Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I have never been that interested in New Year's eve. My husband and I have been out a few times on the 31st December but mostly he is out doing a music job so I stay at home. Even before we had a child I preferred staying home, whereas my husband (being Scottish) sees the greeting of the New Year as a great moment indeed.
I have had a number of choice New Year's nights that ended up with me feeling unwell the next day due to over indulgence. So glad those days are well and truly over.
Today I mentioned something about going into the city with my son to show him the fire works. My husband reminded me that 500,000 other people were expected to be in the city as well. So I put that thought way out of my head. Imagine all those people. But I was reminded of a particular New Years eve in the city when I was a young girl.
It was the eve of 1979 going into 1980 so I must have been about seventeen. My sister and her husband were going into the city for New Years even celebrations and I was coming with. We arrived into the city at about 9.30 pm because it was just getting dark. They parked their funky little Volkswagen Beetle just on the outskirts of the city and we all got out and whilst I was waiting for my sister to get her two girls out of the car I stood around watching people go by.
I would have been about six feet from the car, standing and looking at everybody when a young and very gorgeous guy caught my eye. He was walking towards me and he looked like a young Rudolph Nureyev. Full lipped and dark eyes with thick dark hair. He was dressed as one would expect from that time. A mesh tank top which was orange and a pair of white denim pants which looked liked harem pants. This outfit was topped off with a pair of snow white Reeboks.
He obviously thought I was very appealing because he walked straight up to me and pulled me towards him and gave me a long, deep and passionate kiss. It was just like a scene from a movie. Apart from being completely shocked at it, I was also really concerned because my sister was only six feet away and surely watching and would surely spoil the fun.
After the kiss he asked me to come with him into the city to see the New Year out but I declined. He persisted and I hesitated, sorely tempted. I mean, he even came with a bonafide French accent. Finally my older sister came up and told him to go whilst at the same time dragging me back to the car.
She told me off for behaving like that. I do recall thinking to myself that she should shut up since it wasn't me who got pregnant at fifteen. Party pooper.
I can still see his handsome face looking rather regretful as he made his way off into the city, mingling with the crowds. More than likely looking for another pair of lips to attach himself to.
Tonight I shall watch some television, start reading a new Patricia Cornwall book that I bought today and have a nice cup of tea. Chances are I shall be in bed before the 12.00 strike of the clock and will no doubt miss the fireworks. Then again, I may stay up and let my son watch all the celebrations on television. We shall see which one of us falls asleep first.
I wish you all the best New Years eve. I hope that 2009 brings peace and happiness in this busy world we live in.
Happy New Year.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I am fascinated at how much money people charge for anything over the age of twenty. Every few months we drive down to this huge antique complex. It is full of many stalls selling a giant variety of stuff. It would be reasonable to say that there is a large amount of old tat there that has been for sale for almost two years. Same price, collecting dust just sitting there. Perhaps the stall holder thinks that eventually it will be worth what they are asking because ten years has passed.
Occasionally the stall holder gets desperate and reduces the price in the hope of selling off something. I rarely, if ever, buy anything these days. If I do you can bet it is good value for money and I did not pay full price. More often than not, I end up coming home with a book.
We then made our way to my brother's house. He is building a tree house for his boys. Well, deep down I think it is for him. Here are some photos of it half finished.
This is a view into his backyard. It is a great place to live and only fifteen minutes or so from our house. He lives in an area that is mostly made up of market gardens.
Their dog is an ex farm dog. Quick as can be and such fun to be around. It will play hide and seek or chase you all around the vegetable garden. Jumps on the trampoline with the children. However it is scared of the dark which I find really amusing. It rounds up the hens and I am surprised that it does not have a nip at their feathery bodies. My dog would eat them.
Then, on the way home in the car my husband told me that the lasagna I bought from the shop that specialises in home cooked meals was nicer and perhaps I should just get it from there from now on. This was backed up by my son. Okay, I admit it, I am not the best cook. Unless you want a cake or bread. Or maybe a soup (not pea and ham though). Cooking is boring.
So, tonight those two are having sausages and mash potato (I make the best mashed tattie). It is hard to go wrong with that sort of meal
I was the third child born to my mother, but the second one surviving at that point as my mother lost her second born to cot death. I was the only planned child out of four. My mother, whilst pregnant, was reading a popular women's magazine and when she opened the covers she saw before her a photo of a beautiful brown eyed baby. She thought to herself "that is what I want my baby to look like" and apparently that is exactly what I looked like.
I arrived via an easy birth. I was a perfect baby. Always happy, ate whatever I was given and sat on my bottom, reluctant to walk until I was around 18 months old. The story goes that where ever you left me is where I stayed, happy with my surroundings. I was the perfect remedy for a mother grieving the loss of her son and the living in an ugly marriage.
I am having to start my day with a visit to the gynecologist for the six week post operative check up. Can you imagine, on my birthday, to have that sort of appointment first thing in the morning. Eeeeww. When I rang the clinic for the appointment the woman taking the booking said "oh, we will make the time early so that you can enjoy the rest of the day". How kind.
Then a day down at a couple of antique shops down along the peninsula near us which I enjoy going to, and a lunch out.
Just like to say thanks to Frankie Valli who kindly wrote this song with me in mind. (Well, maybe not me, but the words fit). I can't recall any other of his songs, but this one is the one that matters. Second line thank you...
Oh What A Night.
Oh, what a night.
Late December back in '63.
What a very special time for me,
'Cause I remember what a night.
Oh, what a night.
You know, I didn't even know her name,
But I was never gonna be the same.
What a lady. What a night.
Oh, I. I got a funny feeling when she walked
In the room and I,
As I recall it ended much too soon.
Oh, what a night,
Hypnotizing, mesmerizing me.
She was everything I dreamed she'd be.
Sweet surrender, what a night!
I felt a rush like a rolling bolt of thunder
Spinnin' my head around and taking my body under.
Oh, what a night!Oh, I.
I got a funny feeling when she walked
In the room and I,
As I recall it ended much too soon.
Oh, what a night.
Why'd it take so long to see the light?
