Monday, 31 March 2008

Chess on a sunny day

I saw these men playing chess today as we traipsed through Liverpool. There were at least 6 games going, old and young and every race creed and religion you could imagine ........ could chess be the key to world peace?

Sunday, 30 March 2008

The Walk

Andrew and i went for a we walk today, it was a long one, far longer than i thought it would be as i walked out our front door. On the walk i came up with a load of things i wanted to blog about.

There was the fact that i got my first stitch since being forced to do the cross country race in primary school, there was the public toilet i used that was the most disgusting i had ever seen, there was the comment that Jack made the other day about the transvestite in the car next to us, and the difference between good coffee and great coffee, but i am not going to blog about any of these things because i underestimated how tired i would be from the walk, it turned out that that distance from Marrickville to Glebe and back again is 11km and we walked it in 4 hours including a few breaks for the kids to play or for me to check all the bookshops on the way.

So seeing that my feet are hurting and I'm tired i am just going to share a photo from our walk, i love the graffiti/murals in our area, i have started wanting to take pictures of them to work out what sort of a mural we will have on the side of our house once we have renovated. Today this one caught my eye.

Goodnight, I'm going to bed ...... if my legs can get me up the stairs, maybe I'll sleep on the lounge !

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Pay it Forward

I was browsing Brooke's blog and i saw her post on paying it forward. The idea being that three people that comment of her blog would get sent a little something at sometime and the only condition was that you had to go to your blog and make the same offer.

I cant think of why I decided to take part but I did and so I too make the same offer, I'd like to think it was a way to end world hunger or to make a difference in your community but I think its more about trying to see if people are reading.
So the first three people to comment on this post will receive a gift from me, sometime within the next 365 days.
Who knows when it will turn up, or what it will be, but rest assured, it will arrive.
All you have to do is promise to make the same declaration on your blog, and send out gifts to three of your lovely readers.
Hmmm maybe its about being part of a blogger community ....... nah its probably more about seeing if people are reading, i don't mind, i think its a nice idea and maybe it will get people thinking about spending a bit more of their lives paying it forward and maybe then we will make a real difference in out community

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Wear Sunscreen

I was listening to my iPod today, it always seems to pick songs to play me that create a mood, today the mood was reflection. I think it played me all the songs from the summer of 1997, in the middle was 'The Sunscreen Song' i have not heard that song since that summer and as i listened to the lyrics i got a tear in my eye. Im not old yet, but i am so much older than i was in 1997 older in age but mostly older in mind, i cannot see where i will be in the summer of 2017 but i think i should listen to this song at least once every 10 years and hopfully learn more from it each time.

Listen to it if you can, but if you cant these are the lyrics i hope they remind you to do, think or feel something today

Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

**** Musical Interlude****

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

There is apparently a long story about the origins of the song, it started as a Hoax email and finished as a song produced my Baz Lurhmann, you can read more about it here

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Hospital Policy is not Law

On thursday last week I went to my first birth as a doula, it was a wonderful honour and I learnt so much.

The thing I learnt the most is that you can manipulate the system. The sad part is that you have to, you have to manipulate, cover your bases, think ahead and watch your back.

The key word is policy, the policy for one of the speedbumps in this birth is to take the baby away from its mother for 24 hours for observation in special care.

When the Dr arrived and said that he planned to take bubs away the new father said 'no, if you need to have bubs in special care fine, but her mother is going too' the Dr then tried to convince him that that wasn't policy, but when questioned why the policy existed it became apparent that it was because of ease for the staff.

Taking a baby away from its mother for 24 hours because its easier for staff. That just doesn't seem right to me. New babies, need to be with their mums, they are hardwired, as is mum, to be together to suckle and smell and be comforted after their amazing journey by each other, it would have to be pretty convincing policy to make me give up my child for 24 hours.

Thank goodness the father felt ok about standing up for their rights, after going and checking with his colluges the Dr came back and said not only would they not have to be separated but mum and bub could go back to the ward and the hourly checks could happen there.

I guess the point of this rant is to remind you no matter why you are in hospital, you have to give consent, they can't force you to do anything even if they think they can, you are their client and just because its policy doesn't mean that the reason is your well being ask why its policy and if you are still unhappy, do something about it.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Pop Culture Help

OK I need help, I'm out of the pop culture loop and its starting to drive me crazy.

Particularly TV, I love good TV, these days, I love good TV even more than a good movie, its quicker so I have more ability to be able to finish it in one sitting, its like a book with chapters, it give you the perfect amount for one sitting.

