Showing posts with label Life This Week. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life This Week. Show all posts

Monday, 19 June 2017

My First Concert

There have been many times in my life when I have wondered wistfully why I was born in 1971. This meant that only a year later in 1972, I was one year old. Yep, I'm a genius, but we already knew that. You see, 1972 was the one and only time that the Carpenters visited and performed in Australia. Sigh.

I would have LOVED to have been there right in the middle of the mosh pit! Oh okay, there was no mosh pit. I suspect they're overrated anyway. Who wants to waste time with all that when they could have been transfixed by every note and Karen Carpenter behind her drums?

Apparently their concert was broadcast on Channel 7. The black and white footage is floating around on Youtube, so at least there's that.

When ABBA mania hit Australia in 1977, I seemed to be oblivious. This was In spite of my enthusiastic singing into a hair brush pretending to be Agnetha, just like every other six year old Aussie girl. So I never got to see the fab four either. In fact, I don't distinctly remember what my first concert was. I'm a tragic person. 



The luckiest little fan wasn't me.  Sigh. 




My auntie took me to see the stage musical CATS when I was approximately 14 or so, but that's a little different I guess. Around that same time, I was utterly DEVASTATED because The Nolans (in the mood for dancing, anyone?) were performing at Rooty Hill RSL (classy!) and I couldn't go because I was underage. Cutting edge taste in music all the way, as you can see. Of course it's a mystery why, being such a cutting edge rebel and all that, I didn't just sneak out and fake my age to get in. I'm such an enigma.

Ultimately I ended up seeing the following musicals/shows:


  • CATS
  • Anything Goes
  • The Rocky Horror Show
  • Phantom Of The Opera
  • Les Miserables
  • Rasputin
  • Carousel 
My memory is bit patchy about most of the above, to be honest. I mean, it's hard to remember yesterday let alone thirty years ago. Or is that just me?

Additionally I attended the following concerts:

  • Simply Red
  • INXS
  • Midnight Oil
  • Gloria Estefan
  • Michael Buble
  • Barbra Streisand
And a few other Aussie groups...

I suspect that Simply Red was the first one and I ended up seeing them twice, so I guess I like them. I haven't listened to them in YEARS though. Weird. 

Something that strikes me is the price of concert tickets. I often see some lucky Carpenters fans sharing their vintage concert tickets in Facebook fan groups. The prices on them are so ridiculously cheap. Around five bucks fifty or something. Nowadays they're so frightfully expensive. Oh well, just as well I'm not really into mosh pits and the whole scene.

To be perfectly honest I wouldn't say that a typical rock concert is really my thing. Surprising, right? Shut up.  I don't do well with loud noise and crowds due to my sensory issues. However, I would have loved to hear Karen Carpenter's voice in person. And that will never happen. It will be one of my lifelong sorrows. Cue weepy violin music... Or mournful meandering oboes because that's a Carpenters trademark. I love it. Again, I reiterate - shut up. 





So excuse me while I go and watch the above Youtube video and pretend it's 1972.  Is there a problem with that? 

What was your first concert? 

Monday, 22 May 2017

How I Learn Best

Good morning, dear people! Today I will be talking about learning. Pacifically, how I learn best. Except I meant 'specifically'. I have learnt that much. I'm so funny!  Humorous type funny. Also, you know, funny...

Anyway, onto the learning thing. Should be a short post. Related: I never learn. Just kidding. I do. Sort of Well, sometimes. For example, the specifically vs pacifically thing. However, I'm asking
the intriguing question: how do I learn best? 

This is because it's today's prompt for  Life This Week. If it were up to me I'm more likely to ask the question: can today be cancelled so we can all go back to bed? No? HMPH. 

I had to think about this, because to be honest I'm not really sure how I learn best. Most likely through reading. But how did I learn to read? 


I was always a  patchy learner. This is due to the fact that I hyper focus on things that interest me and completely tune out if they don't. I'm weird. 

Additionally, I could still manage to bomb in exams. Even in subjects that interest me. It's a gift, people! Apparently, many autistic people are visual thinkers, but I tend to think mostly in language. Maybe a bit of both. 

Unfortunately, I often tuned out when I was at school and missed entire lessons. There was also those occasions when I read a sneaky book under the desk, but we won't talk about that... I can't focus or concentrate for long periods, or focus on more than one thing at a time. 

If I'm given verbal instructions I forget, so having stuff written down or reading something works best for me. My mum taught me to read by sounding the words out. (which answers my earlier question...). I seemed to be a natural reader and speller. When it came to other subjects like maths and science I just tuned out. I simply didn't care. Who knows what goes on in this brain of mine. It's a vacuum up there. 





These days I'm not involved in any sort of formal learning and I have to admit I struggle big time to be of assistance with my kids homework or assessment tasks. It's very embarrassing and disconcerting.

Occasionally, I have these awful dreams where I'm back at school and/or having to do exams. I always wake up in a panic. I guess the academic world wasn't meant for me. Also, I always knew emphatically that I could never be a teacher. I admire and respect people who are because it's beyond my capabilities. 


Thinking about it, I have come to the conclusion that I'm mostly a slow learner. It's always taken me longer than others to do certain things, such as learning to drive. I was never the type of a person who could pick things up easily and bluff my way through assignments or exams. I had a friend at school who could do that. She would put in minimal effort, often not even turning up for most of the school year and then still come dux almost every year. It was really quite extraordinary. 

Of course I do love to read. So I guess reading is my preferred way of learning. Besides, what I lack in academic ability I make up for by being stupendously GORGEOUS. 




