Monday 16 March 2015

First of the Month Fiction - April

I'm off on a long jaunt and won't be online much at all (maybe a few pretty beach scenes on Twitter) so shutting up shop until late April.

Feel free to add your short story over the next month. Either 100 words exactly or one less than 30 words. Examples here.

Mine is less than 30.

 She had aged badly, a barely recognisable shadow of her former self. But she was loved all the more for it. A sign of a good life, well lived.

(based on this:

The spare replacement is not loved at all. My wee girl informed me that 'some people think new things were better but they aren't!'. A lesson for all those going through a midlife crises!)

Enjoy the school holidays everyone, and see you on the flip side!

Linking up with With Some Grace for #FYBF & all the generous crew at #WeekendRewind

Sunday 15 March 2015

Doors & Fences #Haunted2015


Still loving this...'Nuff said!

This one I like the idea of, but it didn't work as I thought it would

Linking with BlackandWhiteWeekend

Saturday 14 March 2015

The luxury of choice

There are a number of articles on the web at the moment about whether or not it's a luxury to be a stay at home mum. People are then arguing the converse, so it's something that is yet again dividing women, and more over, mothers.

I feel quite strongly on this, and feel that articles on both sides miss the point. It's not that staying at home is a luxury (or luxurious, as the argument is being misinterpreted). It is the choice. If you can choose to stay home or go to work, then you are in a luxurious position. There are women who would work, but can't afford childcare for multiple children (or even get childcare, should they earn enough to be able to pay for it), and there are women for whom no amount of sacrificing 'life's pleasures' would allow them to stay home and still feed and house their children.

If you can make that choice, no matter whether you decide to stay home or go to work, it is a luxury. One of the definitions of choice is: 'The power, right, or liberty to choose; option'. People without choices or options are people without freedom. We have the luxury to vote for political parties without repercussion, we have the luxury to say what we think (more or less), we have the luxury to wear what we like and so on. All these things we take for granted as our way of life in Australia, and yet they are luxuries.

The quality of life that goes with the decision you make (to work or stay home) is irrelevant. The fact that you made a choice is the luxury. A lifestyle wasn't forced upon you. That choice does have an impact on your lifestyle and your finances, but you choose it in it's entirety. You also have the choice to change it at any time.

When my second child was 3, I became distraught that I wouldn't get the 'maternity leave' year that I had with my eldest when he was the same age. I didn't want to miss out* on that time with him. I was at work, and I said something along those lines to my partner. He replied 'So quit. Just go and tell them now that you're leaving'. That hugely generous gesture will never be forgotten. It was as if time stood still and a split second stretched for an hour while my whole universe and perception changed. I didn't quit on the spot, I took sometime to get finances in order (and long service leave and so on). That moment, however, was the first time I realised I had a choice in what I was doing. I wholeheartedly believe that choice is a luxury. It is a luxury that many people don't have.

So if you chose to go to work, and miss your kids, or if you chose to stay home and can't afford to get takeaway on the weekend, just celebrate that you got to choose. There are countries with no welfare where you send your children to factories at 7 just to feed them, or you work in a different country and miss their childhood completely. These situations are not inflicted on us in Australia. We are indeed a lucky country, and we are luckier still if we have the choice on whether to work or not.

Archibald MacLeish said "Freedom is the right to choose: the right to create for oneself the alternatives of choice.” and that ability to choose is a luxury not to be taken for granted.

(The articles that prompted this are here and here)
*I am not saying working mothers miss out. I know from personal experience that I made sure I did more hands on, engaged activities with my kids when I was working full time than a lot of stay at home mums I knew at the time. It was an emotional crises I was feeling on a personal level. In no way am I criticising mothers who work. (Having worked full time with kids, part-time with kids and been a stay at home mum, I know the ups and downs of all three. I thoroughly support the choice of mothers who choose any of those options).

Linking up with Things I Know

Tuesday 10 March 2015

If I could be anyone for the day....

I'd be Daniel Bruhl, and I'd insist that some Australian writer called Lydia C. Lee be in my new movie (whatever that is). Then I'd spend the rest of the day looking at myself in the mirror and talking like Niki Lauda (as I did such an excellent job in the movie Rush).

With everything going on this week, that's as high as I'm prepared to aim. I'm ashamed I'm not putting this power to loftier causes, so I hope the rest of you did.

No world changing here, but life changing for me, at least for about a 6 week movie making period....
Who would you be?

Linking up with #OpenSlather

PS. Apologies for not neatly linking image source, but for some reason it isn't's jumping to an app and showing none of the words??

