Friday, 12 December 2008

Fairy stories

Sometimes an idea springs to mind, fully formed. When it occurs to you, it's as if all the pieces just drop into place. Like the barrels of a lock.

I drove past a sign tonight, after dropping my son home (my son who "took" me to dinner and paid for the meal:o), my son who has been very brave, having recently had a large shoulder operation and is now back at work, living life, walking nearly everywhere because he can't drive for 6 weeks after the op, who is off all the painkillers even though he is still in pain, who has worked out all his finances so that he doesn't have to ask his old Ma for money. Am I sounding like the proud mother I am? How your kids can get right in amongst you and make you go all gooey just at the thought of their achievments, I have no idea? The boy is 20 [so young!] and HUGE, 6'2" with approx size 58 feet, you can see them from outer space, it's been verified by NASA, and look what he does to my mental processes!)

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, driving home after a particularly fine Mexican meal.... I saw a sign hanging up over what must have been a church, that said "Jesus is coming to reign on earth" or something similar.

And I thought, do these people really believe that? It's like a fairy story, an adult fairy story. A fairy story that countless millions of people have lost their lives over, one way or another. Which would make it a horror story surely? Anyway, the realisation was, that I am right! It IS a fairy story, a grown up version of Santa. No more believable than the tooth fairy. Or leprechauns, mermaids or werewolves baying at a full moon (it IS full moon tonight...gorgeous out there!)

Here we are in the real world, made up of all sorts of magic like electricity and television (which I know sounds stupid, but think about it, there are things in your house that GO, that run and produce moving pictures and light up the room etc, etc, etc, things that are still, and static until you shove a bit of metal in a hole in the wall and magic happens! Digital cameras, computers, the internet - pure magic! The magic of cooking - bung wet, raw things in the oven and they change shape and character completely. Unbelievable. Who thought of that in the first place? Eggs, flour and butter stirred together, add heat, viola! Cake!

Which brings me to the subject of human beings and how magical we are. Totally bypassing our bodies and the everyday miracle of how they function (babies growing, the majority of them with all the right bits in all the right places - amazing and magical but you know it's just pure science and not a damn thing to do with a mythical, fairy story called God), just thinking about our creativity and spontaneity and curiosity and capacity to learn and build and make magic!

However, how any educated, sensible, modern human beings think that Jesus Christ is going to "come down to earth" to save our arses, I have no bloody idea! It's a fairy story. Something to tell frightened children. A pacifier, not that it's been very pacifying actually. What do they think? Jesus on cloud descending from heaven? Baby born that we are all going to believe is miraculous this time around and not hang his arse from a tree? Armageddon and the waves and smoke parting with a windswept and sandalled man striding forth saying "come to me all ye believers, I know the way out of this mess"?

Ha de har, 'scuse me while I choke a bit.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Matilda Bay

Well, what a lovely afternoon that was! Apparently everyone agrees that this has been a dreadful week at work and the morale of us all is at rock bottom. To cheer us all up, an emergency work function was arranged yesterday, for us to go on today, a picnic and BBQ at Matilda Bay. It was just the one department, and we all like each other, which is lovely. The "other lot" weren't invited! There was humungous amounts of food and wine and we just chilled, basically, and chatted and ate and drank and watched the wonderful river and fed a kookaburra. Fantastic. And then we didn't go back to work. All sanctioned by the boss :o)

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Wedding Belles

Argh! Guilt! Guilt! Is it the time of year or bloomin' what? People write to me, of course they do, it's Christmas for goodness sakes and I am supposed to reply! But I have no time! I swear I don't. In the morning I think I am too busy to go to work, I have much too much to do to waste time going to work. In the evening I think I am MUCH too busy to go home, I can't possibly manage it. On top of that I am feeling guilty for not emailing my friends and not phoning them often enough, and not writing my blog! Oh good lord.

I went to Weight Watchers tonight and was just thankful I was not back where I started. I've drunk too much, eaten out too often and not walked enough - and I feel guilty about that too. Good grief. Anyway, it's a new start. Every day is a new start. A line has been drawn under the last month and now it's time to go ahead with renewed wotsisnames. Luverly.

On Saturday I am going, with my Maid of Honour :o) (who is now getting married before me and so I think she gets a promotion to "Matron of Honour") to look at wedding dresses! Now that is going to be PURE PLEASURE, with no guilt attached at all. Raving! ha ha!

Although this is my second marriage, it will be my first wedding dress and I am really looking forward to it. The whole shin dig is going to be the best, most excellent weddingy shin diggery of all time!!! The GoffMan and I are going to have a BALL! Not a Ball, you understand, but a BALL!!!! Yes, it's all good, very, very good.

Two of my other bridesmaids are in Africa and Egypt right now, but eventually, next year, we shall all go dress hunting together :o) Now THAT will be fun!

So, I've managed to talk myself out of the guilts and into the pink wedding clouds. Hmmm and I'm feeling all chatty.... I feel a few emails coming over me.... :o)

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Happy Days!

And now that the visitors have left and life has returned to some normality, I return to work to discover that's all gone to shit as well! I love my job. Or I did. I am not a whinger, I like and am good at change and I do stick at stuff, often well past it's stickability date.

For instance, the last job was insupportable with a bully for a boss, but muggins here stuck it for five years. Two other work colleagues left after 3 months and 4 months directly because of the arsehole boss. See? Stickability to the point of inadvisability I think. Anyway. I took this job to get away from the arsehole boss from hell and subsequently changed directions completely. Retrained in a different field and absolutely love the work. I am a "natural" at it, as someone once said. I would love it even more if I was allowed to actually do it of course.

At the moment, "safety" is a very dirty word. Especially if it comes at the price of any effort or thought on the part of anyone other than myself. And now with the "financial crisis" excuse, the stupidity sky is the limit apparently. Now we can sack people willy nilly, destabilise the whole department with very strange reshufflings that show complete ignorance for anyones actual job and then we can bugger off and leave everyone to wallow around in the resultant mess just for the apparent fun of it.

"What does employee "X" do exactly? Oh, really? Better put them over there then, I suppose" "And can we take this opportunity to get rid of the annoying safety person? No? Drat! Are you sure? Oh, all right then. Put them over there, that should shut them up for a bit".

Happy days!

Roman Holiday

Guilt is a dreadful thing! It creeps in between all your cells and oozes around and swoshes about in a most disturbing manner. It alters the way you think. It turns you into someone else entirely. Your reactions to situations and your thought patterns go totally AWOL. There is no controlling it. It takes over. Every day you wake up knowing what is going to happen and thinking that today is the day that you take control and every day the same bloody thing happens, it takes control of you instead. Bah!

I have a certain mental image of myself and it has been seriously disturbed and rattled to the degree, that for the last three weeks, I have not liked myself at all and not been able to do one jot about it. I became a sulky teenager all over again. And that was not pleasant the first time around, it is hideous when the sulky teenager is 47!! My internal chronometer was seriously, seriously out of whack! If it wasn't for fiances and brothers, girlfriends and sons, I would have become totally, blitheringly, blindingly, awfully MAD!!!! And that's a fact.

Distance is the cure I've found. Time and a hell of a lot of distance. How far is it from England to Australia? That's how much distance is necessary anyway, however far it is. And that's all I've got to say about that! Well, alright, one more thing - Perth is a beautiful, wonderful place to live, for more than the obvious reasons.

On the upside, the weather has now cured itself and it's a glorious 32 degrees today, not that I'm out in it, I'm not that silly! :o) Actually, I am, but as I am partaking of a spot of R&R, courtesy of a doctor with a needle and a portable x-ray machine, I am instead inside, looking outside while watching the gloriously beautiful features of Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. My word, what a looker that woman is.

And whenever that movie was made (1953 - thank you Google), little children were allowed to swim in the Trevi Fountain! And climb on the horses and generally have a jolly good time!

I want to go to THAT Rome and have my own Roman Holiday. But as I am not a princess and Italy is now in technicolur, I suppose I have no hope at all! Shame really. Innit?

Monday, 3 November 2008

Mad Rush

My goodness me, it's tiddling down here! Cats and dogs and horses and cows!!!! I'm not sure if this is only noticable when visitors are coming out in 28 hours and 50 minutes or what? It's spring! The weather is unpredictable. I told them to come in March! I really hope they're bringing more than shorts to wear. They're Brits coming to Australia, of course that's all they've brought to wear! It's AUSTRALIA, good god almighty, the land of perpetual sunshine and 40 degrees of heat, all year round, isn't it? Oh dear. Well, thankfully there are a lot of sales on right now.....

