Tuesday, December 28, 2010
We went to North Ledge which has views out over Mundaring Weir and it was a pretty good spot but there were an awful lot of trees still in the way so we didn't have an unlimited view of the sky. But at short notice it was the best spot we could think of so we stayed put.
We arrived about half six so we still had an hour and a half of light left so I wandered about taking photos. It's such a pretty spot and it really bought back memories of when we took Boo and Mouse there when they visited us.
This was such a pretty flower. I loved the colours and also the feather type texture of the petals.
The view of the weir. I know it's probably just the wind but it looked like there was a current through some of the water.
The view out over the valley.
I liked this tree.
And this one.
As I write this, the colour of the white background of my draft page perfectly matches the colour of the sky. I can't tell where the photo ends and the page begins. I know it will be different once I've published.
The setting sunlight looked so pretty through this palm.
The valley just as the sun was dipping behind the hills.
This is the rock that we climbed all over when the Scots came to visit.
Once the sun had set, we went about putting the telescope together. I'd assumed we'd put it together before we lost the light but it was so windy that Christian decided it would be safest to do it at the last possible minute.
It didn't take us long and we were soon trying to find something in the sky to focus on. The star finder was ridiculously difficult to use and so we soon gave up, looking through the eyepiece and moving the scope about randomly. We soon discovered Jupiter and it's four biggest moons. It was very pretty and looked very much like this photo.
We had forgotten to see when the moon was rising that night and unfortunately it was rather late and so we didn't get a chance to have a practice on the moon. It seemed the most likely starting point for complete amateurs like us but I guess it shall have to wait until next month.
We had a great time but we had to leave rather early as Molly was being dogsat by Christian's mum. But we figured we'd give it a go the next night as well. And so yesterday we headed back to the same spot but much later than the first time. Unfortunately we had a few problems and didn't end up staying for long. Quite a lot of cloud cover came over while we were there which prevented a lot of viewing and also the telescope seemed to be rather wobbly. The previous night we hadn't noticed the problem so we're not sure if it's faulty, if we didn't set it up exactly right or if it's just like that and moves around quite a lot.
I guess we won't know for sure until our next adventure out. The night wasn't a complete loss however - we spied on Jupiter a lot more and could see a faint stripe under it's belly. That was pretty cool :)
Monday, December 27, 2010
Christian and I had lunch at my older sister's house on Christmas day and after a lovely spread, we all sat around the table picking at the gingerbread house Jo and Darcie had decorated. Afterwards, I was looking at the sorry remains of the house (parts of the roof had been broken off and most of the lolly decorations had been eaten) and I asked Jo 'Do you think this would be covered by their home and contents insurance? Or would it be considered an act of God? I mean, if you believe in God, would he send giants to eat your home?'
Jo wasn't sure so we asked Christian. 'They don't call it an act of God any more.' Christian informed us. 'They call it force majeure.'
'And that means?' I asked.
'Same thing really, it's a force beyond their control.'
'Ah, so do you think the gingerbread family would be covered?'
Christian shook his head. 'No way, the idiots built their house out of gingerbread, they were just asking for someone to come along and eat it.'
And so I had the idea of writing a story about an insurance agent in Fairy Tale Land. Upon getting home from Jo's I had two hours before our friend Tash was coming over and I finished the last sentence as she walked in the door. It's not been edited and it's rather rough but I hope you enjoy it all the same.
(I must apologise for the spacings - it didn't transfer properly from Open Office...)
Once upon a time, in a magical land where fairy tales were real, a place called Fairy Tale Land, there lived a man called Mr Jones.
Mr Jones was not a fairy tale creature - not a troll or a dwarf, a prince or a warlock, but just an ordinary man.
On the first day of the new year he got up in the morning, had toast for breakfast, dressed in a neat gray suit, kissed his wife goodbye and went off to work.
Completely ordinary in every sense.
It was the nature of his work that made Mr Jones the subject of this story; for where he worked was an interesting place indeed.
Mr Jones was an employee of the IAF – the Insurance Agency of Fairy Tale Land. All day long he assessed and processed claims submitted by the magical and not so magical creatures of Fairy Tale Land. As you can well imagine, these sorts of insurance claims are rather different to the claims you or I might submit in our world; there are very few claims for a new washing machine or a new car. The nature of their world changed the nature of their claims but for us to understand these, how about we spend a day with Mr Jones and see what he comes across?
Mr Jones arrived at the office just before 9am. He worked down town on the main street, right opposite a bakery and he enjoyed the smell of the fresh bread that wafted across through his open window. Like insurance agencies in our world, the IAF was a large room separated into small cubicles, with a desk, a phone and a filing cabinet in each one.
Mr Jones' desk was neat and tidy and had a framed photo of Mrs Jones upon it. After hanging his jacket on the hook by the door, Mr Jones sat down and looked at his full 'in tray'. The period after Christmas was always the busiest of the year for the IAF and many claims had already been applied for. His whole day was full of appointments and his first client of the day had just arrived.
Mr Gingerbread knocked at the door to the cubicle and Mr Jones ushered him in. The poor biscuit man looked totally dejected and close to tears. Mr Jones pulled out the appropriate paperwork, along with a notepad and pen.
“What brings you to see me today Mr Gingerbread?”
“Oh, my family had a terrible, terrible holiday Mr Jones!” Mr Gingerbread pulled out a handkerchief and wiped at the tears escaping from his licorice eyes. “On Christmas day itself no less, our house was destroyed!”
“Oh dear” said Mr Jones. “How ever did that happen?”
Between sobs, Mr Gingerbread relayed his story. “The wife and kids and I were outside, building a snowman in the garden before we sat down for lunch. We heard them before we saw them – laughing and joking, full of festive cheer. A whole family...” he broke off, blowing his nose on the hankie.
“Go on” Mr Jones urged, handing the sobbing pastry a fresh tissue.
“Well, as I said, we heard them first. We'd seen the news reports, we know this happens almost every Christmas and so we had a fair idea of what was coming next. The wife and I scarpered across the road with the kids and hid behind some fairy floss bushes and then they came. The giants. And they...they...oh it was terrible! They ate our house!” Mr Gingerbread broke out into fresh howls as he relived the nightmare again.
