Tuesday, March 24, 2009
For me, being organised is a daily battle. I go through stages where I am good, really good and getting everything done. Usually the good stage never lasts long enough and is followed by a bad stage where I feel like life is one big feathery pillow fight in my head. That is when my husband and son eat a lot of second rate meals!
But this particular stage has lasted almost three weeks. Dinner cooked, washing done, house cleaned, cakes baked, food shopping done, exercise every day, work done, car cleaned and bed made (daily). It feels great!
Trouble is, my anxiety levels are creeping up a bit for I know that for me, a goody, goody, steady time is all too often followed by a chaotic and very disorganised state. I am not preempting this, but history tells me that this is so. Plus, the more successful the organised state has been, the more dreary the disorganised state ends up. The old yin and yang thing happening.
Some people are naturally organised. I am not one of them. I find it difficult to sustain long term organisational skills. For me, it is like carrying a very heavy load for a long time. Eventually I have to put it down and let the random chaos come into my head again.
But I am pretty much consistently organised at work. That is perhaps because I am getting paid. Which may be the solution to be routinely organised at home. Get paid for it. Give an invoice to someone at the end of each week.
Now, who would that be? Oh, yeah, me.
Anyway, I think the organisational urge is waning because I just cooked six litres of vegetable curry and that is a sure sign that things are heading down for a while. You know, like stocking up on tinned food in anticipation of a famine.
Yep, untidy urges, boring dinners and care factor zero impulses are on the horizon.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
You know, it still feels like there might be something in there.
The shoddy set I have came with stainless steel handles which get piping hot during cooking time. The Teflon coating started to pit slightly and the other day I noticed that it peeled off and was mixed in with scrambled eggs which then had to be thrown out.
I thought shopping for clothes was bad enough, shopping for saucepans is far worse. That is because I know diddly squat about them and have had to read up on what constitutes a good pan.
Firstly, as much as I love, love, love the shiny gleam of a set of sexy stainless steel pans the reality is that I am unlikely to keep them pristine during their stay in my kitchen. Also, knowing how I have, at times, forgotten that I have a soup simmering away on the stove top is likely to cause problems if I don't have a non stick pan.
The other issue that comes up is the weight of a saucepan. The better the quality the heavier the pan. Honestly, there were some saucepans that were very heavy for me to lift whilst they were empty so I can foresee that when I lift a full pan from the stove to the where ever I may drop it. Not that my arms are not strong enough, but it hurts my old lady wrists.
Then there is the warranty carrot. Some brands come with a ten year warranty and then other brands come with a life time warranty against the Teflon coating bubbling, peeling etc. With the life time warranty comes a slightly higher price tag. But also with life time warranty comes a sense of security that I won't be ingesting Teflon at any time in the near future.
Of course, now that I have made up my mind that I will be looking at a number of choice brands, I now have to wade through all the special deals that go with saucepan sets. The sets never have exactly the pans you want. They may have three of the pans you like and some obscure pan you may want to cook a horse in one day since it is so huge.
Or they come with a baking dish and three fry pans plus four saucepans which is fantastic value for money but still around $300 more than I may have wanted to spend. I then get into that frame of mind that maybe it is worth spending the extra money and getting a bit extra that I may use and maybe I could sell one piece on EBay if I think I won't use it and blah, blah, blah.
At that point I start to do a chart on what is the best value. Also read reviews. Then go to ten different online stores that sell them and make notes of which is the best deal. Then start to think about how much money I am going to spend and then feel a bit sick about having to part with my hard earned money which leads to me letting yet another week go by where my husband and son have eaten some Teflon again and isn't that carcinogenic anyway and now I am responsible for the possible ill health thirty years from now?
After all that angst I try to get my husband involved in the decision making process but he just says that whatever I get, to make sure there is a small pan to make scrambled eggs in.
Oh my head hurts.
Friday, March 20, 2009
If you live in Australia you have to accept that you will, at one time or another, be sharing your space with a spider.
You can bet it will either be BIG or poisonous. Or both.
We get plenty of biggies, but today I got a poisonous one.
In my laundry trough. Worse than that, it has been living in a small space behind the tap and coming out now and then for some food. Weeks I have seen it hanging suspended from the tap.
Well, today I noticed it was no longer moving. So I peered closer and to my great angst I realised it was a Red Back spider.
Small and mean these ones are. You would not want to be bitten as it would require a dash to the hospital.
I cannot believe that I have been saying hello to the blighter every day thinking how kind I was being by not killing it.
Well, it is dead now, just as well.
The laundry is now getting a major clean out in case the Red Back has made a nest as they do.
Just might wait for my husband to come home.
Spiders are not my scene.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Seven hundred posts. That is a lot of chat isn't it?
Now and then I read a few old ones and figure some are good and some are not so good.
However, good or bad, each post is a record of what has been happening in my life. Things I wrote about that would most likely have left the memory bank never to be recalled again.
Snippets of conversations, viewpoints expressed by my son, silly episodes and days out and about. Trivial day to day stuff that normally gets forgotten.
I have a couple of favorite posts that I have done. The content just flowed out naturally and the end result was quite pleasing.
Picture for a Tourist
My First Kiss
Boots 'N' Shoes
I have to confess that it took ages to find four I liked enough to point you over to them.
The rest of the posts really are random twaddle.
Anyhow, thanks for reading my posts and commenting on them.
I appreciate it greatly.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
My son's msn was still up and running and a friend had sent him a message. The message had a link to a porn site. At least I figure it was a porn site. It had the words penetration and orgasm in the link. Our K9 (sort of like a net nanny) programme would never let you click on the link.
I sent back a message saying who I was and if he sent links like that again I would print out his message and give it to his mother.
Anyway, this morning I mentioned the episode to my son.
He frowned a bit and then said, "Mum, it is just hormones. Don't worry about it. If kids want to look for porn they will find it".
