Tuesday, December 04, 2007
I think I must go through stages when it comes to the urge to write something.
All or Nothing.
Well, neither of those is really a stage is it. More like a state.
So, I will rephrase that. I go through states.
And tonight I am the Nothing state.
Head is completely empty, couple of thoughts running around looking for somewhere to sit down only to disappear down the basement and get lost.
I think it may be due to the fact I have not been eating my vegetables lately.
The zucchini from the garden, along with a big tub of mung beans and three tomatoes has been my entire vegetable intake for the past five days.
I cannot even believe I feel the need to divulge such important information to the rest of the world. It indicates that there is something in me that thinks you might be remotely interested.
And that shows just how tired I really am.
It is on that incredibly banal blab up above that I shall sign off.
Monday, December 03, 2007
I love the whole concept of having a little world to play with using scale model train thingies.
Which is what I need to put the fucking thing together before Christmas so that when he unwraps all the lovely shiny paper there it is in completed glory. Because it would not be nice to just open the box and then have to spend two hours putting it together.
Apart from the usual scantily clad girls promoting shoes and cars, there is a more annoying one, one that my son reads and then asks what it means.
Nasal delivery technology to help maintain erections and help with your sex life.
Needless to say, young boys with curious minds read the signage and want answers.
So, S asks me later on whilst we are home what is nasal delivery technology. What does it have to do with your sex life.
I need to tread carefully here as each answer points to a new alley way of questions. I explain about erections and why one needs an erection. Which he knows from previous conversations anyway.
But there are other things to be mentioned in the conversation as I don't want him to think that young men essentially need to use medication to get an erection. I have to explain the role of recreational drugs and excess alcohol and how they affect the body. Then I have to explain that older men with vascular problems and other health issues may need help.
The conversation seemed to go well and he was satisfied with the explanation.
Later on though he says to me that whilst he knows that having sex is an expression of love and caring between a male and female, do you have to love someone to have sex. Can you just have sex and not love someone.
I have to tell the truth here because the last thing I want is him constantly associating love with sex and vice versa as, although in an ideal world it would be wonderful, the reality is that nature is at work and wanting humans to shag and populate the earth. That is the bottom line. I just need him to be mindful of the emotions that can enhance the experience.
Blah blah blah stuff.
So I say to him that you can have sex without being in love and you can love someone and not have sex.
"Oh, like you and dad?" he says.
"What?" I say laughing.
"Well, you know, you love dad but don't have sex", he looks at me for confirmation.
"Oh, I don't think you are right there", I answer and the atmosphere changes. There is absolutely no need for me to elaborate as I can see he knows exactly what I mean.
He looks at me and then his eyes open a little wider and he pulls a face of disbelief combined with borderline horror.
"It's okay to be freaked out that parents, family and old people have sex", I cannot stop laughing by now.
He changed the subject.
Talk about a moment of truth.
I almost heard the clink of the penny as it dropped.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
It is by no means a small job.
There was a brief moment where the lights did not work and I had to fiddle around to fix them. Without going into too much detail (for fear of showing what a grump I can be) I had to verbally wind down to show my son how to use self control to diffuse a bad mood.
The entire process took about 3.5 hours which included cleaning the room completely. The dining room table was covered in photos and other bits and pieces. Funny how you can just clean up an annoying mess when you have to, in half the time you kept thinking it would take.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
My mother married in emerald green, which is apparently bad luck. Years later the dress was cut up and the fabric used to make clothes for my dolls.
Twenty nine years and four living children and one deceased child later my parents finally divorced. I said to my mother that if she was unhappy with dad, why did she have four children.
To which she replied that when you have children you at least know that someone will love you.
I found that comment terribly heartbreaking.
But she was right, we do love her.
Friday, November 30, 2007
I had to go to do some paperwork at a client who is about to be dumped by me much to his chagrin.
Then I went and had some lunch on my own at a local cafe. It was so quiet that my coffee and sandwich was presented to me with great flourish by two men at the same time. Sigh.....
Thursday, November 29, 2007
1. I lick the tip of pencils before I write and have done so all my life.
2. I like the end crust of bread more than the bread itself. No-one else is allowed to eat the end crusts at work or at home. Only I am allowed to. I also like the end crust to be two days old.
3. I cannot remember the registration of any cars I have owned, not even my current car.
4. I hate any part of my body being touched when I am trying to get to sleep.
5. I cannot read maps. It is very, very silly if you believe me when I give instructions. You will get lost for sure. I have been known to read them upside down.
6. I keep receipts for everthing except food shopping. It stresses me out because I have so many. I also keep tickets for everything.
7. If I am given instructions you have to be looking directly at me or I will forget. I know it is bad because people comment on it and call me vague. I am not vague, I just need to be looking at the person who is talking. Then I like to repeat it back to make sure I understand what is going on.
8. I have major trouble with remembering what is my left and right to the point where I have to stop and think if you mention the words. It is really, really not funny when being given directions. I am sure that is tied in with number 5.
As I have seen a meme at nearly all of my favorite blogs, rather than send this meme onto eight others, let me know one thing that is weird about you.
He took a year off work and went with a friend.
Obviously there are a lot of good stories that go with a twelve month trip to Europe on $5.00 per day, but there is one that always makes me laugh.
He had forgotten all about it but for some reason today it popped up in his head, as memories are inclined to do.
The two of them were in Paris on the train and K noticed a very old man in a long blue trench coat nearby in the carriage. It was quite crowded and the old man kept rubbing and pressing himself up against K during the train trip. Each time my husband moved away, the old man would move closer.
When K and his friend jumped of the train, this old man followed them.
Finally K turned around and offered him some money to go away.
The man was most affronted.
He said, with a very heavy French accent, "I don't want your money, I want your body".
It was not quite the experience that K had been hoping for in the most romantic city in the world.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I had met a guy and wanted to be able to see him without my parents disapproval. Not only that, things at home were unbearable and I wanted out.
