Day 38

Day 38.

 

Happy Saturday.

 

My sister, who often receives comments about how much she looks like my mum, called in for a cuppa this morning before her 6 hour drive home. We sat outside in my garden, literally in my garden bed, on a log in the sun, and drank coffee and chatted about kids, and her new book club book. For some of the hour or so that my gorgoues family visited, I made my nieces smile nicely with their mother, and
used my new camera to capture the beautiful moments of me demanding they smile (I did worn my famly and friends, when I was gifted my new camera that I needed to get my monies worth so they would be saying cheese alot). 

 

She lives in South West Queensland on a cattle property, almost at the end of a long dirt road. This dirt road is two hours from any major town. The dirt road is located in a small knit community. We have driven this
dirt road numerous times, during droughts, flood, summer and winter.  When we go over the last grid, we all crane our necks to see who is the first one to see the house.

 

Once a month my sister travels down this dirt road and drives for another hour to her book club. I love her commitment to book club.  There have
been numerous stories I have heard from her book club.  The one I remember the most is when she accidently hit a cow on the way to enjoy conversation about the book and a glass of wine. I tried book club once. It was with some of the parents from the school
my boys go to. I hated the book, but loved the wine on the deck and hearing other book club members take on the book.

 

This month my sister and her reading posse are engrossed in – The Language of Flowers, the first novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  I downloaded it

today and am loving the style of writing. Definitely my type of book. Will keep you updated on what I think.

 

End of day 38

 

My Saturday night dinner dates, were an absolute hoot to spend my half an hour work break with.

 

Going to make a nightly ritual of disgusting coffee and eat arnotts biscuits, before I finish work.

 

Daphne Kapsali

I want to send a big thank you to Daphne, an Amazon Top 100 bestselling author, for our Skype conversation.  I was read the first few chapters of 100 days of Solitude and I felt like a connected with her on so many levels, I knew I had to contact her and see if she would be interested in chatting to me. So grateful that she said yes. I was thrilled to learn so much. Thank you Daphne.

It was a constant process and a constant transition. There was stages when I was like “oh this is fine, then it would be this is terrifying, then it would be oh what the fuck am I doing.”

I am quiet shy and introverted and I can’t deal with groups of people, I hate it and I get really insecure. I am very good one to one, and I have my very good friends and I am approachable, but this whole thing, it was a really weird thing, because it was I was on my own but I had to actually open up. I mean this process really helped me, because I have started talking to everybody now. I mean one to one talking to everyone, not in a group.

Hiding behind my computer is a comfortable place for me.

I actually had to do a book launch, presentation for 100 days of Solitude . It was a really little thing last summer. I was deranged, it was absolutely horrible, I nearly walked away. I sat at the back and was like please don’t make me do it, don’t make me do it.

I mean the people on the island don’t speak English and the book is written in English, so they know that I am the girl that wrote the book, they have been really positive, even though they haven’t read it. When I published it, I did change the names. But people would know who is who.

This is funny and it’s a joke now I am known as “one local author”. This name came about because a person that was a non-English speaker, walked into the local bookstore and said “I am looking for a book by one local author”. So I am officially a local now.

I made chick peas with the locals on Sunday. I have only just realised, that is seems to be a gathering of men. I had noticed that it was the men that bought the chick-peas to the oven. I mean, I think it is just an excuse to meet the mates and catch-up on the gossip. When I took my chick peas on Saturday I looked around at all of these men and well me, and I was like “oh maybe they don’t want me here”. But, “I was like oh whatever and lit up a cigarette.”

No, no regrets about being here, I mean I can always pack up and go back. I wouldn’t change anything actually. As long as I know that the option is there.

For the first couple of days it is a shock to the system to be off the island. I have more trouble when I travel from Sifnos to Athens, than here to London. I mean in London, I have my London persona and I switch back into like instantly. I know how to handle London.

But getting on the boat here, where it is all peaceful. And then arriving in Athens which is chaos. There is, absolutely no order to that city, I mean I have grown up there and should know how to handle it, but I just can’t handle it. That is a culture shock. That is like, there are too many people around and they are touching me, why are they touching me.

A couple of years ago when I was here and started this process, it was really interesting, I wanted all kinds of stuff, from all these shops in Athens and London and now when I go back I just don’t want anything. I look at all this stuff and go this is excessive, all these shops and this stuff.

Someone sent me an email with a quote in it something like “All sadness comes from thinking about the past, and all anxiety comes from thinking about the future, and if we are just in the moment we are fine”. That is a nice theory, but we can’t cut ourselves off from everything that has happened and everything that might happen. But if we have moments, where we kinda feel, that we are fine right now, then that is good enough. Just more moments. We just need more moments.

I am counting on the universe to provide. Air bnb is pocket money. I mean, the universe has done alright for me, considering I haven’t had a job for a couple of years, and I am not in jail. I constantly prompt it, I am still here. I mean, you know I have these moments where I am like; oh so when I am positive, shit really happens. And then I forget again, cause you know the fear sets in. I mean it’s a constant thing. You have to truly trust it, like you can’t just pretend. You have to truly trust it or you’re not gonna get shit. You know you have to live like you already have the stuff. Like “I don’t have a job but I am fine” and I just trust, then something actually does come up.

I mean, I know that a good dose of yoga will sort me out. I have to force myself, otherwise I will sit here and feel really sorry for myself. I sometimes have to force myself to do the beach walks. And I am bored of the stairs, there is no novelty left. You know when you get yourself into a situation, and you know that certain things will help you, but you don’t do them? That walk is exactly that, within about 15 minutes the walk clears my head, it just changes everything. I did it yesterday, and it was just before sunset, so I had just about an hour, which is as long as it takes, so that I will have light while I am walking. It was amazing, I was so glad that I did it. I got to the beach and there was nobody on the beach, and I had a swim and I was like; yep, I need to remember this, and this is why I do it cause it makes me feel so much better.

I find that with writing too, and that is why I have been in a weird state because I haven’t done enough writing. I need the method of writing. The 100 days was really worked for me. Because it was basically you are going to have to produce something that you have to post. So it is going to have to be fairly decent. So I would just sit there for as long as it took, and it goes to show that you can do it. It just needs to be a daily thing with writing. Because if I think; oh I will do it at some point, well it’s just never going to happen. It has to be part of the daily routine.

There were days there, where I would sit there and think, what am I going to write about. I have absolutely nothing to say. I haven’t spoken to anybody for 3 days, I haven’t left the house for 5 days. I mean I spoke to the cats, so then I write a post about the cats. It did end up being ideal writing conditions for me once I sat down and started, things would just come. I mean not always obviously. Sometimes I would go away and leave it for a few hours and comeback and start again, but it did come naturally, after a few days.

I mean do people really give a shit about this thing that I am doing? Who gives a shit, some girl on an island, so what! But for some reason, you know, you kind of stumble across something that makes sense to some other people. You know, when I am writing sometimes I feel that it is too much for me, but I have found that it has become easier, because once  I started getting responses from people, saying “that makes sense, I get that too”. Then I kind of go, oh well we are all the same. You don’t have to pretend to be sorted all the time, you don’t have to hide the strange thoughts that you have or whatever. I mean I talk to everybody now, there is a story in everybody, when you talk to them, there is always something that you can relate to.

No, oh god no, no, no, no,no, never do crowd funding ever, ever again. It was incredible, but it is so exhausting, it is so, so stressful. I mean even if you believe in what you’re doing, it does feel a bit icky, you know it’s like “give me your money”. I am really glad that I did it, but no never again. It was incredibly exhausting, I am happy to put in the effort but you have to be on the internet 24/7.

Everyone is on Facebook, I built up a little community there and then I put up a small post about what I was doing and people responded. I mean as long as you be you, the right people will respond and you’re going to feel alright about what you’re doing.

