Today is Library Day
Considering today is Library day, here are my thoughts on such things in terms of favourite books and/or authors of all time...well, as it stands this week:
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
As even though I read Jane Eyre in primary school, this book opened my eyes to beautiful writing, a world of prejudice we still live in, and a display of relationships that were complex, deep and intensely moving. I still harbour dreams of calling our daughter Scout... if we ever had a daughter that is.
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
The form and structure just blew me away. Again, a benchmark book in terms of opening my eyes to remarkable writing, awesome themes and powerful narrative voices.
The Collector by John FowlesOh my goodness. I read this when I was in year 9 I think and it scared the living crap out of me. That and confirmed my love of all things dark and psychotic.
Anything - as in any of his books - by Chuck Palahnuik
But I particularly love Choke, Survivor and Invisible Monsters. This guy is a genius of contemporary fiction.
Anything by Tom Robbins
In particular Skinny Legs and All - he writes sentences that make you swoon, on ideas that make your head hurt. Again, just showed me a sophisticated writing style to strive for. He also said: A "perfect" sentence, if there is such a thing, ought to be both vivid and mysterious, lucid and unpredictable. Whether it shakes out like a bedsheet or rumbles like a locomotive, its cadence ought to reverberate in the mind's ear with an unavoidable rhythm. Whether its images are designed to kiss the reader or spit in the reader's face, they must be fresh as new violets down by the hog creek, and they should be psychically charged. The sentence's philosophical and psychological meaning ought to spread in ever-widening ripples, like an echo circle. And, ideally, when the subject meets the verb, the verb ought to yell out, "surprise!" I don't know if I've ever written a perfect sentence. It doesn't matter. It's the pursuit of the perfect sentence that's the reward.
Other books worthy of a mention that I can actually recall:
The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand
The Lovely Bones - Anne Sebold
The Kelly Gang - Peter Carey
I am also LOVING Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott - a guide to writing and life. Its quirky, funny and very good at keeping it real. I loike it, I loike it a lot.
You will have to endure this as after the inaugural Parents & Friends meeting last night for Oscar's support service (Lifestart, School Age Services, Northern Region) I felt compelled to write this down.
Our son, Oscar, has a rare genetic disorder. His dodgy chromosome 4 as we've taken to calling it has impacted him in terms of his intellectual ability, his speech (he has a profound speech disability) as well as mild cerebral palsy. Despite all this, Oscar is divine. He is happy, has a wicked sense of humour, the most remarkable empathy for others and brings joy to the lives of all who know him.
But the early years of his life were really tough - will he grow? Will he walk? Will he talk? What sort of schooling will he access? What sort of life will he be able to lead? How much therapy can we afford? And when we can't how long is the wait to access community services that are available?
The early years as a parent are always a rollercoaster of emotion, with your stomach giving way, sheer exhilaration and sheer terror as you fling around the next blind corner. Having since had a 'normal' child and now expecting a very big surprise number three in October, the early years and adjustment to a life as a parent of a child with special needs is a hundredfold that of normalcy. A friend calls it living grief and she is quite right.
But in the midst of the fog that marred those first few years (and still settles over our lives with jarring regularity), we came into contact with an organisation called Lifestart.
Lifestart provides a community based program managed by families who know what it is to have the rug so quickly pulled from under you, you question if you will ever catch your breath or find your footing again, for families. Lifestart is a parent co-operative providing a family-centred approach to the needs of children with disabilities and their families. It is based on the concept of partnerships between parents and professionals. (as opposed to the conventional and widespread reality of therapists telling you what you should be doing and - probably unintentionally - giving you THE most oppressive guilt complexes for not doing whatever it is they recommend, even if that would mean losing your life (and your child's) to one massive therapy session.
These people probably saved my life (I was suffering quite severe depression when they came into our world) and our family from one based on stress and grief to one of empowerment, strength and optimism.
And now Oscar is 7. He has been in a special "Start Right" program for two years, aimed at helping kids like him get into the school system to then transition to the mainstream. And that is what we will be doing, with the advocacy and support of Lifestart. As the organisation developed so too did the original children who prompted its creation - parents realised, they needed help at school too. So Lifestart School Age Services came into being.
So Oscar will be in Year 2 next year, with his peers, having the opportunities and experiences afforded to other children his age, irrespective of their abilities. He will be able to learn from his classmates and his classmates from him. There will be a generation of children who grow into adults knowing Oscar and therefore knowing that just because you can't talk or you don't quite learn in the same way, you have value and purpose in life. And most importantly, that you are not to be feared, taunted or spurned purely because you're different.
Lifestart will be working with his teacher, the classroom aide and the school community as a whole to help make it happen and be successful.
This is about people making a difference every single day in small and quiet ways.
But we have a problem. The service in our area has not secured funding from the relevant government agency yet. So the 31 families in our district who will be using the service - and dependent on it in ensuring positive education outcomes and experiences for their children and the community in which they will be, are facing the prospect of raising almost $100,000 to make sure that can happen.
So yes, I guess this - as everything seems to - comes down to money.
But I don't have high-flying friends. I don't have big corporate clients I can turn to.
All I have is my voice and the experience I have had. So I guess its my turn to shout from the rooftops.
As we all face a future of uncertainty due to terrorism, reforms focused on the bottom line not on lives, and an every changing world, it needs to be heard amidst all that clanging, that life goes on, that there are people doing good deeds every day that are worth shining a light on and supporting.
That's all really.
So sadly, soggily true
Going to a school in a town known to the rest of the world only for its extraordinarily high rainfall, I hear you sister. I most especially empathise with the desperate hope that the rain would cancel sport: Saturday morning sport, Wednesday afternoon sport, and any time PE was scheduled sport. I hated 'em all.
But perhaps even more vivid in my school memories was the heaven of going back in Term 3 (none of these fancy four term years in my day) and finding that it was September, and Spring, and there were daffodils and pale new green leaves. There would always be a breeze blowing on that first day back and it wasn't quite warm, but it felt like cool water on your skin - so different from the Term 2 gales that sent the rain sideways into the corridors and wet your bags on the bench outside the classroom.
I share the wet uniform smell of school winters. In spring it was more like fresh earth; nothing had been dug, but the thick red volcanic earth had been pounded for months with heavy rains and it still let off a smell as it healed under the spring grass.
The best smell of all was Day One, Term One: nothing inspires a fresh start like the smell of an entire football field of freshly mown grass.
None of the above schmaltzy sentiment should be taken as any kind of endorsement for growing up in a small country town with an under-resourced high school and a disproportionate number of students able to show two left thumbs and only one set of grandparents.
Remember when you went to school and it was raining. Not drizzle but the long hard rains that marked our youths and that some of us prayed for so Saturday morning sport would be cancelled?
That you would then spend the day damp, your school shoes faithfully retaining that rainwater so your toes ached by recess. That smell of damp wool - from stockings, skirt, jumper and blazer - permeating every single classroom. That weird matted down hair from the dampness in the air and walking the last several hundred metres to school in the rain as the wind had busted your umbrella.
God I loved those days.
It's an all too familiar story...
