Sunday, November 30, 2008

tired, so tired

My whole body is aching. It seems to be more than just the aches and pains sustained after a strenuous fitball class on Friday. Maybe there is an emotional link to the pain - I started seriously tying up loose ends at church this morning. I've been on edge all week in anticipation. Now the moment is over I seem to have slumped. There's almost a fluey feel to my muscle aches. And I'm tired, so tired.

I had anticipated ending NaBloPoMo on a more positive, reflective note. As it is, I'm just going to end it. Like that. Finished.

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Saturday, November 29, 2008


It seems I'm not the only one concerned by the current global call to consume more in order to save ourselves. Courtesy of Eilleen at Consumption Rebellion I found Make Wealth History. At a glance, the site looks like an invitation to analyse our values and choices. In light of the Wal-Mart worker crushed to death by 2000 determined bargain hunters in New York on Friday, it would behove us to examine our consumption habits, both as a society and as individuals.

This one in particular caught my eye:

Another thoughtful consideration of our consumption habits and their consequences for the planet is found in the Story of Stuff. This punchy little film has been around for a while, but if you haven't seen it before it's well worth a look.

On a personal note, my little maglite torch stopped working. I tried several sets of batteries with no result and decided the bulb must have blown. When I went to the hardware store and asked for a new bulb he told me they are impossible to source, I'll have to buy a new torch. I don't want to be (much of) a consumer, but the whole system makes it almost impossible not to fall into it. I might try and claw my way out by purchasing one of these instead...

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Friday, November 28, 2008

the world's largest chocolate fondue party

Mmmm, the house smells like chocolate. But I don't want to eat any (more).

That'll be because our party tonight was part of the Stop the Traffik World's Largest Fondue Party and I already ate more than my fair share of chocolate for one day!

We've eaten strawberries and kiwi fruit and banana and orange and marshmallows and liquorice and Chicos and biscotti all dipped in Fair Trade Chocolate fondue that did not involve the trafficking or exploitation of anyone in the course of its production. (Bother, I've just googled Chicos and realised they are made by Allens who are now owned by Nestle, the king of unfair trade practices. Guess I won't be buying them again)

In the end we had a great night with a nice number of people attending. We dipped our food and fed our faces until we began to feel slightly ill and then participated in the obligatory chocolate game until we felt most definitely unwell:

As much as we had a good time, I hope we also helped to make a difference for the 12,000 people caught up in slavery and traffiking as a result of the chocolate industry. If you want to know more about this issue, check out the Stop the Traffik website here for all sorts of facts and information.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

topsy turvy

What a crazy, crazy world hey. When I got up this morning I checked the news on the internet (because I somehow got into this crazy habit of checking my personal email and other websites of interest before I head to work). There was some news about people being shot in Mumbai but my eyes slid right past it because I can't deal with all the shootings and bombings which daily bombard my eyes and ears so I filter them all out and head on over to the entertainment news, because we all want to know that Madonna and Guy Ritchie have both moved on to new relationships don't we?

I stepped into my car and tuned into Radio National Breakfast, only to discover I could not escape Mumbai. This wasn't your average, garden variety shooting in Iraq or Afghanistan, but a big deal simultaneous attack on high profile locations around the city. Another terrorist affair by all accounts. (How sad that I am no longer shocked by tragic news from Iraq)

I really want to block this out of my mind. The last thing I want to hear about is another bunch of fanatical people exercising their rights to the point of destroying the lives of those who hold a different view. This is abhorrant to me, and since it seems to be happening all around me with increasing frequency I am overwhelmed by horror. My best defence mechanism has become a dance of avoidance - ignore the events, avoid the pain.

Unfortunately avoiding one sad tale (if that is possible) propels me right into the arms of another. Let's see. What else is going on at the moment? Oh, that's right... an economic crisis. What appals me about this is the straw we have built our society upon. We are in trouble because of excessive lending and exceeding our incomes. The solution? Get out there and spend more money to stimulate the economy! Hello?? Wasn't over spending a contributing factor here? How can our whole society be so geared for consumption that we must consume more in order to dig ourselves out of our financial hole? Madness.

What was that about Madonna and Guy? Or Gordon Ramsey and his alleged affair? And isn't Amy Winehouse back in hospital? Give me this trite, inconsequential fluff please... drown out the madness. Oh... that's all madness too?

I just can't deal with how empty, hateful, shallow, violent and selfish we are. (And then I looked in the mirror! Ha) We need a messiah I think. Save us from this mess.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

on the up

I don't like to be so easily swayed by circumstances, but after a day sprinkled with little moments of niceness... I feel better now. Still tired and prone to overreacting, but a little more cheerful. This is what cheered me:

A boy at school insisted on giving me his spare school photo which his mum told him he could do what he wanted with. It's sitting on my work computer and I feel weepy every time I look at it. That boy is so precious, but I don't think he knows it because not many people in his life tell him.

My new Super Natural Cooking recipe book arrived in the post. Now I just need to source the super natural ingredients to churn out the super natural food.

A group I ran with some Grade 5/6 girls went super well - they were engaged the whole time and really got into the discussions about friendship.

A special friend texted me to say she was thinking of me, and a friend in the UK facebook messaged me with a word of cheer. Thanks guys!

Frank came to school to help me run a group with several Grade 3/4 boys. It's a wild group, but I love running it with Frank.

I went to visit a new workplace for my third job. The people were delightful and I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with them over a cup of tea.

Now about that tiredness thing... I'm off to bed right away!
Sleep tight!

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

it's very late...

...too late to write much. And I'm all at sea due to lack of sleep, so I'm off.

(I haven't blogged earlier because I was saving lives, having coffee, cleaning the toilet, cooking tea, eating tea, planning for school tomorrow, making up a music roster and talking to a friend about why I'm leaving church and whether they might take on my role or not)

A productive evening I think.


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Monday, November 24, 2008

grump-a-plump (or 'it's not all about me, it's not all about me')

This is a miserable, sucky post written solely to fulfill NaBloPoMo requirements. You won't enjoy reading it, so please don't. I feel slightly better for airing my thoughts, but really, it's not worth the air space really.

I'm a bit down in the dumps. Frank and I are throwing a party this Friday night and our guests are dropping like flies. Actually some of them were never flying in the first place. After initially imagining we might be hosting 2o or more, right now we are struggling to scrape ten.

Now I know there are valid excuses for people not coming - kids, unexpected trips out of town, work Christmas parties on the same night - all good reasons to stay away. But I'm still feeling miffed, rejected, forgotten.

