Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 30 - A picture of someone I miss

I am one of those very lucky people (touchwood) who have only lost very few of my close friends or family.

I lost my Uncle Andy when I was about 18, but given that he lived in Mt Isa, it sometimes still feels like I could drive up there and visit him.  I know that's not the same for my cousins, but for me, it can sometimes be difficult to fathom he is actually gone.

So when I choose the person I miss, I have to say it is the person I lost next who I miss, and who I think about a lot.

This is my Nana and Grandad Skerman the night that my parents got engaged.  She is my dad's mother, Thalia, a remarkable, capable, resilient woman.

She passed away when Jordan was 13 months old.  I only wish Jordy could have known her (and of course Hayden too).  Nan was so proud of Jordan, and we have some beautiful shots of her sharing some time with her before she passed away.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 29 - A picture that can always make me smile

Brendon bought me a winch for my car.  So off we went to Scenic Rim to put the car through its paces.  Hit the playground, and promptly got wedged in the pit.  Gotta be happy to have a winch at times like these.  Always makes me smile!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 28 - A picture of something you're afraid of

Had to do a fun photo of this one.  Can't really think of too much that scares me (except for failure, which I've already blogged about).  So here's something that fills me with dread at the beach each summer.  I'd love to surf (I learned when I was much much younger), but this is what keeps me out of the water behind the swell!

So here's to you Bruce.  Hope I never get to meet you face to jaw!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 27 - A picture of myself and a family member

This is me and the man I chose to spend my life with.  I met Bren when we were teenagers. 

We've had our ups and downs.  But when push comes to shove, we got through it.  Together.

I could easily have had a photo of Brendon in my past blogs.  He's someone who inspires me (he followed his dream and started his own business).  He's someone who means a lot to me (natch!).  He's one of my insecurities (I have nightmares of him leaving me for a younger, thinner model). 

But most of all, he's my husband, my best (male) friend and the only person in the world that I am totally and utterly myself with.  And yet, he loves me in spite of all that and more.

Can't wait to grow old with you, Bren.  Love you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 26 - A picture of something that means a lot to you

I think it's been a recurring theme through many of my blogs.  I love my friends.  I have a lot and they are an amazing bunch.

Some I've known since my school days.  Some are new additions to my life.  Some I've never met except in cyberspace.  But all of them have a special place in my life.  They are there when I need them, they know just what to say (or what not to say) and they are the most beautiful, supportive bunch.

So to all my friends, know what you mean to me.  And thanks for being you.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 25 - A Picture of My Day

Here's our happy crew as we began our journey on the Mary Valley Rattler.

It was a case of third time lucky, as the last two times we've booked the trip we've been flooded out.  I think it has been 3 years in the making for us - we were always talking about booking, and when we finally did, well then the heavens would open and it was a case of maybe next time.

We had a great day discovering the countryside, visiting rural market stalls and sampling local produce.  Let's just say that my favorite station was Dagun, our final stop on our journey.  The wine and cheese sampling was delicious.  So delicious that I couldn't resist a bottle of chocolate port and a bottle of moonshine (white port), and some absolutely sublime garlic and cracked pepper cheese from Kenilworth Dairy.

We all said we would take the trip again - let's hope it's not so hard to organise next time!

Day 24 - A picture of something you wish you could change

A dear friend of mine lost her husband last year.  I wish I could change that.  I wish I could turn back time and freeze it back before his diagnosis, before all of our lives were touched with such sadness.

I know that's not possible, but I wish it anyway.  I wish I could take the hurt away and make it all better, just like it was before.  I know that's not possible too. 

Doesn't stop me wishing it every day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 23 - A picture of your favorite book

Can you say no-brainer?  Before the bagging begins, I know that they are books written for kids.  I don't care.  I love the world of Harry Potter.  I love the storylines.  I love that good always overcomes evil.  I love the twists revealed in the final book.  I love that sometimes the good guys die.  I love JK Rowling's style of writing.  Most of all, I love that these books got a whole generation of kids reading again.

My son started to read these books when he was in grade 3.  He loves them.  I love that we have had some very intense conversations about the differences between the books and the movies.  I particularly loved the day he said to me, "Mum, the books are so much better than the movies.  You get so much more information in the books.  They make a movie in my head as I read them."  Hopefully I'll convince him in future to read the books before watching the movie of books gone to film so he will develop the movies in his own head with his own cast first.

