Since I am now living on the other side of the world to my family and most of my friends this blog is about things I enjoy, things I notice, people I meet, people I miss, history, planning for the future, love and life in general! I guess it's about whatever pops into my head which I want to share with my friends and family... and who knows? I might make some more friends along the way!

25 November, 2005

....days to Christmas

It's a sad fact that for the next month we are going to get thoroughly sick and tired of Christmas music (or musak) everywhere we go. Don't get me wrong I love the heightened sense of purpose in the shopping centres, the smell of pine needles drying in the Aussie summer air, the anticipation of children checking and re-checking their wish lists and asking "how many more sleeps now?"

What I do not like is songs about snow!!!!!!!!

Why do we have to listen to songs about 'dashing through the snow...' or 'Frosty the snowman...', I mean what do they have to do with Christmas... or even December in Australia for that matter?????

If the songs were about Winter in Jerusalem I would understand. If they spoke of days gone by and specific Christmas traditions from Europe or the UK I might be a little more tolerant, but when you really think about the words of songs like 'Jingle Bells', they have no bearing on the season at all - Christian or physical!

There is no reference to Christmas in 'Jingle Bells' people!! Sing it to yourself... go on... right now! See, there's snow, sleigh, one horse... but no Christmas!

And what about those 'fake snow sprays'... what are they about??????????!!!!!!!!!!

Someone got some tacky, dry shaving cream, re-labeled it and convinced people that Christmas is just not Christmas without sticky white stuff on the window!

Christmas cards with snow on them??? Father Christmas in the snow! Cottages in the snow! Christmas trees in the snow!! Hello!! McFly!! It doesn't snow in the middle of an Australian summer!!!! Dur Fred!

my new campaign is "Say NO to SNOW!" - it's easy! Ask your friends why they chose to put fake snow on their windows, ask the shop owner/centre manager why they are playing songs about snowmen, refuse to buy or give Christmas cards with snow on them to family and friends (unless it came in a pack of 50 and you really don't like the person anyway!)

Best of all! Insist on giving cards which reflect the true meaning of Christmas - "For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son"

19 November, 2005


There's no excuse for this blog except to tell you about the books I've read in recent months!

I have re-read the 'Harry Potter' books in order, this year, so that I was up to speed when the new one, 'HP & the Half Blood Prince', was published, & I have also read aloud the first book, 'HP & the Philosopher's Stone', to my little charges - 7-year-old Cameron and 6-year-old Matthew - who have devoured it with me and asked the most wonderful questions. We are half way through the 2nd book together, 'HP & the Chamber of Secrets', and their comprehension is amazing!! 'HP & HBP', by the way, was my favourite so far! (& I read it in two days, despite attending a bush dance fund-raiser, and Sunday morning worship!)JK Rowling is one remarkably talented author, and I am already anticipating the 7th, & final, book in the series!! (which she has yet to write!!)

I've read 2 books by Sally Beaumont this year. My sister gave me 'The Landscape of Love' for my birthday and I found that once I picked it up I couldn't put it down! (yes there were some mornings when I arrived at work looking like I had a hang-over!!). The latest book I read by SB was 'Rebecca's Tale' a sequel to 'Rebecca' by Daphne DuMaurier (another author I like), and it was wonderful - very believalbe but also impossible to put down!! (these books really should come with a warning!!) There was only one character which I was disappointed in - one which I felt was starting to grow at the end of the Daphne DuM book set 20 years earlier, but in whom I saw no personal growth now. Still highly recommended!

I have just started reading 'Birdsong' by Sebastian Faulks. Set in Belgium in the opening chapters, Stephen is a Lancashire man who is studying the practices of the mills in Amiens... it seems that later he will return to the area as a soldier of WW1. I will keep you posted on my thoughts on this one!

Go on... what are you reading my drivel for - go get a good book!!

15 November, 2005

Days of our lives!!!???

I was just watching 'The Bill' which used to be a terrific UK police drama and now falls squarely into the category of UK soap! I found myself wondering, what is it that drives us to spend our lives watching TV about other people's lives, whether real or fictitious?

Yesterday I watched an episode of 'Super Nanny' - and being a nanny myself I was really moved to see the progress which a family made with their 3-year-old autistic son, but sometimes Super Nanny is more of a sensational 'reality' programme than an educational one (though I must say a big "thanks" to the producers for deconstructing the previous stereo type of either a matronly woman in a starched uniform, or "Miss Fine" from Flushing, Queens! Does anyone remember Phoebe Piccadilly... and her proffessor?)