It's Melbourne Cup Day tomorrow. The race that stops a nation. I have no idea of the name of the favourite, I rely on the sweep. Oh, it's Mad Rush. I am having trouble with this blog right now....can't post pictures and can't save.....anyone else having trouble of is it just me? The IT genius? I have this luverly piccy of a gee gee and can't post it....ah well, you'll just have to imagine it then.... :o) Giddy up Neddy! (Yes, yes, it is a large glass!)

Friday, 31 October 2008

P-Day minus 4 and counting.....

My parents land in 4 days.... at 2am precisely, to be precise. My brother booked the tickets, I shall say no more.

There is lots left to do. Of course. My car is a dust heap. My windows are spider-infested. I have no food worthy of presenting to the best cook in the world! Thankfully I had done the Big Spring Clean two weeks ago before I had the miracle cortisone injection into the pesky L4/5, that has actually made my back worse by a factor of ten. Consequently, I am having serious back issues right now and I'm not talking about overlooked magazines here.

Although a photographic magazine might be quite interested in the lovely (red) design on my back. Am fairly sure it could be classified as Art. It is quite stunning what a (hot) wheat pack can do to you when you are an over-enthusiastic type of person. The wheat pack is my constant (warming) companion and has left it's mark, indelibly, on my back.

I also specialise in Art first thing in the morning. Normally called 'getting dressed' has now risen to the higher echelons of Performance Art. I have perfected 'the smooth operator' and 'the prehensile toe movement', not to mention 'the knicker manoeuver'. Pure Art in Motion. Living Art.

Oh dear, what about my poor neglected feet? I have to wonder why I thought it could possibly be a good idea to put nail varnish on, because I surely can't take it off again. I may have to resort to a pedicure just to get my toe nails cut!

And so, I have resorted to taking pills. Pills are never good for me, their effects can be weird and wonderful and are never detailed on the packet. The word 'Soporific' comes to mind.... I just hope I am still awake at 2am to drive out to the aeroporto!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Reminder to "count your blessings"

I am in pain with my back. You might know this. Bulging disc, cortisone injection last Tuesday, wore off by Saturday, pain worse now than before the injection. Docs appointment Monday.

However, I have just seen an article on channel 9 commercial TV, (I never watch this, so it was a bit of luck that I fancied watching the news this morning and then stumbled across this article). A chap somewhere in Aus had a brain tumour, very young, both he and his wife thought he would die, he had a 15 month old baby and another child as well. Had an operation, successful thanks to Charlie Teo, and three years down the track is now in remission and fund raising for cancer research.

At the end of the interview, his wife said that it is a privilege to grow old. How right she is. It is a privilege to grow old and watch your children and your family around you mature and grow older themselves. So I will stop whinging about getting older and how much it sucks. I will count my blessings that all I have wrong with me is a bulging disc and not a whacking great brain tumour or worse!

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Archaic words

I am reading Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K Jerome. Excellent book. So far I have learnt that "bummel" does NOT mean bicycle or even bicycle trip. Which is what I thought it must be. Three Men on a Boat - self evident, Three Men on the Bummel plus a picture of men on bicycles equals bummel; superseded word for "bike"? Wrong!

Bummel is a German word (am half German, therefore feel an affinity with German words - they must be in my genes somewhere, I always think, just waiting to burst out of me? One day, when the conditions are right, I will break into fluent German and surprise everyone around me. In the meantime, thank God for Google!) So, according to JK Jerome, a bummel:

"I should describe as a journey, long or short, without an end; the only thing regulating it being the necessity of getting back within a given time to the point from which one started. Sometimes it is through busy streets, and sometimes through the fields and lanes; sometimes we can be spared for a few hours, and sometimes for a few days. But long or short, but here or there, our thoughts are ever on the running of the sand. We nod and smile to many as we pass; with some we stop and talk awhile; and with a few we walk a little way. We have been much interested, and often a little tired. But on the whole we have had a pleasant time, and are sorry when it's over."

In other words "going bush" :o)

Another word in the same book that had me stumped until I got to trusty Google: camelopard [kuh-mel-uh-pahrd]. Any guesses? I thought old word for camel. Obvious. Interesting and quirky. Wrong! A camelopard is a GIRAFFE! The long (proper?) name for a giraffe is a Giraffa camelopardalis. A giraffe! Good Lord. Even better, is that the word "pardalis" means "leopard or panther". Camēlopardālis. Marvellous! That brings a certain picture to mind. Never again will I call a giraffe a giraffe! From now on it is a camelopard.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

L4/5 Discs, not made the way they used to be!

I don't know, you just can't get quality goods nowadays! Here am I, a sprightly 27 (ahem) and my disc L4/5 is shot! What is the world coming to? Why was I fitted with a defective L4/5 in the first place is what I want to know. Surely a bit of extra cash or effort or some damn thing would have ensured a better quality? Shoddy workmanship! A Friday-arvo disc. "Stop work Lads! Down tools, time for a smoko"! Chuh!

So, today I went in to a very posh hospital (that the Goff said was a hotel and we were in the wrong place :o) for a cortisone injection into offending article in back. General anaesthetic. Lovely. Love those. Love the way you drift off to sleep - no choice in the matter, just Bammo! That creeping tiredness that comes over you just before you Bammo! is wonderful. And then the waking up, and the drifting off and waking up and drifting off and the waking up and the drifting off and the - yes, well, get the picture?

And nurses are lovely aren't they? Genuinely nice people. So gentle and kind. they give you tea and they smile at you and they pat your shoulder - so lovely. I felt quite a fraud though. No wound. No dressings. No pain!!!! Hello????!!!! Oh my GOD!!!! NO PAIN!!! Hahahahahahahaa HA! And now here I am at home, with the Goff cooking lovely meal and making cups of tea..... see what I mean? A complete fraud! Wonderful. He he!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Daylight Saving, I'll have some of that....

WA is notorious for being behind the times. Dragging its feet in the 19th Century, let alone the 20th. As for the 21st - what is that exactly? It hasn't arrived yet, oh no.

Well, except for mobile phones (of course), every second person you see has one glued to their ear. Well, they do in the City - if you go outside the metrop, there is no coverage. None. Whoopsie doodle! Similar to roads really - lots within the metrop, hardly any at all outside! When I first arrived here, I wanted to buy a map to get me around the state. I like maps, they are a work of art. I like to spacially orient myself by them, I like to browse them. Have never needed this one. If you want to go somewhere outside of Perth, you get on the one road that goes there and you stay on it. There's no getting lost. You might die of dehydration when your tyres burst because you can't phone anyone, but you're not lost!

So. There are a couple of ongoing issues. Shopping hours and daylight saving. The shops shut at 5pm. Supermarkets at 6pm and Bunnings at 9pm. Even the bottleo's shut at 8. Restaurants have been known to chuck patrons out at 9.30 and forget ordering a meal after 8.15 becasue the "kitchen is shut". Ho hum.

I like shopping. It's one of my favourite things to do. Not in that hurried-dash-to-the-shops-before-they-shut, kind off shopping, but the leisurely stroll after work sort. The "oh, lets go for a coffee and a browse through the book shops/boutiques/market" sort of shopping. Yes, well, unless the fancy strikes you on a Thursday, you're out of luck Chum!

Which brings me to daylight saving. I think (am not totally sure about this) but I think every state in Aus has daylight saving. Oh, silly me, except for WA, of course. At the moment we are on year three of a three year trial to see if we like it! And then we get to vote. That's a problem - the voting bit. Give people a choice and they go all ornery and vote "NO" to everything, just to be contrary, I'm sure of it. A couple of years ago there was a referendum for longer shopping hours.....we voted it out, no surprise there. Although actually, I was surprised, very surprised. I had assumed it was the "powers that be" that were being mid-19thC in their thinking. How could the modern working woman not want the convenience of shopping out of business hours? As opposed to when they were told they could go.... We do constitute 50% of the population I assume? Giving us 50% of the vote? Maybe not, the state-wide answer was a resounding "No". Amazing.

