Thursday, May 31, 2018

81 Days: Manifesting

I love being a witch. I always have. I always will.

Witch, you say. Yep, a witch. (that is not a witch with a silent "B" either, though I can be one of them too)

I rather like the term. And I'm not talking about the women who wear a pointy hat and float about on a broom. We modern day witches are far more cool. Okay, so occasionally we might howl at the moon, or curse, or set spells, but as a rule, you can't tell a modern day witch from her outside appearance. Beware the ones who think they are - the people bedazzled with pentagrams and purple clothing smelling of patchouli.

Okay, I wear black most of the time and my hair is normally all over the place. Oh and my eyes are green - all definite characteristics of a witch.

However, these things aside, the thing I love most about being a witch is the ability to manifest. Witches have this ability to move things to their will and make things happen.

It's all about intent. Before asking for something, you have to look at what you want and why you want it. Then there goes the matter of how you're going to go about getting what you want.

My best manifesting effort was a few years ago. I was sitting down at my birthday dinner, a lovely Spanish restaurant on Brunswick Street stating that I wanted to go to Spain. Four months later I entered a competition. A month after that, I had won two tickets to anywhere in the world. Spain became a reality.

So here I am, nearly a decade later, and I am still manifesting. My new, safe reliable car has come into being. I have managed to keep myself solvent and debt free. I've manifested some wonderful friends. Life is pretty good.

There are rules to manifesting, especially if you want to ensure the best possible outcome with few lingering side effects.

The first is to go in with a pure heart. If you want something, you want it to do good in the world. So I see manifesting a new job as a way of me not relying on the welfare state (Never a bad thing - I do not want to deal with Centrelink).

Secondly, there are rules about being specific. I wanted to go to Spain for a holiday. I did not want to go to Spain for a funeral.

So currently I am manifesting a new job. I want it to be in the city, paying the same or better than what I'm on at the moment. I'm after a longer contract, with great people, in a big company with some room to move about the company and the role. Well this is what I am after.

A good way to get this happening while setting out the intention that this is what I want then making a contract with the candles. Anything that has anything to do with money means burning green candles, and asking the light to bring it back. I swear, it works. My green candles are alight as I write.

The other thing about manifesting is focusing on the good that your manifestation will bring. I look at manifesting a new job as a good thing as it will keep lots of people happy - not only my employer, but me. It's also good as it will open doors in the universe - something a good witch understands. Have a good intention, It will always come back.

Something else I've discovered about manifesting, just because you put something out there doesn't mean it will happen.  I'm trying hard to focus on this Camino trip. We'll see what happens. Just have to throw it out there and trust in the universe.

I know its asking a lot - but I have faith all will be well.

Today's Song:

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

82 Days: Songs which are really about Masturbation

I'm an innocent little thing. Really I am.

So, today as I was chipping away at my test cases with music gently playing in my ears, I switched over to one of my favourite soundtracks. That of the film "Grosse Pointe Blank." (I adore John Cusack)

Image result for grosse pointe blank

My iPhone has it in for me sometimes. It went through a phase of playing Radiohead's Paranoid Android every time I turned it on. I'm not against Radiohead - I just think a lot of the time it's music by which you slit your wrists (Morrissey and The Smiths are  up there for that too)

Nope, for the last week or so, when I put my iPhone on shuffle out comes The Violent Femmes - and Blister in the Sun is playing softly in my ears.

I said that I was an innocent little thing. I only found out a few months ago that this is a song about wanking. Choking the chicken. Spanking the monkey. Whatever other euphamism you want to call it. Yep.

Yep, today's song of the day is about that thing that everybody does, but nobody owns up to.


Then I got to thinking. These songs are out there - how many other songs about jerkin' the gherkin are out there.

It appears there are lots of them.

Like one of my favourite childhood songs. 'Turning Japanese' by "The Vapours". I remember being most disillusioned when I found out what it was about. It was almost as bad as when I worked out at the age of 33 what my grandmother was saying when she said "Wash between your legs - it will be important one day." when I was a kid.

And I challenge anybody of around my age to not sing along to The Divinyl's "I Touch Myself" - though it has sort of lost it's edge since Rolf Harris did a cover of it.

These songs have been around forever - like Chuck Berry's "My Ding-a-Ling".

Or what about Billuy Idol's "Dancing with Myself"? , "Pump it Up" buy Elvis Costello or Cyndi Lauper's "She-Bop"? (Okay, I new about the last one.)

Then there's the Dresden Dolls, "Coin Operated Boy".

It appears, if you look long and hard enough (pardon the pun) these songs are out there and proud to be there.

And I don't care if "Blister in the Sun" is about tending to your own affairs. Gordon Gano is like God and he can sing about what he wants, any time, anywhere.

(And this blog was written after a day of software testing - see what it can do to your brain!)

Today's Song:

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

83 Days: Funny/Not Funny

My workmates say I'm funny.

I don't know why.

I'm not funny.

Nope, I'm about as funny as a car accident.

I'm not funny ha ha

I'm not funny peculiar.

I'm just not funny.

(and I am up to my armpits with mason's crap, so no real writing tonight)

Just crank up the Arctic Monkeys and get on with it, I say.

Today's Song:

Monday, May 28, 2018

84 Days: Why I'm not Software Tester

I'm coming to the end of my contract at work. As the project is not being shut down, my job won't be there after the end of June. To me, this is no biggie - I have a month and I'm on the case of finding a new role. All will be well. It always is. I'm getting calls back. Once you start getting the call backs things fall into place.

In the meantime, as there is little writing work to do, I'm helping out the test teams.

I have my tester hat on. I am girding my inner tester loins and getting on with the job.
Image result for nerd

There are some great things about being a part of the test team. I am working as a part of a team. Kumar, Ganesh and Amit are great blokes and good fun to be around. If they break into Hindi, I tend to talk Hindi back (I can say "I know nothing!" - it makes them laugh). We get on well. Our team leader is awesome too.

But testing is one of those jobs that only certain people are really good for. I am not one of them. I was a software tester about ten years ago. Software testing skills are great to have, but I could never be a software tester full time. I value my sanity way too much.

I have walked into job interviews to be a tester and told, 'How can you be a tester? You have a personality." I will admit, I tend to be on the user and business side of testing, rather than the nitty gritty unit and systems testing side of things.

Still, at the moment, I am a tester and I am remember all the reasons why I'm not a tester any more - well at least on a full time basis.

So, here is why I'm not a software tester:

1) Although I have a great amount of patience, I don't have patience for this crap.
2) It is repetitive work.
3) I prefer to converse with people, not computers.
4) When something seems straight forward, it normally is not.
5) It can be very frustrating when the test environment is not maintained properly - and this happens in 95% of companies.
6) Developers have a tendency to treat you like scum.
7) The business thinks you're strange.
8) I don't have that many personality quirks - if you're a real tester, you're normally very strange.
9) I can look people in the eyes, I don't stare at their shoes when.
10) I don't like being repeatedly bored through the day.

