each other.

The boy and I had a lovely 10 days together. I suspect it can be a test for a relationship to spend that amount of time driving around a strange place, where so many of the roads are what I described as squiggly bits. So many of them had recommended speeds of 15 or 25 kilometres an hour. I've learnt this trip that I really don't like windy, bendy roads, even if travelled slowly. This is a new thing for me - I always loved driving through the Adelaide Hills before they put the straight road in there. Yet I will happily sit on the back of a boat (holding on) when it is on the open sea ploughing through 2 metre waves. The boy gave up trying to understand it.

For the first time ever, we went away without all of our accomodation being prebooked. This is a massive step, especially for the boy, who lives by his schedule. We were lucky though. We managed to get 4 star accomodation in Launceston for 2 nights at a reduced rate in a magnificient historic building, and a 3 bedroom beachfront house on the Freycinet Penisula. Our main accomodation in Hobart sucked big time though. Not sure how you can forget to mention to bookings that you are undergoing major renovations. Won't ever be returning there. Cradle Mountain was magical though. After driving 5 hours with lots of squiggly bits on the roads, and the last 2 hours in the dark with no mobile reception, it was heavenly to arrive somewhere with the open fire ready laid for us, a queen size bed with a great mattress and electric blanket, and an electric heater to take the chill off until the fire kicked in. It was quite funny when we were unloading the car though - we had a possum keep trying to get in the door.

Next morning we had this visitor. He visited us regularly.











Home now, and the last photo that I took was this. Sunrise on the Spirit of Tasmania.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Since I've been gone ...

I haven't forgotten the blog, I've been writing stuff, I just haven't posted it yet. Today is the first time in 5 days that I've had internet access and it is dial up. Oh, the pain! A very brief pictorial history of my last few days ...


Making me smile


I love the feel of dried salt spray on me


Family gathering?!?


Swim platypus swim


Words fail me


The view from our deck


Sea caves


Dinner!


This view, champagne, freshly shucked oysters, biscuits and cheese



Dolphins!!

Monday, September 03, 2007

I need some suggestions

As some of you may know, my brother is getting married in less than one month. As a favour to him, I've been putting the music for dinner and dancing at the reception together. We've got the dinner music sorted, but I'm looking for suggestions.

What songs make you get up and dance at parties and at weddings? We've got a very mixed age group, so any suggestions will be gratefully received.

I promise I'll post the final list of songs used for all parts of the night - either before or afterwards.

I couldn't resist ...

You Are Bert

Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them!

You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you

You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil

How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others


I'm not sure about some of it, but it was fun. Except the evil. I'll admit to that at times.

Friday, August 31, 2007

The big question

I'm babysitting my four and a half year old half sister tonight. I spoke to my stepmother last night, and apparently they had a battle royale at the supermarket yesterday. Princess 4 insisted on buying cat food just in case I bought my cat over to help babysit her. She was not happy when her mother said no. What will I tell her about why George won't be joining us?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

In a broken nest there are few whole eggs

I'm sitting here looking at a DVD I need to watch. It has been sitting mutely on the coffee table next to the laptop reminding me that I need to watch it. If it had eyes, they would be big, brown puppy dog eyes.

It is very important to my father that I watch it. He hasn't said it in so many words, but he asked me for help to burn it, and I've been getting calls every couple of days from him, checking that I've burnt the DVD for myself OK. I'm not sure how to deal with him being this attentive. I don't think he has been this attentive toward me since I was 5.

He is in his fourth intensive week of PTSD counselling for Vietnam veterans. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday every week, he goes and works with a psychiatrist. From what he has said, I gather it is both group and individual sessions. He says he is enjoying it, and that he is getting a lot out of it. I'm very impressed that he is doing it, but I wonder how many of his issues can really be attributed to Vietnam.

I don't know who this man is. For the last 12 years or so, we have had a very distant relationship. We are very good at the family social events, we give the correct birthday, Christmas and Fathers Day presents. As one of my brothers so elegantly says, he is a great bloke to have a beer with, but you wouldn't want to be related to him. Before that, there was the mind numbing boredom of fortnightly access visits, with trips to the park, his work, or his friends homes, wherever he can find a way to have his access visit but not spend time with his children.

It wasn't always like this. Some of my most treasured photos are of the two of us sitting on top of a slide, of me leaning into my very hungover father next to the fishpond, of me toddling into the waves to pick up a ball and him hovering protectively near me. I remember sitting on a tram with him, going to kinder after we moved to our new house. It was so exciting. I guess the 70's really were a good decade. Somewhere along the line, I became less interesting. For a very long time, I've felt that I am only interesting or noteworthy when I'm involved with something that gets media coverage, or it fits into water cooler conversation. The worst thing is that I've let it continue. I think I've kept seeking out that approval, hoping that things I've done will make it into his "brag book".

I'm struggling to deal with these changes. I just found a way to manage my relationship with Dad, and he has changed the rules on me. I'm scared that if I open myself up to these changes, he will just hurt me again.

Thanks to Mike for the title to this post.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007

I can't find the Any Key

You know you have spent too long using a computer when you write something down, and when you need to write it again, you go looking for CTRL c to copy it. And then you get frustrated because you can't find it.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Spinning around

I feel like life is spinning faster and faster at the moment. I'm feeling overwhelmed. I'm struggling to find 5 minutes to myself. I'm being constantly bombarded by people wanting a piece of me, by noise, by committments. The phone rings, another email arrives, my mobile beeps to tell me I've got another message. I'm trying to keep my head above water and stay sane. Today it just feels too hard. I'm not that important or essential. The world will survive if I don't do everything right now.

I need to say NO more often. I need to drive home that when I say NO I mean it.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Addiction

I think I'm addicted to Facebook. I've been using it for about a month now and I'm having a bit too much fun with it. It has been just a bit much fun adding friends, sending items for gardens, buying my friends fish and drinks, and having way too much fun gossiping about people changing their relationship status.

