Saturday, December 08, 2007

I am

I am tired.
I am staying up late to blog.
I am spending too much time on my computer now that I have it in my room.
I am letting my room get too messy.
I am grumpier when my room is messy.
I am finding it easier to say things to the internet than to the people I need to say them to.
I am sorry I haven't given you back your DVDs.
I am sorry I haven't called.
I am sorry I didn't organise for us to meet up sooner.
I am sorry I sent you a text instead of calling.
I am sorry I am not communicating with you properly.
I am aware that it looks like I'm avoiding you.
I am, in fact, avoiding you.
I am intimidated by you, your manner, and the person you work for.
I am sorry that I'm not leading.
I am aware that I'm letting you down.
I am not doing my best.
I am too hard on myself sometimes, but at the same time I am not hard enough.
I am such a fan.
I am really wanting to help you.
I am wondering why you never let me help you, and maybe you wish I would leave you alone?
I am reminding myself not to get too paranoid.
I am really grateful for all the training you're giving me.
I am learning a lot from you.
I am reminding myself not to assume that I already know how to do it, and to value your input and critiques.
I am loving the view from my new office.
I am glorying in being able to spend more time in the city.
I am mega busy this month.
I am letting too many things slip this month.
I am overwhelmed with all that I'm asking of myself.
I am sick at the thought of my to-do list.
I am sorry I'm not as organised as you, I know it looks like I don't care and that's so far from the truth.
I am wishing I could be a better friend to you somehow.
I am not enjoying this Christmas so far.
I am worried about your relationship, again.
I am tired of the unstability, please choose soon.
I am sorry I can't visit you more, I wish we lived closer.
I am defining myself by our relationship.
I am not as reliable as I'd like to be.
I am more of an attention seeker than you think.
I am shyer than you know.
I am angry at your lack of respect.
I am trying not to be so hypocritical.
I am harder on myself than you could ever be.
I am blessing your little cotton socks now.
I am hooked on the instant gratification of facebook, the fact that it proves that there are 430 people in the world who know I exist, and I can give you their names.
I am a friend of God.
I am letting you down, by not telling you just how much God loves you, and how he aches to know you.
I am pressed down and shaken together.
I am wearing a lot of pink, most of the time.
I am planning on getting my fringe cut.
I am in love.
I am so in love.
I am not going to ask you.
I am not going to tell you.
I am hoping you will ask me.
I am loving how much you tell me.
I am anticipating greatness from you.
I am not waiting for the happily ever after anymore, it's found me already.
I am listening to whispers in the powder room.
I am forgiving, as I have been forgiven much.
I am the best sister I know how to be.
I am a locked room in a tall tower.
I am making my own way there.
I am rocking the suburbs.
I am never enough.
I am not forgotten.
I am sorry.
I am trying.
I am human.
I am me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

On cupcakes

Right, I'll start straight off by saying that I blame Darren and Jo for this. Ever since their wedding and their delightful wedding cake arrangement of glorious colourful cupcakes - I have been obsessed. And not obsessed in a good way either.

So Shells and I were helping to set upt he food for the wedding reception, and Darren had told me that there was a wedding cake, he'd even given me a fancy silver engraved knife that they wanted to use to cut the cake with. But - 10 minutes to go til everyone came down to the reception and the only cake we could find any trace of was a Woolworths sticky date pudding. We were pretty sure that wasn't it. Then, suddenly, we came across 3 crates of glory. Absolute glory.

3 crates stuffed full of the most glorious fluffiest cupcakes you ever did see, and a perspex stand to put them on. Hurrah! And then also - we now only have 8 minutes til everyone came down, so slight panic. We grabbed a little round table, put the perspex stand on and started piling cupcakes out of the boxes. Only the thing is - well, it had to look pretty, so obviously we had to colour code the cupcakes didn't we. But being the hygiene conscious girls that we are, a strict 'no licking fingers' rule was applied. And we watched as a beautful mountain of glory was built before our eyes without being able to eat any of them.

See mountain of glory below.

But then as we were about to run off and wash the icing off our hands and arms (and possibly faces) I discovered something a wee bit frightening - the little round tabel was in fact seriously unsteady. Unsteady! And yet laden with the mountain of glory! And then the people came, and of course everyone made a beeline for the cakes - and who could blame them really.

See mountain of glory from a different angle below.

