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Saturday, January 31, 2009

On trying noo things

This will of necessity be a brief interlude as I am laid flat on my back (steady on there!) trying to fangle out hubble's Apple Mac Book to see if having a laptop would be a good move for me. Another reason for the flat on my backishness of this post is because I have pulled, wrenched, yanked and otherwise buggared up my back and so have little choice but to lie prone until it gets better by itself. Or something. There is something slightly liberating about lying about in ones birthday suit with a fan throwing hot air back out all over one. It makes me feel like a card carrying, flower-wearing hippy. I don't know why. The only thing that breaks this somewhat 60's spell is the strangulated vocals and occasional screaming of a young man whose testicles are apparently on fire. No doubt from the bloody desert heat we are enduring, even here in the Nongs. Picture yourself in a scene from Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice and you'll be in the ball park of this sometime Emo village I appear to live in. Even the gangsta's have retreated indoors in the face of such obvious misery.

Despite my 'out of action-ness' and the fact that the internet connection keeps on dropping out, I am reasonably cheery. Perhaps simply because I can do this. Type whilst in bed. Connect with all you souls out there whilst simultaneously spending time in my very favourite place in the whole wide world. I quite like this mac thingy.

I haven't the faintest idea of how to add photos however, so it will be just words rather than any pretty images. If you want pretty images, go on over to Chez DocWitch, she's got some crackers over there.

On Wednesday my friend, Kath, broke her family's record for fast births by bringing into the world her second little soul, James Wyatt, in a record 1 hour after having her waters broken. Mummy and baby are doing well. I would be over there plying her with chocolate and shortbread right now were it not for my knackered back. I can't wait for a cuddle with a newbie. Anyway, the record was previously held by her sister who gave birth to her second child, Hudson, in a mere 2 hours. Can I just say that I would dearly love to get even close to these records when my next little soul puts in an appearance. I would happily forgo another 40 hours of posterior related agony in favour of a quick 1 hour, baby born, bit of shock, eat chocolate scenario. (And yes, I'm aware that I'm being deeply flippant - shock is very serious and I'm quite sure Kath will have her own issues to work through about the birth being that bloody fast, no matter how good it felt to have it over!). Still, I have birth envy. I'll get over it I'm sure.

Still, it does rather raise the question of when will our family be welcoming in their next little spirit? I have been dragging my heels somewhat, I'll admit. Mostly due to being very chubby and wanting to be a bit less chubby before I stack on more in pregnancy. My back is sore now - it will not get less sore with the addition of 20 kilos. Trust me - I've got that t-shirt. However, as those around me extend their little families from one to two and yet others around me consider the implications of adding another one to their brood, I am finding myself more than a little clucky. This is good. It's only taken me 2 years of extreme frustration and hard work to get to this point. Hubble has been wanting a baby for the past year but I have been unready and unwilling to really go for it until now. Now I am impatient. I know. It's just the type of annoying personality I am. I'm sorry. Still, with the work on the tantra column going well (see Living Now for more details) and us getting more opportunities to really connect, I cannot see it being all that long before our little boy (for boy I feel it is) decides to pick an egg and call it home for 9 months. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time, which is to be expected given my mothering journey thus far. I look forward to having another try at this whole labour thing and on being much less of a wussy. Actually, that's a little unfair of me to myself. I had a difficult first birth complicated by a posterior baby and ended up in hospital. This time I would like to carry through on my plans for a home water-birth or at the very least, a birth in water, even if that birth has to be in hospital. I am not really a wussy, I was just blown away by how completely and utterly agonising posterior labour was and had no-one with me that could show me what to do or what to try next to ease it. That's just the way it was. This pregnancy will no doubt be different in many ways but I sincerely hope that one of those ways is that the labour will be less intense so early and that I can cope without intervention. That will go a long way to making this a better birth and an easier introduction to the world for our little man (or girl). Nuff said.

It's hot enough up here to fry an egg on my head (though I don't intend to actually prove that theory), so I'll disappear into my rapidly dehydrating self and take some in some liquids. Gin would be nice.

So, this has been my macbook experience and I'm leaving you with it. Random blatherings on top of the line equipment are over for the day.

May your caravan be fully fitted with air conditioning and may your nights within it be cool and comfortable.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Afternoon of My Life

*This is what I aspired to be in my youth.

