Welcome to my blog.

My blog expresses my views and thoughts and in no way intends to offend however that does not guarantee it wont.

I write in a stream of consciousness and sometimes the odd typo or bad grammar may appear - please excuse these.

Please feel free to leave a comment if something inspires you to do so.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

May 2010 bring you nothing but happiness, love and laughter
May the goals you set be easy to achieve
May you find more reasons to smile in each and every day

No matter when midnight strikes for you
May the following dawn be full of promise

Many hugs from Perth

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Blog Award

Melissa over at at The Things I'd Tell You passed this award onto me - Thanks Melissa.

I have to list 10 things that you would not know about me (although most of the people who read my blog are my family so this will probably not be news to them) so here goes:

1. I hate cockroaches but I love snakes, not a big fan of spiders but they don't freak me out like cockroaches do.

2. My favourite TV shows are SciFi - Dr Who, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate and all of the Star Treks but especially Next Gen and Voyager, or vampire based Buffy, Angel and Moonlight or horror crimes - Bones, Criminal Minds. Don't like sweet stuff like Packed to the Rafters.

3. I love reading horror stories by Dean Koontz and Stephen King - but I can not watch horror movies as they scare me to death - go figure.

4. I have a phobia about being bitten by a shark - I can not swim in the ocean because of this phobia - I even struggle if fishing from a boat - Jaws (even the book) scared the crap out of me (ironically it was the first movie my hubby took me to see when we started dating - I sent most of the night with my hand over my eyes). I can look at them on TV and in the aquariums but I can not swim in the ocean for fear of being bitten - I know weird.

5. I am scared of the dark - yep even now - especially if we are in the country with no street lights - absolutely terrifies me (probably because of the horror books I love).

6. When I am blue I need to shop - I normally don't like shopping but retail therapy - especially big purchases like lounge suites or furniture make me happy - hence my hubby is really happy that I don't get blue too often.

7. I can't wear perfume, even sitting next to someone with perfume gives me a headache - I used to be able to wear it, but over the last 20 years my allergies have gotten a lot worse - it is the one thing I miss.

8. I have a fear of dentists - an incident when I was young has never left me - even as an adult I can not put that fear away and I need to learn how to - maybe hypnotherapy.

9. I am a hoarder and my house is always a mess. I pile things on flat surfaces. It is just me - I would rather be doing other things than housework, hence I panic when people are coming over. The dishes are always done and stuff like that, but books, papers, DVDs, boxes - just stuff is everywhere.

10. I have overactive tear ducts (well that is my excuse) - I cry at the drop of a hat - TV commercials, news stories, when I am angry, don't ask me to give a speech at a wedding/birthday etc - for then there will be sobbing - it is so embarrassing.

Now I have to nominate some bloggers to pass this award on to, which is hard as I don't follow a large number of blogs and most of them have already won awards recently but here are a few:

So back at Melissa - but she doesn't have to do it again - Melissa has opened the world of blogging to me as I find new blogs all the time from hers.

Then there is Madmother - but she has also been nominated by Melissa (lol) - really love a daily dose of Madmother

There is Amanda at Amanda's Musing - a beautiful young Mum who I have known since her teens

Christie at Childhood 101 - my eldest daughter's award winning blog, I am so proud of her.

Robin at Visbal Family - this family is doing it tough, but I love Robin's honesty

Alliecat at A Beautiful Pea Green Boat - I am new to Allie's blog but loving what I am finding there - oh and she has just won the Honest Scrap Blog Award so pop on over and read 10 things about her too (hey Allie you don't have to blog again unless you choose too)

Donna aka as the 70s Housewife - Donna was one of the first blogs I found, she went missing for a while through a hacker - so glad she is back - you can find her at 5by40

And last but by no means least Down To Earth - the Aussie blog about all things green, organic and healthy including how to bake beautiful bread from scratch - lots of great things.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Do I Put Myself Out There

For those long term followers you may remember that I mentioned that my brother had broken contact with the family on my Mum's 70th Birthday. She turns 78 on 2nd Jan 2010.

Over the past couple of years, I have lost people that meant a lot to me. I see my Mum, stepfather and father aging. I worry how my brother will cope when they die - we know it will happen to all of us, just not when.

So my question is - should I put myself out there - risk his rejection again - to try and build a bridge that brings him back. I do not expect him to be in our lives all day, every day, but maybe he could at least be in contact occasionally and maybe talk to his parents a few times over the years.

I don't know if my heart and soul can cope with his rejection again, for while we were never close, he is my brother and so I love him - I don't have to think I about it, I just do. I dream about him and wake crying. My heart aches with the fact that if my parents die before he mends the rift that he will have to suffer with that.

I worry about him which is why I am thinking about picking up the phone, or just turning up at his house one day. I just don't know if I am strong enough if he says no. But will I at least feel I tried rather than never knowing.

I don't know that there is a simple answer to this question. Should I try or should I just let him go? Is it worth hurting myself to try and help him and my parents? Maybe he really doesn't care and when they die it won't effect him - but what if it does and I did nothing?

