Sunday, May 25, 2008

Perfect Day

Yesterday was the 'Great Fete' at one of the local schools and despite the fact that I was meant to be working on my history assignment, which is due tomorrow (and yes, I should be working on it now), I decided to forfeit study time to spend some quality time with Madeleine and Mason.

Poor Mason is still a bit wary of his Aunty and he frequently gives me those 'what are you doing here' looks out of the corner of his eye, which are occasionally accompanied by real tears. Despite the wariness he still gives out lots of smiles and he is looking fantastic considering his operation was only done in April.



Mason; my beautiful nephew!


While we were walking around Maddy ran into her friend Shanna, which was good as they were able to go on the rides together. Unfortunately Maddy felt sick after 3 rides so the 'unlimited rides' armband didn't really get a proper workout!



Maddy and Shanna -looking a little uneasy!



Shanna and Maddy - spinning around!


After the rides were over with and the judo exhibitions and dance performances were finished there was still time to head into the 'Mash' tent for a plaster cast and sling!

Wonder how long it will take before she decides it's too itchy and wants it removed!


After the fete we headed back to Noel and Danielle's for afternoon tea - including the chocolate crackles that we bought at the fete!

An afternoon wouldn't be complete without some girly fun so Maddy painted my nails for me, a fetching shade of orange that will definitely be removed before work on Tuesday (I am responsible for the colour selection though), and then I returned the favour by painting hers with bright pink nail polish topped with glitter!


Glittery pink!

Now if only that history assignment would write itself!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Time for Temptation

Last night I went with some friends to a venue in Sydney, called The Basement, to hear Brian McFadden perform tracks from his new CD 'Set in Stone'.

While we were watching the support (a guy named Axle Whitehead - who was surprisingly good), my friend Scotty pointed out that Brian was on the other side of the room watching the support act as well. Being the pop-tart that I am I couldn't resist a photo opportunity so I approached Brian and asked if he'd mind posing for a picture.

I have to say Brian was incredibly sweet and very obliging, especially as the first photo didn't turn out - not that I minded as I got an extra cuddle having to pose for a second time, and he even thanked me for stopping by and getting a picture.

What a sweetheart!

Shame I don't look very happy! :-)



looking very intense



Rockin' out with the band!



performing 'Almost Here' without Delta!

The encore was a great version of 'Mustang Sally' that had the whole audience singing along. We all had a top night and would definitely see him again!

Monday, May 19, 2008

New Moon on Monday

We all get sent lots of emails from friends and occasionally they contain images that are worth looking at more than once.

Here are a few of my favourite images taken from emails sent to me in the past week.


New Moon on Monday




I don't know if this is photo shopped or for real..





Talk about a live action shot!





Someone's being taken for a ride!





This is just plain cute!





Clever clogs!





Okay, well this is obviously Fat Ella sunning herself but I think she's pretty too so I've snuck her into my collection!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

One Of Those Days

When do you decide enough is enough? For years I’ve been labouring under the mistaken belief that because someone is family you should continually forgive their trespasses against you, well not anymore!!


After years of putting up with one of my brothers moods (he’s more temperamental than any hormonal woman I know) I’ve decided to walk away. I understand that we’re all different and there are bound to be times when we disagree with each other, family or not, but unfortunately he isn’t able to say ‘let’s agree to disagree’ and be adult about it. Instead you end up being on the receiving end of vitriolic diatribes that appear to gather steam as they progress – whether you choose to respond or not.


Last Sunday I had a seizure, for want of a better word, which was the third instance in 9 months that I've had one of these attacks. The first warning that something was amiss was my eye sight, which went all blurry, and at first I thought my monitor was on the blink as I had just sat down to check my email. Not long afterwards the phone rang and while I was talking to my dear friend Sandi over in Holland my speech became affected - I could picture an image in my head but I couldn't remember the word for it. In fact at one point I couldn't even remember my nieces names!


The third symptom was a numb feeling which started in my right fingertips and travelled all the way up to my top lip. I was trying to be calm, all the while trying to stretch the pins and needles out of my fingers, but at the back of my mind I was panicking in case I was having a stroke!


