Monday, October 29, 2007

australian idol baby

Where there's a will there's a way, or so the saying goes. I'm trying to put the wisdom of this to good effect for starring on Australian Idol. (Drat those idol delusions - I just can't seem to put them to bed)

I'm two years over the magical cut off age, so there'll be no fair dinkum competition from me, but I think I might have discovered a loop hole that could see me going all the way to the Opera House to perform in Australian Idol - the 'My Mum Rocks' comp.

It's easy. If you think your mum can sing, you nominate her (or does she nominate herself, because that would be even better?!), she has a sing-off with a gaggle of other mothers in the local shopping centre before the best mama heads to Sydney to perform at the final. Perfect plan, no?!

I figure I have a year to produce a child in order to qualify for the 'mum' bit for 2008 and then I'll be set. OK, maybe two years in order for the child prodigy to master the computer skills necessary to enter me. Oh alright. Five years.

I really do need to deal with those delusions after all - it is painfully obvious that this plan won't work either.

I will settle for my small life.
I will settle for my small life.
I will settle for my small life.
I will settle for my small life.

Oh what a load of bollocks! I like my life. I like being me. I am happy to remain small and inconsequential but real, for this is of more value than fame and fortune.

But doesn't Australian Idol play on all those base instincts of ours? Pride, delusions of grandeur, self absorption. (Keep thinking like this and might be able to kill the desire for Idol fame once and for all)

UPDATE: My Mum emailed me yesterday and said that as she read this she was imaging me nominating her for the "My Mum Rocks" competition. She even sounded excited by the prospect. So I'm not the only one harbouring delusions of grandeur!

Labels: ,

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Three days out and I'm remembering the pain and torture of NaBloPoMo 2006... the stress of a daily blogging deadline, late nights puzzling over pithy punchlines, drawing total blanks on the creative writing front.

Ah yes, it's all coming back to me now. I think I might even be dreading the whole affair.

And this year the stress will be compounded by fighting Frank for the computer, as he has now discovered the wonders of email and word pressing. There's also the competition provided by writing Christmas cards - last year I wrote to no.one. zero.zip.zilch Christmas cards sent from here. Except to my family of course. This year I'm determined to link up with all my long lost friends and send at least a cheery card, maybe even a letter. (I wrote my first two tonight... early I know, but as I said, determined)

NoBloPoMo. Computer wars? Christmas correspondence?! It's too much! I surrender already. Someone else can win the prize. I concede defeat.

For tonight at least.

Tomorrow I'll be back in the game! I'm sure.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

poop de loop ii

I'm devoted to the idea of a natural vegetable patch. Or maybe I'm deranged.

Either way, it seemed a shame to waste all the sheep poo scattered around our yard, so armed with a sturdy set of gloves I picked over the grass, weeds, stones, mulch and bricks, collecting said poo and sprinkling it on the vegie patch.

Beautiful isn't it?!

In a few weeks, when the vegetables are growing great guns I will be glad I picked poop for an hour.

No really. I will

Labels: ,

Friday, October 26, 2007

laughter the best medicine

I don't like it, but sometimes life gets me down and I find myself looking out on the world through jaded eyes. Beauty passes unnoticed, day may as well be night and my fellow human beings seem little more than hindrances as I struggle through each week.

Which is why today was so refreshing. There was no way I could be jaded in the face of another person's delight.

Over the last year or two Frank and I have cultivated a friendship with our local Indian restaurant proprietors. In February they had a gorgeous black haired, brown eyed baby boy named Yesh. While his Mum and Dad slave away over a hot stove producing the most delicious Indian food in Tasmania, he sits nearby in his pram keeping himself entertained. Well, as much as a baby can keep himself entertained.

The problem is that as Yesh grows, the less entertaining he finds his pram parked in the kitchen. While other babies are lying on the floor gurgling, curiously exploring their surroundings or playing with toys, he lies still, following his parents with his eyes, becoming increasingly frustrated with the restriction. At night he falls asleep to the sound of clashing pots and pans, by day his eyes drift closed to the bubble of stewing meat. His parents are doing their best to survive - play is a luxury they cannot afford for their child or themselves.