Who are my friends on Facebook? My boy. My sister. Everyone in my team at work. My boss in Sydney. My friends from my old job. My sisters friends. People from school I haven't seen since my 21st birthday. My work clients. Friends I've lost touch with and haven't seen since they left the country in 1999. The HR consultant who employed me in my current job. Every single person on my list, I've met at least once.

MySpace is sooooo 2006. I keep getting random friend requests from people I've never heard of, and the amount of spam I get on MySpace is absurd. I'm just not interested. If it wasn't the only way I've got to keep in touch with some of my younger cousins, I wouldn't be there at all anymore. I prefer the layout of Facebook, so much cleaner. Nothing on Facebook has made me want to throw the screen out the window from the vile clashing of colours and flashing images.

I'm enjoying reconnecting with people I don't see enough. It has been really fun hearing about people I haven't seen for a very long time, and finding out just what they've been doing with their lives. Some of the choices have really surprised me, and some have done exactly what I thought they would. For me, the best bit is seeing people happy with the choices they have made. That or they are really good actors.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Irrational

Every time I get into the lift at work I'm convinced that I will drop my security pass and car keys down the gap at the front of the lift. Even when they are both in my handbag, I still have to feel around so that I am holding on to them in case I drop them.

I always scuttle right to the back of the lift, but even so, I can't let go of them until I am safely at my desk or at my car. It probably doesn't help that it is a two lift trip from the carpark to my desk.

Help me feel like I'm not completely nuts - tell me your irrational fears.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Catch Up

Sydney was full on. My flight was delayed more than any flight should be delayed. We boarded on time, but then we had mechanical problems. Not really something you want to hear when you have to stay on the plane. On the plus side, I read all but the last chapter of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on the plane in preparation for Deathly Hallows. We had gorgeous, crisp, sunny days though. Just the way I want to spend the time on the harbour. Most exciting from a professional point of view - I won the award for best sales person in an operational role for the 2006 - 7 financial year. I was thrilled to get it - the decision is made by the state and national managers and the other nominees were all people I really rate. That and I've only been there since November. Nice people to give me a shopping voucher. Time for a freezer and a blender I think. Or books. Or shoes.

It's taken the best part of two weeks to catch up with everybody's blogs. I think I've finally caught up on everything I've missed. My highlight - Millie the dog. Thanks Jelly, you put a massive smile on my face.

We went and saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It didn't really do it for me. I think it was probably one of the harder books to put on the screen. How do you put all that whiny teenage boy stuff on screen? Still, I think it left way too much important stuff out. C-

Last night we saw The Simpsons movie. It was fun. I'm not sure it deserved the standing ovation it got at the end though. I was very unhappy to see the preview for the movie "The Dark is Rising". I'm not happy about it at all. I think they've completely messed with the premise. I adore those books. I'm furious that they have messed with them. I'm sure I'll have a full rant about it in the fullness of time.

I've been working with my brother and his fiance to put the music together for their wedding in September. We've nearly got all the music together for dinner, and we are just working the dancing part. Way too much fun. They are doing their bridal waltz to Billy Joel's "just the way you are". I'm not sure who was more disturbed though; my brother's fiance when he asked for some Whitesnake, or my brother when I showed him that I had the song he wanted on my ipod.

My gorgeous boy was worried that I wouldn't approve of the suit that he was planning to wear for the wedding. He doesn't wear a suit for work, and might wear a suit about 3 times a year. It turns out he only has the one suit, and he has owned it for 10 years. He is right, I didn't approve of it. He took it quite well, although he said that he was hoping to hear "honey, your suit is fine". So today he suggested that we go and have a look for suits, although he wanted to go to one specific shop to buy it. OK then. So we wandered around a few shops, and in one got some exceptional service. He was measured up, and pointed in the direction of suits that fitted his criteria. He looks damn sexy in his new black, 3 button, single breasted suit, with his new palest lilac shirt, and new diagonally striped tie. No nagging required :)

I bought only one thing today - a 3 DVD set for $19.99 - The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Weird Science.

What does this week hold? The Gwen Stefani concert, a screening of Amazing Grace (now I know what happened to Youssou N'Dour), training up my new assistant at work, a family dinner for my lovely stepfathers birthday, finding that last beetle in Virtual Villagers: The Lost Children, setting up the new DVD player for my parents, trying to restrict my Crackbook time.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

You can choose your friends ...

We've been at a trivia night for my sisters school tonight. One of the games was Sit down if. You know, sit down if you were born in an even numbered year, sit down if you've seen an episode of Big Brother this year and so on. The boy and I were sitting down, having been taken out by an episode of Big Brother (me, to my chagrin) and carrying a handkerchief, when the host said "sit down if you've had nookie today". My mother and stepfather were the only people in the room who sat down. My sister turned scarlet. I probably didn't help when I sent her a text telling her to be thankful that we had already been taken out. I'm glad I don't have to be in her staffroom on Monday morning.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Over

It is over. I've read my last new Harry Potter book. I know that I will read the books again, and I will read and love many other books but I will never read another new Harry Potter book.

I'm happy that I know how it all ends, but I won't spoil it for anyone. I'm sad that there will be no new journeys into the world of Harry. Harry is one of the best justifications I have for lying on the couch on a Saturday, covered with a blanket, reading, while the cat cuddles up to me.

I will miss the anticipation and wondering. The theories that my friends and I have thrown around over the years. I will miss pre-ordering my copy at my local bookshop. I will miss queuing up at 8 on a Saturday morning to be one of the first to get my copy. I will definitely miss the camaraderie of the queue. The wild theories of the eager and impatient. I will miss coming up with the most outrageous theories to entertain the staff at the bookshop. I think I came close with my suggestion "and Harry woke up in his bed, safe and sound. It had all been a lovely, horrible dream"

I think Stephen King said it so well.

Closed


This blog is currently closed. It will reopen in 607 pages.

Monday, July 16, 2007

On the road again

Time for another trip to Sydney. I feel like I've just come back and it is time to go again.

