07 May 2011

hidden tracks and bits that don't fit

Some say the music album as we know it is not going to be the way of the future - that as we download songs one by one, we don't have to buy albums, and we make our own playlists in whichever order and with whatever mix of songs that we like.

This is true for me when I hear a song I like but don't really think much of the rest of a bands material. But where I love a band, I tend to love their albums. Maybe not all the songs on the album equally, but there will be something about the album, and the order the songs are placed that is special. So I say, the album won't be dead for some time yet.

However there is one thing that has thankfully gone out of fashion with albums and that is the hidden track. I know many bands did this in the 90's, and I never encountered one that bettered the album from being there. Do you know what I mean? you have the disc with the song list and the length of each track displayed on the album cover, but when you'll be listening to it, tacked on to the end a hidden track kicks in. The one that comes to mind right now is Crowded House's "Woodface" which has "We're still here" kick in at the end of the album after a considerable gap of nothing. Dreadful song. Unlike anything else on the album. You wish it wasn't there. You have to stop what you're doing at the end of the CD and stop it before the hidden track starts to play. A little annoying.

This brings me to an album we got this week - brand new. Fleet Fox's 2nd album "Helplessness Blues". I love their first album - it grew on me rapidly after it became something we could reliably play at my daughter's bed time, and it seemed to calm her down. Then I realised it was really very good. Then I found I didn't get sick of it with countless listens, then I became a Facebook fan and searched youTube for released live footage and then I realised I was hooked.

So along came their second album and I knew the band had spent a long time perfecting the album, and I'd read a positive review in the UK press where prior to release, and I expected a good album.  And it is a very good album - as good as their first. I liked it on first listen. However, there is one flaw with it. It's not quite a hidden track. They have quite a few songs that have 2 or 3 distinct parts, like is common in classical music. And usually it works fine. But there the 10th track on their new album has what sounds like freeform jazz in the last 90 seconds of the song. Before this track, and for the majority of this track, the album is one style, then there is LOUD freeform jazz style, then back to the original album style.

It really doesn't work. Someone should have told them before the album was released. I get the feeling we may be editing out that section ourselves...

Otherwise, love the album, look forward to what the band does in the future, and will certainly listen to this album a lot too!

24 April 2011

like sands through the hourglass...

Life is pretty good. Now my youngest is one and 3/4, life is getting easier as she is more independent with walking and talking. Oldest is off to school next calendar year! I'm so excited! Still a long way off though!

Work is good - the position suits me still and I still seem to be suited to the position! Such a nice way to be after 2 less well suited contracts between having the children. They recently offered me an extra 1/2 day a week, and I've been doing this (the extra time is done flexibly when I like - I don't need to be in the office).

There was now no excuse for not getting a cleaner and we bit the bullet and did it! How on earth did we manage without one? (the answer is of course that we didn't - the bathrooms were only cleaned every month or so and the flooring and dusting... well we did the best we could, but it's much cleaner now!). There is still more than enough housework to do with 4-5 loads of washing per week, cooking and tidying. I'm also managing to sew, knit and crochet, and I joined a book club that meets in a pub every 2 months (no one DARE say it's time that I should be cleaning the house!!).

My partner and I also hit 10 years of marriage and over 12 years together. Quite a big milestone! The big thing to avoid at this stage we find is taking each other for granted, and we've been working a little bit on avoiding this becoming an issue.

So of course not everything is perfect - I don't see good friends as often as I'd like, and friendships present challenges from time to time. People who you thought were becoming good friends stop making the effort, or you start to realise they have attributes you're not sure you can be bothered with. Sounds harsh, but when there is such limited time to socialise, you become choosey about who you spend that time with. For me it's a struggle to find someone who is not busy all the time, or who might be free to spend time with me and kids in tow and who isn't at work the same days as me. I expect I'll make new friends next year when E-chan starts school, and see certain people more often, because our kids will be at the same school. It kind of feels like a holding pattern in the meantime...