Um, I just compared myself to a dog... But luckily dogs are awesome. All good! 

What about you?

How do you learn best? 

Are you really, really, ridiculously good looking? 

Monday, 15 May 2017

Do You Eat Your Feelings?

Hello there, strangers! Yes, it's little 'ole me, back to entertain you after a bit of a break that went on longer than the school holidays. But you get that. Things to do. Places to go. People to see. That sort of thing. Except there wasn't. Unless my family, grocery shopping and scrolling mindlessly through Facebook count. See? I told you. All such important things. Yes, indeed. Such a fascinating and action-packed life I lead.

Anyway, I lied. I'm not so little. Oops. This is likely due to the fact that, in addition to all of the above, I have also been busily eating all of my  feelings. Every single one of them. They all taste suspiciously like cakies. Sadness = cakies.  Happiness = cakies. Boredom = cakies. Joy = cakies. Stressed? Eat a cakie. Relaxing? Best way to do so is with enough sugary carbs to induce a diabetic coma... You get the picture. 

Which segues neatly to this week's Life This Week prompt:

My favourite junk food. 

I bet you can't guess. Drum roll, please...

Chocolate!

Haha! Tricked you! 

Chocolate AND cake. What a surprise. With an honourable mention of hot chips. Because who doesn 't love hot chips with chicken salt and/or gravy? Shut up, all you low carb/no carb fanatics. No one wants to hear about it. Just go and eat your salad and be sad. Or smug and energetic and glowing. I'm not jealous AT ALL.


Image credit:https://www.facebook.com/ithinkmymomsgonecrazy/?pnref=story


Yep, basically I am addicted to sugar and all carbs. 

Needless to say, my trysts with the dietition are going splendidly well. Using 'splendidly well' in the sense of  are a complete and utter charade.

At my last visit I had managed to lose a whopping one kilo, but heavens knows how many more I have since put on. Sigh.

Don't you just hate people who whinge about being fat while they shovel anything that isn't nailed down into their gobs? Just quietly, people who whinge about being fat while being nothing of the kind are worse. This was also me some years ago. DOH.

It occurs to me that I never had significant issues with food when I when I was younger. Especially when I was still living with my parents. However, these days I am the person who is primarily responsible for everything food related. I have to do the grocery shopping, cook the meals and feed a family. 

This means that it often feels like all I ever think about is food. I don't find this very helpful. It appears that I have no impulse control when it comes to my eating habits. Additionally, I am now the mother of teenage boys. They constantly eat. They also never put on weight. I seem to have some sort of delusion that I'm also a gangly teenage boy, instead of an overweight middle aged woman. 

Yeah, I know. I need a gigantic kick up the you know what. It's quite obvious from what I have told you that I am the one who buys or bakes the cakies (except when my mum does...),  and I don't want to confront my addiction. I'd rather act like a petulant three year old, sulking in the corner because she can't have cake for breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. And snacks...

Plus, most of the stuff that I like to do, such as reading or writing, is quite sedentary. Why couldn't I have been one of these sporty types? 

Oh, well. Enough of my whinging. I'll plod back to the dietitian and see what happens. She also suggested counselling and I was a bit meh about it. I've been backwards and forwards to shrinks and counselors for years and then basically had to figure out I'm autistic myself! But maybe it's not such a bad idea.

It's either that or wiring my jaw shut. Too extreme? 


Of course I could decide to hell with it, who cares what size I am. I certainly could not care less about anyone else's weight or size, so why torture myself? The thing is, though, I've had breast cancer, am on medication for high cholesterol and have a family history of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, keeping my weight within a reasonable range is actually rather important. DAMMIT. 

So I guess my food/weight issues are not going anywhere... Well, except for my waist, thighs etc... Eventually I may have the maturity and emotional intelligence to realise that I can just FEEL my feelings and leave the cakies the hell out of it. Hopefully before I'm around 75 years old and morbidly obese.  More sighs.

But I suspect cakies will always remain my favourite junk food.

What's yours? 


Are you an emotional eater? 

Linking up for Life This Week. 

Monday, 27 March 2017

Three Month Review

Welcome to yet another Monday! Isn't 2017 just FLYING BY?! It's almost April! This seems like the perfect time to have a three month review.

Drum roll, please...

Here we go.

JANUARY

We start the year off fiiiiiine....

No wait. That's a Neil Sedaka song. I can't even remember how we started the year. Um. I think we stayed up until midnight on NYE (we like to be divergent), heard some fireworks and went to bed.

Two weeks later, I turned 46. Prior to this,  I enjoyed a girl's day out to the central coast with a few friends, to celebrate my friend Kimmy's birthday.

I chose my one word for the year. MOVE. I am happy to report that is working out quite well. The fact that the movement is at a glacial pace is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT.

Meanwhile, the persiflage is firing away rapidly. Panglossian is making a guest appearance, in a somewhat redolant fashion. I must hasten to fix this transgression forthwith. It would appear that I have recently watched a Bronte sisters biopic called To Walk Invisible, as well as too many episodes of Downton Abbey. Yet, this cannot be so. It is entirely impossible to do such a thing. In fact, quite the opposite. You can NEVER watch too much Downton Abbey. Absurd!

During the month of January I also shared some thoughts about routines. The following conclusion was reached: I am really quite awful at them. Sigh.


FEBRUARY

This is the month after January and before March. I expect this will be thrilling and startling information. By now, school had resumed. Mr 13 began high school, where he is settling in nicely. Suddenly, Valentine's Day was upon us. But I didn't care because Valentine's Day is bullshit. And so are Mills & Boon romances according to my former high school English teacher. I told you all about it here.

