Post 70

Post 70

I love interesting conversations. I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a friend that I don’t see often enough. We spoke deeply and opening about being a woman, wife, and mother. We spoke about family that is not blood but make us feel loved, connected and part of something important. We spoke about what we do for our families and friends. We spoke about dreams that we don’t know we want and being the peacemaker.

As I drove home I was thinking about the conversation. I was thinking about how women are the backbone and guiding force in families. In what ways women are the strength and the peacemakers, times when women placed others before themselves. Women are the cultivators of friendships, relationships and support to family and friends. How a woman’s vibe and energy influences the people around her. Women are the ears, eyes, heart and mind of her tribe.

I spoke about wives and mothers to an elderly Italian lady, and she told me about her 60 years of experience of marriage and child rearing. Go about it quietly darling. My husband thinks that he is the backbone of our family, pffft, I let him think that. Never underestimate the power of seed planting, she told me and patted my hand. I am the one that has made the decisions when it has come to our home, our children and family. But I have done it quietly, this doesn’t mean I haven’t fought and stood my ground, that I haven’t had to be creative, when I want my own way. And men can be stupid. She told me how they are happy in their marriage, comfortable in their finances, how she has a close knit family and friends, how she volunteers, she is active in her community and she can be happy at the end of her life that she has been kind and helpful.

I haven’t been back on social media today, after I got caught up reading one thread this morning, where women were being absolutely vile to each other and tearing each other apart because of the way they voted in the US election. At the end of the day we are all women and this was no way to treat a fellow human. There was one comment about how there will never be world peace now. It made me shrink my mind to my little world. My family and friends the people that are important to me, my work and my home, the things that I enjoy and the dreams that I have. I try to be kind and thoughtful, I make a point of hearing what people are saying. This is where world peace starts – with yourself. I have a key chain on my car keys – Be the change you want to see in the world. Women know how to connect people, build families and communities, women do have influence and will be the change in the world.

End of post 70

I opened bank accounts for boy 1 today. I set strict rules for his finances and he is excited to see his money grow.

Feature photo shows my new hair.

Day 67

My sister nominated me in the #loveyourspouse 7 day photo challenge on Facebook today. Even though I am challenging myself to the ridiculousness of writing and posting for 100 days, I don’t enjoy taking part in challenges. I had a dig around in our old photos that are stored in a box under our bed for something decent to post. My heart hurt and melted with love looking at and holding some of the photos from our past. I sat for a couple of hours on my bedroom floor, with a cuppa coffee and all of my beautiful memories. I found the very first photo ever taken of my husband and I, we weren’t together yet, but I liked him a lot. He was a 19 year old surfer, long blonde hair, green eyed, bad boy– with his surf board, part-time job and lots of friends. I was the sweet and very innocent 17 year old good girl that had just finished school, never had a boyfriend. I had purchased my own nice car, landed a good full-time job that paid well for my age.

We still joke and laugh about how on earth we managed to become a couple. We are complete opposites in our opinion of things and don’t have much in common. I met him at a party that he was right at home at, and one I didn’t want to go to, but was dragged to by my cousin. Then for the next few months I would see him at other parties and a couple of times when we were out at pubs, the photo that I posted was on a surf camping trip over Easter and where we actually got to know each other a little better. In the face of our differences we were never one of these on/off couples. We somehow managed to work our way through difficult times. Sometimes I think back to times that we have struggled and wondered why one of us didn’t walk away, wondered what holds us together, we have had this discussion between us. And the answer has been from the both of us that we don’t want to walk away, there is truly some days that I question why that is. Then on other days, my heart can’t imagine doing life without him. I was looking at the nearly 20 year old photo and it made my heart melt a little bit at the way that he was looking at me. He still looks at me like that, and although there are some big issues that we don’t agree on at all. There is also a thoughtfulness in our relationship, little everyday things that help bind us together.