It's nice to be a tester for a change. I exclaimed,. "I'm a tester" as I was about to leave tonight. Amit just shook his head and me at laughed. "Oh Pand, you are so funny sometimes," he told me.

Actually, I'm just pleased to be doing something different, working in a team and knowing that it's only for a few weeks while I search out another writing job.

Today's Song:

Sunday, May 27, 2018

85 Days: The Stars Ablaze Meme

Let's see if I can get this done by the time I take myself out for a float. I need a float. It's been a hell of a week.

Questions, as always, from Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1 - Do you ever wish you were someone else?

No. Why would I? You have your own life to live, but I wouldn't want to be anybody else. I would like to have enough money to travel the world extensively, but no, I'm good as I am.

2 - How old are you?

A shade under an age which I don't feel I am. I'm in denial about the birthday which is occurring on 85 days (hence the countdown).

3 - Age you get mistaken for:

People often place me between 35 and 42 - About 10-12 years younger than I actually am.

4 - Your zodiac/horoscope and if you think it fits your personality:

Err, yes. I'm a Leo/Virgo, and I'm a good mix of the two. The extended chart rings true too - as a Leo/Virgo, with a Capricorn rising, Moon in Cancer and five planets in Virgo. Basically I'm an outspoken, very loyal, pedantic, list making, occasionally charismatic sooky-la-la.

5 - What did you do on your last birthday?

I went out with some friends for a very nice dinner. This year, I'm going to Bali with some friends.

6 - What is one thing you would like to accomplish before your next birthday?

I want to read James Joyce's Ulysses. It's been on the list. I'm also hoping to lose a few more pounds - I've lost 20 lbs this year to date - just have to keep it up.

7 - What is your hair color?

I have no idea about my current natural hair colour as it is brown with some grey. Dye is great stuff - who knows what it will be like after next weekend's visit to the hairdresser.

8 - Have you ever dyed your hair?

I have been dying my hair since I was 16. It's been every shade of red and brown imaginable.

9 - What is your eye color?

Dark green. with blue and grey bits too them. The green gets brighter when I cry.

10 - If you could change your eye color, would you?

I like having unusually coloured eyes but part of my would love blue eyes.

11 - Do you wear contacts/glasses?

I've worn glasses for over 30 years. Contact are hard as I need multi-focal ones - and to be honest, it's just easier to take off your glasses when you want to read.

12 - Your opinion about your body and how comfortable you are with it:

I'm a lot happier with my body since losing 20 lbs. I may be overweight, but I'm doing the right things to keep myself fit and healthy. I'm a constant work in progress.

13 - Have you ever considered plastic surgery? What would you alter about your body?

No, but there are times I think about having a breast reduction. I'm fairly proportional.

14 - Do you have any tattoos?

A very small Chinese symbol of love on my hip. Nobody sees it.

15 - Do you have any piercings?

Both ears have been pierced twice.

16 - Left or right handed?

Technically ambidextrous with a partiality to use my right hand for the big things. I play pool with both hands and I can only use scissors with my left.

17 - Do you drink?

Yes, in a very limited way. I've been off alcohol for a few months now, only having the odd gin and tonic when I'm out. Finding out a close friend is an alcoholic this week has put my old drinking habits under scrutiny. I'm good with the one or two drinks I have a week.

18 - Do you smoke?

No. Gave up over ten years ago, thank goodness. I have no idea how people can afford to smoke in Australia. A pack of 20 now costs around $35.

19 - Do you have any pets?

No - I just borrow my friend's cats when they go on holiday.

20 - Do you have any “rules” about food?

At the moment, I am under the tutelage of a naturopath. It's been great, but I am gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine and alcohol free at the moment - along with having gluten free bread, brown rice and gluten free pasta stripped from my diet. It's been an experience, but it's working for me.

Today's Song:

Saturday, May 26, 2018

86 Days: Deadpool 2

It was family movie night last night. My kid brother, Vish and I often go to the movies. Vish is awesome. He is also not my blood brother, but a brother in the aboriginal sense of the word.

As a kid brother, Vish is awesome, however his taste in movies is polar opposite to mine. When we go to films, we have to see films where things get blown up and there are normally comic books related to the theme.

Last night's offering was Deadpool 2. Vish and I, along with my friend Teddy, rocked up to the family cinema.

I avoided seeing the first Deadpool movie in the cinema due to the violence. Little did I know, it's the type of movie violence I can sit through without too much effort. Yes, it's hyper violent, but it's mostly what is referred to as comic book violence, but it is also very, very funny. I gave into the original film, watching it on a plane on the way back from New Zealand last trip.

Regardless, Deadpool is an anti-hero. He as skin like the peel of an avocado. He was monumentally fucked up by some baddies in the last movie, but in the the end, after a shitload of violence, he ended up getting his girl back. provides a synopsis. "Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson (AKA. Deadpool), brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy with supernatural abilities from the brutal, time-traveling cyborg, Cable." That is about the crux of it all. There isn't much more story to it than that.

What this synopsis doesn't tell you is movie starts with his girlfriend being 'fridged', sending Deadpool on a mission to find some meaning to his life. Basically, Deadpool, a man who cannot be killed, which makes for some fun scenes.

Ryan Reynolds is fantastic as Deadpool. It is a character that's he's made his own. He's cheeky, sassy, foul-mouthed, crude and generally a very funny arsehole. He's worth the ticket price alone.

The aforementioned kid is played by Julian Dennison of "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" fame. He's great. He's also kept his bogan Kiwi accent.

It's action from the moment the film starts until the hidden scenes in the end credits. It's very gory and very violent in places, but thankfully, it's more comic violence than anything (which is why I could sit through the movie without issue.) I don't think I've laughed so hard in a long time.

There are also some excellent cameos in the film, from other characters in the Marvel stable to one superstar who if you blink, you will miss.

Add to this a killer soundtrack and some really fantastic crossover references, making this not only an wonderful action movie, but I think it's a lot more intelligent than it gives itself credit for.

Deadpool 2 is not for everybody, but if you like your movies, fast, bad, loose and crude, you will love this,. Vish, Teddy and I walked away smiling.

Four Stars

Today's song: (Part of the Deadpool 2 Soundtrack)

Friday, May 25, 2018

87 Days: Engineer's Lunch

Once a month I have lunch with my friend Peter the Engineer.

We worked together at Tin Can, String and Whistle ten years ago, when we were on the same team.

Peter the Engineer is a quintessential engineer. He has a cow lick. You would mistake him for a pot plant at parties, though he does have a wicked sense of humour when you get to know him. Sometimes, he wears grey cardigans. When you don't know him well, he looks at your shoes when he talks to you. You know, at a push, Peter could fix anything with a bit of gaffer tape, bailing twine and WD40 (all good engineers can do that).

I like Peter We're the same age. He's married with two tween daughters who give him grief. We're nothing alike for the most part, though we're politically aligned.

And by hook or by crook, we meet for lunch once a month, as we have done religiously for the last eight years.

Other than this, we don't mingle in the same circles, though he knows some of my friends from the Tin Can, String and Whistle  days.