I suspect daylight saving will go the same way. We do love the colour of our curtains, that's the problem. Apparently curtains lose their colour in the extra hour of daylight that daylight saving gives you - I kid you not! And there is something to do with cows as well. They stop laying eggs or something.... egg-bound cows....not a good look! So this year will no doubt be the last year we get to have daylight right up to 8.30pm in midsummer. Shame innit, but there you go, at least the curtains will stay their nice vibrant colours and the egg supply will be assured.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Spring Ankles!

I am enjoying life at the moment. Spring has sprung and that's always good. It makes it a little hard to go into work, especially as my office is a windowless box, but nonetheless, the weather makes a big difference to my day. Lets face it, I'm a Brit in the paradise of Oz, of course I'm enjoying the weather. I always compare months, can't help myself :o) October for instance, is the equivalent of April in Blighty. April is pretty but still pretty chilly in Britland, in Oz, October is 25 degrees and the wildflowers are all out. The nights are still cool but the days are glorious. There are lots of people in the sea - not me, admittedly, but hey, soon! And we have 29 degrees forecast for later this week. Lovely jubbly! Good photo of Goffy in his Wildflower Shirt!

I am going to Weight Watchers and I can feel the difference in my body now. Its very nice. My trousers are sitting a bit lower on my hips. They are no longer "ankle freezers". I hate that. When I catch sight of myself and my damn trousers are too short! Don't get me wrong....I am quite attached to my ankles, they are always there - faithful things and they work. So nice having a bit of yourself that is reliable, but I really dont want to see them poking out from under the trouser line grinning at me! He he, look at us! Twinkle, twinkle, gleam!!!!

Friday, 26 September 2008

The Scream

I had just got into the swing of the written word to my estranged daughter to try to woo her back, gently, over time and thought it was going swimmingly as she hasn't sent anything back. You know, shredded in an envelope for instance. However, the reason I havent had any response is because the child has moved several times in the last year or so. Apparently. Drat. Back to the metaphorical drawing board then. Plan B. What is Plan B? Plan B so far consists of asking her, politely, through my son (who may see her in the next couple of months - it's a long-term plan!) if I may please have her address! And to inform her I wont visit! Likelihood of success of Plan B - probably zero, zilch and (fill in raspberry sound here!)

I have gone back to being on the public blog lists. I like to send "the scream" out into the ether, it is very therapeutic.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Toxic overload.....

Now here is a conundrum. I am not sure if I am imagining this but as time goes on and my body is still behaving, I think it must be true. I have been taking Swisse Formula vitamin, mineral and herbal extract for a number of years. And for the last one to one and a half years I have been battling extreme tiredness that comes and goes in a seemingly random manner, often hits Monday morning so I think “Monday Blues”, or I wake up during the week feeling truly awful, so I think “bad night’s sleep”, or “time of the month”, lately I have been thinking pending menopause.
I know that ibuprofen makes me so tired (one or two days later!) that I feel like bursting into tears for no apparent reason. Ventolin gives me heart palpitations so severe, it is as if I have an accelerating and badly tuned motor in my chest. Iodine nearly kills me. I seem to be hypersensitive to some drugs. On one memorable occasion, I hallucinated quite freely on oxygen and Ventolin, either that or the wallpaper people really do exist and wander around the walls of their own volition, pulling faces at innocent bystanders.
There are quite a few foods that also have an interesting effect on the poor old bod, but that’s a whole other story. So the sneaky thought does occur that I may be a raving hypochondriac. But you know, the fact remains that I am feeling much better and have done for the last little while, which is longer than I have felt good for, for a long time. Another clue, is that this extreme tiredness always wears off around 2 in the afternoon. This is most obvious Mon-Fri, hence I naturally thought it was my job and maybe it was time for a new one.... except I didn’t have the energy! So, there have been a few red herrings and muddling issues. The clincher was staying away from home for the weekend and forgetting to take the pills with me. I felt really GOOD Monday morning. Took the pills Monday night, felt wretched Tuesday, had a eureka moment and haven’t taken any since and, hello, what’s this? Energy levels up, not dragging self around, still in very good condition after work and into the evening. Hmmmm.....imagination? The jury is still out and the pills stay in the bottle. All of them, glucosamine and evening primrose oil and suspicious Swisse Formula.
I have mentioned this to a doc since I wrote this and have been told about “toxic overload” and how vitamin pills could be taken as an insurance against deficiency ONCE A MONTH!!!! Yes, one pill, once a month. Marvellous. And here I am assuming that any components not used by the body are flushed out and down the john, oh no, we store them and go into toxic overload instead. Efficient aren’t we?

Lifestyle changes.....

I am back at Weight Watchers. I am very happy with this. I feel in control and very optimistic. The ultimate goal is to be a smaller size for the wedding. Which is a dreadful reason, but a goal is a goal. Also I have three distinct wardrobes right now, a size 10, size 12 and now a scary 14. Two years ago, I lost 30kg and went from a size 20 down to a size 10. My mother was curious as to why I had never done this before, when I was still married, maybe to save my marriage..... but the truth is, I tried continuously for years and years to do just that. It was the actual trauma of the marriage break-up that did the trick. I was at Weight Watchers then too but didn’t really follow their diet, I just hardly ate and exercised huge amounts and the weight fell off. Literally. Every day I altered my clothes before I went to work. I felt fantastic and bullet proof. However, that can only go on for so long and as soon as I steadied down and settled down and came out of that raw state, the weight went back on, relentlessly! I have now put half of it back on. Oh my God, am getting more and more unhappy with that. So, fresh start. WW and group support and doing it properly. I want this to be a lifestyle change, a habit. I want this to be so ingrained it becomes second nature to eat properly, so this never happens again. I LOVED being size 10. Going into boutiques and buying scraps of lace that doubled up as clothing! And the knickers on the washing line are no longer size 20 granny knickers, they are barely there!!!! Fabulous! I LOVE that SO MUCH!!! And I am going back there before the knickers morph back! So, Cheers, with water and lemon, followed by a spot of Margaret River wine :o) just take the chocolate away, for God’s sake!

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Human Wellbeing

I went to a short seminar last week on Human Wellbeing, what does it mean to be healthy in mind, body and spirit? It was rather good. Interesting. Three presentations by three university professors, a doctor, a psychologist and a poet.

There have been studies done on happiness and the measuring of it. Who is happiest and why? Does it come down to genes and your genetic makeup, twins have been studied in this regard. Does happiness depend on the way you were brought up, situational happiness? Are the happiest people those who are "dispositionally" happy? A numerical value has been used to measure happiness, the "correlation" ????? And although I was not paying much retentive attention to this part, what was interesting were the following points that came out of that research.

People who report being happy pay attention to the following things:

To attain happiness they choose what to invest in - the purchase of material things does not give happiness, the investment in a holiday, for instance, is a much better proposition as it is possible to remember it, mull over it, think about it fondly, talk about it, etc. It is an experience rather than a thing. It is a better investment of money and time.

They choose an interpretation of events. Bad things can happen but it is how we choose to think of them that determines how well they are dealt with and how happy or unhappy they make us.

By choosing to forgive transgressions (I hate this word, it smacks of religion and I am very irreligious!), this too make us happier. By giving up the anger, it is possible to move on and deal with that situation better. This has a direct impact on myself to do with my daughter. It tells me to just move right along and not harbour any resentment or hurt over this breach. It also is what I knowingly did after my break-up with my ex. I knew I was handling it well and one of my favourite sayings was/is "It's not what happens to you, it is how you choose to deal with it" or something similar - I am going to have to go and look that one back up again. We need to choose to savour the good stuff, which is a known fact of the positive impact of gratitude. This fits in rather well with my "counting my blessings" of the last blog entry and certainly set me up for the day.

Also, another point was to make a decision that is good enough, it doesn't have to be a perfect decision. Just one that is good enough to live with and work with. And people who have low levels of introspection are happier. I know when I am doing a whole load of navel-gazing I am not a happy bunny at all. Once all the thinking is done though, and the decision is made, whatever it is, is when happiness comes. Sometimes I get stuck in introspection for longer than is healthy, certainly. The Goffman is very good at getting me out of that loop. Human beings are happiest when they have a sense of purpose and satisfaction. No doubt this is where we fell prey to the priests! Anyway, all of the above came from the psychologist. And here is the link to the paper it was taken from:

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Oma's advice

Oh! How mellow I am feeling this morning. When I first wake up I lay here trying to part the curtains of fog that insist on enveloping my pre-pre-menopausal brain (after a conversation with a friend yesterday we have both decided that there is such a state. It’s the state before pre-menopause, when there is no medical reason why you are feeling so peculiar on a regular basis but real none-the-less, and definitely hormonal. But that's not what I'm writing about today - there's plenty of time to gather all the data before I write about that one!) And back to the fog-parting.