The flat I moved into was a one bedroom apartment that had originally been built for someone’s in laws and was situated above the main garage of the adjoining home. It was at 22A Glennifer Avenue.
It was huge. Inside was as though time had stopped in 1960. The décor had been kept fresh whilst still keeping the colours original with each repaint over the years.
The bathroom had a beautiful colour scheme of pink, grey and white. The tiles on the floor were tiled in a harlequin manner, soft pink and grey medley leading you to the white, cast iron pedestal basin. Above the basin was a built in cupboard to store items in. The mirror on the front was pitted with age. On either side of the cupboard were the casement windows which opened out to let the fresh air in. One could stand in the shower and look down at the neighbour hanging out her washing. I suppose that meant she could look up at me showering but I never thought of that. I just loved looking out at the blue sky as I contemplated the day.
The carpet was the original grey and floral Axminster with patches worn through in a few places, the hessian base showing through. But it was still gracious despite it’s tired appearance.
The doors throughout were a lovely veneer with original Bakelite fittings.
To gain entry from the front, you would walk up two flights of terrazzo steps to the front door. Opposite the front entry was another door that took you out to an asphalted deck with a few pots of geraniums giving it an almost Mediterranean appeal.
Once in the front door, you were in the large lounge room which had big, white sash windows and each end allowing the light to stream in. There were no curtains on the windows, only Venetian blinds. There was a tiled fire surround hugging small gas fire and above that a large bevelled mirror that was, like the bathroom mirror, pitted with age. I had bought a cheap lounge suite which was too small for the room and I would sit and watch the black and white television each night eating two minute noodles for dinner.
A hallway left that room an took you past the bedroom and bathroom doors and into the huge kitchen. The kitchen cupboards had been designed with an amateur chef in mind. Loads of storage behind the painted, cream timber doors, vented at the front and featuring long, red, Bakelite handles with a small silver button that you would push to open and close. The bench tops were a mottled, red laminate material and edged with an anodised aluminium for wear and tear value.
But the most beautiful thing was the double Chef stove. Cream in colour with 6 big burners, stove top grill, oven and plate warmer, it was a very, very inviting and comforting piece of retro kitchenware. Above it was a giant exhaust canopy. Obviously the people for whom this flat was built were very serious about cooking. Two minute noodles were the only thing I actually cooked on that delightful stove. I may have warmed up a pizza in the oven once or twice.
The floor was a speckled grey linoleum. There was a separate area for the kitchen table and chairs and in the very far corner was a laundry chute that went down to a purpose built room that had a concrete laundry trough next to which was the original gas copper. Once I tried to wash my clothes in it, but decided that hand wringing towels was hard work, especially after they took a week to drip dry in the middle of Winter.
My bedroom was flanked by built in wardrobes with veneer doors. I had my bed in a position where I could sit up and look directly out the big windows down onto the highway that the property backed onto. At night I would lie with my eyes shut and listen to the hum of traffic. Even in the middle of the night, the room would be bathed in a glow from the lights over the other side of the highway.
I lived there with my cat for 12 months. I loved that place so much.
I left because I was trapped in a destructive and manipulative relationship with a married man twenty years older than me. I was naïve, he was opportunistic. After I left he stalked me on and off for years but at no stage posed a threat. He just missed me I guess.
Unfortunately I moved out of there straight into another even more unhealthy relationship but that is another story.
There is an odd end to the story. These days the “married” man is now divorced and lives not far from me. He is bipolar and still a very unique individual. Many times he walks past my house and looks in. One time he turned up the drive way just as my husband was leaving. My niece, who was living with us at the time, told him to go away. And he did.
I see him most weeks down at the local shopping centre but don’t speak to him. It would not seem right.
The things we do with our life at times bemuse me.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
This dark picture is looking out of the doorway into the garden.
Work is a nice and constructive thing to do. It connects me with the outside world, validates my professional skills, ensures I maintain social skills to a reasonable level and, most importantly, allows me to have money to pay for an existence.
But, on lovely sunny days such as today, I hate going to work.
The temperature is about 29 Celsius, the sky is blue but in the distance I can see big white clouds, juicy with the promise of rain in the next 24 hours.
I want to be out there. Outside.
I want to lie on my back with my eyes closed, the warm sun on my skin. I want to hear the noise of life in the distance, vague and nondescript in the background.
I want to hang around my house, hanging out the washing in the sunshine.
I want to sit on the back step with a cup of coffee in my hand and think about what I will do in my studio.
It is funny, but years ago when I was working long hours in the corporate world I remember thinking I would always want to work like that, have that buzz, the stress highs and lows. That drug like existence of pressure and earning the kudos was a great feeling for me. I would work on Saturday's, looking out the window on the 35th floor watching the sunny day go by and not being bothered by it. Work, meetings, interstate trips, corporate functions and all the other things that went with it.
After I left, it took me at least 6 months before I could contemplate part time work, I was so burnt out.
Nothing would entice me to work like that again.
How things change.
I am home now, sun is still shining will be for at least another three hours.
Monday, November 26, 2007
He is a big guy who carries his weight quite well because he is broad and muscly.
But, over the past few years his food intake has exceeded his activity output and he has put on weight. That, along with age has made losing weight all that little bit harder.
Trouble is, when you carry extra weight well you wake up one day realising you are actually fatter than you really thought.
So, over the years my brother has gone on "diets". It is not something you expect guys to have trouble with really. Women are quite emotional about their weight and do loads of self blame. Guys don't so they are not really driven by guilt as women are. Usually health issues or the reluctance to buy bigger clothes is the driver.
Before I tell you about my brother's diets, I need to tell you about his relationship with food.
He has always been able to eat vast amounts of food for years without any obvious repercussions. Where one person may eat one sandwich consisiting of two slices of bread, cheese and ham, he will have four sandwiches with cheese, ham, avacado and then toast it. Then he might eat some more.
He could easily put away and entire roast chicken, vegetables galore and a couple of bowls of icecream and then an hour later eat more.
