Saturday 31 January 2015

Ask not for who the bell trolls...

I listened to a fascinating podcast last night, and I just thought I'd share it with you. It is called If you don't have anything nice to say, SAY IT IN ALL CAPS. It's an interview with a woman who responded to her troll, and what unravelled. It is as I said, fascinating.

That is all.

Linking off topic with I Must Confess, as I just thought as bloggers you'd all enjoy the podcast...

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Just enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate

There's a saying in Aeon Flux that has stayed with me, a good fifteen years (where did that time go?) 'An ice cream cone and brain tumour are the same thing to a dead man'.

If you're existentialist, it sums up the crux of life. That eventually, it all comes to naught. If you're not, you probably just think this is a very negative saying, and am wondering why I like it.

A friend is dying, and I'm struggling with what to say. From the hospice she writes "Nothing much matters when you boil everything down...Just what you feel. It's quite nice having all the other shit pared away."

It's a lesson many of us learn too late. It's something we should try and embrace a little sooner. As discussed in this post - the bad things will still happen, but we need to think about if they really matter? The big things? Yes, they are painful and we struggle. The little inconveniences? Do we really need to let them ruin our happiness?

“My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate - that's my philosophy” Thornton Wilder.

For the record, the best ice cream in Sydney is the Messina Coconut & Lychee. If you must deviate, Messina's Ginger & Dragonfruit is also acceptable. Everything else is a poor second.

Linking with #Blogtober21 and #InspireMeMonday

Sunday 25 January 2015

First of the Month Fiction - February

Finally back from a long hiatus. Same rules as always - write 100 word story (in exactly 100 words) or a story in less than 30.

Put your story in the comments then link your blog so we can see your style in unfettered form. Mine is 100 words:

He had pretended to forget their anniversary, as the big game was that night and his friends had a ticket for him. Better to seek forgiveness than beg for permission, he chuckled. He was relieved when she failed to remind him in the morning. He left a note that he would be out late.

The beers flowed, his team won. He hoped the fight wouldn’t be a tearful one. He hated those.

However, there was no fight at all. She’d packed her bags and left, leaving no note. The silence of the empty house accusing him of too much neglect.

Linking up with Weekly Wrap Up

Urban Landscapes - #Haunted2015

Apparently I'm still not bored with this, so here's more in the #Haunted2015 collections...

Linking with #B&WWeekend

Friday 23 January 2015

Conversations with Teenagers

Everyone tells you how your world will change when you have a baby. How tough it is, the sleepless nights, the constant companion and the joys that it brings. For some reason, no one heralds the oncoming teenage years the same way. Your adorable and adoring child will look on you with disdain for no reason from time to time. Forcing conversation at the dinner table will be considered a form of child abuse. Yet five minutes later, a chatty conversation will commence in the kitchen, as if the last surly hour never even happened. Teen years are a random roller coaster for the parents. There seems no correlation to what you do or say, and the reaction it will receive.

A friend, who had never once complained about her kids, posted to FB "Sometimes it's very hard being a mother of a teenage boy". No further explanation, just a small cry of frustration. A neighbour, when I was rocking a pram at the front gate said the wise words in reference to her then 16 year old "You just have to keep communication open. You don't understand that now, but at times it's much harder than you think."

A mere "Did you get any homework?" can be met with a glare and an eye roll "Why do you ask so many intrusive questions?" or they can walk in the door and come to tell you the news of the day unprompted.

It's all normal. The upside, is parents of teens don't pretend to know the answers. They don't pretend their child is perfect, nor that their parenting is perfect. There is a refreshing honesty that it's tough, but that they're doing their best.

There is a child I call the poster boy, because he is all things you want your maturing teen to be - excelling in school and extra curricular, polite and friendly, well behaved. I drove him home and he discussed with the younger boys the difference with the HSC work load. A few days later, I complimented the boy to his father, who stopped me when I said he was so chatty. He laughed and said "He told you all that? He doesn't talk to us at all. We have to pry it out of him".  Even under the poster boy's seemingly flawless personality was the hormonal surly teen.

You need to remember it's all normal, just not easy. "You just have to keep communication times it's much harder than you think."

There is an Italian proverb that needs to be shared in the birth suite 'Little children, headache; big children, heartache.' When you are next complaining of the two year old tantrums, inability to toilet train, or sleepless nights, remember that there will come a time when you are wishing it was that easy again!