Several years ago, I toyed with moving to Sydney. I'd recently ended a 3 year relationship, my best friend was living in Sydney, I'd had some pretty full on medical problems, I'd been in a bit of a financial mess, I was tired of living at home with my family for medical and financial reasons, and I was frustrated and bored at work. Sydney looked like an exciting, easy way to change my life. I would be living in a bigger city where no one knew me and I could reinvent myself. I would be free of the history people in Melbourne have for me. I could be the exotic one, flying in for obligations, but with an easy out. Oh no, I can't stay, I have a plane to catch. See me run.

The more I think about it, I'm glad I didn't run. And running it would have been. I've rebuilt, restored, enhanced my relationships. I've strengthened my support system. I have history with the people in my life.

This isn't the post I meant to write tonight, but it is the post that has been written. So, I'm off to Sydney for a few days. I'll be back at work on Friday lunchtime, and I'll be home Friday night.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Soundtrack to the music of my life

My writing has been a bit scrambled this week. I haven't been happy with anything I've written so nothing has been posted. I've had this meme kicking around for ages, so I'm hoping it will free up my writing a bit.

If you want to do it, copy the categories below, open your iTunes and hit shuffle. Refresh for each category and hit next song.

Opening Credits: Those Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer - Bob Downe
Wow - iTunes is picking up on my mood today - I've half written three things about summer and the way time changes.

Waking Up: I am a Man of Constant Sorrow - The Soggy Bottom Boys
Yep, that sums me up until I can hit the shower and caffeine.

First Day At School: Alone with you tonight - The Sunnyboys

I love this song. This was the live version from the 25th anniversary concert for Mushroom Records. Even more resonant because I was there. I used to get Sunnyboys from the school canteen, but that is probably the only connection between school and this song.

Falling In Love: Simply Irresistible - Robert Palmer

I don't really associate this song with love. Lust maybe, but all of a sudden I'm feeling an overwhelming desire to pop into some Lycra, a short black skirt and bright red cfm lipstick.

Fight Song: Sleeping Satellite - Tasmin Archer

"I blame you for the moonlit sky, and the dream that died" I've had those completely irrational fights.

Breaking Up: Heavy Heart - You am I

Somehow, I think iTunes said it all for me.

School Formal (Prom): Beyond the Sea - Robbie Williams

I love both Robbie and Bobby's versions of this song. But right now, all I can think of is Homer Simpson wanting to live under the sea with the friendly crustaceans. Now, my brain has just headed off on a sea monkey tangent. I've got no idea how music ended up with sea monkeys. In lounge suits. And cocktail frocks.

Life: Changes - David Bowie

"Time to face the strange" Quite appropriate really. Life is full of change, and there is so much that is strange. Strange and wonderful. I've used lines from this as titles before on this blog, and they are often responsible for random visits from Google.

Mental Breakdown: I honestly love you - Peter Allen

Um, OK. I'm not sure how this one happened, but OK. If it was going to be a Peter Allen song, I think Tenterfield Saddler would fit better. iTunes, you forgot to keep reading my mind.

Driving: Headroom - Josh Abrahams and Amiel Daemion

Where was this one for the mental breakdown? iTunes, A for effort, but you must try harder. Having said that, I do find driving is a good way to get some headroom.

Flashback: The Last Night - Bon Jovi

This is still a very new addition to the music library, part of an album that is still growing on me. Still a good title for a flashback. The last night of what? A relationship? A holiday? A friendship? A house?

Getting back together: I only have eyes for You - Ella Fitzgerald

Ooooooh, Ella.

Wedding: Fame - Irene Cara

This should really be a big musical number, but I'm feeling dudded because it has already been used for musical numbers. Oh, sod it. Bring on the leg warmers and headbands.

Birth of Child: Born Free - Matt Monro

I don't know if this movie would have the birth of a lion cub, but that is the birth I would normally associate with this song.

Final Battle: I want it that way - Backstreet Boys

Or the highway? Isn't that what so many battles come down to? I don't think the Backstreet Boys are usually involved though.

Death Scene: Another one bites the dust - Queen

I just fell off the couch laughing. The cat thinks I'm mad. Yeah, cos he's qualified.

Funeral Song: Goodbye - The Spice Girls

This is a film clip I would have loved to be in as a kid. No, it isn't. I'm getting mixed up with the animation of Viva Forever. Look for the rainbow in every star. Goodbye my friend. I always thought that I would have 50 Years by the Uncanny X-Men. They would be very cool cars for the cortege though.

End Credits: Raindrops keep falling on my head - BJ Thomas

Sad, and yet still perky. Where there is life, there must surely still be hope. Watch out for the sequel; "thisisme - the phantom clones"

Sunday, July 08, 2007

It has been nearly a month since we got home from our weekend away, and I've finally got around to uploading some of the photos I took while we were away.

The view from our bedroom window.
Give me a home among the gumtrees
Sample beers from the brewery where we went for dinner.
Nice hosts to drive us there and pick us up.


Morning coffee on the verandah.

Every rose has its thorns.

Those dark satanic mills.
The electricity generation plants dominated the landscape.
I couldn't stop myself watching them.
They horrified me, and yet I have reaped the benefits.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Random questions and obsessions

Is it a bad thing to keep clicking on banner ads for the Harry Potter movie so that I can delight in the joy that is Alan Rickman?

When doesn't the mouse on my work computer move things around the screen? When I've got my hand on the stapler and I'm moving that instead.

Why am I so obsessed with the song from this silly ad? Warning - it will get in your head and stay there. And just when you think you have got rid of it, back it comes.

It is probably not the best idea to ask your father if he is talking to the right wife when he is trying to reminisce with my mother and she hasn't got a clue what he is talking about.

I'm a bit too obsessed with the game Virtual Villagers. I thought I'd got past it, and then I found Virtual Villagers the Lost Children. Oops, back at it again.

Confession time - I'm thrilled to bits that the Spice Girls are touring. I'm less thrilled that they aren't coming to Melbourne. I'm a bit disturbed writing that as I'm listening to the Cruel Sea right now.

