Pants on a Platform

This morning I got dressed for work, only to find my dress a bit tight.

I just looked a bit lumpy.  You know what I mean, it looks like your fat is making a break for it.  Now I own a slip that I’ve never worn before, in fact I’ve never worn a slip ever, so I took my dress off and popped the slip on.

Things were good.  The slip is tight, flesh coloured and hardly pretty.  But it contained the excess me, like a hard-working sausage casing, so I threw the dress over the top and left the house.

My dress was looking better.  Smoother.  All was well.  I felt pretty sophisticated wearing a slip, I have to say, like I’d joined a secret club.  I exchanged knowing glances with other women my age, although with hindsight I was just staring at strangers with my mouth open.

Walking to the station, something wasn’t right. My slip, possibly because it was on the tight side of small, was wriggling skywards.  I reached under my dress, exposing more thigh than I’d have liked, to yank it down.  But where was it?  It had disappeared.   I started to doubt myself.  Did I even put the slip on?  Am I still asleep?  Oh shit, that’d be bad.  What if I turn into one of those sleepwalkers who rack up huge credit card bills from unknowingly internet shopping?

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Anyway, I kept walking, feeling less sophisticated.  I could now feel that my slip had risen right up to my chest.  It was all bunchy.

I pulled my dress up, thinking I’d quickly find my slip and yank it down.  It took ages, seriously, and I realised with horror that in my haste I’d hoisted my dress waaaaaaay too high.  It was higher than my pants.  And they weren’t nice pants either, they were tiny (not in a good way), flesh coloured and nearly worn right through on account of them being made when I was in my twenties.  How the hell did I do that??  Shit.

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Did I mention it was peak hour and there were people everywhere?  OK so it’s the North Shore of Sydney so hardly a huge crowd, but still, it feels like a crowd when your dodgy pants and cellulite are on show.  Shit again.

People, bless em, were turning away out of politeness.  School kids were laughing. I desperately tried to bring all my clothes back to where they belonged.  But I kid you not, my hands, which are normally pretty adept at, you know, grabbing things, just could not make contact with my clothes.  I didn’t know rising panic turned your fingers into pencils.  I threw my bag on the ground, its contents spilling everywhere.  Normally people help by picking things up, but remember they were all trying to pretend not to see me.  Except for the schoolkids who wouldn’t help you anyway.

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Very aware that my revealing, threadbare pants and my gut were on full show to a train station of people, a miracle happened.  All that mad scrambling meant I soon (but not soon enough) managed to pull both the slip and the dress right down.  Yay!!  I could go back to feeling sophisticated – I had dark sunglasses and everything!

I started hurrying to the other end of the platform, where I could start afresh with a new crowd of commuters.

I took a few steps and tripped over absolutely fucking nothing, straight onto a really short person with alarming hair who broke my fall.  “Oh no!  That woman I was pretending not to laugh at, the one with a penchant for public nudity and old pants, just lurched onto my alarming hair.”

monkey 3Anyway, I eventually caught my train.  I closed my eyes for what was meant to be a few minutes, and when I opened them, I’d missed my station by three stops.

Was your morning better than mine?  Comment below!

Lessons from a 20 Year School Reunion

Last night we had our 20 year school reunion.

And I loved every minute.

I know a blog post with bitching and drama would make better reading.  I know a “how I dropped 3 dress sizes to look hot for my reunion” would get more clicks.  If you’re expecting a “I finally got to show THEM” moment from me then I’m sure to disappoint.

I was a boarder for 7 years at a girls school.  The other boarders in my year felt like family, you had a ready-made group that you were always a part of.  We were all different but we came together and it just worked.  Sure there were times when you felt on the outer, and one of the joys of adulthood is the realisation that everyone else felt that at some stage too.  Too bad that never occurred to you at the time.

Last night 50 girls from our year came together and we had a ball;  I can’t stop thinking about it today.  No-one has changed, it really struck me that people had grown into stronger versions of themselves.  So the outrageous girls are now even more outrageous women,  the serene girls are the very epitome of calm,  the glam girls have taken glam to new heights and I’m sure the smart girls are super clever women but I really didn’t get to test that one out (“Quick!  Define pi!”).  Everyone was just fantastic to talk to.   And can I just say that looking around the room, we scrubbed up pretty well too.