 

I want to send a big thank you to Daphne, an Amazon Top 100 bestselling author, for our Skype conversation.  I was reading the first few chapters of 100 days of Solitude and I felt like a connected with her on so many levels, I knew I had to contact her and see if she would be interested in chatting to me. So grateful that she said yes. I was thrilled to learn so much. Thank you Daphne.

“If you have ever stopped yourself doing something you love because ‘now just isn’t the right time’, read this book.” A personal journey that inadvertently became an accidental self-help guide to doing what you love and living as your true self, whoever that might turn out to be, 100 days of solitude is inspiring thousands of people to claim the time and space they need to find themselves and live their best lives. Amazon Top 100 Bestseller

 

 

Why back me financially, by having to pay to read the interviews? Because I am creating a platform for me to showcase my best work, build a community and get paid to keep on creating. The more patrons in our community means more interviews, and more stories. A portion of this money will be used to pay it forward, sharing the love with other women and girls and raising their voice.

Day 27

Day 27.

Today has consisted of:

Me writing my feature post for tomorrow. I love the process of interviewing and chatting to the awesome ladies that generously share some of their stories. I record the chat on my phone and make notes when I get home (that rhymes).  I try and forget about it, because after the interview I am on a bit of a high. And have so many ideas on how I want to write the piece, but I have found if I let myself settle for a couple of days, and then listen to the chat and read over my notes I get more out of it. I hear things I forgot about, or hear new bits of the conversation that I didn’t pick up on in the chat. So today, I sat and listened to my chat via Skype with Daphne. It was a terrible connection and there was bit and pieces of the chat that dropped out, but overall it was a good talk. I could have chatted for hours to Daphne about writing and life on her little Greek island, while she smoked her cigarette, in her new office. I was so caught up in listening to the recording, I almost forgot to go to my hairdresser appointment.

I love my hair, after getting my hair cut, coloured and styled. But I cannot stand the process. I actually hate sitting in the chair for two and a half to three hours. I mean don’t get me wrong, I have an awesome hairdressing salon that I go to, and the girl’s there are absolutely lovely and crazy skilled in their profession. I just have this weird trait that makes me dislike massages, sitting for 3hours getting my hair done and shopping. If I go shopping I am in and out. I don’t browse. If I can’t find what I am looking for in the first like half an hour, I am out, done, finished, obviously didn’t need what I was looking for cause I couldn’t find it.

Tonight will be homemade pizza. One meat lovers for the boy’s and a vege with loads of mushrooms for me. Then we are off to the Montessori school production, which is always held on the eve of the last day of school for the 3rd term.  Need to be there by 5.45pm and it finishes at 9.00pm.

 

End of day 27

Feeling slightly insane at the moment, one child is blaring country music at one end of the house. The other, is playing some sort of rap, or some such thing and the singer/computer whatever who is making that incessant noise, has 4 words to work with to make up the whole song. I am sure my ears are going to start bleeding.

Feeling the post-holiday blues about going back to work tomorrow. I didn’t have holidays, but 4 days off and I am not jumping for joy at starting at 7.00am tomorrow.

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 25

Day 25

We had no power today. We did get notice that we were losing power, but I completely forgot. I was a bit annoyed at first, because I had planned to bake and wash and write this blog post early and search YouTube for tips on how to use my new camera. But, no power ended up being a bit of a treat. I folded washing that I had been putting off, I had a sleep, I read a trashy romance novel in the sun and listened to the baby lorikeets that live in our trees, I went for a big walk and met my second born, skater boy on his way home from school.

This afternoon after school there was a mini photo shoot in my backyard, with my new camera, my very unwilling children and me. They weren’t keen on me hanging around and taking happy snaps of them while they were skate boarding and riding bikes. My very generous husband was the complete opposite and let me experiment with my camera and his face.

I am writing this on a laptop, which I kind of find annoying, as I much prefer to type on a desktop. But I am watching Zumbos just desserts on the TV. I HATE reality TV. I never, ever watch it, but some how this has me hooked. I can’t stand the people, but the desserts are amazing. I am shocked and appalled at the way the contestants talk to each other, it’s disgusting and I just yelled “in your face” at the TV, when the only male contestant just got sent home. This is so not me, that one of my boys just got out of bed to see why I am yelling at the TV.

 

End of day 25

We have an owl in our backyard “hooting” tonight, the dog is freaked and keeps whining and will not move from the top of our stairs, and each child has got out of bed and is wanting to know why there is a loud, hooting owl in our backyard. I think it sounds beautiful and hope that it stays.

I also was just on FB, and saw that my sister was in the Country Life newspaper for her work with the ICPA – Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association. So proud of her.

Day 24

Day 24

I received a text message from my dad this morning to say that my Nan, his mum had died in hospital.

I wasn’t close to her and had no significant relationship with her. So I wasn’t overcome with heart wrenching grief when I read the text message.  I feel like an absolute bitch saying that because her blood does flow in my veins and we did spend time with her as children. But it was pleasant or memorable, it was always an effort and it was always kind of a relief to leave.

I was more worried about my dad and how he was handling the news. They didn’t have a close relationship but she was still his mum.

I feel sad though, not because I am going to miss her, but more for the residual anger, hurt and unresolved emotions and unanswered questions that are now at the forefront of the grief. And from my point of view as her granddaughter, her life won’t be celebrated genuinely from the heart by her family. It will be remembered with false bravado conducted by family that don’t know each other.

I feel sad for her and how she treated her family and the relationships that she never got to experience. She was 89 and didn’t have a good life. So it’s not like I can say “she lived a long and happy life”, because she didn’t. I obviously don’t know her side of the story or the reasoning behind the way that she treated my dad, but she wasted and completely destroyed a relationship with her eldest son, and the rest of the family.

I feel sad, because she was a very talented lady in the way of cooking, sewing, knitting, crocheting and she was a buff at history, family history and the local history of where she lived. It is such a waste that she didn’t have solid relationships, with the younger generations in her family so she could pass down all of her knowledge as the matriarch of the family.

End of day 24

Today, has taught me to continue to tell my boys how much I love them as their mother. I whispered in their ear tonight when tucking them into bed, the qualities l love about them.

Feature photo is a picture of me that my second boy took on my new camera and it was his favourite.

Day 22

Day 22.

(Disclaimer there will be foul language in this one – sorry Mum)

Writing the blog earlier today, as I have to go to work this afternoon.

I had a beautiful morning making kokedama, (it’s a plant wrapped in sphagnum moss and string) at a morning tea held for a friends birthday.

Funny story- This said friend, she is one of the Wednesday coffee, school mums. We have had some great conversations, have shared barbecue dinners at a mutual friends place (my bestie), and I have seen her around the school for years. ANYWAY, my school is having a school reunion, I was looking at the Facebook group one day and this comment pops up from my friend. I was like what? How is she in the group? I immediately clicked on her name and stalked her Facebook account and what do you know, it was my friend from Wednesday coffee. I sent her a private message, pretty much saying what the fuck. I didn’t use the “f” word, because she is so divine and doesn’t cuss like a sailor, like I am known to do. And she has 4 blonde haired little angels that don’t hear that word, and I try to be very conscious around not to swear near them. After a long conversation, we discovered we did in fact go to school together but never knew each other. So that is our own special friendship story. It was her birthday during the week and this awesome house wife and incredible mother to 4, who has a degree, a heart of gold and the most amazing baking skills, celebrated her birthday with friends and family. And in her true style gave us a gift to take home, even though it was her birthday.

The feature photo is me a complete tired, emotional, raw mess this morning – I wasn’t going to take this photo, because it is so hideous (with tears and I think there is snot hanging off the end of my nose). But, this was the relief that I felt when I read the comment that Peta’s mum left on the blog post. I posted another #mesistertribe feature last night on my friend Peta Hughes.  As I read her mum’s comment, the thought that automatically popped into my head was, thank god I didn’t fuck it up and that she recognisers her daughter in my writing.

