Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The dentist I went to see was called David. It was about 1979, the last years of moustached men. This dentist was a thick set, hairy guy with his shirt undone enough to expose his black, hairy chest. He was moustached and all in all a very manly looking guy of the time.
Not that I cared. As far as I was concerned, all dentists were just there to take money and administer pain - in reverse order.
I went straight after school so had my uniform on and sat on the chair. This was the first time I had been to this dentist.
He introduced himself and as he was leaning across to examine my teeth, he chatted to me. He asked how old I was, what did I want to do when I left school, did my parents work, did I have a boyfriend etc.. Bit hard to answer with his fingers and dental implements in my open mouth.
He shirt was short sleeved and now and then his forearm would brush against my bare arm, the hair all tickly. He had latex gloves on and I could see the whorls of hair under the tight stretch of their thin, rubbery surface. I found his whole presence a bit invasive and at one point his arm rested lightly on my breasts.
But you know, when you are sixteen you are just not sure about anything. So I just waited for the appointment to be over and done with.
He found that I needed to have a filling which was not a surprise to me since I went there with a toothache.
The appointment was drawing to a close when he leaned over to me, his face close to mine. He then brought up his hand to my face and with his thumb he rubbed it along my bottom lip in the most inappropriate manner. Looking back, it was a very sexually provocative movement. He was so close to me that I could smell the gloves and also his aftershave.
As he caressed my bottom lip in this very intimate manner he said, almost to himself, "you have the most incredible bottom lip".
Fear and discomfort enveloped me and I kind of wriggled out of the seat. He followed me to the receptionist's desk and asked the girl to make an appointment for me to have to tooth filled.
"Make it the last session for the day," he told her. I had enough sense in me to hear alarm bells ringing at this request of his. He handed me the card and said something about looking forward to seeing me.
When I got home, the next day I rang and cancelled the appointment. No way I was going there.
Anyway, I thought nothing of it after that until shortly after, one day after school, the phone at home rang.
I answered it and it was Dave the dentist. I could not believe it. Ringing me at my home.
He asked me why I had cancelled on him and I said my mum wanted me to go to her dentist. Then he expressed his disappointment. I hung up on him.
Now, although at the time it was creepy, it was also a bit of a thrill as well. It must have been, because it is as clear in my mind as if it happened yesterday.
Now and then, many years ago, I used to wonder what would have happened had I gone to that "last appointment for the day".
Visits to the dentist have never been quite as exciting since.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Not that our Winter is hardly cold. I cannot think of the last time I actually needed to put a thick coat on to go outside. I may spend most of Winter with a t-shirt, cardigan, jeans and a scarf to keep me warm and maybe pop a jacket on to go for a walk. Really, hardly freezing where we are despite the fact I feel the cold very much.
But, boy oh boy, when we went overseas last year to the UK in Spring and it snowed, I was so unprepared for the cold. What a shock to the system. I swore I would never travel in the cold weather again. I was a whinging pain in the butt until I found myself a beanie and a pair of woollen gloves.
Which is why I am wondering if I am actually insane to consider going overseas again in January 2010. You see, Winter is a cheap time to travel and to get accommodation. That's because it is freezing of course. And it is a great way to avoid crowds (my pet hate) and see the country in all it's wintry cosiness (doing the sell to myself here).
Because my son starts high school next year we think that a trip before he enters the world of teenage life is a good thing. He will be young enough to enjoy hanging out with us but old enough to get a lot out of such a trip. Actually, also old enough to have to pay adult air fare.
The best time to go is in January. School holidays are five or six weeks long then and it will not intrude in his school life which is so important in high school. We would only go for three weeks. That is long enough in my books. Last year took me months to recover from my routine change.
So now we are talking very seriously about it, doing a strict budget, working out where we shall go, where to stay and what to see. At this point it will be Paris, Munich, Prague and Rome. About four days in each place. You cannot see it all, so you have to pick a few and that is it.
Sure, it may seem a long way off, but it has been a year since we came back from overseas and how quickly did that go? I recall sending postcards to some fellow bloggers!
However, today as I stepped outside to leave work and a giant wet and chilly gust of wind whipped across my face and into my hair I was about to make a silent comment about the cold and then I realised I had best get used to it.
Still, gives me something to focus on for the rest of the year. I love having my mind occupied with something like that.
In the meantime I am going to search the internet for what women are wearing in fashionable Europe in Winter. I mean, I don't want to look like a tourist.
Although, once I open my mouth to speak my tourist status will be exposed.
Even my son knows more French than me.
Although I do know how to say croissant with a French accent.
And, ah, I do a French kiss rather authentically.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
I buy a big tub of them and eat them until they are all gone. Forget about putting them in a salad, I eat them like they are salted nuts. Their crunchiness and fresh green flavour is addictive and I munch them mindlessly.
However, there is one sprout you will never see in my house, let alone my sandwich.
Alfalfa sprouts. They disgust me, and with good reason. In fact, for two good reasons.
The first reason was brought to my son's attention yesterday.
We were watching television and an advertisement came on television showing a young girl making a salad sandwich to eat. The last salad item she put on the sandwich was a big handful of alfalfa sprouts. My son asked what that was.
"Alfalfa sprouts", I told him.
"Is that what you eat?" he asked me.
"Nope, and never will you see me eat those disgusting things", I replied.
"Why not?" he asked.
"I am not telling you because it is for a very childish reason I don't eat them", I informed him.
He would not take no for an answer and pestered me until I relented. Might as well inform him.
"I don't eat alfalfa sprouts because they look like green pubic hair and I am not having that in my sandwich, in my salad or as a snack for that very reason", I told him. He almost fell off the couch laughing.
My husband told me off for telling my son such a thing. It was not right to put that idea in his head.
Yeah, yeah I said.
Lucky I did not tell him the second reason I never eat alfalfa sprouts.
I am almost embarrassed to confess this reason for not munching something that is super healthy (even though it looks like green pubic hair).
But, here goes. I think that alfalfa sprouts smell like sperm. There, I said it. And I know I am not the only one who thinks that.