After remembering what day it is and what is happening today (mid-week, must get out of bed - that's the level of cogitation) I then run over all the nice things that are happening in my world. Goffy is back being uppermost. A gentle perusal then reveals, like shiny stones glistening through running water, the events that are to come.
Next week for instance is Goffy's birthday treat - I would put the link here to the concert that it is - but it is a surprise birthday treat! Which of course I am getting the most amount of pleasure out of, thinking about it. And then there is the birthday party.....which will be a BLAST!
A bit further away, although the way time is FLYING in this pre-pre-menopausal world, it will arrive tomorrow, is Christmas. This will be the first Christmas we have been properly together.... and I am looking forward to it so much.

Then there is diving,
I haven't wanted to dive all year but yesterday DaveyG went for a dive and the weather was glorious and I was at work and I was JEALOUS!!! Ha ha! That's always good news for me when I am jealous, it means I haven't got sick of diving and therefore have not finished with diving yet..... which is great news. And now of course I have a ready Buddy! That has always been one of my sticking points, haven't got a Buddy? Don't really want to dive then.

Around Christmas time, maybe January, comes the next big event on the horizon - buying a house together. This one is slightly bitter sweet, I love the little house I am living in and I am going to miss it.

It is a huge milestone for a girl to own her own house and to live in it and support herself successfully, especially when the first time this is attempted is when the girl is an OLD girl!

I am also a bit worried about the amount of nocturnal wanderings I get up to on a regular basis....these things have to be worked in to the overall plan....cups of tea and reading for two hours at 3am seems to be an essential part of life right now, how does one do that without disturbing ones nearest and dearest, one has not yet figured out....but that is small potatoes to the excitement and the pleasure to be derived from mulling over the pleasantness of making a home together. This can take hours of daydreaming! I have a lot of fun with this one and have to file it away for extra thought while walking for instance.

Another nice train of thought is our future holidays. The Goff is marvellously good at travel; I am stunningly, stupendously B A D! He, however, in his madness, is looking forward to taking me to his various global haunts and I am very willing to be shown them! Thankfully, he thinks it’s great fun travelling with a neurotic woman, I am fairly sure by now that my Goffy is a masochist of the First Water, and so, I know this behaviour sets him up for the day! These are not amazingly ambitious plans for exploration; I have no wish to scale the lower slopes of Everest for instance and am fairly certain sure those sides of me would be revealed that I want no man to witness if I had to go anywhere too taxing. I know the GoffMan wants to go to some outlandish spots - he is going to have to train up his son....he doesn't know it, but he really does not want to take me there! But, I digress, Greece will be lovely,

Mauritius has been mentioned, the lakes in north Italy must be re-visited,

Antigua has been recommended, Singapore is on the horizon.

And then of course, there is the this one takes a lot of thought. Apart from all the scary arrangements, which I try to NOT think about, there is the actual day and the actual point of marriage, that is the bit I like to think sky, river (maybe) flowing in a tinkly manner, flowers and a bower, Beau in a suit, Son giving self away, guests all looking pretty, Bridesmaids! (never had any before!) beautiful words spoken and meant from the heart....aaah, sweet, innit? I am turning into a sook!

It is also very pleasant to realise that it is also most marvellously excellent to just spend the evenings together, that it doesn’t matter if we are tired, it is nice to be together and flop in front of a dvd. Goffy is good to flop with! So, this morning was SO happy with thoughts that I had to write them down...a bit of mushiness for a Wednesday morning. And I realised that I am following age-old advice given to me by my Oma - "count your blessings" and they are many. Many indeed. My future is a pleasant and rosy one and I am very much looking forward to sliding on into it..... So, Happy Hump Day!

Oh dear! I just Googled “count your blessings” to discover it was a hymn! And some chap on U-tube has rapped it! Good grief!

Friday, 1 August 2008

10 hours to go!!!!!!

14 Hours to go!!!!

I have been insanely, INSANELY excited all day today!!!! It has been difficult to swallow and completly impossible to eat. I have to sleep tonight - how? I have to get up at 6am to get to the airport in time - how? I know I am going to fall asleep at 5am after driving myself nuts all night and then miss the alarm!!! I know it! Oh my God, I cant think for excitement! Is this normal I have to ask myself? I am 47, surely to goodness, this is not normal!!!?

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Goffy Come Home!!!

So, this is all I've seen of this man for the last 8 weeks! It has felt like 8 years! Well, OK, that's a bit of an exageration.....but you get the picture! He has signed off skype now and is incommunicado until he texts from Ndola and then several hours after that, Johannesberg, and then, thank Gaia, HOME! Home again. He has a nasty habit of getting into the airport before the aeroplane! You think I jest? No, no gentle reader. The plane is due to land at 7.25 and Lo! The Goffman cometh at 7.15! How does he do it? I'm damned if I know, but there he is, as large as life and as cuddly and wonderful as its possible to be after 8 weeks of camming on skype.

But there I shall stop, before I get altogether too gooey and make anyone sick! He he! Just 57 hours to go. Yay!

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Letter to my Daughter

Dearest Claire

I would like to appeal to your sense of time running short. The brevity of life. The waste of lost opportunities. Perhaps you have not felt that yet. The sense of life galloping by at an increased pace seemingly every year. I feel it constantly.

I have always felt that any problems at all can be worked out by two willing people. With honesty and transparency on both sides, anything, surely, can be resolved, explained, understood, accepted, compromised over and finally forgiven.

I am willing and more than willing to "come to the table" with you.

You are my daughter and I love you dearly. That will never change. There are no circumstances that will change my feelings for you. There are no "last ditch efforts", I will try, to the end of my days, to patch things up with you. There will always be a hole in my life until you are there to fill it again.

I am consoled in the thought of you being happy in your life. Happy in your marriage with Simon and happy in your studies. I am consoled in the thought of you still in close contact with your father and his family. I am consoled in the knowledge of your youth and health.

I am bereft at the thought of losing you out of my life. You are my daughter - with all the connotations of that word, and I love you dearly and I miss you enormously.

Time heals everything? Has enough time passed for you to want to try to come together again?

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Ordeal by Golf

A pleasant breeze played among the trees on the terrace outside the Marvis Bay Golf and Country Club. It ruffled the leaves and cooled the forehead of the Oldest Member, who, as was his custom of a Saturday afternoon, sat in the shade on a rocking-chair, observing the younger generation as it hooked and sliced in the valley below. The eye of the oldest Member was thoughtful and reflective. When it looked into yours you saw in it that perfect peace, that peace beyond understanding, which comes at its maximum only to the man who has given up golf.

The Oldest Member has not played golf since the rubber-cored ball superseded the old dignified gutty. But as a spectator and philosopher he still finds pleasure in the pastime. He is watching it now with keen interest. His gaze, passing from the lemonade which he is sucking through a straw, rests upon the Saturday foursome which is struggling raggedly up the hill to the ninth green. Like all Saturday foursomes, it is in difficulties. One of the patients is zigzagging about the fairway like a liner pursued by submarines. Two others seem to be digging for buried treasure, unless--it is too far off to be certain--they are killing snakes. The remaining cripple, who has just foozled a mashie-shot, is blaming his caddie. His voice, as he upbraids the innocent child for breathing during his up-swing, comes clearly up the hill.

The Oldest Member sighs. His lemonade gives a sympathetic gurgle. He puts it down on the table.

* * * * *

How few men, says the Oldest Member, possess the proper golfing temperament! How few indeed, judging by the sights I see here on Saturday afternoons, possess any qualification at all for golf except a pair of baggy knickerbockers and enough money to enable them to pay for the drinks at the end of the round. The ideal golfer never loses his temper. When I played, I never lost my temper. Sometimes, it is true, I may, after missing a shot, have broken my club across my knees; but I did it in a calm and judicial spirit, because the club was obviously no good and I was going to get another one anyway. To lose one's temper at golf is foolish. It gets you nothing, not even relief. Imitate the spirit of Marcus Aurelius. "Whatever may befall thee," says that great man in his "Meditations", "it was preordained for thee from everlasting. Nothing happens to anybody which he is not fitted by nature to bear." I like to think that this noble thought came to him after he had sliced a couple of new balls into the woods, and that he jotted it down on the back of his score-card. For there can be no doubt that the man was a golfer, and a bad golfer at that. Nobody who had not had a short putt stop on the edge of the hole could possibly have written the words: "That which makes the man no worse than he was makes life no worse. It has no power to harm, without or within." Yes, Marcus Aurelius undoubtedly played golf, and all the evidence seems to indicate that he rarely went round in under a hundred and twenty. The niblick was his club.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Ergh, I'm sick, where's the Chicken Soup?