Monday, December 28, 2009

A New Decade Dawning

Totally scary to think that in less than a week we are entering a new decade. Remember all the scary Y2K nonsense back when this decade began? Lots of things have happened to the world in the last 10 years - financial meltdown, more poverty, more people living on the streets, more people hungry, more greenhouse gases, more global warming, more pollution. Can the next decade bring us change for the better. Can we stop being such a consumer society, can we reduce our footprint on the environment, can we reach out to those less fortunate, can we finally have peace everywhere in the world. I would like to think we can, but even with my glass half full life philosophy, I am not so sure that it will ever happen. It would take a major shift in the mind of every single one of us to make that sort of change. So as the new decade starts I'm going to try ... will you join me?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wishing you a Merry Christmas
May 2010 bring you peace, love, laughter and happiness

Hugs from Perth xxx

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I'm So Sorry

I have recently learned of the tragic accidental death of a 19 year old, he was the son of a acquaintance and the grandson of a friend (mother and daughter). He died in the early hours of Christmas Eve. It makes me wonder how much one family can bear - his brother died just over a year ago (early Dec) in another tragic accident. I feel so much for this family and especially for the remaining eldest son and brother. Words cannot describe their pain, if only I could in someway make it better for them.

Please hold them in your prayers (if you pray) and in your thoughts (if you don't), they may never know you have reached out to them, but I believe that if we send enough love their way, maybe just maybe it will take the edge of their pain. I may be naive in this belief but it does not hurt to try.

Please hold those you love close to you this Christmas, life is so fragile.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Be Safe This Festive Season

If there was one thing in my life I would change, it would be that my darling eldest grand-daughter had not had a life-changing car accident just before her 5th birthday. If there was any way I could go back in time and change the events of that day, I would do it in a heartbeat.

So, if and when you are out and about this festive season, please drive safe, drive sober and don't think it won't happen to you or yours, because accidents happen all the time. What started out as an early drive to drop someone off at work, ended up in an accident with a semi-trailer. I am sure when my daughter's friends headed off on that drive with my grand-daughter in the car - that was the last thing on her mind. It is now never far away from my thoughts as I am reminded every day of the possibilities lost.

So take care this festive season, be safe where ever you go.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sharing Christmas Joy

For the 2nd year in a row I have donated to the online Salvation Army Christmas Appeal. Every little bit counts, and in these hard financial times more and more people need help.

If you think you can spare a little, click here, it all adds up.

By the way, I don't work for or follow the Salvation Army, this is not sponsored in any way, I just wanted to remind people the Appeal was on. There are also many other worthwhile volunteer organisations that could use your help - whoever you prefer, please give something to one of them this Christmas - Let Share The Joy.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Life Philosphy

I have blogged before about finding the good in all that happens, even the bad stuff. It can be hard, but I believe all that life gives us is to help us learn. One lesson I have found it hard to learn is to understand I can not control all the bad things that happen to my family. But I can choose to make some good out of some bad.

As you would know if you have been following my blog, my brother in law committed suicide and it has been hard for me to deal with. I was sad, really sad for what seemed the longest time, I could not move on ... so I applied my life philosophy and thought, how can I do something that may turn this loss into something good. So I wrote a letter to my workmates, telling them what had happened, asking them to reach out to get help if they felt overwhelmed or depressed or to reach out to a friend or family member who they could see struggling - for maybe by acknowledging someone you could help them realise that people did care. That this was especially important at Christmas which is statistically a time that the rate of suicide increases.

I didn't want to send it out under my name as I was still fragile and so I wrote to my boss and asked him to do it on my behalf, leaving me in the anonymity I desired - it took him a few days to do so, but last Friday he sent the email out. Since then I have been feeling a lot better, because I felt I honored my b-i-l's death by talking about his struggle and reaching out to others.

Then today at work I was approached by someone, who did not know I was the originator of the email, who asked me to give them the number of the counselling service our work offers. The universe heard and answered my plea - someone, somewhere reached out for help and hopefully will be healed by doing so.

I may never understand my b-i-l's decision, but my heart feels better that through his loss maybe, just maybe someone else will be helped back onto the path of happiness.

So my plea to you is, if you are suffering in any way, please reach out, there are hands and hearts ready to help, you just need to find the strength to ask.

Please be safe and well as this Christmas season approaches, find the joy in each day - there is some there each and every day, some days you may have to search a little harder, but I do believe with all my heart that your search for joy will be rewarded.

Hugs from Perth xxx

Monday, December 14, 2009

This Is Who I Am

My favourite song at the moment, just love the lyrics - let us all embrace who we are.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Its Starting To Feel A Lot Like Christmas

Well I am sure we are all on the countdown to Christmas, everywhere I go there are Santas/Father Christmases, reindeer, Christmas lights - you name it - it is out there.

I am trying very hard to get into the spirit - and so have chosen a Christmas background, will put up our tree sometime during this week or maybe next weekend.

Have done about 1/2 my Christmas shopping, including buying my own gifts for hubby to give me - saves him the strain of trying to read my mind - LOL.

Thinking that maybe next year the grown ups (including my kids) will do Secret Santa - so we only have to choose 1 present rather than buying for everyone. Trouble is, as they all get older, they buy what they want, when they want it.