"Well, I think I should mention it to his mother. She may not know he is looking at those sites and may like to be told", I said to him.
"No, that is her problem, not yours. If you tell her then it somehow gets back to me and I don't want that," he replied.
Hmmmm, I can see his point.
And he can see mine.
Think I may just leave it for now.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Summer has left. Just like that. Out the door she goes and in comes Autumn. It made me realise just how things tick over irrespective of what is going on in my world, your world. Seasons are the ultimate routine of life.
When Summer ends I pull up the canvas awnings that have been down for the past three months. They shield the house from the heat. At the beginning of Summer I shall go outside and pull them down again. My routine. I have been doing it for years now.
This weekend I will start getting the garden ready for the beautiful Autumn months ahead. Dig the soil over some more, feed it. Plant some bulbs, tidy the bushes and prepare everything for the cooler months.
Last night I went for a long walk. By the time I got home it was dark earlier than usual. Now I shall have to leave earlier for my evening walk otherwise it shall be too dark. This is what happens. Every year, the same thing. As I walked the smell of fires being lit filled the air. Only a few weeks ago people were cooling their homes due to the fierce heat of Summer and now they light the fires that warm the house. That is their routine.
Routine that I cannot change has a strange comfort for me. When things get chaotic I can always rely on the routine of seasons, sun rising and setting, birds waking me in the morning and the sensation that all that is meant to be happening is doing just that. It is nice to fit in around the sense of order that is Nature.
I change. All the time. The core of me remains the same. The things I believe in, things I base my life upon stay as steady as can be. Emotionally, around that core, change is constant and frequent. But you can always rely on me being constant when it comes to the important things in life.
Days just keep passing by. One at a time, regular as can be. The other day my son said to me that he feels he is getting older. He knows he is young but he senses change around him. Next year he will be at high school.
On his next birthday he will be twelve. I can recall very easily things I did, things I felt when I was twelve. He is making memories that are going to be staying with him forever. His own interpretation of happenings will be part of it. Unlike when he was a little boy. Then, any events that happened before he started school are memories that my husband and I remind him of for he cannot really remember them so easily.
Sometimes I think that when my son is an adult with his own complicated life, he may well read this blog. What will his thoughts be about my interpretation of life that includes him?
At the moment he is not interested in reading it. He just lives life day by day.
Which is how it should be.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I love rainy days. Most of the time anyway. They are not so welcome when you are on holiday, but they are definitely welcome when you are at home and living with water restrictions.
Not just that, I love the sound of rain, the smell of impending rain and then when it hits the dry earth the air is filled with the scent of nature.
When it rains on a school day my son loves it. They have a rainy day timetable which means they sit inside and do fun things. So today at home is a rainy day timetable. I stayed inside, baked a banana cake, sorted laundry and just pottered around. My son had a friend over and they play the Xbox. As I mixed the cake ingredients I half listened to their laughter mixing with the noise of the game and the rainfall outside. It was almost chaotic.
When I was little, about ten, we were living in Queensland. It always rained up there. Hot weather rain storms. No wet day time table for children. We just ran outside and completely ignored the pelting rain. There were tadpoles to be found in the swelling water holes. I never cared if I got wet. We all had bare feet and ran through the puddles. Standing in a heavy downpour was great.
As an adult I really do not like going out in the rain unless I am completely waterproofed. Heaven help if my hair got wet! Or my clothes. Getting in and out of a car during a downpour is an event I try to avoid at all costs.
What a boring grown up I seem to have become.
Sometimes though, I do think it would be wonderful to just run around naked in the pouring rain. And, of course, the rainfall would have to be amidst a natural environment. I mean, standing naked in the middle of the grey architecture of the city with passing traffic does not have the same appeal does it?
No, my idea of being naked in the rain is along the lines of that scene in Lady Chatterley's Lover when Constance and Mellors cavort in the rain on one clandestine evening.
Although, when you think about it, if you actually got caught doing such a random and spirited act it would kind of rob it of it's beauty.
So, a secret naked romp is the key.
Ah, but not today. No forests here and it is a bit chilly and my arm chair is mighty comfortable.
Instead I may just think about it.
Friday, March 13, 2009
What is it like to just get undressed where you like and leave clothes behind?
It must be nice to have mummy and daddy pick up after you.
Much nicer than have mummy yell at you to pick up your clothes. But mummy doesn't really yell at you for that sort of stuff does she.
Life is short and kids have loads on their plate just growing up. Why on earth would any 11 year old boy be thinking of putting his clothes away? It would worry mummy if her son was very tidy and kept his clothes neatly folded. She would think he was anal.
And mummy is one of those doting sorts.
Just remember dear son, your wife/girlfriend will NOT pick up after you.
I would not want you to go through life thinking that or you would well be in for a rude shock.
I would like to apologise for the following misdemeanours that subsequently caused you both grief:
- Agreed I should not have drunk one litre of prune juice in two days (but it was nice)
- Also agree that eating baked beans for lunch every day for two weeks is not ideal
- Same goes for the three bean mix in the tuna salad
- Ah, yep, also the All Bran for breakfast
- Okay, and the three pieces of fruit each day on top of all that stuff.
I know that the above mentioned items are inclined to have a rather annoying effect later on, but I do feel that being healthy and having a good digestion is vital to a long and healthy life.
Okay, it did mean that I was not the best person to sit near. Or sleep next to. Or just be around for any period of time.
I respect your wishes that I stay in the hall way until my gassy disposition passes (no pun intended) but really, I would have had to stand there all night! I may sound like a horse now and then, I cannot be like a horse and sleep standing up.
Problem appears to have resolved itself now.
Hope you both forgive me.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
PMT. What's new. I am sure I have made a comment every month for three years on my blog whenever I get PMT. I want to share it with you all.