It was a sad day when I finished the series.  Today, almost 4 years since the release of the final book, I still discover people just beginning their Potter journey.  It's a magical trip into the wizarding world and so much fun to be emerged in.  Every year I pick up Philosopher's Stone and begin the journey again.  I don't know that I will ever tire of jumping onboard the Hogwart's Express and immersing myself in Harry's magical and mystical world.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 22 - A picture of something you wish you were better at

Finally a challenge where I haven't really had to think about what the answer would be.

I'd love to be able to swim better.  I know that's a nice simple one.  But for me it's damn near impossible.  I love the water.  I can play in the water for hours.  But ask me to swim laps and I've got absolutely nothing.  The moment I start off, my lungs start to scream, warning alarms go off in my head and panic sets in.

My very patient swim coach (read bestie) tried her hardest to get me into some rhythm.  She critiqued, she corrected and she cajoled, but I'm afraid until the head is right, the body just will not follow.  So I will just quietly keep plodding along, and who knows, maybe one day I'll be able to put together more than two laps at a time!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 20 - A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel

In 1999, Brendon and I travelled to the UK when he was selected to play indoor cricket at the national level.  For both of us it was a dream come true - for Bren because he was playing for Australia, and for me because I have long had a fascination with England. 

I made lists and lists of things to see, planned my itinerary to get to as many of the sights as possible and made it to just about everything.  Tower of London, Warwick Castle, Westminster Abbey, Bury St Edmunds, castles, cathedrals and all sorts of historical sights.  My only regret was not being able to fit this sight into my itinerary.

Stonehenge holds so many mysteries. I don't even begin to think I can unlock any of them.  But I long to just be amongst the monoliths, to feel the mystic power of this historic sight.  One day...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 19 - A Picture and a Letter

Today's blog is brought to you by the Letter "C"

Christmas, camping and crap what a lot of mud. 

Imbil at Christmas means catching up with mates, making new ones, getting out on the dam, 4wding, cooking and enjoying the time away from our busy lives.  Over the last few years it has also meant learning to appreciate that time even when we're sloshing around in ankle deep mud and flooded onsite unable to return home!

Imbil is also the reason this blog is so short.  I'm busy packing, ready for another fun-filled Easter up at the Deer Park.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 18 - A picture of your greatest insecurity

Is there much I can say here?  I don't like to fail.  It's why I am a little giggly when trying new things, cos if I don't know that I can achieve or do something well, I really don't know if I want to do it at all. 

What some people may not realise about me is how insecure I can be about my ability sometimes.  The old phrases of "dress for success" and "fake it til you make it" are sometimes my greatest mantras.  I can't tell you how many times I've acted like I've known I was doing until I actually did!

I don't like to let people down.  It's why I put my all into everything I do, often to the detriment of my family.  I've had to learn how to step back and enjoy my time with them rather than being that over-achieving "supermum" on every committee, rushing here and there, snapping at my kids when they want to share a special moment with me because "I'm just too busy" with everything I do.  

I found myself questioning my over commitments one day when a mum similar to me snapped constantly at her kids when they approached her on a day that we were working at the school.  Now as school mums we were there to make the day a fun day raising money for our kids' school - we were there for their benefit.  Yet we were so invested in what we were doing that it was to the disadvantage of appreciating the time spent with our kids.  Every time they came near us, we told them we were "too busy", "I don't have time for you now", "don't you know we're doing this for you"

It was a lightbulb moment.  I stepped back almost immediately.  I walked away from my commitments.  Because if I was going to be a failure in anyone's eyes, I'd much prefer it was in the eyes of my friends.  I don't want to fail my family. 

We only get so many chances to build relationships with our kids and I want mine to be quality.  I could spend hours with them (quantity) but without quality it's really just time.  So when it comes to time with my kids, failure is not an option.

Day 17 - A picture of something that has made a huge impact on me recently

So many things have happened in the world lately, that it's difficult to say what the "hugest" impact has been.

However if I had to pick one that was the most gut-wrenching, it was the devastation in Christchurch.  I know there were worse scenes in Japan, but Christchurch holds a special place in my heart.

I fell in love with the city on a trip to New Zealand in 2008.  It's a pretty, quaint and historic place and its surrounding areas are absolutely gorgeous.

This is a picture of the timeball in Lyttleton when we were there.  The kids and I spent an afternoon exploring the building and learning about the history of Lyttleton and the timeball station.

