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.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Menopause and the Biological Clock

Readers please note (especially if you are one of my children) this story may contain references to sex and other medically scary facts that may scar you for life - so read on at your own risk!!

Somewhere deep inside my earth mother rotund body the last few eggs can hear a clock ticking ever louder. With every tick they know their days are numbered, who will be the last, can they still do the job they where put here to do? Why didn't they get to make the jump earlier? Now they are a little harder and a little less fertile - but they can but try.

Little do they know that my partner has had the snip, 26 years ago almost to the month, but what if somewhere deep inside his body a sole survivor - the last remaining sperm - has been slowly, every so slowly unpicking the sutures and building a bridge, a bridge to the other side. What if that way is now clear.

What if my once fertile body, suddenly feels like having a last go at motherhood and is secretly preparing my uterus for that last egg and that sole surviving sperm. What if indeed?

Women in their 50s fall pregnant more often than is discussed, they often think they have gone through menopause because their periods have stopped, but then nature surprises them with a break-through ovulation - that last egg and lo and behold they find themselves pregnant. They are then faced with the burden of choosing to continue with the pregnancy or to terminate. Now I am not making this up, it is not fiction, my doctor recently mentioned to me to be careful - obviously forgetting that hubby had had the snip (or maybe she thinks I play around?) - because it happens, it is far more common than we are lead to believe.

So just in case there is that one surviving sperm that has spent the years biding its time and building bridges - condoms are the way for us, for at least the near future. Yes we still do have sex and enjoy it - even though we are old (that was for my children - if they have read this far) - so yes it is TMI and all the rest, but face facts your parents and older people are still human and still love the contact that making love brings. Sex is not only for young beautiful bodies, it is also for older wrinkly ones too. But women of all ages need to be careful because that biological clock is just waiting, waiting to catch them unawares and not all of us can be or choose to be on the pill.

Pain - Putting it in Perspective

Oh how I ache, this humid weather doesn't help my poor old bones and ligaments - yesterday was really bad, today is not much better. And the top joint on my left index finger is the straw that broke the camel's back so to speak. I'm right handed so why have I got arthritis in my left hand - well next time you put pressure on your fork when cutting food you will see that you use that left index finger quite a lot and it is the top joint that takes the brunt of pressure you apply when using your fork. But today, for me, it is all too much, just one pain too many. I feel like curling up in a ball and crying.

But I won't, because there is a mother in Melbourne who is suffering much more pain than I hope I will ever have to suffer, she lost her little daughter through the unthinkable action of her daughter's father. The pain she must be feeling in her heart must be indescribable and unbearable, and compared to that these old aching bones of mine are nothing.

Little Darcey may your spirit fly free and may the four years that you spent here on Earth be a blessing to your Mum - may those memories and not the tragedy of your death be the ones held in your mother's heart. Many tears were shed by mother's all over Australia when they heard the news of your death and hopefully they will wash away some of your own mother's pain.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Could Someone Please Explain

I just don't understand how/why:

some parents think it is okay to abuse their children -

some partners think it is okay to abuse their spouses -

some religions think it is okay to mutilate their women -

some people think it is okay for others to starve and be oppressed as long as it is not in their backyard -

some governments think they can make war in other countries in the name of liberation when everyone knows it is all about the oil -

some people can hate others and use their religion as justification -

some people think child pornography is okay -

some people think children are sexy -

some people think it is okay to produce and distribute drugs -

some people think it is okay to get drunk and fight with others -

some people think they can do whatever they like because it is their right -

some countries think it is okay to hunt whales and take the fins from sharks and leave them to die -

why each religion has it zealots that seem to do everything possible to incite hate, which is everything that a true religion is not -

some people think it is okay to be bigoted and a racist just because they are white skinned -

When did we as humans become this horrible? Has it always been so? Is it just that now with the media we know more about it? My heart breaks to see and hear all the bad things that are happening in our world. I hope my two grand-daughters inherit a world where these sorts of things no longer happen, if only that was possible. I live in hope.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Mean Australian Spirit

As a proud Australian I am saddened by the 'mean Australian spirit' being shown by a small percentage of other Australians (I hope it is a small percent).

As most of you who live in Perth would have noticed (and maybe it happens in other States too) over the last few years there has been a sudden outpouring of the Australian spirit - if you think adding little Aussie flags to your car prior to Australia Day and driving with them proudly waving around shows you have that spirit.

Although I question when did we become obsessed with our flag? Traditionally you would see it at Anzac ceremonies and maybe when there was some sort of international sporting event.

Maybe I over analyse the world but I worry that this new spirit has had bad beginnings, hopefully I am wrong, but did anyone see many of these little Aussie flags on cars prior to the Cronula riots? What was the switch that was thrown that day - wasn't it one of hate rather than pride?

Why am I concerned that the spirit being shown is not one of being a proud Australian but rather one of being a bigot or mean spirited Australian?

Well I saw those cars with large Aussie flags draped across them inciting riots against those that are non-white Australians in the Cronula riots and I cried.

I have also overheard people with those little Aussie flags on their cars speak ill of others from other lands.

But what has saddened me the most is that recently I have seen stickers on the back of cars waving their Aussie flags - stickers in the shape of Australia with the words Fuck Off We're Full.