Poor Sandi is going to have a huge phone bill as we were on the phone for more than 90 minutes, I don't think she wanted to hang up until she was certain I was going to be okay!


A trip to the Doctors has confirmed that my blood pressure is way too high - and I now have to take medication, plus I have an appointment with a neurologist (of course the earliest appointment that I could get is 30 July) to see what's causing the problem with the blood flowing to my brain. As well as having to come off the pill I have to give up salt entirely, which is probably going to be the hardest part of all. No salt on my food.... how sad!


I am convinced that these attacks are caused, or brought on by stress, hence the decision to cease contact with my brother and his family. As sad as it makes me not to see some of my nieces the self preservation instinct has kicked in and it's time to say enough is enough!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Matter of Feeling


Today's blog is dedicated to my sister in law Danielle and my cousin Julia as they had to spend Mothers Day without their angels Isabelle and Natasha. I'm sure today was tough for them.

Madeleine, Isabelle and Danielle


Natasha


About 8 years ago I traced my birth mother Hellen (I was adopted when I was 21 days old) and it turns out she didn't even know I was still alive as her mother signed all the adoption paperwork and Hellen was told that I had died during child birth.

I have a great relationship with both of my mothers and I consider myself fortunate to have both of them in my life. What's even better is that they get on well with each other so I'm able to invite them both to family functions without any worries about arguments or jealousy.

The day my two 'mums' met each other: Mum, me & Hellen

This year Mum spent Mothers Day in Perth with my brother John so for the first time I was able to spend Mothers Day with Hellen. We had a sleep-in and then her hubby Greg cooked breakfast on the barbecue and we sat outside and chatted for ages. Despite Hellen not being very well we had a lovely relaxing day!


me and Hellen - 11 may 2008

me, Hellen & Cooper!






Thursday, May 8, 2008

(Reach Up For The) Sunrise

Anyone who knows me well will know that I am a sleepyhead. Having no children means I normally enjoy my weekend lie-in and it's not unusual for met to sleep in until 9.30am.

Weekdays however are another matter. Commuting 2 hours each way to work means that I get up at 5am and don't get home until 8ish - and despite having done this for the past 8 years I'm still not used to it and I still don't enjoy it!

It also has to be said that I am not a morning person! Some people who know me may say I am not an afternoon or an evening person either... but that's a whole other story!

It used to take until my first cup of coffee before I could string together an intelligible sentence, however since I've given up caffeine it now takes me that little bit longer to get 'with it'!

Occasionally through my sleep deprived haze I can find something beautiful in being up so early, sometimes it's the view from the train window to the ocean, though I have to admit on most days I've drifted off to sleep within 10 minutes of being on the train.

view from the Sea Cliff Bridge

Not many people travel such a scenic route to work every day!

This morning I was up a bit earlier than usual and I when I put the blinds up and looked out the window I saw a beautiful sunrise. I ran outside in the cold (in my PJs) to get a few pictures.




At this point the neighbours were starting to wake up and I realised I was still in the yard in my jammies, and believe me this is not a look anyone needs to see at that hour of the morning!

Of course all that faffing about meant I ended up running late for my train. Still, I did get to see the sunrise... and it was beautiful.

Reach up for the sunrise
Feel the new day enter your life.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Fragment

Six Random things about me

Link the person who tagged you - actually I wasn't tagged I 'stole' it from Danielle as I thought it was cool!

Mention the rules on your blog: Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours

Tag fellow bloggers by linking them

Leave a comment on each of the tagged bloggers blogs letting them know they have been tagged.

Six random things about me:

1. I hate clowns. With a passion.

2. I love foreign films, not dubbed though I much prefer subtitles. Il Postino, The Motorcycle Diaries & Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon are a few of my favourites.

3. I suffer from nightmares so bad that I wake up every morning drenched in sweat – even in the middle of winter.

4. I sleep with one of Belle’s dummies on my night stand – it glows in the dark so it’s the first thing I look for if I wake in the middle of the night. In fact I’m so used to seeing it that I recently took it on holidays with me so it’s now been to Ireland, Wales, England, Singapore and Bangkok!

5. Autumn is my favourite time of year; I love the fallen leaves that crunch under your feet and the red and golden brown colours everywhere.