So what was to be done? I had to stand guard over the table. I had to keep people from leaning on the table, brushing against the table, putting their drinks on the table, touching the table, breathing near the table... basically what I'm saying is that I had to stand near those cupcakes, watching them the whole time, not touching them, not eating them, not licking my fingers - just watching their beautiful glory. For about, oh maybe an hour.

I don't think anyone could have designed a better torture. It seemed calculated to make me go slowly insane.

Everyone wanted to talk about the cupcakes. Yes, they look pretty. No, you can't have any yet. Yes, I think I'll have a pink one first too. No, I'm not sure how they're going to cut them either. Yes, it is an unusal choice isn't it. No, I didn't make them. Yes, it is funny that I have to stand here isn't it. No, it's not actually all that funny that I have to stand here really, when I think about it, thanks.

I tried to amuse myself by taking pictures of them.

And finally, Jo and Darren made their way over, cut the cupcakes and it was on for young and old.

And that's where it began. My obsession with cupcakes. No doubt you will be hearing more of this in days to come :-)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Never gonna give you up

Hello blog - sorry I've been a bit absent, I'm going to point the finger at facebook for that one, it's such a fantastic networky meeting-place that I'm spending way too much time there! But don't worry, blogging is always my first love, I'm never gonna give you up. (Did you see that? Like what I did there?)

Lots has been happening lately. Lots. I'm starting a new job next week, starting a Connect Group at church, went to the Blue Mountains twice in one weekend, flew up to Brisbane a while ago, got a new pink mock croc handbag, featured prominently on Mishy's blog, have had my lovely sister staying with me, made an exciting decision to move house in a few weeks... lots! But the best thing? The most exciting thing? The thing that is causing me the most joy?

iTunes. Yes, iTunes. (Damn, am I supposed to capitalise the I when I'm using that word at the start of the sentence? What's the ettiquette there??) I've recently discovered the glory inherent in iTunes and its name is 80's rock. I've been downloading 80's songs left right and centre! So my iPod is a bit of an 80's revival, and since I usually only listen to it in my car I've been driving in a total retro disco - but it's so fun!

Latest acquisitions include:
Electric Dreams - Human League
Together Forever - Rick Astley
Hip to be Square - Huey Lewis and the News (this could be my theme song)
Final Countdown - Europe
Fame - Irene Cara

Classics, all.

Got any more suggestions for me? Hit the comments.

We get to decide what that means

I found this online in my travels, and loved it. I had to share it with you because I think it contains a clue to the way my brain works...

More brilliance here:

The small print on this site reads:
We did not invent the algorithm. The algorithm consistently finds Jesus. The algorithm killed Jeeves. 
The algorithm is banned in China. The algorithm is from Jersey. The algorithm constantly finds Jesus.
This is not the algorithm. This is close.

I like random brilliance :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Got a secret?

Sometimes secrets are fun. Like when it's someones birthday coming up, and you know the PERFECT present to get for them, and you're so desperate to tell them because you know how happy it will make them, but you can't tell them because you don't want to ruin the suprise. I love that feeling!

Sometimes secrets are mundane. Like how you're not supposed to talk about how much money you earn with people in your office in case you get more or less than them, or how you're not supposed to discuss politics with people because it gets people all wound up and defensive. I tend to forget about keeping those sorts of things secret, to my detriment.

Sometimes secrets are sad. I recently found my old high school diaries and cried for the sad little girl that I used to be, keeping all those sad little secrets written down in a secret conversation with a book that couldn't help.

Sometimes secrets hurt.

Sometimes secrets are dangerous.

Sometimes secrets are better set free than kept to yourself.

Secrets are all sorts of things, but a while ago I discovered that secrets can also be extremely creative. I have a few beautiful secrets myself, and one day I'm going to attempt to express their beauty in a tangible form, like pinning down an exquisitely beautiful butterfly, and send them in here to Postsecret.

This video really captured me today. While you watch it, think about what secrets you have that might need to be set free. And then picture that same captured beauty inside every other person you walk past today - breathtaking isn't it?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

It's all about the fb

Wow, it's been ages since I've posted! And it's not because of lack of access - because our work firewall has mysteriously disappeared, and I now have my own brand new beautiful iMac at home in my bedroom. The reason I haven't been blogging, the one reason that I haven't been posting is... is... well, it's facebook.