Just for you - Its Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

And one that brings a smile to my face - enjoy

And last but not least - do you love cherries as much as I do, I really look forward to December when those luscious little beauties arrive - then head over to Childhood 101 they are giving you the chance to win a cherry red iPod Nano courtesy of Cherry Growers of Australia - just look under the sponsors section.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hello Darkness My Old Friend

Darkness comes and wraps me in its dark soothing blanket

The silence of night creeps into my soul revitalising with its nothingness

Moonlight creeps across my bed, running silver fingers through my hair

The heat subdued by the chill, gentle nightime breezes

Leave the troubles of the day behind, lay there and clear my mind

Readying my soul to face another day

Sleep eludes me, catch snatches here and there

Wrap my blanket over my back, snuggling under there

Stay with me darkness, do not to end

Protect me from the day ahead

Bright sun, too harsh to see, People wanting to much of me

Everyone seems to want their piece

Feel as though there’s nothing left

Nothing left for me - of me, it is gone

Ripping the phone from the wall

Yelling at dogs who yap next door

Enjoyment gone because of the stalker

Even more the constant talker

Feelings of anxiouness, wanting to scream

Keep it in, feel my soul bubble with unrest

Leave me alone, cant you see - I have nothing to give

I have nothing left, not even for me

Give me night when I am alone, wrapping myself in darkness

Seems a plan, to soothe my nerves, to let me mend

Darkness, quiet, cool night air, moonlight on my bed

I crave this in my head

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Missing You

Last night I noticed my followers numbers had dropped by 1 on both my blogs. I don't have a lot of followers so it was easy for me to notice that my numbers had changed. I realised it was one of my favourite bloggers. So this morning I went to check out her blog and it is gone - it no longer exists and I miss her. So Donna from fiveby40, I hope you are okay and that the decision to stop blogging was not because there was something wrong but just because you no longer had time. Have a great Christmas, I know it is your favourite time of year. Missing you xxx

ps I just know my hubby is going to think I am weird missing someone I have never met, but I have followed Donna since I first started blogging and she has been an inspiration to me many times over.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I'm not sure where this post will go but I need to write something to get it out of my head so I can perhaps make better sense of what is tumbling around there.

I am crying, I am not depressed, I am just crying.

I sit here and type and tears fall slowly down my cheeks, I don't bother to wipe them up, they need to fall to cleanse and release the emotions within.

One winds its way down my chin and on to my neck and then downward to pool on my chest.

Another follows, until a small lake forms. I am not sobbing, just crying, one small tear at a time.

So much has happened over the last week or so that has knocked me for a six. There have been happy times but all have been tinged by my sense of sadness at a life so tragically lost. So pretty much every day, the odd tear will fall, sometimes without me even realising it is there until I feel it running down my cheek.

I could put it down to menopause - after all that is supposed to knock your hormones and hence your emotions all over the shop - but that would be a cop out.

I know why I am crying, partly it is because as much as I try to understand, I can not find it within myself, I am not angry at his decision, but I am saddened by not only the loss of his life but for those he has left behind.

Yesterday was his funeral, and I saw his aged father struggle to understand, I saw one of his daughter's sit there and not shed a tear - and she is the one I worry about most.

I saw my brother in law's coffin and I feel I should have reached out more, even though we were never that close.

I saw my sister in law and nieces struggling with the loss of their husband and father, I know that things are going to be tough for them - but I don't know what to say to make it better.

But the main reason I am crying is that I know how close this all could have been for me and my family, I heard him say the words to me - I am so thankful that he reached out and hung on because of how much he loved me. But I feel guilty that I was afforded this when others in our family have not had that luxury. I feel guilty that our lives will continue in the pattern we have become accustomed to and theirs will never be the same.

And so the odd tear slips from my eyes, and occasionally when I least expect it, a sob shakes my body, for what I have I done to deserve to have my family still together when theirs is torn apart?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I Love A Sunburnt Country

I have always love Dorothea McKellar's poem, I had to learn it at school and it more than anything else has given a love of our land (that and I Still Call Australia Home).

The love of field and coppice
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies
I know, but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of drought and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!

The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops,
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine
She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze…
An opal-hearted country,

A wilful, lavish land
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand
though Earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

So these are some of the photos I have taken of our beautiful land - the Western side of it at least.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Can You Help Me Understand

Yesterday my husband's brother in law committed suicide.

I know that things had not been great in their relationship, but he had 3 beautiful daughters aged 15, 16 and 19 - can someone help me understand how he could leave them behind.

I know that in his mind he probably thought he was actually doing the right thing by removing himself from their lives. But suicide is never the answer.

I understand that in the blackness that is depression that there seems that there is no light at the end of the tunnel, I have never felt that way, but I get it. What I don't get is how you can choose to leave your daughters - when people get cancer, they fight. They fight hard to stay with us, they don't want to let go.

I'm not saying he made this decision lightly, I am sure he didn't. He took care in how he died, he left no mess, it was not violent - but he died and his eldest daughter had to be the one that dealt with the police and the coroner. No one should have to deal with that at 19. My sister in law and the other 2 girls live 3 hours drive away, so it was his daughter who is here at University (with support from her boyfriend and my hubby) that went to the unit and dealt with the result of his decision.

I don't believe he made the decision because he wanted to be selfish, I'm sure he thought he was being selfless - leaving to make their lives better. But it is not selfless, because someone has to deal with what is left, and that person, that sweet girl is 19.

So please can you help me understand, for I can't at this point.

And please if you suffer from depression, reach out for help, for suicide is not a selfless act, for those you leave behind will always struggle to understand. Death is final, there is no second chance. Please if you feel that isolated, that alone, find the strength to reach out. I know it is easy for me to say, I am not trivialising depression, I have seen it first hand and I know how hard it is, but my plea is for you to hang on.