I should explain to you that I have always taken good TV kind of seriously, I picked the shows I wanted to watch each season, some would be like old friends coming back with more of the story, some would be new, these generally have one or two episodes to catch me and if they don't then I have more to do with my time that get involved in a crappy TV show.

Yes yes I can hear all you non pop culture people saying "but Leigh its only TV you've got better things to do than even good TV" and yes your right but shush i like TV and that's that's.

These days the TV stations are ..... well I promised I wouldn't swear but you get the drift. My problem is that there is no continuity with TV stations these days. Gone are the days where you turn the telly on at 8.30pm and the show that you expect is on, these days if the show is even on, its starts 15 minutes late because its after Big Brother or something.

I give in, I'm not going to watch free to air TV anymore, I'm not going to invest my time in TV station's that don't care if I'm watching, taking shows off mid season with no warning, moving the day and or time with no warning, and not giving me any way of finding out whats happening

Here is a test; the show Supernatural was showing on Ten at 9.30pm for the last few weeks then this week ..... gone. Go onto the Ten website and see if you can find out whats going on!!! after 15 minutes browsing, I found out that it was off and it wasn't my imagination, but do you think that I could find out anything about why it wasn't on or where we were up to or most importantly when it will coming back on, NOPE !!!

So like I said before I give in! no more network television, I will download, wait for DVD release, and take control of the TV. No more nights waiting for bloody Supernatural, and end up watching Law and Order (I don't want to watch Law and Order I'm all pumped up for some Demonic aggression)

Next thing, if I don't have to limit my TV watching to shows the networks deem worthy, it opens up the whole worlds TV productions. That means I need to have the time to research which shows are worth downloading ........ ahhhhhh who has time to do that ?

Maybe I should just unplug it, never "WE WILL NOT GO QUIETLY INTO THE NIGHT" (pop culture quote)

As I said in the title I need help, what do you watch? what did you love? and where do you find out about what to watch? how do you pick off all the millions of shows which ones you will spend your precious time watching? and yes I do mean you my beautiful Brisbanite friend "and your pretty dog to" (another pop culture quote)

And whats going on with Doctor Who, Torchwood, Supernatural, Lost, Big Love, Heros, hmmm I'm sure there were others, plus was the new Battlestar Galactica any good??

Come on people HELP !!! :)

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Follow ...

Follow the path she said
Where to we replied
Follow the path and you will see
And we followed and we saw
And we knew she was right
This time ......

Monday, 17 March 2008


There are many ways to mother and many choices to make along the way as you figure out who how and what sort of parent you are going to be.

The other day I was chilling out with a friend and her children at the park, it was one of those perfect sitting in the shade with a cuppa talking over all things big and small days. Jack and her little girl are very close and their friendship has developed recently into something very sweet to watch.

So while my friend and I sat and talked with our younger children asleep on our laps, the older 2 ran around the park. We were there for 3 or so hours and we barely saw the kids, once in a while one of us would stand up and make sure they were still within the park but that was about as active as our parenting got.

I didn't think much of it until I mentioned to a neighbour what a lovely day we had had. It was this quiet look she had on her face that told me that everything about my story had just pushed her buttons.

So many different ways to parent, and certainly the level of freedom I try to give my kids does seem to push peoples buttons, many times I have been bailed up by another mother telling me that they had been watching my child and didn't know where I was, mind you I knew where I was and I also knew exactly where my children were.

I feel like as a society we are disconnecting from our children, putting them in more care, breastfeeding less, going back to work sooner, control crying and generally having trouble incorporating our children into our lives and it seems that with this comes a greater need to control and monitor our kids, perhaps as we feel more distance from our children we then don't recognise their limits and boundaries as easily.

My boys are covered in bruises, bites, scratches and grazes, they have both chipped a tooth and fallen out of trees. As they grow i try and let them choose the how far and fast they move away from us and part of that process is letting them move through their world and feel comfortable exploring.

What is lovely is that the more i trust them the more they surprise and delight me by regulating their behaviour better than i could have ever expected.

Interestingly i have a friend who's mothering limits often pushes my buttons so like i said there are many ways to mother and certainly people who live in glass houses ........ shouldn't let their kids throw stones.

And while we talk about moving away from us here is a picture of the new haircut. Its getting rave reviews and i am feeling far more stable about the whole haircutting dilemma.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

All Things Point South

What's with those days were everything goes pear shaped. Is it a moon thing? A state of mind thing? A karmic thing? Or maybe its just a perception thing.

Today was one of those days, wheels are flat, comments taken the wrong way, kids won't sleep, dogs are howling, and all feels a little off.

On today of all days I decided to cut Jacks hair, silly, silly, silly. I mean what was I thinking? After all the precursors.

