Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Third Christmas

For the first time since my Dad died three Christmases ago we have a tree.

It feels... Weird. 

The last two years seeing Christmas stuff around the traps made me sad.  Really sad.  I wanted to spend the day in bed with a doona over my head.

This year?  I'll be honest, I've been going from being totally OK with Christmas to a blubbering mess.  Sometimes in the space of three minutes.  But, I like shiny things, so we have a tree.

Went shopping today and got these totally cool ornaments.

We also have lights on our house and an inflatable Santa riding a motorbike.  As you do.

Festive letterbox, anyone?

We have a very quiet Christmas Day planned. With good food, bon bon jokes and the repeat of the Carols By Candleight on TV.

And I think it's going to be OK.

Friday, November 9, 2012

I Don't Run

I haven't blogged in ages.  Sorry about that.  Mainly because I felt I had nothing to say, but when I stopped and thought about it, I realised that wasn't quite true.  We always have something to say, but maybe sometimes we just choose not to say it.  However, that's a post for another day.

I'm currently trying a new sort of happy pills, with the eventual aim of coming off the original ones, which my doctor thinks might have contributed to the weight gain I've had.  And here was I thinking it was just a result of too much bacon! 

Speaking of weight gain, why do people/doctors always think that when they tell me I am overweight it is the first I've heard about it?  I do own a mirror, I know how big my clothes are.  In any case, the doctor suggested I see a nutritionist.  I told her I know how to lose weight, but I just... haven't.  No matter what fancy pants diet you want to go on the basis is always the same 'Eat Less.  Move More."  Is there such a thing as a pill to make me motivated?  I need it!

Several of my friends are doing a fun run in a few weeks.  Never one to miss an opportunity to hang out with the girls, I'm going along.  As the cheer squad.  Should I take pom poms and if so where does one get pom poms?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Love and Marriage

Why do people get married? I think it would be fair to say that most people in Australia get married because they love their partner, they want to be with them and build a life with them.  Of course there are going to be exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, love is the driving force.

With that in mind, I cannot understand why, in the year 2012, people that love someone who happens to be the same gender as them aren't allowed to get married.  It seems to me to be a pretty basic right, and yet they are being denied this by our government.  I believe in this more strongly than I believe in a lot of things.  I'm not sure why.  I said that to Dr C last week and he said that it seems to have awakened a long hidden social justice part of me.

I've spoken to a few people about this subject and none of the reasons against it I've heard  make ANY sense to me.  Let's see if they make any sense to you...

'But the bible says it is wrong!' Well, the bible also talks a lot about stoning people to death, feeding people to lions, whipping people and having more then one wife, do we have to follow what the bible says exactly?

'Traditionally, marriage is between a man and a woman' If we never challenged tradition women wouldn't even be allowed to vote, let alone be the Prime Minister of Australia.

'They can be together, but the word 'marriage' shouldn't be used, that's OUR word and they can't have it!' Yes, someone actually said this to me. I had no words then and I don't now.

'Australia was founded on Christian values, so we should continue that and gay marriage isn't Christian'. Umm... Excuse me, but I thought the fundamental principles of Christianity were to 'love one another'. How is treating someone differently because of who they love following those principles?

'It will ruin the institute of marriage!'. Sure it will. It will ruin something people like Elizabeth Taylor, the Kardashians and Tom Cruise have been building up for years.

'People choose to be gay' 'Being gay is unnatural' 'Homosexuality is a mental illness'. You don't choose who you love. I'm in love with Dr C, and I would be regardless of his gender. Love is completely natural and as for the mental illness argument, that's complete bullshit.

'But being married is about creating a family, it's about having kids'. There are so many things wrong with this that I don't even know where to start.  Firstly, lots of gay people have kids. I don't have kids, I might never have them, does that mean I'm should never have got married? When is the cut off for me to have them and stay married? 

Convinced? Nah, me neither!

I really think that in twenty years, and in all probability, even sooner we will be looking back on this and feeling a similar shame to what I feel when I read accounts of how white people treated black people, making them sit in the back of the bus, believing they carried different diseases etc.  I really hope that doesn't happen, I really hope common sense prevails and everyone is allowed to be married, regardless of who they want to marry.

Now at this point you might be thinking 'Fair go, Jo, aren't you being a bit hypocritical? You're asking people to change their minds and you don't seem to want to change yours'. And to that I say that yes, I am asking people to change their minds, to a view that won't hurt them one bit.  I respect everyone right to believe whatever they want to believe, but at the end of the day, if you don't like the idea of gay marriage, for whatever reason, then don't have one, but please don't stop someone who does want one from having that option.  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Busy Drawer

In the white weatherboard house with a blue tin roof  there was a busy drawer.  Do you have a busy drawer?  (When I was a kid it was the top drawer in the kitchen, but in the Castle it's the third drawer from the top and it's full of crap.)  In my childhood busy drawer there were scissors, dead batteries, lots of paperclips, nail clippers, rubber bands, rolls of film waiting to be developed, stamps you could only use at Christmas time and postcards that had fallen off the fridge.  Basically, all the stuff that we didn't really have anywhere else to put.  Sooner or later it went in the busy drawer. 

