Sunday 30 December 2012

The Resolute and the New Year Resolutions

Linking up this old post with the Lounge, as I've still not come up with a bankable idea...but it is still on my mind. Head over to the Lounge to see what other ideas are floating about!

I wish you all a Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a merry festive season and has much happiness in the year to come.
Do you set New Year's Resolutions? Do you keep them? For the last 15 years, my New Year's Resolution has simply to be happy. I feel that is a task in itself, and a constant goal (though self perpetuating as you need to be happy in achieving the goal too - if you want to get all buddhist on me, it would be closely linked to mindfulness, but as I'm spiritually bankrupt, happiness is happiness, a state of being, both goal and journey.) Anyway, I didn't mean to come across all preachy, but the reason for the post is because for the first time in many years, I'm adding to the resolution. Before xmas I zipped into the hardware shop and they were selling all sorts of trendy doorstops and funky keyholders etc. I thought "Man, I could invent something like that". So...drumroll...this coming year, while maintaining a state of happiness, I want to invent something.

My 8 year old constantly asks "When will someone invent the hover chair?" and I reply "Do engineering and physics at University and you can invent it yourself." (yep, therapy pending, I know). So I am taking my own advice and I will invent something, some bit of useless crap that hardware shops can sell at xmas time to people who don't know what to get someone. Not aiming too high, but it's a stretch for me! Obviously it's going straight on to the list:

Torshlusspanik List:
1. Shooting (check)
2. Fencing (check)
3. Play croquet at Croquet Club
4. Laser skeet
5. Off road buggy driving
6. Play Assassins Creed
7. Jetpacking (check)
8. The Color Run (in training)
9. Invent something

 What are your Resolutions? I'll be back in December to ask you if you kept them...

Tuesday 25 December 2012

First of the Month Fiction - January

Again I am getting in early, as I am scared of mucking up the linky thing.  I hope everyone one has/had a swell night for the New Year Celebration and heads aren't to sore for writing or at least reading today (if it is indeed New Year's day when you stumble across this).

For those that haven't heard, there are two categories - Exactly 100 words or less than 30 words. (see here for rules and examples). Post your stories in the comments section then link your blog in the linky thing so we can all subscribe or read more!

My friend, Sue Howard, author of Leaning Towards Pisa offered up this one in the 100 words:

A sharp sunlight beams through the taxi windscreen.  The driver blinks and turns to his passenger, a young woman with long, fair hair ... a tourist perhaps, or a student.
My wife has gone, he tells her.
Oh, she says, uncertainly.
Yes.  She ran off with my best friend.
Oh, the girls says again.
But I still have my mother, he goes on.  What all's said and done, who else in the world really matters?
The girl glances down, and when she looks up there is a tear the size of a small chickpea rolling down her cheek.

Mine is of the less than 30 this time:

I read the sign. "If you read this, you will soon know what I did. But not for long. Vale".

See December offerings here, and please give it a go below. I have a brilliant idea (I can say that cos it's not actually my idea and it is brilliant, but I need to get up some contributors first...stay tuned)

You have a month to prepare for the next one, and then I might reveal my great plan...

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Each and every day of the year

 With Some Grace suggested a highlights clip of the past 12 months and so before taking 2 weeks off (I'll have trouble prizing the kids away from the computer, and I want to have some sleep ins!) Here's my 2012 year in review...(with apology to Neil Sedaka)

(January) you start the year off fine

We had gone on a group weekend away to Pittwater YHA and the teens in the gang went to bed last, neglecting to shut the lounge room door. I was the first adult awake, heading off to keep our three year old from waking the other 30 sleepers, when 2 children ran to me in a panic. 'There's a snake in the lounge! A big one".
I could see a thick cord draped from the chair to the window and so I responded "Don't be silly, it's just a power cord for the music or someone's jumper....No, you're right. That is a massive snake! Let's just shut the door until someone who knows what to do gets up". The MASSIVE 2 metre python at this point had turned it's head to look at me. It proceeded to curl up on the chair and stayed put. Eventually, one of the dad's bagged him and released him back to the wild....

