Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Broomstick Days ......

Some days are just like that. The angel wings fall off, get knocked off, pushed into a corner, blown away in a storm and there you go the only way to get around is on a broomstick.

Unfortunately broomstick days can happen to the best of us.

The worst kind for me is when the monkeys come along for the ride.

There’s Judge and Jury, the monkey that judges everything and everyone around them. I think he is the worst. Jumping onto every bandwagon that’s going. I really hate him. I try not to have an opinion, not to be harsh or critical but that monkey is always there goading me on. Who am I to judge? What have I done special that makes me any different but there I go again. I have to be constantly vigilant that this little guy doesn’t get in there and pester away at me.

The judge’s best friend often comes with him ... that would be Outrageous Indignation. He gets in my ear ... why should you have to be treated like that, you shouldn’t have to put up with this, you could do better, who are they to make judgement on you? On and on and on....

Hanging onto the end of the broom calling don’t forget me is It’s all about Me. What a balancing act, competing for attention. When they are all in fine form the broomstick is at full speed and I am the witch queen from hell. I dread their company.

There’s only so many times though, a woman can be pushed around before the wings get crushed and the broomstick comes out.

Ask the rental car man.

What is it with chili?

What is it with chili? Don't get me wrong I love spicy flavoursome food. Food that tempts and teases the palate and makes the mind wander to exotic lands. But chili let's face it what is all the hoo ha.

I really don't see the point of bombarding precious morsels of meat or any other ingredient with an assault so nuclear in nature that any remnant of flavour is blasted out of recognition.

Of having to make sure the right cool drink, bread or heat abater is nearby to quell the burning fire in your mouth and belly.

When it comes to cuisine give me the flavours that lure me with aromas of slow cooking, roasting, food that has been caressed and lovingly prepared to please the hungry heart, the lonely lover, and calm the sorry soul stressed and frantic in frenetic world.

I know I should have said long before this but noooo sorry I don't like food with chili and as much as Nick Earls in Bachelor Kisses loved Baan Thai at Toowong don't ask me, I won't go, I don't do Thai food .. too many chili memories .....

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I like Black ....

I can’t help it. I love wearing black. Any time of day, team it with another primary colour, throw on a shawl, scarf or other accessory and I feel great.

I’ve tried lots of other colours. I’ve had my colours done. I know what I should wear but I also know that I look and most importantly feel great in black. I don’t like being too fussy when I dress. I don’t like too many tizzy bits with what I wear. Keep it simple that’s my motto.

I can hear the girl child groan from here “not another black dress/top/skirt/jacket mama your wardrobe is full of them”. And it is true. She’s doing a chemistry degree I’m sure she thinks of all those transition metals with all that colour and shakes her head that I just stick with black.

I also know there is black and there is black. The black I like is the fresh black, no reflection, no sheen just pure black the sort your eyes sink into. Not for me the black that is light, hazy, pretending to be black when it is really only a “could have been”. Dark grey dressed up as black. The “wolf in sheep’s clothing” black that fades away when washed and shows its true colour.

Not that I don’t have other clothes in a variety of colours but when I pull on a black top, my favourite with bracelet sleeves and boat neck, my favourite jeans with simple jewellery and shoes I know I look good ,can go anywhere and will feel great.

So I have moved to a country where black is a staple. Abayas are all around me in my favourite colour, adorned with beautiful embroidery and sparkles. A cultural must. I love them. My Omani BFF said to me today “so you moved to a country where everyone wears black”. Not a problem with me!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Playground rules ...........

Sometimes things just are the way they are. There is no hidden agenda, no ulterior motive - they just are. We have to take them at face value and move on.

When I was a child I was shy in the playground I would hold back and be the follower. There was always the rule maker, the bully, the popular girl, the pretty girl and the bright one there before me – leading me on into whatever adventure or misadventure there was to be had.

Going to school and learning opened up a whole new world, one of knowledge and fun. Books suspended reality and created new universes to explore. My confidence grew. I learnt to have my point of view put myself forward.

There were always the playground groups at school. Where did I fit, the loner, the naive one, gullible and too easily led on by stories of others, was often my problem. I didn’t have the necessary street cunning to doubt every word or action.

Moving on from school to university brought with it a whole new playground. These were the seventies. Student unrest, voting with our feet, trying to find an identity that was unique. They were there though, the rule maker, the bully, the popular girl, the pretty girl and the bright one in the playground of student life. Trying to be grown up in a world suspended from the rest of community life. A unique microcosm of beliefs and non beliefs. Where we tried things out – some legal and some not. Wrapped in the cotton wool that surrounds student life.

I don’t think I ever knew quite where I should fit. Sometimes what I believed was certainly different to the rest. I wasn’t the one asked first to the balls and didn’t have the flock of friends wanting to eat with me at the refec. My political, sporting and religious views were often at odds.

