Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Great Gender Divide

It's occurred to me over the past few months that my son and daughter like to talk with me about vastly different things. Not just a wee bit dissimilar - vastly different, like I said.

Now maybe others disagree...perhaps they have sons who have many so-called 'feminine' qualities, or their daughters are 'tomboys' who don't fit the stereotypes. I know my kids are not necessarily 'the norm'. Still, I suspect that there will be quite a few other parents who can relate to what I'm saying.

EXAMPLES of questions/statements from my daughter, Laura:

* "Mummy, what if no-one ever wants to marry me?"

* "When I grow up, I want to be .... a Mummy"
("Really?" I say. "Anything else? Because you know, you can be anything you want. And you could be a Mummy as well as something else, if you wanted to."
"No, I just want to be a mummy")

* "Is there a way not to have babies if you don't want to?" (Yes my sweet, it's called don't even think about it until you're 18. Make that 21. Actually, check with me closer to the time)

* "Do you think this skirt looks good with this shirt?"

EXAMPLES from Ben:

* "When I grow up, I'm going to be a space policeman."

* "Imagine if a crane put its' hook in the river....it could catch a REALLY BIG fish!"

* "Why do ladies like babies so much?"

* "I want some pants with pockets. To put my cars in."

Of course there are plenty of topics they are both interested in... lately we've been talking about the Earth rotating, the sun shining on various countries around the world to create day and night, etc. Both boy and girl are discussing it, and trying to comprehend.

But still I marvel at how the dump truck we bought Laura as a toddler has only ever been used by her to transport dolls around, while Ben has played with any of Laura's multitude of dolls...oh, about twice. I used to think that the differences between sexes were all socialised... you know, inflicted (!) on the children by their parents. And then I became a parent, and saw how wrong I'd been.

OK, so I'm not saying anything new here - just that girls are often girly and boys are often boyish. But it intrigues me. And I like it!

Sunday, January 29, 2006


This is what has happened in my household today, in pictorial form. Get ready, it'll be an adrenaline ride for you just to hear about it. Or maybe not.

1) I went to the gym

2) Fatty went bird-watching this morning. He is now in a fabulous mood!

3) My children have been playing for hours in a cardboard box

4) I have been wandering the garden to take snaps

5) I am about to bake a banana cake, with these near-deceased bananas - ably assisted by my two ratbags, of course!

What have you all been up to this weekend?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

oh no, another meme!

The funny, warm, dirty-joke-loving Canadian, Mackeydoodle has tagged me again. I must pick a gender, then list 8 qualities of the perfect partner.

So for a MALE, as my perfect partner would need to be, these would be the ideal qualities. The first four are pipe dreams only, the last four are qualities I cherish in Fatty.

1) an intent listener. A bloke who says things like, "Hang on a sec while I turn the TV off - I want to focus better on what you're saying". (Once I stopped fainting from disbelief, this would be fabulous!)

2) a quiet night breather. A man who inhales and exhales almost silently. Perhaps just a whisper of sound would be OK, so you could tell he wasn't dead.

3) a man who, when you ask him to help out, jumps into action immediately, with a cheerful expression on his face. He may even add a chirpy remark, such as, "No problem, sweetie! Heaven knows you're busy enough as it is - is there anything else I could do while I'm up?" How perfect would THAT be?!!!

4) a fellow who, when you are exhausted and refuse to cook that night, whips up a healthy and tasty meal in minutes. Just to clarify, he does NOT leap into the car and drive to the nearest fast food outlet. He really cooks, real food.

5) a man who loves his wife, and tolerates with patience her human failings - who treats her with respect and makes her feel like there is no other woman in the world for him

6) a man with whom you can laugh, every day

7) a male with whom you have incredible chemistry

8) a man who you trust implicitly

Actually, I don't ever hanker for the perfect partner (which is just as well, since that would be like hankering after a unicorn, I suppose!). I figure 'the perfect partner' would then expect ME to be perfect, and that's just never going to happen.

