Thursday, December 23, 2010

What is a gift?

This time of year, people get mighty hung up on what to buy people they love in order to demonstrate their love for them or to conform with societal expectations...I was having a chat with an old friend Dawn and she said something that really resonated and agreed with my inner being. She was talking about her new fella who had asked her about what she would like for Christmas and she stated that she wanted an experience rather than an object. She was quite adamant that she had all the things she needed with regards to jewellery, gadgets, and things. She just wanted experiences with those she loved and liked not STUFF. This I thought was a fabulous idea and I wish to take it on board and make it a rule for me and mine.

I want the gift of your time! I want you to take me out for a coffee, or a picnic or have me over for a board game. I don't need nor want stuff given to me. I am in the very fortunate position of being a white western woman with disposal income that can buy exactly what she wants, when she wants (most of the time)

I do enjoy the majority of gifts given to me, they show talent and intuition about me when I unwrap them. But the people I love and wish to have around me more than they are, I just want their time to spend with me. I want to talk and laugh and enjoy their company without fretting that they have spent money they can ill afford on me.

This coming year I want to spend time NOT money on my loved ones - Time is precious and ever decreasing, this I want to lavish on my loved one and I want them to lavish on me in return

I got sidetracked...doing my 50 things

Life got very busy there for a while so my postings were put aside, so, ahem, here is the continuation of my top 50 things, now where was I...

Aah yes time spent with friends

I count myself very lucky with my friends, they come from all areas of my life and bring joy and happiness every time I meet with them. Sometimes they challenge my thinking and behaviours, sometimes they make me laugh until I cry and other times they just make me cry with them during a tough time for them. I love my friends dearly for they each bring something to me that I need and I hope that I bring something to them that they need.

I used to stress because I had friends from work, friends from Karate, friends from school, friends from dancing and friends who happen to be family that I couldn't have them all over at the same time because they wouldn't know each other, well a friend sorted me out on that count when I wanted to instigate a board game afternoon and I was fretting no one would come or no one would feel comfortable because they didn't know each other, well I worried for no reason. I invited those of my friends who I know like board games and its gone off great guns since.

I now feel confident enough to host an open house on Boxing Day afternoon and know that my friends will enjoy themselves whether they just chat amongst themselves or play board games or eat food that I make out of my Thermomix.

After all its only taken me 38 years to get to this point but I've always taken my time about these matters!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Top 50 - Number 12 - The Internet

I was relatively late to having the internet connected to my abode. It was only about 5 years ago that I summoned the courage to have it. I had ready enough access to the internet at my work and it was enough for quite some years. I didn't see the need for the expense to have it connected until family moved overseas and it was proving problematic to keep in touch via before work emails etc.

I finally capitulated and got sucked into the vortex as you do when you have unlimited (well relatively unlimited) access to the internet. I got wrapped up in the whole on-line dating scene for a while since I wasn't meeting anyone interesting in real life. I was careful and cautious and always used my common sense. It served its purpose for the time being and I have now shut down my profile on the dating sites I used as I don't have time for anyone at the moment and the quality control was proving problematic.

Now I am constantly on-line since I've added social networking to my sphere and that has been a real boon, it allows me to keep in touch with far flung family and reconnect with long lost friends and family. I see the internet as a very useful tool and would be pretty lost without it but would have more free time LOL.

I now have a blog I regularly post in with great delight.

Who knows where the yellow brick road will lead me ......

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Movies & Music - a combo post for my top 50

I enjoy both forms of entertainment immensely but I cannot actually live without my music. I am lucky to possess an iPhone that comes complete with an iPod, I have loaded many hours of music onto it and use it everyday to listen to songs.

My workmates have been very indulgent in allowing me to have my music while I potter about setting up the library for the business day ahead, I am a compulsive early bird, generally always the first one in for a solid 45 minutes.

The iPod is on before I am in the library, I don't bother with earphones as they don't suit my aids and then I can't hear anything like the courier arriving or the phone ringing. Generally the music is up and I am singing my little heart out to whatever tune and funnily enough, my colleagues know that I am in the library! Music is on in the house, I usually just have the radio going while I am doing the housework or pottering about. The car radio is generally plugged into the iPod so again I am singing happily wherever I am going.

Now when it comes to movies, I enjoy them as much as the next person but I don't break my neck to see feature films when they come out unless it is something I am really struck on. My video membership card usually expires from lack of use. I generally have the occasional marathon of a mixture of new movies and old favourites on a quiet weekend when I am too pooped or too broke to go out.

My music tastes are fairly middle of the road, I am pretty much an 80's tragic and ballad sad sack! I loathe rap, heavy metal and that kind of music, its just noise and sounds like microphone feedback to me.

My movie choices are also fairly middle of the road, I cannot cope with horror or scary or suspense stuff. Once when my boss invited me to see "Sixth Sense" at the movies, I knew my sister had seen it, she knows what a complete sooky la la I am when it comes to scary stuff, she informed me of every scary part so I knew what to expect and so I was able to comport myself with decorum and not bellow with fright at every tense or scary moment.

