Sunday, March 22, 2015

I Hate Swimming Lessons

IMAGE : PINTEREST | I Hate Swimming Lessons


Between the hours of 5-5.30pm every Friday you will find me at home dedicating the necessary amount of time to breathing deeply and recovering from the insanity and mayhem that is, the after school swimming lesson.

I hate swimming lessons. It's not actually the lessons per se, but more the indoor pool environment that I've grown to loathe. I. Hate. It. 

Let it be said that I'm a fairly reasonable person. No really, I am. Sometimes it may seem like I'm a bit off the charts in the overthinking department but really, I'm generally pretty tolerant of other people and whatever ridiculous public behaviour they choose to adopt in their quest for winning at life.  BUT. Christ on a bike. After spending an hour on a Friday arvo battling the hordes of tired, miserable children and their often equally miserable carers at the swimming pool, I'm just about ready to channel Samuel L. Jackson's character in Pulp Fiction with an "I'm a mushroom-cloud-layin' motherfucker, motherfucker! I'm Superfly T.N.T., I'm the Guns of the Navarone!" typa thing. Get my drift?

The crowded, noisy and overheated public swimming pool seems to transform ordinary people from cheery, polite individuals into savage beasts who intend to get through the half hour of hell at the absolute expense of those around them. I'm reminded of many joyous events in recent times, but most particularly I recall last week's episode starring the lady who thought that the seat my friend had momentarily vacated to throw something in the bin three metres away would indeed be better used for her dripping child who had simply grown tired of her lesson and had folded into a fit of screaming tears. She landed her kid in that seat like an ninja. My friend not 20 seconds later returned to her seat where her bags were neatly tucked underneath but alas, she could not politely convince the lady that she had been sitting there not 20 seconds ago and hence after a battle lost, my friend had to stand while the pouty child occupied the seat in question for the entire duration of the lesson. MANNERS, LADY!! MANNERS! 

I also raise my glass to the grumpy grandmother, who clearly was no longer enjoying the novelty of taking the grand-kids to their weekly swimming lesson (I'm with you there, Lady) and who decided that my child's swimming bag was indeed the perfect combination of soft and comfy for her toddler to sit on. Dripping wet. I can't even.. just no words. So knowing that it would be politically incorrect to give an eighty year old woman the mother of all Chinese burns, I bit my tongue, clenched my fists, ripped the bag out from under the kid, and glared at him instead. (I know. Not my finest hour). 

And sadly, the beastly behaviour is not limited to the confines of the chlorinated hell chamber either - the toxicity vomits out into the swimming pool car park too. I realised very quickly that the swimming fraternity had dropped to a new low when after the lesson recently as I grumpily dragged wet children, dripping towels and school bags out to the car, a new level of my mental resilience was required indicated by the large crisscross chess board someone had meticulously drawn on my bonnet with their car keys. Checkmate, bitches! You win again! Nonetheless, kids were present so channelling my calmer, responsible self I said,  "Let's breathe through it". 
"There are worse things in life!" I said. 
"It's an isolated incident!" I said. 
"Girls!! Get in the GODDAMN car RIGHT NOW!!" I may have also said.

And just this week, the car park fun continued as someone squeezed their car in so close to mine that I had to climb through my boot in order to occupy the driver's seat wearing skinny jeans (you feel me?) while navigating over enough luggage to fill a regional airport. 
"Hooray!" shouted the kids. "Look at Mum! She looks funny!" 
Yes, I know. Hilarious. 
"For the love of GOD just make room for me as I somersault through the backseat you ungrateful bloody brats" may, or may not have been the response I gave in my head. SEE?? That place was turning ME into one of THEM!! And incidentally, unless the other driver's name was Flat Stanley, I wanna know how the hell that miserable contortionist got out of their car in the first place. Seriously NO gap at all. None. 

But dammit, my six year old bloody loves her swimming. She smiles like a split watermelon and waves at me all the way through the lesson and as I'm battling the unsavoury personalities around me, I'm keenly aware that whether I like it or not, I'm here at this pool for the long haul. And it's that little beaming face bobbing up and down excitedly in the water that keeps me (reluctantly) coming back every week. So with that in mind, I can either become one of them and rudely shove people to the side in order to make it bearable for myself, or I can do as I've done every week and grit my teeth, remain civil, probably snap unnecessarily at my kids for 20 minutes post-lesson, then calmly assume the foetal position when I get home. 

