Saturday, February 21, 2009
1: "Mum, you should never, ever walk through the house wearing that colour underwear". This was in response to me walking from my bathroom to the laundry in beige coloured underwear and bra. Thanks sonny boy for that.
2: "Oh mum, I love it when you don't cook". This was in response to me coming home with a variety of overpriced home cooked meals that I bought from a wanky shop. Not only is the food expensive (and delicious), but the girls who work in it look like they stepped out of a Vogue magazine.
3: "Mum, I am not eating that". This was in response to what I made for dinner tonight. A pasta dish with some organic, vegan tomato sauce on it.
4; "Oh, I could not eat that Linda". Comment from husband after he peered into saucepan of aforementioned pasta.
5: "Linda, why exactly did you make so much?". Further questioning as to why I, once again, made enough slop to feed an army. My reply was a "dunno, it just grew big".
I have an issue with cooking lately. I hate it, hate it and hate it. Boring. I hate chopping vegetables, peeling potatoes and thinking of what the fuck to cook each night.
This is a stage I go through now and then. I buy vegetables, put them in the fridge and then throw them into the compost a week later. Maybe I should just bring them home and throw them straight into the compost, give the fridge a miss. Or better still, just throw money into the compost.
Thank goodness for baked beans and scrambled eggs.
And thank goodness for shops that cater for lazy mothers like me.
I have done three posts today.
Obviously I have a lot to whinge about.
Oh, no, I recall now.
Three little letters.
I feel much better now knowing why I am whiney.
Now I can be a bitch too.
As I walked around looking at every article of clothing on hand I realised I have, over the years, developed this "I can do that" mentality.
I came across some white t-shirts that had some funky applique on them. They were so expensive and I thought to myself:
"Hmmmm, what a rip off. I can do that".
Then I saw a very plain denim skirt with some embroidery on it. Again, for a stupid price. Sure enough that thought came into my head:
"$279.00. You must be kidding. Why, I can do that for nothing".
On and on I went.
"Oh, I can do that", I mused to myself as I fingered the lovely Laura Ashley tote bag that was $15. And I could too since I bought the pattern for making fantabulous tote bags. Okay, the pattern is still in it's packet shoved somewhere I cannot recall.
"Hmmm, I could do that with my white clogs", I thought to myself as I studied that flower pattern that had been painted on the leather of a pair of very expensive Camper shoes.
"Oh, look, I could do that!" I reminded myself as I was about to buy a pair of black socks that has some little pink flowers embroidered on the top of them.
I could do it, if I bothered.
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
And you know, I could pave it all the way.
Yes, I could do that.
Whilst we were having our lunch we were discussing the trials of hitting middle age. I know, I know, it sounds so cliche but why not have a good old moan over lunch.
We got talking about clothes.
And how much we hate shopping for them.
And how, when we find one thing we like,we then buy it in three different colours and wear it over and over.
And how we hate change rooms.
And how we don't actually know how to wear the clothes that are in fashion now.
And how we dress for comfort when it comes to shoes.
And how we have one or two "going out" dresses that date before we get to wear them twice.
And how we love jeans and t-shirts because they are sooooo comfy.
And how everyone is getting younger, especially the policemen.
You get the drift. Sometimes it is great to just share shallow shit now and then.
I have known these two girls for twelve years now and even though we stopped catching up for a while after the kids went to school and life got busy, it was nice to see them and really good to just be somewhere different for a change.
We made a tentative date for a next get together.
When I got home I realised that I was falling under the spell of "doing lunch".
I first heard that expression from my boss's mother when she asked if I wanted to "do lunch". It sounded so twee. Like making a "play date" when you have a child.
Is "doing lunch" a middle aged woman thing?
Or is it just a wanky word for having lunch.
I am worried now. Had my hair cut shorter and now "doing lunch".
Now I am worried I did an "air kiss" when I said hello to them.
Air kissing, doing lunch, short hair and comfy shoes.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Sometimes, if in the car, I may just spend the entire drive going from one radio station to another until a song hits the spot. Especially if I am in a bit of a scatty mood and feel like pond skating on the emotional front. Modern music fills that urge to just bop around and not think of life in all it's ad infinitum wonder.
Other times I will be fixated on a particular musical artist and play their music over and over again. For a while, not that long ago, I went through a phase of listening to Paul Simon. It reached a point where my husband and son would cringe everytime they got in my car and heard the start of "Graceland". I love the lyrics of Paul Simon. He has a story in every song and I am always astonished at how he manages to marry the music and lyrics in such a moving way. I think my favorite song of his is "Late in the Evening" one.
Then there was the Kate Bush phase. Mainly with her last release from a couple of years ago. Such a moody and introspective double cd full of intimacy and melancholy. Even after listening to it at least 100 times, I still find myself falling under her spell and my entire mood will drift into a slumberous type of semi erotic thought processes. Her voice, her words and the music just fill me with the most exquisite emotions.
Of course there is the best of the 70's and 80's which just take me back to my youth. But I am not as keen on them as most people are with their love of music from the teenage years. Too often they bring back feelings that I don't think I want to revisit these days. I always make sure I am in the right frame of mind before I play those songs otherwise I may end up in some sort of funk that is best to avoid.
At the moment I am going through a phase of listening to music from the 1930's and 1940's. In particular I am enjoying The Andrew's Sisters. I have loved their music for as long as I can recall. You can bet that most of my friends have no idea who they are. Well, I bet most Americans would know who I am talking about. America put out the best musicians during the war time years and I love most of them. Talk about conjuring up the most romantic time ever.
When I moved out of home I had a wind up gramophone that played 78's. That was it for me as far as music went. I lived on my own and would take the record player out to the balcony and play my collection of 78 records, some of which were The Andrew's Sisters. There I sat, under the warm sun, in my deck chair listening to their sweet voices crackling away. One song was Rum and Coca Cola and even now when I listen to it I feel that thrill you get when a song takes you on a journey to somewhere special. I bought a cassette of them and played it in my car.
I am now looking to buy some cd's of their music as I only have a couple of their songs on a compilation cd of music from the war time. I want to have all their songs swimming into my head like the Three Little Fishies they sang about. I may even be inspired to buy some of the movies they were in as I used to watch them on the midday movies on Sundays.
It is too easy to fall into the trap of just listening to what you grew up with or what is on the radio at the moment.
One piece of music will lead you to another and yet another and take you on a never ending emotional ride.
And one thing for sure, I would rather dance to the music of The Andrew's Sisters than gyrate my aging pelvis to something Britney Spears squeaks about.
Oh, I could write a post about what I think of dancing.
But I have to go to work.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
It escalated after this episode last year which resulted in my son being forbidden from going to the boy's home and also the boy visiting our home.
The boy would say numerous nasty things to my son such as:
1. Your mother is an f.....g slut.
2. Your father is a wanker
3. Your old man is an f......g c...t
4. Your mother is a whore because she wears make up and high shoes (I never wear high shoes by the way)
5. You are an f.....g c....t
You get the gist. This went on for weeks on end until we had to get the teacher to step in. I know that words are words, but I have to say that there are boundaries that must be set in a school environment.
