Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolutions Revealed

I'm not a great one for resolutions and seem to set the same three each year:
  • Sell my property
  • Lose Weight
  • Get Laid
None have come to fruition  in the recent past but I live in hope. Although this year, I feel a brightness. There's something special about 2011, a new positive energy if that's what it can be called. Oh yes, I still want the three above but have decided that none are going to fall in my lap.  The house is for sale and I'm actively pushing it to anyone who shows any interest but much of that is in the lap of the gods. However, if it hasn't gone by September, it's being auctioned or the price dropped. I want 2011 to be my last Christmas here. Not because I don't love the place but because it's simply time to move on.

Losing weight is happening and I've moved about 7 kilos in 7 weeks.  I need to lose another 18 over the next 12 weeks which is quite a task. Slow and steady but I'm walking every day and was even cajoled into buying some dumbells and use them three times a week to reduce the canteen lady arms. So by April 1st, I hope to win, or come close to winning my bet with The Benchwarmer and taking a nice crisp $100 bill from his wallet.

Getting laid? This is a problem. I'm no spring chicken. I'm incredibly fussy about the men that appeal to me. I'm a social recluse and frankly, I've not been asked for a long time so, we'll see.  Hard to find an attractive man who can look past the sagging boobs and cellulite thighs and the recent Harry Potter scar across my eyebrow doesn't help. Maybe I'll start dating, maybe I won't but if it happens, I'll be forever grateful to whoever breaks the drought, although  I think I've forgotten how to do it and no man will 'see' me totally naked. Ever.

I'm adding a few as well. Resolutions that I can or should be able to control.

Reduce the neuroticism

I can be a worrier and think of the worst. As my friend in the US constantly reminds me 'Stop thinking the worst all the time - it's all good'. The fact that he frequently 'makes' me think the worst often escape me but I think I'm improving.  I worry when my kids travel, I worry every time Adam gets on that bloody bike. I worry about bills and cleanliness and job security and . . . well I should stop. I do overreact but I'm working on it. Really I am.

Have Patience
I do get frustrated when things don't happen, or happen now. It makes me tetchy and adds to the worrying so this year, there will be a few deep breaths, more exercise, more tolerance, more 'relaxing' about things. I even bought a hypnotherapy tape and at the end of it I still can't work out if he counts down to 10 or just says "TEN" it's very relaxing.

Be a better financial manager
2011 is  my year of consolidation. I've set a goal to travel in 2012. For a short time, if I've not sold the house. For a prolonged period if I have. Before that, I need to get my credit debt under control, pay my loans, live frugally and manage to save. I'm very motivated for this one. I want to sit in KJ's hot tub on a snowy night, visit Provincetown and New York, see the Grand Canyon,  watch Cirque du Soliel and gamble in Las Vegas, touch a Redwood, have 50 million checkout chicks say "Have a nice day", have a bear break into my car, buy a cowboy hat, go to a Navajo reservation, drive the I-whateveritis in a red truck with three dogs, two cats and a mad ex-paratrooper with OCD and pick up a shy but equally mad writer and illustrator (if his wife will let me). Yep 2012, US here I come.

Be a better friend
I really do need to get out more and have neglected friends over the past year. I need to arrange get-togethers, make others include me because I think many are sick of issuing invitations or think that I'm comfortable in solitude. Indeed, I have become so but it's not good for me to be on my own. I'm a social animal and need company.

Be a better blogger
I've been pretty crap this year. I'm not talking about the quantity, I simply don't have time to blog every day like I used to but the quality of the posts I've put up in 2010 apart from those on Creative Infanticide or perhaps Paris, have been pretty ordinary. I promise to do better with content, subject matter and wit.

So 2011 is looking up for me. And I hope for you. I know so many people for whom 2010 has been a pretty shitty year.  I have three overseas visitors heading this way next year and I couldn't be more thrilled. Work finally is challenging and satisfying and I have a wonderful employer. The kids are settled. One away from home, the other planning a wedding. My nephew gets married here in March and one of my sweetest nieces has become engaged. Of course, my own son is getting married in July. There seems little to worry about if you're in the right frame of mind. Well as long as you don't count that strange bumping sound in my car or look at my credit card statement.

