Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Alphabet Thing Meme

I can sit in a chair for longer than ten minutes. YAYAYAY. After some very, very nasty back spasms later in the week, to be back to 90% is great. Now the pain has gone away I can study and clean.

Questions, as per normal from Sunday Stealing.

A: Accent -- 

A soft Middle Class Adelaide Australian. I have long A's, miss the finial L's and occasionally get mistaken for being English.

This explains it perfectly:

B: Breakfast --

Normally a protein shake or eggs on the weekend.

C: Chore you hate --

Anything to do with floors or dusting.

D: Dad's name --

Ronald Geoffrey

E: Essential everyday item --

Bedside light.

F: Flavor ice cream --

Do I have tot just pick just one? Maggie Beer's Caramel, honeycomb and burnt fig jam is pretty special.

G: Gold or silver --

Silver. Always has been, always will be.

H: Hometown --

Adelaide, South Australia

I: Insomnia --

Occasionally - thankfully not too often. Once or twice a year for a few days only.

J: Job title --

Technical Writer / Instructional Designer. Depends on the gig.

K: Kids --

Thankfully, no.

M: Mother's birthplace --

Adelaide, South Australia

N: Number of significant others --

None. Pathologically single (at the moment)

O: Overnight hospital stays --

Two. When I was a child and they were fixing my legs. Nothing in adulthood.

P: Phobia --

Huntsman spiders. Hate the fuckers. (Google them if you want a picture, Americans)

Q: Quick at --

Picking up concepts.

R: Religious affiliation --

None. That's why I'm a Freemason. Spiritual and agnostic is what I normally put on forms.

S: Siblings --

One sister, one step-sister,

T: Time you wake up --

Normally six when the alarm wakes me. Seven when I don't need to set the alarm

U: Unnatural hair colors --

I've been dying my hair since I was sixteen, but it's normally a fairly natural reddy brown colour.

V: Vegetable you refuse to eat --

I've never really seen the point of zucchinis (Courgettes)

W: Worst habit --

Sucking my thumb when I'm tired or stressed.

 X: X-rays --

Other than the odd ones from the dentist, the last one I had was 20 years ago in Ireland when they thought I had pneumonia.

Y: Yummy --

I made a Chicken Waldorf salad for lunch which was divine.

Z: Zodiac sign --

Leo/Virgo. Okay, to be more precise, I'm a Leo/Virgo, Cancer Moon, Capricorn rising with a five planet stellium in Virgo. I hang out with astrologers. Can you tell?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Q & A Meme

Okay, bribe time. Two minutes of transcribing (tape time) one question. Has to be done. Study is getting a bit heavy and it will be until early November. I have three hours of interview tape to transcribe and it is doing my head in, especially as I'd rather be reading a book somewhere.

Questions, as always, from Sunday Stealing.

 1. What would you pick as a major, if you could go back to college and do it again? 

I've often said that if I was to go back and do my undergraduate again I'd go back and do Medicine. Failing that (and with my hatred of physics) I think I'd love to study drama and creative writing - there are so many more choices than we had thirty years ago.

2. Who is the one celebrity with whom you would most like to have an in depth conversation? 

Probably George Clooney -a great philanthropist.

3. If you could make a living doing ANYthing, what would that be? 

I'd love to be a very successful writer.

4. What’s your all-time very favorite dessert? 

Creme Brulee. The thicker the crust on the top, the better.

5. How many pairs of jeans do you own? 

Five or six in different colours.

6. What is your favorite flower, and why? 

Roses. I love their scent.

7. What book has most changed your life? 

Two books. Dr Spencer Johnson's "Who Moved My Cheese." The other is Louis De Bernieres' "Captain Corelli's Mandolin". The former got me out of my funk, the other took me around the world.

8. What is your least favorite vegetable? Is there any way you can be persuaded to eat it? 

Zucchini. It's pointless. Flavourless and bland. Not overly fond of broad beans either.

9. If you could take a nonstop first class flight to any destination, where would you pick to land? 


10. If your 15 minutes of fame included a stint on American Idol, what song would be your trademark solo? 


11. If you could pick one former friend (who has remained elusive in this wild Facebook world) to reunite with, who would you unearth? 

An Irishman called Dave. Dave is dead. I'd love the truth one day.

12. You have been awarded the time off from work and an all-expenses paid week anywhere in the United States. The catch is that it must be somewhere you have not been before. Where do you choose to visit? 

Seattle or San Franscisco. Always wanted to go to Seattle and San Francisco. I'd go back to Boston and New York happily, but we can't do that for this test.

13. Name three of your guilty pleasures. 

Ice cream, donuts, gin and tonics.