Anyway, bad night's sleep, woke up late, PMT and humid weather. Which means I also had a bad hair day. And still do.
But I am digressing a bit. My husband took my son to school this morning and when he came back after dropping S off I realised I had forgotten to give him something to donate to the upcoming school fair.
That was the catalyst to heightened state of anxiety. I had forgotten to put the item in his school bag and did not want him being the only kid who did not donate to the fair. So I dropped it off to his class on the way to work.
When I got to his classroom door I knocked on it and then opened it up enough to pop my head in. All of the children looked over at me and called out to my son. He got up from his desk, pink faced with acute self consciousness and came over to me.
"Here is the donation for the school fair," I whispered to him.
He took it off me and then leaned really close to me and whispered.....
"Bye mum, I love you", before he made his way back to the desk.
Oh, I would have given him a big hug and a kiss if I could have.
Sweet words to a flustered mother with PMT.
I was a bit surprised as I rarely bake anything fatty in it but I have to confess it has been a while since I gave anything but a cursory glance at the inside of the oven. I won't say how long but somewhere in my blog is a post about the day I got this retro oven and it may well the the last time it got cleaned inside.
So, I bought some oven cleaner with the intention of making full use of it in the next few days.
I had planned to do some baking when I decided that I may clean the oven first. Took out the can of whizz bang oven cleaner and read the instructions. It said something along these lines:
- put on thick rubber gloves
- ensure that oven has not been used in the past 48 hours
- for safety it is recommended to use face mask
- do not use oven 24 hours after cleaning
- do not inhale fumes
- do not allow contact to skin
You get the drift. It was all too hard to contemplate so I put the can back up into the cupboard and as I did I noticed, hidden behind a bottle of window cleaner, another unused can of oven cleaner.
Obviously I was put off once before.
I really don't want to expose myself that many chemicals just to get a clean oven.
Think I may get out the box of baking soda.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
A lone key on a big black tag. We have a couple of hooks that we hang all the other keys on and never, ever have I hung my keys on there. My husband always does. So when I lose my key - again - the following few little words get heard.
Husband always says: "Didn't you hang your car key on the hook where all the other keys are?"
Me: "No, no, and I never do so stop asking me that same stupid question".
Surely after so many years he would know I am never going to hang that key on the hook. Why keep asking me if I have hung the keys up there? He must know that I have either lost it in my handbag, put it on a shelf, have it in my pocket or dropped it on the kitchen bench.
No hanging it up on the key hook.
I don't, didn't, won't hang it up there.
And, why do people always say the following when you lose something:
"Where did you last have it?".
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I finally got all mine and my husband's tax twaddle together to send off to the accountant. Yep, as usual I am getting it all done at the last moment. What a pain in the proverbial.
You would think that me, being a bookkeeper, would have my tax all sorted within a month after the end of the financial year. Not so. It is the most onerous task and it looms over me like a big rain cloud until I get so stressed I just knuckle down and get it sorted. Once I get it done I wonder why on earth I did not do it ages ago since it really only took me about an hour!
Everyone else's books I do are not a problem. I just get the stuff into their accountant straight away.
Must be like the plumber whose tap at home leaks. I don't know, but I am so relieved.
Until next year of course.
When the cycle shall repeat itself.
Monday, March 09, 2009
My mother would not let me have a Barbie. And that was because of Ms Barbie's big boobies. Yes, my mother thought that the dolly looked like a tart with those breasts. Personally, I think my mum was a wee bit jealous because she was born with no more than a handful, if you know what I mean.
Instead, I got Sindy. Now don't get me wrong. Sindy is cute but she sure has a long way to go to look like Barbie.
Then my mum bought me Skipper who was Barbie's little sister.
Eventually I bought myself a second hand Barbie at a church fete. She was a little used, but I was just happy to have her. Then my mother gave up and bought more second hand ones for me, each one had their own style.
One Christmas my mother made loads of clothes for my Barbie and Sindy dolls for Christmas. Some of the fabric she used was cut up from her emerald green wedding dress. I recall the excitement of getting those clothes as though it were yesterday. In fact, I still have the original patterns my mother used from a Danish women's magazine.
When I was about ten, my mother gave me a second hand GI Joe figurine. No Ken for my Barbie. Only a real commando dude for my girl. They set up house in a tree. I used an icecream container for their pool.
Just as well I had a son otherwise my house would be full of Barbie dolls.
My husband is very surprised I loved Barbie so much. I have always been a bit secretive about how much I adore her outfits and other paraphernalia.
She was the ultimate blonde bombshell, albeit of the plastic extrusion kind.
Happy Birthday Barbie.
It is Autumn now. The air is fresh and cool. The sun is warm. It rained a lot last week, enough for me to dig the soil over in parts of the garden. I love this time of year. Although, I think I say something along those lines each time the season changes. No matter what, I marvel at what each one has on offer.
Today I was up at about 6.30 am. Can you believe it? It gets even more unbelievable. I then jumped on my push bike and rode for about twenty minutes down to the beach where I then did a one hour boot camp session. Running in sand, carrying bricks up steep stairs, running up ramps (with a bit of puffed walking) and other insane things people do on their days off. Then rode home. The ride home took about ten minutes longer as I was a bit fatigued.
Got home and ate food. Despite having had breakfast, I had to refill when I got home. The best part was having a hot shower which just wonderful.
Later on I had to sit down at the stoopid computer and do an even more stoopid budget for my high maintenance client (as mentioned in this previous post). Because he is getting divorced, he has asked me to set up a budget for himself and his wife. Finished it, emailed it and felt a great relief having that monkey off my back.
After that I made my way to a giant craft and fabric store. It must be almost half an acre in size, or more. I find these places a trap for spending money. The object of my desire was a new ironing board cover with the foam. Yes, sad, but true. I walked out with that and also two plastic containers and some crafty tat that will be shoved in a box somewhere.