As he has always been fit and active with his building work, this food lifestyle has been no problem. When he turned about 35 he noticed that a bit of chub was staying around his waist. So, he thought he would diet.
Once he told me he loved food more than sex. I said that was like a female saying she likes food more than she likes shopping. Just not right.
The Atkins diet is his favorite as he can eat the things he loves most, meat, bacon, cheese, eggs and loads of it. Where most people might have some bacon and eggs for breakfast, he will have 500gm of bacon and four eggs, then eat three big steaks for dinner.
Sometimes he will go on a vegetable binge and buy 5kgs of carrots or beans and snack on them all day long. He will eat two watermelons for an after lunch snack.
Other times he will eat only two meals a day. But they will be of epic proportions.
If you saw him you would just think he is a big handsome guy with a bit of a stomach. But really, he does need to lose weight for health reasons that may occur in the future. I discuss with him the best options for losing weight.
But it is hard to get your head around the concept of portion control, regular eating and learning to not eat everything you feel like. Sometimes it will take something significant to really make the penny drop.
A few weeks ago he said he was really serious about losing weight. I asked him how come. He said he was walking across the road and saw this fat guy in the reflection of a shop window and realised that the "fat guy"was actually himself.
He had a moment of truth..
I saw him the other day and asked how he was going. He said he was really serious about the whole thing. He keeps thinking about what he saw in the shop window.
Who hasn't had THAT feeling before.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I have read that book many, many times and even today it captivates me to the point where I have to hold my breath with the intensity of some of the passages.
I am sure that the reason I do not particularly enjoy reading modern novels is because I am so enamoured by the classic writers.
The other Bronte book that still brings me to tears is Wuthering Heights. Talk about passion, jealousy and anger of the most intense kind.
Really, who on earth could pick up a Mills and Boon or Harlequin romance and call those passionate.
I just shiver when I read the words "Cathy, do come. Oh do-once more! Oh! my heart’s darling! hear me this time, Catherine, at last!” uttered by Heathcliff. Full of despair and longing. It hurts my heart each and every time I read it.
I hate to admit it, but I am an absolute romantic of the Victorian style.
Don't give me a bunch of roses, just something symbolic and steeped in obscure meaning will rattle my cage.
Sigh.....I am off to bed to read Jane Eyre.
S asked K and I what we would wish for if we had three wishes. We both said things like good health and peace of mind etc. S said he would wish that the girl he liked, like him back.
I said that wouldn't it be better if she liked him for who he was and not just because he wished it. Then he would know her feelings to be true.
To which he replied "No, that sounds complicated".
Buddy, you are in for a big surprise if you think THAT was complicated.
At school they have been running a test "boys only" class to see if different teaching methods help boys maintain an stronger academic interest. The class has been very, very successful and a flyer was sent around seeking interest from parents who would like their boys to go in an all boy class next year.
I had said yes. Not enough parents liked the idea so it was decided not to repeat the class.
When I told S he about it he was really cross that I had not asked him if he would have been interested.
"Don't you think it would be good being in an all boys class?", I asked.
"No way. If you are in the room with a bunch of boys then you have no-one to like. I like having a girl I can think about and look at during class", was his reply.
Methinks High School is going to present some daydreaming issues.
S and I were down the street and I had to go into a shop with him to buy some shampoo and other bits and pieces. The shop specialises in nothing but shampoo, conditioner, hair product, fake eyelashes, body cream and hair accessories. Plus more I cannot remember right now.
S walks around staring at all the items and occasionally picking something up to study it.
"What is all this? Why do girls like all this stupid stuff? Who is it for? Who tells you how to use it?", he goes on and on picking up obscure items and asking me to explain what it was all for.
"I don't get it. Haven't you got anything else to do? This is bad." he was so surprised by all the stuff.
I cannot imagine why he was surprised, I mean he has seen me get ready for work.
But, he did have a point.
Earlier this year S and I were driving into the city to go the the art gallery. Up ahead of us was an open top Jeep Cherokee being driven by a young guy. Sitting next to him was his girlfriend.
"That's it. That's the life I am having. Big Jeep, top down, girlfriend, sunny day and just drive to somewhere nice. Yep, that is the life for me", S points to his dream.
Not too much to ask for in life is it.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
I don't mind at all he catches up for chat every few months or goes out and sees her play piano once a year.
She is the complete opposite to me in every possible way.
When they split up she went out with their dentist a few times. He is now our family dentist, so I have been having him remove my crusty plaque and fitting the odd crown for the past twenty years.
Each time I go there he always asks how she is and have I seen her like she is my friend or something. I always give a polite run down about the births, deaths, marriage and divorce that have been part of her life.
Last time I went he asked the same question.
"Oh, she is fine I suppose. She is having a bad time with menopause you know. She is ten years older than me so I expect she would be at that stage earlier than me", I said in a very nice voice.
The dentist looked down at me and said, "Really Linda, if I did not know you better I would say that was a bitchy thing you just said".
I was only answering his question.
Not being a bitch.
Usually I leave the voting until the last minute. This morning K went early and voted. When he came home he told me to go and vote as I always left it to the last minute and did forget once totally and had to pay a fine.
Finally I succumbed to pressure and S and I walked up to the polling booth together. Initially he was most put out he had to walk at all, but as he chatted with me that feeling dissipated.
I showed him how to vote which included a brief rundown of what the House of Representatives was and also the Senate. To ensure I was being politically non influential I told him that when he came to the age of voting, he did not have to vote the same as his parents. He then asked my why grown ups walk funny, which was a sure indication of how interesting he found my explanations.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Whether I like it or not, it appears the the "other guy" is going to win.
But it is a democratic society and if that is what the majority want, so be it.
However, it is rather disturbing the the person most likely to become prime minister tomorrow has featured on two websites which show him in an unfortunate light.
Kevin Rudd - just scroll on down and there he is.
Also on You Tube.