Sperm, in the right situation is fine and dandy by the way, in case you think I may be spermaphobic or something.
This is a very unfortunate post, but I am leaving it up anyway.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Now, the idea is that I have to list five sexy things about me. I have to confess that I thought about this for a few hours today. In fact, I had to enlist the help of my husband to come up with a couple of ideas and requested that he take some photos to support my outrageous sexiness.
Since my husband does not even read my blog ever (although he knows I have it) he found the entire thing very funny. I found it a bit excruciating actually because to own up to one's own sexiness is a big no no in my anal uptight world. Still, at age 45 if you have not worked out at least five nice things about yourself, well, get working on it.
So, here are five things that are sooooo sexy about me.
1. I bake cakes. I bake cakes whilst wearing completely gorgeous handmade aprons that I buy from second hand stores. I also dress in nice clothes when I bake. Tell me, is that not just a sexy look?
Being strong and fit makes me feel sexy so that is a good thing. It also allows me to lean over the bathroom bench and inspect my skin under the bright light for ages as my inner core is so strong.
Karen over at Pitfalls Of Life. Sexy, blonde and sweet and strong.
Kat at Poetikat's Invisible Keepsakes. She is a poet which just oozes sexiness.
Projectivist. Of few words but so suggestive of sexiness.
MJ over at Media Junkie. Young and sexy (and she can cook).
Topiary Cow. Her signature Moo is too, too sexy for words.
Annie at Hex My Ex who I know HATES memes and awards. But I just want to see her do sexy in her witty way.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Take today for example.
Went to work at a client's to do some book work. Finished it all by 1.00 pm. Came home and, after raiding the pantry for such exciting things as sultanas, stale crackers and cooking chocolate, I then plonked in an armchair reading the news on my laptop and drinking cups of green tea.
This was despite the fact a giant bomb appears to have gone off in the laundry and left clothes everywhere. Clean and dirty. Every basket and every surface is filled or covered.
Despite the fact that my bedroom currently looks like it was ransacked.
Despite the fact that the my sewing kit has somehow disemboweled itself all over my dining room floor.
Despite the fact I have a pile of washing on the floor in my bathroom and all I have to do is pick it up and put it in the laundry. But why would I do that? Because going to the laundry would just remind me of what needs doing and that I don't want to do.
Despite the fact that in my bathroom I have two empty toilet rolls lying on the floor. All I have to do is pick them up and put them in the bin which is about twelve inches away from aforementioned dunny rolls.
Despite the fact that when I stepped out the back door and nearly tripped on the three dog bones that are on the backdoor mat. I should have picked them up.
Despite the fact I can spy dust bunnies in more than one place, a dirty pair of my sons socks on the rug near my feet, crap on the coffee table, more crap on the dining table, even more crap on the kitchen bench. And the jacket on the back of the chair and the jumper I tossed on another chair. Plus the scarf scrunched up in the corner of the couch.
Yep, I could go on and on and on.
Still, one thing we all know is that there is always tomorrow.
Oh, I can hardly wait.
I just love spending my Saturday doing what needs doing with all of the things mentioned above.
The secondary school my son will attend just happens to be one of the top public Governent schools in Melbourne. If you live in "the zone" your property value automatically increases by 20%. The usual question you get asked by people when they hear you live in the area is if you are in "the zone".
Thankfully we are in that zone. The school has a well known musical department, is very academic and is strict. Almost like a private school. They run detention classes on Saturdays for students who don't do what they should, right down to not wearing a tie to school. They have a strict policy in dealing with bullying.
Last night was a huge night. The hall was packed with prospective students. Classrooms were open for inspection and many current students were there to meet, greet and direct the visitors.
My son is busting to get to high school. A lot of his friends go already as he tended to play with older children. He sees the move to high school as an important step into becoming a teenager. Hanging out with friends, walking to and from school, buying lunch once a week at the canteen, assignments, projects, girls and a bit more freedom.
We watched some students rehearsing for a musical in one of the halls and I could see that S was entranced by it. His enthusiasm was fantastic and a great comfort for me. I loathed school as did my husband.
When we walked around and I looked at the older students directing the visitors, I was taken by their confident youthfulness. Skin smooth, eyes bright with the excitement of life, shining hair and happy laughter. I wondered if ever I was like that. Surely I would remember it now if I had been that full of the joy of life? I mean, isn't that something worth remembering even if life gets in the way over the years. Or would I only look back on photos and assume that it was me.
One thing, school is certainly different to how it was when I was younger. It looks much more fun. Lots more variety on offer.
I wonder if they take mature age students.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Just like that. Goes into some sort of "naughty brain" mode and refuses to let go of thoughts.
Then the more I think about it the worse it gets.
What do they call it? Blogstipation? Or something along those lines.
Often during the day I think of things I want to write and then get home and cannot retrieve the thoughts easily.
I read recently that the author Somerset Maugham got himself into the regular pattern of writing for four hours every morning. Plus, once we went to a book signing of a children's author and he was saying that he just sits and writes for eight hours straight, each day. Working hours. If he writes three words in those eight hours, so be it. He treats it as work.
There is a lot of stuff I know I could write about. The trouble is, when you are fitting it all into the confines of a routine day it makes it nigh impossible to get things to flow. I wonder if I should reassess my approach to writing and be more disciplined in the times that I actually sit down and do it.
I have decided in August of this year to get involved with the local writer's event. They have lots of different seminars to go to that are run by successful writers of varying subject matter. This event is run every year. They have short story competitions and things along those lines.
The fact is, that no matter how much I want to write, it does have to be worked at, it has to be nurtured and fed from all different avenues. It takes a while to make a step out to be more courageous about writing.
Journal writing on my blog is the most enjoyable activity I do each day. I would really like to also do fictional writing. Short stories in particular. But that is when I have to dip into the world of imagination and for some inane reason it feels like I am telling a fib. Perhaps that is because I always write about truth on my blog. I need to teach myself that it is perfectly acceptable to make stories up in my head and then attempt to write them down into some sort of structure that works.