One of the shining lights of my year at uni started one of his first pieces to air with this line.
It was his intro for a story about a plane crash. As in:
"It's an all too familiar story. Planes go up, dead bodies come down."
I am not kidding.
While its certainly not an auspicious start to a television career, it is the perfect segue into my comments about plane crashes and air shows. Besides, is there anything more enjoyable that regaling the world with humilating tales about other people, particularly ones they hope to the core of their soul, everyone has forgotten?
But peoples, why why why is the heir to Walmart flying around in a h.o.m.e.m.a.d.e plane??? I mean really, the dude could have bought a couple of leer jets?
And why why why would anyone in their right mind go flying in a group of 22 light planes - IN FOG - and not realise the stats were certainly favouring the floor not the air?
How many air shows must we endure before we realise, "oh yes, all those planes in one place, doing wild and wacky things that defy gravity - what's the likelihood one of them will come crashing to the ground in a ball of flames?"
I mean, derrr.
The First Wicket
Heard my first Shane joke on the bus today, an oldie but a goodie -
A British newspaper has surveyed 500 women, asking if they would sleep with Shane Warne.
Only 10 per cent said yes, the other 90 per cent answered "Never again".
Seriously, if Simone doesn't clean that little creep out of every penny I will be deeply dismayed.
Shane Warne: putting the spin on a different set of balls
My prediction, after reading today that Shane was indeed back to his old game of texting sex to all and sundry when his wife's back was turned (and also 12,000 miles away) is that we will see the following headline from the Warne Marking Director very soon:
"Shane's Tragic Disease: Sex Addiction Stole My Family"
Just you wait, dial-a-quote sex therapists around the world are quivering at the loins in the hope of commenting on this one...
Its mine, all mine
We live with my mother. When you stop laughing, this does have benefits. Sure, most days its hard to say these overide the gross infringements on privacy and the relentless suffocating sense of being sixteen even though I am completing my Masters, hold down a full time job, pay bills, have a great marriage and have produced two children yet to show any major psychotic tendencies. But the kids love her and it means I can duck out to shops or attempt a social life without the prohibitive costs of a hired babysitter.
and maybe this is due to the maternal breeding patterns of over-protectiveness, I was filling a bit under the weather this evening and AB, bless him, has made me custard. (an aside: after telling him I wasn't feeling particularly loved the other day - remember the not-sharing-the-chips-tirade there's been a whole lotta lovin').
And I'm not sharing. She's currently pretending to be teaching my children, but I know she's loitering for proper-made-by-a-chef custard. And I'm here to say, that lovefest of cream and egg yolks is mine, all mine.
Transformers are real
Wondrous things happen when your kids get older:
1) they sleep more
2) they don't seem to cry as much
3) they give you cuddles and tell you they love you, as opposed to crying, clinging, whimpering, whinging and gutting every cupboard in your house in the process..just because they can.
4) they say really funny things:
F: Mummy, Transformers are real you know.
M: Really, like in a world like ours?
F: No, in our world. I even know where they live.
M: Wow, that's pretty cool.
F: Yeah, they live in Tasmania.
M: Oh my goodness, that's amazing. Do they travel all over the world from there?
F: Yeah, and I even know what suburb.
M: Which one?
F: Accident and Emergency.
M: That is amazing. Pretty cool huh.
F: Yeah. They're real.
5) they generally can feed themselves.
6) they start to get food and drinks for themselves when hungry or thirsty, rather than crying, clinging, whimpering, whinging and gutting every cupboard in your house as some sort of covert message telling you they really feel like a slice of cheese.
7) they learn stuff and you can almost see their brains absorbing the information and using it. Seeing a child learn to read is simply remarkable.
8) you have really cool conversations:
F: So Mummy, to make a baby a daddy has to put his doodle into the Mummy's va...
M: Yes Felix, that is how a baby gets made.
9) the 'but why's' get a whole lot more interesting
10) you finally see that maybe, just maybe you haven't ruined your life but have created a person that is funny, caring, determined, loyal and thoughtful. Then again:
M: So what did you get up to at school today?
F: I formed a gang.
M: Really? Wow. Who's in the gang?
F: Anyone who wants to join, but just boys. You can be in the gang one day and not the next, but then you can come back if you feel like it. But only for boys.
M: I really like that you let people join in or not when they feel like it. That's really thoughtful. But why can't girls join in?
F: Because Jillian has the girl gang.
M: Oh I see, so what sort of things does the gang do?
F: Kill each other mainly. Have big battles and lots of karate fights.
And for Nude Tuesday is a request to keep it on, because about the only thing worse that TomKat, is the thought of TomKat nude...although getting ride of those gold shoes would definitely be palatable.
stop the presses!
Good lord she lives.
It was so lonely here talking to myself - as you could probably tell.
Am proud of my SMH letter today. Love the one following from the person in Vaucluse (could we be any less surprised at such comments from someone from that suburb??)
While Warne's scalp treatments have obviously leached into his brain (I'm sorry, the man throws a ball, the concept of a flawed genius is as generous as saying JH is generous and kind-hearted to people not from his socio-economic cluster) its time we accept he has a penchant for balls and stop being so surprised at his willingness to throw them at anyone.
A full week of childcare...for two. Lets just take a moment to marvel at such wonderment. Enjoy it Bec, who knows if it will ever happen again.
As Kim so aptly put it, I've been a little pre-occupied for the past week with the grown-up matter of My Job, which from time to time involves the front pages of newspapers and real work.
But guess what? It's a new week, and a new Monday, and yesterday's news is wrapped around today's greasy chips, and I can best sum it up by saying (because for most of the week I felt like a small hobbit on an arduous quest and because I let the Pea Princess watch the final LOTR yesterday): Well, I'm home.
Actually I'm not at home today and am missing the bliss of yoga pants and day long cuddles and Playschool. But we had an unusual offer of a full week of daycare and just couldn't refuse.
I'm home in the cyber sense, and just in time to stop cyber crockery being thrown at the cyber walls by the sound of it!
My grateful thanks to Kim for keeping Glamorouse rousing during the week that was...
MTC onWashing Day - I don't think we can go past Shane and Simone Warne for dirty laundry this week, can we?
You can all relax...
When a man loves a woman.
The Meg Ryan movie in which she's an alchohlic.
BTW - I covet her hair in that movie.
OK, lighter moment...
Last night I watched Napoleon Dynamite on DVD. This movie is now officially in my Top 10. From his teenage apathy, to the iron-on transfer t-shirts, high waisted pants and comprehensively appalling glasses, Napoleon Dynamite exists to make us all feel good about our high-school years. Plus, it features the girl who was the daughter in Meg Ryan's reliable tear-jerker movie when she's the alcoholic mum... the name of which eludes me at the moment. That and the brother Kip who "has an online chat date at 4pm" who morphs into a homeboy... priceless. Oh, and the Happy Hands Club who sign to cheesy songs...Spend some time on its website, you will get the picture.
Then...in an attempt to break the crankiness-of-Kim, I watched I love Huckabees. Another Top-10er. Not bad considering I classify Jude Law and Naomi Watts as wallpaper actors who just flash eyes/lips/teeth or flesh for effect.
raging against reality
For those who know me, the following will not surprise anyone. For those satisfying my delusions of being an international writer of a must-read blog, brace yourselves.