The good morning text, a flower picked for me and on show in a vase on the kitchen table, he loves when I am at home and have cooked a nice meal (sounds old fashioned and probably sexist, but he has definitely done his share of this when I work most afternoons of the week.) going for a walk together. He says it drives him crazy every single night when I have a sip of whatever he is drinking at the dinner table, but I know he loves it.

So although I groaned and cursed my sister for this #loveyourspouse challenge, I have loved going through photos today and being reminded of why I married my husband.

End of day 67

Melbourne cup day.

Cannot believe it is the 1st November

Day 26

Day 26

Apparently this week, is the week, I need to learn to live without essential services for a while. No power yesterday, no water today. We had our solar hot water replaced.  It was only for a few hours, but I forgot to fill the kettle up, so no coffee after school drop off. No washing was done either, no floors washed, they did get a vacuum. My husband was a roof plumber for 15 years, and it just so happened that the company that installed our new hot water system, was a company that he previously worked with. So he strapped on his tool belt and did the roofing part of the job. I admit I did sit outside eating toast, reading a magazine and watching the tradies work, can’t go past a good tradie. For 15 years he whinged and whined about how much he hated roofing, well today when he finished with his tools, and put away the ladders, he told me how good it felt to be back on the tools and work with a crew. I smiled sweetly like a good wife and took this comment with a grain of salt, knowing the depth of his hatred for roofing, I knew this was just him feeling nostalgic.

This proved true when this afternoon he was feeling stiff and sore in his back and legs. So I kindly offered to do some yoga with him. He laughed, mocked and couldn’t take the yoga instructor directing us on the IPod seriously at all, during the whole 40 minute session. He did say that he felt a bit better afterwards, not sure how. Maybe it was all the laughing.

My first born had to work this afternoon (feature photo is me doing pickup). It is still surreal for me to have a child that is now working. Another stage of motherhood, I am learning to navigate. When they are babies, you teach them to hold things, and colours, numbers. When they are 14 you teach them work ethic, to make sure that they are organised with school, sport, and work. We are trying to teach him the value of his hard earned money and how to look after it. We have told him that he has to have, $500 in his account before he can start spending money on his version of luxury items, that $500 is his zero balance. That his pay will be divided in spending and saving and everyday money. This was a tough talk. I thought we was going to do damage to his eyes with the amount of eye rolling going on, and put a kink in his neck with the way he was throwing his head back and saying “oh my god”.  Kinda reminded me, of when he was three and I wouldn’t let him use all the baby wipes to clean the sand pit. This motherhood gig, I think I have figured out a small part of it is all about stages and growth and getting through the best I can, while teaching them to be decent humans. And today was about work and money for the big one, and not wrecking the 4th pair of school shoes for this year for the little one.

End of day 26.

Two days until school holidays

Still laughing about the ridiculous yoga session, feels good to be connecting with him over stupid stuff instead of stressful stuff.

Day 23

Carpooled with hubby today. That means I am an hour and a half early for my shift. He starts at 230pm amd I start at 3.00pm, the department he works for has an unwritten agreement, that the boys get to work early and all sit around like old women and have
a chat, share the gossip and then let the previous shift go home early. 

I definitely, do not have that unwritten rule in the department I work in, it doesn’t matter if I am 5min early or an hour early. Start and finish times are set. Most of the time I stroll in 5 minutes early with my cuppa in hand, a smile on my face and
get handover.

Yesterday I put my foot down and told him I was driving myself to work. I had zero desire to sit around in the tea room for an extra hour and a half.  I got caught up  writing yesterday’s blog post, hanging washing and getting ready for work. Then the
dog came flying up our back stairs, as I was straightening my hair, and I burnt a tiny bit of my hairline as my about 60 kilogram dog slammed into my legs, because he heard a clap of thunder. This turn of events didn’t bode well for me being able to leave
for work on time.  After much love and trying to get him to unattach himself from my legs. I finally got him down stairs and onto his bed, so I could leave for work. 

“I would have a heart attack, couldn’t handle walking in that late” was the reply text message I got from my husband as I was walking into work at 2.56pm.  

