Words, poems and musing.

I wrote this many months ago.  For whatever reason, today I posted it.

 

There are many things that take your breath away.

It was such a cold morning here today that it took my breath away when I swung my legs out from under the doona. We have momentarily bypassed autumn and moved straight to winter. Tasmania does that.

As I watched my son roll around on a blow up slide and ball pit the strength of my love for him stole my breath and swelled my heart.

Be still my beating heart.

Be still my beating heart.

As I wrapped him in a sleeping bag in preparation for bed, Little resting his bronze curls on my shoulder, I opened the cover of an old family favourite and it was the innocent words of a childhood poem that took my breath away.

Sometimes the simplest things can have the most profound effect. There are smells that stir memories, sounds that make the past present, songs that re-create.
There are words.

There are stories.

There are poems.

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace-
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
Alice is marrying one of the guard.
“A soldiers life is terrible hard,”
Says Alice.

A.A. Milne When We Were Young

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Found, one dose of humanity in soap and an old rocker.

Yesterday I had one of those days where I felt full of happiness. I had just watched my 19 month old Little get his hair cut in a toy car and giggle his way through the event. My boy is the happiest of boys. Afterwards we went into the bank and whilst waiting he ran around, saying hello to all the other customers in his parrot like “hello, hello, hello”. He became fascinated by a man with worn out leather shoes, a big soft grey beard and a guitar. Behind the guitar was a bag with all his worldly possessions. Little was enchanted by him, and his guitar.
“Hello, hello, hello”.
The man looked bemused and smiled at the chatter box toddler who stood at his feet looking up at his face, then turned to mum with a look of apprehension. His look turned to surprise when mum smiled back rather than move her child away. I told him my son was amazed by him.
“If you like homeless rockers” he replied. I pointed out that all rockers need a groupie. He made a comment about if he gets through the week, I returned, then it’s been a good one. We swapped names, we laughed at Little’s antics and we wished each other a good day, sincerely. Then he stopped and thanked me.
A person should not feel the need to thank someone for taking the time to shoot the breeze. For seeing them as an equal. For seeing them.
We all need a little humanity.
Humanity can be spread in the smallest of gestures. The elderly lady at my gym chatters to me whilst patting my knee as I sit at the weight bench, she does this to all the gym users, old and young, muscle bound body builders and soft new mums alike. There is a real-estate agent from the south of Tasmania who goes out of his way, for love, to help those who need it. There are nurses, water delivery men, fire wood delivery men who have no idea of the humanity they spread through their small gestures of good will. Their kindness towards others for kindness sake and no other reason. To them and all others like them I say thank you.
After I left the bank Little and I went to Lush Cosmetics where we bought some Soap for Hope. All proceeds going to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. There is a display in the window stating that seeking asylum is not illegal and postcards to sign and send to the government asking that they show some humanity towards the world’s most desperate people. We painted our hands and pressed them onto the window display to show our support for humanity. This is the world I want my boy to grow up surrounded by and be an active part of. One where, through small gestures and large, be they personal, corporate or political we show and share humanity.

Freshly shawn Little in front of a smudgy small print.

Freshly shawn Little in front of a smudgy small print.

This is not sponsored, as if, I’m a small time rarely blogs blogger. All my own thoughts and opinions. I just really like people and businesses that show humanity towards others.

Posted in Happy place, My Woffle, Opinion, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A True Romance Story

I have spent the last week feeling less than ordinary and taking every opportunity I can to lie on the couch in my PJ’s watching movies. Today these kept me company.

romance movies

I’m a sucker for a romance, Pride and Prejudice, Catherine and Heathcliff, Buffy and Spike. The meeting, the uncertainty, the first kiss, the hope for happy ever after. It can seem a world we can’t be part of in real life. That true romance story. I wonder if that is our own short sightedness. That we aren’t recognising the real romance stories.