I am in a real love /hate relationship with these features. I love interviewing and chatting to the women that I feature.  The writing for me is stressful and I agonise over it, as I am fearful that I won’t do the story justice. Then I post the feature and I literally, am in bed all Friday night, tossing and turning and thinking about sentences and changing words and my shocking grammar. This whole process is fucking with my head. The 100 day writing challenge is making me feel completely splayed open and raw, and the selfies every day make me nervous.  It is definitely, helping me deal with some of my insecurities and I feel like I am changing for the better, but sweet Jesus. My heart and mind is a mess.

I was so naive going into this I thought that I would be able to just write and post these entries and I may get some likes or comments but, I never thought that I would get the interest, the likes, comments and increase in followers that I have received. This week with the blog it has completely pushed all of my fearful buttons.

End of day 22

I actually made something crafty this morning and it looks good – not Pinterest good but still good. (craft is not my thing – but I had a hoot this morning)

I need to stop writing and get ready for work.

Peta Hughes

I have always known Peta, to be a woman that waves the flag very passionately for feminism, and celebrating women and their accomplishments. I have known her, to be a loyal and devoted friend to the people around her. Peta is very aware of her emotions, and from conversations with her, she tries to live very closely to her core values. I knew that Peta had been in the navy but I didn’t know her role.

I saw a post on Facebook, celebrating the anniversary of the day, she was the first woman, in the Royal Australian Navy to fire a missile. I was so proud of her, and it solidified for me, her passion and commitment to feminism and celebrating women. Because, she had done something so significant, and bad ass in a male dominated profession. I couldn’t wait for our interview.

“I was on the HMAS Sydney, I was the second woman to do the job of fire control technician on frigates. Frigates at this point hadn’t long had women on board.”

“Really, all male crew into the early nineties? How?

“Because it was the whole warfare thing, women were not allowed to go to war, the job that I did was combat role, and I was on a frigate which is a war ship.”

“So why did you choose the job you did?”

“In 1993 when I joined there was three jobs available. They were recruiting for chefs, stewards. My mum and dad had been in the navy, and dad said, “you will be totally bored doing the chef and steward’s job. You could easily do this job of electronics technician.” I had absolutely no interest in technicians I just wanted to travel.”

“If it was all male, why start recruiting women to combat roles?”

“More opportunities where coming up and they had roles that needed to be filled. But you know the thought of sending a women off to war, I mean it’s tradition to protect the little woman and all that. War is the last bastion isn’t it.  Women can be nurses, teachers. Well I mean she can fire a missile too you know. I mean later on I went to east Timor and the Persian Gulf. I didn’t go during the war, I was in Kuwait after the war though.”

“The rank that I was, was a seaman that is bottom rung. I was 22 when I was posted on there, you know a ship is so rank orientated. You need to prove yourself. When I was at Cerberus in Melbourne – Port Phillip Bay, there was 10 female technicians, amongst 400 blokes. We really stood out, we couldn’t hide. When you look at this through a feminist microscope there is sexism and misogyny everywhere, patriarchy everywhere.”

“Ships are like a very, very small towns, people talk. As a naval woman early on in my career I learnt to keep my head down and just do my job. As a woman I was always a little bit afraid of being judged. I felt an enormous amount of pressure being in such a male dominated job.”

“There was aptitude testing to do this role, I passed those. I really liked that it was the crème de la crème of the techos. This was the job that happened to keep me at sea a lot as well, so I was able to do a lot of travel. Out of ten years I spent six on ships. Twelve months of that was in San Diego with my radar and missile course. There is the radar and there is a 3 inch and a 5 inch gun on the launcher and it tracks the target. I mean fire control, I was like oh yeah I want to do that. It was really, really fun, at the time we were so young and so arrogant.”

“So in relation to the missile, the girl ahead of me never go to fire it, all the boys had a turn, I was just lucky really when it came to my turn. I was working for the weapons electrical engineering officer, as a technician, we were operators and maintainers, I was a maintainer technician. But we operated the radar as well, and that is how I came to fire the missile. The gunnery officer directed us what to shoot at, where and when.”

“We had trained and trained and trained, I had my chief, my petty officer, the leading seaman we all worked together. Lots of testing of signals and safety stuff goes on. We would do a preparation called ballistics, so it would take in the weather, wind speed, the temperature anything that would alter where the missile was going to go. So what I fired was an anti-air missile,  it would be a drone remote control air-craft, towing a target, on a very long 2km line. The target was a computer as well. We didn’t want to blow up the target, the missile was designed to blow up near the target. But well I actually blew up the target.”

“I was always really good under pressure, we had been trained to be a machine, we did so much training, so many drills, it was constant, there was sleep deprivation, and there was more pressure. We were machines, our emotions were ignored.”

“My gunnery officer said to me “this is for navy news”. I said without hesitation, nope. I didn’t want to bring attention to myself, I didn’t want to be different to the guys.”

“Really this was such an important step for women in the navy”.

“Yep I know”

“It wasn’t celebrated!”

“Nope, maybe I was thinking it would divisive, I mean in order to survive you just have to get on board with things that are going on around you.”

“I was always good friends with the guys, I never got on board with all the sexist jokes or anything, but I was just quiet, got on with my job and was friends with most people. But above all I had the girls back. When I was on the Melbourne I was an able seaman, and the leading hand in the mess for two years, because I did a great job. And I always was like what happens in the mess stays in the mess. I was always like don’t be talkin’ shit about the sisters here, cause it will not be tolerated. We need to stick to together to be a force.”

“In communal living it is all about honesty and respect for others. If someone needs to be left alone, leave them alone. Wash your clothes, wear your deodorant. Cause someone will tell you, you stink.”

“The absolute best thing about the navy for me was the friends I made, I am still friends with a lot of them. The water was also a saving grace for me. All that water, looking out at the ocean on a starry night with the moon reflecting off the ocean, seeing the dolphins and the whales.”

“By the time I was finishing I couldn’t wait to get away, I was done. I had done my 10 years and I just thought I can’t wait to get away from the patriarchy. The navy has a really poor environmental record which really pissed me off. I had enough of going to sea, I mean they own you. They run everything, tell you when to eat, you just have to do what they say. Once you sign on the dotted line they own you.”

 

Why back me financially, by having to pay to read the interviews? Because I am creating a platform for me to showcase my best work, build a community and get paid to keep on creating. The more patrons in our community means more interviews, and more stories. A portion of this money will be used to pay it forward, sharing the love with other women and girls and raising their voice.

Day 21

Day 21

As I rolled out of bed this morning, I hear this “you didn’t sleep at all last night.” I was so tired my response was a grunt. I didn’t sleep because my shifts are all over the place, and I was stressing about today.

There was nothing to stress about today, but I don’t like having a day absolutely back to back full of stuff.

Get kids organised for school,

Do school drop off,

Braces face (my husband) had a dentist appointment at 9.00am,

He wanted to take me for a massage but I changed it to reflexology. Because I am not a fan of massages, I really don’t like strangers touching me, the couple of massages that I have had, I end up leaving more stressed than before, cause I want to tell the masseuse to stop touching me. I didn’t get either as we had no time.

Instead we went to Chocolateria San Churros, I had the Azteca – there description this is classic Spanish with a merry measure of chilli and cinnamon spice hot chocolate. Honest to god, this deliciousness was so decadent. The chocolate taste was perfect and then there was the burn on the back of my tongue and throat from the chilli, best hot chocolate ever.

We raced home and I made a big batch of spaghetti and then raced off to a hairdresser appointment. I was a bit worried because my hairdresser left and I couldn’t get an appointment before her last day. So I got her replacement. I love going to the hairdresser because I have this thick mop of hair that needs controlling, and I am so much lighter when the clippers and razor have worked their magic. However I am not one for a chatty hairdresser, I do however get goose bumps when they wash my hair and massage my head. I ended up with an awesome haircut and will definitely go back to the new cutter who also provided my perfect amount of chatter.