And a very special big hello to everyone visiting me from the Czech Republic

Monday, July 02, 2007

Interview meme

I've been mulling over this meme for the last month. The questions are from the lovely velvet.

1. What inspired you to start blogging? Do you share your blog with friends and family? Why or why not?
I did a lot of writing when I was younger and I just wasn't doing it anymore. I found I was reading a lot of blogs and thought it would be a good way to get back into writing. I'm also finding that it is a good way to help me process ideas and things that happen in my day. Quite a bit of the stuff I write never gets published, it seems to be enough that I write it. Some of my friends and family know that I blog, but none of them know what it is called. Having said that, I'm sure that if they fell across it by accident, they would be able to identify it as mine. I don't share it with them because I want everyone who reads it to read because they want to, not because they feel obliged to out of friendship or familial obligation.

2. You're granted the superpower of your choice. What do you choose and why?
The ability to shape the world to suit myself. Egocentric, moi? Seriously, there are just so many little things in everyday life that drive me nuts, and I see them driving other people nuts too. I'd be using the superpower to get rid of the little daily niggles that can build up, and just make things that little bit more smooth. Almost like being a super iron really.

3. If you could have one thing or time from your childhood again, what or when would it be and why?
The summer of 1982 - 3. I had just turned 9, and it was the last summer before my grandmother died, my parents separated, and my aunt and uncle separated. We spent the summer at my grandparents home, an old dairy a block from the beach. My grandmother spent most of her time in bed, and we were allowed to go and spend time with her in half hour blocks. I still treasure the book she gave me "Snow White and Rose Red" and we read through it together. I found it in a box of treasure recently and read through it and had a little cry. Otherwise my brother and I and our 2 cousins spent a lot of time on the beach and playing in the back yard. An old dairy has a lot of back yard, garages and sheds for 4 kids under 12 to play in. I've hardly seen my cousins since then.

4. If you had to give up your present career field, what would your fantasy career be and why?
Easy - I would love to be a personal gift shopper. I enjoy shopping for other people and finding the perfect gift. They don't have to be expensive gifts, just gifts that are appreciated for the thought that has gone into it.

5. You can invite five living people to meet for dinner. Who would you choose?
I've been struggling with this one, and I think I might need to have this dinner in shifts. I am fascinated by Deborah Mailman, Paul Keating, Bill Clinton (yes, I know the link is probably redundant, but you never know...), JK Rowling and Jeff Kennett. I suspect this could quickly become a battle of egos though, and I would want to change it to people who just make me happy. So, the winners are my good friends the Fitters, Nay, my boy and my brother. I'd have to sneak my sister in too because she cracks me up. A group of people that can talk about anything, and the conversation can go from sublime to the extraordinarily ridiculous in under 5 seconds..

If you wish to do this meme, ...
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me.
2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your weblog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Aging

Standing in the queue at my local healthy burger place, I heard teenage girl say to her friend "this is the song, that if you play it backwards, it plays satanic messages" Her friend asked what the song was, and who it was by "oh, I don't know, I don't think anyone really knows the song or the group is"

I'm feeling a little old and bewildered today. The song was Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. I thought everyone just acquired it by osmosis.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Snakes, why did it have to be snakes?

Last night I was staying in a caravan in a caravan park. Torrential rain started, and the water started rising around my caravan. Luckily, my neighbour in the next caravan knew what to do to deal with the flood.

First, you have to take an empty peanut butter jar, and then put a teaspoon of coffee into the base. Then you have to catch one of the snakes from underneath the flooded caravan and put it into the jar. Then put the yellow lid on tightly. If the lid isn't on tightly enough, or the lid isn't yellow it won't work. Then look closely at the snake. Check that it has small, round black eyes, and that the scales under the jawline (are they called jaws in snakes?) are the very white, almost translucent ones. Check that they poke their tongue out often and it is forked. Then throw the jar into the water.

If you fill enough of the jars with snakes and coffee, the floods will recede and everything will return to normal.

No wonder I've been so drained today. It wasn't a very restful night.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Um, okay

To the person who found my blog looking for decapitated possum. Why? Why on earth would you search google for that?

That is just plain odd.

I should have turned left at Alberqueque

I've spent tonight at a trivia night run by one of my girlfriends as a fundraiser for her son's school. I went solo as the boy was having a geeky boy bonding night. He isn't a big trivia night fan either, and I'm not a massive fan of watching him sitting around bored getting cranky. The school is about a 20 minute drive from my house, but it was a little like going to another country. Set way back in a green pocket of suburbia, the roads go up and down like petrol prices, and everything is quite bucolic.

When the night was finally over, we all headed back to our cars to head home. I cleared the frost off my windows, and waited for the heat to kick in before I drove off. I decided that rather than leave the way I came, I would take the shortcut back to the main road. Some shortcut. It took me 2o minutes to get back to where I came from.

I found myself driving up hill and down dale, on roads without streetlights, with soft edges and speedhumps. The roads were dark and overhung with trees, and I had no idea what was around each corner. At the same time, the mist was getting heavier, and there were places I couldn't see more than 10 metres in front of me. Pretty scary.

I drove down a hill, with yellow signs all the way along the edges telling me that the road was narrowing. At the bottom of the hill was a give way sign, but no driveways or intersecting roads. I couldn't work out what was going on, so I turned on my high beams. It was the skinniest bridge I've ever seen. I told the car to breathe in (don't laugh - it was dark, and 12.15 and I'm a bit tired) and started driving across it. About halfway across I had the most overwhelming sensation of déja vu. I know I've crossed that bridge sometime in my life, but I've got no idea when or why. It is going to bug me for days.

I wonder what I will dream about tonight....

Oh, and in case you were wondering - our table came second, and I won a bottle of red wine in the lucky envelope and a dvd player in the raffle. Goodness knows what I'll do with it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I have learnt ...

not to describe people who drive me nuts at work as incompetent boobs.

It freaks out the young ones and gives rise to many bra jokes.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Morning drive

A foggy morning. I can't see the end of my driveway. I only know when I'm near the end of the street because of the blue markers on the road.