Kevin Rudd Ear Wax
Click on the link and watch the video of an ear wax nibbler.
I shall not turn on the television at all tomorrow.
I hate seeing someone lose.
Every Boxing Day I go to the Sales. I have done it for years. Up early, get dressed in comfortable clothes, jump in the car and get to the nominated shopping centre ready to spend my day there.
The sales are the time that I will buy underwear, clothes for S, socks and other dull and boring things that are mostly replacing worn out or too small items. Normally that stack of clothing will last the year which is great.
However, S has had a big growth spurt, upwards and outwards. In fact, recently he had a lunch box cull as I think I was letting the odd treat in once too often. He was fine with that and has not complained of being hungry. He has actually put on six kilograms in one year!! But that has been accompanied by a height increase as well.
His clothes are too, too tight. He put on a pair of bathers and I said "no way are you going out in THOSE". So, today I had to restock much to my displeasure at having to miss out on the sale prices. When I got to the counter to pay for the goods I was internally most annoyed about having to pay full price. Imagine my surprise when the salesgirl pointed out that they had a 25% discount for loyalty card holders. Don't take much to put a smile on my face.
On the way back to the car I thought I would treat the boys at home to a Krispy Kreme donut. I am sure you are familiar with those sugar hits. When Krispy Kreme first came to Australia they opened in Sydney and for twelve months every domestic flight out from Sydney airport was laden with Krispy Kreme boxes on people's laps.
Finally the franchise opened up in Melbourne and people stood in a line for ages to taste the donut. It was almost tragic really. Great marketing going on there.
I get to the counter and choose four donuts. Then I have the following brief conversation with the guy behind the counter:
"The cost of four of these donuts is $11.00. For an extra $5.65 you can have one dozen donuts of your choice, it is a speciality pack and great value", he tells me.
To which I reply:
"I appreciate you trying to give me more bang for my bucks, but I can tell you right now that if my husband and son were to eat one dozen donuts between them I would have to buy an entire new wardrobe of clothes to fit their fat bums", I ranted on that would then defeat any sort of savings that would have been made buying 8 more donuts for an extra $5.65.
We then continued the transaction in silence.
I am sure he thought I was such a bore.
When I got home it occurred to me that I had just about bought S a new wardrobe of clothes - not sure if the donuts were such a good idea.
However, he did having eaten two.
I mean, it is fat food Friday today.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I am too, too tired to post anything tonight.
As I recognise the symptoms of teary and sooky tired, I am going to bed to sleep and expect to wake up tomorrow morning in a clear state of mind.
Friday is a day off which is always a nice thing.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
It is not the first time and it won't be the last.
Firstly, I need to confess that I am a pimple squeezer. Not the blind PMT sort, but the "guaranteed result" sort of pimples. You know the ones. They sit there quivering with "squeeze me" anticipation.
Unfortunately neither K nor myself are of the age where those ones appear.
But S is of the age.
Lately, the odd pimple has been appearing on his face and I cannot take my eyes off them.
Initially he would let me attack one until one day K said "Don't let her".
So he would not.
Today we were on the way to the dentist to spend a small fortune when I noticed that S had a pimple right between his eyebrows. My eyes drifted towards it.
"Forget it, don't touch it, I know your devious ways", that son of mine says.
I said fine and continued driving but I could stop thinking of how much better it would be all round if I was able to rid his face of the blemish.
"I'll pay you $2 if you let me get it", I say.
"No way", he says.
Silence. Thinking, thinking.
"Three dollars", I up the price.
"Hmmm, that is a hard one. Three dollars. Okay, all yours", he complies, the lure of money is too great.
I get my way, hand over the money.
Later that night he has to tell K all about it. He thinks it is a good way to make money. Then learns that he only has a small window of opportunity to exploit it. I also set him straight that when he is in the thick of zit land, I am not spending $100 each week.
I know I am a total and gross mother.
But it was worth the $3.
Once a week my mother would give me enough money to buy my lunch. Next door to the school was a fish and chip shop from which I would buy some chips and two potato cakes. They would be handed over to me wrapped up in paper and I would tear one end open to let the heat escape. The salty smell of the chips I can still remember.
At the rear of the fish and chip shop was a bakery. Sometimes I would go there instead for my weekly lunch treat. It was a dark place and very industrial looking. There was a small bench in the corner of the place from which they sold their goods. They sold the usual array of pies and sausages rolls all warm and flaky from inside the oven.
But they had one thing that I loved more than anything.
They made an apricot or apple cake. It started off as a small shortcrust pastry base. Into this was either stewed apples or stewed apricots. On top of this sweet delight was fresh cream. It was small enough not to make me ill after eating it, but large enough to satisfy my desire for it. The combination of those ingredients was perfect.
Years later I went back to see if the bakery was still there. It had gone, pulled down to make way for some luxury apartments. The fish and chip shop is now a beauticians shop.
For years after that I had a love affair with bakeries. I loved to look in the glass cases of small cakes and pastries. Waking up on a Sunday morning was a pleasure as I would endeavour to make my way down to a well known bakery and have a treat of sorts.
My personal favorite was always European types of cakes. Usually slightly dry but rich in flavour. Cakes with poppy seeds, dark chocolate mixed in with the pastry or some sort of alcohol soaked through it.
Then my father decided to become a baker. Not just any sort of baker, he specialised in Danish Pastry. The transition from builder, cabinet maker and finally baker was fairly straight forward and the bakery was a success.
Initially it was lovely having constant access to lovely cakes and speciality breads. Anytime I wanted something yummy I would pop down and grab something from behind the counter.
Over the years the novelty wore off. Each time my father dropped by he would be laden with boxes and bags of cakes, pastries and bread. Even my neighbours became sick of being the recipient of so much in the way of sweet food.
My father opened a second bakery around the corner from me. I would put S in the pusher and take him for a walk down there. We would sit out the back of the shop where it was warm from the ovens. S would choose something nice to eat, usually a cup cake with a smiley face. Dad and I would talk for an hour or so before I would make my way home. He sold that bakery a few years ago.
