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Cats (Not the Musical)

Hello everyone! Apologies for my absence from Blogging Land. I have all the usual excuses – laziness, too busy, no time, life got in the way etc – but I also have a REALLY GOOD EXCUSE too… I got kitties! Yay me! I had been procrastinating about it and kept finding reasons why I shouldn’t get furbabies right now, why I needed more time, why I needed to organise myself better, why I should wait… But, eventually, it became apparent that there would never be the RIGHT TIME and I was just putting it off due to anxiety and fear of making a mistake.

So, one day, I went along to the Cat Haven, with my Mum in tow, to have a look – just a look – at the cats and kittens available. Why did I think I might be able to go in and not leave with a furry friend that same day? Duh! There were so many lovely kitties needing a home – all ages, colours, shapes and sizes. I did have in mind that I wanted perhaps a ginger kitten and a black and white one, but what were my chances of finding a pair like that, that were the right age too? I definitely wanted two – so they would have company when I’m out – and had originally wanted them to be boys, but that had changed over the preceding days. I didn’t care what sex they were in the end. I just wanted a little furry friend to love.

My Mum actually spotted them first. A bright and bouncy 6 month old tabby kitten, leaping about, trying to get attention – smooching on the glass of his cubicle and generally being adorable. The sign on his door said “My name is Ryan – how can you resist my chubby little face?” And, indeed, we could not.

Hiding away in the back of his cubicle, was his little sister, Oakie. She was obviously terrified and just wanted to make everything go away. When I reached in to stroke her, she cowered but did not hiss or run away. I felt so sorry for her. What a frightening world for her. The only comfort she had was her big brother who, bless him, tried to protect her by putting his arm around her. They had to be homed together as a bonded pair. We were sold.

So, now two months later, I have a pair of gorgeous, crazy, entertaining and affectionate kittens. Introducing, Atticus and Harper! ūüôā

Atticus (AKA “The Toad”)

Harper Louise (AKA “Poppy”)

Atticus is a big boofy boy. He is a bit of a bully to his delicate and timid sister. In the first few weeks, I was quite concerned about his behaviour because he just would not leave her alone – she was getting beaten up constantly. Play-fighting is absolutely normal, of course, but Harper is so much smaller and, especially in the early days, she was in poor condition and not feeling well, and couldn’t defend herself. She took a long time to get over her desexing operation, and spent most of her days curled up on my dining room chair, looking miserable. Her appetite was good, however, and she seemed to trust me so I took heart that she would eventually come out of her shell.

I have to supervise meal times, otherwise Atticus will eat all of his own food and then Harper’s as well. She eats about a third of what he consumes (or should I say inhales) and tends to dither about. I can’t leave the food out for her to graze on – it will be gone in two seconds flat if Atticus is anywhere near it. I swear I got jipped and actually adopted a dog – he eats like a dog, plays like a dog, carries things around like a dog. He even chews on my shoes! But, despite his naughtiness and never-ending energy, he is adorable. The sweetest, most loving little guy. He enjoys a cuddle (on his terms) and just likes to be wherever I am. He ruled the roost from day one.

Harper is a tiny little lady. She is about half her brother’s size and is delicate and slight. She has a permanently worried expression on her face but is a happy girl most of the time. Initially, she had a very rough, almost crinkly, coat, and her hair was falling out in clumps. But, as she settled and recovered from her surgery and early experiences, her coat improved and is now quite soft and smooth – a pale, pinky-silver tabby. Still very timid, she will hide from everyone except for me. I am hoping this will change, but it may just be how she is – there is no way of knowing what her previous experiences with humans has been. She too is very loving and enjoys being stroked and talked to. She will roll on her back and let you rub her tummy and she has a special little voice just for me that warms my heart. She and her brother talk constantly – chirrupping (as I call it) and calling for one another when it’s playtime. They also groom one another quite violently, which generally leads to fisticuffs but, as long as Harper is not getting hurt, I leave them to it. She initiates quite a lot of the fights now and gives as good as she gets. I do have to separate them from time time, though, when Atticus forgets himself. When I first got them, they were showing signs of perhaps behaving a bit incestuously, and I am pretty sure Harper may have been pregnant. It took a couple of weeks for things to settle down in that way. Hormones get in the way of everything!