My mother gave me a poem called The Art of Marriage. It's on a fridge magnet, so I don't think it's anything obscure - you've probably heard it. I like the last lines, though -
"It is not only marrying the right partner,
It is being the right partner".

Ain't that the truth?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Happy Australia Day!!

It's a holiday across the country, to celebrate AUSTRALIA DAY!!!

I'm proud of our country. It is a beautiful place to live. We are very fortunate in so many ways.

Australians have their flaws, but on the whole we are friendly people who believe that life is to be enjoyed not endured. We know the value of savouring the joys of everyday life, and we do!

Today Fatty, Laura, Benjamin and I are having a BBQ on the back deck of our dearest friends...it may be cliched, but to us it's the perfect way to honour AUSTRALIA DAY!

Happy Australia Day to all my fellow Aussie bloggers, and especially to Alice , Shelly , and Flossy, and also to honorary Aussie Wendy A !

(the photos are TOP: view of flowering trees in our neighbour's backyard, MIDDLE: the beach from our last holiday, BOTTOM: the creek at my Mum's farm)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

leaving the smog behind

On Sunday, Fatty and I looked at each other over the breakfast table, with the wails of children arguing over seating arrangements reverberating in our ears.

The previous day had been...well...a bit BORING (are parents allowed to say that? Is it politically correct to acknowledge that not every moment with your offspring is riveting and remarkable? Too late, you all know I am not a SuperParent). Saturday had passed in this way...me working, Fatty doing a few loads of washing (big bonus points for that!), kids bumbling around the house and yard, dinner cooked, food eaten, blah blah blah. Fairly peaceful but let's just say we were all ready for something more interesting than watching our back lawn grow. So I caught Fatty's eye across the table of toast and asked, "Shall we go the the F-A-R-M?"

Anyone who has, or has had, small children will be familiar with the sneaky spelling communication technique. I use it a lot. I like to keep one step ahead of my kids if at all possible.
Fatty, who is very clever but kind of, um, UN-clever as well, has trouble with this method of conveying information. His usual response is something like, "Huh? F-A -what? Go where?". I sigh in exasperation, and spell so slowly that I fear our dog may work out what I'm saying.

In what was obviously a good omen, Fatty had no such problems on Sunday morning. He smiled, nodded, and after a quick call to my mother, we were off! Goodbye city, hello moo cows!

The kids' favourite farm activities that day... looking at tadpoles in the old bathtub outside, discovering ferns growing in the crack in the side of the rain tank, collecting chook eggs, eating biscuits

My favourite farm activities that day ... walking along the dirt road in the lightest sprinkling rain and seeing 3 koalas, finding that the olive tree in the orchard has olives on it

Fatty's favourite farm activities that day...wandering off on his own taking photos of birds, avoiding being gored to pieces by the neighbours bull (see above)

We came home after dinner - tired, but somehow refreshed as well. There is something magical about my Mum's farm.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

elated in the eighties

The other night, I escaped my crazy toy-strewn home and drove to a friend's place across town. It was raining so hard that I had to drive with the windscreen-wipers set on 'frantic'. The few other cars that were game enough to be out driving were trailing each other like caterpillars. I swung in at the end of the column.

Happy as a clam in my car, I had the radio cranked up, and was half-bouncing in my seat as I drove. There was an eighties song playing, an the radio announcer remarked cheerily, "And we're up to our elbows in eighties tonight!". Fantastic! thought I. Up to our elbows in eighties! Now that sounds perfect for a trip to see my old high school friend, KP.

As I bopped to 'Walking on Sunshine', I wondered why I so adore 80's music. It's certainly not the awful electronic keyboard tunes, or the woeful lyrics. It's definitely not about the music itself (although there are some songs I swear are sheer genius...just can't think of an example right now... hang on....maybe later in the post....). I realised I love the way 80's music makes me feel... I recreate the time in my life when I was young, fresh, vital and almost obligation-free. The world held limitless possibilities. When I hear these familiar songs, I am awash with the emotions I felt 20 years ago... trepidation, excitement, the first tastes of freedom, yearning, a slow-building belief in myself, the beginnings of faith that one day someone would love me. Whew! It's a heady brew!