It's like this. Their reasons are valid, but they give me some idea where I fit into the order of their priorities. They feel constrained to choose to go elsewhere. They are free to make that choice, I can't deny that, but their choice tells me where I lie in their mental tally of importance. And it ain't near the top. (That's the voice of Cecily-in-the-dumps speaking!)

I have come up against this 'Cecily falls far down our priority list' scenario before. Take a friend for example. They were pregnant. I knew they were pregnant as other people kept asking me if I had heard from them. I had not but over the years I've learned most people who say 'We need to get in touch with you' really mean 'We are pregnant'. Finally, just as the rest of the world were told the exciting news, I received an email officially informing me. Yay. I'm happy for them, but I know where I fall in their order of priorities. And it ain't near the top.

Then there was the friend I invited to our wedding. She decided to work a locum position for lots more money than she could normally earn and so didn't come. I get that she needed to make money, and I can't judge that. But I know my place - and it ain't near the top.

OK, this is turning into one big long self pitying whine that I may well delete as soon as NaBloPoMo is over, so I'll stop here.

I suppose the important question I should ask is how am I prioritising other people? And just as people have the freedom to choose to slot me lower down their list of priorities (and let's face it... the world does not revolve around me) so I have the freedom to choose how to respond to this - mope or accept and move on?

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

i'm still dying here

I realised this evening just how much I am still hurting and hating after wounds inflicted. A full year on and I remain mid-process in the forgiving, accepting, loving stakes. It has been a difficult time. I feel like I am on someone's altar, somewhere, being sacrificed for some greater good I cannot understand. I'm squirming, trying to free myself, fighting against whatever is about to happen, but I don't even know what that is.

Some of the truths guiding me through are these:

Hostis, a Latin word from which we derive 'hostile', meaning not hospitable, relating to an enemy, marked by malevolence. Hospis, a Latin word closely linked to hospitality. If I follow Jesus, I am called to hospitality, not hostility. Can I rise above my feelings to choose the better way of hospitality, generosity, kindness?

I look around and see people climbing over one another in an effort to reach the top. Revenge is a norm. Do good only if you expect a return on the giving. Look out for yourself - noone else will. Jesus calls me to a different way of living, one in which love is all and in all, where kindness is key. Denying myself is central to this way of being. Others first.

I wasn't imagining it. I am on the altar - not in a way that sees me lose myself, but in a way that will bring new life... it is too lofty to imagine I am like Jesus, but somehow, mysteriously, by giving his life he gained life. Perhaps by giving up myself, my defenses, my endless need to explain myself and justify my pain, I might find the key to the transformation of this ball of darkness rolling around within me. This is my prayer for today.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

girl talk

I am pleased to report I am still alive. Felt kind of strange all night and day, but that was due to a particularly bad dose of dysmenorrhea not botulism. Phew. Having said that, I did read botulism may rear its ugly head up to 10 days after exposure to the bacteria...

OK. This post comes with a warning. If you are male, queasy at the sight or sound of blood, or just not interested in female biology, this might not be for you. Quit reading now. On the other hand, read on if you care dare.


If the Red Tent by Anita Diamant is anything to go by, in ancient times women were well in tune with their sexuality and fertility. They menstruated in synch, withdrawing to the red tent to sit on clean straw and share their lives and their periods, their pregnancies and their loves.

What a long way off that seems from where we are today, when we manipulate our bodies with a pill, dull our fertility, push through the tiredness to fulfill our commitments outside the home, hide our cramps with medications, stem our flow through internal absorption. We are in complete control of our bodies but in the process we have lost touch with cycles and rhythms. We are not so good at embracing our fertility and sexuality.

I was recently interested to read a chapter entitled 'Feminine Hygiene (As Debated, Mostly, by Men)' in The Coming Plague by Laurie Garett. Garett details the commercial development of feminine hygiene products, and in particular tampons, linking their rise with the progress of women into the workplace. To my horror I read that tampons, which are inserted internally, were never subjected to safety tests, not when they were originally made with cotton in the 1930s, nor when super-abosrbant synthetic tampons were produced in the 1970s. By 1980 a surge in the recently described Toxic Shock Syndrome was being linked to these super absorbent, inadequately researched, insufficiently tested tampons. To this day TSS continues to occur and women continue using tampons, albeit with health information enclosed in the packaging.

My new knowledge set me to thinking about the way we are at the mercy of large corporations and their advertising. Women were taken in by tampons because they were promised comfort and security that would help them avoid embarrassing leaks in the outside world. They were out in the public marketplace inching their way forward into roles and responsibilities not previously performed by women. They required a reliable mechanism to control their menstrual flow. Feminine hygiene manufacturers jumped at the chance to meet their need and promoted their products shamelessly and the women jumped at the convenience. The more I thought about it the more I detested being at the mercy of corporations and companies and what they thought I was appropriate for my needs. I felt like a puppet dancing to the tune of whoever it is who says I should be always ready and available for work outside the home. But I kept buying tampons. They were so convenient.

Not long after this my journey took a different turn: I idly followed an unrelated link from Alotta Errata which took me to Treehugger. There I stumbled upon an article similar to 'Go with the flow' and was staggered to read how many pads and tampons end up flushed down the toilet or in landfill every year. Following up on the alternative feminine hygiene products listed on Treehugger, I learned more and more about cotton fabric pads and menstrual cups. Since I couldn't come at washing out my own pads I pursued the cup line of thinking. This 'Menstraul Cup' site was particularly helpful, if a little over zealous in its advocacy techniques. The biggest coup was discovering a dynamic, animated forum discussion that answered every question relating to menstrual cups I could possibly think of.

I don't claim to be an instant convert, but I was curious enough to give it a go. In January I decided upon a Lunette Cup and ordered one from Finland, via the UK, for $50. (Yay! They are now available in Australia) I won't kid you it was easy to use. It took me a couple of months to work up the courage, and another month or so to figure out how on earth to get it in, even with the detailed folding pictures I discovered in desperation!

It turned out getting the cup in was easier a lot easier than getting it out. While Frank was blissfully engrossed in 'The day after tomorrow', I was struggling with my cup, conjuring up new ways to extract it and wondering how I could explain my predicament to medical staff at the Accident and Emergency department. Thankfully it never came to that. And as they say, practice makes perfect. It got easier and easier to use. I find my Lunette so much more comfortable and practical than tampons I would never go back. The cramps are not as bad (except for last night - not sure what happened there), I have almost no problems with PV infections, once the cup is in I don't have to think about it all day (it was fantastic while we were travelling). Plus think of all the money I'm saving on pads and tampons! I love it.