“I see. Well I'm glad none of your family was hurt Mr Gingerbread; there have been fatalities in the past.” Mr Jones said sympathetically.
He pulled out a manual from his desk drawer and flipped to the appropriate section. “Yes, it is as I recalled, you're in luck Mr Gingerbread. The IAF recently changed the policy regarding these types of claims. It used to be that they considered these sorts of incidents to be 'Acts of God' and wouldn't pay out but since none of the Gods would tell us who was responsible, they decided to start paying for the claims. Your house will be fully rebuilt and in the mean time you can stay at Old Mother Hubbard's Lodging House, all covered by your policy of course.”
“Oh thank you, thank you!” Mr Gingerbread exclaimed. “That's the best news I've had all holidays!”
“Happy to help,” said Mr Jones. “Now, if you just take this paperwork to Nancy at the front desk, she'll get you all sorted. Goodbye.”
Mr Gingerbread shook Mr Jones' hand and left the cubicle, looking much happier than when he walked in.
Ten minutes later, Mr Jones' second applicant arrived, towering in the doorway.
“Ah, Mr Bear! Come on in, what can we do for you today?”
Mr Bear squeezed into the cubicle and into the visitor chair. “We've had a bit of trouble with a break and enter Mr Jones.”
“That's not good! Did they catch who did it?”
Mr Bear nodded. “It was that young scallywag Goldilocks, from down the road. I know I shouldn't blame her, coming from a broken home and all, never being brought up proper and whatnot but she did quite a bit of damage. Baby Bear is quite upset and Mrs Bear is in all a tizz.”
“Understandably,” Mr Jones nodded. “Do you by any chance have the police report with you? We need it to file the claim.”
“It's right here.” Mr Bear handed over some documents he had brought with him. Mr Jones accepted the bundle and looked through them.
“I see, so according to this report the damage was, luckily rather limited. Locks need to be replaced, kitchen chairs were broken and some bed linen was soiled.”
“Yes, we were lucky we came home when we did,” Mr Bear nodded. “Otherwise there's no telling what she may have gotten up to. The police say that she's been known to steal quite expensive items and we had the new DVD player I bought Baby Bear for Christmas sitting right there in the lounge room.”
“Well, this is a very straight forward claim Mr Bear, you won't have any problems. Nancy will write you a cheque to replace these items, just see her on your way out.”
Mr Bear nodded and stood to leave. “I appreciate your help Mr Jones.” He held out his paw for a shake and then squeezed his way out of the door.
Mr Jones had time for a quick coffee before his next visitor. He choked on a sip of coffee when he saw his applicant and tried not to cough too hard as he showed his hairy guest to the chair. A long nose and beady black eyes peeked out from under a bonnet and from beneath the cotton dress a large hairy tail swished backwards and forwards.
“Ah, how can I help you, Mrs...?” Mr Jones managed after his coughing fit passed.
“Grandma Hood,” supplied the rather gruff voice from beneath the bonnet.
“I see...Grandma Hood. So, how can I help you today?”
“Well, I've got health insurance and needed some new glasses and was wondering if they were covered?”
Mr Jones nodded. “Certainly, we have a range of glasses to suit such big eyes as you have.”
Grandma Hood gave a shaky laugh. “Oh, but you'd think they'd see all the better for it, wouldn't you?”
“Indeed. Is there anything else we can help you with?”
Mr Jones' hairy visitor gave a nod. “I was also wondering if I could book in for a scale and clean.”
“For your big teeth?” Mr Jones asked.
Grandma Hood nodded. “I do like to keep them clean...and sharp.”
“I'm sure we can arrange that. If you take this paperwork and wait in the waiting room just outside, my assistant Nancy will be with you in just a moment.”
“Why thank you, kind sir.” Grandma Hood rose and sauntered from the room, her bushy tail wagging behind her.
Once she had left, Mr Jones picked up the phone and rang through to Nancy's extension.
“Nancy dear, do me a favour and get security to apprehend my last client. Can't miss him, he's a wolf dressed as an old lady. And once that's done, call the Fairy Tale Land PD. I think we've found that serial killer who's been knocking off those old ladies and their granddaughters.”
“Certainly Mr Jones.” came Nancy's reply.
“That's a good girl. Now I'm off to lunch. I'll be back in an hour.”
Mr Jones left his cubicle and decided he'd go to the bakery across the road for a bite to eat. On his way out the door he passed 'Grandma Hood' scuffling with three security guards and as he crossed the street he heard distant sirens getting closer. By the time he entered the bakery, police officers were storming into the IAF office.
The Muffin Man stood behind the counter, serving his customers with a smile on his face. Mr Jones was happy this business was doing so well now. Just last year his old premises down on Drury Lane had burnt down during the night and The Muffin Man was sure he'd never recover from his losses. But the payout from his insurance policy had covered the cost of buying this new bakery and due to the more central location, business was booming.
Mr Jones waited his turn and then bought himself an egg and lettuce sandwich which he took outside to a table to eat. As he ate his lunch he saw 'Grandma Hood' taken away in the paddy wagon, exchanged a greeting with The Pied Piper as he led a procession of rats along the main street and gave directions to a rather scary looking lady who was in search of a spindle shop.
After a refreshing cup of coffee and a quick phone call to his wife, Mr Jones was ready to face the rest of his work day.
The afternoon was just as busy as the morning. He had to finish the paperwork regarding the claim made last month by The Pig Brothers. They were trying to claim damages to their houses during a freak storm but upon further investigation it was found that they had not sought council approval to build their houses and also the structural integrity of the dwellings was rather shoddy. This was one claim the IAF would not be paying out on.
After Mr Jones finished with his paperwork, he got himself ready for a very important client. A powerful merchant was coming to see him regarding a specialised service that the IAF offered – K&R. Although Fairy Tale Land was normally a peaceful land, some times bad things happened and the IAF tried to cover all scenarios. The Kidnap and Ransom service was expensive and only the richest and most powerful people could afford the service.