Driving down the winding road next to the river. No street lights. The gum trees loom through the mist. It is eerie with the fingers of the fog touching the road in patches.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Girly day

I had a very girly day on Saturday.

I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to host a manchester party. I know I've posted about how much I love my sheets before, and the site that I purchased them from offers the option to host your own party. For me, the highlight was that there were no sales people, they just send out samples and you can do what you want, while drinking the champagne and eating the snacks that they sent with them. If anyone wants to buy anything, they can just jump online and buy it.

I was very excited when the courier dropped off the big box on Thursday night. I was so restrained though, and didn't open it. (okay, until Friday morning!) The box had a beautifully wrapped pass the parcel, and it was stuffed full of goodies. All the product samples were wrapped up in brown paper, tied with ribbon and smelt of lavender.

The girls and my mum started arriving about 3. My phone was running hot for a while as I got texts from people running late, and one of my friends always forgets what number I live at. You would think she knew better by now, but really. I wasn't fussed about whether people arrived on time though, because we got to coo over my friend's 4 week old baby boy. Then my favourite 10 month old girl arrived with her mum too. My brother decided that he didn't want to be around the house with gaggles of giggling, gossiping women, so he very wisely fled. The loungeroom was full of women having a ball, and I loved it. Pass the parcel went off with a bang - there were some very excited people, and that was before they scored slippers, a bib (right when he was being fed too!), egyptian cotton pillowcases, hand towels, tea towels, shoe boxes, and the piece de resistance (won by me!!), the egyptian cotton bathrobe. So warm and soft. It was just a really lovely afternoon, and I found myself resolving to catch up like that more often.

Saturday night my sister finally made it over about 9. We ordered pizza (mmmm, healthy) and watched the first three episodes from season 1 of the Gilmore Girls. She made me promise that I wouldn't watch any more of it without her. Gilmore Girls is another one of my guilty pleasures. I was a late convert - season 6 or so, and I love popping into Stars Hollow for some escapism. It is amazing how much we can talk about while we watch it.

I'm very proud of my mum in her first foray into online shopping. She was very excited about it. Added bonus for the day is that my 4 year old sister convinced dad to bring her over at lunchtime, and we got to watch an episode of Angelina Ballerina. More pink girliness. I think she just comes to see me because she knows I keep a dvd here just for her.

Saturday in a nutshell - spending time with people I love, just enjoying each other.

Eight Randoms

Eight Randoms

I was tagged by Evalinn, here are 8 random facts about me:

1. I hate wearing nail polish on my fingers, but feel naked without bright red toenail polish.
2. I really need to stop dreaming about Rupert Murdoch.
3. I like to tear the crusts of fresh white bread, eat the crusts and then squish the centre into a ball before eating it.
4. I always talk to the radio when I'm driving.
5. I can't help singing alone with Achy Breaky Heart and I'll never remove it from my iPod.
6. I really don't like following rules.
7. White wine makes me feel queasy at 3pm the day after I drink it. Red wine doesn't.
8. I love hats, but feel stupid when I wear them.

Now, I tag:
If you want to do it, go for it. Just leave a comment and let me know you've done it.

The rules are:
1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Now we are one

Today is my blog's first birthday. I can't believe it has been a year already.

I've been visited 1,351 times. Some people have found me using very odd keywords:
  • dreams and stringbeans
  • you are an institution where you are going
  • chinese custom giving watermelon
  • time to face the strange
  • palmolive pure cashmere ad cast
  • joan osborne breakfast in bed blogspot
  • rhys muldoon addiction
  • bottling stringbeans
  • water saver tap
I hope that they found what they were looking for. I'm not sure if that was me or not :)

Monday, June 11, 2007

I hear the secrets that you keep...

We had a lovely weekend away - photos to follow soon when I get my act together enough to download them. Again, it was one of those weekends with the odd dreaming and the bizarre talking in my sleep made the first conscious conversations each morning pretty peculiar.

Just after midnight Saturday night, I felt the need to tell the boy what I thought was wrong with Lindsay Lohan, and how he needed to stop being a bad influence on her. Apparently I wasn't very helpful explaining who she was or what was wrong with her. He still doesn't understand what I was talking about. Not sure that I do either.

Sunday morning we were doing that doze, read, doze thing that makes Sunday morning so lovely when you don't have to get up if you don't want to. I admit that I was doing more sleeping than reading. I got quite agitated at one point, and told him that we had to go to church. He tried to calm me down, and told me that church was over for the day. That's when I told him God was mad with him. Every church we drove past after that, he offered to stop for me. Helpful.

Sunday night in my dream I got stuck in my gmail inbox. It didn't matter what I did but whenever I spoke to someone they got a star next to them, and it was like the simpsons episode when homer disappears into the third dimension. I could move my arms and the inbox moved with them. Freaky. At least I wasn't the only one having odd dreams - he dreamt that I was yelling at him because he hadn't cleaned up his bedroom. The funniest part is that I've never met anyone with a tidier bedroom than him (and we won't talk about my messy bedroom!)

Monday morning he was trying to convince me that waking up for breakfast in bed was a good idea. Nah, wasn't interested. I did ask him to promise that we wouldn't call our children Sapphire and Kevin though. He thinks I'm nuts.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Hitting the road ...

Monday is our last public holiday until November. I'm not sure if it is particularly cruel to make us all work through the grey of winter without a day off to look forward to, or particularly good planning to stop excessive sickies when the weather is nice and no one wants to be at work. I wonder if that applies in other countries too - are there more public holidays in winter or summer?

Anyway, the boy and I are off for the weekend. The forecast for the weekend is for cold, foggy mornings, and crisp clear days. I'm looking forward to enjoying red wine next to the open fire, the roast I've got planned for Sunday night, dinner out tonight (and the nice people where we are staying are driving us there and back!), and wandering around new towns and places. I've remembered to pack my camera, so hopefully some photos when I get back.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

These dreams go on ....