It has been six years since my father has spoken to me. His reasons are his own and I have come to terms with them I suppose.
Recently S and I were down the street and he asked to have lunch. We went into my father's old bakery and looked at what was on offer. I felt this awful sense of loss as I stood there and said to S that maybe it would be better to go to another bakery across the road. He said okay.
What exactly does "coming to terms with things" actually mean?
Being an hormonally challenged person even on a good day, I am affected in an above average way when it comes to PMT. I was actually given a name for my condition, but have forgotten what it was. And no, it was not “Big Bitch Syndrome”.
I have cut my hair off, shredded my clothes, smashed things, crashed my car, slashed myself, said things I wish I had not and, on top of that, had the usual tears, headaches, backaches and other hormonal disturbances.
When I have heard that women have murdered their partner’s in a fit of PMT rage I can understand why that would happen if you were married to the wrong person.
Fortunately I managed to gain a level of control over the years, and the availability of good anti depressants did help for a while.
These days I am able to prepare myself mentally for the onslaught of emotions via different ways.
But this post is not about how I do it, it is actually about an article I read today. Here it is below. It might make you feel better about being moody for your entire life.
PMS may last all month: report
The excuse for stress, moodiness and depression as "that time of the month" may be all in the mind, according to a new report. Research from RMIT University in Melbourne claims that women with premenstrual syndrome battle the symptoms all month rather than for a few days, News Ltd papers report. Provisional psychologist Lauren Hateley's two-year study found stress levels in women with PMS were higher during the early days of the 28-day cycle, but symptoms fluctuated throughout all stages.
"There is a traditional view that it's the week leading up to menstruation that is the time we experience symptoms," Ms Hateley said. But she said menstruation itself was probably contributed to the mental symptoms.
"For some women, it's a bit of a hassle, particularly with its sudden and unexpected onset for many women," she said.
Fewer than 10 percent of women suffer severe PMS, with irritability, depression, tension and mood swings among emotional symptoms, according to the report. Physical symptoms include headaches, breast tenderness, food cravings and acne. But the report found women who believed they were in control of their lives could be less likely to experience severe symptoms of PMS.
"Learning to base things on your own achievements and success is likely to help a woman stop feeling so bogged down by the extent of the PMS," Ms Hateley told News Ltd.
So you now have an excuse to eat chocolate whenever you feel like it!!!
Or to be a bit snitchy.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
For example, I have made a conscious effort to not sit and read books and magazines when there is a shitload of washing to be done.
I also have made myself have a shower when I first get out of bed instead of jumping on the internet, followed by reading some books, then having breakfast, then a cup of tea, plus watch a bit of morning television. The reason I have done this is because I am sick and tired of running around like a headless chook when I realise that, once again, I have run out of time suddenly.
I have picked up after myself.
I have made the bed before leaving for work.
Went for walks.
Did some very important bookwork for my brother which was excruciatingly painful and totally contrary to what I really wanted to do.
You get the idea don't you? I did all the things I was meant to do which led to a rather unfortunate state of affairs.
I did not have enough time to blog as much as I like.
Which was not very pleasant for me. Because I like to do it and I don't like being not able to do what I want.
I even went out of my way to keep K company tonight whilst he watched television.
I sat and chatted.
But I think he was a bit shitty.
It may have been because I had the laptop on my lap (where else of course) whilst I sat keeping him company.
I may have said "mmmmm" as a response once too often.
Because he said "I am going to bed now, you can sit with your laptop".
Monday, November 19, 2007
I like uncomplicated ones, especially this one.
This tag involves taking your middle name and coming up with something that is relevant to you for each letter.
Since my middle name is Ann it won't be too long.
A - Abstracted. I often come across as lost in thought. Whilst I may be, I can assure you I heard everything going on around me. Then again, if I appear to have given you my full attention, it is quite possible I didn't.
N - Nail Biter. That is me so I clip my nails to nothing. Two reasons. Firstly I cannot keep them out of my mouth. Secondly, germs like living under nails. Nails make me feel sick when I look at them, the longer, the more disgusted I am.
N - Nosey. Yes, I am a nosey parker. I ask probing questions of people I meet. It makes my husband squirm, but I have found out more stuff about his friends in ten minutes than he has in ten years of knowing them. I have been told I am confronting with my questions, I still have trouble working that one out. I can't help it, I like to really, really know a person in great detail.
I should pass this onto 3 others.
I will soon, but I have to go to bed or my head will clunk on the computer keyboard.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
This morning there was heavy rain and the wind was racing through the trees and I wondered if it would last the day. By mid morning the grey clouds had moved apart and Melbourne did what she does so well and gave us a sunny day.
The three of us wandered around for a while and then K had to go off to a music job and S and I continued on looking around and just soaking up the atmosphere.
Fruit shops had all the lovely summer fruits out for offer.
I want to confess something.
I believe in Horoscopes.
I am a typical Capricorn.
Once I had a very detailed report done based on date of birth, place of birth, time etc. When it came back to me K said it was so freaky as the entire contents were so accurate in describing my persona.
There you go.
That is like admitting you believe in fairies.
And, I also like numerology. But not quite as much.
I also hate massages. I would only ever have a massage if I had an injury. I have had three massages in my life.
Don't like facials either really.
I am sure that has something to do with not liking people I don't know touching me which is surely related to being the recipient of some seriously unwanted touching.
Last one - feet disgust me.
I really, really feel that I am avoiding work.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
PMT is usually the main culprit.
Today I woke up with that sense of general, vague shittiness. Fortunately I am mature enough to only share it with myself. Why ruin someone else's day?
After having a shower and getting dressed I went outside and pulled out weeds, did poo patrol, pulled out more weeds and did a bit of raking. I realised that we are going to need a trailer so rather than continue to denude the garden without a strategy, I went inside and put the washing machine on.
Out comes one load of washing, in goes another and there is reason number one for my bad mood.