Seemed so wrong, but now it seems so right.
What a lady, what a night!
Yeah Frankie. You got it right there!
Monday, December 29, 2008
He has always wanted one. I think his idea of a yacht was more along the lines of the ones in the photo below. Well, maybe that is my idea of what a pond yacht is like. All nice and wooden with calico sales. No idea how it would actually sail. But those old ones look great.
After the yacht was assembled we made our way down to a local park to try it out. The park used to be an industrial tip but the council changed it to a bird sanctuary with a man made lake which has fish stocked in it. Locals are allowed to go fishing providing you have a fishing licence.
The place is huge with bike tracks running around it and the wind always seems to be rushing frantically around in all directions. Seagulls are everywhere.
Nah, more than likely he just thinks he is better than his parents.
Naturally I had to make helpful comments such as "has the battery gone flat" and "are you going to swim out and get it" and "make it come back". This was backed up by even more encouraging comments by my son which were mostly along the lines of "give the controls to me, I will get it back" etc. My husband just ignored us both.
In the end the wind blew it across to the other side where some people were fishing. S had to clamber over some slippery rocks to rescue it. He handed it over to me whilst mumbling something about getting paid to put his life at risk.
When we got back into the car my husband said that it was interesting how it seemed to take three people to sail the yacht.
Next time we are going to a place that is a little more sheltered, not so big and not too deep.
Just in case it gets away again.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
When you have a holiday that requires you actually leaving your home and going to another place, you never really relax. You may have a jolly good time whilst you are having your time away but you are generally on some level of activity alert and usually trying to fill in the holiday time as much as possible to enable value for money. I mean, if you have spent your hard earned money on a holiday you are hardly going to spend time in a hotel room in your pyjama's reading books and watching television are you? You want to fill the time with stuff.
However, when you have time off work that is longer than a three day weekend and you are not actually going anywhere, there comes the moment when you are truly relaxed. I am talking the "I don't give a flying fuck" kind of relaxed. Well, today has been one of those days for me. In fact, I think it kind of started after I got back from the shops yesterday.
I got out of bed late after a deep sleep that was a result of a long walk last night. I slept so heavily that my arms and legs felt as though they had been deboned during my slumber and were nigh impossible to lift. I woke up and managed to get into a comfortable position to enable me to pop my laptop in front of me and fiddle around on the internet for about an hour before the urge to go to the toilet forced me out of the comfort of my bed.
This lazy start to the day continued on with me schlepping around in my pyjama's until midday where I finally made the effort to have a shower and, unusual for me, I did not wash my hair. I actually tied it back in a ponytail which I normally dislike. However, I did put some make up on. One has to maintain some sort of standard.
I managed to make an effort to feed my son breakfast which consisted of baked beans on toast. After this monumental task I continued reading a book that I was loaned. The book is by Bill Bryson and is called Down Under. I think it has another title in the US - In A Sunburned Country. I have actually never read a Bill Bryson book despite hearing about him for a number of years. Not for any particular reason. There are a lot of books to read in the world and perhaps I had not yet gotten around to his.
If you ever plan on coming to Australia and you are not quite sure what the country and it's inhabitants may be like, I would advise you to read Bill Bryson's book that outlines his travels in Australia. He is about as accurate a travel writer as you could get when describing the idiosyncrasies of Australia and it's people. I have to confess that I laughed loudly many, many times at his experiences. I managed to finish the entire book in a day.
As a first generation Australian I am neither here nor there when it comes to being considered a true Aussie as such. Sort of never quite part of it all. You have to be connected, somehow, to the convicts that were deported from Britain to Australia if you want to feel completely at home. Otherwise you are considered a wog or a weirdo. I cannot imagine what it must be like for a newly arrived immigrant to arrive in such a country as Australia, so far, far away from anything.
Later on today my son asked if there was something to eat for lunch, albeit a rather late lunch. Feeling mildly resentful at having to once again feed the little sprog, I told him to see what was in the pantry. He found a container of assorted chocolates and said that was it. Without looking up I told him that was fine and not to overdo it. He was as pleased as punch and ate a handful of them before heading back to the computer. I continued reading the totally engrossing book.
I left the house briefly to go to the shops and buy a pair of cargo pants that I knew were on sale for only yesterday I had purchased a pair of khaki green ones which turned out to be fabulous. So today I went back and bought a light brown version of the same style. I may now be able to dress like Lara Croft everyday with cargo pants and a black t-shirt.
When I got home it was once again feeding time. My son bleated out from the office that he was hungry. I suggested he have a banana. He declined. I suggested chocolate. He told me he had that for lunch and he needed more than chocolate. Due to the fact that I could not stand the thought of cooking I agreed to him having pizza. Unfortunately I was unable to convince him that he could walk up and get it himself so once again I was forced to forage for food from the local pizza shop.
Now, at 9.00pm, I have finished the book I started mid morning. I feel totally relaxed. I don't care if anyone comes on over and find my bathroom looking like an absolute pigsty.
I am truly at ease with the world.
I know I have a dream home in the back of my head. But I am afraid it changes in size, location and cost quite frequently as I think about it. However, my main thought is a house in a more rural location. Basic style, wooded painted floors and with always something to do. Other times i think how a geodesic dome house would be great. Or a mud brick one. Or one of those homes built into the side of hill and you have grass growing on the roof. Or even uber modern home out in the bush. I have not yet made my mind up. It is a pleasurable past time just thinking about it now and then.
One thing is consistent about my dream and the is the thought of heavily incorporating a self sustaining, eco friendly lifestyle in the home. This has appealed to me all my life, even before it was fashionable. Living in harmony with the earth. I can picture it now. It is possible I have developed this wonderful image after poring over Country Life magazines and similar publications. You know, country living for very rich people. Chickens in the backyard and a giant vegetable garden. Fruit bearing trees. However, when I think about it, I can hardly manage the little vegetable garden I have here, so the thought of living a fully sustainable life is terribly idealistic.