I like having male friends with whom I can just chew the fat  and have a laugh with, and enjoy the fact we know a lot about each other without having to worry about other stuff. I've helped him with his CV and job prep when he was made redundant. It's good.

Today we spoke of him finding his eldest daughter a school and of the bullet that I found I have dodged this week.

We also spoke of the Food Wanker Plan and the pitfalls of being on a restricted diet.

So I sat there with my superfood salad as he tore into burger. I didn't even look at it longingly.

"It's not all bad, this diet."
"I can see that." he said looking over the salad. "You're not being deprived."
"Nope. But it can be had when you want to go somewhere fancy."
"Ah well. Are there any downsides to your regime? You're looking great."
"Thanks, but there is one bad thing about all this?"
"I have the libido of a 25-year-old."
"Yeah, I'm not sure if my patches are a bit strong or it's the diet, but I'm as horny as hell most of the time. It's bad."
"Yes. You'd think I'd be over all of that by now."

He coloured, then looked away, then laughed.

"Yes, I can see it being a bad thing."
"Too right. "
"Indeed, how would you be if your wife was all over you like a rash all of a sudden."
"Very scared. I would be very scared."
"That's what I thought."

As I said, it's good to have lunch with somebody who gets it. We're nearly 50. All that was supposed to be tailing off...

Thursday, May 24, 2018

88 Days: Real Estate Agents

I learned a lot today, in spite of myself.

Having taken the afternoon off to spend some time interviewing real estate agents for the sale of our temple building, I learned a few things.

  • Real estate agents aren't that scary
  • I might actually be half competent when it comes to administering things
  • When you're the person who sits to the side, you get to ask the tricky questions
  • Afternoons off are wonderful
  • Just because a charity mugger is hot doesn't mean you will give him your money - no matter how hot he was (I was tempted)
  • Taking your own teabags to places means you can have a cup of tea and look normal evening if you're drinking rooibos tea.
  • The cute real estate agent doesn't necessarily get the job (bummer, would have liked to work with him)
  • My tastes are too expensive - why is it every handbag I like costs the Gross National Dept of a small European country?
  • Knowing you've dodged a very large bullet can help mend the spot where your heart used to be.
I think that makes for a very successful afternoon off.

Today's Song:

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

89 Days: Onwards


I say, 'onwards'.
Life kicks you in the guts.
I say 'onwards'.
Life takes the carpet out from under you.
You find yourself wallowing in the pit of despair.
'On you go.'
Your dog has died, your cat has fleas,
You feel you're dying by degrees.
'On you go, be on your way,
Life will turn around one day.'
Just, onwards.

It's the only way to go.

Friends are amazing things. My friends are gold. You know who you are. Thank you.

I am playing the glad game a lot at the moment.

I am grateful for:

  • My health
  • My heart
  • My friends
  • That I am resilient
  • That I don't wallow for too long
  • That I will be able to use the events of yesterday to move forward.
Just, onwards.

I might write about the third degree ceremony I participated in last night at another time.

There is a lot going on in my life at the moment.

There is a lot to be grateful for.


Today's Song:

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

90 Days: The Axe Wound

There is a point in time when you forget you ever had a wound. It does happen - eventually -  and you can finally forget that you were ever injured and start to move on. Your body starts to move as it once did, your energy returns, the breath comes into your lungs and your joints move as they should and life becomes bearable under the knowledge that your are healing.

The scar will often be void of sensation. Whether this is a good thing, one can't say. It's one of the coping mechanisms.

Then there are wounds that never quite heal. They nearly do, then they open again, only to have to start the process again. The tissue does knit. The seeping nearly stops, but the hole never quite mends.

I have an old axe wound. A metaphorical one, yet it is a wound.

The seeping scar has been there for over twenty years. Probably nearer to twenty-five.

I remember the day I got it. It came from a shared secret after a day at work and a night on the beer. The secret was not intended to set the hatchet into me, bit it did. I didn't let on how badly I'd be injured. I'm good like that. Nobody had to see the axe that was sticking out of my chest. I've never been one to share my holes.

I hide the wound and the scar well for the most part.

Then something happens and the wound opens again. My innards are on display at the moment. There has been another swing of the axe. It's over the old wound so I feel like I've had some protection.

I'm numb to the pain for the moment.

It will heal. It will just take time.

And maybe some gin. And probably some tea and tears.

But mostly time.

Today's Song:

Monday, May 21, 2018

91 Days: Mistress Panda's Home for Wayward Moggies

As an Eliot Tragic (I am a lot of tragics - Suits Tragic, Rake Tragic, Shakespeare Tragic, Pixies Tragic, Young Ones Tragic (NO WE DON'T HAVE A VIDEO!!)

I have always loved the universality of T.S.Eliot. I adore T.S.Eliot - always have. I just 'get' Eliot. I feel Eliot. I know Eliot. I wish I knew T.S. Eliot, but I'd be standing there in front of him saying "I'm not worthy" like I did with Richard Flanagan a few years ago. T.S. Eliot is God. (Like The Pixies)

And another thing. T.S. Eliot was also a cat lover.

He wrote the poems behind Cats the Musical - though you have Andrew Lloyd Webber to blame for the rest of it.

In the first poem in the slim collection of cat poems is entitled, "The Naming of Cats" which reads,

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter 
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.

(The Naming of Cats by T.S. Eliot)

I have to say - I wholeheartedly agree. A cat does need three names. And my friends, who leave their charges with me when they go on holiday, know that I will rename their cat while they come and stay with me.

Kitt and her partner Ravi dropped around the two beasties on Thursday night. They're off to Bali. Kitt, who has left her feline children with me for nearly ten years came in, put down the cat cage, opened it, and out strutted Princess Olympias - or Princess to her mother.

Ravi, who I had not met before, but heard a heap about, kept his brown tabby, Kitty,  in his arms for a while. On placing her on the floor, she scarpered under the couch.

Princess Olympias, by this time, was asleep on the bed.

"She's going to rename your cat, Ravi."
"Because that's what she does."

I've had a number of friends note that I'm a but strange like that - but I'm just taking my queues from T.S. Eliot.

Okay, so Maow Maow, love of my life, is normally referred to by his moniker. But he's also known as Fat Boy, or the Feline Steamroller, having a propensity for knocking everything off your bedside table at 5 a.m. Maow Maow is a bit of an exception.

My friend Teddy has a glorious boy called George. To me, he's Pudding (Georgie Porgy pudding and pie.) Pudding suits him. I pick him up and he purrs. He can't hate it.

Kitt's an old cat - the one who was around before Princess Olympias before it got high speed rubber poisoning - was Mrs Squeaky Puss. She had a pathetic little mew. She squeaked - and liked to sleep curled up in your armpit under the covers. Odd beastie, that one.

