Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Fotos

I just had a look through my old Photobucket account and re-discovered some of my favourite shots of Z and thought I'd share them.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

You can't fix stupid

We're just back from a birthday party for one of Z's little kindy friends at the local bowling alley, and I'm quite simply flabbergasted at how totally and utterly appalling the service was.

The faintest of alarm bells started clanging the minute we walked through the door and went to the reception desk, behind which slouched at least 4 bored looking teenagers. 8 minutes later, I was still standing there, hoping against hope that one of them would spot me there, 70cm in front of them and direct me to the party. No such luck. A very exasperated "exCUSE me?" and one looked across at me, managing not to lose 1 iota of the bored look on his face. I was then pointed in the direction of the party, not asked to get shoes, not asked for our name or anything.


I must admit, the bowling session wasn't too bad, with 20 3 - 6 year olds over about 4 lanes. Two attendants were there to help, but decided it would probably be easier if the parents did it, so we did. The one thing that did seriously piss me off was when the attendant on our lane switched the monitor off just as the last kid took his last shot, thereby ensuring that none of the kids actually knew the final outcome of the game.

On this point I must digress a bit. Z was doing well. She nearly won, and I'm embarrassed to admit how frigging competitive I got! I was mentally willing those nearest to her in score to throw themselves down the lane, fall over, or drop a bowling ball on their toes. Sad, isn't it? Z didn't give a shit, she was just having fun. I was the one sweating bullets when little Johnny nearly got a strike on his last shot. As I said, embarrassing, but totally out my control!

Anyhoo, as the bowling came to an end we were all ushered into the "dining room", which is used as a creche and storage room when not used for parties. There were boxes piled up half way to the ceiling against one wall, 3 long tables with tacky plastic tablecloths and absolutely no sound insulation whatsoever. Add in the 20 excited kids and the noise was deafening.

The kids had pre-ordered their meals - chicken nuggets and chips or hot dog and chips. Both utterly revolting options, as far as healthy eating goes, but I suppose for a kid's party one is expected to overlook these things. Heaven help any poor child burdened with food allergies, I suppose they would starve in such an environment.

This brings me to another bit of a digression. Children's party venues are a huge business, and generally charge through the roof for incredibly mediocre food and service. Surely, with the current trends towards a healthier lifestyle, these places would start to cotton on to the fact that some of us do care what our children eat, and avoid deep-fried sodium-filled lard whenever possible. Would it be so terribly difficult just to throw a couple of healthy options in? Even sandwiches and popcorn as opposed to hot dogs and over-salted chips? Apparently it is, and I'm just not happy about it, thank you very much!

Anyway, back to the party...

Our 2 attendants were there, I assumed to serve food, tidy up, refill drink cups and so forth. Again, no such luck. One chap brought in a tray loaded with about 8 paper plates of nuggets and chips, put them down on a nearby table and walked, taking one tiny plate at a time, doling these out according to some mysterious list. After 2 minutes or so, he had managed to hand out around 3 meals, so the host and I took over, getting the remaining 18 kids fed within a minute. It wasn't even that difficult, amazingly enough!

Oh, look, I could write pages and pages of every single fuck up, which would ease my need to vent, but would probably be highly boring to read, so shall just sum up the basics:

  • When serving hot dogs, please don't wait to be asked before providing tomato sauce. It's pretty much a given.
  • When serving finger food to 5 year olds, napkins should not be on a request basis only.
  • When you are finally asked for tomato sauce, don't tell me you're re-supplying (WTF?) and that it will be there in 5 minutes. The hot dogs will either be cold or eaten by then. Sort it out.
  • When the host asks you to bring out the cake, would it not be GLARINGLY OBVIOUS that you need to clear the table of the nugget-hotdog-chips mess? No? Morons!
  • Once again, when feeding birthday cake with masses of luminous green icing to a bunch of small children, please don't make me ask you for napkins. Again.
  • When charging ludicrously high rates for this "food" and "service" please have the decency to wipe that blank look off your face and try and look interested. These are kids. The birthday boy's parents have just spent a small fortune to be here. Smarten up, Emo kid!

To be fair, apart from the sullen attitude and blank looks, it's not really the teenagers' fault. I blame the management. These kids need to be properly trained and supervised. I didn't see a single employee over the age of around 16 today, and that's simply not good enough.