End of day 23

My husband thanked me for carpooling with him, said he enjoyed our chat to work. 

Have typed this whole blog post on my phone. In the work tea room. While eating extra hot wings crinkle cut chips, that burnt my mouth, and then I burnt my mouth more when I tried to skull my coffee, to stop the burn from the chip’s . Listening to Doctor’s diagnosing/debating what is wrong
with a patient, that fell down a hill and now has abdo pain, on a show playing on the tv that takes up nearly whole wall in the tea room.

Day 3

Day 3.

This post will be short and sweet as it is 11.41pm. I have just walked in the door from work. I am physically and mentally exhausted, I am freezing cold and my nose will not stop running. I want to go to bed.

I was driving home rocking out to AC/DC Who made who, trying to think about what I would write for this blog post. I mean I could obviously talk about the lack of discipline that I am showing already in the writing of the blog posts for my 100 day challenge. Cause well its day 3 and I am frantically writing at now 11.44pm, so that I will have a post for today.

I thought about writing about how I mentioned to my husband that I needed more lemons (cause of my head cold that is blocking up my whole head and even making my teeth sore). He went to the markets at the end of the main road this morning and came home with a lemon tree.

I also thought about discussing and doing some research on parenting siblings and how to help them deal with conflict. This morning I stood in the sun, with a cuppa of herbal tea and a box of tissues, watching them set up milk bottles and boxes as targets for their sling shots. Arguing and name calling, pushing and shoving arose and I was determined not to go and interfere so they could resolve their own conflict.  I walked away to get more tissues and they were absolute best mates again.

I could have written a whole blog post on the design of ballet flat shoes and how although pretty with a skirt and black tights, should definitely not be worn when you are working on triage and end up doing 10,000 steps for the shift.

 

End of day 3

Had a nice morning in our back yard with the family

Worked with some great people – who made me not think of sore feet.

Vows

Vow | a solemn or earnest pledge or promise binding the person making it to perform a specified act or behave in a certain way (Collins dictionary).

A guy  I work with recently got married, and of course posted the wedding YouTube video to Facebook. I cried into my porridge and wrecked my work makeup.  It wasn’t the Bali garden setting, with the view of the ocean over a stone wall, or the flowers that adorned everything or the trendy macramé curtain that framed the couple beautifully under a wooden arbour, that had me weeping. It was their vows. Vows that were their own words written with thought, truth, humour and love.

When I was a bride to be, all I wanted was to marry Scott and have his babies. With everything in me down to my soul I wanted to be the wife to my first love.  I wanted the traditional Catholic Church wedding, with the white dress, standing before God, family and friends being tied to Scott forever. The Catholics have their own script and order of service for the wedding ceremony and at the time I was okay with that. The only thought I put into my vows was that I would not vow to “obey”.

The day of our wedding, I couldn’t wait to get to the church, (I was 20min early). Walking with my Mum on my left and my Dad on my right, and my sisters walking in front of me. I smiled and waved and said hello to family and friends, as I walked towards my guy in the black suit looking like he wanted to vomit or curse me for taking so long to get to him. When I finally did reach him I couldn’t take my eyes off him, all we had to do was say “I do” after the Priest recited the words and vows that bound us.

Priest: Scott, do you take Melinda for your lawful wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part?

Scott: I do.

Priest: Melinda do you take Scott for your lawful husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part?

Melinda: I do.

After 15 years of marriage, the words that I vowed to live my married life by seem shallow, weak and immature. (That opinion is coming from a place of experience, time, hindsight, trials and love).

I wish I would have had a heart-to-heart to the women in my family, extended family and friends about being a wife and the relationship of marriage. I was so young the concept was of marriage was romantic and exciting. I wish I had my Grandmother, mother, and aunties share their wisdom and insights into being a wife.  What is the joy in their marriage and the difficulties in their marriage?  In hindsight I would of crafted deeper, authentic words and my own personal promises instead of; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.

Becareful what you wish for.

