Monday, 18 December 2017

All I Want For Christmas...

I was tagged by the lovely Mim to answer these sixteen questions about Christmas. And since I'm such a jolly person I say ho ho ho and on with the show...

Um. Yeah. That's why it doesn't work when I try to be jolly or outgoing or any of those things. I just sound/look like an eejit. Oh well. Here's the sixteen questions anyway. Complete with answers, because that's how questions are supposed to work...

1. What’s your favourite Christmas movie?

Hmmmm good question. I'd probably say When Harry Met Sally, even though it's not technically a Christmas movie, it does have a bit of a Christmassy theme/feel. 

2. Have you ever had a White Christmas?

Unfortunately, no! 

Unless we're talking wine and pavlova and things like that? Then of course I have! 

3. Where do you usually spend your holiday?

It' usually spent at my brother and sister-in-law's place either on Christmas or boxing day. This year we did early (yesterday!) because they are going away. So I expect we will be at home (or my parents place) on the actual day. 

4. What’s your favourite Christmas song?

That's easy. It's The Carpenters Merry Christmas Darling. 






5. Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?

Nope. I don't know why. Probably because "Santa" doesn't seem to be too organised around here... Ahem.

6. Can you name all of Santa’s Reindeers?

Um. Dasher. Dancer. Comet.Vixen? No... Blitzen. Or something. And of course, good old Rudolph. So that's only half.

Oh wait, I've got a feeling there's a Donner as well. Or I could just be thinking about kebabs? I'm always thinking of food. Classy.

So yeah, the short answer is no. No, I can't.

7. What holiday traditions are you looking forward to this year?

You mean aside from eating myself into a diabetic coma? That would be drinking likewise. Just kidding! I do have a wine or two but I'm not a drunk. I guess it would be just spending time with family and listening to Carpenters Christmas music. 

8. Is your Christmas Tree real or fake?

Fake as fake can be. And then I just let Mr 9 chuck whatever he wants on it. It's currently leaning sadly like it's dejected and forlorn and no amount of indiscriminate tinsel tossed at it will ever cheer it up. Poor fake tree. 

9. What’s your favourite holiday treat/food/sweet?

Pretty much anything that isn't nailed down. See 7. 

10. Be honest, do you prefer the giving or receiving of gifts?

To be honest I sometimes feel embarrassed about receiving because I'm always worried that my gifts are not as nice as what I've been given. Does that make sense? Yeah, I never make sense. As you were. 




11. What’s the best Christmas present you ever received?

I'm still waiting for twelve billion dollars in cash, a luxury European holiday and a glamorous waterfront property complete with staff to pamper me. HMPH. 

Seriously though, the best thing is getting a clean bill of health from cancer related issues for Mickey Blue Eyes and I. Nothing can beat that. 

But I wouldn't mind the clean bill of health PLUS the twelve billion just to see what that's like as well. Someone arrange that for me. Pretty please? 

12. What’s your dream place to visit for the holiday season?

Anywhere that isn't the equivalent of the seventh circle of hell, given that it's summer here in the land of Oz. 

13. Are you a pro present wrapper or do you fail miserably?

Fail ABYSMALLY.  They just get wrapped any old how. And I drive myself mad misplacing tape etc while I'm doing it. GRRRRR. 





14. Most memorable Christmas memory?

Gosh I'm not sure. Other than my boys first Christmasses.

I do have a vague memory of receiving one of those vintage 'Baby Chrissie' dolls when I was around four. You could pull their hair in and out or something. Anyway, I dragged it by the hair outside. Needless to say, my mum wasn't impressed because she'd had to pay it off back in the days of lay-by. That wasn't exactly the kind of heartfelt, touching tale you were looking for, right? Oops. 

15. What made you realise the truth about Santa?

I can't remember anything specific. It was just the slow dawning realisation that there was no WAY that Santa could be in all the shops at once. Nor did it seem plausible that he could traverse the entire world in a single night with a bunch of flying reindeer. I mean, come ON!

Plus if he really did exist,then what was going on with the fact that my cousin sometimes stayed with us for Christmas and would usually receive twice as much as my brother and I put together?This was after my aunt declared "She's not getting much this year." What? Ripped off! And anyways,Santa ends up getting all the credit after mums (and dads) do all the work! 

What I'm saying is, I still wish he WAS real. *SOBS*

16. What makes the holidays special for you?

It's kind of trite but I guess it's just spending time with loved ones. Well, that and the fact that all thoughts of diets, being healthy and all that nonsense can be forgotten for a month day and you can eat until you EXPLODE.  I did mention I'm classy. 

DONE. 

Big thanks to Mim for tagging me. That was fun!

I now tag:

 Denyse at Denyse Whelan Blogs

Dorothy at A Blog Of Her Own. 


Ness at Normal Ness (I think her sarcastic take could be interesting!) 
However, if any of you are not into the tag thing just ignore me. On the other hand if you're totally into it, it's an open tag, so join in! 

Merry Christmas everyone! 

What are you doing for Christmas?

Monday, 11 December 2017

Today I Will...


Today I will wake up in the morning bursting to pee with enthusiasm.

Then I will go for a lovely refreshing walk. To the kitchen. Specifically, the fridge.







Today I will hug my boys. Well, Mr 9 at least, because he's the only one who lets me these days.

Today I will breathe and be thankful and all that hippy drippy positivity stuff. When I'm not being grumpy or bored or irritable or anxious... Who me? Nah, never.

I expect I will have a cup of tea. Actually, several. Hence the bursting thing... See above.

It's highly likely that I will stare vacantly into space at some point.

