My life

Lurching from one disaster to another...just a suburban princess trying to get by!

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Spring has sprung...

A couple of words - The reason we will never drink our tank water...bird poop!

I’ve linked up with  My Little Drummer Boys & Faith Hope & a whole lotta love for  Wordless Wednesday. Check out their blogs for more.  

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Don’t lie to me…

Honesty is such a lonely word
everyone is so untrue
Honest is hardly ever heard
and mostly what I need from you
(Billy Joel, 1979)

It seems to me that honesty is sadly lacking in our communities, something that is in some ways no longer the norm.

Every day the news is full of stories about dishonesty, even network news is not immune themselves!

Politicians, hell whole governments lie routinely.  The military, the medical profession, industry, the banks, they are all at it.

Everyone tells the odd fib, a little white lie here and there but where to draw the line?

As little kids we are told not to lie, lying is bad and naughty, indeed my son was always punished far more for lying than for anything he broke or did wrong, to this day he is brutally honest, maybe too honest sometimes but at least I can believe what he tells me! 

It is human nature to protect yourself, or someone else by bending the truth a little.

How much better would it be if the government (take your pick as to which one) stood up and said, OK, we mucked that one up, sorry, this is what we are going to do to fix it.  If a bank or company would stand up and admit they are not a charitable institution, they are to make money for shareholders whatever it takes…if an individual stood up and said, no, I am not going to do “xyz”, instead of stringing someone along with vague promises…

What you gonna do when it all comes out,
When I see you and what you're all about?
(Black eyed peas, 2005)

The problem is that it is easy to be cynical, to not believe anything anyone has to say…but that’s no way to live. 

We have to navigate the minefield that is everyday life and do the best we can. 

The best way is to be honest to ourselves and those around us. To exercise common sense and caution, to do our research (Google is a wonderful thing), but also to give the benefit of the doubt.

This post started as something very different, directed at a specific few who have let me down recently, mid-writing I changed direction, I just need to let it go and not be quite so trusting in future, which is hard for me as I want to see the best in people…

... sadly I get let down a lot.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Comfort

Lilly soaking up the late winter sun...Ignore the filthy window *blush*

Max, enjoying the warmth...and missing his Dad!

Click here to join in...

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Fishy Business…

Fish tanks are great! Peaceful, relaxing, attractive décor items. 

We always had fish tanks; it was one of the first things we bought when we moved in together.

Over the years we nurtured our aquatic companions, feeding, cleaning, ph testing, rounds of chemicals and plants…it is quite a lot of work.  We didn’t mind, it was worth it…

We had quite a large tank set up in the lounge room of our home. Lovely.

One night, I was watching TV, maybe 9pm when I heard a noise.  Just a small dripping sound, nothing much.  It was raining and I thought it was just water dripping outside.  It got a bit louder, I investigated, couldn’t see anything, went back to my TV show.

Then all hell broke loose. 

The end piece of the tank caved in, and in such a way that the contents of the fish tank shot out at right angles for about a meter before striking the wall and floor…I didn’t quite know what to do. Well, you don’t do you?

It quickly became apparent that help was not going to be forthcoming, and my hands alone were not going to  do much against 300L of warm, fishy water determined to empty itself onto my lounge room floor.

Son, being a young teenager, therefore useless as tits on a bull didn’t even hear my screams…the neighbours two streets over must have, but not my boy! And husband had retired to the “bathroom” and was indisposed! Typical…

So I raced to the kitchen, grabbed some cooking pots and stuck them under the hole, nothing was stopping this baby but hopefully I could ferry some of the water outside and off my carpets!  Of course there is never a bucket when you need one…

The first emptying went well, a few splashes on the tiles near the back door but OK…the second, not so good.

You see, I didn’t factor the effect of bare wet feet on wet tiles whilst running with an overflowing pot of fish water…hmm, you can see where this ended up right?

Yes, in a scene that would have benefitted from the Benny hill soundtrack, as if in slow motion my feet slipped from underneath me, the pot went into the air, I landed on the back of my head, on the tiles, HARD.  Then the contents of the pot of water came to earth, or more precisely, my face, shortly followed by the pot. So not only did I nearly kill myself, but I flooded another room too.

My son had just emerged and witnessed my humiliation and whipped out to tell his father he thought I was dead, no checking on me though…OH NO!

When they emerged it was to find me, ice pack held to the back of my head trying to suck the water out of the carpet with the carpet cleaning machine, trying to stay upright…

Husband was despatched to find something to put the fish in, son called his elder brother to take me to hospital, by this stage I could barely speak and was shaking like a leaf, and I cleaned away feverishly…

It wasn’t until I got to hospital that we realised I had wet pants, from the fall of course, not sure anyone believed me though…

Skip to several hours later, a concussion and a soggy house.

