Monday, 21 May 2018

My Biggest Fear Is Fear Itself


Fears and phobias are a funny old thing. Using 'funny' in the sense of horrific and absurd. Some folks are mortally afraid of moths. For others it's clowns. Neither bother me. Cockroaches, on the other hand: EEEEEEEEK!!!


I've blogged about my fears and phobias before. They're all fairly generic: heights, public speaking, the dentist, and of course, cockroaches. Shudders. I know I'm not alone here. Many people fear these things.

These days, I would have to say, my BIGGEST fear is something happening to my children. A close second is getting cancer again and not being around for my children. But even after saying this and knowing it to be true. I truly fear these things. I realise there's a bigger everyday fear that's always lurking.

Fear itself.

Yep. I have an anxiety disorder. My biggest fear is fear itself. This is tremendous fun. Said no one ever.

The thing is, even though I once had a pathological fear of childbirth, I faced it. Hearing that you have a cancer diagnosis is undoubtedly one of the most frightening things ever. But I got through it.

Now I am left with the fear of it happening again. Even though my current reality is that I'm cancer free and well, the fear still intrudes.

Anxiety is so strange. At times you can pinpoint the triggering thoughts, other times it just pounces out of nowhere. Of course I've learnt all about the fight or flight instinct and how anxiety is necessary for human survival.

Additionally, my understanding is that being autistic means I am wired to be more prone to or predisposed to anxiety. So I decided to  name it Agnes and make an uneasy truce with her. I don't like her, but I understand why she exists.

There's a theory I've heard of that says fear can either mean Fear Everything And Run, or Face Everything And Rise. Don't you just love inspirational quotes? Yeah, me neither. But I have to admit, when I first began having panic attacks many years ago I often did the former. Until I realised: I don't run.






I avoid my fears and problems, sure. But running is stupid.

Seriously though, now I can say I (mostly) do the latter and face things. Sort of. Kind of. Sometimes.

What I mean is, the fear doesn't evaporate but I let Agnes tag along and I tell her what to do not vice versa. Occasionally she still manages to get the better of me. She's a freaking bitch so I expect that. Dammit.

Lately I've been listening to a lot of this true crime stuff which seems to be the thing these days. This is veering slightly off-topic, but I have a point so bear with me. It seems like an odd thing to be interested in, given my anxiety and self-confessed aversion to blood, guts and gore.

However, it's not that part of it that intrigues me. It's the psychology behind the crime or behaviour. How one individual can come from a tragic background and become a criminal, while another rises above it. The other day I heard a psychologist explaining what a sociopath is like. Supposedly they not only lack empathy but it goes further into complete callousness. According to this psychologist, sociopaths also don't experience stress or anxiety like others do.

In a weird way, understanding this helps me accept the things I dislike about myself. I don't like my anxiety, aka Agnes, but if I never felt it whatsoever, then I'd be a sociopath. Or something. Does that make sense?

I mean, obviously I'm just a little self absorbed or I wouldn't have a blog all about myself (ahem), but I'm not a sociopath. 

So yeah, my biggest fear is fear itself. And I'm okay with it. 

But anyone who's okay with cockroaches? PSYCHOPATHS. All of them. I don't need a psychologist to tell me that. 

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

What is your biggest fear?

Monday, 7 May 2018

The A - L Of Me


A is for Autistic.  I was diagnosed with ASD (formerly called Aspergers) at age 40. Also, I'm pretty awesome. Amazing, astounding, and everything. Okay, I'm fairly average, but the other a words sounded more impressive. Sniff.



B is for bookworm. I am one. I should probably mention my boys, too. They're the Best. 

C is for cakies, chocolate and Carpenters music. These are a few of my favourite things! As opposed to girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes. Not that I have anything against the latter. I just prefer the former.

D is for dogs. I'd call myself a dog person. I'm also a chronic daydreamer. And utterly delusional delightful. Let's not forget about that.

E is for enigmatic. I am a puzzle even to myself. A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. Or a middle-aged woman, wrapped in a dressing gown, inside a ramshackle suburban house. Details.

F is for FOOD. I love it. I'm also extremely forgetful. But I never forget to eat, so that's something.  Also, I am FABULOUS.

G is for groovy. Clearly I am. Totally hip and cool and cutting edge.  Also; GORGEOUS. And; grey. I let my hair go grey and I love it. Silver foxes FTW!

H is for hermit. I fear I am becoming one.

I is for introvert. See above.

J is for January. The month I was born in. During?

K is for Karen. Carpenter, of course. My idol. No explanation necessary. You either get it, or you don't. And if you don't, I can't help you. I mean, we can't all have exquisite taste, can we?




L is for the library. The only place I go to these days. See above. Plus, I once pretended to work in them decades ago.

L is also for Lafferty. It used to my name before I was married. This is frightfully fascinating information, I think you will find.

L is also the last letter for now.  Lovely.


Stay tuned for The M - Z of Me. Coming soon!


What is your A-L?

Monday, 30 April 2018

Taking Stock: April 2018 Edition


Making: Beds. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Tea. Coffee. You know, all the thrilling things.

Cooking: Cauliflower soup. Tacos. Roast chicken and veggies. Because apparently I am not very original. 

Drinking: Four dollar sparkling moscato from Aldi. FANCY. 