Monday, November 16, 2009

And She Danced

On Sunday my beautiful 13 year old grand-daughter attended and danced at her very first ballroom dancing competition. She looked beautiful in her new black shoes, and her apricot top and black flippy skirt. She didn’t place out of the 5 couples dancing, but that didn’t matter, to her or to us, the fact that she found the courage to get up and dance after only a term of weekly lessons was in itself a miracle.

She proved to herself and to that moronic teacher (see my post here) that she could indeed keep time, learn the steps and have the self confidence to do it in front of a couple of hundred strangers. To her wonderful instructor Callum, thank you for taking her under your wing and for the beautiful way you encouraged her on the day. To my daughter Aimee who beamed with pride, I know you do it tough and most of us don’t outwardly acknowledge that, but I am proud of your perseverance too, I know dealing with a brain-injured daughter is not easy but it is with your love that this miracle has come to pass.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Until The 12th Of Never

You ask how much I need you must I explain
I need you oh my darling like roses need rain
You ask how long I'll love you I'll tell you true
Until the 12th of Never I'll still be loving you
Hold me close never let me go hold me close melt my heart like April snow
I'll love you till the bluebells forget to bloom
I'll love you till the clover has lost its perfume
I'll love you till the poets run out of rhymes
Until the 12th of Never and that's a long long time
Until the 12th of Never and that's a long long time

The 12th of November - Our Anniversary

32 years of married life. Reflecting back I realise just how lucky we where to meet, to fall in love and to still be in love today - all these years later.

Our love is different now - it is deeper, more emotional, stronger - the rush of youthful exuberance is gone, the lust, while still there has tempered like our love into something more meaningful than just pleasure. But this is a better love, one that grips my heart so strongly that sometimes I think I won't be able to live if you should ever leave. I know that you would never willingly leave me, but as we get older the reality is that either of us could die - we can not know the extent of our journey here on earth.

The longer we are together the more I realise that I have been blessed to have you in my life, I went through many years just thinking that everyone had this type of love, but they don't, I wish they did, but I now realise is seems that only a special few have been blessed the way we have.

Love is something you have to work at, it is something you have to feed, for if you don't it peters out and dies. Love is not about 'YOU' it is about the 'OTHER' - it is about sacrifice, it is about putting the other first, it is about compromise, it is about forgiveness, it is about understanding, it is about caring, it is about accepting each other for who you are, it is about touching, it is about acknowledging that you to have faults, it is about passion, it is about a willingness to be able to step in front of a rushing train to save the other.

It is not to say that there have not been times when we have fought, when I have felt abandoned with your commitment to work, when I have not understood, when I have been angry. There have been slamming door moments, there have been the frosty times when neither of us were willing to admit we were wrong, but underneath all of that there has always been the knowledge that either of us would willingly step in front of that rushing train to save the other. That even though our views on religion, politics and so many other things may be opposite of each other - there has always been that sense of soul mates together for all time.

It is though my heart has always known you and so from that first time we kissed I knew that we would be together until the 12th of never.

So my love, thank you for the past 32 years - I look forward to spending eternity in your arms and in your heart. You are the half that makes me complete.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Change (Management)

I believe that change is a good thing, I also believe that sometimes if the change is big then 'change management' needs to be employed. So does my daughter. Case in point. I now have a new car - goodbye to my Red Racer and hello to my Black Beauty. The change was painless, and I am loving my new KAZZOOM.

My youngest grand-daughter at 20 months is a rev head like her Grandma - she loved my Red Racer, got excited when she saw it drive up to her house, loved driving with Grandma in it. Every red car was Grandma's car when she was out driving with her parents.

So my daughter was worried how she would cope with this change - so a few weeks ago she started talking to Immy about how Grandma was getting a new car and that the new car would be black.
Last Saturday we popped over to christen my s-i-l's new bbq, and while there we again talked about Grandma's new car and how on Monday I was saying goodbye to my red car and getting my new shiny black car.

Monday morning's conversation in my daughter's house went something like this (from her blog
Childhood 101)

: "Car"

: "Mmmm.. a car?" (Not really sure where we are going with this yet!)

: "Red" (Though it sounded more like 'wed')

: "Oh, a red car, yes, Grandma's car?" (My Mum drives a red car and Immy LOVES it)

: Murmers a sound that indicates she agrees, pauses then "Gone"

: "Yes, Grandma's red car is gone." (My Mum is trading in her red car for a new one today)

: "Black"

: "Yes, Grandma's new car is black." (Which it is)

: "BRRRROOOOOOM!" (Yes, I am sure it will be doing just that!)

So Monday afternoon after my massage I pop over to visit in my new black car. My s-i-l and grand-daughter were out and arrived home not long after I got there. I would hear sounds of excitement and my s-i-l saying yes Grandma's new car, lets go inside now, come on lets see if Grandma is here. It took a few minutes of persuasion to get her inside. My s-i-l said Immy was so excited she could hardly talk.

When I was leaving she came out to the car and wanted to get in, so my daughter opened the front passenger door and popped her on the seat. Immy looked at me and said 'GO' but given I had not put the child seat in the car yet we couldn't go anywhere and I explained this. So she played with the knobs and then looked at me again and said 'GO'. I again explained, that without car seat I couldn't take her but I would come on the weekend and we could go driving. So she looked at her Mum and said 'Sit here' and patted the seat, so my daughter got in and Immy climbed on her lap and looked at me and said 'GO'. I had to laugh, when were in Singapore she sat on her Mum's lap in the taxis and we went. Her solution was priceless.

