Monday, October 19, 2009

Things I know for sure

While doing some reading of the Oprah kind (oh, bite me...), I realised that some of the things she knows for sure are things I, too, know and then there are things that I've discovered on the special path of Shaz. Here goes:



I KNOW THAT:


  1. What you put out comes back all the time, no matter what. (I really, really beleive this one!)

  2. Hot drinks should not be filled to the brim in a thermos (or else they explode and make a BIG mess).

  3. Failure is a signpost to turn you in another direction.

  4. Trust your instincts. Intuition doesn't lie.

  5. Being a mother is the hardest job on earth.

  6. Being creative is one thing but dates and bean shoots are revolting in an omelette.

  7. Doubt means don't. Don't move. Don't answer. Don't rush forward.

  8. Trouble don't last always.

  9. This, too, shall pass.

  10. Don't be scared to try the road less travelled. It is better in a 4WD drive, however.

  11. Bacon IS food of the gods.

  12. The moment between the time that you press your lips to a much-anticipated cup of coffee and the realisation that someone replaced the sugar with salt........is heaven and hell all rolled into one.

  13. That the geeky, nerdy IT role-playing Star-Wars-loving guy will actually become your husband and, ultimately, the deepest love of your life.

  14. Answering the work phone with "1-800-SPANK-ME" will not guarantee you job security.

  15. When the going gets tough, the rocks come to the surface while the wood sinks to the bottom. (I KNOW this one really well, too!)

  16. The only true biological relationship that exists in family begins with the heart.

  17. If you KNOW coconut doesn't agree with you, constantly challenging it doesn't change the outcome.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

My Samoa


I've talked about this a fair bit on Facebook and, I guess, it's my way of purging the storm that's going on inside me. Some of you may pass this off as melodramatic and over the top but this is what's inside me.

The tsunami and earthquake that hit Samoa last week has affected me more than any other natural disaster. It has taken my natural joy and hidden it behind a big cloud of pain for the time being. I've travelled around a fair bit of the world and I've not been touched by any of the countries as much as I've been touched by Samoa and it's people.
How do I draw a picture of the most gracious and gentle people to you? How can I open my heart and show you each fingerprint of the many hearts that gave and gave to me and my family and friends without expecting one thing back in return?
If honesty was a place and truth and integrity had a map, then it would be Samoa. The breezes are gentle, the waves that lap their shores are soothing and nurturing, the constant sunshine heals and no matter where you are, there is a silent yet subtle gentle breathing in and breathing out, like the rhythm of a gentle tide.

So to have nature wreak this violence on this beautiful Pacific island and it's gorgeous people is inexplicable. It leaves you with the feeling that you want to say so much but no words are sufficient enough.....I am bewildered. I am shocked. I am hurting for those people who have lost so much. I am hurting for the memory of a very special time in my life.
I'm hurting for the damage, physical and psychological that these people are enduring and I'm frustrated because I just want to pack up and fly to them - to help feed, to help soothe, to just help......and all my earthly responsibilities say that I have to look after my own family before I look after someone else's. Yet my heart knows that my own family will sleep in a warm bed with their bellies full. That I know they are safe and warm...and free from harm and danger. yet so many mother's are too shocked to mour the loss of their children - that they expect them to return any minute now with the kidnapping tide. That parents missing will turn the next corner, batter and bruised, but alive...... that homes will suddenly be back to where they once were and life can move on as it did last week and the week before.
Samoans have a very special respect and connection with the sea. The sea is their mother and provider and nurterer. It has a life of its own and has always provided.....and now the very spirit of nature has suddenly turned on them and destroyed all that they value. Samoans are not (yet) commercial or fixated on money, things, cars, jewellery and the like. Samoans love and treasure family and God. It is their way - it is fa'a. The Samoan way.
Homes can be rebuilt and furniture rebought. Faith can be restored but family stolen by an angry tide will never come home........and invisible places at the family table will never be filled.

I sit in my comfortable home, miles and miles away from this tragedy but my heart is there, dredging through rubble for lost souls, for skerricks of memories that will help put their lives back together again. My tears are with those mothers who had their young babies ripped from their arms by the strength of Mother Nature.

I think about Samoa every single moment of the day and I am grateful for what I have. But.....it means nothing really. I have my family and I've told each of them how much I love and value them since this has happened.

Grant and I chose Samoa to get married because we loved the 'vibe' that we got when we did our research. It's not Bali and it's not Fiji and we thanked God for that. It's fruits and gifts were natural, from the heart, from blood, sweat and toil....where the intabgible things were valued more than what you could get for it. We'd never been to Samoa.....we didn't know anyone who had been. It was untouched by commercialism and the dodgy hand of tourism. It attracted a different clientele......although elements of this were starting to show and, I guess, in time Samoa would become Fiji and Bali.

But not while we were there.....not what we experienced. Samoa seemed to 'be' what lay in my heart. It had wide open honesty and truthfulness. It was simple and happy.....grateful for simple things like food, water and family.

We sat and watched a man describe the beauty of the coconut. Ordinarily we would laugh at this in our "developed country" way but the way he described it, made me feel awe that he could live out of the fruits of one coconut palm tree. He described how the trunk and fronds made his home and roof, the coconut provided food and drink and afterwards, it was a bowl for his meal and when that was finished, it became fuel for the next day's cooking needs. He was still grateful that he was so lucky to have the humble coconut be the provider of ever single item of life that he needed. The hollowed trunk would become his boat when he needed to fish......the coconut oil for his cooking......the flesh for food. The husky coir of the coconut was made into clothing and ticking for mattresses.

How foolish did I feel after he had demonstrated all the many things he could fashion out of one simple tree that was so plentiful on his beautiful island? Why, then, would he want Adidas or Nike or anything else superficial? He has the perfect world. He lives next to a waterfall and is 100% self-sufficient but most of all, he is contentedly happy and what I would do to be able to have his simplicity.

I could write the many, many things about Samoa and I could paint a serene canvas of swaying palm trees and the distant sounds of waves crashing on a white sandy beach with the imaginary and sometimes not-so-imaginary sounds of Samoan men playing their guitars and ukeleles, singing in perfect harmony....... and that would be the first page of my album but there is so much more ........and these things are the smells and sounds and feelings that only people who have gone there will know.
It is these things that have been taken away right now.......the soothing sounds of waves crashing on a distant shore now elicits fear and that was one thing we didn't have in Samoa. Fear. We were the most relaxed while we were there.

I guess like a lot of people, especially those who have had destination weddings, Samoa is so beautiful to me for the sights, sounds, smells of my beautiful wedding to the most wonderful man in my world. The before and during and after of our special day lingers every day of my life. Not one day goes by without me going back to a moment or a song or an experience....

I guess the thing that feels like a sharp arrow entering my ribs is that all the Samoans I met and dealt with were happy in the purest sense......just always, always happy and at peace and it was so contagious. And now they're not so happy nor are they peaceful....and this is one of the main things that distinguish them from any race I have encountered.
Every single one of us has made a special contact with a soul, a spirit, a person, a place that we have felt a deep connection with - regardless of the time spent there. For me it is Grant.....and together, we have this with Samoa.
If every beautiful thought I have now sends a butterfly affect around the world back to them, then I will continue to send beautiful thoughts and prayers of love and strength directly to Samoa.

Samoa, oute alofa ia oe......











Sunday, July 26, 2009

Like a beacon, dragging me to safety

In pitch dark I go walking in your landscape
Broken branches trip me as I speak.
Just 'cause you feel it doesn't mean its there.

There's always a siren
Singing you to shipwreck (Don't reach out, don't reach out Don't reach out, don't reach out)

Steer away from these rocks
We'd be a walking disaster (Don't reach out, don't reach out Don't reach out, don't reach out)
Just 'cause you feel it doesn't mean its there. (Theres someone on your shoulder)

There there!Why so green and lonely? Heaven sent you to me to me to me

We are accidents waiting ..................waiting to happen.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Poem to Shaz from G on our 1st Wedding Anniversary

A gentle word like a spark of light,
Illuminates my soul
And as each sound goes deeper,
It's YOU that makes me whole

There is no corner, no dark place,
YOUR LOVE cannot fill
And if the world starts causing waves,
It's your devotion that makes them still

And yes you always speak to me,
In sweet honesty and truth
Your caring heart keeps out the rain,
YOUR LOVE, the ultimate roof

So thank you my Love for being there,
For supporting me, my life
I'll do the same for you, you know,
My Beautiful, Darling Wife.