Atticus is very handsome. I think he knows it too. His coat is like silk – thick and shiny and so, so soft. He is much darker than Harper, and I think he is going to be a big boy, if his enormous feet are anything to go by. He is growing at a rate of knots and I have to keep an eye on his food intake, because I think he could easily be a bit of a fatty ūüôā

I have had to have an unwanted trip to the vet with Harper. Poor girl got her ear torn by her boofhead brother, and so we had to go through the trauma of her needing medication on the wound twice a day. It healed quickly, thankfully, and didn’t need the full course of drops. She hated me doing anything to her and it made her take a few steps back in terms of her social development and feeling secure, so I was glad to be able to leave her be. She soon forgave me and didn’t hold a grudge.

Atticus likes to suck on his blankies. This is normally a sign of kittens being taken away from their mothers too soon. He will suck and knead for ages, any time of day. I have special blankies for this – he only likes the soft “minky”ones. Often, he will be having a suckle session while Harper gives him a good tongue-bath. I think it comforts them both and I’m always happy when they’re they not bashing each other up.

They have the run of my house, except for my bedrooms (gotta have a couple of rooms free from hair, y’know!?) but are not allowed outside. I am planning on reinforcing my outside patio and enclosing it, so they can also have that room to play and explore. I have a two-story house so they get lots of exercise running up and down the stairs and they like to sunbathe by the upstairs windows, where they can also spy on the whole neighbourhood.

I love them so much. I don’t know why it took me so long to make the decision to get cats. I have missed having a pet, and cats are the best option for me, given I work full time. They are pretty self-sufficient and, provided I give them lots of exercise and play times to prevent boredom, they are pretty well-behaved. I have covered all my couches to prevent little claws shredding them, and also have a variety of scratching posts and mats. They have a selection of toys and I make sure we play at least every afternoon until they are ready for a rest. This keeps them happy and stimulated, and less likely to get up to mischief. Before I brought them home, I removed all plants from the house that might be toxic and moved any remaining ones to higher spots that the cats can’t access. They have their own room – my laundry – and they go to bed every night in there. No fuss – I just call them and they happily trot in and settle in for the night. They have toys and an enormous cat tower in there, as well as their litter trays and food/water bowls. They also have blankets and little cat igloos. So they’re pretty well sorted. I have no room for anything, but they are fine ūüôā

So, expect many a kitty-related post from me in the near future. They have pretty much taken over my life (and bank balance – when did cat food and kitty litter get so expensive!?). They make me laugh so much and it is so nice to have someone to come home to. They are ratbags sometimes, but full of love and affection too. Watching Harper slowly blossom has been so wonderful, and Atticus puts up with so much harrassment from me – it is so nice to have a cat that will let you cuddle and kiss them (albeit begrudgingly some days ūüôā ).

Thanks for dropping by. Happy New Year to you all. May it contain as many blessings as you can handle xxx

Drawing a Line in the Sand (NYE)

Drawing a Line in the Sand (NYE)

Normally, given the opportunity, I stay at home on New Year’s Eve. ¬†I like to reflect and think about what has been, as well as what MIGHT be if I can get my act together in the coming months. ¬†I don’t mind being on my own and so it isn’t a sad evening for me. ¬†It is one of contemplation and a last minute chance to eat naughty food before the obligatory New Year diet kicks in ūüôā

This year, however, I ended up being part of someone else’s plan. ¬†My cousin wanted company and I was happy to oblige. ¬†She’s going through some tough stuff right now and wanted someone to be part of her New Year pledge to herself to do better and be healthier and stronger and emotionally fitter. ¬†She wanted to literally draw a line in the sand and say “No more”. ¬†I could do with some of that myself so I happily agreed to be part of her night.