This is the timeball post-quake.  It probably won't make it through the constant tremors and there's a chance it will have to be demolished.

My heart went out to Lyttleton when I saw this photo.  Initially we went exploring in this little village to find shooting locations from the Michael J Fox movie "The Frighteners" but the more I saw, the more I loved this place.

I have to go back to Lyttleton someday.  I need to know that they survived and rebuilt.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 16 - A picture of someone who inspires you

Someone who inspires me, someone who inspires me, someone who inspires me.  Hmmm, someone who inspires me.  Many people inspire me. 

Recently I watched an amazing bloke on Adam Hills in Gordon Street Tonight.  His name is Nick Vujicic.

Nick was born without limbs.  You could easily think "poor bloke" and write him off.  Thank goodness his parents didn't.  Thank goodness he didn't listen to those who told him he'd never be able to have a normal life.

I'm currently reading his book - "Life Without Limits".  Let me tell you, this man has done more, travelled further and achieved things that most of us could only dream off. 

I don't want to go into heaps of details - you really have to listen to the man to understand what it is that makes him so inspirational.  Check out the link to the video of his interview.  He's a champion.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 15 - A picture of something you want to do before you die

Those of you who know me, know my penchant for a certain colourful, Australian stone.

I think part of my love of the outback is the fact that that is where you find this colourful stone.  So before I die, I would love to stake a claim in the opal fields (or close enough to them) to spend some time seeking my fortune. 

My dream is a tree change not a sea change - pack up and live in Richmond (about a 3 hour drive from Opalton opal fields).  Manage the local pool and fossick for dinosaur fossils in my lunch break.  I've got it all planned out.  Now I just need to convince Brendon to join me!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 21 - A picture of something you wish you could forget

There are a lot of things that I would like to be able to forget.  But so many of those things we'd like to repress deep in the psyche are actually things that have shaped us and made us the people we are today, so I often wonder if I had the ability to forget, how would I change as a person not learning from one of those experiences.

So the thing I'd like to forget is much simpler.  Why forget this?  Cos I felt so totally embarrassed for the poor bloke.  I mean, ok so you like the girl and she likes you, but couch jumping Tom?  Really?

It was wrong on so many levels.  Worst of all, it felt staged.  I really don't like the man.  And this moment did nothing to dispell that feeling.  So if I could just forget the moment ever happened, I don't think this would change my life in any way.  Repress, repress, repress!

Day 14 - a picture of someone you could never imagine your life without

There are many people I could use for this day's contribution.  My hubby who I've spent more than half my life with.  My children whom I love more than life itself.  My many friends and family members who inspire me in so many ways, bring out the best of me, accept the worst of me.

But the one constant, and the one person I miss the most when he's off exploring the world is my dad.

I can't imagine what life would be like without him at least being a phone call away.

Dad has done so much for us over the years - from being a source of income when we were a little short to providing a back yard to lob a caravan into so we could save for a house, various handyman jobs and renovations around our house, babysitting, rescuing, the list goes on...

Most of all, my dad is my hero.  He has worked hard his whole life.  He bought his own printing company when the company he was working for when into receivership.  He worked long hours for little holiday time for a long time.  Now, in retirement, he is enjoying the fruits of his labours - with long trips exploring Australia and branching into his international interests - Canada, Africa, Egypt and soon Europe.

I feel lucky that I still have my dad in my life.  I really can't imagine life without him.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 13 - A photo of my favorite band or artist

If you know me, you know I love my music.  It's my re-energising force, creates a barrier from the real world and can just make a bad day so much better.

I have so many bands and artists that I love, but looking back over the years, there has been one constant the whole way through my life musically.  I fell in love with his music in my early teens and have followed him along his long and sometimes controversial career ever since. 

He is an entertainer.  He can dance like no other.  And the day he died, I knew how Don McLean felt when he wrote "American Pie", cos to me, the music died. 

Say what you like about him, I don't care.  I love his music.  Thriller was the first album I saved up and bought out of my own money.  I stayed up until midnight on Fridays to watch the uncut version of the film clip.  In my mind I can still see Richard Wilkins sitting on his sofa, warning of the content and advising parental guidance.  I remember the thrill of watching Mickey J dance.  And I loved it.  I wore sequined gloves, and wanted a red leather jacket complete with zippers.  His posters were all over my walls.  I copied his dance moves (or at least tried).  I joined his fan club and wrote him fan mail.  Corny I know, but that's what 13 year old girls did in those days.