Last night I dreamt that I slept in and when I went outside to get the paper I discovered that my brother had dug up the front lawn and put in a swampy marshy area which was full of reeds and lilies. It was absolutely stunning, and the lilies were all in bloom, with just about every colour, various shades of pink, white, a rich deep red, yellows and a very pale purple, so pale it was almost blue. It reminded me a little of a photo I took in Ballina when we were on holidays last year.


He said that he had changed the garden so that we had a better supply of water so that I could have the roses I wanted, as well as the camellias. I can understand the roses, because I have been coveting the blood red roses, so dark they are nearly black, with their rich scent. Camellia's have never registered on my radar though.

I woke up after this and had a bit of a prowl around the house. When I went back to bed I managed to get back to sleep, and found myself back in the dream. Unfortunately, my next door neighbour burst my bubble, although why he looked like Rupert Murdoch I've got no idea. He peered over the fence the way Wilson used to in Home Improvement and told me that it was an illegal water feature, and we would need to get it fenced off or fill it in because we were breaking the law. Then he told me that it was attracting mosquitoes and would continue to do so unless we could guarantee that the water would be constantly moving. Damn reality intruding on my dreams.

I've got no idea how the hell I came up with that one, but it is definitely bizarre. I've just worked out where the lilies and camellia's came from. I've been rereading Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series (I do like a romp through Melbourne in the 1920's) and there is a character called Camellia who designs Phryne's garden for her and includes lilies in one. There was a whole section about a Chinese custom of putting tea leaves into a lotus flower overnight creates an exotic tea. That is a relief.

Friday, June 01, 2007

On the first day of winter

I woke up and sprang (sprung?) out of bed before the alarm went off at 6.15 this morning. Much to the disgust of the cat who had just hopped onto the bed and hoped for a cuddle and me to stay in bed and keep him warm while he slept. Foiled again.

Played nicely and let my brother have first shower and pottered around - read some blogs, had a giggle at the person who found my blog by searching Google for "bottling stringbeans", filled the kettle to make coffee, fed the cat. Discovered why the cat was so uninterested in his breakfast. Nothing like a partially decapitated possum under the dining table to start the day right. I'm stunned he managed to do it in the half hour between being let out and me getting up though. Little bugger. More bells for him. 6 this time I think. I've just worked out who the possum reminded me of, Nearly Headless Nick from the Harry Potter books. Yep, I'm rereading again.

Managed to shower and head off to work. Mmmmm, foggy. A very crisp morning though, which turned into a really lovely day. Of course, now that the weekend is here, we've got a forecast for much needed rain. I look at my Google homepage, and see on my weather radar that the rain is on it's way now. Woohoo!!

Pick up my two pieces of Vegemite toast and coffee to start the morning right at work. Mmmmm.....coffee. Time for the morning desk calendar duel with my lovely colleague. Today "The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain" Thank you Ms Parton, so very true. I really love our quote duels, and miss them when they don't happen though. While I had those few days off earlier this week with my germ infestation, she was sending me gorgeous emails like "

We are all stars and we all deserve to twinkle – MARILYN MONROE
Hope you are feeling better – get lots of rest and keep warm.
Can’t wait to see you when you have got your twinkle back!

That is one of the reasons I love my job and the people I work with.

Another crazy frantic day at work - nothing like a Friday to start the month with. Total lunacy. I stayed back a bit to clean up my desk and make sure I had everything packed up ready for my trip to Sydney next week. I might live dangerously and do the equivalent of cutting off my arm and leaving my laptop at home. Last time it was the beginning of this. I don't ever want to go back to that happy place.

Had the drive home from hell - what normally takes half an hour in peak hour tonight took 1 hour and 40 minutes off peak. Damn you Collingwood for playing at the MCG on a Friday night. I hope you lose. I hope that anyway, but today I really mean it with a vengeance.

Got home and burst into tears at my brother when he wanted to rearrange the furniture to turn on the heater and dry his clothes. All I wanted to do was crash on the couch and watch trashy television for 10 minutes. I know my brain is having moments again now though - I've just reread this paragraph and discovered that I wrote weekend instead of heater. Excellent, brain, connect the right bits please.

What does the weekend hold? A bit of running around, picking up a doctors certificate and getting my car's wiper reservoirs checked. Laundry. Packing and a flight to Sydney. Quite possibly some quality time at the stupidmarket picking up basics for next week. Dinner and quality play time with the boy.

Right now, it is nearly bedtime. It is 9 degrees here, or 48 if you talk Fahrenheit. Bit chilly. Bring on the hot water bottle and the cat I think.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Dreamin'

I'm having one of my semi regular bouts of insomnia at the moment. I'm seeing way more of the middle of the night than I want to, and I have to admit that much as I love my bed, I would love it more if I was sleeping in it, not lying in it wanting to be asleep.

When I have managed to sleep, I've been having some very bizarre dreams. While I napped this afternoon (yes, I'm having a couple of days off work all germy), I dreamt that I was travelling first class on Atlantic Airlines designing their mini golf course. I don't know why no one has thought of this earlier, I'm sure it would make long haul flights so much better. All of a sudden the cabin filled with smoke, and I was escorted to the emergency exit and got to use the slide. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!! When I got to the bottom of the slide I found myself in a cupboard. I opened the cupboard door and found myself in my company's Sydney office.

Over the weekend, I dreamt that the boy and I had a pretty spectacular fight, and he managed to say all of the things that hurt me the most. And the look of scorn on his face. I woke up really upset, and it took him a bit of convincing for me to believe that he hadn't actually done all of those things.

One night last week, I woke my brother up with my screaming. I had been dreaming that gangland murderers Carl Williams and Tony Mokbel were chasing me around the inner city of Melbourne, just constantly trying to kill me and shooting at me. Whenever I found refuge from one of them, and tried to catch my breath, the other one would pop his head around something and start shooting again. Pretty bloody terrifying.

I really wish I knew what the hell was going on in my head. Roll on the sleep study.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A question of etiquette

What do you do when a healthcare professional you see regularly and trust, starts peddling multi level marketed vitamins to you in the middle of a consultation?