I didn’t notice any obsession with what people are doing with their lives.  We’re at different stages, each doing our thing and hopefully doing it happily.  I didn’t hear any hurried justifications, you know the kind, the “I’m-a-SAHM-but-I’ll-use-my-law-degree-soon” sort of thing.  Everyone I spoke to seemed content, happy and confident with what they are doing and genuinely happy for everyone else too.  Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m reading too much into it but I’m really thinking there is something pretty bloody awesome about being in your late 30s.  You’ve got it sorted, your shit is together and it really doesn’t matter what others think of you.

Whether you’ve got kids or not, single or settled, working, at home, in the city, in the country, shaking things up or plodding along… either way, that’s what you’re doing.  Hopefully you enjoy it.  And when someone asks, you tell them with no care what they’ll think.  And the best bit, the absolutely most amazing part, is that that person you are talking to gets it.  They can see you’re happy and they are genuinely happy for you.  And I just love it.

So to the class of 1994, and to women in our late 30s everywhere – you are awesome.  Excuse my language but you fucking rock.  Keep on keeping on, do it proudly and be happy for each other.  You deserve it.

So here is a group shot, not the sharpest but you get the idea.  I’m in front in the red dress.  If I look like I have a carrot up my arse, it’s because I decided against the Nancy Ganz pants and I’m trying to suck in so my stomach isn’t front and centre of the photo.  I know I’ve just implied such things are trivial in your late 30s, but still, a semi-flattering photo is still a woman’s prerogative.  Too bad it doesn’t always work out.

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I hope you love(d) your school reunion too!

The 5 Day Juice Diet & Me

It seems that everyone at work has done some kind of detox.  There’s the group cleanse where hopefully you don’t have to hear about other people’s “eliminations”, juice diets of varying degrees and so on.

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One workmate was telling me about this a-maaaaaaaz-ing five day juice fasting detox she did.  “I’ve never taken drugs in my life,” she trilled, “but Day 3 of my detox was so amazing, I know what they must feel like!”

Helen explained that she was planning on doing another one, and that she had extra supplements left over from the last time she did it.  She offered them to me.  So I did the obvious thing –   I hastily agreed to do this with her, without giving any thought to what I was actually getting myself into.

She kindly gave me all the supplements, with labels like “Shine!” and “Cleanse!”

She handed me a list of recipes and instructions for the week.  I thanked her, read through it, and in what can only be described as the most blatant case of unawareness I have ever experienced, I was looking forward to it.  I gushed to my husband about how healthy I was about to become.  He rolled his eyes and said something about me being a bitch when I’m hungry (in my defence, I’m rarely hungry thanks to pre-emptive eating).

I wrote out my shopping list and my husband, what a gem, offered to do the shopping for me.  He probably just wanted a break.  Sure he missed a few things off the list (“Did you get my cacao nibs?” “Are you fucking serious??”), but any man who goes out to buy chai seeds and goji berries for his woman is awesome.  (On a sidenote, I do take serious issue with this whole superfood thing.  Kale is a perfectly nice, leafy veg – and that’s it.  Quinoa is a filler – that’s it.  Let’s not get overexcited people.)

Monday was Day 1 and  I started the day by following the instructions perfectly.  As soon as I woke up, I made a drink of warm water, juice from half a lemon, sevia “to taste” (I think not) and supplement that smelled of dogshit.  I drank it and nearly threw up.

I followed it up with my supposed breakfast smoothie.  This was made with almond milk, berries, soaked chia seeds, another supplement which could have been dried bile and coconut oil.

I couldn’t drink it.  I mean I physically could not ingest this sludge.

After gagging my way through a quarter of it and chucking the rest away, it was time to take the kids to school.  When I came home I was pretty hungry, so I checked out what I’d be making for my morning “snack” – using the word very loosely there.

It was to be another juice with lemon, two more supplements that actually want to kill you they are that nasty, stevia and Himalayan rock salt – which I didn’t have on account of my husband refusing to buy it on principle.

And that’s when it occurred to me.

Food makes me happy.  I love it.  And if I was to die the following day, my last day on earth would have been spent drinking this shit.

So I made myself an egg on toast, had a cup of tea – and felt great.   That night as I had my hot chocolate before bed and lamented by lack of willpower, my husband suggested I was still detoxing, just supplementing the juices with my regular food.  And ignoring the juices.  And supplements.  I like the sound of that.

To those of you that can actually do a five day juice fasting detox, I think you’re amazing.  Really, I do.  How on earth you managed to get past the first three hours is beyond me.

Fluffy Friends

I turned down her offer of showing me how to feel for our guinea pig’s testicles.

