Monday 30 November 2015

I'm too old for...Stereosonic

I knew I was too old for Stereosonic, but I LOVE Galantis and wanted to see Duke Dumont so went anyway.  As you do. I figured we'd be invisible so it would be okay.

We got on the train and the carriage when silent. All the young things, already off their chops, appeared to be paranoid we were cops. Fine with that. Expected.

I was surprised when they asked for ID. And then the eye bulge when he worked out the age and the ego deflating double take when he looked at me, implying 'What the hell are you doing here?'. Even that was anticipated.

I need to add, as an aside, I've never had a bag check where I've had to pull everything out of the bag, even tiny purses.

The issue for me, was the drinks. As I was not on the chemically enhancing gear, I wanted a drink. An actual real drink. Like an adult might drink. So I line up and look at a list of sugary liquids. You could not even buy a decent beer! And the only spirit was vodka, but NO TONIC! It was with Redbull or Lemonade. Nothing an adult would want to imbibe. And that's when it hit me. I'm WAY too old for Stereosonic....

Have you ever suddenly felt your age?

Linking with #WWU and don't forget to link your Xmas posts here

Saturday 28 November 2015

Guaranteed Pick Me Ups

Lately I've been going through the wringer butting heads with a teenager*, and just general life chaos, so as a result, to settle my mood, I've had a few songs on high rotation.

Smile - Galantis (the clip is lots of nudie people making out, so not suitable for work, so this is the audio only, but listen and you'll feel the bad vibe lift away)

The other song, which has a real downer of a clip (not suitable for work) and frankly probably depressing lyrics but I don't understand what he's saying - I think the Elton John-esque rising notes taps into some happy mood from my childhood, is Avicii's For a Better Day:

Until recently I'd been going to Dancing in the Dark on a Monday night, and the hour of crazy dancing gave me such a high, that I began to get an anticipatory high all day Monday. Alas, they're no more, so I'm trying to get myself to No Lights, No Lycra but that's yet to eventuate in this busy xmas season. I have to say, the hour of dancing to Galantis yesterday gave me an instant high, that brought me peace for awhile...and a big grin to match.

I'm trying to be a little mindful of all the good things in my world, and trying to treasure minutes of quiet (most days seem to involve racing from one thing to the next, and that's becoming physically exhausting).

What are your tips for keeping your head above water?

Linking with #MondayMusicMovesMe - G for Galantis!

*Needs to be said, a good teen, but a teen all the same....

Thursday 26 November 2015

Xmas gift guide for the hard to buy for

Kids are always the easiest to buy for, it's the adults in your life that can make Christmas shopping tricky, so here's a few ideas for those hard to please giftwise.

Not sponsored, but awhile ago I won a Bockers & Pony hamper, and it was one of the only hampers I've received where I liked everything in it - not any 'filler'. This was the Cheers hamper, but there are Christmas offerings, and many other great gift ideas. With the red & white ribbon, it would make the perfect festive surprise. So if you're really stuck, or looking for a hamper to send, I'd look at Bockers & Pony.

If money's no object, I'd consider the Fly'n'Dine with Sydney Seaplanes. A luxury gift that makes you feel like you've stepped into another life for a few hours.

Or for a gift that gives twice - head to the Little Shop for handmade gifts where the proceeds go to hospitals.

These little pendants make lovely gifts from Udderly Mine.

Look for the local gift markets in your area. There are a lot popping up in December - and when you buy local, your hard earned cash is going into the community. The Artisan Markets are popping up in Annandale on the 5th December, if you're after funky handmade gift ideas.

If you are really stumped, why not head to Daddy, I want a pony! and potter around the sensational gift shop in Leichhardt. There's bound to be something there to solve your dilemma.

Linking with #OpenSlather & #MummyMondays

Add you Christmas posts below, old or new, or make a suggestion for other great gifts in the comments.

Monday 23 November 2015

First of the Month Fiction - December

For newcomers, write a 100 word story exactly, or one less than 30 words, in the comment section - then link your blog.

They mumble a lot, and it can be noisy, the old man thought irritably. It can be confusing. New people turn up almost daily. They just can't keep staff. Otherwise, he liked it here, for the most part, he mused. It's clean, and it's sunny.

The young man pulled back the curtains. "Dad, it's me, Paul" He searched in vain for recognition, a flash in the eyes, that perhaps today his father remembered him for an instant. "Dad?" He stayed chatting cheerfully for awhile to the old man who stared through him.
He would return home yet again broken-hearted.

(This was a reject from Museum of Words - it's not fab but I kind of like it, so here it is)  Linking with #WWU and later #WeekendRewind
Your turn:

Saturday 21 November 2015

Right now, I'm....

Busy, stressed, disorganised.

Not three words I'm comfortable with. I have too much to do, not enough time to do it. I'm not doing what I need to get done, nor what I want to do.