When the merchant arrived, he was visibly upset. “My daughter, Beauty has been taken from me by a horrid beast. He's not made any demands as yet but he refuses to communicate with us. What do we do?”
“First of all, you need to stay calm.” Mr Jones told the merchant. “The IAF is happy to act as negotiators on your behalf. This is our fee,” he showed the merchant a figure on some paperwork. “If you're happy to pay, I shall get you in a meeting with out top negotiator this instant.”
“Anything for my daughter! I shall pay right now.” The merchant snapped his fingers and a servant came into the cubicle carrying a small wooded chest. He opened the lid to show the gold inside.
“Excellent.” Mr Jones said. “If you'll have your servant see Nancy at the front desk, she'll take care of your receipt and I'll have you escorted to conference room four where you'll meet with our negotiator. I wish you all the best of luck with getting your daughter back.”
“Thank you so much.” The merchant said. He nodded and then left the room , his servant following, taking the chest with him.
Mr Jones' last clients of the day were none other than the King and Queen of Fairy Tale Land.
“Your Majesties, how may I be of service this afternoon?” Mr Jones asked, bowing deeply.
“It seems we may have a bit of a problem. A princess asked for shelter during that big storm last week but our son, (you know how he can be!) wanted to find out if she was a real princess or not. He hid a pea in her bed and when she woke up she was black and blue, covered in bruises. Turns out she was a real princess and she's not happy at all. She's talking of suing us!”
“Goodness me! That's not very gracious behaviour after you put her up for the night!” exclaimed Mr Jones.
“My thoughts exactly,” murmured the Queen.
“Well, never fear your Majesties,” Mr Jones assured the royal pair. “Your public liability policy is very extensive and if any judge in the land would decide against you, you wouldn't have to pay a cent.”
The King nodded. “That's good to know Mr Jones. I'm sure it won't come to that, I'll have a talk with her father, and I'm sure we'll get it sorted. My son just fancied her but he's determined to have a 'real' princess. I just wanted to make sure our policy would cover such an incident if need be.”
“Ah, young love, it causes everyone so much grief, does it not!” Mr Jones laughed.
“Indeed it does Mr Jones! Let's just hope her father sees sense. Well, good day to you.”
“You're very welcome Your Majesties.”
After Mr Jones' royal clients had left he finished up the last of his paperwork, turned off the desk lamp and gathered up his briefcase. As he was leaving the office he nodded goodbye to Cinderella, the office cleaner who had just started her shift and helped Nancy carry a box to her car. Then it was a short drive home to a lovely dinner cooked by Mrs Jones and a relaxing evening on the couch watching his favourite television shows.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Many years ago we started noticing that one of Molly's eyes was getting cloudy. She still seemed to be able to see out of it fine and so we didn't worry about it too much. Then one day I was at the vet and asked to have it checked out while we were there. I was told that Molly had a cataract but she could still make out shadows, light and dark and see movement.
Then about a year ago we went back to the vet for some unrelated issue and whilst there I got the vet to check her eye again. By this stage the cataract had developed to the point where Molly was completely blind in that eye, a fact that we had begun to suspect anyway. Several times Molly had had trouble seeing things on that side and it had become sadly obvious.
Last Sunday I was sitting on the couch with Molly perched on my lap getting wuzzes when I noticed her other eye had a bit of a shine to it. Suspecting the worst, I took her to the vet the following day only to have my suspicions confirmed. A cataract was already almost fully developed in her good eye. It's just a matter of time before Molly is fully blind.
The vet discussed the options with me, which were rather limited.
1) We get a referral to a doggie ophthalmologist and have an operation to restore sight in one or both her eyes. This will cost approximately $3500 per eye.
2) We do nothing and the cataract continues to develop, rendering her blind but on an indeterminable time line.
Christian was in Melbourne for work and so when I got home I rang him and we discussed the options, since if we decided to operate, the sooner the better.
It was hard but we ultimately decided to go with the second option. Several factors influenced our decision but the main ones were a) the first cataract took several years to develop enough to take her sight and since Molly is already almost 12, the chances are good that she will have some sight up until her death b) the vet said that dogs adjust very quickly to a loss of sight and she would cope rather well.
Cost was obviously a factor too and if Molly was half her age, we wouldn't have hesitated to spend the money on her. Finding the money isn't an issue - we've made extra payment into our mortgage that we can access at any time but due to her being an elderly dog it just seems silly to fork out so much money and put her through the risk of surgery.
Maybe that's callous, I just don't know. But I think we made the right decision.
I am curious to know what everyone else would have done if you were in my position. What do you think? Did we make the right call? Or should we do whatever it takes?
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Anyway so after we'd watched the episode Christian and I had this conversation.
Me : If I turned into a zombie, would you shoot me?
Christian : Looked honestly shocked at the idea that he could shoot me.
Me : If you turned into a zombie I wouldn't hesitate to shoot you.
Christian : Looks honestly shocked that I would shoot him.
Me : Well I wouldn't want you to have to walk around for eternity, decaying flesh falling from your bones, the hunger for flesh never stopping, driving you mad with every waking moment.
Christian : Oooooooookaaaaaaaaaay...
Me : So you'd have to shoot me.
Christian : I don't think I could.
Me : But if you didn't shoot me, I'd bite you and then you'd be a zombie too! And in my heart I'd know I was responsible for destroying your soul.
Christian : I'm sure I could stop you biting me.
A wrestle commences which culminates with me biting him on the neck.
Me : See how easy that was! Wouldn't have happened if you'd just shot me. That's a lesson. Why? Because now you're a zombie.
After that we shuffled around a bit, ate raw flesh and then spent the rest of the evening moaning 'Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains'.
Turns out being a zombie isn't that bad after all ;-)
Sunday, December 05, 2010
It's just I had a bit of time to kill the other day and I went back and read some early posts that I had done on this blog but also early posts done by Boo and Mouse. And it seemed that way back then we actually spent time writing about what we did on our weekends, places we'd been, things we got up to. I've just found that recently when I've been posting at all it's been more about specific events or thoughts or just a bit of a photo dump.
I don't know if I'm making any sense and I'm not saying posts like those are bad in any way but I always enjoyed reading ramblings about the everyday lives of my friends and since we're all so similar I'm sure you guys are the same.