Things kind of stopped and the nastiness settled into the usual poking or sly punch in the schoolyard. We had asked the teacher to make sure that they would not be in the same class this year, but unfortunately they did end up together again. They sit apart in the classroom and the teacher is mindful of what is going on.
But now things have reared their ugly head. Yesterday my husband dropped S off to school and just as he was about to get out of the car he started to cry. Not much at first but as my husband quizzed him on what was wrong a torrent of tears fell. He was being harassed again and was just sick of it.
This time the harassment was worse. He was saying things to S that made him feel really uncomfortable. Such as:
1. You suck your dad's c...k
2. Do you masturbate
3. I masturbate every day
4. Girls are only good for sex
6. When I get older I am going to rape a girl.
I don't know about you, but I think that is really crossing boundaries and I have only mentioned a few things. If an adult said that to another adult in a work environment you can bet that there would be a lot of trouble. Whilst I am concerned about my son having to put up with it all, I think it is a disturbing aspect that this boy thinks it is okay to speak like that. He also goes on about how much he hates every race of people. In my mind I think that if his behaviour is not addressed he will end up being a difficult adult with some big problems in his head.
I think the school will handle it well. I spoke to the vice principal this morning. He will speak to my son and give him some tips on handling it. Sometimes it is good to have an outsider offer help to a child. More objective. Of course they will also speak to the boy and his parents.
I know the world is full of all sorts and my son will have to learn to live with them, but at school I think kids need to just be able to enjoy normal life.
It is hard to even get into the whole nitty gritty of it all in a post. I feel that this is only the start of what my son (and others) will be encountering from some children.
The whole episode has upset me.
Hard not to feel the pain of one's own child.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Last night I pottered around in my bedroom. Sorted through my wardrobe, rearranged my books and just had a general tidy. It was very peaceful.
I had a clothes throw out. Some clothes just don't fit me anymore and even if I lose some weight I don't want to wear them again. Some of the clothes that do fit me I no longer like now or they have been washed so much they look dingy after being worn for an hour or so. Now and then you just have to have a clean out. Plus, since my wardrobe is tiny I am limited as to just how sentimental I can be when it comes to clothes.
I noticed something really funny when I went through the wardrobe. Nearly every article of clothing was hanging up inside out. It is because I change my clothes at least three or four times before I leave the house most mornings. An annoying trait of mine. Then I just hang them up inside out because I am too lazy to hang them back up properly. It may explain why I leave the house with my tops on inside out sometimes.
I adore my bed. I love getting into my bed at night.
Slipping in between the white, ironed cotton sheets and having a little wriggle. Contemplating the day that has passed. Getting a nice thought in my head to take me into the world of zzzzz's.
Sometimes I read for a while before turning of the bedside lamp and getting ready for that most pleasurable feeling of sleep creeping in. Or I sit with my laptop and surf the internet.
I have trouble with the actual getting to bed. Because as much as I love getting into my bed, making the final decision to do so is long and drawn out. I might be about to go to bed when a good movie comes onto the television and I am suddenly alert. Or I am fiddling on the computer and just choose to ignore the time.
Other times I might fall asleep whilst watching television and just cannot resist that feeling of nodding off on the couch. We have a rule in our home. Under no circumstances is anyone to awaken another person who may be dozing on the couch. Many times I have woken up at 2.00 am in the morning sprawled out on the sofa with the television on, husband having gone to bed three hours earlier.
To tell you the truth though, I would rather sleep in my bed alone. It is nothing personal, but I love the silence of being alone in a room. Only my breathing to be heard apart from the sounds of night time outside my window. I want to spread my limbs out without having to worry as to whether or not I may wake someone else. As it is, when I go to sleep, I lie flat on my back with my hands resting on my stomach. I am so still until I fall asleep and then I spend all night wriggling around.
Our bed is small. A double bed, which by today's standard is teeny. Because I wanted an antique bed I was limited by the size I could have gotten. Most beds of 100 years ago were very small indeed. I like the thought that other people slept in this bed a long time ago when life was so different. We bought this bed from a antique shop. When I saw it I knew it was the bed of my dreams. Simple but creative in style.
I only like white, thick, pure cotton sheets that have to be ironed. My bedspread is a vintage Marcella white one which is made of thick, heavy cotton with and embossed pattern of geraniums across it. I have more than one and love their timeless beauty. You cannot buy anything like this now. The manufacturing of linen is so second rate compared to what it was sixty years ago. When I bought them, they were not popular and not expensive. But now they are becoming collectible and so I cannot add to my collection so freely.
At the moment my bedroom is nice and tidy. At least once a week I spend time cleaning it up, change the sheets and dust it. Since humans spend so much time in a bedroom, it should be welcoming and interesting. Or at least I think so.
I don't know why I bother to post about a bedroom of all things.
But really, even the confines of a room can be so inspiring for me.
This morning as I drove to work I thought to myself it was time for a random photo. And I did not endanger any lives as I was driving along taking a pic.
Today is sunny and I am pleased to say that yesterday I did payroll and can concentrate on something else when I get to work.
Since I am having a random post I am going to talk about my son.
When my son has to go to bed, he gets a big surge of idiotic energy. I find it really funny. My husband gets irritated.
So the other night the silliness starts and my husband rolls his eyes.
"Oh, come on. I love how children are so full of joy. When do we lose that? Adults are as boring as can be. Joyless lumps of cynicism", I said to my husband.
"I suppose you are right", he agreed.
Then my son upped the anti so to speak. He ran into the office, turned on a song and came out dancing to it in his pyjama's. I was laughing. K was having a bit of a laugh.
With this parental encouragement my son stripped off down to his underwear and continued to dance madly around the place. Running around the coffee table, bending over and slapping his wiggling bottom at us and kicking his legs around.
By this stage I was laughing non stop and then my husband tried to assert himself.
"Stop laughing Linda, you are only making things worse. You can put him to bed", he told me.
Both S and I laughed and laughed at this feeble attempt to get some order in the house.
The song finished along with the four minutes of "dancing child" entertainment and then my son put his pyjama's back on and made his way to bed with husband in tow.
When my husband came back in to the lounge room he glared at me.
"You just make things worse", he said. But he was having a smirk about it.
I always have had trouble with authority.
And really, sometimes you just have to enjoy the moment before it goes.
Monday, February 16, 2009
I quite like the odd meme now and then but I am not particularly reliable in getting down and actioning them. I shall make an effort today rather than whinge about the size of my bottom.
I have done a few meme's:
This one was one about weird things about me.
This one really reflects my weird food issues I harbour.
So, six weird (or embarrassing) things I have done:
1. In an interview I once accidentally blew a big snot bubble out of my left nostril in response to the question "where do you see yourself in five years". The bubble sat there for about two long, drawn out seconds before I had the sense to breath in via my nose. I got the job anyway. Interestingly enough, the interviewer said nothing when it happened. But I know she saw it by the look on her face.
2. Once I was being tickled by some friends. One was a boyfriend. I said to them "stop, if you don't stop I will wet my pants". They did not stop and so I wet my pants (deliberately) and two of the friends got soaked. Then they were annoyed at me. They never tickled me again. I was eighteen at the time.
