Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Life Balance and Imbalance

Everyone is talking about life balance.  That means you don't work too much or lay around too much. I've been thinking too much while laying around since Saturday because vertigo has struck me down like a giddy aunt.  If you're not familiar with it, it makes you very dizzy (even when simply turning your head) and nauseous.  Ironically, I've lost my balance.  Apparently there is no cause and besides taking Stemetil, no treatment but it passes after about five days. Thank goodness its been raining, the umbrella was a great walking stick disguised to help me get to the doctors.

But it gave me something to think about.  I don't like being sick and get frustrated when I can't do something. I've also been contemplating my working future at the moment - I'm temping (which is not great when you're sick - no pay!) while on the look out for the job that has that balance of something that interests me, using what skills I have, in an organisation I can believe in and with people I can click with. The ideal job would be an administrator, blog writer and reviewer for an organisation that promotes an environmentally sustainable lifestyle - and I actually applied for a position just like this!

I've made some misguided choices in the last seven months and feeling a little unsure of where I should head next. Just hoping my next choice is not a disaster or I'm going to start to think I've lost it.

They say you should spend a third of your life working, a third sleeping and a third doing leisurely pursuits (why do I just think of safari suits when I say that?).  Most of us may not have that balance quite right.

Total Hours in a week = 168

Hours working  (including going to and from work) = 40 + 9 hours of housework = 49
Hours sleeping = 56

So that means 63 hours left in the week which consists of driving kids to sports, to the shops and friends places, a couple of hours of exercise (should be more!), cooking, eating, reading, writing, watching TV (way too much), seeing movies and some socialising on the weekends. Oh and looking at what other people are doing on the internet.

This calculation shows my balance is out a bit but generally, not too bad.  Always feel I could do with a bit more sleep though. And to stop spinning out.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A weekend of soul food

Last Sunday night I was on my way home from the Blue Mountains Music Festival.  I thought the Mongolian folk/punk/rock band that appeared at the festival was on the same carriage. I could have sworn it was them, I even had a look at their Facebook page to check and they had the short one, the tall one and the big one who had seemed so intimidating on stage in his traditional costume of studded leather arm/back vest and John Lennon sunnies (which made him look spookily like John Belushi). Now he was waking up and adjusting his 'Yankees' cap.  He was not so scary now in his t-shirt which just managed to cover his belly which last night was bursting out of a nasty, black leather belt that pushed the flesh out in a V at the front.

The last gig for me on Sunday was in the car park marquee with Grace Barbe from the Seychelles who was beautiful in voice and vision.  She had a full dance floor in front of the stage where dozens of very happy festival-ers were swaying as if they were on holiday in Jamaica (or the Seychelles for that matter), though we were sheltering from an icy wind and rugged up with jackets and scarves.

Grace Barbe - beauty, talent and attitude

Over at the Tantric Turtle Tent (yes, you read that right) there had been bands from Scotland, Ireland, some kind of Eastern European-sounding group and also the all girl indigenous singers and dancers.  On Saturday night the Scottish trio, the Borderers (led by a blonde, bobbed glamour in a tartan mini skirt and black lace knickers) got the crowd singing Hallelujah beautifully and then dancing to Gypsy music like they lived in tents.

Throughout the weekend you may have thought you were in Nimbin rather than Katoomba, but the locals know that its just the North Coast with snow here.

There's an eclectic mix of artists, writers, gardeners, musicians and random performers who live in the mountains.  I know that they all believe they are individuals (cue Life of Brian scene), but they dress and live as a clan that loves head wraps, yoga pants and tapestry ponchos.  They dress their beautifully grubby kids in layers of natural fibres and conflicting patterned dresses and eat lots of homemade bread and lentil curries.

Not that there is anything wrong with that, just don't pretend you're the first generation to live that way, its been around since the bohemian era in the early 1900's (and probably before).  Shunning the 'system', or rat race, and feeling smug about your environmentally friendly lifestyle (funny how so many of them have iPhones though...).

