Happy Valentines! Happy Belated Galentines! Happy Friday to you all.

I’m not sure about all the red roses that are forced out under blow torches for this day of the year. They certainly don’t smell of anything so are really not worth the $$$ they cost – give me some freesia’s any day. I wanted to have a picnic tonight with the three of us, but as Melbourne will be under a torrent of rain, we’re going to have pizza instead.

I’m avoiding the news now, I use to try to stay well informed, but as we hurtle towards dictatorships in the USA, Australia and the UK with press restrictions, government advisers being ignored and politicians riding roughshod over guidelines for just about anything to get their way and their votes, coz it’s conservatism is all about capitalism and while it’s tenuous grasp is getting looser; it’s going to be a big boom from the improbability drive before normality can be resumed.

And that’s before we get to the climate crisis.

Anyone know where I can purchase some sunglasses that turn pitch black at the first sign of impending peril?


Talking with Archie this morning, we said “Happy Valentines!” and when I said that it was a Hallmark Holiday, he got excited and thought he had a day off school. Sorry buddy.

I made him pancakes for breakfast (served with extra Hallmark love) as we had some buttermilk left over after cooking Samin’s Buttermilk Roast Chicken. We’d been promising him them all week and he was so patient with us as each day hurtled into the next, I was glad to finally be able to pack him off to school covered in Maple Syrup.

Archie’s settled in well to Grade Three, we met his teacher earlier this week and so our routine is established. Monday rolls around, whizzes through to Friday, the weekends fly by and it’s Monday again. Hubs and I have started having a weekly planning session between Tae Kwon Do and swimming classes on Saturday mornings. Held at McDonalds (ease of parking, ok-ish coffee and playground for Arch to charge around in), we talk through the week we’ve just had, prep for the coming one and catch-up with each other.

We’re building on habits, layering up routines and mostly trying to stay sane as a family. We’re getting there, celebrating our wins, recognising our foibles and with the help of lists, spreadsheets and coloured pens herding our lives into some semblance of shape for 2020.

I’ve not had the best week, I’ve been grumpy and a little bit lost in myself. So then I retreated into my phone, which made things worse, so I had some wine, which made things worse. I finally came up out of my stupor on Thursday night, watching Little Women. Which as soon as I possibly can will be buying on DVD and watching at least weekly.

I loved the March Household growing up, with Little Women, Good Wives and Jo’s Boys on hard rotation all giving me vivid images that were echoed through the movie. The girls’ Pickwick Club and Meg heading off the debutante ball and getting gussied up, were two proper heart-swell moments. It was a beautiful movie about sisters and friendship, and I’m pleased it’s going great-guns at the box office still.

Galentine’s Day to celebrate female friendship is from episode 22 (I think) of Parks and Recreation, which I adore and find hilarious after working in Local Government where you literally can’t buy sh!t (see #SportsRort).

Can we start asking What Would Leslie Knope Do? The world would be a much better place if we did.

What would Leslie Knope Do?

Deep Dive Book Club – Anna Karenina

I’ve finished it.

It’s long.

Very long.

This is probably the fourth time I’ve attempted to read it. I think having the audiobook helped somewhat as it meant I stayed with it on the drive to and fro work. But blimey Charlie it was hard work getting through it.

It doesn’t help that each character is called at least three different names, sometimes on the same page. From their full name, to nickname to another nickname. Which, as there are so many characters is confusing, and mostly listening to it, I also didn’t have the handy character list at the front to refer to. Yes it’s a quibble, but it is my quibble dammit.

With the audiobook, I don’t know when it was recorded, the blurb says “This is a vintage recording”. They’re not kidding, aside from the narrator often stumbling over her words, (forever known as Pismonounciations) and hearing pages being turned; the translation was from 1901 and included the N-word too.

In the paperback, translated a bit later in 1918, (in the same passage) Katavasov and Koznyshev are as dark as ‘Arabs’ with dust after riding in a horse and cart. Katavasov says ‘But I am not a negro! [marginally better] When I have had a wash I shall look like a human being!’ [Truly awful].

I know it’s of it’s time, and looking back even at Enid Blyton makes you wince now, but goodness me o.O

Konstantin Dmitrievich Levin is by far my favourite character; he’s sweet, humble and kind. I love how he felt so much for Kitty, he retreated away to the country; read philosophy trying to understand everything and where he fit in the world; how he shared his diaries to show Kitty he wasn’t ‘chaste’ before they got married, and also love that until Kitty got caught in the rainstorm with the baby in the pram, he wasn’t in love with Mitya his son.

I felt the same way about Archie, I loved him – but it was a few months before I was in love with him. I had this big natural birth thing going on in my head and his delivery was so far removed from what I wanted; the rite of love-warrior experience and feeling, it took a while for me to reconcile with the wee human.

I remember one night he was looking at me as he fell asleep, I was standing up, rocking him, he was tiny – he still fitted in one arm. His eyes grew heavy, but he kept looking at me. I told myself “You need to remember this.” And I have.