3. I went out on a date once when I was young. I wore a lovely dress but when I got home I realised I had worn it back to front. The guy concerned did not notice, but trust me, everyone walking behind me would have known.
4. I once at so many dried apricots that I vomited. One of the dried apricots came out, in it's entire form, of my nose. I had to tug it to get it out. It was incredibly funny and disgusting. Just shows you that you must chew your food just that little bit more.
5. Once when out on a date, I ordered spaghetti bolognese. When it arrived I realised I had no idea how to eat it so I had to pretend I had a stomach ache. So I sat there watching my date eat his dinner and mine because I was too shy to confess I did not know how to eat spag bol. It was then that I realised that the names of pasta reflected the shape it would arrive in.
6. In one of my binge purge episodes I ate an entire cheesecake (huge one) at one sitting and then vomited it up later. It was traumatic episode but it did put me off cheesecake for life. When my mum came home from work she said "the house smells of cheese cake, where is it".Actually, I did the same thing with a pavlova, but for some reason I am not so repulsed by it these days. That was many years ago and I don't do it now, but it seems like yesterday.
I have a never ending list of silly things I have done.
But six is enough for now.
So, if you want to 'fess up to being a twit, feel free to do so.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Today I woke up feeling "mumsy" (old fashioned, sexless and drab). It was to be expected as yesterday I felt fat.
So today, feeling mumsy, fat and, of course, having a bad hair day I decided to just make sure I felt invisible AND middle aged by making my way back to Chadstone.
Chadstone is an oversized local shopping mall. Hundreds of shops. It is where I went the other week to get blisters on my feet. It caters for the under 35 or the over 50. Forget those years in between.
Today I walked aimlessly around the hallowed halls of Chadstone like a homeless dog and eventually bought myself a pair of three quarter pants. As you know, my attempt to alter a pair of jeans into three quarter pants failed miserably so I felt compelled to go shopping.
If you are ever having a shit day and really want to remind yourself of the aging process, just spend some time in a clothes changing room in a big department store. Make sure you are having a fat day to ensure that you get to experience maximum horror at the sight of your half naked body exposed under the harsh fluorescent lighting that is bouncing off the four full size mirrors that kindly allow you to view yourself in every possible unflattering angle. And if you thought you had only a little bit of cellulite, you can bet your bottom dollar that being in this room for any time will change your mindset about that illusion.
Oh, and make sure you wear you dingiest undies. You really want to feel total blah.
So, after that traumatic event of purchasing clothing, I came home and spent some time in the studio to wind down. But not for long, because I was lucky enough to then make my way down to the supermarket where I then got to shop for food.
Now I am back home and about to make myself a coffee, I feel that at least I was productive as I actually cleaned by bathroom top to toe this morning.
And in about one hour I am going for a five kilometre jog.
That episode in the change room has inspired me to exercise more.
Or frightened me.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
I wish that all food was low fat and low calorie so that I could eat what I wanted and never put on weight.
I wish white bread rolls and bagels were low GI.
I wish I had a super fast metabolism.
I wish that food that tasty yucky was bad for you and that food that tasted defuckinglicious was really, really good for you.
Yes, I know that all of the above is childish and shallow. And I know that there are terrible things going on in the world that make my twaddle extra pathetic.
But I am having a fat day.
And I need to blog about it.
All done now.
One night last week I got a notion to shorten a pair of jeans I no longer wear. They fit me, but they are flared and to tell you the truth, every time I wear them I look an old duck. Yes, there is an age you get to where you cannot wear what you may have worn when you were fifteen years old. I am at that age.
So I took them out of the cupboard and lay them across the dining room table. I then cut them about four inches shorter, the measurement having come about by a combination of guess work along with a random and casual comparison to an existing pair of three quarter jeans.
Once the daring cut had been made, I ironed a bit of hem on it and then pinned the hem up. I debated whether or not to try them on to check the length and thought "oh, it will be fine" and then spent ages hand stitching the hem. I could have taken the sewing machine down and set it up for a better result, but obviously the appeal of a rushed and crooked stitch up was too much to resist.
The job finally finished I quickly put them on and went into the front room to admire my handiwork.
Putting aside the vision of me standing in my black socks and unshaven legs on show, I could not help but notice that one leg of the jeans was longer than the other. Another thing I became aware of is the danger of altering jeans that once had a huge flare. I now had stupid three quarter pants with a huge flare from mid calf level rather than ankle level.
It just look bad, bad and bad. And now I had ruined a pair of perfectly good jeans.
When I shuffled back into the lounge room feeling a total failure, my husband came in from outside. He asked me what I was doing and a mumbled something about what I had achieved. I was standing behind the couch.
"Show me", he asked.
I crept out from my hiding spot and stood before him. He stared for a few seconds and laughed until I had to tell him to shut up.
"I love it when you think you can sew. You do the funniest things", he told me.
That comment led to me going on a long tirade of how useless I am when it comes to domesticity. Can't cook, can't sew, never mop my floor and hate housework. Useless, utterly useless were the words I used.
"Tell me, tell me five things about me that are good", I told him.
He stood for a while. Actually he stood a bit too long for my liking and then came up with the following:
1. You do very silly things that are funny.
2. You always surprise me after all these years.
3. You are a good mother, a really good mother.
Then he could not think of another two. I suppose he felt a bit under pressure as I stood in the kitchen in my "new" jeans and hands on hips.
Oh well, three out of five is okay I guess.
You know, I have just noticed a white shirt in my wardrobe that would look great with some embroidery.
Now, if I could just find that huge box of embroidery threads my mother gave me fifteen years ago.
Why, I could have a new shirt by the end of the day if I start now.
Friday, February 13, 2009
On my trusty push bike.
More than trusty actually. I have a Specialized Sirrus Pro carbon fibre commuter bike.
Doesn't that sound impressive? It should because it cost me a fortune and lives in the house because I am so prissy about it getting dirty. I have added some accessories to it to bling it up a bit.
I am not looking forward to the ride home because I am just wearing normal clothes, not my lycra bike pants with the padding.
If you knew what the seat was like to perch upon, you could really appreciate how uncomfortable it is after 9kms of serious pedalling.
When I got to work I was sweaty.
Then I dropped my peanut butter cracker on my top.
And had "bike helmet" hair.
I feel good that I did it.
Marysville is about an hour or so from home. We went there one winter because they have snow not far from there. It was a town with a population of around 500 people and just delightful to visit. Lots of nature nearby.
Now, none of the houses are left in Marysville with the exception of the bakery. And it is in that town that 100 people are missing. Imagine, one fifth of a town gone.
Huge amounts of clothes and food have been donated. Also caravans for people to live in whilst rebuilding starts.
It is going to take a long time for people to rebuild their lives again.
I wish them all the very best.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
My car is a mess. I went to a client of mine to do some bookwork and we decided to pop down the street for a quick lunch.
We took my car and when he got in he looked around in amazement. Paper on the floor, two drink bottles rolling around, fit ball wedged in the back seat, numerous eco friendly shopping bags shoved behind the front seat and hair elastics on the gear stick.