We are in a situation where our federal government is about to be in the absolute power of the Liberals. This may come as a shock to some, but over the last few years I have mellowed a little and actually agreed with some actions and policies. Smoe put this down to me getting older, I basically put it down to being bribed by the increased carer payment allowance and occassional one-off larger payments that usually arrive at a very good time (pre sheriff visits etc).
Don't get me wrong, I am still a proud Labor girl (although appalled at the sheer inability of those in office in Canberra) which is the driver for my current fury about a comment by John Howard (herewith referred to as Johnnie) about removing foreign and cross media ownership laws in Australia in today's SMH. He stated it was important but not that important as it would be something that would only affect a few not the community...
Excuse me??? (and I hate people who say that in moments of cranky incredulity)
That such a removal of restrictions is of no affect to the community? That its not important (as in bad important) that our media outlets could be held by overseas interest, that a majority of our media (read: news distributors) outlets could all fall into the hands of a few megalomaniacal businessmen who have no dedication, no commitment and worse, no care to the concept of impartial, balanced, bi-partisan presentation of issues and events? I'm certainly not saying we have that now, but at least we have journalists and media outlets and organisations that try.
So John Howard plays his flute and we all trudge down a path to a world where not only will there be a greater divide between the have and the have-nots, but also a growing ignorance due to his willingness to throw away legislation that goes some distance to letting both sides of whatever debate is centre stage to be heard.
Enjoy it Johnnie while it lasts, because those who were short-sighted enough in their voting to let this situation arise, will hopefully have learnt a very sage lesson...and never let it happen again.
God, the more that man has power the more we become like the US...and that is not a good thing. On any single level except for the rampant consumerism in terms of gross amounts of choice of product on supermarket shelves, which I see in movies and yearn for...
pygmy bowel motions...
just an aside (and for fear of a dooce-moment, am solely referring to inanimate objects at my place of employ) but recently installed half/full flush toileting facilities mean you've gotta poo like a pygmy if you want it all gone in one flush. Dead set. Maybe its the state I'm in, maybe its the current diet incorporating stewed prunes, home-made granola and tinned plums, but I'm spending a whole lotta time in a cubicle just waiting for the cistern to fill to flush again...and agian.
cranky pregnant woman
I realise this week's mood has been largely set by lack of sleep (as opposed to last week's which was determined by Oscar health issues) but man am I cranky.
Firstly, my husband seems to have forgotten the word 'consideration'. Firstly, on the way home from getting the casts made for Oscar's super legs, he ate an entire packet of Kettle chips and didn't even offer me o.n.e. . I didn't want one mind you - such delicacies are a highway to heartburn for me at the moment - but really, just O.F.F.E.R.
Then, yesterday, I didn't have breakfast and I left late for work as we HAD to get Oscar's enrolment forms in for next year (they're so overdue its making me feel ill). I even filled in his section. All the while he sat on the lounge eating a massive bowl of cereal drinking a coffee. He hadn't offered to even make me a cup of tea while standing at kettle preparing his morning hot beverage. ALL he had to do was sign in his spot and then, in the several hours he had at home ALONE drive down the road and hand it in. Nope, not done. Nor did he help me by remaking Oscar's bed (that he had leaked in as Pull-Ups are a nice word for substandard big boy nappies) that I had stripped and washed.
For the FIFTH time this week, I had to stand the entire way in on the bus from Narra to the city. That is over an hour peoples. And incase people thought my girth was just gristle, I.AM.INCUBATING.
So let it be known - yes, the Northern Beaches are home to divine beaches and all that goes with such things - but the people who live there, nay, the people who live there and catch public transport are self-centred, misogynistic arseholes who deserve all my wrath... and as you can see, are getting it.
The TomKat car crash continues...
Well, in Bec's silence this week (something about being a grown-up and in a position of authority as her employer spends much of this week on newspaper front pages and the like) I must have gone out in sympathy.
Last week she forgot to return Pea Princess' library book on the right day so once again the poor deprived child was denied the joys of library day and borrowing a book. In the midst of maternal guilt, I explained to Bec (as a means of commiseration) that I used to HIDE books on shelves at my local library so no-one could borrow them and they'd be there for me the next time I went in to do homework but would read bodice rippers instead (all the while then trying to will away the weird tingling sensations that, being a good Christian private school girl, I thought would banish me to hell). I'm not sure why I didn't make the connection of "I'm in a library so why not just borrow the book" but I'm sure it had something to do with teenage angst about those virginal pure librarians then knowing I was reading books that had s.e.x. in them...
So this week - in leaving the getting-ready-for-school routine to the husband - library day was missed in our household for both children. Deprivation in the 21st Century.
For regular readers you may notice I have updated (on our collective behalf) the links section of the site. This is an eclectic mix:
- Dooce because she is basically the inspiration for Bec and I to do this, and she sums up parenting so perfectly its now actually an addiction.
- Blurbomat - because its by Dooce's hubby, he looks like Jason Lee (which is not a bad thing at all) and loves Dooce with such comprehensive unrelenting divineness it has to be celebrated. He does sometimes talk weird techie talk during which I forget to listen, but he's adorable all the same.
- Snarkywood - because well, just read it and you will understand. Favourites: Britney, Whitney and Paula...pure gold.
- The SMH and Australian - because we're both news-junkies and a very very dear friend of mine writes for The Australian (plus we have to at least pretend to care about the latest bi-election in rural WA, Qld or Tasmania)
- The Awful Truth - because its hilarious gossipy Hollywood trash - what more could we want.
- Lifestart - because this is (in part) my site and this organisation saved our lives. They do amazing empowering work with families of kids with special needs on a daily basis. They also have no money - so anyone reading this working for a multinational or any organisation who wants to feel good about itself - please give it to them. They will work with Oscar's new school next year to help ensure its success. See, good works...
When Bec resurfaces I am sure she will add to this eclectic list.
Now...back to library day.
I haven't been reading anything substantial as I had my manuscript to submit for this semester. Now that is all done I am treating myself (before next semester kicks in) to some serious reading of Vanity Fair. (Note to commuters: best thing about an hour plus bus trip each morning and afternoon - you get to read VF cover to cover.) I used to read this mag religiously when I was earning money just for me (as opposed to now when it goes to pesky things like kids clothes, food and petrol) and, as we're currently in the depths of poverty, it seemed fitting to spend almost 10 bucks on such an import once more. Apart from loving it because it reveals a life I will never lead, it has some spectacular writing. Anyway, I love the writing of James Woolcott - and have found he too has a blog: http://www.jameswolcott.com/
My next book of choice is going to be Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson - a book highly recommended in my class at uni.
silence sometimes works
There are times when it is said so well by others, its best to stay quiet: http://www.smh.com.au/news/people/
and from www.wizmo.blogspot.com:
without being really life-threatening my day was managing to feel like its own special hell, the kind that happens to middle class white girls in consumer-oriented democracies, not the real hell that leads to maiming or loss of life...