(February)you're my little valentine

A non descript month despite birthdays and Valentine's day - My eldest started walking home from school by himself (One small step for the little man, one giant leap for his parents)

(March)I'm gonna march you down the aisle

Not a highlight but I was well and truly into visiting High Schools (5), my eldest sat the selective test and my head was a spin with forms for Pre-schools and High Schools alike. Coincidentally it is our wedding anniversary this month!

(April) You're the Easter Bunny when you smile

For the first time in 4 years, we went overseas - we had a wonderful time in the Maldives (The Honeymoon is over, otherwise known as travel with kids) but I'll be honest, I fell in love with Singapore. I can't explain it, and I'm not a shopper but we had 8 days there and barely scratched the surface - we had fun, saw art, ate well and ran out of time for so many other interesting things...It's a great city with an interesting history and for some reason so under-rated. Most people don't give it time or try to explore it. Even my husband didn't really see it through my eyes, though the kids did, and it's still a much talked about destination...

(May) Maybe if I ask your dad and mom

Ok, I know, the song lyrics don't really work anymore, but I'll keep going and give myself an earworm...The wee girl started pre-school for 2 days a week...strange to have 2 free days.

(June)They'll let me take to you to the Junior prom

I started blogging...

(July) like a firecracker all aglow

Busy school holidays, lots of fun but the highlight was an overnight trip up the coast with friends to go sandboarding - I loved the drive through the dunes and was amazed at how beautiful it was. I loved the simplistic fun of sliding down the massive dunes (pics here). And it was all Olympic fever in this house...

(August) When you're on the beach you steal the show

I started writing for a website as a hobby that pays me money! And the Torshlusspanik list commenced.

(September)Light the candles at your sweet sixteen 

These lyrics really aren't working out...I went away with my girlfriend of 40 years for our delayed 40th celebration - It had taken me over 3 years to save up but it was finally here! Had a great time but also learnt that I like travelling with my family best. I missed them so much and kept wanting them to see things that I was seeing. (Lovely Langkawi).

(October) Romeo and Juliet on Halloween

Halloween! My favourite day of the year (Twas the fright before christmas)....Went shooting this month for the first time (as part of the list) - but it won't be the last!

(November)I'll give thanks that you belong to me

Started First of the Month Fiction (Remember people, I'll be back for that on the 1st Jan, so head over and post a short, short story)

(December)You're the present 'neath my Christmas tree
It's been busy and amazing, and all three kids have grown and had successes of their own, and that's all that I can ask. Next year has more changes to be made, more schools to be looked at but we'll see how we go and hopefully have fun along the way.

yeah, yeah, my hearts in a swirl,
I love, I love, I love my little calendar girl life
each and every day of the year!

Merry Christmas to you all. Have a wonderful holiday and swing by on the 1st for the first of the month fiction!

Linking up for the last time this year with Grace from With Some Grace.

Monday 17 December 2012

What I learnt from Life of Pi

Last night, I was lucky enough to get along to Life of Pi, early preview screening thanks to Nuffnang. Having seen the ad, I thought it looked visually rich, and in 3D it really was sensational. (I tend to complain about what a waste of time 3D is, but this time, in a couple of key moments, it really takes the film to the next level visually). I'd not read the book, but the story is enchanting with a lot of messages to leave with and think about or discuss (but read on, I won't cover them here!)

Now there are some big lessons to talk about but for spoiler sake, I won't. So until the rest of you get out to see it, here's what I learnt (through pondering issues raised):

1. The uncle who saw the world via their pools. This is as good a reason to travel the globe as any other. I loved the simplicity of it, yet they would all be different, with a feel of the country where it's located. I've been pondering if I have a similar trait, as I've been to lots of weird and wonderfully odd places around the globe but no theme seems to run through my visits. This idea appeals to me though, so the travel blog might start running on a theme...stay tuned for rebranding.