There is one REALLY trashy 80's song that just about makes me cry every time I hear it - Lionel Ritchie's 'Hello' (yes, embarrassing but true!). This was a song that my high school band rehearsed over & over at a music camp (This one time? At band camp?---ignore if you've never seen 'American Pie'). As the band rehearsed, the object of my unrequited love..whom we shall call Lincoln (because that was his name) sat watching the band over the other side of the room. I also watched the band, in between looking over at Lincoln. To my deep pleasure, I frequently caught Lincoln glancing at me, too. I was thrilled! Maybe this meant he had a crush on me, too! After 2 years of silently adoring him, perhaps Lincoln was finally noticing me!

Well, no. I now realise the poor boy was only looking over because a freckly, blushing girl in a lurid pink sweater kept staring at him. Nothing ever eventuated with Lincoln. (I met him again at Uni once, looking scruffy with a beard. I had blossomed in confidence, and our mutual friends were teasing me about how many different boys I had been dating. I was secretly glad Lincoln was witness to this conversation) But for those few moments, all those years ago, I had a hope of romance with this fascinating, reserved, handsome boy.

Now whenever I hear 'Hello' playing, I am swept by feelings of longing, elation, and just a tinge of sadness (because boo hoo, it didn't end in love!). How odd that a full-grown woman can be reduced to such silly emotions by a mere combination of musical notes.

I don't mind though, being silly and nostalgic. Because I love to feel. To me, life is all about experiencing emotions, of every kind. I know one day I will look back on this time of my life, and remember chubby arms around my neck, sticky faces and crayon drawings on the fridge. I'll probably smile with teary eyes. I fully expect this.

For now, I'll enjoy my eighties nostalgia to the full. Especially when cruising, with the music blaring, in my large sky-blue family sedan.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I don't have anything much to say today, so I grabbed the camera and took a few random photos. Welcome to my life! (or at least, my back yard!) It's a dismal wet sort of day, but I'm finished work for the day, and had a great morning, so no grey skies are going to dampen MY spirits!

Evidently my children are feeling pretty peppy, too. Laura has been doing some avant garde artwork which she has displayed on the back deck. I think I prefer Laura's usual paintings of flowers and girls and love-hearts but I'm sure Sharon's previous art college tutors would go crazy for the random blobs!

Thank you everyone who commiserated with me over the 'lack of sleep' post. Though I'm not sure I wanted to know that it only gets worse when kids are teens...maybe there's an easier stage in between then and now? (say yes, just say yes dammit!!). Last night the 'bad man' came to Louey again during sleep, but this time instead of getting up and down to my nightmaring daughter, I resorted to my old standby trick of plopping her into our bed, banishing poor Fatty to Louey's bed, and thus we all slept. (actually, what am I saying..'poor Fatty' for?! He slept alone, in comfort, undisturbed!!) The next two times Louey woke, I could reach out with sleep-drugged arm and comfort her without moving any other part of my body. That's my style of child care!

Hope you're all having a good week. And Heather, get well soon.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

yawning mother

Really, it was silly of me to even try. But somewhere in my tired head, I thought maybe, just maybe my kids would let me have a quick nap. So I lay down on my daughter's bed, ready to drift into slumber with the sound of their happy playing in the next room as pleasant background noise. HA!

I can hear you guffawing - don't think I can't. I can see now it was always destined to fail. But desperate sleepiness calls for desperate measures. I've had a busy week, I've been exercising a lot to try to fit my clothes properly again, my kids have had a spate of nightmares about kidnappers, crocodiles and 'baddies' in the hallway... I dunno, I'm just tired today.

After a minute or so, the kids relocated themselves to the floor right next to the bed. No problem, I thought, I can still doze. Then Laura started rhythmically bumping the bed with her hip...shove, shove, shove. " Laura, can you stop that please?". "Why?" (insert boring explanation here). "Oh, OK Mummy".