Monday, June 22, 2009

1st Wedding Anniversary


It's June already. I am a few weeks away from celebrating our 1st Wedding Anniversary. This time, last year, we had our suitcases open and we were on the cusp of leaving for Samoa. I would do anything to turn back the hands of time to do it all over again.





Sometimes, I catch a glimpse of a wedding photo and I can't believe we actually did it! Some days I catch a sideways glance at Grant and I can't believe he is my husband.

I'm a very reflective and retrospective person. I look back on life a lot. I think about the girl at school and whether she would have envisaged this life at all and I'm guessing she didn't. I'm not 100% sure what she had in plan really. I used to wonder about the Year 2000 and thought I'd be married with children and sure enough I was....barely married. Trying to keep our marriage going, pushing it uphill when all it wanted to do was take it's natural course downslide.




Boredom from housework drove me to a part-time job at Monash Uni. Not that the job was any more exciting but it gave me something to distract me at any rate. Who would have thought that this job would take me on a different path, one I had not planned.




My computer broke and he was the Techie who came to fix it. No fireworks, no rainbows.......just a very calm, reassuring soul with two massive dimples walked in my door. I felt an immediate connection with him although it wasn't romantic at that stage. I liked being around him. I felt calm myself and relaxed......we made friends and chatted through ICQ. Just chatted, about life, about the Universe......and this went on for two years. Neither of us was remotely interested in each other aside from being friends and that's just what we were. We were friends. I trusted him.




I'm not sure when the connection started to become more than that. I think it was around the time that I started confiding him that all was not well with my marriage and he was always there with an available ear or shoulder, having gone through a relationship breakdown himself. In jest, I had tried matching him up with a few girls but it never quite came to fruition. he was so half-hearted about it and never really seemed motivated enough to want someone in his life. He told me he had 'gone fishing' and wasn't interested.




We met for coffee in Borders. We laughed a lot and shared a large slice of chocolate mudcake with white icing lovehearts dusted on the top. It was either that or the custard tart or the flourless orange cake and I don't like orange. we mooched around the CDs and around the books, we had coffee. It was the most relaxed I'd felt in years.



I didn't need to 'be' anyone with him. I didn't have to be witty or charming or fun or anything other than just Sharon .........and maybe that was it. I can't remember what we talked about.....stuff and nonsense. By the end of that night, when I dropped him home, I knew something was stirring inside me but thought better of lifting the envelope flap and quietly drove the 60 kms home, happy within myself that I'd spent the evening with a good friend.







When my marriage had come to it's close, he was there totally in his capacity as my friend, to make sure that I would be okay, that I would be able to move forward. Not once did he make a move or hint that he would like anything more than just friendship and it was because of that, that I relaxed with him totally.


He started sending out subtle signs and clues that he had feelings but I wasn't sure if I was reading them right. So I asked him and he admitted it and said he didn't want to rush me as I was just coming out of a long relationship. I admitted that I felt something - just wasn't sure what it was as my emotions were being tumbledried at that moment. So he waited and we eased ourselves into whatever it was going to be. He didn't rush me and I didn't walk into faster than my comfort zone let me.


Now, nearly 10 years later, we're married! I still feel the most relaxed when I'm with him and I still feel like I can just be me. He makes no judgements and.......he makes me laugh. Sure, we have our moments (when he's an idiot....hahahaha), like every couple but the biggest difference with him from every man I've ever met and known is that he will not escalate the argument. He says what he has to say and then, always, reminds me that he loves me.




Grant brings me back down to earth. He also lets me fly and sometimes, he'll even come fly with me.

When we first got together, some people on my side were brazen enough to tell me to my face, "He's a great guy but he's nothing like what you're normally attracted to, is he?"......or....."He's awfully quiet. Do you think he's the guy for you?"







Nearly 10 years and 1 gorgeous wedding down the track? Yes, he is!! He is not the type of man I would normally be attracted to (and yet I am)......and yes, he is quiet.........and YES YES YES, he IS the guy for me!


I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood,

and I.....

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.
































Sunday, April 26, 2009

Things I Would Seriously Like To Do To People Who Piss Me Off

I tried doing this on Facebook but it was too cumbersome so here it is.

My sister and I were chatting online today and we were discussing what we'd like to do to people who seriously piss us off and we accumulatively came up with the following list:
  • Cut a raw onion and glue it under the desk of the varmint who is irritating you at work and wait for the smell to permeate. It is a very difficult smell to remove once it is present. *hahahahaha*...
  • Dress in camouflage gear and sneak up to your neighbour, who is playing music way too LOUD at 5am, and rip out the main fuse and sneak back home.
  • Turn the Gerni super high powered water hose on the same neighbour the following Monday morning as he is getting in his car to go to work.
  • Buy weed killer and inscribe the word "C*NTZ" on their front lawn.
  • Battery acid on the bonnet of their car - as above.
  • Throw prawn heads in their ducted heating or air conditioning vents.
  • Glue kitchen utensils to their windscreen wipers
  • Glue their windscreen wipers to their windscreen (HAHAHAHAHAHA.....I love my sister for this one!!)
  • Turn their water mains off and pour quick drying cement over it.
  • Club them with a baseball bat full of nails and rusty catfood tin lids embedded
  • Put a live match-head into every single cigarette that they smoke.
  • Fill their exhaust pipes with 1000s and 1000s of caps and then wedge a banana in it. (What does that do?)
  • Stir their coffee with a used condom
  • Pooh in their desk and say "Who farted??" everytime you walk by...
  • Put toothpaste in their haemorrhoid cream tube.

CAAAAARM ONNNNNN! TAKE US ON!!!

I DARE YA!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

When My Words Get Lost, My Pictures Will Tell You Where I Am

When my body is tight with the constant breathing in and holding my breath in life, I think of you............and I remember to exhale.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Lighthouse Song


And I've been getting urges late at night

To walk and walk for days and throughout lights

Through people's houses, picking food from plates

Through people's gardens, picking locks on gates


So we are moving to a lighthouse, you and I

While seas drown sailors, we'll be locked up safe and dry

And though our doors may knock and rattle in the wind

I'll just hold you tight and we'll not let those fuckers in


And I've been leaving gifts out in the woods

That someone might stumble upon and wonder at their origins

I've been feeling like a fox with sad old eyes

Whose skulk has all moved on to leave the dark and empty den behind


So we are moving to a lighthouse, you and I

While seas drown sailors, we'll be locked up safe and dry

And though our doors may knock and rattle in the wind

I'll just hold you tight and we'll not let those fuckers in


I'll anull these little walls of attrition and these invocations

That's seen me holding my camera out at arms length

To self-document these new locations

When I should be leaning against you

Deciding on things to get done

And you should be leaning on fountains

And filling my space up and breathing the air from my lungs


So we are moving to a lighthouse, you and I

While seas drown sailors, we'll be locked up safe and dry

And we are moving to a lighthouse, you and I

Our beams will burn the clouds to beacons in the sky

And though our doors may knock and rattle in the wind

The wind...I'll just hold you tight and we'll not let those fuckers in

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Thing of Beauty Is a Joy Forever

Nothing is more sensual or erotically beautiful than a kiss.
How you kiss.......how you enjoy sharing or giving or accepting a kiss.....that pinpointed moment you feel the electricity of skin on skin, eyes closed as you enter another realm in darkness of touch and you abandon yourself to another person is one of the most beautiful moments you will ever experience in life.

A peck on the cheek won't do it, or a quick smack on the lips won't do it.

A kiss is like speaking an entirely different language altogether. It says so much in silence.

Not everyone can speak it but God Bless those who do.


