Kiss kiss

I don’t like shaking hands with people – I don’t know where their hands have been.

And I definitely don’t like being kissed by people when I greet them – it’s totally unnecessary. There’s nothing wrong with saying hi, how are you and smiling nicely. Unless it’s family because that’d be a bit formal.

But the people who really annoy me are the ones who come in as if they want to kiss but then turn their heads at the last second so it’s like you have to kiss them on their cheek when they were the ones who wanted the damn kiss to begin with. Then you just have this awkward brushing of cheeks moment because I’m not kissing them.

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Sulking mainly

Hi everyone. Or anyone.

I’ve been hibernating over winter. Sulking really. I always feel a bit SAD through winter but that aside, this year in general hasn’t turned out to be as much fun as I’d hoped. Health wise (nothing life threatening), life wise, world wise and friend wise it’s pretty much sucked and I let it in turn suck the motivation and energy out of me.

It all started when we got back from that three-day cruise in March and discovered that our business partner and supposed friend of twenty-five years had tried to shaft us with the aim of leaving our business shut down and us unemployed. It’s practically impossible to find full-time work here if you’re over fifty but I was surprisingly unconcerned about that, I was more upset about the back stabbing friend. I seem to have picked some clangers over the years. In fact if you see a book on the shelves titled When friends turn out to be arseholes, I probably wrote it. Anyway it was a pretty stressful and disappointing three months and it made me all bitter and cynical and then the world turned to shit and I seemed to be at the doctors every week and yadda, yadda, yadda I didn’t just want to be here bitching and moaning and complaining all the time.

Well I probably did but I’m trying not to complain. I started doing this 30 day challenge where you can’t complain or criticize anyone. It’s terribly hard but it makes you realise how many whiny needy bastards are out there; honestly people never stop complaining. The idea is that you put a band on your wrist (I just use a hairband) and if you find yourself complaining or criticising you have to put the band on the other wrist and go back to day one and start again. I started about three months ago and I’m still on day one. I think the only way to get through it is to just not talk at all.

Anyway Spring has arrived and I’m sure people somewhere are counting down the days to Christmas so I’m just waiting this year out and looking forward to a happier, healthier, complaint free one next year.

chilli stuffed olives

The chilli garlic stuffed olives I had yesterday were not joking about the chilli part. They took my breath away every time. I do love an olive or ten though.

I have two international girls in my class, Harjinda from India and Fiona from Papua New Guinea. They had never tried olives before. I didn’t start them straight off on the chilli ones mind you. Harjinda is vegetarian and I saw her looking at an olive and she held it up and asked me if it was meat and I said, no, no meat, but it might have a seed. So she popped it in then smiled her huge smile and I said – you don’t like it? and she said, no,  not so much, lol, then Fiona had one and she said it was okay, not bad. So there you go. I wasn’t too surprised that they’d never had an olive before because there was another young australian girl in the class who’d never had an olive either. And who am I to talk anyway, me who’s never had kale or collard greens.

It was funny because Harjinda had made this mushy carrot and sugar dish, I think it had nut in it as well. And it was very delicious but we were all piling it onto savoury rice crackers and she was saying – it’s sweet, it’s sweet and we’d just nod our heads and slap it on another cracker. She probably went home and told her husband about these crazy Australians who eat sweets on tomato and basil rice crackers.

hard yakka

Good grief, this learning business is hard work. I’m getting into a routine now. Get up at 5am, quick coffee, then a run or a walk (most days), shower and breakky (breakfast that is), into the office for an hour of work then off to school for six and a half hours, walk home, go grocery shopping, cook dinner, walk Chicken Little (most days), collapse.

I am now friends with The Indian Girl, who from now on shall be known as Harjinda. That is not how you spell it but thats how you pronouce it. There’s a funny little bit more on the end but I can’t catch what it is. I’ll ask her about it tomorrow.  She has been living in Australia for two years and still getting the hang of it. She wants to talk a lot so she can improve her english and I’m to tell her if she says anything inappropriate which is a bit of a worry because about 80% of everything I say is inappropriate. Lol, there was a moment today when she told Lou, one of the other girls in our group, that – if you get much fatter you will have health problems – that I felt could of been on the verge of inappropriate but Lou handled it fine. She knew what Harjinda meant.

