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.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bibliophile - Not An Obsession With Bibles, Okay?

My Amazon.com Wish List

I have always, and will continue to, have an addictive relationship with books as far as I can remember. I love books! They represent so much more to me - another dimension, another world, a chance to reinvent myself and take the role of the main protagonist and go somewhere for the duration of the page count. It's a chance to live, learn and travel to new places, even if it's only in your mind.

In all my time of discovery, I have introduced myself to thousands of books and they have either become my new best friend or they've been piffed on the hard rubbish of my life.

I try to make friends with every book I open - each book has an unique personality, much like a fingerprint and I try not to pass judgement by purely looking at it's cover and creating my own perception of what it really is about on the inside - a bit like people, really. Sometimes I'm really good and my book surprises me, pleasantly and then I pat myself on the back for having the depth of perception to choose it, not for what it looked like but for what it was, inside - oh, clever little me...

Other times, I justify the 'bad pick' because (wait for it) it was a wolf in sheep's clothing - it certainly wasn't ME choosing it purely on the basis that it said "erotic"....or...."sexual tension" on the back cover, certainly I wouldn't be as superficial as that. It certainly wasn't the Rubinesque Renaissance beauty on the cover, draped in burgundy and gold with voluptuous thighs and pert breasts.....would I choose a book purely because of the promise of romance and deviance? I think not.

Which is why I choose biographies, for the most part. What type of biographies? Oh, the ones about people's lives - duh.

Today, Grant took me to lunch at the top end of Bourke Street, where there sits an old bookshop with the most delectable and inviting titles in the window. The Hill of Content has a history in Melbourne that I have only just discovered (today, in fact) and in keeping with it's quaint title, has a certain 'olde worlde' charm once you step over it's threshhold. It has an ambience of antique paper and pipe smoking, an immediate relaxed and peaceful feeling overcomes you once you trail the shelves for titles not always found in your Borders, Angus and Robertson, Collins-type bookstore. Ironically, the Hill of Content was bought by Angus & Robertson in 1951, after the owner no longer wished to run it because his son died.

As you quietly ascend the crimson-lined albeit worn out carpet and the dark carved timber stairs with it's Victorian-style balustrading to the first floor, a sense of anticipation creeps in - you just don't know what's waiting for you upstairs and......with a sense of relief, it doesn't disappoint. Bound copies of the classics, one-off editions of artists catalogues, beautifully bound classic literature for the discerning reader.....my heart stepped up a notch, pounding. It was like finding the most precious treasure, right here, in my own backyard.

Eyes devour titles delicately stacked sideways - the nose takes in the beautiful, comforting smell of "oldness" - like being at Grandma's house after she's baked a home-made apple pie and the heart takes flight. For here, in this little bookshop, which has it's own history, there are new friends - yet to be made. New acquaintances to get to know and new souls to take back home with you, knowing that this new friendship .......is a keeper.

I have found a peaceful oasis where I know I will revisit and visit again. This place has beckoned for weeks and months and today I gave in and was rewarded handsomely.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Anger and Frustration

I'm so pleased that enough of my friends and family genuinely care enough to have responded to yesterday's dilemma, which - coincidentally - is still well and truly alive and kicking.

I'm not pacified any more than I was yesterday, sadly. Alex's attitude stinks bigtime and I find myself not wanting to co-operate or help her. How unmotherly is this? She manages to offend me and push my buttons more and more frequently to the stage where I just want to walk away and let her learn from the School of Hard Knocks. I want to help.......but i only want to help if she also helps herself.


Why does it feel like this is all so very hard ?

So........I'm in that place where I'm debating internally. "Let her learn by making her own mistakes".......or..........."You're her mother - you have to guide her". Thing is, she doesn't want guidance because she thinks she knows everything. In fact, she's sure she knows it all. THAT whole attitude, in itself, shows me how naive and immature she really is. Her choices, so far, have not really worked in her benefit.


What is it with this generation? They want freedom and independence and autonomy so long as someone else provides and pays for it? Just basic intelligence will tell you that if someone is paying your way, you are NOT independent, fool.......


I'm finding that being the mother to my 18 year old is not particularly satisfying or enjoyable at this moment.

I'm finding that my investment - emotionally and financially - is not paying good dividends. The financial planner in me then asks "So what do you do.........withdraw your investment and cut your losses or do you hang in there, hoping for an upswing which could possibly recoup your losses?" All I hear is the wind whistling through the rustling tumbleweed........no answer.
Part of me wonders if other parents are also cutting their respective losses with their "investments" or are their investments paying off and is it just me who's experiencing this? Is THIS what parents are supposed to do? I left home at 18 yrs and have lived an independent life so I don't have a benchmark to recall and compare.
I am angry and frustrated yet I can't pinpoint what it is that's bothering me the most........
Is it that Alex's priorities are foolishly organised and she is putting her future in detriment? All for the sake of having her car on the road. For crying out loud, she doesn't even have a job to pay for her petrol and I certainly won't be supplying that!

Or is it because of her refusal to help herself in preference to having a good time? Rather than look for another job, she's galavanting around the place - or so it appears from my vantage point - I could be wrong.

I'm just annoyed at her lack of motivation and dynamicism (is that a word????). I'm annoyed that Carl has bought her a car so that's another "gimme" that she hasn't had to work for and now she would like me to pay for her TAFE fees ...........and I won't.
I'm pissed off that she has put our family in this position where the atmosphere at home is so tense and uncomfortable. Harsh words are exchanged on a daily/hourly basis and there seems to be a stranglehold with life, in general. We walk on eggshells until we can't anymore.......we try to skim the surface with the idea of introducing options but that gets batted away angrily.