Now, I realise that I look at these things a lot more judgementally that other parents may do, as I have 20 years in the hospitality industry, however the vast majority of the things that went wrong today were simply a total lack of common sense.

Since I moved to Australia, I have been horrified on a weekly basis at the standards of service in the hospitality industry, compared to other countries I have both worked in and visited. Unless you are dealing with a seasoned industry veteran, and one who both loves and takes pride in their work, chances are you're going to get a slouchy, bored looking blank-faced twat serving you.

I have tried for years now to train the staff that I have worked with to take pride in their job, and to put themselves in the position of the customer to attempt to anticipate their needs. It's been a losing battle, I can assure you.

It would simply appear that you can't fix stupid, and you can't train someone to care.


(image courtesy of )

Friday, September 18, 2009

Things I'm just fed up of doing

  • Refilling the pets' water bowl. It's boring and tedious.
  • Checking the toilet seat before perching thereon, and invariably finding spots of wee to be wiped up. Aim better, children.
  • Not using up all the veggies I buy before they go mouldy and ewwwwww.
  • Trying to hang onto even a semblance of respect for Aussie politicians after watching Question Time. I'm struggling here, people, can't you lot just TRY to grow up and act like responsible adults?
  • Looking at mountains of papers and unopened mail. Can I just put a sticker on my mailbox saying "No Mail, Please"?
  • Dealing with dust-bunnies. Seriously, can I get hold of some dust-bunny contraceptives and put an end to these little bastards once and for all?
  • DVDs. Everywhere. Piles of them. Not in cases. Needing sorting. Getting scratched.
  • Weeds. 'Nuff said.
  • Filling up car with petrol. Up there with filling water bowl - boring and tedious, with the added bonus of being fucking expensive.
  • Looking for a job. Come on, employers of Australia, you KNOW you want a part time employee with a myriad of skills who will have to call in sick every time one of her children is sick.
  • Dealing with stupid people. They're everywhere. Like case-less DVD's and dust-bunnies. Can't someone just make them all go away?
  • Hearing daft Americans likening their president to Hitler because he thinks healthcare should be available to everyone, including the *gasp* poor. Freaking idiots.
  • Trying to keep track of socks. Where. Do. They. Go???
  • Figuring out what bra size is actually right for me. They're all either a bit too small or a bit too big. Goldilocks, anyone?
  • Watching my big toenail go black, crack all the way over and now waiting for it to fall off. Also fed up of wondering what on earth is underneath it? Can one buy fake toenails? I may need one for summer.
  • Waiting for the Child Support Agency to pull their thumbs out of their collective arses and chase up the $$ I am owed!

Please feel free to add your own!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Madness dressed as Lamb?

There's a bit of a #musicmonday theme to today's blog post, which was inspired by spending All Day yesterday playing with iTunes, from installing the new iTunes 9 onto new computer, copying over files from external hard drive and then the hard part: playlists. I admit I cheated and just made 1 - stuff I actually listen to.

I also spent several hours exploring the iTunes store. Being less than flush with the readies at the moment, I concentrated on the free stuff. Podcasts and iTunes U. Imagine my excitement to discover that you can, for absolutely FREE download lectures from Yale, Oxford, and some bloke named Ned on anything that tickles your fancy! In the near future I am going to be a World Expert on subjects ranging from "Cooking in Ancient Egypt" to "What is consciousness", oh yes!

Anyway, back to music.

To sum it up, I am a 40 year old mother who listens almost exclusively to Triple J, a radio station aimed at the teen and 20-something market. They simply play Stuff I Like. My idea of utter hell is being cooped up in the car with kids demanding to listen to commercial FM radio. I cringe at the sound of Lady Ga-Ga, sob when I hear Beyonce (except that shouldaputaringonit song, that gets me bouncing around the drivers seat) and think the Pussycat Dolls should be banned for lack of talent. Oh, and that I kissed a girl chick. *vomit*

Other ideas of musical hell for me include Mariah Carey, Boyz to Men (or whatever they're called), Britney FUCKING Spears, J-Lo and anything hip hop related. Let's not forget Guy Sebastian, Shannon Noll, Backstreet Boys and Kelly Clarkson. Oh dear, I'm feeling nauseous. Enough with the stuff I can't stand, already!