Grandma’s Chicken Soup made by Carrie

The correct and proper way to make the most effective soup follows. I found this method when dying of a cold (today) and needing sustenance, comfort and nourishment and have realised that THIS is the way to do it..... absolutely......

Stock Ingredients

Additive – free chicken stock, 1L
Extra water (boiling) to cover everything in the pan
Two chicken frames
Carrots, cut into large slices – lots
Celery, ditto carrots – lots
Red pepper – one, with the bad bits cut out :o)
Two large onions, roughly sliced
Garlic, barely crushed – lots
Any herb or spice you can find in your cupboard – I used bay leaves (about 6 or so),
cumin seeds, coriander seeds, dried thyme, salt rocks (about 6), black pepper corns (making sure to leave the lid half unscrewed before putting away – this is ESSENTIAL)

Brown the chicken frames in a very large stock pot using light olive oil. Bung in everything else and boil the bejeezus out of it for as long as possible. Stir every so often. Once the chicken frames fall apart, you are well on the way. The idea being to get all the flavour and anti-cold goodies out of everything before throwing it away. But remembering to keep the liquid, that being the essential bit. Yes.

Sit down while the miracles happen inside the stock pot. Drink brandy in hot milk and try not to fall asleep.

Here comes the interesting part.

Soup Ingredients

One whole chicken – skinned (such fun!)
4 carrots, chopped
1 large onion, cut in half and sliced
6 sticks of celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, squished through a press
1 head of broccoli, chopped into largish pieces
2 sweetcorn thingys, not sure these were a very good idea though – they stay crunchy, so are OK if you like crunchy, omit if not.
Chicken stock – see recipe above
Extra water, plus extra frozen vegetable water from other occasions that you might find in the freezer, plus extra chicken stock that you might find in the cupboard (every bit helps)
Herbs – whatever you fancy and whatever is to hand, the more the merrier (How’s that brandy going down? Top up glass)
Peppercorns – precisely 58 (you’ll see why in a minute)

Brown the skinned chicken in a very large stock pot – preferably another one, if not, you have the pleasure of draining the first stock pot at this point and washing it up before continuing. Remember to keep the liquid and throw everything else away (after you have picked bits out and eaten them because you are so damn hungry. Top up the brandy)

Bung in all the other ingredients apart from the stock and the broccoli, keep that on one side for now. Stir it all around to heat it up etc. Add the garlic using a garlic press (I have a magic one that you don’t need to skin the garlic first – just bung it in and press away – marvellouso).

Very carefully grind in some pepper – have the lid come off at this point and precisely 58 peppercorns fall out into the pot of vegetables and hot chicken. Spend 30 minutes dismantling the vegetables and chicken and picking out all of the peppercorns – I told you this was the fun part! Re-dose yourself with brandy to keep going at this point.

Reassemble the ingredients once again. Add the stock and extra water etc until the chicken and veggies are just covered. Boil the mess until it turns into SOUP as if by magic! When chicken falls off bones, it is cooked. Add the broccoli at this point and gently simmer for another 5 mins.

Dish up and eat as soon as possible as you are probably famished and on your last legs, not to mention tiddley. Go to bed. Take more brandy with you. And a hot water bottle.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Study finished! Exam done!

Oh thank goodness! Three semesters of study, final exam done today. I came out of the exam room feeling as if I'd had a mind wipe! Completely empty! So, I have enjoyed it and have learnt an enormous amount. In fact just about everything I now know about Safety and Health, I have learnt from this course, but I must admit the online process has been extra-ordinarily hard! And although I never say "never" I feel like shouting to the heavens "NEVER AGAIN". This process nearly cost me my sanity at the beginning of the year, I had to fight back. But. I'm done, it's finished and I now have free time again. No more guilt about doing other stuff instead of study. I am going to start painting again, that will be nice! Leisure time. ha ha! Lovely. Watch this space!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Alone, together, alone!

And here I am, alone again. The Goff Man blows in for a fortnight from the jungles of Africa and then breezes off again. Ah well, exam tomorrow and then I am a time-rich woman. A tad worried maybe, until the results come through, but there is nothing to be done but wait and with fingers crossed, carry on with life.

Margaret River is beautiful at this time of year. The Goff and I took ourselves off for a spot of well deserved R&R(in his case - 8 weeks worth of 12 hour days/13 days a fortnight of constant work) - (in my case - excessive amounts of study and worry over various facets of life and so also "well deserved" or at least happily deserved!). We stayed in the eco-resort in paradise or some such name - my word, it was lovely. A cabin in the wilds of the woods. Didn't see a soul the whole time.

There was a jet black lake, full of reflections of white barked trees, so many birds (those tiny blue ones were particularly sweet [not with gravy, you barbarian!]), pot belly fire (amazing how hot you can get those things, especially with a bit of effort and a fire-loving Leo!), spa (amazing how long you can stay in one of those, especially by a water-loving, water-logged Pisces!), the bloomin' works! Super.

We have had so much rain that everything is really green, looked just like England, at its best and not a spot of rain or a cloud in sight for four days. The essential four days - our four days! (So not much like England in that regard then) When we came back the wind blew a gale and ripped my shade sail from end to end (reminder to self - phone nice insurance chappies!) But for the time away, the weather was glorious, as was the wine, beer, food, chocolate, caves, coast line and wild-life. And not so wild life - the place is awash with animals - deer, complete with full array of antlers; sheep, complete with obligatory tiny lambs (baaaah); cows, gambolling in the fields - yes, truly! I saw them! Am fairly sure I was sober at the time. Not to mention the usual things in the roadside verges - one dead roo (shame) and a mattress. There is always a mattress somewhere, usually in the complete wilds, nowhere near a house of any description. Shame it was nowhere near that roo really. Might have helped it to bounce back from its knock with life?

So, after a fortnight of excellent food (Woody Nook winery - ever been there? Go! Go and eat, the chef is a genius!) and gallons of vino, I now have a six week wait for the accumulated weight to melt away (har de har!) and for the Goff to return from the Dark Continent. Pass the wine.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

YouTube - John Butler Trio - Peaches & Cream

YouTube - John Butler Trio - Peaches & Cream

Ah - JBT! The wonderful John Butler. How good is this man? Soul and feeling, talent and genius, what more can anyone ask of life's great gene lottery? Brilliant! (The line under the title is a link to U-tube by the way, anyone know how to embed this instead?)

Sunday, 25 May 2008

It's those damn hormones!

Oh, this is good then, this is fine and damn dandy! I am 47 and have just developed PMS! How marvelous. I had wondered what was going on, I've had blood tests and allergy tests, I've taken myself off painkillers in case they were the culprits, I darent even SNIFF a slice of bread!

Last night my feet swelled up - hello - what's going on here then? What are those at the ends of my legs, not mine surely? This morning it took me a full 30 minutes to be able to move when I woke up I was SO exhausted! Last week, I would have actually sold my grandmother, if I had one, for a bar of chocolate, we are going way past cravings here now! We are talking grandmothericideal tendencies! Probably certifiable tendencies! Today - and this is what made the penny finally drop for me (combined with the fact that my stomach was resembling a pillow stuffed up my jumper) - someone phoned me about a wetsuit I have advertised for sale. The woman asked me a simple question, the answer to which was actually written in the ad. I did manage to stay civil to her - just - but when I hung up I really let rip! Out loud and in a most vociferous manner! Quite unlike my usual sunny, forgiving self. My son accused me of being grumpy before I'd even opened my mouth.

In the supermarket today, I realised I was standing in front of the biscuits and had been standing in front of the biscuits for approximately 5 minutes. I wasn't even trying to choose between delicious iced vovo's and delightful tim tam's, no, I was in some sort of "dream zone", and it wasn't until I had been bumped into three times by impatient biscuit shoppers that I realised I was still there, in front of something I didnt actually want. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!

