Sunday, April 29, 2012

Wishing and hoping and looking and searching

If you were to ask my boys their least-favourite weekend activity, they would be hard-pressed to choose between two: looking at houses and looking at antiques. You can imagine their joy, then, when they found out that yesterday was to be a combination of the two. Oh the rapture!

Unfortunately for Mr8 and Mr5, The Builder and I love to poke about - in houses, or in antiques shops. Or both. Admittedly, antiques shops are often easier to poke about in than other people's houses tend to be, so they are often dragged, complaining, whinging and generally moaning, into dark, musty shops full of dark, musty objects. All of which, no doubt, look the same to them.

Yesterday, we spent a full day in the southern highlands, tripping in and out of half a dozen shops, falling in love with one item and then another. Interestingly, we fall in love often, but buy rarely. We 'um', we 'ah', we walk away and 'have a think about it'. We only go back if we truly believe we'll regret not buying it.

Seriously, the poking about is most of the fun. The buying simply cream on the top.

Unless you're eight and five. In which case, you'd rather be having your teeth extracted. Or similar.

Do you love poking about in antiques shops or do you tend to side with the Misters when they call it 'the most boring thing in the world'?


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mrs Fibro's Guide to Etiquette: Pyjamas

With the nights drawing in and temperature cooling down, I thought it was time to address the etiquette of pyjamas. Specifically, what time to get into them, and what time to get out of them.

In many ways, I am not the best person to broach this particular subject. My views on pyjamas as perfectly suitable daywear are widely known and strongly held. But not many seem to adhere to my notion of pyjamas as the perfect Leisure Wear, superior in so many ways to any garment involving the use of velour or Lycra... Not that I'm ready to give up that war just yet. I shall live to fight another day.

In the meantime, however, I'm looking for suggestions. I found myself sliding into my pyjamas at 5pm today. Having worked hard all day, even slipping in a visit to the RTA for a licence renewal (it's terrible, thank you), and then ferrying children to activities and outings, I found the lure of the flannel too strong to resist. As I did up the pink buttons on my brown-and-pink spotted two-piece, working it back with a lovely pair of dazzling white sports socks, I found myself wondering, briefly, 'is it too early?'.

But no, I reasoned. My day was done. Visitors were unlikely. It was getting dark(ish) outside. There was just me, the boys, a casserole for dinner. Who would know? (Except you guys, of course...)

A small part of me considered the fact that I would die of embarrassment if a friend were to drop in unexpectedly. Much as I'd died of embarrassment when a lovely bloke I know managed to surprise me still in my pyjamas at 1pm one day. In my defense, it was the school holidays and I was trying to work and entertain children at the same time. It would have been okay... had I managed to clean my teeth at some stage. (Are you dying with me?)

Looking at that record, I am getting very close to wearing my pyjamas 24/7, am I not? It's a good thing I have school drop-offs to consider.

What's the rule at your place? Is it ever too early for pyjamas? Or too late, for that matter?


I'm linking up with Glowless for her last-ever round of Flog Yo' Blog Friday. Join in!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Working on a little project...

I've been working on a little project. I've dragged in some friends, got a fabulous team together, and hatched a scheme. To help.

It's getting close. Dotting the odd I (lower case only, of course). Crossing the occasional T (in all the right places).

Any minute now...

Stay tuned.

I'm bursting to tell you more about it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Don't put off until tomorrow...

I have been lying on my sofa, thinking about blogging, for the past three hours.

"Must write a post," my mind said, over and over.

"Ah, but I'm so comfortable," my body whispered back, snuggling its left buttock a little more deeply into the cushion.

"Must write a post," my mind reiterated, sounding a little snippy. "I need to get back into the habit."

"Ah, but this Beaconsfield thing is more interesting than we thought it was going to be," my eyes responded, refusing to admit that knowing the ending kind of spoiled the drama.

"Must write a post," my mind shouted, over and over. "You'll forget how to blog."

"Ah, but there's always tomorrow," my toes replied, curling with delight at the thought of a clear day to tackle my work after I waved the boys off to school.