So I have a message to those of you who drive around with your little flags - if you are doing it because you truly love this land and all the people who live in it - I think that is fantastic.

But to those of you who drive around with your little Aussie flags, your stickers of hate and your narrow view of the world who seem to think if you are not white, if you are not descended from the first fleet that you don't deserve to be welcomed to this land - I say very loudly -

this land is not your land - this is a land that was invaded, that was stolen from another people, people who we in our arrogance didn't allow to vote until the 1960s, people who through our intervention lost their connection to country - who through our moral high ground lost a generation or more of children - a once proud people who are fighting to win back what was rightfully theirs, a people who are still ridiculed just for the colour of their skin

So before you pontificate on who should be let into this land, before you wave your little Aussie flags and put your bigoted stickers on your cars - stop and think - this wasn't your land to start with, the only reason you can lay claim to this land was that the power of the guns of the invading white settlers were too powerful for the original owners.

And most of all remember that our first fleet was made up of the lowest of the low - the criminals of the British Isles - so take your little Aussie flags and your bigoted stickers and stick them where the sun don't shine, they don't deserve to see the light of day.

Oh and by the way I am descended from 2 convicts and proud of how they turned there lives around, but I am also saddened at how our Indigenous people have been dispossessed and treated so badly in the past. I am even more upset by the fact that so many white Australians today still think it is okay to make racist jokes and derogatory comments about our land's traditional owners.

May this land of Australia always be a haven for those less fortunate, lets us always welcome people of all colours, race and creed. And let us voice our disgust for those amongst us who are bigoted and of mean spirit - for if anyone doesn't deserve to live here - it is them.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Working less

Tomorrow I start my reduced working time - I am working one full 5 day week followed by a 3 day week. I have chosen to have Thurs and Fridays off every second week and this weekend I get a bonus extra Monday.

What I have realised though is I need a plan - a plan of how to spend my time on these days, I don't want to sleep them away and I don't want to fill them up with other people's plans for my time. Now that doesn't mean I might not plan to have a really lazy day and read or watch DVDs or spend time with my family - it just means it will be based on my terms not someone else's expectations.

Now this feels a little strange to me, putting it into words, but I have realised that I find it hard to say no. I never want to hurt people's feelings and I am aware that other people in my life sometimes need my help - and that is fine, but I need to learn to say "NO" if it is a day I have had something planned. Otherwise I may as well stay at work and get paid.

So, I am setting myself a goal, over the next couple of days I am going to write down something to do on at least 1 of the days I have off every fortnight that is just for me. Wish me luck.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bigotry Boycott

Last year I made a decision to boycott watching Channel Nine's Today Show - I also sent an email to them, they said they would get back to me, they never have. And so I have refused to watch the show ever since. We are one of the Neilson TV rating families and I hope at some point they ask why when I log in, if Channel 9's Today Show is on it gets turned off immediately.

Now what happened may not seem a big deal to a lot of people, but I was outraged as never before that someone could show such blatant bigotry and not be censored in any way. Now I know everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when you are one of the hosts (although not the co-anchors) of a high rating TV show, you should keep your outdated offensive comments to yourself.

What set me off I hear you ask, well it was over a newspaper article that stated that in Queensland (that other forward thinking State - not) there was a proposal that Year 12 gay students should not be able to bring same sex partners to their Year 12 Ball/Formals. Now that in itself made my blood boil, but then that self-righteous bigot Cameron had the audacity to not only agree with the proposal but to liken a young gay man/women bringing a same sex partner as being exactly the same as a student bringing hard drugs to a formal and handing them out. What sort of idiot is this man? I don't care if he is a fundamentalist Christian or just an uneducated fool, how dare he make such a statement on television as a Channel 9 employee. Different if he was someone asked to comment but he is in a position to influence others because he is a face that is regularly on TV. He went on and on about how it could influence other kids to try it out - come on as if kids need any encouragement to try anything out, if they want to they do. What it does do is make kids aware that it is okay to be different to the norm, that you don't have to live a lie, that if you are gay your can also have a loving relationship. What did he think the gay kids were going to do, have sex on the dance floor, because all gay people are perverts? Please - get real.

So vote with your television remote - if you ever have a reason to take offence at something a TV personality, co-host, anchor or the like says - that comes from their own prejudices refuse to watch.

Here is my email:

As the mother of a gay son, who came out at 15, how wonderful it would have been for him to go to his school formal with his partner if he had one at that time. My son, knew he was gay from a young age, has never doubted his sexuality and is loved and supported by his whole family.

Cameron, I hope that you never have a gay son or daughter, because your backward, bigoted attitude is a disgrace and I doubt you would have the compassion to support what it is a hard road for your child. How dare you sit in judgement and compare a personal sexuality with taking illegal drugs.

The world needs less people like you, especially espousing their outdated opinions in the media.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Soul Mates - A Question

I often refer to my hubby as my soul mate, and that is truly how I see him. However in a lot of respects we are like chalk and cheese. So can people that are so different really be soul mates?

