Tag Archives: mum

Stuck in traffic – roar!

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Traffic slows to a crawl on the Monash Freeway...

Look a little closer 🙂 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Excuse me Mr Nissan-Pintara-Driver. Are you aware there’s a zoo in the back window of your car? And it seems to be slowing you down.

In the last eight minutes stuck behind you in traffic, I’ve counted no less than 14 animals calling your car home.

Not live animals, mind you. This menagerie consists of a stuffed penguin, several rubber snakes, a crocodile, a fluffy bear and one rather irate-looking tiger, among others.

But wait! What’s this? I’ve spoken too soon. There IS one live animal in the mix – a pigeon perched on the passenger’s headrest. And by the look of it, he doesn’t appreciate all your stopping and starting either.

Ahh. We’re making progress now. I think you’ve found the accelerator, Mr Nissan-Pintara-Driver. And you’re turning off. Sadly, I need the same exit.

Whoa! What’s this? It looks like you’ve got a dog in there too. He just poked his nose out the open window as you took that rather wild corner. And it’s a Jack Russell, no less. My respect for you, Mr Nissan-Pintara-Driver, has been restored.

Oh, looks like you’re home. And now it all makes sense.

You live in that crazy old, tumble down shack with a giant spider welded to the front wall, CDs strung from every tree and more cats than I can count as I drive by.

Thank you for that entertaining drive, Mr Nissan-Pintara-Driver, albeit rather slow.

Now I really must get home and raid the cupboards. I always thought window decoration could be my forte, and now I know just the place to try it.

Birds? I’m driving . . .

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Australian Wood Duck

Australian Wood Duck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week, I’ve learned three things:
1. Don’t let the bird-watcher drive the car;
2. If the track looks like no-one uses it, there’s probably a reason; and
3. You’re never too old to be car sick.

I’m writing this now, so you can rest assured, it didn’t end too badly. But there was a moment I thought we were coming unstuck.

It was meant to be a pleasant country drive. A few hours out in the bush looking for birds and finding that perfect picnic spot. The reality became a mixture of terror, frustration and shallow breathing.

The so-called ‘track’ provided a perfect view over the nearby river. All good. Unfortunately, my husband was busy looking at the treetops and not overly concerned with the direction we were taking. Not so good.

Then the single-vehicle ‘track’ started getting thinner and the only way out took us down a 45 degree slope toward a watery canal. Again, not so good.

“We’ll have to go back,” I said.

“Not likely,” was the reply.

And looking back along the ‘track’, I could see the sense in that statement. Sadly, the alternative was no more enticing.

I braced myself for the worst as we made the death-defying descent.

I think I heard my husband laughing, but I can’t be sure. I couldn’t look at him. We got to the bottom and suddenly another track materialised. “Oh, there it is,” was all he said.

An hour of winding bush tracks followed. Around this time, lesson three made itself known.

All I know is this – birds may be beautiful. The bush may be too. But bitumen, sweet bitumen, is my best friend.

Love on the bookshelf

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Mills And Boon (Large Print)

Mills And Boon (Large Print) (Photo credit: Caro Wallis)

There was a time, many years ago, when I subscribed to a monthly delivery of Mills and Boon romance novels. I’m afraid to say, it’s true.

Forbidden love, unspoken love, love in the most unlikely of places. He was often rich, she was often vulnerable. They were guaranteed to misunderstand each other’s intentions on more than one occasion. But in the end, love conquered all.

Some were steamy, some were sweet, some were wholly dissatisfying and eventually – after many free gifts and a cupboard full of Mills and Boon coffee mugs – I called it quits on that monthly delivery.

It took a few years, but I finally got rid of all those books – some to the library, some to my sister, a few to my neighbours and one or two relegated to supressing weeds in the garden.

But I have a confession to make. On Saturday, in a moment of weakness, I succumbed to the charms of the supermarket bookshelf and bought the rather dramatically titled ‘Proof Of Their Sin’, by Dani Collins.

And it lived up to expectations. He was rich and so was she . . . but less so. They both had excellent back stories which slowly emerged and intertwined to explain their perpetual misunderstanding of one another. They had shared a one night dalliance three months earlier with consequences which underpinned the story. Time went by, the chemistry was undeniable, the friction palpable, but eventually they found themselves on the same page (literally and figuratively).

The thing that made this book stand out was the closing sequence. Fast forward. The wedding had been and gone, the baby had just arrived and the creases in their relationship had all been ironed out. As the husband sucked on the oxygen in the back of the ambulance (mum and bub were fine), he remarked:

“The next one is planned, start to finish.”
“Agreed.”
Four months later they accidentally conceived on a flight to Hong Kong. Their daughter arrived three weeks early in a limousine under the Arc de Triomphe.

After the drawn out tension of the 183 pages prior to the epilogue, their future was summed up in three short sentences. The contrast and the content made me laugh out loud. I suspect the author Dani Collins was relieved to write them.

My only problem now is having to return to the supermarket when the food runs out, knowing that there’s more of these little gems just waiting for me on a bookshelf near the frozen foods. Give me strength . . .

 

Working it!

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Stress

Stress (Photo credit: topgold)

Phew! This week I was NOT sacked.

But if you’d asked my inner pessimist what the outlook was on Friday, she probably would have sighed and reached for the nearest super-sized chocolate bar. Why?

All it took was a single, solitary phone call.

My usual employer had his personal assistant call to arrange a meeting. That’s not too shocking, I hear you say. Except, I rarely have contact with my work via anything but email.