Furthermore, I am quite certain that I will walk into a room and forget exactly why I did so.

I will eat healthy food and nourish my body. Unless there is cake, because let's be honest, I'll shovel that shit in.

I might go shopping. Well, I will be in the shops. I may not do much actual shopping because apparently they expect you to pay for things which I find quite rude.

I will reluctantly lovingly prepare food and feed my family. Well, they'll eat something at some point anyway, even if it's cereal.

Today I will be purposeful and proactive instead of meandering and reactive. Snorts. Strike that. Reverse it.

Today I will jot my lovely list in my bullshit bullet journal and cross off ALL THE THINGS. OK, some of the things. Shut up.

Today I will laugh at the absurdity of everything. Because seriously, what else can you do?

Today I will read memes on the internet and share them.  Because I enjoy wasting my life on such frivolities.

Today I will try not to compare myself to others. After all, I'm awesome. Well, flawsome at least. Sniff.

Today I will wear my comfy shoes. And no bra because comfy and bra in the same sentence is an oxymoron.

Today I will type this sentence. Done. 

I will wash a mountain of dishes. That's always fun. Said no one ever.

No wait, I'm supposed to be MINDFUL while I do so. Okey dokey. I will mindfully wash a mountain of dishes. Nope. Still not fun.

I will tell my monkey mind 'NOT NOW' when it tries to trick me with its taunts.

Today I will read some words and write some words. I will probably only utter one or two words however, because that's just how I roll.

Today I will do lots of housework because I'm a dedicated and diligent housewife. And also we're expecting visitors so I kinda have no choice. Details. 

Today I will scratch my ears because they're always so damn itchy. Why are they always itchy? 

Today I will ponder upon the fact that in one month and four days I will be 47 years old and I'm so glad to be getting older and that I don't have to start chemo two days before my birthday like I did in 2016. 

Today I will pick up random crap as I go about my housework (see above) and become baffled about what it is, where it came from and what the hell are we living like. Just me? 

I will pause for a cup of coffee mid morning. Because I like to mix it up from all the cups of tea. 

Today I will focus on just today instead of thinking about tomorrow or pondering on yesterday. Until I get into bed and brain doesn't want to oblige. Silly brain. 

Today I will type an ending to this blog post. Otherwise I'll still be here rambling on tomorrow and nobody wants that. 

OK. Done.

What about you?

What will you do today? 

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Kiss And Tell: The Decision


Hello again, gorgeous people! I'm back with a quick and dirty* bit of flash fiction for Friday Reflections using the prompt: Kiss And Tell. 

Drum roll please...

Here it is:

 KISS AND TELL: THE DECISION 






Rochelle's fingers hovered over the keyboard. Her shoulders were rigid with tension and repressed fury. Should she tell her? She wouldn't usually kiss and tell. But this wasn't a usual situation. Not for her anyway. The woman's serene features gazed at her from her Facebook profile. With the tap of her fingers Rochelle could change everything. All she had to do was tell her the truth about her husband. Rochelle was still reeling from the revelation that Nathan was married. Why should he get away with it? Her decision was made. Her fingers flew across the keyboard. It was done. She had the feeling she couldn't tell Nathan's wife anything she didn't know already. But she was done with online dating. She'd deleted her Tinder profile. 


THE END

 *Okay, not so much dirty, but very quick.   


What do you think?

What you kiss and tell in this situation?                                        
    
Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/

Monday, 4 December 2017

Eccentric


Hello again! It's me, the one and only Ness behind this here Nessville thingymajig. 

Well, what can I tell you?  

I'm chiming in at the last minute for Friday Reflections. The prompt was: Eccentric.

And I'm pretty sure I am. Eccentric, that is. 

Also; boring. Boringly eccentric. Or eccentrically boring. Or something. 

Here's why: 


I write a pointless blog about myself that no one reads. Meh,  I prefer to think of it as inventing my own little world. Whatever. 

I decided to shave my hair off and keep it in a 'silver pixie' style right after having it grow back after chemo all curly and Leo Sayer like, and then it finally looked normal and I did that. The silver pixie thing. 



Me with my pixie hair and a toblerone cocktail. 


I can't seem to form sentences (see above), but that doesn't stop me from pretending I'm a writer/blogger.

I went on a road trip and one of the most exciting things I did while away was hit the op shops because I'm wild and crazy like that. WHOOOOOOO! 

I have eccentric offspring. May as well pass on the weirdness. Related: When we were away Mr 9 desperately wanted a skull ring and a pink flamingo money box. That's my boy.

I don't really talk.

I wear granny clothes, to go with my silver pixie.

My current fixations are true crime and Jane Austen novels.

I like to leave my tea bags IN. Might as well live dangerously. 

Most things that delight others bore the bejesus out of me. I'm thinking sport here. And vice versa. The things that delight me bore everyone else. I'm thinking Carpenters music here. 

I keep a 'bullet journal' that is, in fact, more like a bullshit journal. 

I have tonnes of paper and notebooks about the place, but they don't even have to be all pretty and special. I can't even throw the boys old school books out if they have spare/blank pages left in them. But at the same time, I'm bewildered about the endless plethora of 'printables' available on blogs and what the point of them is. I dunno. I'm weird. 

I get about feeling decidedly strange and yet never speak of it. Strange, as in this weird dizzy, spacey, shifting feeling in my head thing that's hard to explain, hence my never doing so. Sigh. 