I choose the latter. But with a bottle of gin. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Am I Blogging As My True Self?

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | Am I Blogging As My True Self?
I've been asking myself this question quite a lot lately. 

Am I really blogging as my true self?

This question has been bugging me in recent times, niggling away at the creative side of my brain which most of the time also doubles as my harshest critic. Truthfully, the answer is that I'm no longer sure. Maybe I am but I feel a bit of a disconnection to my own story lately and the words aren't flowing quite so freely. I feel like maybe I'm censoring myself a bit? This might be because I'm going through a few life changes; not the type of changes that see me driving a red sports car and shouting hormonal obscenities at random strangers, but more the kind of lifestyle changes that flip your world upside down while you hang on by your fingernails and hope for the best. More about that later.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Movement For Change - A Family Violence Forum


"I want to tell people that family violence happens to anybody, no matter how nice your house is, no matter how intelligent you are."    
Rosie Batty, Australian Of The Year 2015.

Here's a statistic that I didn't know existed before I took notice of Rosie Batty and her anti-family violence campaign. Domestic violence happens to 1 in 3 women here in Australia. 1 in 3. The Breast Cancer Australia Network suggests that 1 in 8 Australian women are likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 60 - that's a high and pretty devastating statistic in itself but 1 in 3??! If that's the case, how do we not all know at least two women around us suffering some kind of family violence? Truthfully, the answer is we probably do. We probably just don't know about it because of a) the stigma attached to being a victim of domestic abuse and b) because a large portion of society suggests that in some way the woman is to blame if she doesn't "just leave".

And therein lies part of the problem. Stigma, a lack of understanding and support, and silence.

Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend a panel discussion on the difficult subject of family violence, hosted by The Nappy Collective (look them up - they're doing amazing work in the community). The panel of experts hosted by Giaan Rooney included Sandra Jacobs, founder of The Nappy Collective, Detective Superintendent Rod Jouning, Head Of Sexual And Family Violence, and Australian Of The Year 2015 Rosie Batty. While I felt incredibly privileged to be asked along, I also felt like a bit of a fraud. What do I know about family violence? What can I do to help? I knew there was a lot to learn about the subject and I initially felt as though I wasn't going to be able to contribute much, given I was so far out of my depth on a subject that was too important to pretend I truly understood.

But then I met Rosie. I heard her speak. I asked her questions. She spoke to me knowing that I was not an expert and gave me the sense that it was perfectly acceptable to feel passionate about a cause even without any personal experience to draw upon. Throughout the course of the evening, I quickly realised the purpose of my inclusion in this campaign. As bloggers, we may or may not have personal experience with domestic violence but we have a voice. We have the ability to communicate a message however we choose, to a vast number of people who trust us for our words and who perhaps share our passion for a cause. As bloggers, we have a voice that the media or the support organisations aren't allowed to have; we have freedom to express our feelings towards a cause and as long as we're sharing accurate and helpful information, we too can make a difference. That being said, here are some key messages from the panel discussion that stayed with me.

Key Points From The Forum

  • Already in Australia this year, fourteen women have been killed due to a domestic dispute. And as I write this very sentence, the story of Tara Costigan from the ACT who was killed by her ex-partner ONE week after giving birth to a baby girl has literally just surfaced on my newsfeed. There's now fifteen women dead and it's only the beginning of March. 
  • Family violence is NOT a socio-economic problem. It is occurring across all classes, races, and cultures here in Australia. Rosie's quote, "I want to tell people that family violence happens to anybody, no matter how nice your house is, no matter how intelligent you are" rings true especially when you meet her and hear her speak. Indeed there are symptoms of abuse such as unemployment, mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse but they are not the sole root of the problem. Gender inequality is the problem.  Men needing to feel power over women for whatever reason and a general lack of respect for their female counterparts. That's the issue. And this needs to change.
  • Clearly, the judicial system requires change. So often in recent times, we've seen how the system has failed a woman and her kids, Rosie's case being no different as she described her journey through the court system as "navigating a minefield in a war zone". The five key organisations of child protection, police, corrections, family violence services and the courts are currently not working together as effectively as they could be so we need to see a unified front for all these key areas before real change for the better can occur.