I mean really - how many hours of each day? How many days in each week do we feel that statement applies to our lives. Love it.
not just another scrotal abrasion...
I asked a friend the other day, "has the world gone mad", to which he replied without even missing a beat, "the world is mad". The cause for our discussion on such big-picture things was the story that a man in South Africa had died while trying to eat his wife, after stabbing her to death infront of their two daughters. http://www.smh.com.au/news/unusual-tales/husbands-cannibal-act/2005/06/19/1119119722664.html
Talk about revenge from the grave...
While it doesn't completely play the part of a Nude Tuesday story, embelishing the tale to say so just heightens the drama don't you think?While my normal sensibilities are stunned that someone could a) do this and b)do it in front of their chidldren, my amoral GenX makeup mean my favourite aspect of this tragedy has to be the police officer's comments, "We do get a lot of domestic violence cases, but not to the extent that it goes as far as cannibalism."
That and pondering what part of his wife's face he was eating caused him to choke to death. Something about nose cartiledge appeals here.
But I know, he wasn't nude so it doesn't count. So, further to my GenX programming, I found this: http://smh.com.au/articles/2005/
Now, if breakdancing wasn't funky enough, why not do it naked I say. It opens a whole new world of remakes for Flashdance, Fame, and Emilio's stoned dance sequence in The Breakfast Club.Mike Keat of dance-cabaret-comedy act (isn't that concept enough to send you to Hillsong for some soul purifying) the Cuban Brothers, confesses to "a few scrotal abrasions", but rest assured, "I don't always go nude. It's kind of a reward if they've been a good audience." Wow, there's an incentive to clap till your hands fall off.
And a late entry for Saturday's Best Sport Scandal or indeed yesterday's Washing Day here is a delightful morsel, again from the SMH... http://smh.com.au/articles/2005/
One can only imagine the scrotal abrasions from such shenanigans...
mtc - More To Come, newspaper abbreviation used on copy paper to indicate to sub-editor that further pages were to come for the story, allowing a journalist to submit copy sentence by sentence on a breaking story or, more commonly, to submit a story over many small sheets of typewritten paper so corrections and deletions could be made quickly without requiring a re-type of the entire article.
Yes, I am so old that when I was a cadet journalist we still used typewriters and copy paper and funny abbreviations that mean nothing next to an iPod.
This weekend we got rid of Stuff. Lots and lots of Stuff and there's still more to go. As you know, we live in a tiny house with many children - I am the Old Woman who Lived in a Shoebox. This weekend we gave the Pea Princess her own bedroom. Meaning that we revert to a 3 bedroom house (box) with no separate lounge room but a combined lounge, kitchen, dining. Meaning that (list alert):
- We shuffled so much furniture up and down the hall we could have moved house three times over
- My back hurts
- The only way we can make this work is with a $10,000 kitchen re-fit (still cheaper than moving house)
- No, really, my back is killing me
- Everybody has more floorspace to play with and that makes us all happier people
- This is only possible because I got rid of so much Stuff.
Stuff has always been a big part of my life. I am the daughter of not one but two hoarders.
My mum was a hoarder of the worst and most public kind. We grew up in a sea of old bank statements, mending baskets, broken toys, ripped books; unused paper Christmas napkins kept from years past, even though she bought new sets every year anyway.
My dad likes to pretend he isn't a hoarder but he only gets away with that because he has a shed the size of our entire family home in which to hoard things outside the house (also, because he is a carpenter he has built secret double bookshelves so he actually hoards twice as many as the million books you can see in his room).
I like to pretend I'm not a hoarder but I so am. I engage in bulimic housekeeping, binging and purging compulsively, but somehow the binges always seem to win.
This weekend, however, I think I had an epiphany that might make the purges more effective in future.
Here it is: Stuff is not People.
Obvious, I know, but I realised that so much of my Stuff - especially the clunky, can't be dealt with, pack it back in the box and stick it on the high shelf clutter - is being kept because it is somehow linked to a person and usually to someone I loved.
Exhibit A - My mum's old Kenwood Mixer, in perfect working order but no bowl. It has been taking up a large box and a vital half metre square of floor space since Dad gave it to me after Mum died two years ago because that was not Any Old Mixer. That was the mixer that made most of our birthday cakes, pikelets, pavlovas, brownie slices and my favourite soggy banana cake. That was the mixer Mum used when she first started milking a house cow and decided to make butter with spectacular effects on the first go; you can still see the stains on the ceiling. I couldn't guess how many times we got to choose who would lick the beaters, who the spoon and who the bowl. But the bowl is gone and while I could have ordered another, or bought one at an exorbitant rate on eBay, I know I never will. I have my own food processor (actually, two, one big and one small -yikes) and my own version of beater/bowl/spoon with my own kids, and so I gave it to the Salvos on Saturday.
Exhibit B - A rather beautifully shaped pottery tea set, made by my first husband's aunt for our wedding present a million years ago. I don't drink tea, and on the rare occasions I do drink it, I drink it in a mug, not a cup, and I make it with a tea bag, not a teapot. This tea set has been hogging shelf space since 1991 when admittedly, my pompous ex-husband used to bring it out and drink from it just because it was there, even though he too was a coffee drinker. Why was I keeping it? Well, I liked him once, and I liked his family more although I'm pretty sure his aunt didn't make this set specifically for us but rather sent us one she couldn't sell in her gallery because the tea pot was a slightly different colour to the cups... to the Salvos it went too.
So: Stuff is not People. Keeping a broken Kenwood mixer, even fixing it, will not bring my mother back. Her memory is not in the tools she used to make the cakes, it's in the fact that we always had a party for our birthdays, no matter what. And keeping an unused tea set for fear of offending ex-in-laws is just plain stoopid, end of story.
Stuff is not People, and sometimes (Exhibit C - the ex-husband) even people aren't People. But at the Salvos shop around the corner there are real People who can sell my Stuff and use the money to help other real People, so it looks like it was an epiphany worth having.
Anyway, getting back to my first thought: with Stuff, as well as with People, there's always more to come.
coat me in caramel and call me a rabbit...
...because, as I am also not an ice-cream eater, AND not incubating, I'm thinking I'd rather have my PB with lettuce than BRIC.
I know, it's wrong, wrong, wrong...
all hail the great BR
It was only last night as we ACTUALLY.HAD.A.SOCIAL.LIFE and went to the Manly Wharf Hotel - a covert term for "many women in little clothing" and "many men who wish all day they could be surfing instead" - to celebrate AB's birthday with OTHER PEOPLE that the JOYS of Baskin Robbins Choc-Peanut Butter ice-cream was raised.
In fact, my SIL and I had spent much time bemoaning our similarly ongoing dire financial situation (although they're grown-ups and actually OWN property - well have a mortgage at least) when the BRCPBIC was brought up.
This is an invention my BIL and I would rate next to the discovery of electricity, and he's an architect so that's saying something. Think a rich chocolate ice cream with big.thick.gooey.swirls of chunky peanuty butter through it. The only improvement that can be made is adding a decent high-quality chocolate sauce to it. Although at the moment I'm really yearning for it with a banana as well - but I am blaming the incubus for that.