You have a time when you are happy, then perhaps a little too cruisey, then you stuff up and feel like a goose for a while - want to crawl into a shell somewhere. In a 2nd or 3rd-hand bit of wisdom from a friend I've long since lost touch with - some old wise being (Buddha? Confucious?) said:  the first thing to master is to do wise things, then you need to master saying wise words, then finally thinking wise thoughts. Well I've stuffed up on the 2nd point - not saying wise things - a few times in the past few days and now wish to crawl into a shell somewhere.  Humph.

I'm struggling to know what to write in this blog of late. I started it thinking it'd be a good way to keep in touch with some old friends and share ideas via links and photos. However, there are other ways to do this electronically these days. The one benefit of the blog I think is that you can be more anonymous and control which of your friends know about it. But because of some of the personal things I've put in here, particularly when I was younger, I'm a bit shy about sharing with newer friends. But for now it is still here...

23 January 2011


Things come and go in cycles – we all know. And of course with a period of uncertainty, one can feel a little low when additional setbacks, the ones that come out of the blue, make you feel worse than it should. A few things are changing in our household this year – mostly the children are transitioning to a new childcare centre.

This is better in the long run, I’m sure – we can walk there with the kids & not have to worry about being reliant on the car and parking and all those hassles, there should be more time at the end of the day between picking them up and starting dinner which means more quality and playing time for me with them. But there have been a few teething problems to sort out in this centre which made us wonder if we were doing the right thing.

Moving from the familiar – where our kids have been going since E-chan was 11 months, where he has bonds with all his teachers and good friends, where Astro-girl feels comfortable and was starting to make baby friends – to the unfamiliar. We have needed to reach out to new people to put down as our Emergency Contacts on the children’s forms, to cover us in case in the rare instance that we are both unable to be reached in emergency, and some people we regard as good friends did not give us a very straightforward answer which was slightly bewildering.

And then things start to cycle upwards again…. 2 other families who live in our immediate neighbourhood have been more than happy to help out as “emergency contacts”, as we are with them. And of course it’s a good centre, and our kids are starting to orient themselves. Our eldest is doing us proud – introducing himself to his new carers and telling them his age, and asking where the toilets are, and telling his little sister that he will show her around on her first day. All this he came up with himself. He’s growing up and all the things we teach him are gradually sinking in.

After his 3rd week, however, he spat the dummy and didn’t want to go. I totally understand how he feels – I started a new job recently, and I didn’t know anyone, and no one offered to take me to lunch. But I am self sufficient and have dealt with this many times, while E-chan is dealing with it for probably the first time since he has been old enough to fully comprehend his position. By contrast, his baby sister bumbles along in the new centre and is happy to follow along other kids and play with new toys.

What to do? There is nothing we can do – we can’t change him back to his old centre, we can’t keep him at home with us, I can’t quit my job, I can’t get family to look after him. What’s more, he’ll go through all this again next year starting school. It’s just one of those situations where as a parent all you can do is offer your support and understanding and give lots of extra cuddles to cheer them up, because only he can teach himself how to make new friends…. a life skill truly worth learning.


And then there’s cycles of the menstrual kind. Apparently – according to my Dr – in your mid to late 30’s, cycles start to get irregular again. And for many, heavier. Great. My cycles have always been light and just under 4 weeks long, and I have just had a long time either pregnant or breastfeeding, which has meant no periods or very light ones. Part of me is transported back to my teens again, worried about when my period might start, will I be caught out without pads etc, wearing the wrong kind of thing? Exiting the “young lady” category is meant to be more dignified, surely?

Life in the working world

I've been in this job 4 months now, and the honeymoon period (for want of a better term) still hasn't really worn off. I'm still enjoying it - I'm liking the work, the people, the location, the 3-days-a-week loading. I'm optimistic I can do good work here, and am getting good feedback from my superiors too. The department I am in has a progressive mix of people - a stark contrast to workplaces I have been in prior to now. I am enjoying adult conversations about things I don't usually get to think or talk about.