Have a wonderful New Year. Take it easy if you celebrate NYE.  I don't as a rule but did spend the evening with someone I care for, ate a dozen oysters, far too many king prawns and a blue swimmer crab, skinny dipped all on my own in a pool so warm it could be a spa and snuggled my dog who was terrified by neighbourhood fireworks. Well that's her excuse. 

Here's to 2011, good health, happiness and friendship . . may they all be yours.

Gotta love the coathanger when she explodes . . NY? All you have is a big Swarovski ball?

Happy New Year, Happy All Year . . .

Monday, December 27, 2010

Silly Santas

Rear left to right: Safari Santa, Daft Punk Santa, Barbecue Santa. Front left to right: Sporty Santa, Bad Santa, Security Santa and Rockabilly Santa
It's a lot of hoo-har for a single day but the sun shone. Half our family was absent but that didn't stop the Bainos and Babysis from dressing up and behaving badly.  It always seems a little strange celebrating Christmas on a 27 degree day with blazing sunshine. We're not very traditional down here with food being tasty nibbly bits through the day, then a glazed ham and sweet, fragrant pear salad, potato bake and followed by a forest berry trifle. All washed down with copious amounts of Champagne and finished with a few Baileys on ice. Lubly. Of course, upon my return home, the rain's set in and my internet is behaving badly again. Hope yours was happy and safe.

Sporty Santa Struts her Stuff

Daft Punk Santa and Sexy Santa get their Robot Rock on
Safari Santa and Security Santa

Bad Santa lights up
 . . and drinks up

Mini mignon nibbles


Sexy Santa scores with BBQ Sauce . . she's addicted

Babysis does Kris Kringle

Me whingeing because I didn't do well at Christmas Trivia

Trying to be taller than Sexy Santa

Security Santa needed a little help
Nah that's not dinner



Yep there's always someone who has to turn his shorts into a bra. I guess it's marginally better than wearing them on your head!

Spoke too soon!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas One and All

Our annual pilgrimage to visit those who like to add a little Eiffel to their towers was not disappointing although all of us seem a little flat this Christmas. I'm sure we'll buck up come 1pm on Friday when everyone finishes work and heads home for the festivities. The GFC seems to have cut the budget a little this year as the houses we usually frequent weren't quite on their top form but it was nice to have a sparkly evening and begin to feel a little of the spirit of Christmas.  One thing I do know, is that it's only just over a week before we're in a brand new year, full of brand new and exciting possibilities.

To those of you who've not had such a good time this year, look forward to the next. I know there are some of you who are having difficulties this holiday season with family illness or the sadness of remembering those who are no longer with you. I know some who just plain aren't celebrating at all because they simply don't feel like it. Equally, I know those who are going all out to deck the halls and warm the hearth. To Gledwood who's been clean for 18 days, keep up the good work. To Mim who has a MIL in dire straits, I'm thinking of you. To the sweetest man on earth, get on a plane, there's still time.

Wrap up in the north, take heart that it's not that hot down here at the moment. We even had snow last week! Well in the Snowy Mountains but still unseasonal for us. The forecast for Christmas Day is warm and wet, fine if you're with a lover but not so nice when you're carving the turkey.

Me? I'm off to Babysis' with the brood of wacky Santas, then a day with the progeny on Boxing Day to recover and grab a little rest and relaxation by the harbour, weather permitting.

Be good to yourselves, have a wonderful break and I'll see you after the madness.

Sparkles are good in any climate

Outlining your roof is very 2010

LED flavour of the month

Bed time stories from Santa and yes, he's outside

Probably going a little too far

I want one

Even trees get presents

Tastefully gaudy, is that possible?