"Oh, my God. Your car is disgusting. I am amazed. Who would have thought that such an efficient bookkeeper could be such a slob", he said to me as he took it all in.
Then he went on about how he has seen that there are two Linda's. Linda the Efficient and Linda the Slob. In fact, it got boring in the end.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I ask you, what girl do you know who has a clean car?
As he blathered on about my messy car I was wondering what he would say if he knew that I had put my underpants on inside out today. I decided not to reveal such a shocking secret.
It annoyed me no end all day knowing that the tag was on the outside of my undies.
It just did not seem right.
Once I wore my t-shirt inside out to work. All day long. No one bothered to tell me.
Life just went on, tag on show and all.
This post is getting boring.
And I feel like laughing at nothing.
Time for bed.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Especially in a small office. It can be like a marriage of convenience. Or a marriage from hell.
Now, I hate to be mean about anyone but I feel the need to be today because someone in the office kind of shits me.
I did make a mention of her once in this post. Well, really, some of her ways just beggar belief.
She is around 57 and an unhealthy 57 at that. Not that is an issue but it is intriguing to me that in this day and age someone would be so freely casual with their well being, despite being aware of what needs doing to stay slightly healthy. Especially as she works with me and I eat the most healthy food you have seen. So it is not as though she is not exposed to a random fruit or vegetable now and then. Sometimes I dump fruit on her desk and tell her to eat it.
However, having said that, she did mention to me that she has been getting a fruit and vegetable box delivered now once a week.
Her idea of lunch is a sweet biscuit or ten of them. Plus loads of coffee, at least six cups a day, full of sugar. But that is just an incidental thing but I just need to mention it because it fascinates me. Oh, and she tells me the food I eat is disgusting. Huh?
Anyway, all her life, up until 2007 she has smoked dope everyday. Morning and night. I mean, at that age surely you would have dropped that habit. She has a teenage daughter so I think you need to set some examples. Late in 2007 she got caught by the police for growing dope in her garage. She used to grow it and use it as bartering when she got her legs waxed or her hair done. How embarrassing. After that she stopped smoking but still smokes a few cigarettes at home via her bong/pipe. Which means she coughs like a dying dog at work each day.
And she does these things that really make my stress levels rise. And make my stomach churn. Now, she gets waxed every six weeks. Arms, top lip, chin, legs etc. In between that she has the most bristly black hairs on show on her face. And her arms. I can deal with arm and leg hair on others because I don't have to look but face hair makes me freak. Black, bristly face hair. I feel like mailing some tweezers to her home anonymously.
She has eczema, which is fine. So do I. But she picks at it until it scabs and bleeds and some of the scabs sit on the tip of a bristly black hair. Pick, pick and more pickety pick. I then am forced to say to her "oh, that looks sore. How about you put your cream on it and leave it alone". I really want to say "that is totally gross and you are making me fucking sick". But it would be too rude of me to say. Hence the need to blog about it.
Once she took her bridge out from her teeth to show me what had broken. Which is like taking false teeth out. She has lost teeth because goodness knows what her dental hygiene is like. Plus, if you do drugs you end up with bad gums. She told me she never flosses.
And, she has no issue with lifting up her top to show me how much weight she has put on. Why? I don't drop my duds to show her my cellulite. Who said that is fine? Another time she lifted her skirt to show me a boil on her inner thigh. I just had to say "I don't need to see that" when I really wanted to say "Excuse me while I vomit".
She makes jokes about sex. You know the sort of jokes "I have oral sex, I just talk about it". Just creepy. Worse than that, she asked me how my sex life was after I had the hysterectomy. I just said, in a very polite voice, fine thanks.
If she has a shit morning she comes into work with a face like fizz. Plus she will start being shitty at ME. I now just hold up my hand and say "tell me what has happened and then get over it. I won't have you infect the office with your foul mood". So she talks about it and then gets over it.
She is late all the time. Not that it matters, because we get paid for the hours we work. Sometimes she tells me she will stay in bed ALL weekend watching DVD's.
She swears too much and even I have to say "stop swearing". Then she apologises.
Twelve months ago she was given a warning about speeding. Here, each time you get a traffic infringement you get 1 to 3 demerit points, depending on what you did wrong. When you get up to 12 points you will lose your car licence for three months. They will give you a twelve month warning which means that if you have any infringements in that time you will lose your licence for six months instead of the three. Bit like a double or nothing.
Well, she lost her licence yesterday. Which was a bit unlucky as she got the ticket on the last day of the twelve months. But, in that twelve month period I agreed to take on infringement for her and so did three of her friends. This time I said "no way buddy". Talk about a lead foot. Oh, and she always has an excuse why she was speeding. Always someone elses fault.
Everyday she tells me I am strange. Odd. Tells me the stuff that I talk about is so weird. She does not get me. But really, she gets me well enough.
Yet, the other side to her is that she is genuinely kindhearted, her work is perfect, she is helpful and thoughtful. She rang me on my birthday. She writes thank you notes. She has a huge network of friends she maintains. She knows the names and singers of nearly every band from the 1970's. She knows all the ins and outs of every detective and police show ever made and remembers the names of the characters and the actors who played them. At work she will do whatever I ask of her.
So the last paragraph in the end outweighs the other stuff.
Which makes it possible for us to work together.
Sort of like being married.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Eighty four people died in bushfires.
Many more are missing, assumed dead.
Towns that have survived fires for decades just gone. Burnt to the ground.
The Australian bush has been as dry as a tinderbox for so long. The extreme heat and lack of rain has left the bush like a ticking time bomb.
Unfortunately many of the fires were deliberately lit.
So awful. All those people dead. Over 600 homes lost. Lives that will never be the same again.
How do you recover from such a loss? People will rally around to help. Already there are donations of clothes, food and money flooding in.
It is frightening how quickly a person's life can change.
All in all, a tragic time indeed.
Many brave firemen out there putting their own lives at risk to help others. Many more volunteer fire fighters helping. Thank you to these brave men and women.
Fire is a hungry creature. I cannot imagine how frightening it must be to be there, to watch your home succumb to the flames.
Ironically, up in Queensland they are having the worst floods seen in fifty years.
None of it makes sense to me.
So, looking at my new haircut it may seem not that much shorter, but trust me, it is. She kept the length at the front. Chopped it up at the back. When I left the hairdressers I had a Posh Spice hairdo, you know the very sleek look she used to have before she cut it all off.
However, once home and amongst the hideous heatwave, my interest in the hair dryer was zero so I was unable to replicate the smooth appearance. Today I just let it go it's naturally wavy self. Well, contrived natural. Loads of wax and other hair products to get the curl without the frizz.
At least six inches was snipped away. It feels so nice and healthy.
I do apologise for subjecting you to a photo of my freckly back, but as it was so hideously hot outside, just be thankful you did not see me nekked.
He told me that he thinks food is better than sex. I swear, when a guy says that you know he loves his food just a bit much. Either that or he needs to do something about his sex life. Not that I would EVER broach such a subject with my brother. Eeeeewwww! Everyone knows family don't do "it".
Oh, I bought a Wii Fit today. It is so funny. My son spent twenty minutes playing on it.