    What Can We Do?

  • It sounds obvious but apparently it's not. We need to stop blaming the victim.  The question, "why doesn't she just leave?" is ignorant and unhelpful. There are many reasons why she doesn't just leave including fear and no guarantee that she's any safer on the run. And why should she leave? Why does the women need to turn her life upside down to fix the situation when the man's behaviour is the cause? Why should the woman be on the run, living in fear without the guarantee of absolute long term safety? Behaviour from the perpetrator needs to change and victim-blaming and judging needs to stop.
  • We need to draw upon good men around us and ask them to speak out and support the cause. Rod Jouning described a police incident at a local country footy game where in front of a crowd of mates, a man broke the jaw of his partner, then picked her up by the hair and one leg, and threw her into the car after she requested that it was time to get the children home for dinner. The act of violence is clearly appalling but what's just as hideous is that NOT ONE person, male or female stepped in to prevent this incident from happening as it took place. Everyone simply watched and let it happen. That's totally unacceptable and a clear indication of why this problem has gotten so bad. Where were his footy mates? Why did they not leap to her defence and challenge him on his abhorrent behaviour? Men need to speak up, challenge bad behaviour and help incite change. 
  • If we know someone who is experiencing family violence, as friends or family members we need to be careful about offering them advice. According to Rosie, during her journey through domestic abuse at the hands of Luke's father Greg, she found the well-meaning advice of others unhelpful and it felt like a precursor to their judgement. What Rosie does suggest is that we assist those in the situation to tap into support services such as Domestic Violence Victoria or equivalent crisis lines; these services were crucial in her navigating her journey due to the real support they provided and their lack of judgement. 
  • Perhaps we need to start looking at school programs which focus on educating kids about respect for each other, about gender equality and how to have meaningful relationships? I'm a big believer in starting the conversation and inciting change in the earlier years before unhealthy behavioural patterns are formed. While I know that a child's environment plays a significant role in their learned behaviour, perhaps proper education and discussion at school could make the difference as kids grow and begin to form relationships with each other or with the opposite sex? Teaching kids about respect and boundaries seems crucial in this campaign and feels very much a part of the 'prevention is better than cure' argument.
  • Finally, we need to starting talking loudly about family violence in Australia and not make assumptions about it being irrelevant in our own communities. Fifteen women have died at the hands of their partners or ex-partners in the two months of this year. We need to give this issue the same level of support as cancer research, or as much exposure as the threat of local terrorism.

IMAGES : MARC ALPERSTEIN  | The Movement For Change

So I intend to talk loudly about this issue. I'm still learning about it, and I may express myself clumsily at times, but what I do know is that family violence has reached epidemic levels and something needs to change. I hope you'll join the movement and begin to talk loudly too; the silence has gone on for too long. Family violence may not be an easy topic to be loud about but we owe it to these women and indeed to kids like Luke Batty to support the cause for change however we can. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence and immediate support is required, get in touch with Domestic Violence Victoria for access to further resources and assistance.

Domestic Violence Victoria

Safe Steps Response Line
Phone: 1800 015 188

Police, Fire Or Ambulance
Phone: 000 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lunchboxy Stuff...



Look! Bento Lunch boxes!! I know! Bento!

Do you have a bit too much love for lunchboxes like me? If not, you're excused and may I suggest you read one of my more sensible and thought-provoking posts. If you  love the plasticware vibe in a most unhealthy way, let's chant the mantra together:

"While my plasticware drawer may be spewing containers, dividers and colourful lids, I do indeed have room for one more lunchboxy thing".

Say it with me.

"While my tupperware drawer may be spewing containers, dividers and colourful lids, I do indeed have room for one more lunchboxy thing".

Are you now convinced?

You need to check out Little Bento World. They have really cool lunchboxy stuff and if you're on the long and arduous quest for the perfect school lunchbox as I am, head to their website by clicking on the Little Bento World box in the right hand sidebar over there and all your problems may well be solved. Or at least your craving for that one more piece of cute plastic will be fulfilled. Either way, winning!