And Princess Olympias, who started life as Olympias, before Kitt was seeing Ravi, and her douchey ex had a thing for Ancient Greek History. When I first met Olympias, my comment was 'Too big a name for too little a cat.' At my place, she's Mrs Fluffy Britches. She's also now known as Princess Passive-Aggressive after she decided that I was too awful to share a bed with last night. I was in the dog house for the night due to being away the night before. Before you ask - the neighbours fed them and looked in on them.

Cats let you know when they aren't happy.

My mother's cat, Freda, what just known to me as 'Bitch'. She was a bitch. She had attitude. All that cat needed was some knuckle dusters, biker boots and num-chucks and she could have taken on the world.

So this leaves me with what to rename the tabby. She's a 13-year-old dame, Very sweet. She has a very soft coat.  She's got a dragging tummy, quite normal with female cats of a certain age. Although she parked herself under the couch for the first 24 hours, she's out and about now, coming up for pats and chats. She even follows me into the bathroom, as it she can't work out why I want to get under a stream of water.

So what am I going to call a brown tabby with the unfortunate moniker of Kitty? (If you go to a vet's practice, something like 20% of all cats are called Kitty or Puss... original, much...)

As of late last night, when I got home from my weekend away, we got the name. This cat has bladder issues. She's forever trotting off to the litter box. Kitt also warned me that she wasn't against taking  a leak in the shower recess. I've been careful to shut the shower screen after use for the moment.

But it seems Kitty was caught short while I was away.

She obviously wanted to take a pee in the shower, but couldn't, so she found the next best place - the bathmat.

She's been renamed Pissy Puss for the foreseeable future. I think that's apt.

And I'm doing extra washing.

Ah well, it's only a week.

Today's Song:

Sunday, May 20, 2018

92 Days: The Care Bear Meme

I'm holed up in the Qantas Club with three and a half hours to kill before my flight takes off. Rather than roaming around Sydney spending money I thought catching up on some paperwork would be a good thing. I miss having my best mate from Brisbane living here in Sydney - it was wonderful to catch up with her regularly (Though we were in the same city last night, we just found out about it too late - she was 400 meters away as the crow flies.)

Ah well.

At least the Qantas Club as an unending supply of soda water. I fell of the food wanker wagon at lunchtime yesterday - my one muck up meal and afternoon for the month where the restrictions go out the window. Some bad choices washed down with a few gin and tonics played merry hell with my newly pristine system. Gorgonzola and tiramisu were probably not the best choices to make. Gorgonzola and I have a chequered history at the best of times.  I was still buzzing at 3 a.m. Lesson learned.

So I will get some writing done, get this blog out then chug on back to Melbourne on a latish plane.

Questions  - as always are from Bev at Sunday Stealing.

What never fails to cheer you up?

That's easy. You want to cheer me up - give me a puppy or a kitten to play with. I'm a sucker for both of them. Failing that, send me for a bath or a swim. I like being in water.

Which friend do you have the most in common with?

I have a number of friends who remind me of myself and we have lots on common. Alice and I are born a week apart and we have similar music tastes (eclectic) and have lived in similar places and love travelling. Jeanie and I are currently doing the middle-aged and single thing and we have similar career goals. Lots of my friends and I have things in common, but I think it's Alice and Jeanie who I have the most in common with at the moment.

One thing that never fails to anger you?

Pretty much anything the Federal Government does on a daily basis.

Favourite way to spend a sunny day? 

Going for lunch somewhere where you can sit outside. Swimming if it is warmer is good too.

Create a fortune cookie note based on your week.

Nevertheless, always persist.

Favourite way to exercise?

Walking and gyming - I love both and do a lot of both. Swimming is a close third, but I don't do that enough.

Favourite thing about your best friend?

Which one? I love Blarney because she is a black and white to my grey. Jayanthi is very kind and loves food like I love food. Mariah in Brisbane makes me feel like I have another sister. Jonella is always there for me and I am grateful for that.

What kind of things do you like to create?

I love to write - so creating stories is wonderful. I'm a big knitter and baker too. And I will draw, albeit badly given the chance. I like to create a safe and warm environment for myself too.

What languages would you like to learn?

I would love to take more French lessons - I have passable French, but these lessons wouldn't go astray as I have a good base. I also have a hankering to learn Spanish. All I can say now is "Two beers, please - and I want to spend a few months in Spain soon.

A topic you’re really knowledgeable about?

I'm not bad in the modern literature field - and I'm a complete Shakespeare boffin.

When do you feel you look your best?

Strangely, give me a short skirt, tights, bovver boots and a jumper and let my hair go free, with a slash or red lipstick. Aging rock chick me - but I feel good about it. 

Now that some weight is coming off, I'm feeling more confident naked too. I do naked. Just don't summon the visuals.

What types of music do you like to listen to?

Rock. Adult Alternative. A bit of soul. I don't mind the odd bit of jazz. I rather like classical. My iPod playlists could have theses written about them.

Something that leaves you completely in awe?

Anybody who can pick up a huntsman spider and take them outside. I hate the fuckers.

What is your most childish aspect?

I have many childlike qualities. I love jumping in puddles and kicking leaves. Ice cream makes me happy. I still believe in the good in the world.

A time where you had to be really brave?

When my niece died. That summoned courage I never knew I had.

How do you like to keep warm?

Tuck me up in bed with a heavy duvet. That or stick me in front of a wood fire. I miss wood fires - we had them when I was a kid.

What brings out your soft side?

Romantic movies. Puppies and kittens. I'm known as a big sook anyway, so it doesn't take much.

What is your favourite way to treat yourself?

Buying makeup that I really don't need. And as I'm on this food wanker plan, once a week I have a bar of Pana Chocolate.

Something you’re proud of about yourself?

Completing my masters with a High Distinction average is something I am proud of. I'm also glad that I rarely settle on things, but strive for better.

Something you don’t care about? 

I would have said the Royal Wedding, but I ended up watching it anyway. I really don't care about most Reality Television. There are a couple of exceptions, but most reality telly leaves me cold.

Today's Song:

Saturday, May 19, 2018

93 Days: Nightswimming

There is a need to wash you from me
That no amount of water will enable
Without motion, and time.
Without repeated strokes
Or rhythmic breathing,
Without the gasping for air,
In... out... in... out...
The flick of the legs
Or the surge of liquid surrounding
Every molecule of self.
It cannot eradicate traces of you.

The night air, free from scent,
Mottling light
Acts as a barrier,
Morphing time and sense,
As the water takes away all reason.

There is only the night
And the water,
And the need to wash you from me,
Repeated actions,
Lengthening, strengthening,
As the slow, steady strokes,
To take me to a quiet place,
Floating from one time,
To another,
As the night, and the water, suspend reason.

Today's song:

Friday, May 18, 2018

94 Days: Fan Fiction

I have always liked subsets. Those groups of people who are just different and interesting and a bit strange and really, they are there to be looked at with a view of either laughing with them or laughing at them. People in subsets will have similar characteristics to others in the subset.

Subsets I have written about in the past include:

  • Redheads
  • Engineers
  • Left-handers
  • South Australians
  • The Welsh
  • The Swiss
  • Religious fruitcakes
  • Liberal/National Party stalwarts
You get the drift.