How are we different, well:

he sees things in black and white, I always see them in shades of grey

he is a pessimist by nature, I am an optimist

he doesn't like to read, I do

his strength is in maths, mine is in English

his brain is logical, mine isn't even close to being logical

he likes to sleep on the left side of the bed, I like to sleep on the right

I really feel the heat, he doesn't

I get really emotional, he has much more restraint

he gets angry at things and the world very easily, I am more tempered and slower to anger

he keeps his anger, once I have exploded mine is gone

he is cynical about all things spiritual, I embrace all that is unknown and believe there is more in life than what we can see

he is a realist, I am a dreamer

I like to spend, he likes to keep a tighter hold on the finances

he likes Subaru, I like Mazda

he likes Holden, I like Ford

I like to stay inside and read, he likes to go outside and garden

I want to travel, he wants to stay home

he doesn't mind camping, I'm a 5-star girl

he likes wine, I think wine tastes like vinegar

he likes coffee, I like tea

I love milk, he hates milk

he has sugar, I don't

Seems like there are an awful lot of things we don't have in common, but most of these are silly little things. The things we have in common are the ones that truly count.

we both believe in doing what is right and sticking up for the underdog

we both would give our lives for our family and each other

we both love unconditionally, especially each other

we both trust each other and always have

we are fiercely defensive of our children, as many a teacher has found out

when we are apart we both feel that half of our self is missing

I can't answer this bit for him, but he is the person that makes me feel whole, he strokes my head when I am feeling blue - sometimes when I don't think he even knows, but he does. He gives me butterfly kisses, he holds my hand and makes me feel safe, he looks at me and sees the women he loves (I look at me in the mirror and see someone I don't even really like - but he looks inside and sees the beautiful part that is truly me - how I wish I could do that). He is so forgiving of my faults and he thinks I am a precious flower - but not in a derogatory way as he also sees the strengths that I possess.

How can one not feel like soul mates when one is loved so completely?

My God

Before I start this post let me say I don't mean to offend any one's faith, these are just my thoughts and feelings and while I respect what you believe I ask you to do the same of me. If you have really strong beliefs and think you might take issue with me being honest about how I see God, then please don't read this post. If you do choose to read it and take offence that is your choice not my intent.

Do I believe there is a God? Yes.

Do I believe that this God is all caring and loving? Yes.

Do I believe that we as humans are a random act of the universe eg big bang theory? No

Do I follow the doctrine of a religion? Not any more. Why? Well here's why.

My Grandma Win went to Church and sometimes took me - she went to a Church of Christ and for a short time I went to Sunday School and Youth Group there. My mother was christened into the Church of England. But essentially I was brought up in a non-religious household. When I started high school I was sent to a Catholic college for girls as my Mum thought I would get a better education there - and I did. However going to a Catholic school as a non-Catholic I had to do catechism classes. I excelled at these classes because I had an inquisitive mind and I used to push the boundaries (and the limits) of the Nun that taught us. I asked the hard questions - and to me there are a lot of inconsistencies in what the Catholic Church teaches. However, I gained a respect for the strong beliefs of the Nuns - I never became Catholic but it is a religion full of beautiful traditions (and unfortunately as time has shown some bad people). When my children were young we got involved in Girls Brigade as I wanted them to have strong morale principles that were reinforced not just by my husband and my ethos of life but by understanding the concepts of God. It was also a way of my girls becoming friends with other girls and having fun. I could have chosen Brownies but didn't get a lot out of that when I was a child. During this time I developed some very strong friendships with some beautiful Christian women who I admired greatly. There were however things that happened within the Church that eventually drove me away. These things were man's doing not Gods. However none of this changed my belief in a power greater than us.

So the God I believe in loves us all. I don't know if my God is a male or female, I think that people believe in a male God because traditionally the male of the family is the provider and protector. All I know is that I asked this God to be part of my life and he/she/it now lives in my heart and soul.

My God is forgiving of the humanness within all of us, after all that is what makes us human and a child of God. This doesn't mean that my God condones murder, rape, beating your wife or husband or child or any of the other horrible things that we humans are capable of doing. But it does mean that he loves us with a pure heart and expects us to do the same.

Now here is where my thoughts really stray from that of the conservative Church. They would have us believe that being gay is a sin, that to love someone of the same sex breaks all of God's rules. So that if you are gay you either have to pretend you are not (hence living a lie and isn't lying a sin?) or deny yourself love because God doesn't love you enough to understand who you are, that He only sees you as a perversion to His plan. So if you follow that train of thought two of my children are not children of God because they are gay. So the Church would have me abandon those I love, those that I gave birth to and love more than my life is worth because we are not supposed to associate with those that don't walk in the path of the Church. I don't believe that God feels that way at all, in my heart, where my God resides he/she/it tells me another story.

It doesn't matter whether you as a woman love a man or a woman or if you as a man love a man or a woman. If you love that person with a pure heart then you are doing exactly what my God does - that is loving us with a pure heart.

It doesn't matter what your religion is - if you believe that God loves with a pure heart how could that same God not love you just because you happen to love someone of the same sex with that same pure heart? I don't believe It is about who you have sex with - it comes down to how you love.