Today I visited my friends to say hello. I like to think they feel less alone in the world because Frank and I care about them. They seem to appreciate our visits.

Yesh was a little grumpy when I arrived - wouldn't drink his milk, wasn't grinning like he usually does - and his mum and dad needed to cook up some base dishes for the night so I offered to take Yesh for a walk in the park and they agreed.

I felt quite weird at first - conspicuous with an orange pram and Indian baby, yet enjoying the feel of a baby in my care; hoping nobody confused me with Yesh's mother (unlikely!) but wishing it was my own child I pushed along.

As we rounded into the park (I love the parks here - they are lush, beautiful squares of green peace in the busyness) and edged towards the fountain, Yesh started laughing. He laughed and laughed and laughed. As we circled the fountain he chortled at the water pouring over the sides of the sculpture. When we sat to rest he bounced up and down on my knee, twisting to see the fountain, the flowers, the sky, drinking it all in. And keeping on keeping on with his laughing.

Ah, what a delight to hear! The pure, unadulterated joy of a baby revelling in being alive, experiencing the world with fresh, alert eyes.

If I never live to have children of my own I will never forget that moment of Yesh's laughter. I won't forget how he saw the beauty and wonder of the world.

May I find the determination to notice that beauty and wonder for myself, staving off the jadedness that snaps hungrily at my heels.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, October 25, 2007

four letter word

I think my violin teacher is trying to tell me something - on Tuesday she used a four letter word.

I know I hardly practice; that at times I arrive late for lessons; that I ooze enthusiasm during class but do nothing during the next fortnight (because a fortnight is the new week); sight read beautifully but never perfect a piece.

I know all that. But was it really worthy of that four letter word?


"Would you like to do an exam next year? If so, you will need to start preparing this week."

(Reading between the lines, 'I'd like a bit more commitment from you Cecily. You've been learning for nearly four years now and it's time to step up to the mark again. No more lazy playing, no more lackadaisical attitude. Pull your socks up and put some spine into this.')

I don't generally mind exams. With pen and paper laid out in front of me I have no problem recalling facts and figures or piecing together a winning argument. Put a violin in my hands however, and I slowly fall apart. Last exam I was not required to play vibrato, but I still managed to produce an excellent tremolo effect. Unfortunately it came from my shaking bow and did little to furnish me with extra marks.

But I like a challenge (and I'm not planning to study in first semester), so I tentatively committed to an exam in June next year. Tomorrow I shall purchase the requisite third grade music and start the hard work of preparing. And learning vibrato. (For some reason I have in my head that I can't learn it... another challenge)

So if I'm not blogging much it might be because I'm practicing the violin. Or sitting in the sun.

Labels: ,

and the sun came out...

For a while there it seemed that the weather would never warm up. But now the sun is shining and we've all jumped into t-shirts. Just like that. Cold one day. Warm the next.



Sunday, October 21, 2007

mind mush

Oh dear. I finished all the study and now I want to put my brain on hold. For a few weeks. In fact, can I put my life on hold?

Uh, no? Not possible?

I mean, I can't even get my act together for blogging. So many things I could write about, but I just can't pull the words together.

So I cooked Celeriac soup. It was totally mushy (but yummy). Just like my brain. So it hasn't helped really.

Oh well. Maybe tomorrow my thoughts will come together better.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

the blanket is off

We still haven't hit 20 degrees Celsius (68F) in this part of the world. And tonight it is supposed to sink to 1 degree C (34 F)...

...but I have planted my seeds (a bit late, but fingers crossed they grow in time) - eggplant, asparagus and tomato. No zucchinis this year. I still can't even bear to buy one. I'll go and buy a few other seedlings on the weekend and hopefully get them in the garden soon.

