Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I knew it!

Is your cat plotting to kill you?


Saturday, November 08, 2008

He thinks he's getting away with it...

...but he's not sure. I'm not ranting, or even mentioning how his behaviour has impacted us. In the corner of his mind, warning flags are flying: "...when she doesn't say something, look out!".

There's two reasons for my silence.

Losing my temper is wasted energy anyway. He takes no notice regardless, and it simply gives him an excuse to cut off any discussions at all. I am biding my time. In two months, we will have been separated for 12 months. In 2 months, I will be seeking a divorce. I will be formalising the arrangements surrounding the wee man. The court will hear the situation, and we will have to do a mediation session, and he will hear from people, other than me, how his behaviour affects his son.

Probably won't make a blind bit of difference.

Oh, and the other reason?

Because the rest of the time, when he's not around, I am happy. Since I know from long experience that much of his behaviour is just trying to pull me down to his level, I need him to see me how I am now...happy.

Friday, November 07, 2008


Well, I won't be winning any of those fabulous prizes at NabloPoMo. I completely forgot about posting yesterday - you know they say it takes 21 days to make (or renew) a habit, and I'm obviously not there yet.

I'm home alone tonight, my glands are swollen and I ache in every part of my body - guess where I'm going?!

Normal blogging service may resume soon....Here's something to look at in the meantime:

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Barmy for Obama

(Can I just lead this off by saying I think he's a bit hot, actually? I mean, it's not just the new-Leader-of-the Free-World thing...usually that kind of power doesn't do it for me. No, it's his mouth, and his eyes...very warm, sensuous, intelligent, that quirk of humour...lucky Michelle, I say!)

Well, whatever he's got, America and most of the rest of the world want to see more of it! Hurray!

There is going to be a whole lot of serious and measured political commentary (and a whole lot of drivel, too)in blogs worldwide on the rights and wrongs of America's choice tonight, and I have nothing to add to that.

I can only talk about what I see, which is a man of courage and quiet dignity, who has given me a sense that he is capable of initiating that change he has been talking about. I would have voted for him, if I were American, and I think I would have been pretty vocal in my belief that he was the right man for the job in the lead-up to this election.

The change that he represents, as the new leader of one of the world's major powers, is startling, and refreshing, and an occasion for great hope.

Can we hope, as the world faces a huge economic crisis, climate change spirals out of control, families struggle to meet basic needs and retain a roof over their heads, and war zones simmer with discontent?

YES, we can!

(This fantastic mosaic image is called Hope Over Fear, by tsevis, and is available under Creative Commons license from Flickr. Check out some of his other works, too.)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

So where was I when I wasn't here...?

Truth to tell, it was real life that mostly got in the way. With the lead-up to the election (no, not THAT local government election), plus the other things I like to involve myself in, plus everyday life with the wee man, I would flop gratefully on the couch at the end of the day, happy for some mindless TV or a little Sudoku...anything that allowed 90% of my brain to drift.

(And, it must be said, I found dial-up so intensely annoying and resented the huge amount of time spent waiting for pages to load that I often found it a real dis-incentive to turning on the computer to read or write blogs.)

However, there was another distraction, another seductive little time-waster, which won a lot of my on-line attention for a while...and it's all my family's fault!

That's right - if I hadn't gone to my aunt's wonderful wedding back in July, and had such a fantastic time catching up with my cousins etc (plus the new members of the family we inherited through the wedding), I wouldn't have made all those rash promises about catching up through Facebook!

Yes - I'm a bit of a late-comer, I know. I had a very minimalist presence on Facebook previously - just a bare-bones profile, as it was a place I used to stay in touch with one girlfriend who lived in England. Then my brothers found me there, and kept sending me all these silly applications (which piled up, 'cos I had no idea I could just hit 'Ignore'). I'd contemplated wiping my profile, sure I had far better things to do with my time...and then I went to the wedding, and suddenly discovered the real strength of Facebook, when it comes to keeping in touch with people you love.

All of a sudden, my family and I (and then my network in general, as I expanded to include many of my playgroup and preschool circle) were able to exchange photos with all with one click of a button, share happenings, children's triumphs, illnesses and worries almost immediately. Indeed, we often tune into the nuances in one another's status report, sharing a sense of supportedness and involvement that the sporadic phone calls and emails we previously exchanged couldn't come near to.

As any regular readers of my blog will know, I am a big advocate for community, and through Facebook, I found another level of community which transcended time and distance and, since it involved family, became very special. Things have quietened down from the first heady flush of connectivity, but Facebook is now a valuable tool in my daily routine, and I use it regularly to weave tighter the threads of family and friendship.

PS. Guess what was one of the first things I did when I moved into this house? Yep! Got me some of that broadband PDQ!!!

PPS. Guess who was the cutest of a very cute bunch of under-age wedding attendants at my aunt's wedding?

Monday, November 03, 2008

I knew it wouldn't be easy.

(No, I'm not already freaking out about NaBloPoMo, though goodness knows I've come into it a lot less prepared than '07. This time last year, I had some lists of possible blog topics and hot links in case the muse ran out on me. This time, I'm running blind...)

I meant the challenge that I faced, to negotiate the minefield that is co-parenting. Given all that I knew about the wee man's Dad, it was never going to be a cake-walk...