Anyway, whilst I was meandering aimlessly around the place I get a phonecall on my mobile. It was my son telling me he could not find his other thong (flip flop) and did I know where it was. My role as a mother is to know where everything is of course. Imagine his surprise when I said to him that I did see a thong wedged under the coffee table. You see, had I done the housework I would never have been able to answer his question so easily.
The day is heading for the evening and I have just the usual mummy things to do like dinner, grocery shopping, getting school clothes ready and the like.
Early night though.
I will never know how people get up early every day.
It is hard work.
Sunday, March 08, 2009
At the age of 45 I no longer have conscious issues about what went on in my early years. I am eternally grateful for the peaceful life I lead now. Besides, I am inclined to be a positive human being so, you know, I just get on with things.
One thing I realise however, is how your childhood experiences have a significant impact on how you develop as an adult.
When I was growing up, I lived in a constant state of fear and apprehension as to what mood my father would be in on a daily basis. By my very nature I was sensitive to my surroundings but I know that I ended up being over sensitive to everything as I entered my adult years and became more aware of what was going on around me. This caused me all sorts of anxiety issues which in recent years I have learnt to handle enough that it is not a problem.
However, I am still acutely sensitive to the moods of those around me. Like a giant sea anemone waving it's tentacles in the move of the ocean, my sensory qualities can pick up a mood change that the average person would never notice.
The fall of the step of my husband will alert me to his mood. A sigh that is melancholy will elicit concern from me. An expression on someones face when they are standing alone outside. Or when I go to work I feel the atmosphere in the office is active rather than still. My boss walks in with a frown on his face will have me offer him coffee to bring him back to the "now" moment until he is ready to talk.
The droop of my son's shoulders when he walks past, the smallest aversion of his eyes meeting mine or the slightest tremor in his voice will heighten my sensibilities and put me into immediate caring mode.
Sometimes it is just the change in the room as another walks in that will put me on high alert. What is wrong? What is happening? Are they unhappy? How can I fix it? What can I do? I want them to be free of that anxiety so that the atmosphere changes to peaceful once again and I relax knowing they are okay.
If you come to my house you will notice the atmosphere is inviting, warm and peaceful. I need it to feel that way so that when I come home from the outside world I can be free of the noise and chaos that is out there.
You would never know, just by looking at me, as to whether I was unhappy or not. Unless I were to tell you, you would assume that I was always okay. Sometimes when I have had weeks for profound sadness hanging over me I may say to my husband that I have really been struggling these past few weeks and he will almost always express surprise.
Not that I intentionally hide things, I am just made that way. If I tell you then it means I need you to know and want your feedback.
Sometimes though, when I am on my own in a cafe having a coffee and reading the paper, I think that if someone came up asked my if I was okay I just might cry. Then they could talk me through it.
But to date, no one has ever actually done that.
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Generally we watch ABC which is a Government run network. They broadcast a lot of shows from Britain's BBC so we get a lot of good programmes.
One of the shows is The Bill. We have been watching it forever and a day. Now my son is an ardent fan of the series. If we go out on a Saturday night he insists on being home by 8.30 pm to watch it. He knows the names of every character and can tell me the whole plot in great detail.
Unfortunately, I am sad to report, that our commercial television stations pump out the worst type of entertainment you can imagine. American sitcoms (sorry guys) that give us the worst impression of the general population of the US (which I KNOW to be wrong). Second rate Australian series that appeal to the lowest common denominator.
Let me not go into those awful reality shows that encourage the most offensive behaviour from the participants. Repetitive and boring games shows. Even the evening news is as uninformative as can be with local news being the flavour, all ten minutes worth, and then fifteen minutes of sports results.
When the months become cooler we are over run with Australian Rules Football from Friday night through to Sunday evening. And then other sport in between. You may know that Australia is a nation of sports fans so the small minority who have other interests are rarely catered for on television.
My son watches The Simpson's every single night and I have to confess that I am easily amused by that show. And, okay, I have watched The Simpson's movie about six times and still laughed each time. The other favorite is Futurama. My husband just hates them both, bless his heart.
I love British who dunnits. Midsommer Murders, Trial and Retribution, The Bill and the most wonderfully produced Foyles War. And what would we do without the lovely period series that are produced so beautifully. Pride and Prejudice, Brideshead Revisted, The Forsythe Saga and wonderful adaptations of so many classic stories.
Here, in Australia, if you watch loads of ABC television you can pretty much guarantee that you will be in the minority. Although I think this is changing as the country becomes more culturally diverse.
When I was working in Corporate the big show at the time was Melrose Place. Every time it was on all the girls in the office would be talking about what had transpired with the exception of me. In the end I had to make an effort to watch it just so that I would know what they were all going on about. I discovered how trashy a television series could be. These days I don't give a toss what anyone watches. I just watch what I want.
When my husband first met me I was living on my own. He could not believe that a twenty three year old single female preferred to stay home watching ABC television on a Saturday night. I have not changed in the slightest. Give me a load of good movies to watch any day. Oh, and gardening shows were once another favorite.
I grew up watching Friday night movies, Saturday night movies, Saturday and Sunday afternoons always had great Hollywood classics up for offer. And I was always wanting to watch them.
Just writing this post makes me realise that it has been a long time since I watched a great old movie.
Methinks I might have to book in some time tomorrow to watch a jolly good movie.
My son has booked in two hours for XBox 360 game time in the afternoon.
That is the problem when you have only one decent television.
You have to prebook for viewing.
Turned on the computer and read the news.
Outside is overcast. We have had a lot of rain for the past few days. Welcomed wetness on parched gardens.
I can hear birds outside. My dog is sitting on the floor next to the bed, watching, waiting for me to get up so that he can follow me from room to room.