I had never been concussed before, and hope never to be again…it hurts, and the dizziness and nausea are frightening.

Have you ever had to run carpet dryers throughout your whole house with a concussion? Then you haven’t lived! Those bastards are LOUD.

The final tally, 7 rooms water damaged, one fish tank destroyed, one head injury…memories best forgotten!

We don’t have a fish tank any more…turns out they aren’t that relaxing after all!


Saturday, 20 August 2011

Flying high…

Recently I had occasion to fly to Sydney and back. 

Mercifully short trips.

Those of you who read my earlier post, here, will know that I am not a happy flyer.  I don’t fly too often, but there are things that I have observed that seem to happen EVERY, single time.

Boarding is announced, and regardless of who is invited to board first, everyone in the terminal rushes forward, hell bent on getting there first. There are several reasons why this is un-necessary people! 

First, and maybe most obviously, the seats are allocated, you aren’t going to get a better one by elbowing your fellow passengers out of the way!   

Secondly, what is the point of being first on when you have to keep getting out of your seat to let more casual passengers into theirs, whilst being smacked in the face with jumpers, handbags and laptop straps from the desperadoes trying to stuff their entire belongings into overhead compartments?  Honestly, am I the only person who checks luggage in this country? 

Lastly, there is ALWAYS someone who gets lost between check-in and boarding, do they forget they have a flight to catch?

Once settled and “comfy”, or concussed depending on the luggage your fellow aviators have smacked you with, there is the treat of the safety demonstration, as if, in the event of an emergency everyone isn’t going to run screaming for the exits, throwing the smaller and weaker bodily out of the way. Or is that just me? This last flight the Japanese couple I sat with, lovely people, sweetly copied everything the hostie did, including mimicking the putting on of oxygen mask, lifebelt and the brace position, I thought they were having a laugh, but no, DEADLY serious, maybe they knew something I didn’t!

Then we take off, and the second the seat-belt light goes out, multiple people fly out of their seats and hurtle to the loos, about 20 minutes after we boarded in the first place. Am I the only person who goes for a last minute, nervous pee before a flight?

After this, there usually isn’t much action, just the passengers who seem intent of becoming paralytic before we land, those who pee every five minutes, and the hosties, of either sex, who only manage to smile at the young cute guys, everyone else in an inconvenience apparently!

Then you start to descend, people seem to think they don’t have to raise their seats and tray-tables, surely the rules don’t apply to them!

When you land there is the instant chirping and pinging of mobiles, long before permission is given, because we all know everyone is far too important to be without their phone for an hour and a half! The instant the seat-belt light goes off, everyone, as one, stands up to get their bags, except the person blocking my way. No-one moves, everyone waits until the way is clear before then getting their bags ready, meanwhile the air gets hotter and hotter, as the people from the back jostle and push…hell.

Then there is the blissful moment when you move, when you burst out of the plane into the too hot/cold, exhaust filled freedom of the air-bridge, to be carried along by the mass of humanity determined to the first out of the doors, regardless of their seat allocation.

I really hate to fly! Maybe I should go business class in future… 

Friday, 19 August 2011

Sick and tired…

This year got off to a bad start with “the mumps that stole christmas”  as my husband less than affectionately refers to it and then my dislocated shoulder…

… but I thought we were doing well this winter - no illness, not a sniff or a cough.

Until I went to Sydney that is...

…Two weeks on I am still miserable, not sick as such, but still not completely well.

Alternating blocked and runny nose, cough and croaky throat, more annoying than anything.
I have loaded up on the vitamins, drink a heap more water and tried to stay warm...have eaten a LOT of lozenges and throat pastilles, all to no avail. 

At least I can sleep for once, even though it would seem that I have been snoring loudly enough to wake the dead!  Makes a change to being the one listening to the snoring every night…

There is no point going to the doctor, there is nothing they can do, it is after all only a cold.   I am allergic to a lot of anti-biotics so am not keen to take anything unless there is absolutely no alternative!  Hives are even less fun…

So I will carry on with the tissues, my favourite for a cold are Kleenex Eucalyptus…bliss, Butter Menthols, Strepsils and Throaties, various inhalants, saline sprays and copious amounts of various vitamin supplements in the hope that I don’t have to go through a third week of this…

…and that my boys don’t catch it!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Queensland Girl in the city…

So, back to my conference tales.

After a hugely long day of presentations we were all ready to let our hair down.