I hate this! I hate this! I hate hate hate hate this! I hate this whole situation and I'm angry because I feel like it's been unfairly thrust upon me..........I'm done with confrontation and arguments and the dischord. I've done battle for so many years and I'm tired and worn out and fed up.
I......................I.....................I...................it's all about I...............

I wish that Alex was more cooperative and amenable and open-minded and calm and approachable.

I wish I was anywhere but here right now.








Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Washing Basket Emotions

What a memorable day! Riveted to the computer screen at work, I watched almost dream-like to his speech today and was inspired. Not to become the first Anglo Indian Australian President or anything like that but just generically inspired.

Speaking of inspiration, my cousin Dave and his girlfriend are traipsing around South America and his blog duo-dinamico.livejournal.com is nothing short of inspiration so if you get bored with my blog, I'm more than happy for you to skip to his so long as I still get credit for entertainment value.

Okay, today I'm feeling a bit low to be honest. I debated whether to reveal that or not and couldn't think of a reason why I would keep my mood hidden. I am carefully walking a small tightrope of dilemma with Alex. She was just been accepted do to a TAFE course but the fees are upfront. We've set aside money for her registration and insurance for her car but I strongly feel that this money should go towards her TAFE fees. The dilemma is that if we don't come up with the money, she'll 'get' it elsewhere - loan it from a friend etc, which irks me.

I am trying to get her to embrace adulthood and not rely on others for her keep. I have all these wonderful ideas in my head - they all follow the perfect solution which may not come to fruition, I might add but ever the optimist, I feed these ideas.

One the one hand, I could scrape/beg/rob Peter to pay Paul and pay the fees but I have a moral predicament with this idea. It is firmly my own opinion that Alex needs to pay for her own education in order to totally value it. She currently has an air of entitlement that bothers me and so I believe that she needs to work and sacrifice from her own efforts rather than mine. I don't think one totally feels the effort of anything if it's catered for by someone else.

The other side of me feels the parental responsibility to ensure that I am enabling her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. There's a biological pull that says that this is kinda still my job, isn't it? Another voice says that my job was completed when she finished high school.

Alex has wanted for nothing and, for my own reasons, I have tried my best to compensate for things that her Dad should have done for her but, for his own reasons, he chose not to. In doing so, I believe I have helped create a spoiled child who believes that she is owed everything. Hence, my decision to get her to work and pay for her own education.

Thing is, she has said that she will borrow the money from her boyfriend to pay for her fees which is the opposite of the lesson I am trying to teach her. I don't understand why she doesn't want to do for herself. I don't understand this penchant to rely on other people....

Internally, I feel torn. I am in a sticky situation - which in itself causes me discomfort - and there doesn't seem to be a right answer available. I don't want to punish her or make life harder for her but, on the other hand, I don't want to present everything - yet again - on a platter to her.

If I pay, then I'm perpetuating the spoiled child syndrome and there's no guarantee she will treat her studies seriously. If I don't pay, what are the consequences, short-term and long-term of that?

To top it off, she no longer has her part-time job and has started the search of other work but that's not going to happen before this Tuesday.

At some stage, my 18 year old has to embrace the freedoms and the accompanying responsibilities and hardships of being an adult.

Someone somewhere is stressing, waiting for serious medical
life-or-death test results as I sit here, pondering my daughter's future.


Someone, somewhere is waiting for a response to their migration application which will impact their entire future, while I sit here, pondering my daughter's future.

Someone, somewhere is
bent over with grief, waiting for the hearse to come collect their loved one,
while I sit here, pondering my daughter's future.


Someone, somewhere is strapped in
an overturned car, waiting for the ambulance to come save and stop their
lifeblood from draining......while I sit here, pondering my daughter's
future.


Someone, somewhere is sitting, pondering their daughter's future,
while I put my sneakers on go and for a very long walk to air my
confusion.



Monday, January 19, 2009

Coincidence or Magik Voodoo Juju?

Okay, now let me know what you think.

I thought it would be funny to publicly let everyone know about my sister and her yoghurt thrush thing, okay? You won't believe what's happened to me! I suddenly - out of nowhere, like REALLY out of nowhere - got thrush????!!!! I haven't had this for over 10 years and now, after just casually mentioning it - purely to be funny - it comes out of nowhere! Not happy Jan. Moving on..... I think my sister got her majik juju doll and conjured the yeast infection fairies to rain on my parade.

It's so goddamn hot that I haven't got the energy or motivation to take pics and I'm afraid I've fallen off my photo-a-day journal thingy. I WILL get back on the horse but not while it's so bloody hot.


You know today's been a funny sort of day. It's culminated into a concentration of friends who are just having a shitty time out of life right now. I won't mention them individually - that's personal - but really, when I look closely, I can count five definite close mates who life is not being kind to right now. Thing for me is that I take on their pain and feel the burden of their darkness because, maybe for similar reasons and, in some cases, with no similarity at all, I empathise with their sadness/disappointments/hurt.

I look sideways, like a confused puppy, at each of these precious women and wish I could make life different for them. I wish I could turn back the days/weeks/months and gently make them take the other course, the other path. In some of their cases, their path was already chosen for them......and there's no apparent or blatant reason for what's happened - only that it has.

