Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Joy of Making Things

Once upon a time people used to make things. People cooked their food and made cakes and they made their clothing and they pretty much made everything.

Then technology took over and people didn't makes things any more. They stopped knitting and sewing and baking and the like. Things were bought, items obtained.

Over the years, things appear to have lost their value as mass production has taken over our daily lives.

Well, I'm of a different era. Being a child of the seventies and a teenager of the eighties, I have my feet in two camps.

I'm a modern woman. I know how to obtain the things that I need. I like nice things too. That's not something to shun.

But I was also raised to be a home maker. Quite strangely, for a modern woman, I love to make things. I love to cook and knit and crochet and my clothes don't get thrown out - they are mended when they get into strife.

Blarney's boys have been told that they're being made a chocolate smartie cake for their birthday until they turn eighteen. I don't give them many things, other than my time, but I will make those chocolate cakes each May. It's my way of showing them that I love them.



When friends have children, I'll move often than not have crocheted them a simple baby blanket. The blankets are always gratefully received. It's just my way of sending love.

So now, I'm sitting on the couch knitting a yellow beanie. I've got the wool for a black one too - it won't take long to knock them up. You see, my niece, Lolly, has just been diagnosed with leukaemia. She's 15. The chemotherapy treatments started on Thursday and in the next few weeks her hair will be falling out. Sensibly, she took the advice to cut her hair short, and she took the liberty to dye it pink at the same time. Her school mandates that hair must be naturally coloured. She won't be back in school for many months, so why not. On the good side of things, they have a very, very good strike rate at curing this type of leukaemia. She will be one of the survivors.

For me. I've never felt so useless in my life. I'm interstate. I'm watching my sister and her family suffering something that could never be predicted, although they are staying strong and positive.

All I can do, other than contact them regularly with messages of support, is to sit on my couch and knit hats in the hope that my niece realises how much I love her and how I want her to get better soon.

Hopefully the beanies will be warn with a warrior's pride. Warn with the knowledge that there is somebody out there who loves her enough to make her a hat to keep her head warm in these hard times.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

The I Meme

After a rather fraught week, it's nice that now things have calmed down and there's a really cute meme to complete for this Sunday. Along with making a salad for a barbeque a bit later and doing some study.

This "I am" meme comes from Sunday Stealing once again.


I am... 

Strong, resiliant, kind, intelligent (Gee, never saw myself saying that a while ago)

I want... 

A leather trench coat and a few more hours in the day.

I have... 

Great friends, a good attitude and lots of love in my life.

I wish... 

My niece didn't have leukemia. I wish that more than anything in the world.

I hate... 

Nothing. But I very strongly dislike the Australian Federal Government at the moment. Loathe it with a passion.

I fear... 

That Australia will never recover from this mean, stupid and incompetent government.

I hear... 

That the comedy festival is going to be really good this year.

I search... 

For more time to write properly.

I wonder... 

If the current Australian Federal Cabinet will end up in prison sometime in the future for the atrocities they're committing at the moment.

I regret... 

Nothing.

I love... 

Maow Maow and ice cream and kittens and puppies and literature.

I never... 

Consciously go out to hurt anybody or anything.

I ache... 

After the lunge track of this new release of BodyPump (The chest track is a killer too...)

I always...

Clean my teeth before I go to bed.

I usually...

Touch a copy of the Herald Sun and make the comment "Oh, I feel dirty now!"

I am not... 

Ugly or stupid, no matter how often I was told that as a child.

I dance... 

In the kitchen any time of the day or night.

I sing... 

When driving the car - very loudly and often off-key.

I sometimes...

Freeze gin and tonics in iceblock molds. Yum.

I cry... 

At the drop of a hat during movies.

I am not always... 

On time, but there is a greatness to my lateness.

I lose... 

Patience with politicians who think we should be more like America. America is a great place, but leave America in America thanks.

I am confused... 