(Now get yourself to therapy before it's too late, you plastic obsessed minx...)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Making It Count - An Invitation To A Family Violence Forum

IMAGE : MORGUEFILE.COM | Making It Count - A Family Violence Forum

The world of blogging has exposed me to so many fantastic and varied experiences since I began sharing here​ a few years ago. By far the experience I'm anticipating most is the opportunity to attend a forum hosted by The Nappy Collective on family violence next week, where I will have the chance to hear Australian Of The Year Rosie Batty speak about family violence from the front line and discuss the passionate campaign she has devoted herself to since the tragic death of her son Luke in 2014.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Aldi - If You Dare

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | Aldi - If You Dare

So I've recently discovered the benefits of shopping at Aldi supermarkets. I know. Aldi. It's a whole new world. 

I've discovered that I can pretty much cover our weekly food shop with a bit of clever planning, for about a third of what I was spending elsewhere. Seriously, A THIRD. And we're a family of four hungry hippos who live solely in anticipation of our next meal so that's good news all round I reckon. I did the Aldi thing a few times just to try, then what followed was an overwhelming sense of smugness for my new found economic windfall and therefore I've been back for several weeks in a row. Let me tell you, the smugness has not yet dissipated and in fact, it increases every time you step into a mainstream supermarket and get completely fleeced at the checkout. 

The checkout. That's where things at Aldi somewhat unravel for me. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Saturday Night In Da Hood..

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | Saturday Night In Da Hood
Hi Monday, you evil minx. Why the hell am I so tired today? Oh yes, Saturday night. 2am. Salt 'n' Pepa's extended mix of "Push It". Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun". That explains it.

We have the most fabulous neighbours. I think we underestimate how much better life is when the people who live around us are also our friends. On Saturday night the folks opposite turned the big 5-0 and they put on a 1980's themed shindig in their backyard (hence Vanilla Ice and his Debbie Gibson-esque date in the image to the left there).

Friday, February 13, 2015

Hello, Friday Night....

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | Hello, Friday Night


Made it and not a moment too soon. Forget the two junior members of the family - I'm totally spent from a huge week and if it was age appropriate I'd have thrown myself on the floor, my arms and legs would be flailing and I would be releasing a high pitched screech by now. Instead, I've loaded a spoonful of Nutella into my gob - clearly that's how I tantrum in my forties. Sarah Wilson would be so proud. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Spiritually Speaking......

IMAGE: THE MOTHER LOAD | Spiritually Speaking
Hi! Remember me? I've been a bit sporadic lately. The beginning of 2015 has seen me balancing precariously on a knife's edge to be honest. Picture that guy who walks a thin line across incredibly high crevasses wearing those funny ballet slippers and you get a sense of where I'm at except instead of that long balancing pole he carries, I'm carrying shopping bags. Always the damn shopping bags.

You know when there's stuff happening, it's big and life changing, and really it's not just your stuff to share, but also other people's? Well mostly it's our stuff but let's just say I'm hoping that lots of heavy, oversized jigsaw pieces fall into place very soon and I can come down off the high wire. I don't want to jinx a positive resolution by opening my big mouth and declaring my needs and wants to all so instead, I'm calling on the universe privately to show a little kindness and guidance and I'm promising to do the same in return. REALLY promising. I'll happily become Mother Flippin' Teresa if I need to.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Standing Up With Rosie

IMAGE : SMH.COM.AU | Standing Up With Rosie
I feel so strongly about anti family violence campaigner and newly appointed Australian Of The Year Rosie Batty. 

I can't quite put into words what affect she has had on me, but I find myself in awe of her as a reluctant celebrity but also as a woman who could be my beloved next door neighbour, or friend. I find myself paying attention to her message so closely, wondering how I can help her movement in some way. I study her expression intently whenever she pops up on my screen, just to see if I can read how she really is behind her focused determination. I study her to see how she is doing not as the voice of an important cause, but as a mother who lost a son, and as a woman who is still very much emerging through her own dark times. I look at her and I remind myself that I can really cope with pretty much anything in my own life if Rosie is successfully putting one foot in front of the other. And man, she is. She's doing so much more than that. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

NGV Summer Children's Festival 2015

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | NGV Summer Children's Festival


Last week was one of those annoying groundhog day weeks where every day kinda imitates the one before. Wake at the same time, shower, have in depth discussions about who's having what for breakfast, nag about fresh air and sunshine and basically enjoy the finer points of parenting all day until it all starts again the following day. By Saturday, I was ready to quietly climb out a window and run far, far away. (Instead, after hearing "Mum, I'm bored" for the 112th time, I screamed into a pillow for five seconds and felt much better).