I don't know, it's more than just convenience. Somehow I feel more in control of my body now... not quite getting back to the red tent, but no longer ignorant and at the mercy of unscrupulous corporations. No more landfill. No more expensive products. My periods have been transformed!

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Friday, November 21, 2008

botulism: worse than nablopomo bloating

If I should not be here to write my daily NaBloPoMo post tomorrow, it may be because I have succumbed to botulism and am ventilated in ICU.

It is more than likely I won't have botulism, but tonight, when I was cooking up some garlic, onion, zucchini and organic tinned tomatoes to accompany the black eyed pea and quinoa patties, I opened the tin of tomatoes and they smelled strange. More than that, in the tin was a piece of blackened tomato, like it had a worm or rotten bit. By that stage I had already tipped the tomatoes into the saucepan with the afore mentioned vegetables, and I didn't want to waste them. So I kept stirring and hoping all would be OK. However, the strange smell kept emanating from the saucepan. I dipped a finger in to see if the whole thing tasted strange. It didn't, but when I googled botulism I was shocked to discover as little as 1 microgram may be lethal to humans. How many micrograms are in a lick of the finger? More than one I imagine!

I stopped licking my fingers, stopped cooking the tomato and phoned the company and left a message describing the tin contents. I then carefully wrapped the unwashed tin, its lid and the piece of offending tomato in a plastic bag.

And so now I wait. For a phone call from the company. To see if I develop a dry mouth, vomiting (half a tick - nauesous, but not pregnant, before you jump to any conclusions), drooping eyelids (tick - I could do with going to bed earlier) and difficult breathing.

I suspect I'll be OK. And I'm not naming the company because this is what happened to the last company named and shamed for botulism. I will however let you know if I am awarded thousands of dollars. Ha.

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50 self portraits later...

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

chameleon. not.

My poor hairdresser!

I went and had a bit of a do today. Not just a cut, but a colour too. First I asked her if I had nits or lice. I'm paranoid I've caught nits or lice from the kids at school... they all come cuddling and smooching and unintentionally rubbing their nit-ridden hair across my arm or shoulder or (shudder) head. I can hardly push them away, though I walk a fine line... don't want them to feel unloved by not touching them, but would prefer not to be accused of child abuse either. I figure most of them need a few hugs, so I return the hug and step away quickly. However I always wonder if those lice might not have jumped on over to my hair. I am pleased to report, to now, they have not.

Anyway, this was what I had done:



Maybe the pictures aren't so outstandingly different, but for me it's a huge change. I'm in shock. So is my hairdresser. She thought I was going to cancel my appointment, and I very nearly did!

I don't know. It's like the hair straightener issue. Much to Charmaine's amusement (or is it chagrin?) I have continued to resist purchasing a hair straightener. I even managed to restrain myself from buying the $3 pair I saw at the op shop! Every time I get my hair done Charmaine deliberately pulls out the straighteners and irons my hair in an attempt to convince me I need them. She even told me today that if she is ever offered a free set of hair straightening tongs by a supplier she is going to accept them and pass them straight on to me! I still think hair straighteners illustrate our obsession with perfection, appearances and illusions. I still don't think I really need them.

The same goes for hair colouring really. I am gently graying. Catch me on a bad day and I don't like it, but mostly I don't mind. That's life. I have few wrinkles, but at least my hair shows I've seen a bit of life. I want to be someone who embraces my aging and enjoys each phase of my life. I don't need to colour my hair.

Which is why I really can't explain why I decided to go ahead and colour it. I think Frank said 'You'd look nice with a bit of blonde in your hair' one evening, I went to the hairdresser soon after and the appointment was made. All month I've wrestled with the booking. I nearly cancelled a couple of times. I was musing to a friend the other day about whether I should do it or not (mountain out of a mole hill) and she told me it's just a hair colour - do it and enjoy it!

So I did. I sat in the chair and said 'Go ahead, dye my hair'. So now I have a chocolatey brown base colour with soft copper and blonde highlights. Frank thinks it looks fantastic, Charmaine loves it, I like it. But. But. But. Mixed in with the appreciation of my new look is a strong case of dissonance between what is and my ideal! What about the chemicals I've been purging from my diet and home and life? What about the environmental impact of dying my hair? What about the principles and values I hold dear?

And for goodness sake - why stress so much over it? It's a hair colour for goodness sake. Enjoy it. Revel in it. Stop turning everything in your life into a damn crusade Cecily! We've had enough crusades. Chill out and embrace change. Come on. Pull yourself together girl!

Really, I do like it.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

curiously, this is another lame post

Frank and I have been running a fortnightly discussion group called 'Curious. Because life is a curious thing' for a couple of years now. We wanted to create a space for conversations in life, faith and spirituality that were not necessarily Christian in focus, and not forcing Jesus onto people, but encouraging thought about the meaning of life and possible answers to such questions. We've wandered away a little from our original intent, and that's OK - you roll with the punches, thank God for the lovely people he sends and hope we all walk more closely aligned with Jesus and goodness and truth... and leave the rest to God.

Tonight was the humding-ing-est discussion ever, mostly because we were trying to decide upon our next topic of conversation. We've opted for a series of studies called 'Living Simply' but along the way we had some incredibly warm and interesting tangents. I personally am relieved this is our new topic. (Revelation is not really to my liking!) But the other stuff was interesting too. Just didn't leave much brain space for meaningful blogging!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

boastin' a little

I did a third grade violin exam three weeks ago. I was quite nervous as I felt mighty under practised. It appears I pulled the wool over the examiners eyes. I scored the top mark in Tasmania for all Trinity Guildhall music exams this semester.

As they say on 'Australian Idol' (which I have not been able to watch at all this year because we have not succumbed to digital television), it's all in the song choice. I only played pieces I knew I could nail, and any with tricky techniques I tucked far away from the light of day (or the ear of the examiner).

Apparently I get a medal or something... which is a bit embarrassing and makes me feel like a child. As did the examiner's comment about 'this young player'. Looks like I tricked him on my age too!

OK. Stopping the boast now.