I’ll have a good feel around the bottom of my gross, cavernous bag trying fruitlessly to find the source of all the stickiness. I’ll do a “lady check” of my boobs because we all know prevention is better than a cure.  If I’m feeling really brave, I’ll have a feel in and around the couch – it’s a world of discovery in there – I’ve found coins from countries I’m certain someone is just making up.

Do I want to fossick around a guinea pig’s bits searching for their gonads?  I think I might say no.

You see, I decided it was time for a pet.  “Kids need pets,” I told my husband as if I knew what I was talking about, “It’s how they learn responsibility.”  So we went to the pet shop, and brought home Rosie Fluffy McTuffy.

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I swear I bought her for the kids.  And yes, I know it’s a rodent.  But I was smitten.  And I decided that Rosie needed a friend.  So I bought Josephina.

Josephina

My daughter wanted to call her Love-Hat.  I wish I had thought of that.  But our son didn’t like it, so Josephina it is.

Everything was fine.  We had two female guinea pigs for my children to ignore while I cleaned up after them.  And then everything changed.

“There’s another one!” My daughter was pointing to a third, very tiny guinea pig that looked very much like a little Rosie, who was now remarkably slim.  In fact Rosie was now taking post-birth selfies wearing skinny jeans and making all the other guinea pig mummies feel like shit.

Our pets had, as my daughter put it, “hatched” a baby boy.  My son named it after himself, Sam.  As you do.  It turns out Rosie, the cavy vixen, was pregnant in the pet shop.  I now know that when you go to a pet shop and ask for a female guinea pig who is definitely not pregnant, the staff will fart in your general direction and laugh behind your back.

After some research and a call to the vet’s, I booked the baby in for the snip. When it was 4 weeks old, the time had come.

After spending much of my day off waiting at the vet’s, they had bad news.  Sam the guinea pig’s balls hadn’t yet made an appearance – so no snippy snippy.  The vet offered to show me how to check this for myself, instead I’ll just take him back in another couple of weeks and hope that in the meantime he doesn’t shag his mother. This prompted my husband to write the following Facebook post:

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The best part were the comments that came afterwards.

One friend paid the same amount for steroid cream for her mouse with a skin condition.

Someone else’s cat was on dialysis for so long, they had to cancel their holiday.

Then there’s my friend Nic.  Ages ago she paid $85 to have her pet mouse, Bevan, which she bought for $2.95, temporarily anaesthetised.  Bevan, who is named after the YTT stud (Aussies of a certain era will get it), had to have a very cute little gas mask so that his permanent erection could be comfortably placed back into its sheath, only for it to re-emerge within a couple of hours.

So I am feeling less silly about paying nearly $200 to give Sam (the guinea pig, not my son), the snip.

What ridiculous things have you done for your pet?

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Easter Hat Craft For The Very Uncrafty

It’s Easter hat parade time.  That means whether you’re super creative, or you’re like me and craft extends to putting stickers on things, it’s time to get your hat ON.

Last year, my son stuck two glittery blue carrots to a hat so it resembled a synchronised rocket launch.  Because really, rockets are meant to be sparkly and similar to a root vegetable.

Now that my daughter is in kindergarten, we have two hats to make.  The pressure!

The best Easter hat I ever had was one my Nana made for me as a child.  She took a little straw hat and covered the brim with flowers of every shape and colour, with Easter eggs dotted throughout it.  The flowers and chocolate were fake, which was a clever move as it would have been messy and, let’s face it, short-lived otherwise.

I loved that hat.  It was the early 80s and that, to me, was pure glamour.  I owned the Easter hat parade that year and I felt fabulous.  I may or may not have worn it for months afterwards too.

I wanted to do the same for my daughter.  I went from shop to shop collecting fake flowers and I couldn’t wait to pick her up from school.  When i excitedly showed her a mock-up of what we were to make and she screwed up her face and asked why I couldn’t just put a carrot on a hat.  I sold the idea to her as a garden after the Easter bunny had been – with eggs hidden among the flowers. Result!

The weekend before the school’s Easter hat parade, a friend invites a group of us over for a craft afternoon.  We bring supplies and our children (can’t forget them) and sit around her dining table making Easter hats.  After 20 minutes, the kids go outside to play and the mums stay inside, finishing what the kids started.  They are really creative and it’s good fun.  That’s what we did this afternoon, we had a ball and the kids’ hats are ready.

I’m a bit excited because, if I can say so myself, my daughters hat turned out well. It’s possibly the best thing I have made since the wall hanging we did in year 5 – a giant penguin made from sunflower seeds.  (Kitsch and surprisingly effective, although it did attract mice.)