I headed home with my new hair, after bumping into mum at the hairdresser. I came home and was re-arranging sentences, replacing words and picking apart my feature blog post for #mesistertribe tomorrow.

School pickup was next, and then rushed to second session of cricket training for the week, which was then cancelled because of rain. In lieu of bowling and batting, we went instead and spent the time with my niece who celebrated her first birthday today.

The spaghetti that I made earlier, was garlicky and the perfect flavour of tomato for dinner. The dishes were washed and put away and kitchen cleaned in record time, before my 7.00pm interview with author of 100 days of Solitude, Daphne Kapsali.

It is now 8.54pm, kids safely tucked up in bed. I hugged and kissed them a little harder and longer tonight, after some tragic news from my sister’s community in South West Queensland.

And all of that is why I didn’t sleep last night.

End of day 21.

Big, massive happy birthday to my niece and to my brother in law. I love you both.

I need to go and iron clothes for tomorrow.

Day 20

Day 20

Working where I work really shit me today. It wasn’t a busy day at all, but the people that I had to deal with today just pushed my buttons.  I walked out of working wanting to tell some of them not to think they are so entitled. I wanted to tell one particular person to be responsible for their own shit and that not everything can be fixed by someone else, and to make better bloody choices. (like don’t inject so much ice every day that you don’t know who the father of your kid is, because you don’t recall what happens most days. I mean for fucks sake).

I had big plans for when I got home today, because my husband took boy 1 to cricket training and then work and I had the house to myself until about 5.15pm. Only thing that I got done was 1 load of washing.  I made myself a cuppa and sat down to watch a TED talk.  I love TED, each and every talk that I have listened to, I have learnt something or been inspired or motivated.  Today I chose a talk about telling stories. Dave Isay this was the man presenting the TED talk and this blurb sucked me in:

Dave Isay opened the first StoryCorps booth in New York’s Grand Central Terminal in 2003 with the intention of creating a quiet place where a person could honor someone who mattered to them by listening to their story. Since then, StoryCorps has evolved into the single largest collection of human voices ever recorded. His TED Prize wish: to grow this digital archive of the collective wisdom of humanity. Hear his vision to take StoryCorps global — and how you can be a part of it by interviewing someone with the StoryCorps app.

This 21 minute talk had me glued to my chair. This is exactly what I am trying to do with my #mesistertribe.  Obviously I don’t have the resources to head to New York’s Grand Central Terminal, and chat to people. But I am having a ball interviewing and listening to awesome women and their stories. Can’t wait for Friday to publish my next interview. This talk was definitely a motivating talk for me. Some of the examples that he showed where raw, and honest and I was amazed at the information that people felt safe in sharing. These traits are also what I have noticed when I have been interviewing, I have felt honored and humbled and privileged with some of the information that has been shared with me. I so look forward to sharing more on the blog.

End of day 20.

I am finding taking a picture (selfie) a day for the feature photo for each blog post, as confronting and challenging as my writing challenge.

Looking forward to a big day tomorrow.

Day 17

Day 17

 

Father’s day today.

We spent the morning at the beach and had a delicious brekky at a café down the road from where the boys had been surfing.

I sat on the beach and watched my husband and kids having ball in the water. He taught them to read the surf, how to surf, how to body board.

This afternoon I watched them fixing the wheels and trucks on their skateboards. He taught them that, he showed them how to ride skateboards, showed them how to look after them and fix them.

My dad came for a visit this afternoon and my boys automatically walked up to him, shook his hand and asked how he was. He taught them that, they see how he greets people and they copy him.

This afternoon my boys were talking to my Dad about our Valiant and the mechanics of a 1975 model car. He taught them that, he spends time explaining the mechanics of the car to the boys while they work on it.

Tonight when we had finished dinner, the boys got up and helped clean up, they cleared the table and wiped the dishes. He taught them they need to help (they roll their eyes and whinge when he is here making them do it, but when he isn’t here they do it automatically).

Before we got married, I couldn’t wait to have this man’s babies. He has been an involved and active dad since day one. He changed nappies, rocked them to sleep, taught them to ride bikes, catch balls, he has taught them manners and respect, he has taught them to look after and be responsible for the animals we have, he has shown them that men cook, clean and be the housewife while I am at work, he does the school drop off and pick up, he has volunteered and been involved in their sporting teams.

Above all with every small thing he does for them, he is showing them, he loves them and they love him.

Happy father’s day.

 

End of day 17

Found out my dad likes peanut butter and jam on a sandwich.

One detail closer to starting a project with a photographer friend.

Day 16

Day 16

Family day today. It was my niece’s 1st birthday party, she slept through the whole thing, but we celebrated for her. The party was backwards, as she needed sleep and we all wanted to see her cut the cake, so she cut up her pepper pig cake before she went for a nap. Then we feasted on chips and homemade thermomix garlic dip, salad and bbq meat for lunch, followed by birthday cake. I got to spend time with my Grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins, my mum and my kids. At one stage I was having a laugh at my boy who was making a comment, about how he hates to try new things, this was after my Grandma scrunched her nose up, and refused to try a warm spinach dip. My cousin then piped up, and said she also hates to try new things. I was having a good old laugh by this point and said that my Grandma has strong genes, to be passing these traits down to the grandkids.  There is such a strong feeling of connection when you are surrounded by people, who share the same basic, familial traits as yourself. As I was eating my lunch, I was watching my grandparents who I adore, and thinking it must be such an amazing feeling to look around, at a party being held for your great-granddaughter, and see that most of the people there, are there because you feel in love with the person sitting next to you.

This afternoon, after a nanna nap, because I was exhausted from being at a 1 year olds party ( I don’t party like I used to). I sat on the phone with a glass of red, chatting, to my other sister, who lives hundreds of kilometres away. She was sipping a beer while we had a 45min conversation about anything and everything.

While cooking dinner and organising children, I then had a chat to my Dad on the phone, his phone call was interrupted by an incoming call from my husband.

End of the day and I have chatted, laughed and spent time with, the majority of the people in this world that share my blood line, and that I love.

It was a good day.

End of day 16.

I found out that my Grandma is a hoon, and loves to ride on the back of motorcycles.

And I want to thank every single person that reads my blog posts. I had a HUGE response to both of my posts from yesterday. Every single like and comment, really does mean the world to me and I am incredibly grateful that people spend their precious time showing me their love. xx

Day 15

Day 15.

 

Wife/mumma life was a tough one today. The frustrating thing though was that all of the arguing and emotional turmoil that went on and snowballed into utter ugliness was over an effing school belt.

My 1st boy runs late every single day.  Everyday single day, I have to hassle my kid into getting ready for school. Anyway when I finally dropped him off late, we were both emotional and felling like crap, I had tears in my eyes the whole way home and ended up spring cleaning both of my boy’s room’s because, I felt like a shit mother and wife and wanted to be around their stuff.  The mopping of their rooms lead to cleaning the walls, then whole house ended up getting mopped and then I had to put away the mop and bucket and the laundry got cleaned out and I had to wash my hands so the bathroom was cleaned as well.

By then it was time to do the school pick up and come home for a coffee, where I checked my emails. Womankind magazine had sent me an email in regards to my entry into the 5 day nature challenge that I participated in and THEY LOVED IT AND I AM GOING TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE NEXT EDITION.

I also posted another blog post today. I featured Amanda Metelli on the blog in the #mesistertribe. Again feeling slightly nervous about how it will be received, I hope she likes it. I loved chatting to her, she was a joy and a great motivator. Please check it out and tell me what you think.

End of Day 15.

Didn’t need to light the fire to warm our house tonight. Spring has sprung.