Last night I did not eat much for dinner and have woken up feeling queasy from being hungry for so long. In the back of my mind I have recalled that there is no milk in the house so I cannot have my muesli. It will be toast for breakfast. One piece with jam, the other with Vegemite. Cup of hot green tea.
I am tired. Almost tempted to put my back down onto the pillow and sleep for a bit longer. But then I will end up in a deep sleep only waking up when my husband gets back from his bike ride. After 9.00 am that will be. It is 7.40 am now. No, I will get up.
My boy is still asleep. I can hear the sound of the radio coming from his bedroom. He likes to sleep with it on. If he wakes up early enough we can go up the street for coffee. He wants to buy some books to read and we have a great book shop nearby. Maybe I will buy a book as well.
We have a long weekend. Three days of relaxing. People usually go away, but I just love being able to do what I like at home for three days. We have about ten public holidays for the year. I love it.
The house is so silent. No familiar sounds of activity that go with a working day. No smattering of conversations between my son and husband. Television is off. I can hear the fridge though. It makes strange noises now and then. Usually in the middle of the night. Or maybe, we just don't hear the noises when the house is alive with activity.
We have another few weeks of daylight savings. Already the evenings are getting darker so much earlier. Mornings are different. Funny how when a season ends there an almost immediate change in the air. As though Nature knows it is the 1st of March and we are in Autumn. So she takes the heat and sends it away. I know we will have more warm days, but the biting heat of Summer is over.
I love Autumn. You still get the blue skies but the air is cooling down. Gardens slowly recover from the dry Summer. Air is moist. Before long, the dry, hot Summer will be a vague memory. People who lost their homes in the recent bushfires will be spending a long year getting their lives back in some order. They will be wondering why the rain could not have come sooner and saved them from all the grief.
I have a nice day ahead. I can feel it. The sound of the world I can see outside my bedroom window is relaxed. I might go for a bike ride. Or go and do some grocery shopping. Maybe some studio time.
Whatever I do, it doesn't matter.
I feel happy.
Friday, March 06, 2009
Went to the hairdresser's which is always the making of a perfect day. Hair is now shiny and beautiful. Sigh.
When I got to the hairdresser's she was doing her cousin's hair. He is Italian and terribly good looking. Very gay and always dressed beautifully. After he left and I sat down my hairdresser relayed to me what her cousin had said about me when I walked in.
"Who is that creature? She is so hot. Look at her bone structure. How gorgeous. And, well, her handbag is so divine", were his words.
You know, a compliment from a gay guy is the best of all. They are objective and so fashion aware! I felt very fantabulous for the rest of the day and it inspired me to go shopping. First thing I picked up were a pair of ankle boots to wear under jeans for winter. My Doc Martens finally reached the shabby shoe status and needed replacing.
Then I bought an Italian made fitted, long sleeve jumper that had an unusual collar on it. You know, the sort of collar that says "designer" about it. It was reduced from $249 to $79 which was the main motivation behind buying it as there is no way I would spend $249 on a jumper.
The colour was an unusual taupe shade and the fabric was a stretchy mix of wool and viscose. Very soft and with a slight texture to it. When I got home and tried it on again my husband looked at it closely.
"Nice, very, very nice", he said.
"Really? I think so too", I answered as I admired the price reduction on the tag again.
"Really nice. In fact, that fabric would be great to use as head lining for the Rover", he mused out loud. Okay, well, that is one way of looking at it. I will know what to do with it when I get sick of it.
The last compliment came from my son when I picked him up from school. I had also bought a scarf that looked like a big crinkly pashmina. Very groovy. Also very cheap (reduced of course).
When my son came out of the classroom he looked at me and said my hair looked great and that the scarf suited me.
Compliments from a gay guy are great, compliments from a husband are also appreciated (even if the car head lining comment was part of that) but compliments from my 11 year old son are always extra special.
Yep, I am feeling pretty special today.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Our walls in the house are green, he thinks they are beige. When I met him, his bedroom was candy pink, he thought he had painted it beige. Once he painted the kitchen lime green, thinking it was beige.
Until he was around six years old, he thought grass was red, or whatever he thought red was. Just a few weeks ago I found out that he thought that the trunks of trees were the same colour as the leaves which could be green or brown or red. He does not actually see them as the colours we know. They are just shades of more shades.
Over the past couple of years my husband and I have had differences of opinions over what he perceives as his lack of input into the general decor of our home. He thinks I have the final say all too often about everything. When I ask him to tell me what exactly it is that we have in the house that he does not like, he say he likes it all but he would have liked to have had more say in the colour scheme. What the? I then say to him "you are colour blind, you can never have the final say".
He will never win the decor argument either but he knows that without me having to say it.
Whilst I may be fascinated at his colour blindness, he is more fascinated by the fact that I am tone deaf.
I cannot sing in tune. I cannot sing in pitch at all. My husband, being a musician, has perfect pitch. He can listen to a tune and just play it on the piano straight away. My voice is awful and no matter how hard I try I am unable to sing a tune and be in tune. When I sing Happy Birthday I think I sound okay until I hear someone else sing it and wonder how they do that so well. My husband tells me that he has never met anyone who sings so out of tune.
He has tried to get me to sing a note. He plays different notes on the piano and I try to reproduce them. Sometimes I just cannot hear the difference and other times I can. Once I leave the room I am unable to even work out what the C note even sounds like.
Even though I am tone deaf I have great rhythm and can dance. My husband, although he can play piano, tuba and double bass, cannot dance at all. He once asked me if I danced to the words or the music!
He feels sorry for me because I am tone deaf. I feel sorry for him that he is colour blind. He must see the world in a different way to me. Perhaps he thinks I hear the world differently.
I think that the differences are funny.
Two fundamentally important traits that we just can never share. My world of colour and my husband's world of music.
Oh, I won't even go into the differences in food. That is too complicated.