Why does it then make me feel dishonest when I do write a short story that is just fictional (have a separate private blog for that)? It has to be a mindset that needs to change. Maybe the fear of criticism is part of it. Maybe because some of the ideas come from things I see, hear, feel or have been told by friends. Then what if I write something that gives the implication of truth about me but is, in fact, not true? Or that someone I know will see themselves in the story when they were only a shadow in it and nothing else. A small piece of a puzzle but not the actual story itself. Just an idea that grew.
Perhaps I need to analyze less and just do what feels right. Move instinctively into it and accept that it may or may not work, that it may or may not appeal to others.
Just realised that this post ended up longer than I thought it would.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
When my son gets in the car and I have Paul Simon on he has a bit of a moan about it but there are a few of his songs that he does like. One of them is Late In The Evening. I know I have made mention of this song before.
My son was listening to it a while ago and asking me questions about some of the lyrics contained within the song.
And I stepped outside to smoke myself a J
"What's a J mum?" my son asks. I tell him. This leads onto questions about drugs. Why do people take them? Are they bad? I tell him that drugs make you feel good at the time but the consequences are dire. Consequences go hand in hand with all our actions. I wonder if he will fall for temptation? I suppose that is a vague worry all parents have.
I said I wanna get that girl, no matter what I do
"Is that what it is like? If you want a girl you really want her?" my son asks. We talk about love. He wants to know what it feels like. I tell him it is big. Bigger than you can imagine until you are in it. People write about it I tell him. Search for it. Find it and lose it.
Well I guess I've been in love before and once or twice have been on the floor
"What does that mean? Once or twice been on the floor?" he asks me. I tell him that I think it means he has been hurt by love. Brought to his knees by it. Or thought it was love and it was not. This gets into a discussion about how it feels to fall out of love. Why do you fall out of love is his question. If it feels so good, why fall out of love? I talk about nature and the role it plays in getting humans together.
But it is more than nature in the end. Humans are complex and we spend a life time working each other out. I tell him that when he falls out of love it will hurt but that he will be okay in the end and that pain with heal. It may leave a scar, but it will heal.
So many questions about the lyrics of one song. Perhaps it is all just about getting the words to rhyme. Nothing deeper than that. But I like to think there is more to it than that. I believe that you have to be able to feel and understand emotions to convey them so astutely. To capture them in words so well.
When we listen to Paul Simon's "Loves Me Like A Rock", I tell my son that is how I love him.
Oh my mama loves me, she loves me
She get down on her knees and hug me (ahh a-a-ah)
(oh) She loves me like a rock
She rocks me like the rock of ages
And loves me
She love me, love me, love me, love me
He says he knows.
I hope he always remembers that when he falls in love and then out.
Remembers that someone out there loves him without condition.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I did not take the bling bike as in this post, but an old English Raleigh boys bike. My other bike has a seat on it that is just not okay for riding without the padded knicks and all the lycra gear and until I change the narrow seat I am not riding it long distance. I wouldn't want to end up calloused!
So the old Raleigh has a nice leather seat with great springs under it for maximum comfort. Besides, the old bikes are lovely to ride and they look nice as well. The journey is enhanced. Well, apart from the ten minutes it was stuck in third gear and I had to pedal up two hills.
Anyway, I got lost on the way to work taking the back roads. Honestly, I don't know how I did that. One road just kind of led into another and then I ended up on the main road I wanted to avoid. Still, a bit of extra exercise is not a bad thing.
While I hate getting lost when I am in the car, it was not too bad getting lost when I was riding my bike. I rode along the quiet streets and looked at the houses. Enjoyed the sunshine. I knew that I would eventually end up somewhere familiar. Sometimes when I am on my bike I just want to ride forever. Pedal along and just pass by houses, parked cars, side streets, cafes and parks. I just want to keep going until I ride out of the suburbs and into the country like some sort of surreal dream.
However, Melbourne being the giant urban sprawl that it is would require me to pedal for about five hours before I made it into the rural areas. I think I imagine myself riding in Holland or through the Black Forest in Germany or through the cosmopolitan streets of Denmark. Quite a different environment to the burbs of Melbourne.
When I got dressed this morning I had a skirt on with tights and boots. I realised very soon that this was not the attire to wear whilst riding a boys bike. Firstly, having to lift ones leg over the back of the bike to get on is nigh impossible to do in a ladylike manner when wearing a straight skirt. Secondly, actually sitting on the seat and pedalling makes that same skirt mighty short and offered a full view up it from the front.
So I had to change into jeans. Much more suitable.
Think I will leave riding in a short skirt to young gals who don't mind showing their legs.
Monday, April 20, 2009
There was an envelope addressed to me. I opened it up and there was an application for for HIGH SCHOOL. I stared at it for a moment. Even though I know he is going to high school next year, to see it in writing is a bit strange.
I guess that really means he is growing up.
Then again, what happened last night makes me wonder what exactly does growing up mean.
Previously I have commented on how silly my son is just before he has to go to bed. The last hurrah before a big sleep.
Well, last night he decided to do a Mr Bean dance around the lounge room. This involved him pulling up his pyjama pants as high as he could and doing a really, really stupid dance.
At the same time my husband just happened to have the video recorder in his hand and took the opportunity to take a film of my sons antics. This random action resulted in my son doubling his efforts to be extra silly.
And then he did the unthinkable. He bared his bottom at the camera.
My husband told him off. Then erased the spontaneous act from the film. I mean, you don't really want that one turning up at your 21st birthday.
Now, I did make the effort not to laugh too much because there are some sorts of behaviour I really do not wish to encourage. But it reminded me of a certain event that occurred in my very, very young years.
One evening, when I was about eleven years old, as I went past the bedroom that my younger brother and sister shared and, for some reason unknown to me, I flashed my bare bottom at them both. Then I ran off laughing.
Unfortunately they tattled on me to my father.