Yet I am not a sooky la la in life, if there is a noise outside that I can hear (which means it must be freaking loud) then I go outside and investigate it, albeit it armed with a heavy and long object in my hand. I lived alone for 7 years before I got a flatmate and never once been scared to be on my own. But scary movies - Gah - they just wig me out, my cousin once persuaded me to watch some really scary title and I did it reluctantly in broad daylight with doors and windows open to let in the light and I still ended up behind the couch screaming my lungs out.

So that's my taste in movies and music - boring and pedestrian to some but frankly I don't give a flying patootie! I'll always listen to something new to give it a whirl and base my opinion on actual experience but if I don't like it then I don't bother with it.

Until next we meet.........

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Car/s - 41 to go of the big 50

My car is rather new and spiffy..............after much agonising I traded in my faithful purple Hyundai Excel 041 FBM last July for a shiny red Hyundai i30 747 LTL and I still feel guilty! Now I am still adjusting to this new car, its dimensions and spatial surrounds are still unfamiliar to me! I had my purple Hyundai for almost 10 years and knew her inside and out. I knew exactly how she fit and how she would respond and everything about her. I know I am anthromorphising an inanimate object but so what!

I've only had 3 cars in my time as a licensed driver, my very first car was a Datsun 200B 1981 wagon - it was a perfect first car! I learned a lot of lessons in that car, primarily that you need to check the oil in an older car regularly or you are going to spend 1991 New Years Eve weekend fixing an almost seized engine under the supervision of your beloved uncle and with your cousin, who got dragged into helping me, learning far more than you ever wanted too about motor engines and how they work and in particular, why the need for oil so much!

I, no doubt, will have this current vehicle for many years since I take care of my belongings and enjoy looking after them. I spring for a full detail at least once a year to give that show room polish and glamour and the services are religiously adhered to.

I was 22 before I got my licence and it took me three tries, since the first two tries were under the misapprehension that I had excellent vision, apparently when you are around 20-21 your visual acuity can drop dramatically and it did for me but I hadn't noticed really. It was only when I was at the movies, and I asked my brother who played a particular role because I couldn't read the credits and he noted "sis you need to get your eyes checked" that I kind of realised that the world around me had softened into a gentle blur and yes that may have been the reason why I failed my licence twice thus far. Oh the joy when I got glasses, I could see definition in trees and things in the distance, like speed signs and oncoming vehicles in my path if I tried to make a right hand turn right now.

I've enjoyed my freedom that came with having a car, I was determined to be braver than my dear mum who had a 5 k radius that she would drive in and about a 45k speed limit. I have my trusty sat nav if I am unsure where I am going and just set the destination and off I go. It hasn't let me down yet, I just love it.

I am determined to do a driving holiday and see a few sights one day, may even take Dixie along for the journey! We can always bunk in the car as the back seats fold down completely now and its almost a bed size for me. However I do find driving very tiring and so far 2.5 hours is my limit before fatigue really becomes a serious issue, so perhaps I need to condition myself to longer driving periods.

We shall see...........

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Bed - 43 to Go

My Bed - is my retreat from the universe! I love my bed, I love lolling about on it daydreaming about all manner of inconsequential things and just relaxing! It isn't an expensive bed just a simple Queen Bed size aluminium bed but it has lots of European pillows and normal pillows so I can pile them up to relax upon while reading. It's funny whenever I sleep in a new bed I literally have to break in a new bed, I have back pain while I adjust to it and poor sleep until my body is acquainted with its dimensions. So I miss my bed ferociously whenever I am away regardless of how magnificent the bed I might be sleeping in!

My current bed quilt was a lovely silver and white number from a little shop in Bowral NSW, I was visiting with my brother and his fiance while they were sussing out wedding venues in that area and we were checking out the town and I found this beautiful quilt and just had to have it. I had no idea how I was going to cart it home - thought I would have to air freight or post it back home to Queensland but my sister in law to be said she thought it would be OK as onboard luggage on the flight home and it was! It just really sets the room off - when the bed is properly made which is usually clean sheet night - my very favourite night of the week - I just love the smell of sun dried linen and that beautiful feel of clean sheets!

I wish I was more disciplined about making my bed and then I could more often enjoy the feel of peeling back the cover and sliding on into the haven of my bed! Instead, I just shake the sheets and rearrange the pillows and linen back into some order for I am a very restless sleeper and the bed linen and pillows end up all over the place, sometimes it looks like I've been conducting the wrestling championship in my bed.

My bed is something very dear to me.............

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Writing - 44 to go....

Writing - well I've always enjoyed the results of writing - READING - so you could say I've been a connoisseur of writing since I was a young lass!

But writing for myself, apart from some funny letters I wrote to my mum and some woeful love letters that I wrote to my crush (but never posted) and required writing for School and/or University, the only writing I have done with passion has been this blog. I have really enjoyed the time spent writing on this blog, posting about my feelings or ideas about a topic, or just using it as a place to safely vent my feelings and emotions about an issue.

It took a great deal of courage for me to start this blog as my mum had always taught me that never write anything down for it could be held against you. So I felt very paralysed the first few times I hesitantly put a few words down. Now mum wasn't trying to prevent me from writing she was just speaking from experience, when she was sprung writing something inappropriate at the time by her teacher (a nun), it was something very innocent and yet the nun took her to task for it and it was a lesson very well learned and passed to her children.