Reading:  Various library books, including:

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover.

Loved it. Read it in 24 hours.

Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins. 

Loved this one, too. Read it in 24-48 hours.

Trawling: I do not trawl. What am I? A fisherman?

Wanting:  I pretty much have everything important in life. Family, health, food, shelter... hashtag blessed and all that. But I'll still take a truck load of cash, thank you very much.

Looking: At the ceiling fan and thinking I should probably clean it sometimes. But how would I recover from such excitement?

Deciding: Which book to read next.

Wishing: We could get away on a holiday. 

Enjoying: The cooler weather. I can wear my pajamas all day. Don't judge me. Hmph. 

Waiting: For the kettle to boil. Exciting times if I don't say so myself.

Liking: The end of school holidays. HALLELUJAH. 

Wondering: If we are sorta kinda maybe jinxed or something. Just me catastrophising again. As you were. 

Loving: Quiet time I scored yesterday while Mickey Blue Eyes took the boys to the movies.

Listening: To Mickey Blue Eyes clattering dishes in the kitchen and birds chirping (is that a word?) in the distance.

Considering: Running up and down the street stark bollocky naked. Just to liven things up. But that would be ridiculous. I don't run. 

Also, is bollocky a word? 

Buying: Groceries. Just for something COMPLETELY different.

Watching: Ridonkulous melodramatic movies on YouTube (shut up, I don't have Netflix). You know the ones. Based on a "true" story, starring Shannon Doherty or some other D grade faded television actor. I scoff and eye roll at them but then subsequently do some comprehensive research lazy internet searching and find it they are essentially true. Truth is stranger than fiction, people.

Hoping: Cups of tea can make themselves at some point in the future. Like, say, in five minutes. Surely we should have the technology by now?

Marvelling: At the word "marvelling". Isn't it MARVELLOUS. 

Needing: A kick up the ciber.

Questioning: Life, the universe and everything.

Smelling:  Tea.

Wearing: Trackie daks (Australian for sweatpants), teamed with an attractive purple jumper. I know what you're thinking. I should really jump into that "everyday style" hashtag thing pronto.

Noticing: All the mother's day propaganda in the store catalogues. As if all we do is eat chocolate in our pajamas all day. Hmph. Oh wait...

Knowing: I know nothing. Not a thing. Zip. Nada. Sweet FA, as the saying goes. Clueless.

Thinking: People are weird.

Admiring: People. They're SO WEIRD and they don't even know.

Getting: Fat. Well, fattER, if that's a word. 

Disliking: The fatter thing. See above. But apparently not enough to actually stop eating two thirds of a packet of chocolate covered peanuts in one sitting on Saturday. The final third went to my family, so I do share. Kinda. Sorta. Shut up.

Opening: Books. What else?

Closing: The fridge. Sometimes. Mostly I open it. Which answers the above question. Ahem.

Feeling: Fair to maudlin, as the saying goes. Or is it middling? 

Celebrating:  Well, I haven't eaten anything in a full ten minutes. That certainly calls for a celebration! And there's only one way to celebrate: with FOOD! 🍨🍧🍦🍩🍰🍪🍫🍬🍭🍮🍮🍳🍳🍔

Pretending:  I'm a sane, rational, functioning adult. Tricked you! Snorts.

Embracing: Mr 9. Love that kid. 

So there you have it. That is me tacking stock this amazing April. 


What are you celebrating in the month of April? 

Monday, 23 April 2018

School Holidays Memories

It's currently school holidays in my neck of the woods. Except I'm not anywhere near woods. I live in suburbia. But you know what I mean. 

So here's a lazy nifty bullet list of utterly random school holiday memories:

  • The buzzy euphoric feeling at 3pm on the last day of term. For some reason this sensation has mysteriously disappeared as an adult and parent. Hmph.
  • Staying up late just because you could.
  • Sleeping in late just because you could.
  • Me as a kid: "I'm borrrred!" My mum: "Hi, Bored. I'm mum/Alison."
  • Lamenting the fact that all my friends* had gone away for the holidays.
  • *Okay, I only had one friend. But she always went away leaving me on my lonesome. Rude.
  • Going to the movies to see such classics as Grease and Xanadu. Why yes, I am quite ancient.
  • Ditto going to the actual cinemas to see all the Back To Future films. Frightfully, frightfully ancient, I'm afraid.
  • Patting/ smooching my dog and singing a song I made up: "You're my dear darling adorable dachshund dog!" Remember, my one friend was away. And I was a weird kid anyway. Even weirder adult. Winning. 
  • Listening to endless records and cassettes. Did I mention I'm ancient?
  • Singing into a hairbrush to the above mentioned records: Abba, The Carpenters, Barbra Streisand; and shockingly, even Madonna. Surprise! Sometimes I did behave like an 80s teenager. 
  • Me as a kid: "Mum, I'm hungryyyy!" My mum: "Hi, Hungry, I'm mum/Alison."
  • A rare family holiday to the beach side town of Nelson Bay. We shared an apartment with a colony of cockroaches, sleeping on beds that smelt like congealed decades of sweat and pee. When Mum and Dad decided to end the stay early and head home my brother and I cheered. 
  • Road trips to Dubbo, Wagga Wagga or Canberra. We left in the middle of the night and my brother and I slept top to tail in the back seat of our old Datsun. 
  • When we woke up during the above road trips, we gazed out the windows exclaiming over any animals we spotted. "COOOOOWWWWWWS!!!!" "HORRRRRRSSSEEEEEY'S!!!" Fast forward a few decades. On one of our road trips Mickey Blue Eyes pointed out some cows. "Thanks for that, Captain Obvious," remarked one of the boys, his voice dripping with sarcasm. 
  • Me as a kid: "MUUUUUM!" My mum: "She went mad and they shot her!" Fast forward several decades. My boys:"MUUUUUM!" Me: "She went mad and they shot her!" 
  • Going to my Auntie Eileen's place and visiting the park and swimming pool around the corner. Then we'd get chicken and chips from Happy Harry's, the milk bar around the corner. 
  • Driving home from Auntie Eileen's, I'd fall asleep in the car and magically wake up in my own bed. It was like I could totally teleport or something!This ability has mysteriously disappeared as an adult. Hmph. 