I get jealous when I see people on social media out and about enjoying life. But it's not typical jealousy in the same way someone else might be jealous. It's jealously of other people's apparent lack of anxiety (and dizziness and anxiety about dizziness...). This is something that permeates every single thing that I do almost every day, so I crack the sads now and again and do that poor little me sooky la la thing. 

But at the same time, I can take pleasure in simple things. I don't necessarily need to be out and about and on the go all the time. Just last Saturday night I was sitting in my living room with all my mismatched, secondhand furniture, feeling quite contented with my Christmas trees twinkling at me, my cuppa tea, and my hard cover Jane Austen three-in-one I bought for two bucks fifty at the Sal's (op shop). Pride & Prejudice/Mansfield Park/Persuasion for any Austenphiles playing along. 





Yeah, so that's me. Eccentric. 

And just to continue the eccentricity I am also linking this up for Life This Week and Open Slather because I won't get around to writing something else because I have to have a blood test in the morning and go shopping and it's nearly Christmas and I'm rambling and I seem to have forgotten what punctuation is and.... 

That's enough from me. 

What about you?

What makes you eccentric? 


Thursday, 23 November 2017

If We Were Having Coffee

If we were having coffee, here's what I'd tell you:


  • Nothing because I don't talk. But assuming I did...
  • Still nothing, because I'd be too busy drinking coffee and shoving cake in my gob. As far as I'm concerned if we're having coffee, we should be having cake too. Duh. But let's pretend I suddenly became chatty...
  • I'd tell you I'm heading off for a road trip with my Mum and Mr 9. We're going to Wagga Wagga to visit relatives. 
  • I'm not ready for Christmas, but what else is new.
  • Um. I'd probably have to make something up because my life is fairly ordinary.
  • I'm learning Chinese so I can go and visit that amazing library over there.
  • I made that last point up. See above.
  • I went to K Mart the other day. I didn't explode and die from the excitement of it all. Amazing.
  • It doesn't seem likely I will ever be a bestselling novelist if this blog and my abysmal attempt at NaNoWriMo is anything to go by. Sigh. 
  • I need to pee but I'm too lazy to get up.
  • That last point was probably too much information. Oops.
  • I may have written this post after drinking two Scotch and Coke's.
  • There was no need to use the word may in that last point.
  • There is a thunderstorm happening right now.
  • I should probably get out more and really have coffee with actual humans in person. Anyone? 
So, that's it from me. What about you?

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Monday, 20 November 2017

Taking Stock: November Edition





Making: Cups of tea. What else? 

Cooking: Dinner. I am still expected to do this EVERY NIGHT because the Dinner Fairy never arrives. HMPH. 

Drinking: Tea and water. I did buy a bottle of wine the other day and then realised I was on anti-biotics so I couldn't have any. Cue weepy violin music. 

Reading: Just finished a novel I borrowed from the library called The Misinterpretation Of Tara Jupp. It was okay, but waaay too long. Now I have to decide what to read next. 

Trawling: Hmmm, no trawling whatsoever happening for me at the moment.

Wanting: World peace. A cure for cancer. To eat whatever I want and not get fat. Twenty million dollars. Yeah, just when you thought I was deep...

Looking: For a good book to read.

Deciding: The book thing. See above.

Wishing: I was one of those insane sporty people who love running and crossfit and netball and soccer and bats balls boorrring...

Enjoying: The last few weeks of spring before the seventh circle of hell that is summer arrives. 

Waiting: Seems like I'm always waiting for anxiety to pass. It always does, BUT.... lordy I'm sick of it. Sigh. 

Liking: Typing shitty words. I'm weird. 

Wondering: This that and the other. About life, the universe and everything. 

Loving: Don't really know, other than the usual trite answer of my boys. 

Listening: To too many true crime podcasts. Some one make me stoooop...

Considering: Going back to another dietitian. I went a while back and was kind of underwhelmed... but anyway, excuses excuses... 

Buying: Lots of groceries. And some clothes for the boys and myself. 

Watching: Ummm. Not watching much besides Rosehaven and The Letdown on ABC. 

Hoping: Certain things I cannot speak of will work out. 

Marvelling: There is no marvelling at the moment. Not feeling particularly marvelous at all right now. This too shall pass. 





Cringing: At this post. It's so boring. 

Needing: Cold hard cash, a kick up the arse, a new brain, a new body. And, I dunno, everything. 

Questioning: Why I'm even bothering with this.

Smelling: Coffee.

Wearing: Granny clothes, because I'm classy like that. 

Noticing: I have a sore throat and I'm in a sooky la la mood today. See above. 

Knowing: Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Capital N, capital O, capital T... Oh okay, you know how to spell nothing in caps.

Thinking: I'm thinking that thinking is over rated.

Admiring: Happy, perky, bubbly people... That is, when I don't want to stab them...

Getting: Ready to pack for Mr 16's school camp and a road trip I'm going on with my mum to Wagga Wagga to visit relatives. 

Disliking: Anxiety and tooth issues. Related: I had a tooth abcess and then had to have the tooth extracted last week. Fun times. 

Opening: Um. Cupboards and drawers so I can pack. See above.

Closing: Same. 

Feeling: Blah. Sooky sooky la la...

Celebrating: Nothing. Capital N, capital O... Oh yeah, we already did this. 

Pretending:  People read this shit. Then again, just as well they don't...

Embracing: I dunno. Nothing, really. 


Yeah, so that was depressing. Oops.

Tune in next time, when I will be back to my usual perky sunny cheerful self... Snorts.  


What are you celebrating in the month of November? 

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Someone Like Me


One of the most common sayings or pieces of advice out there is "Just be yourself." Which seems obvious and easy on the surface. I mean, who else can you be? We don't really get a choice do we?