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A couple of weeks ago I commented on a post I read on the Barefoot Five Facebook or Instagram account ( I can’t remember which one). The post was about women in the western world not allowing themselves to wail in the face of grief. My comment was something like: Wish I had the courage to wail, or maybe I need to wail or some such nonsense.  You have to be careful what you wish for (or comment on), because the universe will deliver. You ask for it. You get it, good or bad.

I don’t remember much of my wailing, I remember stumbling to the sanctuary of my bed and wrapping myself up in thick woollen blankets, as I curled myself into the fetal position on my right side, the white pillow case instantly wet with the flow of tears, it was 2.09pm.

 

During meditation sessions that I have tried, the instructor, speaks of breathing in and drawing up all of the negative energy from the very tips of your toes and working your way up your body until you can blow out the damaging feelings. Curled in on myself I didn’t consciously have to do this, my body, mind, soul seemed to go into auto pilot and no that I had darkness and pain to purge, I felt energy/pain from the tips of my toes to the crown of my head. The ripping, followed by hollowness in my chest, seemed to be where the beastly sounding howling was coming from. I only heard it once and then my conscious mind, plunged me back into nothingness. How do I know this? When I felt a somewhat return to mindfulness I rolled on to my left side in a hot mess of snot, tears and saliva, the red digital numbers told me it was 4.00pm. Of course Mother guilt the evil bitch was the first one to slap me in the face.  “Shit, what if my boys saw me like this”.  I tried to launch myself off the bed and be done with the wailing. It didn’t feel good or cleansing. I couldn’t get up anyway my muscles felt like jelly, my throat was raw, my mouth was dry, my eyes were swollen shut, I was surprised to look at my chest and not see a great big hole, my head felt foggy and heavy. Much easier to curl up for another half an hour.

My wailing and purging of grief lead to a series of bodily changes over the next couple of days ranging from headaches, running to the toilet every single time I ate or drank. My chest hurt and my muscles felt weak. I did however feel slightly stronger in my mind, wailing seemed to open up my throat chakra/energy and I was able to put a voice to issues and feelings that I had not ever been able to.

 

So I got my wish, I had the courage to wail and I did need it. I do feel lighter for it, it did cleanse and maybe in time I will be grateful for the experience.

 

23 nice things to do for your husband

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I posted this on Facebook yesterday and a friend wrote in the comments

 “I want to know what to do for husbands? Or is that too easy?”

 

At the time I thought – whatever love. I want a love letter and a massage.

But it is great to do new things. So as a part of my word for the year – ALIVE, I thought I would go on the hunt for some tips on nice things to do for your husband. It also to answers the comment from my friend.

 

  1. Come home with his favourite dessert from his favourite restaurant.
  2. write him love letters
  3. Thank him for everything he does for you.
  4. Ask HIM on a date & plan something fun to do together.
  5. Call unexpectedly just to tell him you love him.
  6. Tell him how much you appreciate him & his hard work.
  7. Make a lunch for him so it’s ready when he goes to work.
  8. Wear perfume.
  9. Tell him he looks extra handsome.
  10. Let him enjoy his hobby guilt-free.
  11. Play songs you both love.
  12. Compliment him in front of the kids.
  13. Compliment him in front of his friends.
  14. Kiss him when he walks in the door.
  15. Let the kids eat in front of the TV one night and have a nice, adults only dinner.
  16. Let him make the call on parenting decisions.
  17. Choose your birthday suit over the pretty nightgown.
  18. Offer a massage.
  19. Meet him at the door so that you can greet him before the children.
  20. Tell him how proud he makes you.
  21. Hold his hand when he least expects it.
  22. Sit on his lap.
  23. Encourage him to do something with his friends.

November 1

First blog post of November and I am nervous and a bit excited. See I have signed up for NaBloPoMo . NaBloPoMo is a 30 blog challenge. I have toyed with the idea of a blog for mmmm probably 12 months. I dipped my toe in the blogosphere in June with the posts Bikram, mountains and fly in fly out, Brazilian, Twenty-one days, and Cricket mum and quickly jumped back ten feet, from dipping said toe, because you know I didn’t get a million likes or comments. My confidence took a nose dive and I was way too scared to try again, because well obviously no one like my writing (no naïve and obviously no clue about blogging). So I am back, ready to roll up my sleeves and get my typing fingers tapping away, creating blogs posts for the next 30 days.