The truth is, it is unlikely I shall go down this track because my husband is not of the same thought process and he likes living in the suburbs. Likes to be near the city with good access to music and other interests. I do to. Fortunately I am naturally inclined to enjoy where ever I may be so I don't harbour any deep burning resentment that I may never get to live The Good Life.
If you are going to build that dream house, you best make it sooner rather than later. Over the years of going for neighbourhood walks I have often seen the homes that change. One in particular sticks in my mind. I walked past it again last night and realised that a great deal had changed since I first saw it.
This house is situated on a corner block on a busy, but not a main road. The area is called McKinnon Hill and has lovely leafy trees along the side of the road. Most of the homes are brick and of the original batch built in the 1920's and 1930's. This particular home was a 1950's weatherboard house. Very basic design perched almost in the centre of the block. The garden was slightly terraced as the block itself, along with other blocks in that area, is built up enough to have a decent slope up to the front of the house. Some people just leave it as a slope whilst others may terrace it.
When I first noticed the house it was vacant. Tired home that had been neglected and faced an uncertain future. No curtains in the windows so this gave the home a blank stare out to the passing traffic. Messy garden. It appeared that the house was at the end of its useful life. Then, a short time after, when I walked past again, there were two pallets of bricks on the property. One at the front of the house and one at the back of the house. Nice, new cream bricks ready to be unstrapped and used. I guessed that the house was going to be brick veneered. Modernise the old house by bricking over the weatherboard timber.
The next time I walked past the home, I noticed that work had started. Two layers of bricks had been done along the bottom of the house. There was a wheelbarrow resting against the pile of bricks but no one was to be seen. After that, when I walked past there would be an extra one or two layers of bricks added to the facade.
Eventually as I continued passing by over weeks and months I saw the person responsible for the work being done. He was a very old man. Thin and stooped over, always wearing the same clothes. On a hot day he wore a white singlet and a pair of khaki coloured shorts. The singlet was baggy as were the shorts. His thin, wrinkly and wirey arms and legs stuck out from loose clothing. When it was cold he would wear a checked, flannel shirt over his singlet, undone and flapping by his sides as he walked. He always wore a hat that looked like one of the Chinese coolie hats that are warn on the rice paddy fields. Once or twice I saw him take it off to wipe his head with a handkerchief in the hot weather.
He was the only person I ever saw do work on the house. Judging by the slow process of the brick level rising, I figured he was the only person involved. He would pile some bricks into the wheelbarrow and make his way unsteadily up to the house. He had mixed a pile of mortar onto a sheet of masonite on the ground and he would stoop down slowly with his trowel, pick up a blob of grey, wet mixture and add the brick to the line of bricks preceding it. It appeared to be a labour of love as the level of bricks against the house rose higher and higher as time went on.
Some ladders appeared and were set up to allow access above head height. Two A-frame ladders that were opened up and then had a wide plank spanned between them. So the old man then had to barrow the bricks up the ladder and then put them onto the plank. He had a smaller pile of mortar on a piece of timber that was nailed to the top of one of the ladders. It was excruciating to watch. Surely this job was a labour of love. No one would tackle such a laborious and long term job with the thought of making money out of it.
Well, years passed by and things would change. The pile of bricks would decrease and then a new pallet would appear. Sometimes nothing would happen and grass would grow up along the side of the brick pile and through the wheels of the wheelbarrow. Then he would be back, adding to the work. Each time I saw him he looked older and more stooped. Eventually the brickwork was almost done. He had incorporated a geometric pattern in the facade as he had gone along. The house had taken on an almost 1970's appearance but with the design feature you see only in older homes here which is a more high pitched roof.
Late last year a sign appeared in the front yard. It was a For Sale sign. Deceased estate. This was followed by Sold sticker being plastered across the front of the sign. I assumed that the old man had died.
A few months after that another sign was in the front yard. It was one that you see on a house block when major renovation work is about to be done on the block. The house was going to be pulled down, a new one in it's place.
Since then the sign has been taken down, the house has resumed it's tired look, only this time one of the windows has a torn lace curtain hanging sadly in it. I wonder if the old man had hung it there in anticipation of moving in an wanting the place to look nice. The garden is full of weeds and one of the pallets of bricks is still there, only with a small amount of bricks left on it. That too is heavily covered in all sorts of growth.
With the economy as it is I think things are on hold for this house for now, which tells me this was going to be someone's new home and not just a development site. For now, however, I expect that it shall just sit there until it becomes the worst house in the best street. Council will send letters to the owners telling them to clean up the block.
Not really a dream home anymore.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Every year I go to those sales.
I used to really get excited about going. Get up early and get there early.
But this year I truly think I am finally over the whole thing. I went this morning. Arrived at the store at 8.30 am and was home by 11.30 am. I bought a pair of sunglasses to replace my broken ones and a pair of cargo pants and then was totally sick of the crowds.
I don't need anything. Don't really even want anything.
Came home. Had a cup of tea and am now about to read a book.
Must be a sign of getting older.
I would rather read a good book than go to a good sale.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I started to day by finishing off some shopping and then to stock up on a bit more food. Normally we would have a meal that consisted of roast pork, caramelised potatoes and the usually belly busting fare. This year we decided to go for a cold spread of Danish meatballs, lovely ham, salads and other tasty food.
I decided to keep the table decoration low key, mainly because our dishwasher died weeks ago and we have decided not to replace it and this decision makes me think twice about what I use. So, I went for the 60's plates I bought on Ebay years ago, along with some funny Santa napkins.
Here is a photo of the us having a meal. Nice food, nice wine and happy children. Dessert consisted of traditional Danish rice pudding, Christmas pudding and trifle. You have to keep some traditions when it comes to food and dessert never changes. It is the one time of year I will risk a stomach ache and eat a bit of everything.
After the eating of food is finished, the opening of presents happens. The kids just loved it.
I was very glad to get home. There is a limit to how long one can hold one's farts in for. So sorry to even mention that, but I am betting you all know exactly what I am talking about.
So, on that note, I hope you all have a lovely Christmas day. And, if you don't actually celebrate Christmas, well, have a nice day anyway.