When you're someone like me, someone who is shy, quiet, introverted and Aspie it becomes even more complex. It often seems like none of those things are truly accepted in society. How do you accept yourself when society doesn't?

Which brings me to this quote from Brene Brown.
This Brene Brown person seems to know what she's on about. How did she get to be such a smarty pants?
It sounds like she is talking about self-acceptance. As I explained, this is a particularly thorny issue for me. Time and time again I fall into the trap of comparing myself to others. This is never helpful.
Who I think I should be: Some one who is confident and thoroughly competent. Organised and efficent.
Some one who is creative. But also driven, focused and determined.

I think I should be like everyone else. I dunno. Someone who likes the footy and fits in at parties.

Who plays netball and goes running. Someone who does a million things all with a smile on my face. Who is bubbly, personable and warm, always making others feel at ease.
Someone who keeps an immaculate house. Who adapts to changes. Takes risks.

Someone who always knows the right thing to say. How to explain things, answer questions and be a guide and mentor to my children.


I believe I should be someone who is positive, always seeing the brighter side of things. I believe I should have much more self-control, especially with my eating habits. I think I should be a health fanatic and be raising my boys in this way. I could go on and on and on...


Who I really am:

I am someone who forgets things. Important things. And not just once, but again, and again and again...
I am someone who always has a messy house. Who cannot make the simplest decisions. Cannot multi-task. I am the person who starts doing one thing, is interrupted and forgets the thing altogether. I am someone who gets overwhelmed easily if I have to do too many things.
I am always the quietest person in the room. An introvert. I am someone who has a lot of anxiety.
Who has never had a career. Who doesn't talk much at all. Who has many feelings but can't explain them. Who can't make friends easily. Is awkward at parties.
I am someone who is uncoordinated and doesn't like sport, participating or spectating.
I am someone who likes the same daggy music for decades.
I am someone who struggles to remain upbeat and positive constantly.

Someone who struggles to define my values and act upon them consistently.

I am not competitive or ambitious in any way.

I am disorganised and a daydreamer. I stop and start things. I don't really even know my own mind.

It's hard to explain. Like, I don't even know where I want to live. Consequently I still live in the same suburb I was born in almost 47 years ago.

Again, I could go on and on. But I won't.
I wish I could be different, but I'm not. And that's okay.
Just like the quote, I need to remind myself of this. Every single day.
Sigh.

What about you? Is authenticity a daily struggle for you?
PS: I am also someone who doesn't know how to fix things on this blog when it behaves weird. Why is it weird...??

Monday, 13 November 2017

My Last Year Of School


In 1988, I finished my last year of high school. Almost 30 years ago. Yikes. I'm OLD.






I have to admit, I don't remember a great deal about it. I certainly wasn't studying like a maniac for the HSC. I had a bit of a laid back, I'll-do-it-tomorrow approach to it all. Coughs. Nothing's changed...

I was most likely too busy doing other important things. Just like every 1988 era 17 year old. You know, like watching The Comedy Company (which apparently premiered in February of that year) and  listening to my Carpenters and Barbra Streisand records... Oh wait...

Okay, I have no idea what regular 17 year olds did. But I suspect they had boyfriends and would sneak out to drink and try to get into night clubs...

But I totally did wild and crazy things too! Like staying up really late and watching the US today show when it came on at midnight or something. I'm such a rebel. Snorts. Oh yeah, there was an embarrassing incident when I sarcastically announced to the class that I was rebel, but I don't remember the finer details. Hmmmmm.

I had absolutely no idea whatsoever what I wanted to do when school ended. To this day, I still don't. I'm sure I'll figure it out one of these days.

Anyway, I don't feel like ruminating about all of that. So, instead let's just laugh at the fashions and hairstyles.

Here I am with my infamous mullet-perm.





I was kind of cute in a dorky way. Sort of. Maybe. Oh, shut up.


As I've already mentioned, I loved The Carpenters and Barbra, but predictably, I also loved Madonna. It was 1988. I was 17. I think it was compulsory.








I was stupidly shy and insecure, but at the school formal I thought I was pretty special in the dress my mum made me (Pictured above). It was ruched and strapless, and then it had this tulle over skirt thing with a gigantic bow. I think bows were a thing in the 80s.

Also, check out the lovely old carpet my parents had.😂

Not to mention to the beautiful doiles on the armchairs. Noice.

The only other thing I remember is that I completely bombed out in the HSC. Sigh. Sad face. 😭 I guess I am one of those reasonably intelligent people who just doesn't do well in structured exams. That's what I tell myself, anyway. Or it could have been that lack of studying thing... Oops. 

Anyway, fast forward 29 years and here I am smashing life and being delusional awesome, so all good. 

To be perfectly honest, I'm glad those school days are over. I was always a Nelly No Friends and therefore desperately lonely. Sigh. 

So I'm quite happy to be old after all. 

What about you? 

What do you remember about your last year of school? 


Friday, 10 November 2017

Spaghetti And Meatballs: The Sequel



Greetings Earthlings,

Another Friday has rolled around. They tend to do this. Predictably, right after Thursday and just before Saturday. Funny about that.


 Anyway, this means it's time to join in, yet again, with the fun that is called,  Friday Reflections. 

You may recall that I wrote a sweet little story last week, and ended with a teaser for a part two. Well, here is that promised finale. If you don't recall, you can read Part One here. 

I've also cleverly managed to weave in this week's prompt, which is: Heart's Content. Yep, I'm a genius. Or something.