I've been thinking lately about an earlier post I made concerning my changing spiritual landscapes. Listening to the lovely Wayne Dyer in my car reminded me that Carl Jung said 'the afternoon of our life cannot be lived by the morning's rhythm.' Meaning that what is true for us in the morning of our life (youth) - our beliefs, desires, pathways etc, become in the afternoon of our lives a lie. Or at the very least - an ill fit. The afternoon of life can come to some people in early childhood - as whatever circumstances they find themselves in beats the last remaining idylls of childhood from their psyche. It can be through loss or failure or illness or pain and fear. For others the afternoon of life hits somewhere between early 30's and late 40's, when suddenly they question everything for which they once stood and to which they once held dear. For me, this questioning of everything has been going on, at least consciously, for the last year or two. I have not come to any firm conclusions and I do not think that this is the point of the experience anyway. I think that it is more a slow taking stock of one's life and a realisation that some things to which I have held on should be let go of.

In matters spiritual, I am a creature of habit. Or should that be, a creature of obsession. I longed to fulfil this ideal I have always held of myself as some mysterious priestess of all things spiritual. I imagined myself to be something akin Misty from that wonderful comic into which I disappeared as a sometimes unhappy and always mystically curious tween. Or as a modern day Morgan Le Fey (and who doesn't secretly want this sometimes) from Marion Zimmer Bradley's 'Mists of Avalon' - spending my life in service to the Goddess, sequestered away from the world and all its woes until such time as the Goddess had need of me. I know. I'm a horrible romantic. Or. Something.

This is why as a young woman witchcraft felt like a homecoming to me. I don't doubt that I have been here before, occupying this same familiar spiritual space and now, in the midst of spiritual change, I find myself clinging to this way of life, this pattern of spiritual practices despite my soul stretching itself out of its now restrictive form. It's not that I think that I will ever stop being a bit of a pagan at heart (or should that be hope?). It's not even that I think that this spiritual path is inferior in any way to any other. I love this path for its humour, for its cheekiness and for its grounded philosphy of nurturing self and the earth and I will hold onto those things for life. I just know that I crave more simplicity now. A simpler way of connecting with the Divine. A more direct conduit than I have been afforded to date.

For the longest time I thought that I had to 'know' what incarnation my spirit wanted me to take next. I thought that I needed to label my spiritual path and my journey in order for it to be authentic. I have only recently come to realise that this is not true. In fact, by seeking to label and to box and to 'belong', I have been unable to move forward or to embrace the simplicity of spirit I long for. My need to control my environment, even my spiritual environment (maybe even especially this) has been standing in the way of me embracing any change. The reason this comes back to me now (though thankfully with a little more clarity) is because of Jungs ideas of the 'afternoon of life' and how by not embracing it we stop growing and evolving and moving forward. I am very definitely in the afternoon of my life. I have been for a couple of years at least but I just didn't know it. I have mourned my loss of youth and beauty even as I have railed against the need to do just that. I have owned my youth envy every time I see a beautiful young thing float past on a cloud of sweet perfume and even sweeter promise. I have accepted that I am no longer the bright young thing that I once was (though I reserve the right to have a minor tanty about it when it occurs to me) and I'm learning to be ok with that. It's not that I have hit middle age - at least not yet. The afternoon of our lives is not synonymous with becoming middle aged, (though for those of us nearing 40, this may well be middle age supposing we live to be 80), it's more that it's a slow dawning consciousness that our lives and our dreams and our ideals have changed and with that change has to come acceptance and then right action. I do not currently know what my 'right action' might be but I am allowing a gap to open up in my psyche (Look out! Bats!). This is a supremely uncomfortable place for me to be in right now. I do not like not knowing. Especially when it comes to Spirit because I have defined myself for so long as belonging to that group of people called 'witch' or at the very least 'pagan'. However, I think that without being prepared to sit in this space and wait for whatever happens next, I risk becoming a spiritually inauthentic being. By that I mean that I will forever be stuck in the same groove without it being either spiritually nourishing and without evolving as a person. This I do not want.

So, as I accept that the afternoon of my life is upon me and that I cannot hope to know 'what next?', I find myself curiously detached and strangely opened, like a ripe fruit, waiting for the seeds to spill out of my pomegranate self and fertilise new ground. I almost like it. Almost. I am open, calling in a new song and hoping that when it comes I can sing it and sing it well.