For me now, off to bed in anticipation of the..........Boxing Day Sales!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
What do you think of this "chip" being put in your brain?
S is for Sex
Apparently most guys already have this chip implanted.
Imagine the entire population embracing this concept.
Just read a juicy book. Or have a nice daydream.
For example, my payroll data has corrupted itself and I cannot get important information from it that allows me to pay everyone their holiday pay etc.
The words "fuckity, fuckity, fuck" are going through my head over and over.
Plus, a client has not yet coughed up a large amount of money over into our account today because his bank changed their "procedures" and he was not told. Which means I cannot cough up some money into other people's accounts - staff excluded, I always have money for them.
And, there is nothing to eat here.
And, because I am a grown up with responsibilities I have to stay here and fix things.
And, I don't want to. I want to go. Right now. Run away.
Plus I have three more presents to get on the way home.
And I have to wrap so many tonight.
And, for me, Christmas is on the 24th and I have to do things. I don't know what exactly. Something to do with food and stuff.
And, and, and, and, and....oh well.
It really could be worse. I can see the funny side of it.
Yesterday I had to go to a number of job sites to pick up data from the time clocks. Most of the sites were unattended because of the Christmas time of year. But a few had some tradesmen working away.
I went to one in particular and there were a couple of bricklayers working hard. As it was a hot day they had stripped down to the standard tradesman's uniform, bare chested with shorts and work boots. Now, this is fine if the tradie is looking like a Greek God. However, most of the time, they are sporting a big jolly belly that indicates a love for beer. And, on this particular occasion, one of the bricklayers was of a beefy build. Big, hairy belly hanging over his tool shed. But he had a kindly smile. Women are forgiving when it comes to the appearance of men.
I had spoken to this particular bricklayer a few times over the years and had never actually met him. So, I introduced myself, shook his dusty hand and he held onto my hand tightly. At the same time he gave me a very long and lingering look that was accompanied by a very appreciative smile.
"Well, now, so you are Linda. Your boss has been hiding you away from us has he?" he says in a loud voice (ensuring other tradesmen on site can witness my blushing face).
"Oh, well, yes, he, he. I guess I have been hiding away in the office. Paying everyone," I do the most stupid giggle and, believe it or not, flicked my fucking hair like a GIRL.
I then made my way across the work site and picked up the information I needed. On the way back the bricklayer had something else to tell me.
"So, did the boss send you out as our Christmas bonus?" he asks me.
"Um, what do you mean?" I reply.
"Well, seeing your lovely face is a bonus this time of year. You are a nice thing to see on a hot day like this. What a pleasure, I shall be thinking of you as I lay the bricks today," he gives me a wink.
"Oh, you are so sweet. You made my day. Thanks," I simper and then, after exchanging a few more pleasantries about the perils of car parking in this particular street, I walk, rather self consciously back to my car.
It reminded me of a conversation I had with my mother years and years ago. I complained the every time I walked past a building site I got wolf whistled at. My mother said that I should enjoy it while I could because as you get older the whistles get less. She told me I would be grateful for any whistles once I past forty. Embrace the compliments. They are nice things to get.
Hmmmm, okay, she is right. I am embracing all of them.
Ah, tradesmen, bless their leery hearts.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Anyway, this is not about that so much. Lately I have noticed that my son is just a little bit solid around the middle. Now, I don't want to make an issue of it because he is only 11 and this is the age when kids kind of thicken up before they have a growth spurt. I have friends whose children went through the same thing so I am not making an issue about it.
However, that does not mean I will let him eat what he wants on the off chance he may well not shoot up and thin out but continue to thicken up. We don't have chips/crisps in the house or much junky food because both my husband and son with randomly pick at crap food if it is available. Plus, no mindless eating is allowed in the house, especially at the computer or when watching television. But we do have Fat Food Friday. That is the night we get take away. Well, they do but I don't.
Today my son was with me at work and wanted a sausage roll for lunch. I said no. So he asked for a pie - yeah right. I said that he could have a ham and cheese sandwich but he refused. Obviously not that hungry.
He moaned about it and then said:
"But it's the holidays for me. So I should have a treat".
To which I replied:
"You are on holiday for six weeks. If you think you are going to each crap food everyday of your holidays you had best change your mindset". Although, he did seem to have a lot of sausage rolls when we went on holiday to the UK in April this year. He was in hog heaven. Big fat, flakey sausage rolls for lunch nearly everyday. It was too hard to argue over there.
Four hours later he still has not eaten. In fact, he has not eaten since 8.30am and it is now 5.20pm. I think he believes I will cave in and let him have what he wants. Imagine having six weeks of junk food?
Ah, I don't think so buddy.
He is having vegetarian lasagne tonight.
Oh, I cannot wait to hear him go on about that.
Perish the prospect of something healthy entering his body.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
It is a nice shop, full of all sorts of accessories that, upon entering your home, will imbue you with a feeling of Frenchness and some sort of Euro country chic. Unfortunately, you can bet that everything is made in China, along with the furniture. Everything is so contrived t0 achieve the ideal look. A provincial decor is usually something that has developed naturally over time. In this store they even had mock moss covered tins to place around the outdoor area.
I work for a company that builds homes based on contrivance. Everything is discussed in ad-infinitum detail right down to what colour towels to have in your bathroom. The more intense the relationship between the architect and the client, the more contrived and predictable the finish will be irrespective of the cost.
Don't get me wrong, I am all for a certain "look. However, there is something terribly lacking about doing it all in one hit. Having a one stop shop for a particular style. The best homes are the ones that build up their own eclectic mix of furniture and other adornments.
Perhaps I am judgemental, but I do love walking into someones home and seeing a deeply personal style showing whether it be nice or not. Most of the places we finish off make statements about money which, essentially, is no guarantee of taste.
Predictability offers comforts in some areas of life. Food on the table, power supplied from big corporations, people following road rules and the sun rising and setting each day. Those things that make us able to get on with the more complex day to day activities. But I think that a large part of modern society has become so comfortably predictable that people no longer dig deep to find a creative urge when they make a decision to decorate their home.