The other day there was this boy at the park, he had the cutest haircut and I went and talked to his mum about it. Jacks hair had been on my mind, it was due for a trim and Andrew had been pushing for a two months on two months off arrangement to pick Jacks haircut.

You see we have this ongoing battle about whether Jack should have the longer softer haircut I like or the shorter more traditional haircut Andrew likes.

Then after the talk with the cute haircut boys mum a friend of mine took up the scissors and decided to cut her 18 month old boys hair. It really got me wondering, what's with my reluctance to cut my kids hair.

So after some soul searching and Googling men's haircuts, Andrew and I got out the clippers and the thining scissors and got cutting. Andrew did most of the clipping while I did the tidying and directing, then we popped Jack in the shower and waited for it to dry. We looked I ruffled and ruffled and ruffled his hair and then promptly burst into tears....... WHAT WAS I THINKING?

So of course I hate it truly hate it, it makes him look mischievous and unfamiliar and older ........... Hmmm is this perhaps the issue I have with cutting the kids hair, it makes them look different, older and somehow until I get used to it, less mine.

Tomorrow I plan on revisiting his haircut, cutting out the mischievous bit and giving him a more standard little boy haircut, and then we wait until the next time his hair needs a trim and we will go through this all again.

Next time though I will endeavor not to make these decisions on a day where everything else has gone askew.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

What Happened Today?

Today was one of those days, you know the ones, the days that are so similar to the same day last week that there is nothing really to say it.

Woke, had breakfast, went to the MYB, came home with sleeping kids, caught up on house work and emails, kids woke up, went to the supermarket, Andrew came home, cooked dinner ..... not sure whats going to happen next but it will be something like, kids go to bed, watch crap telly for a hour or so, go to bed, read, sleep. YAWN !!!

Seeing that I had a day where I cant think of anything in particular to think about let alone write about I asked the wonderful world of cyber facts what happened today? and it said the following (among other things)

1921 - Mongolia (formerly Outer Mongolia) declares independence from China
1925 - Tennessee makes it unlawful to teach evolution
1968 - Beatles release "Lady Madonna" in the UK
1969 - Apollo 9 returns to Earth
1984 - Last day of 1st-class cricket for G Chappell, R Marsh, B Laird
1991 - Exxon pays $1-billion dollars in fines & cleanup of Valdez oil spill
1992 - 570 die in a Turkish earthquake

The list finished at 1996 when apparently
1996 - Thomas Hamilton kills 16 kindergardeners, their teacher & himself

I have no idea who Thomas Hamilton is and to be honest I don't want to read about 16 killed kindergardeners so look it up if you want to know :)

On the other side i feel a bit lucky to be able to have such a day, average as it was. I'm sure there were a million people who will call today the worst of their life, another million people who will die, and another million who will be the cause of heartache....... don't get me wrong I want one in a million days too but sometimes a nice average day is just fine by me.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

The Dilemma

I have a dilemma, I'm innately lazy, I don't long for the good ole days where we went to the local butcher and the green grocer to buy our food. I love supermarkets I think they are one of the great inventions of the 21st century. I try to ignore that they are part of the consumerist problem and just thank my lucky stars I can plonk 2 kids in the trolley and get everything I need in one place without having to deal with to many people.

My dilemma is this, I think that both Woolworth's and Coles are trying to take over the world and I feel that by spending money in their establishments I may as well be saying I agree with their business practices.

I'm a Woolies girl so all of the following comments are directly about Woolies but I have seen and heard that Coles are doing similar things.

A few years ago Woolies brought out their Select range, it was their range of products that were better than the old black and white super cheap off cuts brand. The Select brand was meant to be able to stand next to other brands and offer a cheaper price for a good product

Then one day I went into Woolies with the Byron Bay Chili Sauce on my list and there was none to be found, not to mention, that there was no spot where the sauce should be, but there was a smattering of new select brand sauces. I went up to the customer service counter and was told that they were no longer stocking the Byron Bay Chili Sauce range.

I thought nothing of it but over the last year or so there have been many products that have gone the same way, our favorite ginger tea, our frozen spinach, and recently i have noticed that Select brand legumes have made their way onto the shelves and I cant seem to find the brand of chickpeas we normally buy.

That's four products that one person has noticed I am starting to wonder how many products have been taken off the shelves to make room for Select branded products. Its not like the Select products are better, organic or Australian made generally they are yuckier products made in a country that is cheaper than Australia with questionable farming practices (not that I'm saying all Australian farming is tip top)

But what does one do in the face of such injustice, what can you do, who would listen, this is where I am stumped, will my one voice complaining or shopping elsewhere make any difference and if not then what's the point of doing anything?

