Travelling light

Like many women, I own a few handbags and chop and change in between them frequently.  Leonie gave me a fantastic handbag organiser for Christmas, which I have stuffed everything that used to rattle around in the bottom of my bags, gathering dust woofees and lint.  It fits my normal sized handbags, so I can just lift it out and put it in any of my work or day-to-day bags with ease.  When I downsize I face problems, purse, phone, keys or glasses?  Or glasses, phone, purse or keys?  You get the picture.

I went to Chadstone to buy some shoes yesterday, my favourite jeans were in the wash so I had to wear my 3/4 length tucked into brown boots, (which I seem to live in when I am not at work), so had to swap from my Mulberry black bag which is on an extended outing for the past 3-4 weeks, into my brown bag.  Going to the MCG last night, I had to swap everything back again, as I wore a black suit and one of my two pairs of new shoes.  Hurrah, a successful shoe shopping trip, that doesn’t happen very often I can tell you.

When we got there I was rummaging around for my purse so I could go to the ATM, as despite me going to the largest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere, I’d forgotten to get any money out.  I reached in and realised that although I had transferred the organiser over, I hadn’t put anything else back into the black bag.  I thought it was light.  If I needed a tissue or a nail file, I was fine.  If I needed some money, which I did, I was stuffed.

Today I am putting my Mulberry bag back into it’s dust cover, after lovingly creaming it with a leather protector.  Before I do, here is a snapshot of what I lug around on a daily basis:

On the right is the organiser, and yes that is a diary, and 2 notebooks, one for home and one for work.  Plastic wallet for paperwork I collect on my travels.  Copious amounts of smellies, spare contact lenses, sunglasses, painkillers, green tablets are anti0biotics, dried fruit and nuts in case I can’t eat wherever we’re at, purse, iPhone.

When it’s all packed it weighs over 3kg.  I am pleased I drive to work.

Long Weekend

Today is ANZAC day, so the TV is on and we’re watching the Melbourne march.  Veterans, returned service men, families who’ve lost loved ones, all congregate in groups through Melbourne’s city centre in a carefully thought out plan, they then wind their way up along St Kilda Road to the War Memorial in date order of battles.  They are cheered and applauded all the way by people lining the route.  The vets that can’t walk the whole way are proudly ferried along in open top cars and even on flat-bed lorries.  Banners are made, children walk carrying photos of their relatives that have now passed while others hold their grandparents hands.  Marching bands play them along, including school bands, people take picnics (it’s a long day), wave flags and wave and cheer when they see people they know, some even dart out and kiss and hug relatives as they march past.  Then the city shuts down to watch the traditional Essendon v Collingwood AFL match. 

This year we have Monday off as a public holiday as ANZAC day has fallen on a Sunday, offices will be shut, shops open for reduced hours and the whole of Australia remembers their fallen in wars from the Boer through to Afghanistan.  (I interrupt as a Monk has just walked along the TV with medals on his robe, pause for mind-bogglement).

Yesterday we went to the Queen Victoria Markets where they were doing a roaring trade in sprigs of rosemary for remembrance, this year the commentators have said that people have been asked dress up, they don’t want people marching in jeans and t-shirts.  For me it drives me crazy when you get teenagers shuffling along (don’t people get taught to walk properly by lifting their feet up any more), some on mobile phones, baseball caps on ‘just so’ and jeans halfway down their arse.  Yes this is how some were marching last year, and infuriates me for a couple of reasons:

  1. It is disrespectful to the veterans and returned servicemen who have pressed their suits and shined their medals;
  2. It is disrespectful to the families that are their supporting their loved ones that have also pressed their suits and shined their relatives’ medals;

I wish those who organise it specify a dress code, and while you probably can’t stop people from marching, I wish they would haul the kids that are sullen, pouting and wearing totally inappropriate things out the parade, cover them in shrouds then shove them back in again.  We’ve seen several with baseball caps on, hoodies, t-shirts and so on.  This may just be something you have been asked to do by your parents, but there are reasons why this march is repeated all over Australia today.  We owe them so much.  If you can’t respect what they have given up, what they have lost, the courage they have shown, just by wearing smart clothes.  Don’t march.