Something very boring has happened over the years in the housing area. Home interiors and cafes look the same.
It is as though nobody has anything interesting to say via their own existence. The majority are letting it all be said through home store catalogues.
Individuality is being franchised all over the world.
I think I might go and whitewash something like a terracotta pot to alleviate my agitation.
I saw it in a catalogue. It is all the look right now. Whitewash pots with juicy geraniums planted in them. But I am going to do it myself.
I am so eternally grateful for good days that when they arrive I completely immerse myself in the day. My entire being just rejoices. So much so that I am compelled to write it down and remind myself once again how just a few beautiful days can harvest so much happiness it charges my inner core like a battery, allowing me to harness the warmth of it for a long time after the sun has set and the clouds have come back.
As the words to the beautiful, yet poignant John Denver song go;
Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high
Sunshine almost all the time makes me high
You can tell, I am on a bit of a high right now.
Must be the flares I am wearing today.
Took me back to the 70's.
Isn't that when everyone was on a high?
Imagine, time travel via clothing.
End of post now, I am entering the silly zone.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Just prior to leaving the country he, and two other partners, had purchased a dingy old factory (with a teeny office) on a large block of land. The idea being that the factory would be demolished and a large office complex along with two new factories would be built and partly sold off. One of the new office's would be ours to move into, all sparkly new.
However, upon arriving home from his Tuscan holiday my boss had to make some tough economic changes. Sell current office/factory and move into the recently purchased factory with it's tiny little office. We will be sharing the space with one of the partners. Put off the development for a couple of years.
Here is one end of the current office in the throws of being packed.
And, because of the office layout I had to make the supreme sacrifice and choose a smaller desk area otherwise I would not have been able to go on the interent without offering a full view of my moments of indulgence.
Aren't I just so noble?
You see, whilst I kind of love shopping, the actual event of parting with my money, being amongst people and trekking 6km's around a giant shopping centre all really annoys me. I would find it easier if someone gave me lots of money and opened the centre up for me after hours so that I could walk around without the chaos of human bodies milling around. That way I would not have to part with my money (it is a bookkeeper thing) and also not have to feel hemmed in by people.
However, I get such enormous pleasure giving presents that the memory of the shopping event fades only to be reignited the next time I make my way into the store. Sort of like the same reason that women go back for another child despite a painful childbirth experience. Must be the same chemical released during shopping, you know, the one that makes you forget the pain of it.
Last night I had to do some shopping because Christmas is looming and I realised I had not done quite as much as I thought I had. Obviously having surgery put a hold on that for a while. I was able to go alone shopping now as I am now able to carry a bit more than my handbag, although I am still limited and this resulted in me having to make a few trips back to the car to unload shopping bags.
When I was meandering around with a vague sense of purpose, I was astounded at just how much shit is for sale. Maybe "shit" is not the right word. How about "crap" or "rubbish" or even "tat". What about "future landfill" then? How much stuff can people own? How much stuff do they want to own? And what is this thing with advertising "buy your dad a great Plasma television this Christmas"? Don't know about you, but spending $4K on someone is never going to happen in my world.
What do you think about those shrink wrapped Christmas food hampers? If I see one more boxed hamper full of inedible food again I will scream. The stores are full of them. Everywhere, even the bedding shop. We get them delivered to us at work and, whilst it is thoughtful of the supplier to have one couriered over to us, I want to ask the question as to who exactly eats that awful stuff in there. Now and then I have opened the odd jar of weird sandwich pickle and then thrown it in the bin.
Sometimes I go to the Farmer's market and buy some nice foodie things and pop them in a little basket for a gift. I know that the stuff will be eaten. Years ago I used to bake a lot of things and give them out but time is not so free so I try to get some compromise. You know, the sort of homemade Farmer's market look that suggests an aproned domestic goddess working away in the kitchen to offer up some goodies for us. Whilst the reality may be quite the opposite, I don't care because these days, sad to say, perception is as close to some reality as we will get.
This year my son is having a non electronic Christmas. If he wants that sort of stuff he has to save his pocket money, which he is doing. So I have had a great time picking out good things for him. When I asked him what he wanted for Christmas he said to me that he wanted whatever he got.
Fortunately I managed to not get bogged down by the decision making process of shopping. There comes a point in time where you realise that it is best to follow your gut instincts (combined with your budget) and do what my son suggested in this post, get in, buy it and get out. Besides, my shopping time is limited with work being busy. The last thing I want is to be leaving things to the last minute. My Christmas is on the 24th so I get one day less to run around and organise things.
I cannot say that shopping is always that easy. I know that I have often ended up walking around for hours and coming back with a magazine.
Thank goodness for books, movies and music. Something for everyone.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Okay, even though I had a hysterectomy a few weeks ago I am still going to get PMT. And I have it this week
Firstly I have more pimples on my face than I can ever recall having had for years. A collection of blind ones and nasty little sore and crusty ones that weep after you pick them. Of course, the blind ones have been unsuccessfully worked on and left me with unsightly scabby things. I have been using the face scrub to smooth the skin and everything looks a bit tender. I wish I could keep my fingers away from my face.
AND, I am mopey and agitated, all of this made worse by the sad fact that I have not done any exercise for four weeks. Normally I would do five sessions of a hard slog to exorcise my anxiety.
AND, I have had almost nil time to myself, something I desperately need. I cannot go to the shops without someone to carry my shopping bags. Besides, due to the fact I went back to work very early after surgery, I made a point of just staying home and resting at the end of the day. So, no free time for me. I have a bit of cabin fever which led to me going for a walk tonight.
AND, even though I have lost about 3 kilo's in the past few weeks I feel FAT. The lack of exercise has made my body lose tone and I have been forced to make eye contact frequently with my jiggly and dimply and disgusting body. I hate my body on a good day, you can bet that my body and I are at depressing odds right now. Lack of exercise and PMT......what a combination.
So I went for a brisk twenty minute walk and was reminded how quickly one can lose form and fitness. I am almost sick with thought of having to wait another two weeks before I can do weights and jogging. By then my flabby bum shall be dragging behind me like the ears on a basset hound.