14. The best kind of cookie is: 

White Chocolate and Macadamia cookies.

15. What do you value most in other people? 

Intelligence and honesty.

16. Have you ever looked back at your life and realized that something you thought was a bad thing was actually a blessing in disguise? 

Oh hell yeah. Not having the job work out in Greece - though it the worst thing ever at the time, but it moved me on in leaps and bounds. A very, very good thing.

17. What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever visited? 

I have been to a lot of beautiful places, but the Lady Chapel at Ely Cathedral takes my breath away every time.
Image result for lady chapel ely cathedral

 18. Are you more of a thinker or a feeler? 

Though able to think, I'm definitely more of a feeler.

19. Name three things you are thankful for right now. 

Good friends, I'm solvent and the worst of the depression I've had has gone.

20. Have you ever participated in a three-legged race? 

Like nearly 40 years ago. Yes.

21. When you are at an event that plays the National Anthem, do you place your hand over your heart?

I'm Australian. I'll stand and shuffle my feet a bit. None of this hand on heart stuff. At least I know the words to the first verse.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Really Random Meme

These are really random questions, Sunday Stealing!  Need to get this done quickly - I'm off to see the David Bowie Exhibition and spend some time with an old and good friend who is down from Brisbane.

So, here we go.

Do you believe that Walt Disney is really frozen? 

Do I care? No. And this is relevant how?

Do you believe its easy to forgive and forget? 

It's not easy to forgive or forget. I will forgive quickly, but I NEVER forget.

When you feel like running away from it all who do you call? 

My inner self or my bank manager and find enough money to go somewhere for a week.

Is there anyone who knows your entire life story? 

No. There are a few who know most, but there are patches they don't know about.

Have you had to have stitches at all in the last year? 

Thank goodness, no.

Which is coming next: Christmas or your birthday?


Have you ever been a clown for Halloween? 

Halloween is unAustralian. We don't do Halloween. So no.

What time did you go to bed last night? 

About 11 pm.

When did you get up this morning? 

7 am. I've been doing some study.

When was the last time it rained? 

Early last week we had a few showers.

Are your finger nails painted at the moment? 

No. Was thinking about doing them last night. Didn't happen.

Do you ever go hunting/fishing? 

I like fishing, but I haven't been for years.

Did you have an imaginary friend as a child? 

Yes. His name was Sparky. I was very good at losing him in supermarkets.

Which parent do you look most like?

I'm a funny mix of both parents. There is a lot of Dad and a lot of Mum. Depends on who's looking and my expression.

Do you have any friends who are famous? 

No, but I have a good friend who's a good mate of Eddie Izzard, so I have a direct link to a lot of Hollywood.

Do you use eBay to buy or sell? 

Yes, both.

Is music a daily part of your life? 

Yes and no. I like music, but it's a background thing. Listening to Simon and Garfunkel as I was stuck in traffic yesterday was brilliant. Calmed me down.

Is your self esteem high or low? 

After years in therapy, I can say that I've got pretty reasonable self-esteem. Sure it has dips, but on the whole I'm in a good spot.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Gag Me Meme

Some rather silly questions this week, but in all, they're not too bad. I've been told to Americanise the next blog that comes out with truly American questions. These are good. Thanks Sunday Stealing.

Do you have a sensitive gag reflex?  

Fairly. It comes out around vomit or when my hair gets stuck down my throat - a bit of a trap when your hair is as long as mine.

Where are you the most ticklish?  

The ribs. It's not pretty.

What was the last situation to upset you?  

Watching what's happening to the Syrian Refugees is very distressing. The Australian Federal Government is not upsetting me quite as much now that Tony Abbott is no longer Prime Minister. (Danced the conga for two days after that happened.)

Have you ever had an online argument?  

Of course.

Do you like to listen to music while filling out surveys?  

No. I tend to do the surveys really quickly.

How long do you spend on the phone each day, on average?  

Five minutes, max.

Is anything in your hair right now, like gel, hairspray, etc.?

A bit of straightening product. That's all.It will have a hairband in it soon as I'll be heading off to the gym.

When was the last time you were up before the sun? Do you like wearing sunglasses? Why or why not?  

Most mornings I'm awake at 6 am. The sun isn't quite up then.

Last show you watched?

I sat down yesterday and watched a repeat of Celebrity Apprentice - well that was on the telly. I went and saw the Melbourne Theatre Company's production of Harold Pinter's "Betrayal" last night. It was really enjoyable.

Next vacation you’re going on?

No idea - too many factors to consider with that one.

Do you regret doing anything you’ve done this week?  

