Over and out

First the admin. We appear to be completely out of communication now with e-mail stopping any day and no phones in working order apart from Richard's old UK XDA so don't expect any contact!!


The removal men have been and gone and we are left with just the odd sock and bit of fluff on the floor. As usual the chickers have been lifesavers, looking after Rosie all day through the mayhem, and taking us in this weekend.


My first proper goodbye was on Tuesday with Fiona (yoga mummy and gym buddy) and I think we were both caught short by how much sobbing there was on both sides. Having subsequently wept over my last "om" at yoga and over the lady who manages the creche at the gym ("you don't know what it me-e-eant to me. Howl howl"), I decided a new strategy was in order and Chantal suggested that I just pretend I am seeing everyone again next week. I succesfully used that with Katie and my mother's group, although when Cupcake Carm handed me some beautiful prints of Balmoral from them all as a memory of our times there, for once in my life I was not tempted to make a speech in spite of the expectant faces as I knew it would not just end in tears, but start with them.


There is still Chantal and Rachel to go and I don't even want to think about it.


Whilst I have always had plenty of friends, I don't think I have ever been through a) such a seminal period or b) one where I have had to rely on people to catch me as much as I have here, and with laughter, love, listening and kindness they have, and it's made me doubly appreciative.


In spite of the sadness, and rushing around, I for one feel quite calm. It's that period between ending something and starting something and it's a nice feeling - one I wish I could capture more often.


We now have two nights in Bangkok to look forward to and we are delighted that Rosie's Uncle Flying (Alien) will be joining us there. We arrive back on Weds the 8th.


Lots of people have asked me whether I will continue to drivel into the ether on my blog when we return and I fully intend to. I decided that this one should be printed and bound for posterity and then I will start another. I struggled with a name but this, suggested by Katie, works on so many levels


www.20six.co.uk/heatheruptop


Boys and girls thank you for the pleasure of your company in my adventure downunder. Love and hugs to you all
Over and out
Heather
3.8.07 05:58


Facebook

I'm addicted.  Amazing example of viral marketing.  I heard about it for the first time two weeks ago,  last week got three invitations to join and now I'm totally hooked.  It's useful in the sense that you can easily create groups, photobooks and chat all in one place - but it's also a total time waster and I find myself going back to the computer to see if anyone has sent me a fish, tickled or bitch-slapped me....

DON'T ENCOURAGE ME! SAVE ME FROM MYSELF... 

In case it has passed you by it is www.facebook.com

Aside from that, we're both shattered - lots of goodbye drinks, a flat in complete turmoil and MIL and BIL have arrived (not staying here).  Since becoming a full time walker, Rosie has also upped the tantrum quotient, as she only wants to walk (and not be pushed or carried) and of course,  only in the direction she wants to go.... As we do occasionally need to walk in a direction that actually takes us somewhere, then the chances of incurring wild wailing, downturned mouth and tears are currently quite high.  She does go at a fair lick and with great determination so I am glad to have invested in some reins a while back. I wonder if they are a little infra dig these days, as you don't see anyone else with them. It is a bit like walking a dog I suppose, but infinitely practical...  Hmm, how about those obedience classes Majic has been attending Katie?  All together now, Walkies!

29.7.07 12:28


Herbal Heath...

Cupcake Carm (of superb baking fame) says this is to be my new monicker given that I have gone all alternative...

Yes the last two nights have represented a milestone - not only my first in 15 months away from my beautiful and demanding girl, but also my first at an alternative health retreat.

It was a Chickpea suggestion and not something I would ever have imagined myself doing in the past, but the idea of yoga and meditation in the Blue Mountains appealed, veggie food did not put me off, and whilst we were at it, why not pick a couple of completely "out there" therapies we would never normally go for.

So she picked astrology and I picked a clairvoyant reading.  I must admit it had been, in the past a "not on your nelly" thing - not just because I don't believe in it, but also because I didn't want someone indicating my future was mapped out.  I create it don't I?

Well boys and girls, it was astonishing.  I was hooked by the first line. I imagined a lot of it worked on intuition and guesswork, but the first thing she told me she could not have intuited by looking at me, it would not have applied to anyone else there, it was extremely accurate and specific.  After that a lot of it was about who I am as a person and the kind of thing I was born to do - it was very comforting as it really felt like she was reflecting myself back to me.  I'm not going to spew it all out here, but I'll be glad to tell you about it in person and you can debunk it for me...

All in all it was an interesting and mind-opening break.  The food was amazing, the care was kind, we met some interesting people and if I had not been suffering from a wry neck and the ends of a virus it would have been perfect.  It was lovely to spend time with my dear friend and to go back to my girl with renewed appreciation, as well as appreciation for the boy who looked after her so perfectly in my absence.

25.7.07 23:09


What would I have done without my scrummy mummies?

Yesterday at my goodbye drinks at the Opera Bar

left to right Sinead, Julia, Carm, Nat, Me, Di, Classy Julia

left to right Carm, Julia, Hannah, Di, Nat, Me, Lis, Chantal, Fiona, Julia, Sinead

23.7.07 05:42


karma and the stuff...

Yesterday was our first ever garage sale.  Rach and I put a few notices up round the area and took out a small ad in the Mosman Weekly and wondered if anyone would turn up...

We had been forewarned that if you advertise for 9am serious buyers will be there for the white goods and furniture at 8.30, but I wasn't quite expecting the first knock at the door at 7am whilst still wild eyed and haired.