It is hard to watch sometimes, we’ve been told that 5 veterans have already been taken to hospital as they are poorly, some of the men walking along are in their 80s, even 90s, one signed up in 1934 and saw active duty in the Second World War.  Some you know will be marching for the last time, but they are damn well going to march to honour their comrades.

I am grateful for the long weekend, not because it is a day off.  But because we need to remember those who have fallen, every year their numbers get fewer and fewer, it is up to us to honour and remember them. 

Last night we went to the MCG for the Brisbane Lions v Melbourne FC match.  Matt and Lachy came with us, both Lions fans.  Dan had organised passes for the Long Room and we went into the carvery for dinner.  We’d planned to leave our house at 5:00, so we could have a nice long leisurely dinner.  In the end we left at nearly 6:00, got stuck in traffic and while we had nice food, our table was nearly cleared by mistake as we squashed time wise right up to the first bounce.  Lachy then Matt left the table to watch the first quarter, leaving Dan and I finishing off the bottle of wine.  So not quite the relaxed evening we’d planned, although this had been predicted.

Our housemate Andrew, and his girlfriend Tam who’s down from Canberra, did The Centurion last night.  100 shots of beer, in 100 minutes, or about 13 stubby bottles in just over an hour.  As to be predicted also, they are now in bed with raging hangovers.  While I am as guilty as the next person for playing drinking games, chase the ace, the name game and so on, this one smacks of sheer stupidity; and one I am glad I’ve not done, watched or cleared up after.  After the march, we will be doing housework, Dan and I will tiptoe around for so long, but we’ve got things we need to do today, hangovers in the house or no.

Lazy days and Sundays

Apologies for the lack of updates this week, I wanted to let y’all know how I was doing at my new role, but the past few days have been busy so I didn’t get a chance to.  Not good enough, and I apologise.

Wednesday was a good day, information overload as to be expected, Catherine the lady who has been temping there part-time is lovely and showing me the ropes.  The biggest hurdle was taking minutes for a committee meeting, an hour and a half after I started the job.  I took copious notes as I had no idea what they were talking about, but when I’d typed them up over the afternoon and Thursday and sent them off to be approved, I was complimented on what I had delivered – hurrah!

Thursday was another busy day, I drove a different route in as I needed to check the post box (empty, so waste of time), and drove past the gym I’d stopped going to as it was miles out of my way from where we now live!  In between tidying and cleaning my desk, (the cleaners evidently have a loose idea of the definition of clean, and not one that matches mine), taking notes and nodding ‘yes’ a lot, the day again, passed quickly.  On the way home, I had to go to the supermarkdo, by the time I’d done shopping, unpacked it and we’d cooked dinner, it was nearly time to pack a lunch, lay some clothes out and go to bed.

Friday, again busy, we didn’t cover as much as we’d planned as work got in the way of handover, but we’ve kicked a lot of goals.  I whizzed home, had a bird bath, reapplied some make-up and we whizzed into the city to meet Andrew’s parents who are over from NZ.  We had a great evening, despite me having verbal diarrhea in the car as I was so excited about life.

Lachy came over with Hurricane Piper and Cyclone Oakley, Ney is on nights at the moment, to let her get some sleep they were taken out the house, they’d been to the park and fed the ducks by the time they got to us.  Piper peered at the fish tank and announced that Jess (her fish) and Bullseye (Oakley’s fish) we still at the hospital.  Guilty looks by Aunt and Uncle who have flushed Bullseye 1 & 2, and several orange comets that should have passed for Jess down the porcelain express.  The three that we have left seem to be fairly sturdy, and piggy, they barge each other out the way to get to the food, and stare out the tank at us hopefully if one of us walks past.  They also like watching sport on TV, which is just as well as The Masters is on, followed by AFL, followed by whatever else is on at the moment.

We went back into the city late on Saturday to watch Carlton v Essendon at the MCG, which was preceded by a cricket presentation, free bar and canapes for a couple of hours.  I proceeded to get squiffy on champagne, and became Sir-Text-A-Lot, the game passed in a blur, Dan ended up having to buy me a coffee to sober me up a little, but we had a good time. 