  • Watching the US Today show at midnight for no reason except it came on then and I had to stay up late because HOLIDAYS. Also; watching the odd mini series really late, such as North & South with Patrick Swayze in it. What can I say? It was the 80s. 
  • Being totally bummed and peeved when it was time to head back to school at the beginning of the year, despite the fact that I'd just had six weeks off! This sensation has mysteriously disappeared as an adult and parent. Tee hee!
What about you? 

What are your school holiday memories?

Monday, 16 April 2018

What is Friendship?


Hello again. Here I am on a Sunday night, at home with all my friends writing on the subject of friendship.  I'm really here with Mr 14 while the rest of the brood are at a soccer game. Details. This may be a short and rambling post due to the fact that I'm trying to type this with a dodgy laptop where the backspace key doesn't work. Very annoying. Especially when you're a crappy typer like me.  But anyway, I'll try.

So, yes. Friendship. Let's talk about it.

Recently, my shrink suggested that I should make some friends. I explained that I DO have friends but the same ones for twenty plus years. I never make new friends. I certainly never belong to any mum cliques. You know, the ones gossiping at the school gates. Totally my fault. I get in and out quickly and don't hang around to gossip. The couple of times I thought maybe I was becoming friendly with another mum, I obviously misread the situation or didn't respond or reciprocate appropriately. I don't know. I'm aspie and socially awkward. I guess I come across as weird to others.

But aren't true friends supposed to accept your brand of weirdness? Luckily, I do have friends who do this, so I won't spend too much time worrying about the others. Not everyone will like you and that's fine. I'm an introvert. I'd rather have a small amount of real friends than a bunch of phonies or what I call "fair weather friends". I've definitely been there.



As a child and teen I struggled to make friends. I suffered from excruciating shyness, I was so quiet I was practically mute (not much has changed there), and as it turns out, I was autistic, but didn't know at the time. No wonder I struggled!

Typically, I would have one friend, and due to all of the above, I tended to be clingy and needy. Unfortunately I was (and am) somewhat naive and sweet. This clinginess and naivety often attracted toxic so called friends. It became particularly problematic as I progressed into young adulthood.

There was one person in particular who had been my best friend since childhood. Her behaviour towards me become appalling. Eventually I had to say something and I hate confrontations, so it was a huge challenge for me. Long story short, I removed her from my life. In a weird way I'm grateful to her. It was her actions and the dissolution of our friendship that led to me joining rotaract. This is where I met my real friends and Mickey Blue Eyes.

So thanks, former "best friend". I forgive you and am grateful. I hope things worked out for you as well and you've found the sort of friends you want. I know it wasn't me.

To be fair, maybe I am not the ideal friend for a lot of folks. Especially in the sense of being hospitable and inviting people over for dinner or barbecues. Hosting parties, that sort of thing. I'm not great at being in charge, at organising things. I prefer to blend in, so to speak, at social gatherings.

I've gradually come to realise that due to my limitations/quirks/autistic traits or whatever you want to call it, I am not going to be able to give some people what they expect or require in a friendship. I guess it comes down to this thing called reciprocity that us aspies seem to struggle with. It's weird because inside I feel like I'm a warm, sincere person and genuinely interested in others. But I guess I don't convey that in actions and demeanour.

Meanwhile, due to the magic of Facebook I've been able to reconnect with a bunch of people I went to high school with. I spent most of high school in the corner, nose in a book, being ignored. But as it turns out, I don't think I was universally loathed the way I thought at the time. When you're a teenager the word revolves around YOU! In retrospect, I think people just left me to it because they figured I was happy enough alone. Mostly I was, but even the most introverted of introverts craves friendship. '




Of course there's always online friends. This is where I can shine. And you're all invited here! .That's another question. Do you need to meet in person to be considered real friends? I've connected with people online but have never transferred those connections to real life. It's definitely easier for me to interact online, but then there's a whole new world of "FOMO"and odd things to navigate. Sigh.

I guess there will always be certain things about friendship that are confusing for me. But my short answer to this conundrum? 

In summary, friendship is accepting quirks and not being a fair weather friend. And at this point I would have to add it's also being able to go for long periods between catching up but still feeling like it was yesterday when you do. I haven't caught up with any friends since...never mind...