"Oh, bloody hell," my mind said, resignation in every tone. "If you must."

I think it was the resignation that did it. I got up. I walked to my desk. I wrote a list of all the things I needed to do tomorrow.

"Be a good idea to cross one thing off that list right now," my mind whispered, sounding all hopeful.

"Oh, bloody hell, all right," my body said, slumping down in my office chair with a huff.

And so it was done.

Never put off til tomorrow what your mind reckons you should do tonight. For that way, insomnia lies.

[image: from frayedattheedges]

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fresh starts: it's good to be grateful

If you've met my sister Maxabella, you'll know that she's a special kind of blogger. A little bit crafty, a little bit opinionated (okay, a lot), a little bit pretty, a little bit practical. Her Grateful linky is one of the most popular weekly memes in the blogosphere, and I love the general... goodwill of the whole thing.

Having said that, I don't often join in. It's not that I'm not grateful, just that I don't tend to be vocal about it. Which is probably wrong. But there you have it.

This week's theme is Fresh Starts. It's something that I can relate to. It's been a long four weeks in the Fibro. Lots of stress and wondering. Lots of 'what if' and 'maybe'. But now a Fresh Start is on the horizon. And it's exciting.

I'm not a person who relishes change. I don't even like things moved around on my desk. I tend to have to be dragged kicking and screaming from whatever rut I'm in. Once I hit fresh air, I'm fine. But the actually 'dragging' process? Oh my, it's ugly.

The air is getting fresher. The skies are clearing.

And I'm so grateful for that.

If you've never checked out Maxabella's world-famous Grateful, all the details are here. Join in! You'll be glad you did!

[image: from here]

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Me + Billy Idol = same/same

Of all the headlines on this blog, today's may be the weirdest. The reason for it is even stranger. I was sitting here contemplating how to begin a post about my new website. One of those trumpets blaring, fanfare faring kind of posts. And all I could think of was that Billy Idol song 'Dancing With Myself'.

"With the record collection
And the mirror's reflection
I'm dancing with myself"

I found creating a website a similar kind of experience. On a long list of writing exercises I've attempted and hated over the years, writing about myself in the third person rates right up there with ... well, let's just say it tops my list of least favourites. Even above the Philosophy 101 essays about the chair.

But it is done. And it looks beautiful, thanks to the very clever Katrina from The Media Maid, and a dear friend who created the header images there (and here) for me.

So now I have an 'official' website to go with my official Facebook page. Any minute now I'll come up with an 'official' use for both. In the meantime, I'll just be hanging out here...

Let me know what you think of my... dancing.

[image: I know that this image technically has nothing to do with this blog post, but how could I resist? I mean, really? From misssarahcake/etsy]

Monday, April 16, 2012

Give me an O for osteopath

So, I found myself on my back today, with one knee pressed up somewhere near my left ear, my right hand gripping my left forearm and a large man with a towel in his hands leaning on my top half with all his weight.


My knee slipped a little further into my earhole, my hand gripped my arm more firmly, he leaned a little harder and - CrrrAACkK! Some small portion of my back clicked and clunked and cracked it's way back into position. My breath left my body in a huge whooshing gasp.

"Right," he said, leaning back, and swinging the towel up across his shoulder. "That wasn't quite as satisfying as I'd hoped. Come back on Friday and we'll try again."

True story.

I'm still limping. But not as badly.

Friday's the day.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Losing the will to blog...

It's been surprisingly easy not to blog for the past week. When I first started writing here, I would fret if I didn't get a post up every single day. Every. Single. Day. I'm much more relaxed about the whole thing now. Practically catatonic, in fact...

Part of the problem has been the sciatica that followed me home from the bush. Yes, camping is very good for you from a bushwalking/swimming/fresh air perspective. Not so good from a 'compressed nerve from sleeping on an air mattress' perspective. I've found it difficult to sit and... well, do anything frankly. I wrote a feature story under the influence of pain medication the other day - and can't remember a single thing about it. I can only hope I got my sentences in the right order.