Today we’ve pottered about the house, Dan has put his shorts away, summer is officially over – we’ve had the heating on today!  It has been windy and rainy for most of the day, so washing is draped over any available surface, I will start ironing when I’ve finished this.  I’ve been burning some new CDs for the car, we’ve rearranged the study as we’re going to take ownership of Ross & Leonie’s single bed and Dan has caught up on some filing.  (Which was so old, it’s nearly all been filed in file 13!)  His cold is still hanging round him, I am still snuffly too, although my throat is better, and the pair of us would quite like whatever we’ve got to either appear with a vengence so we can get over it, or clear off altogether.

Matt is coming over for dinner tonight, so I’ve cooked a chicken, we’ve been to The Glen to collect the post, interesting National Geographic on water this month, I’ve flicked through the papers and am now going to have a quick sandwich for lunch.

Consider yourself updated!

Lazy days of summer

I type this sitting in the G, on a comfortably warm day of 31c. There is a gentle breeze, the crowds are apathetically clapping. You couldn’t ask for a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Australia are playing the West Indies in the first match of their tour. I love watching one day internationals, any 40 or 50 over matches. Love in a different way to watching test matches over 5 days. That the game is over and done with in a day, while they still break for a meal between innings tickles me. As I don’t know of any other sport that has meal breaks. I don’t know of any other sport you can take books and newspapers in along with a picnic and feel that if you read them and dip in and out the game, you’ve wasted your day or missed some action. If the game is exciting you are on the edge of your seat, if it isn’t; you need something to do as we are spending 10 hours here!
Ross, DG’s dad is here today and we’ve met up with a fellow inmate of mine from work, Mike. We’re rotating through the 4 seats, gossiping as we go and talking over anything and everything. Although I am getting stick for blogging and attempting to Twitter, but again my mobile isn’t connecting to the Internet, why am I paying this bill again??

Enlightenment means accepting what is…

…so I need to accept that 8 weeks before I get married, the hairdresser I visited today has cut my hair far shorter than I wanted. I asked for a trim, said I was happy with the kicky-outy bits, and ended up with, well I am not too sure what I ended up with yet. I came home from the shop, stopped off at Flinders Street loos on the way to catch the train, wet my hands and tried to rearrange it. I came home and got some of my gunk and tried to rearrange it, I have been to the gym this afternoon, had a shower and it sits on top of my head like, [long pause, hands through hair, big sigh] I have no words for what it feels like.

I will get up in the morning, shower, blow dry it and try and see if I can rescue the cut into something liveable and pray that it grows as quick as it normally does so that come the weekend before ‘we do’ I can get the frickin fringe trimmed as the rest of it may, just may be a better frickin length.

It is all I need. I am bitchy, catty, tired, cross and frustrated, all at once at the moment. In no particular order I have:
* a mountain of ironing
* an annual conference to co-ordinate
* a children’s programme to co-ordinate for said annual conference
* annual reports from the Practices arriving thick and fast in my inbox, all of which need to be printed on our temperamental colour printer, then bound
* the group’s annual report to collate and present materially to Big Cheese on Thursday
* a night out this week (yay! I am off to see Dr Phil on Wednesday), but that means I can only stay late 2 nights this week to get everything done before Thursday
* the new house needs a really good clean, and I mean a really good clean
* there is a really good reason why I am worrying about all these, but for ‘secret women’s business’ I can’t put it on here – yet
* our wedding creeps ever closer, but before it gets here I have to concentrate on work and hope that all our preparations are enough to see us through the last mad three weeks which will be left after the conference completes

God I could do with a PA myself.

I am sat in my office at home, watching my external hard-drive whizz through an iTunes software update, in turn feeding this to my iPod which seems to be taking forever to upload. I have two USB ports on my lap top, both being used – for something that normally takes 5 minutes. An hour and half after it started I sit with paperwork spread out all over my desk, almost screaming in frustration as all the work I have brought home with me today is on a sodding data stick and I can’t do anything.

People tell me that I will be OK, that the work will get done, but I need to sleep otherwise I get even more cranky and miserable, so working too late for me isn’t an option. I can’t drink the red bulls and v’s that keep getting bandied about the office because they flare up my eczema, so I have been getting in about 8am so I get an hour before the phones start, I stayed till 6pm 3 nights this week, eating lunch at my desk and working again in the evenings when I get home. I have no idea when I will come home on Monday and Tuesday.