He was troubled, there is no doubt about that.  His life was a circus, there is no doubt about that either.  But the man could write music, he could choreograph the most amazing dance moves, and his film clips still leave me absolutely breathless. 

I loved many bands and artists in my teens.  I was going to marry many of them.  Most people haven't even heard the music of most of them - they were a passing craze (like I hope Justin Bieber will be!!!!)  The beauty of MJ is that his music will live forever.  My kids love his music (thanks to a very talented music and dance teacher who shares my passion for his music).  They strive to emulate his dance moves.  And while the man may be gone, his music will live on.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 12 - A photo of something I love

Every September, I pack up my family for the school holidays and head to the red dirt.  I don't know if others feel the same way, but it calls to me.  I love our annual trips into the outback, it rejuvenates me, soothes my soul, replenishes my reserves.

So here's my photo for the day.  Something I love...

The Outback

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 11 - A photo of something I hate

I can't show a picture of what I hate - it doesn't have a face, it's not something that's easy to illustrate.  But it is something that is insidious in our culture and there are times when I am deeply ashamed to hear people I know and respect (at least until that point) make highly inappropriate comments.

I am referring to racism.

This is Nicky Winmar.  He's pictured showing the colour of his skin after being racially vilified during an Aussie Rules game in 1993.  AFL has come a long way since those days.  There are strict rules against racism and racial vilification in the code.  There is a strong indigenous players program to develop indigenous people in our game.  There is zero tolerance to racism - be it black to white, white to black and all of the colours of the spectrum in between.

I hate racism.  It is cowardly.  It is misguided. And it is usually the result of gross ignorance by those applying it.  It results from general stereotyping of a person based on a perceived difference from others.  And it's wrong.

I first spoke out about racism in high school.  We were learning about apartheid in South Africa.  I was appalled.  I joined a public speaking forum and entered competitions to get my voice heard.  I began to research and realised the problem wasn't just abroad.  It was right on our doorstep. 

I studied indigenous studies at Uni.  I began to appreciate other cultures more.  I appreciated their differences.  I had heated debates with friends who were happy to be likened to Hitler in their belief in the great, white way.  Who believe white is right and anything else is an inferior choice.  (Needless to say, our friendships did not survive these debates).

And then I got lazy.  Friends would make comments that would normally lead me to put them firmly in their place and correct them on their words.  I would look away.  Or walk away.

Where was the passionate woman who would have spoken out?

She was overwhelmed.  The world is a harsh place.  Not only do we judge on cultural background, but also religion, sexual preference, age, gender - we find reasons to hate across the board.

And at the risk of upsetting a lot of people, let's face it, Australians are great at hate.  We love passionately and hate even more so.  A certain red-headed politician came on the scene and spouted her ideal on putting people in their right place, cutting welfare, cutting immigration, whitening Australia with her innuendo.  Australia lapped it up.  They voted for her.  I was so ashamed of my country that day.

But then my kids helped me see the way again.  I remember Jordan coming home from school and talking to me about a boy in her class.  I didn't know the boy she was talking about, and asked her to describe him.  She said he had brown hair and eyes.  I still couldn't pick him.  The next time we went to school she pointed him out.  He was indigenous.  I told her if she'd told me he had brown skin, I would have know who it was.  She looked at him, looked at me, looked at him again and said, "but I didn't even realise he was different."

That moment gave me heart.  Children don't see in colour.  When it comes to skin they are colour blind and it is what they learn from their nurturers that shapes the people they will become.

So while I may not be able to make wholesale change to the world, I know I can change the world one person at a time thanks to my very beautiful, colour-blind children.  My kids give me hope that the world can be a better place.  Cos in the words of one of my favorite performers - "It don't matter if you're black or white..."

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 10 - A picture of the person I do the most ****ed up things with

I've got nothing!  Seriously, if you know me at all, you'd know how terribly straight-laced I am.  I'm not a risk-taker.  Ok, I get rowdy with my friends, but I'm not the one who does stupid things.  I don't like to make a dick out of myself.  Let's put it even more simply - I don't like to fail.

But when I think of the one friend who I don't mind being silly with, who I don't mind seeing some of my big failures, who has seen me at my absolute best and absolute worst (read shit-faced), here she is...

