Tuesday, 21 February 2012


OK a warning, if you are sick of me talking about roller skating stop reading now!  This is probably the last one for a while but honestly if you are over it feel free to close your browser or hit that little 'x' :)

I'm still loving my skates.  I have, as I promised myself I would, put them on and had a skate everyday (even if it turned out to only be for five minutes).  But honestly I have done as much as I can as far as updating my skills within the confines of my street and in the house.  After quite an ouchy fall on the weekend (where my skill level met the bad road surface in a match to the death) I started wanting to find other places to try them out.  I needed somewhere flat(ish), I needed somewhere larger and mostly I needed somewhere where I didn't feel the eyes of non skating people watching and judging if/when I fall over.

After my fall I posted a photo of my grazed and bruised arm on facebook and mentioned my want of a better place to skate.  A friend of mine who is an avid skater and derby girl posted a link to 'RollerFit' classes that were just a suburb away.

Now I'm a homebody, often if things are too far away or seem too challenging I either blatantly say I just don't want to do it, or I find a really good excuse why I can't go.  But this time I was determined.  I mean why did I get these skates if not to challenge myself!  Sure I thought by challenging myself I meant overcoming my fear of skating (well actually my fear of falling over) but obviously my fear of both leaving my comfort zone and doing something like this 'on my own' was part of the process as well.

So today I rocked into the class with my skates over my shoulder.  There were about 20 women for the beginners class.  At least 7 of them were around my age, with the rest being quite a bit younger.  The instructor was a fair bit younger as well and although she obviously knew her stuff she wasn't at all what I expected.  Kind of a bit terse and not particularly welcoming or cheery, but now that I think of it she was very similar to almost all of the aerobic instructors I've worked out with (not that that is a huge list :)

We put on our skates and started skating around to warm up.  The first thing that I noticed was that the ground (which is a sort of rubber) was very different to skate on.  I needed more force to get any speed up and the fact that my wheels have some tread on them made it even harder to maneuver.  But after a few laps I was beginning to get more comfortable.

We were then split into two groups, super beginners (the ones who were still learning how to stay upright and move forward) and the regular beginners who were looking to become more confident and work on other skills.  And then with music pumping we started with a variety of different moves;

- Scissor skating, laps up and down the court without lifting our feet.  It was exhausting and extra hard with the tread on my wheels.  So by the time the first exercise was complete I was as red as a beetroot and starting to wonder what I had gotten myself into.
- Laying on our backs, skates on, and bicycling with our legs in the air. I laughed and said if I had wanted to bicycle I would have bought a bike ... the upside of my smart arse comment was that a few of the women started talking a bit and I finally felt myself relax.
- Crossovers (basically turning by stepping one foot across the other).  I was excited to finally be in a place where I could practice this again as it was one of the things I was having trouble doing on the gravel.
- Balancing on one foot while moving. Believe it or not I found it easier to do it moving than I did standing still, but still didn't manage to make the full five seconds in one glide.
- Squatting while moving, which after a bit of practice culminated in us all doing roller limbo under a pool noodle.  I made it through 4 of 5 stages so felt pretty impressed with myself.

For the last 10 minutes we practiced what we had learnt and spent a bit of time going over the basics for backward skating.  For the record I can scissor backwards but full skating backwards seems ... complexed (although it is almost the exact reverse of forward skating this was not something my brain grasped well)

So that was it.  And I had a blast, I almost can't wait to go again next week.  I have also already started trying to source some new wheels ... I'm thinking green, maybe with purple stoppers ... if possible :)

Watching - Signs with Jack.  It was kind of hilarious how such an unscary movie seemed so scary to Jack because of the creepy soundtrack ... I may have scared him for life.

Listening - Trying to spend a bit more time listening to the radio and keep up with some new music.

Reading - Need to pick a new book tonight

State of mind - Skating super star :)

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Roll or Bust?

I was a roller girl when I was younger. I pretty much had my skates on my feet from the time I got up (or home from school) until bed time. I skated most weekends at the rink, both competing in speed skating, and winning the title of junior girls speed skating champion and  competing in the roller disco limboing where I always came home with a lolly :).  I loved going to the rink, and still remember the first time I decided to try the big hill. And that we spent a lot of time talking to boys!

When I was about 22 I pulled out my skates for the first time in a long time and skated around our flats car park. I then decided to try and skate to the shops. I gave myself a hell of a fright as I had trouble stopping and almost skated onto a car filled road, decided I was too old for roller skates and gave them away! 

The truth is, I had given myself such a fright and I had become so cautious, as we often do as we get older, that I was too scared to imagine I'd ever try again.

Flick to 3 years ago. I heard that there was a roller derby team in Sydney and it made me wish I had kept up with roller skating. Then I saw the movie Whip It and again thought 'why the heck didn't I keep up with roller skating, that's so damn cool'.  And then the final straw was a woman I knew (although not well) joined a roller derby team and I though 'OMG she is older than me!!'

