Friday, April 30, 2010
Today, my son had Foodtech at school. Foodtech is what we used to call Home Economics.
Anyway, he had to do cooking.
He cooked Vegetarian Samosas.
Inside each samosa were a mix of vegetables and spices (including curry powder).
So he made four of them.
And here is the breaking news.
HE ATE THREE OF THEM!
Yes. He ate three of these vegetable filled goodies.
What is that you say?
Why is that news?
Well. If you knew his relationship with vegetables then you would realise the magnanimity of this wonderous news.
I might ring a tabloid newspaper and see if they want to publish this fantastic news.
Or perhaps get a study grant on the likelihood of an almost thirteen year old teenager eating three samosas. I think the result would be ground breaking. It could change the lives of many people.
You are right. This headline only warrants a mention in the land of Linda.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The standard of journalism has fallen from grace as well. I mean, if you have no newspapers selling then how will there ever be enough money to pay for good journalism, especially when the newspaper sites just poach their stuff from other news sites. Often I read something on one overseas news site and then it appears on the Australian news site about a week later.
Plus, on the morning television show (before work and school) they get their news from the Internet AND from emails sent in from viewers. Bring the cameras into my house guys and I will get paid to read from the Internet.
And just what makes newsworthy headlines? Well, here are five snippets of rubbish that made their way into the news today.
1. Australians hate paying tax. Well, and that makes news because.......................? Of course Australians hate paying tax. Who doesn't? It is natural to want to keep all even if we know that is silly. That headline is like saying "most kids hate broccoli". It is pointless and we do not need to know.
2. If you drink, smoke, overeat and under exercise then you will die sooner than those who don't. I kid you not. That was the overall result after a twenty year study on a group of people. As if we didn't know. What a case of the bleeding obvious.
3. Lack of sleep makes mums irritable. What? Gee, and that is worthy of being in the news? Is it news? Did we not know that?
4. Dogs and cats can sense human emotions such as fear, sadness and anger. This amazing conclusion came about after a study. After a study? I wonder who paid for this study to come up with that gem of a discovery. Which, incidentally, any cat or dog owner could have told you anyway.
5. People need more than just exercise to lose weight. What can I say. Who does not know that? Plus, I bet that any donut eating person knows that as well. We all know that. We may not do much about it, but we actually do know this fact.
Those items above were on the front page of the news website.
I sometimes feel like I read and hear and watch the same thing over and over. I feel that the rubbish that passes for news is so awful I fear that an entire generation of numbnuts are going to be left with the responsibility of running the world.
Read it on the Internet. Then, hear it on the radio on the way to and from work. Then, get to watch the same stuff on television when I get home.
It is no wonder that I love books.
It is no wonder that I play Farmville on Facebook.
Both activities take me far, far away to another world.
Without headlines stating the obvious.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Post number one thousand. I think that is a significant number. One thousand times I have just twaddled out to cyber space.
I started in 2006. Well, actually, maybe 2005 I registered and then started doing something in 2006.
Reading back now and then I can see significant changes in me and my life. My relationship with my son and husband. My relationship with the world and myself.
When I randomly read a post I have done I can recall the mood I was in and what was motivating me.
I wonder if I am happier now than I was when I first started posting? I think so. At least I would hope so. Perhaps using the word happy is not correct. I am more at ease with myself than I was all those years ago.
Happy, in my mind, is a short lived burst of joy that we would love to have with us all the time but sadly it goes as quickly as it comes. Peace of mind and contentment is what I like to aim for.
2007 was a particularly delightful year. It would be fair to say that I experienced notably happy moments that year for so many reasons.
The tail end of 2008 and a lot of 2009 was dreary and I could have done without that. It ties in with surgery and the recovery from it.
How is 2010 going?
Okay I think. I am at a new place now.
My son is at high school. His needs for me are different.
Work is now something I treat as seriously as I did when I worked corporate.
I am getting older and questioning my life and where I am going.
If I were to describe how I feel these days I think restless would be a good word. Not a bad restless feeling but a sense of urgency to do things. It is important for me to have a handful of goals to aim for and I am just working out what they will be.
I hope to be more consistent with my blogging but I also realise that may not always be possible.