Needless to say, we didn't GO as it would not have been safe, but I have a date on the weekend with my little rev head, and I hope to take my eldest grand-daughter for a ride at the same time.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sleep - Who Needs It

For the past 2 weeks or so I have been lucky to get more than 2-3 hours sleep before I wake up in pain, then I resettle and get another 1-2 hours maybe 3 if I am lucky, but I can't seem to sleep past 4 - 4.30 am.

This morning I got up and opened the blinds in my study and here is front of me is the most beautiful pink sunrise - a little blue sky with iridescent pink clouds getting pinker by the minute.

Just think I may have missed this if I was asleep.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Lesson For Us To Learn

Today we put my DH's Mum's ashes to rest with his Dad. My DH spoke so beautifully about his belief that the 2 of them are together now, and that his Mum no longer has her shuffle or her slurred speech (she had Parkinsons) and that the 2 of them were dancing together (they were beautiful dancers).

After the brief ceremony we went back to one of his sister's houses to sort through the remaining boxes of his mother's stuff. A lot of the everyday items were sold or given to family when she moved into the nursing home a few years ago, but there were about 10 boxes of varying sizes that she would not part with. So my s-i-l had stored them at her place just in case my m-i-l wanted anything - she never did, but that was her wish.

It took around 3 hours for us to choose what each of us wanted to keep - there was no fighting over any of these things - everyone was open and honest about what they wanted and what they didn't. However what became apparent to me and left me with a sense of sadness, was that the items taken were so few in comparison to the items available. So the pile of items going to the antique/second hand dealer is large and I am sure there is some items that are worth something in a monetary sense but the tragedy is that they also are worth far more in a sentimental and family sense. She had kept all her precious wedding presents - most never used. There was some jewelry, some of it her mothers and some of it hers - but none of the family knew which was which or why some of the other items she has felt so passionately about keeping were kept. They meant something to her, but nothing to us.

So please talk to your children about the past, show them the things that mean a lot to you, tell them the stories of your mother's jewelry or grandmothers buttons, or whatever it is. For if like us today, you don't know the stories - you can not feel a connection to that which is left behind. My m-i-l was never a great talker, and so if this is you, then take a photo and write down a note to explain and leave it with the item - anything to give your children and grandchildren a window to the past and a chance to connect. For once it is gone it is gone - there were some beautiful pieces of china that I am sure had stories to go with them, it is just we never heard the story when my m-i-l was alive and so to us they were just bits of china - nothing more, nothing less, but to her they must have meant a lot.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Singapore - in a few words


.. Like walking through a warm bath
.. Smiling friendly people
.. Tropical sun beating on my back
.. My red face


.. Hustle and bustle of traffic on the streets
.. Shopping centres full of people
.. Children busily having fun in water playgrounds


.. air-conditioned taxis and shopping centres
.. ice cream treats
.. icy drinks


.. Drivers who know how to merge
.. People who smile with their eyes
.. Ever helpful staff


.. Chinese Heritage Centre - bought me to tears
.. Proud people
.. Raffles Hotel - just beautiful
.. Stunning architecture


.. Buildings reaching for the sky filled with people
.. Singapore flyer
.. Palm trees


.. Everywhere, filled with exotic plants and flowers
.. Lush green lawns
.. Koi ponds
.. Orchids
.. Winding paths


.. too many choices
.. knowing what to pick
.. frogs?


.. Long black hair
.. Deep black/brown eyes
.. Latte coloured skin

And Now I Am Home Again

I did it, yep, I managed to fly to and from Singapore without any hiccups, I even used the toilet on a plane for the very first time (hee hee), that's right - all those flights in the past - no toilet use - had a phobia about getting stuck in them - but I did it and what do you know they are not as small as I thought they were - LOL.

I also managed to cope with the humid weather, drank plenty of water, and of course most of Singapore is air-conditioned including the taxis but we also spent quite a few hours out in the real Singapore - botanic gardens, children's playground and the zoo, a quick trip to china town, walking in the streets etc - and it was not as bad as I had imagined. Yes it was hot and yes I got red in the face and sometime felt very tired, but I did it. I even frolicked in the water playground at the zoo with Immy and Christie. Actually we went to many water playgrounds so Immy could have some play time without getting to hot - she loved it.

The time went really fast, the people we met were so friendly and helpful, the hotel was great, the food fantastic and Singapore is somewhere I would like to go again with my hubby - as there is still so much more to explore.

And the highlight of the trip - Christie won the inaugural award for Best Parenting Blog - check out her post on Childhood 101.

The only downside - I lost my camera at the zoo - put it down somewhere and forgot to pick it up - so sorry no photos.

So tomorrow it is back to work - sigh.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm Leaving On A Jet Plane

Well today I fly out to Singapore. Everyone keeps asking me if I am excited and I reply 'Not really' and even now just hours before I fly excitement is not the word I would use. I have butterflies in my tummy, but not from excitement from nerves.

This is the first time I have ever in my life flown outside of Australia, I know a little tragic at my age, but never-the-less, the first time. Sure I went on a cruise but that was like taking the boat to Rottnest (small island of coast of WA), you just walked off the boat and onto a new country - you didn't have to take a passport (well you had to have it and leave it on the boat) but no-one checked at that country's customs. Sure the cruise company probably handed over a sheet with everyones' names and passport numbers - but I didn't have to worry, just walk off and back on the boat like I lived there. This time I will be going through a real customs set up - not that I have anything to declare - but real customs.