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this is a little bit embarrassing

Embarrassing for a couple of reasons:
  1. My internet connection stuffed itself up this afternoon. No, really, it did stuff itself up. I came home from work and it was slow as slow as stopped. I confess I may have added to the problem when I started fixing it. And then I forgot how to reset my modem and I flapped around in a state of near panic, because how on earth was I going to NaBloPoMo?!
  2. In my state of panic I phoned my computer-nerd brother and got my gracious, kind sister-in-law. I shared my NaBloPoMo fears. She offered soothing, sympathetic noises and (she is so nice and understanding) offered to post for me if it came to that. I cornered my Dad on the phone, but he didn't know how my modem worked. And my brother turned out to be uncontactable.
  3. I realised I was skipping a step in the modem resetting process. As soon as I followed the instructions to the letter my connection was restored. I then phoned everyone back to assure them everything would be alright.
My sister-in-law said something very thoughtful though: 'It's a tradition now'. So it's not that I'm crazy or obsessed or anal about NaBloPoMo. Oh no. Not that at all! NaBloPoMo has become a meaningful blogging tradition. No, seriously!

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Monday, November 17, 2008

movember gone horribly wrong

I don't know if this happens outside of Australia too, but here November is not only NaBloPoMo but also Movember. To be perfectly honest, Movember is far better known, but hey... I can't grow a moustache so I NaBloPoMo.

The idea is blokes grow a moustache (or 'mo' as we call them here) for the whole month to raise awareness and funds for men's health issues. It truly is a sight to behold. Apart from the fact the city is crawling with mos enough to make me cringe, this year I have seen the ugliest moustache ever beheld in my whole entire life. I don't care how much awareness or money this man is raising - he should get rid of the mo. It's hideous. (My lips are sealed as to who he might be!)

Anyway, I was just catching up on some local news. There's all sorts of corruption and jerry mandering and dishonest behaviour going on behind the scenes in Tasmanian Government. Most of us are appalled, but until the election in 2010 we don't have as much of a voice as we would like. Anyway, somehow the corruption has become so blatant we are now enduring a parliamentary enquiry into the behaviour of several politicians and top beaurocrats. It makes for entertaining viewing.

This, however, takes the cake. Rhys Edwards was called to give evidence today and it would appear he has fronted sporting an, um, interesting looking moustache. When I first read this article and looked at the picture I thought he looked like a typical rich, white, male beaurocrat. Then I looked again and realised that ain't no serious moustache! That's a 'Movember' moustache.

I laughed and laughed. Being called to give evidence before a parliamentary committee must be challenging enough. Doing so with a mo that's a bit of a joke is another altogether.

Kudos to you Rhys Edwards. I can't grow a moustache, but I'm pretty sure that if I could I would have shaved it off for the committee and cameras. Good on ya mate!

And remember blokes - get that prostate checked out OK? It could save you're life.

Movember - Sponsor Me

(Now, what was that about nothing to say today!?)

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cesky krumlov (or 'i'm stumped for things to write about')

How many great blog topics can I forget in a day? A lot, if today was anything to go by. And now that the moment(s) have passed I am realising they were hardly worth writing about anyway. Consider yourself lucky you have been spared!

Inspired by Deanna, I have decided to reminisce on our recent European travels. This is a totally random dip into Cesky Krumlov, a gorgeous medieval town in the south of the Czech Republic. (Thanks to my Czech friend for suggesting we visit this gem)

Fresh from five nights in Prague we travelled south on a rather crowded, rusting hulk of a train, with a young boy opposite keeping us entertained with his antics and a kindly old man next to us pointing out a few local attractions in rather limited, broken German.

Our initial destination was Cesky Budejovice, from where we planned to catch a bus to Cesky Krumlov. As we stepped from the train dark rain clouds were threatening, and after wandering the quaint but deserted streets of old Cesky Budejovice (it was a Sunday) in search of our accommodation we almost tiredly decided to skip Cesky Krumlov altogether. Thankfully our hostess was less than impressed to see us so early in the afternoon. She kindly allowed us to dump our heavy pack before sending us post haste to the bus station and Cesky Krumlov. As it turns out, the bus station was not so easy to find and with the clock ticking ever closer to the next bus' departure time we started desperately approaching people on the street to ask directions. After drawing a few blank looks (don't tell me they've really never heard English or German before?) a kindly old lady who didn't look like an angel but certainly acted like one, walked us to the top floor of the shopping centre and directed us to the correct gate, chattering all the while in perfectly accented English.

Gasping for breath we fell into the bus seats just as it pulled out of the station and sat back and enjoyed the green, gentle countryside that is South Bohemia. Of course Cecily, who knows better than the guide book, led us to stay on the bus one stop too long (which ended up being a good thing as we would never have found the bus station on our return), so our walk into the town was rather prosaic and drab. In the end it didn't really matter which way we entered the town - it's situation, nestled down into an S bend of the Vltava River and overlooked by an enormous castle atop a ridge was not something we could miss from any direction.

The place literally oozed charm, whether it was the Castle Gardens,

narrow winding streets that seemed to always end up taking us to one church

or another (OK, so they're the same church, but very different streets! And their were several churches scattered around the place),

views of the township from high on the castle walls,

or the way we kept stumbling upon incredible vantage points

we were more than glad we made the effort to visit.

(And this one is just because I love what you can do with a photo on the computer!)

We loved Cesky Krumlov and we also loved our accommodation in Cesky Budejovice. We did not however love the food we ate there... it was quite possibly the worst meal I have ever eaten in my life, but that's a whole 'nother post! For now I'm just remembering how beautiful this place is and feeling rather pleased and thankful we were able to visit!

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

random, totally random

I've had a nice weekend. Which does not account for the ongoing battle with crankyness - is PMT really a valid excuse? But still, it was nice. I sewed a pretty summer dress, enjoyed some sunshine and started my 'get fit' crusade. Not that I'm really unfit, but they changed the time for the aqua fitness class I attended for three years. I got a little huffy because the new time was totally unsuitable and (somehow) changing aqua nights didn't fit in my head with everything else I was holding in there. So I quit going and my body has slowly converted to mush. Not that I've put on any weight, but there are rolls of, ah, flesh that weren't there before. So I've walked everywhere this weekend, rearranged my brain so I can attend aqua on Monday and I'm thinking toned thoughts.

Which brings me to all the fat I've eaten this weekend... lemon meringue pie (I made it myself, so I know how much butter was in it), garlic bread (I made it myself, so I know how much butter was in it), asparagus and barley risotto (again... I know exactly how much fat was in it). Tally it all up and that's one big weekend. I'm wondering if we always made everything from scratch, would we eat so much crap food? Or would it scare us so silly we'd start cooking healthier stuff? Whatever, tomorrow night I'm going for a crisp, fresh, low-fat stir fry. And aqua.