It was the first time I have seen him work up a sweat for quite a while.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Had my hair cut.
Not just a trim, but all cut off.
It was a daring move. I am so defined by my long hair but just wanted to do it.
So, now I have short hair. Well, short at the back, long at the front. In the style of 1920's maybe. When my hairdresser did the first cut, it was to remove a four inch ponytail. And then away she went for the next hour. When I looked down at the floor and saw all the hair I was not too concerned.
I was a bit worried I would look mumsy, but it looks good - even if I don't say so myself. My darling hairdresser would never let me go down that track.
Sometimes you just have to have a change.
The wind is hot and strong. When I went outside it took my breath away. Rushed into my lungs as though I had opened an oven door. I went up to the shops to buy some food and the newspaper. By the time I got home it was as though my energy had been sucked from my body.
Outside is so bright with the sunlight I had to cover my eyes (even with sunglasses on), put my head down to hide from the onslaught of the heat and lightness.
This sort of weather just fills you with a type of inertia. You just succumb to it. Unlike the coldest of weather, it is hard to be out in the open when there is this overwhelming heat. You just move slowly.
Tonight it will cool down. There will be rain coming for a few days. Not so heavy to fill the water supplies, but enough to soothe the hot gardens and offer relief to wilting plants. So many trees are losing their leaves which were burnt last week during the abnormal weather conditions.
I am going to have a sleep.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
My son likes two minute noodles now and then after school. The other day I opened a packet and out fell two foil packets along with the noodles. One with the usual high salt flavouring. The other was full of "vegetables".
Anyway, have a look at the vegetables. I ask you, what does that collection of freeze dried coloured dust have to do with vegetables? Does the company that touts the offer of vegetables to add to the noodles really, really believe that the consumer would purchase the noodles because they are healthy? More disturbing, does someone buy them because they actually think that the noodles will actually be good for you with all these extra veges?
Now, I did not buy these two minute noodles because of the promise of "vegetables". I bought them because they were on special.
Last night my son called me into his bedroom.
"Hey mum, take photo of this. It is great", he pointed to his bed sheet.
"What is it?" I asked.
"It is my dribble stains from when I am asleep", he told me. He was so impressed.
Can't say I was. I am changing his bed sheets this weekend.
A few posts ago I mentioned how I bought a large vat of spirulina and chlorella powder.
I have been having trouble getting through the one kilogram tub of dried fish food. But finally I have girded my loins and been able to make myself down a glass of the vile stuff twice daily.
I either mix it with tomato juice or soy protein powder and water. As long as I don't peer at it too much I am fine.
I thought I may take a photo of the concoction to show to you that the pursuit of good health is, at times, difficult to endure.
When I dink it I cannot stop. I just start tipping the glass and continue until the contents have disappeared. I stand at the kitchen window and stair at the roof of the house next door as I do it.
I have to confess, I do feel better since taking it.
Or at least I think I do. Otherwise I am not sure I could continue taking it. But, I am determined to finish the container no matter what.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Especially when the dishes are dropped into a sink half full of cold water. Just dropped at random times until it the sink is full to the brim with cold, dirty dishes.
Then I love putting on those nice, rubbery pink gloves (you know the ones that get nice and sweaty inside) and taking the dishes out of the sink so that I can empty the water out and replace it with clean, hot and soapy water. But not before I admire the dirty ring around the sink which I just love to clean. That is after I have picked out the food and other slops that have blocked the plug hole.
Each day I ponder about the pleasure of doing those dishes. I want to say thank you to my husband and son for letting me have the fair share of dish washing. Otherwise I might get a bit cross and say "hey, let me do it all".
I also love picking dirty clothes up from around the house. Almost as good as a jolly little Easter Egg hunt. In fact, it was so exciting the other day because I found a stinky sock under the couch and the pair to it wedged under the coffee table. Of course, that was after I tripped over a pair of shoes lying behind the couch.
All those shirts just resting casually on the end of the bed, well, I am so glad they are there because it reminds me of how lucky I am to be married to the person who left them for me to admire before just chucking them in the wash because I cannot be bothered to hang them up. The same person who rarely picks the bath mat up from the floor in his bathroom. Which reminds me of just how much it amuses me that my son drops his towels on the floor after using them and then that is where they stay for me to pick up. How cute.
And do you know, why only yesterday morning I had the wonderful chance to take in the visual art of two carefully arranged smelly socks resting ever so lightly on the back of the couch. How thoughtful that was because I was just able to pick them up as I passed by on the way to the laundry.
One day I might mop the floor. But I have to draw the line somewhere. There are some things I will never do. But neither will anyone else! How funny is that? I am laughing right this minute as I write. Ha, ha, ha.... Where's the mop?
Of course I could just tell others in the house to help, and they do, but really, sometimes it is just easier to do it myself. Besides, those two are a bit forgetful, silly duffers.
I will wait for the next bout of PMT to hit.
You should see how they pull their socks up then!
And pick them up as well.
"Am I sort of like Jesus?" he asked.
"What exactly do you mean?" I replied, hoping he was not about to tell me he thought he could heal people and feed hundreds with a loaf of bread.
"Well, since you and dad had IVF to have me, and you did not actually have sex to have me, that makes me sort of like Jesus doesn't it", he answered.
"Not really, Jesus was born from an immaculate conception, not IVF. There is a big difference", I then went on to explain in a bit more detail.
"Oh, okay, I was just wondering".
"You are still pretty special though, even if you are not Jesus", I reassured him.
"Yeah, I know that already", came his answer - as if he didn't know anyway.
Glad I nipped that possible ego expansion kit in the bud.
I would not want him to get too full of his own self importance.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
They must know me because they always address me by my first name. Dear Linda, it always starts. How personal. I feel so special.
Well, today was extra special because I had the following prediction forwarded to me (and every other Capricorn on their spam list).
It said (and note the personal touch with my name inserted amongst it all):
A celebrity whom you admire, probably a woman, could actually be introduced to you today, Linda, perhaps as the result of a lecture or book signing. This could make a profound difference in your life, as this person may be an inspiration for you. A romantic partner could meet her as well, and the two of you should have a lot to discuss over dinner. Relax and enjoy your evening. It could in a very subtle way change your life.
I felt compelled to read this out aloud to my husband and son this morning as they ate their breakfast.
And then, when I finished I realised that none of it could be true because of one crucial piece of factual information.
And that is, Angelina Jolie is not in Australia right now so the chance of her dropping into work are nil. There I was, hoping to meet her. What was that mention of my romantic partner meeting as well and talking over dinner. Sounds a bit naughty to me.
I feel so let down. I mean, all these promises and no delivery.
I think I might read some other junk mail instead. There is a great one that gives me tips on how to flush 60lbs in one week from my body! Plus the free $500 Walmart card which I guess I will have to use on the odd chance I go to the US. Plus the usual penis enlargement thing. Oh, yes, and the promise to earn $12K to $30K typing from home.
Ah, junk email, so informative.
Monday, February 02, 2009
Yup, first day of February, 2006 I posted my first post.
Pretty boring one actually. I had read somewhere in the newspaper about this thing called blogging and so I decided to do it. It took a while to work out what to blog about - hence the exceptionally boring content of the first post.