Don't get me wrong, I admire their commitment to dreadlocks, hemp pants and gluten free rice balls, but please don't look down from your free range high horse to those of us that don't boho all the way.  Some of us don't look good in paisley.

My sister is a Katoomba local (but not of the hippy variety) and has volunteered at the festival in previous years, but this weekend we were both there to enjoy. Enjoyed the music, the coffees, the curries, the baklava and brownies, the dancing, the people watching and the Hillbilly Peach Ciders in the Boho Bar.  I fell in love with this bar so much I want to recreate it in my house.

Its full of furniture found on the side of the road (literally! they have been adding to it for the past 19 years).  Vinyl chairs, old globes of the world, coffee tables topped with school maps, an old TV set circa 1975, wooden ironing boards used as bar benches and big comfy vinyl couches.  The floor is covered in old rugs and the marquee walls are covered in curtain materials not uncommon in homes of my childhood - think '70's, big orange and brown flowers.  They even have a hook rug and a string and nail abstract piece on the wall that is as ugly as the one I did in 6th class!

There's something about good, live music that feeds my soul.  I definitely need more of it in the future.

The Stray Sisters
George and Noriko

Spooky Men's Chorale
This weekend I've watched The Stray Sisters (formerly known as The Waifs, I got to chat/gush with Donna at the RSL ATM), George and Noriko (chatted to Noriko's husband and baby who was so cute I considered running off with - the baby, not the husband), The Pigs (funny and fun so I bought their CD's), The Spooky Mens Chorale (just a little bit weird), The Jess Valach Band (who I got to high five after his set).

The Pigs

Jeff Valach

Jeff Lang, Ash Grunwald and Ben Walker did their stuff on stage right in front of me, where I was so close to the speakers the hairs on my arm were vibrating (OK, actually waving in the breeze).  I've moved my hips more in one hour than I have in 8 weeks of belly dancing lessons.  I danced so hard at the end of Ash's set, I thought my heart was going to crash out of my chest and land on the stage (I really need to exercise more ...).
Benny Walker
Ash Grunwald

Jeff Lang
The poor young thing next to me was already overwhelmed by the action on floor.  I think she thought she had been kidnapped and plonked in the middle of a cult.  I saw her expression when he started his guitar up and she happened to be standing in front of the speakers, it was like a train had hit.  She scuttled away with her hands on her ears - and I took her spot.  It wasn't going to affect my hearing, I had damaged that long ago in pubs of my youth.

As I wrote this down on the train, I'm feeling peaceful and connected and until the chaos of home hits, I can get this all down on paper without any clutter or deadline.  But after two days away, I'm very happy to go home and get some hugs from my family (hopefully not only from my dog).

Peace and mung beans are good 'n all, but give me a well upholstered couch, a cup of tea and a cuddle and I'm just as happy.

*Joining Essentially Jess for #IBOT*

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway here to win a cocktail shaker set (I promise I will post a picture of it soon!)**

Friday, March 14, 2014

'I'm not a grown up yet' Giveaway FYBF

Its very strange how you can live for almost half a century and never feel grown up. Well except for those times where you're doing domestic duties and just want to lie down for a nap at four in the afternoon. 

Where am I going with this? Well lets first talk about what most adults do - work. 

As regular readers would know, I've been going through a few career changes, which means I've been jumping through a few jobs lately. I left my lovely comfortable position at the English school as it was about to close down and leapt into an independent high school where my sanity was tested and my health was threatened (do ulcers just come and go?). Once I got to the point where I didn't want to get up in the morning, I looked for an escape hatch. That seemed to be an ideal job in a small company that was promoting something I could believe in.

This did not work out. 

At this point I started to think there was something wrong with me. I've spent a lifetime (literally, for some, if their life has only been 28 years long) working hard in maybe half a dozen companies in a career I didn't quite choose but was good at. Office work. That can cover many things, I know, but in summary its administration and computer work.  I've had a think of what I've actually done since leaving school after year 10 and this is:

Library assistant
Database administrator
Office assistant
Contracts secretary
Environmental law secretary
Leasing executive secretary
Retail manager secretary
Legal secretary
Events coordinator
Financial administrator
Website sales
Web developer and editor
Desktop publisher
Human resources officer
Curriculum administrator
School registrar/secretary/first aid officer
Office Manager

These are all respectable jobs but its not what I chose so much as fell into due to previous experience. 

