Sunday, January 1, 2012

This Year I Will.....

Yep, it's that time of the year again. The New Year, to be precise. Thus, 'tis also time for resolutions. I haven't been good with resolutions previously. Last year, I resolved to exercise more, although the ruptured achilles tendon put paid to that one for a while. I also resolved to do/not do a whole lot of other things, all of which remained not done/done.

So in the spirit of This Year Will Be Different, I pledge the following.

1. I will not drink as much. In fact, I pledge not to drink very much at all. Alcohol has given me weight gain, hangovers, ferality and has created, rather than solved problems. Also, as the Small Child gets older, I do not wish for her to have memories of Himself and myself always with a glass in hand, as I have memories of my own parents, both of whom have their own relationships with alcohol.

Plus, it's So Much Nicer to wake up refreshed and sort of ready for action, than headachy and really-not-at-all ready for action.

2. I will watch what I eat. I did start this about midway through the year, and it worked. So I'm going to make it work again. I will stop requesting mac cheese at every opportunity and will not eat so much cheese. I will drink more skim milk. In fact, possibly skim milk can replace alcohol. In fact, this concept is really quite visionary and I will ponder it further.

3. I will exercise more. I will not use a fear of spiders to encourage myself OUT of walking at night. Look around you Bob. There are many people exercising at night, on the same routes that you will be using. The spiders are not eating them, now, are they?

In this spirit, I will also look to get a more comfortable pair of walking shoes and think about more interesting routes I can walk, especially since once we get back to our own house, it will be up the bay, down the bay, ad infinitum. I will also take a pair of thongs into the office to encourage myself to walk more during lunch.

4. I will practice discipline. This will take a number of forms, including not eating or drinking as much, and exercising. It will also take the form of doing at least 20 minutes a day of the rather boring tapestry I'm finishing for mum, and writing this thing at least once a week.

We should be back in our new house in June. I want to have a different relationship with the new house than I had with the old, hated house. I want that relationship to include more happiness and less reliance on food and drink as an emotional crutch. I want to interact with the new house in a more positive manner, and I want to be a better person there. And I want the Small Child to have a happy and healthy parent for a good long time to come.

So many wants! But I will do it. I will.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Field Grey - much the same ambience as it's name

Field Gray (Bernard Gunther, #7)Field Gray by Philip Kerr

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is the latest in the Bernie Gunther series, which for most people started with the Berlin Noir trilogy. I have been increasingly disappointed with the series and this latest is no exception. Starting in 1954, it switches back and forth between the 30s, 40s and 50s, leaving it feeling a bit disjointed and haphazard. It got somewhat confusing, and I found that I had to keep rereading sections in order to make sense of them. It also seemed to run out of steam, which it shares with the series as a whole.

If you're a Bernie Gunther fan you'll read it, but it's not nearly as enjoyable as the earlier books, which I had read and reread many times in the 20 or so years since I first came across them.

View all my reviews

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Gentle Art of Procrastinating at Work & What I Did On My Holidays

Well, hello blog, I've been away for a bit. And overseas for a bit of that bit. And we've moved house, and a few other things.

But I'm here now. And back at work, completing the advance module of How To Procrastinate at Work Without Really Trying. This has been made somewhat easier through the wisdom and good sense of office management, who have given all of us iPhones. Now I can procrastinate not just on parenting forums and Facebook, but also on Twitter and the political posts of Facebook, both of which were previously blocked by the internet filter at work. Not to mention Angry Bird, PvZ and numerous card games. Oh, and I can buy lotto tickets from the privacy of my own desk. That's got to be an advantage.

Other things that make procrastinating at work easy are having management that put you in the slow lane because you work part time. Before I left for Ireland, it wasn't so much the slow lane as the carpark, with a large yellow clamp on the metaphorical front right wheel. Seriously, for weeks I had nothing much to do. If I weren't such a good procrastinator, it would have done my head in completely, as opposed to only a small amount.

And now I'm back. So the slow lane has revved up a bit. It could more accurately be described as being stuck behind a learner in Centennial Park, Sydney. Except they don't allow learners in Centennial Park any more. But at least it's moving.

The trip to Ireland was great. Worst summer in 50 years, mind you, although they're having an Indian summer now. Thank you, weather gods. Cold and rainy while I was there, and cold and rainy now I'm back in Sydney. Cheers.

So to answer the second part of the title, what DID I do on my holidays? I slept. I read decent papers. I spent possibly more time than I would have liked in the country, and less time that I would have liked in Dublin. I ate a lot of bacon and cabbage. I bought clothes and shoes. I spent time with the family of Himself, and watched the Small Child have fun with her cousins and her grandparents. She was particularly enamoured of Deux, her French cousin a year older than her. Immediately after meeting him, they set up a complicated game involving the Small Child as a traffic light yelling variously "Rouge! Vert! Orange!" at her cousin, as she stood in the door or stood aside depending on what colour she was while her cousin zoomed around on Trixie Trunki. If nothing else, she's certainly shown she's got what it takes to be a traffic cop. In a foreign language.