Now that three years has passed I occasionally read some old posts and think how easy it would be to forget so many general things if you did not record them. And how eternally happy I am that I do blog.
Those three years seem to have passed so quickly and yet so slow as well. So much has happened in my own head in that time.
This post is number 642. That is a lot of twaddle to pen isn't it.
Three years is enough time for big things to happen. My son went from age 8.5 to 11.5. I went from age 42 o 45, put on weight (boo hoo) and turned a corner in my own mind.
So, I am guessing I shall continue on because in my mind there is always something to record.
When I am old and forgetful I can amuse myself by reading my blog.
And everyone elses.
Thanks to everyone who takes the time to read my blog.
I appreciate it.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
So, yesterday (Saturday) I got into my car and made my way to Chadstone which is a big shopping complex situated around twenty minutes from me.
Normally I don't go there anymore because I can never get a car park. Plus it is huge and they just keep adding to it. One time I had not been there for six months and, in that time, they had added 40 new shops. I don't know why they say "new" shops because, with the comfort of franchising, you can see those shops in every shopping complex.
Yesterday I went there, having not been there for months and months, and they had added 55 new food stores. Fifty five, that is stupid. Fifty five of the same old, same old. All paying hideously huge rents to greedy corporations.
Anyway, I get there and managed to find a parking spot that was undercover and out of the sun. When I went inside I was shocked at how crowded it was. You would think it was Christmas. The average age was between 13 and 28 and everyone looked the same. Truly, they had the same clothes on. Maybe different colours and lengths, but in general, they all looked as though they bought their stuff from the same shop. Or the same 245 clothes shops selling the same stuff and different prices.
The place is so big, you need hours to see every shop. And because they are adding more stores, you get lost amongst these tunnels and walkways which guide you in the right direction. I asked the girl at information where the craft shop was (wanted to buy some paint) and she said "oh, no, we don't have crafty shops or anything like that here anymore". Of course not, because everyone who goes there has nothing else to do but go shopping.
I meandered around for a while and when I was about as far from place I had parked my car as I could be, my feet started to hurt. I had worn my clogs and forgot how they can give me blisters in hot weather. Bare feet in leather shoes on a hot day are just not the ideal thing.
Deciding that the pain was bigger than the urge to meander, I turned around and headed back. It was a long and slow walk to the car. At one point I was tempted to take off my shoes and walk barefoot in the centre as the pain of the blisters (which had now burst and were exquisitely sore), but fortunately my sense of decorum prevented me doing such a thing. I would rather flash my knickers that walk barefoot in a shopping centre.
I had to drive home barefoot though. The moment I jumped in the car I took off the clogs and there was no way I could put my feet back in them.
It appears I am just not cut out for shopping these days. Or at least I need to think about what I am wearing when I plan to walk 15 kilometres around a shopping centre. In fact, when I think about it, you really do need to gear up for a day shopping.
You could open a shop that specialised in clothing you wear whilst shopping.
Or just stay home. Which I am today since I cannot put shoes on because of blisters. I am wearing Birkenstock thongs (ah, the footwear, not the underwear).
Clogs have been retired for the next week.
I think I was just not meant to go shopping.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Everything was brown. Or at least that is how I remember it. Brown grass lawns that ran to the edge of homes that lined the street. Some people watered their lawns, usually the older ones who had more time on their hands. Parks, planted out with gum trees, after ten days of a hot and rainless bout of weather, would look like a faded water colour.
We certainly had no air conditioning to speak of. Who had that? Occasionally you might see an air conditioner fitted into a window of a home to cool one room. But mostly, people just endured the heat. Kept doors and windows closed, blinds pulled down, awnings pulled down to keep the hot sun from bearing down into the house. When it got too hot, you might sleep on a back porch or even out in the back yard rather than swelter inside.
When I think about it, when I was a child the heat never bothered me or my friends. We just went along with it. Ran outside irrespective of the heat. Jumped on the pushbike and ride around the streets. Children were an accepting lot then. My son won't venture out in the heat. He finds it unbearable.
My mother, being a foreigner, was paranoid about us getting sunburn. She would seek out sunscreen from some obscure chemist and insist we had it on. In fact, it was called sun block and was a very liquid blue concoction. Still, it was hard to escape a summer without a case of sunburn to deal with. Then she would be there with sliced tomato to ease the sting. Days later, when the insane itching started as the skin peeled away, she would cover us in Calomine lotion.
We would play in the back yard with buckets of water. Run under the sprinkler and hose each other to cool down. Sadly, these days, with water restriction in place you are not allowed any water toys at all and definitely no sprinklers allowed ever. During those hot days, dinner usually consisted of cold meats and my mum's awful salads. Lots of home made icey poles during the day.
But in the end, after days and days of relentlessly hot days, the bubble would burst. Kids would get whiney, parents annoyed and not even the best board game would stop the boredom. It seemed fortuitous that it was around then that clouds would appear and a fantastic downpour would happen. The expression "the heavens opened" describes it so well.
When that happened we would sit out in the back sunroom and listen to the sound of the rain hammering on the tin roof. It was deafening. My mother would open the front and back doors to let the cool air rush in and give us relief.
Not so much like that now. We don't get as much rain. There are more people using water and the water reserves, once full to the brim, are now only at 33.2 % full. Most people have rain tanks now which amuses me greatly because it is not so long ago that councils forbade rate payers from installing water tanks. Then a new set of problems arose. Less water for storm water drains to be flushed out. Tanks attracting mosquito's and some carry dengue fever.
So many things to think about these days.
Not sure what to blame for the heat that sucks the earth dry. No one thing. So many factors. Increased population. Deforestation. Open cut mining. Bad town planning with no thoughts of the future. Everything and everyone has contributed to how things are now. So, I guess that is where the term "global warming" comes to mind.
All you can do is your very best to be thoughtful.
But, I am still not having a four minute shower.
I would rather wear dirty clothes and save washing water that way.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
A few days of 43 Celsius have been plaguing us. Along with the extremely warm nights where you toss and turn for hours and then wake up with a puffy face and hands.
I cannot imagine how anyone lives in a constant heat such as this. You would have to acclimatise to it. Or go insane with boredom.
Hanging around the house when I want to hang around the house is fine. Hanging around the house because it is too, too hot to go outside is just bad news.
I have developed "bloat" syndrome. You know, when you drink loads of water and hardly have a pee because your body is so thirsty. Like a big, fat, roly poly puffer fish lying on an unmade bed. That is me, right now as I type this.
My brain has melted. I cannot think of anything to write.
Oh, wait. I want to tell you about the new coffee machine at work.
I am such a lucky girl. At work we have always had the latest built in, whizz bang Miele coffee machine. Every so often the supplier changes the old model with the new one. And each time I think to myself "why bother". If something works fine and dandy, just leave it be.
The latest one is the worst kitchen appliance I have ever come across. The previous models allowed you to heat your own milk via the steam spout. You need to heat your own milk to get a good creamy texture. This is done by tipping the jug at a certain angle and keeping the tip of the nozzle just under the surface of the milk. This allows you to "stretch" the milk and give it volume without air.