What about you?

What is friendship to you?


Monday, 2 April 2018

Foods I Dislike


Most weeks I schlep out to the shops with my parents to have coffee and do a bit of shopping. On one such occasion, we were unpacking groceries into the boot of my parents car. We heaved bag after bag until there was no more room. 

"Christ, we must EAT!' my mother remarked. I laughed and agreed. My life is a non-stop round of food food FOOD.

Thinking about what food to buy, buying the food, putting it away. Preparing the food, cooking the food, serving the food. Then doing this all over again infinitum. As much as I love food, it can get a bit repetitive and dreary at times.

I know, I know. First world problems, for sure. I am certainly grateful for the abundance of food available to me.  That I never have to go hungry.

Luckily, there are not too many foods I dislike. I was rather more picky as a child. This was the result of being thoroughly spoiled by my mum's superb culinary ability. I swear she could have been Margaret Fulton or someone, only BETTER.  As a child,I turned my freckled nose up at the inferior offerings others presented me with.

Store bought cakes or apple pie? Poison.

Chunky hearty soups? Yuck.

Tinned spaghetti? The HORROR.

If only such an attitude had persisted into adulthood. I'd be svelte and smug instead of plump and sheepish. These days I'll pretty much eat anything that isn't nailed down. And let's be real, probably try to prise off anything that IS nailed down.

Well, ALMOST anything. There are a select few foods that even this glutton isn't too thunderstruck about.

Such as:

CELERY

Stringy, bland, chewy and just plain BLAH, celery must be one of the most joyless foods nature provided. Naturally, celery is good for you. Low in calories, packed with anti-oxidants, and supposedly, calming for the nervous system. So the internet tells me, anyway. Must be true, right. 😉

In short, a healthy snack option.  A shame I'd rather snack on my own toe nails. I CAN eat it disguised in a stir-fry, soup or coleslaw, but it's still not my favourite. As for munching on a stalk for the sake of it  - it's a definite NO from me.




COTTAGE CHEESE

Often teamed with the above celery is this delectable delight. Except it isn't. Delectable, that is. Or delightful in any way whatsoever. I'm not going to describe what it reminds me of. You can probably guess. In a bid to be healthy, I foolishly purchased a tub of this chunder. Oops, I said it...

It's now languishing in the fridge. I need to chuck it out NOW instead of avoiding the inevitable. Why do torture myself?

SARDINES

I just don't like them. They're too... fishy...

Surprisingly, I quite like canned tuna, and even salmon. But sardines make me shudder. And just to make it worse, you can also buy them swimming in tomato sauce. Bleerrrggghhh.

Maybe I just haven't tried fresh ones. I don't know. But for now, it's not just a no. It's a HELL, NO!

BRUSSELS SPROUTS




These little fart balls from hell are no doubt packed with nutrition. I don't care. Put them in front of me and I will pout and refuse to eat them with the sheer determination laced with disgust of your average three year old.

Nope, nope, nopity NOPE.

OTHER FOODS I AM AMBIVALENT ABOUT:

TINNED BEETROOT

I must admit I have a bizarre love/hate relationship with this staple of good old-fashioned Aussie hamburgers. Once in a blue moon I crave and covet some beetroot with the intensity I usually reserve for cakies. Then, just as quickly, it absolutely revolts me. I cannot even bear to look at it, swimming in a sea of it's own crimson blood in a container in the fridge. Inevitably, the container ends up spilling and resembling  a murder scene, and I'm left wondering why I bothered indulging my short lived craving.

BAKED BEANS

More farty goodness. Don't get me wrong, a good old baked bean jaffle with cheese can be just the thing on a bleak winter's day when you feel like pretending  it's still 1978. Just me?

Then, inexplicably, it's just NOT.  Baked beans are another love/hate kind of thing for me. Sometimes they hit the spot. Other times they hit the garbage can. Fast. 


There you have it. The foods I dislike. 

There are probably others, but why waste time and energy on them when there's cake and chocolate in the world. That's what I say.

What about you?

What foods do you dislike?

Monday, 26 March 2018

The Story Of My First Name


A long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away...

Well, 1970 in fact. Here on earth. The  other way just sounds more mysterious. Shut up.

Oh okay, I'll start again.

Picture it. Sydney. 1970. (Kudos to Sophia from the Golden Girls...)

There was a lovely young pregnant lady. That magnificent woman was, of course, my very own mother. She had the important task, along with my father, of bestowing upon me ( the sprog percolating in her womb), the name that I would be known as for the duration of my life. 

They were already the proud parents of a son (my brother - Captain Obvious...) they had named Mark David. This was supposedly due to my mother's aversion to names that could be abbreviated. A short and punchy Mark seemed just right. 

At first, Mum was keen to name me either Rebecca or Rachel. Perhaps she hadn't considered the potential abbreviations of these very fine names. A big hello to all the Bec's, Becca's and Becky's out there. The Rach's, too. I could have been one of you.

It turned out to be a moot point, since my dad wasn't enamoured with either of these suggestions. More pondering ensued as I floated contentedly in the cocoon of my mother's womb. 