And that's from me, who doesn't actually really LIKE ice-cream that much (but still, on rare o
occasions, eats spoons of peanut butter straight from the jar)...
Putting the nuts into peanut butter
Yeah, well, that is just plain wrong-headed, lady. The notion that you would plan ahead to use one of the world's most convenient foods goes way beyond matching-clothes-peg-therapy.
Most importantly, however, and perhaps the main cause of my bitch on this one, is the idea that a jar of peanut butter, even the mega family size, could last long enough to warrant the modern preserving miracle of refrigeration!
Not one of my children can distinguish between the four syllables of peanut butter; it's like they exhale the word then inhale the product. They will also eat peanut butter toast slathered with honey over the top. mmm.
While I'm at it: I'll confess to a thing for iceberg lettuce spread with peanut butter and rolled up but only when I was a contrary teenager. While googling various peanut butter storage rules just now I came across the following combinations which are still making my teeth feel crumbly:
- peanut butter and dill pickles
- peanut butter under grilled cheese
- peanut butter and bananas
- peanut butter and raisins
- peanut butter AND bananas AND raisins AND honey
- peanut butter and cold chicken (likened in the instructions to a leftover chicken satay... I think NOT)
There may be worse: if you've got one, I say bring it on and let's see just how vile this PB drama can be!
PS - Happy Birthday AB!
not if you plan ahead...or do it so thick it just rips through itself.
BTW - it should be about now I send a big Happy Birthday out to the ether for the big hairy AB. Happy birthday my love.
Our First Tiff...
If you store peanut butter in the fridge it goes hard and rips the bread.
Clarification on the storage of concentrated yeast products
Vegemite does not need to be stored in the fridge. Peanut butter however, does.
feel the love as I dig dig dig ...
Well by now its fairly obvious that my mindset and mood this week hasn't been as cheery or upbeat as per usual. This is due to a number of factors, some long-standing buried bone type issues and others more current and - naturally - relating the the offspring.
It was confirmed for us this week that Oscar will need botox and splints (yes, the shot for his mum jokes are running thick and fast) for his precious little chicken legs. Apparently the foot-rolling issue is 'significant' for his age and will become physically inhibiting and quite painful if untreated. I wish there was a scale to measure than pain on the pain of having to wear modern-version planks of wood on your legs like a modern day polio child through an Australian summer and childhood.
You know my biggest undoing - not that he has to have them, but that I have to try and explain it to him. Those stunning, sparkly, innocent eyes just look at me in complete trust and security. And I know he's going to wake from a general with his planks on and be so utterly devestated - and then look at me with the stunning sparkly sad eyes that crush my soul in an instant. We were also informed that tendon surgery will be unavoidable, and that the botox and planks are just a good trial to show that the surgery would be successful. Somewhere in my head I get that logic, but its buried deep deep deep down.
But buried alongside it is the knowledge that, as this child does on a daily basis, he will adjust with good humour, grace and charm to this latest load. Teaching me to not sweat, wallow or cry on and over such matters as all he really wants is:
- us to love him no matter what
- someone to go with him for a walk and scooter ride
- someone to pat and sing him to sleep
- unlimited access to continual episodes of Kim Possible, Lilo & Stitch and American Dragon
- that the television never to be off Channel 35 except for The Simpsons or a Cowboy & Indian movie ideally featuring lots of shoot-outs and horse riding, gun totin' real men.
- as many weapons, preferably guns, and even better,ones that make noise and have lights in or on them as we will allow
- for everyone to be present and accounted for
- chocolate at least once a day
- and ice-cream with sprinkles and/or topping every night.
Other buried bones that are breaking the surface of my brain at the moment include:
- as noble and virtuous as Petro Georgiou, Judy Moylan, Bruce Baird and Russell Broadbent may be appearing at the moment - http://smh.com.au/articles/2005/06/16/
I can't help wondering why now? Safely ensconced in their electoral seats for another three years, safe in the knowledge that very soon their party will have absolute power, they suddenly come over all concerned and virtuous? Get real. How easy it is to look impassioned and dedicated when there's a virtual guarantee what you are fighting for will not happen and/or change anything. How noble we look when defeated. Where was their outrage and concern when it mattered and could have done something?
- what has happened to the investigative bones of our newspapers - how How HOW can it be that in this day and age the appalling occurrences and culture running detention centres has been left to run its poisonous course for SO many years. This stuff should have been front page every.single.day for the last few years.
- where is the outrage and concern over Chen Yonglin - http://smh.com.au/articles/2005/06/11/
and the SPINLESS behaviour of our Government in response??? Snaps to the Journos forum on Richard Glover last night (http://www.abc.net.au/sydney/richardglover/) who really gave the govt what's what about standing up to bullies and in doing so recognising the HUMAN RIGHTS of these people.
They also made the very pertinent comment that if it had been someone from Syria or Iran the government would have been all over them like the worst kind of love rash.
So... Bec, come and rub up against me as I seem to be harbouring enough rage for all at the moment...
For Kim's friend with the younger man...
No, it's not a joke. Yes, he's really 19 years older than me. But it's only 18 years in the four months between my birthday in August and his in December.
Based on bitter experience, I think it's much better to have a big difference in age than to have a mismatch in views on the really important things in a relationship, like whether wine glasses go in the dishwasher (they do) or whether Vegemite goes in the fridge (it doesn't).
Plus, the Pea Princess was recently doing history homework for school and she had two generations to interview about how things worked in the olden days - bonus!
I'd like to kick off Buried Bone Day with the news that Aung Sun Suu Kyi is turning 60 and still in detention in Burma.
It's not a classic buried bone in the true WestWing takingoutthetrash sense, but it makes me sad because:
- She was something of a hero to me when I was a teenager and she was so bright and beautiful and courageous in her beliefs
- I'm not surprised any more that someone like that could be locked away for 10 years
- Where has my outrage gone?
That's right, in the end, it's all about me...
A fond farewell
Two of our dearest friends are heading to the UK due to a work transfer. Bob and Lindy-Lou have been dear to my heart since we met in second year uni and we discovered a mutual love of food and all things Italian (Lindy-Lou is Italian and her family commits every endearing stereotype you can imagine of an Italian family living in Wollongong).
And now they are leaving.
Its not that we see each other that often, but its the comfort knowing they are nearby.
There is a bad ugly selfish level to all this as well - on my part that is. (I also never learn as similar bad selfish thoughts re another friend's overseas trip a few years back became the death knell for what had been one of my dearest, most valued friendships.)
Tomorrow they head off for a week of reconnaissance to check out Bob's new workplace and suss out some nice parts of town they could live in. They found out on Tuesday, they go tomorrow.
The word 'spontaneity' comes to mind.
The most spontaenous I get to be now is deciding whether to have the baked beans or tinned spaghetti toasted sandwich at lunch. Only to be always crushed on finding that yes, there may be two tins in my drawer but no, they are of the same contents - usually the one didn't choose.
Don't get me wrong, their lives are not peachy clean or without heart-ache and worries, and they both work bloody hard at what they do to as well as being probably the most divine friends in the known universe.
