A new year

I think I blinked and missed 2017. It certainly didn’t seem like a full year had passed from putting the Christmas decorations away – it only felt like a couple of months and I was hauling them out again.

Christmas came down in our house yesterday morning so we could rearrange the lounge-room. Christmas was sorted, reconciled and put away with “order and method” as Mr Poirot would say. I also packed up the ornaments we never use, but brought as part of other sets, and put them in the charity box. We’ve two boxes and two black bags of things ready to pay it forward.

The fake tree was more branch than pine leaves after I’d taken the lights off; it was gently ejected from the house with gratitude and thanks. I’d tried to find another one in the Sales to replace it, but I should have been quicker getting to the shops. When I got to the sales on 28 December, Christmas was DOWN. The only festive articles remaining were wrapping paper and cards, both of which we’re fine for.

Our longe is an odd L-shape and our furniture doesn’t really fit in it. In an effort to maximise the space, we move it around much more frequently than in any other house we’ve lived in. As Archie has grown, his area of the space ebbs and flows, at the moment Lego is slowly taking over the house, containing it is hard work. Gone are the days with a big box of bricks, everything is now sold in sets, which is frustrating. Archie also has his own bookshelf, with sheepskin rug and cushion for lolling purposes.

I am back to work in the morning, Hubs is off until 8 January and is taking Archie off to Canberra tomorrow for a few days. I think I’m most looking forward to the house being tidy and not being asked where things are. I never realised that I would be the memory bank for random objects in the house.

Anyhoo, break time is over – back to tidying up and working out what I’m up to for the rest of the week. I can go for a swim, run, yoga class or whatever I want to, when I want to. How excitement, so I want to make the most of it.

Down time

We’ve had a relaxing few days, and have spent today pottering about the house while Hubs and Hanno went to the Test at the MCG. Hubs has a couple of weeks off, the longest time he’s had in ages. Plans are afoot for the beach, Healesville Sanctuary and walks in the woods with Peanut, who’s also been taken out of Kinder for a couple of weeks before he starts school at the end of January.

We’d be sleeping later if we could work out what app sets off an alarm on Hubs’ phone at 5:30 each morning. It’s being firmly switched off tonight.

Australia has been hit by a heatwave the past few days, the weather is FUBARd I can tell you. Adelaide had it’s hottest Christmas Day for decades, the Boxing Day test was rained off and Uluru is closed due to rain. On Christmas Day we were in a park at 8am to beat the heat, then back home with the aircon on for the rest of the day. Today the weather broke, with the temperature dropping easily 20c in an hour, bringing big fat heavy rain.

Peanut and I were going to go to the zoo today, however he required a minor attitude adjustment, so we spent the day at home instead. We’ve worked on the three strikes and you’re out rule of parenting since he was old enough to understand it. Normally it only needs “I’m not going to ask you again” and he’s checked back into his normal happy self. Today he was in full little turd mode, culminating with “I hate Mama” whereupon Hubs sent him to his room. We then had a conversation about words and how they can aso hurt you, reminded him that we’d asked him to behave three times across varying things (from getting out the bathroom so Hanno could have a shower, to listening to what we’d asked him to do), therefore we weren’t going to the zoo. Cue more tantrums and tiaras, which sealed the deal completely.

I should now say, that he’s actually been great all day. We’ve been playing with his water bombs, his paddling pool, hot wheels sets he was given for Christmas, and have also read loads of books. I don’t think a day at home, considering how busy it’s been the past few weeks, did him any harm. He was climbing the walls a little by the end of the day, but I did ask him every hour or so if he wanted to go out to a park or for a walk; but he kept saying no, first it was too hot, then it was raining, then he was happy at home.

Peanut’s had an enormous growth spurt, he’s all legs and arms, gangly and uncoordinated. Also eating huge amounts, and hungry ten minutes after each meal; heaven alone knows what he’s going to be like when he’s a teenager.

I hope you’re having a good time with friends and family, although 2016’s Grim Reaper carries on apace – hang in there Your Majesty! I was devastated to hear about George Michael passing today. He was one of my first crushes. I can remember cutting out his picture from my cassette version of Make It Big and sticking it on my wall, (apologies for the crappy picture, it’s a screen shot of a listing from eBay).

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I’ve got one more day off, then three days at work, three days off, three days at work, three days off and then back to normal on 9 January. Easing back into work after what has been a crazy few months. Hence the lack of blogging, I’ve not had the head-space or the time, but heck I’ve missed you all. Not that I make resolutions, but I’m determined to write more, mostly for my sanity.