All I will say is that it is quite common for me to cook three different meals at night.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
We moved factory in January. Went from a fairly new and modern factory with all the modcons and into an older, if bigger factory that we had to refurbish in the office area. We love being here because the area is great, lots of trees around and just generally a nicer aura around the place. Perhaps because the office area is so much smaller and we are all near to each other.
But the gal's toilet. Oh deary meary.
The toilet area has been retiled and a new toilet installed so it is cleaner than when we first saw it. It was then painted with a matt cream paint that must have been designed to attract every hand and finger print that ever comes in contact with the surface. Even the door handles and light switches were painted over.
I thought I may take a photo of the dingy little window which is above the toilet itself. It has louvres that are always open and some old, tatty flywire. You get a gloomy sort of light filtering through even on the sunniest day.
It is freezing in this toilet. Brick walls keep the place as cool as a fridge. When you sit on the toilet you can hear the wind in the trees (no jokes thanks) and the chatter of parrots in the trees.
The breeze blows into to the window and is sometimes so strong that it ruffles my hair (again, not joke thanks). It is very uncomfortable.
But, as some sort of funny compensation for freezing my butt of when seated, I can look at the calendar in front of me an imagine that I am in warm Italy admiring the beautiful architecture whilst eating a lovely pasta dish.
However, sitting on the can with my knickers down around my knees kind of takes away from that train of thought pretty quickly. I am dreading the winter chills.
So, there is my work toilet.
Thought you might find it, um, er, fascinating?
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
We have a good relationship. I yell at him and tell him off all the time.
Here are some of the things I say to him:
1. Is that your third donut? Bit stressed are we?
2. NOW what have you done?
3. You shit me when you do that.
4. Your desk is toxic. When are you going to clean it?
5. If you don't follow this up I am going to bring on early PMT? (always gets a result)
6. Don't spend any money.
7. Don't touch that cheque book or you are busted.
8. You cannot claim chocolate or pizza as petty cash. Give up.
9. Did you steal my pen/calculator/ruler again?
10. Hey Barney, how was your weekend? (see picture above) His name is not Barney, but if he keeps eating them donuts he will look like him.
11: You lying hound.
No Human Resources here to take me to task for being rude to the boss.
Sometimes in the office there will be just the two of us and we chat away like the good friends that we are.
The other day he said that if I retire then he will have to retire as he does not want to work with anyone else.
I could earn twice as much if I went out on my own, but why would I bother? I am happy here, even when things annoy the life out of me and I wonder why I am hanging around.
I had to work with a lot of bad bosses to get to this point.
Bit like the old "you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince" saying.
Kiss my boss! Eeeeewwww. It would be like kissing my brother!
So, there you go.
What is your boss like?
Monday, March 02, 2009
Each month I have to do these dreary things called BAS GST tax returns. I guess it would be like VAT submissions. Basically I have to gather all the financial information for the month and work out how much money we owe the Taxation Office.
Whilst I am a firm believer in everyone paying tax, I do find that the onerous amount of paperwork that is spewed from the tax office makes running a small business a bit more stressful than it should be.
Don't even get me started on my thoughts on Payroll Tax.
Generally I do around four each month as we have different companies and then, every quarter I do another three for other clients.
Well, on the form you have to fill out is a list of instructions on filling it out. One sentence tells you to fill in the form in BLACK pen. The word BLACK is in capital letters so it is fairly important that you do this.
Well, I go out of my way to use BLUE pen.
Is that petty or what?
But I feel a great sense of childish satisfaction each time I do it.
I think happiness is fairly straightforward when you are a child. It is about security, a sense of being loved and protected and random events that heighten the happy feeling. Like getting a toy or a book that you wanted. Even children who exist in the most dreadful poverty and dangerous situations seem to always find a moment to laugh and smile.
When you get older and start to muddle through life, the concept of happiness seems so complicated. You get bogged down with all that emotional stuff and baggage that seemed to sneak up on you over the years. You might want things you think will make you happy and get into debt to buy them.
You develop an awareness of what has made you unhappy and it seems to take ages to hone that awareness into a positive factor in your life. For years you dwell on the root of the unhappiness until you eventually work out that you are just feeding it by dwelling on it. Well, I do anyway.
When I think of what happy is, I just think it is not feeling unhappy. Being able to be still with myself. Waking up and the day is there and I am okay. Seeing those I interact with are happy gives me a sense of joy.
When things happen in life that take happiness away from you it puts you on guard for any prospective joy that is on offer. What if I enjoy myself too much, it might not last. Will this person rob me of any joy I have left?
Eventually you just feel that some sort of peaceful mind is a good deal in the happiness stakes.
Happiness is pretty random.
You have to enjoy those random bubbles of happiness when they appear. Before they float off.
So, I am randomly happy.
Sunday, March 01, 2009
This morning my husband was watching some old movies of when we first were renovating the house. It was 1993. Seems like yesterday in one way, yet when I look at me on the video I think it seems like one hundred years ago. I don't like watching many old videos. They make me feel sad or something. I know the reason but cannot articulate it without sounding as though I have had regrets. Perhaps it is because I am much more aware of my surroundings now and know how to be happy. Had I known how to be happy then, life would have been more peaceful for me and those around me.
I am not one of those people who looks back at myself and wishes I were that young again. I don't even wish I looked like I did in 1993. If you could see my hair you could understand why! I was just 30 years old. No thanks. Sure, I might like to look like I did when I was, say, 20. But only if it meant I could have my current brain. Maturity is that pay off for getting older.
Yesterday I went for a walk. About seven kilometres. It was sunny and windy. But not unpleasantly warm or anything. I walked a different route, up side streets and past different houses. It was quiet. That Saturday afternoon quiet that happens when people have done their shopping, come home and were now relaxing. My Ipod battery went flat whilst I was walking and so I just continued with the sound of the rustling leaves on trees, voices drifting from backyards as I passed houses and the sound of the odd car driving by. It was peaceful. By the time I got home I was tired from the fresh air and exercise. My back ached and my so did my left hip.