The gorgeous Tracey Towers.  We went to school together.  We knew each other, but weren't friends.  She was cool, I wasn't (although she will argue she wasn't in the popular group, but I bet she didn't count teachers in her friends list at school!)

We didn't see each other again until our kids went to pre-school together.  I didn't think she'd remember me, but she did. 

Tracey introduced us to camping.  I owe her big time for that, cos it's my favorite waste of time.  She introduced us to her husband Howie.  Our blokes hit it off (sometimes a little too well). 

We catch up only a few times a year (although more often now that Hayden is playing soccer), but those weeks at Christmas and Easter are fantastic.  We catch up on the goss, fall into easy conversation like we only saw each other yesterday, eat and drink ourselves stupid and most of all, we just have fun.  We are the karoake queens of Borumba Deer Park, we book the Rattler trip every year only to have it flooded three years running!

Tracey is one of the only people I am truly comfortable being myself with.  I can fail in front of Tracey.  She'll tell you how many times I've tried to ski and fallen.  How many total wipeouts from the tube I've had, how crap I am at backing a trailer.  And yet I don't mind.

Because by god we have fun.  I have never met a more generous, friendly, inclusive couple.  With the Towers' I feel like we're family.  But unlike family, we got to choose these guys.  And I am eternally glad that they chose us too!

Best of all, it's almost Easter, so I'm counting down the sleeps 'til our next Imbil adventure.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 9 - A picture of the person who's gotten you through the most

This one made me think a bit.  I could put a picture of my folks, my sister, my husband, but really, when I sit down and really think about it, there is only one person who I really rely on and trust implicitly...

This made me a little sad to think that I genuinely find I'm the one to get me through the good and the bad times of my life.  But on reflection, I'm also proud of the toughness, resilience, flexibility and positivity that I bring to my own life.  Yep, I have my lows, yes, I sometimes struggle with my capability, self-belief and negative thoughts, but ultimately, I muddle through, I'm stronger as a result and I just keep on keeping on.

I love my own company, I'm comfortable in my own skin and I like the person I am most of the time.  And when I find I don't like the person I am, I make a genuine effort to change.

I have found however, that as I grow older, I am learning to lean on my friends, to trust in them and allow myself to build friendships that I have not allowed before.  In fact, some of my closest (and dearest) friends are the ones I've only known for a short time.  They know who they are.  They know what they mean to me (or at least I hope they do - lord knows I tell them often enough when we've had a few drinks).

So ladies - tonight I raise my glass to you all.  Salut!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 8 - A photo that makes me laugh

Did not even have to think about this one either.  No matter what my mood, reminiscing over this shot each time I look at it puts a smile on my dial!

We spent a great day at Landcruiser Park with the Coles family.  We'd put our cars through their paces on some great tracks, crossed some water courses and decided to hit the Pig Pen, a cool play area with activities carved into the land.

I managed to get my car stuck on the series of hills, which of course meant being dragged off via snatch strap by Craig.  Never a good thing when a Prado has to rescue a Patrol. 

It wasn't long though until the Patrol was paying back the favour.  I'd egged Craig into trying the water trap, and after only a few strains of "Go on, do it, do it, do it", he jumped into his car.  "Are you gonna walk it first" "Nah, it'll be alright".  Into the water the Prado goes - big bow wave pushing out in front.

However when the bow wave hit the end of the pit and bounced back, we knew there was going to be trouble!  The water raced over the bonnet of the car and into the open windows of the car.   I still break into a fit of giggles remembering Craig frantically trying to scoop water out of the window as it rushed in! 

To the roar of "Get the snatch, get us out", I jumped into the hip deep water and attached the snatch to the tow ball.  Bren hit the throttle and I had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit by a waterlogged Prado.

When the car was finally out of the water, Craig opened the doors to let the water out.  Think about one of those cartoons when water pours out the doors - all that was missing was a fish flopping around on the ground at the end.

Thankfully the day ended well.  After a spot of lunch (and a bit of time for the car to dry out), the car kicked over and we were on our way back through the park. 

Hands down funniest moment after that - as we went to cross our next creek (about 5 cm deep), Craig got out of the car with a sheepish grin on his face, walked the creek and advised that it was safe to cross.

Great day, great friends, great memories.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 7 - A photo of my most treasured item

Easy, easy, easy, easy - my most treasured item is...

My family is my most treasured item.  My beautiful girl, gorgeous boy and spunky hubby mean the world to me.  I know that without anything else in the world, with no earthly possessions, I would still have everything as long as I had them.