He was after CDs, jewellery and knick knacks.  Having helped me set up he went away with a few (paid for) Cds and the remainder of a bottle of Johnnie Walker  (sorry foth) as a thank you.  Ten minutes later, the book man arrived.  In fact, Rach's car port was full of people by 8am.

As the "stuff" got piled up, the more you wanted to add to it.  We've talked about this before - hanging on to stuff because it might be useful or because you've had it such a long time you can't be parted from it, but let me tell you, paying for shipping, knowing that what gets shipped won't be seen for a couple of months anyway,  and knowing storage space is incredibly limited the other end, really focuses the mind and it got to the point that if it wasn't nailed down, I might sell it...

We were disappointed not to sell more white goods (just the TV), but amazed to sell some of my clothes - at the price I had put them up for, and between us, including the TV we took nearly $650 - mostly in $1s and $2s. 

Apart from being completely knackering, it was lovely - we met such characters.  The most interesting thing was negotiation styles.  I am hopeless.  I prefer to give stuff away - good karma in my view.  Richard is very good and did far better than I would have on the TV. The chinese haggled over a few cents and others tried to give us more money because of my hopeless negotiation style.

My favourite was the lady who had 4 weeks to go with her pregnancy and had nothing prepared.  I hadn't much baby stuff there, having kept some for others and given a lot away already, but  I kept finding more things she needed and pressed the Robin Barker book on her for free (it had been given to me so appropriate).  She packed a bag full of stuff and we came to an arrangement.   5 minutes later she was back, handing me more notes saying "sorry to haggle, but this is for the shopping experience".

By 1pm we were finished and I was exhausted - and still surrounded by things we are not shipping.  Off to Vinnies I guess.  It is liberating to be getting rid of clothes which don't fit any more and piles of stuff you never look at or use.

22.7.07 00:45


comprehension

Well I have had a right ear full about feeling sorry for myself from a couple of people.  I know, I know!!  I realise how much of the large dose of "life must be perfect" I have inherited from my old mother.  Truth is, whilst there have certainly been times I have really enjoyed myself here, and there are some lovely new friends and experiences, I now can't wait to get home. 

It has been extremely good for Richard and whilst yes he will miss it, he will come back to England with new self belief, more sociable, able to swim, cook, a decent tennis player and knowing himself as a very good father.  For me it has been more negative than positive, but I won't take long to recover, never fear... Rachel has already booked me in for singing, work looking good, day care getting sorted,  a trip to France... once that mojo comes back ....

The biggest compensation of course, is one little Rosie queen and I would certainly go through it all again and more to have her as part of the picture.  I feel a need to report on her this morning, so turn away if you don't like the baby updates.

The most fulfilling, amazing thing has been seeing the light of comprehension dawn in her eyes and a sudden ability to interact.  In the last few weeks the progress has felt monumental.  All teddies are hugged passionately, patted on the back with a big AAAAAH and some special people might get that too (specially if they read her enough books).  A couple of days ago she started handing me the book she wanted reading, she shakes her head vehemently for "no", points at what she wants and says, Teddy, dada, mama, nana (for all fruit).  She loves talking on the telephone - so if you get a garbled call at 3 in the morning you will know she has snaffled my mobile again...

And then there is all the mischief and laughter...  She has a wonderful guttural chuckle.

Oh and back to why I want to go home - seeing other people appreciate that is a huge part of the joy and I can't wait to surround her with grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins and good friends.

18.7.07 01:09


No flow and you lose your mojo...

Reading a critique of The Secret (which in summary said that the premise was helpful to the extent that belief impacts behaviour and a positive belief is more likely to help you get to a goal than a negative one), the author reminded me of the concept of "Flow". 

"Flow" is something I know about and had forgotten. It probably best translates to "being in the groove". The premise is that happiness occurs in those moments where we are not thinking about it, but doing something we are good at, and are totally engaged in.  Even..creating a window box

For most of my life I have been fortunate to have been very happy and I now expect that as my right. I loved school, college and work - I'm good at all that stuff.  Packing up and sorting out Rosie's baby gear yesterday I was overwhelmed with sadness.  I feel cheated out of an experience which I am probably only going to have once - pregnancy, birth and baby's first year should not be like this.  In fact I realise how many "shoulds" I have about this time.  For me though, aside from a few months, in which the endorphins were flowing, and which also had their own traumas,  being here, having no plan beyond the next week, being a full time housewife and mother has really made me lose my mojo.

There has been very little "flow" for me.   The reality is that whilst Rosie is the best thing that ever happened to me, and as she gets older she gets more and more fun, whilst when I drop her off at the creche, Kaila (the carer) can't wait to play with her and the other babies, I find that impossible to understand. And I feel guilty just for saying that.

"Flow" for me here, has only occurred in the brief (selfish) periods where I have been chatting animatedly to friends, in my yoga classes, in swimming and in writing.  Aside from that I have had way too much thinking and stewing time.

I've recently been discussing job possibilities and I can't believe how excited they have got me.  I have been trying so hard to develop myself into someone who doesn't need work to be happy, but I do need enough things to do which are an expression of me, and being a full time mum, isn't it.  Aside from one or two brief periods, work has always been something I've loved and I can't even pretend to do one of those "thank god it's friday" things which other people revel in. 

I'm nervous like anyone going back to work of not being able to do the two things justice - motherhood and work, but in the main I think I will be much happier and that has to be better for everyone.

16.7.07 00:39


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