Going to make a cuppa herbal tea and enjoy my sparkly clean house.

Day 14

It is 2.09am, yes 2.09am, I am at work that is the only reason I am awake at this ridiculous hour.  My friend that is coming to have lunch with me in a few hours, will laugh her ass off that I am writing at 2.09am.  When we worked together on night duty years ago, we always proof read ANYTHING that the other had written before sending any correspondence.  Cause at 2.00am after 5000 coffees and no sleep. Every single emotion is exacerbated. And there are some pretty bizarre thoughts that pop up at 2.00am.

The night so far has been constant, and the admin team is under staffed. As I was telling someone earlier, I hate night duty with the same fiery hatred that comes from the very depths of hell. But working with good staff always makes for a good night, honestly the shit that is talked about at 3.00am when you are so tired that everything is funny. Is funny in itself. I go through stages :

11.00am and am cranky, I pretty much push the afternoon staff out of the door, because I just want to get on with the night.

About 1.00am I am pushing people out of my way to get a coffee.

2.00am if I am feeling a little rant coming or need to send an email, I try and avoid sending anything at 2.00am nothing nice comes out in an email at 2.00am

3.00am I am delirious after 4 coffees and the sleep deprivation makes you feel a little drunk. And eat, oh lord do I eat, give me sugar, and crunchy things (tonight I ate/ kinda shared a packet of Allen’s party mix and chocolate coated popcorn). And no subject is of limits, and every single thing is funny, like hysterical funny tonight exploding watermelons had me nearly peeing my pants along with, tarts, whores, birth, food, tinder.

5.00am I usually have a heat pack down the front and back of my shirt. I can’t sit up straight, my eyes feels as though they have sand in them and I have been known to fall asleep in my chair.

6.30am another coffee  and I have usually got a second wind and am running around making sure that the department is pristine for the day shift.

7.00am it can vary for me at 7.00am. I am either crazy cranky and give hand over in 30 seconds and bolt out the door before I insult someone. Or will talk so much that the day shift, kick me out the door, where the sun burns my eyes, and I resemble that freaky little creature Gollum, on Lord of the rings.

Trying to sleep during the day is a whole other post.

End of day 14

The feature photo is me this morning, after night duty multitasking. Purple shampoo in my hair, eating brekky in the sun, while chatting to my kids and husband before they go off to work and school. If you look closely at the photo, my eyes are blood shot and I am actually having trouble keeping them open, not to mention the nausea of trying to eat brekky. The thought and effort of having a shower to wash my hair actually brought tears to my eyes

Had 3.5hrs sleep and had lunch with my friend that I did night duty with for years.

Goodnight

Day 12

Day 12.

 

Good afternoon.

Yesterday a lady I went to school with gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl, and she shared her wonderful news on Facebook. While looking at these photos on the way to my car after work this afternoon, my ovaries and heart actually ached with the maternal instinct to have more babies. I was thinking about how lovely it would be to have a baby girl to go with my gorgeous boy’s, how precious new born babies are.

Got in the car, and the song that was playing on the radio brings up very mixed memories for me. It is by Lifehouse- Hanging by a moment. The first memory I have of this song is me dressed in my white wedding dress on the dance floor with my new husband. I absolutely loved our wedding day, I was so happy, full of love and drunk on the excitement of getting married, my dream had just come true of marrying my love. We danced to this song just before we cut our wedding cake, we were surrounded by 75 of our closest family and friends.  Best night ever.

The second memory, I have of this song is the day after I came home from hospital with my first born. I was dressed in light blue flannelette pyjamas with dark blue tea cups on them. My husband of 11 months had just left for work. My c/section wound was painful and I felt nauseated. I was carrying my new born and was about to walk into the kitchen when this song came on the radio. As soon as the first note of that song hit my ears, I burst into tears and had to very carefully lower myself on the chair at the end of our dining table. I was carrying 5 day old son, who had not slept in 4 days and so I had not slept, he wasn’t feeding, nothing I did made him happy or settled. I was a 23 year old who had no idea, how to be a mother, I had no idea what I was doing and felt like such a failure, cause I didn’t even have the ability to settle my kid so that I could have a shower. I sat there holding my boy who was screaming, I was sobbing uncontrollably with milk pouring out of my boobs because I was holding my boy and he was crying. In that moment, all I could think of was our wedding and dancing with my husband who made me feel so special on that dance floor, and now look at me balling my eyes and not able to even settle my boy, let alone make him feel special while I held him.

Needless to say that this song was a definite sign this afternoon, that shut down any romantic notions of me mothering another child.

 

End of day 12.

I worked a day shift today (the feature photo is me leaving for work at 5.45am) it was actually a nice change to work during the day.

I took a chance yesterday and contacted Daphne Kapsali, the author of 100 days of Solitude. The book I am reading at the moment. AND holy shit she replied and very generously offered to feature on my blog. (I may have danced in my kitchen this morning at 5.00am)

 

Day 11

Day 11.

I took up the womankind nature challenge last week, in the hope that my writing would be accepted for publication in their next edition. So, I did my three days of spending time in nature, observing and writing my diary of how what I experienced.  My bestie offered to proof read it for me and made some great suggestions.  I took her up on all of them and it looked beautifully polished.  Logged on this morning to submit my application and was reading the terms of the challenge.

Submission

Once you have completed your five days, send your response to us at award ‘@’ womankindmag.com

The most suitable responses will be published in the next issue of Womankind magazine.

Dates

Starts: Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Ends: Sunday, 28 August 2016.

Yes read this again, and oh what a moron, it says FIVE days. THANK GOD I re-read this before my keen little self, sent off my THREE days of writing. Also very lucky that we are an outdoorsy family and could easily, write about time spent in nature over the weekend.  Great start to Monday.

This little hiccup lead to a really great day. There was an impromptu lunch thrown in with my bestie, where we sat crossed legged on her lawn, and ate salad wraps with red wine, and chatted in the way that we do. I spent time in the backyard with the family this afternoon, my two little cricket fanatics start training on Wednesday, so thought they would get a head start and practice today as well. We planted a mandarin tree, while sipping red wine and collecting eggs from my crazy chickens.  While standing under the mulberry tree, we debated the ripeness of the berries and laughed our heads off at my husband’s extremely poor attempt at lighting a bon fire. (I am the arsonist in this family).

 

End of day 11

Went for a drive to Maccas in our pj’s and splurged on $2, choc top cones after dinner.

Debating if we should replace our hot water system or buy rain water tanks.

Day 10

This morning I smothered my ash blonde hair in purple shampoo and went about my morning, cooking muffins, hanging washing, vacuuming the car, ironed work clothes. I was also watching the most important boy’s in my life. They were mowing the yard and fixing our 1975 Valiant, they were at the work bench playing with tools.  My two are growing up so fast and are maturing into real men’s men.  They love to fish, and surf and build things, work on cars, camp, play sport. And I love this side of them but I also want them to have a soft, kind and gentle side.

I never let them go anywhere unless they kiss and cuddle me goodbye, I love to curl up with them at night on the lounge and hang out. When my husband was still working away, I loved when they would sneak into my bed and sleep with me (well not the snoring or the kicking and stealing the blankets- but I did love that they still wanted to.)  I let them see me cry and get emotional and explain that it’s ok to be vulnerable. They see me walking around the house in knickers and bra and know what a women’s body looks like. They see me make an effort whenever I go out or to work with hair, clothes, and make up.  They also see me hustle, and witness the juggle of me working and also being a wife and mumma and the stress that goes with that. When we are grocery shopping they have been taught to help. They know that they are now my muscle. They know that I can carry and lift and use my own strength, but I have explained to them, that they are growing up into men and they use their muscle’s when a woman they love needs a hand.  They have lots of wonderful women that they love in their life Grandmother’s, aunties, teacher’s, friends, I have always taught them to use manners and respect.

