Monday 29 February 2016

First of the Month Fiction - March

Even with the extra day, that flew by!

You know the drill (100 word story exactly or less than 30 words in the comments, link your blog so we can see your unfettered glory.)

Even at five in the afternoon the sun was still beating down. Sweat on her brow dripped continuously in the stifling heat. The crowd chorused in agreement with the angry speaker, demanding action on climate change. The sudden heatwave had finally spurred them into acknowledgement, if not action. Hopefully it wasn't to late. The backs of those in front of her were gleaming with uncomfortable dampness. It seemed to be getting hotter by the minute.

        A world away, the young boy held his magnifying glass, directing sunlight onto the tiny colony. Soon enough, one of them would burst into flames.

Have a great month, everyone!

Linking with #OpenSlather

Saturday 27 February 2016

I don't understand...

There are things I don't understand cos I'm old and things I don't understand about the internet.

But the big thing I'm struggling to understand is intolerance - as we age, we turn into people that don't like anything, and judge indiscriminately even when it has nothing to do with us at all.

I was disillusioned that the government somehow distorts an anti bullying campaign into a bad thing, thanks to Cory Bernardi. (As an aside, if we are so concerned about 'advocating social engineering', that surely applies to Scripture classes too? They promote a lifestyle to children. The flaw in this argument for Safe Schools campaign, is that Safe Schools isn't advocating being LBGTQI, it's promoting not bullying those that are.)

What I don't understand, is where have all the good guys gone? We were once a better people. We stood up for what was right, what was fair, for justice, whether it benefited us personally or not. We don't do that anymore. We sit in our own little patch and snipe at anyone and everyone who doesn't fit our mould. We cast judgment for sport, we attack and name call, rather than think of how to help. We have no interest in solving woes for the less fortunate or making the world a better place.

I don't understand when we lost our way, and how we lost the spirit that made us unique in the world, and that the world generally adored. It was a happy go lucky, larikin charm, and it was the Australian way.

I want it back. I want Australia to be like it was. I want us to be the good guys, to be a nation of people to be admired. To be getting it right.

I do understand how we can claim it back. It's simple.
Try to be empathetic. Try to put yourself in the other person's shoes. Try to think about what is right, fair and just.
It starts with you. It starts today.

Linking with #TIK (or Things I (Don't) Know...

Friday 26 February 2016

Little Prince goes to the sea

A few weeks back we spent some time at Rafferty's Resort, and the Little Prince spent some time on the jetty.

He was really Lovin' Life, and so was I.

Linking this old post with #Allseasons as I would like very much to be near the water now. It has been too long.

Wednesday 24 February 2016

A message for Cory Bernardi

I saw the news online, and made the mistake of reading the comments. My disillusionment in the intelligence of the Australian public made me resemble this woman.

Here's the thing, and I'll admit I'm not a doctor or psychiatrist, but I'm pretty certain you can't catch gay. It's like being Chinese or French - you can't catch it. Either you are, or you aren't. When the new French kid turns up at your school, and they speak French at home, if they lend you a pencil and you take the pencil, you don't suddenly become French when you touch it.

If you're learning Greek or Mandarin at school, and you role play a shop scene, you don't get confused and think you are actually shopping for fruit in a market in Athens.

I would say pretty much all kids in the Drama group are aware that the scenes they're preparing for the school play don't mean they've somehow changed personalities and are now their character.

Given the budget of the School Chaplaincy program is in the $243+ million ballpark, and Safe Schools is $8 million, I find it weird that it is the Safe Schools program that you're worried about re indoctrination. You also seem to miss the point that if it is indoctrination, it's indoctrination on how not to be a bullying, insensitive dick, not how to be gay.

The angry, crazed comments on Facebook were often misspelled, had poor grammar and at times, showed no presentation of logical argument. These were written by products of the Australian school system. If you have a concern with Education, that should be it. Perhaps looking at additional funding for schools is needed to make sure that if you go to an Australian school, you come out at the end with the ability to spell and to write a coherent argument.

Our schools are gravely underfunded and it is the community at large who suffers as a result. The pittance used to run Safe Schools is not the problem. The lack of funding for teaching, equipment, texts and everything else means our national standard is not where it should be. I hope you are prepared to fight for an improvement on funding education, seeing as you've highlighted a national level of ignorance, that can only be fixed at the school level.

(My favorite comment was that 'no red blooded male would tolerate gays'. I live in Sydney so I found this confusing at first. But lets break it down (and I'll use the comment's terminology, as it's amusing me) - There's about 2 billion red blooded males who tolerate gays on the planet. Then there's 'the gays' themselves, who, while I admit I'm not a doctor, I am pretty sure are red blooded and male, So take out the women, and reassess your figures. What I believe the person meant was that there is a small percent of the global population who have issues with the LGBTQI community, either for religious reasons, homophobia or some other reason, possibly because their school didn't help them understand diversity or lacked a Safe Schools program.)