I think it's safe to say that I prefer "alternative music", although I don't know why they call it that. It should be called "good music" and the rest of the crap should be called "alternative" or "forced to listen to at gunpoint" music.

I don't know if this is normal, I really don't. When I hear the average listener call into JJJ they sound somewhere between 15 and 25. What are other 35+ people listening to? Are they REALLY grooving to J-Lo, appreciating her noise in some mysterious way which I am completely missing? Or are they stuck in the 80's, with Queen, Blondie and U2 on continual replay?

Don't get me wrong on the 80's. As an official child of the 80's myself, it's what I grew up with. It's what I know every word to, and every song holds a special memory of what I was doing at that time in my life. There would be at least 300 or 400 80's classics in my library, and they get a lot of headphone time, I can assure you!

But there is only a finite supply of 80's music, to state the bleeding obvious. I've heard it all before, and, although I adore it, life trundles on, and so does the music industry.

I suppose even back in the early days I was into slightly off-mainstream music, being influenced by a few Goth friends from high school and Uni, who introduced me to the joys of Nine Inch Nails, Love n Rockets and lots and lots of The Cure, but I still appreciated most of the top 40 tunes. Has mainstream music changed, or have I?

These days my iPod is blasting out Muse, The Panics, Tame Impala, the Presets, Sarah Blasko, The Wombats, Eskimo Joe, The Shins, Blue King Brown, Regina Spektor, Josh Pyke and the like. I hardly ever get to go to any live gigs, basically because (a) I can't afford them (b) they don't provide creches and (c) I don't want to be the oldest person there!


It's not just me, is it? What are all the other ageing children of the 70's and 80's listening to these days?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Eagle Has Landed

Two words designed to instill fear into the toughest mother: School and Play. Inevitably this is going to lead to the single most terrifying word in a mother's language. COSTUME!

My son came home a few weeks ago with the joyous news that his school is putting on a production of Jack in the Beanstalk, and that he has a starring role. A starring role as an... eagle. Now, I know I've lost a few brain cells over the years, but for the life of me I don't remember an eagle playing a starring role in the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack - check. Mother of Jack - check. A cow - check. Some beans - absolutely. A cranky giant - yep. An eagle - WTF?

Let me just state for the record that as far as arts and crafts go, I am about as useful as a chocolate teapot. I am all for it, in principle. I can dream up the loveliest of arty and crafty goodness however I am genetically incapable of transforming my ideas into tangible objects. I have an entire cupboard full of half-knitted scarves, quarter-made necklaces, oil paints hardened into stone, beads, wires, strings, ribbons, glues, buttons and so forth. I even (laughingly) dabbled in scrapbooking to the tune of about $300 with sweet FA to show for it.

Anyway. I was stuck with the task of creatively transforming my 10 year old son into an eagle. Oh, I had some doozies of ideas. Huge feathered wings, spanning 6 feet or more, detailed ankle whatsits with talons glued on, a tail that a peacock would be proud of and so much more.

PPPFFFFFFTTTTT. When whining and moaning on FB and Twitter to more crafty friends yielded no help other than detailed instructions of what their talented hands could put together I did what any mother could be expected to do under the circumstances. I blanked it from my mind entirely.

Dear son reminded me ever so gently on Monday that this Friday is the dress rehearsal, and that the Big Performance is next Tuesday night. Right. Time to get my arse in gear. Fortunately, I was informed, one of the pre-primary teachers has some wings lying about that will do the trick, so all we needed to come up with was clothing (yet to be comed-up-with) and some sort of head gear.

This being Thursday, it appeared I was going to have to take action Today, and Not A Moment Later. My first thought was to use a baseball cap, bend the visor into a beak-like shape and stick feathers over the rest of it. Let's just say the bending-of-the-visor-into-a-beak-like-shape part of that had me totally stumped, so it was back to the drawing board.

A brief forraging session in the garage unearthed a detachable hood from one of the kids' old winter coats, one which tied up under the chin. This looked promising! Surely I could fashion a beak out of something and then use strips of felt as feathers. YES! This would work.

Off to Spotlight I went, returning armed with hot glue gun, felt and more felt. Plus 2 huge googly eyes that I just thought were funny.