I chatted with one lady in the tea room yesterday about poetry - she tries to read a poem every day - and she told me about the Poetry Foundation website (I've not really read much poetry since high school, having been based in the sciences for much of my educational and professional life). I suspect poetry may be  perfect reading for my short bus trip. A few minutes after I had got back to my desk, she suddenly appeared with a few bits of paper to give me, saying "Here are 2 of my favourite poems" then scampered off! One of the poems was "Howl" by Allen Ginsberg.

And I continue to be amused by my generation/cultural gap with the ladies I sit near:
The Gen Y ladies in my office area were talking about Morrissey, and my ears pricked up. I was surprised to hear his name mentioned, as they didn’t strike me as your typical Morrisey/Smiths fans. Then I realised they were talking about the fashion designer… of course…


I took the kids last year to an open day at the place I worked before I had kids.

To fill you in - I didn't go back to work there after having E-chan for a few reasons - one of my 2 bosses didn't approve my working part-time, and the commute by car on the expressway - 1 hour each way on a good run - just didn't feel safe or sensible with a baby in child care at our end of town. And full-time work wasn't really an option, with C-chan just starting out as a lawyer, and no family in Sydney to help out with E-chan. So I decided to apply for other jobs after my maternity leave rather than go back. 

This job was pretty hellish too - not one I'd apply for now, or maybe I would knowing what I know now, but not with the skills and experience I had in my late 20's. It was the sort of job where a place had lots of problems, an the powers-that-be created a new position (ie my job) with the hope of solving all those problems. As a result - I was stretched in 5-million directions (ok, slight exaggeration), had to learn a lot on the job (as very few people if any would actually have all the required skills), and in the end, I think a lot of the problems were actually cultural/attitudinal problems in both of the 2 offices that my position straddled.

But I very much left without knowing how I was regarded, feeling I had unfinished business. The open day felt like a good opportunity to firstly show my son some plants and agricultural things (often lacking from museums), say "hi" and just go there for a few social hours.

And it was a good experience to go back there. I was pleasantly suprised to be greeted with smiles from my former colleagues. Going with 2 young kids in tow is also the perfect ice-breaker, and they were really well behaved too. And I did get a piece or two of positive feedback, which coupled with people being happy to see me has done my professional confidence some good.

So this is one of my steps in trying to get professionally connected again. I feel like I'm working in a field I know something about now, which is nice compared to the contracts I took between kids. And it's time to start feeling confident, to know that I know what I'm talking about


C-chan has almost finished his second secondment as an in-house counsel to a company. Pretty much starting a new job, really - new people, new office, new culture, new commute, new projects to focus on. So even though his work conditions & pay etc are continuing, this is a bit stressful. It will only go for another week or so (since last November?), so chances are he will never feel like he is hitting his stride. But a good opportunity to get work experience somewhere else without actually having to apply for a new job.

At the same time, the kiddies are changing child care centres. A whole new post there... for another time.

Belated Happy New Year!

16 December 2010

Holiday Dreaming...

Months of one thing after another – sickness, coughs, colds, gastro, CHICKEN POX, sore backs, runny noses, returning coughs, MORE GASTRO – and a summer holiday seems particularly well deserved. I've finished work for the year, and while I only have about 1 week of leave accumulated, my employer shuts down between xmas and new year and gives us bonus leave for non-public-holidays during that time, so I'll get 2 weeks off! Gotta love it! Job going well so far too!

Daydreaming about:
  • We’re all going on a summer holiday! 3 nights in a holiday cabin by the beach. Sandcastles. Hunting for shells. Lying down under a beach tent reading holiday novels. Fish & chips and lemonade. Beer on the veranda. I realise actually doing this with a toddler and 4 year old may not be smooth sailing, but I’m still smiling with anticipation.
  • One lunch date plus a night away from both kids while they are looked after by grandparents. It’s the big 10 years for our marriage! Where did this time go? Yet look at all that has happened in this time! We look so young in the wedding photos. There isn’t really anything I’d do differently.
  • Little girl walking around, pleased with her new skill that allows her to get around and carry things at the same time – something that is very difficult when you are crawling! Now she wanders from room to room, she greets me at the door when I come home, she moves little chairs and foot stools around, she can wear little skirts and dresses (do we ever grow out of playing dress-ups? Got myself a cryin’ walking’ sleepin’ talkin’ living doll!)
  • Could I possibly incorporate Cliff Richard into this post one more time?
  • The possibility that one day soon, my four-year-old will learn manners. This is something you have to prompt CONSTANTLY. “What do you say, E-chan?” “I didn’t hear a magic word…”. Occasionally, you yield results, and spontaneous thankyous, pleases and hellos and goodbyes spring from their dear little lips. I can still remember my own mother prompting me. Did it take me soooooo long to learn?