I don't have a washing line.
For nearly all of this year I have been loading wet washing on a clothes horse in my dining room. This came about when we had one that stretched across the backyard, then the string had to be replaced, then the tension on the string was too loose, then it sagged and then broke and dragged washing on the grass. You get the story.
Since then I have been using a clothes horse and a pulley mechanism I have in the laundry. Well, it dawned on me today how much it annoys me. In fact, it has been annoying me for months. When K came home from a music job I said that unless he wanted me to commit murder he had to get a washing line TODAY.
Which he did and is now in the hot sun putting it up. Yip, yip, yippee!
Along with the realisation is the sudden "limp fabric" disease my undies have gotten in the last week, plus some t-shirts. Every time I went to get a pair out of the drawer it had morphed into an elastic free, loose legged, dingy grey, saggy bum pair of knickers.
So I had a clothes purge. Out with the too tight, too limp, too grey, too old, too faded and over worn and tired clothes.
My cupboard is now free of crammed clothing and my drawers are half empty which means that I can go.................
Only for necessities of course.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Well, I think that at the other end of the spectrum is food that is too healthy.
I know it sounds unbelievable, but I think it makes the body freak when exposed to all that brown and green food.
Now, today I had to go to the hairdresser's. I decided to have lunch nearby first and read my new books at the same time. Having had a bad start to the morning, which involved having to go into work for two hours on my Friday off, I was feeling in need of a yummy lunch.
There is a health food shop which has a cafe area and has been fitted out in a very appealing manner. It seems like the ideal place to have lunch.
Although I hate to admit this, I have a weird relationship with health food shops. I think I am special if I go in one. Don't ask me why I think that, there is no logic to it at all. Somehow, I think I am on some sort of higher plane because I make a choice to go "healthy" for lunch.
When I get in there I am always drawn to the shelves of vitamins, minerals, powders, detox kits, liver cleanse tonics, organic emu oil body creams, aroma therapy oils, candle, bags of brown grains, milled oats, rice milk, soy this that and the other. On and on, row after row of product selling at great cost.
Then there are bags of brown grainy, oaty and unpalatable seedy things. Wholemeal noodles, soy pasta, meat replacement soy grit things, egg replacement and preservative free wine.
I eat an above average healthy diet and even I have a problem with the digestibility of some of these products.
Anyway, I am in there deciding what I will eat and realise that there is nothing there that I really want but as I am going to get something anyway because by this stage hunger pains are starting.
I decide on a sushi nori roll which has a bit of tofu in it. Tofu is not a welcome food for my stomach but the risk seems minimal as there is only a tiny amount. Then I choose a small bowl of quinoa salad which has coriander, parsley and some other green and red bits of vegetable matter in it. All sounds very healthy.
Walking over to the table, I then sit down, put on my glasses and get out one of my books and read.
Pick up sushi roll. Dip in soy sauce. Take bite. Has brown rice in it. Sushi made with brown rice is like using whole grain flour to make sponge cake. Just does not work. But I eat it anyway. Halfway through it breaks apart.
In between bites of sushi I have some of the salad.
Chew, chew, chew, chew, chew, chew, chew, chew, chew, chew, chew.
Chew, chew, chew, chew, chew, chew, chew, chew, chew, chew, chew.
This goes on for a while and I realise that my stomach is on the verge of rejecting the roughage I am consuming.
Then I think perhaps that the shop has morphed into a farm as the texture of the food I am eating is like chaff or hay.
Methinks I am now a horse sitting at the table in a health food shop.
I have to stop for two reasons. One is that I had a feeling I might vomit. The second being that I am about to be late for the hairdressers as it has taken me twice as long to chew my food as usual.
The walk to the hairdressers is accompanied by me trying to discreetly remove the parsley leaves from between my teeth. By the time I arrive and sit down I feel a bit ill.
Needless to say, my stomach has decided that it is all too hard to digest the fibre I ate and I spend the FOUR hours at the hairdressers in agony.
I am about to destroy the feminine mystique here by admitting that on the way home I have to break the cardinal rule of no farting in my car.
To do otherwise would cause me to have a twisted bowel for which they shoot horses. I cannot risk that.
Which proves that you can be too healthy.
For the record, it tasted like shit.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
On the way back to the car he asked me if I knew what boys talk about at school.
"Well, I suppose Transformer's and Starwars?" I answered
He stares at me and then starts laughing.
"No, we talk about strippers and girls and all that stuff." he duly informs me.
This is the ideal opportunity to explain to him about exploitation of women and all that sort of stuff.
Unfortunately I let the moment pass by because I start laughing. We get in the car.
As we are driving he tells me that a friend of his in school gave him some popcorn because he said a funny word.
"Mmmm, what was the funny word", I asked.
"Boobies", comes the reply.
Great, another moment to set the record straight on not sexualising or making fun of women's body parts.
Unfortunately another moment is lost. I laugh.
"What about titties?" I say without thinking really.
The both of us are laughing in the car. I am thinking that perhaps I should stop now being silly. I am hardly setting a good example.
"Hooters?" I say.
"Bazookas?" I am on a roll now.
"White Pointers?" I think this should be the last one. S is laughing so much he can hardly talk.
"Jugs" I wish I could stop but the whole absurdity of names for body parts is too funny.
"Milk Shakes" S adds to the whole stupidity of it.
I decide I have to put my foot down now and say that we should stop being silly now. He quietens down.
Car is silent for a while.
"Do you know what a bra is called?" I say out of the blue.
"Yeah, an over the shoulder boulder holder", S answers.
Oh, I must have told him that already.
When we got home I was about to tell K about what S and his friends talk about at school. S shook his head and I stopped. Later on he asked if I was going to tell dad what I had told him about talking about stripper's and girls. I said that if he did not want me to I would not to which he replied he would like me not to say anything.
However, in the evening my husband asks me what I was going to say about S earlier on. I explained that I had given my word not to mention it and I felt that it would be wrong to break that promise.