We went to the beach in Fremantle and drew an actual line in the sand, before stepping over it and wishing each other strength and love. ¬†Sometimes you have to make the big gestures to kick-start your healing and motivation. ¬†Plus, now we have photographic evidence so, y’know, we have to stick to our promises, right?

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The evening was warm and balmy with a sea breeze that messed up our hair but not our plans ūüôā

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The ocean, for me, signifies so much, and so it was apt that we spent the last day of 2015 there, with our toes in the sand and the waves crashing around us.  The tide is changing for us both, I hope.

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My cousin and I have grown up together, grown older together and been through many ups and downs. ¬†We’ve both made mistakes, big and small, but we always support each other. ¬†I know I can trust her to always have my back and always believe in me. ¬†I hope she knows I will do the same for her. ¬†We know too much about one another to ever be enemies – it wouldn’t be safe ha ha.

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So, with the sun setting on the old year, we heralded in the new one, with hope and love and good intentions, and with forgiveness for past mistakes.

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I hope you had someone special to share New Year’s with, whether it be an old friend, a new love, your dog or your own good self. ¬†And I hope you got in some last minute naughty foods ūüôā

Be kind to yourself in 2016 Рbe forgiving and let go of mistakes, bad decisions and questionable life choices.  Every day is another chance to get things right and do better.  All we can do is try x

Trying Again

Trying Again

So, it’s that time of year again. ¬†Resolution time. ¬†Last year,¬† I called it “New Year’s Revolutions“, and the year before that I wrote a long and detailed list of the things I wanted to change and achieve in the coming months. ¬†I’m not very good at keeping to my resolutions. ¬†I do try, but usually fail by about, oh, January 5th. ¬†But the whole point of a New Year is being given another chance. ¬†Another chance to try again. ¬†And try I shall.

But I am also going to not limit myself to just trying at New Year’s. ¬†Every day should be a new chance to try again. ¬†I think part of the reason I fail is that I use the whole “New Year” thing as an excuse for not trying for the next 11 months. ¬†But, I say optimistically, with fingers behind my back, I am done with excuses. ¬†I am going to treat every day like New Year’s, which means I can start fresh every morning. ¬†If I fail, I just have to keep going until I succeed.

This is my plan.  I am not good at plans so failure is almost guaranteed but I have now given myself permission to not give up.  And not quit.  I am very good at quitting but I am going to try and not do that too often this year.  There are things I need to achieve and overcome this year (too personal for even over-sharing me to discuss here) and I will not reach any of my goals if I keep giving up.  There are things about myself I need to change and fix if I am to go forward in life.

There are the usual goals about weight loss. Sigh. ¬†How long have I been making that my New Year’s Resolution? ¬†What, 25-30 years now? ¬†I have yo-yoed back and forth between one weight and another for some many decades, I have no idea what my natural body shape and size is any more. ¬†But I have hated my body at whatever size it is, and I need to stop doing that. ¬†My body survived a life-threatening illness¬†and I need to remember that. ¬†I need to remember and acknowledge that it survived against all odds and kept going, no matter what. ¬†So, if nothing else, I should treat this old rust-bucket of a body with some respect. ¬†Sure, it’s a little flabbier and wobblier than I would like, but it’s still there. ¬†I’m still upright and breathing, walkin’ around with all my limbs and digits and brain cells (although that last point is debatable). ¬†So I need to try to be as healthy as I can. ¬†Which doesn’t necessarily mean being as skinny as I can. ¬†It means feeding my body with the right fuels and exercise. ¬†It’s not about fitting into a tighter skirt or being able to get away with short shorts. ¬†It’s about being¬†healthy and fit and strong. ¬†I haven’t been that for a long time and I really need to get my shit together where that is concerned. ¬†My body deserves that, it really does.