Do not get me wrong these boys are not perfect,  and there is arguments and whinging, eye rolling and “it’s not fair”, when they have to do something they don’t want to do, but  they are children who are learning like all of us. But this morning when I went to open the back door,  and had my hands full, one of them ran over and opened the door and then took my load upstairs for me, I was so proud of him.  “love you my beautiful gentleman” I yelled up the stairs at him.

 

End of day 10.

Need to leave for work in 40 min and not at all ready.

Had a really great productive Sunday so far. Happy Sunday everyone. x

Day 9

 

Day 9

 

Today is Saturday. I worked last night until midnight and woke at 5.56am this morning to the ringing of my bloody phone. Boy 1 was calling me continually,
you know to remind me that I needed to pick him and his brother up from my Mum’s house.  (yes because of course I would forget). 

 

After a lot of – “have you got a towel?” “have you got shoes?” “put your board in the car!” “where is your towel?” “don’t forget to get your own
undies, if you don’t get your own you will be free ballin”, “hop in the car”, “where is your towel?”. We eventually got to the beach.  There was a slight westerly blowing (for our part of the world that is good for surf), the sun was shining, the water looked
as though it was a glass table with diamonds thrown across it.  I sprawled out on the beach towel, while my family went too play in the water. The waves today were perfect for body boarders and long board riders. My lot were the body boarders but I also enjoyed
watching the mal riders. It is so cruisy to watch the mal riders walk up and down the long board, hang their toes over the edge, squat on the board, one guy was trying to stand on his head. It was a great change to watching the short board riders, whip around
on the waves, snapping the board in sharp turns/ moves that can look kind of aggressive.

 

At one point I was sick of being a spectator, stripped down to my bikini’s and walked into the water where my family were playing in the water
on their board’s in full wet suit’s.  I only lasted about 10 minutes but it felt unbelievably invigorating to say the least. It was a bit of a rushed visit to the beach today, as we both had to work this afternoon.  We dropped off the boy’s to Mum and continued
on to work. Again we carpooled. I am a shocking passenger when my husband is driving, I always fall asleep. I could feel myself getting cranky this afternoon, after our rushed but lovely morning.
I  sank into the chair, put on my big sunglasses and laid my head on the headrest with closed eyes.  ANNND then hubby changes the channel on the radio, and oh he can’t hear it so turns
up the volume. I am trying to deep breathe. “did you see the price of fuel? good hey!” “mmmmm” (actually it was more of a grunt from me).
He changes the channel again, turns down the volume.  I give up sleeping and try and enjoy being chauffeured.

 

 

End of day 9.

 

I need to go to bed, because turning into a judgy cow. (especially when it involves childrens names – Jedi, Yoda and Fire I mean are you kidding me!!!)

 

It’s 8.58pm, I am going to make a coffee and have an Arnott’s biscuit.

 

Day 8

Welcome.

Less than glamorous feature photo today. One busy lady. Crazy day today, I am working this afternoon and had kids and husband to sort, house work to do and groceries to get done, 3 blog posts to write, and the third day of my Womankind nature challenge to complete.

So grateful Mum is having my two boys for me, so don’t need to worry about them after school, I know they are in good hands for the night.

I published my next #mesistertribe interview today on photographer Marina Meier. Again that evil bitch insecurity is sitting on my shoulder and same as when I posted about my Mum, I am questioning the whole post.

I was going through the post and thinking about the interview/chat I had with my creative, photographer friend Marina and the morning coffee meeting we shared. The creative energy, ideas and excitement flowed beautifully around the table where we sat. I had messaged Marina about a project I wanted to start, this was after she posted on Instagram an image of me and the words “Your story makes you special”. This was the sign I had been asking for, to let me know that my thought to interview women and nurture them into sharing a story with me was a good idea. I was enlightening her on how I love stories, that the way we were laughing, chatting, connecting, sharing ideas and encouraging each other fills my cup. And how I want other women to share with me, and like a domino effect other women then feel inspired, motivated, connected. As a photographer of women’s boudoir, Marina has the same aim.   Marina has amazing passion and a gift for capturing moments with a camera that can change how women view their bodies.

A volunteer project with Karuna hospice that Marina is working on, was a subject of our conversation as well and lead to the memories of her Grandmother. There was so many topics that I could have connected with and shared from our coffee morning, but the story of her Grandmother moved me the most. Marina’s whole demeanour changed when recalling her Grandmother.

End of day 8.

Well not really the end seen at it is 11.49am.

Carpooling with husband to work

He cooked me dinner to take to work with me.

 

Marina Meier

Lounging in the sun at a coffee shop enjoying a heavenly caramel latte, with my photographer friend Marina and her pot of tea. We were discussing her love of photography, the sentimental importance of photographs, and the memories they can induce. Marina reminisced about her grandmother when speaking about photos that are most valuable to her.

“I look at the photos that I have of her, I remember the times that I spent with her”.

“The best gifts I received as a child were from my Grandmother, birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, she would find beautiful presents, sometime months in advance and buy them for me and put them away.  I remember as a little girl – I don’t know how hold, but small enough that, one time I saw package/ box on top of the cupboard and dragged a chair over, stood on tip toes and peaked in the box at a lovely new dress.”

“I spent most summer holidays with her; I loved spending my time with her. We didn’t have a car so was difficult to get to her home, but my father passed her village on his way to work and would drop me off on the way and pick me up after work, or leave me for the weekend or a fortnight. Her kindness, her cooking and her hands are clearest in my mind.  She had rough hands, scratchy hands from working and cooking. I would pull up a little stool and sit between her legs pull up my top and she would run rough, scratchy hands over my little back.”

Marina stops and laughs and scratches her back “my back is itchy know as I tell you this”.

“We moved house at one point, I didn’t see her for a while until she moved 500 metres down the road from us with my uncle.  I spent time with her every day.  I am the oldest grandchild so got to spend a lot of time with her.”

“Once we moved from Kazakhstan to Germany, I only saw her twice in 9 years.  I knew she was sick, but didn’t think that she would pass. We didn’t talk on the phone much, but I always knew how she was doing from my Mum, who spoke to my aunt.  I was in Australia when she passed. I found out a week after she was gone.  My poor Mum couldn’t cope, and my dad was looking after my Mum. I think they were stressed and that is why it took a week.”

 

photographer-marina-nan1  phtographer-marina-nan2

Day 7

Boy 1: “Mum what is for breakfast” (every single morning, he asks this question.)

Me: “toast, muesli, weetbix”

Boy 1: “mmm can you please cook me poached eggs on toast?”

Me: “Of course”.

Boy 2: “Can I please play the PlayStation?”

Me: (laughing) “No.”

Boy 1: “are my eggs ready?”

Me: “No”

Boy 2: “Why can’t I play, the PlayStation?”

Me: “Have you finished your book review?”

Boy 2: “No”

Boy 1: “What happened to the eggs?

Me: “Nothing. They are poached like you asked.”

Boy 2: “I hate reading and book reviews”

Me: “That’s ok, you still need to do it. So start.”

Boy 1: “I hate poached eggs”

Me: “That’s ok, I just cooked them for you and you will eat them. So start”.

This was the 6.30am start of day 7. Grateful, this frustrating start didn’t set the tone for the day.

I spent time again in the garden, for the Womankind nature challenge, wrote my diary entry for that. (the feature photo, me and the big guy hanging out in nature on a tree stump.)

This afternoon just before school pick-up, I had another interview at Double Brass my local coffee shop. I honestly cannot wait to sit down and write about it.  I am loving this new little project that I have going on. I am getting positive feedback, and it is not only inspiring me but my boy’s as well. I was telling boy 1 about the interview during our after school chat in the car, sitting in school traffic.  He was so intrigued, impressed and interested in everything that I was telling him about the lady that I interviewed. (the interview is with the first lady to fire a missile in the Royal Australian Navy and will be published on the 9th September).