I guess that was the whole point of this blog in the first place. I have so many great friends, who don't live anywhere near me and this was a way of keeping in touch and up to date, not just for the big events and occasions but for all the little things along the way too.
And so here is my weekend so far!
Friday : Mum came round for dinner and trying to be healthy I made chicken stirfry and we had strawberries and custard for dessert. Mum marveled over my solar lights, completely forgetting that she's seen them all before, numerous times. The night wrapped up pretty early as Mum had to go and pick up my nieces. I had found a package thrown into my backyard while Mum was looking at the solar lights and it contained a Snoopy scarf I had ordered for my older sister.
Now Jo and I have had a falling out (long story but it's bad enough that she's uninvited me from Christmas) but I thought I'd be the bigger man so to speak and I gave it to Mum to pass on from me. I could have been spiteful and kept it but what does that achieve? I was rewarded with a thank you message on FB but that's been the extent of her olive branch extension.
Saturday : I was up at 6am and as I usually do at that time on the weekend, I jumped online to chat to my Scottish sisters. Boo and I had a rather interesting conversation which led to a few ideas being bandied about which then led to a full on exciting secret project. We've decided to keep it a secret for now for much the same reasons as pregnant people don't tell people they're pregnant until the first trimester is up; if something goes pear-shaped and we don't complete our project we won't have to face the horrifying prospect of informing everyone of our loss.
Let's just say it's combining our creative talents and we're both very excited.
I dragged myself away from the computer and went and had lunch with an old school friend of mine. It was great to see her but odd because she now has a baby bump. For some reason (maybe just my age?) a heap of my friends are all pregnant at the moment. I know it's silly, I don't even really want kids, but because I can't have kids, I'm feeling slightly like a failure as a woman at the moment. I know, I know, it's irrational and silly but that's the best part of being a woman - we're allowed to be irrational and silly at times.
That night Barb and Mikey came and picked us up and we went out for dinner. Mum had all the kids and so my sister and brother-in-law were enjoying their first kid-free night out in quite a while. We had a good night out and had thought of extending the night by having drinks back at our place but in the end Barb and Mikey decided that an uninterrupted night of sleep was beckoning and they headed home.
Sunday - I was up early again and so found myself again chatting to Mouse and Boo online. Mouse headed off to bed early and Boo and I tried to discuss our project but her msn kept crashing. In the end I just phoned her and it was so good to actually speak to her. It's just so hard sometimes being on the other side of the world to them and it's kind of painful how much I wish most days that we all lived closer to each other.
I was going to head to the gym today but period cramps have reared their ugly head and so I'm just having an easy day. I'm off to a friend's place tonight but until then I think I'll just curl up and read my book.
I do hope I haven't bored you all completely. I just missed our bloggy interactions :(
Saturday, December 04, 2010
Here is an account of a conversation I had this evening with Christian.
I pick up my favourite mug from the sideboard in the lounge room and take it through to the kitchen. On the way there the mug mysteriously gets broken.
Christian : What the fuck?
Me : Bugger, I broke my favourite mug! How did that happen???
Christian : Uh duh! You just walked into the wall! Like you always do!
Me : I don't walk into walls! The gap is there, I see it and then all of a sudden I'm walking into the wall...
Christian : Do you need a race?
Me : *blank look*
Christian : *making closing in gestures* You know, a cattle race, so you get herded through the doorway so you avoid things like, you know, walls.
Me : *tries to come up with a snappy retort and fails* Shut up, that's why!
Walls - 40659, Nettie - 0
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Dad had been visiting from Canada and he had to go back home :(
I had a great time while he was here and I'm looking forward to visiting him again next year. It's so hard, knowing he's so far away. When he's here, it's like he never left, nothing has changed. And now I can feel the great distance between us and it makes me miss my Daddy so much :(
I may be in my thirties now but you never stop being a little girl when you're around your Dad. Especially when he's such a joy to be around. The photo below is a perfect example of how wonderful he is. Dad is always up for a joke, can't keep a straight face in photos and is ultra supportive.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
And it's nice when you have clients who love having you there. Fair enough, I have the odd one who is a pain in the butt but the majority are so happy to see you. To be hugged four times and thanked a hundred after each visit really makes it hit home just how much this service means to some people.
And one of the great things about the job are the hours. I'm only working part time but with Christian's income we comfortably pay the mortgage and other bills and have enough left over to start building back up our savings. And the work is pretty easy - I mean, it's exactly what I do when I clean my own place every weekend. It keeps my hands busy but allows my mind to wander. And one of the things I think about often is my recent trip to visit Boo and Mouse.
It's amazing what small things pop to mind when I think about the trip especially since you'd think it would be the major things that get remembered the most.
It's just little things like...
*I can still remember the buses we used to get into the city. The 42 stopped right outside of Boo's house but wasn't as frequent so we most often caught the 4 which was a short (or if you were tired, LONG) walk away.
*I wonder if those cats from the window sill ever showed up...
*Even after telling the story (several times) of our niece vomiting into my sister's mouth after throwing the baby into the air, Boo went ahead and did the same thing. With the same results. Yum.
*There are no rocks in Scotland.
*There are however a LOT of hat factories.
*Spending forever walking around trying to find somewhere to have lunch at that would a) admit babies and b) fit the pram in.
*Marveling at the differences to home whilst grocery shopping (you buy oranges per orange, not by the kilo! And you can get FRESH raspberries! And they're so cheap!)
*Suddenly finding myself humming the music from Little Big Planet.
*Wishing Molly was a lot smaller and more rodent like so she could climb all over my head and wuzz my hair.
*Hearing the *thunk thunk thunk* of Sam getting her ball stuck in the kitchen doorway.
*The view from our window of Arthur's Seat.