Too old!! Too unfit!! Too responsible!! In the end it all came down to being too scared!! And blast if I was going to listen to those little voices anymore.

But I did, oh sure I told myself it was because I didn't want to spend the money on new skates and I was 'trying' to find cheap ones or because I couldn't find a place to try skates on again. But really I wanted skates but was still to scared.

This year my dad and Inge gave me some money for my birthday, with the clause that it wasn't to go into the kitty. I was to buy myself something I really wanted. I had been longing for skates for over 2.5 years and decided, stuff it! Even if I only use them once, I will never know unless I put some skates on my feet and give it a go!

They arrived yesterday and straight away I strapped them on and started the first tentative rolls around the house. Then I decided I needed to get out on the street and actually take them for a burn. And it we awesome!! I remembered how to turn quickly as a way to stop, I remembered all of the moves and yeah, I probably looked completely uncoordinated as I occasionally felt like I was going to loose my balance but yeeHaa I was skating.

Then I fell over, on my butt! It hurt so much I wanted to cry, but instead I got up and kept skating.

Today as I put my skates on again I feel more cautious. I wish there was a rink closer because the hardest part is trying to deal with uneven surfaces while I get my rollerfeet back. But I have decided that for at least the next two weeks I will put my skates on everyday and keep trying because I want to feel like I've put my birthday money to good use and mostly because I don't want to be scared anymore.

My butt is still sore, but hey I'm still rolling and should be (and am) proud of that alone.

Sounds Like?

When looking at schools one of the things that drew me to Jacks school was the strong music program. I was excited for my kids to have the opportunity to play in a band or solo if that was the thing they were interested in.
Then once we started I realised that they weren't really able to play anything but percussion instruments until they were in year two. It felt like a long way away.
But Jack is in year 2 this year and today was musical try outs. What was awesome was that it wasn't the kids trying out for a place (like an audition). Instead the music department pulled out all of the instruments and told the kids to have at it! Try everything, see if there is anything that you enjoy and would like to take further, or if you don't feel like this is your year, come back to it next year.
They had timpanies, drum kits, keyboards and piano, saxophones, violins, flutes, clarinets, trumpets, trombones, percussion, and a lone cello.
Jack started off feeling very nervous, but seeing that they had older kids showing the younger ones how to positions their mouths or hold the instrument Jack quickly relaxed and wandered from space to space listening and trying.
And you know what, I was jealous! I wish that this access to instruments of all shapes and sizes was something that had been available to me when I was young.
So this morning we found out that the cello, violin and drums weren't Jacks 'thing'. As he tried the trumpet he got such a lovely clear sound straight away that even the music teacher was surprised (ohh how I would love for him to choose the trumpet, but I felt forced to play the trumpet when I was young and so no pressure).
I got such a huge rush from watching him trying all of these things, and hope he chooses to join. But also will not push it. He has already said that he would like a guitar, which will be a very belated birthday present. And he regularly picks up his (on loan) saxophone, but it's still a bit to big for him to really get into it.
It was a mummy moment worth bottling and an experience I think he will keep with him for a long time to come. And if he decided this year isn't his year or that playing in a ensemble isn't his thing then at least he has had the opportunity.
Watching - Sherlock S2.
Listening - Other than Jack on the cello I have an obsession with The xx at the moment.
Reading - Fahrenheit 451
State of mind - All tingly and so proud of both my boys. I may need to be reminded of this later in the week :)

Thursday, 9 February 2012

School Girl Crush

When I was in junior primary school I had a crush on one of the boys in my class. Actually most of the girls had a crush on the same boy. I remember all of us chasing him in a game of catch and kiss and him getting so overwhelmed by the attention that he burst into tears.
I'm purposefully reminding myself of this story today because it has become apparent to me that there is a little girl in Jacks class that has a crush on him, and if I'm honest it's freaking me out.
He, in true Jack style, is completely oblivious. To him girls are just other cool people you hang out with at school when your sick of playing the games your guy friends play. He is so very very far from crushes.
Now I like this little girl very much. She is ballsy, and being the youngest after three brothers, she's outspoken, knows more about things like popular music and teen idols than most of the kids I've met. And apparently she gets what boy-girl relationships are 'supposed' to be about.
At Jacks sixth birthday party she arrived and had Jack written on her leg in pen with a love heart around it. I thought it was hilarious and also a bit more advanced than I had thought six year old kids were on average. This year they are in class again and the other day she invited Jack to her birthday party. It was a giggly affair as she handed over the invite and then as she walked off I heard her say to her friend "Oh my god, his hair is soooo cool".
Ummm ok ...
Then this morning she and one of her friends were talking to me and as I said that Jack was really looking forward to coming to her party her friend started to giggle and said in an excited tone "did you invite him?". The little crush girl smirked said yeah, then they both wandered off giggling and whispering looking back at Jack.
Oh My God!!!
So I'm reminding myself that I too had a little school girl crush when I wasn't much older than these kids are now, and it didn't turn into anything (mind you I am wondering if the boy we made cry was traumatized).
And of course when I told AB he was kind of chuffed and didn't at all get my mumma bear reaction ... the difference between men and women or fathers and sons?
They are growing so fast and sure it's all normal and expected, but today I am imagining him with girlfriends, kissing and heartbreak and wondering about this whole parenting thing and the directions it takes you in.
Remind me to get this little girls phone number, I may need to talk to her parents. (joking of course! .... mostly)
Watching - the miraculous event of a woman giving birth and a man becoming a father. What a lucky woman I am.
Listening - Aliens. I know I should be watching it but I'm to busy blogging.
Reading - Birth plan notes and the last chapter of Road to Perdido.
State of mind - a bit hyper after a birth but soooo glad to be off call and enjoying a glass of wine.