Talking of singing (nice segueway) - I have recently discovered this amazing site (which will seriously expand your bandwidth!) and through it discovered some truly amazing artists. The site is Last.FM, its free and it's a way to discover more music than you could have thought possible. I am already addicted. Through last.fm I have discovered the genius of William Fitzsimmons (beautiful, beautiful music) and the lovely Vienna Teng. The idea is that you type in an artists whose music you love and it will then produce a list of people who produce a similar type of music or music with a similar 'feel'. You can then create your own 'radio' station of the type of music you like whilst discovering new artists all the time. You can even tune in to William Fitzsimmons Radio where every tenth track is one of his but the other tracks are by other artists you might enjoy. It's pure genius. I already have a list of artists (mainly female and folksy) that I want to hear more of. Check it out - it's way more fun than Facebook which, frankly, I'm over.

So - as I slip off, or possibly swim off, in a pool of my own perspiration (Hate this weather. Hate it. Peh!) to more article writing and some random pootling about, I leave you with a question. What was true for you in the morning of your life that is no longer so? What things have you let go of?

*Wonderful b&w image courtesy of The Sartorialist.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My Music, My Life

I will not die an unlived life.

"I will not die an unlived life.

I will not live in fear

of falling or catching fire.

I choose to inhabit my days,

to allow my living to open me,

to make me less afraid,

more accessible;

to loosen my heart

until it becomes a wing,

a torch, a promise.

I choose to risk my significance,

to live so that which came to me as seed

goes to the next as blossom,

and that which came to me as blossom,

goes on as fruit."

-Dawna Markova

As I trotted off to the post office this morning, I happened to be listening to the radio. AM radio no less. I heard an interview with Dawna Markova, an author I had never heard of. I was moved by her beautiful stories of grace. How she was taught that if she held the moments most precious to her, to her heart, she could take those moments alone with her when she died. I was touched by her voice, by her wisdom and by her gentleness. Despite the awful interference caused by being surrounded by trees, (and the thoroughly awful radio interviewer), I was able to catch most of what she said and when I got home I tried to find a poem she had read (not written by her) on the internet. Unfortunately, that particular poem evaded me but I found the one above from her book, I Will Not Die An Unlived Life.

I always try to be open to Spirit and those little nudgings that we often feel but seldom take real notice of. I felt that this 'happened upon' interview with such a gracious and gentle author was a little message to me. Especially as I have a real thing about dying with my music still in me. It also reminded me of a conversation Doc and I had about fear. We talked about how our lives had been run by fear in one form or another. Doc said she thought that I seemed, if not fearless, then certainly less fearful than she felt at times. I replied that I thought it was just sheer bloody mindedness on my part. I simply refuse to be beaten by those things which frighten me. It's not that I don't feel the fear. I really do. It's just that I'm so stubborn that I can't bear to think that it can best me. So I tend to just jump right in and do it anyway (a la Susan Jeffries book). In fact, the only time in my whole adult life when I have been entirely fearless, in the truest sense of the word, is when I had lost everything and therefore truly had nothing left to lose. One can always be fearless when one has nothing to important to lose. I remember feeling an almost heady sense of freedom. As if I could literally make ANY decision I wanted to and the outcome would not really matter a jot. My heart had been crushed by sadness and grief and really I could not think much beyond the present day and the the present moment. It was a wonderful and strange and painful time but that was my one and only experience of being completely fear-free in life. It was probably the only time in my life that I was more than fleetingly aware of the present moment. This interview reminded me that our most important gift to ourselves is the grace to really live. To really, truly, bloodily, painfully, joyfully, strangely, audaciously, giftedly, sadly, weepily, trustingly live. It's not that life will be without sadness or pain - we all know that isn't true. It's more that the very act of not allowing that to immobilise us, not allowing it to shadow the grace and light and joy available to us, is the very gift in itself. I do not want to die with my music still in me. Even though I don't yet know what my true music is. We all have inklings, or feelings or simply curiosity about what our gifts might be but the test is then not to let our fear of failure (or of success) or of ridicule or whatever your particular demon is, prevent us from giving it our best shot. Maybe our music is simply our ability to live our own lives in our own way. Our very life itself is our symphony - the way that we, as individuals, live it, in all its guts and glory.