The social interaction tool. It's the thinking persons myspace ;-) Well, whatever, I'm totally hooked on it. Have you seen it? Check it out here if not. The greatest thing about fb so far? I've gotten to reconnect with so many people who I'd lost for so long! Great people from school, lovely people from London, those crazy people who have moved to different countries than me, now I have access to them all again! Well, as long as they've joined up on fb that is. When I first started on there it was mostly Londoners, but after an extensive ground roots PR campaign by myself, I'm finding more and more of my Sydney friends joining up too, which is great.

I've added a little fb badge on the right hand side of my blog. I'm enjoying updating the profile pics regularly - especially since my luverly iMac has photo booth on it and I can snap pics of myself all the livelong day!

One of my other fave things on fb is that you get to put your status on there. You get started off with your name, like this "Amy is..." and you fill in the rest. Now, it does make you talk about yourself in the 3rd person, but you may remember that that is actually a favourite thing of mine to do! It's fun seeing the silly things that people put up there too. Here's a random snapshot of some of my friends status updates right now:

Marle is contemplating buying another handbag?! 4 hours ago

Lana is satisfied with good things. 7 hours ago

Martha is carrying a watermelon. 8 hours ago

Erin is being fanged by a squirrel. 10 hours ago

Damien is sleeping with his head on his desk. 10 hours ago

Vicky is happily British. 11 hours ago

Caryn is regretting all that rice. 13 hours ago

Kilara is finally home, and she has a story, although Mak's version is definitely worse. 18 hours ago

Umo is eating a mango at her desk. 19 hours ago

Filius is eating natural confectionary snakes for breakfast (and a nudie.) on Tuesday

Tate is not his hair- He is not his skin. He is not your expectation. He is the soul that lives within. on Tuesday

Christian is kind of a big deal... people know him. on Tuesday

Paul is considerizing. on Tuesday

Brendyn is wondering what it would be like being a professional race car driver. on Monday

Mandy is waiting for Carsty to get out of the shower so we can GO!!! on Monday

Jasmine is making sure she will never scream "your soft get up" at a footy player when they don't get up when injured after dislocating her knee & tearing ligaments. on Sunday

Seth is being broken by Apostle Paul. on Sunday

Mark is shaken but not stirred! last Friday

Beks is having a day off and going shopping!! A very dangerous combination. last Thursday

It's nice to know what everyone is up to :-)

So what are you up to? What has everyone been doing while I've been having a facebook holiday? Anything exciting? Coooooommmmmmeeeennnnntttttt!!!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Doing alright actually, doing alright thanks.

I have been unwell, and also I have been not well, and also I have been to NZ. It's been a big few weeks!
Firstly: unwell. Well, it's not all that interesting. I got sick, unexpectedly, and spent 4 days (4 DAYS!) in bed doing nothing but feeling sick and sleeping. 4 days off work sounds fun right? Not so fun when you're too sick to enjoy it!
Anyway, now onto: NZ. Which was lovely! My wonderful boyfriend Chris works in NZ so I went over to visit him for the long weekend. We spent the weekend in Wellington, which is a gorgeous place! We went to an equal number of book shops and chocolate shops, which is just right for a holiday I think. I was there for 3 days and we managed to: ride on the cable car, walk through the Botanical Gardens, go to the museum, go to the art gallery, do some shopping (obv!), watch dvd's, go out for dinner twice, go out for breakfast once, visit a chocolate cafe, found a honey shop (and discovered the existence of honey toothpaste btw! Genius!), and just generally have a lovely time. Did I mention the loveliness? Did!

Brilliantly, I forgot to take my camera charger, and I managed to take 1 picture before the battery went dead. And then I lost the cord to upload the single picture onto my computer. So no images... but I did go, honest!

And then the not being well. Which is different from being unwell, as in sick. I've been a bit discouraged lately with a few things, one of which has been work. The filing, for example, has been banking up, and was getting to very serious proportions - it was definitely starting to loom, occasionally snapping at innocent passers by. Dangerous. Well, anyway, it took a few threats but this week finally, finally, we've seen some support from upper management (the HR angels came to our rescue!) and we've been allocated a few more resources to help us out. Praise, praise, praise.

The happiest conversation I had this week:
Me: I have to go back to work tomorrow and I don't want to go! I was there all weekend!
Emelie: What do you need to make you feel happy?
Me: I need... I need about 7 days off work; I need to hear the word of God - for an extended period, maybe about 5 days; I want to be around faith filled Christians, about 50 000 of them I reckon; I want to worship God over and over again for 5 days; I'd like my two best friends to fly over from London and stay with me for the week; and my boyfriend to be in the same country as me for the whole week as well.