Most things were just lying around loose, and the lesser used items you had to search for up the back of the drawer, but some things were kept in tins.  A collection of buttons, some foreign coins and the like.  They were in old Strepsils tins.  I don't remember there ever being Strepsils in the tins, so I'm guessing my Dad had kept them for years, just waiting for them to have a purpose.

When I was a kid, if I asked my Dad what a piece of machinery or something was he would almost always answer 'It's a wing-wong for a goose's bridle'.  We didn't have any geese, so I had no idea why we would need a goose's bridle, but I believed him. Don't you always believe your Dad? Even if every April 1st they tell you there is a white kangaroo in the backyard.

My Dad had several sheds full of wing-wongs.  He seemed to know exactly where everything was and kept a lot of things just because he thought one day they might come in  handy.  I only ever had one bike.  I got it when I was about 8, it was blue and had a white basket with plastic flowers on it and streamers hanging out of the handlebars.  When I outgrew that bike I didn't get a new one, my Dad just took the handles off my older brother's long discarded Dragstar bike and put them on it.  Dragstar handles were those long, high bendy ones, remember?  I got a few more years out of the bike without my parents having to spend a cent.  When my parents sold the farm several years ago and moved into town, I thought they got rid of all the wing-wongs.

A couple of weeks ago I was with my sister and we called into my Mum's house but she wasn't home.  I really needed to see what treats she'd been baking use the bathroom and I didn't have my spare key with me.  My sister went into a secret spot in the garden and retrieved a hidden key that apparently everyone in the family except me knows about.  When she handed me the key, a tear ran down my cheek.

It was in a Strepsils tin.

It turns out you really don't know when a goose will need a wing-wong for it's bridle.

This is not a sponsored post, I don't even like Strepsils.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

This and That

This is my very first blog post from my shiny new iPad. I'm in love with it! Even if I am having some trouble locating the button for the ' symbol.

We also got a very shiny new fridge. It's the first new fridge I have ever owned and it is amazeballs. It even has a kind of new fridge smell.

I'm currently on night shift, which pretty much means I have no life. I sleep, I get up around the time Chyken gets home from work, we hang out for a few hours and then I go to work. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Once I'm at work it's not all bad. I work with cool people and we have a laugh. This week I've been doing some very repetitive stuff though and to be honest I'm a bit over it. I've been drinking a LOT of this...

I've applied for a promotion. Don't want to say too much in case I jinx it, but keep your bits crossed for me, eh?

In three weeks I am going to Queensland and let me tell you, if I don't see some sun I want my money back!

There's not really any other news to report.

What's been going on in your world?  If you have an iPad, what apps MUST I get?  Do you have a favourite one to blog from? Do I ask too many questions?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dollars Vs Sense - Part Two

Thank you all for such an amazing response to yesterday's post.

Today I realised I have more to say on the subject, so here goes nothing.

Once again, this is not aimed at anyone in particular and I wasn't paid to write it, or even given any jaffas.

13. Part of the reason I wrote the post yesterday was in response to some people's reaction to announcement of The Remakables Group.  I want to clarify something before I say anything else.  I have nothing against The Remarkables Group, or any of the bloggers that are considered remarkable.  In fact, if you asked me who my ten best favourite bloggers in the whole world were, several of them would come from that group.  Several of them wouldn't.

14. I think the idea of The Remarkables Group is brilliant.  To all the people who seem to be annoyed that they aren't considered remarkable, there is nothing stopping you starting your own agency for bloggers.  Perhaps you're just pissy that someone else thought of it first?

15. Imagine for a minute that you HAD thought of the idea first, wouldn't you want to have people on your books who are going to make you money?  I dare say you would, otherwise you wouldn't run an agency, you'd have a website that listed every blogger ever.  And we already have that, it's called Google.

16. It seems to me that whenever a blogger gets recognised, either by sponsorship or some sort of award, there are a lot of people who want to bring that blogger down.  Why not just be happy that an award for blogging exists in the first place? 

17. To me, blogging is a lot like music.  It is VERY subjective.  Everyone's tastes are different and that's part of what makes it so great!  Just because I happen to think John Farnham has the best voice ever doesn't mean you will like him.  I cannot for the life of me understand why doof doof is considered 'music'.  They all have their place.  Let it be.

18.  In addition to learning the difference between 'your' and 'you're' can you please learn the difference between 'there', 'their' and 'they're'?  It's really not that hard, promise.  Also, there is no such word as 'alot'.

19. I am a very, very, very teeny minnow in a very large pond of an amazing blogosphere.  I'm not pretending to be anything more.  Would I like to be a bigger fish? Sure, but if I stay small, that's OK too.

20. Why do posts I bang out in 30 minutes get an amazing response and yet the ones I spend ages on and agonise over every word in are only read by Chyken?