I remember walking down my own personal corridor of healing and it took longer than the books said it should. I couldn't find that magic door to release the pain and start again. I stumbled, most days, violently rattling doors that just wouldn't open or opening the wrong door.......and frustration and resentment built up. I'm a control freak and I wasn't in control. No matter the decisions I made, it seemed like going through a maze that would only bring me back to the beginning to start again.

I know a few of my friends are going through this right now and, like my own circumstances, no-one can really help. You see, they are on this side of the river, trying to get to the other side, where safety and peace abides, and the perilous water in between is infested by sharks and crocodiles and water snakes and jagged rocks - and they have to manouevre through this torrent that rages - to get to the other side. That's the prize, you see......

I hope you are reading this and that you know that I am here and I am wading into the water, hand outstretched to help you and to try and help your footing as you make that first step. You're going to slip and you're going to fall and you're going to panic.....and worse, you're going to want to go back. .......and I'm your friend, in the truest sense and I won't let you go back. Why? Because I crossed the river and I am on the serene, calm side and it is so worth the struggle to keep your footing through the rage and through the confusion and still persevere forward - to ignore the dragging desire to turn around and go back to what you think is 'safety'.

I am feeling your hurt and your sadness. I can see it in your eyes and I know that this is not what you envisioned your life to include as part of your journey. Nothing horrid ever is planned, is it?

At various times during the day, my mind wanders to you - yes YOU - and I wonder how you're coping and what your internal dialogue is saying to you at that moment and what level of sadness are you feeling......... so know that I do more than just spare a thought. I worry and I care, genuinely.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Heritage

I'm a bit wowed this morning. At a dinner party last night at my parents' place, elements of my heritage were revealed that I didn't know about. Of course you knew I was Anglo-Indian, didn't you? Truth is I never knew where the 'Anglo' came from. In my mind, I'd attributed it to a great-great-grandmother having relations somewhere along the line with a soldier back in the days of the British Raj and, voila, here's our family.


Last night, the soldier was revealed!


He is Jack Pearson from the 42nd or 46th (I'd had too many white wines by this stage) Lancashire regiment. He fathered children with my great-grandmother, of which my grandmother, Doris was one of them.


I'm quite gerschtumped today, to tell you the truth. I've always been quite used to a hodge podge of family history and, never once, did I stop to look at those family tree things becasue I always suspected that I would never get to the truth. Well truth revealed itself to me between prosciutto wrapped prunes and fried haloumi with lemon juice at my Mum and Dad's place.


I've never asked about my family history because I'd naturally assumed that no-one knew. I was also very suspicious of anyone who said that they did know, puttin git down to the probability that 'someone' was just painting the canvas the way they wanted to view the painting.


By pure deduction - and you really don't have to be a genius to get to this hypothesis - I worked out that our Anglo-Indian sub-culture was formed by soldiers from the British Army creating new families - intentionally or, as I suspect, otherwise - during their occupation in India. Once India gained Independence, they returned to Great Britain to resume their old lives. I further suspect that a vast majority of these soldiers already had well-established families waiting for their return and so their placebo families in India were left to survive on their own. It would be poignant to note now that there is not social security system in India so one was always left to rely on realtives and immediate family for support of all types.


When that support went back to Britain, these women were left - much like their Vietnamese counterparts during the Vietnam War - to fend for themselves. God knows how they did it. My grandmother, Doris, was one of these children - created by circumstance.



So.........in search of Jack Pearson - here goes!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Seven Pounds

Went to see Seven Pounds with G and what an inspirational movie.....wow! I don't see a lot of movies because I am quite particular about what I watch. It takes me longer for the penny to drop, I'll admit. When I saw Sixth Sense, it honestly took me 98% of the movie before I worked it out - doh! Anyway, I'm not giving anything away - Seven Pounds is nothing like Sixth Sense.....heeeeeeey, check out the coincidink?? Sixth? Seventh? I digress......




Very thought provoking movie last night and I was sitting next to the worst critic in the wrold and even he thought it was great. Gives you heaps to talk about later and even more to ponder privately and I LOVE a movie that elicits that.



I'm still in two minds whether I viewed the main character as brave or as a coward. Is there such a thing as cowardly bravure.....or brave cowardice? Elements of both I guess.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Appropriate Cures for Thrush


Had to laugh today relaying a story that I had forgotten to a friend. Gotta relay it here - not sure if anyone will find it funny but I do and that's all that matters.
Someone I know had a bad case of thrush - antibiotics caused it, I heard her say. Anyway, apparently she heard that natural yoghurt is a great remedy for the itchiness, turning the acid to alkaline - or something like that anyhoo. So, she raids Mum's fridge.......ooooh, did I just give away who it was? Kaz? Do you think anyone's worked it that it was you or is your identity safe, ya reckon?


Where was I...........she raids Mum's fridge and sure 'nuff, there's a huge tub of Paul's Natural Yoghurt, as there is usually. So 'someone' takes the tub away and whacks a whole mutherlode onto her wageenie.



Now see, being of Indian descent, Mum cooks Indian food and the normal array of accompaniments. 'Someone' didn't ask Mum if the yoghurt was okay to use and she paid the price.


Mum had mixed salt, vinegar and chilli powder with the yoghurt and put it back into the yoghurt container. The very same container that 'someone' was now smearing all over her vah-jay-jay!!

Hooooooooooooo weeeeeeeeeeee!!!
"Delightfully tangy and lemony on the palate"


























































Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Brighter The Light, The Darker The Shadow

There are many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year's course.

Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.

Carl Jung.



There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free.

Walter Cronkite

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Off Moments

I don't feel that great today. I've been having these moments more frequently lately and they're inexplicable. It's like a migraine but not. Aside from the light headedness and extreme fatigue, I lose vision a little and I have to sleep through this blurry muzzy-headedness. However, so much sleep makes you restless even though you're still tired. Too much tightness in the scalp and the eternal headache.........sleep beckons.

No-one wants to hear how crap you feel so I'll sign off now - nothing to add apart from "feeling crap today".

Monday, January 12, 2009

Today which is now Yesterday and La Famille

Family.


Today was spent deliciously celebrating Alex's 18th birthday with the closest family members. No pomp, no circumstance, no formalities - a brilliant BBQ at Funfields in Melbourne's sensational summer.


Retrospectively speaking, today (yesterday) was one of those warm, bubbly days that makes you so grateful for the gorgeous people in your life. I've had a past which was very different to the life I have now. I've had lifelong friends, from school, from travel, from work and they've all played a wonderful part in that previous life. However, with the reinvention and 9 year long tranformation from Sharon Bailey to Sharon Johnston, most of them have had to be cut loose for a variety of reason, which I'm choosing not to elabroate on.


I have discovered new friends and the creme-de-la-creme - my family. They've always been there, mind you - some longer than others but we've all slowly evolved to this place - the "here and now' - where we've bonded in what I can only describe as a 'safe, warm, cosy, cocoon of marshmallowy soft love'. I feel blessed. I think of them individually and collectively and wonder what did I do right in this life to have them all under my personal umbrella of love? I am very, very lucky.


"Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such". Henry Miller.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Nostalgia

"Some moments that I've had, some moments of pleasure. I think about us lying, lying on a beach somewhere. I think about us diving, diving from a rock into another moment." Kate Bush in Moments of Pleasure..."

Just being alive, it can really hurt and these moments given are a gift from time.
Just let us try to give these moments back to those we love, to those who will survive"



Isn't it wonderful that some of us have precious little pockets of recollections that, upon opening, release a powder puff of smells and sounds and feelings that just take you back to that moment and, for a brief instance, you're back there....and it feels brilliant! As time sails by, these moments turn from bronze to silver to gold to pure white bliss.


.... sitting in your bedroom, listening to your tapes of Kate Bush for the very first time and feeling like I had just had my eyes and ears opened for the first time. You seemed like you were this elegant and worldly woman to me, shrouded in a young 17 year old body. You just seemed to float above me, beyond me..... your skin was made from fine porcelain and your eyes sparkled with life and joy and you were so very 'different'. You intrigued me.....your unique literary abilities, your intelligence, your beauty, your laugh. I loved your laugh the most because it was effervescent and bubbly and you shook your shoulders when you laughed uncontrollably. I had left home and you opened yours to me. We shared your bedroom that summer with Kate Bush and Eve Arden and Estee Lauder.



.... sitting on the edge of a serene peaceful lake, side by side, each silently going through the autopsy and post mortem of our individual actions and the "where to, from this point?" The lake was everything that we weren't....it was silent and peaceful, crystal clear and cool. Rusty lichen covered rocks made the area feel eerie - not another soul in sight - just us. I remember making a nervously humourous comment "You haven't brought me to some nuclear testing sight, have you?" It accompanies the recollections of a lush, green forest.......and an antique cupboard with a long mirror reflecting a room which served as a retreat from the rest of the world.

"You'll never know that you had all of me. You'll never know the poetry you've stirred in me. Of all the stars I've seen that shine so brightly, I've never known or felt in myself so rightly, It's in me. "

..... you walked in, hidden by a bush of individually stemmed red roses with a grin as wide as the entrance to Luna Park. 80 red roses from the local florist, maxed your credit card, I suspect. Why 80? Because that's all they had, you replied. The nurses following you held the roses in a variety of vases and jugs - they didn't have enough for all the roses you had bought. Those roses said pride and love like nothing else could. We were a family and I had just had your pride and joy.

.... the smell of my freshly bathed babies.....oh Thank You Mr Johnston & Johnston! (how ironic??). Their individual chuckles still give me goosebumps and I cannot help but feel like my chest has fallen through my body when I hear a baby chuckle with laughter. God bless home videos so that I can recall and relive these gorgeous little ingots of time.

.... "I'm looking to the sky to save me, looking for a sign of life. Looking for something to help me burn out bright. I'm looking for a complication. Looking cause I'm tired of lying (trying). Make my way back home when I learn to fly".... Not sure how many times I played that in my car, over and over again, flying down the freeway to your home, leaving mine behind. The adrenalin pumping excitement of knowing I'd be with you in 20 minutes, 15 minutes, 10 minutes. That unsure slightly awkward moment of meeting because we were at that point of knowing that this was something more than just friendship but not knowing who was going to make the next move. Delicious!




Whatever I do is done out of sheer joy; I drop my fruits like a ripe tree. What the general reader or the critic makes of them is not my concern. Henry Miller.











Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Goals and Microlighting - not to be used in the same sentence

As part of my ongoing desire to become a better human being, I've started my own self-imposed, self-directed self development program - albeit using a branded program that I shall keep nameless for fear of this being mistaken as some soft-sell vehicle.



Part of the program targets career enhancement etc etc but a huge part is applicable to my personal life and, after doing some initial groundwork, yesterday was the day that I started making actions to start putting things in place? Sound mysterious? Not really.