Now, all my father had to do was pull me aside and tell me not to do that again. However, my father was the sort of person who would grab any opportunity to humiliate anyone and teach someone a lesson. So, instead of your basic telling off, he made me repeat the childish act in front of my mother and older sister who took great pleasure in laughing at me. My father actually threatened me with a belting if I did not do it.
I know there is a funny aspect to it, but I have to say I can only recall how acutely embarrassed I felt about it all and how it made me cry. Perhaps I was over sensitive.
Anyway, it must have had the desired effect as I can assure you that I have never bared my bottom in such a manner since.
I realised it is because my son is walking home from school today. Normally one of us will pick him up but we think he can walk the twenty minutes. We are pretty much the only parents there each day! All the other kids walk home alone.
Every little step my son takes into growing up fills me with a strange combination of anxiety and pleasure.
I only get to experience it once because he is an only child.
Hence the reason for posting the mundane topics, such as my son walking home from school.
One day I may read it back and wonder what all the worry was about.
Just wait until he starts driving a car. Now, then I will have a whole new set of worries.
When I was growing up (in the old days....) school holidays just dragged on and on. Even though we were out and about riding our bikes and hanging around in the house, it always seemed as though everyone else was having a much better time than me. Although, usually my mum was home to provide some distractions for us. These days kids are dragged into work to kill time whilst parents work.
I am working today pretty much on my own. Although I randomly do a blog or send an email I have learnt to do my work first. Otherwise I will be in deep trouble when the paperwork suddenly piles up. Some things just have to be done first no matter what.
This morning was one of the Autumn days I love. A bit of a mist in the air, the sun shining and the air was cold. I drove to work and enjoyed the music of Paul Simon and thought about what was on the agenda. I like it when I feel at peace with things. I enjoy all feelings these days, good or bad, up or down. As annoying they can be, I guess at this point in my life I just think all feelings are life affirming, even if shitful ones.
My aunt (on my father's side) died on Friday night after a battle with pancreatic cancer. I know one must not speak ill of the dead, but I am going to anyway. She was a first class bitch to my mother many , many years ago when mum lost a baby to cot death. She was angry at my mother because of it. My mother had serious post natal depression and for a short time my aunt looked after the little boy. One evening my mother came to visit and my aunt would not let her see her baby because he was sleeping. It broke my mother into pieces. She was so fragile at the time and not one sliver of human kindness was shown to her by my father or my aunt even after the baby died.
My mother asked me yesterday if I was going to go to the funeral and I said no. Mainly because I had not seen my aunt for ten years at least and even then she was bitchy about my mother. I don't care if that sounds mean of me, but I am not the sort to pay lip service to anyone, alive or dead.
I have just realised this post is a bit of mean sort but I had to get it off my chest. Now and then I get really cross about past things that happened to my mother and I feel for her. Perhaps because I am a mother and live a peaceful life whereas she just, undeservedly, had a tough time.
She should have had a better time of it as she was such a good mother to me.
Even when she ran after me with the wooden spoon to smack my bottom for being naughty. In those days the wooden spoon was allowed. She always laughed at the time.
It ws a bit of a game. I was never scared of her, unlike my father who was a frightening spectre in my life.
If I held a wooden spoon to my son, he would only think I was about to bake a cake, certainly not smack his bottom.
The wooden spoon is no longer a multi functional tool in my life.
It is for mixing only.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I like to get all the ingredients measured out into small dishes first. For good reasons. Firstly, I have, more than once, had the unfortunate luck to crack a rotten egg into a cake mix and had to throw it all out. So, cracking the egg separately takes away that risk. Also, once I cooked a cake without sugar as I thought I had put it in when I had not.
Firstly grease and line a cake pan with baking paper. I know cake tins are non stick and all that, but I still do this as, for some reason unknown to me, I have managed to defy the non stick aspect of a pan more than once....
I start with a basic vanilla buttercake recipe which is a great base cake in general. Preheat the oven to moderately slow. Now, I have an old 1960's oven with no fan forced heat. The temperature I have it at is 350 to 375 degrees.
125gm butter, softened
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract is fine)
1 1/4 cups (275gm) caster sugar
3/4 cup (110gm) plain flour
3/4 cup (110gm) self raising flour
1/2 cup of milk
Okay, now combine all the ingredients together. I love this recipe because you can do just that. Today I mixed it the old fashioned way. Butter and sugar, then egg and vanilla, then all the rest. I hand mix with a wooden spoon because there are less air bubbles at the end of mixing. Also, less washing up.
Remember that bottom of the cake is actually going to be the top when you take it out to cool down. I always use a spring form pan which allows separating the bottom of the pan from the sides. So, let it cool on a rack before putting in a tin.
Hmmmm, this was the cake three hours later. It is a favorite in the house and I expect it to be all eaten by tomorrow evening.
The recipe is great because you can use pear, peach or apricots instead. The basic cake recipe can be modified by adding extra spices, or sultanas to it. I often add shredded coconut to it. Sometimes I use buttermilk instead of normal milk. Or I add choc chips to it, but you have to add those just before you tip the mixture in the pan as the choc chips are inclined to sink to the bottom of the mixture.
Anyway, my first recipe post.
Hope you enjoy it.
Below is a picture of me with him. Hard to believe he is forty. Siblings are kind of always children in my mind. My little sister, who is thirty seven, is still the baby of the family in my eyes.
The highlight of the evening was when I got to read out a poem that was done for me to read out to my brother. It was written by the lovely and talented Kat at Poetikat's Invisible Secrets. This is not the first time she has produced a deeply personal poem for me.
Last year she did one for my son for his eleventh birthday and captured him in essence so well. I cannot recommend her work highly enough. If anyone you know is about to celebrate a wedding, birthday or anything along those lines, think about having a poem done for the recipient.
I read it out loud and got lots of laughs, but the best part was my brother's expression as I read it out. He was so amazed that Kat had captured him so well.
My son and a friend had been playing Xbox and then I made them walk with me up to the shops to do some grocery shopping. The friend is from up the road and is three years older than my son. When we bought what we needed at the supermarket he offered to carry one of the bags (unlike my son who I had to insist carry something). But on the way home, the two of them lagged behind as though they had to carry a cow over their shoulders.