What is going on? This is not menopause - all is well there, blood tests tell the tale of hale and hearty health, then why, oh why, do I feel the need to GRRRRRRRHOIRURTLAJGOAIRRRRRRRRRYRTGOQ;GOIW!!!!#*#! everywhere? On a regular basis and for hardly any provocation? And why does it feel so damn GOOD!!! Hmmm?

Well, it's those damn hormones isn't it? Good grief! What next I wonder? In the meantime, Ggrrrrrrrrraoitlkajgoaiu*$^&^&@@(JGRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Empty computer, empty head!

I have bought a new computer! It will take a fortnight or so to get here and when it does, it will be a nice Flamingo Pink, lovely, innit? While negotiating the price etc. on the phone, with a nice man called Ben, who had a very strong and strange accent, and had a tendency to talk at the speed of light, mainly in a whisper, I was persuaded to buy a couple of add-ons, the way you do, especially when you can't really hear what is being said. Anyway, it all sounded like a good deal! So I went ahead. When the confirmation fax came through (3 pages on A3 paper, 5 times!) I read it, (amazing I know), to discover that the dear computer is coming without any software. Why, why do they do that? What is the point of selling computers to idiots, without any software? WE are IDIOTS out here! Hello? Der! Ah well, there you go. Another phone call, yet more money.

Anyway, as I was walking tonight, in the rain (autumn, Australia, wet) and it occured to me (while I was changing my shoes) how pink my feet were. From there I got to something very profound about my personal running system being similar to Vista and my sofware, such as it is, being compared to Windows 2007 (not being a cheapskate and wanting the most up-to-date, even in celestial terms) but for the life of me I can't remember my thinking at the time. The reasoning completely escapes me now! Which is a worry.

I was walking into Subi for the pleasant walk and for the lovely, cool, damp air and woody smells, but as everyone knows, Subi is a highly dangerous place for a woman. Especially a woman with a credit card. And it must be the delights of the shopping emporiums that have totally deleted the evenings profoundities and uncommonly original ideas! Shopping is so delicious, it empties your head! Well, mine, anyway. There was a really nice, pink, long-sleeved top.......

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Yoof speak versus Jeeves, What Ho!

Sometimes the mood is unexplicably UP. Aint it? And you can have so much fun teasing your loved ones! There they are, at a loss as to wot exactly you are talking about, as you rib them unmercifully! And then, ah! there it is, the little "plunk" as the penny drops! Oh! But then, the barbed shaft is returned as they turn the tables on you! And back and forf the jesting goes! Excellent. Innit? :o)

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Marvellous amount of exercise

I fancied cycling to work yesterday, looked out the window - black clouds - bad. Checked the forecast - rain - bad. Decided it was too dodgy and drove instead. It didn't rain, needless to say. This morning I really fancied cycling. Looked out the window - black clouds - bad. Checked the forecast - rain - bad. BUT. Not going to be fooled again. So, I cocked a snooke and went anyway! Ha ha!
This was a mistake. I realise that now, the fates had it in for me today. I left the house at 7.58am. At 8.03 there was a smattering of drops on my head. Never mind - it's only water, carry on. By 8.05 the spit spot on my helmet has turned into a pitter patter. By 8.10 the sound is resembling bing bong, bing a bong. And after that it all becomes a bit of a blur really. A watery, curtain-like blur. My shoes are full of water, my trousers are dripping and have become strangely elongated so that they are now catching on bits of the bike and not letting me push the pedals. My jumper - cotton - is becoming very skin-hugging and heavy. I stop, take off the offending jumper and stuff it into the bike bag, along with a fair amount of the wet stuff. Put on my waterproof, lovely goretex, bought it in the Lake District during an English summer, which this is now resembling. Of course, it is completely waterproof, it's been thoroughly tested during that memorable English summer, I know it's capabilities. However, they work best when you are dry to begin with, capiche?

By now I have become resigned to the water and also think I am looking overly optimistic in my sunnies, so I take them off too. Now though the rain is hitting my eyeballs with amazing force and I can't see! And that damn rain stings! What do they PUT in rain nowadays? By this time, the water is running into my ears in rivulets, which makes quite a good seal for the ipod earplugs funnily enough. And there is a curtain of water falling off my helmet. I am cycling on the path because there is now a river flowing down the road, and every time a car goes past, the river is displaced onto me, mainly.

So, I struggle on, womanfully. Am actually having a really good time, it's not often you get to play in the rain like this. The journey takes me an hour. Normally it takes 40 mins, tops. It must be the thickness of water or something. I arrive at work and present myself in the office, water streaming off me. By this time, you will understand, the rain has stopped and the sunnies are a necessity again, and everyone is surprised to see the state of me. "What have you been doing?" "Fall into a lake?" "Cycle through the surf?" Er, no, actually. "What rain? Its lovely and sunny out there!"

One shower later - clothes hanging up in the hope they will dry (they don't) - clean but wet clothes on (they got wet in my bag) and I'm ready for the day. Damp but ready.

End of the day (yes, there's more), I can't wear my cycling clothes, still too wet. Shoes may never recover and weigh 10kgs each. So, I venture out into the broad daylight with my trousers tucked into my popsocks! Oh joy! Plus fours! (Should that be plusfours?) I am fairly sure I look pretty damn sassy in plusfours! Must investigate these for the golf course. So, off I trot, looking the bees knees, the ducks britches, etc, etc. Lovely. Am hardly damp at all. It's a 15km journey, not far, on two tyres. On one tyre however, it is considerably further. After about 5km the bike becomes strangely wobbly.
I carry on womanfully, wondering if I should have eaten something before setting out as the strength seems to have gone out of my legs, the pedals are becoming increasingly hard to turn. And wobblier and wobblier. Oh dear. OK, I have a pump, all is not lost. It's quite hot work, pumping up a completely flat tyre. At least it's getting dark, so I don't look an idiot because I am invisible now. After all, am in black office clothes and plusfours. I manage another 10 turns of the pedals before the bike gets wobblier and wobblier..... hmmmm. Right then, the garage 2km away has an air line - oh, silly me, it's broken, of course it is. Just as well I have boots on for the walk, hey? So, the journey this morning took one hour. This evening it took two hours. That's a marvellous amount of exercise, ain't it?

Monday, 14 April 2008

Upgrades versus downgrades.

I had a very revealing conversation with my son over the weekend. As a consequence of this conversation I have formulated a very important life-principle. Or theory, or somesuch. I think I might patent it. Or publish it. Or something similar. I believe we were talking about various disasters that happen to us on a regular basis and our own reactions to them.

For instance, a while ago now, I inadvertently set fire to my kitchen. Nothing too serious, certainly it was stupid, but total annihilation was easily averted. The gas was on. A rather large cockroach wandered across my knife block as I was cooking. The gas was on. Can you see where this is going yet? I dont like cockroaches much, despite the fact that they too are creatures of the Great Gaia. I especially am not keen on them when they fly. Especially when they are two inches long to begin with. And they make this sort of rattling sound when they fly AND, they are very agile little fliers to boot. And so, I feel it is imperative to get them before they become airborne really. Therefore, I tootled off to the laundry poste haste, to avail myself of the bug spray. I repeat - the gas was on. My brain was not. I sprayed the little blighter and was quite surprised at what came out of the nozzle - not the usual amount of spray stuff certainly, more a flame thrower really. Interesting, ne c'est pa?

The cockroach attempted to have it away on his 6 (or is it 8?) toes but did not succeed in the ensuing firestorm and instead, got toasted and roasted. The kitchen roll similarly burst into flames. Amazing what they put into cans of fly spray nowadays, you wouldn't think it was a very safe thing to do, especially considering all the idiots that there are out there - oh, the gas was on!!! Well, there's that puzzle solved then, shame I can't apply the same logic to world peace really. Anyway, my reaction to this little drama was to shout out, multiple times and possibly in multiple languages, "OH FUCK"!!!!! It was a serious enough event for it to reboot my "OH FUCK" programme and update it. See? Learning programme. I will never again spray across the top of a lit gas flame however great the provocation. My "OH FUCK" programme will see to that.

On the other hand, my son had a little event also. Repeatedly. He carried out his little event multiple times. Also a gas story. You know when you put a large pan on the hob and then try to light the gas with the automatic lighting thingy? The automatic lighting thingy that never works first go? Or second go? And sometimes even on the THIRD go, the gas stays stubbornly gaseous and smelly and not at all hot or blue? If the pan is big enough, and you are having trouble with your "Oh Shit" and "OH FUCK" program settings, you dont know the gas is still gaseous, so you give it one more little click because you quite like the little clickety sound it makes and are consequently quite surprised when the whole cook-top goes "WOOF"!!!! The gas is certainly alight now, and so is your own hand, and the kitchen towel and any circumnavigating cockroaches who were missed on a previous occasion by the flame thrower from hell.