Initially surprised, K agreed that, in this case, it was fair enough. But I could tell he was dying to know.
"I bet I know what he talks about at school with his friends" K suddenly says.
"What?" says me.
"It would have to be about girls and having a root, what else do ten year old boys talk about" he says smugly. My laughter confirms his thoughts.
Boys just never change through the ages do they?
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Mother is grumpy.
Son is slouched on sofa with Father who is fast asleep.
Son is hungry.
Mother makes spaghetti with tomato sauce.
Make is a gross exaggeration.
Truth is that Mother cuts open sachet of shop bought tomato sauce and plonks on top of shop bought spaghetti. But it is organic so that makes it okay.
Gives son food.
Son says "I don't feel like spaghetti".
Mother says: "Then there is nothing else to eat for the rest of the night"
Son: "Fine, I will starve"
Mother: "Look, why can't you eat it? You liked it the other day. Just eat it"
Son: "No, I don't feel like it".
Son then stomps off to bedroom and sulks.
Mother stomps after to "talk" more.
Son turns his back on her.
Mother goes into office to whinge to Father who has by now woken up and shuffled off to sit in front of computer.
Mother: "Well he should eat it. I made it. This is happening all the time".
Father: "Hmmmm, what?".
Mother says something unladylike under breath in response to interest shown by Father.
Mother decides to confront son once more. He is going to eat that spaghetti and that is that.
Mother goes to son.
Mother: "Come on. You have to eat it. I made it for you. You just can't tell me you don't feel like it. What is that about?"
By now Mother has hands on hips.
Son says: "Why should I eat it if I don't feel like it? You don't eat what you don't feel like do you? What if I said you had to eat a sausage? You can just say no because you are a grown up. Just because I am a kid it doesn't mean I should have to eat whatever you give me. Everyone should have a choice."
Mother realises her own voice of reason is coming back to haunt her.
Mother: "Do you want scrambled eggs on toast?"
Son: "Yes thanks".
Mother makes Son scrambled eggs.
Everyone is happy.
Even the dog who gets the spaghetti.
At least he felt like it.
However, the other day I saw a new one on special at the supermarket. The bottle had a nice shape, the colour was pleasing and it promised everything but eternal life.
Plus, the other day S told me I had zoo breath.
So, I bought it.
I have a bit of a routine at night before going to bed each night.
Firstly I remove my makeup and cleanse my face.
Then, I brush and floss my teeth.
Finally, I put on moisturiser. Which in itself is a three step process. Hydrating oil, eye cream and then "fountain of youth" moisturiser.
So, I had to insert the mouth wash process in there somewhere.
I decided to swish the mouthwash in my mouth whilst performing that last step.
Because I want to get out of that bathroom and go to bed.
However, when I went to spit it out, it was not there. I had swallowed it.
I cannot even remember doing that. The pit of my stomach was hot and remained that way for about 30 minutes.
There were no ongoing issues and I am not exactly sure why I am even bothering to write about it.
It is possible that I am avoiding doing proper work.
Actually, probable is a more suitable word.
Maybe I should go and make a coffee rather than write trivial and boring details of my bathroom habits.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Some clients, usually the women I am sorry to say, are just a nightmare. Pain in the bum, ignorant, incapable of making any decisions and then change their mind frequently. Each change they make costs them money and then they complain. Generally I never have to speak to them and they deal with either the project manager directly or communicate via an Architect.
Other clients are a dream to work with. One thing we have learnt is this. The uglier the house, the worse the client is inclined to be.
We also have repeat clients. They just do up a house, sell it, buy another and start again. I just love those clients.
For a past few years we have done three jobs for a particular client and his wife. They are the nicest people you could ever meet – most of the time. I have spoken to the husband many times on the phone and finally met his wife a few months ago.
He is very high up in a well known blue chip company and she stays at home and keeps the home running well. They have two young daughters. He is a perfectionist and likes things done his way. His wife used to be a chef and they entertain a great deal. Each day, before he comes home from work, she has to clean the house top to toe. And when I say clean, I mean clean. Bathrooms, toilets, mop floors, vacuum, iron everything etc etc etc. She is always stressed the hour before he arrives home from work just in case she missed something.
When he is annoyed about something, he will send either myself or my boss the most vitriolic emails that you could imagine. Full of spite and nastiness that actually goes way beyond offending me and actually give me great pleasure in reading out aloud. And I have never actually met him personally so I cannot imagine what a complete shit he would be then. One time he actually said to me “I never want you to ring me again, I never want to hear your voice on the end of my mobile phone”. Okay…….
He is apparently a big man (about 6’4” tall) and very thick set. His wife is petite, gentle and has pale skin with freckles. She has an intelligent demeanour and is very interesting to speak to. Always friendly, kind and welcoming whenever I have spoken to her. She makes light hearted apologies for her husband saying that he is a perfectionist, likes things a certain way and can sometimes be a bit difficult. I say, no big deal, he is not my husband so it is not my problem.
A couple of years ago they invited my boss and his wife to a party. When they turned up at the house the door was answered by a topless waitress in a g-string. Upon entering the house, my boss noticed that there was an atmosphere in the room that was one of discomfort. Everyone was staring into their glass of wine and mumbling away. He ignored it and starting munching away at the food whilst admiring the semi naked waitress. Eventually things perked up and the night went on. Then some people started jumping in the pool naked and my boss and his wife decided that it was a bit risqué for them and went home.
It was not until two days later that a friend, who had also been at the party, informed my boss that, just prior to his arrival at the party, our client and his wife had “outed” themselves as Swingers. My boss could not believe it. He is a born gossip and related the entire story to me in great detail.
Now, I truly do not care what people do or don’t do for sexual thrills unless I am somehow in the picture (one on one thanks very much), if you know what I mean. The old rule applies “if it is between consenting adults” it is fine by me. But, I don’t need to know. You want to allude to liking a shag, that is okay, but spare me the juicy details because I have a personality type that will visualise everything each and every time you speak to me from that time on. Not that I mind, but you might.