I’m enjoying the deep dive, if I can get hold of Maggie Gyllenhall’s version, I’ll give that a listen as her voice is like a warm bath.

Anyhoo, I can officially tick it off the classics list!


Migraines. Got to love them. I’ve had two days in bed with this one. Not what I needed, nor planned. I got up this afternoon, listened to some more Anna Karenina, did some washing and folding. Even was upright enough to have a shower with Archie when he got home from school today.

I’ve eaten dinner, will pop Archie to bed and go back there myself. Tomorrow is another day, I’m bus biatch, so I get to talk to Ian.


This picture popped up in my memory feed on Facebook.

screenshot of twitter conversation

Image Description:

First tweet: #GrowingUpUgly – When guys in middle school would get dared by their friends to ask you out and see if you say yes as a joke

Second tweet: How about growing up ugly and then turning out sort of okay looking but you don’t know for sure be cause your self esteem is shot and you’re convinced you look awful?

I started to write more on FB, but then could feel it starting into a rant, so I’m gonna blog about it instead. About why you should sit next to the people who look lost, lonely or not quite what you see in advertising. I’m 45 years old, and I still struggle with what I look like.

Melbourne, as has most of Australia has been stinking hot just lately. While not actually on fire in the CBD, heading into watch the cricket, I put on shorts and a t-shirt so I was comfortable. Of course my hair decided it was going to settle into a side part, I wore no make-up (CBA) and when I caught sight of myself in the mirror in the bathrooms, I sighed. Long and hard. I know I didn’t help myself today, but really?!

Body Dysmorphia is a funny thing. When I got diagnosed with it, doing my make-up meant looking at parts of my face in a compact mirror, because I couldn’t bear to look at all of my face. I am better than I was, but today and over the past few days, I’ve been struggling with it.

It’s a funny feeling, not being comfortable in your own skin. Wanting to punish your body for just being there.

I never was the most girly girl, but one thing that girls are expected to be is delicate, dainty, small. At 5’10” with ‘Maddie Man-hands’ and clumsy because I still don’t fit into my skin; my perpetual stoop to make myself smaller than I am is now causing me pain.

Thankfully my BD has never crossed into an eating disorder, instead I turned to alcohol to bury my feelings. As I’ve hit three weeks sober, my feelings are all coming up to the surface, hence me having to work through them.

Over the weekend, I had a bad stomach. I didn’t eat anything I shouldn’t have, but yesterday it was not happy. I got home from shopping and nearly wobbled over. A sure sign I’m frazzled. That and that between my shoulders is rock hard.

But I’m not scared of what I’m feeling, I still don’t understand it. Wish that it wasn’t my load to carry.

But without the bullying, would I be the one-person cheer squad that I am now? Would I be the person who says ‘Bless you’ to strangers when they sneeze? Would I be the one person who gave the CEO a kiss on her birthday, because it was her birthday?

I doubt it. I’m using it to my advantage, but boy do I wish I could go back in time and sit next to the little girl I was.


Tomorrow is my birthday. I’m not saying that for felicitation purposes. I’m saying it because it will be my first birthday without Erika.

In a way, I’m almost dreading it. Wanting a message or a poke from her and knowing I’m never going to get one. Again.

Woman’s Hour had an article this week on bereavement, focussing on when a friend dies. And how it feels different from when a relative dies. It really does.

When you click with someone, when you choose them as part of your family, the pain from them not being there is searing. It is different to the pain I felt when my Grandparents died (well, three of them anyway, the fourth and last one that died can simply go forth and multiply).

As I got closer to Saturday; all week my thoughts kept returning to Erika. I hope wherever she is, she flicks me the bird, shoves against me in the mosh pit of life, or comes to visit me in my dreams and knows that I love her.


Oh lordy, I’m still not in the swing of this (and this was a draft from yesterday!). It’s amazing how having a small person in school gives you a routine to hang your day / week / month / life on.

Back to work for two weeks, holiday feeling has well and truly gone! If only we didn’t need money to have a roof, food and clothing – I think we’d be a whole lot happier. Listening to Ruby Wax and Sane New World, our brains just are not designed to do the 9-5 thing. Neither are our bodies for that matter.

In case you were wondering, I’m at day 12 of no alcohol. I’m using an Andrew Johnson meditation app called (quelle suprise) Sober. I listen at least once a day, you can program the app for the meditation to either send you to sleep or wake up. Most often at the end of the day, as Andrew’s Scottish burr is heavenly. I’m very excited to report my spare Bluetooth headphones are coming in useful. It means I can leave my phone in the bathroom, listen to the app and then go to sleep.

Hubs and I have had a virus run through us this week, both of us were a bit wobbly on our feet.