Once upon a time I dreamt of being an actress. I trained at the age of 30 despite being self-conscious and embarrassed about my age. I did what I set out to do regardless of what fear whispered into my ear about being too old, too fat, unattractive, talentless, stupid... I learned so much about myself. It was a painful and difficult and challenging year for sure - especially as it came on the back of the break-up of my long-term relationship - but what a year it was. I cannot look back on that year with anything other than pride at how far I came and how much I learned, despite the pain and the hurt and the unutterable loneliness. That sticks with me now when I feel frightened or when I feel that I cannot stand up to the next challenge because I am simply too tired, or too sick of fighting and of the seeming endlessness of the struggles. I have begun the slow process of learning to trust myself. Always trying to find acceptance of what and where I am. Always trying to give myself, in the words of a beautiful Ben Harper song, 'Another day. Another chance to get it right.' I've been listening to that song a lot recently.

Anyway, whatever my feelings are about my life right now and what is or is not possible, I reserve the right to one day go back to that dream and re-explore it. Not with any grand designs of being the next Cate Blanchett (though part of me swears that if I can't be that calibre of actress then why bother) but with just a simple directive to learn and enjoy the process, no matter how matronly the body or how addled the mind.

Our dreams are just that - ours - no matter how many other people share the same or similar dreams, no one person could carry them out the way that we can. That is our gift to ourselves and to the world. So - hearing Dawna this morning was a timely reminder that its never too late, you are never too old, too tired, too much in debt, to hang on to those dreams you once cherished and nurtured. It's never too late to start that long slow walk towards their accomplishment because even if it takes the next 40 years of your life, when you get there you will have achieved more than you could have ever dreamt of and no doubt enjoyed the most extraordinary journey to boot. At the very least, you will not die with your music still in you. That is more than most people will do.

And yes. I still dance when no-one is watching.

Now go and listen to this song.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Secret Gypsy Heart

Well, what a wonderful couple of days I have had.

The wild, winsome and wicked DocWitchy swooped in to my Caravan of Love, broomstick all dry and dusty, for a cuppa that turned into lunch at the ever delightful Kallista Tea Rooms, that turned into a wonderful curry dinner (hastily foraged for and prepared by her Witchypoo self - I contributed the witches brew and the poppadums), which turned into a very long evening of chitchat, spell swapping, story telling and ruby wine drinking, out on't patio until 2am. We lounged on our loungers hidden in a cocoon of mossie repelling black, fit for the skirts of the Goddess herself, lit up our bedouin lanterns and basked in the utter peace and stillness, sharing our space with growling possums and hooting owls. It was Divine.

The utter decadence of sitting out in the midnight air with a good friend, sharing a bottle of wine (or two) and talking into the wee small hours is just such a rare experience and therefore all the more cherished. It marked, for me at least, a shift in our relationship and a sweet deepening of our friendship. A friendship which has been growing all the more precious to me as each year passes. Doc is a smart, funny and generous woman with the lusty wild heart of a fellow Gypsy. All the women in my life seem to have a touch of this art and whimsy and I do love it so. These amazing fellow gypsy hearted women feed something deep inside of me that would wither and die without their love, support and friendship. I am truly blessed. Blessed to dream wild gypsy dreams and share our stories in trust and love. One of the best things in life indeed and something that money very definitely cannot buy.


The whole experience of the last two days has really reminded me of how much I love this bohemian lifestyle. The colour, the art, the music, the dancing, laughing and talking that seem to be such a rich and inviting part of this world I have awoken to once more. Truly good friendships do bring out the best in us. They invite us to play, to rest, to take stock and to simply pause in the stillness and quietly be. They light the little flames of our hearts desires and they inspire us to keep them alive, even as the world sometimes delights in trying to stamp them out. Doc - you are a candle in the night and I thank you for your generosity of spirit. May this year bring you so much more peace and joy, my love. Thank you for bringing a secret smile to my face and for sharing so much of yourself with me and mine.

This is what it felt like in spirit last night - if not entirely in form!

In my secret heart I have this romantic notion love that I would love that wild travelling lifestyle. I am seduced by the thought of sleeping beneath the stars, singing and dancing around the fire under a sky of blackberry blue, sneaking off into the emerald forests to find a soft patch of moss to lie on and sleep or make love under the watchful eyes of the Horned One himself. (Of course there is the lack of electricity and hot showers to contend with, not to mention the complete lack of fully functioning toilets but that never features heavily in my gypsy dreaming!). I think it all just appeals to the rampant pagan in me. I am of course terribly addicted to my pooter and my books and my DVD collection (especially as I have been surviving in true bohemian style without either broadband or terrestrial television. Perhaps I should make a bid for extra-terrestrial?), so I shall be content to simply wishfully think and make tents in my backyard out of acres of sparkly material, fairy-lights, lanterns and indian cushions.