Not much to ask?

Halleluiah! I'm on leave next week for Hillsong conference, where all of the above will happen and probably a whole lot more! I'm so looking forward to it, the whole lot. Last year I got a cute conference hoodie - this year I'm on a bit of a tight budget, but possibly another hoodie is called for! I love that every conference I go to, Donna Crouch stands up and says "It's not just about stuff, get some resource as well." (Gotta love Donna) So it's totally about resource as well. I got a whole heap of great books and cds last year... but it's the hoodie that consistently carries the conference message into my world! Love the hoodie :-)

Friday, May 25, 2007

On finding new suburbs and being geographically misplaced (or: dude, where's my car?)

I've just finished rereading a great book called 'Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps' by Barbara and Allen Pease. It's so good! They talk about the differences between the male and female brains, and our different strengths and weaknesses.

Although I think it's great to figure out what your weaknesses are, I'm discovering that it's equally important to know what your strengths are - because without knowing what you're good at, it can be easy to assume that everyone else should be able to operate the same way as you. For example, I think two of my strengths are conversing and communicating, and I tend to assume that if people aren't communicating with me very well (or at all) that they must be entirely capable of communicating, but they are just not doing it! Whereas actually, I need to keep reminding myself that while I find it easy and enjoyable to keep in touch with everyone, actually it can be a lot harder or less enjoyable for other people.

I'm also finding it nice to begin appreciating people as different to me, and enjoying how strengths that I have can compliment strengths of others.

One area which as yet I currently am not all that strong is geographical awareness. Barbara & Allan are with me on this one, and say that men have a much better spatial awareness than women, are able to carry virtual maps in their heads, and rotate maps in their head. Women are not so good at this (obviously these are all generalisations btw) hence why you'll see girls turning the map around to face the direction they're going in.

Now, turning the map around to face the direction you're going in makes perfect sense to me. How could you read it any other way?? How could you get a proper perspective of where you are in relation to the map in front of you? It's good for me to remember that other people have a strength in this area that I lack, and me turning the map round at every corner probably looks crazy to them!

Quite often since I've moved to Sydney (and, honestly, throughout my entire driving career) I have been lost. Well - lost is such a terribly judging word don't you think? I prefer the term geographically misplaced. And quite often I haven't actually gotten lost and taken the wrong way - it's merely the scenic route. Let's not say that I took the wrong turn off, rather let's say that I discovered new suburbs and learnt new roads. Well, keeping this in mind, can I relate to you that I also quite often lose my car in carparks. Quite often. I'll come out of the shops, with lots of shopping bags full of delightful purchases, car keys in hand - and be totally stumped as to where my car actually is. There was one occasion... ohhh, it was more of an ordeal than an occasion actually, and it happened quite a while ago but I've been too traumatised about it for too long to blog about it so far. But, in the spirit of honesty and truthfulness and confession... and to give you a chance to laugh at my shortcomings (go ahead, laugh, I'm sufficiently recovered by now to see the possibility of there being humour in the situation) here is the full story.

So it was actually when Jacx was visiting Sydney ages ago, she was staying out at Castle Hill, and my last chance to see her was to dash over to Castle Towers one day after work and meet up with her for coffee. I'd never been to Castle Towers before (in fact, the whole west side is a bit if a mystery to me still) so I printed out the directions from whereis and thought I'd probably be fine. Bad assumption. There was a turn off (somewhere) that I was supposed to take that I missed, and I ended up on one of those roads where you can't turn off, can't turn around, can't do anything but keep going. And I was already running late! Frustrating! So eventually I found a side street where I could turn around, do some creative side-street maneuvering, and eventually I was going back the other way. Fine. Until, all of a sudden, I've missed this flipping road again, and now I'm way too far in the opposite direction! And Jacx is calling me asking where I am!

Pressure! I manage to find a set of traffic lights where I can do a not-entirely-illegal u-turn, and head back the other way. This time I'm doing 20k's under the speed limit, determined that the turn off will not beat me this time! And phew, I find it (it was totally disguised btw) and get on the right road. Finally in the distance I spot Castle Towers in the distance - hurrah! I pull into the closest carpark, park, get out of my car and run straight into the shopping centre. As soon as I get in (noting that I'm near a shoe shop) I get straight on my phone to Jacx to find out where she is and where I should meet her. She talked me through the directions ; 'up the escalator here, got along this corridor, past the food court' etc. etc. So finally I get to see Jacx, and we sit down and chat for ages and have tea and stuff, and it's great.