I have grown up surrounded by a most amazing love story. It is not mine to tell but it has been my priviledge to witness the love of my parents. I have heard the story of how they met so many times, how it wasn’t love at first sight but at first touch as he took her hand to cross the road. Dad tells it with a gleam in his eye. Mum corrects his tale whilst reaching out to pat his hand, laughing at his ‘never let the truth get in the way of a good story’ version. I grew up interupting kisses in the kitchen and wishing I hadn’t seen this or that bottom pat. I watched as my parents who have no rythym on their own swirl in perfect harmony around a dance floor together. I watched the many little things like talking quietly over a cup of tea when they come together at the end of each day. Going for walks hand in hand. Always sharing meals at the table. Going to the movies. Dad flyfishing whilst mum reads on the shore with the dog. Dad returning with an everlasting daisy to add to the collection. When life was tough, they faced it together, and celebrated all the small wins, together.

Six years ago I left a marriage. There were no affairs, no violence, no abuse. When everything is stripped back it was for one main reason. I didn’t have what my parents have. I knew what a true love story looked like, felt like, and I didn’t have it and I felt empty and lonely because I knew better.

Six years ago I went out with a friend for a drink. His mate who I had met many times in the past came along. We talked all night and laughed at how hard it was to walk away when it was time to part. The next weekend we bumped into each other. We talked all night and fell asleep on our friends couch, exhausted by all the talking and sharing. The next week I bumped into him again and was surprised when my legs collapsed under me and I was left gripping a lamp post in order not to fall. We spoke of my failed marriage, his failed engagement, how it was all to soon. And it was to soon. We said we wouldn’t meet again. For now. The next week we bumped into each other again. We gave up, we gave in, we fell in love immediately. There were many sceptics at first, we weren’t two of them. We knew. We ran away to the coast camping for a week, we fished, cooking fresh brim over the hot coals each night, picking over the bones with our fingers. We needed to be alone and find our own space and we needed quiet, our own heads were spinning with the timing and speed of it all. Eight weeks after we met we travelled to Thailand, told each other we were in love. Nine months after we met we moved to London. Two years after we met we had returned and bought a home. Today it is home to three of us with the addition of Little and filled with love. We kiss in the kitchen. He calls me See Girl and pats my bum (he thinks it means sexy in Thai. It doesn’t. It means four). We come together at the end of each day and talk. We face life, all it’s ups and downs, together. Mourning the losses, fighting the hard times and celebrating the wins together.

True romance stories are right there infront of us. May I never be so short sighted as to stop seeing them.

Posted in My Woffle, On me, Smoochy love stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Rusty Pipes & Space for a Car. A Birthing Story.

When I started antenatal classes in what already feels like a lifetime ago there were times, I admit, I felt smug. Being the youngest of three girls and the last to ‘go’ out of my friends I had heard so much about pregnancy, labour and being a new mum. Being the book worm I am I read about what to expect. A lot. But there are things no one told me, not my
family, friends or midwives. Like wise there are things people told me I wish they hadn’t. I know everyone’s experience and list is different, but here’s mine.

What I wish I had been told.
1. That funny bump shape when I arched my back that cracked me up. Every. Time. I. Did. It. It’s a large separation of the abdominals. Stop doing it. It’s not going to be so damn funny after giving birth when you can park your car in it.
2. Nipples can get rusty pipes. Yep. Rusty pipes. That means one duct or more will not give you milky coloured milk at first but anything from, well, rusty coloured to black. Don’t freak out.
3. When second stage labour is too long. I knew some poor mums go a bit longer than others, even two hours. No one told me what was too long. Apparently 4.5 hours is. See point 4.
4. That long second stages are likely to cause full incontenance for several days, partial incontenace for several weeks, weak bladder for ever (well, actually that I knew from many labours). No one mentioned a bloody thing about prolapses. Or that I would have to give up running afterwards, which for me was like telling a fish to stop swimming.
5. That when a baby is really jammed and the ventouse only partly works you will be delivered of your baby in a way similar to a vet with a bouvine. Holy Cow.
6. TMI warning. No one said episiotomy cuts may not hurt at first and lull you into a false sense of security then hurt like crazy a week later. They may also pull apart a little and look like the stitches have come apart, that’s just the swelling going down (best to get it checked though I say). On the bright side you will be amazed at the contortions you can do with a mirror.
7. Not everyones milk comes in in 3 days. You may take longer. Your baby may refuse to get off your boobs untill, thank Christ, it does.
8. Now it’s finally in and bub’s content and sleeping you will be able to get some rest and get off you episiotomy scar, just in time to drench the bed in sweat because making milk makes you hot. Not so much in a sexy way as a sweaty spongy way. Though my partner did love my massive boobies to be fair.
9. Cancel your newspaper subscription. Your baby will be lost in mountains of unread papers still in their plastic wrap before you get a chance to look at even one.