In fact what I was wished to be when i was at school was a writer. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is now I must go back to my 15 year old self and get on with it. What is encouraging is that in the last three years I've done more writing through this blog than I have in my entire life. Its no 'great Australian novel' but I've just had some fresh inspiration from a book I'm reading (a most lovely birthday gift from my family last week) by Janice McLeod called Paris Letters. Its her story how she lived her dream of having enough to live and travel through Europe for two years. Of course she was single, no kids and in her thirties, but her narration is very similar to what goes on in my head. She even blogged throughout it all. 

And don't worry Mr Moneymaker and spawn. I'm not going to shoot through and disappear (though most days they might dream about not hearing my nagging), but the whole concept of her paring down her life and not putting up with soul destroying work, was an attractive idea. 

Anyway now I need to get back to that book (I'm on a Katoomba bound train for the Blue Mountains Blues Music Festival) and stop typing on my phone.  Though there's so much more to say (not least about people watching on a Friday night train!). 

So is there any career you would have liked to venture into and just never got the chance?  Best answer (I've just decided) will win a prize of a cocktail shaker kit (which I've been meaning to give away for ages!).  Closing date midnight 27th March 2014.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

More changes

Well isn't it funny how things turn around.

That lovely job I was so excited about starting only lasted a little over four weeks.  I won't get into the details, but suffice to say what they wanted was different from what they asked and also from what I could deliver.  It's the only time in 32 years of working that I've been "let go" (as opposed to resigning or being retrenched).

As of yesterday I was given a week's notice and by this afternoon I've nabbed a two month temporary assignment at starting tomorrow! Can't afford to sit still for very long.

One thing I've learnt about myself in the last few months is my priorities have changed over the years.  I used to look for a job that would be exciting and challenging in a dynamic company, but lately I just want a fairly interesting job that gets me up in the morning and has nice people to talk to during the day.

So I'll try out temporary office work for awhile (it kept me in solid work for five years a lifetime ago) and meet lots of new people and see some different places.

**Joining up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT**

Friday, February 28, 2014

End of one season, start of another

(this is where I spent half of January)
So that was Summer, eh?

I love Summer but there are parts of Winter I love too, just not as much as Summer.  I'll miss the sitting out in the sun after dinner with a cool drink, not having to take forever to get dressed in the morning, not waiting for days for the washing to dry, being outdoors without having to take a coat and umbrella and getting social just because its sunny outside.

Winter has its good points too. There's comfort food and the fact that its actually enjoyable to cook, that its lovely to get snuggly in bed (unfortunately really difficult to get out of bed though), there's no sweating so its good to get out and get active and there's comfort food (did I mention that already?).

But I didn't come here to talk about the weather (ho hum), I wanted to say I'm on an 'up' today (as opposed to yesterday where it was all too hard). It may be because its Friday, or because I had a productive day at work and feeling that I've got a little more of a handle on things.  I'm also excited at the prospect of promoting not only the great stuff the people at my new workplace are doing for kids, but also promoting Mr Moneymaker's new business and life long dream.

He's selling the stuff that he loves, at last. A life-long lover of sport (not to mention the Nugget's personal Sports Manager), he has set up his own sport equipment brand, Cigno Sports and his days consist of choosing, selling and generally playing with, Soccer Balls (did you know that cigno is the Italian word for swan???).  I've even spent quite a few hours entering HUNDREDS of contacts into his database and though its been a bit of a risk (to the point where I may have to change his name from Mr Moneymaker to something else), its starting to build up.  The majority of business will be coming from Soccer Clubs in Queensland, NSW and Victoria so if you're involved in purchasing equipment for your club and you want quality, give him a call (don't forget to tell him I told you first!).