You think it would be easier to fashion a beak out of stiffened felt. Sensibly I tried a few practice ones out of paper. Not working. Finally we got there on the beak, and glued it onto the hood. It looked great! I was ecstatic! I'm not kidding here, I was dancing with glee around the house!

I suppose at this point I should say a big thank you to the water carafe and football who generously offered to model the headpiece during it's creation, and didn't complain once, not even when hot glue went all over the footie. What good little helpers!

From this point on it was fairly easy. I cut long triangle-shaped strips of different coloured felt, and glued them around in rows. The crowning glory of googly eyes went on and... it was complete. It sat there on its football just staring at me. I called my son over to look and there was, well, silence. He looked at me, I looked back. We both looked at the result of my efforts. I'm not sure which one of us collapsed in a hysterical puddle on the floor first, but within moments we were both there. Literally Unable To Speak.

Once he caught his breath, he agreed to try it on. I must say, I was impressed. It was less scary than it had been on the football. He agreed to let me photograph him in it, on the proviso that I didn't get his face or any other identifying features in the shot. I agreed.

Naturally I had to try it on as well (as you do) and, having no qualms about my scary mug being exposed to all and sundry on the WWW, demanded that M play photographer this time.

Well, that was fun, and here's the result:

God help us all if any of my children take up acting. I'm going to have to marry a seamstress!

*Update* I went to the school and grabbed the wings so M could try on the whole costume, and thought I'd share:


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Growing up Island style - Bermuda

I was born and brought up in the islands - Bermuda first, and then the Cayman Islands.

My parents ended up in Bermuda sort of accidentally. They are both from Belfast, and had left Northern Ireland to go and live in Canada. On the way they stopped for a holiday in Bermuda, at which point my mother took one look at the pink sand beaches and turquoise sea and basically told my father to "Get a job dear, I like it here!"

I'm very glad she did, because it was a fantastic place to grow up. Small and beautiful with great weather and no income tax. And cocktails. Lots and lots of cocktails. Shame I was a bit young to enjoy those, however my parents have told stories of my toddler-tendancies towards mine-sweeping cocktails at adult gatherings (and yes, I am still known to indulge in this).

First I think I should dispell a few myths:

1. Yes, Bermuda is one corner of the Bermuda Triangle, and no, I have no idea what it's all about. We don't sit around cauldrons in Bermuda concocting potions to draw down airplanes out of the sky, or lure sailing vessels to a watery death.

2. Bermuda and the Bahamas and Barbados are three entirely different islands, located miles and miles apart. The names cannot be used interchangeably.

3. Bermuda is not actually in the Caribbean. It is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and is kept warm by the Gulf Stream. Let's hope it stays that way.

4. Bermuda is a British colony, and desperately proud of that fact.

5. No, we did not wear grass skirts and coconut shell bikini tops to school. (I kid you not, I lost count of how many times I was asked this)

At the time I lived there Bermuda had a population of around 53,000 and a total size of 21 square miles, which actually is made up of 140 separate islands, the largest of which are connected by bridges.

OK, them's the facts, now as this is not a history or geography lesson, I just wanted to share a few of my favourite memories (all of which are a bit hazy, as I left there in 1982 and haven't been back since).

Horseshoe Bay

My mother used to take my sister and I to this beach pretty much any time the weather permitted it. Behind the actual beach were miles of sand dune trails, which we would spend entire days exploring. A small cove off to one side had a fantastic cliff for jumping off (into the water, of course) and the little cafe made seriously yummy chips!


Either this was the safest place on Earth, or in the 1970's my parents were supremely confident of my ability to look after myself. From a very young age I remember having total freedom of the outdoors to play and explore. Whether exploring the cliffs and tractor-graveyards near the house, the trails behind the beach, heading out to the nearest jetty armed with stale bread and hand fishing lines or building an illicit "fort" in the bushes with the other neighbourhood kids, we were generally out of the house from daylight to dusk on non-schooldays.

In these WAY-pre mobile phone days, there was no way for parents to contact us, and, to be honest, they wouldn't have wanted to anyway! We could be relied on to come home when we got hungry enough, or when it was too dark to play.