 Other random happenings in da street and out and about:

  •  A man doing that funny little dance we do when we drop a piece of paper and it blows away in the breeze. Stomp! Missed! Run after it, swipe, miss! Stomp! Got it!
  • The suburbs are alive with the sound of jack-hammering. Excavation and building works galore! One site being excavated with building starting in the new year, another being converted from warehouse to boarding house, another site will start demolition any day now. Population in our area set to grow, which is not a bad thing, really - it might yield some useful shops and restaurants closer to our house.
  • For a short period of time, we are having to drive the kids to child care, as my partner has been seconded to an office in a public transport black hole, and gets parking paid for in the car park of a casino. I think I mentioned before I lack the gambling gene. First time I went to get the car and pick up the kids, I got lost in the casino. I can think of almost nothing worse than being lost in a casino. No one looks happy - everyone looks nervous. Why why why waste your money? The only thing casinos are good for are late night cocktails when everything else is closed...

09 November 2010


Not just one, but two (ie both) of my nephews have been diagnosed with Austism Spectrum Disorder – one has is more mildly than the other. I think I might have mentioned this in a previous post. When you’re a long way from your family and they're coping with a big thing like this you feel kind of useless. I have no idea what life is like for them on a day to day basis, I have no idea whether this brings my brother and his partner to tears on occasion, and when I talk to him, the kids are around (his and mine), so it’s not appropriate to dwell on things like that.
I’ve been meaning to read up more on the topic for a while. I did a few web searches a while ago, but much of what is on the internet is either very basic introductions to the topic, or forums for parents of autistic kids (who would already have a lot of knowledge). I chatted to my brother over the internet the other weekend, and saw him interacting with his son, and could see that he was learning how to manage certain behaviours. It was so good to see. And given their first 2 children are the ones with ASD’s, they compare notes with me and my children, as they are realising they don’t really know what normal is.

So I went and found myself a book on the weekend. I’m really glad I did, although it has sent me on a mini emotional rollercoaster. Nothing compared to what my brother has gone through, I’m sure, but it still upsetting.

Autism and related disorders like Aspergers are relatively new to the world of Psychology and Psychiatry. It was first described, with a few misconceptions, in the 1940’s, with big leaps in understanding made in the 1970’s & 80’s, but there is still much to be learned. Verbal communication is a big challenge for kids with ASD – they don’t read faces well, often don’t pick up social cues and can’t really see when they’ve upset someone. At first I heard that someone with autism can lead an almost normal life, but I am beginning to understand that there may not be a great chance of that for my nephews. We’ll have to see how things develop as they grow older, of course. See how they manage school and life outside school.

There is still a lot to be learned, especially about what causes ASD’s. There seems to be some level of heritability with the condition – that is, siblings have a higher chance of getting it where there is already a diagnosed case in the family. This has led me to think about my family – has this sprung up before? And me? For a fleeting moment I dwelt upon times when I’ve missed critical social cues. But I know I don’t have this problem, nor does anyone else in my immediate family. Extended family? Not sure. Sister-in-law’s family? Even less sure. And then, is there any point in knowing this? Anyway, one of the theories is that people who develop ASD may be of the personality type that is prone to social difficulties, but ASD is brought on due to difficulties in early life, possibly even in utero. This fits with what we know about my nephews somewhat.

So, I am yet to read the chapters in my book about treatments, interventions, management, and more in depth descriptions of how someone with autism functions. This is far more practical to know about as a family member… Hoping to become a fount of knowledge, enough to bore my next dinner party with!