I need to think about my career. ¬†I need to seek that which will bring me fulfilment and authenticity and joy. ¬†I don’t know if it is possible to have that in a 9-5 job, but I am going to try and find out. ¬†I like my current job, but I don’t love it. ¬†It doesn’t full me with excitement¬†or happiness or anything even remotely approaching those things. ¬†It pays my bills and gives me a sense of satisfaction some days and I am very grateful for it. ¬†It provided me with security and emotional support when I needed it most. ¬†But it isn’t my dream job and I have to figure out what is. ¬†Because I really don’t know. ¬†And time is running out. ¬†At some point I am going to have to figure out what I am supposed to be doing, what I want to be when I grow up. ¬†Because I truly don’t know yet. Failing that, I need to be ok with having “just a job” and acknowledge that it allows me to do the things I do enjoy in life, outside of work. ¬†We can’t all be Oprah. ¬†Some of us have to have the little boring jobs that keep the world turning.

I need to be less of a hoarder.  I know I say this on a weekly basis, but seriously, I just need to learn to let go of things.  Things are not people.  I can let go of a bunny ornament someone gave me in the fifth grade.  They will not mind if I give it away now.  The world will not collapse and I am not a bad person if the Christmas card I got in 1983 from a classmate ends up in the recycling bin (seriously, I just found that card today and struggled with getting rid of it). I have to learn to hold on to memories, instead of stuff.  But it is hard.

I need to start learning to say No.  I need to be ok with saying No and not feel guilty about it or try and make up for it by doing more than the original request asked for.  I need to learn not explain my No Рthe No itself should be enough.

I really, really need to learn to like myself a little more. ¬†Or at all. ¬†I don’t know how to do this, and if you have any suggestions, please send ’em on over. ¬†I don’t know how to like what I see in the mirror. ¬†I don’t know how to not lie awake at night thinking about all the things I did wrong in the day, all the mistakes I made and how many people I let down. ¬†I need to stop thinking of myself as ugly and useless. ¬†But it’s really hard to break the habit of a lifetime. ¬†And how do you change the way you look to yourself – get new eyeballs? ¬†I need an Instagram filter for my own eyes.

I need to learn to deal with my social anxiety. ¬†Deal with it and accept it and learn coping strategies. ¬†Because I am not going to become a social butterfly overnight. ¬†I don’t even know that I want to. ¬†I just want to be free of the terror that comes with invitations to parties and weddings and shindigs. ¬†I want to be able to accept these invitations happily and easily and not dread their impending hour. ¬†I need to be ok with NOT accepting them too. ¬†I need to not beat myself up about not going to things. ¬†I’m not a terrible person, after all, if I decide that a pub crawl is not my thing or if time spent at a Hen’s Night is enough to make me want to gouge my own spleen out. ¬†But I do need to be better at social stuff. ¬†It is hard every day for me, just interacting with human beings in general, and I need to be able to take that off my stress list. ¬†Again, I don’t know how to do this, but I am going to try and figure it out.

I need to grow up financially. ¬†I need to budget better and spend less on frivolous things. ¬†I need to seriously look at buying a house. ¬†Which will mean buying somewhere that is in a suburb less lovely than the one I currently rent in. ¬†I cannot afford to buy here and I need to accept that. ¬†Or get a better-paying job. ¬†Or marry someone really rich (ha! ¬†kidding!). ¬†I don’t actually know if I can afford to buy anywhere, but I need to look in to it and find out for sure. ¬†I need to sort out my future security and top up my superannuation and prepare for the impending zombie apocalypse on my own. ¬†I need to secure my future. ¬†And I need to have my own place so I can get a cat. ¬†This is more important than anything.

I need to laugh and smile more. ¬†I need to fake it ’til I make it.

I need to go to bed earlier and sleep better.

I need to get up earlier and do more in my day.

I need to ask for a pay rise.

I need to delegate better at work.  I have an assistant Рshe should be assisting me.
And I have to let her.

I have to stop being scared of men.

I need to stop comparing myself to other women.

I need to hug more and allow myself to be hugged.

I need to swim more and not worry about what I look like in bathers.  I love the beach Рwhy am I not there all the time?

I really do need to learn to use chopsticks.

I have to travel.  At least one destination per year from now on.

I need to stop trying to fix people and their problems. ¬†I can’t help everyone and I should sort my own stuff out first, before I concentrate on other people’s issues.

I need to express my disapproval of racist/sexist/bigoted jokes and comments when in social situations.  Saying nothing is not good enough anymore.