*photos from the wonderful A Fanciful Twist blog.

So, if all of my fanciful musings have gotten you in the mood for a little gypsy dancing of your own, check out this little snippet. I have got to get this film.

So here I am. Tired (with a somewhat forceful and overly excitable toddler being bathed by lovely hubble) but feeling a little more 'me' than I have for a while. Plus, I got to stay up until 2am on a school night! Whoohoo!

I shall go gather my bangles and shawls around me, prance barefoot off to my beddybye and read my own fortune. I suspect it will say something like, 'Be prepared for a life full of good friendships, much laughter, lots of love and many, many happy surprises.' Now that's something to truly look forward to.

May your caravan take you places that awaken your heart and feed your soul.

*'Night Sky' photo by eileenteoshuqing.blogspot.com

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bit 'O' Fluff

Just took this funny personality test to discover what animal I am. It was posted on Mon's other site.

"I'm a Tiger, I'm a Tiger
I'm a Tiger, I'm a Tiger"

Apologies for all those who have never heard the above song. I am probably showing my considerable age.

Tiger Description
Tigers are handsome (I prefer to think of myself as sometimes pretty or, in my more confident moments, alluring but I'll settle for handsome when I can get it) and powerful people with an innate self-confidence and elegance. There's a sense of immediacy and an aura of electricity that surrounds it, and when it walks into a room, something always seems about to happen. Consider the classic tiger personality of F. Lee Bailey. He expresses himself with the confidence of one who expects his orders to be unquestionably followed, and his autocratic style demands respect and commands fear. For once a tiger has found its groove, it focuses on its goal with a brightly burning intensity. Male tigers, when out of their element, are sometimes mistaken for beefcake. But when you see them in their offices wearing their power suits, you realize that you're dealing with incisive, authoritarian individuals.

As a nocturnal hunter the tiger is equipped with a great deal of street sense. Able to read people's motivations and assess situations quickly, it is blunt and to the point, commanding attention with just a whisper or a raising of its eyebrow. It demands respect and commands fear. Unlike their cat relatives, tigers enjoy sports of all kinds, with a particular affinity for water sports. They are often seen in the company of river dolphins and sea lions on a casual and socially limited basis.

With a need to dominate their partners, their passionate advances can often be too intense for those fainthearted partners, so they must choose their lovers wisely. Because of their propensity for solitude, they avoid long-lasting relationships and place little value on fidelity -- proving to be unsettled and promiscuous.

Marry it? Yes. Tame it? Never! It's hard to put one's finger on why the tiger struggles to settle down, but one theory has it that the tiger views marriage as a threat to its independence. But their emotional detachment should not be confused with a desire to avoid intimacy; for intimacy is the tiger's greatest sensual tool. By offering its lover its deeply held secrets, it adds another dimension of eroticism to its lovemaking.

However, those tigers that have been married for a while will tell you that matrimony can be quite agreeable. Perhaps then, it's their impossible search for the perfect partner that keeps them on the prowl, although more than likely, we'll never understand the dark forces that frame its fearful symmetry.

Fearful symmetry? Not sure about that one. I am in the company of Jack Nicholson though, so it can't be all bad.

There are so many good blogs out there and I recently discovered this one. Great for the craftsters out there.

Also found this site which is good for organisation. As someone who forgets, well, everything actually, I'm hoping that this will help me remember.

We shall see.

Also - random but true.

I have a soft spot for these wee fella's.

Check out ma petite Ryan (and ignore jailbait photos, this is one cookie that gets better as he gets older), the boy can sing!

Also love a very different Ryan - Behold the masculine splendour of Monseiur Reynolds of Blade Trinity fame.

I admit, there are things I would like to do to this man that would get me arrested in at least 27 countries.
Oh, swoony, swoon swoon...

And yes, I do want to be Jessica Biels.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

In which I moan about my idyllic life and break a toe

I am feeling deeply uninspired. I have life envy. I'm only half serious but I do feel as if I'm missing something important. Oh I have my moments but there is this heavy, useless feeling that sits in my ever more resplendent tummy and makes me feel tired and frustrated at the same time. Have you ever tried being enervated and tired at the same time? It's irritating. And tiring.