I am enjoying this current lot of blogging - it's called a MEME I think where you have a set agenda to post on and you go with to a specified time frame or a theme.

I find it very carthartic and rewarding, I admit to hungrily looking for comments to see if someone has enjoyed it. Now I know how to look at the statistics in my blog, I am no longer disheartened if no one comments because I know someone has at least looked! Rather voyeuristic of me I think!

So I will continue with this blog on an ad hoc basis as life takes me along its path and I have the venue to say things when and how I feel!

I encourage anyone reading who isn't currently blogging to seriously think about it!

Cheers for now............

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Well my 50 things will be a combo of 4,5,6

The topics are more or less interrelated for me - Recreation, Books and Reading..........

Well for me Recreation time always involves reading, to not be reading each day is anathema to me, it is a very rare night that I fall asleep without reading at least a chapter of something beside my bed. Any time spare always involves a good few hours reading, I have so many authors I love reading and so many new authors to discover that sometimes I agonise that I will die before all my reading is complete and I have read everything I have ever wanted or needed to.

If I am going anywhere pretty much my first thought is what books will I take and how many do I need. The thought of being without something to read causes something akin to a panic attack within me. When I went on my cruise I took 4 books the cruise was 5 days long so I thought I had enough but no I ran out on the 2nd last day and I was prowling the cabin looking for something to read much to the amusement of my friend & fellow cabin mate who reads horror and gothic fiction which I don't but I was desperate so I read the weird ass Jane Austen zombie novel which I rather enjoyed, not sure if it was sheer desperation that added the enjoyment or what.

Now how lucky am I, I work in a freaking library, talk about a kid in a candy store. It is heaven on a stick being surrounded by books and able to flick through and read excerpts and flyleaves and discover new authors all the time. I truly am blessed to be exposed to all the richness of the literary and published world coming through the doors of my workplace every day. I get paid to talk about reading, the pleasures of it, the different authors and genres. Is it any wonder why I love my work and am there early every day. I truly have that blessing - find what you love and you will never work a day in your life. For me, that is my life most days - well moving a library is a bit hard going but that wont' last forever.

Books, so many books in the world lay undiscovered by me as yet but I will get to them one day. My TBR (to be read) pile grows ever more plentiful and tall and wobbly. It is queer but I sometimes wish (with my fingers crossed against it actually happening) for a broken leg or some other mishap that requires bed rest but leaves me well able to read for hours on end so I can start to make a dent in my TBR pile. Being stranded on a desert island well supplied with food, shelter and other essentials is also a favourite fantasy with a unending supply of unread books and undiscovered authors.

I have never been bored (restless but never bored) and I think that is because I so love to read, there is always some place to go, someone to be, something to do when you enjoy reading. You just lose yourself in the book and you are there in amongst the characters and lose hours whiling away your life in another world. My Video rental card gathers dust since there is always a book to read, my TV languishes unwatched most days because there is a book to read. You visit my house and there will be books on the coffee table, kitchen table, the office (uni books I grant you)
my bedside table, my bedroom floor, in the car there is always an audio book on the go, on my iPhone there are audio and E-books to be read and listened to. There is usually a book in my handbag if I know I am going to a friends or relatives place and there might be down time when they are busy - some of my friends have kids that take their attention for a bit so I have a book on hand to read in the interim.

My mother would have to remove books from my hand at the dinner table and if we went to the movies, I usually would try to sneak a book in, in case the movie was something I didn't like. As a child I much preferred my world of books than real life. Toy stores didn't interest me but my mother's hand always tightened on mine when were passing by bookshops because I was inevitably drawn into the bookshop if she wasn't watching me closely I would vanish into the book shop.

Books are truly my raison d'etre.................

The Beach.....47 to go

Aaah the Beach - such an icon of Aussie culture and seen as an endemic part of our society! Alas the beach is not for me, at least not in summer! Queensland summers get hot, really seriously hot and horrible...this is when hordes of people head to the beach and I cannot understand this. The beach is hot, usually very little shade, the sand is hot, and you are exposed to the sun the entire time, unless you bring along a shade hut or something similar to provide your own shade. You have to cart drinks and food along unless its a really popular beach then it might have seriously overpriced drinks and ice creams available on a kart.

Don't get me wrong I don't hate or dislike the beach, not at all, I just don't like being on it when it is hot! I love the beach in winter, at dusk or dawn and when it is building up to a storm or just after it! It is partly related to my deafness as I have to remove my hearing aids to go swimming and they are such delicate pieces of technology that I dread sand getting anywhere near them and you know how sand gets in everywhere and everything. So going swimming is not a social event as I can't communicate happily with people around me, communication can happen but its usually very loud and repeated and accompanied by hand gestures for added theatre!

I am of a very fair complexion and burn to a crisp very very quickly unless slathered in uber strength sunscreen and even then its odds on I'll get burned, I am very conscious of watching for melanomas and get screened regularly for quirky marks and odd spots on my skin.

It is funny for about 7 years we lived about 20 minutes from Noosa Main Beach known internationally as a very desirable beach and I could count on two hands the number of times we visited that beach.