Aussie Christmas. Everyone knows Santa has six white boomers
However you celebrate it, I hope it's good

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Santawit

I must admit that I'm not feeling Christmassy. It's a worry because generally I love Christmas but I guess this year, a fragmented family filling distant obligations, a bah humbug friend being totally weird and the pressures of work . . .just not jingling my bells. Perhaps I should be living in China:

BEIJING (AFP) – Dozens of mainly foreign residents of Beijing dressed up as Santa Claus as part of a worldwide weekend costume parade got a lump of coal in their Christmas stockings -- ejection from
The group was taking part in Saturday's SantaCon -- a worldwide event that sees people don Santa's familiar red suit and white-brimmed hat and make merry in cities around the world including the Chinese capital, two revellers said.

About four hours into the day-long event, which in Beijing takes the form of a pub crawl, dozens of revellers entered Tiananmen Square -- the scene of mass pro-democracy protests in 1989 that ended in a bloody army crackdown.

As they gathered for a photo, police intervened, the participants said.
"You are causing a social disturbance -- leave the square now," one partygoer, who asked not to be identified, quoted a police officer as saying to the group. "If you want to visit Tiananmen, come in the appropriate way." (yeh with a shopping back and standing in front of a tank)

Another participant told AFP: "Everyone just dispersed really quickly in an effort not to get into trouble. The cops did follow us out, but the party moved on and there were no problems."
One disgruntled Santa claimed,  "China stole my Christmas," but the first participant interviewed by AFP said he thought the incident had given the event some bite.

"I think people sort of liked getting kicked out of Tiananmen Square. I think it added a bit of edginess to what otherwise would just have been a pub crawl," he said.

Oh c'mon China, it's Christmas, get into the spirit (perhaps I will too).  Okay maybe a dose of "The Santa Claus" will do it for me.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I really want to post but I'm uninspired. Unlike some who schedule months ahead, I'm an ad hoc blogger so I'm afraid, it's more Paris. I am thinking of starting a Paris Diary if I have time over the Christmas break because I kept a notebook (thanks KJ) and diarised each day so who knows. I'm still sorting through pics so for now, please enjoy Montmarte.
Known more popularly for the burlesque Moulin Rouge which boasts six Australians among it's cast. The suburb surrounding the Metro, St Vincent,  is seedy and rank. We did have breakfast in the cafe where Amelie was filmed and I'm sure I took a few photographs but they haven't materialised.

The hillside of Montmartre is actually old, artistic, and quite beautiful. Atop the highest hill in very flat Paris is an Artisan's Market, touristy but quite beautiful and you are accosted on a regular basis by would-be artists of some talent offering to paint your portrait.

Because we're Lonely Planet Guide lovers, we took the Montmartre walking tour to find the Man in the Wall and went, well backwards but it was a lovely way to explore the lesser tourist trail.  The sun shone, the walking was quite hard being hilly, the Gelato delicious and the experience unforgettable.

On a clear day the view from Sacré-Cœur is stunning if you can avoid the crowds and hawkers and sadly, there was a Mass being read at the time and whilst I'm a devout atheist, I respect the right of others to worship so we had a peek inside but no photographs:

The Cafe where Amalie was shot. Love that Movie

Clos Montmartre, Paris' only surviving, working vineyard

Montmarte's Artist's Community with Sacre Coeur in the background

Even the graffiti is gorgeous

Outside a Toy Shop that almost made me want to be a Nana

Just a side street cafe

Legacy of old, Windmills

We LOVE Lonely Planet

Loads of these guys, no idea what they are
Ahh this is who we were looking for, the man in the wall

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Fruit of My Loins (Gawd they're gonna hate that!)

How did it happen? I'm the mother of a 26 year old daughter and a 24 year old son who's getting married next year. I never had an issue with my age until quite recently. Probably due to a penchant for younger men, my wrinkles and cellulite being more prominently on my mind but seriously, 26 years of being a mother? Shit, where did it go? I'll be dead soon and that's a scary prospect. I've lived well over half my lifespan.

Clearly my family planning was well, up the duff. I have two birthdays in December then Christmas. Clare on the 4th, Adam on the 11th.

Still I'm totally in love with and very proud of the fruit of my loins. They're awesome kids. They've done everything I asked of them, everything I wanted yet remain individuals, independent and crazy personalities all by themselves. Nurture only goes so far but they are incredible. It's taken a long time for me to realise that.