2. Pick and Mix Religion (no offense meant to anyone, just exploring an idea from the film). I love the idea that you can honour not only your God but other Gods (as your God introduced you). I love that as a child he can see the good points of all religions. Perhaps there is a lesson of tolerance for us all.

3. Bananas do float. I did the experiment. Photo proof.
 For those that have read the book, or seen the film, you will understand the enormity of what that says about my personality. Such a wonderful film and a story with so many messages, and I came away from it with a burning desire to see if bananas did float or not. What can I say? I love science and I'm pedantic.

Alas, I really can't elaborate on more as it will ruin the film...and I hate that more than anything! So rush out and see it so we can talk about it some more...

Friday 14 December 2012

What I don't want for Christmas...

Christmas is an odd time. It brings out a whole lot of issues for people, which could all be avoided if traditions were different. So before I can focus on the joy and relief of Boxing Day, here's what I don't want for Christmas.

1. To have to think of gifts for people that really don't need them. In the old days, you didn't just buy new shoes when you needed them (or a new bike, phone or whatever). You scrimped and saved and if you were really lucky, you got it for xmas. Nowadays, I'm struggling to think what to get my partner that he hasn't already just purchased for himself...

2.The stress of bearing witness to family arguments. Even if I'm  not directly involved, I find it stressful waiting for the inevitable blow up at both Christmas Day functions.

3.The feeling of agitation and anxiety I'm experiencing as I realise I'm fast running out of time to (a) decorate (b) send cards (c) buy gifts.

4. Stuff. I really don't need anything. I don't know how to say I love that you're thinking of me but don't waste your money (I love all the lovely gifts I get but everyone could spend their money more wisely on themselves or someone who does need something.)

5. To listen to really awful Mariah Carey and Wham xmas songs from 20 years ago on the radio. What gives?! They were hideously crap then, and still are. Of course, I grew up with Col. Saunders Christmas Album, and it's still my favourite (seriously and yes, I believe we got it free with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken in the early '70's) so I understand it's a high standard to compete with...

Not sure what gives this Christmas but I've truly hit the wall. Here's hoping next year I get my elf mojo back and am full of the festive cheer late November...

Have a wonderful day with your family and friends and enjoy all the Christmas magic that hopefully abounds...

Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night!

Linking with
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Thursday 13 December 2012

When ignorance is bliss

This is a short but disgusting one. Prepare to be repulsed.
We had a cockroach problem. We started to see a few in the kitchen. Then one day I saw one come out of the drain in the bathroom. Enough is enough I thought. I rang 'the guy'. He came and did some sort of magic.
Now we have cockroaches dying on our floors by the second. I do a perimeter sweep (literally) 4 times a day and still the bodies are piling up.
We are talking millions. It is repugnant. I now worry about how many times all these creatures ran across our bench tops at night.  I preferred it when I thought we just had a few. Now I KNOW we HAD an empire of them. A Lord of the Rings army load of them. Anyone considering this, it's worth every cent but be prepared to be revolted, and embarrassed anytime a visitor drops by. Even if you sweep the carcasses one minute prior to their arrival, there will still be a body count for them to witness on departure.
Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

Linking up with the lovely Grace for FYBF

Monday 10 December 2012

Oh you can color my world with happiness all the way

I'll be honest, and as some of you know, I don't get Twitter at all. I struggle with it, but like most things, I give it a go (so may as well apologise now if I'm treading on toes and not following etiquette - I'm old and don't know better, no offense is intended). The other day though, something caught my eye.

Laney the Crash Test Mummy (if you somehow have not discovered her, her blog is here - of course, if you are reading someone as pint-sized as me, it's ludicrous to think you haven't heard of her!) was tweeting some colorful phrases - My little boy blue, and Got by orange (this is from my old and inaccurate memory, her actual tweets were clever enough to pique my interest, and make me look at the accompanying photos).

