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!)