Like the heated rush of a potent drug racing through your veins to a central destination that opens up another world or worlds upon worlds, another place, another realm, a beautifully executed kiss can open up cells of tingling cells in spirits of cells.......

Slow, languishing, lingering kisses, connecting souls .......like a gateway to an inner sanctum, a locked space of red and velvet and warmth and bliss.
As precious and rare as a black diamond, it should be treated with the gentle and delectable fragility that it deserves and handed out to only those who truly value its beauty and ecstasy.

A beautiful kiss is a rare, exotic thing and should be valued for the treasure that it is.

I value every single beautifully gifted and shared kiss that I have ever received like a rare piece of art.

A shiver.....skin tingling even at the memory.......it is the most private and intimate thing and yet beautiful and open thing you can express.


A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:Its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness; but still will keep a bower quiet for us, and a sleep full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

How I feel has nothing to do with how much I have

Money has no memory. Experience has.

You will never know what the total cost of your education was, but for a lifetime you will recall and relive the memories of schools and colleges.

Few years from now, you will forget the amount you paid to settle the hospitalization bill, but will ever cherish having saved your mother's life or the life you get to live with the just born.

You won't remember the cost of your honeymoon, but to the last breath remember the experiences of the bliss of togetherness.

Money has no memory. Experience has.

Good times and bad times, times of prosperity and times of poverty, times when the future looked so secure and times when you didn't know from where the tomorrow will come… life has been in one way or the other a roller-coaster ride for everyone.

Beyond all that abundance and beyond all that deprivation, what remains is the memory of experiences. Sometimes the wallet was full… sometimes even the pocket was empty.

There was enough and you still had reasons to frown. There wasn't enough and you still had reasons to smile.

Today, you can look back with tears of gratitude for all the times you had laughed together, and also look back with a smile at all the times you cried alone.

All in all, life filled you with experiences to create a history of your own self, and you alone can remember them all.

The first time you balanced yourself on your cycle without support…
The first time she said 'yes' and it was two years since you proposed…
The first cry… the first steps… the first word… the first kiss… all of your child…
The first gift you bought for your parents and the first gift your daughter gave you…
The first award… the first public appreciation… the first stage performance…
And the list is endless…

Experiences, with timeless memory… No denying that anything that's material cost money, but the fact remains the cost of the experience will be forgotten, but the experience never.

So, what if it's economic recession?

Let it be, but let there not be a recession to the quality of your life. You can still take your parents, if not on a pilgrimage, at least to the local temple.

You can still play with your children, if not on an international holiday, at least in the local park.

It doesn't cost money to lie down or to take a loved one onto your lap.

Nice time to train the employees, create leadership availability and be ready for the wonderful times when they arrive.

Hey! Aspects like your health, knowledge development and spiritual growth are not economy dependent.

Time will pass… economy will revive… currency will soon be in current… and in all this, I don't want you to look back and realize you did nothing but stayed in gloom.

Recession can make you lose out on money. Let it not make you lose out on experiences…

If you are not happy with what you have, no matter how much more you have, you will still not be happy.

Make a statement with the way you live your life:

How I feel has nothing to do with how much I have.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Yesterday I Cried

Well, suffice to say that I probably had one of the worst days yesterday that I've experienced for a while. Do you ever have one of those days where everything you do/say/consider just turns to shite? No rhyme, no reason.......just crumbles to dried dog doo doo? Well, yesterday was my day.


It started with daylight really and went progressively downhill. Part of me wants to discuss it but part of me has started to bury the facts and discussing it would be an act of exhuming the dead on my part and maybe some things are left buried.

However, let me say this much. Yesterday was a prick of a day. Everything went pear-shaped on me......home, work, sky, sea - you name it, it was poohfaced. I held back tears all day at work when what I really wanted to do was throw myself up against the glass window and scream like a raving banshee. I wanted to vent, to have a meltdown, to throw a tanty hissy fit.......of course, it would have been a fairly career limiting move (CLM) but you don't think of those things when you're blue-printing your hissy fit (refer to Other Shaz, who was daring and poking and prodding me to do my best Linda Blair at work).

The finer details of what was pushing me to my edge is really not important because, truth be told, they still exist today. However, how I was internally reacting is more the point.

I bundled paranoia, hypersentivity, anger and a touch of bitterness into one evil cocktail that I didn't sip on - I knocked it back like a shot. Through those bloodshot cracked eyeglasses did I see the world for the rest of the day.

Today's port mortem leaves me in the emotional aftermath of feeling hurt, unloved, unwanted and all those silly girl feelings. Funnily enough, this doesn't have much to do with my husband despite sounding like it does.

It started at work, was perpetuated at work and then bled to the rest of my life - yesterday.

I took a bullet to my confidence and that unbalanced me to the point where I questionned my choices, my actions, my options, life, the universe etc.

Now the things that upset me yesterday are still there today but, with a little clarity and calmness, I'm feeling less nutso about it.

But yesterday, I came home after a long and tiring day............and I cried.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Age, Mine and Everyone Else's

You know I've never been one to obsess with my age - not sure why. It's not something that bears much importance to the choices I make or the way I lead my life. It's a number, people! It's just a number.... it's a chronological measure of how many rings I would have had around my trunk if I was a tree........

I mean really....think about this.....how is 21 years supposed to look or feel like? How old is 40 meant to feel like or be like? compared to what? When someone says "I feel old" - who decrees what old is meant to feel like.

I am 45 years old.

What does that mean? Does that mean I'm old so I should start behaving old and doing old things? Should I suddenly behave a certain way or feel a certain way? Should I start to slow down because that's what's decreed? Should I start listening to Perry Como on Sunday afternoons? Should I not feel alive and alert and youthful anymore?

I was at a 'do' lately when the topic of conversation turned to how old everyone looked. In my own little head, where most of my interesting conversations take place, Other Shaz and I laughed. "How old does she look?" Other Shaz said...."How old is she meant to look?" The topic bored me because it was inconsequential. I'm older than you and someone is older than me and then what......? *silence*..... Why this obsession about age? It's not like you can change it - you can change your appearance to look younger but you're still your age, aren't you? So who ya fooling then?

A compliment ......"Shaz, you don't look 45" so what does 45 look like, I wonder. I appreciate the intention of the compliment/sentiment but I would prefer someone to say that they've noticed how funnier I am getting or how my photos make them feel because I have control over that. I can increase my skillset and do better......but I cannot get any younger, folks. Surprise!!

I live every day like I feel and some days I feel energetic or bouncy or bubbly and other days I feel low and quiet and that's how I feel on that day. I don't ever think to myself "You can't/can do that because you're 45" or whatever age I've been. If I want to do it, I just do.

Isn't that what life is about?

I met a friend this week who is one day older than I am. She made mention that she is now old so she cut her hair short and implied that her life choices had changed. It made me wonder why.......who said you can or can't do anything at an age.

Sure.....I know what you're thinking....Mutton dressed up as lamb? It's not about the way I dress - although I still heed my cry that what dictates what I can or can't wear. Shouldn't it be a matter of wearing what suits me best?

Listening to the young 'uns at work worrying about turning 30.....eeeeeek....NOT 30?????? I'm a whole 15 years older and have filled each nook and cranny with stuff I wanted to do. I don't worry about age creeping up because each subsequent year is yet another opportunity to experience something new.......to feel, to be, to do.....not to stress and worry about what's left.

It's about what's yet to do.

It's like the eternal search for happiness - where do you find that, I wonder? I think it's in the same place where my attitude about my date of birth is.......somewhere where it just doesn't matter.

I think my closest friends are women who don't give a fat rat's about their age and we have the most fun because we just be and we just do. I wouldn't swap them for an extra 10 years because they're gold!

One rides her Harley beast and does road trips often on it - and she's a Mum - so what does that mean?

My Aunty is trekking South America right as I type and she is retirement age but you wouldn't know it because she is bursting with the dynamic energy of a woman who doesn't place any weight around her date of birth - inspirational!