This young boy lives with his grandparents. His mother is a drug addicted prostitute in and out of jail. She lost custody of her children many years ago being such an unfit mother. He does not see her or his father. It must be hard for him. He spends a lot of time at our house. He is a bit lonely I think. He is a nice boy. Has good manners. Just a bit shy. Going through that awkward pimply age. Braces and all. His grandparents are thankful that I am happy to have him over. They know he is safe.
Oh, my brother loved his present that I made for him.
I was so pleased.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Not that any of that matters but they are very neat and organised and you notice it when you look at their space as opposed to ours.
However, this post is about a house that the other company built. Then one of the director's lived in it for a year before selling it to someone for $3.75million dollars. Talk about big dollars. The house is like a work of art. Well, a work of art that looks like a giant glass box on big steel stem. All glass and zinc. Three floors of uber modern living. It reminds me of one of those rectangular security cameras you see in cities, only a giant version. It is spectacular, however I am not sure what the neighbours would have thought about it as it rose from the ground like a steel spider.
Do you ever wonder how much a house like that costs to run? Because I am guessing when someone buys a house like that they may forget to ask themselves that. It is easy to get caught up in the glamour of it all. And people do get very, very caught up.
Well, to heat and keep this house, including cleaning of the acres of windows, is a minimum of $650 per week. Yep, to heat the pool, to heat the house, to clean the windows and maintain the zinc coating will cost you at least (at the very least) $650.00 per week. The windows have to be cleaned because they are the main feature of the place.
Let's not forget about the hours you will spend keeping such a modern house dust free and looking super slick. Because anyone who is going to spend $3.75m on such a house is going to want to share their trophy with friends and have them over for a visit.
And what about the huge carbon footprint that house would leave every day, all day. A bit offensive actually. I do my bit, you do yours and then a whole lot more people could not give a toss.
Hence the reason the house got sold, apart from the hideous mortgage that was hanging over it, the owner just could not stand the high maintenance that went with such a gem of a home.
That is a lot of dosh isn't it?
I would freak if I got even one electricity bill for $650, let alone every week.
There is a lot to be said for keeping things small.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
The meme is Eight Things I Am Looking Forward To. Click on the link to read hers because I am telling you that her life is much, much more interesting than mine. Parties, book print, concerts and race day. Sheesh - I am duly impressed!
I had to really, really think hard about eight specific things that I am consciously looking forward to. It made me realise how I just do not have any big plans ahead, at all. Some people have weddings to go to, birthdays, little holidays and visits to friends. My brother's wife has a diary full to the brim of things to go to and weekends away. She always has.
But, being a complete and utter bore I shall nonetheless make a feeble attempt to tell you eight things I am looking forward to. You will then realise what a teeny weeny life I lead. To tell you the truth, I get quite stressed if there is too much planned ahead.
So, here goes:
1. Every week, usually twice a week, I look forward to baking a cake. Sad but true. I really enjoy looking up some obscure little old recipe for a cake that will be enjoyed by my husband and son. Apart from carrot cake that is. Which, incidentally, only my husband liked.
2. Friday's. Yep, every week I really look forward to Friday because it means that the weekend is arriving. As much as I love work, I love my weekend more than work and almost every Saturday I wake up feeling pleased that it is not Monday.
3. Visit to my hairdresser. Not only is my hairdresser a great friend, she also makes my hair look lovely. Then, after the hairdresser's I go for a walk down the shops near her salon, have a coffee, browse through the bookstore, meander into a couple of clothes shops and then make my way home feeling relaxed.
4. Putting on my make up. Is that shallow? Nope. I like putting on my make up each day because it makes me look nice. I actually get out of the shower, get dressed and then enjoy the daily ritual of making myself presentable to the world. It puts to rest that saying "you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" because I am proof that you can indeed do that. So there!
5. Buying a new bottle of my favorite perfume which is Issey Myake. I love it. Getting that parcel in the mail from overseas, opening it up and smelling the lovely fragrance gives me a sensation of complete indulgence. When I wear it, people comment on how lovely it smells.
6. Buying something on Ebay and then waiting for it to arrive in the post. Apart from going through the process of seeking the item out, going through the thrill of the auction and then winning it, the actual waiting for it to arrive is full of anxiety and excitement.
7. Changes of the seasons. I look forward to the cycle of them. Same as the arrival of each day. I just feel grateful that they continue on irrespective of what drama is going on in the world.
8. And, I am looking forward to my brother's fortieth birthday this Saturday. Hard to believe that he is now "that age". I remember him coming home from hospital. Eeeek!
So, there you go. Eight things I am looking forward to and, apart from the last one, pretty darn boring. I guess I am just easy to please. There are things I could add to it of course, like writing on my blog, doing work in the studio or going for walks. But it is unlikely you will see anything more outrageous than that.
I want to know if you are looking forward to eight things worthy of posting about.
If you would like to do this meme, let me know and I will link it to here.
Here is Media Junkie's Eight Things To Look Forward To Meme (reminding me of my past youth)
Well, right now I am looking forward to going to bed.
Last night, just before settling down into bed, I had to blow my nose. I was just about to throw the tissue on the floor (yes, a slob I am) when I had the notion to stick some of it up each nostril leaving three quarters of it hanging down like a big, white moustache.
I then lay back and blew the tissue out of my nose. Apart from the amusing noise it made as it exited my nostrils with great force and then shot up in the air, in the moonlight it looked very ghostly. I started laughing and my husband looked over at what was going on.
This behaviour continued for a while, a few variations to it including blowing one side out before the other and seeing how high I could blow the tissue up. In between it all I laughed so much that my son woke up yelled out from another room to ask what was going on.
I had to explain what I was doing and he was happy with that (not surprised however).
After a few minutes of being entertained (my words, not his) my husband turned away and tried to sleep. Out of consideration to him I stopped what I was doing.
Then I said something like "hey, after eighteen years of marriage I can still surprise you with my bedtime antics".