It is going to be hot and humid (2 conditions I don't do well), so how will I cope with that. Taken lots of cool clothes (loose fitting and cotton), taking my new walking shoes (joggers - not trendy but comfort is what I need), got a hat (oh good thing I wrote that just remembered I didn't put it in the suitcase), got my meds (and boy there is a lot of them - bought my scripts just in case someone thinks I have illicit drugs), got my sunscreen and insect repellent, got my camera and spare batteries. My passport is ready, with a photocopy in case it gets lost, I have the travel insurance docs, the address and number of the Australian Embassy, the print out of my limo pickup (looking forward to the meet and greet and not have to try and get a cab - money well spent I think), I have had my swine-flu jab and the paperwork to prove it. I have my flight itinerary and numerous other bit and pieces of paperwork all together in a folder (I know I am being anal but did I mention this is the first time I have done this). I think I have watched too many TV shows like Border Security and Flights from Hell and I am over-reacting in my preparation but hey it makes me feel more in control.

I have my iPod (fully charged), my puzzle books and pen, a novel to read, my phone charger, my iPod charger, some Singapore dollars to cover the limo and incidentals, my glasses (both sunnies and reading), some tissues, lollies to suck on take off. So I think I am fairly well ready - now if I could just find my excitement and pack that things would be looking up, not sure where I have put it, but it is not here - just trepidation and the thought I have forgotten something.

Did I mention that my DH wasn't coming - perhaps that is what I have forgotten - my security blanket in the shape of a man. I know I can do this without him, but it just feels so much better when he is there.

Look out for the photos when I get back - I hope I manage to get some good ones.

Bon voyage.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Who Would Have Thought I Would End Up Crying While Shopping

Before I start I need to say that this is not a 'Pity Post' - I am not writing this for sympathy, I just need to write it.

I am off to Singapore on Tuesday with my eldest daughter and my youngest grand-daughter, my daughter is a finalist in the Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards. And while I have some trepidation about how I will cope with the heat and humidity - I am looking forward to new sights, sounds and tastes - I love Asian food and one of my friends who grew up in Singapore has given me a list of good places to eat - thanks Jo. At 54, this is my first journey overseas by plane, I have cruised the South Pacific in 2001, but never flown, never experienced customs, or leaving from the international airport - it is also the first time I have travelled overseas without my DH. So trepidation and excitement are warring with each other.

Now to travel to Singapore I needed to have some new clothes, some walking shoes (to help my back, knees and hips) and some new underwear. Doesn't sound like much to ask does it? So how could a simple shopping trip end up with me in tears twice and very close to wiping the smirk of some 15 year old shop assistant's face.

Well I am obese, yep, obese, not overweight, not plump but obese - size 24-26. I have mountains of stretched skin from giving birth to 4 babies - and I mean mountains, as I have aged gravity has taken over and now it hangs. I cover it up well, by wearing floaty tops and comfortable loose pants, but I know it is there - and buying clothes and underwear is the pits. Sure there are great clothes out now for larger women, but not if you have too much skin, not if you are pear shaped, not if you don't go for the sausage look. I have enough trouble looking at myself without sharing it with others in some tight fitting top that the size 10 designer thinks will fit a size 24. Maybe some 24s don't have left over baby skin, maybe they are in proportion and not pear shaped - but not me. So I order in some pants, nice white cool pants, go and try them on and, the bum looks good and the legs are okay - but the front well not so good, because there is no extra fabric there - they are made for people who have obviously never had children, or maybe are blessed with skin that springs back after childbirth - well folks that ain't me. But I buy them anyway as I need pants, and I know I will hate wearing them but what is the alternative. I have looked in all the shops and no-one has nice white pants that fit me.

They also have some bathers - now I haven't been able to find bathers in about 20 years, and have given up looking, but I think well these are made by a company that only makes larger sizes so they should be great - wrong. I mean people, high cut bottoms may look great if you are a size 10, but come on, I am a 24 - I mean I really don't want my lady bits hanging out for the world to see. And then the tank-kini top - well a sausage would have a better time fitting into this Lycra skin - and so in frustration I start crying, I just want a pair of bathers - it shouldn't be this hard. Swim, I am told, that will help you loose weight - well I would if I could find some freaking bathers. So I wipe my eyes and hope no-one notices they are red and watery.

So off to get some underwear - I have bought these nice knickers at Target before - they are not glamorous because no-one makes glamorous for my size, but that is okay, nice organic cotton full briefs are fine - except there are NONE - if you want high cut (again with the freaking high cut) there are heaps and heaps and heaps, but full brief - OH NO. And the frustration (and I will be frank here it is frustration with myself as much as not finding what I need - I am not blind, I am obese and I know it) makes me cry - yep in pubic this time not in the safety of some change-room. And my hubby and youngest daughter can see I am upset and they try to understand, but they can't, I am sorry - but they can't. And so again I pull myself together, for bawling in public is not a good look, snot running from your nose should be left to small children.

So we drop my daughter at her place, and head home and I say to DH, okay I will try the Target closer to home and see if they have any full briefs - and yes they do, oh Lordy the day is looking up, I manage to get 6 pairs - whoopee. That's right people, I am excited by underwear - how tragic am I.

So I think, well I will just look in the larger size clothing section to see if they have any pants or tops and find a couple of nice looking long skirts - a little off centre for me - but what the heck, so off I go the change-room and who is waiting to greet me, but 2 skinny, anorexic looking girls who probably aren't even old enough to have periods yet, and one says would you like to leave your underwear here as you have too many things to take into the change-room. And so as I hand them over I notice the other one sees the sizes and smirks - and I was not imagining this - she smirked and then saw I noticed and quickly turned away.

