Fete of fate…

Tonight is the night of my kids school fete. Otherwise known as a fate worse than death.

A biannual event filled with noise, sugar and small children screaming.

I baked a lemon cake last night for the bake sale stall.

I donated blocks of chocolate and jars of lollies for prizes.

I paid 2 x $36 for ride wrist bands and then the worst of all I volunteered on the toddler game stand.

One hour watching other people’s children after working all day with other people’s children.

And I don’t usually work Fridays.

So I turn up.

My stall is set up in the shade and there are chairs to sit on. People don’t pay for admission so I don’t have to worry about handling money.

I sit down next to another volunteer.

She is one of the girls in my sons class grandmother.

We had the best chat over the course of our one hour shift.

She was born in Hong Kong and went to boarding school in England.

She had never seen cutlery when she got to boarding school and her first meal was mashed potato, peas and meat covered in brown runny gravy.

She had no idea what it was or how to eat it.

When I asked her what she does now she said she’s in investment and runs her business online at home.

When I asked her how she had trained to do that she told me she’s qualified as a nuclear physicist.

Then I told her about my job and she couldn’t believe that I teach 26 four year olds who mostly don’t speak any English.

She said she thought I was hilarious. I told her that I wished I was a selective mute because I have no control over my mouth.

I asked her if she saw the post on the entire class messenger group where I accidentally posted screen shots about the side effects of lithium instead of sending it to someone else.

She said she hadn’t but she thought it sounded pretty funny.

She also told me she hadn’t because she’d decided after living in Tasmania while working and schmoozing politicians she decided she didn’t want to have a mobile phone anymore.

We finished our hour of duty and hugged as we said goodbye and said that we would catch up for coffee sometimes.

Thus proving that sometimes when you dread something for weeks you might actually end up with a new 67 year old BFF.

xx

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I’m still here.

People say that you should cut negative people out of your life.

So what happens to all the negative people?

Or the people who are just hard work because they require a bit of extra love sometimes?

Everyone needs someone.

I need someone sometimes.

I’ve been on antidepressants for a couple of years now.

Sometimes I have bad days and don’t know if it’s me or the meds.

I don’t know if worry is anxiety wearing a disguise and sadness is depression hiding under the bed.

Sometimes it’s the same with good days.

I haven’t been writing as often as I used to. I get a bit scared that I’ll say the wrong thing and offend someone or that I’ll upset someone.

It’s strange that when I write here I use my filters. In real life I have no filters.

I spew rubbish out of my mouth and then stew about what I said for days.

I’m strange like that but…

The sun has come out more lately and the fresh air and vitamin D seem to make life nicer.

The washing is drying on the line instead of inside which brings me so much joy that I’m sure my meds are working.

I’ve made enough bolognese sauce to last for 4 dinners today so that part of my brain that worries about dinner is on a break.

So in short I’m good. I hope you are too but I’m here for you if you need someone.

xx

P.S I “borrowed” that pic from Instagram.

Come stai? Benne, molto benne.

G’day. Hello. Ciao.

It’s me. (Please feel free to read back and remind yourself of who I am.) It’s been far too long between posts.

Anyway… A week ago I got back from a two week trip to Italy with my family.

It’s because of the “with my family” bit that I wrote trip instead of holiday because traveling with two youngish boys is not a holiday.

My youngest son is a special gift from God. (The kind of gift that can’t be returned.) I think he’s amazing and awesome most of the time but I also know that it’s only because I’m his mother that I think that. 🙂

He complained about the heat. He complained when we made him walk for 7 hours in the heat.
He complained when we bought him a strawberry ice cream that it tasted like real strawberries and not strawberry flavoured milkshake.
Ditto with the banana flavour.
He complained that the Vatican was boring.
He complained that he was bored during our hot air balloon flight over Tuscany.
He complained that his pizza had green herbs on it.

But I still love him. Next time he wants to go somewhere cold. I’m thinking Iceland. And every time he complains that he’s too cold I’ll remind him that he didn’t like the heat.

Having said that… Italy felt sooooo good.

There was something in the air or the atmosphere or possibly in the water that was good for the soul.

I felt mentally happier than I have in years. I felt free of something. Maybe it was being free of routine or being free to be yourself in a different place.

Anyway it was divine.