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Wasted Energy Of Envy

IMAGE : MORGUEFILE.COM | The Wasted Energy Of Envy
Envy - noun, plural envies.

1.a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another's advantages, success, possessions, etc.

Envy. It's perceived to be a pretty ugly trait isn't it? I've always thought that people who waste their time and energy on such an emotion are by definition ungrateful for their lot and have very much a 'glass is half empty' attitude. It's a black and white view which may be partly accurate, but now that I'm in my forties and have experienced a bit of what we call 'life's rich tapestry' (a nice way of saying the crappier bits of life) I'd say it's often a bit more complicated than that for some. Circumstances are usually to blame for a person's envy of another, and although it comes down to their perception of these circumstances, sometimes it's damn hard to see the majestic sunset through the dark forest, even for the most optimistic of us. And I get that.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Best Chewy Choc Chip Cookies EVER

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | Best Chewy Choc Chip Cookie EVER
You know that feeling when you excitedly reach for a perfect-looking choc chip cookie and upon first bite it feels as though you've just bitten down on a piece of granite? Yeah - I know. The very definition of a first world problem.

Allow me to introduce you to the easiest, chewiest choc chip cookie you'll ever eat. It's fine. You can thank me later when we're both at the gym working these little beauties the hell off our expanding rear ends cos they're filled with gooey, fatty evilness. Nonetheless, rest assured that every bite is worth it. (And yeah, we call them cookies thanks largely to the generational influence of Sesame Street). 

Friday, January 2, 2015

There's No Place Like Home

If you could live absolutely anywhere, where would it be? I mean even if you're completely happy with your current roots, where would you love to call home if you had to relocate without limitations? 

I'm a total homebody. I'm not at all adventurous and I have never strayed too far from the security of the place I've always called home. Some people are restless - they live for journeys, new experiences and exploration but that's not really me. I love to be surrounded by the familiar and predictable. I know - I'm the very definition of boring. Look up boring in the Oxford and there's a boring, nondescript photo of me in a knitted jumper stroking a boring cat. At times I regret not having the urge to experience new horizons but my comfort zone is where I live best and on most days, I happily accept that. 

Lately however, we've had to give thought to expanding our horizons due to a quest for new job opportunities. The tides are shifting around us like tectonic plates and although change is not something I choose to suddenly embrace and celebrate, sometimes it's not about choice but about surviving, evolving, thriving and succeeding. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Merry Christmas, Muckers!!!!

Wishing each and every gorgeous one of you a wonderful Christmas break with friends and family. 

Thank you for all of your support, encouragement and enthusiasm this year - my humble 'lil blog has kicked some awesome personal goals in 2014 and I certainly couldn't have done any of it without all of you feeding my love of writing and gently shoving me forwards. 

Here's to a healthy, happy, ass-kicking 2015! There's good stuff just around the corner for all of us - I can feel it.

Now carve up that ham before I eat the legs off your chair..!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

My 2014 Summer Reading Wishlist...

IMAGE: THE MOTHER LOAD | 2014 Summer Reading

So - Christmas, eh? I can't quite believe it. Wasn't it February like five minutes ago?? Surely!

The way I see it, there are two distinct ways of looking at the festive season. For me, the first involves general panic, a multitude of lists and a tendency to overspend as we prepare for the big day while madly trying to juggle the end of school activities, work, and the stuff that doesn't end just because Christmas is coming. That's where I'm at right now and it's where I've resigned myself to be until 24th December at 5.00pm (as per last year, and all previous years).

The second way to approach the festive season (and indeed my preferred way) is to think about the break that will be our reward after the mayhem, allowing us to finally stop at the end of a relentless year, catch up with friends and family and eat way too much leftover pudding. After a somewhat challenging 2014 for our family, I'm looking forward to taking some serious time out, have some chilled out conversations that don't revolve around a schedule, and to read a book or two from my long and neglected reading wishlist.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Squishy Marshmallow Me.......

IMAGE : PINTEREST.COM | Squishy Marshmallow Me
Since having kids, and particularly as they've reached school age, I've become such a big squishy sentimental marshmallow.