Rusty leaky pipes.

Rusty leaky pipes.


What I wish I hadn’t been told.
1. You snap back, I was in my pre pregnancy jeans in two weeks. Pfft
2. You forget the pain as soon as it’s over. Pffffft
3. Babies sleep for an hour or more several times a day. Pffffffffffffft
4. The story about some persons sister, aunt, cousins friends neighbour whose labour was painless, they just farted and the baby fell out. Likewise the story that ends in tragedy, pregnant women in particular don’t want to hear those, numpties.

What I am glad I was told.
1. It’s worth it.
2. Unless it strikes a cord with you let all other advice run over you like water off a duck’s back.
3. Learn to let go of control. Before, during and after.

I would like to think that I am now prepared for a second baby if I do it again. I also know better than that now.

What are some things you would have in your list?

Posted in Parenting stuff, Stuff you probably shouldn't write about, women's business | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Breastfeeding and the space of classy women

When I was in year 11 I hung out with a large group of boys, who are still my dear friends. I was new to the school of 1500 and to this day am grateful I was introduced to this diverse group of people. Diverse because despite the obvious that they were all male, they were individuals from a mix of backgrounds, interests, and subcultures. They didn’t care less I was a girl. My psychology teacher did. In one of our classes he spoke of my overt sexuality, that I was ‘putting myself out there’ because I choose to be in a group of boys and rough house with them. As a girl I should be with other girls. Behave as a girl should. Curb my behaviour to be more feminine. I was humiliated but more so I was furious. Don’t tell me how to behave based on my gender.

At university several years later I walked into my first tutorial for 20th century feminism. On the day I wore a light blue sundress with a pair of Doc Martins and dark lipstick. Ten minutes into our discussion a vocal class member started to discuss the need for women to stop wearing bra’s, grow out their arm pit hair and then turned to me and said “Do you know the only reason women wear lipstick is so their lips look engorged as they do during sexual intercourse, to make themselves more attractive to the opposite sex and objectify themselves in doing so. You should take it off.” I pointed out that she
had just restricted my behaviour based on my gender and asked if she was in the right class. Do not tell me what to wear based on my gender.

I would like to think that 20 years later in 2013 we have moved beyond prescribing behaviour based on gender. Beyond telling women how to behave, how to appear to others in society. I have blind optimism that as women we support each other in this. This was why I was so dissapointed with David Koch’s comments on women breastfeeding in public and support he was given by women. Koch argued that we should be discrete and classy and not feed in high traffic areas. He has gone on to defend himself, saying that his children and grandchildren were breastfed and he supports it, but his wife covered up with a cloth. He has argued breastfeeding women should be aware of others discomfort.

I wear this diamond encrusted bra to feed my baby.  I has ALL the class.

I wear this diamond encrusted bra to feed my baby. I has ALL the class.

I understand people are uncomfortable watching women breastfeed, so don’t look. I don’t understand why I would have to take my baby away, put a cloth over us, go to a toilet or change room because someone else is uncomfortable.

I understand some breastfeeding women are uncomfortable baring their breasts and choose to cover up or go somewhere quiet, as is their right. That is the beauty of choice. I don’t understand why some women said it was ‘yucky’ to feed in public and would not defend the right of women to choose for themselves what is best for them and their child. Defend their legal right to feed in public and acknowldege women have the autonomy and intellect to be able to deem what is right for them themselves. Do not speak for me because of my gender.

In short, do not tell me how to behave because I’m a woman. Do not turn something as natural as a baby feeding into something that is shameful or dirty to be hidden from view. And stop politicising my body.