As for my new role, I'm so proud to be working for a company that has such a great concept and that can really make a difference to a young child's life.  The company is called Yoga To Go Kids and it takes the philosophy of mindfulness and well being along with a great habit for young children to take into their adult life. I've been there about four weeks now and I've been talking to the schools and the yoga teachers and seeing feedback coming back from the kids and the school teachers. Its wonderful what they're saying about the effects the classes have had on all the kids - the quiet ones, the loud ones, the hyperactive ones and the troubled ones. I'm really impressed and I want to tell everyone.
Yoga To Go Kids
Now my next move is to get the word out there about both businesses, not so much through this blog (though I will put a couple of buttons on the side here), but to promote through Facebook and Twitter.

Now if only they could afford to sponsor me to go the Digital Parents Conference in March! Oh well, that boat may have to leave without me. Literally.

*Joining With Some Grace for FYBF*

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A bit of This and That for #IBOT

I guess the good news is I've been too busy doing fun stuff to blog about it.  The bad news is I'm out of practice again, what do I write about?  So when in doubt, a blogger always turns to a list.

There's a few lists going about but for once I won't read EVERYBODY ELSE'S BLOG before I write my own post.  I'll get down and creative and make up my own.

So, here's my List of What I've Been Up To In Short Bullet Point Form (something tells me it will be way too many words to be true to this title):

  • What I've been doing 9-5 every week day: going hell-for-leather at my new job as Office Manager at Yoga To Go Kids (making mistakes, making things a bit smoother and getting creative with spreadsheets).
  • Where I've been: ABC studios to see a pilot show "Bring Out Your Dead", several soccer fields to and fro about four nights a week, the Blue Mountains, around the Bay Run (walking and on my bike), every bed shop in Parramatta Road looking for the perfect bed for Nugget.
  • What I've been listening to: Jimmy Barnes at Taronga Zoo, Ukelele bands at Katoomba, Karaoke at Leichhardt, INXS on TV, Adele at work.
  • What I've been watching on the screen: The Wolf of Wall Street, The Dallas Buyers Club, INXS, Rake, Arrested Development, American Horror Story, The Block, Craig Ferguson Late Late Show.
  • What I've been reading on paper: Sunday magazines, Renegade Collective magazine, The Ukelele Handbook, Cloudstreet, Word by Word and some novel I'm battling to finish which I won't name because the style it is written in is SO ANNOYING but I need to know what happens in the end.
  • What I've been reading online: Life and Other Crises, Edenland, Woogsworld, Essentially Jess, With Some Grace, Hoopla, Mamamia, Catherine Deveny, Change.org
  • What I've been eating/drinking: tacos, spaghetti, noodles, pizza, salmon, lamb, lemon meringue pie (thank you Nasa Mummy!), Brazilian fried bananas in Norton Street, raspberry and frangipani slice, lots of coffee (that's what happens when you work in a street lined with the best cafes), Pinot Grigio in Palace Cinemas, Fruit Whip in Newtown.

And that's it in a nutshell (there may be more but I really can't remember!).  Wouldn't it be good if we could get everything done that we have to every week in the time it takes to put it in a list?  But I really must sign off now, Rake's on!!!

**Joining up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT**

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

New start, new outlook

Today marked the first day of a new stage of life for me.

Today I started a new job in a vibrant and independent company which promotes and teaches a skill for lifelong well-being to children.

Today I became the Office Manager for Yoga To Go Kids Australia.

The day flew by and though there was a lot to get through, I'm itching to get back there tomorrow to start organising everything. There are great systems in place already, but I was able to suggest a few new ways to do things and take advantage of the Google range of tools to compliment their procedures.  And it was wonderful for my ideas to be accepted without the age old "but we've always done it THIS way".

That's the advantage of working in a small(ish) business. They're usually open to change and improvements and have less red tape getting in the way of things. Love it.

This is when I'm glad I've discovered publications like Renegade Collective.  It inspires me and fires up parts of my head that haven't been feeling any heat for quite awhile.  My creative juices are flowing and there are more ideas whirling around up in that dusty space than I can spit out.