Let me tell you I was so close to going ballistic because there is only so much I can take, but then the bigger (and I don't mean weight here) person that I am, took control and I went off without saying a word. Then as I am walking out with my clothes (none of which looked good) and my underwear, she walks past me and smirks again. And in my head, I swung my handbag at her head and knocked her off her feet and then jumped on her, but on the outside I just kept on walking because once I was a young skinny girl too - and I hope I never smirked at any larger ladies and if I did, well I am sorry.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Writer's Block

I want to blog, I want to write, I start and then delete and start again. There is much inside I want to share, some good, some bad, some excitement, some anger.

I want to blog, I want to write, I keep starting and then deleting, because my words are not coming out right.

I am telling myself to be patient, it will come soon, it will come in a flurry, I just need to get it sorted in my head and then the words will flow.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Smell of Roses

The other night I walked into my darkened study after a long day at work to turn my computer on - my senses are overwhelmed by the smell of roses. There on my desk is a vase of beautiful roses from our garden. One guess who put them there for me to enjoy. I love this man more and more each day and after nearly 33 years together I didn't think that was possible. And while the roses are now open, every day when I come home my study smells of roses ... one of my favourite smells of all time.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Time Has Come

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--

And why the sea is boiling hot--

And whether pigs have wings."

Lewis Carroll (from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

And so I think the time has come, as sunshine graces our skies, to turn my thoughts from my 'Winter of Discontent'.

My hubby has been home now for 2 weeks - and no sign of him being whisked back to Adelaide. This weekend (which in Perth is a long one anyway) we both also took Friday and Tuesday off to spend some 'us' time together. Five whole days - wonderful.

Friday saw us head to Yanchep National Park and have a BBQ lunch, sharing the space with only the birds, the sunshine and a few flies (although really only 1 or 2). The breeze was chilly, the skies were blue and the company was special.

Need a hand with that BBQ?

We had to eat keeping our eyes on the over-friendly kookaburras, magpies and 28 (Port Lincoln) parrots - all of whom thought our sausages looked like something they wanted to share.

If you look closely you can see them here, just waiting for an opportunity to share!!

Coming for a closer look

Do you need a hand packing up?

We got to watch them brazenly come close and then try and see each other off so that they were the only ones there if a small piece of something happened to fall to the ground. Yes it was tempting to share with them, but working for a conservation agency, I know this only makes them more aggressive, and so we restrained ourselves.

Well I suppose the scraps on the BBQ will have to do - LOL

What a fabulous country we live in - bushland close to our city, filled with native wildlife and with facilities that encourage you out of your lounge and into the fresh air.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Oh How I Wish

How I wish I still had the innocence and naivety of a small child - how I wish I could easily find the fun in each day and the lack of inhibition that allowed me to dance when I felt like dancing.

Thursday morning I went to the kinder-gym with my daughter and littlest grand-daughter - there were probably about 40 kids there aged from about 10 months - 5 years.

All the equipment was set up - places for them to climb, tunnels to crawl through, trampolines to bounce on, balls to kick around, hula hoops to roll and behind all of this was the pumping music of the wiggles.

As I played with Immy I couldn't help but watch the other kids too - all of them were having a great time - no one was crying or fighting - everyone was sharing the space and just enjoying themselves.

And then Immy started to dance - she loves the Wiggles and there were a couple of songs that came on that were obviously favourites of her - and so here she was climbing and jumping and dancing all at the same time. She started clapping because she was so happy. You could not help but smile to watch her - trying to jump and dance at the same time, with a smile so wide across her face.

None of the other kids seemed at any point to be interested in the music - but Immy was - she didn't dance to all the songs, only those she obviously loved - she got so much joy out of being able to express herself - it was certainly joyful to see - for too soon the world starts to try and make us conform, I hope she continues to keep dancing when she feels like it - long after the world thinks she should stop.

Monday, September 14, 2009

To Move Or Not To Move

Two of my children have for more than a while been prompting hubby and I to move into a new area and a new home. Yesterday we went looking at display homes with my eldest daughter, her hubby and my little munchkin.

Yes we saw some homes we liked, but the whole question of moving causes me anxiety.

1. There is the actual move itself - I have lived in this house for 32 years this month - I have 32 years of stuff in this house - can you imagine packing all that up and then unpacking at the other end.

2. This has been our family home - apart from about 5 months before we moved here - my memories - both good and bad are in this house, how do you leave that behind.

3. I hope to retire in the next 2 years - I don't really want to take on a big mortgage this close to that happening.

4. Yes our suburb is not the flashest - but I know where everything is, I can drive home without thinking.

5. One of my daughters and eldest grand-daughter live only streets away.

6. What is to say that moving to a new area will be better, you can't control who your neighbours are, can you?

Yes there are things about this house and this neighbourhood and lets face it some neighbours in particular that drive me insane. But I love my house and back yard and the memories. I love the climbing rose outside my study window. I love the fact we have a backyard always full of birds and we have a big tree. My essence is in this house - I don't think my family understand that. Yes I am always resistant to change, I admit I like my comfort zone, am I ready to move on yet. I don't know.

The alternative is to spend money on this house and make it exactly as I want - a remodelling of the living area - a new outside area, a new bathroom - I could do all this for much less than the mortgage we would have if we moved. Yes I would still have the crappy neighbours - but at least I know how to ignore them.