Here is Part Two: 




SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS: THE SEQUEL







Have you ever had one of those weekends? You know the kind. You're really looking forward to it. You have it all planned. And what you're planning is, a whole lotta NOTHING. Yes, you can plan to do nothing. In fact, I take great pride in doing so.

Then, absolutely everything goes pear shaped. It's ridiculous. Until you realise, you actually quite like pears. Pears can be delicious. Look, I'm going somewhere with the pear analogy, stay with me.

First, my car was ruined. Then I was locked out of the house. In a robe. In the rain.

Which led to me eating spaghetti and meatballs with a handsome stranger. 

Mr Strong and Silent Enigmatic turned out to be surprisingly easy to chat with. I found myself loosening up. I was witty, charming and self-deprecating. He laughed in the right places, was courteous, kind and interesting. Oh, and he was also single, I discovered.

And then I ruined it. Evidently, I was much more exhausted from my hectic week than I'd realised. Next thing you know, after only one glass of wine, I was snoring on the couch. Classy. I was having a dream about an Italian dude with smouldering eyes. He was leaning in towards me and...

"Carolyn!" That accent.

 I was jolted awake to see those very eyes.

"Your sister is here with your spare key."

Oh, SHIT!

I stumbled outside, still half-asleep. There was Diana waving the key. Dressed head to toe as a dominatrix.

"You know what your problem is, sis? You need to get out more. Get a life. Make friends. Go on dates. HAVE SEX!"

Marco seemed to have adopted a permanently bemused expression. He hovered behind us, watching the exchange. I snatched the key.

"Couldn't you have changed?" I hissed.

"No." She smiled, completely unfazed. "But YOU definitely should. What in the living hell are you wearing?"

"It's a long story... I..."

But Diana was bored already. Vanilla and dull were so not her style. That was clear. To the entire neighbourhood.

"OK, gotta go!" She interrupted me." Can't stay and chat. I have someone waiting to whipped." She clattered to the driver's side of her car, adding in a stage whisper "By the way, he's HAWT. Go for it!"

I stood there flushed and flummoxed as she drove away.

"Your sister is... very interesting." Marco observed.

I laughed a little uneasily, not sure what to say. Then I shrugged. To hell with it.

"Her job is certainly unconventional, but she has a good heart." I figured if my sister had no shame about her lifestyle, then neither should I. Though we had one pact. Our mother must NEVER KNOW.

Not for the first time, I was thankful she had moved to Queensland after our dad passed away. The endless phone calls, texts and emails about our single states were draining, but at least we had a buffer zone.

"Well, thanks for everything." Now that I had a key and an escape route I was curiously reluctant to leave. Especially having no idea when I'd see him again.

"No problem," he replied. There was a pause while I waited, for what I don't know. Did I really think he was going to ask me out? That he would be so taken with me he'd want to see me again.

Maybe Mum and Di were right after all, I did need to get out more.

"Okay, well seeya." I sighed.

He nodded politely and headed back inside as the rain began to patter again.

The next day, my car was towed away. I washed and dried Wendy's clothes and waited until a respectable hour. I had to return them. It wouldn't hurt to fix my hair for once. And what about some lipstick? I mean, I hardly ever wore it, but why not? And what should I wear?

Wait a minute, you're just returning some clothes. Get over yourself. In the end I settled on jeans and a nice top. But I fixed my hair. A girl has to have some standards. Okay, a middle aged woman. So sue me.

"Carolyn!" Wendy greeted me like a long lost friend. "Come in. Excuse the mess! Vince has taken the girls to the park for a bit now that it's stopped raining. Thank God! They were like caged animals. Sorry about your car! Coffee?"

All of this while she kept moving and bustling to the kitchen. I glanced around. The mess didn't seem to much more than a lot of toys on the living room floor. I remembered those days with my three quite vividly. I'd been a young mum. Consequently, I had a 20 year old daughter, and the boys were 16 and 15, being only 18 months apart.  I was glad those toddler years were over.

"I just came to return your clothes and say thank you." I was glancing around for other reasons.

"You're so welcome!" Wendy handed me a coffee. "I'm glad my brother-in-law was here. We thought about leaving the girls with my mother but she was unwell and Marco wanted to baby-sit, so it all worked out beautifully. Sit down!" she motioned to the couch that was littered with toys. "If you can find somewhere to sit!"

I shoved some things over and sat. I sipped my coffee. Clearly Marco wasn't here. I should have taken more notice of his car.  Wendy chatted while I imagined  an alternative world, where, instead of the pile of ironing awaiting me, Marco and I were alone, eating spaghetti and meatballs and drinking wine to our heart's content.

Just like a scene out of The Bachelor or Bacherlorette. I blame my daughter. She forced me to watch such vapid programmes. Oh okay, she didn't have to try too hard. We both watched and made droll remarks, as if we were regulars on Gogglebox. It was fun. Note to self: do something about that getting out more thing.

Meanwhile, back to my imaginings. Beach side setting. I would be wearing a gown. This was a fantasy, so I'd be at least five kilos lighter. No, make that ten. My legs would be shaved. My hair and make-up perfect. And as for Marco. He was already perfect. A sexy cross between George Clooney and Mark Ruffalo. He'd be looking suave in a suit. He would...

"Carolyn?"

"Huh?" I was jolted out of my daydream. 

"I was just asking what you do," Wendy said. "Marco was asking so many questions about you, it made me realise how little we know about each other even though we're right next door!"

He did? YESSS. 