Dan and Matt are at the football this evening so I had an extra 5 hours of peace and quiet to crack on with stuff, (as I am struggling to get any work done at work), that is rapidly disappearing around me. If I unplug it now, it will corrupt and I really don’t have time to fix it.

So Eckhart, I am sorry but I don’t feel at ease at this moment. I am trying, I am really trying, but at the moment all I feel is woefully inadequate, overwhelmed and above all lost.

Wheat free – the first week

I have driven Dan mad today, because I leapt out of bed, full of energy and was jabbering away at him non-stop while he was still coming too after watching the cricket till the wee hours. Poor DG. This is one of many bonus side effects that I have experienced this week, aside from watching the scales creep down in the right direction.

From Monday last week I have had no wheat, dairy or meat (or booze) and eaten only fruit, veg, grains and rice. I am also taking chlorella, spirulina, milk thistle, extra vitamins, psyllium husks and drinking lots of water as a bit of a purge. Yes the dress measurements are at the end of the month, but I was also fed up of feeling sluggish and lethargic. I listened to my body saying ‘Oi’, and it is responding well.

It does take some preparation and thinking about though, you need to plan ahead even more than normal. Today I’ve made a soup for the week, ratatouille (as last week’s was so yummy, I wanted another one) and will make a salad later too. It also means that I eat independently of DG at some meals, although if it means him not having to cook, he will eat it quite happily.

The only thing that annoys me as last night was a shining example of: when you are out for a meal and try to explain that this is what I am doing, ‘But you’re not vegetarian. What are you ordering that for? Why don’t you just have a bit, a little bit won’t hurt you?’ I just smile sweetly and ignore them. I am fed up of explaining and explaining.

We whizzed down to see Lachy, Ney and the rugrats today. It was Piper’s birthday last week, and we missed it as I was signed off as contagious so we took her present down today for her and had lunch with them. I packed a vegimite sandwich to add to the salad I was going to have, drunk a couple of glasses of water, no questions, no inquisition nothing. We only spent just over an hour there, but we had a great time.

This week coming will be busy. We pick up the keys to the new house on Friday, so I am going to go through my wardrobe, select 5 x work options and a couple of ‘comfortables’ options and start to pack everything else away. I would like it so the cupboards are completely empty on Saturday morning, so we can just load up and drive off into the sunset, flicking the bird behind us.

We do have to come back here next week to clean it, not that it will need much as Dan, God love him, spruced it up on Friday ready for the opening for prospective tenants on Saturday. Considering we were in the MCG when she rang, saying she was lost and couldn’t find it, 5 minutes late – we don’t think anyone came in at all. There was no card left on the bench to indicate that anyone had been in. We didn’t switch the heating on all morning, so it was baltic in here. I’ve also written ‘move out of this sh!t hole’ across the calendar still hanging on the fridge, in case anyone read it.

Dan called the energy company, told them we were moving out on x date and that we wanted to be hooked up at the new place from y date. When asked, ‘Did you want the electricity to stay on?’ he said no. Unfortunately, the garage door is linked to our supply. Wish I was a fly on the wall for the tantrum when they can’t open the door. Bwhahaha.

Revenge is a dish best served cold. Then it is the sweetest of all.

Busy busy

We have a weekend booked in this weekend. In so far, we are having a social life!

Tomorrow we are off to watch Carlton v Richmond at the MCG, in The Long Room no less. So I don’t have to sit outside with the hoi-poloi, I get a padded chair too (very handy when the game can last over 2 hours). We also get to dress up a little bit, although it is going to be chilly tomorrow so I am going in a variation of a work outfit. From there we are heading into then out of the city to go out for dinner with my work cronies. We are off to a Greek restaurant, where there are no menus, you eat what they bring you. So could be interesting with the no: wheat, meat, dairy fix I am on at the moment. I’ll eat round things if needs be. And take extra nuts.

Sunday I am off to The Quakers, then we are going to see Lachy and Ney with Pippy’s birthday present for some lunch. Ditto on food. I may take a sandwich stashed in my bag both days too.

Then I get to Skype Aged Ps and hopefully Wiz which will be great. I also have brought some work home with me, not too sure when I will fit that in, but even if I get an hour in, I won’t have the phone ringing or people asking me questions.

Have a lovely weekend peeps. Will update you all later. I have been taking photos too on my travels this week after the feedback I got from the UK over the last lot.