If the gas board only knew what the members of the public got up to with their gas, they wouldn't be quite so free with supplying it to all and sundry! You'd have to take an exam in it at least and even then, they might say - "NO! Be off with you, wretched useless people! You may NOT use this lovely gas, you are an IDIOT!" etc. My son's reaction to his lighting the gas in this fashion, each time, was "Oh shit" as opposed to my "OH FUCK", can you see the difference here? You can see this is not at all appropriate to the preservation of life and limb in the future, can't you? He really needs his program upgrading. His "Oh Shit" really needs to be upgraded to "OH FUCK", this would be why he has continued to carry out his little event until his hands are completly devoid of hairs, them all being singed off. And some still attached in that small, curly way that singed hairs have when they do not want to part company with their owner.

We continued chewing the fat, the way you do when you both have had a snifter or two, and further developed this idea. My "OH FUCK" is used rather too frequently, due to the previous life experiences of giving birth to aliens in the guise of human babies. My settings are much too sensitive, enough to rattle the nerves of any passing pedestrians. I really need a downgrade. My sons settings on his "Oh Shit" program, on the other hand, really need tweaking upwards. This due of course to the fact that he is a fireproof teenager (just as well really, due to the previously discussed tendencies of his mother and himself!) and of course, the pivotal thing here, is devoid of babies at the present time. So we reckon we'll be just fine, if we can just figure out HOW to alter the damn settings!

Friday, 11 April 2008

Lovely Friday

Well, what a marvellous day I have had today and its a Friday and it's not finished yet! First up was waking up to a quiet house and no weird comedians swearing and cussing at 89 decibels (I live with a teenager - it's amazing what they like to listen to at 7am at precisely 89 decibels!)

Secondly, was finding a parking space! The last one in the road. And not having to reverse park into it - not that I am frightened of reverse parking you understand, I thrive on it, THRIVE :o)

Thirdly, was sitting in on a really surreal interview, it was up there in the strange-stakes I can tell you. Lovely candidate, hardly any English-speaking skills at all. This is for a support position in a laboratory I might add, a position that requires a modicum of English on a daily basis really..... anyway, by the end of this very strange interview, where we gave up asking any questions because no-one understood anyone else in the room.... I, for one was exhausted! Knackered! God knows what the candidate (lovely person) felt like, but I felt like I'd had my brains sucked out and replaced with fizzy glue! (I can assure you there is such a substance and it was inside my head!) What can be good about that, I hear you mutter into your cup of tea? (Earl Grey?) I will tell you - the other interviewer felt exactly the same! Joy! It is not only me that gets affected this way but other people too - and we're not talking female blondenesses here, this was a chap! I am normal after all, hurrah! That made me feel SO much better - still glued up and fizzy but MUCH better anyway! The two of us made faces and arm waving motions around our own heads to try to describe the affects of fizzy glue. We probably looked quite amusing really... wish I'd been there to see it.

Fourthly, was a training session that I arranged and people turned up to!!!! It does not take much to make me happy and this was enough to have me quietly fizzing away (without the glue!). The training was quite normal but not too boring, no-one tried to trip me up on the way out of the room, no-one fell asleep, or at least didn't snore out loud (although I wasn't scanning the room for the tell-tale head-nods) and yet another lovely, safety message has been got across to the troops! Marvellous! Wonderful! And now, it's the weekend. Game of golf anyone? What ho! :o)


"I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wraps my existence about you, and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one."

“My spirits were excited, and with pleasure and ease I talked to him during supper, and for a long time after. There was no harassing restraint, no repressing of glee and vivacity with him; for with him I was at perfect ease, because I knew I suited him; all I said or did seemed either to console or revive him. Delightful consciousness! It brought to life and light my whole nature: in his presence I thoroughly lived; and he lived in mine.”

Wednesday, 2 April 2008


I have been quite busy having a fashionable stress attack, a minor nervous breakdown, an attack of the vapours. What did authors of Jane Austins ilk call it? Ah yes, "hysteria". Thank you Mr Google! I Googled "attack of the vapours" and read all about Plato, Hippocrates (who is not the father of hysteria apparently, who would have thought it? My word!), the Inquisition, the Holocaust and the uterus! Very interesting reading - quite enough to give me another attack of the vapours, quite frankly!

And so, here I am again, in partial control certainly, of my own thoughts and feelings, thanks in very great part to my friends. I have to include my boss in this category who has sent me off on various courses, to counselling, and indirectly to meditation classes. My boss is also the one who calms me down when I am about to go stratospheric again, "Now Carrie, remember, calm and calm and c a l m...." :o) Funnily enough, I do not want to bean him when he does that - I must be in a bad way?

And not forgetting my very good friend the Goff Man who breezes in from Africa for a week at a time, talks to me like a cherished friend (despite the fact that I certainly do not deserve it) and then toodles off again leaving me in a much more sane frame of mind.

So, I am taking the long view and the c a l m view. I will resume writing the Blog and attempting to record the funny stuff that happens every day..... I can't think of any right at this moment, but am sure something will bump into me in an amusing fashion very soon! If I pay attention. Ha ha! There.

Friday, 29 February 2008

Lawn Bowls!

Good gracious, I've found yet another sport that I'm jolly crap at! But you know, I think this is really a drinking game, not a proper sport. You know, like strip poker or darts. Not that I've ever heard of strip bowls and really, with all those mosquitos flying around at dusk, it may not be the wisest thing to indulge in. And strip darts just doesn't bear thinking about. But I stray from the point; I think. Anyway, we were all pretty crap together, all work mates none of us having played before, cheap beer provided, bandicoots laid on for our entertainment! I thought bandicoots were the sole property of Playstation, but no! They live and breathe in Leeming, on the lawn bowls green. Aaaah, how cute. Even after several beers. Yep, still cute.

What was quite funny were the proprietors - they gave us instruction (in ever more disbelieving tones) and cooked a sausage sizzle. While cooking they were overheard by one highly amused player to say "They are taking a long time aren't they?" "Yes, and what are they doing now?" "I dont know, er, well..... my god, they've stopped to EAT!" Yes, there we all were, eating! And the bowls waited on the lawn for us to get back to them. Aaah, and there's the bandicoots again.

Thirteen ends. Took us about three hours, apparently this is a long time, in fact no-one managed a whole 13 ends and my team only got to six, it would have been seven if the Chinese captain of our opposing team hadn't had the brilliant, innovative idea of clearing away all the bowls that came near to the kitty (little white ball, to the uninitiated!). He only did this on the 7th end, not sure why it took him that long to come up with this marvellous scheme - maybe he'd had enough by then and wanted to hurry us along? I know I had suggested we played turbo-charged bowls to get us going again after the gastronomic delights of the sausages - but am fairly sure I didnt mean picking up all the bowls before they even stopped rolling. We didn't like to mention it as his English wasn't all that good. Didn't want to upset him really, we just got another beer in instead and Oh! Is that sausage going spare?

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Answer from the ether!

My word! That was quick! The Universe has answered me already, I only sent out the wail yesterday!

I have been sent on a communication course, "how to get on with your workmates" - maybe I mentioned it. Today, so much of this course was concerned with anger management and I dont DO anger, I literally dont get angry, so I was feeling more and more hurt and confused as to why I was actually on the damn course! But, it has been very interesting and I have learnt some techniques of how to deal with my anger if it ever arises and I feel the need to become Mrs Angry. I'm ready prepared to cure it, so to speak! Anyway, yesterdays wail into the ether has been answered! In its entirety! Oh my word. The jury is still out on a couple of things and there are, of course, some unaddressed issues and some unfinished business, but I have a promise from someone I trust, that there will be more info tomorrow that will help the situation I am in. Not only have I got some answers here but I will be getting strategies to combat the issues I am facing. The weirdness is about to unweird to a degree. Hopefully. Which is good, because I can't actually take much more - and if that's the mental attitude I have, then that's final, isnt it? It's all downhill from here. I am just so tired right now, my job is making me uber-tired. And I've had my bloods checked, there's nothing wrong with me, I am fit and well, (and NOT menopausal yay!) the tiredness comes from my mind.