In your head

I often wonder what really happens inside my head, and how my thought processes do what they do. How do I remember some very peculiar things, but can't keep track of where the keys are?

This week has had some pretty special examples. I was at my physio appointment on Tuesday, and my physio asked me what I had given my mother for Mother's Day. A pretty reasonable question, and it was only 2 days after the fact. What did I say I'd given Mum? A watermelon and three bags of potting mix. She looked at me askance, and I tried again. I gave mum a watermelon and three bags of potting mix. I felt myself giving that head shake that you do when you are trying to get something out of your head and tried again. I gave mum a watermelon and three bags of potting mix. I gave up and wrote it down.

I think I've got an evil sprite living in my head, programming the very scary jukebox from hell. So far this week on high rotation I've had Blame it on the Rain by Milli Vanilli, Take it from me by Girlfriend, Help me Rhonda (conjuring up scary visions of Gordon from Melmac) by the Beach Boys, Delilah by Tom Jones (velvet, that was you!), and Zombie by the Cranberries. The only way that I know how to get rid of any of them is to start singing god save the queen. I don't mean the lyrics either, just that dum dum dum dum dumdum over and over, clearing the mind for the next scary set of song lyrics.

The words that I'm thinking in my head aren't the ones that I'm typing either. This blog entry has taken ages to do, because I have to keep rereading and realising that when I type wear I really mean where. It has happened with the other thing I've been writing (aka righting) too - I seem to have a bad case of the typing homophones. It really is most disconcerting. Even more unfortunate has been my inability to type my name incorrectly. If one vowel is replaced by another vowel, my name becomes something quite obscene. If nothing else, I've been very entertaining for the people around me.

Oh, and for those who may be wondering, it was a wheelbarrow.

Friday, May 11, 2007

He sees you when you are sleeping ....

I'm concerned. I seem to be suffering from prophecy in hindsight. Way back in December, I completed a meme about icky Christmas songs, and pointed out the creepiness of Santa watching me when you sleep.

My sleep patterns have been all over the place for the last few years. I can function for weeks on about 4 hours sleep a night, or can have horrendously broken nights sleep - pick an hour, any hour and I've seen it this week. I can also sleep really violently - when I got up the other day I had to rescue pillows and beddings from all over the room, and put the rest of the mattress back on the bad. I'm not even going into my dreams.

To cut a long story short, I've been given a referral to a sleep specialist. They will be doing a sleep study on me. I haven't been able to stop singing "Santa Clause is coming to town" since. My big concern though - what on earth do I wear to be watched sleep? I'm not your nightwear kind of girl - whenever I wear it it tends to end up on the floor, so I generally avoid it. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Goodbye

Dear crutches,

It's over. The seven weeks and two days we have spent together have been truly special. I don't know how I could have managed to function without your support. I can't imagine what life will be like without holding my arms all the time, but I'm going to try. I'll be walking around without you, listening for the echo of your feet.

It's not all bad though. I'll still spend every waking hour with with your cousin, the medieval torture device. Hopefully I'll be able to end that relationship soon too.


Thanks for all of your support

thisisme xox

Monday, May 07, 2007

Rest well

For the first time in my life, no pet lives at my family home.

Tonight, just after 6pm, my brothers cat was put to sleep by the local vet. For the last 16 years she has had a pretty good life. Even tonight, when my sister went to find her to say goodbye, she was coming back down the street after visiting the neighbours. She hasn't been well for the last year or so, but her will to live, and obvious enjoyment of life has stayed our hand. Yesterday, she didn't want to eat, didn't want to drink, and was obviously suffering from paralysis of her back legs. She didn't even try to hide from a visiting dog. She spent the rest of yesterday on her sheepskin on the couch, being patted in moderation, sniffing at hands, and occasionally condescending to lick at some of her cooked chicken, heated in the microwave. Very much the centre of attention, being the grand lady she always tried to be.

My brother is devastated. He spent most of last week at the family home, looking after her while our parent's were away on holiday. I think he will be glad that he spent the last week with her, "kicking back, watching tv, hand feeding her", grooming her and letting her sleep on the bed. I don't think he is there yet. We've gone through a lot of tissues here, and I got home to find a note telling me that he "need(ed) to go out for a while, might not be back til tomorrow". Then he filled the note with a stack of domestic stuff about hanging out the towels, keys, and then just signed it with RIP Miss McP. I lost it then.

I thought I was OK. I knew that it was time for her to go, and I've been expecting it since last year. I managed to hold it together all day at work after seeing her this morning to say goodbye. She was still with it, sniffing at my hand and licking it, but she was so cold. I've talked to Mum three times today, sorting out the logistics of the family and everyone saying their farewells, I've had three phone calls with my sister, with her getting more and more upset every time, and Mum says she just sobbed for 45 minutes at home tonight. Once I got home, and read that note, and listened to Mum on the answering machine talking about it, I lost it. I'm still sitting here with tears streaming down my face. Thank goodness for aloe vera tissues.

There are no pets left at home anymore. The four of us have moved out, and are apparently mature adults. I have my cat. My sister has her chickens and her boyfriends dog. My other brother has his dogs. The brother living with me doesn't have any. We don't have any pets that we have shared time with all together any more.. We've lost that common pet ground as we all move on with our lives. We are still family, but we have more apart than together.

We won't see your round ginger, white and brown face peeking out from your grass hut again. You won't accost every person walking past the fence from your perch on the letterbox.

Rest well, Miss Puss. You will always sleep under the geraniums now.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Idiot

I can't believe I'm adding more attention to the ultimate waste of space, but I haven't been able to escape this in the news, and everytime I hear it, I yell at the radio, or the tv, or make rude gestures at the paper. Hopefully I can write it out.

Paris Hilton, get over yourself. You drove drunk. You lost your license. You were put on probation. One of the conditions of probation is that you don't break the law. You were told to attend an alcohol education program, and enrol by February 12. You hadn't done it by April 17.

You drove without a licence. You got pulled over. You signed a piece of paper that acknowledged you shouldn't be driving. You were caught again. Speeding. Driving at night without headlights on.