Looking now at my own kids' freedoms, I realise that they are truly missing out. I suppose part of that is because we now live in a city, rather than on a small island, and the news and www fill us with our daily dose of fear of what-can-happen-to-kids these days. It's still so sad, though, to know that they have missed out on what was a truly treasured part of my own childhood.

Culture and History

Bermuda has a very colourful past, having been settled in the 1600's and also having played a big part in several wars. There is no shortage of historical sites to visit, including Fort Hamilton, which was a favourite with us kids to head off to on our bikes, squashed sandwiches on board, to explore for the day. The dungeons, in particular, were a great place to accidently misplace our younger siblings. Yes. We were evil.

Bermuda is also colourful in another way - the literal one. As the island has no groundwater, households rely on rainwater collected on whitewashed limestone roofs. The houses themselves tend to be a rainbow of pastels, with contrasting wooden shutters, and surrounded by plenty of green. I haven't seen anywhere as pretty anywhere else.

There are so many things I loved about growing up in Bermuda, but I don't want to bore you to death, so will leave it at that. I do miss it, and hope one day to be able to take my kids there on holiday.

And maybe show them the dungeons...


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Happy Fathers Day to Me

I was inspired by Not Drowning, Mothering and So Now What to do a bit of a Father's Day blog post. But one with a difference.

My daughter has only had one parent since she was born, and that would be me. Her SD (sperm donor) has had next to nothing to do with us since long before her birth, for reasons best known to himself.

Z's childcare and school know the score on this, so when it comes to the annual make-something-for-daddy time of year they gently guide Z towards completing the same arts'n'crafts project for me. Because I'm Mummy and Daddy.

I guess the purpose of this post is to thank them. I thank them for being sensitive enough to realise that she wants to make the same symbolic gifts as all the other children, and sensitive enough to know that she realises the score and wants to gift them to me.

To all of you, I thank you. Most of all, I thank my daughter for being the most amazingly together little chick on the planet, and for not holding it against me that she doesn't have a dad in her life.

It's his loss, honestly. Fortunately it's my gain.

Oh, and so far I've got a way cool keychain and something else Mysterious that I can't have until tomorrow morning...

And on another note, to my own Daddy, I miss you so much. I miss you every day. I miss your cheeky attitude, the fact that you were never wrong, your intelligence, your love and just your face. I love you.


RIP Jai Morcom

As taken from

"More than 1,000 people have gathered in Mullumbimby to honour the memory of 15-year-old Jai Morcom.

The teenager died last weekend after becoming involved in a schoolyard fight.

The town on the New South Wales north coast was awash in a sea of colour and emotion today.

A local student had suggested that balloons be displayed as part of a campaign for peace at the Mullumbimby High School and scores of local houses and shops complied.

Last Monday students staged a mass walkout from the school.

Today, they retraced their footsteps to the town's Heritage Park, where Jai's sister Kyra and his uncle Paul Drummond, who travelled from New Zealand, spoke of a boy who wanted to be a chef.

Tears flowed freely but laughter also rippled through the crowd as speakers shared their memories of a boy described as beautiful, funny and peaceful.

He also loved Harry Potter, Sarah Lee desserts and sticky date pudding.

Kyra Morcom broke down after a short tribute and embraced her brother's coffin, which was painted bright green.

At the end of the service, which featured Aboriginal and Maori ceremonies, Jai's family released a flock of white pigeons and his friends set free bright multi-coloured balloons."

I am in tears reading this. I am also angry. Very, very angry. How does our society permit children to be beaten to death in the school playground? Quite simply, HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN?

Well, happen it did, and it's got me wondering what the parents of this country can do to prevent further tragedies of this nature. I have 2 sons, one of whom will be in two years the same age Jai was when he died. Perhaps it's just my over-protective Mummy instincts here, but I see my 13 year old as a child. I send him to school every day fully expecting to see him again at 3:00pm. So did Jai's parents. School is supposed to be safe. It's supposed to be supervised and safe. We parents are handing our children over, trusting that they will be properly cared for.

Obviously until all the facts of the case are made available we don't know how this happened, and if the 'system' failed this child, or if it truly was, in fact, simply a tragic accident. I don't mind saying that I'm leaning towards the former, because I'm not quite sure how someone can 'accidentally' get beaten to death.