But as I will return tonight to a home that looks like an abandoned derelict student-furniture-filled abode, trip on a truck, impale my foot on a piece of lego and survey the wreckage of a life filled with choices I made, it dawns on me that there are times when the feeling of your life taking place in quicksand are heightened so dramatically, you feel you can't even draw a decent breath.
I know that sensation will pass, that my kids will run at me with such glee that I am home and regale me with stories on their playground antics (normally involving a war or kung-fu fight of some sort) and how the best part of their day was me coming home, and I know my Lindy-Lou and Bob will return a few years down the track, but sometimes its just nice to wallow.
Top 10 reasons for me to be an ex-pat wife...
Inspired by the news that within the same week both Kim and I have had best friends suddenly posted to London. Caren, if you're reading this, I haven't rejected the idea of taking our FF points and heading over to stay with you. Chris, if you're reading this, honestly honey I wouldn't go without you and the kids. (Caren, I didn't mean that: it would just be me)
However, assuming my fantasies came true and the opportunity arose for Chris to be whisked away to some hotshot offshore job, fully-found, here is my list of 10 reasons to join him and become an ex-pat wife:
- Travel is so good for the children - preferably travel to corporate suites with Dial-an-Angel nanny accounts included in the contract.
- I can totally deal with any kind of weather. I can also totally deal with air-conditioning and clothing allowances.
- It's just not fair that I'm not one.
- Given the chance, and a decent exchange for the dollar, I promise I would pay my domestic staff above-award rates.
- I haven't played tennis since before the Pea Princess was conceived.
- The jealousy may endanger my immortal soul.
- Dinner parties are so much more fun without the mini sausage rolls.
- I'm double the age I thought I'd be before I worked overseas.
- I'd be willing to beg.
- I'd be willing to do a lot more than that.
I can hear the soothing tones now
If your child is crying incessantly, whinging constantly or pouting profusely, press one now.
If your child is refusing to eat, refusing to sleep and refusing to get dressed, press two now.
If you are drinking a bottle of red wine alone each evening, press any button now as it won't get any better than the floating feeling it instills in you.
(after deliberating on pressing any button and what that really means about your true dependence on alchohol, you press 1.)
Talk in a low, calm voice. Even though your child won't hear this over their crying or whinging it will give you a sense of false empowerment which far outweighs the morose worst-parent-in-the-world mentality permeating your existence. Don't try to reason, they don't care. Bribe if you must. Find the bottle opener. Secure a fine Margaret River Cab Sav. Turn on The Simpsons and let it all wash over you. Feel the relaxing waves of the red water ebb at your brain. Let the droning drift into the background. Breath one, two, three...
Yes - I have set shelves in the refrigerator for types of food groups. Sure, it is quite fluid as the fridge is a pre-children, dual-income-we-eat-out-all-the-time purchase that barely fits the family size container of vegemite and peanut butter in it, let alone food stuffs to feed a family for a fortnight.
While I have a photographic memory for food inventory in our house, it is my peg prediliction that after almost 14 years still makes AB shake his head.
My thought for Library Day:
There should be talking books for parenthood. Like the audio tours you can take through an art gallery. That way, when you came to something you didn't understand you could just check the index, pop on the head phones and cue up a soothing voice to walk you through the instructions.
In case you think I didn't catch up after my looooooong weekend offline, do you really allocate different shelves for different foods in your refrigerator?
So I LIKE having set shelves in the refrigertor for dairy goods, condiments, left overs, baking items (such as nuts, dried fruits and eggs).
That's very sweet of you, but, seriously, if I took away the terms 'hussy' and 'sugar daddy' from my relationship I could be risking a shift from Discovery Channel back to Disney ... and I ain't going there, babe.
I'm writing a blog with a hussy?
KIDDING. Reasons the ChriBec saga does not mirror TomKat...
1. Unless you guys are seriously living some double life (like Arnie and Jamie Lee) I don't think you guys were actively trying to promote your latest blockbuster.
2. You have a brain
3. Last time I looked Chris wasn't noticeably gay.
What you two do to actively promote a reality that long term relationships can have an active (understatement) sex life completely dismisses any moral or ethical dilemna in you having a sugar daddy and Chris being a cradle-snatcher.
The Horns of A Dilemma - More TomKat musings
Now, I find myself stuck between a good snarky gossip and an ethical dilemma on the whole TomKat thang.
The source of my moral confusion is not Tom Cruise's psycho behaviour on Oprah (http://www.defamer.com/hollywood/gossip/tom-cruise/
) or almost as weird staging of kisses on red carpets and playing chasies with Katie to make sure she stays in shot with him.... No, in this I join with all right-thinking people in saying 'see - I told you he was gay'.
It's not the cute Katie quotes about how lucky it is that dreams come true because, quite frankly, they don't and you could just ask her who else was up on her wall to prove the stupidity of that statement.
It's not the way actors seem to be going back to the old star system days of PR arranged relationships cos, hey, I work in a kind of related field (dooce alert!) and I can understand how desperate a publicist might be to get either Katie or poor old Tom any kind of coverage alone. Go forth and milk it, I say: prostitute whatever's left of your human emotion and FLOG those films for all they're worth!
(For this one I have to go back to Defamer, which really sums it up with the Vampire pic here http://www.defamer.com/hollywood/gossip/tom-cruise/
No, no, no, none of this really gives me much grief at all.
So having added to the snarky gossip - here's my ethical dilemma.
Me - 27; Chris - 46.
Went out for one drink and DID.NOT.STOP.FUCKING.FOR.THREE.YEARS.
And then only because the Pea Princess had arrived and nevereverever slept.
Reverting to prude mode and 10 years later we've still got the Discovery Channel on cable, so to speak...
So, all I'm saying is, what if it's true?
Given the TomKat freakshow fits also with Wednesday Wedding Day, I'm continuing on the theme...
Those living in glass houses …
Not everyone is thrilled with Katie and Tom's news. Brooke Shields is firing back at Tom for criticizing her use of antidepressants to combat postpartum depression.
Last week Tom, whose religious beliefs condemn the use of pharmaceuticals, bad-mouthed Brooke for using Paxil, asking, "Where has her career gone? In response, Brooke has invited the 42-year-old actor and 26-year-old Katie to come see her on stage starring in "Chicago" in London. Brooke says she'll even spring for admission."I've left two tickets [for him] — one adult, one child," Shields told US magazine.
Can it get any worse...
First there's the age difference.
Then there's the puppy love that is SO wrong in a man of his age.
Then there is the weird morphing of her into some weird she-man type creature.
Then there's the revelation she had posters of him on her wall as a child and dreamt of marrying him one day.
And now she joins his cult.
Welcome to the world of Tom and Katie - hitherto referred to as TomKat - as that is how he is behaving and, it sounds like a unsavoury affliction, which really, it is...