My goals for the next month are thus:


  • enrol in a photography course, which I have almost done - just waiting for fundage to hit my bank account and I will be starting in February.

  • start walking around the massive gardens near work at least 3 times a week - started that already.

  • do some regular charity work - have contacted the organisations I want to volunteer for and awaiting responses.

  • try to gain control of my increasingly short temper - have contacted the organisations I want to volunteer for and awaiting responses.........okay, okay - this one might take a bit of work......I'm only human.

I think, in life, it's easier to tread water than it is to start swimming forward - in my life anyway - and I want to achieve things. I want to do......I want to experience...... and thinking about these things is Part One of the process but I've decided to empower myself to take it to the next step.


Part of this process is to identify the usually stumbling blocks that make me such a brilliant procrastinator. I should have a PhD in "plausible and reasonable excuses". So.......no more excuses. Only reasons. Reasons why I have to do volunteer work. Reasons why I need/want to progress with my photography. Reasons why it's important to do some regular exercise out in the outdoors. I have all those reasons and I have thrown in some fairly focussed motivations to get these things done - including setting some tangible dates and times that I want it done by. Empowering!!


I like to think that I have the ability to evolve and to grow; to take that step outside of my comfort zone to see what lurks beyond; to challenge my abilities and, when I've regained consciousness, to know my limitations.


I'm toying with the idea of going microlighting. Que'est ce c'est 'microlighting'? It's one of those motorised combobulators that you hurl yourself off a cliff and ......it's hang-gliding with a motor thing. I'm currently researching the statistics of death by microlighting combobulators and will let you know if it's a "thumbs up"....or an "eh".

http://www.eagleschool.com.au/eagle_002.htm


Part of me is reassessing my mortality and the other part (you know....'other' Shaz - a topic for another entry later on, perhaps) is saying that it's risky, dangerous and could make Grant a widower, or worse, me a paraplegic. Actually, if truth be know'd, 'other Shaz' is saying "Do it, ya lilly-livered peckerhead" and it's Good Shaz that's saying "Think of the kids.....think of G".



Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Home, My Town

Glorious Melbourne! She is a fickle woman with multiple personalities, multiple moods, multiple smiles for her multiple lovers. Turn a corner and you're in a new world, new culture - even the weather seems different and, being a Melburnian, we give, we change along with her, knowingly.

I work on Spring Street at the top Eastern end of Melbourne. The 'Paris' end of Melbourne, as we know it. Here, the shops are spaced out and seems less congested or are the streets just wider? Parliament House looks authoritatively down Bourke Street and sideways on Spring Street, laying out before it like a smorgasbord platter. The trams come and go, unknowingly and unaware of the people, the traffic - it has it's course and it comes and goes and rarely looks up to see if anything has changed.


At the top end of Bourke Street are two famous restaurants that are famous gathering places and haunts of the Melbourne Mafia or Underworld - "top notch posh" restaurants coincidentally also frequented by politicians, celebrities, who's who. One world trying to slink in and out in anonymity, the other sitting on tables on the sidewalk, hoping they'll be recognised and their egos inflated for yet another day.



As you walk by, the tone moves from public service to a more cosmopolitan al fresco air, where you know you can get anything if you knew who to ask. A part of you wonders if today's the day you'll hear the rat-a-tat-tat of a machinegun firing off from the rear window of a black Mercedes as it drives by, taking the target and you, unpreparedly, to a darker place where there's silence. As you walk by and hear the swish of a breeze ruffling through the oak trees lining Bourke Street, you realise that you'll live another day and that, probably somewhere down Lygon Street in Carlton, the reverie is being lived out for real and you'll watch it in horror on the 6 o'clock news tonight, safe at home.


You walk past the construction workers, packing up for the day. They briefly look up, hoping you're a taut secretary with the highest heels that tighten your calf muscles and, sadly, look back down again because you're wearing your sneakers with your corporate suit and haven't delivered one of the few special treats for them, working in the city.


You straighten up your backpack and walk briskly past them, towards JB HiFi, denying the temptation to meander in and just see. Nobody just meanders into JB to just see.... you know that the minute you're within coo-ee of the big distinctive yellow doors, you know you're walking back out with a CD or DVD you're not sure you really wanted but was too cheap to leave languishing amongst all the other outdated CDs and DVDs. But not today. Today, Melbourne's warm summer has got you magnetised to the pavement because that's where the most sunshine is right now.
You turn into Swanston Street, heading towards Flinders Street Station, and into a row of cheap Asian clothes stores. The type of stores that young teenagers with their first pay packet race into, to buy copies of originals from Myer and David Jones that they can't afford just yet. You smell the acrid odour of the horse and carriages sweat and pooh, waiting for tourists to buy a clip-clop trip around the CBD. you know why they call it the 'Paris end' where you've just come from....because this doesn't smell like the parts of Paris you've visited. This smells of the toil and sweat of hard-working people, cracking nails and breaking backs to make a living to pay for that little plot of soil and bricks and mortar they call home.


In the distance, you see the famous 'M' of MacDonalds, Macca's and Hungry Jacks looming in the distance and, a smirk of pride that you are not one bit tempted because this is not your kind of food. They don't sell vegetarian sushi and wholemeal tandoori wraps or spicy lentil soup with coriander and fresh crusty bread rolls. They don't sell rich hazelnut and dark Italian chocolate tarts in delicate yet rich buttery pastry shells. No, this isn't where you buy Vietnamese salads or Teri Yaki rice paper rolls or, God forbid, organic Sri Lankan chicken curry with rice and Fijian water so it's with pure safety that you walk on by.