I just have so many memories, most of which pop into my head randomly, making me miss my friends so much. I wish I could come visit again soon but I know it's not viable until at least 2014 :(
I've been thinking about doing a photo post from the trip but since Boo has covered it so nicely I feel like I'll just be boring everyone with the repetitions. Plus the photos are on the other puter...lol. I'll see how I go, maybe I'll get to it one day.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Before I really get into the swing of things I promised Boo that I would shout out a big hello to her friend David, whom I've never met but apparently keeps asking after me. So hello David! Not sure why you find me so interesting but hello nonetheless :)
This weekend was chocked full of busyness, I don't think I've stopped! On Friday night I took Molly to the vet, had dinner at my sister's place and then found myself home alone as Christian was out at a mate's place. I ended up going to the gym and then when I got back decided my fringe was a bit too long and my hair was a bit too brown. So out came the scissors and hair dye, I hacked off the fringe and have retured to my normal blue/black :D
And since everyone has been nagging for photos, here's a couple.
Both my sisters have recently started a weight loss campaign and as usual I jumped on the bandwagon. But then found that I was stressing and feeling shit about myself simply because I get obsessed with my weight when I'm dieting. Boo gave me this link which is a blog by a lady whom embraces herself for herself and believes in being healthy at any size. It really got me thinking and I decided that instead of hating myself, why don't I give up trying to lose weight, accept myself for who I am and make choices that are healthier than the ones I have previously made. That way, if I have a piece of cake one night I won't beat myself up because I've made five other choices that day that were healthier than I normally would have made.
Does that make sense?
Anyway, I guess what I find most difficult is accepting that there are people out there who find me attractive, since I just don't see it. But obviously there are people out there - otherwise I wouldn't have gotten married, seen that hot semi-lesbian action in Edinburgh (lol), had an affair or had a close friend tell me she's fallen in love with me. And so I decided that if other people find me pretty then I should start telling myself that I am and hopefully I'll start feeling like it!
The hair job had me feeling pretty good and so to further this cause yesterday I made sure I dressed in affirmative and pretty clothes. I may have been doing nothing other than going furniture shopping with my bestie but that didn't matter in the slightest.
I wore the top I got in Walmart in Canada with pride, which I have always felt self conscious wearing in the past...
And to top it off my favourite black skirt with pretty stockings and my bear shoes.
And you know what? I felt absolutely fucking fantastic the whole day!
On another note, my Dad arrives in a week and a half (YAY!) and so I've been busy getting the house all nice for the visit. This weekend I've really concentrated on the garden and I'm quite happy with the results. I got all my pots out the back tidied and weeded, the paths and driveway sprayed, my front garden beds weeded, manured and mulched and the lawn mowed. With that all done I can spend the next week making sure the inside gets up to scratch :)
I won't bore you with the rest of the details from my weekend since it mainly involed catching up with friends and watching the F1 race (*sob* poor Webber!) but at least I'vr gotten around to posting!
Monday, October 11, 2010
Veggie bake is something my Mum used to make and it's very easy to make changes to the recipe to add or subtract things you don't like.
First of all you need a quite deep baking dish.
Then peel and slice enough potatoes to cover the dish twice. I generally use about 6 large or 9 or 10 small potatoes. Once sliced, parboil the spuds.
Slice 2 or 3 carrots and also parboil. Then slice a few sticks of celery and one large or two small onions. Put to one side.
Take 6 eggs, a large spoon of chopped garlic and a nice shake of parsley and whisk in a jug. Put to one side.
When potatoes are done (cooked enough that they will continue to cook in the oven but firm enough that they don't fall apart when handled) cover bottom of baking dish with one layer. Generously sprinkle paprika over potatoes.
Then layer carrots, onion and celery and finish with a layer of frozen peas and corn.
Layer the rest of the potatoes on top of the other veggies. Sprinkle on more paprika and also some ground pepper.
Pour egg mix over potatoes.
Cover with grated cheese and place in moderate oven for approximately 1.5-2 hours (cheese should be nicely brown and egg cooked through).
Your house is going to smell amazing by the time it's cooked :)
This makes enough to have four serves by itself or you can use it as a side dish for steak or chicken.
Nom nom nom.
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
I've been around - much like Lara Bingle...(apologies to non-Aussies who won't get that). I've been meaning to do a blog post for some time now but stuff happens, things come up, life gets in the way, I'm sure you know how it is.
So, what's been happening since I last posted...
Well, Christian and I went to visit Boo and Mouse in Edinburgh as I'm sure you all know from a) Boo's blog and b) photos I uploaded to FB. I'm not sure if I'm going to do a belated post about the trip or not, I guess I'll see if anyone is really interested in it. Boo seems to have covered it pretty well but if there's a demand I shall have a go!
While I was away I came to the conclusion that I no longer wanted to garden for a job. There were several reasons behind my decision - the fact that gardening is so dependent on the weather that it's not a reliable source of income, the amount of travel I had to do, the fact that I really didn't have the proper training and knowledge and then also the fact that one of the ladies who I gardened with is a bit of a cow and we really had a clash of personalities going on.
And so when I got back I gave my notice and started looking for a new job. I applied for a managers position with Australian Geographic and actually got the job which I then turned down. The salary was rubbish, the hours long and then there's the retail Christmas to put up with. I really didn't want to be in retail again and only applied because I didn't think I was qualified to do anything else.
However a friend of mine encouraged me to apply with a nursing agency as a Home Help and so I did and got the job. Basically what I do is help clients with their domestic tasks (vacuum, mopping, laundry etc) so they can stay independent and not have to be institutionalised. I absolutely love the job, it's a nice feeling to come home each day and know that you haven't spent your time making the company an extra few hundred bucks but have actually helped make someone's life a bit easier. I've also quit my night job too and it's loveley to only work the one job now.
My dad is coming to visit next month and I am super excited. I miss him so much and I haven't seen him in a couple of years now. I'm hoping I'll be able to get a couple of days off work to spend with him but if not I shall just have to make do with after work and weekends.
I started a new blog about my Pig of Hapiness. He's a happy pig and loves making friends so please check it out.
And really that's about all that's been going on. Life unfortunately doesn't get more exciting just because you're not blogging (though one could argue the less you blog the more of a life you've actually got but I digress). I shall try and update more regularly I promise.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
*Falling asleep in someones arms - sure, it sounds romantic and it is nice to snuggle but you wake up with a sore neck or a dead arm and one of you will undoubtedly be covered in drool...