One is beginning her PhD when most others are winding down, she is winding up......and bully for her! *click champagne glass*

Yet another is changing her career and is about to embark on a career that is mainly associated with vibrant young things and she IS a vibrant, young thing.....and she's in her early 40's.

I think your attitude governs the way you look and if you can keep your humour and maintain that glint in your eye and have fun with life, it shows. How old are you then, when you've fitted two lifetimes into one.......

Friday, March 6, 2009

Space and Time

It's been a few days since I've written anything but.....I've been out there *pointing out there* having a life and that's been really wonderful.

I've finally enrolled to do short potography courses and finished the portrait course, which was bluddy great. I'm starting the landscape course and if I really enjoy these, I think I might consider doing something more substantial.

I am still studying financial planning as well so God only knows where all this time is going to be found.

Me and a few friends also went to see Complexions Contemporary Ballet last night and that was a whole heap of goody goodness.

I've not been home a helluva lot this week and I have to say that the body isn't holding up quite the way it used to. I am tuckered out and am looking forward to a quiet night on the couch, watching footy with my son.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Truth, Honesty and Integrity

It will remain a mystery to me why we choose to be dishonest or disloyal or display acts of manipulation. Why do we choose to do this?

I like people and I like the finer aspects of humanity that make me proud to be who I am. Yet, time and time again, I come across people who choose to be disloyal to me or dishonest to me when I afford them my best. Why does this happen?

It's not a reflection of me, surely. In all things with me, I try as much as I can, to afford every person I meet the gift of truth, honesty and integrity and it never ceases to amaze me when it's not returned.

No names mentioned but I've experienced a side of someone that I really don't care much for. They have been sneaky, deceptive and manipulative and then.......have had the gall to act innocent. Luckily, it's not someone in my inner circle so putting space between myself and them isn't going to be that difficult but, in my quiet moments, I've done the post mortem and wondered what is it about me that has elicited this behaviour.

I've worked out that this is who they are..........and it's not a reflection of me.

Makes me very sad, though......

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

Challenging Times

So far, this year has started out pretty dang crap for my family and friends. We've had two announcements of serious illness this last week, another life threatening surgery took place and now......the place we used to live in is under siege with bushfires. My children's Dad is smackdab in the middle of it all, packed and ready to leave if the wind changes ready to devour his property. Alex's car is in the middle of the paddock for protection but there's no guarantee it won't be swallowed by flames if luck and life change direction.

I don't want to elaborate on any of these but it doesn't take much for these tears to fall right now. Even breathing in can evoke so much sadness that I'm doing the dance of the distracted mind. But it's hard.......and this isn't even about me. It's about those close to me and what they're bearing up for.

I can't stand to see loved ones in pain and it seems that every corner of my family compass is suffering right now.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Modern Art (Latin for Whatta Loada Crappicus)

Modern Art.......or as I prefer to call it.........Whatticus A Load of Crappicus (latin translation).

We went to a Museum for Modern Art in Melbourne Metropole today - to try something new - and I may not be a connoisseur of modern art (or for any art aside from finger painting, truth be know'd) but I came away very angry. Apparently art is meant to elicit a reaction from you and if that's the only requirement then the collection of crap that G and I witnessed today would more than qualify.

There were items by 2 well-known artists that were......well.....juvenile. My children could have produced better in grade school. The fact that they may have been signed by these famous artists does not automatically qualify it as art. To me, it means that a well-known artist had a couple of attempts at what is now known as famous art only now they got it right. So does that mean all the previous attempts get bundled up and passed off as art to a less-erudite public. You have insulted me!!

There was a couple of items that were better - possibly even good - but the rest was just a set of objet d'don't insult me.

It seems like an act of sycophantic dealers flagrantly exercising their nepotistic rights to show juvenile and unworthy pieces of dog doo doo. I left the museum feeling ripped off, offended and taken advantage of.

To top it all off, they had the gall to ask me to remove my camera backpack before entering, which I refused to do on the grounds that it contained expensive camera equipment which I wasn't willing to leave behind in an alcove. So after I asked them if they would accept responsibility for any damage or loss if I chose to leave it behind, they followed me like I was an intellectually challenged art thief.

LIKE I WOULD WANT TO STEAL THAT CRAP????????

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Difference Between a G-string and a Wedgie

I'm revealing something of my personal underclothing - I dislike G-strings! They are uncomfortable for women like me who have a more-than-ample derriere. Let's be brutally honest, they look really bad on butts that aren't young and trim and taught.

So...............why do women with young, trim and taught butts eternally pull and tug at undies that have a penchant for playing hide-and-seek when they go out of their way buying and wearing G-strings.

Me? If I were to wear a G-string, I'd also have to wear the accompanying 30cm ruler across it - visualise this, go on, visualise....to stop it from going anywhere near my butt. I have tried the G.....and I spent the whole day doing a very unfeminine search and rescue - not comfy one bit.

When I get a wedgie, I personalise it. I discuss the finer points (with my underwear) of preferring the snuggling up into the nether parts - on a volunteer basis - to remaining outside, where the air is fresh and clean and there is a keener sense of freedom. My logic is that if you keep crawling up there, you can stay there until you learn to get yourself back out. You know the risks and the consequences but still, you go.I'm not gonna keep coming in there after you, like a young child bobbing up and down at the deep end of the pool. It's sink or swim, buster!
From wear I sit, there's not much difference to wearing a g-string and tolerating a wedgie all day. I simply cannot tolerate a wedgie all day. It is universally known as being uncomfortable yet wearing a g-string of your own volition has another interpretation, doesn't it?
I have never known anyone to feel aroused when I've said "Gawd, I've got a massive wedgie". It just doesn't seem to have that connotation attached to it.
"I'm going to Myer to buy underwear that is going to intentionally crawl up my butt"......................does it do much for you????? Doesn't do much for me.
So where is the change in perception? Is it the wearer of the g-string/wedgie? Does a g-string look just as sexy as a wedgie on a lovely taut butt?
Why not just call the g-string....the 'wedgie'???
Why don't advertisers sprawl on the packaging of undies "Guaranteed to creep up your bum during the day. If wearer does not retrieve or attempt to retrieve at least 4 times day, money back is guaranteed"?
I don't understand the g-string. I don't understand the desire to wear anything intimately that feels like someone's got a finger up your butt all day.
Maybe it should be marketed to men over 50 to get them used to the feeling? Just a suggestion.


Change of Pace

Not sure if it's the culmination of a rather difficult period or not but I seem to be eternally tired. I'm not sleeping very well and so my waking moments aren't that great.

I am training my mind to stop the whirring and the internal dialogue because what I really want is peace......and that's elduing me right now.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Ate My Lipstick Today

You'd think that when you pay more for lipstick, that it would stay on your lips for longer. You know the whole quality debate.....you get what you pay for??

Well, I paid a fair bit for some lippy by Estee Lauder, okay? More than I would normally pay. My logic is that my mascara is also from EL and it is far superior to anything I have tried and I've tried nearly all the mid-range brands. For me, it was worth paying the extra dollars for a damn good mascara so I applied the same principle to my lippy.

So......today. I had to apply my lippy over and over and over again. If I had a coffee, my lippy stayed on the cup almost defiantly. If I ate something, my lippy went down for the ride, too. I'd reapply only to have it run away to whereabouts unknown.

The amount of formaldehyde that I have consumed today will probably assure any undertaker that I won't need embalming if I died tomorrow. Yes, there's formaldehyde in lipstick - that's why your lips remain soft the more you wear it. Formaldehyde is embalming fluid by any other name - it is a preservative which is used on forensic science to preserve body parts that have to be used in evidence. No, I haven't been watching too much CSI - I used to work in forensics many moons ago.

Anyway, I haven't done the cost base analysis of eating lipstick now to save embalming money later yet but that's something to put on my "To Do" list, huh?

What? You want to know which flavour I ate today? You'll be very proud to know that I ate fruit today because it was PLUMBERRY. So, once again, I've eaten from the top of the food pyramid. Does this count as one of my 2 fruit/5 veg a day thing?

So by default, I ate well today. I ate my lipstick.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

No News Today

For a variety of reason, I really don't have anything of any conseqeunce to say today.