Well of course I plan on doing something, I don't know what yet (any ideas would be happily taken on board) but something I will do, amazing what the loss of chickpeas will do !

Ohh by the way, Miss Sparkle turned out to be a very fluffy Maltese, who has a beautiful house in Killcare that was a joy to be at and has me now very excited about the idea of a kitchen that shiny new and easy to clean. I have attached a few photos of out weekend, Andrew caught fish, the kids played on the beach and I got at least 20 pages of my book read in the middle on the day (previously unheard of in my time as a mum). My only criticisms, the mangroves and therefore crabs, and the fact that there was a 1m x1m photos of Miss Sparkle gracing the lounge room wall.

This is the bay that the house was next to, when it was high tide it was beautiful, when it was low tide all i saw was crabs and mud, but all Andrew saw was good fishing so maybe i need some of his rose coloured glasses
At every turn Hamish proved he was his mothers son, he hated the sand and sat perched on a towel with me while Andrew and Jack rolled in the sand, he also showed he had the biggest mouth on the beach :)

On these family holidays its always a fine line to see who enjoys themselves the most the kids or the dogs?

Hamish being Hamish

Jack being a very tired Jack

It was a beautiful part of the world and the local Deli made a great cup of coffee, i can imagine going back there and visiting Miss Sparkle again ...

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Miss Sparkles Beach house

After a very hard few weeks, we are going to Killcare for the weekend. We have hired a beach house that welcomes dogs and hopefully we will have 3 days of chilled out sun water and happy children.

The house looks great on the web (see below) until you see that its called Miss Sparkles Beach House. Not meaning to sound like negative Nora, but the name leaves a lot to be desired. The pictures look great but i am terrified that we will arrive and the bedrooms will be covered in doilies and Laura Ashley.

Ah well apparently the bay is literally across the road and once the lights are off we wont be able to see the lace.

So my hundred odd readers -giggle- it will be a bit quiet here for a few days, but when i get back hopefully I'll have many a picture and story to share, see you on the flip side :)

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Grumpy Day

Today when Andrew went to pick up Jack they mentioned that Jack had a grumpy day. I have been aware for some time that Jack can be moody ...... well of course he can he is chocked full of moody genes.

When i mentioned this to my Aunt she asked, "seeing that you are aware of it how do you think you will help him learn to deal with it" ...... interesting question huh? how do you help a 3 year old start to understand and deal with his emotional roller coaster.
I have always been aware that i am a fairly moody person. I was also always aware that my dad was moody (sorry dad; he would say so himself) and how living with a moody person could affect you. Parenthood has probably loosened my hold on my moods but in my early 20's i tried to work on my emotions to stop them overflowing onto other people, so hopefully i still remember some of those tools.

I have some ideas on how to firstly let him know that he is accepted moods and all, then help him learn how to work with them and the people in his life so that his moods don't affect the people around him.

With all those moody genes, maybe just watching us will give him some good ideas ......
(: moody and proud :)

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Innocent Observations

Kids seems to have an uncanny knack at making friends, i wonder what the world would be like if we could all see each other the same way, without judging or seeing each others differences beyond the obvious.

Jack said something to me about these children he called her the long girl and him the brown boy. So innocent and yet such words could have gotten us both in hot water, yet the boy was brown and the girl did have long hair.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Spend Life Searching

spend life searching
for happiness
for love
for harmony
for the want to give
for balance
for yourself

Sunday, 2 March 2008

The New Phone

I got a new phone on the weekend its a very luxurious Blackberry Curve. So far I'm in love, i have been busily enjoying watching TV, emailing, surfing the net, and all the other little things it does so well. I'm such a gadget girl sometimes and I have trouble assimilating my love of all things bright sparkly and techy with the more simple life I would also like to live.
Is it possible to buy beautiful gadgets (my next one will be a Macbook) and still try and live a non consumerist lifestyle. I mean i didn't exactly need a new phone, yes my old phone was playing up a little but really it wasn't bothering me that much.

Its like there is two of me; one that wants to live in a world of chooks and compost, freecyling and bio-diesel and the other me lets call her evil Leigh :) that wants her world filled with Macbooks and cable TV, clothes dryers and expensive restaurant's.

I guess we all have an evil side, some of us just don't think about it and its consumerist ways or maybe you carbon offset so you don't have to worry, If it had have been a chair that wasn't perfect i would have lived with it or modified it to work better, i mean we still live with an outside toilet and i have a beautiful new phone, of course with my new phone i can now read and respond to email on the outside toilet so maybe that's the trade off :)
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