She is in that situation that I think a lot of people find themselves in once they arrive in Australia. In India she had a qualification, worked with computers in some way, then came to Australia and couldn’t use it so she’s gone back to school. She told me that she doesn’t want to be home, washing, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, cooking. I hear you!! She’s really putting in the hard yards to get ahead. She gets up at 4am (makes me look like a baby) because her husband gets up then to get ready for work. She spends over an hour, on two buses, morning and afternoon getting to school and back. She has a four year old in childcare where she lives and her two year old is living in India with her mother for the six months it will take to do this course. She said that between Australian and Indian cultures that is one thing she really notices and misses. When she was living in India there was always family there to help and to look after the children.

And she’s vegetarian as well. Religious reasons. We had one very confusing conversation, well actually we’ve had a lot of them but in this case we were talking about being a vegetarian (She hasn’t met many here) and I thought we were talking about if I ate figs and she was talking about if I ate pig. And I was saying – oh yeah yeah I love fig but they’re really hard to find where I live. And she must have been thinking, what kind of vegetarian is this!! Then I said – did you say fig?? No, no, pig, pig!!

I must say she has very nice looking lunches though. Today she had some kind of homemade stuffed chappati.

Seriously though, I never imagined that after all these years the day would come when I had to make my own school lunches. I was a maker of awesome school lunches. Every school day I got up and prepared morning tea and lunch for my three kids. I’d cook pizza’s or scrolls, prepare gourmet sandwiches or wraps, pack fruits and nuts. And a lot of days I didn’t feel like doing it at all, but it was just nice to send them off with a lovely lunch. And all their friends were jealous because they either had to make their own or got money or a vegemite sandwich or nothing at all. Lol, although I did hear more than once that – I’m the only kid in the whole school that doesn’t get chips for lunch every day. (They were also – the only children who didn’t own mobile phones when they were 12). But one of the happiest days of my life was the day I realised that I’d never have to make a school lunch again. And here I am after twenty years still bloody doing it!! Guess I’ll have to update this page that I did a few years ago.

All my friends are getting un-married

Daz and I seem to be the kiss of death to all our married friends marriages. It’s not one of our greatest accomplishments.

Years ago – and I mean about twenty years ago we had great friends called Kerry and Glen. We spent a lot of time with them for a couple of years. We had kids the same age so we’d go to each others place on Saturday nights and the kids would play in the yard while we caught up. And then they started falling apart and it wasn’t so much fun to hang out then. Nothing worse than a night out with a couple who are in the middle of splitsville. There’s a lot of eye rolling and snarky comments and snide remarks and it gets awkward. Anyway Kerry packed up and moved to Perth and we never saw her again. We still see Glen about but we don’t hang out with him.

Then Peter came to work with Daz and we became friends with Peter and Vicki. I loved Peter and Vicki, they were a lot of fun. We stayed best friends with them for about five years and I have such fond memories. They’d been together for about ten years then got married and split up within twelve months. Vicki had a problem with painkillers. She’d had a car accident and started taking them for a back injury. She was kind of hooked on them when we first met but then she got over that. But then all those years later it caught up with her again and then she got into harder drugs and then Vicki and Peter had a terrible separation and she moved away and we didn’t see either of them for years.

Then just last week Daz was standing at the traffic lights outside our new house waiting to cross and he looked over and there was Vicki sitting in a car at the lights. So he yelled out to her and went over to talk to her and he said she seemed to have it together again and she lives not far from where we will be. So that was strange, maybe she’s going to come back into our lives.

Then of course there was my sister Emjay and her husband (not the manservant!) and now Daz’s sister and her husband, who is one of our best friends have split up as well.

But the most heartbreaking one has been the most recent. Our friends Cath and Neil. A lot of disappointing things about this one. She was my sons pre school teacher and we became best friends through that connection seventeen years ago. They have two children who are younger than ours but we became like family. We went on holidays together, spent christmas and birthdays together, her parents were like family to us as well.