Go figure........

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Dog....well my pets really No.2 - 48 to go...

This is my number one beloved furball - Dixie - she is a mini foxie/chihuahua cross about 6 years old now. She is my first dog as an adult and solely "my" dog. I grew up with dogs all my life and the longest period without a dog in yard or house was while I was living with my grandmother who was allergic to dogs and would not permit me to have one.

Dixie came to me via my cousin Shanon - who as a vet nurse comes across a lot of animals who need rehoming, Dixie was on offer with a Burmese cat if I had wanted but since I had Simone (pictured above) already living at home and whose nose was already going to be severely out of joint with the arrival of Dixie I decided not to take the Burmese. I took Dixie on a week's trial but in reality it took all of two minutes to decide to keep her. Dixie has been a joy from day one. A devoted companion who really just wants to hang with me and be in my company. She is a happy friendly dog who never meets a stranger, everyone is a friend to be made. She is a little exuberant but her joy in life is something I delight in. No matter the day I have had, Dixie sheer abundant joy in my arrival home makes everything OK again.

A car ride is a sheer delight and a walk - oh my the excitement - at the thought of a walk and getting to hang with Mum is just the bees knees as far as she is concerned. I knew Dixie was truly my dog when I was hanging with some friends and their dogs and she still wanted to go with me when I stood up even though my friends had some pretty cool toys to chew and the dogs were great friends of hers. I had only had her for a few months at the time.

The family dogs in order that I grew up with in conscious memory are as follows:-

1. Winkie - a mini fox/corgi cross - the prettiest little dog you ever saw with a caramel and white coat and delicate features with a lush curly tail. But not a dog suited to children or other animals, she was utterly devoted to my Dad.
2.Bobby & Billy - two muttly mutts who were of such mixed parentage that neither looked the same breed let alone from the same litter. Billy was kinda my dog - he was black and brown and kinda kelpie in shape and nature and came to a tragic end under the wheels of a ute about 8mths into living with the family. Bobby was very short legged and ran like a seal and was a brilliant natured dog - great with kids and babies, who lived a long and interesting life until around 12 when a tick got him.
3. Bea & Lizzy - were Bobby's daughters from getting the purebred cattle dog across the road in whelp - which pleased the owner no end let me tell you. Bea & Lizzy - named after the characters from the show Prisoner - Bea was a stocky dominant bossy bitch and Lizzy was a timid skinny little thing (always started the dog fights and Bobby & Bea would finish them)

They have all left their indelible paw prints on my heart and will one day meet them again when I too cross the rainbow bridge to play with them once again.

I can't leave my 3rd furball out of the picture so there is a picture of Shadow my 3 legged Maine Coone cat as well

Sunday, October 24, 2010

1 down 49 to go - Family is first

Aaah Family, the one element in your life that can account for masses of happiness & joy or masses of angst & utter misery. I am blessed with a great family on the whole, there are some people within it I can happily not see or be part of their life. Those who I consider important I make the effort to see and make time for them in my life. I am the eldest of three kids in my immediate family and am the typical big sister - somewhat bossy and dictatorial but always quick to defend and protect my younger siblings, though they don't need it so much now that we are adults and busy with our own lives. But they know I am there for them at the end of the phone and ready to lend a hand or an ear and be their big sister at any time.

You know I lost my mum last year on September 6th and that is a grieving process I am told will take it's time to pass. Mum was a true mum, that was what she did, she raised us kids and did the tuckshop, school run, fetes, the usual palaver when it comes to having kids of school age!

My dad is a real dad, a bloke who can turn his hand to anything, built my brother and I the most amazing cubby house with a mezzanine level and internal staircase and everything. It was freaking unreal when I look back on it, but I didn't think it was a big deal because I thought all Dads did stuff like that. I look back at my childhood and it seems like Camelot - it really was that perfect. I was allowed to be an innocent child, not exposed to anything harsh or nasty or mean within the home at least. I never heard any fighting but then again I wouldn't have with my severe hearing loss so that probably accounted for it.

I only had my mum's parents as grandparents and they were the only source of problems that I can recall as they were divorced when Mum was 11 and caused Mum much stress and angst each and every Christmas with the whole family visitations. In fact, my Grandmother is the sole reason why I loathe and despise Christmas because of the stress she creates every single frigging year. I do love my grandmother more out of a sense of duty, I admire some elements to her extraordinary narcissistic personality but mostly I tolerate her now. She has been the cause of too much unhappiness in the family to truly have my unabiding love and affection.

Mum's sister is someone I have grown very close too of recent time mainly due to the whole experience of nursing my mum until she passed. I suspect we will grow closer when my grandmother passes away as she is an obstacle to the path of developing real closeness as she prevents us spending time together without having to justify time away just to talk and be together.

On the whole I consider myself blessed in the family in the traditional sense, then there is my family of friends who have really enriched my life exponentially since I started gathering them around me as I got older and really kept them. I have met them through a number of avenues, karate, dancing, work and online and they have really just brought me joy and happiness and lots and lots of laughter. I delight in them being my friends as much I delight in being their friend and I hope I make a good friend, I do try very hard to be a good friend.

Until next time..........