Incidentally, I have been told that Mum was quite convinced I was a girl. Of course there was no way to find out the sex of a baby back in those times. The only way was to give birth and clap eyes on it. I mean him. Or her. Mum just had a strong feeling I'd be a girl. And of course, she was right. Consequently, she says she did not give any serious thought to boys names. However, there is slight possibility I may have been a Craig had I developed a Y chromosome. 

Craig. Can you IMAGINE?  I guess it was 1970, so Craig's and Kylie's and Sharon's were all the thing back then. Hard to imagine they were ever babies though, isn't it?






So, yes. Mum was certain I was a girl. Rebecca and Rachel were rejected. Another name was very briefly agreed upon: 

Monique. 

Still. It just wasn't quite right. I was due to make my arrival into this dark and dangerous bright and beautiful world in early 1971. 

Apparently it was around this time that Mum happened to see the 1967 film Camelot, starring Richard Harris as King Arthur, Vanessa Redgrave as Guenevere,  and Franco Nero as Lancelot. 

You can see where this is going, can't you? 







Mum thought Vanessa Redgrave was lovely. Moreover, she was quite taken with her name. "What a beautiful name," she thought. This time, Dad agreed.

Side note: I'm glad she didn't go with Guenevere, because I would have spent my entire life spelling my name to people. It sometimes happens with Vanessa, but not TOO often...

My reluctant arrival into the world occurred on January 15th, 1971. Mum endured an epic and traumatic labour.  I didn't want to be born and kept swimming back the wrong way to stay where I was. Look, it was all warm and floaty in there. Who'd want to come out? Eventually, I did. Around 6pm. Just in time for dinner. Prophetic. 

And it was settled.  My crumpled little yellow and jaundiced features looked like a Vanessa. For a middle name I was given Faye, with a rogue E on the end. Simply because that's Mum's middle name (Alison Faye), so she gave me the same one as hers. I mention the rogue E because I'm quite proud of it. It reminds me of Anne Shirley insisting her name be spelled with an E in Anne of Green Gables. 

Again, it would appear that Mum was oblivious to the potential abbreviations of Vanessa. These days I'm often known as Ness or Nessie (hence the name of this blog). Mum, Dad and Mick always call me Vanessa, but everyone else (mostly) calls me Ness.

Shout out to all my fellow Vanessa's and Ness's out there. I imagine you've also been called Vanessa the Professor, Vanessa the Undresser (useful if your career is stripping), or Messy Nessy in your life time. The latter being particularly apt for me. Ahem.

Oh, and my brother? Who was named a short and to the point Mark? In primary school he was nicknamed "Jaffa" due to his red hair resembling the lollies. It's stuck ever since. Even my boys call him Uncle 'Jaf'. Names are a funny old thing, aren't they? 

And just for another interesting anecdote, I noticed a curious coincidence. For three generations in my husband's family, dudes have married ladies with names beginning with a V.

Mick's Grandmother's name was Violet and his mum's name was Verna. Then he married me, a Vanessa! Just a funny coincidence. But it will be interesting to see if one of our boys ends up with a partner whose name begins with a V... We'll have to wait and see. 

I'm pretty cool with my name. Vanessa Redgrave  is a pretty rad namesake. These days she's known as the narrator on Call The Midwife, among other things. 

And  while I was born here on earth (surprising, since I feel like a creature from the planet Zorg...), 1971 is certainly a long, LONG time ago. Just like Craig, there aren't many babies named Vanessa now. Or at least, I don't hear of any. It's becoming a middle aged/old lady name. Sniff.

But a very good one. Thanks, Mum and Dad. 

And  that is the story of my first name. 

What is the story of your first name? 

Monday, 19 March 2018

From My Window







From my window, what can be seen?
Freshly mowed lawns, a blanket of green.
Billowy branches of myriad trees
Lazily loll in a summery breeze

Suburban houses stand in a row
Windows like eyes, what do they know?
A car whizzes past to the end of the street
Birds flutter by with a chirrupy tweet

Telegraph poles against a cloudless blue sky
A man on his Iphone slowly shuffles by
Shade from a tree falls across the road
A van is parked, neighbours empty a load

Summer lingers, the sun fierce and intense
No one is keen to chat at the fence
I keep to myself, I like staying inside
Watching, wondering, weary yet wired

The road is now searing in the midday sun
Doors and blinds close, air conditioners hum
A grey car appears, a curious cube shape
I stand at the window to goggle and gape

A haughty cat defies the sultry heat
To silently slink along the quiet street
Tail arched she stops to choose
A shady spot where she can snooze

Visitors pull up and walk into next door
You rarely see children outside anymore
Our road curves around like a horse shoe
Some homes are old, others brand new

The gate is shut next door at number nine
Across the road there's a for sale sign
The people in these houses I hardly know
What do they do? Where do they go?

I stare out the window and wistfully wonder
If it will rain, bringing lightning and thunder
No, it won't, I think this out loud
The sun is too bright, I don't see a cloud

Yet there's the promise of a violent storm
It's autumn now, and the weather's too warm
Everything is brightness, mission green and baby blue
Bushes, branches, leaves becoming a rusty gold hue

I reflect upon this mundane suburban scene
Where things aren't always what they seem
There are stories out there, of this I am certain
One more glance then I slowly close the curtain.


What do you see from your window? 