If you ask that question of most people who follow the teachings of a Church (and I have asked quite a few) - no matter what their religion is - they will tell you that is what it says in the Bible (I use that term to represent the Koran and whatever the Jewish word for Bible is) - Men should only love woman (I don't think it actually mentions woman loving woman being a sin). But isn't the Bible man's translation of what God said, and hasn't man has gotten it wrong before. And doesn't man use the Bible's teachings to do exactly what God doesn't want us to do - hate others. It is man who starts wars and uses the Bible to justify them - not God. Would this loving God condone us killing others for him? I don't think so. Would this God ask us to live a lie? I don't think so.

So my God lives in my heart - I know because I can feel that power there - and loves me, loves those I love, gives me comfort when I need it, gives me strength when I have none and whether you call your God by another name doesn't your God not do the same for you. And should we not try and walk in the path of righteousness and not use religion as an excuse for our greed, intolerance (Iraq war to name one) and prejudices.

Would not the world be a better place if we all loved with a pure heart?

Call me naive, call me blasphemous, call me whatever you like - but this is what I believe, it is the truth that is in my heart, it is the religion I live by. May the world as a whole find a God who loves them with a pure heart and may that love shine forth from each of us. Maybe then and only then will we truly have peace in this world.

And if I am wrong and on my judgement day a different God judges me as not being of pure heart and soul because I dared to love my children for who they are, then I will accept that judgement. No God would ask a mother to abandon her children because of who they love.

The Crying Gene

I seem to have inherited the crying gene - not exactly sure where from - but all sorts of things make me cry - ads on tv, cards I read while trying to choose one for someones birthday, movies (happy and sad), reading books (happy and sad), even writing this blog sometimes makes my cry - oh and reading other people's blogs quite often does the same thing.

I also cry when I am angry, so be warned if you think I am angry and I cry - it means I am very very angry - so run away fast.

I cry when doing things like giving 21st birthday speeches, so sorry SB if I embarrassed you last night when I gave yours, it is just I get so overwhelmed with the emotion of trying to put into words how I feel and then the tears start flowing. So I hope you understood what I was trying to say through all the blubbering.

I find having the crying gene frustrating at times, as I like to think of myself as a strong woman, but maybe just maybe - being able to show your emotions even in a public place is a sign of true strength rather than one of weakness. Being able to be seen for who you really are rather than hiding behind a wall of self restraint is far more liberating - so if you too have the crying gene like me - embrace it for all it is worth. I'll try to remember that next time the blubbers start.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Reality - It Is Not All Black and White

I find it interesting how so many people, including quite a few of my family, see things in black and white (most of the time anyway).

But how can reality be black and white when there are so many shades of grey - case in point, a couple of years ago I was in our local Chemist when it was held up and the man was no more than 3 feet from where I was standing. There was another woman and her daughter (not a young child but about mid teens so she was obviously influenced by her concern for her daughter) probably 15 feet away. Now we all saw the same thing - but her description of the man was nothing like the man - she gave a description of a man that left the pharmacy as she was walking in. He did look a little dead beat (sorry if you weren't) which is why I happened to notice him, I think he had just bought a needle kit. Anyway, I couldn't believe that both of us looked at the hold up man and yet she got it so wrong. So her reality was different to mine even though we both experienced the same thing at exactly the same time.

Today I was talking to one of my work colleagues who has just lost her Mum and there has been some family unpleasantness which has to all intents and purposes split the family in two. Now this is a shame, but as we discussed, if we have not lived the other person's life how can we know what their reality is. So if you had a wonderful experience as a child, it doesn't mean all your brothers and sisters did as well. Especially in a large family with a big age difference between the youngest and the oldest child. So rather than splitting the family can one not accept that everyone has their own reality within a family dynamic? Do we not get caught up in our own reality so much that we become blinkered to everyone elses?

My brother and I went through the same experience when our parents separated and divorced. I was happy given my issues with my Dad, my brother was not. Maybe because he just didn't get what was going on in the family or maybe he thought that was normal. Anyway, after he decided to withdraw from the family both my mother and father pumped me for information on why. So I told them what I knew and they were shocked - how could that be, how could he think that and so on and so on. Now we all lived through the same situation - he for 9 years, me for 11 and my parents for 13. Then there were the years that followed their divorce and I suppose only my brother and I lived through that similar experience together, but even then it was a different reality for both of us.

He blames my Mum for leaving my Dad because life would have been better if she hadn't. I on the other hand think my Mum would probably have killed my Dad and then our life would have been very different. Maybe that is a little dramatic as my Mum is not a violent woman, but the night she walked out she later told me she had thoughts of hitting my Dad with the iron (she was ironing at the time) and so she turned off the iron, picked up her bag and walked out into the night. Probably a good choice. What my brother fails to understand is that had my Mum stayed there was no guarantee how life would be. We ended up with the most wonderful step-dad and my brother's life is really very good - maybe he just needs someone to blame, or maybe he is still that little hurt boy - only he knows.

What I have tried to explain to my parents is that everyone's reality is different, there is no black and white, there is only shades of grey - and every shade is influenced by things that have come before it and even by things that happen after it. After all memory is a funny thing.

What I see as one of the best qualities I possess is the ability to put myself in the other person's shoes - if it is something you find hard to do I suggest you try it some time - suddenly you see that there are two sides to every story - that the other person is most probably influenced by many things that you have no idea about - or possibly could ever grasp because your situation is so much different to theirs, you don't know what their reality is or why it is that way.