Christmas and New Year break

Let’s have a recap on what I had planned over the break:

  1. Hubs didn’t have to go away, so he was at home on Christmas Eve after all. We spent that evening with Manny and Auntie Susie, Peanut opened some presents they’d brought over. We wrapped the rest of his to put under the tree while watching the Classic Album program on Graceland. It was a program I’d watched on TV in the UK, brought as a DVD and not watched, it turned out to be perfect wrapping viewing. And as it was nice and gentle, perfect wind-down viewing too.
  2. Christmas Day we opened up presents with my parents on FaceTime, had our boiled eggs and soldiers and then headed to the Botanic Gardens to have a picnic with Hubs’ dad and his wife, Pa and Nonie. It was lovely, but very hot, so after a couple of hours we headed home.
  3. Boxing Day, Hubs went to the cricket to meet up with a friend and his son, Peanut and I stayed home. During the day I developed a sore throat; we went for pancakes in the afternoon to just to get out the wee man out the house and were promptly caught up in a traffic jam of people trying to go shopping in the sales, we then spent a good hour at a playground running off some energy and maple syrup. When we got back, we pottered about, as Hanno was due down, so I got his room ready. We played with Christmas toys and generally had a nice day, Hubs came home, I croaked at him and we watched The Descendants.
  4. Sunday lunchtime, we caught up with Pa and Nonie again, and Hubs’ brother and his family, we had a nice meal, exchanged more gifts, chatted and enjoyed ourselves. We came home and watched It’s A Wonderful Life, Peanut watching the whole thing. That’s my boy! Hanno went to the cricket all day and came back a bit windburnt, but happy.
  5. Hubs and Hanno went to the cricket on Monday together, my cold was in full flow, I just took Peanut to the local shops, he played in the local playground for a while, we then went to Target and brought some stuff in the sale, ate sushi and went home. exciting stuff.
  6. Tuesday, we went to the zoo (with everyone else in Melbourne) to celebrate our nephew’s first birthday. It was broiling hot, there were queues everywhere, but we had a good time. My nose running notwithstanding.
  7. Wednesday I stopped sneezing long enough to watch Star Wars with Hanno, at a 9am showing. Most odd, not only because we had to hunt for a coffee shop in the morning, (this is Melbourne, there should be coffee everywhere!), but also because people were eating popcorn at 9am too. Not sure the 3D added anything to the film, I’m looking forward to going to see it with Hubs in 2D on a normal size screen where I can see all the screen. We loved it, Hubs watched it today (Saturday) and seems a bit non-plussed by it all.
  8. Thursday was another hot day, so we toddled off to Doncaster early, had a coffee, wandered around in their air-con, had some lunch and headed home when us adults were getting ratty with all the other people meandering along, stopping for no reason and talking five deep in a narrow walk-way. I finished off one book, read another in one sitting, the whole house was asleep by midnight. Hubs snoring like a train, so I went down to the spare room and just got off to sleep, when Peanut woke up with the fireworks and came into me. After an hour of ‘They’ll finish soon, don’t worry’ I was just getting off to sleep again, when the cat decided he needed to run around, (he’d been shut in all day as it was so hot, then with the fireworks predicted he hadn’t gone out in the evening either as we’d never get him back in again). Just dropping off, Peanut needed to go to the bathroom and dragged me with him.
  9. Friday, cold returned in full force, I spent the day in bed. Moving for refreshments and not much else.
  10. Today I went to the GP and have been given horse-sized antibiotics to take, two doses in, I do feel heaps better. Hence me updating the blog with this and moving the page of books from last year to a post too. Mind you, I really shouldn’t have driven this morning, and almost passed out in the supermarket. I got lots of funny looks for wearing a hoody I can tell you, but as I was shivering, I needed to. Hubs has taken Peanut to a Twenty20 match at the MCG, they’ll be back later tonight.

All in all, it’s been successful, but not what I thought the break would be. I would dearly like to stop getting sinus infections particularly over Christmas! I’ve not caught up with all the people I wanted to, I’ve had to rain check on too many of you, I’m sorry.

Nevair mind, I’m off to start my first book for the year, and have another snooze. I’m good at snoozing.

Connecting the Christmas dots

A couple of things made me want to write this to you today: First up, an article on the radio news over the weekend. A economist predicted that families in Australia will stop buying presents this week, and start buying food instead ready for the festival.

No sh!t Sherlock.

As the big day is on Friday, it is likely that your groceries will be fresh if you buy them from now on in. It’s going to be crazy at the shops, be careful out there.