Stop playing dumb and blaming your staff for you not knowing. You signed a piece of paper acknowledging you shouldn't be driving. If you are dumb enough to sign things you don't understand, you are definitely too dumb to be driving.

Driving is a privilege that comes with responsibilities, not a right. You forfeited that right when you chose to be so irresponsible.

Right now, the only people affected by your actions are yourself and your family. You are lucky. You could have killed someone. You could have injured someone. You could have killed yourself. That's not hot.

Time to grow up. Accept the punishment you have been given. Try not to make money off it. Just once. When you get out, pay a driver. I'm pretty sure you can afford it.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Scattered

My head is awhirl with scrambled thoughts. Whenever I have a moment to myself, I find myself composing sentences. The sentences don't ever seem to make it any closer to coherence.

I feel a bit like my brain is off on a whistlestop tour, occasionally checking in to tell me where it has been.

From the postcards I'm getting, my brain is:

Still giggling at random moments at Velvet's post
Worried about my mum who has decided to send her blood pressure through the roof
Deeply besotted with the new sheets. Egyptian cotton, 400 thread count. Do you know how hard it was to take them off the bed to wash?!
Having slightly disturbing lustfilled thoughts about Jamie Durie on Dancing with the Stars
Wondering if this is going to be the year of the boy baby. All of a sudden all my ex housemates are having baby boys.
Still giggling at random moments at Velvet's post
Sad for my friend who has farewelled his parents on their return home, and does not know when he will get to see them again.
Very happy with my boy - he keeps just making me smile at random moments
Giggling hopelessly at the Chaser and their version of Greased Lightning - check YouTube in a couple of days - it will be there!
Still giggling at random moments at Velvet's post

My attention span of a gnat is driving me nuts - hopefully this will help clear it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old

Today is Anzac Day in Australia, commemorating the ill conceived and ill timed assault on Turkey by Australia, New Zealand, and England on April 25 1915 at Gallipoli.

In Melbourne, we commemorate it with an enormous dawn service at our Shrine of Remembrance, followed by a march of returned service people through the city to the Shrine, and then a traditional (since 1997) football match between Essendon and Collingwood. I've just heard that 30,000 people attended the dawn service, and the football is sold out with over 100,000 people. The dawn service is followed by a gunfire breakfast, and drinking rum and milk seems to be compulsory.

I didn't go to the main dawn service - I've done it a couple of times, and it is just a logistical nightmare. It is more of a challenge than I can deal with at 5.30 in the morning to to find people in dark parkland. As usual, I went to a small suburban service with my siblings. We went to a different place this year. Normally, the service we go to is held on the bowling green out the front of the RSL, and it is eerily quiet, with the people around you just being moving shapes in the fog. They do an amazing job involving all of the attendees, giving us poppies to throw into the memorial bowl in front of the flame. They normally get about 200 people there, and have the local member and at least one local councillor. They weren't having a service this year - it is harder to keep the small branches going as our returned servicemen age. This years service was a multi location effort. The first part was at the WWI memorial on the median strip at the intersection of two major roads, and most of the service was there, before we all moved up the road a bit to the WWII memorial outside the town hall.

The hush and reflection that normally accompanies these services was absent this year for me. I suspect it was hard to have the hush when we were surrounded by traffic lights making their peculiar tappity tappity noises, trucks and cars passing on both sides of the road, flashing lights from police cars to protect us from traffic and close to 1000 people. I found myself people watching - the young family with toddlers and a very small baby, the older men, with their quiet dignity in their suits with their medals, the early to mid teens, some flying solo, some with their parents, the older ladies with their walking frames being escorted by their grandsons. I was also hugely entertained when the national anthem begun, and then continued into the rarely used second verse. There was a lot of la-ing going on. Thank you to my head full of frequently useless information for helping me out there.

I think the number of people surprised everybody there. I know it surprised the organisers who were worried that they would not have enough food, drink, tea and coffee for everyone if they came back to the RSL.

Over coffee afterwards, we were trying to decide whether Anzac Day is becoming more of a national day than Australia Day? I suspect it is, especially amongst those of us who are in our 20's and 30's. We are further removed from the conflict over Vietnam, and the negativity towards members of our armed forces. I suspect that regardless of how we feel about our minimal involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, lots of us recognise that these people are doing, and have done a hard job, away from their family and friends. As I write this, a member of my family is at the Dawn Service in Hyde Park London, and friends are still at Gallipoli for this year's services. It is very Australian though, to have a public holiday to celebrate a loss.

One thing I do know, is that every time I hear this, I still tear up.

They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Serenity

Driving to work this morning on the winding road next to the river with not another car in sight. I was surrounded by towering gum trees and the only sound I could hear was bellbirds. The only sign of human life was the 8 hot air balloons making their way through the sky.
 
Aaaaah.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

I wish I had broken my ankle

No, I haven't gone nuts. I'm just frustrated. I'm so tired of having to rely on other people, and not having hand free to do things with, to carry things. Changing the sheets and remaking the bed are not fun. New 400 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets however ...

This week, both my GP and my physio have told me that being thankful I hadn't broken my ankle was slightly skewed, as it would take less time to heal. I've stretched the soft tissue on the outside of my foot really badly, and compressed the soft tissue on the inside of my foot really badly. It will be 4 weeks tomorrow since I fell, and I've still got a beautifully swollen and bruised ankle, which is generating enough heat to fry an egg.

I want to wear a pair of shoes. That would be nice. I don't own a shoe big enough to put over my tubigrip, my sock and the medieval torture device that is my brace. Although, if you put wheels, a toe and a stopper on it, it would make a great roller skate. Skateranch, here I come!~

I want to go out for dinner tonight, but it has been raining (bring it on!!) and everything is slippery and I don't feel like sitting through dinner with a wet foot. We are either going to get home delivery, or the boy will go out and get something for us. I don't like my chances of watching the new comedy show on the ABC though - my boy knows a bit too well how much Paul McDermott is on my list and will just offer to leave us alone. Might just record that one.