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I might have gone overboard with the hot glue gun – those things are strangely addictive.  She might look like the floral equivalent of Carmen Miranda.  But if she has as much fun in her creation as I once did in mine, that will be something.

Although why should children have all the fun?  Why don’t more of us have Easter hat parades at work?  We did once and honestly, it’s hard to have a bad day with an Easter bunny perched on your head.

May your week be full of festive hats, time with friends and a parade or two.  Happy Easter. X

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A Family Wedding

My kind, clever, funny, witty, generous, amazing brother got married recently.  His partner is absolutely beautiful in every way and we could not be more thrilled.  They are a perfect match.  My brother has never been happier.

And there isn’t a bride in sight.

I have a new brother-in-law.  I love Dan and I’m honoured to have him join our family.

They married in LA, where people seem to fear carbohydrates, but not marriage between two men.

Being gay isn’t my brother’s one defining feature.  I don’t introduce him to people as “my gay brother James.” He just happens to be gay.  Just like I happen to be straight.  I’m writing about it here because gay marriage isn’t legal in Australia, and I really think it should be.  I’m hopeful that in 20 years time, we’ll all look back and wonder what the big deal was.

I know there are some in Australia who oppose gay people having the right to marry. They have their reasons.  I’ve heard some of them, and I’d like to address them here.

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1. Gay marriage isn’t natural.
Firstly, what does that even mean?  Cancer is natural, it doesn’t mean I want some.   I’d argue that love between two consenting adults is perfectly natural.  It’s beautiful, except when one of them is a dickhead, and that has nothing to do with them being gay or straight.

And anyway, Doritos are not natural, and they are awesome.

2.  I’m all for equality, just not gay marriage. 
I have heard this so many times and I’m confused by it.  As far as I can tell, equality doesn’t come in fits and starts.  You can’t believe in equality for women but think it’s OK for women to be paid less for the same job. You can’t just pick and choose the bits you want to be equal.  Equality is about being equal in all areas, isn’t it?

3.  It’s against my religion.
I must admit I don’t know the Bible as well as others do.  But I do know that Jesus was all about love and compassion for other people.   Where is the love and compassion in denying something as basic and harmless as marriage to a whole group of people? Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m certain that if you look hard enough, you can find passages in the Bible that talk about the virtues of stoning and slavery.  That doesn’t mean we have to like it too.

4.  It lessons the importance and sanctity of marriage. 
I love being married.  Will my marriage be somehow diminished if gay people can marry? Will it make my marriage any less real?  Any less a part of my life?  No, no and no.  In fact, I love that when someone close to me gets married it makes me more mindful of our marriage, and how lucky we are to have each other. It’s easy to get caught up in laundry and cooking and cleaning and kids snot and mess and school runs and work so that reminder can only be a good thing.

5. Gay is fine as long as it’s not in my face.
I get this.  I was once at a work function where I shared a dinner table with a dry rooting man and woman, and it wasn’t pretty.  So yes, while I get this point, I’d also say that it’s the same for straight people.  I don’t want their sex lives in my face either.  It’s PERSONAL people!

Although, if by “in your face” you mean any kind of physical contact, I think that’s pretty mean.  If you are offended at the sight of gay people holding hands, in my opinion you’re a bit sad.

So there you have it.  I don’t mean to be all ranty over something as positive as my brother’s wedding, honest.  I just want everyone to see what a wonderful thing this has been for our family.

If you have a question or a comment, or you want to congratulate the newlyweds, please leave your message below.  And if you liked this, please share it, especially if you are in Australia. Thanks for visiting.

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Video Challenge

I’m taking part in the next Britmums video challenge.  I’m excited to be a part of it, especially as Britmums are the ones who got me making videos in the first place.  The theme is “Mother” and the challenge goes live at the end of March, just in time for Mother’s Day (in the UK).

Now, Mother’s Day in Australia is on 11 May.  But dates are not my thing, so when I made this I was thinking it was nearly Mother’s Day here too.  Not my finest moment, but let’s just say I’m getting in early.

Oh well.  Here is the video (soooo loving the still you can see below…. not…), and for those of you who will enjoy Mother’s Day on 30 March – Happy Mother’s Day!   For the rest of you, may all your Sundays be Mother’s Day, and I’ll be wishing you an extra special day on 11 May.  You deserve it.

While I’m here, I’ll include this little flash-back to 2010.  This video opened the Cybermummy (now Britmums) conference – yes, as all the bloggers were taking their seats, the gigantic screen at the front of the room was a close-up of my chest.  My young son was filming, in case you’re wondering.

Thanks again for visiting!  X