I’ve decided that I will be one of those rich people that spends a month every Australian winter in Lake Como. Lying on the sun lounge eating fresh croissants with marmalade and wandering down to the local cafe for an espresso at the bar when I need it.

Or maybe it was just that ER was on tv every night and seeing a little bit of 90’s George Clooney on a daily basis is also good for the soul.

I’ve come back breathing deeper and with some space to move in my head.

Which is just as well as I’m being the helper instead of the helpee at the moment.

I’ve got a beautiful friend whose grandmother has died and she’s dealing with all the family squabbling that happens when your mother has died before her mother and life is out of order.

Another beautiful friend witnessed a tragic suicide last week and needs a little extra love.

A friend has just completed a cycle of IVF in which no embryos grew well enough to be transferred.

And a colleague who found a lump in her breast and hasn’t been sleeping since she found it and her husband is away for 2 weeks.

Now the funeral is tomorrow, I’m spending the weekend with my friend who witnessed the suicide and the lump turned out to be a lymph node being reactive.

There is nothing I can do for the IVF friend but be there for her.

So while some of my favourite people are going through some awful times I am well enough to help.

It’s strange that sometimes you get so lost that you can’t help yourself and your friends help you and then the tables are reversed and you are so grateful that you can help them back.

So I’m seriously thankful not to be the one going through the crap at the moment and relieved that I’m able to help my friends that are.

Helping and looking after friends is good for the soul.

Italy is good for the soul.

Now if only I could take my friends to Italy…

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Hiya! Good job! How are you?

Hello there!

Have you noticed that the world is a little bit crap at the moment? Has all the hate, anger and price of avocados got you feeling fed up? Maybe you feel like there’s nothing good in the world?

Wrong! Well not entirely wrong but because I am perfect and awesome and having a great hair day I’ve put together a quick checklist of things that you can do to change the world.

Here are my suggestions for reaching out into the big bad world and making it a little bit smaller and nicer.

1. Write a thank you note to someone who is doing a thankless job. My kids teachers are writing reports now so I think I might write a short note to the Art teacher who helps my kids create all the gorgeous artwork that comes home. If your child doesn’t have an amazing art teacher think child care workers, nurses and librarians etc.

2. Make eye contact and smile at someone who is a different race or religion to you. If that’s too easy you could also say hello and ask them how their day is going?

3. Text someone you haven’t seen or spoken to in over a month. Just to let them know that you’re thinking of them.

4. Post a message to or email someone that you like or follow on social media letting them know that you like what they have to say. Keep social media social!

5. If you can and this is totally optional donate $5 to a charity that means something to you. Don’t feel bad that it’s not more just do it if you can.

**Do these things expecting nothing in return. It’s not about you getting anything back but the feeling you get when you make someone smile.**

Also and slightly off topic of changing the world (and this may not apply to everyone) if your husband has a chainsaw on the floor of his office and it’s been bugging you for a while ask him nicely to put it back in the shed.

xx

Family hellidays…

Hello from the air!

I’m on a plane. Off to the beautiful Sunshine Coast region of Australia.

Full of sunshine, beaches and in-laws.

Well 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

I’m traveling with my husband and 2 boys which means that my husband half filled a suitcase with his clothes and then sat on the couch while I packed the rest.

What an honour to be trusted with packing for the children. (Yes you may have detected some possible sarcasm there.)

Here’s a fun fact for all the seven year olds out there:
If you go lick the reception desk at the doctors on a Monday you’ll be back at the doctors and on antibiotics by Thursday.

*Just because a bench is at your face level doesn’t mean you need to suck on it.

I’m a little bit tired and grumpy at the moment (after a couple of sleepless nights with the bench licker) and I can’t be bothered saying what I want so instead I will quietly fester over everyone else’s inability to read my mind.

P.S If you could read my mind it would say please leave me alone for a while without judging me. Give me some space to just be.

Anyway back to staying with the in-laws.

It’s been a while since they raised their 2 sons. I’m not sure that they’re ready for all the dirt, noise and snot that is about to descend on them.

They visited us 12 months ago. They stayed in a hotel and came to visit.

Approximately 10 minutes into the visit my 7 year old punched his 9 year old brother in the guts. He responded by kicking his brother in mouth dislodging his already very wobbly two front teeth with a large quantity of blood as well.