Over the hill, and test patch, honey!

Went to a friend’s 40th on Saturday night – my first one for someone other than my parents.

Got lost on the way there. Something must be off with my usually excellent, homing pigeon sense of direction. That, or critical street signs were missing.

Went sans husband, as he wasn’t feeling up to it. Realised at the last minute that I hadn’t shaved my armpits, and was wearing a short-sleeved dress. Husband’s response “Oh well, go French!”. One of the many reasons I love this man!

Saw a lady on my way there with bright orange legs. She really should have done a test patch with that fake tan!

And Sleazebags. How I haven’t missed thee! Right down to the shoving their head in your personal space to make themselves heard over the music, even when you aren't really interested in what they have to say.

28 October 2010

At what point do you stop being referred to as a "girl"?

So, I'm in an open plan office, and the 3 ladies who sit near me are 8-10 years younger than me. One of the older men who works near by walks past every morning and says "morning girls"!! I find this amusing. I often wonder if people can tell I'm a mother of 2 in her mid-thirties? (Exactly in my mid-thirties, I might add). I am such a bad judge of age, but can others guess where I fit? 

I should add that I don't feel old, and I love being the age I am. But I am beginning to feel that sense that certain opportunities are going to get hard for me from now... It may be more a circumstance thing (ie 2 young kids) than age. I hope so - I hope I'll always be open to new challenges, expanding my mind, meeting new people. But I recently saw this website about words from other languages that can't be translated into an equivalent english word, and "Torschlusspanik" (from German) kind of made sense. (I also like the word "Jayus" from Indonesian!!).

But I digress. As I was saying, I sit near 3 twenty-somethings. I don't want to sound condescending - they are amazing young women. One of them came up with this website, has marketed it to law schools around the country, and earns a supplementary income from it. But I am feeling a definite generation gap here. Some of them still live at home with parents, saving money. I had to expain to them what YUP-pies stood for, and DINKs. And they still care about concepts such as being cool, and having their personality quirks (that we all have, don't we?) understood.  I suppose I am accustomed to being one of the younger ones, like the little sister in the office, and it is a suprise to find this is no longer the case. I suppose it gives me an idea of how my older friends and colleagues have viewed me up until now...


Oh the joys of commuting on public transport! I haven't done this since 2004, when I last worked in the city... between then and this job, it's been walking or car.

My commute is short and sharp - takes 15 minutes on the bus. I can walk if I like - it takes 50 or so minutes (I may need to work on finding a better route) - but I find I'm usually in too much of a hurry, and would rather spend time with the family than be walking a long time.

So what do you do on a bus for 15 minutes? I don't always get a seat, so rarely get a book out, or knitting. That leaves: thinking, and people watching.

Inner city bus routes always have such a mix of people! Parents with young kids on their way to child care, school kids, people in suits, Uni students, old folks, funky haircuts, experimental fashion that is actually ill-suited to a particular body type... the list goes on and on! Many people have white headphones in these days* and have their heads down while their fingers fiddle and scroll through phone and pod menus.

And the conversations. A personal favourite form of on-bus entertainment is the deeply personal phone call that everyone can hear.

So I am getting used to commuting again. I don't like waiting long for buses, and often run to catch buses that I would otherwise miss. The other day, I sprinted to the bus, got on, shoved my ticket in the slot whilst catching my breath, then looked up to catch a youngish lad in a suit with a fauxhawk staring at me with a furrowed, concerned brow. I'm not entirely sure what it was about me that didn't meet his approval!

*do I sound old or what?

15 September 2010

Social compatability

I went out for a friend's birthday at a restaurant on Friday night. An adult party for a change! My better half was sick so he stayed home with the kids.

I (re) met someone I'd usually met before on a more - well - family setting (ie usually at kids parties or at playgroupy things), and he too was there without his partner.