I tend to be a worrier
so much so that in the early years of our relationship (ie pre-children and poverty) my husband would say, "what are you thinking about?" to which I could reply with any of the following
- "how are we ever going to solve poverty in the third world"
- "I can't believe the logging of old-growth forests continues and that the notion of jobs is the main proponent of sustaining its existence"
- "why on earth is it a battle to ensure whaling is outlawed and that the world continually gets sold, and accepts the pup, that Japan is whaling for science"
- "just how irritating it is that white collar crimes, which can dessimate the lives of far more than a robery or even a murder, but the punishments are so light in comparison"
... you get the picture. These things occupied and indeed, on occassion, could keep me awake at night.
So here we are - these issues still remain, we have a government soon to be in absolute power that consistently allies itself to countries that bully others with the mindset of 'its my way or the highway' and are willing to swallow any notion of humanity in the name of policy, security or just some irrational moral high-ground.
These things still keep me awake and still worry me. Now I just have concerns about the welfare of our children and our woeful seemingly never-ending financial plight too.
Ain't life grand.
just worked out the logging in Kim/Bec thing. It's only taken a week.
- how, after almost two days of a training course on communicating with people who have different communication styles (read: social morons who simply don't get humour in emails, are fault-phobic and see no problem with emails written entirely in caps) and different modus-operandi, can you sit in a role play (which btw, I HATE) and be exactly.the.same.as.before.the.two.day.love.in? There are some people I will never understand, although now I can do so with the throw-away - they must be an expressive driver personality.
- how many times can you peruse an Ikea catalogue before tiring of it and screaming - enough beech enough!
- can I be so surprised I scored a perfect 10 to slot me nicely into the psychological profile of being 'analytical'? So I like using the same coloured pegs on like coloured clothing, and if I can't do that at least using the same coloured pegs on whatever the clothing article is I'm pegging? So if I can write a list or put something into a table I will (this does not extend to excel spreadsheets, a program that scares me and one I freely offer to the truly crazy analyticals who like numbers and that). So I enjoy colour-coding the boys wardrobe and hanging their school shirts in order for the week (ie - shirt, shirt, shirt, sport shirt, shirt). So I LIKE having set shelves in the refrigertor for dairy goods, condiments, left overs, baking items (such as nuts, dried fruits and eggs). So I have a photographic memory inventory of every item in our pantry - so when my husband calls me at work asking if we have more coffee/sugar/biscuits/hidden chocolate stash I can direct him to it more precisely than a GPS would be able to. So SO? If its any consolation I also scored 8.8 for expressive and 8.6 for amiable. So at least I'm a friendly, outgoing lime-light seeking obsessive analytical type.
Today was buried bone day - and the award goes to the dude in my love in who's head was so far up his own arse he learnt nothing. And he was the one in the room that had the most to learn. Go figure.
Yesterday was library day - fittingly, it was the workshopping of the first chapter of my novel (stop laughing) at uni. I suitably traumatised everyone with graphic scenes of a murder and am feeling pretty stoked everyone loved it. At the moment its called Mountain Song, but that changes at least weekly. I hope to have it finished before I die.
Glamorouse Rouse Routine
As agreed over lunch in the park, between the Harbour and the concrete cancer pylons, here's the Glamorouse Rouse Routine.
The Idea being that there's no point being Glam-O-Rouse unless you actually rouse on stuff, you know? Give the world back some of what it's been giving us, try and even up the score a little.
Being working mums, and therefore essentially (albeit unhappily) routine-driven, we need a timetable. Thanks to Kim's slightly freakish need for order in small things (think clothes pegs colour-coded to the clothing they peg) we even have a Word Table to help order our thoughts here - but sadly the formatting doesn't show up on Blogger:
Monday is Washing Day
- time for dirty laundry to be aired, preferably of the silky celebrity variety
Tuesday is Nude Day
- cos it kind of rhymes, and the idea of a naked news day is way cool
Wednesday is Wedding Day
- coupling stories of any kind
Thursday is Library Day
- did you really read that or just the Spectrum book review of it?
Friday is Buried Bone Day
- what can we bury and how deep can we dig
- best sport scandal – who are assaulted who? Who thought no meant yes this week? What do you mean these little white pills make me run faster? I thought she liked 6 guys at once…
- Philosophy Day - thinking thoughts, whose turn is it to try and use the non-functional what should we have for dinner tonight area of the brain and ponder the greater meaning of life?
By my count, today is Thursday, which means Library Day, which I know is true because the last thing I said to my husband this morning as I crept out for an early meeting was "Don't forget it's library today and the Pea Princess' library bag is under my side of the bed".
I confess, I am abusing the Power of the Blog to get myfamily life in order. See how well it's working so far?
mtc on Library Day
But where did he keep his lighter?
And his cigarettes for that matter... Scratch that: I really don't want to know where he kept the oddments he was still carrying after stripping down like that.
Eee-yew. Do you have to wait til CSI has finished before you can disinfect Scary Naked Smoking Man's bum prints from your deck?
Just found this which may give you some idea of how to respond the next time you have a SNSM intrusion:
A 26-year-old Chicago man doesn't remember how he ended up naked and beaten by an irate man with a cane, but police think it may have something to do with the LSD-laced marijuana he smoked.
Police say Othello Tukes woke up Thursday in a Muncie, Ind., hospital covered in cuts and bruises, after allegedly taking his clothes off and trying to break into two homes.
"He doesn't know how he got naked; he doesn't know what happened," said Muncie Police Deputy Chief Terry Winters.
"He said he doesn't remember anything other than he was smoking marijuana and that it was laced with LSD. And the next thing he remembered he was he was in the hospital."
Police received a 911 call from a home near Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.,
early in the morning last Wednesday, police say.
"The call came in that there was a naked male attempting to gain entry through a resident's front door,"
explained Deputy Chief Bob Fey of the Ball State police.
Officers followed footprints through the snow to another residence, where they saw the broken
Inside was a naked man lying on the dining room table, being beaten with a cane by the homeowner.
scary naked smoking men
Last night someone attempted to break-in to our house. If that was not enough, they decided to do it only in their underpants. That's if they were wearing any. We know this as the rest of their clothing was on our back verandah and in our garage. They were sopping wet so we (and the spunky too-young police office with the big gun) deduced he'd gone for a swim in the lake first.
This freaks me out on a number of levels:
- a naked man was on our back verandah for goodness knows how long last night
- he leant up against our back door and smoked about 15 Winnie Golds.
- he tried to break-in through a back window, trashing one of our fly-screens and attempting to do so with a kids paint-brush
- the opposite window was open as Mum has watched too much hysteria-inducing 'current affairs' shows and is convinced our unflued gas heater is killing us and insists on opening every window in our house when its on
- our cat is missing.
Spunky policeman is sending around CSI to dust for fingerprints and take the cigarette butts away for DNA testing.
I am simultaneously freaked out and quite chuffed that something so potentially dangerous could happen to us. The freaked out part is currently winning.
For the record...
To - perhaps - seal off the yoga pants conversation for the time being, I would like to record that at 8.11 am today, Tuesday, I removed the yoga pants and got dressed for work.
Every time we say goodbye, I cry a little.
let me get this right
You can actually wear clothes that cover everything (from the remnants of incubating to the innumerable misdemeanours involving packets of mint slices) while simultaneously giving the impression you are immenently going to engage in some form of athletic activity for the betterment of your body and mind.