Then a year ago they separated. It was pretty sudden. Not altogether unexpected though. And it’s funny how it’s panned out. And not funny haha at all. Because we see a lot of Neil but none of Cath. And I thought she’d have stayed in contact. But she has a new man and new friends and it seems as if she wanted to toss away everything that had anything to do with her old life. Out with the old and in with the new. She says the new man wasn’t on the scene before the split but, well it’s a long story and lets just say we don’t believe she’s being entirely truthful. Which is also upsetting, that she doesn’t think she can be honest with her oldest friends. And telling lies is the one thing I really cannot stand. My kids know that it’s always better to fess up to me than to try and lie. Anyway we’re kind of over her now which is sad. I mean you can only sit around waiting for a bit of attention to come your way for so long. We were upset about it then cranky about it then disappointed about it but now we’re just over it. Well Daz is still in the cranky part actually.

I told her we’d like to meet new guy and asked them here for dinner or said we could go out but she’s not interested. I mean I’m not going to beg. But we see heaps of Neil. We go out for dinner every couple of weeks or over to his place with another friend we have in common.

I haven’t seen her now since October. She came to our place for christmas day but I didn’t get a chance to really talk to her. We used to hang out all the time and have lunch or drinks or sleepovers. But we’re having lunch today so hopefully that’s not awkward. And I noticed she’s started leaving comments of my kids facebook pages again. My daughter’s theory is that maybe she’s realised that tossing away all the old things wasn’t such a great idea. But I don’t know if I can just pick up again now. We’ll see. I’ve suggested that we meet the new guy.

So the moral of the story is – if you’re happily married stay away from us. But if there’s someone who’s pissing you off a little then come over and become our best friends.

And if you don’t get the title reference then you obviously weren’t a teenager in Australia in the seventies when Skyhook ruled.

That was random

One of my dearest friends is Brad. We met in Sydney almost thirty years ago when we worked for the same company. We shared an office and we hit it off straight away and spent a lot of time together over the next few years. He’s just a lovely funny guy. After about five years we both left Sydney and moved away in different directions. He went coastal, we went dustbowl. But we still usually see each other once a year. Never a planned thing but he works for the forestry department so he usually heads up our way about this time of the year because it’s bushfire season. And he’s one of those friends that when you see him, it’s like you saw him yesterday. We just pick up from the last time. He turns up at the door and there’s no big deal, it’s just – you want a coffee? And last week when it was really hot I thought to myself, must be about time to see Brad again.

Anyway, on Monday I finally got to go to the dermatologist after my nine month wait. We had to go to Toronto which is a one hour, thirty minute drive away. And while I was in there Daz sent me a text message saying – Brad waiting, how long will you be. And I was like, well that doesn’t sound like Daz, because he’s usually very patient. I thought he’d made a typo and had meant to say – Bored waiting, how long will you be?

So I ignored him. And of course when I left the building, there he was with Brad. Daz said he was standing on the footpath and this ute pulled up and he heard someone yell out – Hey Daz, what are you doing standing on the footpath in Toronto? And it’s funny because Brad lives about two hours drive away in the opposite direction to us. He was just there that morning for work reasons.

Love random moments like that.

A letter to someone who has hurt you recently.

Sticky beaks. As if I’d be broadcasting that all over the internet.

I am a prolific letter writer though. I’m always blasting them off about one thing or another. Lets see. I wrote a letter to Taronga Zoo a few years back after a visit regarding the appalling conditions the orangutans lived in. I wrote to a tv show once, I think it was a travel show, about the way they depicted tattooed people. It must have been a while ago as well because every man and his dog have tattoo’s now and we’re not really considered freaks anymore. I wrote to the council because the playgroup I attended with my children was nothing better than a dust bowl and told them that we needed some grass and some shade and I wrote a letter to the principal of the kids school letting him know what I thought about them not supplying soap in the school toilets. He wrote one back to me and said that maybe my business could supply the soap for them. Cheap bastard. Then they brought in this plan where every lunch time all the kids had to pick up five pieces of rubbish and put them in a bin. So I wrote another letter saying that my kids would not be picking up any rubbish while there was no soap for them to wash their hands with when they were finished. So there. Lizzie used to love that. The teacher would tell them to pick up the rubbish and she’d say – my mum said I’m not allowed to pick up rubbish unless you supply me with a pair of gloves. God you can imagine it can’t you. They must have thought she was a little smartarse and I was much bigger one. Well you don’t see them picking up the bloody rubbish. They used to say to her – well just pretend you’re picking it up.