*Starting a health regime - I always find myself getting really really motivated...just before I go to sleep at night. I lay there, planning all the things I'm going to achieve the following day, from eating a healthy brekkie to getting to the gym to taking a vitamin supplement. It never seems as easy the following morning.
*Offering to do the dinner dishes when at a friend's house - it's the polite thing to do and really, the fair thing to do. You've imposed on your friend for dinner, they've gone to a heap of trouble, slaved over a hot stove all day and you innocently suggest that you could help clean up. They're not supposed to say yes! lol
*Camping - I love camping, sitting by a fire, sleeping under the stars, have billy tea, having an adventure! Well, in my head I do anyway. In reality it's always cold, damp and uncomfortable.
*Telling the truth - just because it's the truth, doesn't mean it's all fine and dandy and won't hurt. Sometimes it's ok to sugarcoat it a little to make it easier to swallow.
[The following may be TMI]
*Sex in a pool or spa - sounds naughty and adventurous but the water washes away your natural lube and it kind of just hurts...
Are there any other really obvious ones I've missed?
Friday, June 18, 2010
For those of you who don't know, this is a quote from the third Austin Powers movie and we tend to trot it out whenever we can. It has been stuck in my head now ever since and I was going to use it as the title for this post. However...after my last entry I figured that it may be in poor taste and so decided not to use it...
My older sister and my neice flew out to Canada on Tuesday to go and visit my Dad and I must say, I am insanely jealous! I really enjoyed my last trip out there and miss Dad like crazy and so I would have loved to have gone with them. But I'm hoping to get out there next year and it's not like I don't have a trip of my own to loook forward to. Jo and Darcie leaving was actually a bit of a landmark for us since we leave for Scotland before they return and so I knew our trip was really close when they left. Only four weeks to go! Yay! I cannot wait! In many ways it's very similar to Jo's trip in that I'm returning there and it's going to be a really nice feeling to be familar with the area and to re-discover things that I loved last time I was there. Small things won't be such a big shock (Weirdly shaped 2L bottles of Coke, I have you sussed now!) and the best thing is that we're going to visit loved ones too :)
And now a story that I feel is blogworthy but actually happened to Christian, who feels having a blog is pointless and lame...
About a month ago he and his workmate Steven saw on some photo-a-day site (I have no idea which one and he isn't here to ask) a photo of how Subway are supposed to put cheese on their sandwiches. It is cut into triangles and so they should be layed in opposing angles to cover the most amount of bread but as I'm sure you're well aware, they don't generally do this. Then last week another photo popped up, this one of a photocopy of a Subway internal memo documenting the new proceedures for laying cheese. Christian looked at Steven, did a fist pump and then they made plans to have Subway for lunch.
When they got there Steven was in front and when the girl put his cheese on the new way he turned to Christian and gave him a big thumbs up. Then Christian ordered his normal veggie delight and waited with breathless anticipation*. There was a bit of a sandwich backlog and Christian's veggie roll was stuck behind a guy whose sandwich contained a shit load of what looked to be raw bacon. The girl came to do the cheese and laid cheese all over the bacon and then went 'Oh, that's the wrong one' and then took off the cheese from on top of the raw bacon and put it on Christian's Veggie Delight! And to make things even worse, she didn't even lay the slices the right way! Christian apparently stood there glaring at the girl but she didn't even notice, just turned around and put the bacon thingy under the grill. I asked Christian why he didn't make a complaint and his reasoning was that he didn't really care, he just wondered what would have happened if a real vegetarian had been in that situation.
I told him they probably would have blogged about it...
*Or rather, slight anticipation of a small detour from normal routine.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Christian's family on the other hand are very very close. His mother is a triplet and over the years he and his mum have lived with one aunt or another at times or lived just down the road. Christian's cousins are more like his sisters than cousins, and it was rare for a day or two to go by without them seeing someone. When I met Christian 14 years ago I was welcomed into his family and they became my own extended family. From the beginning I could always tell his Mum from the others but it took me a couple of meetings to tell his aunties apart and even longer to distinguish their voices on the phone. We've moved away now and so Christian and I don't see his family anywhere near as often as we used to but his Mum saw her sister's almost every day and if she didn't see them in person, they spoke on the phone. For 63 years they had almost unbroken contact, something that normal siblings rarely have. I mean, I'm close with my sisters but sometimes a week or two will go by before I speak to them.
So what happens when three becomes two? One of Christian's aunties was diagnosed with cancer in the beginning of the year but she had been sick for rather a long time before that. A combination of keeping the fact she was so ill quiet and also having Gall Bladder cancer which is extremely rare made the diagnosis late in coming. But apparently even if it had been caught straight away, there would have been little they could do and so the sisters soildered on.
Her condition worsened and then last Wednesday she passed away.
It was not an easy passing. My MIL had always said she wasn't so upset about the fact that her sister would die but what she would go through before she did. And from the snipets of details we've heard it was worse than anyone imagined. When a family sits around just hours after her death and laments the lawlessness of euthanasia, it's obvious that no one should have gone through so much before the end.
The grief that followed was unimaginable. I've had those thoughts that everyone has in those dark hours - what would it be like to lose a partner or parent or sister? I'm not as close with my sisters as I once was, but even so, we are still close. I live just 15 minutes away from them both and see them whenever I can. And I know that I would be devastated if one of them were to pass away but the truth is, we just don't have and never could have, the bond that triplets would share. I can only guess but I'm sure if would be like losing a limb - a loss that physically hurts and can never ever be replaced. Christian's aunty said that she will be sad every single day from now till she dies, she doesn't think she could ever be completely happy again. People often comically describe the crying of others as 'howling' but I had never understood the meaning of that phrase until my MIL broke down. It was a primal, soul destroying, outpouring of grief. It broke my heart.
We have a memorial service for her today, just family and a few close friends, a celebration of the life that was lost and the joy that she brought to those who knew her. We'll share the memories that have stayed with us the strongest. And I'll dwell on the fact that I'll never again get to see the look on people's faces as they try to figure out what exactly it is they're seeing when they see three identical women walking down the street towards them.