A few seconds later... "Mummy, can you be one Barbie and I'll be one Barbie and Laura be one Barbie?".
"Ben, Mummy's trying to sleep. Only wake me up if it's IMPORTANT, OK?"..."OK Mummy".

A few seconds later again..(shouting)" 1, 2, 3...WAKE UP MUMMY!".

"What's wrong Ben?"

"It's an emergency."

"What's the emergency?"

"We want you to read us 'Charlotte's Web'."

SIGH. I'm vertical again. As soon as I'm done complaining here, I'll be doing some reading aloud. There will be no sleep until they sleep. I know that now, and I secretly knew all along (one can live in hope, though!). I realise this is why coffee was invented.

Anyone else who needs a jolt, meet me in my kitchen in 5 minutes. Chocolate is optional.

Monday, January 16, 2006


Tonight I wrote a silly, flippant post, posted it, and then took it down within minutes. I felt like I wasn't being very real.

Instead I'll be all serious and tell you about my dream.

I dreamt, a couple of nights ago, that I had inoperable ovarian cancer. In the dream, all I could think of was my children, how they would be left without a mother. I felt terrible guilt that I had ignored a minor symptom (which I have in real life, but which is inconsequential) which was the KEY to early diagnosis, according to my weird dream. I was devastated beyond words.

Even now, awake, rational (-ish) and being a 'medical' person....I have this uncontrollable urge to go get a scan. It's like I believe in my dream as a portent of what's to come. I am aware this sounds ridiculously sombre and ghoulish. I can't explain it.

Maybe I've been watching too much TV.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


'Katherine' was a vibrant, talkative, quick-moving lady who came to see me as a patient from time to time. She had lost her husband quite suddenly just three years before I met her, but she carried herself with poise and a smile. She was always dressed impeccably, and without fail wore stylish high-heeled shoes in every possible shade of colour. Her hair was 'just so', her makeup discreet and tasteful.

Her manner of addressing me was more of an interrogation than a greeting..." So? How are you then? I LIKE that shirt; is it new? It's nice, matches your eyes. So when are you going to have some babies, hmm?". I wasn't really required to reply, more just to smile and nod.
Likewise, when asked her reason for attending, Katherine would respond with a list of demands, as opposed to requests. " Well, I want some cream for my rash, and I think there's something going on with my knee. Oh, and I think my hair might be getting thinner - what do you think? Is it? By the way, you need to do a breast check - I thought I felt a lump last week. And don't forget I need that cream". It was all I could do not to click my heels together and bawl, "Yes, maam!"

Despite her unusual ways, I found Katherine intriguing and appealing. For one thing, she was obviously clever, and loved nothing more than to partake in snappy repartee. Her eyes would sparkle as she tried to tease with a poker face; she would burst out laughing with a hooting, body-shaking mirth.

The best entertainment was when Katherine would tell me about her social life. She was always out and about, and delighted in telling me the latest gossip about all her friends. For awhile, one friend, Barbara, seemed to be particularly important to Katherine. Then one day, Katherine came in seething. Barbara had asked out Katherine's current love interest! And even worse, the wretched man had accepted the invitation! Katherine was seething, she was fuming, she was flaring her nostrils in disgust. Now she turned snarky... " That Barbara... she wears SO much rouge, it's AWFUL. And her TIGHT TOPS...she' s too old for TIGHT TOPS. They're low-cut, too, just trashy." Katherine tossed her head. " If that's what he likes, he's welcome to her."

Katherine had no qualms in telling me about her s*e*x life, either. One boyfriend she ditched because he hardly ever wanted 'it'; another she mocked, because he required, shall we say, some 'chemical enhancement' in order to perform. " My husband NEVER needed anything like THAT!", she scoffed. It was difficult to keep a straight face around Katherine sometimes. Much of the time she was funny without meaning to be. I did a great deal of 'ahh'-ing and 'mm'-ing. The lady was a riot.

But I haven't told you the funniest thing about the vivacious and dynamic Katherine. Katherine was a giggly and gorgeous 78 years of age. Fancy that, eh?