50 things to post about - once again thanks to Kath

I will be posting on each of these subjects - perhaps a couple at a time depends on how lengthy the post evolves out too.

Fifty Things

2)My dog
3)The beach
8)My bed
9)My car
10) Movies
11) Music
12) The internet
13) Time spent with friends
14) Ginger Beer
15) Hotchips
16) Tea
17) Pizza
18) Thai Food
19) Creamed rice
20) The colour purple
21) Why am i at University
22) Learning something new
23) Little people's laughter
24) The smell of wet bitumen
25) The sound of rain
26) Jacaranda trees in flower
27) Tulips
28) The Big Bang Theory
29) Storms
30) Spending time alone
31) Chocolate
32) Marshmallows
33) The sound of thunder
34) Potato crisps
35) Roast potatoes
36) Hot showers
37) Lazing in the sun
38) Meeting new people
39)Discovering long forgotten possessions
40) Learning to draw
41) Playing the piano
42) Having moments of intimate connection
43) Fantasy
44) Technology
45) Home cooked meals
46) Live concerts
47) Shoes
48) Photographs

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Now it's ramped up....

We are down to six weeks and counting to move a library.... to a facility that is 1/3 the size so there has been considerable collection management happening to ensure we move with the best of the collection and the rest is dealt with accordingly - Discard or Relocate essentially.

It is meaning long days and bloody hard work but I am loving it, what I am not loving are the assignment due dates and exams that are happening smack bang in the middle of it all. It is taking some doing to fit it all in. I cannot wait for 17th November as I will be a free woman as in there will be no more studies until the semester resumes in 2011.

I want to be able to come home and not feel guilty that I am not studying or reading or researching because I am so frackin' tired. I want to read all my delicious books that I have stacked beside my bed in fact I want a marathon reading session, in fact, I will dedicate a free weekend to my bed and my books I think and read until my eyes fall out. I want to unpack my sewing machine and use it, I bought it and brought it home and laid it in my hallway where it has resided ever since,

I want to have some more board games and stitch 'n bitch sessions which are yet to happen but I will make them happen. I want to go cycling and play outdoors. I just want time to do as I please when I please.

I remind myself it is only 2 more assignments and 1 more exam and I am done for 2010 then really 2011 is just one more year and come this time next year I will be pretty much done for formal studying, I will never stop learning but I will stop formal studying unless it is for something I want to do, like learning to play the saxophone or revisiting my piano playing days. I wonder if I could fit a piano in my humble sized townhouse. Perhaps I could!!!
There is a family piano I could lay claim too and have restored and really make it my own.

Food for thought there!

Always plenty of ideas brewing away and usually reasonably achievable.

Time is a precious resource and most definitely not infinite

Until next time........

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The End of an Era....

It was a sad end to a busy day yesterday. I swung by my cousin's place to pick up her foster kitten and get the details for caring for her animals while she goes camping with her family for the weekend. I arrived to see young Mitch's sad bereft face and he tearfully informs me that teepee (Cheetah the cat) had died, Cheetah had been around for as long as Shanon and Chris had been together some 16+ years so he was a real acknowledgement of time passing for them. He certainly had been around every day of Mitch's existence on this earthly plane. Cheetah's death I think is the first real bereavement in Mitch's life certainly for something that had been with him in his daily life. So there was a real milestone achieved for him yesterday and he handled it well, he was guided carefully by his mum who knows this pain all too well as she has been through it many times in her life and will go through it many times more before she too departs the earthly plane.

Cheetah was one of those very cool cats for whom nothing fazed him. Dogs were immediately put in their place and requested to respect or suffer the consequences, other cats were subservient to him and humans requested to pat and show affection when it suited. He would always greet me at my car door and chat to me all the way to the inside of the house, where he would make it plain that since I clearly come to visit him, could I make myself useful and feed him please. He will be missed.

When you lose an animal after they have been part of the family for a long time, there is a real sense of bereavement and loss. I get cross when people minimise it by saying "oh well, just get another one" or "it's only an animal". They are part of the family and should be shown the same respect and acknowledged for the love and joy they brought to the family. I still remember all the animals that have passed through the family and left their paw/hoof/claw prints on my heart.

I know when the time comes when each of my three begin their journey over the rainbow bridge where they will wait for me, my heart will break, but it doesn't stop you from enjoying the time you do have with them.

The movie starring Robin Williams "What Dreams May Come" brought me completely undone when the Robin's character is in heaven and the family dog (long passed) comes bounding up to him in full health and happiness. That's what I hope for one day is reunited with all the animals past, present and future that I have loved along with family & friends who have passed on too.

Till next time

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Anniversaries & Celebrations....

Well what a week it was!

Last Monday was the anniversary of Mum's passing and as a precaution I took the week off as I was very unsure how I would be travelling emotionally during the time.

As it turned out being up the coast in the house Mum lived in was hard for my brother and I if we were by ourselves in the house but fine when everyone was there. It triggered lots of memories as we went into the various rooms and a memory would be triggered of the last time with Mum with whatever happened on that occasion.