The reason being, I am an extrovert, intuitive, feeling, perceptive type. An ENFP in fact. The Myers-Griggs (I think) personality type. And I am surrounded at work by introvert, sensing, thinking, judging types - ISTJ's! There you go, explains it all, in a nutshell. Clear as mud? Boiled down, means that I have an unpleasant message to give to people (safety and health - never good!) and I am giving it to them in a way they find offensive and exhausting. I am that high energy, highly committed, intense and exhausting bloody pain in the arse that no-one wants to see or hear from. I am enthusing all over people in a most annoying manner, they are complaining to the powers that be, who are then not backing me up but attempting to shut me up for the quiet life, for the sake of harmony within Academia. Quietly, softly, silently, lets not make waves, lets take our time and go slowly, slowly, s l o w l y. Do I hear full stop?

As for connecting the dots from my past with the new (and I believe now, erroneouse information) of "bad communicator" well, that's just plain wrong. My ex-husband was just a bastard who betrayed me. May he be infested with the fleas from a thousand camels! I do not NEED to forgive him. He did not "fall out of love" with me, he was just a bastard for doing the dirty on me and for nearly ruining my son in the process. From the age of 8, that child had been continuously belittled and mocked until he got to the point of nearly total withdrawal and stonewalling. I didn't realise the strength of the nastiness until my ex turned it onto me, it's devastating, totally and utterly devastating and my son lived with it for 10 years, from the man who was his hero. My son is still in recovery, lets face it, he is doing superbly well, but he is not cured yet, will he ever be? My daughters head was so screwed up, she ran off and married someone the age of her father. So screwed up she has now cut off every one of her family support system until all she has is her husband (45) and her father (46). Healthy? I dont think so. I am making it sound as if it was all my ex's fault, aren't I? It cant have been, so much of the pain I feel when looking at my children, is that this is my fault. I was there. I did not protect them from this barrage of bad feeling and accusation. I was there protecting my ex-husband! How did I manage to do that? How did I get the story so wrong? So arse about face!? I was there, with my rose tinted spectacles on, thinking everything was for my ex, he was right and he needed my support, what he needed in actuality was a fucking big kick up the arse! What my children needed was for me to notice. To stick up for them instead of trying to smooth things over, to keep everyone happy and arguement-free. I do have regrets, the further away I get from that time of my life, the bigger and more encompassing become those regrets. Which is probably a sign of my own recovery at least. My son is with me now and every day, I let him know how much he means to me and how well I think he is doing. I just hope it is not too little, too late. As for my daughter, well, I have to wait, just wait.

Back to the work issue, I know the messages I can send by email can be misconstrued in tone, and they certainly deliver a message that no-one wants to hear - safety and health, of course no-one wants to hear that! But I also know that no-one gets the wrong message or is offended or gets upset with a face to face meeting with me - they cant - I dont DO offense. My strength is my frontal approach, I have a smile, I use it, I have humour - I certainly use that, its my emails that can be a problem. So, you see before you a reformed email user. But a future habitual user of taxi's, I am going to go back and forth between the sites by taxi, and work will pay, and meetings face to face will occur and emails to follow up will happen, and the message will get across. It's my job, its what I do, and they will have to listen to what I have to say and they will not be running off to the Director and whining any more.

Does that sound like a plan? And of course, I now know that being an extrovert, means that this is how I think and process information, by talking it through with someone. Or with lots of someones! The introverts like to think quietly, and come to their own conclusions, I broadcast it out there, and that's why I am so exhausting, but, I'm sorry, this is my job and they are going to have to listen! :o)

As for the albatross thing, well, I suppose that will have to wait. I will fly around up here for a while longer and see if I bump into any fish!!!!!

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Gap, hole, yawning chasm.

We become immersed in our own problems don't we? To the exclusion of all else? So that the problem becomes all-consuming if it is not talked about? Am I the only one who has noticed this phenomenon? I cant be, surely. We are all the same. A problem shared is a problem halved, after all. This is related to me feeling like an albatross. Despite some severe self-talk, I am still there - a lone albatross, this is not good for a Pisces! I am used to feeling "fishy" and here I am now, above the clouds in solitary splendour with my heart aching and wondering what I did wrong! It's been three years (in three weeks) since my world came unglued - why is it only now that I am feeling the exquistely painful loss of someone to talk to on an everyday basis? Someone that you dont have to explain everything to, they understand you so well and can give advice and comfort, in equal degree.

I suppose it is highlighted by the fact of having the legs taken out from under me on this latest work debacle. Self-doubt is gnawing at me. I have taken all the past happenings and have put new interpretations on them, am I wrong to connect up all the dots like this? Is it erroneous thinking? Or are all the clues there and I have missed them before, there is no smoke without fire, am I, after all, a terrible communicator who has been creating all my own and everyone elses problems? Or is my new boss not just not fully in the picture and needing to be seen to be doing something constructive with his new team? I dont know, I dont know! And my head is in such a mess and my heart is hurting so badly that I can not be an effective judge of my own abilities anymore.

My husband, when he was my husband and still my "soulmate", would have been able to help. Right now, I dont know where to go for the relief that I need from my whirling head and thoughts. And when there are problems and issues that are going on and need talk, talk, talk, the fact of the gap becomes unbearable. The gap becomes a yawning chasm and I, am at the bottom of it! Yet another silent wail into the ether!

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Trust the Universe (dammit!)

I'm beginning to think I may be quite a stupid individual. It's funny how some things just take forever to sink in. Or maybe its that some things are so close to you that it takes a surprising amount of time for the importance of that thing to become apparent?

I have been feeling like crap for the past week or so, I have been sick so that's some excuse I suppose, but the main reason is, just being alone. It sucks, you know? I am wondering how long I can do this, bloody being by myself malarky, it sucks! I'm not enjoying it! Further, I'm actively hating it! So, here am I, feeling all sorry for myself (I'm good at that, it's one of my talents) and here we have the weekend phone calls from overseas and here am I putting all sorts of brave faces on, complete with brave voices, for the benefit of the various rellies and friends who all want to know that I am OK. "Are you okay?" "Good. And are you Happy?" "Gooooooooooood" and that's what they need to know, that I am OK and fine and well, and still alive and not pining away - but Hello! I'm pining away! What is particularly hard is when they ask if I have a boyfriend right now and then say "Good" when I say no! Why do they all think that what I need is to be alone? I know I get myself into trouble on a regular basis but really!

So, I tell myself to not be so stupid and that everything is fine, fine. I have a good job, a son, good and excellent friends, a house - it could all be terrible but it isnt! Life is good, its very, very good. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, you pathetic woman. Plus, overnight on Monday, I got a whole year older! Crap! And I'm still alone! So, that's my week.

Then, I talk to two particular friends today to realise that (of course) they are both in exactly the same place I am in! Exactly, and I mean Identical. And then when I think about it properly and not in my "oh woe is me" mode, several of my friends are here too. We're in this together but alone! (har de har!) We are all animals after all and what we do best is coupling. Twosomes. We like to confide and to be confided in, we like to snuggle up, we like to help our mate. And when the mate is absent or there is no mate, it hurts. It hurts. Shit, it hurts. But it hurts for all of us, I am not alone in this sink. Am I?

In one of the many books I am reading at the moment, (ah, yes, I have looked, am reading so many books at once, I cant find it!) it says, that life is all about love. My interpretation of that is very simple, it's what we are here for. Just to love and to learn how to love and how to accept love, just how - How to Love. And to spend our lives doing just that. Love our children, parents, partners, work colleagues, complete strangers, the human race, the planet! But of course, the big one is love for your partner. And there is no partner.

I have to stop thinking of myself in avian terms - I am not an albatross! Really, I'm not! We do love again, I do not need to pine away for lack of love! (It's a mess inside my head, I swear!) I just have to be patient and to trust to the Universe that everything will work out for the best for lil' ol' me! Gosh, that's so hard some days! For us all though, for us all. And in the meantime, it's Sunday night and, thank god, I am allowed back in to work tomorrow!

Birthday Treats!

I have a wonderful son, who, for my birthday, bought tickets for the two of us to go to A Midsummer Nights Dream at His Majestys Theatre last night. Brilliant night! Wonderful, marvellous, stupendous!!! It was in six Indian languages and English, just enough English to be able to follow the story. Dinner and wine first, theatre and wine second and wine (hic) third! Lovely!