I want to write. I have stories in my head but no time to get them onto paper.

So advance warning, I'll be shutting up shop for a break, to write hopefully, from 16th December until the 1st of Feb. This is my Christmas present to myself. I will, however, continue with the Christmas link up every Friday, and First of the Month Fiction.

I hope to return with a new level of organisation and enthusiasm.

Now to get all this Christmas chaos sorted....

Linking with #IMustConfess

Thursday 19 November 2015

Jingle all the way...

Christmas is fast approaching, and the days and nights are filling up with all the festive activities...
I've just been alerted to a wonderful charity, that's easy to contribute to. If you have a spare bag, you fill it with female toiletries, and drop it to a local collection point before December 11. It's nationwide, so well worth a look: Share the Dignity

Don't forget to link your Christmas posts, old or new, below, and pop in to read a few of the others....

Linking with#WorthCasing

Monday 16 November 2015

Seriously...I'm kidding

I was deeply upset when I read the news from Paris, and then angry. Very angry that they picked on young people and families, all innocent of involvement in anything at all. The anger scares me a little. It's not fear, it's an aggressive emotion. I don't think it's a good reaction to this tragedy, but there it is regardless.

A while ago I read Ellen DeGeneres book, Seriously...I'm Kidding. It's a very funny, entertaining read that made me laugh out loud a lot, in very public places. It does, however, end on a serious(ish) note.  While describing her secret to happiness, among other things, she says "Contribute to the world. Help people. Help one person....Just help. Make an impact. Show someone you care...even if we try the teeniest tiniest bit we can make this world a much happier and healthier one. And if we try even harder, we can do some pretty spectacular things."

If the disaffected chose this path, instead of one of selfish destruction, image the different world we'd live in?

However, we can only manage ourselves, so we need to increase our contribution, or offer a contribution to a neighbour, friend, or stranger. We can make the world a better place, and let's face it, we really need to. If like me you are feeling anger, then channel that energy into something positive. If you can't change the world globally, just start with a neighbour. It's easy and if we all make life better for one person, then it's a movement on a grand scale of sorts.

Here's hoping we eventually see some pretty spectacular things.

Linking with the BookNook

Sunday 15 November 2015

News and newsworthy

Over the last few days, a number of people on social media have complained we didn't hear about the bombing in Beirut. We did, or at least some of us did. There were actually plenty of news reports about it, however, depending on the news you seek out, you may not have seen it. I want to talk about our responsibility, one that we've let slip.

Somehow we have lost our way. Somehow we decided news needed to be entertaining and we lost interest in being informed. We decided we didn't need to pay for quality news coverage. We forced the mainstream news to compete with celebrity news and clickbait articles. We dumbed ourselves down. And now we complain that world news gets hidden in small Reuters paragraphs at the back of the news section of the actual newspaper, that we neither purchase nor read.

David Carr, in the movie Page One (on the New York Times) said 'The New York Times has dozens of bureaus all over the world and people are going to toss that out and see what Facebook turns up'. A lot of people did just that. And social media feeds are tailored to us, so we aren't going to see what we aren't 'interested' in. We may not even see what's true. If that is how you get your news (and I'm ashamed to say most days it's how I get my news), then you can't complain that you don't know what's going on in the world.

I have written before that I believe it's our responsibility to demand unbiased news, and be well informed, so we can be contributing participants on this planet. That may cost us a little money. It will cost us a little time (to read all the articles).

We can not blame the media for not covering something if we don't make it financially viable for them to cover it. Good news coverage costs.

For those that haven't seen it, the opening scene of the Newsroom sums it up well (on America no longer being the greatest country in the world, and it applies to us all):
"We sure used to be. We stood up for what was right! We fought for moral reasons, we passed and struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were....We aspired to intelligence; we didn't belittle it; it didn't make us feel inferior. We didn't identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election, and we didn't scare so easy. And we were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed...The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one."

I was in Bali after the school massacre in Pakistan and the newspaper there was full of letters to the editor complaining that Muslim Governments needed to do more than publicly condemn the actions of the terrorists with mere words. My news feed at home had not even shown there had been any condemnation, and it covered little more than the horror of the attack. So who's at fault? My media source? I would say yes, as I just get emailed clickbait headlines trying to lure me in to the website.

Really though, it's me. I'm the culprit that has demanded lessor coverage. I have said 'I won't click on this global political story but I will click on this Bachelor update', and I want you to somehow find me news stories for free. I have forced a change, and it's a change for the worse.

In view of global terror, I'm now complaining about what I've created, as if I'm not somehow at fault for my ignorance.

I believe it's up to us to change this. If we don't like the coverage, we need to go back to news that funds reporters to report, to dig out the stories we need to know. We need to tailor our news stream to cover real news, not scandals and gossip. We need to make sure we are receiving broader coverage, global coverage. We need to be the adults of yesterday. We probably need to pay for it too.