Being with Dad and Von and Steve was great, Dad was in his element having all his chicks with him, it was bitter sweet as he and Mum used to compete for our attention when we were altogether but now it is just him and no need to compete for our attention. He cooked dinner and fussed around us all. It was great

The scattering of the ashes was done on a beautiful day and I think it was as Mum would have wished. I felt a bit less loaded down with emotion as I rather dreading the whole thing but I was actually quite unemotional about it all during the whole event.

Steve did a beautiful thing of buying a dwarf lemon tree for me and lime tree for my Aunty P (mum's sister) and potting them up in a pretty pot with a little gnome and some of Mum's ashes. It was a very sweet thing to do but with my history of brown thumbs and dead plants, the pressure is on to keep this one thriving.

The week up the coast was ended on a lovely note, with a terrific engagement party hosted by my Aunty L (Dad's sister) who lives on a picturesque property with views to die for. The city folk amongst us all really enjoyed looking at the view of rolling hills, lush green trees dotted with cows and horses.

The family as a whole are so very excited to have a wedding to look forward too as my brother's fiance is a big hit with everyone, she is a darling sweetheart and universally loved by us all which is rather a magnificent feat as we are not predisposed to universally liking an individual, there are usually factions for and against an interloper (in-law to be)

I am terribly excited about the wedding and am very much looking forward to it and am looking to have a frock made up as the current dress fashions are leaving me a bit ho hum. I have a dress in mind and hopefully a dressmaker can bring it to life for me.

This week has really brought home to me that families however they are constructed - whether they are your family or friends you have claimed as family -are so very important. I have really enjoyed reconnecting with far flung relatives and old family friends this week.

Till next time...........

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Good news....

I got the role that I had interviewed for. It is the senior librarian role and comes with a fairly significant burden of responsibility, none of which fazes me. However, I am having to learn the art of discretion and diplomacy. The most innocent of remarks can get you in hot water and very very quickly too. I've already had a please explain about some loose comments made outside the "safe zone". Hopefully I won't repeat that mistake again. I have a fairly innocent mind by that I tend to mean what I say without secret hidden meanings behind it and forget that some are suspicious and will seek to laden more meaning than intended to a remark that I make. I suppose that makes me somewhat naive and non-politically savvy. I shall have to live and learn that skill I suspect.

I am really excited about the role and hope that I obtain the skills & experience I need to ensure that I obtain the role permanently in due course.

I am about to resume my studies for Semester 2 and hope I do just as well or better in this upcoming Semester. I think I have a far more clear understanding of what it takes and how to pace myself along to ensure the best outcome barring any unforeseen hiccups.

I enjoy being busy and productive, I guess that's become fairly self evident. I sometimes wonder why, is it because I have no partner or kids to sublimate myself into caring for? Or is it that I am just a happy camper when I am busy doing stuff?

Humph Kitty Flanagan just disparaged author visits at libraries on 7pm project on Channel 10, indicating it's a snooze fest. Hmmm I guess you can't please the ignorant nor the stupid

Until next time ...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Waiting for news....

is never very much fun! Currently I am awaiting the results of my interview last Wednesday, it is for the role that I am currently acting in and I feel that I have the ability, confidence and nous to really make the role sing for me.

However, whether I conveyed that in the interview remains doubtful. I had the interview with two people who know me very well, both my strengths and weaknesses and I found it hard to perform my song and dance in front of them. If they had been strangers or at least people I don't see very often it would have been easier.

I know that if I don't get the role I will be very very disappointed with myself for a little while, however, I will bounce back for I am resilient and practical about these things in the long run but I will indulge in a royal sulk for about 20 mins or so if I am unsuccessful. I had some formidable competition so I will have to wear the results with good grace etc for the next six months should it not go in my favour.

On another more positive note, I've had a wonderful birthday weekend. The actual birthday itself was terrific, yes I had to work but my workmates spoiled me royally and indulged me with delicious chocolate mudcake. Then I had a stitch 'n bitch night with girlfriends where I was surprised with a lovely gift from a gal I've met once or twice before and knew it was my birthday courtesy of Facebook and gave me a lovely butterfly shaped notepad, twas lovely.

Then it was my birthday lunch, now I've had a phobia about setting up birthday functions in my honour for fear of non-attendance by invited people, but my dear friend Kath, gave me a gentle wake up call by reminding me that I am surrounded by people who love me and would, of course, attend a birthday function in my honour, so thanks Kath, I had a great day. I get strange ideas in my head sometimes and need a rational voice to sort me out.

So I have vowed to have a birthday function of some type every year from now on!

Til next time

Au revoir

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Today is my birthday...

and it's usually a time that I reflect on how blessed and fortunate I am. I usually start with thinking about the fact that I am single, white, western woman who has the independence and as a consequence financial wherewithal to please myself (up to a point), there are many of my sisters who don't and suffer badly for that lack of independence and finances.

Then I think about myself in relation to other people in my life and why they are here with me, family tend to be a given but I choose to be with them and keep in touch with them and I do so for many reasons but number one is because I love them. Then there are my friends, who really are the family you would choose for yourself if you didn't already have a family that you are deeply connected with. I have friendships that I have made long ago and that are still going pretty strong and made ever so much easier with technology, because let's face it without Facebook or other social networking options we would be limited in how many phone calls or texts one would make.