Saturday, January 14, 2006

breakfast at jellyhead's

It's Saturday morning and I'm eating a mango, all to myself. Luxury indeed!

It's funny how certain foods can bring back memories. For instance mangoes remind me of when my mother left my father.

One day my mother came and asked me to pack clothes for my two younger siblings, because she was leaving Dad. I felt shocked but secretly a bit excited (it sounds shameful, I know, but this is the honest truth). I had always fantasised about how peaceful my life would be if we children lived with just Mum. Dad arrived just as we were leaving. He pleaded with Mum not to leave. He sat in an armchair looking dazed and forlorn as we kissed him goodbye. Although I know he was not an innocent player, it still brings me to tears just writing about that moment.

We drove towards the city in the Corolla. I sat in the back with my little brother and sister. Mum played the Paul Simon CD 'Graceland'. I kept thinking of Dad, and the utter desolation in his eyes. But I also felt as if my life was going to be lighter, easier, sometime soon.

Shortly after we got to the city, I went to stay with an older, widowed family friend, Mrs B, because I had upcoming exams for which I was supposed to be studying. Mum and Dad would each phone me, and I would counsel them in my own, teenage and inept manner. I lost my appetite almost completely. I went from skinny to quite underweight.

Mrs B, bless her, took me under her wing and coaxed me to eat a little every meal. And every morning she gave me mango, fresh from her tree, sliced up in a little pink bowl.

You would think that eating mango might make me feel sad, or heavy-hearted, but it does not. Mango reminds me of the incredible kindness of a lady I knew only a little before my parents' separation, but who treated me as if I was a treasured daughter. She is now a dear friend of mine. And now each of my parents are happy in their new lives, with new loves.

And when I want to spoil myself with something healthy, I buy a large, juicy, sweet mango.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

three easy questions

My son Benjamin likes to besiege us with questions. I am constantly racking my brains to come up with intelligent answers. Often I just don't know. I'm concerned that this 3-year-old child of mine may be considerably brighter than his dear mother.

Today I had some staggering questions thrown at me during the course of the day:

1) "What's at the edge of the world?"

2) Who made the world?

3) How do babies start to grow?

Whew! I'm exhausted from thinking and explaining and straining my poor mind. What will it be like when this boy is 7? Or 10? Or, Lord help me, 13???? (Come to think of it, he probably will be barely speaking to me at 13, so that'll get me off the hook)

I'd better go to bed now. It all starts again around 6 am tomorrow. Goodnight!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

dreams of escape

I know I am very fortunate .... I do not lack for food, clothing or shelter, I have a supportive if somewhat eccentric family, I have my own family now which is the centre of my life, I have fantastic friends. So no lectures, please, about how ungrateful I am. I know how lucky I am. Truly.

It's just that sometimes the anxiety that my work provokes in me makes me want to go back here (see photo).

I like the fact that the most vital decision I make at the beach is whether to go down to the water, or to go for ice cream. To eat in, or grab fish & chips? To read a novel, or read the paper? Wonderful, lazy, idyllic choices.

Some days I cruise through my working day, feeling that I've been useful, and (mostly) confident with the decisions I've made. Other days, when I've had a few complex patients, and their complex problems have caused me to run late (hence I'm in a flap and everyone's cranky with me), and I'm worried that I've missed something crucial that might cause harm to a patient....those days I want to quit my job and become a check-out chick. That or take an extended holiday at the beach..... about a month could do it. I've had a few of 'those' days lately.

I have to go to work tomorrow. I don't want to. Anyone else feel like coming to the beach with me?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

jelly square eyes head

Lately, there has been nothing on TV but re-runs of re-runs. It's been a viewing desert. A wind-swept plain of entertainment nothingness. What's a body to do after dinner then?

I know, I know, I could read (and I do), I could spend time with Fatty (and I do), but sometimes a person just needs to slump on the couch and forget about work worries, family obligations, upcoming commitments... and stare at moving pictures on a screen. Vegetate.