End of day 7

Looking forward to putting my little darlings to bed, and then pigging out on the mars bar pods that my husband left for me in the fridge.

Found a pile of wood that my husband cut for me to burn, while he is at work.

Day 6

Day 6.

 

It’s Wednesday. Wednesday means morning coffee at the local coffee shop with my bestie and some of the other mums from school.  Each Wednesday it is pot luck as to who may show and for how long, some days we linger and have multiple coffees and chat. Other days it is a short and sweet catch up. Today we had one coffee, catch-up about kids, work, holidays and new opportunities.  When I drove away from our meet up today I was so glad I didn’t have to work this morning. I have been absent the last few weeks because I have had to work during the day, my bestie has also not been at Wednesday coffee  as she too has a full-time job in the city. Today with me being off and her working until 4.00am on annual reports for work, we were able to meet for a coffee after school drop off (I was secretly and very selfishly glad that she worked until an ungodly hour, giving her the opportunity to have Wednesday coffee). Double Brass our local, must love Wednesday mornings.  On some occasions I am sure that most of the mothers from our school have shown up for a coffee and a chat. This morning I think there was 8 Mummas and 1 dad from the school.

After enjoying my chai latte and a chat, I came home and strolled around my garden. I would love to tell you about it, but it is for a piece I am writing for the nature challenge that Womankind magazine has set. Their challenge is to spend 5 minutes in nature each day from today until Friday and write diary entries about your experience, submit it by 30th August and those picked will be published in the next edition.  I ended up spending about 30 minutes in the garden and wrote about it.

I started writing this piece just before school pickup, when we got home this afternoon I was chained to the kitchen feeding my two who carried on like their throats had been cut. So I am just getting back to it now that they have full bellies, and are fast asleep. I work in my little office that is at the back of our Queenslander style home. Queenslander homes were designed from about the 1840’s for sub-tropical summers. The house is two story home on stumps, this allows the air to circulate, it is built from timber, has high ceilings, lots of windows and doors that align also helping the circulation of air and we have beautiful wide timber floorboards.  Great house for summer.  Except that today is the 24th of bloody August and my house is freezing – because of all the air that is circulating. Cold air, cause it is winter and overcast and raining.  I have the fire roaring but with 13 foot ceilings, massive rooms, lots of windows, it is cold. And I am rushing through this post, so that I can have my nice cup of camomile tea in front of my roaring fire. I find I get frustrated when trying to type quickly on a lap top and that is why I am typing this on the desk top in the cold office. Cold by Queensland standards, cloudy and 14 degrees Celsius.

 

End of day 6

Feeling slightly anxious that I have just used the last piece of firewood.

Still sniffling because Radar went home tonight on MASH (my favourite all time show)

Day 5

Day 5.

 

Day five has been a fantastic day. I woke this morning to a message on my phone asking if I was available to work this afternoon. I had in my thoughts last night put this request out there, that I needed one more shift for the week and Tuesday would be a great day, because the father to my kids is home and I wouldn’t have to find a babysitter.

An interview was on my agenda this morning with a kind, generous and hilarious lady. I bought a maxi dress a couple of weeks ago as a treat when my tax return was deposited in my account, this was the dress I was wearing for the interview. It is gorgeous, long and flowy with flowers all over it very feminine. Except you need the patients of a saint to put the bloody thing on, I spent about 20 minutes ironing the vast amount of material, I then spent another ridiculous amount of time putting the minuscule buttons in tiny button holes, and this is on a school morning when I have no time for fiddly dresses.

In my pretty dress after school drop off, the father of my kids chauffeured me to where I was conducting the interview. I have always thought that I enjoyed my job as a secretary, you know it pays the bills and I am good at it so I thought that was enough. However the two interviews that I have done and the interview this morning, the writing that goes with it, is what fills my cup. Actually feels more than filling my cup, unless the cup was full of some really good French champers, sounds weird but I kind of felt high and energetic after. Not sure if I am good or bad at interviews, I ask way too many questions, and I am way too emotional. But if the feelings that I get when I talk to these amazing women and the high that I get from writing about them is how you are supposed to feel when you are living your calling, then I am so excited that I have found mine. The interview from today will be published on the blog next Friday the 2nd September.  This week the interview from Marina will be published as part of the #mesistertribe.

If you or anyone you know would like to chat to a chick that gets high off talking to other women and then writing about them contact me on:

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End of day 5

Day 4

Day 4.

 

Good afternoon.

 

Getting my blog post done a bit earlier than midnight today.

Three quotes have stood out for me today, and prompted my writing. Also the card that I drew before I started writing was another prod and I wanted to shove that bloody thing back in the box and pick something else. But here we are.

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The first one is : and it was different. Yes fly in fly (fifo) out was different for the guy in the photo and I. We have been married for 15 years this year, and for two and a bit of those we were a (fifo) family.  Meaning for 21 days a month he worked 700km’s away.  Before he started fifo we had never been apart for more than a couple of days.  Fly out day I would cry and I would lay low and take a day to be sad and then pull up my lace knickers and get on with the rest of the month until I could go and pick him up from the airport again.  Fly in day’s were my absolute favourite day of the month, it was like Christmas day when I was a kid, butterflies in my belly and nothing could upset me on fly in day (Well a late plane would). It would always work out that I could take the kids to school and then head straight to the airport, pick him up and we would have a lunch date and do school pick up together.  Every fly in day was like a first date, lots of talking and excitement at having him home again. I didn’t ever really get used to fifo, it was an acceptance that at the time it was what suited us and paid the bills.

The 11th December 2015, was the last day of fifo for us, we were fine with that. Eight months on and the next quote that stood out for me today: “anger is the bodyguard of sadness” is what we are working through.  FIFO changed both of us immensely when he was home it was great, romantic, perfectly happy family. When he was at work I just got on with life at home on my own, it made me incredibly independent and resourceful. He also changed in a lot of ways and over the two and a bit years he saw me grow and change into a woman that was embracing interests that I had a passion for but had never pursued (writing and studying). So where does the quote come in? cause all of this growth and pursing passions sounds so exciting. Well the hang over from being apart for so long, the massive changes that we went through has finally caught up with us.  It was fabulous to all be together again and know that there would be no more fly out days that we would all be in the one house again.  But the reality, is well reality. There are no more fly in day lunch dates, there are no more heightened romantic – distance makes the heart grow fonder moments.  No, there is what to cook for dinner, school drop off, juggling of shift work and trying to find a common ground for each of us. There is the awareness I need to have of, actually discussing all of the above and a million other decisions, instead of me just going ahead and making decisions on my own, because I am not here on my own anymore.  There is the acceptance for him that I have changed and have new interests and passions and with these new interests I also have changed and or broader opinions. And with all of this change comes the pain of change. Change that has caused anger because change, for people that are stuck in their ways and have a certain way of thinking how a relationship should be causes sadness that can’t be expressed and then comes out in anger.

The last quote for today is “live to the point of tears”. Last Monday he asked on a date. Initially I felt uncomfortable and wanted to say no. There have been many angry words and tears over the last few months. My sadness was coming out as a raging bitch of hell, who would have been comfortable as the wife of Satan.  It was a text message he sent me saying: “Hi Melinda, it’s Scott remember me? Well there’s a nice restaurant that I found and was wondering if you would check it out with me?” That had me crying happy and angry tears at the same time.   It’s a very mindful situation to be in when you are literally having a first date with your husband. Well this is how I approached it, the last few months have been horrendous and in my heart and mind we needed to start again. This quote is what I am vaguely following at the moment, and its has been refreshing and effing hard to show so much emotion about issues that we need to work out, instead of bottling everything up and then letting it explode all over the place.

 

End of day 4.

Well its only 1.44pm so not really end of day.