Finally however I have to let Jacx go, and however reluctantly, I do. I spy an escalator which leads to the car park. "Bewdy." I think, and head down there. This is where I find that there are actually 4 levels of car parks here, none of which look familiar. Well, this is okay, it's not the way I came in so I'm not all that suprised. I decide to retrace my steps. I walk back along past the food court and down the corridor - and now I find out that while Jacx and I had been merrily chatting away, half the shopping centre has been closed, and there is a massive barrier gate preventing me from retracing my steps. Hmm. Well, still not really panicking, I mean, how many car parks can a shopping centre have?

And the answer was, overwhelmingly, lots.

The shopping centre has 3 main floors The, Upper Level, Middle Level and Lower Level. Fresh Food stores, lower class specialty shops and the supermarkets are on the lower floor. On the middle level there is Discount Department stores and department stores as well as middle class fashion and specialty retailers. On the upper level there is department stores and cinemas and Up market fashion stores.

It also features and prides itself on over 5000 FREE indoor car parking spaces and 1000 outdoor spaces.

(From the wik)

So it seems that there are about 5 different colour carparks at Castle Towers, and each one has a couple of different levels. And in my total haste to get to Jacx I had paid absolutely no attention to what colour carpark I was in or where my car was in that carpark. Well, I didn't start to panic straight away. I decided to multi-task since I was just walking around anyway, and called a friend on my mobile and had a good chat as I (attempted) to methodically peek out at each carpark and spot my car.

After about an hour of this (yes, an hour!) I decided that I needed to change tack. I found some security guards and asked them where the carpark was. "Which carpark?" they asked. Ahhh... here's another problem. I didn't remember the name of the street that I came in from.
The sinking feeling starts.

I now decide that if I could go outside and find the road that I came in on, I could find the carpark that I parked in, so I left the shopping centre and started skirting the perimeter. Wow - turns out the outside is pretty big too! And actually some of the shopping centre is possibly underground, and it's spread over two huge blocks. I walked around the whole place, and ended up coming back to the carpark that I'd first started searching in, which did not contain any trace of my car. I was wearing impractical work high heels, my feet were starting to hurt, it had now been 2 hours since I'd left Jacx and I was starting to think that my car had slipped into an eddy in the fabric of the space/time continuum and was now actually not in existence on my plane of reality any longer. This was getting serious. I needed help.

But who do you call? The NRMA? The police? There's a real lack of practical help for girls in certain situations, and this is one of them. (I have long maintained that just as I have an IT help desk at work who come and fix any IT problems I have immediately, there should also be a 'life help desk' staffed with people who are fully equipped to assist you in any life situation that you need help in. But, suprisingly, I digress)

Finally I realised exactly who could help me - my step-dad Gary! Hurrah! He knows his way around everywhere. He is a local everywhere. He never gets lost ever. Sure, he lived up on the Central Coast which is about an hour and a half away, and it was about 9pm by this time, but I had total confidence that if anyone could help me, if would definitely be him. The conversation went something like this:
Me: "Gary, I'm lost, I can't find my car, where is it."
Gary: "Hey?"
Me: "I'm in Castle Towers, I came from North Ryde on a big road with a toll and parked in the closest carpark to the road, and now I can't find my car. Can you help me? Where is it??"
Gary: "Hang on, I'll get my map."
Me: "I'm getting blisters. My car is so lost."
Gary: "Oh, you would have come off the M2. Which street are you on now? Okay, can you see a park?"
Me: "There is no park."
Gary: "Keep walking, you should see it on your right and your carpark will be on your left."
Me: "There is a park! I see a park!"
Gary: "If you came in on that road, this would have been the first carpark you would have hit."
Me: "It's not here."
Gary: "This is definitely it. Try the next level up."
Me: (after walking up the car ramp as the pedestrian stairs were locked) "My car! My car! My blessed, blessed car!! Thank you, thank you!!"

Ah, so there you have it. Over 2 hours of fruitless searching, some serious blisters, and (possibly) a few frustrated tears, and Gary found my precious car for me in under 5 minutes.

Now, let it not be said that I went through that ordeal in vain. After that incident I introduced a fool proof system of locating my car, utilising my handy little camera phone, that has now become mandatory upon exiting my car in any shopping centre car park.