I have sneaked back to the counting of calories in great detail along with chewing food and then spitting it out because it is something like a bit of chocolate. If I put on weight I shall be so fucked off. I saw a photo of myself when I was 5'9 and 115 pounds, only two years ago and I feel that longing to be there again but realise that to be that I will slip back into a type of highly strung and underfed persona, albeit a thin one.
Today my boss said to me, "So, pmt for you now is a week of feeling shit for no good reason".
Hmmmm. Thanks boss. You may be right with that one.
Still, I feel marginally better since a walk so I shall just not dwell on all those negative vibes. It is just a sad ego that wants some attention. There are so many more relevant things to think of and I feel my whinge is not justified. I just wanted to do it.
Instead I shall finish my cyberspace vent and go and have a nice cup of tea.
Green tea of course. Only about two calories.
Don't want to waste the calories burnt on that walk.
Aaaaarggghhhh. Stop thinking in terms of energy in and energy out.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
So, we drive there and I realise that we were certainly not the only ones there. I had to park the car ages away in some narrow side street where you usually come back to a dent in the car.
Upon entry to this place I was overwhelmed by the sheer size of it. A giant warehouse loaded to the gills with every conceivable decoration you could imagine.
The big draw card was the area that held lighting. Huge outdoor displays of reindeer, Santa's, sleigh's and snow topped trees adorned the walls. Prices were astronomical and people were buying. There is this thing about having your house lit up at Christmas that has become very popular here. Very eco unfriendly time of year as far as power usage goes.
My son used the word "gobsmacked" to describe his feelings about all the twinkly lighting effects. However, after a while the novelty of it wore off. On every second shelf in the store was some sort of Santa soft toy that sang a song. You can imagine the noise level as every child went past each toy and squeezed the button to hear a song. So the whole place was filled with the cacophony of assorted high pitched Christmas carols. It was a great place to develop and thumping headache.
At the store they had Santa and Christmas tree shaped pinatas. When I got home I said to S that I should have bought the Santa pinata and we could have filled it with lollies.
"What do you think about that?" I asked him.
He stared at me like I had just suggested murder and then said, "I cannot believe you would want to do that. Why would you hit a Santa just to get lollies. That is mean. Poor Santa. That is so disrespectful"
"Oh, sorry about that. Of course," I replied as I crawled back under the rock from which I came.
Nothing like getting a telling off from your own child.
Santa, you are safe from a whacking from our house.
Ho, ho, ho.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
What to do in this type of weather. I always feel like staying in the house but sometimes things just have to be done irrespective of the weather.
Today my husband had another music job which took up most of the day and S and I had to make our way into the shops to buy a couple of presents, the main one being for aforementioned husband. I am not going to say what we got him just in case he reads about it. Not that he ever reads my blog but you can bet that the one time I blab about a present will be the one time he reads it.
I also had to buy a small gift for my hairdresser as it was her birthday recently and I always like to give her something special. I see her every four weeks and have been going to see her for at least 14 years. So we are really good friends.
So, poor son of mine had to accompany me to a little gift shop that sells most unusual items. A bit pricey but individual things that are beautifully presented. I was ages in there with S trailing behind me making suggestions. In the end I had to go out of the shop because I was unable to make a decision. S was annoyed.
"What is your problem mum?" he asked.
"Well, some of the stuff I want to buy is hideously expensive and the other stuff I cannot make my mind up about. I am confused," I explained to him. Poor child, imagine having to listen to that twaddle from your mother.
"Mum, you have to do like a guy. Work out how much money you want to spend, go in there and pick the first thing that you see that matches the price. That's it. Walk in, buy it and walk out. Whatever you buy she will like it," he gave me the run down on how to get it right.
So, that is what I did. And he was right, she did love it.
That is the secret. Shop like a guy.
Great advice. He could be a Life Coach in the making.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
In the early days of going out we would go to the movies. One movie we saw was The Accidental Tourist with William Hurt and Geena Davis featuring in it. After we saw this movie my future husband said to me that we were like the characters in it (Hurt and Davis). She was kind of kooky and annoying and he was overly quiet and joyless. Hmmmmm. Anyway, over the years we have toned down those traits enough to be not so obvious. Or we just don't see it anymore.
Once we got married I think we became The Odd Couple with me being the untidy and irritating Oscar and my husband aiming at being the boringly tidy and disapproving Felix. The more that "Felix" wanted me to be tidy the more rebellious the "Oscar" in me became. In the end we kind of met in the middle. Felix realising that to try to get Oscar to conform would result in Oscar moving out. Besides, Felix (husband) may have been tidy but he sure was not clean, whereas Oscar (me) is untidy but clean.
Untidy is just creative neglect anyway.
Well, things have changed again. Obviously over the years one has to grow into oneself. Plus, as a couple you kind of establish some sort of protocol that allows you to spend long periods of time in each others company. Otherwise life would be difficult.
Last night my husband was telling me how he was watching Fawlty Towers at the nursing home where his dad now resides. He proceeded to tell me the following funny part of the episode;
Well, Basil is doing something that he does not want Sybil to know about. So when Sybil comes in from outside Basil leans over and kisses her on the cheek. She pulls back and says 'What are you doing Basil?" and he says 'Oh, I was just giving you a kiss, you know, a show of affection". To which she replies "Well, don't".
This little story was padded out with some very funny Basil impersonations and Sybil's annoyed voice.
I laughed at it and then realised that my husband had not quite finished the story.
"Oh, sorry, I interupted. Go on," I said encouragingly for my husband does a great Basil impersonation.
"Well, it reminded me of....," my husband hesitates.
"What? What? Us?" I said.
"Well, yes actually. You know, you can be a bit like Sybil," he told me.
"Fuck off Basil," I replied.
But you know, I have sometimes seen a bit of Basil and Sybil in our relationship. I was just in denial. Now that my husband sees it too, well, I shall embrace that thought entirely.
Basil and Sybil.
Do you think they will go down as the couple that most represents the true relationship between husband and wife?