There was silence for a few long seconds before my husband replied "I can hardly wait for the next trick".
I cannot be 100% not sure, but I do think that there was an air of disappointment in his voice.
I cannot imagine why....
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I actually dislike carrot cake. It looks all brown and yucky and it has carrot in it. Vegetables and cake don't mix. But others in the house like it so I figured I would give it a try.
Cake baking is something I like doing. And I do it well. Banana cakes, hummingbird cakes, apple teacakes, chocolate cakes, sponge cakes, a variety of biscuits and other sweet and tasty things. I have lovely books about cooking cakes and spend a lot of time picking out a new cake to bake.
But I have never cooked a carrot cake. So, tonight was the night.
A few things went wrong. Firstly I had no brown sugar so I used demera sugar which is okay, just not as dense and sticky. Had no golden syrup so I used treacle which smells like licorice and is not very sweet so to offset that I put some honey in it.
Then it needed vegetable oil but all I had was virgin olive oil which was a bit strong in flavour. After I mixed in the carrot and it was all looking like a sloppy mud pie that I may have made at age three. So I mixed in some coconut to bind it a bit more and it looked like a big brown cow pat but smelt a bit industrial. Maybe that was the treacle.
Then I had a taste of it and the pervading flavour of the virgin olive oil brought back memories of what happened in this post (gall bladder cleanse) and I almost gagged. But I persevered.
I tipped in a bit more sugar, bit more honey and then shoved it in the oven where it is now sitting.
When it cooks and then cools I will put a thick, sweet, cheese icing on it. That will cover any odd flavour.
I don't think I will eat any.
I might stick to apple teacake and other dainty treats from now on.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Tomorrow I will go to work in a more relaxed frame of mind. A short day however as my son is coming with. He is still on school holidays.
Right now I am going to get ready for bed. I love going to sleep thinking of what I am doing next in the studio.
It is very peaceful and makes for a trouble free sleep.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
I have to confess that I ate a fair amount of chocolate today. We all did. Wander past the bowl that was full of small Lindt mini eggs and pick one up, peel off the fiddly foil and then eat the creamy chocolate. The house has little piles of multi coloured foil appearing in random spots.
As much as I love chocolate I actually don't normally eat a great deal of it. Firstly, it really does not agree with me once it gets past the taste buds. Secondly, it is a sneaky way to make sure my clothes will feel tighter if I keep picking at it. You know that old saying "little pickers wear big knickers".
A yummy Easter egg, if converted into healthy food, could provide you with enough energy to for a very long jog. And tomorrow I will be going on a very long jog to get rid of some of it.
Now that my husband and son have gone to bed, I have packed away the chocolate so that it can be rationed a bit. Sounds mean of me doesn't it. Well, those two eat the chocolate with the same sort of ease that one may eat an apple. Crunch, crunch, chew and munch. In their mind, the chocolate is there to eat as quickly as possible. All fifty thousand calories of it in one day if possible. So, they won't find it. They never do. Which is funny considering we all live in the same house and know all the same hidey holes.
Years ago you had limited access to good chocolate. A few assorted brands from the supermarket were available. Buying yourself some Belgian chocolate was a treat indeed. Now you can get all sorts of beautiful chocolates so easily.
There is a shop near me that sells nothing but chocolate. A large variety of boxes and brands to choose from, I have spent ages in there making a decision on what to buy. Sometimes just going in to get one, small, handmade chocolate is a ten minute process. The staff put on white gloves, pick out the chosen chocolate and wrap it carefully in tissue before popping it into a small white bag with a gold ribbon and handing it to me in exchange for $3.50.
I once worked with a girl who was telling me how she travelled all over Europe with two friends. They went to Switzerland where she bought twenty five kilograms of chocolate with the intention of taking it home to family and friends. Unfortunately the temptation proved too much and in the two weeks before they got home she and her two friends ate the entire amount. They felt so ashamed they told nobody about it. I mean, that is one big chocolate binge isn't it?
Another friend of mine was travelling through Belgium with her twin sister. My friend ate chocolate non stop whilst her sister (who was a naturapath) never touched it. Interestingly enough, it was the "healthy" twin sister who ended putting on weight during the holiday. So, maybe it is a myth about chocolate being fattening.
Hmmmm, with that in mind, maybe one more for me then today?
The other day my son said to me that "although lollies were tasty, chocolate really was the best wasn't it".
Yeah, you got that right buddy.
Chocolate really is the best.
The bunny only hides eggs in a couple of rooms and the front yard. There is a limit to how many hidey places the bunny has time for. Besides, one year the bunny hid some eggs in the back yard and the dog ate them.
Last night the bunny had to hide the eggs very late because someone would not go to sleep. So I think the hiding was done at about 12.30 in the morning. Poor bunny must have been very tired this morning.
I believe that the bunny's helper had to go out in the dark, half dressed, and hide the eggs around the garden. In fact, I know the bunny gave a container of eggs to the helper (who had gone to bed at this point) and the helper ATE some of the eggs before hiding the others.
The bunny found out when it spied a pile of crumpled foil by the side of the bed.
Later in the day we made our way to a garden centre which was open and very busy.
Both husband and son trailed around rather mournfully at having to go to such a boring place and I ended up telling them off. Whiney pants they both were. However, there was another Easter egg hunt (at the centre) that my son could partake in and he spent some time peering in pot plants finding more eggs.
I didn't buy anything because I prefer to shop without having anyone around me.
Now I am heading out to the studio to finish off a piece of work I am doing for my brother for his fortieth which is next Saturday.
Once again I am leaving something to the last minute.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
I know the religious meaning behind Easter and have told the story of it to my son many times. One year he watched a television play that went through the crucifixion of Jesus and asked many questions about it afterwards. It is a big story to explain to a young child. I think he got more out of The Life Of Brian actually than anything I may have said.
I cannot say that I am a religious person, but despite that I think it important that my child knows the reason that we have Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Otherwise everything becomes just a commercial event in a consumer society. There has to be a balance.