Don’t get me wrong, still worried that no one will read my blog posts, that everyone will read my blog posts, that no one will comment or like, that everyone will comment or like, that I may get negative comments, that I may get positive comments, am I writing in a style suitable for a blog, am I writing interesting content. Oh for god sakes, what a way to melt my brain……………….

My main aims for the next 30 days is to enjoy my writing and my build confidence. I have no plan for how I am going to find content for the next 30 blogs posts, I am thinking maybe experiences from that day, or things I love, things I hate, maybe include a quote and what that quote means to me, one day I may tackle just posting images.

So with all that being said “Happy November” and stay tuned for my next blog xx

Bikram, mountains and fly in fly out

My girlfriends are the most beautiful, supportive and fit women in my life. I am not one for the gym, but my exercise of choice is yoga. I am in a love/hate relationship with Bikram yoga.

Bikram yoga, the type of yoga where I sweat it out in a 38-degree room for 90 minutes in a series of 26 yoga poses, like ‘Awkward’ pose. I  drag my ass into, two classes each week. If my gorgeous friend Helen, didn’t come with me and make me feel guilty, lazy, and unmotivated if I didn’t go, then nope, I wouldn’t put myself through the torture.

In the hot room there are a few things I struggle with and it doesn’t matter how much I try and surrender to the yoga instructor’s voice, I cannot shut-up my internal chatter. Other times, it is my body screaming at me. Almost always it is the sweat. I hate sweat, I hate it when it goes up my nose, I hate it when it drips in my mouth, I hate it when it trickles in between my boobs, I hate it when it runs down my legs. But the moment I conquer a class and hit the showers, none of those things matter and I have a sense of triumph, and feel like I can do anything.

I have also included a new form of torture. Again, I have the most beautiful and supportive, fit girlfriends I could ask for, and then I have the two ‘bitches’ (I called them that during this walk) that drag me to a local mountain to “go for a walk”.  The mountain of choice at the moment is about 10 minutes from my house. It is the worst 700 meters that I have ever walked. From the very first step it is insanely steep, and I mean…straight-up steep. No meandering path, no gentle climb, nope, straight into the steepest freaking concrete path I have ever seen. The first time that I did it, I really did think that I was going to die. My heart was beating out of my chest, I couldn’t for the life of me catch my breath, my legs were burning, and my mind was in overdrive with the most dreadful names that I could think of to call my friend.

On the second go up this god-awful mountain, I changed my plan of attack. I decided I can only look at my feet. If I look up and see that steep, torturous concrete path I get overwhelmed, my breath shortens, my heart races and my mind turns negative. My mind tells me I will never get there; my mind tells me to stop. But if I just concentrate on my feet and take one step at a time, I don’t get overwhelmed, my breath slows and I can concentrate. It is only then that the tortuous path does not seem as bad. It is still tough, I defiantly get a work out, but I can manage it, and without too much name calling.

In the same spirit of the yoga and mountain experiences, I have been struggling with FIFO this swing. The 21 days have been like that god-awful, torturous concrete path, and I feel like I have defiantly been sweating it out with sweat going up nose in the Bikram yoga room. However, during my post-mountain walk emotional high, I saw the similarities of the extreme exercises of yoga and mountain walking, and the last two weeks of this swing. If I stop looking at the date that Mr S comes home and only look at today’s date and what I need to get done today and only concentrate on today, then like that concrete path and the sweat, I will get there. So, I can say this much…The time Mr S is away will be crap and I will have dreadful names running through my head about what I think of FIFO. But when I pick Mr S up from the airport at the end of the 21 days, I will have that same feeling of Bikram yoga and mountain climbing triumph, and I will feel like I can do anything.