No. No time for regrets. Waste of time. Though I half regret not completing my Real Life Writing homework yesterday as it's a gorgeous day out there.

Last night you felt?

Buoyant. Had a great time last night

What are you wearing right now?  

My dressing gown.

Have you ever kissed underneath the stars?  

No. Not that I can remember.

What are you doing now?  

Writing this blogpost.

What plans do you have for tonight?  

Go round and see Blarney and Barney and probably do my Real Life Writing homework.

What’s the very first thing you do when you wake up, other than breathe?

Normally check the time on my phone (which acts as my alarm clock)
Do you like reading?  

It's one of my favourite things to do.

Do you ever think about stuff and start crying?  

Every so often. Thinking about a couple of people who've passed will bring up tears.

Have you ever kicked a vending machine?

Of course. They deserve it.

Do people consider you smart?  

I have no idea. You'll have to ask other people.

Have you ever stayed online for a very long time waiting for someone? 

No. But I've come back and checked if they're about. Joys of a long distance relationship.

Do you tend to be aware of what is going on around you?  

Yes. I'm pretty aware of that. At least I try to stay on top of things.

How much money did you spend yesterday?  

Hmm. Weekly groceries, $90. Breakfast $15. Meditation $30. Dinner with Alice. $45. To that comes to about $180. Then I go through the week spending $4 a day on coffee and my train ticket. Swings and roundabouts.

Is there anything in your past that you’d like to try again?

Maybe bellydancing lessons. Last time I tried it, I threw my back out.

Friday, September 18, 2015

RU Okay? Day 7-8 Mercury Retrograde

Am I okay? Yes.
Am I back to normal? No. Nearly there.
Am I being kind to myself? Very.

I'm pissed off. Woke this morning to a sore throat and the aches. I was supposed to be going to the football tonight - my first game in two years. Off to see the Crows play the Hawks. That's what was supposed to happen. Even bought a new cap and scarf so that I would stand out among the poo brown and wee yellow of the Hawthorn supporters. (Sorry Hawthorn supporters - is what it is. Your colours are wee and poo)

Not going. Not going to do that to myself.

The cap and scarf can be used next year. I have a feeling I'll be going along to the footy a little more next season. 

Okay, I will be honest, the though of facing a 90,000 person crowd was making me anxious. Sore throat aside, just thinking about being cold, jostled and covered in mid strength beer was bringing up feelings of being closed in and trapped. It's going to be loud and noisy and brash and cold.

I'm comfortable with the decision.

So, from this.

I acknowledge that I'm still not quite right and though I'm functioning at 100%, this spiral is still in place. At least I'm spiralling in the right direction.Upwards.

I'm fully aware of my limitations at this time. If this means giving my footy ticket away, so be it. There will be other games.

I'm really proud of myself for not doing me any more damage.

I'm accepting of the fact that this needs to be ridden out in its entirety. There are no quick fixes. It is what it is. Thankfully, the worst is over.

On the good side of things, I get to study this weekend. And go to the theatre. And do lots of exercise. And maybe see a film. And visit the Maow Maow (really miss that critter). All things I love doing.

Knowing that I have friends about means a lot. Knowing that I can ride this out with grace and dignity, even better.

Having Mercury in Retrograde - yeah, well that never help, but you have to deal with that too. For those not of an astrological mind, when Mercury appears to be going backwards communication in the world breaks down. This is a good time to plot and reflect. Not good for getting anything done such as contracts and paperwork. Good for planning, not for doing.

It's a matter of dealing with things the best you can under the constraints you have.

Oh, the other thing. Last night my trainer tried to kill me. Cleo is known around the gym as "The Smiling Assassin". She put Jay and I through a hellish 35 minute session where both of us nearly collapsed. Upped all the weights and the intensity, culminating in her making me push a 120 kg sled (Sled = 60 kg +  60kgs of weights) with her standing on top of it (Another 60 kgs). A third the way down the track I stopped and asked her to stop playing silly buggers. I felt like I was about to expire. Daft thing is, I probably could have got her to the end of the track if she hadn't killed us in the half hour before. Next time.

Proud of me at the moment. It's a good feeling.

Go the Mighty Crows!

Gym Haiku

Sixty kilograms,
The trainer stands on the sled,
Cracks whip, then yells "MUSH".


Grey days and play days
Possibilities abound
Once the feelings stop

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

RU OK? Day 6 - And the World Closes In

Am I okay? Yes.

Has there been a glitch or two on they way? Yes.

Last night was book group. I love my book group. I'd better love my book group - I've been the book group's administrator for nearly a decade. By administrator, I  mean it's my job to book the restaurant and remind everybody what book is up for the month and bag the lollies for the book choosing meeting in December.