As opposed to Angelina and Brad. Or Fred and Ginger. Or Posh and Becks.
Monday, December 08, 2008
It was my first big walk since surgery. Took it nice and slowly. We often walk down the street together but last night was a "shopping" walk. K was working late and we needed to organise some dinner provisions. Since I cannot carry heavy bags, S had to. See his body language. The bag was sooooo heavy. And didn't he have to tell me about it......
I managed to maintain a smile despite the constant moaning.
My son has three words that he uses ALL the time in response to nearly everything I ask of him.
"Just a second"
Sometimes he has a variation of it just to confuse me.
"Just a minute"
It is the response I get to the following requests;
"Get of the computer please".
"Come and put away the dishes please".
"Go and put your pyjama's on now please".
"Time for dinner".
"Hop in the bath".
And other similar requests. Usually these types of requests are repeated a few times before a shouting version happens. At that point the word "please" is completely dropped from the request.
Then, as he begrudgingly complies to my dreary wishes he will respond along the following lines;
"Okay, okay, no need to shout".
"I am coming. I said just a second. Didn't you hear me".
"You didn't say please".
I have a feeling this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Naturally this involved a trip to sit on Santa's knee. I now have twelve Santa pictures in the collection. My son insists that he shall be sitting on Santa's knee until he is at least eighteen. Whilst I don't actually know if my son really still believes in Christmas, I do know that he just loves the whole atmosphere of it. We don't discuss whether or not there is a Santa and, really, why should we. Some things are truly better left as a lovely story.
This economic crisis that is being experienced worldwide is a tough thing. But the shops are rising to the occasion with the most unbelievable sales I have ever seen. And trust me, I have seen loads of sales over the years. The government is even giving families whose income falls under a certain amount a cash bonus to encourage us to spend, spend, spend to boost the economy. Naturally this will put Australia into a deficit, which we can all prop up over the next few years.
S and I bought some Christmas decorations (on sale of course). The tree is up and needed a few more twinkly things to fill it out. This is the first Christmas that my son is REALLY into wanting the house to look like a glorious Christmas magazine spread. He keeps suggesting all sorts of additions to the huge collection of Christmas tat I already have and I decided to let him make some choices of his own. It was hard, we had to compromise a bit to keep the European flavour of the tree but we both agreed on what was finally purchased.
Whilst we were in the department store we mosied over to the Apple Mac section. I love Apple Mac computers. Especially that great bit 24" desk top one. I have been seriously considering purchasing one. Not that I need it. But I do want it.
So, here we are, the two of us, playing around on the Mac. There is a great programme where you can do silly things with your photo. Stretch and pull your face, turn the photo into sepia or pop art style and other funny things. But there was one effect that was the king of all effects. You were able to split your body in two and match it up. It was indescribably and grossly funny. There we were making silly, silly faces that made me almost wet myself laughing.
I ended up laughing so much that I pulled some muscle around my healing wound and had to take a pain killer.
It really was the best laugh I have had for ages. Just for that photo effect alone I would justify purchased that lovely computer eye candy.
Of course, it is the one thing in the store not on sale.
Isn't that always the way?
Thursday, December 04, 2008
My boss is a good man. He said to me to take it easy and things could wait until I got back.
Um, I don't think so Mr Boss.
Like, how will twenty people get paid? And, who will make sure that the money comes in from those high maintenance clients whose big ugly houses we build thus enabling me to pay some big bills? And, who will pay all those big bills via the bank account because Mr Boss never does and won't let anyone else do it. And, who will reissue all those new electronic time tags to those new people on board? And, who will do the BAS (monthly goods and services tax)? And, who will make sure that that giant tax bill due this week will get paid somehow?
Me, that's who.
So, some things just cannot wait until I get back.
As we all know, the graveyards are full of people who were indispensable. So, whilst I am not saying that I am indispensable, it would be fair to say that I am one big cog at work.
But thanks anyway Mr Boss for your kind words, I know you mean it.
Today, in between sleeping in and watching Dr Phil and Oprah, I made my way down to the street. It has been a full two weeks since I had a mosey down there, in fact, closer to three weeks. Today was so sunny and lovely I thought it would be a good opportunity to have a small walk around, pick up some Christmas cards, buy a couple of things and make my way home.
Frustratingly I was unable to buy much in the end as I have a weight limit of about 5lbs when it comes to carrying things. So I had to pass by the new seasons grapes, the lovely soft fruits and fresh yellow mangoes that were so cheap at the green grocers. As tempting as it was, I figured there is a good reason that I am not allowed to carry heavy stuff. I felt a bit out of sorts really.
This whole healing process is incredibly irritating. I am so used to just doing things without question and for now I have to stop and consider what I am about to do all the time. Still, only for a short time in the scheme of things.
The other night I said to my husband that he had to go down to the shops for me and pick up a couple of things.
"But we went the other day," he said.
Yeah, we went the other day alright. He and I NEVER go food shopping together. Apart from the fact I am just not the sort who wants to shop with my husband like it is a social outing, if he did go shopping with me the food bill will increase whilst the quality of the food would decrease. Plus, on the rare occasions that we have been forced together in a supermarket, he feels compelled to comment on everything I buy. From toilet paper to dog food, he has to question the motive behind my purchase.
So, on Sunday I said to him that he had to take me food shopping. We drove down and parked the car. It was all downhill from there. He took a shopping trolley that had rubbish in it and he left it floating around in there like a germ catcher. We got to the bread section and he complained about bread. He does not like multi grain and I won't buy white (high GI). Moan, moan, moan. I get rye bread.
Get the the fruit section. I start filling a bag with nectarines and ask him if he wants some peaches because he has always liked peaches more than nectarines. He tells me he hates peaches because they are hairy (same reason I hate them). Never in the 21 years that we have known each other has he told me he hates peaches. So, naturally I question this change. His response to my question made me think I had asked him to bare his buttocks in the fruit and vegetable section of the supermarket. Soooooo sooorrrryyy.....
Moving over to where the apricots are, I start putting some in a bag.
'Don't get any for me," he calls out.