I need to stop procrastinating.  In regards to everything.

I’m going to write more. ¬†Writing is what I love to do and, even if it’s just for me, I need to make time to do it.

I need to breathe more.

I need to practice gratitude.

I need to be kinder to myself.

I am going to try and not feel guilty about having restful days. ¬†I’m not good at relaxing or doing nothing – and I think you sometimes have to give yourself permission to do that so you can rest and recuperate and give your body and mind some breathing space.

I need to be more ecologically friendly and responsible.

I need to see more people and be less hermit-like.  Whether I like it or not to begin with.

I need to just be. And be ok with whatever and whoever I am. ¬†Because I am tired of fighting ME. ¬†And I’m nearly 42. ¬†Enough already ūüôā

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Sorry for the long post. ¬†As always, it is more for me than anyone else. I hope you have a lovely New Year’s and that the year ahead is happy, successful, fulfilling and authentic. ¬†I hope you have love and laughter, joy and positive experiences. ¬†Learn lots, love lots and¬†let go.

Happy New Year everyone – see you in 2016 x

Happy New Year, New Beginnings and a Fresh Slate

Happy New Year, New Beginnings and a Fresh Slate

Hello there! ¬†Happy Happy Happy New Year to you all! ¬†May 2014 be a year filled with love, laughter, creativity and all the good stuff (y’know, bunnies, sunshine, ice-cream, dew-drops on roses – that sort of thing‚Ķ). ¬†I truly wish you every happiness and hope that you can find and follow your bliss ūüôā

As I sit on my own tonight (not sad and sorry, just on my own‚Ķreflecting, not moping‚Ķ) I am thinking about the things I want to accomplish this new year. ¬†Many of the things are somewhat selfish ones, but I hope that they will make me a better person and help me to live a little more and be myself, in whatever way makes me happy. ¬†I’m going to put myself first a little bit more‚Ķwhich is hard because that doesn’t come naturally to me and I say that in the most humble way I can. ¬†I am not a super unselfish person – I just to tend to put everyone else’s needs before my own and, while I think that is a good trait, it can sometimes mean I am left out in the cold (literally – I would give you my overcoat in a blizzard if you asked for it) and in not standing up for myself or making my needs known, I make it hard for other people to really know and respect me. ¬†I am one of those annoying people who reply, when asked what I’d like to do, “Um‚ĶI don’t mind really – what would you like to do?” ¬†Yes, I am one of THOSE. And it’s time to stop being that way. ¬†At least some of the time. ¬†Basically, get your own coat next time there’s a blizzard! It’s freezing out there!

I want to get better at taking compliments.  I want to be worthy of them and be gracious enough to accept them.

I want to improve my social skills. ¬†While I will never be a party animal (unless that animal is a little mouse, hiding under a chair) and I will never be the life and soul of any social gathering, I want to be able to at least attend events without being scared and anxious and generally piking out. ¬†I need to learn how to speak to people and not care if they think what I’m saying is rubbish. ¬†Other people speak a load of nonsense and I don’t dislike or laugh at them, so why should I worry about it myself? ¬†I need to be prepared and have a stock-standard list of things I can talk about so I am not a walking awkward silence. ¬†I must not be dull any more.

I want to be more daring in my clothes. ¬†I always dress safe. ¬†I cover up. ¬† I have curves and I do everything in my power to keep them hidden. ¬†I’m not saying I should let it all hang out and frighten small children and animals, but I should try and dress like a woman. ¬†Instead of a librarian. ¬†Ok, I am a librarian‚Ķbut librarians don’t actually dress “like librarians” – it’s a cliche and one that I am perpetuating. ¬†I don’t like being the centre of attention so I will take baby steps with this one. ¬†A slightly shorter skirt (must work on legs‚Ķ) and an extra button undone. ¬†That sort of thing.

I am going to stop saying “Sorry” all the time.

I’m going to get a tattoo.

I’m going to get my nose pierced again and my ears.

I’m not going to let my hair rule my life.

I’m going to exercise more.