Meanwhile, my gluttony continued unabated. Look, I'm not proud of myself, but it's the truth. Eventually I made the herculean effort to drag my hefty frame back to the dietitian, whereupon she weighed me. Aghast, I stared at the number on the scales. It was at that defining moment that I realised this: it's only a number, albeit a distressing one. This only reinforces my word. Also: enough with the gluttony. After just one more slice of cake....

What else can I tell you about  February? I know! It is also the month that I spelled wrong for a number of years. Damn that second 'r'!  During this fanciful month, I wrote a letter to a kindred spirit before pausing to take stock.

The shortest month of the year was over before I knew it.  This brings us to...


MARCH

There were a couple of notable happenings during this illustrious month.

Firstly, I had a follow up appointment with my radiation oncologist. Everything was good and he now doesn't need to see me again. I will continue to see my surgeon every year for the first five years, after which, I can go back to just seeing my GP. Mammograms are recommended to continue yearly forever, though, instead of every two years. This will happen again in August, and my surgeon appointment is in early September.

In other March madness, Mr 12 became Mr 13! My  boys are growing up!

Over the weekend I attended an old school chum's birthday bash, where we were served cocktails by a butler in the buff. I didn't even make that up. I really was there with my resting bitch face on. In my usual fashion, I also forgot to take photos and managed to dodge most of the others' photos. Ninja-like introvert talents FTW!

It also came to my attention that this March marks the fifth birthday of this humble space thatI like to call Nessville! Happy birthday to me! Um, I mean... MY blog. About ME.  So I get the cake. NER!

So endeth my three month review.

I think I will give myself an A plus. Because I CAN.

What about you? How would you review your first three months of 2017?  Have they been A plus? Please share!  

Monday, 13 March 2017

True Colours

Some people love all the colours of the rainbow, but only if they are strictly in rainbow order (you know who you are).  Others favour vivid, intense colours. Bright reds and purples. I think I'm an Earthy girl. Or, you know, boring...

I seem to be drawn to subtle shades of mint or sage green. Teals and olives. 

I've always thought of myself as not being much of a pink person, which is funny because I'm a breast cancer survivor.  However, I guess I did have a sort of pink, girly bedroom as a child/teen. Well, actually it was more of a soft peachy apricot with pink undertones. But this was the 80s, so it could have been worse. I could have had hideous floral wallpaper... Oh wait... I did at one stage. 

Anyway, after doing some lazy googling comprehensive research about my colour preference I have discovered this:

There is a good deal of nonsense on the internet. Who knew? 


Related: I found  this website.

In summary, supposedly people who favour green are natural among groups, love to join in and always know what to say and do...

Um. No. No, I don't.

Also; this: 

Having a personality color green means you are strong-willed and do not like to be told what to do by others. You do like to win arguments and do not concede defeat easily.

Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha! NO. 

I avoid arguments and confrontations like hipsters avoid gluten.  

 But then, this:

With a personality color green you are not a risk-taker and not action orientated, rather more of an observer. You love to sit in a café and watch the world go by.

Well, okay. Yes. Fair call. Except I like to sit in a cafe eating cake. Get it right, Internet! 

Then this site goes on to explain that if you DISLIKE green, you:


  • Are not a social joiner.



  • Are not particularly interested in nature.



  • Are a loner, preferring solitude to crowds. 


Overall this sounds MUCH more like me. Crazy old Internet. And Google is supposed to know everything! 

Personally, I think I am just a mummy's girl and my mum's preference has always been for greens. But I also like blues. Especially teals and blue greens. Just to mix it up a bit.  

Mr 8 is a funny old thing when it comes to colours. He frequently quizzes me about his favourites. For a long time it was red. Now he's progressed to purple. The brighter the better for this boy. 

When it comes to clothing, I'm the opposite to Mr 8. I  prefer to wear basic black. Having said that, a quick rummage in my wardrobe reveals that the majority of my rags pieces ARE black, but there is also a fair amount of red. Because red goes with black. Duh.  And even though I'm not really interested in soccer, the rest of my family support the Western Sydney Wanderers, so at least I'm showing some sort of solidarity by wearing their colours.  




Over the years I've discovered that pale colours do not suit me. I am originally a natural redhead with fair skin, so I look washed out in pastels. Black and brighter colours are the go. Greens do suit me, because I have green eyes. Fascinating information, I am sure. 


Anyway, according to the above website, if you favour black it means (among other things):

You may appear intimidating to even your closest colleagues and friends, with an authoritarian, demanding and dictatorial attitude.


*SNORTS* 

Yeah, nah. I don't think I'm intimidating to anyone, even the dog. Or an ant. Or a shadow...

But I have been known to do this:






Now, if you'll excuse me, there are some piles of black clothing that need putting away.

What are your favourite colours? 

What do you think they say about you? 


Monday, 6 March 2017

Must Watch TV

Howdy folks! I am back to talk about must watch TV. 

This time last year my must watch TV was the entire five seasons of Downton Abbey.  You can't really do much when you are being poisoned having chemo, so that was it for me.  

The thing is, I must be the only tragic person in the entire universe who doesn't have Netflix or Stan or Presto, or any of these new-fangled things. So my television viewing is limited to free to air. GASP. Imagine being so broke retro! 

Of late, I have found myself drawn to watching all those true crime documentary type programmes. Murder Uncovered and the like. I totally hate myself and feel icky afterwards.  But it's a bit like passing a car accident, you feel compelled to look yet horrified and ashamed of yourself...