It may take a bit longer to do the next 1000 posts.
What a thought!
Watch this space.
Friday, April 23, 2010
For the past few weeks I have been doing the "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" thing.
This is the longest I have gone without posting or even feeling the urge to post. Or at least it feels that way.
Life is just busy. Work takes up a lot of my mental energy and when I get home I am quite tired. My sleep has been affected for a variety of reasons but thanks to the help of sleeping tablets I have managed to get over that hump.
I was trying to explain it all to my husband. The word overwhelmed came up. He asked me if I was overwhelmed with work, with house things, with exercise and those sorts of things. I thought about it and realised that I was not overwhelmed with doing the day to day stuff, I was overwhelmed with the knowledge that I am not doing other things that I want to do.
Things like cleaning out my fridge, tidying my pantry, pottering around in my bedroom and getting it into the peaceful state I like (rather than dumping my clothes in a pile on the chair). I have photos I want to sort through but they continue to lay languishing in boxes in a cupboard.
I want to get into the studio and do things. I have three half finished projects in there waiting for my attention.
And my blogging has taken a back seat which is something I don't like. Writing, even inconsequential twaddle, is the way I empty my head. It calms me down and I feel a sense of relief.
Being tired is the demon in a lot of this. Tired makes for a very dreary frame of mind that is hard to work through. Chronic tiredness is when I see an irrational side come through and I have to take a sleeping tablet. I cannot function on poor sleep. It is a bit of a cycle.
I don't lie in bed thinking of anything that may keep me awake. I am just not tired when I get to bed. Wide awake like a little birdie in the nest. Eventually I drift into a very light and restless sleep. Waking up a lot before falling deeply asleep about an hour or so before the alarm goes off. A pattern of this sleep style just makes for a justified stint of sleeping tablets. Today, Saturday, is the first morning in weeks I feel reasonably normal.
So of course, I am able to get up and post while the house is quiet. My son is in bed asleep at 9.30 am and my husband is doing his Saturday morning 50km bike ride with friends. I love it when the house is like this.
Last night I decided that as it was pouring with rain I would go clothes shopping rather than for a run. I am seriously short of clothing. My work clothes consist of jeans and t-shirts and when the weather gets warmer I don a skirt with tights and boots. I can fit all my clothes into two suitcases.
So, off I went to the hallowed halls of Chadstone which is a giant shopping centre the purports to be the fashion capital.....
This shopping centre is huge. And loads of the people dress up to go there. I am not kidding. Even on weekends the gals look glam. But that is not a bad thing really. Nice that people make the effort to look good when out and about.
Another thing about this place gets me. It has a lot of very stylish sitting areas scattered around the place. Modern couches and arm chairs where people sit, have coffee and chat. Sorry? What is that about? If I were going to have a coffee and a chat it would not be in the walkway of a shopping centre.
Anyway, I am digressing. Recently Chadstone had a huge upgrade. They added shops like Prada, Miu Miu, Louis Vitton, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Burberry and Tiffany's. This is on top of the hundreds of other shops already there. These stores have security men at the door. Dressed in black suits. So inviting?
Years ago Friday nights at Chadstone were busy nights. Last night I wandered through the giant, glossy tiled floors and felt almost alone in that vast twinkly space. It was quiet. The food mall was busy though. The shops were dead. It was a very soulless place. Shopping centres are the place to go to feel disconnected.
I went from clothes shop to clothes shop looking for something that would appeal to me. Three hours I spent looking at clothes. Nothing caught my eye. The range was limited. And boring. Or, if I really love it the price was stupid. Cashmere cardigan for $500? Ah, not for me thanks. Apart from the cost I would have to handwash it. Plus I could not toss it casually in the back seat of the car. Having to think too much about my clothes is not my style.
Speaking of style lot of the clothing styles on offer looked annoying. T-shirts with wide necks that meant one shoulder was on show. Tops that had odd ties and cross over things. If I have to think about how to put on my clothes (due to fiddly design) and also have to adjust my clothes all day to look presentable I would go insane. Once I am dressed I never want to fiddle with, tweak, tug or adjust my clothing except upon exiting the toilet.