Linking with #KCACOLS

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

PS I need to say, the upside of conversations with a teenager, is that you have intelligent, thought provoking conversations where you see an adult viewpoint emerging, and I've probably learnt more on the changing world from the teen's questions and discussions, as I'm required to think and form an opinion on stories in the news that I would normally flick by. I have someone to enjoy concerts with (though I am considered embarrassing should I throw my hands up or call out), and my love of trashy movies. I love the teen with all my heart, and I love the free thinking adult he is becoming.

Sunday 18 January 2015

Be a woman

I was really taken with an episode in the Mindy Project last night - I wanted to show you the clip but that seems copywrong so you'll need to buy the DVDs and watch it for yourself - Season 2, Episode 12. The main character, Mindy, wants to lose weight to look good naked for new boyfriend. Her colleague and personal trainer has accidently seen her naked and gives her some advice. Mindy jumps in with 'I need to lose weight, I need a boob job, blue eyes' etc, trying to pre-empt the pending critique, with criticisms already said 'by every mean girl' in her life ever. However, all Dan says is "Don’t hold in your stomach because it makes you look nervous." Then he simply says: “You’re a woman and that’s good. Look like a woman.”

As someone who feels slightly disappointed every time I see myself in the mirror, always surprised at the aging reflection, I loved this scene so much. I wish someone would say it to me in real life (and that I'd listen).

Instead we listen to the horrible little voice in our head, the voice that compares our flaws to the photoshopped photographs or to the newer, younger people in our lives. We see enormous flaws that are probably invisible to others. Hopefully, anyway.

I watched the scene twice as it was quite possibly the most romantic moment on television, at least that I've seen in a long time (but I am watching Breaking Bad and the Sopranos again, so that could explain something). I can tell you now, I'm not doing it justice.

Next time you are feeling all self-conscious and unhappy with those child bearing hips or post baby tummy, repeat to yourself “You’re a woman and that’s good. Look like a woman.”

Linking up with Grace for #FYBF, and Things I Know (because I know I need to hear this more) & #WeeklyWrapUp

Mindy Kaling is all sorts of fabulous, and her book is worth a read too, as I've discussed before (here). The clip below is nothing to do with this post, just a general ad but she deserves a plug, so here it is:
I need to say, while Dan may be saying it, and technically I should be crushing on him, I'm actually crushing on her because I'm sure she wrote it. I am so glad that there are role models like this for young girls today. If you have teens, get them the book, and watch the show with them. Though maybe watch it first to decide if it's appropriate.

Thursday 15 January 2015

"It's a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water." -Franklin P. Jones

Still on a break (are you missing my wisdom and wit yet?) but thought I'd write a little note on this week's #SunshineSunday topic of water.

It's clear and simple, right?  Wrong, like all things in life, it's deceptive and dangerous, should you not be paying attention. As W. C. Fields said "You can't trust water: Even a straight stick turns crooked in it."

It is powerful. It supports life, but erodes huge rocks. We work very hard to keep our head above it, both literally and figuratively.

It's beautiful and serene, yet can kill in an instant. We learn early never to turn our back on it.

 It flows like us, always, though often with the misleading appearance of being contained or stagnant. "The tide comes in. The tide goes out. We're always on our way somewhere, even when standing still". Bill Willingham

Never underestimate it. Still waters run deep.

Linking up with #ThruMyLens


Monday 12 January 2015

My Haunted House #Haunted2015

At the suggestion of EssentiallyJess (in the comments), I decided I'd make my house haunted too. So in the world's briefest post, here it out for ghosts!

Obviously the one with the water isn't at my house, but how spooky is the tree!
Linking up at #MySundayBest on Home

Friday 9 January 2015

Hawaii Suggestions Please?

This is not really a blog post but a call out for tips on where to stay and what to do in Hawaii? We'll be in Oahu, Big Island and Kauai - all suggestions welcome (restaurants too if you have any fab tips).

Because I haven't been there yet, here's a pretty beach scene from elsewhere, and there's a linky below if you're written blog posts on your trip...


Linking with Weekend Wrap Up

Sunday 4 January 2015

#Haunted2015 - a photo challenge

I'm still on holidays, but just had an idea if anyone is after a little holiday fun.

I've taken to running with one of my kids, and as we traipse the neighbourhood, I've noticed a number of  perfectly normal houses that with the right angle, would look haunted.

So for the rest of the month, tweet or facebook me (or any of the other SM platforms but I'm not on them) any of the shots you take with the #Haunted2015

I trust you are all having a wonderful break, had a merry christmas and fabulous new year celebration.

I will be back in awhile, but in the mean time, here's the start of my collection.

Linking with #PhotoSunday