Go ahead and laugh boys, go ahead and laugh. You've probably never had this problem, and for that I am eternally in awe. But for the rest of us, who tend to be geographically misplaced for much of our lives... learn from my pain!!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Recipe for a perfect Sunday afternoon...

How good are days off? Last week was beautiful, we had two days at work, then a public holiday, two more days at work, then a weekend. I could totally get used to that. I've felt a bit out of sorts this week back at work, knowing that I have to go for 5 whole days at work, uninterupted by any free days off. It feels a bit unreasonable actually!

But I had a glorious Sunday. Glorious! It was a beautiful sunny day. We went to church in the morning and heard a great message from Phil Dooley about confidence (which may take a while to sink in!). I love my church! After church Chris and I went for brunch at Depot - which was a bit of an experiment. I'm a big fan of brunch in cafes, and mostly after church I go for brunch at the Wah Wah Lounge. My cafe criteria go like this:

1. vibe - of which I'm mostly concerned with comfy seats
but also nice lighting (sitting outside preferable)
enough elbow room
tables big enough to fit my plate and a teapot on without having to do a rubix cube shuffle whenever I want to eat or drink
quiet enough to be able to chat

2. all day breakfast - I can't be having with these 'lunch menu after 11.00' outfits, who's ready to have brunch before 11.00? Not moi.

3. service - a smile goes a million miles with me :-)

So trying a new cafe is exciting, but also a bit of a risk! Depot had great food, but a very industrial kind of vibe, wooden chairs, small tables etc. So it didn't fit my fave criteria. Great to try something new though :-)

After brunch, and some assorted Ikea flatpacking adventures, we went down to Botany Bay to
check out the Laperouse museum, which was so interesting! Did you know that a French expedition landed in Australia just a few days after the First Fleet? And that this was the last place they were seen alive before they vanished mysteriously?

La Perouse Museum at Botany Bay

I love the 'whenceanyaccount'! I think that something may have been lost in the translation from French there ;-)

Local hazards...

The view of the bay is magnificent. I was so excited to realise that this is actually the place where the First Fleet sailed in, and the actual bay were they parked and landed. (Okay, so my nautical jargon is possibly a bit out, but you get what I mean) (you park a ship right?!)

Ship coming in to the bay (note: may not be actual First Fleet ship)

Wow, I've really been getting all patriotic lately! Maybe it comes from living in Sydney, and getting to see all the history that still remains here. Maybe it comes from hanging out with a Yorkshire lad and showing off my city! I love living in Sydney, and Sundays like this only make me love it even more :-)

Me and my wonderful boyfriend Chris!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Dawn Service

Seriously - yesterday was a public holiday, and when my alarm went off at 2.30am I was not a happy bunny. And it was raining, raining, raining. I decided that there was no way the other girls would still be serious about going out to Martin Place for the ANZAC Day dawn service, so I pressed snooze and went back to sleep.

10 minutes later, still not impressed, it's still bucketing down, I venture out to see if the girls are awake - they are, and fully dressed, and still totally committed to leaving the house at 3am. 3am! *sigh* I go back to my room and get dressed.

Anyway, after locating my earmuffs and getting some lipgloss on, I felt more human and we piled into the car and set off. The streets were so empty, it felt eerie. When we got into the city there were sparse crowds of people - and you could recognise two distinct types. There were the people who were still out drinking from the night before (oh, I'd forgotten those days!) and the people who had gotten up early to come out in the rain to honour the ANZAC's and their sacrifice. I started to be proud that I was part of the latter group.

So we gathered at Martin Place - I was suprised at the number of people in the crowd. The rain kept falling on and off throughout the service, the beautiful thing was that as soon as the rain would start again, there was a lovely mushroom effect - people would pop their umbrellas up and shelter everyone around them. (Note, this effect did not benefit Sarah, who I think was standing under the run-off from 3 different umbrellas, and ended up soaked!)

4am - no seriously, 4am!

The service was beautiful. I couldn't stop the tears. The last post sent chills down my spine, as it always does. To think about these amazing men who gave their lives for us - and not only for us, but for the freedom of people who they'd never even meet. Sarah told me last night that apparently in WW1 Australia sent more men per capita than any other country. What an amazing sacrifice. I might not agree with the leaders of my country, and their policies on sending my people off all over the world into dangerous situations - but that doesn't stop me feeling proud of the people brave enough to make the choice to go, and humbled and grateful for the freedom that I live in as a result.