Monday, 26 February 2018

Taking Stock - February 2018 Edition


Making: An effort to be (reasonably) tidy, organised and have a morning routine. I didn't even make that up. It's true! Seriously. Stop laughing! Sniff. 

Cooking:Lots of really nice recipes out of books from the library. I like to pretend it's still 1990 and there's not billions of the things on the internet. Works for me. 

Drinking: Recently I switched back to decaf tea. Because that's how exciting and cutting edge my life is. Be very jealous. 

Reading:  Various library books, including:

Tales From Below Stairs: The Bestselling Memoirs of a 1920's Kitchen Maid by Margaret Powell. 





Quite an interesting and easy read, especially if you're a Downton Abbey fan like me. The author also wrote several other books  including a cookery one which would be interesting to have a bit of a gawk at. 

Did She Kill Him? A Victorian Tale Of Deception, Adultery & Arsenic by Kate Colquhoun. 





True story of Florence Maybrick, who was convicted of poisoning her husband with arsenic in 1889. In my humble opinion, I reckon she was completely innocent, which makes it a heartbreaking story. Although she escaped being hanged (Eeeeeek!), she spent fifteen years in prison. She died in 1941, penniless and living in squalor. So sad. 

Six Degreess by Honey Brown. 

Fiction. Sex, sex and more sex. I didn't even fathom this from the title of the first chapter: Threesome. What am I like? 

Trawling: Library Books. Obviously. Just for something different. 

Wanting: Rain! Lots of it. Pouring, soaking, glorious RAIN. Side note: it did start pouring after I wrote this! Perhaps I'm a witch or something. Muahahaha! 

Looking: Like a potato with grey hair. So attractive. 

Deciding: What to type here. Hmmmm. Decisions. Decisions. Nope. Got nothing. 

Wishing: THIS: 


Image credit: https://www.facebook.com/mayaishappy/


Enjoying: A nice hot cup of decaf tea. Because I like to do wild and crazy things on Monday mornings. 

Waiting: For summer to be over.  Today is actually giving me the illusion that it is. But it will spring back from the depths of hell to incinirate me one more time, I'm sure. 

Liking: Inane things. Like the word 'inane'. Love it. 

Wondering: Why I have such demented dreams. And why I'm demented in general. 

Loving: Snuggling in bed when it's raining. 

Listening: To the rain. A dog barking. The tap tap of my own typing. Blissful silence. 

Considering: What recipe to cook next. Feels like good soup weather today. 

Buying: Food, food, food and more food. And then, five minutes later we need food again. I never have money to buy anything else because it's all spent buying food. 

Watching: Bits and pieces of the ice skating in the winter Olympics. The only sport I can watch without nodding off. 

Hoping: We can go on a holiday some time this year. 

Marvelling: That we can eat quite so much food. 

Needing: According to my shrink I need to make friends. Bwahahahahahaha! She doesn't know who she is dealing with here. Besides, doesn't she know that I have lots of imaginary friends inside the computer? They count, don't they? HMPH. 

Questioning: How on earth you make friends?

Smelling: Pain Away Arthritis cream. Because I appear to be a 95 year old woman called Ethel. 

Wearing: Stretchy 'yoga' pants that I never do yoga in, sexily teamed with a fleecy pyjama top. Tousled bed hair completes the look. Nice. 

Noticing: I have a sore throat. It's so sad. A very tragic situation. And now there is violin music swelling in the background. 

Knowing: Knowing Me, Knowing You! A-HAAAAAAAA! 
Okay, that's an Abba song, but that's what came to mind. And it's mixing it up from Carpenters songs, so shut up. 

Thinking: I need to exercise. I have a sore throat. Why did I put that Abba song in my head? I love the rain. I hate other shit. Where did I put my phone? What day is it?  I wish I could stop thinking...

Admiring: My family. They're pretty awesome. I think I'll keep them. 

Getting: Myself sorta kinda reasonably organised and tidy. Wait. WHAT? Yepski, it's true. See: Making. No idea how long it will last but it's good shit at the moment. 

Disliking: Unspeakable things. Hideous, vile things. I not only dislike these things, but hate them with a passion. You don't want to know. No really, you don't. 

Opening: My mind. To trying to be tidier, kinder to myself and more positive. Something like that anyway. Oh, shut up.

Closing: My eyes for a snooze. 

Feeling: Tired.  See: Closing. 

Celebrating: Mr 13 will be Mr 14 in a few weeks. I also like to celebrate the small wins. Like getting out of bed in the morning. That's something, right? 

Pretending:  I've got my shit together. 

Embracing: Home hacks. Well, some of them. Others are just STUPID.  

So there you have it. That is me tacking stock this fabulous February. Side note: it's only fabulous because it's over in a few days and, with it, summer. Good riddance! 


What are you celebrating in the month of November? 

Monday, 19 February 2018

February Is...


February is...

The shortest month of the year. Consequently it's often the month my dad chooses to go on a diet. He should probably trademark it and sell it. The February Diet. But I'm guessing somebody already has anyway...

February is...

Tricky to spell. Who knew there was a rogue 'r' in there? Okay, only me. Oops. 

February is...

The last month of summer.(If you live in Australia, that is.) Hallelujah! Cue glorious uplifting music. I am SICK of the heat and humidity. SICK OF IT, I tell you! Of course it won't be long before I am complaining about the cold. I like to be consistent in some things. I'm a very consistent weather whinger. Winning! 








