Saturday, August 31, 2013


Spring has arrived and shoved Winter out with  a huge push.

This last day of Winter has not been wintry. We've had sunshine and a warm day. I did 4 loads of washing and it was dry in a jiffy. The daffodils have poked their heads through, the grape vine is full of buds and emerging leaves and the trees are full of blossoms. The nice weather should continue for a few days now and I did a rearrange and assessment of the wardrobe this afternoon.  I hope I haven't been too premature at taking out the woolliest of jumpers. I have been browsing Pinterest looking for Spring trends.

Yesterday we did our cardio tennis session in our new 'cardio tops'

Emma was good enough to pose for a pic afterwards when we were all sweaty. I really enjoy these sessions but with all the tennis I've been playing my 'tennis elbow' is paining again. The weird thing about tennis elbow is it doesn't hurt in the elbow but in the forearm muscle.

Its just 3 weeks til the end of term, just 4 weeks left that I can say 'I am in my forties' and 6 weeks til the half marathon. Now that the weather has improved there should be no excuses not to get the training done.

Bring on September!

Sunday, August 25, 2013


As August draws to a close we have had another birthday and it was a significant one.

Happy Birthday Lochlan and many happy returns. Our nephew is turning 18 and that means for him he can legally drink alcohol, get a licence and vote for a new Prime Minister in our Federal election in 13 days.

Today Running Buddy was not well enough to run and we have too many days lately that have been a washout so I had to go solo. The big event is just 7 weeks away. I strapped on the iPod and borrowed some headphones and set out. We previously had mapped out a 17k training run with quite a few hills so I attempted this on my own with the running playlist in my ears. The first 10 kms were good but the last section loomed before me like a brick wall. I cut the last 7 to 4k. I need to work on fuelling & hydration pre run. The balance of water and voiding is not yet right. Drink too much and all you can think about is your bladder. Drink too little and the effect is draining. Other runners talk about carbohydrate gels/drinks that you consume during your run. When do you have these? At what point will they help? How much? What type????
I need to have some trials during these longer training runs so I can get over/through this wall I seem to hit at 10-12ks.

And having my partner in running back will also keep me going.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Today we ventured into the multi cultural world of Sydney Road. To buy jeans. At the best jeans shop in Melbourne.

Hayley had put us onto this little gem of a place. She had bought jeans there before and was very pleased. After she bought hers she put on weight and couldn't wear them but took them to the UK anyway. Which is just as well as she has lost weight in Spain and the jeans fit again! The travelling pants live again.

Nestled among the bridal and bonbonnerie shops in Sydney Rd is a little shop called Dejour Jeans. It is a bit like a little sweat shop with workers on sewing machines altering while you wait. The set up is very basic with shelf upon shelf of denim jeans and nothing else.The deal is that you choose your style - straight or skinny, then choose the waist line - high, med or low rise, in the colour you want. You try them on and the attentive assistants, who all looked very hip and mod, help you with adjustments you need. As it turned out the black, skinny, low rise, size 8 jeans that Erin chose did not need any altering, not even in the length. Have a button stamped on, pay your $50 and you're on your way in about 20 mins. If you need alterations I heard the girls saying come back in 20 minutes. They were really busy and I was tempted to buy a pair myself but Erin probably would've died of embarrassment. I didn't really fit in with the grungy hipster 'too cool for school' crowd. The jeans fit perfectly and are really good quality. We have bought jeans for her before at Cotton On & Factorie but they don't fit her slim frame very well.
While queuing I wondered if any one bought the high waisted variety but then my eyes settled upon not one but two of the assistants wearing high waisted jeans. Apparently if you have a nose piercing and dreadlocks you can pull it off.

As we walked along looking for the number I realised that this little stretch of road was seen in the footage from CCT images of Jill Meagher before she was murdered nearby. A chilling reminder to be careful. Then on the way home we saw serious road rage in action. Erin often says to me to toot someone doing something wrong while driving. I don't, but now maybe she can see why, a little patience even if you are in the right, can avoid this ugliness.

Now the newly fitted girl is coming down with a cold.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I have been enjoying this series on Joanna Goddard's blog about mothering around the world. Her children are young  & I find the parenting talk on her blog is centred around babies &  toddlers but she has some other interesting info also. The latest installment is about mothering in Mexico and it got me to thinking about my trip to Mexico.

Hayley is also keen to go to Mexico with her friend Tess so I sent her the link to get a little insight. They have decided that maybe Mexico is too expensive for them right now and perhaps they'll meet up in Germany instead. Hayley still really wants to go and see the sights & culture for herself.