“The boss wants some changes,” said the PA.

“He’s getting a bit bored,” said the PA.

“Tell me more,” I implored.

“Oooooh, he’d just like to see you,” fudged the PA.

Earliest available time? Monday. Two full days and a little bit more of anxiety, second-guessing and self-doubt. Good times!

If the weekend was anything to go by, it seems I was raised to find a hidden meaning in the most innocuous of conversations. I was definitely being fast-tracked to the unemployment lines.

Monday rolled around bright and sunny. My sense of dread only increased.

I walked into the office wearing my most patriotic business colours (bright green) and my power boots (suede, in case you were wondering).

“So,” he said. “I’d like to make some changes. I’m getting a bit bored.”

I’ve heard that before, I thought. Here it comes.

“What can we do to really stand out from the crowd?” he said.

“We?” I asked. “Oh, we!” Reality was dawning.

So, I was not sacked. Two and a bit days of worry had been in vain.

That sunny day turned out to be a good omen. I’ve never been so happy to check my emails and find work waiting.

The gift that gives twice

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Gifted Magazine

Gifted Magazine (Photo credit: Creature Comforts)

Mothers’ Day has been and gone. So what have we learned?

The answer is simple – the best gift of all is the gift you’d give to yourself.

I awoke on Mothers’ Day to a tepid cup of tea made direct from the tap and a bowl of soggy cereal lovingly carted up the stairs and liberally dripped all over them.

Sleep in? What sleep in? They were bouncing on the bed in no time demanding that I get up and open their presents.

Okay, okay. First up was a little wooden box lovingly decorated with whale stickers. This was a treat! The youngest has an un-abiding passion for sea creatures. So, for him to share his sticker collection was a big step indeed. There were hushed discussions at the foot of the bed about wanting his killer whale sticker back, but his sister held firm. “You can’t have it yet!” she said.

Next up was an origami cup with personalised tea bag. Lipton’s tag had been replaced by another reading ‘Enjoy you cuppa’ on one side and ‘I love you’ on the other. Aw, shweet!

Last but not least was a multi-media canvas featuring hearts, spots, squiggles and more.

After much admiration, the energetic trio left me in peace to enjoy my morning cuppa and by the time I was finished – it had long turned cold – I was ready to find new homes for my prezzies. But where had they gone?

A little investigation revealed that my sea creature box now had pride of place on the youngest child’s book shelf and was already loaded up with treasures. My tea bag had relocated to the mid-kid’s room amongst a collection of other bits and bobs while the canvas adorned the wall of the eldest child’s room.

It’s the gesture that counts after all. 🙂

Let’s talk skinny jeans!

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It’s official! Skinny jeans are out. How do I know? I just bought a pair.

It’s taken me years to get on board this particular fashion bandwagon, mainly because I like my jeans to wear out before I replace them.

So, while my faithful bootlegs have hung in there, I’ve studiously ignored the skinny-legged stylings of all those around me.

That was until a fateful day one week ago when a breeze at knee height caught my attention. A hole! At last I had an excuse to go shopping.

It took some convincing on the part of the sales assistant but I finally broke the habit of the last three years and traded those bootlegs for skinny jeans. And yesterday, I wore them for the first time.

I can’t say it was a particularly pleasant experience. It reminded me of my very first training bra and that awful strangling sensation that persists until you get changed or get over it.

I found myself wondering if the air force could make use of skinny jeans to deal with all those extra G-forces you hear about. No more fancy pressure suits. Just wear skinny jeans!

Until I hear back from the defence force I will continue my own skinny jean trial knowing full well that the trend will probably end next week and my jeans will end up being filed alongside the shrug that I bought too late, the ra-ra skirt I coveted for months on end, the scrunchies I saw too much of and the hyper-colour t-shirt that lasted one wash (but I never could bring myself to throw away).

Now, you’ll have to excuse me while I go and loosen these jeans and take a deep breath.

Have tent, will travel . . .

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Eucalyptus camaldulensis (River Red Gum)

Eucalyptus camaldulensis (River Red Gum) (Photo credit: Arthur Chapman)

Someone said “camping” and I found myself agreeing to three days and two nights in the great outdoors. But not without some trepidation.

I should point out that the last time I went camping was in 1991. It was a school trip. We spent two nights shivering under canvas at the base of a dam wall – anything could have happened. And it did.

Between tent-hopping twins, the joys of public shower facilities and the ever present threat of dam wall collapse we spent our time variously hiking, freezing and starving.

I’ve never been so happy to see the not-so-bright-lights of home.

Fast forward to last week’s grand adventure and I found myself hunkered down under canvas once more. No dam wall hanging over our shoulders this time but the ever present threat of venomous tent guests, fast flowing river currents just metres from our door and a forest of trees with a tendency to drop their limbs when you least expect it.

After a night of all-too-frequent trips to the loo (thanks to the mid-kid and her nervous bladder) we headed to the river for a spot of fishing. All was going well until the youngest realised that once you fish them out, they never go back in. There were tears. His world would never be the same again.*

Night two and we spent an hour spotting kangaroos out on the sandhills. With the count nearing one hundred we returned to camp and settled in once more. Surely they would sleep tonight.

Ah, no. The youngest slept soundly. But the mid-kid was anxious about her nervous bladder which only made matters worse. The eldest talked more in her sleep than she does in the everyday and the husband developed a tummy bug.

Oh the joys of camping. Apparently it went so well, we’re doing it again. Soon.

*Now every meal is preceded by the question “What did we kill for this?”