I once did a study of Medieval literature and the space women occupied in it. The good woman occupied the private space and was covered in public. The bad, and usually sexually provocative, woman occupied the public space and didn’t cover herself in public. Thanks to the renaissance period we became enlightened and moved on. Didn’t we? Do I have to cover myself whilst breastfeeding in public to be a good ‘classy’ women?

Posted in Opinion, Ranty Pants, women's business | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

You have the right to an opinion but it doesn’t make you right.

fact_or_opinionWith several devastating events happening the world over, and on my front door, in the last month my mind is stuck on one key point. You have every right in the world to an opinion, but it doesn’t make you right.

I will try not to put on my ranty pants for too long, they are very loud obnoxious pants that tend to offend people at times, BUT…

Before Christmas news spread of the horrific shooting in Newtown, USA. I cried, I hugged my baby boy and thought of the babies who were lost to their parents. I read social media. Much of it loving, compassionate, caring and well-advised. Much of it made my blood boil. I’m not quotting here, but if you are on social media, and if you are reading this you most likely are, you probably saw similar. If the teachers had guns the death of so many children would have been avoided. Guns don’t kill people, people do. More armed people. More armed gaurds. More guns. Oh, and gun law reform doesn’t work. Even some people against the prolific ownership of guns in the US argued gun law reform will achieve little. There were memes on Facebook from both sides of the argument spouting ‘facts’ and ‘figures’ in a way that suited their opinion most. None of them that I saw used figures from any source, they were just thrown out there and people fervently argued and believed them. Living in a small state of Australia I am lucky, not much happens, usually. Then we had the worlds largest massacre by a lone gunman. Our relentlessly fighting politicians came together for once. Gun laws were reformed not only in our state, but our country. The Australian Bureu of Statistics shows a clear correlation between the enforcement of these law reforms and the decrease in homicide and suicude rates as do independant American studies. Facts, not opinion. Fact is semi automatics make it quick and easy to kill and if they are easier to get, well, there will be more shootings. Yes people kill, so do we need to make it quicker and easier for them?

On the same day as the shootings a meme popped up onto my Facebook feed. It listed several countries and what they do to people who illegally cross their border, then what Australia does. One country shoots people, in another you’re jailed for life. The list went on, mentioning many countries and the strong measures they go to to stop illegal border crossings. Predominately countries that are the ones being fled, such as Afganistan and Iraq. Then it spoke of Australia handing out visas, drivers licenses, accomodation, Newstart allowance, letting people live in the community whilst being processed. Besides obviously wishing we were more like war torn countries such as Afganistan the meme made it clear that finally Australia had allowed onshore and in community processing. But no. There were no referenced sources of information and it turns out, despite the thread that followed going on and on about asylum seekers getting it easier that Aussies, they were still being sent off shore and kept in mandatory detention for an unknown amount of time despite that it is not, as a mater of fact, illegal to cross the border of our country in any way and ask for asylum.

Soon after these events extreme weather caused bush fires across our state. For the last three days major bushfires have wreaked havoc east of my home city. A red haze fills the sky and even from my very safe lounge room I can smell the smoke as I type. Instantly there has been trolling, fingerpointing, name blaming and politicising. It was the greens fault for being against fuel reduction burns, which they are not, they are against regeneration burns in logging coups, two very different things. It was Lara Giddings, our ALP premier, for not taking a boat to rescue the stranded. The premiers job description, I doubt, includes boat rescues or any need for first hand knowledge or running of SES. Nor can I see how extreme weather events such as the hottest day on record can be blamed on any person or party. Can we get some facts please? And more importantly can we put all the bullshit aside because now is not the time. People’s homes and livelihoods have been destroyed. Now is not the time to politicise, troll MP’s sites, make ill informed memes and pass it all off as fact. Right now we need to come together and help people out. Happily that is predominantly what is happening here in Tasmania. The generosity of people, especially those who have little themselves has been trully heart warming and inspiring.