Not the new model. It has it's own milk container you fill and it is meant to do the milk for you. You push a button for the coffee and out it comes. You push a button for the milk and out it comes. Very, very impersonal. Plus it makes bad coffee. To make good coffee you need to be connected to the process.
And, with that milk container and plastic pipes that carry the milk to it's final destination, you can imagine how unhygienic it could get. So EVERY DAY I have to pull apart the machine and clean it. With little stupid wire pipe cleaners. It takes me fifteen minutes and after that I need a cup of coffee, even a shit one.
I am going to take it out and put the old one back which we still have.
I think I may roll off the bed and get some more water.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
It is stinking hot at the moment. 43 Celsius. So I cannot expect him to do much more.
Anyway, when I came home I made him some snacks etc. Made myself something to eat and jumped on the internet. My husband had gone out to visit his dad.
So, after an hour or so my son jumps up from the couch to go into the office and play on the computer. On the way he stops at the dining table and points to something on the floor.
"Oh, mum, by the way, that's poo there", he says casually as though it is a natural everyday event to see CRAP on the floor.
"What? Whose?" I ask looking at where he pointed. Sure enough, there under a chair is a strange blob of something stinky.
"I dunno. Probably Angus's. Maybe it fell of from under his tail", he replies (Angus being the dog).
"So, pick it up with some toilet paper and flush it down the toilet", I told him.
"Eeeewww, no way. It's disgusting", he says whilst at the same time doing some sort of violent dance of disgust. Like I had asked him to eat it or something.
"Since when has picking up dog poo become my role in the household? You saw it, you pick it up. How long has it been there?" I demanded to know.
"Er, I dunno. I just saw it", he says. I know he is telling me a lie here because of the way he casually pointed out the turd on the way to the office. Like it had been there ALL DAY LONG waiting for me to come home and pick it up.
"Pick it up now", I tell him.
Which he does. I think he thought it was some sort of nitrate based material the way he handled it. In case it might blow up in his face.
He has now admitted he saw it there two hours ago. Or more.
Why didn't he ask my husband to pick it up? Why wait until I get home?
Truly, I need to stop doing so much for my son.
I really don't know what to add to this post.
Except to say that I did think my son had farted rather horribly when I got home.
It seems that I was wrong.
It really was the dog!
It sniffs around like a hungry dog waiting for a moment to slip in my head and wreak havoc.
Or perhaps like a shark circling a prospective meal.
Just waiting for the defences to drop. Did she sleep enough? Did she eat well? Did she exercise enough? Has she been applying her cognitive behavioral therapy techniques enough? Has she pmt? Is she stressed? Is she emptying her head out properly? Is her self talk working? Any triggers around?
When can the shark bite. Get a feed.
Anxiety is the driver behind a depressed state of mind for me. I have been off anti depressants for four years. I like to stay off them because being on them makes me incapable of writing, painting and loads of other things.
I can go to bed in one frame of mind, wake up in a different one and by the end of the day be in another. Up, up, up and down, down, down. Usually I just ride with it like a leaf on the wind. But some days it just is nigh impossible to control. Especially if I get three in a row combined with a tardy attitude towards sleep, eat and exercise.
Anxiety gets in and the "ego", the "little girl's voice" wants to be heard. Natter, natter and always negative.
So, I am practicing keeping the mind silent. Keeping thoughts still.
Monday, January 26, 2009
I am not the only one. My brother gets fired up he sees someone doing the "litter bug" thing. One time he watched a man open his car door and empty his car ashtray under the car. Totally disgusted, my brother marched over and tapped on the window and, after a brief discussion with my brother, the man, shamefacedly, got out of the car and picked up all the cigarette butts he had dumped on the ground.
There have been numerous times I have stopped people in the street after seeing them throw their rubbish on the ground. I am very nice about it, asking them if they actually think it is okay to litter the streets. After pointing out just how close the rubbish bin is to them, they then pick up what they dropped and dispose of it thoughtfully. My son just watches with mild amusement.
I am sure that one day someone is going to get angry at me for pulling them up in a public place because they have been a pig. Perhaps I am being over zealous, but it really shits me when I see people being downright lazy and having no thought to others they share the world with.
Well, my husband has his own little gripe about population polluters and that is those who drive cars that belch out filthy, stinking, black smoke as they drive along. Here you can ring an EPA (Environmental Protection Something or Other) phone number and report the car to them. You give them the car's registration number and they send a letter to the offender who then has a certain amount of time to resolve the problem or risk a fine.
However, the other day he exceeded my expectations as a do gooder.
He was sitting in the car park of a supplier he had just gone to. Whilst he was sorting out what was on the day's agenda he noticed a car pull up near him. A guy in a suit got out and went around the back of he car, opened the boot and rummaged around for a few minutes. Now, I know we should not make judgements based on someone's appearance, but my husband thought to himself that the guy looked like a real prick.
His thoughts were confirmed when he watched the guy eat a banana and, upon finishing it, throw the skin on the ground. Just like that. Then he shut the boot of the car and went inside an adjacent building.
Had I seen anyone do this I would have shot out of the car like a bullet and pointed his misdemeanour (risking a punch in the face for sure). I then may have done something completely foolish like shove the banana skin in the guy's suit pocket or something.
My husband sat for a few minutes and thought what to do. He got out of the car, went over and picked up the discarded banana skin and smeared it on the windscreen and then tucked it right in the middle of the screen, held firmly in place with a windscreen wiper. Then he got back in his car and went on to do his work.
When he told me this I was so surprised. It was most unlike him. I then spent the rest of the day intermittently laughing about it as I thought about what the guy's face would have looked like when he got back to his car and saw that banana sitting there. He would have been really, really annoyed.
Call me a busy body, tell me to mind my own business.
Whatever makes you happy.
But don't throw rubbish on the ground when I am in view.
I'll be watching. And I will bring the unsavoury behaviour to your attention (in the nicest possible way).
Sunday, January 25, 2009
My son had gone off to the pictures with a friend and K was playing at a music job.
What to do. What to do, I asked myself.
Oh, I could do housework. Make the bed. Hang out the washing. Go and do the weekly grocery shopping. Catch up with the ironing. Bake a cake.
Or just do what I felt like. Which is just what I did.
I spent some time in the studio starting on a new painting. It has been a while since I pulled my finger out and got stuck into a new project. After an hour of painting and fiddling around I decided I was unsure where to go with what I was doing and cleaned up the brushes with the intent of coming back to it.
Outside was warm. One of those delicious summer days. Not too hot that you have to stay in the house to shelter from the heat that we had been having last week. I looked up at the blue sky and figured it was the perfect weather for a bike ride.
So that is what I did. Jumped on my lovely, lovely bike that lives in the front room and made my way down to the beach.
It is about a 15 minute ride down to the beach from my house. Although on a very busy main road, the traffic was quiet as most people have gone away for the Australia Day long weekend. I was able to ride without the wild anxiety that goes while pedalling with cars racing up behind you.
Initially I thought I may just get to the beach, have a cup of coffee and then pedal home. But when I saw the twinkling blue of the bay and smelt the salty air I made my way to the bike path that takes people down to the busy beach down at St Kilda.