He was the sort of person I don't usually warm to, and I have to say, I feel the lack of warmth coming straight back at me. I don't really know how to describe this sort of person, and these are of course just superficial observations, but they're usually blokey (but saying that, there are many blokey men I do like), are not very interested in talking about anything vaguely intellectual (or to me, interesting), conform mostly to more traditional male stereotypes, homophobic, and behave differently depending on whether their girlfriend/spouse is about. The last one is the one that sets of the biggest alarm bells for me - if they can't be themselves around their partners or their friends, how can you trust them? (Note to friends: this is not the bit where you tell me I have exactly described how my own partner is when I am not around! ...anyway, I wouldn't believe you, he's too into books and hates talking about sport).

So who did I end up talking to? Well there were a few other people I already know socially and I chatted to them, but the new person I introduced myself to was a Tim Minchen look-alike (but with proper dreads), with grungey clothing, who is a stay-at-home Dad to a 1-year-old and his older step daughter, and has read widely on child psychology and development. Cool.

13 September 2010

Letting hair down, the importance of being earnest, and getting employed again...

Since I wrote last, my luck has turned somewhat, and a 3-day-per-week job came up that I felt I could apply for. Got an interview and the job, as it turns out! Hip hooray! My interview success rate seems to be good - there are only 2 interviews I have done that haven't lead to me getting a job, and both of those were quite informal, and the companies didn't really have a finalised idea of what they wanted a position to do, or even how many days a week, as it turns out. A friend once described me as "earnest" to my then new boyfriend (who then went on to marry me and have 2 children with me, so I don't think this description was a disservice). This earnestness can serve me well when meeting people professionally for the first time, I think.

One of the good things about this job is that I have 2 friends who already work for the same organisation (although in different buildings), and another who is nearby. Lunch dates anyone?! Oh, and Chinatown. How I have missed thee. Dumplings, noodles, more dumplings, and steamed buns!! Another good thing is that it is a longer term contract. The longest contract I've had since around 2004 was for 12 months, and I even had a few 6 month contracts, so I do look forward to being able to be in a place for a few years with stability, and feel like I'm getting good at the job I do.

I should be able to get there by walking or a short bus trip. So life is about to get busy again very soon. C-chan is going to start doing the child care drop off, and I the pick up. It's quite a walk, and rainy days will be a problem, but we'll just have to muddle through, either by taking good wet weather gear, or going home to get the car first then driving to pick them up. We've got both kids down to start at a new centre that's nearer to our house, but have no idea if and when when both places will come up. And we may get used to everything, and keep them on at their current centre, as we do love it there.

Oh, and on to more materialistic matters... I can now financially justify updating my ancient mobile phone, that while not doing very much (text, talk and very low res photos), manages to confuse me no end (even after 3 years) - nothing is intuitive, and the dictionary in its word prediction mode is just plain weird. Common English words that should be in there, aren't, and the words it predicts for me sometimes I swear must be Indonesian. Or something. And the other thing: I will get me a Cleaner. I just know that we will barely get through the loads of washing we need to each week, plus cooking and dishes. Someone else will need to do the vacuuming, floor cleaning, and bathrooms. Life is too short to be trying to cram all that in, along with 2 small children and part-time work.

And the other bit of my title - letting my hair down. I have been in a strange mood lately, that I attribute this to having only a few weeks left before starting work again. That and "having my body back" now that I've finished with breastfeeding. I have found this extremely liberating - even more so than last time. On Saturday I drank 2 glasses of wine before dinner. I played the piano for our neighbours who popped by to get their pot plant, but ended up staying a while. This is not very typically introverted behaviour. My kids thought I was hilarious when I was putting them to bed. The only thing I could think was that I should do this more often!!

09 August 2010

My career still goes bung, boo hoo, what's that dear?

Attempts to find work have not been successful so far. Meanwhile, Astro girl has had 2 days of child care per week for 2 weeks now at the same centre as her big brother - we were offered the place and felt it would be silly to turn it down as places are rare, but unfortunately, finding a job hasn't followed yet... I was far luckier last time I came back from maternity leave - there were positions to apply for, and they went my way. This time, I've applied for a few and not been successful, or not been eligible. And had some weird interview situations. I seem to be lacking the boldness I had last time I was in this situation... becoming more wary of my own limitations, less willing to try anything. I suppose it's a case of being more experienced and wiser, but I don't think it's working in my favour.

