Monday, December 22, 2008


The author of 'happy chatter' wishes to advise this blog is entering a time of recess. This decision has been taken in view of the general trend toward unhappy chatter in her writings of late. It has nothing to do with the recent lack of interest in her scrawling whines and everything to do with the need for rejuvenating time out. Happy chatter anticipates she will return to regale you with fresh news and insights in the very near future.

The author of 'happy chatter' would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your readership and cyber friendship. She wishes you all the best for a peaceful and joyous Christmas with family and friends, and looks forward to renewed interactions in 2009.


10 sure fire inducements to christmas cheer when one is tempted to mope

  1. Repeat to self: 'It's not all about me, it's not all about me'
  2. Read Psalm 103 for a little additional perspective
  3. Listen to uplifting music (This was my CD of choice today. Never fails to work)
  4. Bounce on a fitball for fifteen minutes and giggle at the silly sight you just made
  5. Sit in the sun and feel the warmth on your skin
  6. Contemplate new life
  7. Enjoy coffee with good friends
  8. Eat chocolate
  9. Drink a bottle of bubbly all on your own
  10. Pack your bags for a summer holiday

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

my life in facebook status updates

I can't seem to get my head together for a blog post. Call it what you will, laziness, end of year malaise or PMT, the result is the same - my head feels empty and I simply cannot pull together thoughts and feelings in any sort of a meaningful way. My mind is, however, awash with myriad moment-by-moment, shorthand facebook status updates such as:
  • Cecily is disappointed the skirt she made looks decidedly less attractive in real life than it did in her head. Salvos here it comes.
  • Cecily wonders if it is inhumane to hope the sick chicken will live instead of putting it down to spare it the misery.
  • Cecily holds a scrunched up pit of pain inside her at everyone else's baby joy.
  • Cecily is about to play the piano in church for the last time.
  • Cecily loves that the sun is shining but wonders why she hasn't sat and enjoyed it more.
  • Cecily is struggling to remember how to relax and jumps out of every chair almost as soon as she sinks into it.
  • Cecily is an aunty to the most beautiful niece in the world.
  • Cecily wishes she was staying home for Christmas so she could just sit and vegetate.
  • Cecily feels upset with the lack of appreciation expressed by the school regarding chaplaincy.
  • Cecily thinks 'while both of us are alive' might be a long time.
  • Cecily wishes the chicken would just stop breathing and die.
  • Cecily is relieved she does not have to go to work tomorrow.
  • Cecily wonders why she did not look after herself better this year.
  • Cecily says 'thankyou Frank for scraping and varnishing the skirting boards and picture frames. They look fantastic.'
  • Cecily wishes PMT didn't get her every time.
  • Cecily just listened to an old Shania Twain CD and it seemed incredibly shallow and vapid.
  • Cecily discovered a hidden chicken nest with seven eggs in it today. Woohoo - scrambled eggs for tea tonight.
  • Cecily could sleep for a hundred years.
  • Cecily wishes she could wake up and find Christmas already over.
  • Cecily is about to belatedly plant a zucchini plant or three plus some cucumbers.
  • Cecily can't figure out where her healthy eating endeavours disappeared to.
A few common themes, maybe I'll expand them later. But that's all I got for now folks.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

little ole wine drinker me

We've just enjoyed a Christmas BBQ with our 'Curious' discussion group. The conversation flowed freely along with the wine and we had a great time together. (Thanks guys!)

As I cleaned up the last of the lingering wine glasses and bottles (oh dear... that makes it sound like we did nothing but drink. Seriously, we ate too - sausages, steak, vegetable kebabs, tabouleh and fennel salad, tossed salad, tiramissu, fruit salad), and pushed chairs and tables back into their usual position I noticed one of the wine bottles (come on, it wasn't that bad, there were only two bottles all up) had a few drops in the bottom, so I decided to swig them down.

Bad move. I cannot safely swig wine. Instead I managed to choke and shudder my way through the gigantic mouthful that slid so willingly past my lips.

It appears that at this stage I am not capable of stashing a bottle in a brown bag and sitting in the gutter swigging on it.

Phew. What a relief to know that!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

it really isn't

It's not all about me.
It's not all about me.
It's not all about me.

One day I will remember this and stop taking offence at every little unintentional slight. I might even be a happier person for it.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

betty still makes me cry... and laugh... and feel happy


ah... should i be flattered?

It was a beautiful sunny day today, one of the few sunny days we have experienced in Tasmania this Claytons summer. It's been so bad I've given up on warm days altogether, and dress in long sleeve t-shirts no matter the weather, so today's warm weather rather caught me by surprise. Of course, warmth is relative - we barely made it over 21*C (70*F) but, you know, it was hot for us. Add to that the severe shortage of ozone over this part of the globe, resulting in sunburn in under 10 minutes, and one soon feels hot and bothered no matter the temperature.

So there I was, walking down the street feeling distinctly sweaty and weighted down by unnecessary layers of too-hot clothing, trying to enjoy the rays of sun but not quite getting there, when I walked past a bunch of blokes lounging around the outdoor tables of a local bar. They were young jocks, straggly hair poking out every which way, ridiculous candy framed plastic sunglasses perched on sunburnt noses, chests puffed out with ego as their bare skin fairly sizzled under the UV laden sun, pushing back in their seats as they ogled anything passing by in a skirt. A wave of revulsion pulsed through me and I positively refused to offer even a hint of noticing them.