St. Patrick's stands in all it's newly scrubbed and renovated majesty. Then you see the worst thing - drug dealers and homeboys, sprawling on the lawns of St. Pat's with their hooded jackets, headbands and sunglasses, gesturing fingers flailing their own language to each other. It's hard to say if they're going to stab someone or whether they're going to hug them....or both. The steps of St. Pat's is defiled with the city's vermin, tarnished with the reality of life while a solitary figure in the background, waves a Bible in his hand and preaches to no-one in particular. No-one's listening andhe knows it. Yet this is his message or maybe his penance and he progresses unwavingly...........and there is Flinders Street Station.

The iconic ambience of the station is temporarily set aside for now because it is has to perform its daily duty of shuttling commuters to and fro......train in.......train out....train in......train out.....train cancelled.....train in.....train out.....train cancelled.....train late.....to their homes, where they flop on their couches and exhale.






Tuesday, January 6, 2009

We Are All Of Us In The Gutter - Just Some of Us Are Looking At The Stars

"....because we all have wings......just some of us don't know why" - Michael Hutchence.

"Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever...it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything". Aaron Siskind.




“To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” Elliott Erwitt.








"Most things in life are moments of pleasure and a lifetime of embarrassment; photography is a moment of embarrassment and a lifetime of pleasure." Tony Benn.







"A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety. " Ansel Adams.






















Monday, January 5, 2009

A Big Dollop of Happiness Please

The subject of happiness makes more money for publishers than you'd imagine and everyone seems to be in pursuit of this elusive commodity - happiness. We all want to capture a piece of it, like a lepidopterist chasing that rare and elusive butterfly, to then hold it hostage by caging it so everyone can see our uniquely newfound 'happiness'.

So what is this thing called happiness?

Is it really winning the Lotto and paying off your house and never having to stress about bills anymore? Or being able to travel anywhere you want to for the rest of your life?
Is it really hoping and wishing and praying that the man (or woman) of your dreams will kick down your door and rescue you, taking you back to his castle on a remote island surrounded by impressionistic fog (was this just my dream? I haven't patented it so please feel free to take copyright if you think this was originally your idea...).

So many workshops, so many courses - all bleating and braying the know-how to truly find happiness....how to tap into your spirituality for there lies the fountain of all things happiness related. It almost feels like the Amazing Race sometimes...... like we're all competing to find happiness before everyone else does - like there is a 'use by' date that we have to meet or else happiness will go sour like milk.

I wonder if, everyday, that we just 'be' or 'experience' is actually happiness and only those of us who can recognise the beauty of just 'being' or 'experiencing' knows that in that little tiny particle of time and space lies happiness as it's meant to be.


Isn't happiness that pinpointed moment when you look at a little baby's foot and marvel at it's creation - at five toes , at five fingers each with it's unique print of identity?

Isn't it the moment when you look at a flower and see perfection - whatever perfection means to you?


Isn't it that moment when the temperature of the breeze is just right and you can touch freedom as it passes around and over you?

Is it called happiness when you feel yet another bubble of love burst with pride when you think of someone special?

Today, I drove my son to his friend's holiday house in Inverloch, about 2 hours away from Melbourne. Adam and I stacked the car with our favourite CD's with every intention of playing them LOUD and singing to them even LOUDER - one of our favourite things to do together. There was Jimmy Hendrix, waiting for Hey Joe to be played; there was AC/DC and Nickleback. We had Diesel, James Reyne, Foo Fighters, Vika and Linda Bull and about 10 or so other bands all queued up.


Yet, there we were, half way through our trip and still talking and laughing - no music. We were just 'being' and it's one of those precious moments you share with your child, where they want to be with you because they're enjoying your company.


After dropping him off, I took three luxurious hours for myself, which felt like two weeks, and I meandered home via the coastline, taking photos of whatever caught my eye. The seabreeze was simply magical - cool enough to take the bite out of the blazing sun but not too cold that you didn't feel it strain through your pores taking all your woes and troubles away with it.

As much as I really and genuinely missed Grant not being with me, for three hours, I felt happy. Truly happy. For three hours, I was carefree, nonplussed, worry-free. No chores, no bills, no whinging voices..........nothing. Just me and my camera and nature waving it's fruits at me...."pick me, pick me".....

In those three hours, I missed Grant by my side, showing me something I had overlooked. I missed him directing my photos strategically or symmetrically or trying his own deft photographic hand with his dinky camera. I missed Alex, huffing and puffing and looking at her watch and sighing in that none-too-subtle art of communication that says "Are you going to be long at this? I have a life to attend to". I missed Adam, being patient and caring but, in reality, harmonising Alex's huffs and puffs but not wanting to reiterate the message that he has a life he, too, needs to attend to. I missed Sam just being there because Sam hasn't yet learned this fine art of puffing and puffing and sighing but, no doubt, he will.

I missed my family so much that I forgot how much they irritate me sometimes. I forgot how much I pray for pockets of silence - and yet here was a pocket of silence that I didn't know how to fill without them there. What a paradox of happiness, right?

Here I was, trying to escape the predictable patterns of my life and, simultaneously, missing the contents of the symmetry of those patterns at the same time.



There is something very delicious about missing someone. It reminds you how happy you are to have ever met them and that they are such an integral part of your life, whether by choice, by birth or my accident.