Friday, May 28, 2010
After the appointment my back was still a little niggly but I assumed it would settle down and I would make it through the seven weeks until my final appointment before flying overseas. I would end up being very wrong with that assumption...
This week, as I mentioned in my last post has been very quiet on the gardening front and I only worked the one day, a six hour job at a complex we do in swanky Claremont. This job is done on a weekly basis and every week is much the same - we put down the wheelie bins and then clean them when they're emptied, we sweep both driveways and carports and then depending on how much time we have and what needs doing we rake the lawns, sweep all the footpaths, deadhead roses, clear garden beds and do any trimming that needs to be done. Lately I've been waging a war on several deciduous trees that have gotten the urge to shed their leaves and show the world just what their undergarments are made of. That means that this week I had a lot of sweeping and raking to do and anyone who has ever spent several hours at these kind of tasks know that it's not as easy as it sounds. It's actually rather hard work, you work up a nasty sweat and you also spend the majority of the time twisting to one side.
It was this twisting I think that lead to my current problems. Yesterday I was sitting in bed reading, moved to get more comfy and felt the air rush from my lungs as a sharp pain ripped through the middle of my back. Those of you poor sods who have back problems will be familiar with that nasty feeling of a pinched nerve and I apologise for the wince that I know crossed your faces as you remembered your own pain. As soon as I could hobble to the phone I made an appointment for today and then spent the rest of the night in that agonizing state of immobility - your muscles ache from tensing them as you try to avoid making any sudden movements that will lead to that excruciating moment when you realise that lifting your arm just so causes all the pain centres in your brain to turn on the red flashing lights and sirens.
My chiro appointment today went well, or so my chiro and I believed. It was painful in it's own way but he was confident that he had ironed out most of the wrinkles and that he wouldn't need to see me until my original next appointment. I was feeling rather spritely as I left and headed round to the house of one of my best friends whom I was spending the day with. Unfortunately one of the first things he did was give me one of those rib cracking hugs that I generally adore. Today it just made me shriek, followed by several whimpers that a milk deprived pup would be proud of.
And so I rang my chiro back and made an appointment for tomorrow morning. I'm just hoping that the inflammation has gone down enough for another adjustment :(
My friend was kind enough to call my night fill job and inform them I wouldn't be in tonight which I was a little worried about. Being part time means I have very little sick pay and with it being so quiet at my other job I really didn't want to have to have a day off but I wouldn't have been any use anyway. Night fill is such a physical job and I can't see me dragging around heavy pallets of drinks with a pinched nerve, especially since tonight I was vomiting from the pain.
Finger's crossed and if anyone runs across a spare back on the black market, let me know!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
All is good on this end, life seems to ramble along at it's own pace and lets us try and catch up with it when we can. With the weather getting a lot cooler over here the gardening work has slowed a little. This week is really quiet, I only had a job on Tuesday but the next few weeks look to be busy with some new jobs and so I'm just going to relax this week and enjoy being indoors while it's wet and cold outside.
It's only 51 days to go until I'm getting on a plane and heading to Scotland to visit my adopted sisters, Boo and Mouse. Yay! :D I am so so excited, I just can't wait. Christian changed our VOIP plan last week and so now I get free international calls and I've been making the most of it by ringing the girls whenever I can. Obviously it's easier to call Mouse as she's at home with the Mousling during the week but as often as I can on the weekend I call Boo. With daylight savings over there now it really makes it hard, that extra hour is a pain! I used to be able to get up at 7am on a Saturday here and call Boo since it was only 11pm over there but now it means midnight and it's just too late. I work till 11pm on Friday nights and it's just not viable getting up at 6am. But we manage to work out suitable times and I've really enjoyed the regular chats I've been having with the girls. The frenzy of excitement we're building ourselves up to is rather scary at times lol.
I've been busy in the kitchen a little bit lately. Every now and then I just get the urge to cook or bake and surprisingly I don't even watch Masterchef! I think it's just a genetic thing.
The other day I decided I was going to make soup. This was a big decision. Why? Because I don't like soup generally. I think there have been two times in my life when I've enjoyed soup - once was on a school camp when one of the teachers made a vegetable soup and the other was the Mediterranean vegetable soup we had at our wedding. And so I decided to make a veggie soup. I looked at a couple of recipes online and hobbled together my own from them. It was really just experimentation and apart from a little too much chili powder, it was actually really nice. I shall definitely be trying it again!
Today I decided to make some biscuits and wanted to make some with peanuts in them. My Dad used to make the yummiest peanut bikkies! So I stopped at the shops and got some peanuts and also picked up some macadamias and white choc chips. Then I just used a very basic biscuit mix (literally an egg, some butter, sugar and flour) and to one I added the macadamias and chocolate and the other some peanuts and peanut butter and threw them in the oven. They ended up turning out to be quite good although slightly crumbly but that's not always a bad thing.
I ended up ordering a new Kindle USB cord from Amazon UK and having it sent to Mouse who has posted it on to me. I'm hoping it will arrive in the next couple of days and then I can try it out and hopefully get some of the books on my puter across to it. I will be so mad if it doesn't work! So keep your fingers crossed!
That;s about it for now guys, take care, I'll catch you all up soon xxx
Thursday, May 20, 2010
This occurred yesterday when I went to check my Facebook page and found I had a message waiting for me from a lady I worked with when I first started at the bank. As happens with probably the majority of people's FB friends, I had very little contact with this lady, saw the odd one or two of her updates but never commented or posted on her wall. She was just there, a virtual acquaintance. I hadn't worked with her in a number of years and apart from FB, I didn't have any contact with her whatsoever in the real world.
When I checked the message all it had was a frowny face. I was a little confused and thought I would check her wall to see if it would shed any light on the matter. I found a status update from last week saying (and I'm doing this from memory, I didn't save it) 'Just found out that a lady I used to work with had an affair with a co-workers hubby. And you think you know people! Well, Karma is a bitch, especially to sluts who do stuff like that'.
A few people had commented, begging for a name and the lady had said 'No names ladies but I'm sure that when the slut in question reads this she'll know exactly who she is.'