Then my husband screamed at them both and approximately 25 minutes into their visit my father in law said he felt tired and they decided to go back to the hotel.

So why would I not be looking forward to this relaxing family holiday?

I will be having a quiet walk along the beach at sometime though and I might even get up early on Saturday and take a nice photo of the sunrise.

We are not alike but we are family so I will fake smile until I can make my excuses and go to bed.

The good news is that I’m having some minor surgery next week and I get a quiet night in hospital on my own to look forward to.

xx

Camp lyf…

I got home from attending my sons school camp yesterday afternoon.

3 days and 2 nights of having 75 children and 10 adults in my space.

I need my space.

I love my space.

I am at my happiest when I am alone. With a book. And a coffee. With the strong chance of a nap imminent.

I am tired. I’m tired from being “on”. Tired from being alert and moderately alarmed at the things that children in large groups say and do.

Yesterday I was so tired that when the cat started meowing at me I thought that maybe she had magical powers and that the was trying to tell me that I had a life threatening disease that her super cat senses could detect.

I thought the cat was warning me to go to the doctors because I was about to die but it turns out that I’m the only one in the house who feeds the cat so she was actually just hungry.

I should probably make a doctors appointment about my cat delusions though.

The cat has been fed. The washing has been cleaned, dried and put away.

Including the matching shirts that the parents and teachers wore because we thought it would make us look cool.

Yes. Because we thought it would make us look cool.

To a group of 10 year olds.

I digress.

Camp had many highlights.

I did not cook.

I did not clean.

I had a cool shirt.

I met lots of wonderful children who are funny and kind.

While taking a group of kids at the camp cooking around a bonfire I asked the kids to go and wash their hands.

One boy came back and said “did you know if you use soap that your hands get clean really quickly”?

I did know that.

I am glad that he does too.

A gorgeous girl asked if she could sit next to me on the bus ride home.

She asked if I wanted to play eye spy.

I told her that I never wanted to speak to anyone ever again.

She thought I was joking.

I had rationed my patience threshold to last until I got on the bus.

I was not joking.

We spoke a little bit though and she sang along to the radio and was incredibly sweet.

I am writing this blog post like a diary entry to remind me how much fun I had.

Because next year it’s a whole week camp and there’s no way that I’m going.

xo

Life update..

Every now and then I like to share a quick list of things that I know and things that I don’t know.

I now declare that it’s that time again.

Things I know number one…

My husband is not a morning person. This was far less obvious when he was traveling a lot for work.

Just in case you ever run into my husband before 8am you should remember to not speak to him or make direct eye contact.

If he grunts at you it’s best to smile and wish him a pleasant day.

A consequence of this discovery is that I get the kids ready before I go to work and he looks after the dreaded bed time so it’s really not such a bad thing.

Things I know number two.

Sometimes you get bitten on the chin by a small child at work.

This is far more likely if you actually work with children.

It hurt a bit and I informed the child’s mum at pick up time and showed her the bruise on my face.

Then I felt bad because as the mother of a child with special needs things will never be easy for her and he will need her to look after him forever.

And forever is a long time after my bruise will have faded.

Things I know number three.

I have never known any of the people on the Crime Stoppers pictures. I feel that this is really hampering my efforts to help the community and contribute to catching criminals.

However it does spare me a lot of paperwork and possibly a stint as a witness in a murder trial.

Things I don’t know…

I don’t know where my friend got her lovely wooden spoons with the silicone handle tips.

I’ve googled them but I can’t find them. I should probably just ask her.

I should also feel rather smug at the fact that locating silicone handled wooden spoons are my biggest dilemma at the moment.

Things are going well.

I’m tired from this whole getting up, going to work and being forced to drink fake Nespresso pod coffee thing.

But I’m thrilled that I can wear my lovely blue overalls and my shoes with the flowers on them and get paid to spend time talking and listening to children.

The kids and their comments delight me.

A little girl (probably my favourite) told me she saw seven people get aten by sharks at a swimming pool.

While I was talking about how my grandfather fought in World War 2 she was far more interested in how old he was when he died and what he died from.

Kids are blunt, unfiltered and silly.

Much like me.

And that’s a quick recap of what I know and what I don’t know. xx