Hayley suggested I write a blog about my trip to Mexico when I was just 17. After many years I have finally put the photos from that trip into an album & begun to scrap about it. The idea of putting more than just the name & date on those photos is appealing. I would have to really think back hard to remember the feelings & experiences from back then.

I remember being scared most of the time. We went to country areas, climbed pyramids, visited silver & craft markets & even went to a bull fight. I remember being hissed at when being mistaken for an 'Americano'. I was shocked to see insects & guinea pigs for sale as food. I remember being too scared to drink water or have ice in my drink. I remember not being sure about where to go in airports & the acrid smell of stake cigarette smoke inside the planes. I remember being homesick. I remember being amazed at the poverty and contrasts. I never felt safe even though I was in a group of Ranger Guides with 2 adult leaders.

What I don't remember is what we ate. I cant remember eating Mexican food. I know I never ate a single avocado while I was there. It was not until much later in Australia that I grew to love that exotic green fruit.

This musing is just the beginning of telling my Mexico story. I have to study the photos to try & remember the back story, past the date & place labelling, to the details.

I know if I went today I would have a very different experience.

Monday, August 19, 2013

News of the day...

We had the NBN installed today. The box bit that goes on the outside of your house. Now all we have to do is have it connected, which I think we can do as soon as we talk to the Telstra people about our plan. Quicker internet will be good. Internet that doesn't drop out in the middle of candy crush games will be even better.

I cleaned and scrapped today. I finished off the 2 school pages that were laying on the desk half finished for the past 3 weeks. They were really bothering me and I got them done and away. I don't love them but they are done.

Tonight we played tennis. We played on even though the temperature gauge showed it was only 5 degrees. It wasn't too windy but it definitely feels like it could snow.

We are tough, determined, bad ass tennis playing mothers.

Hayley is enjoying the longest summer ever before she heads back to a really cold winter in England. She posted loads of photos on facebook and the ones from the firecracker festival are my favourite. Here is a sample if you aren't friends (of the facebook kind) with her.

She has loads of pics there now and lots on her Tumbler blog too.

Enough to keep this mother happy for now.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Erin & I used more of the yeast today. This time it was to bake bread.

I'm not going to try bread making again, I am going to stick to cakes & pastries instead. The whole process is time consuming what with kneading & waiting for the dough to rise again and again. Then the result wasn't worth all the effort. Edible but not spectacular

It was too windy & showery this morning to do any training and I felt as if I have frittered the day away. We are in for more of the same this week.

At least when the weather is cold and windy I can keep wearing my scarves.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

More birthdays...

Happy birthday to my almost sister-in-law in Tasmania, Melissa. Mothering 2 children and partnering Chris' brother makes her part of the family without the accompanying officialdom.

Also a shout out to a friends' son, Travis.

I told you August is a popular month.

I went looking for compression socks today and baulked at the $50 price tag. I think I'll keep wearing my full length compression tights on long runs like we have planned for tomorrow. Another 17km run is booked for 'Super Sunday'. The compression is meant to help with blood flow & muscle recovery but I think I'll find them cheaper on the web.

I watched the 2 TV shows tonight I had recorded from Thursday night when I was at tennis. Both were Australian comedies airing on the ABC.

Upper Middle Bogan had a good introductory start and I will continue to watch this one.

And unexpectedly this show 'It's a date' made me laugh and brought a tear to my eye. Both on series link on the DVR so I won't miss them.

Friday, August 16, 2013


Today did not turn out how I thought it would...

This morning after cardio tennis Chris reminded me we needed Erin's birth certificate for her ID to get her Learners Permit. I looked in all the usual places with no luck. Then I proceeded to turn the house upside down looking for it. The 2pm appointment time was in the back of my mind the whole time.

I hastily decided to race into the BDM  office in the city to get a replacement copy. I had 2 hours to get there, get the certificate and then get back to Hoppers Crossing for her appointment. Some road works & traffic delays were offset with a meter park just around the corner from Collins St.

Once in the BDM building I took a ticket, number 174. As I filled in the form they called ticket number 150. Erin & I just looked at each other. Was this hair brained scheme going to work? With just 3 staff members working and a crowd of ticket holders I thought we were sunk. But after just 35 minutes we were served and had the certificate in our hands.

We ran back to the car.

I tried not to be inpatient with pedestrians and traffic lights and slow vehicles knowing I had 20 minutes to get make my deadline. We reached the Vic Roads office at 2:12pm. I was pretty happy with that. They were so busy inside they barely noticed we were late.