Sorry.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Surface Tension

Have you ever wondered what the last straw is? Today I was filling the ice-cube tray and was admiring the rounded curve of water in each cube..........got to thinking "At which point is your breaking point? When are you at saturation point and can hold on no longer?

Pretty deep silent dialogue with my ice-cube tray, huh?

So.............got to thinking how we all survive on a daily basis with our own individual surface tensions going on.

At work, there is a point where we can't take anymore before we say something/do something/ignore someone/quit.....

In friendships, we tolerate and take a lot and there is a predetermined point, that we may or may not be aware of, where friendship or not, we have to push back/bite back/ withdraw/quit the friendship.

In our relationship(s), we go so far and then take another step for love but that, too, has it's breaking point.
Food for thought..........nothing deeper than that, though, folks......just something that an ice cube created in my little mind.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Beautiful Yarra Valley

It was my home for 8 years and I that is always where I return when I want to get back to myself.
This photo was taken last week - opposite Chateau yering - and now doesn't exist. That tree in the far distance is my favourite tree and in the far far distance are the trestle bridges that I've taken only a few people - for that is my retreat from the world...and they no longer exist.

These beautiful pastures are now charred remains...... the photo on the left is what is the paddock on the right - burnt out, smoking and charred. One week ago, it was luch and green.








Strange that I called this particular picture "Phoenix" because that is what they have now named the clean up project - Phoenix. This was taken the week before the fire.

Please have a look at what used to be and is no longer.....but will return one day.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shazzah/sets/72157613694373542/

Spirit of Australia

Not the ferry between Tassie and Melbourne.........the real thing!

Aussies are such an unique breed of battlers. We are very resilient and have quite a pragmatic attitude to life. Dusting off and starting again is par for the course. Hey True Blue...

Black Saturday was my 45th birthday and one I will not forget. I'd rather not have the stigma attached to it but there it is. It stands for a very sad day in Melbourne, in Victoria, in Australia.

But, as with all things sad, some good does come from it. Aussies have this amazing quality for putting in when all the chips are down. It's always been that way and not even 5 days after our worst disaster, we've all dug deep and come up with $45 million so far.

We have floods up north and fires down south. Yet we're still digging deep to help those who've had so much taken away from them.

We dust ourselves off, we take a deep breath and then we move on. We rebuild our lives, our emotions, our homes......we help our neighbours, our families. We go without so that all may have.

It's one of our proudest moments - in tragedy comes our greatest untangible asset - we're Aussies! We look after each other.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Book of Life by Nanushka

The book of life begins
with pages virginal and clean,
proclaiming innocence
yet strangely tempting to the childish mind
behind the unformed hand
to make its presence felt.
and leave a mark to show where it has been-
and as we write upon the pages
each life
as stories lived and written by us all,
of drama, mystery or comedy
of heroes, villains and adventurers.
some written with a carefree flourish
some neatly following the lines,
and others in a careless scrawl-
No matter if our book is short or long,
or if it is remembered down the years,
we must expect
that even in the happiest of fairy tales,
there will always be some chapters
blank with boredom-
there will always be some pages
smudged with tears .....
By my favourite poet, Nanushka
From The Thoughts of Nanushka Vols 13-18

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Not Quite Sure

I'd like to think that I can elevate above my silent grief for the bushfire victims today but, alas, I can't.

My thoughts and tears have been with these people all day. All day.

I can't find anything funny or interesting to write unless it's about the bushfires.

I have read the papers and scoured the websites with every waking moment that I've had. It's touched me to the core - just like everyone else in Melbourne and Victoria. There are moments that my brain is in utter disbelief of what my eyes can see. The rubble, the ash, the charred wooden remains mingling with ashen brick, twisted and tortured corrugated iron roofs bereft of support, lying like exhausted bones. In this rubble lies the unidentifiable remains of families, of parents with their children, husbands without wives, animals left in the race to save lives.

Insurance, for some, will help them rebuild but the scars will remain far beyond. Not just for the victims but for the volunteers, the firefighters, the emergency service people - they, too, will be scarred.

I know my last couple of posts have been a little sad and depressing but that's all I have in my heart right now. I can't pretend that this hasn't affected me because it has.

I feel lucky/guilty that I get to have so much and, not that far away, people have lost everything.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Victoria's Bush Fires

Under normal circumstances, bush fires are a part and parcel of life in Australia. I can't speak for anyone else but my usual reaction is to nod once or twice at the news reports and then I don't normally pay much attention to it, aside from that.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/events/bushfires/

However...........this one is different. I am confused and distrubed into periods of silence because of the magnitude and ferocity of this bush fire, still burning in parts of Victoria.

Last night, I watched the latest news flash, after having spent a wonderful day strawberry picking and going to the Mornington market (albeit in the rain). Here I was, feeling satiated that I had been out in the fresh air, having filled my mind, soul and belly with some good people at my side........and on my TV, I was watching people who have had their homes reduced to a fiery, hissing rubble.

Spirits were crushing as they told the journalists that they had lost everything. With each word solidifying the truth - because sometimes it doesn't seem real until you utter the words that you've been avoiding - tears trickled, mouths buckled and furrows knitted brows with the unspoken "Where to from here?"

As I sat and watched these terrible news flashes, bright orange and grey smoke clouds crept over my house, signifying the mass cremation of home and life that was simultaneously being broadcast on my TV. As if I didn't believe that this was happening not that far from home, the clouds loomed over my suburb, almost as a reminder that I am, this time, very lucky that it hasn't touched me or my loved ones.

Not 30 minutes away is the Yarra Valley, which was once my home for 8 years. Lives and homes have been reduced to ash and cinder there. Winery crops toasted, grapes turned to dried fruit.....our lovely de Bortoli's winery, where many a picnic has gathered has succumbed to the fires. Yarra Glen - featured so highly as a photographic mecca for me - was black with smoke.

Not since Ash Wednesday have I been moved by so much. Yesterday we donated money to the fire cause but it doesn't seem much in light of how much has been lost.

Alex's best friend, Liz's father has farming land, smackdab in the middle of the worst fire in King Lake. He's lost a lot and that's when it really is brought home - when you know somebody who has lost. Liz's grandmother rang them to say, urgently, that fire had surrounded the home and she couldn't get out - I don't know whether she was saved or not.

So today was going to be a day spent with just Grant and I......spending private time together, going to some art galleries, lunching by the Yarra, taking photos in the city. Yet my heart isn't in it. I feel terribly guilty that I have the luxury to enjoy myself, selfishly, when others don't have a bed for the night, children don't have clothes.

As a mark of respect, we are cleaning up our block of land today, whippersnipping grasses, cleaning out the gutters of all the dried leaves and twigs and generally tidying up. It sounds silly but I feel like I owe this much, not just to my immediate family, protecting our home, but as a silent message to those who don't have a home anymore - that I won't take it for granted that these things won't happen to me. That I will respect the forces of nature - especially in Australia and, in particular, in Victoria right now.

To ignore this would be highly disrespectful and dismissive of the tragedy that some people are currently experiencing.

I will value what I do have by doing what's necessary to protect it.......it can be quickly and unpredictably taken from you.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Voyeur or Participant

Do you prefer to watch or are you one of those that like to be in the middle of it?

Me? I teeter between the two. Sometimes, I just don't want to be a part of it and would rather watch. Other times, watching just doesn't thrill me and I like to dive deep into the foray.

What are we talking about????? Life. What were YOU thinking, you filthy animal?

Life.

There are moments in life where I like to whip out my beloved camera and watch. Watch for facial intonations, for emotional expressions, for moment of joy or moments of wonderment. I love it when I can anticipate and capture that millimoment of joy, fun, laughter - and sometimes even anger or sadness. Mostly laughter though because who really wants to relive moments of sadness over and over by looking at a photo of it?

Other times, like today, I prefer to be in the thick of it. it is an either/or choice. Either I can take photos and watch from afar and not be involved or I can choose to put the camera away and be in it. Today we ignored the rain and went to a market. The rain persisted but we persevered and then went to an antique warehouse. The rain cleared and we ended up hightailing it to Sunny Ridge Farm and went strawberry picking.