We recognize the problem now, so let's solve it. No news is not necessarily good news. Not now.

Linking with #WWU and #TIK

Both the movie and series mentioned above are worth a watch (in my opinion) - available here (the links are to JBHIFI but not for any reason, that's just who I thought of - it's not a special or anything) Page One and Newsroom (there are 3 seasons)

Wednesday 11 November 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

For the next 7 Fridays, you can link your Christmas posts of past and present here - yep, that's all there is to go! Yikes!

Linking with #OpenSlather

Tuesday 10 November 2015

Christmas posts link up coming this Friday

With seven weeks to go, I will be hosting a link up every Friday for your Christmas posts - old, new, just photos, whatever you want! So see you Friday for some Christmas fun!

Linking up this old post for #RubyTuesdayToo and #BlueMonday---but there is a #XmasLinky this Friday too!

What I learnt from Burnt...

Wikimedia Commons: Attribution: Eddie Kay
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Not a whole lot. I went to see Daniel Bruhl, and while he had a few nice moments, it was a bit of a waste of a role for him.

So this is more what I took away from the 2 hours in the cinema:

1. The director for Joy has a thing for Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, he used them in both Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle as well....

2. Do Australians have deeper voices than others, or when they wash out their accent do they get that deep Shakespearean actor voice? (I forget what the ad was for, but think Russell Crowe, Thor, and so on)

3. How much did Burger King pay for that scene in Burnt? Did anyone else find that odd?

4. 'There's strength in needing others, not weakness'. I'm still thinking about this. I'm not entirely sure what I think about it, but I do know for some reason, a lot of us find it hard to ask for help, when we shouldn't.

5. I thought it was weird that the chef would be drinking plunger coffee - I know it's all cold press and back in fashion, but I just didn't believe it. Any chefs out there, do you drink plunger coffee? (Daniel Bruhl's character drank an espresso, so gold star from me!)

6. There's an Italian actor in it, I'd not heard of, Riccardo Scamarcio, who plays a character with few lines, but is in the background of a lot of scenes. I kept watching him half the time, as he was very 'busy', doing what he was doing, or watching the shenanigans of Bradley Cooper & Co. Will be tracking some of his Italian films down (where are the video shops when you need them?)...

7. There is an interesting line on addiction 'You're an addict. If it's not booze, it's drugs or fucking every woman you meet because you're addicted to how you feel every minute of the day'. I don't know how true this is, but I have seen people switch one addiction for a more acceptable one (or a less acceptable one, like the womanising). So it's definitely got me thinking....

8. It really just made me want to watch Rush again.

9. It made me hungry.

10. And I'm hungry now because I've been thinking about it.

Linking with #WWU & #TIK

Monday 9 November 2015


I was listening to the radio and the announcer  (I think it was Emma from The Edge), a young woman tells a story how in a past relationship, her partner never complimented her. Then one day, she was with some girlfriends who were saying 'I love it when my husband tells me I look hot' or 'My boyfriend says I'm sexy' and so on, and she realises "I'm with the wrong person. He doesn't appreciate me" and so they broke up.

Two things struck me with this story, firstly, she had such great self esteem that it hadn't been eroded by his lack of compliments, and her first thought was 'He doesn't appreciate me' rather than 'He doesn't find me attractive' or worse 'I mustn't be attractive'. I know I would definitely, especially as I age, be taking it as a flaw in me, not a flaw in him. I would love to have such strong self esteem - I don't know how you build it, but I'm working on it.

The second point that the story raised, was that she decided to break up with him when he wasn't present. They didn't have a massive fight that prompted it, she didn't limp the relationship through the unhappy death knell in an attempt to change him. She just decided she deserved better, and freed herself to seek it.

My ego has been taking a battering over the last few years, writing and aging are not kind to self esteem, and the weak just get weaker. (I've spoken before on the difficulty of keeping your head high after the multiple writing rejections). However, I've decided to work on it, as it's the new body I'm stuck in, so I may as well learn to love it, instead of hating what I see in the mirror.

The last few years have slowly chipped away at my self esteem, eroding it to unhealthy lows. I was surprised when I heard the story and I realise that must be 'normal' perception of self worth, and mine is the painfully distorted one.

There's a lot we can learn from Kanye. Stop laughing. Can you imagine how wonderful it would be to never even hear the criticism, because your self belief is so great that you drown out the external negativity with an internal cheer squad? He said “Society has put up so many boundaries, so many limitations on what’s right and wrong that it’s almost impossible to get a pure thought out. It’s like a little kid, a little boy, looking at colors, and no one told him what colors are good, before somebody tells you you shouldn’t like pink because that’s for girls, or you’d instantly become a gay two-year-old. Why would anyone pick blue over pink? Pink is obviously a better color. Everyone’s born confident, and everything’s taken away from you”. Look at little kids at the school dance - they're loving themselves sick over their moves, there's not an ounce of self conscious judgement holding them back. Whatever they do is great, and they believe it. I want to get a little of that confidence back.