You can also be a part of a number of subsets. Take me for example. I'm a Green voting, ambidextrous South Australian who has Goth/Biker tendencies. (Don't tell anybody about that last subset...)

I've found another subset of people, who many would not be aware of. These people are very strange indeed.

These people are the Fan Fiction writers.

Fan Fiction?

Yes, fan fiction. This is what happens when you allow the general public (shudder) to take over characters which another writer or set of writers have written, and then they go put this on the internet for the entertainment of others.

The most famous piece of fan fiction ever written is 50 Shades of Grey - which started out as fan fiction that stemmed from the Twilight chronicles.  It is said that the Salvos have a warehouse full of copies of 50 Shades of Grey and the subsequent sequels. Enough to make a couple of houses in the suburbs.

Image result for piles of 50 shades of grey

Fan Fiction writers are in a world of their own.

Fan Fiction writers often (but not always) have little concept of good writing and even less of a notion of grammar. It often, also has a lot to do with the writers using their imaginations for their own sexual gratification.

All you have to do is take your favourite movie or television show and put in the words fan fiction into a browser and you will be stunned with the results (and the grammar).

There is a lot of material which answers the old what happens next  questions which occur when a television series closes down - Like what happens to Don Draper after he was seen meditation at the hippy commune in that last episode, or what happened to Ross and Rachel from friends, or.... the list goes on.

So, would I ever think about writing fan fiction?

Hell no! For one, I like to think that my grammar and story telling abilities are a little better than that.

I was moaning to a friend on the weekend that I would love to write for television (I have the first half of a series penned) and there are some shows that I would love to revisit and write - but not as fan fiction.

As an example, I'd love to revive The Hour - a British thriller that was on the ABC. I remember shouting "NO FREDDIE!! as the series ended, then there was no more. But Freddie and Belle - surely!

I'd love to know what happened to Alicia after The Good Wife finished. Or maybe another season to show  what happened to everybody on Six Feet Under. (Though that show as possibly the most perfect ending of any show ever - but a few episodes after the aftermath of Nate's death). And what happened to Buffy and Spike? Or Niles and Daphne? (Favourite Frasier Episode - mine is Moondance)

There are a couple of characters I'd love to put together and just see what happens.

But am I wanting to write fan fiction about it all?  No.

Go on, I dare you to have a look and see what you can find. There is another world out there. And it's a world that hates grammar.

Today's song:

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Day 95: Wedding Schmedding

I will let you in on something.

I really, really don't like weddings. Never have. Probably never will. The the way I think about this is why should you put any emotional energy into something that will probably never happen to you.

If I'm really honest, there are a few reasons why  I'm quite averse to going to weddings. Missing a few important ones as I was on the other side of the world being one of these things.  I missed the weddings of my mother, sister and best friend  - all of it due to being stuck in London with no means to get to the weddings on the other side of the world (I was an impoverish admin assistant/ illegal alien back then). I think my mother and best friend have forgiven me for my non-attendance.

You also have to look at it from my perspective. As a chronically if not terminally single, middle-aged woman, weddings have the joyous task of pushing every one of my buttons and sending me into a tailspin. Thankfully, as I age, mandatory wedding attendance is declining.

Weddings and I have a bit of a bad relationship too. Whether you're having your sexuality questioned by Uncle Cecil, being repeatedly asking who you're with, or having to navigate the singles table up the back (If you're really unlucky, you get stuck with the kids) or knowing that you have a long drive home, having to abstain from frequenting the free bar (this is my case normally - getting bladdered is not an option).

Think of Fiona in Four Weddings and Funeral. That's me. The woman who desperately wants to turn up looking like an Italian widow putting silent odds on how long the couple will last. Yep. But I will not wear black to a wedding ever - unlike Fiona. (Fiona always wore black to weddings - I wear black as a work uniform - besides, I was better brunged up than that.).

I've been in Fiona's shoes. You are forced to turn up to an event, play nice with people that you don't know, eat what's put in front of you and spend money that you really don't feel the need to on a dress, shoes, hairdresser etc, that wouldn't normally feel the urge to do.

When I think about it, I have also been Fiona, standing there watching as that person married somebody else. I was lucky on that occasion that the groom's three-year-old nephew had taken a shine to me the day before, so I spent the ceremony looking after him, rather than standing there crying into my beer. My attention was diverted. I could ignore the broken heart for a day.

Then there is the plus one problem. This is not as bad as it used to be, but you're invited to a wedding and there is often an expectation that you need to take a plus one. When one of the wedding party is a good friend, they are often nice enough to say, "As you're not seeing anybody, do you mind if you come stag?". If you are asked to bring a plus one, and don't, then you muck up the seating plan. (Been there too)

In my years of going to weddings, I've only turned up once with a plus one - same wedding as when I was tending to the three-year-old during the service. Bringing him along was a saving face measure. It has been the only time I have ever felt the need to take somebody with me. He was a good choice to take. The groom's family, a mob of straight-as-a-die Lancastrians took offence to my effeminate Brummy mate. He was lucky to get out of the night with his teeth intact.

Then there is the money you spend on your friends. Again, as time goes on, and second marriages are now the norm for my set, you're not obliged to buy a toaster or towels or whatever it is you have selected on the gift registry. You know you're going to be set amongst some people that you know you're never going to see again. If you are really lucky, the people on the singles table are not too mutant - and you're not stuck with great-aunt Alice from Wilcannia who has a vocal and undeniable Peter Dutton fetish and the abject body odour.

Carrie Bradshaw has a good take on this when situations like this happen.

Get in there and enjoy the free champagne.

Image result for sex and the city the witches of eastwick

Thankfully, as I age, my friends are going onto their second weddings which means that the weddings are normally a lot more low key than the ones I went to in my twenties. It seems there isn't the need to dress up like a princess once you hit forty. Thank god for that!

But this brings me to the elephant in the room - this royal wedding - news that you can only escape if you turn off every device and television set and hide under the duvet.

My thoughts on this - you poor people. Okay,  they live their lives in the public, they are surrounded by the paparazzi,  - but I feel incredibly sorry for the lot of them. How awful it must be to have every hair on your head scrutinised in the 24 hour news cycle. Making this wedding even more traumatic, the poor bride's family seems to be imploding at a rate of knots. It's just voyeurism gone mad. I feel sorry for the lot of them. What a pillaver.

To be honest, I don't care about all of this Royal Wedding. I do wish them well. I hope they're happy - I hope they can last.

But can't we get back to some real news now?

p.s. Will I end up watching the Royal Wedding. Probably. I'm a Suits tragic.

Today's Song:

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

96 Days: FML

So I was back at the naturopath tonight.

How much fun was that?

I will say that I'm thrilled with the results so far. I've been on this food wanker plan.  After six weeks I'm 7 kilos down. I feel great. My aches and pains have gone. My head is clear. My joints aren't aching. I'm not hungry. I don't miss coffee. I have energy to burn from the moment I get up to the moment I go to bed.