A wide variety of incidental parenting moments can set me off but nothing does it quite like a school event. It seems that whatever the occasion, as soon as I step into our school theatre to attend an assembly, presentation or production, I habitually get the lumpy throat, the stiff jaw and the teary vision before anyone has even uttered a word. It could be as simple as someone getting their music certificate or a science award; whatever is on the day's agenda, my lip always begins its uncontrollable quiver.

I'm at my worst when they run a video to music. Oh God - the power of an audio visual soundtrack! Why can't they just use the Benny Hill Theme or something? I'm pretty sure I have missed many key moments of my kids' participation in the video montages, thanks firstly to the 'Wind Beneath My Wings'-esque music and secondly as I always find myself fumbling around in my bag desperately seeking an old lipstick-smeared tissue instead of actually watching.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A One Child Week

Felt a bit weird sending my sensitive and slightly teary ten year old gal off to school camp this morning. 

Funny how, although your kids can be completely different to you in so many ways, sometimes quite suddenly they display a characteristic that is exactly you, through and through. Like me as a child, these days Miss O is a bit prone to an affliction I refer to as 'pre-conceived homesickness' (feeling homesick before you've actually been anywhere) and also the 'long, sad goodbye' (a dread and sadness about saying goodbye well before departure and a feeling that the impending separation is absolutely FOREVER). That's me all over. Still is a bit and I guess as she's getting older, it's her too.

Monday, November 10, 2014

November. Let's Do This.

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | November. Let's Do This
Meet my new friends above. I'm so needy and they're always there for me, no questions asked. Especially the brandy.

So! Bronchitis is a barrel of laughs isn't it? For the last two weeks I've lived somewhere between sounding like Carlotta Of Les Girls, and a pack a day emphysemic. It's not been all that fun - just ask the innocent bystanders who live with me and who have ears in good working order. I'm fairly sure I heard my six year old mutter something like, "...for the love of God." under her breath the other day after one of my thoroughly well put together coughing episodes. Can't say I blame her. I'm totally sick of me too. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Born To Run, At Any Cost....

IMAGE : HERALDSUN.COM.AU | Born To Run, At Any Cost
Anyone else feeling sad and generally uncomfortable about the outcome of this year's Melbourne Cup? I am.

It's going to sound weird and as though I've just discovered my conscience, but I'm harbouring these sudden feelings of unease given the fact that I've never really given a lot of heartfelt consideration to the ugly side of a sport which can at times, be fully (or at least partly) responsible for the untimely death of defenceless animals. My sense of unease is about both my own lack of objection prior to now and also about my own realisation of what potentially takes place behind the scenes in the racing industry; in the darker shadows of the sport. I would never attend a rodeo, a dog fight and I even detest fishing so I wonder why that one day in November has always simply passed me by as an ordinary event and even at times as a welcome part of the social calendar? 

Before anyone jumps on me about one-off freak incidents, about an objection to banning the sport outright and that one should be a vegetarian to be truly pro animal rights, let it be said that this is just about my own new found feelings of unease towards the 'sport' we call horse racing, not a self-righteous rant about what the world should do and not do. I'm not standing up loudly calling for a ban (although it would be nice in a perfect world, but as we know the world ain't perfect). I'm simply feeling sad about the death of two horses after a race which is well known to be one of the most gruelling, even for the fittest, most enthusiastic thoroughbred. I'm annoyed at my own prior ambivalence and general naivety and I guess I'm now against putting these animals through something that once may have suited their "born to run" nature, but at times maybe not.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Little BUPA Blog Award Stuff.....

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | A Little BUPA Blog Award Stuff
So in case you missed me spouting off on Facebook last night and as the above title suggests, it appears that The Mother Load has been named as a finalist in the 2014 BUPA Blog Awards! I'm just a little bit excited (but clearly not as excited as Honey here). I don't expect to go all the way given the competition, but recognition is good for the soul, no? Yes! I say yes!

As an aside, it's worth noting that I never win anything. No really. In high school I won a squash racquet and didn't even know about it until I found it in the back of Dad's car two weeks later. When I asked my PE teacher what I'd won it for, he simply threw his head back and laughed riotously at the obvious irony. Yeah, sport wasn't really my thing. Stuff him, though. I may yet take up squash, become a world champ, and smack some fast balls into his windows. Maybe.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Happiest Of Happy Days...