I have never been strawberry picking before and had this romantic notion of what it would be like. And it was......it was truly lovely. Rows and rows and rows of strawberry plants, some weighed down with bright red, sweet, bursting with flavour berries. There were small little children, squatting in amazement, at the sweet little bubbles of juiciness and I could have chosen to get my camera nd take some very arty pictures.

However, today was one of those days where I really wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to go strawberry spotting and picking. Some of the strawbs didn't make it into the basket. What a difference fresh strawbs taste like compared to supermarket berries! I don't like supermarket strawberries - they're tangy and crunchy....yes, crunchy....and I don't like tangy, crunchy strawberries.
But these strawbs were plump and bursting with flavour. They were juicy sweet and delicious, like I imagined strawberries would always be. I ate a whole belly full and then bought the ones that didn't make it to my mouth.
What a wonderful end to the day! Today, I was a participant. It's not always going to be like that but today was worth locking my camera in the boot of my car like a naughty child (I'm not supposed to say inappropriate things like that, am I? *stifling laughter*..... and being involved.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

HOTTY BIRTHDAY TO..........ME!

If you're not in Melbourne, then let me describe by 45th birthday to you. It's the HOTTEST day recorded in our history! It was also the hottest place on Earth today.......I don't do things by halves. It hit 47 degress today. That's Celsius. That's 117 Fahrenheit which is stinking bluddy hot...... 45 at 47. If you're not sure what that feels like.....

http://www.theage.com.au/national/city-swelters-records-tumble-in-heat-20090207-80ai.html

Go to your oven and turn it on to about 200 degrees for 5 minutes - fan-forced preferably. After about 5 minutes, open the door and inhale quickly whilst simultaneously shining a heat lamp directly into your face. if you're managing that okay, then wrap yourself up in a itchy woolly electric blanket put on SUPER HIGH and you'll have an idea why I chose to stay home and watch a couple of movies today.

Yup. Watched 'Australia" and 'Slumdog Millionnaire" on a mattress on the floor of my loungeroom, directly in front of the fan AND airconditioner while the rest of Melbourne burnt to a crisp.

In between movies, the TV told us of horrifying bushfires consuming most of Victoria. The high winds didn't help whatsoever. Loads of suburbs surrounding us were in flames and we're a very bushy treed area but, luckily, untouched. The kids were worried because the town that their Dad lives in was evacuated today and all phones were down. Turned out he was okay but still a worry.

On that basis, I refused to leave the comfort of my airconditioned home. There was no place I would have rather been. I hate shopping centres. The beach was a pseudo frying pan. The swimming pools were brimming to the edge with people (think of all that pee) so.....home was the best place to spend today....my birthday.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Rings around your trunk

Tomorrow is my 45th birthday and I am looking forward to it.

I've never been one of these women who rued each birthday as I got older. After all, it's just a number that represents how long I've been here. It doesn't define who I am. It certainly doesn't dictate my behaviour. It doesn't make me feel any older than the day before or the day before that. And even if it did, so what?

I feel like I'm turning 32. I used to feel 28 but I know I've grown up in the last 2 years. I know the maths doesn't add up but, emotionally and philsophically, that's how old I really feel. I'm turning 32 tomorrow - my passport birthdate begs to differ.

Tomorrow......I don't have to do the dishes. I don't have to make dinner. I don't have to do anything I don't want to do. Tomorrow I have carte blanche..... Tomorrow I can eat cake for breakfast if I choose to.

I don't behave 45.....I don't behave 32. I behave Shaz. That's it. I do what the hell I like and when I want to. I try not to dress inappropriately (mutton dressed as lamb) ....I do want to maintain some type of dignity. But the rules of 45 don't apply to me. I told my Mum that I'm not doing menopause - whenever that's meant to happen. I've made my mind up. I'm going raound it and moving on with my life.

I'm 45 tomorrow. I'm very happy with my life. I've done quite a bit....travelled a bit, had children a bit, married a bit, got into trouble a bit, worked a bit and laughed a fair bit. You couldn't pay me enough to be in my 20's or early 30's.

It's good to be the King - today.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thursday

Thursday came and Thursday went - nothing said and nothing spent.

Thursday came and all was done - Thursday wasn't any fun.

Friday will come and hopefully

It will deliver some fun to me.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Money, Money, Money

You know it's quite funny but between Grant and myself, we've never qualified for any handouts from the Government. WHAT handouts, you ask?

Well, we were never entitled to the First Home Buyer's grant. We never got the Baby Bonus - okay so we didn't have babies together but that's just a minor technicality. We didn't get Family Tax Benefits....nothing, nada, nix. Seems everyone around us got freebies but, for some reason, we were always just over the radar.

We've always had to do for ourselves and have never had a "helping hand" and God knows, there were times when we really needed it.

However, Kevin Rudd's new economic bonus means that he's gonna help pay for new fences, which is very kind of him. He could also be paying for insulation - once we find out whether we have any or not - hard to tell with this heatwave.

I was actually thinking of showing him the hole in our driveway to see if he could sling some more cashola our way to fix that, seeing as he's in a generous frame of mind....*nod nod nod*..

So.........get the hell out of my face Malcolm Turnbull because, for the first time in our whole relationship, Grant and I get to qualify for some handout. It's too late to retract the offer as we've already spent the money thereby assisting our ailing economy.

I always bleat that money doesn't mean that much to me but try taking it away from me and I'll gnaw your manky hand to the bone. Turns out that I have a healthy respect for what money can buy me and although I don't need to buy much for myself, I still want the freedom to choose.

I choose to accept the new economy boosting freebie handout, Mr Rudd - now hand it over.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Blank Canvas

You know what? Got nothing much to say today - valuable or otherwise. I think I'm recharging and regenerating.......and that's okay, isn't it?

Monday, February 2, 2009

1st Day of School

Today was Sam's 1st day of school and this also heralds a couple of achievements. It means it is the last of our three respective children's foray into high school and it is also the new beginning for Grant and Sam.

Sam had a great first day at high school and, like his monosyllabic Dad is prone to be with details, gave me this to feed off when asked how his 1st day was, "It was good". Nada, nix, nothing else.......it was....good. I said I need more and got "It was fabulous?"

So, there it is. I could embellish the details with a fantastical story of mirth and humour but, if you'll remember, I've left my box of embellishments at the front door of this blog and, hence, I have nothing further to add. However, his Dad is a procurer of illusion and took these photos of his first day. Why the illusion? Well, Sam didn't really have to set out for school because he was driven there by Grant but I'm so impressed that Grant wanted the illusion and set about creating it that I tripped over my box of imbellishments, which I now have to clean up and rearrange in my tidy box, with amazement.


ILLUSION























REALITY


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Judgement of the Working Mother


You know I've always had this issue as long as I've been working - part-time and full-time. What is a working Mum entitled to? Career? Judgements? Choices?

I have two children - okay, they're not small children but they're my children nonetheless.


When my children are sick or require me to attend something of significance, I have the dilemma of being there or not. I'm trying to hold down a career - no small feat in these days. My situation is not that different to the 'nuclear' family only that I don't have the support of their biological father when things get tough. His life is very separate and his place in their lives is selective. He provides support to them on his time - not on mine - so when they get sick and need looking after, they only have me - that's right - JUST ME!


I have a husband, their step-father who has been the greatest thing to enter all three of our lives. However, he isn't responsible for them. He can't ask for parental leave from his place of work to look after children that aren't his. Which goes back to me - that's right - JUST ME!


My parents have their own lives and have been supportive when our relationship isn't walking a tightrope of misunderstandings so.....when we're in that 'cone of silence' and I need help with my kids......there's me.......that's right....JUST ME!


I'm not playing the martyr - not one bit! The role I play with my children is the most important thing in my life and it's one I take very seriously. I am proud to say that I've sacrificed and I've become unselfish and not so self-absorbed purely because of them.