They were doing the Color Run. One look at that welcome page and I knew it was destined for the list! I don't run or jog but if you are chasing me with paint, I'll make an exception. That just looks FUN! On closer inspection, I'd missed the Sydney date - entries were already closed. I was disappointed, but not for long. We'll just road trip to Canberra! So Canberra Color Run it is....or so I thought. Strangely, the Universe is on my side today, and I got an email last night saying spots for the Sydney Colour Run are open again - so I got in quick, as they say, and we are signed up as a family. Really looking forward to it now! Feb 10, for those interested. Website here (and for the record, not on the payroll - paid the whopping full freight for four of us, I'm just easily excitable and assume others may be too).

Road trip is off. Canberra will need to raise it's stakes to tempt us, but I'm sure it will.

This has renewed my interest in Twitter, so I'll keep persisting...(remember that apology peeps!) as who knows what else is out there waiting for me to discover it? Have you discovered anything of interest via Twitter?

And so the list grows:

Torshlusspanik List:
1. Shooting (check)
2. Fencing (check)
3. Play croquet at Croquet Club
4. Laser skeet
5. Off road buggy driving
6. Play Assassins Creed
7. Jetpacking
8. The Color Run

Linking up with the wonderful Jess for IBOT. See who else is there here

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Dear Santa,

I was chuffed to be tagged for My Christmas List by Always Josefa (and then a little alarmed as I'm racing against the clock this week, having over committed myself to too many things) so I pondered through the night and I realised I don't need anything but like the Hatter, there is a relationship I need to repair, and that is with time.

"If you knew Time as well as I do,' said the Hatter, 'you wouldn't talk about wasting it. It's him...I dare say you never spoke to Time!...Now if you keep on good terms with him, he'd do almost anything you liked with the could keep it to half-past one as long as you liked."

So Santa, what I need is more time.

1. Time to see all the wonders of the world, the lava fall into the ocean in Hawaii, the Pyramids, Antarctica in all it's glory, the craziness of Vegas, the animals of the Galapagos Islands and everything else I've yet to lay eyes on.

2. Time to understand all the marvels of science. I was never very interested in science at school, and now as I realise how little I know, I find I'm the one asking the questions at the Observatory, or pausing in fascination at the Powerhouse. I'd like to truly know it all, not to show off but because every new fact is such an intriguing joy of discovery.

3. Time to enjoy with my friends. We rush from social event  to social event, and it becomes tiring - the looming dinner impinges on the leisurely lunch. The pressure to see people takes away from the pleasure of actually seeing them. I want to fit everyone in more frequently, and being able to enjoy it at the time.

4. Time with my children. They are getting busier, so our time together when the outside world isn't breaking in is getting less and less. I want time to engage and play with them, without thinking about the washing or the next place we have to be or the other people I need to be talking to. I just want to enjoy being with them, and the people they're becoming.

5. Time to get stuff done, and done well. I am falling apart in the multitasking dept, and I feel like the mouse in the spinning wheel, getting nowhere. I am racing through a 'to do' list but nothing seems to get done. I want time to get it all done and feel organised in the process.

Now I have not been a good girl this year, so I am assuming Santa won't be bringing me anything on my list. I have, however, got my own pressie (never one to be disappointed) and am wearing it as I type...something I'm trying to work on.

Perhaps what I should ask for is help with my unhealthy obsession with Ron Swanson (it's his saying from Parks and Recreation)? That's even weird for me.

So Santa, see what you can do, or I will continue to try to follow my mantra from the genius of the Phantom Toll-Booth: "Time is a gift, given to you, given to give you the time you need, the time you need to have the time of your life. "

PS As I got that shirt last year, I've sneakily updated my gift to myself to be a pair of roller skates - my 5 year old is also getting a pair from Santa so we will skate everywhere, like Rollergirl but without the porno connotations and with clothes on (for those old enough to remember Boogie Nights - that movie is now 16 years old!! Seriously! I am aging in hyperdrive!) Actually, Santa, while I'm asking, chuck in a few extra years - it would be great not to be so old.