Erin went in to do the test and I went to get a coffee. Neither of us had had lunch or anything much in the morning. While I had my coffee I tried to calm down after all the racing around to get to that point.

After all that, Erin didn't pass the test.

She only got 69% and was very disappointed that she missed out by just 1%. She said it was nothing like the practice tests she had done and she was baffled by a few of the questions.

At least now I know where her birth certificate is. She probably wont be able to re sit the test until the holidays, today had been an opportunity that wont arise again til then.

Perhaps Chris should have taken her after all.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A good day...

When I buzzed into work this morning I bee lined for the positive affirmation headquarters. To my relief & amazement the red Nano stick was there in the computer. Oh happy days. It set the tone for the rest of the day... lots of things fell into place, the presentation went well, the sun shone, I walked in said sunshine to get some lunch & got a call for tennis tonight.

My plans for tomorrow aren't going to go exactly as I planned but I think we will have a good day. After tennis I am taking Erin for her Learners Permit test on her day off. It would have been a day off for the school bus driver also but he got a charter to keep him occupied.

And if the sun keeps shining we will all be happy.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Work, work, work...

The days all seem to run into one another.

It's cold.

It's raining.

I go to work.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Even the weeks seem the same...Work, tennis, work, run, work, run, work tennis, tennis, no work.
Oh yeah I have Friday off!

If this gizmo worked like it promised it would make work a little easier.

Tomorrow I have to give a presentation. A presentation I have given before, that is loaded on my red Nano USB stick. Problem is I cant find it. I've looked in all the usual places & I still haven't located it. I have till 11am to find it or reproduce the presentation. I'm hoping that I can find a copy in a sent email, that should work shouldn't it???? I remember sending a copy of the Powerpoint to someone who had missed the talk about a month ago. I even checked the presentation after being booked for tomorrows session to make sure it didn't need tweaking. Maybe the drive is still in the 'positive affirmation office'. I'll go down & see the counsellor/decorator to see if my Karma is in good standing.

Or don't bother me between 830 & 11.

Monday, August 12, 2013


Our friends have just come back from a lovely 6 week tour of UK & Europe. They posted lots of snaps on Facebook while they were away & made comments about how wonderful the food, art, architecture & wine was. They had a great time. Poor Lauren though had become really unwell with a cough towards the end & now she is home has been diagnosed with whooping cough. It will take here some time to recover before she can go back to work. I wonder if continental pertussis is the same as the Australian version.

Chris is also off work with another URTI & is quite unwell. Too much exposure to contained children in the humid environment of a bus. We are all well so he cant blame us, he needs to build up his immunity just like a preschooler going off to school. I hope he hasn't caught pertussis as I need him to go back to work.

We managed to play 2 good sets of tennis before the rain set in again and the wind even settled down to nothing. Now I am sitting here inside in the warm the wind is howling around us again.I cant believe there wasnt any wind while we were playing, the rest of the day had been really dirty.

This is the kind of fun thing Hayley found in Barcelona, a car inside the bar!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

More birthdays...

Happy birthday to Alex, Stephanie & John. More Leo's celebrating milestones. Alex & Steph are turning 25, John hit the big 60.

I didn't have to trawl through the interwebs looking for the perfect cake for John's celebration, his wife Sue found a local girl who is producing the most amazing cakes from home.

She did such an amazing job, it was so life like and perfect. And everything you see is edible. Apparently she hadn't done a fish before and was quite excited by the challenge. It was quite funny when John cut the cake and he went to gut and fillet it (after popping the eye in his mouth). Very apt for the keen fisherman he is.

As part of our training for the half marathon we ran for 17kms this morning. I was wrecked afterwards. I was very hungry and needed a lie down in front of the telly with my coffee. Running Buddy is doing a great job at keeping us on track and won't let me back down when the little voice is telling me to quit. She did let me off on Wednesday when it was bucketing down at run time. I had to miss cardio tennis because of the study day on Friday so want to get back into it this week.

I read an interview with Woody Allen & one of his response was about his diet and keeping healthy.

He is quoted as saying I don't eat enjoyable foods. I eat for my health.

Read more: Woody Allen Interview - Woody Allen Blue Jasmine Quotes - Esquire

I felt really sad for him that the foods he eats he sees as unenjoyable but healthy. I run so I can eat what I want. But I have found that I want less of the really bad stuff and have yet to succumb to a radical 'health' regime. Just somewhere in between. I also read somewhere that another fellow runs so he can drink beer.

Good enough reason.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Erin & I inspired by the Great Australian Bake Off made these today

Quite a drawn out process but good results!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Chilly Friday...