At how Christopher Pyne has not been made to resign, effective six months ago.

I need... 

A cuddle. Maow Maow will oblige this afternoon.

I should...

Be studying, but I'll do that once I publish this.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

The One Thing Meme

It's 10.30 pm and after a busy day which included a film, the gym, food shopping and getting my tutorial paper in I completely forgot about the meme.

Thankfully it's about one thing.... Thanks to Sunday Stealing as usual.


One Thing .....

 that makes you smile: 

Puppies

that makes you cry: 

Emotional movies

that you love to do on the weekends: 

Exercise

that you do for only yourself: 

Put on the limited makeup that I wear most days (eyeliner, mascara and lipstick - that's it)

that you have in your underwear drawer that's NOT underwear: 

Ummm... stockings... it sounds better than a vibrator.

that you do before going to sleep: 

Read

that you do within the first 15 minutes after waking: 

Go to the loo

that's in your purse: 

Lip balm

that you actually LIKE to clean: 

The bathroom

that you DETEST cleaning:

The hard floors (well, floors in general)

that other people would find odd about you: 

That I love ironing. There is plenty odd about me, but the ironing thing baffles most.

that you would buy if I handed you a $100 bill: 

A new DVD/Blue ray player that will play avi/mp4 files on my television. $99 at Dick Smiths (Radio Shack)

that you feel you HAVE to do before you die: 

Fall in love properly.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Threes Meme

I'm procrastinating. There are two things I should do over writing this blog.

Thing one is complete my tutorial paper for school. It's due Wednesday and I've done most of the preparation work - but it's on facing the blank page.

The second thing I should do is go for a swim. I'm sitting on the balcony of my hotel looking over the pool. I can hear the waves. I'm wondering if the pool is heated. The beach may be a little calmer than it was yesterday - I went for my first swim in the ocean in years last night. I found that the experience left me longing for the calm, placid waters of St Vincent's Gulf near my home. Adelaide, you have some of the best beaches in the world. Yesterday's beach was just a little grotty for my liking.

Anyway, here is Sunday Stealing's stolen effort for this week.

Three things.

1) Three things that scare me

The extreme right wing that's overtaken our Liberal Party
Australia's current trend of ignoring anything scientific or not lead by ideology
Compacted crowds

2) Three people who make me laugh

Shaun Micallef
Ross Noble
Tony Abbott (laughing at his delusions)

3) Three things I love

Maow Maow
Animals
Ice cream


4) Three things I hate (okay, dislike intensely)

Extreme right wing politics
Ignorance
Huntsman spiders

5) Three things I don't understand

Extreme right wing politics
Why Christopher Pyne is hell bent on turning the Australian education system into an American one, especially when we have one which is fair and affordable and doesn't leave you bankrupt or paying bills for the rest of your life
Why people can't have faith and understand that science has a place as well

6) Three things on my desk

Hair ties
Wrap bracelets
Stapler

7) Things I want to do before I die

Get married
Have a consistent body mass index of under 30
Live in Europe for at least a year

8) Three things I'm doing right now

Watching Downton Abbey
Writing a tute paper for uni
Writing this...

9) Three things I can do

Quote Machiavelli in a tute paper about the bank page
Make great chocolate cake
Drive a tractor

10) Three things I can't do

Confidently swim in the sea
Confidently tell my left from right (ambidextrous - it's a nightmare - does it matter?)
Embroider

11) Three things you should listen to: 

Philip Glass's Koyanissqansi serie
The Pogues "Rum, Sodomy and the Lash"
The sound of the sea

12) Three things you should never listen to

Christopher Pyne
Tony Abbott
Joe Hockey (and any other neo-conservative, Tea Party-like arsehole)

13) Three things I'd like to learn

How to do butterfly stroke
Patience
The piano

14) Three favorite foods

Ice cream
Roast lamb
Any berries

15) Three beverages I drink regularly

Water
Decaffeinated coffee
Gin and Tonics

16) Three shows I watched as a kid

Bewitched
MASH
Hogan's Heroes

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The 17 Meme

Another weekend, another meme. So after a lovely day out for Blarney's birthday and a lot of relaxing, here I am relaxing with this week's meme before another long week at work. This week, Sunday Stealing seems to have found seventeen reasonably good questions. So here we go.