Okay, I've never actually done that. Slowed down to gawk at an accident.... but I can't seem to help myself with these true crime shows. It's a sickness. 

Conversely, I also find myself watching reruns of As Time Goes By starring Dame Judi Dench.  This show sort of slipped by me the first time around. Probably because I was in my 20s back in the 90s and imagined it to be a tedious show about a bunch of crusty old octogenarians. Fast forward a couple of decades and I'm a nanna before my time. I'm loving it. 

Although I always did love The Golden Girls right from the beginning, so I was a nanna even then. Unnecessary details, as I like to say. 

I can't stand all these reality shows. I'd rather watch anything than I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here or My Kitchen Rules. Just the ads for these shows make me want to break out in hives. 

Actually, I lie. I have watched snippets of Married At First Sight because Mickey Blue Eyes watches it from time to time. Shhhhhhh, don't tell him I told you.

The five minutes I saw of it the other night seemed to involve people talking about each other behind each other's backs and someone insisting that a dude should 'come out of his shell'.  Cue eye rolls from me. I HATE that expression. I can't imagine why anyone would go on these shows. 

I do need to find me some good comedy shows to watch. Any suggestions? 

Also, some period drama to replace Downton.  I need this in my life. Binge watching is actually fabulous, but the only time I've done it was when I was sick and supine from chemo. What am I like?

Meanwhile, I need to move my body not indulge in more couch potato shenanigans. Perhaps I need to move my dusty old treadmill to a prime position in front of the TV?  Or get a stationary bike. Those things always hurt my ample arse. But then, I haven't used one since approximately 1984 or something, when my parents had one. My bum was small then, so the seat must have been REALLY small. 


But enough about bums. Back to TV. 

My favourite shows as a kid were I Dream Of Jeannie and Bewitched, which probably explains a lot.

I don't actually even know who a lot of actors/celebrities are these days. I'm so out of the loop with it all. Uninformed. Oblivious. Deprived. It's quite tragic, really.  Cue all the violin music. 


Maybe I should start a Get Ness Netflix fund. It's a worthwhile charity, I think.  Never mind those starving children. My binge watching is MUCH more important. 

What else can I say about must watch TV?

Oh, yes! Remember the old mini-series of the 1980s? Think The Thorn Birds or Lace.  They were always so melodramatic and you had to wait until the next evening to see the finale. 


My favourite was Anne Of Green Gables from circa 1985, starring Megan Follows and Colleen Dewhurst.  Those were the days! 

Kids today will never know the excruciating anticipation of waiting A WHOLE TWENTY FOUR HOURS for the gripping finale of a drama. They're totally spoiled with all this immediate gratification. 

Anyway, apparently I've already blathered on about my guilty TV pleasures before. It has already been confirmed that I'm an airhead who doesn't watch anything meaningful. Oh, well. Never mind.

I still have the entire five seasons of Downton. Who needs anything else? I need to watch it again to see if it's just as good when you're not poisoned. Oooohhh, I can already hear the dramatic them music! 

I love it!

Catch you later. I have some binge re-watching to do! 

What is your must watch TV? 


Monday, 27 February 2017

Taking Stock - February Edition



Making : Cups of tea. They do not make themselves. I'm expected to pour boiling water over a teabag. HMPH. I need a lie down after that. 

Cooking : Last week I made roast lamb and vegies and a penne bolognaise pasta bake.  My children actually ate them! Excuse my excitement over such a trivial thing, but this literally never happens. 


Drinking : Tea, water, wine. In that order of priority. I know! I need to change my priorities. Wine should be first! 

Reading: Lots of different library books. 


Trawling: The library shelves. 


Wanting: More time to read all of the above books.


Looking: More like a nanna than ever. A very plump old nanna named Mavis. Maybe I should take up knitting?


Deciding:  Whether to cut my fro short or keep letting it grow. Thoughts? 


Wishing: I wasn't quite so self-absorbed. I'm not, am I?DOH. 


Enjoying: The cooler weather.


Waiting: For our hot water service to be fixed. It died a few days ago and we have no hot water. Fun times. 

Liking: The cooler weather. See: Enjoying. I even ate soup yesterday! Yes, I do need get out more...


Wondering: Where I would go to get out more... Besides the library...


Loving: Saturday sleep-ins. There are good things about having teenagers. 


Pondering: What to make for dinner. It's always about food for me. Shut up.

Listening: To the Today show blathering on about the Oscars.

Considering: What to type here. I have such a boring life I need to make something up.... Nup. Sorry. Got nothing. 


Buying: Groceries and not much else. Boring! See above. 


Watching: True Crime documentaries and reruns of As Time Goes By. Did I mention I'm boring? 


Hoping: I haven't had put you to sleep with my boring as batshit life.


Marvelling: That anyone would still be here reading this. You are? Aren't you nice! 


Cringing: At the number on the scales when I went back to the dietitian last Thursday. Oops. 


Needing: The number on the scales to go down. 


Questioning: Why weight isn't like height. It should get to the healthy range for your height and STAY THERE FOREVER. So rude! 

Smelling: This excellent stuff I bought for my fro. It's called Frizz No More. Totally excellent. Except for one TINY thing. They should have left the word 'No' out of it. Related: My fro is frizzier than ever.  


Wearing: I have a certain style at the moment. It's called 'whatever still fits'. 


Noticing: That hardly anything fits at the moment. See above. Again; OOPS. 


Knowing: I will need to buy new clothes, but I don't want to buy larger ones. Sigh. 


Thinking: I should probably think about something besides food.... Ummmmmmm...


Admiring: Mr 12 (soon to be 13) for making the transition to high school this year smoothly so far. Proud of him! 