And what of the perpetrators themselves? What makes teenaged schoolboys capable of such violence towards each other? Is it upbringing, mental illness, social problems, bad role models and so forth? Or could a seemingly completely normal child, with no history of violence, simply lose the plot and strike out.

Again, I'm leaning towards the former. In fact, I'm hoping and praying it's the former. You can get your head around that option just a little bit. I don't think I could cope with the latter. I know many of my son's friends, and simply can't picture any one of them capable of such a thing.

So, what can we do? Apart from hiring bodyguards to accompany our children everywhere they go (which isn't such a bad idea, actually, but is probably out of my budget) we have to teach them the best we can, and hope for the best. How overwhelmingly terrifying is that for any parent?

I have always been very strict on the subject of violence with my kids - in our house shouting is ok, hitting is not. That's not to say that they always listen to me - siblings will be siblings and there will be rivalry and bickering! I think they understand how important a non-violent approach is to me, though, and, more importantly, I think they understand why.

It would be nice to be able to assume that everyone they will come across throughout their educational years and beyond understands that as well, but that's probably a bit of a big ask, though.

Maybe there is something to be said for wrapping our kids in cotton wool...

Rest in peace, Jai, and thoughts and prayers to your family and loved ones.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Not Learner plates, Idiot plates!

I am constantly amazed at how incredibly badly some people drive. I mean, we take tests to see if we have the faintest idea of what we're doing when in control of a 2 tonne beast moving at 100kms an hour. Surely, one would think, if one passes the test it is assumed that one knows the basic rules of the road, and how to handle said beast.

Apparently not.

Here are a few of the things that Really Piss Me Off:

It's quite simple. If you are turning left, indicate left at the roundabout and then turn left. If you are going straight, indicate left just before that particular exit of the roundabout. If you are turning right, you indicate right on approach to roundabout, then indicate left as you exit off roundabout. The things I have seen drivers do would curl your teeth in horror. Every possible variation of indicating, leaving me with the sense that no matter what a person's indicators are doing, they could quite easily do the absolute opposite.

Traffic Lights
Green means go, you arseclowns! Even my kids knew this basic tenet of driving from the age of approximately 18 months. Red = stop. Orange = hit the gas and squeak through hoping there's no camera. Green = keep going. At current speed. Green does not mean slow down to 20km per hour 800m before green light Just In Case it's thinking about turning red.

Just don't fucking do it, ok? It's horribly ill-mannered, excruciatingly irritating and also somewhat dangerous. It's also not going to make me speed up. In fact, you may find it will, in fact, make me slow down to 8km per hour on the freeway if I'm in a stabby enough mood. I need the boot of my car for carrying vegetables and new shoes in. Kindly don't try to park in it.

Frangipani stickers and car seat covers
This pretty much sums it up for me:

Do it properly, please. Special note goes to the asshat in the red convertible Alfa Romeo at my local shops last week who parked exactly and precisely in the middle of 2 parking spaces. You win Twat of the Week. Oh, and being a spotty, oily and mullety 19 year old bogan doesn't qualify you for disabled parking. Sorry. Lazy pricks!

Parallel parking
Firstly, do we all know what the word 'parallel' means? Here's a hint "extending in the same direction, equidistant at all points, and never converging or diverging: parallel rows of trees. " When applied to parking, this means that your car should actually be in line with the kerb. And preferably reasonably close to said kerb. Not 1m away from kerb smack in the middle of the driving lane.

Secondly, have a heart, folks. Free street parking is in very high demand. It's awfully rude and selfish to leave 3 metres in front and behind you. Consider demand and supply and don't take up more space than you need to. Idiot.

Also not rocket science. You happily and neatly insert your car into a line of moving cars with minimum fuss and terror. You do NOT race madly up the inside lane at 100kms a hour as the available space gets narrower and narrower, thereby nearly running yourself and everyone else off the road in your insane attempt to get Just One Car Ahead. Moron.

So-called 'Soc
cer Mums' in whopping great 4WDs
Yes, my en
vironmentally friendly Barina and I are insanely jealous, I openly admit that. I Want To Be You and Drive Your Beast. However, since I can't afford to either buy, run or maintain one, I shall resort to petty bitchiness about some of your habits. Just stop being such show-offy wanks. Don't block me in on all sides and then whinge because I can't see whether or not I can pull out. Learn how to Park Your Beast. Oh, and stop driving while talking on your mobile. Just because you are safe in your tank doesn't mean I'll pull up ok if you drive on top of me.