With my every need in mind (oh, and also because he was bored with the mindless TV on offer), Fatty went out and purchased "The Sopranos" on DVD. He brought it home and showed me proudly, and I thought YUCK. I mean, I'm really not into gangster movies or shows. What I love most are dramas (though comedies are right up there too)... I love to see people interacting & reacting....crying, laughing, arguing, making peace again... That's my kind of TV or film. So I admit I started watching The Sopranos with reservations.

Oh My God. Why had no-one told me? This is brilliant TV. It has some violence, sure, and some mafia business goes on, but the people, the characters... their day to day relationships are what drives each episode and they are all so real. It's hard to grasp that they're only actors playing roles. I'm hooked, I'm a fan, I extol the many virtues of this show to anyone who will listen (like now for example when you dear reader are trapped here on my blog)

The first episode, I thought hmmm, there's potential here, but by about the 3rd episode I was an addict. Fatty and I have devoured the first 3 series, and now we've purchased series 4 and 5 and have started eating our way through these, too. We're about to watch an episode now. But I'm very concerned about this habit of ours. It can only end in tears, and I hate to see Fatty cry. After series 5, we have to wait for more episodes to come to TV. It could be a long wait. What will we do until then? Where can I turn? Who will help me with my withdrawal symptoms?? (deep breaths, in....and out...and in..)

Maybe one of you can suggest an alternative TV drug for when my Sopranos supply runs out.

Monday, January 09, 2006

my lovely wandering mother

Today my Mum came to see me at work. I didn't know she was coming - she just dropped in. Mum is renowned for arriving without warning. I have tried to get her to change her wicked ways, and let me know if she's going to visit, but she smiles and says mmmmm and comes over whenever.

And so it was today - Mum hadn't mentioned even the idea of coming by. Mum told the receptionist she was there, and then sat down politely in the waiting room, as if she was simply waiting to be seen about an embarrassing rash. I called her to come in to my consulting room, and she grinned her big wide smile - the one she does when she's slightly embarrassed or shy. She looked so happy and gorgeous in her blue shirt and skirt. I was really proud to be able to introduce her to a few of the staff. The receptionist told me I have Mum's smile.

My Mum may have her funny ways, but she has been such a good mother to me. She has a softness and gentleness that I lack. She is truly a beautiful soul.

Today I signed the papers Mum wanted signed, and chatted awhile, then hugged and kissed Mum goodbye at my door. A lady in the waiting room looked startled. I should have offered her a smooch, too. Therapeutic hugs.... now that could really catch on!

Hugs to all of you, (but especially to my Mum)


Saturday, January 07, 2006

Playing Possum

Look who's been spying on us... a chubby little ring-tailed possum.

Fatty and I were sitting on our front steps just now, watching as Laura and Ben swept the front path (No, don't phone child protection just yet - the kids like sweeping. Honestly! They beg to be allowed to do it!) As I was just beginning to explain to Fatty my innermost thoughts about something, he interrupted with relief, "Look! It's the tail of a possum hanging down - just there!".

Suitably distracted from any further navel-gazing, I peered closer, and found this cute furry fellow. Fatty raced off to get his camera, and here you see his handiwork.

Something about having a possum in our front yard makes me feel really good. I've always said how small things make me happy...maybe that counts double for small furry things.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Friday, January 06, 2006

bumbling around the 'burbs

I'm feeling really zippy and skippy and flippy and I think I may be on some kind of an endorphin high. It's all this exercise I've been doing in an attempt to stop my shorts squeezing my midriff flesh into a roll of dough above the hips. It seems my chocolate habit got a bit out of control over Christmas.

On Monday I went to a gym class (the first exercise class I've been to in, oh, about 10 years!!) called Sweat Your Fat Away. Words to that effect, any rate.

On Tuesday night, it was karate. As some of you know, I am trying to get my black belt this year (at a grading in March, to be precise), because I've been doing karate so long now that NOT to have my black belt yet is just plain embarrassing.

Wednesday there was no exertion on my part, unless you count hanging 3 loads of washing. So my mood slipped down from buzzing to normal that day.