After the service had finished and the barriers were pulled away, people swirled forward to see the wreaths and take pictures of the cenotaph, and some high school student volunteers started packing up all the chairs. Through the crowd I saw an old man, with his medals all shiny and polished, sitting down on a chair in obvious distress. Before I could move, 2 St Johns Ambulance people were at his side, making sure he was okay and giving him a smile. Their beautiful, respectful concern sent me to pieces.

So, as cringeworthy as we may be sometimes, as suspicious of our politicians as I am, and as much as I'm certain in my resolve to move back overseas for good one day, I'm happy to confirm that yesterday morning I realised that I am proud to be Australian.

Amy, Em, Shells

(and that wearing pink earmuffs makes me happy - it was a big morning for revelations)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Update on the sugar addiction kicking attempt: poor effort so far.

But wait, wait, hang on a second before you start throwing those stones. In my defence, I was totally derailed by Easter. Totally. I mean - it's just all about chocolate isn't it? What other holiday do you have where it is expected that you will give chocolate to everyone (and receive heaps of it also!)? Think about it, think about the other major present giving days during the year.

First off there's Valentine's Day, where (if you're lucky) you'll get some pretty flowers - possibly also chocolates, but the flowers are the main thing. Then there's your birthday - where the sky's the limit, chocolates could be included but obviously iPods, diamonds and BridgeClimb vouchers are the easy choice there. And then Christmas, well probably chocolates could be on hand, but this is really your chance to revisit any of the options you missed for the birthday presents. But Easter? It's just about sugar!

So I've been investigating new things to replace chocolate with. Unfortunately sunflower seeds and pepita's (although healthy and nutritious) just don't have the same magic. I'm trying to cut sugar out in other areas too - like choosing wholemeal pasta instead of white pasta, multigrain bread instead of white bread etc.

But the biggest help so far? This fantastic book my boyfriend bought me. I think even just the title makes me feel better!

It's so good. She talks about a whole heap of different ways to lift your mood without having to reach for the chocolate! Click here to read a few random pages.

It's good to smile also. Thank you for the wonderful, wonderful emailers who have been sending me fun random stuff. Keep it coming, it's so good for my heart :-) (So are comments, hint hint)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

You Are Beautiful

Well, in response to my last post, and the ensuing confidence attack/crisis, a very very beautiful friend directed me to an amazing site. The site is called 'You Are Beautiful' and if you send them a stamped, self addressed envelope, they'll send you stickers saying 'You Are Beautiful'. Sound a bit strange? Well the thinking is that you'll then go out into your community and stick them up in random places, and thus encourage random passers by.

Isn't that wonderful? My favourite part of the site is this page, where people have sent in a picture of the sticker in their city, from cities all around the world. There are loads of cities listed, and I'm only about 1 third of the way through looking at all the pictures.

It's my favourite part of the site for 3 reasons:

a) I love random acts of kindness, and the thought of all those people all over the world feeling happy from a sticker makes me happy too

b) I also love that there are so many people all around the world who are the kinds of people who go out of their way to put these stickers up in fun places, just for the reason of making someone else smile

c) after reading the words 'You Are Beautiful' so many times, I kind of started to believe it too.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Calamity Clover

Ah, this morning has been - how do I put this honestly and still try to hold on to some dignity? - a morning of minor calamities. Now while I would like to create the impression that actually I am incredibly poised, of such tasteful beauty as to elicit constant and ardent admiration, and possibly even breathtakingly graceful, occasionally I have to put my hand up and admit that actually, really, honestly, truthfully, I am possibly a bit of an unco.

Okay, a total unco.

Calamity Clover

This morning so far...

* I left a trail of water from my desk, all the way along the corridoor, across the office and into the kitchen - while going to tip out yesterdays water from my carafe. Reason? I overfilled it, thinking that I could totally handle carrying it without tipping it...

* making a hot chocolate in the kitchen, I spilled the cocoa all over the bench. While trying to clean it up I dropped it all over the floor. While trying to sweep it off the floor I got it all over my skirt.

* then while stirring the hot chocolate I got a bit overenthusiastic and splashed milk all over the bench. While trying to clean it up I spilled it on the floor. While trying to mop it up from the floor - you guessed it, I got it on my skirt.