The house looks like a student house; doing my exercises in the lounge room this morning (28 by Sam Wood), I kept thinking man, we need to vacuum…

This morning (actually 16 January) I had to wake Archie up, he was sound asleep at nearly 7am! He was so sleepy, he asked for breakfast in bed. Bless his heart, I gave him his breakfast and was packing his lunch, no bread rolls. None in the freezer either. I packed up his nibbles, he got dressed, I shot into the shower and shot back out again.

I wanted to get out the house on time, as I needed to move my computer to another building. We did get out the house on time, but needed to whizz into Coles to get Archie a bread roll, I also treated him to a milkshake in his lunch (excellent Mama Bear points there). We got wet getting out the car, then wet getting back in again. Then we got stuck in traffic getting him to his holiday program, got wet again. Then I got stuck in even more traffic, and apparently every red light along the way too.

I got to work later than planned, damp round the edges (read Monica hair), but got everything unplugged and moved over, replugged and the phone didn’t stop ringing all day.

We’ve had a security guard onsite with us, he looked at me and said ‘You look like you need a snooze!’ What I did need was some fresh air, so off I toddled to the closest, best coffee shop and back, with an almond latte. Felt like a new woman and had the best afternoon.

In other news, Sane New World arrived at work today too :D

Deep dive book club

Here are the deep dive books I’m going to interrogate this coming year. I’m going to be too restrictive on this study pile as I’ve learned don’t box yourself into life too tightly! If another book speaks to me, it will get added.

Deep dive book club

From the left:

Steering by Starlight, Martha Beck

Wherever You Go, There You Are, John Kabat-Zinn

Spiritual Liberation, Michael Bernard Beckwith

A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle. I’ll be revisiting the handy chapter breakdown, 10-part series Oprah did too.

Australia Day, Stan Grant

Becoming, Michelle Obama

Everything is Figureoutable, Marie Forleo

Sane New World, Ruby Wax – not pictured because the book itself is in transit. I’ve listened to the audio-book twice though.

I’ll let you know how I go, and if through this self-imposed study I find the answers to life, the universe and everything.


I’m pecking this out on my phone, about to turn the light off and go to sleep.

I just mainlined Ship of Brides as it’s due back to the library tomorrow. My first JoJo Moyes book, picked up on holiday by Trish who said it was worth checking out – thanks for the recommendation!

I’m breathing normally again, thank goodness. The smoke haze has lifted, I could smell the trees again today. It’s been a funny week already, and it’s only Tuesday! I’ve been given access to another mailbox at work, opening an email I managed to infect my computer. I got a notification that it “had been taken off the network, call IT”. #ruhroh

Archie is back home, tired and emotional and more than a bit overwhelmed to be here – poor sausage. He said he missed us, we certainly missed him. Not sure if he’ll end up in our bed, or if I’ll head down to him.


I missed 4 and 5. I was drunk on 4, and at the cinema on 5.

I’ve reached out for help with my drinking, apologised to Hubs and am currently on Day 2 of getting sober. I was so far into shame yesterday, I nearly imploded on myself.

I’ve joined an eight-week fitness challenge, I asked Hubs to take front, back and side view photos of me. The front on is truly awful, will never see the light of day. I’m chewing my lip in pain, but it was real, raw and honest and so I didn’t going to ask him to retake it.

I also took my measurements, am at my heaviest weight, which I thought I’d hit last year. Barely fitting into clothes and cross with myself for abusing my body.

So here we are. Out there and open.

I’m going to share this with you. Because as I find my way through, others might need to as well.

Exercising is going to be interesting with the air quality being as bad as it is with the fires though. I was going for a walk each lunch time – but I don’t think I will be today.


It’s been an odd day today. We’re packing up and cleaning the house ready to leave tomorrow; we may need to do two trips as we’ve accumulated so much stuff down here. I’m not sure how we managed it, but herding everything together we’re already thinking ruh-roh.

We’ve had the cricket on, interspersed with the news and if you saw my Facebook / Instagram story from earlier with the smoke haze hiding the other side of the road – you’ll know that life as we know it here in Australia has changed.

Ash is falling on New Zealand, cities are choked with smoke and haze, the EPA have issued air quality warnings for Melbourne; let alone the areas that are on fire. Canberra is hotter than Alice Springs, we’re f***ed basically.

And our illustrious leader seems to be waiting for the Pentecostal Rapture, because nothing else can explain his behaviour. He’ll be fine because he holds his hands up to pray and the world going up in flames is what the church predicts. What about the rest of us?

I’m trying not to get cross with it all, but watching the news tonight Archie first said “It looks like lava”, then “Why don’t they put it out?” then “Please turn it off, this is terrible.”

Any suggestions how I explain decades of inaction and resources to an eight year old? That for the past however many years profit has been put above everything else; because a planet with finite resources will always enable year on year growth and a strong economy? *snort* That coal lobbyists have the Liberals in their pockets by donating millions to the party?


I don’t know what to do. I do know that tomorrow, we’ll get up and we’ll carry on. Because our lives carry on, even if others in the Land of Plenty are now in limbo.