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So I’ve been thinking, mulling over and over as event after event has occured, what makes an opinion right. In my mind it’s simple. We all have a right to an opinion, but it doesn’t make you right. A person can love or loath left wing or right wing politics. Believe in onshore or offshore processing of asylum seekers, or even in community processing. You can blame the weather, an individual, a political party or God for extreme weather and bushfires. Whatever. You have the right to your opinion as much as I do. But the right to an opinion doesn’t make it right. We can’t all be right. People may have an opinion that the earth is flat, we are all from Mars, all global leaders are really lizards, women are lesser than men, one race is better than another, one plus one equals 645, but unless that opinion is backed up by researched facts from primary and secondary RELIABLE sources with a big dose of logic and sanity, I’m sorry, good chance that opinion is wrong. Free to be had, but wrong. And no, some person who has no specialist background or training or relevant anything in anything to do with anything who waxes lyrical with the same opinion as you is not a reliable source. The end. Ranty pants off.

Posted in Opinion, Politics, Ranty Pants | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The 30 minute unpolished turd.

I started to blog recently because I wanted to write. I wanted to explore who I am now, have an outlet, share, reach out. You can read about that here. But, and there’s always a but, I’m so bloody tired. My beautiful boy sleeps well at night but on the flip side has only two naps of 30 mins duration during the day. That’s one broken hour to myself. The first half is spent on my exercise bike, the second is eaten up by any number of things.

I have so much I want to write about. My family, friends, the mundane and the insane. At Christmas I started a post about my great Aunt, how she was Christmas personified to me. I wanted to write a post that would do the memory of her justice. Got to 5 lines before I was needed. When the recent shootings were happening in America I was sickened by some of the opinions out there. I wanted to explore how having the right to an opinion doesn’t make it the right opinion and what does. Keep an eye out, I will get around to them, maybe not until next Christmas, but I will. Sorry if the suspense is killing you.

With the crazy busy that comes with the Christmas period, let alone having to do two Christmases, and the impending doom of returning to work after a year on materntiy leave and the preparation it requires, the squeeze hold on my allotted amount of time only feels tighter.

So I’m thinking I may just have to change the name of my blog. “The 30 Minute Blog”? I do an exercise with my students where we write non stop for a specific amount of time. The rules are:
1. No stopping
2. No Thinking (thinking allows the voice of doubt to sneak in, question if it’s good enough and stop you)
3. No talking
4. No rules (you know, the silly little spelling and grammar rules that stop us writing because we’re not sure. Exception these 4 rules)

I give them, or they choose, a topic and off we go. All of us scrawling away on paper or tapping at keys for 1,2,5 minutes on some random topic. My favourite is poo. Who doesn’t have a great poo story? That will just have to be another post in the waiting me thinks. Anyway, I’m thinking my challenge is not just to blog, but blog quickly, write one copy, not over think or over edit, or even edit, just tap it out and hit share. Yeah it will be as unpolished as the aformentioned turds, but it’s the only way this is going to happen. Ah, crap, times up.

Here’s a random song you may enjoy in your spare time! For no reason other than it came on while I was writing this, it’s an old favourite and I have no other ideas for images or clips to go with this besides shiny poos. Enjoy!

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Grabbing the Christmas Horns.

Yesterday morning I packed the car and Little and drove south. Climbing the hills that look down on the city and across the river over to the dry hills of the sunkissed shore opposite and out to the islands beyond. We drove south through the valleys and eventually to a small home with bush surrounds and views of some of our countries most southern mountains. Mum and dads.

I had attempted three times in the last week to watch Love Actually with a glass of wine. I had bought material to make Christmas stockings and gotten as far as cutting some out. I had written half a post about why christmas is so special to me. I am a lover of the Christmas season, and this is my sons first, so where was my Chrissy chi? Well, a crying, teething, flu ridden baby had stamped on some of it for starters. So yesterday I took control and decided it was beyond time to feel festive and be deliriously happy, I was taking Christmas by the horns.

So it was that I drove south, to the small home with a lot of love. We played Bing Crosby Christmas carols, we made traditional Christmas goodies, we ate them. All. We talked of Christmas past and present, of the people who had made our Christmasses so wonderful who are no longer here and of many nothing in particulars. We walked around the landscaped gardens and pond, Little panted at the dog.