I spent the day in chilly Ballarat, where the temperature sat around 7 degrees all day. It was also windy & rainy. I spent the day learning about breasts & breast cancer. It was very informative but also the 5th day in this week of work. Fish & chips for dinner was the easiest option.
We usually phone in our order & pick it up 20 mins later. There are 3 fish & chip shops in town & we like this one the best. We don't have fish & chips very often but the little man who doles out the orders always lights up & says 'ah Meetchellll!' when I walk in. As if I order there a lot. We get this take away about once a month and you would think I was more regular than that. Its a nice touch if you don't get too sensitive about it. My new friend Kerry from tennis is the burger queen down there and I always joke to Chris that Kerry has cooked his dinner for him. She didn't even turn around tonight, they were rushed off their feet. The usual 20 min return took about 45 tonight. Seems everyone had a busy week.

Hayley has been much better posting her photos now she has a Tumbler blog

her comment on this pic was
Every Thursday, loads of market stalls line the streets in Vila-Seca. I bought a head band and some peach heart lollies. Look ma! Scarves!!!

She knows me well

This is just a taste, you can see more for yourself. Unlike other blogs you can't really comment on the photos but as she told me 'you don't have to comment on every photo'.

Hayley had posted this on Facebook in response to my birthday post for her, it had me in tears.

25 years ago you became my mumma, and I couldn't have asked for a better role model growing up. You've always been supportive, caring & patient with me and I can't thank you enough. Thank you for being the best mummy, and for helping me become the coolest person haha. Thanks dad toooooo. It's still my birthday here, and I'm allowed to be somewhat sappy! I love you both xo 

Hayley, queen of the selfie

nice photobombing Cal

Thursday, August 8, 2013


I would really liked to have made Hayley a cake for her birthday.

If she had been at home and I had enough time I would have like to try this one.

from here
Pretty eh?

and some more words of wisdom from Pinterest

Whenever I read these positive affirmations, and there are loads and loads of them out there, I always think of the Drug & Alcohol Counselors office at work. I sit in that office to do my work once each fortnight and wish I had a permanent base to my admin work from. The powers that be have found me this space, and yes I can work down there, nobody knows how to find me and I get the odd call relating to the main use of the office. But that's not where I'm going with this, I'm thinking of that office because the wall you face when you sit at the computer is COVERED in positive affirmations, quotes from Masai warriors, poets, authors, Buddhists & Yogi. The Dalai Lama and an indigenous American (used to be called Indians) also have posters & quotes. Dr Phil, Oprah & US Presidents get a gig.It is quite overwhelming & I wonder if it has the desired effect on those needing counselling.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The most special birthday...

for the most special girl.

Our Hayley girl.

Who goes by many non de plumes...Hayree, Gayley, Hayley Bayley.

I wanted to post 25 pics of Hayley, one for each year of her life, so here goes.


 Not really in order but as close as I can get.

We love you. You have been such a special girl to me. The baby that made me a mother. I have loved being your mother Hayley and you couldn't have turned out more perfect. Have a great day my love.

Happy birthday also to JohnPaul, Pam, Pam's twin sister and the 10 other people we know who share this birth day. As I have said before just 12 hours later and Hayley could have been born on 8/8/88. But then who knows, if you believe in the destiny of the day of your birth, things could have been a little different.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Great Australian Bake Off...

I am loving this show at the moment

I enjoyed the British version and have to tune each week for this one. When I saw the cookbook out already I nabbed a copy (lucky for me it was in a book club selection at work for $15. I hardly need another cookbook but I love to bake)

I dont want to read it too carefully just yet because I dont want to work out ahead of time who gets eliminated. Each of the contestants seems to have their share of recipes in it and I cant wait to try out this one

They try to make out that Kerry Vincent is a hard face bitch but I really like her and she seems fair and honest in her judgements. I really like baking, much better than cooking, so will be trying a few of the specialty dishes.

No wonder I'm putting weight back on.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Wash out...

Tennis tonight was rained off during the last game, some of the others had just about finished but we were battling out a hard fought game. I really wanted to finish and to win a few more games off them but we were getting soaked. My competitive side thought that it really mattered but its just tennis, just a game, just some exercise in the week.

Last week was a good exercising week. Swimming, mixed in with 25ks on the road and 3 rounds at tennis made me feel good. I need something to balance out the weight I have put on since enjoying so many home made cappuccinos. Even though I use low fat milk, about half a kg has crept back on which is disappointing when we ran so far last week. Just shows how you cant back off or get too lazy with your diet before your hard work evaporates. Looks like I will be running forever.

And a little wisdom to leave with