Nugget's garage sale wasn't a raging success but at least we've cleared the decks a little. And the stuff we couldn't sell we've distributed to a couple of worthy causes (a couple of boxes of clothes are on their way to Lebanon and a couple of boxes of toys to Tonga). It makes me want to clear out a whole lot more (I really need to make enough space in my wardrobe so I can actually move those coathangers around!).

So the Nugget only made enough for a new Playstation game, but he put in the hours and learnt what it was like to work for his money.  He even did a bit of busking on the guitar to demonstrate the amp for sale (not sure if that helped or not....).

I've heard of a few friends starting new ventures this year, not to mention Mr Moneymaker finally building his dream of his very own sports supplies business, Cigno Sports (if you know any football/soccer clubs looking to stock up on quality equipment, give him a call. He knows his stuff!).

All in all, its going to be a risky but exciting year.  Here's hoping I survive and don't lose what little sanity I have left.

**Joining up with Essentially Jess IBOT**

Saturday, February 1, 2014

I feel like Ray Liotta on speed

(me today)

I've been feeling like I'm in a Martin Scorcese movie lately.  

You know towards the end of Goodfellas where Ray Liotta's character is rushing around trying to deliver a gun, pick up his brother from hospital and cook pasta sauce all in the one afternoon? That. 

I keep expecting to look up and see a helicopter following me around.  

As usual, I've tried to fit too many things in one day. Leaving the narrowest of margins between picking up one kid and dropping another one on the other side of the planet. Well almost.  

For example, I gave my son the challenge of organising his own garage sale so he can raise some money for a new bike. He sorted some toys out and a few bags of clothes and selected which soccer balls to sell. Then dumped it all in the hallway. I sorted it out. 

I showed him what to write on the ads and told him to copy it on about eight sheets of paper. He got bored with that after about two sheets so I finished it.  

So everything was dumped in the garage along with a box of my daughter's clothes. Then I thought I really should go through all our books kept in the garage and sell some. That took about two hours (it's really hard for me to let books go!) yesterday.  

Then this morning i got an enquiry about the kid's bed I advertised on the garage sale ad i posted on Gumtree last night. So I did a deal and sold it while having a coffee in a cafe within about 10 minutes. I was feeling quite chuffed with myself and trotted off to Apple and Optus to sort out Nugget's phone (he jumped in the pool on Christmas Day with it in his pocket and didn't tell us till two weeks later!).  

After another coffee and a cinnamon scroll I drove home and started sorting out the stuff in the garage so people could actually see stuff to buy. I also started to get those unused kitchen appliances out to sell. Then all of a sudden it was 3 o'clock! Well that little job I had hoped Nugget would do actually took about two hours.  

So I rushed off to pick my daughter up from school, then rushed home so she could get ready for work, took them both to Nugget's music lesson then rushed back so she could go to work - 10 minutes late.  One more dash home just in time to see Mr Moneymaker getting home at 5.30pm who asked why wasn't I ready to go out yet???? Grrrr.

I slipped on a dress and a bucketload of deodorant, grabbed my sandals and we zoomed off to the ABC studios.  I had scored some tickets to a taping of a pilot show, which we made in the nick of time after inhaling a couple of cheeseburgers (I had forgotten to eat anything since this morning's cinnamon scroll).

It turned out to be an entertaining show and we even had time afterwards to have a couple of drinks in the nearby pub before picking up our daughter from work at 10pm.

Phew! I'm even worn out reading it back!  You can see how I feel like this ...

I'm now sitting in our garage watching everyone walk past our display of 'must-have' items. Well, some have stopped to buy and the Nugget's Ikea bed was sold at 8am this morning.  Besides the bed, he's made around $50. Not enough for a new bike.

There's so much stuff left and I've promised Mr Moneymaker everything will be gone tomorrow (charity bins here I come).

So if anyone is looking for a couple of bikes, curtains made of pink fur, a framed picture of a giraffe mother and baby, a Panasonic rice cooker, Kambrook cake pop maker, Sunbeam slushie maker and a whole lot of books, give me a call. I've got what you want.