* tried to change the ink pad in our 'FAXED' stamp - this was never going to be easy. I couldn't get the new ink pad in, so I tried hitting it with my hand. This hurt my hand, the pain initially distracted me from the fact that the hand had INK all over it (yes, did you see that coming?) thus giving me time to transfer the ink from one hand to the other, and all up my arm.

* New tactic: I tried putting the stamp on my desk, putting a book over the stamp and hitting the book. This had the brilliant effect of getting ink all over my desk, and partially breaking the stamp. Eventually I turned the stamp over and find that the new ink pad slides neatly in on the other side than the one I was banging... *sigh*

* discovered that the soap in our bathroom at work doesn't actually work hard enough to get ink off your skin, resign myself to a day of being inkified.

* found a spray cleaner in the kitchen to get the ink off my desk - discover to my suprise that it works on skin as well! Spray my hands and arm, congratulate myself on a crisis well concluded. (Consider spraying my skirt to get rid of cocoa and milk, decide not to push my luck!)

Times of general calamity and confusion create great minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace, and the brightest thunderbolt is elicited from the darkest storms.
Charles Caleb Colton (1780 - 1832)

So... that's my day so far... possibly the calamities are making me greater, I think the jury's still out on that one! Ah well, if it made you smile even the smallest bit, I think it might have all been worth it ;-)

(Did it make you smile? Does anyone else have as many minor calamities as me per day? Leave me a comment!)

Monday, April 02, 2007


Have you been checking out the blog regularly? Known me for a while? Or just think that you've sussed me out?? Well, back it up by testing out your clovergirl knowledge on my testriffic test, click the link below...

Create your own Friend Quiz here

Good luck!

** UPDATE **
So the sign up process at Testriffic is a bit autocratic! If you can't sign up and get on the leaderboard, never fear, post your score in the comments below! (If anyone can beat Shelley I'll be impressed!)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Not so sweet anymore

Wow, did I ever underestimate the power of my sugar addiction! Honestly, I never really thought twice about how much sugary junk I eat. It's a bit like panadol I think (go with me here). A few years ago I remember having a really bad headache, and my reflex when I had a headache used to always be to take 2 panadol. So I did, and it didn't go away, so I remember having a few more over the course of the day/night. By the time I finally made it home after a long day with a long headache, my flatmates were really worried about me. I was totally pale, I nearly passed out before I could make it to my room, I had a really bad nosebleed that wouldn't stop, and one of them finally asked me "How many panadol did you have today?" When I added it all up, I had taken about 12 or 14 without realising. This is not good! But it was just such a reflexive response, headache = 2 panadol, that I hadn't realised that actually it was possibly the panadol that were contributing to me feeling so bad.

(I try not to take them anymore by the way, I learned that lesson!)

But now my reflex is: feeling bad = eat something sugary. This is also not good. I never realised how strong this reflex was until the past 2 weeks while I've been trying to control the amount of sugar I eat! So when I'm feeling bad (tired, sleepy, grouchy) I want to have something sugary, but can't. But currently - bad is equalling headaches, grouchiness, dizziness, I'm getting edgy and jumpy, it's a lot worse than I thought it would be. I really, really want to eat something that will instantly make me feel better, but I won't! I will not let the sugar win! This means that the bad mood stays there. And gets inflicted upon those around me. This has resulted in some bad behaviour, for which I am sorry! Yesterday I was in such a bad mood at work that I got sent for a ten minute time-out! I went and sat by the pool, put my feet in the water, and calmed down.

I used to be cookie monster, now I'm becoming Oscar the grouch!

Sarah has a theory (disclaimer: maybe she just told me about this theory, she might not actually support it) that who you are when you are tired is your real self. This does not say good things about me! I tend to get a bit impatient when I'm tired, and also mostly indecisive. (Mostly indecisive, that's hilarious - how can you be mostly indecisive?! That's a great example of me being tired when I'm writing this because I got up so early, and not even being able to commit to an adjective without qualifying it! Totally indecisive!) I'd like to put out a statement that who I am without sugar is NOT my true self! I'll get better, I swear! I am a naturally sweet person deep down, honestly, honestly I am :-)

Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane.
Philip K. Dick
(1928 - 1982) Valis

The world has gone crazy and taken me with it. It is entirely not the other way around.

(Just humour me for a little while!)

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Mountain

Amazing cartoon that I loved and wanted to share with you!

It's never as hard as you think it is...

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.