I must also confess that I enjoyed switching off. There was no mobile reception where we went (which made finding the place a challenge of old-fashioned proportions). I didn't really miss it. Well, maybe the nightly Words With Friends ritual I seem to have established. But that was all. There is so much white noise in our lives these days - tweeting, updating, emailing. Take it away and there's just talking, thinking... or silence. It's not a bad way to live.

We immersed ourselves in the grey-green of the bush. Surrounded by the ghostly white trunks of gums. A slip and slide down a steep bank to the river, where the water was fresh and shone golden in the sunlight. A lovely place to wash off the film of dirt that had us all spray-tanned dark brown. The days were bright and warm. The nights were clear and cold. The campfire was a hungry beast, stoked day and night, wafting us all in the aroma of Eau de Smoke. With top notes of bacon.

Would I go camping again? Yes, I would. Assuming I could take a queen-size pillow-top mattress with me. I'll need to go back anyway - it seems I left my blogging mojo somewhere under a tree.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Will there be decent coffee?

Fam Fibro is preparing for its first tentative steps into the wild. Our first camping trip. In a place where there are no amenities, no mobile phone reception, and, assumingly, no cafes serving skim lattes. With one sugar. Takeaway, thanks.

Dear God, what am I doing?

The last time I slept in a tent, it had something to do with a New Year's Eve party at my sister's house. Or Christmas maybe? The details are blurred. The Builder pitched our tent on the lawn and, for some reason, we placed our sleeping bags and pillows at the wrong end. We slept on a downhill slant all night, the blood racing merrily to our heads, our toes clinging to the ends of the sleeping bag in the vain hope that we would not slide down into a corner by morning. The hangover, when she came, was not pretty.

Dear God, what am I doing?

This time, we are going camping with two other families from school. The boys will love it. Love. It. That's what I keep telling myself.

One of the families has enough gear to outfit the rest of us. They are very good hosts. They tell us that they're very keen to have friends to go camping with. Apparently, this means you have to have enough gear to tempt non-campers into the wild. They have shower tents and toilet tents and kitchen tents - and they don't mix any of those three up. They know what they're doing. That's what I keep telling myself.

We have lists of things to pack. Eggs and bacon and rolls. Cereal, snacks, fruit. Barbecue stuff. Wine (asterisked with *lots of next to it). Instant coffee. "Maybe we could take the plunger?" I venture to The Builder. Who scoffs. Apparently one doesn't plunge when one is a camper. One drinks instant. And likes it. Fresh air makes everything taste better.

Dear God, what am I doing?

Wish us luck.

Is yours a family of campers? Any tips for newbies like us?

[image: If only I were just eating camping cookies such as these from The Treat Garden]

Monday, April 2, 2012

What a wonderful bird is the Pelican

Yesterday, on the lo-o-ongest day ever (what is it about turning the clocks back after daylight savings that makes the day last for 48 hours?), as the air in the Fibro grew ever-more toxic and my tired little boys ran in circles of ever-diminishing size, we packed them into the car and drove out into the fresh air.

To a tiny town, with a park and a bike track and an ice-cream shop. Where the fishing boats come in to the wooden pier and the catch is unloaded in bright blue trays full of ice. Where people sit about, with not much on their minds beyond tidal changes and whether the fish are biting.

We watched men in singlets and thongs wash down huge, gleaming boats called 'Wideload' and 'Mama's Cookin'. Mr8 tried the gears on his bike for the first time - 'Mum, it's like wearing flippers when I swim'. Mr5 came to a dead halt every time a bike came in the opposite direction, which made it much easier for me to keep up with him.

And we sat on the rocks among the seagulls, ate lemon iceblocks and watched the patrols of pelicans gobble up dinner in their huge beaks, marvelling at the blue/black colour of their legs. They drifted along and then, suddenly, rose as one, as if by telepathic signal, and flew overhead, casting 'hunormous' (Mr5's favourite word for general bigness') shadows on our out-stretched legs.

All that, and it was still only 3.30pm when a storm drove us back to the car to go home.
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