Today I tasted bright white happiness. That stupid, sun-drenched, cheesy-arsed grin of happiness.....that I had flown my birdcage and, yet, couldn't wait to get home. For me, it's the easiest thing to do - rather than read self-help books or attend courses, I fly a little. I fly away and just 'be'. By just 'being' I open my heart to the uncluttered form of freedom that allows my spirit to soar on those recharging and invigorating seabreezes. Those breezes come and embrace my worries and wrap them up and take them away, leaving me very grateful and full of love.

All the way home, I drove with that stupid cheesy grin of appreciation on my face.......I loved my family, I loved Australia, I loved our dry, parched, brown countryside and our vast rugged, sandblasted yet soft beaches. I loved the photo I took of a lonely little dandelion with it's bright white Andy Warhol hairstyle, I loved the hayroll-dotted acre upon acre of windmills boring away muddy water for our farms. I loved the music in my car, I loved that I knew most of the words and I loved the fact that I had the freedom and independence to take my son wherever he wanted to go.

I loved my life, today. I was free. I was independent. I was happy.












































Alex's 18th birthday

Yesterday was Alex's 18th birthday and we headed up into the hills with Grandma and Grandpa to have a wonderful lunch together. There we were, overlooking the skyline of Melbourne on a warm, hazy summer day - sipping Yellowglen Bella - who's been hiding THIS from me?



We stayed up the previous night watching old videos of the kids when they were really young - recollecting Alex. Such a worthwhile thing to do every once in a while.
Alex was very laidback about turning 18. I thought she'd be far more excited but she carried an air of.....sadness about her....not sure what that was about. All her friends have gone away so I suspect that was behind it - that she wanted a far more glorious celebration than lunching with her family but that's not how her birthday panned out.

Needless to say, the rest of us were very happy about her 18th birthday. We went up to Mt. Dandenong and let me say, the Dandenongs never disappoint - regardless of the season. The gardens were flushed with colour and life and, given that we have strict water restrictions, everything was so beautifully green and lush.
My Dad took some really lovely pics of Grant and me in the gardens - we rarely have our photos taken together because I'm always behind the camera. I, in turn, took pics of Mum & Dad together. By this stage, Alex, Sticksy and Adam had chosen to come home as they were "knackered". I'm not sure what they were knackered from ..... where is the stamina for the younger ones?

There was a wedding going on in one of the lower gardens but Mum & I seized an opportunity to crash the reception area prior to the wedding getting there to take some pics of the setting. It was in black and white.







Saturday, January 3, 2009

Umbilical Cord? Cut here? Now?

Tomorrow - 4th January - signifies and confirms 18 years of suspicions and suppositions. Tomorrow, my daughter turns 18 years old and I have successfully managed to keep her alive and in tact for 18 years.

On a stinking hot Melbourne summer day of 40 degrees, we brought her home 18 years ago and, after 7 hours of sleeping solidly in one of those council baby car seats that you're given almost token like from the Family Health Centre, I thought I'd killed her. I remember asking her Daddy to check if she was still breathing.


Tomorrow....I expect a telegram from the Queen signifying to the world that I, in fact, managed to keep my child alive for the first 18 years of her life.


If I were to close my eyes and examine the montage of how I have experienced her up until now, it goes something like this:


  • clean, white baby, squinty eyes and even then stubborn as an ass - refused to breathe until she was ready to on her terms- had every on their toes even then.


  • a silouette of her father - this big strong rugby-like built man, sitting in a rocking chair with her safely tucked in his arms, rocking, rocking, rocking until she fell asleep - curtains open, street lights on outside - the rest of the world oblivious that at No. 4 was a little bundle who would not sleep unless her Dad didn't.


  • voice like Daffy Duck, inquisitive, energetic, mischievous, gentle but please don't get too close.


  • Dark brown curls that were Medusa like - could not get a brush through them - wild yet soft.


  • Maternally protective about her brother - "...but why is he cwying, Mummy? Mistuh? Why yah yoo cwying? Mistuh? accompanied by a solid kiss on his forehead. "Ay (Ali) sit with you, Mistuh? You yah vewwy noithy boyyo"


  • First word said, first time walking, first tooth out, first day at school, first friend.......first born tore my heart open. Could not help but love her.


  • First day at school - happy, friendly, all these new friends.....


  • Take my photo, Daddy..... "Wiggle it, just a little bit. C'mon wiggle it...."


  • Tears of pure heartache when told about Mummy and Daddy separating - her heart shattered and the echo of her grief will remain with me forever. I prefer to scan over these years - her hurt is still too much for me to recall.


  • First day at high school - "OMG! I look like a nun, please take my hem up!!"


  • Sleep overs with friends, school camp - first time away from Mum and her Dad - first time Mummy ran after the bus yelling to the driver "Look after my baby!" closely followed with the first public humiliation experienced.


  • Growing into a young girl with very strong opinions, very strong personality - athletic, sporty, humourous, loud, gregarious.


  • Spreading her wings, ready to fly but still only 14 years old - this is very frustrating.


  • End of high school....big open world out there.

We've had our moments, Alex and I. We've had beautiful times of love and laughter and girliness - shopping, shoes, shocking haircuts....we've also had times that have challenged our relationship - tears, tantrums, tirades.......


But tomorrow? Tomorrow I celebrate that I didn't kill her on that first day, bringing her home in the safety capsule........................but there's still time!



No relation to the berries in the pics - was chomping on fresh summer berries and Toblerone dip this evening and became reflective.........