Why do we let other people take our confidence away? Why does society want to set so many limitations on our sense of beauty and value? It seems so mean and pointless. And if we can't keep our head above it, so self defeating.

So day by day I'm working on it, and hopefully one day I'll begin to believe it too.

I'll leave you with this quote “I believe in myself like a five-year-old believes in himself. They say look at me, look at me! Then they do a flip in the backyard. It won't even be that amazing, but everyone will be clapping for them.”  We'd all be happier with a little Kanye in our head.

Linking with #MLSTL because since I wrote this I have improved my confidence and self esteem. I've taken my own advice and that of Augusten Burroughs in This is How (to be confident), and learnt how to take advantage of my invisibility of old age. Always a work in progress but it really can be done. We are oh so worth it too, ladies.

Monday 2 November 2015

Going the distance

As many of you know, my partner is a runner. After years of cheering from the sidelines, I thought I'd give distance a go and be the one getting the support. I don't run, and when I do 5km fun runs, I have the kids with me, so speed is irrelevant. So I signed up for the 7 Bridges walk, a 27 km walk for the Cancer Council, just to see if I could do it.

The distance was long enough to be a challenge, but not long enough to require training, as every mother knows, you do a lot of inconsequential walking around daily, so it was perfect for me.

I was a little nervous that it would be harder than I thought, and the need to get back for my son's concert meant that I'd need to keep up the pace all the way to the finish.

It was surprisingly easy and actually enjoyable! I'm not ready to sign up for Coast Trek (a 50 km walk) but I will definitely return next year. With better shoes (I'd foolishly gone in $20 kmart sneakers that were slightly too small), I'm sure we could shave off 20 mins to get us to the sub 5 hour mark. We stopped for 30 mins for a picnic lunch, and that for me was the highlight (showing my true colours), so that's non-negotiable - but a walking speed of 4 hours 30 mins would be the target (instead of the first attempt of 4 hours 50 mins of which I'm quite proud of).

The winners on the day were the zooper duper sellers - I had 2 along the way, and they were perfectly uplifting for the spirits, and cooling for the heat. I had a fabulously civilised corn quesadilla for lunch at the Lane Cove Village, which was delicious, and as I've mentioned, quite the highlight. And don't forget, of course, the 5 hours off kids duty (thanks to my partner) and the stunning scenery that Sydney is famous for, not to mention a leisurely walk and chat with friends, a rare treat, not to be underrated.

Now I'm not about to get a fitbit or anything crazy like that but I did do a 40 min walk yesterday instead of catching a taxi, so maybe, just maybe, I could be turning over a new leaf....

I'm adding this to the list, even though it's already done and dusted. I also need to say I'm extremely proud of myself that I didn't need to call this post "A bridge too far" and that I pulled up so well the next day that I could wear heels on Tuesday!

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 (check)
9. Invent something
10. Cooking Masterclass (check)
11. Master a Masterclass (check)
12. Perform a rap song (check)
13. Trampoline adventure (check)
14. BMX Riding (check)
15. Do a cart wheel (check)
16. Ride an Electric Bike (check)

17. Astonish Myself
18. Write a book*.
19. Participate in a distance event (check)

Linking with #OpenSlather

Sunday 1 November 2015

Lack of Respect

The Motherish had a post where a mother was complaining that her husband watched scary movies with her son behind her back, and that she'd been dealing with his sleep issues for years, not knowing that this was where part of the problem stemmed from.
I was more puzzled that she wasn't angry that he was deliberately lying to her.

To me, the issue was that he was saying to his son, 'I don't respect her, and you don't need to either' and that it was perfectly acceptable to do things that she wouldn't like, as long as you kept it secret from her.

I don't think he needed to have her approval to let her son watch scary movies. It's his son too, and he should be able to parent as he sees fit. If an argument or discussion evolves because of the difference of opinion, so be it. Parenting, like marriage, is about finding the middle ground. However, to decide that you don't care for your wife's feelings or opinion and that you'll just do what you want in secret, is displaying a lack of respect for your partner that I imagine is hard for her to overcome. It would put every thing you do in doubt, taint everything you say. As I've said before,  'It is better to have the argument before hand than argue later and bring betrayal into the already difficult situation'.

The deceit cracks the relationship, bringing a fissure into the ties of the couple. It's not an affair, it's not a gambling problem but it's destructive all the same.

I'm glad for that couple that she is only focusing on the inappropriateness of the scary movies, and I hope for them that the issue resolves itself. As they say in the book, Water for Elephants "at some point the secret itself becomes irrelevant. The fact that you kept it does not."

Linking with #MummyMondays