Yesterday was karate again - a sparring class, so great for hyping me up. Sometimes I come home from 'fighting' so energised - ducking and punching the air, and demonstrating for Fatty how I managed to score this one particular point.... Fatty just shakes his head and asks me to move so he can see the TV again.

Then today I went to yet another gym class (encouraged by the fact I didn't pass out or fall over during Monday's venture). This class was called Punch Your Fat Away....or it could have been called CardioBox. I had no problem at all maintaining interest, what with the instructor being so cute and muscular and helpful and did I mention muscular?

I'm worried about tomorrow, though. Fatty is on call, which ties me at home with Louey and Ben, so what will I do for my endorphin fix??? I suppose there's always chasing my kids around the clothesline...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

party with the one (or ones) you love

Yesterday, my kids and I organised a party for Fatty. On the back deck, we wound coloured streamers along the rails, and hung them from the rafters of the roof. We blew up a few balloons and tied them here and there. We scurried about to straighten up the house. I cooked supermarket pizzas to eat with salad; I opened a bottle of wine. The kids helped me bake a chocolate cake, too (aided and abetted by Betty Crocker). So you may be wondering what the occasion was.... a birthday? An anniversary maybe? The celebration of a new job? Hey, was it to celebrate an unexpected pregnancy??? (um, no, no, no and NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!) There was no special occasion. As I said to Fatty on the card I gave him...welcome to your We Love You party!

Now, for anyone here who is clutching their throats and making retching, gagging noises....I am not some sycophantic wife, always cloyingly sweet and loving. Far from it. I am quite regularly grumpy, unappreciative, demanding and snappy. And our marriage is no peachy picnic of connubial bliss. It's a real marriage, with the usual ups and downs. But thank heavens we have our kids, because the whole party idea started with them, and their enthusiasm swept me along until we ended up having a celebration to be remembered.

It began in a cut-price bookstore. Ben spotted a book on birdwatching, and crowed, " Look, a bird book! I bet Daddy would like that!". I had a gander, and was inclined to agree. Laura chirped excitedly, "We could wrap it up, and give it to him when he gets home!".

"OK", I agreed, " and we could have something nice for dinner, too".

"PIZZA!!!!" my offspring screeched in unison. ('Hmm, I guess we're having pizza then', I thought to myself)

Laura wanted decorations, and did most of this job. The present was wrapped in a messy kid-done way; I resisted the urge to show them how to make it neater. It was fine.
I found a card to write in, and both kids made their cards. Ben was disappointed that the smiley face he drew looked sad (but was heartened by the fact that it looked happy if you turned the card upside down)
I set the table with a tablecloth and our 'good' plates. The 3 cards perched atop the gift, in the centre of the table.

Fatty looked really chuffed when he got home to see the deck all 'beautiful', and when he read the cards. The book he seemed to like, too, but he had the widest smile after reading what we each wrote to him (well, I of course had to take dictation for Ben's card). It made me wonder why I'd never done anything like this before. I mean, I've made a fuss over our anniversary, organised birthday gatherings, purchased Christmas surprises.... but never have I given him a party just because he is a good man.

Maybe you're still thinking this all sounds silly. I guess it was silly. But it was fun, and it was worth it just to see the pleasure on Fatty's face.

So I'm just putting the idea out there....there could be someone you love who would be thrillled to have a We Love You party held in their honour!!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

5 (possibly) weird things about me

I've been tagged, supposedly to write about 5 weird habits of mine. However, this would just be too gross.... like if I mentioned how I scratch my scalp when I'm stressed, sometimes to the point of causing scabs ....see what I mean? Just too nausea-inducing. So I'm going to cheat a little (sorry Mackeydoodle!)

So instead here are 5 facts (whether they're weird or not I couldn't really say):

1) I used to be very superstitious... and would always say 'Touch wood' to ward off bad luck. Then one day at work, I was talking to an elderly patient of mine on the phone about her upcoming operation. I wished her all the best, and told her I'd see her when she came home from hospital. As I said this, I touched the wood of my desk, just to 'keep her safe'.
A week later, I received a letter from the hospital. There had been post-operative complications, and my patient had died.
I realised then that all this superstitious hoo-ha was just silly and pointless. I'll never forget that lady, either.