They had loads skirts that were short with pleats which meant your bum would look like a pumpkin. Long pants with high waists! What is that about? why would anyone want to add three inches to the height of their behind?
Then there were long pants with pleats which work only if you are pencil thin and have a concave stomach. Pleats = bulge. Oh, and Winter weight short hot pants that you would wear with tights and boots - if you were 25 that is. Silky things with no shape or form but looked lovely despite their impractical design. Things that would look great but offer no warmth.
Once past the youngish style there is a big step right up to the mumsy style. If you put on any of those clothes (which they call classic) you can just add ten years to your appearance.
I also noticed that there was a strong variation of 1980's fashion happening and I ain't doing that one again. Bat wing cardigans?
After a while I realised that I was just not enthused enough to continue to look for clothes and headed home.
On the way out, however, I realised that what I really would like were two new pillows.
So, after three long hours at an empty shopping centre I came home with two lovely soft pillows.
With one of those and a sleeping tablet it is no wonder I slept like an angel.
We have a three day weekend so I am going to just relax and do what needs doing without letting it get to me. I have about eight hours of easy bookwork to do and then time is mine.
I feel better already having just blogged.
Oh, why the heading?
This is post number 999.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Today was my brother's birthday. He and his family came around for breakfast this morning so things were a bit chaotic.
My brother has two boys. The older boy is very much like my sister in law and the youngest boy is a carbon copy of how my brother was. It makes for strange dynamics in the house. It always amazes me the personalities that children are born with.
Anyway, most people warm to the older boy because he is a boy who wants people to like him and thus is a people pleaser. It seems that grown ups just love kids who always do and say the "right" things whereas I often wonder how free the spirit of the child is if he always feels compelled to be obedient. But he is a sweet boy with a creative and quirky personality that hopefully will not change to conform with what is expected of him.
The younger boy is quite the opposite and many people, including my husband, find him difficult to deal with. He is a bit outspoken, even at the age of five, and needs a lot of attention to get him to understand how his words and actions have consequences. His personality has the makings of a bully unless it is managed properly. This does not mean he is mean, but he has a strong sense of what he perceives a "man" should be like. He is getting much better as his little life moves onwards and upwards.
I get on well with both boys but I would be lying if I did not say that the younger one captures my attention more than the other. I know that seems that I love one less than the other but it is not that at all. The younger one and I just hit it off more.
He talks non stop and that can be very annoying to some people. My brother, who is easily irritated by the incessant chatter of children, will just tell the boys to be quiet. Or should I say he kind of yells it and frightens the life out of everyone in the room. He is reactive, my brother, and has never mastered the art of chilling out and turning off.
When they all come around my son gets a bit stressed as, being an only child, he has a quiet life. The boys want his attention. They climb on him and hang over him. He is the older kid and they think the world of him and he kind of enjoys the status of being King Pin when they come around. Although he would never admit that.
So today, after a big breakfast of bacon and eggs and all the trimmings I was chatting to the younger boy.
"I want to come and live here, with you," he told me.
"Now why is that?" I asked.
"Because you have white toast and butter on it," he replied.
Ah, the secret of being popular. White bread and butter, the Sunday treat.
When he was speaking to me I looked at his serious little face with his huge blue eyes staring into mine. He looked like my brother did at that age. It was surreal.
It is a strange thing when your siblings get older, reach milestones and start to reach the age that you remember your parents reaching. You share a lot with siblings.
My son will never know that sibling thing. Sometimes I wonder what it will be like for him to not have siblings as he ages. Although, we all know that having them is no guarantee of closeness. In fact, quite the opposite at times.
I have two sisters (one older, one younger) and my brother (younger). My younger sister lives near my mum in Queensland so we speak on the phone a lot. Recently she was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 and also Rheumatoid arthritis. My older sister lives fifteen minutes from me and we never speak. I see my brother all the time.
My mother turns 70 in November and I will go up to see her along with my brother. I have not seen her for about four years. Unbeknownst to her, her brother is coming from Denmark for her birthday. It must be at least twenty years since they have seen each other.