Since then, whenever I have spoken to the client all I can think of is what they do. It is very juvenile of me. One time I had to drop in there to pick up a cheque and she was telling me they were having a big party the next night and the theme was “Shagadelic” that Austin Powers thing. I just went “oh, okay, that sounds like lots of fun”. Then she said they held lots of parties as her husband liked them and I am thinking “okay, fine, whatever, don’t care and by the way I cannot believe you bang lotsa guys on the weekend”, which is sooooo childish of me.
I must have the maturity of a 16 year old because I think it is funny and am almost laughing about the whole thing right now.
These clients actually charge a fee for men to attend the parties and will hand out a card to the people they think they would like to invite. They need more women apparently. When they sold their last house, the purchaser became a regular party attendee....
I have never been given a card.
Should I be offended or relieved?
I like to think of it as a bomb going off in an enclosed space, it just bounced back on itself all the time and made constant connection.
For years my father was a builder and then he had a notion to make furniture. This was at least 30 years ago and there was a huge interest in furniture made from recycled timber so that was where the money was.
The business was called Baltic Pine Furniture and he started it from home initially making things to sell to local furniture stores. The link takes you to the website of the current owners. When we had the business there was no such thing as the Internet. The pictures featured on the very front page are from the house I lived in with an ex boyfriend (aka Prick) who kept everything of mine when I moved out with the exception of a hall table which I still have.
After a few months of working from home, my father moved to a factory and began to employ people.
And so the family became part of the business. If you ever want to embark on a journey of conflict with no resolution, work in a family business.
The process of manufacturing furniture from recycled timber is a laborious one. It started out the back with washing the paint off lining boards with caustic soda and then rinsing them down with a solution of vinegar and hot water. The timber flooring had to be de-nailed which was a tedious job involving standing at a bench with hammer in hand pulling out many rusty nails. The flooring then had to be fed through a belt sander to remove years of excess dirt and polish.
You then had to determine whether the timber would be used on a part of the furniture that was visual. Once that was determined, the timber was then cut down according to where it would be needed. Long lengths for tables, shorter lengths for chest of drawers and sides of kitchen dressers. This was all stacked on purpose built shelves ready to use.
I had to start out the rear of the factory washing boards before making my way slowly through the other lowly duties before I learnt to make a piece of furniture. That way I appreciated what was involved the whole process. Finally I ended up in the office as that was more my style I can tell you. Wearing overalls and having dust in my hair was not an entirely pleasant experience for me.
The entire family was involved in different areas. My brother worked in the factory, my mother helped out in the office and eventually in the retail side of it. My older sister, well, she was just there selling I think whilst my youngest sister just had to hang around until she got old enough to be more involved. Apart from working in the office, I would also design kitchens for people, draw up the plans, make the cutting list and follow through the manufacture of it.
The arguments we had were constant and without restraint. They were conducted in the office, in the factory, in front of staff members and even customers. My father found it amusing that people saw us as a bohemian and volatile family business.
I spent many years there, sometimes I would go away for a few months and work somewhere else, then drift back. The smell of a woodworking factory brings back some fantastic memories. The sound of the machinery, the fine dust that permeates the air, the organic nature of the final product is a source of fascination to me all these years later. I feel a thrill when I hear a router or drop saw start up.
Initially I had a lot of the furniture in the house. Most of it has gone to members of the family to look after. The only things I have now is a storage chest which is out on the deck full of outdoor toys and a hall table. My kitchen, once all timber, has now been painted white covering up the rustic golden brown of the recycled grain. Many years from now I am sure someone will strip it back. It took me years before I could really accept that I had to pay for furniture.
When my parents separated I was 24 years old and finally left the fold for good and worked elsewhere.
Not long after that my father sold the business to some Chinese immigrants and started a new venture.
A Danish Pastry shop.
He was always up for a challenge if there was a dollar to be made.
Monday, November 12, 2007
I thought I would celebrate this milestone with an indulgent post. Sometimes when I post something personal I think to myself "I hope no-one finds this too boring", but, truly, I do need to occasionally write things that are small or sad or silly or stupid because it is part of who I am. I suppose this blog is a journal so the good and bad go hand in hand.
I have uploaded two photos from my kindergarten days. I must have been only about four years old. In the one above, I am wearing a cardigan that mormor knitted for me. My mother, father and older sister had one. It was heavy, woggy and hot. But I loved it. I still have my mother's and I made a mention of it once in a post.
The colour was blue and cream.
When the photographer took this photo and had it developed he went out of his way to give it to my mother personally. He said to her "You just would not know what she is thinking, she has a Mona Lisa smile". My mum loved telling me that, and secretly I loved that story. Perhaps the reality is that I just wanted the photo taken so I could just go off and play.
I prefer to think it was an enigmatic smile of a child with secrets.
I like this photo. The chubby fingers, my lack of interest in the photo being taken and the pigtails. Plus, a sign of my future hormonal stamp, a pimple on my chin!
When I look at photos of me as a child, it is as though that person is completely separate from me. Part of a story that I was involved with. Over my life I have found that the easiest way to segment areas of my existence to enable me to understand it.
It has only been the last couple of years that I realised how much I did it and the importance of being that way.
When I got off anti-depressants it was a struggle to teach my thoughts to be contained and calm. It took all the patience that I had until I worked out how to do it. Having been on medication for so long had suppressed so much emotion that I was like a time bomb ticking away.
Writing has been a very important part of getting to a place of calm. To have people I don't personally know take time out of their day to come over, read what I write and to even make a comment is so much appreciated by me.
I want to say that in case you get sick of doing it....I shall boo hoo if you do!
I can say now that I am where I feel the most peaceful without having to deny myself the pleasure of coming and going to places in my head where, previously, I was unable to visit.
It appears that I have a permanent visitor's pass to my emotions.
Hmmm, it only took almost 44 years.