However, commercial as it is, I still like to celebrate Easter with a visit from a bunny. And so does my son. I am never quite sure if he still believes that the Easter bunny actually does visit. Surely, at the age of almost 12 he has an inkling that maybe his parents are a bit involved.
Last night he said to my husband and I "should I leave out some carrot for the Easter Bunny?". And he was serious about it.
Then tonight he went to the fridge, got out a carrot and put it on a plate with a note for the Easter Bunny. He was so excited about it all.
I was reminded of last year's egg event when we were overseas. He told me that it was the best Easter he had ever had. Foreign country, snow falling and a delicious Belgian chocolate egg. When I was little, Easter was not a huge event. No hunting for eggs or anything like that.
Sometimes we would colour the shells of hard boiled eggs with dye and then paint little patterns on them. It was very simple. I recall one year getting a box inside which a foil wrapped Easter egg sat surrounded by a number of lovely soft centred chocolates. I was about ten years old.
These days, Easter is a giant event in the shops. This year, in particular, was unbelievable in the amount of oval shaped chocolate out there for the eating. It did not stop at the classic egg shape either. I even saw a Miley Cyrus foil wrapped chocolate that was in with the other Easter chocolates. Barbie chocolate, Bob the Builder, Mickey Mouse and all sorts of other well known characters as well. A bit of overkill actually.
Whilst I understand the need for stores to capitalise on certain events during the year, these days I really believe that too much saturation will eventually put people off. Almost like killing the golden goose or something. It might appeal to a general group of people, but too much commercialism really can backfire. It just ends up overwhelming people and they seek out more significant ways of celebrating.
Tomorrow we will just have a hunt for eggs, share them around. I might let my son have some chocolate for breakfast. Maybe make our way to the gardens in the city and enjoy a sunny day and look at what nature has on offer.
Even if you don't celebrate Easter, or even if it is not part of your culture, I am going to wish you Happy Easter anyway.
We all have special times of the year, so we can share them around.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Or read something online and there is a picture of your big bottom for everyone to see. Do these people give permission?
Maybe there is an archive of unflattering footage that they just dig into. Or do photographers roam the street looking for a fat arse to take a picture of for a prospective article on obesity?
Lucky they don't take the same pleasure in any report about thrush or sexually transmitted diseases. Although, they would probably show some drunken, scantily dressed girls for that report.
Always the aim is to post up some sort of unflattering photo for people to comment on.
It seems a bit mean. Even if the idea is to shock people or make them have a long look at their lifestyle, it would more than likely make them feel bad about their body, get depressed and eat more.
Plus, some people are okay with being big.
Just something a bit voyeuristic about it all.
Or snuggle back down into bed for a snooze.
90 minute sweaty stretch on an empty stomach
nice, warm snooze in cozy bed.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
But one thing I often do is look at my diet. I have a fairly healthy diet, but quite restrictive due to food intolerance's. I have done a low fat, strict vegan diet which lasted six months. And a raw foods only diet. Also a "same thing everyday for a week" diet. You get the drift.
These days it is all about maximum nutrition and I can get quite fixated. I don't eat red meat, cheese, fatty foods, take away or drink alcohol. Now and then I may have some chicken, but I would eat fish preferably. I do eat a bit of chocolate, but only dark and not that often. Super dull. The word boring may come to mind. But it works for me.
Anyway, I have often tossed around the idea of a macrobiotic diet. It sounds like quite an organised event. So I have been Googling away for a few days getting some information.
I really just thought that a macro diet would just be a case of brown rice, vegetables and miso soup. Sounded pretty easy to me. However, after reading a few comprehensive websites that are totally dedicated to embracing the complexities of a macrobiotic diet, I am not sure if I have the stomach for it.
For example, here is a list of some of the menu options that are suggested:
- Broiled Millet Squash Loaf (I don't do broiled)
- Hato Mugi Barley
- Winter Squash Pudding
- Deep Fried Fu Rings (fu?)
- Brown Rice boiled in vegetable stock and topped with seaweed (for breakfast - blech)
Now, that is okay for some. But I am reminded of how I felt after eating some food at a health food shop. I recorded the event in this post. I am not so sure that my sensitive gut can handle such a high level of grains. If I eat broccoli I am doubled over in pain one hour later.
And, being inclined to having a rather gassy gut, wouldn't I be risking ostracising from others in the house?
Plus, every time I eat brown rice, despite boiling it for three days (okay, one hour), it still tastes gross and has the texture of sand. Not only that, the recipes are very fiddly. Cooking pre soaked grains for 50 minutes each morning. I mean, really, I have trouble getting out of the house as it is. Besides, I am not sure about a diet that has so much "brown" and "green" stuff in it.
No wonder Madonna has a full time chef.
I think I may do the raw food again or a variation of it.
After Easter of course.
There is no way I am eating a sugar free, low fat, carob Easter Egg.
I have my limits.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
At the moment I am urgeless.
I am a bit bored lately. In fact, I think the term "bored as batshit" sums it up.
Bored with work, bored hanging around the house, bored, bored and more bored. I am so bored that I am actually boring myself just thinking about it.
I have a routine in my life. It keeps me grounded. However, every now and then the routine becomes a rut and I sit in that deep rut like a little pebble doing nothing.
It will pass but, of course, I have to make the effort. Get out of the house, change my routine and get some new interests.
Life is a bit like clothes. Everything seems to fit well and then one day it looks and feels tired, over washed, over ironed or too tight. And you have to update the wardrobe a bit to freshen up.
So, with that in mind, I might go shopping!
Nah, seriously, I need to stop spending every weekend hanging around the house and doing wifey and mummy things. Get back into the studio. Do some things for me as well as for others.
I feel the only time I get out is to:
1. go food shopping
2. go more food shopping
3. go food shopping again
4. exercise class
5. go for walk
6. go to hairdresser's (once a month)
7. go out to Grilld the burger shop with couple we catch up with once a month. Sometimes they bring another couple which is good.
8. go food shopping or similar again because son eats all the time
9. another walk
10. go to work and see the same people
There are times when some good friends would be a great thing to have. However, being a friendless sort of git it makes it hard.