Just imagine if everyone only saw things in black and white how many more wars and disharmony there would be - because everyone's black and white is different to someone elses - because really it is all just shades of grey.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

More Childhood Memories

Going to Yanchep National Park's pub for Sunday sessions with my Grandma Grace, Grandpa Jim and Mum and Dad - back in the days when Perth pubs weren't allowed to open on Sundays, but country pubs could and Yanchep was far enough away from the CBD to count.

Spending a least some time every year staying on Rottnest Island with my Uncle Bert and Auntie Min and Mum and Dad. Even went to the little one room school on the island for 2 weeks when we went mid school term. Stopped going when Mum and Dad split up.

My step dad helping me down from a tree I had climbed - never had children of his own, but a better father for sure - thanks Pop.

Going into town on Friday night's after school to meet my Grandma Win and have fish and chips at the Railton, over the road from her office.

Going to North Perth Primary - a very multi-cultural school in the 60's - I had friends who were Italian, Dutch, Greek, Latvian, English, Scottish and Aboriginal as well as the Aussies ones. Gave me a chance to accept all races just because that's what kids do.

Getting dropped at school in a taxi (Grandma on the way to work would drop us off) - very posh.

Walking home from school on really wet days with no shoes on and jumping in puddles and getting soaked to the skin but loving it.

Mum and us two kids going to the drive-in in her little green car.

When you start to write them down there are more that keep popping into your mind - not a bad thing to try on a blue day.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Tonight I am over today
I moved on, its the only way

To live focusing on the negative
Is not something I can forgive
Its something I can't allow myself to do

So forgive my 'can't' post of today
Although writing it was a way
A way of taking back control
And of unburdening my soul


I can't do this anymore
I don't want this pain
I want it all to go away
It can't be here with me today

I can't always be the one
The one who is here for everyone
I can't always be
I just need to be here for me

I can't always be strong
Sometimes my life is wrong
I don't think they understand
All the pain I have to bear

I want it to stop
I want it to go away
It is just not fair
I don't want this blue day

I can't always be the smiling face
I can't always be full of grace
I just can't pretend today
I want it all to go away

No more pain
No more now!
Go away and leave me be
Can't you see

I don't think they have a clue
I don't think they know I'm blue
Can't they see it in my face
Don't they know I need my space

No I don't want to talk
I don't want your sympathy
I just want to walk
Without this pain

I just want to stand
Without always having to sit
I am just so sick of this shit

When did my life become this
Did I really have a choice
When DNA is the one with the voice

Tomorrow better be
A better day for me
I can't do two of these in a row
It's all to hard and I will have to go

Run away and hide
Don't let them know where
Until I feel better inside

Tomorrow will be better
It just has to be
Because today is being horrible to me

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Good Childhood Memories

On going back through my blog of late, I seem to be in a maudlin frame of mind and it may seem I have only bad memories of my childhood. So here are some of the good ones!

Staying over at Grandma Win's house and having afternoon tea with my own little teapot and cup and saucer - real leaf tea too with milk and sugar.

Having breakfast in Grandma Win's little sun room - although runny eggs were a little bit of a downside - but the white toast soldiers with real butter to dip in the eggs made up for that.

Having a really, really big yard to play in with a huge plum tree that we made cubbies under (it was more like a bush than a tree - I think it was a plum tree - Mum if you read this you can correct me if I am wrong?)

Wearing beautiful hand made clothes my Mum made - I was a bit of a fashion plate in primary school - especially the yellow bib and brace circle skirt with the white blouse with puffed sleeves and with rows of embroidery on the bottom of the skirt.

Always having pets - especially Angel the cat and Jenny the dog - and a sheep and a parrot and finches.

Living in a 2-storey house and running up and down the stairs (and sliding down the bottom banister - never had the nerve for the top one!

Dad's train set - although we weren't not really allowed to play with it, but it was still heaps of fun - and I think there were times I did play with it when Dad didn't know.

Having a piano and being privileged enough to have piano lessons.

Listening to my Mum play 'Rustle of Spring' on the piano.

Having lots of great friends like Sally, Marcia, Anita, Dianne, Jill and Linda in Primary School and Anna, Gloria, Donna, Claire, Sue and others at Iona.

Having the freedom to go to the library in town on the bus all on my own from about 8.

My Grandma Win taking me to the pictures at the Astor in Mt Lawley and seeing Sound of Music - my very first big person's movie and still a favourite today.

Grandma Grace and her budgies.

Grandpa Jim when his pants fell down while he was shutting the gate.

Mum loving the Beatles and having music in our house.

Mum's little green car with the pop in side window thingys.

Having our own proper cubby house that Dad made, with real windows and a door and it was like a big room in the back yard that grown ups could stand in - that's how big it was.

Playing with Marcia and sliding down the grassy slope in our yard on boards.

Pretending I had boobs and wearing my cousins second hand bra and stuffing it with tissues and going to a birthday party in Grade 7.

Getting Bella the doll from my Aunty Verna who's husband was in the diplomatic core - Bella came all the way from Switzerland - she was a beautiful doll with real hair.

Watching our own firecracker show in our own backyard on Guy Fawkes Night - that was when Perth was allowed to have crackers - especially the catherine wheels.