Getting: Off my arse to exercise. No, really! I did, yesterday. Consequently I am very sore today. But I will be going back for more. 

Bookmarking: Um. Nothing. 


Disliking: The heat, the number on the scales, having no hot water, endless bills... yada, yada, yada. 


Opening: Bills! GAH.


Closing: My eyes. You know, just to rest them a bit... I don't need a nanna nap... no way... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Feeling: Tired (see above). Bored. Brilliant. Ebullient. Listless. Blah. Then brilliant again. Yep, still my moody self. Yay. 


Hearing: News on the telly. 


Celebrating: Mr 12 will be Mr 13 in a few weeks.

Pretending: I'm normal. At least, I try. Have I fooled you?

 
Embracing: Mr 8. He asked me for a hug this morning and said "Can we hug for five hours?" Lasted about 30 seconds. 



And there you have it. That's me 'taking stock' this fine February. 

What have you been embracing and feeling in February? Um, yeah that....??

Monday, 13 February 2017

Mrs Picklebottom Is Properly Horrified

Well hello, groovers and shakers. Or shakers and groovers, either way works. I'm back to talk all about LUURRRRVE.

Today is the 13th of February. See how sharp I am? This means that tomorrow is the 14th (razor sharp!), and you know what that means?!!

Yep, it's just another day. Well, it is to me. But for some folk, it's the most romantic day of the year: Valentine's Day. 

This means that Mickey Blue Eyes will be getting some very special treatment tomorrow. I might even make him a sandwich. And, when I serve up the burnt sausages and veg for dinner, I'll even do a little tomato sauce love heart. I'm thoughtful like that. 




Why am a such a cynical little soul? I mean, considering I love the Carpenters who usually sung about love. Birds suddenly appearing, sharing horizons and all that shit.  I guess I'm a weird mass of contradictions. 

The thing is, I don't really need a bunch of over priced roses to know that  my husband loves me. After all, why would he put up with my Carpenters addiction. That shit must be maddening.  Poor bastard. 

I will, however, take a million dollars and a life time supply of chocolate. I'm not greedy. 

Truthfully, I did fall in love for the first time at the tender age of around seven or eight. As soon as we touched I was besotted. My eyes met with the object of my affection and it was love at first sight.

I couldn't wait to meet with my new love for our daily trysts. We were together all the time. In bed. At school. Under the desk. In the playground. Parting was always heartbreaking. It was like leaving a piece of me behind whenever I forgot my books. Yes, books. What did YOU think I was talking about?

Forget about playing kiss/chasey in the playground, when you can sit in the corner with a book! Besides, fictional boys are better. Case in point: Gilbert Blythe. Swoooon. I wouldn't have minded if he'd called ME carrots! 

Books were definitely the first love of my life. This continued into my teens. When I was in Year 9, I had this English teacher. As you do. Honestly, I can't even remember her name, so I should probably make something up.

Let's just call her Mrs Picklebottom. Because if you're going to make up a name, it might as well be something ridiculous.  Now, since this blog is just me repeating myself ad nauseam, there's a good chance I've told this story before. But it's a good one, so here it is again...

It was during this particular time in my life that I enjoyed reading Mills & Boon romances.  Before you judge me, bear in mind that we didn't have the internet in 1985, so I had to find out about sex somewhere. I certainly wasn't the type to be off 'pashing' and being fingered behind the demountables. No judgement whatsoever if you were. I certainly hope you enjoyed it. Just wasn't my thing. So I stuck to the books. 

Mrs Picklebottom was completely horrified by my choice of reading material. So much so, that she immediately contacted my mother and demanded a meeting. The next thing you know, my bewildered mother was being informed by Mrs Picklebottom that allowing girls to read these type of novels would make them grow up to think that if they have sex and have an orgasm, they're in love! 

As my late aunt pointed out when Mum told her, you can have an orgasm masturbating, and it doesn't mean you're in love with your hand! I wish mum had sent my aunt to the meeting. Would have been interesting. 

At this point, I must apologise to my mother, some thirty odd years later. I certainly cannot imagine having to have such a conversation with a teacher. Mum replied that she disagreed. She thought it was just a phase I'd grow out of.

This proved to be true, as I no longer read Mills & Boon  novels. Enid Blyton and LM Montgomery on the other hand... 

Shhhhhhhh, don't tell anyone! 

I can't help thinking that if Mrs Picklebottom is still out there teaching high school English, she would have imploded at the Fifty Shades series. Not to mentions teens ready access to internet porn these days. 

However, maybe Mrs Picklebottom had a point. It was just a clumsy delivery. It's entirely possible that romance novels DO set people up for unrealistic expectations about love. 

That is my whole problem with Valentine's Day. It's so phoney and commercial.  Personally we don't celebrate it. We prefer to leave it for our wedding anniversary which has more personal meaning to us. We'll celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary in November instead. 

One other thing, if you're single and feeling a bit crap because it's Valentine's Day and everyone is posting all their loved up stuff on Facey. Don't. Or, at least, don't feel crap for longer than five minutes. Feel the crappy stuff, then move on.  

Those couples enjoying a romantic meal near the beach will be the same ones who'll be pissed off with each other the next day for forgetting to replace the toilet roll. Incidentally, it's me who always forgets to replace the toilet roll in this house, not Mickey Blue Eyes. Oops. Sorry! 

So I think I finally understand what Mrs Picklebottom was saying. Love isn't about hearts and flowers on one arbitrary commercial day. There is so much more to it than that. It's all the little things your partner does every day.  And the HUGE things; like supporting each other through cancer. (That's a whole other blog post...) It's been a wild 22 years, that's all I can say...