Anyway, book group came. Full house for a change, so a table of ten. Jonella brought her mum, Josephine, with her. Josephine is over from South Africa for a few weeks and we always welcome her along. She even reads the book and contributes, which is fantastic.

It was a good book group. The book wasn't great, but the conversation about the book was very good. We were given a long table in a quiet part of the restaurant. I was in one of the middle seats. Two people on one side of me, two on the other, noise all around.

What people don't tell you about depression is that you can be hypersensitive to things. My biggest trigger is noise. So there are four noisy women on one side and five noisy women on the other.

After an hour, after dinner, I could feel myself closing in on myself. Being stuck in the middle there was little I could do. Part of me just wanted to go home, go to bed and be in silence for a while. The other part of me wanted to stay and listen the the conversation. Getting a word in edgewise can be hard at book group. Splinter conversations start. What starts as a mumble turns into a cacophony.

I also received a bit of news during the night. My niece and sister fly to Brisbane for my niece's stem cell transplant treatment on Sunday. As my sister hadn't put the news on her webpage, it was not for me to tell anybody. That was playing on my mind too. I've since had a good chat to my sister, got the heads up and she's let her group know.

By the end of the night, I was frazzled. I could feel the mood slipping as the minutes passed.

Thankfully, Teddy drove, Jonella, Josephine and myself home soon after.

Got home, talked to a friend in England for an hour and a half and went to bed. The television did not go on. No extraneous noise for me last night. It was a little bit flabbergasting trying to explain that happiness doesn't pull you out of a depression spiral. It helps, but there is more to it. He's thankfully never had to deal with this stuff (or consciously called it depression when he has) and being a bloke, he's got this think about either ignoring or trying to fix things. He does sit and listen and try to understand, This is a good thing.

It was just bizarre how the noise effected me. I was around people I love doing something I love. By 8.30 pm I was ready to either walk out or murder.

It's all good now. This morning I met up with Cleo for a training session - she let me kick her (well kick a padded bag that she's holding ). That felt good.

Lots of water. Good.

Lunch from the expensive, virtuous hippy joint across the road from work - macrobiotic, vegan, organic salad of zucchini spaghetti and brown rice base. Can't get more healthful than that. Or virtuous. It's enough to make you want to grow your armpit hair and take up yoga.

All's evened out. I'm back where I was before book group yesterday.

But I'm looking at the madness of going to the football on Friday night. The Crows play the Hawks. It will be noisy. But it has to be done. Just have to psych myself up for it. And learn the club song properly, just in case.

I'm picking up more quickly too. This is a good thing.


For what is silence?
The absence of vibrations
Smashing at your soul.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

RU Okay? Day Four and Five

Am I okay?

You bloody bet I am.

I will stop doing the conga soon. I've been doing it since 9.50 pm last night when the news that Tony Abbott has been ousted as Prime Minister. A conga line for one dancing around my kitchen to the tune of "Goodbye, Tony Abbott, hey, Goodbye, Tony Abbott, cha!" with a glass of single malt in my hand. (Glenmorangie Burgundy Finish - yum). I have to stop doing the conga. It looks a bit stupid on your way to the train.

Oh, just give me some maracas and let me get on with it.

Okay, as it really goes, it could be a case of same shit, different shovel, but for some reason, the country feels a little lighter today. I can go back to disliking the Liberal Party as opposed to outright despising them.

Hopefully, we have seen the last of Tony Abbott in the international arena. I'm sure he'll pop up from time to time. He is the member for Warringah after all (Poor Manly).

So this has cheered me up no end.

We have a Prime Minister who I wouldn't mind calling 'Sir', don't feel like he's going to embarrass the country every time he opens his mouth. I don't have the desire to bear arms against Malcolm Turnbull.

This is not a bad thing.

So other than a new Prime Minister, things are fine. Good even. My energy levels are returning. The head is clear. I had a good think about the differences between the musts, shoulds, wants and needs in my life - and I'm focusing on the wants and needs and removing the obligation filled bits of my life.

So, I need to lose weight for my health. I want to lose weight because I feel better.
I need to go to Target tonight to buy some new work trousers.
I want to find a new job soon, but I'm not rushing.

It feels better to be doing things that I want and need to do, rather than think I must or should do.

This mindfulness appears to be bearing fruit.

Goodbye, Tony Abbott, Goodbye, Tony Abbott....cha cha cha cha cah,booom.

Haiku for yesterday

So long, Tones, So long.
May the door hit your bum hard.
Me miss you? Never.

Haiku for today

Who was it that said
A conga-line of suckholes
Makes our parliament?

Image courtesy of