"I'm an office manager for a small legal firm," I replied. My job was so boring compared to my sister. And I preferred it that way. I wondered if Marco had mentioned her. I sipped my coffee. I was bursting to ask about him, but I didn't want to appear too obvious. He'd asked about me! That had to be a good sign, right?

By the time I left, we were firm friends in real life as well as Facebook . Only a matter of time until I crossed paths with Marco again.  Maybe I should speed up the process by inviting them all over for a dinner party?

I decided this was a brilliant plan. Except for one small thing. I don't cook. Unless you call shoving things in the oven cooking.

So I called my amazing caterer friend Gavin, who agreed to do it for mates rates. He's a great friend, and the only reason we aren't anything more is because he is very gay. Also, according to Gavin I have embarrassing taste in clothes and music. And I'm too messy... And the list goes on. Fair enough. We could never live together, but I adored Gavin. 
.
I scheduled the dinner party for a weekend the kids weren't there. Wendy had her mum babysitting the twins. It was all systems GO. 

Gavin arrived.

"Hello. I've been dumped. I don't want to talk about it. Don't worry. I'll get cooking." he swooped through to the kitchen. Oh dear. This wasn't good. Gavin was usually the dumper, not the dumpee. 


 I left him bustling away and went upstairs to get ready. This was fun! Why didn't I do this more often? Probably something to do with the days of maniacal cleaning that were necessary beforehand. Note to self: price a cleaner. 

The wine was chilled, music on - 80s vintage, much to Gavin's disgust - and I was in a fabulous mood when the doorbell rang.

"I brought some wine," Wendy handed me a bottle. More wine. Yay!

The were loud curses from the kitchen. Everyone politely pretended we hadn't heard them. 


Wendy began gushing about my place as I led them through to the open plan kitchen slash dining slash family room. 

Gavin's chopping now appeared to be frenetic. Hesitantly I introduced him to everyone.

"How are you? I was dumped today. I'm fine." he deadpanned. "Dinner will be served in half an hour." His eyes flitted to Marco. He raised an eyebrow at me. 


The first course was finally served when the front door opened and slammed. McKenzie stomped in. 

"He dumped me!"

"You too!" Gavin said. "Men are bastards." 


"Darling!" What happened?" I jumped up. "Everyone, this is my daughter, McKenzie." 

 "Some bullshit about needing space." 

"Maybe it's for the best." It wasn't the time for me to admit I hadn't particularly liked her boyfriend. They'd probably make up, and then where would I be? 

"HA!" Gavin scoffed.

McKenzie burst into tears. "He's broken my heart! I'll never get over it." 


"Maybe we can talk about this later..." 

"FUCK!" Gavin bolted to the oven just in time. Our main course had narrowly escaped ruin. 

"I couldn't eat anything right now," blubbered McKenzie. "But I'll take some wine." She poured a generous glass. 

Marco and Vincent exchanged glances while I  stood there awkwardly. I had pictured a civilised and sophisticated dinner party. Trust my overly dramatic daughter to disrupt things.

Gavin served the main courses amid more lamenting over the general hopelessness of all men, straight or gay.

"Present company excepted, of course!"

The doorbell trilled. What next?

"Excuse me." I hurried down the hall.

"Surprise!"

"MUM!" I was stunned. What was she DOING here?

"You're always saying you'll visit and don't, so I thought I'd surprise you. Well, aren't you going to invite me in?"

I had a choice? I seriously considered slamming the door, but she bustled in and immediately began telling me how to live my life. 


"You've put on weight! What are you eating? Do you have guests? I heard what happened from your sister and I agree with her. Sweetheart, you just need to HAVE SEX!" The last two words reverberated around the room as an unexpected silence descended. 

"Nan!" McKenzie jumped up to hug her grandmother. "You really DO, Mum." she said. 

"Haha," I managed a weak laugh "enough about that."

I introduced my mother. Marco had that same bemused expression he seemed to adopt around me. When I caught his eye, I thought I saw his lips twitch. I needed more wine. Oh well, what could go wrong now? 


It was supposed to be a rhetorical question. But the doorbell rang. This was ridiculous!

"Diana!" Or should I say, Mistress Delphine. 


"I need your shower. Mine's bung. You owe me one!" 

"Okay, but before you go in there you should know..."

It was too late. She'd barged in, without waiting for a reply. OH. MY. GOD. 

"MUM!"

"What...? Who...?" There was a gasp of recognition. "DIANA?!"


With that, my mother fainted. 

That was how my dignified, elegant dinner party ended. My guests made a hasty exit.

"You obviously have a lot on your plate." Wendy said. 


The next few weeks were a blur. I was busy with work and the boys. My mother had imploded. She was all  set to move back to Sydney, convinced that her daughters were degenerates.

It took every ounce of my energy to get her back on a plane. Diana was predictably unrepentant. McKenzie had gotten back together with the unsuitable boyfriend. Even Gavin had moved on, judging from his Facebook posts. 

And I was still very single.

Marco was in Italy. He'd gone back to visit family. Wendy wasn't sure when he'd be back. My beach side visions had vanished. What was a girl to do? Well, for one thing, I was finally going to have that quiet weekend. A bubble bath. A bottle of wine. You know the drill. 

I relaxed into the tub and the doorbell rang. I threw on my trusty old robe. It was probably McKenzie. She often forgot her key. I flung open the door. 

There were those eyes. The ones that could go straight from smouldering to bemused. Either way, they were hypnotic. 

"Marco!"

"Hello Carolyn. I'm looking after the girls again and I have A LOT of spaghetti and meatballs. Would you like to help me eat them?"

"Love to!" 