And tomato sauce love hearts are cute sometimes, too.

Maybe I'm a romantic after all? 

What are your thoughts about love, Valentine's Day and Mills & Boon novels? 

Monday, 6 February 2017

Money Tree or Faraway Tree?

It has occurred to me this morning that it's 2017 and still no one has discovered how to grow a money tree! What is that about? 

When I was younger I suppose I had some strange and very naive ideas about money. Somehow I believed that if you were a good person and didn't care about materialistic things that eventually you would be rewarded. Your fairy godmother would appear and grant you three wishes: ABRA CADABRA! You lived happily ever after!

Yes, it is handy being deluded sometimes. Except when it isn't. And you wake up one day and you're middle aged, living in a less than glamorous house, in a less than glamorous suburb, shopping at Aldi. But enough about that. After all, I don't want to make you jealous!

For as long as I can remember, my parents always had the same old conversation about winning the lotto. I'm never going to win it because I never take a ticket. So I'm waiting for my parents to win it for me and share the proceedings. Any day now... It's only been 40 odd years or so of waiting. Waiting, waiting, waiting...

About a hundred million years ago (give or take a few years), when I was very young and working, I did manage to save a chunk of money. I think I was always very sensible with it, not a spend thrift. However, it's easy to be that way when you live with your parents, don't have a car or a social life. 

There are advantages to being a born and bred 'westie'. I don't seem to value or care about a lot of things or see the point in them. A car is just a car to me. Labels mean less than nothing to me.

A couple of years ago I used to attend a now defunct writing group. The lady who ran the group was some sort of counselor or 'life coach' or something. She said that many of her clients were in so much debt, yet when she suggested that they just buy clothes at Target or K Mart they were completely horrified and insisted that they could NEVER do that! Really? I don't understand that. 

I suppose it's easy to decide you don't care about materialistic shit when you have so few employable skills. This does tend to make it rather difficult to achieve and sustain employment. I'm not sure WHY employers don't value knowing the lyrics to every Carpenters song. That is some serious skillz, people! Sniff. 

But back to money...

It seems that Mickey Blue Eyes and I have a rather old school approach to money. Which is this: avoid debt. If you can't afford it, you can't have it. The end.

Meanwhile, it seems like every other bastard (meant in the most affectionate way) is buying or building their dream home and travelling around the world. Either they have so much more money than us or so much more debt (and either way it's none of my business). Sometimes I'm left wondering if we're the stupid ones for being so wary of delightful old debt. Sigh. 

We are lucky enough to own a house but it's not exactly our dream house. But even less than glamorous houses in less than glamorous suburbs in Sydney are worth a bit these days. The problem is, the next house would be worth MORE.

That's the thing about living in Sydney. I genuinely have no interest in a big fuck off McMansion. I've visited a couple of exhibition homes and all the bright, shiny whiteness makes this old Aspie seasick. But even a relatively modest home in Sydney is so frightfully expensive! What is a simple soul to do? 

We could always move to Dubbo. But I better not give Mickey Blue Eyes any ideas...

Anyway, there is a saying: where ever you go, there you are. As long as I have my health, family and some books it's all good.  Who needs a money tree as long as you have the faraway tree? 

What are your thoughts about money and debt? 

Monday, 30 January 2017

My Thoughts About Routines.

Hello lovelies! I'm back again. The school term has started in my part of the world. And I was ready. Not sure that my boys were, but they'll survive. 

I now have two high school boys, in year ten and seven, and one grade three boy. I am not allowed to post any photos of them, so you'll have to imagine how handsome they are.  That's my totally unbiased opinion!

It's a little bit dispiriting when you see all the other special parents proudly posting their back to school snaps. But I really don't like having my photo taken either, so I kind of get it. 

Anyway, this back to school thing means that I'm supposed to get back into a routine. 

BUT....

Here's the thing. I am really bad at them. It's another one of those curious Aspie dichotomies: I crave order and routine but I am rather inept and ineffectual at being the person who's supposed to be in charge of creating it. Sigh. 

I looked at Facey this morning and the first thing I saw was this article. It really resonated with me. Especially this part:


  1. Lack of executive planning skills. Executive functioning describes the skills we use to organize and plan our lives. They allow typical adults to plan schedules in advance, notice that the shampoo is running low, or create and follow a timeline in order to complete a long term project. 
  1. Most people with high functioning autism have compromised executive functioning skills, making it very tough to plan and manage a household, cope with minor schedule changes at school or at work, and so forth.

Story of my life.  

Honestly, the start of the school of the school year fills me with equal parts anticipation and trepidation.  In one way I'm glad to end the holidays, but I'm also on edge with the persistent feeling that I can't keep on top of everything that needs to be remembered and done. I always feel like I'm letting my boys down because I am not a typical multi-tasking, briskly efficient mum. 

It's a classic case of 'the blind leading the blind'. I don't know how to teach my boys to be organised because I have no idea myself.  I have calendars, diaries, lists etc and I still struggle. I am trying very hard to accept myself and work with myself instead of against myself, but being ad hoc and disorganised doesn't seem to be a very useful thing in life. Weird. 

Most of the advice out there about becoming organised or establishing routines seems to (mostly) come from naturally organised, neuro-typical type people.  I need to find the bits that work for me and discard the rest. It's all easier said than done! 

In other related news, I've been attempting to have a routine of writing 'morning pages'.  This is a process introduced by author Julia Cameron. The idea is that you write three pages each morning. You don't think about it too much, just write whatever's on your mind. A kind of a free writing, stream of consciousness type thing.