We went to Dublin Zoo where Auntie Ha-Ha  anthropomorphised all the animals and I mentioned how venomous/human eating/viscious they all were, and privately compared it, unfavourably, to Taronga. I finally went to the Brazen Head pub in Dublin, after years of decrying it as a tourist trap, and was pleasantly surprised to find this was not neccessarily the case, despite the large numbers of Americans in trainers tucking into Irish Stew and Germans with backpacks sitting on a single glass of Guinness for the entire night.

I managed to get sunburnt twice, nothing short of a miracle given that we only had three days of sunshine. I ate my bodyweight in cod and chips, comparing them, favourably, with the inferior product generally found in Australia. I met up with my mates. I wondered, not for the first time, whether it really was the best thing to move back to Australia. Not for the first time, I failed to come up with a satisfactory response to the question.

But best of all, Dublin won the Senior Football All-Ireland Football Championship for the first time since 1995.  And how sweet a victory it was.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

But Mum.....

I have been trying, with limited success, to persuade the Small Child to wear her pyjamas in bed. She's had a persistent cough and this is one of the few things I can think of that might help get rid of it.

So I tell her that pjs, must perforce be worn in bed in winter, to get rid of the cough.

Two innocent big blue eyes look up at me earnestly as she says

"but I like my cough mum".

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My poor ma

We're in the process of moving up to mum's place, probably for about a year, while we get the new house built. If it ever gets built. The housing company we are using obviously skipped "Communicating With Clients 101"as they have been remarkably tardy about letting us know what is happening, and when we can expect work to commence. This is the same company that delayed the start by 4 months after the previous consultant managed to ignore a basic piece of legislation which lead to a modification to development consent having to be lodged. Thanks, thanks very much indeed.

But I digress. Yesterday, we were moving stuff up to mums and rearranging her stuff so that there was enough room for us all. Having had lunch, we were sitting down having a rest before cleaning out yet more wardrobes. The Small Child wanted to go downstairs to the rumpus room. None of the three adults were especially motivated to want to go with her. 

The bottom lip starts quivering "But I can't go down by myself! I have to have a parent with me!"

Himself asks hopefully if it might be possible to take a grandparent. 

"NO! It has to be a parent!!"

By this point, mum was heading for beet colour, as she tried, to keep the snort of laughter inside. She failed. 

My poor ma.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Just another of those days....

It's been cold and rainy. So very, very rainy. There is a leak through one of the ceiling lights, so we won't be turning on that for a while. Although, in fairness, we have only two weeks left in this house. And if it burnt down, it would probably be quicker than getting the demolition crew in. Not that I'm advocating arson, or anything.

The Small Child is still awake. She has inherited the Irish propensity for staying awake late, exemplified by her paternal Granny, whose family are known for visiting each other at midnight, on occasion. The mind boggles.  She's currently sitting up in bed reading books to two of her plush friends, pretending to be her French teacher.

A friend of Himself and other friends, the blogger and journalist Hossam El-Hamalawy, is being hauled before a military tribunal in Egypt for criticising the on-going torture of activists. Unfortunately, while Mubarrak has gone, the military is still very much in evidence.

I have to get a new passport. This involves getting photographs, that hopefully do not make me look like a deranged axe murderer only recently released from maximum security. I am not hopeful. They are for the British passport, and all my British passport photos have that one overriding theme, regardless of continent of origin or year of photo.

Did I mention the rain? 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

And Fuck You, Chuck.

Word reached the Australian public last night that the BBC and Clarence House combined forces to tell the ABC that The Chaser was not welcome to use any of the BBC footage of the royal wedding and that if the ABC were not minded to agree, it wouldn't get any footage, full stop, which would leave it with 4 hours of static on a Friday night a a lot of disgtruntled viewers. Not, mind you, that this decision has made viewers gruntled, far from it. Many people, myself included were only ever going to watch the wedding through the commentary of The Chaser, just as football haters only ever watched the Grand Final for the wit and wisdom of Roy & HG. And to add insult to injury, it is highly unlikely that the Palace even knows the who, what or why of The Chaser.

But it has been determined that the fawning and forelock-tugging of the great event cannot be overshadowed in a sparsely populated country on the other side of the world by a bunch of middle age, middle class men making mild jokes about Prince Phillip's propensity for giving offence every time he opens his mouth and how long it has taken respective royal brides to walk down the aisle. Given that an English bookmaker is giving free bets to punters as to how long William will be left waiting by Kate, I fail to see what the offence would have been.

It's all becoming too drearily reminiscent of the night of Diana's funeral, in the days before Foxtel, when every channel was showing the funeral live, with the exception of SBS, who chose to commemorate the occasion with a documentary on landmines. It was always unclear to me whether this was intended to reference Diana herself, and her "work" attempting to eradicate landmines, or Dodi Al-Fayed, whose father made a great deal of money selling them to combatants in various warzones across the globe.

So there it is. But at least we can be glad that in this internet world we now live in, there are options other than sitting in front of the TV, bored witless and feeling a faint nausea, akin to having overindulged in a box of Cadbury Roses.  And we can quietly salute Brian O'Driscoll, Captain of the Leinster rugby team, who has decided that a training session with the team, in preparation for Saturday night's semi-final against Toulouse in the Heineken Cup, is more important.

As indeed it is.