Clare left home three weeks ago and those of you who were around when she traveled in 2008 will know I didn't cope well with her absence but this time it felt right. We talk more than we probably did before and she's home most weekends for some mum hugs and home cooking. She's just a delightful, intelligent, level headed, fun loving, young woman and I'm incredibly proud of her organisational ability, independent spirit,  fiscal good sense, travel lust and the affection she shares. I love her to pieces. What daughter would take their teary and depressed mother on the dream trip of a lifetime? Or never utter a recrimination when her idiot of a parent crashes drunk into a kerbside. I can never, ever repay her for the way she made those four weeks feel. Awesome just doesn't cut it.

Adam's still at home but is my rock. He's helpful around the house and that's saying something. Five acres is a lot of maintenance and he does it willingly whether pool care or hedge clipping, putting bins out. He's a good conversationalist and there's nothing I enjoy more than sitting in the garden, drinking wine and chatting. He gives the best bear hugs and is a fine cook. No faults at all other than an ability to lose socks and a reluctance to keep his room clean. He still terrifies me with his thrill seeking and I'm not happy about the Honda CBR 1000 but he loves it. He loves riding it. He loves the 'man time' with mates while Amy gets on with the wedding stuff. He's turned himself right around over the last year with a good job, new motivation and I love him like a limb, more than a limb, he's half my heart.

I've said it before, my children are two of my best friends. They know me better than I know myself and I am truly blessed to have had them. You know the best bit? They are actually friends with each other. Happy birthdays my darlings, Lasagne's in the oven. Cheesecake in the fridge. See you soon. 

There is no word for the way I feel about you. Love just doesn't cut it.

NO He's not quite that short but she is tall

A couple of Christmases ago . . Jesus (his birthday) and a Christmas Tree

She has bounce

She loves to dance

He loves to drum . . not so much these days, they're in my lounge!
Future's so bright, he needs shades

Lunch last month, I love that they get on
Pensive . . it's rare but rather beautiful

Friday, December 10, 2010

Outback Fuckwits

Tempted as I am to have a real go at Telstra, our largest Telco company for failing to find the fault with my internet connectivity, I'll save it for another day. My trials continue with as many as 21 outages in a five hour period. I thank the incredible patience of my lovely lad on Skype whose index  finger is probably bloodied from pressing his mouse to redial and as for me? I've realised how much I rely on the internet at home and having it break all the time is doing my head in so please bear with me, I will try to visit as connectivity permits.

Meanwhile, did you know that Christmas is coming? Oh yeah, be  here before you know it. The tree's up, wreath on the door, now all I have to do is the shopping. Christmas down here is a little different as you'd appreciate and Santa's already been visiting kids in the outback:

An outback Christmas party turned to chaos when a teacher and her principal were bitten by a snake.
The Indian Pacific train visited the railway siding at Watson in outback South Australia to bring pre-Christmas entertainment to locals, including children from the Oak Valley School.

Its principal Bob Sim said a teacher was bitten by a mildly-poisonous yellow-faced whip snake which then slid under Santa's chair, a spot which presumably was well shaded from the outback heat.

Mr Sim says he was then bitten as he tried to remove the snake from under the chair.

"Father Christmas was still sitting in the chair and I said to everyone 'Where's the snake, where's the snake?' and they said 'It's under Father Christmas's chair'," he said.

"I was about to dispatch the snake to snake heaven but all the people around me were yelling 'Don't kill it, don't kill it'."
Mr Sim said he could not quite reach the snake.

"I was about an inch-and-a-half too short and it spun around and latched onto my finger," he said. 

"I said to the kids ... it's a Christmas they'll remember, not just for the experience of getting a present from Father Christmas but they'll be able to remember that two of their teachers got bitten by the same snake," he said.

"A bit of a comedy of errors I suppose."
Er dopey teachers if you ask me,why didn't they just dislodge Santa and move the chair? Ah and these people are educating our children.
Doesn't look too menacing does he?

Have a great weekend folks.