February is...

When you're smashing all your resolutions and goals full steam ahead feeling smug and strutting about like a peacock owning 2018 already in month number two. Except I'm not doing that. Oops. 

February is...

The month when I remember the passing of the late great Karen Carpenter. She left this earth 35 years ago on February 4th, 1983. 35 flipping YEARS?! *sobs* 






February is...

The month of lurrrrve, romance, hearts, flowers and all that mushy stuff. Not into it. That's surprising, yeah? But Mickey Blue Eyes did present me with some lovely chocolates from Aldi, and I didn't get him anything. Therefore I decided a Facebook photo with a lovey dovey frame would have to do. And that is what I like to call romance, people. 








February is...

A month in which I have done so many exciting things. Including:


  • Washing windows
  • Tidying the linen cupboard
  • Mopping floors
  • Washing truckloads of dishes
  • Folding vast mountains of clothes
  • Borrowing library books
  • Reading library books
  • Writing lists
  • Writing draft blog posts then never publishing them
  • Going to a shrink appointment
  • Going to a GP appointment
  • Going grocery shopping
  • Making beds
  • Cooking food
  • Eating food

And yeah, I think we're done with the bullshit bullet points. I'm sure you're all suitably jealous now. Snorts. 

February is...

The month after January. Conversely, it's also the month BEFORE March. I always feel the need to include a glaring Captain Obvious moment in my posts. Because why not?  January is my birthday month, so February is my one year and one month birthday. Or something. I don't know. I'm just making this up. 

What else have I been up to in this plodding fast-paced February? I'm glad you asked. The fact that you didn't is only a minor detail. I'll tell you anyway. You're very welcome. 

Recently I borrowed a book from the library called The Housewife's Handbook. See bullet list.  Inside, I found a newspaper clipping with a headline that went something like: "Fair distribution of assets when a marriage fails". 

Evidently someone who borrowed the book before me was also trying to be a top notch housewife. Until the day they decided, screw this, and promptly filed for divorce. I'd like to think that this woman (because only a woman would borrow such a book, I suspect) is now currently sunning herself on a beach in Greece a la Shirley Valentine. 

Meanwhile, I've been a contented little (or not so little) housewife of late. I've been merrily cleaning away. (Again, see bullet list). The other week, Mickey Blue Eyes, looking very concerned, asked me why. You'd think it was totally out of character or something!

Clearly he thought I'd either invited guests without telling him, or completely lost my marbles. Well, it definitely wasn't the former. So yeah, I'm wondering how long will it be before I wish to join my imaginary 'Shirley' on that beach? I think I'll keep Mickey Blue Eyes, though. Hopefully we'll get to that beach together at some point. 

In the meantime, farewell to you, February. Until we meet again. Same time next year. Can you please leave quietly and not incinerate us on your way out? Thank you. 

Now bring on March! 

What is February to you?

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Favourite Weather


Hello again!  Here I am, back to thrill you with the most scintillating topic:

The weather! 


Specifically, my favourite weather. All I know is, it certainly isn't 47 degrees celcius (or 116.6 fahrenheit, according to an internet converter)!!! Yuck!

This temperature happened here a few weeks ago when NSW officially became the hottest place on Earth.  Yeah, screw that.  That shit is only for satan. Whew. Not fun. Not fun AT ALL. I'd quite like to keep my face attached to my skull, instead of it melting off, thanks very much. Not keen on death by drowning in my own sweat either. 



Image crhttp://www.nedmartin.org/v3/amused/in-gods-kitchenedit: 


Although, I don't really enjoy extreme cold either. I'm an in-between kind of girl.

When it comes to weather, I am Goldilocks. I like it 'just right'!

And since we're talking about Goldilocks, what was her problem anyway? Sneaking into the three bears house and eating their porridge? Who does that? Not cool, Goldilocks!

I know what you're thinking. Calm down, Ness. She was just a character in fairytale and she was lost and hungry or something. Besides, bears don't actually have houses, nor eat porridge. Get a life.

Um. OK. Good point.

So yeah. Weather.

This heat bullshit is exactly that. Utter unmitigated bullshit. We even had a thunderstorm that was more like a mini cyclone! I quite like the odd thunderstorm, but that bordered on scary.

These last few days have been blissfully cooler. On Sunday,  we took a day trip up to the Central Coast to visit friends, and yesterday I celebrated my birthday with a buffet lunch. It must have the been the first birthday in my now 47 years that it hasn't been a scorcher. 

However, the temperatures are set to soar again by the end of the week. Apparently, anyway. Save me! Oh well, no point in complaining about things you can't control. But that doesn't stop me. Ahem. 

So, like Goldilocks. I will find the place where it's just right. And by just right, I mean air-conditioned. And I'll remind myself that Autumn is on it's way. Yay! 

What about you?

What's your favourite weather? 


Monday, 8 January 2018

One Word: 2018 Edition


Good morning, groovers and shakers. Hustlers and movers. Artists and makers. And, you know, everyone. Because of course everyone reads my blog. 😉

A Merry New Year to you all. Can't remember if I said that last time. If I did, it still applies and is worth saying again. I say merry because we can't be happy all the time but we can be merry. Oh wait, is that the same thing? Oh well. Enough about that. 