Finding quality part-time work is a real challenge. For starters, I'm only available on 3 certain days a week, and I can't change those days easily - it would mean waiting for BOTH my kids to get child care days on different days of the week. Most part-time jobs have lower levels of responsibility, and hence also lower pay rates and are more mundane. So I've had a few moments of devastation - that I have no career; that I'm not likely to "get back in" to areas of work I'd like to be in any time soon (or maybe never); that while my hubby establishes his career in his particular field (since 2007) and works atrocious hours, I can't really do the same, or our life will be mayhem; that I've had a few unsuccessful interviews; that I'm still worried that I'm losing what skills I have; that I have no useful "trade"; that when I get to interviews and they ask the inevitable "what would you call your biggest strength?" I go COMPLETELY blank.

Then on the other hand, I have the kids. They are lovely, and I wouldn't swap being the mum of this family for the world.

Astro girl is crawling, cruising, climbing. She's cheeky, wants to join in on everything that everyone else does, and I'm sure she's bright, curious, talkative (for her age), and beautiful. She's a year old now, by the way. Time just flies.

E-chan is equally gorgeous. He bought me flowers yesterday (OK, with his dad's help, but it was his idea). He's interested in learning to read, has started drawing a lot, is creative (he can tell a good yarn too), sweet, and funny. And he's FOUR.

So life has its mixed blessings, I know. At least I have time to go to the gym once a week, and tend the pot plants. But I will need a job before too long, to bring some income into the house. Or else we will go backwards. And if you hear of a decent 2-3 day a week part time job going in Inner Sydney...

16 July 2010

Graffiti by omission

I wish I knew if there is a proper term for this... it's something I noticed a lot when I first moved to Sydney, especially on trains: people deface signs by scratching out or subtly changing letters to make them humorous.

E.g. on trains: "at night time, rave with the guards under the blue light" (where "rave" used to be "travel")

The other month I saw a cracker on the side of a van - I keep seeking it parked near my home, and I'm surprised it hasn't been fixed...

Originally, it would have been:
"Decrease your home loan costs. The broker with nothing to hide!"
Now, it reads:
"Decrease your melon costs. Broke with nothing to hide!"
Made me chuckle!
Have you seen any graffiti by omission lately?

02 July 2010

Week 5 (?) of bad sleep and our conversational ability is degraded somewhat...

After what seems like many weeks now of bad sleep - due to Astro-girl finally getting colds after a dream run of not, and the rest of us catching them too and feeling generally like cr*p - we are exhausted! 
Sick babies have trouble breathing through their noses, and there isn't much you can do but get up to them and give them a hug when they cry, wipe their little noses, give them a drink, or give them something for their fever if they have one. E-chan has been sleeping through his sister's wakings, despite sharing a room with her, and waking us up on separate occasions most nights. So despite a only being woken once last Saturday night, lately it's been more like 3 times a night. On average. Leaves you running on reserve most days, scatty, feeling like you have mountains of stuff you should be doing, but just can't.

This is coupled with end of financial year mahem at C-chan's work, resulting in long hours, with variable coming-home times. We're lucky if he's home for dinner with us one weeknight a week, and even then we're usually more than half way through our dinner before he gets home. I'm pretty fed up with it all.

The other morning C-chan left for work, and said good bye. I replied:

"Right, see you later tonight, when at least one of the kids will probably be in bed already, the house will be a mess because I won't have managed to clean up dinner or the toys yet, your dinner will be cold, and you can complain about having to do housework after such a long day at work, countered by my complaint that I haven't managed to even get to half the housework so don't you start, before Astro girl wakes up and screams for 2 hours straight".

We both had to agree that this pretty much sums things up lately. Things go in phases with kids, and usually there are many good weeks that go by without much reflection that they are indeed good. But gee, would be nice for this phase to pass by soon.*

*PS last night we only had one waking, yay!