Hey... maybe the fatty food is making me feel catty?

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

um, no words

I was going to tell you about my day, how because I finished all the cleaning yesterday I had a broad, open space for my Saturday. I filled the space by walking to the shops, buying flour and vegetables and meat and fabric, and making a dress and cooking up the most amazing lemon meringue pie in the world (humble I know, but try free range eggs for yellow lemon in the pie and you'll get what I mean). But I can't tell you about any of that (what more is there to say?), because I have just watched 'The Gods aren't angry' by Rob Bell and I am all crying and at sea.

I love Frank, I've written about it often.
I think I might love Rob Bell too.
Actually, that's not quite true... I think I fell a little bit more in love with Jesus tonight. And as I have been a cranky bitch from hell all day (in between the shopping, cooking and sewing) I could do with a bit more of Jesus and his love.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

playing house

How can the small things in life bring so much satisfaction?! Like house cleaning!

Last weekend I didn't do any housework or washing, and nothing much gets done during the week around here. But today... I got to catch up on it all. The house smells beautiful, looks beautiful... is beautiful! The sheets are clean, the towels washed. Everything is as it should be.

Better still, the bed sheets, bathroom towels and tea towels all match. They're all green this week. I love that.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

open for business

I'm starting to get a little bit of a complex. As you know, I've been studying counselling. Down here in this part of the world it isn't the easiest to find good arenas for gaining experience. I went to a local relief agency and offered my services as a counsellor and sat down to wait for my first booked client. They never came so I waited for my second first client. They didn't turn up either. And so it went on. The pattern continued for a few weeks (I was only available one morning a week so I wasn't frittering away too much time) until I succumbed to the reality of people whose lives are far different from my own. When you are living hand to mouth day by day, counselling that sounded good at the time they picked up their food voucher didn't hold quite the same appeal one week later when the tummy was full. I said my farewells to the organisation and started hunting for another opportunity.

Not long afterwards I was head hunted by a company who offer workplace counselling. Ha. That's rather a generous description. This is Tasmania... head hunting isn't quite what it might be in other places. I had heard of this company, they had heard of me through a number of avenues, we met, they employed me and I started working with them on a small scale.

This evening was my first individual counselling session for the company. I set myself up in the office with time to settle my mind, wipe my sweaty palms and calm my beating heart. And then I waited. And waited. And waited. A quick phone call revealed the client... oh... had a work commitment and couldn't come. We have rebooked but - am I scary? Do I put people off? What's with this no-show business?

I'll try not to become too caught up in conspiracy theories on this one. Not that difficult really when I have a whole box of my first ever business cards to admire and caress. Me? Little Cecily? Business cards? How totally cool!

If all else fails I suppose I could recruit new clients with a business card drop from the air?

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

slugs (and earth), please accept my apology

Actually, although I am feeling very much bad for the environment, I am not feeling one little bit sorry for slugs of any description. I've just been outside in the balmy, moon-lit evening, hand picking them off my plants and soil. (No, the yeast and caffeine weren't so successful, although I am still using both to some degree. I suspect my pots of yeast are not big or deep enough) My endeavours tonight were not helped by the only torch I had batteries for refusing to work. It's not so easy to hunt for slugs by match light, burning one's fingers, choking on acrid sulphur, blinking smoke from the eyes. I caught enough to satisfy my need for revenge before coming inside and vowing to buy batteries of every size and description tomorrow. This. Is. War.

It's all got me to thinking. Here I am trying to be organic, do my bit for the environment, eke out a small food supply for ourselves without straining the earth any more than necessary - but are we going about this the right way? I read 'Prodigal Summer' by Barbara Kingsolver (my current favourite author) at the beginning of the year. The book is a novel but I learned as much about ecosystems (Kingsolver was originally a biologist), predators and environmental balance as I did about the lives and loves of the characters. Kingsolver argues strongly for allowing natural predators to maintain their place at the top of the food chain. We humans have argy bargied our way to the top, removed the natural predators and consequently found ourselves with a mess of pests and weeds. Allow the natural predators back and they will soon restore balance to the system and control the pests.

So, my vegetable patch. What are we doing wrong that we are so overwhelmed by pests? Which predators have we removed? Here I find myself between a rock and a hard place. Allow the birds in and they destroy the seedlings. Swathe the garden in bird netting and the slugs rise to ascendency and destroy the seedlings. Catch 22. Add to the bird netting the presence of four hungry chickens pacing outside - if I was a slug I'd hive off to the safety of the covered garden too. I can't solve this one overnight, but it's got me thinking.

Maybe I'm thinking too much! I read an article on a news website (I've hunted and hunted for it tonight but can't locate it) about people who are over environmentally zealous. They rewash plastic bags (tick), walk around in the dark (um, tick) and look down on any low life who fails to act in the best interests of the environment (I swear it was only once or twice...). I keep remembering this every time I make some ridiculous 'environment saving' choice at the shop or in the house. 'Settle down Cecily' I say, 'Steady on.' But recently I asked a friend who is studying environmental sustainability if (in view of her studies) she thought global warming and climate change was a myth, as those in government and industry so often like to suggest. She shocked me by saying not just no, but that environmental scientist's predictions are dire. The environment is in a far worse state than the public are being told. The code of silence is being maintained to prevent mass hysteria.

That scared me a little. I don't think climate change is a myth, but to hear people in the know are so concerned... well... can we survive this? Will my small, organic vegie patch make any difference? Should I give up now? Or is my eco-guilt driven obsession helping turn the tide of destruction? Is there a black and white answer to this question? I'm not sure, but lest you think I am becoming over the top in my eco-warrier endeavours I have a confession to make. I ordered a book from Amazon in the USA. Yes, dirty carbon footprints will be left from wherever Amazon are based to my front door as my (eco-friendly, get back to nature, stop eating so much processed food) recipe book wings its way to me. (In my defense, it doesn't seem to be available in Australia anymore, and even the local bookshops were going to have to order it from the USA - for a significantly greater amount due to the plummeting Australian dollar. Amazon had a winning deal, so I promise to put the money I saved into greening the earth some other way. Will that suffice?)

I don't know. It's all so complicated. I have to face the fact that I cannot exist without placing strain on the earth. The question is - how least to do so.