Honestly, being a human being requires so much input.
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Getting him into the bath is not so hard but only as long as I remember to remind husband and son that a bath is on the cards. I mean, neither of them would think to instigate a wash. When I went into hospital last year I was reminded of how useless the two of them are when it comes to bathtime.
I went into hospital on the Wednesday morning. The day before my son had a shower before he went to bed (at my instigation by the way). On the Sunday, the fifth day of hospital stay, I asked my husband if S had had a bath. The answer was something along the lines of "no, I did not think of it".
Another time I thought I would see just how long it would take before one of them twigged that stinky time was happening and to have a bath. After seven days - YES - seven days I finally blew my stack and had a rant about baths and showers for young boys.
Things improved slightly. Only just though. I still have to make mention of it for it to happen. Which is odd considering that my husband showers everyday so why wouldn't he think of organising his own offspring to get washed.
Whilst getting the boy into the bath/shower is an effort, getting him out just beggars belief. During the soak he calls out very random things like "should I wash my hair". What the? Or he hears a snippet of television blab and yells out "what was that?". Or overhears me say something to my husband and asks what I said.
I would have to ask him at least ten times to get out. Even the pouring of cold water onto his body does not move him any faster. Even going in and pulling the plug out makes no difference as he just laughs and slithers around the soapy remains.
Once out of the bath, after the threat of no reading when he goes to bed, he then takes for ever to dry himself. Perhaps if the towel were the size of a postage stamp and he had to blot it over his body, I could understand why he takes so long. But he just pfaffs around drying each body part like a butler polishing the family silver. I start by saying "dry yourself" and then ten minutes later, in a louder voice "hurry up and dry yourself" and then in another ten minutes I may yell "for goodness sake, what are you doing in there, just dry yourself". His response is to yell "I am drying myself" in an indignant voice.
The other night he took twenty minutes to dry himself despite both my husband and I going off at him. I think he thinks it is a game or something.
It matches up with his totally twit headed behaviour prior to going to bed. We will tell him to get his pj's on and suddenly he is hungry or thirsty. When we sort that one out (which may be feeding him or telling him "tough titties, dinner is over rover") he then brushes his teeth for ever and a day talking in between. Or he realises he has something vital to tell us. We try to cut him off at the pass by asking him if he is hungry or thirsty or has homework or needs to speak to us etc.
Other times he will decide to dance in his underwear around the lounge room in the most idiotic manner invoking laughter from me and anger from my husband. The more silly the antics, the harder I find it not to laugh and have to hide my head in my hands.
At that point my husband gets really annoyed, yells at both of us, tells me to grow up and stop laughing. He tells me not to encourage my son by laughing at what he is doing.
This ultimately results in my son and I both bursting out in laughter and then I get up and do a silly dance with my son.
Husband leaves room in frustration.
Mother and son continue to dance a bit more before finally settling down.
Growing up is sometimes a bit hard to catch onto.
I might try it after my son leaves home.
Friday, April 03, 2009
After coughing like a mad woman for days I finally conceded defeat and went to the doctor's to get it all checked out. Now on antibiotics for a chest infection, so no amount of wishful thinking was going to get rid of it.
Last night I had a very odd dream. Normally I don't relay the contents of my dreams because they are of no great interest on the rare occasion I may even recall them.
Anyway, I had this dream that I was trying on clothes in my wardrobe. They were clothes I would normally never wear in real life. Black hot pants, mini skirts and animal print skin tight dresses.
In the dream I was struggling to pull up a pair of these black hot pants and they were far too tight and I kept saying that I was bloated from eating too much bread. The same thing happened when trying on the other things.
The dream ended when I could not fit my boots because my legs were huge. It was all very disturbing.
When I woke up I wondered if that was the equivalent of a "fat day". A "fat night" or a "fat dream".
Or was the dream about me wanting to be a "cougar". Or was I in denial about my getting older and wanting to wear young gal clothes? Or did I really eat too much bread this week?
Anyway, my clothes fit fine this morning.
No hot pants though.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Last night I am sure I did not get to sleep until past 2.00 am. This morning I have woken up again with sore stomach muscles. Thank goodness my pelvic floor is in good shape or I am sure I would wet my pants with all the coughing I have been doing!
Naturally I have come into work to infect the office and cough all over the place.
Colds are just part and parcel of what you get when you live in a society. Lucky we are unable to view the germs that are waiting on door handles, toilet buttons and table tops or we would be too scared to go out of the house.
When I get a cold I just suffer it (and blog about it). I find any cough mixture so disgusting that it makes me vomit. My husband loves the opportunity to glug it down. My son is like me, just won't have it near him. However, this time around I did have to buy some menthol lozenges just so that I could breath without coughing for a short time.
I never go to the doctors unless what I am coughing up, or blowing into my tissue, has turned a nasty shade of green then it is bacterial and then antibiotics are in order. That is very rare. I think the last time was 2005 when I ended up with sinusitis.
When I was younger I would get laryngitis every year. My younger sister was always getting bronchitis whereas my brother has had the bonafide flu almost every second year of his life and been in bed with it for a week or so. Sometimes people have their own brand of virus.
The first year I went overseas I had a cold that lasted the entire trip. Six long weeks of blowing my nose, sneezing and coughing. Must have been the change of scenery. The plane flight there and back was not very enjoyable.
Germs are tricky things. One can start as low key in one person and, upon transfer to a household member, turn into a nasty bug. No wonder they will never cure the common cold.
Whenever I get a cold I always wonder who gave it to me then I can work out how long it will take until it passes. Which is silly as I know this one came from my son and he was fine after a day or two as was my husband. I must have been the right incubator for it to build strength.
My sister in law (husband's sister) knows all about microbiology and give a great explanation of how a cold virus works and what the structure of snot is. Snot is full of "dead soldiers" who fought the bad germs and won (unless things go green).
As a result, when I blow my snotty nose I think how kind it is that all my "soldiers" died for me.
What a noble cause.