Playing 'knuckle-bones' at school with my friends.

The freedom of growing up in the 60s and 70s before everyone became so scared of bad things happening to their children.

I'm sure there are more to come - stayed tuned.

Is This A Sign Of Soul Mates?

My hubby and I have been married for 31 years and more and more we think the same thing at exactly the same time and one of us will start telling the other and the other one goes I was just thinking that myself. This happens on a daily basis and is quite spooky it is almost like we are mind reading each others thoughts.

Then there are the times when we aren't even in the same place and I am thinking 'oh I hope he does ...' and he does, case in point yesterday - I had a hair appointment, then was dropping in to see Mum in hospital and wouldn't get home until about 2.30 pm and so he was getting stuff for lunch. Normally that means fresh bread and ham and maybe salami and very occasionally a hot chicken which I break up and we have in the sandwich. As I was driving home I thought 'I really would like a chicken sandwich today but I didn't let him know so he has probably got ham', but when I got home - chicken was waiting for me ... spooky.

Now is this just because we have co-habitated for so long that we know each other so well, or is it that like twins we are so in tune with each other it just happens because we are soul mates? I'd like to think it is the latter.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lost and Found

I've lost this girl
Where can she be
Can I find her
Let me see

I've looked in the mirror
She isn't there
Someone strange
Looks back from there

She's in my head
She's in my heart
Now comes the hardest part

She's in my head
She's in my heart
But can't you see
She isn't really lost to me

She is me when I was young
When my life was full of fun
When I felt filled with grace
Before I found this older face

She is me before I aged
Before my weight
Before self hate

She is me before
When I could look
and like what I saw

She is me and she is here
Somewhere in my soul

She is part of me the whole

She is who I was
She never really left because
She's in my head
She's in my heart

She will always be a part
A part of all the girls I've been
Of the woman I've become

If you look
You'll see that smile, that face
You'll see she still has that grace

You may have to look hard
But persevere
Cause she is really
standing here

Friday, January 9, 2009

When Being A Girl Isn't Enough

There are a lot of things that happen in your life that shape who you are. They don't all have to be bad or traumatic, maybe it is just something that is said without thinking or the feeling you get from a parent or sibling. And if you are lucky lots of them will be good things.

When I was growing up there were just the two of us, my brother and myself. I am 2 years and a couple of months older. For the first nine years of my brother's life (I was 11 when my Mum and Dad separated) I was made to feel that being a girl wasn't good enough. I don't think my Dad conscientiously intended to make me feel that way, but he did. Not only did I feel I wasn't entitled to the same things as my brother, I was also responsible for all the bad things my brother did, and so even if I wasn't involved I got 2 more smacks, or 2 more strappings with his belt or the flyswatter because as he said I was two years older and should have known better and have been watching out for my brother. Didn't work the other way though - had plenty of smacks and strappings just because I knew how to push my Dad's buttons and my brother never had to endure those. The only time this didn't happen was when my brother nearly burnt down our cubby house and I was in bed. That night he bore my father's wrath all on his own. My Mum and Dad often argued about his philosophy but it didn't stop until my mother walked out and took us with her. This wasn't the reason she left but I am so glad she had the strength to do so.

So how did this feeling come to be? Well it was the little things that happened he never came right out and said 'pity you are a girl' or anything like that. It just all added up, for example, my father was a shooter - rabbits, roos, ducks you name it he shot it. Being a tom boy I always wanted to go but was never ever encouraged to do so. He always wanted to take my brother who funnily enough really didn't want to go. I eventually nagged him enough that he took me and a friend of his took his daughter as well. But instead of encouraging me to participate he stuck me up a tree and told me to look out for tiger snakes while he and his mates spent hours duck shooting. He thought it was really funny that I was scared the whole time in case a snake climbed the tree I was in, and he still does today, think it is funny that is.

There were lots of other instances of his non-understanding of my needs as his daughter including not letting me make things in his workshop and leaving me stuck up trees I had climbed cause if I was a boy I would know how to climb down. I suppose we aren't born with an instruction manual on how to be a parent and he did his best and there must have been good times although none that I remember clearly. To hear him tell it now he was a wonderful father and still is. I've given up trying to make him understand - after all one person's reality is not anothers.

I ended up thinking that being a daughter wasn't good enough for my Dad and the worse part of it, I grew up resenting my brother. My brother and I have not had a wonderful relationship and are now estranged although I'm still not sure why as I had tried really hard to be there for him but obviously I failed somehow.

My father and I didn't speak for a few years from my mid teens to my early twenties, but once I became a parent I realised that being a parent wasn't easy and that we all make mistakes and so I made the decision to let him back into my life, but on my terms.

Because of this feeling I had as a child I have tried really hard to make all of my 4 children feel equal to each other, but I am sure that if you asked them they would say otherwise after all I am just as human and the next man/woman and each child in the family has their own needs which sometime impact on how much time you have to spend with the others. I imagine that sometimes the 'good' ones feel like they are overshadowed and the 'naughty' ones feel they are not praised enough. But I hope that all my children grew up knowing that I loved them (and still do) no matter what their sex, whether they were naughty or nice and that I would give my life to save theirs.

