Monday 14 March 2016

First of the Month Fiction - April

As I mentioned, the blog will shut down for 6 weeks while I take a break (to do all good things, never fear!!) This First of the Month fiction will remain open all that time, and I'll try to promote it when I'm in the country.

For the newbies, write a 100 word story exactly, or one less than 30 words - and it in the comments below, then link your blog so we can see your verbose work.

Mine is of the 30 words this time:

A simple text message would have made all the difference, yet still it was not forthcoming, and so her loneliness in his complacency grew.

(I'm cheating this time. This is the start of something else but I have no ideas as to where to go with it. Why is he complacent? What is their relationship? I think I want to do a brother/sister thing but then where does that go?)

Happy Holidays to you all, if indeed you are having holidays, and see you on the flipside, 1st of May!

Saturday 12 March 2016

Reinforcing Sexist Stereotypes

I need to admit, I've never been much of a shopper - I'm just not interested in it. Even in Bali, my partner will go off in search of bargains and I'll read the newspaper by the pool with the kids. I'll grab something if it catches my eye while out doing something else, but the idea of shopping for the sake of shopping is of no interest to me.

I took my youngest to the eye doctor the other day, and as we walked through the QVB, she begged to go into every second shop, proclaiming "I really NEED more make up" or "Can I get some shoes?" She's 7. I have no idea where this is coming from.

I used to silently sneer at women who told me they were spending time with their daughters and going shopping. One girl told me her favourite part of a month long holiday was shopping in Paris. I found it so insipid.

Yet here I am with a dilemma.

My eldest is heading out to the Easter Show with friends. I've suggested my partner take our middle child on a father/son evening to the Show as well. I said to my girl 'We'll have a mummy-daughter night!' which she is very excited about. I thought we'd head for an early dinner to the Hello Kitty Diner, as we both like the feline mogul.

What I then realised, as part of the evening activity, I was traipsing her through a shopping centre, looking at shops - effectively shopping as a pursuit. I am actively reinforcing a sexist stereotype.

So what say you all, on this?

If it is what she likes (not what I like), is that okay? Or should I push the barrow of a less vapid pastime, in the hope of broadening her horizon?

One thing I am reminded of however, is that whenever you judge someone on their parenting, it probably just means you haven't been put in the same position as them. It's not that you do it better, you just haven't hit their limit yet.

Linking with #FYBF

Friday 11 March 2016

Abandoned #Haunted2016

I had fun this week with a quick pitstop snooping outside an abandoned building...

For the record, the ghosties are what you see when you zoom in through that broken window...kinda cute without the filter, huh?

Wednesday 9 March 2016

Shutting up shop, too busy Lovin' Life

Next week is the FIRST Robotics 2016 Australian Regional competition, followed by Easter and then I'm off travelling (4 countries in 7 days - how rockstar is that??). I will finish with the April First of the Month fiction on Tuesday that will stay open for a whole month, and I'll return the first of May.

I'll be on Twitter and Instagram so I might see you there, in a Where in the World is Carman Sandiego fashion.

I'll be too busy lovin' life to look at a laptop, so have great holidays, and see you on the flipside.

I hope you all are Lovin' Life too!

PS If you have a kid interested in learning a bit about robotics, Macquarie University holds school holiday workshops for Kindy through to Year 12.

Monday 7 March 2016

International Women's Day - what to do

Today is apparently International Women's Day. I know this because my FB feed is packed with feel good memes celebrating women.

I would ask you, if you want to celebrate, to write to the Govt about the funding for Women's Refuges, or donate to one (I picked Lou's Place at random for the link - google Women's Refuges for a list if you prefer a religious based charity), donate to Share the Dignity :It's In the Bag or do something for another women's charity.

Or treat yourself. L'Occitaine has a shea butter balm with 100% of the proceeds going to help women in Burkina Faso for a mere $6 or buy something from Rafiki Mwema or if you know any stockists of Angkor Recycled, give them a shout out (their bags are fabulous, by the way). Oxfam has a range that help women in communities around the world.

Feel free to add other ideas in the comments.

All I ask, is that before you post a meme in celebration of women, you actually help women. Together we can make it a meaningful day.

Linking with #Shelbeeontheedge

They are all my family

I recently listened to the audio version of this book, and while my initial thought was 'Why'd they get this guy to read it?' after a few paragraphs, I was in love with it! I eagerly finished it, engrossed in the story.

In a very matter of fact style, which makes the storyteller seem so human yet so amazing at the same time, he doesn't glorify war and doesn't judge too harshly on the actions of others. It shows some insights into the way history books may not tell the entire story, how you could not believe a city was about to fall if you were in it, and how people behave when their hand is forced. At one point it made me laugh out loud with delight, when I finally understood the title (Don't read any of the blurbs, just have it all unfold, and you will too!).

Without giving anything away, he admits as a rule follower and a conservative personality, the only justification  he can give to why he did what he did was because "It was the right thing to do". It was a simple as that. This book has restored my faith in humanity a little, that perhaps, when push comes to shove, we will stop turning our backs on those in need, we will put our cameras down, stop filming and actually help, we will speak out on behalf of others.

If one person can make a difference to so many people, imagine what we all could do?

(I stumbled across this book when I was looking to get some background on the pending trip to Vietnam, I've opted for some of the French history, and some modern books, as I don't want the understanding of the country to focus on just one war. Yet as I'm not a fan of war stories, I'm surprised at how much I loved this. Definitely worth a listen!)

Linking with #Whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge  Linking this book because he describes an airport scene identical to what happened in Kabul - 100% exactly what we saw this week. Riorden even said 'if you are going to go into a country, you better make sure you have a proper exit plan'. Evidnetly we have learnt nothing in the 50 years since the Vietnam war. 

Friday 4 March 2016

Champagne Sydney

I was spoiled rotten with a rockstar experience - a sunny afternoon on a boat with 20 friends. We drank champagne, dined on lobster and swam in the glorious harbour. We also played banangrams that isn't so rockstar....but very much what we like to do.

I was reminded how lucky I was to have such great friends and to live in such a beautiful city. Life can be tough, and things can drag you down, but it can also drag you up from time to time with it's perfection.

Linking up this fabulous memory of my best birthday ever for #TimelessThursday (for the obvious photo!) My husband organised an amazing day our for me and my friends, and we all felt so lucky to have such a luxurious day on the water.