I haven't been totally successful. It's been on again off again. According to Cameron's book The Artist's Way,  this process is meant to unlock your creativity. All I seem to unlock is yet more waffling, discursive drivel. Dammit.  However, it is quite soothing to sit and write the old-fashioned way with pen and paper. Remember those? 

But anyway, whenever I get in the doldrums about all of the above I just repeat this word: 

PANGLOSSIAN. 

Panglossian. Panglossian. Panglossian.  PANGLOSSIAN! 

No, I haven't suddenly gone stark raving mad (that happened AGES ago), I'm just reminding myself of my word(s) for the year. (Look it up, it's an awesome word!) 

Besides, there was another article I read somewhere on the internet about personality traits and happiness (I can't remember which website it was to reference it... See?) and supposedly being orderly in no way correlates with happiness. Winning! 

Now I'm just going to pretend I'm organised and go and write a to-do list. And I'll definitely write the word panglossian down a few times as well. 

And before you know it, it will be school pick up time again! Later! 


What are you like with routines? 


Monday, 9 January 2017

One Word

Why hello there! And a happy new year to you! It's still January so I can say that, right? 

Apparently there is this thing where you are supposed to choose a word that is meant to define your year ahead. 

You know, something like: 

Joy
Abundance
Gratitude
Nesstacular (Okay, I made that one up) 
Hope 
Believe 
Abso-fucking-lutely (I may have watched too many episodes of SATC) 
Contentment
Eisenbahnscheinbewegung (Yes, it's totally a word according to Buzzfeed. Reliable source, no?). 
Insert any other inspiring word you can think of...

The problem is, I seem to have no words at the moment. I've logged in here a few times and started typing only to trail off and give up. Everything I wrote seemed like blah blah blah who really cares anyway and I'm boring myself so I must be boring everyone else... I. just. can't. be. bovvered. 

On the other hand, having nothing to say has never seemed to stop me before, so why all the over thinking it now? 

As long as my one word for 2017 isn't the same as it has been every other year:

CAKE.


Well, except on my birthday...  You MUST have cake on a birthday! And it's someone's birthday somewhere every day, as the joke goes... Anyway, enough about that! Moving on. 

A bit of a google search has revealed this site called My One Word. I should have known there would be a site for everything. We never have to think for ourselves thanks to dear old Google. A quick glance at their suggested words and I've got it! 

MOVE. 


I really, really need to do more of this.

About a week or so ago I actually did shit tonnes of house work (truly!). At the end of the day I looked at my fitness tracker device and I'd clocked up almost 11,000 steps! Can housework really be good for you after all??!! 


When I'm typing I'm moving my fingers, (even if it is drivel), so that's something! It's a start, anyway. 

Just to state a bit of the old Captain Obvious (because I'm always helpful like that), it's been too furiously hot to do anything besides sit there and melt. Phew! Straya! 


These outfits would never work in Straya. Shame. 


But move I must. Somehow. Eventually. I've still got a whole eleven other months of 2017 after January ends... Shut up. 

In the usual tradition of my disjointed nonsensical rambling posts, I'll just jump onto another train of thought...

I must admit I'm rather partial to a few words from that previously mentioned Buzzfeed listicle. 

I think persiflage and panglossian  are EXACTLY what I am about in 2017! In fact it's always been about persiflage on this here blog. 

DONE.

I started out with no words and came up with three to define my year! 

My word for 2017 is: 

MOVE.

With an honourable mention to PERSIFLAGE and PANGLOSSIAN.


Side note:  Just in case you couldn't be bothered reading that Buzzfeed listicle: Persiflage means frivolous and light-hearted talk; Panglossian means extreme optimism even during adversity. Perfect! 

Okey dokey, now that I've indulged in this frivolity (persiflage!) I had better actually, erm... MOVE. 

Over and out. 

Linking up for Life This Week.

What is your word for 2017?


Monday, 21 November 2016

News I Will Never Forget








Every now and again I emerge blinking and bewildered from my bubble. The little cocoon of obliviousness I have concocted in order to mosey along in this mad, mad world. 

Mostly (I'm ashamed to admit), I don't watch the news. It's a self-preservation thing. You see, I'm a bit wobbly. Beneath my placid exterior, lurks my familiar nemesis. That evil bitch known as anxiety. 

Unlike the skinny bitch inside me screaming to get out, whom I usually shut up with chocolate (BOOM, TISH), Anxiety Bitch is bit harder to tame. She screams. She lashes out. Pokes, prods and makes her evil presence known. I hate her. I'm still learning to let her rage on and not pay as much attention. It's working. Sorta, kinda.

Anyway, my point is, the news isn't my thing. For some reason it's all bad. Go figure. 

But there are certain things over the last 20 years or so that have busted into my bubble.

I do remember hearing about these things...

The Port Arthur Massacre

This was made even more horrific by the fact that Mickey Blue Eyes and I had been there just months prior while on our honeymoon. It could very easily have been us. For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, you can read about it here. We visited again five years ago with the boys. It was already an eerie place, given it's history. Now it's unspeakably sad and sinister.  

The death of Princess Diana 

I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar... 

No wait. That's an 80's song. Things get confusing when you're in and out of a bubble.

I was working in call centre for NRMA at the time. I was taking a call from a customer. Because that's what you do in that job, oddly enough. Which explains why I don't do it anymore. But I digress...

The woman on the phone was very distraught and informed me that the news of Princess Diana's death had just been reported on the news. Pretty soon everyone was talking about in it the office.  The mood was sombre. 