**Joining With Some Grace for FYBF**

Friday, January 24, 2014

Clearing the crap from the cupboards

You might have noticed I'm a bit of a greenie.  Not in the militant-tree-hugging-vegan-eating-never-wear-leather kind of way, but I do try to follow my principles.

So I've given myself a way to be more aware of my consumption of crap. Not the eating of it (still love the occasional junk food), but the buying of manufactured crap.  In particular clothes and plastic stuff.  You know the kind, when you're out at a shopping centre for the sole purpose of buying your son's school shoes and you end up with the three-for-ten-dollar undies from Cotton On and that brightly coloured plastic container that you really, really need to stuff in the pantry and forget and swear at every time it falls out when you open the door.

I was inspired by Pip Lincolne's (Meet Me At Mike's) post about ethical fashion to only:

  • buy from ethical makers (a bit of research required); or
  • buy second-hand (I do this quite a bit already); or
  • make it myself (that probably won't be very successful, but I'll give it a try); or
  • wear things I already own (I hardly ever throw stuff out so there's a big resource there); or
  • borrow or swap garments with friends (see above, lots of resources!).

I'll also extend this to limit stuff I buy for the house as I've just spent two days clearing out both my kids' rooms and THEY HAVE SO MUCH STUFF!!! They've forgotten half the things that were shoved into cupboards and bookcases (including some science experiments with sandwiches and apples uurrrggh!), so I'm encouraging them to be mindful when they tell me they really really need something.

The hallway is full of old toys and about a dozen soccer balls from under Nugget's bed. I've been trying to encourage him to be interested in other things beside the Playstation since Christmas so I've given him a copy of Kylie Ofiu's book, 365 Ways To Make Money (note, some of these ways are probably not appropriate for children but I don't expect my 11 year old to take up escorting anytime soon).
(The dog is not for sale!)
When I explained how a garage sale might help him get rid of his old stuff and buy him his next video game, he was all fired up to become an entrepreneur.  And he has promised to do all the advertising, setting up, pricing and clearing up afterwards.  He may even end up charging me commission if I want to sell my own stuff!

I'll also be setting aside some boxes to go to my friend, Danni's house who is sending a shipment of toys to kids in Tonga.

It's amazing what you find in the cupboards that you haven't used in ages. Have a look and if your cupboards are bare, come over next Saturday, you could get yourself a bargain basement breadmaker, some cheap chino's or a next to nothing Nerf gun.

*Joining up With Some Grace for FYBF*

**This is not a sponsored post, but any profits made from this post will probably be commandeered for ANOTHER Playstation game**

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sand and Horses

Its good to be home but gawd its good to go away. I've realised that I can now appreciate the moments when I'm just relaxing under a tree, by a pool or strolling along a deserted beach and realise that there's nowhere I need to be or rush to and I don't have to get up early to stress about getting to work on time, getting all the work done and getting home at a decent hour. There's nowhere else I need to be.

As the kids get older, holidays get easier. They don't have to be constantly entertained any more, as long as there's a pool, beach or other kids to socialise with, they are pretty right. So add wine and its the same things I require for a good holiday.

I've also been more relaxed these holidays due to the fact I'm starting a new job this year!  I'm very excited about it and as time goes on I will be talking more about it here, but for the moment let's just say I'm doing something I can believe in and feel passionate about.  I have lots of new ideas stirring around in my head and for once I am feeling positive about my work.

2014 is the Year of the Horse, according to the Chinese Zodiac.  I was born in a Horse Year (I won't tell you which one but I'm sure you could work it out).  Susan Levitt (the first Chinese zodiac blogger I came across in Google) describes those born in a Horse Year:

People born in Horse years (2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930, 1918, 1906) are bright, cheerful, popular, and fun loving. They find people and crowds exciting, and love parties. Horse’s childish innocence, sunny disposition, and natural charm attract many friends. Horse is a highly intuitive animal, so people born in Horse year follow their hunches. Their keen judgment and natural intuition often help them make the right decisions throughout their life. Usually they don’t need to struggle in order to succeed and obtain the fine things life has to offer.
Horses have a carefree nature and need ample room for self expression. When constrained by rules, proud Horse will rebel, refusing to be corralled or tamed. Horses will tell you exactly what is on their mind; they are frank and dislike hidden agendas. So this is the time for issues to be out in the open, especially with family members. The time for secrecy was last year Snake 2013, not now in Horse year.