I've been with Brendon since I was 18, got married at 22 and here we are 18 years later still going strong.  Yep, we've had our ups and downs but he's still the one! 

Jordan is 13 this year and the light of my life and bane of my existence all rolled into one.  Sometimes I look at her and realise I am in for a world of pain watching her grow up, trying to keep her on the reasonably straight and narrow.  A dear friend, we'll call him D, once told me when Jordan was 10, that I was in trouble in the next few years.  He wasn't wrong.  She is gorgeous, intelligent, curvy and has legs that go up to her shoulders.  Thankfully she is also well-grounded, confident and has a good group of friends around her.

Hayden is 10.  He is precocious, far too intelligent and loves his sport.  At the moment it's soccer, but he also loves to watch Aussie Rules, Cricket and anything else that involves Saturday afternoons with Dad in front of the tv.  Thankfully he hasn't grown out of a love of cuddles, and will often plant himself in my lap for a chat and a big squeeze for his mum.

My family is my life. But there is still time for just me.  There has to be.  That's what keeps me balanced and let's me enjoy the time I do spend with them!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 6 - A photo of a person I'd love to trade places with for a day

See the girl in the front row with the plaits and the bum part.  That's me.  I'm 13 years old in this shot.  I'd like to trade places with 13 year old me for just one day. 

I'd like the opportunity to tell me about myself in the future.  I don't want to spoil the story for past me, but I'd at least like the chance to talk to me about looking after myself.  Surely just looking at what I will become would be enough to make young me think twice about the food that I put in my mouth or the lack of exercise I would do when I'm in my late teens.

I've battled weight problems since I was 18.  Before that I was stick thin, could eat anything I liked and never worry about the consequences.  I trained regularly for athletics and was constantly active - I had to be, cos I walked everywhere. 

In the 12 months from graduating high school I ballooned to twice my weight and I have worked my butt off trying to get my weight under control ever since.

That's all I want to talk to me about.  I don't want to tell me about the boyfriend who would break my heart or the wonderful man I would marry, the day my grandma passed away or the heartbreak of miscarrying a child.  They are all experiences who have shaped the person I have become.  I like that person.

I just want to tell me to look after me.  To care more about myself.  To put me first.  To give myself every opportunity to live a long and healthy life.

Oh, and I might just tell me to get a fringe and lose the bum part!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 5 - My favorite memory

Ok, so many memories, and favorites for so many different reasons.

I could post my wedding photo, first pics taken with my beautiful new born children, my school days, my birthdays, my holidays - the list goes on and on and on and on... (sorry, got hijacked by Glee for a second and almost broke into Don't Stop Believing by Journey!)

But if I have to pick a moment without making either of my kids think they're my favorite, and a moment that made me absolutely the proudest and happiest I have ever been, well here it is...

This is the moment the siren sounded at the end of the 2001 AFL Grand Final.  Alistair Lynch is the man with the ball.

My dad, uncle, brother-in-law, son and I had driven down to Melbourne for the game.  It was the year Ansett collapsed, so we had a great road trip down the Newell Highway discovering the small towns of NSW and Victoria along the way. 

I remember being so happy just to be at the G for a grand final.  The fact that my team was one of the teams playing was an added bonus.  We were never meant to win.  We may have earned our place in the final, but Essendon were the power team, and they were easily the favorites in the lead up to the game.  Fortunately for us, no one told Brisbane that.  It was a great game, and we met some really interesting folk along the way. 

Every Essendon fan wanted to chip us - either for the fact that we had merged with Fitzroy and jumped on the band wagon when we began to win, or for the fact that our fabulous full forward (Lynchy) was a drug cheat who had gotten away with taking a banned substance (Lynchy had CFS and one of his medications turned out to be a problem with the AFL).  Amazing how hitting the lead and staying there silenced so many of them that day.

Winning was incomprehensible, but win we did.  It was the best feeling.  I'd been there through the worst - wooden spooners, bad news Bears, the merger - so to be there at their best was the most amazing reward for loyalty to my club.

This was the first of a four year tradition for the last weekend in September for my dad and I.  The first three years were great - we won.  The last year would easily fit into my worst memory ever top ten!  Longest drive home from Melbourne ever!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 4 - A Photo of My Night

Ok, so for those of you who follow the moon, you'd know that this photo is so not what the moon looks like tonight.  I took this one one night while out camping. 