2) I have 2 half-siblings, as my father remarried after my parents' divorce. One of my half-siblings is less than 2 years older than my own daughter.

3) I used to have really buck teeth. Horsey teeth. Very large teeth, too (all the better to eat you with, my dear). After some serious orthodontic work as a child, I've lost the equine look. And my face has grown to suit the teeth, too. Although that could just be my healthy self-esteem kicking in and deluding me!

4) I expect a LOT from people. Like loyalty, attention, generosity and fairness at all times. I know this is not my best trait. The only good thing about my high expectations is that my two closest friends and husband are the most wonderful people you could ever meet (obviously they had to be, to meet the Jellyhead Stipulations!).

5) I am short-sighted, tongue-tied and knock-kneed. (Apart from that I'm a prime physical specimen)

OK, that's more than enough divulging! I won't 'tag' anyone else, but anyone who feels like confessing THEIR weirdnesses, be my guest. (keeping it clean, of course!!)

an idle question

This occurred to me whilst washing a dish in the sink.......... why is there a word, 'uxorious', for a man who loves his wife excessively, when there is no corresponding word (that I know of) for a woman?

My take on the whole thing is...we women love our men so deeply and thoroughly that it is not unusual. It is simply expected of us. Hence there is no term for loving greatly. (Though there is of course that famous book, "Women who Love Too Much"!)

I asked Fatty this question. He has become used to my questions, now, and rather than replying, " Now why would you think of something like THAT?", he will skip over this and my resultant tangential explanations, and will simply answer me. His response (stated plainly but with telltale twinkle in his eyes): "That's because women have no love in their hearts. The greatest emotion they can muster for their husbands is fondness." OUCH!

Now you may answer (or rebut Fatty. Or rebut me. Or remain silent, whatever!)

Monday, January 02, 2006

A Poem by A.A.Milne

In keeping with my resolution to be more child-like and child-orientated, I have been reading some A.A. Milne to my kids this morning. These were no Disney, cartoonified Winnie-the-Pooh books, but dusty old tomes, unearthed recently from a trunk of my childhood treasures.

This poem tickled my fancy, and also seems appropriate given the apparent outbreak amongst bloggers recently of some dreaded dripping-nose, clogged-chest, razor-blade-throat disease.

So here it is. Bless you and gesundheit!


Christopher Robin
Had wheezles
And sneezles,
They bundled him
His bed.
They gave him what goes
With a cold in the nose,
And some more for a cold
In the head.
They wondered
If wheezles
Could turn
Into measles,
If sneezles
Would turn
Into mumps;
They examined his chest
For a rash,
And the rest
Of his body for swellings and lumps.
They sent for some doctors
In sneezles
And wheezles
To tell them what ought
To be done.

All sorts and conditions
Of famous physicians
Came hurrying round
At a run.
They all made a note
Of the state of his throat,
They asked if he suffered from thirst;
They asked if the sneezles
Came after the wheezles,
Or if the first sneezle
Came first.
They said, "If you teazle
A sneezle
Or wheezle,
A measle may easily grow.
But humour or pleazle
The wheezle
Or sneezle,
The measle
Will certainly go."

They expounded the reazles
For sneezles
And wheezles,
The manner of measles
When new.
They said, "If he freezles
In draughts and in breezles,
May even ensue."

Christopher Robin
Got up in the morning
The sneezels had vanished away.
And the look in his eye
Seemed to say to the sky
"Now, how to amuse them today?"

Get better soon my sneezling wheezling friends!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Hey, it's 2006!!

It's a New Year and I'm feeling like a change....so now my blog looks like it's been colour-coordinated by my five-year-old daughter. But pink is happy, pink is cheerful, and being in a five-year-old frame of mind is not so bad either. (When I leapt, fully clothed, into the paddle pool with my kids this afternoon, I felt so happy that I decided I will act like a child more often this year).

Wishing you all a very happy New Year!! May the year ahead bring many joys.