Sounds a little too much like me.  The prediction for 2014 for all of us from Susan is:

The Wood Horse year is a time of fast victories, unexpected adventure, and surprising romance. It is an excellent year for travel, and the more far away and off the beaten path the better. Energy is high and production is rewarded. Decisive action, not procrastination, brings victory. But you have to act fast in a Horse year. If you are not 100% secure about a decision, then don’t do it. Events move so quickly in a Horse year that you don’t want to gallop off in the wrong direction. 

Well that's a bit unnerving. This may or not be true, it depends on what you want to believe, but its nice to have a guess at the future, particularly if its positive!

*Joining up with Essentially Jess for IBOT*

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Visual summary of 2014 so far

We are fourteen days into 2014 and Birdy Num Num has been noticably silent (well maybe someone noticed the silence).  My last post was way back on 6th December and much has happened since then but I won't bore you with details except to say 2014 is set to be a fresh gust of wind to clear out some cobwebs and for the Birdy Num Num household to be a much happier and peaceful home.

I've been taking part in Fat Mum Slim's Photo a Day.  Of course I haven't kept to posting a daily photo to Instagram but I've gathered a few for the last week or so in a collage to share.  And of course you find a lot more to photograph when you're on holiday :)

Day 14 - 3 Things
Day 13 - Makes me smile

If you want to see more, just check out my Instagram feed and join along if you like (you can find the details and the list at Fat Mum Slim's Photo a Day).

How is your holiday going? Are you relaxed as I am?

**Joining up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT**

Friday, December 6, 2013

He was the Little Red Rooster

Do you think there's an age limit to some jobs.  For example, you won't see many elderly bricklayers, firemen, lumberjacks or professional sportsmen or women.

But what about rock legends? When should they retire?

Now anybody that knows me, knows I'm a Rolling Stones tragic. I still maintain they are the greatest rock band that have ever strut their stuff on the global stage.  I've seen them three times (two times that I can actually remember!).  My first sexual dream was all about Mick.  As a teen, I had a poster on the wall next to my bed of him wearing a red leather jumpsuit.

So when it was announced that the greatest band on earth was going to come to Sydney one last time, I should have been devising ways to get that elusive ticket. But I was all “meh, why bother, they just don’t have it anymore”.  Don’t get me wrong, I still listen to their music, but I feel that Mick just doesn’t have that presence on stage like he did 10, 20, 30(!) years ago.

If I got the same thrill seeing him live as I did the first time, I would sell Mr Moneymaker’s left testicle to get a ticket up in the mosh pit (alongside several old age pensioners).  But seeing and hearing him on the TV lately is a bit disappointing and just a little sad.

I’ve always said there’s no age limit to music, you can’t be too old to love new music or too young to love old music.  And if a musician is still enjoying and producing the same quality they were at their peak, there should be no reason to stop.

But there’s something about a 70 year old man strutting around on stage as if he’s still the sex god he used to be that’s just wrong.  Yes people who know me, I’m admitting that I don’t have the same feelings for the Mick I used to.

I will just have to contend with the memories of this gorgeous creature.

At least Bon Jovi still stirs my loins – and the wonderful thing is I DO have a ticket to see him next week!

What legend have you always loved that you have to admit is past it?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Apologies and Cheer

Please accept my apologies for my last post. The quality reflected my demeanor at the time and it was noted it was not one of my better attempts (even Mr Moneymaker stated it was the worst blog post he had ever read - luckily he hasn't read my early work).  I promise not to expose you to that twaddle again. Hopefully.