Friday, January 2, 2009

Judgements

Alex came home from Nagambie today after going away with a friend, Kirsten, for a few days. Sticksy, her ex-current-future boyfriend came over as well. I've learned a few lessons from young Sticksy, a reserved, mono-syllabic lad of 21 years. He's a roof-tiler by trade and has been seeing Alex for the last 2 or so years. They've had their ups and downs and Sticksy has taught me about patience and understanding with my own daughter.



Isn't it funny how we judge - despite bleating out to the world that we don't - we do. We see people and initially form some sort of judgement about who they are, what they're seemingly about and where they fit into our lives - or don't fit, as the case may be sometimes.



Sticksy has grown on me and I have developed a tremendous amount of respect for him after he handled some prickly situations between Alex and me in the last few years. In his own way, he has calmed and shown direction, shown love and patience when it was most needed....

I also think Sticksy has slowly become relaxed in my presence as well. It didn't help when I curtseyed on his first visit and drew my skirt around a la ballet dancer style and said "Welcome Sticksy, to my humble palace". That would have sent most young men running but her 'errrrr'd and 'ummmmmm'd and took it in his stride - more kudos to you, lad.

Sticksy came over today - I was pleased that I was pleased to see him. Even if he just remains a friend of Alex's and nothing more - or whatever they end up being - I was pleased he came over today.
In my Anglo-Indian culture, we're far too judgemental about the people we associate with. I understand why those judgements exist and what perpetuates them but that doesn't mean I have to subscribe to them or feed off them. I actually abhor them. I've fallen prey to them once or twice or more in my life - and I'm regretful for the missed opportunities of meeting truly wonderfully colourful people. People who take me outside my prism and show me other ways of thought, of speech, of behaviour - people who can open my mind to other possibilities, probabilities and realities.

People who can teach me to spread my imaginative wings and fly - even if it's only for a little while until I return to my 'normal' life.
It occurs to me, from time to time, how disgustingly inferior I once felt when I was judged purely for the colour of my skin and not for the heart that beats underneath. I never forget how rejected and insignificant I felt and how, as a 10 year old girl in a new country, I wished I was accepted just for being funny and witty and smart.....or for just being Sharon.
I'm grateful that Sticksy didn't judge me too harshly for my aloof reaction to his place in Alex's life. I'm so glad that he chose to look past the woman who was prancing around in her loungeroom, welcoming him with a curtsey and a dramatic twirl of the skirt.

Sticksy ate some of my Clinkers today and tried to guess what flavour they were inside.....he got them wrong but I still let him eat my Clinkers.




Thursday, January 1, 2009

Day One.....Casualties? None

On the back of someone I met recently (Richard) who had started a 365 self-portrait journal, I decided to try something similar - a 365 day photo journal, not necessarily a self-portrait - just a wedge out of my life. One year...... (Please don't let this be the most boring year of my life, God)......

Let's see how it goes, huh?

Breakdown so far? Got married last year to my wonderful and remarkable Grant in Samoa - what a highlight, can't do it again this year I'm afraid. I have two children of my own and Grant has one of his who has come to live with us. Alex, my daughter, is about to turn 18 and embark on 'adulthood' - whatever that means. Adam, my son, is about to repeat year 10, repeat year 10 - that's right, he's going to repeat Year 10. Sam, Grant's son, has moved in with us and about to go into high school, new school, new area, new bed......new shampoo - he's in for an adventure living in our home, huh?

So how did Day 1 go? As part of moving Sam in, we're going through relics from yesterlife and ditching those that hold no meaning anymore to make more space. So that receipt for the first TV I bought from Myer for $439 in 1982 - incidently still living in our bedroom minus a knob or two (letting innuendo go by for now) - is going. Now ordinarily this receipt isn't really gonna make more space for Sam, but it's a beginning.

I'm a collector of clutter. I place emotional meaning to nearly everything I have ever bought - which is why I don't go grocery shopping. Apparently, it's emotionally uplifting going through old stuff and deeming them 'no longer relevant'. Not for this little stuffed bunny......!!
Do you know how many times I've held up items today and through a mist of tears said "You have no idea how much this means to me". Sure, they're my kids milk teeth but that necklace I was gonna make which seemed like quite a good idea a millenium ago just seems more Billy Bob/Angelina-esque now and no longer as attractive. Still, the act of ditching those tiny discoloured things was a little like detaching several little umbilical chords so go with me, here.
I'm on a self-imposed hiatus from doing my Masters of Financial Planning - picking it back up again this May. I am trying to work out how to fill the time in until them - housework is NOT an option. I'm gonna enrol in some Photography workshops/courses because, left to my own devices, I'll probably end up scratching at something inappropriate or digging up something explosive - you know that's my reality, right? Hence the 365 day journal.
So for now, Day One has had no casualties, no cauliflower and potato soup explosions, no accidental shaving off my eyebrow, no waxing accidents, no experimental TENS machining on anyone's testicles.....need I recount those moments? No, I didn't think so.

If this becomes boring, then it will be here purely to amuse me until my Masters in May......if you get a laugh out of it, then I'm a happy camper but remember, this is for 365 days. Not every day is going to be funny.....it invariably ever is. I'd also like to think that I can be totally honest and you will accept that from me.

I have no doubt that life will provide me with enough fodder this year to make it minutely interesting but I'm not intending on blowing out the truth to purely reach that expectation, okay? "WOW! The truth....." You say?? Mmmmmm, might try that out for a little while - it seems to have worked well for me this last few years.