Brazilian

Announcing my arrival I am asked to have a seat. Abbie my stunning beautician with model looks, perfectly styled hair and dressed in her pristine black uniform, greets me and directs me to the beauty room. She opens the door and I am engulfed with the most refreshing yet soothing fragrance. I have no idea what it is, I make a mental note to ask her, when I am not feeling so nervous. “Fabulous” she says, “ok strip down so everything is off your bottom half, there is a box of wipes for you to freshen up, lay down on the table, place the towel over you and I’ll be back”. With an elegant turn she is gone. I am left standing in the middle of this refreshingly, soothing fragranced room, stunned into silence. I knew that I would have to bare all, but hadn’t given it much thought until now and the wipes, oh dear lord how embarrassing. I do as I am instructed and lay on the beauty bed, contemplating how ridiculous I would look if I left this minute. Abbie glides back into the room in all of her stunning beauty. Checks a pot sitting on bench which I assume is the wax, comes over and whips the towel off, claps her hands and says “great let’s start, spread your legs and we will get rid of all this hair”. Oh. I. want. to. die. Me the woman who can count on one hand, how many people have been between my thighs! One husband, one obstetrician that I had for both boys, and one gp, who has done all my pap smears and know Abbie the beautiful beautician. “So have you had a Brazilian before?” “Yes, but never waxed”. “Oh” she says as she scrunches up her face “it always hurts the first time but after that you’ll be fine”. Fantastic. Abbie walks over twirling what looks like a  large paddle pop stick with pink wax on it. She applies the molten wax and it actually feels quiet pleasant and warm. I try to concentrate on the very white ceiling, while forcing myself to keep my legs open. Abbie is professional in her job, she lulls me into a false sense of security with her happy chatting. She rips the now hardened wax with hundreds of hairs attached, from the follicle on my vagina, I feel myself launch off the bed and I think that I may have also screeched “fuck”. She smiles and walks back over to the wax pot. I have decided Abbie the beautiful beautician, is fucking evil. Abbie continues her chatter, I continue to have to talk myself out of punching her in the vagina. This is after she informs me, that she has only ever had one Brazilian in Beauty College because they hurt too much.

At one point near the end of this ridiculousness, she swipes one very large patch of molten hell from top to bottom of my poor red, but now hairless lady parts. I actually start giggling uncontrollably with the thought that she has to rip that fucker off. She must be able to tell that by now I am in shock, because mid-giggle. Rip. Yep the beautiful evil beautician rips the wax off. I think my skin is on fucking fire. Then to my absolute horror, she pulls out a pair of tweezers. She assures me that we are nearly done and that she wants to make sure that I am completely hair free. I am now grunting in response. As my eyes burn holes in the ceiling, my cheeks also flame red at the mortification of this experience, my lady parts are sensitive and throbbing.

Abbie comes over places a large, heated towel over me tells me that we are done and she will meet me out at the counter to pay. While I stand, at the counter paying an obscene amount of money to have my vajajay put through hell. I am cursing myself for wearing my pretty lace knickers that are now scratching my poor abused vagina, I have an overwhelming wish to go commando. I don’t register until I am in the car that Abbie the beautiful beautician, has booked me for a follow up Brazilian in one month. I will be cancelling and I do not care what the fragrance in the room was. I will associate that smell with beautiful evil beauticians and molten hell.

Twenty-one days

I contemplate our lifestyle as a Fly in– Fly out family and it isn’t about the money. I’m increasingly worried about Scott’s mounting frustration and tension with being away for twenty one days.

Twenty-one nights in a single bed that feels like a piece of concrete. I know he craves, our queen- size bed, with his big strong body curled around mine, holding me tight, not having to wake at 4.30am. No line-up for breakfast, lunch and dinner, his stomach turning at the sight of what is on offer. I can’t wait to sit down and savour a home cooked meal with him.

Twenty-one days of running along the fence line, because the gym overflows with the same people that he lines up for meals with.

Twenty-one times of blowing in the breathalyser, despite having no access to alcohol.