I hope my son grew up knowing it was fine to be a boy who didn't play with guns and that playing with his sister's dolls was okay, no matter what the rest of the world said. I hope my daughters grew up knowing that being a girl is a wonderful thing and that is why they have become strong and independent women they are today.

I hope that my 2 grand-daughters rule the world because they can if they want to because my genes run in their blood and while that might mean arthritis and other crappy stuff, it also means you will become a woman to be reckoned with, a women who loves unconditionally and a women who can forgive because all of us are human and we all have feet of clay.

Giving Thanks for My Mum

Yesterday my Mum had her second hip replacement operation in 7 months. She has just turned 77 and has suffered from severe arthritis for many years. Pain has been a constant in her life, just as it now is in mine.

Yesterday morning I was suddenly very worried that Mum may not survive this operation even though she breezed through her earlier hip operation in June 2008.

I think I had these doubts because three Mums I know of died in December - my m-i-l in early December, a very good friend's Mum in NZ on Christmas Eve and one of my workmates Mum on Boxing Day.

So I would like to give thanks that she came through with flying colours yet again.

Mum I hope you have a trouble free recovery and that with 2 new hips your spine ceases to degenerate and that the pain is reduced significantly. I know it can never go away unless you undertake risky spinal surgery, but I am positive that now your body is more evenly balanced again that the vertebrae will more easily align and so the pain will be reduced. I look forward to having my Mum mobile again - no more motorbike leg now!

Inspirational Blogging Women

Over the past 12 months I had been following a small number of blogs, sometimes as a listed follower and others just by dropping in from time to time. All of the blogs are written by inspirational women - women I don't know and that I am unlikely to ever meet but inspirational no less.

Recently I was a little freaked out to find someone I didn't know following my blog. Even though I have wondered if anyone would find me, apart from those that I let know about my blog, I actually thought that it would be highly unlikely that this would happen. I didn't know how to feel when I was indeed found, suddenly there seemed to be pressure where once there was none, what was this person's expectations of my blog. So I decided to go visit her blog and what an amazing women I found, I suddenly felt very honored that she was now following me and also realised that the honesty she showed in her blog was one I could show in mine and even though we are 20 years apart in age, some of the health worries she is suffering relate closely to mine. She has inspired me to be stronger and make less excuses in 2009 and so I thank her. The universe really does work in mysterious ways.

So for anyone new to blogging, or for any of my family and friends that follow my blog from time to time - I suggest you take the time to have a look around in the 'blog' world as there are some truly inspirational women out there. Women who are happy to share their innermost feelings, their highs and lows, their worries and struggles, their joy and happiness and a lot of young and not so young mothers who are courageous enough to share their family stories. I am confident you too will find someone to inspire you, someone to admire, someone who's stories will touch your heart - go on be inspired and have a look, what have you got to lose.

And if you haven't got a blog yourself - there is something very liberating to be able to write your thoughts and let the universe decide who will read them.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hot In The City, Hot In The City Tonight!

Somehow I think that song had other connotations - maybe something to do with sex - or dating. But I am talking about these hot, hot nights when I can't sleep. The one thing that menopause (or Peri-menopause) has done for me is to increase my core temperature. I don't do true hot flushes yet, but I just feel hot all the time especially if there is any humidity in the air.

I have to admit I have never been a lover of summer weather - a nice 28 is about my comfort zone but there is something about having a night that is 28 that just does not agree with me. We don't have air-conditioning in the bedrooms, but we do have overhead fans, and I sleep under an open window, but it is not until about 4 o'clock in the morning that I feel cool enough to sleep well, and then by 5.30 I am too cold - what is with that?

So I think I would like to sing cool in the city, cool in the city tonight - please!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Am I Adopted? Part 1

In Memory of Gertrude Winifred Ruston (nee Rockliff)

15th April 1897 - 7th January 1985

Photo taken at my wedding in 1977.

Ever had one of those conversations with your Mum? Well I had one in my mid-30s. Let me set the scene. Would have been sometime in the late 80's/early 90's and Mum and I had gone to Bingo (I cringe to admit that now) and at the end of the night before we got into our cars and drove home she said "I need to tell you something".

Now two thoughts popped straight into my head - 1. my Mum had cancer and 2. I'm adopted. On seeing the expression on my face, Mum straight away knew I thought she was ill, so she was quick to tell it me wasn't anything too serious. Phew - then the "what I'm 35 and she has waited till now to tell me I am adopted" thought jumped around even harder in my grey matter.

In the ensuing conversation what she actually told me was that she had been adopted. It was a very strange feeling to think that 35 years of memories were based on an untruth. I won't use the word 'lie' as the reason behind the untruth was one of love. It was because of the love my Mum had for my Grandmother. Grandma for reasons of her own had asked Mum never to tell anyone and so my Mum had honoured her wishes until a couple of years past my Grandma's death.

Now I will tell the rest of the adoption story in other posts, but January 7th 1985 was when my Grandma died and the rest of this post is about her. Maybe I should have named this post Grandma, but the adoption story is relevant to what is to follow.