And the native plants in my garden are flowering furiously.

Spring is here. I know it is, even if the temperature doesn't seem to say so.

So I took the blanket off the bed. Stuck with the flanno sheets though. I'll not be caught on a frosty night without the flannos!

Labels: , ,

it is finished

I'm feeling rather virtuous - my last assignment is all sewn up and in the bag, ready to be posted tomorrow! Yay, study complete for the year.

I was going to reward myself with chocolate on completion of the masterpiece but, courtesy of our nice neighbour, we have a Cadbury show bag full of more than $20 worth of chocolate and I grazed on it all day.

And besides, I'm not sure I've really worked hard enough for a reward - this assignment was due last Monday. (don't stress about lost marks - two week grace period remember) I crammed the last three modules of readings into two days. I winged it (wanged it, wunged it, wung it?) through the whole semester really. Does such behaviour deserve reward? I mean, any counsellor worth their salt knows that you don't reward bad behaviour. You gradually encourage people to change by offering incremental rewards for good behaviour, shaping them into goodness. I suppose eating chocolate while studying is a form of shaping. One way or another. Whether it's shaping good study habits or the hips I'm not sure.

On the positive side, I might have scraped through the formal work on a wing and a chocolate, but I learned fabulous life lessons along the way. I discovered that I'm not very disciplined, I'm not as healthy as I like to think, I need to cut out a bunch of stressors in my life, I'm scared stupid at the thought of counselling people, my past will always influence the way I am in the counselling room. OK, so that was nearly all negative, but I feel like I want to go back over all the readings and drink them in slowly and apply them in my own life. I have so much to learn, so much to grow in.

I may never become a counsellor (as I said, scared stupid) but I will never regret studying this Grad. Cert. I am a richer, broader, wiser, wider person because of it.

And you can't complain about that. In fact, that deserves a reward I think!

Hmmm, if not chocolate then what? A new top? skirt? pair of shoes? lingerie? book? CD?

I gave Frank the option... a CD or all of the above. He suggested (dryly) that a CD might be sufficient. (The lack of discipline and all that... sigh)


Labels: , , ,

Saturday, October 13, 2007

pest control

Frank and I have been dabbling in amateur pest control, or rat control to be more precise.

Yes, for the second time this year we have rats in the house. Well not actually in the house as such, but in the walls. And in the laundry, which is enclosed within the four walls of the house, but removed from the main section of the house via a separate door in the back of the house. Anyway, there were rats in that there laundry!

The nasty pestilence first came to my attention mid-vomit the other night. I know. Timing! As I was clearing my stomach, I heard a rustle in the bush outside. I immediately thought I was being stalked by a peeping tom, climbing the flimsy pittosporum outside our naked bathroom window in order to observe my most excellent stomach pumping action. As peeping toms are want to do. In the middle of the night. Watch someone vomiting. Right. But just in case my overactive imagination was correct in its far fetched machinations, I turned the light off and tiptoed to the window to stare them back in the face.

Of course there was nobody there and I went to bed and slept as only someone who has felt and faced the fear of a stalker can.

And then the next morning I heard them again. In the wall. The rats. My peeping toms returned to haunt me.

Shortly thereafter I found the laundry (rustic cavern beneath the house equipped with hot water system, washing machine, clutter and spiderwebs in the style of a true under-the-house laundry) littered with droppings. Frank came and rustled around, but apart from a few chewed boxes containing my precious journals, we could find no evidence the critters had moved in.

So we baited them. With four big blocks of heavy duty rat bait scattered around the laundry. That ought to get 'em!

Sure enough, this morning three of the blocks had disappeared completely and the remaining block looked decidedly nibbled. Success! We could almost see them rolling in agony around their dirty little nests, or better yet, dead already! All seemed to be progressing according to plan.

Until we got home from a little jaunt this morning, to find, lying prostrate and deathly still on the ground in front of us, Clive the sheep. Dead, we could only assume.