I have new friendships that are proving to be wonderful, fulfilling and interesting and have exposed me to new opportunities and experiences. I have friendships that have been challenging the way I think about things and made me be more accountable for my actions and thoughts. Then there are my colleagues who wherever I may be make my days at work fun and enjoyable and make up a bit of a motley family unit too. Where I am at the moment, we have experienced many sadnesses together and celebrated the highs together, we pull together and work really well. I would have been lost without their support in the last 18 months and they made things so much easier than they may have been otherwise.

All in all I am a very blessed and fortunate person to have many wonderful special people in my life

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


It has been awhile hasn't it. It seems a lot of bloggers I know have been a little slack in the posting department but it seems to be a busy time of year.

I've been thinking about happiness and what it is for me. Happiness to me is finding something every day that makes smile, giggle, guffaw or shriek out loud with laughter. Now those of you who know me, know that I have not a delicate tinkling laugh, no, there isn't anything remotely resembling delicate about me. I have a raucous laugh and I am proud of it, it identifies me very well. People frequently hear me before they see me and are often smiling before they find me. This is good I like to share my happiness in the ridiculous. I take pleasure that I make my colleagues giggle or laugh everyday even when they often haven't a clue what they are smiling or laughing about except that I am doing it. It brings an energy and uplifts the atmosphere. When I do storytime I am in there unleashing my inner child, dancing and laughing and using silly voices.

When I am doing the morning money, the music is on and up loud and I am singing, which has people laughing and grinning when they arrive to work, because my singing voice has to be heard to be believed it is so bad, but frankly, I don't care.

It is not to say that I don't have sad, quiet or blue days but I am blessed that they are few and far between and that I am not cursed with clinical depression which strikes a few of my nearest and dearest friends and family regularly and they have to fight tooth and nail to flog the black beast back down to size.

I think that being happy and sharing my happiness in everyday life is a gift I am blessed with and it is my obligation to share that positive energy and make the people around me enjoy the moment or the day or however my positive impact may last.

If I start the day happy then it cannot be a very bad day because I am already on top of the happiness heap.........

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ahem, Hello, erm I know it's been awhile

But holy guacamole life has been busy...Yes yes I know I say that everytime but c'mon you know its true.

Study is progressing as study does, with lots of reading and thinking and then comes the writing. Which is why I am posting on my blog, it is part of my retinue of study or assignment writing avoidance techniques. I like the assignment I have written, whether the marker does is an entirely another thing. But c'est la vie. Being an external student requires one to maintain a sense of perspective and commonsense, it is very easy to feel completely and utterly alone when you are really really not, lots of my colleagues are studying and doing very well. But commonsense and perspective are sometimes hard to come by late at night on the weekend.
Another assignment I am enjoying researching is all about Second Life & Libraries but I am a single task at a time kinda gal - so focusing on the other assignment at the moment. Second Life can wait till next week.

On a brighter note I am booked to go on a cruise on 24th April, my very first cruise ever, a fact my sister (a travel agent) is jubilant about, she has been on my case to take a cruise for a long time. I have firmly resisted for years because I am terrified to the marrow of my bones of drowning. I have no idea why but that hands down for me is the number one very bad no good way to die. The movie Titanic has a lot to answer for. This fear is odd since when I was nobbut a young lass we used to spend the Christmas holidays on my dad's boat, we lived on it for weeks at a time and I don't remember being in terror when on the boat, but then my dad was a superhero in my eyes so I probably had a bone deep faith that he would always save us if something went pear shaped on the boat.

So I am determined to enjoy myself on the cruise, with recreational reading, reasonable consumption of fruity cocktails with umbrellas in them and loafing on a sun lounge featuring fairly high on the list of things to do.
I am going with a mate who is a real go getter on the activities front so I am sure I will be entertained as often as I choose to be. There will be another lass coming along whom I haven't met but I trust Dawn with bringing her along and I am fairly easy going and it is only seven days so the risk of stroppy tanties happening is fairly low.

I have got a good strong start to this module of Karate, I am really enjoying this Kata - Pinan Shodan - it is a kata I struggled with the first couple of times I did it, but repetition has done the magic trick and I can recall it with reasonable ease and perform it with marginal competence - no kata is ever perfectly executed - humans are not perfect therefore kata cannot be perfected. The instructor who has been doing the majority of instructing for our class this module has been riding me hard and really pushing me out of my comfort zone. Calling me up out front to demonstrate the kata to the lower grades and it is well know that the best way to learn something is to teach or demonstrate it. I am benefiting from that although I feel daft when I screw things up which I do most nights and sometimes several times a night but you live through it and feel better for having learned from it.

Cycling unfortunately is something I have not had an opportunity to do much of yet. Time is a precious resource and allocated according to need. But Goldie waits faithfully for me to take her out for a spin. I need to organise a play date for Goldie and Iris to meet and cycle together. Iris is a gorgeous Amsterdam bicycle that my friend Kath purchased recently. So the motivation is there to get out there and cycle but presently time is a little short but I will get there soon I promise.