And now for something completely different.... a little song to cheer this chilly, wet day by a couple of my favourite TV characters from Scrubs:

"Baby Its Cold Outside" - Zach & Donald Holiday Video

I have no idea why its cold outside, its friggin' November!  Which brings me to my next point - it's friggin' Christmas in four weeks!!!!  How did that happen?  By this time last year I had done half the shopping already, both online and in the shops.  When I realised how close it was today, I pulled out last year's spreadsheet to start filling in my list and checking it twice.

But then I got distracted.  I saw one of the first Christmas themed shows tonight, "The Living Room", which showed the typical styling tips for classy Christmas tables, one colourful contemporary and one vintage elegant.  Nice, but its not going to happen in this house.  I'm not that obsessed.  But I started thinking it would be nice to have a Christmas Eve Dinner Party with a few close friends before the big day with the big family.  And it would be nice to make the place look a little classy, like I give a damn.  Which I really do, but as soon as I start attempting to 'style', something just doesn't go right and I stick with the basics.

But then there's always Pinterest.

You can totally lose yourself in that place.  Type any subject and you'll think all your Christmases have come at once. Literally!

a fraction of what you can find on Pinterest

The other great thing about Christmas is the socialising.  And I'll be starting the celebrations as soon as tomorrow.  The yearly Christmas Workshop with Penny and Working Mums Masterclass is on and I've always tried to attend every one of them.  There's always lovely people and lovely things, and a great chance to see my bloggy friends.  Presenters include the very smart Kylie Ofiu, the very sassy Gemma King and the very statuesque Penny Webb herself.

So as soon as I watch my daughter smash her way through her basketball finals tomorrow morning, I will be hoofing it off to Lane Cove for an afternoon of mood boarding, tip collecting and getting that Christmas feeling and hopefully getting inspired.

Have you started preparing for the big red suited visitor?

*Joining up to With Some Grace for #FYBF*

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Blah Days

I'm having Blah Days. A lot of them.  It might have something to do with coming to the end of the year, feeling generally flabby and pale, uninspired with no direction.

Or it could be that I really regret leaving my old job before it actually ended and jumped into what I thought would be a good professional move. It wasn't.

It could be that that career move has me not wanting to get up in the morning (even more than usual).

So I have plans in place to change. I just have to have patience for things to happen. I can do that.  I have lots of patience. As long as I know something better is coming along, I can survive. And get myself out of bed in the mornings.

Then again, it could be I've been eating too much cheese.


But there's always something on YouTube that will cheer me up (and remind me of BBBBB):

*Joining with Essentially Jess for IBOT*

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Breaking Bad Habits

I know I'm usually a bit late to get into Whats Hot (or What's Quiche - see, I'm in the loop!).  But I've had stuff on, big stuff (that might have been a direct quote from Family Guy just now. I really shouldn't watch TV while I'm writing).

What I'm getting at is I've finally got around to watching the first season of Breaking Bad.

It's so good.

I'm hooked.  How can a story about a sad science teacher turned meth cooker and dealer (with a bit of murder thrown in), be so enthralling?

from here
In fact, I'm just controlling myself from watching another episode fom Season Two instead of doing my IBOT post.

I realise that Season Five is being shown now and I'm consciously avoiding accidentally coming across an episode that might ruin the previous four seasons for me.  I noticed a headline on smh.com.au yesterday saying that an alternative ending has been made showing the whole thing was a dream and shows a picture of 'Walt' waking up next to his wife from 'Malcolm in the Middle'.  I didn't click through to see anything further in case they had written what the real ending was and my addiction would be ruined. Never like to know how a movie or book ends. In fact I've got a real aversion to reading books for the second time. Or watching movies I've seen before (unless its Mouline Rouge of course).

I'm not often addicted to TV series.  There's been a few though, mostly after the hype has passed me by and I would have been saying "I must get that box set out and watch it one day". Namely 'Love My Way', 'Rake', 'Sons of Anarchy'.  Some others I just haven't got around to watching like 'Girls' and 'The Wire'.

But now I have to stop and make this post a bit shorter than normal.  I really need to watch another episode of Breaking Bad.

What's your TV addiction?

*Joining with Essentially Jess for #IBOT*