In keeping with new years, comes the whole 'new year, new me' thing. Additionally there is also the 'one word' phenomenon. The way it works is, you choose a word which is meant to encapsulate your year. A kind of a theme or guide, so to speak. Something like that anyway. I'm probably not explaining it properly.

At any rate, my usual tendency when faced with such frivolities (or important rituals, depending on your point of view), would be to eye roll and dismiss it as claptrap. Because, let's face it, claptrap is, in itself, just a great word. As is codswallop. However, they are not the usual suspects when it comes to choosing your 'one word'. It's the common practice to choose something a little more uplifting.

I certainly wouldn't want my whole  year to be defined by codswallop, while at the same time, I would rather like the opportunity to say such a word at decent intervals throughout the proceedings. I'm weird like that. 

Therefore: codswallop.

Right. Hopefully I have gotten that out of my system for now. Moving on.

In the interest of being a bit more open to things and less cynical, I thought I'd have a crack at this one word malarkey last year. The word I chose was:

MOVE.

Um. Yeah. That didn't go as planned.

Well, there was SOME movement, but not nearly as much as I would have hoped.  But you know what? I am not going to berate myself for this. You know why? I have decided that my one word for 2018 will be...

Drum roll, please...

COMPASSION.

Image credit: http://mallorybecker.com/self-compassion/


With particular emphasis on self-compassion.  You see, I have this inner mean girl who mocks, taunts and castigates me constantly. Yet I would never do such a thing to another human being. What is that all about?

I have gotten somewhat better at thanking my mind for some of these jibes, and then just moving on. This is a practice derived from ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy). So I feel that taking this practice a bit further with some self-compassion on the side will be quite beneficial. That's the plan anyway. 


Image credit: https://www.slideshare.net/marva78/selfcompassion-60420359


I expect it will be uphill work. When you've lived with your inner mean girl for almost 47 years (next week), it's not gonna happen overnight. It will be a work in progress and we'll see how it goes this time next year. It's truly a lifelong thing, isn't it? But this year is about setting it all up for the rest of my life, however long that is. 

And hopefully when I am being much nicer to myself that will help to motivate me to move more. I will be more likely to do the things that benefit and nourish me. Instead of thinking of myself as a fat, lazy sloth creature for not moving, I will tell myself that it's not easy but I can do it. I like the sound of that. Wish me luck! 

What about you?

What do you think of this 'one word' phenomenon? 


Do you have a word for 2018? 

Monday, 1 January 2018

Goodbye To 2017

Happy new year, dear reader! I'm sure it will happy some of the time anyway. Except when it's not. Because that's kind of how life is. If your life is always happy then please leave a comment telling me what drugs you're on and where I can get them.

Meanwhile, before I get on with this year I wanted to tell you a bit about the year just gone. 

In 2017 I: 

January: Curly hair.



  • Slept for hours. And had the weirdest dreams EVER. 
  • Folded MOUNTAINS of washing because I have SUCH a glamorous life.
  • Made the weekly pilgrimage to Aldi because I have to get my excitement somehow.
  • Started the year with curly hair and finished with spiky hair. 
  • Ate lots of bad food.
  • Ate lots of good food. 
  • Got a new shrink because apparently I am still demented.
  • Felt anxious in K Mart.
  • Felt calm in Coles.
  • Drank a billion cups of tea.
  • Borrowed tonnes of books from the library then forgot to take them back on time.
  • Drank cappucinos while sitting on orange chairs under fluorescent lights. 
  • Daydreamed.
  • Wrote pointless lists.
  • Wrote purposeful lists. 
  • Chose my 'one word': MOVE.
  • Decided to take this word as more of a light suggestion in favour of other entrancing words, such as REFINED CARBOHYDRATES and SLOTH. 
  • Pondered important questions.
  • Pondered trivial questions.
  • Prayed I didn't have cancer again. And I don't even believe in God. Weird.
  • Had my tits crushed. I didn't have cancer. YAY! 
  • Had a tooth ripped out. Which is always fun. Said no one ever.
  • Drank lots of Bailey's Coffee Liqueur in Wagga Wagga.
  • Drank champagne in the south of France.
  • Made stuff up. Like that last point. Incidentally I have no idea why the south of the France is supposed to be better than anywhere else in France. I'm never likely to find out either. Sigh.
  • Wrote in a two dollar journal from KMart with glitter pens from Aldi.  Yes, I know. There was no need for me boast about such things. We've already established how lavish my life is. 
  • Passed a lady at the shops wearing a vivid multi-coloured sparkly kaftan with her hair dyed just as many colours and thought she's probably quite fun to have as a friend. Or a complete nut. One or the other. 



November: Spiky hair. 

And I could go on and on, but it's obvious what an eventful year 2017 was for me. So it is with a wistful heart that I say farewell to you, 2017. No, we will never meet again, except in my memories. Well, let's face it,  not even there particularly, because I have a brain like a sieve. So it's a firm goodbye. You were neither good, nor bad. Just meh. Boring. Beige. But I didn't mind a bit of beige. I've had quite enough of pink, thank you very much. 

Let's see what 2018 brings. Be nice, 2018! 

What about you?

What did you do in 2017?