My brother will tell my older sister what is happening so that she does not feel left out. It is not that her and I had a falling out or anything, but I find her poisonous talk about our younger sister (to whom I am close), my sister in law and my boss so difficult and awkward that I just find it easier to stay away from her. My husband drops in to see her now and then. She is a web designer and has done his web page. They get on really well. In fact, on the rare times of have seen her in the past few years we do get on well enough but because I have to be so careful of what I say with her, in case I somehow offend her, I just prefer to not include her in my life.
I am not sure why I am posting all this utterly uninteresting and boring stuff. I always say things are okay as far as my dealing with the family fractures that have come and gone in my life but it is not always true if I were to really admit it to myself.
I hate that my father has chosen not to speak to me.
I hate that my mother moved far, far away from me and would never ring me if I did not ring her. I hate that when I had my son she went on holiday for three months and I was left on my own. I mean, I coped and all that stuff, but she was always there for my older and younger sister when they had their babies so why did she not make time for me.
I know that as adults we deal with and process what life throws to us. I know that we "put things to rest" or "put things to bed" or "move on" or "come to terms with" and "forgive" and all that stuff. But what we really learn to do is just accept the shit that happens and then try not to think about it too much. And then get on with the good things in life which is what is right.
But now and then, that child in us all just kind of weeps for things we do not really understand. It weeps when we get too tired to be rational. It weeps when we realise, really realise that life is short.
Maybe that is what happened today. Some sort of inner child sobbing went on.
Now I am heading off to bed I feel back to normal.
I suppose that is why I just felt the need to randomly and aimlessly post about it.
So I could offload and get some sleep.
Friday, April 16, 2010
I do like work. But it is mighty hard to fit those extra ten hours in AND do home things AND do exercise AND do hobbies AND do blogging.
Not without having the odd melt down and crap day anyway.
In particular I notice the decline of blogging. Looking back at previous years I used to blog every day. Maybe I had more to blog about. Or maybe more time, less pressure and the feeling of more freedom to just do my own thing.
Not so much now.
One thing with working more hours is that it forces me to be more organised. Er, well, forces me to want to be more organised that is. Can't say it actually happens according to plan.
Late last year I bought this HUGE whizz bang fancy pants calendar which I believed would be the answer to all my dreams of being organised.
The idea is that you have a column for each person in the house and then fill in what everyone is doing or should be doing. There are even columns that I can fit in what television shows are coming on.
January remained blank as we were away for the holidays.
February started off with diligent filling in of the columns, gaps and important things on the cards.
March was kind of spasmodic.
April is blank.
When I was in Italy I bought myself a lovely Moleskine red diary to put in all my important things that need doing. It started off all very fine indeed and is now just random scribbles when I remember to use it. That is if I can find it down the bottom of my oversized handbag (the very sexy Bruno Rossi one I bought in Rome).
At least I am trying. Isn't that half the battle? Trying.
At least there are things that make me feel like being organised is so close, so very, very close.
You know, I am sure if I made more use of my very modern mobile phone I could set up lots of reminder notes to remind me to use the calendar, to read my diary, to blah blah blah and more blah.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Not much as it is a bit rich for my stomach. Note: not too rich for my taste buds.
So, I was licking the spoon and I recalled a woman I knew.
She once had a job as an office clerk at a company called Dairy Bell Ice Cream.
Every day she and her colleagues would at some point go out the back and have some icecream.
She told me that the icecream was in a warm liquid form at the early stage and it was like the most divinely creamy milkshake you could imagine.
It was a short lived pleasure as within a few weeks she put on so much weight that she could not fit any of her clothes and thus had to resist the temptation.
Years after she had left the place she often thought how lovely that icecream was.
Now and then I go to Dairy Bell and think of the icecream being made out the back. I am sure that nobody from the office treats themselves anymore now that 21st century quality controls are all in place. But the thought of it is nice.
I once had an icecream maker. It was all very time consuming to make icecream, was not at all cost effective and more than once it did not work and we ended up with cold, creamy, rich milkshakes.
Everytime I made any icecream it was eaten within a day. So I got rid of the thing after a few months.
Some things I am happy to leave to the professionals. There is great pleasure in going to an icecream or gelato shop and picking out a treat.
Icecream making is definitely one of them.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Anyway, there was a two page spread on how to bring some happiness into your life. You know the sort of drivel. Have a cup of tea and read a book before everyone gets home. Or, put some gum boots on and go for a walk in the rain. Blah, blah and more blah.