I had written much more on this subject, and was prepared to post it, when I reflected on something I remember another blogger saying once; about how she was conscious of the future when her kids, curious about what their old Ma got up to in her younger days, grew old and unwise enough to follow their mother's cyber trail on the Web and read all the embarrassing and intimate details of their babyhood and early childhood on her blog.

So, baby, for your sake I'm not going to tell everybody in detail how absolutely sucky I think your Dad is right now, how deeply sad I am at his selfishness in not recognising how his actions are affecting you, about why I am so profoundly disappointed that a person who I once invested all my love and trust and faith in can't even manage to rise above his shortcomings for your sake.

I'm sorry, sweetheart. Without him you wouldn't exist, and I know you love him deeply, but I'm sorry for the world of hurt and disappointment I've let you in for by choosing him to be your father. I hope he manages to be half the man I think he is capable of being, to do the very best he can by you, because right now I don't think his efforts amount to a fart in a snowstorm.

(I'm writing this when you are've never experienced a snowstorm, but you'll laugh your head off at any sentence that contains the word "fart". You probably still do.)

I love to hear you laugh. Right now, your eyes contain a woundedness I never wanted to see - it's not just me noticing it, but it is up to me to do everything I can to make things better for you. I can only count on myself in this.

You're resilient and smart and sensitive, but far too young to be able to understand the nuances of your father's behaviour. I see you blaming yourself for all the stuff you don't understand, thinking that there is something wrong in you, and that is the only mistake you are perfect, baby. You are a four-and-a-half year old mind in the body of a four-and-a-half year old boy; your father has the mind of a four-and-a-half year old boy in the body of a man.

My most fervent wish is that I can help you grow and integrate all these experiences and feelings in such a way that you don't become another wounded child walking around in the body of an adult. There are far too many of them (and I probably wouldn't entirely exclude myself from that category). As I type this tonight, I pray that you might be able to tell me, one day, that I got my wish...

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Hallowe'en In Australia

An interesting post by Planning Queen over at Aussie Bloggers (Halloween In Australia) followed on from some conversations I've had this weekend with other parents post-Hallowe'en. Some of us felt a bit bewildered about the sudden development of this "tradition" in our village, and wondered if it was just a little too much Americanisation, or if there was some value in it for our kids. Here's my comment in response:

"It’s been a hot topic in my rural village this weekend, ‘cos somehow quite a few of us found ourselves roaming the streets behind our “candy”-seeking offspring… There is no doubt that they are strongly influenced in this by American culture…even my wee man, who watches very little commercial TV (and who had no idea, when we set out, that “candy” is the same as “lollies”.).

The conclusion that I reached, and most I spoke to agreed, is that I like the aspects of imagination and community contained in the celebration. The kids enjoyed planning their costumes, and getting dressed up to go outside on public display, and then we all trouped around knocking on doors and chatting and laughing and connecting with our neighbours. Some of the locals really get into the spirit of the occasion, and we got a tour of a fairy garden by the Wicked Witch of the West at one home…!? She was scary and hilarious at the same time, and my little man loved it.

So we started talking about ways to make it better for the kids next year, get those that want to more involved, and those that don’t can clearly opt out. Maybe a kid’s party or concert at the end of the trick or treating, too…an opportunity to dance off some of that sugar, and once again connect as a community.

But I also draw the line at Thanksgiving…"

For those of us with children, ignoring Hallowe'en and hoping it will go away because it is "too American" and not "part of our cultural traditions" is perhaps too short-sighted a response.

Like it or not, by exposure to the global village through TV and Internet, our kids pick up all kinds of strange ideas which appeal to them (fighting ninjas, snow at Christmas, time-travelling dinosaurs). How real and relevant they are to the children is really down to us and how we handle them, but the appeal of these ideas is not going to evaporate just because we say so.

By embracing all that is best about a celebration like Hallowe'en - the opportunity to celebrate imagination and community - we have the opportunity to make them relevant to us, to Australianise them (if you must) by building on the values of fun and friendship and playfulness (the Aussie larrikin), and to underline the multiculturism of our modern Australian society.

As parents, we can be involved in making the event a fun and safe activity for kids, without the descent into hooliganism and ugly satire that seems to play a part in the American tradition these days.

For next year in my village, we talked about using the village store as a distribution centre for some simple signage for those who wish to say Yes (or No) to Hallowe'en. It will ensure that parents and children feel comfortable about approaching houses, and will enable parents with younger children to plan a smaller trek to known "trick or treating houses". We also like the idea of finishing with a party or dance at a central location (perhaps the school or preschool) - with a little cooperative effort from all an event can be easily organised, and provides another opportunity for us to join as a community (and gives the grown-ups an excuse to get dressed up, too...).

What do you think?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

...And all of a sudden it hit me...

...just like that, I realised that it is November 1st, and one of the highlights of my year last year (okay, so I was leading a fairly unexciting life at the time...*chuckle*) was NaBloPoMo, and I am!

For the unitiatated, NaBloPoMo is here:

Since I can barely manage to string together a blog post a month at the moment, I am rolling my eyes at my own lunacy..but hey! I'm always up for a challenge.

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