So should I just throw it all the winds and take the leap? Do I really want to do that, and do I have the courage to, if I do want to.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Moments In Time - My Second Born - A Series of Oops

Oops I did it again - got pregnant that is.

I was still technically married to your older sister's Dad although we hadn't been together for quite a while. Hadn't technically been going out with your Dad for that long either - although we had known each other as friends for a fair time before our 1st official date. Didn't really plan on it happening either - your conception that is - not loving your Dad - I sort of knew that from when I first met him - knew that we would be together forever - he is that special.

You can skip this bit if you want - but it is part of the story.

You were conceived on a night that your Dad came over for dinner, still early in our 'relationship' and lets just say dinner was not the only thing he and I shared that night. Because neither of us thought it would happen, we got caught up in the moment and didn't think 'long term'. Oops.
Who would have thought I would get pregnant that easily - well later I would know that was the case, but really - the first time??

So I went to the Dr and asked to go on the pill, and told your Dad 'safe sex' had to happen until I could start taking the pill - the Dr had told me to wait until I got my next period (I know TMI) - and so I waited, and waited, and waited.

Did I think I could be pregnant - no, I had no symptoms and as I said who gets pregnant the one and only time you have unprotected sex - oops that would be me!

Dad and I kept dating, kept falling further in love, all scarily fast. One day I woke up and thought 'hang on, I have been waiting for 'you know what' (is that better?) for a few months and I know that is not unusual for my body - but 'what if?'.

So I talked it over with a friend of mine who said well go and have a test - now in those days you didn't have the home pregnancy test, you had to go and wee in a jar and then wait at least 24 hours for the results. And so I waited, I didn't say anything to your Dad, after all I was sure it would be negative - did I say how I had no symptoms. Oops, I was wrong.

So dilemma time came, what was I to do, would your Dad hang around - I knew he was the one for me, but did he feel the same, should I terminate, should I talk to someone and find out my options. Now back then abortion was not an easy thing to make happen, but it was an option if you knew the right doctor to go to - but abortion is not something I have ever been comfortable with - I mean to me it is not right to take a life because it is inconvenient - but then, what if your Dad walked away - my first husband had - could I be a Mum to 2 children on my own?

My friend said 'Well at least find out if termination is an option' and so I went and talked to another Dr who told me all about the options and to go away and think about it. So I did, I thought long and hard and while all this was happening your Dad had a 2nd thought's moment and told me things were moving too fast (if only he had known just how fast). And so I told him to go - after all, this had happened to me before and that relationship didn't last. I also realised that weekend that you were here to stay - there was no way I was letting you go.

Within 48 hours your Dad was back in our lives - but I still didn't tell him about you. Only I knew (and 1 friend) that you existed, I needed to keep you a secret for a while longer while I got the courage to tell everyone. I knew some people in my life would be unhappy and disappointed that I was again to be an unwed mother, I still wasn't sure how your Dad would react - but I was content with my decision - you were definitely part of my life.

Eventually I got the courage and told your Dad - and my family - and your sister. Dad handled it really well, was even excited - the family - well some took it better than others - your sister was over the moon.
Dad moved in, we put the nay-sayers out of our minds, and we made a life together, full of love and happiness. Didn't really matter what the rest of the world thought, we knew we were in this for the long haul (and 33 years later we are still here and still happy - so I guess we did know best).

Eventually it was time for you to be born, I was huge as a house, and just like your sister - you went over your due date and so the Dr decided to induce you. I went to hospital the night before and Dad and you sister went to stay with
Mimsie so that she could look after C when your Dad came back to the hospital in the morning.

Well you had other plans and I woke up at about 3.30 am and rolled over in bed and thought - oops - I had wet the bed - not a lot just a little. So rolled over again and thought - oops a little more - um maybe my waters have broken? So I laid there a little longer (I was in a shared room and didn't want to walk the other lady up) - no contractions - so I rolled over again and yep a little more wetting the bed. So I rang the nurse and they took me down to the labour ward. Still no contractions but they agreed that my waters had broken high up and so only little amounts were making there way past you (

I asked them to ring Dad - they said 'oh let him sleep you will be hours yet" - but I somehow knew that wouldn't be the case. Eventually contractions started - really close together - not slow and steady but fast and frantic - and I again asked them to ring your Dad and they said 'oh you have hours yet'. Yeah right - what did they know.

I eventually got them to ring Dad - about 6.30 and he was on his way - but so were you - I said time to push - and they said 'oh you have hours yet'
- Oops they got it wrong.

I said I don't think so and so someone looked and then then - hello - I think this baby is coming now. And so we rush to the delivery room, and they keep saying hold on the Drs not here yet.

And your Dad walks in the door and they ask 'are you the Dr' and he says no - goes pale and sweaty and comes over to me. I take one look at him - know he is going to faint and say - go outside and wait. The Dr rushes in just as you are born at 7.25 am - quick, I knew it was going to be.

Poor Dad in the meantime is waiting outside in the father's room, they had them in those days, wondering if everything is okay as he knew I was close to having the baby and no one has come and got him. Must have been about 20 mins later before someone says has anyone told the Dad. Oops poor Dad. He comes back and there you are all wrapped up, with your cute little head with lots of hair popping out the top of the swaddling. He was beaming with pride and couldn't wait to ring everyone and give them the news that we had another beautiful daughter.


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