I’m going to eat better.

I’m going to get to a healthy weight/size and stick to it. ¬†I am not going to try to be thin, because I’m not that body type and I am not a thirteen year old boy. ¬†I’m going to be healthy and fit. I’m going to walk more and find exercise that I enjoy.

I want to be tidier. ¬†This is a tough one for me as I have already documented. ¬†I will try and put things away and find a home for things. ¬†I will not hoard. ¬†There isn’t an apocalypse looming and if there was, how useful would empty toilet rolls and inch-long pieces of string be?

I’m going to tell people I love them. ¬†I do this a lot anyway but I’m going to do it more. ¬†I’m going to tell people they are important to me.

I’m going to learn how to sew. ¬†I want to be able to hem my own pants, fix a broken zip and whip up a snazzy new skirt. ¬†I want to be able to say “I made this” when someone compliments me on my outfit. ¬†I want to be that embarrassing person who makes their ensemble out of curtains and gives
appliquéd reindeer sweaters as Christmas presents.

I am going to laugh more.

I am going to cry less but allow myself to cry when I need to. And then stop.

I am going to find a substitute for chocolate that is renal friendly.

I’m going to stop being a doormat.

I am going to be comfortable with myself and with being alone. ¬†I’m not going to let someone else’s issues become mine. ¬†I am not going to waste my time on people who don’t appreciate me for who I am, with all my faults. ¬†I’m am not going to fall in love with people who don’t deserve me and who don’t think I am good enough. I am not going to change who I am and what I believe in to fit in with someone else’s ideals.

I’m going to be less harsh on myself. ¬†I am going to be accepting of my failures and my shortcomings and I am going to help myself to do better, without judgement or fear.

I am going to try my best, always.

I am going to have a pretty home and surround myself with things I love and that make me happy.

I am going to entertain more and be less of a hermit.

I am going to learn new skills and have new experiences.

I am going to try hard to fix my medical and mental issues.

I am going to ask for help when I need it.

I’m going to stop being frightened of men.

I am going to read all the books I buy.

I want to find out what I am good at and do it.  I want to be successful at something and be proud of myself.

I want to dance like no one is watching.

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I want to learn how to walk in high heels.

I’m going to start my book.

I am going to stop allowing myself to be bullied into things.

I am going to stop trying to fix things for everyone.

I am going to drink tea out of pretty cups and sit at the dinner table to eat and make myself proper meals.  Toast is not a meal.  Neither are Cheerios or coleslaw.

I am going to stop being so cheap.

I am going to be braver.

I am going to master chopsticks.  The eating utensils, not the piano tune.

I am going to attempt to learn to play my ukelele.

I am going to hug and touch more. ¬†I’m going to let people touch me. ¬†They ain’t got cooties! (and more importantly, neither do I)

I am going to learn to like travel.

I’m going to be more spiritual and not be ashamed to be so. I am going to believe in magic again.

I am going to start dreaming of a future for myself. ¬†If anyone wants to come along for the ride, that’s fine, but if not, that’s ok too.

I am not going to shut off my heart or stop being me.  I am going to love my family and friends and find joy in simple things.

I wish you all the best for the New Year, and every New Year. ¬†Hold on to love and happiness. ¬†Let go of fear. ¬†That’s what I am going to try and do.

Thank you for reading (and not judging) ūüôā

X

Tidings of Family Joy

Tidings of Family Joy

So, Christmas is over, technically. ¬†The tree is bereft of gifts and the turkey is nothing but a carcass being picked apart for sandwiches and stock (unless you’re vegetarian, like me, in which case you’re probably so glad right now you don’t have to deal with a turkey/chicken skeleton in your fridge). ¬†The rush to get cards written and sent has passed and now it’s time to ponder the cards you did get (and why you didn’t get as many as last year or why so-and-so didn’t send you one this year) and try to figure out where to put all the presents you received (if you’re lucky).