Anyway, I have just been feeling a bit flat, as happens to most of us from time to time. The weight of mothering has been a bit heavy since I returned refreshed from our holiday in the (nearly) sunshine and I had a truly spectacularly awful meltdown at Beanie on Tuesday. I phoned the hubble in tears and tried to convince him that he should have me quietly taken away. Better that than add any more scars to our beautiful daughter's soul courtesy of her crazy fekkin mamma. Beanie and I went to bad not long afterwards and slept for two and a half hours. I felt better afterwards. Sleep has always been the great escape from my uncomfortable emotions though I'm not entirely sure if that's a good thing or a very strong case of avoidance. Ah well.

I should just stop comparing myself to other people. I know I should. It's just that they seem to be so living so much more passionately than I am. And they sure as hell create so much more effortlessly than I can. People seem to find hours in the day to do all sorts of incredible stuff. BlueBirdBaby finds time to work, furnish a new house, spend lots of quality time with her adorable little girl, sew, play piano, learn guitar, cook AND take lots of amazing photographs. HOW? I think I'm just lazy. I have lots of things I'd like to do but I get distracted easily. Ooh, something shiny...vroom..gone.

I am living in my very own hoosie finally and it's wonderful. Yet, I haven't had that excited, champagne opening, celebratory "whoopee" feeling at all. Obviously, it was a teensy bit influenced by the 'hood' up the hill but not all of it comes from that. Has anyone else experienced this? You want something, you work at it, you wait and then suddenly you have it and.... nothing. Not a single shiny spark of excitement can be coaxed. I think my happiness button is broken along with my toe. (Swooped foot forward to be enveloped in lovely Ugg boot, missed slipper and slammed my 'ring' toe on my right foot into the skirting board with a very 'crack!' Now I have 'The Black Toe'). Anyway, to get back to my moan. So, here I am, surrounded by trees, trees and more trees and believe it or not despite the odd breaking of the sound barrier coming from elsewhere, there is a lot of peace to be had and yet I'm still feeling unsettled. It's like I haven't dropped into place yet. I am very concerned that I am simply one of those people who is NEVER satisfied with life no matter what happens. I mean, get a grip already. God, I'd so hate for that to be true of me. I have many faults but I don't want to own that one. No sirree.

I think its really just the accumulation of a lot of things happening all at once. Moving house, Beanie getting more and more demanding and, well, a bit naughty to be honest, (planning the next small fry whilst the current small fry is being exasperating is a little scary thank you very much), realising how much renovation our house requires to make it truly our own, the business closing in Brisbane and my unsurety that I actually want to continue it at all...yadda yadda yadda. It's all a bit much and I know I need to take it all one little chunk at a time but it's easier said than done. Especially for a horribly driven (lazy) perfectionist like me. So here I am - marvelling at all the accomplishments of others whilst feeling like a great fat prize Turkey on Thanksgiving.

Oh shut up, you're being overly dramatic. Again.

I went for a reading to Oracle, this charming little witchy-poo shop in Sassafrass yesterday. Just sort of blustered in and decided on it in the space of a heartbeat. It was interesting. The lovely french proprietoress did rather ram the point home once she had found it (which took a while) and I did get rather itchy feet and want to go home near the end, but then something extraordinary happened. She came out after our reading had finished and handed me a beautiful quartz crystal sphere (about the size of a small orange) and said that she wanted me to have it. She had never in her life done anything like that before but she said that she wanted to loan it to me (even if I needed it for 20 years!)to remind me of what the reading said. I was rather gobsmacked to say the least. So now i have this dazzling crystal sitting on my bureau upstairs in my boudoir and I'm still slightly bemused about everything. I did level the playing field slightly by spending over $100 in their shop not long afterwards. Oh, who am I kidding. I'd have spent that ball or not bloody ball. I just cannot resist that store. After my reading and whilst still 'embracing' the whole message of the thing, I did say out loud (but not in a 'mad woman talking to herself! Quick Martha, grab the children and RUN!' type of way), 'OK precious boy, come to me. I'm ready if you are,' or words to that effect. And I felt that familiar shiver come over me that tends to portend something life changing. Like already being up the duff or something. I had it the day I met the hubble. Oh. Shit.