What's on your Christmas list?

Linking up this old post with #Lifethisweek because sadly not a lot has changed and Time is still the thing I want more of. Or maybe I should be glad I still feel this way?. 

Monday 3 December 2012

Someday maybe you can.

When I was a kid we had the Childcraft series, a series of educational books for children with stories, poems and facts - facts seen from the point of view of America in the 1960's. I tried to get my son to use one on a project on another country, and let's just say I quickly whipped it away. The words weren't pretty.

In the volume 'How things change', there was an entry called 'Fly to School?' about jetpacks, though in those days they were called "rocket belts". "Who needs a bicycle or bus to get to school? Look at you! Flying to school." It even had real photographs taken of the U.S. Army experimenting.

This idea appealed to me so much, I remembered it clearly, and felt slightly ripped off that the future didn't bring jetpacks as a mode of every day transport as promised (it also promised a hover car, but that's for another post). my other gig, there was a trial of a jetpack adventure up for grabs....WHAT?! How did this exist IN SYDNEY without me knowing about it? A quick google and I discovered Sydney Jetpack Adventures. Of course I applied, and waited with my fingers crossed! The winner was announced but I missed out. I couldn't believe it. It was perfect for the list, and I was MEANT to do it...confusion and disappointment swirled in my head, but not for long - where there's a crazy demented determined will, there's a way! I'd just add it to my xmas list - what's easier than a voucher? Google again, both Red Balloon and Adrenalin have them...(I'm more amazed I've been oblivious to the jetpack existence as I get emails regularly from both these sites.) However, a last minute reprieve came through and I am booked in next week (it would have been yesterday if it was up to me, but they were fully booked!!). I am bursting with excitement and joy at the thought of it. I've been dancing round the house, annoying even the children (rubbing it in their faces, according to the oldest).

The poem in the book ended with the magical line that planted the seed so long ago:
"Wouldn't it be fun,
if you really could
put on your rocket belt
and fly to school or to the movies?

Someday maybe you can."

Well, someday is Monday the 10th, baby!

So the list grows...

Torshlusspanik List:
1. Shooting (check)
2. Fencing (check)
3. Play croquet at Croquet Club
4. Laser skeet
5. Off road buggy driving
6. Play Assassins Creed
7. Jetpacking!

PS This is not a sponsored post (though sponsors, I'm here and penniless, feel free contact me!!) but I am getting a free trial for my other gig to write a review of the experience - Just TRY to shut me up about it!! I've been telling EVERYBODY!!!

Linking up with Jess here for IBOT. Head Fly over to see who else is there....also, check out the lovely First of the Month Fiction by Carly (Confessions of a 30 something woman) here. Her story is great. You have a month to write for the Jan 1st....reminder will come out again beforehand.

Sunday 2 December 2012

I must confess I am not organised enough...

...for I must confess, for this pending festive season, for all the end of year school things that need to be done, for just life in general.
I have wheels spinning but no traction. I have articles long over due, appointments to make and people to catch up with, and just not enough time (or I suspect discipline to remain focused on prioritizing).
I seem to have lost my triage.
Usually, I send ALL my xmas cards out on the first of December. I've written 10 but not addressed even those.
Usually I've got my shopping sorted, and wrapped! Not even close.
I don't know what's prompted the unravelling but my current aim now is to enjoy what's on and not let the guilt distract me...
Short and sweet, will try to be more on top of things next week...but no promises!

I wrote this two years ago, and it is still applicable, 24 months later. Way to improve! Yay me! Except, this year I'm not bothering to send xmas cards (I've already mentally made that call!)
Linking up with the Lounge