Ahhhh! thought I, I never saw that status and apparently after getting no reaction she thought she'd send me a enigmatic message so I would find it.
Now on principle, I haven't replied to any of the nasty messages I received during all of this but I felt like I had to respond to this one. Why? Well this lady wasn't at the branch I was at when all of this happened. She was on maternity leave I think. Apparently she had only transferred to that branch a couple of weeks ago. And I couldn't help but ask myself 'What gives her the right to judge me on something that a) happened a year ago and b) didn't involve her at all, in any capacity since she wasn't even a co-worker of the people involved.
I was rather pissed to be honest. I had thought that after a year it would be safe to turn on my computer without getting harassed every second.
So I replied. At length. I'll just summarise it here since it really is too long to do in full.
I asked her if she had ever made a mistake before because apparently I am the only person in the history of the world to have done so judging by the reactions I have had. I then went on to dispel all the false rumours I knew had been spread about me. No, I haven't broken up any other marriages, no I hadn't tried to sleep with every man who had worked at the bank and considering I've only slept with two men in my entire life I'm hardly a slut. I told her that I didn't do what I did out of spite or viciousness, it just happened and I am truly sorry for the hurt I caused but at the end of the day it is no one else's business and people need to keep their noses out from where they don't belong. I will not tolerate any more abuse or threats towards me or my family and then I said I had deleted her from my account and I hoped she had a happy life.
I got back this.
'Well I didn't expect such a full on response but just for the record no one has been gossiping about you, I only found out last week I think in error & all I can say I was shocked, I truly was stunned & I've struggled with it over the past few days, I hope that you & your husband deal with it, I hope it's something you have learnt from & I do truly believe that you AREN'T a spiteful person. If you have been threatened I am sorry that your family has been, I haven't heard anything like that or do I know who would so such a thing, I don't believe that is the right way to deal with anything, I haven't mentioned your name on facebook, I don't believe that is the action anyone should take or do, I would never try to upset you on purpose either, the whole situation saddened me. I do wish you well though, so take from that what you will & I guess in closing have a happy life too.....'
I know this is turning into a bit of a rant but honestly! She didn't expect such a full on response??? Did she just expect to be able to say whatever she damn well pleases and not expect a reaction? I felt like replying back and addressing some if the things she mentioned (like the fact that this all happened a YEAR ago - Christian and I have already dealt with it!) but in the end I didn't think it was worth the hassle.
I've blocked her entirely now like I have done with all the people at the bank, but I honestly hadn't even thought of blocking her before since I didn't know she would take it upon herself to get involved. I toyed with the idea of having as a status update 'I had an affair a year ago. For those of you who didn't know and would like to send a nasty message, please do so now and just get it over with. Thankyou' but I'm sure that's not the best idea lol.
Gah, I'm just so miffed by this whole thing, it just seems some days that I would have been better off committing genocide or something. I'm sure people wouldn't have kicked up anywhere near as much fuss then...probably because they'd be either dead or too scared of me but that's beside the point! At least I'd have some sort of a chance of getting my life back on track. I guess what most people don't realise is that no matter how hard they are on me, I've been hardest on myself. I know I did an awful, unforgivable thing but what's done is done, I can't go back and change things and no amount of abuse will change that.
So just give it a damn rest.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
We had taken Molly with us for the visit as we knew she'd be home alone for most of the day and she had a blast playing with Shiver and generally bossing her around. It's very funny to see a small dog boss around another who i at least five times bigger than her! At one point the kids had started playing with a ball, and those of you who know her will know that Molly is ball mad. As soon as Shiver showed any interest in the ball Molly got quite aggressive and started really bullying Shiver, so much so that she got a telling off from her Dad.
After we left Jo's place we dashed back home to drop off the hobbit and make some sangas and then we legged it to the Perth Zoo to meet up with Christian's family. All the triplets were going as well as most of the kids and so it was going to be a huge family gathering. It turned out to be a great day although by the time we left we were buggered from walking so much!
This is Sue, Christian's Aunty with her grandson Owen.
There seems to be no shortage of cute babies around at the moment!
My Mother in law Margaret with Christian and his Aunty Liz.
There were a heap of fake snakes laying here and there in the bushes.
The crocodile is never very active when we're there and this time was not really an exception although he did slowly float to the top of his tank.
I have no idea what type of bird this is but he was very pretty.
The triplets, Christian's cousin Lisa and Margaret's partner Gary.
Otters are so cute!
I've never really liked the Orangutans before but they were rather interesting today. I named this one Mr Grumpy :)
A baby playing with his surprise box
Blink and you'll miss it! My action shot of this big boy!
I refuse to believe that this sequence was caused by my crappy photography skills and still insist that the tortoise was dashing away on a very important errand!
I love Meer cats, they are some of my fave animals at the zoo and just so darned cute!
This one was standing right up against the glass and I managed to get a shot from right above him.
Another animal in the African Savannah who was right up against the edge of his enclosure was the Rhino.
I didn't get the name of this tree but I thought the...nuts...were a very interesting shape lol
Christian is never cooperative when it comes to getting photos of me, he hates having pics taken of him and I'm sure he thinks that anyone who requests to have their photo taken is a bit up themselves. And so I didn't even bother asking him to take a pic of my outfit. But just to give you a run down, at the beginning of the day I was dressed in my blue snoopy tshirt, a black skirt, my new leggings with stars, my silver Doc Martens, huge hoop earrings and the blue newsboy knitted hat Shawna sent me. I did take the hat off for the zoo because it was rather warm but I did manage to get a photo of my leggings and shoes for you!
Nothing else much has been going on. I have been having heaps of trouble getting a replacement usb charger for my Kindle because Amazon will only post it to America, not Australia and so I can't use my Kindle. I tried contacting them but because I received it as a gift and there's no record of me buying one through my Amazon account, they won't help me *sigh*.
If any of my American friends could get one and send it to me, I would love you forever! I have a paypal account and am more than happy to send you the money for the cord plus the extra postage. It would mean so much to me especially since I'm about to give up and throw my damn Kindle away! lol
Okie, that's about it now, take care, chat later xxx