You are free to disagree with my opinion but as always, I will delete any rude comments aimed at me, Cory Bernardi or the Liberal Party in general. Keep it civil and polite. We are better than that.

The petition by the Greens in Support of Safe Schools is here

Monday 22 February 2016

A parenting challenge

As children grow into their own person, the role of a mother changes. I laugh at the thought that I used to worry about sleep patterns and late walking, which seem so easy compared to dealing with an individual who is no longer really just an extension of me.

I now hold very tightly to this idea from Joan Ryan, in the book The Water Giver (which I've not read, by the way. so can't elaborate on the book).

“Motherhood is about raising and celebrating the child you have, not the child you thought you would have. It's about understanding that he is exactly the person he is supposed to be. And that, if you're lucky, he just might be the teacher who turns you into the person you are supposed to be.” 

The challenge for us as parents, is that we need to dump our ego, our preconceptions and a lot of our expectations, while still providing boundaries. We need to be prepared to bend to the new wind and do what is right for our child, so they become the best version of themselves, whether we are ready for it or not, and hopefully we become a better version of ourselves in the process.

We are not our child, and they are not us. Eventually, they will have different thoughts and ideas on how the world works, and we may not agree, nor understand. Ultimately, we have to remember they are our child and we love them. That has to be enough. In the same way we are not necessarily the person they want as a parent, but hopefully they love us, and we are enough for them.

Grace wrote about a Mummy Mantra that I think of often "I tried my best. It wasn't enough, but it could have been worse."

Have you changed your mindset as the kids grow to adults?

2020 update: Ironically I have no idea what prompted this post, proving that 'it too shall pass'


Friday 19 February 2016

Expressions of Love - Lovin' Life

Last week for Valentine's Day I posted some photos under the title Expressions of Love - but I discovered I'm not bored with that so like the Little Prince and Haunted, it will keep me entertained (and no doubt you lot rolling your eyes but do feel free to join in at anytime). So what more perfect way to join in with Deep Fried Fruit's new Sunday link up on Lovin' Life!
So I am loving snapping expressions of love.
I am very easily amused with a camera in my hand.
I will never get bored of living in this wonderful city.

Wednesday 17 February 2016

If he treats you like a queen...

It came in through my FB feed, and it stopped me in my speed scrolling:

'Men too, deserve to be spoiled.
Told they are handsome, told their efforts are appreciated and should also be made to feel secure.
If he treats you like a Queen, treat him like a King.'
(Brain your isms)

I don't think I've ever seen this type of thing, directed towards the treatment of men. Plenty about women, about what you should or should not accept as a woman, but not how men should be treated. Maybe it's something to do with the algorithm for my feed, or maybe we just don't think about it.

Make sure you say something nice, or do something nice, to the man in your life today.

Linking with #OpenSlather

nuffnang promoted content

Monday 15 February 2016

One of the Greats....

A week ago I went to The Greats exhibition, which I really enjoyed. There was this painting, which is actually a maiden lamenting over a dead sparrow,and which back in the 1700's everyone would have understood signified her loss of virginity...yes, no need to discuss the weirdness of that. However, for me, it summed up my feeling pretty much every time I read something on the internet that reflects the shortcomings of the society we live in. People that blame the mother for taking her baby to the beach instead of being horrified some random guy would try to kidnap it, people that feel hard done by about losing their rights to rape women on private property, people that feel overwhelmed to the point of affront that someone wants to put in a unisex toilet and the list goes on, and on, and on, in a swamp of deranged anger and discontent of monumental proportions.

I've been offline a little more this week, by coincidence, and felt happier for it. I think I used to be unaware of the hateful society out there, of the angry people that pounce in judgement on every little news story. It just wasn't on my radar and never cropped up in conversations. 

I think I preferred living in ignorance.

I've no solution to either drowning out the sea of angry voices, nor actually turning the ideological idiocy but I do get a wry smile every time I think of this lady, who I now mentally stamp on each post I scroll past in disgust and disappointment.

Linking with #FYBF & #UltimateRabbitHole

Friday 12 February 2016

Expressions of Love

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's Day, spent with friends, family or someone special. Or by yourself, as there's no one who deserves a little love more than you.

If you ever needed encouragement to wash up, this is it!

If Valentine's Day is just a total bummer for you this year, you can blow it off because it's the Lunar New Year! And that is worthy of celebration!!  Gong Hey Fat Choy!

Linking an old post but I like the kookiness of it. #Alleasons

Monday 8 February 2016

Intolerance of youth

I was a little disappointed to read on my facebook feed, someone complaining of the move to unisex toilets, with a derogatory jibe about the rise of 'gender neutral' in the media. The disappointment more because they're a young person, much younger than me, and I guess I thought the youth of the world were more evolved than our generation.