If you know the answer, could you please let me know!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Did you hear it? That scream, long and continuous?
It's me. My internal scream. Life has gotten a little out of control this past, oh, eleven days.

I drove to a supper meeting this evening. Along the way the water in the harbour and river was still and perfect, casting beautiful reflections of the boats and hills and sky. The moon hung calmly in its place, not moving a centimetre, just observing as my car zoomed to the appointment. I wanted to stop right there in the traffic and drink in the scenery, let some of the water and moon's stillness seep into my heart and mind. But I didn't, I raced on and drank wine and discussed my new job.

The new job that might well be the source of the stress. That or Nablopomo... is it only strange coincidence, this increased stress of the last eleven days coinciding with the first eleven days of Nablopomo?! Or the job? The one that was going to be contained to four hours a month initially, but now incorporates a few additional counselling sessions? Could be both I suppose.

One thing I know for sure. That counselling session coming up on Thursday afternoon, the first professional counselling session of my life, the one in which a woman plans to bring her husband along for a dandy couple session (and everyone knows how difficult couple counselling can be, even for experienced therapists) - it is freaking me out.

I'm off to find a sock to stick in the mouth of that internal scream, or to look at the beautiful moon. Whichever comes first.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

i know what comes first (and it's not the egg!)

Our chickens are pumping out a couple of eggs almost daily now, but contrary to my initial reports of joy and anticipation... it's been a long time coming. I don't know. Everyone made it sound so easy. Just buy a few chickens, plonk them in the backyard, let them wander around, feed and water them and eggs will surely flow. Or bounce. Or lay. Or something.

Nope. Not here. It did not happen like that here at all.

After the chickies arrived there were a few eggs to begin with. I suspect their poor little bodies had been in mass production for so long they didn't know how to stop. Then they realised they didn't have lights coming on at an unearthly hour and they could take a well earned break. So they did. Production dropped dramatically.

A little while later Frank was offered a free rooster by a customer who had too many. 'He will make your chickens lay more' they assured him, so he snapped 'im up. Hector, we named him, for Hector the Protector, but all he did was send the chickens into a clucking fit every time he so much as moved in their direction. They were not so enamoured by his adolescent rooster beauty. The eggs stopped altogether.

For a week or two we let them be. They needed a rest. Perhaps they were moulting. Maybe the shock of moving away from the flock had put them off the lay. They were supposedly free range where we bought them, but in reality were stuck in a shed - did the great outdoors scare them too much? Were we feeding them enough? They weren't sick were they?

I scoured the internet for details, joined online forums, pleaded for help over the phone lines and chewed the ear of the local pet shop owner. 'Just wait' they all said, 'Those chickens will come around. You'll have eggs soon.'

But we didn't. Instead I came home to find not an egg, but a dead chicken in the nest. Poor little thing. She was the bottom of the pecking order and had been poorly and weak from the beginning. We presumed she just couldn't cope with all the stress, although if we'd been really into it we might have conducted a chicken autopsy to identify the cause of death. As it was, we buried her with minimal ceremony under a tree.

And then it happened. Eggs. One here and there, then two every couple of days, now a regular two eggs. Not only that, but their feathers are glossy, their combs red and moist, they wander wherever they want without fear or favour. And Hector? He crows quietly and joyfully at a reasonable hour, has his merry way with the chickens and everyone seems happy! Meanwhile, Frank and I are enjoying eggs in increasing quantities.

A happy outcome all round. (Except for the poor little chickie who died of course)

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

odds and ends from the fridge

I'm in a bit of a cooking slump, a state of being not helped by a whole drawer of little pieces of a load of vegetables. I don't have enough of anything to make something decent!

I didn't use any of the odds and sods tonight, but I did scrape together a few other bits and pieces to come up with (there's no other way to say this) a gourmet pizza. Potato, asparagus, caramelised onion, wilted baby spinach leaves, smoked chicken, basil and sour cream. Yummo.

If only I could take pictures as good as that pizza tasted. Take your pick... flash or no flash.

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

let the games begin

This might sound crazy, but I spent half an hour this evening spraying coffee on my vegie patch. Something has been chewing my plants for a couple of years now. At first it was just in one area of the plot... miniature, cute spring onions would poke out of the soil one day, and the next day they were gone. Poof. Disappeared.

I figured it was snails eating them but I had no real proof. In winter I planted broccoli. Again, all disappeared over the course of a few nights. This year I planted snow peas and as I write, they are slowly being eroded by the mystery pest. Not even the chickens are winning over this pestilence.

I have never seen snails in my garden and there don't seem to be slugs hiding in the sleepers, so I've been making stabs in the dark at what might be attacking my precious vegies. That is perhaps too generous a description, because if I had truly been stabbing in the dark I would by now have discovered any snail or slug that ventured out under cover of night.

Yesterday I bought an organic gardening magazine. I was interested to read that snails and slugs exposed to caffeine die of heart attacks. So I headed out to the garden early this evening armed with a spray bottle of fresh coffee and set about coating every leaf, shoot and inch of soil with the brown fluid.

When you spray soil by hand you get down on your hands and knees, all close and personal and somehow details you might otherwise have missed gain new found significance. And that's when I saw them. All those little black slugs, barely half a centimetre long, sitting on top of the dirt making the most of last night's deluge. Hundreds of them congregated around every little seedling and plant.

How could I have missed them before? There were so many! All over the place!! I'm hoping they've all suffered fatal cardiac arrests by now. I sprayed 1.5 litres of coffee all over them! In case they haven't I followed up the coffee with another piece of advice - yeast. I mixed up some dry yeast in warm water, added a little sugar and salt and buried cups of this enticing mixture in the dirt. Tonight, any slugs that might have the tenacity to survive the caffeine fix are going to crawl on over to that yeast mix and drown. I'm banking on it. My organic vegetable patch is also banking on it.

So. Let's see what happens.

Slugs - the games have begun and I'm working my darnedest to make sure I win!

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Friday, November 07, 2008


After all the anticipation and excitement about the US election, I ended up on an isolated camp site with three classes of beastly careless school children just when the whole thing was being decided (credit where credit is due - one did tell me he hoped Obama would win. I was impressed he even knew who Obama was). Such an anticlimax. One enormous, gigantic thankyou to my friend Robyn, who texted me with one word: 'woohoo :-)'. Her message said it all.

