Monday, November 30, 2009

30 weeks.

What an auspicious day! So grateful to have made it this far.
These are a little bunch of hydrangeas to mark the occasion.

Don't have much else to say on the pregnancy front except that I now know that I will be having a Caesarean. In about 9 weeks time.
Can't say I have any strong feelings either way on that one, except that I strongly feel that HOW this baby comes into the world is not my highest priority. That he/she comes into the world healthy IS.
Any tips on Caesar recovery would be greatly appreciated!

So this week is all about finishing this bloody course. I'm still not finished but I am persevering and hope that this week will be the last week that I'm doing it. I know I set the date of 30/11 for it to be finished but I lost a week out of my proposed 2 week study timetable because I was exhausted. Long story, but it involved late nights and interstate travelling. And it left me in the foetal position in bed or on the couch for the best part of a week.

So as you can see, I have run out of excuses and now it's off with the internet and on with the most boring course in the history of the universe!

Happy Days!

I hope the certificate they give me when I finish is very big and is gold plated.

Have a great day lovelies!


Friday, November 27, 2009

This is awkward and I'm exhausted.

I can't sleep.

It's been a problem for a while and while it is improving - I have encountered a few setbacks with the constant need to wee during the night.
Got to love the third trimester.
Anyway, to help me go back to sleep, I listen to the radio in the middle of the night.
Music doesn't work, it has to be talking. So I listen to random talk back radio. It is fascinating and quite confronting. Somehow, despite being fascinated and confronted - I fall asleep. So that's good.
So ANYWAY, the people who call and the people who host these kinds of shows in the early hours of the morning, have extremely conservative views. And that's being polite.
Currently, the subject of choice to discuss on these shows is climate change and the bizarre situation that has developed in Australian politics this week. These people don't believe in climate change. There's alot of talk of conspiracy theories, world government and global cooling. There are alot of raised voices and emotional tirades. In regard to the ETS currently being debated in our Senate, there are mentions of PM Rudd wanting to be the UN Secretary General and the fact that if it comes in - Australia will be a third world country. That 'working families' will go to the wall if they have to pay this 'tax on everything'.
So, in daylight hours and through more reliable sources, I have tried to educate myself more about this debate. Obviously it has ( in an Australian context) become quite complex and I'm not educated enough to go into all of that at the moment. But it has made me very interested in the climate change believers versus climate change non-believers battle of the wills going on all over the world at the moment.
I assume it has heated up recently ( no pun intended) because of Copenhagen at the end of the year...
It seems to me that no matter what your stance, it is a highly emotive topic.
In fact, I think it may be one of those topics like sex, politics and religion - that you either don't discuss with your nearest and dearest. Or if you do, do some deep breathing beforehand.
I had a brief conversation with Sd this morning and well, lets just say, there were some raised voices. We ended up still bffs , but it came close to someone storming out of the room. And I'm proud to say it wasn't just me considering it!
It strikes me that although the vast majority of us are not scientists specialising in the environment or climate change - we seem supremely confident that whatever it is we believe is correct and it is an outrage that someone could hold a different view. Which is a shame because, if you asked me, that kind of closedmindedness and anger, means that it will take longer for us (the world) to actually find out exactly what is going on here and what we can do to help.
I believe that climate change/global warming is real and is contributed to by humans. And I think we urgently need to do something about it. However, I am not 100% sure that the scientific explanation we have at this point shows us the entire picture and therefore I am not convinced that drastic changes need to be made now to the Australian economy in an attempt to solve this global problem.
Something has to be done though.
I've got no solutions. None. But think being open minded is a very good start.

This interview with Ed Begley ( an actor and environmentalist) on Fox ( an abomination of a 'media outlet' - just saying...) is , to me, indicative of the biggest problem we all have right now. Diametrically opposing views and no one is listening to each other.
Rant over.
Have a lovely weekend and don't hate me if you think I'm all wrong about this! Maybe I am. I'm learning as I go... xx

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Very exciting 'Festival of Dangerous Ideas' update!

In October, Sd and I went to the Festival of Dangerous Ideas at the Sydney Opera House.
I posted about it here.
We really enjoyed it and will definitely go again next year.

Anyway, I just got an email from the Opera House ( a close personal friend of mine) and some of the most popular lectures are now available to be viewed online.
These are the lectures you can see;

Christopher Hitchens: Religion Poisons Everything

Cardinal George Pell - Without God We Are Nothing

IQ2 Debate: Democracy Is Not For Everyone

Soapbox Final: Public Speaking Competition

Baroness Susan Greenfield: Does Online Networking Harm Children's Brains?