The second night started much like the first, at a bar for a couple of drinks.  Surprised me again how busy it was, also how many snotty, loud, screamy toddlers were running wild and free around the bar.  Obviously Sydney’s idea of a crèche…

Then a short walk along King St Wharf to our venue, a BOAT!  We were going for a harbour cruise.  I am an even worse sailor than I am a flyer so you can imagine my joy.  As it was a surprise there was no time to take travel sickness medication, maybe a good thing in hindsight, I would have slept through all the fun!

A seven course set menu, with matched wines and an open bar…OMG!

Lovely food, great wine and a few bourbons.  My plan was to keep eating and drinking the WHOLE time to counter the waves of dizziness and nausea assailing me.
Luckily my plan worked, the only dodgy moments were the choppy bits under the bridge and on the turns, easily overcome with another glass of sparkling wine!

I spent a bit of time on the top deck with all the smokers taking in the views, and the fresh air!  And before you ask, no, I did not smoke.

The weather was perfect, the skyline far prettier at night.

All too soon it was over, we disembarked without incident, rather amazing given that the 20 of us had been giving the open bar a real workout!

On to another bar then for more drinking, and some people watching.

A rather forceful young local “lady” took a liking to one of my female companions, much to her horror and our mirth, the expression on her face was GOLD.

I decided to leave somewhere around the third round of shots, things were getting messy and I am now of an age where I know my limits…I know that will surprise some of you.

So back to the hotel, and straight to bed.

Needless to say, there were even less of us at breakfast the next morning and Berocca’s were issued at the door of our meeting room.  It was my first ever Berocca, they don’t warn you that you should wear sunnies for that first pee! It was a quiet first couple of hours I can tell you!

Then we had another magnificent meal, with wine (of course) in the dining room attached to the very swish bank’s boardroom that was our conference venue.

Eventually it was time to say goodbye, a dash across town, a rather stinky train ride to the airport – it may be convenient but…do people not understand what a bin is? That chewie is not actually a decorating feature…that there is such a thing as deodorant? Anyway…

I was at Sydney airport for hours before my flight, luckily as airports go it doesn’t actually suck too badly.  As is often the way, I ran into several sets of Brisbanites that I knew.

It gave me the chance to people watch, one of my favourite things.  As I sat there like a fool with tears in my eyes watching the reunions it reminded me of the best bit of the movie “Love actually”…the closing credits. “Interesting” clothing choices abounded, and I’m sure I saw Chris Lilley…

And then was the horror of the flight home! I halved my medication and stayed conscious…not my best move.

Sydney it was fun, thanks.

Monday, 15 August 2011

For Daniel…

In light of the recent news that an arrest has been made in this case, and the Morcombe family’s request that we wear red today in tribute to Daniel, I decided to go one step further.  Of course I am wearing red, but for today my avatars and blog will also be wearing bright red in Daniel’s memory.

After Daniel’s tragic disappearance from the Nambour Connection Road, Sunshine Coast, Queensland on December 7th 2003 his family have tirelessly campaigned, not just for the return of their son and brother, but for child safety in the wider community.

To this end they established the Daniel Morcombe Foundation. Their website says it best:

“All too often, children are the innocent victims in our sometimes cruel society.  The events surrounding Daniel’s disappearance have strengthened a community in their resolve to ensure that this type of tragedy never occurs again.
But the Daniel Morcombe Foundation’s belief and vision is one that also incorporates a future where all children are provided with protection, education and support in their lives.”

The Morcombe family have always conducted themselves with class and dignity, whilst keeping the memory of their son alive and in our hearts and minds.

I cannot even really imagine their pain at this time.

I sincerely hope though, that the support, tears and hopes of the community carry them through the dark days ahead.

If you would like to see what you can do, pop along to the Daniel Morcombe Foundation website here.


Sunday, 14 August 2011

A Queensland Girl in Sydney…

So, on what was one of the longest working days of my life, starting at 5am when I left for the two hour drive to Brisbane airport…through my adventures in air travel, sitting through half a day of presentations while stoned on travel sickness meds through to the evenings activities…

First to the Cargo Bar, King St Wharf for a drink (or two) to get the evening started. 
A nice venue, lovely outdoor area over looking King St Wharf. Lots of seating, surprisingly busy for a Wednesday (but i’m a country girl and out town shuts down on a wednesday night), a bit noisy for my taste. Magnificent hanging baskets…I must be getting old!

Then on to The Malaya, just a few doors up. Pleasant  décor with views over Darling Harbour.