Then there's the whole confrontational 'reality TV' phenomenon where people are put into far from reality-based circumstances and then systematicly demoralised, judged, criticised, degraded and finally 'voted off' (take your pick from 'Idol', 'Biggest Loser', 'Survivor' ...and all the knock offs along the way!)

My own UK relatives love the Aussie soaps - you know - 'Neighbours', 'Home and Away' etc. The best one, I think, is probably 'Blue Heelers' - the idea that one little town like Mt Thomas has that many murders (serial or otherwise) makes you wonder why anyone would live there????!!!!

I wonder what we could achieve if we spent less time watching, judging and fantacising about the 'Bold & the Beautiful' people on our small screens? Maybe we could learn not to be judgemental? Actually spend that extra time with our children (which Jo Frost is always encouraging us to do)? Read and learn with a discerning mind? Borrow library books? Visit museums? Reconnect with family and friends whom you never have the time to catch up with...???

Sorry, I'l have to leave it there, I haven't watched last nights episode of 'Cold Case' ... and it was the season final! By the way, does anyone know when 'The West Wing' is coming back on?????

10 November, 2005

lest we forget...what was it again?

I have a passion for history and in delving into my own family history I am astounded and saddened by how many members of my great-grandfather's generation were killed in the 'Great War', you know - the one that was supposed to put an end to all other potential wars?

I already knew the statistics of course, and they are staggering. Very little research will tell you how many millions of young men died - not only at ANZAC Cove (& the legends we were brought up with are predominantly true by the way) but at the Somme, the name given to the battles with raged primarily along the valley of the Somme River.

I discovered one sad fact in my research. Although many of my Grandparents generation lost their father's and uncle's, there was one member of my Great-Grandfather's family who, though engaged to be married, did not leave any descendants behind. Samuel Small (my G-Grandfather) had a brother called Frank. Frank was killed on 6th July, 1915 near the Belgiun town of Ypres, and though two other brother were also killed in the Somme, it touched me that he did not have any grand-daughters, or great-grand-daughters to remember his death. So on 11th November each year I get out the tiny photograph of a good looking young man in uniform and great coat, hands in pockets, leaning on an unseen table or chair, and I 'remember' him... because nobody else does.

Why are we still not getting it?

The life each one of us is given by the grace of God, is a gift to be used. I am sure that in the fervour of the time Frank, and his domed brothers, believed they were making a choice with their lives that would change the future for the better. But less than 20 years later millions more would die in another global conflict.

And it still goes on today. Every war is futile, and every life lost in conflict is a life wasted. If the money spent on wars was channelled into water purification, treatment and prevention of the spread of hiv/AIDS, education, food production and research into renewable energy resources we would see a genuine global revolution, and in a very short time too!

So if you are still wondering at my clutching a little photo, and wearing a sprig of rosemary on 11/11 each year, it is not to glorify the soldier, or the act of war. It is to remind me that a young man lost everything, even his potential decendants, and that I have to mourn his lonely, violent passing in order to care enough to do something to prevent all the other, future young men from having to do the same.

09 November, 2005

getting back into the dating game...?

What is it with dating? I am 38 years old and have been happily single for a long time, but I've been thinking about asking someone on a date recently and find that, in reality, I am 16years old and far from the ordinary, mild-mannered guy he seems to be, and far from the casual interest I have in him, I am actually a besotted school-girl asking the best looking guy in school to the end of year formal!

Is it because, by the time I am interested enough to actually ask a guy on a date I care too much what he thinks of me? Is it just the crippling fear of rejection and the suggested judgement that that entails?

I went to an engagement party for two wonderful friends last week, and felt that twinge of wishing I had a special someone who made me smile the way they both were! (Do you know what I mean?)

My options are clear, I can a) shut up and spend the rest of my life wondering what it is like to be smiled at like that over the age of 35, b) ask him (and any other subsequent hims) out and find out if rejection is really as bad as I think (OK I know it is as bad as I think already!!)?, c) ask my friend to ask his friend if he likes me, whilst practicing writing my first name and his last name in my homework diary (a tad difficult since I don't know his best friend or his last name!) or d) accept that I am undateable and be the eccentric aunt and slightly wacky friend who never has a date at any event and usually ends up taking my best friend (see I'm not 16, . . . coz I would never have been seen dead on a date with my best friend at high school).

Yeah, yeah, yeah... I know what you're all thinking... stop procrastinating with the blogging stuff and get on the phone... except that I don't know his number!!!!!!!!!!!

06 November, 2005

hello - it seems that I have finally reached the modern era of technology with my very own blog, so as I learn it will grow (or as I grow I will learn....learn to grow...???) For those of you who inspired me to do this (Natalia Brownowski, Kimando and Rhat!!) Thaks and give me heaps of feed back please!!
enjoy! CPW