Keyser Trad: Polygamy Is Good For Australia

If you have time, I would recommend watching them.
Particulary the Soapbox Final winner. She was bloody fantastic!

You can go here to see them.

Enjoy!! (and let me know what you think)


That Girl.

More reminiscing.
I used to get up every morning at 5.30am when I was in primary school to watch this old TV show. It was on Channel 7 and I LOVED it.
More specifically, I loved Ann Marie. That was her( That Girl's) name.
I thought it was fantastic that her surname was Marie. So feminine. So lovely.
I wanted to be like her VERY BADLY.
I especially wanted her clothes and her hair. I would still love her clothes!! They were superb!
Could probably live without the hair though.
Ann Marie remains one of my style icons. If you want 'put together late 60's - early 70's chic' - look no further than Ann Marie. She was breath-taking.

Even though I watched episode after episode, I never really got how kitsch and corny the show was. It looked quite realistic to me! I just guessed that in the 60's and 70's that's how things were! In case you've never heard of this TV show ( ie; in case you didn't spend the best part of the early 80's getting up and making your way to the TV at 5.30am), it was similar to The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Single girl living in the big city ( New York in fact) - loving life.
Very inspiring to a 9 year old indeed!!
Ann Marie was a bit disaster prone, had a grumpy father and always tried her hardest. She was a bit like me - even at 9! Although at that age, clearly I was nowhere near NYC and I didn't have a devoted boyfriend called Donald either. Bummer.
There was always hope for the future though!
I have seriously considered naming a future baby girl of mine 'Marlo' - after Marlo Thomas who played Ann Marie.We'll have to wait and see....

Here are the opening credits; just imagine a small girl sitting in the dark about 10 cms away from the TV screen with the volume turned down so I didn't wake anyone up, totally and utterly in awe of 'That Girl'.



My Greta Garbo moment.

As the big day approaches ( it's 10 weeks away) , I must say that more and more, my fears seem to be related not so much to the birth of this baby - but being swamped with people, namely our relatives, straight after the birth. And after as well.

It's making me feel sick.

I know I sound like a freak, but I have had quite a few conversations now with some relatives in particular ( who have been pregnant themselves but not for a long long time) - and I don't feel like they are listening to ANYTHING I am saying. It is not boding well for the future.

I know that everyone is excited and loves us but I feel like I am being railroaded into doing and being whatever it is that suits these people, or whatever these people 'remember' themselves to have been when they were pregnant.
I feel like any deviation from that on my behalf is met with a response that basically is that I am mistaken or weird or being too precious, or unreasonable....

It's pissing me off to say the least and I am feeling very uncomfortable about what's going to happen when I actually have this baby. I feel like I'm going to be suffocated by people that 'know best'.

I can stand up for myself. That's no problem at all. In this case though, I don't want to hurt anyone or offend anyone. Everyone's intentions are good. I'm just dealing with people who are not particularly great at picking up other people's feelings. Frankly, I don't think they are that interested in doing that - they don't have time; they're too excited and carried away with the thrill of it all!!

So, this morning Greta Garbo and her famous words 'I want to be alone' are springing to mind. Obviously, I don't want to be left completely alone but allowed a bit of space and also be recognised as the boss in this particular situation.

That'd be great.

Wish me luck!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Musical interlude #2.

Good afternoon!

I have wanted to post this for ages.

I am a huge Mia Farrow fan. Isn't she exquisite?

I have watched her in just about everything she's ever done, except 'Rosemary's Baby'. I don't/can't do horror movies...but I'm sure she's superb in that as well!!

When I was little, maybe about 4 or 5, I watched this TV movie - Peter Pan - and I adored it.
It was made in 1976 ( when Mia was 31 ) and she played Peter. It had a huge impact on me and I have never forgotten it.
Unfortunately, as far as I know, it isn't available on DVD, so I have to be happy with many many visits to Youtube for the time being.



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The real meaning of Christmas.

Here is another Blog this challenge...

What does Xmas mean to you and your family?

It means being together.
Now that Sd and I are married it means one year in Sydney with my family and the next in Melbourne with Sd's family. My family is tiny and Sd's is much much bigger but overall the 'being together' theme is exactly the same.

Have you got some traditions?

Sd and I have one tradition which was actually started in my family a couple of years ago... it's called 'Christmas Bag'.
* please refer to post photo
It involves climbing into a ridiculously large Christmas gift bag and having your photo taken. We have decided to take the show on the road this year and introduce this tradition to Sd's unsuspecting family. Look out Mornington!

What will you cook?!