What had we done? Killed Clive along with the rats? If only we had nailed down those bait the way the packet said! If only we had not assumed the rats would clasp their deadly treasure to their chest and never let it go! We'd killed Clive with rat bait! How could we ever live with ourselves?

How can I describe the most wonderful relief when Clive lifted his little head and stared balefully at us, telling us with his eyes that he was not so pleased to be woken by our arrival! (Did you know sheep yawn? They do! Clive yawned the other day in another prostrate moment)

Giddy relief, blood through the veins, embarrassed laughter! Clive was OK. We didn't kill him. But we sure as hell hope we killed those filthy rats!

Labels: ,

Friday, October 12, 2007

the meaning of stress

I have an assignment to write on stress. I'm struggling for words because I hardly know anything about stress. I mean, what does it feel like?

Not that the assignment I thought was due today was due last Monday, so my two week grace period is already whittled down to 1.25 weeks by sheer idiocy. Or that the readings for the online quiz are taking me forever so I can't just do the quiz and get into the assignment. Or that I spent the last three days madly reading and writing for the other assignment that I thought was due last Monday but was actually due today.

Right now I'm scratching my head and wondering what on earth it was that dragged me away so consistently from the books over the last two months. What could possibly have been so important that I left all the work until after the due dates? Oh... I know... it was the need to experience extreme stress in order to write more convincingly about it! Of course!

The good news is that by next Friday all will be complete. I will have fulfilled the requirements of a Grad Cert in Counselling. Yay!

And I'll be free to blog every day for NaBloPoMo without guilt or shame.

Oh OK, I might be a bit ashamed. It's embarrassing and all to be so nerd like in my blogging devotion. But I love it. I love the challenge of thinking up something interesting every day!

But I digress. It's back to the grind for me for one more week.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

NaBloPoMo 07

Speaking of gastro and diarrhoea, verbal diarrhoea, and by association bloggarhoea I joined NaBloPoMo again.

I know. It's crazy, but I couldn't help myself. I mean, last year I won a prize! I might again. You never know.

I think this picture says it all really.



My local hospital is in the midst of a bout of gastroenteritis. You can't enter most wards unless you are a patient, a nurse, a doctor, a close relative. Or John Howard.

OK, I'm lying about John Howard. He didn't venture into the wards - I mean it wouldn't be cool for the Prime Minister to catch gastroenteritis while on an official visit. So he had to forgo the fantastical photo opportunity to stand instead at the main entrance dishing out fists full of money so we'd vote for him in the election.

But I saw through him.
I also caught gastroenteritis.
Probably from that patient who projectile vomited all over his bedcover, narrowly missing me. (Or was it hearing those election promises that made me feel sick? Note to John Howard: I will not be bought)

Anyway. So I'm sick. I started feeling nauseous last Thursday evening, but it didn't progress into any hard (or wet) evidence of gastro. I figured my cast iron constitution was working double time to defend me against the marauding little bugs.

But then I started feeling T.I.R.E.D. and perpetually sick. I went to the anti pulp mill rally with grave fears for my wellbeing... the toilet queue was long. But still no hard evidence. I took Monday off sick just because I felt grotty, worked yesterday and then. at last. I vomited at midnight last night.

I don't know why I was so happy about that. It was most unpleasant. (And that's before I tell you what ended up in my sinuses...) But I did feel somewhat justified - this is no imagined malady. I really am sick!

Still, just in case it was only tiredness and overextension of my brain (watching Dancing with the Stars until 10:30pm may not have been such a brilliant idea), I toddled off to work this morning lest I be caught wagging without reason.

And then I hit a wall. A brick wall. Of absolute exhaustion. And went home. And slept nearly three hours. (Unheard of in the middle of the day) And I've already declared myself sick for tomorrow. And I shall sleep late. Rest lots. Eat little. (I admit, chocolate may not have been the best snack food I could have chosen over the weekend. Or raspberry licorice sticks)

And study. Maybe.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

life's good

"Life's good," I thought as I walked home from work today, head high, shoulders back, laughing into the beautiful breeze.

