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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September 2. Day 245. Are you looking at me?

 I can't help it. I love them. It's a curious captivation. They are certainly not attractive, just the opposite in fact. But their prehistoric ugliness doesn't really look like it belongs of our world. As a child, I wanted one as a pet. I even watched a lizard diligently bury eggs in the back yard and then went and dug them up, wrapped them in cotton wool and stowed them in a matchbox which I promptly lost. In that one act of carelessness, I was forced to strike off reptile keeper from the list of possible careers. Now I am happy to watch not touch. It seems everyone around my place was contenting themselves with a good look today. The lizard appeared quite taken with his own reflection in the glass pool fence. Rumple was also getting quite an eyeful - but from a safe distance. Probably just as well. I'm not sure if I'd back fur or scales in a one-on-one. My sense is that Rumple is the lover not the fighter.

Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1. Day 244. Dropped the ball

Slobbering. Trying to fit something in its mouth that's far more than it can chew. Ball dropped. Sort of pathetic pleading look. Yep, that was both me and Cocoa at the dog park this afternoon. Staying up until nearly 4am to clear a load of paperwork will do that to a girl.
At times of extreme fatigue I revert to early childhood. Tired and cranky, prone to tears and tantrums somewhat impossible to console. And when over-tired, sleep won't come, just to add insult to injury. So while I may behave all childish I stress I am not a child. In fact, the things I am most likely to fight for are the very things children seem to resist with most venom. When I think of the flash points with a young person they seemed to be around the following
1) child did not want to go to bed
2) child was refusing to eat
3) child thought a bath was a seriously bad idea
4) child didn't want to clean his teeth.
That list right there contains the key things that separate children from adults (or indeed civilised society from savages which is much the same thing). I may be a slobbering mess but someone in there is a civilised person who appreciates the value of a nap. Now quiet. It's my bedtime.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

August 31. Day 243. Swamped

What a glorious day. The calender says Winter is officially still with us until tomorrow but a calendar is, after all, just a number on a piece of paper or in my case the thing on the bottom left of my computer monitor and top right of the iPhone. Bright blue skies and hot sun = Spring regardless of what the date would have us believe. Anyone with half a brain would have been out enjoying it but was I? No I was not. I was being tanned by the soft blue light of the laptop, drowning in cesspool of marking, preparation and administrivia. All of which made me a very prickly character indeed. By late afternoon, I'd had it so I dragged myself out of the swamp and took the fur friend for a much needed walk. The temporary reprieve was most welcome but short lived. The tsunami of paperwork has me again up to my neck in it. Sighs

Saturday, August 30, 2014

August 30. Day 242. Charity begins at home

The whole charity fundraising thing is intensely interesting, fascinating even.
Find the right colour, the right gimmick or the right slogan and the buckets of charity gold could be coming your way. Right now your problem might be to find a bucket to collect your gold in because every many and his dog seems to have seized every available bucket and filled it with ice water to pour over his or her head. The whole thing started out as a very high ideal - to raise funds for and awareness  of motor neurone disease. My guess is, however, most of the people now challenging and being challenged have no idea what it is all about, it's just a Facebook or YouTube thing.
Even for those who do
know is it really activism or slacktivism - is pouring a bucket of water over your head a easy way to make you feel you are taking a stand on an issue without actually having to do anything terribly much. For some, possibly. No matter my Drama Teen and his mate George today joined the ice water challenge and for an added degree of difficulty then poured hot water over their heads AND jumped in the pool (which both agreed was far more uncomfortably cold than the single bucket of water). And just in case you are thinking I am taking the high moral ground on this one, not so. There is no cold bucket of water involved but I will be jumping off the Goodwill Bridge and swinging underneath for charity in October. You can sponsor me if you like. I dare you

Friday, August 29, 2014

August 29. Day 141. Competitive by nature




 There were not, as far as I could tell, any sheep stations up for grabs but with the level of competitiveness and determination on show you would never know it. Had it been the All Blacks and the Wallabies fighting it out for the Bledisloe Cup, the level of commitment would not have been any stronger (actually the level of performance was probably no worse than the Wallabies of late but that's not saying a lot). While on the beach at South Bank most were lazing about in the sun and more than a few were catching up on a few zzzs before a big Friday night, in the water the action was already on for young and old. About 20 young men were playing full contact footie with an added degree of difficulty created by what in golf would be called a water hazard. For the players I'm sure it was more like a refreshing change. For all it was a pretty cool way to get this weekend party started.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

August 28. Day 240. Of birthdays, birds and bees

The special cuddle. It has the power to make you a parent, it is not, however, the thing that makes you a parent. Being a parent isn't about donating genetic material, it's about every day after that. Parenting is a tough gig. It's mopping fevered brows, its fighting over homework, it's the sleepless nights when they start to drive and it's having "those" talks. Even today on her 73rd birthday my mum was still being my mum (although she didn't have to explain to me what the lorikeets were doing on the clothes line. I'd worked that one out all by myself). But just because I'm big enough and ugly enough to look after myself doesn't mean I don't get a bit of mothering from time to time, which is just the way I like it. "Have you seen anyone about that cough," she said. "Are you sure you've had enough to eat," she said. It was her birthday but she was still worried about me because that's what mothers do. So happy birthday mum and in case I haven't said it enough, thanks for everything ... oh and I will see someone about the cough, eventually.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August 27. Day 239. Coming of Age

You know that saying about how you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family? Happily that doesn't apply to me. There is no member of my family I would trade for the world (I might like to kill one or two occasionally but those nearest and dearest know how to push all the wrong buttons, right?)
In any event, being an aunt is one of the best roles in the family - something like Grandparents - you get to be there for all the fun bits but avoid the day-to-day drudgery of homework supervision and fighting over room cleanliness. It's all care and no responsibility. Today was one of those good times. Today was my niece Scarlett's 18th birthday, a milestone that could not go un-noticed. So I arranged to meet her when she finished university at noon and we did lunch at one of my favourite restaurants at South Bank. And then we trundled up to my favourite cocktail bar for a drink. A girl should have her first drink in the company of a responsible adult (or me if you can't find one). I told the barman the occasion so he made a big deal of checking her ID, just to make it official. We had one quiet cocktail and caught a cab home. All very civilised. It's hard to believe that it was 18 years ago just a few hundred metres from where we sat that she had her first actual drink in the Mater Mothers. She was a beautiful baby but baby look at her now.