I know some of you in the USA aren't sure about Obama. I know I don't have to live with whatever economic policy he decides to implement - although in this global village maybe I will live with it despite our differing citizenship. I know a new person at the helm brings with it uncertainty. I know my mum thinks he is a dark horse who has not revealed everything he stands for. I know that some of his liberal policies do not conform to the moral values others hold dear. I know that at every election certain crazy Christians attempt to determine if the new president mightn't just be the antichrist. I know all that, but I still feel an incredible sense of relief that Barrack Obama is now the president elect.

I am reading a book by Barbara Kingsolver called 'Small Wonder'. In this collection of essays written after the 9/11 terrorist attacks she explores what in American society might have provoked such attacks. I am only three essays in, but her willingness to acknowledge the faulty value system of the USA (and most of the western world really) is confronting, refreshing, and challenging. She questions the benefit of fighting violence with violence, wonders if capital gain at the cost of people in other countries might not have fuelled the anger and bitterness that resulted in the attacks, and urges people to return to a deeper connection with the earth that sustains them. I cannot help but think the world would be a better place if we all lived by the alternative values she argues for so beautifully.

For me, Obama embodies some of these values Barbara Kingsolver espouses. He advocates for diplomacy over war, justice and respect for people of all persuasions, distributing wealth more equitably. These ideals resonate strongly with me. I am tired of the old way of doing things. Right down to Australia we have been protectionist, looking out for our own interests, rejecting compassion, worshipping profit, searching after continual economic growth while others less fortunate than ourselves have suffered the effects of our excesses.

I doubt Obama is a messiah able to solve all the ills of the world, but if he can respond to injustices and pain with compassion and peace then maybe he can change more things than we imagine. And perhaps that approach will cost us in terms of our own personal comfort. But that might not be so bad. We've had it pretty good for a long, long time. It's other people's turn now.

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life in a small town ii

Living in a small city is sometimes a chore and at other times a delight. Take tonight for instance. I phoned the Avon lady to place an order. (Before you judge me too harshly for ordering Avon, I order small amounts infrequently. This Avon lady is so nice I feel obliged to order occasionally to acknowledge her niceness. Thus my order tonight.)

So I phoned up and our conversation roamed over religion, mosquitos, the Koran, airport travel, euthanasia, living sustainably and donating to charity - and that was before we even made it to the order. I confess I slipped into an old habit of offering well timed 'aha's as I cruised around the internet. I don't know how long she we talked for in the end, but it was over half an hour. Somewhere in there I believe we completed the order correctly!

It's like that here. Some of my best friends are shop keepers. If you return to the same homey specialty store over and over again to fulfill the endless requirements for life's little essentials (since I am trying to avoid money hungry corporations I find myself more and more often in these homey stores) quality, personal service comes with a gentle progression of relationship. First all is politely professional. Then a hello with a hint of recognition siddles its way in. This progresses to remembering first names and asking how one is (an exchange no doubt aided by repeatedly seeing a name on the oft presented credit card). The final stage of the cash register friendship is intimate conversation over the fruit and vegetables or meat or carefully selected gift. I have attained this level of relationship with the green grocers, butcher, beautician, Oxfam manager, grain grocer, second hand bookshop proprieter, restauranteur and purveyor of fine gifts. With friends like these, who needs real friends?!

Truly, life on a small island is charmed. Naturally contained by the ever-so-close shores but none-the-less charmed. And this new relationship with the Avon lady? So it skipped a step or two, but really? It makes me chuckle and feel happy to live in a small place where people still care and have time to be friendly. Very friendly.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

sleep, wither hast thou gone?

I'm feeling a little seedy. Somehow a camp with 53 grade 5/6 students seems so much better in theory. At least that was how it seemed at 1:20 am when I accidentally read my watch upside down and thought it was ten to seven and I believed myself to have missed a peaceful shower sans children because I had slept in and only awoke when they ran up and down outside the cabins.

Children raising backwards and forewards screaming was no dream and showers were the last thing on their minds as they repeatedly escaped their rooms for secret rendezvous under the stars. Just as I was dropping off to sleep at 2:15am they started at it all over again. (If they'd had any sense they would have sneaked out silently, but perhaps we should be glad they could not contain their giggles and squeals!) As all the teachers seemed asleep, I dragged myself out of the sleeping bag and told them to get back to bed. At the sound of continued chatter and thumping on the floor I knocked on suspect doors and told them in hushed tones to be quiet and think of other people who were trying to sleep... but one person wanting sleep in a room of seven was hardly a strong enducement.

I have no idea if any of them slept after that, though in view of my eventual peaceful shower, I suppose they must have! As it was when I went back to the staff cabin one of the teachers was snoring just enough that sleep remained elusive for quite some time.

Ah well. At least they all had fun, and with a location like this to explore together - I can't really complain!

Night time shenanigans aside, they were pretty good kids really. Hyper excited (what other explanation could there be for wearing pyjamas en masse at 3pm - that or a plethora of new PJs they could not wait to don!), but adorable in their delight. I love these kids and I'm thankful for the chance to share with them in creating happy memories that hopefully will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

short and sharp

When I signed on for Nablopomo I didn't realise I would have so many days away in the first week. This morning I am off on an overnight camp with 75 Grade 5/6 boys and girls (aged 10 to 12). I'm looking forward to it, but since I haven't packed yet and I need to leave in an hour or so (what do you have to pack for overnight really... almost nothing!), I don't have time for a careful, measured, thoughtful, meaningful post like all my posts usually are. (Ha... did I trick you there?!) Anyway, this one is just a quick note to say 'I posted. I fulfilled the requirements. I'll be back and hopefully I get some sleep and hopefully I don't have to wait until my return to find out who won the election!'

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

facing up to facebook

I may not be able to vote in the US election but that hasn't stopped me lodging my preference on my facebook status. (The suspense, the suspense. Do you realise how painful it is to be twenty four hours ahead and have to wait, not for the 4th November, but the 5th?)

Ah, facebook. Good old facebook. Where would I be without facebook?!

At first I didn't really get the whole online social networking thing. In order to protect my identity I registered using my maiden name, which is kind of still my name, since I work under it at the hospital. The unexpected spin off is that old school friends have been able to find me very easily - noone who knows me now can find me, but those old school friends? We are right back where we left things, um, twenty years ago.

Which is one of the nicest things about facebook really. While the whole 'please be my friend' thing is irritating (what am I... in primary school, waiting to see if people will like me, approve me, befriend me? Or was that high school? It's all such a blur now!), it has been nice to reconnect with all those people from yesteryear.