9/11

I was in 'Mother Of A Newborn Zombie Land' when this happened. I'd crashed early and managed to get some precious sleep. Mickey Blue Eyes came into the bedroom and woke me up beside himself. He said something about planes crashing into the World Trade Centre. I was just SO PISSED that he woke me. I failed to grasp the enormity of what was happening in my sleep deprived daze. Eventually I stumbled out to the living room. I watched the images on the screen in horror. 

The thought that echoed through my mind: What kind of a crazy arsed, fucked up world have I brought my beautiful, innocent baby into? 

Those were the things that pierced through my bubble. 

And of course recently there was the whole US election thing. I've never paid much attention in previous years, but it was kind of hard to miss it this time around. But I'm not saying another word about that. Nope. No way.

With the way 2016 has gone it won't be long until the next bit of batshit crazy news. There's still another week of November and the whole of December to get through... GULP.

If anyone needs me I'll be in my bubble. 


Linking up for Life This Week and Open Slather.


What news will you never forget? 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Are Exams Important?








 Hello, people! Welcome to another Monday! That glorious and beloved day of the week. People love Mondays! The same way they love root canal. Do you know what I'm saying?
Anyway, once again I am joining in the fun for Life This Week over at Denyse Whelan Blogs.  I missed it last week. Oops. 

Let's talk about exams! Simply because that's the prompt. Otherwise I wouldn't really talk about them. If I did I'd have two words: 

EXAMS SUCK!

I say this because I wasn't very good at them. 

Case in point: it may be hard to believe it (if this blog is anything to go by), but English was one of my best subjects in high school. However, I failed English in my HSC!

My poor mother was so astonished and dumbfounded that she truly believed there must have been some kind of mistake. She insisted that we enquire into this grave injustice.

We wrote back to check. This was back in in 1988, the time of the old snail mail.  Subsequently, I received confirmation of my abysmal results. YAY! 

EPIC FAIL.  





Every now again I still have hideous dreams (nightmares) that I'm back at school or doing exams. It's always such a relief to wake up!

Whenever I'm in a situation of being tested or having to think quickly on the spot, I can't seem to process it. It was exactly the same for me with job interviews. I'm not sure if it's an ASD thing or just a Ness thing. Either way, clearly I'm special. So very SPECIAL. 





I sometimes wonder if I'm doing the right thing as a parent, because I'm not pushy or demanding about exams or achievements. Sure, I want my boys to do their best, but I don't want them to be despondent if they don't or can't. The HSC and high school is not the be and end all of life! I don't think so, anyway. But then, I would, wouldn't I. Considering what I just revealed. Moving along...

Anyway, in my (admittedly limited) experience, no employer was ever the least bit interested in school or HSC results. I have no idea if this has changed these days. Has it? 


So that's my thoughts about exams! Deep, huh? Yeah, not really. It's obvious why I never became an academic. 

However, I feel like I should throw in an impromptu exam, just for shits and giggles. I should test YOU. But I know nothing. NOTHING!

Hang on, I know about The Carpenters!  

May I present to you the most IMPORTANT test you will ever take. 

 A Carpenters Pop Quiz: 



What were The Carpenters Christian names?: 

a) Richard and Linda.
b) Sharon and Darren.
c) Karen and Richard.

The Carpenters were one of the most successful pop music duos of all time. But how did they meet?

a) In college.
b) At the hairdressers, getting a bowl haircut.  
c) They were brother and sister!

How did they come up with the name "Carpenters"?

a) They were devoted Christians and Jesus was a Carpenter.
b) They loved woodworking
c) It was their family name. Duh. 

The Carpenters often referred to their music as being influenced by 'the three B's'. What/who were they referring to? 

a) Boring, banal, bland.*
b) Beethoven, Burt Bacharach and Barbra Streisand.
c) The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Burt Bacharach.

*(I don't think we can be friends anymore). 

Finish the lyric: Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near...?

a) They sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold and starlight in your eyes of blue . 

b) Before the rising sun, we fly.
c) Just like me, they long to be, close to you. 

During the 1970s, The Carpenters were known for voicing THE ultimate burning question of that tumultuous decade. What was it?

a) Don't you remember you told me you loved me, baby? 

b) Can't we stop hurting each other? 
c) All of the above. 

What instruments did the duo play?

a) None. They just pretended like all those dumb 70s pop groups.**
a) Glockenspiel and tambourine.
c) Piano and drums. 

**(You're pushing it).


In 1978 The Carpenters recorded a Christmas album. What was its title?

a) Christmas With The Carpenters.

b)  Merry Christmas, Darling.
c) Christmas Portrait. 


Karen Carpenter tragically died on February 4th, 1983 at just 32. How did she die? 

a) A plane crash.
b) Who cares?***
c)  Heart failure due to complications from anorexia nervosa.

***(You are officially dead to me). 


Which iconic pop star is responsible for this quote about Karen Carpenter: 
"I'm completely influenced by her harmonic sensibility."

a) Cher.
b) Michael Jackson.
c) Madonna. 

If you answered with all C's, then congratulations!

You scored A PLUS! 

As for the rest of you; take a good hard look at yourselves. What are you actually DOING with your lives?? Disgraceful! 

This is the most IMPORTANT exam! The rest are rubbish. 

You've been told. 

Now off you go and educate yourself about all things Carpenters! 

But before you go, just one tiny question...

What exactly DO 'normal' people think about and remember? Ahem.

Linking up for Life This Week. 

Also linking for  Open Slather and Mummy Mondays.

Do you think exams are important? You know, proper ones...? 

Images: Pexels; Pinterest