And it is good.

The sun shone all day. The cold wind stayed away. I bumped into friends down the street and enjoyed nice chats. And the clocks have moved forward into daylight saving, so the light lingered until after tea. Perfect.

All I have to deal with is the study I'm behind on, the pulp mill (report on the rally forthcoming), and the appalling way the State Government is treating nurses.

Not much really.

Labels: ,

Friday, October 05, 2007

no pulp mill, no pulp mill

I am loving all your advice for our Sunday dilemma... in fact I'm loving my blog community. Thanks for reading and commenting and participating and, well, just being interested in my life. Which is, of course, VERY interesting.

Anyway, back to the BBQ - to go or not to go? That is the question!

Our decision has been made infinitely easier by the Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull's decision to approve the pulp mill yesterday.

We are not surprised (who really was?), but neither are we amused. So in the end we've made the decision to unite with those against the pulp mill in a show of strength and solidarity.

We will not be attending lunch with our friends.
We will be driving up the Tamar to protest this mill.

Mr Turnbull made an interesting claim today:

This decision on the pulp mill is based on science and science alone

Um... Mr Turnbull... what about the money? Let's be honest and call a spade a spade. This isn't about science, this is about money. You and your fellow state and federal parliamentarians want the glory of approving a big money spinner for, is it yourselves? Oh no. That's right, it's for the people of the country. This will do wonders for our economy right? Such a shame most of us don't want it.

I, for one, am looking forward to the election. Because that, Mr Turnbull and all your fellow federal parliamentarians, will be your day of reckoning. We will vote. We will have our say in the end. And you will have to listen, because ultimately we will decide if you return to power. Or not.

So let the games begin.
On Sunday.
At the rally.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

what to do, what to do ii

There's another rally against the pulp mill this Sunday. It will be held near the mouth of the Tamar River, on a beach that will be affected by the mill's dioxin filled effluent.

Frank and I did our bit delivering promotional leaflets. (Hello to the two boys on bikes who responded so enthusiastically when informed the leaflet was against the mill)

Now this is the dilemma. Sunday is not a good day for us to attend a rally on the best of occasions - church consumes a significant proportion of the day. But this Sunday is a particularly bad day. Frank has a meeting at 2pm... and now we've been invited to 'the first BBQ of the season' for lunch.

Dilemma, dilemma. Anti-pulp mill rally or BBQ lunch with friends?

That choice alone is tricky, but it gets worse. The identity of our BBQ hosts are none other than a politician strongly in favour of the mill and his wife. Frank and I have met with him formally and informally to express our views. Without result. (Nothing new there - no politicians are listening to anyone who doesn't want the mill)

So do we go to the anti-pulp mill rally or lunch with someone in power who supports the mill? The poisoned edge of the wedge. Double whammy. Ethical dilemma of ethical dilemmas. Relationship over principle? Environment over friendship?

It's too hard. I don't know what to do...

I suppose I could just say that I can't come because I already had another appointment. Or go to the BBQ but wear my 'eat money' T-shirt?

Labels: ,

what to do, what to do

I don't know... should I take off the deliciously warm Waverley Woollen Mill blanket (I love that it was made locally) or stop using flannelette sheets? Or leave them both on the bed? Or remove them both?

I mean, it is spring here in Tasmania, but we are still languishing in cold temperatures. The flowers and trees are abloom, but on the mountains there is a fresh fall of snow sending chilly winds to town. The days warm a little, but overnight the chance of a frost remains.

So, stick with the winter sheets and blankets, remove a layer, or go the whole hog and head for summer in the manchester department?

Of such my life consists.

And a whole lot of other stuff, but it's all too hard to write about. Start with the simple and work up to the big stuff, hey?

NB I stuck with the flannelette sheets AND the woollen blanket... I hate being cold at night.

Labels: ,