I had a lovely Christmas. ¬†I was going to have a really quiet one, away from family and basically mope around and be miserable with myself. ¬†My Mum was going to be co-conspirator in this – she wanted to do whatever would make me happy and figured if I wanted to boycott the family Christmas, then so be it, she’d help me and keep me company so I wasn’t completely on my own. ¬†A couple of family members weren’t happy about this. ¬†Christmas is a big deal in my family – our grandparents believed in family and togetherness and so we have always spent Christmas as a united whole – cousins, Aunts, Uncles, siblings and parents. ¬†So, when I announced I wanted a break from it (for my own selfish needs I must admit), there were a few grumbles of discontent.

In a loving, caring way, I was bullied a little into joining in the festivities. ¬†I’m so glad I was. ¬†I love my family and I don’t know what made me think I would want to be away from them at such an important time. ¬†I guess, after the year I’ve had, I didn’t exactly feel like celebrating or making with the merry. ¬†But that’s the whole point. ¬†When you’re feeling down in the dumps and completely unsociable, your family should be the ones to pull you out of the doldrums, give you a kick up the bum and make you remember that you are still loved and wanted around.

So, needless to say, I had a lovely Christmas Day, spent with loved ones who have supported me and comforted me this year, as they always do. ¬†It would have been insulting if I had ended up not making an appearance. ¬†Moral to the story – be grateful for family and be with them whenever you can, because they love you even when you don’t love yourself and are more than willing to drag you, kicking and screaming, into the familial bosom for a little distraction and fun.

There was one awkward moment when my young nephew asked where Uncle “E” was, but all in all, I forgot I was on my own for the most part and just joined in with the over-indulging, gift-giving frenzy. There is something very heart warming and comforting about watching little ones open their gifts and I am so glad I got to share this Christmas with my nephews and nieces. Their squeals and cries of delight made me feel happy and content. ¬†Blessed and thankful.

I stayed with my Mum for the night. ¬†She goes all out with her Christmas decorating (I am too lazy and don’t have the space). ¬†She has six Christmas trees, throughout the house, each one with a different theme and colour scheme. ¬†They are usually beautiful and co-ordinated. ¬†In other words, they put my decorating to shame. ¬†Her home is a Christmas wonderland‚Ķno tacky neon Santas or inflatable reindeers, Mum tends towards the vintage, traditional or classy, elegant looks. ¬†There are snowmen on shelves and snow-globes on tables, baubles in boxes and enough stars and tiny twinkling lights to fill Santa’s workshop.

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We spent a few nice days together, Mum and I. ¬†We even went and stayed with my Dad and Step-Mother in the country for a day and night. ¬†I am so proud of my parents for getting on with their lives and, after the initial emotionally trying time that comes with all divorces when hearts are bruised and battered and lives need to be rebuilt, they are friends and still care about one another. ¬†My two “Mums” had a heart-to-heart while my Dad and I pottered about in the paddocks, checking on fences and livestock, and I think it was good for both of them to speak freely and find some common ground. ¬†I can only hope that I do not succumb to bitterness as my separation continues and divorce looms ever closer. ¬†On that subject, “he” did not call, message or contact me at all over Christmas which has hurt me more than I can say but I suppose has solidified in my mind how much I mean to him (or rather, how little I mean to him). ¬†I don’t think I am asking for too much to have the person I have loved for the past seven years to send me a little text message or email just saying “Merry Christmas”. ¬†Maybe I am dumb and naive. ¬†But it still hurts and makes me wonder what a terrible person I must have been to him to not deserve even the smallest of kindnesses.

But I digress…

Christmas this year has been restorative and soothing to me.  I am rather ashamed that I thought I would be better off avoiding it (*slaps wrist and looks suitably guilty*) and hope that next year I am a little more gung-ho and enthusiastic, if only because I am so amazingly lucky to have the family I do and I should celebrate that whenever the opportunity arises.

I hope you enjoyed Christmas (for those who celebrate it) or some time off or just had a good week.  I am looking forward to a New Year with new opportunities and challenges, a fully-mended (if somewhat fragile) heart and a healthier, happier, less stressed and sad me.  I want 2014 to be a year of joy and well-being for all of you too.