This morning when I woke up and got out of bed, I noticed that I had some annoying aches in other places. Normally I would immediately wonder what injury I had incurred and make moves to fix it before it got worse. But today I realised that the ache was just a generalised affliction resulting from walking too hard. Age related perhaps, I don't know. But the hot shower fixed the problem. Is this a sign of things to come?
Some weekends are productive, and this one was. In that I got things done without too much effort. Food shopping, bookwork, sorting out things in the laundry, cooked a good dinner and even some studio time. It made me wonder why on earth I am never able to be consistently productive. Why one weekend may be good and the next one be totally chaotic and disorganised.
It is Sunday evening now and I am thinking about the upcoming week. Work, routine, school, dinners to be made, exercise and all the usual processes that give me a sense of security. I feel quite relaxed.
Here's wishing you a good week ahead.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
This cupboard is an old school stationary cupboard we bought years ago. It is groaning with stuff and more stuffity stuff. Whenever I put anything in there, I kind of just open the door and wedge the item in wherever it will fit.
Then there is this cupboard on the other side of the room. It is actually one section of his built in wardrobe. Things keep falling out of it onto the floor. It scares me.
Every now and then I do a big clean of his room.
I used to get anxious about how dusty it got and how messy it was. Then I figured that it is his space, not mine and I just change the sheets on the bed, pick up washing, vacuum the floor that I can see and dust the window sill.
I have more interesting things to do than make my son clean his room. Besides, he won't let me throw anything out and I respect his wishes. My husband would trash the lot but I say that is not ours to trash. It belongs to my son and he needs to make the decision. Who are we to tell him what to keep and what not to keep? I can pack things in boxes and store them when he is ready to do so.
Goodness knows I had to do my room as a child or my father would give me a hiding to remember (which I do thanks). Didn't make me a tidy and clean person. In fact, it made me resent any housework at all.
Having said that, I think I might clean my own bedroom.
After all what are Saturdays for?
I like both him and his wife. Lovely couple, three great children, two dogs and all living in a happy home.
And it is happy to a degree. But, his wife drinks and misuses sleeping tablets more often than not When she is good she is great, but when she drinks she is belligerent. Not just that, she does it through the day and will drive and pick up the children from school or other activities.
I know she was not always like this. But a near death experience seven years ago during the birth of her last child changed who she was. Some people can turn such an experience into a positive event (how lucky to be alive) and for others it is a negative event (I nearly died, I was scared etc).
He is a very, very outgoing person. Full of enthusiasm for life. Goes out every Friday night until late. A bit of a party guy. A great father and a dedicated husband. I know he has spent a great deal of energy trying to get his wife to engage with life, with him, with his children.
He can be annoying with his larger than life persona. Sure, everyone can be. I know I would be overwhelmed if I were married to such a person. His wife is very introspective and not forthcoming socially. Their friends have stopped inviting them over for dinner and, subsequently, they have dropped off the social radar. She likes a quiet life with a few choice friends. He likes to be the life of the party.
So, in the end, they have drifted apart to the point of no return. He wants more from her than she is able to give. In his eyes, life has so much to offer. In her eyes, life is very overwhelming. Although he has bent over backwards to try to lift her out of this place, it works for a short time and then she just slips back. The fact is, when a person is depressed and helpless in that depressed state, there is a limit what an outsider can do apart from provide support. The person has to do it themselves.
Of course the whole break up is more complex than that, and I have no doubt that there are two sides to every story. But, truly, in this case, I would say that he has reached his tether, is no longer happy and just wants to be free to enjoy life. I doubt he has met anyone, perhaps he is wanting to share and engage his life with someone. Who knows. People will tell you what they need to I guess. There is a whole lot more to it that would be too onerous to put down in a blog. You would be reading it all day long.
Well, now that the decision has been made by them both, along comes the hard, cold financial facts of divorce. Apart from the well known emotional upheaval, I am unsure if people really realise the change of lifestyle that comes about with the demise of a marriage. And this marriage break up is an amicable one. I cannot imagine how difficult it would be if there was bitterness and anger involved.
This couple have to sell the house and pay off the big debt that hangs over it. They have to find a new place to live and, at the age of mid forties, take out another big mortgage individually. They have to pack up and divide 18 years of "stuff". The children have to move out from the home that they have always lived and and do the whole "parent sharing" thing. The wife has to go from working part time and back to full time to enable her to pay the costs of living. The husband may find that freedom is not always a great prospect when there is less money to spend.
The have both asked me to teach them how to budget. Neither have the slightest idea of the cost of living. When you pool your resources, you just keep fishing from that pool as long as money is in there. I feel concerned for the both of them. I think neither has any idea of what is ahead. But then, I am a bookkeeper and inclined to be extra careful. I know that budgeting is not just about having enough just to make ends meet. Unexpected expenses can occur. Or sometimes you just might want to treat yourself to something.
When I went there yesterday, his wife was at home. I chatted to her and expressed my sadness about hearing of what was happening. She was upset but managing. Then she mentioned that he was out looking at property to move to and all that. Almost as though he could not wait to get out. It was hurtful for her. "He is so full of energy" she mused. I wondered if she would not feel less overshadowed by him once things settled. You know, good things can come out of bad.
He has moved on in his head. Once someone makes that choice that the marriage is over the whole process becomes a big ball rolling down a hill. Almost impossible to stop.
Later on, in the office they have, he talked about it all to me. I sit on the edge of the fence because I can see both sides of the story. Besides, since I like both of them I am mindful of what I say. I make no judgement. Plus, he often asks me loads of financial questions which need answering.
But I did have to say to him, in the nicest possible way, that perhaps it would be prudent to show less enthusiasm for starting life out on his own. People's feelings are to be considered.