As regular readers will know I will not be cooking anything. I'm a cleaning person not a cooking person. Although, I must admit I have had fleeting thoughts of trying to bake a Christmas cake lately. We'll see what happens...
When we have Christmas in Sydney, Sd ( chef extraordinaire ) cooks the Christmas ham. We like to name it.
Last year's ham was called Richard.

Who will you spend it with?

This year is Melbourne year. I will spend it with Sd, his parents, his two brothers and their partners, and lots of their relations.

Got a favourite Christmas memory?

My favourite Christmas memory is when I was about 4. My sister and I used to believe that we were very special because Santa came to us twice. We woke up to lots of exciting presents that Santa had brought down the chimney and then later, when our grandparents arrived, we would go outside to play in the garden with them for a while. When we returned inside, there were more presents from Santa under the tree! It was incredible!
We couldn't get over how lucky we were that Santa came to us twice! No one in our family could work out how Santa had snuck back in. Our grandparents were all outside with my sister and I and Mum and Dad were in the kitchen making Christmas lunch the whole time...It couldn't have been anyone else BUT Santa could it?

How are you decorating??

I am decorating as much and as often as possible. Decorating begins next week actually. There will be fairy lights on the stairs, our gorgeous tree bought last year ( it's very hardy and cannot be 'killed' by cats - we have had a few trees destroyed by our lovely cats) and lashings of Christmas bush and holly.
Christmas bush and holly are vital for a well decorated Christmas as far as I'm concerned!

I'm getting merry just thinking about it!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Is ignorance really bliss?

I am an anxious person. No doubt about that.
I wasn't always though. I guess I was never a person who threw caution to the wind all the time but I was certainly never the anxious,worrying person I can be now.

About 7 years ago I had a very stressful job and a complicated personal life. I worked very very hard at both my job and my personal life and overall I had some great times.
It was difficult though and above all,very hard on my mind and body. At a time where things were their most stressful, and had been for quite a while, my body packed up and I had a number of weird symptoms like weight loss, rashes, and patches of numb skin. It really scared me and I was investigated for things like MS and brain tumours and that scared me even more. Terrified me , in fact.

Well, that was the start of anxious me.

Everything improved and I have been fine for ages and ages now. In retrospect, I did not look after myself in any way, shape or form for a very long time and...that was the end result.

So, that was in 2003 and here I am now.

As I said,I have suffered from anxiety since that time. I think I went to a place of fear and dread I had not been vaguely close to before and I thought about illness and death. I thought about my life and what I had not achieved and what it would mean to me and those I loved if I wasn't a well person. Or if I wasn't around.

Obviously, many many people have experiences like this and mine was quite miniscule in comparison to what others go through. All I'm saying is, that that experience brought me to where I am today.

I've never had physical anxiety attacks. No sweats or palpitations or any of that stuff. It's all in my head and from the outside no one would have any idea that I am struggling to stop my head from exploding!

I've become much much better at getting through the anxious moments and talking myself down from the giddy heights of sheer panic when it occurs. I've talked to my GP, I tried meds once for three weeks but I felt nothing. No anxiety but unfortunately nothing else either. Not a way to live really!
Acupuncture and a healthy lifestyle ( ie; not living on cigarettes, cheese on toast and alcohol as I did back then) seem to be the way to go.
Actually, I must write a post on how much I love acupuncture. It really has changed my life. But that's another post.

ANYWAY, back to my original question. Is ignorance bliss?
At this point, I am very much leaning towards a general answer of Yes.
Lately, my anxiety has been noticably worse and I feel sure that it is because I have been listening to the radio more,watching TV more, and reading more newspapers, internet etc. I don't go out as much ( due to being preggers) and I am quite a nosy person so I love current affairs, politics, any kind of news in fact.
I seem to have inadvertently bombarded myself with information and I think I might have overloaded my brain a bit. No, ALOT.

I'm now acutely aware of my breast cancer risk, ovarian cancer risk, and the risk of eating too much salt. I know that 1 in 20 Australians will get melanoma. After listening to ABC702 for a couple of hours, Helen Caldicott informed me that most of the imported food we eat from Europe is radioactive, eg - apricots from Turkey.It will be for another 600 years by the way. I know that our country is coming increasingly divided about climate change and the fact that there are desperate people sitting on an Australian boat waiting for our government to DO SOMETHING. I know my husband needs to checked for prostate cancer each year after he turns 40.I know that I must ensure I get enough folate while I'm pregnant, but if I have too much then I will give my baby asthma. Actually, that's what one study shows, they aren't 100% sure yet. They thought they'd put it on the news anyway.
I know that even though the economic crisis seems to be on the improve, unemployment is getting worse. I know I should not even entertain the idea of eating processed food and I need to make absolutely sure that I get enough Vitamin D because it is intrumental in prevention of a number of serious illnesses but I really should not go out in the sun. You know, because of the melanoma thing...