Then, the second last suggestion said "get your hair cut into an easy to keep short style that you can wash and forget". Ah, now I am not sure about that.
The idea of having my hair cut short, washing it and then letting it dry naturally as I head off to work would ruin my day. My week. And the next twelve months after that.
Great for those with pixie faces and fine hair.
Utterly hideous thought for those with pumpkin heads and very, very thick and wavy hair.
No, not a happy idea that one.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I forgot to load up these photos of some time in Paris.
Both are just great monuments to visit. History aside, the structure and form of each one is just one of those things I do like about the human being. The urge and the ability to create some amazing buildings and structures.It was hard to take a good photo of the Arc de Triomphe as the traffic was hectic and you cannot really get a good idea of the perspective of it. Or the solid aura it has. But still, since I was there I figured that a photo was in order.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Today I cleaned the boy's bathroom. My husband usually does it but every three months I do a "Linda" clean. Top to toe hospital grade clean. It was immaculate.
Later on in the afternoon my son had a friend come over to stay the night. We ordered pizza for dinner and my son could not eat much and complained of a stomach ache and went and locked himself in the bathroom.
So, his friend was left sitting with my husband and I at the table while my son was absent.
I made a few jokes like;
"Who does he think he is going into that sparkling clean bathroom? He knows the rules. After I clean the bathroom you both have to use the neighbour's toilet".
"Oh, really?" said my husband.
"Yep, no using the toilet for a whole week. You just have to hang on or go outside," I replied.
"Do the neighbours know this rule?" my husband asked.
"No, just knock on the door and tell them our toilet is too clean to use and you want to use theirs for the next week," I said.
The conversation went like this for a while getting every sillier about where to go to the toilet.
When my son came out from the bathroom I told him off for using the toilet after I had cleaned it and he laughed.
I thought nothing of the conversation until about two hours later when his friend came up and asked if he could use the toilet.
"No, sorry, you have to hang on until you get home," I told him.
"Oh, okay. But I don't think I can," he replied and sat back on the chair.
"I am joking you know. Did you think I was serious about the toilet story?" I asked.
"Yeah, I did," he said.
I had to laugh. He was so relieved as he darted into the bathroom. I wondered how long he had been holding on for.
It never occurred to me that he would believe what I said at the kitchen table.
You just have to be careful what you say around children.
Thursday, April 08, 2010
Daylight savings ended last weekend and I am still walking up before the alarm and then feeling like the day is almost over at 3.00pm. It takes a while to adjust.
My son is on school holiday and has had to spend time alone at home. My husband comes home during the day so S is not always on his own. I came home early yesterday.
I used to take him to work with me but there is really nothing for him to do but sit at the computer and be bored. At home he does his own thing. Plays Xbox, reads books and gets on his computer.
When I think of what I was doing at that age I know he is the right age to be alone at home. At the age of ten I was out riding my bike around the streets. At his age (almost 13) I was going into the city with friends.
Besides, sometimes kids need time alone.
During the day I phone home to speak to him.
The conversation goes something like this:
Son picks up phone. "Hello"
Me. "Hi, how are you going?"
Me. "Have you eaten lunch?"
Son. "Huh? Oh, yeah"
Me. "Are you dressed?"
Son. "Yeah, kind of"
Me. "What are you up to?"
Me. "You want me to let you go?"
Son. "Yeah, thanks. Love you. Bye"
Me. "Love you too darling. Bye"
The conversation kind of varies but not much and he is always half mumbling his responses.
Which tells me he is just fine.
Mumbling thirteen year old half dressed boy playing Xbox.
Sounds pretty normal to me.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Not for any religious reason but because if you are in Rome you really should see the core of what Rome is about.
You can see in the photo below how excited my son was about having to traipse around a giant church (his words, not mine). However, you will be pleased to know that he really enjoyed the three hour tour we did of it.
One thing to do when travelling in a new place (and have not had the good grace to study about) is to make good use of a professional tour guide. They know the best things to show the new tourist, they avoid the queues and know so much more about the place than the average visitor.