But how much of a friend is a facebook friend really? Last count, I had 250 friends. I know this because in an effort to catch up with my brother's hefty friend list I check every few hours to see if anyone new likes me. I interact with maybe twenty or thirty of these friends, but mostly I just enjoy the vague sense of connection and knowing I could easily get in touch if I wanted to. Hardly friendship really.

I have to be careful on facebook because it's easy to take offense with the whole friend thing. A couple of girls refused my online approach. I don't really blame them, since at the time of our real friendship I was little more than a boring prude crushed beneath the repressive regime my father enforced. Another old school friend heartlessly cut me out of her friend list. I was a little miffed, but really... we were never close anyway, especially not after she told me her brother thought I would be beautiful if I bought the Avon she was selling. Since I would have done anything to get his attention I bought the Avon. Sigh. More recently I realised a local nursing colleague had chopped off our online alliance. I got all incensed and thought all kinds of indignant, injured thoughts before I realised I haven't seen her around (in reality or on facebook) for a long time. Chances are she ditched me long ago and I never even noticed. Obviously we weren't such great friends. Which all goes to show just how artificial facebook really is.

The jury is still out - facebook has its benefits (This evening I've swapped messages with a work mate and right now I'm using it to chat to a friend) and I love keeping up with the more intimate details of people's lives. But real friendship on facebook? About as remote as my current status making any real difference in the US election!

Ah well. All things in their place. Use it as a tool, just don't let facebook take over my life I suppose.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

sharpen up

This is incredible - my kitchen knife is sharp again!

I confess I have been too afraid to sharpen my knives with the beautiful knife sharpener Frank's mother bought him long before we were married and I moved in. I don't know, when you see those knives flashing ever so quickly over the steel of the sharpener it looks highly possible to cut one's fingers off. But as I chopped the spring onions tonight, it was slow, slow work. I wondered what I would need to do to chop as quickly as chefs seem to on those TV shows (they don't use fast forward do they?). Then I remembered the knife sharpener, pulled it out, flashed some steel, and hey presto - I cut those spring onions as fast as any chef. Well, maybe not that fast, but it was heaps better than it has been for the last 18 months or so.

This is exciting news. I'm off to sharpen every knife in the house now! In fact, I might advertise in the local paper and see if I can assist other people by sharpening their knives!

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a touch of paradise

This might sound corny, but Frank and I just spent a weekend in Paradise, not far from the Promised Land. We didn't have to die to gain entry, but the short drive from here to there (just over an hour) seemed to take us into an alternative reality, almost a virtual world.

Maybe it was because of the green, green grass. Or the amazing views of Mount Roland. (This was taken from our accommodation at Paradise Cottage)

Or Sheffield's sleepy country town feel, which left me so disorientated at one point I caught myself wondering if the shop assistant recognised my accent.

Perhaps it was the trippy little Scottish Scone Shoppe where we found ourselves serenaded by live (albeit subdued) bagpipe music for the duration of a quaint lunch surrounded by kilts and tartans.

Certainly Tasmazia played with our heads and drew us into a strange place of befuddling mazes,

minature townships

and maddeningly cheerful quotes.

This one shocked me too.

Alum Cliffs. I seriously had no idea that just off the main road, tucked behind native bushes and ferns was this amazing geological feature. Why were we the only ones there?!

I wonder if the strangeness of our time in Paradise didn't stem from the opportunity to just S.T.O.P. We got off the merry-go-round of life for a couple of days but our heads kept spinning around and around, creating this strange perception of unreality. Eighty kilometres seemed like a world away from our every day existence, everything moved in slow motion, time stood still. Not still enough for us to be in Paradise yet, but enough time to pause, take a deep breath and have a break.

Now it's back to reality and the maddening crowd.

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

ear ear

You know there's a problem when you start thinking it might be worthwhile to steal a single cotton bud from the natural soap and shampoo stall in order to sneak away and clean your ears!

Frank and I were at the Deloraine craft fair this afternoon, and surrounded by all manner of wonderful wares such as handmade paper, merino wool knitted skirts, watercolour paintings, recycled wood furniture and beaded jewellery my eyes lit upon the cotton buds.

Somewhere along the way I fell into the bad habit of cleaning my ears every morning with a cotton bud. I know, I know - the packaging says 'never insert into ear canal' but there is little in life more satisfying than cleaning one's ears when they feel a little clogged.

Two weeks ago my last packet ran out and I have been working hard to resist buying more. I realise it is only a small thing, but the plastic in those cotton buds is not recyclable and I am loathe to continue to use something which will only become landfill. And besides that, it is quite hard to find them in cardboard packaging and I refuse to buy yet another plastic container. Consequently I have been doing without my favourite daily ablution and my ears have become heavy and itchy and altogether uncomfortable. When I saw those cotton buds today I thought I might have gained a temporary reprieve.

Until I realised just how mad it is to steal a cotton bud to clean my ears! I managed to resist, but only because I was distracted by the Australian made echidna puppets and platypus toys.

Is all this environmental fervour really worthwhile? I think perhaps I might be taking it too far!

Update: I snaffled one from work so all should be well for another week or two!

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

toilet talk

I suppose toilet talk is an ignominious way to begin Nablopomo 2008. So let it be. I have something important to say.

No, not that the lentil loaf combined with abstinence from all things processed produced some truly incredibly results. Nor the effects of fresh beetroot, although I find them rather fascinating myself.

I have something serious to say about flushing. No, no, no... my life isn't going down the toilet, I haven't been royally flushed and the toilet is not dripping constantly or reminding me of anyone I know.

It's the toilet at work. Every time you push the button fresh water splashes onto the seat. Cleaning it requires toilet paper. Drop it into the loo and then it looks like it hasn't been flushed. Flush again, big splash and... so it goes on.

I'm sure there is something deep and meaningful to be gained from reflecting on this cycle, but the other day I noticed that if I push the button and hold it - no splashing. Press it quickly and run out as fast as you can - big splash.

Isn't life just like that? Rush through, do everything quickly and it makes a mess. Take time to reflect, ponder, plan or think things through and chances are any unintentional fallout might be reduced. Not always mind you (just like the toilet occasionally splashes despite my slow flush), but generally life is better with time given to careful thinking.

That's it. My deeply significant toilet talk. I'm now off to think about my next step very carefully, the next step being packing for a couple of nights away. (Hmmmm how to fulfil nablopomo...)

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