However, when my 1st marriage broke down and things came to the line, I did not receive child support or any other financial support - which they and I were entitled to - so I went out to work full-time. Why? Because my children's survival and well-being came down to just one person. You guessed it .........me........JUST ME!


So when I take days off work to look after my kids because they're too ill to take care of themselves, or if they've injured themselves and need to get to hospital for surgery or if they need to get to the airport for school camp or if they have mucked up at school and need to sort their troubles out.......before you comment and place your petty judgements (for the courageous to my face and for the weak and cowardly, behind my back) and, worse, make some two-faced hypocritical lame-arsed comment about me when I have to be there for my kids...........just know...that my two children only have one person who will unselfishly, unconditionally and reliably come to their rescue......ME.......damn right......JUST ME!


After you've passed judgement, know how wonderful it is to be you. You, the main bread-winner in your family. You, in your nuclear Pixi Photo pure family with a wife who is your main support network and your mother and your mother-in-law and sisters and brothers who can and do come to your rescue to help you out. Know that there isn't just YOU! There are a plethora of choices for you to rely on which I don't have.


I would love the luxury of having two of me. One who can go out and be the career cracking bread-winner and never have to worry about sick children and parent/teacher day and concerts and school camps, fetes and fundraisers and meetings with coordinators and dissolvable stitches and surgery and stroking my son's face when he's nervous with fear just before general anaesthetic. Know that no-one else is there to do these things.........but ME!


The other, to stay home and make sure dinner is always ready when you get home and freshly baked blueberry and banana muffins fresh out of the oven and clean, washed, dried and put-away clothes and vacuumed carpets and dry dishes.


So before anyone passes neanderthal judgements on working Mothers who have to take time out of their working lives to do what they initially intended to do - to love, nurture, protect, support and provide for their kids, think again, you shallow-minded cretans.

I am struggling juggling two hats on one f*cking head, okaaaaaaay?
DISCLAIMER: This isn't targetted at either of my two bosses, who actually appear to be very, very understanding and are family-minded themselves. This really is a soap-box soliloquoy to those who don't have children (and the couple of wads that do and still feel it's okay to debase) and who don't understand the dilemma of trying to be everything to everyone all at the same time.
Your petty, small-minded, two-faced judgements just add to the guilt that we feel when we are trying our best to raise our children and be the sole supporting network to our family.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

All I Need

I'm just experimenting with my creativity so please excuse the amateur productions within this blog but I have to start somewhere, right?

Would you like some elevator mucis....I mean...music?


Friday, January 30, 2009

Fuzzy Wuzzy Has My Hair

It's not the burning, stifling heat that I mind so much as what it does to my hair. I have officially become Fuzzy Wuzzy....Scary Spice.... the entire Jackson Five family in it's heydey.....I am the guy from the Mentos ad......

The heat slowly fries my hair so that it ends up quite curly - uncontrolled curl....hairdryer-in-the-bath curl. It looks like I've had one too many facelifts and my pubic hair is now on top of my head.

Why......why does everyone else have hair that works for them? Hair, when organised to be in one spot, stays there without the aid of gel, mousse, wax, cement, concrete, spiderwebbing and hairspray? Why does my "up do' end up being a "WTF Fuzzy do?"

I hear you say GHD, right? I HAVE a GHD and, as wonderful as it is, the reality is that if time is of the essence, then the GHD doesn't help me. My hair never used to be this frizzy. In fact, I have photos of me as a young child with dead straight hair, then it became wavy - not frizzy fuzzy nut - just nice and wavy. Then, suddenly - after pregnancy, it's like there was a revolutionary uprising of all the downtrodden fuzzy hair - "ENOUGH!" and they suddenly converted, like a hairy cult religion, all my lovely wavy hair into Fuzzville.

It's like my 'normal' hair has been brainwashed into believing it is fuzzy curly. But that's not true......next thing you know, my hair is going to don on a saffron scarf and hand out leaflets to a vegetarian restaurant on Bourke Street, while simultaneously dancing to ching ching dung-chukka dung-chukka music like a freakin' Hare Krishna???!!!!


Who in the world wants fairy floss head? Nobody sees Bo-Derek-esque ads with women with hair like Sai Baba?


Regardless of my own self-concept, nobody seriously thinks hair like this is sexy, do they? I suspect Osama Bin Laden could hide in hair like this for years and not be found.


My point? This heatwave we're experiencing in Melbourne is turning my hair into something that I would seriously consider buzz-cutting. I have always wanted to do a Halle Berry (having already done a Grace Jones in my more avant garde years, where my fashion sense matched the bizarro haircut I adventurously got in a mad Chapel Street What the Hell mood).

If it were not for my rather presumptuous albeit slightly paranoid narcissitic suspicion that I would become highly desirable to ALL lesbians, I would do it! After all, hair grows back, right? But I just know....everytime I see my sister with her Halle Berry/Beckham (David, not Posh) like haircut, I just know that I'd be mistaken for someone who chooses to wear comfortable shoes. Not that there's anything wrong with that but what a vastly opposing perception of me that would be.....

I'd love to do a G.I. Jane....*sigh*....the freedom of hassle-free hair. Out of bed and, voila, I'm done....make-up aside. No more gel, mousse, cake-mix, plaster of Paris.......just me....and my buzznut. Of course, i don't have that gamin pixie like face that would suit a buzz cut (please refer to Lesbian Sex Symbol comment) and could not be guaranteed that Mena Suvari-esque sensuality - I'd end up like looking more like Rosie O'Donnell's shaved poodle, no doubt.
Ahhhhhhhhh, the freedoms of natural beauty and oh, to be free from the damnation of vanity.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Addicted

If my head was on your shoulder and we were dancing, slow dancing, and I inhaled the smell of you to my core, would you hold me close and inhale me into your heart?



A new angel in heaven - to you Darcey Freeman

I've decided to put an extra post today, in honour of Darcey. Today is a tragic day for a little Melburnian girl - Darcey, aged 4, whose father threw her off the Westgate Bridge this morning.

I cannot imagine what state of mind he was in or what motivated him to think that throwing his little daughter off the highest point of a bridge in Melbourne would solve all his problems. I don't know what would make someone do this in front of his other 2 children - to scar them for life.

The papers have said he is in an "acute psychiatric state" and I'm sure he is. My thoughts go to Darcy's poor mother, who must be insane with grief and to Darcey's 2 brothers, who must be beyond reality right now.

This was their father - the man who is meant to be defender and protector - not perpetrator.

I've been through the Family Court system and I can understand frustration, in its purest form. I've been through it, not only with my own divorce but also with Grant regarding issues about his son, Sam. I can understand the total red anger you feel towards another person, more than likely the other parent, towards the system, towards life.....and, at times, it feels like everyone is blind from the truth which is staring everyone right in the face.

I've had unsavoury thoughts towards the father of my children, towards the mother of my husband's son.....for not doing "the right thing". I've wanted to make a public show or statement to demonstrate how the law assists deception and lies and manipulative behaviour. I've even wanted time alone with both of them, separately, in a padded cell and with a baseball bat.

But I've never.......not for one moment....considered hurting my children or Grant's son. They are the people who matter most to us both. Flesh of our own flesh.......it churns my insides to think of anyone hurting them, physically or otherwise and I would do what I had to do to anyone who did. They are innocence personified.

I cannot dig deep enough into my own psyche to make sense of what has happened to an innocent little 4 year old girl who was about to see her mother and never got there. My mind starts to cave in a little when I imagine the terror she must have felt, falling .....falling.... falling into the deep dark river of her eventual death.

Yet, something tells me that she's got it easy now. She's somewhere where no-one can harm her anymore and she is in the safest place of all. In God's little garden.

I will not pass judgement on her father for I don't know what drove him to this insane moment - to a moment when all sense and reason left him, to a point in time when all things normal left his being and he committed a most horrendous deed.

My thoughts and prayers are with Darcey's mother, who has lost a piece of herself for this lifetime and she will never be the same again. the horrid thoughts going through her mind as she wonders what Darcey's last moments were like.........and for Darcy's little brothers. One will probably not remember this but the 7 year old will be scarred beyond comprehension, for his lifetime.