Are you a jealous person?

No. Never really seen the point. I get a little envious now and then - then think the better of it. Waste of thought processes.

When is the next time you’re traveling out of state?

Next weekend. Heading to New South Wales to see friends.

Can you write your name in a foreign language?

Yes. I can write my name in Greek. I gather this questions really should be "can you write your name in another script?" as my name is the same in most romantic languages.

When you’re getting ready for something, do you listen to music?

Not normally.

What is your favorite day of the week?

Sunday. I don't have to do much on Sunday. Saturday is pretty good too.

What is something you did yesterday and wish you could’ve done today?

I had a really long lie in yesterday morning. Finally got out of bed around midday. This morning I was in the gym at 9 am.

If you woke up tomorrow and knew/spoke a different language, which language would you want it to be?

Probably French. I speak okay French, but I'd love to be fluent.

What did you last order online?

Some skincare and lipstick on Strawberrynet.com .

Do you have any specific hobbies?

I knit, read, go to the gym and bag our current Federal Government.

What’s a song you recently discovered that you want to tell everyone about?

Nothing to new - as I don't listen to the radio that often the only new music I hear is at the gym. However, I want everybody to listen to The Waterboys at the moment. Went and saw a film on Friday night ("What we did on our Holidays" - best laugh I've had in ages) and this was a part of the sound track.



Favorite fall or winter accessory?

My black, heeled boots and my navy trench coat.

What did you last eat?

Vegetables and rice. Had a big bad lunch so something healthy was required.

Look to your left. What’s there?

Curtains, a window, the scent of night blooming jasmine, a fish factory, my mobile phone.

How long does it take you to fall asleep?

Surprisingly little time - under ten minutes normally.

Is there a TV in the room you are in?

Yes. I'm watching Sixty Minutes as I'm writing this.

What comes to your mind when I say red?

English phone boxes. My hair.

Name something you think is pointless?

Can I make a list? Here you go:

Pomeranians
Zuchini (Courgettes - pointless vegetables)
The novels of EL James (50 Shades of Grey author)
Holding grudges
Anything that comes out of Tony Abbott's mouth
Christopher Pyne
The fight for upped Data Retention Laws



Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Stuff that Doesn't Get Said

I had an interesting discussion with a workmate the other day. He'd just been to a gig where Slash was being supported by a band called Steel Panther.He was telling me about the band, how they're a parody band of eighties rockers and how they go on about "tits and sex and pussy" and they're really, really funny.

The grumblings of my feminist self started to wake.

We talked a bit more. This group is one of his favourite bands. I asked why. He said they were funny - and he got that they were sending up the world of glam rock. He then went and relayed how women were singled out of the audience and a few other things that happened at the concert.

I turned white. He noticed this and asked why.

"You know, I get parody, I laugh at parody - but in this case, just at this time, I can't support your choices." I told him. "I know I laugh at Ali G and Borat - and I know I shouldn't. I get it. Just not this week. Just not today."

"How come?" he asked.

"Well, I've seen too many women get abused by men this week."

"How do you mean?"

I gave three examples.

The first being the bullying of Gillian Triggs in Federal Parliament. Deplorable behaviour by people who are supposed to be leading the country and really should know better. It appears that our current government cannot abide strong, intelligent women, not that they would appear to know any different - look at how they treated Julia Gillard during her time in office. This travesty is going down in the annals of history, possibly as the last straw that brings down Tony Abbott as Prime Minister.

These men are perpetuating the misguided belief that women, especially intelligent, strong women are somehow inferior to them.