There are too many good things about this way of eating. And I'm not finding it that hard.

Actually things were pretty awesome until and all was well with the world until I went to the Naturopath, where, though thrilled with my results, she has just upped the anti.

So on top of the no dairy, gluten, sugar, alcohol and caffiene,  she's also taken away:

  • All bread
  • All rice
  • All pasta.
Okay, it's not quite that bad. I'm allowed gluten free bread once a week. I can also have a cup of tea round Blarney's place of a weekend. But yeah, though I'm not missing anything much at all, cutting out brown rice is going to be hell!

But it's only for a month - I will manage. But things have got that much harder. Getting rid of coffee and sugar are okay - get rid of complex carbs - this might be a game changer.

So half an hour later I went trotting off with another month's supply of bum juice and a feeling that things have just got very hard. I'm glad I had my one muck up meal this afternoon - we went out for  a team lunch. Things were not strictly by the plan - but it was lovely. One of the problems with Asian food is you don't know what goes in the sauces. 

So what does one do when you've just been dealt a body blow like this?

One goes to the gym for a cardio session. Run / step/ cross train the pain away. 

The music was out at the gym. Out came the ear buds. The Pixies 'Doolittle' was cranked up to eleven.

And despite everything, the world does seem okay once again. How can the world not seem okay when you're fast walking along to "Wave of Mutilation".

Even if Hitler the Naturopath has taken  away my brown rice security blanket.

I think I will be listening to a lot of The Pixies this next month.

Today's Song: Best played LOUD! Kim on the bass. Joey on guitar. Dave on the drums. Black Francis vocals.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

97 Days: Pandora Dreams of Travel

This morning's gym session at 6.15 am got me thinking. Thanks to the wanker food plan, thought a little tired, there is energy to burn as Cleo, personal trainer extraordinaire put me through my paces.

And we go talking travel between the stupid number of squats, lat pull downs, push ups and the other torture methods I pay for her to inflict on my twice a week. Cleo is heading off to South America for five weeks. This means two things.Firstly, Jay and I get Pete for five weeks as a trainer. Pete - or Peeeeette as we call him will have his hands full. We like to tear strips off the bugger.

The other thing is I've gone into holiday planning mode.

So I'm off to Bali in August for a week. Most of that is paid for.

Nah, I'm looking at a big trip next year. A few months even. Looking at America, Spain and a few other countries - possibly with a stop in Bali on the way home.

I want to walk the Camino de Compostella di Santiago - there's around six weeks. I've been looking at groups to walk with - I could go on my own, but I'd rather a few things planned.

I want to go back to the V&A Museum in London.

I want to roam the streets of New York for a week or so - just because.

I want to see some friends who now live in Europe.

I want this.

And the last time I wanted something like this - which was to go to Spain, I put this out there to some friends. A few months later, I won two tickets to anywhere in the world.

I have no idea how I am going to fund this, but this is my next challenge. I want a few months off - and I really want to travel far and wide.

Let's see what comes back to me.

Today's song. Most apt I feel:

Monday, May 14, 2018

98 Days: Incongruities

The woman walks down the road towards the tram stop. She holds her head high as she strides along the road. Attached to her shoulders is a large back pack, overfull, but things aren't spilling out.

She is aware of the contents of the bag and sniggers at the incongruities of her life. Within the bowels of her bag sit a clean pot which contained her lunch. There is a book of ritual for her Freemasons' Lodge. There is the a number of lipsticks, mostly in a bright red, some high end, some supermarket brands. There is a pair of ankle boots, which she was wearing before she put on her runners to walk to the tram stop. Although she likes the ankle boots, she has been hankering over the thought of buying a pair of biker boots - proper bike boots, which would also be seen as incongruous considering she works corporate jobs. She would love to wear those biker boots to work - the imaginary ones - she wishes she could justify their existence in her wardrobe. The aged Doc Martens will have to suffice for the time being. She knows that she feels sexy in biker boots. She'd love a leather jacket too, but the look in a warm climate is just too incongruous. She knows her part time lover loves her in boots, not that she obliges him very often.

She just likes the idea of all these items. Curly hair, red lipstick, biker boots. If she could pull off a mini-skirt and ripped stockings she would be in her element. She's a bit too old, she tells herself. the part time lover might like that too. He won't find out about this.

Ripped stockings. What was that old adage they used to have - a stairway to heaven. No fucking fear there.

There are other items in the rucksack. Bog standard. Her wallet and house keys. Some hair ties. A packet of mints. Some hand sanitiser. Some tampons which are well beyond their prime. A bottle of nail polish in a shade called "Berlin There, Done That". There's are two travel sized tubes of toothpaste and a leather and stone necklace.

She also can find a couple of articles of unopened mail and some assorted paperwork which needs to get to in the near future.

Best of all, there is an unopened bottle of Moet and Chandon Champagne - the real stuff (lower end of good, but still French Champagne) It makes her smile that she has this in her bag on a Monday afternoon.

Image result for moet and chandon

Then she smiles at these incongruities of her life, knowing that if she was to fall on some accident, people would wonder just what sort of person she might be going by the contents of her bag.

Little do they know, she's just a girl who would happily front up in biker boots and a mini-skirt, rather than the drab corporate garb that adorns her frame.

Song of the day:

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mary's Questions (99 Days)

So, it is a glorious late autumn day here in Melbourne. I've been shopping, I've been to the gym, I've been to breakfast with my glorious mate and I stopped in at Officeworks - and I swear that place is a s lethal as Bunnings - but I managed to walk out with spending less that $100 - which is a bonus. Like Bunnings, you always walk out with crap you don't need. I did need the new keyboard - I probably didn't need the rest of the stuff I bought.

Questions have been supplied by Bev at Sunday Stealing.

If you could, where would you max out a credit card?

I could go very mad at the Apple Store. I am a disciple of the church of Apple, even if I do use a PC. I'm in need of a new phone. Currently saving for an iPhoneX. Why - just because.

Why do you like the music you listen to?   

I have very eclectic taste in music. I was at the opera yesterday and was singing along to The Pogues last night. Mainly, I listen to a lot of alternative and slightly off mainstream stuff - and throw in a bit of Miles Davis and Nina Simone for good measure.
What are your favorite colors?

Pillarbox Red, Cobalt Blue and teal.

Do you collect anything?

Other than books?  I have a collection of little elephants sitting behind me.

What's your dream job?

Best selling novelist and writer. I was talking to a friend today - said I'd love to be writing for TV. I just like writing.

 Favorite cosmetics brands:

I'm a lover of anything Marc Jacobs - lovely textures. I also really like Benefit mascara.

 Favorite scents:

The cookie man cookies, clean bloke, dogs paws in the morning, rose scented perfume (Stella and Jo Malone's Red Roses are lovely) night blooming jasmine. Petitgrain, benzoin and vetiver oils. I love scent.

 Favorite flavors: 

Vanilla, roast lamb, sweet potatoes, just blanched broccolini, edamame, anything Spanish or Mexican.