IMG_1303

That night, after popping the last Christmas chocolate truffle into my mouth I sewed together three stockings and hung them on the mantle piece to await Santa Clause. I guess this year I decided to start the Christmas magic myself and not sit around waiting for something magical to happen to me.

How’s your pre-Christmas going? Relaxing into holiday mode, stressing about the length of your to do list or feeling a bit like it’s just another day?

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Preparing to be underprepared.

I was told nothing prepares you for parenthood. It’s true. I knew it would change everything, but my life as I knew it is gone. I knew it would be hard but it’s so incredibly hard and unrelenting at times. I knew I would love him, I knew it would be an intense love, but this, this is a love that stems from the very core of my being, grew from within me and has spilled over into every miniscule space around us. It’s a love that fills us, our home, our lives and with every day somehow manages to grow more.

Seeing each other for the first time.

Seeing each other for the first time.

When I first saw Little, really saw him, I did the cliche breath caught in my throat. I held my breath without realising I was, my throat closed off and a swelling sensation travelled from my heart up to the back of my throat. Today when I dropped him off at his new early education centre it happened again. I knew it would be hard to leave him there. I knew I wanted to be the mum that was ok with it all, not make a fuss. As he was picked up by hands not mine and placed into a high chair to eat toast not made by me I waved, said good bye and walked out of the room. I had to tell myself to make every move. Turn around Roxanne. Walk out to the corridor Roxanne. Walk down the corridor Roxanne. Walk outside. Left. Right. Left. All the way home. Each step further away made my heart ache a little more. Caught my breath a little more. Made the back of my eyes prickle. My body physically responded to the distance between us. I knew it would be hard, I didn’t know I would react like this.

So I sit here, in a quiet house that seems to have lost it’s spark today, hoping to not hear my phone ring. I’m not quite sure what to do with myself despite an endless list of things that need doing and countless times over wishing I had time to myself to do them. I know he will be fine. I know he is in great hands that, lets face it, have a lot more experience and knowledge in this area than mine. I am proud of him for not being upset as I left. I am proud of me for not letting those tears fall and walking all the way home.

I know it will get easier and in no time at all this will be part of our routine as I prepare to return to part time work. By then something else will undoubtedly be happening that will catch my breath and make my heart swell, walking, first birthday, who knows. I am prepared to be underprepared for it all.

What do you think? Can we ever really prepare for parenthood?

Posted in Life, My Woffle, On me, Parenting stuff | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Christmas Wish List

Enid Bite ‘Em passed on the baton in Essentially Jess’s ‘What Are Your Top 5 Christmas Wishes?’, so here they are.

Oh Christmas tree oh Christmas tree, da da da daa da da da daaaaaa

Oh Christmas tree oh Christmas tree, da da da daa da da da daaaaaa

Ok Santa, here’s the deal. I’ve been asked to write my Christmas wish list. Whilst I should ask for an end to all things awful in the world I really want to be selfish and ask for what I want. So Santa, I’ve devised a list that should keep us all happy.

1. More free time with my little family to go camping, fishing, walking, swimming. Aw heck, you might as well give us a snowboarding holiday in Japan for Christmas.

2. Renovation elves. Just a few small odd jobs I would like done around the house before the Turkey is basted. Our little kitchen needs to become a bathroom, the bathroom and outdoor loundry need to become a large live in kitchen, the cemented covered outdoor area needs to become a courtyard, oh and finish off the double glazing and solar panels for us while your at it please. Thanks.

3. A full nights sleep, right through untill 7 no 8am. A week, no month, no year of it.

4. The magic pudding of chardonnay with a side of magic pudding style chippies.

5. World peace!

My plan is Santa, and it’s a good one so give it some thought, if you give everyone in the world a nice home to live in, more time with loved ones, a good nights sleep and bottomless food and drink I think we will have world peace licked.

What’s your Christmas wish list?

I’m passing the baton on to

Present Imperfection
Homemaker Mummy
Mama Marmalade

Posted in Christmas, My Woffle | Tagged , , | 4 Comments