"Great, now my bookkeeper is telling me not to be happy", he complained.
"No, I am telling you to hold back on just how happy you are for a while", I suggested.
He agreed. Perhaps he will try.
Personally, I think he has no idea what is ahead. He sees the positive only. Maybe that is the way to do things. I don't know.
Just glad it is not me in that boat.
It is tough.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Doing things to it.
Nearly lost my temper fiddling. Also, nearly lost all my comments with fiddling.
I quite like the white on black but if anyone out there finds it hard to read, let me know and I will change it.
Sometimes you need a small change.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
He has, over the years, asked me some difficult questions. As mentioned in this post. And I have always answered his questions to the best of my ability. It has worked well enough.
Tonight, on the way home from getting him a pair of shoes, we were driving along and sure enough, on of those stupid signs was up on show for the world to see.
Want longer lasting sex? said the big billboard.
Out came the questions from my son:
"Why would you want longer lasting sex?"
"Just how long should sex go for anyway? Hours?"
"Imagine going for days on end, you would have a rash on your willy."
"Why do we have those signs anyway? Just Google it and you will get the answer you want."
To his questions I was just responding in that vague parent way.
Even I have my limitations on how much knowledge to impart when it comes to some things. Some things mother and son don't need to discuss. Anyway, I just laughed along with him.
If he wants the answer, he can wait until he is older and Google it.
Or ask his father.
My work colleague is annoying me.
She came into work today full of anger and infected the office with her whinging.
Kept going on and on about how other people drive and how bad they are.
Then she went on about young people and how arrogant they are in their cars, weaving in and out of traffic.
She forgets that it is she who is about to lose her licence for six months for accumulating too many demerit points from speeding.
Talk about pot calling the kettle black.
In the end I told her to make herself a coffee and not come back into the room until she calmed down.
So she did.
I think she is depressed and that is why I am always kind to her.
Even if, right now, I am doing a sly and mean spirited post about her.
The delight of blogging.
I can say these things.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
She lived with us for a while, sharing a bedroom with two sisters and a baby. My father kept her unmarried mother's pension as payment for the inconvenience.
You can bet that my father was not going to see me make a mess of his convenient life by being an extra burden to his financial status. And he also was acutely embarrassed that his daughter had sex before marriage, even though we were not remotely religious. Never mind that he and my mother had to get married due to a pregnancy.
Interestingly enough, despite my father's concern about my welfare, there were many times during my childhood years where things happened to me that should not have and he never did anything about it. Generally, in those days, if your daughter was sexually abused it was either swept under the rug, ignored or, worst of all, you were left with the feeling that it was your fault somehow. Maybe, at the age of six, I was just a bit pretty and "tempted" someone. And at other subsequent ages. Who knows. I have dealt with all that stuff in my own way.
And if anyone tells you that children who are sexually abused "get over it", I would suggest they have never been at the hands of a predator of that sort. You learn to live with it because there is no other option. It is one of those insidious life experiences that, all too frequently, one has to deal with to be able to live life in a productive manner.
But, there were a number of incidents that happened in my life when I was a teenager that made me wonder, years later, if my father was not naive or thoughtless. He never sexually abused me, let me make that clear, his abuse was of the stock standard domestic violence and verbal abuse grade. A household full of fear. But that is all old hat now and since I never see him anyway, I live a peaceful life devoid of his presence. Besides, to move freely in life, you do have to learn to offload plenty of baggage to get keep the load light. Just park the messy stuff in a corner and try not to trip over it too much.
Here is one incident that always stuck in my mind and just confirms that I am truly better off without my father near me.
When I was about sixteen I had expressed a mild interest in sailing. Emphasis on the word mild here. You know how young girls get notions. Anyway, my father, at that time, was doing a building job for a client who had a catamaran that he sailed. So he organised for me to go sailing with this client. I did not want to at all, however, desperately wanting to do something that would meet with my father's approval, I agreed.
It was a complete nightmare. The "client" must have thought that my father was my pimp or something and did his utmost to have sex with me. The only thing that stopped him was my vomiting in complete terror in his car. He was annoyed at me when he dropped me off home. I had to wash blood from off my clothes, his attempts were so vigorous.
My father asked how it went and I said it was great. I had, over the years, developed a learned behaviour of sorts as to decide what to tell my father and what not to tell. Generally, I told him what he wanted to hear which ensured his approval. That must explain my skill at conflict avoidance as an adult.
The creepy client then stalked me for months on end to the point of crawling along the gutter one time when he saw me walking with friends. I stopped going home for lunch from school because he was outside my home. He would phone our house and when I answered the telephone he would say really obscene things to me. So I stopped answering the phone. Eventually he gave up.
Years later I just happened to bring up the creepy client in a conversation with my father. He laughed about him and told me that he knew the client had swingers parties at his house and used to watch other men have sex with his pregnant wife. He said he could not wait to finish the job and get away from him. Plus, the guy had been in prison in his younger days for a series of violent assaults.
I was gobsmacked.
I asked my father if he knew that when he volunteered me to go sailing with this guy and he said yes.
"Do you know that he tried to have sex with me dad, when he took me sailing? I mean, it was almost attempted rape" I asked him.
"Oh, well, that seems a bit of a strong term. Maybe he just wanted to try it on," was his reply.
"Dad, he tried to tear off my underwear, and he forced himself on me. I was so upset it made me vomit and that was the only reason he did not actually have sex with me. Just because you knew him, it did not make it okay. You knew what he was like and still you let your daughter be alone with him," I said.
"That's the nature of the beast sometimes Linda. You have to understand that. I am sure he did not mean anything by it," he said, making me feel like a silly little girl.
Nature of the beast?
Did not mean anything by it?
Strange response indeed from a person who is meant to care for you in this big world.