I was almost past the group before I registered just what they were up to. 'Two out of ten' one of them said loudly enough for his words to carry not only to his group but also the skirted ones passing by on the adjoining footpath. Two out of ten? Two out of ten?? What was this, a game? Checking out the 'meat' as it travelled by them and offering a score? P.lease! 'Bogan' flashed through my mind... those boys rest firmly at the bottom of any social scale I could ever hope to construct. (Ah, maybe Robert Mugabe would be lower...)

It was at that point I had to remind myself how old I am. Actually I constantly have to remind myself and everyone else how old I am. I'm even contemplating drawing a few wrinkles around the eyes just to garner a little respect. Thirty three people, almost thirty four. Old enough to look after myself, sufficiently wise enough to offer counsel to those in distress.

Yes Cecily. Thirty three. Also old enough to let a stupid comment slide. Smart enough to laugh at the vanity of silly boys and sagely shake the head at such immaturity.

So I did. I laughed. And then the more I thought about it, the more I wondered if I shouldn't perhaps be flattered to rate a score - they weren't scoring just anyone you know... I was deemed to be within the ball park of their rather foolish scale. I suppose that might count for something. Or not.

Ah the silliness... in the end I just shook my head at such brazen testosterone and chauvenism and kept laughing. Silly boys.

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

phew. that's a relief

I know I am a nurse and nurses are supposed to be kind, caring people, always interested in the well being of humanity, ready in a trice to soothe a fevered brow or offer a helping hand. Perhaps because I am a nurse, I don't subscribe to precisely this point of view. For one, I quite like giving injections. Secondly I have no qualms about pushing a patient out of bed the day after their surgery. Well, not literally pushing them, more firmly advising them that contrary to their protestations, the task for the day is to get out of bed. Ultimately I suppose at my core I might still be kind - injections instil life giving medication, pushing a patient out of bed prevents all sorts of nasty complications sneaking up and killing them off.

There is however, one area of nursing duty I would gladly forego: First Aid. I don't think I am alone in avoiding this task. Nurses joke about their reluctance to get involved at the scene of an accident. I'm not sure if this reluctance stems from anxiety produced by potentially being caught without the tools of our trade (could I care for someone without a sphygmomanometer?!), the 'ew' factor of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, or if we shy away from the added responsibility of being recognised as a registered nurse. More is expected from a trained nurse than the average passer by, and I for one would not like to be sued for failing to save a person's life despite my best efforts.

Fortunately the kindness of my heart and the ethics of my practice have never been tested on this one. The closest I came to thinking I might need to offer medical help was in London. As I walked past the local pharmacy I couldn't help but notice the crowd of people gathered around a man lying on the ground. I tried to pretend I had not seen anything, even made it half way through the arcade before my conscience pricked me into turning around and going back. As my mind ran through the process of basic life support I mentally kicked myself for not stocking my handbag with a resuscitation mask. But even as I braced myself for the possibility of naked mouth-to-mouth I saw the security guard sitting atop a would be robber. This was no helpless unconscious old man, just a hapless thief intent on escape. The relief! Since that time I have continued to carry with me the dread of finding an injured person in need of serious help, although I still haven't obtained a resus mask.

Today my fears were put to rest. I was in Hobart for a nursing training day, one session of which focused on cardiac arrest. You may or may not be aware of the worldwide move to standardise basic life support guidelines. There have been some significant changes to the number of recommended breaths and cardiac compressions, but in view of people's reluctance (and oft times inability) to provide effective breaths, the American Heart Association is now recommending people skip the mouth-to-mouth altogether and focus on pushing hard and fast on the unconscious person's chest. You read that correctly - no more mouth-to-mouth, cut straight to pumping the middle of the chest.

This, people, is the beginning of the end. No more first aid reluctance from me! I am about to hang up my 'I don't do first aid' hat for good. Next time I see a potentially injured person I'll bounce over to them enthusiastically and push hard, push fast and resuscitate them! That's the plan anyway... if first aid ever goes to plan. Because I am a kind nurse. Really, I am.

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

trivial i know

I've had a lot on my mind lately, and it seems to have sent me a little loopy. Well not loopy really, just a little wilted. I ended up going home sick half way through Monday, slept all afternoon and night, phoned in sick for Tuesday and slept all morning. My headache has started receding today, although it is lurking around the edge of my eyes yet. Diagnosis Sister Cecily? A case of exhaustion I think. Too many late nights, perhaps too much blogging, certainly too much thinking and too little resting. So I'm off to bed as soon as I've posted here.

You'll be pleased to know I did have one thing lifted from my mind today. Last time I bought Paracetamol I opted for a bottle of tablets rather than blister packs. Somehow the fool proof, child safe, anti tamper lid (that caused my brother to stab himself with a pair of scissors in his attempt to break the seal) fell off in my bag the other day. All the dust lurking in the folds of the bag's fabric migrated into the bottle as all the tablets fell out. I cleaned everything up, collected the tablets and replaced the lid before dipping into the Paracetamol when my head went crazy. But there was only one left. That one tablet was really bothering me and I hunted around in my bag for the extra missing tablet. Nope, it was nowhere to be found so I gave up and chewed my way through a foil of nurofen in the hope of killing the headache.

Today I finally made it to the supermarket to restock on drugs. I know, I know... it's not really safe having such drugs so readily accessible, but it sure is convenient. As I reached for the bottle of paracetamol (which are cheaper than the packs) I saw it. '25 tablets' per bottle.

I know it's silly, and maybe it shows the level of functionality I have regained, but I am so relieved to know what happened to that missing tablet. There never was a missing tablet! There was an odd number of tablets in the bottle. Yay.

I shall rest easier tonight for sure. Especially after taking two of the tablets right now!

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