To me my Grandma was a strong willed intelligent woman who overcame much in her life and went on to help others less fortunate than her. Since her death I have found that she was also extremely complex and wove a story of her life that was not always based on truth, but more by not saying all when telling a story. I think she did this because she felt abandoned by her father and was always trying to live up to his expectations. Interestingly enough she also had high expectations of not only herself but also of those that were her family and I am not sure that we ever lived up to those either. But for all her faults she was my Grandma and I miss her still.

Grandma and I shared a psychic connection that I thought was based on our 'blood' relationship. So I was a little taken aback when I found out that she was my Mum's adopted mother. She also had this psychic relationship with my Mum. Grandma seemed to know when she was needed and would turn up at my parent's house at strange times or would ring to check on things, always when she was indeed needed. The night of my birth was one of these occasions, as was the night of my brother's birth - and I should point out we were both born about 4 weeks early.

When I became pregnant at 17 I couldn't bring myself to tell anyone especially after my boyfriend broke up with me when I told him. I did go and see my Grandma who worked around the corner on a few occasions with the intention of telling her. I often used to pop around for lunch so this was not an out of the ordinary event. But I never got the courage to actually tell her. I was not showing and had no symptoms but she knew and eventually rang my Mum and told her she thought I was pregnant. Could have been a lucky guess but I don't think so.

The last time I saw my Grandma before she died was the night of my brother's wedding when we stopped at RPH to see her on the way to the wedding reception. She was recovering from some major surgery but was on her way to a full recovery - or so everyone thought. That night as we were leaving I stood at the end of her bed to say a last goodnight and she told me she would be leaving me soon, she didn't say it in words and no one else heard her, but I knew. I just looked into her eyes and she looked into mine and that was enough. In my head I heard her loud and clear, she said goodbye. I was so upset at the reception and kept telling my husband that Grandma was going to die but I don't think anyone really believed me. I also convinced myself that I was wrong, but within 48 hours my Grandma had died. I always regret not going to see her one last time but the night before she died was set aside for my brother and his new wife to visit and I didn't want to intrude on their time together.

Grandma's 'estate' so to speak was really only her furniture and my Mum gave me the recliner chair that Grandma used to sit in all the time. On nights when her arthritis made sleeping in bed hard she quite often slept in it as well. We bought the chair home and it had pride of place in our lounge even though it was quite worn and tattered but it was Grandmas. The very first time I sat in that chair I was literally catapulted across the room - my Grandma was sitting there still. I felt her presence as strong as if she had actually been sitting in the chair in real life. It was months before I could sit comfortably in the chair and not feel I was sharing it with her. Every time I went to church, which wasn't often, she was also there with me and I used to cry and hope that no-one was watching.

So blood tie or not, she was and always will be my Grandma and I just wish she had the strength to feel comfortable with me knowing her secrets while she was alive. Grandma I would never have judged you I just would have loved you just like I did and always will.

Friday, January 2, 2009

That One Last Hoorah with a Twist

One of the good things about being peri-menopausal is that you get less periods (tune out here if you are feint-hearted).

So obviously you need less "feminine hygiene products" but you have to keep some on hand just in case. Because what the menopause loves to do is catch you unawares.

Case in point (from personal experience obviously) LMP was in Jan 2008 and a light one at that, then maybe some minor spotting throughout the year but nothing really to speak of. Then you get a surprise Christmas present - albeit a day or so before - and think okay this will be nothing much to speak of. And no sooner have the words (or thoughts) left your mouth (or brain) and you realise no this is going to be the one to make up for all those you missed during the year.

Now that in itself is just something women deal with, some from the age of 10 all the way through to probably 65 if you are unlucky.

But the twist in this tale is that somehow you end up with a blocked sewerage drain that cause your toilets to boil and bubble anytime you flush any water down any drain - scary. So obviously you think well the house is 31 years old and roots must have finally made their way into the drains and so you call the plumber. Felt quite lucky he could actually get here on the same day I rang (after 2 days of toilet bubbling - truly scary!!).

So around he pops and says "leave it to me love" - don't you just love tradies and their "loves", and you retire back into the air conditioning leaving him to put the rota roota down the drain. About 5 minutes later he comes in and says all fixed, great think I, then he says was just your tampons (blush, crawl under closest rock), yep pulled about 3 out. OMG! Here I am hoping that they really do look like little white mice (not my saying someone elses) and quickly try to pay the man to get him off my premises asap. But no he wants to lecture me about how tampons are the worst thing you can put down the toilet - catch on any little inconsistency in the drain he tells me, really bad cause they swell up and so on, and so on, and so on. Please earth open up and swallow me now!!

Why the hell does the packet say you can flush them then? The back of the plumber's invoice clearly states - They are the worst thing you can put down your toilet. Mind you I am not sure what you are supposed to do with them (and I won't go into graphic talk here to save all of us losing our lunch).

So I'm thinking that having had 3 daughters and myself living in this house for a lot of years with 2 toilets - how many tampons did we flush and have we caused some major backup catastrophe further down the drain that caused some poor person's toilet to explode (boil and bubble happened to us, worse may have happened to someone else) cause this is the first time it has happened here.

And of course, wouldn't the universe be laughing, wait until you are just about finished with the whole menstruation burden and then we sock it to you!!

So women of tampon using age beware - one day you too may have to face the plumber when your drains are blocked and it may not be roots at all.


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