There are extensive bike tracks along the bay, the local Councils having sunk a hefty wack of rate payer money into the bayside infrastructure. As a result, we have miles of asphalt paved track for people to run, walk and ride along. You can ride through many suburbs without putting your life at risk on the road. In summer, some parts of the track can get a bit hazardous with pedestrians straying from the walking track and into the path of earnest bike riders.
The suburbs change as your ride through them. In Brighton, large homes back onto a sandy stretch of grass that leads to the beach. People park in the dead end streets that give access to the beach. As you move out of that suburb you are in St Kilda with its busy cafe and restaurants that look out straight to the beach. St Kilda is a mix of expensive homes, numerous back packer hostels and discreet brothels. Luna Park, Acland Street and a council vegetable garden plot share space with trendy boutiques and funky pubs. For years people tried to get rid of street walkers and drug addicts that St Kilda was very well known for. But try as they might, it did not really work and now everything kind of coexists in an uneasy harmony.
I stopped there for a while, had a drink and looked around. I could hear people screaming with laughter from rides at Luna Park. People were everywhere. After a while I got back on the bike and headed back the way I had come.
It was a fierce head wind on the way back and I was forced to pedal extra hard. It was exhilarating. When I got back to the place where I would head back home, I had a cup of coffee and a huge, freshly made fruit salad. Sitting in the sun at a picnic table with seagulls waiting nearby in the hope of a feed. It was around 3.00pm, enough time to extend my ride just a bit longer. So I jumped back on the bike and continued along the path. It was peaceful, not many other bike riders around. A few people walking along with dogs.
I just kept pedalling. Looked at the water, watched the beach goers as I passed them by, their semi naked bodies laying supine under the sun. Children running in and out of the water, squatting at the edge with plastic buckets and spades digging holes. I love how people are so devoid of self consciousness when a sunny day tempts them down to the seaside. It is how it should be. All shapes and sizes being squeezed into skimpy bathing costumes. Young people walking around with the strut that goes with youthful beauty. Old people walking around with the resigned confidence that goes with acceptance of the loss of youth.
It is interesting to see that, despite all the information being made available to the public, hardly any person covered themselves from the sun. Children with their pale skin turning a shade of pink were half naked. Young girls in the briefest bikinis lay like oiled mackerel in the sun, their shiny pink faces squinting behind sunglasses. People forget the warnings when the prospect of a tan arises. Even I put sunscreen on today. My son has no choice when he gets on the beach. Sunscreen or a rash vest. Fifteen minutes sun on a hot day here can leave you with a nasty case of sunburn.
One woman caught my eye. She was nut brown from repeated sunshine exposure. Her skin smooth as a new leather couch. She sat upright on a towel, her legs apart, knees slightly bent. Though her body was as slim as that of a young girl, in the black bikini she wore, you could tell that it had seem many birthdays. But, what really captured my attention was the thorough inspection that she appeared to be giving to the ingrown hairs on her bikini line. It was as though there was not another soul around to view her personal grooming.
As I rode I felt so at peace, so relaxed. It crossed my mind that I could just keep riding on this track. Maybe another ten kilometres or so before I would turn around and head home. Then my mobile phone rang and broke my peaceful reverie. My husband wanting to know where I was. I had ridden twenty kilometres and suddenly felt a bit fatigued. So I turned my bike around and headed home. Back onto a main road and then a short cut to get home sooner rather than later.
What made the ride extra special is that I did not have to be home at a certain time. It was just me and my bike, the blue sky, the warm sun, the sea air and my thoughts.
For a couple of hours I had the feeling that goes with irresponsible youth.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
My sister lives in a place I shall call Boganberg (bogan being the equivalent of trailer trash and chav I think). Parts of this place are okay but most of it is just typical of certain parts of Australia. The weather is great since it is situated in a sunny state. She lives not far from my mother and both of them are planning on moving down south by the end of the year.
She is a member of a local Toastmaster's group because it is hard to make friends that are like minded or just civilized where she lives. Last night she went way out of her routine and was talked into going out for dinner with some friends from the Toastmaster's club and, since her two boys were on a week's holiday with their father, she thought it would be nice to go out.
During the course of the evening a few other patrons at the local pub came over to the table and started chatting to everyone. At one point my sister was left alone at the table with a rather dubious looking guy. Being of the same ilk as me she made polite conversation to him (which he instigated). She gave him no indication of her single status as there was no way she wanted to encourage his attentions in any way at all.
During the course of the conversation she mentioned how her youngest son was due to have his tonsils out in a few weeks. He had been plagued for so many years with chronic ear and throat infections and a specialist had advised this was the best way to deal with the ongoing problems.
The conversation took a creepy turn when it went like this:
Creepy man: "You need to get your son to gargle his throat with his own urine".
Sister (after a moment's silence): "Ah, I don't think he would agree to that".
Creepy man:" No, really, my father was a chemist and he was so informed about the benefits of urine and I agree with his ideas".
Sister (polite as ever): "Well, each to their own, personally I am not interested in ingesting mine or anyone else's urine and certainly not interested in using it on my son as an alternative to surgery".
Creepy man: "You should try it. I always gargle my throat with my own urine when it is sore and it just clears up straight away".
Creepy man then went on about the benefits of urine and also talked about how girls spoil their own natural body odour by washing and waxing.
My sister got and left. Her natural instincts urged her to get away. There is a limit to how polite a person can be.
Imagine if he was a hot date and told you his natural remedy AFTER you kissed him.
Friday, January 23, 2009
It was a long drive down. When we got there the first thing I did was to get a cup of coffee so that I could walk around and look at the cars in comfort.
One of the cars on show was a London Taxi and it was for sale. Around three years ago I made extensive research into the possibility of importing a London Taxi to Australia to use as an everyday car. Unfortunately with our emission laws it was not feasible at all and I finally bought the car I have now which is a Mazda 3.
When I saw the taxi I was so excited. However, the price was $30K and I don't know about you, but that sort of spare change is not jangling in my pocket. But I had a look inside, felt a bit of wistful thinking coming into play.
They had some vintage police cars on show with appropriately attired policemen around. However, you know you are getting older when cars that you recall as being new on the block find their way into classic car shows. The yellow police car is the sort I remember being on the road.
On the way home my son decided to jump in the car with my husband to go home as he likes the old Rover. So I drove home on my own.
It is not often I actually get an hours driving time alone. Usually it is only for the 15 minute drive to work or something along those lines.
So I drove home, the sun was shining. I was listening to Paul Simon on the cd player. Then I turned the music across to a radio station and they were interviewing the singer from Spandau Ballet. He was talking about the song they released in 1979. They played the song and I recalled when it was released. It seemed like yesterday when in fact it is now 30 years that has passed.
Thirty years and there I was driving the car, listening to the song and thinking about years that have passed, other songs that have been and gone since then.
Timeless, ageless, aging and changes that just roll around and tumble along no matter what we do. I suppose you just have to go with it, cross your fingers you do the right thing at the time because there is a lot of reflection when you get older.
A lot of thoughts and "what if's' to process.
I should spend time driving in the car alone more often.
It is very cathartic.