6. I am addicted to Stilton cheese! I blame my friend Lou as I had it for the first time when I was staying with her in England and now I can’t get enough of it. Thankfully the cost is prohibiting me from eating it all the time!

Ok so now I am tagging Corinne because my other blogging friends have been tagged already- so I'll spare the repeat tag.....

Monday, May 5, 2008

Last Chance on the Stairway

W.C Fields once said 'never work with children or animals' - now I know why!

My cat Ella has recently been sick and before her test results came back showing that she had a bacterial infection (it was a 50% chance it was going to be cancer) I decided that it would be nice to have a picture of me with her seeing as I don't have any photos of us together.

I took that thought process a step further and decided to take a photo with the dog as well. The planning was easy, I'd sit next to the dog and hold the camera in front of us and take a few snaps... or so I thought.


here we have a wet nose on the cheek


and a lick in the ear (and yes, it does feel disgusting).


I was about to give up when I decided to give the dog one last chance on the stairs - and finally a picture of us together, sadly I am minus the war paint so look completely washed out!

Ella completely refused to look at the camera so I ended up with lots of pictures of her with her head down or looking the other way.

I was about to admit defeat when I gave it one more try and finally got a picture of us together; of course Ella still isn't looking in the right direction and you can tell that I haven't even brushed my hair but at least I got a shot!


After I'd taken my pictures I decided for a couple of solo shots of Ella, but she was in no mood to comply!

this face is telling me to go away!


and just in case I didn't get the message, this facial expression makes it quite clear!

As they say, never work with children or animals!


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Ordinary World

Came in from a rainy Thursday
On the avenue
Thought I heard you talking softly


I turned on the lights, the TV
And the radio
Still I can't escape the ghost of you

What has happened to it all?
Crazy, some are saying
Where is the life that I recognise?
Gone away

But I won't cry for yesterday
There's an ordinary world
Somehow I have to find
And as I try to make my way
To the ordinary world
I will learn to survive

The above lyrics are from a Duran Duran song called 'Ordinary World' and I've chosen it for this blog as I was trying to think of my first line when that song came on. Seeing as my life is somewhat in turmoil at the moment due to deaths in the family and family arguments some of the lyrics seemed particularly relevant. It also helps that I'm a Duran fan and having recently seen them in concert I've been playing some of their older stuff again.

The line 'Still I can't escape the ghost of you' always reminds me of my adored niece Isabelle who tragically passed away two years ago at the tender age of three and three quarters (those extra three quarters are very important). Belle may no longer be here physically but she's still here in spirit and certainly I feel her presence, or lack of presence at family gatherings. No matter what we're doing my thoughts always return to the fact that someone important is missing, it's as if there's something not quite right about the day.

'Where is the life that I recognise?
Gone away'
The truth is death changes you and life isn't ever going to be the same as it was two years ago. How I've longed for those days to return, but that's only possible if Belle could come back to us. My Mum looked after Belle every Wednesday and every week I'd ring up and have a chat to Belle on the phone to find out what she'd been doing with her Nanna. Sometimes I still reach for the phone to call Mum but I quickly realise what I'm doing and put the phone down.

'But I won't cry for yesterday
There's an ordinary world
Somehow I have to find'
Well the not crying part isn't true but it is true that I am trying to find my own way in life, a way that's more bearable than the last two years have been. It's frustrating when people tell you to move on and I also find it a bit insulting as it devalues Isabelle's life and what she meant to me. The death of someone so important isn't something you can just 'get over' but at the same time I know I have to learn to cope with her absence and try and move forward rather than moving on - 'And as I try to make my way
To the ordinary world
I will learn to survive'

'Papers in the roadside
Tell of suffering and greed
Here today, forgot tomorrow
Ooh, here besides the news
Of holy war and holy need
Ours is just a little sorrowed talk' I guess this is my favourite verse as it's a nice reminder that we're all just little fish in a big pond and that no matter how big our problems seem there's always someone worse off.

So here I am trying to make my life my 'ordinary world' again. I know some days will be hard but I also know there will be lots of good days and lots of new memories to treasure!

cuddles with Bella and her sister Maddy