21. Please stop caring what other people think of you.  Just write.  That's what it's all about.  Well, that and the Hokey Pokey, but mainly it's about you and your words.

22.  If all else fails and you are really, completely and genuinely upset that you weren't chosen to be one of the 'cool kids', turn your bloody computer off and go and engage in the real world for a while.

23. Here's another picture of my cat.  You're welcome.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dollars Vs Sense

What follows is a collection of my thoughts about the monetisation of blogs.

It has been written by me, who really should be asleep, but I find if I don't write when the mood strikes me then I forget what I wanted to stay and so it is left unsaid.

It is not aimed at anyone in particular, nor was I paid to write it.

1. Blogging is not high school so why are people acting like it is?  I really thought I left all that bullshit behind years ago.

2. Who cares if someone you thought wasn't as good as you became head cheerleader?  Is it really going to matter in the long run?  Not sure about you, but the 'popular' kids from my time at high school haven't turned out any better than anyone else as adults, despite what I thought at the time.

3. Some of the blogs I love the most are obviously monetised, some aren't.  If YOU like the blog, who cares?

4. If someone wants to pay you to write words on a screen, and you want them to pay you, go for it. I wish all my hobbies had the potential of payment.

5. The first time someone approached me and offered to pay me to write something here I laughed.  I asked them if they were joking.  The assured me they weren't.  The feeling of pride I had when that money hit my bank account was amazing.  

6. I like Blogger.  Wordpress scares me.

7. Just because someone IS being paid doesn't make them better than you. Just because you've got a 'I'll never have ads blah blah blah' policy doesn't make you any better either.

8. It's not brain surgery, it's words on a page.  Yeah, there are some blogs that are 'making a difference', but they are few and far between.

9. The blogs I enjoy reading and the blogs you enjoy reading are not necessarily the same blogs.  That doesn't make my favourite blog better than yours, it makes it different.

10. Grow up, get over it. Here's a novel idea, be happy for people who get paid. If you want to get paid & aren't, then stop bitching about it and do something about it. Approach more brands, do a writing course. Learn the freaking difference between you're and your.

11. I'm going back to bed now, so I can be awake tonight to do the job that consistently pays me.

12. Here is a picture of my cat.  Enjoy.

Puss... in Boots!

***Updated*** There is also a Part Two of this post. Click here to read it.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Trentham Spudfest 2012

One cold Saturday, Chyken took me on a craptastic adventure.

We went to Trentham, to Spudfest 2012!

Trentham is a lovely little town, not too far from the castle.  There were three markets there.  And a man with an assortment of animals in his ute. I wanted to take one home, but Chyken rightly pointed out that we don't have a ute.

However, he couldn't say no when we found a stall selling BEE hats!!!  It even has wings!!!

They had twirly potatoes on sticks.  If you have never had a twirly potato on a stick then the next time you see them for sale you should RUN to the stall and get yourself one!  So great we went back for seconds!

I met Mr Spud.  He was lovely and didn't even try to feel me up, like so many mascots these days do.

We went on a bus tour to see some Spud Huts.  No idea what a spud hut is?  Nah, I didn't either this morning.  Turns out they were huts built in ye olde dayes by the spud farmers for the spud pickers to live in.  There are lots still standing around Trentham.

This one was pretty basic. No power or anything, basically a room with a fireplace and room for a bed.

This is Reg.  He had just come from the paddock where he had been picking potatoes and knows quite a lot about Trantham, pubs and spuds.  He made very good friends with Chyken, sat next to him on the bus and everything.

This is a brick spud hut.  Once again, pretty basic inside, but somewhat less draughty than the wooden ones that weren't sealed up from the weather.  It's very cold in Trentham.  Reg told us a story about a potato picker who took his boots off one cold day and two of his toes stayed in the boot.

We stopped at this pub, I think mainly so Reg could get a drink, but also to hear some tales of spud farming from one of the district's old timers.  Interesting stuff.

The photo doesn't really do these chickens justice, they were HUGE!  Or maybe just very fluffy, either way, they were very cool.

And they live in a very posh looking chook house.  Glass windows!

This was the last spud hut we saw.  There was a man who lived in this hut until he died at 90.  Apparently when the current owners bought the land, he came with it.  They had power put on for him, but he still washed in the creek nearby and had no toilet.

I should mention that he didn't die until 2004.

He lived in these conditions until 2004! Amazing!

After we had another twirly potato it was time to go home.  On the way home we saw the biggest group of alpacas I have ever seen.  Alpacas are Chykens favourite animal.  Do you know what the collective noun for a group of alpacas is?  Nah, me either.  I tried to look it up, but it would appear no one is really sure.  Some say flock, some say herd.  My favourite suggestion was a 'Spittoon of Alpacas'.  I'm gonna go with that!

This was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday.  We are so lucky to live where we live!

Do you love craptastic things as much as I do? What's the most craptastic thing you've been to or seen?

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