Thank you for reading (and sorry for the self-indulgent wallowing associated with my break-up. ¬†It will pass soon enough but I hope you can forgive me a little while longer. ¬†I’m still mending‚Ķ)

x

Things I have learnt from moving

Things I have learnt from moving

We are all moved in to our new place.¬† It is a bigger house with more rooms and an extra bathroom.¬† It is not quaint nor does it have great character – it’s just one of those modern, soulless villa’s that are popping up all over the place in secure complexes around the country.¬† But I like it.¬† I loved our old, cute and quirky house but it was too small for us, freezing in the Winter and less than secure when burglars or other dodgy types came a-calling, and, anyway, we had to leave as the owners needed to move back in themselves.¬†

So, on the 27th of December we moved.¬† It was horribly hot – sun blazing down, humidity up and the new house is much warmer than the old one.¬† The removalists grumbled about the amount of boxes we had (“You’re both librarians!¬† You work in libraries! Why do you need your own books!?”) but they were friendly enough and chatted pleasantly throughout the SIX HOURS they were there.¬† Yes, that’s right.¬† It took six hours to move all our stuff.¬† I didn’t think it was ever going to end.¬† I was on my own (hubby was conveniently at work) and I thought I had entered some sort of Twilight Zone universe where a demonic moving van was forever full, never emptying and would continue to reveal more and more layers of stuff.¬† I actually helped the guys move and carry stuff (I’m not good at standing around doing nothing) and I think that helped to cut out some of the time I was paying for.¬†

Anyway, we finished cleaning and tidying up the old house yesterday, handing back the keys and bidding the place a final adieu.¬† I was going to take a small cutting of rosemary from the garden but forgot so will have to plant a new one at the new house.¬† We have no garden to speak of there – sand and dead bits of grass is all we look out on through the dining room window.¬† But I will try and make it look presentable – grow a few pots of herbs and flowers, maybe put up some trellis or something if we’re allowed and get some climbing, flowering plants to cheer things up a bit.

Moving is not fun.¬† I don’t know why people like doing it.¬† I never want to relocate ever again.¬† Ever.¬† But of course I will have to at some stage.¬† We don’t want to rent forever, after all.¬† I did learn some things whilst moving though, and I guess that’s the important thing (well, that and having a roof over our heads).¬†

Things I Learned from Moving

  1. Just because a box is labelled, doesn’t mean the contents match the label.
  2. Be careful when labelling boxes ‚Äď think about what you are writing.¬† For instance ‚ÄúBedroom Toys‚ÄĚ will make people¬†snigger and go ‚ÄúOoooerr!‚ÄĚ until they unpack said box and find it is full of teddy bears that you keep in your bedroom.
  3. You DO have too much stuff.
  4. There are not enough boxes in the country for you to move all your stuff.  You WILL have to beg, borrow and steal boxes from your friends, family, co-workers and random people on the street.  
  5. ¬†For someone who has ‚Äúnothing to wear‚ÄĚ, you WILL mysteriously have more clothing than the entire population of Paris during Fashion Week.¬† And several hats (which you don‚Äôt remember buying).¬† You will have nowhere to put them and they will sit in sad little piles all over the house.
  6. You WILL regret leaving your portable wardrobes behind at the old house.
  7. In the process of packing, you WILL become so tired that you find yourself sleeping, standing upright, leaning against the fridge with a waterproof marker pen in your mouth.  You will have black lips.  The stain will not come out for three days.
  8. You will learn that friends with utes, trailers and any other large vehicles are extremely useful. 
  9. You will learn that moving during the Christmas/New Year period is a really crappy time to do anything.
  10. You will learn that your bed, at the end of a very long day, is the most valuable thing you own. 

We are still without phone or internet so I am blogging this quickly at work (it’s ok, it’s a Saturdayand I’m not actually working today).¬† I hope your Christmas and New Year’s were blissfully stress-free and lots of fun.¬† I wish you all a wonderful 2013 – hope your resolutions are easy to keep!¬† (Mine are going to include de-cluttering and culling my stuff…we’ll see how that pans out!).