 Favorite magazines: 

I don't really read magazines, but I'm fold of Marie Claire and The Monthly.

 Favorite piece of jewelry: 

My three strand  Pandora bracelet.

 Favorite Holiday: 

Anywhere where I can go on an adventure. Looking at walking the Camino next year. Bring it on. If I can't have an adventure, give me a city with a five star hotel room.

Oh, you mean Holiday in the American sense - I don't have a favourite day off, but Anzac Day is pretty special too me. Sod Australia Day - move it when we become a republic - pronto.

 Favorite season: 

Hands down, Autumn. Sometimes sunny, cool nights, lots of lovely colours - it's just wonderful.

 Coffee or tea?.

Well, as I have become a food wanker of late and had to strip caffeine out of my diet completely out of my diet, I have to say neither. Traditionally I've been a coffee person, but I'm not sure if coffee will be ever coming back into my life. Seeing the naturopath on Wednesday. We'll see. I will day I do feel better without coffee - and I never thought I would be saying that.

 Where would you go on vacation if you could go anywhere? 

After a conversation with a friend today, I'm starting my planning for my ultimate  holiday, which will start with a trip to the US - where I would like to visit my uncle in San Diego, my mate in Boulder, CO, my Aunt in Tennessee then hopefully a solid week in New York, at least. Then over to France - hopefully visiting a friend in Brittany where I can finally see Mont Saint Michel, Chartres and Carcassonne, before setting off on the Camino di Compostella de Santiago - 800 kms of walking over a few weeks. Once that is over, I'd like to go see a friend in Florence, if she is still there, and maybe pop in another friend in Geneva.  Might even see if I can wing some time in London. To get over this, maybe then we can got to Bali for a week or so to just chill - a week hanging out at the Yoga Barn would be most awesome.

Now I just have to work out how to fund this...

 What kind of geek are you?

I'm a Shakespeare Nerd. I'm a book and word geek - but I don't do technology too badly.

Today's song:

Saturday, May 12, 2018

100 Days: You Don't Make Me Feel Like I'm A Woman Anymore....

Today's little joy was seeing a ticket to the opera going cheap on Facebook. My friend, Alice, had one going and being at a bit of a loose end, I thought why not. All I had on for the day was reading Ulysses and doing a heap of housework and paperwork.

I'm not an opera buff, but I can appreciate it. The music, the sets, the orchestra - it all appeals to the aesthete in me. From what I could see, it was a decent performance of Don Quixote, sung in French. Thankfully my French is alright, and opera is pretty transparent, so this didn't prove an issue, but these were cheap seats at the back of the stalls, I could only see the last two words of the surtitles. It didn't matter - the music was wonderful.

After the performance, Alice and I decided to go find a cup of tea - English Breakfast for her, Lemongrass and Ginger for me. The cafe was through the gallery which had an exhibition of Australian music posters.

I spotted this one amongst the classics:

Hunters and Collectors (Poster printed in 1989 so not in pristine condition) - Music

1989. I was there. What used to be the Tivoli down Rundle Street. It was a warm night. I'd befriended a group of engineers who were staying at the college over Summer, and they asked me along.

This is up there with the best concerts I've ever been to. Jammed into the mosh pit. Writhing in sweat. Mark Seymour, bedecked in a red shirt, wailing out the lyrics. Cigarette smoke mixed in with the stage lighting. The floor was soaked in the dregs of hundreds of beers, making stomping and dancing hard.

I remember walking out, nearly deaf, hoarse from screaming. It was well after midnight and we walked back slowly to the college, never really registering that this would be a night that would never be forgotten.

They still stay true. They don't fade.

Once the nostalgia trip was over we put the world to rights over a cup of tea. We've been doing that for a very long time. Alice and I who sat pondering our impending birthday's. Alice is a week older than me. We used to live down the road from each other in London - but never met until she moved to Australia fourteen years ago.

And seeing both of us are going to be out of the country for our respective birthdays - she's off to France - and I'll be in Bali. We discussed having a joint party when we're both back. How our friends will get on, I don't know. But it's a start. It's just at the idea stage.

The only bad thing about this is that when she and I get together, we end up having shenanigans.

I'm not sure I this will be a good thing or but it could be a good night.

Today's song - And Australian Standard.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Day 101: How to find a new job

Looking at the calendar, it became apparent that I have seven weeks left of my work contract. There is nothing new in my contracts coming up for renewal. Sometimes they get extended. Sometimes they don't. But at this stage, no matter what looks like might be going on, I start to get prepared for jumping into the next gig, what ever that may be. Contacts are updated, the CV is dusted off, coffee dates are made and generally you start the 'grip and grin' part of the process. The more time you get on with this, the sooner you get yourself a new role.

I take a holistic approach to job hunting. It's not just the filling out the applications and interviews that get you a job - it's about getting in the right mindset to get a job.

Half the battle is working out what you're after. The other half of the battle is knowing what you want. So it's at this time of proceedings that  get on with what I call the list. When I work with people on their CVs I ask them to do this as well. It helps you get your ducks in a row.

So - the questions on the list:

  • What do you like to do?
  • What are you good at?
  • What would you like to try?
  • What do you never want to do again?
  • What are your needs from a job?
It's best if you put these on a large piece of paper and work on these over a weekend - and really get into what it is you want out of your next role. It's grounding and it helps you put out to the universe what it is you want.

So here's my shortened answers to the questions. Part of my cold wet weekend will be making a go of this.

What do I like to do?

Write, create, lots of things at the same time, work with people, creative problem solving, making things happen, training, travelling, getting groups of people to work together, networking, brainstorming, working as a part of a team, being responsible for things, working to deadlines, working for a cause, learning new stuff, cleaning up messes....

What am I good at?

Writing, problem solving, training, working in teams, seeing the big picture, navigating corporations, gaining people's trust, navigating team structures, working out what makes people tick, seeing the other sides of things, seeing the good, planning, working to deadlines, working with numbers, reconciling stuff, keeping things running, learning new stuff, cleaning up messes...

What would I like to try?

Lion taming, managing people, starting a project from the start (not just near the end when I normally come in to do the clean up), business analysis, working on different sites, working in another country......

What do I not want to do again?

Reconcile shite, work for bad managers, go back to one or two companies (wont way which), work in the back office of a bank, work the phones (call centres - no way ever again), work with the general public, work more than a ten hour day regularly, systems testing...

What do I want/need from a job?

Eight hour day, varied, large multinational / national company (I don't work for small companies - I'm not a good fit), my current day rate +$50 a day (I haven't had a pay rise in four years), inner city, some travel would be nice, work as part of a cohesive team, relaxed corporate culture, 6-month plus contract, great workmates, some creative thinking required, lots of writing, supportive management...

Got some work to do on this, but it's a start.

This has worked in the past. Touch wood it will work again.

Today's song:

Thursday, May 10, 2018

102 Days - The freak out?

I got the message on Friday during a team lunch. It seems I get these sort of messages during meals, normally just before you start - this time it was just as we were finishing. I got the news that my niece had leukaemia just before a book group dinner. I found out she had died just before I was due to go out to dinner. There are a few barely mended wounds in there.