I stepped outside to go with him, under the spell of those eyes. Then we both began laughing. I'd locked myself out wearing my robe. 



THE END.




 So there you have it. A tad corny, but whatever. It was fun to write. And I will continue to write to my heart's content. (See what I did there?) Even if it's corny. 


What do you like to do to your heart's content? 

Monday, 6 November 2017

Meditation. Yay or Nay?

Greetings, spectacular humans! How are you? I am feeling quite content right now. It's Saturday evening as I type this, and I'm sitting here blogging with a lovely meal in my immediate future. We ordered Chinese takeout. Because health fanatics, obviously!

Although, I am a little bummed about my lack of wine to wash it down with. I gotta be honest. Oh, well. We can't have everything.

If all goes well, I will be hitting publish on Monday, and I'm sure I'll be over the wine thing by then. All good.

On with the show! Or, you know, the blog post. 

Let's talk meditation. Yes, I segued from wine to meditation. As you do.




Except I'm NOT. HMPH! 



It's time to join in the fun for Life This Week. This week, the wonderful Denyse, over at Denyse Whelan Blogs , is asking this question:

Meditation: Yay or Nay?

I love this question. I am going to answer it. That's the whole point. Here goes. 

Well, my answer would be this: In theory I'm all about the yay when it comes to meditation. But with much more enthusiasm. As in, YAY! Meditation! Except I think you're supposed to be all chilled and zen during the process, so I should probably tone it down a bit. 

In pratice, however, I'm afraid my answer would have to be a rather stressed and mournful nay. Sigh.

I WANT to able to meditate. In fact, I DO mediate from time to time. I mean, meditate. (I mediate my boys arguments as well, so that boo boo sort of works...).

Well, I TRY to meditate. But my monkey mind is having none of it. Not one little bit. It wants to tell me I'm dizzy, remind me of dumb things, make me fidget and squirm and just not cooperate in making me feel all floaty and peaceful and calm. Yet another sigh. 





Image credit:https://tenor.com/view/zen-shakira-gif-5626538




Furthermore, I also fail at visualisation exercises. I am meant to be practicing an exercise in which I dump all my thoughts and worries into an imaginary boat and watch them drift away. The thing is, I don't like boats.

I probably should have mentioned that to my shrink. I kind of have a water phobia. Using 'kind of' in the sense of definitely. Therefore, I've only tried to do this exercise once. 

It's weird because I'm a chronic daydreamer. I've gone so far as to wonder if I'm what is called a maladaptive daydreamer.

Maybe. There is a strong possibility...  Ahem. I can zone out at inconvenient times, but when I try to do it a formal or structured way it doesn't work. 

I might be better off trying something like yoga or tai chi,which (I think) is meant to be 'meditation in motion'? 

Mickey Blue Eyes was always someone who was scathing about meditation but when he was going through cancer treatment he became a reluctant convert. He reported being able to get into such a relaxed state that he was floating. I figured if someone like him could do it, I should be able to master it. But alas, no luck! 

I wonder if, ironically, worrying about the inability to meditate is making me more stressed. I mean, it's supposed to be a relaxing activity, not another thing on a to-do list!

I find reading, listening to music and even patting my dog to be relaxing. Aren't those things good enough? Do I really need to meditate?

There was a time when I thought I'd never be able to cope with panic attacks or sit with uncomfortable feelings and face fear. However, I've managed to do these things in the last few years. I guess having no choice makes you do things you never thought you'd do. So, maybe I'll eventually be able to meditate. I just have to find the right way for me. 

In the meantime, it's now Monday and I'm certainly NOT over the wine thing. Pffffft. As if!

What about you? 

Do you meditate? 

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Serendipity Is Spaghetti And Meatballs: A Story.


Hello, dear reader! I hope you are enjoying another wonderful weekend. Once again it's time to make an appearance here and join in with the gang over at Friday Reflections. Here's some more stuff I made up, using the prompt: Serendipity. Use the word in your post. 

I went with fiction again, because it turns out that my life isn't really interesting enough to sustain a blog. NO?! Really??? I know! Hard to believe, right?! Anyway, here it is: 




SERENDIPITY IS SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS: A STORY



Image credit: https://www.foodiesfeed.com/



I was going to do the unthinkable. I had a very important date. With myself! I had the chocolate,the trashy novel, the wine, the bubbles. A long soak in the tub was beckoning. Afterwards, I was going binge watch whatever the hell I liked, without interruption. Screw, Netflix and 'chill'. I preferred Netflix and solitude. 

"Not like you have a partner, anyway," said that mocking voice in my head. It often sounded like my mother, for some inexplicable reason. "Shut up," I murmured, frowning. I had no time for such negativity.

Everything had fallen into place. My ex had the boys this weekend. My daughter had gone away with her boyfriend. There would be no bevy of teenagers inhabiting my home. Just me. Bliss. 

Serendipity. Sweet, sweet serendipity. 

What's that saying? Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. Thank you very much, John Lennon. At least, I think it was John Lennon who said that. Note to self: Google that later when you attempt to read the entire the Internet before bed. Bath first, though! As  soon as I sunk into to the tub, sighing in sheer delight, I heard the thud. Except it was more like an earth-shattering crash.

I jumped out of the bath wearing nothing but bubbles. Well, it would be kind of weird if I bathed clothed. Grabbing a towel, I scurried to the window. A small truck barrelled down the street. It had hit my car and driven and off! 