Could someone please pass me a paper bag to breathe into?!

I suppose I should be happy that I have made the connection between information and my anxiety but now I need to work out how to remain informed (because a true blue Gemini like me MUST know what is going on out there in the world at all times! )
while remaining sane.

Any tips?


Sunday, November 8, 2009

A musical interlude.

I've been sitting on the couch this afternoon, rummaging around on Youtube. I've been reminiscing, watching bits of musicals I like and TV shows I used to watch on the ABC when I was in primary school.
It's scary how long ago that was!
I wanted to show you this clip from the film ' A Chorus Line' - one of my favourite musicals ever. It's a song called 'Nothing'. Quite a sad song really, but still entertaining for a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Hope you like it!


Saturday, November 7, 2009

I am unemployed.

I finished work yesterday.
It's a very strange feeling. I have had a job of some sort since I was 13 ,except for a few months here and there when I've been travelling.
I am a bit scared to not have a job but really I have to see this as a short holiday before I start my new job in February that I will have for the rest of my life!!!

I don't have any concrete plans for the next 13 weeks except to read as many books as I can and ALSO to finally finish the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment I have been doing for, oh , about the last 450 years.

I have set the date of November 30 as my due date for all my remaining assignments for the certificate. And I would like you all to hold me to it.

Don't accept any excuses from me please! I'm not much of a procrastinator - except for when it comes to this course. It makes watching paint dry seem exciting.

You can expect a triumphant post from me on November 30 , telling you that finally , I have finished. It's the bain of my life. Really.

Hope you all have a lovely Saturday!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A small pleasure for a Wednesday morning.

Morning all!

Sd( my lovely husband) is a big fan of pear and raspberry bread. I can usually take or leave anything of the sweet persuasion , however I must say that I also am partial to a slice or two of this bread! It's quite spectacular!

Sd and I decided to make some on the weekend and after finding a relatively healthy recipe, we set to work finding the ingredients.

Um, sadly I was unaware of the cost of fresh raspberries!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh my Lord, they're expensive.
I wanted to buy two punnets and after finding out that would cost me $22.00 - I decided to go with plan B.
This is where the small pleasure comes in.
I found some frozen organic rasperries. The brand is Viking Organic. $6.99 for 300g.
I got them at the local grocer. Nowhere fancy!
I am not a fan of frozen fruit generally speaking BUT these are divine!!!!
They were beautiful in the bread and they are beautiful on their own.
They thaw quickly and are still firm and normal raspberry consistency.
Can you tell I'm impressed!!?
These will be in my freezer from now on, pear and raspberry bread or not!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Someone's found a little bit of inspiration...

Hi there!

I went to the movies last weekend. Actually, being preggers I have been going alot lately. It's one of the few activities that suits a pregnant body like mine!
On Saturday, I saw the Michael Jackson movie - This is it.
He certainly was quite loopy but he was also an amazingly talented creative soul.
I'm not a huge fan but I was curious to see what his shows might have been like in London. The production looked fantastic and even when he wasn't trying - he was pretty damn fantastic.
The film didn't focus at all on his death. It was purely a record of the rehearsal process for the shows. There was no narration and I thought that Michael was portrayed fairly. I was a bit scared that it would a festival of love for MJ and not much more. Thankfully, I was wrong!
If you are at all interested, I would recommend it. We saw it at IMAX and if possible try and see it in that format. I think it's on for longer than the original two week season now - so there's still time!

The weekend before last I saw Julie and Julia.
And I LOVED it.
It was very inspiring - not so much the cooking side of things, although I will admit a mild interest in French cuisine since watching the film!
It's going to take a lot more than a movie to get this lady excited about cooking!!
This film inspired me for two reasons. Firstly, Julia Childs herself.
What a woman! She embraced life wholeheartedly and fearlessly. It was so great to be reminded of the importance of trying to live like that each day.
I left the cinema with a new hero!
Also, Julie Powell ( the blogger who took on the challenge of cooking Julia Child's entire book over the course of a year )reminded me how much I love to write and to blog and how being organised and disciplined in regards to your blog can be very rewarding indeed.
So, you can expect to hear alot more from me in the coming weeks.
I'm going to write a post every day for a month...hang onto your hats!!:)

If you've seen either of these films, I would love to know what you thought!