"No, I won't," I answer and continue to put more in the bag.
"Well, you don't need that many," he watches me fill the bag a bit more.
"Ah, well, I like them and if I want 500 of them to eat this week then 500 is what I will get," I answered, adding extra into the bag just to be contrary.
He started on about something else. I don't know what, maybe the price of a fucking tomato or something. Blah, blah, blah.
"Listen, it is bad enough I am in here in the supermarket having to spend my hard earned money on overpriced food. I don't need a running commentary on everything I am buying here. So, do me a favour and shut up. I have been shopping every week since the day we got married. I don't need a discussion about it," I said in the end. He agreed.
We whizzed through the place, picking up the basics and a few extras. I just wanted to get out of there.
Amazingly, when we first got there, my husband said to me that he assumed I like supermarket shopping because I seem to do it a lot.
Just because I do something frequently and without complaint, it certainly does not mean I like doing it.
Really, my husband must think I like washing, ironing, doing poo patrol, cleaning my toilet and other similar day to day things. Since I do them so frequently and without complaint.
I need to complain more. Get that message across.
PS: Husband is very good person despite being painful to go shopping with.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
There was a girl a little older than me. She was in the year ahead. Her name was Christine. She was like me, taller than the average girl in school. A bit of an outsider really. I started hanging out with her a bit. I suppose we became friends during the latter part of the year. Her parents were Danish like mine so we shared that background which possibly made us enjoy each other's company a bit more.
Christine was quite grown up for a girl of thirteen. Not just tall, but she had developed early and she had a really grown up way about her. I think I thought that boys liked her. In later years she got a bit of a reputation around school for having sex with a few guys.
One time she asked if I could stay over at her place for the night. My parents gave the okay. When we got to her house we stayed in her bedroom playing with dolls and talking about stuff. Although I was aware of boys, I was not aware of them in the same way that maybe a sixteen year old girl would be. It was just a giggly kind of awareness. If a boy talked to me I went puce red and suffered terribly from awkwardness. Christine was more confident, more at ease. I felt a bit of envy really. I really wanted to be a bit more like her.
Whilst we were playing in the bedroom and chatting away as young girls do, she asked me if I had ever had sex. I was reading a comic at the time and I had to stop reading and think what answer to give. The only thing I knew about sex was that it had gotten my sister pregnant.
"Yeah, sure I have," I answered. The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them. For some childish reason (and what other reason is there from a twelve year old) I wanted to impress Christine. Make out that I was grown up.
"So have I. I am glad you have too. I thought none of my friends had," she replied. She then told me that she was having sex with a guy around the corner. He was really nice to her. Her parents didn't know. It was a secret.
Her parents were divorced and her mother had remarried. Christine did not really like her step father and hardly saw her real father. He had very little contact with her from what I could understand. There was a level of drinking and violence in the new relationship that her mother had. It was obvious when you were in the house. Or perhaps I noticed it more than most would as I came from a house full of domestic violence and fear.
She proceeded to tell me in more detail about this guy. As though offloading it to me. He was older, really nice. She had been having sex with him since she was ten years old. He gave her presents. As she was telling me this I was feeling sick to the stomach at having lied to her about having sex. What if she asked me what I thought about it? She would find out I had lied and would not be my friend any more. I was not thinking about what she was telling me possibly because I thought that maybe she was lying too.
Then next morning after breakfast she wanted to take me to meet this guy that she had been having sex with. I was really feeling not right about the whole thing. Something was just bad, bad and more bad. But I went along with it trying to be as cool as possible.
This guy lived about ten minutes walk from Christine's house. He had a van and when Christine and I arrived he was in the back of it sorting things out. He was about late twenties, long hair and a moustache. Just the look of the 1970's. All conversations with Christine were forgotten as I explored the inside of the van, peering in boxes and the like. I climbed in the front of it and poked around, opening the glove box and looking behind the bench seat. Christine was talking to the guy in the back of the van for ages.
After a while I got bored and sat on the driver's seat. The door was open and I was sitting with my knees facing to the outside just watching up and down the street. Then the guy came and stood in front of me. He placed both his hands on my knees and then moved them up to the top of my legs, thumbs pressing and rubbing on my inner thighs. He was watching me. I was feeling very awkward. Trapped like a rabbit in it's warren. I could not get away without seeming rude.
"Christine tells me that you have had sex." he eventually said to me.
I nodded my head really, really wishing I had not told her that. Wishing I had said no when she asked me that question.
"Well, how about you and I have sex now. In the back of the van. Christine will make sure nobody sees us." he said. He was rubbing his hands up and down my legs.
I was sick with a fear and the sort of discomfort that meant things were not right. The picture of the entire moment is etched in my head as though it happened yesterday. I knew something was wrong here, very wrong.
"I don't think my mother would like that," I replied.
"Maybe another time then?" he suggested. I nodded and he moved away from me, patting my leg as he went off.
I stayed in that position for a while before Christine came up and suggested we go home. She had a pink purse in her hand that he had given her. I climbed down from the driver's seat as quickly as possible, just wanting to get away.
I continued to see Christine on and off over the next year or so at school. Then she outgrew me well and truly and started preferring the company of boys to girls.
I often wonder about her. Her life had been totally ruined by this man. This is not the sort of thing you "get over" without a major struggle. He would have put her up to procuring girls for him. Had her seek out victims. I never told my mother about the episode because I knew that I would get into trouble for being there. Things were different then. Kids hid things from parents because they feared retribution.
But there is something small to this story that disturbs me. It says something about me as a child. It also says something about the importance of telling the facts to children, about protecting children and about teaching children to never be afraid to question the actions of adults.
Whilst I told that guy that my mother would not like me to have sex with him, the reason I said that was that I instinctively knew that it was a way to get out of a bad situation. I knew that the mention of my mother would make him move away without making me look bad.
The truth is, the other reason I did not say yes is that I did not want him to find out that I had lied to Christine about having sex.
Because if she found out that I had lied to her, she might not have wanted to be my friend anymore.
Peer pressure, friends, teenagers.
No wonder growing up is tough.