When the rise of wheel chair accessible toilets become a trend, did people complain? I doubt it. While it only affects a small percentage of the population, we thought 'Great that we're making life easier for someone'. Isn't this the same?

For the transgender community, for parents with children of the opposite gender, for children/carers with elderly parents of the opposite gender who need assistance in the bathroom, and for a myriad of other reasons that I haven't thought of, doesn't this change just make life easier? As it causes no harm to me, don't I think 'Oh,good for them.', if I think about it at all?

I am saddened when I see such useless intolerance, especially in the young, as I really believe the world has has changed in so many ways for the better and we're smarter than we were. Perhaps I'm na├»ve. If it doesn't cause harm to anyone, and makes others happier or does some good, then shouldn't we respect it? Shouldn't that be our litmus test for everything? 'Good for her, not for me' should not just be the motherhood mantra, but for all people.

Have you been disappointed in your Facebook feed?

Linking up with #OpenSlather

Friday 5 February 2016

Monkey Madness


The Lunar New Year celebrations are upon us and the city is festooned with red lanterns, lucky packets and fire monkeys! One of our family's favourite celebrations is to head to the annual Lunar Markets at The Star and so on Thursday night we did! They've a dim sum lucky dip and we managed to score ourselves a free Messina ice cream and a Zumbo macaroon, as well as have an easy, festive dinner by the water, and watch a lion dance.

The kids went with Vietnamese cuisine and I opted for Chinese from The Century. Alas I had to miss the bar, but it would be a lovely way to knock back a few beers by the water or in the pop up theme bar.

A decade in, I've just discovered one of my children is not a cheeky monkey as I've always thought, but in actual fact a goat, by 3 days! Don't go by the year if you are Jan/Feb birthday, people! This site has a calculator which works out the full date.

Happy New Year, everybody!!

Do you celebrate the Lunar New Year Festival?

Pierced Wonderings

I have never....

This list is easy, as I have a section on my blog where I set myself challenges and complete them (in you can see).

Torschlusspanik is the German word for 'the fear that time is running out. It's the panic you get when you realise you haven’t done very much in your life, and if you don’t act soon the ‘gate closes’.'

The list at present, a little dusty, stands at 19:

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)

I think I better get on with some of them - otherwise I'll get torschlusspanik about torschlusspanik....(you can read the details exploits on all these under the torschlusspanik label)

What have you never done?

Linking with #IMustConfess

Monday 1 February 2016

Finding the right room

We saw the Peanuts movie and prior to going, I reminisced over the comics. I used to borrow the thick, heavy hardback collections from my school library. I loved it. I still remember all the names and a great many 'plot' lines. What I hadn't realised, until reminded by the movie, is that Peanuts is about failure, not catastrophic failure, just everyday life never quite working out as you want it to. You may never get to kick the football or be able to fly a kite, no matter how often you try. Love is usually unrequited or bestowed upon someone who is blissfully unaware of your devotion. No one will ever share with you the excitement and belief of the Great Pumpkin will rise up. It's constantly about disappointment.
And that's ok. No matter what disappointment besets you, you get up and do it all over again with the same enthusiasm as you did the day before.
As a kid, I never found it sad. I wanted Charlie Brown to kick the ball but I knew each time Lucy would pull it away. And I laughed. Charlie Brown was still the 'hero' of the strip.
Not everyone got a prize - and they were disappointed. Like me, as a kid, every time I missed out.
It spoke to us, and charmed us, and we found it funny. I guess because it reflected life, our life that wasn't so terrible, but was full of tiny disappointments and difficulties. It was our 'normal'.

I do wonder if we've lost touch with something important along the way. We focus so much on telling our kids 'you can be anything you want to be', but what if you can't? Maybe it's like the kite, you can work very hard at it all, but maybe it still doesn't happen? We hand out awards for turning up and everybody is special. We invite the whole class, no one misses out...Yet at some point, disappointment will have to creep in. Maybe not until high school, but it will hit harder when it finally does.

Maybe we need to learn again be alright with that, like we were growing up, and teach our children that too.

Linus tells a wonderful story, way back in '77. "You know what? I think I've learned the secret of life. I went to the doctor yesterday because I had a sore throat... The nurse put me in a small room.. I could hear a kid in another room screaming his head off... When the doctor came in to see me, I told him I was glad I wasn't in that other room... "Yes," he said... "That kid will have to have his tonsils out...You're lucky you only have a mild inflammation". The secret of life is to be in the right room!"

I'm still not 100% sure what I think of all this, but I'm beginning to wonder if we've been parenting all wrong...

Linking with #ThisParentingLife