When I entered the workforce it was such a relief. I was out of the playground. I could be me and enter a world where I could drive my own agenda free from what others thought. A whole new universe of learning opened up for me. I saw the vision of people growing and learning and finding the strengths from within to overcome distress and hardship in their lives.

What was I thinking? A naive 20 something in the workplace. What life experience did I have? None. Low and behold there they were - the rule maker, the bully, the popular girl, the pretty girl and the bright one. The environment of the playground and faces had changed but the main players had come along for the ride.

With each job I grew stronger, learnt more about myself and how to cope and adjust to the pressure the players put on me. Life threw its punches and there have been many hills to climb (I’ve done enough climbing now).

Probably the hardest player in the workforce playground I came up against was the bully. I thought I had escaped the menace but there it was urged on by its evil partner in crime - envy – one of the seven deadly sins. A formidable combination.

You think you are strong. Other’s try and be helpful. It’s a learning experience they say. Well I’m all over learning and the sting from envy and bully still smarts. Although with time and distance the pain of course, subsides.

I don’t think we can escape the players in the playground every group, society, culture and community has them. All we can do is be ourselves.

And what have I learnt from my experiences?
  • I can only, and always will be me.
  • There are some people I like and some people I don’t like. That’s OK.
  • There are some people who like me and some who don’t. That’s OK.
  • I don’t have to play by other people’s rules.
  • Negative people are like an energy sink without a plug, they drain away my emotional energy and I don’t need them in my life.
  • There is not a hidden agenda and ulterior motive behind everything – not like some people would have you think. That’s called paranoia and it is a psychiatric symptom.

    So ... you can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk ....

Friday, June 4, 2010

How I miss my daughter ...sometimes you just need girl talk ....

Sometimes you just have to have a chat. Whole libraries have been written about the differences between men and women... talk shows thrive on it, TV series are rife with anecdotal trivia, women’s magazines abound with stories of difference.

But let’s face it sometimes a girl just needs girl talk.

It’s been a full on four months. Moving country, setting things up, getting organised for a new life here. It is very different but also similar. My husband’s a trouper. I love him to bits. He is just the best person ever. We met and fell in love and that was it. Five full days later he proposed and we just knew this was right. 23 years later we are still going strong despite the hurdles that life has thrown us – back surgery, breast cancer, parents dying, children and their challenges.

We have always talked. About everything. Sorted through our crises and talked about the hard stuff when neither of us have wanted to go there. Made decisions – some we got right and some we used as learning experiences for the future.

The children being young adults are good fun conversation wise. Having one of each sex has probably made the conversations more defined in their nature. I didn’t realise how far it had gone. We aligned ourselves along gender lines, the girls had similar interests and so did the boys – the conversations gravitated to each other. Like, as my favourite saying goes, “maggots on a chop”.

Being here with the man in my life has highlighted my internal craving for girl talk. We’ve been through the what car do we buy? Test drives, internet searches, conversations relayed from other owners, comparisons, prices, tyres, steering, “torque”. But not the sort of talk I needed. We’ve bought the car now we have to get it up to speed with how we like a car to be, I use the “we” word figuratively of course. Do we do a safety check, what about the tyres, who uses what garage, what do other drivers say? Where do they go for repairs?

I mean how hard is the car thing? You drive it, fill it with petrol and when it stops take it to a garage to get fixed. But then I am a girl.

The boy child has arrived for his 5 week visit. Probably symbolic that he arrived on the same day that a cyclone did. What more can I say? I now have 2 of them.
Boy talk. It’s just exhausting. There are levels of detail that-

1. I just don’t need to know,
2. Don’t want to know, and
3. Don’t even want to go there –
If you know what I mean?

There’s that wonderful movie called Children of a Lesser God that William Hurt stars in as a teacher of the deaf. After a full day of signing he just needs to have a break from it and put some music on – the continual translation is exhausting. He loves what he does, loves the people but sometimes you just need to tune out.

I really miss my daughter. The girl talk. Comparing notes, having coffee, going to a movie, shopping, browsing, going to a gallery. Having a reference point that is into a different sort of detail. Being with another woman you know really well and trust too. We’re the best of friends the girl child and I. Not that she takes notice of everything I say - she has 2 tattoos. We are still mother and daughter and sometimes I just have to tell it like it is. She shares her confidences with me – and I’m sure there’s some she doesn’t share as well. We love books, buying them, reading them and talking about them. They are precious jewels for appreciation. All these things we fit into our girl talk.

I love the men in my life. Don’t get me wrong. But I came from a family of girls. Girl talk is what I know.

I know I have to be patient. I know I have to be interested and I really do try. I know the men would do anything for me. So for 5 weeks I will manage. It’s good for the man in my life to have the boy child here because he can boy talk till the cows come home and will have someone who knows what to do and say.

Me. I’m saving up for the girl child to visit.