Here I was slothing around in Target trackies (I find Kmart ones lose their shape far quicker and use a substandard elastic that is known to fail at the most inappropriate therefore most highly embarrassing moments) and a XXXL t-shirt of my husbands (who has never incubated so has no excuse) just wondering when we were going to move into a caravan and truly believe Coke is a legitimate beverage substitute for water. That and get a mangy dog.
I have a confession. Yesterday I said ironing was for pussies. Today I am in a LINEN maternity shirt. Its oversized (of course) so I look like a Darrell-Lea Lady but without the bow (I'm saving that for when I'm 30 weeks and resemble Gilbert Grape's mother) but worst of all... its pink.
There is good reason. I promise. Below are detailed recent wardrobe malfunctions involving sexy maternity gear that involves lycra and other plastic fabrics:
- walking to work from the bus I suddently felt a chill. My maternity skirt had FALLEN (the only time anything has every fallen off my body as most of my clothing has permanent etchings on my body to which they were virtually nail-gunned) half way down my thighs, so the group of camera-men setting up a film shoot I was walking past copped a full view of incubus gut, gusset and maternity bullet-proof undies. I can only imagine the years of therapy I caused.
- walking to work from the bus - AGAIN - my modified stockings (think normal stockings but with a self-delivered scissor cut down through the 'control brief' section to fit abovementioned incubus gut - because I'm too cheap and forgetful to buy jumbo stockings) fell to my knees. Wearing a long skirt (thank GOD) I froze for a moment, then let any skerric of remaining pride fly free on the wind as I hitched them up in full view of morning commuter crowds and traffic, then waddled to the convenience store and bought the biggest nanna stockings I could find.
So today is it safe navy pants and my pink linen shirt. I am living proof you can take the girl off the North Shore, incase her in a life of poverty and let her swear like a bastard, but not the North Shore out of the girl. Miss Buckham would be so proud.
How yoga saved my children
Yes, I own yoga pants. And not in the same way that I own a tennis racquet and aquarobics shoes and a sleeping bag and sketching pencils, either.
Actually, yoga pants are god's gift to mothers of three - provided you don't wear them right. If you wear them correctly you take the groovy extra length of waist band and funkily fold it down to coccyx height, thereby displaying your navel piercing during Warrior pose and your bum cleavage during Downward Dog pose.
But if you have all the shithouse rat cunning and keen nose for camouflage that comes with the unforgivable changes your children (bless them) inflicted on your pre-baby body, you take a different path.
You take that extra length of waist band and you gratefully extend it over all the creases and folds and stretch marks that your brood (bless them) so thoughtlessly left behind.
And the next time you do a Downward Dog, and your floppy t-shirt flops down and rests on the underside of your (once B now DD) boobs, you can extend your thighs upwards in peace, knowing that the world's most hideous gut is not hanging out there exposed ...
... And instead of spending the Downward Dog resenting every moment of cluckiness, every fertile impulse, every other woman in the universe who managed to just bounce back into shape likethatbitchElleMcPherson ... you breeaatthhee and eexxtteeennndd and thank Vishnu and Rama and most of all K-Mart for the invention of long waisted yoga pants in really dark colours.
its taken a whole bus trip
but Bec, you own yoga pants?
Mondays - a new day, a new week, a new hope
Today I woke up when the second child (soon to be the middle child - I am contemplating establishing a fund for all his therapy down the track but red wine wins every time) climbed into our bed at 6.48. Climbing into our bed means squashing the incubus, leaning on an ever-growing mammory gland (up two sizes in 21 weeks and counting), murmuring "I love you, Mummy" and then hunkering down.
SIX FORTY EIGHT. This is the equivalent to an 11.30am Saturday morning sleep-in during the divine dual income pre-breeding life that lived the mantra who needs property lets go out to dinner again.
It did of course, mean I was late to work.
Getting to work involved bundling everyone in the car and then bus-chasing down Pittwater Road. Nothing beats the exhilaration of a bus chase in morning peak hour. Actually, catching up to an express bus comes pretty close and somehow, I managed to be at my desk by 9.30. This is a dangerous success as of course now my subconscious knows that I can wake up every day at 6.48 AND wash AND blowdry my hair AND be at work by 9.30. That is a dangerous precedent. Of course I'm in plastic clothing - no natural fibres have touched my body for so long as ironing is for pussies - and there is no makeup, but gee, there's a lovely bounce to my hair.
Working from home in Marrickville, only the pilots can hear you scream
Today is Monday, as they say on Playschool, and on Monday Mummy works at home.
On most of the other days Mummy (that's me, Bec) works in an office. Offices are quiet, controlled and have ergonomic chairs for my enormous bottom.
On Mondays there is quiet only during Playschool and naptime; the only control is the power my two youngest children now have to extract any form of snack food from me when I am on the phone (the old point and shout method, an important developmental milestone in most child-rearing texts); and the chair focus shifts to the opposite side of my bottom as first one, then the other, two year old inserts him or herself onto my lap in order to "Hep you wiff your wurk".
In homage to the first blog of the most wonderful Heather Armstrong (www.dooce.com), here are some of the reasons that I should not be allowed to work from home.
It's 12 past 4 in the afternoon and I'm wearing the yoga pants I slept in last night.
I've been wearing them during several highly complicated, professional phone calls.
I kept them on when I went out for the pre-nap wear-out-the-toddlers walk, too.
I may still be in them tomorrow.
It's now 16 past 4 and I have lost count of how many times my littlest girl has watched the Hooley Dooleys today. Between television, snack food, pre-nap walk, nap, more snack food and more television, the three of us somehow get through this Monday each week.
Sometime in the next couple of hours my husband will walk through the door with The Pea Princess, and he will give me that whatdidyoudoallday look. Having worked from home himself with our double contribution to the 21st Century baby boom, he won't actually mean whatdidyoudoallday, but he won't be able to stop the look. It's hardwired.
He won't so much walk through the door as negotiate a path. As I sit here, surrounded by the pieces of four separate Pooh Bear jigsaw puzzles, three newspapers, five of the kids' artworks (three of them screwed up into long paintbrush shapes and dipped into the breakfast milk to make the last two), the breakfast milk itself, two jumpers, a scarf, two half-squashed boxes of tissues, and what I've just discovered are the missing pair of Chloe's tights squashed into the printer feeder tray, I kinda wonder whatdidIdoallday, too.
And the final reason I should not be allowed to work from home is that at the office the only stuff in the fridge is flat champagne, soy milk and someone's well-intentioned skinny salad dressing.
I think I'll save the whole Monday EATING issue for another time - it's too ugly to write down just now.
Shortly, I hope, I will be joined here in Glamorouse by the lovely Kim, who is a few months short of delivering her own One For The Country ( http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2004/s1261874.htm), and who also knows the joys of working both from home and from the lovely quiet office, and who, like me, has tried and failed to keep a solo blog on account of all the evil rage that tends to pour out of Us Women when we send our diaries online.
Our theory is that doing a double act will make us less like Virginia Woolf and more like Bridget Jones - dry instead of dour, and only depressed in a cute and peppy sort of way with far less dependence on prescription drugs.