(Image source: Daniel Bruhl, Wikimedia Creative Commons, Attribution: Elena Ringo

Saturday 7 March 2015

Here's to health

I've been sick - really sick. Except I didn't realise quite how sick I was.
I was up all night, Wednesday night with an upset stomach. The next day I felt terrible, and couldn't eat, but I assumed tiredness was part of it. Friday I woke with a migraine, so assumed the nausea and fact I couldn't eat was linked to that.
Same with Saturday.
I didn't eat for three days, and had no appetite at all, a first for me. I lost so much weight, I physically changed weight (so I currently have a flat stomach, but I doubt it will last long).
Saturday afternoon, the migraine lifted and the bug had gone. Poof! Just like that, I felt fine. I hadn't realised how sick I was, and how much it effects everything you do (and how you feel emotionally).

So if someone is ill, cut them some slack.
And if you aren't, treasure your health. As Virgil said "The greatest wealth is health."

Linking up with #TIK because I know it sucks to be sick (not the most interesting blog post, but cut me some slack - I was too sick to do anything!!)

Tuesday 3 March 2015

#Haunted2015 - Inner City

I'm apparently still not bored with this, so I'll merrily bore you with it.

Out of interest, does anyone find the flowers spooky? The background went weird so there's something a little creepy to me...

Linking up for #WeekendinB&W

Monday 2 March 2015

Whatever the f*ck you do...

In a careless remark, a friend referred to my blog as 'whatever the f*ck you do'. At the time I ignored it because I don't think she realised quite how offensive she was being. For some reason, people seem to have an issue with blogs. The media pushes the mummy blogger as an insult agenda and the whole world jumps on board, whether they have even bothered to look at your work. People think it's okay to say it.

The same person, when trying to take an 'interest' one day asked "So do people actually read blogs?" Well, yes. Even my tiny readership has clocked in over 100 thousand views (just not her), so I can only imagine the successful bloggers are breaking the 100 million figure...So yes, people read blogs.

Here's the thing. If I know the company you work for, and happily listen to you vent about work, don't dismiss my blog. I work very hard each day and I'm proud of what I do.

If I bother to remember the names of your kids and ask how they are going at school, then maybe take a look at my blogs before you diss them. One of the posts has been translated into another language, many featured in magazines and I have written a story that beat out hundreds of others to be published in a book. I'm very proud of my work and getting better at it day by day.

As I am at risk of editorial rejection almost daily, I really don't need it from someone who should be cheering in my corner.

I don't expect my friends to read every post. I don't even really expect them to read it at all. I am certainly thrilled when they do, but I understand it isn't for everybody and people are busy. However, that doesn't mean I am not insulted when you belittle it, and if you don't read it, you have no right at all to criticise it.

If you deal with work emails in my company, don't be annoyed if I tweet at an event. Those foodie people are part of who I promote myself to. Maybe try to understand something about what I do. That's what true friends do, if they care about each other.

As the old adage goes, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

Does anyone else get criticism from friends and relatives? How do you respond?

Linking up with the crew for #WeekendRewind

Sunday 1 March 2015

What I learnt from The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

No spoilers, just using some lines from the film to explore an idea. I am now of an age where I am watching marriages of 20 years come to a surprising end. I don't see it coming, they're people I would consider a rock solid couple. Sometimes it's an affair, a lot of times it's because they 'don't talk'.

As the film points out, you can be very lonely in a couple, and no one wants to be that lonely when they're supposed to be sharing a life together.

In the film, there are a couple of lines that give examples of different couples:

A:"You don't care at all, do you?" (said laughingly)
B:"Only in so much that it matters to you."


C:"Just because I'm looking at you when you talk, doesn't mean I'm listening or care"

A lot of long term marriages turn into C. Just because you are living together, juggle kids together, fronting up to the same meals together and so on, doesn't mean you are sharing a life. If everyone else is filling your world and your partner is no longer getting your attention, then you need to take action before it's too late. Everyone in group C needs to move to B.

You need to actively make it happen "Water doesn't flow until you turn the tap on". You may think you're chugging along happily but you're partner may not be. Paying a little bit more attention may make all the difference. Let them know that they matter to you. Never assume they know it. As discussed before, nothing goes without saying.

Don't wait for a birthday or anniversary to make them feel special. Do it today. It doesn't have to cost the earth. Ask them what they are working on, take an interest in their day, comment on their appearance. Best of all, sit with them and talk.

As the film says "There's no present like the time".

(Image Source)

Linking up off topic with #IMustConfess