IMAGE : MORGUEFILE.COM | The Happiest Of Happy Days

I'm giving a bit of thought to happiness today.

Happiness is pretty damn important isn't it? I reckon it's a bit like oxygen for our soul.  You realise this a) when you are happy and therefore in a blissful state of gratitude for that particular state of mind, and b) when you're not happy and you find yourself out there on a desperate quest, searching for something that will make you feel happy again. As it turns out, life can so often get in the way of happiness and it can be really tough to maintain, especially when you're an adult. Sometimes being an adult really sucks. 

With that in mind, do you remember the happiest day of your life so far? I do. I don't have a wedding day to speak of so that's out and sure, the birth of my kids goes down in history as momentous and brilliant but truthfully, there was a shitload of pain and a whole lot of panicking health professionals present - yes it was happy but it was also BLOODY TERRIFYING. Thankfully there was a great result both times and I was indeed very happy about that, but I'm talking about a memory; a day or a time that is defined solely by true, carefree happiness.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

School's Back! Witness Protection Complete!

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | School's Back! Witness Protection Complete!

Hooray! School's back!! 

While I'm a fan of hols and the absence of such things like school lunches and early morning threats about going to school in pyjamas, I love coming home after the first day of term drop off. Bliss! First, coffee. Then worship the silence. Then housework.

Miss A went back this morning with her usual amount of tummy nerves, mostly revolving around people's reaction to her new short haircut. A paranoid fourteen year old in a six year old's body is she. God help me when she is ACTUALLY fourteen. Miss O went back filled with happiness; that girl fades like a wilting flower if she doesn't have copious amounts of social interaction with her friends. Her Dad is the same.  He's always the last to leave every party and God forbid, she'll undoubtedly be the same when her time comes. (The sounds of clinking glasses and extreme house music is already ringing in my silence-loving ears).

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ten Things I've Learned This Week...

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | Ten Things I've Learned This Week
Like many others, we're on school holidays.

I usually equate the holidays to that age old expression, "it was the best of times, it the worst of times" but so far there's been more best than worst thankfully. Having said that, there's still a week and a half to go so I won't be making too many rash holiday statements at this stage. Damn it feels good to sleep in and not have to do school lunches every day though, doesn't it? Almost worth home-schooling just for that. (Clearly I'm throwing my head back and laughing madly into the air right about now. As if). 

Quite randomly, here are ten things I have learned this week:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Today Is A Bit Shit...

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | Today Is A Bit Shit..
Despite the gorgeous sunshine that is warming my ghostly white skin and the excellent coffee that is resting in the palm of my hand, today is a bit shit. 

In relative terms the world is not ending, but our Honey dog (affectionately known here as the geriatric) has cancer. 

She recently had a lump removed and it's a secondary melanoma. It's kinda funny isn't it? Too much sunning herself by the pool in her hey day, one might think? Her doggy bikinis were too skimpy for proper coverage? I knew that backyard pool was a bad idea - I always suspected that as soon as we left the house she'd be out there, reclining on a banana lounge. I guess my suspicions were true.

Given that she's about fifteen years old, it feels okay. I don't feel angry or ripped off. It's not a waste and yes, the overused expression "she's had a good innings.." rings true but it kinda makes me sad to know what it is that will eventually take her because after all, she's Honey The Wonder Dog and pretty much nothing was going to take her as far as I was concerned. I guess I was wrong. 

We're resolved that treatment and further invasion is pointless and unfair so we'll let nature take its course and hopefully it will be a long and pain free journey for her. She's fifteen for God's sake - I could shout too close to her and she could drop dead at anytime (if she wasn't completely deaf). As I see it, she'll simply live out her days with us spending lots of time at the beach where she is happiest and when the time comes, she'll be farewelled as only a dog of her calibre should be. 

Anyway, whatever grievances I have with the universe currently (and I certainly have a few!), I'm keenly aware that there is always someone dealing with worse shit than you and today is no exception. So I'm sucking up this news, giving Honey a firm and tender pat on her grey head and we're off to the beach in some well put together, healing sunshine. And that's not so bad by comparison.