On another note entirely - I pulled out all the cauli's and a whole heap of other unidentified plants from the garden yesterday. Now there are two quite bare looking terraces that need turning over and fertilising. Then I come to the heady part of choosing and planting our new crop. The gluttonous part of me is practically giddy about the idea of it but the reality of it will be far less mesmerising I'm guessing. All dirt, weeding and trying not to overwater it or whatever. I guess there's no way to go but up when you are starting at the very bottom and are as complete a novice as I am about gardening. I think I'll look into planting by moon also as it seems to have such interesting results for other gardeners. Plus, anything by moon is so delicious.

So yes. I've had a little ramble. I've had a little moan and I know I should just pull my socks up and get ON with it but I am so reluctant, so resistant at the moment. Ah well, the winds of change will come whether I am ready or not. The rather jaunty hat on the sun of the horizon is that we did a meet and greet of most of the neighbours on Saturday. I baked up a load of choccie cookies and we did the rounds. the people over at the 'hood' were out (or hiding their meth lab/dope plants and therefore to busy to come to the door), we met two terribly uninspiring neighbours either side of them and then shambled down the road to the next lot feeling disappointed and rather shit about it all. The next two houses we knocked at were out. Getting better and better. THEN we discover Tim - the lovely greek gardener/amazing painter/ex-primary school teacher - who invited us in for a cuppa, showed us all his paintings (he's exhibited in Rome and Paris and London) and called the Kookaburra's ('ella ella' it means 'come' in Greek) and got them to feed from his hands. I'm not even a little bit kidding. Beanie was in raptures. His garden was like something from an English stately home with statues of Pan and little altars to the Goddess - it was what heaven looks like I'm sure. He then decided to take us over to meet his best friends, Paul and Gail. We pootled through their garden, had a glass of Pinot and chatted like we'd known each other for years. Paul is an ex soapie-actor, plays concert level piano and, of course, paints and gardens like Tim. His wife is an ex-teacher and also gardens and does assorted artsy stuff. They were so laid back that they didn't even mind when Beanie opened a packet of coriander seeds (home harvested) all over their lovely leather sofa's. I cannot tell you what a breath of fresh air those people have been to me and to the Hubble. Paul and Gail have been here for over 30 years and are probably only now nearing their 60's. They look so damn vital it's hard to tell! Tim has the most amazingly youthful eyes I've ever seen. He looks so mischevious and his wife is adorable too. So we floated home on a warm Pinot cloud, hugging these new 'families' to ourselves like a warm fluffy blanket and I felt, for the first time, that maybe we hadn't made a mistake in buying here. That was a precious gift let me tell you when we can't get broadband, have terrible mobile reception, can't get papers (or parcels) delivered and have to drag our bins uphill for about 15 minutes to put them out for the trucks! I am also intensely grateful that our next door neighbour is no longer seeing the 'very bad man' that sold drugs and caused 'domestics' loud enough to be heard by Paul and Gail who are quite a way away from our house. Apparently there was even a shot fired at some point. So let me say a profound 'THANK YOU' to the Gods that sorted that one out before we arrived.

Warning: Randomness alert.
Love this.

So - I'll hopalong to bed now. Calm my fractious child and try and find some secret space in my head that can draw me down into rest. For I have much to do and far to travel before my journey is done.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy Holidays, Sweet Dreams and Loose Resolutions

Beautiful Beanie and her one thousand kilowatt smile

Here I sit on borrowed wireless, drinking tea and eating Pfeffernusse like they've gone out of fashion. Which they quite possibly have - many things I like are un-fashionable – nonetheless these are just scrummily Dee-licious!
Strange name though - I always want to say 'bless you' after I say it.

Anyway, I digress before I've even really started. I'm just back from a lovely week-long holiday in Sorrento with the 'AH' Clan and am mid-pack for an overnight in Queenscliff for a wedding tomorrow, swiftly followed by another wedding the day after. We have a lot of friends. Or rather, my husband does. I have few but they art goodly ones.