And just one more special mention to one Soccer Mum in particular. Yes, you. The one that always parks next to me outside the high school. If I have to watch you squeeze your spots in your visor mirror just ONE MORE TIME I may get violent. Kthxbai.


My new greenie blog!

I've decided to separate all my environmental, veggie-gardening, save the planet, treehugging hippy posts out into a completely separate blog.

I even decided to try out Wordpress, and have been having oh-so-much-fun (!!!) getting things set up on there. It wasn't as simple as I first expected, but the basics are there now, along with all appropriate posts from this blog.

I do hope you'll go and have a look and free free to bow down and follow me there as well, because, well, my ego would like it, thanks very much!

The site is called Geckomama, which is a username I've had around the interwebz for a few years now, and I hope you can swing by and say hello!


Another instalment of Pretzel Art

Today is Thursday. Thursday usually, if not always, follows Wednesday. Wednesday is Hump Day. My friend L comes over on Wednesdays so we can help each other Over The Hump with the assistance of a great deal of wine. This often leads to playing with our food - pretzels in particular.

You can find our last instalment of Pretzel Art here if you want to get up to speed before moving on to last night's efforts.

So, without further ado, I am delighted to present An Impressionist Collection of Salty Food Shaped into Other Stuff:

How it always seems to start

Spider Pretzel

Kangaroo Pretzel

Strange Prehistoric Animal Wearing Pretzel Frisbee on Head

Froggie Pretzel

Teeny Weeny Boat being tossed about on Sea of Pretzels

Loch Ness Pretzel

Next we're considering another medium. Twiglets. Or possibly frozen peas. So many choices.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I am never wrong...

When it comes to issues that are a matter of opinion, rather than proven fact, it is, indeed, possible to never be wrong.

I love this concept! I was raised on it, in fact. My father (may he never rest in peace, because he would get bored out of his skull and start annoying people) Was. Never. Wrong. Not even about indisputable facts. It was, in fact, dreadfully annoying to live with him, because he was usually right about not being wrong.

There was that one time he said a bathmat was a towel, and shouted at someone for not putting it on the towel rail, but we moved past that, and he does concede that that the one time he was wrong was when he doubted himself on the bathmat vs. towel saga.

I adored my father, and although his I Am Never Wrong drove me absolutely up the walls, it did teach me to stick by my convictions, even in the face of Overwhelming Opinions To The Contrary. I like to think that I have learned to give slightly in the face of said overwhelming contrary opinions, but let's be honest; not always. Or even usually.

Sometimes one must be right. Especially when it comes to matters of opinions and the capitals of South American countries. La Paz is to Bolivia as social inductions of labour are to Just Wrong in my world.

And yes, that's what this post is all about.

I stand (on my soapbox, of course) comfortably buoyed up by the fact that the Overwhelming Opinons (and medical evidence) on this issue agrees with me.

The very act of inducing labour comes with a multitude of medical risks. There are many situations where that risk is absolutely warranted - maternal high blood pressure, placenta previa, foetal distress and a million others are all very good reasons to get that baby the hell out of Dodge before more harm is done to either mother or child.

Daddy being about to play in the AFL Grand Final and doesn't want Mummy to go into labour on 26th September and fuck up his chances to both be a footy star and a new daddy on the same day is quite simply not one of them.

This blog is not the place to go into the medical risks of inducing a labour before the due date, so I will leave you and Dr. Google to research that yourself. Let's just say that my own research, as well as my own in-depth debates with my personal obstetricians have given me a pretty good idea of what those risks are.

All birth carries inherent risk. All birth carries inherent inconvenience. It might, God forbid, start in the pickles and ice-cream aisle at the supermarket. It may start when Dad is about to be deployed to Afghanistan or sent to an oil rig off the Pilbarra. It may EVEN be thinking of starting around Grand Final Day, or on the first day of the Myer-One cardholders only presale special event.