I do tend to write letters to people when I’m cranky or upset with them. For one thing you can get your whole perspective across to them without them butting in but also I tend to get all flustered and teary and end up a babbling mess. So if I write it down I feel like less of a fool. So the last letter I wrote to someone who has hurt me was to a friend who I felt really let me down. Over the years I’ve always ran off to her whenever she had a drama (and believe me there have been plenty) but when I had one drama, just one, earlier this year and could have used someone to talk to about it, she didn’t really want to know about it. But I’m not going to show you it or anything. But she kind of blew it as far as I’m concerned.

A photo of an animal you’d love to keep as a pet. 30 days of blogging, day 6.

This is an easy one. That would be Carl. He was my cat and I would’ve liked to have kept him for a few more years. A lot more years actually. He was only eight when he died. That was four years ago and it was very sudden and very unexpected and a big bloody shock.

He was such a character. I’ve known a lot of cats and I’ve never known two that were the same. I used to sing to him and he loved it. I used to sing this song called The Special Special Special Boy of Love. Obviously I wrote it myself. The lyrics changed from day to day but he didn’t seem to mind as long as you sang it in a fairly high pitched voice. I usually sang it to him while I was cooking dinner and he sat on the kitchen table.

day-6b

Yes I know, I know, probably some hygiene issues there. But it was impossible to keep him off the kitchen table. We tried for ages but he was so pig headed about it that in the end we gave up and just let him sit there. Except when visitors came,  then we’d act like he was never allowed up there – Oh Carl, what are you doing up there we’d say as we shoved him off. That used to piss him off. But anyway I’d cook dinner and sing him the Special Boy of Love song and he’d purr and tap my arm with his paw and smooch my arm.

He used to sleep in bed with me as well. Flat on his back with arms and legs fully relaxed flat out. Sometimes I’d shut the bedroom door and lock him out but he’d just sit there and rip up the carpet until I let him in. Or he’d do what we called Commando. He’d lie on his side on the floor and use his claws to pull himself around the corner lounge until I let him in. As soon as I opened the door he’d be sitting there in the middle of the lounge room cleaning himself as if it hadn’t been him and what was my problem.

And if he didn’t like someone, he’d make it clear. When they came in and sat on the  lounge, he’d sit really really close to them but face the other direction. We called it giving them the pig, or showing them the arse. He used to sit in the bean bag as well which was pretty funny. We called him Carl Bond.

day-6

He was our Big Beautiful Boy. And then one day he was a bit off, the next day he was throwing up, the next day he was dead. We got him to the vet on the throwing up day but he had massive kidney failure. They think it might have been because he was such a good hunter. He was full of toxins. They said the hunters often have kidney failure. He used to catch bats. He brought one in through the cat flap one night and ran with it under our bed. I shut the bedroom door and said – Daz, there’s something in there you need to deal with. Maybe he ate mice or rats that had been poisoned.

Betty misses him as well. We bought them at the same time so they grew up together. They were always playing together. And oh my, he led her astray. Got her into all sorts of tricky situations.

He used to squeeze in under the steps and she’d follow him but then he’d get out but she’d be trapped. We had to pull apart the steps a few times to get her out.

day-6-betty-and-carl-babies

day-6-betty-and-carl-teenagers

day-6-betty-and-carl

He was called Carl because we bought him from Carlingford shopping centre. We already had three cats so it’s not like we needed another one but Lizzie was about eight then and she cried and carried on and wanted a kitten so we got him. It was new years day and we’d been in Sydney for 1999 new years eve. So then we had the long car trip home with him. She picked a little grey one to start with but someone else had it reserved so she went for the little ginger.

It turned out to be a good choice in the end.