Monday, 6 February 2012

What Now?

It's the question of the moment. Now that I have two kids at school, what are my plans now. It's surprising who and how many people have asked me this in the last few weeks. People who love me, people who hardly know me, people who work full time outside the home and others who are still stay at home mums.
What now?
It's a curious question, and one where the answer isn't as easy as you might think.
What now?
I do keep asking myself the same question over and over again. I mean I do some work for AB each week but at the moment it's not enough to keep me busy five days a week. And sure at least one day a week could be filled with cleaning and grocery shopping. And I absolutely could spend some time fixing bits a pieces around the house, the lounge room alone could take me two weeks. But all of that still leaves around 2 - 3 days a week free.
Or 50 weeks, minus holidays thats 38 weeks which is (after weekends) 190 days, minus the 2ish days work I have that's 114 days!
114 me days a year! What now?
Cause let's be honest, I'm incredibly lackadaisical and sure I could totally spend some of that time catching up on favourite TV shows or books that have sat unread for way to long. But even I would find that boring after a certain amount of time (not as long as you would think, but longer than is probably healthy).
The truth is I don't exactly know 'what now?'.
I do know that there is probably more work coming through from ABs work, and I hope there is. It will be great to be busy during the school hours, it will be amazing to bring in some extra money to help out with our finances and take some of the burden off AB being the (mostly) sole provider. But I'm also glad that I get to pick up my kids every day, that the little money I already bring in helps, that I have the ability and now the time to hopefully fix our place up a bit more (cause lord knows it needs it).
So honestly, feel free to ask me what now? But please understand when I say "I have no idea! but if you have any feel free to share" :)
Watching - recently just devoured 'Misfits' seasons 1-3 loved it and recommend it highly. But take into account it could just be a very 'me' type show.
Listening - The XX, love that album!
Reading - Perdido Street Station - China Mieville.
State of mind - All kind of soft and gooey, with a chewy center :)

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Golden Oldies.

Like most people my age I've had a lot of friendships. Most have been wonderful. Some have ended badly. Some have only been for a few days and others almost a lifetime.
My best and oldest friendship is with Catriona. I've mentioned her before (normally calling her Treena). We met on the first day of kindergarten and the story goes that as our mums picked us up from our first day we both ran to them and asked if Treen could have a sleep over that night. They convinced us to wait until the weekend and we were inseparable from then on.
Oh sure like all kids, we had ups and downs but in the end our friendship survived. It survived through different friends, my parents divorce, different high schools and social groups, it continues to survive in spite of the fact that she lives in a different state and we only see each other once a year.
She is more than a friend. She is like a sister, some kind of soul mate, she is my family and so deeply part of my heart that I can't imagine it could keep beating if she wasn't part of my life.
Yesterday I got a knock at the door and it was our postman. He had a huge box for me from Treena. I tried to think what it could be, there are no birthdays nearby and Xmas has passed. I opened the card, and I started to cry. It was an anniversary present, timed perfectly to both match our 30th year of friendship and my littlest boys first week of school.
Inside were two intricately wrapped (to survive posting from Brisbane to Sydney) flying ducks, which I had mentioned to her that I wanted a few months ago.
After I stopped sobbing I felt a little guilty, I should have remembered, I should have sent her something or at least touched base about it. It felt so amazing to have this package, filled with so much thought and love arrive unexpectedly on my doorstep.
As soon as I can convince AB to see securely put some hooks in the wall, they will have pride of place in our lounge room. And every time I look at them I will feel a little 'happy sad' that my life has been so blessed to have her in it.
It will also remind me to be thankful for all of my friends and to make a point of telling them so. Starting with Treena!!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

All Dressed Up.

Here he is. All ready for his first day of school and so incredibly proud. Walking around with his chest puffed out and the excited energy pouring out of him.
He walked straight into the classroom, sat at a desk and started playing with the play dough, just like his brother did on his first day two years ago.
I can't wait to pick him up, and ask him all about his day. To find out who he played with and what he thinks of his teacher. To see if he is disappointed that he didn't learn to read fluently on his first day (because that's how he thinks it works).
I'm sure there will be hard days, but today was not one of them.
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