We had lunch together outside in the sun.

He has offered to do school pick up in the horrendous traffic.

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.

Day 2

I woke up feeling hung over, I did not sleep at all last night.  I jad just published a blog post featuring my mum she was the first woman of #mesistertribe blog posts, I felt
happy with and proud of the writing (at the time).  From the minute I hit the blue publish button, I was thinking that I needed to change it again for the 450
th time. I had a thesaurus running around in my brain swapping words around in the post,
then I started restructuring sentences,  I was at one point going to get my butt out of bed and delete the whole post.
 I tossed and turned, curled myself up in a ball, laid flat on my back, flipped on to my stomach.  My husband approached me this
morning, while I was chugging coffee and said “your thinking kept me awake all bloody night, get ready we will go to the beach, before we go to work.”

So we went to the beach so they all could surf and I could be the sunbaking groupie on the beach. I sprawled on the beach enjoying the winter sun beating down on my pasty white legs.
I cheered my boy’s on with their surfing, I watched another father try and teach his extremely unenthusiastic boy to surf.  I sent out “back off” vibes to the wet and sandy long haired dog running and jumping on unsuspecting victims sunbaking on the beach. At
one point I closed my eyes, concentrated on my breathing and listened to the pulsing sound of the waves.
 

” I will not check my phone to look at the reaction to the blog post”

” I should check my phone to look at the reaction to the blog post”.

” Relax. Concentrate on breathing and the waves”

” Have the boys got sunscreen on”

” Should of worn my bikinis instead of shorts and shirt”.

I eventually gave up on my poor attempt at meditating to the sound of the ocean. I couldn’t help myself, I looked at my phone, checked the blog post and had a couple of supportive
comments saying I written beautiful words about my Mum.
I don’t have a huge number of followers, but I have an awesome following of engaged readers that take the time to read my writing, like and comment. This means a lot
to me and their comments this morning went a long way to shutting up the evil little devil – insecurity, that tap dances through my heart, belly and mind whenever I hit publish.

End of day 2:

Mum liked the blog post.

I worked in my usual department, so totally in my comfort zone. (unlike day 1)

My husband gifted me with a chocolate bar filled with jelly and popping candy.

My Mum

I interviewed my Mum.

“As a child we moved to Redcliffe when there was still dirt roads, we had to clear our own piece of land so that the house could be built.  When Grandma was pregnant with your Aunty Kelli, I would take our dog for a walk in the pram practicing for when we had a new baby.  When all the kids were born (mums 3 siblings) I would ride kilometres and kilometres to the Catholic girl’s school where you also went to primary school. I would have to ride past your fathers, Grandparents house and Grandfather would come out every afternoon on my way home, and give me a bunch of flowers for your Grandma”.

“Once we got married we never went on many holidays, only a couple of times beach camping.  Then you girls came along and your father worked all the time.”

From my point of view as the eldest daughter, Mum has handled being a wife and mother with grace, dignity and elegance. She always had the whole family’s happiness as her focus, even Dad after he had torn her heart out.

“I think that I did ok raising you girls, I mean you’re good girls who have lovely families.”

I find perception amazing.  Yes it was sad and devastating and it took a long time to adjust to the fact that we became a single parent family, and the way that happened. But it was almost a relief to just have the four of us girls at home. A decision had been made and it felt much more stress-free.

“I felt like such a failure, he left me for a women that was at one time a friend and had three daughters the same age as you three girls.”

Mum continued with routine and family traditions – like always eating our meals together, where we shared our day and what was happening, there was always something baked for afternoon tea (Mum makes the best caramel tart with whipped cream). Even through her pain, “There was some days that I didn’t have the strength to get out of bed.”  I never felt as though she let us witness those painful days, after the initial heartache had worn off. Mum always got up and presented herself in gorgeous clothes, shoes and had her hair styled.

Mum is a wonderful role model for me, she has taught us work ethic, through having her two jobs, always having an impeccable house and yard. She is also a stickler for routine, which made me feel safe as I always knew what was going on. She showed us how to be kind and generous and supportive by looking after Dad’s sisters in the palliative stages of their breast cancer journeys. She taught us to always be respectful and use manners and morals as a guide.  Mum showed grace, courage and strength by never arguing with Dad in front of us, she always remained polite and accommodating, towards him.

“I always preferred when your father came to our place, to see you girls and having you girls with me than your father taking you away. Even though every time I saw the tail lights head down the drive way, I felt like I had taken 10 steps back”.

Mum always made sure that we had everything that we could need and never felt like we went without.

“I was left with $50″.

The school swimming carnival of that year, I needed new togs Mum took me to the surf shop and brought me a pair of pink Roxy one piece togs with little flowers on them, I LOVED them. But felt bad as I knew she couldn’t afford it.

As a mother myself of two boys and fumbling my way through as a wife and mother, I can only hope that I will be half the mother and granny that Mum is.  I lean on Mum for support and guidance in the way that I mother my boys and live my wife life. Mum always offers sage advice, sometimes I don’t want it and sometimes it’s not just words that I need from my Mum. Mum has always made us kiss and cuddle each other goodbye, and sometimes even after a long chat I just need to feel like a child again and be held in Mums arms and feel her heart beating. At times just having mum cuddle me brings me to tears, knowing her support and love is always there.

 

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Why back me financially, by having to pay to read the interviews? Because I am creating a platform for me to showcase my best work, build a community and get paid to keep on creating. The more patrons in our community means more interviews, and more stories. A portion of this money will be used to pay it forward, sharing the love with other women and girls and raising their voice.

Day 1

Day 1

 

I am reading 100 days of Solitude by Daphne Kapsali, she spent 100 days on a Greek Island on her own, writing.  After reading a couple of chapters, of Daphne’s book and loving it to the point that I had to limit my time reading about Daphne’s personality traits, fears and hilarious experiences that sounded much like something that would happen to me.  I was caught up in her experience and her writing and decided to give my writing a shove and write every day, for 100 days. This is on top of the #mesistertribe project that I am doing on my blog – interviewing and writing about women and their stories – I am going to contact Daphne and see if she will chat to me. However my writing experience will be far different to her time on a Greek Island. I am not staying at a home in Sifnos, a Greek Island – I am living in our 100 year old Queenslander home in Australia. Nor am I on my own, with the neighbour’s donkey to talk to – I have a husband, 1 teenage boy and 1 pre-teen boy, 1 dog and 5 chooks. I am coming out of winter where I have had the warmth of a fire, a lovely winter wardrobe and long socks, and into spring – Daphne was going into a winter with ankle socks, an electric blanket and an endless supply of eggplant. My 100 days of writing will be funded by me working shift work 4 days a week – not Kickstarter.

So what does my first day look like?

I woke at 3.27am, I always wake early when I am working an early shift, too highly strung and can’t sleep. I tossed and turned and couldn’t go back to sleep, for the hour and a half before I had to get up and get ready for the day.

I am a routine type of girl I like the comfort of knowing what is happening when and where, I don’t cope with drastic change. I am working today in an area I don’t usually work in. There’s renovations happening so where I am working is not where it usually is either. No one knows what is going on, it is chaos. My boss overbooked the shift, so I am an extra. I pretty much begged to go home. The anarchy is stressing me out.  I can’t do my job properly, on top of the job that I can’t do, I also have the added job of sitting at a card table with a laptop, 2 phones that I have to answer, confidential documents and lists in the middle of a fucking waiting room, surrounded by about 100 people (public people – not even staff).  I know that I am stressed and annoyed with the work conditions today, but people are rude, rude and being assholes, about the changes and renovations happening like it is my fault that they have to walk an alternative route. I need a coffee, a bought coffee, a big one, and I have sworn off buying coffee this week.

End of day 1:

I paid the $4.35 for the coffee, my teen boy got B+ on algebra and my Mum cooked me dinner.