Of course, not all men, hopefully most men have no bar of this notion, but when it's seen in full view of the press what sort of example are these people setting (Senator Ian McDonald saying "I thought you'd like to hear a man's voice... in a senate enquiry - like what the hell!)

The second incident involved an acquaintance. She's an intelligent, lively, woman who also works part time as a glamour model. She let it be known that some freak, (the tamest language I can find for this moron) messaged her videos of himself masturbating to her. Unsolicited, into her facebook messenger.

Seriously. What gives this lunatic the right to send videos of him spanking the monkey to somebody 1) he doesn't know 2) has never met or 3) just anybody, ever, without their full consent? Why would you do something like this?

This woman, who only deserves the best in life, is abused for her looks. She has a job using her blessed beauty. What gives some arsehole the right to do this to her? What possesses him to even think that this is okay? Why can't women of whatever shape or size just do what they want, when they want, however they may be dressed at the time, whatever they may do for a living?

Since what this creep did was illegal (stalking for one, lewd behaviour, obscenity for a start) and he's easily traced as it came from his facebook page...I'm hoping she took this to the police and teaches the cretin a lesson he won't forget in a hurry.

Why do women have to put up with this shit? I've been attending "Reclaim the Night" marches for 20 years now? Why, in this day and age does this garbage still happen?

The last event happened to me last Saturday night while going into White Night. Standing around just waiting for the tram. Why to passing men have to point at me, stare and call me names? Okay, I'm not the world's most attractive woman, never have been, never will be, but seriously - to call me a fat, ugly cow and a freak while standing at the tram stop on the way to a festival. Like why? I'm 46 years old (these guys looked to be in their 30s) Aren't I too old to have abuse hurled at me in the street?

And no, there is no such thing as the "I was drunk" defence. Personally, I thought this shit had stopped long, long ago.

It appears not.

Karma will get them. I let it wash over me and had forgot about it by time the tram came. But still. Why don't I have the right to walk the streets without having abuse hurled at me by dickhead men?

Part of me wanted to hurl at them,"I bet you have small penises and I make double what you earn." or "How would you like it if somebody said that to your daughter or sister?"

I didn't. I have more class than that.

So this is why I'm a bit sensitive about men's treatment of women at the moment.

I asked my colleague what he would think if it was his daughter on stage flashing her boobs, or having lewd videos sent to her, or being verbally abused in the street. He said he would hate that.

When this all men, not just most men, start treating women with the respect they deserve all times, then I'll think about laughing at sexist parody once again.

I might be in for a long wait.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Colourful Meme

It's the day after White Night in Melbourne, a festival of colour and light, so it seem appropriate that the KwizGiver. author of Sunday Stealing,  has chosen a colour meme for today. White Night has left me exhausted but happy - Jay and I went for a few hours and it was a fun, peaceful and illuminating night - I'll shove a few of my photos at the end of this meme. It was a wonderful experience.

So here we go:

Could you tell me please, what color each of these things are?

~ Your hair: 

Currently auburn - out of a bottle of course -no idea what my natural hair colour might be.

~ Your eyes: 

Pine tree green

~ Your shirt: 

Black. nothing new there

~ Your socks:

Not wearing any, it's about 32 degrees and muggy outside (try 95 F for the Americans about the place)

~ Your shoes: 

Black

~ Your purse: 

Do you mean my handbag? Black.

~ Your wallet: 

Green and teal -  a MyWalit arrangement. Love Italian leather.

~ Your phone: 

Silver

~ Your computer/laptop: 

White - okay, a grubby, dusty white.

~ Your earphones: 

White

~ Your best friend’s hair: 

Dark brown / Black

~ Your best friend’s eyes: 

Blue (She's Irish - pretty common arrangement)

~ Your sky today:

Grey with patches of blue coming through.

And here are those photos I was telling you about. White Night is a great festival. Colourful, eh!