One of the myriad problems that came from living with three teenagers in a modest sized home, was we had A LOT of stuff. Consequently my garage was always full. I had parked on the street. Okay, so there's also a long boring story about narrow driveways. I sincerely dislike reversing out of them. Suffice to say, my ex-husband always blessed himself whenever I reversed. But that's because he's a jerk. I'm a good driver. I am! I've never had any accidents. Alright, there have been one or two scrapes, but I always leave a note! Besides, this certainly wasn't my fault.

Furious, I flung on a robe and dashed out the front without thinking. I was right. The car was completely totalled on the front drivers side.

I screamed a litany of curse words at no one in particular. Then I cursed myself for quitting my running regime. At my pace, the truck would be suburbs away before I'd even reached the end of my street.

"God dammit!" I huffed and marched back to the house to call my insurance company. Then I realised my mistake. I'd locked myself out of the house. With no phone. Wearing a bathrobe. What is the opposite of serendipity?

Neighbours were peering through blinds, but apparently no one wanted to help the crazy lady in the bathrobe. Was it possible to break in to my own house? Wait a minute! I wondered whether my back door was open. I couldn't remember if I'd unlocked it. I raced around to find it shut tight. Predictably, there was my phone mocking me on the kitchen counter. I banged my head on the sliding glass door in exasperation. Now what?

"Let me tell you," answered the Universe, and the heavens opened. It started raining. No, make that pouring. I huddled under my meagre back awning shivering. The warmth from the bubble bath and my fury had vanished. I felt, cold, hungry, and utterly foolish. The way I saw it, I had two choices. Stand here and freeze to death, or swallow my pride and go and knock on my neighbour's door.

The couple next door,Wendy and Vince, and I, had a distant but friendly kind of relationship. We waved cheery hellos and goodbyes as we dashed off to work and various other things and often chatted over the fence, but we weren't exactly neighbours who exchanged keys. 

I'd only been living there for a few years, since the divorce, and had teenage children. Wendy and Vince had four year old twins, so our kids didn't hang out either. Note to self: be more friendly towards your neighbours in the future. Would it kill you to get to know them? Invite them in for coffee? Suss out that they're not serial killers? Then give them a spare key.

There was only one problem. I was going to be drenched just getting to their front door. Oh, screw it! I squared my shoulders and marched over there. Saturated, I hugged my sopping bathrobe around my frozen frame and rang the doorbell. No answer. I rung again. I was pretty sure I could hear muffled noises inside. Then someone stomped to the door.

"Who IS it?!" a voice barked. Male. Didn't seem like the laid back tones of Vince who had always seemed like a fairly chilled sort of person. The door swung open. A face was scowling at me.

And what a face. I was momentarily struck dumb. Serendipity.

The scowl turned to bewilderment as he noted my attire. "S...s...s..sorry to bother you," I stammered "but someone hit my car and I locked myself out of the house."

He was staring. He had enigmatic eyes. Smouldering eyes. You've been reading too many of those trashy novels, Carolyn! I berated myself. Cool it.

"Oh, I live next door," I added.

Before Mr Enigmatic could reply, the twins thundered down the stairs.

"Uncle Marco! You need to read us a story!" Two pyjama clad figures appeared at his legs. Their eyes were like saucers as they took in my bedraggled appearance.

"Aren't you the lady next door?" Amelia asked.

"It's okay, Uncle Marco. You can let her in!" Alana chirruped.

Mr Enigmatic unlocked the screen door and motioned for me to enter. I was mortified. I hastily explained my attire.

"You can wear Mummy's clothes," stated Amelia. Her chocolate brown eyes were dancing. They were both simply adorable.

"She's not here. She's on a date with Dad!" Alana giggled. She seemed to find the idea of her parents dating hilarious. I was glad someone did. I hadn't had a date since... Never mind.

It seemed Mr Enigmatic, aka Uncle Marco, was the strong silent type. He pulled out his phone and tapped in a number. He was talking briefly to Wendy with the most exquisite Italian accent. I tried not to melt.

"She says it's okay," he told me "you can borrow her clothes."

He bustled the girls upstairs back to bed, pointing me to Wendy's room. It felt intrusive to go through her things, but I quickly realised a couple of things. One: Wendy (and presumably Vince too) were very meticulous. And two: Wendy was also considerably smaller than me.

It didn't take long to find some track pants and a sweater that fit rather snugly over all of my, shall we say, love handles? "Don't you mean ROLLS?" It was my mother's voice again. Christ, I could never get away from the woman. Even when she'd moved thousands of miles away to far north Queensland.

Another note to self: have a clear out at home. And for goodness sake, lay off the carbs! My stomach grumbled in protest.

 "Right on cue," I mumbled to the mirror. I realised I hadn't had dinner. I'd been planning to order whatever takeout took my fancy right after my soak. For some reason, I really fancied Italian right now. Ahem. Get a grip, I admonished myself, and trudged back downstairs. There was nothing I could do about my tangled hair. 

Marco was in the kitchen grimacing at the mess. There was a mountain of used pots and pans. Abandoned Peppa Pig bowls with half eaten spaghetti and meatballs littered the table This didn't seem like Vince and Wendy's handiwork. 

"I make them food, they don't eat," Marco explained. "Sit. You eat!" 

"Oh! I don't want you to go to any trouble."

"It's no trouble. I have too much. You can keep me company." He gave me a sheepish smile. I almost swooned.

Maybe this was serendipity after all. 



What happens next....? 

Stay tuned for Part Two. Coming next week. 
Yep, I've decided I'll pick up this story again next week. So let's leave the characters feasting on spaghetti and meatballs and you're all invited back next weekend! 


Do you have a story about serendipity? 

And while we're at it, what actually IS the opposite of serendipity?