Finally, this coming week I return to my substantive role after having been in higher duties of one kind or another since November 2009. It has been a marvellous learning opportunity and I have had a wonderful time developing skills and thinking about the direction and trajectory of my career and I have decided that the role of Senior Librarian in a hub library is just tailor made for this little black duck. Now I don't know how long it will take for me to secure a role but I am a patient lass and always always always achieve my goals. I may make like a tortoise and seem to take forever but the tortoise won in the end didn't he.

That about wraps it up for this time, and now I am not going to make any rash promises about my next post, it'll happen when the time and muse strikes

Cheerio for now

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My My Where did the time go..............

It's been a while since I've posted hasn't it. I guess not a lot of post worthy things have happened to me. However I am feeling re-inspired to post more regularly on my blog since I attended the PODcamp conference at the Gold Coast Library which dealt with all things related to social media. It was a very interesting day looking at various social media and it's impact on people's lives. So I feel somewhat re-invigorated about being more active in my online presence.

However, the more pressing news is that tomorrow is the official kick off day for studying. It's something I am fairly anxious about but figure I just need to start and the rest will fall into place. I do have a colleague at another branch studying the same subjects so that will be good to have a study buddy who understands or doesn't understand what you do or don't understand too.

That's about it for me for the moment, hopefully I won't be as tardy posting the next instalment

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Busy Busy Busy...............

At the time of writing I am just returned from an 80th Birthday Party celebration of a neighbour from Cooroy - this woman is just amazing, her lust & verve for life is insatiable. Every day to her is a gift to be explored and used and enjoyed to the nth degree. She just wrings every precious second out to the end. The common refrain from friends, neighbours and family was " I wish I had half her energy right now let alone at 80" or "Joanie's amazing, I wish I had the energy" and other similar statements.
This got me thinking, this is a woman whose life has been interesting and full of adventures, but not because she is a particular beauty, particularly gifted, or blessed with any other rare or special traits. She has a fair ear for playing music and a reasonable singing voice, but again, nothing particular outstanding.
I think her secret to an interesting and adventurous life is that she is always on the lookout for things to do and opportunities to do them in. Now she loves to be the centre of attention and thrives on being the life and noise of a gathering. You always know when Joanie's around.

She is very involved in her community and has many a clipping with her name in the headline involved in one community activity or another, mainly to do with Pony Club & Active Riders Association.

She annoys people because she is so loud and sometimes she doesn't know when to pipe down and can seem obnoxious on occasions, but who among us is without fault.

Her life is not without tragedy or great sadness but nothing gets her down for too long. She is the only remaining child from a family of twelve kids. I think her secret is her resilience and innate positive nature. She takes joy from anything and everything around her. Her cackling laughter is contagious and her quick wit is delightful.

She, in fact, taught me to swear fluently and fluidly without repeating myself for a solid six minutes. Sadly I have rather lost the knack for it and tend to repetition to some favourite swear phrases.

I wonder what sort of life I shall have had by the time I reach 80, I know it won't be full of family to the extent of Joan as she was from a very large family. But I am hopeful it will be with people who are important to me both family and friends. Particularly, as friends are the family you choose yourself.

It is exciting to think what the future will hold for me and my beloved ones both friends & family. I shall rejoice and live a little more in the moment to be sure that I wrest as much from each day as Joanie does.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'm excited................

The tone for this year has been well and truly set - my darling brother announced his engagement to his long time love on January 3rd and it has been an absolute boon to the family after our bereavement of last year. As my brother said it feels good to be happy!

It is not to diminish our grief because it is still everpresent but perhaps it is retreating a little to a softer more gentler place where the memories are easier and don't bite so hard into one's heart. Time is doing what time does best - softening the edges ever so gently.

They are both very clucky so babies won't be too far behind the horse and carriage caper and of course there will be a new Mrs Baillie in the family and that is just simply fabulous.

I have been enthusiastically planning my goals and aspirations for this year and had a massive boost to my self confidence by my supervisor and upper management who saw fit to entrust me with the managing of my branch for a couple of months. I have really enjoyed extending myself and problem solving and managing staff. Yeah there are things that are irritating & aggravating but it doesn't last long and for the most part I am loving it, learning processes and methods and nitty gritty of paperwork.

I have just two goals this year which are to get through my study load comfortably and keep steadily progressing through my karate modules.

Other things I want to factor in are

1. Sunday afternoon board game sessions - I have been somewhat obsessive of late buying board & card games - 12 at last count. I really love playing them and want to set up & host sessions for friends to come over and have a session

2. Sunday afternoon knit & bitch sessions - I want to learn and practice my knitting - I believe if you have good fine motor skills, it keeps you in good stead in fighting off the ravages of time

3. Also slotting in regular cycling jaunts too - my aim is to be well conditioned & feeling fit & flexible - so I don't groan when i bend over to shelve or pick up stuff.

4. Also am going to do more nifty weekends away and see a few places - starting with a quick weekend in Sydney at the end of February to celebrate my brother's birthday and check out their new abode in Marrickville which is a suburb I am unfamiliar with but am promisd it is a treasure trove of groovy cafes and nooks and crannies to explore.

So I will be ruthlessly planning my time for study, work and fun to ensure I am well balanced & content. However, as my sister has said, Sis, you are never happier than when you are insanely busy and got a deadline to hit.

I think that is enough to be going on with for now