For those of you who know me well, you would know how much I love to just gaze up at the night sky.  Maybe that's why I love camping so much - there's just so much more to see.  I've even been known to take my telescope away with me to get an even better view of the heavens.  I'll certainly be packing my star chart on my cycling trip in September too.

There aren't many nights that go by that I don't at least head out the front door and seek out "Lunar" in the night sky.  I'm not bad at picking out a few constellations as well!  This morning she was in final crescent and just peeking out from behind a dark cloud cover.  As I caught a glimpse of her, it left me just a little breathless.

So call me what you will, for me the most comforting thing about finding a known star cluster, or staring up at the moon is knowing that even if I'm away from home, there is still something familiar sharing my night with me.

And if you're separated from those you love, it's great to know they might just be looking up at the moon at the same time and thinking about me!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 3 - A photo of the cast of my fave tv show

Hmmm - this one was certainly something of a challenge.  To make a long story short, I love, love, love television.  I have a lot of shows that I really love - How I Met Your Mother, Friends, Glee (definitely number two on my list), Mythbusters, Man vs Wild, Two and a Half Men, The Simpsons, Eli Stone, Dollhouse, Tru Calling, Make it or Break it - and that's without even having to think!

But my number one, all time favorite show -

Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Hands down, fave show of all time.  Why?  Love a bit of the supernatural, love the storylines.  She's the original human who fell in love with a vampire.  They stick close to folklore (no frickin' sparkling in Buffy), and most of all, who can argue with a strong, powerful, in control woman!  Love the role modelling of the show, love the love story (we all know Buffy and Angel are the real deal, no matter how many Spike and Cordelia storylines you throw in Jos).  

I have all 7 seasons on DVD and watch them regularly.  Each season has it's own appeal.  New characters join, old characters leave, but the one theme throughout it all is that good will prevail.  You can't beat that can you?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 2 - Me and the person I've been closest to longest

This was a simple one for me.

Most of my friends have heard me use the term "Big cats are never meant to share the same cage" and they'll know exactly who I'm referring to.

My sister and I have had our ups and downs.  Living in the same house we got on each others' nerves, fought constantly and were always competing to see who was best (me academically, her athletically!) But once one of us moved out, it was almost like our relationship changed overnight.

My sister is my biggest supporter, she is guaranteed to never sugarcoat anything when talking to me and she has an uncanny knack of knowing what I'm thinking at times and says just the right thing to make it right. 

I love that we are so comfy as sisters now that when we go camping together and she has had enough of me (usually about day 3), she will look me dead in the eye and tell me "I'm going for a drive into town, you're not invited" and I can take that without even a second thought.  If that was any one of my friends, I would be heartbroken, but with my little sis, I know it's just her way of saying she's over my crap and needs to recharge.  Better that than her whacking me over the head with my own arm!  And so far, she has always come back!!!!

I love that we can fight to the death over something, yet if someone says a single negative thing about either of us, we'll round on them as one, united.  Ask Brendon.  He knows! 

And I love that no matter how little we see of each other (and there seems to be less and less time as our lives get busier and busier), we can still fall into comfortable conversation, have a good old laugh, be catty and bitchy about our lives and just be sisters.

So here's of pic of me and my Sis - we're not the kind of family who say this to each other in person, so here goes - love you Shaz!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 1 - 10 Facts about me

  1. I have a tattoo of a multi-coloured heart on my right shoulder with my kids' and husband's name woven into it.  I've only had it a few months, but it feels like I've had it forever.  I'm planning my next one now.
  2. I recently got a brand new Merida bike for my 40th birthday.  I haven't told my dad how much it cost!
  3. I love the Outback and the red dirt calls to me in September each year
  4. I have a younger sister and brother
  5. My fave tv shows include Friends and Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  6. I have a secret (not so much now!) addiction to Pocket Frogs
  7. The photo is me at my first Mardi Gras last year in Sydney
  8. I love musicals - think Grease, Wicked, Dirty Dancing, Centre Stage, High School Musical!
  9. My car is nicknamed Big Red.  I talk to her like she's a real person.  She doesn't talk back
  10. I have been with my husband since I was 18 - which is now well over half my life.  My heart still skips a beat when I catch a glimpse of him across a crowded room.  Funnily enough I found myself perving on a jogger the other day while out riding.  It was Brendon!