Secondly, Woman’s Hour were talking about the additional emotional labour that is undertaken at this time of year, on top of the normal load. Not just getting the cards out, the presents (and food) in, but making sure people in the family who aren’t well are either visited, or cared for. People working in the caring professions, making sure for every home-visit, that they show up with a smile on their face, not taking out the traffic delays and frustration on who they’re helping and servicing.

Christmas can appear to just happen in some houses, thanks to predominantly to the women in the household. My gran would make Turkish delight, mince pies, Christmas puddings, cakes, boil a ham, the list was endless. Both grandmothers would also write cards and letters, starting in October / November to make sure they all got done. It’s not that my grandad didn’t do anything, I just don’t remember him ever setting a dish on to the table, and like most people I remember occasions through food.

We’re somewhat more egalitarian in our house, Hubs met Peanut and I at the Christmas tree farm, drove the tree home, stood it up in the pot and made sure it was straight, then Peanut and I decorated it. Hubs also ordered the ham, that I will collect tomorrow. I’ve brought the presents, but only because he’s been interstate, but it’s normally something we do each year together. Grocery shopping fills him with horror at the best of times, so it’s just easier if I ask him what he wants and go out and get it.

One of Jenni Murray’s guests was saying ‘It isn’t worth the argument that would be caused if the woman said “No, I’m not doing this, you write your own cards”.’ How did feminism and emancipation get us to the point where it is easier to work yourself into the ground for a day’s celebration, rather than have an argument?

I don’t do Christmas on a grand scale, while Hubs is now not looking like he will need to head to Sydney this week after all \o/ we’ve not changed our (non) plans for the day itself. We’re conscious we need to spend time together, so off for a picnic we will go, just the three of us. However, as it is going to be 36c, we might have to change our planned destination (Hanging Rock) to somewhere more shaded. But I know that all over the country, people will be slaving away in their boiling hot kitchens to put a roast dinner on the table.

I’m from the UK, I love a roast dinner as much as the next person, but why would you do that to yourself? I am also all for tradition, but not at the expense of sanity. Mum and Dad decided early on when my brother and I were little to forgo the roast dinner, figuring we could have that any time. As a family, we much preferred the cold meat, cheeses, pickles, etc. so we cook roast beef, turkey and get a ham joint in (all bases are covered) but they’re cooked before the actual day, so that became our tradition. Continue reading “Connecting the Christmas dots”

In a week, it’ll nearly be over

Today is Thursday, which means next week is 24 December, which means on Friday next week a lot of the kerfuffle and panic from people’s lives will be gone.

I’m even more stoic than usual (if possible) about this Christmas, mainly because Hubs will be away 23-24 December. If his flight is delayed, he may not get home until Christmas Day. We’ve made no plans other than our usual boiled eggs and soldiers for breakfast, and maybe a picnic, (if it’s not too hot). He’s been away eight days out of the past eleven – I think we could all do with some down time with him at home. Our family ‘do’ is on 27 December, when we are all together with the in-laws and then we’re celebrating our youngest nephew’s first birthday on 29 December.

Not forgetting the Boxing Day Test, which against the West Indies could be over and done with in three days not the usual five. (I’m still amazed that some of the fast bowlers refused to bowl from one end of the Tasmania pitch; erm – that’s your job?) Hubs is off to the Test on Boxing Day, if it’s still going on 28 December, Peanut and I will join him too.

The decorations in our local shopping plaza/mall have been up since before Halloween. This week Peanut came home from nursery with glitter and porridge oats in a sachet, with a poem about leaving the mixture out for Santa to guide his reindeers to the house, which infuriated me no end. Having spent all year talking about characters i.e. Batman, Superman, Santa; his childcare have revved him up to eleventy stupid about the whole ‘Santa’ gift-giving thing. Peanut is freaking out that we don’t have a chimney, so he can’t hang his stocking and how is Santa going to get here? Hubs and I have been really careful in our language saying ‘You need to wait for Christmas for your presents’ and ‘It’s about being with family and celebrating a special occasion’. Nowhere have we said anything about ‘Santa bringing you stuff’. It’s maddening that at not quite four and a half, we’re already battling peer pressure against a decision we’ve made not to lie to him about where his presents come from. ARGH.

I’m off to be a humbug and collect Hubs from the airport. I’ll leave you with this:Christmas

 

 

 

 

Flipping heck

In the stream of big weeks, this has been up there. I’m exhausted, and it’s been a long time since I’ve been this exhausted, I can tell you.