The point is, we don't know when baby is going to decide to make it's grand appearance, and we have to schedule our lives accordingly. Nothing can be written in stone around Due Date. Our children only get one birth. Isn't it our responsibility as parents to make that birth as safe as we possibly can?

To say in a cavalier manner that we are going to schedule the birth of our children around the other events in our lives, by using a medical intervention that holds risks to both mother and child is both irresponsible and selfish.

It comes down to priorities, in my book.

And this is my blog, and in this perfect world of mine I am never wrong!


PS. It's all my dad's fault, ok?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

All About The Blogging

Liss over at Frills in the Hills has started a bit of a blog meme, so I thought I'd join in and pass it on to the rest of you because, well, I'm nosey, ok?

Here are your questions, please comment and let me know if you've added this to your own blog so I can come and have a sticky beak at your answers!

  • How did you come up with the name of your blog?
  • What was the first blog you followed?
  • What's the latest blog you followed?
  • What blog do you follow that surprises you doesn't have more followers?
  • The blog you adore the style of?
  • The blog you visit first thing in the morning?
  • The blog you go to for a laugh?
  • The blog you go to live vicariously or get inspiration from and why?
  • Which blog did you get this from?
Name of my blog: It's almost embarassingly corny, but true. I was having an utter SHYTE of a day, and was nearly in tears for some reason or another. My gorgeous 5 year old daughter saw me ready to throw the dishwasher out the window and the dog over the fence and disappeared into her room and came out wearing a plastic princess tiara. She handed me another one and said if I put it on I would be a fairy princess just like her, and wouldn't be cross any more.

After I melted into a puddle of motherly love on the floor, I took her spare tiara and wore it for the rest of the evening until it bored holes in my skull, but she was right - you can't be cross when you're wearing a sparkly tiara!

Warned you it was vomitously corny! Actually, that's more about my username than my blog name, but it'll do. The poncho thing kind of follows the same train of thought and comes from a BBC comedy show called The Mighty Boosh. It's also something my boyfriend says all the time.

First blog I followed: A blog by a dear friend of mine called The Crone at Wit's End. She is an inspiration in all things environmental, veggie-garden-ish, maternal and spiritual and is also highly amusing when she's been nipping at the gin. She was off blogging for a while there, but is easing herself back into it. I highly recommend a visit!

Latest blog I've followed: Cluttercut, written by the lovely Daharja. I found her blog via Eat at Dixiebelle's and am looking forward to reading much more.

Blogs I'm surprised don't have more followers: this one is tough, I find it hard to remember how many followers each one has, but I think a special mention should go to this one, of particular interest to mums of premmies. The Smallest Pencil is a daily journal, written retrospectively by a mum of a 10 week premature baby who is now a bouncing 8 year old. Also Hipbubbymama, written by Spiralmumma, who, as we have discovered is me and vice versa. It's kind of cool! She also makes way cool baby slings, which are NEARLY cute enough to tempt me back on that merry-go-round(but not quite, sorry J!).

Blog you adore the style of: Oh bugger, I can't possibly pick one here, there are so many. I guess I'll go with one of my fave Big Bloggy Sites Mamamia by Mia Freeman, as I love how her site is so interactive and how she's not afraid to say it as she sees it!

Blog I visit first thing in the morning: Well d'uh! Mine, of course! I have to see if anyone has commented on anything, or if I blogged anything dubious when under the influence the night before!

Blogs I visit for a laugh: Oh, there are a few. My Twitter bloggy friends in particular. Here are a few of them Not Drowning, Mothering, Life and Other Crises, Pottymouth Mama, and Waffling Along. Damnit, I just know I've forgotten some, so if I follow you, and you make me laugh and I rudely forgot your blog, just kick me in the butt and post it in a comment below!

Blog I go to to live vicariously or for inspiration: Honestly, all of the blogs I follow inspire me in one way or another, and in some way I'm also experiencing each blogger's life vicariously, so I'm going to put my foot down and refuse to answer this question as it would take too long to explain each one, and I'm about to be late to pick up the kids from school anyway!!

Blog I got this from: That would be Frills in the Hills!

Thanks, Liss!

Bugger, I am seriously going to be late. Please comment, please post on your own site, please indulge my nosiness!


PS - please excuse formatting errors. I have absolutely NFI how to format properly on here *blush*