Thankfully as news goes, it wasn't awful, it just wasn't good. It seems and old friend had gone and had a heart turn. They were going to give him a small operation to clear the arteries around his heart and he would be fine. He's be stuck in hospital for a few days, but all would be well.

Unusually, Friday was spent dodging tears and reflecting and having a minor freak out.

My friend is a year older than me. I am now officially of an age when my friends are starting to have heart troubles and cancer and all the other joyful things that come from getting older.

I messaged another friend and told her what was going on. She listened without prejudice (Great album by the way). She agreed with my tactic to go get some chocolate and just sit with it. No point not honouring the feelings that were swelling around me. See what came up, unpack the emotions and ride them for a bit. Sage advice.

Armed with some Pana chocolate - all $7 for six squares of palatable, gluten free, preservative free, vegan chocolate, I savoured two squares and started to look at the freak out, while doing some mundane paperwork. There are times you need chocolate. At $7 a pop, this stuff is meant to be taken in small doses. It is also very good. And it beats inhaling a family sized block of Caramilk or Cadbury's Rum and Raisin.

Thankfully, I knew my friend was going to be fine. He was in the best of care. His wife is a cardiac nurse - thankfully she spotted the signs and he got help quickly. So that was clear, he wasn't dying.

The fact that his wife contacted me to tell me he was in hospital perplexed me a little. Years ago, he and I were very close. Possibly too close. We sort of lost contact when he started to see her, but for me, if he was happy, then all was well. He's still a good friend. Texting him back I asked if he wanted a visit while he was stuck in the hospital. All he had to do was shout. Later in the weekend, on his request, I popped in taking him a colouring book and some pencils. What else do you bring a middle aged man who's in hospital?

So why the freak out?

He was going to be fine. He was being looked after. He was loved and cared for.

Leaving work, the sense of unease continued. Being a Friday night and having a blanket rule of no cooking on that evening, I found myself some dinner. Friday night alone at a local cafe with my book. It's quite a normal thing for me.

And then it hit me. It wasn't about the mortality. It wasn't about my friend partnering. It wasn't about the changing friendship status.

For the first time in ages, my solitude and aloneness - something that I'm very used to, had tipped into loneliness. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, it kicks hard.

An evening of cupcake baking, dancing around the kitchen to The Pixies and Tash Sultana and a touch of Harvey Specter thrown into the mix and the keel of my emotions righted fairly quickly.

The rest of the weekend, waves of something came and went - contained and bearable. A little like Churchill's black dog, this was more a tired puppy nipping at my heels. Controlled and containable.

Monday morning, the message came through that my friend's operation was successful.

I think this experience, above all, has been one of growing. The freak out has passed. The emotions didn't kill me. I got through it. I'm proud of myself. No damage done to me or anybody else. It's fine.

Even if I have outed myself as a Suits tragic. (I am Donna)

Today's song. Thank Harvey Specter for this one.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

103 Days

I have just discovered that in 103 days, I am having a landmark birthday. Like...


homestuck challenge GIF
So, what does this mean for the hapless Pandora? What is she going to do about this sorry state, because Hell's Bells, I never though I would make 30, let alone *cough/splutter/shite* two decades more than my thought of life expectancy. I still try and treat every day as a bonus. 

There is something about spending your twenties thinking that your life was going to end at thirty. I did, for a long time, think that I was not going to make it to thirty. I'm not sure why this was the case, though major contributor to this was undiagnosed depression. Thankfully, the depression is now under control and managed and thanks to what I affectionately call the 'food wanker' plan, I feel better than I did when I was thirty. Who knew a gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine and alcohol free life could be so liberating. 

So now, I have 103 days left of my forties, I think I need to achieve some things. So I am setting some goals. I like having clearly defined goals. In Corporate Wank, this means that the goals need to be SMART - or Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

So here be my goals for the next couple of months. 

1) Blog daily - I haven't done that for a while, so why not. I've also got just under a hundred posts until this blog reaches 1000 posts. May as well.

2) Read Ulysses. Clementine Ford reminded me of this tome which I have had sitting in my book case since third year uni it's time to crack it open YES I will feel a sense of achievement YES and finally I will get what Molly Bloom is all about and YES, I think that YES reading eight pages a YES day will be able to get me through this before my birthday YES YES

3) 103 days of exercise. This is not as bad as it sounds. A walk home. A shift at the gym. If I do both, then I have a day's exercise up my sleeve. Exceptions will be made if I fall ill.

4) Lose ten kilos before then. Again, doable. Three months. Ten kilos - I'm in a good spot. lets go.

5) Save $2000. Now that I'm feeling more myself, it's time to get behind saving for this epic walk I want to do next year. 800 kilometres across the top of Spain. As long as I remain in employment, this should be achievable too. (My contract is up at the end of June, so best get looking soon)

So there we are. Should be a fun few month.

Right, off to bed to cuddle up with Leopold Bloom and his mates.

Oh, today's song. may as well populate this shite with music.

Though this is a better clip:

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Sleepy Rambles Survey

Another late one after a busy weekend. Hospital visits to friends, floats, gym, cupcake making meditation, 8-year-olds' birthday parties - you name it, I've done it

Questions, as per always, from Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1.   Would you ever try Fear Factor for one million dollars? Why or why not?

No idea what the Fear Factor is. So as I don't buy before I try, I wouldn't. (probably some American game show.
2.   If you use hair spray, what brand do you use the most?

I don't use hairspray. I do use Evo products.
3.   Is "Catcher in the Rye" in your library by any chance?

No, but it is on my list of things to read. I only read Slaughterhouse Five last year - it's now one of my favourite books.
5.  What is the best thing about a Barbie doll?

They keep young children quiet.

6.   Cherry or peanut ice cream?

Hmmm . I am a fan of Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream. Not sure about peanut ice cream. Peanuts go on top.

7.   From one to ten, how big of a movie buff are you?

9. Love movies. Live for movies.

8.  Who is a celebrity you think will never get into trouble?

Matt Damon. He looks too stable - a bit like Chris Hemsworth - but living in Byron Bay, you never know...

9.  What is a museum you would like to go to?

I would like two to three weeks to do all of the Museums and art museums in New York. I'd also like to go back to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London one day. And the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia is brilliant.

10.  Personally, do you look better with short hair or long hair?

Long hair. I've never had short hair.

11.  What is the first thing you think of when I say ‘Jack’?

Jack Jack Attack

12.  What do (or did) you call your grandparents?

On Mum's side, Nanny and Grampa. On Dad's side, Granny and Grandpa.
13.  What color do you usually paint your nails?

Normally red or black. I like metallics too. For job interviews, OPI's Barefoot in Barcelona.

14.  What would be a cool earring design?

I don't think about these things - I just wear a lot of silver Pandora jewellery and get on with things. In only wear studs.
15.  Besides nightmares, what is the scariest thing about sleeping?

Thinking the spiders are going to come and get you.