My thoughts and prayers are with those 3 people, who today, are in the most indescribable place, emotionally, spiritually and totally.

Heat Wave

We're having a heatwave.....a tropical heatwave.....*singing*....Okay, more like a microwave heatwave.....it's bluddy hot, isn't it? 43 degrees???? This is just plain silly now. This is the kind of heat I encountered in India and THAT was just silly.

I don't think, aside from India, that I have experienced such unbearable heat. I walked out of my office today to be hit in the face with stifling heat, the kind that makes you feel like you just can't breathe.

Then......................an idiot boy jogs past me! Hey, Neanderthal Man!! It's too hot to jog, you damn fool - elderly people are dying from dehydration - have a little resp....*puff, puff puff*....etc. Res.....*puff puff*....pect. This is just too hot to be yelling at stupid people. So I walked back into my air-conditioned comfort and resumed breathing properly.

You know when it's REALLY hot and your nose turns up into the wind, looking for little pockets of cool air, like a retriever with it's head out of a car window? That's the look I had as I walked down the street this afternoon....... there was just no relief.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Unwalking Wounded

There will be many times that your requirements as a parent surprises even you, like it did me today.

Something inside me was ringing small little alarm bells after Saturday night's debacle. Adam had cut his foot open cleaning up broken glass and accidentally stepped on a piece which cut his foot quite badly. Not wanting to "ruin" my Saturday night dinner with friends, he decided he'd tell me about it on Sunday morning. Well, one look at the wound and we were off to the hospital. I could see straight away that it wasn't just a superficial cut and that it needed more attention that it had already received. Alex had, in my absence, attended to him really, really well but she wasn't aware of how deep and how serious the cut really was.

So, after x-rays were done and it was discovered that he still had a wedge of glass implanted in his foot, we were sent home until they located a plastic surgeon who could remove it. This being a Public Holiday and all, it was deemed nigh on impossible so antibiotics and painkillers in hand, we went home.

But something niggled at me. Not sure but it all seemed rather anti-climactic, like unfinished business. I rang the next day to find out that they had 'overlooked' putting Adam on the surgery list.....is this what they call Mother's instinct?

A wonderful, wonderful triage nurse "back-pedalled' and had him on today's list.

So, there we were, just the two of us, waiting, waiting, waiting.......and it's at this time - in retrospect - that I realise how powerful a parent's presence can be. For 10 hours, Adam and I played games that we made up on the spot like Name as many bands starting with the letter "B" and Name as many animals consecutively starting with the alphabet and Name as many countries/towns starting with the alphabet.

BUT the best game we played was using the surgical gloves we found as turkey giblet things and wearing them on our heads - well Adam's head to be exact - I have pics. We also used the 'paper' undies he was given to use during surgery as a hat and then a mask! Gotta say we snorted so much that even the staff were laughing at us. Not to mention trying not to laugh outloud at an elderly gentleman who was sharing the waiting ward with us who kept inadvertently "letting Polly out of prison".

So we were finally wheeled off to pre-op and Adam became very quiet, which I expected. False bravado aside, I think he was nervous as he's never undergone surgery leave alone general anaesthetic before. The plastic surgeon came out and introduced himself and asked Adam "So, young Mr. Bailey, what are we doing for you today?" I responded "Ummmm, a circumcision isn't it? The surgeon replies "It's what I've got here on my chart".....AAAAAAARGH!

Once they took him off to surgery, I was left facing the empty space where my son was lying, laughing with me only moments ago and, for a brief moment, my imagination went some place dark and morbid and the pain I felt in my heart ......well...I can't totally encompass the words to convey the heartache. Silly woman!

Once he came to, I went to see him in post op, which coincidentally was also pre-op - just the other side of the room - ingenius! My son was off his flying nut! He was laughing and talking very, very LOUDLY. The entire staff came to hear the racket and even they started laughing at him. "Can we have KFC now, MUM? This stuff is WONDERFULLLLL. I don't FEEEEL anything. I FEEEEEL good. Mum, I'm happy and they found my blood but it spurted everywhere and the lady said I had good veins".

Relief? You have no idea how relaxed your own body can become when relief seeps in. Yes, relief! My son was swinging from the vines but he was happy and out of pain and - better - the glass was out of his foot, finally. They saved it in a container and it was larger than we all thought ti would be - poor thing.

Anyway, it's quietish now and, on reflection, it has surprised me how calm I have been today and how patient I've been. Patience and I have never been the best of friends yet when it came to one of my treasured children, I had all the patience in the world. I had all the time to play word games and surgical glove games and talk endlessly about 'stuff'......

It was a very beautiful moment when Adam suddenly realised that I had been playing those games with him to distract him - that I wasn't trying to relieve my own boredom because I really wasn't bored at all. He was truly amazed at how distracted he DID become and how involved he got with the games we played and how grateful he was for the effort. it was when he said "I'm going to remember this for when I have kids" and that meant the world to me.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Desperately Seeking Funny Bone

The New Year is 26 days in and I'm yet to find life funny. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME???

Alex has redeemed my dilemma by choosing to spend her 18th money on her school fees and will worry about her rego and insurance when the time comes. So......that has been solved and an air of calm has descended on her (and me but only about this topic), which has pacified me some.

However, just as I was settling myself nicely into the couch of comfort in my mind, Adam cut his foot open on some broken glass on Saturday night and didn't tell me about it until Sunday afternoon. So......a dash to the hospital uncovers a deep wound with a piece of glass still lodged quite deeply in his foot and has now positioned itself horizontally. So surgery is required with nary a plastic surgeon to be found because it's a Public Holiday (Australia Day).

Squeaky wheel gets the oil and now we're going back to the hospital tomorrow with the possibility that he'll be operated on tomorrow afternoon but no guarantee.

How can I be worn out when the year is so new? This was meant to be a very relaxing long weekend and I am not relaxed yet. I can't find my smile and nothing is very funny right now.

One of these days, this blog is gonna showcase my sense of humour - just not right now.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Other Shaz

Okay, comes the time to introduce you to "Other Shaz"....I did mention her in a previous post - she's not here today but she'll show up and I'd like you to know a little about her before you meet her.



I have this alterego that lives inside my shell - I call her Other Shaz - and she talks to me regularly. I suspect she could be my conscience but I didn't think consciences would be sarcastic and Other Shaz is very sarcastic.



We actually have conversations together which can be very funny. Other times, she's there to soothe and comfort and, most times, she is a hedon and buggers off if she thinks I am going to rely on her to cheer me up. She has been known to disappear if she gets a better offer.


I've spoken to her many times, while I'm driving alone, and she helps me navigate. We've even ended up in fights like the time I was driving through St. Kilda looking for Fitzroy Street and it seemed to disappear? She says to me "Whaddya mean it's disappeared??? A street can't just disappear. You haven't looked hard enough" to which I reply "Whaddya mean I haven't looked hard enough???? Did you think I just like driving around blindly?" She says "So where is it? Where is Fitzroy Street?" I say, I DON'T KNOW, SMARTARSE!!! You seem to know everything - YOU tell me where it went!"



I don't have a profile for Other Shaz - I don't know what she looks like and I don't know when she will show up and when she'll disappear. She just comes whenever she feels like it.


It's not like a multiple personality disorder because I'm still here when she comes. Other Shaz made me jump off the top deck on a three masted schooner in Greece KNOWING that I can't swim. She just kept on at me and at me and at me...."Gwan, ya chicken....jump!! JUMP!!" and then, to stop the nagging, I did what she asks.

Other Shaz sometimes sits on my shoulder, like a comical devil, and files her nails while passing judgement/comment and, on occasion I've been known to respond to her sarcasm outloud. She finds this hysterically funny and I've found it socially homicidal.

Other Shaz also saves me sometimes. She injects humanity into me some days and she reminds me what it's like to be human and make mistakes......she's so unpredictable and I never know whose side she's on, on any given appearance. I just have to go with her flow.

She makes life a whole heap more exciting and I wouldn't be rid of her because she's adventurous and exciting.....and she's very very funny.