The holiday was glorious though I did not brave the water with more than my lily white ankles. The whole family were there with us including my sister-in-law's soon to be family, the Lewis's. Anna's many (many) friends (think Jesus) popping in on route back to important jobs in France, Malaysia and the like, there could be up to 15 people in our house on some days. We even had lunch with the ex-Deputy Premier John Thwaites! I know. The lives of the rich and almost famous! It's not me that's connected though - the hubble's sister used to work on water policy under Thwaites (she’s an eco-warrior and one of the really good guys - sharp as a whip too). They keep in touch even though Anna is currently working in the good ole UK wot I used to call 'ome. Anyway, name dropping aside, it was a lovely holiday and very relaxing for me and the man. With so many extended family in one house and one adorably cute little girl to entertain and bewitch, we had many, many willing volunteers to Beanie-sit. We even got to enjoy my (birthday treat) spa visit to the Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs (thanks Tan and Kath!). We stayed there for FIVE hours bobbing up and down and meandering in and out of lovely hot, hot water of varying degrees. We even braved the cold plunge pool on a few occasions and it was AWESOME! By the time we got out I was incapable of much more than a happy grin and the occasional 'dunno'. It's the most relaxed I've been in two years and I heartily recommend it.

I got to experience first hand the adage that 'it takes a village to raise a child' because to have so many willing hands and hearts available was truly a wonderful stress-free experience for me. My bean would start the day by rollin' into the communal kitchen with a 'Where is anybody?' and then find her way into her great grandmother's room (Norn - short for Norma)to have a chat about the bees in the lavender. She would then mosey into the kitchen to swipe a VitaBrit or two from the box or steal a digestive biscuit, before running up the hall shouting 'Nanna! Nanna!' until poor Nanna's tousled head appeared to greet her. I could just lie in bed and let it happen knowing that whoever greeted her first would spend time and energy in just loving her. That was an amazing and humbling experience for me. I knew she was loved but I don't think I ever realised quite how much and by quite how many. It was sheer delight to be a part of such a warm family gathering. We cooked and ate together on most nights, we co-ordinated our visits to the beach to take into account the oldies and the youngies and we swam and played and built sandcastles and dug holes and threw shells into the sea with gay abandon.

Nature's bounty

I am refreshed, brown as a nut (well if nuts were pink and freckly anyway) and more chilled than I ever expected to be. Chilled enough to wave hello and shout 'Happy New Year' to the 'hood' up the hill. That's progress, long may it last.
So, after my long sojourn I thought it might well be time for a catch up. I mean, there’s been the Solstice, Christmas and New Year to contend with. Surely that’s worth a few words.

The Solstice was greeted by 3 women, one belly cast and an awful lot of drumming. All drums and beaters made with our own fair hands - skin to skin. The Beanie was gifted with the most glorious solstice dress from DocWitch in lots of lovely greens. Just precious. Can't tell you how much I love her in those dresses - thanks my darling dark broomster.

Christmas was wonderful. We hosted the event this year (despite only being in the house for 2 weeks) and I got to cook my first ever Christmas turkey. This was no mean feat in an oven whose door didn’t shut properly. Apart from the extended cooking times, everything turned out peachy. We had handmade stuffing with walnuts and craisins (dried cranberries), lemon and rosemary potatoes, balsalmic glazed carrots and parsnips and giblet gravy (which is what I call gravy made with the ‘juices’ of the bird – shiver…). I also created a monstrous chocolate and hazelnut Pavlova with a delicious choc mocha cream filling. Hence I am now the size of a small continent. The table looked lovely, everyone devoured the food and complimented the chefs. We even got to play the Rat Pack singing Christmas songs and, of course, the classic South Park Christmas song ‘Just a Jew’ (playing merrily in the background. Ah love that little Kyle.
There was, of course, that slight slow drag of nostalgia that had me longing for the crisp cold whiteness of my childhood Christmases long gone. I never quite get into the full spirit in this country – something about the long hot days and warm nights. Here’s something I found that made it a little easier. It also appeals to my sense of romance. Pause for a sigh.

And so - here I am - relaxed, warmed through by the sun and ready for a new year of who knows what. 2008 was a pretty good year all up. We rode the ups and downs as best we could and we seemed to find more smiles than frowns. That's good enough for me. I don't really have many specific dreams for 2009 but I do know that I want it to contain more. More hours spent laughing with my friends, more time spent soaking in the stillness, more treading lightly on the Earth, more time being open hearted and in the moment and lots more pleasure taken in simple things.

Leaving behind only footprints

Oh, and God if you're listening, could you please start to make my bottom look like this?

My little Nudie Bum

Sweet Dreams and to all a Good Night...