The food was magnificent.  As I was part of a group a set menu had been arranged.  There was something for everyone, plenty of food, well cooked and very delicious.  For me the highlight was the Salt & Pepper prawns and the Curry Prawns with Roti Canai…gorgeous. Again I was amazed at how busy the place was,  despite this the service was great.  My only complaint would be the noise, and not ALL of it was coming from our table!  Hard to hear yourself think, or hear the conversational gold that is a bunch of weary business people after several hard hours of drinking on the first day of a three day conference!  Why is it adults with a “leave pass” from their ordinary lives just go nuts?

Eventually the place cleared out and we were the only ones left…the kitchen closed and the staff were stacking chairs and standing around cleaning glasses shooting meaningfull gazes in our oblivious direction. Eventually some not so subtle flicking on and off of the lights attracted out attention and we piled out, well after closing time.

I, in a rare display of common sense, went back to the hotel which was conveniently less than 5 minutes walk away.  I was sleeping sweetly for hours by the time some of my comrades piled back into the hotel in the not so early hours!

There were tales of slippery nipples, refusal of service, and a 100m cab ride, much hilarity and ill advised photos… all in all I am glad though that I am a bit of a nanna and went home to bed!

Stay tuned for day two…

Saturday, 13 August 2011


Recently I had to fly to a conference.  It was only in Sydney so about 1 ½ hours each way.  I am a nervous flyer... mostly because of motion sickness.  

The stuff of nightmares...
I am not worried about emergencies or turbulence…what scares the hell out of me is public vomiting.  Could you imagine much worse than having a chuck in front of hundreds of people and having to sit there with them all afterwards? Without having consumed copious amounts of alcohol first anyway…? (but that is another story…and it wasn’t hundred’s, 10’s maybe…)

Normally when I fly I have to drive afterwards so am limited to “natural” medications to get me through but this time I had transport at either end so decided to go with the “real thing”.  Not one to do things by halves, I took the maximum dose at the prescribed time before the flight. BIG MISTAKE…the effects didn’t kick in until shortly before landing…I didn’t get sick but didn’t enjoy my flight either. 

Problem was…I fell asleep during the landing.  I woke up to rather desperate seat mates wanting to get off the flight.  I wobbled my way down to baggage claim, met my colleagues and threw myself on the mercy of Sydney trains.  A novel experience that whilst convenient, seems hellishly expensive and isn’t something I am desperate to repeat.

I barely remember checking into the hotel and staggering around Darling Harbour before my companion bought me a very large, and strong, cup of coffee before escorting me to the venue.

The conference started with lunch, so that woke me up a bit…but the I had to sit there through 4 ½ hours of presentations…the good things was, whilst everyone else was flagging at afternoon tea time, I woke up and was bright eyed and bushy tailed, if a little fuzzy on some of the details.

Then we went out for drinks and dinner…but that's another story.

Do you get travel sickness?

Monday, 1 August 2011

Parenting is hard...

… really HARD sometimes.

The hours are unlimited, there is rarely time off and weekends blur into just another day!
It can be boring and monotonous, messy, frustrating, isolating and bloody lonely.  There are times when it is terrifying, stressful and noisy.

After 48 hours of no sleep, sitting in your bombsite of a house, with unwashed hair and dishes and laundry threatening to take over the house who hasn’t dreamed of the time before kids? Virtually no responsibility, money, time to yourself - whether it is to read, shower, go to the loo alone…hell, even 30 seconds to moisturise for god’s sake…

Who, after hours of trying to get a screaming baby to sleep doesn’t consider violence when some asshole wakes your little darling?  After your significant other has swanned off to work in a nice, clean peaceful workplace, with time for coffee and maybe to read the paper, little chance of being shat or vomited on, leaving you in the wreckage of your life, with cracked nipples and unidentified matter under your nails and in your fringe and then has the balls to walk back in and ask what you have been doing all day…well, you get the picture!

You yearn for the time when your baby eats solids, talks, walks…right up until they do.  Then you look back fondly to the days when they stayed where you put them, and didn’t answer every question with NO!

All of that said… Parenting is also the best thing in the world, so much more than just a job, the rewards can be so much greater.

The first smile, first words and steps, a squishy cuddle, all the milestones.  The time when your little boy stops rioting around the house, takes your face between his chubby little hands and says “I love you Mummy, you’re so beautiful” and lands a big sloppy kiss. 

The privilege of watching the little person you have created going out into the world, starting school, making friends, starting their first job. Of creating a useful member of society, a kind and caring individual who also knows his own mind and takes no shit from anyone, who stands up for what’s right and protects the weak. Nothing could make you prouder.

Not everyone gets the child they long for, I grieve for them.  Not everyone choses to have children, I respect that.

But, for ME, parenting has been the single most important achievement in my life...

So yes, parenting is hard, but so worth it!!!