Twenty-one days a month 600kms away, to support us. Transported by a car, plane and bus to get to the 400- man camp that he stays in. The compound could be mistaken for a jail. I know that after a long and detailed process, the gas that is being extracted is only used for domestic use. To top it off, working in 50 degree heat and minus zero temperatures.

In this next swing, I will not spend Easter with my husband, he will miss our oldest boy’s cricket grand final and our youngest boy’s school recital.

The screen is black, the ring tone bleeps as I anxiously wait for Scott to hit connect. I mean, how ridiculous that I am anxious, he is my husband.

As FaceTime connects I see the green eyes and scruff that details a strong jaw. His face beams at me and I know that my face has an equally blinding smile; my eyes sparkle with tears I will not shed. “Hey beautiful, no crying,” he says. Oh god, my heart melts seeing his face and hearing his voice at the same time.

“Hi babe, so I need to interview you on fifo!”

“Yes dear, what do you want to know?” Scott sighs, sounding exasperated. He loathes talking about work and being away. Preferring to spend our time together hearing about home.

“Babe, before we start on this interview let me have a quick chat to the boys.” As I listen to Scott laugh and talk to our boys about school and cricket. I am eternally grateful for modern technology. Jack sits at our much- loved kitchen table, with his dad on FaceTime working through Year 8 maths homework.

Toms laughs as he talks to Scott. “Yes, mum’s doing the dishes!”

“I wish I was doing the dishes with you babe,” Scott yells through the computer screen. The dishes have always been our time at the end of the day to chat and catch up. Now text messages, phone calls and FaceTime are our way of catching up.

I grab the laptop and make my way to our bedroom, so we can chat without interference from the boys.

“So what do you hate about fifo?”

“Seriously, that’s your question?” His unconscious movement of running his hand over his short back and side’s haircut signalling signals his pent- up frustration. “You know the answer to that. It’s fucking shit.” Beautiful green eyes hardening, jaw tense and eyebrows drawn in so far they nearly touch. “It pisses me off that I don’t get to come home to you and the boy’s every day. I want to be home for Easter.” Swipes his hair again. “I am here working my ass off, dealing with idiots that couldn’t organise a piss- –up in a brewery. Working on a public holiday with no penalty rates. After twenty one days I hate the ass holes I work and live with. I did five hundred squats today. Five hundred times I had to squat down and tie off cable. Because some idiot ordered the wrong equipment and refuses to send it back. It’s bullshit. They want us to work harder and faster, with no additional tools and resources.” I scan over his chest and face as he sits rigid and tense on the single bed, as he swipes his hair.

“We got told, that there has been 9 suicides since Christmas, that’s nine blokes that who killed themselves. Fifo and everything that goes with it did that.” (My stomach sinks and I consider the poor men that got to that point, and the families left behind to deal with that devastation.)

Abandoning the questions I had prepared, we chat and catch up about home. Scott now lounges casually on the single bed and his smile reaches his eyes. It makes me think of last month when I picked him up at the airport.

He crossed the zebra crossing dragging his bag behind him at a furious pace, the backpack used as a carry -on slapped against his back, black cap pulled low down over his green eyes. I could see he had no intention of making eye contact with anyone until he reached me. He made sure to wear the black t-shirt that I love. It shows off just a peek of his tattoos, on the arms I adore. Dressed He was dressed in his low slung jeans that hang off his gorgeous ass perfectly. Scott reached our four- wheel drive that took us camping for that break and wrenched the door open. I just about jumped the seat to get to him, I had missed him the past three weeks.

Bringing me back to our conversation he laughs. “Mel, you need to go babe, I can hear the boys arguing.”

My whole body slouches in sadness, tears slip down my face at having to say goodbye. Scott’s eyes are full of love and with a beaming smile across his face. “Love you, babe,” he declares as he hits end. His image is frozen for a second on the screen while the connection drops out. As I stare at the image, I am the one left feeling frustrated and tense with Fly in and Fly out.