Let’s just ignore that Peanut has been awake more times overnight than he has been asleep. Let’s just ignore that Hubs has been interstate, so I’ve been single parenting. At home, right here, now, this week has so far included:

  • A burst pipe, so an emergency plumber was called
  • Fetching and decorating a Christmas tree (never not easy, always takes longer than you think)
  • Thunderstorms, which means the roof in the kitchen leaks
  • Nearly 40c days, which means the air con has to go on, I’ve got to chase the cat into the house, and work is either baltic or boiling
  • Launching a major project at work
  • One Christmas party
  • One Christmas breakfast
  • One morning tea
  • One afternoon tea
  • I’m worried about a girlfriend and what she’s going through at work
  • I’m worried about another girlfriend and the surgery she’s had
  • I’m worried about another friend and their family and health worries
  • I’m worried about family and friends in the UK and the storm

I went to bed early last night and could not sleep. So I lay there, read a bit, wrote a list of things I’m worried about (see above), worried about things I hadn’t written about. Eventually got off to sleep about 3ish for Peanut to wake me up with ‘I’m hungry!’ at 5:20am. I got him breakfast, got a DVD going, (needs must), and went back to bed and overslept.

I’ve also been a day ahead of myself all week, thinking today was Friday, when it was Thursday. You never quite get yourself sorted out when you wake up thinking it’s a day and it isn’t.

We’ve been so busy with this project over the past few weeks, everything else has gone by the wayside. I wrote my to-do list this afternoon: 2.5, (that’s two and a half), A4 pages, and I’m still not 100% I’ve got everything down. Whereas, one girl in earshot is already winding down for the holidays ‘I’m on leave, I can’t do it.’ Never mind that they’ve had all year to do it *deep sigh*

I’ve got breakfast with the Managers tomorrow. I cannot wait, mainly because I’ve chosen the venue (the perks of being a PA). It will also help with a predicted small hangover, as a bit of white wine has been drunk today. For medicinal purposes, obvs.

I’ve got so much work to do tomorrow before BossMan leaves to go on holiday. I don’t want to think about it really. I’m focussing on the 24 December, because after Christmas lunch, I’m not back at work until 4 January.

If anyone wants me, I’ll be reading, in my hammock. Or sleeping, in my hammock. Processing another year.

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Hammocks and hummocks

I love lazing around on a beach – but I can’t remember the last time I did it properly; I think it was when I was pregnant with Peanut. We visited the Out-laws over Easter and ANZAC day, went to Noosa Beach for the day, which doesn’t really count. My last beach holiday was Morocco for a week in October 2006, a longer one would be Cuba for two weeks in 2003 (?), endless summer days burning my feet on the pebbles of my home-town beach until I moved on in 2000.

I honestly do not know when I am next likely to lay rotisserie chicken style on a lounger, wading through a stack of books, dozing, laying on my back in the warm sea, ears full of water, looking at the sky. With a chaotic three and a half year old, it won’t ever be relaxing break on holiday, for a while at least. If I’m lucky, I’ll get the odd day here and there, but I fear a whole two weeks lounging around doing SFA will be a few years off.

I’m writing this listening to a Big Bash Twenty20 match, Jacques Kallis (be still my heart), Mike Hussey, Daniel Vettori and Andrew Flintoff are currently batting and bowling respectively. Aside from reaffirming what I’ve said for years, that playing T20 matches is no a young-mans game, you need a solid cricket career to play well in the shortened game – it really good cricket with sixes flying around all over the place. AND it is really good to see Flintoff bowling again after stuffing his knee so comprehensively a few year ago.

Ah, knees. I’ve been given the go-ahead to start exercising again. Albeit slowly and with lots of strengthening exercises, and (gloom) lots of swimming on the horizon. I say gloom, as when you’ve swum for as long as I have it’s really sodding difficult summoning any enthusiasm for yet again plodding up and down. I’m going back to basics with the running, starting Bikram again in the new year.

The hammock on our deck I can see out the window, but the last time I sat in it, I got eaten alive by mozzies. Finding time to sit down, to stop, is nigh on impossible. My mind doesn’t shut off easily, so I need to sit down with a book or catch up on a recorded program, but then I’m usually folding washing. Bikram is a 90 minute meditation, your brain really does not have room to stuff about, you have to concentrate on each pose. Running? I leave so much baggage behind me, it surprises me I don’t fall over any suitcases when I circle back and complete my route.

Continue reading “Hammocks and hummocks”