We had a guide who also took us through the different ruins the previous day and we were so impressed that we booked to be taken through the Vatican by the same person. The group was of about forty people and we were kitted out with head phones to hear every word he said.
Not that this is relevant, but this particular guide just also happened to be very handsome, very funny and very Scottish. Quite an entertaining dish of a man. I am not saying you need your guide to be a dishy guy, but it certainly made the three hour tour extra pleasing.
So, lots to see. Paintings. Many paintings. Many religious paintings of great depth and meaning. Big paintings, small ones, nice ones, ugly ones, utterly boring ones and completely fascinating ones. Full of fantastic history.
The Vatican is full of great art in the form of not just paintings but also sculptures. They may not be to everyone's taste but you cannot discount the importance of the pieces.
Not just the fact that they are right there to be near. Nor because they are just so very, very old.
But the ruins represent a most cohesive and organised society upon which many of our day to day activities are based upon. It's great.
I won't go into the history of where I am because you can get much more cohesive information by clicking on some of the links.
These photos were taken at a place called the Roman Forum. I suppose you could say that it was the social and business hub of an ever successful and expanding Roman Empire.
It is quite overwhelming to walk around such a plethora of the remainders of a civilization that was once as valid and important as our civilization is now. I was constantly reminded of the transient aspect of society, even modern society.
The place is also very beautiful to be near. The stone buildings and columns, the green grass and moss continuing to grow in any free space it could. I found it hard to understand how the place just kind of sank into nowhere for centuries.
Sunday, April 04, 2010
Lettuce is not a weed from the garden.
A potato loses its status as a vegetable when it becomes a chip or a crisp. So, no, you cannot have crisps with your dinner.
Multi grain bread will not make you sick.
You are not allergic to vegetables just because they make you gag.
Just because you got loads of chocolate Easter eggs it does not mean that you can eat them all day. And, today is the ONLY day you can have them for breakfast. But that is ONLY because you ate one before I was able to stop you.
And you have to share the Easter eggs the bunny gave you. With me. And your father. So don't hide them. Besides, I know every hiding spot in the house and will find them anyway.
No I will not go and watch television in the front room so that you can play Xbox.
Yes, you do have to empty the dishwasher again. So sorry to burden you with such a hideous chore. Perhaps next time you can wash the dishes. See how you like that.
How do I know where you other shoe/sock/flip flop is? Or your ITouch or whatever else you have lost.
Saturday, April 03, 2010
It is only about twenty minutes drive to this beach.
Drop foil randomly on table top, book shelf, coffee table, in jeans pocket or on car floor.
I found out today that you have to walk twenty minutes to work off one of those little eggs.
I better start walking now. I have at least ten hours to get through.
I certainly remember it. I first saw it when I went to babysit a young girl who lived not far from us. I was only sixteen. The poster was in the kitchen. I just recall thinking what a nice bottom that girl had.
The photographer, Martin Elliot, passed away recently after a long battle with cancer.
The girl in the photo was called Fiona Butler who is now married with children. At the time she was his girlfriend.
I love this photo.
I love the casual pose the girl has. The natural light falling around her and the shadows that light throws behind her.
The way her right knee bends. The way she holds her tennis racquet. And the way she casually has her dress raised give us a glimpse of her wonderful behind.
It is natural. Not airbrushed. Not overtly sexual but has an air of sweet sensuality about it.
It's gorgeous, unstaged and still fresh.
It has a visual depth to it that you just cannot get with digital photography. A rawness that never, ever shows itself anymore in photos. Every photo now is so slick, professional and posed that it lacks truth. Because we all know what the world really looks like don't we? The dry earth, the green grass and the paint peeling on a timber fence.
We know all the imperfections in our visual space and these days the digital photography seems to dress it all up and make it look not as real. I often do not know what is true anymore when I see an "amazing" digital photo.
These days, iconic is a sought after status but we all know that iconic is random and it takes a generation to achieve it.
So, thanks Martin Elliot for this lovely iconic photo.
And thanks to Fiona Butler for being part of it.
Friday, April 02, 2010
My Britains Florals. Lovely garden fun for children.
Or adults who wish to relive their childhood.
I love looking into it. I think children would love it more as they seem to have so much more interest in make believe.